Dear Mid-Week Long Run

Dear Mid-Week Long Run,

You got me! I didn’t really want to do my long run mid week but life had me moving you around to another day. There would be no Sunday Runday. No early Saturday morning run like last week. No running in my sneakers this weekend!

My alarm was set for 5 am but my body woke up at 4:45 so I went with it. I had all my gear lined out and even a half a peanut butter sandwich and bottle of water waiting for me. I didn’t want to bonk on my run so I had to fuel myself with something.

I got dressed in the dark to avoid waking my husband – though I may have woken him. I snuck down the hallway, pass our daughter’s bedrooms trying not to wake them. I also hit every creak in our floor and thought for sure I’d wake up our dog and my long run plan would go out the door.

I laced up my sneakers on the deck in the cool morning air (12c) and questioned my compression socks, short-shorts and neon yellow t-shirt. Then I remembered that my body temperature would rise quickly and I’d be just fine.

Off I went with my husband’s headlamp (it’s better then mine) because I’ve misplaced my Night Runner lights (sad day). As I ran out of my subdivision, I’m pretty sure the truck that passed me thought he was seeing a ghost because who runs at 5:30 am for fun???

I continued on our main road along the sidewalk with my headlamp beating down on the ground in front of me. A handful of cars on the road, potentially shaking their heads at me “what is she doing?”. My pace was way too fast (6:20/km) and I was hoping that regret wouldn’t set in later in my run.

I ran and thought of nothing and everything. As a crossed the roads and picked my path to take, I found myself at a good hill that challenges me. Yes, I ran up it and back down. I slowly took out my GU that I found in the dark – dang… salted watermelon! I could have sworn I picked out chocolate outrage, my favourite. I downed the salted watermelon and some water and kept running.

Runner’s should never do math while running, it’s almost impossible. There I was, trying to calculate my estimate time of arrival at home as my husband had to hit the road for work. I said I’d be back by 7:15. I had 15 minutes to run 3k but my legs were getting tired. Somehow, I managed to pick up the pace and climb that last hill home.

Once I got home, I grabbed our dog’s leash and yelled up the stairs that I’d be back in 13 minutes. My math work had calculated that it would take me roughly 12-13 minutes so I went with 13. I still had another 2k to run plus get a walk in with my dog before my husband left. Genius idea – run your dog for 2k. Carmacks is a retired sled dog, so he’s all for running and that he did. Our first km together was 6:05/km – whoops!. We settled down for our second km at 6:18/km. My legs were on fire but I finished my 16k long run by 7:20 am.

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Long run, you don’t get off that easy – the layers of salt on my face and sweat all over me washed off quickly in the shower but oh you decided to surprise me with chaffing! My heart rate monitor left a nice little mark behind but it was my left hip that really surprised me. Apparently, my belt shifted a little and the water in the shower notified me of the chaffing by screaming in pain – you all know that feeling.

I stretched, ate a quick breakfast and got the girls out the door (my husband fed them and got them ready for the day) and I, off to work. I sat and stood at my desk throughout the day and only started to crash around 2:30 pm. A little walk around the town and I was good for the rest of the afternoon.

I just had to make it to 8pm (or around there) as my youngest daughter had a soccer event that would have us on our feet for a few hours. Mid week long run – you were a good one. Now let’s hope this weekend’s soccer tournament (in the rain) treats me just as good.

Cheers,

Another Mother Runner.

Ever switch up your long runs to mid week?

Cooler temps in the morning for you or still hot and humid?

Ever try to do math while running?

I’m linking up today with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!

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Long Weekend Friday Five

Oh, the glorious May 2-4 weekend is here! Monday is Victoria Day (celebrating the Queen’s birthday) so I took today off to  have an extra long weekend.

This is one of my favourite weekends as I usually run the Bluenose Marathon but not this year! I might have a little FOMO (fear of missing out) going on but I’m trying to focus on other things this weekend.

May 2-4 weekend

I’m excited that my youngest is doing her Primary orientation today…woah! I can’t believe she’s going to school in September, however she is ready for the change. She is so excited to be going to school today. I, on the other hand am writing this post before I have to take her so I can stay awake! I had a horrible sleep last night – it was well after 3:30 when I fell asleep! I’m hoping for a short nap while she’s at school.

