Sunday, November 30, 2008

Easy Sunday walk, random stuff

Still trying to let my IT band rest a bit, so I just did 3.9 miles (6.3km) around Liberty Park (flatter than SH Park, and better for my leg). I had no pain at all, so I think I'm good. Whew. Time: 41:30; pace 10:38/mile. I was so happy to be out there! The weather was surprisingly warm at 42 degrees this morning, and I'm going to enjoy that as long as it lasts, which won't be long.


I'm making turkey soup today with the carcass from Thanksgiving. Yummy! I love turkey leftovers. I think we'll have to have another turkey sooner rather than late.


Now I think I'm going to watch a little football and read the paper, kids permitting.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Satuday Team Workout

This morning we had a TNT (Team in Training) workout. We met at the State Capitol at 7 am, and it was still dark out. Here are some photos. It was in the upper 30s, so chilly but not too bad. I was worried about my IT band problems in my left leg, but was excited to work out with the team, regardless.

I started out fast with the runners. That was fun. Many of them were very surprised that I could keep up with them :). I enjoyed meeting them and getting to know them a bit better. I went out with the faster people and worked my way back gradually to the slower people. It was a lot of fun moving from group to group and chatting with everyone. Finally, I spent a lot of time with the walkers, giving them some technique pointers and helping them to walk faster. Even the slower walkers did very well today on the 5 miles (half marathoners had 4 miles), and I think they are all looking pretty good so far.

I ended up doing approximately 6.8 miles myself; about 4.2 or 4.3 of that was at a pretty good clip (easy to moderate) and the other 2.5 was quite a bit slower than my easy pace - more like a brisk walk or even an average walk than a racewalk. However, I did have some really fun conversations with the walkers and so the time flew by.

Oh, and my IT band only bothered me a little bit on the downhills; I babied it a lot and it seems to be mostly OK. I think it just got a little stressed from the Cold Turkey race, which does have a lot of downhill - and I took it very fast, of course, so not the best for the knee. I'm quite relieved that it felt OK for the most part today.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Left knee trouble

Hmmm, should have known the downhill in the race yesterday would take its toll. Today my left knee (lateral side; IT band maybe?) started bugging me a lot about halfway through my SugarHouse Park loop. I got home, but had to walk (limp) slowly down the last hill. The downhills hurt the most. Ugh. It's fine now that I've been home for a while, but I'm concerned. Will ice, rest, take some ibuprofen, and pray that this is no big deal and that it will be better tomorrow. We have a TNT workout tomorrow that I need to coach!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cold Turkey 6K, 2008

This race went much better than last year, despite being in similar condition (or maybe even less trained?). I just felt strong and good today, and cranked out a 36:26 (by my watch) in this very hilly 6K. The first mile is a gentle uphill, and then the 2nd mile is a steep uphill, and the 3rd and 4th miles (well, 0.75 mile!) are downhill. I was able to push myself really hard, with an heart rate in the upper 160s and low 170s the whole time. It felt awesome. I was pushing at the end and it was hard, but I was thinking "hey, this isn't as hard as the end of the marathon... I can do this!!!".

It was fun to be there with friends and have a great time. 4 other Wasatch Walkers joined me for the race and we all cheered each other on. Here are some pictures.

This has to be fast because I have some serious cooking to do - company in 1 hr 10 min and I still have to get a shower. Yikes!

Oh, here's a photo of me with my 3rd place medal. I suspect (strongly) that the 1st and 2nd place "walkers", who didn't bother to stay for the awards, were run-walkers, which is why judged races are so nice. Oh well!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two years at Lifetime

As of today, I've been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers for 2 years. That means that I have been at or below 2 lbs above my goal weight for that whole time. In reality, I've spent the vast majority of that 2 years about 5-10 lbs below my goal weight. Right now I'm about 5 lbs below my goal weight (in the morning, that is - at night, running about 3 lbs below). I'd like to make it back to 10 lbs below or even a bit lower by next fall for the Portland Marathon. I digress.

Anyway, though I still struggle at times to keep my eating under control, I am doing pretty well overall. I mean, losing 95 lbs to get to my goal (I lost 105 to get to 10 below my goal weight) was a pretty amazing accomplishment, and keeping it off for 2 years, well, that's amazing too.

What's different now:
1. I love racewalking.
2. I love to exercise, and if I don't get to work out, I feel crappy.
3. When I do work out, I feel great afterwards, and my mood is much improved.
4. I have learned a lot of great new ways to cook that keep the flavor high and the fat and calories low. I am a much better cook than I used to be!
5. I have made a lot of new friends (virtual and non-virtual) who love racewalking and who support me in my new endeavors.

