Sunday, June 25, 2017

I can't feature that

Since I’m running more frequently each week, and since I prefer running shorts with the underwear built in them, I’ve been looking for a couple more pairs of running shorts (currently I own two pairs, and let’s face it, butt sweat is gross).

While I like the higher end sports clothing, I loathe the prices especially when I equally like the running clothing at Old Navy and Target (which cost a fraction of the name brand stuff). Only I can’t find any shorts that (a) also have the underwear in them, (b) don’t have faux compression leggings underneath (no thank you, it’s HOT outside), and (c) aren’t micro-mini short.

The same thing is true of my sports bras. I own just two right now, and unless I’m willing to do laundry every other day, I need some more.

So Kent and I looked around yesterday—Target (no luck), Dick’s (truly no luck, and super expensive to boot), REI (bought two bras at full price) and a place called Scheel’s, which I had never heard of but is sort of like Dicks’ only with a working Ferris wheel in the middle, and a food court. Isn’t that odd? I found a pair of Nike running shorts there, that were on sale. I didn’t try them on, though, that place was pretty weird.

Once I got home, I had serious buyer’s remorse and started looking online. Sure enough, I found those bras for half the price of REI, and a pair of running shorts that were easily $15 cheaper than the ones I got on “sale” at Scheef’s.

As my mother-in-law would say, I couldn’t feature paying that much money. So today, I returned all three items and ordered them online. They should get here Tuesday, and I spent $60 less.

And because it's relaxing, here's a random (bonus) photo of Eddie and Wally.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Running as contact sport

I ran this morning (in new shoes no less), and right at the end of my run as I ran up the two steps to my front porch, I tripped. I was pressing the button on my Garmin so it would stop tracking my run, and I guess my attention drifted. I've run up those two steps for over four years and have never once tripped like that.

I smacked my left forearm so hard on the edge of one of the support columns that my arm bone just rang and vibrated for a couple of hours. That sounds very dramatic but I don’t know any other way to describe what it felt like. I’ve got a knot on my arm bone, and I’m sure I’ll get some bruising there, too.

But the part that bugs me the most is that I was so rattled that I pressed the wrong button to save my run. We have a wellness program at work that offers cash incentives when you sync your fitness device with their program. One of the nice features of this new Garmin is that I don't have to enter my workouts manually . . . except of course, today's run didn't get saved so I had to enter the information manually. Boo.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A couple of things I’ve learned from using the Garmin

And I will say up front that they are of interest to me, and possibly no one else. 

I’m a faster runner than I thought I was. Kent, Ben and Jen all thought otherwise, but I didn’t. Truly, I thought that the Garmin would show that I was slower than I’d been saying I was. Nope—I’m faster. On this morning’s run, I deliberately ran at a slower pace (helps build endurance according to Ben, and I’m positive he’s right) and I still ran faster than I thought I would.

My resting heart rate is crazy good at 54 BPM. I already knew I had great blood pressure, and apparently I have a good pulse rate too. I've always associated that kind of pulse rate with athletes (see also "I'm a runner," I said).

The red spike in the heart rate was this morning's run, near
the top of the long hill which is (of course) near the end of the run.
One final brag: this morning I ran over 5 miles. The last time I ran that far, I was 18 and in basic training. I can tell you this—I ran faster this morning than I did 39 years ago.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A day in the life of us

It's hot, so we took our sippy cups (as Ben calls them) while we did our errands.



I found a swimsuit top (all I needed) on massive markdown. The sign above Kent's head amused me so I grabbed this photo.


And we tried on various running shoes (Kent got a pair of Sauconys, and I tried on but did not buy this pair of Hokas).


Now we're home, and staying inside. We've got an excessive heat warning, and boy is it hot outside.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A new fitness device

About four years ago, I got a Jawbone Up (wrote about it here). Pretty quickly I realized that I didn’t like the interface or the looks so I returned it and got the Fitbit Flex I’d originally planned to buy. I wore my Fitbit faithfully, and manually entered my runs and workouts online. Last summer, it quit holding a charge so I got a new one. I (briefly) considered getting one with more bells and whistles but went with what I knew and was already comfortable using.

But over the last year or so, I’ve gotten frustrated with the Flex. It’s not designed to provide anything more than a relative scale of activity—you get your steps, you get some sense of whether the steps were light, moderate, or intense, and you get a very rough guide on the amount of time you spent doing your steps at that level of effort.

When I say rough guide, I do mean rough. For example, in Yuma I ran the same route twice; the first time Fitbit thought I ran 3 miles, and the second time, Fitbit thought I ran 2.65 miles. That’s a pretty big difference. It's the same with the amount of time; the Flex tracks in 15 second slices (I think?), so if you stop a run at the beginning of a slice, you'll look like you took more time. And you have to do the math to get your average pace per mile (assuming your mileage is tracked halfway accurately), and you still have to enter the info yourself.

So I’d been thinking about other fitness device options. While we were in Yuma, Jen showed me her Garmin Vivosmart HR+ device, and I was intrigued. Turns out Ben had done a lot of research to find a device that would do what Jen wanted it to do, and it turns out that what Jen wanted was pretty much what I was looking for. AND it turns out that I was able to buy a refurbished one for about $80 less than new. Although honestly, this device sure seems new to me—I’m pretty sure whoever bought it didn’t use it more than once and then returned it.

The verdict? I love it. I love that the device is fully synced to my phone, that my runs get uploaded automatically, and that I can enter something manually if I need to. I love that I know what kind of elevation gains I had on my runs in Provo (49 feet if you’re curious, there was an overpass I ran up and over every day), and what the starting elevation was too (4498 ft). I love that I can see my total average pace per mile, where I was slower and where I was faster. I love knowing my heart rate, resting and while working out, and I love that I can set the device to alert me if I'm not in my target heart rate zone, or I can set it up for running sprints.

All in all, I’m very happy I made the switch. Now I need to figure out what to do with my Flex.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

“I’m a runner,” I said

I’ve mentioned before that I have always struggled with calling myself a runner. Silly, I know. I run, therefore I am a runner—right? And yet I shied away from saying those words.

But I am a runner. I run regularly and faithfully, in hot and cold weather. There have been times I’ve packed more fitness clothing than regular clothing when I’m traveling. I look up good running routes when I’m out of town. In other words, I do everything a runner does.

This week I was emailing with a work colleague—we’ll both be in Provo next week, and she mentioned wanting to try a trail she’d heard about. I wrote back and said “I’m a runner, do you think that would be a good running trail?”*

That's a runner right there
And then I sort of blinked. I don't know what made the difference, why this time I used those words but finally, finally I said it (almost without thinking).


*It isn’t, actually, that trail is straight up a mountain. While I’m pretty fearless, I live at 900 feet and Provo is about 4500 feet and that altitude will be enough of a challenge for me.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A couple more random photos from our trip

Sometimes when you're helping a grandchild sew, things get to a more complicated stage and you just have to finish the job yourself.



Here's a photo from last night's taco truck dinner (no people in the photo, just a sense of what it was like there).


Finally, our granddaughter finished the second Harry Potter book today. I love seeing her so engrossed in reading like this.