Thursday, April 30, 2009

Been very busy; will be back soon!

Have been super busy w/house stuff and w/my parents visiting, and now I am catching up on other things. I have lots to post about between recent workouts and all of the house renovations but you will have to wait until tomorrow (hopefully) to read about it. I'm way tired and heading to bed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Am I nuts? :)

Yeah, I'm nuts. This morning I did 12.7 miles with the TNT summer team (about 8 faster w/the runners, and 5 slower w/the walkers) in good weather (overcast and about 45), and then this afternoon in pouring rain, sleet, and yes, snow, I did a 5K handicapped race with the Wasatch Walkers.

First, the TNT workout. Most of the team did 10 miles (all except one). I started off w/our runners, who were doing about a 9:30 pace. I alternated racewalking and running, because I wanted to stay with them, wanted to be able to converse easily, and did not want my IT band to hurt. So when I started getting winded, I switched to running, and as soon as my breathing recovered, I switched to walking. They slowed down after 2-3 miles and then I mostly racewalked but threw in a little running to keep up. My IT band felt fine so far. Then our fastest runner, who did 20 miles today (she's training for an earlier marathon), caught up to us (she went south then north and had 3 miles to make up) at the northernmost aid station, 5 miles out. Yeah, she did 8 in the time we did 5 and stopped at the aid stations and bathrooms (we were leisurely w/our stops). Like I said, she's fast. So I RAN FAST (8:15-8:30 miles mostly, though I did get her to slow down to 9:00 for a bit) with her for about 1.5 miles before turning around and coming back. I had perfect timing to meet the walkers at their northernmost point and walked the 5 miles back with them to the start. Just as we got there (about 5 min later) I was walking back north to find our 20-mile runner and she appeared. I felt bad that I hadn't turned around sooner to meet her, but she had done AWESOME and she looked great, so I felt less guilty then.

I drove home and attended to domestic duties for a couple hours, then drove with my racewalking friends down to Provo for our Wasatch Walkers Handicapped 5K Series - Race #1. It was POURING rain when we started, and about 38 degrees. During the race, the rain turned to sleet, then snow, then rain again. Ick! But we didn't get that cold, since we were working so hard (just my hands and Diane's hands). I had my doubts about my performance since I was kinda tired from the morning's efforts, but this is good training for Portland-to-Coast (which I'm entered in - Aug 28th) to do two workouts in a day, so I figured, "why not?".

Since it was a handicapped race, we started at different times - slowest first, and fastest (me) last. I started 9:12 behind the first person; that seemed like a lot, but it turned out to be pretty good. I did the handicapping based on everyone's best 5K time, and if they had an old 5K that didn't reflect current injury status, etc., or didn't have a 5K time, then I used their most recent 1/2 marathon time and the age grading calculator on to get an approximate best 5K time. This worked like a charm for everyone except Diane... all of us finished within about 2 minutes of each other, except for Diane. Her 5K times are disproportionately slower than her 1/2 marathon times, and I forgot to take that into account when I calculated the handicaps. I should have, and I feel bad. My apologies, Diane (but the next race will be handicapped from this one, so next time she'll have a better advantage).

Anyway, on to the race... I got everyone started at the right times w/Boyd's stopwatch and then waited the rest of my time for my own start. It was cold standing there for 9 minutes in the rain and I was glad to get going. The first 2.5k was uphill (gentle, but relentless) and the last 2.5k was downhill. I could tell from my first 1k that I was going to be slow. I did it in 6:01 (they had handy markers every 100m on this trail - LOVED that!!!) despite a pretty high heart rate (avg 161, max 179). It was hard to push myself in the second 1k, but I did it in 6:08. The rain was a bit dispiriting and of course I could not see my competition until near the 2k mark. Around there I saw everyone coming back toward me; they had already turned around. But I was tantalizingly closer than I thought I would be. I hit 3k in 5:58 (1/2 uphill, 1/2 downhill) and passed Diane near the 3k mark. I got to 4k in 6:00 (yeah, slow for downhill, but I was tired), and could see Nancy, Cindy, and Carol ahead. I passed them around 4-4.5k, and then I saw Boyd. He was SO close yet so far, and he was moving quickly. I didn't know if I would catch him, but I caught him within the last 100m and it made for a very exciting finish. My split was 5:48 (nice negative split!) and ave HR at the end was 167. That's a bit lower than my usual 5K; I think I didn't push quite as hard as in a typical road race, probably because I was just plain tired. Total splits add up to 29:55, my slowest 5K ever, though I swear my watch said 29:50 when I crossed the finish. Well, it's close enough. I am happy with this race and with my time, even though it was slow, because of the conditions and how tired I was going in. It was a kick to be able to pass everyone, but I do wonder if my handicap times were fair. I tried to be as fair as possible. Boyd finished about 0:12 after me (so close!), Nancy 0:48 after me, Carol & Cindy 0:50 after me, and Diane 3:54 after me (yeah, you can see this was not good handicapping for Diane, but pretty good for the rest of us with such a close finish).

