Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Saturday: 35 min elliptical

Sunday: rest day

Tried to rest up a lot on the weekend, and was mostly successful. Of course there was still laundry, cooking, and yeah, even a bit of work (a couple hr on Sat, and an hour on Sun). But I did feel I got a good amount of rest.

Monday: 20 min elliptical (slept very poorly - middle of the night insomnia, which is not like me usually, but seems to be a feature of my illness - and this was all I could manage).

Today: Woke unrefreshed but I didn't have middle of the night insomnia, so it was better than how I felt yesterday morning. Sort of. Legs were sore (why? haven't been doing anything?), mind felt foggy. I went out and did 5K with the dog, and I'm glad I did, even though it made my legs hurt the rest of the day (weird soreness upon sitting - and I sat a good amount at work because I was planning some molecular cloning projects I need to work on - sat in front of the computer staring at DNA sequence for a while, trying to figure it out). Total time was 32:21 for 6:29/km with ave HR 146. Kinda slow. Whatever! Garmin data here.

I went to my family doc this morning, along with Calvin. He had a well-child checkup, and happily all is indeed well with him. He didn't even need any vaccinations, as he's all caught up and there aren't any more until he is 11. He was happy about that! Since I have a captive audience, here are 2 photos of the kiddos from today. They're just too cute :). Of course, I'm obviously a bit biased. Grace had her face painted in her Spanish & art afterschool program ("Arteprimero"), and Calvin is chowing down on a cannoli from Harmon's Emigration Market, just before soccer practice.

Back to my doctor appointment. My family doc has no idea what is going on, essentially. He said it could possibly be chronic fatigue, but that is a diagnosis by exclusion and so it's a tough call. He seemed to think a repeat visit with my rheumatologist was a good idea. I called yesterday to move up my rheumatologist appointment from June 17 to sooner, but the soonest they could move it to was May 27. That's not very soon, but I'm grateful nonetheless.

So meanwhile, I wait, and feel tired, and try to be grateful for what I DO have :).

I can still racewalk short distances and enjoy the outdoors like I did this morning.
Though I've gained some weight, it hasn't been a lot and I am managing it OK. Could be better, but could be a lot worse.
I am glad for my amazing kids. Their summer goal is to read the Harry Potter books in Spanish. Last summer they read them all in English, so now we're upping the challenge.
I'm grateful for a very good job that I do love, even if it has been a bit frustrating lately.
I'm grateful for music, and thinking I need to spend a bit more time doing music, since I can't exercise as much.
I'm thankful for books. I've been reading more, and it's wonderful.
I'm glad Loren has felt up to helping around the house a bit more, and we have made some progress on our bedroom redecoration/refurnishing project.
I'm grateful for my good friend Sarah, who listened to me ad nauseum last night with love and concern.
I'm glad my parents live nearby and that we have a good relationship; I very much enjoyed having breakfast with my dad last week and I also enjoy coffee with my mom on a regular basis.
There's lots more…but I am feeling better just listing what is here :).

Friday, April 25, 2014

feel like giving up

Had some work issues yesterday that were a bit upsetting. Nothing really bad, but it wore me out. Didn't sleep well.

Woke up and just didn't care about working out. Every time I try I just feel crappy afterward, so what's the point?

I know that this will pass. I'm just in a period of difficulty and have to get through one day at a time. I will try again tomorrow to be a bit more motivated, work out, etc. Today is just survival.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

no-go at the track

Woke feeling fatigued, with sore hamstrings/glutes (definitely some of the weird soreness I've been experiencing). But I only had a 4K fartlek, so off I went to the track. The weather was OK: 41F (about 4C) and breezy; wind chill of 34F. I started off and my first 500m was 3:19 and my legs were sore. I almost stopped then, but decided I had to for sure give it at least 1600m before quitting, because I might feel better after a few laps. Nope. I didn't. Legs were not going to do a fartlek today, at least not well, and there was no point flogging them. I did the 1600m in 10:25 (slow!) and walked back to the car.

I wasn't mad, just philosophical about it. I am starting to accept my new limitations. I appreciated this morning even more the fact that we have limited time and energy in our lives. I think for much of my life I have felt that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to, and though I knew that was an illusion on one level, on another level I didn't appreciate my limitations at all. Now I do. If I do too much, I will pay for it, and so I have to be much more choosy about what I spend my time and energy on.

I have been feeling fatigued at work today, and may need to take a 1/2 sick day or a few hours of sick time to rest up a bit. We'll see how it goes.

Perhaps tomorrow I will try at the track again, depending on how my legs feel.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Chatted with my coach last night, and he recommended I try 10K today. I thought that was a lot…but then, he is smart, and I'm paying him to give me advice. I trust him. So I did it.

