Monday, January 31, 2011

3+K fartlek (indoor 211m track)

I didn't get enough sleep last night, because I was up a bit late working on the family finances (we're considering buying a car from a friend to replace our 20-year-old Buick Century, and I wanted to see how that might work out). So I didn't feel so great when I got up, but as usual, a good hard racewalking workout made me feel much better. It still amazes me how much exercise improves my mood. I'd probably be in a psych ward by now if not for racewalking ;).

I chose the indoor track due to snow overnight. I probably could have walked on the street, as they weren't so bad, but the cold and dark were an additional deterrent. I guess I'm pretty tired of them by now. I was in the mood to walk in shorts, so I went to the field house at the U.

I warmed up with 8 laps on the 211m track, in 10:48, for 6:24/km with ave HR 141. I was feeling ready to go! I did a few dynamic flexibility drills and then started the 3K fartlek (3.165K fartlek, to be exact!).

I was faster than last week! Not on the first 1K, but on the subsequent kms. My endurance is just a little better, and I didn't feel I was tiring so much on the last 500m like I did last week. My recoveries were a bit better too, though my fast segments were slightly slower. I think I didn't push quite as hard - my ave HR was 159 vs 165 last week. I pushed to 90% instead of maybe 95% last week.

Here are my times (adjusted to 1K/500m in parentheses):
1055m fast 6:05.3 (5:46.3)
527.5m med 3:21.0 (3:10.6)
527.5m fast 3:04.9 (2:55.3)
527.5m med 3:23.8 (3:13.2)
527.5m fast 3:03.9 (2:54.3)
TOTAL 18:59.0 (17:59.7)

Hey, I even finished the equivalent of under 18 min for the 3K! Slow by my in-shape standards, but it is 22 seconds faster than last week. I'll take it. It's going to take a while for me to get back in shape, but at least I'm finally making progress and I'm feeling so much better.

Edited to add: I also got a kick out of passing several runners who were using the track :). I love passing runners! Of course, there were some fast runners passing me, too.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

short hilly workout

After the 12K yesterday I opted for a shorter workout today - just 5.8K, with hills though. I did the SugarHouse Park route, which I really enjoy a lot. That first hill is a killer, though. I only managed 7:20 for the first km, though the last bit coming down I did at 5:54/k!

I was sore when I started off, but it helped to walk and get the blood flowing through the affected muscles: glutes and hamstrings for the most part. After the uphill I was able to pick up the pace and do the second km in 6:07. During the second km I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a while (from our walking club) and stopped to chat with her for a few minutes. It was good to see her! Like me, she has lost a lot of weight on Weight Watchers, though she has just done it in the past year. I did my best to encourage her in her maintenance efforts. I almost didn't recognize her because of all the weight she has lost (about 65 lb?). And actually, that happened to me this morning as well - we visited my parents' church this morning and I ran into a guy I worked with 10 years ago, and he wasn't sure who I was until I introduced myself. That was fun!

Total time for 5.78k was 37:55, for 6:33/km with ave HR 150. Pretty good for all those hills and with the pre-fatiguing of yesterday's workout. I haven't done this route that fast in a long time.

Tomorrow I am supposed to do another 3K fartlek. That should be fun. It might snow, so I might end up doing it on the indoor track, which will make it a 3.165K fartlek :).

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

12K - a long way to go, but a good start

I did 12K this morning in 1:19:35, for 6:38/k. That's the longest I've gone since Dec 24, and it was also definitely the fastest I've done that distance since the half marathon in November. (Right after the half marathon was when I got sick).

I was going very well through 6k, aside from a bothersome side stitch from 3-4k. Up to that point I averaged 6:30/k. However, my endurance is not at all where it will be after some training, and the last 6k was much slower. In fact, my legs got very tired around 8K and 9-12K hurt, to be quite honest. I wasn't surprised by this at all, but it does show just how far I have to go to get back in good shape again. When I'm healthy and well-trained, 12K in 1:18 is nothing, typically. But you know what? For where I am right now, after being sick for 2 months, the 12K this morning was very good. I expected it might be more like 6:45/k, so to do 6:38/k was quite nice. Admittedly, I pushed a bit and my average HR was 153 for the whole 12K. Still - I'm pleased with where I am for the moment.

