Monday, December 31, 2007

shoe answers

Sarah and Ollie had some shoe questions about the Asics Cypress. I have some answers :).

Toe box stiffness - seems about average to me. It's not super flexible, but it's not stiff like big fat running shoes, either.

Width - I have medium-wide feet, and these are very adequate, perhaps even a little wider than I need. I think they might be OK for a person with wide feet. Ollie, if you have a Kohl's nearby, you could try them on. I don't have flat feet (my feet are just about perfectly "normal" - no pronation or supination, and I don't have high arches or flat feet).

Size - I went up a half size and that was perfect.

Sarah, as for the Health shoes, they are fantastic. They are flat and very fast. They are super flexible. However, they are not meant for longer races, and I don't think I'd train in them every day. I do use them for track workouts and like them a lot.

CRIM - looking forward to it, I hope! I agree that we would have a great race, Sarah :)! You are training really hard and have a great coach, so you definitely have the edge. I wonder if Allan could be talked into doing it too?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New shoes

I read about the Asics Cypress shoes in an e-mail from Steve Pecinovsky to the racewalking Yahoo! group. They are on sale at Kohl's for $39.99, and so I picked up a pair, because I needed a new pair of shoes. They are really great! Yes, they're men's shoes, but I do not care in the least. They fit me just fine, are very comfortable to walk in, and they were great on my 4.5 mile walk this morning. They are actually trail running shoes, but the heel is super low and just perfect for walking in. I'm loving them... and loving the price even more.

Workouts: The last 3 days I've racewalked about 4.4 or so miles (7.1 km), easy. I'm just trying to burn some calories to keep the Christmas goodies off of my hips. Been eating a little too much; may have put on a pound or two, but I will get it off soon, no problem. Tomorrow I am thinking to do about 6.5 miles around the golf course here. We're leaving in the late morning to drive to Vegas and then back to Salt Lake on the 1st. I need to get some good exercise in before I have to sit in the car all day.

Goals for next year: I'm thinking about these. One goal, if possible, will be to attend the CRIM festival of races in Flint, MI, and enter my first judged 5K. I think I'm ready to be judged - my form is finally pretty good, at least that's what my racewalking friend Nancy has told me. Dunno how fast I'm going to be, but I plan to take off another 5-10 lbs by August and train really hard. I'd like to do the 10 miler as well as the 5K.

Other stuff: Amazing item that families who travel must have - a RoofBag. We got one because my parents gave us a bunch of stuff to take home with us, including a homemade wine rack (my dad made it, and it's beautiful!) and a waterbath canner. Needless to say, that stuff is rather large. Also, the RoofBag will facilitate camping trips next spring & summer, which we are really looking forward to! It would be impossible to go car camping w/the kids w/o having more room in the car to put the tent, sleeping bags, etc. Anyway, the RoofBag had free shipping and got here in one day via UPS ground, because my parents live only about 15 minutes away from the company headquarters in San Ysidro. Go figure.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Perfect do-nothing day

Workout: Racewalking (yeah!!!) for 47 minutes, easy. Went about 4.4 miles for 10:41/mile (7.1 km; 6:37/km); weather was low 40s (5C?) and sunny at about 8 am. Wore tights and long sleeve shirt and gloves; ditched the gloves 10 min into the workout and was pretty warm in the tights. Not used to working out once the sun is up! It's great to have help w/the kids so I can do that if I want.

Rest of the day: A lazy morning at home, taking pics of FIL with the kids since he had to leave today to go back home to Bakersfield. Then lunch, followed by a nice trip with Loren to Trader Joe's (ahhhh, if only they had them in Utah...) and Borders, while my parents watched the kids (who were napping). Then a very relaxing 3-ish mile walk w/my mom and the dog, in about 45 minutes, followed by a nice dinner and a couple hours playing w/the kids. Now I'm relaxing in front of my computer :). A great day!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas happenings around here

We're now in San Diego visiting my family. Alex (my brother) and his wife Erica were here until this morning, when they left to go home (with a stop in Carmel to see her parents along the way). Loren's dad showed up (much to our surprise and delight!), and we're enjoying a great visit.

Sunday morning: easy 6 mile run, followed by a 5.5 hr drive here.
Monday: not-so-easy 10K trail run with my brother. Awesome views, steep hills, fun canyons, and I felt really strong. It was great, but I did have to push to keep up with him. It took us about 57 minutes. Then we had a good breakfast, and took the entire family to the Wild Animal Park. It was a blast!
Tuesday: not-so-easy 46 minute run around the lake at Eastlake w/my brother. A fun run w/good conversation. Then the traditional gooey Christmas bread (I had a little but not too much!!!) and opening of stockings and presents. Lots of fun w/the kids. Michelle was SO cute with the little purse that Alex and Erica got for her. Calvin was adorable handing out presents to everyone. The afternoon brought a long game of Settlers of Catan (Cities & Knights) with Alex and Erica. Turkey dinner with cherry pie for dessert. Yum!
Today: not-so-easy 40 minute run around the Bonita golf course (28:30) plus a short out and back on same course. It's about 3.3 miles, so we were doing about 8:40 miles! I felt pretty good ... my brother's easy pace is a bit quicker than mine, but I was good to go out a little hard. Then ate breakfast and took the kids to the zoo. Lunch, a nap, a walk with my mom, and dinner. A great day!

I'm looking forward to some racewalking, now that my brother has left. My right knee is a little sore from running. I really think racewalking is MUCH better for my body than running! In the next week or so I'm going to have to start thinking about races for next year and a training plan.

Should mention some Christmas presents. Loved the scrabble calendar and journal from Alex & Erica. My mom got me some awesome running tights - REI brand, very nice black spandex. Look warm; haven't tried them yet - maybe tomorrow morning, since it was chilly this morning and looks to be chilly tomorrow too, well, for San Diego anyway. The low here (39) would have been a nice high in Salt Lake this time of year :). Back to presents - mom also got me a racewalking DVD (very cool!), which hasn't arrived yet, oddly (will have to check on this). Loren got me a great pair of new pajamas - red with black trim, very soft and silky (100% polyester, not silk, which is good - easier to care for). They are from Victoria's Secret, but are just beautiful and practical. I love them :)!

Need to hit the sack - tired. But will post a few pics.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Vacation at last

I've been away for a little while, I's been overwhelmingly busy getting ready for Christmas and for a little vacation time. It's SO much work to get ready for vacation when you have a house, 2 dogs, a rabbit, a husband, and 2 kids. I won't bore you with all of the details.

