Saturday, April 30, 2011


First, a huge congratulations to my friends Erin Taylor-Talcott and Dave Talcott on their Penn Relays performances. Erin got a new PR in the 5K with a 23:57, and Dave qualified for 20K nationals at age 51 (!wow!) with a flying fast 10K of 48:17. Awesome! I'm so excited for both of them, and for my coach, since they are his athletes as well.


I did a more mundane workout this morning - just 45 min on the elliptical. However, it was pretty fast - 6 miles in 45:23. Not too bad at all. Makes me wonder how fast I could run, but I'm not going to find out anytime soon. My running form sucks and I always hurt my IT bands when I run, so that is right out for now.

After that I had fun driving my relatives to all the tourist stuff in SLC all day. It was good, and I've got lots of photos. Will post later. I'm tired and have 20K in the morning!

Friday, April 29, 2011


Tough workout today, and bad weather. Those have gone together this week.

I go up REALLY early, because a friend was having a watch-the-royal-wedding-in-your-pajamas party, starting at 3 am. I'm not that into the royals, really, but I do like good music and am curious about British culture, and I couldn't resist the lure of a pajama party with tea and scones at 3 am. There was something very funny about that!

So after the bulk of the wedding was over, I got dressed in my workout clothes and headed to the track. It was raining lightly and 38F (3C). Not too nice. As I warmed up, it got worse. It started raining fairly hard, and then it was sleeting, and then on and off through the workout, the wind picked up. It was pretty ugly, though it did settle down a bit between the 2K and the 500s, so I was able to do the 500s in just a slight drizzle with some wind.

I forgot my chest strap for my heart rate monitor when packing my stuff up last night, so I have no HR data other than what I took during my rest periods the old-fashioned way (you know, fingers to the neck and counting!).

I warmed up for 1600m in 10:07, and did my dynamic flexibility drills. All felt well and I was ready to go, other than that my feet were already wet and a bit cold. I knew they'd warm up though.

I started on my 3K, and it went pretty well. I was thinking if I did 17:15 that would be about right. I did 5:40, 5:47, and 5:47 for 17:12, which I thought was good. I was a bit worried though, because I felt fairly tired after that. I wondered how I'd crank out 2K. I did have 4 min rest, but still. Not well, it turns out. I did a 5:46 and then a dismal 5:53 for 11:39. I was really disappointed with that last km, but I really had worked it hard, and I guess I was just not going to be any faster. I rested for 3 min, and then started on the 500s, hoping they would be better. They actually were good! I felt good doing them, and concentrated on keeping a faster cadence since I was switching to shorter intervals. I pulled off a 2:46, 2:45, 2:45 and a 2:43, with 2 min rest between each. I'm happy with those. I did check my heart rate before and after the last interval, and it was 104 at the end of the last rest period, and 172 at the end of the last interval, which I really worked hard to get that 2:43.

Overall, a good workout, just that one slow 1K. I have to admit that self-doubt was creeping in there big-time, but the 500s redeemed the workout for me. I guess I'm just nervous about my ability to sustain a hard pace for very long. Well, we'll find out at the national masters 15K in just 2 weeks and 2 days.

Garmin connect data here.


Afterward I went to the gym and did PT exercises and some core stuff. I took it pretty easy, except for a hard set of lunges on the dyna disc/lateral raises balancing on L foot on dyna disc (holding 10 lb ea arm for both), which worked my poor tired glutes and also my left foot. My foot is actually pretty sore right now, so I'm icing it and hoping it will be OK. I think it will be fine with a little rest. It felt Ok after the track workout, and I think the aggressive lunges might have made it hurt. I have x-training tomorrow so I think all will be well after a day off of racewalking.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


The weather was great today; 42F (6C) and clear with a slight breeze. It was actually LIGHT outside when I STARTED my walk! Wow! I could see my watch w/o the backlight! Nice!

My walk was as great as the weather. I started off fast and really held the speed until the uphill at the end. Got to 5K in 30:23 and 10K in a very fast 1:01:38 (2nd 5K in 31:15). The last 4K was not so fast in 25:42, but it did include the slight uphill and I was a bit tired at the end and didn't push it. Total time 1:27:20 for 14K for 6:14/km with ave HR 149. I felt good and strong until the very end, and even then I wasn't that tired. It was gorgeous out and I enjoyed the spring tulips, flowering trees, and sunshine. It's supposed to turn nasty again (snow...sigh) so I figured I'd better appreciate the good weather.

Edited to add: I didn't have the satellite on my Garmin for the first 1.05km so that's why the first 500m split is so long :), and why the total workout is 12.95 km.

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pilates, tired 10K, weights

I did Pilates last night. Greta, the challenging instructor, was back :). It was hard. We did a lot of bridgework and plank work, and it was a great workout.


This morning I was really tired. The weather was fine (34F, 1C, partly sunny (only the sun wasn't up yet!), slight breeze) but I wasn't. I was to do 10K with 2x7' segments @ 20K pace, which is 6:00/km if I want to do 2 hr for 20K in July, which I do! I did fine for the 20K pace segments - right on 3:00 for all my 500s, but I was just really tired with heavy legs today, and at the end I just didn't care any more. Going up the slight hill home I pulled a 3:32 and even a 3:40 for 500s. Ugh!!!!!! I wasn't pushing hard, and really was just TIRED, so I figured it would be OK. The important thing was to get it done and to do my 7' fast segments at the right pace. I think.

Total time 1:04:13 for 6:25/km with ave HR 146. Garmin connect data here.


I debated going to the gym after that, but decided I ought to at least do some foot PT exercises, so I went. I did 1) calf raises (one-legged, body weight)/balance on dyna disc & bounce ball (3 sets 15 calf, 30 sec balance); 2) chest fly w/20 lb dumbbells each arm/military press 12 lb ea arm balancing on dyna disc w/one foot, alternating feet (did 3x8 each foot so 3x16 presses!); 3) lat pull-down (70 lb machine)/hip abductor machine (80 lb 2 sets, 90 lb 1 set).

I'm glad I went. It was short, but a good set of PT stuff to keep my foot and IT bands happy.

Now what I really need is a good night's sleep. Unfortunately I have an experiment at work that will require me to be there at 5 am tomorrow :(. Oh well...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Ray S. North

My mom's dad died this morning. He was 91 years old, and had a full life. We knew he was ill and wouldn't last much longer; still, we grieve his passing.

Here are a few photos, older and newer. You will be missed, Grandpa.

Edited to add: I really wanted to post a few memories, too! So here are some random ones. I remember one of Grandpa's favorite things was to relax in front of the TV with a beer, watching golf. He loved to watch golf! Grandpa was an avid runner as well, running well into his 70s. After that he walked and did weight training into his late 80s. What a role model for staying in shape! He was a quiet man, who didn't reveal much of himself. I remember being surprised during one recent visit when he told us of his father's alcoholism, and how Grandpa had to leave college for a bit to help with the family insurance business. Grandpa himself was always a responsible man who took good care of his family and worked hard in his job; he was VP of Sethness Products, which makes caramel color for soft drinks, etc. until his retirement in 1984. He was a quiet and loving support for his wife and children, and I always knew he loved us (his grandchildren) very much, even though he wasn't given to voicing it frequently. He lent an air of peaceful stability to the household and family, and we will all miss him.

Trying to think spring...

The weather has been, well, much colder and wetter than usual this month. Someone with a sense of humor made this guy a week or two ago, and this is still how we're all feeling.

Some of the snow/hail just after my 10K kickdown in Liberty Park this morning. Ugh!

It hailed again when Michelle and I were at Diva's this afternoon - pretty big hail - pebble-sized! It made quite a racket on the roof of the greenhouse.

10K kickdown - new PR

In a hurry - late to work - so this is the Reader's Digest version.

I got a new PR on this one, but was a bit disappointed with my performance somehow. I was hoping for faster on the 3rd and 4th splits.

Weather: SUCKED! It was 35F (2C). It was deceptive...I started off in a light rain, but about 2 min into the workout it started hailing on me, then snowing, then raining, then snowing again. Windy at parts as well. Nothing like sideways snow/hail to make a 10K kickdown pleasant. But it was better than the treadmill, I think. Other than my feet getting soaked, it wasn't too uncomfortable. I was actually glad I was outside...weirdly enough! I had my rain jacket on and gloves and cap, and that worked pretty well.

I had a bit of trouble finding a good pace for each split, and wavered a bit. My 500s were kind of inconsistent, but the 2.5K splits were decent. The first one was 15:35 and was too fast by about 15 sec (I was shooting for 15:50) and the 2nd was just right at 15:22 (shooting for 15:25) but the 3rd too slow at 15:09 (shooting for 15:00) and the 4th was actually not bad at 14:34. I wanted to get at least 14:35 or less, and I did (barely). Still, would have liked to be faster.

I was hoping for faster at the end, but just had nothing left. Still, it was my fastest 10K kickdown ever, at 60:40. (Previous best was 61:29).

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

rest day/weight training

Today was an optional day. I thought about spinning, but my legs felt like they needed a rest, so I took a rest day instead. Except that I did go and do my weight training, so I guess it was just a cardio rest day :).

Weights/PT for foot:
1) balance on dyna disc & bounce ball/lateral walk with resistance band (for abductors); 3 sets
2) lunges on dyna disc w/10 lb ea arm/bench press (30 lb dumbbells each arm); 3 sets
3) military press, seated, 20-25 lb ea arm/one-legged dead lifts 35 lb; 3 sets
4) bicep curls (15 lb ea arm)/tricep skull-crushers (12 lb ea arm); 3 sets
5) core exercises - miscellaneous Pilates type exercises

Sunday, April 24, 2011

solid 20K

My legs were quite tired yesterday, but the day of cross-training (though hard) seemed to allow some recovery. They felt good today, and only slightly tired at a couple points during the walk.

I had to get up quite early to start, because it's Easter Sunday and I'm playing the organ for church. That meant practicing from 8-8:30, because that was the only slot I could get. The band needed 8:30-9:30, and then at 9:30 I'm to practice with the vocal soloist and euphonium soloist. Busy morning! So I got on the road by about 5:30 am. The weather was quite nice - 36F (3C) and calm and partly cloudy. It's supposed to rain today, but later on :).

I felt good today, but not great. I knew after 5K that this would not be a really fast day, but that doesn't matter at all for a long day. I just wanted to do the workout in a solid time with a good HR to work on my endurance. My foot was warmish/slightly achy but under control. I did focus quite a bit on my technique to keep it happy, and that seemed to work well enough.

Here are my 5K splits: 31:07 (slight downhill); 31:52; 32:10, and 31:46. Nice! I was pushing that last one a bit, but it's slightly uphill at the end, and I really wanted to be as consistent as possible on my 5Ks. I'm happy with the way they came out. Total time: 2:06:55 for 6:20/km with ave HR of 149.

If you haven't noticed, I haven't had any GI problems recently in my workouts. Why? I've been taking an imodium the night before and one the morning of my longer workouts (>10K). It has made all the difference in the world. Jim has warned me that in hot weather that can be dicey, but I'm hoping that the 20K will be early in Sacramento so that it won't be too hot, because I HAVE to take the imodium, or I will lose 5 minutes to the porta-potty and it won't be pretty. I'm just happy that it's working because I've felt SO MUCH BETTER!

Training alone all the time is a bit of a bummer, but happily I do have virtual training partners. I love following my friends' training on their blogs/facebook...notably Erin T. from New York, Sarah R. from Canada & Nyle S. from New Zealand, though there are others as well :). It's really fun to encourage each other in our training.

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

cross training - video bike

This morning I was to cross-train. I like spinning class because it makes me work harder than the regular stationary bike, but they stopped offering it on Saturday morning at my gym :(. So, the next best thing is the video bike. It has a TV screen with other bikers, hills, scenery, etc. and you can set a pacer to chase, which is quite motivating to me. However, this morning my legs were quite tired and the video bike totally kicked my butt. I had to set the pacer pretty low for me (145 watts) and had trouble staying with him. My heart rate was in the low 150s for the harder part of the workout, but it FELT like the 160s. I was hurting! Seriously, my HR on the bike is never as high as when I racewalk, but it FEELS harder most of the time, probably because biking inside is inherently boring. Or maybe biking is just not my thing.

Anyway, I persisted for 53 minutes and got the job done. My legs were pretty tired at the end, though - they were rubbery going down the stairs afterward. I was sweating buckets, too - it's good to train inside sometimes because it is decent prep for warmer weather.

I have 20K tomorrow, and I hope my legs are recovered a bit by then. It might hurt, though...oh well, what else is new? I need my muscles to get stronger, so I have to push them a bit.

Foot update: it's been slightly sore this week. It was good some days, and sore others. I've been managing it pretty well with ice and watching my technique, but it's definitely noticeable. Hopefully it won't worsen; where it is now is totally fine, so I'm hoping the management strategy works for a while. World Masters in July, and a marathon in September are on the docket.

Friday, April 22, 2011

first 10K fartlek - PRs all around :)

Boy, was I scared of this workout. I know that sounds silly, but I was. I got up at 5:15 am so I would have enough time to do the workout and then meet Lisa at the gym, but I totally procrastinated getting to the track. I really had to psych myself up to get over there. This sounds silly; after all, it's just a workout, right? But I think I am still gun-shy after all the rough workouts I've had over the last year. Anyway, after procrastinating, I didn't get to the track until just before 6 am.

It was 36F (2C) and calm and clear. Nice weather, actually! (It was nice yesterday too - in the morning. It was 42F (6C) and calm and overcast, though later in the day a wicked storm came through complete with thunder, snow, and rain). We have had such a wet spring that any clear day is a happy day :). Somehow the mornings have been pretty good, though, and I haven't had to take any workouts inside. Hoping it stays that way!

I was pretty sore from yesterday's 15K and the 5x800 the day before that. My muscles definitely had not recovered. I needed the warm-up badly! I took it very slowly, especially at first (did the first 400 in about 2:45), because I was stiff and sore in the upper hamstrings and glutes. I was definitely nervous about how my legs would hold up. I finished the 1600m warm-up in 10:28 (pretty slow for me, but that was intentional!), though I did give the last 200m a good kick to complete the warm-up. Then I did lots of dynamic flexibility drills, both to procrastinate the workout and because I wanted to be good and stretched out with how tight my muscles were feeling.

Reluctantly, I got started. After the first few km, though, I settled in and felt good and wondered why I'd been so afraid. I deliberately took it a bit easy to start, knowing I had a long way to go. I got to the first km in a nice fast 5:37, despite taking it a bit easy. That was a good sign! My first recovery was 3:03, which was quite fast as well. This was looking good. My first 500 was 2:50, and that seemed about right. I figured that was close to a pace I could keep for 10km. I told myself to keep it under control and keep it comfortably hard but no harder, as I had 10km to do. I got to 2km in just 11:30. Wow, this was going well! I passed 3K in just 17:25, still feeling very good. I kept it under good control through 5K, feeling strong. My legs felt surprisingly OK to this point. Best of all, I got to 5K in just 29:23, a 5K fartlek PR by 10 seconds! I was feeling quite confident now, though I knew the hardest part would be the last 5K.

Continuing on, I got to 6K in 35:25, a 6K fartlek PR by 19 seconds. I was still feeling good, though definitely starting to tire at this point. I told myself to hang on because there were only 4 hard 500s to go. My legs definitely were feeling it by 7K, my slowest 500 at 2:55. My recoveries had dropped to 3:10s by this point. However, I now had it as my goal to get to 10K under 60 minutes, and was pretty sure that would happen unless I totally tanked. My legs were quite tired, but I thought I had another 3 in me. I made it to 8K in 47:32, an 8K fartlek PR by 20 seconds! I was hanging on and managing to keep 6:00/km pace, despite how tired I was. The last 2km I didn't manage that, but my legs were pretty trashed by that point, and I'd never done a fartlek this long, so I didn't feel too bad about it. I got to 10km in 59:43 with ave HR 158, which I think is a pretty darn good time for me. My HR was slightly lower than a typical fartlek workout, but I think that was good. I needed to know I could go the distance, and so holding back a bit was wise. I am glad I did, because the last 2km were very tough, so I think I actually paced this just about right.

