Saturday, February 28, 2009

16.2 with the team

This morning we had our TNT workout. The spring team is getting closer to their race, and so they did 18 miles (SLC marathon) and 16 miles (Nashville marathon) and 8 miles (SLC & Nashville half marathons). The summer team joined us for 7 miles (San Diego full marathon), 5 miles (Seattle full marathon), and 4 miles (SD and Seattle half marathon). We had a really hilly route, and it was a fun challenge. I think most of the team enjoyed pushing themselves; the attendance was down due to the rummage sale the spring team hosted, but those who were there seemed to have a good time. It's so fun seeing them accomplish new things - one woman did her first 5-miler today, and another her first 16-miler. Awesome! Another woman on the team is recovering from an injury, and was able to do 16 miles today as well - really terrific news for her.

I did 16.2 myself with all the various team members - it was great to touch base w/so many of them and get to know them better. I always really enjoy the team workouts and today was especially nice because of the good weather and the fun people who showed for the workout.

Total time: 3:10:54, and ave speed 11:46/mile - not bad, considering that I did walk fairly slowly for a time w/some of the walkers. I did get in 2 really fast miles in between team members who were spread out, which was great - I did them under 10:15/mile (between 10:15 and 9:30), perfect training for my 1/2 marathon. I was hoping for 14 miles w/3 miles at 1/2 marathon pace sometime this weekend, and this was pretty close to that. I'll take it :).

The best part? NO IT BAND PAIN! YAY! I did a lot of miles, and some fast miles, and had no trouble. Definitely a great thing.

Day 32 & 33: 40 days 'til 39

Day 32 - we were supposed to go through our closets and find clothes to donate... however, I had Sarah's kids all day and it was pretty hectic. I would have normally done this during nap time, but Sarah's daughter was sleeping in my room and I didn't want to disturb her. So, I flaked and didn't do this. I still want to, and probably will before our birthday, but I couldn't do it yesterday. Oh well!

Day 33 - Today we got massages from Lars Hansen, who lives only a couple blocks from me. I found about him from Leah F., a member of the Wasatch Walkers. He is a great massage therapist, very talented and quite inexpensive. It's going to be hard to restrain myself from developing a massage addiction with Lars living only 2 blocks away! And after my long workout today, it felt especially good. Ahhhhhh :).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 31: 40 days 'til 39

Wow, only 10 days until Sarah and I celebrate our birthday. Today, day 31 of our 40 days, we decided to clean out a closet or drawer that has been bugging us. I was really tired and tempted to bail on it, but I'm glad I didn't. Our hall closet was sadly in need of some help, so I tackled it, and it only took about 30 minutes to get it looking much better, which made me feel a lot better :).

Before - pretty messy! (first 2 photos):

After (photos 3&4):

workout update

Wednesday: Easy RW warm-up for weight training, then PT and abs, some push-ups, and calf raises.

Thursday: Bought a new pair of Nike Marathon shoes at the TNT shoe clinic last night, because I had one a couple years ago and loved them, and they were 30% off. I tried them out on the treadmill this morning for my hard lactate threshold workout. DUH! Never try a new pair of shoes on a hard workout. Should have used them for an easy one first. Anyway, I had pain in the IT band about mile 4 and switched shoes. Much better. I ended up returning the shoes, because apparently right now they are not going to work for me. I digress - back to the workout. I did a warm up and then 3 miles at HR ~ 162ish (lactate threshold), which was 6.3 mph down to 6.0 mph - this was TOUGH but I did it. Then 3' recovery at 3.0 mph. Then I did 2 miles at lactate threshold HR, 6.0 mph (interrupted frequently to change shoes, stretch etc. because of IT band pain). Then 2' recovery. Then 1 mile at lactate threshold HR, 6.0 mph. Then a cool down. My IT band felt better after changing shoes and didn't really hurt persay after that. However, it's been a bit sensitive all day and I've iced it 3x now. I hope if I take it easy tomorrow that I will be ready to do some long miles w/the team Saturday. Based on past experience, I think I will be OK if I take it at a slow pace Saturday.


food update: still having a good week :) and happy about it :) :) :)!

Day 30: 40 days 'til 39

I was supposed to do this yesterday, but time got away from me. Better late than never!

40 things about my family that I am thankful for:

1. Loren's job - that he likes it and is able to do it well. If I could, all 40 would be about this, because the last 4 years he's had it have been wonderful.
2. My mom really enjoys being with the kids (I love this a lot right now because she's here visiting and helping me!).
3. Calvin is creative and clever.
4. Michelle is very cute when she counts (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 :)!).
5. Michelle is snuggly and likes to be rocked.
6. Calvin is pretty smart, and he can already write his name and several words.
7. Loren is great with the kids, and they adore him.
8. Loren is a wonderful listener.
9. My dad is a go-to guy about home improvement issues. He knows how to do everything and is more than happy to share it with us.
10. Loren is willing to try to fix most small home-repair jobs and does a good job at it.
11. Loren enjoys a good soak in the jetted tub as much as (or more than) I do.
12. Calvin and Michelle both like music and enjoy Kindermusik classes.
13. My children have the most beautiful blue eyes ever (I'm not biased or anything :)).
14. Calvin is curious about the world we live in and interested in the universe at large; he's currently fascinated with the planets in our solar system.
15. Michelle knows her ABCs, for the most part.
16. Michelle gives me the cutest looks and has a wonderful variety of facial expressions.
17. Calvin and Michelle are both really good sleepers and rarely wake during the night. They were even good sleepers as babies.
18. Loren is very supportive of my racewalking habit (this is a big one!) even though he is a couch potato.
19. Calvin and Michelle both already have an interest in racewalking, though they don't yet quite get how to do it :). Calvin thinks running with bent arms and exaggerated arm swing = racewalking. Very cute!
20. My parents were always there for me growing up, and provided a stable home for me and my brother.
21. My parents have been married for almost 44 years and have stuck by each other through thick and thin.
22. Loren's mom is so great with our kids, and even though she can't visit often (she works full-time), she is a joy to have around. How many can say that about their mother-in-law?
23. My brother is an avid runner and has lots of great training tips to share with me.
24. My brother recently married a wonderful woman who is perfect for him.
25. I've always been very close to my brother and we enjoy each other's company; we did fight a lot as little kids, but we played a lot too.
26. My parents took us a lot of places when we were kids. I still love to travel!
27. Loren loves to read, and we can discuss books together.
28. Loren also loves movies and introduces me to good movies I'd never watch otherwise.
29. Loren likes to think deeply about things and is a great person to talk to when I am wrestling with a tough issue or just want to discuss something complex.
30. My parents encouraged me a lot in my musical pursuits.
31. My parents encouraged me in academic pursuits as well.
32. Michelle is a fighter and survived a bout with pneumonia and 10 days in the NICU as a newborn.
33. Michelle is adventurous and will try anything.
34. Michelle loves to eat and try new foods.
35. Calvin is cautious and doesn't take unnecessary risks (a good trait for a guy, I think!).
36. Calvin loves books.
37. Michelle loves books too.
38. My parents taught me how to be responsible at a young age.
39. Loren enjoys eating good food :) and we love trying new restaurants together.
40. Loren has put up with my quirks for 15 years and counting, and still loves me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day 29: 40 days 'til 39

Today's item was to read a new prayer or check out some readings from the Book of Common Prayer or other prayer book. Loren was raised in the Episcopal Church, so he has an affinity for the Book of Common Prayer. I read a few prayers from it online, and here are some that I appreciated. The prayer for church musicians is an obvious choice, since I am one :). The Nicene Creed is one of my favorite prayers that we regularly use in our worship service at New Song. A friend at church made a really artistic version and printed it on T-shirts with our church logo, and I love it - now one of my favorite shirts. There is just something about the Nicene Creed that touches me; I feel like it is such a great summary of the teaching of the Bible on what we as Christians believe about God (especially the person of the Son), and it reflects the shared beliefs of Christians worldwide.

For Church Musicians and Artists

O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in
heaven: Be ever present with your servants who seek through
art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on
earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty,
and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for
evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and of all things visible and invisible;

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of his Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary,
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried;
and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures,
and ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
and he shall come again, with glory,
to judge both the quick and the dead;
whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord, and Giver of Life,
who proceedeth from the Father and the Son;
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped
and glorified;
who spake by the Prophets.
And I believe one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church;
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins;
and I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Rest day, easy day

Yesterday I rested from exercise. I did a few PT exercises at home, and that was it. I skipped weight training and read some Psalms and a book instead of going. I really felt I needed to rest my leg and my whole body for that matter. After 20 miles over the weekend, I wanted to be sure I hadn't overtaxed anything. It felt great to rest, and I even managed to only eat 19 points all day.


