Tuesday, March 31, 2009

taking it easy

It's nice to take it easy for a few weeks. The Salt Lake Marathon is on 4/18, and I will be coaching our team members who are doing the half and full marathons. My next race will be in July, because I really don't have any Saturdays free due to my coaching. So, I'm taking it easy until the race for two reasons: 1) so that I'm fresh because I'll probably do a LOT of miles that day, and 2) because there's no reason in particular to train hard right now.

This morning my legs and glutes were quite sore from yesterday's hard weight training workout. I still wanted to walk, to loosen things up. I did 3.9 miles easy, around Liberty Park, in 42:18, for 10:50/mile. Things felt pretty good. It was still cold outside (31F) but at least the snow held off. I think it's supposed to snow tonight; tomorrow I will plan on some treadmill time before my weight training class, or something.

Monday, March 30, 2009

more snow

Typical Salt Lake City spring... 57 and sunny on Saturday for our 20-miler, then snowing sideways with 4-6 inches dumped on Sunday morning. Then another 4 last night. Wheeeee. Fortunately it's relatively warm (high in low 40s) so it's not going to stick around too long.

Sunday morning before the snow it was 51 and WINDY. I went for an easy 4-miler to get the kinks out of my legs - I really do like to walk the day after a hard effort just to loosen up a bit. It felt good except for the blister on my L pinky toe, and a little bit of soreness in my L ankle. I was slow, doing 11 min miles, but that was fine.

Today I went to my weight training class and did a circuit training workout, starting w/10 min on the bike and then mixing in biking & RWing inbetween my weight sets. It was a great workout.

I am hoping maybe the weather will cooperate for some outside miles tomorrow!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Team workout - 20 miles

In this photo: Gwen, Mitzi, April.

The TNT people today did an AMAZING 20 miler. They were SO much better than 2 wks ago :). Two 20-milers was a great thing for this group. Starr, Dayne, Rachel, Mitzi, and Kale all did the 20 miles. I had a few half marathoners slated for 14 miles, but they didn't feel well and had to leave early.

The summer team was doing 12 miles (full) and 8 miles (half), and they did an awesome job too. It was a great day to be a coach. I was SO proud of everyone!

Here are some photos

I ended up doing 21.54 miles, by my Garmin. I did it in 4:18 for an average pace of 11:59/mile; that includes going with the runners and the walkers.

I had no IT band pain at all. YAY! I did have some soreness in my R hip (piriformis, I think) that was pretty bad by the end, but nothing I couldn't keep walking through. It was an awesome way to spend a Saturday morning :).


Here's the video :)

And some stills:

138 g (4 7/8 oz) lighter today

 I lost weight today. Not very much - 138g, or 4 7/8 oz. I cut my hair and am donating it to Locks of Love. It was a lot of fun!!!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Strawberry season

I love strawberry season. It means spring is here, even if spring in Salt Lake is alternately cold/snowy/rainy and warmish/sunny. I love the promise of summer, and the promise of good fresh produce.

Albertson's had a special this week: 4 lb strawberries for $5.99. I went twice to the store near my house and the first time the truck had been delayed due to the storm (it was coming from California) and the 2nd time the store hadn't received what it ordered. The produce manager was nice and called the next closest store; they had plenty, so I drove over and got 2 pkgs. Yes, we will eat all of those before they go bad. My kids and I love them, as does Loren. It was a hassle taking the kids in and out of the car seats so many times, but totally worth it because they are delicious. Very yummy.

So, we are enjoying the bounty of California spring, while we have snow, and while my daffodils are flattened a bit. But spring is here, and the warm days are not far off now :).

slow and snowy

It's weird training in the cold and snow and then doing a race where it was actually hot. Definitely not the best way to do things, but what are you going to do? Actually, I guess more treadmill workouts in some heavier clothing would suffice to get one used to the heat. But I didn't think about it. In any case, I did well and had a new PR, so it's all good.

This morning it was cold (for March, anyway at 31F/-0.5C) and windy. I went out at first in my tights and 2 shirts and a hat, but when I felt the wind I added fleece pants and a jacket. Much better. At my house, which is just shy of 4400 feet in elevation, there was snow on the grass but none on the streets. However, I went uphill today to about 4700 feet, and there was plenty of snow on the road up there. I was struggling a lot to maintain a good toe-off and good speed. It was pretty slippery.

I did a relatively slow 6.52 miles in 1:12:57, for 11:12/mile. My heart rate was 144 ave, which is pretty high for that effort on a normal day, but between the wind and the snow, that's as fast as I was going to be able to go.

I haven't mentioned my IT bands lately, mostly because they have been doing very well (YAY!!!!!). This morning my right hip was sore; it's still bothering me a little. It feels like muscle pain, and I wonder if it is from the weird footing in the snow. Wish I would have worn my Yaktrax. Oh well. I will keep stretching and take my anti-inflammatory and I think I'll be OK. So far it's not anything to worry about; it feels like it's my piriformis muscle, if I had to guess. Oh, and my abs are pretty sore from the exercises I did in weight training yesterday. I did a new exercise on the ball that was really tough, and I'm happily sore now :).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Since the weekend...

