Wednesday, April 29, 2015

tired 10K

I was supposed to do 12K today. I cut the workout short, because I was a lot more slow and tired than I thought I should be, and I have a few aches and pains that I think need to be babied a little. When I got to 7k and my left piriformis and right shin were bothering me, and my watch said I was already only 6:35/km, I decided that 10K was enough. Interestingly, my legs didn't feel as tired as on last week's 12K, but I was slower and a bit more sore.

I worked very hard to maintain good technique, especially posture, because I didn't want to aggravate anything. I'm sure it helped keep things from getting worse. Actually, as I went, my left piriformis felt a bit better. The right shin, not so much, but a day off ought to bring it around I think.

So...sorry coach, but it seemed wise to cut it short. Too bad; the weather was gorgeous at 10C (50F) and calm and clear. It's supposed to get up to 80 here today :). YES! Also, I was excited to wear some new shorts I bought myself for the race in Riverside. The test drive went well, and they are very comfortable in addition to looking good.

I probably need some technique tweaks of the kind that one can only get from in-person attention. Sigh...I could go back to the running clinic and get their PT people to help, as they are really good, but it's expensive. I have good insurance but feel guilty for using it for something so recreational. I mean, I don't *need* this. Or I could pay a few thousand to fly Jim over here for a week ;). Or...well...I can just muddle through and try to figure it out.

I really DO need to ask Jim about strength training - I want him to give me a specific regimen tailored to my current situation. I am afraid to add in too much all at once given that a 35-min bike ride a couple weeks ago killed my training for a few days. The wrong strength training right now will kill my training at a crucial time before the race, so I had better get my coach's advice.

Total time: 1:06:13 for 6:37/km with ave HR 144.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

8K + 5x200 @85%

My legs felt decent today after yesterday's 10K kickdown. Not perfect, but definitely not trashed either. The weather was lovely, so it was a bit easier to get out there this morning. It was 6.1C (43F) and sunny and clear. The sun is coming up earlier, so it's not really dark at all when I go out now; I just used my flashing reflective vest as a precaution because it wasn't all the way light yet either.

The 8K was pretty unremarkable; my legs felt pretty much fine though they were a bit tired in the last km uphill. I did 6:28/km for 51:45 with ave HR 146. Then I was to do 5x200m. I tied up the dog to a telephone pole after the first one, because she doesn't really like to do intervals (ha! neither do I!). I tried to not push too hard on these, going hard until my legs were a bit tired and then pushing moderately hard to the finish. That seemed to work OK. Total for the 5x200m was 5:23. Not fast...but fine I guess? The point is to get my legs moving and try to get my few remaining fast-twitch muscles to do something :).

Monday, April 27, 2015

10K kickdown

Yesterday: Rest day. Today: 10K fartlek!

Last night I got the pre-workout jitters. I knew I hadn't done one of these in a long time, and I was nervous. I looked up how long it had been...drum roll...the last time I did one was Dec 18, 2012. Wow. That shows you just how sick I have been and for how long. I should just feel really happy that I can do the workout again now, but I'm also sad for all the lost time. Not that I could do anything about it - I tried everything I could think of to get better sooner, but the illness remains a mystery.

Anyway, I was really nervous, and chatted a bit with my coach, who reassured me that it just didn't matter how I did on the workout. At this point, it's just money in the bank, so to speak. I was still apprehensive, but felt a bit better reminding myself that there was no pressure.

I had a hard time waking up. I have forgotten just how much extra sleep I can need when training hard, and I have been shorting myself a little on sleep. I had gotten into the habit of reading a lot more, but recently I have also played the piano more and have kept reading just as much, which means that I have been staying up too late. I'm writing this to remind myself that I need to prioritize sleep when training hard.

I arrived at the track and there was a big concrete truck there (see photo at left). They have been doing construction on the south end of the track, building something. New stands? More restrooms? I'm not sure, but I'm curious. So today they were pouring concrete, and I had something to watch for the first bit of my workout that wasn't so hard. Once it gets hard, watching them pour concrete is the last thing on my mind.

I was very glad I'd chosen the track, as I needed the pacing help. It's easy to know your pace when you can check every 100m. I'd have started out too fast otherwise. Jim wanted me to do 6:30/km pace for 2.5km, then 6:20, then 6:10, then all-out. 6:30/km is 39 seconds per 100m - easy to monitor on my watch. 6:20 is 38 seconds, 6:10 is 37 seconds, and then...well...I'd see what would happen. When I started I felt really good; my legs recovered perfectly from the 15km and were not sore or tired at all on Saturday afternoon or Sunday.

