Thursday, March 31, 2011


I went to PIlates again tonight. It was the same instructor as usual for Tu/Th, but it was HARD tonight. Not sure if it was because I'd done 15K this morning or what, but there was a bunch of stuff that was seriously difficult. It kicked my butt - literally! My hamstrings and glutes are still really sore...good thing I'm not racewalking tomorrow. I'm going to spinning class, which won't be easy, but at least the hamstrings will get a bit of a rest. Then some weight training. Got to work hard if I'm going to be competitive in July!!!


I was apprehensive about this workout. I was quite tired (I bailed on my planned session with the video bike last night, because I was too tired), and everything was a bit sore. My hamstrings were VERY sore, but my calves & glutes were also sore. But you never know what is going to happen, and I ended up having a decent 15K.

I got a bit tired at 6-7k, but then got a second wind at 10K. I even managed the last 2K uphill at a 6:33 pace. Not bad! Everything still hurts, now that I'm done. I should stretch today, but probably won't find enough time. I'm going to Pilates tonight, though.

I'm late for work so no more details right now...gotta go!

Total 1:36:16 for the 15K, ave pace 6:25k, ave HR 152.

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Today was a recovery 10K. It actually felt fairly hard. My glutes and hamstrings were tired from yesterday - probably from the combination of the 5K fartlek and the Pilates. Anyway, my pace was erratic, and I had to really work to keep 6:30/km after about 4km or so. Oh well, at least it's done. Hopefully I haven't worked so hard that I have nothing left for the 15K tomorrow. Well, whatever doesn't kill me will make me stronger, right?

Oh, and it was 1:04:30 for 10K for 6:26/km with ave HR 151.

Garmin connect data here.


I was late to the gym for weight training, and also had to renew my membership. It's actually a bargain - $269/year (University of Utah discount price) for a gold pass, which lets me work out at any of the county facilities and also allows me to take unlimited classes - Pilates, spinning, etc. Anyway, by the time I started I didn't have that much time left to work out. My foot was definitely achy after this morning's 10K, so I made sure to do some PT exercises: balance on the dyna disk w/medicine ball toss against the wall, calf raises. I also did one-legged squats (body weight only), hip hikes (for abductors to ward off IT band problems), and some tricep dips. Then some core stuff w/Lisa: plank w/feet on foam roller (learned that in Pilates!), sit-ups on ball, hip-ups, heel touchers (for obliques). poor hamstrings!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I went to Pilates again tonight. I really like it - it's definitely not much in the way of cardio, and not as directly intense on individual muscles as weight training, but it really works the whole body in a very synergistic manner, especially the core. Tonight we did a lot of bridge work - for glutes and back, mostly. Some of the more interesting moves: bridges with feet on a foam roller, and then calf raises on the foam roller in the bridge position. Also, plank with the feet on the foam roller, then the same alternately lifting each leg. There were some tough balance moves, which is probably my weakest area. Anyway, it was good - and somehow even though it's taxing, it's very relaxing at the same time - darkened room, soft music, nice & quiet. Ahhhhh. No kid noise :).

5K fartlek

It was cold this morning, for the end of March. 28F (-2C) and it was windy, too. Almost windy enough to affect my times, but overall I don't think it was a factor.

I hit the track for this workout. The running club was there, but I got there late enough that by the time I did my 1600m warm-up in 10:09 (not bad!) and some dynamic flexibility drills, they were cooling down, and left lane 1 open for me.

This workout went pretty well. I gave it my all, and was pretty consistent from start to finish. I hit 3K in 17:53 or so, which is 9 seconds better than last week, and then I went on to do 2 more km. I'm improving, but now it's going to be a fight for each 10-15 seconds. It's going to take a while and I have to be patient. I have 3+ more months so hopefully I'll be ready by then.

Here are my 500m splits (rounded UP manually, since the watch rounds down on the Garmin connect website):

2:52, 2:53 fast
3:11 medium
2:53 fast
3:14 medium
2:52 fast
3:15 medium
2:54 fast
3:16 medium
2:53 fast

Total 30:12. Wow, that was a seriously consistent workout.

My foot felt fine this morning. Yay! Hopefully it will feel good the rest of the day as well.

I'm planning on Pilates tonight. I'm going to do all I can to be in the best shape ever. That's all I can do - work hard, and the rest is not up to me. My body will do what it's capable of.

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

a non-racewalking post :)

It's spring in Utah. That means daffodils...and snow on daffodils. Here are a few more shots of our yellow beauties.

I've been enjoying taking the kids to Diva's cupcakes for a little one-on-one time weekly. Calvin and I enjoyed some time together in the greenhouse two weeks ago. Some more photos here.

On Saturday, I took Michelle to a princess tea party at the zoo. Yeah, somehow, without my encouragement, she's become enamored of all things princess. Oh well, it's awfully cute! Her tiara belonged to my mom when she was a little girl, and then to me, and now it's Michelle's. More pictures here.

And speaking of Michelle, she asked me for a big rainbow pancake...and she got it :). Too fun!

