Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Heart Monitor Training - Part 3 - Hard vs Easy Runs

Now that you have your max heart rate and your resting heart rate, you can calculate your recovery ceiling and your threshold floor.

Recovery Ceiling (70%) = (Max HR - Resting HR) x .70 + (Resting HR)
Threshold Floor (85%) = (Max HR - Resting HR) x .85 + (Resting HR)

My numbers are:

Max HR = 196
Resting HR = 51
Recovery Ceiling = 153
Threshold Floor =  174

For easy runs, keep at/below your recovery ceiling. For hard runs, keep at/above your threshold floor.

The author of Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot goes into great detail about the science behind the numbers, why our body needs recovery, and has a large list of success stories.  If you are interested, you should buy the book!  The biggest take away points for me are:

1. Your easy runs need to be really easy
2. You don't need many hard runs a week
3. You need easy runs not only for recovery, but to build a good baseline fitness level

I have started the 12 Week Novice program from chapter 14 of the book.  The easy runs are frustratingly slow.  I can make it through almost the whole first mile without having to walk, but then all of the remaining miles I have to alternate with super slow jogging and walking.  I can't even walk fast to recover.  I have to almost walk backwards. The hard runs feel like normal runs for me and are something to look forward to during the week.  At the end of the 12 weeks, I hope to be able to run much faster at my recovery ceiling.  If I am still walking at the end of the program, I am going to chunk this book in the trash, throw my heart rate monitor away, and run as fast as I want.  I do expect this plan to work!

Here are my beginning of 12 week program paces:

3 Mile Easy Run - 15:02 minute mile
1 Mile Hard Run - 11:13 minute mile

I will provide updates as the program progresses. I know the suspense will be more than you can bear. 

Related Posts:
Heart Monitor Training - Why Am I Trying It?
Heart Monitor Training - Part 1 - Max Heart Rate
Heart Monitor Training - Part 2 - Resting Heart Rate

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Food Funk

Loyal readers...I am in a food funk.  My cooking is uninspired, boring, untasty, and not even healthy for the past few weeks.  Please send  Don't make me loop back through my Pinterest Tried and True Recipe list.  I won't do it.

I am willing to share my brilliant and inspiring toddler food ideas in exchange.  Deal?

  • Aidell's Chicken and Apple Sausage - Wyatt ate a whole link today for lunch. I was so impressed. And there is fruit in it.  I thinly slice and quarter.
  • Toast with 1/4 of an avocado smashed on it. Cut toast into appropriate sized pieces.
  •  Annie's Bunny Grahams or Cheddar Bunnies
  • Yogurt, banana, and miscellaneous fruit in blender with a touch of honey.  
  • Baby caprese - mozzerella cheese cubes, cherry tomato slices, olive oil and a little salad vinegar. 
On to other random life tidbits.
  • Wyatt had a  high fever (103.6 F) for exactly 24 hours last week and then all bettah.
  • Weaning is going well. I have cut out 2 of 4 nursing sessions and homeboy hasn't noticed.
  • Nobody told me that weaning would make me feel just like the first trimester of pregnancy.  Tired, hormonal, etc.  I was trying to figure out why I felt pathetic, and then the Internets told me I can blame weaning.  Thanks Internets.
  • I have been consistently following my heart monitor training plan for 1.5 weeks now.
  • I have been listening to the Tool channel on Pandora when I run. You may be thinking, how can you run to this channel?  Imagine running reallly slow...its more of a wogging..not even a jogging. This channel is perfect for that.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Heart Monitor Training - Part 2 - Resting Heart Rate

Unlike max heart rate, resting heart rate is a reflection of your fitness level.  One morning, when you don't have to wake up to an alarm, pick up your heart rate monitor and record your rate for a few minutes while you lay there and zone out.  Pick the lowest number that your monitor reports.

My number when I was in pretty good shape was 52.  For some reason my new one is 51.  Who knows?

I have two watches / heart rate monitors that I use.  I love the Garmin Forerunner 305 for tracking heart rate, average pace, current pace, and distance.  I was able to get this for around $200.  I am sure the newer models are cooler, but I love this watch / monitor and plan to use it until it dies.  Does anybody have a newer watch or different brand they absolutely love that I need to check out?

