Weekly Running Recap

I know we basically just did this, but I’m trying to get back on track with blogging.  Since this particular blog is still so new, I’m still figuring out an actual post format.  The overall goal is still to keep this blog as a mostly quilting/sewing/fabric-porn blog, but running is a humongous part of my life, and if I’m only going to talk about it once per week, I’m going to cram as much into it as possible.  Which brings me to my next point, I’m going to try and delve into the technical as well as the fun for these posts.  I want to talk about how much I love running and why I run and all that jazz, but there’s really only so much I can do with that before you’re all like “shut up already, we get it.”  So, I’m going to try something else.  I’m going to try this thing where I do some data analysis and don’t just tell you what I ran this week.  Which means you need some background.  And then we can talk about the running and I promise there are pretty rainbow graphs.

I run with a Garmin Forerunner 620.  No, they didn’t give it to me for free, and no, they don’t pay me.  My Garmin has a chest strap to monitor my heart rate, as well as eight million other fantastic awesome things.  I go for a run, and then it spits out fantastic interactive graphs for me to look at.  It gives me three standard graphs that are basic, straight data.  Elevation over time, pace over time, heart rate over time.  The other three are percentile-based, which makes them a little harder to read but a lot more fun to look at!

The graphing behind cadence, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time is done the same way.  Each point is ranked individually based on data that Garmin has amassed and determined percentiles based on the rest of everyone.  So, purple points put you above the 95th percentile, blue 70th-95th percentile, green 30-69th percentile, orange 5-29th percentile, and red is below the 5th percentile.  Vertical Oscillation and ground contact time both want low numbers – the less you move up and down, and the less time your feet spend touching the ground before you take your next step, the more efficient you are.  Cadence wants higher numbers, since the faster you move your feet, the faster you run.

One last note before we dive into this week.  I love data, and I do have some experience with data analysis.  I do not, however, have any real qualifications as far as analyzing this data.  If you do, and I’m wrong on anything regarding this data, let me know.  I’d love to get it right!

Monday, June 15: 
Planned: 3 Miles
Actual: 2.83 Miles
Pace: 9:19/mile
I was a little short on Monday, but it was hot.  We ran our 5 States route, and by the time we got back up to 15th St, I was not at all interested in running up Rhode Island to 14th to get back to the store.  But hey, I’m good with it.

Capture ALL the data!!!

Capture ALL the data!!!


Data Overview

So, what does this data mean?  Well, for starters, it means that I didn’t have the BEST run on Monday, at least technically.  I felt pretty good, which has to be worth something, right?  My cadence was pretty solid, as it looks like I’m tracking mostly green.  The red spots match up with breaks in pace, which is where we hit traffic lights.  My ground contact time looks even better, although there are those red spots again, but they seem to line up with the breaks in pace as well, which makes sense.  I need to improve my vertical oscillation, which is tracking orange.  So, no more bouncing, I guess?

The summary data tells us that based on my heart rate, I had a fantastic run and that I’m seriously improving.  This information is probably the most interesting for me.  I’m on stimulants to deal with a sleep disorder, which increases my heart rate.  Without meds, I have seriously low blood pressure and my resting heart rate is something like 58.  It’s fun to watch it skyrocket, and I’ve been enjoying watching the changes.  My average cadence was 167.  The overall target is 180, so I’m doing well there.  Vertical oscillation is high, which is really interesting.  Higher vertical oscillation is connected to shorter ground contact time and faster pace, but it’s theoretically less economical.  So, run fast but not too fast?  As far as ground contact time goes, I’m actually really happy with 237 milliseconds.  Elites track at under 200 ms, which means I’m really not too far off there.

Tuesday, June 16
Planned: 6 Miles
Actual: 5.83 Miles
Pace: 11:15/mile
Hm, I’m seeing a pattern here.  I was a little short on Tuesday, and WAY slower than normal, but I had good reasons.  To start with, I’ve never run this route all the way through before.  I’ve never been fast enough to run this route before.  You see, we start off essentially racing the clock if we’re not careful about leaving basically right at 7PM.  We ran from the store to the Zoo.  It’s about 3.5 miles to the Zoo, and they close somewhere between 7:45 and 8:00.  When you add in traffic and the heat and the hills (oh god the hills), it can run late.  I did opt to walk the hills, but Garmin says it was 93* outside, and it was way too hot and humid.

