Happy Friday! As I noted, this has been a busy week and frankly between all the crazy stuff going on I am very much ready for the weekend! Everyone seems to be on the mend, AP tests are done, and the can begin the home stretch to the end of the school year (and hopefully get summer jobs soon!).
Cat Calls Need to Stop – On the picture above – I posted this to Instagram & Facebook yesterday, noting that in the warm weather I wore my compression shorts and got a comment from a couple of slightly younger women (~40) who were walking a dog ‘nice shorts’. Given my history I took it as a fun playful compliment, but had my boys said that to a woman runner I would have been REALLY annoyed.
And on Facebook in a local running group, a woman went on a rant about getting comments the other night when it was 80+ for wearing short-shorts and a running bra. There was a healthy discussion, then she revealed the worst comments came from … women. Regardless of source, this judgment and objectification needs to STOP. Now.
Ok, enough of THAT for today, on to the rest of the story …
1. Garmin FR-15 Arrives!
As I posted to Instagram yesterday, Garmin sent me a review sample of their new Forerunner 15 GPS watch. I have been very happy with the FR-10 for more than a year and a half, but there were a couple of limitations:
– Limited battery life (<5 hours GPS time)
– No wireless accessories (no foot pod or heart-rate monitor.
The FR-15 addresses all of this – and more! They sent me the package that includes the ANT+ (no Bluetooth) heart rate monitor, and also comes with the USB charge & sync cable. In my test run, the heart rate monitor paired instantly and tracked wonderfully.
There are a couple of great new features – better battery life and fitness tracking. The FR-15 now touts more than 8 hours of GPS battery life, and I can't wait to put it to the test. The other new feature is fitness tracking – as I write this the FR-15 is displaying the number of steps I've walked today, and by pressing one of the side buttons I can step through date, steps, goal steps, calories, and total distance. If you are sedentary for a while the tracker will beep and display 'Move!'
So what is lacking so far? Wireless sync. I understand that because this is their entry level device there are compromises, and for the price the FR-15 delivers tremendous value … but I would rather never have to use a computer for syncing my GPS again.
You can pre-order the FR-15 through Amazon with an expected ship-date of May 30th. I will have a full review in the coming weeks.
2. Magellan Echo Update
If you recall, I gushed about the Magellan Echo in my review, and it has been my primary running watch all winter. Then a couple of weeks ago there was a major update that changed the watch display and added a stopwatch for non-GPS activity tracking among other updates.
Upon installing the updates my display began acting weird, switching off, rebooting, and so on. Eventually it just stopped displaying or responding.
I set it aside and just used my Garmin FR-10 … but it bothered me because (a) I really liked it (b) it forced me to carry my phone on my runs and (c) I had recommended it so heartily.
So this week I started trying to dig deeper, including how to do a hard reset … and the procedure was to just remove the battery, give it a couple of minutes and then replace it.
Hmmm … replace the battery.
So yeah, I figured why not just CHANGE the battery?!? Of course first I did just take and put back the same battery and confirmed that nothing happened. New battery? BAM – everything was back.
So the ‘at least one year’ battery lasted less than 5 months – but the good news is that everything is back and functioning fine!
3. Garmin VivoFit First Thoughts
One thing I got Lisa for Mother’s Day was a Garmin Vivofit, which you can get from Amazon for $129.99. The Vivofit is similar to the Polar Loop (Megan had a review of the Loop), Jawbone Up, and so on – they are meant to be worn all the time to track your daily activity. Given how much I have loved my Garmin, I decided to give the Vivofit a chance.
– Tracks activities such as steps, etc.
– Sleep tracker
– Customize goals, challenges, etc.
– ‘Nag’ reminders to move
– Wireless sync
After a couple of days of continuous wear Lisa had a small reaction on her wrist (to the surprise of no one who knows her – she reacts to the ‘Livestrong’ style bands as well), so she only tracks alternate nights sleeping.
We have used the Vivofit along with Runkeeper (and last night also the FR-15) and they are all great for tracking steps and approximate distance. The Vivofit is also
4. Beware of Online Pace Calculators
As I get ready to run shorter races this year, naturally I start thinking about times – the last time I ran anything less than a half marathon, I still weighed over 200lbs and was really just starting my running journey. So I need to find a basis for comparison – and started looking online. What I found was an article at Active.com about why I shouldn’t be so quick to trust those pace calculators:
Using a half-marathon time to predict a 5K time becomes problematic because the race-specific training for these distances is so different. For instance, when you prepare for a half marathon, your training should include long runs and threshold runs, which are key workouts to improve fitness, but they’re not the 6 x 1,000m with 400m recovery workouts you should complete to get ready for a 5K. This type of workout does two things. First, it gets you grooving at race pace, and, for many runners, 5K race pace feels frenetic because it’s faster than their easy, long run and threshold pace.
I totally get what they are saying, which brings me to my last topic …
5. How Do I Run a 5k?
I have been dancing around it a little bit, but in the spirit of honesty and directness I talked about earlier this week I have to say – I am more scared about running a 5K than I am about running a marathon!
Ugh – I know that sounds ridiculous and stupid, especially since I haven’t run fewer than 4 miles on a normal run since April 2012, but let me explain.
So here is the thing – I have no desire to hit the track, do sprints and other things like that. Maybe I will, but my core desire is still to just go out every morning for my run, and to work on the 5K strategy ‘on the side’. I know things like tapering, fueling and so on don’t play into it … but I really don’t know how to approach pre-race fueling either.
I have an 8k and 5k coming up – and while I am honestly not worried about getting a PR in either, I have no idea on what I should set for a target time, how I should approach them (just go out fast and try to hand on, start slowly and build, even-pace?) … just no clues.
Any thoughts for me as I start to get ready for these races?
What are your weekend plans? What race distance scares you?