Saturday, September 29, 2012


Good thing my coach is so good. He knew today would be tough. I was assigned 20K, but he told me on Thursday that if I didn't have it not to do the full 20K, and that it wouldn't matter much for the 30K race. Well, he was right, and it was really hard today. My legs were still very sore from Thursday's workout, and by 6.5k they were not only sore but really tired, too. I still managed a better pace than Tuesday's 12K, so it could have been worse! Plus, it was a lovely morning (50F or 10C to start, sunny, clear) and it was SO nice to be outside. I enjoyed that much even if the walk itself really hurt. I *could* have done 5K more, but with the week ahead...yeah, not a good idea. It would have really hurt - I was slowing down quite a lot and my legs were done.

5K splits: 31:38, 32:07, 32:53 for 1:36:38; 6:27/km average pace; ave HR 138.

Garmin data here.


Yesterday: cross-training (elliptical), abs/core/stretching with Lisa, plus biking to work.


Also of note - my mom was hiking yesterday in Little Cottonwood Canyon with my aunt, who's visiting from Dallas, TX. My mom fell and fractured her tibia badly; it took the paramedics almost 8 hours to get her down from the trail. They were on the Red Pine trail and were several miles from the trailhead when she fell, and she had to be carried down since she couldn't walk (of course!). She had surgery at 3:30 am this morning and is doing OK now. She'll be in the hospital a few more days, so I'm off to visit her soon.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

10K kickdown

The first week back in training continues to be painful, as expected. Today's workout was a 10K kickdown, and I drove to the track with some apprehension. To make things more complicated, the high school cross country team was there for part of the time (up until about 5km of my workout) and I had to RW in lane 2 for a while because they were doing 400m intervals. Bummer. At least the weather was good; it was lovely at 57F (14C) and clear and calm.

In the first 400m I knew I was in trouble today. I was really stiff and sore, and felt I was walking through mud, with heavy, tired legs. It a lot of concentration to maintain 3:10/500m (6:20/k) to start, as my coach and I had agreed upon. I did 15:44 for the first 2.5km, 6 seconds under the goal of 15:50. Then I had to really focus to speed it up to 3:05/500m. I pulled a couple 3:06s and a 3:05 and then a 3:10 and I groaned inwardly and tried to refocus. I'm ashamed to admit that I nearly quit the workout at several points today. Mentally, I was not in the zone at all, and I kept doubting myself. Why did I need to do the 30K? I could just quit now and spare myself all the hard training, which might go all for nothing again like the 40K. Similar thoughts bombarded me and I couldn't push them away effectively. I finally told myself to take it 500m at a time and just go from there, and managed a 3:01, but I was still only halfway through the workout. The second 2.5km was 15:30, 5 seconds slower than the goal.

Somehow I kept going and managed to go faster. I told myself I could quit if I still wanted to when I got to 7.5km. I did 3:01, 3:01, 3:01, 2:57, and 3:01 for the next 500s, getting to 7.5km in 15:01, only 1 second shy of my goal. I stopped for about 30 seconds to give myself a pep talk and to mentally refocus, as I was doubting everything so much. I don't know how I managed to start again, but I did it, and oddly enough, when I asked for leg speed, there was something there! Strangely, the last 2.5km wasn't so terrible. I felt lousy, true, but had some strength despite that. It was weird. I managed 2:54.0, 2:52.5, 2:54.7, 2:55.2 and 2:51.3 for a last 2.5K time of 14:27.7. That is not even close to my best, but you know, considering how lousy I felt today, breaking 14:30 felt like an amazing accomplishment.

Finishing was the real accomplishment today, though. I felt so mentally weak, and it actually scared me a bit. Time to firm up my desire and motivation and picture some positive results from all this hard work. That's difficult to do following a bad race, but it's what I need to do if I'm going to do well at the 30K. So much of this is in your head.

Total time: 1:00:43

Garmin data here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

10K w/2x5' @20K pace

Today was better. Not great, but better. I could tell in the first few steps that it would be better - my hamstrings didn't seize up! The weather was lovely at 54F (12C) and calm and clear.

I got to 5K in just under 31 minutes, which is slower than usual for this route, but only by 30-45 seconds. Not bad, given the muscle soreness.

My two 5-min bursts were starting at 2.5km and 6.5km. I did both in 2:54 for the first 500m, which is pretty close to 20K pace. Slower than the effort that it took, though! It felt a lot harder than that. My legs were pretty heavy, as you'd expect.

