Tuesday, October 23, 2012

more cross-training

Yesterday I did the elliptical for 45 minutes. Today, I was in the mood for a change, so I took a spinning class. I wanted to get some interval cardio work in, as I haven't been able to do any track workouts. I figured it couldn't hurt and might help.

As usual, spinning was tough. I mean, OK, it's only as tough as you make it, but I make it tough. When the instructor says add resistance, I add, and I don't start easy. Interestingly, I find that when spinning my perceived exertion is much higher for the same heart rate than when I'm walking. Today, when my HR was 160, I felt I was really dying! When I'm walking that feels hard but not that hard. I'd say that if I add about 10 to what my HR is spinning then it feels the same as walking. 160 spinning feels like 170 walking.

So it was a good hard workout. I was dripping with sweat when I was done, and it didn't hurt my hamstring/butt/whatever it is that is hurting.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

catching up again

Been a while since I blogged. I have been cross-training pretty much every day; usually I do the elliptical for 45-50 minutes, and a few days I've lifted weights too.

Yesterday I decided to walk 10K, as my left hip has been feeling better. I've confused my coach by using the term hip, when really, it's the left side of my backside. OK, for lack of a better word (sorry mom...I know, I know), it's my left butt-cheek. I am 95% sure it's my hamstring at the top where it attaches, and coach thinks now that we've had time to chat on Facebook a bit that it is probably a bit of tendonitis there. That makes perfect sense to me based on where it hurts, when it hurts (only when racewalking, and only after quite a while), and when it doesn't hurt (when sitting, it doesn't ache - hence not piriformis).

Anyway. I did great for the 10K yesterday - was super fast, and felt quite good until about 9K (with a fair amount of stretching along the way just as a precaution) when my glutes tired and then the hamstring started to hurt. That's lots better than last weekend when it hurt a lot sooner and it really slowed me down. Yesterday I was fast, finishing 10K in 60:51 with ave HR 143. Not bad at all if I could have kept going; it wouldn't have held for 30K yesterday though.

However, coach thinks it's possible that with another week I could possibly make it through 30K. He's trying to talk me into at least starting the race and just getting a DNF if I can't make it. I'm thinking about it.

Today I walked about 5.5K of casual walking along the Jordan River Parkway with my friend Nancy, who was doing the second of two back-to-back marathons. Yup, she did one yesterday and one today. Wow! Our friend Diane was doing the second race along with Nancy. I just walked with them for a short while; they were taking it nice and slow for obvious reasons, and that was perfect for me. My leg was fine - it got a little tight maybe but didn't hurt. I could tell it was slightly tired but no pain whatsoever, so that was good.

After that I headed to church and after church I had to work for about 20-30 min in the lab and then went to the gym to do the elliptical for 30 min before going to my parents' house to cook and clean for them. Whew. Busy day. Back at home now and it's bedtime! Elliptical and some weights beckon in the morning.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I cross-trained yesterday and Friday, and tried to rest my hip. I was hoping that I'd do well today; Jim had told me to do 20K today if possible.

It was nice out: 46F (8C) and calm and clear. I got started and felt decent for about 5K. However, that didn't last long. I did the first 5K in 31:10 or so, but then my hip really started to hurt and while I was able to walk, I was much slower and knew I'd have to stop at 10K (I was doing 5K loops). I was very disappointed, but not terribly surprised. I made it to 10K in a slow 1:04 for 6:20/km with ave HR just 139 because of how slowly I had to go and how much I stopped to stretch.

I think I'm done for the season. I could keep pushing, but it doesn't seem wise at this time. I'm not 100% for sure writing the race off, but unless my hip is a lot better very soon, it's clear that I won't be able to do it.

Amazingly, I feel at peace about this. It just seems right to stop pushing. I have to rest anyway, because I obviously can't train like this, and so I'll cross-train this week and maybe try another walk after 5-6 days. However, I am pretty sure that I'll be volunteering at the race instead of racing.


In other news, my coach's brother died early this morning. I'm very sad for him and for his parents especially. His brother had a degenerative neurological disorder and they had known for a while that he was not going to make it, but that doesn't make it any easier for the family. I wish I lived closer so that I could do more for them. At the very least I can keep them in my thoughts and prayers.


My mom continues to improve after breaking her tibia badly two weeks ago. She is feeling better now and can get around the house OK with her walker. She won't be able to drive or to walk for 5 more weeks, but I'm helping out around the house and lots of friends have brought meals to my parents, so they are managing OK. It's not been easy for them, but they are getting by.


All of this puts racewalking more in perspective. It's one race, and if I can't do it, so what? No big deal. I'm still healthy and in good shape, and I can train more next year. There's always another race :).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

muscle spasm

Yesterday I did cross-training (elliptical) to try and recover from Tuesday's disastrous 15K. I honestly felt pretty good by this morning when I arrived at the track. It was very dark at 5:45 am, but it was pretty warm at 55F (about 12C) and I warmed up well. My left glutes were definitely tired from Tuesday (I probably shouldn't have done the last 3k of that workout), but I figured I'd be all right. And I was...for a while.

