Tuesday, April 30, 2013

12K. Tired...very very tired.

In brief, today was a lot like last Saturday. Tired legs, nothing left, slogging my way to the finish. One difference was that I had to work afterwards, and it was one of those days at work, which lead to crashing on the couch when I got home and sleeping for a couple hours.

So, I'm just getting around to my blog now, and my family is kind of wondering what's up and why mommy hasn't made dinner yet. Oops.

I am pretty sure if I'd tried to make 15K today that I might have been even slower than on Saturday. But I did finish my 12K marginally faster.

The weather was a non-factor - it was quite nice, at 50F (10C) with a breeze.

Total time: 1:18:50 for 6:34/km with ave HR 146. Yup. Slow. Ouch.

I did work on my technique, for what that is worth. Not much when I'm that slow. My hip? Yeah, it bothered me quite a bit today. I had to stop frequently to stretch, and the pain was a 2/10 for a good while. It didn't get worse or I would have stopped.

Monday, April 29, 2013

rest day; 5x1km

Yesterday I took a rest day, as I really needed it after Saturday's tough 15K slog. The weather was amazing yesterday, so I walked with Grace to the public library (about a mile (1.6km) each way), but I really didn't do anything else. After church I read some books, relaxed, went to book club and sat outside for our discussion - lovely! It just feels so good to have it warm enough to enjoy sitting outside.


My muscles were feeling better this morning though still not 100%. I rolled out my hip on the medicine ball, and then I had a brilliant idea: I decided to take it to the track with me for my interval workout. Excellent.

The weather is still lovely today; it was 49F (10C) when I went to the track at about 6:30 am. The high today is supposed to be about 76F (24C). It was just a bit breezy, and I did choose to wear shorts and a short-sleeved shirt for the first time this year I think. I warmed up with my jacket on, but then took it off for the workout and I was just fine. I did 1600m in about 9:45 for my warm-up, with 2x100m strides on the last lap. Then I rolled out my hip, did some dynamic stretching, and got going on the main set.

The first two 1km repeats felt pretty good (5:27.2 and 5:27.9), and I didn't push much - comfortably hard. After the first one I did some stretching, and after the second one I was on the side of the track with my ball, so I rolled out my hip. It felt really good to keep it loose that way. The third 1km repeat was harder (5:29.1); my hip started to bother me a bit (pain 1/10? 2/10?) and my legs were getting tired. I got worried that my legs were going to die on me, but they didn't. The fourth 1km was my slowest at 5:33.5, and my legs were really feeling a bit shaky/wobbly/tired. I figured I was toast, but after stretching and rolling out my hip I felt better on the last 1km repeat and finished it in 5:29.2. I was breathing really hard on the last two, and my heart rate was quite high today, getting up to 173 on the last 1km, and hitting at least 170 on the last 3 repeats. It appears that I have lost a good deal of racewalking fitness, which is not surprising. Hopefully it will return relatively quickly.

Still, I'm happy with the workout today because I didn't totally die at the end or feel dreadful. At this stage of the game I'm dreading a lot of workouts because I never know when my legs are going to quit on me. In fact, tomorrow's 12km seems a bit daunting right now, just because I know how awful that could feel if my legs don't cooperate, and I basically have no control over it. But I know I need to get it done, regardless, because I have a race coming up! As long as my hip doesn't hurt too much (i.e. pain gets worse than 3/10) I will have to just hang in there and finish. That's the game right now - being mentally tough enough to keep going when I am slow and sore. On the bright side, I know what is coming when I get back in shape, and I will feel much better.

I worked a lot on technique today, and I think it was quite helpful. I think Jim is really right that my back muscles are weak, and so today I thought a lot about using them to stand up straight and keep my butt tucked under. I also thought about rolling through my toes and getting a good push with my calves and my glutes. Finally, I worked hard on being 100% sure that my right knee was legal. It is easier to be legal when I am standing up straighter and using my glutes and not hitching my right hip, so all of those technical things do work together, if that makes any sense.

Later today I plan to do my PT exercises and back/core stuff. Cannot neglect any of those!!!!!

Garmin data here.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

cross-training; 15K

Yesterday I cross-trained. I did the elliptical for 35 min or so, and while I was at the gym I also did my PT exercises for my hip and Jim's exercises for my back. 2 min plank, 45 sec side plank each side with leg raises and hip dips, plank on each side rotating trunk towards ground 10x, jump-ups to bench activating toe push & glutes & core, hip hikes, bench press & overhead extensions & chest fly (2x10 each w/o pause, one-armed) with shoulders on ball and maintaining straight body position engaging glutes.

Then, because it was a really nice day, I biked to work and back for 35 min more cardio. Awesome. I ate really healthy food too :).

Noticed my hamstrings were sore from the track workout, esp. my left. Just muscle soreness not an injury, but it makes sense since the hamstrings don't get so much of a workout from the bike or elliptical. Getting back into RW shape hurts. Calves a bit sore too.


Today I woke with hamstrings still sore and hip tight. Rolled it all out on the medicine ball, chatted with Jim on Facebook because I was procrastinating going out (I knew it was going to be rough) and then got going. At least the weather was nice. OK, it wasn't nice. It was amazingly gorgeous this morning. It was about 45F (7C) when I started and 50F (10C) when I finished, and it was sunny and calm. Sooooooo nice after winter. We don't get that many gorgeous spring days here either, so I'm soaking it in while it lasts. It'll be cold and rainy (or snowy) soon enough.

The 15K...um yeah, it was bad. I was tired at 3.5k and texted Jim. He said I'd probably have to stop and to do what I could. Well...that made me determined to finish. I got mad that I have not been able to keep to any sort of a training schedule. I made a deal with myself that as long as I could keep my pace faster than 7 min/km I'd keep going. Otherwise I'd turn for home. That worked out OK, as I managed to do that all the way to 13.5km, but by then I was on my way home and there wasn't a faster way to get back. This 15K was just a slog, and I'd say I didn't mind so much because it was nice to be outside, but I'd be lying because it really just hurt. I mean, I did enjoy being outside, but the pain of the workout pretty much negated the enjoyment of outside. Oh well. I am done, and I did the whole thing, and I feel good about that.

My hamstrings felt fine other than being sore, and my hip did all right too. I'm glad to be recovering, and though I'm not 100% I'm definitely improving. Now if I could just get back into shape. This part of training is my least favorite - coming back from injury and the slog that it is to get going again.

5K split was about 31:15 and 10K was about 1:04:30 so it wasn't too awful until the last 5K, which was about 35 min...wow...ugly!

Total time: 1:39:27 for 6:38/km with ave HR 148. Garmin data here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

5K fartlek

Mixed feelings here.

YAY! I finally did complete this workout!
YAY! The weather was nice!
YAY! My shins were fine today!
YAY! I can probably start training full-bore again!

BUT...I was slow, my hip DID hurt and I stopped for 30 sec at 3K to do a brief piriformis stretch (which helped, and I was able to finish then), and despite working hard at it and losing weight each of the past few weeks, I seem to have regained it. Ughhhhh. Maybe that last one is the real problem (in terms of my grumpy mood). I don't know. Add in to the mix that my daughter was throwing up early this morning and so I had to take her to work with me (she was fine by this time, but I couldn't take her to school) and it threw me off even more. I'm in a mood.

Yeah, I was slow. I started off OK, but the workout quickly got painful. The first few weeks of training again always hurt so much. I wish there was a way to bypass them somehow, but instead I really need to learn to just accept them for what they are, not read too much into the rest of the season from them, and just keep on doing them. On the bright side, I did feel better moodwise once I was done.

Times? Here they are:
fast 2:44.1, 2:48.4
med 3:02.7
fast 2:45.6
med 3:09.5
fast 2:50.6
med 3:03.1
fast 2:53.1
med 3:09.0
fast 2:55.1

It's dubious if I can even call many of those "fast" or "medium". Ughhhhh. My legs were just not going to move well today I suppose. At least my shins didn't hurt. I focused a LOT on technique, especially on using my glutes and pushing all the way through my toes (the PT noticed on the treadmill test that while I am moving through my toes I'm not getting much PUSH off of them, which I concur with - if I try to really push my calves get whiny, so I guess I've not been doing enough of that). I also worked a lot on keeping my core engaged and standing up straight and tucking my butt under. Lots to think about.

