Thursday, May 30, 2013

3K fartlek

Though longer stuff has been killing me of late, at least I can still racewalk, and I can do shorter stuff. So that's what we are doing for now. A 3k fartlek once a week and other as I can tolerate.

Perfect weather at 50F (10C) and clear with a little breeze. I warmed up at the track in just under 10 min for 1600m and felt OK. Legs were definitely a little sore (why oh why????) but it was all right. Did dynamic drills and started on my fartlek. I was much faster than the 5K fartleks the last two weeks, but still not very fast compared to when I am feeling 100%. Still, I'm happy with this for now - I can either be upset that I'm not what I was before, or I can just roll with it. I choose the latter!

Total time: 17:14 with ave HR 158 and max 168. I pushed hard on the last 500.

I worked very hard on my technique. I am trying to finally FIX my posture 100% - I realize that that slight forward lean inhibits hip rotation and slows me down a lot, so I focused hard on that today. Thanks, coach, for looking at my videos and helping me figure stuff out!

Garmin data here.

After my workout I went to the gym and did 15 min elliptical. Later, I biked to work. Need plenty of cardio to get that last 5 lb off. My legs have been a bit sore today, which is pretty sad from just a 3k fartlek. I'm getting it checked on Monday so no worries.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

15K photos and videos

Pictures from the 15K

Videos from the 15K:

Erin, David, Miranda, Pablo 201305-19_07h46mn08s_MOV
Tommy Aunan, Alex, Charles Burgh, Mike, Tammy 201305-19_07h47mn38s_MOV
Marianne, Joe Nieroski, Alex Kazaryan, Vicki 201305-19_07h48mn14s_MOV
Wendy, Sandra, Kristin, 3???, Kay, John, Darlene 201305-19_07h49mn16s_MOV
Jolene, Kathy, Lou, Nancy, Yvette, Lauri, Denise 201305-19_07h49mn52s_MOV
Alex, Tommy Aunan 201305-19_08h17mn12s_MOV
Joe Nieroski, Mike 201305-19_08h19mn02s_MOV
Marianne, Alex Kazaryan, Tammy 201305-19_08h19mn16s_MOV
11, Mark, Kristin 201305-19_08h25mn00s_MOV
Kay, 3 & other SoCal walker 201305-19_08h26mn02s_MOV
Darlene, Erin, Miranda, Jolene 201305-19_08h26mn32s_MOV
Joe Nieroski, Mike, Lou, Lauri, Denise, Yvette, Nancy 201305-19_08h29mn20s_MOV
Joe Nieroski, Alex Kazaryan, Annelise, Sandra 201305-19_09h02mn48s_MOV
Kathy, Denise, Wendy, Lou 201305-19_09h10mn30s_MOV
Alex Kazaryan, Lauri, Tammy 201305-19_09h13mn40s_MOV


I decided to go out for an easy walk and thought 5km wouldn't tax me too much. My legs were pretty tired (why?????) but I figured I could do 5km no matter what. I wasn't at all in the mood to walk, mostly because every time I've walked lately I have 1) felt crappy, and 2) been really slow. But I'm glad I went (isn't that pretty much always the case? I mean, what would I rather be doing, sleeping (maybe yes...!)?). The weather was gorgeous - 50F (10C) and sunny and clear, and that helped.

Out I went, and I focused really hard on good technique. Arms back, keep core strong, no lean from the waist, allow hips to work, keep right leg straight, push hard through toes. It was a great technique session - I really felt it was going just right. I have a few shop windows to look in along several points in my route and I looked good.

I was fast this morning! Happy me! But I did tire quickly and was glad I was just doing 5K. I did the 5K in 30:11 for 6:02/km with ave HR 141, and with one brief stretching stop. My piriformis felt 95% good - just some tightness, and no pain. Now if I can just get my endurance up I'll feel better. I made a doctor appt for Monday so hopefully some answers next week. If I get a clean bill of health I will chalk this up to soreness from technique adjustments and proceed to ramp up more slowly this time. That's my plan if my coach agrees.

Garmin data here.

