Thursday, May 31, 2012

3K fartlek - huge PR!

I'm sure I was legal today. I watched my shadow, and I felt my right knee straightening under me. I was careful to stand upright and use my left glutes. I also worked this one very hard, because after all, it was only 3K. After a thorough 1600m warm-up at a moderate pace with some nice hard strides on the last 400 (in a fast 9:21 total), I did my dynamic stretching and got going. I worked the first 1km really hard, doing 2:35 and 2:40 for the 500s for a total of 5:15 for the km. I eased off a little but still did a 2:50 medium effort! Then worked it very hard to get 2:39, 2:55, 2:39 to finish with 16:18 for the 3km, 6 seconds faster than my RACE PR of 16:24. Nice! I was a bit surprised I could go so hard, because my legs were fairly sore from the glute workout on Tuesday, but obviously not too sore to go fast! My heart rate was pretty high, as you'd expect, averaging a whopping 172 on the last 500, with 176 max at the end.

Garmin data here.


It was a short workout, so I biked to work for a little more cardio. I think the biking is helping my glutes, too. The hill from my house to work is a great workout...up 700ft in just a little over 3 miles.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

8K uphill

This morning I was to do 8K. I was a bit sore from yesterday's weight room stuff and the figure skating. I wasn't terribly sore this morning, though...but I am now (in the evening)!

Regardless, I was going to do the 8K. I had to end at the gym, though, to pick up the car. We had left one of the cars there because Loren couldn't drive home after spraining his right ankle last night at ice skating. The gym is considerably uphill from our house, and also not 8K away. So I started by going uphill to 1500 East and then over to SugarHouse Park and around the park. Then I came back up 15th East to Sunnyside, crossed over to Guardsman way and went to 500S and then back to the parking lot at the gym (about 700 south?). That was 8K. The net uphill was about 100m (a bit over 300ft), though there are also undulations along the way; it's quite a hilly route. I was pleased to finish in 51:25 for 6:25/km with average HR about 150. I thought that was pretty good for the hills.

I got in the car and drove home, and afterward I biked the kids to school and then biked uphill even farther to work. My glutes have been getting quite the workout lately!

Tomorrow is a little speed work to ease back into things. I think I'm ready to train again, but glad it's a short one.

Edited to add: Garmin data here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


This morning was a cross-training day, as my new schedule starts tomorrow. I went to the gym and did 30 min on the elliptical, and then I did some weight training. I did some step-ups (3x12 on each leg), some sideways walking with a resistance band (3 sets each leg), and another set of exercises Jim told me about that are hard to explain. With elbows on the ball and knees on the mat, lift one leg behind you (glutes), then bring leg to the side, then back and down. I did a bunch of those on each leg; they work the core too.

Then I biked the kids to school and biked to work. Took the kids swimming after work, made dinner, and then went to our figure skating lesson. Wow...that was a workout for me today. I learned how to do lunges on figure skates. Serious glute work for sure while I tried to figure out how to balance and how to get my trailing foot to drag on the ice on the boot not on the blade. It took a while, and I sure did a lot of lunges on each side. I also got a bit of cardio, as I did a whole bunch of bunny hop jumps in a row to practice them - that got me breathing a bit!

Yeah, my glutes are going to be sore tomorrow. At least I just have 8K easy to do.


While I was practicing bunny hops, Loren was taking his hockey skating lesson. I didn't see it, but he took a bad fall, and he said he felt something pop in his ankle. He was in quite a bit of pain, and they got a lifeguard from the pool to come and look at it. Several people helped him get his skates off, shoes on, and walk/hop out to the car. I drove him to the urgent care, where they x-rayed it. The x-ray was negative for a fracture, though of course a radiologist will look at it tomorrow. Now he's resting with some ice and aleve, and hopefully he will feel better soon.

Monday, May 28, 2012

some weekend walking

On Sunday the weather was a bit dicey. It was 48F (about 9C) and very windy and overcast, with a rain shower here and there. I went for a short walk anyway, and though I was chilled a bit at the start and my baseball cap almost blew off my head, I warmed up quickly and it felt pretty invigorating. Except for the wind, which I just had to put up with.

