Tuesday, August 31, 2010

fast (for me!) 6K fartlek

I almost didn't manage to do this workout. I went to the track and it was locked. There were runners there, but they'd climbed over a 10-ft-tall fence to get in, and I was NOT going to do that. I'd probably break something, because I'm clumsy! So I drove to Highland High and their track was locked from the west side. Drove around to the other side only to find out the cheerleaders were (rightfully, it's theirs) monopolizing the track. Ugh!

Gave up on the track and drove to 800E and just did the fartlek there. I did a very short warmup because I knew I was going to be late to work. I know, you should never cheat your warm-up (and I don't think I have until today!) but I figured 1K was going to have to be enough, plus some strides. I was not in a good place mentally by this time but figured I'd just go for it and see what happened.

It turned out very well - record pace for my 5K fartlek, and for 6K as well (though I've only done one other 6K fartlek I think). My speed was somewhat erratic, in part due to inability to focus very well and in part due to the gradual sloping of the street, up in places and down in others. I went out really fast, doing 1K in 5:26 (!!!). I think that may be one of the fastest 1Ks I have ever done, seriously. I haven't ever just gone out and done ONE 1K as fast as I can; I usually do them in sets, so that's why this was record-setting fast. My recovery was really fast too, at 2:59. Oops. That probably explains why the next 500m (fast) was only 2:56, but the next recovery was more on-target at 3:15 (on the splits it has 0:02 and 3:13 because I accidentally hit the lap button twice).

I continued with some slower ones and some faster ones (I'm talking about the fast 500s not the recoveries!, and I felt good, well, as good as you can feel when your lungs are burning. The cool thing was that I reached 5K in 29:30! Well, that's what it said on the watch, I thought. Looking at the splits, it seems that it was probably 29:33, but still - that was awesome! If I hadn't slowed/sped up so much I probably would have been faster, but like I said, some of it is the terrain. Anyway, I'm short on time so for more details just see the splits.

I finished in 35:44. My splits and other data are here.


Epilogue: after returning home and showering and packing my lunch, I went out to the garage to get Loren's bike to ride to work. The back tire was FLAT :(. I then had to unpack all my stuff and re-pack it into my backpack w/my computer so I could ride MY bike (which doesn't have the bike rack). Ugh! So I was pretty late for work. Grrrrrr. At least the workout went well, even if everything else wasn't so great this morning.

Monday, August 30, 2010

cross-training + weights

Today was an optional day, and I set my alarm for later, so that if I didn't wake up I could just go lift weights with Lisa. But I woke up around 6:15, so I had time to get to the gym a bit early and cross-train. I opted for 30 min on the stationary bike, and enjoyed reading while biking. It was POURING rain and thunderstorming this morning, and only about 50F (10C). We're going to have more warm weather, but I can tell fall is coming all too soon. Sigh...

After 30 min on the bike, I lifted weights. Supersets (3 sets each exercise): abduction on multi-hip machine/dumbbell chest press 30 lb per arm; single-leg squats/Arnold press; row/bridges on exercise ball (hold bridges 30 sec ea); calf raises on machine/tricep extensions. Then core: plank 1 min 45 sec, oblique crunches on ball, ball passes from feet to hands (lower abs), crunches on ball.

My hamstrings were fine after the 15k, but now they are a bit sore from the bridges on the ball. My calves are also sore from the calf raises on the machine - have been doing the single-leg calf raises w/o machine and I guess it's pretty different. Other than that, I'm feeling good and ready for my 6K fartlek tomorrow.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I did 15K this morning, and it was pretty uneventful. I felt good most of the time, though I did have to push a bit at the end (HR in upper 150s) to keep the pace going uphill for the last 3-4km, and I did feel tired for that last bit as well (but not horribly so, just as I'd expect for a workout like this). Haven't done 15K since before the USATF Outdoor Championships, so I was pleased with this effort. It was a great workout, and the weather was delightful - 62F (16.7C) and calm. You can't ask for much better than that.

Total for the 15K: 1:35:56, ave pace 6:23/km, ave HR 152.

