Wednesday, December 29, 2010

skate skiing, indoor cardio, indoor track

Been busy with family and holiday stuff, sorry! I'm still here (if anyone is still reading besides Ollie, Nyle, Jim, and Lani!).

Monday I needed a break from racewalking, so I went nordic skiing with my brother Alex and his wife Erica. Erica is pretty good at skate skiing and taught me how to get started. I was really frustrated/freaked out for the first 30 minutes, but after a while I started to get it and it was fun! It did make me pretty sore - lots of muscles I'm not used to using that way. It's fabulous cross-training and very aerobic, especially at 9000 ft at the Solitude Nordic Center.

Here's a fairly amusing video of me once I was (mostly) getting it:


***

Tuesday I felt really tired and so opted for more cross-training. I did the bike & elliptical, and was pleased to note that both were back up to the normal speed & resistance that I was doing pre-illness! Yay!

***

Today I was exhausted, but decided to try a workout anyway. I couldn't do it in the morning because I had breakfast w/the family, and then worked from 11 am-4 pm. So I went at 4 pm, which is not my best time. That plus how tired I was = disastrous RW. I went to the indoor track because it was snowing really hard outside. It's a 211m track, so 1:22/lap is a 6:30/km pace, more or less. I decided to try to do as much as I could, up to 10K, at that pace. Well, I made it for about 2k, and then slowed down, despite pushing hard and keeping my HR in the upper 150s. I slowed to 1:23/lap, then 1:24, then 1:25, 1:26, and even one lap at 1:27. Ugh. I gave up after 24 laps (just over 5K) and did the stationary bike for 20 more minutes to get some more cardio. Garmin connect splits here.

One of these days I'll be feeling decent again. It looks like it's going to be a while though. I actually FEEL fine except for being tired, but my athletic performance is still in the toilet. Oh well...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

still very slow

Well, I spoke too soon about being back to myself. I'm actually FEELING fine, but my racewalking is terrible. The only thing I've noticed is a dry cough while RW, which I attributed to some exercise-induced asthma, though now I'm not so sure. I'm pretty tired, but I've been doing a LOT between Christmas preparations and the big day, so that's not surprising. I haven't been sleeping well, either - a combination of staying up too late (11 pm is too late for me!) and anxiety waking me at 5-6 am each morning.

So, my racewalking is just dismal. I am doing it anyway because I need the exercise and I still love it, even if I am slow. Oh, and the gym was closed yesterday and open minimal hours on Sunday. And I'm trying not to worry about the slow part. I did 5K yesterday to try and take it a bit easy with all the other stuff going on for Christmas Day, and this morning I did a quite hilly 10K. I am too ashamed of my times to post them...let's just say it was truly pathetic. However, I very much enjoyed being out there, and I didn't feel that tired when I finished today. I would never have known except for looking at my watch that I was so slow. Makes me want to toss the watch and just get out there and have fun.

Someday I'll be better and will be able to train again. Right now, I'm slow, but I'm having fun and part of me doesn't care at all about how slow I am. Most of me still does, but I'm trying to quiet that part, because there's nothing I can do about it. When I'm better, I'll be better, and until then, I just wait.

Friday, December 24, 2010

sooooo slowwwwww

Today I had a few issues: 1) tired from yesterday, 2) damp air bothered me more than usual and caused exercise-induced asthma, and 3) muscles sore from Wednesday's weight training. I suspect I'm still not 100% from the crud, either.

I racewalked with my friend Sarah, who was doing 11 miles. I started with her at mile 3.3, so I'd only do about 7.7 miles, which I thought would be fine. It wasn't, really - I got pretty tired after an hour (which is how long my workouts have been since being sick), and ended up walk-racewalking at 1:4 like she was walk-running (before that, I racewalked while she walked, going back, then forward to catch her at the end of her minute walking). I thoroughly enjoyed the workout though, because it was so awesome to chat with Sarah for such a long time uninterrupted by kids.

I did 12.65km at a 7:24/km pace (ugh!) with ave HR of 141. Not very good. But I do think I'm getting better overall - the asthma was kind of bad. I was coughing a lot (dry cough) and couldn't figure out why, until I got home and Loren pointed out that it was probably exercise-induced asthma. I realized then that I was a little tight and wheezy, and it all made much more sense. This doesn't happen to me often, but when it does, it can be ugly, like at the end of my first marathon in 2008.

My hamstrings are pretty sore, and I'm quite tired now. Will probably sleep well tonight! I do plan to RW in the morning, because the gym is closed. My muscles will hate me, but they need to get used to RW more often anyhow, so I'll just take it slow & easy, and they'll be OK.

My heart rate monitor is working again! Yay for new batteries!

Garmin connect data here.

Oh, and my knee is doing fine now - just little twinges.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

FINALLY!

I'm finally getting back to normal. I racewalked 10K this morning in 1:05:57. Not sure what my avg HR was because my HR monitor died about halfway through the workout. Through 5K, my avg HR appears to be close to 150, which is pretty normal for this workout. I did get a bit slower at the end, but I still felt strong going back up the hill at the end of the route. I am really quite happy with this workout and hoping it means I'm going to be able to start training again. I'm still a bit slower than I was before the layoff, but that seems commensurate with the fact that I haven't been training hard. Hopefully I haven't lost too much fitness.

Oh yeah, the weather...it was 38F and raining lightly; for this time of year that's pretty nice and I'll take it.

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

ouch

Things were looking up. I did my bike & elliptical, and was pleased to have more than enough energy to lift weights for the first time in a while. I had a great set of lifting...but tweaked my right knee doing one-legged squats (I know the right form, so I have no idea what happened) and now it really hurts :(. Hopefully some ice and ibuprofen will do the trick, and I'll still be able to racewalk tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

quiet blog

A friend of mine said my blog has been quiet of late. I guess it's true. I have been pretty busy getting ready for Christmas, and in addition work has been busy. Add to that getting a new hot water heater (tankless!) bid on and installed, and well, I suppose the blog has gotten a bit neglected.

My health has been better. I don't have a sore throat any more, and my energy level seems pretty much normal. I'm perhaps a little bit tired. However, my racewalking (as of Sunday) is still slow. But Sunday was weird...I went out planning on about an hour of RW, however far that got me. I made it to 5.5km before I had the most horrible nausea I have ever had while walking. I actually had to stop and just regular walk for a while. I alternated that with racewalking, but about 6 km I couldn't even RW any more. In fact, I could barely walk. I had to stop and thought I was going to throw up, but didn't. I made it back to my parents' house (we were visiting for the afternoon), collapsed on the couch, and then ran to the bathroom. I never did throw up, but I wished I could have. It was ugly. I finally fell asleep and when I awoke I was a lot better, though I really didn't eat much the rest of the day. Garmin connect data here, for what it's worth...

Monday & today I felt fine (no nausea) but didn't want to RW. I did the bike & elliptical instead both days. It's hard to get motivated to racewalk right now, because I am SO slow and it just doesn't feel good or right. I can't really explain it. I just feel tired and heavy when I walk. I think tomorrow I will cross-train again and maybe try to RW on Thursday? We'll have to see how it goes.

***

Time now for some relaxation! I'm going to give the new water heater a workout and fill up the tub in one pull - we have a jetted tub (70 gal) that we had to fill in 2 separate pulls off the old 40-gallon water heater. The new water heater never runs out of hot water...can't wait to try it :)!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

update from last 3 days

Thursday was insanely busy. I actually didn't work out because I simply did not have time. I had to be on the confocal microscope from 6-7 am, practice the organ from 7:15-8 am, shower & dress and be at Calvin's school for a 9 am field trip which lasted until 12 pm. Then back to work until 2:15 pm, pick up Calvin from school, back to work again with Calvin until 3:45, then pick up Michelle and home for a guy to give an estimate on a water heater at 4 pm. Then made a salad for potluck dinner, supervised piano practice and homework, did a load of laundry, and oh yeah, went to potluck from 6-8:30 and then crashed hard. Whew.

***

Friday I decided to racewalk 10K. I was hoping I'd be faster, because I've actually been feeling better this week. The sore throat is gone, and the fatigue is a lot better (I'm at about 90%, fatigue-wise). But after 3-4k I knew it was going to be ugly. I was the same speed as I was on Wednesday, and this time the pavement was dry. Ugh. By 7.5k or so, I was so upset about it (I know, stupid, but it is what it is) that I actually was crying as I racewalked, and that made my throat tighten up and my airway got all funky and wheezy. That km was a miserable 7:25. I finished the 10K in 1:10:45ish (but didn't stop the watch right away), slower than Wednesday in the slippery snow. Yuck. Someday I'll be better...maybe. Garmin connect data here.

I was in a rotten mood after that and had to go to work, but that actually helped get my mind off of things. After work, the lab had a bowling party followed by pizza. The bowling was a lot of fun; I hadn't bowled in about 10 years, and I was terrible, but it was still a good time. I was quite tired by the time it was over, though.

***

Today I did some cross-training on the bike & elliptical for about an hour. Then I went to my Weight Watchers meeting. I managed to drop 0.8 lb this week to 153.8 for the official weigh-in this morning. Glad I lost a pound, but I'm still way over where I want and need to be. They changed the program and I've had to adjust it for my needs, so after gaining 4 lb I'm starting to lose again I hope. This is a hard time to lose weight - too many things going on - but I have got to try. The alternative is not acceptable.

I'm a bit worried about my racewalking fitness after this illness. I'm still not back where I want to be. My coach seems to think it will return but I think he's a bit concerned too. I am not able to train hard yet and I have an important race March 13th. If things don't improve soon I may have to consider not doing that one, which would be a big disappointment, but there's nothing I can do about it.

