Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wed & Thurs workouts w/Jim

Wednesday I was going to do an easy 12K with Jim, but in the middle of the day when it was hot for some heat training. Neither one really worked out. A thunderstorm came through right when we started walking (Jim was on the bike), and pretty soon, about 10-12 min into the walk, we had to duck into the Arby's across from SugarHouse Park because the lightning was so close. We watched as it hailed, then poured rain, and after about 5 min we were able to resume. I was feeling great through 6K, and then my adductor/groin started to hurt. Jim tried a bunch of things to help me out, but the muscle was already spasming and there wasn't much to do about it at that point. We stopped in Liberty Park for him to try and release the psoas and give me some relief; we got a few stares and an "Are you OK?" because I guess we looked pretty funny, but I was a bit too far gone for this to help much. I made it about 1 more km and then had to just regular walk/bike for about 0.5-1km. Then I was able to racewalk a little when Jim suggested I walk on a straight line to get my biomechanics in order. That really helped, and I racewalked probably 500m then called it quits. I went probably 9.5km in about 1:02:xx, but who cared? I was frustrated, and hurting.

Jim very kindly gave me an extremely painful deep tissue massage that afternoon, and I think that helped to loosen things up a bit too. We talked about what was going on with my technique to cause the pain. The walking in a straight line helped us sort out that it was my right hip causing the problems - knee needed to come through straight and lower, and I needed to allow the hip to go back a bit farther.

We planned for a hard track session today (Thursday), but I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it. My friend Nancy met us there to gather some pearls of wisdom from Jim, and I really enjoyed having her there with us (and she LOVED Jim's coaching!). Anyway, I warmed up for 1600m in about 10:12, and was feeling good. Then I was going to do some strides - went too hard on the first one and the muscle spasm started up again. GRRRRRR! Fortunately, after some stretching and some technique work, I was able to keep walking. I felt better and better as I walked, and I did 8K with the last 400m pretty hard, and I felt much better. I think I'll be up for the hard track session tomorrow instead. Anyway, the 8K was pretty slow, as I walked w/Nancy a bit, and I also went slow to focus on technique and fix the problems causing my adductor pain. It worked! I felt SO much smoother by the end and Jim said I looked really good. I just need to let the muscle rest and try the track workout tomorrow. I did the 8km in 51:31 with ave HR of only 143 (obviously taking it quite easy here!), but my last km was a nice 6:09, so I felt like that was progress with my muscle spasm. Here's the workout data; after the first 2 laps (500m then 1500m) they are more or less 1km splits.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

10K kickdown w/the coach. PR for this workout!

Yesterday: 30 min elliptical (sooooo busy!!!)

Today: It's late. Busy day w/the coach, getting in a workout, showing him around our city, and watching him give our club a racewalking clinic. Then the club took him out to dinner at Squatter's, a local brew pub. Nice day! But now it's late and I haven't posted.

Today's workout was a 10K kickdown. A toughie, though 12K or 15K or 20K or even 25K kickdowns are possible...however, in my not-quite-trained state the 10K was enough of a challenge. This one was in 4 splits of 2.5K each, with each segment a bit faster. By the last one, yeah, you're dying. Coach talked me through it, riding alongside on the bike. We were going to do it at the track, but the running club was there :( and it was too crowded for me to have lane 1. So, off to Liberty Park we went.

Results: 60:29 total time, and my splits were 15:38, 15:24 (31:02), 15:01 (46:03), and 14:28 (60:29). Ave HR was 156 for the whole thing, but for the last 2.5K it was in the low 170s. Ouch. Yeah, it hurt. A lot. But it's done now and it's fitness in the bank, so to speak. And it was a PR for this workout, since my last 10K kickdown PR was 60:40. Not bad.

Garmin connect data here.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


This morning I was to do 20K. I got up early to do it so I could get back home and watch the live webcast of the National 20K racewalks in Eugene, Oregon this morning, starting at 8 am our time (7 am in Eugene). My friends Erin and Dave Talcott are both racing this morning! It's rare for me to be able to watch live racewalking events, so I'm really enjoying this.

Back to my own 20K :). The weather this morning was quite nice at 63F (17C) with a bit of a cooling breeze. I still got very warm, as I'm not adequately adjusted to any sort of heat - yet - I will be working on that. But not for 20K. Anyway, in general I felt very good today. My legs felt good for the whole thing; I was much less tired than I've been on recent longer walks. I think my endurance is starting to come back, though it's definitely not 100% yet. Time is short, but all I can do is continue to work hard and see what happens.

I stopped very briefly at 10K and 15K to eat Clif Shot blocks; the package was hard to open (note to self: put in ziploc next time so I don't have to stop) and then a bit after 15K to refill my water bottles. The worse part today was the serious GI distress I had starting about 14K. I had to stop at 16K to use the restroom and then I was fine through 20K. I did take my Imodium last night and this morning, but for some reason it wasn't good enough. Frustrating. I might have eaten too much last night at dinner? I went out with Loren, and tried to take it easy, but maybe it was too much?

Anyway, other than that, it was a great walk. Total time 2:05:04 for 6:15/km with ave HR of 146. 5K splits were good too, at 31:14, 31:24 (1:02:38), 31:00 (1:33:38), 31:26 (2:05:04). Nice and consistent! Finally, my shin was totally fine! I'm icing it just to be safe, but it felt good. Whew. I was a bit worried about it. I have a cross-training day tomorrow before my 10K kickdwon on Tuesday, so hopefully it will stay OK.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

new 5K PR!!!

This has to be fast because I have to get to work.'s taking over my life...

I did the Utah Arts Festival Art Attack 5K this morning. The weather was great at 65F and sunny (18C). A little warm for me, but it wasn't a factor I don't think. The race was in SugarHouse Park, which has a bunch of rolling hills. I wondered how I'd do since I've done very few hills lately due to injury. I warmed up for about 1.6km in about 10 min, with a few strides thrown in. I felt sluggish on the warm-up.

My bib number was #123 - I considered this a happy coincidence, since that was my bib # for the 15K in Riverside in May, a race that went quite well for me. So, despite the sluggish warm-up, I figured I was good to go.

We started off and the course was 2x around the park plus a little out and back to the start/finish line to make 5K. I did the first 500m in 2:45 (perfect!) and then there was the uphill by the Lake Terrace parking lot (or whatever its new name is...). I got to 1km in about 5:40 or 5:45, not sure exactly, but I knew the hill had slowed me a bit. I picked up the pace. I noticed that my HR was pretty lowish today - I felt I was pushing myself pretty hard but it didn't show. Jim said it's because I'm getting fitter.

I got to 2K by my watch in about 11:35, so that was good - I'd pushed up the second hill and done well. I cruised down the hill to the halfway point and arrived in 13:46. Hmmm, maybe I might get a new PR? It was looking good. I felt I had some gas left in the tank. The second time around the park was hard and I really pushed it. I was hoping for sub-28 as I neared the finish line, and sprinted hard for the last couple hundred meters. WOW! 27:45! I was very excited to see that number on my watch.

My previous PR was 27:57 on a downhill course. This course had several 20m hills, and so it was much tougher. I should be able to go faster on the track, I hope! Exciting! Somehow I'm back in good shape already. Only 12 days until the 5K race at WMA in Sacramento. I'm excited! I wish I'd been able to train harder for longer, but I couldn't, so I'll take what I can get, and a PR today is a great way to get things going.

Best of all, my shin did not hurt at all, during the race or after. I'm icing it now just in case, but it's totally fine.

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Yeah, I forgot to bring sunscreen with me to work today. I brought all my racewalking gear, but of course sunscreen is not even on my radar, seeing as how I usually walk before 8 am. I thought of it before I went outside, but no one at work had any handy. I knew I'd pay, but I did the workout anyway. Ouch! 
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hot and hilly 10K

Yesterday was a rest day.


This morning I went to the gym and warmed up on the elliptical, then did some PT and core stuff with Lisa.


Today I was to do 10K. I was worried about my shin, but it was totally fine. No problems. I even did a hilly route and that didn't bother it.

It was hot today - 82F (28C). I purposely waited until noon to racewalk so that I'd get in some heat training. Not fun, but necessary for Sacramento. It could be that hot or hotter for our races, given the times (5K is at 8pm or something like that; 20K is 9:15 am). I wore my race singlet and discovered I chafe badly under my arms in a singlet at that temperature. Good to know. Body Glide is my friend...hopefully that will help.

My GPS was completely wonky today on the way out. I went to a bit past what I thought was 5km from previous workouts here, just to be sure I really did 10K. GPS read 4.6...NOT! But it also kept saying it couldn't find the satellites. Grrrr. So, my splits are lousy, at least splits 1-10 are garbage. Splits 11-20 are probably correct, more or less. They are pretty variable because of the up and down on the route.

I was working pretty hard and felt hot and sweaty, but mostly just happy my shin didn't hurt. I finished 10.6K (measured it on USATF mapit after the fact) in 1:07:14 for 6:20/km; average HR 151. Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

15K shortened to 11.7K

Today I was to do 15K. The weather was beautiful, just like yesterday. I felt good, except for muscle soreness in hamstrings & glutes. My shin had bothered me just the slightest bit yesterday during the workout, though not afterward. Today it felt fine, but during the first few km it was a little stiff. It loosened up and things were fine until about 9km. Then it started to bother me a little - it didn't hurt exactly, I just was noticing it. I don't want to notice it. By 10K it was a little worse; on the edge of actual pain. I stopped to call Jim. He was asleep but Erin talked to me (an elite RWer who Jim also coaches) and she told me to stop and go home. I figured she was right, so I racewalked the 1.7km back home. I was bummed about stopping because I was having a great workout - I was at 1:02:13 for 10K. I took it a bit easy on the way home, though.

I'm actually not that worried about this. I think it's going to be just fine - I stopped before it was a problem, and I'm wearing my boot today and icing it (twice so far, and more to come I hope). I have an optional day tomorrow since I cross-trained on Monday, and then an easy 10K Friday and a 5K race Saturday. I think I'll be fine after resting it tomorrow.

I was a bit disappointed not to be able to do 15K today, as getting that distance a few times a week is part of the strategic plan right now. Jim said it would be OK, though, and that we'd change Sunday's 15K to a 20K instead and that would work fine. Hopefully I'll be all right for 20K on Sunday - I'm excited to do it if my leg holds up.

Totals: 1:13:17 for the 11.71km, for 6:15/km with ave HR 146.

Garmin connect data here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

8K fartlek - new PR - smokin' fast :)!

Before I start, I forgot to blog yesterday - I did 40 min on the elliptical, plus core and stretching with Lisa at the gym.


The weather was ideal this morning: about 55F (13C) and clear, with a little breeze. I was in quite a mood when I got up and not wanting to do this workout, but I knew I'd feel better when it was done. I was a bit worried the running club would be at the track like they were last week, because if 25-30 runners are there I wouldn't get lane 1, and would have to do the workout on the road. I'd rather do this one on the track at this point to more accurately gauge my fitness and speed. However, the were not there (whew!). There were about 4 other runners there, but they were OK passing me, so it was good.

I warmed up for 1600m in just over 10 min, with a few strides. I also did my dynamic flexibility drills, as my hamstrings and glutes were a bit tight. I tried to psych myself up and think positive thoughts. Quite a few negative thoughts were protruding into my mind, and I countered them with positive ones (a Weight Watchers technique, and it though it feels a bit silly I think it helps). OK, time to get going! 1K hard, then 500m medium/500m hard to the finish.

My first 1K was nice and fast at 5:31. Good. Now to keep the momentum going. I pushed hard, harder than usual. I wanted a good time today. I got to 3K in 17:09, a PR. I was feeling it, though. I wondered if I had the strength to keep the pace. I saw that I could get to 5K in under 29 min, and so I kept pushing. I reached 5K in 28:58, also a PR. (And wow, only 22 seconds off my RACE PR for that distance!). Now I really worried I couldn't hold it, but I had to try. I kept thinking about my form and trying to make sure my right knee went through low like Jim said, as well as tucking my butt under and leaning forward from my ankles a bit. It helped, I think. My glutes are sore now, later today, and that's a good sign that I have changed my technique a bit - it's more glute than hamstring soreness, which is what I want. The 7th km was my slowest, as my fast 500 was 2:52 (all the others were 2:50 or less) and my medium was 3:08. I did have just a bit left though, as I finished my last 500 fast in 2:49, giving it my all and sprinting for the line, as I knew I was on target to actually be under 47 min!

Total time 46:52, a new PR for 8K fartlek, and a confidence-builder. Average HR was 166 (wow! I was pushing this one hard!), and average pace was 5:51/km. If I could have kept the pace for 2km more (it would have been hard!) I would have broken my 10K race PR by 12 seconds. This means it's likely that I can break my 10K PR in Sacramento - Jim says based on today I'd be high 56s or low 57s. I would be super happy with that!

Garmin connect data here.

I needed this workout. I am a bit sore now after sitting a lot at work today analyzing data, but I'm feeling much more confident.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

wet 15K

It was raining this morning, steadily. The forecast was for showers all day, but it looked better toward afternoon and evening. However, since it's Father's Day and my parents are coming over for dinner, going later was out of the question. It was 52F (11C), which wasn't bad at all. I was glad it was 52 and raining not 42 and raining - that would have been COLD. As it was, I was just about right in my jacket (which got soaked...I need a truly waterproof jacket!), short-sleeved shirt, capris, and baseball hat to keep the rain out of my eyes. I would NOT have been a happy camper without the hat for sure!

I started off easy because of the rain and general laziness. But the workout went well and I picked it up as I went on, and gained grit and determination along the way. I was to do 15K with two 6-min bursts at 20K pace (6 min/km). Normally I do the bursts earlier in the workout to get them out of the way, but today I decided to warm up a bit more and do them later in the workout. I wanted to shoot for pretty even 5K splits. I ended up doing the bursts from 6-7km and 10-11km. My first burst was decent - maybe too fast! - with 500m splits of 2:49 and 2:58. My second one was harder; the first 500m was 2:54, but the second 500m had a very slight uphill on the south end of Liberty Park and I was tired, so it was only 3:04. Still, not bad, and my HR was in upper 150s-low 160s for most of the bursts.

I felt better today than on my 15K on Thursday. I had more stamina for the last 5K and really worked it up the hill going home. My 5K splits were: 31:34, 31:16 (1:02:50), and 31:29 (1:34:19). Nice! Total was 1:34:19 for the 15K with ave pace 6:17/km and ave HR 151. Still not back to where I was before the shin injury, but getting closer.

Time is running out for me though. I was motivating myself today by imagining that I was chasing the other athletes. It helped, but I also felt a bit discouraged. I wish I could have been training harder. I wanted to desperately, but I couldn't. It's so frustrating. I keep saying that, but there is no other way to describe the feeling. This event is really important to me, and I haven't been able to train the way I really wanted to. That's life, though. I just have to keep my focus on having fun and enjoying the races and my friends. That's honestly the best part about this sport is the wonderful friends I have made. That, and the physical and mental and emotional benefits.

Wow, as I write this the rain is still pouring down. Of course when I got home I was soaked to the skin - everything was completely drenched and not a dry spot on me. It felt good to get a hot shower afterward.

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Today was a cross-training day. I hit the gym for an hour on the elliptical. I was glad to cross-train, because my shin is a tad sore after the last 2 days. Nothing bad, and not a recurrence, but it's just letting me know it's a bit worked.

I'm still really tired. I did get a little better night's sleep last night, but I have a lot of catching up to do. Have to stop those late-night chats with Nyle :) (just kidding, chatting!).

Friday, June 17, 2011

8K kickdown - exhausted.

I'm trashed. Enough is enough.

Work stress & extra hours.
Loren's surgery.
Being away all weekend last weekend.
Not enough sleep due to all of the above.

So, my 8K kickdown FELT horrible. It wasn't fast either. But it's done now. I confess I start to worry about how I will handle a race when I can't even do this little workout very well, but then I have tell myself that I'm at the end of my rope with exhaustion, so it's to be expected.

It wasn't hot at the track (55F; 13C) but the sun was beating down on me, as I worked out later than usual today (had to take the kids to day care/summer camp first because of Loren being in the hospital for his back surgery). I felt terribly hot about 2/3 of the way through the workout, and felt a bit nauseated at the end. Oh well.

Anyway, no excuses. Here are my 2K times:


Total time 48:34; ave HR 158. My HR for the last four 500s was really high, averaging 171, 172, 173, and 175. I obviously gave it my all, but my all wasn't very good today.

edited to add Garmin connect data here

Thursday, June 16, 2011

first 15K since injury

In a hurry - so here's the summary:

Total time 1:34:41, ave pace 6:18/km, and ave HR 150. My 5K splits were 30:45, 31:37, and 32:19. I really hurt the last 5K. My endurance is not where it was, but it's coming back.

I had too much ice cream last night (long story...bit of a pity party for myself...stupid!!!) and so I had some GI issues this morning and had to stop a couple times for cramping. Yeah, that was a bummer.

Shin was iffy this morning, too. It started off a bit tight and about 5K I was not sure I'd finish 15. But it loosened up and I felt better. It was OK when I got home, and I just iced it. I'm going to wear my boot to work today to give it a rest.

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

rest day

I set all my stuff out to cross-train last night, even though it's an optional day today. However, I woke feeling a bit worse, very tired with swollen lymph nodes and a bit of a sore throat. I still have a lot to do at work so can't completely rest, but at least not exercising and getting extra sleep tonight (hopefully) will help. I have 15K tomorrow, and I'd like to do it.

My shin/ankle is still a tad sore today so that's another good reason to rest. I'm hoping with the rest that it will be good to go tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

fast 5K fartlek

I felt lousy this morning. There was a thunderstorm last night and the dogs woke me up at 1:30 am whining. I let them out and then realized they were whining because of the thunderstorm. Grrrrrr. I let them in and went back to sleep but I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. Add to that a bit of a sore throat on the right side and a stuffy right ear, and it wasn't looking good. Then I noticed that my right shin was the tiniest bit sore. I think it's from the PT exercises I did yesterday, and not from the racewalking. Finally, I checked facebook and saw that my friend Nyle had a killer 7x1km workout, and though I was very happy for her, of course I started to compare myself (DOH! should not do that! She's been able to train and I haven't!) and felt discouraged. Oh well, nothing to do about it except get out and do the best workout I could.

The weather was perfect - 54F (12C) and calm and sunny. I love summer here! I did a slow warm-up, thinking I might have to quit because of my shin. However, it felt better as I warmed up, and I knew it would be OK. I did 1.71km in 11:04 for 6:27/km, including a couple pick-ups at the end. Then I did a few dynamic flexibility drills to loosen up. Everything is still a bit sore from getting back into longer miles; my hamstrings and glutes are tight/sore, and so are my abductors.

I got started and enjoyed the fast slight downhill, doing a very fast 1km (for me) in 5:23 (2:38, 2:45). I followed that up with a 3:00 recovery (fast!) and worried that I had gone out too fast. But I managed pretty well for most of the rest of the workout, doing 2:48/3:09, 2:52/3:04, 2:47/3:20 (uphill recovery, and I was trashed by this point), and finally a 2:49 to finish in 29:14 (ave HR 164, ave pace 5:51/km)!!! That was a new PR for me for this workout by 9 seconds. Not bad after a month's layoff. I'd be really thrilled except that I keep comparing myself to others...sigh...must really stop that and focus on getting my own PR and just having fun and doing the best that I can. I feel fortunate to be training again; my friend Katie Grimes is suffering from really bad IT band problems and I hope it doesn't keep her from racing next month.

Garmin connect data here

My foot felt fine today; my shin is perhaps a tiny bit sore but I think it's going to be fine. I've cooled down a bit and it's not hurting, so hopefully it will be all right.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Nice weather today! It was in the upper 50s and sunny and calm. Still, I was apprehensive about the workout after yesterday's slow 10K. But Jim told me today would be better, and he's pretty much always right, so off I went.

I am still a bit sore in the glutes & abductors from hiking/racewalking in the heat. I felt a bit stiff starting out, and I was slow for the first km. I worried that it would be another lousy day. But it wasn't! It wasn't fast, but it was a lot better than yesterday. I just kept cranking out some good 500s, and my very slowest one today was 3:19; though most of them were a lot faster than that.

About 7km I felt some minor pain in my left leg in the groin area, but it stopped and didn't recur. It doesn't hurt now, about 6 hr later, so I think it's OK. The thing that is bothering me a bit is the old familiar left foot injury. It's slightly warmish and a bit sore. i should ice it but it's absolutely crazy at work today so that's not going to happen...actually it took me until now to post this, so you can see that's what kind of day it's been.

Totals: 1:16:15 for the 12km for 6:20/km with ave HR 151. Garmin connect data here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

so proud of my friend!

My racewalking friend Nyle had this fantastic article in her local paper. She is a rock star :), and so is the coach!

hot 8K and slow 10K with the coach

I've been busy doing the tourist thing with Jim here, so I'm behind on my blog and just about everything else, but it's been fun so I don't mind a bit. Actually, it's been a little bit of racewalking heaven. I got the coach's advice on workouts for the weekend, a couple vigorous and painful but good sports massages, and interesting company with lots of racewalking chitchat. He left this morning for Toronto to visit his cousins, then New York to visit Erin & Dave Talcott, and then finally he'll be in Eugene, OR for the USATF Nationals June 23-26. He'll fly back here on the 27th and stay until the 30th, so I'll get some more pointers at the end of the month. I cannot emphasize how invaluable his help has been. If anyone is looking for a coach, you cannot do better than Jim - the combination of knowledge of technique, training, and biomechanics is incredible, plus he's a super nice guy who knows how to motivate with kindness. Here's his website.


Workout stuff: Friday we hiked Observation Point, so no workout that day (that WAS my workout, and it was a fun one - nice easy 4 hr hike - and I did think it wasn't bad at all until my IT band acted up on the way down, near the bottom).

Saturday Jim needed to sleep in; he was still a bit jet lagged. My mom and Michelle and I hung out while he slept (our rented lodge had 2 bedrooms, kitchen, rustic but nice). So we got a bit of a late start and by the time we packed up and drove to Zion, where I was going to work out on a bike trail (flat!) next to the river, it was noon and it was 85F (29.4C). Yeah, it was hot. It was dry, though, with a nice breeze, but it was still much hotter than I'm accustomed to. It was good heat training for Sacramento, though. It very well might be 90F for the 5K, which will be at 8:30 pm. At least the sun won't bake me at 8:30 pm like it did in Zion, though! Anyway, I had a great workout despite the heat. My HR was quite high (ave 160) due to the heat, but I still did an awesome 8K in 48:11; 6:02/km. I was really proud of that effort, and the best part was that Jim was able to correct my most serious form flaw: my right leg was hitching up a good couple of inches higher than the left, leading to inadequate use of my glutes, insufficient toe push, and risk of muscle imbalance/injury. He tried a couple different descriptions of how to fix it before landing on the one that worked for me - "Bring your right knee through lower". That did the trick and he said I looked like a new walker. He did a few videos on his phone and showed me and sure enough, it was quite a big change. I looked lots better. I'd post them but he hasn't been able to get them emailed to me; something seems to be wrong with his phone. Anyway, it was a great workout, and after drinking about 3 big bottles of water during and after, changing into fresh clothes and cooling off, I was starving! My mom and Michelle had gone for a hike and so we met them and we all went to lunch together, where Jim tried some Jack Daniel's BBQ sauce ribs. He had never heard of such a thing and wondered if it was really the real Jack Daniel's in there - I told him yes, but that it's cooked so it just leaves the flavor and it's delicious. He was persuaded to try it and I think he liked it:

Back to workouts...this morning we got up really early for a 5:15 am start to my workout so that Jim could make his 7:45 am plane flight. He just had me do an easy 10K, and I was so tired from all the driving, the hiking, and the hard 8K in the sun that I just about died this morning on the easy 10K. Everything hurt and it was just one of those workouts where every time the watch beeps the splits you want to hurl it into a garbage can. I was SO very slow...ugh! The first 5K was OK but I knew I was in trouble, and I finished 10K in a pathetic 1:06:42 for 6:40/km with HR 151. Jim said not to worry about it at all, that I was just a bit tired and it didn't matter. He's right but I still hated it! The workout was still quite valuable though. Jim rode next to me on Loren's bike and gave me technique corrections. Minor things I still need to work on include leaning forward about 3 degrees from my ankles (NOT from the waist!) so that I get my center of gravity moving forward just a bit better, and also tucking my rear end under a little bit more to keep my pelvis at the correct angle. That will help me to get better hip action, more toe-off, and a longer stride. It will take me a while to process all these changes, but it was invaluable to have him there helping me, and I now have a few weeks to practice before his return here on the 27th.

Finally, I have had no shin pain whatsoever. I think I'm over that one, thankfully :). Whew.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cross-training: Observation Point hike with Jim

Today I cross-trained with my coach. I got to torture him and it was sweet payback for all the fartleks, kickdowns, and interval workouts. Actually, though he found the hike strenuous (who wouldn't), he did just fine and made it to the top with energy to spare for flirting with the college student who was hiking in very short shorts and a purple lace Victoria's-Secret-type bra. Yes, I'm totally serious...I should have taken her picture, as it was a pretty outrageous outfit.

I'm not going to blog about the hike itself in great detail; I did that last year in this post. It's one of the best hikes anywhere, if you're up to the 8 miles/13km of hiking with 2144ft/655m of elevation gain. This year it took Jim and I 3 hr and 42 min to do the hike; I did it alone last year in 2 hr 41 min, so I guess the coach slowed me down a bit :). I didn't mind at all, though, as the conversation was good and the views breathtaking. We met a bunch of people, notably a very kind Englishman who was doing this hike as his first hike since anterior compartment surgery 11 months ago. He took this photo of us at the top:

After the hike, we did a shorter hike of the Riverwalk, and then bought a few souvenirs at the Visitors Center. We drove back to our lodging and enjoyed pizza and beer and ice cream! Then my mom and I took a dip in the hot tub to loosen up. Finally, the best (and worst) part of the day was the sports massage Jim gave me. Seriously, it hurt...but in a good way and I think it got rid of a bunch of nasty knots in some various muscles. OK, I'm getting totally spoiled. In-person coaching, lots of great tips on technique, and sports massage. Excellent.

more pictures of our hike here
pictures of our Bryce Canyon hike yesterday

Friday, June 10, 2011

3K fartlek and hiking

Thursday morning I did a fast 3K fartlek with my coach "flogging" me. Well, he said he was going to, but he didn't! And Nyle, he did stop me after 5 steps, but it was a joke :). I started with 1600m warm-up and I actually made it 3/4 of the way around the track before he stopped me to talk form. Apparently I need to do some work but it's not too bad overall. He says my left leg is much smoother than my right, and that my right leg needs to come through lower (hip lower) and I need to get more push off my right foot and roll all the way through the toes. My right leg apparently has more of a "cycling" action - i.e. the knee is going a bit too high and things are a bit out of whack. Also, I have a tiny bit of a "sit" - i.e. I need to tuck my rear end under a bit more. It's not bad, pretty subtle, but something to work on a little.

Anyway, the fartlek went well considering I've had a month w/o much training. I did the first 1K in 5:32, and then 500 medium in 3:07, 500 fast in 2:48, 500 medium in 3:07, 500 fast in 2:46 for a total of 17:22. That's actually a personal best 3K fartlek, but in a way that's not saying much since usually these are done to start up again after a hiatus, so they're typically pretty slow. However, the fact that I was this fast after a month w/o racewalking is a good sign. With a little training to get my endurance up I'm still hopeful for some PRs in Sacramento.


We drove to Bryce Canyon after that, and did a nice hike of the Navajo Loop and Queen's Garden. Jim hurt his knee slipping in the first few minutes of the hike but never let on until later that evening that he was hurt. However, he taped it and iced and took a few anti-inflammatories and is hoping to be good to go for today's hike of Observation Point in Zion. Speaking of which...we'd better get going because it's late and it will get HOT if we don't get there soon!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

6K easy - Liberty Park

This morning I did the 6.3K around Liberty Park. I felt pretty good, and had no shin pain. I did the 6.3K in 39:33 for 6:15/km with ave HR of 145. Not bad! I guess I haven't lost too much fitness.

My coach, Jim, arrived this afternoon. It's great to finally meet in person. He said he's taking me to the track tomorrow morning for a "flogging"...hmmm not sure that is so good? All we're doing is a 3K fartlek though, since I'm coming off an injury. Hopefully it will go well, but I have probably lost some fast-twitch muscle fibers after the layoff, so we'll see.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


My legs are very, very sore from racewalking. Pretty amusing! Seriously, my upper shins (NOT where I was injured) are really painful - but it's just the nice muscle soreness type of painful. This rarely happens to me, but I guess not training for a month will do that to you.

So, today my coach said it would be good to cross-train. I did the elliptical for 45 minutes. Wheeeeeee!

Also, forgot to mention that I did weight training on Monday - a good hard set that left me sore in a few places (lats, pecs).


