Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Slow 10

After a night where I didn't get to sleep on time, got woken up at 2am, then continuously woken up every hour due to snoring, I suprisingly got up to the alarm buzzing. 5:15am and something was already going right.

I got down to the Parcours Lake Trail and ended up parking in a new area at the trailhead. This allowed me quick access to my car between laps - and it was going to take a lot of laps. I planned to loop twice, stopping at the car every two and a half miles. This scheme worked out beautifully - I was able to switch Powerade zero for water, pick up 2-3 Shot Bloks and nibble at my Lara (raw) Bar as I was hungry.

The weather stayed on the cool side of warm/hot until about 9am when the sun was looking high in the sky already and feeling hot. Luckily, by that time I was 8 miles into my run and the last loop wasn't affected much due to being under tree canopy.

This was my first run using the Garmin Forerunner 405. I was pleasantly suprised that the GPS worked so well through the forest. My old Timex Ironman would always lose connection repeatedly and guesstimate my course. I had my distance, pace, heart rate, etc all at my finger tips. I checked my heart rate every time I felt the need to walk and found out I was hitting 171-176. This is pretty much my red zone because 185 is my max heart rate. So before I even had this watch I was able to listen to my body enough to slow down... yay me. I also realized that I'm not able to keep pace very well on trails. When I ran paved trails, I was always the person to watch pace and keep it consistant at 12 min/mi. But, on dirt paths, the terrain is inconsistant and your legs really never get used to the rolling earth. I'd go from a 9 or 10 minute pace to a walk and everything inbetween as I ducked under branches, skipped over roots and pinecones, bounded up stair-rocks and half slid down small declines. This is an issue I probably need to tease out - maybe trying to just go slower and stay on pace as much as possible. I think there is an alarm setting where it will let you know if you're off pace -which would probably help train me to be more consistant.

When I got home, my data was uploaded, and I was able to look at the stats: pace (varied), distance (10 mi), lap splits, heart rate, calories (945!), elevation changes and an awesome map of the 10 miles (pictured above). Overall, I'm super happy with this watch. There are a few settings I need to tweak, but otherwise it was easy to use and gave me the info I like to see.

Although I was on technical trails, it took me 2:41 to finish. I ran the Georgetown to Idaho Springs, Colorado in 2:45 in 2004. So that was 3 extra miles and a 1,000ft elevation change, altitude sickness (8500 feet), a bloody nose, and rolling landscape in the same amount of time. So either I was better condidtioned back then, or this was really technical, OR I just had an awesome race buddy back then. Naomi Rademeyer, from Pretoria, South Africa. I think we met about halfway though the race. She told me a bit about her lifestory which included escaping from Africa due to the violence and oppression. She moved to Englewood, CO with her husband and children but had left behind some family - I believe her fathers and brothers. She said in Africa, you can't just sign up for a race, you have to be fast enough to gain entry. And she was full of awesome tips like when going down hill, try to relax your body and run in a controlled fall. I think of her help everytime I'm going down a decent hill now.

Anyhow, I am really confused by my time and actually worried a did a lot more than 10 miles. My 8 mile run took 1 hour 30 minutes. And I had not only driven that distance to check the milage but I also plotted it out online (out and back twice equaled 8 miles). The other thing is that when I run this loop for my week days runs, it usually takes me 50 minutes to go around twice. An hour run for me right now is usually at least 4 miles. I had to loop this baby 8 times with each lap amounting to 1.3 miles. So if that's correct, my mid-week short runs are only about 3 miles since I go around twice. 3 miles in 50 minutes?? Something is off... either this trail is SO technical that I really do go that slow or I'm off in some other way. I need to use my Garmin on a marked trail and test to make sure it's accurate. I know that I only had 25% accuracy on the satelite read. I saw that, and kinda tried to figure this out during my run noticing the time but thought I just couldn't do the math while running. Now, I'm still trying to figure it out and it's not adding up.

Another note of interest.... after my 8 mile run I had some soreness. Really, I had some worries like my heel was tight and felt pulled (esp in the morning) and I had some knots in my calves and I think I had to ice my knee. This time, I did take a quick ice bath (which melted too fast due to the water being too warm) but I don't know if that is the reason or what, but I have NO side effects. The main difference with this run is also the terrain - most of my 10 miles were on soft pine-hay and dirt packed trails. Really cushioned. The 8 miles were done on road and off the side of the road in the grass and gravel. Anyway, going along with my worry about distance and thinking I could have actually done more than 10, doesn't seem right when my legs feel this great. A little tired but no aches. Sooo... ice bath? Pine needle hay terrain? I dunno, but something was working for me during this run.

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