2K 12:47
4K 12:34
6K 13:08
8K 12:54
10K 12:39
12K 12:46
14K 12:41
15K 6:23

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

behaving myself

I was a good girl this morning, and rode my bike with my friend Sarah on her 14-miler. I would rather have racewalked along w/her, but my coach said that wasn't on the agenda (yet). Soon enough. At least I could bike with her, and so I did. My rear end got sore despite biking shorts, and I got antsy, and this was supposed to be cross-training (yet my HR doesn't get high biking w/a runner!), so I decided to run a little with her. Pushing my bike. Yeah, that probably looked dumb, but it was fun, and good x-training. I did 30 minutes of 4:1 run:walk with her, and then resumed biking again (sigh...it was more fun to run!).

She did a fabulous job on her longest distance yet, covering it in 2:36! Way to go, Sarah! She didn't even look tired at the end. I bet she could easily have done another 3-4 miles.


I have some rare time at home alone, because Loren took the kids on a bike ride. Ahhhhh...so nice. I'm canning some grape jelly, because we had a ton of grapes and there's no way we're going to eat them all. I've never made jelly before; jelly is made from fruit juice, whereas jam is made from the whole fruit. Our grapes are green, so I did add some food coloring to make the jelly purple. It looked too weird otherwise.


I put this on Facebook too, but this was the bargain dress of the year: $6, plus $2.75 shipping from my friend Hilary in Kentucky. She is a genius shopper. I swear this dress was made for me, and the bonus? It's 100% polyester so no wrinkles even after shipping cross-country.

Friday, August 27, 2010


I switched around the schedule a little because I'm going to cross-train tomorrow. So today, I did 10K instead. My hamstrings were definitely a little sore, whether from racewalking or from the bridges on the exercise ball on Wednesday, I'm not sure. But I still was able to do a decent 10K; I slowed on the last 3K (tired, and uphill) but pulled out a 1:04:35 for 6:27/km. Garmin data here.

It was warm and muggy this morning (for here). 73F, and the humidity caused some chafing under my left arm. Annoying, but not a big deal. Hmmm, the slowing at the end could also have been in part due to the heat. I did splash water on myself at the fountain at Liberty Park, which helped some.


Despite the fact that I was tired after this workout, I went and did weight training afterward. I did ball push-ups, one legged squats, leg extensions, lat pull-downs, calf raises, lateral raises/front raises (raised weights on side and brought to center or reverse), tricep skull-crushers, and hip exercises on exercise ball (the hard ones my coach told me about). Then abs/core: oblique crunches on ball, back extensions on ball, 90 sec plank, ball passes (for lower abs), and hip-ups (also for lower abs). Whew. Stretching felt great afterward.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

12K w/2x12' fast, 2x10' recovery, rest normal

Today was a new type of workout, and I was excited to do it even though I figured it would be hard. Well, it was hard, but I did well and am quite happy with it. I felt really strong when I finished!

I was to do 12K with 2 sections of 12 minutes each fast, followed by 10 min recovery, and then the rest normal. Jim said I should shoot for about 6:05ish/km on the fast ones, 6:50ish for recovery, and then 6:30 for normal.

I started out downhill for a couple km to Liberty Park. I didn't go that hard (ave HR 142) but I got to 2 km in 12:15! That downhill is nice but it's pretty gradual; still, it obviously helps.

Then I started in on the first fast segment. I pressed lap every km on the fast segments, so this is laps 2-4 on my data. I did the first one in 5:49 (ummm, that was a little fast!) and thought maybe I should slow down, but remembered that it's hard to pick it back up so I just kept going and did the next km in 6:02, and continued 9 more seconds to finish the 12 minutes. I felt good about this except that I worried that I'd pushed too hard and wouldn't be able to stay strong until the end of the workout. Well, not much to be done about that, so I just continued on. I did the 10 min recovery (lap 5) at a pretty slow 7:05 pace; it was slower than Jim suggested, but it just felt right and so I went with it.

