Group 7 Conquers Heat and Hills, Covets High-Tech Hydration Gadgets
Those sporting new GPS devices and fun, creative ways to store a water bottle without sloshing have clearly been bitten by it: the runner's gadgets bug.
Oh, Garmin Forerunner 301, you have been a faithful friend. But I've seen your successor, and it's sweet.
Your days may be numbered.
Lynn Foss showed off her Garmin 610 – an early Mother's Day gift from her husband – on Thursday during our third group run in the Couch-to-5K program in Rochester Hills. It was clear her Garmin was the Jaguar of GPS running gadgets, and mine the Ford Focus – still running well, but not nearly as fun.
It was an 88-degree evening when we gathered at 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Rochester High School. In a 180-degree turnaround from last week – when it was barely 50 degrees and we were all bundled up – the gang was sporting the latest in high-tech runners' gear, clearly visible as we all wore the lightest possible clothing in the heat. I saw water bottle holders and gadgets aplenty, and wondered whether I had just missed them all under jackets and sweatshirts.
Hmmm I thought, carrying my oh-so-not-high-tech but nevertheless-cool Patch water bottle.
My fellow runners had been bitten by the "gadget bug" – and I was clearly susceptible.
Foss has the bug. Her Garmin 610 – which has a touchscreen! – helps her keep track of her workouts, she said, better than carrying around her iPhone and checking the app she has downloaded on that. The size and better features had me pining for an upgrade to my 6-year-old Garmin 310, bulky and outdated but still my best friend on a walk or run.
Valerie King of Clarkston showed off her Nathan water bottle carrier (they call it a "horizontal hydration belt,") with a design that has the water bottle sitting sideways. I liked that it was a bigger water bottle – as opposed to some of the puny little yellow ones strapped onto belts on some others. I saw her after the run and she looked happy and well hydrated, and that's a good enough endorsement for me.
Jennifer and her daughter, Lauren, who are a part of our group and always leading the pack, talked about stopping across the street at Runnin' Gear to pick up a hydration gadget. I half thought about it myself – until I looked up and saw those storm clouds moving quickly our way.
Foss also was very excited that she'd actually completed a 5K race the previous weekend. "Now I know I can do it!" she said. With a month to go before the group's 5K debut in the June 2 race, she's already confident in finishing.
This week's progress
I was dreading this week's run. I spent part of Thursday locked out of my house (long story) in the humidity and heat, thinking "running in this will be miserable." I was psyching myself out.
But once I got to the run and we all headed up Livernois, even the pretty consistently challenging hills and the 43-minute session didn't wipe me out as much as I'd thought it would. I actually felt like I could talk and laugh the whole way through the run – one of my goals.
We walk/ran 2.7 miles total, and that's the farthest we've done so far. We were all in good spirits and ready for those popsicles at the end. You think they were good in 50-degree temps? They were Nirvana in 84 degrees, which was the temperature when we finished.
Nearly everyone in the group had done their "homework," and many agreed that it's the key. I thought my walk/runs this week – 30-35 minutes Saturday, Sunday and Monday – went better than they have. They say after three weeks you get over a hump. Maybe I've gotten over mine. Tuesday's cross-training remains a challenge (translation: I didn't do it!)
Our group is still about 20 members strong, although this week we were missing a few mainstays – our leader, Jen, as well as Dawn, Dave and Angela, and several others. I hope they are home doing their homework!
This week we ramp up a bit, and by next Thursday it looks like we'll be close to the 3.1 miles of a 5K.
The Couch-to-5K by the numbers
Sue Barnes, who organizes the group, sent me these numbers last week; they give you a bit of a peek at the makeup of the group.
126 registered participants
- 112 female
- 14 male
- 20-29: eight
- 30-39: 24
- 40-49: 34
- 50-59: 13
- 60-69: four
- 43 are missing birthdates on their registration forms.
Group leaders: 25
- 18 female
- seven male