All in all, fairly discouraging. But the important things in life are still good, so I'm trying not to sweat the small stuff. Trying.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

10K in the snow

I should have taken some pictures. It was pretty, but it was dark outside, so they probably wouldn't have been so good.

I did the 10K in a very slow 1:10:19 with ave HR of 150. However, I lost at LEAST 15 sec per km because of the snow and slush. At least half of the route was quite slippery which meant very little toe push if any. It was actually a great drill - walk on snow and slush, feel how little toe push you get, and then on the spots of merely wet pavement, get a ton of push and see just how much it really helps your walking. It was awesome! I felt so strong on the wet pavement spots. I'd recommend this drill to anyone needing more toe push --- but you need the weather to cooperate. Anyway, I think I could have done 1:07 for sure if not for the snow.

It wasn't that cold out, at 30F (-1C), and it was snowing lightly most of the time I was out. I don't care for the snow much, but today it was really beautiful, and because it wasn't so cold, it was actually really nice to be out there. Much better than the gym or the treadmill or the indoor track! Plus the added benefit of the toe push drill :).

I think I'm feeling better. Don't want to jinx myself by saying that, but I feel I'm finally on the mend for real. I felt strong this morning until the last 2K, and then I was a bit tired, which is natural since I haven't done 10K in a little bit (wow, how pathetic is that?!?). But I was a minute faster than this 10K which was NOT in the snow or slush, with good toe push, just a few weeks ago. So, I'd venture to say that things are looking up. We'll see how it goes in the next week or so, but maybe I'll be able to start training for the 20K in March. That's my next race - 20K Masters Nationals in Huntington Beach, CA.

Garmin connect data here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

better today...will it last?

I'm feeling a bit better today. I worked out for 45 min on the bike & elliptical, and I didn't feel totally thrashed at the end. I'm still feeling good now, at lunch time, but how long will it last? Will I feel decent tonight after work and a busy afternoon? I'm planning to make Christmas cake with a friends' recipe, take Calvin to Kindermusik & go to Diva's Cupcakes with Michelle, do some laundry, make dinner, and take Michelle to sign up for ballet lessons. Just the usual...but lately it's been too much to do the usual activities. I know I'm not 100% yet, but I do feel there has been an overall positive trajectory over the past few weeks. Maybe I just think that because today is a bit better? Time will tell.

Monday, December 13, 2010

still not 100%

Sunday night I felt pretty rotten. I'm a little better today; against my better judgment I went to the gym and did 45 min of cardio on the bike and elliptical. That was plenty. I was soooooo very tired at work, but actually have made it through the late afternoon and evening OK. Groceries, bank, Costco, making dinner, giving kids a bath (they are in there right now playing!). Whew. I'm going to bed early and hoping that today's activity was not too much.

Tomorrow I'll probably put in some time at the gym again since I need to practice the organ from 7-8 am and that's right across the street from the gym. I could racewalk; I might do that, but it's easier to stop at the gym if I get too worn out.

I debated today whether to call the doc or not but decided not to. We'll see if that was a wise decision or not...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

10k shortened...

I felt decent so I thought I'd do 10K. After 3-4K I realized it would be better to shorten the workout a bit; I ended up doing 8.56 km instead. I was still slow, and my legs were a little tired.

I finished in 58:20 (sloooooow at 6:49/km) but with ave HR 151, so it's not like I was out for a Sunday stroll. I was actually trying to have a decent workout. Yeah. Forget that.

The way I'm going I might be better in 3 years or so.

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

challenges ahead

OK, it's crunch time. Went to Weight Watchers this morning and it was ugly: 154.6. That's the highest my weight has been in 4 years. They started a new program last week, and I think there might be some issues for lifetime members with the new program. I followed it diligently this week and gained 1.6 lbs! OK, one week is not the be-all and end-all, as you can easily gain water weight even if you are doing the right thing eating-wise. However, I felt like on the the new program I was eating much more food - and had points for more rich desserts than usual. Alarm bells went off in my head, but I checked and re-checked my points and I wasn't calculating anything wrong.

This week I'm going to make a few adjustments and see if that helps. I have to do something fast or I'll have to start paying - I've been a free lifetime member for 4 years, but if my weight goes above 157.0, I have to pay. Never mind the fact that if my weight gets that high I'm going to be extremely distressed. I'm already distressed enough about the 154.6! This is going to be challenging. They've said not to reduce your points, but I'm going to have to, or I'm going to have the same problems this week. I consulted with my leader and am going to try an experiment this week and see if it helps. It's not making it easier that the holidays are here, but there are always challenges ahead no matter what time of year it is, so I'm going to continue the same way I have been for the last 5 1/2 years since I joined WW, and I WILL succeed. I have no choice - going back is NOT an option. Life was not good with my old eating habits.

***

I felt decent this morning; not normal, but decent. So I racewalked a measly 5K to see how I'd feel. I'm feeling fine so far, but after the rest of the day's activities, we'll have to see. The mornings have been fine, but the evenings are not good if I push too much.

The walk felt pretty good, and I finished the 5.1k at a pace of 6:37/km, the best pace I've done since getting sick. Of course, it's the shortest workout I've done in a while, too, so that helps. I was pushing a little today and the ave HR was 150. I'm still at least 10-15 sec slower per km than before getting sick, but that is better than the 30-45 sec/km slower that I have been previously. Maybe I'll try to go a little farther tomorrow, but only if I'm feeling good tonight and get enough sleep.

I'd post my Garmin Connect link but it seems to be having issues uploading at the moment. Will try again later and edit this post if I can get it to work.

Kept trying - no dice. Here is is on the Plus 3 network instead.

Friday, December 10, 2010

rest day

I overdid it I guess. I started to feel horrible again last night. Sore throat, fatigue, slammed.

I rested today. I didn't exercise, and I didn't work (fortunately, I had the day off anyway). I did take a nap, and take care of the kids. Calvin was sick with a fever, and he didn't go to school.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

slow improvement

I made it through the whole day yesterday, including my evening piano students, without feeling like I was going to keel over from fatigue. That's progress I think.

Had to wake up early this morning to get my workout in. I have a lot to do at work today and had to get in early to finish it all before taking Michelle to Kindermusik. So, I was out the door by 5:45 am for my walk.

I did the same route as on Sunday and Tuesday, around Liberty Park. I started off much slower today, because I was feeling a bit nauseous for some reason. Some stomach thing is going around and I hope I'm not getting it (I don't think so, though, because I'm feeling fine now). But by 3K I felt better and was content to just keep going, albeit slowly. Around 4K it occurred to me that I was feeling decent, so I decided to pick it up a bit. I finished in 43:14 today, slower than Tuesday, but still faster than on Sunday. However, my average HR was lower than on Tuesday, at just 142, and my last 2 full km were only 6:58 and 6:47 (better!) even with the uphill. So, if I'd felt decent at the start today I probably would have shaved at least 30 sec off of Tuesday's time. I think I'm slowly getting better.

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

holding steady; some more good news

I'm holding steady - feeling a little better each day. I'm still not 100% - was very tired last night after probably doing too much yesterday. I will try to take it a bit easier today (yeah, right...hahahaha).

I tried a different strategy this morning - did only 30 min of cardio (elliptical) and THEN did weights, but only 30 min of weights & core. I did one-legged squats with abduction on opposite leg on the way up/bench press w/dumbbells; hamstring ball curls/lat pull-downs; calf raises/military press; then core - ball crunches, Russian twists, plank, and ball passes from feet to hands. I used lighter weights than usual but my heart rate was still pretty high even on the weight training. Still, easing back into it seems to be helping. I didn't feel too wiped out when I finished.

***

Good news! I am lucky to be in an age group without too much competition, so...despite the fact that I had a lot of setbacks this year, my races in Sacramento were good enough to garner an award:

USATF Race Walking Age-Group Awards

35-39 Susan Armenta Tim Seaman
40-44 Tamara Stevenson John Soucheck
45-49 Teresa Vaill Dave McGovern
50-54 Maryanne Daniel Jonathan Matthews
55-59 Deb Topham Bill Reed
60-64 Marianne Martino Chris Schmid
65-69 Darlene Backlund Leon Jasionowski
70-74 Louise Walters James Beckett
75-79 Shirley Dockstader Jack Bray
80-84 Claire Elkins Jack Starr
85-89 Miriam Gordon Charles Boyle

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

slightly better?

Same route as Monday, but 43:06 instead of 43:55. Same exact average HR of 150. The splits were the same through 5K, but the last 1.25ish km was faster today. Not sure if this means anything or not. I am feeling a bit better; not normal yet, but better. Still a bit tired for sure, but I'm glad to be out training. I did feel tired again today while training, but not as tired as on Monday. This could be just natural variation, but I'm hoping it means I'm actually starting to feel a little better?

Garmin connect data here. (Monday's data here).

Monday, December 06, 2010

good news!

It's not mono :). Apparently I've had it before (though I didn't know it). That's pretty common, as 95% of people my age have had it, and most don't remember having it.

So, it's probably just a series of really nasty cold viruses, and once I'm feeling 100% again I can get back into training. The doctor did caution me against training hard again before I'm feeling back to normal. Gee, how did he know to say that :)?

hanging in there

Went to the gym this morning and did an hour on the bike & elliptical. I was thinking to do some weight training afterward, but I was actually a bit wiped out by the hour of cardio :(. I think I may have pushed it too hard. I've been feeling decent doing 45 min on Saturday & Sunday, but maybe the hour was too much on top of that. I'm feeling tired now but otherwise mostly OK. The sore throat is gone/minimal, and the congestion is still there but has eased up quite a lot. I think I'm mostly on the mend, but we'll see how it goes for the rest of the day. I work until 2 pm, then get the kids and have grocery shopping to do, oh, and laundry. Hopefully all of that won't be too much.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

walk around Liberty Park - 6K+

I racewalked this morning! It was 33F (1C) but calm and foggy. Nice morning for a walk :). I wore tights, 2 long-sleeve shirts, and gloves and a hat. I ended up ditching the hat - too hot.

