Saturday, August 31, 2013


Most days now I'm not excited at all about racewalking. In fact, the opposite. I kind of dread it, because I know I will just feel sore and be slow. Today was no exception. Despite just light x-training yesterday (elliptical 45 min) and elliptical and biking to work the day before, my legs felt a bit tired and sore even before starting. Never a good sign. I did OK through about 7.5km, when my legs just got more and more tired. By 10K I was hurting more - my right hamstring at the top started to bother me a lot and I'm sure my gait was wonky as a result. Geez. I just can't catch a break.

I know, I can either live with it and have a good attitude or be a whiner. I can't change it, and I am trying oh so very hard to suck it up and have a positive outlook, with mixed results.

I kind of wish now that I wasn't signed up for the 5K in Tennessee on Oct 5th, except that maybe I can help Stevie to do better by encouraging him in his training and walking with him once a week. He beat me back to the finish line today by a minute or so, because I couldn't even manage 7 min/km the last couple km and I told him to go on ahead. I really thought I'd be feeling better by now.

Yes, I could be something else. People keep telling me that. But in all likelihood, it is the low B12, which just takes time. Yes, there's a small possibility it's something else, but it's just not as likely. And yes, if I still feel lousy after the 5K in October, I'll go to the doc again to see what he can do if anything.

Total time: 6:38/km with ave HR 143, 1:19:38.

Garmin data here.

Oh, yeah - edited to add that it was extremely humid (for Utah). I was very hot, and dripping with sweat... I'd go more into detail but it's not pretty. It was 73F (23C) and 54% humidity when I started, and about 81 (27C) and 54% humidity at the finish. Ugh.

Friday, August 30, 2013

lots of cross-training

After Wednesday's not-so-great 5K, I decided to take it easier. I cross-trained yesterday, doing 35 min elliptical plus riding my bike to work. Today I just did 45 min elliptical and then took the bus to work. I want my legs well-rested for tomorrow's planned 12K. I hope I can still complete it, despite hardly walking at all this week.

I'm sick of this.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

rough week so far

Sunday I took a rest day. My legs were very tired from just the 12K on Saturday. I was pretty busy with family stuff on Sunday, and didn't get much physical rest. I'm sure that contributed to what was to come.

Monday I was exhausted when I woke up. I decided I'd ride my bike to work and skip racewalking, since I felt so lousy. I figured I could get a bit of extra cross-training in later. I worked, herded the kids home from school, and prepared dinner and set it to warm in the oven while attending Calvin's soccer game from 6-7 pm. After we ate dinner, Calvin begged me to go play soccer with him for half an hour before he had to go to bed. I didn't think twice about it, because it sounded fun. And it was! However, the consequence of doing an unfamiliar sport aggressively for 30 min were pretty severe.

Tuesday morning my legs were completely trashed. I intended to do a 3K fartlek, and knew it would be tough, but went to the track anyway. I tried to warm up, but my legs wouldn't respond. I did one lap in just under 3 min (normally this is 2:30 for warm-up!) and knew I couldn't racewalk. So I drove to the gym and rode the stationary bike for 20 min and did the elliptical for 20 min. Somehow I still found it in my legs to ride my bike to work. But again, I paid for all that activity. After work I was terribly exhausted, and went to bed at 9 pm.

I thought maybe after 9 1/2 hours of sleep last night that I'd be better today, and I am somewhat better. I went for a walk, planning 5 or 6km. After 1km I knew it would be just 5km today. I really didn't feel good. I still managed to do the 5km in 31:11 for 6:14/km with ave HR 140. My legs were very tired when I finished, but after a bit of rest I managed to bike to work.

Garmin data here.

I'm feeling OK now. Definitely not as exhausted as yesterday. I wonder if I'll feel better yet tomorrow if I get a lot of sleep again tonight? This ailment has to be one of the most frustrating I've dealt with yet. It's lasted a long time and impacts every area of my life - home (tired, hard to keep house clean, keep up w/kids, prepare good meals, etc.), work (forgotten items, lack of energy), racewalking (for obvious reasons), weight maintenance (tired all the time - leads to lowered willpower and increased eating, in addition to less ability to exercise). But at this time, I have two choices. I can whine and feel sorry for myself and give up, or I can persevere and be patient. Each day I must choose the latter; and yes, it's a first world problem, but difficult nonetheless.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Yesterday: cross-training - 40 min elliptical plus ~23 min ride to work. The bike ride might have been a mistake. Haven't ridden my bike in a bit and I think it made my legs a bit tired? Felt OK at the time but my RW today suffered from something.