Total time: a slow 29:21 with ave HR 157.
Garmin data here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I was supposed to do 10K. I didn't make it. But I did make it 8K, and I didn't hurt myself.

The weather was pretty nice at 39F (4C) and calm and clear. It's getting light earlier, so even though I left pretty early, it wasn't completely pitch black out, and it got light partway through my workout. I appreciate that!

When I started off, my shins were still sore, but not as bad as yesterday. I figured I could play it by ear. My body felt very tired, though, and I wasn't moving very well in general. It just wasn't a good day. I had to stop frequently (about every km) to stretch various body parts, and everything felt like such a hard effort even though my heart rate was only about 140. When I had a 3:24 500m split at 6km, I decided to call it quits at 8km rather than pushing to 10km. Good call. By the time I got to 8km I was done. My hip was starting to bother me, my shins were unhappy, and I was tired.

Geez. I really do want to train hard again, but it's just not happening. It's very frustrating, but what got me through this morning's workout was that no matter how frustrating and painful it is, it beats the stationary bike.

Total time 51:12 for 8km; average pace 6:24/km (so slooooow), and ave HR 140.

Garmin data here.

It's lunch time now and my shins and hip are still whining. Ugh. I plan to do a 5K fartlek tomorrow at the track. Hopefully I'll recover enough by then.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

lots of cross-training

Yesterday I did the elliptical AND then rode my bike to and from work for a total of an hour of good cardio.

I also did lots of PT exercises and strength training exercises from my coach.


Today I was going to try 12K. I started walking and made it just a few steps when my shins started screaming. Yeah...they are still sore from the half marathon; the right more sore than the left, but still sore. I figured it was just the downhill at the start of my route, so I kept going until I got to 500m where it is flatter. Shins were still screaming. I stopped to stretch, considered what I should do, and turned back for home. I'm paranoid about shin pain since hurting my anterior tibialis a couple years ago just before the 15K in May, and I didn't want a repeat of this, so I decided to stop.

I went to the gym, did  about 25 min on the stationary bike, and then 20 min on the elliptical. After that I got the kids to school and then biked to work (another 25 min of cardio). At least I got about the same amount of cardio that I would have from the 12K.

I'm hoping that my shins will permit 10K tomorrow. We'll see.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Salt Lake Half Marathon 2013 edition

I haven't been so unprepared for a race in a while, but I had the race entry paid for, and figured I might as well try it. Up until today I'd done a bunch of short stuff, three 10Ks, and one 15K since being injured. That's not really great training for a half marathon, but what the heck. I figured if I went slowly enough and was prepared for it to hurt, I'd be OK. I also knew I had to be ready to DNF if necessary. Kelly was on call to pick me up if I called her.

I drove my friends Sarah, Leon, and Alex (visiting RWer from New York City) to the starting line and let us all in to my work to use nice indoor toilets before the race :). Then we walked to the start and promptly ran into my friends Diane and Marj from the Wasatch Walkers! Pretty long odds to see them since there were about 7000-8000 runners at the starting line.

 Tammy, Diane, Marj
Alex (Level 10 Marathon Maniac...this was marathon #159!!!!!)

Leon, Sarah, Tammy

The weather was sketchy - light drizzle at first, and 45F or so (it was about 8C). There was a slight breeze, which occasionally picked up a bit (like at mile 8, when we turned right, it was a blast of wind and rain in our faces). The light drizzle didn't last. Before mile 2, it started to rain in earnest and kept up a steady rain pretty much the rest of the race. It wasn't pouring, but it was definitely steady and unrelenting.

I felt good for about 8K (5 miles) and was able to keep about a 6 min/km (9:40/mile) pace on the nice downhill course, even going easy. However, that didn't last, which was not surprising given my lack of training. By mile 6 or 7 I knew this was going to be a long one. My hip was feeling OK, though I did have to stop and stretch a bit at mile 5, mile 7, mile 9, and mile 11, plus walking slowly through a few aid stations. My right shin started to hurt (1-2/10 on the pain scale) at mile 8, which really worried me given my history of tendonitis there a couple years ago. I adjusted my technique as best I could to avoid hurting it further, and I think it's going to be OK. I told myself if anything hurt at 3/10 or more I'd stop, but nothing did. My hip never hurt more than 1/10, thankfully.

