Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Crazy intervals & Death of a Garmin

It's been a relatively quiet couple weeks here at the ranch.  I went through a brief weird mental funk where I just didn't feel like doing much, but luckily it didn't last long.  I'm starting to shift my training a bit more towards running, and less on triathlon, since I have several road races coming up this fall.  However, I also have the Greenway Challenge coming up in September, where I will be doing a 19.5 mile road bike segment, so I need to get in plenty of quick miles on Lexi between now and then!

Here's the calendar for the next couple months:

August 16: Larry Olsen 10K
August 23: Cranberry Sprint Tri (should I do it?? I haven't signed up yet)
September 27: Greenway Challenge
October 19: Baystate Half Marathon
October 26: Newburyport Half Marathon
November 8: Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Yeah, sooo...three half marathons in four weeks? I'd say it's time to focus on running!  I think for a couple weeks I was starting to feel a bit stale, and just couldn't get excited about anything.  Then Kristen mentioned she wanted to do bike/run intervals, which was perfect timing since I had recently read something about bike/run intervals and Scott had just mentioned he was starting them too!  We set up the trainers in Kristen's driveway, and after a 15 minute warm up, alternated between 5 minutes on the bike (2 minute recovery, 3 minutes zone 5 effort), then an 800 yard run on the street at a 5K pace.  It was the most pain fun I've had in a while!  I think because it was different, it was with a friend, and we were constantly switching roles, it seemed like more of an adventure than a workout.

Photo cred to Luke, who distracted us from the pain while target shooting with his bow
The next day I went to track and realized I can't do speed work two days in a row.  A few days later, I tried the same workout, except alone, in my house.

This was not nearly as fun without a friend or inquisitive neighbors wondering what the hell we're doing riding our bikes in place in the driveway and sprinting up and down the streets like maniacs.  My transitions were super fast though!

Part of the reason I did this indoors is because my Garmin 610 committed suicide.  This Garmin has been a thorn in my side for about a year, so I can't say I shed a tear at its demise.  It was constantly reverse-charging (ie the battery would actually drain on the charger instead of charge!) and recently the side buttons were getting cranky.  Well, the side buttons finally stopped working altogether on Monday, which was very bad timing since I was trying to get out of my whiny funk and didn't need even one more reason to skip a workout.  Well... nothing improves a mood faster than buying yourself a fancy new gadget (well I guess maybe if someone buys it for you instead), so at just prior to 7pm I ordered the Garmin 910xt from Amazon, sprung for the $3.99 overnight shipping, and the Garmin was on my doorstep the next day at 5pm.  Amazon is magical!  Hilariously true side story: On Monday, just before learning of my Garmin's passing, (like seriously maybe an hour) I finally paid off the treadmill I bought in February.  It's like these gadgets talk to each other.  I spent last night pairing the watch with my foot pod, bike cadence sensor, and trainerroad, but apparently I forgot to pair it with my heart rate monitor.  I did a super early trainer ride this morning and so far I'm loving the new watch.  Can't wait to take it swimming!  (Wait, didn't I say I was going to focus on running??)

6 other things that happened in the last week:
1 - My favorite running club had a trail race in the woods behind my house last week.  In addition to running the course with Anthony the day before, Rocco and I went out Thursday afternoon to check signage.  Rocco approved and thought the runners would really love this sign:

And no, Rocco didn't leave a mess for the runners on the trails!

2 - In no-way-shape-or-form is this related to running, but I gave Andrew a much needed haircut.  My friends gave me a hard time about it, thinking maybe Andrew is a little too old to have his mother cut his hair.  I don't see a problem with it... I'm saving him money and it comes out looking spiffy!

3 - On Friday night Julia and I went to Gillette Stadium to see Ty Law get inducted to the Hall of Fame, and then the in-stadium practice.  The event was free, meaning free tickets and free parking.  What a treat!  I still spent $45.  ($2 for a hot dog and $43 in booze).  It was a great time and we had a lot of laughs thinking of ways we could incorporate some of the Patriots drills into our track workouts.  Like maybe the stretching in a circle around the field, the shedding random clothes wherever for someone else to pick up, and most importantly the air horn.  We also contemplated what our "walk out song" would be when we are inducted to the Tri Valley Front Runners hall of fame.  I think we can all agree Julia's will be Turn Down for What.  I'm sure mine will be something like Beer For My Horses, Bottoms Up, or Drunk on a Plane. 

4 - On Saturday I headed over to Marie's house to do her nails and lend her my wetsuit for a triathlon on Sunday.  We spent the day drinking seltzer water, and then she slithered into the wetsuit and tested it out in the pool!

We then went to dinner and watched Wolf of Wall Street, which was a nice quiet, wholesome movie for the whole family to enjoy.  (*No it's not).

5 - Sunday I woke up at 4am and drove with one eye half open to the start of the Blackstone Valley Triathlon.  I had no desire to race this but figured volunteering would be a nice way to participate and still get to see my friends.  They did great, naturally!

6 - Yesterday morning I went for a run before work, and since my Garmin was in its final resting place, I had to go without a watch.  I've been doing most of my runs in the trails (at least partially) lately, but I wanted a run that I knew precisely how long it was, so I figured I'd go up the street on my 4 mile loop (which I tend to avoid because it's so hilly).  About a mile in I realized I was having some - um - digestive issues.  Mile 2 I wanted to die.  Mile 2.5 I had to walk.  Unfortunately I chose this particular run to go through a development where there were no safe bushes to duck into.  I finally made it back to my street and did the shuffle of shame into the woods, watching the cars drive by and breathing a sigh of relief when they didn't look in my direction.  And here's a picture of it:

Just kidding... On the positive side, the last mile of my run was great!  That's one run I'm glad I didn't have my watch for!  After conferring with my mother and Andrew, we determined that we all were suffering from "bad scallops".  I was just the unfortunate one that decided to go for a run that morning.  I have new fondness for trail runs now, and all the privacy that comes along with them.  I also have a new appreciation for Rocco, who apparently has better trail etiquette than I do.  :-)