I also think that I'm going to have to stay at 12K max for another week. I was thinking 15K might be on the agenda for next weekend, but I think ramping up the mileage more slowly right now might be better. Of course, this is all up to my coach as well, but if I don't think I'm up to 15K yet he probably won't have me do it. Probably we'll do some speed work and keep the distance at a similar level for now.

It's going to be a long road back - but I'm glad to finally be ON that road :).

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Liberty Park again

I did the 6.3K Liberty Park route again this morning. It was 33F (1C) and foggy, but the air quality was good (9) so off I went. It went well this morning again, so I think I am really on the mend :). I did it in 41:28 for 6:34/k with ave HR 150. Garmin connect data here.


Then I hit the gym for some weights. 1) bench press w/30 lb dumbbells/walking lunges 15 lb each arm; 2) abductor on multi-hip (80 lb)/lat pull-down w/70 lb; 3) calf raises, one-legged, body weight/lateral raises (10 lb); 4) bicep curls (15 lb)/tricep pull-downs w/rope (25 lb). Then a bunch of core stuff: ball sit-ups, rows, ski exercise, plank 90 sec, and straight leg raises/lowering.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

a little break

After 4 days walking in a row I needed a little respite, just to make sure I don't overdo. So yesterday I did the bike and elliptical for a total of 45 min, and skipped the weight training because Loren had to get to the dentist, so I had to be home early.


Today I took a rest day. I was up late last night doing a hypoxia experiment (24-36 hours post-fertilization for my zebrafish embryos), so I was pretty tired today even with the rest. I'm going to bed early tonight, and hoping to feel a bit more alert tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

3 in a row!

I've now had 3 good workouts in a row! Yay!

Today I did the same route as yesterday - 6.3K to Liberty Park. I pushed harder today, wanting to go faster than yesterday :). I finished the route almost a minute faster, in 41:05, for 6:29/km, with ave HR 152 (only a little higher than yesterday). I felt stronger today, and though I did tire on the last 2k uphill, I still felt good - even better than I felt yesterday, despite waking early (husband's alarm clock - grrrr!) and another round of dog puke this morning (but that's another story...).

It was warmish this morning, about 33F (1C) and I actually got a bit hot in my fleece. Nice weather for January...I'll take it! I know it will change and get cold or polluted again soon, so might as well enjoy it.

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Liberty Park route

I was hoping for a good workout today, after yesterday. I did feel a bit fatigued last night but went to bed on the early side and felt good this morning when I got up.

I told my coach I wouldn't push too hard, but I did get a bit excited to work out and went faster than I should have at the start (2:55 for 500m, but on a good downhill). I settled in with 3:15 for the next 500m and the workout was great until 4K (25:xx) but by then it was uphill quite a bit and I was tired. Still, I finished with 6.3k in 41:54, which is 6:38/km, the fastest I've done this route in a long time, with ave HR 149.

After that I skipped weight training (sorry, Lisa!) because I decided I'd pushed too hard.

Late for work so no more details now.

Garmin connect data here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

3K fartlek

I have been feeling a bit less fatigued, so my coach wondered if I was just in a slow rhythm and needed to mix in some short speed work to get things back in gear. He is a genius...I think he was right.

I drove to the track and was going to walk there, but it was way too icy. No snow, but it had snowed yesterday, melted a bit and then refrozen overnight. It was 25F (-4C) this morning, not too cold, but cold enough to make the track icy. So I drove home and decided to do my fartlek on 800E instead.

I figured I'd be lucky to break 19:00 for a 3K fartlek (1K fast, 500m med/500 fast, 500m med/500 fast). I warmed up with a mile downhill in about 10:45, nice & easy. I did a few dynamic drills to stretch out, especially my hamstrings. Then I got going. I was SO surprised when I got to 500m in 2:51! I figured that I didn't have the stamina to keep that pace, but the 2nd 500m was 2:53 for 5:44 for the 1K! Now if I was in good shape, that might be 5:30-5:35, but I was VERY happy with 5:44 in my current condition. Amazed, even.

My recoveries were slow, not surprisingly, since my conditioning is lousy at the moment. That will only take a few months of training to fix, though, assuming I recover decently from this workout and can continue doing some speed work. And I did tire easily, with the last 500m pretty slow (though on this route it is just the slightest uphill, so that makes it harder).

Here are my times for each 500m:
2:51 fast
2:53 fast
3:20 med
2:55 fast
3:18 med
3:01 fast

Garmin connect data with heart rates, etc. here.

Oh, and total time was 18:22.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

last 3 days

Thursday: Rest day. I'm trying to make sure I take one in hopes it will speed my recovery.


Friday: I was going to do weights at the gym and didn't feel like changing from outdoor wear to indoor wear, so I did 5k on the treadmill in 32:56. Not bad, as my HR was about 150 at most. That particular brand of treadmill seems to run a bit faster than some of the other ones at the gym; however, I did 5K last weeks sometime at the same pace and HR was up to 160, so this is a bit better. After the 5K, I switched to the elliptical and did 1.5 miles on that.

Then weight training: supersets of 1) abductor machine (#9)/bench press w/30lb dumbbells each arm; 2) hamstring machine (60 lb)/lat pull-down (70 lb); 3) calf raises, one-legged, body weight/lateral raises (10lb each arm); 4) tricep dips on assisted machine (70 lb)/sissy squats. Then core: sit-ups passing 8 lb medicine ball to Lisa (not sure of #, to fatigue), oblique crunches on ball (20 each side), back extensions on ball (20), ball passes from feet to hands (15).


Today: I decided to do 10K outside. The weather was nice for this time of year; 33F (1C) and partly cloudy. Despite the fact that it was 33F, there were a few icy spots on the roads, but not enough to slow me appreciably.

I decided that because I'm feeling a little bit more energetic lately that I'm going to gradually increase my mileage so that I can do a half marathon in April. I might be slow, but at least I will be out there doing it. I was slow today, and knew it after the first km downhill was around 6:45 or so. I spent about the first 5K mourning the fact that I was slow and thinking of all the stuff I can't do unless I get better, but then I realized this was stupid and unproductive. So for the last 5K, I planned all the things that I can still do this year even if I'm slow. I can still do distance stuff locally to my heart's content, and there are lots of nice races. I haven't given up on feeling better and doing the World Masters, but if I don't get better, it's not really worth dragging myself and my family there for it. And because I need to have goals, well, for the moment I'm going to think about doing some longer distances at nice easy paces, since I think I can at least do that much.

With that in mind, I plan to do 12K next weekend, and 15K the following weekend, with corresponding increases in weekly mileage so that at least I'm doing SOMETHING productive. If I feel lousy at any point, I'll back off. It's not worth sacrificing my recovery for!

So, I finished the 10K today in 1:10:45 with ave HR 143. About par for the course lately, at 7:04/km. I'll take it - it was nice to be out there, and beats the heck out of last year, when I was injured and didn't know how long I'd be out of commission.

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

still here, still slow, still going

Yesterday I did 8.5K very slowly. I think it was about 7:15/k, with ave HR 141. I just went slow and easy, and kept it very comfortable. I would have done 10K but time was too short. I was also starting to cough quite a bit so I figured it was time to quit.

Today I did 1 mile on the treadmill (snowing/raining outside) and then 4 miles on the elliptical, followed by weight training. 1) chest fly (60 lb)/walking lunges (15 lb each hand), 2) hamstring curls on ball/row (65 lb), 3) abductor on multi-hip (80 lb)/calf raises (one-legged, body weight), 4) tricep dips on bench/leg extensions.

Tonight I am really, really tired. At 6 pm I was ready to be in bed. Maybe the fact that the kids were difficult this afternoon (Calvin especially) has a lot to do with this. In any event, I'm still fatiguing easily. I think that the fatigue is residual from the virus I had, and the slow racewalking seems to have to do with my lungs (the coughing). I suspect that there was some damage to the bronchi from the virus, and it's going to take a while to repair itself. Eventually I should be up to speed again if this is true, but meanwhile, well, I must be patient, which I am not good at!

Monday, January 17, 2011

another slow 5K

This morning it was 35:30 instead of 35:50, but it's all the same...slow! I enjoyed my walk, though, so it doesn't really matter. I have started to wonder what I will do if I never get better (i.e. back to my old speedier self). I know that it's still very likely I will recover in a few months, but what if I don't? If I can't be competitive, I am sure I will still racewalk. I'll still do half marathons, and even a marathon this fall with my friend Sarah (she's going to do her first one this fall). I've actually enjoyed the extended respite from training in some ways, though I do miss it a lot at the same time. Weird. Anyway, for the moment I'm trying to be content with where I am, which involves watching my diet carefully, racewalking as much as is comfortable, strength training to keep up my muscle mass, and some cross-training and a day of rest each week. I've lost a few pounds since the holidays, and I'm doing well with keeping my eating pretty carefully in check, even at restaurants. I don't eat out very often (once per week on average?) but it's easy to overdo there. In any case, I'm just biding my time and seeing what happens.


After my slow 5K, I went to the gym and lifted. I usually do 4 sets of supersets (alternating 2 exercises on different muscle groups, usually 3x10-12 reps each) plus core. Today my supersets were: 1) bench press (85 lb, Smith machine)/leg press (130 lb - low for me; tired legs!) 2) hamstring machine (60 lb)/military press (20 lb each arm) 3) calf raises (one-legged; body weight)/lat pull-downs (70 lb) 4) bicep curls (15 lb each arm)/tricep skull-crushers (12 lb each arm). Then core: 50 sit-ups on exercise ball, then 20 oblique crunches/side on the ball, then isometric exercises for lower abs, and finally bicycles (30 per side). Then stretching...ahhhhh.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

PNO Scan

My acoustic piano (a Steinway grand) is now also a digital piano, thanks to the magic of PNO Scan. It's basically a sensor strip that goes under the keys of the piano (and to the sustain pedal) and senses the amount and duration of the pressure on the keys. I also got a mute rail installed, so that I can mute the natural piano sound, and a pair of speakers installed under the piano that plugs into my computer to transmit the computer-generated sounds. The result is that you can play the piano and have another sound come out; for example, a trumpet sound, like Calvin is demonstrating. Another very handy result is that I can play after the kids go to bed by plugging some headphones into the computer. Nice! Finally, it does a bunch of other stuff like recording music (in Garage Band on my Mac) or accompanying students, even slowing down or speeding up to stay with them (using the Home Concert Xtreme software). In a nutshell, it's awesome.

Here's a duet I recorded with myself in about 15 min of work...yeah, it's not perfect but it's just a quick and dirty project to demonstrate the concept. Fun!

Schumann Beim Kranzewinden

change of plans

This morning I got up and checked the weather and air quality. It was 33F, foggy, and PM2.5 was 34, just under the unhealthy 35 and up range. I was happy I'd get to walk outside! So I got all dressed and was opening the door to set my Garmin out to acquire the satellites while I put on my reflective vest and blinkies, when I noticed that it was raining pretty hard. Hmmmm...cold AND rainy? Maybe not so much. I don't mind cold with a light snow as much as cold with a steady rain. I decided that the treadmill was the better option. I went back downstairs, changed into shorts and a sports bra, and hopped on the treadmill. I was SO very very slow today that I'm not even going to post the times. It was really bad...however, I actually enjoyed the workout, even though it was on the treadmill. I watched some mindless TV (Today Show) and talked to Calvin on and off, as he was hanging out downstairs too. I felt pretty good when I finished, and my muscles aren't too sore, even though I managed to do a whole hour on the 'mill. Next time I won't dread it quite so much. Though I prefer to go outside, today the treadmill was indeed the better option.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

catching up

I haven't blogged in a few days...sorry! And now I'm in a hurry, so quickly:

Thursday - REST day (trying to take it easy like the doctor told me!)

Friday - 1 hr cardio - 30 min bike, 30 min elliptical

Saturday (today) - 5K RW on treadmill in 32:56, which is a decent time (slow, but not dreadfully so) but I was pushing fairly hard and my HR in the last km was about 160, which is high for how slowly I was going. Ave HR about 152? Then I got on the elliptical and did another 2K or so very easy, for a 45 min workout.


Weight Watchers - lost 2.4 lb this week (weighed in at 150.6) but surely a good amt of that is H2O, as I drank lots of coffee last night at a nice dinner out and it's a pretty good diuretic. After using the restroom at 1:40 am I had trouble going back to sleep and read a book until about 3:30. I'm going to be tired today, but not much I can do about that except catch a nap :).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Today I did the elliptical for 30 min, keeping the workout short to minimize stress on my body. Then I did weight training: chest flys 65 lb/walking lunges 30 lb; one-legged dead lifts (20,25,30 lb)/lat pull-downs(70 lb); one-legged calf raises/bent arm lat raise (12 lb). I got to the gym a bit late (left my shoes at home by mistake and didn't realize it until almost at the gym) so that was all I had time for before doing some core exercises with Lisa: sit-ups on ball, oblique crunches on ball, back extensions on ball, plank (90 sec, building back up to 2 min).

I'm not as fatigued as I have been in general; that seems to be improving a bit even if my racewalking times are still lousy. One step at a time I guess.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

very cold morning

It was really cold this morning: 8F (-13C). I wore my ski mask, but my eyelashes got all frosty and frozen from the moisture from my breath condensing on them and then freezing. The picture was taken about 30-45 seconds after I walked in the door, so the ice on my lashes, hair, hat, etc. was starting to melt, but you get the idea. I actually was only a little chilly; racewalking warms you up a lot!

I went around Liberty Park. The sidewalk is totally covered in packed snow & ice, but the park road just inside the sidewalk is dry. Fortunately, there aren't many cars there at 6:45 am.

I was really slow again today, but that was OK. I am just keeping it nice & easy - I'm finding that these shorter (5-6K) workouts with a HR about 140-145 are easier on my body than the 10Ks at HR of 150. For now, I'm just going to have to be patient with it and be glad I can be out there. One of the faculty in the department I work in is in the hospital with an infection secondary to terminal colon cancer, which puts things in perspective for me. I'm lucky to be in good enough health to racewalk at all.

Garmin connect data here.


I've been a lot more careful with my diet this week, and it feels good. I'm glad to be back in the swing of things. Hopefully I'll take off a few pounds by the time I'm feeling healthy again.

Monday, January 10, 2011

still slow, but still out there

My 5K this morning was embarrassingly slow. OK, there was some snow on the road for part of the route (1/3 of it?) but overall the conditions were good enough to be reasonably fast, say 6:45/km. Well...I did 7:10/km. I didn't push at all, as I'm trying to just take it really easy. I have no idea why I was so slow, because I felt OK, but it's just more of the same. At this point, I've basically given up on racing for a good long time. I'm trying to just enjoy the exercise, eat right, and de-emphasize my racewalking identity. Perhaps this is all for the good - I mean, I probably have gotten too tied up in my identity as a racewalker, and it might be time to just enjoy some other things in life a bit more. One thing is for sure - right now I can't racewalk fast, so I might as well put my focus elsewhere for a while.

Garmin connect data here.

After the 5K I went to the gym and lifted weights and did some core work. Dumbbell bench press (30 lb each arm)/one-legged squats (body weight only); hamstring curls (only 40 lb - hamstrings sore)/upright row (17.5 lb each arm); leg extensions (60 lb)/lateral raises (10 lb each arm); bicep curls (15 lb each arm)/tricep extensions (12.5 lb each arm). Core: plank, wood choppers w/8 lb medicine ball, toe toucher situps w/medicine ball, raising/lowering straight legs (lower abs).

Sunday, January 09, 2011


This morning there was about 3-4 inches of fresh white fluffy stuff outside. There was a little less on the road - maybe 2 inches. The gym doesn't open until 10 am on Sunday, so my choices were: 1) strap on the Yaktrax, or 2) treadmill. Hmmmm, not a hard choice! I decided that the Yaktrax would be good. It was actually in the 20s this morning, an improvement from the teens of the last 7-10 days or so, and it wasn't actively snowing. The Yaktrax help a lot in the snow but the toe-off is still not very powerful, so I was slow. Besides, I'm slow right now due to the mystery virus, so what's a little slower? I averaged only 7:23/km for the hilly 5.8ish km around SugarHouse Park, but it was the nicest walk I've had in a while. I felt good, my muscles didn't hurt, and I thoroughly enjoyed being outside, believe it or not. It was dark the whole time (as you can see from the blurry photo of a Mormon church along my route) and cold, but the snow was beautiful and I was happy to not be stuck in the gym.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

slow and achy, but still here!

This morning's workout wasn't so good. I racewalked a mile on the treadmill at the gym, because the pollution was horrible outside, and the doc has advised me to avoid being outside when it's like that :(. I hate the treadmill, but the gym w/the indoor track wasn't open today until 9 am (it's at the U and it's still break for the students), so I was stuck with the 'mill. After one mile I was legs were tired and achy already, after a relatively slow 10:55 for the mile. I switched to the elliptical, and did 4 more miles pretty easily on that in 35 min (usually this takes me 31-32 min, so this was slow too, but at least it didn't hurt). My legs seem to tolerate the elliptical much better than racewalking right now :(, especially racewalking on the treadmill.

Tomorrow morning I'll probably racewalk outside - the weather is supposed to clear up a bit because a storm is coming through to break up the pollution-trapping inversion. We're not supposed to get too much snow, so I should be able to walk outside, if my legs can tolerate it.


On the bright side, I am uninjured and able to work out. Yeah, I'm slow, and I'm fatigued, and my muscles hurt, but I'm still exercising and it does feel good (mostly). I'm going to cut back as needed and try to respect my body's limits for the moment, but I'm hoping to return to full strength sometime, even if that takes a few months. I'm not happy about that, but I can't change it, so I need to accept it and move on.

Also, I was down 0.8 lb today in Weight Watchers. I'm still about 8 lb over where I'd like to be, but things are moving in the right direction and I've had a couple good days in a row, eating-wise. Might as well get the weight under control while I'm not training hard.

Friday, January 07, 2011

a bit of rest is in order...

I rested yesterday. I needed it. Sad, but true. I haven't done that much, but my body is just not up to it right now. I've been really fatigued in the afternoons again, indicating I have been pushing too hard. The rest helped, but probably not enough.


Today I cross-trained. I just didn't want to racewalk, because right now every time I racewalk my leg muscles get pretty sore, and that's getting old fast. I wasn't in the mood to fight the cold and the soreness, so I did the bike & elliptical for an hour, and then did some easy weight training. I say easy, because I only got in 2 sets of weights plus core; I saw a couple people at the gym that I haven't seen in a while and spent too much time chatting with them. All of the January-only types are crowding the gym, as's really crowded.


I went to my family doc again today to try and figure things out. He thinks there probably isn't anything else going on, just residual problems from the nasty virus I had. He said it is a bit unusual for it to go on this long, but there are plenty of cases of people in really good health getting felled for months by these things, and I apparently got lucky. He did a thorough exam and history, and did uncover something else though: mild asthma. My peak flow was about 25% lower than he thought it should be, and so he prescribed some medications to help with it. He also told me to stay indoors when the pollution is bad in the winter (like it is whenever there's a high pressure system here in the winter). Right now it's pretty bad, so I guess I'm stuck with the indoor track or the treadmill until tomorrow night when a storm system is coming through to clear things out. This is not fun, but I'm actually glad to have at least one reason for my sub-par performance lately.

So, I wait...and wait some more...and give up on my plans to do the National Masters' 20K in March. I won't be ready enough to spend the money to go do it. Oh well.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

still slow but still out there

Today's and yesterday's workouts got combined on the Garmin. Doesn't matter. They were equally crappy. Total of 14.37k in 1:38:20 for 6:50/km with ave HR 150. Yeah, not good. Everyone is telling me to go to the doctor and see if there is something going on that could explain the continuing fatigue, sore muscles (unusually sore for the workouts I'm doing, especially my legs), poor performance. I know something is still not right. I should not be feeling this way. I just don't know what could be wrong.

Garmin connect data here.


After racewalking this morning (about 40 min), I lifted weights and did some core exercises. Everything is a bit sore from Monday, since I haven't been regular about lifting weights. My abs are I did some sit-ups on the ball to try and whip them into shape.


I'm not in a good mood. Between winter, my mystery illness, weight gain, and how tired I've been, it's hard to stay upbeat. I'm trying, beats the alternative!

Monday, January 03, 2011


I thought I'd best give my muscles a little change from racewalking, so I did the bike and elliptical today, plus a good hard set of weights. I did bench press with dumbbells/abductor machine; hamstring ball curls/calf raises; lat pull-downs/one-legged squats (with good form this time, and no knee trouble!); bicep curls and tricep skull-crushers; back extensions on ball, then a good ab set including oblique crunches and regular crunches on the ball, ball passes (prone, from feet to hands and back again), plank, and hip-ups. Stretching at the end felt good.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

6.3K better than yesterday but still slow...

Today I did 6.3K, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The first 200m hurt, as my muscles are definitely sore from yesterday (only 10K made me pathetic!). I figured I was doomed, but my first km was in 6:25 (downhill) and no km was over 7:00, even the uphill ones at the end. I felt pretty decent for most of the walk, despite the muscle soreness and the temperature. While warmer than yesterday, it was still chilly at 17F (-8.3C), but it didn't seem to bother me.

I did 6.3K in 42:17 for 6:42/km. Garmin connect data here. Edited to add: last 3 times I did this route around Liberty Park (in early December) I did 43:14, 43:06, and 43:55, so this is an improvement.

I was looking over my year-end stats from last year and realizing just how far my racewalking has sunk. Really, I was doing 10K all the time in 1:04:30 without thinking twice about it (at ave HR 140ish), and now with HR of 150 I can barely do 1:09. Ugh. I know it's probably just the illness, but it's kind of hard to stay upbeat when I can't train and my performance is so rotten every time I go out. It's made even worse by the fact that I know plenty of other racewalkers who are training very well right now. On the flip side, at least I am out there and able to exercise. It beats last year when I was injured and limited to bike, elliptical, and swimming.


Some amusing notes: I had a really neat pair of gloves with fingertips exposed and a wind flap to cover them (for daily life, not for RW), and thought I lost one. For several weeks I did without them. Then I found the missing one - I have a large hole in the liner of my winter coat pocket, and it slipped in there and I couldn't feel it! Duh! I was really happy to find it again, as I love those gloves.

The other day I was talking with my coach, and we discovered there was a 51C temperature discrepancy between us. In Melbourne, Australia, they were having a very hot day at 42C (108F). Here, it was -9C (15F) and snowy. I think my coach had the better end of that deal, somehow. I used to hate the heat when I was fat, but now I actually like it. Go figure.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

racewalking year in review

2010 was a tough year, with some bright spots.

January-March I was dealing with my foot injury (peroneus longus tendonitis at the insertion into the first metatarsal) and not able to walk much at all; I did only 118 miles total for all 3 months.