Speaking of points, I had a crappy week last week. Yeah, I probably gained back the 2 lb I lost the previous week. Oh well. I learned some things in the process. One is: Peanut butter MnMs are like crack to me. Seriously, I cannot have them around or I will consume them. I have NO willpower over them. I took some to the injury prevention clinic because our speaker let on that he liked them. I overbought, and he did take some home with him for himself and his kids, but I got stuck w/the rest. Not good. I ate like 8 oz of them in the car on the way home. Uh, oops. That was like 30 points. Next time - I WILL THROW THEM OUT rather than taking them. It's hard for me to toss food, but better in the trash than on my hips.

I learned some other stuff too, but I won't bore you with it - mostly it involves being too busy, not sleeping enough, and getting grumpy and self-medicating with food. Just don't go there, OK? This week is starting off MUCH better and I am really motivated by my racewalking goals, so hopefully I'll have a good week.


Today - an easy day of racewalking was on the schedule. Usually Tuesdays are speed work, but the schedule I downloaded takes it a little easier this week as a recovery week before the last push before the race. I was to do 6 miles easy, but didn't wake up early enough, so I did 1 hr easy, or 5.55 miles; 10:49 per mile. It felt great, which was a relief. I was a bit concerned about my IT band, but no problems.

The weather was SO NICE this morning! It was seriously like April weather. Temperature was 42F (5.6C) and gloriously clear. It's getting lighter in the morning, so it wasn't even pitch black the whole time I was out. I went around Sugar House Park as part of my route - it's really my favorite park because of the mountain views and the rolling hills to give a little challenge. I felt so glad to be out there and so grateful for the ability to racewalk without pain.

Day 28: 40 days 'til 39

Yesterday, day 28, was opera day. Sarah (pictured below, reading "Opera for Dummies") and I picked a good one, kind of by accident. I was listening to the local classical station and heard them discussing Verdi's operas. I really like Verdi a lot, so I figured we'd try to see one of his. We went to the library and looked through what was there, and they had "Ernani" on DVD, and it looked like a good plot, and hey, it had star power too: the Metropolitan Opera with James Levine conducting and Luciano Pavarotti as Ernani.

Turned out to be a great pick. We both thoroughly enjoyed the music, the costumes, the cool sets, the amazing vocal prowess of the lead roles (3 men: 2 basses, 1 tenor!, and only 1 woman: a soprano). There were some terrific moments - duets, trios, an all-male chorus that was fabulous, and more. Seriously, this was awesome. Even if you're not an opera fan, you might really like it.

Here's an excerpt:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Headlines & ads from March 8, 1970

There was a total eclipse the day before I was born in Virginia. In Utah, it was 40% totality. I was born in Kentucky, and I assume there was a decent eclipse there - I asked my parents about it and neither one remembers. Perhaps it was cloudy there that day?
Advertising a ridiculously small 14.1 cubic foot fridge. I think our fridge today is about that size and why anyone in their right mind would advertise a fridge that small I have no idea. Still... it does make me think a bit about overconsumption and the "need" to have bigger and more stuff all the time.
Posted by Picasa

The TV ad is hilarious... the Total Automatic Color part is my favorite!

Day 27: 40 days 'til 39

Sarah and I met at the library this afternoon and we did several things on our list:

1) Browsed the book sale. Sarah got a copy of the Phantom of the Opera. I enjoyed looking and liked a book I saw on cruises but wasn't willing to plunk down the $8 for a used book - seemed a little steep.

2) Picked out an opera video to watch tomorrow as our day 28 activity, and checked it out. More on this tomorrow.

3) Looked up the Salt Lake Tribune from the day each of us were born. This was a hoot - we browsed through both days' papers and laughed/marveled at their contents, from the ads to the articles. Great fun! I scanned in a few of them from my date of birth and will post shortly.

Day 26: 40 days 'til 39 - update & photos

Symphony update ... I took Callie (our friend Dean's daughter) with me to the symphony, and we had an enjoyable evening.

Brief review - the piano soloist was OK. Sort of a mixed bag, honestly. I really loved some things he did: exquisite pianissimos, delicate fast passage work, and attention to fine details of phrasing. However, I thought his forte passages had a harsh, banging quality, and his interpretation of the piece was overly romanticized, to the point that I found myself rolling my eyes over it. He also had a somewhat irritating habit of conducting himself, and he tended to sing along rather loudly at times. But his performance had lots of energy and enthusiasm, and the audience ate it up, even if I wasn't quite as excited about it. I still love the Tchaikovsky concerto, and it was a pleasure to hear it live. After intermission, the orchestra played Brahms' Symphony #1, and though the interpretation was a bit pedantic at times, I enjoyed it quite a lot and truly appreciated the beauty of the 2nd movement and the drama of the 4th. I'm glad I got to hear both of these terrific pieces up close and personal.

long day

Today was MY long day (vs. the TNT long day - not the same thing! I can't use the TNT long days as my own training since I start & stop a lot and go at random paces. It's still a good workout, just not really training). My long day was shorter this weekend, but next weekend it will be longer. Most training schedules for 1/2 and full marathons alternate longer and shorter walks/runs on alternating weekends, and the one I modified from the Nike Women's Marathon website is no exception. So, only 8 miles today. I decided I'd do it on the faster side since it was a shorter long day. I ended up doing 8.2 miles in just under 1:27 for about 10:40-something per mile (I did put it in my spreadsheet but too lazy to look right now). Anyway, it was a good pace, and my ave HR was 141. I felt pretty good, especially considering that I did just under 12 miles yesterday. My IT band got very tight a few times but stretching en route kept any pain away.

I'm going to take it pretty easy tomorrow. Will do my PT but probably not too much else; maybe a little stationary biking.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 26: 40 days 'til 39

We had to change our schedule around a bit - originally we had planned a massage for today, but then I had some friends come in from out of town so we changed things up. I invited Sarah to come to the symphony with me tonight instead, but she can't because of being on call, so I am taking the daughter of our friends from out of town with me instead, and Sarah is going to listen to recordings of what they are playing tonight.

I am SO excited about this concert - it's Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1, which I adore even if it IS an old warhorse, and Brahms Symphony #1. I have already mentioned in my blog that Brahms is my favorite composer, and his first symphony is truly marvelous. It took something like 20 years before he felt he had a symphony worthy of publishing (that's off the top of my head), because he was so meticulous and had such high standards of craftsmanship for his work. Anyway, it's an amazing piece, and I'm so glad I get to hear both of these pieces live. I've been looking forward to this concert for a long time!

If I remember, I will post more about it after I attend, maybe tomorrow. It's pretty busy with our friends here but I'll try to find some time.

TNT Saturday

Good weather today! Yay! It was 28F and clear and still when we started walking/running this morning. I went out w/the faster runners, who were doing a very manageable 10-10:30 pace up a gentle hill at the start.

The route wasn't great this morning. Bummer, since I picked it (with the help of a runner on the team who lives on the route & loves it... so maybe other people liked it even if I didn't?). Too much traffic, boring cityscape, and just generally not that interesting. Oh well. Live and learn.

The spring team did 10 miles (full and half the same), and the summer team did 4 or 5 miles, depending on what race they are signed up for. Everyone seemed to be doing really well, even the new people on the summer team. They were all jazzed to be out there on a nice morning.

I did throw in my 3 running stints for my IT band PT. My IT band felt pretty good for most of the time, and got a little tight at the end, but no pain. Whew. I did a total of 11.59 miles, in 2:18, for just under a 12:00/mile pace on average. Ave heart rate was 132, which is probably about right or even a little high for the speed I was going. I felt good, though. I got a decent workout and touched base with everyone. It is SO nice to be out there and better from my injury. I'm very thankful for that!!!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Oat & Apricot Breakfast Bars

I got this recipe from WW online and I love it! I made it for our mom's group at church this morning, and the kids liked it a lot. Except for my son, who ate one bite and turned up his nose. Go figure!