What's not really so different:
1. I still struggle with emotional eating.
2. I still love to eat (this in itself is not bad; it's only bad when I go overboard).
3. Sometimes I still feel like a 250 lb person in my 150 lb body. Mentally, I revert to old ways of doing things too often. This may or may not ever really change; I suspect that it will gradually get easier over the years but that I will always still struggle with it.
4. I still think about food a lot.
5. But y'know what? I am still the same person in many good ways, too. I look a lot different, but inside, it's still me :).

Happy 2 years and hoping for many more.

Tuesday track workout

This morning I was at the East High track at 6 am. It was dark and cold, but not windy, thankfully. I think it was about 32 this morning (0 degrees C). I had on my tights, 2 shirts, gloves, and hat. Once I warmed up, I was fine and even got a little sweaty under my hat.

I did 4 laps to warm up, some dynamic stretches, then two sets of 1200m, 1 min rest, 400m. Remember, I am still getting back in the swing of things, so this was a short workout. I did the 1200s in 6:57 and 6:58, and the 400s in 2:14 and 2:15. Not bad! Then I did a 1600m cool-down and static stretches. I probably won't up my training a lot until after Christmas. The short track workouts are enough to keep my legs fresh for now, while still allowing me to rest up a bit from a hard but good season.

On Thursday I'm doing our local turkey trot, the Cold Turkey. It's a 6k, rather than the typical 5k, and it's a pretty course up City Creek Canyon and back down into Memory Grove. It's usually a lot of fun, and a bunch of people from the Wasatch Walkers are doing the race. I will have my little camera and will get some shots of people and hopefully have a good time, too. I doubt my time will be very fast because I haven't been training much for it, but it will just be good to get out there.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend away

Enjoyed a great weekend away in Las Vegas/Boulder City, NV with our friends.

Here's what I did, exercise-wise:

Friday - not-so-easy 2 laps of SugarHouse Park, plus an extra 0.5 miles. Total: 5.6 miles in 58:03.
Saturday - very hilly route in Boulder City, NV, with great views of some ritzy neighborhoods and Lake Mead. Total about 5.3 miles in 59:39; 11:12 per mile but I was working pretty hard. It was very hilly! Mostly down on the way out and up on the way back. Some hills were so steep they were hard to racewalk legally, though I was able to do it.
From Las_Vegas
From Las_Vegas

Sunday - a slightly hilly route in Boulder City, NV. Some nice views of the desert landscape; walked past a horse ranch :) (I love horses, though I never did learn to ride very well - would still love to learn someday). 5.2 miles in 56:12 for 10:48 per mile. Was working pretty hard, too, but the whole route was a slight hill with larger ups & downs.

And food-wise, it was a great weekend. Not only did we hit some amazing restaurants, but I planned well and did not overeat, though I totally enjoyed myself. It was awesome!

Friday night we ate at The Bootlegger, a Las Vegas establishment that has been around for 30 years or so. Believe it or not, it was Italian food (yes, with a name like that, it really was Italian!), and it was amazing. The marinara dipping sauce with the little toasted garlicky bread pieces was divine (but I limited myself to two small pieces, about 1x1 inch), followed by a house salad with cucumbers, tomatoes & a little bleu cheese (yum!); I ordered a vinaigrette on the side (I use the smallest amount of dressing possible). Then I ordered pollo angelo, which is chicken with artichokes & mushrooms in a wine sauce, with linguine and sauteed zucchini & banana squash on the side. It was all delicious, and I had a dish of the best chocolate gelato I've ever had for dessert. It was amazingly rich and creamy. It was also a very large dish, but Loren helped me out and ate at least half of it for me :).

Saturday afternoon we lunched at the Boulder Dam Brewing Company, which was OK, but nothing too special. Loren said the beer was very good, but I could care less about beer, so it was wasted on me. There weren't a lot of good food choices there, but I settled on a grilled chicken salad with apple slices, walnuts (just a few) and a bit of bleu cheese, with honey mustard dressing on the side. I ate just a teeny bit of the dressing (1.5t or so?) and the greens were very good, but the chicken was not really flavorful at all, and there were hardly any apple slices :(. Still, I was very proud of myself for not indulging in ANY of the fried zucchini or beer battered french fries that my friends ordered. And I didn't feel deprived - I was just happy that I had made great choices. Yay!