I was super slooooooow but at least I was out there. I got pretty tired around 3K and I think my muscles are going to be a bit sore. Wow, pathetic. Oh well, I can't do anything about that; it is what it is.

I did my 6.32k in 43:55 for 6:57/km. Yeah. Slow. Splits were 6:36, 6:35, 6:46 (downhill 2K, then flat 1K), 7:02, 7:09, 7:16, (flat 1K, uphill 2K) then 2:32 for the last 0.32k uphill. Well, at least I'm up to getting out there.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

cautiously optimistic?

I started to feel a bit better on Friday. I made it through a whole day of work without being completely wiped out, and then actually didn't go to bed until 10:30 pm. My throat was still a bit sore, but I was definitely better.

This morning I actually worked out for the first time in a week. I went to the gym and did 45 min total: 20+ min on the bike, 20+ min on the elliptical, and 3-4 min on the treadmill racewalking for 45 min total. I did the 3-4 min on the treadmill because I wanted to see how my toe was doing. It's much better, and hurts just a very little bit when I walk. It didn't seem to bother me much while racewalking. The rest of the workout did wear me out a little, so I took a nap this afternoon, and I feel pretty good. I'm cautiously optimistic. I am thinking I might try to walk 5K tomorrow morning.

***

In random news, Thursday was not a good day. It started off at 7 am when I got to the microscopy core and discovered that the password on the computer had changed. Not good. I needed to use the confocal microscope, and the computer basically runs the thing, so I was out of luck. I called the core director, but he didn't answer and it was about 45 min before he called me back...by then I had totally changed my plans for experiments. Frustrating! Then I went to the doctor. I had left my car in a metered spot before I went, because it's a 10 minute walk from my usual parking lot into work, and I didn't want to walk it four times in a 5-hour work day. When I returned from the doctor I was not allowed to park in the usual lot. This oil spill (yes, the second this year in our city) was literally right next to where I usually park. Not only that, but they closed some of the largest parking lots at the university medical center, so there was a serious parking spot shortage. I ended up having to park waaaaaay out there and take a shuttle in to work. It cost me an extra 45 min to park, and then I had a terrible time getting back to my car after I finished work and fighting traffic to get Michelle to Kindermusik, so we were 10 minutes late for her class. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Friday was better. I had two experiments work :). One I've been working on for several months, with various problems cropping up that I had to troubleshoot. Well, it finally worked. Another was a new experiment this week, but I wasn't sure how well it would work. It looked great - was just very very cool!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Day 22 of the crud and counting

Today is day 22 of whatever this is. I'm still fatigued, have a terrible sore throat, congestion, and swollen lymph nodes.

I went to the doctor today. His differential diagnosis included: 1) common cold, but perhaps 2 different viruses in sequence (lucky me!), 2) strep throat (ruled out with a throat swab in the office) and 3) mono. Yeah, I'm probably too old to get mono, but it's possible. He thought it was somewhat unlikely, but likely enough to draw some blood and get the EBV (Epstein-Barr Virus) panel. If it's mono, that's not good at all for my training. I'll find out the results of the test on Tuesday or Wednesday, as it takes a while for them to complete them.

Meanwhile...I wait...and feel ill...and wait some more. And take another rest day (if it is mono, exercise is contraindicated).

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

rest day #5 in a row

I don't think I've taken this many rest days in a row since I joined Weight Watchers 5 years ago. Thing is, I'm definitely not up to exercising. I finally have a doctor appointment for 9 am tomorrow, and hopefully some relief will be in sight. My sore throat is incredibly painful, and the pinkeye likewise. Never mind the runny nose, cough, horrible fatigue, etc. You get the picture.

The one bright spot is that my toe is a LOT better today. I think if I ever get rid of this illness, I might be able to racewalk again soon.

I've also been keeping my eating in check pretty well, surprisingly. Hopefully that will continue.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

x-rays

I had my toe x-rayed today. It's not broken, which is good. However, it still hurts a lot to walk on it, never mind racewalking. I'm under orders to "let pain be your guide". I can probably do the exercise bike. I might be able to do the elliptical - maybe. But no racewalking for at least a week or two. Oh well :(.

***

I'm still quite sick. I did work today, though I didn't work out. I felt fine for about 3-4 hr, but then I found myself flagging. Now I'm completely trashed. My sore throat is in full bloom again, my pinkeye is "nasty-looking" according to my husband, and I'm going on 3 weeks tomorrow of this nonsense. I know I said I'd call the doc on Monday, and I didn't because I was feeling better. Well, enough of that. I'm calling tomorrow. I have to get better.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Uh-oh


It's worse than I thought. Boy, do I feel stupid :(. I'd kick myself, but that might just make it worse. Debating whether or not to get it x-rayed. Guess this earns me some more time off :(.

lots of snow...


We got a huge dump of snow yesterday. Looks like at least a foot (30cm). There are more pictures here.

***

I can't racewalk right now anyway, so the snow is actually kind of pretty and I'm sort of enjoying it. I spent most of yesterday lying around doing nothing, and am planning the same today. I do have to get some groceries or we won't have anything to eat, but otherwise, I'm not moving off the couch. I was thinking of going to the doctor, but really, what's he going to do? I have a cold, and it's a virus, and there's not much to be done about it. The one thing I haven't done, which I am doing now, is to REST.

Oh, and there's one more reason I can't racewalk. This is embarrassing, but I might as well admit it. I got irritated with Loren for something trivial yesterday and kicked the stove (I know, totally stupid...yes, I should take anger management or get medicated or something...). Well, I hurt my big toe, and am now limping. Brilliant. I don't think it's broken or anything; it's swollen a bit but not bruised, and seems marginally better than last night. Looks like it will be the bike & elliptical for me for a while though, if I ever get over this cold.

I'll have some work to do in the scale department as well. I've gained 5 pounds since last Wednesday. Ugh. Most of it is probably water weight, but I'm sure some of it isn't. I haven't been eating well, and I've been sitting around. This is all pretty depressing. I should focus on the positive: this is only a cold and eventually I'll get better. My toe will probably be OK in a few days. The kids and Loren are healthy. Loren and I both have jobs that are pretty secure at the moment. I get to stay home and rest today. The snow is really beautiful especially now that the sun is coming out.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

ughhhhh

Didn't get to rest as much as I should have today. Result? Feeling terrible. Pinkeye in left eye, coughing a lot, total fatigue, sore throat/swollen lymph nodes, oh, and did I mention that my ear hurts? I woke up in the middle of the night last night with a terrible earache which did improve with the ingestion of NyQuil. Speaking of NyQuil, I just took some more, and I'm going to bed now...

I'm doing as little as possible tomorrow. I do have one commitment but after that it's rest for me.

relapse #2...or continuation of same?

This is dragging on unbelievably. This morning I had pinkeye in my left eye, a horrible cough, and zero energy. I'm taking another rest day, and maybe two. I wish my appetite would do the same; for some reason when I'm sick I generally am just as hungry.

I think I really need to just lie in bed for a couple days. Not really possible, but Loren has said he'd help out a bit so I don't have to do so much. I have to get over this thing. I have a full work week ahead and don't know how I'll manage unless I start feeling better.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cold Turkey 6K, and miscellaneous

The miscellaneous - really busy with Thanksgiving and the aftermath so this will be fast. I thought I was getting better and did feel better until last night (Thursday night) when I crashed hard after dinner. Still managed bike & elliptical this morning as well as on Wednesday morning. Will this cold EVER end??? Fatigue, sore throat, coughing, congestion, etc. It sucks.

***


Photo: Diane and I before the race.

Cold Turkey 6K - Thanksgiving Day race here. It was predicted to be -5F but was actually 9F (-13C) so I was happy with that! It was sunny, too, which helped. However, it's a hilly course, and it was pretty icy in many spots up the canyon, plus it was crowded with all the runners vying for the non-icy spots on the road. Hard to pass on the uphill (the first 3K of the race). I was going to do this as a 6K kickdown and start easy then accelerate, but I ended up starting out moderately hard and then going harder as the race progressed. You can't tell at all from my times that I was working hard, but I was...this illness is really slowing me down, but I'm thankful it's only temporary (I think!). Splits here. I did my slowest time ever for this race, at 39:09 (+/- a few seconds - that's my watch time). The course was a little different than usual - not as much downhill at the end, so that accounts for 30 sec or so, plus the ice and crowding (more than usual) accounts for maybe another 30 sec - 1 min. Even so, if I subtract 1.5 min it's still my slowest time on this course. Oh well. I was sick, and at least I was out there and I did have fun. At the end I went back for my friend Diane and finished the race with her (she's a fast walker - at age 70 she did this course in 53 min!). Age-graded, she usually beats me quite soundly :).

The weather ended up being a non-factor. I dressed warmly (too warm, actually - got hot and had to take off my gloves at the end, and wished I could remove my jacket but the bib was pinned on it and was over the zipper!), and Diane and I remarked that the cold was much better than rain. She did the race one year when it was pouring and said it was just miserable.