I have been taking it pretty easy, though I have worked out every day. My hamstrings are still a little sore (probably from hiking UP that hill with Michelle in the pack). On Sunday, my hamstrings, calves, and obliques were very sore. My arms and shoulders were a little sore. By today (Wednesday) everything feels pretty good.

Monday - weight training class, with lighter weights and then some abs.
Tuesday - easy 3.75 miles around SH Park in 39:56 or so. Felt great.
Wednesday - easy 1.5 miles to warm up for weight training class. In class I did hip exercises, shoulder press, seated row, "sissy" squats (for quads), hamstring ball curls, calf raises, bench press, tricep pull-downs, bicep curls, and lots of abs.

I've been pretty busy with Team in Training stuff. It takes a lot of time to plan all the routes, e-mail participants, call them, and be there for workouts. Plus this week I finished the training schedules for the summer team. Good thing this is for a cause I believe in, because it's a lot of work.

I want to coach the fall team, but I have a feeling that is not going to be compatible with my Portland Marathon training. We shall see.

Canyonlands NP visit

On Sunday 3/22 we took a visit to Canyonlands NP on the way out of town. We were going to do an easy 1.5 mile hike, but it was SO WINDY that we decided on a shorter 0.5 mile hike to Mesa Arch. Even that was challenging - a serious windstorm kicked up sand and dirt into our eyes, mouths, etc. at the arch. The kids were kinda freaked out, but we calmed them and got back to the car OK. Too bad about the wind, because it was otherwise a lovely day.

Here are more pictures.

easy morning recovery walk in Moab - Sunday 3/22

On Sunday, the day after the race, I took an easy recovery walk. I was only going to go about 4 miles, but it was beautiful, and I was in the mood, so I did 6 miles in 1:05:xx.

Here are some more photos.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Canyonlands Half Marathon

On Friday, the night before the race, the Wasatch Walkers had a great pasta dinner and some serious Wii games (bowling, tennis, golf) together. I cooked the pasta and sauces, salad, and garlic bread, and Diane brought some Amano artisan chocolate. Nancy brought the wine. We dined heartily and laughed our heads off while playing the Wii. We quit around 8:30 so that we could get a decent night’s sleep. See our pictures here.

I slept pretty well, though I did wake at about 4:30 and slept somewhat fitfully after that. But Thursday night, 2 nights before the race (which is supposed to be the most important night), I slept REALLY well, so I was feeling pretty good Saturday morning.

I ate a banana and 3 slices of white French bread for breakfast at about 7:15, because the race was not until 10:00 am. Then Cindy, Leah, Sandi & I (we were all staying in Sandi’s friend’s very nice condo) walked over to meet the others at the buses to the start line. We quickly found Madeline, Alma, Marjorie, Diane, Nancy, and Carol, and after a quick photo (see above) hopped on the buses. The ride to the start was beautiful – the race course was chock-full of amazing vistas, and we chatted and enjoyed the views. The race parallels highway 128 along the Colorado River for 11 miles to highway 191, and then goes along 191 to Moab and finishes at the city park in Moab.

Photo: Cindy, Tammy, & Sandi waiting for the start.

We arrived at the start about 8:15 or so, and so we had lots of time to kill. We used the porta potties (several times – I was well-hydrated!), and spread out some blankets and sat down and chatted about all sorts of stuff – lots about races and racewalking, naturally! We took photos, and generally had a good time. Pretty soon it was time to walk gently uphill for 0.4 miles to the actual start. I used the porta potty again, warmed up (5-10 min, with 4 fast pick-ups), and discarded my sweats (I wore old ones I didn’t care about, and they will be donated to a homeless shelter). I found the 10:00 pace group, since that was exactly what I planned on (they only had pace groups for the start to facilitate traffic, not throughout the race). And pretty soon, we were off.

Photo: a sea of runners at the start.

It took me about 3 minutes to cross the start, but I didn’t care much since the race was chip timed. I took it very easy for the first mile, with an average HR of 149. It was the biggest downhill on the course, though, and so I still finished the mile in 9:31. Good – time in the bank, without wearing me out. I pushed a little harder on miles 2&3 (didn’t see the mile 2 sign) and did them in 19:30 total with a HR of 155. Still feeling pretty darn good, and wanted to take it at a moderate pace until at least mile 4.35 (1/3 of the way through). But, there were some hills (gentle, but still hills), and I didn’t take it that easy. I missed the mile 4 split and finished 4&5 in 20:17 with an ave HR of 160 (hmmm, a little high, but OK I guess).