Servings: 8
Points: 3

1 c whole-grain wheat flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c uncooked quick oats
15 pieces dried apricot halves, diced
2 T sunflower seeds
1 T reduced calorie margarine, melted
1/2 c fat-free egg substitute (can use 2 eggs instead)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan w/cooking spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, oats, apricots, and sunflower seeds. Whisk together margarine and egg substitute. Quickly mix together wet & dry ingredients. Spoon into prepared pan and smooth top (I pressed it down with moistened hands). Bake until firm, about 20 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into 8 rectangles. Yields 1 bar per serving.

weights on Friday; other RW thoughts

Today I biked for 5 minutes to warm up for weight training, and then basically did my hip PT exercises plus bench press, lateral raises, and abs.

When I got home, I wanted to do a little more, so I plopped the kids in front of the SuperReaders on PBS, and I racewalked/ran 2.05 miles on the treadmill in about 22 minutes. I racewalked almost the whole time, at 5.5 mph and 0.5% or 1% incline. I threw in three 40-second runs at 6.5 mph as part of my physical therapy.

No, I am not planning on running a lot. Yes, I am doing some running. The reason I need to run a little is that the new team has a few faster runners who would like to do the marathon at 8:30-9:00/mile pace. I can racewalk that fast for only short distances, and only if I am huffing and puffing. I would not be able to be a very good coach if I couldn't talk w/them while I racewalked with them! So, I plan to run a little on Saturdays just while I am with those faster runners, and only so that I can talk with them without sounding like I am dying and out of breath. It's no problem to run at an 8:30-9:00/mile pace for me; in fact, I feel pretty sure that it would take a 7:30/mile run to make me as out of breath as I'd get from a 9:00/mile racewalk. An easy pace running is usually about 9:00/mile, and I think if I were trying to run a marathon I might shoot for that pace.

My physical therapist said it would be fine for me to run a little, as long as I work up to it carefully (since we think the running might have set off my IT band injury). He recommended throwing in those 30-60 second running intervals into my RW workouts, adding more and more until I am running 10 minutes total (in 30-60 second increments). If I have no pain, I can then start doing 2 minute intervals, but back down to 6 minutes total, and slowly increase from there. Ideally I will be able to run a few minutes w/the team members pretty soon if I follow this progression. So far, so good - I ran yesterday and today, and no trouble. Yay!

The only question remaining is how bad is it for me to run in my RW shoes? I will be wearing RW shoes for the team workouts, and though I do use my motion control inserts in them, I'm not sure how my body will take the added impact of running. I could wear my running shoes and tie my RW shoes around my waist, but for long workouts that will be a total drag. So for now I just plan to run in my RW shoes and hope for the best.


In other racewalking thoughts, a few have commented (both online and offline friends) that I should try to make the 1:48:00 20K standard for the 2012 Olympic Trials. While I would love to do this, and nothing would make me more thrilled than qualifying to compete in the Olympics, I just do not see it as a realistic goal. Using the age grade calculator on the North American RW Foundation website, I'd have to be able to do about a 25:10 5K to have a shot at making a 1:48:00 20K. 2 summers ago, in 2007, I did a 28:53 5K. Last summer, I improved to a 28:36 5K, with much training and hard effort. I feel like I *might* have a 27:59 5K in me, maybe... but I truly doubt I can go faster than that, which pretty much puts a 1:48:00 20K out of the question. However, I do not want to say I can't do it; I just think it rather unlikely. IF my 5K time ever drops close to 26:00 or better, then I will consider this possibility more strongly. But if not, well, I'm not going to dream about something that unlikely.

Day 25: 40 days 'til 39

Today we're writing a poem. Pretty silly for someone who doesn't read much poetry. I've only written a few poems in my life, and only one that I remember was just because I felt like it (I wrote it in college, and I wish I could find it now. It's around somewhere I'm sure).

I like the form of Haiku, but I'm not sure I can carry it off. Here are a few attempts based on some workouts I've had in the last week:

racewalking in the snow
flakes falling furiously
wet feet oddly warm

mountains at sunrise
snow-capped, pink-hued, magical
a new day awaits

pushing my limits
feeling strong and powerful
joyful deep inside

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 24: 40 days 'til 39

How did it get to be day 24 already?

Today we are listing 20 things we like about ourselves and 20 things we'd like to change.

I'll start with the things I'd like to change. These are off the top of my head, and some are pretty frivolous, but hey, it's just a quick list.
1. Be more patient with my kids and less quick to anger.
2. Ditto for my husband.
3. Be more restrained in my evening eating (it's better, but still not the best).
4. Be more eager to do the hard racewalking workouts. I'm always happy I did them, but I dread them sometimes.
5. Be a little more restrained in my spending. I'm pretty good about some areas, but in other areas I lack restraint.
6. Give more generously with the $ I save doing #5.
7. Spend more time with my friends.
8. Read more books.
9. Relax a bit more effectively - I'm still too anxious most of the time.
10. Be more willing to let a few things fall through the cracks so that I can relax and spend more time w/the kids.
11. Not get anxious if I do #10.
12. Give Loren more back massages.
13. Be more grateful for what I have, especially for my good health.
14. Share more of my time and my gifts with others.
15. Be wiser in allocating computer time (it tends to take over).
16. Read the newspaper earlier in the day.
17. I'd still like to lose a little more weight for this walking season. I'm down 2 lb since Christmas but would like to lose at least 5 more.
18. Tell Loren and the kids how much I love them more often.
19. Read more to the kids.
20. Spend more time outside with the kids (I'm just too much of a cold wimp to do it right now... can't wait for summer
21. I know, it was only supposed to be 20, but I'd love to be less self-centered. I'm lame that way...

Things I like about myself:
1. I work hard.
2. I'm organized.
3. I'm loyal to my friends, family, and employers/jobs.
4. I'm determined.
5. I'm responsible.
6. OK, this is shallow and vain (maybe this whole list is?) but I like my hair. It's thick and in good condition. I can't wait to donate it to Locks of Love... soon... in a few months.
7. For the first time in my life, I really do like my body. There are parts that are not perfect, but I am really OK with that!
8. I'm glad I love books and learning.
9. I'm still curious and I like to think deeply.
10. I'm a good mother, for the most part. I love my children and do a lot of interesting things with them.
11. I am a good cook.
12. I'm a good baker.
13. I like to eat (yes, I like this about myself - I think it's good to be able to appreciate food, just in moderation).
14. I like to make a lot of things from scratch: yogurt, soup stock, all kinds of food. I buy very little processed food compared to most Americans, and I do eat very healthy stuff except when I have a chocolate binge!
15. I'm a very fast racewalker - not elite caliber, but still, faster than the average Jane.
16. I'm athletic - for the first time in my life :).
17. I have good abs - also for the first time in my life.
18. I've gotten more adventurous with age and more willing to try new things.
19. I'm not as afraid of change as I used to be.
20. I'm more secure in who I am, and I'm generally a pretty happy person these days.

Flying fast 6 miles :)

OK, I was SUPPOSED to do 6 miles at marathon pace today. That would be a 10:40 pace at best. However, I got out there, and I just felt good this morning. The weather was fine (27F, -3C) and clear, and the moon was a beautiful crescent. The sun rose enough to give the mountains a beautiful pink glow on the white snow as I was going around SugarHouse Park. Yes, the course was hilly - lots of nice elevation changes (from 4400 feet up to 4600 feet, down to 4400 feet, and back up to 4500 feet before coming back down to 4400 feet), but I was rarin' to go and didn't let a few hills stand in my way.

I did the whole thing in 1:00:18 for a 10:03 pace (about 6:14/km). My average heart rate was surprisingly low (149) for such a brisk pace, though it did get up to 161 at several points, according to my Garmin, and most every time I looked at it, my HR was in the 150s.

Oh, one thing, though - I did RUN for about 2 minutes of that hour - in three 40-second spurts. I was running at about an 8:00 pace I think. Still, it was only 2 minutes of the whole time, and I need to do some running with the team, so my PT told me I should add in a little running to my training.

This is really encouraging - despite my injury and the weak training in December and early January, I think I am pretty fit. I would LOVE to be able to do the Canyonlands Half Marathon in 2:11ish (a 10:00/mile pace), and I might be able to. I did feel today that I could have done a good bit more at that pace.

Now I just gotta keep eating right (so far, so good) and keep training hard, and hope that my injury continues healing well.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Booted from PT!!!!!!

I graduated today. My physical therapist booted me out the door and said I was good enough that I don't have to see him any more on a regular basis. Of course, if I have some problem that crops up I'm welcome to shoot him an e-mail or make an appointment. But I hope I won't need it.

