Monday, June 29, 2009

Calvin reads a whole book to Grandma

Calvin's reading is getting really good. He read a whole book to Grandma tonight :).

Michelle dancing :)

Michelle thoroughly enjoyed dancing around when her grandma took us to dinner at Red Lobster.

because I'm crazy...

...I did 8 miles at marathon pace today :) with my friend Sue, a runner who is just a bit faster than me, but she is usually happy to slow down a bit to accommodate my racewalking ways. It was VERY nice to chat the whole time - made it pass SO fast. I love racewalking with someone!!! I was tired the last mile and feeling the sore muscles, but I'm glad I went.

Total 8.05 miles in 1:24:45 for 10:31/mile; ave HR 146.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Seattle RNR in detail: Saturday & Sunday

(at L, me at the start) Race day dawned very early - 3:15 am, as I mentioned in my last post. Diane and I toasted a couple bagels for ourselves, grabbed some bananas and our gear, and were out the door at 3:40 am. We arrived at the hotel and met the others in the lobby around 4:15 am, and got on the bus to Tukwila, where the race was to start. I think we arrived in Tukwila about 5 or 5:15 am. That gave us LOTS of time before the race. It was quite cold and I was glad for the warm clothes I'd bought at Fred Meyer (I got a Nike dri-fit pants & hooded sweatshirt for only $27 at 60% off because they were out of season!). We walked around and checked out the start; they had ample food (bananas and bagels! Guess we could have saved the trouble!) and cytomax and water. There were a TON of porta-potties (but probably not quite enough...) and lots of grass to sit on. We put our gear bags down because the grass was damp, and kicked back for a while. The time passed more quickly than I expected, and pretty soon we checked our gear bags and I got in line for the porta-potties. I thought it would be about a 15-min line, but it was more like 25 min and I really had to hustle to make it up to corral 13 where my first participant, Jason, was waiting for me. I figured I'd start with him because he was the fastest, and then work my way back.

John Bingham was the race announcer at the start, and he was still in fine form, telling us all kinds of jokes and getting the race going in style. It took Jason and I 19 minutes to cross the start line (and my last participant, in the last corral, waited almost an hour)! Thank goodness for chip timing. All the same, the race and the start were VERY well-organized and I'd do another Rock N Roll marathon in a heartbeat. They REALLY know what they are doing.

So, off we went, and Jason told me he wanted me to pace him for 10:30 miles; he was wanting to start off easy and speed up later. I must be pretty awesome at this (hahhaha) because the first mile was 10:31, and the next 2 miles (slight uphill) were in 21:21. By mile 6, despite a bunch of uphills, we were averaging about a 10:34 by my Garmin. I stayed with Jason until mile 9, when the course splits for marathoners & half marathoners. I wanted to make sure I could touch base with all the participants if possible, so I wished him good luck and told him I'd see him a bit later.

(at L, Lake Washington) A bit about the scenery - the first 4 miles were pretty unremarkable; industrial/commercial mostly, but not too ugly. Then mile 4-5 was in a neat neighborhood above Lake Washington; shaded, with pretty homes. Miles 5-9 were SO beautiful, along the shores of Lake Washington. Then the split; the marathoners went on the I-90 floating bridge in the middle of the lake - way cool, but I didn't do that part. They rejoined the half marathoners to go through the I-90 tunnel, where there was a BAND of all things (well, OK, I know this is a RNR marathon, but still - in the TUNNEL? The sound quality was HORRIBLE and it was waaaaaaay too loud!). Still, the tunnel was pretty cool to run/racewalk in. After the tunnel we ran in the express lanes between the regular traffic lanes. I thought it was really neat to racewalk on the freeway, especially since it was only for a short distance (1.5 miles?) and had pretty nice views. Then we came down into the city for the end of the 1/2 marathon along the Alaskan Way viaduct - gorgeous views. Full marathoners went north on the viaduct whereas 1/2 marathoners went south to the finish.

Back to the race, at mile 9, after leaving Jason. I walked back toward mile 8 to try and find Gwen, the next participant --- no easy feat, swimming against the tide :) but I stayed on the sidewalks a lot. I had to watch SO carefully to find her - there were a LOT of purple TNT shirts out there. I saw her after only about 0.3 or 0.4 miles and walked w/her; I told her Jason was just ahead and that he had said he'd slow down a bit so they could run together (he never did, and finished about 5 min ahead of her!). I was only with her a few minutes but she looked great; then I had to turn around so as not to miss my half-marathoner, Laurie, who was next. I walked back a little, and heard someone yell "TAMMY!" and saw my racewalking friend, Mary Snyder, from Boise, who is doing Portland to Coast with me in August. She is a FAST walker and I have seen her at several races now (once she beat me at 5K, and the next year I won at 5K and 10K; however, she is 57 or so, so she is waaaaay faster than me!). I had fun walking with her for a few tenths and the needed to get back to work :).

