November Monthly Totals

What Worked Well: 1. Running at Julie's house.  Although the woods were closed for deer hunting, I was able to work in a run on the crushed limestone trail.  I got utterly soaked by the end of the run but had a blast.
2. Running 10 miles on Thanksgiving day.  I even threw in a 'finisher' of squats, standing bicycles and standing toe touches. 
3. Started the TRX/Kettlebell class at the gym.  I'm finding it quite challenging.  I'm enjoying it and hoping to add some of what I learn to my 'finisher' repertoire.

What Could Go Better: You know it drives me nuts that I missed 100 running miles but less than 2 miles right? 

Biggest Surprise:  I was going to say 'the elliptical' but then I realized I only went to two Spin classes this month.  That seems not quite right.

Plan for December: Run a mile per day.  Run 28-30 miles per week.  Finish up the TRX/Kettlebell class. Add 'stair running' to my track workouts at least six times this month.  (There is a stair case at either end of the indoor track.  I would like to run down and back up the stairs every lap excluding my first mile and my cool down, for at least six workouts.)  Run lots and lots in Cincinnati for the holidays.


Running Indoors - sometimes fast and sometimes slow

I am still running.  Monday sort of ushered in 'in-door running season' which hit brutally quick this year.

Tuesday I ran outside, just for a mile, and then did TRX/Kettlebell at the gym.  Running outside was fairly icy.  Winter is reminding me of the other use of my trail shoes: Ice Running.

Wednesday started out as a track run but my heart rate was all over the place and there was just no way. I did a mile and half on the track and then headed over to the elliptical where my heart rate was much easier to keep under control.  I walked on the track and took some serious time to stretch out afterwards.

Thursday I had zero problems with my heart rate and had a great run.  I ran 5 miles, walked half a mile, and then headed down to Zumba.

Friday I was in a bit of a hurry, so I only had time to do 3 miles.  I think I was dreaming of running with a higher heart rate and didn't freak out when it got to 150, but mostly I kept it pretty low key.

Saturday I was somewhat hung over and recovering from the Garth Brooks concert, so I just ran my mile and then slowly and surely made my way back to the couch.

Sunday I decided to check out the Downtown gym.  I've heard it's a ghost town on the weekend and I was not disappointed.  I had another day where I could not keep my heart rate in check so I did 2.2 miles on the treadmill and then headed over to the elliptical.  It was a bit of a learning moment for me to be able to keep my heart rate at 150 or 151 for so long without seeing a big spike.  I guess I know what the treadmill is good for now.


Monday: Adventure Day

Massive snow storms were predicted today.  I decided that I needed to keep a positive attitude about the snow.  I will be driving in it for some time to come.  So I named Monday as an adventure day, although without the driving.

Bus: I walked up a couple blocks to a bus stop.  Two different routes come to that stop.  So  I decided that whichever route came first was the one I'd take.  One route would take me to the Uptown Gym and one to Downtown.  Either way I could run.
Result: In a surprise twist, a neighbor was driving to work and spotted me and offered to give me a ride to the close gym, Midtown, which is hilariously inconvenient for busing because of routes and transfers.

Workout: I ran 4 miles on the track at the gym.  Because it's snowing *sleeting* outside.  I did a warmup, then 1 lap at 148-150 heart rate, 1 lap at 141-144 heart rate, etc and then a couple cool down laps.  I really had the urge to move and this worked out nicely.

Bus 2: I took the 21 all the way to the end of the line in Uptown, hopped off, grabbed coffee and made my way to the apple store.

Apple Store! I bought myself my very first iPad today.  I'd been wanting one since the beginning of time, but more so recently.  There's a few things that I do that work well on a touch screen but the iPhone is just a bit too tiny for them.  I'm now hunting down photo editing apps, so name your favorites.

Bus 3: I took one last bus home, and by then I was ready to call it a day.  It didn't really feel like an adventure until this guy was driving like he was running behind and there was no snow nor ice on the ground.  I could've lived without that part of it.

Home: I spent the afternoon getting to know my iPad.  We are still dating.  I also grabbed clothes for tomorrow, and for the gym, and made myself lunch.


Sunday: Lake Harriet Sans Snow

Sunday morning: last run without snow for 2014.  Massive snow storms were predicted for Sunday night and all day Monday, so I had to get out and run one more long run without cleats or twenty five pairs of socks.  Minnesota already appears to have gone gray.  All the color between the sky and the ground is gone.  I won't see it again until spring.  Le sigh.
I ran an interval training workout that I had programmed into Endomondo.  It builds some walks in.  When running, I try to keep my heart rate on the higher side of aerobic for me, 148-152.  Walk breaks allow me to 'burn hot' for a longer distance.  I've run this interval workout a few other times, and it gets quite challenging by the end.  This time I got a couple extra breaks waiting for lights at Nicollet and Lyndale.


iOS 8 Updates: Nike and Strava and Endomondo

I use my running apps on an iPhone, so the iOS 8 update was a big deal.  Every year I notice an iOS update the week before Twin Cities Marathon, and every year I refuse to update until after race weekend.  This year was the same.  Here's what I've noticed about the apps.