I did 41 miles since my last visit with him until today, and I had no pain. That's good!!! He gave me some instructions on how to add in a little running, since I want to be able to run with the summer team, and he also told me to keep up the full complement of PT exercises for 3 more weeks. Then I can wean off of them gradually, but leave at least 2 in my regular weight training rotation forever (rotate through the different ones). He tested my strength and was quite pleased with the improvements in my hip strength after doing the exercises for 5 weeks.

Oh, and cool guy that he is, he thought he might like to give an injury prevention clinic to the TNT fall team if I need it. Very good! He's a trail runner and marathoner himself. I have a PT guy who is giving the summer team clinic, but it will be good to have another PT I can call.


Workout today: biking for 10 minutes, then weight training, mostly my PT stuff, plus abs, push-ups on the ball, bicep curls. Later I went to PT and did some more hip stuff and did 15 min on the elliptical. No racewalking today - took the day off.

Day 23: 40 days 'til 39

Poetry day.

I don't read much poetry. But I should. I read a lot of books, but not much poetry. I think that will have to change. I enjoyed searching for a poem for the blog, and reading a few along the way.

I chose a poem by Maya Angelou, because I am still reading her book "Why the Caged Bird Sings". Yeah, I know, I should be done by now, but I have another book to read for our church book club ("Dreams From My Father" by Barack Obama), so I'm still working on it, but I will finish it by our birthday, or at least that's what I intend to do.

I chose this poem because I loved the first stanza - it pierces to the heart of the matter so quickly, and I appreciate the biblical allusions. I feel such gratitude for the wonderful friends and family in my life and how they keep me in one piece and keep me going. Without them, I wouldn't make it (and that includes all you wonderful blog readers who give me comments from time to time, even if I have not met you in person).


Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Day 22: 40 days 'til 39

OK, so I was a day late on this one. Oops. But it's the spirit of the thing that counts. Today we were donating to a charity of our choice. Yeah, not all of our daily things are narcissistic, hedonistic, etc. - just most of them :).

I decided to donate to, which gave me a blurb to put on my blog so I didn't even have to type it. You can read more about it below - I like it because it's a loan to someone who really needs the $ and who will repay it. Then you get to loan out the $ to someone else who needs it - it's really fun! The photo is of the Tanzanian woman who is getting the loan I'm helping to finance. She's a clothing seller, 32 years old, and widowed with 2 kids ages 12 and 5. Wow. I am in awe of her from here, and I hope that the loan makes a big difference in her life.

Here's the blurb about Kiva:


I just made a loan to someone in the developing world using a revolutionary new website called Kiva (

You can go to Kiva's website and lend to someone in the developing world who needs a loan for their business - like raising goats, selling vegetables at market or making bricks. Each loan has a picture of the entrepreneur, a description of their business and how they plan to use the loan so you know exactly how your money is being spent - and you get updates letting you know how the entrepreneur is going.

The best part is, when the entrepreneur pays back their loan you get your money back - and Kiva's loans are managed by microfinance institutions on the ground who have a lot of experience doing this, so you can trust that your money is being handled responsibly.

I just made a loan to an entrepreneur named Mwantum Bwatwana in Tanzania. They still need another $175.00 to complete their loan request of $250.00 (you can loan as little as $25.00!). Help me get this entrepreneur off the ground by clicking on the link below to make a loan to Mwantum Bwatwana too:

It's finally easy to actually do something about poverty - using Kiva I know exactly who my money is loaned to and what they're using it for. And most of all, I know that I'm helping them build a
sustainable business that will provide income to feed, clothe, house and educate their family long after my loan is paid back.

Join me in changing the world - one loan at a time.


What others are saying about

'Revolutionising how donors and lenders in the US are connecting with small entrepreneurs in developing countries.'
-- BBC

'If you've got 25 bucks, a PC and a PayPal account, you've now got the wherewithal to be an international financier.'
-- CNN Money

'Smaller investors can make loans of as little as $25 to specific individual entrepreneurs through a service launched last fall by'
-- The Wall Street Journal

'An inexpensive feel-good investment opportunity...All loaned funds go directly to the applicants, and most loans are repaid in full.'
-- Entrepreneur Magazine

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


This is kinda funny. While racewalking a mile on the treadmill at the Cliff Spa at Snowbird on Sunday, I wondered why my heart rate was so high for the effort. It was running about 152-153 at 5.5 mph. At home, I'd have about 140 bpm for that effort on a treadmill (though less outside, which is a bit odd since treadmills are supposed to give you an assist, but that's another topic). Anyway, I had to back it off to 5.2-5.3 mph because the 5.5 was just harder than I wanted to go. I puzzled over it but didn't think too much about it.

Last night while falling asleep, the answer hit me like a ton of bricks. DUH! The elevation at the Cliff Spa is about 7800 feet. My house is about 4375 feet or so. Hmmm, I guess that explains things :).

Mon & Tues workouts; good news

Monday - I was going to do 12 miles, with the last 3 at half marathon pace. Well, that didn't happen. I decided to do it during nap time, since Loren was off for President's Day. That was apparently a mistake. I know I didn't eat the right things before I went, either. Suffice it to say that after 3.75 I was very nauseous and almost quit (I was doing loops near my house). I decided I could have some water, rest a minute, and continue. I figured I could for sure at least DO 3.9 miles more (the next loop), even if I had to walk slowly for part of it. I did finish the 2nd loop, and I did have to walk slowly for a while. Still, I finished the 7.65 in 1:26:31 for an 11:19 pace. Slow, but not as slow as I thought I was.

Tuesday - Normally I wouldn't do intervals after a long day, but since I aborted my workout yesterday and didn't do the full 12, I figured I was good for some intervals. I was! I did a one mile warm-up on the treadmill at 5.5 mph, stretched my IT bands carefully, and hopped back on for 6 x 800m (0.5 mile) at 6.3 mph each (10K pace; I was going to do 5K pace but was worried about my IT band flaring up - so I compromised by setting the incline at 0.5% instead of 0% to make it a little harder). After the 4th interval, I was getting pretty tired, so I wimped out and lowered the incline to 0% and finished the workout that way. In between intervals, I walked at 3 mph until my HR in was in the 120s - 1:10 to 2:35. My HR ave for the 6 intervals was 152, 158, 160, 163, 163, 163 (funny, those last few FELT worse than that; max was 162-173 for the 6 intervals). Time was about 4:44 for each interval. This was a good, hard workout. I was really feeling it at the end. Happily, I had no IT band pain at all.


Good news! The scale finally moved! I had lost 2.2 lb at my weigh-in last night at Weight Watchers. To get it to move, I had to cut back my daily points to 19 per day, eat no more than 4 of my activity points for 5 of the 7 days (the other 2 days I was allowed to eat them all), and eat no more than 20 of my 35 weekly points allowance (I only at 15 of it). I am going to repeat this number and hopefully will continue to lose. 2.2 lb seems a bit high for one week - I think I had been losing the previous weeks (I had been eating right) but that I was retaining some water. I am shooting for 0.4-0.5 lb loss per week for the next 5 weeks. We made new goals last night in class, and by March 23 I want to lose 2.0 more lb. I have some sleep goals (to bed by 9:30-10 pm most nights) and some eating goals (the points listed above) that will help me get there. The Portland-To-Coast and Portland Marathon races in August and October beckon, and I WILL be ready, as much as it depends on me.

Day 21: 40 days 'til 39

Today was dark chocolate tasting day. This was a lot of fun! We tried 8 different kinds - four flavored with fruit, and four pure dark chocolate. Our favorites? The Ritter strawberry won the flavored group, and the dark chocolate was a tie between Scharffen-Berger and Amano (made in Utah!). It was a yummy way to spend our evening.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A few photos from Valentine's Day

Here are a few photos from the dinner Loren and I enjoyed together, at home, in the peace and quiet while the kids were at pajama night.

Day 20: 40 days 'til 39

Today we had a spa day at the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird. Locals can get into the spa for only $10 - what a deal! We enjoyed a few hours of working out, relaxing in the hot tub, and hanging out with a view, sipping tea and reading the newspaper. It was heavenly. We'd like to spend a whole day up there sometime - maybe for Mother's Day? Hmmm... will have to plan that one.

Here are some more photos.

A couple workouts

This morning: was going to do an easy 30' or so, but after I'd done about 20 minutes, I was a bit bored with a steady 5.5 mph, so I threw in a few fast intervals. I did 7 fast minutes alternating with 7 recovery minutes (pretty slow - about 4 mph each). The first four were at 6 mph, then one at 6.7 mph, one at 7 mph, and one at 7.3 mph. I know, I was risking IT band pain, but I figured that the one minute intervals were short enough to avoid it, and guess what? No pain :). And best yet, 7.3 mph is pretty fast ... an 8:13 minute mile :). OK, it was only for one minute, but not bad all the same. Oh, and all this at a 0.5% incline. Then I cooled down for a while. Total: 4.27 miles in 47:30 or so.


