Saturday, October 24, 2009

First Run with the new Watch

Finally, the rain has cleared off and it was time for a NICE outdoor run. Two days on the hamster wheel this week was tough. Partially cause I'm a plodder and setting a speed on the treadmill is difficult when I don't know my pace. I know I'm slow. I just don't know HOW slow.

I am following the Fitness Magazine training plan for a half-marathon. I've found that having and following a plan is a huge factor for me. It's hard for me to blow it off if I have a plan all mapped out. So, usually at the first of each month, I plan my workouts for the month and put them in an Excel spreadsheet. Not that they can't modified, they just can't be eliminated. So, today was supposed to be my long run. 6 miles. I'm working my way up to a half-marathon, but today is only 6.

As recently as last year, going for a run was a simple matter. I would put on my trusty running shoes, a pair of shorts and a ratty t-shirt and I'd be out the door. I'd be running in no time. It doesn't help that it's fall and the weather is cool. I put on my cold weather running leggings. My Under Armour long sleeve running shirt. Layer with my red running vest - and I'm halfway ready. At my run starting point, I start my "TRAINING" playlist on my iTouch and put the iTouch with my earplugs emerging from the special hole in my pocket. Earplugs in ears, headband over earplugs to keep me warm, sunglasses in place....(almost there)....I put my car key in my special zippered pocket in my leggings. GPS watch on and....I'm off.

Except today I needed to go to the bathroom. I ran a block, turned around ran back to the car and drove to find a bathroom before I could complete my run. Now I have to go through this whole process again!

Once I've taken care of business - and talk to a few people at the park district - I am really off and running. I decided to do my 4-mile loop around town and use my trusty Garmin GPS watch to run the extra 2 miles. All and all the run went well. I found myself taking peeks at the watch, not to mourn the amount of mileage I still had ahead of me, but to check my pace. Using the pace portion of the watch taught me a lot about my run. I could feel myself slowing down at certain portions and could check my watch to see just HOW slow I was going....and, no, it was not pretty. When I finally got around to loading the software on my computer, I had to left when it a sudden spike. I came to a stop at one point in my run because I could feel a little twinge in my ankle and thought it needed to pop. My pace suddenly spike to 29 minute miles. WHEW! At least you know I'm not running that slow all of the time.

In order to add distance to my run, I decided to take one particular road out of town and do an out and back. Because the road was a dead end - and one house has livestock - I thought that house would be a good place to turn around - before I ran down wind. As I was turning around, a black mongrel dog came out barking after me. I thought he would bark for a while and go back home, but NO! I had to keep my eyes on the filthy mutt for about 100 yards to make sure he wasn't going to take a bite out of my new running tights. Now that would have made me mad! Don't mess with my running gear!

As I was finishing my run, I took note of my turtle pace. I kicked it in gear so I could finish at my goal pace. It's still not fast, but it was my first run with my Garmin. I'm hoping "Gary" can help me reach some new fitness goals.

I finished my run without any further events. MENTAL NOTE: If you are going to run out James Street to Augustine Road, bring mace in case of a raging dog attack.

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