I've been enjoying NOT walking in Liberty Park. My local flat routes have gotten a bit stale, and the hills suit me right now, so I did a loop of SugarHouse Park instead. I felt quite good and fast, and finished the route in 35:58 for 6:16/km (just over a 10-min mile) with ave HR of 140. I focused a lot on standing tall, using my core to tuck my rear end under, and using my left glutes. My diagnostic tool? If I see my hands in front too much as Becky admonished about "piano playing" hands at the 15K, then I know that I'm not tucking my rear end under and remaining upright and using my left glutes as Jim has pointed out that I need to do. That's a lot to think about, but I'm motivated. I want to fix those technique problems and be faster.

Garmin data here.


Today is a holiday, thankfully. I needed another day off work to really rest and recuperate a bit. I've been driving myself pretty hard between work, training, and spending time with the kids doing fun things as well as homework, sports, etc.

I allowed myself to sleep a bit later than usual, not getting out of bed until 7 AM. I was all ready to leave the house for a nice 10-12 km walk (whatever I felt like), when my coach called. Jim just wanted to tell me that he had my new schedule for me (thanks, Jim!) and chat a bit about random stuff. I enjoy talking with Jim, so we chatted for 10-15 min and then I really had to get going on my walk so that I could be back by 9:30, as my friend Ye was bringing her son Adam over to play with my kids today.

The weather was glorious this morning. It was 45F (~7C) when I left the house, but the sun was out and there was only a slight breeze, so it felt pretty comfortable in shorts and a T-shirt. I walked uphill again to start and did a SugarHouse Park loop, then headed over to 20th East and walked around that neighborhood a bit before walking back. It ended up being almost exactly 12km of rolling hills, and it was a great workout. I worked a lot on my technique again, concentrating really hard on it, and I was faster than yesterday on the same hills. It felt great. I did 1:14:00 for 12km, for an average pace of 6:10/km with average heart rate of 144.

Garmin data here.


After that, I took the kids figure skating (and we took along Adam as well!) and then swimming. The Salt Lake City sports complex is close to our house and has 2 ice rinks and 2 pools, indoor and outdoor. It was nice today, with a high around 70F (21C), so the kids spent a couple hours swimming in the outdoor pool, while I lounged around reading a book and the newspaper. Ahhhhh...relaxation.

Friday, May 25, 2012

hilly 10.3K

I felt like racewalking this morning; however, I wanted it on my terms. No obsessing about my 500m splits, no stressing about anything, and walking a route I don't normally do. I decided to walk up to 900 S (it's quite uphill to get there...!) and then down and around SugarHouse Park. I took some pictures along the way (below).

The weather was threatening rain and thundering, but it was actually quite nice! It was about 56F (13C) and overcast; the air was cool and pleasant, and I enjoyed watching the clouds and hearing the occasional thunderclap. Once I started my watch, I put a piece of tape over it so I could not see the 500m splits, hoping it would keep me relaxed. It worked pretty well.

I focused a lot on working on my technique, and I felt good for the vast majority of the walk. When I concentrated on it, I felt the proper technique kicking in and it was really smooth and fluid. I haven't had time to put together the videos from the race, but one thing that Becky Klein (the chief judge) told me about my technique really dovetails with what my coach Jim has been telling me. I put it together in my mind this week. Becky said I am "playing the piano" - i.e., my hands are too much in front. She's right...but it's a symptom, not the problem. The main problem is what my coach has been saying: I'm still leaning forward a little from the hips, and not tucking my rear end under. This causes my hands and arms to be in front too much. So, this week I've been thinking about standing up straighter, tucking my rear end, and using my left glutes more (the left side is weaker, resulting in my right hip hitching). This seems to be helping, as I do feel much smoother when I'm thinking about it. Now I just have to keep working on it until that is natural all the time. Of course I've been thinking about these things since last summer and haven't fixed them yet, but I feel I've made some small improvement and plan to improve some more if possible.

My total time today ended up being pretty good despite the hills: 10.31km in 1:05:25 for 6:21/km with average HR of 142.

Garmin data here.


Later, I rode my bike to work. That makes 4/4 days this week :).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

working through stuff

This morning I was in a bit of a mood. I did NOT want to racewalk. I am still a bit disappointed in myself about the race on Sunday. I know, I know...I could not expect better after the technique fiasco of the last few weeks, and sometimes races just don't go as you planned. But I guess I just need a week to sulk a bit and get it out of my system. Regardless of why, I just wanted to do something else this morning.

So, I did 45 min on the elliptical, and then walked the kids to school and rode my bike to work. Lots of good cross-training.