I wanted to find Laurie now; I walked back about 0.5 mile and didn't see her, so I called her, worried I'd missed her. But about 10 seconds after she answered the phone, I saw her! She was amazed at my timing. It was mostly luck, but some of it was knowing her pace and where to expect her. I had decided to walk her in to the finish, because Gwen and Jason wouldn't need me until the end, and my friend Diane would be several miles back (racewalking and run/walking more slowly than usual due to severe piriformis trouble), and Jeannie, my last participant, would be doing 18 min miles and would be way farther back.

(at L, view coming into downtown) Laurie had a sore foot (on top, kinda odd), but was doing pretty well anyway, and put on a game face to run to the finish for her niece, who has a very severe case of lymphoma. She said that any pain she had was much less than her niece ever experienced with cancer. I admired both of their strength, and took her all the way in to the finish of the half marathon. I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and shot a whole bunch of pictures.

I knew Diane would be next, but knew with her sore hip I had a bit of time. I called her to see where she was (she was around mile 10.5 or 11) and walked back, stopping at an aid station to eat a gel and take some water and luxuriating in about 30-60 seconds of standing still to do it :). I found Diane about mile 11.8 or so, and walked her in to the finish. She was quite sore, and a bit miffed about her time (slow for her; 3:01 rather than her usual 2:48 or so for the 1/2), but happy to finish, since she had been in a LOT of pain the previous weekend and had not walked since.

Then I had a decision to make - I had called my next 1/2 marathoner to see where she was, but she didn't hear her phone, and so I had no idea where she could be. She was very well-trained and I knew she'd finish well (she'd done two 14-milers), and Diane (TNT coach for 10 years!) advised me that the full marathoners would need me more; the courses were different enough at the end that once I went after the full marathoners I'd have trouble getting back to walk Jeannie, my 1/2 marathoner, in. So I chose to go up the viaduct (backwards on the course) and find Jason & Gwen. Good decision. Diane was right - they did need me.

(at L, Jason hates mile 23) I found Jason about mile 20, and he was quite tired and just wanting to be done (I know that feeling!). He was strong in the face of adversity, though, and just kept on going. He had slowed quite a bit from our initial 10:30 pace, and was doing maybe 11:30 miles at this point, poor guy. I felt a bit bad for pacing him that fast to start, except that he did the SLC 1/2 marathon in 2:02 so I figured he had a 4:15-4:30 marathon in him, and he had wanted to get a 4:30. But at this point, he didn't care about his time any more and really just wanted to finish; it was his first marathon so he was going to PR anyway. I stayed with him until mile 23 or so, where there was another out-and-back (very convenient race for coaching full marathoners, not so good for coaching both 1/2 and full).

(at L, Gwen and I at mile 25, just after the hill) I went back for Gwen, who Jason had reported was about 0.5 mile behind him (he'd seen her at several turn-arounds). Sure enough, I spotted her pretty quickly and she was really glad to see me; her knee has been bugging her and it was hurting quite a bit now. I stayed with her for about 1-1.5 miles until I saw Jason coming back on the out-and-back, and went with him up the hill (why a hill THERE?!?! awful!) at mile 25. It was a short hill, but pretty steep and felt like a mountain. He looked good to go at the top, so I wished him good luck and went back for Gwen. She was hurting, and walking a lot. I walked slowly with her for a while, and then we went up the hill too (yeah, I got to do that beauty TWICE!). The last 3 miles of this race were just brutal --- out and back in an industrial port/container yard, kind of hot by this point (70, sunny, but at least there was a nice ocean breeze), ugly scenery, and that HILL. Icky. Yeah, the weather was pretty great, but about 10 degrees warmer than would have been ideal; still, I'll take it - with the breeze, and with dumping water over my head at the last few aid stations, I felt good. Gwen, on the other hand, was very hot and miserable, and her knee was hurting. Still, she gamely ran/walked on, and as we grew closer to the finish, her eyes lit up and she wanted to go faster. Pretty soon she was really pushing the pace. With only 0.2 to go, she really sped up and I stayed w/her, panting a bit. She egged me on, and we basically RACED to the finish - yes, raced. It was crazy and funny and actually very entertaining! We really sprinted at the end, and the announcer teased us, saying "Coach, why are you racing her to the finish? You're not supposed to do that!". Seriously, it was SO fun! I didn't think I had a sprint in me, but I got my HR up to 167, and we were flying and laughing our way across the finish. If there's a good photo of us, I am SO buying it!

(at L, FINISHERS!) I got Gwen to the medical tent for some ice for her knee, and stayed with her while I stretched. Then we grabbed some food, went to the TNT tent, and I found Jeannie. She had finished well and was very pleased and had had a great time. I apologized for not being able to walk with her, but she was OK with it and had so much fun she didn't care. Phew. I made the right decision, for sure, because Gwen and Jason had really needed me more.

I had to hurry to get my gear bag and get back to the hotel, because Diane needed a ride to the airport. She had showered in Jeannie and Laurie's room, and had met her daughter for lunch while I finished w/Gwen & Jason. I took her to the airport, and then sat in awful traffic for an hour getting back to my aunt & uncle's home. My right piriformis, which had been stiff during the race but not painful really, started to hurt quite a bit from sitting in the car (my high school friend Glen called it "driver's ass" at lunch, and he was totally right about that - it hurts so much when driving!), plus I was very, er, well-hydrated, and uncomfortable. I did find a gas station with a restroom eventually (whew!) and made it back "home" for a shower.