Graphs June 16

June 16 Graphs

Overview June 16

June 16 Overview

So, clearly my watch and my run were off a little.  I love that as soon as we were walking up the hill, it looks like I was floating.  That’s right guys, I can fly!  But otherwise, I look good except for the two hills we walked up.  I can live with it, I think.  As far as summary data, it’s interesting that the training effect is “overtraining.”  I don’t feel overtrained, although I did wake up out of a dead sleep screaming later that night with a charley horse (cramp in my calf) that’s left a very sore knot.  I’m really okay with this route looking so freaking terrible, as far as data goes.  Or at least, I’m trying to be.  We’ll run the route again either later this summer or in the fall, and I’m hoping there will be significant improvement.

Thursday, June 18:
Planned: 1 mile to track, 400m sprint, 200m rest, 800m sprint-ish, 200m rest, 400m sprint, 200m rest, 200m all out sprint, 1 mile back to store.
Actual: 0.5 miles to office, 1.5 miles to track, 200m sprint, 200m rest, 400m sprint, 200m rest, 800m sprint-ish, 200m rest, 400m sprint, 1 mile back to store.

HA. Last night was just off.  My normal routine is to change at work, walk to the store dressed like a normal person, drop my shirt in bag before we run, run, get dressed, metro home.  Well, last night, I got all the way to the store and then realized I forgot my watch in my office.  So, I dropped my shirt in my bag, told the group I’d meet them at the track, and then ran back to the office to grab my watch.  And ran in to my boss.  Awk.ward.  Fortunately, it seems that he’s not going to make it a thing.  So, I got up to the track and missed the first 400m sprint and the first 600 of the first 800m.  I jumped in and started there.  It did feel good to be on the track, and I did feel fairly in control of my pace and my legs and my body.  That was nice.  I ran my 800 in 4:00, which is an 8:00 mile, and then seemed to be holding on to a 7:30-7:15 pace for the 400s.

Track Workout June 18

Track Workout June 18

Overview: June 18

Overview: June 18

I’m still working on figuring out the best way to work this data, so I’m going to leave it at “ooooh, pretty colors!” for now.

It’s Wednesday?

Oops.  I swear, you guys, I actually had planned on posting on Friday, and then work is insane and this weekend was insane and then it was today and I don’t know where the past week has gone.  I’m sorry.

So, three posts in one?  Here we go!

Last week’s running was kind of intense.  I did 3.23 miles on Monday, and then 3.89 on Thursday.  Monday’s run was our basic 3-ish miler, and we did our normal P&Q route.  Thursday was track, which was ROUGH.  You guys, it was hot.  It was awful.  But I pushed through.  I did drop the last 200m sprint off my workout, but I’m blaming it on having not done track in forever and then it being so hot.  No weekend runs yet.  I’m planning on adding in the long-er easy run this weekend, and then by the middle of next month, I’ll be running Saturdays and Sundays.  I missed Tuesday’s run last week due to a work dinner, but don’t worry.  I’ll be back on track.

I don’t really have much to report as far as my normal rambly Monday post, so we’ll just dive right on in to the WiP Wednesday fun!

This week, I shipped out my Alison Glass Mini Swap, and it’s actually out for delivery right now!  I seriously can’t wait for my partner to get it.  I went a little crazy, but I refuse to feel bad about it.  🙂

That’s the big project that’s been eating my life for a while, so I’m getting prepped to move onto other things.  The next big ship date I have is the SPD Fairy Tale Mini on July 6.  I’ve been playing with part of the pattern, and I’m really not loving how it’s working, so I’m going to have to run back to the drawing board with it.  It makes me sad, but I don’t know what else to do.  I had planned on doing a two-sided mini for that one, so I may just make it one-sided with your standard backing, but we’ll see.  If I do that, I probably need to get a better fabric option for it.  Maybe something from Heather Ross’ “Far Far Away.”

Other ship dates that are looming? The DCMQG Bee block for June still needs to be started.  It’s a challenging pattern, so I’ll be super honest and admit that I haven’t had the courage to even decide on fabric yet.  And, I’m also planning on submitting two blocks for #FloodTexasWithLove.  One from me, and one for one of my very good quilty friends.  She’s actually from Houston, and she really wanted to submit one, but she’s so swamped with work that I’m going to make hers.