Today: 12K on Jordan River Trail with Stevie and Kathy from Wasatch Walkers. It was rough - I won't lie. By 3K I was wondering if I'd finish because my right shin and right glutes were bothering me. Oddly, they never got worse and if anything they improved as I went. I did focus a lot on technique so maybe that was it? Or maybe I just needed to relax and settle in a bit? Still, I felt tired, though it never got really horrible. It was never a death march, but I was definitely slow. Slow or not, I finished. Interestingly, it was faster than last Saturday, but that was only because I walked slower for Stevie last Saturday. Today if anything he walked slower for me. Hopefully we will both be faster next week.

I'm not a patient person. This is getting old. My glutes are quite sore now, about 12 hrs later. Ridiculous! 12K is a nothing, a short walk, a lark...normally. But not now. At least I have hope that eventually this will get better.

Only 6 weeks until 5K national masters race in Tennessee. I am still hoping to feel better before then. Maybe I'm delusional?

Garmin data here. 1:18:46 for 12km for 6:34/km with ave HR 144.

Got some video too on my iPhone, of both me and Stevie, but have to figure out how to get it from phone to my computer 1st. It's a new phone so I haven't taken the time to figure stuff like that out just yet. Can't be too hard. Anyway, the video looks pretty decent. I'm slow but form seems all right.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


How can I convey in words my impatience and frustration? At least I know I will start feeling better eventually, and that's a comfort. A huge comfort. And I know this is a first-world problem and that I should feel more grateful for everything I have (and I am grateful!). But it's still frustrating, and you know what? It's OK to feel frustrated because it's not an easy situation all the same. Yesterday I was SO very tired, and since it was the first day of school I decided to skip cross-training and help the kids get ready. I think it was a good decision.

I started off well this morning for the first 5K, and then Adriana met me for the second 5K. I slowed down to match her speed, but honestly, I didn't have the oomph to go much faster anyway.

It was dark this morning when I started. I had to start early because I drove 20 min to get to the meeting place w/Adriana, and then I had to drive 20 min back home and get home in time to make my kids' lunch and take them to school by 8. Whew. So I got up at 5:25 and started my workout at 6:00 sharp. It's sad to have to start walking in the dark again...I'm going to miss summer. I won't miss the heat though. It was 75F (24C) and 40% humidity this morning and felt sticky to me (yeah, you midwestern types will laugh at that, but for here that is humid).

Total time 1:04:08 for 6:25/km with ave HR 143. 30:38 for the first 5K and then 33:30 for the second 5K.

My piriformis only twinged a little today, which is good. My legs are definitely a bit sore and heavy now, but I think tomorrow I'll feel OK. I'm going to cross-train tomorrow anyway, so no matter.

Garmin data here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

3K fartlek

I felt fairly well-recovered from my 10K yesterday. My legs were a little sore, but not bad, and I didn't feel horribly tired. So I decided to try the 3K fartlek. I did struggle, and though subjectively it didn't feel as bad as last week, I was actually slower. I'm not too troubled by that, as I just did 10K yesterday, and last week I was coming off of a rest day instead.

What does bother me a bit is my right glutes/piriformis. They started to bug me a little on yesterday's 10K and it continued to be irritated a bit today. It's not painful outright, just perhaps somewhat inflamed. I have to watch my technique more closely (drat...thought I had been!). This sport is challenging, but that is part of why I like it.

The weather was warm, as it has been all week - mid 70s. There was a slight cooling breeze, which helped.

Splits: 2:45.4, 2:45.1, 3:01.2 (med), 2:48.0, 3:09.1 (med), 2:55.3.

Total: 17:24 for the 3K fartlek with average HR 161 and max 170 at the very end (shameful that a 170 HR only netted me a 2:55 - oh's just data...I'm going to get better).

Garmin data here.

State of mind: encouraged that I am feeling a little better, but this is still very difficult. It's hard to come back. It's hard to eat right. My weight is up, still - can't quite exercise enough, and when you add in eating due to tiredness (no excuse, just explaining what is happening) it's not good. I am struggling to make this all work somehow.

Monday, August 19, 2013


I took a rest day yesterday, and felt pretty good when I started off today. I'm definitely feeling better overall, even though I'm not back to normal. 10K doesn't completely wipe me out any more, which is good. I do get tired doing 10K, which isn't at all normal, but it's still an improvement on how I felt in June.

