Thursday, February 27, 2014

10K w/3x3' bursts

My legs were still tired today. None of the weird soreness or anything like that - just a bit tired, probably still from the bicycling on Tuesday. So, my 10K wasn't stellar, but it wasn't terrible either. I just didn't have a lot of pep.

It was warm and windy this morning, at 54F (12C), as a storm is blowing in. It rained a few drops on me, but the bulk of the rain held off until lunchtime today, for which I was grateful.

I was a bit worried about my foot, as it ached a little today, but it never did more than just get a bit achy. I worked hard on my technique, trying to keep things adjusted. I feel like I'm fighting all the little niggles - left foot, right piriformis, right anterior tibialis - and that the technique adjustments are just barely holding things together. Maybe. I'm a bit worried something is going to go off; I feel like things are held together with duct tape and that something could go wrong any minute. Hopefully that's just the out-of-the-routine uncoordinated out-of-practice feeling and it will go away once I have a few more miles under my belt.

Back to the workout. I started off feeling clunky and out-of-sorts. Even when I settled in a bit, I just felt slow and a little tired. My 3 minute bursts were 500m in 3:00, 2:53, then 3:04. The 3:04 shocked me - I thought I'd gone sub-3 for sure… but I was just getting very tired. My HR was a bit low this morning too, partly because I just couldn't get my legs moving very well. Oh well. It's done, and nothing hurts. That's good :). I'm happy I'm racewalking again.

Total time: 1:04:51 for 6:29/km with ave HR 142. Garmin data here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

cross-training; 3x1km

Yesterday: cross-training. I did 35 min elliptical and then dusted off the bike because it was SO warm and lovely (high of 60F (15C)) and rode my bike to work. That did cause a few problems…

Today: 3x1km. Warmed up and my legs felt quite sluggish and unresponsive. I think that bicycling to work was responsible, as I haven't done that in months. My warm-up of 1600m was much slower than on Monday, at 10:18 - and with a low HR of 133, and I just felt "off". I didn't have any muscle pain or anything like that, but my legs just felt like stumps. Not sure how to explain it. My foot was also achy yesterday after the elliptical and bicycling, so I was nervous that it would be a problem this morning on the workout. I was VERY happy that it was just fine - maybe a bit warm-ish, but it felt fine and there was no pain.

The 3x1km went about how you'd expect for someone whose legs were a bit compromised, but it wasn't awful, and my last one was the fastest. Somehow I pulled it off, despite it all. I figure I'd have been at least 5-10 sec faster on each one if my legs had felt good. Anyway, the times were 5:48.8, 5:48.5, and 5:45.1. My ave HR on the last 500 of each was 155, 158, and 161 - I was working hard, but you'd expect a bit higher, so I think from that data you can tell my legs were iffy today, explaining the slower times.

Good enough for today. I'm happy I could work out, and I'm happy nothing hurt. Speed will come later.

Edited to add: This was my 2nd speed workout in a week - first time I've done that in a while! So I'm pleased that I completed it and that I feel good now.

Garmin data here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

5K fartlek - season's best

Yesterday: rest day


Today: 5K fartlek.

Weather: 45F (7C) (warm for February!), cloudy, calm.

Warm-up: 1600m with 2x100m strides in the last 400m. Felt good on warm-up. Watched technique to get in good habits. Time 9:43 w/ave HR 139. Then dynamic drills.

Workout: Consistent and felt strong throughout. I did work hard, especially on the last 500m. Fast 500s were 2:49-2:54, with the last one 2:51 :). Medium effort 500s were 3:06, 3:08, 3:08, 3:08 - getting better and fitter! Hopefully soon those will be around 3 min again. Well, except that next week Jim gave me an 8K fartlek so may not be able to go that fast because of the distance increase!

Total time: another season's best of 29:46 with ave HR 160. I'm very happy with this! Under 30 min again, and with solid technique.

Garmin data here.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

YES! 15K!

Yesterday: elliptical 45 min


Today: I made it to 15K for the first time since the national 15K last May in Riverside. Wow. It's been a long time, and 15K is not even that far. I felt good today, which is way more than I could say after the 15K in Riverside, or any 15K I did last spring, for that matter.