I mentioned the infamous Bluenose Marathon is this weekend. Both girls are running the 2k kids run which means I’ll be running it with them. I love seeing how many people are there as parents can run with their kids!

Last year’s Bluenose Kids Run:

Kids Bluenose Run 2016

I have a 15k long run today and I’m really looking forward to it! I think that’s a good sign I picked the right race (June 18th) for me this spring. I’m hoping to do my long run with my husband which makes it even better. We’ll see if we can find someone to watch the girls.

My ankle is acting up a bit from the increased running I guess so I need to figure that one out. I wish I could find my own cupping set to massage out the pain I’m feeling. I’m not going to let it bother me this weekend. Positive thinking.

The girls have swimming lessons on Sunday (one of the reason I chose not to run Bluenose) but I’m hoping we’ll get out biking! It would be great to get the girls out on the trail but the bugs are just starting up so we’ll see if they’ll been keen.

That’s what I’m looking forward to this May long weekend! Oh and maybe a little BBQing, enjoying some of my Mother’s Day wine (Tidal Bay) and having all four of us home! Monday will be an bonus day with the girls since my husband has to work.

What are you up to this weekend?

Are you taking advantage of the May long weekend (if applicable)?

Anyone have any strategies to avoid FOMO?

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I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!

Seven Eighteen AM

That’s what time my alarm when off this morning. Hummm….

I was supposed to get up at 5:45 AM but apparently I set my alarm wrong 😦 The plan was to be up and out of the house around 6:15 AM to start my long run of fourteen kilometres. The girls are away at their Grandparents house and my husband had left for work at 5:15 for work.

My first reaction was SHIT, I was supposed to do my long run I missed the day before (due to lack of sleep and pain in my hip (SI Joint). Meh….I’ve got nothing else going on so I decided I’d get ready and head out for my run.

Though I was slow getting ready, I got out the door at 8:06….but ran back in as I forgot to put body glide on my legs. Never trust a pair or short-shorts in the summer heat when you’ve got thunder thighs.

I restarted my Green Garmin for the second time and off I went with the plan of running 14k. I’d run out 8k and then run back a slightly different direction to get home for 14k. My pace was great (for me) around 6:22 for the first few kilometres and then slowed down a bit.

Super sweaty run.

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The sun was out and it was H-O-T!!!! Unsure of the temperature, I did my best to stay hydrated with the two bottles (one water, one Nuun) and enjoy the few shady breaks I got from some trees here and there.

Maritime Race Weekend half marathon is super hilly (in my mind) so I  decided to run an extra hill on the way out…nailed it! I kept going towards a double hill…you know, once you get to the top of the first one you have to keep going as there is another incline you couldn’t see at the bottom of the first hill. Fun times!

At the half way point and I took advantage of more shade and ran into a subdivision for 1 minute and back out again. Chews and gu’s were consumed. The heat was building even more and I decided to do that hill again on the way back. Nailed it too 🙂

After that I took more walking breaks as the heat was just getting to me however, my legs just felt great and my pace was still consistent (minus the walk breaks). At some point I decided to keep running past the short way home and run 16k. I did a little more walking during those last two kilometres but I was fine with that.

I even scouted out a sprinkler to run in however, I decided it was too far onto the person’s property for me to run though…too bad. I made it home and finished in 1:46 with a 6:36/km pace. That felt good.

Splits July 24th running

I quickly went to our back yard and turned on the sprinkler (remember, the girls aren’t around). I didn’t care I was on my own and I just stood in the sprinkler for a good 10 minutes cooling down. After that I sat and stretched which turned into a yoga session on the deck in the sun.

Oh how I love long runs again!

How far is too far to run through a sprinkler on someone else’s lawn?

Anyone run today? Hot run, cool run?

When’s the last time your alarm didn’t go off and your run started much later then expected?

Johnny Miles Half Marathon Training Week 10

It’s hard to believe that I only have two more weeks to go for this training cycle and then it’s race time! It’s been a journey to get to week 10 and I’m sure looking forward to the next few weeks and then a little recovery time before I start training for my 5th half marathon in September.

