Thursday, June 28, 2012


It was on the warmer side this morning for my 10K. Not too bad, but warm at 70F (21C), and smoky, as the air is thick from all the fires in Utah right now. The dry spring and hot temperatures and wind are combining for a nasty fire season so far.

I felt good this morning; a teensy bit sore from the 3K fartlek but overall just great. I pushed it a bit because I was in the mood :). Felt good to get out and work hard. I finished the 10K in 59:27 for 5:57/km with ave HR of 151. Yeah, pushing a bit. Doubt that 20K would have happened at that pace, though I'm supposed to do close to that for 20K next Tuesday. We'll see!

Garmin data here.


In other news, my data presentation at lab meeting went fairly well today. People seemed to think I did a good job. I enjoyed digging in and learning more about this project, as it has a lot of potential if we can overcome some technical hurdles. I am really lucky to have a job that I like so much :).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

rest days, cross-training, 3K fartlek,

My life has been pretty much insane this week. Good thing it's an easy RW week!

Sunday was an optional day. I rested.

Monday was a cross-training day. I rested. I was exhausted from the rest of my life. We are hosting a competitor for the Gina Bachauer Young Artists (age 14-18) piano competition, and it's a lot of work. Fun, but busy.

Tuesday I was supposed to do a 3K fartlek. I cross-trained instead, doing 45 min on the elliptical while the kids were at figure skating lessons.

Today was supposed to be a cross-training day, but I decided to do the 3K fartlek I'd missed doing. The weather was great - 59F (15C) and sunny and clear early this morning. I warmed up well in 9:21 for 1600m with 2x100m fast. I did my dynamic stretching and started the fartlek. It was good but not great. The first 1km was 5:24 (2:40, 2:44) and then the recovery 2:56, then 500m fast in 2:41, 500m medium in 2:59, and finally 500m fast in 2:42 for 16:43.5 total. I just didn't have that extra zip that I did the day I did 16:18 a few weeks ago, but this was still pretty decent considering the week I've had.

Tomorrow I will do my scheduled 10km early in the morning.


Besides the piano competition, it's busy at work. I have to present data at our lab meeting tomorrow and I'm a bit nervous. Technicians usually don't present at lab meeting - typically that's for postdocs and grad students - but since I'm a senior level technician and I enjoy the challenge, I get to present. It's just a bit of bad timing to have it this week. Oh well...I'm close to being ready. Have a few papers to read tonight on some techniques I want to use on my project; I need to be able to cogently present them to the lab. Our lab meeting is pretty big because it's our lab (7 people) plus another neighboring lab that also does neuroscience on zebrafish.

Too much to do to keep blogging........

Saturday, June 23, 2012

25K - hot!

It was quite hot today. It was 75F (24C) when I started my walk, and 86F (30C) at 9:30 am, just a little after I finished. The only saving grace was that it was dry and windy, which did help, though it was still HOT. There is occasional shade on the Jordan River Parkway, but mostly it was sunny.

My legs felt good until about 20K today, and then the miles of the week and the heat caught up with me. The last 5K hurt...I was just quite hot, with heavy legs, and ready to be done. I couldn't push much harder given the conditions, so I just brought it in slowly. I guess it's good that I'm getting in a bit of heat training, as my next big race is the 40K in New Jersey on Sept 9, and it could be quite hot and humid...hopefully not though!

5K splits: 30:35, 31:06, 31:23, 31:57, 33:18(!).
Total: 2:38:20 for 6:20/km average pace with ave HR 144.

Also of note - I saw a friend from the Wasatch Walkers, Fairlie, at about 7800S. She was doing a 5K race at Gardner Village. I also saw my friend Sarah out there a couple times; she was with her Galloway run/walk group.

Garmin data here

Friday, June 22, 2012

slow, painful 12K

No, I'm not injured. I just had a bad walk today. Started off fine, but my legs died hard at 7km. Kaput. Done. I finished the 12K, but it was ugly. Add in GI cramps and heat and it was even uglier. No matter, as it's done and the benefits are in the bank, so to speak.

It was about 75F (24C) when I started this morning - a very warm morning for here. It was about 82F (28C) when I finished. It was very dry and breezy, which helped, but it was still warm.

Total time: 1:16:31 for 6:23/km w/ave HR 139.

Garmin data here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

10K fartlek

Yesterday: elliptical

Today: 10K fartlek. In a hurry - laptop battery dying. Weather: 57F (14C) to start; 64F at the end. Gonna be hot today.

I started off fine but by 2K I knew it wasn't going to be fast. Legs were fresh but for some reason they still felt tired. By 7K I was pretty much toast, but actually held on and didn't slow any more after that. Still hurt, but it was a great workout!

Total time: 58:50. Ave HR 161, so I was working plenty hard.

Garmin data here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

20K; orthopedist

I had to get up really early today to do my 20K. I had an orthopedist appt for 8:15 am, and had to get the kids to summer camp before that. Whew. I'm going to be tired later, but I'm managing OK I think. It was still dark when I left, which is saying something because it gets light really early now, as it's almost solstice. The weather was better today - cooler! 57F (14C) and clear and perfect for a nice 20K.

I was a bit worried that my fingers might start to hurt this morning, but I needn't have. They hurt a little for 500m or so and then it was fine. Actually, the whole walk was great. I felt really good this morning, despite the lack of sleep, broken fingers, etc.

It's still slow going with typing, so I won't belabor this. Total time: 2:03:17 for 6:10/km with ave HR 143. 5K splits 30:25 (slight downhill), 31:18, 30:38, and 30:55 (slight uphill). I'm happy with this!

Garmin data here.


After my walk it was orthopedist time. They took more x-rays, and not only are my 3rd and 4th fingers broken, but I have a small chip broken off my pinky too (avulsion fracture). They gave me a nice pretty pink waterproof cast to wear, which feels much more secure than the splint and can go in the shower and the pool!

In one of life's little ironies, my friend Lisa got bitten badly by a cat and is also all bandaged up; she is left-handed and is finding things difficult since it's her left hand. We had a good laugh and had our picture taken in the lab.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I decided that even though my fingers/hand still hurt that I should at least TRY to do my 10K this morning. I was supposed to do 10K with 2x5' at 20K pace but I just was not mentally ready for the speed bursts. I thought with my fingers that if I could just do the 10K that would be pretty good.

Surprisingly, it really did not hurt more to racewalk than to sit still. My hand is still sore and very bruised but racewalking didn't make it worse, I think.

Beside my hand, I felt pretty darn good throughout the workout.

Total time: 1:01:49 for 6:11/km with ave HR 142.

Garmin data here.

Edited to add: weather was warm, at 70F (21C) and a bit humid by Utah standards.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

19.74km and then...

typing one-handed so pls forgive shorthand/errors. weather was great. 59F 15C at start & sunny, kinda windy but not too bad. i felt pretty good today. had to drink a lot though. stopped at 8k for restroom due to good hydration. drank more at 11ishkm and 14,2km and 17.5km. clif shot blocks at 8 and 14.2km.

5k splits: 30:59, 30:57, 31:01, and 4.74 in 29:30 (31:07 for 5k). amazingly consistent. ave hr 144, ave pace 6:12/km. oh, and hr spiked to 208 after the fall. maybe hrm jarred in fall? doubt it got that high but who knows.

i tripped on a small sidewalk crack and fell, breaking my fall with my hands. i crunched the fingers of my RH somehow and instantly knew i'd broken my ringfinger. it was screaming pain and looked funny at the knuckle. fortunately i was near my car and drove myself to urgent care. xrays showed 3rd and 4th fingers broken near knuckles, 3rd not as bad as 4th. will have to see ortho but looks like not too badly displaced so prob can avoid surgery. the worst part was having it splinted as the pain was very severe. i was crying and sobbing and even screamed a bit when xrayed; the tech was irritated w me but it hurt a lot! rude! they have a rule that they cannot give narcotics there - dumb! the nurse was kind and when it was clear splinting would hurt a lot she stopped and gave me 800mg ibuprofen and ice and we waited 20 min. i was then able to gradually and with much pain straighten the fingers. once splinted it was better but still, i'm so annoyed that they couldn't give me something stronger. it's not like i broke my fingers to get drugs! really!!!!

anyway i'm resting now and it;s tolerable with ice.

garmin data here

Friday, June 15, 2012

12K - tired

12K was on the agenda for today. The weather was perfect - 64F (18C) and sunny and clear. I was not perfect! My legs were tired. Not horribly tired, but definitely sluggish. I felt lots better than the 15K on Tuesday, which is not saying much :).

Total time: 1:16:09 with average HR only 139 (I took it really easy - did not want to push hard today - trying to recover!). Average pace 10:13/mile or 6:21/km.

Garmin data here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

10K kickdown - 4 second PR!

Yesterday I didn't get quite as much workout time as I'd like; I managed only 15 min on the elliptical, but then I did 20 min of the glute/hip exercises Jim gave me. They are really good. I worked hard but hopefully won't be as sore as last time.


