Thursday, July 31, 2008

How far I've come

 Haven't posted a "before" picture in a while. I have come a long way, baby! This is me with Calvin in January 2005, one month before I joined Weight Watchers.
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I love summer

 Summer used to be one of my least favorite seasons. Before I lost weight, I was always HOT HOT HOT and dreaded July & August. 105 lbs lighter, I LOVE SUMMER! I am constantly cold in the winter (definitely notice the lack of insulation!) and want for fresh produce. Ahhh, but summer... I love it now, even when it's hot. This has been the 5th hottest July on record here, and I don't mind one bit. Yes, I've had a few really hot track workouts, but strangely, it hasn't bothered me too much. For the most part, I work out early in the morning, so the heat isn't too bad, and I love being able to wear just shorts and a T-shirt for my workouts. No looking at the thermometer, seeing how freezing cold it is, and deciding to wear 3 layers and Gore-Tex gloves. Nope, just get up, throw on the shorts, and out the door. Oh, and the fresh fruit: berries, cantaloupe, peaches, and more!

In honor of summer, the kids and I went for a long walk together and got Crystal Light Slurpees at 7-11. No better way to celebrate the season :)!
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Last hard speed workout before Spokane

I stayed up too late last night reading and relaxing, so it was hard to get out of bed this morning when my alarm went off at 5:30 am. But I'm glad I did. It was my last hard speed workout before Spokane, since my 5K is next Friday morning and I want to be well-rested before I go. I do have a 12-miler with TNT on Saturday morning, but it will be an easy pace, and I'll probably go to the track and do a few race pace intervals Tuesday and Thursday, but nothing too long.

Today's workout was 5x1K with 400m recovery (no stopping). I wanted to see if I could do them all in 5:36 or less, because if I'm going to race a 28:00 5K, that is 5:36 per km. I did the first one in 5:33, no problem. The second one was a bit harder, but still did it in 5:35. I did wonder if I could keep it up; I was pretty winded but recovered fine on the 400m. I pushed hard to get the third one in 5:34. I wasn't sure I'd be able to do the last two that fast, and I started each one with 3:24 for the first 600m (3:22 would have been the pace for a 5:36). However, I was able to sprint to the finish for each of them and finished both in 5:35. Wow! My heart rate was really high (177, or 92.6% max) after the last one, but I did it. I'm not sure I could do them that fast without the recovery laps, but maybe on race day with the adrenaline going and the competition, I'll be able to. I'll just have to play it by ear a little and see how it goes. I think it's more realistic to shoot for a 28:30, but I would so love to be able to get that 28:00. Today's total time for the 5K was 27:54, but that was with the recovery laps. So, who knows? We'll see what race day brings. I do feel like I have trained about as well as I can, and I feel proud that I have been able to do this without a coach and without teammates to spur me on through the hard track workouts. Whatever race day brings, I know that I have worked as hard as I can, and that I'm as ready as I can be. That's a great feeling.

On another note, I found out that I have a great aunt who lives in Spokane. I had no idea! I just called her this morning, and she is going out of town next Friday, but we are going to try to get together on Thursday night (I arrive in Spokane at noon on Thursday). It will be really fun to meet her and find out some of the good family stories.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I wonder if I'm crazy. Paige, a friend from church, offered to take the kids swimming this morning for a few hours, and so I gladly took her up on it (the pool was closed so they ended up going to the park instead). What would you do if you had 2 hrs to yourself as a mom? Go to a bookstore? A coffee shop? Shop for some clothes? Read a good book? No, I did not do any of these. I decided to deep clean my whole kitchen. I did talk on the phone with my mom as I worked, but other than that, all I did was clean and prepare the slow cooker for tonight's dinner. It felt good to do it, and now it's nap time and I'm going to rest too!

Oh, today's workout: brief racewalking warm-up, then total body weight training class. That was the last class for several weeks; I may go to the gym in between and do some lifting, or I may just do some extra walking. No plans for sure yet.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another Hot Tuesday

96 degrees at the start of the workout tonight, but only 7% humidity (pretty dry, even for here). We were scheduled for 4x1600, and I was determined to do it no matter how hot it was. Floyd Ormsby, a racewalking coach who has lived in Utah a long time, was at the workout tonight. I had met him only once and he'd never seen me walk before. I was glad he was there, because I figured some tips would be helpful. He's about 80 years old, but just coached a boy to the national title in 3000m (14:29 was his time!) so I figure he knows his racewalking.

I warmed up, taking the first 2 laps very slow in 6:30 because I wanted to chat with Nancy and Kathy. Then I did 2 laps faster, in about 5:00 so that I'd be nice & warm. I drank a bunch of water and rested a minute, chatting w/Floyd. Then I got started. The first 1600 was in 9:06 - whoa, WAY too fast for the conditions! The next one I did in 9:20, but knew I was in trouble because my legs were starting to feel heavy. I did the third one in 9:30 (I was hoping for 9:25 for all 4) and after I did it I was QUITE nauseous. I very narrowly avoided puking; fortunately there was a trash can there in case I needed to. I hate throwing up, so I did everything I could not to, and it seemed to work. I decided to take the last one a bit easier, and I did it in 9:48. I cooled down, and felt very virtuous for finishing that hard workout in the intense heat.