I decided to give myself 1K at 6:30 pace before going on to the next fast segment. I tried to get it right on the nose, but was a little fast (lap 6) doing it in 6:25. Then I just wanted to get the second fast segment over with, so I started on it and did pretty well, surprising myself a little! I did 1K in 6:00 (lap 7) and just shy of 1K (about 987m, so my Garmin says, lap 8) in 6:00 for my second 12 minutes fast. I had to work pretty hard for that speed; my HR was 169 ave for the 2nd 1K of the fast segment. Then another 10 min recovery, but I did 11 min by accident (bad math due to exertion!). I did the recovery at a 7:06 pace - almost the same as the 7:05 for the first one (lap 9).

Finally, the home stretch. I knew it would be hard to manage 6:30/k for the last 2k, as it was uphill (back the same way I started), but I figured I'd shoot for it anyway. Again, I surprised myself and did 6:27/k for the first one (lap 10) and 6:29/k for the second one (lap 11). I was very pleased with that effort! Yeah, the HR was an ave 161 for the last km, but I figure after that workout and with the hill, that's probably about right.

Total distance was actually 12.05 km (I wanted to have a 1K split for the last one, so went the extra 0.05) and total time was 1:17:04 for 6:23/km. However, it was a LOT more effort than merely doing 12K at a 6:23/km pace! Still, a very good workout.

Form notes: I tried to work hard on using my glutes, and I think I was successful for the most part. My hamstrings will still probably be a bit sore because it's not yet second nature to do it all the time, and when I get tired it reverts of course. But I feel like I must have used my glutes and calves more, because after the workout I actually biked uphill to work (!) and my rear end was really feeling it. And now, at lunch time, my calves are a bit stiff too. Unfortunately, at work this morning I sat in front of a microscope for several hours screening fish embryos, and so I'm sure I'll be more stiff because of that.

Garmin data here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

optional day

I do weight training on Wednesdays with Lisa, so I knew I'd at least do that much, but figured that would be it for today. Instead, my parents' dog woke me, whining, at 5:45.

Loren: "I think the dog has to go out."
Me: "Did you let the dogs out last night before bed?"
Loren: "She wouldn't go."

Arrrrgh! Of course there was no going back to sleep. So I went to the gym and did the elliptical for 30 min and then did my weight training. I did bridges on the swiss ball, cable crossovers (for chest), upright row (back/trapezoids), hip flexion on machine (works not only the hip flexors but glutes too), some other stuff which I don't remember (gee, such good records I keep), and abs with Lisa. We did planks again for 90 sec, as we are building back up to at least 2 min like we did before vacations hit us.

Tomorrow I have another hard workout on tap; 12 km with some faster segments. First time I've done this workout so I'm looking forward to it. Meanwhile, today I plan on taking the kids to the park for a bit.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

5K fartlek

I was a bit nervous as to how this would go, since my hamstrings have been a little sore and I'm working on my technique. But it went OK.

I decided to do this one at the track for accuracy, after watching Dave and Erin do their 8K fartlek at the track the other day. I warmed up for 1600m and did my dynamic flexibility drills. Everything felt pretty good, with just a little soreness in my right hamstrings and in both my glutes from the weight training. That helps, though, because then it's easier to feel when I'm using them!

I started out and did the first 1K in 5:38, just like on Friday. Hmmm, maybe this wasn't going to be so good. Then I did the recovery in 3:10 and the next hard 500m in 2:51, and thought maybe it would be OK. It was hard to concentrate on using my glutes for the first 3K or so. The next recovery was a slooow 3:19, followed by a 2:52 500m. I think my leg speed is OK, but my aerobic capacity has suffered from time off. Oh well. Still, I got through the first 3K in 17:50, which is faster than on Friday!

The 4th and 5th km I finally felt like I was using my glutes more, but I also slowed down; I think that was because I was starting to feel pretty winded. The recovery to start the 4th km was 3:15 (not bad) and then the next 500m fast was another 2:51 :). But the last km was not as good, with a 3:14 recovery (that was OK) and a 2:55 fast 500m, which showed my fatigue a bit, because I was really pushing at the end. Total time: 30:08. Not the fastest, but not bad either considering the layoff. I'm actually hopeful that my times will be much better this fall with an increase in my iron levels. I'm not there yet, but I think things will improve.

