Thursday, May 5, 2011

Land of the flat vs. Land of 10,000 lakes

The Move
This week we moved from FL to MN and while my training has been impacted some, I'm doing my best to stay on track. We packed up the house on Thursday, and spent a few days at my sister's place and had a great time there. The plan was that I'd do some running, and then a brick on Saturday and a long ride on Sunday. The reality was I did the running, forgot my helmet on the brick, and slept through the long ride on Sunday. Monday we hopped in the car and logged a quick 1,800 miles, we got to MN Tuesday morning, and I squeezed a quick 3.5 miles to top that day off.

End of an Era
When I started training in FL for triathlons and running I found Runkeeper. And I can remember thinking it was the bees-knees. It was easy to use, and seemed to do a great job. Fast forward 10 months or so, and I really hated that thing. I swear the more updates they did the worse it got, and at the end I was just hoping to get through runs/bikes and have it still working. Along came my birthday, and my sister and wife had put their heads together and got me a snazzy  Forerunner 405 from Garmin. To try to compare these (in my head) is like trying to compare monkeys and humans. Sure they're similar, but one is just a million times better at doing what I want than the other. So the Runkeeper is no longer keeping my runs, and the Garmin has taken it's place.

Training in MN vs. FL
There is a certain amount of temperature shock going on. When running at my sister's I would drink 15 oz of water per run and sweat through my clothes and then have to towel off. When running in MN I wear a long sleeve shirt, and it doesn't get sweaty. On the one hand I can churn out 7 miles without having to pack 40 oz of water, on the other hand it's chilly. Then there's the bike. In FL you wear, shoes, shorts, shirt, helmet. In MN I have a long sleeve shirt, windbreaker, full fingered gloves, and tights over my shorts. -- I'm looking forward to the warmer summer :)

There's also a bit of  topographical adjustment going on. In FL there are no hills, and it's not really an exaggeration. When I knew I was moving up here I asked around in FL where I could work on some hill work the answer was "find bridges." And I did, but without doing hill-repeats it's not really the same. Example: When I did a 27 mile ride in FL the elevation graph looks like this:
You can see, there's only a 40' or so elevation change, and it happens over the course of miles. This I'd say is no hills. (The rapid elevation changes here I'll chalk up to crappy Runkeeper, there were definitely no big hills on this ride)

When I did a 24 mile ride in MN the elevation graph looks like this:
Here you can see a 180' elevation change and some of it happens suddenly. My legs were burning, they are just not used to those hills, and having them pop up all over the place. At one point a guy who was riding with me said "it's not that hilly, maybe some rollers" and I thought "where I came from not hilly means you can't tell there's a hill, I can see three hills from the top of the hill we're on"

Bugs vs. Bugs
In FL people kept telling us how bad the bugs were. And my son and daughter did get some bug bites, but in 13 months of living there I'd say I never was bothered by the bugs.

On the other hand, I did a run the other day around a lake, and it is no joke that I probably ate 12 small flying bugs during that run. There were swarms of mosquito/gnats/see-ums. It's not even bug season here. If you're from FL, trust me, you don't have much of a bug problem.


Amy said...

Is that elevation graph from the new gizmo? Muy coolio. The Florida one looked pretty hilly until I looked at the scale on the left. What was the avg speed of the new group?

Jeremy said...

Amy - yeah the graph is from the online garmin site. You can see the full workout summary here:

Levi and Allyson said...

So being in MN is 100x better? Lol, good to have you back! ~A