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. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

cross-training; 10K

Yesterday: did elliptical for 40 min with Kelly.

Today: more house stuff, busy and a bit stressful but all OK. I couldn't work out in the morning, though. Instead, I managed to carve some time out of my work day to go over to the Student Life Center and do 10K on the track there. I could have gone outside, but it's so hilly at work and this way I invited Kelly to come too, and we did a bit over 5K together. Then Kelly did abs and strength training stuff while I finished the 10K. I worked quite hard and pushed a bit but it felt good to let some of my stress go that way. The 9948m (34x around the 292.6m track) took me 1:02:50 for 6:19/km. I left my Garmin in the lab by mistake, so I don't have Garmin data; I did the stopwatch time on my phone so I could pause for water breaks as needed (I took three because it was pretty hot in there this afternoon).

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

6K fartlek

Sunday: biked to work. Worked for an hour, biked home, went to church, came back to work for several hours. Lots to do! Was extremely fatigued in the evening.

Yesterday: biked to work & did elliptical. A bit tired in the evening but not like Sunday night.

Today: 6K fartlek. Kelly met me at the track just as I was finished warming up (1600m plus strides in 10:13, with bridges before, during, and after warm-up to activate glutes). It was warm at 20C (68F) and very, very windy. Garmin says 19kph steady (12mph) but I think it was more at the track than at the airport, plus it was gusty. Ugh!!! If it had been just me I'd have taken this one indoors, as the wind was definitely a hindrance. It wasn't as windy as it was on my last leg of Portland-to-Coast, though, so that was a relief.

The fartlek went OK; not as good as last week, but the wind totally explains that. I was pretty slow on the "fasts" and on the recoveries. Total was 36:37; here are my splits (below) and my accumulated times as well as average and max HR for each split. Garmin data here. Given the weather, I'll take it.


My hamstring was bothering me a bit but definitely not as much as last week, so I'm happy about that. Iced it and massaged it with tennis ball after the workout. I thought A LOT about my form, about using lower abs to keep posture good and tuck my rear end under. I think it helped, along with the bridges to activate my glutes.

Oh, and the stress is going to be better now I think: came to an agreement with house buyers on repairs/upgrades to be done. Now to just do the work and get on to our move!

Saturday, September 12, 2015


This morning I got up really early to go to the Jordan River Parkway. Kelly has moved back to Salt Lake (YAYAYAYAY!) and agreed to meet me for my last 5K, but she wanted to be home by 8 am to watch a soccer game with her fiancé Chris. So I started at 6:05 am and she met me at 7:05 am after I'd done my first 9km.

It was a bit chilly by the river this morning; it was 59F (15C) but by the river I'm sure it was at least 5F colder. I was still fine in shorts and a T-shirt, but was chilled until I got warmed up a bit. Otherwise, the weather was lovely - calm and clear.

The house selling stress has been worse at the end of this week. It's complicated and I'm not going to go into it here, but let's just say that last night was not a good night. A glass of wine at dinner with Loren helped immensely though :). With all that on my mind I pushed a bit harder this morning, as if the exercise would purge the evilness of it all, and it did help a bit. My resting HR spiked up to 56 this morning, which is NOT good. I can't have a relapse. I'm going to have to manage this somehow. I'm working on it - suffice it to say, w/o going into details, that I have a plan. Unfortunately extra rest isn't in the cards today as I have to work a good portion of the day today & tomorrow because we have a deadline on a paper. But I think I can get home by 3pm today and get a quick nap before Calvin's soccer game at 4pm.

My legs felt great this morning, and not at all compromised by yesterday's 3x1km. The only problem is that niggling pain the butt on the left side. Kelly had a look at it and thinks it's the upper hamstring :(. Boo. She told me to ice it (I did) and to massage it (I did) and not to stretch too much (I didn't). I'm going to have to baby it.

My pace was 6:18/km through 9km, and then the last 5km was a bit slower; I was tired, and I was talking to Kelly, well, sort of. I was breathing hard enough that I didn't converse with her so much as she conversed with me. She was running, because her left knee has been bugging her lately while RW, so she opted to run today.

Garmin data here. 


