Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Birthday Girl Update

It's my birthday!!!  Another year older, probably not any wiser, but definitely more determined and excited for the journey ahead.  I'm kinda thinking of Hawaiian pizza for dinner - it's got fruit on it at least!

The first week of half marathon training is flying by!  Half way done already!

Tuesday we headed up to North Park again because the kids got new sleds and wanted to test them out on the hills there.  Perfect timing for my run.  Also perfect for testing out some new shoes!  Just before Christmas I got a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13.  I've been putting off breaking them in because of the weather and because of the fact that I wanted to get a Nathan Sensor Pocket so I still had the capabilities of the Nike+ app and the shoe pod connection for my Nike+ Sportwatch.  I was able to find one at Fleet Feet (awesome folks there).

Since I was sporting new kicks, I wanted to make sure I started off really slow, especially since the path wasn't in the best of condition.  You could tell it was a holiday and no one plowed, cindered, or salted.  Lots of ice chunks and slushy patches.  But it was doable!

By the time that first mile ticked off, I was just on a roll.  The shoes felt GREAT.  Adrenaline is the perfect name for them because they made me feel like I could go faster.  They have great arch support and the perfect amount of cushion without feeling like you're running on a mattress.  I really appreciate the larger toe box than my Nikes.  Maybe now my toes won't constantly be messed up.. lol.  What shocked me the most was the amount of traction these babies had.  They gripped so well and I didn't have any problems with slipping.  I even blew past people going UPHILL in about a half inch of snow!  I usually never pass people at North Park, especially uphill.  I'm always left in the dust.  I can't say enough great things about these shoes.  The only bad thing I can say is that the front/toe area is really mesh-y (sorry, can't think of how to describe it) and when running in slush and snow makes for some wet and COLD feet.  I obviously need better socks too.  Right now I'm rocking generic ones from Kmart.  I do have some Avia ones that I picked up cheap at Gabes too but I think I need to broaden my horizons.  Anyway, this run went fantastic.  I was so shocked.  I ran at an easy pace.  Funny how when its really cold out "easy" tends to be on the faster side, but hey, I'm not complaining.

Mile 1 - 10:07
Mile 2 - 9:22
Mile 3 - 9:06

Overall: 3.05 miles in 29:08.  Average pace: 9:32.  Negative splits and all... can't ask for a better run!

That brings us to today.  My birthday.  And what would my birthday be without a little drama, right?  I woke up, noted that it was 10 degrees.  This would be the coldest day I'd ever ran, but I wasn't worried.  Threw on an extra layer on top and an extra pair of gloves and I was ok.  Then I got down to the trail.  The one I haven't ran on in a while.  I didn't want to go the whole way to North Park because it is hilly and this was a speedwork day.  The Riverfront trail is very flat.  I couldn't see it clearly from the road, but the path leading in looked ok.  So, I sync up my watch and phone and start heading in.  There were a few strips of ice that I just kinda hopped over...and then... SOLID SHEET OF ICE AHEAD. Well crap.  I had to stop right there.  There was no way I was going a step farther for fear of ice skating right into the river.  So, I went home, changed into gym clothes and headed to the treadmill.  Can't win 'em all, even on your birthday...

The drama didn't stop there!  We got to the gym and the great thing was that there were still treadmills open among the resolutioner crowds.  I was honestly scared of having to wait.  Then I noticed that my ghetto gym had taken out all the little auto-control things on the front handrail of the treadmills!  No more buttons that automatically "quickstart", "walk", "jog", or "run".  No more arrows right at thumb level by the HRM (which also never work).  They literally put plastic caps over them.  FAIL!  So now I have to use the up and down arrows on the main board of the mill.  Fine... I just wanted to get this done.  My run today was scheduled to be 5x400s with recoveries.  Nothing spectacular.  I pushed "Begin Run" on my Nike+ app and set off.  I did a warmup mile - app announced the lap pace as 9:46, nice time for a warmup.  Then I set out on my intervals.  I did somewhere around 200m recoveries.  It's kinda tricky to be exact about it on a treadmill... at least for me.  I watch the mileage rack up on the treadmill.  Not a peep in my headphones.... Yeah, you guessed it.  My app crashed again.  So, I just finished my intervals out on the treadmill, guestimating as I went, and did a cooldown.  When I was done I looked at my phone (which I had in my armband) and yep, the distance stopped tracking just before 2 miles but the time was still ticking away.  I put in a support request through Nike+ and hopefully someone will get back to me on it.  I'm only having a problem on the treadmill, no where else.  I just don't want to keep losing mileage through the website because I like keeping track of my training, trends, etc.  I think next time I use the treadmill (tomorrow due to it being a strength training day) I will try using my sportwatch and just shutting the gps off, unless I can get a response from Nike on a fix.

So, I wish I had exact stats for my speedwork run, but I don't.  I know the exact time: 34:50.  I'll guess I ran 4 miles.  Average pace: 8:43.  That sounds right.  Like I said, can't win 'em all, even on your birthday.

I think I've earned some cake tonight!  If I get a carrot cake, can I count that as a vegetable serving?

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