Wednesday, April 30, 2008

SugarHouse Park

This morning I had planned to do 3 x 1 mile at 10K pace but felt really sluggish and a bit out of sorts. I decided to swap w/Friday's workout and do an easy 1 hour. I went to SugarHouse Park (which was totally beautiful in the morning light, with the snow-covered mountains around it - the photo is not from this morning, though), around the park 2x, and back to my house with a little extra added on to make somewhere between 5.5 and 5.7 miles, I'm guessing.

Here's a picture of the park from the air. The road around it is 1.4 miles.

I finished in 56 minutes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

First spinning class

Today I tried spinning for the first time. I have never liked the stationary bike too much, so I wasn't sure I'd like this. But it wasn't too bad. It was a very hard workout, much harder than I would have gotten alone on a stationary bike. I wasn't bored, which was good. But all in all, I'm not sure it would be something I'd want to do all the time. I will only have 4 classes of it, and then it will be back to the usual weight training regimen.

I did sweat a LOT, and that was one of the major downers about the workout. I usually racewalk outside, in the cool (or downright COLD) of the morning, so the sweat evaporates readily and doesn't trouble me much. But cycling indoors with 20 other people generates a lot of heat, and even with fans, it was fairly warm in there.

It's nice for a change of pace, but I think I know why I like racewalking better!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Saturday & Sunday & Monday workouts

Saturday - easy 45 minutes planned; ended up doing 1 loop of Liberty Park and it took 42:30 from my house to the park, around the park, and back. That was faster than I though I'd do :)!

Sunday - easy 8 miler in about 1:27ish. Felt really great this morning, but my hands got unusually cold. The post-workout hot shower was awesome.

Monday - no weight training because I'm taking spinning Tu & Th for my interim class (until summer semester starts). So, I did a track workout. Warm-up and flex drills followed by 1600m in 9:25, 1200m in 7:01 (trying for 7:04 - a little fast!), 800m in 4:35, and 400m in 2:17. 2 min rest in between each, and then 1600m cool down. I felt good - could have gone faster and/or done more repeats, but I'm trying to work up to the fast stuff since I'm coming off the half marathon distance. All the same, it felt pretty smooth, and next time I'll go for a little harder workout.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Today at the park

After the Liberty Park workout this morning (2 laps very easy to teach Debbie some racewalking technique; I was pushing the stroller), I took the kids to the playground. They loved it! This was Michelle's first time on the big swing, and she did so well. Calvin always swings like this (on his stomach) and I can't convince him to try the regular way. He is such a non-conformist!

Confocal microscope

Here's a photo of the very expensive ($175,000+) microscope I use at work regularly. It's a really neat piece of equipment and I love using it.

Photo from yesterday

My piano students had their Guild auditions yesterday (well, 2 of them did - the other one who is doing Guild will be on Saturday). They did VERY well and the judge was quite complimentary to me :). Michelle had fun while we were there - she tried out all of the digital pianos.


Wednesday: biked to weight training class, then lifted for 50 minutes. It was a good hard workout to finish the semester. I'm taking spinning the next 2 weeks, just to do something different, but then it will be back to weights again.

Thursday: First workout for my 10K race; I did a hard but short workout to get going on the faster, shorter distance. I did 1 mile warm-up and cool-down, with 2 x 1 mile at 9:30 (goal). I actually did 9:23 and 9:24 for the 2 miles. Pretty speedy :)!

Today: Did 1 hour easy walking with the dogs, then came home and got the kids dressed. Took them to Liberty Park to meet the Wasatch Walkers. Debbie (a soon-to-be member - this was her 3rd workout and she is going to join!) and Glen (prospective member) were there. Debbie is starting to understand a little more and her knees were a little better today. She is picking it up pretty fast, I think! It was awesome to meet Glen. He is the former record holder in the 50K Masters' age 50-54. His record time was 5 hrs 13 min, set in 1986. WOW! That is a really fast time. I asked him what his fastest marathon was, and he said 4:07. I am really impressed. He gave Debbie some great pointers, and he told me I look really good. I pressed him and he said maybe I could have a longer stride with a bit more toe-off. He has been a judge before, too! He is now 72 years old, and can still walk an 11 minute mile in training. I hope I can do that at his age! Anyway, he was a super nice guy and he had lots of interesting racewalking stories to tell. He says he's coming to the Tuesday workout, so maybe I'll figure out a way to attend (I usually can't go because of work).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

50 things about me

My dad's cousin Luann tagged me to do this. The first few are going to be things she listed that I could also list (marked with a *).

