Thursday, July 30, 2009

Interesting day

Alarm went off at 5 am and I pushed snooze... then I heard the doorbell. Maybe I was dreaming? No, it was the doorbell - I heard it again, and so did Loren. Rushed upstairs and it was a policeman at the door asking if the Buick was our car. Turns out they caught a guy in our car and when they saw him, he fled into the alley. They nabbed him and jailed him, fortunately. He had broken into a BMW a few blocks away and then was after whatever he could get from us. We didn't have any valuables in the car, and nothing was missing anyway. Guess they got him in time.

I was relieved that everything was OK, but it did disrupt my plans a little; got started late on my workout. I did 4 miles instead of 5, but I did do the 3 @ marathon pace like I was supposed to. I felt pretty good this morning. The blood donation doesn't seem to have affected slower paces quite as much as track workout paces.

Then it was off to the dentist. I have lousy teeth. I take really good care of them, but just got dealt a lousy genetic hand. I need 1 filling replaced, and there is another tooth that needs a new (albeit small) filling. Grrr. $$$$$. While I was there I made an appointment for Michelle to have her teeth cleaned, too (her first of many!). Yay. More $$$$$. Oh well, at least Loren and I have jobs and can pay for it, even if there are more exciting things to spend one's money on.

Work was good today. I was worried I'd be really tired, but I actually felt decent all day and got a lot done. I embedded some 7-day zebrafish larvae in freezing medium and froze them for cryosectioning. Then I did 10-micron sections and had fun looking at the anatomy. I'm starting to learn what things look like, which is good. Tomorrow I'm going to stain some of the slides and hopefully they will come out well.

After our crock pot dinner (love the crock pot!), Calvin and I rushed off to a meeting about his preschool computer program, UPSTART. It's funded by the state of Utah (amazing that they actually are funding this great program!) and has helped Calvin to learn to read. Yes, he can read now! Anyway, it was good to meet some of the people involved in this effort, and they had stickers for the kids and giant Rusty and Rosy characters (the cute mascots for the program) for the kids to meet, hug, etc. Calvin was SO taken by them - he hugged them repeatedly, high-fived them, and ran around playing with their tails. Very cute. I do have photos but am not going to download them now - too tired.

Then I took Calvin to get some ice cream at Maggie Moo's, and indulged in kids' size cone for myself. Seriously, I love chocolate SO much. I wish I could eat it all the time without consequences. Oh well... at least I controlled the urge to get another cone and/or binge on chocolate at home. The Portland Marathon is calling me, and I suppose the lure of victory must be a smidge greater than the lure of chocolate, amazingly enough. At least this time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

still slow

I wonder how long I will be slow after donating blood? Best guess is 3-6 weeks. I expect that things will start to improve gradually.

Today was the slowest track workout I've had in a LONG long time. I was doing ladders and it was UGLY. My HR was really high despite a relatively slow speed, my legs felt SO heavy, and I toyed with quitting. But I figured that training was training, and slow or not, I would get benefits from it. I was feeling pretty good before I started, because my rest day yesterday really restored my strength. So, I think it was the right thing to do. Hard to know.

Here were my times --- don't laugh, OK?
I did an easy 200m in between each fast interval.
First 200m - forgot to push the timer so don't know the time.
400m - 2:10 (the only decent interval time of the day).
600m - 3:25
800m - 4:49 (usually I do 800s in 4:30-4:35 for Yasso repeats, so this shows how slow I was!)
1000m - 6:05 (um, yeah, this was bad too)
800m - 4:47
600m - 3:35 (wow... really bad)
400m - 2:20 (that's not bad given how tired I was, I guess)
200m - 1:04 (gave this one everything I had left)

I'm happy with this, given how I felt. Hey, it beats the alternative - being injured or not being able to work out for some reason. And it was still good training.

My chafing under my R arm from Sunday is still hurting, but it's a lot better than it was. Liberal application of Body Glide before this workout kept it from getting any worse, thankfully. It was a bit cooler this morning, too, and there was a breeze, which helped a lot.

Tomorrow a little easy cross-training is planned for some recovery - a bike ride to my weight training class.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

need rest

A view of the Salt Lake City cemetery and the cityscape from 11th Ave. Rest in peace.

I was going to do my 16-miler tomorrow, but as I did not arrange for a sitter, I would have had to finish it up on the treadmill. I was just not in the mood for that! So, despite giving blood Thursday, racing a hard 10K on Friday, and doing 12 miles with TNT people on Saturday, I decided to do 16 miles myself today.

I probably should have chosen a flat route, but no, I had to choose a hilly one :) because I wanted the nice scenery. Total elevation change was about 600 feet up, then down 200 feet, then up 200 feet, then down 600 feet. Whew.

I knew it was going to be a slower day after the first 2 miles. Yeah, they were uphill, but still, 12:18 and 11:48 were slow times for me for this course. The rest of the miles were in (approximately - didn't always quite get the lap at exactly the right time, but close): 10:55, 10:44, 11:00, 10:42, 11:22, 11:35, 22:49 (2 miles), 11:53, 21:25 (2 miles), 10:20, 10:34. I did manage to make the last few miles the fastest - but of course they were downhill, so that helped.

