Wk 7, HM Training

Fall is finally here! I’ve only been complaining about the heat for maybe 7 months. Holiday run with two bike riders. One of them crashed. You decide which.

Post-run smoothie happened again. Mini and I added half of a banana, a whole peach, vanilla yogurt, and some leftover iced chai tea latte. I thought it was good; she disagreed.

When in Rome, you know the rest. I have tons of hot/cold options at home, so I was forced to improvise when I decided to do what I kind of knew needed to be done…at work. Soda cans happen to be the perfect size and shape for “icing” my hamstrings/ACL/MCL in the office. Then I resurrected my lonely heating pad when I got home. Yeah, I know; I’ll make a doctor’s appointment soon.

9.80 miles in 1:45:00 for my long run which puts me right on track to hit my half marathon goal. The cold temperature was my absolute best friend! Surprisingly, I kept my jacket on the entire time…really I’d expected to warm up faster and toss it. Legs were a little numb at first, but it felt good on that hamstring issue I’m having.

Update: I did make a doctor’s appointment.

Next week is another week for good things!

Observations

I get a small, evil thrill out of watching drivers run a red light or pass me then catching them at the next light or stop sign. You dumdum.

my nice face

Radio story: a man was reported missing 12 hours after he was last seen getting drunk in a bar and walking into the woods. Several hours into a search party looking for him, he notices people walking around the woods and decides to help search. He doesn’t realize they’re looking for him until they began to call his name. Then he says “It’s me!” More time passes before someone in the search party can accurately identify him.

Moral of the story: if something terrible happens to me, please include several people in each search party who can identify me before I’ve spent hours searching for myself! P.S. this happened in Sweden or Denmark or somewhere nowhere near me.

Texas is still very confused about its climate. Typical. We went from solid upper 80 daytime temps to low 50 nighttime temps. Beautiful! AND THEN… someone opened up the sun to full blast again and we nearly had a new record 100° day. At the time of this writing, I don’t know if we broke a record or not. Nonetheless, it was so hot and miserable and I was dreaming of cooler days.

Impatiently waiting. Still.

_______________________

I ask you –

What’s your evil thrill point?

Have you ever been missing?

Humor me: tell me the average daytime highs where you are right now!

Wk 5, HM Training

Remember that summer I ate a sandwich every day for months? Welcome to Fall 2021.

Think I’m figuring out the proper fueling techniques. I haven’t been taking anything mid-run (of course the longest until this week was only 70 mins). Afternoon pre-run, I do well with a banana and peanut butter. AM pre-run, I’ve been on an overnight oats kick…mixed with a little homemade peach jam… delicious!!

Not sure why Garmin just now has me doing strides, but I guess wk 5 is as good as any. Ideal cadence was 150-200 spm. Seeing as how I don’t typically train this way, I think I did well! (This was also day 3 of consecutive runs due to scheduling conflicts.)

Long run of the week (Friday): a little over 8 miles felt great! Post-run smoothie made an appearance again. This time I used strawberry yogurt, a whole peach, ice, and orange juice as the liquid base. HOLY CRAP! It was delicious!

Usually long runs are on a weekend due to time constraints, but because of my own time constraints, I ran on Friday instead…which meant I ran, I showered, I fueled, I stretched, and then ran (not literally) to have lunch with my mini.

Of course she requested McDonalds for lunch. Not ideal fueling, but we – my legs and I – survived. The new week will be here soon!

Wk 4, HM Training

Figured out how to calibrate my watch, whoohoo!

*You are worth taking the time to take care of yourself and do the things that make you feel alive.  It isn’t selfish.  We can’t help others if we aren’t taking care of ourselves too.

*Running outside in the shade in the upper 60’s is the best life for me!

*But what’s better than the 60’s? THE 50’s! Celebrated with a post-run smoothie after my final run of the week. Gorgeous Saturday morning, caught the sunrise and a fabulously cool head wind. Still got some work to do, but it’s getting there.

*Peach Banana Smoothie:

  • 1 very ripe peach, cut into quarters, seed removed
  • 1 ripe banana, peel removed
  • 1 small container whatever flavor yogurt – I like to use low or no sugar
  • Some ice
  • 1 shot of milk
  • Some water, to your desired consistency
    • Whirl above ingredients in a blender until smooth (makes at least 2 smoothies)

*Today’s running friends – every duck in the state of Texas!

Hope you all have an incredible weekend!

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!

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.