Ave HR for the workout was 165, and max 172. Garmin data here.


I still managed to bike uphill to work after that workout. My glutes were tired, but I made it just fine. It actually felt pretty good to bike.

Monday, August 23, 2010


8K was on the docket for today. It was pretty uneventful; though my hamstrings were a little tight and a little sore (only a little! yay!), I was speedy and finished it in 50:48, for 6:21/km, with ave HR just 139 (though I did have to stop for a couple stoplights).

I focused again on using my glutes and standing up straight. I hope it helped, though I'm not sure. I wonder if I'm doing it right, since my hamstrings are still a bit sore. It will probably take a while to get this fixed, so I'll just proceed and hope that I'm doing the right thing.

Garmin connect data here.


After the 8K I went to the gym and did a very good, hard weight training workout. I did single-leg squats, leg press, abductors, and calf raises for legs, and bench press, row, military press, bicep curls, and tricep pull-downs for upper body. For abs, Lisa and I did planks (1:30 - working back up to 2:00), curls on the ball, "hip-ups" for lower abs, russian twists with 8 lb medicine ball for obliques, and toe touchers w/medicine ball for upper abs. A good workout.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Today I was to do 12K. My hamstrings felt mostly recovered from Thursday & Friday after resting yesterday, but I was still nervous that this might be a tough workout. It actually turned out fine, so my fears were for naught.

I really concentrated on doing what Erin suggested and squeezing my glutes as I walked. I think it really helped! Plus I tried to focus on standing up straighter, as leaning forward even a little does stress the hamstrings. I had to concentrated pretty hard on my form for the 12K to make this happen, but I think it worked. We'll find out for sure tomorrow & Tuesday how my hamstrings fared, but it's a pretty good incentive to not want your hamstrings to hurt horribly, and so the concentrated effort will hopefully be worth it.

The first 6K I did the rather hilly route around SugarHouse Park. I love it, but it does take a bit out of you, and I knew that was risky with this being my first 12K in a month or so. Still, I did a 6:27/km pace for that 6K. Good! And then I kept the pace; I did the next 4K at a 6:22/km pace, not hard because it was mostly downhill & flat. Then the last 2K (uphill slightly) I managed a 6:37/km, which I think was pretty good for the terrain, and finished in 1:17:33 for 6:27/km overall. I'm quite happy with this workout. It was a good day. My ave HR of 150 does show that I was working reasonably hard.

I stretched well after the workout and so far my legs feel pretty good. The tale will be told in the next few days, but I'm optimistic.


In another note, I'm feeling ready to improve my eating habits again :). I did gain about 2 lb on vacation (1 kg) but considering that I wasn't all THAT careful, and I couldn't exercise as much as I would have liked (coach's orders), it's not so bad. As of this morning I was at 150.0 again, maybe 1 lb above where I was pre-vacation. I had a very good week this week, food-wise, and am ready to make it even better. It was very motivating to talk with Erin about weight stuff - we had both read some of the same articles about each pound really counting over distance, and since we both plan to do the 50K in January (or February, or whenever it is), it matters! I know in my heart of hearts that I still eat too much sugary crap after dinner, and that's OK sometimes, but I do it too often. I need to stop the compulsive eating behaviors, because I don't like feeling controlled by food. That's one of the reasons I joined Weight Watchers and lost 100+ lbs is that I felt powerless over my addiction. Now, don't worry that I'm 1) going anorexic or 2) going to lose muscle or excessive weight because I'm not. I doubt I could be anorexic if I tried - I enjoy food way too much for that! And as for losing muscle, I only plan to lose a few pounds (5? 7-8?) and will keep weight training like a madwoman. I like to be toned and strong. Finally, I will lose VERY slowly because I don't want to underfuel my training. We'll see if I can actually do this. I may be at a natural set point for my body and it may be difficult; however, like I said, I know that I do eat too much stuff that I shouldn't. If I decrease the amount of that stuff that I eat, the weight will come off naturally and without disrupting my training.