30 min is not enough exercise, so I biked to work too. Have got to stay on top of my weight or it creeps up. Nice day to bike, though it might shower - hopefully it holds off.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

7.2km; cross-training

Sunday I took a rest day.

Monday I did an easy 7.2km at a friend's house in Spring City, UT. It's in a rural area with lots of cows, sheep, etc. I thought it was pretty flat, but turns out that it had a good uphill of 70m along the route I chose. Oops. I did the 7.2km at a 6:32/km pace and my legs were quite tired. Man, I'm wimpy these days. No gas in the tank. Jim called while I was out and we agreed I need to get some blood work just to make sure things are OK: iron (ferritin), cortisol, thyroid. I suspect my iron is fine since I have been taking iron orally since my previous low ferritin diagnosis a couple years ago, but I suppose it can't hurt to check.

Today I decided to go to the gym and work on the treadmill a bit. I have a lot of trouble walking legally on the treadmill for my PT appts and wanted to work on it. I started slowly and gradually ramped up my speed to 5.8mph (10:20/mile which is about 6:25/km). I know I was nice and legal, and I worked on my toe push a bit and on allowing my hips to rotate. It felt good but I tired quickly and jumped off after 15 min. Then I did 30 min on the elliptical and called it quits. Wanted to ride my bike to work but the weather was most uncooperative and I'm a fair weather cyclist.

In good news, I have lost a few pounds and seem to be keeping it off. I would like to lose about 5 more to be in my best racing shape. Let's hope the rest of me starts to have some more energy soon. I'm not sure what is wrong and it's annoying! I WANT to train!!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

disastrous 10K

Coach is right (he is always right!). Something is wrong. I don't know what it is, but something is really wrong.

Today I felt so VERY tired, and my legs were quite sore, even though all I did yesterday was an easy 30 min elliptical plus biking to work. My legs hurt today in the first 500m and it didn't get any better. I was to do 18km but it was clear from the start that wouldn't happen. My friend Kelly biked alongside me (she is a saint!) and encouraged me, but she couldn't help my legs.

I did 1:08:xx for 6:52/km with dead legs.

I'm kicking myself for not calling my doctor yesterday. I meant to, but work was busy and when I remembered his office was closed. I have to get checked out. Something is wrong. It's a holiday weekend, so I'll call him on Tuesday.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

5K fartlek

Yeah, I was supposed to do an 8K fartlek. I tried. Hard.

My warm-up felt OK but slow at 10:19 for 1600m. Then I started the fartlek. My legs were still quite tired from yesterday and just didn't respond. My ave HR for the workout was 158, but my times were really slow. Ugly slow. The total was 30:42, which is only 1 second faster than last week's deathly slow fartlek. I stopped because 1) my recovery dipped below 3:15 for 500m and my "fast" 500s for km 3, 4, and 5 were over 3:00, and 2) my piriformis started to hurt at a level 2 pushing level 3 of 10. I was done even though I didn't want to be.

Oh well. A bad workout a few times a week seems inevitable at this point, for whatever reason. Let's just hope my legs are better on Saturday for 18km.

Garmin data here. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

the week so far

Monday: 24 hr post-race. I woke up not feeling too bad, so I drove to Fairmount Park where the race was and did 5.18km easy, at 6:25/km pace. It felt decent! Then we were in the car ALL DAY long (9am-9pm) driving home. Legs did OK as we stopped frequently to stretch, but still...yikes!


Tuesday: Decided a day of cross-training would be a good idea. Did 45 min elliptical and 30 min PT/strength training with Erin, and then biked to work. My legs actually felt great - very recovered!


Today: 10K with 2x5' bursts at 10K pace. My legs were quite tired - I think from the PT exercises, which is good. I need to keep working them and get my glutes stronger. Erin watched my technique and gave me a few really good pointers, mostly about the usual: avoid the lean and keep my arms back. I added in (mentally) moving my hips well and pushing through my toes. It was a great technique workout because I did get very tired and had to focus hard to maintain technique. I felt I'd be too tired to do the bursts, but Erin coaxed me into two 2' bursts, and then I did a third on the uphill about 7.5km - can't tell it's a burst because of the uphill but it was!

My legs are pretty tired now and I have an 8K fartlek tomorrow. But Erin reminded me today on my workout that each day is its own workout and it's not like I need to "save" anything for tomorrow. If I'm a bit slow on the speed work, so be it - it'll just be a harder workout but it'll make me stronger. Gulp!

Garmin data here. Total 1:02:50 for 6:17/km with ave HR 148.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

15K Nationals complete (unofficial) results

Printout of results from the race, still unofficial. These times might change by a few seconds, according to the race director.

Women (Name, Age, Time)
Miranda Melville, 24, 1:11:40
Erin Gray, 26, 1:11:52
Tamara Stevenson, 43, 1:34:02
Kristin Ugrob, 43, 1:50:36
Rebecca Garson, 48, 1:37:08
Lorraine Berger, 47, 2:05:17
Vicki Pritchard, 54, 1:38:29
Lou Kaelin, 52, 1:58:44
Wendy Clark, 59, 1:43:00
Sandra DeNoon, 57, 1:49:47
Denise Seyfarth, 56, 1:58:23
Marianne Martino, 62, 1:35:34
Donna Green, 60, 1:46:22
Kathryn Webster, 62, 1:58:10
Darlene Backlund, 67, 1:48:39
Kay Brinkley, 67, 1:50:16
Jolene Steigerwalt, 69, 1:51:09
Nancy Linky, 66, 2:00:01
Yvette LaVigne, 73, DQ
Anelise Smith, 74, 2:07:11

Alexander Price, 31, 1:27:25
Pablo Gomez, 41, 1:17:19
David Swarts, 47, 1:13:03
Edward O'Rourke, 51, 1:23:56
Tommy Aunan, 54, 1:30:02
Michael Blanchard, 52, 1:32:52
Joe Nieroski, 51, 1:33:23
Byron Kaelin, 53, 1:43:51
Raymond Billing, 56, DNS
Mark Green, 57, 1:24:22
Charles Brugh, 57, 1:31:43
Alex Kazaryan, 58, 1:33:51
Calvin Lau, 66, DQ
Rick Campbell, 67, 1:40:38
Jim Carmines, 69, 1:46:39
Bernie Finch, 73, DNS
John Backlund, 73, 1:48:19
Carl Acosta, 79, DQ
Bill Moremen, 85, 1:58:17, American Record!

15K Nationals

Really tired so just a brief recap now. Pictures and videos later.

Weather was gorgeous - upper 50s at race start and upper 60s at finish, light cooling breeze and not too humid. Much cooler than last year when it was 75ish and humid at the finish.

So great to see everyone - gabbed a lot before the start and warmed up very briefly with Vicki. I didn't want to wear myself out since I knew 15K was a long way in my current state of un-fitness.

1st lap (well, 3/4 of a lap since we did 8.77 laps for 15K) I felt stiff but loosened up a bit. Did it in 8 min which is just over 6 min/km pace and it felt pretty good. But the 2nd lap did not feel as good (~6:15/km) and the 3rd lap was even slower (~6:18ish?) and laps 4-7 were even slower - as slow as 6:25-6:30/km. My 5km split was 31:00 and I was feeling pretty iffy by then - tired legs and sluggish. But I did perk up a bit by lap 5 or 6 and didn't continue to slow but was able to hold my pace. I went through 10K in about 1:03:20 or so (not 100% sure of this split but it's close), so my second 5K was pretty pedestrian at about 32:20? Marianne Martino, who is 20 years older than me, passed me on lap 3 and I was a bit bummed about that, but she is the American record-holder in her age group and very talented, and I'm out of shape now so I tried not to feel bad about that. She slowed a bit on lap 7 and I was able to catch and pass her and finish ahead of her in the end. Yes, I actually sped up a bit on the last two laps - doing 10:36 and then 10:21. My total time was 1:34:02 means I did the last 5K in 30:42, which was the fastest of the three 5K splits! I guess I was a little too conservative in the middle 5K, but with my recent injury I think that was probably smart.

