With my irrational behavior to put my Garmin on Ebay, Dennis came over to the track on Friday for about 10 minutes and was able to get my watch at least back to the "start / stop" function I had it on the week before. Somehow, I had it switched to two functions instead of 3 and thus, my pace wasn't showing. He fixed it and I *think* he set it so that I couldn't accidentally change it again. But I'm not certain on that. We're going to try to get together one night this week for a longer Garmin lesson...but until then, I was able to get in a tempo run this morning using my watch to guide my pace!! YES!!! FINALLY!!!!!! I've only been wanting/needing to do this for well over a year now! I was surprised the other day when Rob told me something in the lines of he's been giving me a pace for my tempo runs for the past year. Yeah, well, how the heck does he think I really knew what my pace was? He gave me an Nike iPod attachment last year that I wore on my shoe and it was suppose to calculate my pace. Countless times I recalibrated that thing when I couldn't get it to spit out the correct pace; I finally gave it back to him when the last straw with that thing showed my mileage in a 10K I did to be 4.5 miles. Now, I may have ran up on a curb once, but I certainly did not cheat 1.7 miles out of that race....if I had, I wouldn't have been dead at the end like I was. So I gave it back, thanked him for his effort, and he told me he'd replace it and get me a new one (as others have had success with this little device). But he never did; and he never got a Garmin watch for me to use, like he said he would after I failed to gage my pace with a little half marathon in Georgetown. He often forgets sides-notes of things he's going to do. I understand....it's not his responsibility really (but maybe in a sense), but I was a little taken-back that he thought I was actually running the pace he asked me to for the past year. I can give it a whole-hearted educated guess as to the pace I run but that's about it. So it was nice to wear my new gadget today and visually SEE what I was running. No, I don't want to become a slave to it but I also need to start training correctly (slowing my long run down and increasing my tempo run). And it's not only pace, it's correct mileage. The majority of the paths I run do not have mile markers. Most of time, it's a guesstimate according to my overall finish time with what I thought my pace was.
Anyway, I had a 10-mile tempo run with the middle 6 miles being at marathon race pace (which is currently 8:30). I did it. Not pretty and I certainly have room for improvement. I ran 2 slowish miles (though as I look back, I probably ran it too fast) to begin. Somehow, my watch was set to auto-stop and it was stopping every other second; I couldn't get an overall time to display. I nervously stopped my watch and remarkably hit the right combination of buttons to get the auto pause turned off. I was so worried I was going to screw it up and get it stuck in GPS mode again...which I did one day last week and was ready to throw the thing across the track because I couldn't figure out how to get it back (I still don't know how I did, to tell you the truth). At mile 3, I picked up the pace and did a mile at my 8:30 pace. Felt good and strong, not that sore from yesterday aside from very tight calf muscles (and this profound ache in my left glute. I mean, wow, what is that???? I had trouble sitting in Dennis' hard leather seats yesterday to and from Mt. Evans). Took some Sport Beans and water and set off again to the boat launch area where there is a restroom and water. Did my business and refilled my water bottle and set back. This was a perfect course because I hit the restroom at 5.25 miles - perfect.
I decided on the way back that I'd stick on the main road and get off the trails. It's harder to get a consistent pace when you are trail running because the terrain is uneven and you are turning your ankles more frequently. I wanted something solid and smooth so I stuck to the road. Which is fine, but not as fun as the trail, and the road is bombarded with cyclists.
I left a little late today, 8:30, and it was warming up quickly but I maintained my pace (though at points, I'd looked down and was going speeds. Once a 7:45. Opps). I felt great. For once, I felt like I was ready to finally get on a fall marathon training schedule. I have felt a sense of dread since I got back from Boston, I mean really....it's the same routine over and over. But after yesterday and today's stellar runs, I finally feel ready!!!
One more week of work. Yes!!
10 miles run