Floyd seemed very impressed with my walking, which was wonderful to hear. He said my technique was very good, and only suggested that I need to keep my elbows in a little bit - I had them doing a little too much side to side motion. Other than that, he was very pleased. It was great to have him watch me, because now I feel even more secure about not getting DQ'd in Spokane NEXT WEEK. YIKES! IT'S NEXT WEEK! I'm getting nervous, but I feel as ready as I'm going to be.

Cross training and FUN

Last night my friend Dorothy and I decided to do some easy biking. Loren was generous enough to watch the kiddos (I put Michelle to bed at 7:30 and then left immediately; he put Calvin to bed) so I could go out. We biked from my house to the mouth of Emigration Canyon, then up the canyon to the first hairpin turn. It was getting a bit dark, so we turned around and biked back. Total time: 1 hr 43 min; only 15 min of that was above 70%max HR. It was a good ride, though, and my quads were tired at the top. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Dorothy and hearing all that she's been up to, and it was a great night to be outside. It was a tad warm at the start, but in the canyon it was beautiful and breezy, and very comfortable.

Tonight I'm scheduled for a hard track workout, and it's going to be HOT at 6 pm. I'm not expecting too much speed-wise, but hopefully it will still be a good workout.

Hmmm, people actually read this blog

I had no idea that my opinion was so interesting to anyone. I started this blog basically to write about anything and everything, and as I've gotten fit, it's gravitated a lot towards racewalking. Since then, I think I've managed to pick up quite a few readers - or at least become visible on Google. My post a while back about the Snickers Speedwalker Ad seems to have garnered some interest in the advertising community. Cindi Leeman, editor of WALK! magazine, has pointed out to me that Advertising Age (an advertising magazine) picked up on my post in an online article about the ad.

The article says, "What was probably more surprising was the diversity and reach of the outrage. Not only did liberal blogs or blogs maintained by gay men balk, but so did a blogger known only as Tammy, a self-described "amateur racewalker." She posted the video with a headline that read in part "Pathetic Ignorance" and followed with this mini diatribe: "I think I am going to have to boycott Snickers. I very rarely eat them, but I do buy them for my piano students. Not anymore." If it seems the future's bleak for ads in a culture where so many are quite easily offended, a few creatives interviewed weren't particularly worried..."

Wow, I guess I'm "easily offended". Honestly, the ad did irritate me, but it was pretty small irritation on life's Richter scale. The remark I made about boycotting Snickers was only somewhat serious; I am realistic enough to know that racewalkers boycotting Snickers is a laughable proposition. There aren't enough of us to make much of a dent in the M&M Mars empire, and my husband pointed out to me that I'd have to boycott all M&M Mars candy, which I am not really willing to do when it comes right down to it.

All the same, I'm extremely surprised to have my blog quoted in an article like this; such is the reach of the Internet. I have to say it does make me think twice about what I post here. But not too much :). It's still MY blog and I'm going to enjoy it!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Race info; Sun & Mon

The timing issue from the Deseret News 10K has been acknowledged by the race, finally. We all had only our gun times posted on the official results page, and were very frustrated by it. Here's an e-mail from the timing folks:

Thanks for the email. The times that are currently posted are gun times. Unfortunately, I'm not sure when (or if) we will be able to post the chip times. There was a glitch with the reader at the start line. We have sent the files off to the timing box manufacturer for them to work on. We're hoping they can extract the data that we need but I think it is going to be a long shot. I apologize for this inconvenience and if we do get that data back from them, we will notify you and upload it immediately. Thanks again for running the Deseret News 10K.
Kurt Black
Stride Racing

OK, that makes me feel better somehow. I wondered why we wore timing chips if they were just going to use gun time! I do hope they are able to extract the data.

Sunday: Easy 6K around SugarHouse Park.

Monday: Easy 30 min warm-up racewalking, then 50 min of total body weight training. I am ready for a fast track workout now, I think - I feel rested from the race and from Saturday's 8 miler. Will do one tomorrow night. It's going to be hot, so that will not be fun, but at least it will be a good workout anyway.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Food management strategies

I have been having trouble with getting REALLY hungry about 4 pm, and even a 4 point snack is NOT doing the trick. I feel like I want to eat dinner then! Unfortunately, due to our family's schedule, that is not practical. So, I'm going to try having a larger snack with a little more fat to tide me over until dinner. Perhaps six points: nuts (a 4-point serving) with a piece of fruit and a Dannon Light yogurt. Then I'll need to eat a smaller dinner, which should be fine because I won't be so ravenous. Also, I need to limit my dessert portions. I think if I'm not so hungry going into dinner, that might work better than my current strategy. I'm going to try it for a week and see how it goes. Today I didn't need to be so careful with my points, because of my 8 mile walk this morning, but tomorrow I'll try this and see how it works.