I forgot to bring my watch cable to work with me, so couldn't upload to the Garmin website. But here's how I did: 1:02:36 for 6:15/km with ave HR 151. I started nice and fast, doing 5K in about 30 min on a slight downhill, then did about 32:30 for the second 5K on a slight uphill. My legs got tired at about 7km and I did have some slow 500s, though only 3 of them were more than 3:15, so that wasn't too bad. Overall I felt OK today.

Tomorrow I will either cross-train or try a 3km fartlek, depending on how I recover. Thursday I'll do 10K, Friday cross-train, and Saturday 12K. That's the plan for now.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


I felt OK this morning. Not great, not awful, but OK.

I met Stevie at the Jordan River Trail for 12K. We kept the pace nice & slow on purpose, and also because Stevie isn't quite as fast as I am (yet). I figured that a slower 12K was better than no 12K, and besides, if I started out fast I was pretty sure I wouldn't finish. My legs are definitely not 100% yet. Though I have improved since June when 5K almost killed me a couple times, I'm not ready for a hard 12K for sure. I noticed my legs tiring by about 4K, and by 10K they were definitely more tired. But the nice slow pace helped, and I didn't feel dead when I finished.

In fact, after getting home, I made French toast for the kids, ate a little breakfast (oatmeal), and then went briefly to work with Calvin in tow. I had enough energy left to take him to the free wellness fair at the U, walking around for a couple hours. We had a great time, and he particularly enjoyed the magic show, the balloon animals, the giant inflatable colon (really! complete with cancers & polyps!), and the free hot dogs, fruit, and creamies. I think I might take a nap, though, now that I'm home.

Anyway, I am sure I could have gone faster today if I'd been alone - Stevie struggled to keep up, and I slowed my pace a little for him. I think I might have done 6:20/km alone (guess), but together we did 6:36/km on average for 1:19:08 total and my ave HR was just 141. Stevie was doing better early, but got leg cramps and it was rough going the last 5km for him.

I'm pleased because I haven't gone 12K in a while and I'm feeling all right. Stevie was thrilled because he'd never gone farther than 10K before. We are planning to do it again next Saturday.

Garmin data here.

Friday, August 16, 2013

getting better?

I cross-trained today, taking it a bit easy with 30 min on the elliptical because I plan to try 12K tomorrow, which is the longest I've gone in quite a while. I wanted to be cautious.


I got my B12 results back. 1964! That combined with my substantial improvement on the neuropathy has my doctor feeling like 1) it really was B12 causing the problems, and 2) I am on the path to being 100% again. I definitely do not need a B12 shot, with levels that high. That's the good news - I am improving, and B12 was the problem. The bad news is that it still might take a while for me to feel like my old self. No one really knows how long it will be, but as long as there is improvement and signs that the improvement will continue, I guess I am OK with that. It will be a bit easier being patient if I know that things are on the right track. I'm to continue taking oral B12 at 1000 mcg/day.

In other health news, racewalking and eating well (most of the time!) has its rewards. My cholesterol is "very, very good" according to my doctor, with HDL 62 (that's nice and high - high enough to be a negative risk factor for heart disease) and LDL 83 (less than 100 is desirable). My triglycerides are also very good at 85.


So, projecting ahead 6 weeks, it looks like I should be feeling a lot better. I decided to take a bit of a gamble and buy plane tickets for the national 5K in Kingsport, TN on October 5th. Steve, the 14-year-old racewalker who joined me for my workout last Saturday, is going to come with me. That saves his dad having to come along and pay for yet another plane ticket. It's not cheap to fly into Kingsport, as it's a little bitty airport, so that is significant savings for them. Another good reason for me to do the race!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

10K; doctor visit

My 10K this morning was actually better than I expected. I was tired and sore this morning so I figured it'd be a lost cause, but you never know, so out I went. My legs did get tired at 7K, and yes, the last 1K wasn't so hot (though it's a good uphill...), but otherwise it wasn't so bad.

Total time: 1:02:14 for 6:13/km with ave HR 146.

Garmin data here.


