Tag Archives: garmin

three months on

Well, I did manage to mix things up a bit during Winter, then got stuck into Spring training and the Unitec Run & Walk Series.

A quick recap, over the last three months I:

  • replaced my Garmin FR70 with a FR220, which is amazing! Especially love the mapping feature. Did have a slight battle with NZ Customs who were trying to incorrectly charge me, but I got it eventually.
  • dropped my 5km time down to 24.20 from 25.26, then six weeks later down to 24.16. I missed a few speed sessions this TempoFit season so was thrilled to smash my previous time. Definitely started to feel the heat at the end of the season. Time for shorts I think.

Waiheke Weekend

  • made it to the start line of the four remaining Unitec Run & Walk Series (even if I dropped down to the one-lap event most times). They had a tough run with the weather this year but the events were well run as per usual. I’m not sure where the fast ladies were this series as I managed a few high placings.
  • trained on the Auckland Half Marathon course and enjoyed some of the North Shore beaches.

Narrowneck Beach

  • attended a Nike Training Club event. Wow, was such a good workout but very, very tough.

Nike Training Club @ Britomart

  • improved my Sir Barry Curtis Park 16km time by fifteen minutes from last year. Such a confidence boost, I was able to run the 16km strong despite awful weather (half the course in biting wind and rain, the other half in sun and too hot!) and still feel good at the finish.
  • trained hard and am all set for the Auckland Half Marathon next weekend!
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twelve and up

Well. #50daysofwinterrunning has felt like it has become 50 days of trying to avoid the awful weather (since when is Auckland crazy windy?!) and keep all the cold germs at bay. I did take the opportunity to pop outside from work and get some sun and fresh air the other day but nearly froze in the wind!

freezing in the wind

So, there may not have been too much planned running actually being completed but recently I have…

… finished the Run Auckland 10km at Western Springs. Turned out it was actually only 9.5km, but I still ran it much faster than my usual pace which gave me some confidence. Each of my four laps was quicker than the previous so for once my pacing was spot on! I started alongside the 5:30min/km pacer but quickly decided I could push it a bit more and I am glad I did. Also learnt a good lesson that no matter how chilly I think it is, Auckland only requires a singlet or t-shirt in a race.

… completed an awesome long run through the suburbs to the west of the city. It was nice to mix things up a bit, although we ended up running 1.5km more than expected. Not quite sure what happens but on my long slow runs my garmin often understates the distance (it measured 18km).

the long run that was longer than expected…

… started the Run Auckland Half Marathon in Orewa, and pulled out halfway through. I went along with my running buddy and she beat our 2 hour goal by a couple of minutes which was awesome. We turned up to find that there were no portaloos (really?!) and the only bathrooms were at the 5km mark. With race morning for once ‘going to plan’ I was very disappointed by this. I started a bit too fast to try get ahead to the bathrooms and remain on track, but this wash’t very successful. With the two weeks off previous due to a cold and my hip/IT band aching I decided it was smart to stop after one lap of the two lap course. It was the right decision and I enjoyed cheering on my various TempoFit buddies as they came through!

… ran the first event in the Unitec Run & Walk series at Mt Albert. I have signed up for the two lap series, and this weekend it was the 5km event. With only my parkrun times to go off, I had a goal in mind of 25 minutes. I didn’t quite get this, but finished in just under 25 1/2 minutes – which is still about 2 minutes faster than my parkrun times! I’m looking forward to getting back to TempoFit and doing some speed work to keep improving. I actually ended up as 3rd female out of 135 runners and walkers, which was a nice surprise when I checked the results yesterday afternoon.


a not so fast placing!








I’m now looking forward to the next four events in the Unitec Series and starting back at TempoFit next week. Motivation to run alone in the cold has been almost completely lacking!

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starting off 2014: albany lakes 10km (race one)

First event on the list for 2014 – the Albany Lakes 10km put on by ‘Running Events’. This is the first of a three part series in the lead-up to the Coatesville Classic Half Marathon in March.

This was held the same day as the Auckland 70.3 Ironman, so I was on the road early due to the various road closures. It was a beautiful day, and driving over the harbour bridge knowing the triathletes were just starting their swim in the viaduct was pretty cool.

