Friday, September 30, 2011


I'm taking the day off work to get stuff done around the house, so I'll be quick and to the point today.

Weather was gorgeous; 57F (14C) and calm. My GI system was ugly. Really ugly. I'm not 100% sure what I ate, but it was bad. Really bad. Thankfully, Liberty Park has several restrooms. Unfortunately, not all of them have toilet paper. That's all I'm going to say about that.

My legs felt good, though, and I did the 12K in 1:16:57 for 6:25/km despite the GI problems. It would have been several minutes faster otherwise, I'm sure, as my ave HR was only 138. I actually enjoyed the walk, other than the pit stops.

I was supposed to meet Lisa at the gym afterward, but I decided that proximity to a bathroom at home was a good idea. Turns out it was OK, but still...better safe than sorry.

My friend Nyle also had a 12K like this this week, only she was a bit faster despite her GI problems. one wants to have a walk like that.

Garmin connect data here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Today I was planning on 12K, but work got in the way. Long story. Anyway, I did manage 30 min on the recumbent bike at the gym, and then I biked to work as well. It was just as well, since my glutes are pretty sore from some one-legged ball squats I did yesterday. The cross-training was just the thing for that (ouch!) and hopefully tomorrow I'll feel a bit better. I would like to do the 12K in the morning, if possible. I am planning to meet Lisa at the gym at 7 am, so I'd have to finish before then, which means getting up pretty early. Worst case scenario? I'll shorten it and do a longer one on Saturday, when I have a bit more time.

It's a good thing things are flexible right now, because the rest of my life has been slightly chaotic, especially work. The good news? I asked the boss for tomorrow off so I could have a badly-needed 3-day weekend to clean my house and get the rest of my life in some semblance of order. I used to work 20 hr one week and 28 the next week (24 hr average per week), but over the last 4 weeks I've worked a lot more than previous paycheck was for 70 hours (35 hrs/wk) so you get the idea. My new schedule is going to be more like 30 hr/week, which is MUCH more do-able. That extra 5 hours makes a big difference.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

another easy walk

Today I was planning on 8K, but the route I picked turned out to be 7.36K, and I was actually pretty tired and late to meet Lisa at the gym, so I just didn't add anything on to the route. My glutes are a bit tired - not sure whether from biking to work or walking or both. Either way, they will get used to the workload again if I don't push it too hard. I'm probably still recovering from the marathon. Total time was 46:38 for 6:20/km with ave HR 140. Slowish, but my HR was low and I did not push at all.

After my walk, I took the kids to school and then biked to work. It's still glorious weather, and I'm going to bike as much as possible so I can enjoy it. It was 58F (14C) this morning and clear and calm - perfect for just about any kind of outdoor activity. It's supposed to be 87F (31C) today - pretty warm for late September, but I'm loving it as long as it lasts.

Garmin connect data here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Today I decided to do 8K again. Nice and easy, not too far to allow myself time to recover. I focused a lot on technique, and especially on using my right glutes more. I feel like I really made some progress in that area today, and it felt good and strong.

Jim called me when I was at 6.7K and we chatted for a bit. He said I'll get this week to recover some more and then we'll dig into a new program next week, which is fine with me. We have lots of time until the 50K, and so I want to enjoy the down time while it lasts. After all, I know what's coming, and it won't be easy at all.

The weather was gorgeous - 55F and calm and sunny. I walked a flatter route today, down to Liberty Park and on 6th east; the only hills are at the start (down) and finish (back up). Totals: 49:44 for 8K, 6:13/km, ave HR 145, and yes the heart rate monitor was working right today.

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

easy (hilly) 8K

I'm enjoying an easy week with no pressure. Today I did a route I usually eschew because of the hills. However, with no pressure to obtain any sort of time, I reveled in a walk around SugarHouse Park. I felt great for the whole walk; the only little niggling things are 1) chafing under my right arm is not healed yet, and 2) left glutes are a bit sore - whether from biking or walking I'm not sure.

I loved passing a few runners this morning - that's always fun. The flowers in SugarHouse Park are still beautiful, which I'm enjoying along with the beautiful weather. It was 60F (15C) this morning, perfect for a walk.

Total time was 50:33 for 6:19/km with ave HR 148. The heart rate is a bit iffy, however, because my HR monitor was acting up and spiking quite a bit. The actual ave HR is probably a bit lower, though I'm not sure.

