After working at Fitdigits for a couple months, I ran a half-marathon this past Sunday, June 5th, 2011. The Ojai 2 Ocean, though it started and ended at the Ventura Pier in Ventura, California, which means it was a hometown run for me. I’ve been running for many years now, so it wasn’t a first, but it was certainly a beautiful and fun one. After passing my 30s my marathons have become fewer and my half-marathons much more fun! My goal this time was a 2 hour 10 minute run, on the low end, 2 hours.
In the interest of testing, I brought my iPhone and my latest version of Fitdigits with me, as well as my Garmin 305, thinking I’d compare results. Of course, as does happen occasionally, I got to the starting line and turned on the Garmin only to find out it was already on reserve battery power (I had only used it for one small run after charging it last! I think maybe it got turned on while in my gym bag by accident). Thank god for backup, especially backup that included my tunes!
It was a beautiful morning, and the race started promptly at 6am. It was great having my iRunner going – I was able to pay close attention to my heart rate, and make sure I didn’t make the mistake I’ve made so many times before – going out waayyy to fast. I tried to keep my pace down to zone 3, my endurance zone, for at least the first 8 miles. I wanted to make sure there was gas in the tank at the end. I was glad I did – it was fairly often, caught up in the vibe of the run, that my heart started pounding harder, even though my perceived effort was still just having fun and moving along. I knew to cut it back.
By mile 8 I was ready to “push the engine” a little more, though I knew I still had a ways to go. I picked up the pace to zone 4, allowed myself to cross the line. From there, I tried to hold it steady for the next couple miles, until at least mile 10 or 11, when it was time to crank up the afterburners (well, ok, time to push myself – not exactly a jet engine these days, but it sure felt like my legs were on fire).
When all was said and done, I had just crossed into the “over max effort” zone as I crossed the finish line in 1:56, crushing (yes, I do believe 4 minutes better than your goal time is crushing 😉 my goal). I knew I had given it all I had, maximum overdrive. Whether it was the best run race or not, I can’t say; I’m not a trainer, just an old(er) runner, but it felt good and just being out there keeps me young. The effort was all mine, with a special shout-out to the wife, who of course I couldn’t do it without her support, but Fitdigits was certainly a key companion and partner throughout – and it let me rock out along the way too!
When all is said and done, any day they hang a ribbon and medallion around your neck is a good day. Any day you finish a hard workout by 8am AND get a medal, that’s a great day!