Sunday, February 27, 2011

rest day again

Today I intended to walk 15K. However, I woke not feeling that great, so I slept in and then later this afternoon I took a long nap. I'm feeling a bit better now and hopefully will be at least up to stationary bike and weight training tomorrow. That's the plan anyway.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

the last few days

It's been an eventful last few days, so I apologize for not blogging sooner. Anyway, here's what I've been up to, exercise-wise:

Thursday: rest day.

Friday: 6.3K around Liberty Park. I was supposed to do 8K but I got up too late. It was snowing lightly but not too cold (31F) and I really enjoyed my walk - it was beautiful. I took it really easy, and I was very slow, but I just didn't care today. I averaged 7:08/km for the 6.3k. Garmin connect data here. After my racewalk, I went to the gym and lifted with Lisa for a while, and did some good core work.

Saturday: I was going to do a long day today but it snowed about 5-6 inches (15cm) and so I decided I'd cross train and do a longer day tomorrow. I did 45 min on the stationary bike, and enjoyed reading my Scientific American magazine and listening to some U2.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


It was about 26F (-3C) when I went out this morning. One nice thing is that at least it's getting light a bit earlier these days (unfortunately daylight savings will start in a few weeks). It was dark when I started but it was light by the time I finished. With temps in the 20s, though, I figured the breathing might be an issue again. It was; despite taking albuterol before going out I did cough a bit. Seemed better than yesterday, though.

I forgot to charge the battery in my Garmin yesterday, so it was desperately low. When I realized that I only had about 5 minutes to charge it because I had to get going so I could get back in time to take Calvin to school. Grrr. The battery made it to 4.52km, but I had brought a backup stopwatch to get the rest of the workout. Then when I got home I mapped the distance online so I still know more or less how I did. I just don't have HR data or splits for the last 7.26km. I had to guess how far 12k was, and I knew I was guessing a touch short, but it was close.

I felt reasonably good this morning. I knew I wasn't breaking any land speed records, but it felt OK. It was kind of nice not to have the pressure of the Garmin beeping every km telling me my splits.

Total distance 11.78km; total time 1:17:48, for 6:36/km. I'd guess my ave HR was about 152-153 but I really have no idea; my ave HR for the first 4.52k was a bit high at 154, but I think I slowed down a bit after that (I know I did slow down a little). Oh, and I do know it took me about 6:40 for the 2nd to last km (uphill) and 6:36 for the last bigger uphill km. I pushed at the end to finish well.

My knee didn't bother me much (though it was killing me all day yesterday), and today it's been feeling better - it's a superficial wound but hurts to wear jeans, so I wore some looser corduroys today.

The thing that does hurt is my foot. While I was out walking it was merely a bit warm, but now that I've been on it all day it's definitely achy and a bit throbby. Not good. I'm glad that tomorrow is a rest day. I did focus on my form today to try and avoid this problem, so I'm not sure what is up with that. Hopefully after a day off it will feel better. I want it to be better because I have 20K planned on Saturday. It's supposed to snow Friday night and Saturday morning so I'm not sure what I'm going to end up doing - 20K on the indoor track would be a serious bore, but that might be what I do, depending on the snow amount. 20K in a few inches of the white stuff is not that great either!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ouch! 10K

My muscles were a little sore today - just a little, mostly in the adductors (weirdly!) and a little in the hamstrings. Other than that I was good to go. It was 29F (-2C) but relatively calm and overcast. I started off well, and in the 2nd km was feeling really strong like this would be a good workout. Then I fell. I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk on 21st South. My normal route is mostly residential, but I like walking through downtown SugarHouse for a couple blocks early in the morning. It's not too crowded yet and the traffic is a non-issue since I don't cross 21st South. Still, it does involve sidewalks, which are mostly in good repair. I managed to find the one bad spot this morning, tripped, and took a nasty fall. I was wearing tights and gloves, thankfully, or the damage would have been worse. My hands were stinging but it was my left knee that was really bad. I definitely had a serious abrasion on the knee. It hurt quite a lot but I figured I could still do the workout, as it was just a superficial wound. I was really glad my tights didn't rip, because they are a nice pair and they're not cheap.