After lunch we took a visit to Hoover Dam, which is totally amazing. I had been there about 10 years ago, before we moved to Utah, and we had taken a tour. We took a tour of the power plant with our friends Laurie & Mike, and it was fascinating. If you ever get a chance to visit, you will not be disappointed. The engineering behind this dam is amazing, and the amount of concrete used to build it is incredible. The sheer number of things that had to be invented/figured out even to get started on the project was incredible. For starters, they had to divert the whole Colorado River. It took them something like 19 months to blast four 56-foot wide tunnels that were 4000 feet long through the rock, and then they lined them with 3 feet of concrete. Those 4 tunnels carried all the river water around the dam construction site. Wow. Really, you need to visit sometime.
From Las_Vegas

For dinner the 6 of us (Mike & Laurie, Dean & Debbie, and Loren & me) went to The Bistro Cafe, an Italian cafe in Boulder City. It was very small, but despite being in a strip mall, it actually had a nice atmosphere (cozy) and the food was wonderful; very comparable to the higher priced Bootlegger in Vegas. I indulged in a little of the warm fresh bread with some amazing cheese/garlic blend, and a house salad with a scrumptious olive tapenade. For my entree, I chose almond crusted salmon with a dill sauce, which was quite delicious (I shared about 1/3 of it with others!). Loren had a filet with an incredible mushroom sauce, and I also got to try a bite of Debbie's wonderful chicken marsala. My entree came with some steamed veggies which were great - no butter! yay! but they had a terrific flavor, and some tasty wild rice, which was also very non-greasy, much to my surprise and delight. I had enough points for half a slice of the dutch chocolate cheesecake we ordered, along with my nice rich black coffee. Ahhh. A great meal, and I left feeling awesome about how I had planned my food that day to be able to indulge and not go over the top. After the weekend, I still have 23 of my points allowance for the week left to spend on Thanksgiving, if I need it (though since I am cooking, I may not need to use all of it).

Wow, this post makes it sound like all we did all weekend was eat, and I guess that was true to an extent. Friday night we also did some shopping at the outlet mall w/Laurie & Mike, and I didn't buy anything but had fun looking. Laurie did enjoy her shopping, though, and got some great deals. Saturday we took a drive around Boulder City and also visited a cute antique shop/country store type of place called Goatfeathers. I mostly looked and didn't spend too much (had to save the $ for the food! :)!). Sunday morning we enjoyed visiting Dean & Debbie's church and seeing the new building they added last year, and took Dean out to Applebee's for lunch. Applebee's was a safe and welcoming choice with their Weight Watchers menu. The food is just OK but I love knowing how to count the points for it and not having to guess at everything. Whew.

Of course there was a lot of driving, too - we drove TO Vegas on Friday, and drove BACK to SLC on Sunday, and it's a 6 hr drive each way. But we really enjoyed having so much time to chat w/o the kids around, and so even the driving was great. The kids were thrilled to see us when we picked them up at our friends' house in Provo, and we're happy to be home now - I have to say that I slept like a rock last night :) except for Michelle's midnight missing binky episode. I feel pretty good today, considering!

Click here to see the rest of our pictures.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In the groove

I'm feeling more like I'm back in the groove again. Yesterday I did a short racewalking warm-up for my weight training class and then did some serious lifting and abs.

Today I racewalked to Liberty Park to meet Team in Training people if anyone wanted an extra workout (no one showed, which was OK, because I was going to go there anyway), and did 2 laps moderate to hard. It took me about 29 min for the 2 laps (2.8 miles or 4.5 km) and then I walked home easy. Total time: 55:55 for the 5.3 miles. Not bad.

Tomorrow I plan to racewalk and lift weights, and then we are going to visit Las Vegas for the weekend, sans kiddos. Yay! The kids are going to stay with a friend of mine, and we are going to enjoy some time with our friends. The best man from our wedding, Dean, lives in Boulder City (just outside Las Vegas). The maid of honor from our wedding, Laurie, lives in Indianapolis but will be in Vegas this week and weekend for a conference for her work. She and her husband Mike are both visiting. This will be the first time all of us have been together since the wedding, 15 1/2 years ago!

The only challenging thing is going to be the food. Buffets, here we come... I am mentally preparing and I'm going to do really well this weekend. Mouse is going to hold me to it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

40 days

Mouse and I were talking last night and she had a great idea. She and I share the same birthday, March 8th if you must know :). She is going to be 40 in March, and I will turn 39. She saw somewhere a fun idea for 40th birthday celebrations. Basically, you count back 40 days from your birthday (in our case, January 27th, 2009) and then you do something fun/exciting/different on each of the 40 days leading up to your birthday.

We decided that we would do this TWICE. Hey, a good thing is worth doing twice, right? Once for her 40th b-day in 2009, and once for mine in 2010. I'm all for that!

So, we were brainstorming ideas, and I thought I'd write a few of them down. Here they are:
1. Get a pedicure together.
2. Go & get a massage.
3. Each day, list one thing you are thankful for from that year in your life.
4. Each day, list one memory from that year in your life.
5. Ask relatives and friends to tell you things they remember about you from different years.
6. Call a different friend each day that you don't normally get to talk with - maybe an old friend you haven't been in touch with as often.
7. Go snowshoeing.
8. Go cross country skiing. (Hey, our birthday is in the winter, and we live in Utah, so we gotta go with the local options, y'know? I'd prefer to go snorkeling - anyone wanna donate for the plane trip to Hawaii?)