Friday & Saturday walking; recipe :)

Friday - went to Liberty Park at 6 am in case anyone showed up for the club workout; no one did (not surprising the day after the race). Did 3 laps easy for 4.2 miles in 45-ish minutes. Felt pretty good; a little muscle soreness from the race but not bad.

Saturday - due for 8 miles with Team in Training; however, they weren't meeting until 8 am and that schedule wasn't going to work for my family. So I got up at 5:30 and did what I thought was 8 in 1:25 but turns out it was only 7.8. Oops. Got back, showered, and made "Onion Bread Pudding" for the Team in Training potluck. Went to my Weight Watchers meeting, and my husband baked the bread pudding for me while I was there. Got back (weight 146.4; holding pretty steady - wishing I could take off another 1-2 lb but I am just not disciplined enough) and packed up kids and off we went to the potluck. The food was great and we had a pretty good time, but Michelle started to melt down after a while and so we left.

Here's the recipe for the bread pudding (from "The Best of Cooking Light"):

1 Vidalia or other sweet onion,cut into 1/4" thick slices
2c 2% reduced fat milk
1/2 t salt
1/2 t dried thyme
1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
2 lg eggs, lightly beaten
8 c cubed French bread (about 8 oz)
3/4 c (3 oz) shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add onion slices (keep slices intact); cook 3 min on each side or until browned.
3. Combine milk, salt, thyme, pepper, and eggs in a large bowl, stirring w/a whisk. Add bread cubes and 1/2 c cheese; toss well. Place bread mixture in an 8-inch square baking dish coated w/cooking spray. Arrange onion slices on top of bread mixture. Sprinkle w/1/4 c cheese. Bake at 425 for 25 min or until set & golden Yield: 4 servings (about 1.5 c per serving). 364 calories, 12.2g fat, 19.7g protein, 43.8g carb, 3.4g fiber, 136 mg chol, 2.1mg iron, 806mg sodium, 294mg calcium. 8 WW points.

I ate 1/2 of a serving and that was plenty - the serving size is VERY generous.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Deseret News 10K

Lots of fun! We had SEVEN Wasatch Walkers in the race: Cathy, Leah, Carol, Tammy, Sandi, Diane, and Nancy (L to R in top photo, taken after the race in Liberty Park). Bottom photo: Leah, Sandi, and Tammy clowning around before the race. The weather was a little warm, but not too bad; about 70 degrees and only somewhat humid (by Utah standards; everywhere else it would have been a dry day!).

The race is very crowded (LOTS of runners!) but I got off to a decent start anyway. I did have a lot of traffic issues in the first 3 miles or so, but nothing that really impeded me too much. It's fun to be out there w/a lot of people, despite the crowding. The race has a lot of downhill (700 feet total in 6.2 miles!), so my splits were pretty fast. I started very fast, but I was feeling great and breathing well, so I wasn't worried. The first mile was in 8:52, and might be the most downhill of the whole race. I reached mile 2 in 17:42, so that was 8:50 for the 2nd mile; it was not as much downhill, so that's pretty darn fast. At that point I wondered if maybe I was pushing too hard, but I felt all right. I did try to slow it down a little and reached mile 3 in 27:12 for 9:30 for the 3rd mile. Still, probably hit a record 5K time en route to the 10K (not sure where 5K was exactly, but I'm guessing I did in the low 28 minutes!). During the 4th mile the crowd of spectators started to pick up, because we hit the parade route, which is a lot of fun. It's traditional here to camp out on the parade route the night before, so even at 6:30, 2.5 hrs before the parade, there are lots of people in sleeping bags, on lawn chairs, eating donuts, etc. and watching the race (I'd rather be IN the race, but each to his own I guess). I was still feeling remarkably good but wondered if I was going too fast and worried I would crash; I hit 4 miles in 36:39 for 9:27 for the 4th mile - pretty good! Nice consistent pace. I kept on going and wasn't feeling too tired as I reached mile 5 in 46:10 for a 9:29. I realized I was doing really well, and though the last 1.2 is uphill (very slight), I figured I was on pace for an awesome PR. I started to really push to see what I could do, and I was tired, but not too bad. I felt MUCH better than I did last year in the same race, where I just about died the last 15 minutes. The harder, longer workouts I've been doing this year have really paid off. 5x2k is a hard workout, but well worth it when it's race time! I even had a little gas left in the tank for a sprint at the finish, because I looked at my watch and saw 57:21 as I approached the finish line, and knew it would be close to 58 minutes. I thought if I went really fast I might make it, and I did! I finished in 57:57 for a new PR and it felt tremendous. The last 1.2 miles were in 11:47 (which is only about a 9:49 mile, but it's uphill a little, so I'll take it). What a race!