My average HR was only 153, so I definitely could have worked harder if my legs weren't so heavy; however, I feel really positive that I didn't die and get slower and slower at the end but was able to pick it up. That hasn't happened in a long time for me, and I'm pleased that I was able to finish strong even though my overall time was more than 5 minutes slower than last year (sigh....). But considering that I have only been walking again since March 17 and that I have only been really training for a few weeks (and then not very hard because I have been unable to recover very well) it's pretty good I think. In other good news, my piriformis only hurt a little bit - about 1/10 on the pain scale, and after copious post-race stretching I felt very good this afternoon with very little stiffness.

My time was still good for 3rd place overall (behind Miranda Melville and Erin Gray, two young elite women, who finished in 1:11 and change), so it's hard to be too disappointed. That's good for a $50 prize check :). Plus I got 1st place in W40-44 age group, and our team of Wasatch Walkers got 2nd place in the W40-49 teams. The post-race potluck was terrific and it was wonderful to talk with all my racewalking buddies. I wish we could see each other more often.

It's been a fantastic girls' weekend for us here, and after the race we hung out at the pool, read a bit, had some wine/diet pepsi/treats/whatever and chilled. Lots of fun. Tonight we went to dinner, had a blast laughing, eating, and chatting, and then watched race videos and commented on technique we saw, both good and bad. Very enjoyable, and of course I am VERY glad I came and had such fun with friends. 

Just tried to upload one picture but the wi-fi at the hotel stinks ---- doesn't work in our room and I'm in the lobby and can't even upload ONE picture...GRRRR! Might be a few days for pics and video.

Garmin data here.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

brief post - 3x1km, cross-training, road trip

Tuesday night - a ton of PT exercises with Erin. Glutes, core, and much more.

Wednesday - cross-training; 30 min stationary bike, 15 min elliptical, and biking to work and back.

Thursday - warm-up, legs felt totally dead and heavy (from the PT or the fartlek? who knows?). Nice weather - 17C (64F) and sunny. Didn't want to do the 1Ks after the stinky warm-up but did them anyway. First one was 5:37 (2:48, 2:49) and Erin said my knees were probably illegal. Grrrr. She gave me a pointer - arms back farther - and then I had it and it all clicked. Second repeat my legs were trashed but still managed 5:48. Third one I gritted out in 5:52. Definitely worked these harder than 85%. Super depressing how slow I was but whatever...I will be back and I WILL NOT QUIT! I am determined to fight through this whatever it takes. On the plus side, my piriformis felt MUCH better today after the ART with my amazing chiropractor Derek Parkes. If you are local I highly recommend him.

Friday - optional; I opted to cross-train as I need the exercise. I'm still trying to lose that extra 5 lb and not giving up on that either, darn it! I did 53 min elliptical before I had to run to get the kids to school. Then took an awesome road trip with Nancy and Kathy from SLC to Vegas. Today (Saturday) we're driving from Vegas to Riverside, CA and meeting up with all our RW friends for dinner. So exciting! The road trip and dinner with Nancy and Kathy last night was such a blast - I really needed a vacation day with my girlfriends.

Garmin data here for 3x1km.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

5K fartlek

Yesterday in PT I did a bunch of glute activating exercises that were pretty challenging, and involved working the leg against resistance bands and holding it in positions that activated the glutes for long periods of time. It was quite fatiguing.

This morning when Erin and I got to the track (lovely weather - 64F and sunny and breezy) I started to warm up and my legs felt heavy and just dead. It makes sense, though. This was my third day in a row racewalking, and I've only attempted that twice since recovering from my injury. The first time (April 29-May 1) it ended in totally dead legs and inability to finish a 10K - I did 7K instead. The second time was last week, but I hardly count that as the second day of the three was 3.68km of very easy technique work interrupted multiple times for stretching/drills.

And that leaves this week - I did 15K on Sunday faster than I've gone in a few weeks for the distance (not saying much, because I was slow, but still...), then yesterday's 6.3km with Erin at a pretty fast pace (6:06/km), and then today's track workout, where my legs pretty much died. I sense a pattern here. For whatever reason, I'm not recovering very well and I suspect it's related to my return from injury. And you know what? It's OK. It is what it is. I am trying not to judge myself and just going with what my body will do, because the only other choice is to berate myself and give up.

