Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hilly but beautiful 8k

Got in some hill and gravel road training for Portland-to-Coast today. The road was old asphalt with a layer of gravel on top. It was mostly ok for RW but a bit slip-slidey for toe push. Add in some good hills and it was a good workout. My legs, surprisingly, felt all right! A bit tired, but not sore despite 5k fartlek and 11k power hike yesterday. Happy about this - beyond happy, really, because I know I'm on the mend. I am starting to be able to train like my old self.

Total time 51:46 for 6:28/km with ave HR 144.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bear's hump; 8k plus 5x200; stationary bike; 5k fartlek and hike

Have a lot to catch up on. Can't download from my watch right now because need my laptop to do that and nowhere to charge it here. Blogging from my phone, which is less than ideal but works in a pinch. So now to catch up.

Sunday was a rest day but I couldn't resist the Bear's Hump hike in Waterton NP in Canada. Short hike at 1.1km each way, but with 240m of elevation gain it was quite steep with many stairs. Great glute workout. Took about 20 min hiking quickly with Calvin and the view was SO worth it. Let's see if I can post a picture. Uh, no. Not happening. Well it's on Facebook if you are my FB friend.

Monday my legs were a bit sore from the hike, but not too bad. At least it was different muscles than RW. I had 8k plus 5x200 @85% effort. The 8k was lovely - saw a deer and 2 fawns and had a great time exploring Wateron with Calvin, who came along. Though I was a bit sore and started a little slowly it went well and I did it at a 6:14/km pace for a total time of 49:23, I think.

Later on Monday we went to Lake Cameron and worked my legs some more with an hour in the paddle boat. Uh, that was a surprisingly tough quad workout!

Tuesday I did the stationary bike at the hotel for 30 min, followed by a very short hike at Red Canyon. It was only about 10-15 min hike and then I relaxed by soaking my feet in the icy stream, because it was a warm day. Later we drive back to the US and set up camp in the St. Mary area of Glacier NP.

This morning I did a 5k fartlek on a somewhat flattish road out front of or campground. My legs were pretty tired and though I started well with 2:49 and 2:51 I slowed down pretty quickly and my other fast 500s were something like 2:52, 2:57, 2;58 and 2:53. My medium 500s were better than last week with the slowest one about 3:08, but I felt very tired and my legs had no turnover today. Still, I finished in 29:41, a couple seconds faster than last week. I'll take that.

Calvin wanted to hike in Many Glacier today, and so even though I know I have 8k tomorrow I decided to hike a nice one with him. It was pretty level for a hike, with only a small amount of elevation change, but it was on the long side at 11km and 2hr hiking very briskly. The payoff? Two beautiful glacial lakes and two moose - one a bull moose with an enormous rack, swimming!!! We also saw a deer very close to the trail.

After the hike (which was just me and Calvin), the four of us decided to canoe in Swiftcurrent Lake. That was an amazing hour! We rented canoes and it was so much better than the paddle boats! We loved it. To top off a great day, we then saw a couple of bears feeding on a hillside - from our car - and watched them with binoculars. Nice!

Tomorrow - 8k might be interesting, but it was worth it to enjoy the things I did today.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

hiking; 14K

Yesterday: Hiked 11.2km with Calvin on the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park. I have to say that that trail was one of the most beautiful I've ever hiked, rivaling Observation Point Trail in Zion. It was a amazing, hiking along the edge of the Garden Wall above Going-to-the-Sun Road. We hiked the trail to the highest point at the saddle, and then went back. You can hike it as a loop, but then it's 11.8 miles, and Jim thought that'd be too far for me to hike with 14K racewalking planned the next day. And you know what? We got great views and it was honestly just the right amount of hiking. Awesome.

Highline trail hike data.

Today: 14K was the assigned workout. I was as ready as I was going to be. It was chilly here this morning in northern Montana - 43F (6C) - and I could see my breath. I wore a long sleeved shirt and gloves and took off both at about 3km when I warmed up. I decided to walk by Lake Five again because it was really beautiful out there, and though you can't see the lake from the road (lots of trees), the forest is lovely and the road is paved (mostly) and quiet. I say mostly paved, because there was about a 2km stretch each way (I did out and back) that was packed dirt with some gravel. Not the best for RW, but it wasn't awful either. However, the route was quite hilly. My Garmin says it was about 94-96m total elevation gain (and loss, since I did out and back), which is definitely significant. I figured it would be OK since I need to do some hills for Portland-to-Coast, and also there isn't much choice around here. Hilly, or nothing!