I was to do 3x2k and 4x500m with 2' rest. I started on the first 2k, and felt decent, completing it in 11:01 (I thought it was 10:59 when I talked to my coach, but it was actually 11:01) feeling pretty strong and knowing I'd have enough for the rest of the workout. I took my 2 min rest and stretched my left leg because it felt stiff. Guess what? It was really stiff and sore, as I found out when I started the next 2k. I made it 500m in 2:46 before it hurt quite a bit and I had to stop and stretch again. I thought I'd do another 500m and see if it loosened up at all. It didn't. After a slow 2:52 500m, it got worse, and I was almost limping, so I called it quits reluctantly.

Coach thinks it's my piriformis. It probably is; hard for me to tell for sure. I went to the gym and did the foam roller for a bit, and did the elliptical for a little to loosen it up, which helped somewhat.

I texted my coach, and because of the time difference, he was asleep (6:30 am here = 11:30pm in Melbourne these days). He did call me as soon as he woke up, and we talked for a while. This race could really go one of two ways for me: I'm in good shape, and when I'm fresh I've had fast workouts. However, I've been really sore and am not quite recovered from the 40K. If I recover by then, I could still have a really fast race. But if not, the last 10K of the 30K could be very ugly. And it could go either way - no one really knows what will happen. Jim still thinks I should do the race, and I am inclined to do it since I've done most of the training, and I was going to travel anyway for my HS reunion. But part of me is very afraid...

So, because of all this, I've earned myself a few more days of cross-training, followed by 20K on Sunday instead of our planned 25K on Saturday. Bummer. I really wanted to do 25K before the race. Jim says that the training I had this summer will carry me through the distance, as long as I'm recovered enough. He's usually right, so here's hoping.

Garmin data here.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

15K slog


This hurt.

A lot.

The weather was perfect (46F, 8C) but my legs were not. They were sore from yesterday, especially my left glutes.

I made it to 10K in an OK time despite my heavy and sore legs, even 13K not so bad, but the last 2K my legs totally gave up. Seriously. It was like they were dead. I could barely racewalk.

Mentally, this whole workout was a huge struggle. I wanted to quit. But I only have one more week of really hard training leading up to the 30K, and I've put in too much now to quit. If my 25th high school reunion wasn't the same weekend as the 30K, though, I probably would bail on the 30K now. I just don't see this ending well. I should trust my coach, though. He's almost always right about everything and he does see it ending well. I'm tired today and not thinking clearly so probably should not think so much :).

Total time: 1:35:04 for 6:20/k with ave HR 145. 5K splits: 30:36, 31:34, 32:54 (!).

Garmin data here.

Monday, October 08, 2012

10k fartlek

Yesterday was a much-needed rest day. I was sore from my 20K, and it was good to rest from exercising. However, I did go over to my parents' house and clean and cook for them, since my mom is still pretty incapacitated from her hiking adventure.


Today I was still somewhat sore when I woke up, and I had a 10K fartlek to do. Well, no getting around that one. It was chilly outside but not too bad; 41F (5C) and calm and clear. I warmed up for 1600m with strides (9:35) plus did dynamic stretching. Then I got going on the fartlek. I felt great for the first 1km and the first 500m recovery and then I started to feel pretty lousy. My times weren't great - most of the fast 500s were 2:50-2:51 and after the first two, the recoveries were slow too - 3:04, 3:05, even 3:08 :(. Still, they weren't terrible times, and were far from the slowest I've done. My legs just felt tired today - by 5km the analogy that came to mind was that they felt like hamburger. I'm proud that I still worked it really hard and gave it my all and finished strong. I did actually feel a little better by the end - I didn't have that completely trashed feeling and my last 500 was controlled and strong, if not fast.

My legs are really tired now, though...and I have 15km tomorrow. Suck it up, buttercup!

Total time 58:43 (hey, that was my PR for a while...so it's not like it was slow - just slower than I'd like right now) and average HR 159. HR lower than usual on this workout, as you'd expect from a fit person whose legs are sore.

Garmin data here.

Saturday, October 06, 2012


This one was better than I thought it might be. My legs were pretty darn sore yesterday, and were still sore this morning when I woke up, though a little better than yesterday. I thought this might be disastrous, but it went OK.

The weather was chilly but lovely: calm, clear, and 45F (7C) to start and 55F (13C) when I was done. I wore capris and a long-sleeved shirt but wished I'd worn shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, because the sun was warm. It was a gorgeous day, though!

I felt very good to start, and was surprised at how fast I was going for an easy effort. I was concerned that I went out too fast, but it IS a slight downhill, and I really did feel I took it easy. I didn't slow too much later, so I think it was OK. I felt a bit tired around 8K or so, but then perked right up and felt my technique really kicking in. I don't know how else to explain it, but I just felt like it was suddenly more correct and more fluid. It was great! I felt pretty good until 17K and then the wheels fell off a bit, and I was pretty tired on the last 3K, which was a slight uphill. My 5K splits weren't bad at all though: 29:41, 31:17, 30:50, and 31:41. Total time was 2:03:28 for 6:10/km with ave HR 148.