Today I had lots of good company. Stevie joined me as usual, and my friend Erica came along as well. Erica is training for the Salt Lake City Marathon on April 19 (I am registered for the half that day), and she was doing 18 miles today and wanted some company. We gave her company for half of her 18! I hope the rest went well for her too.

The time seemed to fly by, as I felt pretty good, and the company was enjoyable. The weather was lovely - it was 35F (2C) and partly sunny at the start, turning to overcast with a slight breeze. I didn't need my hat or jacket - just wore 2 long-sleeved shirts and tights, and no fleece pants. It was great not to feel cold. For February, this is pretty mild, so I'm soaking it in while it lasts.

I started off fast, but my form felt a bit iffy as it often does to start. I reeled that in and by 1.5km or so I was feeling solid and good. I had to watch my posture a lot today - distracted by chatting, I kept noticing that it wasn't good. That's a first step anyway! As for the rest of me, it felt great. No piriformis trouble, and my anterior tibialis felt OK as did my foot. My foot felt pretty good until 14K, when it felt warmish, but I only had 1K to go, and knew it would be fine. It seems to be doing much better back in the old shoes. I don't have any more of those, but I do have some New Balance 1400s which I know are safe for my feet, so I will probably start using those soon.

I am just SO pleased to be feeling better. This morning I woke up and nothing hurt. My legs just felt GOOD. I didn't realize how bad things were before until I started to feel good! When I walked today I felt strong and like I could walk forever - I got a bit tired around 7K but then revived at our water stop at 7.5K and felt strong to the finish. I could have walked farther, but 15K was a good amount for today to get my confidence back. I'm so glad to be on the mend!!!!!

5K splits: 31:55, 32:30, 32:25.

Totals: 1:36:49 for 6:27/km with ave HR 148.

Garmin data here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

10K with 3x3' bursts

I'm feeling better today. I could second-guess myself and say I should have worked out yesterday, or I can choose to say that I wouldn't have felt so good today if I hadn't taken it a bit easier yesterday. Either way, I feel better now, and only missed one workout, so that's good. Sore throat is gone and I just have a bit of congestion, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue remaining.

Fastest 10K of the year so far… but don't get all excited - it was slow, just less slow that I've been. Hey, I'm trying to look on the bright side. The bursts were consistent and pretty good at 2:58, 3:02, 2:56. My total time was 1:04:21 for 6:26/km with ave HR 145. The weather was cooperative, at about 32F (0C) and calm and clear. I got started a bit late, so it wasn't even pitch black out when I left, as the days are getting noticeably longer.

My left foot ached a bit, but it wasn't too bad. I'm still focusing a lot on form and I know I'm getting better posture. It's hard to remember everything at once but the foot reminds me (via pain) if I don't pay attention to that aspect of my form as well. I'm just so glad to be on the mend :).

Garmin data here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Yesterday I woke up feeling sick-ish. I had a sore throat and was fatigued, but once I got up I felt a bit better. Went to the gym and did elliptical and had a busy day.

Today when I woke up it was worse. More sore, more tired, more congestion. I was supposed to do a track workout (3x1km) but I was even debating if I should go to work or not. I decided it would be smarter to skip the workout and save my energy for work. In times past, I would have pushed it and done both. Now? Well, I'm still very cautious after all that has happened. I probably could have done the workout, but if I miss one it won't kill me, and I have 10K tomorrow that I can possibly do if I don't push it too hard today.

As the day has gone on I've gotten more and more tired, so I suspect it was the right decision. I've got a lot going on tonight as we are hosting small group at our house for church, but if I'm lucky I can squeeze in a nap?

Monday, February 17, 2014

rest day; 5K fartlek

Sunday: rest day!


Monday: Drove down to Orem, where Stevie lives, to do a 5K fartlek with him (OK, well he had an 8K fartlek, but still…). It was nice to have the day off today so that I could go do that, plus I wanted to stop by IKEA on the way home and get some furniture for our bedroom (renovating this weekend - paint, carpet, etc.). We warmed up in 10:05 for 1600m easy at the Orem High School track; I felt my technique was a bit off to start, but after a lap or so it settled in and I focused on keeping it good and strong throughout.

After some dynamic drills, we started the workout. Stevie took off like a shot and I let him go; interestingly, he never got that far in front of me (150 meters at most) and at the end of my 5K I was reeling him in. Have to talk to coach about how Stevie is doing his hard workouts - I don't think he's been getting it quite right. I talked to him a bunch afterward and explained more about the fartlek workout and I think he was starting to understand it a bit better at the end. I explained it to his dad, too, as he was watching and yelling technique corrections to poor Stevie!

My 5K fartlek went about like last week - much slower than if I am fit, but not terrible. Today the recoveries were a bit better but my fast segments were not as fast. I felt pretty strong for most of it, but after driving to IKEA (driving aggravates things a lot for me), loading heavy boxes into my car, and driving home, my legs definitely are stiffening up and hurting a bit. Anyway, I felt like I got through the 5K fartlek pretty well. My splits ranged from 2:46 (out too fast on the first one) to 3:00 for the fast segments and my recoveries were all 3:06 and one 3:10. Total time 30:08 with average HR 161.

Garmin data here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Yesterday: 45 min elliptical. My foot was a bit sore but I wore my racewalking shoes with orthotics to work and tried to stay off it as much as possible. By the end of the day it was feeling better, and I wore some boots (no heel) to dinner and the symphony with no ill effects. Whew.


Today: 14K was on the to-do list. We are having record-breaking warm weather (it was 60F today = 15C for a high!) and this morning it was about 48F (9C), calm, and cloudy. I wore capris and a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, and it was so lovely. Stevie wore shorts and a T-shirt!

Today I just wanted to have good technique and to finish feeling decent, without hurting my foot or piriformis or anterior tibialis. I did all that, and also managed to keep a 6:30/km pace. Sure, I'd have liked to go faster, but my fitness is not there yet, I'm working on my technique, and right now finishing strong is what I care most about. I actually felt better today than I did on last week's 12K, and MUCH better than the 12K two weeks ago. At about the 11K mark today, I noticed I was still feeling strong and though my legs were a bit tired, I knew I had plenty of muscle to make it to 14K. I am sure I could have done 15K, but we're saving that for next week.

My foot wasn't sore during the workout (well, maybe a touch?) but it did bother me a little later in the day. I wore my old pair of shoes and that seemed to be a big improvement. I think it was just the shoes?  If I'm still feeling pretty good on Monday after my track workout then I think I'll be fine. I'm a lot less worried after getting through things just fine today.

Totals: 14K in 1:30:58 for 6:30/km with ave HR 148.

Garmin data here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Having a bad day

I was to do 10K this morning. It was warm (for February) at 40F (4C) and drizzly, later turning to full-on rain. I left the house about 6:40 am and that should have been plenty of time to be done by 7:50 to get the kids to school, but it wasn't, because I was that slow.

Funny, I thought I was well-recovered. My legs felt good last night and this morning before going out. In fact, they feel good now at lunch. Maybe it wasn't my legs - I couldn't seem to get my heart rate up this morning. I was overly tired and a bit grumpy and had no mental motivation to push. I just wanted to have a smooth workout with good technique. But my speed started off slow and I could never get it going. I don't know what was wrong, but for now I'm chalking it up to just having a bad day.

To make matters worse, at about 5K my left foot (the one that was injured about 3 yr ago) started acting up; I stretched it and it felt better all the way home, but now at work it is really bothering me - sore, and annoying. I know what the technique flaw is that is causing it, and I thought I had cured it. It might also be the shoes, as they are relatively new and had seemed to aggravate this problem before. I plan to try and switch shoes and see if that helps.

I could go on and on, since it hasn't been a good day at work either. But it's just one of those days, and venting about it probably won't make it better. I just have to go with the flow and try to do what I can to make it a better day. I'll have a nice latte at lab meeting and that should help :).

Anyway, because I was short on time and my foot was hurting, I cut my workout short, getting to 8.32km in 56:59 for a dismally slow 6:51/km; my ave HR was only 132 though, so obviously I just wasn't pushing hard enough. Plus, though my legs didn't feel THAT heavy, but obviously they were tired. Bleah. And, I was cold and wet when I finished (though the hot shower was lovely!). Hopefully 14K on Saturday will go much better.

I could beat myself up about this some more, but that is counterproductive and stupid. This is bound to happen when one is coming back from a long layoff and it goes with the territory. I have to just suck it up and keep on going. The alternative is less appealing.

Garmin data here. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

elliptical; 5K fartlek

Yesterday: 35 min elliptical. Up too late watching the Olympics so was short on time to get in as much time as I'd have liked. Legs were definitely a bit sore from the 10K w/bursts but not awful. Just noticeable in the morning when I sat a lot at the confocal microscope.


Today: OUTDOOR TRACK! :)!!! Thawed out enough that it is clear of snow for the first time since early December! It was 40F (4C) with a slight breeze and it felt good this morning. Seriously, it was beautiful out. I was quite nervous about the 5K fartlek as I've not done speed work that long since being ill, but the chance to do it on the track outside was awesome. Besides, I figured the worst that could happen would be that I'd crap out in the last km.

I warmed up for 1600m with strides on the last lap, in 10:17. I felt decent. My first lap was awkward but then the technique settled in and I felt my posture was really good and that my hips had extra ability to move because of my straight spine. Can't explain but it kind of clicks in. Anyway, then I did dynamic stretching and started in on the fartlek. I purposefully went out conservatively because I wanted even splits to the end, and I almost got them, so I'm pleased that I went out the way I did. My fast intervals were 2:53, 2:57, 2:56, 2:56, 2:55, 2:53. Pretty good! My recoveries show my lack of fitness: 3:08, 3:11, 3:11, 3:15. That's OK - it'll come. I felt my technique was rock solid and good posture the whole time. I really focused on that; I know it probably slowed me a bit - my total time was a pedestrian 30:14 - as my ave HR was 156 (though I did max out at 168 on the last interval), but I don't care. That will come too. This morning I just felt VERY grateful to have the legs to make it 5K without dying on the last interval, even if I was slow. I also felt grateful to be uninjured; my piriformis and right anterior tibialis seemed content this morning, probably because my technique was good.

Very solid and I'm happy with it even though it was slow. I think it shows progress, especially because my legs feel decent now - not too sore. It will be interesting to see how I fare for 10K tomorrow - again, might be slow, but doing it is what counts. I told myself this whole workout that it didn't matter how fast I went - it would be a season's best. That's how I'm going to think about every workout. Can't compare myself to the past until I'm really fit and lose 15 pounds, and I'm not fit and haven't lost the weight, so I'm not going to go there.

Garmin data here. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

rest day; 10K w/3x3' bursts

Yesterday: rest day. I was going to do yoga, but I was too into the Olympics. If I were at home I'd have done yoga in front of the Olympics, but I was at my parents' house and didn't want the volume of the yoga DVD to disturb them. Lame excuse…but…well… I'm an Olympic junkie - what can I say?


Today: 10K with 3x3' bursts. Weather was OK - 40F (4C) and raining lightly. It wasn't a soaking rain, for which I was grateful. I felt pretty good until 7K, when legs got tired, and about 9K they got really heavy too. But I finished, and at 6:30/km, so I'm happy. My bursts were 2:58, 2:58, and 3:06 (! I thought I was going faster? Legs tired I guess - HR was nice & high - you can see the bursts on the HR trace).

Technique felt lousy for 1K and then I settled in and it felt really good. Worked hard on posture and looked at reflection in shop windows on 21st South - looked really good. I want to be super solid as we increase mileage so that I avoid injury and can lay a good foundation for longer distances later in the year should I be up to them!

Total: 10K in 1:04:56 for 6:30/km with ave HR 148.

Garmin data here.

