Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Deseret News 10K

The 10K I have been training for was this morning, and I am proud to say that I reached my goal of finishing in less than 1 hour. According to my watch, I did 59:26!!! That's the good news. I am very pleased with the race overall.

I think I didn't pace it as well as I might have. I went out fairly fast because of the downhill at the start (BIG downhill - I did the first mile in a very comfortable zone at a 9:04 pace!!!), and was able to maintain faster than my goal pace of 9:39 per mile very well until mile 4-5 (37:22 at mile 4, 48:00 at mile 5 - 10:23 for that mile, whereas the first 4 miles were an average pace of 9:20 per mile). Mile 5-6.2 was pretty ugly - i.e. pretty painful to keep the pace. It was a slight uphill for the last 0.8 mile or so, making it more painful. Despite the uphill, I actually was a bit faster than mile 4-5, at 11:26 for the last 1.2 (a 9:32 pace - pretty good), but IT REALLY HURT. My lungs were searing and my legs were almost jello. But I finished well.

The lesson seems to be that what seems like a comfortably fast pace at the start may not actually be a smart (i.e. slow enough) pace. Of course, the downhill confounds the race analysis a bit. I did plan on going a tad faster at the start because of the downhill, and so the race was according to plan, more or less, but I didn't anticipate how tired I'd feel after 4 miles of fast downhill.

Another issue - racewalking technique and form. Since this was not a judged race, I have no idea if I was really doing it right. I know there were times that I might have gotten bent knee calls if it was judged. I caught myself slipping into lazy form a few times. However, I think for the most part I did a good job of maintaining better form than I have in the past. I worked pretty hard to keep upright (not lean forward), push off my toes, and keep the ol' knees straight. Not sure if it was a total success, but that's OK. Each time I race I will get better.

Finally, a few thoughts on distance. I have to say that the 10K was MUCH more painful than the 5K. I really enjoyed the 5K race that I did at the end of June, whereas I can only say that I enjoyed the first 40 minutes of this race. Maybe I will concentrate on shorter races in the future? I seem to like them better. I might try to do some more 5Ks and maybe even a 3K. We'll see.

I think the next goal in my sights might be the Boise Women's Fitness Celebration 5K in September. Maybe... have to convince Loren that he wants to come with me and bring the kids for a weekend in beautiful Boise :). They have a 5K exhibition racewalk there, and it would be a blast to meet some of the good walkers from Idaho there.

Friday, July 20, 2007

ahhhh, work! (sort of...)

After 2 days at home with the kids, I was ready to go back to work today. I did enjoy my couple of days off, mind you, and got a lot done around the house, but I was definitely ready for a change of pace today. I got in to work and went straight to the microscopy core for a 5 hour stint on the confocal microscope (which, incidentally, is worth more than we paid for our house!). It was going great - I had Stephen King's "Cell" on my mp3 player (courtesy of the SLC public library's nifty audiobook lending program) and was getting some fabulous photos. About 3 1/2 hours into my session, I was interrupted by the boss, who informed me that the day care had called and Michelle was running a fever (they couldn't reach me because the microscopy core is a giant cell phone signal black hole, which fit the book I was listening to :)!). Drat. I still needed to finish the photos, or I'd have to come back on the weekend. Fortunately, they were willing to keep her for another 1 1/2 hrs so I could finish up. I got to the day care as quickly as possible, and the kids were both asleep. I lingered there, chatting with the director and reading the newspaper and eating my lunch until the kids woke up. Michelle is doing fine with a little Tylenol, and I'm glad I got to finish my photos.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Good workout

This morning I did 1200m in 7:03, 1000m in 5:54, and 800m in 4:48 with 2 min rest inbetween. I think I'm feeling better, because that was pretty close to what I wanted to do for my 10K pace for Tuesday's race. I am worried I'm a bit undertrained to have the endurance for the whole race, but my coach says better under than overtrained. We'll see!

Poor little guy

After dinner (of which he ate not even one bite), my little boy crawled up on the couch and announced, "I'm lying down, Mommy". He was so still and quiet that after comforting Michelle (who was pretty upset after it took me too long to clean up the dishes), I went and got the thermometer. 103.7, it said. Yikes! Gave him some Tylenol and put Michelle to bed. After about 30 minutes, he wanted to play with his trains, but all he did was lie down on the floor next to them, and 15 minutes later he was asleep. Yup, asleep, on the living room floor. I gathered him in my arms and put him to bed. Poor little guy. Hopefully he will feel a little better in the morning.

Monday, July 16, 2007


The last couple weeks have been pretty draining. Work has been demanding, and everything else has been pretty busy, too. I also managed to get some bug the kids brought home, and was just under the weather enough to notice, but not sick enough to slow down.

