Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

change of plans

This photo is from April, but it looked a lot like this today.

I was originally supposed to do 3k/2k/4x500m today, but because my foot is still aching, my coach switched today's and Thursday's workouts. So today I did 6x400m at 85% effort, and Thursday I'll do the longer one, assuming that my foot is feeling OK. It's not actually hurting so much as it just feels achy/odd. Jim thinks it might just be a little scar tissue getting irritated or something. I think he's probably right, but it's good to baby it anyway just in case it's something more.

I warmed up at the track with 1600m, as usual. Today I really tried to kick it up on the last lap because I knew I was doing 400s, and wanted to be adequately warmed-up. It took me 10:06 w/ave HR 140. Not bad. Then I did my dynamic flexibility drills.

It was warm this morning - about 70F (21C), and I was glad I was doing the 400s and not the 3k/2k/4x500m. At least with the 400s they are over with quickly and temperature is not as much of a factor. After my second 400, the sun came up over the mountains and it felt much warmer.

This workout felt pretty easy after the hard ones I've had. 400s can be hard if you do a lot, but six is not that many, and so it just felt good. Yeah, my legs were a little tired on the last one, but basically I felt fine. Here are my times: 2:12, 2:11, 2:10, 2:11, 2:10, 2:10. Ave HR ranged from 147-157; max 159-170. I felt like I gave more like 90% on some of those than 85%. Hard to say...I'm not good at measuring 85% vs 90% or 95% effort. I know that the last 100-200m of some of them felt pretty hard, in a good way.

My foot was a bit achy during the workout, in the usual spot for the peroneus longus tendonitis (left foot) that I was dealing with last fall & winter. Often it will bother me more later in the day after a hard session; today so far it just feels about the same. I'm taking that as a good sign. Of course, it's only lunch time, so we'll see how it is later in the day. I'm optimistic that it will be all right.

Oh, almost forgot...splits, etc. on Garmin connect are here.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

15K on 4 hr sleep

I don't recommend this. 15K on 4 hr sleep is not fun. I didn't get to sleep until after 1 am, because of the piano competition. They announced the results about 11 pm (sadly, Greg did not make the finals), and then Greg and I went to the store on the way home, and I was buzzing from the adrenaline of the whole thing and from the coffee I had before we went over there. Greg makes some SERIOUSLY strong coffee; good, but strong. I digress. It was at least 11:30 when we got home, and then I ended up chatting on FB with my coach and with another racewalker from Australia, David. I was also waiting up for Greg to find out about changing his plane reservations to go back tonight instead of Friday, so by the time I got to bed it was about 1 am. It took at least 15-20 min to fall asleep, and my alarm was set for 5:15 am. UGH! I had to make sure that I got back from my walk by about 7:30; the Bachauer competitors & hosts were invited to special seating at the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast this morning, with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square, and we were to arrive there by 8:45 am. Whew.

So, I set off on my walk about 5:45 am. I ate a banana before leaving, because I still felt a bit shaky from the previous nights' coffee. I felt GREAT for the first 6K. I was thinking a lot about the upcoming 5K & 10K in Sacramento, and how exciting it's going to be. I just found out from the website that Katie Grimes, who I raced in the Portland Marathon as well as in Spokane in 2008, is going to be there. That means we're going to have a great race! We always push each other so well, and I'm totally looking forward to it. We are very evenly matched, though I think she has the edge in the shorter races, with a faster PR than me. So on the hilly first 6K, I thought about that and also thought about how Greg didn't make the finals last night. I still feel really disappointed about that; I thought he had a reasonable shot at it, and I'm actually quite sad that he didn't make it. This morning my sadness had a bit of an angry edge, and so I walked fast on the hills. The combination of the fast first 6K on the hills (I did about 6:30 on them) and the lack of sleep caught up with me later, however. I had a lot of trouble keeping my pace at the end, and I did slow. My legs felt heavy again today; not horribly so, but enough to feel tired and slowed down and out of sorts. Oh well. I'm not worried about this, as I think a day off (tomorrow) will cure it. But it made me slow.

The worrisome thing is my left foot. That's the one I injured last summer. I noticed a little ache in the place where I had the tendonitis (peroneus longus tendonitis, where the tendon inserts in the first metatarsal). It started about maybe 6-8K into the walk and never really hurt, but it did ache. Now, at noon, it is still aching. I did take some diclofenac, my prescription anti-inflammatory, but it's still bothering me a little. I hope this is not going to be a problem. I will rest tomorrow, do some gentle PT exercises, ice it, and take some more diclofenac, and hope for the best. I think it will be OK, but it's annoying that it's bothering me again. I also will retire the shoes I was wearing, as they have about 370 miles on them now and it's time. Hopefully all of this will make it OK.

I forgot to switch my Garmin from "biking" to "running" so the workout is in 2 segments on Garmin connect. The first was a steep uphill of 0.45km in 3:42. Then I remembered, and had to reset it and start over. GRRRR! The rest of the workout (linked here)was in 1:35:42 for a total of 1:39:24 for the 15K, or 6:37/km. Ave HR for the last 14.55 km was 148, so I was working reasonably hard. I was just slow today, and my legs were tired, and now my foot aches. Oh well. I did OK, though, and feel all right about it as long as my foot holds up. I have two exciting races coming up July 23 and 25!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Biking on Wasatch Boulevard

Today was a cross-training day. Views like this were the norm this morning on my ride. It was totally gorgeous out there. From Wasatch Boulevard, high up on the bench, you can see the whole valley stretched out beneath you. Yes, first I had to bike UP there, but it was worth it. After about 4km of relatively hard uphill, I enjoyed the rolling hills of Wasatch Blvd for another 11km or so before turning around. I took it pretty easy, though - ave 21.2 km/h; 30.61 km; 1:26:35 total time. It was SO enjoyable. I would have stayed out longer except that I didn't want to trash my legs for tomorrow's 15km.

I made it all the way to the golf course by 6200 South before turning around. Sometime I'm going to bike all the way to my parents' house in Sandy (they're at about 10000 South), I think...that might be fun!

Workout details here.

Now I'm going to spend some time listening to the last day of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, assuming Loren will watch the kids for me. I think he might :). Tonight I will take Greg over there to hear the last few pianists and the jury announcement of the finalists. I truly hope he is one of them.

