Moby Dick-ulous!

So, you know how I was RAVING about my Garmin?  Well I was RAGING on Wednesday night when I got in after spin to find that the screen was blank and no amount of charging/button-pushing/yelling made up swear words would bring it to life.

The next day I went in to Run4it, where I had bought it just over 1 month before, and explained what had happened.  Luckily they had one left in stock, so once I’d brought in all the components/chargers and a proof of purchase, I was briskly walking to my spin class with a new Garmin in my rucksack, ready to open when I got home.

And you know what?  My problem with the fiddly USB connection that I cited as the only complaint I had about the Garmin in the first place?  Not even an issue.  It looks like I got a faulty watch, as it had not properly saved a couple of my workouts (in addition to the wobbly power connector), and I am more satisfied with the replacement one than a broke hooker with blow in Charlie Sheen’s neighbourhood.

I lost all my workouts for the last week though, so that’s a bit of a bummer.

Garmin Haiku

Can’t run without you.
Heart-rate monitor so tight –
My favourite strap-on!

Seriously, it is not normal to be so in love with a piece of technology.  I feel lost without it (literally!).  I don’t know how I managed to run for so many years without being aware of its sheer magnificence.  Men with vibrating real dolls (don’t click on the link) don’t feel this kind of closeness!

Right, screw you old route!

OK, so today is Sunday.  Ignoring the horrible fact that I return to work tomorrow, I wanted to get into the habit of these ‘long run’ days.  Sundays are convenient, so why not start today?

I wanted about 8 miles, since I was hurting from stepping/pumping/running yesterday, so I got ready, grabbed my strap-on (garmin, ha!), and strutted out the door, trying to push the forecast for rain to the back of my mind.  Armed with a lack of sleep, and therefore a sweet lack of general coherence, I set off.  I went in the opposite direction to my usual (pathetic 8.4k) route as I was hoping to add on a bit of distance, and hoped to meet up with the old route somewhere later on to allow my tired self to continue home on autopilot.  Done!  And at 8.1 miles I must say my mental distance planning skills are red hot!

New route!

January 3rd: running, pumping and swimming.

Managed to haul myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of 5:15am today.  Disgusting, right?  Anyway, after a day of inactivity I felt that I should really put in a good effort today, so I strapped on my Garmin, threw a few pieces of strawberry licorice down my throat (for the energy, OK?), and chugged half a Gatorade before slipping out the front door.  And holy shit, was it warm.  About 3k in I passed a dry-cleaners that has one of those LED displays outside with the time, temperature and price information.  25 degrees Celsius at 6:15 am.  Crap.

Perseverance led me to totting up the longest run I’ve done in a long, long time (years), and I stopped my Garmin at 8.45 miles.  Sweet.  If I could do that today, the Arbroath 10 miler and the Global Energy Inverness Half Marathon are definitely achievable, so I was feeling pretty positive.

Deciding not to shower (and therefor choosing to offend anyone within a 10 foot radius of my body), I then went to a 9:30 Body Pump class, as I hadn’t done weights for a week because the freaking gyms in this town have ridiculous holidays.  Seriously, Christmas Day I understand, and even New Year’s Day, to a point.  Nothing more.  Anyway, the muscles I worked the hardest are whatever muscles are used to create a fierce grimace – that class was mega painful.  I’ll take a mental note never to skip pump for a week, it’s a freaking killer.

Upon returning home, I had no choice but to finally shower.  I was receiving unpleasant looks from the family.  After lounging around for a couple of hours, and getting back sweat from merely sitting down (totally hot – the temperature, not my perspiration predicament), the family went on an outing to Hume lake, where my brother worked on his tan and I worked on not letting my corpse flesh disintegrate after going so long without direct sunlight.  Seriously, I am white.

Board shorts and a sports bra are a fashionable alternative to swimwear if you don't own a bathing suit. Fact.

Anyway, we have just stuffed ourselves with Albury’s finest fish and chips, washed down with the champagne that should have been enjoyed at the bells on New Year’s Eve – if everybody hadn’t crashed out and just decided ‘screw this, I’m tired’.  Next up?  Probably another shower, then some monopoly, followed by an early night, because waking up before 6am on your holiday isn’t lame enough.

On a completely separate note, I have discovered dailymile.com.    It’s like Facebook for fitness fanatics, I already love it.  I wanted a place where I could keep track of my training/total miles for 2012 without really worrying about performing basic maths and adding miles myself, so this is perfect!  If anyone is on it, you can search for Raquel P.

Garmin Fore-Bearer (of bad news)

Well, the Sunday after the Christmas Canter I went for my usual Sunday run.  With all of the features, I wanted to check out my usual route. 

Now, this route has only ever expanded over time.  When I lived on George Street it was significantly shorter, and as I’ve moved farther away, it has grown.  About a year ago, I decided to check the distance of my run using Googlemaps and their directions facility.  It came to roughly 10K, so in my mind, for over a year, I have been cracking out a pretty speedy 10K on Sundays (apart from the several months spent recovering from surgery).

I set off (wearing my new Nike compression tights – another ‘wee Christmas treat to myself’) and enjoyed my run, occasionally checking the distance.  It wasn’t until about halfway through that I realized I was under 5K, but thought maybe my perception of distance was whack.

It was not.

The distance was only 8.4k, which might explain why it has always felt so easy.  And here I was thinking it was all down to enjoying running outside.

Fuck you Googlemaps.

Garmin Forerunner 110

As I’m getting back into running, I decided to treat myself to an ‘early Christmas present’ (there seem to have been a few of these).  Run4it have an offer on just now on their Garmin Forerunner 110, so I splashed out on one with a heart rate monitor.

I’m not normally impressed with techy stuff, but this thing rocks my socks.  I knew it had GPS, so I knew it would be able to track my overall distance.  I wanted this for the Christmas holidays as I’ll be in Australia (where the sun doth shineth!) and don’t know what gym classes/gym access I’ll have, so I planned on running quite a bit.  I obviously also knew that it had a heart rate monitor, but didn’t realize that once you uploaded data to a Garmin Connect account, it displayed a graph showing your heart rate throughout your activity.  Garmin Connect also displays a map with your run (if you run outdoors with GPS on), along with elevation, average speed and splits.

While you’re running it shows speed, distance traveled, pace, and/or heart rate, depending on the display.  I have spent so long playing around with my new toy, it’s unreal.  I even use it for my gym classes as it tells you (roughly) how many calories you’ve burnt.  Not necessary, but interesting!

The one niggle I have with the Garmin Forerunner is how you connect the USB cable to the watch; it’s a bit fiddly and doesn’t always get recognized by my laptop straight away.  Sometimes I need to jiggle it about for a while before it gets picked up.  Apart from that, money well spent.  Although I’ve been looking at the fancier versions…..