Wednesday, February 29, 2012

still sick

I woke up feeling lousy. My cough has moved deeper into my chest and I'm hoarse and sound nasty. Again, I didn't work out, but I did manage to get to work. Busy week at work, so I really have to be here. Midday I seem to feel a bit better but then by evening I have been feeling lousy again. Maybe today will be different? I can always hope.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I'm feeling worse today. I have managed to drag myself into work, and am getting something done, but there was no way I was walking 15K or any km this morning. I would prefer to be in bed...

Monday, February 27, 2012


I felt lousy this morning when I woke up. Congestion, nasty sore throat, and cough. Not just a dry cough any more, but one in my chest. Uh-oh. However, I figured that I'd give it a shot, because the coach said to see how I felt. I didn't feel really tired, just had the nasty cold symptoms. So...what the heck.

We are visiting Mesquite, NV for a little sun and warmth. We got stuck here an extra day when our car broke down (oil hose failure; under recall thankfully...had it towed to the Toyota dealer in St. George and got a rental car; car is now fixed and we're driving home today). I looked up the local high school, and sure enough, they have a track. A pretty decent track, actually. I drove over there and it was open :). Yay! there were a couple people walking/running on the track, but it was generally quiet. Here are a couple photos. There was a nice view from the track but I neglected to get more pics of that before I left. You could see across the desert valley to the mountains.

I warmed up for 1600m in 9:58, feeling decent. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad? I did some dynamic stretching and then took off. I was to do 5x2km with 3 min rest (usually this workout has 2 min rest, but again, Jim had mercy on me). I took it nice and easy and controlled on the first 2km interval. 11:19.9. Not bad, and I felt fine, other than a bit of extra coughing and snot (TMI, sorry...). The second one felt good, too, and I finished that in 11:19.8. I was beginning to think this might be a good workout, but I had to take it easy so that I had enough for 3 more. Still, I felt pretty good, weirdly enough. I pushed a little harder on the third one and got there in 11:17.9. For the 4th interval, I knew I could push a bit more, since I'd only have one left. I still felt strong and good (excepting the hacking and coughing I did during each rest interval), and I did the fourth one in 11:14.7. Wow! Nice negative splits! I was a little tired but not bad, and I knew I could nail the last one. I gave it a good hard effort and finished in 11:14.0! Halfway through, the high school kids came onto the field for their PE class, but I was able to finish fine (though I did get a few snarky comments...whatever!). My heart rate was up to 165 at the end of the last one, so I was working it good and hard. Still, it felt easier than the 3x2km last week. I attribute some of that to altitude, as it is only 1600ft here vs 4500ft at the track in SLC, which does make speed work easier for sure. When I did speed work in Davis, CA, before WMA, it was relatively easier too. However, it doesn't seem to translate to a lot of advantage in a race. Still, I can't complain. Today was a good workout and I'm happy.

Edited to add: that's 56:26 for 10km...nice! :) :) :)

Now I've got to get feeling better, darn it. I have 15K tomorrow.

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Yesterday: elliptical for 45 min and then some core exercises with Lisa.


Today: woke up feeling so-so, with a scratchy sore throat and a barking cough. But, I wanted to walk, and I figured I wasn't terribly fatigued so I should be able to do it. The first 5K went well but after that I was a bit slow; the sore throat was bad enough that I noticed it on my walk and kept drinking a little water to soothe it. Then I had some GI problems as well :( and fortunately was able to stop at restrooms in the park a few times. Add in a rather lengthy stop at 15K to discuss car problems with my husband on the phone, and the walk was quite interrupted.

Considering all the issues I had this morning, I still had a pretty good walk. I made it to 10K in about 1:02:15ish (that's from memory) and to 20K in 2:06:12, with average HR only 134 (I did stop a lot...that's just the way it was this morning...sorry coach, but at least I finished!). Average pace was 6:19/km. Like I said, it was enough today just to finish.

The rest of the day I felt rather lousy. I took a nap, and the sore throat and cough have been troublesome all day. I'm going to bed early tonight!