Miles 6-9 were hilly. Basically, one gradual hill – not steep at all, but it went on what seemed like forever. AND it was starting to get HOT. UGH! Fortunately it was partly cloudy, and sometimes we were shaded by the steep canyon walls. But it was still very warm. By the time I finished the race it was probably 70 degrees (21C), which is about 10-15 degrees hotter than my preferred racing temperature. For miles 6-9, here are my splits and HR: mile 6, 10:01 & 161; mile 7, 9:58 and 163; mile 8, 10:16 and 163, mile 9 (downhill then a steep but short uphill) 10:00 & 164. I was pushing a little harder at this point than I had planned, but still keeping my 10:00 pace, except for mile 8 (which was really brutal for some reason – the hill & heat took their toll). I knew my race strategy (go out at 10:00 or a little faster since the start was downhill, and see how long I could hold it) was a bit risky; I didn’t know if I’d be able to keep the pace for the whole race, but really, I so much wanted to finish at a 10:00 pace, and I figured the worst case was that I’d crap out at the end.

Photo: drummers at mile 10.

Well, I did slow a little at the end, and it was very difficult, but I think I did pretty well. My strategy worked out OK. Mile 10, 10:23, HR 166; mile 11, 10:19, HR 164 (uphill AGAIN!). At mile 10.7 or so we left the canyon and the cooling of the river and it got much HOTTER. There was no more shade, and we were on the asphalt of highway 191, baking in the heat. The last 2 miles were mentally very tough. I pushed as hard as I could, and though I was breathing very hard and my HR was pretty high, I think my legs were maybe more tired than my lungs – a first for me in a race. Usually it’s my cardio that gives out first. Mile 12 was in 10:10, amazingly, with HR 169, and mile 13.1 was 11:27, with HR 169 and max of 177 at the end of the race. I gave it my all, and could not have raced any harder.

I finished in a new personal best time of 2:11:57, by my Garmin (and by the official time, which was just posted online), for 10:04 per mile, with an average heart rate of 162 (WOW! That is about 85% max, or supposedly where my lactate threshold is – no wonder my legs were giving out at the end!). I don’t know the official race chip time yet (should be posted soon) but the gun time was 2:14:45. I feel so great about this race! Let’s face it, 9 weeks ago I could barely racewalk due to my IT band injury, and today I finished with a new PB in the half marathon. Awesome.

Oh, and along the way, I had a split of 1:40:xx for 10 miles; my best for 10 miles is 1:38:34, for a race that was almost ALL downhill, and only 10 miles total, so this was terrific. AND, best of all, my split for 20km was in the low 2:04s – fast, and would have taken 1st place in the National Master’s 20K in Huntington Beach last weekend if I had been old enough (1 year older, 40 years old) to qualify for the prize money of $200. Next year!

This was a great race, and though I didn’t quite reach my goal of 10:00/mile pace the whole way, I am more than happy with my performance, AND I had a great time!

More race photos here.

Afterwards, I got some goodies and shared them w/the family. The kids loved having cookies and bananas and peanuts and chocolate milk for lunch, and I got to eat a little too. Then I saw some of my fellow Wasatch Walkers finish their races, and we walked the ½ mile slowly back to the condo.

Crazy person that I am, we decided to do a little hike in the afternoon. Loren and the kids were itching to go do the Delicate Arch hike in Arches NP, so off we went. Arches NP entrance is only 5 min from Moab, so pretty soon we were there, and after we sharked a parking spot (no easy task on a Saturday afternoon with such nice weather; about 77 degrees F, or 25C), we started to hike. The hike is 3.08 miles (4.95 km) round trip (by my Garmin; supposedly 3 miles) but with 480 feet (146 m)of elevation increase. AND I carried Michelle, all 32 lb (14.5 kg) of her, on my back in the backpack all the way up to the arch (1.54 miles, 2.48 km). That was a good workout! Actually, it felt decent, but tonight I am very tired, and I can tell I’m going to be sore tomorrow. Oh well, it was worth it! What a wonderful day.

More photos of the Delicate Arch hike here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

a little too speedy again :)

Now I know what I need to do on Saturday: KEEP IT SLOW for the first 1-2 miles until I settle in. My natural tendency is to go waaaaay too fast at the start, and I really do not want to do that. Need to save something for the end of the race.

This morning I did the same workout (same location and everything) that I did Tuesday. I intended to be slower, but guess what? I went faster. I actually did know I was doing it, but I was in the mood to cruise I guess. On Saturday I am going to have to be very careful not to do that! After my warm-up I did mile 1 in 9:30 (!) and mile 2 in 9:49 (still too fast). I planned on 10:00 miles, which is my goal pace. Oops. My IT band on my L leg was fine; R leg was a bit tight but no pain. I stretched thoroughly afterward and used the foam roller, which I am going to take with me to Southern Utah.

Here's the race website if any of you want to see the beauty of this course. It is going to be truly amazing. The sad part is that I will be focusing pretty hard on my race and probably not so much on the surroundings.

Tomorrow I plan on a very easy 2 miles to loosen up my legs, and lots of stretching afterwards.

