Saturday, May 31, 2014


I am still struggling with my mood and my eating, and felt when I woke up that I was just in a downward spiral. As usual, a good racewalk made my mood improve, but I'm still concerned. I need to turn things around somehow. A burst of activity today seems to have helped. Cleaning up the house and garage and getting rid of some furniture and other stuff we don't need has improved my mood a bit for sure, but it doesn't seem to take much to cause it to spiral down again these days.

Anyway, about my walk. It went pretty well! I was surprised. I took the dog (as usual these days - she is good company and LOVES the exercise, and is well-behaved) and went to Liberty Park, where a lot of people were out enjoying the warm summer morning. It was 75F (24C) and sunny with a breeze, and I didn't feel too warm with the nice low humidity (25%), which is typical for here in the summer. Love it.

My legs felt decent today. I had some weird soreness from 3K on, but it never got bad and didn't seem to impact my walk much. I worked really hard on my posture (after seeing a video from the first lap of the 15K I knew I had to work on it) and could tell from my shadow that I was doing well. I also worked on using my hips more and it all felt good. Hopefully after all this is over at least my technique will be better?

I stopped at 6K-ish for a drink for me and the dog, and then just before 7K for an extended romp for the dog in the dog park (about 10 minutes). Then I hit the road again on the slight uphill return.

Total time was 51:18 for 6:25/km with ave HR 149.

Garmin data here.


I've been eating gluten again for 10 days now, and aside from definitely noticing some digestive differences (won't go into detail - TMI!), I don't feel much different. Maybe a bit more tired? But it's not obvious. It might take several weeks to notice a shift. Regardless, I need to keep eating gluten for at least 10 more days, until my blood work on June 10th.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

elliptical; 5K

Yesterday: elliptical for about 25 min at the gym…flat tire so couldn't ride my bike to work :(. It's OK; I was tired anyway.

Today: Woke up feeling very fatigued and crappy. Muscles generally sore but not too much weird soreness - felt more like the typical delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) - but from WHAT? I haven't done anything! Arrrgh. I definitely was not feeling very good this morning. I went for a 5K walk anyway, and it wasn't great but not terrible either. Muscles had some weird soreness from 3.5K on, but it hasn't been bothering me at all at work today.

Total time: 32:55 for 6:35/km with ave HR 138 (low, I know…stopped periodically because of wardrobe malfunction - shorts kept riding up - must remember not to wear that pair!).

Garmin data here. 


Health update: went to rheumatologist on Tuesday afternoon and they have no new ideas. They said it *could* be chronic fatigue but hard to diagnose. Also said it could be Celiac's, and agreed testing seemed wise since the gluten-free trial may have helped. So I have to eat gluten for 2 more weeks and then get the test June 10th. I am really hoping that is it because it's a simple fix. Annoying, but simple. I could TOTALLY live with being gluten-free if it meant feeling good again! I would *love* love LOVE to feel good again.

Mood update: depressed-ish. Hard to get out of bed. Fatigued. Icky mood. More weight gain. Vowed yet again to fix my diet, a vow which might be hard to keep. Must do something because otherwise I will probably continue to feel depressed, and that is no good either.

OK, time for lunch. Eat regularly. Helps.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

5K, ride to work

Monday: rest day. My legs were tired from the bicycling and racewalking on Sunday. It was pretty normal fatigue, I think --- maybe a touch of the weird soreness and a bit of brain fog, but mostly normal.

Tuesday: My legs had some DOMS from Sunday's bike ride, which isn't surprising since I rode more than 3x longer than I'd ridden yet this year. But I still wanted to racewalk and figured that'd be OK. So I did 5K, and I was definitely a bit tired/sluggish and had some soreness during, though no weird soreness after. The dog was happy that I got out :). My total time was 31:59 for 6:23/km with ave HR 149. Garmin data here.

Then I decided to ride my bike to work. That felt all right. I'm still sore, but sometimes it helps to work it out. My legs feel decent now (at lunch) and I'm hopeful that I can walk some more either tomorrow or Thursday, depending on how I feel.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A week of cross training; 6K

A week of cross-training:

Monday: rest day!
Tuesday: stationary bike, 30 min.
Wednesday: stationary bike, 30 min; then ride bike to work and back.
Thursday: elliptical, 30 min; then ride bike to work and back.
Friday: elliptical, 30 min; then ride bike to work and back.
Saturday: 35 min swimming - 1 mile total (1750 yards). I am not a fast swimmer! One minute/50yd is just the right speed for 35 min of swimming. Of course, I haven't been doing much swimming lately and it's all technique.

