Fall Training Schedule

Considering this upcoming race. Coincidentally – or is it? – a trip to TN would enable mini to see her dad and family during the Thanksgiving timeframe.

No word yet on Morgan from Oregon’s plans to attend Run the Rail mid-October. Since I got the plague from hell in August, discontinued my run streak, and had to remember how to breathe properly, anything long distance before November is probably a no go.

There’s also Rock ‘n Roll San Antonio. The Stars at Night Half isn’t a viable option this year because it will be the same weekend mini heads back to TN for Christmas break.

Speaking of, I was a few paragraphs back, there was a week in there where I went to the doctor or was on the phone with a doctor at least once a day. They are nice and all, but I try to avoid, know what I mean? Anyway, I began to notice a troubling pattern. They don’t measure how tall adults are anymore. Yes, they ask how tall you are, but they don’t physically verify. Two problems: 1) I could be lying when I say I’m 6 ft (yet she didn’t even blink an eye) and 2) hearing the words “You’ve grown” isn’t exactly a compliment as an adult. Bet she didn’t really write down 6ft on my chart. Hmmmppphhh.

Relatedly, sort of, in the Navy they called shoes “go fasters”. The more I think about it, I realize that was the ‘kind, new Navy’ saying something positive about passing a PRT, etc. because I have never called my new running shoes “go fasters”. Instead, I internally refer to them as the shoes that will kick someone’s a**. I will outrun a cheetah in my new shoes! I am faster than Olympians in my new shoes! There’s a meme circulating on social media that says something like…why doesn’t anyone ask me (as an adult) how fast I can run in my new shoes…and I totally agree. It’s BS. You better ask me!! And I’ll be happy to demonstrate. But sometimes I just ask my shoes to get me home. You know what? That’s ok, too!

Hotter’n Hell Hundred went off without a hitch, to my understanding. More like best guess, Kel. I went to my usual viewing spot and didn’t see a single thing. Not one kit-clad cyclist was located. For a minute, I thought I got the date wrong. Alas, my final thought was since the annual bicyclist event was not held last year, they had an extra year to work on speed and sped through the course in record time. It could also be because I slept in and was approximately 2 hours late to the location. Or I read the map wrong. Really, it’s anyone’s guess what happened. I’m going with extraordinarily fast cyclists though. Just pretend there’s a super awesome photo here of thousands of cyclists.

______________________

I ask you –

Any race suggestions? Or know of something I’m missing? Preferably early December.

Does your doctor ask how tall you are or take a measurement?

Participants in Hotter’n Hell Hundred next year – leave your name below so I can get insider information. I need an accountability partner!

24 hrs Post-Island Life

Something about run streaking is so much fun to me. Maybe it’s the confidence builder qualities or the satisfaction of having a daily goal? Maybe all of it. I feel accomplished! Running is a huge leap of faith for me. Day 1 is tough – getting restarted, developing a habit, and believing somehow I’ll go from a nearly 12 min/mile to a 9:30 min/mile. This body is pretty amazing.

Photo credit: my sister

After my unscheduled running hiatus – thanks a lot – I’d only missed three weeks of the Garmin 10k training plan. So I’ve put it back on rotation and decided to start an August streak…which means I will (at the time of this posting) be running and “training” at the same time.

Granted it’s only a 10k but if you’ll recall there are hills in there. Cringe. Then I remembered the new DoD guidance concerning indoor mask wear and it’s still summer in Texas. Double cringe. You’d think after the super high humidity I’d be acclimated by now…alas, my trusty home treadmill is always available until it begins to cool down.

I did loosely plan to run while on the island. Instead I drank. And swam daily. Vacation, after all. Watched some Olympics, too, so that definitely counts as inspiration! Then I ate more fish, dessert, and attempted to sleep in. Damn internal alarm clock.

Back to work, I guess. And by work I really mean eating donuts with my office peoples.

dead battery = watch still on

Before I forget, I have a watch rave. The Garmin Forerunner battery life could be the best in its class: 8 days without charging. When I got home, it showed 0% but the watch face was still on. Check out my full review here.

_________________________________

I ask you –

Am I the only one who keeps getting confused when I see Tokyo 2020? What year is this? Oh yeahhhhh.

How often do you take a vacation? Yearly? I would prefer quarterly!

Time to dust off my running shoes again!

This one? + She’s Home!

Holiday Half Marathon, circa 10 December, Portland, Oregon.

Oh elevation

It’s just an option. I’m really enjoying “training” during my “off season”. Sounds so professional! This is the time of year where I refuse to run a mile or commit to anything because it’s hot and I don’t fancy dying outdoors under the blazing sun. You really can’t blame me. So the fact I am actually committed to a training plan and – most importantly – STILL RUNNING should be celebrated. Preferably with ice cream!

