Saturday, January 31, 2015

10K racewalking :)

I made it to 10K, AND I feel good. Mostly. My toe got more annoyed than usual, starting to bug me a lot at 8K or so. I probably need to take some ibuprofen and ice it but I keep putting it off...lots to do on the weekend.

The weather was very cooperative, warm for January at 2.8C (37F) with a light breeze and sunshine, and very little air pollution with PM2.5 at 3.9 ug/m3 this morning. I took Sugar along and we had a very enjoyable walk together.

My Garmin has been acting really odd in the first 500m of my walks. Sometimes it WAY overestimates the distance and sometimes underestimates. This morning it marked 500m about 30 seconds too I'm adding 30 sec to my total time for "10K" as the watch recorded it. It's funny, because after that first 500m it always seems fine; when I do the same route it marks 500m at the same spots. Oh well. Annoying but not insurmountable.

I felt very good today - my legs felt well-recovered, and were not heavy and tired until about 8.5km. That is a vast improvement over Thursday and Friday. I know I'll have more bad days, but I have to enjoy the good ones, right?

Total: 10K in 1:03:58 (with the extra 30 sec) for 6:24/km with ave HR 149. 

Edited to add photo:

Friday, January 30, 2015

easy 5K

Today an easy 5K was on the schedule. I was glad it was only 5K because my legs got a bit tired around 3K. No weird soreness, though, so we are all good so far.

It was a bit warmer this morning - unusually warm for January, in fact. It was 2.8C (37F), calm and cloudy. The pollution levels were higher, in the "yellow" zone, with PM2.5 at 13 ug/m3. That's still pretty low here for January, so not complaining too much there. I did my part and took the bus to work this morning, and walked the kids to school.

Total for today was 32:18 for the 5K, which is 6:27/km with ave HR 145. 

It's been a very stressful week with lots of things to take care of regarding Loren's dad's estate, and lots of conversations with family members. Some very stressful, and some very nice, mostly depending on which family member we were talking too :). I'm just noting this because I want to sort of keep tabs on the stress levels in my blog, so if that affects things a lot I'll be more informed.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

elliptical; very slow 8K

Yesterday: 45 min elliptical

Today: This morning was a very slow 8K. But it's done. My legs felt fine - no weird soreness, not sore in any way, but I was just slow. By 6K they felt very heavy, and then I was even slower. No matter - coach promised that times are not important right now. I have a hard time remembering that, and I admit it's discouraging being so slow, but I have to remember that climbing out of this hole is going to be very slow at the outset and then I'll gain momentum. Hopefully.

For the record, the weather was -2.2C (28F) with a very slight breeze. It felt a lot colder, perhaps because the humidity was 90%. Damp makes everything feel colder. Brrrrrr. The air quality was good, though - we have a problem with pollution here, especially in the winter. Today the PM2.5 was 3.9 ug/m3, which is quite good for January (a "green" day), but we had a front come through and clean things out. Other mornings this week the air quality has been "yellow", at 21 ug/m3 or more. I am going to start tracking this and see if it's affecting my workouts. Ironically, I received a telephone survey as I was typing this, and the survey had many questions about my opinion about what the Utah Legislature should do about our air quality. It does impact my life as someone who exercises outside and as someone who has young children who do not get to play outside at school on "red" days.

Anyway...that was a long detour.

Total time was 52:55 for 6:37/km with ave HR 149. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

3K fartlek

I wasn't super excited about doing this workout, mostly because I knew I'd be slow. But on the other hand, I am happy I can do it --- so I had mixed feelings. Add in cold, and dark, and wasn't easy to get out of bed. But I did, and I'm celebrating that small achievement.

I got to the track (and it was still dark, and still cold at -1C, or 30F). For January, that's actually warm, so I guess I can be happy about that? There was a slight breeze which chilled me a bit every time I came around the 100m mark. I warmed up OK in 10:05 for 1600m including 2x100m strides, and my legs felt well-recovered. No weird soreness, and not excessively heavy. But I didn't feel fast.

I wasn't fast. Before I started I took a few deep breaths and said out loud (there was no one else there), "If this takes me 18:30 or 19:00 it doesn't matter at all. I'm just getting started. I will get faster. Time doesn't matter." Or something to that effect. I was really trying to believe it, and I DO believe it. It's still hard to be slow, but yeah, you've gotta start somewhere.