Loren has been working on our blackberry bushes (OK, plants, but now they're starting to get larger and more like bushes!) for several years now. This year we had our first real harvest. We got probably 2 pints of berries, with at least that many more still ripening. We scarfed down the first 2 pints and are eagerly awaiting the ripening of the remainder. I love summer!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Michelle had her first professional haircut a week or so ago. She did great! I've trimmed it before, but it was getting scraggly and needed some professional attention. She loved it! Click on the picture for more photos.

Twin Lakes

On Monday we hiked to Twin Lakes with my mom, and ate lunch up there. It was a great hike! Lots of pictures, so be sure to enjoy :).

racewalking friends :)

Yesterday, Erin and Dave arrived at our home en route to Portland for the Portland-to-Coast relay (remember, the cool race that I hurt my foot at last year). We have the same coach, and though I've met Erin once in person last year at Portland-to-Coast, we hadn't spent much time in person. We've gotten to know each other better online, and we are both musicians as well as racewalkers. Erin plays the oboe & bassoon, and teaches private lessons. So I was really excited that Erin and her husband Dave decided to stop in Salt Lake overnight, and will return for 2 nights on their way back.

Yesterday they walked 10K easy and I biked alongside, since I'd already done my 3K fartlek. Then last night we went out to dinner at a middle eastern restaurant we love here, Mazza, on 15th and 15th. Finally, we capped off a great day with some music; Erin brought a Haydn concerto which we played together. Very fun!

They had an 8K fartlek to do this morning, whereas I had a rest day. I would have done a workout w/them, but my hamstrings are still sore from the 10K on Thursday and the 3K fartlek yesterday. Yeah, it's because I'm not using my glutes enough, but that's another story (and Erin gave me a great tip to help with that - squeeze the butt while I walk! I'm going to try it tomorrow). Anyway, I did a 2K warm-up with them, and then was the water boy/photographer/cheerleader for their workout. Erin did her 8K fartlek in 44:47 (remember, my PR for the 8K fartlek is 48:40-something) and Dave did his in 42:02. Yeah, they are fast! Erin made it through 5K in 27:58, one second slower than my PR for 5K. Erin has beautiful, smooth technique and is a joy to watch. I actually wished I was doing the workout with them, even though that's a hard one. But I know I was smart not to do it!!!!!

They left this morning, but will be back on Labor Day weekend. I'm looking forward to it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

starting over again

I lost a lot of fitness in my 3 weeks off. Yeah, it was only 3 weeks off, but I'm definitely feeling it now that I'm back.

Today I was to do a 3km fartlek. A little nothing workout. It totally had my number.

I warmed up for 1 mile (1.6km) and did some dynamic flexibility drills. Then I started the workout. 1 km hard, and I was feeling good. I was sure I'd have about 5:30. Nope. 5:38. That was a wake-up call. The first recovery was slooooow, in 3:20 (for 500m medium effort). Ugh! I continued. 500m hard in 2:54. 500m medium in 3:13. 500m hard, uphill slightly, in 2:58.

Total: 18:03 for the 3K. That's not so good. Oh well!

My coach says that the first workout back is always lousy. He didn't use the word lousy, though ;).

My hamstrings were sore today from yesterday's 10K, which is lame, but probably explains some of this. I'm not happy about losing fitness, but it is what it is. Have to start from somewhere. My iron is probably still a bit low as well, and mentally it's not been that great either. My grandma (dad's mom, age 86) and grandpa (mom's dad, age 90) are both declining significantly over the last month. In addition, my dad's health hasn't been good.

The good news? I am not injured, I get to racewalk, and that's awesome. I am going to enjoy it, fast or slow. And slow is just what is to be expected for now.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I was to do 10K today. I started off fast, and felt great for 6K, going through 5K in about 31:30. Yeah, that's fast for me...but then I did get a bit tired later. My technique felt smooth and good for 5-6K, and I felt like I was using my glutes more and pushing through my toes, but once I got tired I think it fell apart a bit. My 10K time was 1:04:43 for 6:28/km, ave HR 145. Seems like my HR was higher, as every time I looked it was 150ish, but I guess I only look when I'm working it :).

