Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Art Attack 5K photo

One more photo... the official race photo of me crossing the finish. It's informative, actually. I am getting a nice toe-off, but it looks like I'm leaning forward a little at the waist (gotta straighten up more!) and still perhaps overstriding a bit. My right arm is bent a little too much and swinging too high in front, which is probably connected to the overstriding and leaning. My form isn't too bad, considering that this is just yards from the finish and I'm quite spent.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

My baby is ONE!

Today is Michelle's birthday! We had a great party for her with her friends Nayra, Alex, Sam, Adam, and big brother Calvin.

Of course, she loved the ribbons more than any of the presents :).

She had the MOST fun with her cake, though. She really really loved it. When she got a bit tired and rubbed her eyes with the cake, it only slowed her down for a little bit, and then she was right back at it. Finally, she started to cry and fuss more, and we gave her a much-needed bath, which she enjoyed before taking a long afternoon nap.

I had fun remembering the joy of seeing her and holding her for the first time, and thinking about the year that has gone by. She has grown so much, and has become such a delight. (And honestly, I'm very glad that the sleeplessness of the newborn phase has passed!). Here's to you, Michelle! Mommy loves you so very much.

Art Attack 5K

I racewalked the Art Attack 5K this morning for a personal best time of 28:53!!!!! I received first place in the women's walking division, and Diane from the Wasatch Walkers received 2nd place (with our medals int he photo at left), so our club was well represented this morning (after the race, I talked with a runner who asked lots of questions about walking/racewalking - she has bad knees and I hope that I have convinced her to give walking a try; I also saw Diane talking with some people about the club).

I was VERY pleased with my time - I was just hoping to do under 30 minutes, so to finish under 29 minutes was a thrill. I pushed about as hard as I could, and it was tough to hang in there at the end. It was pretty uncomfortable - no, make that very uncomfortable, but it was a great race. I think I paced myself pretty darn well - I was at 14 minutes at the turnaround point, which was at 1.5 miles (slight downhill). Then it took 14:53 for the remaining 1.6 miles, which was a slight uphill.

My time was favorable when compared to the runners in my age group (35-39) - I would have come in 9th of 19. I also could have entered the Athena division (women over 140 lbs - yup, at 145 this morning, I qualify!) and WON it vs. the runners. Click here for full race results.

I'm excited to race again - next race is the Deseret News 10K on July 24th.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Longer LT workout

This morning I did another LT (lactate threshold) workout. 10 min warm up easy, followed by 30 min LT @ 85% max HR. I was pleased that I covered 5K in about 29:40-ish. I think I am really on track to have a great race on the 23rd, if I'm feeling good that morning, and if it's not too hot. At 8 am, it should be OK even if it's going to be a really warm day, so I'm hoping that the weather won't be a factor.


It's hard to find the right balance. It's so easy for me to keep taking on one more thing because, hey, it's just a little thing, right? And then I end up overwhelmed. I feel OK despite doing too much the past 2 weeks, but I know it's been over the top. I feel my reserves slipping away. I have to be more careful about what I say "yes" to. The last 2 weeks we did Kindermusik each M,W,F. Today I worked in the afternoon to make a little extra $ for racewalking lessons. I also spent most of the evening baking for a work party tomorrow and for Father's Day (I'm making Loren an ice cream cake). I think there have been a few other extra things that I've done as well, but can't remember them right now. Let's just say that I know I have done too much. I am committed to a bunch more stuff through next week - racewalking clinic Saturday morning, dentist appt Thurs afternoon (along with a pedicure, which will be relaxing :)!), 5K race I've been training for on the next Sat (the 23rd, Michelle's b-day) followed by Michelle's b-day party that morning at 11 am. Whew. It's going to keep me hopping.

