Mini Sunset & Suds 5K Recap and Heart Rate Training

I had a dream last night that I was competing in my first triathlon. After the swim, I got out of the water. We waited and waited and waited, but our bikes were nowhere to be seen. I went into a nearby gym, and asked when the second leg of the race would start. They told me that I’m supposed to do burpees and squats and lunges, and that the bike portion would start in a couple hours. The entire event would be done around 5pm (although we began at 7am). Naturally, dream Kara was livid and I gave the race organizers a piece of my mind…”don’t you know that doing burpees will make me too tired to bike and run?!” Then I woke up.

Wouldn’t that be horrible? Burpee transition in a triathlon? (Lora would probably love it!)

Maybe that happened to the person that found my blog by searching “I hate triathlons”. HA! No idea how that led them here, but whoever you are, welcome! Let’s learn to love triathlons together, shall we?

The past couple days have been fairly productive training days for me. On Thursday, Ashley and I ran the Sunset and Suds 5K race to benefit LLS.

Lovely stroll along the Hudson!


It was ridiculously humid and a pretty intense storm passed right though Riverside Park (causing leaves and dirt to blind us) but we chatted the whole time and crossed the finish line just in time to avoid the torrential downpour coupled with thunder and lightening. We’re so intense, right?

Check out the best example of positive splitting I’ve ever seen:

Whoops! I blame the humidity. Yuck.

Everyone received free beer afterwards (hence the “suds”) so we waited out the storm and chatted.

Lucky #25.

Friday afternoon I went swimming. I’m feeling much more comfortable in the pool. I focused on NOT pushing off the wall and not stopping every 25 yards…seeing as I won’t have a wall to push off in the lake, I decided I should probably work on ACTUAL continuous swimming. Next week I plan to do some 25 and 50 yard “sprints”. My first pool speed workout since high school!

Today I rode my bike for an hour and ten minutes. Working on that “time in the saddle” that everyone talks about, you know? I followed it with a 3 mile run.

Check out my max speed. That is totally correct and not at all a Garmin Fail.

At the beginning of the run I was all “HOW AM I EVER GOING TO RUN LONG AFTER BIKING. HEAVY LEGS ARRGHHH!” but after a mile I was smiling again. Your legs honestly do loosen up after you transition from the bike to the run…it just takes a bit. The run ended up feeling great – as short as it was.

Ashley¬†actually inspired me to dust off my heart rate monitor and test it out for the first time today. Even though I’ve had my Garmin for about 3 years, I tossed the box with the HR strap in storage and hadn’t looked at it since. I figured it would be too annoying to wear/wouldn’t fit, or at the very least, I wouldn’t be motivated enough to do the math to calculate where my HR should be therefore rendering the numbers useless. Math makes me lazy. I hate you, math.

Thankfully, I totally forgot I was wearing it – couldn’t feel it at all. Also, I was abnormally excited about seeing my heart rate stats. (ONE MORE PIECE OF TECHNOLOGICAL DATA TO OBSESS OVER. SIGH.)

My heart rate was much higher during the run than on the bike. Average during the ride was 114 , which doesn’t surprise me seeing as my average speed was a little less than 12 mph. I also found myself circling in a couple parking lots after reaching the end of a road. Oops.

Average during my run was 147. According to this heart rate calculator,¬†that puts my run barely in the 60-75%; aka easy range. It felt easy, minus the humidity, so I guess it was indeed a good predictor. Obviously my bike ride wasn’t strenuous enough! (But should it be? I don’t know…I need to study up on zone training!) I guess the best thing about a heart rate monitor is that it ensures that hard days are HARD days and easy days are easy…but I always wonder if the Rate of Perceived Exertion scale is just as beneficial. Is it all about how you feel on a given day?

I was also curious to see how quickly my heart rate returned to normal. I was actively recovering (read: walking) and my heart rate dropped 36 bpm in 2 minutes. According to this website on heart rate recovery, that means I’m about normal for my age. I was hoping I’d be a little more in shape and would have a “younger” age, but oh well. Normal is good, right? After some Google action I’m realizing just how important your heart rate is in predicting overall health.

Take these numbers with a grain of salt, as they say. (Who are THEY, anyway?!) As I’ve mentioned, I’m terrible at math and anything that deals with numbers, so maybe I’m way off in interpreting my findings. And that whole medical school thing? Yeah, never happened. I read a lot of books about it though, so if you feel comfortable trusting me based on that, feel free. Also feel free to call me out and tell me I’m an idiot, I can take it.

For now, I’m going to go look at my bike splits and pretend they are running splits. 14 miles in 70 minutes? Psh, piece of cake. Just call me Shalane.

I’ll leave you with this little inspirational video from my pal Meb:



I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!


  1. July 28, 2012 / 9:46 pm

    Good job on the 5K! I never negative split either, it’s just super hard to do that, I know my last mile is slower but like today, there was a headwind on the way back so sometimes it’s almost unavoidable… in long races it is unavoidable. But at least you did it, running a 5K in this heat is something not a lot of people even do :). And so awesome that you biked and got on the pool too!

    • August 1, 2012 / 5:52 pm

      Thanks! I’m actually usually pretty good about negative splits, just because I always start sooo slow. Oh well!

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