Sunday, April 23, 2017

It Is What It Is (WW # 90)

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RECAP:

Strength
T   Ran 3.25 Miles (Easy)
Nothing!
T   Ran 4.50 Miles (Tempo) + Strength
F   Nothing!
S   Ran 13 Miles (Slow)
S   Ran 6.25 Miles (Recovery)

Total = 27 Miles

In 12 days, I will line up to run my first half marathon of the year.  Wow -- what a difference from my obsessive Half Fanaticism of years gone by.  It will be my 45th half.  A mere seven weeks ago, I was not running due to injury.  Again.  You'd better believe I cycled through it like a crazy old woman to maintain my cardio fitness.  But the harsh reality is, there hasn't been enough time to properly prepare for this race. Throw in a couple of vacations and -- It Is What It Is.   I certainly wasn't going to pass on the opportunity to run in beautiful Door County Wisconsin (a new state!) with my dear friend Wendy. #HoLottaFun  #HoLottaCheese


Did that sound gloomy?  That wasn't the intention.  I'm excited to be back racing the distance I love most.  In fact, I am grateful to be running at all.  Any distance.  Any speed.   If neither of my feet speak to me while running, it's a flat out victory!  So grateful, I am.  (ala Yoda).   It's all about perspective. After two humbling foot injuries in a short span of time, it is not so much about the numbers.  The simple ability to run is now appreciated first and foremost.  The rest?  Delicious gravy. 

A sweaty mascara mess after a tempo run in new SMDS gear.

The previous week was a super active week for me.  With 27 miles running, 20 miles cycling, strength exercises AND water skiing, I started off this week...spent...and with a sore left hamstring.  So my RECAP reports two days of full rest and no cycling.  It Is What It Is.  {Try it, people.  It's liberating!}


www.heartzones.com


In other news, I've been testing the Blink 3.0 Heart Rate, Step and Cadence sensor as part of my new ambassadorship with Heart Zones.  You can see it on my forearm in the picture above.  I want to use it for a while, and also for different activities, before doing a full review.  I can already report it is very comfy and syncs with a host of fitness apps.  I'll be talking more about it, as well as heart rate training, in future posts. 

Glad to be done with 13 miles!  It was my longest run since January.

I opted to run long on Saturday morning due to Sunday's rainy forecast.  Blech, was it warm and humid or what?  I repeated the hilliest loops in my neighborhood to prepare for Door County.   I felt strong through mile 9 and then....yeah, not so much.  It Is What Is It.  {OK OK -- I'll stop now!} 

After the rain moved through Sunday, I went out intending to run just a few recovery miles.  Running at a low heart rate (149 per Blink, 158 per Garmin) and ignoring my pace felt fantastic.  Maybe it was the product of my recently adopted IIWII attitude -- but whatever the case, I did not want to stop.  I made myself quit at 6.25 miles.  

I'll leave you with this deep thought (LOL):  It'd be really special to get rewarded with a little gravy.   But if not, I'm happy with the biscuit.

And that's a wrap! 


Do you track your heart rate?  If yes, what type of monitor do you use?

Do you run using a smart phone app?  If yes, which one?

91 comments:

  1. I'm really excited! Now that I've got this run/walk thing groove going on, I'm think I'm ready. We're going to have a blast. #holottacheese #holottahills

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    1. No doubt we will have fun regardless of speed, weather, hills or cheese. I may take your lead and try that run/walk method soon. Actually, it may be a great way to train during our oppressive summer heat.

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  2. Yes I used to heart rate train but it was so frustrating. I hate the chest strap and haven't used it since November. I have a half in two weeks that I don't feel prepared for either. Great job on your 13 mile long run! I hope you have a great time in Wisconsin with Wendy! So much fun!

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    1. I couldn't stand my chest strap either but I did eventually get used to it. I've used a wrist based HR Garmin 225 for 1 1/2 years but think it measures higher than actual. The Blink definitely beats a chest strap any day.

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  3. I run using the Nike running app and an interval timer on my phone. Both connect with my watch. I can preset my run/recover times and sets. It's so easy! I've learned to embrace my rest days too! #itiswhatitis ;)

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    1. There are so many apps out there. I landed on Run Keeper just to try out the Blink. There are some features I like about RK but the mileage is much different from what Garmin reports. It makes me wonder which is more accurate.

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  4. Wow, that's a pretty significant different in heart rate between the Blink and the Garmin! I've heard that the chest strap is the most accurate. Do you think that's true? I don't mind my chest strap at all but have been curious to try a wrist monitor. I'm looking forward to whatever you have to say about HR training! I'm trying to learn all I can about it.

