Saturday, November 28, 2015


Yesterday: 45 min on elliptical. I had a good amount of muscle soreness from yesterday's race. Hills! Not used to them!

Today: 10K racewalking in St. George, Utah. We came here on Thanksgiving, in the afternoon, so that Calvin could play in a soccer tournament. It's warmer here than at home, but it's cold here too. Today it was 34F (1.1C) to 37F (2.7C) during my walk, but it was sunny and not windy, so that was good. It was actually decent out. It's quite hilly where we are staying, so I got another hill workout in. I was pretty fast considering the 110m (360ft) of elevation gain (and loss) on the out and back course. I went downhill to 2.5km, then uphill to 5km, then the same on the way back. The first and last km were ridiculous --- so hilly I could barely racewalk up on the way back, but I managed to walk legally.

Total time 1:03:02 for 6:18/km with ave HR 146. That's pretty good on those hills!

Photos are from today's walk. It's pretty here with all the red rock.

Garmin data here. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cold Turkey 6K - 2015 edition

Thanksgiving Day! Time for the annual turkey trot. Ours starts at the State Capitol and goes up City Creek Canyon before turning around and descending through Memory Grove. It's a net downhill, but a tough course. I figured if I could do 6:00/km that'd be good, in my current shape. The race is billed as a 6K, but every year my Garmin says 6.22 or 6.23, and the course isn't certified, so I figure it's long and usually go with my Garmin for distance (I know Garmin is not as accurate as a certified course, but I know the race director and he measured it with GPS once, so...yeah...).

Calvin came with me and was hoping to get 1st in his age group like last year (though I repeatedly told him it's all about who shows up!) or at least a PR. The latter seemed entirely feasible, as he's in good shape from soccer and enjoys a good hard run.

We did a short warm-up because we were a bit late (dog puked on carpet...sigh....good thing I have a carpet cleaner!). The weather was much warmer than expected; not that it was warm, but it was predicted to be 18F (-8C) and was actually 30F (-1C). With the sun out at the race start, I removed the sleeves from my jacket and pocketed them, wearing just a long-sleeve with the now short-sleeved jacket. I was warm enough, though in the canyon with no direct sun it was chillier.

When we started off I knew this wasn't going to be easy. It's a slight uphill to start but I was very slow off the line, with my first 500m in 3:12. Ugh. I sped up and did two 3:07s before the real hill started, and then all bets were off because I've done ZERO hill training! I tried to keep it a little under what I was capable of, knowing there would still be 3k after the turnaround. I did 3:15, 3:19 (!) and 3:15 up the hill...geez, slow. But the downhill was reasonably fast, and I finished in 37:12 by the chip for 5:59/km with a low ave HR of 156. I felt I was pushing hard, but I think I could've pushed harder up the hill and a bit after the turnaround (my HR went down after the turnaround so I guess I should've gone faster). The problem was that I wasn't confident enough on the hill to push that hard and know I'd have something left. Too cautious. Oh well! It's still my 4th best on this course, and given where I'm coming from I think it's reasonable. It was fun to be out there.

Calvin did a PR of 31:27, but the competition was stiff this year and he finished 6th with a time that would've won 1st in the age 9-11 group last year. This is his last year in that age group, so he was hoping to do better, but he was pretty good about it and said he had run a good hard race and was very happy with his time, even if he was disappointed with the fact that all the fast boys showed up. The male overall winner did just under 20 min (wow!!!) and the female overall winner did just over 22 min (and was only 17! wow!).

All in all, a great way to start our holiday weekend.  Photos below, including one of the hilarious costume of a camo tights with flannel hat and reflective vest and fake gun and nothing else --- brrrr!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

3x1000 = 1x1170m, 2x878m (indoor track)

Yesterday: rest day! Ahhhh...but I was very busy with the usual: work, violin lessons, cooking dinner, getting shoes for Grace, continuing to unpack/organize new house, laundry, dishes. Still, it was nice to have a day off training.

Today: I was to do 3x1km at the track. I opted for the indoor track. It wasn't *that* cold outside this morning, but it was dark, and the indoor track is both light and warm. Not a tough choice :). 

I did a 5-lap warmup with strides on the last lap, and felt really good. After some dynamic stretching and bridges to activate my glutes, I got started on the workout. I decided that as 3000m is about 10 laps of the track that I'd do 4 laps, rest 2 min, 3 laps, rest 2 min, 3 laps; that way I'd still be doing about 3km of intervals. Close enough!