Edited to add: After the walk I got ready for work and biked in. I've been biking to work almost daily because of the gorgeous weather. Besides, it's great cross-training!

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

easy 10K

I have missed racewalking this week! The elliptical's getting a bit boring, so I asked Jim if I could walk today, and he said yes :). He said to do 10K easy. Yay!

It's DARK outside now until 7 am. Bummer. I had to go early because I had to weigh in at Weight Watchers (lowest weigh-in of the year at 149.2 - that's good but I am still a bit above where I probably should be...sigh...) and then pick up the kids from my parents' house and take them to Calvin's soccer game, which is on the other side of town. Wheeeeeeeee.

At least it wasn't cold. It was 54F (12.7C) and calm. Very nice walking weather, indeed. September is generally lovely here, and I appreciate that. I'm enjoying the warm weather as long as it lasts, because I know what's coming. It won't be long until that 4-letter-word starting with s and ending with w appears.

My glutes were a bit sore from some aggressive biking this week :) but other than that and the residual chafing under my right arm (which ITCHES now), I was feeling good. I started off well and did tire a bit around 5K, but got a second wind and finished decently, all things considered. I can tell that I'm not back to 100% yet, but it felt good to walk. My legs were a bit heavy for the end of the walk, and now that I'm just sitting here they're a bit stiff/sore in the glutes. Probably should still take it kind of easy this week, but I do want to walk. We'll see what the coach's nice to have a coach to give you good advice about this sort of thing.

I've got a lot to do today, including some baking :). I won't get to eat any of it, which is probably a good thing - I'm making a white chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce for our church's campus ministry. I'm also getting a haircut, teaching two piano lessons, and picking some pears off of our tree for canning. The one thing I do NOT have to do today is work...whew. Work has been pretty busy/stressful lately, but I got a bit of a break for the weekend, which I'm happy about. I've had a lot of molecular biology projects to work on since the untimely death of my co-worker last month, and though I'm really enjoying them, it's been high-pressure as we have a couple grants due in the next two weeks, and my boss needs the constructs to test out for some preliminary data for the grants. Still, yesterday I got over the hump on one of the harder projects, so that was a relief. The others are coming along as well, so hopefully the stress will ease up soon.

Oh, and the summary for today's walk: 1:02:46 for 6:16/km with ave HR 146.

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

more cross-training

It's been a nice week of cross-training. I'm starting to want to racewalk again, which is good :). Everything feels recovered except for the chafing under my right arm, which is still pretty nasty-looking.

Wednesday I did the elliptical for 45 min and then biked to work. The weather is glorious, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts and getting in some extra exercise.

Thursday I had to be at the dentist at 7 am for a crown ( mouth is full of expensive stuff!) and so I bailed on the gym; I was really tired and figured I'd be better off sleeping a bit later. I did bike to work, though, so it's not like I was a total couch potato.

Today I did the same as Wednesday: elliptical 45 min and biked to work.

I have to ask the coach if I can racewalk again easy now...I'm getting bored with the elliptical!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

what I've been up to...

Since the marathon I've been taking it easy, exercise-wise anyway.

Sunday: rest day! I was so very, very sore. Basically, all of my leg and butt muscles except quads and calves were killing me.

Monday: 30 min elliptical, and I biked to work and back home. Muscles feeling a lot better.

Tuesday: 30 min elliptical, plus biking to work again. I got a new bike rack for my bike, so I don't have to borrow Loren's any more. Almost feeling normal again today :) with just a little residual soreness.

Coach says we'll take 10 days to 2 weeks off of the hard workouts, but then it's back to work again. Next race is the Two Cities Half Marathon in Fresno on November 6th.


Been meaning to post a few pictures from the state fair - I took the kids last week but just now getting around to it :).
More photos here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Top of Utah Marathon

Where do I start? So much to tell, and so little time.