I woke up a little later than planned and had to scramble a bit to figure out how to get my workout done and get the kids to summer camp. It worked out OK, though I ended up being a little late to work. It didn't help that I got a phone call from the vet this morning. Our dog Sahara had surgery last week to remove a mass from near the base of her tail. The vet said it was likely either a hemangioma (benign) or a hemangiosarcoma (malignant). Unfortunately, the pathology came back today showing the latter. In addition, the margins were not 100% clear so she needs to have a little more surgery to remove the rest (which they will do tomorrow). It's a locally aggressive cancer, but apparently it's not that likely to metastasize, which is good news. At least the vet called AFTER my workout. But I digress.

Back to the workout. It was a warm June morning, and it was 64F when I finished my workout. I think it was about 60F (15C) when I started. But the humidity was low and there was a bit of a breeze, so it felt just fine.

I didn't discuss it with my coach beforehand, but I thought I'd try to do my four 2.5 km splits at 3:05/500m, 3:00/500m, 2:55/500m, and race hard for the last one and see what came out. That's pretty close to what I did, and it worked out well. My last split was not as fast as the fastest 2.5K I've done in this workout, but it was solid, and combined with faster early splits it was a new PR by 4 seconds. Here are my 2.5km splits: 15:16.5, 14:58.0, 14:37.1, 14:16.1 for a total of 59:07.5. Not bad! I felt really worked on that last 2.5k, but still managed to pull off a 2:46 for my last 500! I sprinted the last 100m in 31 seconds to do it :).

This workout hurts a lot. I always forget how painful that last 2.5km can be. Good thing or I'd be more reluctant to do it. I was able to focus on my technique despite the hard effort, though, and I'm pleased with how that went. I think it's improving. Oh, and my glutes were not too terribly sore from yesterday's strength training, though tomorrow's 12K might be a little slow. Still, this was a good workout and I'm happy about that.

Side note: I got a little boost from the East High cheerleaders who arrived near the end of my workout. Their coach had them do a few laps (running) and while some of them passed me I was able to stay ahead of most of them :). Gotta love that!

Garmin data here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

15K - ouch!

This was one of my more painful workouts in recent memory. My legs felt fine to start, but they just got tired and heavy and it was ugly. Add in GI distress (severe...required a pit stop during the workout and after) and it was even uglier. The only thing that was nice was the weather (55F & sunny & calm; about 12C).

I don't want to dwell on this one any more. I even managed to accidentally delete it from Garmin Connect - maybe that was a subconscious thing? So the link is on Plus3 instead, here.

I did a measly 6:28/km and only did 14.8km ... bathroom emergency at the end. Ave HR was only 139, because I just got too tired at the end to push at all, and my HR dropped.

I'm glad tomorrow is cross-training. I clearly need a rest! I will probably do hip/glute exercises though, which will make everything hurt again, but will be good for me in the long run.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Utah Summer Games spot :)

Famous again...haha :)

The Utah Summer Games has a few promo videos that may or may not appear on TV eventually. But for now, they are on YouTube. There's a 3000m racewalk that a bunch of us are entered in on June 30th in Cedar City, which is why they made the spots.


hilly 12K at 7777 feet elevation!

I was visiting Bryce Canyon yesterday and today with my friend Maryann from Texas. She is an amazing ultrawalker who won FANS last year (24 hour race in Minnesota). Like me, she has lost a lot of weight and kept it off; she lost 70lb by eating "Paleo" and I have lost 100 lb on Weight Watchers. Our dietary preferences are fairly different now, but we both are very conscientious about what we eat, and both consider ourselves recovering food addicts. Anyway, it was great to spend some time with her and do something fun together!

Yesterday we hiked about 5K together in Bryce, doing the Navajo Loop/Queen's Garden trail (the same one I took my coach Jim on last year). It's a great trail, and kid-friendly, which is important because Calvin and Michelle came along with us.

More photos from yesterday (lots more...) here, and a few here from today.

So, now on to today's workout. We stayed at a hotel on highway 20 that was near a summit on the road at 7777 ft (2370m) in elevation - yup, that's pretty high. There's a nice bike path next to it that is well-maintained but hilly. Lots of dips and such where there are gullies, and then a big downhill towards Red Canyon, to the west of Bryce Canyon. I knew between the elevation and hills that I wouldn't be fast, but I did OK I think!