I am proud that I worked very hard today and my HR was very high - I obviously gave this my all for a workout of this type. My ave HR was 165, and my max was 174. Today's achievement was in getting out of bed, getting out to the track, and working hard. That is where the accomplishment is.

Time: 18:27 with splits of 2:54.4, 2:58.4, 3:18.2, 2:59.1, 3:19.9, and 2:57.4. All mostly irrelevant. Merely a baseline for comparison, or so I'm telling myself.

Some more perspective: in 2011, when coming back from not training for at least a similar length of time, my first fartlek was slower than today (18:34) with the same HR. So this seems like a reasonable first outing today.

My toe is still a bit swollen and sensitive, but speed work is not exacerbating it. I'm adding a picture just because it's interesting (to me anyway). You can see how toe #4 (next to pinky toe) is wider and puffy. But the pain isn't bad at all; just a bit sore, and it lets me know if it's had enough (i.e. after standing a lot doing fish work in the lab).

Monday, January 26, 2015

slow 8K but still feeling good

Coach Jim told me to not worry at all about my speed right now. If I'm slow for the next month, no matter; what's critical is recovery from workouts. So, when I was slow this morning, I tried to just focus on getting some exercise, having good form, and just enjoying being out there. The latter was a bit tricky because it was chilly, though my dog Sugar loved it. Considering that it's January it was actually pretty warm, but I'm a cold wimp. It was 31F (about -1C) and calm and clear, but my legs felt rather cold, and I was more than ready for a hot shower afterward.

I was slow and my legs felt surprisingly heavy, though none of the weird soreness was apparent. After yesterday's rest day I figured I'd be faster, but oh well. I wasn't.

Total time: 8K in 52:41 for 6:35/km with ave HR 155. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

schedule for the upcoming week

Hot off the press - posting so I have it written down somewhere convenient :).

8km mon, fartlek tues, 8km thurs, 5km fri, 10km sat

8K and doing a bit better today

I did 8K today. I'm really happy about it for two reasons:

1) It was my FIFTH racewalking workout this week. Now, admittedly, the workout yesterday was very short (3.6km including warm-up), but I haven't done five workouts in one week in a very long time, probably since before the mystery illness started in spring 2013 (though I haven't looked).
2) My legs felt good; a bit tired the last km, but good overall. I wouldn't have wanted to go 10km today, so the distance was right for this week, but I feel good. I recovered well from yesterday's brief speed work.

So - onward and upward!

More details - weather was good for January, at -2.2C (28F) and clear and calm. It was sunny; I waited until 9am to go because I wanted to walk in the sunshine instead of the dark, and now that the kids are older that is an option on Saturdays :). I brought the dog, and we had a great time together.  Sugar is SO happy that I'm racewalking again, because that means she's getting lots of exercise, and she loves it too.

Totals: 8K in 51:13 for 6:24/km with ave HR 150. I'm very happy with that! My toe hurt a tiny bit for the first km and then settled in and was maybe a 1 of 10 on the pain scale for the rest of the walk. I'll take that. It's continuing to improve gradually. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

2K fartlek

Warm-up: 1600m plus strides in 10:02. I felt OK. It's more effort to do 6:15-6:20/km pace than it should be...sigh.....

Workout: 2K fartlek: 400m fast, 400m medium effort, 400m fast, 400m medium effort, 400m fast. Coach gave me this to help me ease back in. Usually we do a 3K fartlek but I was happy to do just this much - my legs are just pathetic. Actually, they feel fine now (lunch time) but my performance on this workout was just sad :(. Oh well. I'll get better. The main question at this point is how I will recover and how I'll feel tomorrow.

Times: total time 12:08.
400m fast 2:14
medium 2:38
fast 2:20
medium 2:39
fast 2:18

Garmin data here.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

elliptical; 6K

Yesterday: 45 min elliptical.

Today: 6K racewalking. It was quite cold this morning at 21F (-6.1C). Yay, January. At least it was calm and not snowing. My legs felt decent today, too. Last night while watching a play at Calvin's school, they got kind of irritated with sitting for an hour; likewise this morning at breakfast with my dad, but I'd say the soreness was minimal and doesn't seem to be a big deal. I'm just noting it in case it changes appreciably. The 6K this morning was a bit better than the walks on Monday and Tuesday in that my legs didn't feel too tired or heavy until about 5K, and even then, they were pretty good. Improvement noted. However, my HR still got up to 160 trying to keep my pace at 6:30 or less. I did succeed at that, though. It will be nice when I am back in a little better shape. That's going to take time and effort, and right now I'm trying not to think too much about that, as it's discouraging.