*1. If in my teens and twenties I knew what I know now, I would have relaxed and enjoyed life a lot more. (My dad tried to tell me this when I was in college, and I did listen, but I just didn't quite get it, I guess).
*2. One of my secret pleasures is watching Desperate Housewives. I watch it on DVD from the library, because I hate commercials. I usually eschew TV, but sometimes I cave in to societal pressure, y'know?
*3. I am blessed beyond measure with good friends and a loving family.
*4. I am a recovering control freak with frequent relapses.
*5. Every year that I live, my life gets happier. (At least, that seems to be the overall trend; I heard this week on the news that research shows that, contrary to popular belief, older Americans are happier us young-uns).
6. My parents lived in Taiwan from 1987-1989 (my first 2 years in college), and I spent most of 2 summers there and visited 3 other times.
7. Related to #6, I took Chinese in college and speak a smattering of it now. It's a really neat language, but it is hard to learn.
8. I wish that I didn't have such a temper. I think I get it from my dad (no excuse, just reality). I tend to get irritated too easily and blow up at the people I love the most.
9. I really dislike winter. I get cold easily (especially since I've lost weight), and I'm too cheap to heat my house about 65F.
10. Related to #9, I hate driving in the snow. This is somewhat tempered by my new Rav4; the 4WD makes it bearable to a degree.
11. There is nothing better than getting lost in a really great book.
12. I like non-fiction, but #11 is not likely to happen unless it is fiction.
13. I'm not very good at carving out time to just sit and do nothing of significance. I need to learn to schedule some relaxation time into my overly busy life.
14. Though I am athletic now, for most of my life I was a ridiculed couch potato. I am terrible at ball sports, and since that was the only thing that was valued when I was in school, I thought I was destined to remain physically un-fit.
15. I played the clarinet in my high school marching band, and I was in the 1986 Tournament of Roses Parade.
16. I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but only lived there for 6 months and so have no memory of it.
17. Related to #16, I have always loved horses and watched the Kentucky Derby. If a filly is running, I want her to win every time!
18. Growing up, I had a huge collection of model horses and dreamed of learning to ride. I still don't know how.
19. I skipped second grade. I am not sure it was beneficial; I think I always felt later that I had to prove I deserved to be where I was, and it fed my perfectionistic tendencies.
20. I was tied with four others for valedictorian out of a high school graduating class of 777.
21. In college, I was one of four to be honored with the Muir Scholar Award at graduation.
22. Despite #19-21, I never went to graduate school, mostly because I realized that I was so achievement-oriented that I would drive myself crazy in life if I didn't learn to relax a little.
23. After graduating from college, I got a job working for the now giant biotechnology company called Invitrogen. At the time, it was a small company; I was employee #77, and I knew everyone that worked there.
24. My former boss at Invitrogen is now CEO of their subsidiary Molecular Probes in Eugene, Oregon; I am a senior lab technician at the University of Utah. I'm glad I'm not in his position, and I love my relatively low-pressure job.
25. Now on to some of the little stuff. I wear sheepskin slippers from Costco to keep my feet warm.
26. I refuse to pay much for furniture, so pretty much all of what we own is hand-me-downs or used.
27. I like to shop for clothes at thrift stores.
28. My favorite season is spring. I love flowers!
29. I volunteered for the 2002 Olympics and had a blast.
30. The week after the Olympics I had the worst flu in recent memory.
31. I don't know about or care too much about pop culture, and like it that way.
32. I have a major weakness for all things peanut-butter-and-chocolate.
33. Family stuff: I have one brother who is 2 years younger than me; he is married but doesn't have any children yet.
34. My parents are still married and are coming up on their 43rd anniversary.
35. Loren and I got married on my parents' 28th anniversary.
36. I have 2 grandparents that are still alive, and don't get to see them as often as I'd like because of distance. I get to see my grandma this summer, though! :)
37. I met Loren in chemistry class our freshman year of college, in September 1987. We started dating that December, and dated 5 1/2 years before we got married.
38. We had problems with infertility, and tried for 3 years to get pregnant with Calvin. When he was 11 months old, we went to the infertility specialist to see about trying for #2, and got pregnant on the first try (with medication), so our kids are 20 1/2 months apart.
39. Though we love the ones we have very much, we don't plan to have any more children. Two is enough.
40. I am a Christian and take my faith very seriously; as a scientist, I do not see any conflict between my faith and science. I see my faith as a rational and logical worldview.
41. I am interested in theology, particularly Calvinism, and have completed a Certificate in Christian Studies from Salt Lake Theological Seminary (2001).
42. I play the piano for the prelude, offertory, and communion most Sundays at the church we attend.
43. I wish I had more time to practice the piano and to play chamber music with friends. This season of life, with little children, has too many conflicts with that, unfortunately.
44. Instead I get to go to Kindermusik each week with my little ones. I trade with the Kindermusik studio owner; I teach her daughter piano in exchange for Kindermusik so that I don't have to pay tuition for it.
45. I have two dogs and a rabbit.
46. Five totally random items to finish: There are lots of magnets on our fridge from national parks we've visited.
47. My living room has blue paint and I'm tired of it. I think I might change it sometime this summer.
48. We used to have a hammock in our back yard and I loved it. It fell apart after a few years outside and I would like another one.
49. My favorite color is pink.
50. I love grapefruit without any sugar on it.