I was tired but wanted to see my grandpa, so I went over there and showed him race pictures and pics of the kids for about an hour. Then I drove downtown to attend the victory party with Jeannie and Gwen. Lots of good food, but the buffet line was WAY too long - not enough lines. I was SO hungry by the time I got my food, and it was quite unpleasant. The venue was nice - it had bowling alleys and pool tables (not that you really want to bowl after 26.2, though!), but I was too tired to do much besides eat. I got back to the hotel, picked up some souvenirs for the kids, drove back to my aunt & uncle's home, and hit the sack.

Awoke too early the next morning, so I decided 3.5 miles or so was in order to loosen things up. I did 3.5 hilly miles in about 38 min for an 11-min pace, and it felt pretty darn good. Hamstrings are a bit sore, as is my right shin, right piriformis (same ol' same ol' there), and my right deltoid. My lower back is a bit sore too, but overall, I feel good. Seriously, I've been a LOT more sore after a tough weight training workout. Tomorrow may be worse, but I've got 8 miles planned with a friend, so I'll be out there stretching things out :).

After my walk I had breakfast w/my grandpa, packed up, and headed to the airport. Jeannie almost missed our flight, but got there just in time. Other than that, the trip home was happily uneventful, and I got in a great nap :) (and now am having trouble feeling sleepy... oh well). Speaking of sleep, I'd better get some, but first a few stats.

Total miles: best guess is 27.8 miles (Garmin kicked out during one tunnel, but still gave me the miles; the other tunnel it didn't register the mileage, and the course map said 0.4 miles. I went through it both ways for 0.8, and my Garmin said 26.98, so that makes 27.8 total).
Total time: including ALL stops (I never stopped the watch), it was 5:24. Gwen finished in 5:16, and she started 8 min behind Jason, which makes 5:24. The total time also includes the slower walking I did with Diane and with Gwen at the end.
Average time per mile: 11:40. WOW. That is really good, considering that I felt pretty decent at the end (much better than at Nike last October), and considering that I could have gone faster for a good part of that time. Makes me hopeful for a great race in Portland this fall.


Seattle RNR in detail: Thursday & Friday

Wow, this is the first time I've had time to sit down and blog all weekend --- and probably only because I'm home now and got the kids in bed.

Here are the details of the weekend:

Thursday I arrived at Sea-Tac on time (yay Southwest!), got my rental car and drove straight to my grandpa's assisted living to visit him. I took him out to lunch at the Issaquah Cafe, and visited with him a bit at his apartment afterward. He is doing pretty well for 89 years old, though he has definitely deteriorated quite a bit since the last time I saw him. Still, he seemed pretty aware in general. He knows what all his grandchildren are up to, is aware of at least some current events, and talked to me at length about things he's done in his life. He ran the 400m high hurdles in high school - I had no idea that he'd done that! He said he never won, because the city champion also went to his high school. I bet he was pretty good, though, because his daughter (my aunt) is a fabulously talented runner.

After meeting with my grandpa, I went to my aunt & uncle's home, where I was going to stay (they were out of town, so I couldn't visit with them, but it was wonderful to stay at their gorgeous home). They had left some wine & cheese & crackers & fruit for me :). I just had a little fruit and saved the rest for later. After settling in a little bit, I left to drive to meet my friend Heather (in photo at left, with me). I've known her since early 2004, when I joined an online buddy group for pregnant women due in late Sept 2004 (Calvin was born in early October, and so was Heather's daughter). It's funny, but I really feel like I know this group of women really well, even though we have never met in person. I had never met anyone before that I only knew online, and it was great! Heather and I hit it off really well and it seemed like we'd known each other for ages, even though we had just met. I met her girls (same ages as Calvin & Michelle), saw her house & yard, and then we got to go out to dinner together at a very nice little Italian place in the Magnolia area of Seattle, where she lives. It was a lovely evening, and by the time I got back to my aunt & uncle's home, it was pretty late.

I slept very poorly, despite wanting some good sleep because of the impending race. I awoke at 2:30, kind of anxious about the race details, and could not fall asleep. I decided to look over the course map, and do a few other things. I finally fell back asleep about 4 am, and then had to get up at 5:30 to get dressed and drive downtown. I drove to the hotel that the TNT participants were staying at, and met them in the lobby for an easy 20-min workout to get the kinks out of their legs. Only one participant of four showed - the others planned on going later. We enjoyed a very easy walk around downtown (the participant who showed was a walker), and then I was off to the staff & coaches' meeting. 90 long and mostly boring minutes later (though there WAS some GREAT info in between the dull parts, so I'm glad I went), I left the hotel, grabbing some breakfast on the way out (one apple & a biscotti), and drove to the airport to pick up my friend Diane.