I got lots of photos of the loons out there wearing Native American loincloths and nothing else (brrrrr) and the funny turkey hats, etc. It's always a pretty fun race, and this was no exception, despite my illness and slow time. Oh, and I did win the walking division, so I came home with some more hardware for my brag rack in the hall.

more photos and some video here - including what I wore for the race and other randomness

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

a little improvement, but feeling down

OK, I'm facing reality. I'm still sick. But I'm gradually getting better, at least I hope so. My workout was slow again today, and I'm definitely lacking energy. I was wondering this morning if I'll ever feel normal again, and also realizing that it's going to take a while. That discouraged me. This whole season has been so hard. Definitely three steps forward, two steps back. Actually, it feels more like two steps forward, three steps back. I wonder how long it will take me to regain my fitness after this illness? I really don't want to have to fight so hard to get fit again like I did in the spring. That was awful. But I'm afraid that this is going to be that way as well.

Sorry for the downer post. It's just hard - my virtual training partners (Jim's other racewalkers) are all doing so well with their training, and then there's me. I'm going backwards :(. It doesn't help that it's winter and that gets me in a negative frame of mind as well.

Today: 8.69K in 59:45 for 6:52/km, ave HR 151. Yeah. Slow. Better than Saturday, but still very slow for that heart rate. I meant to do 10K but realized I was still pretty tired and decided to cut it a bit short.

Garmin connect data here

Monday, November 22, 2010

dragging on

This cold is unbelievable. It's still dragging on. This morning I woke feeling crappy but still managed 30 min each on bike & elliptical. I was really beat by the time I finished, but still managed to go to work, pick up kids from school, grocery shop, prepare dinner, and do some laundry. Now I'm really feeling it.

I am still hoping to racewalk tomorrow morning, but we'll see. If worst comes to worst I can at least get in 5K, but 10K would be nicer.

Tomorrow night we're supposed to get a huge winter storm. They're saying 3-7 inches of snow with 40mph winds and arctic temperatures - the high on Thursday for the Cold Turkey race I'm doing (a 6K) is supposed to be 16F (-9C). In the morning it might be as cold as 8F (-13C). Brrrrr. I'm going to have to dig out my full face mask and polyester long underwear and fleece pants. 3 layers on the bottom: polyester long underwear, tights, fleece pants. 3 layers on the top: long underwear, long sleeve shirt, and fleece top. Add full face mask, hat, and ski gloves, and it'll be a miracle if I can still move let alone racewalk :). Just kidding...I know I can racewalk in full gear but it's been a while, so it will be interesting.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

unbelievably slow...but at least I could work out!

I felt better this morning. OK, I'm still coughing, and I do feel tired, but it's LIGHT YEARS better than the last 2 days. I was just dying to get out for a racewalk, and a big snowstorm is headed our way, so I thought I'd better do it this morning or I'd be stuck inside on the dreadmill or indoor track.

I was supposed to do a 5K fartlek. I knew that was out of the question - it would have provoked the biggest coughing fit ever, I'm sure. I figured I could manage an easy 10K. Well, OK, so I really knew I could manage an easy 5K, but I wanted to do 10K, even if it wasn't smart. So I did do 10K, and yeah, it was the slowest I've done 10K in a long, long time. I looked at my watch in disbelief and was almost laughing at the splits. I knew right away that I was slow, even though I felt OK, because my first downhill split was 6:35. Normally I'd do a 6:15-6:20 on my first 1K towards Liberty Park, but not today. It got worse from there...many were 7:00+ including one 7:40 (uphill, gently). By 7K I was really tired but I was determined to finish all 10K, and I'm not sorry I did. I did cough quite a bit when I was done, though. Total time 1:11:17 for 7:07/km with ave HR 146. Yeah, definitely sick. Garmin data here.

After that I still felt good and managed to go to Weight Watchers (weight 150.6; I'm about back to where I was before vacation), pick up the kids from my parents' house (they had them overnight, thankfully), help my parents drop their car off for repairs, and do several errands, including picking up my bib for the Cold Turkey 6K race on Thursday (Thanksgiving, for my international readers) and purchasing some pepper spray and a new blinky red light to help keep me safe on my early morning walks. It's quite dark when I work out, and I used to take my dogs with me, but they can no longer keep up :(, hence the pepper spray. The blinky light is because my old one is starting to go off, and it's a cheapie w/o a replaceable battery. I like to be safe with a reflective vest and the light to really help the cars see me in plenty of time.

I'm now pretty tired so think a short nap is in order before tackling the rest of the day's projects, including a piano student in a couple hours.

Friday, November 19, 2010

still sick

Woke up still feeling nasty with a bad cough. Not the ideal for a workout. I think I can make it through the day at work, but it's another rest day for me :(.

My mood isn't so great either. Hopefully when I feel better and can work out again, my mood will improve as well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

rest/sick day

I'm still sick. I did manage to drag myself into work, but today's a short day since I have to leave early to take Michelle to Kindermusik, so I figured I'd manage.

I didn't do the 6K kickdown I was supposed to do today. When just getting out of bed is difficult, the workout isn't going to happen.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

sick... :(

I'm STILL sick. In fact, it seems to be getting worse.

I felt OK this morning. Not great, but OK. I managed 1 hr on the bike + elliptical, followed by weight training: chest fly on exercise ball/lateral walk w/band; hamstring curls on ball (ouch! top of hammies are really hurting from RW!)/row; calf raises/lateral raises; lots of abs.

Work went all right until after lunch, when I just started to feel terrible. But tomorrow we're having a little party for the boss' birthday, so I had to come home and make a cake and cookies, as well as making dinner for the family and supervising the children's activities. By the time I was sitting down to dinner I was DONE. I had to call and cancel tonight's piano students and now (at 6:45 pm) I'm lying in bed with pajamas and warm robe on and thinking that maybe I'll just go to sleep now. I have this feeling I'm not doing the planned hard workout tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

10K

I still am suffering from the cold. I was so unbelievably tired last night, and was pretty cross with the kids, my husband, etc. :(. Still, I only had 10K to do this morning, so I thought "no big deal". It turned out to be a pretty good effort to do it at 6:30/km. Maybe I should have taken it easier, but I didn't.

I'm working on some small technique tweaks to help me get faster and ease the strain on my left hip. My coach wants me to think about bringing my left leg straight through (when bringing it forward) and be sure the knee doesn't drift inward. I thought about that a lot; when I do it, it seems to make the hip hurt slightly worse, probably because I'm using muscles differently. He also wants me to put more weight on the front foot - to do that, I think a bit about leaning forward NOT from the hips but from the ankles. Not sure I'm getting that one, but it does feel different and smoother, and my calves are a bit sore, so maybe I'm doing it right.

My glutes (left AND right) are both sore, the left a little more than the right, and my hamstrings are sore too. Plus I'm just really, really tired - more tired than I ought to be from just a measly 10K. I'm thinking the cold must be hanging on and affecting my energy level and stamina.

I did finish the workout in 1:05:07 for 6:30/km, but the last few km my HR was 155+, which is pretty high for that workout.

It's lunchtime, but I really would just like to take a nap now. That's not going to be an option, unfortunately.

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

muddling through

It's Monday. I still have a cold. Though it's better, I now have a really nasty case of laryngitis :(. I'm just muddling through today I guess. Laundry and groceries do not stop, and someone has to cook dinner.

Today I cross-trained in spite of it all. Stationary bike & elliptical; the usual, for 1 hr. I planned to do an hour of weight training but managed only 30 min. I did some of the ball exercises my coach sent, plus some inner quad exercises, abductor stuff, and a few upper-body sets. Not as much as I'd like, but I'm going to be doing weights 3x/wk during my off season so I'll be stronger and faster when I start up again. Hopefully.

I'm also thinking about my eating habits. They need an overhaul. I need to lose at least 7 lbs by March 20th. I intentionally let things slide a bit on vacation and gained 1.5-2 lb, on top of the 5 lb I already wanted to lose. I'll post more about this later, but I've been reading a book that I believe is going to help...so stay tuned.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

weekend activities

Yesterday I did some more cross-training, just to give my legs an extra recovery day. I did the bike and elliptical for a bit over an hour.

Today I was supposed to racewalk 8K (5 miles). I was excited to be racewalking again, and I chose one of my favorite routes, to SugarHouse Park, around the park twice, and back. It's fairly hilly - especially the first hill up to 15th East; my first km was over 7 minutes! But I did the whole route in 52:53 for 6:36/km, which is good on that hilly route. Ave HR was 146. The weather was chilly (35F, 2C) and overcast, with the occasional light snow/rain sprinkle. It was actually pretty nice for this time of year, and the trees still have some color left. The fall colors were particularly vivid this year, so I enjoyed them on my walk this morning. I also saw a very large flock of Canadian geese honking and splashing down in the pond in the park. Awesome. It was nice to be out.

My coach gave me a new schedule for the next 4 weeks, and it's a nice recovery schedule, with short speedwork 2x/wk to keep my legs fast while still giving me a break. I get to take it easy until Christmas, since my next important race isn't until March, when I plan to do the National Masters 20K in California. I'm excited to do that race, because they usually have prize money :) and depending on who shows up, I actually have a shot at it.

My cold is still hanging around, and I'm still tired, but seem to be on the mend. Luckily for me, no hard speed work until Thursday, and even then it's just a 6K kickdown. Nice.

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Catching up

It's been a while since I've posted. Busy vacation...sort of...

We left Yosemite on Tuesday morning and drove to Bakersfield, CA to visit Loren's family there. I decided to take a rest day, because I felt I really needed it. My muscles were really achy and I was tired. I was sore in the glutes, hamstrings, and calves, but it felt just like normal soreness from a hard race effort and not like soreness from injury. A day of rest would help.

On Wednesday, I felt pretty good and was recovering well. My aching muscles were much better and I was eager to get out for an easy walk. I decided to do a nice easy 10K. Probably that was a bit over-ambitious, as I did tire a lot by 7K, but it was nice to be out there and I didn't mind being tired too much. I was slow (1:07:02) but didn't care at all :). Garmin connect data here.

