Sunday, October 31, 2010

Biking Wasatch Blvd

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

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

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

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

Garmin connect data here.

Tomorrow I get to racewalk again! :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

still more x-training

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

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

lab results

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 29, 2010

more cross-training

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

Thursday, October 28, 2010


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

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

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10K kickdown on indoor track. Aborted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garmin connect data here.


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

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

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

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

6K+ fartlek on indoor track

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry for the downer post.

Garmin connect data here.


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

Saturday, October 23, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 22, 2010

rest day; cross-training

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


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

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

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10K kickdown. Slow, but no foot pain.

I knew today could be interesting. It was.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garmin connect data here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

15K & very sore...

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

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

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

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

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Garmin connect data here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I'm resting the foot after the 20K effort, so I went for a bike ride this morning. It was warm (59F, 15C) and threatening rain, though it didn't do more than a light drizzle. It was dark, however, for a good part of the ride. I didn't think that would be a problem, as I have a light, a blinking tail light, and reflective vest, but I did have a bit of trouble seeing the road as well as I would have liked. Still, an enjoyable outing.

1 hr 16 min for just shy of 24 very hilly km.

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

YES! 20K pain-free!!!!!

My genius coach appears to have fixed me! I was able to do 20K this morning pain-free. My foot was slightly warm, and I had a couple minor tweaks in the last 10K, but finished strong and was not in pain. I'm still feeling good a couple hours later, though I am icing it just in case.

I wasn't fast this morning, and didn't expect to be. It's going to take a while to become efficient again and figure out how to be even on both sides. My HR was higher than a few weeks ago when I did just under 2:07, and I did 2:09:33 today. But I'm not really disappointed in that - like I said, it's to be expected, and I'm just VERY happy and RELIEVED that I could do it without any pain.

I was with my friend Sarah and we were conversing for the first 15.8K, so my times were a bit irregular, but I did concentrate on keeping my form, even if my speed went a bit by the wayside for a few of those km. Still, though I was tired for the last 5K, I found energy to give it a little kick and finished strong, with a 6:20 and 6:19 for the last 2K.

I am so thankful to have a coach who is so knowledgeable, and able to diagnose and fix my problem from half a world away. I suppose I get a little credit for being able to follow his directions, but really, he is amazing! Plus he's very dedicated. If you are even thinking about getting a coach or switching coaches, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed if you ask Jim to coach you.

The weather was gorgeous this morning and I enjoyed it thoroughly, as I know what is coming all too soon. It was in the mid 40s (about 7 or 8C) and clear and calm. I did need to wear capris and a long-sleeved shirt and gloves, but I was plenty comfortable and it was a beautiful morning. The company was great too - thanks, Sarah! It makes the miles speed by when you have a friend like her to talk to. She does the Galloway run:walk 5:1, but we have figured out how to make it work - I turn around and go the other way for 10 seconds when her walk segment comes up, and then turn back and by the time I catch up to her, it's time for her to run again. So we get to converse for most of the workout time, we are out there together for safety reasons, and it actually works! Her running speed is pretty close to my RW pace, so it's just perfect.

OK, I've got to move on with the rest of the stuff I need to do today. I'm definitely happy though!!!

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

some serious cross-training

I'm resting my foot today in preparation for completing 20K tomorrow. See how positive I am? I really think I'm going to be able to do it pain-free :). Hoping, anyway, and thinking positively. Can't hurt, might help.

Today I tried the rowing machine at the gym. I liked it! I expected it to work my arms and back, but I felt it in my glutes, which was really interesting. They might be sore tomorrow, but I did keep it to just 20 min since it was my first time, so I think I'll be OK. Then I did the stationary bike for 25' and the elliptical for 25'.

I got home & showered and got the kids off (they're going to my parents' house overnight - yay! date night!), and then I biked to work, which took 25'. So I'd say I got in plenty of serious cross-training today!