This afternoon: I went up to the spa at the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird with Sarah (see next post for additional details) and did a bunch of PT exercises for my IT band, racewalked 1 mile on the treadmill (with an awesome view!), did a 2 minute plank (!), one minute side planks on each side, 25 ball sit-ups, lat pull-downs, push-ups on the exercise ball, and some seated rows.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday with the team

Today was a busy day for me with Team in Training. I was coaching the spring and summer teams - all alone (well, I did have a lot of help from Diane, who is injured but still helped anyway). Yikes! About 10-15 summer team members showed up, and 6 spring team members, despite 2 inches of snow at the start of the workout, and continuing snow throughout the workout. Yup, it snowed on us ALL morning long.

The summer team was great on their first workout - everyone easily completed the miles, and there are a couple pretty fast runners on the team. I was able to keep up w/them racewalking, but only for a short time (which was all I needed to do this morning, since I had to touch base w/the whole team in only 3 miles' worth of time). I will obviously need to do some running with them, but I think it can wait a couple weeks until my IT band is a little better, so that's good news. Anyway, I really like the new team members, and I'm excited about working with them. It's so encouraging to see so many who want to raise $ for LLS to fight leukemia & lymphoma. I just feel so good out there helping them, because I feel like I am doing something for my dad, even if it is not directly benefiting him at the moment - I feel like I am fighting back against the disease that will take his life unless a cure is found.

After I finished w/the summer team, Diane (one of the sweetest people I know - she has been a walk coach for TNT for 10 years now, and was out there today despite her broken patella - she was driving, not walking) drove me to find where the team members were. We found Starr, who was hurting from a knee injury (might be IT band, poor thing) and picked her up; she'd done about 8 miles and had to stop. She told us that Rachel, who she was running with, was lonely and needed some encouragement to finish her 16 miles. So Diane drove me and Starr to find Rachel, and I racewalked alongside Rachel for about 8-9 miles. It was snowing hard, but not terribly cold. The slush did make our feet quite wet, but my feet stayed warm because of the physical activity. I was thankful for my waterproof pants & jacket, and for the baseball cap that kept the driving snow out of my eyes.

When Rachel turned to go to Liberty Park for the final stretch of her run, I found Kale & Cassandra and walked around SugarHouse Park with them (my 2nd time around!). We had a great time walking and talking despite the really crappy weather. It was snowing sideways for a great part of the walk around SH Park, and we were saying how crazy we all were to be out there. But Kale and Cassandra are SO awesome, and they will complete the marathon for sure. Anyone who does 14 miles in the driving snow can do 26 in better weather. They are doing the Country Music Marathon in Nashville on April 25th, and it might rain, but I am relatively sure it will not snow there :).

I did have some GI trouble for the last few miles, but it wasn't too bad (though once I got home I had a lot of problems for several hours... I realized after the fact that I ate a lot of stupid things yesterday and have to be more careful before my long walks!!!). When we got back to Liberty Park, my Garmin said 13.24 miles, and I was pleased. But... turns out that when I got home and downloaded the route, that I had actually had it paused for about 1.72 miles or so. Oops! I paused it to take off my Yaktrax (which were rubbing my feet weird and bunching up my left shoe - strange because have never had trouble w/them before) and then forgot to restart until the next water stop. So, I actually did 14.96 miles or thereabouts, and all with NO IT band pain! Yay! Of course, with the snow, I was pretty slow, but who cares? I am just very happy to be well on my way to recovery.


Tonight we have a babysitter (kids went to PJ night at the day care) and we are home alone - I made dinner for Loren: filet mignon with red wine shallot sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and steamed asparagus. Chocolate mousse cake forthcoming shortly for dessert, followed by a hot bath in the jetted tub before we have to pick them up. And yes, we are relaxing at the table now - he's reading me interesting factoids from a couple books he got from the library, and he's listening to me blab on about racewalking and blogging :). Happy Valentine's Day! It's great to have a little time at home with just the 2 of us.

Day 19: 40 days 'til 39

Today we were supposed to go the library and look up newspapers or magazines from the day we were born, and find out what was happening in Salt Lake or in our birth cities (Louisville for me).

Well, I lamed out. I had ZERO time to do this, so I resorted to the internet, and found basically nothing. I will try to get to this another day, but in the meantime, here are some things that happened on my birthday in various years and in other places:

1618 - Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion.
1765 - The British House of Lords passes the Stamp Act to tax the American colonies.
1775 - Thomas Paine's African Slavery in America was published. It was the first article in the United States calling for the emancipation of all slaves and the abolition of slavery.
1817 - The New York Stock Exchange is founded.
1913 - The Internal Revenue Service begins to levy and collect federal income taxes, as provided for under the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Federal income taxes had previously been collected from 1864-1872. (Hmmmm, not sure I like this one...;)!)
1917 - Riots and strikes break out in St. Petersburg, Russia, marking the start of the Russian Revolution.
1918 - The first case of Spanish flu occurs, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic.
1924 - The Castle Gate mine disaster kills 172 coal miners near Castle Gate, Utah.
1930 - Mahatma Gandhi starts civil disobedience in India.
1965 - Vietnam War: 3,500 United States Marines arrive in South Vietnam, becoming the first American combat troops in Vietnam.
1979 - Philips demonstrates Compact Disc publicly for the first time.
1979 - The first extraterrestrial volcano is discovered on Io, a satellite of the planet Jupiter.
1985 - A failed assassination attempt on Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in a car-bombing in Beirut kills 85 people and injures 175.
1999 - The Supreme Court of the United States upholds the murder convictions of Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing.
2004 - A new constitution is signed by Iraq's Governing Council.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Today's workout, other news

This morning it was cold out but I felt like a little racewalking before my weight training class. I just did a little warm-up, 1.52 miles in 16:24, for 10:48/mile. Then I did my PT and a few tricep pull-downs and some leg extensions, then some abs. There is no class on Monday for President's Day so I'll have to get creative w/the PT, since I won't have the usual machines.


Tomorrow the team is going to do 16 or 14 miles for full marathoners (SLC and Nashville marathons diverge schedule because their races are a week apart in April), and the half marathoners are doing 7. The new summer team is going to do 3 miles. I'm excited for the new team members, but a little apprehensive that the predicted snow (2-9 inches forecast for tonight & tomorrow) will drive people off. Hopefully people will come anyway, because they really need to be building up the miles to be ready for their events, which are only 2 months away now!


In other news, I have been eating really carefully this week, and it feels good. The scale had BETTER move this week, though I suspect the movement will be slight, as my metabolism definitely seems to have changed, for whatever reason. Doesn't matter, I'm not going to make excuses or whine. It is the way it is, and I have to do what I have to do to deal with it. I want to be thin and fit, and if that means eating like a bird, I'll do it. I weigh in on Monday night, so we'll see what happens. I have a bunch of lbs to take off before August when I do Portland-to-Coast and October when I do the Portland Marathon. I do have the Canyonlands Half Marathon in March, but probably won't be able to take off more than 3-4 lbs before then. Still, every little bit helps.

Day 18: 40 days 'til 39

Personality test day! Sarah thought we should take a personality test and compare it to when we were younger. I've taken the Myers-Briggs test about a million times, and it always comes out the same for me: ISFJ. Today it was no different. diagnosed me the same way.

ISFJ: "Conservator". These people are service and work oriented - very loyal. They may suffer from fatigue and tend to be attracted to troublemakers. They are good nurses, teachers, secretaries, general practitioners, librarians, middle managers, and housekeepers. 6% of the total population.


ISFJs respect established authority and they tend to accept others’ opinions and desires as their own. In work situations, they provide a stable and standardized service. Disorderly situations and constantly changing rules can cause them undue stress. At these times ISFJs need to be more assertive and direct because, owing to their kindheartedness and sensitivity, ISFJs can be taken for granted and even taken advantage of. This can cause them to feel resentment and anger — feelings that the ISFJ has a tendency to deny. If the situation worsens and uncomfortable feelings build up, the ISFJ will begin to feel insecure about their status. Worrying that they are not secure or protected enough, they may become overprotective and excessively nervous about foreboding events. This can cause others to feel resistant or defiant which then contributes to the disorder of the situation.