Workout-wise, I took a little running break last weekend (I was sore!) and did some easy racewalking Sunday-Tuesday. Wednesday, I did weight training and an easy 30:30 run (with 5K in just under 28 min - not bad!). Thursday I did some easy racewalking, and Friday, I repeated the weight training and running. We are visiting friends in Boulder City, Nevada, today, so this morning I went running here. It was surprisingly cold (about 26F - I expected it to be a bit warmer here) and quite windy, but I felt good anyway. I ran for 47 min at an easy pace, and my iPod said it was 9K. I don't believe it... I think it was more likely closer to 8.5K, but regardless, it was a good run. I'm feeling pretty sore from my leg press yesterday, but that didn't seem to affect my run. I think the running muscles are pretty acclimated now. I plan on another run tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow after breakfast we're leaving here to drive to San Diego, where it really IS nice and warm :). We're going to visit my parents for a week, and my brother and his wife and Loren's dad are going to come for a few days as well. I hope to go running with my brother a few times, and we're planning to take the kids to the zoo as many times as possible (we have a membership, so why not!).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Baking day

I made cookies, pies, and yummy gifts for co-workers and the day care staff today. I made two kinds of cookies: key lime white chocolate chip and hazelnut amaretti. I also made white chocolate macadamia nut espresso bark and orange double chocolate truffles. Finally, I made a couple of pecan pies for a potluck party tomorrow. Mmmmmm... it was fun to do all that baking, and Loren actually enjoyed watching the kids so I could do it! :)

Weight Watchers leader

My Weight Watchers leader is quitting her job :( and won't be our leader any more. She has a 6 month old baby, and wants to have more time with him. She has only been teaching the one class, but she just wants to not work at all, which I understand. I'm pretty bummed out, though. She is really inspiring and has a lot of insight, and she's hilarious as well. Seriously, she could be a stand-up comic. I am really going to miss her a lot. The people in our meeting are awesome, though, so I will keep going, and the new leader is pretty good. It's sad to say goodbye to Janece, though.

slow cold run

I did another run today. I did the SugarHouse Park loop, 6K, plus an extra add-on. Not sure of the total distance, but about 4 miles probably. I finished it in just under 40 minutes, so a pretty slow run. My left hamstring was bothering me a fair amount, and my legs are amazingly sore from running the past couple of days! I'm in great shape, but just not used to using the running muscles. Anyway, they feel lots better tonight, so hopefully I'm over the hump. I think I might racewalk tomorrow, though, for a little break from the running.

It was cold out this morning at 13 degrees (-10C). I stayed pretty warm in my long sleeves & fleece, with my ski gloves on. My hands were actually hot at the end! My legs were a tad chilly in tights and my nylon shell, and my face was a bit cold, but it was fine.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday morning workout

Running again. I did 1 mile easy (about 9:15), then 1 mile hard (7:53), then 1 mile easy recovery (about 9:40). Then I did 10 min on the elliptical. By the way, today and yesterday I went to the gym for my running/elliptical/weights. It has a nice 211m indoor track, and it's nice & warm inside. It was only about 23 degrees this morning outside (-5C), so indoors just sounded nicer. However, tomorrow and Sunday I'll have to be outside, since the gym doesn't open until 9 am on the weekends when school is not in session (it's at the university, and not heavily used on the weekends my chagrin).

Sarah commented on my last post that I used to hate running. This is 100% true. I despised it with every fiber of my being. While I am not really a runner now (I only run occasionally, for cross-training or to run with somebody), I am surprised to find that I do not hate it any more. I actually (gasp!) enjoyed my run this morning. It is less jarring than it used to be, probably because I'm not carrying around many extra pounds. However, it is still not as fun as racewalking, and I will admit that the elliptical seemed so nice and smooth after running.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Today's workout

I decided to do a little running today, because I want to be able to go for some runs with my brother at Christmas. So I did 1 mile easy, in about 9:15, and then 1 mile hard, in about 7:45. It felt pretty good, but I didn't want to run too much too soon, so I did 20 min on the elliptical, did a few weights (biceps - 21s; triceps - skull crushers) and then some abs and some stretching. I'll probably keep up some running for the next couple weeks so that I'll be ready!

Calvin and the pinata

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Peppermint Mocha

Ever since my brother Alex had a peppermint mocha at Christmas last year, Calvin associates that drink with him. The other day, Calvin mentioned it again, and I thought it sounded really good. However, the grande peppermint mocha at Starbucks packs 400 calories (that's w/2% milk and whipped cream) which is a bit more than I want to spend on some warm comfort drink. So, I decided to make my own. It was amazing, and is only 60 calories!!! Here's the recipe:

1 pkg Swiss Miss sugar-free hot cocoa mix
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 drop peppermint extract
6 oz boiling water

Enjoying the easy days

I've been taking a rest break from the hard racewalking during December. I love the sport, but I needed a little bit of a breather, and this is the perfect time to do it. No races ahead, and cold weather abounds. I've been enjoying just taking it easy on my walks - I just shoot for a heart rate of about 70-75% max, and that way I'm burning the calories without too much pain. In fact, it's downright pleasant to get out there. This morning it was only 19 degrees (which was warmer than the 12 they forecasted), but it was wonderful to be outside and work out and listen to some podcasts and some music. I did about 3.5 miles in 39 minutes or so - typical easy pace of about 11 minutes per mile.

On Monday I lifted weights at the gym and did the elliptical for 30 minutes, and yesterday I took the day off - I was going to work out with the Wasatch Walkers, but I had the weeks mixed up and realized that it was at the Olympic Oval, not at the U of U, so I decided not to go. I did have to forego some of the little molten chocolate cakes I made, since I didn't have the points after not working out, but that was OK.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Racewalking break

I've been taking a break from racewalking this week. My right knee was a bit sore, and I wasn't sure why, and my left hamstring needed a rest too. So, I've been doing the stationary bike, the elliptical, and my usual weight training routine. It's been a nice rest, but I'm ready to get back to walking. I did about 10 minutes on the treadmill this morning, and the knee feels pretty good, so I think I may do some walking tomorrow morning.

With Santa

He told Santa that he wanted balls and Thomas trains.
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With Santa #2

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snowy Sunday

Today it was still pretty snowy, but the streets looked to be pretty decent, so out I went. I was chagrined to discover that they were fairly icy/snowy/slippery in a lot of spots, so I had to go very slowly at times. I still got a great workout, and did 5 miles in 57 minutes (11:24 per mile; 7:08/km - like I said, it was very slow for me). It was pretty cold at 22 degrees (-6C), but I was all right in my 2 shirts, long underwear (tops & bottoms) and tights (yes, Ollie, they were Spandex ;), 'tis the season), though I am thinking that a pair of sweats over the tights might be warmer, as my thighs and rear end got a little chilly at the end. I think a loose pr of sweats over the top would help, as it would add an insulating layer of air.

My dogs loved the crisp air and the snow, though they somehow got pretty muddy (I did not... go figure).

More snow pictures

These are for Allan (and for anyone else who wants to see them!). By the way, the weather forecasters only promised us 2 inches (5 cm) of snow, and we got about 8 inches (20 cm). They are SO wrong about amounts here - you can never trust them!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Our Saturday

So, after a relatively crummy week (yeah, I know, I didn't post all week... trust me, it wasn't worth posting about), we had a fabulous Saturday. Took the kids sledding, and then the day care had a Kids' Day from 10:30am to 3:30pm. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Finn's on 11th East, and I had some time to work on the family videos, which I was way behind on (now I'm only slightly behind!). It was great to just have a bit of time to ourselves. Loren helped me make some delicious turkey soup, and after my 4 pm piano student we enjoyed eating it. Now I'm doing a bit more video editing, though I'm getting tired quickly and will hit the sack soon I hope.

