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.


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.


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.


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