300 meter benchmark

Sunday’s workout: fast (for me?) sets of 300 meters + kickball

Today began with an epic (uh huh) kickball game. We won 10-5, and I caught five or six fly balls and got player of the game! Thanks, kickball friends. :) I’m lucky to be on a really cool team. We keep getting better and better, and everyone is super encouraging. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

kickball

Our team name: Schweddy Balls

I felt a little guilty that I didn’t go for team beers after the game, but I wanted to get my track workout over and done with while it was still sunny.

I’d set up a workout on Garmin Connect and sent it to my Forerunner. Stupidly, I didn’t check how Forerunner would handle the workout … I started it successfully (one mile warmup) and then the watch started beeping at me — and I wasn’t sure what to do about it. I hit the wrong button, apparently, and it gave me a lap error message (over and over and over) and wouldn’t stop beeping. Damn, Garmin. Learning curve.

So instead of messing with the pre-designed workout, I just put the watch in normal training mode and did my thing:

  • one mile warmup
  • 300 meters x 8 times, walking the 100 meters in between each
  • one mile cool down

I’d planned to do the 300 repeats 12 times, but I felt awfully spent after 8.

And, like most speed workouts, I have no idea how fast (based upon my race goal pace) I should run these things, but at least now I’ve got a benchmark.

I ran the first 300 in 1:03 and each one after in 1:06 or 1:07. I’m actually really, really surprised that I was that consistent.

By the way, did you know that Michael Johnson can run 300 meters in 30.85 seconds?

****

While I was marveling at MJ’s time, I went and did some Googling until I found this kickass running calculator. Well, Greg McMillan, you rock. And you’ve answered several of my burning questions about pacing.

If I’m running 300 meters in 1:03-1:07 and running 400 meters in 1:20, then I should be able to get to a sub-8:00 race pace at some point. That’s my ultimate goal; for now, I just want to get to sub-8:30. (I love how the running calculator gives target paces for every type of training run. That is so rad.)

I learned from last week’s speed workout and didn’t push it too hard today. I feel good, but I’m still icing for prevention.

ice packs

Like the neon socks? If it's got neon colors, I'm likely putting it in my shopping cart.

chasing beast mode

Friday’s workout: nothing

Saturday’s workout: 8 mile run, 8:42 avg pace (splits below)

I felt nearly euphoric on today’s run. The route was good — I hit Lloyd area, Broadway/Sullivan’s Gulch, Fremont and Killingsworth — and it was my favorite running weather: 65 and sunny. I also had way too much fun with my outfit:

running outfit

Go ahead: be jealous that I'm wearing 11 different colors.

Here’s a summary view of the run (I don’t trust that I burned over 900 calories, but whatever):

Lloyd route

And my mile splits:

  • mile 1: 8:44
  • mile 2: 8:29
  • mile 3: 9:05
  • mile 4: 8:49
  • mile 5: 8:56
  • mile 6: 9:08
  • mile 7: 8:15
  • mile 8: 8:01

The hilliest parts of the run (still not very hilly) were in miles 3 and 6, with some gradual hills in miles 4 and 5. By mile 7, I knew I was on the flat homestretch, and I had energy to burn.

I’m thinking my race pace goal of 8:30 is attainable. Sweet.

And using the Garmin seems to change my running philosophy a bit. I’m much more focused on finishing one mile at a time, not so obsessed with the whole shebang.

I wore compression socks and didn’t feel any knee or hip pain — hooray! — but that doesn’t mean the foam roller didn’t kick my ass when I got home.

foam roller

My IT band's best friend. And its worst enemy.

What’s putting you in beast mode this weekend? :)

well, there goes 4 hours

Wednesday’s workout: Power sculpt class at the gym (at 5:30 am, thankyouverymuch)

Thursday’s workout: 5 miles, progressive run

Before I get to explaining my progressive run, let me tell you where the last 4 hours of my life went. Actually, it’s more than 4 hours because it started yesterday evening …

I’ve been eyeing Garmin GPS running watches for a while. But I had a hard time justifying the expense because, well, I wasn’t running that much. And I was using the Run Training app on my phone, and I guess it seemed adequate.

But … have you met me? I’m very detail-oriented and very competitive (with myself), and I just kept lusting (yes, lusting) after all of the data that the Garmin collects: cadence, calories, distance, elevation, heart rate, direction, pace and more and more and more!!

So I did my research and decided to compromise: I’d get a Garmin, but I’d buy an older model at a lower price. (I was looking most closely at the Forerunner 410 and Forerunner 210, and also the Nike+ GPS Sportwatch, which doesn’t have as much data goodness.) So I found the Garmin 405 (the early version of the 410) on Amazon for half off, and that was it.

When it arrived yesterday, I got so excited that I fell down a rabbit hole of setting it up, learning its features, customizing the screens and creating workouts on Garmin Connect.

workouts

I researched running workouts and speed drills. I KNOW THINGS NOW.

