Sunday, February 22, 2009

Warm Arms, Warm Heart

Irony is a funny thing... which I guess makes sense as that's essentially the definition of it. Let me tell you a little story.

Leading up to Christmas, as I was throwing my money around left and right buying the obligatory holiday gifts, I made a mental list of the things I'd like for myself for Christmas. (You know, just in case a certain adult male with whom I co-habitate asked what I want for Christmas instead of taking wild stabs in the dark at what I might like. But that's purely hypothetical... I loved my gifts, honey, and really enjoyed exchanging them. Thanks again!)

Every time my aforementioned mental list was made, one thing kept popping up to spot #2, second only to peace on earth and good will to men: a pair of arm warmers. For some reason, I had decided I must have a pair of arm warmers. Never mind they'd already invented such a thing, namely long-sleeved shirts. I wanted the arm warmers, dammit! I thought it would be super neat if I could wear them during winter when I first stepped out to run, then peel them down (or even off!) when I warmed up, offering some much-needed ventilation and coolness. Plus, I thought they just looked sweet and I'm all about looking sweet when I run.

Unfortunately, neither the adult male with whom I co-habitate nor Santa Claus himself picked up on my subtle hints about the arm warmers. On Christmas Day, when all the packages were opened, there was nary an arm warmer in sight. Figuring if I wanted something done right, I'd have to do it myself, I set about to buy a pair of arm warmers with the cold hard cash I got from my folks for Christmas. I looked in stores; I looked online. Nobody had what I was looking for. I was getting a little discouraged, thinking I was going to have to just resort to wearing a pair of long men's tube socks, which wouldn't be nearly as sweet as real arm warmers.

And then one day, while I was busy minding my own business, arrived my February 2009 issue of Runner's World and there amongst Lolo Jones' abs was the answer to my Christmas prayers: a short blurb hailing the new appeal of the arm warmer and the website at which I could go to make them my very own. They were exactly what I had envisioned and as a choir of angels heralded the tiding of great joy into my ears, I made a lords-a-leaping vault to my computer and ordered them.

Yesterday, I broke them out for my first run. I checked the current temperature before getting dressed and it read a whopping six degrees. I was hoping for an additional 20 or 50 degrees (give or take), but then remembered in Idaho I'd be waiting until July for that to happen. Instead of a so-yesterday long-sleeved shirt, I donned a light short-sleeved number over my sports-bra and topped it with my sleeveless fleece vest. I have to admit, I was a little wary. I was about to step outside in a short-sleeved shirt in a temperature that was prime for instantly freezing the snot inside my nose. But I had faith in the arm warmers and their ability to live up to my high expectations.

During the first mile, when I was still getting used to the sting of the cold air against my skin, I thought for sure I'd be turning back any minute for another coveted layer of warmth. Although the warmers were long enough to cover my hands if needed, I was wearing two pairs of gloves, but had a strip of exposed skin on my upper arms that was turning more and more red against the chill with every step I took. By the time I reached the end of the first mile, I'd decided it was too late to turn back and just went for broke by forging ahead. Soon enough, I was warmed up and feeling perfectly comfortable. The arm warmers were doing their thing and then some.

Unfortunately, even over the course of 12 miles, it never got warm enough to peel the arm warmers off, which disappointed me a little. I was looking forward to that part in an inexplicably weird sort of way. But I'm sure a month (or five) down the road I'll be able to enjoy the warmers at their fullest functionality.

I'm one satisfied customer and I think my experience proves that not only does Runner's World have the answers to every problem that could possibly exist, but that you should always buy your own Christmas gifts if you ever want to get anything good.

I'll be ordering Lolo's abs next year.

(Editors note: Despite RW's suggestion, I ended up ordering my warmers here, mostly because I'm a cheapskate and they offered free shipping.)


Mel said...

Those arm warmers are really really neat! I'm thinking I need a pair too... maybe I'll order some for my birthday;)

zanne said...

You'll love these on your bike rides too ... easily pushed down when you get hot climbing a hill, then pulled back up again for the chilly descent! Or, just pulled off all together & placed in back jersey pocket! I think they're a total must for riding ... you'll get plenty of use out of these.

I have one of those husbands too ... the kind that despite the fact we've been married for 15 years can't seem to get me what I want unless I circle the item in the catalog & hand it to him.

Lili said...

You are so FUNNY!!! =) Loved this post!

Velma said...

Can I have the website so I can purchace LoLos abs? Great post, and you are brave for wearing the arm warmers this early in the season.

TNTcoach Ken said...

Ha, give better hints..... I love my arm warmers plus they look cool.

Laurel said...

You are one crazy mother. I can not believe you are standing there in SIX degree temps with a short sleeved shirt on.

Arm warmers or no arm warmers.

You are one tough lady.

Jen said...

Men's tube socks wouldn't look nearly as cool in that picture as the real deal. You look pretty darn elite in those things! I would take some of those abs too! And I can't wait for June! Those will come in handy in the middle of the night runs in the mountains!

Mark said...

I'm sorry but I have to ask. If you are wearing them to keep your arms warm, why not get them at a length that covers your whole arm?

Tall Girl Running said...


I'm not aware they're made in different lengths. At six feet tall, I may have longer arms than others, but even with a little skin showing, my arms stayed plenty warm. I imagine they're most ideal for spring and fall weather when the ventilation option is more useful. I was just a little eager to try them out and couldn't wait.

Thanks for commenting!

Ovens2Betsy said...

You had to leave them on in 6-degree weather? Wuss. :) I've put myself on a moratorium on buying new running gear (except shoes), so these'll have to wait. But now I know what I can put on MY Christmas list this year!

The Hoyt's said...

Looking very good with your new arm warmers lol!! I cant believe you can go out in 6 degree weather girl.. You are my hero... Great post once again.. I love the humor you always put into them..

Mark said...

I've provided a link to a cycling version:

I'm 6'2" 200 lb triathlete, and have worn them for early spring Duathlons and such. Hope this helps.

Take care

Joe Garland said...

I have mine from a prior life as a cyclist. I have an even older pair that's wool. So you can generally get them at a bike shop.

It is very cool to be able to roll them down over your wrists and then, when you're confident that it'll stay warm, you whip them off and tuck them in the back of your shorts.

Still, 6 degrees? I'll stick with a long-sleeve shirt and a short-sleeve over that.

Anonymous said...


Steph said...

So happy to see that you love your arm warmers! I'm getting ready for a marathon in December and while I liked the concept, I wasn't sure I wanted to spring for 'em. If they work in a place where it snows I'm sure they'll keep me warm here in less-cold California. Thanks for the review! LOVE your blog!