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    1. I've suspected that wrist HR monitoring reports a high. I know from experience it is higher than my old chest strap. I've also noticed once it spikes (like on a hill) my Garmin takes so long to come back down. The Blink did not. Perhaps it has something to do with the location of the monitor? I guess as long as you use the same monitor, it is all relative.

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  5. I know exactly how you feel. I was a half marathon running machine the past two years and this year my first half will not be until May. I think I was starting to get tired of racing, and that's never what i wanted, so i cut back on racing so that I could enjoy it a lot more!

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    1. 2014 was my biggest year at 17 half marathons. I was on track for a good number in 2015 until I decided to train for a marathon. The marathon training took over (and the injuries) for a couple of years. I'm glad to be back at my favorite distance.

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  6. Wow! 45 half marathons. That is impressive. I feel like when you get that many you have a right to say "It is what it is." I will have to keep an eye out for your HR training post I have the Garmin 235 and it has a HR built into it and I never use it while running. Guess I just don't know where it should be and such.

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    1. You should use your HR monitor just to see what it reports and get some base numbers. What it is when you race all out vs what it is when you run easy. It will also show you a cool graph so you can see how it changes during your run.

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  7. I didn't realize you've run so many half marathons- that's incredible! Hope you have a nice cool day and feel great on race day!

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    1. Oh yeah. That was "my thing" for several years. I was hoping to hit 50 this year but I'm not sure I'll get there. And that's OK. I'll hit it next year.

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  8. I would love to go to Wisconsin someday. I kind of use my Garmin for HR, but really don't know how accurate it is. Will look forward to your post!

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    1. I look forward to running in a new state. There is no better way to see the sights and this race will be in a beautiful state park with a lighthouse. Cool!

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  9. Wow 45 halfs! That's awesome! I'll be interested to read more about your HR training. I've been toying with focusing more on HR training this summer.

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    1. It is a great way to make sure you easy runs are just that! Easy. Otherwise, you are just going on perceived effort.

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  10. See, I LOVE biscuits. Gravy, not so much! I had an easy week leading up to today's race, and it definitely paid off. But you know cutting back is smart when your body starts to get cranky.

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    1. I actually don't eat gravy very much. I just liked the analogy. LOL. I'm not sure why we shy away from easy efforts! They do tend to pay off.

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    2. I have a hard time with "easy" - I do think it has to be hard to "count"

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    3. I mean, I know that's not true, it's just a mindset I struggle with.

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    4. You aren't alone. I think a lot of us struggle with that. I know I do. As soon as it feels good or easy I immediately want to push harder. I'm working hard to change my mindset.

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  11. I'm with Coco -- I actually do not like gravy at all. Never eat it. But looooove biscuits (not that I eat those very often, either).

    Sometimes the races we feel least prepared for are the best . . . and sometimes not. I hope that it's the best for you!

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    1. Truthfully, I don't eat much gravy either. Or biscuits. I just liked the analogy. LOL. I think my endurance will be there, but at a slower pace. That's OK.

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  12. So cool you'll be running with Wendy again!!! And I love the IIWII attitude!!!

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    1. It'll be good to see Wendy again. I'll see you in June! There's no need to stress over training I didn't (or couldn't) do. IIWII.

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  13. Door County is amazing. Just enjoy the company and the scenery and the rest will come. I like my Heart Zones monitor so far. It beats the heck out of wearing a chest strap!

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    1. That little Blink is so comfortable, I can't tell I'm wearing it. I can't wait to try it on the bike and (dare I say?) in the pool. What fitness app would I need for that, I wonder.

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  14. It sounds like you're making a steady comeback with some decent mileage! I agree, it's always good when the feet don't complain. To answer your questions, I don't use a heart rate monitor or a running app on my phone.

    Thanks for the linkup!

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    1. I'm trying! The mileage feels good, but the speed isn't there. This is the first time I've used a running app!

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  15. I need your dedication. Now that our schedule has hopefully calmed down, I hope to pick it back up!

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    1. That's the great thing about running, it's always there when you are ready.

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  16. I LOVE your biscuit/gravy analogy! I wish I could join you and Wendy...but, alas, I have a son graduating that Friday evening, and a 13.1 of my own in Des Moines on Sunday morning (and a grad party thrown in somewhere in the mix). Thanks for hosting this awesome link-up!!!!

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    1. Well, at least we have Vegas! It seems like such a busy time of year right now!

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  17. I run with my phone just to take pictures mostly as I use my garmin to track my runs but here lately I've turned on Charity Miles to do a little good. I was afraid it would drain my battery more but I can not tell a difference at all. We're already out there racking up miles and now that you take your phone you should look into it. #everymilematters!