When I started out, I had a pretty serious muscle spasm in my upper left calf. I stopped to massage it but that didn't help much. I am not sure if it was from yesterday's hike or what, but it kept on and got worse until about 4.5km. I was considering whether to continue, and then it started to feel better and improved the rest of the time that I was out. I was thankful for that!

All in all, except for the hills (all of which were racewalk-able - barely, sometimes) it was a lovely walk. I couldn't ask for more.

Total time 1:30:12 for 6:26/km with ave HR 150. I was at 6:23/km through 12km but then that last uphill nearly did me in ;). Below, a photo of a typical part of my route today.

14K Garmin data here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

rest day, 8K, rest day, 5K fartlek

Sunday: rest day

Monday: 8K hilly course. We are traveling and have left the house and dog with my friend Jill the awesome house-sitter. It's a perfect exchange as she wanted somewhere to stay, and we wanted to have someone stay at the house. Win-win. Plus she's even cleaning it a bit for me [blush] as yeah, I don't have time. Anyway, we are in Montana at Glacier National Park, and I took Calvin with me and racewalked from our campground to a cool lake called Lake Five and back again. Awesome. Hilly, and a little warm (mid-60s but sunny and more humid than I'm used to). I still did a 6:25/km pace for 51:19 with average HR 148.

Garmin data here.

Later in the day, went hiking with Calvin to Hidden Lake. Should've put it on my Garmin but forgot. It was a lovely hike with about 700ft of elevation gain in 1.5 miles. The hike was challenging because there was still a lot of snow up there and we were trekking through it  trying not to slip and slide. We saw a ton of really cool mountain goats, and the view of the lake at the end was incredible. Sorry, no pics because I haven't downloaded them yet. Hard to do as computer time is at a minimum because there's really nowhere to plug in that is convenient (I'm sitting at the campground pool right now and there are a couple plugs here - charging computer and camera battery). I can get online on my phone easily enough but the wifi here is not so good at our campsite, which is fine, honestly - not here to do that stuff except occasionally. We'll be in a hotel this weekend and I'll do more photos then.

Tuesday: rest day. I needed to cross-train, but really have no options here. The pool is too small for laps, and I couldn't bring my bike. I guess I could run, but running = IT band problems, so… yeah, that leaves some hiking, which we didn't do on Tuesday. Ah, well. Rest isn't a bad thing, as long as I eat well, which I did.

Wednesday (today): 5K fartlek. Warmed up for 1500m with strides in 9:31, and it felt stiff to start, but legs were good by the time I was done warming up. I walked on a slight incline - the flattest road I could find nearby, at the front of the campground. There was a 500m stretch that included perhaps 50m on gravel (packed) and 6m between the lowest and highest points, according to my Garmin. Not ideal, but not too bad. I chose to do the hard efforts on the downhill and the medium efforts on the uphill. That worked OK; my hard efforts were pretty fast at 2:48-2:51, but the medium efforts were slower than usual at 3:06, 3:07, 3:09, and 3:14 (yeah, I was tired on that last one). Plus, I'm not in good shape (yet), so I expect slower recoveries. Total time was 29:43, with a very high average HR of 169. Yeah, I was pushing it. The weather was good - mid-60s - but humid and sunny, so I did feel hot. Maybe that contributed?

Garmin data here.

We did another hike today, so call that cross-training for yesterday :). Today's hike was about 6 miles (~10K) with a 500ft elevation gain, ending at beautiful Lake Avalanche. Highly recommend. The kids played in the water for an hour while I hung out on the beach, relaxing and taking photos. Garmin data for the hike here - but some is missing because of poor satellite reception in the heavy tree cover.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

cross training; 14K

This week has been insane. It's amazing I got anything at all done in the workout department. I ate poorly too :(. Gained back a couple pounds, but I am motivated and I am not letting a small setback stop me from getting back in shape, at least that's what I am telling myself. At least today was a good food day :).

Thursday: legs still very tired, and couldn't risk the 5K fartlek :(. So I rode my bike a lot instead. Rode to IHOP for breakfast with dad, rode to work, rode to sign kids up for afterschool, rode home. About 35K total! I felt a bit drained on the last ride home but was fine once I hydrated a bit more.

Friday: legs felt decent. Rode bike to gym, did elliptical for ~20 min, rode home. Then rode to work and back.

