Wednesday Workout & Some New Toys

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Wednesday showed a return to my predetermined workout routine.  My replacement Nike watch had not come yet, so I ran on a treadmill at the gym.  Instead of planning a certain mile goal, I decided to run for thirty minutes then do one of my Warrior Dash circuits.  I kept a 9:31 pace for the entire half hour, so I logged about 3.11 miles.  The display on the treadmill started showing some weird symbols, but simple math and a quick Google search shows me that I’m close on the mileage.  Whenever I run on a treadmill, unless I’m doing a hill workout, I usually set the grade to 2% to help mimic the road a little bit.  I felt great after the run and went straight into the twenty seconds of exercise, thirty seconds of rest on the following circuit:

  • Body Weight Squat
  • DB Incline Press
  • DB Upright Row
  • Glute Bridge
  • Wipers
  • Reverse Lunge
  • Pushups
  • Supermans
  • Bicep Curl
  • Reverse Crunches/Knee to Chest

These circuits are a great followup to my shorter running sessions.  My muscles are warm from the run and the entire circuit takes a little less than twenty minutes to complete.  I can run, complete a circuit, and stretch in about an hour and fifteen minutes!  And despite the short duration, after completing the circuit, I can feel it in the targeted muscle groups.  I still need to try the three at home circuits, but I will probably up my exercise time to thirty seconds per move next week, as well as increasing the dumbbell weight on a couple of the moves as well.  The at home circuits are common moves that most people have done before, so the extra time on those will not be too catastrophic to my health.

Last night I was able to clear a spot and hang up my early Valentine’s Day present in my Man Room/Fortress of Solitude/The Place to Be/Man Cave or whatever I will call it.  Susan gave me the gift early since I accidentally found out what it was by getting home earlier than expected on Tuesday.  She got a me a medal display from Victory Medal Displays.  We both liked the look of this particular display and thought that it would look better in our house than most other displays that we have seen.  I knew I was going to be gifted this display at some point, but I honestly assumed it would be a Christmas gift since I do not have many medals right now.  The display also has a way to hang my bibs from it while keeping a clean look that won’t drive my OCD overboard.  I can even add another one below this if/when I get to that point with race medals.

Once I fill it out some more, it will look even better!

Once I fill it out some more, it will look even better!

I also finally got my replacement watch from Nike yesterday.  Since the color of my previous watch was out of stock, I opted for the anthracite/blue glow version.  After telling my wife about it, so said that was the color she originally was going to get me, but opted for the black/volt (neon yellow or green) since it came with a shoe sensor and the blue did not.  This afternoon should be my maiden voyage with the new and improved Nike+ Sportswatch.

A color combo every Memphis fan would love!

A color combo every Memphis fan would love!

This afternoon looks to be perfect weather to run, which is great since it is going to be cold and rainy the next couple of days.  I ordered a new pair of shoes this week so I could start to break them in before my current running shoes get too worn out.  They shipped quicker than I anticipated and there is an outside chance that I would get them today.  They were at the Memphis UPS facility this morning with an expected early delivery date of today, but I just checked and they are now pushed back until tomorrow for some reason.  Oh well, they really shouldn’t ave been here until Monday, so I can be a little patient.

Saturday Long Run

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I meant to post yesterday, but nothing really went to plan, so I didn’t get around to it.  Yesterday was slated to be my long run for the week, and looking at the weather, it was going to be a perfect day for a run.  Too bad, nothing went rights for me.

I usually sleep in a little bit on the weekends, but Saturday I took it a little to the extreme.  I stayed in bed until about 10:00 am, and once I finally forced myself to get up, I was in a fog.  Since my plan of going for a morning run was completely shot, I got some breakfast for Susan and me, and we watched some TV.  I’m sure this would make my allergist happy since he is adamantly opposed to me running in the mornings.  It was during our mini marathon of Hoarders that I decided to target 2:30 pm as my running time.  The weather was going to be nearly perfect, 55 degrees and sunny, with a slight breeze.  Also, it would mean that my entire run would happen in the daylight hours and it wouldn’t conflict with too much else I wanted to do.  So after Hoarders, I started to clean and box some stuff up for Goodwill, since that show seems to put me in the spring cleaning frame of mind.  I was just doing some piddling chores around the house, when I noticed that it was 2:20!  So I grabbed my running gear and started to get ready for my run.

