I got up and out for a planned easy 5 this morning. It was a beautiful morning. Perfect running temps - 50ish when I got out. Only problem? I ate soft serve with the kids last night. It's hit or miss, but my tummy can be pretty sensitive to soft serve. This was unfortunately one of those times. I had some discomfort when I left the house, but I didn't let that stop me. I was ok until probably the halfway point of the run and then it just got bad. I spent the last half of the run with a higher than I'd like heart rate trying to find a perfect balance between keeping the run slow and easy and just wanting to hurry the hell home before I crapped my pants. Running too slow hurt, sprinting to get back to the house hurt... it just sucked. I literally burst in the door exclaiming "holy shit I made it!"... haha. Oh well. I got a bit over 5 miles in on a pretty day. I saw a family of geese, a family of ducks, some bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks, and several species of birds on the trail this morning under beautiful sunny skies. It wasn't all bad. At least I didn't poop my pants.
Speaking of easy miles, in a previous post I mentioned trading in my Polar FT7 for the Wearlink+ transmitter that goes with my Nike watch. Well I got it and it is awesome. No fiddling around with it to force it to work, it syncs up instantly (I wish I could get the GPS to be this fast!), it is comfortable, doesn't slip, and works consistently. I only had 1 time where I lost transmission and that was during a trail run I did on Sunday with my kids and after I hugged Garrett my transmitter moved out of place. Once I centered it again, it was back and running for the rest of the time. I love it. It is insanely helpful as well. Especially on the hotter days when I really shouldn't be trying to kill myself. I know me, and I will plow through anything fast just to do it. But it is probably not the best idea. Having the HRM tells me "hey, you're pushing it a bit hard" or "you can pick it up a bit" or "what the hell is wrong with you trying to sprint up this hill", etc. Now that I've worked out my training zones/paces I can easily separate my "easy" runs from my other runs. The best thing so far? That "beat up" feeling that I'd been having after some of my runs is gone. The random aches and pains and the constant knee and hip thing are gone. Now, granted, a lot of that had to do with shoe wear as well, but I have to consider the fact that I'd just been running too damn hard. Yeah, it's an ego killer when my HRM seems to have my "easy" pace as between 9:20-9:40 or even slower if its really hot. Before I'd be running 8:50-9:15 and calling that easy, but paying some form of price for it (fatigue, soreness, whatever). It's nice not to feel like I need ice packs and ace bandages after running sometimes. I can even do a run/walk later in the day with Victoria and not have any problems with it.
The only downside I've found so far is that keeping my heart rate low and running slow can be boring and frustrating. Somewhere around 9:40 I start feeling like I'm not even running, but slogging. Once that 10:00 pops up (and it has) I feel like I'm just kind of walking/shuffling. What's frustrating about it is the fact that I feel really good and want to push harder, not slow down! So it's more of a mental game than anything. Also, it gets kind of boring, because to keep my heart rate at a certain point, I have to pretty much run at a consistent pace. Any time I try to stride out from that my hr spikes. I'm pretty much used to progressive running - starting slow and picking up the pace as I go. But I can deal with staying steady (especially in the heat) to feel this good. Now, I do allow myself that last half a mile or even mile to "run to the finish". Another thing I notice is that I have a hell of a lot more energy for this by staying slower through the rest of the run! haha. I'm also doing naked runs at least once per week so as to not be too obsessive over numbers, because I have a huge tendency to do so. And I will pick up the formal speed training as I get closer to race dates.
Until next time... have a great run and enjoy this gorgeous weather!