It was pretty pleasant through about mile 12, other than that I lost one of my water bottles :( from my amphipod belt. It fell off around mile 4 and when I got back there, it was nowhere to be seen. Somehow I didn't hear it fall off (usually I do, but I was listening to a Science Friday podcast from NPR and I guess I was too intent on it?). At about mile 7, I ran into my friend Sara and got to chat for a few minutes, which was a nice break. Miles 7-9 were quite pleasant, from the Avenues to the gate at City Creek Canyon. It was cool by the creek, and I was thinking that I should have gone up the canyon farther (except I didn't want to do more than 16!).

The rest of the workout was HOT. The sun came out and started beating down on me as I went up 11th Ave and through Federal Heights. When I got home it was 74 and humid. UGH. An unfortunate side effect of this is that I sweated a lot more than usual, and had some fairly serious chafing under my arms. I hadn't brought my Body Glide, so I was pretty much out of luck.

I had planned a route that went by several water fountains (City Creek gate, Terrace Hills Dr on 11th Ave), so I was able to refill my water bottle and stay hydrated. I was running a bit low as I got to about 2.5 miles from home (because I'd lost the other bottle), but was able to fill it from someone's sprinkler :).

Even so, the last 4 miles were tough. I really had to force myself to maintain and increase speed down the hills. But I also wanted to be DONE, so that helped. My whole body just felt heavy, and I was tired. I did eat sports beans and a GU and a banana, so I don't think it was the carbs; I just got worn out from accumulated stupidity of overdoing it the past 3 days :).

After I got home, I realized just how tired I really was. I managed to stretch (the piriformis was definitely feeling it from the hills), but from 9 am when I got home until I took a nap at 1 pm, I was SO exhausted. We did go to church, and I somehow stood up and sat down at the requisite times, but it was quite an effort. When we got home, I basically didn't move much off of the couch, and everything felt so heavy. Lifting my arms was about all I could do. Seriously, I have not felt this tired even after a marathon, so I know I really overdid it. I felt much better after a nap, but tomorrow is certainly a rest day. Hopefully I will be recovered enough to do another workout on Tuesday.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

TNT workout

We met at the Porter Rockwell trail today; Nike team had 6 miles and the TOU team had 10 or 14 miles (some got off schedule a bit and are catching up). It was 73 and humid; I felt really hot and uncomfortable for most of the workout because of the humidity. Yeah, I'm a humidity wimp after living in Utah for 10 years now.

I was tired this morning. Started off with one of our faster runners, who was doing 9-min miles. Normally that's a pretty easy run pace for me, but not today. The heart rate was pretty high and though I did stay w/her for a mile I was pushing it :(. My hamstrings are a bit sore from the race, and the piriformis is acting up a bit, but other than that I'm feeling good - just tired.

The good news is that I did end up running (not RW) for about 5.5-6 miles and had no IT band problems. Yay! This is the farthest I have run since last November when I first hurt my IT band (not that I'm trying to run a lot, but it's nice to be able to when I need to for TNT). I racewalked a fair amount, too, some with runners, and some with run/walkers (who were mostly running, albeit slowly). Total of about 12 miles at about 11:15/mile on average. Pretty fast for a TNT workout, probably because my walkers weren't there.

Photos here.

First harvest

 Our first 2 tomatoes, from the Early Girl plant. They were amazingly delicious. Home grown are SO much better than store-bought!
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"For Mommy"

 This really touched me for some reason. My son made me a picture and wrote "For Mommy" on it :) :) :). I feel very loved.
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Deseret News 10K photos

Here are more photos, mostly of my walking buddies.

Deseret News 10K - an interesting experiment

Photo: All of the Wasatch Walkers after the race.

I signed up for this race planning to use it as a training race, so 1) I didn't care too much about my time, and 2) I didn't do much training that was specific for this race, and 3) I did a HARD workout on Tuesday (6x1600m repeats).

So yesterday, when I received a call from the blood bank practically BEGGING me to come in and donate, I decided to do it. What the heck. I have A+ blood, which is really common, but I am CMV-, which is not very common, and required for transplant patients, babies, and immunocompromised people. I did think about the possible effects on my race, and decided that I would be happy with a slower time since it was only a training race anyway. I donated after work, at about 5:30 pm, approximately 12 hours before my race. I figured the worst case scenario was that I'd be slower for the race; I'm healthy and fit and knew that I'd be OK. Besides, it was an interesting experiment to see how my performance would be affected.

Here's an interesting article about blood donation and performance; essentially, when you donate, you give 10% of your blood. They tested some cyclists and found that maximal performance (as determined by testing VO2 max) was off by 8% 2 hr and 2 days later, and by 7% one week later.

Well, I can now confirm this result from personal experience :). I finished the race in 59:45, about 2 min slower than last year, and my worst 10K performance ever. OK, so I've only done four 10Ks, three of them being this nice downhill Deseret News 10K course. Still, I am in great shape right now and should have been able to generate a fast time.

