I'm currently on the sneaky side of the double-mirrored glass at a focus group test in Northern California. Ears glued to the discussion, eyes focused on uploading several days' worth of workouts on my Garmin 310x. Finally, I'm beginning to understand the wisdom contained in this supercomputer posing as a watch.
Sadly, I don't want to see some of the truths it contains.
My "controlled" tempo running pace is slower than I thought, to the tune of about 9:30. I know I'm faster than that, but when instructed to keep my heart rate under control, more often than not 9:30 is where I live. This would partially explain my demise at the LA Marathon to a degree. I was pushing a faster controlled tempo pace than perhaps I should have while my immune system was having none of it. That equals trouble, big-time.
I'm slower on the bike, too. On road rides where I'm supposed to be cycling within the lower heart-rate zones, my pace is closer to 15.5 mph. Yikes! I can sustain 18-21 mph for sustained periods but on longer rides my pace drops. I'm not sure what to make of that. Am I a worse cyclist? Smarter because I know how to pace myself? Weaker because I need to?
One good bit of news is that my heart-rate rarely escalates above 90% of my max during any one workout. So, I have plenty of fuel left in the tank during my training. At least I know I'm capable of running faster and pedaling harder. And, with two triathlon races coming up in the next three weeks, a mental confidence boost is just as valuable as a physical one.
Tomorrow I will approach my workouts not only a little more refreshed -- I had a training off-day due to my business trip -- but a little wiser about my capabilities.
Perception versus reality. Friend or foe?
Both, I think.
230 days and counting.