I got up and did the 3rd km pretty fast, in 6:14! However, that was short-lived. I slowed down a lot and couldn't figure out why until 6k, when I started coughing. I think that the cold air is increasing my problems with exercise-induced asthma. I seem to walk much better on the warmer days. Spring, hurry up and come! Anyway, I was slow today. My legs felt OK; maybe a little tired but nothing too serious. I think I was slow because of my lungs. Oh well, nothing I can do about that.

Total time 1:06:01 for 10k for 6:36/km; ave HR 151. Garmin connect data here.

Sunday x-training

Oops! I forgot to post this, and so then my coach didn't know I did it.

On Sunday afternoon, I did 30 min on the bike and 30 min on the stair stepper. It was a good x-training workout - nice and easy, with book in hand :).

Monday, February 21, 2011

5K fartlek on treadmill

This morning was an exercise in frustration. It started off well enough. I looked outside and it was 29F (-2C) and clear, and the roads looked mostly empty of snow (it snowed quite a bit yesterday and was supposed to snow a little more last night). So I got all dressed to walk outside, with all the layers and gloves and hat and pepper spray and headlamp and rear blinkie and reflective vest. Then I walked out my door onto the driveway by the side of my house. It was coated in ice. Uh-oh. I walked out to the street and it was only slightly better. Goody, goody. Black ice (which is just ice on the road which is hard to see). Walking outside was not going to happen. So I thought I'd go to the indoor track. Uh, nope. It's a holiday here (President's Day - for my international friends, this is to honor our presidents Washington and Lincoln) and so the indoor track isn't open until 9 am. That wasn't an option. So that left one thing: the dreadmill. Unfortunately, those darned things are just not really accurate, so I knew I wouldn't be able to gauge my fitness level very well, but I would be able to get a good hard workout. And that I did.

I warmed up with 1 mile in 10:36, doing a few pick-ups and taking it easy in between. I stretched out a bit and got started. I have had to adjust my times a bit from what is on my watch because I waited until the 'mill was almost up to speed (6.6mph for my fast intervals today except for the 4th one, which was half at 6.6 mph and half at 6.5 mph) to push start. My watch says 5:32 but it was really 5:39 for the first km. Then 3:06 recovery, and 2:49 fast 500m. Then 3:15 recovery (I was really feeling it and my HR was quite high), and 2:49 fast. Then 3:15 recovery and 2:50 fast. Then the wheels fell off a bit - I slowed down a lot on the recovery AND had some serious math issues. 500m is 0.31 miles, and the $#*(& treadmills only have miles because Americans are too colossally stupid to actually go metric and get with the program like the rest of the world. Anyway, I had to add 0.31 to 2.48 and somehow had it fixated in my head that it was 2.86 (probably because 1.86 miles is 3km...), so my 4th recovery was actually 0.38 miles (544m). Oops. Even more oops, it was in 4:06, which when translated to 500m instead of 544 is a ridiculously slow 3:46. I am wondering if this can be right? But that's what the watch says...and my HR was an ave of 173 (!). Ouch. Finally, the last 500m was 2:45 (it was at 2:49 pace like the other so not sure what is going on here).

So, my total was 30:14 if you count the first km as 5:39. Hmmm, that is kind of slow for the effort. Like I said, I don't trust the treadmill accuracy very much. And I'm not sure where the 3:46 came from. I have no idea what all this means, except that I had a very good and very hard workout. I was really pushing it, and my ave HR was 170 for the whole workout, which is crazy high. I feel pretty good now, though, and nothing hurts.

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

bourbon-pecan-chocolate-chip pie

A racewalker friend from Australia has asked for this recipe. Since I am typing it anyway, I'll put it here so I can share. It's modified from Betty Crocker and an Emeril recipe from the magazine Everyday Food. It's kind of a hodgepodge of both recipes. Enjoy!

Bourbon-pecan-chocolate-chip pie

Makes one 10" pie

2 cups pecan halves
2/3c semisweet chocolate chips
4t all purpose flour, plus more for coating chocolate chips
4 lg eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3c packed light brown sugar
1c light corn syrup
1/3c bourbon
1t vanilla extract
1/3c salted butter, melted

2c all-purpose flour
1t salt
3/4c butter flavor Crisco
5-8T cold water (in Utah use 7-8T because it's so dry here!)

1. Preheat oven to 375. Make crust: whisk flour & salt in medium bowl. Cut in Crisco with pastry blender. Add just enough cold water to allow you to form a ball. Roll out on pastry mat with more flour.
2. Spread pecans in crust. In small bowl, toss chocolate chips in a little flour to coat, then scatter evenly over pecans.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, bourbon, vanilla, butter, and flour until well combined. Pour filling over pecans and chocolate chips.
4. Bake until filling is set and crust is browned, about 70 minutes. Loosely tent with foil if it browns too quickly. Let cool on a wire rack at least 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition info...don't ask LOL!

6.3K Liberty Park

Thought I might be pretty tired after yesterday's 15K in the wind, but I actually felt fine. My muscles weren't sore or anything, and I forgot to mention that while my foot felt slightly warm yesterday it wasn't really achy at all, so hopefully we're OK there. Oh, and I didn't have a coughing fit after finishing yesterday. I have still been having quite a bit of exercised-induced asthma but it seems to be getting better as the weather is a bit warmer.

It was warm this morning again (40F, 4C) and NOT windy today, just a little gentle breeze. It's supposed to rain today (and has been sprinkling since about 8 am) but it didn't do much at all when I was out. Nice.

I felt great for 3K and then tired a bit. It was harder to maintain the pace and I had a slow km (6:38 from 3-4). Then I sped up the hill doing 6:34 from 4-5. Still made it home in 40:45 which is 6:28/km (my watch says 6:30 but it also had the distance at 6.26k today (short) for some reason). Nice workout, with ave HR 152. Solid. And my foot felt fine.

It's been a good week, and I think the plan is to gradually and conservatively increase distance and also speed workouts. Eventually we'll be back to 2 speed workouts/wk and they'll be longer. But for now, I'm happy to up things slowly and carefully, and I think my body will respond well to that.

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

windy 15K

Before my 15K I did some weight training with Lisa. I focused on arms mostly so as not to tire out my legs for the 15K. I did bench press (35 lb dumbbells - heavy, could only do 3x8 reps)/foot PT bouncing ball standing on dyna disk; one-legged dead lifts (PT for foot) w/35 lb/row (70 lb); one-legged calf raises/hammer curls (15 lb ea arm); tricep rope pull-downs (25 lb)/military press (20 lb ea arm). Then core: plank (only 90 sec today), ball curls, ball pendulums (obliques), hip-ups (lower abs), stretching.


I met some friends from my walking club at the Jordan River Trail. Today is my Friday off, and Michelle wanted to go to her preschool, and Calvin is at school, too, of course. AND my regular Friday morning piano students canceled. Wow, some time to myself! Anyway, I met my friends and we chatted for 10 min or so before starting out. I'm younger than them (and hence faster) and so I knew I'd just see them at the start and on the way back. We all commented on the wind before we left. It was warm this morning at 41F (5C) but very, very windy. South wind at 20 mph (32 kph) with gusts of 25 mph. It felt pretty cold - so I dressed as if it were 20F outside: long-sleeved shirt and fleece on top, and tights and fleece on the bottom. The wind was steady and unrelenting. I headed south (into the wind) to start. At first I couldn't figure out why my legs felt like sludge and my times were so slow for the HR and effort. Duh! About 5km in it occurred to me that maybe it was the I looked forward to the turn-around at 7.5k. Sure enough, once I turned around, my times improved.

I saw my friends on the return and stopped for a couple minutes to chat again. I told them it was easier once you turned around! It was a hard workout because of the wind. Seriously, it's like hills. You don't gain going downhill what you lose on the uphill, and with the wind you don't gain with the tailwind what you lose with the headwind. I ended up with a 1:38:18 for 6:33/km with ave HR of 155. That is more than 2 minutes slower than last Saturday with a higher heart rate, but I don't think it's a reflection of my conditioning at all, just the wind. I mean, I might have been slower than last week without the wind, but who knows? It felt much harder today, but again, how can you compare? Anyway, I'm pleased that I got out there and did a pretty good pace despite the conditions. I had a nice negative split - 49:26 on the way out and 48:52 on the way back. Thanks, tailwind!