After a sluggish warmup, I did some glute-activating exercises and some leg swings, and rolled out my hip/butt on the medicine ball. Then I got going. It was pretty ugly - the first 1km was 5:41 and it only got worse from there. My legs were done by 3K (18:06ish? It was terrible!) and if it weren't for Erin being out there I might have quit. Well, that, and I really wanted to finish because I know I have to get my fitness back somehow. My piriformis was a pain level of 1-2 for the whole workout and has been somewhat bothersome today at work (I've been rolling on a tennis ball when I sit).

This was my slowest 5K fartlek in years, I think, at 30:43 (it's about the same speed as my first 5K of the 15K on Sunday, and slower than my easy 5K technique work last Thursday). But hey, it's done, and I still do feel like I am making very slow progress forward. Three workouts in a row completed and 2/3 were at an OK speed. That's better than I've done since being injured.

Garmin data here.

I biked to work, heavy legs and all. Even that was a minute or 2 slower than usual.

Monday, May 13, 2013

~6km; PT

My friend Erin is visiting and arrived very late (2 am!) last night. Despite that, she got up early so we could walk together this morning, and even walked a bit slowly for me the first 6km of her walk. I was to do 6km, and she 12km. She inspired me with her pace, despite still being quite sore from getting hit in the knee by a discus a few weeks ago (you can still see how her right leg is swollen).

My piriformis felt pretty good this morning despite the relatively quick pace, and I was surprised I'd recovered that well from Sunday's 15K. The time passed quickly having a friend to talk with, and I really enjoyed Erin's company.

We did the 6.32 km in 38:34 for 6:06/km and my ave HR was 147. That's the fastest I've walked in a while where it felt pretty good (though I guess I've had a few OK speed workouts). The piriformis felt fine the rest of the day, too.

At 3pm I had a PT appt, and Erin came along. The PT gave me some great exercises to strengthen my glutes and work my external rotators and abductors - Erin really liked them a lot too. The treadmill video part wasn't so great - I swear I cannot walk properly on one of those things. Erin got a bit irritated with me and told me I had a mental block. Well, whatever the case is, something is wrong. The video looked terrible and I knew exactly what I was doing wrong WHILE I was doing it but couldn't fix it on the d@#* treadmill. It was really frustrating and kind of upsetting too. Regardless, I did feel we accomplished some useful things regarding my technique and getting more smooth - less heel pounding, more rolling all the way through the toes, and a more upright stature.

Garmin data from 6.32km here.

In addition to the PT exercises I did with the PT, I also did some back/core exercises after I got back from the 6.32 km while Erin was doing the rest of her walk. Felt good.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Yesterday I cross-trained; 30 min elliptical and 15 min on the stationary bike. Should have done less on the elliptical, as it bothered me a bit yesterday. I switched to the bike once I noticed that the elliptical was irritating my piriformis, but by then the damage was done and it was definitely a bit sore the rest of the day.

I spent a bit of time worrying last night about today's walk, not that that did any good. Worrying is generally a total waste of time, but on the bright side I had a nice chat on Facebook with Nyle, fellow Team Leppik racewalker and good friend. We agree regularly that it stinks living half a world away from each other. It would be so lovely to go and have coffee with her and hang out and air our racewalking troubles. Even better...train together! I am missing my training partner Kelly, as she is out with a contused meniscus, and it would be so good to have someone to train with again.


Today is Mother's Day, and I couldn't have asked for a nicer gift than to get out early in the amazing weather (54F, 12C; clear and sunny and calm) and get in a good 15K. Even better, it went well compared with the last two. Two weeks ago it was a death march, last week was a little better, and this week was better still. Not that it was good, because it wasn't - YET. But I felt flashes of my former self returning. I had no discomfort at all in my piriformis for the first 6km, and for the first 3-4km I really felt like I was moving well and my legs felt good. Then they got a bit tired, but at 5K I rallied a bit down the slight hill into Liberty Park and did well until about 8km, when my legs got slowly and steadily more and more tired to the end of the workout.

