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.

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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…

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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.

Day in Photos, pt 210

Pig Pen Mud Volleyball made an appearance again!

Certainly a gloomy, cloudy day. But it only rained once!

Serve
Set

To be transparent: I don’t know any of those people playing, but they were a lot of fun to watch! The above are before photos. The afters were unrecognizable.

But the best part of this was the sprinkler!!! Since I (tried to) run – a speed run – beforehand, the cold water pouring out of it was a lifesaver. Stupid humidity, I’m over it. I called it quits 1 mile into a 4 mile workout.

Cold Watermelon and Sprinklers! Life is good!

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I ask you –

Did you do anything exciting for the 4th of July holiday weekend?

Thoughts on mud volleyball?

Share your favorite summer treat! Ice cream!

(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!

I’m a Pioneer!

I need friends. Running friends. Running friends who only run when it’s incredibly hot outside and I can’t go out there to run. Too much? So I joined Strava.

Find me on Strava!

Then I decided to channel my inner woman of the wild and become a canning master! Next up: living in a hut and churning my own butter. Right. I know.

As a writer, grammar and spelling are important to me, as well as consistent fonts across a document. It’s my job. I appreciate when someone’s email signature line is short, concise, and, most importantly, legible! You may be asking how an email could possibly be anything other than legible; rest assured, I’ve seen it all. It’s not pretty.

Full disclosure: I don’t believe everything I read on the internet. Tell me you don’t either. So I did my own research. Turns out it is true!

My dreamer mindset got a little excited, to tell the truth. But as for adding it to the bucket list? No thanks. The part that negated all my dreams was “The real-life walk would be grueling, filled with scary animals and diversely bad weather.” Nope, nope, and nope. Next, please.

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I ask you –

What’s your Strava information? Please comment below. I need friends!

Have you ever canned anything? What should I can next?

Tell me something on your bucket list!

Where the Lost Things Are

How often is it you do a double take at something you see (or think you’ve seen)? Imagine my surprise then.

perhaps they just fell off

Returning to a low carb lifestyle was in my summer plans, but when I nixed the races at the end of May, I knew I didn’t have a whole lot of wiggle room for the donut-and-ice-cream plan I’d been following. Lucky for me, there are alternatives everywhere if you know where to look. Or can cook.

And don’t think for a minute I gave up cookies! No, no, no. I make a keto-fied chocolate chip cookie dough eaten straight from the container in the refrigerator. Have you tried the espresso chocolate chips yet?! Trust me!

found on a lunch run

Lastly, I stayed out until 9:42pm recently. The mom voice inside me was practically tangible when it said ‘Kel, you can not be out this late again.’ Surely I’ve mentioned my lifelong 8:30pm bedtime? I was absolutely sloth-like the next morning. Pitiful. Sad, too.

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I ask you –

Have you ever painted rocks?

What time do you typically go to bed?

Name the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen outside!

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?!

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I ask you –

What hobbies do you enjoy?

Are you good at trivia questions?

Give me your best piece of advice!

Round and Round and Round

Typical of me to change plans halfway through a very labor intensive project. You know, like running. Something told me to build a 13 week training plan just in case of unexpected events. You know, like mind changing. So here we are. I’m officially beginning week 8 now. One small exception: due to aforementioned events, my long run was yesterday vice Saturday so today’s 4 miles have been cancelled. Unless I’m feeling motivated. Standby.

The relief is palpable. Don’t get me wrong; I love running. Really. But even marathoners don’t run long distances 3 days in a row. Not the ones I keep up with anyway. My shins were starting to feel like the muscle was pulling away from the bone. If that isn’t a pretty picture.

Also, many are familiar with the Hotter’n’Hell Hundred. That huge bicycling event in the throes of a Texas summer. I continue to ward off invitations to join this year, but my willpower is waning. Insanity. I mean I do own a bike. And I can train for it. The shortest distance is 25 miles. Doable. Ehhhh. We’ll see.

this is the face I make when someone from work tells me I should try walking the stairs during my lunch hour

Being kind can be difficult especially if your face speaks for itself. Like mine.

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I ask you –

Should I enter the hottest bike ride in the universe?

Do you find yourself constantly changing plans?

Tell me your thoughts on riding a bicycle.