Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Endurance of a Kumquat

My GPS/HRM is providing some very useful data: Specifically, it has analyzed my heart rate as I attempted to jog for a couple of miles but petered out just before completing the first mile -- on completely flat terrain, mind you -- and it has determined that I have the endurance of a kumquat. I already knew this, of course, but now I have a neat little graph showing that I can only exert myself for about a mile, at which point my wittle heart just can't take it anymore. To-wit:

It's very interesting to be able visualize what I have felt on my "runs": I hate that first mile. I just can't get over how much I hate it. And it's not because I'm running too "fast" or anything; I seriously keep my pace at 4.5 mph, which is the speed at which most Washingtonians walk. But as you can see, on that first incredibly slow mile, my pulse increases slowly but surely from 150 to about 164, even though I am running at a steady pace. (Note: Ignore that little spike around 0.3 miles; I was dashing across the crosswalk at 7.5 mph before the light turned green!)

Anyway, what the graph shows is that my endurance SUCKS. A mile progressively taxes my body because I am apparently in very bad shape, and afterward, I can bring my heart rate back up but cannot maintain it. This results in a lovely series of peaks and valleys. Great for admiring. Not so great for building endurance.

I guess I will just persevere, and really try to stick to the Gallowalking program that has brought success to so many beginners. I am told that it will get easier, but there are no magic solutions. I just have to slog through it.

In other news, my Garmin Forerunner 305 is apparently smarter than me. About 1.5 miles into my jog on unfamiliar terrain last night, I got completely and utterly lost. Thanks to the Miracle of Technology, if you click here, you can actually see a little red dot run around aimlessly on a map, retracing his steps several times. That little dot, of course, is me. (Couldn't you tell?) In fact, the only reason I didn't keep on going in the wrong direction at the 26-minute mark is because I realized that the Garmin has a nifty "Return to Beginning" function, which will point a big stinkin' arrow in the direction of my starting point.

I suppose it is worth noting that even when the Garmin told me I was back where I started, I refused to believe it, and almost started panicking, until, on a whim, I pulled out my keychain and pressed the button. HONK! "Holy crap, I am where I started!" I said aloud to no one in particular.

This proves that not only do I have the endurance of a kumquat, apparently I also have the intelligence of a kumquat.

Carry on.


  1. ...And so we finally learn the truth. Matt is secretly a kumquat! I had not suspected this previously, as frankly, if Matt was secretly a small delicious fruit, I would have thought it would be a red one.

  2. Ah, Crystal City. My old stomping grounds. I do have to say that, while I most certainly do NOT miss the various ex-girlfriends that I gweeped in Crystal Houses, I do have to wonder just what became of that mysterious Girl in the Sunglasses who used to gander my way at the Crystal City Metro. Perhaps you will jog past her at some point in the future. You just can't miss those distinctive sunglasses.

  3. Hm, could there be a problem with your form? We need to run together. Are you taking walk breaks during the first mile? Because you should be.