OK, now it's your turn!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Taking it easy

I'm taking it easy for a few days after the big race! Yesterday 15 min easy walking to warm up for weight training; I did a hard total body lifting session (hmmm, maybe that wasn't taking it so easy?) but felt good. Today I just did an easy 6K in 41 min or so.

Tomorrow - more weights; hopefully the weather will be warm enough to bike to class. I enjoy a little biking!

I will probably write myself a training schedule for the next 5-6 weeks soon, and begin working toward my next race: a 10K on May 31st. I wish I had a coach. I wish I could afford a good coach. I should call Jennifer and get her to coach me a little again this spring/summer. The budget might be the deciding thing, though.

Races tentatively planned for the rest of the year:
May 31st - Bridal Veil 10K in Provo Canyon
July 24th - Deseret News 10K in Salt Lake City
August 7-10th - USA National Master's Championships in Track & Field, Spokane WA; 5K & 10K judged racewalks
October 19th - Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco, with Team in Training

Monday, April 21, 2008

Race photos

You can see them here. Not too bad... most look good, a few have me leaning forward a bit from the waist (ugh! I thought I had cured that habit, but maybe it's the weird angle?). My knees look good so at least I'm legal :).

Here's the best one:

Oooooh, just noticed they're only 50% done assigning bib #s to photos. There will probably be more later :). I love pictures!

Official results

152. Tammy Stevenson
Salt Lake City, UT
Bib 5900
Sex F
Age 38
Time 2:14:12
Pace 10:14
Age group 152 / 323
Overall 2153 /3819
Female 1115 /2341

Not too shabby! In the top half of my age group vs. runners and in the top half vs. all women. I'm pleased. In the Athena division (women over 140 lbs) I would have been 61/174.

Other Wasatch Walkers results:
Marjorie Mullaly finished 3rd in her age group in 3:33:14!
Leah Malone got a new PB of 2:57:58!
Cindy Goshert finished her first half marathon in 2:58:15!

My runner friend from church who started the race with me beat me handily (and this after saying she was planning on a 2:45:00 finish!):
Stephanie Goeres 2:03:00

all race results here

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Link for more pics

I have a few more pics at if you are interested. Hopefully the MarathonFoto guys got some good ones, too. I'll post those when I get a chance.

Happy finisher

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mile 8


Loren took this on his camera phone (he forgot the good camera - drat!) as I went by mile 8.
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Stephanie & Tammy at the start

I ran into my friend Stephanie at the start - she did the half. I hope she did well - I didn't see her after we got going.
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At the start

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Salt Lake Half Marathon

Pictures to follow - stay tuned!

It was so nice & warm this morning. I was actually worried it would be too hot, but it could not have been more perfect. It was windy, but for the most part that didn't hurt much. There was a strong headwind for miles 1-3.5, but fortunately, most of that was downhill, so it evened out in terms of effort. Then we had a lot of tailwind with only a few more headwinds for the rest of the race. The tailwind was nice and cooling, as I did get a bit warm (but it was fine). The only really bad spot wind-wise was at mile 12.5ish, when I was about to turn north on Rio Grande to finish the race. The headwind was SO gusty and strong I could barely WALK, let alone racewalk. It was pretty amazing, but mercifully brief (20-30 sec?).

