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.