Last week during many runs, I just felt like I didn’t have it in me to go any distance. I struggled. I questioned myself. I even thought I wasn’t enjoying running anymore *shocker*. Not sure why I was feeling this way and why I was struggling ……

What was Planned vs. What Really Happened:

Monday May 30th: Stretch & Strengthen | Nothing or Active Rest Day. Really, I shouldn’t say nothing, as I spent 4.5 hours Monday evening at a Soccer Coaching Clinic. I’m getting back into coaching after many years off and starting with the U4 team my youngest will play on. We did some running around, short sprints and ball work. It was enough to increase my heart rate and sweat…so I’ll call this an active rest day.

Tuesday: 8k | 6k Treadmill Run. This wasn’t good. I wanted to run outside but when I got home my husband had picked up a shift at work. Good for him and really it was okay because I still had a treadmill I could use. I just struggled with this run. I’m pretty sure at some point during each kilometer I had to take a break. I wasn’t loving it and stopped at 6.12 km.

Wednesday: 45 minute Tempo Run | 8k in 49:50 Run. It was Global Running Day and I lost misplaced my Garmin and just used my every day Timex watch. Though I didn’t know my pace, I knew my overall time and the route I took. It was nice to run outside, thumbs up run.

global running day piper

Thursday: 5k + Strengthen | 5k + IronStrength. It was a double day workout and I had planned to run at lunch but just wasn’t feeling it. I jumped on the treadmill for a quick 5k and then had a 20 minute break until I started my IronStrength workout. I took a break to help my husband watch my husband put the bike rack on my car.

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I got back to doing the IronStrength workout and it was just as hard as the last time I did it. I’m pretty confident I said a few “F bombs” and lots of grunting to get through each rep. I still love this workout.

Friday: Rest Day | 22km Bike Ride. So, when your boss asks if you want to bike to a meeting, you don’t say no! There was a bicycling (Blue Route) announcement that our department had been involved in (I work in Physical Activity, Sport & Recreation). Instead of driving there, four of us biked over and it took about 45 minutes (11k) one way along the trail. A beautiful trail.

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Saturday: 8k | Rest Day. Taking it easy.

Sunday: 18k Long Run | run . My early morning long run plans were halted fast as I woke up feeling rather ill and went back to bed. I wasn’t sure if I’d even run any distance.

Once I had some food in me (two meals), I decided I’d attempt my long run. Knowing that my husband was home, I took my phone with me just in case I needed to be picked up along my route.

Eight-teen L-O-N-G kilometers by myself. In the afternoon heat (22C). Not feeling 100% What was I thinking? Well, I gotta get a run in, was what I was thinking.

The first 3k was rough but I just kept going along the secondary highway. Sidewalks, gravel/sandy paths and back to sidewalks. After all most getting hit by three cars in cross walks, I was happy to hit the 9k mark for the turn around.

I decided to run down a shady street since the heat was pounding down on me, thank goodness for visors and sunglasses. Instead of getting back on the secondary highway, I took the trail (rails to trails) all the way back home. It was great and shady in spots.

I ran into bikers, runners, walkers and 1 dam truck on the trail. Yup, a truck on a trail as it was cleaning up from a cycling event that morning. It’s all good as I heard it coming from both directions. I had some new adventures along this run that I’ll share with you another day.

The last three kilometers were a struggle but I got it done. 18k done for another week. So many thoughts, lessons learned and questioning my running in general. It all was washed away with happy kids and my husband when I arrived back at the house.

IMG_20160605_172548[1].jpgIf you’ve missed last week or want to catch up on my training, check out all the posts here: training plan, week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5, week 6, week 7, week 8, week 9Currently, I’m in week #11 and it started off not great with a missed workout yesterday and low motivation for tonight’s run.

KM run this week: 37 km

KM during this training cycle: 343 km

Overall: It was an okay week, I got in a good chunk of the mileage, loved the bike ride but am starting questioning my training/running.

In other news – my SI Joint seems to be the happiest it’s been in three months!!! I’m wondering if it’s the bike riding that helped it along?

How was your weekend? 

Anyone race, run or play outside?

What do you do when running becomes a physical struggle for you?

Johnny Miles Half Marathon Training Week 6

Half way done training!! I’m not sure what was going on last week but I just felt like I had no oomph in my runs. I did them, I was happy I did them, they were challenging which was great but I was just lacking oomph/excitement in them.

