After several southern-style breakfasts, complete with cheese scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits, muffins (and fruit and yogurt - I promise), as well as beef and cheese fondue and Chateaubriande, I made it a priority to stick to my running schedule this holiday. Fortunately, one of my Christmas gifts was an old-school Garmin Forerunner 305. I say old-school because this thing is rather large. Its appearance to our ever-texting and "tweeting" Generation Y is probably analagous to the way we'd now feel watching that Saved by the Bell episode with Zach and the giant cell phone. Nonetheless, the 305 has a multitude of great features and is resilient enough to handle multiple sports (though it is not waterproof).
Th. and I set out on a 1:15 run the day after Christmas. We went down to one of the Chattahoochee River trails (can't recall the name of this one - there are 60+ in the Atlanta vicinity) and began our run. All of the food I'd consumed over the past few days certainly made me feel well-fueled and fresh. I am also starting to think that perhaps I perform better with a few pounds more weight on me (at or around 144-145 vs. 140-142). I'll have to start documenting this better. Anyway, the Garmin worked very well, even without the heart rate monitor strap - which I forgot to bring. There is a bit of lag time starting out; I'd start out at a 9:00 or so warm-up pace, but it would take 'ol Garmin about 30 seconds to warm up himself (the display reads 18:00 min/mi, for example, and gradually decreases). It seemed about right on pace after that, and as I've bemoaned in many a prior run, Th. was constantly pushing the pace. I kept on bringing him back, thanks to Garmin, to our 8:40-8:45 easy run pace. This was supposed to be a Zone 1-3 run, after all. It became clear to me how easy it is to move between Zones and pace brackets without realizing it. I'm sure it will be even more clear to me when I actually remember to wear my HR monitor.
I wore the Garmin again for our hill run the next day. Again, we were pretty much on par. Definitely a bit slower than the day prior, and the hills were unlike any I've run before (hey, I didn't grow up in Boulder, Colorado or Park City, Utah). It was interesting to see how much slower one is with that kind of substantial hill resistance (we were in the 9:20-9:30 range). We were also able to measure our mileage very accurately. Not sure how well this will work in Chicago with all of the big buildings, but I shouldn't have a problem in Evanston.
Today is an easy day - 45 minute swim and New Year's Eve celebration! Looking forward to it.
Happy New Year, everyone!