Garmin connect data here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

10K fartlek

I was going to do this workout this morning, but when the alarm went off at 5:30 am and it was cold and dark outside, I decided I would rather do it later. It turned out that the weather wasn't really any better later, but at least it wasn't dark I suppose.

Speaking of the weather, at noon when I left work to go to the track it wasn't that cold at 35F (about 2C), but it was windy. Windy enough that it might have slowed me down a little bit each time around the track - maybe as much as 1-2 seconds? That would add 25-50 seconds to my time. It was the typical psycho-Utah pattern of changing every 5 minutes. First it was overcast. Then it was sunny. Then it was snowing hard and blowing the snow in my face each time around the track. Lather, rinse, repeat. It was kind of crazy.

I warmed up thoroughly and did some dynamic stretching drills. Then I started out, a bit conservatively because of the knee pain I'd had yesterday and also because it has been a while since I did a 10K fartlek. Turns out that was wise. This workout was hard today, and I was definitely a bit tired in the legs and didn't have much speed. My fast 500s were 2:48-2:54 and my medium speed 500s were 2:57-3:06. Yeah, kind of slow compared to recent 10K fartleks, but it was a lot faster than last spring. A lot. So I'm not worried. Just tired, and looking forward to a day of cross-training tomorrow.

My right knee twinged here and there from 8km-10km but nothing too worrisome. I tried very carefully to watch my technique and make sure my knee was coming through straight and that I was pushing off my toes well and bringing my hip through low. I think that helped, though it might have slowed me a bit. At least the knee is not any worse now (8 pm).

Total time: 58:55 for 5:53/km (9:29/mile) with ave HR 158 (low...tired legs, I guess!).

Garmin connect data here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

10K w/2x5' @15K pace

I hung around in bed longer than I intended this morning...I was kind of dreading the workout after yesterday's slow and painful 15K. I should know from experience that today could be better, but I wasn't thinking clearly that early in the morning, I guess. It did go much better!

The weather was terrific! It was SO warm at 40F (4C) ahead of a storm that is coming in tonight. It got up to the upper 50s today - sooooo nice!

I was to do 10K with 2 five-minute bursts at 15K race pace. That went well. 15K race pace is about 2:53/500m, and my first 500 fast was a bit faster at 2:43. Oops! It was a slight downhill and I was fresh, so that was OK. I kept going until 5 min had passed and then slowed a bit. My next fast 500m was at 6.5 km, and I did spot-on 2:52 for that one for the first 500m, and then kept going hard for a couple more minutes. My legs were pretty tired by about 8km or so (in fact, my legs were still a bit stiff today starting out, so I was a little worried, but it turned out OK). I still managed to complete the walk in 1:02:26 for 6:14/km (10:03/mile) with a nice low ave HR of 144.

My right knee has been bothering me a bit, on the medial side. It's tender to the touch if you get it in just the right spot, and it's been a little sore since Saturday's 20K. I'm not sure quite what is going on, so I had Loren examine it. He says he is pretty sure it's at the attachment point for my hamstring. It was sore at work today for the first time, so now I'm a little concerned, especially since I have some speed work tomorrow. I'll plan on playing it by ear, and hopefully it will be OK.

Garmin connect data here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

tired 15K

Yeah, my legs were tired from yesterday. I'm glad I chatted with my coach last night, because he said it might happen and not to worry about it. Actually, I knew it might happen - I didn't need to ask him that! But it was just reassuring to know that - in his words - "it doesn't matter". Whew. That was a relief or I might have quit early, I was so slow!

My legs hurt by 5K, so I knew it was going to be tough. At 7.5K I stopped for 30 sec and stared at my watch in dismay. Then I decided that I was just happy that I could be out there; after all, my brother has plantar fasciitis and can't run, and other people I know are injured too. I'm healthy, and life is good, and I can exercise. That didn't make the workout hurt less, but it did make me feel better mentally. I'm just out of shape and the track workout took a lot out of me, even though it was a short one. I got to 10K in just under 1:05 (slow slow slow!) and it only got slower from there...the last 5K was 33-something for 1:38:24 total. Average HR was only 140, but that was because I couldn't push much with my legs hurting like that. Ouch! I'm OK with it, though. I figure there are going to be a few days like this building back up again.