My foot feels great. Seriously, not even any discomfort or warmth or noticing it much. I've been concentrating on using good form in just my everyday walking, rotating the L hip back and pushing off the toes. It seems to be working! I'm very hopeful, but won't feel sure that it's good until I do the 20K tomorrow.

Garmin connect data here for gym
Garmin connect data here for bike ride

Thursday, October 14, 2010

a little speed work to test the foot

Today I was to test out the foot and the technique tweaks with a 3K fartlek. In the dark. At the track. Yeah, it's dark until about 7:15 or so these days, so it was dark for my workout and a bit chilly at 44F (~7C?). Once I warmed up I was fine though, as it was calm and clear. I warmed up with 1600m in 10:15 or so, did dynamic flexibility drills and a PT exercise to activate the muscles in my L foot, and I was good to go. I felt a bit heavy-legged from yesterday's 10K with hills, so I knew my times would be slow. But I wasn't worried about that, as I just wanted to get through the workout pain-free.

I did the fartlek in 17:51, a slowish but still respectable time given my foot. About 2 km or so, my foot gave a little twinge, but other than that I was totally fine. It felt warmish afterward, and I did go to the gym and do some foot PT, some squats (one-legged with abductor work on the other leg, as my coach instructed), calf raises, bench press on Smith machine, abductor machine, and a bunch of other stuff which I'm not going to list, plus core work at the end and stretching.

I iced my foot when I got to work, and it seems pretty good now; about 95% of normal perhaps. Hopefully it will stay that way. Tomorrow: x-training to give it a rest, and Saturday we're going to try for 20K, though I'll stop if necessary.

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

cool photo

This photo was taken by a colleague at work; it's the head of a 5-day zebrafish embryo. Very cool! Congrats to Hideo on placing in the scientific photography competition.

10K and new technique

I tried 10K this morning with the technique suggestions Jim gave me. It went quite well; though I did a hilly route out of necessity (I had to racewalk from work), my foot was fine. It got a little warm-feeling going up the hills, but it didn't hurt. I iced it after the workout, and it has felt pretty darn good the rest of the day.

On a hilly route, I was pretty fast! I did a 1:05:16, for 6:31/km. My splits are quite uneven due to the hills, but the effort was pretty even except for the first few km which were quite easy.

Tomorrow I'm going to try a short speed workout and see how it goes. Jim suggested a 3K fartlek.

Garmin connect data here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, Loren!

We celebrated Loren's birthday with coconut cake (homemade, of course!) and got him a fancy tequila that he wanted. The kids LOVE birthdays and so we had an enjoyable time.

More photos here.

yeah...more x-training...

Today I cranked out 30 min on the bike and 30 min on the elliptical. My Garmin batteries were dead, so no data there, sorry! I couldn't even check my HR except on the machines themselves. I didn't work that hard, because it was mostly in the low 130s. I have a harder time getting my HR up on the machines than if I'm outside RW.


A little bit of good news. My coach has some theories about my foot problem and what might be causing it. I've always noticed that I overstride a bit w/my left leg, and my coach thinks that is a good part of my problem - the left hip comes too far forward, and that causes the foot to end up more medial than it ought to be, putting undue stress on the tendon. The answer? Lengthen my stride more behind my body with the left leg and that should 1) shorten it a bit in front, 2) cause the R hip to come farther forward (which is good, because it wasn't getting enough rotation). So I am going to think about getting more stride length behind the body with the L leg and also about getting a better toe-off w/that foot. Hopefully those will help. In addition, the coach has given me some exercises to do to strengthen my L gluteus medius and my R abductors.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to try 10K. The foot feels fine today :) and hopefully if I really focus a lot on the technique I can do 10K without too many problems. We'll see.

Monday, October 11, 2010

kitchen floor

The floor is in! Yay! Still have to do some finish work (quarter round along bottom of baseboards, thresholds, etc) but we're basically there. Loren did a great job installing it today.

Pictures here.

are you still there?

These posts are getting a bit dull. Are you all still out there? I know, x-training isn't that exciting for me, either.

I rode my bike to work today and stopped at the gym on the way for 30 min on the elliptical & to get a quick shower. Then I rode the last 15 min (w/o the heart rate monitor). Total time about 1 hr.

Foot is a bit grumpy today because I did some harder PT exercises last night & pushed a little too much. I'm learning what it can take all over again. It'll be fine though if I take it easy today. I do have to walk a fair bit at work so I'm focusing on my form and trying not to tax my foot.

Garmin connect data.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

short ride today

Today I just biked up the hill to work, did 30 min worth of work I had to do, and biked home again. Short but good ride to get the kinks out of my legs; my glutes were a little sore, probably from the bike ride yesterday but possibly from the floor project.

I'm still looking forward to RW again soon. My foot is feeling a lot better today. I did a bunch of PT exercises last night and will do some tonight as well. Hopefully that plus the rest will keep me in good stead later this week when I try to RW again.

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Kitchen floor

We finished ripping out the tile and the concrete underlayment today. It was a LOT of work! Loren and I spent 6-7 hrs on it today. Then we enjoyed a lunch out together, since my dad was watching the kids. Thanks so much, Dad!!!!!!!

The new floor goes in Monday morning. Loren has off for Columbus Day, so he and my dad will work on it while I go to work. I think that's a pretty good deal :).

Lots of biking

Yup, more biking. Better for my foot to do non-weight-bearing activity right now, and the weather was pleasant this afternoon, so I went out for a ride. On the weekdays I can't do that because I have the kids in the afternoon, but on the weekends Loren can watch them. Today, however, my dad was actually watching them, because Loren and I were tearing out the old kitchen floor for most of the day. We actually finished a little ahead of schedule, so I had plenty of time for a ride.

I biked up Emigration Canyon. I decided to go up for 65 min then back down, to try and finish in 1 hr 30 min or so, since I was volunteering at the Light the Night walk at SugarHouse Park and wanted to get there in a timely fashion. I almost made it to the top from my house in those 65 min! If I'd had 10 more minutes I could have made it, but I didn't mind turning around. I was a bit tired after the 6-7 hours of working on the kitchen floor this morning (more on that in another post).

I got home in 1:36 and change, and felt good :). I do like biking (but not as much as racewalking!), even if I'm not that good at it!

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, October 08, 2010

a struggle

It's a struggle when you're injured. Ha, it's a struggle anyway to manage workouts, kids, job, home, etc. But when injured, the mental part is even harder, and the food part isn't easy either. It's tempting to overeat to console yourself. Of course, logically, that doesn't do any good, and just makes the problem worse, but logic does tend to go out the window when one is feeling down.

However, I've been really thinking about it over the last week, and while I cannot control my injury (at least not very much), I certainly CAN control my eating. So I'm going to use this opportunity to continue working on it. It's very challenging, but I know what to do and how to do it. I just have to really WANT it enough. And I think I do! We'll see how it goes.


Today I decided to stay off of weight-bearing activity, so I reluctantly saddled up for an hour on the stationary bike. I am reading a good book for our church's book club, though, which made it much more bearable. I started it this morning and am now about 1/4 or 1/5 of the way into Greg Mortenson's "Three Cups of Tea", about his project to build schools in remote areas of Pakistan. So far, it's fascinating.

I still dislike the stationary bike, but it can be a good workout, and this morning it beat biking outside in the drizzle at 50F (10C).


I have the day off work today (as I do every other Friday), and my dad is coming over in 15 minutes to help me re-do our kitchen floor. We have broken and chipped and missing ceramic tiles to rip out and replace with a heavy-duty fancy linoleum that seriously LOOKS like tile and is easier to install and thinner. The last part is important because our dishwasher is hard to pull in/out because of the tile, and it needs some leveling - badly. So, time to stop icing the foot and get to work!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Stupid foot...