Friday, June 25, 2010

5K fartlek

Weather: 65F (18.3C) and sunny - gorgeous!

Workout: 5K fartlek - 1K hard, then alternating 500m medium/500m hard until the end.

How I felt: Was kind of sleepy and wondered if I'd wake up enough for a good workout. But by the end of my 1.83km warmup (just over a mile), I felt reasonably good. I threw in a few strides to get the fast twitch muscles going, did some dynamic flexibility drills, and off I went. I felt pretty good through 3K, and then was tired but still able to push hard. I really gave it my all for this workout, and I was thoroughly exhausted at the end.

More details: I did the first 1K in a very quick 5:31 (though it was slightly downhill; about 3m). The 500m times were 2:51, 2:42 (fast! flat, too), 2:50, and 2:48 (and this on a very slight uphill, 3m, and at the end of the workout). My 500m medium were 3:08, 3:12, 3:17, and 3:21 (yes, I was tired on that last one, but it was also 4m of uphill, slight, but enough to really notice). Total time: 29:45!!!!! That is almost as fast as my 5K race a few weeks ago. I'm definitely getting in better shape. My coach says that 5K fartlek time minus 1:20-2:00 is 5K race time. I cannot imagine that I'd be able to do more than 1:20 faster, but even that would be a 28:25, a PR by 11 seconds. I'd take that! We'll see. I have a 5K race next Saturday, July 3rd, the Murray Fun Days 5K.

My coach said it was a good walk today :). I'm happy :).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

masters swimming today

This morning I was to cross-train, so I decided to go to the masters swimming workout, to give my legs a breather. I have a hard (but short) workout tomorrow, so why not rest a little?

I got there a bit late and just did 100m warm-up. We are still in the 50m outdoor pool - I love being outside! Besides, it was 65F (18.3C) this morning (supposed to get up to 94F, 34.4C) and sunny and just gorgeous. I'm loving the summer weather.

We did two sets of 300m, 200m, 100m freestyle on the 2:20/100m. I got about 15-20 sec rest after the 300s, and about 5-10 sec after the 200s. Then we did some technique drills; 10x50 total. We did the catch-up drill and fist drill, and some regular swimming to work on lengthening our reach in the front and also pulling strong with the forearm.

Total distance: only 1800m, but it was a good workout and I enjoyed it. As an added bonus, my legs will be nice & fresh for tomorrow's 5K fartlek.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

12K with Sue on the Porter Rockwell Trail

This morning I was to do 12K. I e-mailed Sue to find out if she'd like to go with me on the Porter Rockwell Trail in Draper. I haven't racewalked there in a while and it sounded fun. I haven't seen Sue in a while, and so I was happy to get to RW and catch up with her at the same time. Sue and I did a lot of long days together on the Jordan River Trail last summer when I was training for the Portland Marathon, and she helped me coach the Team in Training people as well. She's a good runner, but willing to slow her pace a little to go with me :).

The weather was perfect shorts and T-shirt weather at 55F (12.8C) and sunny (though the sun hadn't peeked over the mountains when we started at 6 am). The Porter Rockwell Trail has a 7-mile loop that we decided to do, and then to get the 7.4 miles (12K) we did just a little in the park at the end. The loop is gently rolling hills; my Garmin said that it was 40m up and 40m down along the way. While there is only one steep hill on the loop, you really do notice the hills quite a bit.

When we started I felt a bit tired and kept looking at my watch to see my heart rate --- only in the low 130s to start, and I had a little trouble pushing to get going a little faster, probably because I was chatting with Sue. Once I got going, though, I felt pretty good until 8-9K, when I got a bit tired and was glad for a couple water stops we made on the way back (there are some water fountains along the trail). Still, nothing was sore at all, and I didn't have to push too much to keep a 6:30/k pace despite the hills. The time passed quickly as we chatted about everything from art (Sue is a graphic designer and artist who is looking for work, if anyone knows of something) to music to running/marathons to camping in the Grand Canyon.

Total time: 1:18:11; ave pace 6:31/km; ave HR only 140! I'm getting fitter :). My legs still feel pretty fresh!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fast track workout

I hope that Greg plays the piano today in the competition just as well as my track workout went. Despite sore muscles from Sunday's power hike/trail run (quads, abductors) and yesterday's weight training (obliques, chest), I was fast. The fastest yet this year in a track workout. Actually, come to think of it, this may be the fastest set of 800s I've ever done. I'd have to look to be sure.

I warmed up with 1600m in 10:14 with some accelerations thrown in. Then I did my usual dynamic flexibility drills. Then I got started.

Workout: 5x800/200 with 30s rest between 800 & 200 and 3' rest before the next set.

Weather: GORGEOUS! Sunny, 58F, slight breeze. Absolutely lovely.

The first three 800s felt pretty good; I was working hard but not dying. The fourth one was very hard, and the last, well...I was tired, and I slowed down. I really tried not to, but I didn't have anything left. Still, I'm very happy with the workout.

My times?
4:28, 1:00
4:28, 1:00
4:28, 1:01
4:28, 1:02
4:32, 1:02

Workout details here on Garmin connect.

Monday, June 21, 2010

light-weight ;)

I was a light-weight today. I just did some weight training on my arms, chest, and back, and also some core exercises. Chest press/row; lateral raises/tricep extensions, back extensions/ab machine (upper abs), shoulder press/bicep curls, oblique exercise w/weights, plank, crunches on ball, ball passes from feet to hands (supine), bicycles, and a few other things I think.

I wanted to rest my legs for tomorrow's track workout, because they're somewhat sore after yesterday's hiking/trail running. Believe it or not, the thing that is the most sore is my abductors, probably from the stabilization effort required for running on uneven surfaces. That's great cross-training and I will probably do it more often.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grandeur Peak hike/trail run

I was to do cross-training today; I'm starting my easy week (3 hard, then 1 easy is the pattern). I thought about biking today, but wasn't in the mood. My appetite for hiking was whetted by the jaunt with the kids yesterday. Plus, it's been about 9 years since I hiked Grandeur Peak, and I was in the mood to tackle it again.