Oh, and the weather was cooperative, at 33F (1C) and overcast, with a few snowflakes here and there. We're having snow showers on and off today. But the road was dry and fast, even if I was slow!

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Today's workout was 3x2K. I generally don't care for the 2km interval workouts, but since there were only 3 intervals I figured it wasn't too bad, and that I'd survive. I know I need to learn to pace myself better...more on that later.

The weather was not cooperative last night. It snowed a bunch on Sunday and then some more last night. I really wanted to do this on the track, and it was predicted to get up to 40 today, so I figured the snow would melt a little by midday. I got to work early so that I could work and then leave at lunchtime to do my workout. As I drove by the track on my way to work, I noticed that it was completely covered in snow. By noon, however, it was 35F (2C) and when I drove to the track, the snow had melted :)!

Here are a few pictures of the view today. It was really quite nice and clear; however, it was windy, and every time I came around the north and west sides of the track the headwind was pretty strong. I think it only affected my times a little, though.

I intended to start off with an 11:20. Pacing...yeah. I went faster, doing an 11:14. Hmmm, I have to work on this one a bit. Feeling good on the first one is a given. I need to slow it down. I wanted to stay consistent, and of course it was tough. I didn't do too badly, though - the second one was 11:17 and the third 11:19. I had to work really hard for the last one, too. Good thing Jim let me have 3 minutes rest between them today. That helped, especially since this is only my second speed workout since the 50K. I'm happy with today's workout - I feel it went pretty well. My heart rate got up there really high, but that seems expected given the layoff. Average heart rate on the last 500 was 170! Average HR for all the intervals was 161.5.

I enjoyed the company of 2 runners at the track, a man and a woman. I passed both of them :).

Side note: my 500m splits got a bit messed up on the first half of the third 2K - the first one is a few seconds too long, and the second a few seconds too short. Otherwise, they are all correct.

Garmin connect data here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I wasn't sure this one would happen, but I gave it a shot, and it worked out well! I'm about 90% recovered from whatever the crud was that I had. I still have some congestion and a runny nose, and am a bit tired. Other than that, I am feeling OK.

The weather was lovely, for February. I got up late (thanks, mom & dad, for watching the kids last night & this morning!) and started walking around 8 am. It was 29F (about -2C) and fairly calm for the first 8-10K, but then the wind kicked up a bit. I had on my fleece and considered taking it off at the car at 10K (I did take my hat off at 10K), but decided to leave it on, unzipped. By the end of my walk it was a balmy 40F (4C) but with the wind I was still glad I had on my fleece.

I started off fast today and felt good. I knew that I'd get more tired at the end for it, but I just went with how I was feeling. I did the first 5K in approximately 30:45 and got to 10K in 1:01:34 (yeah, fast, like I said!) and then I did slow down a little, but not too much. My legs were tired, as I'd expected, from about 14K to the end, but I was able to keep pushing and did well. I took a gel at 7.5K and also at 15K, and had a pit stop at 12.5K. I also stopped around 17.5K because I ran into Nancy and Diane, who were out for a walk. Jim also coaches Nancy, and she's just getting back into walking after bunion surgery, so it was good to see her out there. She seems to be doing very well! She's going to come to the 15K with me in May :).

I got to 15K at 1:32:56 (31:22 for 3rd 5K) and then to 20K at 2:04:41 (31:45 for 4th 5K - slower, but definitely not a death march!). I was glad to stop, and my legs are definitely letting me know that I haven't done 20K in a while. They're a bit stiff and sore. Average was 6:14/km and HR was 148.

Garmin connect data here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

slowly getting better

Yesterday I still felt pretty terrible when I woke up. Going up the stairs was enough workout for me! I did make it to work, and felt pretty lousy most of the day, but by the end of the day I was feeling a bit better.

This morning I felt somewhat decent, and did 45 min on the elliptical. Usually I can manage as much as 6.5 miles in 45 min, but not today. I only did 6.0. I felt OK, but when I was done I was pretty tired and honestly, I'd prefer to sleep now rather than going to work. However, I'm pretty sure I'll feel OK enough to manage work, and besides, I'm supposed to give a presentation to Calvin's class on zebrafish today.