We are in search of as many ideas as possible. Please comment with your thoughts :). You have until January 26th!!!

A few recipes

By request from the Mouse, here are some recipes.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

1 1/2 c celery
3/4 c onion
1 1/2 lb 100% whole wheat bread
1 t salt
1/2 t ground sage
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t black pepper
12 oz reduced-fat pork sausage (I usually get Jimmy Dean)
25 medium olives w/pimientos

Cook & stir celery & onion in nonstick pan, OR microwave until tender (I usually microwave). At the same time, cook sausage and drain fat. Combine all ingredients, add just enough water to make it somewhat moist (sorry, mouse, but my recipe doesn't have an amount...I think I usually add 1/2 to 1 cup) and bake 350 for about 45 min or until done.
Servings: 12
WW points: 3

Recipe adapted by me & my mom from Betty Crocker's cookbook (I reduced the butter and added sausage & olives)

Spaghetti Pie

We made this the other night with some of our grass-fed ground beef. Yummy! The kids scarfed it down like there was no tomorrow, and we both loved it too.

1 lb ground round or ground beef (at least 90% lean)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
Two 8-oz cans tomato sauce with garlic (or use regular tomato sauce + 2 cloves garlic minced)
1 1/2 c low-fat sour cream
1/2 c chopped green onions
1/4 c (2 oz) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
4 c hot cooked spaghetti (8 oz uncooked pasta)
cooking spray
1 1/3 c (5 oz) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cook meat in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. drain well, and return meat to pan. Stir in salt, pepper, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 20 min. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti until al dente.
3. Combine the sour cream, onions, and cream cheese in a small bowl, set aside.
4. Place cooked spaghetti in 2-qt casserole coated w/cooking spray. Spread sour cream mixture over spaghetti noodles. Top w/meat mixture. Sprinkle w/cheddar cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 25 min. Uncover, bake an additional 5 min or until cheese is bubbly.

6 servings; 9 points per serving. Calories 408, fat 13.7g, protein 28.4g, carb 39.9g, fiber 2.9g, chol 67mg, iron 3.4mg, sodium 849mg, calc 376mg.

Recipe from "The Best of Cooking Light"

Roast Turkey Breast

in the slow cooker
This one is really great and SO easy. If you don't want to worry over your bird all day on Thanksgiving, you could do this.
Personally, we always smoke our turkey on our smoker, and I make this recipe at other times (when there is turkey breast on sale).

Prep time: 10 min
1 box (6 oz.) instant stuffing mix, such as Stove Top, any flavor
1 turkey breast (bone in) about 6-7 lbs
1 T butter
1 t paprika
1 t soy sauce
1/4 t poultry seasoning
1/4 t crushed rosemary

1. Spray 6-qt (I have 5-qt and it was OK) slow cooker with vegetable cooking spray. Place dry stuffing mix in bottom of pot, and place turkey breast skin side up on stuffing.
2. Gently melt butter with remaining ingredients. Brush on turkey. Roast w/temp set on high for 3 hr 45 min or on low for 5.5 hours, or until turkey registers 170F on a meat thermometer. Makes 10-12 servings. 465 cal, 56g protein, 19g fat, 13g carb, 57mg calcium; 0 fiber. This serving size is way large (8 oz or more!), so you might want to recalculate based on how much you will actually eat. Remember that a serving of meat is 3 oz (size of a deck of cards).

Recipe from Parents Magazine, November 2006.

Happy T-giving!!!!!

Back on [the] track

I've had a few good days of eating (yay!) and I was back on the track this morning for a short speed workout. I met some Team in Training people at East High this morning for their first track workout. The workout was 4 laps warm-up, 2x800m at 10k pace with 3:00 rest in between, and 4 laps cool-down. I did my 800s in 4:32 and 4:30(!), proving to myself that I STILL HAVE WHAT IT TAKES. Those were nice and FAST :)! I even felt like I could have done a lot more. But I didn't, because I'm ramping back up slowly. I did do 7 laps easy at the end rather than 4, because I wanted the extra workout time and mileage.

I also did go somewhat slowly for a lap or two with one of the team members on the cool-down, to teach her some racewalking technique. She was a natural!

Total time: 41:xx or so and 3.75 miles (6km).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday 10-miler, Monday circuit training

I was in the mood to do a longer workout. I felt I needed it! And I wanted a challenge, to keep it interesting. So I did a hilly 10-miler. I started at my house and went up to Rice-Eccles Stadium, then up University St. to Virginia, up the huge hill on Virginia to 11th Ave, and then over to H Street (5 miles). Then I turned around and came home. I pushed moderately hard, with a HR around 145-155 for most of the time, and I finished in 1:45:xx. I did about 10:36/mile, which is a little slower than I was hoping to do for 10 miles, but it was hilly, and I'm not as conditioned as I was a month ago, which is OK.