One down side was that I had to stop a couple times on the way back for intestinal cramps. Darn. Those haven't plagued me in a while. I wonder what it is that I ate yesterday? I wish I could figure that out. Well, it just added to the challenge today. It wasn't really a fun workout, but I'm glad I did it.

Garmin connect data here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

what we did in Mesquite

My friend Lani asked what we did in Mesquite last weekend, since we don't gamble or play golf. We were only there Friday night (late) through Sunday morning at 11 am. Basically, I racewalked, we read lots of books, shopped for certain items unavailable in Utah (ginger liqueur!), and sat by the pool. Oh, and had a pretty mediocre buffet dinner. It was great to just sit and do not much of anything. Seriously, if we'd been there a day or two longer we'd probably have gone bowling (they have a cool bowling alley), caught a movie, and done more reading and pool-sitting.

More Mesquite photos.


Oh, and today is a rest day :).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

weights, 10K

Today was weird. Last night I was at work from 9 pm to midnight doing a time-sensitive experiment. I figured I'd sleep until 6:30-6:45 then hit the gym for some weights, and fit in my 10K racewalking later in the day somewhere - maybe leave work early to do it. I did wake around 6:30 and went to the gym to lift, and while I was there I figured, "Hey, I could just take Calvin to school and then go racewalk BEFORE work, and be a bit late." The weather was amazingly warm at 50F (10C) but very, very windy. Seriously gusty knock-trash-cans-over windy. It is supposed to storm, and this is the "warm before the storm" that often happens here. The weather said possible rain turning to snow by 11am, so I thought going racewalking early was sounding better and better.

I took it easy on the lower body weights, knowing I'd be racewalking afterward. I did do walking lunges, but just used 15 lb/arm. Did some chest flys and calf raises and lat pull-downs, then also some bicep curls and tricep skull crushers. Then a good set of abs, including a 2-minute plank (haven't done one that long in a while). It's nice to be feeling better!

Then I drove Calvin to school, helped Michelle get dressed, and went racewalking. I was apprehensive I'd be slow after doing weight training, but happily, I felt great and was even faster than yesterday. I did the exact same route as yesterday and almost all my splits were significantly faster. However, the last 3K was mostly into the wind and uphill, and I was tired by then. I still pulled out a 1:04:11, 30 sec faster than yesterday. Everything felt great except that my left foot is still just the teeniest bit achy/warmish. I think it's going to be fine, and I'm not too worried, but I'm still just watching my form and monitoring it.

10K, 1:04:11, 6:25/km, ave HR 152. Garmin connect data here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


My calves were a bit sore this morning (I did calf raises yesterday after my 5K fartlek!). But the weather was nice at 34F (2C) and just the slightest breeze; a warm February morning for here. I'll take it - the cold and snow will be here tomorrow night through Monday at least.

It was a pretty uneventful 10K. I started off really well, but by 5K my legs were a little bit tired. I still did the 10K pretty fast, in 1:04:40, with ave HR 150. I worked it a bit at the end going up the slight hill, but other than that my effort was medium. I did feel kind of tired this morning; I haven't been getting quite enough sleep. My exercise-induced asthma was slightly noticeable. I was coughing a little during the workout and a fair amount at the end; my peak flow this morning was 450, which was pretty good. I took a little albuterol when I finished and the coughing is a lot better now.

My left foot is ever-so-slightly achy in the usual spot. I tried to focus a lot on my form to keep that pain at bay; hopefully it's just a little blip but I'll keep an eye on it.

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

5K fartlek under 30 min :)

There's nothing like a fast 5K to start your morning!

The NWS website said it was 40F (4C) with a slight breeze. They were wrong. My car thermometer said 35F and my house thermometer said 33. Still, it was a warm morning for here. It wasn't that windy either. I went to the track because after yesterday's warm weather in Salt Lake, it was free of snow :). It did have one small icy patch (about 2 strides long) but that wasn't bad.

I warmed up for 1600m in 10:29. Slooooowwwish for a warm-up, so I got a bit worried. I did a few dynamic flexibility drills, and my right hamstring was a little tight so I did some extra on that side. Otherwise, feeling decent. I figured I might be able to do this under 30:00 if I had a good day, but wasn't sure I was having a good day.

Then I started off. First km I felt I was working hard but it was only a 5:44. I just kept going. My recovery 500m was a 3:08, so then I figured maybe this workout would be OK after all. I pulled off a 2:50 for the next 500m and was encouraged. Then a 3:10 and 2:53 and I made it to 3K in 17:47 (a few seconds slower than last week's 3K fartlek). I thought I might just be able to do under 30 min for the 5K. I pushed pretty hard to get the last 2K fast - my legs started to get a bit tired. I still need to work on endurance, but it will come. Anyway, I managed 3:10 recovery, 2:53 fast, 3:12 recovery, and finally pulled off a 2:52 (working very hard!) to get my 29:58 total! Yay! I finished under 30 min! (My watch rounds down so the split totals don't equal the time total).

29:58, ave HR 165, 6:00/km. Garmin connect data here.

Sunday x-training

Still on vacation...I really wanted to RW because the weather is so nice here, but the coach said no. He wants me to save my energy for tomorrow's 5K fartlek. So I did 30 min on the bike and 30 min on the stair stepper in the hotel's small exercise room, and enjoyed talking with a nice couple vacationing from Saskatchewan. They were there for a month to golf. Heck, if I lived in Saskatchewan, I'd have to get away for a month in the winter, too. It's REALLY cold there!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

awesome 15K!!!!!

I felt really great today, and it showed.

We're vacationing this weekend in Mesquite, Nevada. It's a border town that exists to have a few casinos close to Utah, or something like that (gambling is legal in Nevada but not in Utah). Technically, it is on the Arizona/Nevada border, but it's only about 40 miles from Utah, all the same. It is also known for its many golf courses. However, we don't gamble, and we don't golf. We just want to get WARM! It's supposed to be 70F (21C) here today...ahhhhhh.

I took two puffs of albuterol before starting my walk, just in case. I checked my peak flows before and after my walk and they were about 460. I felt like I was breathing a LOT better today in the warmer air, and I didn't cough as much while I was out or when I finished. It was about 35F (2C) when I started my walk, but it was sunny and it felt great. I waited until the sun came up, because I had the luxury of doing so today. My parents are watching the kids so we can have a weekend alone :). I wore tights and a long-sleeved shirt and gloves. The gloves came off after about 2-3k, and I wished I'd worn shorts. Seriously! I am used to the cold now, so I get hot easily, and it was 46F (8C) when I finished.

This is the route that I chose. I wanted something mostly flat, and it was - mostly. It was a good downhill to start, and a good uphill at the end (the uphill on this loop was steeper than the downhill). It's pretty flat in the middle, but there was a hill from 5-6K that slowed me down a bit. I started off fast, with two sub-6:15 kms, and my slowest km was on the way back up a big hill between 12-13 km (the freeway overpass), at 6:41. I'm so pleased that 6:41 was my slowest today, since this was the longest I've gone in a while. I felt a bit tired from 10-15k, but not too bad at all considering the hills. My legs were pretty fresh until 10-11K, and now that I'm done I feel a little stiff, but overall I feel pretty good.

Total time was 1:35:53 for 6:23/km with ave HR 153. Yeah, I pushed harder than I originally intended, but I was doing SO well that I just got in a groove and went for it :). Garmin connect data here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday & Friday

Thursday I took a rest day, and it felt very good to rest.


Today I did the 6.3K Liberty Park route. It was the fastest I've done it in quite some time! It took me 40:35, for 6:24/km, with average HR 150. Yeah, I was pushing up the hill on the way back, but I felt good and strong and wanted to see how fast I could do it, without pushing TOO hard. It was fun! I am just so happy to be feeling pretty much normal again.

I did have a bit of a coughing fit when I got back, as is common these days. It's definitely exercise-induced. Yesterday when I didn't work out I didn't cough much at all - surprise, surprise. I measured my peak flow and got 430 right after the workout today. I took a couple puffs of albuterol and about 15 min later my peak flows were 460. It took a while for the coughing to subside, but it's better now. The albuterol makes me a bit jittery, but it really does the trick for the coughing.

Tomorrow I'm to do 15K (9.3 miles). That's the longest I've gone since the half marathon back in November. I am sure I'm up to the distance - the only question is what speed will I be able to do it at? I'm not going to push too hard, as I want to make sure my body can handle the distance without worrying too much about the speed.


