Wednesday, December 30, 2015

10K on indoor track

I could've gone outdoors; I was able to go midday when it wasn't as cold, and though it was snowing a bit this morning it was clear by late morning and the roads were OK. However, I wanted to get cross-country skis for the kids and the rental facility is in the same building as the track. Besides, I thought a soak in the hot tub post-workout would be relaxing. Finally, the indoor track is less distracting and I need to concentrate hard on my form right now.

So I went up to the track and did all my glute activation exercises and got started. 10K is just over 34 laps of the track, and I figured that 9948.7m would be enough :). I decided to do 9 laps and massage/do activation exercises, then 8 laps + same, then 9 laps, then 8 laps. I'm doing much better, but it still helps to re-activate several times during a workout. As for my injury, today it only bothered me a little bit on and off. I felt I was really good at maintaining my posture and using my glutes more. Hopefully in the long run this will pay off with fewer injuries and more speed. I am noticing that my glutes are fatiguing by the end of the workout, so I can tell I'm doing something differently.

While I was at the track I noticed that I was in the company of greatness. Nobel-prize winner Mario Capecchi was there doing a bit of running and some ab exercises. For 78 years old, he's in good shape, though I did pass him racewalking...and then he passed me back :). I haven't seen him there before but I also don't usually work out at the lunch hour. I recognized him because I've heard him give a number of very good talks and also see him occasionally on upper campus near our lab.

Back to my workout...I did very well. Total time was 1:04:28 for the 9948.7m, which works out to 1:04:48 for 10k. Yay! I did 6:29/km :). Still slower than pre-injury, but working my way back.

Post-workout, I wanted to soak in the hot tub, but it was closed :(. They have closed the pool for a few days for maintenance :(. Then I went to get skis for the kids. Well...didn't matter that I know their height, weight, and shoe size. They needed to try on the skis in person to be sure of the proper fit. Geez. More complicated than I thought. Hmmph. Maybe I should've worked out outside? Oh well :). I brought the kids back later and got the skis rented. We plan to have some fun cross-training tomorrow.

Garmin data here. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Today my coach told me to do 5x400m @85% effort. Well....the track is under snow. And the Olympic Oval is a 25 min drive away. Soooooo....I went to the indoor track at the U instead. It's only 292.6m, so 2km is a bit less than 7 laps. I decided that 7 laps would do the trick.

I did a nice easy warm-up - super slow on the first 2 laps, concentrating. Plus I did lots of glute exercises and massage with the ball before starting on the workout.

I felt pretty good! My piriformis was bothering me a bit on the first warm-up lap, but then it was fine as I got my technique under control. Then again at the end it was a little annoying, but after the workout it felt just fine. I think I had pretty good technique throughout and was concentrating very hard.

And guess what? My speed was decent. I did mostly 1:40 laps, with one 1:42 and the last one 1:38 or so. 1:40 per lap is 5:42/km, which I think is great for 85% effort for now with injury recovery. I'm very pleased. HR was maxxing out at about 160.

Garmin data here. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

10K with Calvin!

Yesterday: rest day....felt a bit fatigued from all the house guests (though it's fun!!!!!).

Today: 10K easy with Calvin. He ran, I racewalked. I started off pretty fast (slight downhill) and maybe shouldn't have; my piriformis is a little more sore and I know I wasn't concentrating quite as much as I should have. I slowed down in the second half and that helped. Calvin wanted to stop and rest a bit 4-5 times during the walk because this was his FIRST 10K ever! He's done a good amount of running but has only run 8K as his longest distance. He did a great job today and it was perfect for me because then I could stop and massage and loosen things up periodically.

I wish I had a picture of the two of us out there today. It was great fun.

Garmin data here. 

Total time 1:05:48 for 6:35/km with ave HR 151.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

doing better :)! x-country skiing, then 10166m at the Olympic Oval

Yesterday: cross-country skiing in SugarHouse Park while the kids sledded and my mom snowshoed. Excellent!!! I am really a terrible skier but I do enjoy it a lot. I hate downhill (too fast, too cold!) but love x-country, because I don't get cold, and the technique is quite similar to racewalking in some ways. I skied for about 45 min; went around the park but then went up and down the hill by the sledding hill while I watched the kids sled.

Today: 23 laps at the Olympic Oval for 10166m. Ashley met me there because it was super cold out at 13F (-10.5C) and she had some speed work while I did my easy 10K. I did do one fast lap with her and it felt OK :). I feel like things are starting to click. However, I did have her take some video and I'm hoping I look better. I think my posture looks better but my arms are still too far in front and my right arm (as usual) is very tense. Geez. It's always something. But the key question is: am I using my glutes more? I sure feel like I am, and I do think I can see it on the video. I am hoping my coach agrees. My piriformis seems much better - it only bothered me a little; I stopped every 6 laps to massage it with the rubber ball torture device, which helped :).

It took me 1:08:00 to do the 10166m, for 6:41/km. Really slow, but MUCH faster than I have been, so I am encouraged that I am starting to get long as the video looks good.

Here's a link to the video in my dropbox.

Here are some photos of yesterday & today.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve edition

Monday: elliptical

Tuesday: rest day

Wednesday: glute exercises and a bit more than 5K at the indoor track; all feeling good; last lap was 1:50 which is 6:15km :). Total time was about 6:50/km on average :)!

Today: I went on the JRP with Ashley from Portland, who is visiting her in-laws for Christmas. We had an awesome time together and she was more than willing to walk a bit slowly for me because of my injury. I was able to go 7:02/km for 13km!!! OK, so that's slow, but it took 1:31 and change, and it was super snowy & icy in spots and we had to run a bit and/or slow down. I know I'm still slow, but it seems to be getting better. Not much pain, though I did stop and massage it a few times. It was cold...27F (-2.8C) and a steady breeze of 6-7 mph (11kph) which doesn't sound like much, but when it's that cold it's very unpleasant. But my new Nike fleece-lined base layer made it a lot more comfortable - no cold rear end today :)!

Garmin data here.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

made it 10K! Outside!!!

Yesterday: 1 hr elliptical

Today: Glute exercises and then racewalking. It was supposed to snow, but when I woke it was only raining very lightly, so I decided to try to walk outside! Yay! Missed that a lot. It was also nice and warm this morning at 37F (2.8C) and I can't tell you how wonderful it was to walk outdoors. Loved it.

I was very, very slow, just like a couple days ago, but guess what? I made it 10K!!!! Yep! Pain was minimal, from 0-2/10. Stopped and massaged a couple times but basically felt pretty good. I worked super hard on my posture and activating glutes and I think it's working.

Garmin data here. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

feeling better!

My injury is feeling better gradually. I have piriformis syndrome, but might also have another nagging "something" in the butt. Regardless, it is all improving.

I'm doing lots of strength training for the glutes as well as planks. Then I'm racewalking very sloooowwwwly to give myself time to focus on actually USING them WHILE I racewalk. Revolutionary...I know, right? It seems to be what I've been missing. I can tell it's a very different feeling. I'm not 100% sure it's 100% right, but I am 95% sure that it's a LOT better.

Monday I managed only a few laps RW before the pain kicked in and I had to do the elliptical. Tuesday I did 7-8 laps, and it didn't hurt too much, but I was nervous so got on the elliptical. Wednesday I managed to do 5K!!!!! I stopped every 2-4 laps to do massage with a small massage ball (tennis-ball sized, but harder - ouch! but good!), which helped a lot. It was about 35 min for the 5K, which is super slooooow, but it felt OK.

Yesterday I took a rest from racewalking to make sure things aren't getting overtaxed, and did the elliptical. Then I was ready to try RW farther today - and guess what? I did 27 laps (292.6m track) = 7900m!!! It was very slow at 56:09 (just over 7 min/km) but it felt good and I only stopped twice, after 9 laps and after 18 laps, to do a little massage.

I'm happy to be getting back on track. Sad that I can't do the 1hr postal tomorrow, but oh well! That's how my year has been. Next year is going to be better though :).

Monday, December 14, 2015

injured but fighting back

Sorry I haven't been around. I should blog about this so I can learn from it, or someone else can, or for therapy, or something :).

I thought I had pulled my hamstring, but it turns out after much poking, prodding, etc. by Loren and Kelly (helps to know an M.D. and a P.T.), it turns out it's piriformis syndrome. Oh yay. Well, at least I know how to deal with that.

Down side:
1) I'm injured, just when I was getting back into good training.
2) I've gained weight from traveling and from feeling sorry for myself and overeating (duh!). Lame, but at least remediable.
3) I'm grumpy about it. I'm not depressed, thankfully, just grumpy and feeling like that black space is looming if I am not careful. The eating has a lot to do with that - eat too much, and the black space beckons with self-condemnation and negative thoughts.

Up side:
1) I am motivated to get my eating in gear again, after a week of feeling sorry for myself and realizing anew that the food doesn't make it better. I'm not the same person I was when I was obese, but I still have to fight those tendencies. The fight does get a little easier with time, though it's still a struggle.
2) I am happy to be working on activating my glutes while racewalking. I have been doing lots of exercises that my coach gave me, plus had Kelly watch me do them to be sure I'm using the right muscles. I am :). But those exercises have to translate into using my glutes while walking, which is the tricky part. It means for now that I have to slow down a bit and really concentrate on my technique. Go slow to be faster. I tell people this, and often they don't want to comply, and I do understand why, but I want to go to Perth next fall and that's not going to happen unless I (literally) get my butt in gear.
3) I am also working on correcting the anterior tilt of my pelvis (see graphic). My posture has always been an issue while racewalking, and though it's gotten better, it's not quite there. But I think I really really understand now, in a much deeper way, exactly how this works, and not just in my head, but in my body. I can feel what it feels like to walk with anterior tilt, and how I can't use my glutes, and how it feels tilt the pelvis properly and to use them while walking. I'm optimistic.

Meanwhile, I have been doing the elliptical, doing my exercises, doing the stationary bike, and racewalking just a tiny bit. The first day I only did one lap of the indoor track before calling it quits. Today I made it 5 laps, which is progress. I doubt I will be able to do the 1 hr postal on Saturday though, but it's minor in comparison with getting healthy, getting my head on straight, and training for Perth. It's also minor in comparison with being a good mom, good employee, good wife, and enjoying Christmas with my family. So, here goes!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

6K on treadmill, 3x200; 20K aborted due to hamstring

Yesterday: 6K on treadmill. I noticed that my left hamstring was sore, probably from 1) sitting endlessly in meetings (6 hr Thursday, and another 6 hr Friday) at the USATF annual meeting, and 2) the treadmill, which does really weird stuff to your gait, especially when RW. I did the 6K in 38:20, which was reasonable given that it was on the 'mill, and then headed out to the parking lot across the street for 3x200m @ 85% effort; did the first one in 1:04 then screwed up my watch so I have no idea how fast the second two were.

Garmin data here. 

Today: 20K. Not :(. I felt a little sore in left top hamstring (I think it's hamstring - doesn't seem like piriformis) the first 500m or so but then loosened up and felt really, really great. My first 12k was awesome. There's a beautiful walkway in Buffalo Bayou that goes right next to downtown Houston, and it was so perfect this morning. Low 40s and calm and clear (about 5-6C?). SO pretty. Kathy, who was with me on a rented bike, took a photo of downtown with the sunrise...gorgeous.

But then about 12.3km I felt something pull or spasm in the sore left butt, and I had to stop. I tried to stretch and casual walk it off, and then racewalked another 0.3km, but then it really pulled and I just couldn't continue. I think and hope that it is only a spasm and that it'll be fine in a couple of days. I curled up on the sidewalk and had a good cry. Kathy was very sympathetic as she is a racewalker too. Fortunately, we were close to the conference venue at that point in the walk, and I was able to ride the bike back. I can walk OK as long as I don't racewalk or try to walk briskly. It's definitely quite sore. I am very, very disappointed as I really needed to get in a long walk prior to the 1 hr postal in 3 weeks, and I felt SO GOOD this morning before this happened. SO FRUSTRATING and SO ANNOYING. I was doing 6:20/km before that happened - seriously good! Arrrgh!!!!!!!!!!!

I took an 800mg ibuprofen and am icing it now. Will take tomorrow as a rest day (planned anyway) and then re-evaluate. If I feel good I'll do my planned 10K fartlek on Tuesday. If not, I will rest more and go from there. If it's just a spasm, I should feel good in a few more days.

Garmin data here. 

Friday, December 04, 2015


Yesterday: was supposed to cross-train but spent all day on the plane to Houston for the USATF (USA track and field) meeting (yep, the Utah Association actually sent me here as a delegate!); when we arrived we were starving and ate, then had to rush to the 5-7pm opening session of the convention. After that Kathy (the Utah Association RW chair) and I had dinner with her nephew and didn't get back until yeah, no cross-training other than walking around downtown a lot.

Today: 5x1km. Went to a small park near our hotel and did ~1km loops around the park, as measured by my Garmin, which was wildly inaccurate on those loops. I honestly don't know exactly how far it was, since every time it measured differently :(. BUT the good news is that I got in a good hard workout and felt good and am recovering well. Garmin data here, and my estimated 1km times were 5:38.7, 5:18.3, 5:17.7, 5:34.4, and 5:41.8. Ummmm yeah...that was how my watch measured the 1km. Not accurate at all. The truth is probably somewhere in the average of those times. Maybe! My HR was maxxing out at 168 on the last few, so I know I got a good workout. I have no idea how fast I actually was, which was somewhat freeing. Sorry, coach, but when one travels it's unpredictable what kind of workout conditions you'll have. Tomorrow I'm going to have to do the treadmill because we have to go early, and for safety reasons we will stay indoors. I hate the treadmill...but it's only one day.

The good news is that after that hard workout my legs felt good, even though we SAT in the SAME ROOM from 11am-5pm with only one 30 min break. I didn't have any problems with that, and that would've killed me with pain 12-18 months ago, so at least progress is happening. Yay! The meeting has been pretty interesting and informative, for the most part, though like any meeting it's had its dull moments. Still, I'm learning a lot and thinking of things we can do to promote RW in Utah when we return.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

3x2k; 10k

Monday: rest day

Tuesday: 3x2k. Went to the track with Kelly, who was doing 60 min easy, but she agreed to meet me there anyway. It was dark and cold (21F, -6.1C), as usual, but I got some fleece-lined long underwear (Champion, Target - very good!) and that helped. Winter is brutal, but warm clothes help. I have a balaclava for my head and wear lots of layers (feel like the Pillsbury Dough Boy when I go out sometimes! 3 layers on top, 2 on the bottom) but I still get cold, sort of. It's weird. Warm underneath and my core is warm, but my skin is cold, especially on my face and on my rear end. Seriously. It's a strange sensation, being warm and cold simultaneously, and not very pleasant, but...well...we do what we have to do.

I warmed up and felt pretty good, so I can't explain why the workout wasn't that good. In fact, it was pretty terrible. I worked really hard and felt like I was going backwards. Granted, it's the first time I've done 2K intervals in 3 years, but I did 1.5km intervals a couple wk ago just fine, so I guess it was just an anomalously bad workout. My 2Ks were 11:39, 11:52, and 11:56. Ouch.

Today: I was worried that today might be really tough after yesterday, but it actually went just fine. It was cold again today (21F, -6.1C like yesterday, with a slight cold breeze), and it took me a while to put on all those layers, but I was glad for them. Met Kelly at the JRP and she was only doing 45 min, so I had to do another 3km after she left (we did 7km in the first 45 min). It went pretty well, and though I could tell my legs were a little tired, they weren't terribly tired and I got through it in good time with a reasonable HR.

Total: 1:03:37 for 6:22/km with ave HR 147. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Yesterday: 45 min on elliptical. I had a good amount of muscle soreness from yesterday's race. Hills! Not used to them!

Today: 10K racewalking in St. George, Utah. We came here on Thanksgiving, in the afternoon, so that Calvin could play in a soccer tournament. It's warmer here than at home, but it's cold here too. Today it was 34F (1.1C) to 37F (2.7C) during my walk, but it was sunny and not windy, so that was good. It was actually decent out. It's quite hilly where we are staying, so I got another hill workout in. I was pretty fast considering the 110m (360ft) of elevation gain (and loss) on the out and back course. I went downhill to 2.5km, then uphill to 5km, then the same on the way back. The first and last km were ridiculous --- so hilly I could barely racewalk up on the way back, but I managed to walk legally.

Total time 1:03:02 for 6:18/km with ave HR 146. That's pretty good on those hills!

Photos are from today's walk. It's pretty here with all the red rock.

Garmin data here. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cold Turkey 6K - 2015 edition

Thanksgiving Day! Time for the annual turkey trot. Ours starts at the State Capitol and goes up City Creek Canyon before turning around and descending through Memory Grove. It's a net downhill, but a tough course. I figured if I could do 6:00/km that'd be good, in my current shape. The race is billed as a 6K, but every year my Garmin says 6.22 or 6.23, and the course isn't certified, so I figure it's long and usually go with my Garmin for distance (I know Garmin is not as accurate as a certified course, but I know the race director and he measured it with GPS once, so...yeah...).

Calvin came with me and was hoping to get 1st in his age group like last year (though I repeatedly told him it's all about who shows up!) or at least a PR. The latter seemed entirely feasible, as he's in good shape from soccer and enjoys a good hard run.

We did a short warm-up because we were a bit late (dog puked on carpet...sigh....good thing I have a carpet cleaner!). The weather was much warmer than expected; not that it was warm, but it was predicted to be 18F (-8C) and was actually 30F (-1C). With the sun out at the race start, I removed the sleeves from my jacket and pocketed them, wearing just a long-sleeve with the now short-sleeved jacket. I was warm enough, though in the canyon with no direct sun it was chillier.

When we started off I knew this wasn't going to be easy. It's a slight uphill to start but I was very slow off the line, with my first 500m in 3:12. Ugh. I sped up and did two 3:07s before the real hill started, and then all bets were off because I've done ZERO hill training! I tried to keep it a little under what I was capable of, knowing there would still be 3k after the turnaround. I did 3:15, 3:19 (!) and 3:15 up the hill...geez, slow. But the downhill was reasonably fast, and I finished in 37:12 by the chip for 5:59/km with a low ave HR of 156. I felt I was pushing hard, but I think I could've pushed harder up the hill and a bit after the turnaround (my HR went down after the turnaround so I guess I should've gone faster). The problem was that I wasn't confident enough on the hill to push that hard and know I'd have something left. Too cautious. Oh well! It's still my 4th best on this course, and given where I'm coming from I think it's reasonable. It was fun to be out there.

Calvin did a PR of 31:27, but the competition was stiff this year and he finished 6th with a time that would've won 1st in the age 9-11 group last year. This is his last year in that age group, so he was hoping to do better, but he was pretty good about it and said he had run a good hard race and was very happy with his time, even if he was disappointed with the fact that all the fast boys showed up. The male overall winner did just under 20 min (wow!!!) and the female overall winner did just over 22 min (and was only 17! wow!).

All in all, a great way to start our holiday weekend.  Photos below, including one of the hilarious costume of a camo tights with flannel hat and reflective vest and fake gun and nothing else --- brrrr!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

3x1000 = 1x1170m, 2x878m (indoor track)

Yesterday: rest day! Ahhhh...but I was very busy with the usual: work, violin lessons, cooking dinner, getting shoes for Grace, continuing to unpack/organize new house, laundry, dishes. Still, it was nice to have a day off training.

Today: I was to do 3x1km at the track. I opted for the indoor track. It wasn't *that* cold outside this morning, but it was dark, and the indoor track is both light and warm. Not a tough choice :). 

I did a 5-lap warmup with strides on the last lap, and felt really good. After some dynamic stretching and bridges to activate my glutes, I got started on the workout. I decided that as 3000m is about 10 laps of the track that I'd do 4 laps, rest 2 min, 3 laps, rest 2 min, 3 laps; that way I'd still be doing about 3km of intervals. Close enough!

The workout went very well. My 1170m was 6:31.6 (adjusted 1km time 5:34.6), and my 878m were 4:50.9 and 4:48.8 (adjusted 1km times 5:31.4 and 5:29.0!). HA! Got under 5:30 :). OK, so it wasn't quite 1km, but I am sure I could've done it that fast. My speed is coming back. And my HR recovered into the upper 100s after each set - very nice. 

It's hard to stay motivated in the winter, so I'm glad things are going well with my training, and grateful for the indoor track. I have been feeling pretty guilty about not doing the last 5km of my workout on Sunday, and have been thinking a lot about how to make the long, cold days better...but there are not any easy answers. Dress warmly, maybe stop more often at the car for hot water, something? I know my water bottles froze solid on Saturday, and we had to stop at the one open restroom with running water (Winchester Park) to thaw them out and get more to drink. That's pretty demoralizing. Now I remember how hard winter training is and I am just going to have to figure out how to toughen up a bit and also how to make it easier on myself for the small things, like water. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015, 15K...

I will admit it: I totally wussed out today. It was so very cold, and I am so not used to it, and it was dark, and very very early. Met Kelly at the JRP at 5am (!) because she had to be at work early, and I had been to the symphony the night before and up until 10:30pm, sleep, cold, dark, and tired. Legs were fine until 12K, and they did get tired then, but not dead tired. Just tired. By 15K I could've kept going, but I was so.stinking.cold. And Kelly had to leave. And I wanted a coffee and I wanted to be warm. So yeah, I quit at 15K. And I got a coffee, and I took a hot bath, and life was good again.

This amuses me, because my friends were in Santee, CA, doing a 50K in brutal heat, and here I was, wimping out because of some cold. Geez.

Well, at least I made 15K. It was only 20F when I finished, according to my car. That's -6.7C if anyone cares or is still reading :).

I wasn't fast either. But it wasn't a death march; 6:29/km with ave HR 143.

Right now I hate winter. And it's just started...

Garmin data here. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Today I did 6K at the track; Kelly had a 10 min time trial, so we met there so she could see how far she went more accurately.

I started off slowly with her for her warm-up, and sped up a bit as I went. My legs felt totally fine, and this was pretty easy. Even with the slow-ish warm-up, I did 38:30 for 6:25/km with ave HR 141.

Tomorrow is 20K. I'm trying to rest up a bit today. For some reason I'm really, really sleepy...maybe a short nap?

Garmin data here.

Friday, November 20, 2015

cross-training; 3x1463m, 3x585m

Yesterday: 30 min elliptical. Legs felt good.

Today: It was really windy again this morning, or at least that's what the weather forecast said. So Kelly and I decided to work out separately, me at the indoor track and Kelly on the treadmill at her work.

The weather at the indoor track was awesome as usual :). Bonus: when it's cold outside, during the 2' rest intervals I can go outside to cool off. Ahhhhh!

I warmed up for 5 laps with strides on the last lap. I felt really very good on the warm-up.

I was to do 3x1500m and 3x500m but on the indoor track the closest I could get was 3x1463m (5 laps) and 3x585m (2 laps). Close enough!

The whole workout went fantastically well. My 1463m were 8:20.4, 8:17.3, and 8:19.0 (converts to 1500m times of 8:33.0, 8:29.9, 8:31.6) and my 585m were 3:14.3, 3:13.4, and 3:11.5 (converts to 500m times of 2:46.0, 2:45.2, and 2:43.6 (!)). Total time was 34:35.9, which is more than 6K; for 6K it would've been 33:47.0. Fast! Happy me :).

My heart rate was pretty low on the recoveries - low 110s mostly, even in the 100s. It was low 160s on most of the intervals; I was trying hard and pushing hard but the HR was just lower today, which is fine.

I feel great now (dinner time) and legs had no stiffness or issues at all today.

Garmin data here. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

10K w/3x3' at 10K race pace

Today: very windy again. Headwind for first 3.5km; tailwind for next ~5km, then headwind for last 1.5km. wasn't that cold but with the wind it felt so cold! It was 2.2C (36F) but 19kph (12mph) steady wind with higher gusts. So I was slow to start, but with the 3 fast segments (all done with the tailwind for obvious reasons) of 2:56, 2:55, 2:51, my overall time was still decent despite the wind. I did 1:03:57 for 6:24/km with ave HR 142 and max 159 during the bursts.