Today I did some hard circuit training, alternating biking, jumping rope, and racewalking with lifting weights. It felt great. I'm a little sore in my lower back from the racewalking yesterday, interestingly. If I get sore from racewalking, it's often in the lower abs or lower back. Just shows how many muscles you use while racewalking!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Where's the beef?

I bought a side of grass-fed, grass-finished beef today, from Pleasant Valley Beef. Our steer was pastured just a few hours away from where we live. I had arranged for it a while back, after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma (excellent book, by the way!). Here's another good article that highlights some of the reasons you too should try eating some grass-fed beef (thanks, Sara, for the article!).

Today was the day to pick up the beef and pay the balance. I collected checks from the 7 friends I was splitting it with, and drove down to Thanksgiving Point to get the beef. It was interesting sorting all the parts for my friends and trying to consider the preferences each had expressed. Thankfully, most of them were pretty easygoing about what parts they got, and so it wasn't too terribly hard to do. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to get their beef, and I know I'm excited about it. I'm planning to make something with some of the ground beef tomorrow.

One neat thing about grass-fed beef is that it's lower in fat and calories than corn-fed beef. I'm excited about healthy, sustainable, locally-produced food from humanely treated animals!

Coach Tammy

I alluded to this in an earlier post. I am going to have to change my Weight Watchers meeting to Monday nights, because I am now a walk coach for Team in Training (TNT)! TNT is the world's largest sports endurance program, training participants to do half and full marathons, triathlons, and 100-mile cycling events (century rides). Participants raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) during their training.

Since my dad was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia 2 years ago, I have wanted to do something to fight the disease. First I did the marathon with Team in Training, and now coaching seems to be a natural next step. I feel like helping others to complete their events is the best thing I can do to further the mission of the LLS, now that I've done an event myself.

So, this morning was our first team workout for the spring season. The team was to do 3 miles together. We met at Sugar House Park at 7 am. I racewalked over there, and then stood in the cold for quite a while since there are a lot of announcements, etc. the first week. My hands were pretty numb by the time we started people out on the workout, so I was a bit distracted and I totally forgot to tell people about shoes and a few other things I meant to mention before we went out on the course. But it worked out well, because I ended up just telling people stuff as I walked with the various participants. The workout took a bit over an hour. We're obviously going to have to work a bit on technique & speed, or some of the participants will take too long to finish their events! But most of them seem up to it and seem to want to improve their speed and stamina. It's exciting to see people wanting to get out there and get healthy. Most of the slower participants have chosen the 1/2 marathon, which is going to be a better fit for them yet still deliver the thrill of finishing a real endurance event. Awesome.

Anyway, I walked backwards around the park so I could run into all the participants several times. I would walk with each group for a while and then go backwards to see additional groups. I have no idea how far I walked (forgot to turn my iPod back on when we started the gorup workout) but it was quite a ways. I was able to go fast with some of the runners and in between the various groups, so my heart rate was in the zone for 50 minutes (including the 17 it took to walk over to the park). Better than I thought, so I ended up getting a ride home because it was later than I told Loren I'd be home.

So, I'll be walking each Saturday outside, no matter the weather, all winter long. Snow, rain, whatever. That scares me a bit since I've managed to avoid really nasty weather for the most part (though I've walked in rain quite a bit, I generally try to avoid the snow during a storm because of the hazard of slipping in it - usually I just wait until they plow and then go out). But I've bought some new gear to be a little more prepared, and I feel as ready as I'm going to be. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yes, you can...

Make yogurt in your crock pot.

I'm linking to this because it's not my recipe. So you'll have to go there to see it, but the only ingredients are 1/2 gallon of milk and a yogurt starter (1/2c of plain store-bought yogurt with active cultures; you only need to buy it once and then you just save a little each time for your next batch). I add a couple more things, too, to make it set up more - see below.

This really works, and it's delicious. I have used both low-fat and skim milk, and they both worked. However, I like my yogurt to set up a bit. So when I put the milk in the crock pot, right at the start, I add 1/2 c of non-fat milk powder and 2 pkgs of gelatin. When it's done, if you want your fruit to set up in the yogurt, add the fruit & sugar (or Splenda, to taste) immediately and stir well. Then refrigerate, and in a few hours, voila!, you will have nice firm fruity yogurt.

I personally like to have a different flavor every day, so I just mix in the fruit right before eating. The texture isn't as nice this way, but I don't care :).

Oh, and it makes the BEST, cheapest, yogurt smoothies! Loren loves to take a yogurt smoothie with him to work. I just put a cup of plain yogurt, a few tsp of sugar (he hates Splenda) and some frozen fruit in my Magic Bullet blender (mini countertop blender - it's awesome). Sometimes I add a little vanilla (yum!). Then blend for 10 sec and you're all done.

