Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring fling - moving fast

The months are passing fast! I kept kinda waiting and bracing myself for winter but it never really came.

An unusually mild and snow-free winter has ushered in a beauteous, joyous, early spring. Lucky for us, that damn groundhog was wrong this year.

Today, I decided that I would take advantage of this:

almost 80 in March!
And headed to the park to do a little running.

I don't really know my pace when I run outside because I use the NIKE+ app in my iPhone and that thing is strapped around my arm. The Nike guy mumbles in my ear when I reach a mile but I never quite catch what he says about 'current pace' or time.

I set Mr. Nike app for 4 miles and I'm off.

The first two miles felt effortless. Ah. Trees are budding, flowers are blooming. I love this time of year. I'm cruising. 

I love a tree in bloom

The last two miles felt hot and hard and I felt like I was running slower. Only 76? It could've been 96 degrees with how hot I was feeling. I was bummed that my first two miles were going to be faster on paper (why this would bum me out in the first place, I do not know?) But resigned myself to that fact. Oh well. Just a training run. I am not running to PR a race here.

The last mile felt particularly tough. I felt like a slug.  I was kind of mad that I was 'dragging ass' so much.   At least that's how it felt. When I got home to look up on the Nike website to see what happened out there, I was prepared to see me go from 10:30 averages to 11:30 averages but got this instead:


Ah. So the reason why I felt like it was so hard for the last mile was because I was running, oh, 35 seconds faster or so than the first mile. Well. Guess that would do it. I only felt slow, the fact that I was sweating my ass off and panting should've given me a hint but I am clueless. 

I was probably running faster than I should've given, I'm still trying to get used to the heat and the effort was tough. Also breaking a 10 min. mile (aside from 5K races and speed training miles) is a push for me. I would consider my comfort range between 10:30 - 11:00.  I think. Not so sure anymore.

By the way, aside from wanting to die that last mile, I really expected to run this in around 42-43 mins and ran it in under 40 that makes me a special kind of happy.  It was even worth looking like a crazy person:

I am a hot mess here… notice the lovely
difference in the color of my face and neck.
By the way, dear friends, you know I really love you (and have no shame) for posting this picture of me… However, I did look better (barely) than the poor water bottle I gripped during that four mile run!

at least I remembered to hydrate this time
I'm thinking that this run is a good argument for investing in a Garmin or that Nike watch thing that is like a Garmin. I mean, I'm glad that my splits are pretty good here but I have a hard time knowing my pacing when I'm not on the treadmill. I didn't have to feel like I was dying these last two miles if I had properly had an eye on pacing myself. I think. Though, on the other hand maybe having an eye on the time and pace would cause me to overanalyze everything. I don't know.

Do you have a pace plan when you run?

Do you think it's better to just run without worry of pace?

Do you have a Garmin type device? Do you love it? Has it changed your running life?



Kevin said...

I have yet to hear about anyone regret getting a Garmin. It's a neat tool.

My friend bought a Nike+ SportsWatch less than a year ago. The plastic band broke recently and he was unable to replace it due to the fact that the band had internal wiring for uploading purposes. In any case, he got a new Garmin and told me it had a lot more functionality than the Nike one.

I intend to buy another Garmin if my current one stops working.

Unknown said...

Thanks Kevin.

I know most people love them. For some reason I remain loyal to Nike… I've gone back and forth with it for a long time. I do love how 'cute' (I know sooo girly) the website is and stuff. I also like the social sharing that Nike does.

Nike also does little things like have Kara G. congratulate you on a good run or posts your start of a run on FB so friends can cheer you on.

I know it's corny but I love all that crap. lol.

