Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A glorious four-miler

Sure enough, we had storms yesterday. That made (I think) nine days in a row! But luckily, I managed to sneak in my four-mile easy run before the storms started. It was PERFECT running weather yesterday morning. It was 65 degrees, but it felt even cooler than that because I was used to it feeling so much hotter; it was also overcast, and on the brink of raining.

A lot of people have been asking me about heart rate training lately. We didn't go into a lot of detail in my RRCA class about it, so I've been reading as much as I can get my hands on about it. I'll try and write a detailed post about it soon, but for right now, I'm just learning what I can. Anyway, I wanted to experiment a little with the training zones, so yesterday, I decided to try keeping my heart rate below 148 beats per minute.

I got dressed and ready to head out the door when Eli said, "Can I run with you, Mama?" Inside, I groaned, because I was ready to go; but I'd told the boys that I would run with them anytime, anywhere, so I cheerily said, "Sure!" He got some comfy clothes on and we headed outside. We ran slowly around the neighborhood, chatting the whole way, and it was SO GREAT to spend some quality one-on-one time with Eli. While we were running, he even said, "I love running!" That totally made my day, and I was so glad that I let him come with me.

When we got back to the house, which was only 2/3 of a mile, he went inside with Jerry and Noah and I headed out for my "real" run. I had set my Garmin to beep if my heart rate went over 148, so my only goal was to keep it slow and easy. About a half-mile in, I realized I was checking my watch to see my heart rate, which was annoying, so I decided to test out the alarm and make sure it was working; then I wouldn't have to look at the watch at all.

I sped up for a minute or two to get my heart rate up, and as soon as it hit 149, my watch beeped to let me know. After that, I didn't even look at the watch again. I didn't want to look, because I knew my pace was slower than usual, and I didn't want to get discouraged when I saw the pace. Instead, I focused on the scenery, the perfect running weather, and the amazing feeling of running with JOY (as corny as that sounds).

It's kind of amazing how much more enjoyable it was to run with the goal of going slow. I felt like I could run forever! At the turnaround point two miles in, it started to sprinkle, which actually made the run even better. A couple of times, it nagged at me that I could be going faster, but then I thought about it this way: I could run 4 miles in about 32 minutes and be pretty miserable the entire time; or I could run the 4 miles in about 42 minutes and enjoy every step of it. It's a no-brainer when I think of it that way!

I always say (only half-jokingly) that I only enjoy running after it's over with, but I can honestly say that I truly enjoyed the run itself yesterday. After seeing faster paces all winter and spring, it's hard to run at a slower pace and be totally fine with it (mentally), especially because I worked so hard to improve my pace. But because yesterday's run was so great, I'm going to try and do my easy runs at a truly easy pace (following the heart rate training zones), and then save the faster paces for my tempo runs and speed work. I'm not sure what it will do to my race paces, but I'll be interested to find out.

I was actually thinking that sometime this summer, I might try and go a week without using my Garmin. I know, I know, a Garmin isn't necessary for running! I've only run without it ONCE (during a 5K race) and I couldn't stand not having it. So it might be a fun challenge for myself to go without it for a week. I imagine it would be pretty freeing! Or maybe I'll start with just one day... a whole week might be tough ;)

Taste Test Tuesday was a bust this week. I saw a new flavor of popcorn seasoning at the store, and Jerry and I were both excited to try it. The kids really like the white cheddar one, but Jerry and I both love jalapeno-flavored anything, so this sounded really good...

We air-popped some popcorn, and sprinkled some on. Jerry ate a few pieces first, and started coughing. He said it got in his nose. I laughed and threw a few pieces in my mouth--and promptly started coughing as well. I didn't taste any sort of flavor at all, but my nose was burning and made me cough uncontrollably. It was SO strange. I've tried the other flavors, and never had this problem. We tasted a couple more kernels, but each time, it went straight to our noses. We dumped the rest of the popcorn, because we couldn't even eat it. Anyone else try this? I'm curious if you had the same experience!

The boys' baseball game was canceled AGAIN today. That's four games in a row that have gotten rained out! They don't have a game scheduled for Thursday, because of the holiday, so hopefully by next week they'll be back on schedule. Trying to keep two boys occupied all day indoors has been tough on my patience ;)


  1. That seasoning makes me cough too! It wasn't the same flavor but we followed the directions and it was awful. It seemed a bit better when I used less but nothing wonderful.

  2. YES! So glad we aren't crazy! Love that stuff on the popcorn but we gag the whole time we eat it! We tried putting it over popcorn with spray butter but it still was pretty strong. :)

  3. Since you've been talking about heart rate running I am really feeling the need for a heart rate monitor! Which is funny because when I started running I never thought I would get that INTO it! I also LOVE runs when they're over. But there are moments during the run that I also enjoy (if not LOVE). Thanks for the info on heart rates, eventually I'll break down and get one!

  4. YES! I tried the same popcorn seasoning and it.was.awful! I could barely breathe from coughing so much! I thought I was the only one. Needless to say, I never bought that seasoning again. I can't keep wasting popcorn because I can't breathe!--Mave

  5. I've started running watchless and really am running for JOY now :) Try it!

  6. I use that brand of popcorn seasoning all the time, that particular flavor also makes my husband and I cough. We both don't like it and I don't think it tastes really like anything. A lot of the other flavors are really nice though

  7. Running is something not all can do and when someone does it, it certainly implies how strong the cardio level is. You are amazing and very encouraging! Keep it up!

  8. I'm so happy you discovered some joy in running slowly. And it was nice for you to let Eli run with you. You're a good mom--putting their needs first.

    As far as coughing from peppers, I know nothing about that popcorn seasoning, but I have resorted to wearing TWO air purifier masks when I prepare hot peppers because they make me cough violently. I bought some not-so-hot peppers for a chicken dish that Rachel Ray made and noticed as I was cutting them up, it made me cough. Then, I bought some jalapeno and habanero peppers after reading the capsaicin in hot peppers killed tumors in rats. I thought that sounded promising for treating hubby's cancer, and after being unable to find anything like capsaicin supplements at the healthfood stores, I decided to try to throw the REAL peppers in some of my cooking. HOLY COW, I cut into the jalapeno (and habanero peppers are even hotter) pepper and started coughing violently. It was awful. That's when I bought the masks and of course I wear gloves. When I Googled it, I found this "public service announcement" from The Pioneer Woman: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/07/a-public-service-announcement/

    That, and the comments on your blog, makes it sound like sensitivity to hot peppers is fairly common. But who knew a popcorn additive would cause this reaction? I bought some pickled jalapenos and they're not a problem for me. Crazy!!

  9. I feel the same way about running slow. On one hand it's awesome because you feel so great and actually enjoy the run. On the other hand, you can't help but feel guilty, lazy, and like you're not getting the most out of the run. Easy runs are supposed to be easy though, so we just have to remind ourselves that!

    I LOVE anything cheese and anything jalapeno, so I was really excited when I saw the picture of your taste test. I was about ready to run out to the store and try to find it. Sucks it wasn't very good!

  10. OMG...that seasoning did that to us, too! I thought I was a wuss, but man, it burns!

  11. Yes, Yes, Yes, I coughed like crazy when I used the jalapeno cheddar too! The other flavors I really like (especially the kettle corn) but they don't make me cough. I wonder what it is that causes it?

  12. I'm glad you told me about this flavor so I can make sure not to get it lol!


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