I finally got my heart rate monitor working, along with a bunch of other nifty things to do with the new watch. The first time I ran with the Garmin, it was recording my heart really low - by the end of it, I averaged 109 during a fairly intense run. Hm... not good. I was starting to wonder if I was defective when it came to heart rate monitors, since I seemed to kill my last one.
The second time I used the watch, it was for a relaxing walk (normally I wouldn't have bothered, but I wanted to test the HRM when I wasn't running). It started out well enough, but then started to slip back down again, finally cutting out around 39 BPM. I did a not-so-subtle bra adjust, and it worked. Then slipped. Adjusted the girls again and fixed it. And so on. I stopped really paying attention after that, because the watch was being annoying and autopausing frequently (I figured out how to fix that, too), so I decided to just let it do its thing and then figure it out later.
When I got home, I mentioned the heart rate issue to Nick. He looked at my chest (as you do when your wife is walking around in a sports bra). "Is it supposed to be upside down?" he asked. I shrugged. The Polar hadn't seemed to matter, so I just threw it on whichever way I happened to grab it, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to make sure everything was right side up with this one. For my next run, I liked up the 'Garmins' on the strap and transmitter, and they seem to be working just fine now. So, if you have a Garmin device with a chest strap, make sure it's right side up. I have no idea if that's what was actually causing the issue or if I've fixed it, but it can't hurt.
Now that that's working properly, I can see my scary heart rate again. I've always run fairly high, and my RPE allows it, but I can still tell that I've lost some fitness since training for my last race. That's okay - I'll get it back. I was reading that the device will actually adjust what it consideres your max heart rate as it gets more information from your runs (since I'm only a few runs in, it just has my basic stats and the formulas to work off of), so it'll be interesting to see if that changes as time goes on. I like that I can actually see my HR graph after I'm done, and compare it to my speed and elevation graphs. It's good information (especially now that I'm not trying to play zombie).
I had a chance to finish reading the rest of the instructions on the watch during a slow afternoon, so I think I've got a good handle on the thing now. I've set up four slightly different display screens based on what type of run I'm doing and what my goal is (so my tempo runs will show pace, distance and heart rate. Long runs show Time, pace and distance. Etc). So far I've just done basic start & record workouts, but I'm going to try creating a program for Sunday's long run. All in all, I'm liking the technology. Even though I got most of the same info with my old HRM and various running apps, this is more accurate, stores everything in one place, takes less work on my part (after a tiring run, it's really nice that the data just transfers to my computer automatically), and is much less fumbly than trying to pull my phone out - especially when I've got heavier gloves on.
So, I've decided to finally be a grown-up and get my pants hemmed. I have this problem with jeans and my little gnome legs. I try to find jeans at a good price, which usually means that they're too long for me because I don't shop in the type of places that give you a huge selection of lengths. I've tried stores that have petite sections, but it's hard to find petite pants that don't have the hip/butt baggage thing going on, so I've learned to avoid them.
Just before Christmas, my last pair of jeans that fit decided to disintegrate on me. I managed to get a couple replacement pairs on sale at Bluenotes, but the more I look at them in the full length mirror, the more I realize I really need to just suck it up and get an inch or so hacked off the bottom, especially if I'm wearing them to work with dressier shoes. The bunching at the cuff just doesn't work. The problem is that I hate to spend $15 to get a $30 pair of pants hemmed. I'd feel a lot better about it if it was an absolutely flawless pair of designer jeans (something I've never, ever owned). But then I'd still feel resentful for having to pay another $15 on top of that. Really, I just want to stumble across some jeans that are appropriate for my age group that come in a 28" or 29" length.
My husband, who has to shop in expensive Big & Tall stores, has no sympathy for me.
So, because I've made a resolution to actually spend money on clothes this year, I'm going to take my pants in, get them hemmed and actually wear properly fitted jeans for once. No baggy butt. No self-imposed muffin top. Proper length. I work in a professional environment, and even Friday casual days deserve a little more attention.
I came across a good article yesterday when I was looking for smoothie recipes:
Basically, it's a really good run down of what you can find in the grocery store, what's good, and what's not-so-good. It's worth a read if you want some inspiration or a bit of a refresher on making healthy shopping trips.
With that in mind, I was looking at our pantry to figure out what we needed to restock, and I realized just how much my pantry has changed in the last decade. Back in school, and when I first lived on my own, I lived out of my pantry. Every few months, my grandpa would take me to Costco and pick up half the tab on a cart full of groceries. I'd head home fully stocked on boxed of Kraft Dinner, cans of soup, flats of noodles, pasta, pasta, pasta, jars of sauce, and everything else that fills you up and keeps forever (and then I'd whine that I ate really well, and it was totally just my metabolism keeping me fat).
The freezer would have a few frozen meals in it, and the fridge would have condiments, juice and a block of cheddar to grate over my spaghetti. There were no veggies. Nothing fresh. No meats, aside from what was hidden and processed. Aside from that, I supplemented my diet with chocolate, chips, and other convenience store items.
So it was kind of nice to see how much things have changed. I've shown plenty of pictures of our veggie runs, and I love that our fridge is bursting at the seams with produce (at the beginning of the week, anyway. I think I cleaned out everything we had left at lunch). The freezer is tiny, but filled with basic meats and frozen homemade chili. There's a fresh fruit basket and a jar of plain almonds on the table for healthy snacks. It's good stuff.
The pantry holds the rest, and I honestly haven't really taken a good look at it in a while. If we have anything processed or pre-made, that's probably where it's going to live - and that's why I was pleasantly surprised that our pantry doesn't look too bad itself. There are canisters - flour, rice, sugar, oats, ground flax, seeds, nuts, raisins, etc. They're organized and tidy, because we actually cook things now. We bake occasionally (not a lot, but much more than we buy packaged cookies and other treats).
The canned goods shelves were really surprising, because the big cans of chunky soup and other quick microwavables are gone (there are still some reduced sodium cream soups for bases). We have big cans of diced tomatoes, some tuna, and some pasta sauce bases. Aside from that, it's stocked with home canning from our parents (and all of it is awesome. We get spoiled) - Peaches, relish, apple sauce, jams. Honey from my B-i-L's parent's bee farm. The snack shelf has a box of granola baggies I made the other day. The top shelf has most of the processed stuff: Some whole wheat pasta, a box of all bran, some crackers.
Even a year ago, we had several types of boxed cereal, crackers and chips, and various other salty things. Most of them were healthier choices, so it's not exactly a bad thing, but it's kind of cool to see that our stored food has continued to evolve along with the other more obvious things on the grocery list. I love that I was able to raid the fridge and pantry the other night and this was the result:
And we're still building on it. We only eat pasta once or twice a month, but would of these days I'd like to try making my own. I want to try making a spaghetti sauce from scratch. Last year, we ditched the store bought soups and salad dressings and experimented with making bread. It's not about banishing foods as much as inviting new ones in.
Food's kinda fun when you're not eating Kraft dinner and pizza pockets all the time.