Tomorrow is a 10K kickdown...that should be interesting...

Garmin data here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

slow 12K

I knew this would be hard, but I didn't think it would be THIS hard. My legs (hamstrings and glutes) and abs (obliques mostly) are SO very sore from yesterday's track workout.

When I woke up it was dark (yes, back to working out in the dark since it's fall) and it was raining. Funny, I didn't remember much rain in the forecast. At least it wasn't too cold; it was 54F (12C). I wore shorts and a T-shirt with my rain jacket and baseball cap. Not sure the rain jacket actually did too much, as I was completely soaked when I got home, but it did keep me warmer than without it. I kind of wished I had capris on instead of shorts, too.

The first few steps were painful! For about 10 strides I don't think I could fully straighten my legs, and my hamstrings were screaming. After that it got better, but I was (predictably) very, very slow. Despite what my coach said about this being a hard week, I still had to keep pushing out the negative thoughts, "You aren't going to be ready for 30K in 5 weeks - are you crazy?" was just the starter. I tried to shut them up and to be positive and think of something else, but it wasn't easy. Logically, I know that this week will be tough but that I have a good base and that my strength and endurance will return quickly. However, on an emotional level, it's not so easy.

Though tempted to cut the workout short, I didn't. I did the whole thing. My left hip gave a twinge or two, as did my right hip and right IT band, but nothing serious I don't think.

Yeah, this is going to be a long, hard week of racewalking. But I'm tough enough to stick it out.

Total: 1:20:20 for 6:42/km with ave HR 139.

Garmin data here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

catching up; 5x1km

It's been 10 days since I've posted. Yikes! Well, all I've been doing (mostly) is cross-training, though I did walk last Sunday. I did 6.3km around Liberty Park in a nice fast 37:45 (6:00/km). I was pushing a little, but it was mostly easy and an enjoyable walk. (Garmin data for that here).

So, catching up:
Friday the 14th - 10K with Kelly, then biked to work
Saturday the 15th - elliptical
Sunday the 16th - RW around Liberty Park 6.3K
Monday 17th - elliptical, biked to work
Tuesday 18th - biked to work twice (went in early to do some stuff and decided to bike extra instead of elliptical)
Wednesday 19th - elliptical
Thursday 20th - elliptical, biked to work
Friday 21st - elliptical, abs, biked to work
Saturday 22nd - elliptical, then biked 10K while Kelly walked (I took video of Kelly for Jim)
Sunday 23rd - rest day prior to starting hard training again!


Today it was time to start training again. I was NOT looking forward to it at all. Training after a layoff is hard, and I feel like I'm just regaining my equilibrium after doing the 40K and then having 2 weeks to get my life back in order. I do want to do the 30K, though, and so I have to train. Fortunately it's only for 3 hard weeks and 2 medium-easy weeks. Coach thinks I can break 3 hr for the 30K *IF* all the stars align and everything goes just right. Attainable, but with some luck and a very good race day. I'll be happy with a good race where I feel strong to the finish, unlike the 40K. I may or may not get that, but here's hoping.

Knowing it was going to hurt, I drove to the track. At least the weather was nice - 63F and 63% humidity. Perfect. (Threatening rain - fall is here! It did rain on me a tiny bit on my subsequent bike ride up to work). I warmed up and felt pretty smooth for having had a few weeks off. I did my warm-up 1600m in 9:27 with 2x100m strides. After doing my dynamic stretching, I got started on the workout, hoping it wouldn't hurt too much. Ha! But you know, for 2 weeks off, it wasn't so bad. It felt bad, and I was slower than I have been, but it wasn't deathly slow for the most part.

Here were my splits: 5:27.2, 5:24.4, 5:26.5, and then it hurt more... 5:37.4, 5:34.4. On the last one, I just made it my goal to try and go faster than the 4th one. I did that by 3 seconds, but it was really hard. HR was up in the low 170s at the end of the last few.

Glad it's done. Next week's workouts will be a bit better I'm sure. My coach called me after the workout and I was glad he did. I needed the pep talk. He was happy with this and thought it was faster than he'd expected, and pointed out that fast twitch muscles lose it pretty fast, but come back pretty fast as well.

Garmin data here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

cross-training; 10K

Mostly I've been doing cross-training this week.

Monday: elliptical, bike to work.
Tuesday: elliptical, bike to work.
Wednesday: bike to work.
Thursday: elliptical, bike to work.

