Sorry to disappoint if you were hoping that this post was an analysis of the song by the British band Roxette (and no Ryan, they didn't play that at my prom). It's about a new tool that I'm using in my training - a heart rate monitor.
I've thought about using a heart rate monitor for awhile now - it's a great tool to help make sure that easy days are easy and measuring your fitness. In one of my all time favorite training posts from LetsRun by "Hadd" - he suggests measuring your fitness by running 5X2400m with 90 seconds rest. For the first 2400m you keep your heart rate to 140 beats per minute - each 2400m you increase your heart rate by 10 bpm until you are at 180 bpm for the last 2400m - timing how long it takes to run at each bpm level. You repeat this every three weeks to show how much faster you can run a given distance at a specific heart rate AND to get a feel for your lactate threshold.
What finally pushed me to buy a heart rate monitor was taking up cycling. I don't have the same feel for pace and effort level on a bike as I do running. The heart rate monitor keeps me honest especially when I'm on a spin bike indoors.
As for my training in general - I'm finally starting to feel like I have some momentum. I'm becoming more comfortable in the pool - I swam for a full hour on Saturday and I'm even getting the hang of breathing bilaterally. And today I got a bike - so, maybe I can use some of the spring-like weather this week to get on a bike that actually goes somewhere.