Total time: 38:39 for 6K for 6:27/km with ave HR 150. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Weather: 30F (-1.1C) and calm and clear. Air quality good. It was dark when I started though, as usual for a weekday winter morning.

I walked 6K today, and after doing 8K yesterday it went all right. My legs actually felt a bit better than yesterday, but I was slower, at 6:35/km on average today. I was annoyed that I was so slow, but despite pushing up the incline at the end, with HR 160, I just couldn't go any faster. It's frustrating to start over, and it feels like all that spinning I did was for nothing. I know it'd be worse if I hadn't done the spinning, but it doesn't FEEL that way. It just feels kinda crappy.

I had a tiny bit of soreness yesterday afternoon upon prolonged sitting (1.5 hr coffee with Sarah); this morning there is some soreness in hammies and glutes. Maybe some of the weird soreness. Maybe not. Hard to tell.

Total for today: 6K in 39:32 with ave HR 153, for 6:35/km. 

Monday, January 19, 2015


It feels lame to be excited about making it 8K, but I am, and it's not lame, so I am going to celebrate it anyway. Yesterday I took a rest day; I was pretty sore after Saturday's 6K. Just the normal DOMS mind you, nothing else - no weird soreness - but I was even still a bit sore this morning when I woke up. I stretched a bit before getting out of my warm, comfy bed, and I could feel the muscles whining a bit, but knew it was nothing serious so didn't worry.

I lazed around a bit, enjoying the holiday morning (kids are old enough to entertain themselves, more or less, with some minor intervention for fights), and then got dressed to go racewalk. It is really warm here right now for January, not that I'm complaining! It was 40F (4C) when I went out at about 9:30am, and calm and partly cloudy. I took the dog and started walking. My toe whined for about the first km as usual, but then settled in and didn't bother me much. My legs felt great for the first 3km, and then my layoff and lack of RW fitness took its toll and I started to hurt a bit. It wasn't bad, though, and definitely not a death march, for which I was grateful. Just garden-variety heavy legs from disuse. I still made it the 8K in decent time (for me right now).

Total: 8K in 51:32 for 6:26/km with ave HR 151. My HR was pretty high going up the slight incline at the end; I'm out of shape :(. But that will change.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

elliptical; 6K

Yesterday: 40 min elliptical.

Today: Jim said I should do another 6K. I think if the last one hadn't been so tough he'd have suggested 8K, but 6K it was, and that was fine. Today went much better than Thursday! Since it's Saturday and I had the luxury of waiting until the sun was up to walk, that's what I did. It was still cold out, though, and since it had snowed a little/freezing rain last night, the roads were quite slick with black ice in many spots, particularly on my street and some of the smaller streets. It did slow me down a little in places, as there's absolutely no toe push possible on ice. However, most of my route was fairly ice-free, though I had to walk on the outside edge of the sidewalk in Liberty Park.

My legs felt a lot better today; my shins are still a bit sore, and my hamstrings are complaining a little about Wednesday's and Thursday's workouts, but not enough to be a problem. Overall, I felt decent today and though I pushed a little to do it, I was able to maintain a 6:30/km pace on average. I'm trying not to dwell on the fact that that used to be slow for me. Right now it is what it is. I'm coming back from a lot of stuff and I have to accept it and be patient with it. On the bright side, Sugar (our dog) is so happy to be out walking again :). She was socializing a lot with the other dogs en route, and it was nice to have her along. Oh, and I almost forgot - I ran into my RW buddies Nancy and Diane at Liberty Park and stopped for a chat. They were out with a new RWer, Carol, and it was just so nice to see them. We chatted about this and that and we are all really looking forward to going to the 15K in Riverside in May.

My toe is doing OK. It hurts a little when I walk and when I RW, but it's not severe. It definitely gets a bit annoyed from racewalking, but in my judgment not enough to justify continued time off.

Total: 6K in 39:02 for 6:30/km with ave HR 149. Garmin data here. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Today was a toughie. I am soooooooooo out of shape when it comes to racewalking. Obviously I'm in good cardiovascular shape with all the spinning I've been doing, but my RW muscles are out of condition, big-time. My shins were sore (so rookie!) this morning when I went out, and everything just felt heavy and flat. I was slow. I mostly managed not to get too down about this, realizing that it's just gonna be this way for a bit and I have to get through it and be kind to myself about it.