This week (#7) has started off rough as I’ve come down with some kind of stomach bug. I missed last night’s workout but I’m okay (so far) with that.

What Was Planned vs What Really Happened:

Monday May 2nd: Stretch & Strengthen | IronStrength Workout. Good workout. I’m not sure if this is getting easier but some of the exercises aren’t as hard. I’ve tried to add more reps per exercise but feeling like I need to change it up so I don’t get bored with it.

Got some new kicks (a while back) and starting to break them in!

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Tuesday: 6k | 6k  Treadmill runNothing magical happened on this run. It was boring but I was happy that I got it done. (40:01 on the treadmill)

Wednesday: 40 minute tempo run | 40:29 minute tempo run + CORE workOddly enough, I was a tad bit slower on this “tempo” run then Tuesday night’s run. I have no idea why as I felt I worked harder on this run then Tuesdays!

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Thursday: 5k + Strengthen | Rest Day. I just wasn’t feeling it after a long day so I decided not to run and take a rest day.

Friday: Rest Day | 5k .  I wanted to make up for it Thursday night’s missed run and strength training so I did 5k but skipped on the strength training.

Saturday: 7k | Rest Day. I’m not running 7k the day before a long run as I wanted fresh legs). After chaning the last few days up, I was going to do some yoga today but I was so busy with the girls (my husband was working) that I figured all the walking and activity we did was enough of an active rest day for me.

Sunday: 14k | 14k.  I was really looking forward to this run. I got up early and was out the door at 7:15 on Mother’s Day. I ran out on the main highway but decided to add in as many extra hills as I could. That ended up being 4 hills of various lengths and inclines.

It was a good run. I took a GU at 35 minutes and then at 1:02, ran 97% of the time, drank my Nuun and water just as I was finishing my run. The worst part of it was during the last 1/2 km as I pushed up the 5th hill (planned) and my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my body. I physically had to stop and walk to calm down. I was just feeling miserable all of a sudden.

I got home to my little family, stretched and showered. My second breakfast was being made for me…bacon, eggs and toast. Yes, my VEGAN husband made me BACON and EGGS with a little help from the girls.

May 14th run

About 2 hours post run I felt miserable. I made the girls lunch, plunked them in front of the TV (not something we’d normally do) and I took a power nap beside them. Later that afternoon I took the girls out for ice cream (Saï was sleeping as he had a night shift) and then to a school playground for a while. We got to spend a little time with Saï before he left for work and then had dinner with my parents. Lobster = yum!

I’m still feeling ill, like I’ve come down with a stomach bug. Super tired as I was up most of the night with Hilary (she’s got a head cold). So…as mentioned above, week 7 isn’t starting off great.

How’s Training Going? I’m pretty happy with my training so far. I’m feeling stronger even though last week wasn’t every motivating for me. I’m noticing a difference in my body, as in I’m toning up/shedding a pound or two. My pace is all over the place from 6:30 to 6:10 or 5:55/km depending on the day.

More importantly, I’m hamstring is feeling strong and my SI Joint is finally 98% happy due to foam rolling daily. I’m on the right track!

KM ran this week: 31 km

KM during training cycle: 227 km

If you missed week #5, check it out here.

How was your weekend?

Anyone race? Mother’s Day run?

 

 

Running: What I Love About Training

Training is a key piece to running a race, to compete in a duathlon or hitting the trio of a triathlon. It’s can be over looked, critical or it can become a normal part of your daily routine. Some people have a love-hate relationship with training or some don’t train at all. To each his/her own but for me, training is a critical part of running at race.

In case you missed last week’s post in the series, check out “What I Love About….Volunteering”.

What I Love About….Training

Running What I loved About

The Plan

For me the most important part of training is having a plan. There is no way I would run a race without training for it in one way or another. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gone out and run a 5k race without specific training and it wasn’t pretty. However, for those 5k races that I did have a training plan for, I did better and felt better afterwards.

So for me, it’s critical to have a good training plan, one that suits your needs not someone else’s. I’m a big fan of Hal Higdon’s training plans though I did use a different 10k training plan in 2014 that a co-worker (Iron Woman) gave me and I loved.