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    1. Running with my phone is a challenge in itself. My Roo Pocket is getting quite the workout. I'll definitely check into Charity Miles.

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  18. I don't track my heart rate, and I just switched back to using an iPod instead of my iPhone. My gadgets don't have bells and whistles, and I run more by effort. I haven't been taking full rest days, but I take more time for recovery after I push my mileage.

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    1. This is my first time using a running app. There's definitely a learning curve for me. I normally have my itty bitty iShuffle for music and Garmin watch for everything else.

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  19. I hope your half marathon goes well! Considering you were injured so recently, this looks like a great week of training to me, even with the days off. Life happens sometimes and runs and workouts don't. Plus you ran 13 miles so you know you can complete the distance. It's always tough for the first races back from injury, so I remind myself that I have to start somewhere and sometimes just starting and finishing a race is a victory, no matter the time.

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    1. I'm sure you can relate to how grateful I feel to be back to running without any discomfort. (I was prepared to deal with that for a while.) Unfortunately, with the summer heat returning soon it will be even more difficult to work on speed.

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  20. You and Wendy are going to have a great time! :) I love the half marathon distance as well. It's hard but not too hard and it's easier for me to stay trained for!

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    1. I like the half distance for the same reasons. And, I've missed them during my recent marathon training cycles.

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  21. LOL I love the It is what it is attitude! It's so true and sometimes you just have to embrace that! Good luck in your race and I'm sure you and Wendy will have a blast. And congrats on a new state and #45!

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    1. There's no sense in stressing over something I couldn't (or didn't) do. So, I'll just enjoy the race and weekend with Wendy.

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  22. I think going in with no expectations can make for a really enjoyable race - hope you and Wendy have a great time!

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    1. I agree. If you can let go expectations, you often have the most enjoyable races.

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  23. Wow, you've ran a lot of half marathons! I've been tracking my heart rate and have been using the Lifebeam hat. I didn't like the chest rate straps. But I'm also getting tired of wearing the same hat all the time lol. Good luck to you and Wendy on your race!

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    1. This monitor is worn on your forearm and is super comfy. I would get tired of the same hat as well!

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  24. "The simple ability to run is now appreciated first and foremost. The rest? Delicious gravy." - I love this statement. I am still obsessed with numbers, I guess it's early on in my running career - but I love that just being able to get back into running is a great thing on it's own - everything else is an added bonus.

    The watch I use gives me details on heart rates and I know there is something about heart-rate zones, but I haven't taken the time to investigate what it all means yet!

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    1. I do like my numbers too! But sometimes they will make you crazy. It can be a nice break to just run for fun. If we don't have fun, why are we running, anyway?

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  25. No matter what you will have a great time with Wendy. So just enjoy! And Door County is beautiful. It's near where I grew up. We would vacation there every so often.

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    1. I look forward to visiting Door County! I'm afraid the weather is going to be a shock to my already-summer system though. LOL.

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  26. I really just use fitbit and Nike's running app. I used to use a Garmin but after it died a few years ago, I never got back at it.

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    1. I definitely need to try the Nike's running app. I went through two Fitbits fairly quickly and didn't replace the last one.

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  27. I'm glad your running mileage has picked up and that your feet are doing well! That's the most important thing. You're right though, sometimes IIWII and we have to accept where we are. I haven't done any HR monitoring while running but I keep hearing it's a game-changer!

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    1. Sometimes I'll play a game where I refuse to look at my pace and try to keep my HR from going over a certain number. It's a fun distraction during a long or tough run.

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  28. My Garmin has a wrist based HRM but Im not sure how accurate it is for running. I do think its helpful to make sure I keep my easy runs easy. So glad your foot is cooperating! I know what you mean about just being happy to run and anything else is just the icing on the cake.

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    1. My Garmin has that too. I've always thought it may be a tad high. My Garmin loses my HR sometimes during a run which is incredibly frustration when you're trying to monitor that.

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  29. I used to run using RunKeeper until I got my Garmin watch, but I found that it was very inconsistent, and paused at completely random times. I still import my Garmin data into RunKeeper online so that all of my exercise data is in one location, but I don't turn the app on anymore while I'm running.

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    1. Yes, I'm finding the same thing with RunKeeper. It's how amazing how different the information is from Garmin.

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  30. My runs are pretty relaxed except for racing. My Apple watch tracks my heart rate but I don't pay attention. I only use my phone to take pics. I know the distances on most of my running routes.

    You'll have a blast running with Wendy. Can't wait to hear how it goes.

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    1. I've been wondering about an Apple watch. Do you really like it? Did you ever wear a Garmin? I'm wondering how it compares.