I ate a banana and looked at my Nike+ Sportswatch and noticed the screen was completely blank.  I hit every button on the watch, and still nothing, so I plugged it in and the battery icon popped up showing the watch as being completely dead.  Great, more delay.  So as the watch was charging, I decided to mess with the dishwasher.  I hadn’t been able to locate the part that I need, but I ran the dishwasher for a cycle with no dishes to see what happened.  Probably not my smartest decision in life, but since the dispenser had been  temperamental in the past, I thought maybe a two week hiatus would help prolong its life.  So, when the cycle was finished, I opened up the dishwasher and it had worked!  I was happy, and even though I was still going to replace the part, I was relieved that I might not to hand wash every dish in the house for a couple more weeks.  I loaded the dishwasher and checked my watch.  Roughly 30%.  So I start some laundry and watch some basketball on TV.  Another thirty minutes passed and I checked the watch again.  About 70%, great.  I do a couple more chores and check the watch again at 4:00 pm.  It’s near 100%, but has all the wrong info on the screen.  I reset the time and date, gather my gear, and head outside.  I link the watch with the satellite and start my nine miles.  I get to the first stop sign, and check to make sure my watch is working properly.  It was showing all zeros, so I was a little pissed.  I head back to the house and put the sensor in my shoe and link it to the watch.  I do a practice run for a about thirty seconds, and the watch is producing a pacing time and showing distance traveled.  I head back on my route, kinda upset with all of the issues that I’ve had with the watch, but it still feels good outside and I am still getting my miles in.

The plan was to run the first couple of miles of my most traveled route, then adventure out a bit to get the needed miles without just doing laps.  I glanced at my watch around what should be mile one to check my pace since I was feeling rather lethargic still and I was curious what the numbers would say.  My watch was showing .02 miles traveled! Really?  I’m angry about this, but I was determined to complete my run.  I decided to improvise my route a little bit so I knew how far I was going.  I would have used my phone to track the run, but I just upgraded a couple weeks back and didn’t want to go through all of the setup.  I ran my usual course in the neighborhood twice, which is about 4.25 miles, and then from my house to the end of the block and back for the additional half a mile.  I don’t have an 100% accurate time or pace, but from the time I left my house the second time until I returned was about one hour and thirty three minutes, so I’ll say my pace was just over ten minutes per mile.  I let my watch run the entire time and after the hour and a half, it displayed that I had ran .26 miles!  So, I guess of using this watch until Nike sends me my replacement is out the window.

I checked my claim status on the watch after I showered, and it said that replacement approval was still pending! Great, I was quoted five to ten business days to get get my replacement, and since that is a deadline of Thursday, I’m not overly optimistic that the deadline will be met.  And then this afternoon, Nike contacted and informed me that my watch is out of stock so I needed to pick a new color.  I did, and then I asked when I should expect it.  I was told by the end of the week, or very likely early next week.  I informed the guy that I placed the claim on the 16th, and would appreciate them upholding their original deadline.  He said he will do what he can, but they don’t process orders on the weekend.  But they called and emailed me today, a Sunday, about processing my order.  The craziest part is that I live less than ten miles from where the watch is going to be shipped from, and the guy I spoke with is also in Memphis!  He said that they ship next day air, buy even the post office would get it to me on the next day!  Heck, at this rate, just let me drive to the facility and pick it up myself!  We shall see if I ever get my replacement watch or not.  I was also informed that the new color I chose does not come with a Nike+ sensor, but should work with the one I got with my original watch.  We shall see, I suppose.

Icepocolypse 2013

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So Mother Nature did not agree with my workout plans thus far this week.  Freezing rain and sleet on Monday meant running outside was a no go.  Something about icy sidewalks makes running extremely difficult.  And since I live in Memphis instead of Minneapolis, frozen precipitation means this entire town shuts down.  So, unfortunately, no treadmill time at the gym.  Monday and Tuesday consisted of TRX at the house, Seinfeld reruns on TBS, and quality time with the wife.  I would have loved to get a quick run in, but at least I stayed busy.

Today, I was finally able to log some miles.  I hit the gym after work and was able to grab one of the good treadmills at the gym.  [Side bar: my gym has 6 treadmills, 1 is only for walking, 2 are under 5 years old, and the other 3 have seen better days.  Of course, walkers NEVER use the treadmill reserved for walking, but rather the 2 good treadmills.  People literally race to get to the good treadmills at 4:30 each afternoon.]  My run, however, was not great.  I was lethargic from the first step.  I completed 3.15 miles at a 9:45 pace, so it definitely could have been worse.  It sucks that that is back to back bad runs, but it happens.  After running, I did some pullups, planks, and stretching before heading home.