Doctor visit today was encouraging. I have regained some sensation in my feet, and the doctor thought that was a great sign. He ordered a re-check of my B12 levels, because I told him I still feel really lousy. I asked him for a B12 shot and he was going to give me one, but they had run out in the clinic. We will get the results tomorrow pm, so he said if I was still low he'd just write me a prescription and I can pick some up at the pharmacy and they can give me the shot in the clinic. But if my levels have come up, then there is really no point in a shot, and it will just take some more time for me to feel better. I am not feeling very patient right now...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

cross-training, 3K fartlek

I stayed up too late on Monday night because I thoroughly enjoyed coffee with Sarah and chatted with her until almost 9:30. Oops. I'm glad I did, but I did pay for it a bit. Tuesday I intended to do my 3K fartlek, but I was simply too tired. I did manage to drag my sorry self to the gym for 30 min of elliptical before work, so at least I did something.

Today I knew I had to do the fartlek. On the 1600m warm-up with strides I noticed that my legs were definitely not 100%. They felt maybe like 80% recovered. Sigh. So frustrating. I did the fartlek anyway, but my legs died around 2km and despite working very hard, breathing very hard, and having my HR nice and high (upper 160s), I was slow on the last km. I felt pretty terrible.

Total time: an embarrassing 17:20 with ave HR 163. Garmin data here.

I had to sit a bunch at work this morning (at the computer designing subcloning strategies all morning) and that definitely did NOT help. My legs are sore and unhappy. Pathetic. I'm very glad I'm going to the doctor tomorrow.

Monday, August 12, 2013

8K; tired of being tired!

Today I did 8K. I figured I'd do a bit more than last week, so my plan is 8K, 3K fartlek, 10K w/3x3' bursts, and 12K on Saturday if I can manage it.

I had pretty fresh legs today and started off fast. Too fast...I chased some runners in Liberty Park and went a bit faster than I should have, and I guess that wore me out a bit so that I was slower at the end. Sigh...I'm SO tired of being tired. I have a doctor appt for Thursday to try and sort that out a bit. We'll see.

Total time: 48:51 for 6:06/km with average HR 149.

Garmin data here.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


This morning I had a treat - more company for my 10K! Steve, age 14 but already an accomplished racewalker (has won his age group at Junior Olympics several times), joined me. He and his family recently moved to Utah from Texas. His PRs are quite similar to mine, so I figured he'd be a good workout partner. His dad drove him to meet me for a walk on the Jordan River Parkway followed by breakfast.

My legs were a little tired today, but not too bad considering I did a short track workout yesterday. They felt much better than during my workout on Wednesday, which was a relief. I started off pretty easy, not wanting to push it at all. Steve started to get a bit tired around 4km, so at 4.5km I left him for 6 minutes, doing the last 0.5km out and back by myself and picking him up for the 4.5km back to where we started. I promised him I wouldn't tell his dad that the "old lady" beat him, and I didn't (I'm assuming his dad does not yet read my blog!). I did go a little bit slower because he was with me; I figure my total time would have been about a minute faster if I'd been walking alone, though that's hard to guess accurately. I do know I could have gone faster without pushing too much.

Total time: 1:03:52 for 6:23/km with ave HR 137. The two 500s I did alone were 2:56 and 2:57, so like I said, I'm sure I could have gone faster. But this was fast enough to accomplish its purpose.

Garmin data here.

Friday, August 09, 2013

cross-training, 3K fartlek

Yesterday: Too tired to think about racewalking. My legs were just not going to go there. So I did an hour on the elliptical instead. Why that is easier than RW is beyond me, but it is. I enjoyed reading and catching up on Runner's World magazine.


Today: 3K fartlek. My legs felt a lot better today. I warmed up in 9:38 for 1600m with strides, did my dynamic flexibility drills, and got started. The weather was lovely - felt nice and cool - about 67F (19C) and clear and dry. The fartlek went about like last week; I didn't feel as strong as I did last week, but my legs carried me through pretty well and they've felt reasonable the rest of the day so far. I did 2:46.0, 2:49.4 (fast 1km - 500m splits), 2:58.1 (medium), 2:43.5 (fast), 2:59.0 (medium), and 2:43.5 (fast) for a total of 16:59.4. Average HR was 157 and max 169.

Garmin data here.


Afterwards I cooled down at the gym with 15 min elliptical, and I also rode my bike to work for a little extra cardio (22 min, all uphill).

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

cross-training; 10K

Yesterday I cross-trained, doing 45 min elliptical and 15 min on the stationary bike. I enjoyed the 1 hr to myself to read (Harry Potter #5, newspaper) and think.


Today I tackled 10K and was pretty much beaten up. I started off feeling great for 3km or so, but then my legs just had nothing. My HR was low but legs wouldn't move. At one point, I almost started to cry out of sheer frustration. I want to do more, but just can't.

At least the weather was lovely. It was about 70F (21C) and clear with a slight and very pleasant breeze.