Today: I was so ready to racewalk! I took the dog and Calvin along, and did 6K. I felt pretty good through 4.5km or so, and then had minor soreness/tiredness in legs through 6K. Very little of the weird soreness afterward despite sitting a lot playing the piano for band practice and then the church service. I am happy about that! I was pretty fast, too - well, slow historically, but faster than of late. I did 6:14/km with ave HR 144, for a total time of 37:27. I'm quite satisfied with that.

Garmin data here.

Then, because I'm totally nuts, and the weather was SO VERY NICE, I decided to ride my bike over to my parents' house. We were having dinner there, and I've always wanted to try the ride. It's about 21km (half marathon) if you go directly by car. Of course, on a bike that's more challenging since you can't go on the freeway. I decided to take the scenic route on Wasatch Blvd, and it turns out that was a whopping 8km (5 miles) farther! Well, it was fun anyway. Definitely VERY hilly, but that made things much more fun. Bicycling on the flat is not nearly so interesting. Racewalking on the flat - YES! Much better. But cycling? Give me some hills any day.

Total was 28.83 km in 1:15 and change. Garmin data here if you're interested.

Monday, May 19, 2014

USATF 15K National Racewalk Championships

I did NOTHING at all on Friday and Saturday. Total rest days. I felt OK, too - not much weird soreness, and only a bit of abnormal fatigue. We drove to Jean, Nevada on Friday - about a 7 hour drive - and I did OK! When this thing was really bad, that much sitting was excruciating, so it was good news that I was all right. Saturday's drive was only about 3.5 hours to Riverside, CA. Before driving on Saturday, I soaked in the hot tub at the hotel and stretched for about 10-15 minutes. It felt divine. The palm trees pictured were right over the hot tub. Lovely.

It was a very fun girls' road trip with Nancy, Kathy, and Diane. Nancy and Kathy and I made up a 3-woman team for the Wasatch Walkers, and Diane was coming to judge the 15K. Nancy actually raced the 15K, then judged the 5K! Anyway, we enjoyed chatting and joking in the car and it made the time fly by much faster. It's a long drive, and much better with good company.

Saturday evening (photo at left) we met a whole bunch of other racewalkers for dinner at Canyon Crust Pizza, which had gluten-free options for Lauri and Alex (RW friends who have Celiac's/gluten sensitivity) and for me, since I'm doing a gluten-free month to see if diet helps my fatigue. (Actually, I discussed Celiac's with Alex and now think it is possible that could be on my differential diagnosis list…will ask my doc about that soon). Anyway, the pizza was great and so was the company. Seeing friends is always a blast.

We hit the sack early, and I slept OK for the night before a race. I woke up feeling pretty glum about things, but tried to put on a game face. Mostly I failed at that! Regardless, I was glad I'd get to attempt to race. I just hated the fact that my normal spandex shorts looked, in Diane's words, "lumpy". Yup. Fat butt :(. So I wore my other shorts, even though I knew they'd cause chafing. Yup. Fat thighs. Ugh. MUST LOSE WEIGHT. Hard to do under these circumstances. That made me feel more glum. I applied Vaseline liberally and brought along body glide for the aid table. I did use it during the race (2 laps from the finish) and still got chafed pretty badly on my right thigh. Ouch.

I did a VERY short warm-up just to make sure my technique would be under control, and then hung out until the race start. The weather was pretty good; it was in the low 60s (probably 16-17C) and humid to start, and then the sun came out near the end of the race and it got warmer (low 70s?).

The race itself? Tough. It's hard to do that untrained. Seriously tough. The first 5K was moderately hard, and I completed it in about 31:25. Yeah. Ugly. I got slower, of course. The second 5K was hard (got to 10K in 1:03:51), and after 11K it was just very hard. And slower. And slower. And depressing. But encouraging in that my legs didn't hurt badly until 11K, and I did get to finish the 15K, which I would have thought unlikely a couple weeks ago (heck, even a week ago). So…it could have been a lot worse. But my time was depressingly slow. Yeah, I know, it's all relative and I'm too hard on myself, but…I just think of what could have been if I felt better, and if I didn't weigh 10lb too much, and if I'd been able to train, and if if if. But I also think of how good it was to see friends, to have a weekend away, and to be able to race and not be injured. People said that I looked good and strong. I guess I put on a good front, because I sure didn't feel that way inside. I just felt determined to finish and to hold good form if at all possible.