The worst part of the training was the fate of my Nike+ GPS watch.  Around mile 1, I noticed that I could barely make out the digits on the watch due to condensation.  This was quite upsetting.  I was given the watch less than two months ago and I really shouldn’t be having issues with it.  When I got home, I told Susan about it and I could tell she was not happy.  She called Nike+ customer service when I hopped in the shower and they were great.  They are replacing my watch free of charge, including shipping.  Let’s hope I just got a lemon and my new one will work better for me.

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This is over an hour after I got home

 

Gear

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Every runner knows that you can’t achieve your goals without the proper gear, so here is some of my equipment that I use for every run.  I guess I should mention that all of these items have been purchased from retail vendors and I do not get compensated in any way to plug these items; they are just what I currently like to use.

When you run long distances, you tend to have to shop for shoes quite often.  Most runners get 400-500 miles from a pair of shoes (according to info I found) and having a backup plan is a good, but expensive idea.  I tend to overpronate when I run, so I went shopping for a pair of shoes that helped with this running style.  After some extensive research, I settled on the Nike+ Zoom Vomero 7.  It is a light shoe with great cushioning and numerous color options.  I chose the gray/orange combo against the protests of my wife.  I also have an old pair of Asics that I wear in muddy trail runs and a pair of Nike+ Livestrong shoes that I occasionally use, but the Vomero 7’s are my curreny and primary running shoe.

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For my most recent birthday, my wife got me the Nike+ Sportswatch GPS with Nike+ Sensor.  The GPS is powered by TomTom and it is very easy to upload data from the watch to my computer.  Whenever and wherever I run, I can record data with this watch.  The watch utilizes its GPS function when I’m running outdoors and the sensor (which slips into the shoe of my shoes) works perfectly when I decide to use the treadmill.  The watch tells me my current pace, average pace, distance traveled, calories burned, Nikefuel earned, time elapsed, and current time.  If I don’t run for a few days, the alarm goes off as a gentle reminder to get back out there.  After uploading the data to my computer, the Nike+ website will track my runs so I can see my progress or regression, as well as keep track of my weekly, monthly, and yearly miles.  I also can add notes about the weather, which shoes I wore, how I felt post race, and any notes I might want to write to refer to at a later date.  My personal records and trends are just a click away, as is my routes.  This is the perfect device for any runner, especially a nerdy runner like me.

nike tomtom watch

I wear numerous brands of tech shirts and shorts, and I really can’t tell much of a difference in any of them.  My Nike shirts seem to be a touch bigger than the others, but not enough that I need to buy a different size than the other shirts.  Being a heavy sweater, and bald, I need to wear a hat while I run.  The problem is, every hat will be sweated through between miles 3 and 4, regardless of the temperature.  I will say though, my Under Armour hat dries quicker than my Nike dri-fit hat, so I do prefer to wear the Under Armour one.   I don’t have any specialty running socks that I use, but I may investigate those this year.

I use the Yurbuds Inspire earbuds and they are excellent against sweat and the weather.  The company claims that they are guaranteed not to fall out, but that is not quite 100% true.  You must find the proper size to wear and insert them into your ears utilizing the proper technique.  Yurbuds has great customer service and is very dedicated to getting customers into the proper head gear.  I had a size 5, but after consulting with them, it was determined that I needed a specialty size 4.  They exchanged my earbuds free off charge, even though I was well beyond the warranty exchange period.  My Yurbuds do stay in my ears better than any other product that I have tried, but I have had an issue or two with them falling out when I get extremely sweaty.

I carry my iPhone with me when a run and use an Armpocket XTREME i-30 to hold it.  I chose this product because I’m asthmatic and it can hold my phone, inhaler, gels/GU’s, and keys.  It is comfortable and keeps my stuff dry, but it was not designed for the iPhone 5.  When I had my iPhone 4, the phone fit perfectly and I could store everything with no issues, but now, the headphone jack juts out a little bit.  It isn’t that big of a deal, just a minor inconvenience.  The printing on the product is reflective and once I put on the arm band, it never moves.

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On my longer runs, I use a Camelback pack for my water.  I went with the 70 ounce version that is used by the military basically because it is what I already had.I’m sure wearing a backpack full of water isn’t for everyone, but I do prefer it to carrying a water bottle.

I don’t always carry my id on me, even though I easy could in the Armpocket, but I do always wear my RoadID bracelet.  It has my name, brief medical info, and emergency contacts on it, as well as a short inspiration quote on it.  This is great info to share in case of emergency, especially for someone with a severe allergy, asthma, or contagious disease.  I went with the RoadID elite and I actually wear it all day.  It has a black, silicone band with a metal watch like buckle and a metal information plate.