However, I never got much slower than 6:45/km, even on the slight uphill back home from the park. I felt stronger than I have felt and had to stop less frequently (though I did stop 3-4 times for stretching and leg swings and some squats to activate my glutes). I felt my hips were rotating well and that I was standing upright and my technique was good, until about 13.5km when my body was very tired. My pain levels were 1-2 from 6-15km, and though I am recovering, it is clear that the piriformis strain was a pretty serious one and that it's going to take some more time to fully recover. Perhaps quite a bit more time? But at least I can train a little. It might not be as much as me or my coach want me to train, but something is better than nothing, and it does appear to be improving slowly.

Total time 1:36:20 for 6:25/km with ave HR 148. 5K splits: 30:59, 32:33, 32:47. That first 5K I felt almost to get my endurance back and get my piriformis at 100%. Eventually it WILL happen and I have to be patient. 

Garmin data here.

Friday, May 10, 2013

dead legs

I was to do a 10K kickdown this morning. I was excited about it, though I will admit I was a touch apprehensive as to how my body would hold up.

The weather was glorious and I was in a good mood as I drove to the park to start my workout (I like to do the kickdowns on a relatively flat course, hence the driving). It was 54F (12C) and calm, and the sun was up early since it's nearing summer, and it was beautiful outside.

I got started and was feeling I was moving pretty well. I felt I was using my hips properly, and was shocked when at 500m my watch said 3:23! WHAT?!?!?!? Surely I couldn't be that slow???? But I guess I was. By 2.5km I knew it was going to be a bad day. I was doing 6:30 pace and my legs felt heavy and tired. I stopped and called Erin (a much faster walker who also works with Jim) because she is in New York and I knew she'd be awake. She was VERY sympathetic and understanding, as she's recently been in the same boat as me. I was so frustrated I was crying, and she just listened and encouraged me to listen to my body and know that I was not a failure and that things will improve eventually. Now I knew all of these things, but when you are in the middle of it it just doesn't feel good and you need the reminders.

So, I stretched a bit and walked back to the park at the same lousy 6:30/km pace (keeping good form - I'm sure of this!), but I felt much better mentally. Not great, mind you, but much better. I have to adjust my expectations. I will be lucky just to finish the 15K race in Riverside. It won't be a race for me. And I'm not sure I'm 100% OK with that right now, but I will be by the time we get there. I've been planning to go with Nancy and Kathy for quite a while, and we are entered as a team along with Denise (from San Diego, friends with Bonnie in our club here).

It's not all sour grapes. I'm truly happy I can racewalk again, and it's a gift to be able to do it at all, even if I'm slow. And Erin pointed out to me that patience is not our strong point...that's why we're competitive, because we push hard and want to do well. Being patient is part of that game, and I'm learning that too, slowly.

I rode my bike to work again today, which is great exercise because it's almost 100% uphill. The flowers are blooming, and it was sunny, and it was great to be outside.

Garmin data on 5K walk here.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

easy 5K on the track

Today Jim wanted me to walk an easy 4-5km, working on technique. OK, cool! I got Kelly to come and videotape me by bribing her with the promise of a latte afterward.

My coach is a genius...pure genius I tell you. He told me just one thing to fix: rotate the hips more and relax. Voila! Instantly better (see videos below). He's amazing and I owe a lot to him.

The weather was lovely - upper 40s (probably 10C) and a little breeze. Wished I could be out longer in it, so after my workout I biked to work :).

I felt much better today than on Tuesday. Kelly thought I needed more toe-off so I worked on that a bit in addition to keeping my hips rotating freely. I stopped every couple laps and looked at the video for some instant feedback. It made me feel better to see that not only was I lots more legal, but I looked 100% better than on Tuesday. Whew....

I am going to post the videos so you can see how CRAPPY I looked on Tuesday and how much better I look today. I am very ashamed of the first video and it pains me to post it, but I will for the sake of comparison.

Here's today's video - much much much better.

My total for the 5K today was 30:14, and I was breathing pretty hard at the end. Still quite out-of-shape as far as racewalking goes. Sigh....well, that will come. This is a long road back.