Today I decided to meet my friend Kelly (and fellow athlete of Jim's) for an easy 10K. Kelly is ramping up after not training at all for 4 months. She has a PR of 24:50 in the 5K, though, so once she ramps up I'll be hard-pressed to catch her. For today, I could have gone faster, but was glad she was with me to keep me going really easy.

The weather was gloriously cool. It was 53F (about 12C?) and calm and dry. It was so nice!!!!! We enjoyed 2 loops of Liberty Park + a bunch of 600E, at 5K each. No pressure, no worries about time, just walking and chatting. It was lovely. SO nice to have someone to train with. We're going to have to get Jim to give us similar workouts on the same days so we can train together more often.

We did our 10K nice and easy, in 1:06:01 for 6:36/km. My heart rate was low, at 136, as you'd expect for the easy pace. It felt good, except for a slight twinge in the left piriformis.

Weirdly, when I got back home, my big toe on my right foot was killing me! The nail is very sensitive and purplish. I am not sure what's going on - same shoes I wore for the 40K, so can't be the shoes? I don't know. Anyway, it's a minor inconvenience.

Garmin data here.


I get one more easy week after this week to recover, and then we start training for the National 30K on 10/28. Jim thinks I can break 3 hr. I think that IF I am able to recover well that I have a shot at it for sure, but that remains to be seen.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

photos from 40K; other randomness

Here are more photos from the 40K.


Since the 40K: Monday, Tues, and today, I biked to and from work. I also did 30 min on the elliptical on Monday and Tuesday. My legs, arms, abs, etc. were all sore from the race, especially Monday night. Today I'm feeling better, just tired. I slept a bit later this morning, worked on my blog, and skipped the elliptical.

Plans for the rest of the week: tomorrow, some elliptical and bike to work. Friday: easy 10K with Kelly. Saturday, some more elliptical and maybe some weights.


Now for the REALLY crazy part. I actually bought a plane ticket to Philly for my 25th high school reunion the last weekend in October. And guess what? While I'm there, I'm going to do the National 30K racewalk in New York, just a 2-hr drive from the reunion. OK, that's crazy, I know, but...I was thinking to go to the reunion anyway (had bought a dinner ticket already and Loren was Ok with that), and why not do a race while I'm there? After the dismal time in the 40K, I want redemption!

USATF 40K National Championship

I had high hopes for this race. I trained as hard as I could all summer and sacrificed a lot to spend the time and energy to prepare well for it.

The weather for the race was quite reasonable, which was fortunate. New Jersey can be brutally hot and humid at the beginning of September. It was still pretty warm, but no warmer than what I'd trained well in this summer. It was 63F with 93% humidity at the start, and by the finish it was 73F with 61% humidity. I was warm during the race, but not overly hot, and the weather was pretty much a non-factor in how my race turned out.

It was exciting to arrive at the starting line and meet some racewalkers I'd only known on Facebook/blogs/racewalking Yahoo group - notably, Ray Sharp. I also met Rod Craig, Alexis Davidson, Dorit Attias, Bill Vayo, Solomiya Login, Dan Serianni, and of course, race director and 50K Olympian (Melbourne 1956) Elliott Denman. I was happy to see a bunch of walkers I already have met in person as well: Rebecca Garson, Cathy Mayfield, Darlene and John Backlund, Chris Schmid, Dave McGovern, and Peter Bayer. Hopefully I haven't left anyone apologies if I have, as I'm a bit tired. Oh, and of course my fellow Jim Leppik athletes Erin Taylor-Talcott and Dave Talcott! I'd seen them the day before the race at my amazing hostess (and 1999 40K winner) Sherry Brosnahan's home and we enjoyed relaxing together pre-race and having dinner together.

It was a special pleasure to run into Sally Bayer, Peter's wife. I met them in 2008 in Spokane, WA at Outdoor Masters, which was my first judged race. They are truly delightful people. Sally agreed to videotape the race for me and I've put a few clips in this post.