I haven't been eating as well the past week or so. I'm such a sucker for good dessert, and they have been plentiful this week. I think I just need to go cold turkey for a while on the after-dinner noshing. My weight is up about a pound, and I really need to be going the opposite direction. I'm thankful for racewalking, because it does give me leeway to eat good desserts. However, I can't do it every night or I do gain, despite my physical activity. I'd really like to be down 6-7 lb by July, so it's time to get the scale moving in the right direction. I keep saying this, and don't do it. But I know I'll feel much better if I get this under control a bit. It is a constant battle, I admit. However, it's one that is worth the fight.


Edited to add: Garmin connect data from today's walk here.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

another 10k

I did another 10K today. I felt great when I started out, even though it was chilly (24F, -4C) with a slight breeze. My face got really cold by the end! But it was not as windy as yesterday, and the roads were 95% clear. However, about 3-4k I had a coughing fit, probably from the cold dry air, despite taking a puff of Albuterol before starting out today. Didn't seem to slow me down, though, but then I felt a bit wheezy for the rest of my walk. Still, I was fast to start off. Good thing, because about 7k my legs got really tired (I'm glad I'm taking a rest day tomorrow). I was able to keep pushing a bit but still lost ground especially since it was slightly uphill; my slowest km was 6:50.

Oh, and I regretted eating ice cream last night...GI pain dogged me at the end, too, and I had to stop a couple times. But in the end I still finished at 6:30/km for the 10K - watch says 9.77 because I clicked it off to wait for a car at one street and then didn't hit start again for a few tenths.

Also, saw a raccoon crossing the street and running up someone's front porch - that was pretty cool. They're pests but I kind of like them because they are clever and pretty cute.

Garmin connect data here.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

10K indoors

It was 23F (-5C) and windy this morning, plus we had about 2 inches of new snow and the streets were icy. It wasn't hard to decide to walk inside.

47.4 times around the indoor track (211m) is 10K. Wheeeeeee...I was going to feel like a mouse on a wheel, but it beat the treadmill. 5 times around the track is 1055m, and so at a 6:30/km pace that is 6:51.45 per 5 laps (or 1:22 per lap). I was going to time each lap, but my watch laps were getting full, so I settled for every 5 laps (after the first few laps), with one mess-up. Still, I can add up the times more or less :).

I felt good to start, and my HR was nice and low, but as the workout went on I had to work harder to maintain pace. At the end, I was averaging HR of 158! However, overall my ave HR was only 148 for my 10K, and total time was a respectable 1:05:19 (considering I'm coming off illness and all).

My 5-lap times were (ave HR if I have it): 6:48 (130-something?), 6:49 (143), 6:52 (145), 6:55 (148), 6:55 (148), 6:56 (151), 6:59 (152), 6:53 (154), 6:48 (158), last 2.4 laps 3:17 (158). Got a bit sluggish in the middle there, but pulled it out with a harder effort at the end. I felt good when I finished, though I did have a fair amount of dry coughing.

Hopefully I will be able to walk outside tomorrow!

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, February 07, 2011

new-to-us car

Drum roll...and here it is...2002 PT Cruiser with low miles and in pristine condition. We bought it from the family of one of my piano students. I spent a while today getting the emission and safety inspections and getting it registered (i.e. forking over lots of money in sales taxes, reg fees, etc.) at the DMV. Our mechanic says it looks very well taken care of :).

3+K fartlek (indoor 211m track)

In a hurry so just reporting the results for my coach. I felt great this morning! Times are 1055m fast, 527.5m med, then 527.5m fast, 527.5m med, 527.5m fast.

211m track times: 5:56.3, 3:20.5, 2:59.2, 3:24.5, 2:59.6, total 18:40.1 (19 sec faster than last week!).
Converted to 1K/500/500/500/500: 5:37.8, 3:10.1, 2:49.9, 3:13.8, 2:50.2 for 17:41.8.

Average HR 164 (higher than last week, but about the same as 2 wk ago).

I'm quite happy with this :).