With all the good cross-training this week I'd probably be shaping up well, except that I've been eating lousy. Grrrr. Like I said, I'm in a mood. I'm allowing myself another day to sulk and then it will be time to let it go and move on.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

5K and some biking

This morning I thought about going to the gym and doing the elliptical, but it was nice outside (52F or 11C) and clear so I went for a short walk. I decided to keep it to 5K and just ride my bike to work to get a bit more exercise.

I felt pretty good on the 5K; I worked quite hard on focusing on my technique and I think I was doing everything I was supposed to. It occurred to me that the "piano playing hands" Becky (chief judge on Sunday) told me about are a symptom of the problem. When I tucked my rear end under more, the piano playing hands were no longer so far in front of me. It's going to take a while to make this habit second nature.

I did the 5K in 6:03/km - 30:13 total; ave HR 144.

Garmin data here.

I'm typing badly enough that I think I need more sleep!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

rest day; cross-training

I rested on Monday, except for some figure skating practice.


Today I did 15 min on the elliptical, and rode my bike to work. My legs actually feel really good today, and are hardly sore at all. Unusual for after a hard race...but I guess this one wasn't so hard, since I was so slow? Regardless, I'm recovering well.

Tonight the whole family went for our usual Tuesday night family skating lesson. The kids are doing well and will probably pass their levels with a little additional practice. I can now do an inside Mohawk on both sides, outside and inside 3-turns on each foot, and power 3-turns on each foot. I seem to be improving, gradually. I'm still terrified of spins and jumps, though. Well, one thing at a time. Oh, and I ordered some ice skates today! Loren got them for me for my birthday, and I'm just now getting around to ordering them. The bad news is that my size is backordered until June 27th, but I've waited this long, so what's another month?

Monday, May 21, 2012


This was an amazing day - first the 15K, then the eclipse. I admit I'm a sucker for solar eclipses. I saw my first partial solar eclipse as a child in Wisconsin, using a pinhole setup, and I was hooked. The best one I have seen until today was the annular eclipse in San Diego in January 1992 - it was a total annular eclipse right at sunset and it was amazing. However, today's was better - mostly because I had $2 glasses from the planetarium that allowed direct viewing. I also put them over the lens on my point-and-shoot camera and took pictures that way. So much fun!

I was on my way home from the race when I saw the eclipse. I happened to have a flight that went through Las Vegas, and had to change planes and hang out in the airport. Vegas was closer to the path of totality than either SoCal or Salt Lake, so it was the perfect viewing spot. I enjoyed it immensely!!!!! I shared my glasses w/a lot of random people in the airport to save their eyes - a remarkable number of people were not using any sort of eye protection at all or unsuitable eye protection (sunglasses).

Here are some pictures.

Can't wait until August 21, 2017, when there is a total eclipse in Idaho! Before then I plan to get a solar filter for my SLR so that I can get really good pictures that are not blurry and have higher resolution. Hmmmm, maybe a new telephoto lens too... :)

All of the rest of the pics are on my Facebook page.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

15K national championships

It was a bit warm this morning for the 15K national champs. At race start it was OK, but by the time I got to 5K I was pretty hot and dumping water all over myself. At every water station I drank and tried to keep cool; it wasn't THAT hot (maybe 70-75 by the finish?) but hot enough for one who is not acclimatized. It was quite humid too, and still, which didn't help.

I felt sluggish on the warm-up. I walked once around the course, which is 1703m, and threw in some strides. I just didn't feel smooth and fluid, and I was a bit sleepy/tired/off. No excuses, just explaining how I felt. I was concerned after the warm-up, but you never know.

On the first (partial) lap I had planned to do a 7:35. I did a 7:55. Oops. That wasn't too good. (Though later, my friend Alex told me that he was also 20 sec fast on that first partial lap and then when he got to the start it was right on, so he wondered if the course was measured correctly?). In any case, I eased up just a bit and did the 1st whole lap in 10:02 - a bit slower than my planned 9:48 but not too awful. I tried to speed up a bit but my body just didn't feel right. I just never really got in the groove today. I think I was low on carbs, because after I took my gel at about 8km I felt better and was able to go faster; however, that coincided with my friend Alex passing me and encouraging me to keep up with him, so it's hard to know.

When I got to 5K in 29:22 I knew it was NOT my day to get the All-American standard of 1:26:37. I'd have to do about 28:50/5k to get that, and I was already hopelessly behind and not feeling good. Then I switched my goal to keeping the pace and beating last year's time, which I was able to do.