Happy to see Sally:

Ready or not, here I come!:

I got my water, zipfizz (electrolytes), and gels situated on the personal aid table, and after a brief (5 min) warm-up (40K is its own warm-up, really!), I was ready to go. Well, as ready as I was going to be. Elliott made some announcements, including commenting on the large puddle (7m by his estimate; it took me about 5-6 strides to go through it each time so I think his estimate was a bit large?) at the end of the 2km loop. Basically, he said that we just had to be tough and suck it up. There is some truth in that; racewalkers are at the mercy of the weather and we need to adapt. However, wet feet for 40km when it's not raining wasn't ideal (I got much worse blisters than usual on my right foot) and it would have been nice if they could have used a broom to sweep the water or perhaps fill in some of the puddle with gravel or put a piece of plywood over the worst of it? In addition, one of the judges actually sat near the puddle and at one point during the race he watched me (closely) as I walked through it. Really???? I didn't get a red card, but that seemed excessive. On the other hand, that same judge was very kind to me, telling me to relax on my first lap (he was right) and after that each lap telling me I looked great and that my form was good.

Other than the puddle, the course was pretty nice - mostly shaded paved loop in a pretty park. Mostly flat (1 very small rise) and the pavement was in pretty good condition except in a few spots (notably, bumpy and scary near the aid station by the starting line - you had to watch your footing!). There was another aid station near the 1km split and a sponge station as well.

This is a bit disorganized! Ah well. Now for the race itself. I started off quite well, but it quickly went downhill. Before the race, Erin introduced me to a soft-spoken teenaged racewalker named Melissa from Shore AC (the host club) who was going to try to do sub-60 for 10K. She thought Melissa could walk with me for a lap to make sure she didn't go out too fast. I thought that would be great to have some company. I really did feel good and easy on the first lap. I could not figure out the splits at all (they were marked with cones, but not labeled and I didn't know if they were pointing out potholes on the course or if they were the splits) and so had to go by my Garmin for pace. I was a little fast for the first lap because of that, but it was close enough, and perfect for Melissa. I wanted to do 12:15-12:24 per lap to get my 4:05-4:08 time and hopefully the W40-44 age group records for 25K (2:37:xx) and 35K (3:41:xx). I got there in 11:57...yes, too fast, but given what I was doing in training that should not have hurt me too much. The telling thing is that my average heart rate was 154. Adrenalin or not, that was too high. Way too high for that pace.

Around this time, Jeff Salvage from Philadelphia snapped my picture for his photo story of the race for - please visit his fine site and have a look around if you have never been there. He's got a ton of info on racewalking technique, photo stories of various races, and information on racewalking clinics.

Video at 2K - start of lap 2:

I relaxed a little and told myself to just hold to what I felt was a comfortable pace. I did that, and the next lap was too slow, at 12:25.6. Uh-oh. I tried to pick it up just a little, but I was afraid of going too hard. I needed to stay comfortable!

Video at 4K - start of lap 3:

I went with being mostly comfortable and did a 12:29.3 for the 3rd lap. I was mentally a bit distressed about the slow speed, but knew I had to stay relatively easy or I'd pay.

Video at 6K - start of lap 4:

Lap 4 was an even slower 12:34.1, and my heart rate was averaging mid-150s. I knew this was NOT good at all. It was nothing like my training had been. What was happening? I was starting to worry quite a lot. The 5th loop made 10K, and it was 12:43.4 for 1:02:10; about this time Erin lapped me and we exchanged a few words. I told her it wasn't my day but that I was still going to finish. I knew what was coming. I was about 2 min slower for 10K than I would have been in training with that same heart rate.

At this point I knew that I had to change my goal. I was clearly not going to walk 4:08. I thought maybe I could do 4:10, and also thought I could still break the 25K record, but I decided that the only way to feel good about my goal would be to let go of a time goal and walk for place. If I could just finish the race, avoid getting DQ'd, and get second place, that was the best I could do. My friend Sherry, who hosted me as I said above, was a volunteer on the course and was gamely cheering me on and encouraging me at every turn. It meant a lot to have her there and be able to talk to her (in snatches!) about how I was doing. I think I saw her around 10K and told her it wasn't going to be my day, but that I was going to finish. That was all I could keep in my mind: I HAD to finish, regardless.

Continuing on to 20K, I still felt decent physically. I was slower than I wanted, but I felt all right. It was getting warmer outside, and I started dumping water over my head and using the sponges at the sponge station. One bad side effect of this was that I got so wet that my pre-race lube didn't stay on my right thigh very well, and my shorts chafed pretty painfully in one spot. I had more lube but didn't want to stop to put it on. I already had to keep coming to a stop each lap to grab my zipfizz/water bottles and gel, because if you didn't have a personal aid station attendant, then you were out of luck (I know, I'm spoiled by the fact that Karen and Conrad helped me so much in the 50K in January!). The race DID provide a very kind volunteer to place the bottles back on the aid tables. She was wonderful, and after the race I met her and found out that her name was Solomiya Login. Of course I instantly recognized the name - she was in the World Cup this year in Russia and also in the women's 20K Olympic Trials. It was really kind of her to come out and volunteer for us; she's injured and couldn't race.