Total: 9.8km on the watch (missed 0.2km that I actually RW - turned off watch and forgot to turn back on) in 1:03:31 for 6:29/km with ave HR only 138. Grrrr :(. Well, on the positive side, I can still racewalk even if it's not as fast or far as I want to go.

Garmin data here.

Monday, August 05, 2013


My legs were still a bit sore this morning from the hike on Friday, but I know I need to get back to RW and try to start training again. I'm strongly considering doing the national 5K in Kingsport TN on Oct 5th. I know I'm not 100%, but I really want to do another national race this year. It keeps me motivated, and right now, my motivation is a bit low. It's tough to keep strong mentally when you feel tired all the time and want to sleep in rather than train. Maybe I NEED to sleep rather than train, but I don't WANT to. Frustrating.

Anyway, I slept a bit later today because I took a sick day from work to care for the kids, who couldn't go to camp today (swimming for most of camp, and they can't do that in their current state). So I started walking at 8 am and it was already 26C (79F). I did OK, but my legs were definitely heavy and tired, and by 3km I knew 6km total would be enough for today.

Total 39:23 for the 6.26km (6:17/km) with ave HR 141.

Garmin data here.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Hiking, rest day, and cross-training

Friday: My brother, an avid mountaineer, was in town. So I took the day off and we went hiking, of course! He originally had planned for us to do Lone Peak or Twin Peaks, but decided those were too hard for Erica (his wife) and I to do, so he switched our hike to Pfiefferhorn. It was still very difficult! If I'd been in better shape to start with it wouldn't have been as hard as it was, but even so, the class 3 scrambling with exposure was pretty scary for me and I doubt I'd do it again. I'm glad I did it, but...yeah...scary.

It was about 15K total (actually a bit more, at 9.5 miles or so), with 3800 feet (1100m) of elevation gain and then loss on the way back. Wow. But it was very beautiful hiking through forests, past alpine lakes, through meadows of profuse wildflowers, and then over boulders on a knife-edge ridge. The summit views were spectacular, showing us the Salt Lake and Utah valleys, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Mt. Timpanogos, and more.

On the way down, all was well until about 12k, when my right IT band pulled its usual hiking stunt and started to hurt. The last 3k was a slow slog for me, but I made it. My quads are seriously paying for the adventure now, but oh well. It was worth it.

Here are all of the photos. Here's my Garmin data.


When I got back into cell phone range, I was stunned to have a message from the camp director of the summer camp my kids are in. I discovered that they were BOTH at the hospital (thankfully with my husband Loren) from separate accidents at the roller skating rink. Calvin fell first, bracing his fall with his arms and fracturing his radius and ulna. They set the fracture with him sedated, and he is doing fine now, though in some discomfort. Just after the camp director got back to the skating rink, Grace fell and split her chin open, requiring 5 stitches. They took her over to be with Calvin and Loren at the hospital. By the time I got back from hiking, they were almost ready to leave the hospital, so I didn't go. I was quite relieved to be reunited with them and they are going to be fine.


Saturday: rest day. I needed it, after all that excitement!


Sunday: quads still hurting a lot, and calves too. However, I need exercise! So I decided to try the elliptical, and it was fine. I did 40 min elliptical in my swimsuit and shorts, and then peeled off the shorts and jumped into the pool for 20 min of laps. That felt quite nice after the elliptical, and gave my legs a rest.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

3K fartlek

I felt surprisingly recovered today. My legs were a little sore after yesterday's 10K, but pretty good compared to how they have been sometimes lately.

It was warm again. Yesterday it was 75F, today 74F (23-24C). Still, beats cold & rainy, and the sprinklers at the track were on and giving me a little respite shower now and then.

Briefly: warm-up 1600m in 9:34 with 2x100m strides on the last 400m. Felt good. Dynamic drills. Then I got started and I felt fast today. I pushed pretty hard aerobically because my legs felt like they were responding for once. 1K fast: 2:41.4, 2:45.5, 500m medium 2:59.8, 500m fast 2:44.5, 500m medium 3:02.6, 500m fast 2:43.9 (I sprinted that last 100m in about 30 seconds flat!). Average HR a pretty high 163, max 175. Good hard workout.

Then I went to the gym and cooled down with 20 min elliptical.

Garmin data here. 

EDITED to add: Total time was 16:57. Oops...sorry coach...forgot to put it on here.

Tomorrow: hiking! We are doing Pfeifferhorn!