Today: 14K was scheduled. I was operating on 4.5 hours of sleep Friday night, and only 6 hr sleep Thursday night. Not good. I started off slowly and carefully, doing about 6:40 for the first km. I sped up a bit toward the middle of the workout, but overall my pace was slow and steady, which I think was good. My legs were tired but not awful, and I never got ridiculously slow. Starting about 11.5km they were very tired, but then I only had 2.5km, so it was an effort to finish but not too bad. Total time was 1:32:42 for 6:35/km (Garmin got screwed up for the last 500m so if you look at that it's wrong) with average HR 142. Obviously was taking it very easy, but I think that was wise. Best part? After sitting in the car the rest of the day my legs feel totally fine :). Oh, and my hip flexor bothered me just the teensiest bit. It seems to be improving! My left foot is hurting a bit tonight but I wonder if it's cramping up from being in an awkward position in the car? Not sure. Babying it now and hoping it's 100% tomorrow. I think it's just a muscle spasm.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

5K fartlek? NOPE 6K

Yesterday: tired very heavy legs, and I was mentally worn out too. I took a rest day, except for walking about a mile downhill with the kids to pick up the car. Had to get a new radiator :(. Arrrrgh! Anyway, that made me pretty tired, possibly because it's been so very, very hot. It was 103 (39.4C) on Monday and I think it was about 102 (38.8C) yesterday.  

Today: woke still not feeling recovered. Much cooler this morning at about 70F (21C). Went to the track anyway, but drove instead of biking, even though I'm doing the Clear the Air Challenge. I was just too tired and didn't want to ruin my chances at the 5K fartlek. I met Adriana there and we racewalked 1600m to warm up, with strides on the last lap. I wasn't slow at 10:12, but my legs felt heavy and tired and I was really concerned about possibly causing a relapse. I thought about switching to a 3K fartlek, or trying the 5K and stopping if needed, and also thought about just doing easy miles but wasn't sure what to do. So I called Jim and he said to just do easy miles and maybe try the fartlek tomorrow. OK. That made sense. I guess I could have figured that out myself but for some reason it was hard to think clearly - I don't want to jeopardize everything for just one workout, so I have to be careful! He gave good advice. 

So Adriana and I went and did another 4.4km together around the neighborhood, which is fairly hilly. We picked flatter streets but still uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back. We took it easy, though, and I felt decent when we finished. But later, at work, I was sitting a fair amount and got quite stiff. Grrrrrrrrrrr. I really want to do the 5K fartlek tomorrow but only if my legs feel better. Today they've been quite tired, but a good rest tonight might help enough. We'll see. If I feel crappy, then I'll just go cross-train at the gym.

Total time: 38:35 for 6:26/km with ave HR in the low-mid 140s (combining the 2 segments on my watch). 

Monday, July 14, 2014


In brief: very hot for morning here - hottest I think it's ever been so early (6:30am). It was 81F (27C), but at least it wasn't humid. The heat got me though. My legs were heavy and after 6K very very slow. In addition, I got GI cramping that was pretty bad through the last few km. Loren had some GI bug so maybe I got it?

It didn't feel good today. I was going OK through 5K but never felt fantastic. My legs are fine though - no weird soreness, nothing wrong that a bit of heat and a GI bug doesn't explain.

Total was 52:46 for 6:36/km with ave HR 150. Garmin data here. 

Hip flexor felt much better but had some pain more medial almost in the groin area in same leg (right). It wasn't bad, but with the heat and GI issues it added to the fun today.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


I wasn't sure how my hip flexor would hold up this morning, but there's nothing like going out and giving it a try to see what will happen. I waited until 7:30 am to go out, reveling in the luxury of a Saturday morning without kids (they were at my parents' house). I probably should have gone earlier, as it was rather hot when I finished, at 77F (25C) and humid for here at 50% humidity. Icky! But I don't think the weather slowed me down. I did very well this morning, finishing the 12K in 1:15:50 for 6:19/km with ave HR 150. Awesome! I'm on my way back!

My hip flexor did bug me a bit, but because of the weather I had to stop several times to get water for myself and the dog, so every time I stopped I massaged it. That helped a lot. It never got really bad, and was merely annoying at times.

I was extremely sweaty when I returned and I wonder if I could have wrung out my sports bra? The cool shower felt amazing, except for the chafing on my back from my heart rate monitor that I was blissfully unaware of until I stepped in the shower. Ouch! Oh well… small price to pay. It was great to be out there today.

Garmin data here. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

6K, rest day

Yesterday I did 6K. I've had a bothersome right hip flexor for several days now - I first noticed on Monday's 6K, and noticed more during my 3K fartlek, and also during the 6K yesterday. It's not terrible, and I'm not sure if it's from racewalking or from cycling, but it's definitely annoying. I suspect it's probably from cycling, so today I took the day off from any hard cycling - did 2 easy rides, no big hills, just for commuting for the Clear the Air contest.

