Monday, December 27, 2010

I Cannot Be Trusted Without A HR Monitor, And Other Ramblings...

I know you're all anxiously awaiting videos from Christmas. I'll likely post one or two... I am a bit overwhelmed by the 20+ we took and downloading them from the camera and uploading them to youtube right now is just beyond my abilities. But I'll get to it eventually. In the meantime, know that Moana is now truly a bona-fide Princess. Grammy even did her nails. Now Moana uses words like 'accessories' and 'mani-pedi'. And I'm using words like 'man-I'm-in-for-it.'

While it was easily the best Christmas I've ever had, I've still needed to escape the madness for a bit of training. Phew. All is still right with the world. I'm feeling whole again, being back on my bike and all. I'm pretty much a slave to my heart rate monitor at the moment, which isn't as bad as I thought it might be. It does require lots of solo training time because I don't think I have any friends who are biking and running as easy as I am right now, but after all the holiday hoopla around the house, alone time on the road is just fine with me. Just me and those flashing numbers on my watch that tell me to BACK OFF SISTER every once in a while. You really have to pay attention to go so easy stay in the right zone, you know.

So I found it very interesting when on Sunday my plan called for a brick run after a bike ride- and the run said "No HR- just run easy/natural and let me know your pace." Hmmm. Really? I'm on my own. Sweet.

It was just a 30ish min run so I did the standard loop I always do. And I did it in about the same time I always did last year. I *knew* that I was going harder than what I had been doing all week with those HR limitations, but nonetheless it felt 'natural' (he did say natural, right?) so I went with it. It did not feel hard to me. Just natural. I tried to convince myself that this was, indeed, easy.

In the back of my mind I guessed I was running at 10-15 beats higher than the HR cap I'd been given all week. But it felt oh so good. I got home, logged into Training Peaks, and proudly wrote in my pace for the super brick run. Felt fine! I wrote.

Coach replied promptly via email, Could you have kept up that pace for 26.2 miles?

Me: Um, nope. Maybe 13.1?

Coach: Then you went too hard.

Me: See? That's what you get for letting me off the HR monitor.

I bet he won't do that again.

In the end it was apparently a good lesson for us both- he learned that I cannot be trusted without a HR monitor. And I learned that my definition of 'easy' is not really 'easy'. Smart guy- making me prove to myself that I do not know easy. Too bad Moana can't just wave one of her magic wands and instantly enlighten me.

My reward for that run yesterday was another run today, with a HR cap 10 beats BELOW the low cap I had last week. Seriously?? Can I even walk with a HR that low? I wasn't sure. But I took it as a challenge. I love challenges. And I did it. I went 40 min with HR avg of 141. It was like a *whole new level* of easy! I'm not sure you could technically call what I was doing 'running', but hey, I hired a guy who calls himself jogdaddy to coach me so what did I expect? Of course, he jogs at 6:46 pace.

In good news, I finished that run and then got to destroy myself in the pool. Swim test. 5 x 300's. I swam 'til I felt nauseous. Perfect. Then I got to play Tug-of-War with Nalani. Yep. For Christmas she made me one of those stretch cord strap things that connect us together in the water so we can swim against each other in opposite directions and try to pull each other to our end of the pool. I cannot even begin to tell you how hard this was. Especially after testing myself with 5 x 300's. I think I lasted maybe 20 seconds before I just gave up, went limp, and let Nalani drag me away... Kurt got it on video so if he ever gets that to me I'll post it here.


Beth said...

I'm laughing about the HR cap stuff! This is exactly the MAO training and the entire first year I thought I might pull all my hair out. Like you, I learned a whole new definition of easy. It takes patience and lots of alone training time but before you know it, you'll be running a whole heck of a lot faster at that same HR and it will still feel just as easy. Good luck!

Running and living said...

I have no problem going easy when I don't wear a watch. I get in trouble when I wear one, though:). DO you use HR on the bike, or a power meter? Your coach sounds v smart:)

Jeff Vanis said...

I am very intrigued on the swim band, that would be a killer workout especially if you are swimming with someone stronger than you. Love the comments about a guy who jogs at that pace! Whew, I think I started sweating thinking about sub 7 minute miles!

Kiet said...

Guilty of the exact same mistakes because I too don't train with a HR monitor, go on feel, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. I'm too OCD to wear a monitor focus on the numbers too much.

Mark said...

My coach has me sticking to the HR zone she specifies on my runs right now. I feel like I am walking, but without that puppy on I am like a T-Rex in a room full of pork. I just go at it without thinking. Impulsive.

I believe that I will be running faster as a result down the road. I have to, or I might pull out what little hair I have left from raising five children.

Regina said...

Ah! I see where all the HR stuff is coming from, not that I didn't know. I know what you mean about easy. Even though I am sure your easy is harder than my easy.

Glad Christmas was good!

kerrie said...

patience. it will pay off!