I didn't have any trouble completing it, though my muscles were sore (some of the "weird soreness" for sure) from 6K onward. It didn't slow me down much, though, and I managed the 10K in a surprisingly quick 1:03:21 for 6:20/km with ave HR 148. Part of that may be that I stopped more frequently than usual, because 1) I had the dog with me and she is not used to going so far, and would occasionally pull hard like she needed to rest, so I'd pause for a minute or two; 2) I thought it was good for ME to pause for a bit and stretch, get a drink, whatever, since I haven't done 10K racewalking in a while. Whatever the case, it seemed to work well.

I will admit that now (at lunch break) I am feeling quite fatigued and sleepy, and my muscles are a bit stiff/sore - especially glutes. But I think they'll be OK if I rest up this afternoon. I work 30 hr/wk, and get off work at 2pm on M-W to do stuff w/the kids. Today Calvin is at a friend's house and then soccer practice, and I don't have to pick up Grace until 4:15 to get her to her ceramics class. So, if I leave work by 2:15 (theoretically possible at this point) then I'll be home around 2:40 and I can still get in a quick nap before picking up Grace.

I have to be smart with my energy at this point. Sure, there are LOTS of things I could do like cleaning my house, doing laundry, financial stuff, cleaning out the garage, putting together some more of our new bedroom furniture, etc. etc. etc. but it will have to wait. I need rest so that I can function in life and so that I can (maybe) train. I have a new rule about electronica after 9pm (which I bent to 9:15pm last night), and a doctor friend also advised me to try gluten-free and no added sugar for 1 month (gulp!). Probably won't do a darn thing, but can't hurt and might help. Probably will help me lose some weight as I will admit to a sugar problem :). I see sugar, I eat it :).

Here's hoping for the best! Seriously, at this point I will do anything within reason to try and feel better. And maybe some things that aren't reasonable? :)

Edited to add: amazingly warm weather today - almost too warm for my cold-accustomed blood haha! It was 68F (20C), calm and cloudy. It's windier now and we're supposed to get a storm, which is why it was so warm.

Garmin data here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Salt Lake Half Marathon, 2014 edition

This was the 8th consecutive year I've done this race. Because I'm under strict orders from Jim not to racewalk that far right now, I decided to walk with Diane (74 years young, and fast for her age!) at her pace. Jim figured that would be totally fine, and actually it was.

We could not have had a more beautiful day for the race. I've done this race in all sorts of conditions - last year it poured the whole time - and no year was nicer than this. It was about 50F (10C) at the race start and probably 58F when we finished. Calm, clear, and beautiful with all the spring flowers running riotous.

I felt very good for half of the race; then decent until about 16K (10 miles) or so. The last 5K was definitely venturing into sore muscle territory, and it was way more comfortable to power walk. I alternated racewalking, casual walking, and power walking; the racewalking was all pretty slow except for when I took photos (lots heehee!) and had to catch up to Diane (picture with Diane after the race below). My legs felt tired and stumpy at the end, and my abductors were quite sore all day, especially in the evening. Sunday I was sore but felt better, and today I actually felt pretty good (and did the elliptical 40 min without much fatigue later in the day!).

However, I really didn't nap like I should have on Saturday, because my friend Juan was in town from San Diego for the race and we wanted to take him out to brunch at Ruth's Diner (awesome as always; picture of me & Juan after the race is below). On Sunday, consequently, I was overly fatigued and quite nasty to my family for a bit until I realized how awful I was being and vanished to bed for a long nap. Hopefully they will forgive me - I gave them a decent apology, I think.

Anyway, back to the race - lovely day, great weather, great company, and really enjoyed going slowly and taking lots of pictures. My family was waiting for me at our street (the race route went about a block from our house!), and the kids were so happy to see me out there - it was adorable the way Calvin jumped up and down when he saw me.

My pictures are here. 

Garmin data here. 

Total time: 3:08 and change, with average HR only 107, and I was 187/210 in my age group hahaha! Diane was 2nd of 4 in her age group, though!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

another 6K

I felt OK today. Better than Tuesday, and my racewalking showed it.

Gorgeous weather today - 45F (6C) and calm and clear. Lovely!!!

I took the dog and stopped occasionally for dog-related issues (other dogs, water, etc…). That was good because it gave me little breaks here and there. My legs had a bit of the weird soreness during the workout, but not as much as on Tuesday, thankfully. My time was a lot better too.

Total time: 38:42 for 6:27/km with ave HR 138.

Garmin data here. 

If I feel good tomorrow I'll try a 3K fartlek. If I'm not sure, I'll x-train. I still want to do the race on Saturday….