My first 2.5km was right on target at 16:13.7, and it felt easy. The second 2.5km also felt fairly easy, and at 15:43.2 was slightly faster than intended (15:50 was the goal) but in the ballpark. The third 2.5km I was definitely working, but not too hard, and did a 15:20 (goal was 15:25), so my pacing was pretty much right on. Then I just prayed I could hang on for the last 2.5km! I did 2:57.5 and 2:58.6 for the first two 500s, and felt my legs flagging a bit, then did 3:00.2 for the next one. I told myself I had this in the bag, and willed my legs to move faster, and finished with 2:59.1 and then gave it my all for a 2:54.7 for the last one :). Total for the last 2.5km was 14:50.1, and I am very happy with that for my current level of not-very-in-shape-just-yet. That predicts about a 59-min 10K, which seems about right for my level of fitness.

Jim called me after the workout (hey, it was only 12:15am there :) but he likes to stay up late) and pointed out that my last 3K was under 18:00 (it was 17:55.2) and that my last 5K was 30:10 (on the nose!). I'm pleased with that since my 8K fartlek FIRST 3K was over 18 min last week... yeah, I was on tired legs from the half marathon, but still, doing the last 3K of a kickdown workout faster is much harder in many ways. The kickdown is deceptively difficult because your legs get complacent and then it's hard to move them faster. Anyway, I was glad for the phone call and it was so nice to actually have good news for my coach.

Total time: 62:07 with average HR 154 and max 171. I averaged in the upper 160s on the last 2.5km, so I was definitely working it hard.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


I wasn't looking forward to 15K today, as my legs have been pretty tired all week as I adjust to "real" training. I say "real" because it's still a very low volume, but at least it's 5 days per week with 2 speed days and one long day.

I was indeed pretty tired but the first 12km weren't so bad. The last 3 were definitely on quite tired legs, but interestingly they weren't horribly slow or a death march. A bit slow, yes, but could have been much worse. Actually, my last 5K, which contains a gentle uphill, was not as slow as the middle 5K. Splits: 31:43, 32:40, 32:37.

My left foot (peroneus longus tendinitis where the tendon attaches at the 1st metatarsal - injury from a few years ago) was bothering me a little, interestingly. Haven't felt this one in a while. I focused on keeping good posture and that helped a lot, when I was not too tired to remember. Arrgh! It's hard to get everything right, but that's actually what I love about this sport is the mental AND physical challenge. You have to stay engaged mentally or it all goes to hell in a hand basket.

The weather was great - good thing since it rained really hard last night and is raining again now but I got a break this morning in the weather - it was sunny (!) and in the 40s F (about 6C I think) and warming up to about 50F (10C). I got hot in my tights because I wore my thick pair, and I also had a long-sleeved shirt which I pushed the sleeves up on so I'd stay cooler.

Total time: 1:37:01 for 6:28/km with ave HR 149.

I'm glad for a day off to rest tomorrow.

Friday, April 24, 2015

5x878m; making progress

I'm not the fastest person around by a long shot, but I'm able to train again, and I'm improving. I'm feeling very content right now :).

I stayed up too late last night (self-inflicted - music stuff!) and so I didn't get out of bed early enough to go to the track before the kids had to go off to school. I ended up going up to the U and planned to use the outdoor track there, after leaving my stuff in a locker in the Student Life Center (gym) next to the track. I walked over to the track, and the weather was gorgeous (~50F? 55?), but I was dismayed to see that the track team has put up barricades so that the public cannot use lanes 1-3. Arrrrrgh! There are about 6-8 of them around the track, making it impossible to use those lanes. I understand that they want to keep the track nice, but the hours are already SO limited (7am-noon M-F) and so I just don't get it. It's not like the track was getting super heavy use. I was VERY annoyed. I calculated (online calculator at that in lane 4 it would be 2.38 laps per km, and in my irritated state it did NOT occur to me that that wouldn't be too hard to figure out as I could just do 100m less in lane 4 and I'd only be off my 1kms by 20m. Oh well. I just went back inside and did the workout on the indoor track, which ended up being fine.

I warmed up for 5 laps (292.6m/lap) and on the last lap did strides. Did some dynamic stretching and then I got going. My legs felt well-recovered from Wednesday's 12k, as I only did 20 min elliptical yesterday. I felt GOOD and STRONG today, and did the workout just fine, thank you very much! My interval times were 5:00.1 (5:41.8 is the 1km equivalent), 4:59.7 (5:41.3), 4:58.7 (5:40.2), 4:59.3 (5:40.9), and 5:00.4 (5:42.1). I was a bit tired on that last one, and even though I pushed hard there was no faster gear, so it was just right to do 5 (vs 6, or more...). 5K equivalent would be 28:26, which is still slow but getting faster :). I was very proud that the intervals were so consistent, with less than 2 seconds between my slowest and fastest intervals. 

Oh, and one nice thing about the indoor intervals? I could go out on the balcony (at left, along with a picture of the facility from the outside - it's beautiful!) and cool off in between. I had 2 min rest between each interval and I walked on the balcony and got a drink of water between each one. Not bad. The track would've been nicer, but... well... next time I'll be prepared for a lane 4 workout. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Two minute post while waiting for the bus home!

Nice and warm today. 50F (10C) and breezy. Took the dog and off I went - legs felt very recovered from yesterday's 8K fartlek, so I was a bit surprised when I was pretty slow and fatigued quickly, but that seems reasonable in retrospect. By 6km my legs were tired, and by 8km they were very tired. I think when I got to 12km they felt more tired than after the half marathon on Saturday. Maybe that's just because there wasn't as much adrenaline going today? Anyway, I felt tired! But I kept going even though it was slow, and the training is now done and I get a cross-training day tomorrow.

Good news: no weird soreness afterward. My legs feel great! :)

Total time: 1:18:29 for 6:32/km with ave HR 149.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

8K fartlek on not-quite-recovered legs

Yes, today was a speed work day.

Yes, my legs were still tired from the half marathon on Saturday.

Yes, I was slow and found it difficult.

BUT, after almost quitting at 5K, I dug deep, found another gear I didn't know I had, and finished the workout on an up note. I told myself "mind over matter", and reminded myself that there was no judgment here because my legs are tired post-race. I told myself it didn't matter if I was slow, because speed work will make me faster. I remembered that I needed to be able to keep going on tired legs when I do the 15K in Riverside in just under 4 weeks (!). SO...I finished it! Photo and video included when I finished :).
I'm very proud of my hard work, and hopefully it will pay off. I need to get back my mojo and my mental confidence, and this was a start. how slow was I? Haha, pathetically slow. I did the 8K fartlek in 49:08 with ave HR 160, so I was working hard. My "fasts" if you can call them that, were 2:53.7-3:00.4 (the 3:00.4 was at 5K, when I almost gave up, but thankfully did not; I pulled off 2:57.0, 2:57.1, and 2:53.8 for the last three!), and medium effort recoveries were 3:09.5-3:15.8 (the 3:15.8 was at 5K, and believe it or not I got faster on the last three recoveries too). I'm not proud of the speed of this workout, but rather of the physical and mental stamina that I found. That means something.

Garmin data here. 

Bonus: the weather was super nice this morning. 8.9C or 48F with a slight breeze. Awesome. I wore long sleeves and capris and gloves, and ditched the gloves after about 15 minutes and rolled up my sleeves. April is lovely when it's not raining or snowing :).

Some photos from the half marathon on Saturday:

Monday, April 20, 2015

recovery; 6K

I'm recovering well from the half marathon on Saturday. No weird soreness at all - that's the good news. The (very minor) bad news is that I have a lot of delayed onset muscle soreness, especially in my trapezoids and deltoids (feels like I did too many weights) and also some in abs, glutes, shins, etc.  So I took a rest day yesterday :).

Today: coach gave me the choice of an 8K fartlek or 6K with 5x200s. I was too sore for speed work, so opted for 6K, no 200s :). The 6K was unremarkable, other than that I'm definitely sore and not feeling speedy at all. It was a gorgeous morning and nice to be out walking.

Total: 38:55 for 6:29/km with ave HR 143. HR nice and low; legs tired.

Garmin data here. 


I was feeling a bit sorry for myself reading Facebook and seeing that a FB friend who is quite a good runner, and also 43yo, did 1:36:40 with minimal training 12 weeks after knee surgery. Of course, that's about how much training I've had: minimal for a half marathon, and really only a couple months walking since breaking my toe. So I ran the numbers through an age-grade calculator, and her age grade was 72.93% and mine was 71.19%. Pretty close! That made me feel better. Nice to do >70% age grade with minimal training. I suppose I'll take it.

And in other good news, my coach actually wrote a 4-week long program for me leading up to the 15K next month :). First time in a year he's written me more than a week or two at a time. I'm optimistic!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Salt Lake City Half Marathon 2015

This is a sentimental race for me, because it was my first half marathon, back in 2007. I racewalked that one in ~2:20, full-out, as hard as I could. Obviously my technique has improved, because taking it easy and being undertrained to do a half marathon (racing one anyway), I still was faster than that.

I was nervous that I might not get to do the race at all. Thursday night I took a relaxing hot bath (something I like to do on occasion, since we have a jetted tub), and I don't know what happened - I must have sat in there funny holding my book at a weird angle? - but when I got out of the tub I had the worst muscle spasm of my life. My shoulders and neck, particularly my right shoulder, seized up and were excruciatingly painful. I could barely walk to the bedroom to lie down. Loren brought me ibuprofen and acetaminophen, but it hardly touched the pain. I slept fitfully, and when I woke up Friday I could barely get out of bed. It was time to bring out the big guns. I hate taking narcotics, because they often make me nauseated, but I knew I had to break the pain and tension, so I took a Vicodin and some Aleve and called in sick from work for the morning. Wow, what a difference that made - within a few hours, I felt a lot better and was able to go in to work at noon, albeit stiffly. I was even able to take down the 46 fish tanks JingXia and I had set up and collect the embryos, go to a meeting, and do some other work. By Friday night I was able to sit at the symphony, and this morning when I woke the pain was not bad at all - just some stiffness in my neck, pain if I turned my head too far to the right, and some stiffness and pain in my upper back if I looked down too far. No pain with racewalking though :)!

Since I work at the U, I do enjoy the luxury of parking up there and using a REAL flush toilet before the race. I took advantage of that, stopping in at the lab pre-race, and then walking about 5 min to the race start. The weather was gorgeous (6C; 43F; light wind) and I was so happy I felt good enough to racewalk. Last year, I was too sick with the mystery illness relapse to racewalk, and had to walk it slowly instead, which was very disappointing.

This year was much better. I wasn't fast, but was able to do the hilly (more downhill than up, but still hilly with some significant uphills) course in 2:17 or so. My watch said 2:17:41, but I did stop for about 45 sec to get a photo with Calvin, who was cheering for me between miles 8-9 where the race course passes our street. So I figure it was a 2:17 effort, which is great, since my legs now feel totally fine. A little stiff, yes, but NO weird soreness at all, and I'm hoping to recover quickly and be ready for a nice 8K fartlek on Monday.

Notes from the race: legs felt awesome through 15K, then tired at 16K, and really tired from 18-21K, but not dead. Just really tired. That seems about right given my level of not training :). Haven't been able to do enough long days to be ready to do a half marathon and not be very tired at the end.

Other notes: got the usual comments about "You're walking faster than I can run!", but one guy named Jorge chatted with me and was from Ecuador and so of course he knows all about the famous RWer Jefferson Perez! We enjoyed chatting about Perez for a while, and Jorge said he'd tried RWing but found it too challenging, so he is still a runner. I told him he should try it again :). Around mile 8 there was another lady who said "Go racewalker!" and I was surprised she knew the sport, but clearly she did or she would have said speed walker. I commented to her about that but we didn't have time to talk as she was a spectator, so I don't know how she knows about RWing, but it was fun to have a cheering section.

Got lots of photos, below. Happy to have finished my 9th consecutive SL Half!

Garmin data here. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

6x878m .... no, make that 4x878m

Yesterday: sore, sore legs...20 min elliptical and felt better later in the day, but still a bit sore.


This sums up my day so far. Work has been extraordinarily frustrating - a major FAIL kind of day.

My workout wasn't much better. Do I, or don't I? Do I, or don't I? Was supposed to do 6 x 878m intervals on the indoor track.

I woke feeling still a little sore - maybe some of the weird soreness? If it was the weird soreness, it wasn't a lot, because it was hard to tell for sure what the discomfort was; glute discomfort mostly.

Hit the indoor track because outside it was snowy. I guess I could've done the street but wasn't sure it would be dry enough and it was cold enough to be icy; besides, in April I am not in the mood to brave the cold any more.

Did my warm-up and almost quit after 2 laps because my left rear ankle (maybe Achilles?) was feeling uncomfortable/painful. However, that settled down and didn't bother me again. My warm-up was slow and felt awkward but by the 4th lap it felt better and my strides felt good on the straightaways, so I figured I'd at least give the intervals a try. But I was SO very anxious about my glute pain and was unsure of what to do.

Did the first interval and it was slow at 5:09.4, but my HR was low and I felt like I was getting going, so I figured I could do one more. After the first lap of the second interval I was having an internal debate as to whether I should do more, and messed up my watch and then had to go back to the start line, so my HR went down a bit and the timing was messed up. I finished the interval anyway, and it was 5:00.2 but I think that is not quite right (it was probably a few sec slower). I was feeling better by now and decided to do more. I did two more, and after the 4th one (passed some undergraduate runners, female, and heard them whispering surprise at my walking speed...always fun!) my legs were feeling tired and I was getting more and more afraid to push, even though I was getting faster - the next two were 5:03.0 and 4:59.2. The 4:59.2 corresponds to a 5:41 for 1000m if I have calculated it correctly, so that is pretty good.

