Thursday, November 26, 2015

Day 3,252: Atlanta Half Marathon

I didn't seek out this race and the Triple Peach series but am glad both are finished.
This race wasn't on my radar this year but when I wanted to do last month's Atlanta 10-Miler, I discovered that the best way to get the cheapest entry fee would be to sign up for the Triple Peach series.

It also made this race cost like $40, and how I can resist a $40 half-marathon?

So I dutifully made my way this morning to the starting line to run in this race for my seventh time. Unlike in 2013 when I ran in 23-degree weather, it was much warmer -- 47 degrees.

I also thought that I could have a shot at breaking my half marathon PR and when the race started, things seemed to go really well.

Like last month's race, being in the Triple Peach series allowed you to race in any corral you wanted. So I made my way up to Group A, where I could see 1:45 pace team signs in front of me.

The race even started at a pretty good pace -- not too fast but just right and I felt like I might have a good shot at breaking a 17-year-old PR even though I really hadn't done extra training for it.

But by the time I exited Piedmont Park right before Mile 7, I knew that a PR would not be possible. I dutifully snowplowed my way to the finish. I didn't worry about trying to regain my speed, just wanted to finish the race the best I could.

It turned out it still was my fourth best running of this race. It was nice to be among a really festive crowd of racers and volunteers, so it's definitely a race worth doing again.

I just need to make sure I'm properly trained for the distance and the hills.

Time: 7:30 a.m.
Temp: 47 degrees
Gear: Technical T-shirt, long (Locomotive Half Marathon 2010), shorts, Saucony Iso Zealot.

This year's Triple Peach shirt is a lot better than the one I got in 2013.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Day 3,248: Brave new toy! (Garmin Forerunner 630)

Putting the brand-new Garmin Forerunner 630 to work.
I mentioned previously the foibles of my previous running watch, the Garmin Forerunner 610. It basically wouldn't download my workouts to Garmin Connect and even lost satellite signal in the Atlanta 10-Miler last month.

The watch finally downloaded a month's worth of runs a few days ago but it was too late ... my new Garmin Forerunner 630 had already shipped from REI.

This watch is a pretty nifty piece of technology. Paired with a heart-rate monitor (which I'm using for the very first time), it can determine your VO2 max and your lactate threshold, the running pace and heart rate at which you will start to tire. And from this it can offer predictions on how you will do in a 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon. These are offered to help you determine the best training possible based on how your run.

It also determines your running cadence and estimates how high your feet are off the ground with each bound.

The things I love the most about this watch, however, are the simple things. For one, it quickly acquires satellite signal and it also automatically downloads your workouts to Garmin Connect via Bluetooth with your smartphone. (No more having to deal with an ANT+ stick and the peculiarities of Garmin Express on your computer to wirelessly download).

I also like the fact the watch is light. It displays its battery power right on the watch face -- in the old 610 I would have to power up the watch and flip a few screens just to see if I needed to charge it up.

As you can see in the picture above, it has a red color lining when the watch is stopped and a green one when it starts, so no more confusion over whether your watch is recording or not.

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts on this watch in the days ahead but I'm happy that I made the purchase!