Saturday, July 26, 2014

hiking; 14K

Yesterday: Hiked 11.2km with Calvin on the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park. I have to say that that trail was one of the most beautiful I've ever hiked, rivaling Observation Point Trail in Zion. It was a amazing, hiking along the edge of the Garden Wall above Going-to-the-Sun Road. We hiked the trail to the highest point at the saddle, and then went back. You can hike it as a loop, but then it's 11.8 miles, and Jim thought that'd be too far for me to hike with 14K racewalking planned the next day. And you know what? We got great views and it was honestly just the right amount of hiking. Awesome.

Highline trail hike data.

Today: 14K was the assigned workout. I was as ready as I was going to be. It was chilly here this morning in northern Montana - 43F (6C) - and I could see my breath. I wore a long sleeved shirt and gloves and took off both at about 3km when I warmed up. I decided to walk by Lake Five again because it was really beautiful out there, and though you can't see the lake from the road (lots of trees), the forest is lovely and the road is paved (mostly) and quiet. I say mostly paved, because there was about a 2km stretch each way (I did out and back) that was packed dirt with some gravel. Not the best for RW, but it wasn't awful either. However, the route was quite hilly. My Garmin says it was about 94-96m total elevation gain (and loss, since I did out and back), which is definitely significant. I figured it would be OK since I need to do some hills for Portland-to-Coast, and also there isn't much choice around here. Hilly, or nothing!

When I started out, I had a pretty serious muscle spasm in my upper left calf. I stopped to massage it but that didn't help much. I am not sure if it was from yesterday's hike or what, but it kept on and got worse until about 4.5km. I was considering whether to continue, and then it started to feel better and improved the rest of the time that I was out. I was thankful for that!

All in all, except for the hills (all of which were racewalk-able - barely, sometimes) it was a lovely walk. I couldn't ask for more.

Total time 1:30:12 for 6:26/km with ave HR 150. I was at 6:23/km through 12km but then that last uphill nearly did me in ;). Below, a photo of a typical part of my route today.

14K Garmin data here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

rest day, 8K, rest day, 5K fartlek

Sunday: rest day

Monday: 8K hilly course. We are traveling and have left the house and dog with my friend Jill the awesome house-sitter. It's a perfect exchange as she wanted somewhere to stay, and we wanted to have someone stay at the house. Win-win. Plus she's even cleaning it a bit for me [blush] as yeah, I don't have time. Anyway, we are in Montana at Glacier National Park, and I took Calvin with me and racewalked from our campground to a cool lake called Lake Five and back again. Awesome. Hilly, and a little warm (mid-60s but sunny and more humid than I'm used to). I still did a 6:25/km pace for 51:19 with average HR 148.

Garmin data here.

Later in the day, went hiking with Calvin to Hidden Lake. Should've put it on my Garmin but forgot. It was a lovely hike with about 700ft of elevation gain in 1.5 miles. The hike was challenging because there was still a lot of snow up there and we were trekking through it  trying not to slip and slide. We saw a ton of really cool mountain goats, and the view of the lake at the end was incredible. Sorry, no pics because I haven't downloaded them yet. Hard to do as computer time is at a minimum because there's really nowhere to plug in that is convenient (I'm sitting at the campground pool right now and there are a couple plugs here - charging computer and camera battery). I can get online on my phone easily enough but the wifi here is not so good at our campsite, which is fine, honestly - not here to do that stuff except occasionally. We'll be in a hotel this weekend and I'll do more photos then.

Tuesday: rest day. I needed to cross-train, but really have no options here. The pool is too small for laps, and I couldn't bring my bike. I guess I could run, but running = IT band problems, so… yeah, that leaves some hiking, which we didn't do on Tuesday. Ah, well. Rest isn't a bad thing, as long as I eat well, which I did.

Wednesday (today): 5K fartlek. Warmed up for 1500m with strides in 9:31, and it felt stiff to start, but legs were good by the time I was done warming up. I walked on a slight incline - the flattest road I could find nearby, at the front of the campground. There was a 500m stretch that included perhaps 50m on gravel (packed) and 6m between the lowest and highest points, according to my Garmin. Not ideal, but not too bad. I chose to do the hard efforts on the downhill and the medium efforts on the uphill. That worked OK; my hard efforts were pretty fast at 2:48-2:51, but the medium efforts were slower than usual at 3:06, 3:07, 3:09, and 3:14 (yeah, I was tired on that last one). Plus, I'm not in good shape (yet), so I expect slower recoveries. Total time was 29:43, with a very high average HR of 169. Yeah, I was pushing it. The weather was good - mid-60s - but humid and sunny, so I did feel hot. Maybe that contributed?

Garmin data here.

We did another hike today, so call that cross-training for yesterday :). Today's hike was about 6 miles (~10K) with a 500ft elevation gain, ending at beautiful Lake Avalanche. Highly recommend. The kids played in the water for an hour while I hung out on the beach, relaxing and taking photos. Garmin data for the hike here - but some is missing because of poor satellite reception in the heavy tree cover.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

cross training; 14K

This week has been insane. It's amazing I got anything at all done in the workout department. I ate poorly too :(. Gained back a couple pounds, but I am motivated and I am not letting a small setback stop me from getting back in shape, at least that's what I am telling myself. At least today was a good food day :).

Thursday: legs still very tired, and couldn't risk the 5K fartlek :(. So I rode my bike a lot instead. Rode to IHOP for breakfast with dad, rode to work, rode to sign kids up for afterschool, rode home. About 35K total! I felt a bit drained on the last ride home but was fine once I hydrated a bit more.

Friday: legs felt decent. Rode bike to gym, did elliptical for ~20 min, rode home. Then rode to work and back.