Here is a comparison of this year and last year's split times:
2008 2009
Mile 1 8:52 9:06
Mile 2 8:50 9:03
Mile 3 9:30 9:53
Mile 4 9:27 9:28
Mile 5 9:29 9:44
Mile 6.2 11:47 12:33 (with 30-sec H2O stop)

OK, yes, I did take a long water stop at mile 5.5 this year; w/o that stop it would have been 59:15, but that is still my slowest 10K every :). I was being cautious because it was hot (75 at 6 am!) with some light cloud cover, and I was concerned about hydration after donating blood. I stopped long enough to down about 16 oz of water. I was feeling pretty darn beat up by that point, and I wanted to be sure to finish! I was a little worried that if I pushed it too hard I'd be in the medical tent.

You could also ask if I pushed as hard as I did last year. I felt like I pushed harder, honestly. My ave HR for each mile split was as follows: 153, 164, 169, 171, 172, 173 (1.2). I hit a max of 179 in the last 1.2; theoretically my max is about 190-191 as measured in two of Dave McGovern's RW clinics, so that's 93.7% of max, which is a very very hard effort.

After the first 2 miles I wondered if I'd pushed too hard at the start, because they were so fast. Yes, they were downhill, so I expected them to be fast. I'd probably have been less concerned if I'd remembered that my times from last year were even faster. Regardless, I slowed down on the 3rd mile (mostly downhill but some uphill too) to try and conserve a little energy. Then on the 4th mile I figured I'd better pick it up a little, so I did. And then there was just not much left in the tank for the last couple miles. To be fair, the last 1.2 is flat and then slightly uphill, so it's hard to have negative splits in this race, but still, I really felt I was dying in that last 2.2. I think that's when the loss of red blood cells really got noticeable to me.

Now to put it in perspective: I had LOTS of fun (despite the pain, I just love races), heard fun comments from runners ("How does she walk so fast" "She's WALKING and I can't keep up with her", etc.), finished 10K under 1 hr (not bad) and got a great workout. I still finished faster than probably 1/2 the runners, including one of my current TNT runners and two of my TNT runners from spring. I finished about the same time as a TNT cyclist (who is also a triathlete) I know (in fact, almost ran into her trying to get some water!), and finished 10 minutes ahead of the next Wasatch Walker in the race. There were NINE Wasatch Walkers in today's race, which was AWESOME! So much fun to cheer the rest of them to the finish.

It was an interesting experiment :) and I'm not sorry I did things the way I did. Now I have about 5 wks to generate some red blood cells for Portland-to-Coast, which should be just about right.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

challenging week

This is a challenging food week. On both Tues & Wed I had TNT dinners to attend. Tues night was not pretty, though fortunately since it's the beginning of the week I had my 35 points allowance. I didn't use it all, which was good since I really need some to get through the week. Last night I did a lot better but still used some points allowance; unavoidable when eating out.

I'm also overtired. Have not gotten enough sleep due to being out the past 2 nights. Fortunately, tonight I have nothing planned. Unfortunately, I have the July 24th (Pioneer Day - unique Utah holiday) 10K race tomorrow, so I'll be getting up about 4:30 am. Maybe I can get to bed early. Maybe. I'm not holding my breath.

Yesterday my piriformis was still bugging me, so I cross-trained, biking to my weight training class and doing a lot of my hip/IT band PT exercises. Felt good.

Last night I had to drive one of the team members to her home in Orem after the dinner, which took me about 1.5 hr in the car and made my piriformis very unhappy. I think the driving is what is really getting it, not the RW. Anyway, this morning I took it easy because of the race tomorrow and because of the sore piriformis. Just did an easy 3.65-ish miles (~6K) around Sugar House Park in 38 minutes and change.

Tomorrow I'll have a race report at some point.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Killer workout

Today I tackled mile (OK, 1600m, not quite a mile!) repeats again (with 1:20-2:30 rest). I was up at 5:10 am and at the track at 5:45, because it's a long workout. Here's the summary of how it went (interval, time, ave HR):

warm-up 1600m, 10:10, 139
first 1600m repeat, 9:14, 155
second 1600m repeat, 9:20, 160
third 1600m repeat, 9:24, 161 (my legs were starting to feel heavy)
fourth 1600m repeat, 9:24, 162 (tired, but managed another)
fifth 1600m repeat, 9:19, 163 (managed to speed it up - working really hard now)
sixth 1600m repeat, 9:16, 164 (turned on some serious music for this one, and it worked!)

I cooled down slowly and stretched very carefully afterward. My right piriformis is still bugging me from Saturday; it feels fine when I racewalk but just bugs the heck out of me when I am sitting a lot. I sat for most of the afternoon at work today, so that didn't help. I did bring a tennis ball to sit on, which was useful, but I'm still a bit sore. Oh well, it's nothing that keeps me from doing my workouts, so more of a nuisance than anything.