My 10K track PR is 58:43, and this workout was just 1 minute slower than that. I am pretty sure that if I'd raced 10K on the track today, I would have broken my PR, tired legs or not. I think Jim said I could subtract about 30-90 sec from a 5K fartlek to get approximate race pace, and so for 10K it would be a bit more I assume. In any case, this was a great workout and I'm pleased with it. It was hard, but not as hard as I'd imagined, and I won't be so afraid of it next time. Doing workouts with good iron levels is so much more pleasant. This just felt comfortably hard until the last 2K, which was a welcome change from the exhaustion of workouts last year.

Summary: 1K 5:37, then 500s in 3:03, 2:50, 3:04, 2:51, 3:08, 2:51, 3:08, 2:52, 3:09, 2:52, 3:10, 2:55, 3:09, 2:53, 3:12, 2:54, 3:12, 2:54.

Garmin connect data here.


I was obviously late to the gym to meet Lisa, but she was forgiving. I decided not to lift today, as there wasn't much time. Instead, I stretched out my hamstrings, glutes, piriformis, calves, and quads quite thoroughly, and did a bunch of core exercises with Lisa. That felt great.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

give me a break!

Please, please can we have some warm weather? Apparently not.

Video Courtesy of

15K and feeling fine!

I am so excited about how well my training has been going. I feel like I have been stuck in a horrible rut since the very successful Portland Marathon in Oct 2009. Since then, I've had two foot injuries (sesamoiditis, peroneus longus tendonitis), low iron levels (20 for my serum ferritin), a mystery virus that had me quite ill for 2 months, and a miscarriage. None of this was really under my control at all; my iron levels possibly excepted, but since I didn't know it was low I guess that was unavoidable too.

Thankfully, things seem to be finally going my way. The foot is still somewhat sensitive, but I seem to be managing it well enough. It's just at the "noticing" stage, which means it doesn't hurt at all, but I notice that something is not quite 100% about it. I'll take that! I just concentrate hard on my form, and it seems to keep it pretty well under control for the moment.

I'm thrilled that things are coming together at last. It feels SO GOOD to go for a workout knowing that I am going to do pretty well. I have to say, though, that despite all that I'm still a bit nervous about tomorrow's workout - a 10K fartlek. I haven't done one that long before (only 8K), and it's a hard workout! Still, I am excited to see what comes out.

Have to get to work, so I'd better blog quickly about today's workout. Except for my legs feeling pretty tired (hamstrings, glutes) from about 7K onward, it was a great workout. I was to do 15K, and the first 5K was flying fast. OK, so it's also got a nice downhill :). I got to 5K in 30:39, and my heart rate was in the low-mid 140s most of that time. Granted, my HR did go up after that, and my times slowed down, but it was still great. I got to 10K in 1:01:57 - wow! 2nd 5K split was 31:18! Under 1:02 for an easy day! Amazing! I continued, and I did push a bit on the last 5K to get to 15K in 1:33:36 (for a last 5K split of just 31:39), but that included the gentle uphill home.

Total time 1:33:36 for 6:14/km with ave HR of just 145. Nice!!!

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

World Masters uniform :)

Calvin took some pics of me in my new uniform tops and shorts. The ones I like the best are the white top (mesh back - very cool & comfortable, and it's white, which is better for hot weather!), and the half-tights. I love to race in shorts, but the half tights are very, very comfortable and I hardly know I'm wearing them, and they do not ride up!

Oh, and here's my photographer, first - a self-portrait.

5x800m at the track - fastest ever!

Before I get to today's workout, last night I did Pilates at the gym. The figure skating championships are over, so it's back to regular classes. We had the Saturday instructor, and so the workout wasn't quite as hard, but it was still good. Some good core stuff for sure!


This morning I checked the weather before heading to the track. The websites were all screwy! They said it was 176F (80C)! Not actuality, it was 37F by my thermometer at the house and 38F by my car thermometer (about 3C). It was calm and felt pretty good out there, and it was not raining :).

I wore tights and a long-sleeved shirt with gloves and an ear-warmer. Underneath I had my new shorts (half-tights) and singlet from USATF - the ones I plan to wear for World Masters. I just got the singlet size exchanged and it fits, so I thought I'd make sure it didn't chafe or anything. So far, so good. It was comfortable. The half tights were great - first set I've ever owned that does NOT ride up on me at all. They have some rubbery thing on the inside of the bottom of the shorts so they STAY put.

I warmed up for 1600m in 9:50 (fast!) but with ave HR of 138. I was thinking it would be a good day. I did my dynamic flexibility drills and got started on the workout. I thought perhaps if I was really fast I might do these in 4:20. That turned out to be a bit over-ambitious, but close! I did the first one in 4:19, then the subsequent 800s in 4:22, 4:23, 4:23, and 4:24. The last one I was really working it and hoped it would be faster, but my legs were really rubbery by the end. My muscles were so fatigued.

The amazing thing was that my heart rate recovered SO well. It was 95 during the first 2 min rest, and then got down to 100-105 during all of the other 2 min rests. Pretty good!!! My average HR on the intervals was 155-162, though it seemed higher to the end of each it was in the mid-upper 160s so I think I worked it good and hard.

Seriously, the fastest set of 800s I have done before this was 4:28-4:32 range. I'm VERY happy with this workout and feel like things are going well.


After that I went to the gym and did weight training/PT for my foot. I did chest fly machine (70lb/3x12)/balance L foot on dyna disc and bounce ball; calf raises (one legged, body weight, 3x15 each side)/row machine (70 lb, 3x12); military press standing on dyna disc w/L foot only (hard! 10-12 lb ea arm, 3x12)/triceps with rope (25 lb, 2x12; last set did 10 lb dumbbell skull crushers instead - fatigued!). Then I did 3 min on the treadmill to test my shorts again without the tights on. I did 2 min at 5.8 mph (6:30/km approx) then did 1 min at 6.5 mph. They stayed put! :) Pictures to follow later in the day of my new outfits for WMA.

Garmin connect data here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I was hoping for a 10K like on Saturday :). That was too much to hope for! Seriously, I did a relatively flat route today (not the downhill of Saturday's race), and I took it a bit easier. In addition, I think my legs are still a little tired. They felt pretty good when I started, but around 7-8K, they were tired, and that was not surprising. I'm glad this is an easier training week. I just have 5x800 tomorrow; however, Jim did throw in a really hard workout (10K fartlek) for Friday. By then I should be recovered enough to give it a good shot, though.

The weather has been so snowy and rainy this month. We're having flooding problems already and the snow hasn't begun to melt in earnest in the mountains. It rained all day yesterday - about an inch total, which is 1/15 of our normal yearly precipitation! The weather said there would be showers this morning. I was hoping I might avoid them, and I got lucky :). It was 40F (4C) and overcast, with a slight breeze and no rain. The roads were wet, so my feet got a bit wet, but no big deal.

I started off nice & fast on the downhill to Liberty Park, but then slowed a bit. Still, I reached 5K in 30:31 - very good! I knew I wouldn't hold that pace, because the last half would be flat/slight uphill, and I didn't. Still, it was a nice fast workout. I finished in 1:02:14 for an average of 6:13/km with an average HR of 148.

Funny slogan on the side of a van - advertising carpet cleaning in Spanish, "Labados alfombras". It should say "Lavados"...spelling mistakes abound, apparently, no matter what language you speak. Oops!

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

some photos

SLC 1/2 marathon photos are up here.


Some pictures from a birthday party Calvin went to on Saturday - it was a Science Blast Party. They did all kinds of science-y things, wearing lab coats and safety goggles (which I pretty much never wear in my actual lab job :)!). I didn't go, but the mom who was hosting sent me these very cute photos:

spinning & weight training

Today was an optional day, but since I switched and rested today I knew I'd cross-train today. It was actually much better to cross-train today than yesterday, because 1) I was pretty sore yesterday and I actually feel better today (go figure - usually the 2nd day is worse), and 2) there aren't any spinning classes at the gym on Sunday but there's a great one on Monday morning. So I went. We did some acceleration intervals - 30s on, 30s off, 30s on, 25s off, 30s on, 20s off, 30s on, 15s off, 30s on, 10s off, 30s on, 5s off, 30s on, then recovery for a few minutes. Then crank up the resistance and repeat several times. Whew. I was really sweating - it was warm in there, which is good heat training since it's certainly NOT warm outside for my RW these days. I'm glad I didn't walk today - it's POURING rain and was 48F this morning. Ugh. Not that cold, but it was really coming down.

Garmin connect data for spinning class. I like the HR trace.


Then I did weight training with Lisa and core work. Bench press (30 lb ea arm, dumbbells)/balance on dyna disk (L foot PT) and bounce medicine ball 25x (3 sets, 12 reps on bench press). Then lunges on dyna disk w/8lb ea arm (L foot PT but a good exercise too!)/balance on dyna disk w/L foot and military press 8 lb ea arm (this was surprisingly hard), 3 sets 12 reps each. Finally one-legged hamstring dead lifts w/40 lb in front arm (great foot PT and strength & balance training too)/lat pull-downs (70 lb, machine); 3 sets 12 reps each. Core: sit-ups on ball, then ball passes, slow crunches with a hold at the top, and this nasty exercise for obliques with a weight that we learned in Pilates.

I felt so strong today on the weights and also in spinning class. In spinning, I really noticed that my HR recoveries were very fast - surprisingly fast - I had to keep adding resistance in between sets to keep my HR up. Yay! I'm getting fitter! Finally!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

rest day; some more race notes

Today I took a rest day. I was supposed to cross-train, but was a bit overly busy practicing the organ before & after church (Easter is next Sunday...busy time...) and then taking a nap and attending book club. I needed the nap because I was still so psyched about yesterday's race that I had a bit of trouble sleeping :).

So, tomorrow was an optional day so I'll just switch and cross-train tomorrow instead. That should work!


More race notes: My chip time was just posted on the website. It was 2:07:31, 6 seconds faster than Garmin time. Nice! So now that is my official 1/2 marathon PR! Here are the race results. I was 32/236 in the Athena (women >140 lb) division vs. runners! Not too bad! I was 2053/4444 runners (male and female) and 975/2715 female runners. My pace was 9:44/mile or 6:02/km. That's almost a minute per mile faster than my first 1/2 marathon, which I finished in a 10:43 pace back in 2007. Ah, now if I could only continue improving 1 minute per mile every 4 years, I'd be really good ;)!

Also, in my tired, math-impaired state after the race (dunno why, but I cannot do math well during or immediately after a race - the brain just does NOT function that well for some reason) I said that my PR was a 2.5 minute PR. Um, no, actually it was a 3.5 minute PR - even better! I'm embarrassed that I couldn't subtract any better. I did get As in calculus way back when and I swear I am not math-impaired normally. Oh well.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Salt Lake City 1/2 Marathon

Photo: Leah, Cindy, me, and Sandi at the start.

This was my 5th Salt Lake City 1/2 Marathon. In 2007 I did it as my first 1/2 marathon ever, in about 2:20. In 2008, I improved my time to 2:14 or so. In 2009, I did it coaching for Team in Training, and I actually did 26 miles that day, all on the 1/2 marathon course, but obviously not timed! In 2010, I did it as an easy training day, because I was coming off of my foot injury, and I did it in about 2:20 again. This year, it's only been a bit over a month since I miscarried, and so my expectations were not high. Still, I have had some really fast times in training this week, and the course is a very fast downhill course (except for one good hill from mile 11-12), so I figured I might actually be pretty fast. It was nice to go into a race with no pressure at all. Jim told me I should do it at about 85% effort, which I mostly complied with - actually, the first 10 miles were probably more like 75-80% effort, and the last 3.1 was 85% effort.

The weather was just about perfect. It was 50F (10C) and overcast, with showers threatening. It didn't actually shower at all until right after I finished, when it rained lightly for a few minutes. I wore capri tights and a short-sleeved shirt, with my long-sleeved shirt over the top and gloves. I took off the gloves and the long-sleeved shirt after a couple miles, and was quite comfortable the rest of the race. I wore a baseball cap in case of showers, but didn't really need it.

I started off at a comfortable pace; there's a particularly nice downhill in the first mile and I knew it would be fast. I got to the mile marker in 8:51 though, which seemed unusually fast. My Garmin said 0.94 miles so I doubted that it was really a mile. Anyway, my heart rate was nice and comfortable so I just kept the pace. The second mile is much flatter, but I didn't see the mile marker anywhere. So I pushed lap when my Garmin said 1.94 miles, and it said 9:53 for the second mile. Hmmmm, I had no idea what that meant! I just knew I felt good and my heart rate was fine. There's a lovely downhill (the steepest on the course) from mile 2-3, and I took it nice and fast, getting to mile 3 (where there actually WAS a mile sign) in 9:04, for a total of 27:50. That seemed fast, but again, my HR was 152, so I kept going. I looked carefully to see my 5K split at mile 3.11 - it was 29:15! Oh my gosh, that was fast for the start of a half marathon. I thought either I was going to have a banner PR day, or that I'd crash and burn later. I suspected the former, since I was feeling great. I got to mile 4 (again, no sign - lame!!!) in 9:49, and then to mile 5 (where there WAS a sign) in 9:33 for 47:13 total. Wow, that was fast - much faster even than the 49:xx the other day, and I still had 8 miles to go, but I was feeling good. The course was much flatter here, so my times were a little slower, though it's hard to know exact splits with the terrible signage.

There was an aid station about mile 5.75, and it was just awful. I really needed a drink by this time, and wanted to take some nutrition as well. However, I had to actually almost STOP at the gatorade table and ask where the water was, because the volunteers were unable to keep up with the demand. This race always has aid station issues...ugh! Seriously, I think I lost 30 seconds here, and my time from mile 5-6 was the slowest of the race at 10:31. Despite that, I arrived at 10K (6.22 miles) at 59:45 - wow, that is faster than my (admittedly lame) 10K in Sacramento last year (60:02)! I was still feeling good so at this point I allowed myself to think that I might get a PR. In fact, I figured I'd PR even if I tanked a bit at the end.

The course is only slightly downhill or pretty flat from this point until about mile 10.5. Still, I kept good time, getting to mile 7 in 9:22 (there was a sign there) for 1:07:07 total, to mile 8 (no sign) in about 10:00 (another really lousy aid station lost me about 15-20 sec here), to mile 9 in 9:47, (passing 15K along the way in approximately 1:30:14!!! - gives me great hope for my 15K race next month!!!) and then to mile 10 (I took more nutrition just before mile 10 (clif shot blocks); yet another lousy aid station - the volunteer actually dropped the cup of water and I went on to the next person and had to wait a few seconds for the handoff - grrr!) in 10:15 (there was a sign here!) for a total of 1:37:10, which is actually a PR for 10 miles! You can actually see on my HR data for the race where I stopped at the 3 aid stations. How annoying. Yet I know the volunteers did the best they could; I think there just weren't enough of them. I suppose I should shut up and actually volunteer myself for a race!