Finally, in one of my finer parenting moments, I let Calvin run too fast on the treadmill. I was right there, and pushed STOP immediately, but face meets treadmill is not a pretty thing. Oops :(.


Today was an optional day, but I'm feeling good, so I decided to do some spinning and weight training. The spinning class was quite good, as usual. I pushed hard but not too hard - my HR was 155-160 in the harder segments but not higher. I want to save some energy for tomorrow's 5K fartlek.

Weight training: bench press (30 lb ea arm)/L foot PT dyna disk w/ball throws; calf raises (one-legged, body weight, 15)/lat pull-down (70 lb); lateral raises (10 lb ea arm)/lunges on dyna disk 15 each leg (foot PT); one-legged dead lifts 35 lb/tricep skull-crushers 12 lb ea arm. As you can see, I'm doing some foot PT. My left foot is ever-so-slightly achy and I want to stave off problems. I've been focusing on my RW form, too. Let's hope it stays manageable. I think it will.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

12K - better today!

I'm feeling better. The cold is mostly gone. I woke with a nasty headache though, and it was snowing lightly. Yuck. I decided to go back to bed and walk in the afternoon, as the weather was supposed to be nicer. It was :).

This afternoon it was 46F (8C) and sunny when I left on my walk. Capris and a long-sleeve shirt were just right - too hot at the start, but later the wind picked up and it became overcast, even raining just a bit at the end, and so I was glad I had the long sleeves.

I started off feeling pretty fresh, despite the 6K kickdown yesterday. I was really fast for the first 2K (it IS downhill, but not that steep), with 500m splits of 2:48, 2:57, 2:55, and 3:02, but my heart rate wasn't that high, so I just kept going, figuring it was going to be a good day. For the next 2K I did about 6:20/k, but my legs were getting heavy for some reason, maybe because I was going too fast? I don't know, because my heart rate seemed OK. I just kept on going. Just before 6K I passed the house of one of Calvin's friends, and his mom was outside raking, so I stopped to talk with her for a few minutes. The rest perked me up and I was able to continue at a good clip until 8.3K when I passed her again. Between the first and second time I saw her I decided I should invite their family over for dinner this week, so I stopped to talk to her again...I confess I didn't mind the rest! My legs were tired but when I continued I was able to hold up really well and posted some fast times up the hill - the last 2K had 500m splits of 3:13 (!), 3:22 (OK), 3:16, and 3:19. That's actually pretty fast for me for that 2K, and I was even happier with the total time. I finished in 1:16:20, with ave HR of just 151, and 2.5 minutes faster than on Wednesday for the same workout (and same route). Nice!

Two good workouts in a row. I think my body is recovering from all the insults of this winter. I'm encouraged and hoping for some more improvements this week.

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

6K kickdown

I still have the cold, but I'm feeling about 90% of normal now, so I figured a hard workout would be fine (and besides, I did a hard workout in spinning yesterday and then worked all day, and that went all right). The weather was chilly at 32F (0C), but it was calm and there was no precipitation, thankfully.

Today I was to do a 6K kickdown. Normally my kickdowns have been 4 splits, but since this one was so short, it was to be 3 splits of 2K each. Jim didn't say how fast to go - just however I felt, and to start a little faster than usual since it was just a 3 split kickdown.

I took his advice to heart! I know I always start these too fast, and I tried not to, but it's been a long time since I've done one, so of course I started too fast. I did have the help of the slight downhill on the north side of Liberty Park, but then I kept going too fast :). Oh well! I'm still happy with the workout. Why? 1) I did go faster on each split. 2) I had a very fast 6K overall, and I felt strong until the last 1.5 km; even then, I still managed to pull out a strong finish on the last 500m despite being very tired. 3) I now have a much better idea of pace than I did before. This takes a while to work out, especially after a layoff like I've had.

I really died on the last 1.5 km (though like I said I did manage a good last 500m). It hurt a lot, but in a good way. I feel I got a great workout, and that's the point.

Here are my splits: 2K (4x500m)

12:30 (3:06, 3:07, 3:04, 3:13)
12:00 (3:02, 3:00, 2:58, 3:00)
11:42 (2:52, 2:56, 3:03, 2:51)

Total time was 36:17 (my watch rounds down for some reason, hence the extra 5 seconds). I'm proud of this effort. It is 3 minutes faster than the hilly 6K I did in November when I was sick (OK, so this route was flat, and I'm feeling decent now though not 100% over my cold). I got to 5K in about 30:20, which is quick considering I started off at a 6:15/km pace. I felt really strong until the very end, and the endurance will return. I got a nice sense of confidence that I still have some good speed in there.

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, March 25, 2011


This morning I felt slightly better. I am still quite fatigued and have the runny nose and congestion, but I did feel better than yesterday morning, so there was no doubt in my mind that I'd work out.

Today I was to cross-train. I attended the 6-7 am spinning class at the gym, and it was very good. The instructor actually cared that our cadence matched the music - love that. As a musician, it drives me nuts when the cadence doesn't match. Anyway, the workout was hard and good - 5 x 5' aerobic threshold intervals. A little on the boring side, when you're on the stationary bike, but you're breathing hard and working it so it's not so bad. My HR was in the low 160s for most of the intervals, which was about right for aerobic threshold.