Afterwards, we warmed up by Boyd's fireplace & enjoyed some good food and great company. We gave out medals for the top 3 finishers and plotted the next month's 5K race. We want to have one each month all summer long :). I'm all for that! I hope someone else wins next time in an exciting finish that brings everyone back for more.

Oh, my IT band started to hurt at the very end of the 5K, when I stopped racewalking (it probably hurt sooner but I didn't notice due to the effort). I think I just overdid the running this morning and hopefully will be fine if I take tomorrow off.

Now I'm up too late writing this race report and I will pay tomorrow... but it's been fun :).

Here are the photos from the WW race.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Will racewalk for Belgian waffles :) :) :)

This place is well worth some serious racewalking to burn the calories you will consume. Bruges Waffles & Frites, just west of Tony Caputo's on 300 S (between 300 & 400W) is AMAZING. The authentic Belgian waffles are to die for, and of course you can get them with Belgian chocolate (or strawberries, or whipped cream). AND they have amazing French fries too, with 7 different dipping sauces. Yeah, it's really GOOD. So, if you live here, or if you ever plan to visit, get your behind over there NOW. RIGHT NOW. And your taste buds will thank you. (Oh yeah, and the service was over the top wonderful, though it is a very SMALL place with limited bar seating, FYI).


I racewalked 3 miles this morning and then did a hard weight training workout. Not enough to burn off the Belgian waffles. Maybe I'll go again later :).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

workout update

Wednesday - stationary bike to warm up for a good hard weight training workout. It was challenging and felt great. Then I came home and RAN (not RW) on the treadmill for about 15 min. I'm trying to build up my running a little to be able to run more w/the team if needed. My IT band was mostly OK but hurt a bit about 13-14 min in; I RW for a minute and then ran some more and made it w/o further incident. Hopefully I'll be able to gradually do a little more as needed.

Today - did 6.5 miles easy racewalking in 1 hr 10 min, and felt very good. The weather was AMAZING - 56F at 6:30 am so I wore shorts and T-shirt. I did not take the dogs, after what happened on Tuesday. I really enjoyed being out there this morning, and the spring flowers were incredible. The number of shades of tulips is wonderful, and I confess to being in love with the preternaturally bright shade of green on new tree leaves. It was gorgeous. I'm so glad I have a sport that involves being outside on days like today. My right hip is still a bit sore but I do think it is gradually improving. Tennis ball massage is helping a LOT - I stand and put the ball on a wall and then push back against it in just the right spot to make it hurt so good :). I think I'll go do that again now...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Back in the saddle

I took Sunday off, even though I really felt OK. Still, better to get some rest in.

Monday morning I decided I was up to racewalking 1.5 miles before my weight training workout. It felt fine, and my weight training (good and hard) was great. I was slightly sore this morning from that, but just the perfect amount.

This morning I did a moderate racewalk around Sugar House Park. I took the dogs, and boy was I sorry. Sahara had some serious GI issues and by the time we got home she smelled awful and her legs were covered in dog doo. Yeah, it was ugly. When I got home, after a brief shower myself, I gave both dogs a bath; no easy feat because by then I had my friend Sarah's kids over too. I just had the kids stand by the side door and watch as I hosed the dogs off. Fortunately it was nice & warm this morning (just under 50) and they're labrador retrievers so it's not like they were suffering too much. They're bred to swim in cold water (in fact, they have webbed feet, believe it or not!).

Oh yeah, my walk - it was definitely moderate to moderately hard (hmmm, maybe too fast for Sahara and hence the GI issues? She is kinda wimpy and I don't usually take her on speedy walks). My ave HR was 146, and I was FAST :). 1st mile (hard uphill) in 10:39, 2nd mile in 10:09, 3rd in 10:13, and last 0.75 in 6:53 (downhill). Awesome. I love days when I feel fast. I am still going to take it a bit easy for the next week or 2 to be sure I'm recovered from the marathon before I do hard training again. But I have two important races this fall, on Aug 28 and Oct 4, and I want to be ready!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My finishers

OK, they're not "mine" exactly... but I feel like they are. Here's a giant shout-out to all of the AWESOME marathoners and half marathoners in our Spring Team in Training group!