This afternoon I had PT. They assessed me, said I was coming along nicely (which I am) and gave me some exercises. They seem like useful exercises, and I'm going to be diligent to do them. They said to come back in 2 weeks.


I've not been getting enough sleep - work has been crazy, with LOTS of experiments. I was in every 12 hr all weekend. My sleep schedule is completely wonky now. Up late, and up early. Plus, my coach Jim is arriving here tomorrow. I don't sleep well when I have company, because I get too excited/anxious/something and wake early and can't get back to sleep. My mind races, wanting to know that I'm taking good care of whoever it is. Well, I'm really glad Jim is coming so I guess I'll have to live with the sleep deprivation!

Monday, June 06, 2011

easy 6K

Today I was to try 6K. It went fine! I wasn't even that terribly slow, and best of all, my right shin was fine. Actually, my left shin was a little sore from not racewalking for so long, and my hamstrings & glutes are now a bit sore, along with my adductors. I don't mind at all though. The weather was glorious (57F, 13C) and sunny, and I thoroughly enjoyed being in Liberty Park. I saw the usual people there: the guy with the forward lean and long arm swing, and my friend Henry, a 70ish guy who is out there daily. I hadn't seen Henry all winter and worried that he wasn't OK, but turns out he'd been walking in the afternoon when it's warmer, and he just switched back to mornings now that we actually have decent weather again.

I did the 6.3K around Liberty Park in 39:16, for 6:12/km w/ave HR of 148. That's actually maybe the fastest I've done that route! I feel I've only lost a little bit of racewalking fitness. I'm excited to train again!!!!

Garmin connect data here.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

in brief

In brief, for my coach:

Yesterday, walked about 2km (not racewalking) w/o the boot, and then taught a racewalking clinic, during which I did racewalk a bit. I followed that up with a hard 400m at the track (OK, not the smartest...but a good test) because USATF Utah was honoring our retiring racewalk chair with a little racewalk.

Shin felt fine after that, so coach suggested I try an easy 5K today. I went to the track, and the weather was GORGEOUS! 55F (13C) with some wind. The wind felt really nice and warm, though, once I was warmed up. Anyway, I did the 5K in 31:39, with splits between 6:18 and 6:20ish for each km. The last km I had a little twinge in my shin, but nothing more. Essentially pain-free. I felt good and was so happy to be out there even if it was on the track (so I could stop any time). HR a little higher than when I've been racewalking frequently, at 145 average (though at the end it was low 150s), but not too bad. I am hoping I've kept most of my fitness.

When I got home, I iced it and it feels fine so far. Hopefully it will continue to feel fine throughout the day.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Thursday & Friday workouts

Yesterday I did the elliptical for 45 min, just easy, no intervals or anything.

Today I took a spinning class. I worked my leg harder today and tried more stuff; faster cadence, more resistance, etc. and it did just fine. It feels great now (lunch time). I think I might be ready to try racewalking again soon. Perhaps a few more days, and then just testing it out gradually. Actually, tomorrow I'm supposed to help teach a racewalking clinic here, so I'm sure to do a little bit then. Don't worry, I will take it really easy and will stop immediately at the first hint of discomfort. I can't afford another setback!

Back to spinning - it was a good class with lots of tough intervals, climbing, and sprinting. Plus it was heat training - it was really hot in the gym today. It's always like that at the change of seasons around here. You might be baking hot or freezing cold. Not just in the gym but everywhere. Work is icy-cold right now because of 1) the construction guys leaving all the windows open, and 2) the new HVAC unit seems to be very strong on the A/C side. They'll get it figured out but it's cold in the meantime - my boss said it was 17C in here this morning...brrr...on the positive side, my zebrafish embryos developed more slowly so I had more time to do my injections this morning (you have to do them at the one-cell stage), and that was nice.

OK, I'm rambling...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

serious spinning!

I took the 5:30am-7:00am spinning class today. I was hoping my shin would hold up; after all, not too long ago I had to quit spinning after just a few minutes because it hurt too much. But today it was fine! Yay! That was encouraging. I was pretty down yesterday and needed the boost of knowing that it's getting better.

After spinning I did some PT/weight training and core exercises for about 30 minutes.

Now I've got to get my behind in to work!