This is SO EASY and SO CHEAP that you will never want to do store bought yogurt again. If you have an infant and are buying YoBaby, you can switch to this and save a small mint; just use whole milk to start with.


I got a happy surprise yesterday. This message was in my inbox from the racewalking Yahoo! group:

The following are the Masters Race Walking Awards for 2008

*** before their names means that I need their mailing addresses in order to send them their awards

W35 *** Tamara Stevenson
W40 *** Joanne Dow
W45 Teresa Vaill
W50 There is a question raised about awarding an award in this group. It will be resolved at the convention
W55 *** Lynn Tracy
W60 Pansuela Geer
W65 *** Louise Walters
W70 Beverly McCall
W75 *** Shirley Docksteader
W80 Miriam Gordon

Outstanding Female Joanne Dow

M35 Tim Seaman
M40 John Soucheck
M45 Don Lawrence
M50 *** Jonathan Matthews
M55 *** Michael Wiggens
M60 Leon Jasionowski
M65 John Buckland
M70 Paul Johnson
M75 Jack Bray
M80 Jack Starr
M95 *** Harry Drasin

Outstanding Male Race Walker
tie Jack Bray and Jack Starr
A big "Thank you" to the Masters Race Walking Committee and Tom Higbie.


What this means is that the RW committee chose me to be the Masters' racewalker of the year for women age 35-39, for the whole country! Wow! I am honored. Admittedly, there are not a lot of female RWers my age who take it seriously, but still, it is a neat accomplishment for a former 100lb+ overweight couch potato.

Oh, and I'm in very good company. Joanne Dow was in the Olympic Games this year in the women's 20k racewalk. Teresa Vaill was 2nd in the US Olympic Trials, and has been one of the best in the US for a very long time. Now I'm not anywhere close to their league, but it is fun to be mentioned in the same list as them :).

I have to admit that this is pretty motivating in terms of continuing to stay fit and eat well. There are some good rewards to be had!

Hanging in there

The eating was a struggle yesterday but I got through it OK, with only a few minor slip-ups. Whew.

Today is a new day. I am going out with Loren tonight, so it will be challenging. But I can do it. I want to do it. I really, really do want this.

Yesterday I walked to Liberty Park and did 2 laps of the park (each lap is about 1.4 miles or 2.25 km). The first lap I did at a moderate pace, and then I did a moderately hard pace for the 2nd lap. I finished both laps in about 30 minutes - kind of slow for how hard I was working, but hey, I was out there, and I did it. Some days are just slower than others.

Today I did a 15 min racewalking warm-up for my weight training class, and did a good hard set of weights. Lunges with weights, chest fly on machine, dead lifts, lat pull-downs, calf raises, shoulder presses, heel walking (hey, gotta strengthen those shins!), push-ups, bicep curls, and skull crushers. Oh, and abs too - a good hard set of a whole bunch of ab stuff.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One day at a time

Today is a new day. I woke feeling horrid and was going to try and sleep some more, but I knew it wouldn't happen. The encouraging thing is that my first thought on how to feel better was "I *need* to go for a walk". Not want, but NEED. I went on an not-so-easy loop of SH Park (38:xx) and when I got back I was feeling a lot better. Still not good, but much better than I had been feeling.

After teaching a couple piano lessons, I took the kids to the bank to open savings accounts for them. That was not fun. I didn't know you now have to have a social security # or birth cert to open an account at a bank (hey, it's been 10 years since I opened a bank acct for myself, so I didn't know about the ramifications of the Patriot Act for banks... wheeee). So, I had to go back home and fetch them, kids in tow. Once back at the bank it took a long time to get the accounts opened and the kids were not the best-behaved (I don't blame them!). Plus, Michelle decided to pick that moment to dirty her diaper. Ugh. AND I had left my wipes at home (I did have a clean diaper and some tissues, though). I did the best I could, changing her on the front seat of my car, because I still had some more errands. Kudos to the kind bank employee who let me have some hand sanitizer when I walked back in the bank looking harried.

The next errand was to return a broken headset for my cell phone (still under warranty). The store was out of the model I needed, and the closest store to have one was about a 20 minute drive. Par for my day. I had them order one for me. While in that store, Michelle managed to totally ruin some of the holiday decorations - she pulled down a string of plastic blue and orange snowflakes. I had just finished telling her not to play with them when she did it :(. I apologized profusely, and fortunately, the guy said they had a lot more in the back so it was no big deal. Ugh.

After that I was going to go to Wasatch Running to get some winter gear for racewalking, but I just didn't have it in me anymore.

The one good thing is that so far today I have managed to keep my eating very well in check. Let's just take this one day at a time. I can do it, bad day or not.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Winter approaching has got me a little down, I think. I'm uninspired about everything. My eating habits are atrocious, despite repeated attempts to do something about it. My racewalking is sluggish. I'm sleepy, and not getting enough rest. Ahhh... that right there is a lot of the problem. More sleep would be really helpful. Probably not going to happen this week, as I have too much going on. But maybe next week.