I got off to a great start, doing the first downhill mile in 9:30 or so. A bit fast, but I wanted to take advantage of the downhill. It was pretty crowded, but it didn't slow me down too much. The 2nd mile was mostly downhill but had some uphills, and I completed it in about 10:00. The 3rd mile was also mixed, and my watch said 30:11 total when I completed it. I was feeling really good, so I decided not to slow down, even though I was ahead of pace. The 4th mile was downhill to SugarHouse Park, and it was fast - I did another 9:30 for a total of 39:41. I was getting a little tired but breathing well at mile 5 in 50:05. I was quite pleased with my time at this point, though a little worried I would run out of gas since I'd gone out so fast. Miles 6-8 were a little tougher, as I did start to feel the distance, but I kept up the pace pretty well and hit mile 8 about 1:21ish (not sure how far). I took a bunch of water at mile 6 and a GU about mile 7, because I felt I needed a little nutrition. I saw Loren and the kids just before mile 8, as they had walked a couple blocks from our house to come out and see me :)! Going on, I passed some walker friends at the TNT cheer/aid station at mile 8, but they didn't see me even though I slowed quite a bit to take some water. I was feeling better now (the GU and water kicked in I guess) and got to mile 10 by 1:42:00 even! Awesome! Since my goal was 2:14:16, I had 32 min to do the last 5K. I knew I could do it, even though I was tired. I pulled a really fast mile out of my hat from 10-11, getting to mile 11 in 1:52:05. That might have been a bit fast, because mile 11-12 was very painful (had some intestinal cramps, too, which always happens to me in long races; the adrenaline/blood flow diverted to muscles does not agree well with my gut). I got to mile 12 about 2:02:30ish? (not sure) and the last 2 miles were a slight uphill... ouch. Still, I knew I could do the last 1.1 in 11ish minutes, so I poured it on, and the crowd was SO fantastic at the finish. I actually finished a few minutes ahead of the first male marathoner, and so the crowd was really big, because they were anticipating the marathon winner. I could hardly believe it when I clicked my stopwatch at the finish and it read 2:14:14!!! TWO seconds under my goal of 2:14:16! There were a LOT of runners finishing around the time I did, so the announcer was not able to read everyone's name, but even though I registered as a runner (there was no walking division), when I crossed the finish he said "and here's a racewalker, Tammy Stevenson"! I was so excited that he knew I was racewalking, and was elated with my time.

I made my way through the food line, got some food for Loren & the kids (I can never eat much immediately after a race) and saved a few items for myself for later. Called Loren, found out where he was, and had a sweet reunion with my family. They were so glad to hear of my fast race and new PR!

I'm pretty tired now, but feel good. I think my calves may be a little sore tomorrow - I was really working on my toe-off, and I feel it.

Oh, when I got home, there was an e-mail from an older gentleman who found my e-mail from the Wasatch Walkers website. We have been e-mailing all week since he's been rw'ing for about 25 years and used to have a club called the Wasatch Walkers! He came across our website and wanted to join, possibly. Anyway, I told him my race plans and he was there in Liberty Park (about mile 9.5) and said I looked perfectly legal with good form! This made my day even better.

Now I'm going to take a brief nap before teaching a piano student and going to the symphony tonight (and this after going to a 2-year-old's birthday party w/my kids! Busy day!).


Yesterday: Light racewalking + easy weights.

This morning pre-race: it's 59 degrees (15C) at 5:49 am! Wow, that's warm. I think I'll go with shorts and a short-sleeved shirt (hmmmm, maybe I should wear a singlet? Naaaaa... short-sleeved will be fine). It's windy, too, which will help keep it from being too hot. Crazy worrying about too hot in April.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Our day: Was as fun as I thought it would be, and Calvin was the model of good behavior today. Yippeee!


Sci-fi short story download: It was great - I loved the story, and it was pretty amusing as well as entertaining. Clever concept, and well done with a little twist at the end. All in all, a fun read and well worth the small donation. See yesterday's post for the link to download it yourself. Note: It is R-rated, but nothing gratuitous - all necessary for the plot I thought.

Almost done!

Before & After photos at left.

Calvin's room is about finished! All that remains is the window treatments (I have the wrong size curtain rods - grrrr!) and the wall decals (wanted to wait until paint dry for 24 hr before applying these). He loves it already, and it was so fun to see his excitement about all the Thomas the Tank Engine characters on his walls. He was talking up a storm about them :).

More photos here.

Feeling good

Today is going well, and we have fun plans!