If stress continues, the ISFJ will experience increasing anxiety. Their fear that things will continue to spin out of control will result in a general feeling of dread and apprehensiveness. They become both wary of change and unrelentingly pessimistic about the future. ISFJs will eventually become immobilized by physical symptoms associated with their anxieties. Providing care for others will become secondary as their own bodily symptoms — resulting from their fears of abandonment — disable to such a degree that they cannot assume their responsibilities. Yet, abandoning service-orientated obligations prevents ISFJs from accessing opportunities that allow them to fulfill their basic needs.


This lists represent careers and jobs people of your type tend to enjoy doing. The job requirements are similar to the personality tendencies of your personality type. It is important to remember that this is not a list of all the jobs possible. And it is very important to remember that people can, and frequently do, fill jobs that are dissimilar to their personality... this happens all the time...and sometimes works out quite well.

library work
dental hygienists
computer operator
personnel administrator
real estate agent
interior decorator
retail owner
elementary school teacher
physical therapist
social worker
personnel counselor
alcohol/drug counselor

Mostly this does sound like me, though not all of it. Still, for about 20 years now, that test has come out the same for me, which is interesting in itself. I was always borderline F/T though, which probably explains why I have so often found satisfaction working as a scientist.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday tempo workout

I was going to do a regular tempo workout (same speed for 40' after my warm up), but due to my IT band problems, I decided I had to start slower, so I did an acceleration workout instead. I also decided I'd do it on the treadmill, in case my leg started hurting - I didn't want to get stuck far from home.

I set the incline at 0.5%, because I figured a slight uphill would do my IT band good. Then I got started. I did 1 mile in 11 min (@ 5.5 mph) for my warm up, and then stopped to stretch and roll my IT bands on the foam roller (another plus of staying at home on the 'mill). Then I got back on and did 10 min at 5.7 mph (HR 142), 10 min at 5.8 mph (HR 150), 10 min at 5.9 mph (HR 155) and 10 min at 6.0 mph (HR 160). Finally, I cooled down at 4-5 mph for 10 minutes, and then stretched it all out really well.

I had no pain, and I've been feeling pretty good today. During the Kindermusik classes w/the kids this morning, I was kneeling a lot and sitting cross-legged, and I did notice my left knee. It's still a bit inflamed. I will be using one of those cool battery-powered dexamethasone (steroid) patches tonight and hopefully that will help.

Now off to make some dinner and get to the Team in Training Kick-Off meeting.

Day 17: 40 days 'til 39

Today we were supposed to color our hair. Sarah did it for real, choosing a shade just a little darker than her natural color. Since I plan to donate my hair to Locks of Love later this year, I didn't want to color it permanently. And because the Team in Training Kick-Off meeting is tonight, a few purple streaks (the TNT color) seemed in order. So I got a can of purple spray and went to it. It's not as purple as I'd hoped it would be - I have a LOT of hair and it would have taken 2 cans to get it much darker. But I am surprised at how much I like the purple streaks. They are really fun!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quick update on IT band

Went to PT last night and my PT gave me a steroid patch to help w/the inflammation, and said that these things can be very pace dependent. He said I should go ahead and try my tempo workout tomorrow and see how it goes. I'll do it on the 'mill (UGH...boring for a tempo workout!) so that I can get off if I have to stop. Hey, at least I have the option. He also did some deep tissue massage (ASTYM) and as usual it left me a bit bruised. I took some photos but they didn't come out so great, sorry.


This morning I did the bike for 15 min and then did weight training - mostly PT for my hips (abductors are MUCH stronger now - can do much higher weights on the hip machine) but also did some tricep dips, lateral raises, and abs.

Day 16: 40 days 'til 39

Today we chose a song we hadn't heard in a while to listen to. I haven't been listening to much music at all these days, so this wasn't too hard, really. I have always loved Chicago, and listened to it a lot in high school. I still appreciate the brass section in their recordings. Anyway, I chose the song "Love Me Tomorrow", because I like the driving beat and the lyrics that welcome and celebrate long-term stability in a relationship.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 15: 40 days 'til 39

Today we are hugging our husbands and children at least 2 times each :). I like the excuse for some extra hugs. I need to do this one more often. It takes very little time but is SO nice.

Pain again :(

I felt fine this morning and was rarin' to go and tackle my interval workout on the treadmill (snowing this morning so the outdoor track wasn't going to happen). I did a 0.95 mile warm-up, stretched carefully (including the foam roller), and started in on my 400m (0.25 mile) intervals, at 6.5 mph (5K pace, or about a 9:15 mile). I was doing the intervals with 1' rest in between. I had no noticeable problems at all (not even tight!) until the 5th interval, when my IT band started hurting a LOT. I stopped and stretched and was able to get back on and at least cool down for a few minutes. Total workout distance 2.85 miles in 31:xx.

I have no idea why this is happening again - I was wearing my shoe inserts and my IT band strap. I have been doing my PT. I did speed work last week and it was no problem, so why now? Well, I guess the answer is that I am just not 100% yet for whatever reason and I will have to take a few days off again. I have PT tonight and will ask my PT what he thinks. This is very frustrating.

Monday, February 09, 2009

easy Monday

Today I did 1.54 miles in 16:26 (10:41/mile) with a HR of 142. It was snowing really hard and I didn't have my Yaktrax because it started after I left home; it was pretty slippery for the last half of this short walk. Then I did my weight training workout, which these days pretty much still consists of my PT exercises to strengthen my hips, plus I did some push-ups on the ball, some cable crossovers, and a whole bunch of abs and stretching.

My IT band feels good after yesterday's 12-miler. It's a little tight, but no pain. I'll take it!

Day 14: 40 days 'til 39

Wow, we are only on day 14. It seems like we've been doing this a long time, but it's fun.

Today we're listing 40 things we are thankful for.

1. Good health.
2. That my IT band injury is 90% better.
3. My parents, who put up with a lot of stuff.
4. My children - especially since at one point I wasn't sure I'd be able to have any.
5. My husband, who also puts up with a lot of stuff (and vice versa :)!).
6. Good friends in many places.
7. That I have enough to eat and don't worry where my next meal is coming from.
8. Loren's job. This one I am especially thankful for!!!
9. Our home.
10. My Steinway piano.
11. Music.
12. The gift of being able to play music.
13. Racewalking.
14. My piano students.
15. Team in Training and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
16. How cute Calvin is when he's playing quietly in his room, like now.
17. The funny things my children say.
18. My Garmin.
19. Cooking, specifically baking.
20. Our church community.
21. Weight Watchers.
22. Our treadmill.
23. Beautiful parks in our community for the kids to play in and for me to racewalk in.
24. Spring flowers (they are just around the corner... I feel it coming...).
25. Season tickets to the Utah Symphony.
26. Reliable transportation.
27. Our jetted tub.
28. Playgroups.
29. Babysitters and pajama nights.
30. A zoo membership.
31. Tired muscles (it means I had a good workout this morning!).
32. The Psalms.
33. Fleece sheets and an electric blanket.
34. Hot tea (OK, can you tell I'm cold right now?!?).
35. Chocolate.
36. Ice cream.
37. Rosebushes in our front yard.
38. My laptop.
39. Cameras and pictures and scrapbooks.
40. The grace of God, without which all else is meaningless.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

12 miles

I did get in a good racewalking workout this morning, even though I knew I was going snowshoeing in the afternoon (the snowshoeing was the icing on the cake!). I am really tired right now and need to get some sleep, so you get the Reader's Digest version of my workout, maybe with more to come tomorrow if I have time. I did 12 miles in about 2 hr 10 min, for approximately 10:45/mile. I was taking an easy-moderate pace, pushing it a little bit but still keeping my heart rate under 70% of max; my average HR was 142. I am pleased with that HR for that pace - seems about right where I want to be for now. In the coming weeks I'll push the last few miles of my long days in order to be well-prepared to race a fast half marathon on March 21st.

Day 13: 40 days 'til 39

Today Sarah and I went snowshoeing! Yay! It was very therapeutic to be outside in the gently falling snow at 7360 feet, up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Here are our photos.
We did 1.8 miles in about 50 minutes - yeah, it's a slow slog in snowshoes, but very fun :).

Saturday, February 07, 2009

TNT workout

This morning we had a TNT workout at the Porter Rockwell trail in Draper. The team was doing 8 or 10 miles (half/full), but I could only stay for an hour because I had to be at an info meeting for the summer team down in Orem, and we were carpooling down there. So, I got in 50 minutes with the team, and I did manage to touch base with everyone who came out today, even all the triathletes who joined us this morning (there were 5-6 of them who came out for the run; they were doing 4 miles - they are prepping for the St. George Triathlon in May). Still, it was a bummer to only be out there for a little while.