I might not get to post again before the race, and I will not have internet all weekend so probably will not post until Sunday night at the soonest. So you'll just have to wait to see how I did (not like you have nothing better to do, I know :)). If I have a great race, I'll finish in the 2:09-2:11 window. That's optimistic given that I'm recovering from an injury, but I might as well have something cool to shoot for.

OK, gotta get back to my laundry. Lots to do before packing!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another swim

This morning I did some PT exercises on the weight machines at the gym, and then went for a short swim. I did 30 x 50 yds = 1500 yds in about 32 minutes. Pretty speedy, for me! I think I must be getting better at the swimming thing, because I really felt like I could have easily kept that pace for another 30 minutes :).

I am still not a huge swimming fan, but I did feel faster, smoother, etc. today, and it was more enjoyable. I think if I kept it up for a while I might like it. Maybe.

But I am still a racewalker!

Speaking of racewalking, I saw some pics today from the Masters' 20k championships in Huntington Beach, CA last weekend and it looked SO fun. When I turn 40 next year, that is going to be my first race, I hope. They have prize $ for the 1st place female over 40, and this year the winning time was 2:14:xx. I am pretty sure I could beat that, since my 1/2 marathon (21.1k) best is 2:14:12 (at least until Saturday, when hopefully it will drop to 2:10-2:11). Anyway, it would be fun to race and have a shot at winning. Maybe next year.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

96 hours until race day...

This morning I warmed up a little and walked over to my favorite 1 mile course (on the road). I avoid the track when doing 1 mile repeats, when possible. It's more fun on the street! 8th East is a perfect road to do 1 mile repeats; it's a low-traffic area, and it's relatively flat. I know exactly how far is 1 mile, so I got out there and went for it. My goal was 2 miles at race pace (10 min/mile if I can do it... we'll see!), and I went out too fast. The first mile was in 9:38, but the 2nd was perfect in 9:57. My HR was ave 152 for mile 1 (good) but pretty high for that 2nd mile at ave of 159. Of course, 8th East is not perfectly flat and it may have been a little more uphill on the way back.

I plan to do the same workout, more or less, on Thursday and see if I can hit the first mile a little better.

I cooled down afterward; total mileage 4.00. I had no pain on today's workout from either IT band :). Yay!

Saturday will be interesting - I am sure I can do the 10:00 pace for at least 6-7 miles but not sure how long I can sustain it after that. I guess I will find out! I do know that the course has rolling hills so that doesn't help too much, but I don't think they are very steep. My best 10K pace was 9:27ish so 10:00 does seem do-able on paper for the 1/2 marathon. We'll see.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Catching up; swimming!

It's been a while since I posted. It was a busy weekend!

Friday: 1.2 miles racewalking (2k) as a warm-up for my weight training class. I did a good hard set of weights and abs.

Saturday: TNT workout. The team was doing 20 miles. I really, really, wanted to do it with them. But I didn't. I only did 9.5, touching base with everyone a couple of times and walking with most of them for a while. I did some running (probably 1.5 miles?) with the fastest summer team member; she was churning out 7:45-8:00 miles and there was no way I was going to try and RW with her. So I ran. My IT bands complained a little bit but not too much; I was not sore later (though I did take my anti-inflammatory and iced them).

Also on Saturday: Got home and was there 10 minutes after the team workout to change clothes and say hi to the family. Then it was back out there to go teach a RW clinic to some ultramarathon runners. That was a blast! They caught on pretty quickly and all seemed to appreciate the tips. I did about a mile (or maybe 2? Didn't have the Garmin on for all of it) with them.

Sunday: REST day. I did no exercise, though I did take the kids to the zoo in the afternoon. We enjoyed a couple hours there.

Today: I considered RW around SH Park but decided against it. I want to be as fresh as possible for Saturday's 1/2 marathon! However, I really really wanted some exercise, and needed cardio. The only option that wasn't going to wear out my legs was swimming, so I went over to Steiner Aquatic Center and hopped in the pool. I am lousy at counting laps (easily distracted?!?) but I think I did 45 x 50 yards in 50 minutes. Each 50 yds was taking me about a minute to 1:05, and I don't do flip turns (did at one point, but haven't done them in about 20 years and probably should start again...) so I'm slow to turn around. Anyway, 2250 yds is a good workout and I felt pleased with it. I got to wear my new swimsuit that I ordered at Christmas, which came in the wrong size and had to be exchanged by mail. It fit very well and it was quite comfortable.

Tomorrow I'll do a few miles at half marathon pace to keep my legs fresh, and I'll probably swim again on Wednesday. Thursday some more @ 1/2 MP and then Friday just a few easy miles - maybe 20-30 min tops. Saturday is race day!!! The family is going to go down to Moab with me and we plan to visit Canyonlands and Arches National Parks while we're there. My racewalking & walking buddies (9 of them!) will be there too. It's gonna be a nice weekend :).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Piano recital

My students had their recital tonight. I am very proud of the hard work they have done, and how far they have come!
Posted by Picasa

New bumper sticker

Here's the nifty bumper sticker Sarah got me for our birthday :). It's definitely "me"!
Posted by Picasa

Loving the taper

Yeah, I confess, I love the taper before a race. The hard workouts are still hard, but they are mercifully shorter :).