Afterwards, my legs didn't hurt too badly, for which I was grateful. I was a bit surprised by that too, but I have indeed been feeling better this week, so that explains it I guess. In fact, after a good night's sleep, I just have the usual DOMS from doing a race, and nothing worse. That's good news. Driving all day home (about 11 hr total including stops) was not too awful either! That's good news as well.

Oh yeah, my embarrassing time. 1:36:20 with ave HR 163. I was pushing hard. Seriously. My HR was over 160 for most of the race and up to average of

171 for the last lap (~1800m laps). Ouch. No wonder it was such a struggle. I'm so out of shape, and so heavy, and…SHUT UP must stop thinking negatively! Must be positive! Anyway, it was hard, and I did it anyway. That was awesome.

Garmin data here.

Also awesome was my 2nd place finish (behind Miranda and Rachel, but since Rachel is Canadian I still got 2nd) in the open division, 1st place in W40-44, and our 1st place team medal in W40-49 (Arizona RWers got 2nd to us in W40-49). Nancy and Kathy both walked 2 min faster than last year, and so they were ecstatic. Sitting poolside all afternoon with them was wonderful as well. Lots of great fun, and I'm glad I went.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Yup, I made it 8K today. Yesterday all I managed (overslept!) was 15 min on the elliptical. But today my legs felt good and ready to go. I am definitely feeling better this week!

The weather was gorgeous - 50F (10C) and sunny. Much better than the 40F (4C) and windy that we had Monday & Tuesday when I walked earlier this week.

I took the dog (as usual) and out we went. My legs felt decent until about 6K, when I definitely could feel the weird soreness. But up until then I felt pretty good, even strong at times. I made it to 5K in 31:25, which I was really pleased with. I sure wish I had more time before the 15K in Riverside on Saturday. I signed up for the race even though I haven't been feeling good, because hey, maybe I can do it? Even slowly would be better than not being able to do it.

The last 2K today was uphill (gentle) and that always slows me, plus my legs were tired. Total time ended up 51:23 for 6:25/km with ave HR 145. My HR monitor seemed to be working today.

Garmin data here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

feeling a bit better --- for now, anyway

I've been feeling better this week - for now, anyway. I'm not holding my breath, given the history of this malady.

Yesterday my legs felt pretty good, so I decided to take a racewalk. Calvin wanted to come along, and 1km in he had terrible cramping. Poor guy seems to have gotten the stomach thing going around. I walked him (slowly) most of the way home, and then went back out and racewalked 4.5 more km for a total of 5.5km. My legs had a bit of the weird soreness during and after, but not too awful, and my energy levels were low but not dismal. All in all, not too bad. Total was about 35:40 or so (watch stopped mistakenly while out with Calvin) for the 5.5km, for just under 6:30/km.

Today I felt decent when I woke up, and decided to racewalk again. Calvin came along and made it about 4km before he felt ill today. Arrrgh! He did manage to run home with me (I was racewalking) and we only had to stop a couple times for him because of his stomach. Grace was up several times last night with vomiting and diarrhea, so I guess he has it too. Hopefully I won't get it. Washing my hands a lot! Anyway, we made it 6km; my legs started to hurt a bit around 3km, but never got really bad, and the weird soreness was just dimly present this morning while I was injecting at work. Total time for 6K was 39:02 for 6:30/km and my HR monitor was acting up. I think it needs a new battery.

Garmin data here for today.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

tough week

I won't lie to you. It's been a tough week. I haven't felt very good all week; I have been sleeping poorly (waking in the middle of the night and having trouble falling back to sleep, something which has never been a problem for me before in my life), I have felt very fatigued, and my muscles have been extraordinarily sore for the paltry activity I've been doing.

I took a depression inventory yesterday, and gee, guess what? Yeah, apparently I'm "moderately-severly" depressed. Hmmm, big surprise. Forced inactivity, weight gain, fatigue, poor sleep, and muscle pain have combined to make life more interesting. I'm trying not to let my mood suffer too much (and I actually don't FEEL terribly depressed most of the time), but it's an uphill battle.

