Training wise, things went well this week. Most of my runs were on the local walking/running track, except for one treadmill session. So, I did two 3 mile runs (one of which was on the treadmill), one 5 mile run at pace, followed by a relaxing 6 mile run for this week’s long run. That’s a total of 18 miles for the week, a little easier than last week.
The 5 mile pace run went quite well, actually. I was probably a little bit faster than pace (which I am setting at 10 min per mile) and I got up to a moderate effort but overall it felt better than my last pace run. I feel like my conditioning is coming back.
Stopwatch: Check Your Phone, Man!
It’s a real pain to track my distance when I’m running around a track, especially the local one. The distance around the track is roughly 167 m, so six laps would make a KM. Apparently nine laps makes one mile on this track (more on this a bit later). Running my 3 miles would be 27 laps. Running 6 miles = 54 laps. Now, you would think an adult should be able to count to 54 without any great difficulty and normally I can do that with relative ease.
But when you’re running and listening to a podcast at the same time and each lap takes more than a minute, it’s easy to lose track. My Garmin Forerunner doesn’t work indoors (well, it probably does but I haven’t figured out how the Footpod works yet) and I didn’t have a manual counter (one of those things you click to add another number onto your total) so I was (wait for it) counting on my fingers. It was a great little system where I would hold fingers in different positions depending on whether it was the first 10 laps, the second 10 laps, or so on but if I ever need to run more than 100 laps… [sound of system collapsing]. So I decided to try something more sophisticated.
Off I went to the Google Play store looking for counter apps. I started with Count! Easy as pie: click one button to add something, clock a different button to remove something. Great! I had to get used to holding the phone in my hand while I run because I don’t have an armband to carry the phone. But, no big deal, this was great.
Then I wanted to figure out how long each laps was taking me, so I could gauge my running pace. So, next I tried Lap Timer. I could keep track of the time to run each lap, in addition to the total number of laps and total time running! Cool! I can even E-Mail the results to myself.
So now, as I’m writing this blog post, I’m fooling around with my phone (LG G3) and now I realize that the Clock app has its own stopwatch function (facepalm). Anyway, I like the options have now, so yay me.
Six Laps is 1 KM, Nine Laps is… what???
There’s a sign up at our walking/running track: 6 laps = 1 KM, 9 laps = 1 mile. This sign has vexed me for some time because the math just doesn’t work. Let’s assume that six laps does in fact equal 1 KM. Following this logic, 9 laps would be 1.5 KM which is supposed to equal 1 mile. But, as we all know, one mile is 1609.34 metres. This means that that each mile would actually be approximately 110 meters short of a mile. Put another way, if I supposedly run enough loops to run 9 miles, I would actually be one KM (more than half a mile) short.
Now, it could be that the sign is just there for the benefit of people who are doing shorter distances and there wouldn’t be enough of a difference to matter. But I’m anal enough for this discrepancy to bother me.
Then it finally hit me. I took some rough measurements and I think I figured it out. The sign is probably right, when looked at from the correct point of view.
The part I wasn’t considering is that there are actually two tracks: an inner track (which would be a shorter difference) and an outer track. I tried to roughly figure out the difference in circumference between the two tracks and FINALLY, I came to an assumption that I can live with:
six laps around the inner track is one KM, nine laps around the outer track is one mile
So the sign is probably right if you put the words outer track and inner track in strategic positions to make it all work.
I really have no idea if this assumption is true but I’m going with it because, frankly, this is the time of year when I’d rather run on an inaccurately measured track than brave the cold, wind and dark! It’s good enough!
I’ve started doing situps 2 – 3 times per week for extra conditioning, which is going fine. I’m also doing the 100 Push Up challenge, which is proving to be challenging. I squeaked through week 1 and week 2, just barely. But week 3… I only hit about 75% of the target before hitting the fail zone on the sets of pushups. So, with some regret, I’m going to repeat week 3 to see if I can hit the target number of reps. Hopefully this will be the week. And if it takes an extra week to finish the challenge, no biggie.
Finally, cross-training. I did not cross-train last winter. This year I am doing some cross-training but I’m not pushing it too hard. Today I did 18 minutes on the cross-country exercise machine at home and that was good enough for me.
In December I was bitten by the bug to make my own notebooks and journals. I’ll post about these in more detail later, but for now, here’s a few samples: