Tuesday, November 30, 2010

x-rays

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

***

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

Monday, November 29, 2010

Uh-oh


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

lots of snow...


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

***

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

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

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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

ughhhhh

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

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

relapse #2...or continuation of same?

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

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

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cold Turkey 6K, and miscellaneous

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

***


Photo: Diane and I before the race.

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

a little improvement, but feeling down

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

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

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

Garmin connect data here

Monday, November 22, 2010

dragging on

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

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

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

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 19, 2010

still sick

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

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

Thursday, November 18, 2010

rest/sick day

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

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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

sick... :(

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

10K

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

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

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

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

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

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

muddling through

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

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

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

Sunday, November 14, 2010

weekend activities

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

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

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

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

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Catching up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

rest day, funny video

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

***

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

Monday, November 08, 2010

easy walk/run in Yosemite National Park


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

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

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

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

More pictures here of this morning's hike.

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

Garmin connect data here.

Cute kid videos

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

Part 1

Part 2

Spinning in the swing

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Two Cities Half Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garmin connect data here.

Official race results here.

Video at start of mile 13 here.

With Michelle after the race:


With my award:


More pictures here (mostly of the family afterward)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

pre-race outing

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

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

Garmin connect data here.

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

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

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

cross-training and a long drive

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

***

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

Thursday, November 04, 2010

better?

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

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

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

***

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

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

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Halloween pictures :)

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

cross training; cross-cultural education :)

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

Monday, November 01, 2010

back to racewalking :)

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

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

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

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

Garmin connect data here.