Monday, Tuesday, and Friday I did the elliptical at the gym, but only for about 25 minutes each day. My body just wasn't interested in more. Wednesday, I took a rest day (I didn't rest last Sunday, so was overdue), and Thursday I didn't plan to racewalk, but changed my mind. The dog needed a walk, and I went out (sans HR monitor) to walk her, overdressed for racewalking and in a street shirt and bra rather than sports bra and technical shirt. I was wearing tights and my RW shoes, though, and once I got going, I decided I'd racewalk a bit and see how it went. I alternated RW and casual walking, slowing down for a break every time I felt tired. That actually went OK, and I did 5K in 35:11 for 7:02/km. Slow, but at least I was out there.

Today, my friend Nancy talked me into taking Calvin down to a USATF track meet in Highland (40 min drive south), along with our friend Kathy. Stevie was RW in the meet as well. There was a 3000m racewalk on the event schedule, and for a measly $3 you could enter. Awesome. I didn't feel at ALL like racewalking, honestly. I was tired, and my muscles were achy though not terribly painful. I only did 2 laps of warm-up with some strides, because my muscles started to hurt and I figured I'd better save it for the race. My coach told me to take it at 80-85% effort, but after my first 500m in 2:49, I felt decent and pushed a little harder (though NOT all-out). I probably put out 90% effort. I kept telling myself to not push too hard, and that worked OK. Mostly. I ended up with a time of 17:33 (by my watch; have no idea what the official time was yet), and I'm very happy with that as I figured that I was looking at 19+ minutes. Best of all, my muscles only have a bit of the weird soreness now. I'm going to take a nap and hopefully will feel good after that.

Immediately after the 3000m racewalk was the 1500m run, which was the only event Calvin wanted to do. I wish I'd timed it, because I have no idea how fast he was, but he finished in 3rd place in his heat! I think it was ages 10 and under in his heat, but I'm not sure about that either. He's 9, so one of the older boys, though the winner was 10. The winner beat Calvin by about 20 seconds, so it wasn't close, and 2nd place was perhaps 10 seconds in front of him. Still, Calvin doesn't train at all except by playing soccer, so I figure he has some talent. He enjoyed it a lot and we plan to attend another meet in two weeks. Grace might try the 1500m racewalk at that meet :).

Here are some more photos. 

Monday, May 05, 2014

overdid it a bit…but OK

Yesterday I overdid it a bit.

Racewalked 8K in the morning, played the piano for church, made lunch for the family, drove Grace to a party, went to my parents' for an early dinner, and took a walk to the coffee shop with my mom and our dogs, one mile (1.6km) each way. Went home and then took the kids from the youth group on a hike to Ensign Peak. It's a 1-mile hike, but it is quite a bit of elevation change.

I probably shouldn't have done all that in one day. I was really tired this morning, but did manage 25 min on the elliptical anyway. I was pretty fatigued at work, though work went OK, but I needed (and got!) a nap when I got home, for about 30-40 min.

Tomorrow: if I feel good, I'll racewalk. If not, I'll do the elliptical and possibly bike to work. Maybe.

Sunday, May 04, 2014


I need to post a bit more regularly, but when I'm not training, I tend to forget.

Wednesday: elliptical - 37 min - still tired from Tuesday.

Thursday: rode my bike to work and back - gabbed with Jim on the phone (coach) instead of elliptical!

Friday: 3K easy, in 19:15, felt so-so. Then rode bike to work and back.

Saturday: elliptical - 35 min - felt tired.

Sunday: Walked 8K on the Jordan River Parkway with Carol (photo at left), a racewalker who lives in D.C. now, though she most recently has lived in Washington State. She is a super interesting person to talk to (has a Ph.D. in particle physics!) and the 8K practically flew by. She was in town for her son's graduation from the University of Utah. Anyway, we went at her pace, which was 7 min/km, and I was good with that. My legs still hurt, though it wasn't as bad as on Tuesday. Maybe I should take my workouts slowly for now? Don't know…but it felt OK. Total: 8K in 56:28 for 7:03/km. Ave HR??? HR monitor clearly going nuts and don't trust the data. Oh, and we saw these awesome pelicans (at left) on the JRP.  Garmin data here.

Oh, and I went to Weight Watchers on Saturday. Am attending weekly until I lose the weight. Weighed in at 161.8, so I have a ways to go…sigh…would like to be at 150 or less. Have to control the food intake better since I cannot exercise as much. Have to be strict…which means I need to get more sleep so I have more willpower. It's all connected.