Full marathoners:
Bob Coursey 4:20:33
Starr Wahlen 5:03:12
Kevan Blackburn 5:11:06
Rachael Ikwuazoh 5:39:26

Early start full marathoners:
Dayne Harper 5:28:15
Kale Snyder 6:05:41
Mitzi Harper 6:21:55

Half marathoners:
Darlene Bell 2:25:33*
Emily Lucht 2:42:49
Lauri Slack 2:55:11
Carolyn Beefelt 2:55:12
Natalie Davis 3:06:47
Sumer Sei 3:10:53
Lonetta Coria 3:10:51
Michelle Czech 3:25:53
Casandra Ericksen 3:27:16
Karleen Knudson 3:27:19
Valerie Manogue 3:30:20
Michelle Smith 3:42:19

Summer team results (training for Seattle full marathon 6/27/09; used this as a training session)
Half marathoners:
Gemma Gough 1:42:59 (WOW!)
Jason Richmond 2:02:46
Gwen Iarussi 2:14:17
Nicole Antal 3:00:55 (injured :()

*side note... hey, I guess I could have stayed w/Darlene after all - she slowed down after the first few miles, but I'm glad I stopped to see all the walkers.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Salt Lake Marathon & Half Marathon

Here I am at the early start with Kale, Mitzi, and Dayne.

We met at 4:45 to take TRAX to the start. Very early, even for me. The early start was at 6:05 am, for walkers and slower runners. It was still quite dark, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the early starters. We warmed up with some easy walking for about 10 minutes, then some gentle stretching. After a visit to the porta-potties and the gear check, it was time for the race start. I walked with the early starters to mile 1, then turned around and came back.

I arrived back at the start just in time to catch the rest of the team getting off of TRAX. Everyone was clearly enjoying the moment. After a LONG wait for the porta-potties we got to the start just in time and we were off. I started off with Darlene, our fastest 1/2 marathoner. Actually, a couple of our full marathoners, Starr and Rachael, were with us too (just ahead of us). Darlene set a pretty quick pace of about 9:30/mile and I was surprised that Starr & Rachael were going out that fast, as they usually do about 11:00/mile in practice. I let them know they were going pretty quickly, and they did slow a bit but not until about mile 3-4.

Originally I had thought to possibly stay with Darlene until mile 10 or so and then work my way back to each group in turn - but I realized two things pretty quickly: 1) I would not be able to racewalk that fast for that long (my 1/2 marathon PR is 10:04/mile; in fact, I did run a little bit with Darlene, probably for 0.5-1 mile as breaks from racewalking, since she was going about my 10K racewalk pace) and 2) I wouldn't get to see the other team members as much as I wanted. So when we got to mile 4 at Sugar House Park, where the 1/2 marathoners had a very handy turn-around that gave me a great view of everyone coming and going for 0.5 mile or so, I let Darlene go and stayed there to see everyone on the team (half and full) go by. I saw pretty much everyone except the early starters (who were probably at mile 7-8 by that time) and one of the full marathoners who was much faster than the rest. It was GREAT to get to touch base w/everyone; all were looking good at this point except one of my summer team members (I had the summer full marathoners do the race as their workout), Nicole, whose knees were hurting :(.

Then I cheated :) (but since I wasn't wearing a chip and not actually racing it was OK :)!). I cut across the course on 2100 south (going past a policeman who told me I was going the wrong way; I explained that I was coaching and needed to catch my runners), cutting out about 2-3 miles. I was hoping to catch Darlene again, but she probably was about 2-3 min ahead of me. Oh well. I did see the next person, Whitney, from the Logan, UT team, and I racewalked with her for about 3 miles. She was clearly doing fine, so I let her go on ahead to the finish. It was getting warm by this time (did I mention that the weather was PERFECT!?!? Low of 40, high 60, sunny, a little wind at the end but not too bad) and so while I waited for the next team member (about 3 min) I quickly removed my tights (shorts underneath) and long sleeve shirt so I'd be more comfortable, and tied them around my waist. Pretty soon Emily came along and I she was doing great until mile 11 when she started to hurt. We stopped at the TNT aid station at mile 11.5 or so; I ditched my tights & shirt there for retrieval later. Then I walked Emily up the hill on State Street to South Temple (mile 12), and after she went down the hill there for a block or 2 she was fine and I left her to go back and walk others up the hill.