Strava: I cannot tell one single difference.  In a very good way.  This app wins the prize for being the only one that found my heart rate monitor straight away, without needing to re-pair it.

Nike+: Nike+ and I have always enjoyed strained relations but we had recently achieved a detente of sorts.  The iOS 8 update blew that all to hell.
  • Health kit: I never uploaded/integrated/whatever the health kit.  Apparently now there's a way for me to connect some kind of heart rate monitor?  I can't figure it out.
  • Music controls: are 10 kinds of screwed up.  The music sort of insists on having the controls go through the app while listening to itunes, but interacting with the app at all during the run seems to impact playback in less than ideal ways.

Endomondo: Still my favorite app and my favorite website.
  • Heart rate monitor: I had to re-pair my heart rate monitor after the update.  This wasn't the only app that had this issue, but I didn't notice until some runs were completed so I was kind of bummed.
  • Vibration: A feature lost in an earlier update seems to be restored.  The phone now vibrates at the end of a lap in addition to giving an audio cue.  I really missed that feature and am glad to see it back.
Some other information, since many many people seem to search these things:
  • Interval workouts: Not available with Nike+ nor Strava, available with Endomondo Premium (or legacy Endomondo Pro)
  • Goal workouts: Nike+ allows goals by distance, time, or speed.  Endomonodo allows goals by distance, time, and on Premium accounts also calories burned.  Strava allows goals of time or distance on premium accounts only.
  • Foot pods: No.  Just, no.
  • Heart rate monitors: Endomnodo and Strava seem to support loads of these. I use a Mio Alpha with no problems.
  • Running indoors: Nike+ has an indoor setting that uses the accelerometer on the phone.  Endomondo and Strava do not support indoor running.


Race annoyances

One of the blogs I read is Miss Zippy which I typically enjoy.  She wrote an article Sorry, Not Sorry which I also read.   I found it basically oh-so-true, with a hint of 'the times, they are a-changing'. 

Coming to a dead stop at water stops: Oh so true.  In every race.  Walking through water stops is totally acceptable.  But coming to a dead stop won't be fun for anyone.  I don't see it that often, so it's not a big pet peeve of mine.

Listening to music on your headphones loud enough you can't hear your surroundingsOh so true.  I don't run too many races with music, the last one being Get in Gear.  When I do use music, I tend to leave one ear bud half way out so I can hear what's going on.  This is even more important on courses that are not closed to traffic.

Seeding yourself incorrectly: Both 'oh so true' and 'the times they are a-changing'.  The options I've seen are 'free for all' at the starting line.  This happens most often in 5Ks (TCM 5K and Flying Pig 5K, I'm looking at you), and incorrect seeding is just going to happen because there's no feedback for anyone about where they should be standing.  Next up is the 'no corrals, but pace signs and times posted' and this is my favorite option.  It relies on runners following the honor system and having some understanding of how fast they are going to be moving.  The most stringent solution is obviously the corral system.  It's certainly the most fool proof, but sometimes penalizes runners who know they are faster but don't have a qualifying time so wind up in the back corral with the really slow people. 

Running four or five abreast at a leisurely paceBoth 'oh so true' and 'the times they are a-changing'.  This is not fun at marathons where people are trying for a Boston Qualifier or whatever.  But I think some races are really designed for this kind of thing.  I'm thinking about the big ones like Race for a Cure, Color Run, and some similar races where the level of competitive running is much lower, and the social aspect of the race is highly marketed.

Taking selfies during the race: Is this a thing? Apparently I'm too far in the back of the pack to be impacted by this.


That time of year indeed!

I'd said last week it's the time of year when I run to find myself (or sometimes not to lose myself).  It's also the time of year when it's starting to get cold and running inside seems not so bad.  The beauty of this situation is twofold.  First, the track is less crowded and I haven't been on it in a while, so running inside seems not so bad. Second, if I'm outside it means we are having a fantastic day.  Wins all around I say.

Last week I had two inside runs.  Because 20mph winds are not my friend.  I also had a run on the Greenway, Elm Creek Park, and a run/walk around the neighborhood.

Today I *accidentally* ran 4 miles in the neighborhood.  I'd meant to run my mile and then start walking but it was a bit windy and I didn't feel like slowing down.  (Not that I was going terribly fast to begin with.)  So I kept running until I got home.  Excellent.