I am VERY pleased with this workout. It's a bit faster than last time I did it, when I ranged from 9:22-9:29 for each (and OK, my HR was a bit higher too, but not much). When I finished, the feeling was amazing. I felt so strong, capable, and yes, beautiful. As a recovering food addict, I can say that that feeling seriously rivaled the most pleasure one can get from food. Hmmm, now if only I could remember that next time I want to overeat :).

Actually, the food has been much better. I am adjusting to the new, lower # of points that my body seems to now require, and as of last night's weigh-in at Weight Watchers and this morning's weigh-in on my scale, I am pretty much back at my lowest weight - maybe 0.5 lb above it, but close. I'd like to lose just a little more before Portland. This week has a lot of food challenges, but I'm just going to take them one day at a time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My wild & crazy brother ;)

My brother is a youth pastor for senior high, and his charges just completed the parent-teen backpacking trip in the Sierras. While up there, they spent a bunch of time jumping in the lake :). Here's a self-video (?like self-portrait? just made that up) of Alex jumping in the lake.

Catching up again

Photo: TNT workout Saturday. I'm in the foreground, and behind me are Kandice, Randy, and Sue.

Yeah, got busy this weekend & didn't blog. But I'm back :) for those of you loyal readers who still get some entertainment value from this blog.

Saturday we had our TNT workout, and I did about 11 miles (accidentally had my Garmin off for a bit so this is an estimate) in about 2 hr 15 min; this includes regular walking at least 4 miles with the back-of-the-pack people. They are actually getting a lot faster though - our walkers were almost as fast as the slower runners (who were alternating 8 min running w/2 min walking).

TNT workouts are interesting with this team. We have one VERY fast runner (he is shooting for a 3:15 marathon to qualify for the Boston marathon) who was doing 8-min miles to start and finished up with 7-min miles. We have a couple runners who will probably be able to do a 9-min pace for their marathons, and a few who can do 10-10:30. The rest are run/walkers who average probably 13-min miles, and our walkers, who are at about 15:30 right now (improved from 17!). So it's quite a spread and I get to do a lot of different speeds for my Saturday morning workout, which is why I need to do my long day a different day. Yes, I get exercise, but it is not MY workout at all really. But I have a good time and enjoy seeing people improve.

This past Saturday I did 1.2 miles with our fast runner at about an 8-min pace (I was running, not RW, obviously!), then a couple miles with the 10-10:30 runners (the 9-min runners were not there), and then the rest of the time with the run/walkers and the walkers.


Sunday I took a rest day. My right piriformis was bugging me because after I did the 11 miles I had to drive 45 min to get home, and it really HATES sitting that long after a workout. It felt nice to have a morning off, oddly enough, and I felt OK despite not working out. Some days when I don't work out I feel crummy all day; sluggish, tired, etc. But yesterday was fine.


Today I was flying fast :). The rest day must have helped. Sue (asst coach for our team, and a friend from last year's team) met me at the Porter Rockwell trail in Draper for an 8-miler. We started fast, but what the heck, it was only 8 miles and I was feeling great, so I told her we could go fast (Sue is a runner, and a good one at that, so she usually goes a bit slower for me). We did 8.04 miles in 1:22:21 for an average of 10:14/mile! My average HR was only 141, though --- that is amazingly low for that speed. If the Portland Marathon had been today, I'm sure I would have done very well. I wish I could figure out why some days are just so much better (and some worse, like Nike last year) and then bottle the good days and save them for races :). Hahaha. Maybe today it was the distraction of having someone along; don't know but it sure does help to talk with someone. Too bad Sue is doing the 10-miler in Minneapolis that weekend, or I'd try to talk her into doing the race with me. I have a couple friends doing the race, but we are not the same speed.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Our tomatoes are making progress. They started off very small; photo above. Now see how big they are (photo below)! There are a lot of tomatoes on there, and also a lot of flowers. I think it's gonna be a good harvest starting in a month or so.

Mmmmm ice cream

Took the kids to Baskin-Robbins last Saturday. It's SO cute watching them pick the flavor they want.

More photos here.

Likes to write his name

 Calvin loves writing his name. This is his latest creation; he did it all by himself, unprompted. I thought it was pretty darn clever!
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sleep-deprived stupidity

I really should get more sleep. This morning, I drove the Rav4 up to my weight training class, and got there about 10-15 min early so that I could racewalk to warm up for class. When I pulled in, my instructor was just getting out of his car, and I was distracted because he was dressed up in a shirt & tie. I was asking him about it and re-arranging my car keys at the same time. I meant to put my Rav4 key in my shorts and put the other keys in the car. However, I did just the opposite, and then locked the car. I did not realize what I'd done until I was 1-2 min into my racewalking, when I heard my keys jingling. "That's odd", I was thinking. I reached back and grabbed my keys and realized what I'd done. Major bummer.