Diane and I then went to the race expo, where we met up with some more online friends: Elizabeth and Dora, alumni from Dave McGovern's racewalking clinics, and Elizabeth's granddaughter Nicole. Glen, a high school friend of mine that I haven't seen in over 20 years, also met us there. We just became Facebook friends a few weeks ago, and discovered we were both TNT coaches! He lives in Seattle, and is a talented runner who ran cross-country in high school and is now an avid marathoner - his PR is 2:35!!!!! I very much enjoyed reconnecting with Glen and chatting with all of the racewalkers. Elizabeth's practically encyclopedic knowledge of racewalking facts entertained all of us, and we had a great time despite the horribly slow service at the restaurant (guess they hadn't planned on the race expo traffic, despite the fact that they were across the street from Qwest field, where the expo was held). And darn it, I just realized I totally forgot to take pictures of us at our lunch :(, but I do have one of Glen at the expo (at left) :).

After lunch we explored the race expo for a while (typical, and unremarkable... I never care much for them), Diane and I drove back to my aunt and uncle's home, with a detour at Costco and Fred Meyer to find some warmer clothes for pre-race, as with the humidity in Seattle it felt much cooler in the mornings than the same temps in Utah. Yeah, I'm the coach, and wasn't really prepared for the cooler weather ;). At least I could remedy that situation, so it all worked out. At my aunt & uncle's home, we enjoyed wine, crackers, and fruit, and a brief nap (me; Diane was unpacking) before heading to the pasta party.

TNT pasta parties (photo at L of some of the team members (all except Laurie) and Diane) are great, and this was no exception. John Bingham (aka "The Penguin"), Runner's World columnist, was our speaker, and he was in rare form. Even though I've heard some of his jokes before, they were just as funny the second time. The food was pretty darn good, too. My only complaint was that it ran a bit long - started at 7 and ended at 9:30 pm, which meant Diane and I did not get back until about 10:15 pm. I was asleep by about 11 pm, but we had to wake up at 3:15 am. UGH! More about that in the next post... so keep reading!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Seattle RNR very briefly

Just finished coaching the Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon & Half Marathon; all of my team finished well and are OK. I did about 27-28 miles on a beautiful course (tunnels obscured Garmin readings so not sure exactly). It was a VERY well-run race and organized and lots of fun. More details and pictures to follow when I get a chance.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Birthday to Michelle!

Here's the cake. Can't wait to try it... yummy! Yeah, this might not be such a good week to lose weight, what with the birthday and trip to Seattle. Sigh... but if I can at least avoid gaining this week that will be good :). I think that might work!!!

Here's the recipe. I think this is going to be amazing. Tried a bit of the edge from the pan and it was incredible; ditto for the frosting. Oh, and there are oreos INSIDE the cake, AND it has a whipped cream filling. Yum!!!

My cake is darker than the one on Good Things Catered, because I used dutch process cocoa instead of regular Hershey's. Mmmmm... dark chocolately flavor.

Short but intense track workout

This morning I did a short track workout. Short because I have the Seattle RNR Marathon to coach this Saturday and I want to be fresh. I figure I'll do at least 20 miles, and I want to be feeling good for it.

I warmed up with my usual 1600m acceleration. Today I was very fast - ave HR of 138, and a 10:04 for the 1600! Still, that was starting from rest, so the ave HR is a bit of a misleading statistic.

Then I stretched out with some dynamic flexibility drills and started my workout: 2x1600m with 2' rest. I did the first 1600 in 9:14 and the second in 9:13. Yeah, that was very fast - faster than last week, but I knew I was only doing 2, so figured I might as well fly. I was focusing a lot on my technique, and have been thinking about that more the past week, and I think that helped. My ave HR for the 1600s was 154 and 160 - compare that to last week when my first two 1600s were 9:29 and 9:26 with ave HR of 153 and 156; I was faster this week with similar HR. Maybe it's just random fluctuation due to who knows what, but I hope it's a trend toward speed. I'll keep working on it. I've been thinking a lot about my stride length since watching this video, and working on extending through the toe push as well as getting my elbows back.

I want to walk like Olga Kaniskina.

I finished my workout with a 1600m cool-down in about 12 min, a little regular walking, and a good stretching session. Interestingly, my piriformis was not bugging me at all today, despite the fact that it was quite sore Saturday. And thankfully, my IT band has been really great - let's hope this is a trend :).

Frustrated, but hanging in there

I had 2 really good food weeks and lost 1.2 lb each week, followed by 2 more good food weeks in which I gained 2.2 lb total. I am frustrated.

On the other hand, it *might* be water weight. My pants are fitting better, which is really a better sign than what the scale says.

Still, I was stupid enough to eat my frustration last night. I ate about 10 points just because I was mad/frustrated/tired. That was really dumb. You would think I would have this figured out by now, but y'know what? 4.5 years in, I'm still messing up. Life is messy & complicated, though.

Overall I've been doing very well. Let's face it: the good news is that I lost 100 lb and have kept it off for over 2.5 years now. And I am NOT gaining it back any time soon. I can do this, but there are hard days and hard times to get through, and there is still a lot to learn.

Right now the main problem is sleep, and I know it, and feel a bit powerless to do much about it. I need more sleep, but I also need more "me" time. How do I balance these? The sleep is very important for my training as well as my eating; I want to sleep more, and yet it's just hard to find the time.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

TNT workout

PHOTO: Me with summer team members Suzy, Heather, and Jeannie. After the hard 5K, I still had to coach the TNT workout. The bulk of the team was doing 6 miles, thankfully. I did have two people doing 10 miles, a very FAST runner (he is shooting for a 3:10 to qualify for the Boston Marathon) and a walker (who ran/walked about a 15-min mile pace).