Today: 14K was scheduled. I was operating on 4.5 hours of sleep Friday night, and only 6 hr sleep Thursday night. Not good. I started off slowly and carefully, doing about 6:40 for the first km. I sped up a bit toward the middle of the workout, but overall my pace was slow and steady, which I think was good. My legs were tired but not awful, and I never got ridiculously slow. Starting about 11.5km they were very tired, but then I only had 2.5km, so it was an effort to finish but not too bad. Total time was 1:32:42 for 6:35/km (Garmin got screwed up for the last 500m so if you look at that it's wrong) with average HR 142. Obviously was taking it very easy, but I think that was wise. Best part? After sitting in the car the rest of the day my legs feel totally fine :). Oh, and my hip flexor bothered me just the teensiest bit. It seems to be improving! My left foot is hurting a bit tonight but I wonder if it's cramping up from being in an awkward position in the car? Not sure. Babying it now and hoping it's 100% tomorrow. I think it's just a muscle spasm.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

5K fartlek? NOPE 6K

Yesterday: tired very heavy legs, and I was mentally worn out too. I took a rest day, except for walking about a mile downhill with the kids to pick up the car. Had to get a new radiator :(. Arrrrgh! Anyway, that made me pretty tired, possibly because it's been so very, very hot. It was 103 (39.4C) on Monday and I think it was about 102 (38.8C) yesterday.  

Today: woke still not feeling recovered. Much cooler this morning at about 70F (21C). Went to the track anyway, but drove instead of biking, even though I'm doing the Clear the Air Challenge. I was just too tired and didn't want to ruin my chances at the 5K fartlek. I met Adriana there and we racewalked 1600m to warm up, with strides on the last lap. I wasn't slow at 10:12, but my legs felt heavy and tired and I was really concerned about possibly causing a relapse. I thought about switching to a 3K fartlek, or trying the 5K and stopping if needed, and also thought about just doing easy miles but wasn't sure what to do. So I called Jim and he said to just do easy miles and maybe try the fartlek tomorrow. OK. That made sense. I guess I could have figured that out myself but for some reason it was hard to think clearly - I don't want to jeopardize everything for just one workout, so I have to be careful! He gave good advice. 

So Adriana and I went and did another 4.4km together around the neighborhood, which is fairly hilly. We picked flatter streets but still uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back. We took it easy, though, and I felt decent when we finished. But later, at work, I was sitting a fair amount and got quite stiff. Grrrrrrrrrrr. I really want to do the 5K fartlek tomorrow but only if my legs feel better. Today they've been quite tired, but a good rest tonight might help enough. We'll see. If I feel crappy, then I'll just go cross-train at the gym.

Total time: 38:35 for 6:26/km with ave HR in the low-mid 140s (combining the 2 segments on my watch). 

Monday, July 14, 2014


In brief: very hot for morning here - hottest I think it's ever been so early (6:30am). It was 81F (27C), but at least it wasn't humid. The heat got me though. My legs were heavy and after 6K very very slow. In addition, I got GI cramping that was pretty bad through the last few km. Loren had some GI bug so maybe I got it?

It didn't feel good today. I was going OK through 5K but never felt fantastic. My legs are fine though - no weird soreness, nothing wrong that a bit of heat and a GI bug doesn't explain.

Total was 52:46 for 6:36/km with ave HR 150. Garmin data here. 

Hip flexor felt much better but had some pain more medial almost in the groin area in same leg (right). It wasn't bad, but with the heat and GI issues it added to the fun today.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


I wasn't sure how my hip flexor would hold up this morning, but there's nothing like going out and giving it a try to see what will happen. I waited until 7:30 am to go out, reveling in the luxury of a Saturday morning without kids (they were at my parents' house). I probably should have gone earlier, as it was rather hot when I finished, at 77F (25C) and humid for here at 50% humidity. Icky! But I don't think the weather slowed me down. I did very well this morning, finishing the 12K in 1:15:50 for 6:19/km with ave HR 150. Awesome! I'm on my way back!

My hip flexor did bug me a bit, but because of the weather I had to stop several times to get water for myself and the dog, so every time I stopped I massaged it. That helped a lot. It never got really bad, and was merely annoying at times.

I was extremely sweaty when I returned and I wonder if I could have wrung out my sports bra? The cool shower felt amazing, except for the chafing on my back from my heart rate monitor that I was blissfully unaware of until I stepped in the shower. Ouch! Oh well… small price to pay. It was great to be out there today.

Garmin data here. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

6K, rest day

Yesterday I did 6K. I've had a bothersome right hip flexor for several days now - I first noticed on Monday's 6K, and noticed more during my 3K fartlek, and also during the 6K yesterday. It's not terrible, and I'm not sure if it's from racewalking or from cycling, but it's definitely annoying. I suspect it's probably from cycling, so today I took the day off from any hard cycling - did 2 easy rides, no big hills, just for commuting for the Clear the Air contest.

Yesterday's 6K went well considering that it was the day after a 3K fartlek. Other than the hip flexor, it was totally fine. I didn't push at all and took it a bit easy, since it was a recovery day. My Garmin battery died (left Garmin running after my last bike ride) and with a minimal charge when I noticed in the morning, it didn't last the whole 6K. My phone timed the rest, and the 6K is approximate, but I did about 6K in 39:11 for about 6:32/km. I was doing 6:25/km before the battery died, so I'm not sure that last bit was that slow… dunno… but it went fine. Garmin data here.

I feel decent tonight after resting up today, though I can tell the hip flexor is still a bit sore and probably will be for a few more days even if I take it easy. I'm doing 12K in the morning and hopefully that won't aggravate it too much.