The Green Girl Has Moved

I decided I wanted to start a new blog. I hope you guys will join me in my new ‘home’. I hope this will help breathe some new life into my blogging. Between injuries, ill-fitting shoes and sickness, I haven’t been running and it’s been a real damper on my writing.

I’m still in the process of cherry picking some posts to bring them over.

Hope to see you all there!

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Seven-Week Schedule for Returning from Injury

Thank you so much, Tricotine, for letting me know about Pete Pfitzinger’s Seven-Week Schedule for Returning from Injury.

Depending on how my ankle feels, I’m going to start following this program in the next few weeks.

Seven-Week Schedule for Returning from Injury

Walk 10 min, Run 5 min, Walk 5 min, Run 5 min Run in water or other training Run in water or other training Walk 5 min,Run 5 min,Walk 5 min,Run 5 min,Walk 5 min,Run 5 min Run in water or other training Run in water or other training Walk 3 min, Run 7 min, Walk 3 min, Run 7 min, Walk 3 min, Run 7 min
Run in water or other training Walk 2 min, Run 8 min, Walk 2 min, Run 8 min, Walk 2 min, Run 8 min Run in water or other training Run 10 min, Walk 2 min,Run 10 min, Walk 2 min,Run 10 min Run in water or other training Run 12 min, Walk 2 min, Run 12 min, Walk 2 min, Run 10 min Run in water or other training
Run 15 min, Walk 2 min, Run 15 min Run in water or other training Run 20 min, Walk 2 min, Run 10 min Run in water or other training Run 25 min Run in water or other training Run 30 min
Run in water or other training Run 25 min Run 30 min Run in water or other training Run 25 min Run 35 min Run in water or other training
Run 30 min Run 35 min Run in water or other training Run 30 min plus 6 x 100 meter stridouts Run 30 min Run 40 min Run in water or other training
Tempo Run (15 min warm-up, 15 min @ 15 km race pace) Run 30 min Run 45 min Run in water or other training Run 40 min plus 6 x 100 meter strideouts Run 30 min Run 50 min
Run in water or other training Run 35 min Tempo Run (15 min warm-up, 20 min @ 15 km race pace) Run 35 min Run in water or other training Run 40 min plus 6 x 100 meter strideouts Run 55 min

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The Green Girl’s Inaugural Run

The Green Girl sported her Obama-Biden t-shirt on her run today in honor of Obama’s presidential inauguration.

Unfortunately, my run had to be cut extremely short because I couldn’t take the heat. I struggled to run 2.94 miles and couldn’t even find it in me to make it an even 3. I had to keep stopping in the shade to cool off.

It was so hot that I sacrified 18 grams of carbohydrates to drink 10 ounces of Gatorade. I hate sacrificing my precious carbohydrates on beverages because I feel like it’s such a waste.

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Gold Standard 100% Whey Variety Pack

The Green Girl struggles to keep her calorie count high but her carbohydrates low.

I know there is some controversy surrounding the usage of protein powders but I find protein shakes really help keep me full when I’m hungry but my carbohydrate count is too high for the day. For instance, if you look at my food log for today, you will see I have already consumed 124 grams of carbohydrates. Granted, I could have saved myself 26 grams had I used water instead of non-fat milk to make my protein shake but I really prefer the taste when it’s made with milk.

I always get Gold Standard 100% Whey in either French Vanilla Crème or Double Rich Chocolate but they came out with a 16 Flavor Variety Pack.

I’m going to review each of the flavors. I always mix 16 ounces of non-fat milk with 30.4 grams of the protein powder. I use my favorite BlenderBottle to mix it up.