Right now, I’m a few weeks in to a 10k plan feat. by Garmin. It includes hills and speed runs. Those are now dirty words in my vocabulary and I loathe them. BUT! Those hills and speed (cringe) workouts are going to come in handy when I run at elevation this winter. Provided I don’t freeze to death first.

Better get started on buying for real cold weather running gear. However, I did survive a few sub-zero runs during the February 2021 Texas Blizzard. I’ll be fine!

Speaking of weather acclimation, I stumbled across this great article about heat training, specifically in regards to the Olympic trials postponement the other day. You can read it here. There really are a lot of factors that make up our ability to either acclimate or suffer in hot weather. My fancy new watch tells me I’m now 18% acclimated! If I reach 20%, we’ll all be shocked.

my little love bug

Since mini got home, I haven’t had a ton of time…to myself, to run, to do much except focus on her. I’m not worried. Remember, I’m not training yet.

______________________

I ask you –

What’s next on your race calendar? Anyone running RnR VA Beach next month? My nemesis.

How does running in the heat affect you?

Favorite hot weather treat? Ice cream, hands down!

Garmin Forerunner 745 – Review

Being a (very long time) promoter of Fitbit, I recently turned the tables and went a different direction.

first run!

1. I love this thing! Technology is my friend, but I was super worried I may not “get it”. Transitioning from a touch screen to real buttons wasn’t as big of a challenge as I anticipated. There’s only 5.

2. Menstrual tracking is by no means considered glamorous. Not in the slightest. However, I had been frustrated with Fitbit because they had very few “symptoms” options when using this feature. Pardon me, but I experience more than just cramps and backache. Hello, estrogen-producing people, this is for you. With Garmin, there’s also a notes section so I can input anything they don’t cover. Fitbit originally had a notes feature, but upon some update many years ago, it disappeared.

3. Training Load. Although I’ve heard from many people who state this designation isn’t always accurate, for now I’m holding it in high regard. To explain training load, Garmin compiles your daily exercise, stress levels, sleep score, and many other data points to recommend whether or not you should be training that day or waiting a determined amount of time. I think the reason some may not agree is because there are more factors involved than just what your watch is tracking, like overall training history. Make sense? If I’m training for a double, then most weeks I will need to run back-to-back. Garmin never recommends this.

4. Size. My schmedium wrist is accommodated by most watch sizes, but it usually involves taking out the final pin. Apparently the Forerunner 945 – the one step up edition from mine – has the largest watch face. Aesthetically speaking…I didn’t want to wear everyday a HUGE watch. Turns out I made a good choice with the 745 because it fits me well.

5. Battery life. Is awesome! I was charging my Fitbit every 2-3 days. Garmin states this watch battery will last 5 days with regular GPS usage. They didn’t lie. Even with internal music controls (which I’ll get to in a moment) and GPS use during most runs, the battery is still going strong at day 5. Surely if I didn’t run or use the music function, it would most likely hold a single charge for 7-10 days.

quick peak into my daily life

6. Music! A new watch requirement was internal music storage and playback. #1 selling point. My Fitbit had the same feature but to add music to it was a work of frustration. It took hours. Not kidding. Garmin Connect (the desktop/user platform) has a great user interface and I added music seamlessly to the program. The volume, song shuffle, and repeat functions on my watch are easily navigated. Also – my biggest issue with Fitbit – is I can toggle between my workout and the music controls WHILE keeping the workout in progress! This is incredible to me because with Fitbit I had to start the music first then start a run. No other order of events would work. And if music suddenly stopped mid-run, the run would have to be completed or ended before I could resume listening. I ran a half marathon without music once and I was livid. Yes, I’m the weirdo who hates carrying their phone. Less is more in terms of phone use mid-run and length of shorts.

7. It coaches me. You’re not the boss of me! Well, apparently it is. It talks to me – guides me, if you will – through workouts. My least favorite thus far are the hill repeats and speed runs. And since these are the only 2 I’ve done, here we are. A very sweet sounding lady I affectionately call the ‘b’ word instructs me on each portion of the run. For example, ‘b’ will say “Run, 0.5 miles, pace 8:40 to 9 mins”. Told ya’. And then if I run too fast, an annoying beeping sound will be emitted into the vicinity of my eardrums. If I run too slow, a different but equally annoying sound will clue me in. Finally, if I’m hitting the pace, a soft, gentle, single tone will be barely heard and I’ll still wonder if I’m doing it right. But really. This is a perk because if I was running my own plan – I usually do – then I would shortchange myself.