Eating snowflakes

My little girl loves her snowflakes! :)


The gym was VERY empty at 6:15 am. It was snowing pretty hard and I guess most people just slept in, since it is Saturday. I was there, though, and one other guy was walking on the track (the indoor track is on the upper level - you can see it in the picture, above the exercise equipment, with the brown railing). By the time I left, there were a couple runners there too. I did a not-so-easy 4 miles in 42 minutes or so.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Reunion weekend - more details

Photos and more stuff about the reunion weekend and our Thanksgiving Day festivities.
Reunion weekend
Reunion party
More Reunion weekend photos (mostly of my old neighbor
hood/school/house etc.)

I enjoyed eating 3 things I can't get here in Utah:
1) a great cheesesteak

2) Tastykakes (actually didn't eat them, just bought them to take home)

3) Friendly's Reese's Peanut Butter Cup sundae

AND because I walked a LOT I was able to stay within my points and only use half of my points allowance for the week. Yeah!!! I'm going to have a great week in spite of the big weekend.

It was the neatest thing walking around my old neighborhood - brought back some amazing memories. I walked around my elementary school, my junior high, my house, and more. Stuff I hadn't thought of in years came flooding back. I think I've tried to deny how formative those PA years were, and distance myself from the East, but I realized that it's a
big part of who I am, and I think I'm coming to terms with that in a good way .

I intend to blog a bit more about this later if I have time.... but now I really really need to hit the sack!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Reunion weekend

Had an amazing time in Pennsylvania for my 20th high school reunion. I am totally exhausted now that I'm home, and bed is calling... so I'm just posting to tell you all that I will write more later.

It was a good weekend, food and exercise-wise. I stayed within my points, ate about 15 of my flex points (not bad!) and walked 1 hr 20 min on Saturday and 1 hr today (just easy walks). It was awesome walking where I used to live, and seeing how things have changed/stayed the same. Will post more tomorrow, when I am able to think a bit more clearly.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A toast to the chef

OK, so I was the chef :). Except for the turkey - Loren brined it last night and smoked it all day today. It was FABULOUS! The rest of the food was equally wonderful, and the pecan pie still awaits... so I'd better stop blogging and hang out w/the family!!!

On the menu: turkey, gravy, mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet potatoes caramelized with brown sugar and butter (I went real easy on these!), cranberry relish, green bean bake, and stuffing. All the traditional yummies. I ate 19 points (including the wine), so not too bad. The pie will be 12 more... but I have saved all week for today and tomorrow, so no problem!
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Cold Turkey Race

I did the Cold Turkey 6K today. Goal: 36 minutes. Reality: 38:21. Sigh...

The good news - I finished first in the Women's walking division :)! The Wasatch Walkers took places 1-3. I was first, Nancy was 2nd, and Diane took 3rd.

Factors leading to a disappointing time for me:
1. Very hilly course (I knew this going in, but figured I could do it that fast anyway... wrong!).
2. Training - didn't put in enough lactate threshold workouts, knew I didn't, and didn't care (I hate them!). In the future, I will not neglect these for important races. I decided I didn't care as much about my time for this race, after the hard effort I put in for the half marathon on Oct 21st.
3. Form - I have FINALLY got my right knee really straight! Yeah! I think I've really got it! The bad part is that this has temporarily slowed me down a little. I do believe w/a little practice I'll get faster again. I just am not so good at getting quite as good a toe push-off with my right leg a little bent as I am with it straight - YET. I will master this and eventually I'll be faster for it. Plus, I won't get DQ'd!!!
4. Upper respiratory problem - incipient cold? I was breathing really hard for what was a slower effort. At the end of the race I was coughing and hacking with a little blood taste. Not sure what the deal is, but my husband suggested that either I had a little exercise-induced asthma today, or possibly I am coming down with something. I have had a bit of a runny nose, and my pinkeye is better but eyes are still a little goopy in the morning. Maybe I'm not over the last cold?

OK, excuses are over. On the good side, I am SO thrilled that I actually wanted to go for a 6K racewalk on T-giving morning instead of slugging on the couch in front of a football game, like I used to do in the old days. In fact, in the old days, I'd have a plate (or two) of cheese and crackers WHILE I slugged on the couch. I am a totally different person, and I rejoice in the transformation and will not be disappointed by a very successful outing! It was a really fun day :) and next time I'll be faster... you just wait and see.

I'm going to take a little training respite for the next month or two, and just focus on staying fit and not gaining weight through the holidays. I will still racewalk, but I'm just going to do easy walking for enjoyment only - no racing, no stressing, no evil workouts. Lots of cross-training and lots of just enjoying life!!!

Below, me with Calvin after the race!

The Wasatch Walkers at the race!

Nancy, Dorthy, Diane, Madeline, and Tammy
Not pictured: Kat and Carol

Monday, November 19, 2007

This boy can SWING!

He has a slightly unorthodox technique - always goes on his stomach, and runs with his legs to propel himself upwards. Hey, whatever works!

Cross-training/easy day/kid stuff

Today I went to weight training and did the usual Monday routine there. Bench press, lunges, dead lifts, upright rows, calf raises, overhead press, abs.

Then I went to the Wasatch Walkers workout. It's always fun walking w/the ladies and talking, but we don't go very fast. That was OK, since I have a race Thursday. I did about 3 miles with them, and then took the kids to the playground since we were already at the park. Michelle threw up all over herself in the stroller, and I only had 3 wipes with me (!what was I thinking!), but managed to clean her up enough I guess. She still smelled bad, but we were outside, and the weather was gorgeous. It's super warm today (high of 72 according to my thermometer - that is 22C for my Canadian friends) and got to be breaking records. Tomorrow it's supposed to SNOW and not get above the 30s (3-4C) all day, though, so it was good we could enjoy it today.

Later we went to Payless to get shoes for the kids. Calvin needed new sneakers badly, as his old ones were way too small. I also got snow boots for both kids. Ouch. My pocketbook is hurting... I bought a pair of shoes for myself, too (only $23, and they are nice & furry for winter, and perfect for wearing to the lab - super comfy). The total was $100. Kids' shoes are SO expensive. Next time I'm going to Kid-to-Kid first to see what they have. I hate spending that much on teeny little shoes!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

easy day; recital; grocery woes

Today I did an easy walk for 1 hour. I'm not sure how far I went, because I really didn't measure it (edited to add: just measured it on MapIt and it was 5.5 miles, for 10:54 per mile; about 8.8 km, for 6:48 per km). I just took it easy, and enjoyed myself. I have a race Thursday, so I didn't go as long as I usually would for a long easy day.

This afternoon I attended a trombone recital by my friend Matt. It was outstanding, and I particularly loved the Schumann and the last piece "T-bone Concerto", that had movements entitled "Rare", "Medium", and "Well Done". I have to say that I really miss being in a serious musical environment. I never even get to practice any more. Sigh.

After dinner I needed to do some grocery shopping so that I can enjoy a walk with my racewalking friends at the park tomorrow (usually I grocery shop Monday mornings, but the walk is nicer!). The kids go along in the stroller, and I'm fast enough that I can keep up, even with the stroller. Anyway, the grocery shopping was heinous. The store (Harmon's, which I usually adore) was actually OUT of frozen green beans. Completely OUT. I wanted French cut, but would have settled for anything, any brand. But they had nothing. I asked the assistant mgr for help, and he looked in vain in the back. Very frustrating. They were also out of the small cans of 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup, and they only had very $$$$ organic pecans. Come on, guys... I know that Thanksgiving is on Thursday, and you had a busy weekend at the store, but don't you plan for these kinds of things? You know people are going to buy lots of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and pecans, don't you? Well, now another grocery store is going to get more business from me later in the week. Arrrgh. Not only do I have to make another trip, but I'll have to take the kids with me, more likely than not. How frustrating!