It was an average January morning, at -4C (25F) and calm and a bit foggy as we're having the rumblings of an inversion. Yay. Crappy air quality on the way. Oh well... winter... I'm doing my part by taking the bus instead of driving to work. Today I didn't get in my car at all, as I RW for exercise (did not drive to the gym) and then took the bus to work and back home. Loren picked up the kids from afterschool, but other than that, I don't think he drove either as he worked from home today.

Anyway...totals for the workout: 6K in a slow 40:20 for 6:43/km with ave HR 144. Slow and painful. But it's a start.

Garmin data here. 

Edited to add: toe is doing decently; still hurts but not any worse after RW and doesn't hurt a lot. Also, muscles may be sore but it's not the weird soreness. None of that :) for which I'm grateful.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

3.5km racewalking

I have a cold now (thanks to my adorable petri-dish-viral-incubator children) and with the exhaustion from the trip slept from 9pm to just before 7am. I got up and still figured I had time to do a quick RW before getting the kids off to school. They are old enough now that they do most of the preparations themselves but still need a little supervision.

I wasn't sure that RW was a great idea because of feeling sick, but decided that I could always quit if it was too bad. It felt good, actually, except for stopping to hack and cough about halfway through :). My legs felt fine for the 3.5 km, and my toe hurt for the first km (maybe a 2 out of 10 pain-wise) but then settled down and didn't bother me much.

Total: 3.5km in 22:43 for 6:29/km with ave HR 148. Garmin data here. 

If I feel good later, might go to the gym for some elliptical. If not, I will rest.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Very difficult week

The last week has been ridiculously hard. I am not going into the details here; suffice it to say that my father-in-law died last Tuesday, and we had to suddenly pick up and go to Bakersfield, CA, where he lived. My husband is the executor of his estate, which is a difficult job, especially in this case.

I did manage to exercise. Some. I didn't eat too much, which is amazing. I actually appear to have lost a little weight, which is good.

Wednesday - prepping for trip. No time to exercise.

Thursday - driving all day. No workout.

Friday - elliptical 45 min at a gym in Bakersfield.

Saturday - elliptical 40 min and 20 min RW on treadmill at said gym. Toe was OK with that. I hate the treadmill but got Loren to walk on an adjacent treadmill so that was good.

Sunday - elliptical 45 min at gym.

Monday - driving all day. No workout.

Today - back in Salt Lake; went to the gym and did Kit's 6am spinning class. It was good, but I'm very, very tired now. Hopefully more sleep tonight.


Injury update: my toe is improving. It doesn't hurt as much for casual walking, though I still have a slight limp. Putting on socks is no longer painful as long as I'm careful. After all day on my feet, it still swells and is uncomfortable, but at least it's not hurting all the time. I can racewalk limited amounts and it does all right. Now that it's been 7 weeks, I might try racewalking a bit longer distances, though my muscles will object. I wish I could have racewalked this week, but it just wasn't in the cards with the location of our hotel and all the family business that had to be taken care of.


Here's a photo of Loren's dad which I really like, from the early 70s (I think). He died peacefully in his sleep at home, which we were all grateful for. Cause of death was heart disease/chronic bronchitis officially, but emphysema was his companion for the last few years. Yes, he was a long-time smoker. If you are reading this and you smoke, please do yourself a favor and quit.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

elliptical; 6K

Mood: stinky :(. However, I am working on it. Exercise is saving my bacon, as I wake up feeling big-time blah, and after a workout I feel decent. Then the afternoon slump, which can be partially ameliorated by a good latte :) whether homemade or from a coffee shop.

Yesterday: 1 hr elliptical because I was 10 min late for spinning. Hard to wake up early after a 4-day weekend! SO nice to have that 4-day weekend after 10 days straight of going in to work.

Today: I intended to spin, but didn't want to get out of bed, and as I was lying there, the thought occurred to me, "Hey, I could probably racewalk around Liberty Park". So I was still pitch black out (gotta love winter, but at least it was relatively warm for January at 30F (-2C)). The dog was ecstatic as she hasn't gotten much exercise since I broke my toe (no one else walks her...sigh...), and though my legs were tired and heavy the whole time and felt like cement, I did OK, doing 6:35/km for the 6K with ave HR 142. Time 39:28. My toe was sore-ish but not too bad; felt better after about 3km. to work, coffee in hand :)!

