I’d better post something now or it won’t happen for a while since my parents are coming into town for the weekend. We’re all such party animals that I know I won’t have a chance to write.
Okay, so we’re not party animals but we only see each other a couple times a year so they probably wouldn’t be happy if I stayed glued to the computer for their entire visit. Then again, they’re just here to see the grand kids. They might not even notice.
But back to the important stuff.
Last week my sister ran the Crim in Flint, Michigan. For those that aren’t familiar with it, it’s an annual 10 mile race. A year ago if she had told me she would be walking ten miles I would have laughed. I never would have thought she would actually compete in a 10 mile race.
Of course I can’t let her race unchallenged, so in the spirit of our sibling rivalry, I have decided to run the Crim next year. Of course, this means early morning runs, strict diet, and gadgets. Gadgets are like stickers on cars. They make you look so fast and furious that people might not notice how slow you’re going.
My first gadget came via FedEx yesterday. A Garmin Forerunner 305. It’s a GPS watch and heart rate monitor that I think might even tell time if I could just figure out which button to push. So far it’s an impressive piece of technology, although the strap feels too much like a dollar store watch. You’d think they’d raise the price a couple bucks and put a nice strap on it.
Included with the watch is training software that lets you analyze your workout results and transfer workout plans to the watch. That all seemed pretty cool until my watch told me I had to do a 2 mile run this morning. I thought I was in charge here!
Nevertheless, I obediently set out on my warm up, then started running the Garmin beeped and told me to. Then it beeped again to tell me my heart rate was above the targeted 80% maximum heart rate. I slowed down. It beeped again. I turned the beeping off. It turns out that while my legs want to run 8 minute miles, my target heart rate wants to run 11 minute miles. I tried to hold myself to what seemed like a crawling jog and finished 2 miles in 21:29, including stopping to give someone directions.
My watch then told me to walk for 10 minutes. When it finally gave me permission to stop, I plugged the watch into the computer and pulled up charts showing my speed, distance, pace per mile, heart rate, and elevation. Pretty cool.
Not very useful information today, but when I’ve been training for a month, I’ll have data to show my progress.
The GPS lets me go wherever I want without having to measure and mark a course. That’s a nice feature here where the roads twist around in circles.
Keeping with the theme of the blog, I ran barefoot. A total of 2.7 miles on pitted black top left me with a couple blisters on the bottoms of my feet, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I expect my feet to toughen up within a couple weeks.
The biggest struggle for me is focusing on mid-foot landing. Like most people, I learned a heel-strike running form that would completely destroy my feet and joints running barefoot. Heel-strike running is blamed for most running injuries in shod runners, and is completely impossible barefoot. Two miles on the balls of my feet when I’ve never run that way before left my calves burning. The upside is that a mid-foot strike allows the muscles to act as springs, naturally creating a longer stride and quicker turnover.