Fortunately, I live only 2.9 miles (just under 5k) from the U, where the class is. I racewalked home (all downhill!) in just under 28 minutes, grabbed a quick shower and my husband's keys, and went to switch cars. I couldn't have him just drive me up there, because we have the kids and the Buick has no car seats. So I drove up there and switched the cars, and drove home. Meanwhile, he showered and dressed the kids. I got back and we piled everyone in the Rav4, and took Loren up to get his car. He drove to work from there (less than a mile) and got to work early. I took the kids to day care and made it to work about my usual time. I guess it could have been worse; I got my workout (not the one I'd planned) and it all worked out OK. Still, I think maybe more sleep would be good.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

6 miles at marathon pace

6 miles @ marathon pace was the task for this morning. I did 6.15 miles (just under 10K) in 1:04:41, for 10:30/mile. It was downhill for the 1st mile, uphill for the last mile, and mostly flat in between. Average heart rate 142 (low for that pace!). Still not sure I can do the whole marathon at 10:30; probably 10:40 is more realistic, but I'll train hard and see what happens.

Been staying up too late these days, so I am going to sign off and get some sleep now, before it's too much later.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hills in City Creek Canyon

This morning I got up at the crack of dawn (really!) to do hills in City Creek Canyon. I had a hard time dragging myself out of bed, and I was dreading the workout a bit. But I was out the door by 5:35; I took Copper with me in the back of the Rav4. She was so excited to go for a ride! We arrived at the canyon mouth at 5:50 and started up the hill.

The schedule said 7 miles (11.25km) of hills, and City Creek is nothing if not hilly. It is pretty much UP, UP, UP for 6 miles to the top. However, dogs are only allowed up the first 2.9 miles (4.7 km) from the gate (because of the watershed), so I turned around at mile 2.9, headed back down 0.6 miles (1 km) to mile 3.5 on my Garmin, then back up to the watershed signs, and finally down all the way to the bottom.

[Side note - I remember the first time I went up this canyon - it was on a bike, about 7-8 years ago, with Sarah and Bryan and Loren. I was SO slow and out of shape, but everyone was very patient with me. I wonder how long it took? I have the feeling that I racewalked it today faster than I biked it years ago! WOW! What a cool thought!]

The weather was gorgeous this morning. It was 55 and clear, and in the canyon it was probably 5 degrees cooler (50F or 10C). My hands actually got quite cold in the first 1-1.5 miles, and I wished I had gloves! Even my legs were a bit cold. Hmmm, maybe it was only 45? Perfect weather for a hard workout, though, as the chill makes it so much nicer when you start sweating.

It was a hard climb for the first 2.9 miles, but not as bad as I was imagining last night when I was thinking about this workout. I tried to do it moderately hard, and that was a good decision, as it felt great. I did the first mile in 10:54, and the second mile in 10:53. Not too shabby for the incline, and ave HR was 143 for the first mile and 153 for the second mile. After that I didn't really do splits for each mile, though my split through halfway (3.5 miles) was 36:45 for 10:30/mile (6:31/km).

I was still feeling pretty good when I got to the watershed signs the second time. All the same, it was great to be headed back DOWN the hills to the car. I did pick up the pace quite a bit and finished in 1:09:26 for 9:54/mile (6:10/km) with an average HR of 150 for the whole workout. Wow, that is really very fast for the incline! From 0.0 to 2.9 miles the elevation increased from 4700 feet to 5260 feet, or 560 feet (171m). I'm not sure how much I went back down from mile 2.9 to 3.5; it looks like about 100 feet (30m) or so. Of course, then I went back UP that part, so I probably climbed something like 660 feet (201m) through mile 4.1.

That's not as much as the 900-1000 ft I have to climb in my hilly leg of Portland-to-Coast, and it's about 80% as steep. Holly (our team captain for PTC) has me down for 11:15/mile on my leg. I think I'll be ready. Yes, the hill is steeper and longer than what I did today, and some of it is gravel road, but I was a lot faster than 11:15/mile, and I could have pushed harder had it been a race situation. I'm getting excited - less than 7 weeks to race day (Aug 28)!

And yes, I did stop (very briefly) a few times on the way down to get some pictures. Here are the other photos.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday long racewalk

Today the schedule said 13 miles easy (20.92km), so off I went. I had no problem keeping it very easy; in fact, I had trouble for the first half pushing my heart rate much about 132-133. Not sure why, but it was just one of those days when I felt sluggish or something. I did manage to pick it up a bit about 7 miles (11.27km) in, when I was done with the hilly part (I started on some hills and then did a flat part). Ave pace for the first 2 miles (very uphill) was a quite slow 11:42/mile (7:14/km). Anyway, I just felt tired today, and I know I really need to get more sleep. I'm just not sure how to fit it all in. Y'know, work, training, being a mommy, doing laundry & housework & cooking, etc. Sleep seems to get the short end of the stick a lot.

Overall, 10:59/mile (6:50/km), 13.00 miles (20.92km) in 2:22:52. Ave HR was 135.

No pain, though my R piriformis is still a bit tight. It's getting better, though.