I keep forgetting to set my Garmin to autopause for the TNT workouts, and then I hit "STOP" and forget to restart. So my Garmin said 6.31, but I know I did at least 8 miles. Oh well! I had a great time chatting with people and hearing about how they are doing with their training. Most seem to be doing pretty well and are taking it fairly seriously. Of the 8 miles, probably 5-6 of it was at a faster pace (<12 min/mile) and the rest slower.

I did run a little with the fast runner (though in truth, I had a LOT of trouble staying with his ~7:30 pace!), and then the rest with the other runners and walkers. After bringing in the last walker for the 6 miles, I went out after my 10 mile walker and brought her back in. The running didn't seem to bother me too much today; I had maybe one IT band twinge and other than that it was fine. My piriformis, on the other hand, is really bothering me. It's not hurting so much that I can't walk fast, clearly, but it sure is annoying. I really ought to call my physical therapist but doubt I can get in Tues or Wed, and I'm leaving for Seattle Thurs, so I guess I'll massage it a lot and hope for the best.

Oh yeah, Seattle... am going to Seattle with the 4 summer team members (2 half, 2 full) and it's going to be great! I have lots of socializing planned with friends & family (my grandpa lives there), and I'm excited :). Probably shouldn't have done a hard 5K the weekend before a marathon, but what the heck, I'm coaching, not doing it for time, so all should be well.

Wasatch Walkers 5K handicap race #3

This morning our club had our 3rd 5K handicap race of the season. I did the handicapping, assigning club members times by 1) the average of their last 2 club 5Ks, or 2) their 5K time calculated from a recent 1/2 marathon.

Nine club members came to race, and one came to cheer us on. We met at Liberty Park and did 2x around the park (1.4 miles each) and finished the last 0.3 to end in the middle of the park.

I warmed up a little and did some stretches while waiting for my turn to start. I was the last to start; 18 minutes and change after the first person to start. It was a bit intimidating to have so much of a lead to make up. The woman who went first is our newest club member, and she's improving rapidly. In fact, she was 3:41 faster today than at our last 5K! Needless to say, she won the race today. I like the handicap races because they do favor the walkers who are still improving rapidly, giving them encouragement and a needed boost to their nascent walking careers.

I had a very good race. I did mile 1 in 9:18 with an average HR of 159. I was trying to be fast but save something for the end. Then I did mile 2 in a perfectly consistent 9:18. I felt I still had something left, though I was tiring. Starting on mile 3 I really gave it my all, and the last 1.1 I did in 10:11 (a 9:06/mile pace!). I was really breathing very hard that last 1.1, and struggling to pass someone, anyone. I did pass Diane, but she was walking quite slowly, and as I went by I asked "Are you OK?" (how I squeaked out that question I don't know, as I was pushing so hard!). She said "no" and at the finish she told me her glutes on one side were extremely sore. She is signed up for Seattle RNR 1/2 marathon on Saturday so I hope she is able to do it :( :( :(. I also passed Leah, who had a good, fast race, and finished just behind me. But I was not able to pass any of the other 6 walkers, and so I came in 7th. Total time by my watch was 29:47 (official time was 29:49 somehow... close enough I guess), only 11 seconds slower than my PR for the distance, and either my 2nd or 3rd fastest 5K (can't remember but think maybe the Murray Fun Days last July 4th was a bit faster? I could look it up on here but too lazy).

I am quite happy with the race, 7th or not, because I was FAST today! The other walkers in the club were even faster, which is awesome. I think most were quite pleased with their times, except for Diane. I called her later and she was feeling a bit better, but was still hurting.

After the race, I rushed over to Sugar House Park for the TNT workout, the subject of my next post :).

More photos here.

Full results here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

lazyish Wednesday & Thursday

I normally go to weight training on Wednesdays, but felt like meeting the Wasatch Walkers at Liberty Park. I racewalked from my house to the park (12:30ish for the 2k) and then we went around the park a few times to measure the course for Saturday's 5K handicap race. We averaged what the Garmins said to figure the distance. My friends were doing run/walk intervals because a bunch of them are taking the Galloway class for the St. George Marathon this fall. I racewalked with their run intervals and then walked with them on the walk intervals. It was a nice, very easy pace at around 13:00/mile. Then I racewalked back to my house. Total about 6 miles.


I usually do a hard tempo workout on Thursdays, but today I skipped it because 1) I was feeling tired & sluggish, and 2) we have our 5K on Saturday and that plus 10 miles with TNT will be enough! A hard 5K is tempo enough for this week, I think. So I did Sugar House Park instead, and did the 3.7ish miles at a 10:20 pace. Pretty quick - I felt quite good (surprisingly!) after the 1st mile, so sped up as I went. The dogs were dragging by mile 3, which was pretty irritating, but I was able to coax them into getting home fast enough.