This morning I did get out for a decent walk, but it wasn't particularly fast. I did 5.46 miles (8.79 km) in 59:30. 6:45/km isn't too bad I guess. At least I was out there.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Still here :)

I've been sluggish about blogging lately. But I've still been racewalking!

Friday - circuit training, alternating cardio & weights. I switched between 1 min biking (stationary bike), 1 min jumping rope, and racewalking up and down the hall byt the weight room. In between each cardio exercise, I did weights: leg press, chest fly machine, dead lifts, lat pull-downs, calf raises, lateral raises, leg extensions, tricep pull-downs. It was a very hard workout - I kept my heart rate in the 140s pretty much the whole time and really kept things moving. It felt good.

Saturday - easy 3.75 miles around SugarHouse Park. I can't remember exactly but it took around 40 min.

Sunday - I wanted to go a bit longer & harder; I did 7.2 miles in about 77 min and my average heart rate was 141. I felt good at the end.


I've been struggling with overeating in the evenings despite my resolve of a few weeks ago. I have to really want this or it's not going to happen. I want to set my mind on my goal for next year of the Portland Marathon. If I'm going to be as competitive as I want to be, I need to take off some more weight. My BMI is about 22.5, and I'd really like it to be more like 21.0. That means I need to lose 10 lbs. Don't know if I can do it, but I do know it's going to come off slowly not quickly. I really do want it, but I have to want it more than I want to eat the extra food. That's tough.

I've realized that I need to work on new strategies for being smarter about evening eating - need some new alternative activities. I want to try 3 things: 1) taking a walk, 2) playing the piano, and 3) getting more sleep/going to bed earlier. I am open to suggestions, too. Tonight none of those sound particularly good except for #3, and speaking of that, I'm going to go to bed!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Morning run

I went for a run this morning around SugarHouse Park. It was SO beautiful - cold (27F!), but beautiful. I got there just before sunrise and shot these pics w/my phone camera. I ran about 4 miles, but the last mile, my left knee was bugging me a bit on the lateral side. I think it might be my tight IT band. SO, no more running for me for a little while. I am going to racewalk the Cold Turkey race on Thanksgiving, and I'll sign up tomorrow.

What a game!

Wow. Just finished listening to the Utah-TCU game (we don't get the TV channel the game was on) and that was one heck of a game. Thankfully, Utah pulled it off for the WIN!!!!! TCU helped by missing 2 field goals (one of which was basically a chip shot). It was kind of scary to listen to at times, as I wasn't sure they'd come through, but they did. Yay!!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

off for a walk & some weight training

Off for my workout, but first, congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama on his historic victory. And, this reality check (I don't agree with everything he says but I particularly like #3 and #4 and parts of #5). Now, do your part to make this country a better place.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes, I still racewalk

I bet you thought I'd gotten all political on you and forgotten about racewalking. Nope!

Yesterday I did a good hard weight training workout but no racewalking. I got up too late to make it to my weight training class on time if I racewalked, so I figured a day off wouldn't kill me!

Today I got in an easy ~4.1 miles in 43:30 or so; it started off at 52 degrees and cloudy and a tad windy. At the end, it was POURING rain and I got cold. However, I walked to my polling place (2 blocks from my house) and warmed up as I stood in line to vote. It took 25 minutes start to finish, including the time I stood in line. Of course, I was prepared to vote, so the voting part only took me 2 minutes.

Election Day Pancakes

The kids enjoying their red and blue pancakes.

Calvin knows his party colors :).
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween around here

Here are the kids in their Thing 1 & Thing 2 costumes :)

Tag: My 8s

Kristen tagged me so guess I will do this :). You can tell it's naptime and that I'm relaxing after that last more serious post.

So I was tagged by Marissa about 2 weeks ago, and I finally got around to doing this. Here are some of my 8's.

Eight TV shows I like to watch:

1. The evening news, maybe 2x/week
2. Pro football games
3. College football games
4. The Olympics, particularly track & field
5.-8. Really, I don't watch other TV shows.