In succession, I then walked a bunch of people up the hill: Diane (my friend & fellow TNT walk coach from previous seasons, who took 2nd in her age group of 65-69 with a time of 2:53!), Carolyn & Lauri, Sumer & Lonetta, Natalie. Yeah, that was a lot of times up the hill, but I was walking mostly, not racewalking at this point, so it wasn't as taxing as it might have been (especially to my poor R piriformis which has been bugging me). Then I was getting closer to the finish; each time I walked people closer and went back for the next group, and never got quite down the hill after Natalie. I walked with Michelle, Casandra, & Karleen next (felt so bad because I kept calling her Valerie by mistake - my brain was kinda fuzzy by then), and finally Valerie and then Michelle. I walked Michelle across the finish line and took my 1/2 marathon finisher's medal (I had a 1/2 marathon not a full marathon entry because I bought it last year and didn't want TNT to have to buy me another; besides, I never set foot on the full marathon course - they split at mile 5 or 6 and rejoined at mile 22 on the full/9 on the half, and the other coach (Te Koi) went with our full marathoners). My finish (untimed by chip) was in about 3:34, but I had done 18.07 miles by then, according to my Garmin (including the 2 from the early start, so it was about 16 in the 3:34).

I was pretty tired by then and my right hip was bugging me. Michelle was the last 1/2 marathoner, so it was time to go back for the full marathoners. I called Te Koi and he told me that they were about at mile 20. That gave me a little time, I thought. I walked slowly for about 0.5 mile but then picked it up a little to get back to the TNT aid station. I didn't make it for a while though - while I was on my way back, I ran into the first of our full marathoners, who was just starting up the hill on State Street. Oh great, I thought... I get to do this hill again :). He was doing a good clip for someone who'd just done 22 miles, at about 9:45 up the hill. I RAN (not RW) up the hill w/him because I knew my hip would whine if I RW that fast up the hill (oddly, my IT band never gave me a hint of trouble even though I ran a fair amount - maybe about 3-4 miles total today?). He seemed SO glad to have someone run with him, and I went down the other side a little ways w/him and then sent him on to the finish. I was going back and was 3/4 of the way down the hill toward the TNT aid station when I ran into 3 full marathoners from the Logan, UT team. Their coach was back about 5 miles they said, so I knew it was my job to run them up the hill. Wheee! So up I went again. I was starting to get really good at this hill! I went back down, and yes, you guessed it, I ran into Dayne from our team and I got to run him up the hill too :). He was doing great, though, and looked like he'd finish no problem, so I sent him off and went back down.

This time I made it all the way back to the aid station at mile 11.5(half)/24.6(full). I actually got to take a break for about 10 minutes; porta-potty, lots of water (I'd been drinking at other aid stations, too, but needed more), a banana, and some chit-chat with the team members. This aid station was in the PERFECT place for me as a coach :). I asked Bev (team captain) to take my gloves, shirt, and tights to the finish for me later, and then I headed off backwards on the course to find the next full marathoner. I ran into Starr in about 0.2-0.3 miles and she was looking pretty good but told me she was very sore and nauseous. She got some water at the aid station and I gently coaxed her up the hill; she really felt very ill but composed herself so well - very bravely, I thought. I tried to keep her mind off of it and got her up the hill and a good ways down the other side. Then she was doing better and I left her to finish and went back for the next person. I saw Kale just as she was getting to the top of the hill, and felt bad that I hadn't been able to walk her up it, but she was looking VERY good so I didn't feel too bad about it after I saw her. I walked w/her for the better part of a mile and then went back for the next person --- and was surprised to see Kevan only about 0.1 mile behind us. He was looking very good and we quickly caught up to Kale (she'd done the early start as a walker, so his pace was probably 11/mile and hers about 13-14/mile) and were all together for a little. I soon sent them on their way and went back again.

I knew from talking to Te Koi that he was with Rachael a few miles back, and that Mitzi was in front of them. They were the last two from the team. I ran into Mitzi and Bev just after the hill; I was SO glad Bev had run w/her up the hill - team captains are awesome! Mitzi was quite tired but looking very good, and it was great walking w/her to the finish. Her family joined her 0.1 mile from the end and I got photos of them all runnng together; she was crying, and it was beautiful - probably my favorite part of the day.

Oh yeah - my total mileage? About 25.6. Yeah, not quite 26.2, but close enough. With the warm-up before the early start (which I did NOT do on my Garmin) plus the walking to TNT tent, to the finish line, back to the tent, to my car, etc. I'm sure it was over 26.2. My husband, who is VERY particular about things and quite detail-oriented, says I can count it as a marathon, and I'm inclined to agree. Why not? OK, so it was not a conventional way to do it, but it was a wonderful experience. My Garmin says my average pace was 12:09/mile; not bad for all the slower walking I did, but that includes the running and the faster RW too.

I'm up too late now and quite tired, and this is already probably too long, so I'll stop now. I will post some more pictures tomorrow. Good night!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 17, 2009

Last little warm-up

This morning I did 30 min easy. I was only going to do 20 min, but it was just so nice to be outside that I couldn't resist. My right hip is still kinda sore, but it's nothing that is going to keep me from doing a lot of miles, I don't think. I stretched it really well and am using the tennis ball to work out the kinks, too.