I also have a $20 Reebok watch and monitor.  This one works with all of the treadmills I have tried.  I got it off of the Woot site and have not had any issues.

Be sure to stock up on CR2032 batteries because I burn through these like crazy and I think most heart rate monitors use these. 

Related Posts:
Heart Monitor Training - Why Am I Trying It?
Heart Monitor Training - Part 1 - Max Heart Rate

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fear of the Unknown

I recently noticed that Wyatt has been sneaking things into our kitchen trash can.  I found a shoe and a toy so far.  I wonder how many other items have made it all the way to the trash dump without me knowing.

In other not so interesting news, Wyatt's one year appointment was Monday.  He got 4 shots but handled it well.  The best news of all....he gained 2 pounds in the last 3 months.  Whoo hoo.  He is back to 25th percentile height and 15th percentile weight. 

And last piece of not so interesting news, every meal time is a bit of a challenge right now. Self feeding or starve...that must be his motto.  We are also having serious communication break downs.    Wyatt points at the table and says dat dat dat over and over again while I try to figure out what he is pointing at.  Drink? no. Spoon? no  Tomato? no  Today I even took him out of his high chair and held him up to the table to see if he could point at what he wanted up close.  No luck. 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Heart Monitor Training - Part 1 - Max Heart Rate

One of the first numbers you will need for the training plan from the Heart Monitor Training book is a maximum heart rate.  The author gives you 2 separate ways to calculate your actual maximum heart rate in chapter 5 of the book.  I chose the max heart rate hill workout (about 2 years ago).  It was awesome!  I was supposed to do another set of hills and I literally could not go any further and I had the taste of blood in my mouth.  There is no actual blood, but I always have this strange metallic taste in my mouth after an intense workout.  I experienced this many times in high school after running 6 sets of 400 meters in track practice or something else exhausting like that.  Anyone else experienced this?  Anyways, my max heart from this hill workout was 192.

Let's say you don't want to do a super intense max hill rate or prefer formulas.  The author provides a formula that is not as accurate, but can be used instead.

Max Heart Rate Calculation = 205 - (1/2 of your age) + 5 if female

I am going to reveal my age here (gasp!), but my max heart rate according to this is 195.

I will use 192 for all of my calculations from this point forward.

I recommend that you buy the book if you are truly interested in learning more about the maximum heart rate, but here are a few points that I found to be important. 
  • Your max heart rate has nothing to do with your fitness level or ability
  • You cannot exceed your max heart rate.  If you see a number that is higher than your max, adjust your max! :)  Update: I saw 196 in my 5K so I am adjusting my numbers.

Related Posts:
Heart Monitor Training - Why Am I Trying It?

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Heart Monitor Training - Why Am I Trying It

Ready to hear my latest and greatest workout plan? The one I am REALLY going to stick to?  I plan to follow the 12 week running program from Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot

I have a very high exercise heart rate.  I have (or used to have) a pretty good resting heart rate.  I have been to a cardiologist to make sure I don't have anything wrong with my heart.  There really isn't an explanation.  The cardiologist offered up the fact that women tend to have lower iron levels which causes a person to dehydrate faster.  I am usually borderline anemic and can't give blood.  He said that I shouldn't really be concerned about it as long as I feel ok while I am exercising.  

To give you an idea of where I am at when I exercise, my average heart rate for a full marathon is 176.  For my half marathon PR, my average heart rate was 172 and this was in cold weather.  My heart rate goes up to 140+ almost immediately when I start my runs.  This was a real bummer when I was pregnant.  My Dr. told me to keep my heart rate under 140 since the uterus is not a "primary organ" and the body will focus on supplying the brain and heart when put under stress.  No running for me!

The high heart rate never really bothered me except for the fact that I knew I could run sooo much faster if I could keep my heart rate under control.  Morning runs in the cold were my friend.  I started this training plan about two times and never stuck with it in the past because I would always sign up for a race and I would want to go fast NOW, not faster in 3 months.  This time I have nothing to lose and I am not fast to begin with.

For anyone who cares, I will walk you through some of the concepts and measurements needed to follow this plan over the next few weeks. Let's see how I do!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Scenes From the Weekend

5K on Saturday AM
We left the house at 6:00 AM.  Hunter had the truck running and I had big plans of sneaking Wyatt out of the crib and into his car seat so he could keep sleeping on the way to the race.  He chattered the whole way there.  We had breakfast in the truck watching the sunrise on the beach and headed to the start line.  There were so many people.  I had a tough time swerving the stroller around all of the people.