I was really slow...and it hurt a lot to finish, but I feel good about my effort. It was fun to be out there despite the difficulty and the rain. I missed about 4 3/4 min on my Garmin (forgot to start after a brief stop), but I figure my actual moving time was about 2:19:45. Slow, but not my worst 1/2 unless you go by my chip time of 2:24:30ish.

I got the usual speedwalker comments from runners and spectators alike, though there were two spectators that actually yelled "GO racewalker!", which I appreciated. I chatted it up with the 2:10 pacer for a while between miles 3-4, and educated him about racewalking, which is always fun. Around mile 9, when I was hurting a good bit, a woman asked me if I'd done the Timp half last year, and when I said yes she said she'd seen me and had been impressed. We chatted a while before she pulled away from me (sigh...I kept getting slower).

About 500m from the finish, my friend Sarah caught up to me, and that was a lot of fun, as we crossed the finish line together! That rarely happens as we are usually going different speeds since she does Galloway run/walk. But today it just worked out perfectly. I was also very happy to see Kelly at the finish, and anticipated our breakfast together.

My friends had mixed success. I heard that Diane fell at the finish, and I hope she is OK. Marj finished and told me about Diane; I am assuming Marj did well. Sarah was a little undertrained too, but like me, finished though hurting a bit. Leon did better than he had anticipated, running more than he'd planned (he had some knee trouble in training) and feeling pretty good. Alex finished the full marathon, though the weather was pretty rotten for him as well - it even hailed on him a couple times. He felt the effects of the altitude and barely made his goal of finishing under 5 hrs, doing 4:59. 

Garmin data here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

3.165K fartlek

I was supposed to do a 5K fartlek today; my hip made it through 3K.

I went to the indoor track because 1) it's still cold and I didn't feel like dealing with it, and 2) I was very concerned I'd have to stop right away and ride the bike, and I'd rather not have to drive from the track to the gym if it's not necessary.

I warmed up on the indoor track for 7 laps (211m each) and threw in some little accelerations/pick-ups at the end. My hip was sore, but not nearly as bad as on Tuesday. It felt tolerable, for which I was happy. Before doing the fartlek, I rolled out the hip on the medicine ball and did some leg swings. I felt good to go.

I didn't push as hard as last week. I was being very cautious, because I wanted to make it to 5K, and I didn't want to hurt myself. Even though I didn't make it to 5K, I'm pleased that it was OK as long as it was, because initially I wasn't so sure.

Here are my times, divided by 1.055 so that they are 1km and 500m times rather than 1055m and 527.5m times. 1K fast 5:37.0, 500m medium effort 3:05.4, 500m hard 2:48.8, 500m medium 3:03.2, 500m hard 2:48.5. Total was 18:20.3 (not adjusted), which works out to 17:22.9 adjusted. It's a minute slower than last week, but at least I could do it.

Afterward, I stretched and then hopped on the bike for another 20 min or so to get some more cardio.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

cross-training; weight training

I rode the stationary bike this morning for an hour. Yeah, I'd rather have been racewalking, but honestly it was kind of nice to be in a warm gym reading, because it was about 30F (-1C) and WINDY. Nasty windy. Brrrrrrrr. It's supposed to be colder tonight (24F) and still windy. Winter, GO AWAY already!