So, feeling good, but I have to say that I don't seem to have much endurance at this point. I guess that will come with the training, and with improved iron levels.

Garmin data.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

some cross-training

Today I was to do some cross-training. I managed 30 min on the elliptical and then did some weights, but not much because I got up late and got to the gym late. I did do a good set of abs with Lisa, though. I also went out and bought a 65-cm exercise ball so that my coach can torture me with more exercises. I plan to do some bridges on it this afternoon. I'm still a bit sore from Monday's glute workout from "Unbeatable Buttocks" but that's to be expected, since I didn't do any sort of weight training for a couple weeks while on vacation.


Today's been busy otherwise. I heard about some free apricots that are ripe for the picking on someone's tree (work colleague) and she said I could go pick as many as I wanted, so I took the kids and did just that. Now I need to make some jam and can it, as some of them are quite ripe, even a bit mushy, which is fine for jam. There are plenty of good ones for eating, too :).

A bit of housecleaning is in order as well, as I'm still trying to get back into the post-vacation routine. OK, with all this stuff to do I've got to stop blogging now! I know I owe all of you a few more sets of photos from our trip (Zion National Park photos await!) but just can't do it right now. Maybe tonight?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Today I was to do 6K. I am enjoying these easier workouts before we ramp up to the more serious hard training and miles. Feels good to take it easy for a bit, though I do enjoy the harder training as well.

I woke up tired and a bit out-of-sorts again. Not sure why, as I got a good 8 hours of sleep. But the best remedy for a bad mood is exercise, so out the door I went. I took Copper, and she did OK for 6K but definitely wouldn't have made it too much longer.

I did 6.34K (Liberty Park) in 41:16, for 6:30/km on the dot. I did have to work it a bit coming up the hill on the way back, but it felt good. Ave HR 143.

Monday, August 16, 2010

vacation #3 - Grand Canyon, days 4&5

The next day we got up very early to start hiking, because we planned to hike down into the canyon, and it gets HOT down there! No, we could not hike all the way to the bottom. That requires an overnight, if you are not crazy, that is. It's 14 miles to the river, and over a mile of elevation change, so to hike there and back in one day is pretty nuts, especially when you consider that it's usually 105-110F at the bottom. Considering our abilities, we opted to have Michelle and Loren hike 0.7 miles to the Coconino Overlook and back, and Calvin and I would hike 1.7 miles to the Supai Tunnel and back (1400 feet elevation change each way to the Supai Tunnel). Those proved to be wise choices, as that was just about exactly what Michelle and Calvin were able to do.

Calvin and I hiked with Michelle and Loren to the beautiful Coconino Overlook, named for the Coconino sandstone that it rests upon.

I really loved the way this tree grew out of the rock and over the edge:

Calvin and I continued down to the Supai Tunnel, and a mule train arrived not long after we did. We enjoyed watching them file past as we took a little rest break.

We walked through the tunnel (very cool; named after the rock layer), and on the other side a great view down awaited us.

We turned around to head back up the trail; Calvin did very well and hiked all the way up the 1400 feet without complaining. Everyone passing us on their way down commented on what a great little hiker he was.

We rested a few hours after getting back to camp, ate lunch, and then attended a ranger talk. Calvin and Michelle got sworn in as Junior Rangers - so cute!

That evening, I couldn't resist taking a few more shots from the lodge after we attended a talk on California condors. We were not lucky enough to see a condor while at the North Rim, but there are 73 reported to be living there now, and they had 2 chicks born this summer.

The next day, we decided to drive to Point Imperial for a hike and picnic lunch. We took in the view first - it was amazing, as were all the viewpoints we visited. Seriously, the canyon is so incredible that the photos cannot begin to do it justice. You really have to go there!

Then we hiked a bit of the Ken Patrick Trail and enjoyed the views and spectacular wildflowers; I wanted to hike longer but a thunderstorm turned us around. We got back and ate most of our picnic lunch before it started to pour on us. We took shelter in the car and it passed quickly.