Other race notes: I got the usual fun comments from runners I passed "She's walking faster than I can run" is the typical remark, and I love it! I heard variations on that maybe 10-15 times during the race. And, during the last 0.5 mile or so I passed a runner who was talking on his cell phone about a car he was trying to buy on ebay - unbelievable what people will do during a race.

Thinking ahead, I probably won't be able to go as fast as I did today in Spokane on the track (because that's flat vs. the downhill of this race), but that's OK. I feel like I am as ready as I'm going to be for the races. Two PRs in 5K and 10K within the month before, and I feel in shape and fast. I think I can do 28-28:30 in the 5K and maybe 59:00 in the 10K on the track; I'll be happy with my times if I'm that fast. Only 2 weeks until I'm on the plane to Spokane!

For today, though, I'm going to rest and celebrate my new PR :)!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day before the race

I did a 1.56 mile warm-up this morning before my weight training class; 15:59 - pretty fast for taking it easy. I didn't feel that fast, but I guess I was. Hopefully I'll be nice and loose and fast like that tomorrow for the Deseret News 10K. I went to pick up my T-shirt and the ones for this year are SO much better than last year's ugly cotton ones (with a brown cowboy - ugh!). This year they are a gorgeous shade of blue and they are technical shirts - yeah! For $30 entry fee I expect a good shirt :).

Weights - I took it pretty easy; some step-ups with light weights (15 lb in each hand), bench press w/25 lb dumbbells in each hand, lat pull-downs 60 lb (often I do 70 lb), triceps push-down machine 30 lb, and I did some racewalking on the treadmill, FAST (race pace, 2 minute intervals) between sets, just for kicks. Also did lateral raises w/10 lb, some heel walking (always good for a racewalker) and in general avoided anything too strenuous. Except for the abs - I did some seriously tough ab exercises today and feel virtuous!

I think I'm ready. It's all downhill, so I'm hoping for 58-58:30, but that might be unrealistic. I will be happy if I racewalk a good race, how's that?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Snickers Speedwalker Ad - pathetic ignorance

Blue Ollie ( pointed this one out to me. I think I am going to have to boycott Snickers. I very rarely eat them, but I do buy them for my piano students. Not any more...

Mon & Tues notes

Monday: 1.58 miles racewalking (about 2k) as warm-up for weight training. L quad feels pretty good.

Tuesday: After my warm-up and flexibility drills, I did 12x400 in 2:07-2:09, with about 1 min rest in between for most. I rested just long enough to get my heart rate below 120. The last several I rested longer to give my legs a break (about 2 min) even though my heart rate was below 120 before the legs felt ready to go. I was pretty tired on the last few but still managed 2:08-2:09. My left quad didn't bother me much at all - just a twinge or two during warm-up. My left hamstring was a bit tight and so were the L glutes; extra stretching felt good. Overall, I feel fast and ready to go for Thursday's Deseret News 10K race.

In other notes, work has been really insanely busy yesterday and today, plus I have a dentist appt today. Ugh! Got to go and get some serious slide photography done so I can do my immunohistochemistry experiment and my transfections, too.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Easy walk

I was kinda sore this morning, but decided an easy walk would loosen things up. I did 6k (3.75 miles) in 39:31 for 6:35/km. My left quad was a little stiff and sore at the beginning but felt great by the end. My mood was improved, too - woke up sleepy, and after my walk I feel energized. I'm really glad I went; I truly love exercising now, and I used to hate it. I would not have believed where I'd be today if you told me four years ago!!!


She loved the big girl swing, except that she kept forgetting to hold on with both hands. She saw an airplane, pointed at it, and fell off! Ouch! Fortunately the wood chips were soft, and 2-year-olds are made of rubber :). When I ask her if she likes the swing, she says "yeah!". Too cute! Listen carefully or you might miss it.

Blowing dandelions

Calvin got a huge kick out of this on our walk back from the park last night. That, and the Slurpee :)! When we got home, though, he asked for "a REAL dessert". Um, the Slurpee was a real dessert, buddy!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

10 miles in Bountiful

This morning I did 10 miles with Team in Training in Bountiful. It was a beautiful route, albeit very hilly. I did racewalk all the hills, though I had to go up some of them with very tiny steps. We walked up high on Bountiful Blvd, from the LDS temple south 5 miles and back. The views of the valley and mountains were fabulous throughout. I did the first 5 miles in 53:00, pretty easy (HR 135-140) and the last 5 miles hard (HR 150-160 at the end) in 49:56. Total time 1:42:56, for about 10:17 per mile overall. The picture shows the mountains and the lovely residential areas we walked through; there were a couple of golf courses along the way too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Very easy 8 miles

This morning my leg was feeling much better (still a bit stiff, but only a little sore), so I went on a planned 8 mile walk w/the Wasatch Walkers. Actually, we only went 6.2 together (10k) along the Deseret News 10K race course (the race is next Thursday morning, to celebrate Pioneer Day, an interesting Utah holiday - which is another post in itself). But then I had to walk home, which was another 1.8 or 1.9 miles or so. I had the kids with me - we drove to the start at Research Park, left our cars there, and I pushed the kids in the stroller. The other walkers had left a few cars at the finish at Liberty Park, so they drove back up, got my car, and drove it to my house for me so that I could do the distance with them. What a great club we have!

