Piling On The Miles

posted in: Running | 0

Good morning! We’re halfway through the week….and in fact, I am on step closer to the weekend as I have Friday off to visit a friend in Edinburgh. I could really get used to working three or four day weeks.

Since last week I missed by Pile On The Miles pro-rata goal of 25 miles (since my monthly goal is 100 miles), I have some catching up to do this week. So on Monday, after cycling home into a headwind, I headed back out for a 4.5 mile run. It’s definitely not what I most felt like doing, but that’s the point of this challenge.

I (perhaps strangely) really like running in the dark. It felt so autumnal, with the leaves swirling round my ankles (more than once I visibly jumped thinking I’d heard a mouse rat). I love running without any music or other entertainment, and just listening to my own breathing and the leaves. I find it strangely calming.

I wore my heart rate monitor, in part so I could get points for my health insurance – but also as I think it is now a staple piece of running equipment for me. As if I didn’t already have enough crap to lug around/make me look ridiculous. The dream of “just throwing on some running shoes and heading out the door” died a long time ago.

Anyway, it’s great being able to see how much effort I am putting in relative to my maximum. It’s really highlighted the difference between running and cycling (more on that to come tomorrow).

In fact, I am now considering getting a Garmin Forerunner 225, which will measure my heart rate at my wrist – i.e. without the separate chest strap. It also really clearly indicates – using a fuel-gauge style interface – which zone you’re working out in according to your heart rate.

This all sounds great to me. On top of this, it will track my activity, which I don’t strictly need (as I currently get plenty of exercise), but could prove useful if ever I couldn’t run or cycle and wanted to count my steps. It prompts you to move when you’ve spent too long sitting at your desk (unlikely, in my endless quest for coffee – but I might surprise myself!).

I can get the watch for £100 with my health insurance, which is a great deal (RRP £200). This would then let Matthew use my Forerunner 610 to earn points at his spin class. It’s a tough one though, as I am fundamentally happy with my 610, and it’s served me so well for three years. What if I get a new watch and hate it?

I’ll worry about this one some more before making a decision.


Anyway, back to Monday’s run. Here are the stats Garmin coughed up for this run:

091115 run


On Tuesday, I opted to run home from work, finishing at our local supermarket – i.e. a bit further that running directly home, taking me to 8.17 miles. This unfortunately meant me running into the same headwind I’d cycled home into on Monday evening.

Bizarrely though, my pace was actually faster for this run that for Monday’s which was almost half the distance. Huh. I really did not expect that. I had it all planned out, how I would tell you that my slower pace was offset by a higher heart rate (as I was running into the wind) and so forth…..but….huh.

My average heart rate was 160bpm, which is about 85% of my maximum effort which is GREAT. So I guess I worked for the faster pace.

Here are the stats:

101115 run


So this takes me to 12.5 miles for Pile On The Miles this week. Since my goal is 30, there will be no letting up. I’m in Edinburgh this weekend, and Scotland has the UK’s first ever “named” storm on its way; Abigail. Perfect. So I look forward to running in that! The ol’ heart rate monitor may be in for a shock….

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