Will post again tomorrow or maybe Sunday if I am too tired and/or busy on Saturday. We have plans for Saturday night ---- dinner out and the symphony :). They are playing Beethoven's 4th symphony and Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto. Yay!

Walkers get no respect

Yeah, it's true. Walking a marathon or 1/2 marathon is not respected for some reason.

This article talks about a couple training to do the 1/2 marathon together tomorrow. It's great that they are doing it, and I'm sure they are fine people. But they (unintentionally) diss walking, which bums me out.

"This is definitely important for us to do as a family. We want to promote good health for our children.

"And it's good motivation for me because Gavin wants to push me hard to do well."

The two will both participate in the half marathon.

And even though Keri says she's not a runner, both plan on finishing the race, not walking the race and finishing with a good time.

[italics & bold added by me].

Hmmm. Yeah, I know, for runners it can be a big deal to "not walk". But still. I bet there are plenty of racewalkers who can walk faster than they run :).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

SLC marathon race expo

I took the kids to the expo with me to get my bib. They got some souvenirs - sort of! They're actually wearing MY expo purchases :). Calvin is still wearing it and doesn't want to part w/it. He even knows what it says.

These headbands are Bondi Bands, and they're awesome for holding short hair out of your eyes. Yeah, I can't wear a ponytail any more, and if it's windy I have to wear something on my head to keep the hair from bugging me. A baseball cap works fine, but these are stylish and fun :). I probably need to edit the one so that it says "Will racewalk for chocolate".

I did a pretty easy treadmill workout this morning because the kids woke a little early; the promised snow didn't materialize at our house (yay!) so I could have gone outside, but it was easier on Loren for me to do the treadmill, and he was feeling a bit ill (intestinal issues, poor guy). I did 10 min to warm up, stretched my R piriformis on the foam roller, and then did 4x0.25 mile (400m) intervals at 6.5 mph; about 2:14-2:15 each (5k pace), with recovery to HR of 130. Then I recovered for a few minutes and then did a 4% incline at 5 mph for 5 min. Finally, a 10-min cool down for about 40 min total.

I'm all ready for Saturday now. Just a short 20-min walk tomorrow to loosen things up. I have to be really careful what I eat today & tomorrow - NO ice cream or dairy unless I want to hang out by the porta potties instead of coaching! Tonight I'm making pasta with leftover ham from Easter. Tomorrow night is the pasta party, so guess I will be heavy on the pasta; good carb-loading. It's kind of weird to prepare this way for a race that is not my own - it's cool, though. It's neat to be supporting those who are giving themselves for a great cause.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Weather forecast... yes, I'm obsessed

It's icky now, but I'm watching it like a hawk, and it's looking nice for the race on Saturday. I know I'm obsessed, but seriously, I am not a fan of being out there for 8 hrs in snow or rain. Had enough of that already this winter!

Tonight...Rain and snow likely in the evening...then rain and snow after midnight. Accumulation 1 to 4 inches. Lows in the lower 30s. Chance of precipitation 90 percent.

Thursday...Rain and snow likely. Accumulation around 1 inch. Highs in the upper 40s. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.

Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of rain and snow. Lows in the mid 30s.

Friday...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain. Highs in the mid 50s.

Friday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 30s.

Saturday...Sunny. Highs around 60.


April snow showers brought me some flowers :).
Posted by Picasa

couldn't resist

This is what it's doing now. Like I said, at least it's not supposed to do this on Saturday. By the way, this is totally normal April weather here. 70 one day, and snowing the next. At least the snow doesn't stick around much in April; it melts pretty quickly.
Posted by Picasa

At least it's not supposed to do this on Saturday

Um, yes, that is snow. We are supposed to get a couple inches tonight (it will get colder though questionable as to how much it will stick to the roads) and a few more tomorrow. Right now (10 min after this photo) it's snowing even harder - huge fast flakes - should have waited to take the picture. Oh well.

Thankfully, the forecast for Saturday is for sun :). It might be a bit chilly at the start (30s) but if it's sunny and not too windy I'll be happy!