This morning I did 1 mile easy, then 2 miles at lactate threshold pace (HR low 160s), then 1 mile easy.

Mile: Ave HR, Max HR, Time
1: 139, 147, 11:43 (pretty steep uphill; 4400 to 4600 feet above sea level)
2: 155, 159, 10:03 (still uphill, though a little more gradual; 4600 to 4700 feet above sea level)
3: 151, 166, 8:54 (!) (wow! fast!; downhill from 4700 to 4600 ft)
4: 140, 166 (this would be at the start of that mile!), 10:08 (steep downhill).

It was a FAST workout :) and I felt great. No IT band problems at all. I feel so ready for this race. Let's hope I'm feeling good on race day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Racewalking; food issues

Let's start with the good stuff: racewalking!

Loren got me this for my birthday :). I got it in the mail yesterday, and I love it :) :) :).

Tuesday I decided my legs were probably up to a hard workout. They were! No pain! Yay! I did an intense but brief workout, since I'm tapering for the 1/2 marathon on 3/21. Warm-up, 6x400m (0.25 mile) at 5k pace (about 2:14) and then cool-down. I was on the treadmill due to a fresh dump of the white stuff on our fair city; I figured the track would have some snow (it might not have; the roads were mostly clear). It was a great workout - my heart rate was actually pretty low on average for the intervals and speed. My ave HR was 147-152 for the intervals; max HR for each was 157-163. Pretty good. I think if my IT bands hold up, and if I have a good day, I might be looking at a new PR for my race.

This morning I was going to go to my weight training class, but forgot to set my alarm. I'm still not used to daylight savings time, so I woke up about 7 min after class started. Oops. And I didn't have much time before the kids woke up. Double oops. So I hopped on the very handy treadmill and put in an easy 4 miles. Sure enough, Calvin got up about 15 min into my 45 minute workout. I was glad I'd stayed home. I put on the SuperReaders (PBS) for him and he was ecstatic and so was I :). Michelle wandered in about 20 min later, and I was able to finish my 4 miles. Yay!

This afternoon I put in some impromptu miles. I needed to measure the last bit of the Jordan River trail that the TNT team is doing Saturday for their 20-miler, and it's not available online. So I drove the kids over there and pushed them in the stroller for the 1.25 miles out and back (total 2.5 miles; 4 km) that I needed to measure. The weather was gorgeous - pushing 50F (10C) and sunny, with a little wind. Nice. I did it in 30 min flat, pushing about 70 lb (32 kg) worth of kids, in a stroller with one flat tire (DH still needs to fix it!!!). Not bad :). 7.5 min/km is a great pace with that handicap, and my ave HR was only 134.


Food issues. Not so good. I feel like I've actually been doing pretty well overall with my eating, but every now and then I've gotten really out of control. Enough that I am up just a little more :(. I am up about 7-8 lb over my lowest weight (and where I want to be for racewalking!). It's been tough because my caloric needs really have decreased, for whatever reason. If I had been eating the way I'm eating now a couple years ago, I know I would have lost weight (yes, I have been tracking EVERY single point, even when I overdo it). But that just does not matter - what matters is that I need to adjust my intake to whatever my body's new requirement is, even if I do not like it.

I have a plan, and determination to make this better.

FIRST --- I have done some seriously hard training for all sorts of races: marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, you name it. If I can do THAT, then I can lose this lousy 6 lb (this morning, I was 151, which is 6 lb over my lowest weight). It's hard, but not THAT hard. I just have to WANT it, and I really do. Renewed determination and a fresh look at things is the first step.

SECOND --- Eat MORE for breakfast & lunch & snack, and LESS dinner. My metabolism is revved in the morning and afternoon, and not so much at night. I think this will help me be less hungry, help me lose quicker, and help avoid overeating due to being too hungry.

THIRD --- Train hard and eat fewer of my activity points. Basically, only eat the ones from my long workouts (with the team on Saturdays); I will need them on those days.

FOURTH --- Don't let the screw-ups get me down, and keep on going.

FIFTH --- Assess again after a month and re-evaulate.

Monday, March 09, 2009


I rested on Sunday, taking only a short 1.5ish mile walk with my kids to the park. It didn't hurt at all. I enjoyed reading & relaxing and doing not too much of anything :).

Today I went to my weight training class and put in a good hard 45 minutes of various weights which I won't bore you with. After that, I came home and decided I still needed some cardio. I had put the bike trainer back in the garage, and was too lazy to drag it out, so I decided to try the treadmill. I did an easy 2 miles at an 11:00/mile pace, and nothing hurt. My IT bands were fine. Yay! I quit there, though, and then took the kids to have breakfast w/my racewalking buddies, who took me out for my birthday. It was quite enjoyable!