Yeah, last time I hiked it I was quite overweight and not in good shape at all. I remember that it took about 4 hours round-trip, and on the way down, about 0.1 mile from the car, I slipped on some gravel, fell, and broke a chip off the top of my left talus. (Incidentally, that was the third time I had broken my left ankle!). The hike itself had gone well, though; I remember how great it felt to get to the top and see the incredible view. Other memories from the last time I hiked it: from the saddle to the top is pretty steep and I remember stopping a lot. Heck, I remember stopping a lot on the other parts, too. It's a fairly challenging hike, with a continual grade from the get-go to the top. I remember feeling really bad that Loren had to stop and wait for me so frequently, and I was stressed out that I was holding him back. Wow...almost can't believe that those things really happened to me. It's like it was another life. I guess in a way it was.

So I was very curious to see how today would compare to the last time I did this. I thought I'd be able to run up parts of it, but it was only flat enough to run in a few spots. Mostly I powerwalked up the steep grade to the top. There are a lot of switchbacks, places with rocks, etc. The trailhead starts at 5960ft/1816m and goes up to 8299ft/2530m in just 2.75 miles/4.4 km (according to a Garmin was pretty close at 1805-2528m) Click this link for more info on the trail. What was great about this time around was that I only stopped twice, both times because I wanted to take pictures, not because I had to stop. I could easily have gone all the way up without stopping at all! The whole time up I was smiling inside because I felt so different than the previous time I did this - so strong, and so good. I would not give up the way I feel now for anything.

I reached the summit in 58:46. Yes, that's right - it took me less than an hour to get to the top, incredibly. I am sure that last time it took at least 2.5 hours. Going up my glutes and calves got a good workout, but coming down it was my quads that complained the most. I'm pretty sure I'll be a little sore tomorrow. At the top it was way too steep to run down, but after I passed the saddle I was able to run about half the time or more. Granted, I didn't run fast, as I was paranoid about tripping, falling, or breaking my ankle again. But I did run - and it was FUN! I can see why people love trail running so much. It was amazing to run through the dappled sunlight of the forest near the bottom. I might have to try a little trail running with a friend of mine who enjoys it.

The rest of my pictures are here, including 360 degree views from the summit. You can see the whole Salt Lake Valley, including the city & the lake, from up there. These were taken with the camera on my phone, so please excuse the quality. They're not bad for a little camera, though.

Total time: 1:47:38, about 750m up and 750m down, average pace 11:52/km, and average HR 135 (note that ave HR on the way up was 148).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A little hiking :)

It was SO beautiful today that I just had to take the kids for a hike. Yeah, I know, I did 15K (9.3 miles) this morning, fast...but I still wanted to hike. The kids are slow, so I figured it would be OK. Besides, I wanted to break in my new hiking boots. I got them for only $67 at the Columbia outlet in Kimball Junction, and they are pretty nice boots!

So we hiked from Silver Lake at Brighton up to Lake Solitude. There were lots of small snowfields on the trail, and the kids needed quite a bit of help negotiating them. When we got closer to the lake, we lost the trail in the snow, and both kids were crying because it was a hard slog. We turned around and found another way up that didn't have so much snow. We finally made it up to the lake and enjoyed a picnic lunch up there. Then we hiked back; both kids did really well and made it all the way back, though they were tired. We hiked for 2 hr and went only 5.5 km (3.4 mi). But we did have a lot of elevation change, and we didn't hurry. Like you can hurry with two kids ages 3.99 (she'll be 4 on 6/23!) and 5 1/2!

Pictures here - some of them came out great. The aspen are just starting to leaf out, and they are that bright iridescent green that I just love.

Fast 15K

Workout: easy 15K (yeah, I was supposed to take it easy)

Weather: Sunny, breezy, 61F (16.1C) to start and 71F (21.7C) at the end.

Where? Jordan River trail, one of my favorite places to go. I have to drive 15 min or so to get there, but it's worth it when I have the time to do it.

I did start off fairly easy, but then I was feeling really good, so I decided to aim for 6:30/k. Then I got on a roll, and was feeling nice & strong, so I just pushed a little. My heart rate was kind of high for most of the workout, but it didn't FEEL hard. It felt easy-moderate at the start, moderate in the middle, and from about 12K on it was moderately hard, but I felt great the whole time. My legs were not the slightest bit heavy, and I felt I was using my glutes more. It just felt great.

It was awesome to be outside this morning. SO many birds along the route; I even saw three white pelicans! I also saw lots of runners, as the SLC Fit people were out there for a 10-miler. I know this because I pilfered their water (thanks!) and chatted with a couple of them during the few times I stopped for a drink. One lady I talked to was 62 years old, started running @ age 55 and has done 4 marathons. She was really interesting! Too bad I didn't have longer to chat.

I was a bit tired from 12-15K but not heavy legs tired, just slightly tired from pushing a little :). It was a good kind of tired, and I finished strong.

Total time 1:35:55, 6:23/km. Ave HR 151.

Friday, June 18, 2010

light cross-training

I'm really tired. Not from my workouts, but from life. This week has been over the top. It's my week to work 3 days (I alternate working Tu Th and Tu Th F), plus the kids are in vacation Bible school each morning (lots of extra driving), plus we have our guest pianist here, and several more minor things. I'm not sleeping very well because of all the activity & associated anxiety.

This morning I did the elliptical but only for 40 min because things are just too crazy, and my body is tired from everything that is going on around our house. Anyway, the workout was unremarkable.

Tomorrow: 15K easy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

decent enough day at the track

Workout: 2x2k (4' rest), 3x800/200 (3' rest after each; 30" between 800 & 200). This is a toughie - hard to generate leg speed after the 2k intervals.

Weather: Very chilly at 40F (4C) and a biting wind. It did warm up to about 49F by the time I was done, and the sun peeked over the mountains by the time I finished the 2k intervals, which made it more tolerable. Had to wear gloves, long-sleeve shirt, and long tights. Brrrr! At least it didn't rain. The track was wet from the thunderstorm last night, though. The weather looks to be clear and warming up a bit for the next few days, which is nice.

Quick recap (only have a few min to write): The 2Ks went very well at 11:41 and 11:42. I was pleased. I felt really good during them and felt like I could have done more. The 800/200s...well, after the pre-fatiguing of the 2Ks, they were slow. My legs felt like I was racewalking in sand or mud. I did them in 4:38/1:02, 4:40/1:02, and 4:38/1:02. Not fast, not pretty, but I was out there and did the workout. Payoff will come later.