The workout went very well. My 1170m was 6:31.6 (adjusted 1km time 5:34.6), and my 878m were 4:50.9 and 4:48.8 (adjusted 1km times 5:31.4 and 5:29.0!). HA! Got under 5:30 :). OK, so it wasn't quite 1km, but I am sure I could've done it that fast. My speed is coming back. And my HR recovered into the upper 100s after each set - very nice. 

It's hard to stay motivated in the winter, so I'm glad things are going well with my training, and grateful for the indoor track. I have been feeling pretty guilty about not doing the last 5km of my workout on Sunday, and have been thinking a lot about how to make the long, cold days better...but there are not any easy answers. Dress warmly, maybe stop more often at the car for hot water, something? I know my water bottles froze solid on Saturday, and we had to stop at the one open restroom with running water (Winchester Park) to thaw them out and get more to drink. That's pretty demoralizing. Now I remember how hard winter training is and I am just going to have to figure out how to toughen up a bit and also how to make it easier on myself for the small things, like water. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015, 15K...

I will admit it: I totally wussed out today. It was so very cold, and I am so not used to it, and it was dark, and very very early. Met Kelly at the JRP at 5am (!) because she had to be at work early, and I had been to the symphony the night before and up until 10:30pm, sleep, cold, dark, and tired. Legs were fine until 12K, and they did get tired then, but not dead tired. Just tired. By 15K I could've kept going, but I was so.stinking.cold. And Kelly had to leave. And I wanted a coffee and I wanted to be warm. So yeah, I quit at 15K. And I got a coffee, and I took a hot bath, and life was good again.

This amuses me, because my friends were in Santee, CA, doing a 50K in brutal heat, and here I was, wimping out because of some cold. Geez.

Well, at least I made 15K. It was only 20F when I finished, according to my car. That's -6.7C if anyone cares or is still reading :).

I wasn't fast either. But it wasn't a death march; 6:29/km with ave HR 143.

Right now I hate winter. And it's just started...

Garmin data here. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Today I did 6K at the track; Kelly had a 10 min time trial, so we met there so she could see how far she went more accurately.

I started off slowly with her for her warm-up, and sped up a bit as I went. My legs felt totally fine, and this was pretty easy. Even with the slow-ish warm-up, I did 38:30 for 6:25/km with ave HR 141.

Tomorrow is 20K. I'm trying to rest up a bit today. For some reason I'm really, really sleepy...maybe a short nap?

Garmin data here.

Friday, November 20, 2015

cross-training; 3x1463m, 3x585m

Yesterday: 30 min elliptical. Legs felt good.

Today: It was really windy again this morning, or at least that's what the weather forecast said. So Kelly and I decided to work out separately, me at the indoor track and Kelly on the treadmill at her work.

The weather at the indoor track was awesome as usual :). Bonus: when it's cold outside, during the 2' rest intervals I can go outside to cool off. Ahhhhh!

I warmed up for 5 laps with strides on the last lap. I felt really very good on the warm-up.

I was to do 3x1500m and 3x500m but on the indoor track the closest I could get was 3x1463m (5 laps) and 3x585m (2 laps). Close enough!

The whole workout went fantastically well. My 1463m were 8:20.4, 8:17.3, and 8:19.0 (converts to 1500m times of 8:33.0, 8:29.9, 8:31.6) and my 585m were 3:14.3, 3:13.4, and 3:11.5 (converts to 500m times of 2:46.0, 2:45.2, and 2:43.6 (!)). Total time was 34:35.9, which is more than 6K; for 6K it would've been 33:47.0. Fast! Happy me :).

My heart rate was pretty low on the recoveries - low 110s mostly, even in the 100s. It was low 160s on most of the intervals; I was trying hard and pushing hard but the HR was just lower today, which is fine.

I feel great now (dinner time) and legs had no stiffness or issues at all today.

Garmin data here. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

10K w/3x3' at 10K race pace

Today: very windy again. Headwind for first 3.5km; tailwind for next ~5km, then headwind for last 1.5km. wasn't that cold but with the wind it felt so cold! It was 2.2C (36F) but 19kph (12mph) steady wind with higher gusts. So I was slow to start, but with the 3 fast segments (all done with the tailwind for obvious reasons) of 2:56, 2:55, 2:51, my overall time was still decent despite the wind. I did 1:03:57 for 6:24/km with ave HR 142 and max 159 during the bursts.

I felt good during and not really very tired at all. Afterward, my legs feel fine :). Yay! Surprised that I felt so decent the day after a hard 8K fartlek, but I guess I'm getting better :) :) :). Happy Happy Happy!

Garmin data here.