My next laps were 10:14, 10:15, 10:21, then Alex caught me and I went 10:08, 10:05, 10:05 and finally 9:56 for 1:28:41 on the lap counter's sheet (though the official time ended up 1:28:42). I screwed up on my watch and missed the first 0.2km or so, and so my watch time is not at all right though the splits are good after the 1st one.

Looking at the pictures, I was struggling the whole race - I am all work and no play in my face. It was just a hard race. I'm proud that I pushed hard and regained my composure after the 10:21 lap and finished strong. I worked really hard today; my average heart rate was 161 and max was 174. I gave it my all, and hey, I can't complain about a PR, 2nd place in the Open division, first place in Masters (ages 35+) and winning $100, can I? Besides, I got to hang out with amazing racewalkers all weekend :).

Garmin data here.

Pictures here.

Friday, May 18, 2012


This morning I did an easy 6.25ish-km around Liberty Park. I felt pretty good - nothing was too sore or tired, and I felt rested. The weather was great at 56F (13C) and sunny; later it was chilly and windy and raining so I dodged the bullet there.

Nothing too remarkable - I watched my technique carefully and it felt solid so I think I'm ready on that front. I was reasonably fast today, especially coming back up the slight hill where I was able to hold my pace much better than on Tuesday's 10K.

Total time: 38:34 for 6:08/km for the 6.28km. Average HR nice and low at 142. I think I'm ready for the race!

Garmin data here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

3x1km @ 85% effort

More video today. It's helping, though. I walk a lap, look at the video, adjust, walk another lap, etc. I am sure I will be legal for the race now, but the question is how fast will I be?

Today I did the 3x1km. It was nice at the track: 57F (14C) and sunny and clear. This time I remembered to set up the camera OPPOSITE the sun so that you can see better.

My warm-up was better today. I was legal by the end of the first 400m. The second 400m was iffy, but then I was fine on the 3rd and 4th warm-up laps. Total time for all 4 laps was 9:28, though I stopped in between each one to check the video briefly.

I really worked on straightening up today - my coach said if I didn't lean so much from the waist/hips that it would help. I felt a LOT better and much smoother, and it looks better too, I think. It's still not perfect...tuck my butt under, keep the right hip low as I bring it through, stay straighter, etc. However, I was encouraged by two things 1) I was a bit faster today, and 2) I felt smoother and stronger and able to push a bit harder and know that I was still legal. The hours spent poring over video are paying off I think. I hope.

Split times: 1st km was 2:43, 2:46; 2nd was 2:44, 2:45; 3rd was 2:46, 2:46. I will admit that it was more like a 90% effort than an 85% effort, but my heart rate was not too high. It averaged 156, 161, and 162 on the 2nd 500m of each of the 1km intervals.

Here's the video:

Garmin data here.


I'm feeling better about the race now. I think I was much more illegal on my warm-ups than I ever was while doing the interval workouts over the past few weeks. I suspect that some of my fitness gains are real, and so hopefully I'll at least be able to get the All-American Masters standard for my age group, which is 1:26:37. If I have a bad day on race day all bets are off, but if not, it should be attainable.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

video session in the park

I did 30 min on the elliptical this morning before work.

After work, I met Nancy at the park. She very kindly agreed to watch me walk, offer suggestions, and videotape me. I told Jim I'd do tomorrow's workout (3x1km @85% effort) today but that didn't happen - I got lost on the way to the park as I'd never been there before. Add in a lot of wind and very hot weather (86F...and I'm used to working out at 50F right now!), and it was not good. Nancy advised me to can the intervals and just warm-up well and then walk a bit for the video.

She did take video of the warm-up, and boy was it ever ugly. I'll have to fix that eventually (maybe my hip is tight, according to Jim), but for now if I warm up thoroughly it should be fine.

Then we took these videos. Jim says I am still leaning forward too much from the hips, and that I'm not tucking my butt under enough. I can see that on the video pretty clearly. It's not awful, but it could be improved and I'm sure that will help me use my glutes more and be faster. Of course, I also felt a bit odd today - even after the warm-up I just didn't feel that great. I'm not used to walking in the afternoon or in the heat and I'm sure that has something to do with it.

Here's the ugly warm-up. Very embarrassing.

Here's the first clip once I was warmed-up. I'm legal, but it could look better.

The second clip:

The third clip: Sorry, technical difficulties...will try again tomorrow.

The fourth (and last) clip: Sorry, technical difficulties...will try again tomorrow.

And yes, Calvin can now officially run faster than I can racewalk! I'm proud of him!