My hip was mostly OK; I did have to stop and stretch a lot but that was more for my glutes and hamstrings than for my hip, for which I was thankful.

All in all, a pretty good workout. Whew. Only 3 weeks until the 30K - it's coming up so fast. I'm not sure I'll be as ready as I want to be, but it's not because I didn't try.

Garmin data here.

Friday, October 05, 2012

10K w/2x5' @20K pace

I was hoping I wouldn't be sore after yesterday's workout, but I was. By last night I was stiff and a bit achy in my glutes. This morning, my first few steps were accompanied by "Ow ow ow ow" as I worked out the soreness.

We are having a cool snap and fall is definitely in the air. It was 43F (6C) this morning and calm and clear. Definitely chilly - tights, long-sleeved shirt, and gloves were in order, but once those were on it was quite comfortable outside.

I felt OK for the first 6K or so. I did my first 5 minute burst at 20K pace starting at 2.5k, and felt reasonably fast, doing 500m in 2:49 without working too terribly hard. But after 6K all bets were off. My second burst felt much harder and my 500m time was only 2:58. My legs hurt a lot from there to the end of the 10K. I slowed down a lot, too, but was still almost a minute faster than last week, which is good I guess.

I hope my legs feel better quickly. I really need to do 20K tomorrow.

Total: 1:01:56 for 6:12/km with ave HR 145.

Garmin data here.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

3x2k, 4x500

I was quite apprehensive about this workout. Yesterday I felt fairly rotten/tired from the second cold I've been battling. Runny nose, sore throat, and fatigue were dogging me. I went to the gym and did 30 min on the elliptical, hoping it would help, but it really didn't make me feel better; if anything I felt worse and wished I hadn't done it (one of those very rare cases where a workout doesn't make you feel better). At least I didn't have the 24-hr stomach flu like my boss, who had to go home sick yesterday - and he almost NEVER goes home sick unless he's half-dead, so you know that one was bad.

I woke up feeling pretty good this morning, though. I felt well-rested from the night's sleep, and had just a bit of a runny nose and that was it. The weather was lovely - 48F (9C) at home (though the car thermometer said 44F at the track), calm, and clear. I wore gloves and a long-sleeved shirt for the first time this season, though I did ditch the gloves after a couple 2k repeats. It was really dark, too, and stayed dark until I was almost done.

I warmed up for 1600m in about 9:30 and felt good on the warm-up. I did my dynamic stretching and then started the workout. The first 2K didn't feel too hard, and I was fast! Under 11 min, with 10:59.5! "Good," I thought. Now to keep that pace. I had 2 min rest between all the intervals today, and after my rest started again. I still felt good, to my surprise, and pulled off a 10:58.5. I was feeling pretty strong, and did the third 2k in 10:57.5. I worked that last one pretty hard, but I felt strong and good. Now for my 500s. I kept waiting for the workout to fall apart, but it didn't happen. All summer that's been the case because of the heat, but today it was just so nice and cool! My 500s were no problem. Yes, I did work them hard, but they were really fast and I felt good. I did them in 2:36.9, 2:35.8, 2:35.4, and 2:34.9.

What a relief! A good workout, finally. Now I can begin to feel a little more excited about the 30k. Hopefully this workout didn't take too much out of me and I'll be up for a good 20k on Saturday. I expect it will be fine.

Garmin data here.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


I still have a few symptoms from my current cold: mostly congestion and runny nose with a little fatigue. The sore throat is gone and I never felt really lousy like I did with the cold before the 40K. I still didn't wake up eager to go, that's for sure, especially after how tough a slog 15K was on Saturday. But the weather was really nice at 55F (13C) and clear and calm, and that made it easier to get out there.

The walk itself went OK. It was much better than Saturday's 15K, and that showed in the time. 5K splits: 30:38, 31:31, 31:40. Total time 1:33:49 for 6:15/km with ave HR 143. I wasn't dying at the end like on Saturday, and could have done another 5K without too much problem, so hopefully 20K this Saturday will be all right.

The only problem I did have was that my right hip started to bother me again - I am pretty sure it's the piriformis, and it hurt more going uphill (even on a very gradual slope) than downhill. It helped to think of using my left glutes more and also making sure I brought my right knee through low, but that didn't eliminate the discomfort. Stretching periodically (every few km at the end) helped a lot. Hopefully this won't worsen as I train more over the next few weeks.

I'm not too sore now; just a little bit as I'd normally expect. Maybe this week won't be so bad?

Garmin data here.

Monday, October 01, 2012


My coach changed my workouts to make them easier for a few days so that I could recover better. Good timing, too, as I got another cold virus; this time a minor one, but still enough to slow me down a bit. I've got a minor sore throat, some congestion, and tinnitus in my left ear.

Today I had cross-training (instead of the originally planned 10K fartlek). I opted for 30 min on the elliptical plus biking up the big hill to work (~21 minutes today). I'll bike to the kids' school this afternoon to get them and we'll do some skating practice I think.

Oh, and yesterday was a rest day.

I feel pretty good today - the soreness from Saturday's 15K is pretty much gone, so I think I'm ready for 15K tomorrow.