Workout: 1 mile easy warm-up (10:30 - oops, a bit fast, but I felt good), 2 miles at race pace planned (10:15/mile) - actually did 10:02 and 10:11, then 1 mile cool down in 11:15 or so. Stretching felt awesome. I am ready to go for the big race Saturday!

Redecorating project: Yay! The last plaster patch re-do seems to be good. I primed it this morning and we are ready to roll. I told Calvin we'd do a little painting when Michelle goes down for her nap. Hopefully it won't take too long and then he can have a short nap too.

Fun plans for the day: We're taking TRAX downtown to go to the race expo and pick up my packet. The kids LOVE the train, so this should be very enjoyable.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

random news of the day

Workout: 15 min racewalking in the cold (29 degrees, about -2C?), which beat the stuffy basement of the HPER building, followed by weight training class. Today's session was all about balance - we did a ton of weird lifts involving one leg, one arm, bench press with heavier weight on one side, etc. It was pretty fun!

Calvin: was better today, for the most part. He weathered the grocery store and Costco very well :). Whew.

Michelle: screamed the entire time I was making dinner because I wouldn't pick her up. Fortunately, it didn't take long to prepare, since I made broiled salmon, couscous, and broccoli. For dessert we had baked apples (crock pot!) on top of light vanilla ice cream.

Piano students: 2/3 of the lessons were good. My first student is very well-prepared for the Guild auditions next week. My 2nd student is going to do fine, though not as polished as the 1st student. My 3rd student was a disaster; that student is not doing Guild this year, fortunately... but needs to get in gear ASAP because I am rather frustrated!

Food: not good today. I ate too much candy. Sigh. Fortunately, I have had a really good week otherwise. I was saving points for a sundae on Friday at Baskin-Robbins but I guess that will have to wait until next week. Oh well. Some days are just better than others. Tomorrow will be better.

Roof: Still leaking, unfortunately. Yesterday's storm caused more havoc with our wall. I called a roofer today and they came out and tarred some more spots and fixed (jury-rigged, as they are not tile types) a couple roof tiles. If that doesn't do the trick, they suggested calling the roof tile experts. Let's hope it works. The next big storm is supposed to come through on Sunday. Anyway, I had to re-do my plaster patch AGAIN. Ugh!!! I hate that stuff!

Rummage sale: I was in charge of placing the ad for our church rummage sale, and I finally got around to it. If you are in town, the sale is at New Song Presbyterian Church, 859 E 800 S, 8 am to noon on Saturday April 26th. I know for a fact that there will be a ton of baby stuff, since I'm donating it :)! We are done with the baby phase, barring divine intervention in our human plans.

Sci-fi short story: One of my favorite sci-fi authors has a short story for download; honor system with suggested donation via Paypal or I have purchased it and will let you know what I think after I read it, which is what I'm going to do now instead of going to bed at an appropriate hour. Silly me!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Walking from work to my car

Driving snow... oh how pleasant. My car had a lot of snow on it, too. The good news is that it's supposed to be warm and dry for Saturday's race.
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Here's the snow...

At our house at 6:00 pm. Quite a contrast from 7 am, huh?
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Now it's snowing hard. Not sticking yet though.

Crazy spring weather

It was SO warm this morning! I got up and was all ready to go to the indoor track, because it was really windy, and I thought it would be cold with the wind chill. I looked at the thermometer, and it said 62 degrees (17 C)!!! I decided that even though it was really windy that I wouldn't be cold outside, even in shorts and a T-shirt. So off I went for a lovely outdoor workout, leaving the dogs at home, because I was just in the mood to be alone. I warmed up and then did 3 miles at half marathon pace. OK, not true. I warmed up and attempted to do 3 miles at half marathon pace. I was a little fast. The first mile was 9:47, the second 9:53, and the third I got right in 10:15. I felt so fast and fluid and easy this morning - my heart rate was only in the low 150s even when I did my 9:47 mile! I hope I feel like that on Saturday for the race.

When I got back to the house, I decided to take a photo. You can see I'm wearing shorts, and hey, my tulips are finally blooming!!! It really felt like a summer morning workout this morning, and I loved it.

It was so warm here this morning because a storm is on the way. Warm and windy means it's going to get cold and wet quickly. By the time I got to work this morning it was down to 49 degrees (9 C) and still falling. We have a 50% chance of rain and/or snow, with mid-40s forecast for this afternoon.
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Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring - for a moment anyway...

