Tuesday, May 29, 2012

You are behind your target pace

In a fit of insanity and frustration, I signed my husband and myself up for the Too Hot to Handle 15K in Dallas in July.  I really wanted to sign up for another race and wanted something longer than a 5K but shorter than a half marathon.  I wasn't finding anything that really appealed, and was getting frustrated, so I asked my husband if he'd do this one and when he agreed I signed us both up.  Now I have to get back into training for a long race right when temperatures are reliably in the 90s every day!

So I went for a run last night.  I was really disappointed in my half marathon and know that it was because I was not training consistently enough or hard enough.  I'm going to have to work a lot harder if I want to run well in this race.  My first training run was not a stellar success.  I intended to go 4 miles, but wimped out at just over 3. Actually, I wimped out before I even hit 2 miles, and had to walk for a bit.  I decided at the end of the run that that was the last wimpy run I get to do before this race.  If I need to stop and walk during a run that's fine, but I will not quit when I am short on miles.  I will run or walk the full distance every time.

I had wanted to work on my pace, because I know I can do 10 minute miles if I work on it.  Yes, I know, I'm slow.  Shut up.  A 10 minute mile is a good fast-ish pace for me, and I'll be ridiculously happy with myself when I manage to keep it up for five miles.

Anyway.  I was playing around with the runkeeper app again, and thought I'd try out the coaching.  I don't know what I was expecting, but I was not impressed with what it was.  I selected a 10 min/mile pace, and so every time an audio cue came on for time or distance, the voice would say in a very mean sounding way "you are behind your target pace by" however much per mile.  But really, no shit Sherlock.  The same voice just told me, in a much more pleasant manner, my average pace and current pace.  I think I'd rather have a voice that alerted me every time I was over/under my target pace by more than 30 seconds/mile or something.  I just hope I remember to turn off the coaching before my next run.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

2012 Challenge Book #9

Book #9 was The United States of Arugula, by David Kamp.  It was decent.  I thought the thesis could have been developed a bit better.  The latter chapters were excellent, and tied the history to the author's point, but I felt the first two thirds or so of the book was just back story.  Interesting back story, but a bit more than was necessary to support the author's positions.  I was also put off by the inconsistent use of footnotes.  I am a fan of the judicious use of footnotes, but the author here didn't seem to have a coherent strategy as far as footnote use.  Sometimes the footnotes had interesting or funny side tidbits of information that were worth reading, but not really essential to the plot, but others seemed to be less well edited paragraphs that would have  easily fit in the main narrative with a bit of work.  Not a huge issue, but distracting enough when I had to think about whether to break the flow of the paragraph to read the footnote or not.  I'd rather more consistency, so I know whether to skip them or read them.