There went two (three?) hours.

And, then, the Big Excitement: I’d get to use it for the first time today!

Portland weather, in typical spring fashion, decided not to cooperate so I chose to run on the treadmill. That limited the amount of data I could collect (no GPS), but it was fun to use the heart rate monitor. (That’s right: fun. I kid you not.)

in the gym

Sweaty! Happy! Before I knew what the next 4 hours held.

I completed the run — I know I still need to explain the what of the run; thanks for bearing with me — and was stoked to upload the data to my computer.

I’d already installed the necessary software and a connector plugin and gone through the steps to get the computer to detect the watch. Everything seemed a-okay. The watch beeped, started to upload and gave me the sweet message:

transfer complete

But, when I logged onto Garmin Connect, it didn’t show my workout. I tried again. And again. Nope, nothing.

I restarted. Nada.

I uninstalled the software, re-installed. I read the damn manual. I Googled. I found forums. I looked for software updates.

My watch kept telling me it was connecting. I kept seeing the success message on my computer screen. BUT THERE WAS NO DATA UNDER THE WORKOUTS TAB. Freakin’ bullshit.

To make a long story … less long … I had to delete the original workout and create some dummy workouts and manually find the files on my computer (a couple of them made it over, just not into the online system) and, well, I guess that’s it.

It just took forever, and I lost the data from the actual workout. And now I don’t trust the damn thing. But it was an expensive damn thing, so I just hope it’s resolved and will be pain-free the next time I take it out.

Sigh.

Moving on.

So what is a progressive run?

Quite simply, it’s running each mile a bit faster than the last. It trains your heart to get comfortable with that progression (no slouching or resting) — and to push through the wall(s) in a race. I did five miles today, and it looked something like this (I checked the watch a lot, so I guess losing the data wasn’t a huge loss, just a time suck):

  • mile 1 > 10:00 mile pace, heart rate around 134
  • mile 2 > 9:30 mile pace, heart rate jumped to 143-146
  • mile 3 > 9:00 mile pace, heart rate around 152
  • mile 4 > 8:30 mile pace, heart rate around 159
  • mile 5 > 8:00 mile pace, heart rate maxed at 163

I’m not actually certain I did it right, for my goal race pace (8:30). The first 3 miles seemed too easy; by the fourth, I  felt like I was getting a workout, but knew I’d be done fairly soon. By the fifth, I didn’t really think I could sustain an 8:00 pace for very long, but it was easy to sustain it for just one mile.

I hit my target heart rate (according to my age), but I’d venture to guess that my heart rate gets a lot higher during my city runs. (I will soon find out. Yay!)

Next time I’ll either extend the distance or start the first mile faster, and then maybe I’ll fall off the treadmill. ;)

Before I go, do you want to see what my tank top reads? ‘Course you do.

tank top

Nothing like a little inspiration.

an update

Guess what?! I don’t think I pulled a muscle. Freakin’ hooray.

I’m sore today, but sore like I made my legs do something unfamiliar yesterday, not sore like I did something really bad and injured myself big time.

I guess two hours of on-and-off stretching and icing worked or something. ;)

I’m taking a rest day today, nonetheless, just to make sure I’m not serving up more than I can handle. (Which, currently, isn’t much.)

In the spirit of recuperation, I pulled on my new compression socks when I got home from work:

compression socks

Sorry I keep taking photos of myself in my kitchen. Making a mental note to try for other locales.

Have you tried compression socks? They feel sooo good. It took me a minute to like them. At first, it’s like wearing hosiery and jumping five decades in age. But pretty soon you’ll be oohing and aahing and doing an extra load of laundry just to get these puppies clean and back on your legs. They hold everything in place and ease tight calves in a way that stretching alone can’t.

But, man, they’re pricey. I got mine from Pro Compression and thankfully used a discount code from SkinnyRunner. (Talk about someone who can pile on the miles — in the last 9 days, she ran 161 miles. ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-ONE MILES in NINE DAYS. Using her legs, people, not a bicycle. She’s basically my new running idol.)

In other news, remember when I lost my ID while running? Some kind soul found it while she was running, and it arrived in my mailbox today. So, thank you, Rachel in Portland, whoever you are! You’ve saved me a trip to the DMV, and that deserves more than a little applause.

What sorts of unexpected things came your way today?

I ran 100s … and maybe pulled a muscle?

Monday’s workout: Bike ride to work (2.6 miles — and I’m not really counting this as part of the workout, but, hey, it’s activity) and a jog/track/jog workout

  • Distance: 2.1 mile jog from my office to the track; 1 mile at the track, sprinting the straight-aways, jogging the curves … for a total of 8 100-meter sprints (duh — it just sounds nice to me to quantify it); 3 mile jog home. Total distance: 6.1 miles
  • Details: Start elevation – 98 ft, Max elevation – 203 ft, Gain – 138 ft
  • Time: didn’t time it

On the days I don’t feel super motivated to run, I tell myself, You can go as slow as you want. Just do it. I had to tell myself that today.