Now I just had 5K left from mile 10-13.1. I decided it was time to bump it up a bit and give it some more serious effort to the finish. I figured a heart rate of around 160 would be good; I stepped it up and got to mile 11 in 9:40, with ave HR of 157. Then came the biggest challenge of this course - the hill up State Street to South Temple. It's long and gradual with a nasty uphill right at the very last part, just before mile 12. I kept my cadence high and focused hard, knowing that the rest would be gravy once I got this part. It was hard, but I made it to mile 12 in 10:22 (not bad for that hill!). I made it to 12.43 miles (20K) in 2:01:08, which gives me great hope for breaking 2:00 this summer for 20K in Sacramento (though this course is downhill so I'll have to work a lot harder there). Then the descent to the Gateway mall, where there were lots of people cheering. That's one of the best things about this race - it really gets the city out in force to cheer, and it's quite loud at the end as you go on the brick pathway through the outdoor mall. I got to mile 13 in 9:13, and the last 0.1 in 1:09 for a finish time of 2:07:37 (by my watch; the chip time might be a few seconds faster). I was totally thrilled! My previous PR was 2:11:18, and much more hard-fought than this race. This time I was just cruising for most of it and only worked hard the last few miles.

I'm not sure where this speed came from, but I'm not complaining! My coach Jim is wonderful, though. I texted him at the end of the race, knowing he was asleep (it was 1:15 am there when I finished). I figured I'd hear from him later today. However, he called me at 10:30 am (2:30 am his time) to congratulate me! Crazy guy! He just had a few thoughts about why I was so fast: 1) my workouts have been quite good this week, 2) my iron levels are probably really good (since I've been taking iron tablets for a year now), 3) I have a really good base of strong workouts for the last few years, which can carry one quite a ways, and 4) oddly enough, he said that my brief pregnancy might have helped. Sadly, he said that it's thought the Russians used to have their distance athletes get pregnant and then have early abortions because it supposedly helped their speed improve. How awful! I don't know if it's true or not, but hey, at least something good came of that horrible experience for me? Regardless of why, I'm just quite happy with this race, and I'm going to dinner and the symphony tonight with my husband to celebrate!

After the race, I went to work to take care of a few things. Here I am at my bench in the lab with my finisher's medal.

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Today was extremely, crazily busy. I was in the lab before 6 am getting together things I needed to give a presentation on zebrafish to Calvin's kindergarten class. Then I made it to the gym to squeeze in just 30 min on the bike before I had to get home, shower, and get Calvin, myself, and the stuff (including a microscope and some fish embryos) to his school. The presentation and activities I had for the kids took from 8:15-9:30, and then I drove to work to return the (much-needed) microscope. I had to make it back home by 10 to teach 2 piano lessons, and then drove back to work to do about 30 min worth of work before picking up the kids, eating a quick lunch, and taking Michelle to Kindergarten orientation. Whew. This is the first chance I've had to sit down.

So yeah, I just did 30 min on the bike. Perhaps later I'll fit in some Pilates. I think it's good that I'm taking it easy today - my foot is a bit sore from the week, and needs rest. I have the Salt Lake City 1/2 Marathon tomorrow morning, and the weather is actually looking nice for that - 46 for a low, but 64 for the high. Hmmmm, might have to break out the shorts? We'll see. I'm supposed to do the race at just 85% effort, since I'm not ready for an all-out 1/2 marathon yet, and also this is not a big goal race so I want to save energy for the workouts this week.

Now for a nap before taking the kids to a birthday party!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

awesome 12K

Before I get to the 12K, I forgot to mention yesterday that I went and did weight training with Lisa after my 10K. I skipped it on Monday, and won't be able to do it tomorrow (I'm going to Calvin's class tomorrow to talk about zebrafish research at 8:15!), so I'm glad I got one day in.


To use some Kiwi expressions, I want to let all my mates know that I am rapt with my flash walk today. Translation: I want to let all my friends know that I'm thrilled with my fantastic walk today :). I've been talking with my friend Nyle too much I guess!

I didn't get enough sleep last night because I was at work doing a hypoxia experiment until 10:30 pm. Ugh! When my alarm went off at 5:30 I wasn't sure I'd make it. But I got up and checked the weather. Last night it rained and snowed, and it was supposed to be showery this morning, and so I wasn't sure about walking outside. But I was in luck! It wasn't nice, but it was certainly tolerable, and way better than the treadmill or indoor track. It was 36F (2C) and overcast, with a stiff breeze. I wore two long-sleeved shirts and my tights and gloves, and a baseball cap in case of showers. About 7km into my walk it snowed a bit on me, stopped, and resumed from 9.5-12k. In fact, by the end of my walk it was snowing quite hard. It wasn't sticking to the road because it was too warm, but between the snow and the wind it wasn't exactly nice.

That didn't matter though. I felt great today! The first 2-3k was nothing remarkable, and my legs even felt a little tired. However, I kept cranking out really fast 500s with a reasonable heart rate of 145-150, so I just kept going. As I went on, I felt stronger and stronger. I reached 5K in just 30:53, and got to 8K in 49:39. That is faster than I did the Canyonlands 5-miler (same distance - 8K) last March. My time for that was 49:52; admittedly, that was after a long layoff for my foot injury - but still, that was a race, and this just a workout. I continued on, feeling good, and reached 10K in 1:02:11, with ave HR still just 148. That's the fastest 10K I've done in a long time, and with my heart rate so low - I'm really pleased! Then I just had the 2K slight uphill home, which I did quickly, realizing I could get under 1:15 for my 12K without too much trouble. I finished in 1:14:52 for 6:14/km with ave HR of 148. WOW! My slowest 500m was 3:13 on the slight uphill back home. Nice!

I'm feeling so much better than I was last week, when I was discouraged by the whole getting back in shape process. It just takes a few good workouts to start feeling much better. I'm grateful for that.

My foot was slightly warm today, but I watched my technique and am icing it now, and it's going to be fine.

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

PIlates, 10K w/2x6' at 10K race pace

Last night Lisa and I did a couple Pilates videos. The first one was good and hard, but it was only 25 min, so we popped in another one. We liked that one as well, but didn't finish it all, because we thought 45 min of core work was enough for one night. Our Pilates class is not meeting this week because the national figure skating championships are going on at our gym (it has 2 ice rinks, etc.) and so they have turned the spinning room/Pilates classroom into the officials' lounge. So, we decided to do our own workout, and it was good. I'll be glad to be back with our regular class again, though.


This morning I was to do 10K (only 10K!) with two 6-minute bursts at 10K race pace. 10K race pace, if I were to shoot for 58:30 (which would be a 13-second PR) would be 5:51/km, or 2:55.5/500m (sorry...had to publish this 3x to get my math right - duh!!!). I figured for simplicity's sake that I'd just do 2x1K @ 10K race pace because it's close enough to 6 minutes.

The weather cooperated again - lucky me! It's supposed to rain and snow tonight, and April is usually rainy/snowy, so I'm glad for every clear day I get. It was 40F (4C) with a slight breeze.

I started off on the 2K gentle downhill from home to Liberty Park. My heart rate wasn't that high and so I figured I wasn't going that fast, but my 500m splits were 3:06, 3:08, 3:03 and 3:00 for that stretch, which is about normal or slightly faster than normal. At Liberty Park, I started the first of my 1K bursts, from 2K-3K. My HR did go up significantly as I cranked out two 2:53s - just a tad faster than 10K race pace - perfect! I felt good as I continued, and stayed pretty close to 6:30/km pace until my next 1K burst at 6-7km. My HR got a bit higher on this one, as expected, but I still managed to do 2:52 and 2:53 for my 500m splits on that fast burst. Just right! Then I had 3km to go home, and did a respectable job up the slight hill.

Total time 1:03:35 for the 10K, w/avg HR 145 and pace 6:21/km. That's a big improvement from a month ago when I did a 1:04:40 10K with ave HR of 150. Moving in the right direction!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


The weather was much more cooperative today than on Saturday. It waited to start raining until I got back from my workout! It was 42F (6C) when I went out, overcast, and no wind. Pretty nice, actually. I wore tights, a long-sleeved shirt, and gloves, but ended up removing the gloves after my warm-up. I did put them back on for the cool-down though.

I warmed up for 2K, deciding to do the same route as Saturday on 800E rather than the track. It's Tuesday, and the runners might be there, and I'd rather do long stuff on the road anyhow. After a few dynamic flexibility drills, I was off.