And this one was just for fun...Nancy was egging me on, OK?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

slow 10K

Anyone with half a brain would predict I'd be slow today. I was. So why am I disappointed, stressed, etc.? I'm human! I'm trying to stay positive though. A friend at work reminded me that this is supposed to be FUN. She pointed out that it's not like I'm ever going to the Olympics or the World Cup, after all! I have to be realistic - I'm a master's racewalker of moderate talent and nothing more. I'm doing this because I enjoy it, and I have to keep my competitive side a little bit reined-in or I'll be disappointed.

I know my technique was solid, though. It felt right. It also was tiring after yesterday's track workout. I tried not to ask myself "If I can barely do 10km, what am I doing a 15K race on Sunday for?" but couldn't keep the question out of my mind. So I tried to answer that positively: I'm doing the race because 1) I'll feel MUCH better after a few days adjusting back to proper technique, 2) I love to see my racewalking friends, and 3) given 1) I'm still likely to break my PR of 1:29:03. So there.

I pretty much phoned in the last 3-4km today. I didn't push it at all because I knew that would be counterproductive.

Total time: 1:05:06 for 6:30/km with ave HR 141.

And I was tempted to bike to work this morning - it's gorgeous out (60F (15C) for my workout! High of 90F today!) - but didn't, since I need to save my legs for Sunday. I'm stupid sometimes but am trying to be careful this week.

Garmin data here.


More debriefing about my technique issues.

My coach and I had a long FB chat about things. He said I've allowed a bad warm-up habit to become a bad habit. A bit harsh, perhaps, but it's the truth and I shouldn't shrink from it. I'm glad he can tell me the truth (though I will admit I wanted more sympathy! Sometimes what we want is not the best, though.) It wasn't intentional at all, but it happened. But Jim was positive about things: he said it was easily enough fixed and that I'd be walking much better by the end of the week. We have thrown in a couple extra workouts to try and get things moving in the right direction.

I regret not catching this sooner. I've been a bit concerned about a soft right knee for a while, and delayed videotaping myself because I couldn't find someone to do it and didn't think of the tripod method until last weekend.

On the plus side, I suppose this does show that I have pretty good body awareness (I suspected something was wrong) and that I need to learn to listen to the inner nagging voice a bit sooner. Jim and I were discussing when this first happened and he argues it was after the SLC 1/2 marathon (April 21) because my knees are straight in those pictures. I think it was before that that I first had issues with this though - on April 17 I had hip pain from the previous day's workout. I think that was IT band problems from "running" - i.e. RW with soft knees. Perhaps I was legal in the SL Half; I might not have ingrained the bad habit by then. Hard to say. I'm embarrassed that I was walking around like that though :(.

For sure I was doing something wrong by April 24 - I had quad spasms during/after the workout and that was obviously (in retrospect) from bent knee. Bent knee = using quads much more = spasm when you are not used to it.

Well, now I have a few weeks of a bad habit to undo, and not much time to do it. In addition, I've been training the wrong muscles for several weeks minimum. This does not bode well for my race. That is disappointing. Part of me wants to cancel the trip and save the $ to go do a race when I am better prepared, but the reasons in the 2nd paragraph above mean I'm still going. I just have to (somehow) get a new perspective before then. One day at a time.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Darn it! 8K fartlek

I've been wondering for a bit if my right knee was soft. On Saturday, I timed a race for the club and did some videotaping. I had someone videotape me too. It was ugly. OK, I wasn't warmed up at all, and my right knee does tend to be iffy when I'm not warm. looked BAD. I spent the rest of the weekend panicking, and then this morning I did something about it.

(Oh, and FYI, I biked a lot on Saturday for cross-training, and took a rest day on Sunday).


I brought my video camera to the track and set it up on the tripod because I couldn't find anyone crazy enough to meet me at the track at 6:15 am. I did one lap of warm-up and looked at the tape, which got me almost at the end of the 400m lap. Oh boy...not good, not good at all. I did another lap, adjusted the video camera to get a closer view, and it was still ugly. Ouch. I resolved that I was going to fix it then and there no matter what. I have no idea exactly what I did, other than concentrating on bringing my knee through lower and feeling it straight underneath me, but it worked like a charm. Voila! Straight! I could feel that it was right for the 3rd and 4th warm-up laps.