Eating hasn't been so good this week. Weight is up and I look and feel kinda nasty. Must work on that too...going to owe my friend Gisela $10 this week for my FAIL in the food department. least I have lots of inconsequential "first world" problems :). 

Garmin data here.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

technique work; x-training

So last night my coach called me after watching yesterday's video and told me straight up front (no small talk) "Your technique looks like s***!". Uh, yeah...I knew that, which is why I had him watch the video. I needed help! Thankfully, coach Jim is a total genius and figured it out right away. I wasn't using my hips at all (not rotating them - probably afraid of pain?) and so my stride was super short and guess what? Doing things that way caused me MORE pain and problems. In my defense, it was compensatory and I didn't know I was doing it.

This morning I was to go out for a 3-4km walk and work on technique, not worrying about pace or time. So that's what I did. I walked 3.68 km but stopped frequently (every 0.5km-1km) to do some drills to stay loose, especially the drill where you stand with legs planted and swing your arms, allowing your hips to rotate like chicken on a spit. It worked well. I felt SO much better today - much looser, and no pain. I mean, I have a bit of residual pain from yesterday (especially when sitting! sciatica! ouch!), but I could tell today's workout did not add to it. I felt good, and fluid, and just overall much more natural. What a relief!

I'm to do this again tomorrow, and I plan to do it at the track and have Kelly videotape me again. She is so gracious to get up and meet me that early - her classes were postponed to 11:30 am tomorrow but she is going to get up anyway to help out.

After my brief workout (23 minutes or so; 6:13/km pace) I got the kids off to school and then took a bike ride to work to get some more cardio in. It was beautiful this morning - nice and warm and sunny. It rained on me on the way home :( but not too hard, so that was OK. Our weather is supposed to be super nice this weekend and I'm really looking forward to it being in the 80s!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

cross-training; 6K fartlek

Sunday I rested.

Monday I cross-trained. I begged Jim to let me ride the stationary bike, which is hilarious since I hate the darned thing! But I really needed some exercise badly, and that was the option. I rode it for 30 min (all the time I had) and then I did a bad thing...I rode my bike to work, too :). I think it was OK though, as nothing hurt.

Today I was to do an 8K fartlek. As you can see by the title of my post, I didn't make it that far. My legs died. I decided before I started that I'd keep going until either 1) it hurt too much, or 2) I couldn't maintain 3:00 for the fast 500s or 3:15 for the recovery 500s. 1) never happened, thankfully; the worst the pain got was 1/10. 2) did happen - at 6K my watch read 3:02 for the fast 500 (and I felt I was really slow) and so I stopped. Looking at the graph on the Garmin website, my heart rate did decrease at the end. My legs just had no more to give after 4km.

Now, at lunch time, I'm having some minor pain in the hip/butt (Jim and I were discussing Aussie vs US use of the terms "hip" and "butt"...I feel like here we often say hip for the whole hip + butt (politeness? I know my mom never used to let me say "butt", though I do let my kids say it!) and that is confusing the issue perhaps?). Anyway, there is some pain pretty deep inside and some radiation down the back of the leg to mid-thigh (sciatica probably), and so I am pretty sure the piriformis is aggravated. Jim called me this morning and after hearing what happened this morning told me to take 2 days of x-training and then do a 10km kickdown on Friday.

I am OK with all of this, surprisingly, but I am pretty upset about my form. Kelly took some video of me today and I look terrible. OK, maybe not terrible, but not good. I'm leaning forward more than I should be from the waist and not using my back and lower abs enough to tuck my butt under, and so my knees are a bit soft. The thing that gets me is that I was trying NOT to do that and apparently failing. Usually I have good body awareness, but she took the video at almost 4km and I was very tired, so maybe that's why. Regardless, I absolutely have to work harder on this.

So frustrating. I feel I'm back to square one every week. On the other hand, I KNOW that is not true and I do feel I'm making progress, but it is really slow and that is hard. All I know is that slow progress beats the alternative of not racewalking at all. What alternative is there to slogging forward as best as I can? None, really. So I continue to press on.