Despite taking an hour nap before the recital, I am totally exhausted now. It's late, considering that I have to get up at 5:45 to get to my weight training class. Ugh. Good-night!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Date night

Tonight we went to the Gateway and tried Z'Tejas, a Tex-Mex place. We thought it was good, but not remarkable. We enjoyed our dinner, though, and then walked around and shopped. We got some fun kitchen stuff at Sur La Table, browsed The Body Shop and Bath and Body Works, checked out Christopher & Banks (tried on 2 pr pants but no dice), bought a cool slick-bottomed sled at Dick's Sporting Goods, and got some printer ink and some stationary for our Christmas letter at Office Depot. It was great to walk around and shop w/o the kids, and just hang out together. Babysitters are a wonderful thing!

Saturday workout

This morning I was going to do about 8K easy, but then I decided I needed some speed work, so I did 2K warm up, 4K fartleks (1' on 1' off) and 2K cool down. Total time about 56 minutes. Was a bit slow, I thought, for where my heart rate was. I think I'm still getting over the cold/pinkeye, though I feel fine when I'm not racewalking.

Tomorrow I am going to do a long-ish easy walk. Not too long, since I have a race Thursday. I might do 6 miles? 7 miles? We'll see what time I get up :) and then I'll decide.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Still got it

Pinkeye, that is.... fun fun. Now it's in BOTH eyes. My right eye is getting better, but now the left eye is getting worse.

In other news, I did 2K racewalking, easy, as a warm up for weight training this morning. I had a great weight training session. I did squats, dumbbell flys, lat pull-downs, calf raises, hamstring ball curls, heel walking, lateral raises (front to side), push-ups, tricep pull-downs, and all sorts of ab exercises. It was a great workout.

Tomorrow, I plan to do about 8K easy racewalking.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rest day

Had a very nasty bout of pinkeye that started yesterday, accompanied by a runny nose, headache, and general malaise. I love my children, but I swear that I get more stinking lousy colds, flus, whatevers because of them. When I woke up this morning I could NOT open my right eye until I put a hot compress on it for a while, because it was glued shut with gunk. Ugh.

So, last night before bed, I knew I needed to have a rest day. I do have a race next Thursday, and today was going to be my last hard workout before then, but oh well. I may not have a very good finishing time, but that's just the way it is. It's actually not a great race for walkers, because it is pretty hilly, but it will be a lot of fun doing the race on Thanksgiving. My MIL is going to be visiting and says she wants to come cheer me on at the finish.

Speaking of races, Ollie has a big one this weekend. Good luck, Ollie!!! We are all cheering you on!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Easier day

Today I lifted weights but didn't do much cardio at all - just a few minutes of easy racewalking to warm up. My left leg is a little tired today after yesterday's intervals, so I decided to take it easy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More workouts

I did about 6.5-6.8ish miles (depending on whose Garmin you trust) at a nice leisurely pace (1:22 for the workout) with the Wasatch Walkers on Sunday afternoon. It was rainy, but not too bad, and it was actually a decent day to be out, despite how it looked.

Monday morning I did 15 min of easy walking on the track and then went to my weight training class. Then I met the WW again at Liberty Park and did an easy 3.5 miles with them, pushing the stroller w/the kids (50+ pounds!) before Calvin had had enough and we went to the playground for a little fun.

Today I met the walkers yet again at the U of U field house, at the indoor track. It's a decent track, though small at 211m for one circuit. We did a pretty evil pyramid interval workout after our warm-up and drills. 1 lap at 5K pace, 1 lap easy, 1.5 laps 5K pace, 1 lap easy, 2 laps 5K pace, 1 lap easy, 2.5 laps 5K pace, 1 lap easy, 3 laps 5K pace, 1 lap easy, 2.5 laps 5K pace, 1 lap easy, 2 laps 5K pace, 1 lap easy, etc. down to 1 lap hard 1 lap easy. Total distance including w/u and cool down was just over 8K (maybe 8.4? My iPod was acting up a bit). I was pretty draggy tonight - I vastly prefer morning workouts and feel so sluggish at night!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

New dress!

OK, I went nuts and spent $$$ on a new dress. But it is totally fabulous, and my 20th high school reunion is in less than 2 weeks, so I just had to have it.

Now, I'd like your input - for those of you who are fashion-minded - what jewelry should I get to go w/this? I was thinking a chunky black & white necklace and matching earrings & bracelet. Is that too much? What would YOU get?

By the way, it is a size FOUR! I tried the size 6, and was feeling like it wasn't going to stay up! I have NEVER EVER in my life worn a size so small and it's amazing!!!


Friday - stationary bike hard for 15 min then 30 min of vigorous weight training.
Saturday - walked 6K with about 4K of 1 min on/1 min off fartleks. Was short on time to get to my Weight Watchers meeting or would have done 8K.

Planning to meet the Wasatch Walkers for a 7 mile race tomorrow for World Run Day.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Interval workout

Haven't done one of these in a few weeks, as I was resting after the half marathon on Oct 21st. I have a race in a couple weeks, though, and would like to do decently at it.

I've been working on my form a lot the past few weeks - just slowing down and concentrating on getting my right knee straight. I can feel now when I am not doing it, so that is a big improvement on what I was doing before.

So this morning, I decided it was time for a little speed work. Since it's been a while, I planned a workout that wouldn't be too impossibly tough. Warm-up, drills, then 8x400 (or in this case, 422m since I'm on the indoor track right now) at 5K pace. 5K pace is 2:18 for 400 or 2:25 for 422. I did them in: 2:22, 2:24, 2:26, 2:28, 2:23, 2:24, 2:25, 2:25. Not too shabby. I felt pretty horrible, though - was breathing really hard to get them under 2:25 (and couldn't quite do it on two of them). I think I'm feeling badly for 2 reasons: 1) I'm still getting over my illness from Sunday & Monday, and 2) I'm not as efficient (yet!) with my right knee all the way straight. Eventually I should be faster with correct technique, but I may be a little slower until I get it figured out enough to get a good push off with my toes and keep the knee straight too. Short term pain, long term gain.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Feeling better

I'm feeling better today. The sore throat is gone and I'm not quite so tired. Still, I should probably get some sleep soon.

Did manage to get in a good walk today. Walked to Liberty Park and did one loop at lactate threshold pace, in 14:00, then walked home. Total time just under 42:00. Not too shabby considering that I'm probably still recovering from my cold/whatever it is. Have a race in just over 2 weeks (the Cold Turkey 6K). Not sure how hard I want to push it, given that I've not been training very hard since the 1/2 marathon on Oct 21st, but we'll see how I feel over the next week or so.