Just, it would be nice to look down at my wrist and have something accurate and helpful. ;)

nikki said...

great run, jen!!!! i had a red face today too!!! i am thinking of going for the gps nike + too.... as soon as i get me some new sneakers... happy running, jen! xoxoxo

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Once you get a Garmin you'll never go back to a Nike+ thing. I started out with that but with the Garmin now I couldn't think of going back to that. It's like getting a smart phone and being told oh no you can only have a flip phone for now on. HA!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

What time was your run? I think I'm going to have to go out before dawn if these temps are any indication of where summer is going to be! I do love my Garmin but I'm afraid I run on the treadmill more often than not!

Noodles said...

Hey Jen -- dumb question. I use the Nike+ app -- how do you get it to give you your splits? I only a color-coded map showing me speed range when I look on "history." HALPS? (p.s. I feel dumb.)

Unknown said...

Thanks Nik, Michel - that is a great comparison :-) I know, that's what they say!

Lynda, ugh, I went out at 1PM which was dumb but I started working on a project from the moment I got up and my hubby is running tonight so I had to grab that time or forget running today. It felt hot as heck.

Noodles - not dumb at all. If you didn't start with the Nike pod/wrist thing and went right to the app, you might not know that you can set up a free nike account here: and then your workouts will go to your account and keep track of splits, how many miles you're running, all kinds of things. Once you set up the account, if you have questions, just call NIKE customer service they are great and will walk you through what you need to do.

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Jen, all I can think is "Violet! You're turning violet, Violet!"

Unknown said...

hahahaha - BTW I think we were actually commenting on each other's blogs at the same time…!

Michelle said...

I like my Garmin but don't have anything to compare against. I bought it in January from Just checked and they have the 405 for $139.00 I like buying stuff like that from walmart becasue they have a good return policy. Just in case you don't like it you can always take it back.

Unknown said...

BabyWeightMyFatAss couldn't have said it better. Although I'd rate the Nike+ at a Blackberry.

Maria Simone said...

Great run, Jen! This is evidence that your consistency in training is having an effect :)

You have some great questions at the end of your post.

If you want to take your training to the next level a heart rate monitor is definitely the way to go. I've been using Garmins for several years. I started with a 405, but I didn't like the touch bezel. It's very sensitive. I moved on to a 310XT, which is great because it has a long battery life and I can swim with it. But there are lots of garmin options and I recommend them.

The big advantage of getting the garmin is the HR monitor. Running only by pace is not an accurate indicator of effort because heat, wind, hills etc will greatly effect pace. HR isn't perfect, but it's much more precise indicator of effort than pace. Once you figure out your zones, you can train with a clear purpose in those zones. For eg, you want to work on endurance? That's 60-70% of max HR. muscular endurance? That's 75-85%. And so on.

Ideally most of your runs are done in zone 2 (60-70%of max).

Okay - I could go on but I've already over commented :)! LOL! If you want more info, email me- I also have a post about the basics of HR training on my coaching site.

Again - great job pushing the pace! It was a hot sweaty one yesterday :)

Unknown said...

Ha! Ang, I know you've been trying to convince me to go to the Garmin side for a loooong time. Just seems luxurious when money is still a bit tight right now. If I can snag one on Ebay though, I might. I think I really want the 305 from all I've read that would be the right fit for me.

Maria - AWESOME stuff. No such thing as an over comment and I very much appreciate the time it took for that advice! I will check out your post and might email you once I start to adopt HR consideration into my program.

Jason said...

I have an Ironman Timex watch and it does what it needs to do for me, but I would love to operate it perfectly just once during a race.....just once.

My coach told me that I should be able to sing and converse and breathe through my nose on my easy runs, so that is my advice to you.

I have paces for every workout so I know when I am pushing hard and also recovering properly. Going hard all the time does nothing but damage the body.

Anna said...

OMG LOVE MY GARMIN!!!!! I have the cute grey/pink one it runs about $200 at REI

LilyWren said...

It's a the top of my 'next gadget to buy' list! By the way, my face always looks like that whenever I run or workout..glad it's not just me. When I used to do gym classes I couldn't understand how I came out so red (almost purple) and some people didn't even have a hair out of place!