Friday, August 24, 2012

Details, Details!

Since I've decided to forgo a steroid injection in my back, it's time to check in with some of the normal things that runners training for a big event worry about! It's nice to have these kinds of worries again.

New Timepiece: Sometime in the four months when I was confined to the recumbent bike full-time, my husband Dan took our Garmin Forerunner 110 on a trail run.....and though Dan (happily) came back, somehow the Garmin didn't. I didn't care at that point because I didn't need it. And when I started running outside again in June, I bought a cheap Casio stopwatch for $20. I didn't want to see my depressing paces anyway--it would have been counter-productive.

Now, however, with Darren interested in heart rates and my lactate threshold test coming up (date not yet set), it's time for me start paying attention to details again--not necessarily of pace, but definitely of heart rate. So, after consulting Cynthia, who sent me this excellent review (Cynthia's a bit of a gearhead herself!), I bought the Garmin Forerunner 210 last week.

It comes in my favorite color.
I've used it on two runs so far. I'm still ignoring pace for now, even on pick-ups. What I'm watching is that heart rate. It's definitely higher than the ones I see on the recumbent bike. But I'm not going to sweat it until I see the results of the lactate test and hear what Darren has to say. I'm mostly interested in setting a baseline.

Diet: My weight has stabilized back at the 128-130 range. Would I like it to be lower? Sure. But as the running as gradually ramped up, so has the appetite, and with my kids starting kindergarten and all the associated busy-ness and changes to our routine that we're already dealing with, I don't feel like doing anything more than maintaining my current habits (still no sweets except on Sunday, still trying to avoid chips and salsa and sometimes failing, still trying to eat more vegetables).

The only thing that's really bugging me about my diet is that on every long weekend run since I hit 50 minutes I've had to stop to use the bathroom. Sigh. I had that problem licked during Houston Marathon training late last year. Time to lick it again. What this means is watching carefully what I eat on Thursday and Friday before the long run. Less fiber. Less dairy. Fewer gassy vegetables. We'll see how tomorrow's long one goes. I'm still going to make sure there are some strategically placed bathrooms en route.

Races: Boy, would I like to do one! But it's still not my time.

Kathy and some of my other friends have suggested I do some of the fun races coming up around here. The Denver/Boulder area is about to get pretty amazing for race choices (it's actually always pretty amazing). Here's the one Kathy's doing--I've always wanted to do it--and here's an upcoming trail one I've wanted to try. The distances finally aren't beyond my capacity.

But with my back still not 100% and two long races on the calendar (the Detroit Half Marathon on October 21 and the California International Marathon on December 2), I'm going to let Darren tell me when I can race again and how far. It may be he won't let me do anything until Detroit, and I'm OK with that. I hired him because he is the expert. He wants me to get to those two starting lines healthy. That's what I want too.

Someday I'll be able to race every weekend again if I want to (and I'll probably want to), but right now running well in December is the thing I really care about. If Darren suggests an earlier short race, it'll be gravy.

Sleep: My kids going to kindergarten has been good for my own sleep routine. When they were in preschool, we could all wander in after 9 a.m. and no one cared. At their elementary school, they have to be there by 7:55 sharp, which means I need to be finished with my run by 6:30 to get them up, fed and ready. Which in turn means I'm getting up earlier for my run and have been much less tempted to read or putter around until 11 p.m. the night before.

Doctors and Other Therapy: I'm now seeing only Dr. Hansen, the chiropractor, and only once every two or three weeks. I'm also planning on having a sports massage with Kate at least once a month (I can only afford it that often) until after CIM. Hopefully this will be enough to keep my back and hips mostly happy.

All this is adding up to a pretty good groove for me right now. I hope I can keep it going. As with pace and heart rate, I'm not worrying about whether I can qualify for the Boston Marathon in December.

Logically, I probably can't expect to. But logic is only one piece of the running equation.


  1. I love the patience you have. I am sure that you would love everything to be just right when you qualify for Boston. I just heard yesterday that CIM sold out so now I can stop wishing I was going to run it.

  2. I want a once a month massage. That sounds amazing! Nice job on the sleep routine!

  3. Your heart rate will be much higher running than on a recumbent bike. It's that pesky gravity. My legs absolutely have to burn on the bike to get it to max cardio rate. When I run, I have to go frustratingly slow to keep it under the max cardio rate.

  4. I have the same Garmin; it is a wonderful toy.
    I like how you are planning your running future, you are doing the right thing.
    The sports massage are very important, before my injure I used to get it every week more thermal baths when possible.
    I am sure you will get the qualification. Good luck.

  5. I have the Forerunner 405. I was using the 305 and thought it was okay, if bulky, but my husband bought the 405 for me as a gift earlier this year. Since I'm not running yet, I haven't really used it very much, but so far I am NOT loving it. Will probably have to sit down with the manual or find a tutorial online, because it's so different from my 305.

    P.S. My favourite line from your trash talk post is that you're only "a bit uptight." Hahaha - me too.

  6. That's the same Garmin I have- I've been really happy with it. Funny- my weight always does the same, drops a little when I'm injured or not running, and picks right back up when I start running again- that running appetite is hard to control! But you're at a very healthy place. I'm excited that you're getting closer to racing again! My miles are ramping back up too and I"m feeling good. I'm nervous to do too much too soon, but have been very cautious so far which seems to be paying off.

  7. all good stuff! Glad you found a garmin you liked. There is nothing like a schedule to keep things rolling. Sounds like you are making lots of progress on the running side. I typically don't have GI issues, but I had a few yesterday - luckily there were a lot of trees around. :)

  8. "Logic is only one piece of the running equation." - This may be one of my favorite blog statements ever!
    I'm glad you're getting into a routine, and so jealous (and happy for you) that you have found such a good coach! Congrats on the new gadget!

  9. I have the same Garmin! And I'm embarrassed to say I've never used the HR monitor. I suck. Soooo much stuff to maintain a runner's body. Sounds like you are progressing nicely!

  10. Oooh. I am jealous of your new Garmin. I love mine, but it's the old clunky one and it sometimes goes on the fritz. However, I will probably wear it until it wears out. I can't wait to hear how you like yours once you get to know it a bit better!