I stopped for a brief restroom break. Calvin had some stomach virus on Saturday and I seem to have gotten it. I was not throwing up but had intestinal discomfort, big time, both last night and this morning. I knew I could still do the 8K fartlek though; and besides, there are now a couple porta-potties at the track which is huge in case of emergency. I didn't need them once I got started though.

My technique did feel different. Not hugely, but different. Crap. And guess what? I was slower, too. All those gains I thought I'd made? Nope...just bent knee. This is why they have rules in racewalking! I was not trying to cheat, but somehow my technique took a nosedive. Seriously, I have no idea how it happened. I didn't feel pressured by my coach or my friends to get faster in a hurry; I was just trying to do my workouts well. Darn it!

My fast 500s ranged from 2:46 to 2:50, except the first which was 2:41. My medium 500s were 2:56-3:05. Total was 46:21 with average HR 165 (high...ughhhh). Yup, much slower. But I know I was legal, and that is all that matters. I still want to do a 1:26:37 or less in Riverside for the 15K to earn my Masters All-American certificate, but if I can't, I can't. Darn it. Darn it. Darn it.

Overall, it's good though. I was easily able to fix the problem, I know what it feels like to do it right, and I should be able to complete the race. I am still faster than last year before the 15K and I'm still in great shape. I'm just not as fast as I thought I was. Oh well! That's my sport, and I still love it.

Here's the video.

Garmin data here.

Friday, May 11, 2012

8K fartlek - PR!!! (and race PR at 5K!!!)

Yesterday I cross-trained by biking everywhere I went: to work, to a bookstore, to get the kids, to do another errand, then home. I didn't drive my car anywhere yesterday! I biked a total of 16.3km, which is not that far, but keep in mind that biking to work is a really hilly workout. It fit with my day, and it felt good.


Today was an amazing workout. The weather was perfect, at 46F (8C) when I arrived at the track, and clear and sunny with a slight breeze. Lovely! The long days of late spring are here, and it's been so nice to have the sun up for my early morning workouts.

I started off with a very fast and fluid warm-up, 1600m in 9:14 (that used to be my interval pace for those!) with a few 100m strides thrown in. I was feeling great, and I thought it would be a good day. Usually the warm-up doesn't mean too much, as you can have a lousy warm-up and a good day, and you can have a good warm-up and a lousy day. But today felt especially good, for what it's worth (not much, in terms of scientific evidence!).

I told myself not to go out too hard, because I had 8km to do. I started off pretty easy but still got to 500m in just 2:35, and then 2:40 for the next 500m. Nice. Things continued this way and I arrived at 3km in just 16:26 - only 2 seconds slower than my 3K PR!!! WOW! About 4km, I realized I might PR at 5 km - not just a fartlek PR but a RACE PR! Sure enough, I got to 5K in just 27:41, 7 seconds faster than the race PR I set last June at the Art Attack 5K in SugarHouse Park. Amazing. And what's more, I was not too tired to do 3 more fast 500s and finish the 8K fartlek in only 44:41 - a fartlek PR by 34 seconds, and my fastest 8K ever, I believe.

My fast 500m (after the first very fast 2:35) were all from 2:40-2:42, and my medium 500m were all 2:53-2:58. My average HR for the whole workout was just 159 (lowish!) and on the last interval I was working it, with ave HR 166 and max of 169.

I'm totally thrilled with how things are going. 44:41 for 8K is 5:35/km and 8:59/mile. Yup, I averaged under a 9-min mile for 5 miles! Never thought I'd do that.

Garmin data here.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


I was to do 12K this morning. I felt decent when I woke up, though my legs were a little sore as I stretched out while still lying in bed. I am not sure they were sore from racewalking! I wonder if the little jaunt up the hill to work on my bike made me sore, or if I'm a little sore from the track workout on Monday? I also did some figure skating on Sunday and last night, but that doesn't usually tax me at all. So I don't know why, but I was a bit sore.

What I do know is that the weather was glorious this morning at 48F (9C) and sunny and calm. I started off well and felt great until about 8.5km when the wheels totally fell off. I was at 8km in 48:11 (6:01/km) and then all of a sudden around 8.5km my legs just felt like sludge. I don't know how to explain it. They were just suddenly horribly tired and wouldn't move. I didn't feel awful or anything, but my legs were just tired, and though I had no problem finishing I was really slow. Going up the slight uphill from the park I could barely manage 3:18, 3:18 and 3:22.

Total: 12km in 1:13:52 for 6:09/km with ave HR 144.

Garmin data here.