Saturday, February 08, 2014


Yesterday: 35 min elliptical + lots of core exercises with Lisa. My legs felt pretty tired from the yoga and the Wed-Thurs workouts, but they were just fatigued with very little of the weird soreness.


Today: 12K. I met Stevie at the Jordan River Trail and the weather was surprisingly warm :). It was 40F (4C), though quite windy. We definitely had some headwinds from 3k-9k that slowed us down in spots, plus there is still a very icy spot on the trail, but mostly the conditions were very good. It didn't even rain on us, though it did threaten to.

I felt pretty good today. Yes, I got a bit tired on the last few km, but Stevie and I had a quite interesting conversation and that distracted me a bit from tired legs? Either that, or I'm getting stronger, or both. This is not to say that it was easy today - it's just that it wasn't very hard as it has been. It was challenging, but not ridiculously so. I stopped at 6K for a few minutes to apply Aquaphor for chafing, which helped; stopped at 9K for a bit of stretching (slightly tight in piriformis - better than last week, though!). Other than that, we kept moving.

Technique felt solid and pretty good. I had Stevie watch me a bit, for what that was worth. I am pretty confident that the changes I've made are holding.

Totals: 12K in 1:18:03 for 6:30/km with ave HR 150.

Garmin data here.

Jim said I can increase my mileage next week! First increase since I've been training again - finally, I have managed to get through the week's training in good form and feeling pretty good, so it's time to increase. We are still staying with 4 days/wk of racewalking for now - that will increase later as I'm able.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

core, yoga, 8K

Yesterday morning after my 3K fartlek I did a bunch of core work: sit-ups on exercise ball, Russian twists with 8-pound medicine ball for obliques, V-sits, and planks + side planks.

In the afternoon after work, I did my yoga DVD again - it was a bit easier this time but still challenging and it definitely left me a bit sore.


This morning I woke with some well-deserved soreness from the 3K fartlek + yoga. Mostly normal muscle soreness; possibly a bit of the weird soreness mixed in - hard to tell. That's good - if it wasn't hard to tell then I probably overdid it, but as it is, I think I got it about right. I knew the yoga + core would tire me a bit and make me slower on my 8K this morning but I also know that I need the strength more than the speed right now. Jim says I need to focus on my technique most of all and not worry about the speed, as it will come. I repeated that to myself this morning and thus had a lovely workout even though my legs were sore and I was obviously a bit slower than I'd like. I kept telling myself "I have to do this technique work and strength work so that I'll be a better 50K walker down the road, so I won't get injured, and so I can walk half marathons in a few months."

I worked VERY hard on my technique today. Posture #1 - remembering all the great posture stuff from my yoga DVD and incorporating into my RW. Then, weight back, allow hips to rotate, keep arms from sideways motion, drive arms back, don't "play the piano" by allowing arms to be too far in front, and then back to posture. Oh, yes, and widen stance a bit, be sure to get a good toe-off, watch those knees, etc. Quite the task of concentration, let me assure you. It's one of the things I love and hate about racewalking!

Anyway - some totals. 8K in 53:32 for about 6:41/km with ave HR146. And how did I feel? Legs sore and a bit heavy, but felt decent until the last 1-1.5km when it became a bit tougher and I just allowed myself to go slowly and focus focus focus on technique.

Garmin data here.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

3.165K fartlek - indoor track

Yesterday: elliptical for cross-training; muscles quite sore from Sunday's yoga. Mostly normal muscle soreness, but perhaps a bit of the weird soreness I experienced so severely through November.


Today: 3K fartlek on the schedule. 19F outside and pitch black. The roads were mostly clear after snow yesterday, but I just didn't feel like battling the cold and dark, so I went to the indoor track. I warmed up for 8 laps (1688m) in 10:40. I felt a bit off at the start, but I worked hard on technique and by the 4th lap or so it felt smoother and like things were kicking in. I then did a few dynamic drills (after the 8 laps).