Oh, and yesterday I did an easy racewalk around Sugar House Park (3.65ish miles?) in 39:17.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Michelle stuff

Sadly, Michelle spiked a fever just before we were to hand the kids off for 24-hr of kid-free time yesterday :(. And the friends who were to watch them can't do it again until August 21st :(. Oh well, I guess the delayed gratification will make it that much better?


On the funny side, I talked to Michelle today:

T: What's your favorite store?
M: Costco.
T: Why?
M: Because I can buy samples there.

:) She meant that she gets free samples there :). The kids love going to Costco and tasting whatever they are handing out. Very cute.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

TNT workout; RW form

TNT workout this morning. Did 10.7 miles (they were doing 8 or 7); about 1.5 running, maybe 6 walking fast, and the rest walking moderately or slowly. Had a great time taking photos of the team and analyzing walking form for some of them. I plan to get pics of more of them next week along with some of the runners. Everyone did very well today and finished just fine.

 At the end of the workout, I had Danielle get some shots of me so that I could see where my form is at. It's looking improved from last summer; arms are better (though still chicken winging a little) and for the first time EVER I have some shots w/both feet briefly off the ground. This is legal as long as the human eye can't see it, and just the teensiest bit of lifting like I'm doing is probably a little more efficient gait. I'm still overstriding just a little with my L leg, and will have to keep working on it.

More pictures of the team members and of me here.
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Thursday, July 09, 2009

quite tired

I was SO tired after the lack of sleep the past 2 nights. I really was quite a wreck at our small group meeting last night :( but thankfully everyone was good to put up with me. In any case, I had planned 6 miles at marathon pace for this morning, but decided I would sleep as late as my body would sleep (I am a morning person and don't sleep in well).

I woke up at 6:10 am, and felt decent but only had time for 4 miles before work. I went around Liberty Park (~3.9 miles) in 41:16. Good pace, and I felt great - was so glad I went.

Hopefully I can get in a good weight training workout tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

1 mile up

Looking UP at the 3 mile point on my walk yesterday; same route as my ride today.

I did some cross-training today. Had to get up early again because Loren had his dentist appt today and he had to leave at 6:45 am, so I had to be back by then. I normally have my weight training class on Wednesdays from 6:30-7:20, so obviously that was out of the question. But after 10 miles on Monday and 6 miles of hills yesterday, a day of rest from racewalking was in order.

So I hopped on Loren's hybrid bike (more gears than mine), complete with bike light and rack for carrying stuff, and up the hills I went. I decided to do the same route I did yesterday racewalking, only I wanted to go farther up the hills. I biked up as high as I could going that way (a road I thought I could take was actually private and gated, with no access), which turned out to be 5280 feet = 1 mile up (1.609km)! OK, so I didn't actually bike up that far...I started at 4350 feet, but still, that is 900+ feet of elevation gain. Not too shabby on a heavy commuting bike (someday I'd like to get a real road bike, but it's kinda low on the priority list at the moment).

Photo looking down when I started down the hill yesterday on my walk (same route as bike ride today).

It was about 3.3 miles up, and then I went on more level roads up there for a bit, and then I biked home (fast... very fast... topped out at 31 mph = 50 kph). Total workout was 7.59 miles in 43:46; ave speed 10.4 mph and ave HR 135 (ave HR going UP was more like 142, and going down it was about 115).

I felt great when I got home, and now I have piano students in 5 minutes.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Today I immersed myself in the world of zebrafish research. I learned quite a lot for my first day: how to breed fish, how to collect eggs/embryos, how to do whole mounts of embryos on slides, and how to remove a yolk sac from 72-hr embryos. Oh, and I also learned (the hard way, with accompanying laughter) that the water pressure on the hoses in the fish room is rather high! The boss, J, is a patient teacher and all-around nice guy. Co-worker E and student C are easy to get along with as well. I think I'm really going to like this job :).

Pain-free hills :)

I decided to do a hard hill workout today. I had to get up really early because Loren had a dentist appt at 7 am (which later turned out to be a false's tomorrow not today, so I get to get up really early again tomorrow), and I was out the door by 5:20 am. It was light, though :)! Love summer!

I went UP UP UP the hills today. Started at my house (4350 feet elevation; 1326m) and over the course of 3 miles I walked uphill almost to the Bonneville shoreline (SLC used to be a giant lake, Lake Bonneville, which receded thousands of years ago) to reach 5100 feet (1555m). Took me just over 34 min to do the 3 miles (just under 5k) up that very big hill; I was pleased with my 10:47 pace to the top. Then I walked back down (much faster, of course!), and my overall pace was 10:13/mile (6:21/km) for the 6 miles (9.65 km). Average HR was 147 for the whole workout. On the 3rd uphill mile (the steepest), my HR was 155 on average. I could have pushed a bit harder for the first 2 miles, but I was tired and it took me a while to warm up to the idea of working hard :). But I'm glad I did this workout - it is pretty similar to the steep leg of the Portland-to-Coast relay, which has 900 feet of elevation increase in 4 miles. I plan to do this one again, and go farther next time!

Oh, yes, almost forgot - I had no IT band or piriformis pain on this workout. My R hip was a little tight but that was it. YAY!