The weather has been so windy this week. I was glad I wasn't outside, as it was horrible this morning. It's supposed to snow a couple inches today, and maybe a bit more tonight. Looks like it could possibly be OK for an outdoor workout tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, as I have a 6km kickdown to do, and I'd prefer to do that outside if possible. Because it's spring break at the U, the indoor track won't be open until late tomorrow, so my only other option is the treadmill.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

still sick; 10K

I am still sick today. However, I woke up feeling much better than I did last night. That's not unusual for me, as I generally feel worse at night when I'm sick. I was really on the edge of doing my workout or not. I have a dry cough, a runny nose, swollen lymph nodes, congestion, and fatigue. But I felt like I could get through a workout OK, and when I checked the weather it said it was a very warm 55F and not raining yet! I looked outside, and my thermometer was reading 45F but it wasn't raining. Cool! Decent weather! So I got dressed for outside and started down the street. It was gusty and windy, but then it started to rain. Ugh. I had this feeling if I continued that it was going to pour, as we were supposed to get quite a storm. And I hadn't brought my rain jacket, and I started to think about the fact that I was sick, and the treadmill started to look appealing. After all, I could stop at any time if I didn't feel well, I could do a load of laundry while I was on it, and control the environment, more or less. So, I turned around and headed back home.

I threw on my new shorts (the ones I bought for World Masters) and hopped on the treadmill. I figured it would be a disaster, but it went well! I did stop at 30 min for about 3 min to move the laundry from the washer into the dryer (multitasking at its best!), and then 15 min later for a drink of water (another benefit of being indoors), but other than that it was steady. I had done about 2/3km (0.4mi) outside, so I had 5.8 miles to go inside. I did most of the indoor part at 5.8mph, and the last 1.4 km at 5.7mph. The outside portion took me 4:30, and the inside part took 60:15, for a total of 1:04:45 with ave HR 149. Not bad! I'm glad I did the workout. However, I'm paying. I'm really tired, so I'm leaving work early to get a nap before I have to pick up the kids from school.

Garmin connect data here.


Treadmill ruminations - I wanted to see how my treadmill did in terms of calculating pace, etc. I timed it for 0.62 miles (1km) at 5.8 mph and it was consistently 6:24-6:25. That's pretty close. It should be 6:25.8. The one km I did at 5.7 mph was 6:32, also right about spot on. The one question I still have about my treadmill is whether it is actually flat. My basement floor is not very flat (hey, it's a 1940 house!), but I have it in a spot I think is flat. I didn't have time after my workout to run to the garage and get the level, but I'll do that this afternoon. I'm curious. I think it's pretty close, but I'm not sure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

sick again :( :( :(

I've been feeling worse and worse throughout the day today. Tonight I feel terrible. I had to come into work for a little to do an experiment but I'm headed right home to bed. I didn't go to the gym tonight for x-training, as I felt lousy. I'll be lucky if I feel good enough for my 10K tomorrow. I probably won't. I'm coughing now, which means it's in my chest, which is usually how I decide whether I'm working out or not. If it's in the chest, I bail out :(. I have had sore throat, runny nose, swollen lymph nodes, and now, the cough. UGH. Hopefully this virus won't last like the one last fall...

12K; other stuff

I figured today might be slow. It was, but not too bad, all things considered.

Weather: 32F (0C) and breezy. It was kind of chilly! I wore my fleece, and that seemed about right. It was clear, though, which was nice. March-May are the rainiest/snowiest months in SLC, so I'm glad for every day that is clear.

I started off well - 6:14 and 6:11 for the first 2km. But the 3rd km was 6:27 and I knew it would be a slog after that. I managed to keep the pace OK for the most part, though by 6km I wondered if I was going to be 6:45/km average! My legs were tired. However, I just kept trying to keep my cadence and that seemed to work OK. My HR was not that high, but my muscles were complaining and I just felt sluggish. I picked up a bit around 9 km and did a 6:31, and did decently on the last uphill, so it was really just from 5-9km that was quite slow.

Total time 1:18:50 for 6:34/km and ave HR 151. It's a decent start. I have another 12K on Sunday and I'll do better.

Garmin connect data here.


I did Pilates again last night from 5:30-6:20pm. The kids were at swim lessons so it worked out well. It was a good class and I'm the tiniest bit sore today in the abs. I noticed because I did weight training this morning after my 12K and the core part was a bit sore.

So far I'm doing well adding in the Pilates and some extra x-training. Hoping to make it to the gym tonight for some stationary bike time. My cold is still annoying me, though - I'm tired, not sleeping the best, and still have a runny nose. Grrrr!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

3K fartlek

Last night when I went to bed, I noticed I had a bit of a sore throat. Loren is recovering from a fairly nasty cold that kept him out of work on Friday, so I wasn't that surprised. I hoped it wouldn't get bad enough to keep me from my workout. Plus, it was supposed to snow. I can always work out at the indoor track on weekdays, so at least I had a backup.