I did the 8 miles in 1:45:11; a little over 8 min/km or 13 something per mile - very very easy, even with the stroller. My heart rate was only 120 on average, and was only above 130 for 42 minutes of that time. It was just what the doctor ordered to loosen up my left quad, plus it was great to chat with the ladies, and the kids had a great time in the stroller (for the most part; they did spend 10-15 min fighting over a granola bar - I brought two, but they weren't very good at sharing).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Leg trouble again

Tonight I hired a sitter so I could do a track workout. I decided to do the workout I failed to complete on Tuesday. 100m, 200m, 300m x 4 with 100m recovery. After the first 100m I knew my leg was going to bother me again (my left quad). I decided to keep going, primarily because it felt fine Wednesday even though it hurt Tuesday night during the workout. I finished the whole workout, though I was kinda slow. Dave wanted me to try and do 200m in 52s - yeah, right. That was NOT happening (and I don't think it would have happened even if my leg felt good). However, I did most of the 100s about 29-30s, and most of the 200s about 58s-1:00; the 300s were slower - 1:31 to 1:37 for the last one (yeah, I was tired). I'm pleased with this considering the leg trouble and that it was HOT tonight. It was 90 degrees at the start of the workout at 8 pm. Yikes! With warm-up and cool-down it took me about 46 min to do 6.8k total.

I stretched a LOT after the workout and now I'm going to ice my leg and take some ibuprofen. Hopefully I'll feel OK tomorrow. I think I may not do any more sprints for a while - I wanted to do them to get ready for Spokane, but now I'm afraid of getting injured, so I think I'll back off. I'd rather be a little undertrained than injured.

Spokane news - a very fast woman from Boise has signed up for the racewalks. She can do 5K routinely under 27 minutes, and she's 55 years old. I wanna be that fast! WOW! She is a very kind person - I met her last year at the Boise Women's Fitness Celebration 5K, and she was encouraging. There are plenty of really fast women signed up for these races. I'll be lucky to be in the top 5, and they are all older than me! Ah, well, experience is a good thing :)!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Creative workout

This morning I wanted to do some more easy walking to loosen up my left quad (which is feeling better today). I decided to go early (before the kids were up) and take the baby monitor and walk around the block repeatedly, checking the monitor each time around to make sure everyone was quiet. I discovered that the loop I took from my street to the next via the alley and around this block and the adjacent block was exactly 0.5 miles (according to my iPod)! So, I planned to do 8 loops, or however many the kids allowed. I messed up on one loop and did an extra 0.1 mile (went up the wrong street), and Michelle started to cry after loop 6, so I got in 3.1 miles (5K!) easy this morning, in just under 33 minutes.

I would hate to be a single mom. It would be much more challenging to do this all the time. To exercise, I'd have to either get a treadmill, swap babysitting with someone else, pay a teenage babysitter, or something. I'm so fortunate to have a husband who is happy to tend the kids as long as I work out early enough :).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sprints... NOT!

I was going to do sprints at the track tonight, to work on my high-end speed. I warmed up and everything felt fine. I did my first 100m sprint and my left leg was really hurting in the quad area. I was worried I had hurt something, but it didn't seem like it was from the sprinting. I did a 200m, and a 300m, and then I stopped to rest, because it was still hurting. I tried one more 100m, but had to give up on the sprinting. I did a bunch more laps at an easy pace, and it loosened up and felt OK, so I did a few accelerations, and it was still fine. My heart rate was pretty high because it was HOT (low 90s) and pretty humid for here. I did 4.5 miles total on the track, in about 50 minutes.

The good news is that while stretching (A LOT) after the workout, I figured out what the problem was. I did a lunge to stretch my left hip flexors, and it REALLY hurt. I realized that the Firm video I did yesterday had a lot of lunges, and apparently I'm not used to them anymore and overdid it (w/o knowing it). So now my left quad is just really really sore, and the sprints brought it to the forefront. At least I know now it's just a tired muscle and that I need to rest it up before another hard workout. I am hoping if I rest it tomorrow that it will be ready for a good hard workout on Thursday. We'll see.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Easy (sort of...) walk

Tonight I wanted to do an easy walk; however, I had to push the kids (combined weight a little over 60 lb/27 kg) in the stroller. I couldn't very well leave them at home! I asked Calvin which park he wanted to go to, Liberty Park or SugarHouse Park, and he said "SugarHouse Park". I like SugarHouse Park a lot, but it has a lot more hills. With the stroller, that is not a good thing. So, I had to power walk the hills going up, and jogged a little going down. But most of the distance was still racewalking, so no biggie. I did 3.75 miles (6k) in 43:40 for 11:37/mile - not bad for having the kids along! We did stop at the park for a while so the kids could play, and then we came home and had a bath before bed. Now I'm really tired... sleep is calling!