Weather: upper 40s and low-to-mid 50s (8-12C) for most of the race; warmed up to about 60F at the end (15C). Soaking downpour 5 minutes before the start left us cold and shivering! Then it stopped and we just had intermittent showers for 15.5K (9.5 miles). But then the heavens let loose and it poured on us until 19K; from about 17.5-18.5K it was hailing little BB-size hail. YUCK! Quite miserable! I was chilled but not too cold; and it stopped from 20-21K only to start up again with the pouring and hail. It stopped again pretty quickly and then was intermittent showers until about 3 miles (5K) to go, when it was partly sunny and warmed up quite a bit. Not ideal weather, but it could have been worse; hot would have been much worse.

The race: in a nutshell, I was on pace for a sub-4:25 PR until the last 10K, when my legs became glycogen-depleted (yeah, I "hit the wall" for the first time in a marathon) and I lost a lot of time. A lot. I finished in 4:29:07, which is still a 9-minute PR, so I'm very happy with it. a little disappointed that I couldn't keep it up. Well, when you ramp up the miles quickly to get ready fast for a marathon, these things happen. Details: I felt good (but not great) on the first 14 miles, which were a very nice downhill, interspersed with some flat and a few short uphills. I got to 10K in about 1:01:30 and felt good, and to 20K in 2:03-something, still feeling quite good. The half marathon (21.1K, 13.1 miles) came at 2:09:58, and I figured if things continued well I'd be sub-4:25 (my goal for today) for sure. I was able to keep the pace pretty well from miles 14-18, though I was tiring. Then came the uphill from mile 18-20. It wasn't a big hill (not steep) but it was long and took a lot out of me. I slowed quite a bit and was never really able to pick it up again; in fact, mile 21 to the finish was pretty much a disaster, as my splits which had been 9:50s and 10:00s per mile (my goal was 10:06/mile) suddenly spiraled out of control to 11:00+. Ouch. My heart rate decreased and I was not able to push hard. I didn't even want legs were heavy and I just was in survival mode, wanting nothing more than to finish. About 35K (22 miles) part of me wondered if I was going to finish, as I felt nauseated in addition to the heavy legs, but still I knew I wouldn't quit. The only way I could push was by telling myself that the finish would be there sooner if I did; when I realized at mile 23-24 that I would not be sub-4:25 I lost the will to keep pushing. It's a very weird experience, hitting the wall...and quite unpleasant.

They called my name and city at the finish, and I managed a wave and maybe a smile. I was soooooo tired - when I crossed the finish line I walked slowly and felt VERY wobbly - someone asked me if I was OK, and I managed a "yes" but was not so sure. My legs could barely hold me up. They gave me my very cool moose-print medal, and I wobbled off to the bathroom (no GI trouble until about 35K, and then I was able to keep things in check until the finish).

I am SO proud of my friend Sarah, who did the race with me and her brother Tim and her brother-in-law Daniel. It was her first marathon, and she had a goal of completing it in under 5 hours, and she did a 4:57! Wow!!! That's faster than my first marathon (4:59:49). I'm really happy for her!!!

More pictures here.

Garmin Connect data here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

3x1km at 85% effort

I like the taper. It makes me feel a bit antsy, but it's nice to have short, easy workouts. Today's was 3x1km @ 85% effort. I warmed up for 1600m and had a fun conversation while doing so. I was going around the track counterclockwise as usual, while the high school x-country team went around clockwise after getting back from their workout. Their coach was going around with them, and he saw me and yelled to me, "You doing Top on Saturday?", referring to the Top of Utah marathon.

"Yes!" I shouted back.

"I'll see you there!" he said.

200m later we crossed paths again.

"Looks like it might rain," he said.

200m later:

"Yes, it does, but hopefully it won't snow or be really hot," I said.

200m later:

"You staying up there Friday night?" he asked.

"Yes." I replied.

After I finished my warm-up and dynamic stretching, I talked to him for a minute before starting my 3x1km. I introduced myself and he said, "Oh, I know who you are. I'm Bill Cobler, vice-president of USATF Utah." He said he was planning on doing a 2:40 marathon (he's in his early 50s I think) but that he was going to have to slow it down to maybe a 2:50 because he tore his MCL a few weeks ago. Wow, that's fast, regardless. I was a bit embarrassed to say I was shooting for a 4:25, but I told him anyway.

We talked a few minutes more and then I started my 1Ks. I felt great today. My ankle didn't bother me at all (more on that below). My foot feels better after a rest day, too. I did 5:42, 5:42, and 5:41 for my 1Ks, with 3' rest in between, and the effort was not bad, with ave HR 151, 150, and 155 for the intervals. I'm ready for a PR, if all goes well :).

I figured out why my ankle was hurting. It has nothing to do with racewalking. On Sunday evening we were at my parents' house and I misstepped between their house and garage, twisting my left ankle on the 3-inch step. It hurt quite a bit and I was limping for a few minutes, but then it felt OK and I promptly forgot about it. Then on Monday and Tuesday it bothered me in my workouts and at rest; yesterday it was a bit better even though I walked around the state fair with the kids. Today it felt totally fine at my track workout and I was pondering this when I remembered twisting it on Sunday. Ahhhhhh, that makes sense! It's not a racewalking injury, and so the track workout didn't make it worse. Yay! I feel SO relieved. I'm ready, in good shape, and more or less uninjured (slight L foot issues, but nothing at all I'm worried about).

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

optional day

Today is an optional day. My left ankle/foot (lateral, just below and behind fibula) is still bothering me - it was really bad for the first few steps I took around the house, but after walking around a bit it's OK. I went to the gym and did some PT exercises, some light weights, and some core exercises. After I warmed up thoroughly, I racewalked one lap around the ice rink, and the ankle/foot felt fine. Hopefully with a few more days' rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, etc., it will be OK.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Today's agenda was a 12K walk. My left ankle was a bit sore last night and again this morning, on the lateral side about 2 inches above my heel just behind and below the end of the fibula. Once I started walking it was fine; however, now that I've been done for a few hours it is quite sore and achy. I'm very worried. I always seem to get injured just before a race. Hopefully this is nothing a little rest and ice and ibuprofen won't cure.

My foot was also bothering me a bit this morning (the left foot, the old peroneus longus tendinitis) but after 3K it seemed to settle in and felt better. Ironically, it is feeling fine right now, while my ankle is really annoying me at the moment.

Other than that, there was not much remarkable about my walk today. I was a little tired from yesterday's hard 5K fartlek, but not too bad. It didn't seem to slow me down much. I did the 12K in 1:14:14 for 6:11/km with average HR of 142. 5K splits were 30:25, 31:06, and the last 2K was 12:32 on the uphill. Pretty darn good. Now if my ankle would just stop hurting...

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

5K fartlek - 28 second PR!

Today I was to do a 5K fartlek. The weather was absolutely perfect at 60F (15C) and no wind. It's a gorgeous day here today, and I wish I could bottle it up and save it for January.

I went to the track a little later than usual; I had something at work that had to be done by noon and I also had a 9:40am dentist appointment that made things more interesting. So I worked from 6-7:15 or so and got to the track around 7:30.

I warmed up for the usual 1600m w/a few strides, in 9:54. I felt a bit tense/awkward on the first lap, but loosened up as I went on. I made sure to do some dynamic stretching to loosen up my legs a bit more. The left leg is still tight in the upper hamstring/lower glutes; Jim thinks maybe my lateral rotators.

Once I started, I felt very good and fast. Maybe not as smooth as my interval workout on Saturday, but I was still quite fast. I was surprised to hit the first 1K in 5:28! Then very fast medium 500m and even faster fast 500m ensued. I was pushing hard; my average HR for the workout was 161, but still, this was fast. When I got to 3K in 16:57 I knew I had a great shot to get a PR for this workout, unless I fell apart in the last 2K. I didn't.

Here are my splits ... total time was 28:30.

1 0:05:28
2 0:02:58
3 0:02:44
4 0:03:01
5 0:02:44
6 0:03:03
7 0:02:43
8 0:03:02
9 0:02:44

Garmin connect data here.

I feel SO ready for this race. Now I just have to stay healthy and eat carefully!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

bike ride

Today was a cross-training day, and the weather was gorgeous this morning - 60F (15C) and overcast, with a little wind. It was chilly when I started out on my bike ride, but I warmed up quickly enough and it was perfect in my bike shorts and a tech T-shirt. I biked to do an errand (which failed...sigh...) but then biked from there up the new bike path in Tanner Park to the new bike bridge over I-80 at Parley's Canyon. I'd been wanting to try that route for a while. It's pretty steep, but I made it up OK and enjoyed the views on Wasatch Blvd. I headed up Millcreek Canyon a little ways but stopped to turn around at the base of the first really big hill past the gate house, as my time was short and I didn't feel like tackling it (it's pretty nasty!). I rode for a total of 71 min, and did 25.33 km for an average of 21.2 km/hr, which isn't bad considering how hilly that route was. But I'm also no cyclist, and I was riding my husband's rather heavy commuting hybrid bike (as usual). It was fun to get out and enjoy the fresh air and allow my legs to recover a bit from racewalking.

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


It was windy again today, but not quite as windy as on Wednesday's track workout. The flag photo was taken on Wednesday, when the flags were snapping hard in the strong wind.

It was 64F (18C), and with the wind it was definitely not too hot. It felt great. I wish we could have these temperatures for a while longer, but sadly it's going to start getting cold again soon.

I was apprehensive about the 3K in this workout for some reason, but I shouldn't have been. It went fine. In fact, it went more than fine. About halfway through the third km, I realized I might actually be fast enough to get a PR for 3K! I sped up to make sure I nailed it. I figured if I was a bit tired for the rest of the workout that it would be more than worth it. However, I not only got the PR (16:47 (5:35, 5:39, 5:33) or 6 seconds faster than my previous PR), but I also still had the stamina to do a good job in the rest of the workout. I rested for 4 minutes, then nailed my 2K in 11:12 (5:36, 5:36). I only got 2 min rest before I was to do 1K, but still pulled off a 5:30 for the 1K! I kept expecting to feel heavy-legged and tired, but in fact I just felt stronger as the workout went on. I got 2 min rest and then 500m in 2:42, 2' rest and 500m in 2:41. Done!

Garmin connect data here.

After I finished, I was chatting with an older gentleman named Gordon Scheffler who plans on doing the Huntsman Senior Games in a few weeks. He's a long jumper, triple jumper, and sprinter, and he is often at the track working out when I'm there. He is always nice & complimentary about my racewalking and interested to learn more about the sport. I plan to see how he does in his competition.


This has been a year of PRs for me.

3K track, 16:47, 9/10/11
5K road, 27:48, 6/25/11
5K track, judged, 28:04, 7/7/11
10K road, downhill, 56:32, 7/25/11
10K road, judged, flat, 57:31, 7/12/11
15K road, judged, 1:29:03, 5/15/11
10 miles, 1:37:10, 4/16/11
20K road, judged, 2:00:37, 7/16/11
half marathon, road, downhill, 2:07:31, 4/16/11

Every PR I have set has been set this year, with the exception of the marathon. Hey, good thing I'm training for one now! Pressure's on for next weekend :). Actually, I feel sure I can PR as long as I don't have really bad GI problems or something else disastrous. Here's hoping for a great race!

Friday, September 09, 2011


Today was a cross-training day. I needed the change of pace! I did 30 min on the elliptical, then did some core exercises. Finally, I biked to work and back. It felt nice to use muscles besides my racewalking muscles.

I've been super busy at work and that will continue. I worked on Labor Day, and I have to work tomorrow for a few hours. So, if my blog isn't too interesting these days, and is a bit terse even with my racewalking posts, that's why. It's survival mode here - just trying to keep my head above water until the grant deadlines in early October. The boss did promise lunch or dinner out when this is all over, though, and that was nice. In addition, I'm enjoying the extra molecular biology work I've been asked to do - it's a lot of fun to do the gene jockey thing again! I don't mind working a bit extra when I'm enjoying myself, though the timing with the marathon training is not the best. Still, I'm hanging in there, and the training will be lighter after tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I have a tough track workout to do early (before Calvin's soccer game) so I'd better get some rest!

Thursday, September 08, 2011


Weather: 65F (18C) and windy. Not much of a factor today.

The workout: 16K easy.

How I felt: Great for 5K, then OK until 12K, and then my legs just gave out. Lungs were fine, but my legs got heavy and had nothing left, like my 20K last week. This didn't hurt as much, simply because it was shorter and my legs got heavy at 12K with only 4K to go rather than at 8K with 12K to go. I expected this workout might be tough because of the 8K fartlek yesterday, and it was, but it could have been worse.

Total time: 1:41:19 for 6:20/km with ave HR of 142. My heart rate actually got lower at the end when my legs had nothing left and I just couldn't push. 5K splits: 30:31, 31:19, 32:19. 8K splits: 49:20, 51:41. Clearly hurting at the end.