I felt good during and not really very tired at all. Afterward, my legs feel fine :). Yay! Surprised that I felt so decent the day after a hard 8K fartlek, but I guess I'm getting better :) :) :). Happy Happy Happy!

Garmin data here. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

great 8K fartlek

I'm happy!

Yesterday: rest day

Today's workout: 8K fartlek. Weather was threatening cold and windy so Kelly and I nixed a planned meeting at the outdoor track at Taylorsville High. Kelly opted for the treadmill at her work, and I went to the indoor track at the U. I'm so grateful for this facility. It's hard enough to get psyched to get up in the dark and go do a hard workout, but when it's dark and cold and nasty out, it's darn near impossible. The indoor track removes the weather factor, which is a beautiful thing.

It does make calculations more awkward, but that's what Excel is for, and Excel is also a beautiful thing :). The track is 292.6m per lap, and so for my 8K fartlek that is 27 laps for 7900m. Close enough. I did 3 laps hard, then alternated 2 laps medium, 2 laps hard to the finish. The 3 laps hard was in 4:58.5, which works out to 5:40.1/km. Good start. Then 2 laps medium effort in 3:34.3 (3:03.1 500m equivalent, nice!), 2 laps hard in 3:18.1 (2:49.3), 2 laps medium 3:37.5 (3:05.8), 2 laps hard 3:17.2 (2:48.5), 2 laps medium 3:37.4 (3:05.7), 2 laps hard 3:18.2 (2:49.3), 2 laps medium 3:37.9 (3:06.2), 2 laps hard 3:19.9 (2:50.8), 2 laps medium 3:41.2 (3:09.0), 2 laps hard 3:20.9 (2:51.6), 2 laps medium 3:41.5 (3:09.2), 2 laps hard 3:22.1 (2:52.7).

Total time 46:44.7, and adjusted to 8km it would be 47:20.1. That is the fastest 8K fartlek I've done since 2012!!!! Woooohooooo! Very excited about that. Granted, in 2012 I was in the 45 minute range (sigh....) but we have to keep things in perspective here, and be happy for my recovery and that I feel good and can train again.

Speaking of feeling good, I did feel good during the whole workout, though obviously got a little tired at the end and slowed down a little on the last couple sets. My legs feel a bit tired now (at lunch time) but nothing too awful. Seems like a normal post-hard-workout tiredness.

My heart rate was a bit low this morning for the perceived effort; average HR was 157 for the workout and usually I'm maybe 160-161 for this workout. I was pushing it really hard though, and was in the mid to upper 160s for the hard parts at the end, so I am not sure why the HR was lower at the start. Maybe I'm getting fitter? Maybe I should've pushed harder to start - but that can't be right because I slowed a bit at the end so if anything I should've gone a bit easier to start I think. Anyway, no matter, just interesting.

Garmin data here. 

The views from the track were lovely this morning - the air is super clear from all the wind yesterday and it's beautiful today. Cold, but beautiful. I took a few pics of the view (excuse the reflections in the glass...sigh...) and of the facility.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

windy 16k

Yesterday: 45 min elliptical.

Today: It was super windy, but warm, as it always is when a storm is coming. It's going to snow a bunch, so they say. This morning it was 6.1C (43F) with a constant 21kph (13mph) wind according to Garmin; 16 mph or 25kph according to Kelly's phone. Either way, it was very windy, and it was a headwind going out and a tailwind coming back, thankfully. We were so tired at 8km when we turned around, just from fighting the wind. Coming back we were tired for a few km but then recovered and had a nice finish. Kelly's watch was 0.08km ahead of mine at the turnaround, so we called it at 15.92km, which split the difference between our Garmins. Our total time was 1:43:10 for 6:27/km with ave HR 144 (nice!). With the wind, I think that was very good. On my watch I had 52:23 for the first 8km, and for the last 7.92 it was 50:48, which adjusted for the distance difference (if in fact it was different?) would still be 51:19, a good negative split.

My legs felt fine when we were done; no weird soreness despite a good amount of sitting at the piano and sitting in church this morning. A slight bit of stiffness but barely noticeable.

It's windier now...glad to be inside...storm's coming! Good to have the day off tomorrow, unless I decide to get out the cross-country skis?!?

Garmin data here. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

3x1k; 4x500

Today I met Kelly at the track for 3x1km, 4x500. (Kelly was just doing easy pace and there for moral support!). It was seasonably cold at 30F (-1.1C) with a slight breeze, which I could have done without! I didn't get that cold in tights, gloves, headband, long-sleeved shirt and jacket, so that was good.

My warm-up felt a little sluggish but my strides were good and I got in the groove eventually. I did some dynamic stretching and then glute activation drills and got going on the workout.

My first 1K was the slowest at 5:43.8, and I chalked that up to legs that were still a bit tired from yesterday. I had 2 min rest between every interval today; after my first rest I then did 5:41.3 for the next one and 5:41.0 for the 3rd 1km. I wasn't sure about the 500s, but they went pretty well - though on the last one my legs were definitely getting shaky and Jell-O-like, though it was still the fastest. In fact, these are the fastest 500s I've done in a while at 2:47.9, 2:46.1, 2:46.4, and 2:45.6. Yep, 2:45! OK, slow compared to what I could do before the past few years of fatigue, but good for now. The 1kms weren't that good today, but they weren't terrible either, so I'm happy.

My HR was about mid-160s at the end of the intervals, and went down to 100s or 110s in the rests - pretty good.

All in all, good progress is finally happening. Photo at the track after the workout as the sun was coming up; note pretty snow-capped mountains behind my head over the stadium seats :).

Garmin data here. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

cross-training; 8K w/3x3'@10K race pace

Yesterday: elliptical 40 min

Today: 8K on the JRP with Kelly, including 3x3' at 10K race pace. I was really tired for some reason this morning; got an OK amount of sleep but could've been more (7 hr). Plus it was cold outside - 32F (0C) but at least calm and clear. My legs were sluggish to start but then perked up and felt fine for the whole workout. The fast intervals went fine too; 2:53, 2:58 (but Kelly's watch said 2:52 and we felt faster than 2:58), 2:52. Total time 51:00 for 6:22/km with ave HR just 144. All seems well.

Edited to add: Garmin data here. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

10K kickdown

Yesterday: planned rest day.

Today: 10K kickdown. I've only done one of these in the last 3 years - in April this year, and didn't do any in 2013 or in 2014. This is a reminder of just how sick I was, and just how far I've come to feel good enough to do 10K kickdowns again :).

It was raining and cold this morning, and up at the U it has been snowing all morning (not sticking, but snowing), and so I opted for the temperate clime of the indoor track. Seriously love the indoor track - it's a lifesaver when there's weather like this, which is a good portion of the year here.

The indoor track is 292.6m, so 34 laps is 9948m, more or less. Close enough!

Jim wanted me to start nice & easy, at about 16:20-16:30 for the first 2.5km. I did start really easy, but that pace ended up at 16:02.8 for 8.5 laps, which converts to 16:07.8 for 2500m, and my HR was in the low 140s - very easy for sure. For the next segment I did 15:35.8 (15:40.7 for 2500m) with HR high 140s-low 150s. My mouth was super dry (indoor in winter! dry!) so I quickly got a drink at the water fountain before doing the next 5km, and adjusted my music :). The next segment was 15:12.8 (15:17.6 for 2500m) with HR upper 150s, and I was starting to feel it - definitely pushing comfortably hard by the end of that segment, but still feeling I had another gear. The last segment I did in 14:30.9 (14:35.5 for 2500m) with HR in upper 160s, and really giving it a lot. I am very happy with that time! It's 15 sec faster than I did it back in April, and a great start to serious training again.

Total time: 61:22 (10km 61:42, adjusted) with overall ave HR 152. Nice!

Garmin data here. 