Challenging week

My husband is out of town all week (starting yesterday morning) on a business trip. Thankfully, this is pretty unusual; he's had 2 in 3 years. However, it does put a few kinks in the workout schedule. I got a sitter for Tu & Th nights this week so I can do hard workouts, but I'll have to do them in the evening, which I'm not used to. I couldn't go to my weight training class this morning (no child care), so I did one of my old standbys - "The Firm" video, which is a mix of aerobics and weight training. It was easier than I remembered :) but still a good workout. I figure it's good cross-training & strength training, plus they have a good abs workout on there (though that wasn't as hard as I remembered either). The plan is to go for an easy 30-40 minute racewalk tonight after dinner, pushing the stroller. I'll go to Liberty Park, and that way the kids can play a while so they won't protest too much about the walk. The down side is that it will be pretty hot, but hey, a little heat conditioning is probably not a bad thing. It could be hot in Spokane.

Oh, and I never did post my workouts from Friday & Saturday. Friday at the clinic Dave thought I needed to do more high-end speed workouts, so he had me do 8x400m with fast straights (sprinting) and recovery curves. Saturday I did an easy 7.4 miler with Team In Training (supposed to be 8 miles but I turned around at the wrong place!) and then 3x8 min hard w/2 min recovery at Dave's clinic for the max HR test. That was tough doing the 3x8 min hard after the easy 7.4 miler, but I got it done. After all that I took the day OFF yesterday! I needed it!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Racewalking improvement

I made a short video (only 4 minutes; please watch!!!) comparing last year's clinic (April 2007) with this year's (July 2008). Wow, what a difference a year makes - it is night and day! I am so thrilled with my progress; I was discouraged at times, especially about the bent knees, but I didn't give up and kept practicing. The results were well worth the effort!!! Look out, racewalking world, here I come :)!

Racewalk clinic pictures

Lots of pictures HERE.

Racewalking clinic video

18 minutes of non-stop racewalking action! Includes lots of beginners :). The file is about 16 Mb I think.

You can see it HERE.

I'll be posting another one later with just me, if I have time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


 Yup, the racewalking clinic was awesome! This is me today on the track after doing our max heart rate test.

Since I don't have a coach, this weekend was huge for me in terms of knowing where I'm at for Spokane. Dave McGovern came to coach our walkers this weekend, and it was so helpful! I'll blog more about it tomorrow (along w/my workouts) because I'm really tired now from the weekend. However, in summary: 1) my technique is legal, 2) my technique is good with a few minor tweaks (arms higher, and straighten up a little), and 3) Dave thinks I should be able to walk just under 28 minutes for my 5K in a month in Spokane with a little more short speedwork (i.e. 100s, 200s) to increase my high end speed, and taking into account the altitude difference (4500 feet here; 1890 feet there). I'm not so sure I believe #3, but I'm going to work at it as if I do! Why not? There is nothing to lose!
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Diploma, part 2

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 This is my little girl :) :) :)! I can't believe she is so adorable.
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 OK, kind of silly to have preschool graduation. But very cute!
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In the park!

After an errand (oil change/rotate tires/inspect brakes on car), we went to the park this morning. It was perfectly wonderful weather, and the kids had SO much fun.

Hard but good Thursday

Before I get into Thursday, on Wednesday I just did 50 min weight training, mostly arms but some hamstrings (dead lifts), jumprope (calves) and heel walking (shins). My quads were still VERY sore and tender to the touch from Monday.

Today, Thursday, I still had slightly sore quads, but not too bad. I was slated to do 5x2k in Liberty Park. I warmed up by racewalking over there at an easy pace (it takes me about 12:30 to get over there from my house). The weather was perfect - low 60s (17C) and cool in the shade of the trees all around the park. I love Liberty Park! Flat, shady, beautiful, and much nicer than the track for longer intervals or tempo or threshold workouts. I get easily bored by the track! Anyway, on to my workout. I was FAST today, and felt so strong and awesome. I did the first 2k in 11:00, then 11:10, 11:20, 11:12, and 11:13 for the last one. Most of the time my heart rate was 155-160, though at the end of the last one it was 165. That's pretty low for how fast I was today (compare to the last time I did this a few weeks ago).

After doing one of the "2Ks" at 11:00, I wondered if it really was 2 full km. I mean, I don't think I could do 2K in 11:00 on the track! Maybe. But it seemed fast, so I got on USATF's MapIt website AND I drove my car around to see. It seems like it's more like 1.2 miles (or even possibly a smidge less), which is about 1.93 km - let's call it 1.9 km for approximation. That means that for 2km I'd have done 11:34 for my fastest interval, and 11:55 for my slowest one. OK, that seems more realistic to me for 2 km, especially for where my heart rate was. I wish I'd really done 2k in 11:00, but maybe someday :).

