Weekly (hmm…maybe not quite) Recap #10

As the amount of schoolwork has increased, running has been put on the back burner. I’ve still managed to get in a few runs every few days. I tested myself on 40 minute a trail run 1.5 wks ago with some high school boys who were kind enough to let me tag along. I was probably cramping their style a little, but they didn’t seem to mind. I was breathing heavy five minutes in (their pace was a little quicker than what I’ve been accustomed to lately), but I didn’t get dropped. Victory! My foot held up fine. I experienced some soreness the next day, but surprisingly nothing that didn’t seem normal. On another run recently, I was feeling good and zipping along (for me) at 8:15 pace when a young boy, maybe 13 (I’m a terrible judge of age), started running behind me. I heard him laughing as he clunked along behind me. I may have sped up just a smidge, enough that he made an embarrassed “ugh” noise and gave up. Yes! I can still out run middle school boys in boots!

My job allows me to feel much more like a runner than I really am right now. Tonight, I’m going to give a presentation on the new Garmin Forerunner 10 even though I have yet to use the watch myself (It’s amazing how helpful YouTube can be). I thought I’d tell you all about it as practice. If you’re looking for a simple GPS watch that tells you how far and how fast you’re running and that won’t break the bank, this watch may interest you…

Oooh…Pretty!

The FR 10 is the most inexpensive GPS watch that Garmin has made, but don’t let the cheap price tag fool you. It has several important features not necessarily included in more expensive models that make it more than just a glorified stopwatch.

Run/Walk Feature: Allows you to set a run time and a walk time and then the watch will alert you when it’s time to switch. For example, you can set the run time to five minutes and the walk time to two. After five minutes, the watch will beep, signaling your transition to two minutes of walking. Of course, you can do whatever you want in those time intervals (meaning: just because it says ‘walk’ doesn’t mean you have to walk). The alerts will repeat until you finish your workout. At the end, it will be recorded as a “run.”

Virtual Pacer: This feature will help you maintain your goal pace. Set the pace you would like to maintain per mile or kilometer. During your run, the watch will alert you when you’re ahead, behind, or on target with your goal pace. Expect to hear beeps, see the screen highlighted and flashing words indicating where your current pace is in relation to your goal pace. According to one reviewer, this alert works slightly differently than the rest of the Garmin line up, noting that is more persistent and louder than other units. I was able to get in contact with the reviewer and asked him whether the watch gives you a window of time to accommodate normal fluctuation in pace that occurs during the course of a run. He said that it does give you a few seconds (about 10) before it beeps at you.

Auto Pause: Once in place, this feature will automatically pause the watch when you stop moving.

Store and Share: Are you unfamiliar with Garmin GPS watches? One of the many benefits that comes with having a Garmin watch is access to an online community at garminconnect.com. Once you set up a free account you can upload all the information on your watch to your own profile. From there you’ll have access to:

  • Maps—you’ll be able to see where you ran
  • Charts—provides more details like average pace and elevation
  • Share—from there you can let friends know what you’re up to through facebook, twitter, etc…

The FR 10 stores your last 7 runs and 2 personal records. The oldest runs will be overwritten when the memory is full so be sure to upload your information to Garmin Connect if you want to keep records of all your past runs.

Nuts and Bolts:  As you can see from the picture above, the FR 10 comes in three different styles. The pink/white and green/white styles are considered women’s watches so they are smaller than the black and red manly man version, which has a larger watch face and thicker wrist band. Included with the watch is a charge/date cable (no additional power block for wall so you’ll need to have access to USB port) and a manual.

Important facts:

  • Battery Life: Typical use (GPS on 30 min./day) = 10 days. GPS continuously on = 5 hours (some debate on the truth of this). Power save mode = 5 weeks
  • Waterproof 50m: This is an excellent feature that is not available in all Garmin models.
  • Indoor Mode: Tap the lower right button when the watch is searching for satellites. You will be asked if you want to use GPS. Say no. The FR 10 will then function as a simple clock.
  • Accessories: The only additional accessory available really is the standard bike mount from Garmin which allows you to wrap the Garmin around the handlebars of the bike as opposed to your wrist.
  • Cannot add anything to this watch: i.e. heart rate or foot pod.

Getting Started. Before your first run, be sure to charge up to 4 hours. It’s always good to do that with most devices like this even though they come pre-charged. In order for your watch to find satellites, you’ll need to step outside. Press the top right button and your watch will begin searching for the signal. The first time may take a minute or two and times after if you are in a new location or the satellites are blocked. The top right button also functions as the Start/Stop button.

If you have questions feel free to ask me or check out the Garmin website for simple, informative videos. Also, here’s the link to the review I referenced. I’ve covered the basics in this post, but I know there is information I’m leaving out. From what I can tell, it’s a pretty neat watch. Going on my wish list for sure!

Until next time!

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Weekly Recap #6/ Olympic Thoughts

I have little to say about my own athletic endeavors this week. I went on a couple of bike rides, not super strenuous. My foot is recovering. Finally. It took me awhile to get to the point of not doing anything. To wait. To be patient. To do what I should have done months ago. Don’t mess around with broken bones people! Let them heal.

Since I have little to say about my own athletic endeavors this week, I’ll share with you my highs and lows of the Olympics.

Lows

U.S. Marathon Woes. I woke up at the crack of dawn to watch our greatest women’s Olympic marathon team ever assembled compete.