Tomorrow an easy walk + weights is in the plan.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Kindermusik SPLASH!

We've been going to Kindermusik summer camp this week and last week. Here is a video of some activities in one of the classes:

by request: homemade granola recipe

I got this from Food Matters by Mark Bittman.

Anything Goes Granola
Makes about 9 cups

5 cups rolled oats or other rolled grains (wheat, rye, kamut); I used oats
1 cup mixed nuts & seeds; I used pecans, almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds(Bittman calls for 3c but I used 1 to keep calories lower)
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1t ground cinnamon, or other spices to taste
1/2 to 1 c honey or maple syrup (I used 1c lite maple syrup)
1t vanilla (optional; I used it)
1-1.5 c raisins or chopped dried fruit (I used 2 c of chopped dried fruit: apricots, plums, pears, apples, craisins)

1. Heat oven to 350. In large bowl combine oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, cinnamon, sweetener, & vanilla; sprinkle w/a little salt. Toss well. Spread on rimmed baking sheet and bake 30 min or longer (it took mine 45-50 min), stirring occasionally. Granola should brown evenly; the darker it gets w/o burning, the crunchier it will be.
2. Remove pan from oven & add raisins. Cool on a rack, stirring now & then until granola reaches room temp. Put in sealed container & store in fridge. It will keep indefinitely.

8 WW points per cup


My mom sent me this photo, and it just cracks me up. I'm old enough now that my high school photos are very dated. Scary, even. Here's homecoming my junior year, with Jesse DeEsch.

You can see that actually I weigh less now that I did then :) by about 15 lb or so, plus I'm much better toned. Yay!!! That's fun to be able to say!

Mon & Tues workouts

I worried I'd be sore from rowing on Sunday, but my conditioning must be good because I was just the smallest little bit sore in my right deltoid (shoulder) and other than that I felt perfectly fine yesterday and today.

So, yesterday I did a good hard weight workout; only arrived in time to do 8 minutes of racewalking to warm-up, and then I did the weights and abs. After stretching, I drove home and plopped the kids in front of PBS kids and squeezed out another 20 min on the treadmill. Total: 2.7 miles in about 27 min (yeah, that seems fast... but my ave HR was only 135... something must be a tad off, but whatever, no big deal).

Today I took on a very big challenge. 1600m acceleration warm-up in 10:12 (1st lap about 2:45 and last lap probably 2:20ish?), then mile repeats. Well, OK, 1600m repeats, but since a mile is 1609m it was pretty close :). I intended to maybe do them in between 1/2 marathon pace (10:00/mile) and 10k pace (9:30/mile) but ended up doing them at 10k pace. I felt good and wanted the challenge. I did SIX repeats (yeah, I feel VERY virtuous now!) in 9:29, 9:26, 9:30, 9:28, 9:29, and then I really pulled out all the stops and did a 9:22 to finish. I was pretty trashed so basically walked 2 very slow laps (15-16 min miles?) to cool down and then stretched a lot. My IT band was completely fine but my right piriformis is still bugging me a little. I think I'll do the foam roller & tennis ball a little more later today.

Oh, forgot to mention that I offered a track workout to the TNT people this week and last week, and no one showed. I'm not really that surprised, as that's the way it's been pretty much every time I've offered them; I'm lucky to get 1-2 people to show.

Rafting weekend

Ahhhh... marvelous! You really must raft the Colorado sometime. It's wonderful.

We drove to Green River on Friday night, an hour outside of Moab. It's a truck stop on I-70, essentially, and it was only $50 for Motel6 instead of $100. Definitely worth the savings.

I enjoyed a warm (almost 70 degrees at 5:45 am!) 8.9-miler at a 10:55 pace to start my weekend. Photo is of me by the Green River, for which the town is named. I was going to do 10 miles but ran out of time; still I knew I would need the points for the food on the trip, so I did as many as I could. More pictures of Green River here.

Then we drove to Moab to meet our group (Leah and Cindy from the walking club met us there, and a retired couple named Jeff & Jean joined us as well) for the rafting expedition. The guides loaded up our belongings and we drove up highway 128 for 30 miles or so to Dewey Bridge, where we began our journey downriver. The first day was a very calm float trip with only one small rapid. Still, it was very beautiful, and I was out there for the scenery and the relaxation, honestly. Loren would have liked more rapids, but was enjoying the trip anyway.

We camped on a small island about 10 miles downstream. It was quite lovely, though very windy. The wind calmed down just in time to enjoy a yummy dinner of pasta, grilled chicken, asparagus, and garlic bread, with dutch oven brownies for dessert :). Over a little wine, I was wishing aloud that I could get some more exercise the next day (can't racewalk on a little island covered with brush!), and one guide, Landon, said I could row the gear boat. Cool! I was pretty excited about that. Loren thought I was a bit crazy, but I was game to learn.

In the morning we got on the river pretty early (9:30 am) after breakfast and breaking camp. Good thing, too, since the guides told us that the river gets VERY crowded on weekend days, with a hundred or more rafts. We did not see any other rafts at all, which was great. Landon was true to his word and showed me how to row the gear boat. I rowed it through all of the rapids except the last one, which was more hazardous. He was going to let me do it, but I chickened out and got in the other boat with the group. I actually loved rowing the gear boat through the rapids - it was pretty fun attempting to make it go where I wanted to go, and I did OK. I made it through all of them very well except for one, where I got a bit sidetracked and bumped into the canyon wall. Oh well!