The first 2K felt a bit odd, at least the first 1K of it. My HR seemed low for the effort and I felt I couldn't get moving. However, it must not have been too bad, because I got to 1K about 5:4x and then finished the 2K in 11:28, 3 seconds slower than Saturday. Then I took 4' rest and did another one. The second one was hard but felt better, HR-wise, as it seemed like I was able to crank out a good effort, finishing in 11:36, 2 seconds faster than Saturday. Another 4' rest, and my HR got nice and low today! On all the rest intervals, it was below 115, and often almost down to 110. Nice!

Then it was time for the 500s. I was expecting the first 500 to feel short and easy like it did on Saturday. Wrong. It felt a bit long. However, it was fast, in 2:42. My legs were starting to feel it. After 2' rest I did the next 500 in 2:45, and by now my legs were starting to feel a bit like jello. My HR recoveries were still good, though, and I managed the last two in 2:42 (! nice!) and then even the last slighly uphill one was 2:49, which I was pleased with.

My foot felt great today - no problems. I'd been a bit concerned because it was somewhat sore yesterday, but the day off helped, and I really focused on good technique today during the workout.

I had a few GI cramps during the last couple 500s but nothing too serious until I got home, when it wasn't pretty. Sigh...this sport and my intestines do not agree with each other. Oh well, I still love the sport!

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

rest day

I'm taking one. I needed it! I was thinking I'd lift weights, but I'm not even going to do that. I will do some foot PT exercises, however.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Foot update: it's a bit sore tonight, but not too bad. It aches and so I'm icing it. But considering I've done 57km (35 miles) in the last 4 days alone, including 6 km of hard speed work, I think that's pretty good. Hoping after a rest day tomorrow I'll be right as rain.

20K, Pilates

The quick version - late to church so have to type fast :)!

Weather: 33F (1C) and overcast, no wind.

GI system: iffy. Pain from 7k-12k when I stopped in Liberty Park to use the restroom. I felt much better after that and it was not a problem the rest of my walk. I have to remember to take an imodium before these longer walks.

Legs: actually felt pretty good, which surprised me since I did a hard workout yesterday. I perked up quite a bit after taking some nutrition at 11k.

Nutrition: speaking of nutrition, I forgot my water bottles but there is a natural spring fountain running year-round in Liberty Park so unfortunately I had to stop to eat, briefly. I ate some licorice candy (hard as a rock from being cold - need to keep it closer to my body!) just shy of 11k and then some jelly beans at just after 15k, washing both down with copious amounts of water. That seemed to work well for me.

5K splits: 31:51, 32:39, 32:39, 32:20. Nice and consistent.

Total time (not including nutrition & restroom stops) 2:09:29 with ave HR 146, a 6:28/km pace.

I feel good about this workout; other than the GI pain it went pretty well. I wondered how I'd do since it was a while since I did 20K, and I wasn't fresh, coming off a hard workout yesterday. Given all that, it was good. I still have a long way to go, though.

Garmin connect data here.


Oh, and yesterday afternoon I did a Pilates video, because I didn't make it to class. It was an Aussie guy, Alan Menzenes (spelling?) who led the workout and it was OK. It actually wasn't hard enough but it was the intermediate one, and I have the advanced one too (both from the library) so will try that next time.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

2x2K, 4x500

The weather was NOT cooperating this morning. It was cold for April at 33F (1C) and snowing moderately. It wasn't sticking to the road, but mentally I have been so tired of dealing with the icky weather, and I really don't like snow/rain in my face. OK, that's wimpy, but it was how I was feeling this morning. The weather says we've had the usual precipitation for the whole month already, and it's only April 9th. So I'm not imagining things when I'm whining about the weather.

I chatted with my friend Erin on FB and she was encouraging, and we agreed I should just suck it up and get out there, so I did.

I was NOT in the mood for the track, plus I was worried the snow might be sticking there since it's a higher elevation. So I did my workout on 800E, which is mostly flat but does go down gradually from 2100S to 900S, which was my first 2K. I did the first 2K in 11:25, which was awesome. That's a good time when I'm in shape (and I'm not in good shape quite yet), so I was pleased. Of course, that was the slight downhill. Then I was hoping for 11:30 for the 2nd, but didn't have it in me on that slight uphill back, and I finished in 11:38, which is still decent given my current conditioning, but not really that good. However, my HR during my 4 min recovery after each 2K was good - it got down to just below 120, which I was very pleased with. I wondered how the 500s would go. The first one felt fast and surprisingly easy after the 2Ks - it was actually almost fun, and I finished in a very fast 2:45 (slight downhill, but still nice!). The second one was even faster in 2:42! Then I got a bit tired, and the third was 2:48. Finally, the last one was a slight uphill, and apparently a tad longer (0.32 mi vs 0.31 for the others when I uploaded it on plus3) so I'm OK w/the slower time of 2:55 - I was really working it.

The times were good, though not spectacular. I am happiest, however, about my HR recoveries in between intervals. Last week for my 2K/1K/2x500 my HR was only recovering to 130 by the end of the workout. Today, it was down to 120 or less every single time, even on the 500s, which I only had 2 min rest for. Yay! Now THAT is progress I can see! I'm actually encouraged that things are moving in the right direction. I needed a good workout to feel a bit better.

Hopefully I didn't work too hard today, though - I have 20K to do tomorrow. I told myself to keep my HR in the upper 160s but couldn't help pushing a little harder and it was in the low 170s at the end of every interval. I'm hoping that won't hurt too much tomorrow. I think some Pilates and/or stretching might be in order.

Foot update: I forgot to post about it yesterday after the 12K, but it was doing OK. It was maybe a bit warmish during the 12K but not bad, and later in the day it felt like I needed ice, so I did manage to ice it about 3-4 times yesterday. Today it was a bit sore when I woke, but I really worked on concentrating on my technique during the workout, and it felt fine during and immediately after. I'm icing it now, but the real test is usually how it feels later in the day. I think it's going to feel all right though. Still, I'm taking naproxen (Aleve) and icing, etc.

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Pilates, 12K, random ranting

I did Pilates last night with Lisa (yeah, I dragged her into the class...she liked it!). I think I'm getting a bit better at it. It is still challenging, though, and a good workout. I'm not sure how much it's helping my racewalking, but it's not hurting it, I don't think, and the coach wants me doing it, so it's good.


This morning the weather was lousy. But not so lousy I couldn't go outside. It was 33F (1C) and lightly snowing. Blech. That might be OK in January or February, but c'mon, it's April and I'm sick of it. Yeah, I know that spring in Utah = snow on a regular basis, but I don't have to like it. And this spring has been wetter and more annoying than usual.

My legs felt leaden this morning. Really. from 6-12K it just hurt to be out. Add to that some GI distress, and well, it wasn't a very comfortable walk. However, I did well enough. I wasn't fast, but my HR was lower today, so seems like I'm making some progress. Total time for the walk was 1:17:45 for 6:28/km with ave HR of 146. At least it's done. I hope my legs recover a bit so that I can do speedwork well tomorrow. I guess if I'm slow, I'm slow.

Garmin connect data here.


Speaking of slow...I really hate the time period in training where I'm ramping up again. It stinks. Everything hurts all the time, and I'm walking slow and just don't feel good mentally. There's no excitement from having a really fast workout, and it's just a slog. I know it's only temporary, but it's hard to get through these 2 months or so until I'm in better shape. It's mentally tough. When I got home this morning I told Loren "I'm SO done with racewalking." I didn't mean it at all, but you get the idea. It's just hard to get out there day after day and work your behind off and feel like you're just barely moving in the right direction.