Yesterday's 6K went well considering that it was the day after a 3K fartlek. Other than the hip flexor, it was totally fine. I didn't push at all and took it a bit easy, since it was a recovery day. My Garmin battery died (left Garmin running after my last bike ride) and with a minimal charge when I noticed in the morning, it didn't last the whole 6K. My phone timed the rest, and the 6K is approximate, but I did about 6K in 39:11 for about 6:32/km. I was doing 6:25/km before the battery died, so I'm not sure that last bit was that slow… dunno… but it went fine. Garmin data here.

I feel decent tonight after resting up today, though I can tell the hip flexor is still a bit sore and probably will be for a few more days even if I take it easy. I'm doing 12K in the morning and hopefully that won't aggravate it too much.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Happy dance! Bicycling; 3K fartlek.

Yesterday: biked to the gym, did 25 min elliptical, biked home. Pretty easy cross-training day. I felt good though.


Today: biked to the track (bicycling more for the Clear the Air challenge), which is only about 2.5km. Uphill, but still only 2.5km. Nice warm-up. Then did a racewalking warm-up of 1600m w/strides in 10:03. I met Adrianna at the track, who I've mentioned before. She's 18, almost 19, and is reasonably talented but hasn't had much time to train. We last trained together in the fall, but I was so sick, and she got busy with school, so it's been a while.

I was to do a 3K fartlek. I suggested she do 400m hard, then alternate 200m medium 200m hard until she got to 2K, then walk easy for a cool-down. She's been running but no RW so her shins and flutes were burning (heehee!). She went out really fast and I didn't pass her until the last lap or so, and then she re-passed me on her fast 200m. I think she has a lot of potential given that she did 11:15ish without much RW training at all.

Anyway I digress. I felt AWESOME today. I started off reasonably fast and held it pretty well, doing 2:47 and 2:48 for 5:35 for my first 1km. My legs felt GOOD and my wind was my limit for once. Super! I kept up really well and finished in 17:26 with ave HR 160. I am very happy with that. I felt strong and just felt so good to be out there working hard - so unlike how I've felt for the last 15-16 months. Happy dance!

Garmin data and the rest of my splits here. 

Oh, and I biked up to work afterward. I feel fine now. Awesome, even.

Monday, July 07, 2014

cycling recovery; 6K

My coach told me to take it easy this weekend after the 5K race. I did…sorta :). I didn't racewalk, and on Saturday I rode my bike slowly 10K with Calvin to Costco and Lowe's, then 6K to the pool and back.

Our lab is taking part in the "Clear the Air Challenge", to see how many non-single-occupant-vehicle trips we can complete. I'm basically trying to go everywhere by bike, which has been interesting (some trips on a bike are challenging - the city needs to work on being more bike-friendly in some areas) but mostly good.

Anyway, back to Saturday. While at the pool, I did 30 min of lap swimming in the very awesome outdoor 50m pool for some good cardio, since bicycling with Calvin is more of a moderate activity. Someday I'm sure he will be able to totally kick my butt, but for now, it's a bit sedate.

Sunday I opted for lots of cycling. Biked up up up uphill to church, which is 4.5k (almost 3 miles) from our house. Didn't know that, since I always drive there. Our church is now meeting on Foothill Drive, in a Seventh Day Adventist building. Quite convenient to share, since their worship is on Saturday. After church, I biked home and grabbed a quick snack then biked to Weight Watchers. Hadn't done that before. Turns out it's also about 10K round-trip (6.2 miles) from our house. Weight Watchers is one of the few places I've visited lately that doesn't have a bike rack. I gave my leader a hard time about that, since they are trying to encourage activity, right? Finally, I biked with Calvin and Grace to the pool and cooled off with a leisurely swim (I did NOT do laps).

My legs felt good all weekend. No weird soreness and not even any delayed onset muscle soreness from the 5K! In fact, I think I am really feeling about 100% normal again! Very happy about that. So, this morning I went out for a 6K walk and it went just fine. I took it easy, with ave HR 142, and still pulled off a pace of 6:24/km for 38:23 total time. Legs felt good; a bit tired on the last uphill but nothing more. I am sure I could have gone farther but glad I didn't as I was in a time crunch to get the kids to summer camp and myself to work. We bicycled, of course :).

Currently our lab is in 29th place for # of trips by team in the state, and I am in 24th place for individuals.