This morning I didn't feel great when I got up; I still had the slight sore throat and also a touch of a runny nose, but it wasn't bad enough to keep me from my workout. I was also a bit sore from weight training yesterday.

The weather was sort of cooperative. It was 35F (2C) and snowing lightly-moderately, but at least it wasn't windy. Definitely better than the indoor track! I thought that the outdoor track might have snow on it. There was quite a bit of snow on the grass, but none on the road, so I opted for a road workout.

I warmed up doing a mile (1600m) downhill in a nice fast 9:48. I didn't feel that great for the first 1/2 mile or so; my legs were heavy and mentally I wasn't into it. However, by the time I finished the warm-up I was feeling better.

I started off with a reasonably fast 1K, with 500m splits of 2:48 and 2:52 on the very slight downhill. My legs felt all right, though I knew I'd tire fast. My first recovery was a disappointing 3:16, but I redeemed that with a 2:52 for the next 500m fast. I managed a 3:15 for the next recovery, but knew I'd pay in the last 500m. My legs didn't have much left, nor did my lungs. I just wanted to finish under 3:00 on the slight uphill, and I did, in 2:57. My total time was 18:02, which is over 30 seconds faster than Friday. That's good. It's still a pretty slow time, though, but I guess I can't expect much better right now, and that's OK. I'm just going to have to be patient, which I'm not good at!

Ave HR for the whole workout was only 163, so I guess I could have pushed harder? I don't know - it felt very hard at the time. At least I got a good workout. Hopefully my cold won't get too much worse. I'm feeling fairly tired and out-of-sorts now, so I'll try to get to bed early if possible. I am supposed to do 12K in the morning, and will have to be up early to finish in time to meet Lisa for some weight training.

If I feel up to it this evening, I plan to go to a Pilates class from 5:30-6:20. I'd really like to go, but if my cold gets worse, I might not.

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Today I was to cross-train. I took a nice hard spinning class for an hour, and then lifted weights. Everything is feeling pretty good, but my left foot is slightly sore again. Grrrr. Hopefully it will be OK if I watch my form and baby it.

I've been exercising well with my new determination, but the food part has not been so good. I weighed 155 this morning, which is about 10-12 lb above where I would like to be in July. Not good. Time to stop the stress eating (which doesn't help anyway) and find something to replace it with. That's this week's challenge. Ideas: read with a cup of hot tea, take a bath, play the piano. I'm going to try some of these this week.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

an old favorite

I wasn't sure I'd get to walk today, as the weather was iffy. It did snow last night, but it wasn't cold enough to stick to the street, just to the grass, and it stopped before I got up. Yay! I decided to do my old favorite route, SugarHouse Park. It's quite hilly, and so usually I avoid it when I'm trying to keep a certain training pace, but I think hills are actually quite beneficial, so I may do it more. In fact, I did manage to keep less than a 6:30/km pace on the hills today, though not without a good amount of effort.

The first km is a killer, up the steep hill by my house. It's always slow, and this time I did it feeling heavy-legged, in 7:18. I thought I was going to have a hard time after that - my legs were quite tired, and hamstrings still sore from weights on Friday. But I picked up the pace as much as I could and the 2nd km (slight downhill) was 5:59! I have no idea where that came from. I was encouraged, and kept pushing. It was chilly at 35F (2C), but beautiful with the snow and the pink glow from the sunrise. I love SugarHouse Park.

Around the park I went, doing the hills in quite respectable split times of 6:25 and 6:19, and then still managing the slight uphill to the 5th km in 6:34. Then I got to coast down the nice big hill at a 5:42km pace for the last 0.8 km and finished in 37:14 for 6:25/km, with ave HR of 153. I thought my ave HR was higher, as at times I was really pushing. Overall I'd say it was a moderately hard effort, about like yesterday. It was therapeutic for sure.

Garmin connect data here.


I'm about to go to the gym and hop on the bike for some cross-training. Jim suggested that extra cross-training was a really good way to improve my speed, so I am going to take it to heart and do the extra work. I'll enjoy a good book while I'm there at least :).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

by way of explanation

It is probably clear to the readers of my blog that something odd has been going on with me. I have gone back and forth a lot in my mind as to whether I should write about this or not. However, after discussing it with friends and a reader of this blog (you know who you are...thank you!), I decided that it might be good therapy to write about it, and that it has potential to help some others or at least open up a bit more what seems to be a taboo subject in our society. Why that is, I'm not sure, and I think it would be more healthy if it wasn't that way. So I'm going to do my small part to make a difference.

If you are squeamish or sensitive, you might not want to read this. I'm not going to be graphic, but it's not a tame subject. You've been warned. Otherwise, read on.