My splits to 20K were slow but not deathly slow yet. 12:36.4, 12:46.5, 12:41.4, 12:42.1, and then 12:59 (OK, that one was bad!). That 10K was 1:03:45 for a total of 2:05:55 by my watch, but the clock was 2:06:00 even. Oh boy. That was slower than almost any 20K split I'd had in any workout this whole summer. I was so disappointed by this point, and was getting dispirited as well. I told myself I just had to finish and that that was all that mattered. I tried as hard as I could to stay positive, but it was very difficult. I was pretty sure that I was solidly in second place, as I had lapped all of the women by this time except for Erin. was hard to face the grim death-march to the finish.

Video at 16K (start of lap 9):

Video at 18K (start of lap 10):

The next 10K started to hurt a lot. Up to 20K it wasn't too painful, just slow. After that, the pain intensified. I finally did more or less figure out the 500m splits. Elliot pointed out the 1km split to me as he was taking record times for some of the other walkers. He had 3 stopwatches to get the record for me at 25K, but I missed it by 1 minute. Sad, because I was sure I could get that one before the race. However, total meltdown does tend to preclude records, doesn't it? My splits to 30K show the pain: 13:12.7, 13:09.8, 13:16.5, 13:27.3, 13:48.9 for 1:06:55 for that 10K and a total of 3:12:50 for 30K, incredibly slower than any of my workouts this summer. Somewhere during that 10K, Erin walked with me for a lap. She'd gotten her 25K Open record, but knew she wasn't going to get the 40K record of 3:32:07 that day, so she very graciously decided to walk with me and help me for a lap. I couldn't even maintain 6:30/km pace by that point. I tried hard and I'm not sure I went much faster for her pacing, but the company was invaluable because I walked alone for pretty much the whole race besides that lap. She also walked a lap with her husband Dave, and still finished in 3:44. I truly appreciated her help.

Video at 22K (start of lap 12):

Video at 28K (start of lap 14; sideways, mirroring how I felt at that point):

The last 10K: agonizing. Harder than just about any race I've done lately. It's a terrible fact that finishing a race slowly and drained is much harder than finishing a race fast and strong. I don't recall suffering so much during a race since 2010, when I had a terrible 10K in Liberty Park when I was iron-depleted. I counted down the laps, counted down the km, and just suffered. I wasn't strong at all physically, and just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and finishing at any cost. The sun started to beat down on us more as the day grew warmer, and in the non-shaded part of the course just before the puddle I baked and felt that this must be a small version of hell. I'm not trying to complain here; honestly, I just want to record what it was like.

On the bell lap, I was just glad it would be over soon. I didn't push much harder because there wasn't any more left. My splits for the last 10K? Well, let's just say this was the slowest 10K I've done since the winter of 2010-2011 when I was sick with a mystery virus for 2 months. I didn't even hold 7:00/km pace. 13:51.5, 14:05.8, 14:11.3, 14:08.5, 13:57.2 for 1:10:14 for the last 10km by my watch. My official time was 4:23:10.

After the race, I talked to Jim for a while and debriefed, and then I sat in the grass for a while and had a good cry. It helped. The award ceremony, where I got really nice plaques for 2nd place and for Master's (over 40) champion, helped a lot. I felt much better afterward (I really did feel quite happy and enjoyed hanging out with everyone), and I know I did the best I could. I offer no excuses, but the only explanation that makes any sense is that the cold I've been struggling with did me in (in fact, 3 days after the race I still have sniffles and a cough). It was a bad day, and this usually doesn't happen to me, so now I just have to do the best I can to move on. It was put in perspective for me talking with Solomiya after the race. She quit her job as a math teacher to prepare for the Olympic Trials this summer, got injured stepping in a ditch while warming up at the World Cup, and then because of her injury had a disappointing Olympic Trials. She is still unemployed. Wow, to give up all of that and have a disappointing race? That put my disappointment in perspective.

With the awards - and feeling MUCH better/happier:

Garmin data here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

catching up: pre-40K workouts

Yeah...back from the 40K...busy...race report to come soon, but first this post.