Flavor Like or Dislike? Review
Banana Cream
Caramel Toffee Fudge
Chocolate Malt
Chocolate Mint
Cookies and Cream
Delicious Strawberry
Double Rich Chocolate Like This was the first flavor I ever tried after a recommendation from a coworker. It’s thicker than chocolate milk so it has the consistency of a cold hot chocolate.
Extreme Milk Chocolate
French Vanilla Crème Like This one tastes like a vanilla smoothie.
Mocha Cappuccino Like I couldn’t taste the mocha so it just tasted like a less rich Double Rich Chocolate.
Orange Cream Like Tasted like a really bland Orange Julius.
Rocky Road So-So Tastes like watered-down chocolate milk with marshmallows.
Root Beer Float So-So Tasted vaguely like the root beer after all the ice cream has melted.
Strawberry Banana
Tropical Punch
Vanilla Ice Cream

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The Green Girl Discovers Podcasts

When the Green Girl began the Cool Running Couch-To-5k Running Plan, a lot of people recommended downloading podcasts from Robert Ullrey. Ullrey’s podcasts follow the weekly program so instead of having to follow the beeps on your watch to alternate between your run/walk intervals, you can simply listen to the techno music and he announces the changes for you.

Um, see, I assumed the “pod” in podcasts referred to a proprietary file format for iPods. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the files were available in MP3 format. I also downloaded some mixes from DJ Steve Boyett.

When Carrie mentioned she enjoying “getting to know people” through their podcasts, I was puzzled. I didn’t understand how listening to techno music helped her “meet” people. Carrie gently explained she was referring to podcasts put out by various runners that are essentially audio blogs. She recommended I check out Running Podcasts.

I finally got around to downloading some podcasts last night in preparation for a long road trip I had to make today. Phedippidations appeared to be the most popular running podcast so I downloaded a few episodes. Endurance Base Camp also got good reviews so I decided to check out the most recent podcast on hydration and the role of sodium. Unrelated to running (or triathlons), I downloaded some podcasts on network security from Steve Gibson from Gibson Research Corporation (GRC).

I started off with Steve Runner’s Phedippidations Fdip163: Running Clubs. He did a little skit where he is visited by the “Ghost of Marathons Past.” It was really entertaining. I must admit that I did lose some interest when he started rambling on and on about all the running club options across the country. That’s when I forwarded my player to the Endurance Base Camp podcast. (Sorry, Carrie, I noticed he listed in his show links but I missed whatever he said about you because I got bored!) The timing was perfect because I was listening to Steve Gibson discuss prioritizing bandwidth when I got home.

I really enjoyed my little foray into the world of podcasts. Thank you so much, Carrie, for turning me on to this!

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Garmin Forerunner 405 with Heart Rate Monitor Review

Before I get into my review of the Garmin Forerunner 405, I must admit I had a hard time deciding between the older Forerunner 305 model and the newer 405.

I knew I wanted either the 305 or 405 because I wanted the heart rate monitor (HRM). Yes, I will openly admit that the fair superior color options of the 405 did make it more attractive in the cosmetic sense, but the Green Girl is also a fairly practical girl and I wanted a device that would be easy to use while running, accurate and reliable. I also want to mention if cost was a factor, I would have gone with the 305 without hesitation.

The most common complaint about the 405 was the fact that the bezel is rendered useless when it gets wet. There were quite a few negative reviews on Amazon mentioning this problem. The Marathon Mama actually contacted Garmin about this issue and posted an amusing blog entry about the ordeal. I had already purchased Drylyte Wristbands to wear underneath my future Forerunner because my skin not only sweats like crazy but is also extremely sensitive. Like I mentioned in my watch review, I can only wear fabric bands. Since I went for a really short run today and it wasn’t raining, my Forerunner remained dry and functional. I’ll update this review when it actually gets wet because I’m hesitant to dunk it in my sink just for testing purposes.

I had to plug my Forerunner in and let it charge for 3 hours before I could start playing with it. You charge the Forerunner using with this clip with 2 metal pins that make contact with 2 metal prongs in the back of the watch. The display lets you know if it’s charging or not and when it’s complete so there’s no guesswork involved. Devices that communicate with me make me happy.