I'm not sure I did the right thing stopping. I sat a lot this morning (mounting slides, confocal) and my legs are doing OK. Some stiffness and soreness but don't think it's the weird soreness. Again, hard to tell, so darn it, I feel I have to be cautious. I just wish I knew if I was better, so I could push really hard and not worry about whether I should have or not. I think I had 2 more intervals in me, but with a 1/2 marathon on Saturday maybe it was better to stop like I did?

Garmin data here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Today I had 10K on the agenda. It ended up being a little challenging to fit it in; in brief, I woke in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep for 2 hr, so I ended up sleeping past my alarm :(. Then I had to get to work, and the only time I had to work out was after I dropped Grace of at art class at 4:30pm.

Unfortunately for me, the weather was perfect this morning, but by this afternoon, it was scary windy (seriously...trees down and stuff) and raining mud on my car. Yeah. Great. I drove up to the U and did the 10K on the indoor track. I discovered the hard way that staff takes any items of clothing left anywhere but inside the cubbies (annoying! not posted on signs or anything!), and had to go hunting for my jacket with my car key in the pocket so I could get home. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr to overzealous staff with petty rules in the new facility.

The workout went OK. My legs felt a lot better this afternoon than they did this morning, so I'm glad I did it this afternoon, but my stomach got really grumpy about 6-7km into the workout and it was unpleasant for the last part. It just HURT a lot, non-specifically, and it wasn't lower GI. It's harder for me to work out in the afternoon since I'm used to working out on an empty stomach, and obviously in the afternoon you can't do that very well. My legs also were tired and achy-ish the last 2-3km; I don't think it was the weird soreness but not 100% sure as they are still hurting a bit from the bike ride on Sunday. I'll know more later tonight if they are bothering me.

Time-wise, I was pretty fast, and was pleased with how things went. I did 34 laps (292.608m per lap) for 9.95km in 1:02:41, which is 6:18/km. That's pretty good for the day after a track workout that trashed my legs after a bike ride that trashed my legs. I'll take it.

I'm not feeling that great now, though. My Raynaud's phenomenon kicked in after I drove home and stopped to get dinner for the family in my wet clothes, in the snow :(. Yup. The rain changed to snow, and so now it is snowing (oh yay). Photo at left is of the snow on campus just outside the Student Life Center (the gym).

My stomach is still a bit off and I just want to lie down and do nothing. Not sure that's possible given family constraints but I'm going to try!

Monday, April 13, 2015

8K fartlek

Yes, I was supposed to do a 10K fartlek. But, because I have a life outside of racewalking, and because I enjoy doing other sports, yeah, I rode my bike yesterday up one of the canyons and it left my legs a mess. I only rode for 35 minutes uphill (255m), but that was enough I guess. My legs are sore today (normal DOMS, not weird soreness) and I had no gas in the tank for my track workout. On the plus side, I still did the workout, and I kept going until I could tell that my legs were ***DONE*** and it was hard to hold good form any more. Then I quit, which was at 8K.

Maybe I shouldn't have ridden my bike yesterday, but I think that it's not going to mess me up too much. I am feeling better now and I am not so worried about adding activities in to my schedule. I still have to be careful, but I can't live my whole life walking on eggshells. I figured that my legs might be tired today and that my performance would be compromised, but I am pretty sure I still got the desired benefit out of the workout. Yes, it would have been better to be able to do 10K, but 8K vs. 10K isn't going to be a big difference long-term, and I have got to get stronger somehow, and it's not going to happen by being so cautious that I don't do anything.

OTOH, if my coach says it was dumb to ride my bike yesterday, then yeah...I can see his point. I guess I will have to wait and see what he says.

At least I felt there was NO pressure on me today. I just went to the track and expected that at some point I might have trouble, and when I did I wasn't upset at all. In fact, considering how crappy my legs felt I am proud of how I did. Yes, it was slow, but I got in a great workout and made it to 8K on tired legs, which I think shows how far I've come in the past few months.

Total time for 8K: 49:00. Average HR 163 (high! working hard!). Yeah...slow! My last "fast" 500m was 3:00.8, and I knew I was finished at that point. Most of the "fasts" were 2:56-2:58, and the medium efforts were low 3:10s. Not great, but I went out there and got it done. One more workout in the bank. I'm getting stronger, physically and mentally. I feel tough even if it didn't show this morning by my speed - it showed in that I kept going until my legs were done, and I got a good workout in when I didn't feel like it, and I didn't beat myself up mentally about it. It was just a good hard workout.

The weather was great again :) 40F (4C) and slight breeze, but tomorrow rain and snow are on the way.

