April 22, 2016


Jerry was off work today, and he said he was planning to run 5-6 miles, so I asked if he wanted to run with me. He said something like, "Oh, that's okay, I can just run by myself..." Haha, while I happen to love running with a partner, he prefers his headphones. He also runs at a faster pace than I do (doing his easy running too fast!) so we just agreed to run separately.

I wanted to do five miles, so I decided to do a five mile loop at the State Park. Jerry hates doing out-and-back routes, so I told him that if he wanted, he could run the six miles to the State Park, and we could time it to finish our runs at the same time, and I would drive him home. A win all around.

It was extremely humid this morning--not hot, but the air was really thick. I dressed too warm, which I later regretted. I fixed the problem with my heart rate monitor, though! As a last-ditch effort, I decided to try cleaning the electrodes with alcohol. We didn't have any rubbing alcohol, so I used vodka ;)

It worked perfectly, and the last two times I've used it, I haven't had so much as a single abnormal spike or drop.

I drove to the State Park, and about five minutes after I left, Jerry headed out on his six-mile run to the park. I started on the five-mile loop, and felt kind of tired. Jerry and I had a couple glasses of wine last night, and my body just can't handle alcohol like it used to. Even with just one glass, I don't feel my best the next day, unfortunately. Because of that, I've been cutting back more and more, so now I usually have wine just once or twice a week.

I kept my heart rate under 146 as much as possible. The only time I had a hard time with that was when I ran past some guys who were spearing carp with crossbows. They didn't see me, and I was terrified they were going to accidentally shoot me with an arrow. My heart rate jumped up for a few minutes, and then for the last mile, I had to keep forcing myself to slow down and keep my heart rate low. But overall, it was a good run! Jerry and I are taking the kids (along with my parents and my sister-in-law Becky) out for pizza tonight, so I wanted to burn some extra calories. I was very disappointed to see that I only burned 394 calories during my five-mile run. Better than nothing, though!

When I got back to the car, Jerry wasn't there yet, so I just ran past the car to meet up with him. We timed it pretty well, because he was just a couple of minutes away from the car. He finished his six miles at a 9:40 pace, and was thrilled with that! He hadn't run that far in a long time, and to have a good pace made him feel confident and happy.

About a week ago, I decided to try out a website called SportTracks for my running data. It costs $59 per year, which I really wasn't interested in paying when there are so many free sites; but they have a free trial, so I thought I'd at least give it a try. There is one feature in particular that I was interested in--a bar graph that shows how many minutes you spend in each heart rate training zone (zones can be set by the user). This is helpful to know when trying to keep my 80/20 ratio of easy to hard running. Here is the data from today's run:

My "easy run" zone is Zone 2, which is 137-146 beats per minute. When I run easy, I want to keep as much of the run as possible in that zone (or even zone 1). For the most part, that's what I did today. It shows I spent 4:23 in Zone 3, which was when I passed the guys spearing carp and the few times where I just mindlessly picked up the pace.

The new Garmin Forerunner models have this feature built in, and I'm super bummed that they won't add it to the 620 (the model that I have). But I'm not going to spend a fortune on a new Garmin just for this info. I really like the data on the SportTracks site, so I may end up spending the $59 for the year. You can also see the time spent in each pace zone (again, set by the user).

This might come in handy when doing speed work (intervals, in particular).

This isn't so relevant for me, because I don't have hills around here, but you can also view the time spent in each zone for the grade percentage (uphill, downhill, and flat). I looked at the trail run I did with Nathan and Kendall, and this is what it showed:

This would be helpful info when doing hill workouts. (Those were the default zones; I would have no idea what to set them at.)

Anyway, SportTracks is just another data analysis website--since I love the nerdy numbers and stats, it's fun to look at! I'm not sure yet if I'll subscribe, but it's been fun getting to try out the features. I wish that there was just one site that has EVERYTHING; instead, I use about four different sites/apps to get all the info I want.

We don't have a whole lot going on this weekend, so it should be pretty relaxing. Tomorrow, Jerry's employer is taking out a bunch of the employees to a Tigers game, so Jerry is going to that. They're also going out to dinner and for drinks. I volunteered to drive some of the guys to and from the meeting point, so that nobody would have to drive after they inevitably have several beers ;) I'm excited for Jerry to get to go out with his coworkers, because he doesn't do stuff like that often. While he's gone, I'll probably do something with the kids (not sure what).

I'm looking forward to going out for pizza tonight! We're trying a new pizza place (the restaurant isn't new, but we've never been there). Pizza is one of my favorite ways to spend my high-calorie day :)


  1. We've used SportTracks for years and love all the data analysis. We were users before it was webbed based and paid a one time fee that includes a key so you can use it on three PCs. It is not available for Mac, only Windows. Not sure which you use, but it would be worth looking into if you have a Windows base PC. (I think you're a Mac user for some reason?)

    I have about 6 years worth of data from different devices and I love having it all in one place.

  2. For your next upgrade I would strongly recommend the garmin 920XT. I'm completely obsessed, plus it has a step tracker for you too. The coolest part is you could use it for your cycling, plus the stats on the runs are insane! I've been able to track my velocity, vertical oscillation, ground contact time etc, plus my time in my heart rate zones. It also gives me my VMO so I can tell if my fitness is improving too.

    Ok it's now sounding like a sales pitch haha, I'll stop. But for my inner stats need it's nuts.

    Only downside? My watch tan from never taking it off!!

  3. I'll second Kel's comment...I am in love with my 920xt! It's so expensive though...I bought mine before Thanksgiving because they went on sale everywhere and got the heart rate bundle for just under $400 (instead of just under $500).

    I also have the exact same problem with wine. I had like a glass and a half at a friend's one night and the entire next day I felt groggy and gross. So...no more alcohol for me!


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