I rode my bike to work and packed running clothes in my backpack — and wore my running belt around my waist while I rode, and I thought I looked really hardcore (more like really dorky):

running belt

Sure, it's totally normal to take pictures of yourself in the company bathroom.

But, by the end of the work day, I wasn’t really feeling the run. I thought about just biking home. And then I thought about this blog and how I need to be accountable to it, and so I convinced myself to run with the stipulation that I wouldn’t time myself (no pressure!).

It was over 80° when I started (80° after 5:30 pm in Portland in April?! I know), but I started to get into a groove. I was hoping the people in the cars going by where thinking, DAMN, she’s tough to run in this heat! I think they were probably thinking, DAMN, she’s really slow.

At the track, I planned to sprint 8 x 100 meters (which I haven’t done since high school), and I was definitely, well, too eager. There were a bunch of middle schoolers there, having track practice, and I thought maybe I could smoke those 12-year olds. Um, no. (Some of those boys are seriously fast.) I went out too fast on my first sprint (IDIOT!) and felt a quick little pop in my right quad. OOPS.

It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t finish the sprints, but I had to slow down — and I could feel it the whole time. Just kind of there and nagging. Is this a minor pulled muscle? Is this something else? (I hope it’s something else.)

I rolled up my running capris, hoping to mimic compression shorts and keep the muscle held in place.

shorts

It's worth a shot, right?

The jog home was a little uncomfortable, but not too painful, and by then it was about 5° cooler, so pretty ideal running weather.

Now I’m stretching and icing and hoping for the best. And sort of dreading going to bed and laying idle for eight hours. It’s better to be moving around — I worry about what this will feel like tomorrow.

run, repeat

Saturday’s workout: Figure 8 loop, starting and ending at Grand Central Bakery on Fremont (see route on MapMyRun)

  • Distance: 5.87 miles (the route is 5.6, but I did a little extra near the end)
  • Time: 53:27
  • Pace: 9:06

Sunday’s workout: Same run, for comparison (and, also, because I dropped my driver’s license on Saturday and wondered if I’d find it today … no luck)

  • Distance: 5.67
  • Time: 51:06
  • Pace: 9:00

Here’s a look at the loop and elevation:

Fremont Loop

It’s an easy route with a gradual hill going north on 7th Ave — enough to keep you on your toes, not enough to totally kick your butt.

And you know what? I LOVE THE SUN. On Saturday, I ran in 72° weather, around noon. Total perfection. I was really excited to pull out the shorts and running belt:

goober

I’m pretty modest in my real life, but not so much in my running life. If the sun is out in Portland, you bet I want to expose as much skin as possible to those rays. Soaking up the vitamin D one mile at a time.

Yesterday was perfect; today verged on a bit too hot: 78°. But, how can you complain with views like this?

flowers

Flowers in bloom! It's finally spring in Portland.

Was feeling some hip pain near the end of the run, so now I look something like this:

legs

Icing the hips, foam rolling and stretching. Trying to train smart, people.

new shoes! new shoes!

Remember when I said my new mantra was to get my ass in the best shape ever? It was a challenge this week.

Thursday’s workout: nothing

Friday’s workout: treadmill running, 35 minutes (so slow I don’t wanna tell you how many miles I did)

I planned to run after work on Thursday with a friend, but Portland decided to give us super windy, spooky-cloudy, cold, rainy weather. Craptastic. We didn’t feel like braving it. So I worked late instead, and then played couch potato. Sigh.

In more uplifting news, my Saucony Kinvara 2s arrived!

Kinvara 2

I switched out the black laces for orange. You know I like that pop of color.

I’ve been running in the New Balance Minimus for a few months, and I love them. They mimic barefoot running, and they’ve helped me clear up some form issues that I’ve been dealing with for a few years. Running in them and focusing on stretching and foam rolling has made me enjoy running again.

But, as I’ve been increasing my mileage, I started to sense that the Minimus might be a little too, well, minimal for my long runs. That is, I need a second shoe to alternate with and use on days when I need a bit more cushion/support.

Hello, Kinvara. It’s still a really lightweight shoe so it’s comfortable — I was worried about having to step up to something that’d feel like boats compared to the Minimus, but these are nice and airy and flexible. And they definitely provide more cushion.

I wasn’t in the best of moods today (man, Wednesday really put me on a downward slide this week), but I had to try these puppies out!

Kinvara 2

I have skinny legs, but they look extraordinarily chicken-y here. I blame the camera angle.

I did a short run on the treadmill in my building’s little gym, and it felt great. I felt SO much spring in my step. I think I’ve found another shoe love!