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


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 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


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 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.