Garmin connect data here.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

banished to the bike for a day

My coach banished me to the bike for the day. After the sluggish performance of the last two days, he thought a day of cross-training would be a good thing, and I agreed. It was kind of nice to just hit the bike and the elliptical (30 min each) and read Runner's World, listen to some tunes, people-watch, and have a relaxing workout. The weather was really nice today though - about 41F (4C) and sunny, and it was beckoning me to be outside. Weird that 41 feels so warm, but after the cold weather of about 10 days ago, it really does feel nice, especially in the sun. Anyway, thought I was tempted to racewalk outside, I dutifully hit the gym and did my thing.

Tomorrow: another 3K fartlek. Hoping for good things!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

look what I got in the mail today :)!!!!

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6 years!

I apologize in advance if this seems weird to celebrate, but today, February 5th, is my 6th anniversary of joining Weight Watchers. My life has not been the same since joining, and it is so much better that I really can't help but celebrate. Thinking of all the cool racewalking things I've gotten to do, never mind the hiking and biking and so much more, makes me truly grateful and in a celebratory mood.
This photo is of me and Calvin at a Christmas party in December 2004, just 2 months before I joined Weight Watchers.

Me this summer at the start of our club 5K. Look how happy I am to be out there! The joy on my face is unmistakable. The joy that I feel from the confidence and strength my sport has given me is hard to describe. But this is why I can stay on the program and eat (more or less! lol!) the way that is healthy for me. Before I was miserable & didn't like the person I'd become. Now I revel in the strength racewalking gives me. Sure, right now I'm not as strong as I could be, due to illness and other factors. But that is unimportant. I'm out there, I'm healthy, and I'm content.

sluggish 12K

Forgot to mention this but now it seems germane, possibly. I went to the doctor on Wednesday 2/2 for a follow up from my 1/7 visit re: the possible asthma. My peak flows have not improved at all on the FloVent medication (low dose inhaled steroid) and so the doctor and I wondered 1) do I really have asthma (aside from the exercise-induced kind, which I definitely do have), or 2) I have it and the dose is too low of the FloVent? The doc was thinking some pulmonary function tests might be indicated, but then again, maybe not. I am still coughing quite a bit though - the dry non-productive kind, and it gets worse w/exercise. If it wasn't for the continuing cough, the doc said he wouldn't be concerned. However, the cough gives both of us pause.

In order to have pulmonary function tests, you have to be off the FloVent for at least 2 weeks. So, since I was thinking it wasn't doing any good anyway, we decided that I should stop taking it and see how my cough is. If it is not better in a few weeks, or if it worsens, then we will get pulmonary function tests. If it gets better, we'll assume that I'm fine. All this means that Wednesday morning was my last dose of FloVent.

Obviously the stuff stays in your system for a while, but yesterday and today's workouts were a bit subpar by recent standards. Is this related to the FloVent? Probably not...but I'm going to keep tabs on it and see how things go.

On to today's workout. I had planned to do 12k, and that's what I did, even though I knew after about 4k that it was going to be a bit slower than last week. I started off well enough but just didn't have it today. I felt OK, so I'm not sure what the deal was! The only complaint going in was that I was a bit sleep-deprived (up an hour later than I'd have liked) and my abductors are slightly sore from the PT exercises I did yesterday (IT band preventive maintenance). Other than that, I felt fine, and the weather was even pretty nice by February standards at 33F (1C) and calm; the air quality wasn't bad at 16 (PM2.5).

The one bit of good news is that my legs felt less tired than last week. This week they didn't get too tired until about 10K, and the last 2K was not too fun (uphill...). Last week the last 4K was hard, so there's some improvement.

My time was slower though. Today I went 1:20:41 for 6:43/k, with ave HR 152. Garmin connect data here.

Friday, February 04, 2011

6K on treadmill

I woke up a bit late it was the treadmill for me, as I was to meet Lisa at the gym at 6:55. I had planned to go outside for 40-45 min and then go to the gym to lift, but instead I got to the gym and on the treadmill around 6:35. I really don't like the treadmill, but honestly, I'm also tired of the dark and the cold in the mornings, so I didn't mind quite as much today.

Well, I was on the treadmill, so I kept it at a constant speed, but my HR got pretty high for the speed that it was set on. I had it set for 5.7 mph (10:31/mile), which is about a 6:32/km pace. My HR started out pretty low, ave 132 for the first km, but it went up fast averaging 147, 151, 155, 158, then 160 for the last km...hmmm...sluggish today I guess. I did keep the 5.7 mph for the whole 6K though, which is one of the advantages of the treadmill I suppose. It felt like a pretty hard workout. Sigh...still pretty out-of-shape.