Of note: Very sore upper back from sleeping on it funny, kind of like when you get the kink in your neck, but in my upper back. Hurts when I turn too far L or R. I thought it might bug me while RW but it didn't really. Hopefully it will go away by tomorrow. Also, my right calf is spasming a little bit & twitching. It was doing this yesterday, too. Annoying, but not painful at all and didn't seem to affect my workout.

Garmin connect link here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

easy 12K

Yes, you read that right. My coach is letting me do my recovery days at an easier pace, since I wasn't recovering so well. I felt really good on this one for the first 6K, but my legs started to get a bit heavy & tired on the last 6K. Nothing like Sunday, but it just reminded me that it was good to take it easy. I finished the 12K in 1:22:00 for 6:50/k with an ave HR of 138.

Liberty Park is still a mess from the oil spill, but now they have the park open except for a small stretch on the south end, so I was able to go around the park. I also went around Sugar House Park, and saw the most beautiful sunrise, with the rays of the sun peeking behind orange and pink clouds just over the mountains. It was a lovely morning; a bit warm at 66F (19C) and partly sunny. Now it's sunny and windy - a storm is coming through. Ugh...will probably rain on my track workout tomorrow :(.

After my 12K, I drove to the gym and lifted weights. Chest press (machine)/hip cybex machine for abductors, back extensions/leg press (machine), lateral raises/calf raises, all of those 3 supersets of 10-12 reps. Then a bunch of miscellany --- 3 sets tricep pull-downs, 1 set leg extensions (quads), 1 set on abs machine, and a couple other things I don't remember now :). Finally, a good hard set of core exercises with Lisa, including planks, then stretching.

Workout details here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New arrival

My brother and his wife just painted the room for their new baby, expected to arrive in just a few weeks. I'm so excited for them, and they sent me the cutest photos! I just had to share.

I get to see the new baby at the end of July when I travel to Sacramento for the USATF National Masters' Championships; I plan to stay a while and help them out :). Loren gets to stay home with our kids...I think he'll manage (I hope!).

a glimpse of the "old" Tammy?

Today's workout was fantastic. It's weird how you can really suck on Sunday and then go on to have such a great workout on Tuesday. I'm not complaining, though!

Weather: 57F (14C), calm, and sunny. Gorgeous morning - absolutely PERFECT weather. If I could choose race weather, this would be it. Seriously! I wore shorts and a T-shirt and was neither too hot nor too cold.

Workout: 8K fartlek, alternating hard/medium: 500m/500m, 1K/1K, 2K/1K, 1K/500m, 500m.

I warmed up for 1.67K downhill in 10:36. I didn't push much but did a few strides at the end. Then I did some dynamic flexibility drills. I felt decent; muscles weren't sore at all though my back was still a little tweaked from the bad lifting yesterday (mostly better though). I decided to do the same exact course as on last Thursday since it was the same workout.

I felt smooth and good today. I felt like I was getting a little more length out of each stride, and using my glutes a bit more. My form felt like I imagined it felt last summer & fall before my layoff. It felt good! I felt a bit like the "old" pre-injury Tammy.

My fast segments were a little faster than Thursday, though not spectacularly so. But my recoveries were MUCH better than last Thursday, so my time was almost a MINUTE faster!!! Total time: 48:49 (fastest ever by 51 sec!), ave HR 160.

OH, and I hit the 5K mark at 29:53 or!!!

Splits: 2:47 500m, 3:05 (fast recovery!) 500m, 5:50 1K, 6:23 1K, 5:55 + 5:52 = 11:47 2K, 6:41 1K, 5:50 1K*, 3:23 500m, 2:59 500m. *I pushed the lap button 0.04km late by accident, so this interval is a few seconds longer and the previous recovery a few seconds shorter.

Awesome. That's all I'm going to say :).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rest day

I am not going to exercise today. I need the rest.

I tried to sleep in, but was too anxious about all the cleaning, etc. I have to do before our houseguest arrives. We are hosting a pianist, Greg DeTurck, who is competing in the Gina Bachauer competition. I just painted the kitchen and so it was a total disaster this morning with stuff strewn everywhere and nothing in its place. The kitchen is mostly better now. However, the kids' rooms are junk heaps, the whole house needs a good vacuum, and everything is dusty & dirty. Ugh!

I spent all morning at the grocery store and Costco, and tweaked my back a little lifting the dog food that I got at Costco. I know, I know, lift from your legs. I was trying...but sometimes...well, it didn't work. I think it's OK though, just a tweak.

I'm exhausted from waking up early so I think to maximize my efficiency I'll take a 30-45 min nap so I have the energy to get everything done. Not much of a rest day, is it?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

epic bonk

weather: 52F (11C) and windy, threatening rain (but dry the whole time).

of note: Liberty Park is closed because of an oil spill. Yes, you read that right. There was a pipeline leak into Red Butte Creek, spilling 50 gallons of crude/min. Thanks a lot, Chevron. I still walked around the north & west sides of the park (away from the spill and cleanup area), but if I'd been spotted I know the police would have asked me to leave.

I felt pretty tired when I woke up (sleepy; went to bed too late because of painting our kitchen) but my muscles felt good. I was excited to do 20K when I was relatively fresh. I ate a banana before I left, and filled my water bottles.

I felt great for the first 2K, so-so for the next 2K, and then it was all downhill from there. I did make it to 10K in just over 1:05 (which was a little over 6:30/k pace) but I knew I couldn't hold it. My lungs and HR were fine, but my legs were SO tired. By 13K I almost quit. Really - I was so close to bagging it, because I just hurt. But I decided to slow down and just finish. I'm not sure that was the right thing to do, but what the heck.

I cannot remember when I have felt so awful during a workout. It was worse than last week. A lot worse. Despite eating 1 pkg Sport Beans at 8km and 15km, I got no pick-me-up from them. I just felt worse and worse. My legs were so heavy, and every step was just painful. I'm trashed now. It seems like this was a giant carb crash, but I'm not sure why it happened. I ate enough while I was out.

I'm a little concerned. I just don't feel right at all somehow. My coach has made my schedule easier and I'm still not doing well. I think I'm going to call my doctor and just get in for an appointment to get checked over. I'm past due for a thorough physical anyway, so it's probably a good idea.

It's 9:15 am now but I am going back to bed. Seriously.

Total workout time: 2:15:41 for 6:47/km. The last km (admittedly, a good uphill) was a mind-numbingly slow 7:30. Yeah, that's how bad I felt.