Tonight I did a whole bunch of weight training/PT exercises. I have enough equipment at home now to do all of them here, which was kind of nice! I have a medicine ball, and exercise ball, and several sets of small dumbbells (5 lb, 8 lb, 10 lb). 2 sets of the following:

1. Bench press, overhead extensions, chest flies (10 lb each arm) all in a row with shoulders on exercise ball and keeping back straight and glutes activated. Jim wants me to do this to work my back muscles, which he suspects may be weak.
2. Lying on floor on stomach, lifting alternate arm/leg with small weights (5 lb each arm).
3. Plank: regular plank (just 1 min after the previous exercise! Usually I do 2 min.), side plank lifting leg and then doing hip dips (45 sec each side with 8 leg lifts and 8 hip dips), side plank twisting torso toward ground (10 reps each side).
4. Lower abs: lying on back, hold exercise ball between feet and lift and lower, 15x.
5. Lunges around in a circle 3x: once w/o weight, once w/medicine ball overhead lifts, once w/medicine ball towards leg that is lunging.
6. Jump forward a few feet and up one stair, activating glutes and pushing off big toe and keeping core activated. 10-12x each leg.
7. Hip hikes 10-12x each leg.
8. One legged squats, 10-12x each leg.

Whew. I'm done now. Side benefit: gets rid of the after-dinner food cravings :).

Tomorrow morning I plan to try a fartlek again. My hip still feels a bit sore so I'm not sure what will happen.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

change of plans

Today a 5K fartlek was on the schedule. I woke up still quite sore (injury sore, not muscle sore) from yesterday, and worried. I went to the indoor track so that if I couldn't do the workout I'd be able to hop on the bike and still get some exercise.

First I rolled out my hip on the medicine ball and then I warmed up with 8 laps (211m each) on the indoor track. During lap #7 I threw in a pickup like I usually do when warming up for a fartlek. My hip was doing so-so up to that point, but that pretty much threw it out. I was almost limping and knew a 5K fartlek wasn't happening. So, I stretched a bunch, rolled out my sore hip some more, and put in some time on the stationary bike.

I'm OK with this small setback, as I am pretty sure it's temporary and I just need to baby it a bit to get back to where I was. It's the usual recover-from-injury-and-slide-back thing. Annoying and frustrating, but expected.

Monday, April 15, 2013

cross-training; 10K

Yesterday I cross-trained for an hour on the stationary bike. I thought about biking outside, but it was too windy and it just felt nasty cold despite the sunshine.


Today I did 10K. The weather was a bit icky; 36F (2C) and spitting snow/sleet/freezing rain. My legs were very, very tired for some reason. At 6km they started to get really heavy, and they just gave up about 8-8.5km. My injured hip started to really bother me (up to 3/10 on the pain scale), and it was just not good. I feel better now, and it was probably just a bad day, but it was ugly. I lost about 0.6km from my watch because I forgot to push start after stretching just after 7km. The 10K was at about 6:18/km with average HR 140.

I had a PT session today and got video and treadmill analysis again. It was helpful...but discouraging. I still have some of the same bad habits. Not engaging core. Not using glutes. Hip hitching. Knees were (barely) straight). Ugh! Still, it looked better than the last video two months ago, but that was when I was injured and it was really hurting. The PT gave me some cool new exercises that should help me activate glutes and core while walking, as well as strengthening my left hip (which is not as strong as R hip - too much hip drop on R side, though better than the last video). 

Garmin data here.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

15K! Yay!

Yay! I made it to 15K!

Brief post as I've lots to do before friends come over tonight.

Weather: 46F (8C) and cloudy and calm. Later in the day it's gotten windy and is threatening rain, so I'm glad I got to go early.

Injury: stretched out and rolled it out on the medicine ball before starting. Then I did PT exercises (step-downs with band) before I started to activate the glutes. I also did them at 8K and 12.5K, and stretched briefly at 5K and 10K. That seemed to work.

The walk: I went slowly, on purpose. I decided that yesterday it hurt more because I went faster, so today I took it really easy. That turned out to be really smart, because I got tired about 12K or so (legs just fatigued a bit) and then I still had enough in the tank to push a little to 15K and not totally die. My hip never gave me discomfort greater than 1/10 on the typical pain scale, which was good. Overall, I did well, but it did make me pretty tired. I'm obviously out of RW conditioning! I've been pretty draggy the rest of the day, though I've been busy doing lots of things, which has contributed.

Total time: 1:35:46 for 6:23/km with 5K splits of 31:35, 32:14, 31:57; average HR 142. I'm happy with that, considering.