Sunday, November 08, 2015

1:30 easy RW with Kelly

This morning Kelly had her long day; she was going to do 100 min (1:40) but ended up cutting it to 1:30 when her legs (and mine!) were very tired after yesterday. We tried not to push the pace, and because Kelly's legs were so tired, we went a bit slowly. I could have gone a bit faster alone, I think, but honestly, I'd have been hard pressed to go faster than 6:30/km. I think I'd have been more like 6:35/km. We did 6:39/km so finished 13.54km in the 1 hr 30 min. Edited to add: my ave HR was only 144 so it was a nice easy day!

Oh, and we met really 5:15 am because Kelly had to get to work at 7:30. It was dark but very pretty with the moon and planets out. I snapped this photo at the turnaround point.

Did I mention it was cold yesterday? It was only 27F (-2.7C) on the Jordan River Parkway yesterday; today it felt a lot better though it was only a bit warmer at 1.1C (34F), and at one point the wind kicked up a bit making it feel colder, but mostly it wasn't too bad today.

I'm resting tomorrow!!!

Garmin data here

Saturday, November 07, 2015


I was supposed to do 20km today. Kelly was supposed to do 10x5 min at 6:10/km with 2 min recovery jogs. I mistakenly thought I could do her workout as part of mine. Well, after yesterday's workout I wasn't up to that. Add in not getting enough sleep after going to the symphony last night, and was interesting. Kelly's workout was much harder than I expected, and by the time we finished (at 11.42km on my Garmin) I was mentally done. The 5 min intervals had my HR up in the low to mid 160s by the end of the workout...yeah, not good. I did another 0.58km to get to 12km, but then I quit.


Well, at least there's not an important race until the 1 hr postal Dec 19th. So the fact that I screwed up my schedule isn't a big deal, I don't think. Though I probably need to get in some more km. Kelly has 110 min easy tomorrow, which I think I'll go do with her. I'm going to move my schedule to have Sundays my long day again, since that's how her schedule is, and that should work a bit better. Maybe, for now anyway. If my long day gets over 20km then that won't work so well. We'll's just so much better to work out with someone else.


Garmin data here.

Friday, November 06, 2015

day off; 4x1km

Yesterday: had a friend over for dinner the previous night and then stayed up late installing a new thermostat (ecobee3, smart thermostat, at left - so awesome!) so I didn't even try to get up early to do my track workout. I was exhausted and needed the sleep. Plus my resting HR was up to 56...high for I decided it was better to take it easy and take a day off.

Today: woke feeling good and went to do my 4x1km. Weather was good for the season at 3.9C (39F) and calm and partly cloudy. I saw a few snowflakes but I can't say that it was actually snowing much. It was too warm for it to stick anyway! After my warm-up of 1600m plus strides, I did the 4x1km. I felt good and strong on these, and was able to go a bit faster on each. I did them in 5:42.0, 5:40.2, 5:40.2, and 5:39.4. My HR was in the upper 160s at the end of each 1k, which seems appropriately hard, and my HR during the 2 min recovery period went down to the low 110s each time, which is also good and normal for me. So all seems well.

Hopefully I'll be good for my 20km tomorrow! It's supposed to get very cold tonight (27F) so I'll have to dress for the occasion. Oh yay...winter is coming :(.

Garmin data here. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

cross-training; 10K

Yesterday: elliptical, felt fine. Was glad to not work out outside - it was WINDY and nasty out. Brrr!

Today: 10K with Kelly and Sugar (my dog) on the Jordan River Parkway. It was 38F (3.3C) but not windy, though it was raining lightly on and off. Still, I wasn't cold in my long-sleeved technical shirt and tights; I felt fine. I was grateful that it wasn't windy after the past couple of days of wind.

Met Kelly really early (5:50am) so she could get to work afterward, and that was rough as I stayed up until 11pm last night doing stuff around the house. Loren and I got the claw-foot tub all set up (see left; plumber did the drain and faucets but we did the shower curtain ring and the shower plumbing) and it's working well, though the shower head that came with the shower kit was really lousy and leaked a lot, so I went to get another this morning before work. Moving is a lot of work...before AND after. I had forgotten all the stuff that you do when you move - next up on my list is replacing the thermostats with smart thermostats. It's going to be a while before we are fully settled in.

Anyway, I was VERY tired this morning and my resting HR is back up to 56 (from 50 when fully relaxed) though I'm not sure why, as I don't FEEL particularly stressed or anything. I will keep tabs on this though, and make sure I'm not pushing too hard. The workout went fine; we just tried to keep it very easy, and because I forgot my Garmin (duh!) I didn't know my 500m splits and we were a little slow. I know where 5K is on the trail, so the out and back was no problem. Plus we used map my run on our phones to track things; though that said 6.45 miles instead of 6.22. I know it's GPS and it's off a bit, but my Garmin is much better than that. Hmmm. Anyway, no matter. It took 1:05:10 for the 6K, and yeah, that's a bit slow, but it's done, and I was tired, so there :). Here's a link on map my run. Oh, and I had extra time on my phone because I couldn't stop it a couple times when we stopped for a drink/my phone rang/etc. Kelly timed it too and hers was the more accurate 1:05:10. HR was about mid-140s to low 150s, typical for this workout, so that seems good. I'll try to get some extra sleep tonight and monitor things and make sure I'm doing OK.

Monday, November 02, 2015

catching up!!! 3x800/200; 20 min w/strides; PA-USATF 20K racewalk (regional champs); 10K; 6K fartlek

I got very behind on my blog due to traveling to Chicago for work for 6 days and then to California for the 20K race just one day after I got back from Chicago. After that, it was only 5 days until our housewarming party, and to make matters more complicated, I pulled an abdominal muscle lifting a bag of dog food and was incapacitated for a day. Geez!

I know that my readers (all two of them ;)!) are completely fascinated with my workouts, so I wouldn't want them to miss any. Here's a recap (more for me and my coach...!):

Thursday 10/22 3x800/200 - could NOT catch my breath this morning; freshly back from Chicago, which is much closer to sea level. Maybe I'm a little de-acclimated to altitude? Seems fast, but...anyway, 800/200s were 4:38.4, 1:01.2, 4:38.8, 1:00.5, 4:37.3, 59.6. HA! Faster on each one, even though they were about 5 sec slower than last week's. Oh well.

Friday 10/23 elliptical for 30 min

Saturday 10/24 20 min with strides, at 6:01/km (fast! with Stevie...!). Pulled my left hamstring just a touch on 2nd stride; rested and iced it and it was fine for the race. Whew. Felt good being at sea level, or something :).

Sunday 10/25 PA-USATF 20K racewalk. My apologies for the brief race report...but...well, this is what happens when you get a bit too busy. Something has to give, and I guess it's my blog. We drove to California on Friday (after I did the elliptical) and stayed with my brother in Davis. We being me, Stevie (16yo from Orem), and Stevie's dad, Jim. Jim drove (yay!) and just asked that I chat to keep him company. No problem! We then had all day Saturday to chill, visit the Jelly Belly factory - I brought Calvin too, and Stevie also wanted to go - and try not to do too much. That was easily enough accomplished. Played some Scrabble, helped my brother assemble a dresser, hung out with everyone. Then on Sunday we drove the 30 min to the race in Sacramento, registered, and did the 5K (Calvin) and the 20K (me, Stevie). I am obviously not in shape for a fast 20K, but was at least in shape to DO the distance, and I am soooooo sick of just racing 5Ks that I really wanted to do the 20K, so I did, even though my coach Jim recommended that I do the 5K. I almost always listen to his advice, but this time I just couldn't bring myself to do 5K.

Anyway, in a nutshell: first 10K felt great (31:04 5K, 1:02:15 10K) and then my legs started to tire but still made it to 15K the fastest I've done in a while, and faster than my 15K race in May by a minute (1:33:42 - thought it was:33, but it was :42!). Then the last 5K I really ran out of steam and got a cramp in my left calf which made me very nervous about maintaining form. I was able to hang on and finish in 2:06:03 though, and I'm happy with that especially given my lack of conditioning (hadn't walked 20K since June) and my HR was only an average of 151 for the race! So I think I'm on track for good things if I can stay healthy. Weather was good - 65 at end of race; 55ish at start, humid. A little warm but really very nice.

