Monday, February 25, 2008

First Runs with the Garmin Forerunner 305

Well, this is momentous: I have actually stuck to the training plan so far (although I did have to jigger the days around somewhat to fit in my schedule), and I ran 6.5 miles between Thursday and Sunday!

As you know, my Thursday 2 mile treadmill run was tough as hell, but left me energized. Thursday night saw the arrival of my Garmin Forerunner 305, which I purchased from a once-technologically-minded friend who has since eschewed all running technology, preferring to run au naturale. (Apparently that also includes no longer updating his running blog!)

On Saturday, I had my first chance to strap up and use it. I must have pressed a wrong button or something, because the thing lost the satellite signal around .89 of my jog, and didn't find it again until I restarted the device. Oh well -- I still managed to go about 2.5 miles AND run right past everyone's favorite news personality, Tim Russert! (My brain didn't realize it was him until about 3 seconds had passed, and by that point I thought it would have been a little scary for me to run back to him, all sweaty, and tell him he was my role model.)

Saturday was also momentous because it was basically the coldest outdoor run I have ever attempted. Now, it wasn't that cold -- only in the mid-30s. But for a running novice like me, the fact that I actually attempted and COMPLETED a run in such frigid weather was fairly monumental! I suited up in wicking shorts, sweatpants over that, my long-sleeve wicking shirt, a zippered sweatshirt over that, a knit cap, and gloves. It was a pretty good combination! About 20 minutes in, I had to take off the hat and gloves because I was getting toasty, but other than that, I felt just great throughout the entire run. I was only planning to run 2 miles, but because of the GPS mixup, I ended up running about a half mile more. Total: 2.5 miles.

On Sunday, I went out again, this time in the opposite direction. I had mapped out a route that would take me to the National Cathedral and back along a circular route that didn't have too steep an incline. At least, that's what I thought from looking at the little upward sloping graph on It turns out that a little slope on the computer translates into a fairly intense hill in real life, especially when that hill comes around Mile 1, which is currently the point where I am most tired before I "get over it" and settle into a more "comfortable" higher heart rate zone. My pace was still excruciatingly slow, but that's because of all the hills. I'm hoping that when it comes time to run on a flat course, I will be more than prepared.

And my Garmin worked perfectly on Sunday! Click here for details about my run. (Note: The "8.8 mph max" from Sunday's run was on the last 1/2 mile, which is a very steep downhill. Now that was fun! Felt like I was flying!)

I pushed myself pretty hard this weekend so I'm giving myself a day or two off. The next run is 2 miles, and then after that I am attempting 3 miles. I think I'll be okay as long as I can find some flatter terrain. Wish me luck!


Thursday, 2/21: 2 miles
Saturday, 2/23: 2.5 miles
Sunday, 2/24: 2 miles

TOTAL: 6.5 miles*

*For logging purposes, my running weeks will end with the Sunday "long run."

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