I was thinking today how nice it would be to have a local coach. I felt I needed someone to watch my technique. However, there ARE no local coaches in Utah, and at least I have a great coach even if he is far away. I will have to send Jim some video, and perhaps get Kelly to watch me sometime this week. I'm going to PT on Monday and the PT will help with my technique as well. Today I just felt I couldn't really get into a good rhythm, though I did settle in a bit better at around 5K. It's hard to keep all the things I need to fix in mind!

Garmin data here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

cross-training; 8K

Yesterday I rode the stationary bike for 50 min for cross-training, in addition to doing my PT exercises. Kelly was there for part of it, and we got to enjoy chatting, but then she had to go and I was glad for my book and the news on TV.

My hip was a little irritated yesterday, still, from the speed work. I think I erred by doing the elliptical right after the speed work on Wednesday instead of riding the bike. It's just that I hate the bike...sigh....


Today I was to do 8K. The weather was seasonal and quite lovely, at 41F (5C) with a slight breeze. Before I started, I did some step-downs with the PT band around my knees to get the glutes activated. When I started out, my hip felt pretty darn good. However, it quickly started to feel a bit irritated, and I stopped briefly to stretch after only 1km. Perhaps it was the pace...I was going a bit fast. I need to slow it down a bit and relax. Regardless, I was able to finish the workout just fine, but I did have to stop fairly frequently to stretch/do step-downs/do leg swings.

Coach wants me to try 15K tomorrow. I'm going to try, and will hope that going slower will do the trick. If I have too much discomfort I will definitely cut the workout short though. I do NOT want to be going backwards here - I've been making good progress and need to keep things that way!

Total time 47:26 for 5:56/km with ave HR 151. When I got home I rolled out my hips thoroughly on the medicine ball, which seemed to help. The right hip has been a bit irritated at work today, though; I've been sitting a bit more than usual which probably doesn't help.

Garmin data here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

cross-training; 3km fartlek (actually 3165m) on indoor track

Yesterday I did the elliptical for 45 minutes. I was very glad to cross-train, because the weather was lousy. It was about 26F (-3C) with 25mph (40kph) winds. Ridiculous! It snowed a bit, but just a dusting so at least the footing would've been good.

Today I planned to meet Kelly at the indoor track. She was riding the stationary bike (she has a contusion on her meniscus and can't walk for a while, sadly) and said she'd cheer me on. I had thought the weather was going to be bad; last night I checked it, and the forecast said windy and 26F. Well, they were wrong. It was calm and 32F, so I could have gone outside. It was good to see Kelly, regardless.

I warmed up on the 211m track, doing 8 laps in 10:13. My hip felt pretty good. I did some dynamic stretching and rolled out my hip on the medicine ball, and got started on the 3km fartlek. It felt hard but short, mercifully :). I felt strong today, and it was easier than last week. However, my hip did hurt while I was walking fast. It hurt less than it did last week, but it did bother me a bit, and continues to be slightly irritated even now (at 3 pm, 9 hours after I did the workout).

Here are my times:

1055m fast: 5:38.2; 527.5m medium effort 3:03.1, 527.5m fast 2:47.3, 527.5m medium effort 3:07.0, 527.5m fast 2:49.2; total time 17:24.8.

Converted to a normal track (divided by 1.055 to give 1km and 500m splits): 5:20.6, 2:53.6, 2:38.6, 2:57.3, 2:40.4 for a total of 16:30.3.

I'm pleased with this improvement from last week in my time. My pain level was less, too, so that's good, though of course I'd prefer to be pain-free.

I finished off with 30 min on the elliptical followed by some of my PT exercises.

Garmin data here.

Monday, April 08, 2013

elliptical; 10K

Yesterday I opted for 1 hour on the elliptical. I lost some weight last week, and I need to keep it up. I did some baking this weekend, so I definitely needed the exercise :). The elliptical felt like a breeze, and the time passed quickly with my book (John Scalzi serial sci-fi) and magazine (Runner's World).


Today Jim thought 10K would be good. We are being very cautious about mileage increases, with good reason. It was nice out this morning, until it started to rain. It was 45F (7C) and it felt good for 6km, and then the rain began. Light at first, but then heavier; I started to get cold and put my gloves back on and hoped I'd be home soon.