Monday 10/26 rest day

Tuesday 10/27 elliptical; bike to work

Wednesday 10/28 muscle strain from lifting bag of dog food :( - took off work; didn't work out

Thursday 10/29 muscle strain - better; back at work; didn't work out

Friday 10/30 30 min elliptical - felt fine :)!

Saturday 10/31 easy 10K; muscle strain hurt a bit at the start but was OK after 1k or so. Total time 1:03:10 for 6:19/km. Happy with that.

Sunday 11/1 rest day

Monday 11/2 6K fartlek. This went great! Some muscle strain pain at the start but then all was fine. The weather was nice and warm for November - 49F (10C) and calm and clear early in the morning, with a beautiful sunrise as we were finishing the workout. Kelly met me and did 60 min easy while I did the fartlek; I did the last 7 min with her, jogging slowly, after I finished my workout.

500m fast times were all 2:50-2:53 and medium effort 500m were all 3:05-3:10. Total time 35:41! I'm happy with that. My legs got pretty tired for the last couple km but I held it together fine and finished well.

Jim actually gave me a real program going all the way to our 1hr postal on Dec 19! I'm so excited to be feeling good enough to have an extended training program. Hopefully I'll be able to follow it.

Photos: sunrise this morning, and Kelly and I at the track.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

3K fartlek

Sunday: 20 min elliptical, because I was in the mood, even though it was an optional rest day. The hotel ellipticals are good, but they are a different brand than my gym, so my calves got verrrrrrrry sore from using it. Plus lots of walking around the city and the SfN conference.

Monday: cross-training; 25 min elliptical and 20 min on stationary bike. Lots of walking around the city and conference again too.

Today: Calves hurt oh so oh so oh so much! It's actually pretty amusing. But I was determined to do my fartlek anyway. I went down to the Riverwalk for a warm-up, and then over to the Lakeshore Trail heading south for the workout. My warm-up was not tracked at all correctly on the Garmin; apparently the tall buildings and/or the sunken path by the river mess it up. It was amusing to see the track it put on the map. My calves felt really stiff and my gait awkward during the warm-up, but some strides seemed to even things out a bit. Still, I feel disoriented and a bit weird doing a workout in the middle of the day in a strange city. I'm enjoying the conference but ready to go home, and glad I don't have a job that requires regular travel like this all the time - once in a while is fun, but it'd get old for me fast.

Then after dynamic stretching and bridges and clamshells for glute activation, I got started. It was 70F (21C) and quite windy, at 14kph steady (~9mph) with bigger gusts. It is kind of humid too, especially compared to Utah, so I was pretty warm. I didn't have any high expectations, as my legs were sore and I felt out-of-sorts and it was warm outside. However, I did really well! Go figure. It might be the altitude; I find I do speed work much better at sea level.

My time was 17:14, and my splits were: 2:42.0, 2:53.8, 3:01.7, 2:44.4, 3:03.9, 2:49.1 (tired on that last one!). Ave HR for the whole workout was 163, and I pushed it very hard especially at the end (mid 170s). This is the best fartlek I've done in a while, and it's good timing as I'm going to race this weekend. And that was with sore calves and wind in my face pretty hard the second 500m.

Garmin data here. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

16K - Chicago Lakefront Trail

Loren and I are now in Chicago for me to attend the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting and present a poster. We left the kids in my parents' capable hands, and the house and dogs in the care of our awesome house sitter, and here we are.

The meeting didn't have much going on until 1pm today, so today was the ideal time for my 16K. I was thinking to do 16-18km, but my legs were definitely still a bit tired from yesterday's speed work, even though it was short, probably because of the fast 200s that I haven't done in a while. So at about 10k today I was pretty sure 16k was a good distance rather than 18k. The weather was good for fall here; 40F (4C) and windy. The wind was in my face on the first 8k, at a steady 19kph (12mph) plus gusts, which was definitely enough to slow me down and tired me out a bit. The lakeside scenery was beautiful though! For my international readers, a bit about Chicago: though in the middle of the country, it's next to a huge lake (Lake Michigan), and is the 3rd largest city in the US, behind New York and Los Angeles. It's pretty cold here in the winter, much colder than Salt Lake, though it doesn't snow as much as in Salt Lake. It's also famous for being windy here, and the city's nickname is "the windy city". But in October, windy or not, it's lovely --- at least it was today. And it's also only about 180m (590ft) above sea level, and very flat, perfect for RW. The Lakefront Trail here is an amazing paved trail along the lakeshore, and it's something like 20 miles (32km) long, adequate for almost any kind of training.

The trail was busy today with tons of runners, walkers, and cyclists; the runners were pretty good, as I only passed a handful in the 16K. During the first 8K into the wind, my legs felt decent, though it was nice to stop at the turnaround and get a few photos. I noticed the wind at my back right away when I turned around, and in fact I managed to negative split the workout, probably due to the tail wind; my legs were tired then. The first 500m was NOT right (3:45? not that slow...) and neither was the last 500m (2:42? no way!) so I figure that along the river walk my Garmin had a bit of trouble. But close enough.

I finished in 1:41:45 for 6:21/km and had splits of 32:00 (5K), 51:19 (8K), 1:03:53 (10K), 1:35:35 (15K); the last 8K was 1:41:45-51:19 = 50:26 for a negative split :).

Garmin data here.  

Friday, October 16, 2015

cross-training; 3x800/200

Yesterday: rode bike to work and also did a brisk casual walk to and from coffee with a friend in SugarHouse.

Today: met Kelly at the track for 3x800/200 (she was just doing an easy 45 min). I warmed up a bit sluggishly in 10:26; had only 5 hr sleep so maybe that had something to do with it :)? Also, it was SO VERY VERY WINDY. Garmin website says 18kph but I am sure it was more than that, from the east. It was insanely windy. Normally I'd have taken it indoors, but this workout doesn't work on a 292m track with no markings, and Kelly would've had to pay $6 to get in, so I just did it outside anyway. At the end of the workout I took a picture of the flag - see? It was WINDY.

I did some dynamic stretches and then some bridges to activate my glutes and off I went. The workout went pretty well, I thought. Some speed is coming back, though I have a ways to go to get back to where I was 2.5 years ago (feels like a lifetime ago) before I got sick. Still, baby steps!

The 800/200s work like this: 800m, rest 30 sec, 200m, rest 2 min, repeat. Simple, but good for the fast-twitch muscles.

My times were as follows: 4:34.2, 59.0, 4:32.8, 59.2, 4:32.7, 59.8. Very consistent and decent speed. I was glad I only had three, though. My legs were kinda tired after that!

Garmin data here. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

3K fartlek + 4x500m; indoor track

I've been staying up too late, and it finally caught up with me. I slept until 6:45 am (9 hr of sleep!) and then didn't have time to hit the outdoor track before work. Oops! Plus work is really busy, working on a poster for the Society for Neuroscience meeting and also getting a demo of this very cool zebrafish behavior monitoring rig today. But I did make myself go to the indoor track after work and got in a very nice workout even though I was tired.

The workout was 3K fartlek + 4x500m, and because I was on the indoor 292.6m track I modified it to be 2 laps fast, 2 laps medium, 2 fast, 2 medium, 2 fast (2926m for 3K fartlek), and then 2 min rest followed by 585.2m (2 laps), 2 min rest, 2 laps, 2 min rest, 2 laps, 2 min rest, 1 lap. Total was 17 laps or 4974m. My total time for that was 28:36 (36:36-8 min rest), which works out to 28:45 for 5K, which I think is pretty good for that workout right now, so I'm pleased. Here are my splits, below, for what it's worth.

First column is lap #, then time, then cumulative time, then ave HR for the lap and finally max HR for the lap. Garmin data here. 

My legs were pretty tired afterward, but nothing a good night's sleep won't cure. Quads are still sore from the running on Tuesday morning :). Haha racewalking problems!!!