On February 22nd or so, I was wondering a bit why I hadn't gotten my period. It's quite regular at 26-28 days and it was day 28. Insert a bit of history here - I have a severe luteal phase defect (7 days on average instead of 14) and my two children were conceived with the aid of fertility drugs. I was at the grocery store with the kids and thought to get a pregnancy test just in case (though I highly doubted I could be pregnant, since we weren't trying or taking any medication). They didn't have any on obvious display and I was in a hurry so I skipped it. Two days later, I knew I'd better settle the question, because it was nagging me even more. I picked up some tests and hurried home and took one. I about passed out with surprise when it was positive. I was shocked, a bit angry, kind of freaked out, and in disbelief. I spent the day in a fog and arranged for a sitter so I could take Loren out to dinner and tell him. He was equally shocked, but to his credit, he took it much better than I did and was even happy about it. I started to relax and get a bit excited about the whole thing.

Over the next 10 days or so I took it easy with my workouts (no more speed work, fewer miles, etc.) and planned things out in my head. I knew I shouldn't get too excited, as the risk of miscarriage increases a lot with age, and I was almost 41. Still, it was impossible not to think ahead and anticipate things like how great my kids would be with a new baby, how much my parents would enjoy it, etc.

On Monday, March 7, the day before my birthday, I had a very small amount of bright red spotting. Uh-oh. I freaked out and was quite upset. Funny, since this had been unplanned, but I guess the mother instinct is very strong. The spotting stopped and I was relieved and thought maybe it was OK. But on Tuesday night when I was out celebrating my birthday dinner with my friend Sarah, it started up again. It wasn't that much bleeding, but I was concerned and called the doctor the next morning. He saw me right away and did blood work to check my HCG levels. The next day I checked in with him and the levels were really good at 25000 (I was 6 wk 2 days pregnant at that point). He scheduled an ultrasound to see if all was well, and it looked great. I saw the baby's heart beating, and it was SUCH a relief, and such a gift to see that little heartbeat. The doctor said that things were much more likely to be OK after seeing the heartbeat, and he said the small amount of bleeding I was having was most likely due to the placenta's location - it was probably a bit over the cervix and it would move as the uterus grew, and the bleeding would probably stop in 7-10 days. He did say not to exercise until the bleeding had stopped, and I had already been cautious enough to stop, reluctantly, but realizing the necessity. He is a great doc and didn't promise that things would be OK, but just said it was more likely after seeing the heartbeat on ultrasound, and that things looked good at that point.

Well, unfortunately, things didn't stay OK. It was quite a rollercoaster week, emotionally. On Saturday, March 12th, I awoke at 5 am with severe pain. I knew it was really bad within 10 minutes or so, and I woke Loren up, telling him I knew I was having a miscarriage. The pain was bad enough that I had to breathe through the waves, almost like being in labor. It continued like that for 2 hours, and of course the bleeding increased. It was terrible, physically and emotionally. I cried the whole 2 hours, both from pain and from terrible sadness at the profound loss. Thankfully, the pain abated after 2 hours, and I was able to sleep for a while. The rest of the day was spent a bit in a fog. I cancelled my piano students, didn't do anything else I'd planned, and we ate dinner out so I wouldn't have to cook. I mourned and cried, but also hugged Calvin and Michelle tighter, re-realizing what a gift they are.

I didn't go to the ER, because Loren (trained in family practice though not practicing medicine now) said it wasn't necessary. I did go to see my doctor right away on Monday morning. He and his office staff were wonderful. I need to send them a thank-you note. They handled it so professionally and with so much compassion. They got me out of the waiting room full of pregnant women ASAP, found a comfy room to sit me in, and gave me some bereavement materials to read while I waited for the doctor, who was quite busy that morning. He was great, though. He did have to examine me, and it was rather uncomfortable, but I wanted him to do his job to make sure I was healthy. The main risk is infection, especially when you have been bleeding before a miscarriage, and even more so if there is any tissue that is not expelled. He didn't find anything, but of course didn't probe too much either, as early on the body is pretty good at taking care of things itself. He did prescribe antibiotics for me, which I am usually loathe to take as I don't like increasing antibiotic resistance. However, this time I agreed that it was wise, and have been dutifully taking them and enjoying the lovely GI side effects (no more details needed).

It's been a week today since this happened, and it's been tough. I think maybe I'm over the worst of the emotional pain now, but I'm not sure. A lot of things remind me of the loss; seeing a 5-year-old holding her 1-year-old sister's hand in Diva's Cupcakes and Coffee nearly sent me over the edge on Tuesday. Similar things have cropped up all week. I knew we wouldn't try again for another child, so in a way I'm mourning that as well; we had thought our family complete until this happened, but of course now a small part of me wanted another child, even if it was impractical. I had so many mixed feelings. Mostly profound sadness, but also some frustration. I had been disappointed that I wouldn't get to do the World Masters, but I figured I'd go cheer my friends on, and that I'd have the reward of a beautiful child at the end. Now that wasn't going to happen. Yes, I could still do the races, but how would I get back in shape again? So many setbacks this year. My body has been through a lot and I wonder how hard it will be to get it back into racing shape. I know women do this all the time - Kara Goucher and Deena Kastor, world-class runners, have both recently given birth, which is much more than I went through this time, and they are going to try to get back in shape for the 2012 Olympics.'s a daunting task, made more complex by the fact that I'm an emotional eater and I've gained 5-6 pounds through all of this. I'm getting distracted here; I was talking about my feelings. Anyway, most of my feelings were sadness and depression-type feelings, with a few small feelings of relief (mostly financial!) mixed in. It has been so weird. I sometimes don't even know how I feel. Mostly it's just been very, very hard.