I got started on the fartlek and for the first lap I was flying - felt so smooth, with such great technique. Maybe it was my fast shoes from David Smyth? He sent me them 2 yr ago and I couldn't use them then because I was recovering from a foot injury, but now they are just awesome. It was good to be fast…but I went out too fast (oops!) and at the end of the workout I paid a bit with slower times. Still, it was MUCH better than my 3K fartlek 2 weeks ago, and though I was working really hard (ave HR 166!!!), I felt my legs responding and they felt good and strong through the first 2km.

Here are my splits - "adjusted time" is divided by 1.055 to give the time if I'd done the fartlek over 3km instead of 3.165K. I'm pretty happy with the time of 17:23 and with my fast intervals - even the last one, when I was very tired from starting off a bit fast, wasn't too bad at 2:53.

lap time ave HR max HR adjusted time
1 02:51.0 152 164 02:42.1
2 02:55.0 166 170 02:45.9
3 03:12.8 166 169 03:02.7
4 02:58.2 171 175 02:48.9
5 03:21.0 168 172 03:10.5
6 03:02.5 172 176 02:53.0
18:20.5 17:23.1

Monday, February 03, 2014


Super quick 2 min blog.

Yesterday: yoga DVD. AWESOME! It was so fantastic. Lots of great strength moves targeting all the key muscles I need to work on. Great. It's called Christine Felstead's yoga for runners, intermediate level. My brother recommended it and now I do too. I plan to do this a lot. Side effect: I'm a bit sore today :) but in a good way.

Today: 8K with 3x3' bursts. Cold but clear at 25F. Went well. I felt great and strong all the way to 7K or so and my bursts were good. 3:02, then 3:00 for 500m and the last burst was the best - so proud of it! - at 2:53. Ha! Take that, fatigue! The last year has been crappy but this workout was decent and shows I'm on the mend. After that it was uphill and I did slow a lot but not a big deal. The other great thing is that I can really feel my technique is getting solid and improving. I hope that is true when I videotape, but I feel a huge difference.

Garmin data here: 50:54 for 8K (6:21/km) with ave HR 151. You can see where the bursts were on the HR graph :).

Saturday, February 01, 2014


Yesterday: elliptical, then core with my friend Lisa at the gym. Haven't done core work in a while due to my illness…so I'm a bit sore today, in a good way :).


Today: 12K. There was a very light dusting of snow this morning and it was 28F (-2C) and cloudy. 95% of the pathway was clear, but the other 5% was scarily slippery. I fell on my rear end once, and slipped enough to scare myself on two other occasions. We (Stevie and I) had to go slower in quite a few spots - probably cost us 1-2 min? Dunno. Hard to say.

The walk today went OK. The good part? I worked hard on technique and I feel like it's coming together quite well. The bad part? I got tired very quickly, probably because I'm still sick. I still have a sore throat (pretty severe) and some serious fatigue.

1.5K before the end, I was SO frustrated with my slow 500m splits that I was getting upset. I decided I had 2 choices: give up, or try harder. So I did the latter, pushing much harder and pulling off a 3:07 (normal speed…but it felt like 2:45 because I was working hard) and a 3:14 and 3:13.

I was glad Stevie was there - beat doing that alone when I felt so lousy.

Total time: 1:20:10 for 6:41/km with ave HR 149.

Garmin data here. 


Didn't get to go to my Weight Watchers meeting because I 1) had breakfast with Kelly, and 2) went to the memorial service for my friend Dorothy. It was an amazing service - packed full of people and not a dry eye in the house. She was an incredible person and loved by so many. She planned many of the details herself, and it showed. String quintet of her friends for prelude & postlude (she was a violinist), both classical music and hymns that she loved. Another friend sang "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth" from Handel's Messiah - wonderful and moving and hopeful. Congregational hymn and praise song (My Jesus, I Love Thee, and 10000 reasons) rounded out the list of great music for a great lady. I basically cried the whole service, and spent an hour there afterward talking with old friends and crying some more. Weird being happy and crying at the same time - we all agreed that we'd miss her deeply (hence all the crying) but glad for her suffering to be over and for her to be making music in a much better place.

Now I'm completely wiped. Thankfully, Loren is helping with the kids and I can get a nap.