Tomorrow will be a longer workout - another 12km, probably. I hope it is a bit easier than it was last week, but I'm not so sure it will be. Long ways to go in the fitness department, but I have lots of time before my next serious race, so I must be patient. I'm just glad I can train again.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

rest day

I took a rest day today from exercising. It felt good to relax longer in bed and read a bit before going to work. Ahhhhh...

Back to the regular routine tomorrow. Probably some walking and some weight training.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

6.119K on indoor track

It was cold this morning, but not as cold as predicted. It was only 7F, but that was better than 0F (-18C)! It was supposed to be windy, too, but it wasn't. Had I known it would be 7F and calm, I would have walked outside. I still could have, but I was all packed & ready for the gym followed by heading straight up to work, so that's what I did. Actually, the indoor track is at the gym at the U, and I meet Lisa at the county recreation facility nearby, so I went to two gyms this morning. Yeah, I have two gym memberships. Kinda funny since I used to be a couch potato. I could just have one, but I talked Lisa into the membership first, and then when the weather turned nasty in the fall I realized it would be good to have one at the field house at the U so that I could use the indoor track rather than always having to do the treadmill. Besides, the county facility is much nicer and more comfortable in the summer (better air conditioning), so it's better year-round for weight training. I only need the U membership in the winter, and as part-time staff I can only buy 6 months at a time anyway, so it all works out.

Enough digression. I felt tired this morning (sleepy tired) after not enough sleep for a couple nights in a row. My legs were a tad sore (upper hamstrings/glutes) but other than that I felt OK. I was sluggish this morning, though. On the 211m track, 6:30/km is equivalent to 1:22/lap. I tried to keep that pace, but my body just wasn't into it this morning. Most laps were 1:23-1:24, and I settled into that rhythm because it felt right this morning. I finished 29 laps before it was time to go lift weights with Lisa. It took 40:24 for the 6.119K (211m * 29 laps), so I averaged 6:36/km with an ave HR of 150.


When I got to the other gym I didn't have a lot of time to lift weights because I chatted with Lisa too long (she was riding the stationary bike...should have hopped on the one next to her, but felt lazy!). I still got in a couple sets of stuff to help with my various weak spots, plus abs and stretching. I did walking lunges with 17.5lb in each hand/bench press w/30lb dumbbells then rowing machine (70 lb)/multi-hip abductors (80 lb), and finally some one-legged calf raises (body weight)/lateral raises (10 lb). Then core exercises that Lisa and I did together, plus stretching.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

cold but good

It was cold this morning. And it got colder while I was out there! It was 20F (-6.7C) when I started, but only 15F (-9.4C) when I finished, and now it's only 14F (-10C). It was just slightly breezy when I started, but the last 2.5km (uphill slightly) it was windy, gusting in my face. That was SO very, very cold!!! I was actually warm enough in my fleece except for the very end with the wind in my face.

Obviously a cold front just came through, and it's supposed to get colder - only 1F (-17.2C) tonight, they say, and windy. I think that tomorrow might be an indoor workout day. Even I have my limits. I love being outside, but not if I'm freezing. At least we don't have several feet of snow like the Midwest. Winters here are cold, but they are definitely warmer than Midwest winters. I lived in Wisconsin until I was 10 years old, and winter there is brutal.

Thankfully, winter is half over now I figure, so warmer weather is at least on the horizon now. One bright spot this morning was that it wasn't pitch black outside when I finished - it's getting lighter earlier :).

Anyway, I have to get to work, so I'll be brief: I had a great workout. I started a bit slow down the hill (1st km in 6:24) and felt that I didn't want to move faster, but managed to pick it up and did the 2nd km in 6:06. I kept a good pace for the next few km, and even managed to be pretty fast up the hill, at 6:42 and 6:40 for the uphill km. Even when I'm in good shape I tend to do those at about 6:37-6:38, so I am very happy with this.

Apparently I'm well recovered from yesterday's 3K fartlek. Total time 54:57 for the 8.5 km, for 6:28/km with ave HR of just 148. Not bad, not bad at all.

Garmin connect data here.