Garmin data here. 

Friday, July 04, 2014

Murray Fun Days 5K, 2014 edition

I have done this race twice before, in 2008 (28:39) and in 2010 (29:xx). I was not looking forward to it this morning because I was sure I'd be terrible. In reality, it actually went quite well. Go figure!

I warmed up with Calvin for 1600m with strides, in 10:00 flat. I felt awkward and out-of-sorts in the first 500m but then was feeling decent. Wasn't at all sure I was ready to race well, but figured it'd be a good workout anyway. 

It was quite warm at 79F (26C) and humid for Utah (maybe 30-40%; just felt a touch muggy, but boy was everyone sweating up a storm during the race!). I wasn't that worried about the weather since I wasn't expecting much of myself. No pressure is nice in some ways, but honestly I'd rather toe the line of a race feeling prepared. 3K fartleks are not sufficient prep for a 5K race. Neither is being 15lb overweight. 

The siren went off to signal the start, which is up a gradual hill on State Street. In fact, the whole first km is uphill. I made it to 1K about 6:04 by my watch and thought I was slow, but decided that the hill thing made it harder and that I should cut myself some slack. Made it to 2K about 11:58, so that was better. [Then there's a little downhill and then another uphill before flat then down a bit then up a teeny hill before the finish. They aren't big hills, but it's not an easy course with 36m of elevation gain and 34m of elevation loss according to my Garmin. The start is close to the finish but is indeed a bit lower.] I got to 3K in about 17:45 by my Garmin, after a nice downhill stretch, and felt more positive. I just really wanted to finish in under 30 minutes! The uphill around 4km felt hard but when I saw 23:38 on my watch I knew I'd be able to go under 30 min. Best of all, it turned out my watch was short - the course is a USATF certified course, so I know it's well-measured, and my Garmin had it at 4.91, so the whole time I was a bit faster than I thought. My watch time was 28:48 but they had me at 28:43 for the official time. Yay! In addition, I got 1st place in the Clydesdale division :).

Of course, Calvin kicked my butt :). He did 24:33, good for 4th place for 11 and under in this very competitive race. Since this is a USATF Utah circuit race, all the fastest runners in Utah come and do it, and bring their kids. Calvin was sad he didn't get top 3, but next year I'm sure he will.

As for my race, I am so happy with my time - not sure where it came from, and I don't care! It's super motivating to finally have a good race. This is the first really GOOD race I've had since the Cold Turkey in 2012, over 18 months ago. I felt so good at the finish, and so satisfied and happy. I have really missed the feeling of a good hard race, and no pain. I hope this continues, but if not, at least I've made one more good memory.


Yesterday I cross-trained. I did lots of cycling :). Biked to the gym and did elliptical for 21 min then biked home. Biked up to the U with Calvin to Club U. Then biked uphill to work on upper campus. Biked down to pick up Calvin. Biked to Grace's school to pick her up. Walked home with her (she didn't have her bike). Biked to the Bike Guy to get my bike brakes adjusted (have been riding Loren's bike). Biked to Fresh Market to get groceries.

I tried to take it easy. I think I succeeded, because I felt good this morning, other than being quite sleepy from taking Kelly to the airport at 5:20am!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

only 6K

Yesterday: 30 min elliptical; bike to work. The ride up here from my house is uphill 178m (584ft). In comparison, the tallest building in Salt Lake City, the Wells Fargo building, is 128m tall, and has 26 floors. I feel pretty virtuous now about my cycling habits of late :).

Last night: Sat at Calvin's track meet from 5:30-9pm after a busy day. Somehow this was exhausting; had a good snack before I went but got quite hungry during the meet. That turned to ravenous and I will admit overeating a bit when I got home :(. Not terrible, and I had some small remnant of self-control that did keep me from much worse damage. Still on track, mostly.

Today: Woke tired with heavy legs. Did 6K but was supposed to do 10K. I didn't have the weird soreness but it felt on the edge. I am worried. I stopped because I was just not feeling right!!! I think maybe I just overdid things yesterday? Maybe it was sitting for too long.

I did NOT ride my bike up to work after that. I had to take the car in for a recall so left it downtown at the dealer and took the light rail and then a bus up to work, with Calvin coming on the light rail with me to Club U. That worked well, and hopefully I'l feel fine tomorrow. I'm definitely tired though. Need to take it easy.

Total for 6K was slow as you'd expect; 39:24 for 6:34/km with ave HR just 139 (see, sluggish!).

Garmin data.