When you turn it on for the first time, it immediately goes through an initial setup. The nice thing about the startup “wizard” is that you get a quick tutorial on how to use the device. You also set preferences like time zone and whether or not there is a HRM present. The Forerunner detected the presence of the HRM right away and the ♥ appeared on the display. The instruction manual says you need to wet the HRM’s contact points before it will work but I did not find that to be the case. I strapped it just below my sports bra line and worked just fine. It also acquired the satellite signals almost immediately.

I had expected the Forerunner to ship with a detailed manual but instead it comes with a fairly thin, CD-ROM sleeve-sized booklet.

It took me a couple of hours to really master the bezel. At first, I thought you had to touch and rotate from the 3 o’clock position back to 12 to move up one item and from 12 to 9 o’clock to move down but then I realized you could touch and rotate anywhere on the bezel. It’s simply the notches clockwise or counterclockwise that drive the menu. I changed the “sensitivity” level to low because at the default medium setting, I kept accidentally doing things I didn’t want to do.

The menus are really intuitive and it’s easy to get the hang out of once you scroll through them a few times.

I also learned really quickly that it’s a good idea to lock the bezel by clicking the 2 buttons on the right simultaneously so you don’t accidentally tap it. I kept putting it down on the bed to read the manual and it was scrolling through menus and making changes all by itself.

The backlight is amazing. When lit, the display is crisp and easy to read. I’m looking forward to taking it out for a night or early morning run.

I downloaded and installed the Garmin Training Center and inserted the USB ANT stick into my computer. The ANT Agent immediately detected my Forerunner and displayed a unique number and asked me if I wanted to pair. I selected “Yes” and then my Forerunner displayed the same number and I clicked “Yes” to complete the process. Unfortunately, after that initial agreement, they stopped communicating with each other. I rebooted my computer several times and even reset the Forerunner to factory defaults and the same thing kept happening. The computer would detect the Forerunner as soon as I reset it but then it would time out. Finally, I uninstalled the software and it worked flawlessly.

One thing to note about the Forerunner 405 is that it does not have an off/on button (the 305 does). It simply goes into a power save mode and functions like a normal watch. To take it out of this mode, you can click the side button.

One feature I’m really excited about is “Auto Pause” because it pauses the clock when you stop moving. This is going to be great when I run in the city and have to wait for traffic lights. This morning, when I was out on my run, I stopped to take a picture and Auto Pause kicked in. When I put away my camera and continued my run, it started the clock again.

It was easy to use when I was out on my run. As I started jogging, I tapped the side button to take it out of sleep mode and then my finger on the “Training” portion of the bezel and then hit the “Start/Stop” button to start the timer. I was pleased to see how effortless it was to get it going.

I had set the Forerunner to Auto Scroll so as I ran, it toggled between the main screen with my distance, speed and time and the heart rate screen. You can personalize the screens to display the data that is most important to you. There are 35 data fields to choose from and you can have a total of 9 fields displayed across the 3 screens.

When I got home, I powered on my laptop and the ANT+Sport technology transferred the data as soon as Windows booted up. I was really impressed by how easy it was.

As far as battery life, I played with it non-stop since I got it yesterday and it was down to 10% battery life when I got home this afternoon. When it’s less of a novelty, I’ll be interested to see how long it lasts.

If you are considering the 405 but not sure about the HRM, you can purchase the HRM strap at a later date and it will work with the basic model.

I’ll do a review of the Virtual Training Partner when I figure out how to use it.

Update 12.14.08:

  • To keep my Garmin from going into Sleep Mode when I was still running, I disabled the Timeout setting in the Training Options menu.
  • There was light rain pretty much the entire time I was out on my run yesterday (about 2 hours). I locked the bezel to avoid any problems and it seemed to work just fine. I did wipe the rain drops off it from time to time.

Update 01.11.08:

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The Green Girl Has A Green Garmin Forerunner 405!

I am one happy Green Girl! Whoo hoo!

My family got me a green Garmin Forerunner 405 with heart rate monitor (HRM). It arrived today from my favorite online store, ZombieRunner. Did I mention it’s green?

I am absolutely giddy with excitement. I cannot wait to take it out for a run tomorrow morning.

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