My piriformis felt OK today. It progressively tightened up as I went, but stretching with leg swings and activating glutes with step-downs at 4km and 7km seemed to loosen things up and then I felt fine. Again, I had to concentrate quite hard to maintain good form. I'm not sure I did it all the time...the rain was definitely a distraction. Despite that, I was pretty fast today, and I think my body is starting to remember how to do this. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe I will be able to do the 15K in Riverside on May 19th :). We have a girls' weekend planned (Nancy, Kathy and I plan to drive down and stop and relax along the way) and I don't want to miss it. Plus we could actually get a team medal for the Wasatch Walkers! Woooo hooo!

Total time: 1:00:22 for 6:02/km with average HR 150.

Garmin data here.

Saturday, April 06, 2013


This morning I had 10K to do. Before I started I activated my glutes with some step-downs with the band around my knees, and I did a few planks for good measure to get my core warmed up. Then I started off, and right away I noticed my legs were tired, especially my left glutes. Apparently I used them well yesterday, which is good, but meant today would be tough. It was, but since it was only 10K I got through it OK. I just slowed a bit at the end.

At least the weather was lovely. It was about 46F (7C) and calm and overcast. It did rain a bit later in the day but not while I was walking. We seem to be having a mild spring; perhaps it's making up for our cold and long winter? Or maybe the nasty weather is still waiting to get us.

I focused a lot on my form again today. It's quite hard to concentrate that much, but it's good for me. I did stop to stretch fairly frequently, as my legs were more tired today than when I did the 10K on Monday. My left leg even bothered me a bit at a few points.

Total time: 1:02:23 for 6:14/km with ave HR just 144.

Garmin data here.


Later in the day I went skating with the kids. I was working on my 3-turns, Mohawk combination, waltz jump, and Mazurka. It was all fine, except that I almost fell once and in trying to catch myself I pulled my left leg a bit and it hurts at the top of the hamstring. Could be the gluteus maximus at the bottom, but I think it's the hamstring. Hopefully it's nothing too much, as I'm not sure I'm mentally ready for another injury. Probably shouldn't do figure skating, but I like it. All the same, I love racewalking, and if figure skating gets in the way it'll have to go.

Friday, April 05, 2013


I was excited to do 8km this morning. I had an ART treatment yesterday, and it really loosened up my hip a lot; it felt great when the chiropractor was done. He also worked a lot on my calves (mostly gastrocs and soleus) and they were SO very very sore last night and even this morning when I woke up. I worried that would slow me down, and I think it did a little bit. My legs felt pretty heavy and tired today, and I had to concentrate really hard during my workout.

Since my injury and during my rehab, it's been very challenging to racewalk, because I have to focus so much on my technique. There is a LOT to think about to keep my glutes engaged, make sure I am bringing my hips through low but not dropping them excessively, keeping my motion forward and not sideways (the PT noticed this a bit in the video he took), and making sure my feet are not crossing the midline too much. Never mind engaging my core, being aware of my arm position, etc. Racewalking is mental work too, which is one of the reasons I like it, as a detail-obsessed scientific type.

Back to this morning. It was quite warm and windy when I started, as a cold front was going to come through. So even though it was 57F (14C) I wore capris and a long-sleeved shirt, and I definitely remembered to wear my baseball cap in case it started raining. It's still dark at 6 am (when I left), so I also had my headlamp, my reflective vest with rear blinky, and pepper spray. About 4km into my walk these preparations paid off, as it started to rain and the temperature dropped quickly. It was only 50F (10C) when I finished my walk.

The walk itself went fine. I did stop twice at a stop light and stretched while I was there, and did some leg swings. I also stopped a couple other times to do my step-downs with the band to make sure my glutes were engaged. My legs were a bit tired to start, and by 6km they were a lot more tired, though not so tired I couldn't finish; I just slowed down a bit.

When I got home I rolled out my hip on the medicine ball...and Calvin complained to me that I smelled bad and that I should take a shower! Haha! Have got to love the honesty of an 8-yr-old :).

Total time: 49:05 for 6:08/km with ave HR 148.

Garmin data here.

