Merry Early Christmas to Me!

I decided I wanted a Garmin before I ran my half marathon, but convinced myself that it would be my treat to myself for finishing and training so hard.  Instead I bought winter running clothes (completely needed for Buffalo winters!), got a massage (wasn’t even worth it), and got new sneakers (the one thing I actually need to continue in this hobby).  I still want that Garmin, but spending over $200 on a watch for running is just absurd, right?

Pretty much every other day I’ve been pricing the different models at different websites and going back and forth with myself.  Some friends tell me I’m nuts, others tell me it’s a good reward for a good hobby.  Today was the last straw.  It’s a one-time purchase and I’m actually starting to take my running more serious than I ever really have in my life.  It still was rough to pull that trigger until I remembered to check one last place: Best Buy.

I don’t have a general credit card in my life.  The thought terrifies me to this day.  I’m fairly certain my JCPenney one has been canceled due to not using it in a few years.  I got a Best Buy one for a laptop and after that, have hardly used it beyond small things for my phone or computer… until today.  The fact that I can put it on my card, help my credit (I mean, I should be using a credit card every so often to prove I can keep credit, right?) and get 0% financing for six months, plus it doesn’t take $250 out of my checking in one full swipe?  How could I not make this purchase?

Garmin Forerunner 410

Hello Garmin Forerunner 410, you will be mine sometime between October 18th and 20th.  Yes!

I just want it to be mine right now.  I want to play with all the features and take it for a run, even if it is freezing outside and pitch black.  I didn’t get the one with the heart rate monitor, but I figure if it’s something I’m interested in, I’ll grab it down the line.  I’m so excited for accurate results and a pacing function!

If you don’t know me, I’m a stats junkie — hockey, work-related, everything.  If you name it, I’ll try to make a spreadsheet for it.  Pretty much this watch is going to make my life… and it might get me addicted to checking my stats nonstop.  I’ll try to avoid that.

Looks like I’ll be frequenting the FedEx page just waiting… and waiting… and waiting.  And it just hit me that this is schedule to arrive potentially the weekend I am in West Virginia for the K-State @ WVU football game.  Crap.

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Sneaker Fitting and “Trail” Running

I got fitted for the first time ever, yesterday.  It was both exciting and uncomfortable all at the same time.  I hate feet and I especially hate knowing that somebody is looking at my feet, particularly because now they’re pretty much classified as “runners feet”.  Three toenails missing?  It comes with the territory, right? Thankfully, the girl who was fitting me told me that when she runs in Brooks sneakers, she’s just gotten used to losing her toenails as well.  I am not alone!

Just 10-14 days and these babies will be all mine!

As it turns out, I overpronate a bit.  The girl at Fleet Feet suggested a few sneakers and I ended up settling on the Brooks PureCadence.  They’re a little heavier than I would have liked, as compared to the Saucony pair I tried.  I picked the Cadence however because they have a bar right in the middle of of the sneaker to help stabilize and I could instantly feel that everything was aligned in the way it should be as I walked.  Plus they are a little bit sexier than any of the other pairs suggested for me.  The only downside is that I have to wait a couple weeks because they didn’t have a pair in my size.

The plan (after being fitted) was to relax a bit and go out for a light run, in my first attempt at two workouts in a day.  Well, I took spinning a bit too hard in the morning and my hamstrings weren’t happy with me.  My day turned into napping and finishing up the 2nd season of The League, which is okay with me since I made up for it today.

This is actually one of the smaller hills we encountered.

The boy and I took a trip out to Chestnut Ridge Park.  I had 11 miles on the schedule, but given the hills and trails, plus anything longer than 5 miles is his longest run ever… I couldn’t do that to him.  Besides, it was cold, rainy, and all-around awful weather.  I was aiming for an easy paced run, which we accomplished but we tackled some hills and finished with an awesome run (and negative splits!).

We ran 3 miles at this point, already beasted the 120 foot hill, and are ready to get back to a warm car!

Overall, the run was about 5.8 miles (not including warm-up or cool-down) with splits of 9:21, 10:32, 10:27, 9:29, 8:41, and 8:01 (.8 miles).  I took an old route from cross country in high school that I vaguely remember, which includes an awful hill that’s about 120 feet over about probably about .75 of a mile.  It goes up steep for about 300m, then levels off for about 200m, then up steep again for another 300m, until you finally reach the top.  The best thing about reaching the top is knowing that on the way back, you’re running down that.  Unfortunately it doesn’t matter all that much because on the way to that hill, we already ran down enough hills to know the way back was going to be just as tough.

Now that it’s over, it’s taken a good couple of hours to warm back up.  It doesn’t help that our apartment was 61 degrees when we got home, either.  Thankfully, it’s football Sunday and I have a day full of food, drinks, friends, and football ahead of me.  I think it’s deserved!

Running Buddies

It’s nice to have a running buddy, right?  I’ve been training since May by myself for every single run.  I don’t remember what it’s like to run with somebody and quite frankly, I kind of like it by myself.  I run at my pace, I don’t worry about slowing anybody down, or somebody not keeping up with me.  I don’t have to carry on a conversation or feel obligated to do anything that I simply don’t want to.

That’s why it’s funny how my first two runs after my half marathon have been with a running buddy: my boyfriend.

I invited him along on Monday for my first run after my half marathon, which was supposed to be an easy three mile run.  My eyes were set on something along the lines of 10:00 minute miles, not being bothered by the fact that I didn’t eat properly that day, nor did I drink enough water.  The key words were easy and run.  Did that happen?  Of course not, Sean likes to run a little bit faster than I was keen on.

I ran 2.5 miles, which involved a little bit of walking.  The first mile averaged under 8:30, faster than my tempo runs, a little slower than my speed work miles.  Not exactly the way I planned to ease back into running, but what are you going to do?  I may be able to outlast my boyfriend, but I certainly don’t think I can outrun him.

After a quick Tuesday rest day, which ended up being much needed due to some random ankle pain, we went back at it today.

I warned him that this was going to be a tough run for me (6 miles – 3×1600 @ 8:16 with 800m jogs) and he could do his own thing since 6 miles is a lot on its own, let alone as speed work, but he stuck with me.

We started with an easy warm-up mile, but this time I actually stuck to my guns (mostly) at 9:25.  After a quick stretch, we took off for the first speedy mile and I definitely went out too fast.  The first quarter mile was steadily up hill but I felt good (thank you Gu!) and took off, leaving my boyfriend behind me.  I regretted it as soon as the ending of that mile sounded off – 7:30 minute mile, with my downhill averaging 6:30.  Not the amount of energy I wanted to spend on mile one!

After that, I opted to continue my 800m jog first, but run 800m at 8:16 pace, instead of 1600m.  It didn’t work.  I still finished that 800m in under 8:00 minute pace, which was at the top of the hill (again).  I had to walk after, or else I’d be vomiting more than my share of pizza.

My third speed section, another 800m, was still under 8:00 minute pace.  After that first ridiculous mile though, my boyfriend continued running with me and didn’t stop.  Surprisingly to me, he kept up and he even pushed me by just being there.  I’m convinced that without his presence I would not have run 5 miles, nor would I have continued with my speed work.  Who would have thought a running buddy could be motivation for somebody like me?

Even though I changed today’s plan, I feel great.  It was definitely a tough workout for me, but it motivated me a bit more to push for that next goal.  Five weeks!  Maybe this running buddy situation will continue to work out?