I felt like my form was really good today, all the way to the end of the workout. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and Saturday - I'm taking Dave McGovern's racewalking clinic for the 2nd time, and I'm hoping he'll be able to give me a final form tune-up before I go to Spokane. I'll be sure to post about how it goes! I'm sure he'll have some good critique for me.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Mood elevator

I woke up feeling OK physically (refreshed from sleep) but horrible mentally. I had 2 awful nightmares - one involved a horror-movie type thing happening to my family (can't remember details, thank God), and one was about me teaching a Kindermusik class (I teach piano, but not Kindermusik, in real life) and flubbing big time, because I hadn't prepared. Bad dreams always leave me a bit off, and these were no exception. The Kindermusik dream left me feeling incompetent, even though it was just a dream. Then I got on the scale, and that was NOT good. I've been eating well since returning from vacation, but it's not reflected on the scale (yet - it will be! - obviously I'm feeling better now). Plus, I am VERY sore this morning from doing a lot of squats and lunges in weight training yesterday. Oh, and work was terrible yesterday - can't go into it in this public forum, but just take my word for it, it was not good, and it is on my mind.

All of this combined to make me feel very icky, and I was sorely tempted to skip my hard track workout. But I am glad to report that I didn't. I drove to the track, and there was a running club there. Ugh. It's hard to share the track w/them, because they get the inner lanes (faster) and then it messes up my splits. I almost went home then, but I didn't. I warmed up, and my plan was to do 3x400, 800, 1200 in 2:12, 2:32, and 6:54 (faster than 5K pace down to 5K pace on the longest interval) with just enough rest for my HR to recover to 120 in between intervals, and 3-3:30 rest in between sets. I started off figuring I'd be horribly slow and that I'd quit and go home. After a slow start of 2:14 on the first 400m, I kept going and did the next 800 in 4:29 and the 1200 in 6:53. Cool! I felt smooth and good, despite my achy leg muscles. And, the runners weren't as hard to deal with as I thought. I actually was able to time my intervals around theirs a little, and I was able to do my whole workout in lane 2 and lane 1. I did the 2nd set in 2:09, 4:30, 6:50, and the 3rd set in 2:12, 4:30, 6:53. Awesome!

The best part is that this hard workout, executed according to plan, lifted my mood enormously. I feel great now, and am attacking my day with vigor. Before I lost my weight, I remember a lot of mornings that I woke up feeling emotionally crappy, and the feeling persisted all day sometimes. Since losing weight and starting to exercise every morning, I still wake up moody (not as often) but almost always feel SO MUCH BETTER after working out. I'm telling you, exercise is the best anti-depressant ever!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Easy Sunday walk

I did my favorite easy walk today - 6k from my house to SugarHouse Park, around the park, and back home. I took it really easy; ave heart rate in low 130s, and total time about 39:30. Legs felt a little heavy at the start after yesterday's fast 7-miler, but eased up and felt good after a bit.

I'm thinking of my Canadian friends Jeannie and Sarah today at the Canadian Nationals in racewalking. I hope they both do really well!

Other racewalking news: sad, but true - racewalking 20k for men was literally in the parking lot at the Olympic Trials. It really is the Rodney Dangerfield of track & field. Don't know how that is really going to change, given the culture in the US - we worship runners, and racewalking "looks funny". The truth is that racewalkers are going to stay healthy much longer because of the low impact nature of the sport, and we use more muscles than runners, too! In a way, I'm happy it's not so popular, because that means that as an athlete with only a moderate amount of talent, I can be a big fish in a little pond :).

Saturday, July 05, 2008

TNT day

Today was a TNT (Team In Training) workout, and a long easy 7 miles was our assignment. I started off at a good clip and then there were a couple TNT runners (Sue and Shawna) just in front of me. They were moving a bit faster than I wanted to go, but I really wanted someone to talk to, so I sped up and caught them. I walked with them for a while, and then one of the runners needed a walk break, so I was just walking with Sue. Sue and I did the rest of the 7 miles together, and it was great. She was a lot of fun to talk with, as she has done 6 marathons, including Boston. She is 6 feet tall (!) and a grandmother of 5, but still young (50s - maybe 50-55?) and very athletic. She was taking it pretty easy today because it was pretty hot (when we started it was fine, but then the sun came over the mountains and it was toasty hot by the end), and we did the 7 miles at a 10:15 pace. That was a little fast for me - it was a "not so easy" pace, and my heart rate was pretty much around 145-155 the whole time (I prefer 135-140 for easy days). But the companionship was worth the fast pace! Next time I don't think I'll try to keep up with her, though, because I really do need to do my long days at a more appropriate pace. There are some slower runners I could try to walk with instead.

Oh, almost forgot to mention that we walked/ran the Porter Rockwell trail in Draper, and it was beautiful! I totally love walking in new places. It's a 30 min drive from my house, but it was worth it to walk with friends somewhere new.

Friday, July 04, 2008


Here's a funny story my sister-in-law posted on Facebook. I was laughing pretty hard...