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

8K fartlek

I checked the temperature before I went outside today. 63F (17C). "Good, that should work," I thought. But the minute I opened the door I heard the wind. Oh boy. It was really, really windy! Well, at least it wasn't cold.

I drove to the track and got started. The nordic pole walker was there again, as were a couple runners who were (annoyingly) running the wrong direction in lane 1. Fortunately, they went around me as I worked out. I warmed up for 1600m in 10:00 with a few strides in the last 400m. I was feeling pretty good but perhaps a little tight in my left glutes. I did some dynamic stretching and that felt good.

I started out with 5:36 for the first km and wished it was a bit faster. However, my medium 500m were really good today, starting with the first one in 2:59. All except one were 3:05 or less (and the other one was a 3:07). My fasts were 2:48-2:52. It was a good, fast workout. I wondered if it would be a PR for this workout but couldn't remember how fast my PR was. I was tired for the last few km, but not too bad; however, I was REALLY tired of battling the wind by the end. Every time I came around the south end of the track the wind blasted me in the face full force, and I'm sure I lost a second or two on every lap because of it. Seriously, it was fierce.

Total time: 46:58 (NOT a PR, but close; my PR for this workout is 46:52) with ave HR 156 (this was LOW for this workout! I sure thought I was working harder than this). Ave pace 5:52/km.

Now I'm feeling a bit sore but otherwise fine. In fact, I rode my bike up to work after the workout :). I hope that I'll be OK for the 16km (10 miles) I'm supposed to do tomorrow. Last week when I had 20K after a track workout I was pretty flat, but it was a longer, harder workout, so maybe I'll be all right tomorrow. We'll see.

Garmin connect data here

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

easy & fast 10K

Today's workout was 10K easy. It was pretty nice this morning outside; 63F (17C) and clear, though a bit humid. It's getting a bit cooler in the mornings, and darker too - a portent of things to come. I have to say that I do prefer walking when it's light, but that only happens for a small part of the year. This morning I used my headlamp, rear blinky, and reflective vest.

I felt pretty sore on Sunday after the half marathon, but by last night I was feeling pretty good and figured this morning would be no problem. I started off fast, doing the first 5K in 30:11, with my heart rate in the 140s. Pretty good! Every time my watch showed the 500m splits I was thinking, "Am I really going that fast?". I thought the GPS might be wrong, but it was showing the splits in the usual spots by the usual landmarks. I concentrated to keep my cadence and form, and worked on using my glutes as I continued. I kept the pace pretty well coming back up the hill at the end, finishing in 1:00:38 for 6:04/km (and 30:27 for the second 5K). Wow! That's my fastest easy 10K ever, I think...and my average HR was just 144. Nice. We'll have to see how tomorrow's 8K fartlek goes.

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, September 05, 2011

rest, cross-training

Yesterday I rested. I was supposed to cross-train yesterday and rest today, but it worked out better to switch them, and I'm pretty sure that my coach won't care. In addition to resting, I went to our church smore-a-thon and consumed bbq-type food and a couple smores. Yum! I did NOT overindulge, though :).


Today I made up for the rest with some extra cross-training. I went to the gym and did the elliptical for 45 minutes at about a 7:03/mile pace, and then came home and got ready for work. Yeah, it's Labor Day, and I'm celebrating by working. Hahaha. Extra stuff to do to pick up the slack since we're down a person. Anyway, I rode my bike to work, because the weather was nice (overcast, low 60s) and I felt like it.


The new Blogger interface is making it impossible to make a new paragraph. Anyone else having this problem? Help! Meanwhile, sorry about the paragraph issues in my last few posts...