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

a bit better

Today was the best I've felt in a while. I don't know why, but I can't discount the nice dental cleaning I had yesterday. OK, so that's not likely to be the cause of all of this, but the hygienist found a lot of gunk in my gums and that's never good. It could have contributed.

Anyway, I did the elliptical for 20 min this morning, had tea with Kelly, and then went home and got ready for work. I rode my bike to work, vigorously, with no ill aftereffects. In fact, I felt great all day. Go figure.

We'll see how I am feeling tomorrow. If I feel good, I intend to racewalk again tomorrow :). Yay!

Monday, April 14, 2014


I felt OK this morning and decided to racewalk. Yesterday, I didn't, so I took a rest day. But today I was determined to do it. It was chilly (30F, -1C) with a breeze, but it was sunny and beautiful anyway. I started off and knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I didn't care. Well, I did, and I didn't. I desperately want to feel better, and I really wanted to RW, no matter what. If it got too ridiculous I'd stop, but I wanted to get out there. Below left, how I felt at the 3.5km point, when I knew it was a rough one:

I took lots of small rest breaks and trained the dog to sit (with treats I brought along), which seemed to help me get through OK. I wasn't fast but it wasn't awful either. Of course, I have a half marathon entry for this Saturday, and I would not have been able to racewalk that this morning. I have decided if I feel suspect on Saturday that I will walk it slowly with Diane, and stop at my house (at the 8.5 mile point) if I feel too tired to finish.

Anyway, this morning I did my walk at 6:39/km pace in 39:56. Slow, sore, a bit tired, but done. I have some residual soreness now (at 3 pm) but really not bad at all. Hoping I will feel better on Saturday.

Garmin data here.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

trending up

Yesterday: rest day.

Today: elliptical for 42 min. Sounds like a random number but it wasn't. I did 4.35 miles in 30 min then did another 5 min - but I'd programmed it for 35 min so had to restart. Did another mile before calling it quits. Legs felt great until 35 min. Then a bit tired, but not bad. Enjoyed breakfast with Kelly and Grace afterward, at Ruth's diner. Awesome.

I am going to try for 6k RW tomorrow. I so much want to feel better. Taking it really easy today and hoping for good stuff. Rest. Sleep. Good.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

trying to recover

I'm trying to recover. It's challenging, and I'm concerned. But this blog post is not a complaint. I'm just recording the way things are so that I can figure it out if possible later.

Yesterday I felt very fatigued. For a good part of the day I had "brain fog" like you do when you are jet-lagged. I didn't have time to take a nap, but I wished I could have. I didn't exercise, other than walking kids and dog to and from school, and walking from the VA to the U (I had Loren drive me to his work, and I walked about 1 mile to my work from there, at a casual pace).

I slept OK, but didn't feel very rested when I woke up. My legs felt pretty good, though, so I thought I'd try for 6K. When I started to walk it was clear after about 1K that I'd have to stop. I made it 2K at 6:35/km and called it quits, because my leg muscles were sore and tired. I wanted to keep going - they weren't THAT sore! I knew I could make it 5K! But I decided that sometimes quitting is smarter. I want to get better, not worse. I walked slowly home with my happy dog in tow, though I was crying.

I don't know what to do now.

I talked to my boss, who is a neurologist, and he had no particular insights. He just said that I could work a bit less for a few weeks if I thought it would help. I may just do that, as I have some sick time. We'll see. I want to get better!

I had lost about 4 pounds, but I have definitely gained a couple back. It's challenging to stay on track enough when I can't exercise as much as I am accustomed to. I will have to get more rest so that I have more willpower to fight off food temptations.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

6K and feeling better

I felt decent this morning so decided to do 6K with the dog. She's getting lots better on the leash, though I did have a few stops to make her behave :).

The weather was gorgeous at 45F (7C) and calm and clear, so I was very grateful to get outside.

Legs a bit tired and sore from 3k on, but not bad, and I didn't have much soreness later (it's lunch time now). Hoping that after an easier week I will be up for a half-marathon on 4/19 - I have a race entry for the Salt Lake 1/2.

Total: 6km in 38:49 for 6:28/km with ave HR 143.

Garmin data here.

Not much else to report… just some cuteness as the kids and I walked to school with the dog. Calvin did a great job walking her!

Monday, April 07, 2014

still resting up

Yesterday I decided to stretch my legs for a bit and took a short racewalk. We adopted a dog on Saturday, so I brought her and the kids along. Calvin ran, and Grace rollerbladed, and the dog ran alongside me. It was a bit tricky since she's not used to the whole leash thing, so I went slower than I'd have gone otherwise. However, my legs were definitely NOT up for this sort of thing yet, so I'd have been slow anyway. I thought before I went that they felt good, but the racewalking made them hurt. Fortunately, they didn't hurt the rest of the day. I did 3km at a 6:50/km pace and mostly enjoyed it, when I wasn't worrying about how slow I was and if my legs would ever get better again.