Hated the traffic today. It was just awful. Don't know why, but Foothill Blvd is much worse than usual this fall. Driving on it pains me. Wish that our day care was closer, but the kids love it so I'm not going to switch now.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday walk

This morning I did an easy walk of Liberty and SugarHouse parks, for about 7.65 miles (it was 12.4 km on my iPod, which is about 7.75 miles - pretty close!). It was clear and cold - just under 40 degrees F (4-5 degrees C I think) but I was OK in my 2 long sleeve shirts and long pants and of course my earmuffs! I took Copper with me, and we enjoyed a good walk together. It took me 1 hr 25 min for about 6:50/km over the distance. I felt a bit sluggish - my heart rate was a little higher than it should have been for how fast I was going.

This was all explained later in the day when I realized I don't feel so great. I think I'm coming down with something. I have a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes in my neck, body aches, and a good headache. I'm drinking some nice caramel truffle black tea right now and that's helping, along with 2 extra strength Tylenol.

Hopefully it won't get much worse. I'd like to do some weights tomorrow morning!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Today was much better, thankfully.

Walking - took a rest day. I needed it.

Work - started a new experiment, hoping that the latest idea will bear fruit. Upbeat about the possibilities.

Kids - much happier today. They liked the taco soup I made for dinner. Especially the chips :)! Calvin did well on the potty - yeah!

Husband - also happier today. Big relief.

Tomorrow... going to be busy. Work out (weights, some walking or maybe elliptical), come home and shower and get the kids dressed and take them to day care. Go to the doctor for my lovely annual exam. Then go get the kids from day care and take them to Kindermusik. Take them back to day care. Go to work for the afternoon. Pick up kids from day care, and get a Papa Murphy's pizza on the way home (a Friday tradition, only Loren usually gets the pizza, but he will be at Kung Fu tomorrow night). Feed kids, put them to bed, then relax. Maybe another bath. The one last night did me a lot of good - I love our jacuzzi tub.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My big boy :)

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My little girl :)

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a hard day

Today was just one of those days that was a toughie. I usually love my job, but work today was difficult. I'm troubleshooting a complex experiment and trying to figure out the best way to approach it...and I've got to get it to work sometime in the next month for a grant deadline. To top it off, co-worker D was out of the office and I needed several things from him to do some of the work I had to do. I did find some other things to get done, but darn it, I needed to do the things I couldn't do because of D's absence. Drat. It was just a fairly rotten day at work.

So, I left work a little early (30 mins) to go and get the kids. I sat in horrible miserable traffic for 25 minutes (twice as long as it takes when there is no traffic) on the way to the day care. When I got home w/the kids (who were both whiny), I discovered a note from Loren saying that he was way too tired to do anything, and that I was on my own w/the kids for the night. He was asleep on the bed. Great. I was planning to go to trunk or treat at the neighborhood church (hopefully to meet some neighbors and get the kids some candy w/o having to drag them everywhere) and decided I'd try to do it even if Loren wasn't up to it. I managed to get the kids in their costumes, pack the diaper bag, the feeding chair, and get Michelle in the stroller. We walked to the church, and when we got there I realized there was NO WAY I could possibly go through a buffet line to get dinner (they were having dinner before trunk or treat) for myself and the kids w/o any help. I still don't know many people in the neighborhood, and I was feeling down and miserable and didn't want to introduce myself to someone just to ask for help. I didn't see anyone I knew (I do know some people but not everyone), so I just decided to leave. Calvin cried when we left because he wanted to stay (they had some cute games for the kids, and he liked the crowd - he's a people person), but what could I do? I felt even worse then.

To top it off, I couldn't even change plans and go to our own church group tonight because last night I called and told the hosts we wouldn't be coming, because we had decided to take the kids either trick or treating or to the trunk or treat instead (with me working today it wouldn't have been possible to trick or treat AND get dinner AND get to the small group on time). Besides, I wouldn't have been able to handle the kids and get anything out of the group, and it's not fair to the other group members to bring the kids when there's no sitter (there would have been a sitter if I hadn't called to cancel, but I hadn't planned on Loren being exhausted). This is all very convoluted but to make a long story short I made the kids some mac n cheese, heated up some leftovers for myself, and we ate. The kids were pretty well behaved and they were cute at dinner, so at least I survived. Michelle smeared macaroni ALL OVER, including in her hair, so I had to give them a bath, and it was past their bedtime by the time I got them in bed.

I desperately need to unwind a bit so I might take a bath, after 9 pm so that I don't miss any trick or treaters. We don't get very many so I'm giving out the big candy bars and it's pretty entertaining to see the kids' reactions - worth every cent :)! Besides, I'm less likely to eat the big ones than the fun size ones, so it's safer for me. Weird, huh?

My laptop battery is tired and I need to plug in, so I'll be back later w/some pictures.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Taking it easy

I've been taking it easy the past week since my half marathon. I have been walking plenty, as I'm in a contest on Nike+ with other walkers to see who can walk the most miles in a month. I'm actually winning right now, with 125 miles and only 1 day left in the contest. My nearest competitor is at 114 miles, but they haven't posted any miles today so I can't rest on my laurels. I may take the kids for a walk to get a few extra in :). Anyway, I have been just doing easy mileage, no intervals, no threshold workouts, nothing. Just enjoying being out there. It's been great.

I did enter the Cold Turkey 6K on Thanksgiving, so I will have to actually start a little training soon, but I wanted to rest for a little first.

Will he run???

Hilarious video of Jefferson Perez, Ecuadorian racewalker par excellence, a victim of a practical joke on Japanese TV. When chased by Samurai, will he run or walk?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thinking of Allan

My virtual friend Allan is about to start his half marathon in Suwa Ko, Japan right about now! Allan, I am thinking of you and sending fast thoughts your way. I hope you have an awesome race to remember :)!

Potty training

Calvin woke up with a dry diaper this morning, so potty training began in earnest. I figured he must have to go, so why not take advantage of the opportunity? So I put him on his potty seat on the toilet, and told him he could go pee on the toilet. He sat there for a few minutes, and then he went! I never thought the sound could be so sweet. Then we went to church, and I told the people in the nursery that he was working on potty training. They took him to the bathroom about an hour later, and reported to me after church that he had peed AND pooped in the toilet. I was most impressed. He has had a couple accidents today (but I dressed him in underwear with a pull-up on top of it so he could feel the wetness but not soil his pants) but he has gone on the potty four times. It's really great!

I didn't think I minded diapers at all, and it was no big deal to keep on using them, but it has been just wonderful to imagine a future with fewer diapers. I had no idea I felt this way until he actually started using the toilet and I could imagine the possibilities. I think I'm going to like this! Calvin seems to like it, too - I think he feels like a big boy now.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


The fires in San Diego came very close to my parents' house, especially on Monday night and Tuesday. It was a tense day for me watching the news websites on and off to see what was going on. I was pretty worried - not so much for them, since I knew they would leave if it got dangerous, but for their home and for the stress of evacuation, etc. Fortunately, they didn't have to evacuate (though people quite close to them did), and the fire spared their neighborhood. The worst is over in their neck of the woods, and I feel very relieved. Let's pray that the other fires cease to threaten homes as well.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

After the half marathon: Tammy & Carol

Virtual Nike Women's Half Marathon

I did it!

My aunt came along with me (she's a runner) and the company was great. By my Nike+ iPod sport kit, I did 13.1 miles in 2:14:00, and by her Garmin, I did 13.1 in 2:16:58. Not sure which I believe (though I think the iPod kit might be a little closer), but either way, I met my goal of finishing under 2:17. One caveat - my aunt got a little dehydrated, so we took a couple off the clock water breaks that I wouldn't have taken, so I got a little extra rest. However, I feel sure that I could have done it at a very similar speed without those.