My weight has not budged, despite 2 really good weeks of eating very carefully. I'm not sure what is going on, but it is very frustrating. I'm considering going to see my doc and having him check my thyroid and anything else he thinks might be an issue.

Sale to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Gap, Old Navy, & Banana Republic are having a 4 day sale, March 12-15, to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Click here to get a coupon for 30% off your purchase, and 5% of purchase price will be donated to LLS.

Thanks for shopping!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Return of the IT band problem... again

Saturday's workout: 14.73 miles with the team (they did 12; I did more, back and forth). About 1 hr 50 min was in my usual target HR zone for my long day; the rest was a little slower (1 hr 20 min more) for a total of 3 hr 10 min.

I made the mistake of running a little today. I ran uphill a bit with the fastest team member, and that was OK I think. However, a bit later, after I had done about 8 miles, I ran fast downhill with the same team member. I think that was a mistake. I felt good at the time, but I paid later. By mile 13.5, I was starting to hurt in my left IT band. I was walking more slowly (about 16-17 min miles) at this point with the last two team members (who are walking the half marathon, and don't have a time goal; but I am so proud of them for doing 12 miles today for the first time ever!). Anyway, I was limping because it really was hurting. I made it back, and after stretching and driving home, it felt pretty good. My left leg didn't hurt at all the rest of the day.

My main concern now is my RIGHT leg. Up until now I have had no trouble with my right IT band. But last night, walking to the concert hall from the car was extremely painful - my right leg had the familiar, stabbing, lateral knee pain. What's with that?!?!? I have worked so hard to strengthen BOTH my hips and now this?!?

Only 2 weeks left until my half marathon. The team is doing their first 20 miler this Saturday 3/14, and I want to be out there to support them. Oh, and later on 3/14, Diane and I are giving a racewalking clinic to some ultra runners. Yeah... I am a bit worried about how my body is going to hold up for all of this.

Today is going to be a rest day (obviously) and I am going to take it VERY easy this week; after all, it's my taper for the 1/2 marathon anyway. I will figure something out for the 20 miler, even if it means driving and sitting at water stops. There is another coach for the spring team and he can do the running if need be. But maybe by Saturday I'll be OK if I rest, take my NSAIDS, ice, and NO MORE RUNNING for a while.

Day 40: 40 days 'til 39

 On day 40 (yesterday) we cooked dinner together (porterhouse steak, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, mashed potatoes, salad), and then enjoyed an amazing Bobby McFerrin concert at Kingsbury Hall. That man does some incredible stuff with his voice - one example: he actually SANG the entire Bach Prelude in C major! The concert also featured a bunch of U of U students in theater, dance, and music doing some great improvisations. We enjoyed it immensely, and then we returned home to have some delicious peanut butter cake and open a few presents. It was the perfect end to our 40 days of celebrating. Happy 40th, Sarah!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday weights

Today I warmed up for weights by doing an easy 1.2 miles (2k) of racewalking, and then I did my weights and PT exercises. Forgot my Theraband, so I did some other stuff on the machines (still hip exercises) instead. Also did some incline bench press and a whole bunch of abs, including a 2 minute plank.

Tomorrow is the usual TNT workout - most are doing 12 miles though a few (only one?) are doing 18. Hopefully the weather will cooperate - 30% chance of snow in the morning. I doubt it will amount to much, at least I hope not. It's always nicer to walk in clear weather.

Day 39: 40 days 'til 39

 Today we breakfasted together at Finn's, along with Sam, Michelle, and Calvin (Alex was at preschool). We each had Norwegian waffles with lingonberry jam and sour cream. Yummy! Michelle and Calvin enjoyed Jule Kake French Toast, and Sam had the Viking Plate - eggs, pancake & sausage. It was all delicious and I even allowed myself the rare morning cup of coffee. Usually I only drink coffee at night because it makes me SO hungry if I have it in the morning, but I enjoyed it today, and yes, I did get hungry later, but I kept my appetite in check at lunch, so it was all good. This was a very enjoyable breakfast and we will have to do it again!
Posted by Picasa

Here are some more pictures.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Day 38: 40 days 'til 39

Sarah and I had planned to browse a library book sale tonight, but we actually had done it earlier (can't remember which day now). So I decided I would "shop" for some music at the library. I checked out violin sonatas for Sarah and I to play at a future date (in the next 4 weeks, before they are due!). I found some great stuff by Brahms, Bach, Handel, and Grieg. I look forward to our next music date!

Tomorrow, day 39, we plan to breakfast together at Finn's, a delicious local establishment. Saturday, day 40, we are having dinner w/our husbands (I'm cooking!) and b-day cake, and then heading to Kingsbury Hall to see Bobby McFerrin. Sunday is our birthday, of course! But we thought our celebration on Saturday would cap it all off quite nicely.