Yesterday it was gorgeous. Should have taken a photo to go with this, but these will have to suffice (starts w/old photos of the leak; ends with fixing the chimney). Loren got up on the roof and fixed things, we took the kids to the park, and otherwise enjoyed the warm weather. I finished plaster patching & stripping the last bits of stubborn wallpaper in Calvin's room, too, and taped in preparation for priming & painting. Just have to wash the walls & we'll be ready to go.

This morning it was a balmy 47 degrees (supposed to get into upper 70s today - yay!, but tomorrow is a 30% chance of rain and SNOW!), so I rode my bike to weight training class, had a good workout, and biked home. My heart rate monitor informs me that I burned 458 calories; lower than my last one would have said - but I believe this is more accurate, mainly because it allows you to select "Male" or "Female" (they both had data entry for age and weight and resting heart rate). Alas, women burn fewer calories because of our body composition.

After my workout, I got the kids dressed & came to work. And I had better get on the stick! I have lots to do today.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I love the taper...

Ahhhh, only 6 miles today. Nice & easy, 6.02 miles in 1:05:29 for about 10:53 per mile. It felt so short after the walks of the past few weekends: 10 mile race, 14 miles, 12 miles, etc. But I'm resting up for the BIG day on Saturday! This will be my third half-marathon, and hopefully my best yet. I feel like my racewalking technique is decent now, and this race is a slight downhill on nice pavement (vs. the dirt of my last half) that will allow a better toe-off. I am trained & ready to have a great race! I would love to get an average 10:15 mile for a 2:14:16 total time, but we will see. That's a goal, and maybe it's not totally realistic, but I gotta have something to shoot for :)!

Uh-oh gotta run... naptime seems to be over :(.

Edited to add: I'm doing the Salt Lake City Half Marathon

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Random Saturday Stuff

1. Workout - 1 hr easy racewalking. Felt great!
2. Weight Watchers meeting - same weight as 3 weeks ago. That's good, considering all the candy I ate for Easter.
3. Home Depot trip - bought stuff to repair leaking chimney (we hope!) and to re-do Calvin's room.
4. Lunch!
5. Loren repairs chimney while I fix plaster patch in Calvin's room and start stripping wallpaper.
6. Kids nap, Loren plays computer games, I hit a couple grocery stores to get bargains (sale on strawberries & some other things).
7. I teach a piano lesson & prepare dinner.
8. After dinner Calvin helps me strip more wallpaper. We finish!
9. Now I'm tired... workout plan for tomorrow: 6 miles easy (taper for 1/2 marathon next Saturday!).

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday workout

Tried out my new heart rate monitor, a Polar F6, and it was pretty good. It has a backlight (yay!), tracks your time in zone (which it will determine by any of 4 different methods), calculates calories burned, synchs to my computer, keeps track of your last 12 workouts on the watch and even more on the computer, and is generally superior to my old one in every way, except for the crummy stopwatch. It only counts up, does not do lap times, and if you want to reset the stopwatch you have to start a new workout. Ummm, hellooooo?


OK, my workout... 15 min racewalking to warm up, and then weight training class. Nothing particularly remarkable about either. I'm happy it's Friday!

Freak-out Friday

Today was not a good day for Calvin. Everything was an excuse to throw a tantrum, scream, protest, and freak out. By the time we arrived at Kindermusik at 11:15 am, I was more than ready for a break. Thankfully, the Kindermusik class was just what the doctor ordered, and by the end of class, I could breathe again.

I had to work this afternoon, but it was a welcome break from the kids.

Mom told me there would be days like this...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Track workout

I did a speed workout today; it was the last hard workout before my half marathon on the 19th. Goal was 3x (1055m in 6:00, 422m in 2:19, 211m in 1:08), with 2 min rest in between each interval.

1st set a bit fast.
1055m in 5:54, 422m in 2:15, 211m in 1:06.
2nd and 3rd sets were right on, almost exactly, or a second faster. It was hard on the last set to keep going, as my legs were tired, but I did it!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I've had better days

It started off well enough. Workout was nice - 15 min racewalking warm-up, then a great weight training session.

