Triathlon Training, Security Guards and Football

You might be wondering what triathlon training, security guards and football are doing in the same headline of this post.  They certainly don’t have much in common do they? Just keep reading.

When I left the house this morning for work, I planned on having my first speed workout for running this evening.  Last night, I programmed the Garmin 305 with the distances and paces so that I could accurately measure the 3×800’s at 10:00 pace.

So, after work, I hit the gym like I usually do.  This gives me a moment to wind down and start focusing on my run.  It also gives me an opportunity to change, foam roll and stretch.

Challenge Number One

After I stretched out, filled my water bottle and started packing up my gym bag, I suddenly realized that my Garmin 305 was no where to be found!

“Oh no! Where is it?”

Well, since it wasn’t on in its usual home on the strap of my gym bag, there was only one place it could have been.  You see I was really tired last night and didn’t prepare my gym bag the night before like I usually do.  Since I had programmed the workout into it, my tiredness apparently prevented me from at least staging it with the rest of the running stuff.  AND, in my haste to get out the door this morning for work I left it on my desk.

“oh, pooh! A lot of good it does me there!”

Anyway, perseverance is a triathlete’s middle name.  We don’t let these stupid little things interrupt our training addictions.

I had my Polar heart rate monitor with me, so I could, at the least, record heart rate, kcals, and time.  From that I could extrapolate pace.  Also, I know my heart rate zones so I know how hard to run, when to rest etc.

Challenge Number Two

After  I arrived at my usual running spot, I had this crazy idea to head over to a nearby high school and run on their track.  This would help eliminate the problem of trying to guess how far I ran. At the track, I could  calculate my pace better as the goal was for each 800 to be in 5:13.

Well, the giant school bus out front of the school and all the traffic around the school should have been an indication to just keep driving. But no, I found a secret parking spot on a side street and heading toward the track.

But then I noticed the gate to the track was locked and a big truck parked on it.  Hmmm…. something is fishy and it isn’t tuna!  Then I noticed the stadium lights were on.  I thought that was pretty nice of them to turn the lights on for me.  But, I kept walking and noticed that the next gate was locked too.

You have to remember that I am wearing dark sunglasses, a white hat, black track pants and a dark blue shirt.  I am certain I would be suspicious of me too.  The security guard definitely was!

Just after I noticed a number of camera men stationed around the track and the high school football team on the field, did I hear the security guard screaming at me.  Something about trespassing…  but I couldn’t tell because all I saw in slow motion was the long, billy club come out of her holster and it started swinging in my direction. (I think she thought she was Clint Eastwood; kill first, then ask questions).

I asked her why the gate was open and what the event was.  Apparently, everyone in Goleta knew there was a game tonight but me.  I live in Santa Barbara so, go figure.    Swinging the club, she asked me to leave or else she will call the police.  This is ironic because during this entire 30 seconds, about a dozen other people came through the same gate and hopped the fence right in front of her which made the camera guy yell about disrupting his shot.  Sure, pick on the dude from Santa Barbara.

In retrospect, this problem gave me an idea… create a calendar of availability for all of the tracks in the greater Goleta and Santa Barbara area.  I certainly would like to know when I should avoid going to a track due to an event; could have saved me the pleasure of meeting Bertha and her billy club.

Finally, The Run

At this time, I felt like this run was doomed from the moment I realized I left the gps on my desk.  However, I was there, the car was in a safe place and I had a lower middle class neighborhood in Goleta to explore.  So, I started out running a route that I had run before.

The idea was to get my heart rate up for about a half mile, then recover and repeat.  Since I had no indication of distance or speed, this structure went out the door rather quickly.  I did continue to run until the heart rate reached 180, jogged until it came back down to 160, and then ran to 180 again.

In the end, I only did this three times, covering 2.36 miles in 26:08 (11:04 pace, 165/181 hr).  While I didn’t go as far as I wanted, at least I didn’t let the circumstances prevent me from getting in a workout.

Now you now why triathletes have such perseverance.  You also now know what triathlon training, security guards and football have in common.

If you are interested in more about my experience with running, please check out From Office Potato to Runner, Part 1