Today I did some cross-training and no weights. Cutting strength training way back before a good long effort seems to work well for me. Also, with my right piriformis bugging me, I wanted to really take it easy. I did 35 min on the exercise bike at my weight training class, followed by the usual abs routine w/the class, and stretching. Tomorrow I will probably do a little speed work (short, but fast, like Tuesday maybe) and then Friday a couple easy miles - no weights. That should do. Really, I'm coaching not doing the race for time, so it won't be a hard effort but it's going to be LONG - I will be out there a long time on my feet, and I think taking it easy this week and extra cross-training makes sense.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A few workouts, and some rest too

Sunday - I know, I was going to rest. But it was AMAZING outside - low 60s, sunny, with those puffy white cotton ball clouds. I walked about 6.6 miles all around, taking in Liberty Park (down the center, and around the outside) as well as many neighborhoods. Lots of people outside enjoying the weather, and so I got to people watch while I walked. It was crowded in the park, and I had both dogs, so it was a bit of an obstacle course but lots of fun. I think it took me about 1:12 or so to do the 6.6; nice and easy, and a flat route to go easy on my right hip (piriformis) which seems to do better when I'm not going uphill. After my workout we enjoyed having some friends over for ham, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, salad, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Yum! We also played Wii Sports, Mario Kart, and more, and had some good conversation too.

Monday - REST day. I was going to go to weight training, but forgot to set my alarm, and it's just as well. I needed to rest.

Tuesday - I needed a little speed workout. It was raining lightly but warm at 53 degrees, so outside was in order. I walked to Liberty Park, and then went around the park once fast (HR about 85% max @ 160-165) and then walked home easy for a cool-down. I wasn't very fast, though, despite the high heart rate. It took me 14:01 to get around the park, which is only a 10 min mile. Pretty high HR for only doing ONE 10-min mile.

I guess 3 weeks off of speed work is taking its toll. That's OK; I have plenty of time before my next race. I'll probably do the Deseret News 10K on July 24th as MY next race. Of course I'm coaching SLC Marathon this weekend, and then the Seattle RNR Marathon on June 27th, but that is not at all the same as racing them myself. Fun, but different.

My right hip is still bugging me; tennis ball against the wall is the BEST massage, though the foam roller is pretty good too. I am trying to stretch a lot, avoid hills whenever possible, and take it easy. It does seem to be doing a little better though, so I'm hopeful that if I rest it well after Saturday's race I will be OK. I am going to have the summer team only do 10 miles on 4/25, and hopefully that will help.

What does a chocolate bunny say?

Chocolate Pout

Don't let the pout fool you. She's having the time of her life.
Posted by Picasa

Calvin on Easter

Yeah, he was enjoying himself!
Posted by Picasa

Belated Happy Easter :)!

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 11, 2009

TNT workout - last spring team workout!

It was threatening to rain this morning. But it didn't! It was, however, very windy. It was pretty warm at 45-50 degrees, but the wind was something else. It almost blew my hat off of my head at one point. I stayed reasonably warm in tights, long sleeve shirt, and my windbreaker, gloves, and baseball hat. I did take off the windbreaker because I got too hot, but toyed with putting it back on when the wind gusted hard.

The spring team had their last workout today before their race: 8 miles for full marathoners and 6 for half marathoners. They looked great, but they are nervous about the race. I totally understand that! They are not sure if they can do it, but I know they are going to do really well :). I am very excited for them!!! It's so fun to see them finishing what they started.

The summer team was doing 14 miles today. Only one person ended up doing the whole 14 (long story!) but I was with her after the first 5.5 miles or so. She did GREAT and finished fine, though a little sore. Heck, I was sore too. I actually only did 13.46 miles (I skipped going up City Creek Canyon with the full marathoners, and opted to walk slowly with the half marathon walkers to conserve my strength, figuring I'd see them all later anyway, which I did). Still, my right hip is really stiff and sore, despite stretching, tennis ball, foam roller, you name it. I think that a phone call to the PT next week is in order. Probably should go in and see what they can do for me. I have been logging a lot of miles on the weekends and it's taking its toll.

The Salt Lake Marathon is on April 18th, next Saturday. I will probably end up doing 20-25 miles total as a coach. I hope my hip is up to it. I think I need to rest it this week, stretch, and try some cross-training instead of racewalking whenever possible. Maybe some biking or swimming. We'll see. I love walking so much... it's hard to take a break, even when things hurt. But I know I need to follow my own advice to team members and rest it.


Yesterday - almost forgot this - did 4.12 miles at 13:00/mile pace with my racewalking buddies. I was pushing the stroller so though it was still an easy workout, it was not a walk in the park ;). We were at the Jordan River Parkway, which is such a marvelous spot to walk. The kids were pretty awful the whole time (screaming, fighting, whining) but it was still great to see my friends.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

a little gripe

This being Holy Week and all, I'd like to attend a Maundy Thursday and/or Good Friday service. However, there is NO child care at either service. Ummmm, helloooooo? I think that screaming children in a Good Friday service could be most distracting. You would think that perhaps someone might have thought of this. So, I guess I'll be staying home. I thought about paying for a sitter, but have been unable to find one. I could take the kids to our former day care, but it's 1/2 day minimum and would be $32 just so I can go to church. Ouch! I think not.

cold & rainy

It was 38 and raining pretty hard when I woke up, so I immediately decided that the treadmill was a better choice than outside. I will have to be outside on Saturday and it's supposed to rain on us for the 14 miles of the summer team's TNT workout, so I opted in favor of staying dry this morning.

