speaking of foam rolling …

You know how I said I’d gone a week without foam rolling? Well, I got down with my foam roller last night for about 45 minutes, and I have proof:

foam rolling

I’m no-headed. But at least my IT band is getting worked.

And, speaking of foam rolling, one of my favorite fitness bloggers, Gina of Fitnessista fame, just published a post with some good foam rolling pics & tips. Check it out, and get yourself a foam roller stat. Your legs will be soo much happier once you do.

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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?

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!