Thursday, July 30, 2015

Garmin --> Soleus: Making the Switch

If my Garmin had a name, it would be Hooker Face.

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The sexy purple watch stared at me for months – months – from my running drawer (because, yes, I have one of those). It taunted me, trying to coerce me into running after I put it there when my piriformis locked down at 31 weeks pregnant. But I don't fall for every pretty thing. I knew I couldn't. Some relationships need a break, some distance, and this one was one of those.

 It sat there until Mother's Day when I was finally ready to run, and I have to say that she played it a bit coy. She didn't load satellites or find my location. Time was on our side ... but that's all she would give me.

With some love and attention, though, she began to warm up. It took a while but she would beep enthusiastically when she was ready to go and happily track my mileage. First 1.5 miles and then 2. I loved her and she loved me.

But, then. Then, I tried to push things a bit farther. Well, tease that she is, she wasn't ready to go all the way. She was happy the way things were.

And she let me know.

She took longer and longer to get ready until it was near impossible. She wouldn't meet me at the right place. She said I was too slow, too fast. Things just weren't right. At all.

I tried. I really, really did. I started soft, with the update. Then I tried the hard version. Nothing. She said she was up to speed but she wasn't. There was no reason for her to act that way and yet she was. I made one last attempt, contacting the professionals. I sent a nice yet pleading email, seeking for a way to mend my relationship with HF. "I want it to work!"

But I never heard back. I shrugged my shoulders, put HF back in the drawer and called on my backup – the FitBit app. Nice as she was, it just wasn't the same. She was draining, for one, and I couldn't figure out how to press her buttons. It was tedious. Monotonous.

So I did what any self-respecting girl would these days, I hit up the interwebs to find a new partner.

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I found it in the Soleus GPS Fit. While her most attractive qualities don't seem to be made for a long-term relationship (cheap, easy), we've enjoyed our time together so far. She's there when I need her, doesn't yell obnoxiously and is easy to read. Sure, she doesn't have fancy accessories and my phone can't read her mind but I'm not sure I really need it.

At least not now. And the running relationship I need is the present one.

A few {serious} notes about the Soleus:

• I bought the watch via Active Gear Up for less than $50. {Referral link} It might seem silly to just get a new watch but the cost, including shipping, was less than the repair fee for my Forerunner 220.

• The Soleus, at least this model, does not feel as intuitive as the Garmin. It took me awhile to learn how to navigate the menus.

• I really miss the bluetooth capability of the Forerunner 220 but I'm not sure it's worth $150.

• I have the four-prong connector, and I'm able to sync my data to Strava. Bam! I never really used Garmin Connect, at least the social aspect, so it's nice to connect with my non-Daily Mile peeps. Like my bad ass triathlete cousin.

• Re: Strava. One of the most interesting things I've noticed is that the data includes moving time and elapsed time. These data are particularly helpful as I have a tendency, pardon my language, to dick around. I take advantage of stop lights and water breaks. Yes, you need to stop for those but the way I do it can be, uh, detrimental. The Soleus keeps me accountable.

• Kara Goucher has one. She and I are obviously one in the same now.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Weekly Training Update {7/2015-7/26/15}

My post-baby comeback has been slow, steady. Smart, even.

Well, maybe.

I started with short runs of 2 to 3 miles and then I went for four. Just as four became a bit less challenging, I adopted the weekend long run. For me, it was 5 miles.

On those 5-milers, through sticky, humid air, I lamented that there was a time when that distance was a midweek run. A short midweek run, at that. Five-milers were easy, fun, refreshing – if running can ever be called that.

But the jump to five this go-round was anything but. My breathing was labored, my stride clunky. My thighs clapped, the belly jiggled. I could feel myself start to fade at 4 miles, and there was an achy feeling around my C-section incision. It took a few weeks, a month even, before it felt like it was a manageable challenge.

When I was able to put it in a decent kick on Sunday the 19th, mostly because it was hot as hell and I wanted to be DONE, I knew that it was time to think about making the next jump – a 6-miler.

I wasn't 100 percent confident about it. I never am. But when I exchanged a few messages with Joe, ah my good ole buddy, about running and the weekend, I knew this was my chance.

There was a one familiar pang – Fear. Excitement. Hope. – in my stomach as I got ready on Saturday morning. But rather than be unnerved, I found it comforting. I felt like me.

I met Joe and started to stretch. He wasn't all that confident about the run, either, coming off a few weeks off because of injury. We knew the 6-miler would be a test for both of us.

I am happy to say, though, we aced it. Or at least scored a solid B.

We took it easy, running fairly even splits (9:57 to 10:12). We talked. We caught up. I ate a few bugs. Heck, we even bypassed a trail closure marker for old times sake.

Note: Even though it wasn't that bad, that section of trail was worthy of being closed. And with my fear of injury and his tight calves, we deemed the mud a good reason to turn around.

Most importantly, it was a good boost of confidence – especially since I'm running a 10K this weekend!

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The week, in training:

Monday, July 20
RUN | 4.1 miles, hilly
Time: 41:16 Pace: 9:56

Tuesday, July 21
X-TRAIN | Boot camp {taught}
Time: 50 minutes

Wednesday, July 22
RUN | 3.1 miles
Time: 31:10 Pace: 9:45

X-TRAIN | Piloxing {taught}
Time: 45 minutes

Thursday, July 23
RUN | 5 miles
Time: 48:36 Pace: 9:43

Friday, July 24

Saturday, July 25
RUN | 6 miles
Time: 1:00:25 Pace: 10:03

Sunday, July 19
CYCLE | 8.1 miles