Today I took a rest day, though I did walk the kids to school and back twice (with the dog); 1km
each way for 4km. Add in a side trip to the dog park (another 1km total) and I walked 5km casually.

I am going to try again to racewalk tomorrow morning, alone, if I feel good. (Or maybe with the dog…?).


More about our new dog: Labrador Retriever/Great Pyrenees mix, female, 2yo, about 70-80lb. Super sweet and calm temperament. She was picked up as a stray with an injured leg, but after antibiotics she is doing well. Looks like she may have had a litter of puppies at some point. We adopted her from Furever Buddies Dog Rescue, with all her shots and spayed. Her new name is Sugar, and we are loving her!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

resting up

Thursday I took a rest day. I felt pretty fatigued, though I did make it in to work.

Yesterday I did the elliptical for 45 min. That felt decent, and my muscles felt OK though not 100%. Still, I made it through another full day of work, but I was very fatigued in the evening.

Today I felt good when I woke up and did 51 min on the elliptical. That's a pretty random number, but I was feeling good and wanted an hour; however, Loren and Grace wanted to go skiing so I had to get home quickly so they could go, hence the 51 minutes. It's a good thing I stopped, because I am definitely a bit fatigued now.

I have had a few cold symptoms - mostly the fatigue, a runny nose on and off, and some hoarseness. I wonder if I just caught a bit of a virus that has caused this relapse? I'm hoping and praying that I feel better. I want to be able to train. I know I must be cautious, but I do have a race entry for the Salt Lake Half Marathon on April 19, and would love to be able to do it at an easy pace. They've changed the course, and it's quite different, and I really want to do it.

Well, one thing at a time.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

6K and wiped

Today: 10K with 3x3' bursts was scheduled. Wasn't sure that was happening after yesterday.

Got up early and felt decent; legs were a tad sore but nothing remarkable until I started to walk…and then I knew it wasn't good. I made it 6K at a very slow 6:50/km before calling it a day. Muscles hurt pretty badly from 2-3k, and I felt very fatigued. Definitely the weird soreness.

Took the day off work and totally crashed, on the advice of both my coach (who graciously spent 20-30 min talking to me on the phone and reassuring me that this wasn't the end of my racewalking career - it just means we have to re-adjust our plans and I have to listen to my body more) and my husband. I took a 2-hour nap and generally tried to do as little as possible. I'm glad I did, because I am STILL tired, though my legs feel fine - no weird soreness the rest of the day. Plan is to take 4-5 days of rest/cross-training and then see how I feel. Tomorrow I will probably rest. Hopefully I'll have the energy to go to work, but if not, I won't push myself. That's why I have sick days, which I rarely take.

Garmin data here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

5K fartlek

Sunday: rest day; legs a bit sore but all right.

Monday: elliptical 35' - woke up a bit late and wanted to do 10K but no time. Legs felt good to go, so I was disappointed that I ran out of time.

Today: Supposed to do an 8K fartlek. Obviously didn't. I don't know what went wrong. The weather was fine (40F, 4C, slightly breezy). My legs felt good and fresh and ready to go this morning. On the warm-up, though, I felt a bit off. I wasn't terribly slow, but the first couple laps were slow (5:18) and I finished in 10:16, so that much was all right. I started the fartlek after some dynamic stretching. By 2K, I knew something was wrong. My legs were hurting - hamstrings, glutes, were complaining - it was that weird soreness I'd had problems with all of last year. I have no idea why it is back, and I'm quite worried. After reaching 3K in 18:12 or something similarly slow, I debated quitting, but decided that if I could keep my "fast" 500s at 3:00 or better I'd keep going - and my 500 was 3:00 so I kept going. I managed another 3:00 500 for the 4th km, but got to 5K with a sad 3:04. My heart rate wasn't high at all - my legs just hurt. The heart rate trace is quite telling - very abnormal. Not as high as I would normally get, but mostly just really quite low during my medium effort intervals. Obviously my legs were the limiting factor, in a big way.

I missed a 100m stretch by accidentally hitting stop on my watch at one point, and it was during a recovery so add about 40 seconds (yeah, I was that slow) and you get a 5K fartlek time of 30:58. That's an easy 5K when I'm fully trained and feeling good, so I am very upset/worried/disappointed.

Hopefully this is just a bump in my recovery…but I'm worried.

Garmin data here.