With a start time of 8am, the sun was up and it was starting to get warm. The route was two laps of a 5km route, with people able to enter either the 5km or 10km event. Mainly on roads and footpath, with a little section on a dirt track, it felt really hot and I felt like I was working really hard.

pre-race photo  (source: Running Events Facebook page)

pre-race photo
(source: Running Events Facebook page)

At the end of the first lap I seriously considered calling it a day and being recorded as a 5km runner. Although I had run the 8km home from work earlier in the week, I just wasn’t sure I could do another five. I employed the usual tactic of self-talk along the lines of ‘suck it up and deal with it’ and managed to drag myself past the turn off point.

My Garmin was almost spot on with the distance markers which meant I could trust the pace it was giving me. With a goal of achieving a time less than an hour, I passed the half way mark with plenty of time to spare. I made it to the finish line in 56.02 and I was pretty happy with that.

After the 5km and 10km events, a 2km kids dash was held. This was awesome to watch, and the first kid to finish was a girl in just a tiny bit over 8 minutes – very speedy for an under-10 year old.


family entertainment!
(source: Running Events Facebook page)

I’m looking forward to the second event, and now I know the course I’ll be aiming for a 55 minute time. All good practice to maintain my race pace to finish Coatesville around the 2 hour mark.

I can definitely recommend this event – very friendly, not too expensive, good entertainment and easy to get to/park etc. The first male finished in 34 minutes and the first female in 42 minutes, so a good mixture of fun and serious runners!

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hills, heat & the harbour bridge – auckland half marathon 2013

That title pretty much sums up my Sunday.

My Saturday was awesome though – first Saturday sleep in for a long time (no training), followed by lunch in town with some other lovely runners! In order from left to right: Rachel who was doing the marathon (8 months post-baby = amazing), me, Vera who is currently injured but a hilarious writer and a race junkie, Sheryll who was running her first half (and has some exciting running events lined up!) and Jody who was planning to speed through the half (a superwoman who takes lots of lovely photos of my suburb during pre-dawn runs while I’m still sleepIng).


After my usual pasta dinner it was time for an early night, however this was when the triathelete decided we needed to figure out my pacing strategy. My plan was pretty much just ‘run somewhere around 5.40 – 5.50 min/km and finish under 2 hrs’!

Having all my gear laid out meant a quick start to Sunday morning, after the super-early wake-up call of 4.45am. I ate my toast in the car on the way to town, where the triathlete dropped me off. I met up with two work friends and caught the ferry to Devonport, which I don’t enjoy at the best of times – let alone when nervous and before 6am! We joined a toilet queue and spent the next 45 minutes there (but YAY for proper flushing bathrooms!) before dashing to the start. We had to climb over a barricade due to crowding – another runner told me I got first prize for elegance as I did. I would have thought arriving an hour early would be plenty of time, but apparently not.

At 7am we had the horn to start, and off the mass of people went, many in the orange (male) and jade (female) event shirts. I couldn’t believe the crowding, I’ve done the Auckland Half twice before and not found it that ‘squishy’ previously.

Hills: The first 5km is pretty hilly, which I knew. What I didn’t expect was to find it so crowded, with walkers mixed in amongst runners. By the time I reached the 4km water station I was pretty sweaty (gross) and I knew it would be a tough day. My Garmin was also 100m out for each kilometre we had done and I was struggling to figure out what that meant for my pace. Regardless, I was probably a bit too fast, but still feeling strong after maintaining a steady pace. My flatmate has recently told me I have ‘iron legs’, they certainly helped power me up the hills without too much pain!

Heat: I’d practiced taking fluids while running, and it certainly made it easier. I had water at each drink station, and had jelly beans in between. The course had changed from previous years, which meant lots more time spent on the motorway and therefore a lot less shade. I felt like the sun and the black asphalt was sucking my energy out of me, and the stretch from Smales Farm to the Harbour Bridge was very challenging. I still felt okay, but my HR was way higher than usual.

Harbour Bridge: After being beaten by this bridge in my previous half marathons, I was determined to run up the whole way – and I did! Pretty sure this can be put down to my TempoFit training. I remembered the hill running technique and felt like I passed a lot of people who were stopping to walk (they all passed me later on though!). I felt a big sense of achievement here and thought I still had a good chance of cracking two hours.