Workout details here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

rainy 10K

This picture was taken from the north end of Sugar House Park this morning. It was beautiful, with the clouds enshrouding the mountains. But yes, it's still raining. It wasn't when I headed out the door, but I was prepared. I wore capris and a long-sleeve shirt, with a baseball cap to keep the rain out of my face if I needed it (I forgot this on Thursday and was sorely missing it!). It was 48F (8.9C) with ominously threatening skies. I decided that since I was only doing 10K today, and because it was a recovery walk not a hard session, that I would do a very hilly route. I like this route a lot despite the hills; it goes through the Yalecrest neighborhood, one of Salt Lake's older and prettier neighborhoods, as well as Sugar House Park.

I made it to 5K or so before it started to rain. It didn't rain as hard as it did on Tuesday, and it tapered off slightly at about 8.5K, but I got good and wet. I hope that one of my two pairs of shoes (I rotate them) will be dry tomorrow for my 20K. I might have to toss them in the dryer on low. Tell you what - I'm MORE than ready for some summer weather any time it decides to show up. This endless spring is getting old.

The first couple miles (3.2K) of the route are a serious uphill. I was slow, but figured I'd make time on the way down 1900E to Sugar House Park, and I did, despite the rain, and despite Copper (my dog) getting a bit tired. Maybe I shouldn't take her, as she is definitely slowing down, but she has cancer and we don't know how long she has, and I want her remaining life to be enjoyable. She LOVES going for walks! If I don't take her she looks so disappointed. My heart rate was not that high, but I did feel like I was working moderately hard this morning. Not sure what's up with that. I got to 8K in 52:17, just over 6:30/k, and felt good about that. The next 2K had some pretty good uphill and a little downhill; still, I got to 10K in 1:05:42. I cruised downhill for the last 0.28K, and my average pace for the workout was 6:33/km, average HR 143 (low! - seemed like every time I looked at my watch that it was in the upper 140s, but I guess I only looked when I was tired!).

A good workout. 20K planned for tomorrow, and I'll be doing it on a flatter course, that's for sure!

Details on Garmin connect here.


More notes from yesterday - my coach thought my workout yesterday was pretty good. At least, the speed parts were good. He thought the interval speeds were showing improvement in my leg speed, but my recoveries were, ummm, in his words, "like death". Yeah, not so good. He says that means I'm just not aerobically fit yet. I guess that's good, because it means I can go lots faster. But the bad part is that my races are looming in just 6 wk, and I'm not ready, and there's nothing I can do except keep training hard and keep my fingers crossed for a breakthrough. Oh well, at the very least I'll enjoy some good times with other racewalkers and a nice visit with my brother, his wife, and their new baby. AND a week away from the duties at home & work.

Friday, June 11, 2010

8K fartlek

Today I was to do an 8K fartlek, but of a different kind than in the past. Previously I've done 1K hard, then alternating 500m medium/500m hard until the end. But today my coach had me do a ladder of sorts: 500m hard, 500m medium, 1K hard, 1K medium, 2K hard, 1K medium, 1K hard, 500m medium, 500m hard.

My legs were slightly sore when I got up (hamstrings, the usual...) but otherwise I felt pretty good. The weather was cooperating better today. It was a bit chilly, but really perfect weather for a hard workout. At 49.3F (9.6C), overcast, and very still, I decided to wear shorts and a T-shirt. 50F is usually my cutoff for wearing long sleeves and tights, but with no wind and with the hard effort I was going to put forth, I opted for the shorter outfit. I did wear gloves for the warm-up, but then stashed them when I started the hard part.

I was bored with fartleks in Liberty Park, so I did this on 800 East instead. It does have some slight inclines, but is basically flat, and the traffic is low. I did have to pause a couple times to cross 1300S/1700S, but not for long (a few seconds). This is a pretty good place to train. I picked a 2K length of the road and went out and back twice for the workout.

I warmed up for 1 mile (downhill) in 10:20, pretty easy. I did flexibility drills and then I was off. The first 500m was on a very slight downhill and I missed the split on my watch by 20m (oops), but it was a fast 2:50 for that 520m. Good, I thought, maybe I'll be fast today. Nope. But I wasn't terribly slow either, for most of the intervals. The first 1K was in 5:52; I guess that's a bit slow but it was slightly uphill. I felt pretty good for all the intervals except the 2K, which just seemed long today. It had a slight uphill for the first 1/2 and then a slight downhill. I can see by looking at my HR on the player of the Garmin connect website that I eased up a bit in the middle; I will admit to being a bit conservative for part of it because I think I was a bit afraid of the length of the interval for some reason. Anyway, the 2K was slow because of that; 11:58. Grrrr. Then I resolved to really focus hard and push hard for the rest. My recoveries were very slow after the 2K; I guess I got tired, because I kept my HR in the 150 range for them. The last 1K was flat, and I did it in 5:53, and then pushed on the uphill last 500m for 2:55.

Not bad. Not great either. But I worked hard and did what I could. Now I get to have a few easy days. 10K tomorrow, 20K Sunday, optional on Monday. Good thing, because I am definitely a bit stiff after this workout. Probably didn't help that I do weight training with my friend Lisa on MWF, and so when I have a week like this where my hard workouts are W & F, it does throw things off. I did weight training after my workout on Wednesday and also today. I tried to avoid too much hard leg stuff, but I did do some one-legged ball squats today, along with some sideways walking w/resistance to work my gluteus medius and avoid recurrence of that evil IT band problem I had last year. I did a bunch of other stuff which I'm too lazy to list (mostly arms/chest/back) and also did a whole lot of core work with Lisa.

Workout link on Garmin Connect for interested parties here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

12K in the rain

It was raining when I got up to go for my walk. It was warm, though (56.7F; 13.7C) and I wore a rain jacket for the first part but then took it off for the second part of the workout. I brought my dog, Copper, but I guess her age is starting to catch up with her. She's 9 now, and she could only keep up for 5.75k and then I had to leave her at home, along with my jacket.

I did my favorite 12K route, encompassing SugarHouse and Liberty Parks. The first half (the SugarHouse Park part) is pretty hilly, so you can't really make good time on this route, and I didn't. But I just tried to keep my heart rate at a moderate level (around 150); pushing a little, but not too hard, and that felt good. I felt great today, and my only complaint was a little soreness (quite minor) in my hamstrings. I focused on standing up straight and using my glutes more, for what that's worth.