My hips/glutes are still a tad sore from Friday, but mostly recovered. I started off a bit slowly but gained speed and confidence as the workout went on. I stopped for about 5 minutes at 4km to use the porta-potty by the road (a short walk through a parking lot away), but in general I was feeling pretty good. I was to do two 6' bursts of speed, the first of which was NOT speedy at all because I did it on a serious uphill. I was just in the mood to tackle that hill, at 6 km into my workout (the turnaround). My heart rate increased, and I was working it, so that's what matters. I did the next 6' burst at 10km, and did a 2:51 and 2:54 for the 500m splits on gently rolling terrain. I was happy with that.

Total time: 1:15:08 for 6:16/km with average HR 140. I think that's pretty good for hills at almost 8000ft!

Saturday, June 09, 2012


This one was tough, but that is just fine, and I knew it would be hard. After the glute exercises yesterday, my muscles were really tired. I felt good for 9K, but after that it was a hard slog because my muscles were screaming. I think that was good though - I really felt this was a strong positive workout despite the fact that I was slower than usual. I worked very hard on holding my technique when I was tired, and I feel sure that it is improving. I can just tell it is more efficient. However, the time doesn't show that because my glutes basically gave out on me. That's OK though - this workout will just make them stronger.

The weather was pretty much a non-issue. It was about 57F/14C when I started and 65F/18C when I finished. Warmish, but not enough to be a reason to be any slower.

Total time: 1:35:15 for 6:21/km with ave HR 146.

Garmin data here.

Friday, June 08, 2012

hot and hilly 10K

It was very warm this afternoon. Not as hot as it has been some days recently, but very hot for me, as I'm used to training in the 50s and 60s (or even 40s) lately. It was 82F (28C) when I started out, and 84F when I finished. Yeah, it was dry, and yeah, there was a breeze - both of those helped. But this one still took a lot out of me. I feel pretty drained!

I don't normally walk in the afternoon, but I was lazy this morning and took it easy, just going to the gym at 7 am to do glutes/hip and core exercises for 30 minutes. Then I biked to work. So, I had to racewalk later in the afternoon, which is not my favorite time to work out.

I did well enough though. I stopped at 5K to drink profusely from a water fountain at a local tennis club, so I didn't get dehydrated. I felt pretty decent through about 7km, and then the wheels really fell off - legs heavy, tired, hot, just wanting to be done. I tried not to push too hard, because I have 15km to do tomorrow. That might be difficult, though I will get it done anyway.

Total time: 1:03:20 for 6:20/km with ave HR 150. I was on 6:06 pace through about that last 3 was very slow!

Garmin data here.

Thursday, June 07, 2012


Tired this morning after staying up late for a progressive dinner with friends from church. It was a great time, but Michelle and I didn't get home until 9:45 (! for Michelle !) and then I had a sink full of dishes and other duties to attend to. I turned off the light by 11 pm and just slept until about 7 am. That felt good, but I'm still feeling a little sleep-deprived. Thankfully, my parents (bless them enormously for this!) have the kids tonight AND tomorrow night. Ahhhh...a little peace and quiet after work today will go a long way.

So, my cross-training today was simple: I biked to work. Then I biked to a friend's thesis defense in the late morning and back to work again. Now I'm going to bike home. Lots of nice biking :) and no gym. The weather is too nice for that! It was about 50F this morning when I went to work (10C) and now it's a balmy 75F (24C). Nice!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

8K fartlek - back into speed work

I got back into some longer speed work today with an 8K fartlek. The weather was quite chilly for a June morning, after the cold front that came through yesterday. My thermometer said 43F (7C), but it felt good in capris and a long-sleeve shirt and gloves. I took the gloves off after the warm-up, but my hands got a bit cold because the sprinklers were on at the track and I did get somewhat wet playing sprinkler dodge-'em as I did my workout. I might call the high school and inquire if they could perhaps run the sprinklers at 3 or 4 am when no one is using the track; there were at least 5-6 others who used the track at various times during my workout, and I'm sure we'd all appreciate staying drier!

I warmed up in about 9:5x for 1600m, taking it nice and easy but monitoring my form carefully. I felt pretty good, but not great. After my dynamic stretching I got started on the fartlek, trying to not go out too hard at the start. That was a good idea, but even then I couldn't hold the speed this morning. The first km was a relatively slow 5:32ish, and all my fast 500s were 2:44-2:49; the medium effort 500s were under 3:00 for the first 5, but the last 3 were 3:02, 3:04, 3:02. Yeah, I got tired. I haven't been getting enough sleep the past few nights, and it was a bit hard to wake up this morning. I need to get more rest...I'm not good at that!

Anyway, total for the workout was a relatively slow 46:05, with average heart rate 157, which was a bit on the low side for how hard I felt I was working. Rx: more sleep!