More random ranting: the government shutdown. My husband is a federal employee, so I'm obviously biased here, but I am SO FED UP with the morons in Washington. If the government shuts down, there will be no paycheck for him...he won't have to work, either, but no paycheck. We'll be OK for a while, but it will eat up our savings and might wreak havoc on our summer vacation plans if it goes too long. Others will not be so lucky, though - those living paycheck-to-paycheck could lose their homes. Those in the armed forces at the front lines in the wars (too many stupid wars but don't get me started on that either) will not be paid either - they will at least get IOUs from the government so will get back pay later (my husband won't get this), but what good is an IOU when you are putting your life on the line for your country? How will it feed your family back home? I am furious. Congress needs to remove their collective heads from their behinds (that's a nice way of saying it...).

Thursday, April 07, 2011


I woke at 5:15, ready to go, and hoping my foot would hold up. Last night I was anxious about this walk because of the GI problems last time, but this morning I was just ready to go. It was nice and warm at 50F (10C) but very, very windy - sustained 20mph winds with gusts harder than that, out of the south. Still, not bad weather. 50 and windy is quite tolerable; I wore long sleeves and tights with my gloves, but ditched the gloves about 5K and didn't need them after that. It's supposed to pour rain today, so I wore a baseball cap and tied my rain jacket around my waist just in case, as I didn't know when the rain was coming.

I started out well, and felt pretty good the whole walk. No GI trouble at all. Yay! Now if I could just figure out why sometimes I have trouble and sometimes I don't. Anyway, my first 5K with the downhill 2K from my house was 31:29, and then got to 10K in 1:03:55 for 32:26 for the second 5K. Then my legs got a bit tired, even though I was pretty fresh to start off with today. I'm just not quite back in the endurance mode yet. Still, the last 5K, including the slight uphill 2K, was 32:45, for a total of 1:36:41 (6:26/km) with ave HR 153.

Interesting note: I went around Liberty Park 5 times, because I wanted to stay reasonably close to home in case my foot hurt, and also near the bathrooms in case of GI trouble. During my 2nd time around I saw people setting up for a small race of some sort. On my 5th time around the volunteers cheered for me as I went by, so I stopped to ask what the race was and chatted for a few minutes. Turns out it was a low-key 5K for the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, in town for a conference. I really enjoyed talking with them and we were all musing about how happy we were the rain held off for our workout/race. One of the women said, "How many times have you gone around the park? I saw you when we were setting up?". She seemed very impressed that I'd gone around 5x. I explained that I'm a bit crazy, as I'm training for the World Masters this summer. Then I was off on my way home, buoyed by the conversation. Sure wish I had some people to train with...sigh...

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


Because my foot is hurting, I did some cross-training. I got up a bit late (was in the lab until 11 pm last night...ugh ugh ugh!) AND was talking to my coach about my injury so I only managed 30 min on the stationary bike.

Then I did some foot PT/weight training. 3 sets of balance on dyna disk w/bouncing ball/bench press (dumbbells 30 lb ea arm); calf raises/rowing (70 lb, machine); lunges on dyna disk/lateral raises (10 lb ea arm) then ran out of time and did core exercises with Lisa. We traded some Pilates moves - she found some on video, and I taught her some from class.

Depending on how my foot feels, I *might* try to do a little treadmill later. Why treadmill? 1) can do w/the kids up and about; 2) can get off any time if my foot hurts at all. If it hurts at work, I won't even try though. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

foot again

My foot hurts. It was fine this morning for my 6K fartlek. However, I tweaked it going up some stairs at work today and now it hurts. Quite a bit. Hoping it will feel better in the morning for 12K. My workouts have been going well, and I'd like to keep it that way.


Tuesday night...Pilates with Greta. Good class tonight; lots of ab work and bridge work. My glutes will be thanking her tomorrow on my 12K. I was able to do almost all of the moves, and my balance on the ball is improving a little. It's going to take a while though before I am proficient.


The weather is turning for the worse again. It was warm today and windy, which means that a storm is on its way. The high today was about 68F (20C) but tomorrow and the rest of the week it's only supposed to be in the 40s (4-10C) for a high. Ugh. Spring here is so crazy that way. Because it was so nice, I took the kids to Red Butte Garden to run around for a while before our weekly Diva's Cupcakes and Coffee date. We all enjoyed it a lot - both Red Butte and Diva's! I forgot my small camera, so no pictures, sorry.

6K fartlek

The weather was good this morning. It was 41F (5C) and slightly breezy. I'm laughing a bit as I type that, because my friend Nyle in New Zealand was very cold at 8C (though I think it was windier). It's all in what you are used to! She can race with the best of them in the heat, though, which will help her in Sacramento. I digress.

I was in a bit of a mental funk this morning. No energy, and not wanting to do anything. But I just bought a $300 plane ticket to Riverside, CA to go do the 15K in May, so I knew I had to go do the hard workout!

I got to the track and did my 1600m warm-up in 10:07, and lots of dynamic flexibility drills. Physically I was feeling good - hamstrings are not so sore and feeling much better. I figured it could be a decent workout.

The running club was at the track so now and then I had to shift to lane 2 to let them pass. My boss was there (he's in that club) and he said hi as I warmed up. It was nice to see a familiar face, even if it's slightly annoying to have to keep moving aside for the runners (they are very kind and appreciative about it though).

I got started and my times were OK today. I did NOT push as hard as I did on Saturday - in retrospect, I thought maybe I pushed a bit too hard. HR in the mid-170s is on the edge, and in the upper 170s-low 180s is definitely for the hardest efforts only (i.e. races). I don't recover as well from harder efforts and it's not necessary to push it THAT hard to get a good training effect. 170 is plenty hard...plenty. (Actually, in Dave McGovern's RW clinic, he estimated my max HR at 191, so 170 is about 90% - pretty high). Today's effort was hard but not as hard as I sometimes do this workout. My ave HR was 161, with my average for the recoveries in the upper 150s and my average in the fast segments in the mid 160s. Plenty of effort to get results. I felt really mentally tired today, and that was all I could push; in addition, my legs felt like Jell-O for the last 3K. (I did get through the first 3K under 18:00 though, in 17:56). My recoveries are still slow; as my cardiovascular fitness improves, those will get better. And today, my fast segments were a little slower too - probably because I was a tad conservative, wanting to make sure I got through the whole workout. My last 500m was really hard, though! I wanted to make it as fast as the first, and I succeeded. Overall, very consistent workout, and about where I figured I'd be. Total time: 36:28.

Here are my splits:
1K fast: 5:45
500m med: 3:08
500m fast: 2:52
500m med: 3:15
500m fast: 2:54
500m med: 3:14
500m fast: 2:55
500m med: 3:17
500m fast: 2:54
500m med: 3:16
500m fast: 2:52

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, April 04, 2011


Today was a cross-training day. I went to the usual Monday morning spinning class from 6-7am. I was 5 minutes late because I had trouble getting out of bed :( but other than that, it was fine. The workout was challenging, as usual. We did two sets of 20 sec high cadence, 10 sec recovery (repeat for 4-6 minutes) and two sets of hill climbs (cadence about 70, gradually increasing resistance). It was a good interval workout and I felt I worked pretty hard.

After that I lifted weights with Lisa. I did 3 sets each of chest fly machine (70lb x 12)/lunges on dyna disk (15 ea side); calf raises (15 ea side, one-legged, body weight)/military press (20 lb ea arm x 12); hip abductor machine (80lb ea side x 12)/lat pull-downs (70lb x 12) and then ran out of time. Then we did core work: ball crunches, oblique crunches, V-sits, rows, and pulling up to pike position with feet on ball (tough!).

Sunday, April 03, 2011

painful 15K

This one hurt. No two ways about it.

The temperature was cold for this time of year (30F, -1C) and it had snowed a few inches, but the roads were clear with small slush puddles. Good! I would be able to walk outside this morning! It was beautiful with the snow on the trees, and I took my camera to take a few shots for this post. All the photos were taken in Liberty Park; sorry for the blurry ones - I had my small camera, and frankly, I wasn't feeling well and didn't concentrate on getting good photos.