Monday, July 06, 2009

AWESOME photos

This will stretch the budget, but I LOVE these photos. They remind me why I coach. I just love the finish line thing with TNT participants. My fave this time was sprinting with Gwen - the photos get us laughing and are just perfect. Have got to buy these, somehow...

Racewalk with a friend

This morning I did 10 miles or so on the Jordan River trail with my friend Sue. It was pretty warm (68 to start at 6 am, and 75 when we finished at 7:50 am), but quite lovely by the river, which keeps the air a bit cooler.

I was shooting for a 11:00 pace, but as usual when with Sue, I went faster. She's a runner, and her natural long distance pace is probably a 10:30, so she is usually a step or 2 ahead of me. I am too competitive to back off much and I really like her company a lot, so I just go with it. Today we did the 10 miles at a 10:44 pace, and it was great. My IT bands did not bother me at all, which was a relief because they were pretty sore on Sunday. Rest and anti-inflammatories did wonders.

I love racewalking with friends. I rarely get to do this because I'm too fast for most walkers and too slow for many runners. Sue is actually a very talented runner (she BQ'd a few years back) but likes to take her long days nice & easy, and enjoys the company. We had a great time chatting it up about all sorts of things. She will be out of town next Monday so I'll have to walk alone, which is not nearly as fun.

We mapped out some mileage on the trail, which was super for future TNT workouts. All in all, a great way to start the morning.

Some good news :)

I got a new job :). I've actually known about this for a month or so, but I didn't say anything until all the relevant parties knew about it.

A couple months ago my previous employer, S, called me and asked me to come work for him temporarily, as he had some $ for a quick project. My first day back, I was cryosectioning and just shooting the breeze w/a tech in the C lab when she told me of a part-time position in another lab for an experienced tech. I was quite interested and gave her my info. She passed it on, and later that afternoon, J came and talked to me about the job. I interviewed the next week but left things up in the air, wanting to wait and see because S had 3 pending grants, and I loved working for him. Well, long story short, after discussing for a long time with Loren, we agreed that it was best for our family if I went back to work PT, and that I had better jump on this rare opportunity. So I told J I wanted the job for sure, and he was quite happy to arrange things.

I start tomorrow, and will work Tu & Th all day and F mornings. I'm excited, and the kids are very happy to be going back to "school" again to see all their friends. I really do think PT work is the best of both worlds. I miss the lab and am eager to get my feet wet again :)!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Canyonlands 1/2 Marathon

 Finally caved and bought this pic of me in the Canyonlands 1/2 in March. That was such a gorgeous course & I loved it; didn't have any pics during the race so decided I just had to have this one.
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More Saturday stuff

My brother and Erica (in photo, at The Red Iguana) left this morning after church, and I was sad to see them go. It's been a busy day but I did squeeze in a nap before I had to do dinner prep (mmmm grilled pork tenderloin with strawberry salsa!) and menu planning for the week.

Finally, I have a little time to complete blogging for the weekend, so here goes.

Forgot to mention that at the end of Saturday's hike, while going downhill, my right IT band was acting up a bit. Then later, while walking to Sugar House Park for the fireworks display, it was bothering me a little too. I took a rest day from walking today (Sunday), but am a bit nervous about my planned 10-miler tomorrow. It's a flat route, so maybe if I take my anti-inflammatory (which I've been doing since last night) and stretch on the foam roller I will be OK.

After the hike, I taught a piano lesson and then we were off to the Red Iguana for dinner. I love that place. As usual, I consumed large amounts of food, but didn't feel a bit guilty because of the 14 miles racewalking plus 5 miles of hiking :). Gotta love exercise! Alex & Erica enjoyed themselves immensely; every time Alex is in town he wants to go there. The food is really outstanding - best Mexican in SLC, IMO.

We returned home to pack up a few things and then we walked over to Sugar House Park to hang out and watch the fireworks. We got there a couple hours before they were slated to start, and we enjoyed relaxing, playing Scrabble (travel set Alex has; I lost badly), and watching the kids get excited about the fireworks.

During the fireworks display, Michelle was SO cute. She kept saying "GO FIREWORKS! YAY!" and was clapping a lot. She really loved it, though she did tire by the end; she took a 3.5 hour nap this afternoon! The video here (all sound and zero picture --- it was DARK!) is her doing just that :).

Fun weekend

Friday: After an easy 3.6ish miles around Sugar House Park in 39:xx, I took the kids to Liberty Park Friday for some serious play time (2 hr!!!) with my friend Ye and her son Adam. The sprinklers were on and Calvin ran around in them, getting pretty wet (fortunately, it was warm and sunny and he dried quickly).

My brother Alex and his wife Erica arrived later that afternoon, and I made paella to feed us all, and peach cobbler for dessert. The kids were SO wound up that night because of the excitement of having guests over.