Thursday, April 04, 2013


After yesterday's speed work, Jim said cross-training was in order today, and I totally agreed. We want to be very careful to avoid a relapse, and I was a little sore yesterday during the day.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good, and felt that I could have walked today. But I didn't. I got on the elliptical for 40 min, and had no trouble on it. To be careful, I then did the stationary bike 20 min, since that tends to be less bothersome than the elliptical.

In addition, I'm getting another ART treatment this afternoon from the chiropractor here. I want to cover all the bases.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

3K fartlek + stationary bike

Today I got to try a little speed work. The weather was cooperative at 44F (6.7C) and clear, with a little light wind. I warmed up for 4 laps (1600m) in 9:47, doing a couple 100m strides on the last lap. That felt OK on the hip.

Then I did some leg swings and some step-downs with the band to activate my glutes (esp glute med). I was a bit nervous about how this would go, but ready to give it a shot. I told Kelly yesterday that I thought I'd probably do about 17:20, given my long layoff. It seemed like a reasonable guess.

I got started and I was faster than I thought. I did the first 500m in 2:42, and the second in 2:43 for 5:25 for the first km. On the first 500m recovery, my hip did start to bother me a bit - I felt a strong twinge, but it did loosen up and it was more discomfort than pain, if that makes any sense. I did that 500m in 3:00, which wasn't too bad. Then I managed a 2:43, 3:02, and finally finished with a 2:44. I gave that last one a good hard effort, and got my HR up to 168. My total time was a surprisingly fast 16:54. Yeah, I know I was a minute faster back before I got hurt, but I still think that's not bad considering all the time I had off.

When I stopped my hip was definitely a bit uncomfortable, and now (at lunch time) it's still a little uncomfortable with prolonged sitting. From the track, I went over to the gym and rolled it out a lot on the medicine ball and then I did 30 min on the stationary bike, since 27 minutes of cardio is not enough to keep the pounds at bay. I also used the medicine ball at home before work, and am using the tennis ball at work. Obviously I'm not ready for a whole lot of speed work, though time will tell if this was bad or not. At the moment, I think I will be good to walk again pretty soon (maybe tomorrow?) but I am not going to take any chances. If it doesn't feel pretty darn good tomorrow it will be cross-training for me.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


I cross-trained today, because I'd done a lot of km the last few days (well, a lot relatively speaking - since I've been injured). I did the bike for 50 minutes and also did a lot of PT exercises plus some weights and abs. Exciting. Actually, it was enjoyable because Kelly and I were on the bike right next to each other and we dreamed up this blog. Enjoy!

Monday, April 01, 2013

10K on indoor track

Jim told me to do 10K this morning. Gulp. I wondered if that was too much too soon, but I figured 1) Jim is usually right about things, and 2) I could do it on the indoor track where I could stop any time if needed. Plus it was windy and threatening rain (though it was warm, at 55F (12.7C).

I met Kelly at the field house at the U and she did the bike, and I waved down to her from the track. It was warm inside...quite warm. I definitely worked up a sweat in there today. I grabbed a medicine ball and used it to roll out my hip every 10 laps for the duration of the workout. I used the track calculator to figure out that 10K is almost exactly 24 laps in lane 1 and 22 laps in lane 3. So I alternated 10 laps in lane 1 (average pace 1:19.3/lap, which is close to 6:15/km), 10 laps in lane 3 (average pace 1:24.3/lap), 10 laps in lane 1 (average pace 1:19.9/lap), 10 laps in lane 3 (average pace 1:24.5/lap), 4 laps in lane 1 (average pace 1:18.9/lap), and finally 2 laps in lane 3 (average pace 1:23.4/lap). Total time for 10K was a respectable 1:02:41 with average heart rate 143.

My hip got tight with each set but the medicine ball treatment and some leg swings released the tension and each time I started over it felt pretty good. I also did some one-legged squats to activate my glutes, which helped as well. I thought A LOT about my form today, and by the end I think I had some good things happening. I felt I was using my left glutes a lot more, and bringing my right leg through lower to avoid bent knee, all while keeping my lower abs engaged and making sure that my knees came through straight and that I didn't have excessive hip drop. I don't know how successful I was, but it felt like I was working on things a lot and it seemed like I made some progress.

Garmin data here.