A Simple Running Log

March 4, 2013

Training for 3/4/13

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 7:31 pm

I got in all my miles since Friday. I wasn’t happy about it once, but I got them done.

It’s this damn weather. It’s the first week of March, and I don’t live in Canada, so I should be able to put away the fleece gloves, the winter running jackets and the SmartWool socks. I’m not saying it should be 70 degrees here by now, but it should NOT be struggling to hit a daytime high above freezing.

Add to the unseasonably cold temperatures a steady, howling wind, and yeah, the running motivation wasn’t really there for the past few days.

At least I had a new toy to try out though! And the fact I’m tapering now so the runs weren’t very long definitely helped.

Friday evening, just after I got home from work, a UPS truck pulled into our driveway and the driver handed me a box containing my very first Garmin.

It was my friend Brad’s first Garmin. He just got a fancy new one, so he sent me his five-year-old, enormously huge and a little banged-up one. It was free, so I wasn’t going to complain about any of that.

Did I mention it’s enormously huge? It’s a Forerunner 205. This particular model is good for “multisport enthusiasts,” as it’s big enough cyclists can strap it down to their handlebars and easily see their pace and distance data.

Stock image I found online, but this is exactly what it looks like.

Technically, it’s also small enough to be strapped to a wrist, but I’ve got a small one anyway, so the thing looked (and felt) even bigger on me. It’s at least three, maybe four times the size of the lightweight Timex I’ve been wearing the past four years.

While Garmin still makes one very similar to this, they also make several models for running only, that are closer in size to a typical running watch.

Anyway, I read Brad’s note, wishing me luck on my BQ attempt in a couple of weeks, and tried to read the instruction manual. I plugged it into the dock charger so it would be ready to go for the next morning’s scheduled pace run.

The next morning was gray, cold and breezy. All I had to do was four miles at goal marathon pace.

I strapped on the Garmin and walked outside. It won’t let you do anything until it’s located the satellites it uses to track your distance and pace, which it can’t do very well indoors, so this was my first time trying to get it to work.

It picked up a signal quickly, and a screen appeared, waiting for me to hit the start button. Brad already had the thing set to Auto Lap, so it would just record every mile split for me. I jogged a little warm up to the neighbor’s lane and hit the start button.

Immediately the timer started running, and the other two images on the screen showed my current pace and distance.

I tried to just run and not worry about my current pace, but it was nearly impossible, since for the first time, the info was right there. I found myself checking it nearly constantly, and even though I was running way too fast for a pace run, it always felt like I was running faster than the Garmin was telling me I was. I did not like that.

What I did like was having the distance in real time. Except for the third mile marker, all my imagined mile markers on my 4.5-mile loop were nearly spot on. That was good to know.

I ran 4.5 miles in 34:39, a 7:42/mile average pace. When I got home, I figured out how to scroll through the workout history and see exactly how fast I ran each lap. It also told me my fastest pace for each lap.

I wasn’t completely sold on the Garmin after that run, but I wasn’t ready to write it off yet either.

That afternoon, Clark, Chad, Samira and I went to Rehoboth. There was a chocolate festival at the convention center. We didn’t get there in time for that, but a lot of local businesses had specials going on in honor of the chocolate festival, including Dogfish Head, so we went there.

Clark got a slice of bacon chocolate cheesecake. (That’s a regular menu item, but we’d never tried it.) It sounds weird, but it was actually really good. With the whipped cream and chocolate cheesecake, the bacon didn’t really taste like bacon, it just offset all the sweetness with a little saltiness. I really liked it, but it was also super rich. They give you a huge slice, so it was a good dessert for sharing.

When we left Dogfish Head, we walked to another restaurant, Hobo’s, that had some chocolate-themed food specials. Clark got a chocolate chicken chimichanga. I’d eaten a salmon sandwich at Dogfish Head, so I went with dessert that time; I got a chocolate hazelnut pudding that was really good.

We’d all had our fill of chocolate by that time, so we headed home. We were home by 8:30 p.m., and we were all ready to just go to bed, haha. We’re old.

Sunday morning, I had 12 miles on the schedule, my final double-digit run before Shamrock. The wind had really picked up since the day before. It was at least sunny, but it was still really cold, and it only felt colder with the wind.

I decided to try doing my long run on the trails at Trap Pond State Park again, to get out of the wind. That ended in a big fat fail a couple of weeks ago, but I thought if I stayed off that equestrian trail and on the clearly-marked hiking trail, I’d be OK. Plus, I only had 12 miles to do, not 20.

I layered up in my warmest winter running outfit and drove to the park. I took my water bottle with me, fired up the Garmin and took off.

I wasn’t sure exactly how long each loop would be if I stayed on the hiking trail, but that was OK, because now I had the Garmin to figure it out for me. Once I warmed up a little, I felt good, and I thought I had a chance at actually finishing the intended distance.

When I made it back to my car, the Garmin was just under 4.5 miles. Another lap would get me almost to 9. I thought I’d run that second lap, then run the first 1.5 miles of a third lap and turn around, running back those 1.5 miles to make it 12.

The second lap went fine too. I don’t know why trail miles go by so much faster than road miles, even when you’re running them slower. I was back at my car and 9 miles into the run before I knew it. Since it was a long run, I wasn’t paying attention to the pace on the Garmin, just the distance, which also helped.

I started the third lap, and decided to just stretch it out and make it a half marathon — run to 13.1 miles and then walk the final few tenths of a mile of that last lap for a cool down and do some stretches before driving home.

And that’s what I did. The Garmin hit 13.1 miles just as I was getting to the walkway that goes by Trap Pond. I’d run my own little unofficial trail half marathon in 1:53 something, an 8:40/mile average pace.

I was definitely more impressed with the Garmin’s capabilities after that run. I think I’ll keep it around.

When I got home, Clark and I watched the NASCAR race from Phoenix. I called my mom to congratulate her when her favorite driver, Carl Edwards, broke his nearly two-year winless streak. Bobby didn’t do anything memorable. He finished 24th, the first car a lap down.

This morning, I didn’t have to be at work until late, so instead of getting in my easy run while Clark was home, I just laid in bed.

When Clark left for work, I apologized to Pepper in advance for making him run with me today, put his jacket and harness on him, put on my warmest winter running clothes again and headed outside.

It was frigid today. I stupidly checked the weather before we left — 29 degrees with a 15 mph wind, dropping the feels like temp to 18 freaking degrees. And since I didn’t feel like driving to a trail, we’d be running on a road surrounded by open fields, taking the full brunt of the wind.

I don’t think either one of us wanted to be out there, but we got it done. We did an untimed lap around the 4.5-mile loop. Much to Pepper’s credit, he just ran, instead of throwing a little fit. He took that 4-foot branch with him today, the one that’s been in our yard since he found it on a run last fall. There was a point about two miles in when he stopped on the side of the road and tried to lie down so he could chew on his branch, but I got him going again and he ran the rest of the way straight through.

When we got home, I gave him a treat and then did today’s strength training — abs, invisible chair-sitting and some weight lifting in the living room, finishing up with stretches.

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