PR training plan 2015

I love printing the plan, marking the weekly dates on it and yes…crossing each day and week off my plan. There is some satisfaction after each “check mark”, after each week passes by until you are at the end of your plan with only your race day to go. Training plans are meant to be followed to a T or tweaked to meet your needs. I try to stick to my training plan as much as possible but know there are days when I need to switch things around or try something different.

Lessons learned: Put your training plan in a place that you will see it every day. For me, it was the fridge – at eye sight.

Variety.

There are so many training plans out there that can suit your needs. Maybe you can only run 3 days a week or maybe you want to run 150 km a week (oh my goodness!) – there is a plan out there for you.

I loved the variety I had in my training plans. This past year I went for Hal’s Novice 2 half marathon plan vs his Intermediate plan I used the year before and I LOVED IT!. I loved having two rest days on Monday and Friday. I loved having my long runs on Saturday and I loved having a cross training day on Sunday.

There was no speed work, tempo runs or 400/800’s etc. However, I did managed to add those in once I got comfortable with running again. You see, those first few weeks for me was extremely hard running. Oh, I struggled with my 5k runs for a while but my body was just starting to recover from my hamstring injury.

Lesson learned: Make sure you have a good variety of workouts in your training. Don’t be afraid to change-up your workouts to add in more or less.

Weekly Updates.

Yes, I loved writing about my weekly runs here. Being a “running blogger” you tend to write a lot about your training or at least I sure did.

For me it was a way to look back and reflect; sometimes laugh or cry about the workouts I did or didn’t do. It gave me time to see where I was improving, where I was weak and always kept me focused on the final goal of completely my race. The biggest lesson for me as a blogger would be that I would become extremely motivated by other people’s comments. Encouragement, insight and new ways of doing something. It made me feel like I had access to a larger runner community because in reality people around the world would leave a comment.

Lesson Learned: Share your weekly training on whatever platform you use. It keeps you accountable and even better, it can motivate you to keep moving forward.

Training Log

I have the most old-fashioned log book – at least that’s how I feel. It’s not fancy, it’s not even a running book but a journal that I bought at Costco years ago for “something”. When I started running more in 2014 I wanted to log everything so I could keep track. I’m now on my way to having two year’s worth of running/workouts in my log book.

PR Running Log Book

It’s awesome to look back and see how many kilometres I’ve run each month, each year. It’s a little hard to look back at some months and see low…LOW…numbers and remember how much I was struggling physically with my hamstring. It’s been great to see what “cross-training” I’ve done and how that’s changed my running.

Lesson learned: You don’t always have to have an app for that! A simple log book can do the trick.

The Long Run:

Last but not least, “The Long Run” is by far my favourite part of training. I might even be able to write a blog post on this alone. The long run has many names: long slow distance {LSD} run, the dreaded run, the group run, the long haul or distance run. I’m sure I’m missing a few but you get the idea. It’s your once a week, long distance run at a slower pace than your tempo run or fartlek’s.

For me long runs where about getting focused. Setting out my gear the night before, jumping out of bed at 5 am with excitement {this skill was lacking during the work week} and eating the same “long run breakfast” week after week. Sometimes meeting up with my running buddy or a group of runners to pound the pavement or trails together. Sometimes it was about braving the darkness of the streets as the sun rose up on your own.

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Each long run is different from the last and I’m not just talking about the change in distance. Each week, you laced up and had no sweet clue what was really ahead of you. Would you run the same route, would you have to deal with a new blister or pain, would you end up running further than expected or would you want to call it quits because the heat of the rising temperature was just too much to handle?

The long run for me was a time to just “be”. It was a time to think about everything and nothing all at once. It was a time to talk to my running buddy about life. It was a time to appreciate those around you that support your journey, your goals and your accomplishments.

Yoga/Stretching post long run :)

The best part of my long run wasn’t always accomplishing the new distance but coming home to my family. The yells’ of “Mommy’s home” to “ewww, your sweaty Mom” to “you should go shower”…I’ll leave you to who said that one! Or the post run stretching sessions that the girls would end up doing and then it would turn into yoga on their own. And those days when you get back to your “second breakfast” … you know the one you didn’t think about but was made as you entered the doors to your house.

Lesson learned: Your long runs are key to your training – don’t skip them.