It rained on me a lot, but it was only unpleasant at the end. It rained hard for the first 4-5k, then tapered off to a light rain. After I dropped my jacket off the rain stayed light for a few km, but by 8 km it was raining hard again, and it was raining quite hard by 10.5km. Mostly the rain was pleasant and cooling, and as a friend says "you won't melt". But by the end I was tired of it, and my feet were really wet; I wasn't cold at all though, despite the fact that I just wore shorts and a T-shirt. I was soaked to the skin and the hot shower afterward did feel good.

Total time 1:20:39 for 12k, average 6:43/k, average HR 148.

Workout data here, for my coach.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Paradigm shift required

I need a reality check. I've been getting down about the fact that I am not as fast as I was last year, or the year before. I know, I'm coming back from injury and shouldn't expect too much, but it's hard not to.

This is my new reality: 1) I am healthy - my feet don't hurt and I can racewalk. 2) I'm in better shape than 99% of people my age. 3) I am going to be fit ad healthy as long as I can. 4) Though I still struggle with those last 5 lbs, I have lost 100 lbs and kept it off for almost 4 years now.

I am going to enjoy all of those things rather than focusing on the negative; at least I'm going to try to do that.

This morning I didn't want to go to the track. I was too worried about the verdict of the stopwatch. After my warm-up (10:19 for 1600, acceleration, plus dynamic flexibility drills), I decided that it the times didn't matter. Only the workout mattered. So I got to work.

I was to do 1x2.5k, 4 min rest, then 4x800/200 with 30s rest between them and 3 min rest before the next 800/200. I only managed the 2.5k in 14:49, so I knew it wasn't a fast day. But my heart rate was reasonably high (ave 160, max 168), so at least I figured I'd make it through the workout well. My legs felt pretty fresh, and though tired at the end of the workout, they don't feel excessively so. I focused on trying to use my glutes more and keeping my posture upright; I'm tired of sore hamstrings! I don't think I succeeded at that very well, but hopefully every little bit helps.

I knew that the pre-fatiguing of the 2.5k would make my 800/200s slower than last week, and they were. The 800s were from 4:36-4:39 and the 200s were 1:00-1:02. I didn't feel like I was dying on the last ones, either. I probably could have done a few more if I absolutely had to (but I was glad I didn't have to!).

Slow times, but new perspective. Stay healthy, enjoy racewalking, keep the weight off. Let the times do what they will. I'm trying very hard to make this my new paradigm.

Splits here, for the coach and other interested parties.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

quiet couple of days

It's been a quiet couple of days. My coach decided to re-vamp my training schedule, because I wasn't recovering as well from the hard workouts as we had hoped. I think this is a good move, as it avoids overtraining on my part. Plus I have to admit that the schedule was quite hard, and while I am improving, I felt a bit tired all the time.

So, yesterday was an optional day; I opted to do weight training, core work, and 45 min on the elliptical. Everything felt pretty good by last night, but honestly, I was glad I didn't have a hard track workout this morning. I was to do cross-training instead, so to rest my legs even more I went to a masters' swim workout. It was great! We are meeting at the outdoor 50m pool now, and I loved working out there. It was fabulous to be outside. We warmed up with a lot of freestyle - kicks, drills, swim, etc. for about 700m, then did some stroke drills for butterfly, breaststroke, and backstroke alternating with freestyle swimming for 600m, and finished with some breaststroke & backstroke for 300m. Hmmm, that only adds up to 1600m. I could have sworn I did 1800m but maybe I have forgotten something? It wasn't very much for a 1 hour workout, but I was in the super slow lane, and we did a fair amount of technique work. It was good, though - no pressure, no hard speed work, but I was still breathing hard during the swimming part. Enjoyable...I wish my hard workouts allowed me to go to this workout more often, but since I am usually at the track or the park working hard on Tu & Th mornings, I can't be at the pool too.

Tomorrow I am back into hard workouts again. I think I'm mentally much more ready than a couple days ago, and physically as well. My legs are fresh, and ready for action.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

You're invited

Come on over for a piece of cherry pie, before it's gone. Homemade from fresh cherries, and served with a side of vanilla frozen yogurt. Mmmmm! 
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20K with sore hamstrings

I am tired from yesterday's race. My hamstrings are quite sore. And I'm not used to back-to-back training sessions (yet). So I approached today's 20K with some apprehension, remembering that 2 times ago I had GI issues, and last time I was painfully slow.

It was warm (59F) and sunny when I left, though the sun wasn't peeking up above the mountains yet. I brought 16 oz of water & ate a banana before I left; also packed 2 pkg of Jelly Belly Sports Beans.

I started off OK, but knowing it was going to be a challenge. My hamstrings (especially the left) were sore with every step, and I tried not to think about them too much. I am not worried about injury or anything; I can tell that it's just sore muscles, but that didn't make me feel better about 20K with them. By the time I got to 5K, I knew this one was not going to be fast. I eased off a little, hoping to avoid the crash at the end like last week.

To make a long story short, by 8.5k my legs were really heavy. I ate 1 pkg of jelly beans, hoping the carbs would help. I hoped so or I knew I wouldn't make 20k. Soon I was feeling better, thankfully. At 11.3k I took a brief pit stop and refilled one of my water bottles. It was humid this morning (even right now it's 61%, which is humid for here) and I was sweating a lot, so I knew I needed to drink more.

I stayed feeling OK until 15k when the legs got heavy again, so I took some more jelly beans. I know this sounds crazy, but the points-counting part of me hates that I have to spend 5 points (1 for banana, 4 for jelly beans) to get through a workout. I do it because I know I have to, but I hate eating when I don't really get to enjoy the food. Oh well...part of the deal I guess. It really did perk me up again to have the jelly beans, and the last 5K was easier than I thought. Don't get me wrong, it was not EASY, just tolerable. I was working pretty hard and my legs were feeling it for sure, plus the last 2K is uphill a fair amount.