Then it went downhill. I noticed the wallpaper was crinkly to the right of Calvin's window. Getting closer, I inspected it. It was damp to the touch and wrinkled. The plaster wall (yes, plaster - we have a 1940 house) was damp from the window over to the next wall. A bit of detective work showed that the plaster is a thin layer over mortar. The mortar is there because our chimney is directly behind the wall (the house is wood frame, not brick, but the chimney is brick). Bummer... the chimney is leaking, and I'm not sure exactly where. I got out the ladder and investigated/took pictures. The gutter seems OK. I think maybe our flashing (the metal sheets around the base of the chimney) is not so great, or there is a crack in one or more roof tiles, or perhaps the mortar in between some of the chimney bricks is cracked. Here are the pictures, if anyone would care to give me some advice. Yay. I love being a homeowner. Actually, I do love having a house, and it has given us less trouble than I thought it would when we bought it 6 years ago. Still, I could live without this little bit of trouble.

Silver lining in the cloud: I was going to strip Calvin's wallpaper anyway because it was maps, from when Loren's office was in there. I just got the new Thomas the Tank Engine borders and curtains and switchplate cover in the mail today, so once the leak is fixed, I've got a head start on the wallpaper stripping job. It's nice that it happened in a room I was going to re-do anyway.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tagged by Sara

Sara tagged me (well, she tagged everyone, and I am responding).

Four jobs I've had: library aide (my first job), snack bar attendant at a ritzy country club, reader/notetaker for disabled students (blind and/or deaf), primary tissue culture of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (this was my first lab job).

Four TV shows I'm watching: don't watch TV much, and if I do, I just get DVDs from the library. Loren has talked me into watching Desperate Housewives (seasons 1 & 2 so far). I got the "Planet Earth" (BBC series) DVDs for my birthday and they're outstanding. We've watched a couple of movies lately - can't remember the titles (lame, I know); one was a documentary about the first men on the moon & it was fabulous. Finally, we took Calvin to see "Horton Hears a Who", and he loved it.

Four places I've been: Taiwan (my parents lived there for 2 years while I was in college, so I visited 5 times and stayed there for 2 summers), Glacier National Park (really you must go there if you haven't), North Dakota (I was the first in my well-traveled family to actually set foot in the state!), and Keokuk, Iowa (where my parents grew up).

Four musical artists I'm listening to: Lifehouse, Kindermusik (endless supply in my car CD changer... provides much sanity), Murray Perahia (my favorite pianist), and Petra (80s Christian hard rock band; yeah, I know I need to update my taste, but I like what I like!).

Quick update

Sunday workout: 6K easy racewalking
Monday workout: 10 min easy racewalking to warm up, then total body weight training.
Tuesday workout: 1 hour tempo workout. Didn't quite keep tempo; maybe 10:15 per mile is too ambitious for my 1/2 marathon? We'll see.


Now I'm at work and having lunch (yup from 2:30 - 3 pm; been busy). I have been taking pictures of slides of regenerating newt spinal cords. 657 pictures taken today, so far. Whew.


Updated photo total: about 1000. My colleague is assembling them to make a 3-D picture of the regenerating spinal cord in the newt. Really cool.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Salt Lake 10-miler

Today was race day! I got up, expecting nasty weather, but to my surprise, the meteorologists were wrong. It was clear and chilly (45F at the airport; 37F (3C) at the top of Emigration Canyon), and perfect race weather. I drove to the start and warmed up, doing 8 minutes easy plus some pick-ups.

The course was beautiful. It started at Little Dell Recreation Center, in East Canyon, and went over Little Mountain and then down Emigration Canyon to This is the Place Historic Monument. Here's a view of the canyon from the air (it's the bottom canyon in this picture).

Here's a view from the ground. It was lots snowier today, though, with snow along the road at least halfway down the canyon, like in the aerial picture. Beautiful!

The race started pretty much on time (7:30), and aside from a little wind, it was perfect. There were a good number of people, but it wasn't crowded at all. The first 2 miles were uphill - and though it was a steep hill, it was eminently racewalkable (just made that word up). I finished the first mile in 10:29, and the second in 11:15 or so. The rest of the course was downhill, and I started to make up time quickly (my goal was 10:15 miles overall). At 5 miles my watch said 50:36, and I was really pleased. Hey, that downhill was helpful! I was worried that it would be too steep to racewalk, but it wasn't at all - it was just nice and FAST. Mile 6 was 1:00:10, and mile 7 was 1:10:20, so things were going well. At this point I thought "Hey, maybe I can finish under 1:40!". By this time I was starting to get a little tired, but I did mile 8 by 1:20:10, and mile 9 by 1:30:04. I knew it would be close, so I really turned on the gas, and that last mile was really tough. My legs were burning and I was breathing very hard. I crossed the finish line in 1:38:34!!! However, I wonder about the length of that last mile - no way I did an 8:30, even downhill, even pushing hard, at least I don't think I could have. But whatever. It was a fabulous race and I was ecstatic with the finishing time.