That was not to be the case the next day. We originally planned to spend 2 more days at the Grand Canyon, but it started to thunderstorm at about 4:30 am and the downpour was legendary. It continued to pour until 10 am, at which point our tent began to leak. At 11:30, with no end in sight (the forecast was for rain until at least 11pm and maybe longer), we decided to pack up camp. It was a wet, sloppy mess, but we shoved everything in the car and left for our next stop, Zion National Park.

More pictures:
North Kaibab Trail (Coconino Overlook & Supai Tunnel)
Point Imperial & Ken Patrick trail
More views from the lodge

vacation #2 - Grand Canyon North Rim, days 1-3

After visiting the petrified forest, we drove about 4 hr to the Grand Canyon. We went to the less-frequented North Rim, which has about 400,000 visitors/yr instead of the 4,000,000/yr at the South Rim. It's cool and lovely at the North Rim, and the campground is right on the rim in a ponderosa pine forest.

Upon arriving, we set up our tent and screen tent (again, it was drizzling a little!). We ate dinner, and since the weather was clearing we decided to hike a short ways to see the view at the rim. Loren and Michelle stayed at the first view point, but Calvin and I hiked the whole Transept Trail to the Grand Canyon Lodge. It was beautiful, as it was sunset.

The next day, we enjoyed a leisurely morning around camp followed by a visit to the visitors' center and the lodge, and a hike to Bright Angel Point. Though it was midday, the vista was still spectacular.

I was glad there were guardrails on that hike, as the dropoffs were steep on both sides in places. I'm NOT fond of heights!

We picnicked at a spot with a view of the canyon. The weather was perfect.

After our picnic, we drove to Cape Royal and hiked the short paved trail there (0.6 mile loop). There were views of Angel's Window, as well as vistas with the approaching thunderstorm. During monsoon season it pretty much thunderstorms every afternoon, though they are usually brief.

The next day, we decided to go off-roading a bit. We've had a small SUV for 2 years now and haven't really taken it off-road much, so it was time for a little exploring. There is an 18-mile drive to Point Sublime that requires 4WD, so we gave it a shot. The scenery was beautiful and desolate. There was almost no one out there except forest service workers cutting down underbrush. We did pass 2 cars on the way back, but that was it. Unfortunately, the road was very, very bad, and though we COULD have driven all the way out there, it would have taken probably 2 hr each way because we had to go so slowly due to the poor condition of the road. The kids were getting squirrely after only 1 hr, so we turned around and drove back. Another time, perhaps.

Later that day we attended several ranger talks, and also worked on the kids' Junior Ranger badges. They had a lot of activities to do to earn their badges!

More photos:
Bright Angel Point
Transept Trail
Cape Royal
Point Sublime road

vacation #1 - Bryce Canyon

Grrr...the HTML in Blogger is not cooperating, so the text doesn't line up correctly w/the photos. Sorry...they are in order, so hopefully you can figure it out.

We camped for 2 nights in the beautiful Bryce Canyon area, about 4 hours' drive from our house. When we arrived it was raining a bit, but we managed to get our screen tent set up and then it stopped. We set up the rest of our camp, made dinner, and kicked back a bit by the fire. The next morning, we decided to do the Navajo Loop hike, which is only 1.3 miles, but descends into the canyon amidst the hoodoos (rock formations here, caused by erosion of the sandstone) for over 500 feet. The kids LOVED this hike, and so did we (this was actually the second time Calvin has done this hike; he did it all at age 3!). Once back up at the top, we shot a few more photos of the incredible views. The gathering clouds made for some very interesting lighting!
Calvin took this photo:

I took this photo:
Later on, about an hour and a half before sunset, we hiked the Queen's Garden trail. It is about 1.6 miles long, and descends 320 feet. It's named for the Queen Victoria-like figure on one of the hoodoos. Not sure it looks like her, but I took a photo for my coach, who lives in Victoria, Australia.
When we ascended to the top again, the sun was setting and I got this shot:
The next day, we opted to drive an hour or so to the Escalante State Park and hike the petrified forest trail. It was a long way out of our way, but I must admit it was impressive - I've never seen such large pieces of petrified rock before. They were colorful with iron and manganese oxides, and you could see the tree rings. Very cool.
More photos here of Bryce Canyon:
Navajo Loop
Calvin's photos
Queen's Garden
More photos here of Escalante State Park.