The course - Chula Vista golf course jogging trail. Really nice and flat - that part was great. Not so great was the dirt. It's all dirt, which is perfect for runners (softer), but was a downer on my toe-off power. Still, there is no traffic, it feels safe because there are lots of others out there, and it's pretty scenic for the most part. I did four loops around (it's supposed to be 3.3 miles, according to a sign, but that means four loops is 13.2 miles, and even my iPod had me going 4 times plus a little extra to make 13.1 miles) and then added a little to finish. My times for the loops were 32:45, 33:20, 33:02, 34ish (not 100% sure about the last one - it was close to 34 mins and change). Pacing felt right on, but I was sure glad to have my aunt with me on loops 2 and 3 to spur me on to keep the pace. It helped out a lot!!! I was really pleased with the pace for the whole race. To only slow down by about one minute on the last loop was really good (especially since my aunt stopped at mile 10 and I didn't have a pacing buddy anymore!), yet I was totally spent at the end, so I didn't feel like I was holding back. My aunt had good advice on pacing - she said that it's not a bad idea to do a little bit faster pace at the beginning (just a little, mind you - like 10:22-10:23 when my goal was 10:30) and that allows a little cushion for the end. It felt pretty good to do it that way, even though the conventional wisdom is negative splits.

Weather - the start was a perfect 56 degrees, but it was pretty humid. My hands were a bit cold the first loop. Then it warmed up pretty quickly when the sun came up, and by the finish it was easily 70 degrees and sunny and still a bit humid. Not the best finishing conditions, but I was able to keep the pace, which is all that matters.

I'm very pleased with the race, though not sure exactly what my finishing time is. It's a new personal best - but is it 2:14:00 or 2:16:58? Or somewhere in between? Ah, doesn't matter. My last race was 2:20:35 so it's a significant improvement and I'm thrilled.

My Nike Women's Finisher T-shirt and key chain will arrive in the mail in 4-6 weeks :)!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Visiting family

Hello from San Diego, where we (me & the kids) are visiting my parents (at right in the photo) and my grandma (at left in the photo). We've been having a great time here, just kicking back and not working too hard at much of anything.

I've been tapering my workouts for my race on Saturday - the Nike Women's virtual half marathon. I'm excited to race, and my aunt is arriving tomorrow and will run the last half alongside me as I racewalk. More later!
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Saturday, October 13, 2007


Tonight I attended a Murray Perahia concert with Sarah, and it was truly breathtaking. He played a Bach Partita, a Beethoven sonata (the pastoral), Brahms Op. 118 (which I played for my junior recital!), 2 Chopin Etudes (the aeolian harp and the C# minor), and Chopin's Ballade in A-flat. Of course the Brahms was my favorite - I loved his interpretation of all but the 4th piece (which he played faster than I would have liked). The rest were sublime - the strength and warmth of the opening Intermezzo, the tenderness of the 2nd Intermezzo, the fiery Ballade. The best was the last Intermezzo, based on the Dies Irae. It literally took my breath away. I'll remember this concert for a long time to come.

We had great seats, too - in the choir loft, and at only $12.50 each (half of a regular ticket) a major bargain. We could see everything so well (the pictures show our vantage point). I was amazed that I could hear his fingers hitting the keys, and could really watch his expressions and even his feet. The breadth of different sounds he produced was incredible - and he used a ton of una corda, which was really interesting to watch and hear. A master at work!

quick 5 miler, etc.

I was going to do 6 miles not-so-easy, but got up too late. So I did 5.1 miles instead (8.2k for my Canadian friends). It was nice & warm this morning at 48 degrees, and I felt pretty good despite only 5.5 hrs of sleep. I did the 8.2 k in 52'54" for 6:27/km. Was pushing a little, maybe 7 out of 10 for exertion, and ave HR was 147. The trick is going to be sustaining close to that pace for 2 hr 17 min for my half marathon next Sunday. I think I'm ready, but we'll see.

Last night I took Loren out for dinner for his birthday. We went to our favorite restaurant, The Paris. It was divine, as usual, and then we browsed a couple of bookstores before returning home. A great evening... but then I was up late and had to get up early. I'm tired today, have to work 4 hrs, go to a baby shower, teach a piano lesson, make dinner for the family and then get to go to a Murray Perahia concert tonight with Sarah.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Michelle still sick

Michelle is still pretty sick - 101.4 fever this morning, coughing, etc. Bummer. That means I can't work this afternoon, and I have an experiment to do. Drat. I will have to work Saturday and Sunday afternoons now to get my experiment done. Oh well. I guess I will enjoy having today off, anyway. :)

Thursday workout

Today I felt decent when I woke up. The cold wasn't as bad for me as for Michelle, so it wasn't a big deal to go for my workout. I slept pretty well, and really felt like getting out there. I did 10 min easy to the dog park, and then did 30 min tempo workout from there to Liberty Park, around Liberty Park twice, and back to the dog park. I did each circuit of Liberty Park in 13:54, maintaining a nice consistent pace of about 10:04 per mile (about 6:15/km). Usually my tempo workouts feel pretty hard - on the edge of being miserable - but today, I felt decent. I did feel like I was exerting myself pretty well, but it was pleasant all the same. Maybe it's because the weather is a lot cooler? It was 43F this morning (6 degrees C) and clear and dry. Really nice weather for a good walk. I was wearing my new long sleeve technical shirt from the Boise race along with my black pants and light gloves, and it was just perfect.

Tuesday workout

Forgot to post about this. Did my first indoor track workout of the season. It wasn't that cold outside, but it was so dark, and I didn't feel like hassling with not being able to see my watch really well (my HR monitor/stopwatch is not backlit - ridiculous, I know). So I went to the Field House, where there is an indoor track. It's a very odd size at 211m around, but it works just fine. I wanted to do 8x400m in 2:18 each (5K pace), so before I left I calculated that that would be the same as doing 422m (twice around the indoor track) at 2:25. So I did 8 laps warm up, flexibility drills, and then 8x400 at 2:18-2:23 (I felt fast, so why not?) with 1 lap easy recovery inbetween. Then I did 8 laps cool down. Total of 40 laps, and felt pretty darn good at the end.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Michelle and I have awful colds. I think Michelle's is worse than mine - she had a fever of 102 this afternoon, poor thing, and she has been coughing and hoarse and sounds terrible. I just have a sore throat, am really tired, and have congestion/runny nose/headache. Not fun, but I was functional at least. I took care of the kids, and even managed to eke out a little housecleaning. I didn't work out - slept in a little (until 7 am!), because I needed it. I also took a nap this afternoon, which helped a lot. I'm feeling much better now and hoping to work out in the morning. I'm supposed to do a fairly evil tempo workout, which I will try if I'm feeling at all up to it.

I'm a little worried about Michelle - her breathing was pretty raspy at dinner and her cough was horrible. Loren didn't think it was much to be too concerned about, so we're playing it by ear. Will probably check on her a little before I head to bed this evening.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Long easy day & feeling great

Today I got up at 5:15 am to do a long, easy 12 miles. I completed my route (which was actually 11.94 miles/19.21 km) in 2:14:21. I kept it really easy - heart rate was an average of 132 (and my max is 191, so that's 69% of max) and my average pace was 7 min/km. When I finished, I felt like I could have gone much farther, no problem. If I ever do a marathon, I might shoot for that pace.