Racewalking has been great therapy this week. I should say first that my doctor cleared me for all kinds of exercise on Monday. On Tuesday, I was feeling terrible, and racewalking helped me to snap out of the lousy funk I was in when I woke up. Of course, racewalking has been a bit of a mixed bag, as I struggled through a simple 3K fartlek workout yesterday. However, I was expecting that, and it didn't upset me too much; still, it was hard. Today was good, as I managed a decent 10K, though not a great one. Given my condition it was as good as could be expected, though. I think I did lose a fair amount of blood, and my hormones are probably going crazy, so what can I realistically expect?

Another great therapy this week has been planning ahead for the World Masters and a fun summer vacation with the family. I chatted with friends this week and arranged for the three other "coachees" of my coach Jim to stay with me at my brother's house just outside of Sacramento during the races. It's going to be a lot of fun rooming together and racing together. My brother is out of town then and graciously made his home available to us, for which I am really thankful. We plan for Loren and the kids to join me there a few days before the 20K (the last race), and then we are planning a family trip to Disneyland after that. Thinking ahead to good times, enjoying my kids, working out, and working hard at my job have kept me sane this week, along with the comfort of my friends and family and my faith.

Then there have been the more surreal aspects of this. I didn't think I'd have to be worrying about birth control. Hahahaha. Well, I had to talk to the doc and Loren about that and come up with some plans for what to do. It's been interesting, and I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that we are doing all we can to be sure we don't go through this again. That makes me a bit sad, oddly enough, but I know it's the wise thing to do. We knew that since we weren't using birth control previously that this could potentially happen, but thought it quite unlikely given my history, and were willing to take the small chance that we could have another child. We discussed it a couple times a year to be sure we were still willing to take the small risk. But now we know that the risk might be slightly greater, so we really have to take action.

Well, that's the end of the story for now. I know it's going to be a while before I feel totally normal again, physically or emotionally, but I do feel I'm on the road to recovery. Writing about it has indeed been therapeutic, and I hope it benefits someone out there as well. At least my blog for the past few weeks should make a little more sense now to my readers. If you've gotten this far, thanks for reading and thank you for your support.


I have a new sense of determination. I have been dealt some lousy cards, but I can choose how to deal with it. I can either feel sorry for myself, eat too much crap, dwell on my slow racewalking (currently slow but not permanently so!), and generally be miserable, OR I can work to turn things around as well as I can. I can't control all the circumstances, but I can do what I can to get back in shape, and even try to get in the best shape of my life.

This morning I woke determined to walk the best 10K that I could. (I was to do it tomorrow, but weather is dictating that I swap things around; if I can walk tomorrow, I will, but it's iffy). My hamstrings were a bit sore this morning from the weight training yesterday, but I figured that wouldn't matter too much. I started off trying to keep a nice fast cadence and settle into a quick rhythm. I was a bit disappointed in the 6:22 for the first km, which is half downhill and half flat. However, I just kept on going. The second km was a bit better, in 6:16, and I kept the pace for the third km, also in 6:16. I noticed my HR was a bit higher than I'd like, and I wondered how long I'd be able to keep a good pace. My legs were a bit tired by 3-4 km, as they have been this week, and I thought that the wheels might fall off sooner or later. However, it never happened. I kept pushing, and my body kept responding. I continued with the 4th km in 6:23, and worried about the 5th km which is often slow on this route (don't know why since the 5th km is flat), but I did it in 6:23 also. I still kept wondering how long I could hold the pace, and got into Liberty Park in the 6th km in 6:13 (nice downhill for part of that one). I was now beginning to hope I could go under 1:05 for the 10K. On this route, the last 3 km are the hardest. I got to 7km in 6:16, and then the real work began. The last 3km is a gradual though noticeable uphill. I did them in 6:36, 6:37, and 6:38! I was quite happy with that.

Total time 1:04:04 for the 10K; ave HR was pretty high at 157 because I channeled much of my recent frustration into this walk, and pushed moderately hard.

Garmin connect data here.


In keeping with my new determination, I have decided to figure out how to attend some Pilates classes. My coach keeps telling me it would really be helpful, and I keep thinking I don't have time. Well, I'm going to make time. I went this morning after my walk to the 8:30-9:15 am Pilates class at the gym. It was good - parts of it were quite challenging, and parts of it were just a nice good workout.

Friday, March 18, 2011

starting over yet again...3K fartlek

This was my first speed work since February 21st, and it showed. I knew it would be slow. I was hoping for 18:00-18:15, but that turned out to be overly optimistic.

I had a good warm-up; 1600m in 10:18 with ave HR of 147. I felt pretty good. The weather was OK; it was clear and 38F (3C) but quite windy, so it felt cold. I kept my fleece on for the whole workout. Every time I went around the one side of the track, the wind blasted me in the face. I don't think it slowed me down very much - maybe 10 seconds for the whole workout? No, the only excuse for today is that my body is recovering and I just have to be patient with it.