1 01:36.1 01:36.1 146 160
2 01:40.3 03:16.4 160 161
3 01:46.6 05:03.0 156 160
4 01:46.3 06:49.3 154 158
5 01:39.0 08:28.3 162 165
6 01:39.8 10:08 166 168
7 01:49.1 11:57 162 168
8 01:48.1 13:45 159 161
9 01:40.0 15:25 164 167
10 01:39.5 17:05 168 170
11 01:59.9 19:05 142 169
12 01:37.8 20:42 153 164
13 01:40.5 22:23 165 167
14 02:00.5 24:23:00 138 167
15 01:38.3 26:02:00 154 164
16 01:39.7 27:41:00 166 168
17 02:00.9 29:42:00 135 167
18 01:38.4 31:21:00 153 164
19 01:39.9 33:01:00 165 168
20 02:00.1 35:01:00 140 168
21 01:35.8 36:36:00 154 166
Summary 36:36:00 36:36:00 154 170

Just converted these times to 500m times and they are fast! Nice!!! The 3:01.8 and 3:05.5 are the medium effort intervals on the fartlek. All my fasts are under 2:50 but one, and the last one was 2:43.6! Yay!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015


I was going to do speed work today, but I've not been getting enough sleep and it's affecting me too much. Time to re-prioritize! I went to the Taylorsville High track and met Kelly at 5:45 (UGH!) because she had to work in Provo today. I warmed up with 1600m racewalking but legs were really sluggish; still, my strides were OK. I decided to stretch and start my workout and at least go 500m and see how it was. When the first 500m was 2:56, I decided that perhaps I should do this workout tomorrow instead. So, I jogged with Kelly for the remaining time until 6:30 when she had to leave, which was about 20 min. My quads are now killing me because I NEVER run, so I admit I'm a bit amused. I don't think that will mess me up for tomorrow's speed work, but if it does, well, then I'll be the stronger for it.

Total: about 15 min racewalking and 20 min running.

Monday, October 12, 2015

rest day; 8K with 3x2' @ 5K pace

Yesterday: rest day :)

Today: 8K w/3x2'@5K pace. Met Kelly at the JRP at 6:20am and we could definitely tell that it's fall. It was dark and seasonably chilly (it's been so warm that we are spoiled!) at 7.8C/46F. I wore a long-sleeved shirt and shorts, which was fine, but forgot my gloves and wished I had them for the first 4-5km, after which my hands were fine.

I was a bit tired this morning, but it was self-inflicted, as I stayed up a bit late last night assembling a new desk (for me! yay! have been wanting my own desk for years but had no room for it in the old house) while watching the Chicago marathon (DVR'd it from Sunday morning when I was too busy to watch). Loren did the desk with me and we enjoyed the project, but it was late when I got to bed, and then getting up early was tough.  But my legs felt good even if my mind was a bit addled, and I had a good workout. I did the 8K at 6:19/km average pace with ave HR 144. I included 3x2'@5km pace and that went great as well. I calculated that I'd go 348m in 2 min at 5:45/km, and on the first 2' interval I went exactly 350m. On the second I forgot to note where I started, so I'm not sure how far I made it, and on the last I went 380m!!! Fast - that's 5:16/km! OK, so it was only for 2 minutes, but still...nice! My dog Sugar even kept up on the fast intervals, no problem.

Garmin data here. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

8K, 14K

Thursday: cross-training; rode bike to work and did 30 min elliptical too.

Friday: 8K easy with Kelly on the JRP. My legs were tired to start, but perked up after 2k. I was pleased with the workout and felt good when we finished. I did 6:24/km for a total of 51:18 with ave HR 143. Garmin data here.

Today: Was to do 12K, but I still have delusions of grandeur and want to do the 20K on October 25, even if it's at an easy pace. So when my legs felt good, I added another 2km and did a total of 14km. Plus I was nice & fast and my heart rate was very reasonable at an average of 146; however, I did have to stop a lot for the dog (pooped THREE times!!! - apparently she's been saving it up since we moved?) and for drinks at the water fountains, and because I ran into a work friend on the JRP, so my HR would've been a little higher if I'd gone continuously. Regardless, I felt very good the whole time and pulled off 6:16/km for 1:27:51. I'm super happy with that. Garmin data here. 

My toe is still sore and tender, but it only bothers me a bit when I racewalk. Otherwise, things are going very well. My hamstring seems to have improved.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

6K fartlek

This morning: got up early and met Kelly at the Taylorsville High track instead of my usual track (East High). It's close to Kelly's work, and halfway between our houses, more or less, so it's perfect. It has a very nice Mondo surface in fabulous condition, and convenient parking and easy access. The weather was beautiful this morning, and I'm savoring that while it lasts. It won't be shorts and T-shirt weather much longer. It was 11.1C (52F) and calm and clear, and the moon, Venus, and Jupiter were all lined up beautifully - a gorgeous sight!

I did the usual 1600m warm-up with strides, in 10:12; legs felt pretty good. Did some bridges for glute activation and then I got started on the workout. I felt really good for the first 3k and then I did get tired, but I'm still pleased with how I did, especially considering that I did 8K at 6:21/km yesterday. My fast 500s were all 2:50-2:53 except the last one, which was 2:55; I did get pretty tired at the end (though I continued to push very hard). My medium effort 500s started off well (3:06!) but then quickly degenerated to over 3:14. Still, I finished the workout in 36:08, which I am quite happy with.

I'm also happy because I've managed to maintain my weight through the move. I was 152.6 this morning, which makes me very pleased. Only a few more pounds to drop to be at racing weight :). Realistically, that might take a while, and the holidays are coming, so I have to be careful. But that's the lowest I've been in a couple years, since the mystery illness took hold. I'm so glad that I'm feeling better - it's amazing to be healthy, and I don't want to take it for granted.

Garmin data here. 

Here's a photo of the track as I was leaving.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Good 7.9km walk!

I was moving all weekend, so I didn't blog.

Thursday: 5K with Calvin, some slow so he could racewalk. Yep, I'm teaching him! We'll see if it sticks but he seems quite interested...finally! Most 500s he walked a bit and ran a bit, so I had to go a little slower for him on his walking parts...thus the overall time is a bit slow; 33:14 for 6:38/km.

Garmin data here. 

Friday: 6K with Kelly around Liberty Park. MOVING DAY! Tired from packing...and it's time to start moving stuff to the new house. But the walk went well, and the weather was warm and very nice. 13.9C (57F) and cloudy and a bit windy, but not too bad. Legs felt pretty good, and we walked well, at 6:30/km for the 6K in 39:03.

Garmin data here. 

Saturday: 45 min easy with Kelly on the Jordan River Parkway. This after both of us were moving furniture and boxes all day Friday. Exhausting! We had to go early (6am) because Kelly had to work, and so got stuck in a light to moderate rain for the whole time. Fortunately, it was relatively warm out so I didn't get cold, but I didn't have my baseball cap because I'd packed it (GRRRRR) so got pelted in the face with rain. Oh well. I lived :). It was 12.8C (55F) and not windy at least. We did pretty well on very tired legs, at 6:34/km for the 6.86 km (45:02).

Garmin data here. 

Sunday & Monday: rest days from exercise - on Saturday afternoon after we got out of the house, I was SO dead tired. Felt terrible! Sunday all day I did pretty much NOTHING and I'm sure that helped. Monday we had to redistribute furniture in the new house (could only put it in one (big) room prior to that, as the seller needed to live there through Monday morning), and that was enough workout for the day. Whew.

Today: Wasn't sure how my legs would be, but they actually felt really, really good. I met Kelly at the JRP for an easy 50 min, and we did very well in nice weather (16.1C, 60F and breezy). 7.89km in 50:03 for 6:21/km with ave HR 150. Felt great to move well. Legs a bit sore afterward, as is the rest of my body, probably from moving. But other than unpacking and moving one more big piece of furniture (a bookcase that has to be disassembled and reassembled to move it into our bedroom), we are done. YAY!!!!!

Garmin data here. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

3K fartlek - struggle

Monday & Tuesday: bike to work; elliptical.