It was literally all down hill after cresting the harbour bridge though. My knees hurt even more, my hip was niggly and my HR was still really high. I even took Powerade about 17km because I felt so ill. I made the smart decision to walk a little around Westhaven (although I hated myself for it!) because I knew I needed to recollect myself – and avoid either passing out or vomiting, both of which seemed way too close for comfort at that point. The triathlete was about the 19km mark and jogged with me for a 100m, before running to the 20km mark to see me just before the finish.

Knowing I was almost done got me through, and I managed a sprint to the finish, for a chip time of 2:03:15. Not quite the two hours I wanted, but still a 10 minute PB! Despite achy joints and some stiff muscles, I can’t wait to run again and am looking forward to my next events!

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in the long run

In the long run… Training will be worth it.

In the long run… I’ll be a much stronger runner.

In the long run… My stomach will get over it.

And while I’m actually in the ‘long run’ my mind wanders all over the show – food, work, clothes, travel… I also seem to lose the ability to do simple maths (like how many km’s to go!).

I’ve been working hard over the past couple of weeks. I’ve made it to all my TempoFit sessions. I ran an additional 5.5km after our long run last Saturday to get my distance up to 18km. I also figured out that eating banana before running is not a good breakfast choice, but that 2-3 slices of my favourite GF toast (with Vegemite) and a glass of water works.

The jelly beans have been going well and I’ve been making sure I drink water at our water station in the long runs. Sloshing water is still a weird feeling in my stomach but I should be prepared for race day. It has suddenly got quite hot and sunny here and I’m realising how important fluid is. Thankfully the half marathon starts at 7am, whereas I’ve been starting my long run about 8.30am.

After completing most of my long runs at 6.30min/km pace, I knew I needed to pick it up this weekend to try figure out my half marathon target time. I set myself the goal of running at 6min/km pace for at least the first 5km, then I could reassess. I felt good at 5km and kept my pace steady as I went solo for the next 15 minutes (I’d been running with another girl but we knew we were tackling this run differently).

I reached 45 minutes and turned to head back to town. Of course this meant running into the wind again (I swear it switched on me!) and towards some dark clouds. The dark clouds became some light drops which were welcomed, and then driving rain, which was not. I had the difficult choice of taking the shortcut back to our meeting place, or retracing our original route which would take a bit longer. Some others from our group were ahead and going the long way, I decided to suck it up and do it too – even in the rain!

I’d kept my pace well and realised I could make it back in less than 45 minutes – negative splits!! I stopped my watch on exactly 15km, I’d been running for 1hr 27mins. I felt pretty ecstatic, especially as I pushed the last couple of km’s to make sure I got there under an hour and half. Good progress and I was excited to show our coach I’d managed UNDER 6min/km pace considering my other runs had all been much slower.

Now to try and decide my race pace…!

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turning up the heat

A sunny Sunday morning.

And what am I doing? Instead of having a relaxing breakfast on the deck, I was trying to choke down some GF toast and a banana, before driving out to Sir Barry Curtis Park for the final Unitec Run and Walk event for 2013.

I had a little bit of trouble parking, but it was very quick to get my bib. Lots of porta-loos too which meant ‘happy’ runners, although with two minutes to go there was still a large line!

I quickly realised that the heat was going to impact my time, and decided to revise my expectations. Mentally, it was the right thing to amend my goal time of 1hr 30min for the 16km to 1hr 45min. This took a bit of pressure off, and when I discovered the slightly hilly nature of the course I realised I’d made a good call. No point going to hard with just a month to go until the Auckland Half Marathon. It was over a good mixture of dirt path, paved footpath, road and grass which helped break it up in my mind. It was hard to go through the start/finish line gantry when starting lap two – I can’t imagine how the four lap runners felt! At least they had started at 8am.

I was glad I’d applied a lot of sunscreen before I left home, especially on my face, as I made the mistake of leaving my cap at home. I usually run with a cap, not sunglasses, but I didn’t even have a back-up pair in the car to use. At least you can tell it is me in the event photos this time! I still managed to end up with the awkward runner tan line of a triangular elbow crease. At least this shows my arms were in the correct formation for the run.