I did some dynamic drills after my warm-up and then quickly set about the workout. It was too cold to do much else, with the wind! The first km felt a little hard, but OK. I did it in 5:50, which is pretty slow for me, but I figured I'd be all right. However, I knew I was in trouble when I saw my first 500m recovery - it was only 3:18, at least 10 sec slower than usual. Ugh. Then the 500m hard was very hard indeed. My lungs were OK but the legs were not. There was just no gas in the tank. I wanted to go faster, but I just couldn't. I only did a 3:01 for that 500m, and then a very pathetic 3:26 500m recovery. Finally, the last 500m came, and none too soon. I was wiped (how sad is that?). I went all-out and managed a 2:59. Wow, that was slow.

Total time was 18:34 with ave HR of 165. I'm pretty sure that's the worst I've ever done for this workout. I'm trying to keep a good attitude, though. I can only get faster from here, right? It's just hard. This week has been extremely mentally challenging, and I don't feel I have a lot of reserve to draw on. I just have to keep going. The times will get better - I know that. I have to hang in there until they do, and just do the hard work without the payoff. The payoff will come eventually, but for now, I just have to do the work.

Garmin connect data here.


After the workout, I went to the gym and lifted for a while with Lisa. I did bench press (30 lb each arm)/abductor machine (80 lb); then military press (20lb each arm)/calf raises (one-legged, body weight), lat pull-down (70lb)/hamstring machine (60 lb); then core work. Sit-ups, toe-touchers, Russian twists all with medicine ball; 1 min plank, then repeat the medicine ball routine. Then we did rows and bicycles. It was a good hard set. I noticed that I am pretty weak after not lifting for a couple weeks. That too will return with time and more lifting.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

rest day

I was up late last night doing a hypoxia experiment at work, and I felt I needed the rest, so I slept in (for me) until 6:30 am, lounged around reading for 30 min, and then got up. It felt good. I am supposed to start getting back in the groove tomorrow with a 3K fartlek, so the rest seemed appropriate. Not that a 3K fartlek is a long workout or anything, but I've been through a lot lately and it's better to err on the side of caution. However, this does mean I have to be more careful about what I eat! So far, so good :).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

5K & elliptical

It was amazing outside this morning - the freak warm & windy spell that means a spring snow is on the way. I could do without the snow, but the warmth this morning was great. It was 60F (15C) and I wore shorts and a T-shirt! So nice!!! I woke a little late, as I'm still getting used to the time change, but I had time for 5K before I was supposed to be at the gym to meet Lisa.

I didn't start out that fast, considering the downhill and all - my first km was the second slowest, in 6:30. But I picked up speed as I went, and though my glutes and hamstrings were just slightly sore from yesterday's effort, I was able to do the other km in 6:27, 6:25, 6:17, and 6:40 (uphill) for 32:21 total. Ave HR was only 148, so I'm pleased with today's walk. Hopefully the improvement will continue and I'll be back in racing shape. It feels a bit like an uphill battle: 1) the mental aspect of regaining fitness, 2) the 5 lb I gained due to stress eating/physiologic factors, 3) the inactivity of last week. However, all of those can be overcome with time and effort. I've just got to try to stay positive and move in the right direction.

On a related note, I registered for the World Masters last night - I am signed up for the 5K, 10K, and 20K. Can't wait! I'm going to stay at my brother's house (he'll be out of town) with my friends Nyle (from New Zealand), David (from Australia), and Lis (from Colorado). I'm excited!


After the 5K I went to the gym to meet Lisa, who wasn't there. So I decided to do 20 min on the elliptical. I need a little extra cardio to get rid of that 5 lb...sigh. I did 2.5 miles in the 20 min - 8 min/mile pace. My legs were tired after the 5K but to still manage that pace on the elliptical was good.

Garmin data from 5K here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

moving forward

This morning I woke up feeling quite down. I woke up early, w/o alarm, at 5 am. I just sat there thinking and feeling a bit sorry for myself for an hour or so. I wasn't at all in the mood to racewalk, but I knew I had to do it in order to get out of my self-pitying funk. So I dragged my sorry behind out the door and as usual, was not the least bit sorry. By 2K into the workout I felt much, much better.

Then I started to push harder, because I was feeling a bit angry and it felt good to exhaust myself physically. I pushed hard and was well under 6:30/k at 4 km (about 6:18/km) before the uphill home. I was originally thinking to do 8.5k, but after 3k I knew I wasn't up to that physically, at least not today. So after one loop of Liberty Park, I tackled the uphill back home and the 5th km was in just 6:21 (!). I don't think I've done that km of that route faster even when I'm in great shape. Then I was tired and did the next one in 6:38, which is average for me for that km when I'm in good shape, so still fast for my current condition.