Mile 1: 11:00 min/mile pace....walked as much as ran to avoid hitting people with my stroller
Mile 2: 10:15 min/mile pace....freeedom.....I can run
Mile 3: 11:15 min/mile pace....I am sooo out of shape. Why don't I run more often!??!

Fun race.  Happy Wyatt.  We made it home before first nap.  Let's do more of these.
The view after the race

Hunter requested fried chicken and mashed potatoes for his birthday.  For these, I went to America's Test Kitchen recipes.

Step 1:  Create a brine with salt, sugar, GARLIC, paprika, bay leaves and buttermilk, cut up your chicken, and submerge in the brine for a few hours

3 heads of garlic!!

Step 2: Allow the chicken to dry out in the fridge on a cookie rack / baking sheet setup for a few hours

Step 3:  Flour, egg wash, flour, and then FRY!

Fried Chicken

The chicken was great, although a tiny bit too salty.  Next time I will brine for 1 hour less.

I only had new potatoes instead of a high starch potato like a russett, so I used the America's Test Kitchen Smashed Potato recipe instead of a traditional mashed potato recipe.  You basically cook the whole potatoes until soft, drain them and allow to dry, and then smash them just enough to break the skin.  You pour in some goodies (melted butter, cream cheese, salt/pepper, and chives) and add about 1/4 cup of the water you boiled the potatoes in.  Stir until absorbed.  This was great too.  I was out of cream cheese so I used laughing cow swiss cheese wedges. 

Sunday was devoted to church, cleaning, and relaxing. 

Look what we got Wyatt to wear...a helmet! 

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Hunter!

Happy birthday to my Hunter, father of Wyatt, meat cutter, repair man, non-stresser, mr. patient, sleep diagonaller, dessert loving, knife sharpener, naturally smart, excel genius, too many hobbies, previous boyfriend of a 4th runner up to Miss Texas (not me obv), makes me laugh constantly, bestest friend in the whole world!

I am busy making some turned out mediocre kitchen sink cookies and making Hunter pause the movie we are watching (In Time) constantly.   Happy early birthday!

After our 5K Saturday, I am going to whip up some fried chicken and mashed potatoes and hope that my "bad cooking" streak has ended.  Seriously...don't know what my deal is this week.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Coming Up: A Stroller Friendly 5K

I am 100% not on the P90X bandwagon.  Thanks vacation!  I plan to get back into running now.  Like how I keep NOT finishing my workout plans and picking something new?  Me neither.  I am usually a finisher, doer of what I plan, follow the program kind of girl. 

Well, for the moment, I am a runner again.  Hunter and I are running a 5K on Saturday that allows strollers.  Whoo hoo.  Stroller friendly races are rare.  Bad news....stroller runners have to start behind the walkers and swerve around all of them.  Good news...I am not that fast so I won't be trying to break a record. I do have that teensy bit of competitiveness that will make me push myself faster than I should for a race that is only 3.1 miles.  Maybe this will motivate me to really run not at a turtle pace. 

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Wyatt

Wyatt survived a year. Hunter and I survived a year.  Such a big day full of mixed emotions.  I hope I remember all of the special times we lived through in this first year when he is older.

What's that you say? Oh, I knew you would want to see an un-original video montage of Wyatt's first year.  Here tis!  Enjoy.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Vacation Detox

Did you miss me?  I knew it! I was too busy/lazy to write any posts while out of town. 

We had a great trip and are currently undergoing vacation detoxification (sleeping crazy hours, living in a house with no food, struggling for entertainment without cousins, aunties/uncles, and grandparents, and living out of our suitcases). I just put a frozen pizza in the oven for brunch(?) and Wyatt is going down for his first nap which might turn into his only nap if I feel like pushing through until an early bedtime.  I am not sure if we should ease into our old routine or jump into the deep end.

We managed to eat Mexican food almost every day, celebrated a first birthday party, and got in lots of family time.  There were bbqs, tractor parades, and visits with friends.  So much fun! Hope we took enough pictures.  I will post some pics later on in the week.  Until then, here are a few to tide you over.

All the cousins blowing out the candle
More cake please

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