8. Lastly (I had to end on an even number) there are sleep tracking, alarm clock, and notification settings I haven’t even begun to explore. Like I mentioned before, sleep data does play a role in training load (see #3) so it really requires no effort from me except to, well, sleep. I’ve heard several complaints about the Fitbit alarm being too soft or gentle to wake anyone. For me, it was fine but I’m a light sleeper and the understated wrist vibration was enough to wake me. Garmin has a tone and/or vibrate option. I’ve been using both for my wake-up time; so far, no complaints. Overall, I don’t enjoy receiving phone calls or text and email notifications on my watch so I always disable this feature. Don’t bother me when I’m running! Maybe eventually I’ll change my mind. For now, running or working out is my ‘me time’. There’s very few things so important to warrant the interruption.

In regards to #6 and the less is more concept, the ability to phone a friend if I’m hurt on the side of the road is also a watch asset. With one long press of a button, my emergency contacts are notified of my location. Though this wouldn’t have helped much on the VA Beach boardwalk.

first workout

But, just in case…

____________________________

I ask you –

What’s the most important watch feature for you? Tells time!

Daydream a minute – if you could only have 1 extra watch feature, what would it be? I want fireworks to randomly shoot from mine!

Tell me what you currently have on your wrist! Watch on one, Just Run mantra band on the other.

(I’m not) Training Update

Since running outside hasn’t been happening, I’ve channeled my inner indoorsy gal and made amends with the treadmill. Then I got myself a free gym membership. It’s been so much fun. Most importantly, there’s air conditioning. I really need to be doing more than just running. I have zero reasons why I can’t. Even if I had issues strength training in front of others – which I don’t – I own the same equipment. No excuses.

gym treadmills seem lower in incline

I’ve had some really good runs though! The photo above was an interval workout with some of my fastest paces ever. Which explains why my quads were sore for days afterwards. Can you still get a good run on the dreadmill? Absolutely! Just not my favorite.

Continuing to visit my favorite running haunts via a slower method of travel. I should be competing in the race walking Olympics. It’s a thing! Standby…

my friends!

One of my favorite aspects of the new watch is how it calculates and recommends what you should be doing that day based on previous patterns, like how you slept and trained the day prior. But of course I don’t take kindly to being bossed around so the first recommendation didn’t go well. We barely know each other, how dare it! It said don’t run today. I said I do what I want. I ran. It was awful. Beginner’s luck, maybe? I tried again the next time. And discovered I should just listen to it. Dammit.

Once work slows down, I’ll research some upcoming races. Maybe I can convince Morgan from Oregon to do another half! Probably time to take myself to the northwest region.

Glad I’ve been doing hill repeats! Especially if these geese keep chasing after me. Me > Geese.

____________________________

I ask you –

Do you have a pet name for workout equipment? I don’t. But I should!

What is this sorcery inside my watch that makes it think it knows me?

Give me suggestions for races in or near the Washington or Oregon area! She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s about to!

Whose idea was this?

How do people have time to binge shows? Maybe I’m doing this all wrong. One of my favorite radio shows plays a game where the hosts have to guess what show it is based on clues, like theme song, date it aired, etc. I never get the show right presumably because I haven’t watched any of them. Hahha presumably.

Is this a time management issue? A priority issue? I do like television. There are shows I enjoy so what’s the deal?

Feels like I never have enough hours in my day for hobbies. For me, a schedule is like a chessboard where each piece has its place and I try to fit checkers into the empty spots. Plug and play! Sometimes it’s an ‘oh crap, I need to paint my toenails’. Then there’s the ‘did I send out thank you cards yet?” No, those are still sitting atop your laptop. Other times, and this is my favorite, ‘I have a blog idea!’ so I rush off to write it down before it ends up in a forgotten heap.

in case you thought running was glamorous

To hear others tell it, failure is a good thing. Check out this article about goals. The process of achieving a goal is perhaps more important to long term success than actually achieving the goal. So all the training, all the extra required sleep, all the fretting is worth more than crossing the finish line. This is why I’ve decided to nix the race at the end of the May. A different opportunity has presented itself and I know full well if it happens sooner rather than later I won’t be able to do both. Promise I’ll fill you all in when the time is right. For now, I’m still following the training plan for the most part; with the weather getting warm quickly, I’m doing the best I can to listen to my body and plan for the days ahead. By faith, I’ve been able to run faster than I’ve ever run before nearly this entire cycle. Amazing what you can do when you let go.

Well, geez, why didn’t I think of that myself?!

___________________________

I ask you –

What hobbies do you enjoy?

Are you good at trivia questions?

Give me your best piece of advice!