Good choice. My right hip was nagging me a bit (not too bad) so I stopped every 20 min to use the foam roller (ahhhh... hurts so good!). You can't do THAT when you go outside! I also listened to some podcasts my brother had given me on a CD for my birthday, and watched the news. When the kids woke up, we switched the channel to PBS Kids so they could be entertained. It's such a relief that Michelle is almost 3 and can sit and watch TV in a pinch if I need to get something done. I'm not in favor of TV as a babysitter, and I limit their TV time to nothing most days, and 30-60 minutes when I really need a break (i.e. when cooking and they are screaming!).

Anyway, I did something like 6.8 miles in 75 minutes, which works out to just a little over 11 minute miles. I am pretty sure my treadmill is not calibrated quite right - my heart rate was in the low to mid 140s for most of that time, and outside I would have been doing probably 10:30-10:40 miles at that effort. Whatever! Doesn't matter too much. It was a nice steady workout, I stayed dry, and I got to stretch a lot. Tomorrow is my weight training class, and I'll be taking it easy so that I save my hip for Saturday. If it's not feeling better next week I'll probably call my PT for an appointment. That's one thing I learned from the ITB episode - give it attention right away rather than waiting.

Asparagus-Potato Puff

This was good, and some FB friends wanted it, so here it is:

Asparagus-Potato Puff
from Weight Watchers Magazine (Mar-Apr 2009)

3/4 lb large red potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed & cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 c fat-free egg substitute (egg beaters)
1/2 c fat-free milk
4T grated pecorino Romano cheese (I substituted fresh Parmesan)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
pinch cayenne
1 red onion, chopped

Combine the potatoes and enough lightly salted cold water to cover by 3 inches in a large sauce pan. Cover & bring to a boil. Uncover & boil 5 minutes. Stir in the asparagus and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender and the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 2 min. Drain the potatoes and asparagus in a colander & let cool.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500. Whisk the egg substitute, milk, 3T of the cheese, salt, baking powder, and cayenne in a large bowl.

Spray a large cast-iron or heavy ovenproof skillet w/nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir the asparagus and potatoes into the egg mixture. Add the egg mixture to the skillet. Reduce the heat; cover & cook until the mixture is almost set, 10 min. Uncover, sprinkle w/the remaining 1T cheese, and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until the puff is cooked through and the top is golden, about 5 in. Cut into 4 wedges. If making ahead, let cool. Transfer the wedges to an airtight container. Refrigerate up to 2 days and serve at room temperature.

Per serving (1 wedge): 165 cal, 2g fat, 1g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 8 mg chol, 603 mg sod, 23g carb, 5g fiber, 15g protein, 319 mg calcium. Points value: 3.

Filling extra: cook a few slices of Canadian bacon according to the package directions to serve alongside this dish (2 slices for each serving will increase the points value by 2).

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

if it's not one thing, it's another

Yeah, my IT band is better, which is GREAT. But, now my right hip is really bugging me - I think it's my piriformis. The good news is that I can walk even when it hurts, unlike the IT band which hurt too much to continue. The bad news is that I think I'll really have to rest it for it to feel much better, and that's not happening before the SLC marathon. However, I can get by as is, and the pain isn't that bad - it's more discomfort, eased by stretching and massage. If it's not better in a little while, I will probably make another PT appointment. Yes, if it's not one thing, it's another.

Despite that, I did Liberty Park yesterday (3.9 miles) in 40:58 for 10:28/mile, nice & speedy. Today I did an easy warm-up for weight training, and did 1.5 miles in the usual, about 15:55, for 10:31/mile. Then I made sure to do a bunch of hip exercises, and got in some serious abs and stretching too.

I know my posting has been a bit sparse of late... I usually put up pictures of the kids and stuff, but I just haven't been in the mood to post a lot recently. I'm feeling fine, but just trying to read more books and do other stuff, like cleaning my house! Speaking of that, duty calls...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

17 snowy miles

Saturday was our TNT workout (photo is of a few team members at the 1st water stop). Most of the team was doing 12 or 10 miles, but one of our Nashville Country Music Marathon people needed to do 20. It was snowing when we got to the park to start out; it wasn't sticking (well, mostly not - some slushy sidewalks) but it was definitely snowing pretty good and wasn't terribly pleasant out. It was about 30 degrees and, OK, I admit it, I AM SICK OF WINTER ALREADY. Spring in SLC is pretty random - we get snowstorms and then warm weather in alternating bursts. The warm weather part is nice - it was 58 today and supposed to be even nicer tomorrow.