The good part was that I did 4.5 miles and didn't have any pain, despite the anxiety I had yesterday about it.

It's been a pretty busy day and I'm up too late now - I am planning a 12-miler for myself in the morning, because I really need to get in a decent long walk this weekend in preparation for my half marathon on 3/21. I like doing longer mileage, but I wish I could get a little more sleep first. So I'm going to get OFF of this machine and turn in before it gets any later.

Day 12: 40 days 'til 39

Today we were supposed to come up with a favorite quote and post it. I have to admit that I am not much of a quote person. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I don't spend much time thinking about them, and I don't have a few that I carry around in my head with me. So I looked up some quotes online that fit my mood tonight. I decided I'd find a few on friendship, because this 40 days exercise has sure made me appreciate more how blessed I am to have a good friend like Sarah :).

"Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren't bad people; they're just acquaintances."
Jay Leno (1950 - )

"I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends."
Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

"A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same."
-Elbert Hubbard

Friday, February 06, 2009

Day 11: 40 days 'til 39

WARNING: Really long navel-gazing post, but hey, if you want to get to know me better, read on. I have some photos for a few items but am running out of naptime to do any more, sorry!!!

Today Sarah and I are listing things we remember from each year of our lives. This one should be fun :). For the first years, I have to rely on my mother (via my baby book - see photos!) but after that, I think I can do it on my own.

1970 - I liked to eat right from the beginning! By 3 months I loved cereal, fruit, and yellow vegetables. Apparently I also enjoyed playing with my toes (July 31st) and I'm sure my mother appreciated that I could pull off my booties (October, 1970).

1971 - Apparently I wasn't a racewalking prodigy from the start :). I took my first step on February 18th, 1971, but I didn't walk alone until May 5, at almost 14 months of age.

1972 - at age 2 1/2 (sometime in the fall) I could put on my pants & underwear by myself (I was already potty trained! I guess I need to get cracking on Michelle's training.), take off my undershirt and coat, put on mittens, and take off boots, shoes, and socks. Also, this may be farfetched, but I think I remember my parents bringing my brother home from the hospital in March 1972 when he was born. I remember my dad lifting me up over his bassinet so that I could see him. My parents tell me I was NOT happy about him and insisted to my grandma "I don't like him. Take him back!", and "Tammy want tension" (attention).

1973 - for my third birthday, my mom had a birthday tea party for me. The invitation is pretty cute!

1974 - this is among my first real memories: I was at my grandma & grandpa's home in Keokuk Iowa. They always had Boston Terriers, who were excitable and irritating little creatures (I like dogs, but prefer big dogs). Anyway, I was teasing my grandparents' dog, Dandy, and I remember my mom telling me not to do it. Well, I didn't listen, and the dog got ticked off and bit me in the face. I had to go get stitches (I actually only remember teasing the dog, not getting the stitches, mercifully), and I still have the scar today (though admittedly it is pretty faint).
1975 - these memories may or may not be from exactly 1975, but they are from when we lived in the house on Hope Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We moved from there in 1976, so I think they are probably from 1974 or 1975. I remember our back yard had beautiful morning glory flowers on the chain link fence. I remember the fish tank in the living room with the heater lamp that glowed orange. I remember my dad playing "This Little Piggy" with me and pulling on my little toes SO hard. I remember my brother getting his fingers smashed in the door. I remember in the dead of winter how it was DARK forever - even when it was time to wake up, it was still dark outside. I remember going to kindergarten not very far from our home.
1976 - I remember the mock election that we had in our class, choosing between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter for president. I voted for Ford because my parents liked him. I also remember the bicentennial celebration on July 4, 1976. I was pleased that I learned such a big word.
1977 - I finished first grade and when I got my report card, it said I was going to be in third grade the next year. My parents had arranged for me to skip second grade (I was working above grade level and they thought I'd be bored), and I remember that I found out from my report card. Maybe this is not true, but it's how I remember it. I remember running home to ask my mom why they made that mistake. Again, this seems too bizarre to be true, so maybe it's not, but it's what I remember. I do still have the report card, though.