My legs were still feeling pretty sore from the last week's intense workouts, but I figured I was up for 15K, and I think I would have been except for the GI problems that I had. I have to get back to watching the amount of fiber I eat the day before longer walks. I already watch my dairy amounts, but the fiber is critical too I think. I ate a big salad at lunch yesterday and a nice bowl of strawberries & mangoes. Then what I believe was my fatal mistake: I had a bag of popcorn as an evening snack while reading Harry Potter to Calvin. I will NOT do that again.

I got dressed to walk, and opted for tights and fleece on the bottom and a long-sleeved shirt and fleece on the top, with gloves and a headband. That was too much. I was overdressed and I should have known better. I got walking, and about 2K I had to tie my shoes (I love the NB 205s but the laces SUCK and are always always coming untied! Note to self: must double knot before EVERY walk grrrrrr!), and then at 3K I was way too hot and had to take off my fleece. That's a bit of a project, as I wear a reflective vest over the top which has to be undone, and I have to take off my gloves and pepper spray (it has an elastic band so you just wear it over your hand) to undo the vest and then unzip the fleece and tie it around my waist. It was worth it though, as I immediately felt better and was able to crank out some nice kms.

Other than my legs being way more tired than usual, kilometers 1-10 were mostly uneventful. I got to 5K in 31:47, and to 10K in 1:04:17 (2nd 5K was right at 6:30 pace, at 32:30). By 10K though, my legs were most unhappy. I feel sure that if it weren't for the GI problems which started about then, that I still would have been able to finish at about 6:27 or 6:28/km pace. However, that was not to be. I got some nasty cramping around 10.5km and it really slowed me down. Thankfully, I had wondered if this might happen and decided to stay around Liberty Park (and near the restrooms!) for the last part of my walk. I was so relieved to stop for the restroom at 11.6k. I'll spare you the details. I wondered how I would manage to finish, as I felt just lousy. But I got out and kept walking, though I wasn't able to push much at all, and my HR was lower for the rest of the walk. I felt weak and wobbly and just wanted to be done. About 13K, I was leaving Liberty Park to head home when it started to snow lightly. I still felt rotten and was pulling off lousy times (last 500m splits were 3:20, 3:26, 3:23, 3:24, and a horrible 3:42), and the snow got harder and harder, mirroring the ugliness of the walk. By the time I had only 500m to go, it was snowing very, very hard (it actually was very beautiful this morning with the snow on the trees, but I didn't care much because it all hurt so much!). Yeah, my last 5K was a very slow 33:45 for a total of 1:38:02 for the 15K, a 6:32/km pace with ave HR of 150. Actually, if the last 5K had been even 33:00 that would have been OK...and except for the GI issues, it probably would have been. Oh well.

I was very relieved to reach home (and the bathroom!). I'm proud that I finished. It was ugly, but I really don't care. The thing that matters is that I got out there and did it.

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, April 02, 2011


I have forgotten to mention how glorious the weather has been the past couple of days. It was nice and warm on Thursday for my 15K (42F, 6C) and calm. Yesterday it got up to 70F (21C) in the afternoon, and it was sunny and just SO wonderful. This morning it was incredibly warm...hmmm, suspiciously warm, at 56F (13C). When it's that warm in the morning at this time of year, it's the "warm before the storm" and sure enough it will snow. Yup, tonight it is to be windy with 1 to 3 inches of snow, and a low of 33F (1C). I'm hoping it won't stick much to the road so I can do my 15K in the morning, but it might be icky enough that I wait to do it until the afternoon tomorrow, when the snow is supposed to stop and it's going to be about 40F (4C).

Enough of the weather report. Suffice it to say that it was NICE this morning. I even got up a little late (for me) and didn't get over to the track until about 7:30. It was light out (instead of pitch black like at 6 am when I usually work out) and even (gasp!) sunny! The cloud cover came in during the workout, presaging the storm later tonight. Anyway, I warmed up with a brisk 1600m in 10:11. I enjoyed passing the one runner on the track :). Then I did some dynamic flexibility drills, trying to loosen up my still sore hamstrings.

I got started on my 2K. I was planning on about 1:08/200m to give me an 11:40 (5:50/k); I figured I could do that. But I was pushing hard this morning and I was even faster! Yay! I got to 1K in 5:42, and then pulled out the second 1K in 5:48 for an 11:30! I was really pleased - if I'm in good shape, I can do several 2Ks at 11:30. I'm sure I would not have been able to do several at that speed (yet!), but I was happy to do one that fast to start. I had a 4 min rest, and my HR only got down to the low 120s. If I'm in really good shape, it will get below 120 in that time. Oh well. Moving on, I did my 1K, hoping for under 5:45. I worked it very hard, and got a 5:42! Then I had a 3 minute rest. During that rest, an elderly man arrived at the track, and I recognized him from last summer. His name is Gordon, and he does the Senior Olympics a lot, and he is training for 9 track and field events in Mesquite, NV, next week. He was quite complimentary on my racewalking, and I enjoyed chatting with him for a few minutes before I had to go again. I was hoping for low 2:50s for the 500s, since I was pre-fatigued, but I surprised myself, pulling out a 2:48 on the first one. After 2 min rest (where my HR barely dipped below 130...yeah, still out of shape), I really wanted to go even faster on the last one. I knew it would be close, and I sprinted the last 100m in only 30 sec (!) to get a 2:47. Yeah, pretty much gave it my all on that one, with HR 176 at the end. I was glad to be done. Whew.

Some fast times for my current state of not-quite-in-shape, but they need to be a lot faster by this summer. We'll get there. I just have to do each workout well and then the rest is not really up to me, but up to my body. I'm just going to do all I can do to make each one good.

Garmin connect data here.


OK, now for the crazy part. Immediately after I finished this workout, I drove straight over to the gym for a Pilates class. I figured I could always skip stuff if it hurt too much. The Saturday class has a different instructor and it's a bit easier than the Tu/Th class, but it was still tough after a hard workout. I'm glad I did it, though. I managed to do just about everything, despite the pre-fatiguing of the hard track workout. Whew.

Total for the week (Sun-Sat): 3 weight training workouts, 3 Pilates workouts, 2 spinning workouts, and 5 racewalking workouts totaling 48.2 km (30 miles). Not bad. Not bad at all. I'm on track to get in the best shape that I can.

In other good news, the eating has been better this week, especially the last few days. The scale said 150.2 lb (68.2 kg) this morning, down from 155 (70.5 kg) around the time of my miscarriage.'s moving in the right direction. Now to lose another 5 lb or so of unneeded rear-end fat.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Spinning & weight training

Continuing with my theme of getting into the best shape possible by July, I worked hard on my cross-training day. I took the usual 6am-7am Friday spinning class, and it's good and hard. We have been doing aerobic threshold sets, and today we did them at either 1) high cadence and low resistance w/sprints, or 2) low cadence & high resistance. It hurt. For some reason, a heart rate of low 160s seems much more painful on the stationary bike than when racewalking - not sure why, but it does. On a road bike it's not so bad...maybe it's the scenery? RW with that high HR on a treadmill is equally painful as the bike. I don't know why the scenery should matter, but I guess it does. Anyway, the spinning workout was good and hard, and I felt it really work my glutes. Thankfully, the hamstrings got a bit of a break, as spinning is easier on them than RW.


Then it was on to weight training with Lisa. I started with some leg stuff but then did more arms to try and give my legs a rest. Note: for weights, I almost always do 3x10-12 reps for each set, alternating exercises in supersets. I needed to do my PT exercises for my foot, so I started with 1) balance L foot on dyna disk and toss medicine ball at the wall/lateral walks with resistance band (for abductors - to ward off IT band trouble), then 2) calf raises, one-legged, no weights/bench press 30 lb ea arm. Then 3) lateral raises 10 lb each arm/row w/70 lb, 4) bicep curls (15 lb ea arm)/lat pull-down (only 60 lb this week), 5) tricep skull-crushers (12 lb ea arm)/chest fly (20 lb ea arm). Finally, core work: sit-ups on ball (upper & lower abs), pendulums w/ball (obliques), Russian twists w/ball (obliques), and rows (lower abs). Then stretching.