The hotel we stayed at had a broken router and so Internet connections were iffy, which is why I didn't blog. Add into that a somewhat stressful visit with family (Loren's dad is quite ill with what is most likely emphysema), and I just didn't have time either.

Wednesday night I started to feel a bit sick - sore throat, tired, etc. By Thursday morning I had a full-blown nasty cold and besides, we had an 11-hour drive ahead of us from Bakersfield to Salt Lake City, so I took another rest day. I felt completely rotten most of the day and did manage to get to bed at a reasonable hour when we got home.

This morning I woke feeling better, though still congested and definitely not at my best. Still, I really wanted to work out. I thought about racewalking but my hip was a little sore from sitting in the car all day long, so I decided to do the bike and the elliptical instead, for 1 hr or so. Garmin connect data here.

It's nice to be home, despite the fact that I had to work today (I worked 5 instead of the 8 hrs I'd planned, due to being tired/sick/needing to catch up on stuff at home) and do a mountain of laundry which isn't finished. Speaking of that...maybe I should go work on it.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

rest day, funny video

I'm taking a rest day today. With the vacation and the extra food I could probably use the workout, but on the other hand, I really do need to give my body a rest. I will probably gain a pound or two this week, but it's nothing that can't come off with some diligent effort when I return. At least that's what I'm telling myself. I am still about 5 lb below where I need to be to keep my Weight Watchers lifetime membership, so no worries there.

***

My racewalker friend Erin posted this on her facebook page, and then later it came through the Yahoo! racewalking group list. It's pretty funny, and while I concede that there is an element of mockery here, at least the racewalker is a superhero. Besides, it did make me laugh!

Monday, November 08, 2010

easy walk/run in Yosemite National Park


It is so beautiful here. Cold, but beautiful. The high today was 44F (6.7C). Yeah, that is the HIGH. But it's sunny and clear, and oh-so-amazing.

I wanted to racewalk a bit today to get the blood flowing through sore, achy muscles. Nothing is horribly sore, but I'm definitely a bit sore in my hamstrings and glutes and calves. Everything else feels fine. I know from experience that a little activity post-race can help things feel better. At least it seems that way!

Besides, it's so nice here that I couldn't resist walking on the paved bike path (I hear there are 13 miles in Yosemite Valley) and shooting pictures while I was out. After 2 miles of walking, I decided to run for a mile to change things up. Then I walked a mile, and finally, ran 0.5 mile to get back to the hotel room. Total time: 46:12 for 4.5 miles; 6:22/k.

This morning we hiked to Mirror Lake with the kids, and now, before dinner, we're going to hike around Lower Yosemite Falls.

More pictures here of this morning's hike.

More pictures here of this afternoon's walk/run.

Garmin connect data here.

Cute kid videos

Calvin and Michelle meet their cousin Karis, age 4 months.

Part 1

Part 2

Spinning in the swing

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Two Cities Half Marathon

(Photo at mile marker 12). Readers of my blog know that I was a bit apprehensive about this race; I haven't been able to train well for the past month due to foot problems (which my genius coach figured out) and then glute problems due to the technique change we made to help my foot. Still, I knew it was possible that I could come out with a good race. I'd trained very well prior to the injuries and it wasn't THAT long ago, so presumably some fitness carried over. It did.

The conditions were perfect for the race. It was overcast and 53F (11.7C), with a gentle breeze. Nice. I wore shorts and my Wasatch Walkers shirt, and enjoyed the many comments from runners as usual. "Hey, that speedwalker is beating us!" and "How does she do that" and in this race, "Aw, that's the SECOND one of those powerwalkers that has passed me". One of the reasons I wanted to do this race is that it has a walking division that attracts other racewalkers. It's not judged, but everyone I saw was following the rules. They do say that if the officials see you running they will DQ you, so I guess the threat is enough, for the most part.

The race was to start at 7:30 am. I warmed up for about 10 min, starting at 7:15 (7 min walking plus a few min stretching), and thinking I'd be back in plenty of time. I was, but the race started early! Yikes! Thank goodness for chip timing! Still, that meant I didn't see any of the other racewalkers at the start. In fact, I didn't catch any of them until mile 6, but that's another story.

I started well, doing the first mile in 9:37 and feeling good. My left hip felt a little sore but not too bad, and I felt I was moving smoothly. My pace goal was 6:09/km (9:55/mile) and so that was a reasonable speed; a little fast, but I was settling in well. The second-fourth miles felt pretty good, and I did them in 9:59, 10:00, and 9:51; a little slower on average than I needed to, but it was pretty close to my desired pace. My hip started to feel better and didn't really bother me too much during the race. I noticed it, but it didn't hinder me a lot that I could tell.

Miles 5-6 weren't so great. It was still pretty flat (there were a few small gradual hills on the course, and one large hill, but that was at mile 8), but I just felt it was hard to keep my speed - my HR dropped a bit, and then it occurred to me after that maybe I ought to take some GU - I think I was a bit low on carbs. I took the GU about 54 min in (mile 5.5 or so) and did miles 5 and 6 in 10:05 and 10:14. I was getting a bit nervous about maintaining my pace when I spotted another racewalker (found out later her name is Diana). She was moving well and looked fit, and I thought I'd really better turn on the speed. I'm so glad I saw her and the other walkers in the next few miles - that spurred me on to work much harder than I would have otherwise. It came at the perfect time. A little competition is a good thing!

I got to 10K in 1:01:27, right on pace for the sub-2:10 I wanted. I thought it might be hard to hold that, as the last 5 miles included the largest hill plus some smaller hills, but I figured I still had a pretty good shot at a new PR (my old PR was 2:11:57). I walked as fast as I could down the hill and got to mile 7 in 9:39 :). Around mile 7.5 I saw 2 more racewalkers (found out later they were Art Klein and Lila), and one of them had a Junior Olympics shirt on. I was a bit intimidated, but they weren't moving fast enough that I couldn't overtake them. I just worried that they'd catch me later if I tired. I waved at them and said "good job" and kept going. Then I saw yet ANOTHER racewalker just ahead (James on his bib). He was moving very well at that point, but I passed him and hoped I could hold on. I also figured that if I couldn't, well, at least he was a guy so it didn't matter too much. I got to mile 8 in 9:53, and was feeling tired but decent. I thought "8K to go...I can do this" and was repeating one of my favorite race mantras that I learned from Jeannie Harms, a Canadian racewalker, "the longer I go the stronger I go" as I tackled the big hill.

It was a pretty nasty hill, but I felt strong and knew I had to take it quickly if I wanted to stay ahead of the other walkers. I managed to do a 10:11 up to mile 9, going up that big hill! I felt elated. I knew if I could just hold that pace I'd have a new PR and probably the win as well. By this time everything was starting to hurt a bit - my legs were quite tired, and I felt they were the limiting factor rather than my wind. Usually it's the other way around, and I know this time that was due to the lack of hard training in the last month, but I figured I could hold it for a little bit. I reached mile 10 in 10:11 also, which was a bit slower since it was a much more gradual uphill. I was still pleased. My watch said 1:39:45, so to PR I just had to do the last 5K in 32:12 or less. I thought I could do a 31:xx for sure --- I felt at least as good as when I did the 5K race after the 20K a few weeks back, and doing that gave me the confidence to push to the finish. I'm glad I did that workout!

I sped up a bit and got to mile 11 in 10:05, but then I tired just a bit and hit an aid station, slowing me down a little. Everything HURT now. My legs, my left hip, and even my obliques. I thought my form wasn't going to be so great for the video Loren was going to take at mile 12, but I really didn't care. I just wanted to be done! I made it to mile 12 in 10:17, and when I saw the split I decided I had to do better for the next mile. I saw Loren and the kids not long after, and they cheered for me a lot - it made me smile and I picked it up as best as I could. I knew that I only had about 11 min left to go. I got to mile 13 in 10:08 (ave HR only 165, but I was really working --- like I said, my legs gave out before my wind this time), and the last 0.1 felt like forever, even though it was 1:03. My watch said 2:11:20 at the finish, though my official chip time when I picked up my award was 2:11:18. The last 5K took me just 31:33, which I think is 9 sec slower than the 5K I did after the 20K a few weeks ago. Not bad at all!

I was SO relieved to finish and just walked slowly for about 10 min. I only had one GI cramp during the race, at mile 10, but when I crossed the finish I knew I'd have to find a bathroom soon. Thankfully, at the end of the finishers area there were lots of porta-potties. I continued to have problems for most of the day :(. Maybe I'll have to seek some medical advice for this, as I've tried lots of different dietary modifications with not much luck yet.

Garmin connect data here.

Official race results here.

Video at start of mile 13 here.

With Michelle after the race:


With my award:


More pictures here (mostly of the family afterward)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

pre-race outing

I was supposed to do about 15 min easy RW w/strides. I went faster. Oops. I was feeling awkward from not RW for a few days and was pushing a little for the 1st km, and figured I'd slow down. But then I started feeling better, and my hip was doing OK, so I just kept going, finishing 3K in 18:22 with a little push at the end.

That's 6:07/km which is pretty close to race pace goal of 6:09 if I want a sub-2:10. Not sure I can do that pace for 21.1 km...we'll see tomorrow!

Garmin connect data here.

My goals? In order of likelihood: 1) Have fun and break the course record of 2:28, 2) win the walking division, 3) get a new PR (sub-2:11:57), 4) get sub-2:10:00.

Mostly I just want to love being out there. That's what it's about.