At the end of March, Jim Leppik started coaching me, which has been great. Though my foot injury improved with PT and stopped hurting eventually, I was pretty darn slow from not racewalking all winter PLUS being low on iron and not aware of it. My workouts were not very good, I had a few bad 10K races, and it was a bit discouraging. In addition, I struggled with ingrown toenail problems throughout April, and calf spasms in May. A bright spot was doing the Salt Lake Half Marathon in very nice weather in April (April can be dicey here, so that was good).

We figured out the iron problem in time to get a few good workouts in before the USATF National Masters' Outdoor Championships in Sacramento in July. In fact, just a few weeks before that, I set a PR in the 5K of 27:57 on a nice downhill course on the Provo River Trail (accurately marked every 100m). I was only 3 seconds off my track PR at the Masters' Championships, doing a 28:39 in the 5K. The 10K a couple days later was slow, due to low iron and lack of hard enough training at the distances required for a good 10K.

I had some really nice workouts from late August - early October, enjoyed cruising the Little Grand Canyon Half Marathon with Sarah and Jessica, and in general things were looking up. In our handicapped 5K series for our racewalking club, I came in 3rd overall after all 7 races, which wasn't bad considering the things I struggled with this year.

October started off with a bang, with a fast PR in my 8K fartlek workout. I was feeling like things were great...and then my foot started to hurt again. Jim figured out my foot problem and tweaked my technique, but then my hip couldn't handle the change and gave me fits all month. Fortunately, after a bit of rest it was more than fine for a nice PR of 2:11:18 in the Two Cities Half Marathon in Fresno on November 7, one of the bright spots of the year. Unfortunately, 3 days later I caught some horrible viral illness which still has me feeling sluggish and slow. I only did 63 miles in November and 54 in December, due to my illness.

Mileage total for the year was low, at just 1028 miles. But this was due to injury and illness, not due to any lack of motivation, so I'm hopeful for 2011. The World Masters Championships are in Sacramento this summer, so there are some great races ahead when I'm healthy.

Happy New Year!

Photo of me dressed for the cold today.

I felt lousy (fatigued) this morning but decided 10K might make me feel better. It did, sort of, for a little. Now I'm just really tired and need a nap :(. I'm not sorry I went, but it definitely took a lot out of me. My muscles are sore, and I'm very fatigued now. From the first km I knew I'd be slow, as my muscles just felt wrong. I can't explain it any better, but they have felt this way for many of my recent workouts - just slow, like the fast-twitch fibers are not working at all, like I'm racewalking in mud. Oh, and I haven't mentioned this up until now, but my left foot has been bothering me a bit for the last 10 days or so :(. It's just a little achy, and I've been watching my technique to keep the left hip back and push all the way off my left toe, but that doesn't seem to be the problem. It's not bothering me a lot, so I hope that it will just go away. Wishful thinking maybe.

It was really cold out there this morning, even for me, and I'm used to working out in the cold. It was 5.5F (-14.7C) at my parents' house (we stayed over here for New Year's Eve). The good things about this morning? I was glad to be out there, slow or not. I was thinking about how it was great that I could be out there walking, despite everything. About 3-4km into the workout a car with an elderly couple drove by me, and both gave me thumbs up :). You know it's cold when even the locals think you're brave or crazy for being out there. But I think the cold was a non-factor in the workout; I felt warmly dressed enough. My legs were a little chilled on the surface but I really didn't feel cold. I was just tired. Another positive? My splits, while slow, were at least consistent, and I was able to maintain my speed for the whole workout. It took me 1:09:41 for the 10K, or 6:58/km. That's 30 seconds slower than what I usually can do at that same or lower HR of 151.

I think I've been pushing too hard and need to back off, get more sleep, and not do so much at home. If the house is dirty, so be it. I don't have work on Monday (holiday) and I was originally planning on going in anyway, but I am not going to do that. My one New Year's resolution that I think will affect everything else positively is to get more sleep :).

Garmin connect data here.