Garmin data here.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


I felt so-so on my racewalk today. Not great, but not terrible either. When I started out I could tell that my legs were a bit fatigued from all the activity this week; by 3.5km I was thinking that it could be a long and painful walk. However, I rebounded a bit and felt more or less just fine until about 11km when my legs started to feel much more tired. By 14km I was really glad there was just 1km left!!!

Total time was an unremarkable 6:27/km for 1:36:44 with ave HR 139 (low? my watch said 148 when I was done w/the workout..not sure what is up here) and 988 calories bye-bye :).

The best news for the week? Yes, not only did I do FIVE workouts racewalking, but TWO of them were speed work, and one was a long day. My total number of km is still relatively low at 48km for the week, but it is significant that I could do even that many with the speed work and the long day. Assuming my legs continue to feel good, I think that maybe, just maybe, I'm on my way back!!! I am pretty sure that the last time I was able to train this hard was over TWO years ago, in January 2013. Wow. I am very grateful to be feeling better.

I wore a new pair of my favorite shoes today, the New Balance 1400s. I either wear a men's size 9.5 or women's 11 (my usual size is women's 9.5 for everyday shoes, but I like my RW shoes roomy). I prefer the men's because I have pretty wide feet, and they are cut just a bit better for me. Anyway, my new pair is a women's 11 and I was giving it a bit of a test drive because I've mostly been wearing the men's. The shoes were totally fine - I didn't notice them at all, which is just how I like it. And wearing a size 11 means I can find them on clearance more easily, and who doesn't like a bargain?

The weather was glorious today at 8.9C (48F) when I started and 14.4C (64F) when I finished, but it was windy. The Garmin website says it was 8kph but there is no way that is right. It was quite windy, almost to the point where it was hard to walk into at times. The national weather service website shows that when I finished the wind was averaging 15mph, which is 24kph, not including gusts. Yikes! But on the positive side, it's spring here, and it was warm, and since it's Saturday I was able to wait until the sun was up to go walk. I'm thankful that my kids are old enough now that I can walk later in the morning. It used to be that I had to go at the crack of dawn so that my hubby didn't have to do too much while I was gone (he is NOT NOT NOT a morning person!!!), but now they are capable of amusing themselves while I'm gone and not disturbing Loren until he's more awake. This morning they played Monopoly while I was out walking, and they did get in one fight that necessitated them calling me, but fortunately they called right when I was finishing up.

Oh, in other randomness, I took my dog Sugar with me today and she loved it. Lots of other dogs on the trail to see, though she's very well-behaved on the leash and doesn't pull much, especially if I remind her to heel. I got a collapsible canvas-type bowl for her and she carried it in a fanny pack around her neck, and that was awesome. I stopped to give her water at 7.5km and ~11km, and she drank eagerly from the new bowl, which was a relief as she can be quite choosy about these things. The weather's warming up and she is a Pyrenees/Lab mix which means she has a lot of fur and will heat up quickly, so she needs to drink often.

The photo is a spring photo of SLC that I borrowed because I forgot to take any photos on the Jordan River Parkway this morning. It really is this lovely here in the spring, with all the flowers, when it's not snowing! It did snow earlier in the week, though fortunately it was on a day that I was cross-training.

Friday, April 10, 2015

6km and 5x200@85%

I love it when a workout is just routine and ordinary, especially given the events of the last two years. This morning was like that - just ordinary, although it was a beautiful spring morning and it was great to be outside. I woke up feeling refreshed, meaning I actually went to bed on time :). The weather was great, at 3.9C (40F) with 11kph (7mph) breeze. Clear skies, but it was still a bit dark when I got started, though even that is improving as we get farther into spring. 

My 6K was pretty uneventful, as my legs felt recovered from yesterday's track workout and did just fine. I finished it in 38:45 for 6:27/km with ave HR 145. Then I had some 200s to do at 85% effort. Well, I'm not sure it was really 85% effort, but it wasn't 100%. I started off quickly on each one, and as I tired a little I eased up so that it felt like an overall 85% effort. It was what worked for me today :). I did the 200s in 5:15, so they were about 1:03 each, and my HR was about 160 at the end of each one. 

My legs felt very good afterward, invigorated and not tired. I think 15K tomorrow should go just fine...I hope. I'm so pleased that things are improving. I'm almost daring to hope about doing longer distances for fall races, but trying not to get ahead of myself. Let's just take one step at a time. This week: 5 workouts, 2 speed, and one long. Haven't done that in a while. Let's get it done and see what's next.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

cross-training; 5x1km

Yesterday: cross-training; I did 30 min elliptical. My legs were sooooooooo very tired. Seriously - walking up the stairs I could tell they were ready for a break, and I was very glad I had cross-training. 30 min on the elliptical was plenty, as they were whining most of that time. I did enjoy reading my book on my kindle, but was counting down the minutes until I'd be done all the same. I was glad for the cross-training because of the weather, too - it snowed most of the day up at work (which is at 5000ft vs my house at 4350 ft), and an inside workout was nice :).