Yesterday and today I have been feeling better, though. I did a 10 mile walk yesterday morning, and while not as fast as usual, was feeling pretty decent for the most part. Today I biked to weight training, and had a great workout. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's workout - I'm going to the track and will try to do some intervals at 10K race pace. I did that on Saturday and it was lousy - I could NOT keep up the pace. Hopefully tomorrow will be better, since I am feeling pretty good. Of course, if I don't get to bed soon, like now, I won't be feeling so great.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Looking back

I was reading Ollie's blog entry for today, and it made me think a lot... and so I wrote a response, which I'm going to stick here for my readers to peruse as well.

Thanks for your post. It is always interesting to read others' perspectives on the weight issue. As someone who has lost 105 lbs and kept it off for almost a year (so far!), I have a lot of emotions about the whole thing. I remember how it was to be fat - how people look at you, and how icky you feel all the time. I remember the self-loathing, the shame, and burying the pain of it with still more food. However, I also know the other side now - the marvelous feeling of taking the bull by the horns and working incredibly hard to change my lifestyle. I now know the freedom of shopping for clothes in normal stores, looking great in a little black dress, and racewalking a 5K under 30 minutes. If I could go back in time and talk to myself on February 4, 2005 (the day before I joined Weight Watchers), I would tell myself not to be so scared. I'd say, "You are about to embark upon the best and most fulfilling journey of your life - enjoy the adventure!". And today, I am loving it!!!

Hard at work?

Andras and I toasting the acceptance of the lab's paper into "Cell", one of the most prestigious scientific journals. (If anyone from the U is reading this, it's sparkling cider, honest! ;)!)

Happy 14th Anniversary

OK, so it was a few weeks ago, but hey, at least I'm posting the picture! We enjoyed a nice dinner out at The Paris, one of the finest restaurants in the city (in our humble opinion, anyway).

Our secrets to 14 happy years? We communicate pretty well, we are able to put up with a lot of nonsense from each other, and we try to have fun whenever possible :).

Article about a racewalker in training

This article from the Denver Post was really fascinating - about Kevin Eastler, a talented and serious racewalker in training.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Killer workout

This morning's workout was a toughie. 10-40-10 tempo workout. 10 minutes warmup, then 40 minutes at 85% max HR, then 10 minutes cooldown. I walked to Liberty Park for my warmup, and then went around the park 3 times (1.4 miles/2.25 km for each lap - 4.2 miles total/6.75 km total) for my fast 40 minutes. My lap times were 13:53, 14:23, and 14:29. I wanted to stay at 14:00 for each lap (a 10 min/mile pace - about 6:13/km), but just did not have it in me to do it this morning. That last lap was a total killer. I was maybe 10-20 feet behind a jogger almost the whole way - it kept me motivated trying to keep up with her. I passed her once, but she quickly passed me back and stayed in front.

Good think my 10K is a bit downhill, or I don't think I could keep the 9:39/mile (6 min/km) pace for 6.2 miles. This morning it would not have happened, but each day is different, and it was really HOT this morning. I was sweating quite a bit by the 2nd lap, and by the time I got home at 7:20 am, it was really quite warm - probably 77 degrees. One good thing about the 10K is that it is at 6 am, and maybe I'll get lucky and it will be a bit cooler than this morning.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Racewalking update

I met with Jennifer again on Tuesday - she has given me 2 private racewalking coaching sessions now. It was a really helpful session, as we focused a lot on technique. She gave me some invaluable assistance on upright posture, better toe-off, and more. She also encouraged me to make sure I get enough rest and don't overtrain. Who me, overtrain :)? As if my body was agreeing with her, halfway through the workout I overused a muscle that usually doesn't get worked that hard, and I had to ease off due to some minor pain/discomfort in the groin. So, I had to take the day off on Wednesday, which was needed. The good news is that after a day of rest and some nice anti-inflammatory meds, I feel pretty great. I did about 10K Thursday morning at a nice relaxed pace (about 7 min/km) and it felt just fine. Today, I did my usual weight training routine, no problem.

Tomorrow I plan on a bit harder workout, since I feel pretty recovered. I am going to do a longer tempo workout to challenge myself in preparation for my next race - the Deseret News 10K on July 24th. I am hoping to complete it in under 1 hour, which will be tough. It's a downhill course, though, so I think I have a good shot at it.

On politics

If you are a 20 or 30-something associated with the PCA, do consider giving your thoughts to Craig, who is writing an article for By Faith magazine about our thoughts on politics. Just leave a comment on his blog.

Thanks, Mark, for calling my attention to this interesting topic.