I'm scheduled for 20K tomorrow. I am playing it by ear. At the moment, I'm not sure how much I could do, but we'll see how I feel tomorrow. I'll do a 5K loop so I can choose just how much I am up to.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I'm sick. Could be worse, but could be better, too. Sore throat, congestion (severe), headache, and extreme fatigue. Just going up the stairs is about all I can do. 12K was out of the question.


Since I can't work out, I decided to post 2 delicious cookie recipes. Ha ha. I'm certainly in no condition to bake, but hey, since I can't exercise today, I could make some other people fat ;)? They are basic recipes - you probably already have them in one form or another. But I have experimented and personally find these to be the best recipes for each type of cookies (sugar cookies and chocolate chip bar cookies). Enjoy!

Sugar Cookies

1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 TB milk or cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Sift together:
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 3/4 c. plus 2 TB flour

Cream butter w/ sugar, adding sugar gradually. Cream together until light and fluffy. Add the egg. Beat well. Add the milk or cream and vanilla and mix well. And in 1/4 cups, sifted flour mixture to the butter-egg mixture. Mix well. Form into ball. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours.

To bake-- remove small amounts of dough and roll on lightly floured surface and cut into shapes (I personally like them thick so they come out a bit chewy). Bake at 375 degrees for approx. 8 minutes. Mine do not usually brown - remove before then or you will have crunchy cookies!

1 bag powdered sugar
2 (heaping) TB of Meringue powder (I used Wilton brand)
1 tsp vanilla
about 15 TB water

Use squeeze bottles to apply icing. Pipe the edges of the cookie first to make a "levee". Then "flood" the interior of the cookie w/ icing.

Decadent Blonde Brownies

1 1/2c all-purpose flour
1t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4c granulated sugar
3/4c packed light brown sugar
1/2c butter, softened
2 large eggs
2t vanilla
10 oz semisweet chocolate chips
optional: 3.5 oz macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped, to measure 3/4c (I didn't add these)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 13x9 inch pan. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; set aside.

Beat sugars and butter in large bowl until light & fluffy. Beat in eggs & vanilla. Add flour mixture. Beat at low speed until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan (I do this with damp hands). Bake 25-30 min or until golden brown. Remove pan to wire rack; cool completely and cut into bars.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I set out for my 15K; it was 30F (-1C) and foggy. However, the roads were simply too slick, as it had snowed a couple inches yesterday and they were not adequately salted (small town...sigh...).

I went back in and did enough on the pretty nice hotel treadmill to make it to 7.3 miles (11.74km) but had to stop to get ready to go --- took me extra time to change clothes, hop on the treadmill, etc. In addition, my brother came in about 1 mile from when I stopped and said, "You're running" and I said, "No, I'm not" and started running...oops. I ran for only a short time and started walking again, but my IT band got annoyed enough that I had to stop. Grrr. We had to leave anyway so as not to be late.

Got to go...maybe will do the extra 2 miles tonight, maybe not. It's not for want of trying.

Monday, February 13, 2012


In a hurry...I'm in Keokuk, IA for my grandma's funeral and we've got to get going...

Briefly, 1:14:41 for 12K, 6:13/km, felt good and all was well. Rolling hills slowed me down a little but not much. Stopped a lot to be a tourist and take photos of the town my parents grew up in. It started snowing lightly at 10K, and the wind picked up so it felt cold by the end. It wasn't that cold though; 30F (-1C). Freezing rain predicted for tonight so 15K tomorrow might be on the dreadmill :(.

Garmin connect data here.

Here are some more photos of my walk.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I'm sooooo sleepy and tired so this will be quick --- I just finished cleaning up after a party for my kids. Whew. Lots of kids, lots of fun, lots of noise. I'm exhausted!


This morning I was to do 15K. It was pretty warm for February at 34F (2C), with only a slight breeze. It was a nice morning! I was glad to be out, and I felt good. I could tell after the first few km that this might be a good one, though I worried about my legs tiring. They didn't get tired until about 13K, which wasn't too bad, and even then I was able to keep my speed pretty consistent. Very consistent. 5K splits: 31:05, 30:58, 30:59 for 1:33:03 total (6:12/km or 9:59/mile) with ave HR 148. Obviously, I felt good. The 5K fartlek appears to have kicked me into gear. I felt smoother and stronger today than I have. I guess I just needed to get the muscles firing together on all cylinders.

Garmin connect data here.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

5K fartlek

I went to the track this morning to do the workout, and guess what? Despite the fact that it was above freezing, the track was super icy from the night's snow/rain mix. Bummer. I had already had a rough morning, finding out upon waking that my beloved grandma (in photo, with Calvin, in 2005) had died last night (expected, as she had end-stage Alzheimer's, good that she is not suffering, but hard for those of us who will miss her). Plus I was running I decided to bag it and try to get in the workout later in the day. I have cross-training tomorrow so I figured it wouldn't mess anything up.

So, after a difficult day at work due to missing grandma and making plans for travel, etc., I finally managed to escape while my restriction digests were incubating, at 3 pm. Yeah, we have lab meeting at 3 pm on Thursdays, so I played hooky. My boss is on call this week in the hospital, and we were having journal club and I hadn't read the paper. It was no big deal to miss one, so I just decided I needed the exercise more than I needed journal club. Good call. I felt SO much better after working out. But, I am getting ahead of myself.

The high school cross-country/track team was just heading out for a workout when I arrived at the track (I chatted with their coach a bit when they got back, after my workout). The weather was so nice - 43F (6C) and cloudy and calm. Ahhhhh, warm for February. I'm loving it! Tights and a long-sleeved shirt were perfectly adequate, and I even pushed up the sleeves on my shirt. I warmed up for a few times around the track; I'd already racewalked to my car from work (about 1km) so a couple times was enough to get nice and warm, with some strides thrown in. I could tell on the strides that my muscles were in for a workout!

I started off well, though, surprising myself. I figured I'd be happy with anything under 30 minutes today, since I'd had a layoff of a month since the 50K. But I was faster than that! My first 1km was 5:26, and then I did 2:55, 2:46, 2:56, 2:47, 2:59, 2:48, 2:59, and 2:48 to finish with 28:29! Wow! My legs were tired, I was breathing really hard and working it all the way, but still, I'm pleased. That's my 3rd fastest 5K fartlek ever, and so I feel like I'm starting off well. I'm optimistic that I can attain the All-American standard for the 15K in May, which is 1:26:37 for my age group.

Total: 28:29 for 5:42/km (9:10/mile) with ave HR 163.

Garmin connect data here.

I did go back to work and run my digests on a gel and finish up a few more things before heading home for the day :).

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

slow 10K

I'm just slow this week. Good thing I have a 5K fartlek tomorrow to work on those fast-twitch muscles and kick everything into gear. I'm not looking forward to it, oddly enough...first speed work in a while always hurts. But it will kick-start things, and that's what I need.

This morning the weather was very nice for February. It was 34F (1C) and calm and slightly overcast. It felt very warm compared to the 20s. I enjoyed walking w/o fleece! My legs were pretty tired by about 4km, but I finished fine - just slowly. Still, it's a lot faster than coming off my layoff last year, so I'm not complaining.

Total time: 1:04:13 for 6:25/km with ave HR 141. Garmin data here.

After my walk, I drove to the gym and got in some hip abductors on the machine, tricep extensions, assisted pull-ups, bench press, and something else that I can't remember now. Plus I did a bunch of core stuff with Lisa.

I was going to write some other stuff, but it's late, I'm tired after a very long day, and I can't remember what I was going to write.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

slow 12K

I felt OK today, but I was slow. I figured I would be, so it wasn't surprising. My legs were tired after about 4K, but not horribly tired. Just tired enough that I was slow. Getting back into training after a layoff is usually this way...sigh...but I'm OK with it. I'm just glad that my coach is easing me back into things.