More pictures of our rafting trip here and here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Takin' it easy

I am doing some serious R&R this weekend. Loren and I are headed to Moab to raft the Colorado River for 2 days. I should be able to get in a nice long racewalk tomorrow morning before we go rafting (we have to be at the rafting place at 9:30 am), but I'm not taking my computer, so you won't hear about the weekend's activities until Sunday night or Monday at the soonest.

This morning I was gonna racewalk and then lift weights, but got up too late and just lifted only. The good news is that I did actually get 8 hours of sleep last night for the first time in weeks. Ahhhh.

OK, got to go - lots to do & clean before I leave.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Full Norwegian, interrupted

This morning I had in mind to do a full Norwegian fartlek workout. It's a great workout, and one I can do on the roads instead of the track, which is nice :). It goes like this: 10 min warm-up, 2 min fast (10k to tempo pace), 2 min easy, 4 min fast, 2 min easy, 6 min fast, 2 min easy, 8 min fast, 2 min easy, 7 min fast, 2 min easy, 5 min fast, 2 min easy, 3 min fast, 2 min easy, 1 min fast, 10 min cool-down.

I did do the whole workout, and had fun; however, it was interrupted by a couple things. 1) after the 8 min fast I really had some GI problems and stopped to use a restroom in Liberty Park. I haven't had any GI problems in a while but whatever it was was probably caused either by a virus or something I ate, because I had some trouble last night and later this morning, too. At least I was still able to do my workout :). 2) during the 7 min fast I saw a friend (Team in Training - from the summer team) in the park and stopped to chat for a few minutes. Other than that, I was able to do my workout without interruption, and my dog Copper (pictured) happily kept up with me. She can handle the fast workouts, while Sahara, our other dog, cannot.

Here were my paces (by Garmin) and HR for each fast segment:
1) 9:23/mi; 140 (pretty low, but it was downhill and at the start of the workout)
2) 9:42/mi; 146
3) 9:41/mi; 152
4) 9:27/mi (10k pace!); 151 (wow HR is still pretty low for this pace)
5) 9:32/mi; 156
6) 9:52/mi (some uphill); 158
7) 9:48/mi (some uphill); 160
8) 9:46/mi; 157

Pretty good workout. My HR was a bit lower than I'd like for some of the longer intervals; maybe I need to think about stepping up my pace? I think I might be getting 1) fitter as I've been training harder for a few weeks now, and 2) more efficient in my gait as I have been racewalking for a few years now. Finally, the added weight loss can't hurt :). I am wearing a pair of jeans today that is super comfy; a few months ago they were too snug to wear more than a few hours. Yay!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

catching up

Been a little busy so let me update you as to our goings-on.

Sunday: 3.94 easyish miles around Liberty Park; a bit stiff from Saturday and thought I'd be slow, but averaged a 10:34 mile pace with ave HR of only 135! Pretty fast for that HR!


Monday: Weight training in the morning. Then in the late afternoon, Kat (former co-worker) and I ran/hiked up to the Living Room together. It was quite a sight w/the storm brewing. It was very windy and a bit cold, but we managed the 2.43 mile (by Garmin) round-trip in 48:30; the elevation change was 1000 feet each way (wow!) in that distance. My heart rate averaged 145 on the way up, for 18:56/mile. Yeah, it was steep. We went down more slowly than we came up, though, because the footing was not easy and I'm kind of a hiking wuss.

Here are more pics on Flickr.


Tuesday: Track workout. Yasso 800s. Hey, does anyone know if these are predictive of how fast you can RW a marathon just as they are for running? I'd guess the answer is yes, but I'd like to know, because I was pretty fast today! (For the uninitiated, Bart Yasso of Runner's World is known for 800m repeats; he says if you can do about 8-10 of these at a certain pace, e.g. 4 min 35 sec in my case, that predicts a 4 hr 35 min marathon). Anyway, after a warm-up and stretching, I did 6x800 (not that many, I know - but I will do more as the season progresses) in 4:36, 4:32, 4:33, 4:37, 4:31, 4:31. Despite feeling pretty sluggish (not enough sleep) and having a bit of soreness from last night's hike, I surprised myself with the fast pace that I did these at. I am sure I could have cranked out a few more at 4:36-4:38 if I had to. So... maybe a 4:35 or 4:40 is possible this fall in Portland? I'd like to think so :).


Happy me! I was down 1.2 lb at Weight Watchers again, for the 2nd week in a row. Morning weight still around 146-147 but hopefully we'll get it down to 143-145 and keep it there by fall.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

TNT workout

 Me & Jeannie after our workout

Today we met at the Jordan River trail for our long run. The fall team, in their 3rd week, was doing 6, 5, or 4 miles, depending on the race they are doing. The summer team half marathoners (the full marathoners were out of town and did 20 w/me last Sunday) were doing 14.