When I got back home, the song playing on my iPod was "Feeling Stronger Every Day" by Chicago. I had to laugh, because I felt it was mocking me. I'm definitely not feeling stronger every day; I'm still getting used to the new training schedule. I admit when I first looked over the schedule I thought that it was hard, but I also was so excited to do it and so happy to RW again that I was probably overly confident in my ability to do it. Now I'm finding it somewhat daunting, so I just try to take it one workout at a time, and remember that what doesn't kill me will make me stronger. Hopefully I will FEEL stronger soon. I will also admit that I spent a good portion of today's workout ruminating about why I am doing this. All those hard workouts over the past month, and only 6 seconds off my 5K time. Is it worth it? Of course, if one takes the long-term perspective, it is. I have to be patient to see the improvement come. When I was teaching my piano student yesterday, I was talking to him about muscle memory when playing the piano, and about how suddenly everything will "click" and you'll get the tough passage mastered. I realized immediately that was a perfect analogy for my racewalking, too. I have to be patient and do the hard workouts, not seeing much progress for a while, and then, suddenly, it will "click". That's what my coach says, anyway, and it makes sense. I'm sure it's true. I just don't want to wait for it! And my body hurts. Good thing tomorrow is an "optional" day. I'll do some light weights and maybe take a bike ride. Nothing more.

Oh, one more thing. I hate humidity. I'm glad I was only doing 20K, because I started to have chafing on my thighs. UGH! It's not too bad, but could have been worse. I also drank about 24 oz and was still 2 lb lighter when I got home than when I left; my shirt was drenched in sweat.

Oh, my times and splits? (Yeah, my coach probably wants me to post them!). Total time 2:13:36; ave pace 6:40/km, ave HR 145, 1494 calories burned. Splits here.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Wasatch Walkers 3rd handicapped 5K - 2010

Pre-race: Got up around 6 am, ate 1/2 a bagel & a banana to be sure I had enough carbs, and then goofed around on the computer for a while - e-mail, Facebook, chatted w/coach and also with David, a RW from Perth. David told me I could get a PR :) and was most encouraging. I was feeling optimistic, and my body felt good. I have a little muscle soreness from weights yesterday (pectorals, hamstrings) but not bad, and the feet both felt fine. The toenail is pretty good now, too. I figured I would at least break 29 min if all went well.

The weather was gorgeous. Sunny, calm, and 62F (16.7C). I drove to Liberty Park and got the finish sign up on the pole to mark the end of the race, and then did 1600 easy to warm up, with a couple strides at the end, just like the coach ordered :). I saw a few club members gathering by about 7:45 am, and pretty soon we had a whole bunch of people there (14)! It was the best turnout we'd had for a club race, and we had 3 new members attend. Fantastic! For two of the new people, it was their first 5K. We got the race underway, and while I was waiting for my turn to start, I gave one of the new people, Joe, a few racewalking tips.

Race: The first 2K felt awesome. I was cruising, and my HR was a little high (probably adrenaline; this often happens to me in races) but all seemed well. I got to 1K in 5:43 (ok, it was more like 1.02k) w/ave HR 162 and then to 2K in 5:40 (this was spot-on) with ave HR 171. Then I cannot figure out what happened. I didn't FEEL any different, but going up the slight incline on the south end of the park I slowed down. My HR was high (ave for 3rd km was 174), effort was high, and it's not even really a hill - just a little incline - but I got to 3K in 6:16. I could not believe how slow that was and at this point wrote off a new PR and getting under 29 min, though I kept pushing just as hard, because I didn't want to be any slower than I had to be. My breathing was hard but still under control, and I surprisingly picked up a little time on the slight downhill on the north end of the park, hitting 4K in 5:48. Around this point I started passing club members; I couldn't catch them all, but I tried. I did the last K in 6:03 for a total of 29:32. I finished 5th in the race, earning another 5 points for our season-long competition.

Post-race: Thoroughly enjoyed meeting our three new club members Joe, Dina, and Michelle. Michelle finished her first 5K ever, and finished under 1 hour. She's just beginning the journey I was on to lose weight and get fit, so I especially wanted to encourage her. She was SO excited to finish her first race, and that really moved me. I caught her enthusiasm, and so I didn't mope too much about my time. Besides, this is my fastest time all season (by 6 seconds), so even though I didn't get a sub-29 like I thought I could, at least there was a little improvement. I digress. Hanging out with everyone was great! Nancy and I gave some RW tips to the new club members, and nobody seemed to mind that I forgot to bring the medals for the first 3 finishers. Oops! I had to leave before I wanted to, because I had to pick up the kids.

More photos here (still uploading, but should be ready in a few minutes).

Next race: Murray Fun Days 5K on July 3rd.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Friday cross-training

Nothing too exciting here. Just 30 min on the elliptical (HR ave 138 or something like that) and then some weight training. Took it a bit easy on the weight amounts, because I haven't lifted in a week (!) and also because we have a club 5K tomorrow, and I'd like to not be too sore.

Weight sets (all supersets): one-legged squats with back on ball/chest press w/30 lb dumbbells (3x10-12 reps each exercise); glute exercise on ball (hard to explain's from my coach, Jim)/rowing machine 70 lb (3x12 reps each); one-legged dead lifts (40 lb)/push-ups on ball (3x12 each); calf raises w/bicep curls (15 lb) - only had time for one set of these. Then abs with Lisa: plank, crunches, hip-ups for lower abs, V-leg extensions (lower abs), heel touchers for obliques. Finally, a good long stretch.

Edited to add: Muscles are all feeling pretty good today. Leg heaviness seems to have dissipated, thankfully. I'm a little sleep-deprived, as I awoke at 4:45 am and couldn't get back to sleep. Grrrrr! Will have to get to bed early tonight.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Thursday at the track; 5x800/200

I awoke with a feeling of apprehension. My legs were still feeling tired and heavy from the previous workouts, and I really wanted this one to be good despite all that. It's getting closer to my important races (7 weeks from tomorrow!), and I am feeling the pressure to get in shape quickly. But it's not something I can completely control - I can do the hard workouts, but if my body just needs more time, well, then there's nothing I can do about that. There are some things I can control: diet and sleep are among them, and I've been doing a bit better on each. I did actually sleep 8 hours last night (10 pm - 6 am), and I have been eating better for the past few days. That's pathetic that it's only been a few really good days, but the bad days also haven't been that dismal, so that's progress. I'll take what I can get. But I digress. Back to the track.