Saturday: Early morning (6 am to beat the heat) TNT workout from the State Capitol, featuring 10 miles through City Creek Canyon (hard uphill for 2 miles!) and the Avenues. It was a gorgeous morning, though it did get quite warm by the time my walkers finished at 9:15 am. I'm glad we changed the workout time to 6 am, even though it did mean an early morning for everyone. I ended up doing 14.12 miles in 2:49 for 11:58/mile on average, including the time I spent with the walkers. Not too bad.

I'm still trying to figure out how best to get in my own long miles, but I think Mondays are working pretty well for me so far. It's just not quite the same to coach a TNT workout as to do long miles at my own pace; with TNT sometimes I run a little (I ran probably 1 mile on Saturday), sometimes I racewalk fast, and sometimes I racewalk slow, and sometimes I just plain walk. Yes, it's mileage, but not the same as doing it alone.

TNT workout photos here

As soon as I got home, I ate some Kashi Go Lean Crunch with vanilla soy milk & berries (one of my favorite breakfasts post-workout) and then packed a lunch for a gorgeous hike to Lake Catherine w/my brother and his wife [photo at L is us at Lake Mary, on the way to Lake Catherine]. We averaged 25 min/mile over the 5 miles, but keep in mind the elevation (8750 to start) and elevation gain (1200 feet - to 9950 ft). We were also NOT in a hurry and enjoyed a moderate pace, not pushing too hard. It was a gorgeous day for a hike.

hike photos here

More later when I have time - of course we did see fireworks and I have photos but I want to hang out w/Alex & Erica right now :)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

What is an athlete?

This is spurred by Ollie's post on Facebook, in which he remarks that he considers himself a "faux" athlete. For those of you who do not know Ollie, he has done countless 5Ks & 10Ks, numerous marathons, and even several 24-hour (or more) walks. He trains hard with racewalking, running, swimming and yoga. He does care about his finishing times and has specific goals he sets for himself. However, because he is not fast enough to be winning or placing in his age group in running races, he doesn't consider himself an athlete.

Now, for some more background: I never considered myself an athlete until a couple years ago when my friend Sara from church remarked that I was an athlete. When she said that, at first I rejected the idea, but after thinking about it for a while, I decided she was right. I was training hard, wanted to compete, and was engaging in physical activity for more than just staying in shape.

Here's the definition from Merriam-Webster:
Main Entry:
\ˈath-ˌlēt, ÷ˈa-thə-ˌlēt\
Middle English, from Latin athleta, from Greek athlētēs, from athlein to contend for a prize, from athlon prize, contest
15th century

: a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina

Notice that it says "trained OR skilled". You can be trained without being particularly skilled. I personally think that people who train to compete are athletes, regardless of skill.

What do you think? Comments please.

Would you count it?

So, some of my racewalking/running friends and I were chatting about when you count a marathon. Some argued that 26.2 miles in itself is not a marathon; they said you can only count it if you raced it on an approved course. That excludes what I did in Seattle and in April in SLC, because 1) I did not RACE either one (I was coaching, which meant that speed was variable), and 2) I did not do the whole course. Both times I did 26.2 miles, though.

I feel like anytime you do that many miles it oughta count. But that's just my 2 cents.

Would you count it? Why or why not?


Not sure why this happened, as I have never had trouble with it before, and I always buy my shoes 1/2 to 1 size too big to prevent it. I have the dreaded black toenail. Well, in my case, it is more like purple toenail. My big toenails have been bruised and purplish since the race on Saturday. It wouldn't be so bad, but my children and dogs STEP ON THEM at least 3x/day. Michelle just did it and it hurt SO much. Ouch.

Workouts Tues-Thurs

Got behind again. My mom has been visiting, which is a big help, but because I had help I schedule extra stuff this week, silly me. I have a bunch of stuff to post about, but we'll start with my workouts.

Tuesday: easy 1.7 miles to the track in case some TNT people showed for the workout (no one did...sigh), dynamic flexibility drills, and then an easy 1 mile around the track while waiting for people to show up. I then stretched some more and did an easy 1.7 miles home. Total of 4.4 miles in about 47 minutes, with HR of upper 130s on average (didn't pause Garmin during stretching so these are approximations of when I was actually racewalking). Average was about 10:40/mile. I felt really, really tired and realized I needed to take a day off from racewalking. Gee, wonder why ;)?

Wednesday: drove my car to weight training and did a good hard lifting workout and drove home. Went swimming with the kids in the afternoon at Liberty Park, though that was NOT a workout :).

Thursday: Plan was to do 6 miles at marathon pace (10:30-10:40ish). I ended up going faster because I just felt like it. 6.11 miles (just under 10K) in 1:03:30 for 10:23/mile w/ave HR of 142. Good workout; wow, my HR was lower than I thought it would be, because I did push quite a bit at the end, which was uphill. The only thing that marred it was my dog, Sahara. I made the mistake of taking her, thinking she could keep up. Not only did I have to finally let her off the leash (because I was dragging her), but she managed to have diarrhea while we were out; embarrasing, and impossible to clean up w/o a hose :(. I have reluctantly decided not to take her with me on walks any more. I can take Copper, who can keep up just fine, and will continue to do so.