Today: 5x1km. Nice weather: 3.9C (40F) and 10kph (6mph) breeze. My legs were still a little tired but I basically felt ready to roll; my warm-up felt a little awkward, as did my first 1km, but after that I felt smoother and pretty good. At least I felt awake this morning - I fell asleep at 9pm last night and slept until 6am. Ahhhh.

I wasn't sure how the workout would go today, especially after my first 1km, which didn't feel too good and was a little slow at 5:46.3 (not really slow, but my first 1km was much faster last week). However, the subsequent intervals were better: 5:42.3, 5:42.9, 5:43.1, and well, then I was tired, so 5:47.0. My HR was nice and high, but not weirdly high or anything; max 171 and averaging upper 160s for the last 500s in each km. Oh, and my total time was 2 seconds faster than last week, at 28:41.6. I'll take it.

Garmin data here. 

I felt really good after the workout - nice endorphin rush. Plus, my legs have felt good all day, just requiring a little stretching during my 90-min confocal microscopy session. In addition, I have some confidence after my 2nd speed workout this week, even if the first one was slow and not so great. If I recover well, then things are good :). Tomorrow and Saturday will tell the tale - 6K plus 5x200s tomorrow and 15K on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

good solid 10K

After yesterday's tough 8K fartlek, I thought today might be hard. When I walked up the stairs in our house this morning, my legs ached a bit and I worried more. Turns out that I needn't have, as it went just fine.

The weather cooperated, narrowly - after my walk it got windy, and tomorrow it's going to rain. But for today it was lovely, at 7.2C (45F) with 11kph (~7mph) breeze. Sugar and I enjoyed being outside and seeing the sights; it's not totally pitch black for the whole workout now as the sun is coming up earlier, though I still need my headlamp and reflective vest.

The first 5K whizzed by uneventfully, and of course the second 5K was a bit harder. My legs were a little tired, and by 8km they were definitely heavy and it was hard to keep moving as quickly. I still finished well, though, with a respectable 6:23/km and 1:03:54 with ave HR 149. I was relieved that my legs weren't totally dead after yesterday. Now I get a cross-training day before doing intervals on Thursday.

Garmin data here. 

Monday, April 06, 2015

8K fartlek

My legs felt good this morning, and the weather was perfect. 7.2C (45F) and sunny and clear, with a bit of a breeze. Can't complain about that.

Despite feeling good, this workout didn't go so well. I knew it was bad when my first 1km was 5:50. I just felt like I couldn't catch my breath, and though my legs felt fine, they just had no zip in them. GAAAAH! No fast twitch muscles any more. SO FRUSTRATING. BUT, at the same time, 1) I'm feeling well enough to train hard, and 2) I get to be out there exercising rather than sitting on the couch. So my frustration is in perspective. Sort of.

After hitting 3km in 18:02 (ughhhhhhh so pathetic!) I almost quit out of frustration. I stood there for about 30 sec, indecisive, but then realized I would be too angry at myself if I quit. I'd feel too horrible that I had allowed myself to give up so easily when really my legs felt good enough to train. Yeah, I'm slow? But what of it? Yeah, I'm slower than 2 weeks ago before my cold? Well, this game is 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. I talked myself into continuing, and I think I'm glad I did. Mostly.

My "fasts" if you can call them fast, which I can't really, were all about 2:56. My medium effort 500s were 3:07-3:13 for the most part with the last one 3:15. Yeah, I got tired. But I was able to keep going, there was no weird soreness, and I stayed with it and didn't give up even though I really wanted to and was sorely tempted to. Total time was...sigh...48:44 with ave HR 161, so I was working plenty hard. At least that much wasn't imagined. Garmin data here. 

The negative: I am embarrassed by how slow I am. I don't want to admit it publicly. I am worried my coach won't want to keep coaching me (which is silly, because he coaches people who are both faster and slower than me, but I am worried about it still, somehow). I wonder if my fast twitch muscles will come back. I wonder if I'm getting old enough that I can't make a good comeback (which is also ridiculous - I may have reached my peak speed and it may be all downhill from here, but that doesn't mean I can't improve from where I am now after 2 years of not training hard). Yeah, I worry too much.

The positive: I kept going even though I wanted to quit. I am not giving up. I'm not done. I have one good hard session under my belt this week and the next one will go better. I am probably still suffering a bit from the cold (breathing issues - nose still snotty and it was hard to breathe today at the track) and once that goes away it'll be better. If I keep working hard, I'll get faster, and hopefully I can do some longer races this fall as long as the mystery illness stays away.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

12K briefly

Dashing off to an Easter egg hunt with Grace, so must be quick.