It was a very friendly race and some kind words and a smile from two ladies (that had actually met each other in the porta-loo queue and ran the event together) helped me get through despite the heat and my aching body. I tried jelly beans in this race for a quick sugar kick, and they thankfully didn’t make my already grumpy stomach any worse.

I’m not sure I’ve ever run that far in training (even when training for my marathon…) so I felt pretty pleased to finish, even if slower than expected in 1hr 37min. My garmin also measured only 15.3km… But I’m definitely claiming this one as 16km!


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a little present for myself

And enter my bonus-time treat to myself… a shiny new Garmin!


After reading bad reviews of the Nike GPS, and deciding I didn’t want a gigantic watch weighing down my rather small wrist, I settled on the Garmin FR70. Decision made, should be easy now right? Hmm, not so much. Being in New Zealand things often end up costing so much more. I could see the US stores and what they sell them for in USD – so I convert it to NZD, only to find that what it would cost me at a shop here is far more than that. I know it costs more to ship here and it is a smaller market, but I’m really not willing to suck up an extra $100 because of that. So, I bought it from Wiggle. I took a bit of a risk (although the triathlete has made many purchases without any issues) and decided waiting for a Garmin on back-order would be better than paying through the nose in NZ.

And it worked out in my favour! Turns out the back-order warning wasn’t such a big deal and it arrived about 2 weeks after ordering. As I was expecting this to be at least a month I was stoked. I’d decided that waiting for a month was fine with where I was at in terms of training. But now I have it? I’m very happy I do. Still need to sort out my calibration, as it is under-tracking me by about 30m per KM, but that should be an easy fix. I’ve linked it up with the adidas MiCoach foot-pod and heart rate monitor and they are connecting fine.

Am I happy? Yes! I was worried about the size of the watch after running using a Timex IronMan watch (HUGE), but the women’s style is fairly streamlined and sits nicely on my small wrist. I did have a reaction to the watch strap the first time I wore it, but after cleaning it with some slightly soapy water it hasn’t been an issue since.

Do I wish I’d gone for the bells-and-whistles GPS watch? Nope, I’m pretty happy with the data this one can provide, and it is connecting fine with the foot-pod. I also really like the customisable screens so I can see exactly what I want (time, distance, HR, pace) and get rid of those that I’m not too fussed about (calories!).

A good purchase and a great aid to my training. I only wish I had done this before I went to the US!

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iPod connected to the micoach… micoach connected to the…


I was lucky enough to win an Adidas micoach system last year. It took me a while to use it for the first time, but it is pretty easy to use. The biggest issue I have is getting connected before I leave the house!

You plug your iPod into the micoach pacer, then plug your headphones into the pacer. The pacer clips onto your waistband, then you need to pop the iPod into a pocket.

The micoach uses a footpod and the HRM to feed you data while you run, and you can even preload workouts onto it. I’ve only used it as a tracking tool in ‘free mode’. Thankfully you can change the voice – the British woman I started with it on annoyed me no end. It is customisable so I can choose what to hear and has been pretty accurate in terms of time, distance and pace BUT I’m quite a pedantic person so having wires and clips is starting to bug me. Also – you would think that Adidas branded clothing which has a micoach ‘pocket’ would be designed so you can put your iPod in the pocket? Not with the way the wires work (can only be set up one way)…

My real point of this is that while this has been good, I want something better. I had also been running with a Casio cheapie sport watch I picked up in Thailand (real quality…) but this been now been binned.

The triathlete runs with a timex watch (which is great for triathlons funnily enough) but is GIGANTIC. I have little wrists so am wanting something pretty streamline that I can link to my HRM.

The two main options I see are the Garmin FR70 or the Nike GPS watch.

Nike GPS watch

Nike GPS watch

Garmin FR70

Garmin FR70

As much as I like the look of the Garmin 10, it doesn’t haven’t heart rate connectivity. Since I already have a foot pod and a HR strap, I’m thinking that the FR70 is a better idea (I’m not too worried about not having GPS).

Has anyone used the Nike GPS watch? Or any recommendations on Garmin? 

Both are pretty expensive here in NZ compared to the US so might be a purchase to make on my trip next month!

(I won an adidas pack last year through the Auckland Marathon expo – it included the micoach, a pair of adizero shoes, a fuel belt and a cap)

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