Running recap, week 2 and a few words about my Garmin Forerunner 210

Before I say ANYTHING I want to apologize to my poor boyfriend, who now comes up as a search result when “shirtless men” is Googled.  I get an update about search terms that led people to my blog and this is one of them.  Hilarious.

So this was the fateful week when I finally purchased a GPS watch!!

Monday I picked up the garmin and let it charge while I got some solid cross training in at the gym.  I would have done around an hour of elliptical but there “PLEASE LIMIT CARDIO USE TO 30 MINUTES” stickers on every machine and when I came up on 30 minutes, there were people waiting for machines, so like a good citizen I hopped off mine and cleaned it for the next person.  The old guy next to me, who had been there when I got there, stayed on his for another 15 minutes AT LEAST.  Total dick.

Tuesday that fateful first run with the watch.  It was awesome.  I was excited about my watch and learned that it takes me a while to get going, as evidenced by my splits:

I got into a groove around the second mile, and really feel like my fourth mile would have been the fastest by far but I turned onto Magazine, and there are people to contend with on the sidewalks that will slow you down there.  Oh well!  In all, I felt excited to run and happy with my performance.  And that I need to stretch more.

Wednesday was also a running day.  We had a “cool front”, not a cold front because it never gets cold here.  I woke up at 6, was out the door by 6:45, and did the most New Orleans thing possible: I ran on the streetcar line.  It was good for my legs to be on the dirt, and on St. Charles there is a lot to look at: awesome houses, other runners, traffic, people walking on the sidewalks, dogs, etc.  It’s entertaining.  AND to top it off, it was under 70 degrees the entire time!!  I had a goofy grin on my face the whole run, which is significant because I often make really hideous running faces:

Case in point. Yikes.

ANYWAY, here are my numbers for that run:

You can see I’m hovering pretty solidly in the 7:38-range.  This means I’ve got a ways to go, as my pace for an entire MARATHON just over a year ago was 7:37.  Still, the fact that I am now able to run far enough to get into that happy zone where I can zone off and think about anything in the whole world (not just how much it’s hurting to run) is a big step.

Thursday should have been a rest day according to my kind-of coach, but I decided with Alysse and Erin, the two other runners in the group of interns, that Thursday would be a perfect day to do speed workouts.  We met at the track at City Park and I planned for us to do two 4x400s at 5k pace (6:00 min/mile) with 400m of active recovery in between every hard interval.  Often, people will stand, doubled over with exhaustion to catch their breath, but the three of us are distance girls and we need to learn how to recover and keep on movin’.  This will be especially important for Boston, since I have exactly ZERO hills to run on and there will be a couple to contend with back home.  Me being an idiot and new to setting up the intervals on the watch, I put 0.30 miles for the recovery interval, when it should have been the exact same as the actual sprint (0.25mi).  So, I ended up running 2.2 miles for each round.  Not included with the numbers here are the warm up and cool down laps that I ran.

First round on the left, second round on the right

I definitely got slower the second time around, but I felt so awesome.  Finally being able to run hard was incredible.  There’s this feeling that you get when you’re going fast, it’s like you’re flying.  You’ve got your core nice and tight and your whole body is moving together.  I feel very at peace running fast, and I probably could have pushed it harder on Thursday.  I’m happy with how it went though, we all ended up nice and sweaty afterwards

Speed workouts + muscles = badass. Especially at night. The woman who took this thought we were crazy (and rightfully so)
L->R Alysse, Erin, Moi

Friday I finally didn’t go for a run, but instead I busted out the BGG moves and did three circuits in a nice, concise 32 minutes.  It felt both victorious and terrible to do burpees for the first time since the diagnosis.  Upon seeing the sweat that I managed to work up in that short amount of time, my roommate Natalie said: “Girl, you are intense.”  Why thank you very much!