1978 - I remember learning my times tables, and I enjoyed it a lot. Our family took a trip to Southern California in the middle of the winter, and it was awesome. I remember how WARM and GREEN it was when we got off the plane (and how exciting it was to ride on the plane!), and how much fun it was to go to Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, the La Brea Tar pits, etc.
1979 - I believe it was in the summer of '79 that my family traveled to Colorado for a vacation with my mom's family. We rented a house, and the kids got the upstairs. There was a pool to swim in, and lots of hiking, which I disdained. I did hike Twin Sisters, but I remember how thin the air was at the top and how I breathed so hard with every step. I know I complained a lot on the hikes (sorry, mom and dad) and in general probably made a stench of myself.
1980 - In May 1980 we moved to Pennsylvania from Wisconsin. This was particularly traumatic for me, for some reason. I missed my friend Cindy, from Wisconsin (hey, maybe I can find her on Facebook?), and I really hated Pennsylvania for the first six months. It was a really tough time. Eventually, I met my friend Laurie (who remained a good friend in high school, and who was the maid of honor at our wedding), and I adjusted OK. In other news from this year, I remember working on the Mozart Clarinet Concerto for the first time (I started playing the clarinet in 1978 or so, because my mom had played it). I wish now that I had had a really good clarinet teacher and some really good piano teachers when I was growing up; I didn't have a really good piano teacher until 1985 or so). Other random stuff - I remember the hostage crisis in Iran quite vividly, as I delivered the Trenton Times in our neighborhood (yes, we lived in PA but Trenton was right across the river) and it was on the front page almost every day.
1981 - Speaking of current events, I remember the assassination attempt on President Reagan quite vividly. I was leaving school for the day when I found out about it getting on the bus. Not sure if the bus driver told us or if it was another student, but I remember feeling very sad that someone would want to shoot the president. Other randomness - I remember playground fights with my sometimes friend sometimes enemy, Krista. Yes, I actually got into fisticuffs on more than one occasion and had to go to the principal's office. I remember that she provoked me, but maybe I am just remembering the way I want to remember it. I also remember rumors that a boy named John in our 6th grade class was caught smoking pot (knowing him, I believe it).
1982 - I was in junior high at Pennwood Junior High, and I liked circulating from class to class. I did not, however, like junior high. The education was fine, but I was not popular (probably because I was smart and NOT athletic at ALL), and was teased a lot. I prefer not to think about junior high if I can avoid it. One positive thing I remember was being in the jazz band (even though the director was HORRIBLE!), because it helped me to develop my sense of rhythm.
1983 - I began high school in the fall of 1983, and things were a lot better for me in high school. Probably the best part of high school was being in the marching band. Yes, band people were thought of as being nerdy, but we were all nerdy together, and I had lots of friends in band. Awesome. I was a good clarinetist, and I enjoyed playing in concert band as well. I continued to play the piano in the jazz band, too.
1984 - I went to my first dance with my first boyfriend. I remember being so excited about the dance! My mom is a talented seamstress and made a beautiful pink dress for me to wear. It was off the shoulder, and I remember feeling very elegant. By the way, I have found my first boyfriend on Facebook and it turns out he is gay, interestingly enough.
1985 - The marching band took a trip to Washington, D.C. to play in a performance there. Road trips were always an awesome thing. My sophomore English teacher told me that I was the most nervous A+ student she had ever had. Truer words were never spoken - that was me; great student, and overly anxious about everything. It's still a bit true (the anxiety part).
1986 - January 1st, our band marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade. That was one of life's more amazing experiences. The size of the parade was awe-inspiring, and we had been in some big parades (the Philly T-giving parade every year, for one). The floats were fabulous. The crowds were very supportive, except for the one drunk guy that kicked the back of my knee while we were at parade rest. All in all, a fabulous trip with great memories and good friends. I participated in county band and district band (3 counties or so).
1987 - I graduated from high school as one of 5 tied for valedictorian. I did not, however, have to give a speech (nor did I want to). The top 20 in the class could try out to give the commencement address, and they chose two. In band, I participated in county, district, regional, and state band (yeah, I was a 3rd clarinet, but I was still in the state band!). That summer I enjoyed a trip to Taiwan with the Pennsylvania Lions All-State Band, and stayed when everyone else left, because my family went to Taiwan for 3 weeks. My dad had been working in Taiwan on and off for 2 years (one month there, one month home) and in the fall, the rest of my family (mom, dad, brother) moved there while I went on to college at UC San Diego, with a National Merit Scholarship and a Regents' Scholarship. On the second day of freshman chemistry class, I met Loren quite by chance when he happened to sit next to me in the back (he had arrived 1 hr early by mistake and sat in the front, but then had to leave, tripping over people, when he discovered it was a Third World Studies class... so when he came back, he sat next to me!). We started dating at the end of the quarter (UCSD is on the 3 quarter system).
1988 - College agreed pretty well with me; I met a lot of great friends and loved living in San Diego. The weather was wonderful and I never got tired of it. As a sophomore, I scored a single room on the 9th floor of Tioga Hall, with an ocean view. That is probably the only time I'll ever be able to afford that :)! I continued my most-nervous-A+ student ways, getting great grades but being stressed out a lot in general. I played the clarinet in the pep band, and visited my family in Taiwan on spring break and during the summer.
1989 - Loren visited Taiwan with me in the summer. This is how my family decided that he was quite serious about me. When I returned to San Diego, I bought a freeway-legal scooter (a 1983 Yamaha Riva) and lived off-campus in an apartment for the first time.
1990 - I got my first lab job, in Ken Chien's lab. I did primary tissue culture from neonatal rat hearts, and it was great experience for my future career (I also met a graduate student there, Sutip, who I was to run into much later in an interesting turn of events). In the fall of 1990 I started a senior research project in Bob Schmidt's lab, studying maize transposons. I learned a ton about cloning and screening libraries.
1991 - I got a flat tire on my scooter and wiped out on the shoulder of the freeway, going about 30 mph, and ended up in the hospital with road rash. I still have the scars on my knee. I was petrified to drive my scooter after that, but couldn't afford a car, so until I graduated in June, I kept driving it. Actually, it got stolen the day of my last final, and I got a loan from my dad to buy my first car, a 1988 Ford Festiva, which served me well until I gave it away in 1996. I started my first "real" job on July 10th, working in custom services for Invitrogen Corporation, as employee #77 or something like that (now they have thousands of employees). I made cDNA libraries for customers at first, and later did baculovirus expression and custom subcloning and sequencing projects.
1992 - Loren got accepted to UC Davis School of Medicine in March, and we got engaged a few weeks later. He left for school in the fall of 1992, and we had 9 months of a long-distance relationship. That was hard, and I hope I never have to do it again.
1993 - We got married in June, and I left my family and a job I loved to move to Davis to be with Loren. My brother lived in Davis, though, so that was a plus. However, the first 6 months of my life in Davis were really tough. I was NOT a happy camper, and it was one of the more miserable times I remember. It took me a while to make friends (though when I did make them they were good ones that I still keep in touch with), and it also took a while for me to get used to my job.
1994 - On my birthday, some of my new friends "kidnapped" me and took me to play mini-golf and have dinner with them and their husbands (and Loren of course). I remember feeling like I was finally comfortable living there. I loved the beautiful almond blossoms that came out about the time of my birthday.
1995 - I learned how to play the organ this year, because the church we attended needed an organist badly enough that they paid for me to take lessons. It was a busy time, because I practiced the organ for an hour before I went to work in the mornings and also practiced the piano for an hour in the evenings. I did a recital on the piano in the summer, and sent a recording to Loren's grandpa as well as to my grandparents and our parents. This proved to be a good thing to do, as I will explain later.
1996 - Loren graduated from medical school and matched in family practice residency in Modesto, CA, his first choice. Match Day is a very weird experience - you open a letter and find out where you're going - bizarre. Anyway, we moved to Modesto in June, and I decided to do a piano performance major at California State Stanislaus. Music and science have both been important to me for a long time, and it was time to do a little music! In October, after I'd been in school for a month, Loren's grandfather passed away, and left us his Steinway piano! He had been wondering who to give it to when he died, and when he got the recording I sent him, he decided that we needed to have it. It's still one of my most treasured possessions, even though I don't get to practice as much as I'd like.
1997 - This was a hard year. Residency was not agreeing with Loren, and school was quite challenging for me - not so much academically as musically. Practicing 4 hours a day was a constant challenge, but it was also fun in a weird sort of way. I loved learning the new repertoire. I also played my clarinet a lot more, in the wind ensemble there. In the summer, I ended up working in a molecular biology lab again (this time a lab that was associated with a nursery for fruit and nut trees) to help pay the bills.
1998 - Loren left the residency program, in probably one of the lowest points in our married life. He did some temp jobs for a while and finally landed a job in an urgent care, which paid quite well, but was a miserable experience. He needed OUT of clinical medicine. I continued working in the molecular biology lab, and played a not-so-great junior recital. I was prepared, but I was very nervous and didn't handle the nerves very well. I vowed it would be different the next year.
1999 - I did my senior recital, and it was a very good performance. Loren landed a spot in the medical informatics program at the University of Utah, and we moved to Utah for what we thought would be a 2 year stint here. Guess what? 10 years later, we're still here!
2000 - I met my friend Sarah at our friend Valerie's wedding reception. Sarah's friend Jill introduced us and said we were each others' "twin couple" because of our interests in medicine, science, and music. How true that was! I taught a bunch of piano students, worked part time at Salt Lake Theological Seminary (SLTS) in the library, and took some classes there.
2001 - I completed a Certificate in Christian Studies from SLTS. Loren finished his classes in medical informatics, but didn't get a job in informatics for a few years for a variety of reasons. This was also a very rough year for us as a couple, but we came out stronger on the other end.
2002 - Loren was only working part-time, as a database administrator, so I decided to work full-time in molecular biology again. That was a great decision, and things got a lot better once we had a little better income stream. Remember Sutip, the graduate student in Ken Chien's lab? He comes back into the story here, because my new boss at the U knew Sutip and worked with him, and Sutip moved to Utah shortly thereafter and I reconnected with him - funny how life is like that! In other news, we bought a house in Salt Lake City and settled down, which suited me well because I was tired of moving so often (I had moved in 1993, 1996, and 1999). One of the highlights of 2002 was when I volunteered for the Winter Olympics here, working at the ice hockey venue. We also attended 6 Olympic events, and it was extremely memorable.
2003 - I continued to enjoy my job in the lab, and we added a second bathroom to our house. That was fortuitous considering what was ahead in 2004. It was very good to have a bathroom on the same level as our bedroom.
2004 - we found out in January that we were expecting our first baby at the end of September (hence, the bathroom was a very good thing). Calvin arrived 6 days late, in October.
2005 - about 90+ lbs overweight, I joined Weight Watchers on Super Bowl weekend in February 2005, and it changed my life for the better. I lost 77 lb before I found out in November 2005 that I was pregnant with our second child. I began walking fast in August 2005, and that changed my life as well, which you know if you read this blog regularly. Loren got his current job in April, and I went part-time in the lab in June.
2006 - Michelle was born at the end of June, and I lost the rest of the weight and reached my goal in October. I continued to walk really fast but had rotten technique.
2007 - I did my first half marathon, took a racewalking clinic, fixed my technique, and got a lot faster. I did a lot of races in 2007, including a second half marathon in the fall.
2008 - I continued racewalking a lot, doing a half marathon, a marathon, lots of 5Ks, and a few 10Ks. I competed in the National Masters' Championships (USATF) in August in Spokane, winning my age group. I was awarded racewalker of the year for my age group by the Masters' Racewalking committee. I continued to maintain my weight, reaching my 2nd year at Lifetime status for Weight Watchers. I was laid off from my lab job at the end of August, but I started coaching for Team in Training shortly thereafter, which I am really enjoying.
2009 - It's only been a month so not too much has happened, except that I continue to nurse a nagging IT band injury. I'm hoping to get in superb shape for the Portland Marathon in the fall :). Oh, and I'm turning 39 in 29 more days, and enjoying the celebrations with my friend Sarah!


I'm nervous. My IT band was possibly a little sore today and I only did 1.5 miles racewalking (to warm up for my weight training class). I went fast, and felt good (I haven't downloaded it from my Garmin yet but I think I was about 10:30 per mile). I did do some squats in weight training; the first I've done since December. So maybe that's it, and I will be fine. But I'm nervous all the same.

I hope it will hold up OK for tomorrow's workout with the team. I won't be doing that many miles as I will only be able to be there for 1.5 hours - I'm going to an info meeting for the summer team and I have to leave a bit early. Anyway, hopefully it will do all right for the 1.5 hours, and I will have been nervous for nothing.