Yesterday I tried again to donate platelets. It's been a while since last time, and I've been taking iron supplements, so I thought I'd see if I could donate. I couldn't. But the good news is that my hematocrit is up from 35 to 37. It has to be 38 to donate, but 37 is lots better, so that's good. Maybe in another month I'll be up to 38; probably will get my iron checked one more time to see if the numbers are high enough. Hard to racewalk as fast as you are capable of if your blood doesn't have enough oxygen-carrying capacity!


Today I was to do 8K easy. I decided to do a bit of a hillier route, going to Sugar House Park and around the park twice. It was fun :). I passed a few runners, which is always enjoyable. I know, I'm too competitive ;) but it's fun to have someone to chase. It felt pretty good this morning, and I worked on my technique. I am sure something's still not right, though, as my R piriformis is a bit sore, still. Oh well. I keep trying and maybe someday I'll be better.

8.15K in 52:36 for 6:27/km; ave HR 142. Not bad for all those hills!

After the 8K I went to the gym and did a bunch of exercises for glutes from the book my coach e-mailed me stuff from. It's called "Unbeatable Buttocks", which is a pretty funny title if you ask me :).

Garmin connect data here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

5K race photos; easy 6K

Here are the photos from our race yesterday. There's one video, too, near the end; I'm at 46 seconds into it.


Today my new training schedule commenced. I'm excited to be starting up again. I was to do an easy 6K, so I decided to go around Liberty Park, and I took my dog Copper with me. She was lagging a bit but did OK overall and didn't slow me down. I was a little sore from yesterday (only a little, in my hips) but overall felt good. I did 6.34K in 41:34 for 6:34/km. Haha, that's funny! 6.34K at 6:34/km :).


I have lots of vacation photos to link to, and stories to tell about our trip, but still haven't found time to do it. I'm going to try to donate platelets this afternoon, and if my hematocrit is high enough I'll have a few hours to kill and I can do it. But if not (and I'm suspecting it's still not that great), I will just go to work and screen fish that I crossed on Friday instead, in which case I won't have time to blog about the trip just yet. Tonight we're taking the kids to a church bbq/swim party, so I probably won't get around to it tonight either, but I promise to do it soon :).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm back!

I'm back from my blog hiatus, back from a nice camping vacation in Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Zion National Parks, and also back to training starting tomorrow.

But meanwhile, we did have a club 5K today, so of course I went. Before the 5K, I actually got up early (4:20!) and biked with my friends Sarah and Jessica as they did 12.5 miles in preparation for their first half marathon in a month. I wanted to racewalk with them, but my coach nixed that idea in a hurry. He might have said it wasn't very smart or something to that effect!

After the 12.5 miles, I drove over to the club 5K which started at 8 am. For the race, I was supposed to go somewhere in between all-out racing and taking it easy. Ummm, yeah...I pretty much did the whole thing at 90% effort, which I think is more than my coach intended. Had 28:38 at 5K on my Garmin; 29:41 at the end of the course (5.19K on Garmin). I'm not sure the course was really 5K (club members measured it with their Garmins) but I was somewhere around 29:00 I'd guess. Not too bad after a few weeks off!

After 2.5K in 14:15 on the Garmin, and a HR in the mid-160s, I thought it was looking like a nice day to race. I didn't push as hard as I could have, but I didn't let up either. HR was in the low 170s by the end of the race, and I felt surprisingly good. I could have gone faster. I guess my layoff hasn't hurt my speed any. Hopefully my iron levels are improving. I've been working on my technique, too, and today during the race I concentrated on bringing my hips through low, using my glutes, and pushing off my toes. It's not habit yet, but I do feel I'm getting smoother and more efficient.

Pictures and more about the race to come later. Meanwhile, duty calls. SO much to do after getting home from vacation Wednesday and working Thurs & Fri! Glad it's the weekend now, but there is still a lot to do around the house, and I have a few piano students this afternoon.

I'll also post pictures of the vacation later; we did lots of amazing hikes.

Garmin data from race here.