Worst Part of Training:

Being injured. Getting injured or having set back. The week before your BIG race and you injury yourself without knowing you did so can make all those weeks come crashing down around you. The “why me questions”, the “what did I do wrong” along with the frustration and disappointment. Injuries happen. They suck but life goes on.

I truly love training for races. It’s like a Christmas countdown where you give yourself the gift of an active lifestyle and then BAM celebrate all your hard work over whatever distance you are racing. You receive a medal for your race but really it’s also about those multiple weeks of training you put in. You eat “all the food” because you are so rungry you can’t even explain what rungry is at that point.

PR VHM Finish photo

You’ve trained, you completed your race, you’ve earned it!

Now…what’s next?!?!?!?

What’s your favourite part of training?

Do you love or hate long runs?

What’s your favourite training plan or go-to book/website? 

Last Long Run Before Two Races

Two weeks to go before I get to run my first half marathon this year….feels kinda surreal. Yesterday I did my last long training run on my own.

Normally I would follow my Hal Higdon plan for everyone long run which would have had me running 19k next weekend. However, I’m pacing the 10k at Valley Harvest Marathon next Sunday, I thought I would just add-on another 6-8k after pacing the race. I decided my body would probably benefit from a little taper and I’d stick with just pacing the 10k at 7 minutes/km or an hour and 10 minute finish.

Let me tell you about my long run yesterday…..

First I have to tell you about Friday night as it will come in handy later on! Actually, it started with lunch. Saï met me at my work and we went for lunch: Thai Food…delish! Hours later, I made pasta for the girls and baked sweet potatoes with cut up veggies, kidney beans and cheese on top (vegan cheese for Saï). I also had a kale salad for us. Once the girls went to bed we started to watch “McFarland”. After 45 minutes we cooked up a box of spring rolls and I shoved 2 pieces of left-over pizza in my mouth…apparently I was hungry. Oh …. we also had some wine; sangria to be exact.

Early in the morning my alarm sounded and I was up by 5:30 am. I did the bathroom thing, got dressed and ate a 1/2 a bagel with peanut butter. I was out the door at 6:04 and ready to run 17-18k on my own. It was extremely dark and felt a little dodgy. I had on my Night Runner 270 lights and my vest so I was seen by vehicles – most of my run was on the side of the road or on the sidewalk.

nightrunner270 lights

Around 25 minutes into the run there was a man on the other side of the road who noticed my lights {remember, it’s still extremely dark}.  As I came closer he walked across the street, didn’t even look to see if any cars were approaching and said something to me. I said good morning and kept running. After a little while my stomach started to rumble but went away just as fast…I thought nothing of it.

I took my “outrageous chocolate” GU around 7.5k and dropped the package in a garbage bin, took my vest off and turned might lights off. I kept running and decided to run up this hill and figured I turn around half way up it but I just kept running. It was a kicker, that’s for sure. My stomach rumbled a few more times but I just kept running.

Between 13-14k, I heard the honk of a car beside me but couldn’t figure out who it was. It was my friend Jolene in her husband’s car. Once I recognized her, the look of horror was washed off my face with what I hope was a friendly/surprised smile. It’s always fun to see people on your run when you don’t expect it.

oct 3 run

As I got closer to home my stomach got worse but I thought I could wait until I got home. I crossed the street when there was a lull in traffic instead of waiting for the cross walk signs to change. I was so close to home…. about 1.2km to be exact. I had to walk. Not sure why, but I did for a few steps and then figured it was a silly choice so close to being done.

I had to climb up one more hill and it killed me but I managed to keep running at the top to recover. I finished 18k about two streets out from my house and walked back for a little cool down. My stomach was feeling fine at this point. As I entered the house and went up stairs I was greeted by the girls and Sai. I sat down to stretch with Hilary and after one stretch I ran fast for the bathroom. Well……..let’s just say I’m so glad I was home! No more wine or tones of food the night before a long run or my upcoming races!

I’m getting excited and nervous for PEI Half Marathon 🙂 Now I’m just going to enjoying my few runs/workouts this week, look forward to pacing next Sunday and celebrating {Canadian} Thanksgiving dinner too.

Ever have stomach issues when running?

Garmin (or other GPS users) – do you look at your splits after your run?

What’s your favourite feature on your GPS unit?