This morning, I had intervals on the schedule. Usually, I like to do them on the treadmill, but for some reason I wanted to do them outside today. The weather was great (36 degrees and very little wind). I was curious to see how my current outdoor interval pace compares to December 2012, when I was working on getting faster. Also, it will be nice to see in a couple of months if today's pace will have improved.
On the schedule: 0.5 mile warm-up, 5 x 0.25 miles with 60 seconds recovery between intervals. On the treadmill, I just stand still and catch my breath for 60 seconds, but outside, I would just walk very slowly between intervals. The bonus of doing just 5 intervals is that the distance is so short!
I jogged very slowly for the first half mile. I was nervous for the intervals, per usual (which is so dumb to get nervous over! Who really cares but me?). When my Garmin hit 0.5 miles, I started running hard. I wasn't sure how hard to run. I didn't want to sprint all-out, because I needed enough energy to finish four more intervals; but I wanted to make sure I was using my full potential.
I didn't even look at my Garmin the entire time. I didn't want to get discouraged or let it mess with my head, so I just kept my Garmin covered with my shirt sleeve, and then whenever it beeped, I knew to start or stop the intervals. I turned around after the second interval, and then stopped my watch after the recovery of the fifth interval.
I'm not sure how I feel about the pace for my intervals. I guess the pace is probably about what I expected. Again, it's just hard to imagine running a 10K near that pace in about four months!
My splits were 1:56, 2:00, 1:51, 1:55, 1:54; which translates in minutes per mile to: 7:44, 8:01, 7:22, 7:39, 7:36. That's an average interval split of 7:40. Last week, on the treadmill, I ran them at 8.2 mph, which is a 7:19/mile pace. The treadmill always feels easier to me, so that sounds about right. (For comparison, in 2012, I averaged 7:10/mi pace for outdoor intervals).
After my run, I went to Weight Watchers to weigh in. The new WW program (called Beyond the Scale) started this week, and I was very curious to learn about it. I don't plan on doing it, but I wanted to at least get the info. And since I'm a free lifetime member, I like to continue to weigh in to keep my membership. The meetings are motivating, too :)
I weighed in, got the new materials, and then went and sat down for the meeting. Some of the women around me were flipping through their books, and one woman said, "A quarter cup of dried cherries is 8 Points!" I actually gasped out loud when I heard that. Dried cherries are pretty much my favorite food ever, and they were 4 PointsPlus. Not anymore--with the new plan, they are now 8 SmartPoints (that's what they're calling the Points on the new system).
The new program uses calories, saturated fat, sugar, and protein to determine the amount of SmartPoints in a food. If you're a healthy eater already, or your ultimate goal is to make healthy choices, the new plan is a great tool--foods that are high in sugar and saturated fat are very high in SmartPoints, while foods that are high in protein are lower in SmartPoints. Fruits and veggies are still 0 Points. Interestingly, alcohol has gone down in Points (just a little). One shot (1.5 fl. oz.) of liquor is now 3 SmartPoints, whereas it was 4 PointsPlus.
Weight Watchers also did away with the Good Health Guidelines. I guess that if you're following the new plan, you will tend to make healthier choices anyway, so there is no need to specifically track them.
As a lifetime member at goal, my daily SmartPoints target would be 36 to maintain my weight. I'm not sure how many weekly SmartPoints I would get (it's different for everyone, but I think Glenda said that Lifetimers still get 49). Also different is that members are discouraged from using "FitPoints" (previously "Activity Points") on food. The purpose of earning them is so that WW can set an exercise goal for you to reach each day.
I can't get the WW app to work (apparently, it's a problem for everyone--even my leader said she doesn't have a working app yet). The website is glitchy, and still showing all the old PointsPlus stuff, too. Once everything is working, I may calculate the SmartPoints in a week's worth of my current diet just to see how it compares to my calories eaten.
I really like counting calories, though, so I don't plan to switch! If any of you are trying out the new Weight Watchers plan, I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts on it. My friend Andrea has been doing it for three days and she loves it!
(ETA: Here is an updated post about Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale SmartPoints thoughts)