Garmin data here.


Afterward I went to the gym and did a whole bunch of glute exercises my coach gave me. I'll probably be sore tomorrow, but it will be a good kind of sore.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Astronomy bonanza

The last few weeks have been fabulous for sky-watchers. First, the solar eclipse on May 20:
Then, the lunar eclipse on June 4:
Then, the transit of Venus on June 5:
Transit of Venus
I feel so fortunate to have seen and photographed all of them :). What fun!


Today I just had an easy 10K on the schedule. I thought I might be slow, but I wasn't! I felt great, actually. Worked very hard on standing upright, using my glutes, and keeping my arms a touch higher (recent photos show them a bit low). This all helped - I felt very smooth. It's still not automatic and I have to concentrate pretty hard to hold good form, but I can really feel the difference.

The weather was a little warm, but not too bad. 71F (22C) with 26% humidity. I was definitely quite sweaty by the time I got home!

Total: 1:00:52 for 6:05/km with ave HR of 146.

Garmin data here.


Now it's actually chilly here. 60F and overcast and very windy. Thunderstorms are moving in. Hopefully it will pass in time so that we can at least get a small glimpse of the transit of Venus tonight.


Edited to add: rode my bike to work this morning, and also yesterday. A little extra cardio seemed all right :). I won't be able to ride after this week because the kids will be in summer camp and I'll have to drive them (the bus passes are exorbitantly priced - it's cheaper to drive!).

Monday, June 04, 2012

12K w/2x6' @20K pace

I woke up early today (out the door at 5 am!) so that I could see and photograph the partial lunar eclipse. It was fantastic!

The rest of the eclipse photos are here.

Today I was to do 12K with 2x6 min at 20K pace. I felt pretty good, though a bit sore in the hips from some lunges I did yesterday while practicing figure skating. Aside from figure skating, yesterday was a rest day :).

Weather: 73F (23C) and 38% humidity. It was quite warm (especially for 5:30 am!!!), but it didn't bother me too much. It's supposed to get up to 97F (36C) today! I actually don't mind, as the humidity is in the teens and it is just so nice to be WARM :). I love summer. (Wish I could take the kids to the pool...but Michelle can't swim for a few more days because of her chin - ice skating incident that had to be glued at the urgent care).

I felt good and smooth during my workout. I admit that I did the fast intervals on very slight downhills, but I still worked them pretty hard. I did the first one in 2:51/500m and 2:47/500m and the second one in 2:48 and 2:48. I felt like my technique was quite good today, for some reason. It just felt smooth and right. I do still have to focus all the time on standing tall and tucking my rear end under, but I suppose eventually that will be more of a habit. I did get tired on the last 2km of slight uphill, but it wasn't disastrous or anything. Just normal I think.

Total: 1:13:40 for 6:08/km with ave HR 145.

Garmin data here.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

5K - judged race PR

Yeah, it was a judged race PR. But I'm disappointed. Jim thought I could do sub-27, and I barely managed sub-28. It was warm (70F, 21C) and quite humid by Utah standards.

Total: 27:56 (my watch missed a few sec on the 1st km; it never starts quite exactly on the dot) with average HR 164 and max 177.

Splits: Kept pressing the split at the wrong spot (the 3km race marked splits! oops! race brain!) but I can add them up and get the following - 5:24 (right on target!), 5:37 (slight uphill on that end of park...but I could not hold the pace today), 5:34, 5:42, 5:38. Ouch. I really really tried. Just didn't have the 5:24 in me today :(. Bummer. Well, I guess I need to train more, eat right, and keep trying.

Garmin data here.

Oh, and Kelly Clark, who just moved from Oregon, came and tried to help pace me, but the altitude and lack of recent training meant she couldn't keep up today. I hope that we can train together, though, as we would push each other hard. She is actually MUCH faster than me when she's in shape.

More later - have video and pics of the race but in a hurry to get to my son's soccer game...

Friday, June 01, 2012

tired 10K

I was tired this morning. I felt pretty good to start, but the last 1/3 of my walk was on tired legs. I guess the fast 3K yesterday did take something out of me.

The weather was gorgeous, as it has been for the past several days. It was about 57F (14C) and sunny and clear.

I had a busy day after my walk (it was Michelle's K graduation!), so now I'm pretty tired and this will be (obviously) quite short. I did the 10K in 1:02:56 for 6:17/km with average heart rate around mid-140s. My heart rate monitor went a bit crazy in the last part of the walk so the HR average is a guess.

Garmin data here.