Afterwards, I biked with the kids to school and then got ready for work and biked to work again. The weather is just too nice NOT to be outside. After work I plan to bike to get the kids and then we're going to do a little figure skating practice together.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


I actually felt well-rested when I woke up this morning. My legs were a bit tired from yesterday's track workout, but I didn't feel too bad. The weather was good, too - 50F (10C) and breezy. I'm enjoying our nice warm spring this year, after the really cold springs we had the last two years.

I focused on staying legal today, as I did yesterday at the track. I've been worried that my right knee is a bit soft, so I am taking care to be sure it feels straight. The last thing I need is to get DQ'd after traveling to do a race!

I felt very good today until about 8km (5K split on the slight downhill was 29:45), and then I was tired on the last couple km up the slight incline home. Still, I was quite fast considering that I had a hard track workout yesterday.

Total time for 10km: 1:00:31 (6:03/km) with average heart rate of just 143.

Garmin data here.


Edited to add: after my workout I biked with the kids to school, returned home and got ready for work, and then biked up the hill to work. It felt good to work some different muscles. I'm trying to drive less and bike/take public transit more. Yesterday I took the bus to work. Let's see if I can avoid driving the car to work all week.

Monday, May 07, 2012

7x800/, no, make that 6x800/200

I was really tired this morning. I stayed up too late hanging out with my husband watching TV! Yeah, not the smartest thing to do, but I don't regret it. Plus, my legs were still a bit tired this morning from the 20K. I forgot to mention on Saturday that my right hip was bothering me a bit for the last 5km or so, but nothing serious. It felt a little tight this morning, but after the warm-up and some good dynamic stretching it really didn't bother me. Whew.

The weather was OK this morning. It was about 45F (7C) and sunny, but it was quite windy. Not windy enough that I would consider postponing the workout, but windy enough to be annoying and to slow me down by a second or two each time I came around the south side of the track (the wind was blowing from the east). I just looked, and it appears that the wind was steady at 10 mph (16 kph) with 20 mph gusts (32 kph). On the plus side, it wasn't cold, and it wasn't raining. I'll take it.

I was a bit late to the track but with my hip a little tender I knew I'd better do the full 1600m warm-up with strides and dynamic stretches. I warmed up well, in 9:25 for the 1600m and felt OK though a little sluggish on the strides. The stretching felt great and then I was ready to roll.

I knew I only had time for 5 or 6 repeats, even though I was supposed to do 7. I thought I'd only be able to fit 5 in, but I squeezed out a 6th despite the time crunch and though it was close I did manage to get the kids to school on time. I felt OK this morning, but not great. It seemed like more effort than last week for some reason, though my times were comparable (if a little slower) and I'm sure I could have done one more repeat at the same pace if I'd had time.

All my 800s were between 4:09-4:11 and my 200s were 54-56 seconds. The 1km totals were 5:04-5:06. Very consistent! Slower than last week, but not too bad considering the wind. Total for the 6km was 30:34, and my average heart rate for the fast segments was 157. I was pushing hard, though - the max on my last rep was 170.

Now the taper begins in earnest. A couple 8k fartleks Friday & Monday and 3x1km @85% effort next Thursday are the only hard workouts left. Race day is May 20th!

Garmin data here.

Saturday, May 05, 2012


It's been a long week and I wasn't sure how my body would handle this workout today. I figured I was recovered enough to have a decent walk, but you never know.

I was pretty careful about what I ate yesterday and did my usual pre-long-workout imodium, but for some reason my GI system was not happy this morning. I have heard that there is something nasty going around, so maybe that is it, but I don't think so. It seemed like the usual racewalking trouble. It's been better of late, but every once in a while it strikes.

The weather was decent, at 46F (7.8C) and overcast, but with a fairly stiff breeze on and off. The wind didn't hinder me too much, though, and I didn't get cold, so I can't complain.

I took the first 5K nice and easy, and the slight downhill got me there in 30:17. I got a little tired around 6-7km, but recovered nicely with some clif shot blocks at 8km, and got to 10km in 1:01:13 (30:55). Then my GI system started acting up and I had to stop just before 11km at a gas station. Once I got going again I felt fine and made it to 15K in 1:31:51 (30:38). However, about 17km my legs got really tired and my GI distress increased again. Ughhhh. I slogged my way through to 20K in 2:03:46 for a slow last 5K of 31:56.