I started out w/the faster runners, including one of our summer team half marathoners. She hasn't been able to attend the workouts, so it was super nice to have her along today. I did about 3 miles pretty fast, and then about 3 miles more slowly, with going back and forth with everyone. After escorting the last of the fall team walkers back to the start, I went out after our summer team runner (who had decided to do 10 rather than 14) about 1.5 miles and brought her back to the start. Finally, I racewalked way out (about 4.5 miles?) to get our summer team walker (who did the full 14) and then walked in slowly with her.

My Garmin said 16 miles, but I accidentally had it off for a while, so I really did more like 17.5 or 18, I'm guessing. About 2/3 of that was reasonably fast (11:30 or faster) and the rest was slower.

Some tidbits from the workout:
1) I really enjoyed walking with the fall team walkers. They were VERY into learning more about racewalking and were super enthusiastic. It was a blast! I think I might have a racewalking clinic for them.
2) We have 3 guys training for the Dublin Marathon (yes, in Ireland!!!). They are lots of fun and I really enjoyed getting to know them better. I was telling a couple of them that I'm a racewalker, and the one guy says, "Hey, no kidding - a couple years ago I was doing the Salt Lake 1/2 Marathon w/my buddy and about mile 8 we passed this speedwalker. Her shirt said on the back 'if you can read this, you just got passed by a speedwalker'." I started laughing really hard, because he was describing ME! I told him I wore that shirt at the SL 1/2 in 2007 (and of course my shirt said "racewalker" not "speedwalker"), and it was just one of those hilarious small world moments. He said when he saw the shirt that he told his buddy he'd get carried out on a stretcher before being beaten by a "speedwalker". I thought that was pretty funny. We had a good laugh about it and he and his friend seem to be enjoying having me as a coach.
3) The weather was perfect today - started in the upper 50s, and got up to upper 60s or low 70s. It was nice & breezy, so it didn't get too hot. Actually, it was pretty windy, come to think of it, but it didn't bother me. I enjoyed it since it wasn't cold.
4) We saw swallows, LOTS of ducklings, and enjoyed being outside a lot. The river was still quite high from the spring runoff from the mountains.
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Friday, June 05, 2009

If anyone is still reading this...

Yeah, I know, it's been 3 days since I posted. Sorry. I'll write more about the busyness later.

Meanwhile, if anyone is still reading this, yes, I am still here. I'm pretty exhausted - have not been going to bed early enough (tonight is an example - I have to be up around 5:00 am and I'm still here on the computer finishing things up), and have been getting up early and having busy days. Tomorrow should be a bit more restful; after the morning TNT workout I should at least have the rest of the day to relax a bit, as my usual piano student is not coming tomorrow due to a swim meet. We're going out to dinner w/a friend, so I won't have to cook, either :).

So, what have I been up to? I'm up late enough that I want this to be brief... so I'm just going to write about my workouts, quickly. Wed & Fri I had weight training; on Wed I racewalked 2 hilly miles in 22 min before my class, and today I biked to class and back. Thursday, I was very tired from being up late at our small group (a church group; we had an amazing discussion that I hope will lead to some very good community-building - I'm quite excited about it) and I was worried about my IT band, which was a bit sore after Tuesday's track workout. I had planned a tempo workout but decided to start easy and see how it was. It felt OK, so I started to accelerate. I did a 6-mile acceleration, with HR ranging from 140-160 by the end. Average pace on a somewhat hilly route: 10:34/mile (ranging from 12:00/mile (uphill, 1st easy mile) to 9:46/mile). Then I cooled down for 0.5 mile and stretched. I felt pretty good and am hoping that I will be trouble-free tomorrow for the TNT workout.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Finally managed to get in the full 12x400m track workout. I wanted to do a couple 8x400m workouts first, to build up to it. Then last week I intended to do it, but just flaked. Today, I was bound and determined to do it. And guess what? It was pretty fun, and though it was hard, it wasn't as hard as I imagined.

I warmed up with 1600m acceleration and some flexibility drills. Then I got into the meat of the workout. I planned on 2:14/400m (5k pace) but ended up going a little faster, because I felt pretty good. Here are my times: 1) 2:12, 2) 2:11, 3) 2:13, 4) 2:16, 5) 2:10, 6) 2:12, 7) 2:13, 8) 2:11, 9) 2:12, 10) 2:11, 11) 2:12, 12) 2:08 (gave it my all!). I rested about 1 minute-1 min 15 sec in between each interval. Then 1600m in 12:19 to cool down.

My IT band bothered me just a little bit today; not too surprising given that I did a very hilly 20-miler on Sunday and that speed work was the last thing to come back after my injury. Today it wasn't bad enough to be stabbing pain or anything, just an ache that I noticed and did a little extra stretching for between 400s.


This morning my weight was 146.4 :) which is the lowest it's been since before Christmas. Yay! I have been really working hard on this the past few weeks. I have had to reduce the number of activity points I was eating by quite a bit, but it seems to be paying off. Of course on the days when I go long I eat most of them :). I am not sure why my metabolism has changed, and it stinks to have to eat less, but I am willing to do it so that I can be fast this summer and fall.