Murray Fun Days 5K

This morning I did the Murray Fun Days 5K with three other Wasatch Walkers (photo, L to R: Me, Diane, Debbie, and Nancy). We had a great time! It was pretty HOT out there at 8 am (82 degrees and fairly humid for Utah - for you midwesterners, it was a dry day but it felt humid here) and we all noticed the heat. After the race was over, I noticed that I was extremely sweaty.

So, now that you're waiting with great anticipation, I can happily report that I got a new personal best today! I finished in 28:46 (by my watch and by the large timing sign; the race messed up somehow and officially they had 28:39, but I know I was not that fast), which is a new PR by 7 seconds. I'll take it, especially given the conditions today! The first mile was slightly uphill, and I did it in 9:22. My second mile was at 18:34 (so 9:12), and it had some downhill to it. The third mile I'm not 100% sure about my split - I was really hurting as I pushed as hard as I could to the finish, legs and lungs burning. I think it was about 28:00 but that seems a bit off because that would mean the last 0.1 mile was in 00:46, which seems too fast. Anyway, it's a USATF certified course, so I'm confident the distance was right, and I'm thrilled with my time. I would love to do 28:30 in Spokane in a month, but I'd take a 28:45 too :).

They gave cash prizes to the top 3 runners in male, female, and master's male and female categories. The 3rd place master's female finished in 23:47. I wonder if I could run that fast? She won $50 for her 3rd place! When I turn 40 (in 2 years) I may have to do some running, if I could actually win a prize. Of course, I am not going to give up racewalking. It might just be fun to do a running race once in a while.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Pre-race workouts

Wednesday: easy 15 min racewalking, then weight training. Hadn't done weights in a while because of being on vacation, so I'm a little sore today, despite taking it pretty easy. My chest and triceps are feeling it. Thankfully, I went really easy on the legs!

Today: easy 20 min to the track, and then 4x400m w/50s rest. I tried to do about 2:15 for 5k race pace, and did 2:16, 2:15, 2:14, and 2:11 (yeah, I went too fast on the last one, just for fun). Then I did an easy 20 min home again. Note about the East High track - they are cleaning it up after filming High School Musical 3 there (at least they did a graduation scene there, and made quite the mess) but there is still a tarp over a 5 meter section of the track. I had to run over that part because if I racewalked it I'd have tripped all over myself. The tarp was all bunched up and definitely a hazard. The photo here is of East High itself, which is across the street from their very nice track/stadium.

Tomorrow I'm doing a local 5K (Murray Fun Days) for the 4th of July. I thought it would be good to see how my training is going and where I'm at. It's a USATF certified course and it's pretty flat. The only factor is going to be the weather - it's been warm. This morning at 6:30 am it was 72 (22C) for my workout, though nice & dry. That's pretty warm, and the race is at 8 am tomorrow. I hope the hot weather doesn't slow me down too much. I really want to do 28:45 or even 28:30 if possible. If it's hot, though, that's not going to happen.

On another note, today I'm avoiding driving - as many days as I can, I'm trying to drive very little or not at all. Yesterday I only drove about 3 miles, because I had to grocery shop and can't possibly fit the kids and all the groceries in the bike trailer. I went to 2 stores to get the best produce prices, and stopped at the post office while I was out. I went to a stores close to the post office to try and save even more on driving. Anyway, today I'm going to bike the kids to the zoo and we'll see what other trouble we can get into.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

HOT workout

Yup, July is here with a vengeance. I'm glad it's finally summer, but tonight's workout was a tad on the hot side. It was 95 degrees (35C)at the start of our workout. The TNT (Team in Training) workout was 4 laps warm-up, then 3 x 1600m at 10k pace with 3 min rest, and then 4 laps cool-down. I did the warm-up in 10:35 or so, and felt pretty good. The first 1600m I did in 9:27 (goal was 9:25) and I was DYING at the end. Hmmm, probably should not have pushed so hard in the heat. The 2nd 1600m was in 9:51, and my heart rate was very high the whole time. I thought I'd slow down a bit for the 3rd, and did it in 10:08. Wow, that was slow, but it was hot. Nasty. I was surprised at how much of a toll the heat took, since my last hot Tuesday workout (2 weeks ago) went pretty well. In any case, my heart rate was nice & high, so I felt like I got a great training workout in even if I was slow.

The pictures here were taken after the workout, to show my Team in Training supporters how hard I'm working for the marathon in October! If you are interested in contributing to the cause, it's not too late. Here's my fundraising page.


Yellowstone is amazing. We live so close (5 hr drive) that we really ought to come here more often. In fact, I think we will!

Pictures: Old Faithful geyser, and Loren & Calvin in front of Castle Geyser (it only erupts every 13 hrs so we were lucky to see it!).

Going home

We're going home today. I skipped my morning workout because I plan to do a hard workout tonight at 6 pm with Team in Training. Talked Loren into watching the kiddos :) so that I can go! Yeah! It will be hot, but it will be nice to work out w/a bunch of other people.