Catching up:

Thursday before 40K - 30 min elliptical, then bike to work. Felt decent; a bit slower on elliptical than usual but not much hacking or coughing.

Friday before 40K - 3x1km at track with 2' rest at 85% effort. I probably was more like 90% effort by the last one but still felt had some in reserve. Did 5:31, 5:29, 5:30 for the 1kms. No hacking and coughing :).

Saturday - day before 40K - 20 min easy walking with strides. It was pretty hot and humid in the pm in New Jersey before the storm came through. Erin and I walked together and chatted a bit. I felt a bit sluggish but chalked it up to the heat. Physically I was feeling better and thought I was mostly over my cold though I did have some pinkeye.

Thursday, September 06, 2012


Still can't shake the cough. Looks like it will be with me for a while. However, I am feeling better in general so hopefully I will be OK for the race. Less than 72 hours to go.

This morning I did the elliptical at the gym for 30 min, and then rode my bike to work (22 min). Good variety of cross-training, and I basically felt fine except for the nagging cough. At least I'm on the mend. Nothing to do now but wait and hope and pray for the best.


Weather report is looking OK for the race. Low 68F, high 77F with scattered showers. Well, about like what I trained in, except for the excess humidity and the rain. Could be better, but could be lots worse too.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

hot 8K

DUH! No wonder I was feeling a bit sluggish tonight. I mean, besides the nasty cold virus.

Let me back up. I decided not to work out in the morning today, because I wanted to sleep longer to try and get better. I slept 9 hours last night :) ahhhhhhhh. And guess what? I felt better today. I think I am turning the corner! I can breathe through my nose again, and the coughing is a bit better. I made it through the day at work without feeling like I was going to fall asleep or pass out from tiredness.

The unfortunate part of working out in the evening at 6 pm during my son's soccer practice (Loren could be there and watch him and Michelle) is that it was hot. I didn't realize just how hot, though. I thought it was low 80s. NOT! According to the National Weather Service website, it was 88F at 6 pm and 86F at 6:55 pm. Whoa. OK, so the humidity was 12% (typical for here in the evening), but still...88? Hotter than I thought.

I felt pretty sluggish for the whole 8k, and more so for the last 3k. I was definitely hot - stopped in Liberty Park to splash off in the fountain and that felt great. I slowed down quite a bit at the end, but in retrospect I can see it was just the heat getting to me.

Now that I'm home and have had dinner, I feel pretty decent. However, I'm going to bed early again. I need the sleep.

Total: 49:16 for 6:10/km with ave HR 145.

Garmin data here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

sick. 5K fartlek anyway.

I was supposed to do an 8K fartlek today. Ha. I feel lousy. Last night I couldn't breathe through my nose at all, and it's been running like a faucet. I am coughing a lot, too. At least the weather was nice - 61 or 63F depending on which thermometer I looked at. Nice and dry too.

Got to the track and figured I'd see how the warm-up went. I did all right; 9:27 for the 1600m with strides and I felt OK, though I was coughing a bit. Started into the fartlek and after 2km I knew it was going to be trouble. My legs felt like sludge and I couldn't breathe well at all. Raspy and nasty sounding. I decided that 5K was enough for today and quit when I got there, in 28:59. Slow (compare to 10K in 57:24 on Saturday with the same workout). Ugh. On the 4th km could barely manage 2:54 for the fast 500, and when I gave it all I had on the last km I did 2:47.6. Crap.

Oh, and now (a few hours later, lunch time) my legs feel terrible, like I did a 30K or something :(.

Garmin data here.


Sorting it out: Yes, I feel lousy. I might be better enough by Sunday to have a decent race. Maybe. Past history with this kind of thing suggests not, but it's possible that if I rest (ha! rest? with my life?) I might feel better by then.

OK, let's assume the worst. I go to NJ with my non-refundable plane ticket and I have a lousy race. I have sacrificed a lot this summer to train hard for this race specifically, and it's going to cost me about $500 to go and do the race. That sucks, big-time, but in the scheme of things in life, it's not that bad. I'm healthy (except for this cold, which will get better), my family life is good, I have a job that I love, and things are pretty good overall. Plus I'll get to see friends this weekend and enjoy myself even if the race isn't as good as I want it to be.

I'm trying hard to be positive. Honestly, I feel sad and pretty bummed out about the whole thing. I'm hoping things will get better, and there's no use being too upset about something I can't control and can't change. But I'm still sad. I guess that will have to be OK.


