17M in wind, sun, rain and hail

Today was my day off work, and I’d arranged to run with done of the girls who are running the Belfast Marathon for Brightest Star.

I drove past my work on the way to Bella and felt a bit smug as I passed my boss’s boss turn tight into work. 🙂

17 miles we had planned and Jackie, Tina, Cat and Lesley met me at about 9am at Bella. We ran from Bella down towards the BBC, where I passed a colleague who was walking to work. It’s good to be off work and what better way to spend the morning than running 17 miles with friends?

We ran up Crow Rd, down Gt Western Rd, down KelvinWay, along Argyle Street, Jamaica St, then up towards Nithsdale Rd.

There I made a mistake and missed out Nithsdale rd, ending up shortening the route slightly by going straight to Pollok Park. Out Pollok park, through a massive deep puddle in the deepest darkest Forrest… Then home to Bella, adding a bit on at the end to get us up to 17 miles.

For some of the girls, it’s their first marathon, and today’s run was the longest they’ve ever done. So well done to them. 😀

It was a bit blustery out, the sun was out at bits, but so was the rain, sleet and snow at parts. They joys of marathon training in the Spring, you get all weathers. My Cap, and compression top and gloves and gillet did me well. Water and 2 x caffeine gels too.

I was glad to be using my new Garmin, just getting used to it. My new Garmin 620 with HRM-Run arrived yesterday (ordered from wiggle) and I knew I’d love it. Wifi, Bluetooth, lots of new clever features.

I’d set up the clever live track where you take your phone with you (in my water pack) then you can email people or put your run live on Facebook. Very clever.

The new metrics are pretty cool. The Garmin 620 works out your VO2 max, which is basically how well you use oxygen. The higher the number, the better.

> ‘VO2 (or oxygen consumption) is a measure of the volume of oxygen that is used by your body to convert the energy from the food you eat into the energy molecules’

Mine was 46, which is apparently very good for my sex and age group – see the wee measure, I’m in the blue section. But that’s only with one run, so I’ll be interested to see how it changes the more runs I do.

It has a clever ‘race predictor’ too, which predicts your race times for 5ks, 10ks, halfs and marathons. It’ll also be interesting to see how this changes too with more runs.

After a run, it also recommends hoe long your recover should be. It said 34 hours after my run, so about 10pm on Saturday night. Clever, and I’d usually have a days rest after a long run.

So there we have it, a good 17 miles. Avg HR 138. Garmin training effect 4.0.

It was cool to see some more running metrics too: stride length: 96cm, oscillation 7.4cm, cadence: 172, ground contact time 283ms. All of these things are measures you can aim to improve upon should you wish. Here’s a guide from Garmin to the ranges for the measures:

So I’m ok for most of them but there might be room for improvement. 🙂

All in all, I’m very impressed with my new gadget. And the colours are even growing on me.

Finally the Bluetooth was good. I got in my car, opened my phone and the Garmin app up, and it all synced seemlessly. There was our run, all uploaded, without a computer, without ANT+ All in all very cool indeed. 🙂

We got back to Bella and were inside (stretching and consuming chocolate milk – yum) and the heavens opened. Wind and hailstorms. We were lucky we missed it. 🙂

If you’re thinking of getting a Garmin 620, I’d recommend you read this review by dc rainmaker: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/11/garmin-forerunner-review.html

…and if you want the extra running metrics (oscillation etc) remember you’ll end to buy the one with the HRM-Run. Wiggle or amazon will probably have the cheapest offers on. . . . . .

Last thing is if you’d like to sponsor us to run the Belfast marathon, for brightest star, please go here:
https://www.justgiving.com/brighteststar-belfast/ every penny appreciated. In memory of Jack Kennedy and to provide support to bereaved families. 🙂

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