My foot is worse again. Yesterday's disastrous 12K kickdown wasn't good for it, apparently. I did the elliptical for 30 min this morning followed by some foot PT, general weight training, and abs. The 0.5 mile walk from the parking lot to the building I work in was enough to make my foot pretty achy. I've iced it a couple times today (so far) and it's better but still aching. Not good. I just wish I knew how to fix the biomechanical problem that is causing it. I got over this injury once, and it was better for months, and now it's back. Very frustrating.

My facebook friend and ultrawalker Ollie, who has had his share of injuries, has this to say: "Tammy: I've dealt with similar stuff with my Achilles tendon when I ran. Every subsequent "ping" made me worry. Eventually I began to be able to distinguish between "I just worked hard", "oh, I had better cut back", "oh, I better take a day or two off" and "oh SH**, my goal race is probably history" and "oh F*CK, time to subsidize my orthopedic doctor again"."

I thought it was pretty funny...and at the moment I'm at the "Oh, I'd better take a day or two off" place. Hopefully it won't progress to canceling my goal race (the 50K) in January. But it's not looking good.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

12K kickdown

I felt good when I woke up. I was optimistic and ready to do my 12K kickdown; 3K each segment @6:30/k, 6:20/k, 6:10/k and all-out. It was lightly drizzling and 58F, so not too bad out considering it's October (the weather in September was amazingly warm and wonderful...couldn't last).

The first 6K went great. 6:19, 6:26, 6:31, 6:14, 6:22, 6:21. I felt on pace and on target. My foot felt a bit odd (but didn't hurt) for the first 3K but then seemed to settle down, so I didn't worry too much about it until later.

After the 7th km, I thought this might not be so good. 7, 8, 9 splits were 6:09, 6:14, 6:06. By the 9th km I knew it was going to really hurt, but thought I probably had another gear left. I was really surprised at the 10K split, that despite working really hard it was only 6:08. Not good. I tried to pick it up, felt miserable, and the rain started in much harder, mirroring my pathetic workout. I did manage 6:00 for the 11th km, but there was NOTHING left for the 12th, which I finished in only 6:10 even though I felt I was dying. That last km was awful. My foot started to ache in earnest, it was raining, and I had intestinal cramps too.

Oh well. I gave it my all, even if the results were lousy. I got a good hard workout. It was my worst 12K kickdown (but I've only done 3) at 1:15:07.

I'm just glad that my coach had changed the workout because of my foot. It was originally supposed to be a 15K kickdown, and obviously today that would have been MUCH worse.

Icing my foot and I think it's going to be OK but not really sure until later today. Hoping for the best.

Garmin connect data here.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


I did 10K this morning. I felt a bit nauseous when I started for some reason, but that wore off by about 5K and didn't seem to affect my performance. I was a bit tired and didn't push much at all, but still finished in 1:05:09 for 6:31/km w/ave HR of only 141.

My foot was warmish but not achy at all. I iced it during breakfast but now (2 pm) it's bugging me a little bit. I probably need to ice it again once I get home from picking the kids up from school. Speaking of which, if I don't go, I'll be late...

Oh, and I went to the gym and did a bunch of PT exercises, some hip abduction, calf raises, and abs, including a 2' plank, obliques w/weight, ball-toss sit-ups w/Lisa, and rowing sit-ups.

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, October 04, 2010

6 years ago today

Happy Birthday, Calvin!!!!! My little boy is SIX :)! 
Posted by Picasa

8K fartlek - another PR :)

I was hoping my foot would hold up OK. It did, but it is a bit sore now (lunch time). I've iced it twice and will ice it again later tonight as well as doing PT exercises and taking my anti-inflammatory.

The workout itself went great. I had a fast warm-up, doing 1600m in 10:08, and then I did flexibility drills + a few PT exercises to activate those foot muscles.

The Army people were at the track again today doing their training. There were only about 10-15 of them today, though, and they were very courteous to me. They did a couple 1-mile time trials plus lots of sit-ups, push-ups, etc. However, I have to say that I think my workout was harder today!