I feel bad that I came to work today anyway; my boss is doing Logan to Jackson (200 mile bike ride) on Saturday and he sure as heck doesn't want my cold. But I had stuff to do that is important for a grant we're submitting in a few weeks...and I CAN work though it is making me tired. I might try to leave a bit early and get a nap, but it's not looking like that is going to be possible.

Monday, September 03, 2012


I appreciated yesterday's rest day a lot, as my cold had me feeling a bit weak and definitely not up to exercising much. Loren and I enjoyed a good lunch together in Kimball Junction followed by a movie in the theater (the Bourne Legacy - quite good, actually!). We both enjoy a good thriller, whether movie or book. Afterward, we returned to our hotel for some relaxation (I read a bit and was on the internet for a while, and Loren napped) followed by watching some TV on DVD (Downton Abbey, Big Love) and then out to dinner at the Grub Steak in Park City. Dinner was, well, not very good. Don't go there! The service was mediocre, and the food matched it.


Today was a cross-training day. I woke still feeling sick, but after 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep I was feeling a bit better than yesterday. I got on the pretty crappy elliptical in the hotel fitness room (love this hotel, actually, but most hotels seem to have lousy fitness rooms for some reason) and did 45 minutes. The time passed pretty quickly despite the equipment issues, because I am reading an outstanding book on marriage - best I've ever read - and it gave me lots of things to chew on (the book is Tim Keller's "The Meaning of Marriage" and it's a 5-star book for sure).

OK, time to check out of our hotel and go enjoy some lunch together, no kids :). We needed this time and it's fantastic!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

rest day; sick

Today's a rest day. Good thing, because my head cold is moving into my chest. The dry cough from yesterday? Not so dry today.

On the positive side, I have very few obligations today and tomorrow and I have time to rest. I think it's likely I'll be feeling fine by next weekend for the race. Here's hoping, anyway.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

10K fartlek - new PR on HILL at ALTITUDE!!!!!!!!

Can you tell I'm excited?

I thought this workout was going to be terrible. I felt kind of lousy; still battling that cold - dry cough all night, sore throat, runny nose, and GI system not great this morning or last night (I think it was the dried those but must NOT eat them).

I drove over to Park City High School to use their track (we're enjoying a little time away for the weekend), but it was locked up tight as a drum. Drat. Drat. Drat. There is nowhere flat in this town, and that is a bit of a problem. I cold drive to Kimball Junction where there are flatter spots, but there is more traffic there. Heck, I could drive home (only 35 min or so). Naaaah...suck it up and do the workout. There was a paved path in front of the high school with 1 km between stoplights. Perfect. OK, not perfect, since it was 20m (65ft) of hill in that 1km. Well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

My times were about 10 sec slower going uphill (for each 500m) and 10 sec faster going downhill. I was working really, really hard; my medium effort 500s going uphill were definitely harder than usual. The downhill was a bit easier but was tough going. And it wasn't as cool as I'd have liked. When I finished it was 64F (here, at elevation!) and it was VERY humid this morning. I did pause very briefly (10 sec?) after each 2km (starting about 4-5km?) for a quick drink, as my throat was dry and scratchy and I was warm. The saving grace was that it started to drizzle a bit and it was breezy, so I didn't overheat too much. I wondered about 4km in if I was going to finish, but about 5km I got a second wind, felt great, and just kept going. I was able to push very hard to the finish and get an amazing time.

On the first km I went 500m uphill and then 500m downhill and did 5:30. Nice. When I averaged my uphill and downhill fast 500m and my uphill and downhill medium 500m, my fasts were all 2:44-2:48 and my mediums were all 2:58-3:01, with my last 1km giving me the fastest times. Yeah, I gave it my all, and I did well on this one. I'm psyched! Now just need good weather for the 40km.

Total time: 57:24 with ave HR 162 (by my spreadsheet - the Garmin site has made some sort of calculation error, showing the average as 152, but there is no way that is correct). Yup, that is 4 seconds faster than my old PR which I set a week before the 50K. That one was on a track, and this on the hill, at altitude, with a cold. Now for some rest for the rest of the weekend to see if I can shake the cold.

Garmin data here.

Some pictures (below):
1. The path looking uphill
2. The path looking downhill
3. Park City High School
4. Fall colors are starting up here at elevation at Park City Mountain Resort. In just a short while people will be skiing up here!