Still, I'm pleased, because I was under 2:04 on a day when I had some distress at the end. I'm sure I'd have been under 2:03 if not for that last 3km. I was very attentive to my technique today and sure I was legal. I've been a bit concerned about that since making such fast progress, but I think it is probably OK as long as I'm paying close attention to it.

This was my last long one before the 15K race on May 20th. I think I'll be ready for a fast time!

Garmin data here.

Friday, May 04, 2012

10K w/2x5' @15K pace

We have been having the best weather this spring. I'm loving it! It rained a bit last night but this morning it was clear and dry, with a temperature of 50F (10C). Lovely!

My legs were a bit tired from yesterday's track workout, but much better than they were on Tuesday, so that was a relief. I started off pretty fast on the gentle downhill, getting to 5K in just about 30 min exactly. I did one of my fast segments starting at 3km, and my first 500m was 2:51, which was right about where I wanted to be. The next fast segment started at 5K, after waiting for a traffic light. I was pretty fresh after the 2 min break, so I did a 2:44 on the slight downhill for that first 500m, which seemed about right.

The rest of my walk was a bit uninspired, as my legs were pretty tired by about 6 or 7 km. I had to shorten things up a tiny bit so I could get the kids to school (got up a little late so I was rushing!), and so I ended up only doing 9.76 km total. My time was 59:44 for 6:07/km with average heart rate of 144.

Garmin data here.

Thursday, May 03, 2012


Today's workout was a tough one: 6x1500m with 2 min rest. Pacing would be critical so that I wouldn't die at the end, and since I've been getting faster, it's tricky to figure it out. Jim suggested 8:15/1500m, which would be 3x2:45. That was about what I was thinking, and it turned out to work quite well.

I was still a bit sore in the hamstrings and glutes this morning, but it wasn't too bad. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, which really helped me get my game face on for the workout. It was about 53F (11.7C) with a slight breeze and partly sunny. I warmed up for 1600m with strides in 9:30ish, and was feeling good. The dynamic stretching helped my hamstrings and glutes loosen up and I felt ready to go.

I tried to take it pretty conservatively for the first two intervals, and I think that was mostly successful. Intervals 3 and 4 were a bit harder, and the last two were quite hard. It felt just about right; I had a bit of room to spare until the last two, when I had to really push to get the times. But I stayed very consistent and felt on top of this workout. Whew. I think I was worried about how it would go, with the sore muscles, but it was all right. Definitely very hard work at the end, but I wasn't totally dying and felt within my capabilities. I'm happy with the way I paced it.

Here are my times: 8:11.2, 8:14.7, 8:14.9, 8:15.1, 8:12.6, 8:14.6. Wow. Very consistent. My heart rate ranged from an average of 149 for the first interval to 162 for the last interval. Perfect. Average pace was 5:29/km for the workout. Edited to add: that's 8:50/mile. Sweet!

Garmin data here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

cross-training, resting metabolic rate

I was so glad to cross-train today. My legs were very sore when I woke up - hamstrings, calves, etc. I went to the gym and did 30 min on the elliptical, and returned home to take the kids to school. Calvin has just learned to ride his bike w/o training wheels (yay!) and so we all biked to school.

I took a cue from them and biked up the hill to work for the remainder of my cross-training. It seemed to actually help my legs loosen up a bit. They are feeling better now and hopefully will be good for my track workout tomorrow morning.


In other news, out of curiosity, I had my resting metabolic rate tested. For work, if we do certain wellness activities we get a discount on our health insurance premium. So, not only was the test free, but it qualified me for my discount. I sort of expected my metabolic rate to be a tad on the slow side, as a side effect of the weight loss. It wasn't though - it was basically normal. Interesting. Essentially, the result is that my body burns about 1368 calories per day at rest. Add in about 400 cal for normal activities and then add in exercise, and that's about how much I can eat to maintain my weight.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

15K on tired legs

My legs were SORE this morning. I felt like I'd done a race yesterday. Hmmm, guess I pushed harder in the track workout than I thought.

The weather was more cooperative than predicted. Rain was predicted, but we just had some light showers, which stopped maybe 10-15 minutes into my workout. It wasn't cold either, at 50F (10C).

I felt great for about 3km, and then I was not surprised that my legs were just thrashed. I did about 30 min flat for the first 5K, and it wasn't that hard...but then the last 10K took me about 1:05. Yeah...ouch. It really did hurt. A lot. I'm glad tomorrow is a cross-training day.

Total time: 1:34:52 for 6:19/km with ave HR 148. Ugh.

Garmin data here.