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  31. Heart rate training intrigues me! I wonder why such the big difference between Garmin and Blink? Have a great week!

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    1. I've noticed when my HR spikes, it tends to stay that way on Garmin for a while before dropping back to "normal". Sometimes, the two numbers will be pretty close.

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  32. 45th half marathon......woah! I don't track my heart rate only because my Garmin is so old. However, I'm getting a new one soon and looking forward to the rate rate monitor. My husband did heart rate monitor training and really liked it!

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    1. My current Garment has wrist based monitoring. That is definitely a huge convenience. But after testing the Blink, I'm wondering which one is accurate.

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  33. Congratulation on the 45th Half!! how amazing!! I hope your feet stay light and strong!

    I use a Garmin heart monitor, it has taught me what an easy run feels like... and it's quite enjoyable to run an easy pace run!

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    1. I think that is the most valuable thing about HR monitoring! You know when your is in the easy zone.

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  34. I would definitely be interested to try running with a heart rate monitor, but I don't currently. And it's not something I care enough about to invest in at the moment.

    Thanks for hosting - and love the IIWII attitude, I could use a little more of that in my life right now.

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    1. I owned a chest strap (that came with a Garmin) for years before using it. I'm still operating on IIWII.

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  35. great week! and yes it is always great to be moving! And talk about biscuits- yup I love them, add a little sausage gravy and now we are talking! I can't believe Door County is coming right up- you two will do well! I know it!

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    1. Can you believe they named our baseball team The Biscuits? It was quite the marketing sensation at the time.

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  36. I bet you and Wendy will have a blast at the Door half!

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    1. We will definitely try our hardest!

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  37. Funny you mentioned your half fanaticism has slowed down. Mine too, for various of reasons (other priorities, injury etc). My first half that I will run (vs. Bermuda) is in July.

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    1. I do miss running my favorite distance and hope to do more this fall and winter.

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  38. Ha! Yep! I was in "it is what it is" mode for about two years. Now I'm glad to be pretty much out of it, but it's definitely a good thing to keep in mind. Glad you still had a good week!

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    1. There no reason to beat ourselves up over things that happen. You accept it, deal with it, and move on.

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  39. Girl, I've been living the "IIWII" philosophy for right at a year now. I've become so slow with my pace that I long for my previous slow pace because it sounds lightening fast to me now! But it is what it is! :) Like you, I'm just glad to be moving. I've never used a running app until the past couple of weeks. I'm currently using Runkeeper to signal my run/walk intervals I've been using on training runs. I'm anxious to hear more about this Blink gadget ....as I do love gadgets!

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    1. I naively thought I'd turn 50, be faster than ever before, and beat everyone in my age group. Bahahaha.... I'm adjusting to new goals. I'm thinking RunKeeper is not very accurate. Do you like it?

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  40. I do have a hear rate monitor but rarely use it only because it is a Mio Fuse which is on the wrist and I don't like to wear both the Fuse and Garmin at the same time. I like the idea that yours is on the forearm so it is higher, but I'm still not sure I would use it. I like the idea of a single watch/HR monitor. I have heard that even the wrist ones aren't very accurate so I am waiting on the HR monitor for now even though I like the idea of HR training. Anyway glad you had a decent week of runs. So cool you'll be seeing Wendy at your next half in Door County! 45th half marathon? That's impressive!!

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    1. My wrist monitor often loses my HR during a run (like I stopped or died for period of time!). That is very aggravating when you are trying to use the data. The forearm monitor seems more reliable. However, I'm having to use a phone app to recorfd the data.

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  41. Good luck with the half and I hope you guys have fun! I'm looking forward to hearing about the heart rate training. I don't currently have a heart rate monitor but I'm thinking of getting one this year to try the heart rate training.

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    1. For me, it's the best way to ensure your easy runs stay easy and your hard ones and hard.

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  42. I love #holottacheese - sounds like a great time! Can't wait to hear about it! I totally empathize with your biscuit/gravy analogy these days and wish you the best of both. :)

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    1. I need to be more accepting of where I am now and wishing for where I once was. I should enjoy the biscuit!

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  43. I have never actually done heart rate training maybe I should!

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    1. I started when I was injured. It was the only way to know my biking and pool running were quality workouts.

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  44. Enjoy Wisconsin! Door county is beautiful. I just started using a heart rate monitor via the wrist monitor on my Garmin. I had a chest strap for my old watch but it was annoying me so I stopped using it. I much prefer the wrist based!

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    1. Yes, I like my wrist based Garmin much better than my old chest strap too. However, it has its aggravating quirks. The Blink information is more reliable.

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