Oh, which race? Just in case you didn't know, it's the Two Cities Half Marathon in Fresno, CA.

cross-training and a long drive

I cross-trained yesterday, only managing 30 min on the bike & elliptical before it was time to go, because a 10-hr drive awaited. Surprisingly, the drive didn't seem to aggravate my muscles too much, as I had a tennis ball to help :). We drove to Davis, CA to see my brother and his wife and their 4-mo-old baby for a quick visit.

***

Today? A short racewalk with some strides is on the agenda for later this morning, and then this afternoon a drive to Fresno, where the race is.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

better?

My coach called me last night and had a few ideas to try, so he asked me to walk 6K this morning. He suggested leaning forward from my ankles about 3-5 degrees (not forward from the waist though!) which should take a little stress off the hips.

Well, I left my Garmin at work this morning (went in early before walking/gym) and didn't realize it until I was at the gym. ARRRGH! So I just went by time. I only walked approximately 18 minutes, because I could feel my hip starting to tighten up a little bit and didn't want to risk anything. I just checked the distance on the map, and I did about 2 miles (3.2 km), so I guess it was closer to 20 min (but all I had was my analog watch so I really don't know exactly!) Even though it hurt a bit, it definitely did not hurt as much as yesterday, and I felt that what he told me to do did help. I think I could have done the whole 6K with relatively little pain, but I am a bit of a nervous Nellie right now and definitely afraid to do anything that might stress it more.

I walked on the sidewalk outside the gym. It's relatively flat but has a gentle uphill one way and a gentle downhill the other. One thing I noticed is that the uphill definitely hurt more than the downhill. I was almost pain-free going downhill. A clue, for what it's worth, I suppose.

***

Then I went inside and did 20 min on the elliptical and finished with a 2-min run on the treadmill at a 9:15/mile pace, nice and easy. Running actually hurts much less than racewalking, though it does hurt a little bit.

I finished up with core exercises with Lisa on the exercise ball, and some serious stretching.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Halloween pictures :)

 
The kids were super cute for Halloween! Here are some pictures:

Calvin's class (parade at his school)
Michelle's class (trick or treating at the VA nursing home)
Trunk or treat and trick or treat on 10/30 (yeah, here in Utah if Halloween is on Sunday, we do it on Saturday...)
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nagging injury

My glute/hip problem has now progressed to being a nagging injury that is hindering any training. I tried to do a hard workout today, but only got through the warm-up before realizing it really wasn't going to happen. The first 400m really hurt, and though it did feel better on the rest of the 1600m warm-up, it didn't feel good. It still hurt. The 1600m warmup took me 11 minutes, about 30-45 sec slower than usual. I even tried one 200m faster segment, and was shooting for 1:10 or so but only made it in 1:15. Really really ugly.

I called my coach for advice, and basically I need to rest, massage, ice, stretch, NSAIDS, etc. My sciatic nerve is getting pressure from one or more muscles - possibly including lateral rotators, piriformis, and hamstring. I am still doing the race on Sunday, but my goals have now changed. I just want to finish unhurt. If things go OK at the start I may try for a faster time, but we'll have to see. Resting it until then may be enough to get me through at a fast pace, with race day adrenaline and all. But if it hurts a lot, all bets are off - then I just want to finish. The course record is 2:28, so hopefully I can at least break it.

Until then? Rest, cross-train, a short walk on Saturday, and hope for the best on Sunday.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

cross training; cross-cultural education :)

Yesterday my glutes were SO very sore, especially on the left side. My coach thinks it's good. He's right of course, but it's not particularly fun.

Thankfully, I got to cross-train today. I did the stationary bike for an hour and finished the book "The Great Influenza". Then I did some weight training, but only had time for a few sets. I basically did chest press lying on the ball (exercise my coach sent, but I've seen it before too) and rowing machine (weights, not the aerobic one), and alternated those with the glute machine and some glute exercises on the ball. I wanted to figure out which muscles are hurting and which exercises target those muscles so that I can do some more strengthening exercises. It didn't take long to figure out a couple exercises that would do the trick. On the glute machine, pushing down and then back with my left leg was definitely activating the sore muscles. I did 3 sets, and seriously, my muscles felt much better after working them. Then I did one on the exercise ball that Jim told me about a while ago - put chest on ball, knees on floor, and kick back and then around to the side. It works glutes and abductors, and the glute part was definitely hitting the sore spots. Now, at lunch time, my rear end feels vastly better than yesterday.

I'm hoping that I'll be up for tomorrow's very hard workout: 10K fartlek. It's the first 10K fartlek I've done, so I confess I'm nervous about going the distance, especially with my glutes acting up. If the pain gets too bad, I'll stop though.

***

Cross-cultural education was also on the agenda yesterday. My coach is from Australia, where horse racing is very, very popular. I happen to really enjoy horse racing, though it's not like I get to watch it often, and I'm certainly no expert on the sport. Anyway, the Melbourne Cup was yesterday, and it's the biggest race of the year - kind of like the Kentucky Derby plus the Superbowl all in one. So, my coach set up his Skype so I could watch on his TV (albeit VERY fuzzy, though the sound was OK) and follow along. I had picked Americain to win the race, partly because he was Kentucky bred, partly because he'd be having some good races, and partly because of his name since I'm an American. I couldn't see very well, but heard the announcer shouting my horse's name at the end and though maybe I'd won - sure enough, I did! Lucky break for me, and a lot of fun.

Speaking of sports, Loren's favorite baseball team, the Giants (he's been a fan forever), won the World Series last night, ending a 50+ year drought for them. It was awesome. Really a great sports night!

***

Time zone wackiness has been on my mind as well. Last night at 11 pm when I am definitely not at my best mentally, my coach was telling me that after this weekend we'd be 18 hours different instead of 17. Somehow I had it in my mind that our going to standard time would make us 16 hours different again...but in my sleep-deprived idiocy I forgot that because it is SPRING there and FALL here that we are going back but they are going forward. Somehow I thought they had gone back an hour and that we'd be back to the same time difference we were at during our summer. But no, it's weirder than that...during our summer (their winter) we are 16 hours apart, but in our winter (their summer) we are 18 hours apart. Way too much for my mind to grasp at 11 pm, though this morning it all made perfect sense. Good thing I work in the mornings and early afternoons - my brain is definitely not terribly functional after dinner!

Monday, November 01, 2010

back to racewalking :)

I was happy to be back to racewalking today, though the workout wasn't the best. I was to do 14K with two faster segments of about 10 min each. I decided for simplicity's sake to do 2x2k fast segments - these were to be at 1/2 marathon pace (6:09/km is my goal pace) but as you can see I couldn't pace myself to save my life this morning.

My glutes let me know that I was racewalking right away. They were definitely still a bit sore, even though I felt OK when not racewalking. Still, they held up fine for the whole workout, though now (at lunch time) they are very sore and I'm cursing myself for forgetting to bring my tennis ball for a little massage.

I started off feeling fresh, fast, and strong. I did some downhill km at 6:19 and 6:17, then a flat km at 6:22. I was ready to go! I sped up for km 4 & 5, doing my first fast segment. I didn't push quite hard enough and ended up with a 6:11 and 6:15. Hmmm, not so good in the pacing department. I relaxed for km 6 & 7 and then did km 8 & 9 harder, doing 5:57 (!oops! too fast!) and then despite keeping up a reasonable pace (so I thought) the next km was 6:15. Darn. I was definitely disappointed with this.

I finished the whole workout in 1:30:49, for 6:29/km average, with ave HR 151. Really not my best. I have to admit I'm a bit discouraged about my prospects for Sunday. I talked to my coach briefly and he tried to cheer me up by telling me that my big races are next year. Nice way to basically say that yeah, I don't have much of a chance to do well on Sunday. I know it's true, but I should look on the bright side - my foot is well enough to walk, even if my glutes aren't up to speed yet with the technique changes. It's just frustrating since I've wanted to do this race for a while (several years) and I was hoping for a really nice PR. I could still PR, as my previous PR is on the slowish side from a hilly course, but it's not looking good for the sub-2:10 I'd really like to have. Well, you just never know. Everything could just click on Sunday morning. So I'll try to remain positive and hang in there, but it's challenging.

Garmin connect data here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Biking Wasatch Blvd

I actually slept in a bit this morning. For me, that means I slept until 7 am. That almost NEVER happens, and it was very very nice and much-needed. It's quite dark until about 7:30 so I figured I'd have to work out in the afternoon anyway, so it was no problem to sleep late. When I awoke I wondered if I'd actually work out, because everything felt a bit sore (not sure from what, as all I've done is stationary bike & elliptical, which don't tend to make me sore), and I had a bit of congestion and sore throat. But after I was up for a while I felt a lot better, and I'm hoping that I'm not coming down with anything, as my 1/2 marathon is next Sunday.

Since I was feeling better and had the time, I ended up luxuriating in a long bike ride today. I put Michelle down for a nap over at my parents' house, and then off I went. I just needed some time to myself, and it was beautiful outside today. It was 57F (14C), and overcast with a little breeze. I had forgotten my sports bra and my technical socks, the former which is frankly only useful for holding my heart rate monitor in place (it's not like there's anything else to hold up - hahaha!) and the latter which I can live without on a bike ride, as I was wearing a pair of cotton socks which work in a pinch. But I was well-prepared with windbreaker & gloves, which I was happy to have on the downhills.

It's a pretty hilly route, and I biked 16K (10 miles) out and back in 1 hr 28 min or so. Not fast, but with the hills it wasn't awful either. Keep in mind I'm no cyclist and I own a heavy mountain-road bike hybrid.

The air was clear and the views spectacular. Here's one photo to whet your appetite for our lovely city.

Garmin connect data here.


