Now slow down there, son

Had another great week. It was largely uneventful: workout at Greco, run with Running Room, apply for jobs, wash, rinse, repeat.

There was a football game on Sunday? Didn’t bother watching the Super Bowl. Frankly, when it comes most sports, if I don’t have a dog in the hunt, I really don’t care about the big game. I find it hard to root for a team in the finals about which I was either apathetic, at best, or rooted against, at worst, during the regular season. I really hate the Patriots, but not enough to bother watching. From the commentary prior to kick-off, you would think the game is the space between commercials. This year, most of them were posted online prior to game time and, of course, they’re all online after they air so you can watch them whenever you want. As I wrote in last week’s entry, it’s an excuse to eat junk food and drink. Might as well send an alcoholic to a bar.

Instead, I had a friend over for dinner. I cooked the almond crusted chicken I previously wrote about. As a side, I made white asparagus and fries … eggplant fries. I looked around at different ways to do this and settled on this experiment:

I took a large eggplant and sliced it into rounds, about 2 inches wide. Cubed the rounds into fries. Brushed the fries in a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Then dredged the fries in a mixture of flour (I believe rice flour can make this a gluten free dish), minced garlic, and salt. Lay the dredged fries  on a wire rack over a cookie sheet. Roast the fries at 500 degrees for 20 minutes.

Everything turned out really well. They even made good leftovers. I intentionally made a little extra to have a few lunches at the ready this week. On Monday, I made this dish from Weight Watchers.  Since I couldn’t find the rigatoni in whole wheat, I substituted whole wheat penne. It was tasty, but not substantial enough to be a meal unto itself. Instead, I used it as a side dish with lunch leftovers.

Product review: Garmin Ant+ Adapter for iPhone/iPod Touch.  Two word version: total fail. I thought it would be neat if I could upload my run data from my watch to Garmin Connect through my iPhone. Unfortunately, that’s not what this product does. It, along with a $0.99 app, turns your iPhone into a Garmin. You don’t actually need the adapter to do the run, but to wirelessly sync  your run info through an Ant+ stick. It’s a proprietary bluetooth dongle. Nothing more. Nothing less. If you already have an Ant+ stick for your computer, you probably have one of the later model Garmin watches already, so you don’t need this product. In fact, the $5.99 Nike+ GPS app does everything the Garmin adapter, app, and stick does combined for a much lower price point. The app, itself, is worth the $0.99.  It’s a better way to access your Garmin Connect information than going to the website on your phone’s browser. Why you can’t send the data collected on the app directly to Garmin Connect is beyond me. Actually, it isn’t. They want you to pay $50 for an adapter you don’t need in the hope of creating a want. Sorry, Garmin, no dice on this one.

Run like you stole something: My half marathon clinic started this week. The training schedule actually started the Wednesday previous and we had our first clinic session on Tuesday.

Holy crap, it’s huge. We probably have 90 people registered and it easily fills the store. Have to say I’m jealous. The most I had registered for my 5K clinics was 8.

We had a 7k long slow distance (LSD) run on Sunday.

Tuesday was a 4K tempo run.

Wednesday was a 3k tempo run.

As a pace leader, I’ve had to learn a whole new vocabulary for the half-marathon training. Our 5K training method only used the LSD intervals. Now I’m leading tempo runs (fast, continuous pace) and steady pace (slow, continuous pace) as well as the LSD runs on Sunday.

Yes, I know what else LSD stands for. My parents are baby boomers. Stop snickering.

As the title suggests, speed has been an issue the first few runs. I wasn’t exactly diligent at watching the Garmin on Tuesday and we all ran far faster than we should have for the 2h pace. The upper end of the pace range for a 2h complete is 5m50s/km. We running about 5:30ish. At the turnaround point on Tuesday, I checked the Garmin and it was at 5 min even.

As one member of my pace group chuckled afterwards, “I guess everyone’s a hero at 4K.”

I did a better job on the practice run on Wednesday. My friend, Joanne, ran with our group. She’s an experienced half-marathoner at that pace and gave me a lot of great tips for pace leading. It’s going to be a little tricky getting used to coordinating my  pace.

The fast run on Tuesday did, however, inspire me to sign up for the St. Patrick’s Day 5K. I figure I can do one more 5K and set another personal best, maybe even get a sub-25 min time. It will actually cap off my first year as a runner. It was just a little later in March 2011 that I started my Learn to Run clinic. It will be a good way to mark another milestone.

The Ottawa Race Weekend Half Marathon sold out this week, a little more than 4.5 months before race day. They sent an update out through social media on Tuesday around 3 pm that it was 95% sold out. The remaining spots sold out by 6 pm. Good think I registered back in December. It’s a hugely popular event that sells out earlier and earlier each year. The growing popularity of the Army Run in September is one of the reasons I registered as soon as it opened last week. I have no clue if I’ll even be living in Ottawa come September. Looking forward to race day in May … and September … and whenever (and wherever) I run number three.



One response

  1. The half is the most popular distance now. Most new running take on a half.

    If you want to run a sub-25 5k I think I can help you there, as I enjoy dishing out torture 🙂

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