For my birthday I asked for funds towards a new watch or garmin thinking maybe if I was going to be some sort of serious runner I should get one. I wasn't sure how I really felt about technologicalizing (yes, it is a word - in our house at least) my running. For years all I've had is a watch and my sense of self to gauge how fast I'm running or how far I've gone. So instead of the funds - which I probably would've spent elsewhere, my mom & dad got me the Forerunner 405 with heart rate monitor. I am now very afraid of what is in store. I know that I'm bound to develop a compulsion boderlining addiction to the thing. I'll be monitoring my pace, how far I've gone constantly; So constantly I'll probably trip and smash my face onto the pathway at somepoint. Then maybe I won't be so obsessed with the mountains of data it can provide.

My first Garmin workout actually wasn't a run. It was a suffering. A great measure of fitness is your heart rate. I thought what better way to log some stats on my current fitness that I can eventually compare against. So I suffered to Revolver - a hard core interval workout. A good measure of fitness is recovery - or how long it takes to recover from a super intense 10/10 effort. Revolver was just the workout to do that with 16 one minute work efforts each followed by one minute of recovery. I chose to add in an extra two minutes recovery after four intervals because I know this workout, it's damn tough and I know the extra rest would get me through it.

In setting up my garmin it asked for Max Heart Rate - having no idea what this was going to be I set it for 185 bpm thinking that was a pretty good effort on my part and that I would likely hit but not likely exceed that rate. Wrong. My garmin beeped at me continuously during my one minute work efforts. I hit a heart rate of 199 bpm. Standard formula for max HR is 226-age, so for me, 196 bpm. I have since changed my max HR to 205 thinking I won't likely hit this - but if I do it'll mean I'm just about to black out so somebody better come catch me. A few years back (like six maybe) I had my VO2 max tested. I can't remember my level but I know that at that time my max HR was deemed to be 208 bpm. My fitness level compared to now was different. I was doing more heavy lifting and less distance running. I'd love to have it done again some day - maybe this time I'll even run until I black out completely and fall off the treadmill. Using a baisc formula of 15(max heart rate-resting heart rate) my VO2 number is somewhere between 60 and 65 today. The average untrained female: 35. So pretty good - and it could get better. But as I can't measure VO2 max accurately at home I can only rely on my recovery numbers. So the plan is to do this same workout measuring my heart rate every two to three weeks. What I hope to see is faster recovery times of my heart rate after my all out efforts.

Tomorrow I'll summarize the month of March and let you know what's planned for April.

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