Here I am at the finish.

I have no idea what it means for my ability to do a flat race like the CRIM 10-miler in August. I'm sure my time will be quite a bit slower on a flat course, but hey, it was fun to go fast today!

I originally entered the race as a runner, because there wasn't a walking division on the website, so I wasn't expecting to get an award. However, James, the race director, recognized my Wasatch Walkers gear at the finish and had them change my number to the walking division instead. What a great guy! The funny thing was that I was the only walker there today, so I got a medal by default. I don't mind at all, as I raced hard and it's nice to have a medal to celebrate my successful race.

Official Race Results: 140 of 177

Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday frustration

My son just turned 3 1/2 today. Happy 1/2 birthday, Calvin! He does know how to frustrate me, though. Everything was a battle today. I won, but it wasn't fun or pretty. Sigh...


In workout news, I took it easy today. I'm still a bit sore (but not too bad) from Wednesday's total body weightlifting session. Today we did arms only, and it was a good hard workout. Then I went for a moderate walk around Liberty Park 2x with a potential new member of the Wasatch Walkers, who is also in my Weight Watchers meeting. Then took the kids to the playground at the park; total walking distance was probably 3.5 miles, very very easy (15-17 min pace?), which was fine since I wanted to rest up before the race tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the Salt Lake 10-miler. It's supposed to rain here in the valley (4300 ft), but it's only going to be about 37 degrees F (3C). The race starts at 5800 feet and goes up to 6200 feet before descending to about 4500 or so ft. I think it will probably be snowing at the top. So, my question: do I bring my running shoes and just plan on running most of the race? I haven't trained to run 10 miles, but could probably do it. Or, should I try and racewalk and just hope it's not snowing too hard at the top? Or should I racewalk and then run if the snow gets too deep? I think I will just come prepared. I'll wear warm clothes and bring my running shoes to the start. Then if the snow looks really bad I'll put them on; if not, I'll plan to racewalk. It's going to be COLD though, either way. Ugh! Oh well... it will be quite the accomplishment when I finish, I guess!

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I have found some peanut butter that is only 1 point for 2 Tbsp (only 54 calories vs 190 in regular peanut butter for the same serving size)! It's really delicious, too, and can be used in all kinds of recipes. The only down side is that you have to have it shipped. However, it is totally worth it :). It's called "PB2" and it's powdered peanut butter. They press the oil out, so they get rid of most of the fat but not the flavor. I know, it sounds too good to be true, but I really like it. If you decide to order some, enter my e-mail address as a referral and I'll even get a small commission. No, I'm not writing this because of that - it's a great product for this peanut butter & chocolate lover, and I wanted others to enjoy it too. Mmmm!

balloon sadness

Had to happen sooner or later. Today, we got some balloons at Dan's (grocery store), and Calvin let go of his getting out of the car :(. He was VERY upset for about 10 minutes and cried a lot. I felt pretty sorry for the poor little guy, and gave him lots of hugs and some strawberries. Now he seems better.

Wed & Thurs workouts

Wednesday: 15 min racewalking to warm up, then weight training. We did a very inventive whole body workout that was quite the cardio workout too. Nice. I'm a bit sore today (legs) after doing this yesterday, but still feel pretty good.

Thursday: Did a tempo walk to get ready for Saturday's race (10-miler). Warmed up, did some flexibility drills, then 3 x 1 mile @ race pace (my goal is 10:15 per mile; ambitious, but I think I can do it!). I did them in 10:04, 10:10, and 10:12, and felt great.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Did it!

Did NOT want to get out of bed. Did NOT want to do my 5K threshold workout. But I did it!!!

6 laps warm-up (211m each) in 8:30 or so, flexibility drills, then 5K at 85% max HR of about 160; completed it in 30:31 (actually 24 laps, or 5064m, so a bit longer than 5K, and average pace was 6:01 per km). 6 laps cool-down and stretch.

Now I'm really happy I got up and did it, because I do feel ever so much better. I'm still tired, but at least I'm functional. Don't know why I'm so tired; I got 7.5 hrs of decent sleep. I guess I just wanted another 30-60 minutes :). Maybe tonight.