Tomorrow I get to racewalk again! :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

still more x-training

I'm still resting my glutes and hamstrings today, so I did another bike & elliptical day, same as yesterday. I actually have been enjoying the cross-training mostly because 1) I'm tired and it's been a rough week, and 2) I have a good book to read and can read while I bike/elliptical. I'm reading "The Great Influenza" by John Barry, about the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919. It's fascinating, both from a historical perspective (WWI history) and a medical perspective. It's making me glad we all got our flu shots this week :).

My left glutes/hamstrings are still just the tiniest bit stiff, but are LOTS better than on Wednesday. I've got one more cross-training day and then on Monday I'm to do 14K with a few fast intervals to practice my 1/2 marathon pace. My goal for the race is to finish under 2:10, which is 6:09/km or 9:55/mile. Since the race will almost certainly have mile markers and not km markers, I'll probably switch my watch to statute from metric and will go by the per mile pace. My 1/2 marathon PR is 2:11:57, but it was on a hilly course and this course is flat, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to break it - besides, it seems like that PR is lagging behind the others a bit, so it's time to give it a shot. Finally, if I'm to have a prayer at breaking 2:00 in the 20K next summer, I have to be able to be under 2:10 quite easily eventually - 2:06:35 or so in the 1/2 marathon = 2:00 in the 20K. Obviously with my recent technique changes I'm not ready to do 2:06:35, but 2:10 does seem like a reasonable goal.

lab results

I had my iron checked again to see if 4 months of iron tablets has been working. I've been slow the last couple weeks, and though I knew it was probably the technique change I thought I'd just get the iron checked again, as my coach suggested a recheck to be sure that it had improved.

Good news! My serum ferritin has increased from 20 in June to 78 now! My serum iron is 87 (range 40-175), and TIBC (iron binding capacity) is 384 (range 250-450; lower than in June, which is good - means my body isn't craving iron quite as much). I've been taking 4x65mg tablets daily, which seems to be doing the trick (2 in the morning and 2 at night).

So, that eliminates low iron as a cause of my recent slowdown, and pretty much lays the blame on the necessary technique changes. Hopefully a month or two of reduced volume will take care of that problem.

My hematocrit is still on the low end of normal, however. It's 36.1 (range 35-49), which is OK but not great for an endurance athlete. The iron tablets don't seem to have boosted it at all, sadly, and there isn't really much else to be done about it. Well, I suppose I could get a hysterectomy or undergo early menopause...yeah, right! Anyway, my hemoglobin was 12.3 (range 11.9-15.9) so it's also on the lower end of normal. Seriously, I'm glad to be normal and healthy, and now there is nothing left except good technique and good training. Good to know! Now let the hard work and fun of training continue.

Friday, October 29, 2010

more cross-training

Today I did the bike & elliptical for 65 min total. My hip is starting to feel normal while just regular walking, so on Monday I get to racewalk again :).

Thursday, October 28, 2010

cross-training

Today my hip was still pretty sore, and work was fairly involved, so I just managed 30 min on the elliptical and didn't do my usual Thursday weight training. I had to be at work at 5:15 am to do a time-sensitive experiment, and so I was in for an hour and then I went to the gym and worked out, and then went back to work. I had to present my experiments today in lab meeting, and I was a bit nervous about it, so I was glad for the extra time to prepare. It went pretty well for the most part, and after I finished I was struck by just how much work I've actually done in the last 6 months-1 year. It was a nice feeling to see some progress; research is often slow and progress is hard to measure.

Back to racewalking...my coach wants me to rest and allow my muscles to recover and my body to absorb the hard training for a few days, since I'm getting used to the new technique. Then next week we'll do a few shortish hard workouts and maybe one 12k before I do the half marathon on November 7th. I'm doing the Two Cities 1/2 Marathon in Fresno, CA. They have a walking division, and the course record of 2:28 is just waiting to be broken :). I've been slow lately, but my 1/2 marathon PR is still within reach, I think. It's 2:11:57, and I think I can definitely walk under 2:10:00 even with how things have been. It's a flat, fast course, and I'm looking forward to it.

So, I'm cross-training until Monday, when I'll probably have a shorter hard workout, TBA.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10K kickdown on indoor track. Aborted.

Today I was to do a 10K kickdown. I was a little apprehensive because my left glutes/hamstrings are pretty sore (right at the top of the hamstrings) from the technique change. I figured the soreness would ease up after I got started, like it did yesterday, but it didn't. It just got worse.

It snowed about 2-3 inches last night at my house, and though it was warm enough that the snow didn't stick to the road much (35F, 2C) or probably the track (though that is iffy since it's a higher elevation), it was still snowing and I decided indoors would be better today. That turned out to be a fortuitous decision.

I calculated that 1:22/lap on the 211m track would equal 6:30/km, 1:20/lap = 6:20/km, 1:18/lap = 6:10/km, and 1:16/lap = 6:00/km. I'd have to do 12 laps to make 2532m, so I planned to do 12 laps at each pace for this workout, to make just a bit over 10km.

My left leg was quite sore when I started out. I did three 1:21 laps and a couple 1:20 laps, and the soreness was constant but not getting worse, so I figured it was good to continue. I decided to see how it would be to go the other way on the track, because it would be good to switch directions. I did a 1:23, 1:24, and 1:26 going the other way, because I had to go wide that way and it adds a few extra meters (there are 3 lanes, and to go the opposite way you have to go in the 3rd lane). I decided that was no good and went back to lane 1, doing 1:22, 1:21, 1:21, and 1:22 to round out my first 2.5K. Then it was time to speed up a bit. I did speed up, doing 1:18-1:21 for all but one of the next 12 laps (the one was 1:22 - oops!), but my left hip was increasingly sore and I was starting to worry about it. So after lap 24 I stopped to stretch, thinking that it might help and I might be able to finish. The stretching did help; I started again and the pain was less even though I accelerated to 1:18/lap. However, that was not to last. Two more problems cropped up: 1) my intestines started to cramp up (of less concern) and 2) my foot started aching a little (of more concern). After 5 laps (1:18, 1:18, 1:18, 1:19, 1:21) I started to weigh my options. I figured that my hip was hurting enough that I was probably compensating and changing my technique causing my foot to ache. That was no good. I thought about the fact that this is only ONE workout, and I have a race in 11 days that I am traveling to do. I weighed the options and decided to quit after the 6th lap, halfway through the third 2.5k.

I then did 25 min on the elliptical to "finish" my workout, at least to get the cardio time in. I figured it wouldn't hurt - and it didn't hurt at all. It felt much better than racewalking did. I was glad I was indoors so I was near the elliptical and the restrooms :).

My coach is a genius...he warned me this might happen, and this is exactly why I'm not doing the 50K. It's going to take a little time to get my body used to the technique changes. At lunchtime (now), my hip is still hurting quite a bit, and is pretty stiff from sitting a lot at work today.

Garmin connect data here.

10K

Yesterday I was to do 10K. I was in a rotten mood but knew I'd feel better if I got out for a good racewalk. It was dark, and cold (2C, 35F) but not raining or snowing or windy, so it was actually pretty nice.

I felt better mood-wise after a mile or so (amazing, isn't it?), and felt strong in this workout. My glutes and hamstrings are a bit sore from the technique change, but I was able to finish the workout just fine. My foot didn't hurt at all :).

Total time 1:04:31 for 6:27/km; ave HR 147.

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

6K+ fartlek on indoor track

This morning winter arrived. There was snow at 5000 ft at the University of Utah, and at the track it was 37F (3C) and steady rain. Ugh! I decided that another gym membership was in order at the U field house, where they have a 211m indoor track. Last winter my foot was too messed-up to need it, but two winters ago I enjoyed my membership there, so I got another one. 6 months for $80 for university staff members. Not too shabby. They have tennis & racquetball & basketball courts, cardio equipment, weights, and even a pool, though it's only open in the mornings on Wednesdays. But the best thing by far is the indoor track. I just wish it was 200m or something more convenient. Oh well; I can use Excel to easily figure my times to compare with the outdoor track.

Today I was to do a 6K fartlek. I was feeling pretty well recovered from the 25K on Saturday. I tried not to think too much about my technique or my foot, hoping that would make me faster. It didn't. I was slow again.

It was the usual 1K hard then 500m med/500m hard to the end. In this case, I did 1055m hard then 527.5m med/527.5 m hard to the finish.

Here are my times, and the translation to the 400m track:

lap 211m adjusted
1 06:00.0 05:41.2
2 03:20.0 03:09.6
3 03:01.0 02:51.6
4 03:25.0 03:14.3
5 03:02.0 02:52.5
6 03:29.0 03:18.1
7 03:02.0 02:52.5
8 03:31.0 03:20.0
9 03:04.0 02:54.4
10 03:37.0 03:25.7
11 03:02.0 02:52.5
total 38:33.0 36:32.4

Not very good. My recoveries were very slow; the last recovery I didn't try as hard because I just didn't have the oomph to do it. But I did try hard on the others and they still were lousy. As I said in my last post, I'm really in a mood lately. This last week has been a downer for many reasons - slow RW times, my dad in the hospital with knee replacement (both knees) and not doing so hot as of last night, kids bouncing off the walls and stressing me out more, and then I have made it worse by stress eating and gaining weight.

Finally, I'm a bit down because I've decided (OK, coach decided) not to do the 50K. I'm sure he's right, but I feel like such a wuss for not doing it. The thing is with the technique changes it's probably better not to up the mileage so much right now, and my most important races next year are 20K, so it makes sense not to do it. Still, I want to, and I feel like a chump for not doing it. I'm sure it's for the better but I don't FEEL that way yet.

Sorry for the downer post.