I arrived at the track and the weather was SO warm! It's doing the typical Utah thing - straight from winter to summer, with no spring. It was 62F (16.7C), and so I wore shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, and worried if I'd get hot! It was overcast and humid, too. It felt weird for it to be so warm; I've really only worn shorts for my outdoor workouts about 5 times so far this year, because our spring was unusually cold.

I warmed up with 1600m, accelerating at the end (last 200m in 1:10ish) to make sure that all systems were "go", so to speak. Today was really the first workout that I did not worry about either foot hurting, and my toenail is getting much better as well. I felt pretty good on the warm-up, and my tired legs seemed to perk up a bit after the first 400 or so. I got hopeful that this might be all right.

I did a few extra dynamic flexibility drills today to give my hamstrings a little extra TLC, and off I went. I was to do 5x(800m - 30s rest - 200m - 3 min rest). I did the first 800 in 4:31, and then the 200 in 1:00, and was feeling pretty fast and fluid. The legs felt OK, and technique felt smooth. So far so good. I wondered if I'd crash though. I did the next 800 in 4:30, and the 200 in 1:00, and though I did feel my legs getting a little tired, they weren't bad and I allowed myself to hope a little more. My heart rates were appropriately high, and breathing was good. The 3rd 800 took 4:33, and the 200 was 1:00 again. This was a good sign - a week ago on this workout, I started to have problems on the 3rd 800, and today I was feeling fine. OK, I was glad I only had two more to go, and I was somewhat tired, but felt all right. On the 4th 800 things did slow down a little; I did it in 4:36 and the 200 in 1:02. Yeah, I was getting tired, but thought I might be able to pull off one more faster 800. The last 800 was 4:33; I pushed very hard at the end of that to pull it off, but I figured if the 200 was slow it would be OK. I sprinted as hard as I could for the 200 and finished in 1:03; I guess I was a little trashed at that point. Still, I felt really good for this workout. It was SO nice to feel really great about a workout, and I enjoyed going fast.

Total time for the 5K: 27:48. OK, yes, I got a lot of rest in between, but I just wanted to feel good about my sub-28:00 5K even if it wasn't done continuously. Might as well enjoy it!

I did get warm, but not too hot, so the weather didn't seem to be much of a factor, though it did get up to 67F (19.4C) by the time I finished.

I feel really good about this workout. It seems quite comparable to the times I was reaching last summer when I was in good shape. I don't think I'm in as good shape as I was then yet, but the times are getting close. I still have 7 weeks to make them even better.

After the workout, I did 600m easy, stretched a lot, and then rushed to get to work on time. Now, at lunch time, I'm feeling pretty good; calves, hamstrings, and obliques are feeling it, but I don't feel trashed. It will be interesting to see how I feel tonight and tomorrow. Tomorrow will be some cross-training, and I am most interested to see how I do at the club 5K race on Saturday. I feel the possibility of a sub-29:00 and it's exciting!

Heart rates and other details are in the Garmin connect link below, if you really are interested. They were mostly averaging in the low-to-mid 160s and max in the low 170s. My recoveries to sub-120 were about 90s-2 min on the last few intervals. That seems pretty good.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

and a few more photos - Smile Center 10K

Here are the professional photos. They are no better than the free ones I already have, but I thought I'd share anyway.


Today I was to do 12K "easy" (hahaha), at 6:30/km (10:30ish/mile). That's not really THAT easy for me; more like easy-moderate. This was complicated by the fact that 1) my legs are tired, and 2) I chose my favorite route, which is pretty hilly for the first 6K.

For the first 6K (the hilly part), I did 39:18 (about 6:33/km). My legs were pretty tired, but I figured I could be reasonably close to 6:30 for the rest (the flatter part; not totally flat, as it's a gradual downhill and then gradual uphill, but much flatter). I finished the second 6K in 39:37 (6:36/km) for an average pace of 6:35/km. Given the route, I figure that's pretty good. Garmin connect informs me that I did 120m up and 120m down in this nice loop course. Average HR was 146, so yes, I was working a little bit for sure. It FELT harder than that, but again, my legs are tired.

I'm still getting used to this new, harder schedule. Three hard workouts plus a long day and one "easy" (hahaha) day is more intense than I've previously done. It's good, but my body is not used to the workload yet and I think it's just going to take a little time. My times might be slower for a little while, but hopefully it will pay big dividends in the long run.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

More photos from the Smile Center 10K

Jess sent me her photos, and there are some great ones of me crossing the finish line! Her husband Nate took them, and I'm so grateful because I rarely have finish line photos that I didn't have to pay for :).

There are more here.

Tuesday at the track

For once, it was nice weather at the track on a Tuesday. 54F (12C) & overcast, with a gentle breeze. It's raining now, but then it was nice.

That was about the only nice thing about my workout. The running club was at the track, which is always kind of irritating. I had to move over frequently to let them have the inside lanes, or risk getting run over. My boss actually works out w/that club sometimes, and he was there today. I will have to get the club schedule from him so I can avoid this track on the Tuesdays they are using it.

I just didn't have it this morning. I was to do 4x2k with 3' recoveries. Warmed up fine, 1600m in 10:20 with ave HR of 142. Did some flexibility drills and then started the workout. I figure I'm in shape for 11:40 2Ks, so I planned to do 1:10/200m and just keep it there. That was OK for the first 2K, which I did in 11:46; ave HR 160/max 166. But then it just went all to he$$ from there. My HR was low, so my coach would say I was probably a bit metabolically slow this morning. I guess that will be my excuse. I worked my tail off, and got nowhere. The last one was excruciating effort, with no yield. I totally died, or wished I could anyway. Here are my times and ave/max HR for the last 3: 11:57 (161/167), 12:01 (160/165), 12:14 (157/164).

Well, at least it's done. I have a nice endorphin warmth, even if the workout was slow. I had a feeling this might happen, because my hamstrings, etc. are still sore from the weekend. My recovery has not been too good; I guess I pushed the 20K too hard despite backing off. Hopefully Thursday's track workout will be better.

I'm actually in an OK frame of mind for 2 reasons: 1) my coach told me it might take 6 months to get back in shape, so I figure my times are going to stink for a while, and 2) how fast I am is ultimately irrelevant. If I work hard, eat well (which I did yesterday! Day 1!), and rest well (last night, not so good, but working on more sleep) then that's all I can do, and I need to be satisfied with a good effort and with treating my body well. Ultimately, that's the goal - not necessarily to win, but to stay fit and enjoy racewalking.