The weather was beautiful this morning (49F (10C) and breezy when I walked; maybe 55F a bit later when I went to work), so I couldn't resist biking to work despite how tired I was after the workout. I'm glad I did.

Here's hoping a couple days of rest makes me feel better.

Garmin data here.

Saturday, May 04, 2013


Only 2 weeks until my 15K race. At this point I'm quite worried and just hope I don't embarrass myself too much. My legs just refuse to do anything useful. Two days off helped a bit, as I didn't feel totally dead today, but I sure didn't have much energy. At least I did finish the 15K and it wasn't a death march like last week.

I was pretty anxious about my hip, as it felt very tight this morning. I stretched it out and rolled it out before starting, and did some PT exercises to activate the glutes. I think that helped. I had no pain for 5K, and then it was a 1-2/10 for the rest of the walk. Sometimes a 1, sometimes a 2, and when it got to 2 for long enough I would stop and stretch. Geez. I just hope I can make it through the race without having to stop and stretch. Well, even if I'm slow, it will be fun to have a road trip with the girls (Nancy & Kathy from our club) and compete for a team medal. In my bleaker moments these days I ask myself if this is really worth it. Racewalking isn't much fun right now because my body won't do what I want it to do and it becomes frustrating. But if I want to be fast again I have to persevere and work through this. I'm just too impatient, but this is helping me work through that too I guess.

This week I didn't worry about finishing like I did last week. I could tell by 8km that my legs were much fresher and I'd be able to finish, even if I was a bit slow on the uphill back home.

Total time 1:38:19 for 6:33/km with ave HR of 147.

Garmin data here.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Rest day part 2

Today is my second rest day. My legs were feeling rather lousy yesterday but feel much better today. I almost feel normal again! My right hip is a touch sore but so much better overall. I hope that I'll be rested enough to do 15K tomorrow at the minimum.


Enjoyed taking my dad out to breakfast today for his 70th birthday (which was last week, but today is when we got around to it). Gosh, that's hard to believe.


In other news, here are all the pictures from the Salt Lake Half Marathon. There are lots, and I look legal in all of them. Soaking wet and legal.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

resting up

After yesterday's debacle, my coach decided I need some rest. He has never asked this of me before, but thinks two days of total rest - no cross-training, no weights, no biking to work, no nothing - will be beneficial. I can't really argue with that. I will have to eat carefully and that hasn't been going as well this week as last, so it's going to put a dent in my weight loss plans (and I might owe Gisela $10...sigh.....), but it's for the best I think.

On Saturday I'll try 15K and see how it goes.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

7K leg meltdown

I was supposed to do 10K with 2x5' at 10K race pace. I made it to 7K with one 500m burst a bit slower than 10K race pace (2:59).

I'm frustrated but I know I need to be patient. I hate being patient! However, there really is no alternative. My legs just had nothing today. My hip hurt but no more than 2/10, so that's good. I tried to work on technique but everything just feels so lousy that I don't know if it did any good.

My rule for stopping a workout these days is: 1) if my hip hurts 3/10 then I stop, or 2) if I cannot maintain 7 min/km pace I stop. Today 2) is what did me in - I hit a 3:30 500m and felt terrible; tried to pick it up a little but knew it was futile so headed home before I got stuck farther from home and had to do more.

Tomorrow I have a speed work session planned. I'm going to try it in the hopes I'll be recovered enough to do it. I have to push a little right now because of the race coming up in a couple of weeks; as long as I don't injure myself more, being tired and not recovering well is OK (though hard on me mentally).

What's sort of getting me through this is knowing that it's temporary, and considering the alternative - stationary bike (shudder!). I just have to get through this and I should be able to train better in a few weeks.

Total time was the slowest yet: 47:09 for the 7km for 6:44/km with ave HR 137 (yeah...low HR=dead legs).

Garmin data here.


Both before and after my workout I did some PT exercises: hip hikes, one-legged squats, lunges, planks, jump-ups to step activating core & glutes & pushing through toes. Before I did just enough to get glutes activated; after, I did more. I still have more to do and hopefully will do some this afternoon.