Garmin connect data here.

cross-training

Yesterday I cross-trained. 15' on the bike & 30' on the elliptical. I was short on time - it was a crazy day. Waaaaay overscheduled. I've been feeling the anxiety ratcheting up again as the days shorten. I did get a therapy light and have been using it for about a week; hopefully it will help. My family is not enjoying my moods :(.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

25K (20K + 5K "race")

Today I was to do 25K. My club had a 5K race planned, so I decided to do 20K first and then meet them for the 5K race. I get points just for showing up and doing it, even if I'm last (which I was, because it's handicapped), and besides, on the last 5K of a long one it helps to have some added motivation.

I had a lousy day today mentally. The only thing that saved my bacon was that my friend Sarah was doing 10 miles (16K) and met me at Liberty Park. With the extra back and forth I do while she is walking (she does Galloway run:walk 5:1) I was up to 17.2K by the time she left me. She really helped me get through a rough patch today. I just was NOT there mentally - did not want to push at all to try to achieve any sort of time. I'm not sure why, either. Physically I felt OK, and my foot was good, so I should have been happy, right? But I wasn't. I was in a MOOD. I think part of it is that I didn't sleep well and haven't slept enough for the past few nights. That starts to add up. Plus I'm definitely discouraged by my slow workouts since changing my technique. I know I should just be happy that I can work out again without pain, and I AM happy about that. And I do know that I will get faster again, but meanwhile, it's still discouraging. At one point during our workout, I actually almost burst into tears. Yeah, I should get more sleep!

I think my iron is probably still low, too. I am sure it's better than it was, but I have the feeling it's still not great. I have a doctor appointment Monday to get it checked again, so we'll know soon. Meanwhile, I will just do the best I can in workouts and try not to be too hard on myself.

Anyway, my 20K was in 2:12:29 for 6:37/km overall and ave HR 146 (see, I just couldn't push myself today...pathetic!). Garmin connect data here for the 20K.

Continuing on was interesting. I finished the 20K at 7:48 am and then met my friends (the race was to start at 8 am). It's a handicapped race, so I had to stand around for 14:32 after the first person started. The weather was relatively warm at 50F (10C) but it started drizzling right at the race start and I got pretty cold. Add that to stiffening up after standing around for about 30 min, and it was an UGLY start. Every leg muscle whined and complained for the first 200m or so, but after that I was fine. My left hip flexor was bothering me a bit on the 20K, and it bothered me more on the 5K. I knew I'd be slow, and figured I'd push just a little but not so much that I hurt anything. I thought maybe I'd do 32:30 or so for 6:30/km, but turns out I had a little more in me than that. I did the 5K in 31:25 with splits of 6:22, 6:11, 6:19, 6:16, and 6:14 and ave HR of 153 (Garmin connect data here). And yes, that meant I finished last in the race, since I was about 2 min slower than my handicap time! But I really didn't care that much at that point. It was just nice to hang out with my friends.

After the race, I took an ice bath. Not my favorite thing, but usually when I do more than 15 miles or so I take one, especially if I'm a bit sore like I am today. I have new admiration for my co-worker, who swims in Pineview Reservoir from May-September each year. She will swim (with a wetsuit) for 1.5-2 hr in it when the water temperature is as low as 59F. Today my ice bath was about 60F, and that was COLD! I was only in it for 15 min, so I can't imagine swimming in water that cold for as long as she does, even with a wetsuit.

My coach just called to see how I'm doing. We are reconsidering the 50K in light of my technique change. He thinks it may be unwise to do so many km with the new technique, because it's a lot for my body to handle. In addition, my most important races next year are 20K, and we don't want to jeopardize the training for those. I'll be disappointed if we have to postpone the 50K to next year, but if my coach decides it's the wise thing we'll do that, because he is always right. Seriously...he's really good, and if I didn't follow his advice I'd be a fool.

Edited to add: Total for the day = 25K in 2:43:54 for 6:33/km on average.

Friday, October 22, 2010

rest day; cross-training

Yesterday I took a rest day. I needed to be at work early, and my body was tired, so it worked out perfectly. I bailed on Lisa at the gym, but she forgave me :).

***

Today I was to cross-train. I did 1 hr 5 min, with half on the bike and half on the elliptical. Reading material: just finished Greg Mortenson's "Three Cups of Tea" and HIGHLY recommend it (our book club is reading it). Now I'm starting on Jimmy Carter's "White House Diary", which so far (about 65 pages in) is not as interesting as I thought, though there are tidbits that I really appreciate.

Tomorrow I'm going to do 25K. It's supposed to rain, but it might wait to do the most serious raining until later in the day, so hopefully it will work out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10K kickdown. Slow, but no foot pain.

I knew today could be interesting. It was.

Weather: It was pitch back outside and seasonably chilly (45F, 7C), but calm, and I didn't feel cold in my long-sleeved shirt and tights. I took off my gloves halfway through the workout. It didn't get light until I was almost finished with my workout. I think by 7:15 or 7:20 I could see the numbers on my watch without the backlight.

I was still pretty sore from the past few days of racewalking. I've done a lot of miles since last Wednesday, and that after a week off to rehab the foot. And I was supposed to do a 10K kickdown. My last two kickdowns have not been so great, either. Still, I figured I might do OK - you just never know.

I did well at pacing myself because I did this one on the track, which helps. Side note: the Army guys were at the track too, one time when I went around (only doing 6:30/km at this point) the officers yelled at the poor schlep just behind me, "You can't even go as fast as the speed walker!". Poor guy. He did pass me after that, but I felt sorry for him and told him he was doing a good job.

I was to do four segments of 2.5k each, at 6:30/k, 6:20/k, 6:10/k and all-out. I did my splits in 0.5km. I was fine for the first two segments, and able to keep the pace without too much effort. The third segment was hard to keep 6:10/k (3:05/each split) but I did do it. I knew it would be very hard to kick it up a notch and finish strong, and it was. I was able to do 6:00/k but just barely. It was pretty ugly, and not one of my finer workouts. It really hurt, too. The breathing was very hard, my legs were very heavy, and it felt awful. But I gave it everything I had and finished.

On the bright side, my foot didn't hurt at all except for maybe a slight twinge around 5K. And now, at lunch time, it feels totally fine. I'd rather be slow and uninjured than fast and hurt! My coach told me to try not to think about my form too much today as regards the foot injury, and I tried, but I confess it's hard NOT to think about something. I tried to let it go a bit. He figures I've probably developed some better habits so maybe I don't have to think so hard about it, plus I think he wants me to let go a bit to even things up on both sides.

And also on the positive side, my HR accelerated throughout the workout, and I did go faster for each 2.5K segment as I was supposed to, so my pacing was good. I was just slow today. Here are my 2.5K splits: 16:03, 15:49, 15:22, and 14:59. Yeah, that was pretty even pacing. I like it. It looks very pretty, as does the increase in my HR. I just wish I would have had more left in the tank for that last 2.5K. Total time: 62:19, ave HR 156.

Garmin connect data here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

15K & very sore...

I got up at the crack of dawn today so that I could do 15K before meeting Lisa for weights/foot PT/core exercises. I was on the road for my 15K by a little after 5:30 am, feeling not terribly awake. After about 5K, I knew it would be tough to keep 6:30/km for the whole thing, because I was just plain tired. My HR was not that high or anything, but it was just hard to push myself this morning. I did manage to keep going, though, and despite alternating slower/faster kms due to the very slight inclines in Liberty Park, I finished in 1:37:34 for 6:30/km with ave HR of 145. Oh yeah, and the 2km going uphill at the end was slowish too.

My foot? It actually almost felt totally normal. It was perhaps a little warm at times, but for the most part it really did not bother me at all! Amazing, really! Again, I reiterate that if you are a racewalker looking for a coach, Jim is the BEST. His biomechanical knowledge is superior, and combine that with a very personal approach and you end up with a fabulous coach.

The down side of being better? I've racewalked quite a bit in the last week since my coach figured out my foot problem, and it's definitely taken its toll on my body. I'm very sore today, partly because I had to sit in front of a microscope for hours at work this morning, and all my muscles have stiffened up. Mostly I'm sore in my glutes and hamstrings, particularly the hamstrings. I know that's because I probably need to use my glutes more when I RW. I've been thinking about my form a LOT lately (obviously!) and have been focused on that but clearly I still don't quite get it. It's going to take some time, and meanwhile, I'm going to be sore and stiff.

I'm a bit concerned about doing a 10K kickdown tomorrow (my scheduled workout) because of the soreness, but usually that doesn't do too much except maybe slow me down. Oh, yeah, and make my muscles even MORE sore. Haha. It's going to be interesting.

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Slow but no pain. I'll take that for now.

I was to do an 8K fartlek today: 1K fast, then alternating 500m med/500m fast to the end. I really focused on technique to make sure that I didn't hurt my foot. I know it's still a bit awkward and that probably explains why I was slow today. My fasts were between 2:49 and 2:54, and my recoveries were from 3:09 to 3:18 (plus one maybe longer but not sure - got distracted and started the 7th fast one maybe 10m too late so that recovery was 3:29). I really ran out of steam at the end - gave it my all on the last one and it was only 2:54.

I could be depressed that I'm slow (and I am a bit annoyed for sure) but I'm going to try and choose instead to be happy that my foot didn't hurt. It was warm, and I did need to ice it afterward, but I think it's fine. I can train! Yeah! The slow issue I'll have to work out with my coach.

Total time for the 8K: 48:48 (almost a minute slower than my last one!) for 6:06/km; ave HR 166 (see, I was working hard!).

Weather: super nice. We are getting lucky. 55F and calm and overcast. Threatening some rain but so far nothing.

Garmin connect data here.