Saturday, January 03, 2015

7.77km :)

Look what I did! :)

7.77km on the Jordan River Parkway with Sarah. Sarah does Galloway run:walk, so I did 2 min racewalk: 1 min walk with her for the distance. She was doing 9 miles total; I met her after she did 4.1 miles, so the 7.77km was the remaining 4.9 miles she had to do. I figured my toe would hold up, and it did. It was really fine until about 6K when it started to be more painful, but it never got terrible. I was glad I could be out there, even though I felt like I was walking through sludge, and felt like a big uncoordinated oaf.

Then Sarah took me for a latte (skinny mocha). Yum! I'm lucky to have a friend like her :).

Spinning with Jen

Last night we went with some friends from China to dinner at a good restaurant, and took our kids as well. It was the first time we'd taken them to a very fine restaurant, and they rewarded us with good behavior. In fact, we were there eating for three hours, and I was amazed at how good they were. They enjoyed the experience as much as we did, I think.

Our friends hadn't had any very good Western-style food, I don't think, and that's what precipitated our visit. I was talking with my co-worker JingXia, and she was saying that most of the restaurants they'd eaten at weren't very good. When I quizzed her on what American food she'd tried, she said "Chili's, Applebee's, Ruby River" and continued listing some chain restaurants. (Amusing anecdote here: when quizzed if they had tried Mexican food, they said "Yes! Taco Bell!" This was immediately followed by detailed explanations about why Taco Bell does not even remotely count as Mexican food). I explained to JingXia that she just needed to try some very GOOD Western-style restaurants, and that then they would probably like the food. She seemed excited to try some new restaurants, and the other co-workers in the lab quickly chimed in with their own favorites and generated a big list for her. We also agreed to make a reservation at Log Haven in Millcreek Canyon for last night, and bring our families so that we could all try a lot of different dishes (JingXia is married and has a daughter Grace's age).

Needless to say, after consuming a good amount of fine food last night, I felt like spinning was a must this morning. I was also curious who the instructor would be, because Jen has been teaching a lot with Kit and Jeannie on vacation, and Jen had said yesterday that she was not teaching today. Imagine my surprise when I walked in to class and Jen was teaching! I said, "What are you doing here?" and she said, "Yeah, I know - I'm just as surprised as you are!". But I was glad to see her because she's a great instructor, and we had a very good workout combining flat road with accelerations and some climbs in between. My ave HR was 143, but I spent some good interval time in the upper 150s.

Later today I think I may try some walking/racewalking with my friend Sarah. We'll see what happens...

Friday, January 02, 2015

New Year's Revolution "Run"; Spinning

Yesterday: Guess what? I walked/racewalked 5.3km (12 laps of the Olympic Oval @442m each) and my toe was tolerable. Yes, it hurt a bit. Yes, I am still limping a bit (not a lot but enough that Nancy could tell which foot it was). But...I was able to get out there and do it. I did a few moderate pace laps (felt hard, but were not actually fast) as well as some nice and easy slower laps with Diane and Nancy. Yeah, and it took me 42 minutes to do it...sigh... but hey, at least I was out there. Ave HR only 127 so obviously not up to using RW as real exercise just yet; some laps it was high enough but I had to be careful of my toe and take it easy on other laps. Didn't want to overdo and make things worse.

Calvin came with me and did 13 laps (fast! He's a good little runner!) and we met my friend Sarah and her daughter Alle there. Post-race, we enjoyed brunch at the Dodo, always a favorite. I had a really good veggie omelet and a coffee. Lots of coffee :). Good coffee :) :) :).

Today: Spinning with Jen; it was a "recovery" workout as Jen taught a monster 90-min class yesterday (which I had to miss to go to the race...but that was OK!). I pushed it a bit harder than she said this morning so I'd get a good workout in, and that was excellent. My mood is a lot better today and I'm looking forward to training again in a few weeks (fingers crossed!). 

After spinning, I did some abs and some glute work for 10-15 min. I think I'll be feeling that tomorrow... but I MUST get back into shape and lift weights/do yoga/strength train again. It's time. I can feel that I need to be stronger. Let's hope I can stay motivated; provided I can keep my mood elevated enough I think I can. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.