Wk 10, HM Training

What’s up with this: my legs have been exhausted lately. Even after two full days off, my legs are just slugging along at 50% of their normal get-up-and-go. I don’t think I’m overtraining. Ugh.

completed on Day 1

But in true me fashion, I continue running. I enjoy strides and intervals more than progression runs, that’s for sure! And goal pace isn’t too incredibly difficult. Hallelujah, because it’s a goal pace for a reason. The weather this week took a drastic turn towards frigid – 50s and rain which felt like 30° to me. Dramatic, huh? I had to find leggings and capris for my runs. Those short shorts weren’t doing it for me!

Speed shoes!

By the time strides rolled around on Thursday, the office felt like -20° and my patience had worn thin with the amount of cloud coverage. Back to the treadmill again.

As has become my routine, I did a switch from long run Saturday to Friday evening instead. AND I didn’t wait until the sun went down to keep cool! Straight from work was my motto so I would have no excuses.

slightly wind-blown hair

Wouldn’t you know this long run was amazing? Every time I think (read: doubt) I can accomplish my goal, I have a great run that reenforces the work I’ve been putting into it.

Let’s just hope it shows up on race day!

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.

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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!

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…

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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.

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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!

Races + Grumblings

“A (wo)man on a thousand mile walk has to forget the goal and say every morning, ‘Today I’m going to cover twenty-five miles and then rest up and sleep.’” 

LEO TOLSTOY

Some blog posts just write themselves; all that’s required of me is jot it down as it flows. Those are the best.

Let me skip to the good part. Why are Ragnars and relay races so incredibly expensive? $600 for 4-6 people to run an unaccompanied, off-road, course- supportless route whilst sleeping in one of the two vans you yourself and your team must drive. Exactly what am I paying for here? The name probably. Before I make enemies, allow me to disclaim I have no problem spending money on races! Sign this girl up! I’m just attempting to understand where my money goes when there’s no course support, no aid stations, no on-site medical personnel (because I love those people), and no ability nor obligation to support the local community where the race starts/ends. I don’t get it.

Speaking of spending money, let me introduce you to my most recent piece of expensive jewelry. Indeed it does more than I ever imagined. Garmin really does make quite the tech gear.

smaller than it looks

Full review coming soon. Need time to take her for a spin outdoors and with the heat not cooperating it may be some time. Speaking of the heat: holy hell, I’m over it. Just when I think maybe, possibly, with angels following me, and a fan on top of my head I may be able to run outdoors…yeah, no. Did I mention the migraines have returned, too? Heat and headaches: my favorite!

Fall can’t come soon enough.

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I ask you –

Any interest in completing a Ragnar?

Do you have a small, medium, or large sized wrist? Schmedium for me

Tell me something you’re looking forward to! My mini will be home in less than 2 weeks!