I finished the whole route in 40:29, for 6:25/km, with ave HR 156 (yeah, pushing...). The endorphins lasted for an hour before I started feeling a bit down again, but I have gotten through the day pretty well, which is much better than how I would have felt had I not racewalked. A good part of the mood lift was due to my speedy pace, which helped me have confidence that my speed will be back soon, with training, rest, and good nutrition.

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Easing back into things gradually...very gradually. Today I did 30 min on the stationary bike, and got some much-needed conversation with my friend Lisa in the process. It's good to have girlfriends to process things with! The bike felt fine - no big deal. I felt like I easily could have done another 30 minutes. In addition, I got official medical clearance today to exercise however I like :). Yay! I'm not going to overdo, though, but with the base I had before, it shouldn't take long to be back in the swing of things.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

very slow, but back at it

After not exercising all week, I just had to get out and racewalk. It's going to take a while to get back in shape again after my latest setback...ugh. Hopefully I have enough time before the World Masters in July. Well, I will just do what I can to get as fast as I can, and that's all I can do. I have to say that this morning's performance was fairly pathetic, but I suppose that is to be expected.

I did the 6.3K Liberty Park route in 44:42, for a paltry 7:04/km. But average HR was 152, so I was working hard enough. I shouldn't be too hard on myself, as that is all my body will do right now. That will change, and I'll be back. It's just going to take some time, which is the one thing I don't have enough of. Too many setbacks this winter; very frustrating.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'll be back soon

Sorry I've been gone for a few days. I've had some personal issues to attend to. Everything is going to be OK, and I don't want anyone to worry. Really! Anyway, I did have to take a little time off exercising this week, but I am going to be back in the swing of things soon, training hard for the World Masters in Sacramento! :)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

rough couple of days...

It's been a rough couple of days. I did manage 15 min stationary bike + 45 min weight training yesterday, but today was definitely a rest day...and probably tomorrow too...

Sunday, March 06, 2011

short recovery walk

After the longer distance of 15.3K (9.5 miles) yesterday I decided to do a shortish recovery walk today. I took it very easy and did the SugarHouse Park route (5.8 hilly km) in 42:22. Ave HR only 142 - kept it very slow & easy. I felt really good - my hamstrings were maybe slightly sore but everything else felt great. That's how I want to be feeling as I gradually add a few more miles/km until the 1/2 marathon I'm doing on April 16th.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

cross-training; very easy 15K

Yesterday I cross-trained - the weather was originally supposed to be bad, but then it was beautiful. Had I been paying closer attention, I would have racewalked a bit I think, but that's OK. Instead I did an hour on the bike and 30 min on the elliptical, adn finished one book for book club (Taroko Gorge by Jacob Ritari - it was OK), and started another book, The Lazarus Vendetta, a fluffy-ish techno-thriller a bit like Robin Cook but better written. You need something kind of fluffy to keep your mind occupied when cross-training, I think!


Today I just wanted to get out there today and do the distance. It's been a couple weeks since I did 15K, and there is a half marathon (21.1K) that I want to do nice & slow on April 16th, so I need to keep some long days under my belt.

The weather was great today - 40F (4C), overcast, and calm. Very nice. I just wore a long-sleeved shirt and tights, and gloves. I carried water because I knew I'd be out a while - knew I would be slow, and that was fine. It felt great to be out there, and I thoroughly enjoyed my slow walk. I ended up taking a different route - just randomly went some places - and so it turned out to be 15.34k (9.5 miles). Total time 1:49:14 for 7:07/k. Garmin connect data here.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Wednesday & Thursday

Wednesday: I did an hour on the bike & elliptical (30 min each) followed by abs with Lisa. Meant to do weight training too, but got up late and it didn't happen.

Thursday: Up late last night for work (36 hour time point...sigh...), so I felt tired and a bit lightheaded this morning. I also had a few GI issues even before I went out. So I decided to go short and take it really easy. I actually enjoyed my walk a lot; it rained very lightly on and off but it was warm at 40F (4C) and it felt great to be out there. I got in a nice slow rhythm and just kept it there on this hilly route. Took me longer than the watch time because I hit stop and then forgot to start again at an intersection, and so I missed about 4 minutes. I did 5.8k at only 7:06/km, but hey, at least I was out there. Garmin data here.

Oh, I have some new shoes that were mentioned on one of the racewalking Yahoo! groups, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. They are New Balance 205s, and they are light yet supportive, and they just feel really good. I got them on sale for $30 or so at Joe's New Balance outlet. Nice! Today was the 2nd day I wore them, and they are fantastic.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

still taking it a bit easy

I'm still taking it a bit easy, as I was feeling off on Saturday night/Sunday.

Monday: stationary bike 45', then weight training.

Today: 8.6k in Liberty Park at 6:35/km. I felt pretty darn good. I was thinking to do 8.5K (twice around the park, plus to and from home), then was thinking no, maybe 6.3K (once around the park). I felt good after once around, so I did twice. It was nice this morning - chilly, but nice. It was 30F (-1C) but calm and clear. It's supposed to get up to 50F (10C) today! Yay! The worst of winter is over. However, we will still have some quite cold & snowy days. Still, it's nice that it's warmer.