I was to do an 8K fartlek, with 1K hard followed by alternating 500m medium/500m hard to the end. I was hoping to get under 48 minutes again :). I started well, with the first 1K in 5:41 and 1st recovery in 3:04. I tied my 5K fartlek PR, getting to 5K in 29:33. I was thinking this would be a good one! It was a hard effort to keep the pace, but I broke my 6K fartlek PR by 9 seconds, hitting 6K in 35:35. Then I knew I could do the last 2K and get under 48:00. On the last recovery, an Army guy ran alongside me and was asking me questions about RW. I just HAD to talk to him, so I didn't concentrate quite as hard and only did that recovery in 3:19, but I pulled off a 2:49 fast to finish in 47:52, which I think is 6 seconds faster than I did this a couple weeks ago, and a new PR. Happy me! I was wiped afterwards, though, and walked slowly around and stretched thoroughly, doing some more PT for the foot.

The foot didn't hurt during the workout, except for small twinges during the 3rd-5th km. It was warm at the end, though, and I knew it would ache later. It has been a bit achy but not too bad, since I've been good about icing it. I have had to walk a lot at work today, though, which hasn't helped.

I only have 10K easy tomorrow, so I hope the foot will be good for that. I think so.

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


Um, I've been taking iron supplements religiously for 3 months now. 65 mg, 2 tablets, morning and night. That's 260 mg/day. And for what? I just tried for about the 4th time this summer to donate platelets. Last time my hematocrit was 37 (it has to be 38). I figured for sure I'd be good this time. NOT! It was 35. 35?!?!?!?!?!?!?!????????!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have GOT to be kidding me. How am I supposed to be an endurance athlete with a 'crit of 35? Ridiculous! Never mind all the time I keep wasting trying to donate.


quick post - 15K

I was trying for 20K this morning, but the foot had other ideas. It felt great until about 12.5K, and then it ached enough for the next 1K that I knew I'd have to quit. I decided to go to 15K. But about 14K it felt good and I debated continuing. However, sanity prevailed when I thought about what the coach would say. Better to save it and keep the foot in good shape so I can racewalk on Monday (tomorrow is x-training). I iced the foot when I got home and it feels decent now; slightly achy but OK.

I felt pretty tired about 8-12K, but was able to pick it up at the end. I wasn't feeling super fast this morning, but got the job done at a 6:27/km pace, which is pretty good.

My friend Sarah came w/me and kept me such good company for the first 11.5K or so. It was great having her out there w/me. I figured out how to RW with her 5:1 Galloway run;walk. I just racewalk the opposite direction for just 10 seconds while she walks, and then turn around and I catch her just about when she's going to run again :). It worked great. Now I have a friend to walk with all the time if she wants to (well, on the long days).

Got to go - going to try and give platelets again.

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, October 01, 2010


If you recall, I was gong to cross-train again today, but after talking to my coach last night, he thought I should try 10K today and see how it went. It went well; my foot did feel a bit warm in the affected area, but it didn't actually hurt. The 10K went quite well, too. I did it in 1:04:30 for 6:26/km with ave HR of only 142. I am in good shape, as long as I can hold off injury.

After my walk, I went to the gym and did some PT for the foot, some hip exercises, lat pull-downs, and also core exercises. I made sure that I iced my foot once I got to work, and took my anti-inflammatory. It's lunch time now, and all is still well. The acid test is how it will feel later tonight. Fortunately I've been able to stay off it this morning at work, as I've had a lot of time on the confocal microscope, sitting down. That trend should continue this afternoon with some data analysis (on the computer) and mounting some slides. I will attend a potluck tonight at Calvin's school, which ought to put a little more stress on it. Anyway, I'm going to ice it now while I eat, just to be cautious. Besides, it feels good to relax and ice it.

My coach says tomorrow will be 15-20K depending on how I'm feeling. We'll see. Hoping for the best.

Garmin connect data here.