It’s all smiles for the ladies in Houston

Before the race, I knew that Desiree Davila (check out this thrilling finish to the Boston Marathon 2011!), with Hansons-Brooks was struggling with a hip flexor injury and was doubtful to even start. She did start, but was never in the race and was forced to drop out. She is an excellent marathoner though and she will be back! [Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher finished 10th and 11th. Not too shabby for the former 5,000m AR holder Flanagan running in her third marathon and Goucher who in the last two years has had a baby and switched coaches.]

I was bummed a little by the women’s race, but picked myself back up for men’s race the following week. I had high hopes for Ryan Hall the AR holder in the marathon who despite never winning a major marathon has always been in the hunt. He has also created quite a stir in the running community for being very outspoken about his faith and looking to God as his coach. Watching, I was concerned from the beginning when I didn’t see him up in the front of the pack. He is typically a front-runner, especially in the early goings, and I knew that if he was being cautious there was a problem. I didn’t have to wait long because around mile 10 he dropped out. Hamstring. Olympics over. Lame. Abdi dropped out right after, too. We only had one guy left and he ran in Sketchers…

When Hall dropped out, I knew the jabs about God were going to start and I was right. One of the first things I read: “Where is Ryan Hall’s god now?” I’ve never had the chance to sit down and talk with Ryan or his wife, but they are very open about their beliefs. It doesn’t seem like an act and I’m relieved to say I don’t think he’s bought into the health and wealth crap gospel. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he seems like he’s seeking the truth. He’s out their representing the name of Jesus Christ in a not-so-kind environment and needs prayer. Hopefully, this disappointment will draw him closer to God and that God will be glorified. Not Ryan Hall. He’s hoping to run the NYC marathon in November so be on the lookout!   

Down goes Uceny! Morgan Uceny is a U.S. women’s 1500m runner. She exploded onto the scene last year (she was no slouch beforehand finishing 4th at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2008). She captured the #1 ranking in the WORLD at the distance last year and was poised to win a title at the World Championships in Daegu. In the final of that race with 500m to go, she fell. Everyone gasped and then Jenny Simpson, also from the U.S. shocked the world with a victory. Uceny sprang up and finished the race, but there was no coming back after a fall like that. She was bummed. But, at least she had a #1 ranking and the Olympics in 2012. Fast forward. She is running comfortably on the outside. Staying out of trouble. Looks great. Perfect position. Ready to move when the bell rings. Everyone is still in it thanks to a slow pace. Bell. Final lap. The pack surges forward. Down goes Uceny. I barely remember the last lap because I was in shock that Morgan Uceny fell, again! This time she didn’t get up. She slammed the track with her hands. She screamed. She cried. A lot. It was very traumatic.

That’s not where you want to be…

Drama. Drama. Drama. Get a bunch of competitive people together and there is sure to be drama, but it bugs me. I don’t even want to say names and events because that’ll just feed it. 

Highs

U.S. men’s distance runners. They’re coming back! Galen Rupp takes silver in the 10,000m. Kenyans don’t even medal. I wouldn’t have thought it possible before this, but Rupp was looking good coming in and his training partner Mo Farah (GB) was also something special. Alberto Salazar, their coach, is a happy man.

I still think he looks like Peter Pan

Then, Leo Manzano kicks like a banshee in the last 100m to nab silver in the 1500m. Woot! He may have a strange pre-race ritual, but he is a silver medalist for the U.S. Also, of note, Matt Centrowitz of the U.S. finished 4th. He was the bronze medalist at Worlds last year. The young runner is consistent. Let’s hope he consistently gets better! 

Remember the only guy we had left in the marathon running in Sketchers? He finished 4th! A surprise for the 37-year-old Meb Keflezighi? Not as much as you would think considering the year he has had (in Sketchers! I still can’t get over that). He ran his personal best at the 2011 NYC Marathon and celebrated on the streets of Houston with a win at the Olympic Trials in January. A former silver medalist and NYC marathon champion (2009) should never be counted out, but I’ll admit that I didn’t really think he’d do much since the medal came 8 years ago and well, he is getting older… But, he surprised me, and a few others, kept churning after being dropped by the leaders, and worked his way to fourth. Congrats, Meb! Let’s go to Rio!

He hadn’t even crossed the finish line yet!

Finally, meet Guor Marial. 

Doesn’t he look like a nice guy?

He competed in the men’s marathon. It was his first Olympics and he did so running under the IOC flag because he doesn’t really have a country. He fled what is now South Sudan when he was young, growing up in the United States. His family was devastated by the war torn country. He lost 8 of his siblings and 15 other family members. When he qualified for the team, he was asked to compete under the Sudanese flag. But, he refused. He is also not a U.S. citizen, leaving him without a country to represent. I hear a lot of negative press about the IOC so it was nice to hear of something positive for once. They allowed Guor to run. Props to them, but I was most impressed with Guor, devoid of bitterness, smiling and humble during a pre-race interview. By running on the biggest stage, he has given children in Sudan something to run toward rather than away from.

I know a lot of other things happened at the Olympics, but I can’t cover it all!

For those interested: 7 of the 8 men in the Olympic 100m finals will be racing Aug. 23rd  Rematch! See the announcement. Track and Field still exists even when the rest of the world doesn’t watch.