November 4, 2014

Hills! and Taste Test Tuesday

Since I'm going to be running the Shamrock Run 15K in Portland in March, and just looking at the elevation chart makes me feel out of breath... 

...I figured I'd better do some hill training over the winter. There are 482 feet of elevation gain in the race, and it would probably take me at least 200 separate runs near my house to get that kind of elevation gain ;) The only option for hill training, other than an expressway overpass, is the treadmill. 

So yesterday, I did a short hill workout on the 'mill (I was in a hurry because I had a meeting with Eli's teacher). It ended up looking like this:

0.25 mile warm-up at 6.0 mph and 0% incline
0.25 mile at 6.5 mph and 5% incline (rest 90 seconds)
0.25 mile at 7.0 mph and 5% incline (rest 90 seconds)
0.25 mile at 6.5 mph and 5% incline (rest 90 seconds)
0.25 mile at 6.0 mph and 7% incline (rest 90 seconds)
0.25 mile at 6.0 mph and 7% incline 

It looks so easy on paper, but it was tough! The 7.0 mph part was actually too hard, so I had to reduce the speed about halfway through that split. The ones at 6.0 felt so easy for the first 30 seconds or so, and then I was counting the seconds until it was over. Even though it was only a mile and a half of running, it wasn't easy running at all. Makes me nervous for Shamrock!

Today, I went to the track again, just to test out the new calibration on my foot pod for the Garmin. I was determined to find the right calibration number. I did the math based on the last run, and set it on 101.8% today. Turns out that was nearly perfect! I turned off the auto-lap feature on my watch (where it automatically marks one-mile splits) and every fourth lap of the track, I pushed the lap button. The splits were marked on the Garmin as 1.00 miles, but I'd actually run 1600 meters (slightly less than 1.00 miles). I'm just glad they were so consistent, which is what I was looking for.

For the first split (four laps), I just ran at an easy, steady pace. Then, for the second split, I ran a 100-meter stride in each of the four laps, just to test to see if the foot pod would still give me a consistent distance even when running faster. For the last split, I just ran at a slightly faster pace, without a big variance. I was very happy to see that the foot pod could decipher the different stride lengths, and there was no discrepancy on the distance run at all.

I'm curious to see what happens when I use this on the treadmill now. I've always had the calibration set at 89%, which meant my Garmin was showing me that I was going slower than I actually was. But that was to get the same readout that was on the treadmill. So likely, my treadmill calibration is off--when I have it set at 6.0 mph, it might actually be moving at a 6.1-6.2 mph speed. 

I haven't done Taste Test Tuesday in a while, so I thought I'd bring it back today. When I was at the Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival, Health Warrior was at the expo with a booth set up, giving away samples of their Chia Bars. I also received a few samples in my welcome bag, and I actually didn't even try them until after I got home. I was amazed at how good they were! The first one I tried was coconut:

I liked it so much that I ended up ordering four boxes--Coconut, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Apple Cinnamon, and Banana Nut. They're all really good, but my favorites are the Coconut and the Chocolate Peanut Butter. The ingredients are pretty simple (this example is from the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor):

The nutrition info isn't bad, either:

They are 3 PointsPlus each, which is good for the size. They're not huge bars (you can see it in my hand in the first pic), but they're a good size to keep you satisfied between meals.

They have a bunch of different flavors to choose from, and there haven't been any that I really disliked. The Coffee flavor is interesting, but I didn't love it enough to order a box. I didn't think these were available in stores (I ordered mine on Amazon), but I just checked the "Find a Location" section on their website, and they are available at a nutrition store near me.

Jerry's off work tonight, so we're going to try and catch up on a few shows! Perfect for a rainy evening :)


  1. I absolutely love chia bars and I have also eaten them during a Long run. My favorite favor is A├žai Berry. The only problem as it happens with chia seeds when they hidrate and expand is that if one seed gets stuck between your teeth and expands after hydration, it can get a little uncomfortable during a run.

    1. That's the only flavor I haven't tried yet! I have several of them, but the thought of it just doesn't appeal to me. But now I'm interested--I'll give it a try tomorrow!

  2. All right, I'm giving those chia bars a try - just put an amazon order in for peanut butter chocolate!

    1. The Peanut Butter Chocolate is SO yummy! Hope you like it as much as I do. :)

  3. Wow - kudos to you on that great treadmill run! I never seem to be able to put my treadmill on an incline, much less do a hill workout. Great job and great idea! Something I'll have to keep in mind this winter when I know I'll be indoors more.


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