Friday: I have a conversation with one of my best friends Holly, (awesome personal trainer lady!) who is trying to educate some of her clients about heart rates and the "fat burning zone". Her clients were hearing conflicting sources about this zone and the benefits of training in that specific zone. After hearing what they had heard and their now fear of training hard or above the one, I in frustration blurted out, "don't they realize that no one but a very long distance runner needs to worry about that!" Well duhhh!!! I had one of those light bulb moments turn on in my brain. I'm one of those people that should be worried about that! Yet time and time again I push it and train my body to need fuel instead of burning fat. New plans develop in my mind for Saturday's run. Don't get me wrong. I recognize the need for and love speed training, but maybe I've finally realized why I need to run at a slower pace on my long runs. I'm kind of a slow learner. Oh! I also received my Garmin on this day and sat down to read the 900 page book of instructions. My 13 year old pretty much had it figured out before I did. He set up some screens for me and I couldn't wait to try it out.
Saturday: I decided that as per my plan, I would try to stay in the "fat burning" zone of 70-85% of my maximum heart rate. I figured that out using a calculator I found online that figures in your age and resting heart rate. Without doing some testing, I think this is closer to accurate than just the old 220 minus your age routine. Starting out was o.k. I tried not to look at my pace (although it was really fun to see real time pacing instead of trying to guess where I was!) and just concentrate on my heart rate. I didn't bring music so that I could hear the alarms go off and was worried about the distance without any companionship or music in my head, but it went by surprisingly fast. The first couple of miles were hit and miss. I'd speed up and feel o.k. only to hear the beeping sound of the alarm telling me I was going over. So I'd slow down and the heart beats would go back in the zone. After the first 6 miles, my heart rate was staying pretty steady up near the 85% range and I'd have to walk to get it to lower even a few points. So after a while I just let it stay up there and continued to run slow. To be completely honest...it was one of the hardest runs I've ever done. It was so very frustrating to feel good and want to go faster and not do it. I kept reminding myself of my goal of using fat for fuel instead of sugars, so I kept on doing it. At mile 8 I knew I only had 2 left and decided to just book it home. I totally ignored the beeping and just took off for home. My heart rate raced up and then stayed steady, but high. I hope I didn't ruin what I had just done, but I couldn't take it anymore and really needed to just get home. I'll try it again next Saturday and see if I can make it farther. I will admit that I felt totally great during the run and didn't have to stop once to catch my breath. That was nice. I fueled well afterwards, but didn't do so great the rest of the afternoon and so between not eating and drinking enough and not getting much sleep the night before (sick kids!) I got a monster headache that night. Note to self: body does not function without water and food especially after a run. One more little side note: I love checking out how many calories I'm burning! It's been a while since I've run with my heart rate monitor and I forgot how much fun that can be!
Monday: Ran 5 miles this morning. Tried to do mile repeats. I had to stop twice during mile 3 because it was very uphill. Perfect temperature of 58 degrees, beautiful morning, couldn't ask for a better day than this to run. It looks like all week will be perfect!