I went back to the old interface. Not as fancy-looking, but seems to get the job done better for the moment.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Salt Lake Half Marathon and Relay - the PR that got away

Perfect weather this morning for a half marathon. It was in the low 50s at the start (maybe 10-12C?), and my fingers were pretty cold until about mile 3 when they started to warm up nicely. By the finish, it was warm but not uncomfortably so, at about 65F (18C). I was feeling good, too, with legs just a tad sore from this long week. I've done a lot of km this week - the most ever in a week, I believe, at 94.7km. That's 58.9 miles. Wow. No wonder my legs are sore! But otherwise I'm feeling good and feeling strong. Also of note - I did 202 miles in August (325 km), which is also a record total for me for a month. Sarah and I drove to Research Park (the finish) and left my car there, and then drove her car to the start. It was great to see her and catch up and enjoy a morning run/racewalk with her. She is doing the marathon with me in a few weeks, and it's her first one. She's been training so hard and I'm so impressed with what she has done. It's great to be able to share this part of my life with my friend :).
We warmed up a bit to stave off the morning chill, and we both remarked on our cold fingers! The start was about 1000ft (300m or so) higher than the valley, so it was cold up there. Soon the race was underway. I was supposed to do this race at 85% effort, and I think that's what I did, more or less. My ave HR was 150, which is less than 85%, but with the uphill and the downhill my LEGS gave an 85% effort even if my lungs didn't need to.
This race is hilly and beautiful, too - it goes UP Little Mountain, starting at the Mountain Dell Golf Course, and then down Emigration Canyon and through Research Park to finish at the Research Park Marriott Hotel. It's 4 miles of UP and then 8 miles DOWN and one mile flat/slight uphill to the finish. I was a bit intimidated by the hills, as I've done little hill training this year, but they proved to be no problem. I managed a 6:36/km pace for the first 4 miles (6.44km) and was happy with that - they were big hills. I passed LOTS of runners going up the hill, but lots of runners passed me going back down the other side. That flight phase helps the runners on the downhill for sure, whereas I can increase turnover and get a bit more stride length but am limited by keeping one foot on the ground.
I felt really good and pushed on the downhill when it came, doing mile 5 in 8:27! After that I was a little slower, doing mostly low-mid 9-min miles, until mile 11. I had some cramping and GI distress by the aid station at Ruth's Diner (the 2nd relay exchange for the relay runners) and considered using the port-a-potty there. However, there was only one port-a-potty and three or four people in line, so I figured I could make it. After all, there was only 5K to go. By mile 11 I knew I was in trouble. There is a park at the mouth of the canyon across from the zoo, and there is a restroom there. However, it's back a bit from the road so I had to walk about a minute to get there; add 2 minutes in the restroom and it was approximately a 4 to 4-and-a-half minute detour :(. The mile before my stop I did a 9:30, and the mile after the stop I did a bit faster (last 1.1 in 9:35 - is that possible? I think the mile marker was off), but the mile of the stop took 13:49. Ouch. So probably 4 min 19 seconds or so were lost, or at least 4 minutes. Bummer. Big bummer. I would have PR'd big time (probably by a minute or so) if not for the stop. I pushed hard to the finish, comfortably hard, but still hard, and frustrated by the stop. Oh well. This was a training walk, not a race, so the time was mostly irrelevant. I say mostly because of course I like to have a PR as much as anyone. Still, it shows that I am in fantastic shape and as fast as I've ever been. Assuming my GI system holds up and that I don't have any other major issues, I should be able to PR in the Top of Utah Marathon in two weeks. Yup, it's only two weeks away.
Total time 2:10:49 for 6:12/km (drat...was averaging a 6:03 before I had to use the restroom) with ave HR 150. Garmin connect data here. Oh, and more photos here!

Friday, September 02, 2011


I felt much better today. I was still sore from Wednesday's 20K, but not too bad. The weather was PERFECT. A cool front came through and it was 57F (14C). It felt so refreshing and cool the whole workout. I'm sure that helped my time. The only bad thing today was that I had GI issues and had to stop for the restroom at 7K or so. Then I was fine. Not sure what I ate yesterday but something was not so good. But I really did feel great other than that. I felt smooth and fast and strong again. Whew. After Wednesday's 20K I was a bit worried! But the combination of rest (cross-training yesterday) and lower temps was very helpful. Total time 1:01:32, ave HR 143, 6:09/km. First 5K 30:33 (downhill & flat), second 5K 30:59 (flat & uphill). Garmin connect data here.

Thursday, September 01, 2011


Today I went to work really early, because I had jury duty. The jury duty got cancelled (yay!) so I had a bit of time this aftenroon before picking up the kids to go to the gym and do the elliptical.

I haven't done it in a while, but it went well. I did 7:01/mile pace for 5 miles. Not bad at all.

After that we cheered on the Utes in their season opener vs Montana State.