Of course, I am training for a HALF marathon, so I do plan to go much faster than that on race day (hey, 2 weeks from today!). I hope to do a 10:30 mile (6:30/km) for the race, to finish in 2:17 or less. We'll see. My previous PB is 2:20:35, but I did that in April only one week after I attended Dave's racewalking clinic (i.e., only 1 week after I learned to racewalk, since before that I was fitness walking, even though I was trying to racewalk). I have improved my technique and my fitness level a lot since then, so I don't think it's too ambitious to think that I could chop 4 minutes off of my time.

I'm feeling really great physically, except for some minor discomfort in my left leg, which flared up a lot after my 10 miler last Sunday morning. I stretched a lot today and am taking anti-inflammatories, so I hope that I won't have any trouble with it this time. So far, so good.

While out walking today, I "ran" into a couple friends in Liberty Park. I saw 2 racewalkers while heading down the west side of the park, and I thought "Racewalkers! I'm sure I must know them!". Sure enough, it was Nancy and Kat, who were just starting their morning workout (I was 1 hr 55 min into mine and almost done - had to start early to make it to church and to get home to help Loren w/the kiddos). We chatted for a couple of minutes about our various minor aches and pains and then I was on my way again, refreshed for having run into them.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Mixing science and a sick kiddo

Today Calvin woke with a 102 degree fever. Yikes. No day care for him today... and I had to work. So, I took Michelle to day care, and Calvin got to come to work with me. After lab meeting (during which he "read" several books, pushed the stroller around the room, and talked a lot to my co-workers & boss), we went and did some paraffin sectioning (on the microtome - photo in this post). Co-worker D had embedded a bunch of regenerating newt spinal cords in paraffin and I spent the better part of the day making 10 micron sections of them on some slides. Definitely the tedious end of science today, but it was actually perfect for Calvin, who was able to sit next to me. He "read" books, played with his train and stuffed animals, listened to Kindermusik on my iPod, and resisted his nap mightily (I brought a foam mat for him to sleep on). He did SO well - I could not believe my good fortune. After sectioning for 5 hours straight with essentially no breaks, my brain was mush and it was definitely time to go home. At least I finished all 10 of the spinal cords, and D was pretty pleased, so all was well.

Much better

My leg is oh so much better today :) and I was able to do an easy 30 min racewalk with no problems whatsoever. Thank God for anti-inflammatories. My Nike+iPod says that I did 6:36/km for the 30 minutes, which is pretty fast for an easy workout. I wasn't trying to push and wasn't really paying much attention to how fast I was going - was simply thinking about how my left leg felt and making sure that it wasn't hurting. It wasn't, and I was happy :).

Tomorrow - some biking and weight training. Will take it easy on the leg, though.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Today I just did some weight training for upper body only, resting my sore left leg. Actually, it felt MUCH better this morning after anti-inflammatories and a good massage. I'm thinking of doing an easy walk tomorrow to see how it feels. I might try racewalking a slow pace for 30 min, unless it hurts right out of the starting gate, in which case I will do something else.

The rest of the day was not exactly restful - grocery shopping, cleaning, trip to Costco, and lots of laundry. One huge diaper blowout by Michelle and one diaper leak in bed this morning by Calvin made my life a bit more exciting than usual. I also made an extra grocery trip because Ream's had chicken tenderloins on sale for $1.70 per pound - really cheap! Of course, you had to buy 20 lb, but I have a big chest freezer, so it was worth it to stock up. We eat a lot of chicken stir fries, so that should be great.

Made lasagna for dinner tonight from my favorite cookbook - "The Best Light Recipe" from Cook's Illustrated. It is always a favorite, and at only 7 points per serving, totally rocks.

Tired, and it's late - so I'm going to get a little shut-eye now.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Leg is really sore

I thought I was going to be OK after my walk today, but my left leg is now extremely sore. I have no idea what I have done to it, but it's been bothering me a little bit (not too much - just a little) for a few weeks, and after my 10-miler this morning it is much worse. It hurts a lot where the hamstring attaches at the top - I literally have a "pain in the butt". I got Loren to massage it a bit for me last night, and it helped a lot, but it was stiff again this morning at the start of my walk. By the end of the walk it was fine, and I wasn't even thinking about it.

I stretched it out really well, but a few hours later after sitting in church for only 30 min, it was really sore. I got up to play the piano for the offertory, and was limping a little - a friend noticed and asked me about it. I've been sitting on my duff watching football most of the day (my poor 49ers got mashed) and that has only made it worse. Despite 800 mg ibuprofen and 1g acetominophen, it still hurts a lot. I'm going to take some more before bed and hopefully it will be better tomorrow. I want to go to my weight training class - well, I guess I can always just do arms and skip the legs if I need to. I hope I recover enough so that I can do the 1/2 marathon in 3 weeks.

10 miler

Did the 10 miler (16k) this morning in 1:48:20, for 10:49/mile (6:45/km). Would have liked to be a bit faster, but I was trying to mostly take it easy. I stayed at about 70-75% MHR for the first 7 miles, and then tried to maintain pace, and my HR went up to about 78-79% max. That was a little high, since today was supposed to be an easy day, but I wanted to see what I could do at the end. Next week is a 12 miler... whew. Then in 2 weeks, the half marathon.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pay it forward

I have always thought the saying "pay it forward" was kind of cliche. No, I think it is over the top cliche. However, today at Weight Watchers our leader gave out white wristbands that say "pay it forward" (like the LiveStrong ones, but white) to all of the lifetime members (lifetimers have hit their goal weight and maintained for at least 6 wks). She explained that it was to celebrate our accomplishments and remind us to encourage others that they can do the same. In that sense, I really do want to "pay it forward". I try to encourage those around me in their weight and fitness goals as much as I can. I feel like I do have something of value to share, and I enjoy watching others work through things to achieve their goals. So even though it's cliche, I am wearing it because I suppose it has some truth to it - others helped me get where I am, and I want to give back.

So, if you are reading this and you are on WW or working on a fitness goal, know that I am behind you and hoping you will succeed. Remember that it's a new lifestyle that you are seeking to have. Take it slowly, watch the changes, and celebrate your accomplishments!

Next race

Don't think I've posted my next race yet. I am going to do the virtual Nike Women's Half Marathon on October 21st. The real race is in San Francisco, but instead of going there, I'm doing the race in San Diego when I go to visit my parents. I paid $45 to enter, and I will race with my Nike+ iPod sport kit, and then upload my run to my computer via iTunes. Then they send me a finisher's T-shirt and Tiffany key chain! I'm excited to do it, because the proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Since my dad was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in December, I am more than happy to do a race to benefit research into the causes and cures of blood cancers (I would have been happy to do it before, since as a molecular biologist I understand the importance of research, but now I have a personal reason too).

I started my training this week, but since I have a pretty good base, I am not too worried about getting in the miles. I just have to up my mileage a bit and I'll be ready. I plan to do an easy 10 miles tomorrow (16 km), and we'll see how that feels. Of course I'll do some speed work too - I plan to hit the track on Tuesday for some fast 400m intervals.


