Outdoor running and Oreo cake

The weather has been so beautiful here that I went for my first outdoor run Friday after work. I was pretty nervous about it, since everybody has told me that running outside is way harder than running on the treadmill. I was glad that I found the opposite to be true – maybe it was the fact that there was a breeze to cool me off or that the scenery distracted me from my pain, but I felt great and did a 4.5-mile run on Friday and then another 7.5 miles on Sunday. I pretty much never want to run on a treadmill again.

03.18.13 Running gear

In addition to my brand new Asics Gel Kayano 18 running shoes (which are like running on a cloud), I broke out the Timex Ironman Road Trainer heart rate monitor that I got for Christmas. Because I have a heart condition that causes tachycardia, my doctor told me it’s important that I monitor my heart rate recovery when exercising. Normally I use the little hand monitor things on the treadmill, but now that I’m running outside I’ll be relying on this monitor. The chest strap is super comfortable and doesn’t chafe at all, but it took me like half an hour just to figure out how to record a workout. I still don’t know how to set the date and time, which is why it is showing that it’s December 10 in that picture up there.

Once you record a workout, you can review your highest, lowest and average heart rate as well as calories burned. However, I quickly realized that the calorie function only works if you’re a normal person. My pulse averages in the 180s when I run thanks to my stupid defective heart, so the monitor says I burn about twice as many calories as I really do. I wish my watch was right and that I really did burn 1,600 calories running 7.5 miles – I’d definitely feel less guilty about eating a giant slice of Oreo cake Friday night. And again on Saturday. And a third time on Sunday. I’d eat another one tonight if the two of us hadn’t eaten the whole damn cake in three days. From now on when people ask why I run, I’m just going to say, “Oreo cake.”

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