Brutal but beautiful Thursday tempo workout

I didn't feel like attacking this workout today. I tried to tell myself that it was SO wonderful to be pain-free and able to walk fast, but that didn't alter the fact that this was going to be a tough workout to get through. It snowed last night (yeah, and yesterday I wore shorts for my morning racewalk - that's spring in Salt Lake for you!), but it didn't stick to the roads, so I was able to get outside for my tempo workout, which is much better than doing it on the treadmill.

Today's workout was warm-up, 4 miles at lactate threshold pace, then cool down. I decided to go to Liberty Park as a warm-up; it's about 1.2 miles (2k). When I got there (12:30 to get there), I stretched a little and then embarked upon 3 laps of the park (4.2 miles total) for my workout. The snow was SO beautiful, and I took some pics before I got started; I did stop only once during the 4.2 miles to get one of the pics, but the rest I did before or after the fast part of the workout.

Here were my 3 laps of the park:
lap 1: 13:33, ave HR 157, max 162, pace 9:33/mile
lap 2: 13:47, ave HR 160, max 165, pace 9:38/mile
lap 3: 13:52, ave HR 161, max 167, pace 9:43/mile

Then I cooled down, taking a leisurely 15:14 (12:20/mile) to get home. I felt pretty tired and my legs were definitely noticing the workout; however, tonight they feel fine.

Pretty good! I think this bodes well for a half marathon goal pace of 10:00/mile, but we will see.

Here are my photos. It really was VERY beautiful and I felt privileged to be outside. And so did my dog, Copper - she kept up with me, no problem. She's an awesome dog :).

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sad times

These are some sad and very hard times for many. So far, my immediate family has been touched only a little by the economic downturn. My dad has had his hours cut back at work, but he still has a job.

However, I've had friends who have been laid off, and now more family stuff. My dad's cousin, Luann, who is just a year younger than me, was laid off yesterday. She is a very talented writer who worked for a newspaper (yeah, I know, bad times for newspapers) in Florida. Here's her blog. Within the last year she's purchased a condo and adopted a cute little dog as a pet. She's a lovely person and a hard worker, and if anyone has work for her (full-time or freelance) I'd love to connect you. Please comment if you know of anything!

Day 37: 40 days 'til 39

Today we were watching the sun rise or set. I decided rising would be easier; sunrise was slated for 6:56 am and sunset at 6:22 pm, so I figured it would be simpler to catch the sunrise since it wasn't during the dinner hour. That, and it's supposed to rain tonight, so I doubt there would be much to see.

However, there was a small detail that was a problem. I had my weight training class from 6:30 to 7:20 am. So, at 6:51 or so, I went outside and took my Therabands (PT exercise gear) with me, and looked crazy doing monster walks and lateral walks on the sidewalk as the sun rose. Or didn't rise... you see, the sun was up, sure, but not over the mountains. I took a few pictures (the first 2, below; my apologies for the parking lot view, but that's where I was) and I have to say that it was less than spectacular. Oh well.

On my way home, the sun was actually coming over the tops of the mountains (and that was much more interesting), so I pulled over and snapped the 3rd shot below just before the sun peeked out. When I arrived at home, I snapped a shot of my neighborhood with the sun just coming up. Finally, I snapped the last shot, of me wearing SHORTS and a T-SHIRT for my workout this morning - it was 53 and only a little windy when I racewalked 2 miles today, so I wore this and was perfectly comfortable. Later on it got really windy (still is), and it's supposed to get really cold and snow just in time for 18 miles w/TNT on the weekend. Oh well!

A good morning workout

I woke up surprisingly refreshed when my alarm went off at 5:30 am, probably because I actually went to bed at 9:15 pm. Amazing how good a decent nights' sleep feels.

I racewalked 2 miles in about 21 minutes (too lazy to look at my Garmin before this post, but it was close to that), up and down hills at the U. Good warm up! Then I went to my weight training class and did all my hip PT exercises. I'm getting lots stronger on the hip Cybex machine! I started off doing the abduction at 50 lb and am up to 70 lb now. I also work my hip flexor (left only, because it was weak) on there and have gone from 60 to 90 lb. One more week of hard work on the hips and then I can do maintenance level instead. Good thing, since the rest of my body is not getting its usual workout. I did manage to squeeze in some bicep curls and tricep pull-downs, along with a brutal ab workout.

Lisa (my weight training buddy) and I did a lower ab routine that was killer. We started with roll-outs on the exercise ball, then circles on it (put elbows on ball, toes on ground, body straight, and roll in and out and do circles w/the ball). We repeated that. After that we laid flat on our backs and passed the exercise ball from feet to hands (keeping legs straight), down to the floor behind our heads, and back again, lowering our feet an extra time when the ball touched the floor behind our heads; we did 10 of those. Then we did bicycles (30 on a side). Darn it, we did one more thing, but I can't remember what it was. Suffice it to say that our abs were toast at the end. We felt very virtuous.

Day 36: 40 days 'til 39

Yesterday we donated to a charity of the OTHER person's choice. I asked Sarah to donate to www.kiva.org, which I highlighted in an earlier post.