After next week, I am really going to have to get some time to myself. I am going to have to say no to some things if necessary. Fortunately, my mom is coming to visit from June 27th-July 4th, so that should help me get some much needed REST.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Terrible Twos

I finally REALLY understand why they are called the Terrible Twos. My formerly sweet baby boy has turned into a monster. Sometimes. He can be pushing his sister over to get to a toy one minute and a sweetheart the next. If you don't do what he wants, he pitches GIANT fits. Nasty ones. And I DO NOT do what he wants. I refuse to cave in! That means I listen to a lot of fits every day, about everything from what color cup to put his milk in (I let him choose, but he changes his mind 20x and then he is just stuck with whatever I pick, and screams!) on up to more serious stuff like pushing Michelle, refusing to get in the car when I tell him to, etc. It's really pretty aggravating at times. When I'm tired and my patience is tried, it's very difficult sometimes to avoid yelling and getting nasty and angry (which doesn't help and just makes it worse). I'm learning to be more patient, but it's not a pretty thing.

More sleep helps. I think I'm going to bed now :).

Hard workouts getting more tolerable

The evil lactate threshold workouts are getting more tolerable since I've been doing them 2x/wk for the past month or so. Either I'm getting used to them, or my body is getting better at what it's supposed to be getting better at, or the music from Repacer is pulling me along :). Maybe all of the above. This morning's workout was hard, no doubt, but it felt great. 10 min easy warm-up, then 20 min at 85% max HR, then 10 min easy back home. The 85% max HR was at about a 5:30/km pace, according to my handy-dandy Nike+iPod sport kit (which is often somewhat inaccurate, but today it was right on for the total distance). Not too shabby! I'm hoping that means I'm ready to break 30 min in my 5K in a couple weeks.

The big debate now... go to Reno to do a judged 3K racewalk on July 21st, or not? I'm a bit worried that I still have too much bend in the ol' knees and that I'll get DQ'd. Would hate to drive 8 hr each way to do a 3K and then get DQ'd. I think I'll have Jennifer watch me at the clinic next Saturday and then decide. Part of the problem is that I do NOT have the nice bend-backwards type of knees that look great on a racewalker. Mine just DO NOT do that. Ever. Not even when I am standing still trying to extend maximally. Soooo, I'm just not sure about what I should do.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Fish pond success!

The most recent mortar job I did on the fish pond (when I found the dead rat!) was a resounding success!!! For the first time since we bought our house almost 5 years ago, our fish pond fills all the way - to where it's supposed to - and drains out the intended drainage hole. It's so awesome! I can't believe my mortar job actually worked. There are still a couple smallish leaks, but it's working really well.

Now we're going to tackle the landscaping and the concrete back there. And Loren is going to look into building a reservoir system so we can tap into some of the spring water and use it for our yard. One step at a time...

Threshold workout help!

I love Dave McGovern's racewalking alumni e-mail group - I was whining about how hard threshold workouts are (lactate threshold workouts, which in Dave's RW book are about 85% max HR), and someone suggested this software called "Repacer". It adjusts the beat of your music to match a desired cadence. For racewalking, to get my heart rate that high, I need to have my music about 190 bpm (for 190 strides per minute). Not many songs are that fast. But with Repacer, I can just speed them up a bit. I take my faster music files, and tell Repacer to make them 190 bpm (you can choose any bpm you want to repace your files to --- so this would be good for walkers, fitness walkers, bicyclists, runners, aerobics classes, you name it!), and voila! new music! It DOES NOT change the pitch of the music at all - just speeds it up a bit. It warns you if you try to speed it up TOO much, so the music will still sound great. In addition, the website I got it on has a search feature for songs of any tempo, so you can buy more music that is close to the speed you want. This program is AWESOME!

Last night I made 2 mixes - a 180 bpm mix and a 190 bpm mix, for my threshold workout this morning. I tested them out, and it really helped me keep my target HR! If I started to lag, the music kept me on track - knowing I had to keep my cadence the same as the music just gave me a kick in the seat of the pants. It was just what I needed to make the threshold workouts a little less painful.

Oh, and at only $24.95, it was a bargain. I had been considering getting another mp3 player that would change song speed, but hated to do that since I really LOVE my iPod nano. You can try the software for free (try it! you'll love it!), but to save a whole song you need to register it.