Eight restaurants I like to eat at:

1. The Paris
2. Fresco Italian Cafe
3. Mazza
4. Lugano
5. Market Street Broiler
6. Acme Burger
7. Citris Grill
8. Caputo’s Deli

Eight things that happened today:

1. Racewalked an easy 3.75 miles and felt pretty decent.
2. Went to Weight Watchers and was down 1.4 lb.
3. Ate breakfast - Kashi Go Lean Crunch with 1/2c vanilla soy milk and 1/2c frozen berries, thawed.
4. Changed a dirty diaper.
5. Raked leaves with my husband and kids - very fun, actually! Picked up a whole bunch of walnuts while I was at it. Anyone wanna help crack them?
5. Ate lunch - grilled cheese and a pear and a few pumpkin seeds.
7. Did the dishes.
8. Watched football (still doing this) while blogging

Eight things I am looking forward to:

1. Watching the Utah game tonight.
2. Trying a new recipe for crab potato soup (also tonight).
3. Visiting some friends in Vegas in a few weekends, child-free :).
4. The Halloween candy being OUT OF THE HOUSE. The kids need to eat it fast or I'm going to throw it away.
5. The Portland marathon next year, and doing Portland-to-Coast in August (Portland is my racewalking city next year).
6. The election being OVER.
7. Christmas at my brother's house in Davis, CA, and seeing friends and family while there.
8. Hanging out with my friend Sarah on Monday night.

Eight things on my wish list:

1. A Garmin Forerunner 305
2. More time to read books
3. Winning the racewalk division of the Portland Marathon (or just having a really good race)
4. Fresh organic produce that wasn't so darned expensive (perhaps I should wish for a green thumb?).
5. A new building for our church (
6. More time to cook
7. A not-too-cold winter so that I can racewalk outside a lot
8. Good health for my friends and family

Eight People I Tag:

I'm not actually going to list anyone. If you want to do it, go ahead!

Some thoughts on politics

Disclaimer: I blog a lot about racewalking and my kids and also about weight loss issues, and not usually too much about other things. But this is my blog, and it's the place I have to write things, so if you're not interested in my political opinion, feel free to skip this post.

I am coming out of the closet. I am voting for Obama.

After being barraged by e-mails from well-meaning family and friends who tell me I'm going to hell if I vote for Obama (OK, not really, but close enough), I feel like I have to speak up just a little. I am not telling you who to vote for, reader. And, by the way, I do not think you are not going to hell because you vote for McCain :). I just want to tell you some of the things I am thinking about. This is only a very small list, by the way.

I just want to point out that 1) it is consistent with my Christian faith to vote for Obama (and y'know, honestly, some have been so in my face about this that it makes me ashamed to call myself a Christian because I don't want to share that label with people who can be so hateful, so please, consider how you sound before you open your mouth!), 2) it is consistent with my passion for science.

With that in mind, I am linking to an article Francis Collins wrote endorsing Obama for president (thanks, Ollie, for calling this to my attention). Collins is a Christian AND an outstanding scientist. He led the Human Genome Project to its successful conclusion, and has a great grasp of the issues involved as they relate to science. I admit I do have a personal interest here, as I lost my job this year due in large part to the slashing of NIH funding by the current administration. However, this is more than personal interest. Along with Collins, I believe strongly that the future of our country is going to be affected greatly by the amount of money that we invest in research. And yes, I believe we need to do this at the federal level. Some have told me that they believe such research should be privately funded. The problem with this is (in part anyway) is that BASIC research is needed to lay the groundwork for the specific advancements (drugs, medical treatments, etc.) that we see in biomedical science. The basic research takes years to complete and is not going to be funded by private companies that only care about their bottom line; basic research is never and will not be a moneymaker in the short term. Taxpayers need to pay for this research, because (among many other reasons too numerous for me to list here)in the long term it benefits us directly through new medical advances and it benefits the economy when we are a leader in research and technology. Anyway, read Francis Collins' article, because he says it better than I do.

I am also NOT a one issue kind of gal. I care about other things besides funding scientific research. I do care about social issues. One question well-meaning people have asked me is, "how could you support a candidate that voted against a ban of partial birth abortion"? Well, my friend Sara has a blog where she addresses that question SO much better than I can (hey, she is a writer by profession!). So, with Sara, I affirm that a pro-life position is about caring about ALL of life, from the womb to the grave, including issues of poverty and war/peace. Right now, the Democratic Party seems to me to be in a better position to address the majority of those issues in a manner that cares about people most deeply.

I could spend a long time blogging on my thoughts on other issues, from the environment, to the war, to the economy, to our overdependence on fossil fuels, but I just don't have that time. Please believe me when I tell you I've done my homework on the issues and I have not arrived at my position lightly. I do not think that any political party is going to save us. In fact, if we are placing our trust in them, we will be sorely disappointed. But we still need to vote, and vote responsibly, and do our part to make a difference in the world, whether big or small.

slow Saturday

I'm still a bit slow/sluggish from getting over my cold. I did 3.75 miles easy, around SugarHouse park, in 40:44, for a 10:52/mile pace.

Yesterday I did no walking but did an intense weight training workout which left me pretty sore in the glutes. I did the leg press, lunges w/weights, leg extension, chest fly machine, shoulder presses, tricep pull-downs, bicep curls, lat pull-downs, and lots of abs. The whole sitting down process is a bit painful this morning, but I like the feeling of knowing I worked my muscles hard.