I did 12K this morning; it was 28F (-2C) which is relatively warm. However, it was windy. Quite windy. Not windy enough to mess up my performance until the last 2K when I was walking into the wind (the rest of the walk was not into the wind - mostly with it to the side), but windy enough to make it colder. The wind chill was supposedly 19F, and I'll buy that. I wasn't too cold in my fleece top and bottom over tights and a long-sleeved shirt, though.

Not much else to be said about this one. It's in the books now. Total 1:17:46 for 6:29/km with ave HR 139 (funny, I felt like I was working harder than that).

Garmin connect data here.

Monday, February 06, 2012

10K - sluggish

Not an auspicious start to the new training cycle (I got my schedule from Jim and it started today), but on the other hand, I got out there and got it done.

Some background: the dog woke us at 3 am by vomiting. After that, I had several very nasty horrible nightmares. Sleep quality = poor. I overslept my alarm by 45 min so didn't make it to the gym after my walk to lift weights.

It was 24F (-4.5C) when I walked this morning, and calm and clear. I was going to say sunny, but the sun wasn't up yet.

I felt OK when I started, but I just was not fast at all this morning. I was sluggish. My legs are pretty tired now, too. I just felt "off" today, and I know that's normal and it happens, especially after sleeping the way I did (or didn't).

Total: 1:04:04 for the 10K, 6:24/km (slow!) and ave HR of 146.

Garmin connect data here.


Edited to add: yesterday was a rest day, though I did practice figure skating for an hour with the kids, and managed to fall and smack my knee while working on 2-foot spins. Oops. Fortunately it's just fine today.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

hilly & windy 12K

The weather was somewhat uncooperative today. It wasn't raining or snowing, but it was windy. VERY windy. And cold. It was 25F (-4C) when I woke up, and I decided that since my parents had the kids until noon that I'd walk later. So that's what I did. It was about 34F (1C) when I went later, and it was still chilly but it was better. I chose a hilly route, however, and that slowed me down, as did the wind. It wasn't too bad; I was at 6:20/km through 10K and then the last 2K the wind, the slight uphill, and my legs that were tired from weight training yesterday and spinning and 10K of racewalking had had enough. By the time I got home I was at 6:25/km! Still, it was a decent walk and I am sure I haven't lost too much fitness on my break. Even if I had, I have a few months until my next big race - the 15K in Riverside, CA on May 13th.

My splits were totally erratic and varied from 2:48-3:59/500m due to wind and hills. Here's my Garmin data.


After lunch we took the kids figure skating. I got some good practice in, but my Mohawks are still not good. They are better, though! My backward crossovers and backward gliding on each edge are much better. The only elements I'm not sure that will pass muster are the Mohawk and the spin. The spin makes me so dizzy! It's just a basic 2-foot spin, but I'm just not so sure that people over 40 can spin like that :). I'll keep trying.

Friday, February 03, 2012

what I've been up to

Tuesday afternoon I did indeed manage 2.4 miles racewalking on the treadmill before Kindermusik and figure skating that afternoon/evening. Then Michelle fell and did this to her chin at figure skating, requiring 6 stitches:


Wednesday I did the elliptical for around 45 min, and ditto for Thursday. I had planned to racewalk Thursday, but the weather was iffy - it was snowing lightly and it looked slippery; in hindsight, I could have done it, but the gym was warm and the elliptical was not slippery :).


This morning I took a spinning class. It's been a while since I've done any sort of hard workout, and I figured that spinning might be a good way to ease back into it. Today we did standing sprints, and that was just right. Challenging enough to keep me going and get my HR up into the high 150s.

After spinning I actually lifted weights. Yup, it's been a while...and I feel bad about that. I need to lift to stay strong for racewalking. I did some dumbbell bench presses, walking lunges, lat pull-downs, one-legged hamstring dead lifts, calf raises, and tricep extensions. Then Lisa and I did a good hard ab set including ball crunches front and oblique, plank, and V-sits.


It looks like my rest is over, though. Coach says we start up again on Monday. I'm OK with that, as long as we start gently. He offered another week off, but honestly, I'm ready to train as long as it's not vigorous to start with. It will be good to ease back into the groove.