Anyway, I did the 12 with the team (which ended up being about 13 for me, with the back and forth between groups), and then went out for the last 8 with our team captain who is going to Nashville. She was hurting, though (calf muscle issues), and could only do 4 more, which made about 17 for me. I was sorry she had to quit but I was cold, so it wasn't too terrible ;).

I did the 17 at about a 12 minute pace, on average, including the miles w/the runners and the walkers. My right hip was still bugging me quite a lot, and the muscle (piriformis, most likely) was very cranky when we finished. I stretched a lot and downed some very wonderful hot chocolate, and went home. Later, my hip felt fine.


In fact, later that night, Loren and I went on a date :) and enjoyed a meal at the Dodo (great desserts!!!), a walk around Sugar House Park (very leisurely - my hip was totally OK w/it), some bookstore browsing, and a trip to Blockbuster to rent a Wii game w/a gift card Loren had. It was a wonderful 5 hours w/o the kids :)!


Today I enjoyed a 3.75 mile jaunt around Sugar House park in 38 and change (pretty speedy, actually). I felt fast, and my hip was fine - maybe just a twinge here and there. Go figure!?! 21.5 miles last weekend, 17 yesterday, and I felt fine. Hmmm - I must be getting used to this. Good thing, since I'll most likely do a lot of miles while coaching the marathon in just 2 weeks.

I haven't been getting enough sleep - so I think I'm off to bed now. Have my weight training class in the morning, and I want to be able to get up for it!!!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday weights

It was cold & rainy this morning, so I opted for a warm-up on the treadmill at home; only did 1.5 miles and then off to weight training, where I did a total body workout. All was fine, except my right piriformis is STILL bugging me. Drat. At least it's merely annoying, not incapacitating like the IT band problem. Stretchs and anti-inflammatories for me!

Tomorrow we have a team workout. One team member is supposed to do 20 miles (but may not due to injury). Most of the team is doing 12 or 10 miles though. It's going to be interesting.

Here's our weather forecast. It's ugly :(. Gotta love spring in Utah - on Monday it's supposed to be 60 & sunny, and in the upper 60s and sunny on Tues & Wed. Grrrr.

Tonight...Snow. Accumulation up to 2 inches. Lows near 30. Northwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 80 percent.

Saturday...Snow in the morning...then a chance of snow in the afternoon. Cloudy. Accumulation up to 2 inches. Highs in the mid 40s. Northwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 80 percent.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

More details on haircut; workout update

At risk of boring you all, a little more about the haircut. The reason it was so important to me is that I had very short hair when I joined Weight Watchers in Feb 2005. I just didn't feel like it looked good long on my (then) very round face. But when I joined WW, I decided to start growing my hair out. I figured that by the time I lost the weight, it would be long. I did lose the weight, and it was long :). After a little while, I decided to donate the hair to Locks of Love, and so I had to grow it vey long, since they needed 10 inches in a ponytail (not just 10 inches long, but a 10 inch ponytail!). I get regular trims, so it took me FOUR long years to grow it out. But it was my weight-loss hair, and it really meant something to me to cut it and donate it.

And happily, when I was choosing hair styles for short hair, my hairdresser said that anything would work with my new oval face shape :). Yay! I've enjoyed the surprised looks on people's faces this week when they see my new 'do!

Workouts: Wed - went running for 1.5 miles in my running shoes. I was hoping that I could do 1.5 w/o pain, but no dice. The IT band pain was back after 1 mile. I switched to racewalking (still in my running shoes...weird, but do-able), and the pain was gone. Yeah. I wish I could run a little for my TNT coaching, but apparently I'm not healed enough yet to do it w/o risk. I will probably still do it, since I need to run to keep up w/our fastest summer team membe, but I will only do about 0.5 mile w/her, and only on Saturdays through May, so hopefully I won't aggravate anything too badly. Anyway, after my run/racewalk, I did a serious arm/chest/back weight training session - my legs were still sore from Monday so I gave them a rest.

Thurs - I did 5.1 miles easy (a little over 8k) around Sugar House Park 2x. It was relatively warm at 35 degrees (1.6C; still cool for this time of year by a few degrees, but warmer than it has been this week with all the snow) and it felt great to be outside. I felt fast and fluid, with great technique this morning (no, no one was watching or videotaping me, but I just felt that it was good - I'm sure my RW friends know what I mean). My time was 53:41 for about 10:32/mile. Nice!