Thursday - 60 min acceleration - HR at 140 for 10 min, 145 for 10 min, 150 for 10 min, 155 for 10 min, and 160 for 10 min, then 140 for 10 min for cool down, then some stretching. Did about 5.65 miles for a 10:37 per mile pace overall (ok... in km for my Canadian buddies, that was 9.09 km at 6:36/km overall).

Friday - weight training and biking

Saturday - 4 x 1 mile at 1/2 marathon pace, in 41:48 (just under 10:30/mile; 6:26/km). I was going to rest each mile but didn't really need it, so I kept on going.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Some Racewalking Drills from Italy

There are some different ones on here! I am going to have to try some of them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

World Masters' Championships

Is in SACRAMENTO! in 2011!!! I am so excited. My brother lives only 20 min from there, so I am definitely going to go, and hopefully by then I'll be a bit faster, too. I can't wait to racewalk with hundreds of people from all over the world. OK, it's four years away now, but that gives me lots of time to get ready.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cold and dark and crowded

That was the track workout this morning, in a nutshell. Cold (39 degrees F, 4 degrees C) enough to see my breath, but fortunately I decided to wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt, so I was fine after warming up. Dark for 3/4 of the workout, as winter is approaching. Finally, it was crowded. A running club was meeting there today, and I had to park across the street because the parking was all full. I almost turned around and went home when I saw how crowded it was, but decided to give it a go anyway.

The bad:
Had to stay in lane 3-4 most of the time because of the crowds and the runners.
Some idiot in that club brings there yippy little dog with them, and the dog was pretty pesky.
Too dark to see my heart rate monitor, and with my gloves on the little flashlight I brought was hard to operate.
Got up a little later than I wanted and had to cut my workout down to size a bit.

The good:
I had a decent workout anyway, doing 4x800 in 4:48ish (10K pace) with 2:00 rest, plus warm-up and cool down. I was going to do 6x800, but time prevented it.
Overheard as I passed some runners who were walking in between their sets: "Walker on your left!" with a reply of "That ain't walking!" in a tone of amazement at my walking speed.
Burned almost 500 calories and felt good that I stayed for my workout.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Race photos

OK... I fixed the link. Race photos here.

Race results

(drum roll...)

I finished fourth, with a time of 29:16.5.

I am pleased that I finished in the top 5, and my time was good - but not great. I had a good race, but just didn't have that little extra something that it takes to feel really fast. I didn't feel as smooth and fluid as in my Thursday workout. However, I am really happy that I went because it was great to compete with other racewalkers. They were fast, too! The woman who won the race finished under 27 minutes, and she is 56 years old (and does NOT look it!). She holds the world Master's record for 5K for age 50-54, so I fully expected her to win. My friend/coach Jennifer, who drove up with me, finished 2nd with a time just over 28 minutes I think. The 3rd place woman finished in 28:52, (my best time for 5K is 28:53), and she was within striking distance of me the whole race, but I just couldn't turn on the power to get by her.

Nitty gritty race analysis: I went out a bit too fast the first mile (yeah, I should know better... sigh) at 9:06, and then the 2nd mile had a pretty good uphill for a bit so I did that in 9:47 or so, and then the last 1.1 miles I did in 10:23, picking up the pace. If I had done the first mile a bit slower I probably would have been able to do the 2nd and 3rd with a lot more kick and it would have been a faster race. I was trying too hard to stay with the walkers ahead of me instead of walking my own race.

Bottom line: I had a wonderful time anyway, and was totally thrilled just to BE there, and to be fit, and to have a chance to meet the racewalkers from Idaho.

It was a great experience to race with so many FAST women, and the atmosphere of the race (the Boise Women's Fitness Celebration) is fabulous. It's a huge 5K race (for women only, and over 10,000 women do the race!) that starts off with the elite wheelchair athletes. Then 5 min later the racewalkers get their own start! With thousands of women watching and cheering us on, we were off. 10 minutes later, the elite runners started, and then after them the rest of the runners started. The top elite runners passed me about 3-4 minutes before I reached the finish line, and it was really fun to watch them zoom by me as if I were standing still. What was neat about the order of the race start was that I could really see what place I was in and could tell exactly who was in front of me and how far, with no runners crowding the view.

The race has an amazingly festive feeling about it. Before the start, they had a dove release - hundreds of doves were loosed from ornate white wicker boxes, representing the dreams and hopes of the women in attendance. There were brightly colored balloon arches at the start, at each mile mark, and at the awards stage. Finally, along the last 0.1 mile of the race, men wearing tuxedo shirts, jackets, cummerbunds and bow ties along with shorts (yep, shorts!) flanked the race course and cheered the women on to the finish. They call it "Tuxedo Row".

They actually recognized the racewalkers in the awards ceremonies - the top 5 racewalkers, wheelchair athletes, and elite runners got flowers and recognition on stage. The wheelchair athletes and runners get prize money, and the racewalkers used to, but in recent years the race has not been officially judged (lack of qualified judges) so they don't give prize money to racewalkers anymore. However, I didn't care - I was thrilled to be on stage and receive a beautiful bouquet of multicolored roses.

After the awards for the top finishers, they added a beautiful touch - they gave each woman over 70 that completed the race a red rose, and a tuxedo-clad man escorted her across the stage, dancing to music by a live band. They announced the names and ages of all the over-70 finishers as they danced across the stage, and the crowd went wild.

The race allowed people to enter as competitive runners (timed), competitive fitness walkers (timed), or noncompetitive walkers (untimed, pushing strollers, etc.). So many women turned out to celebrate fitness and getting in shape. Women of all sizes, shapes, and colors were out there having a great time. I was heartened to see many larger-sized women out there, and I wish them all well in beginning or continuing their journey to fitness. It was obviously a place where any woman could feel comfortable, no matter her fitness level, her age, or her size, and I loved that.

I'm going to try and post some pictures soon.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ready or not...

Here I come! Off to Boise tomorrow for my first race with a racewalking division. I'm really excited and nervous and hoping for the best.

This morning's workout went great. After my warm-up and stretching, I did a short but fast workout. I wanted to see how fast I could do a 1K, inspired by Sarah's great times the other day. So, off I went, and I finished it in 5:27! Wow! I have never done one so fast, and didn't know that I could. But I only did one, because I wanted to take it easy today. So then I did an easy 200m, followed by 3x400m at approximately 5K race pace, each followed by an easy 200m. I did the 400s in 2:15, 2:16, and 2:16 (my 5K goal pace is 2:18, so I was a little fast). I felt like I was flying, loose and fluid. It was great. Hopefully I will feel like that on Saturday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Evening eating

Once again, the evening eating is getting out of control. I think it's because of 2 things:

1. I have cut back my points a lot to try and lose a little more weight to improve my racewalking. This has led me to feel deprived. That's not good, because then my self-control goes out the window and I binge.

2. I have not been getting enough sleep. That leads to feeling really tired (gee, ya think?) and then my self-control goes out the window and I binge.

The solution? I think I should put the weight loss plans on hold for a bit, so I can just feel normal for a while. I also need to blog less and go to bed earlier - not likely to happen :) so I'll settle for just stopping the weight loss train for a bit.


Some candids of my mom and her siblings