Saturday was the day after the Abita pub crawl, yet for some reason I woke up at 6AM.  Unable to go back to sleep, I figured I may as well go on a run.  3 miles sounded perfect if I was gonna go on a 6 mile long run for Sunday, so I headed out there in some crazy spandex because it was laundry day (normally they are reserved for the gym and other places that they don’t startle people, like midsummer mardi gras).  It was humid and I was fairly certain that I was coming down with some sort of respiratory infection, AND my legs were kinda achy since I decided to leave the peas in the freezer for maximum icing potential post-run.  It was slow and a little miserable.

A little bit blah.  I didn’t care though, which is a first.  Being okay with going slow is a sign of maturity, I think.  Especially since you’re supposed to go slow sometimes but I’ve always been to stubborn to actually do it.  Hell, I don’t really know what is going on, I just went out there and started running one day and eventually a couple years later found out that I wasn’t too bad.  So ya know what?  This run was pretty ok in my book.  Here’s a picture of those spandex so that you understand how ridiculous I looked with bags under my eyes, plodding along with my party pants on:

This picture is from midsummer mardi gras. Even without the boa and halo, my running outfit was enough to frighten the 7AM bleary-eyed Saturday morning crowd. Perfect for relays, 5ks, group fitness, gym time, and giving the old lady up the street a heart attack.

Sunday I did this thing where you wake up and close your eyes and think: am I ready to run today?  And then you realize that you are hurting so you temporarily suspend the activity that is causing the pain.  We call this “listening to your body”.  Instead of dragging my butt out of bed at 6AM, I rolled over and slept until 8:30, something that I haven’t been able to do in who knows how long.  I took my workout to the gym and did 30 minutes on the elliptical, 20 minutes walking uphill on the treadmill, and another hourish in the weight room where I saw a 60+ year old woman with huge hoop earrings and a pink sweatsuit.  Awesome.

This upcoming week I hope to make up for today’s missed long run one morning (the weather is not going to be as nice but I’ve got faith in my abilities!  I hope to get a total of somewhere around 25 miles in and to lift with a bit more regularity.  Gotta get strong!

Thoughts on the watch

I absolutely love this thing.  It’s so helpful to be able to look down and see “oh, I feel really good and that’s because I’m running really slow” or “SWEEET I’ve been keeping up this superfast pace and it really doesn’t hurt.  I should push myself harder throughout my entire run!”.  Also it does exactly what I needed, which is tell me how far I’ve gone, and that has freed up hours every week that would be spent determining where to run.

One feature that the 210 doesn’t have that I didn’t realize I would miss is the courses feature.  I was always able to use the functionality of this feature through, because I could simply choose a route and log another workout on that same route.  My watch now will tell me exactly where I’ve gone, how long it took me, and give all sorts of splits and averages and numbers; but it doesn’t recognize when I’ve run the same route that I ran last week.  Therefore, I have to manually go through and compare my times.  It does kind of suck, but keeping track of my average pace will be equally as effective a tool and allow me to run freely wherever I decide I want to go and not worry about running the same route as last time, which I used to not have much of a choice about.

You can program the watch to hold interval workouts, but your workouts cannot be as extensively programmed as some of the higher level models.  You get to choose:

– warm up duration

– interval duration

– rest duration

– cool down duration

All in either time or distance.  This, I decided, is plenty for me.  If I decide I absolutely must run intervals that build on one another (i.e. 2×100, 2×400, 2×600, 2×800) all in one workout, then I have to go find a track.  I am perfectly capable of doing this.

I really love that I have buttons and not a touch screen or bezel.  Buttons are reliable.  They don’t get pressed accidentally and are easy to use.  People often have trouble with the touch features malfunctioning, especially if there is rain or sweat and believe me, I deal with a lot of both of those.  A rainy workout can be the most satisfying workout of your month!  I am sure I would be extremely frustrated if my watch just quit on me.

Overall, I am totally satisfied with my decision to purchase the Garmin Forerunner 210, and would highly recommend it to others.

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