Today: Was to do an 8K fartlek. I woke up feeling great (really!) and well-rested, and was happy to go to the track. Calvin came along because he says he actually wants to learn to racewalk, which I am very excited about :)! Kelly met us there for a workout, as she was going to RW for about 45 min or so. I warmed up, and felt very sluggish on the warm-up. I was slow, and my legs just wouldn't move. They didn't feel tired at all - it was weird - they just didn't have any get-up-and-go. I don't know how to explain it. My warm-up was a slow 10:23, though I did do a couple 32-33 second 100m strides, which is pretty normal for my warm-up. 

I stretched a bit and did bridges to activate my glutes, and got going. I figured I might do well - you never know - sometimes you have a bad warm-up and everything goes great. And sometimes, well, sometimes it's like it was today. I had NOTHING. My times were 2:57, 2:57, 3:12, 2:57, 3:17 (!), and 2:56 for 18:16. Yeah...really bad. No sense in beating a dead horse, so I called it quits. You have to know when to not beat your body, and if it's just not responding, sometimes the rest is better.

Garmin data here. 

I'm VERY disappointed though, and frustrated with my body. I did so well last week on the 6K fartlek, and to have this happen is a real bummer. There's nothing I can do about it though. I have been pretty relaxed and taking the stress of the last week in stride, and my resting HR has been nice and low - consistently 50-51 according to my Fitbit. Despite all the work being done on the house in preparation for closing, I've felt decent and not too anxious. But I guess the physical strain on my body from dismantling the garage, moving a whole bunch of stuff, cleaning up the yard, packing, etc. etc. etc. has done a number on me. SO ANNOYING. I really want to train hard. I might not be able to do the 20K on Oct 25, and might have to do the 5K instead, which would really be disappointing. I'm going to wait until the end of next week to decide, though. Maybe once we move I'll perk up? Meanwhile, I'm just going to do what I can. 

Good news, though: we closed on the house (old home) this morning :)! Friday we close on the new house :). Friday & Saturday we are moving stuff, and Monday night we get to sleep there for the first time (the seller needs until Monday to stay there). Exciting stuff!

Monday, September 28, 2015

news, news, and more news

I've been absent from blogging-land because 1) I severely bruised my toe last Tuesday moving a bookshelf to our new house when a shelf fell out and landed on my toe, point side down (we had to move our stuff out of our garage to the new garage so we could demolish the old garage), and 2) we have been completing repairs/upgrades to the house necessary for the contract to go through.

So...what have I been up to?

Wednesday: rode my bike to work, and my toe was sore but manageable. Got it x-rayed and it was NOT broken! YAY! It sure looked ugly though:

Thursday: rode bike to work and did the elliptical.

Friday: rode bike to work; too busy to do anything else, and too tired, after demolishing the garage on Thursday AND moving ALL the stuff out of the kids' rooms so that new carpet could go in on Friday morning.

Saturday: Felt like it might be possible to racewalk, so I met Kelly at the Jordan River Parkway for an easy 45 minutes. We did 7K and it felt mostly fine - a bit sore, but totally tolerable. Pace was 6:28/km and it felt a bit hard; my legs were tired from demolishing the garage Thursday. Garmin data here. 

Sunday: Kelly was going to do 60 min easy, and I agreed to go along. She wanted to be able to go slowly, so we kept it relaxed and didn't push, which was fine with me because my legs were still very tired. We did go slowly but that's OK, and my toe was doing all right. Again, some pain, but not bad. We did 9km at 6:39/km pace. Garmin data here. 

Today: biked to work and did elliptical. Toe still lightly sore. It looks a lot better though.

Tomorrow: 8K fartlek on the schedule. Here's hoping I'm up to it :).

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

6K fartlek

Sunday: 45 min elliptical at Kelly's gym.

Monday: 35 min elliptical at the U, then biked to work.

Today: 6K fartlek. Kelly met me at the East High track. The normal entrance was locked, but fortunately the west entrance was unlocked. I hope they continue to let the public use the track; now that they have upgraded the football field they might be afraid that it will get damaged. But I have noticed that the public is very respectful of this facility, and I hope they keep it open.

The weather was quite warm this morning for this time of year, and it felt really nice. It was 13.9C (57F) and calm and clear. I did a very easy first lap and then sped up a bit, doing the usual 1600m warm-up with 2x100m strides in the last lap, in 10:23. Then I stretched (dynamic stretches) and then Kelly ran me through some bridges and clamshells to activate my glutes. It's really nice to have one's own personal PT!!!! And as a bonus, I had very little trouble with my hamstring; it was a bit touchy on the warm-up, but didn't bother me too much at all on the fartlek. My left foot was a bit sore yesterday, but it was totally fine on the workout as well.

Kelly warmed up with me, jogging, but then jogged slowly while I did the fartlek and cheered me on. She is just working on getting back in shape and racewalked pretty hard on Monday, so she needed a break today.

The fartlek went really well! My fast 500s were all 2:50-2:52, and my medium effort 500s were 3:05-3:13. I'd like the mediums to be faster, but that's coming. I made it to 5K in 29:45, only 17 seconds slower than my race last Saturday. Obviously I was feeling better today, for whatever reason. Total time was 35:52, and I'm quite happy with that, as it's 45 seconds faster than last week :). Splits below.

Garmin data here. 

1 02:52.5 02:52.5 144 155
2 02:52.7 05:45.2 158 163
3 03:05.5 08:50.7 157 163
4 02:50.5 11:41 164 166
5 03:08.8 14:50 161 166
6 02:51.4 17:41 166 168
7 03:10.5 20:52 162 168
8 02:50.6 23:42 168 171
9 03:11.4 26:54:00 164 171
10 02:51.6 29:45:00 169 172
11 03:13.5 32:59:00 164 172
12 02:52.7 35:52:00 169 173
Summary 35:52:00 35:52:00 162 173

Saturday, September 19, 2015

USATF-Utah Association 5K racewalk

Yesterday: 30 min elliptical with Kelly. I was exhausted; had worked 12 days in a row as of yesterday, and with all the house stuff it was a lot. My boss let me off a couple hr early (he's grateful for all the work I did) but did I rest? Only a little, because I'd promised Calvin I'd take him to the bookstore to get a book he's been wanting. When we got home, I did rest for about 30 min, but then we were off to a 50th birthday party and then the symphony. Whew.

Photos: race finishers, at left. Stevie, me, Shelly, Kathy. Below - judges, volunteers, racers.

Today: I wasn't really at all in the mood to race this morning. I had no energy left to mentally put into a race after all the mental energy expended for work and house stuff this week. So while I raced as hard as I could this morning, I think if I'd been in a better mental space I'd have been able to race harder. My heart rate only averaged 162 for the race, which for me is low for a 5K, though I did push very hard the last 500m and my HR got up to 175 max, which is pretty typical for the end of a 5K. Nancy (who was judging today) said that I looked sluggish at the beginning, but that the 2nd time around the park I looked like I was in my game. But in GOOD news, both Jim (also judging) and Nancy said that my posture looked fantastic. HA! I've been working very hard on that, especially with the recent hamstring issue. My hamstring did bother me a bit today, but it wasn't bad, and I did focus a lot on the form.

So - the race. I started off somewhat conservatively, effort-wise, because I really wanted to make sure I had enough gas in the tank for the full 5K. Good thing I did, because my first km was my fastest at 5:47.5 (each km is marked on this well-measured course). Of course, Liberty Park is NOT completely flat, and actually I do not think it's a fast course because of that. But that's not an excuse. I'm clearly not in my best shape, physically or mentally. My 2nd km was the slowest at 5:57.8, but it also has the most uphill of any of the km on this course, and again, I was trying not to go out too hard. I kept a steady effort on the 3rd km, and with its slight downhill it was a bit faster at 5:53.6. The 4th km I held on and tried to pick it up a bit, but with the slight uphill I only managed 5:56.4. I am proud of the hard effort I put forth on the last km; I wanted to do well, and pulled off a 5:52.7.

Total time 29:28.0. Not great, but considering the last 6 weeks, I'll definitely take it. Good speed work to build towards a 20K race at the end of October in Sacramento.

Oh, and for the record, the weather was awesome for this 8am race. Calm, clear, 8.9C (48F). Shorts and T-shirt; a bit chilly in the hands but otherwise good.

Garmin data here.