Lovely weather this morning. 40F (4C) and hardly any wind. Gorgeous. Took the dog with me and along the way ran into a 15K race! I joined in for a bit as they were going my way; motivated me to step it up a bit.

Legs felt a bit heavy today and were quite tired the last 2km, but otherwise all was well. Can't complain! My watch is in error because I had it going during a water break (either than or a conversation with some of the volunteers at one of the race aid stations...not sure which) so it's about 1:30 off.

Of note: nose is still a bit snotty (sorry...TMI!) and right 4th toe is still a bit swollen and cranky on occasion, especially this morning. It may never be quite the same...

Total time about 1:17:15 (ish; watch said 1:18:44) for ~6:26/km with ave HR 148.

Garmin data here. 

Friday, April 03, 2015

rest days; 6K; 5x1K

I'm baaaaack from my evil cold!

OK, so very few people noticed I was gone :). Nyle did...thanks for the FB chat last night! This morning at the track (getting ahead of myself) I thought of Nyle and imagined her cheering me on, as I knew she would have had she been here. It's like having a virtual training partner. We live across the planet from each other, and we are very different, yet our love of racewalking and passion for the sport and determination to live life with enthusiasm despite the roadblocks brings us together. I look forward to seeing her in Perth next fall (spring for them) for WMA!

So after Monday's very tired 6K, I woke feeling even MORE lousy on Tuesday, because I'd overdone it on Monday. So I took the day off, listening to my body and respecting it. This is something I've learned the hard way over the past two years of illness, but I think it holds true even when not ill. Patience in the short term yields better results - rest now, train when ready. On Tuesday afternoon while setting up fish crosses, I was so very tired and weak that I had to sit down as much as possible, which is not normal for me at all. So I decided to take Wednesday as a rest day too. By Wednesday night I was feeling better, and figured I'd try for 8K on Thursday. 

Thursday morning I got up and dressed for racewalking, because I was feeling good. I wore the usual spring garb of a long-sleeved shirt, tights, gloves, headband, headlamp, reflective vest, pepper spray. Geez, by the time I get dressed it feels like a marathon effort ;). Sugar was so glad that I was finally going to take her for a walk, poor doggie. You'd think someone else in our house might walk the dog...sigh...but I digress. I walked out the door and noticed that 1) it was windy, and 2) it was raining a bit. Drat. So I walked inside and switched my headband out for a baseball cap and grabbed a jacket. I was glad I did because it was chilly at 36F (2.2C) and with the wind it was definitely the biting kind of chilly. Finally, I started walking and felt a lot better than Monday, but still not 100%. By 3K I was a bit tired and decided that 6K was enough for how I was feeling. I finished in 39:20 for 6:33/kmwith ave HR 151 (vs Monday’s 155…better…still high for the speed, but better).

Thursday I felt decent all day, and no weird soreness or unusual fatigue, other than the cold, which was a lot better. Just some sniffling and general congestion remained.

This morning I felt so good when I woke up, partly because I was going to take the day off work; it’s Good Friday and the end of spring break for the kids, and I want to spend time with Grace (Loren and Calvin went to Mesa Verde National Park for a boys’ weekend). But my cold is also better, and my legs feel GOOD. YES! I can’t tell you how strange and wonderful it is to feel good for a change. After two years of not feeling good and dreading workouts, it’s so odd to actually think that a workout might go well, and to maybe think about possibly enjoying it.

It was chilly again this morning at about 36F (2.2C) but not nearly so windy; still breezy at 10kph (6mph) but definitely tolerable. Because I took the day off work, I got to go a bit later to the track, and the sun was just coming up as I arrived. I had a good warm-up, doing 1600m with strides in 10:02. Did some dynamic stretching and then got started.

The 1km intervals felt good, and Jim gave me 3 minutes rest in between each :). You can’t tell from my times that they felt good; they got slower as I went, though maybe you can tell from the last three, which were at least consistent. My legs are obviously still tired from the illness – I could feel my muscles fatiguing sooner than they normally would – but somehow I still had strength and even though I was slower there was no weird soreness and mentally I stayed in the workout. Part of it was that after each interval I could hear my friend Nyle saying, “Great job – you’re going to nail this workout”, and I started to tell myself that, and believe it. So my last interval actually was pretty good at 5:45.5. Yeah, I know these are A LOT slower than what I used to do. But it's a great start.

Interval times: 5:40.6, 5:43.9, 5:47.0, 5:46.9, 5:45.5
Total time: 28:43.9 for the 5K. Well...for intervals...kinda slow. But I'll more than take it if I continue to feel good and can train. I will get faster :).