Sarah wanted me to donate to a local charity, and she chose the Salt Lake Rescue Mission. Normally I don't advertise my charitable giving, but I do like being able to highlight deserving organizations via our blogs.

Here's their mission statement: "The Rescue Mission of Salt Lake exists to minister to the spiritual, emotional, physical and material needs of the homeless, addicted and/or poor through their faith and maturity in Jesus Christ."

ATTENTION Ute fans!!!

Mandy from our Team in Training group has worked her tail off to get the Utes to donate a SIGNED football (this season's team) to her to auction off with the proceeds going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Check out her auction (and bid, please!) here. And please send the link to anyone you know who is a Ute fan!!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

President's Challenge

No, this is not a political post :).

It's about www.presidentschallenge.org, a website where you can track your fitness. I blogged about it a while back (a few years ago?), and since then I have been tracking my every activity on there. They have bronze, silver, and gold awards, which I achieved within 6 months or so. You need 80,000 points to get a gold award; as best as I can figure it, each point is about a calorie burned. Anyway, there is another award after the gold award: the platinum award, for which you must get 500,000 points. Wow. Well, last weekend, I finally got to 60% of the way there, or 300,000 points. It's still going to take me quite a while to finish, but I'm really proud of what I have accomplished.

Anyone can sign up for free and track their activity. I encourage you to do it! Once you achieve each level, you can purchase a commemorative medal, certificate, and/or T-shirt proclaiming your awesomeness. Have fun!

Track workout!

Yay! The weather was good today. REALLY good. As in, 54 degrees (12.2C) this morning. No, that is not a typo. It was so deliciously warm. However, it was very windy, so I did wear tights, a long sleeve shirt, and gloves. I ended up taking off the gloves and rolling up my sleeves, but it was the right choice with the wind.

So, I met a TNT participant at the track this morning, and we did a good hard workout. She did 3x800 w/800m recoveries (that was their workout) and I did 8x400, resting until my HR was down to 120 each time (only about 1-1.5 minutes).

Here were my times and HR(ave/max) for each:
2:08 (148/162)
2:15 (153/159)
2:12 (156/165)
2:14 (154/165)
2:12 (158/168)
2:13 (158/169)
2:14 (160/170)
2:11 (160/170)

I was shooting for about 2:14 for each, and I was pretty close. Not bad! Even sped up a little on the last one. And, with the nasty wind, I'm quite pleased.

Usually my lungs give out before my legs, and today was no exception, but I did notice that my legs were (and still are, 8 hours later), pretty tired. Good - that means I did a nice hard workout.

Total (including warm up and cool down): 4.29 miles (according to my Garmin, and that's pretty darn close because I did walk around a little during my recoveries), in 44:03 for an average 10:15/mile.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention this (which must show how much better I'm doing!) - I had NO PAIN! Yay! That was great for how fast I was going. Last time I tried to do this workout at this pace (on the treadmill), I had to stop after 5 intervals, but today I was able to do all 8 at 5K pace or slightly faster.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mother & Daughter

 Mom & me, taken at Red Butte Cafe on Saturday night, when we enjoyed coffee and some decadent desserts together.
Posted by Picasa

Day 35: 40 days 'til 39

 Today we played music together. We used to do this a lot before we had kids, but since then, not so much. I forgot how much fun it is to play with Sarah. She is a great musician and has a wonderful ear for intonation (essential for a string player!). We enjoyed playing a whole bunch of Taize music and also a Dvorak Sonatina for violin & piano. Awesome.

My kids didn't sleep while we were playing... but it was worth it to play great music! (Ask me about this again tomorrow when they are grumpy! - no seriously, it was worth it, no matter how crabby they are).
Posted by Picasa

recovery days

Sunday - I did an easy 3.75 miles around SugarHouse Park. It was warm and beautiful outside, and though my muscles were a bit tired, it felt good to get out. My pace was around 11:00/mile (turned my Garmin on late by mistake, so not 100% sure).

Today - Arrived at weight training a bit late but made up for it in the vigor with which I attacked my PT exercises for my hip. I was in a really bad mood when I arrived but felt amazingly better when I left - the usual these days, I guess. I've been quite moody and I wish it would improve. Perhaps with the warmer weather? We'll see.

Day 34: 40 days 'til 39

We did this yesterday but I didn't post about it until today. We decided to watch a movie from 1969, the year of Sarah's birth. We picked "Oliver!", which won Best Picture in 1969 (so, OK, it was made in 1968, but whatever). It was a bit longer than we expected, at 2 hr 25 min, which did cause a little stress, as my kids woke up from nap early, and Sarah was a bit worried about Bryan having the kids too much while she was gone.

Still, we did enjoy the movie, and I recognized a lot of the songs (it's a musical, based on Dickens' Oliver Twist). I thought it was pretty engaging, though it could have been a bit shorter. Michelle sat on my lap for part of the movie and was mesmerized by the music :).