That’s where we are this week.  I’ve also been sketching/doodling ideas for my Michael Miller Fabric Challenge Quilt entry.  I made the horrible mistake of looking through previous winners, and I’m kind of super freaked out about putting together a good design.  Since the challenge is focused on the “Celebration Glitz” line, I’ve been trying to really focus on the “celebration” aspect.  I’ve thrown around the idea of a memorial quilt for my grandmother, but I’m not completely on board with it yet.  I’ve also played a little bit with the whole “runner with a fabric problem” concept, and I’m kind of loving that direction, but it has the potential to get really busy if I’m not super careful.

I did also finish cutting out 118 hexie paper pieces, which are for a surprise selfish sewing project.  I want to dig in HARD to it, but I’m trying to exercise some restraint.  You know, because I have eight million other things to do.  Points to anyone who can guess why I need exactly 118 hexies.  It’s going to be epic.

And, since I need an actual picture of something that’s a work in progress in order to participate in the official link-up over at Freshly Pieced, here’s a new bag pattern I’m working on.  This had been planned as an extra for my Alison Glass MQS, but it just did not work as it is.  I don’t love the execution, but I do love the concept and I am definitely going to be continuing to play with it as I have time.  Eventually, it’ll work and I’ll write a tutorial or a pattern.  I couldn’t find either when the concept popped into my brain, and I think the world needs this.



I want it to work so badly!

So, as long as we’re all here, just a reminder that you can access my running calendar and my swap calendar by clicking on the coral menu button at the top of the page.  In addition, I’m going to be adding my WiPs either on a new page up there, or in the sidebar. Look for it!

Weekly Running Recap

Mmmm, Friday.  I have the hardest time getting it together to go to work on Friday, but there’s so much to do.

Fridays around here are going to be mostly dedicated to running posts.  Right now, I’m running 3-4 days per week, usually M/T/Th/S.

This week’s running was not the best.  I missed my Monday run, which was actually the most ridiculous part of my week.  We finally had cooler weather, although it was pouring.  I went to get my clothes on, and boom, no shorts.

Tuesday was better than expected – we did 5.5 miles from Logan Circle up to the Memorial Bridge.  I pushed a little too hard at the beginning, which ended up screwing me at the hill up to the top of the bridge to get to the turnaround.  But, it was kind of worth it?  I was talking to a couple guys in our group about FIFA and Blatter’s resigning, and getting out my feelings.  Unfortunately, those guys run an easy 8:30, which is NOT my pace.  That being said, Tuesday was also my first time ever running in shorts and a sports bra!!!  I lost about 40 lbs between August and December, and I finally feel mostly confident enough to do the shorts and bra thing.  It’s been a really hard mindset for me, because the women in our group who do run in shorts/skirts and sports bras are tiny tiny, and I am not.  But, they’ve been really encouraging, and H promised me I didn’t look like a beached whale.

Thursdays are track nights.  We do speedwork as a group, because most of us are trying to get faster, and quite a few of our group have grabbed their Boston Qualifying times, and some of us are trying to eventually get there.  I’m on the 5 year plan for my BQ.  This Thursday was relay night, which means that we were broken up into teams and we raced each other.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been at a track workout in quite some time.  We started out with a 1600m time trial, and halfway through, I got some bad cramps and pulled off.  Instead of running the relays, I opted for cheer squad.  So, my workout last night should have been 1 mile warm-up (to the track), 1600m, 200m, 200m, 400m, 1 mile cool-down (back to the store) and I got…1 mile warm-up, 800m fast, 400m easy, 1 mile walk back to the store (a good friend of mine was struggling, so I walked with him.)

It’s okay.  There are good days and bad days and sometimes you have to remind yourself not to come back to track workouts on race days.  Seriously, I’m full of poor life choices.

Marathon training officially starts on July 20, so I have some time before I need to be in really perfect shape for this.  So, for now, I’m going to get back to running M/T/T/S, and then as I get closer, I’m going to need to add in a second weekend run.  My Saturday runs are going to be marathon pace, and since I’m shooting for sub-5:00:00, I’m going to need to run those at about a 10:00-11:00 per mile pace.  My last 10 miler paced out at 9:48, and my half PR is sitting at a 9:59 pace, so I’m thinking that’s pretty doable.  And hey, if it turns out that I can run a full at a 9:59 pace, that gives me a 4:21:45 finish!

If you’d like to follow my marathon training plan, you can do so by clicking the pink menu button at the top of the page, and then clicking on the Training Plan/Running Calendar page.  I’m working on getting everything set up in that calendar, but it takes some time.