Please be forewarned that I am writing full of endorphines. I ran so hard yesterday at the track doing my test that I am still high! Generally, the insane quantities of endorphines make me overly excited, positive, and optimistic - all of this might cause some people want to strangle me. But that's the bliss of blogging. They can't reach me! Ha!
That excitement also means that I mistype and sometimes skip whole words when I write. That's why I refrain from writing right after I run. My post-running updates to my coach show just how stupid I get from endorphines. I skip words, transpose letters, and generally don't make sense. I bet, when she reads my updates, she fights strong urges to just offer me a large sum of money so that I would leave her alone.
Anywhoooo, yesterday's test. A beautiful running test where you run 1.5 miles as hard as you can with the main objective of re-setting my heart rate zones that have been set too low so far. And they were set too low because - of course - of yours truly. I'm a genius, and you can't beat that.
I'm actually starting to think that I should rename this blog into "Lessons Learned", "Learn From My Mistakes", or "My Screw Ups". Oh, wait, even better - "Shaped by Screw Ups".
Ok, enough of self-esteem boosting.
So, here are the two mistakes I made that led to an inaccurate first HR test: 1) I used my heart rate monitor right out of the box and I didn't wet the sensors before using it. That makes a huge difference. If you are new to running with an HRM (heart rate monitor), use it a couple of time before doing any tests, and, more importantly, make sure to remember to wet the sensors. A splash of water or your saliva will work just fine. 2) I used Garmin to time myself. This screw up does not really relate to heart rate zones, but it definitely painted a much brighter picture at the time than it really was. At the time, the track was occupied by these silly youths playing soccer who were very inconsiderate of track etiquette. But since I was the only person running on the track (and I am not sure I was allowed there), I didn't have much pull to convince them to move all of their bags, trash cans, and spectators to free up the first and second lanes. So, I ran mainly in outer lanes. To see how fast I was running, I used my Garmin. Yesterday, I got to run in the inside lane, and the mile pace recorded by Garmin compared to my actual mile pace on the track was much faster! I wonder if Garmin gets confused when you run in circles.
I did get a little bit faster, though. If you compare apples to apples, my Garmin mile pace during the first test was 6:25, and this time it was 6:20. Or, if you compare oranges to oranges, yesterday my actual track pace (running in the inside lane) was about 6:40 while during the last test it was probably slightly over 7 mins/mile (guessing since I ran on the outside lanes and used Garmin to time myself). A month of training has paid off!