In other interesting news, my boss did the Wasatch 100 yesterday. It's a 100-mile trail race in the mountains with 25000 feet of elevation gain and loss along the course. It's pretty much insane. Another friend of mine did it a few years ago and made it to 80 miles then DNF'd; the next year he finished. I think the first time doing a race of that distance it's going to be a learning experience, and it was for Josh yesterday. It was really really HOT and he had trouble staying hydrated, because his stomach pretty much quit accepting liquids. Of course, this also meant he couldn't eat anything either. I decided to go cheer for him at the 52.5 mile mark at Lambs Canyon, which is easily accessible from Salt Lake. Loren and I drove up there and saw him come in at 9:15pm, and he looked very tired but OK-ish (still smiling after 52 miles - photo at left). But his wife was worried and told us he hadn't been able to eat. He did manage to get some broth and soda and potato chips and noodles down, but in the end he decided not to continue the race and DNF'd there. All the same, I think it was an outstanding effort and it's the farthest he's run (previous long run was 38 miles; he's also done a bunch of trail marathons), so there's a lot to build on there. He said, though, that this distance is as different from a marathon as the marathon is from a 5 or 10K, and I believe it. It's just a totally different animal. It was good we'd gone up there to cheer for him, because his pacers just had one car between them and needed to fetch the other car; since we were there we could take him home, for which he was grateful. I hope he is feeling better today.

Friday, September 11, 2015

cross-training; 3x1km

Yesterday: cross-training. Biked to work and did the elliptical.

Today: 3x1km. Nice weather - 59F (15C) calm and clear. I did a warm-up for 1600m with strides in 10:14. For lack of better words, I still have a pain in my left butt :(. It's not better, but not really worse either. It got better as I warmed up but was still bugging me a bit even on my 3rd 1km repeat. I'm getting more worried about it, but...not sure what to do. It only bothers me when I racewalk, at least.

The workout went fine. Not fast, but good enough. My 1km repeats were in 5:43.0, 5:44.9, 5:44.7, with HR maxing out at 171 on the last repeat. Recovery HR during the 2 min recoveries were about 115 each time, which is great.

Garmin data here. 

Tomorrow: 14K!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

cross-training; 6K fartlek

Monday: 1 hr elliptical followed by a delightful soak in the hot tub at the gym. It was our Labor Day holiday, so I enjoyed the day off. Slept a bit later, and even got a nap, too. I needed the extra rest badly with all the house stuff.

Tuesday: still pretty tired; lots of house negotiations with buyers. Looks like things are moving along well though. But I was too mentally out-of-it to manage a hard workout, and besides, I only have 3 workouts per week right now to maintain fitness until the house stuff is over, which gives me added flexibility. So I opted to bike to work and do the elliptical for 30 min. That was a good choice, as I felt much more up to a hard workout today.

Today: Got to the track about 6:30am and it was pitch black out; the moon and a planet (Venus probably?) were out and were beautiful (see photo at left). Fall is definitely here, though at least the weather is not too cold yet. It was 57F (13.8C) at the track by my car thermometer, with about a 10mph breeze from the east (16kph). The wind wasn't a problem, though, and didn't make me cold. I did a 1600m warm-up with strides in 10:12, and my left piriformis (or maybe another muscle in that area) was acting up a bit. It continued to bother me throughout the workout though it did get better as time went on. I stretched thoroughly before starting the fartlek and also after my workout. Definitely need to get in some strength training, though the when of that is problematic right now.

Anyway, I got started on the workout and just told myself not to think too much, because my mind is busy putting forth negative thoughts about a lot of things. Not thinking was easier than I thought it would be; I just focused on staying in the moment and relaxing and thinking about technique. I didn't judge my performance (much), which is good because it wasn't stellar, but that is completely irrelevant at the moment. My body is only going to do what it's going to do given the current constraints, and I pushed hard and worked hard, so I am proud of that.

My first km was 5:49.7, and then my fasts were all about 2:54 except the last one, which I pulled out in 2:52. The medium effort 500s were 3:07-3:12 which isn't great, but again, no judgment. It's what came out, and I was working hard, as my average HR was 161 for the workout. Total time was 36:16, which isn't bad considering I haven't done a 6km fartlek in a while. 
Garmin data here.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Thursday-Sunday: rest, x-train, 5K, 14K

Thursday: was supposed to do a 6K fartlek, but work on the house had kept me up late, AND the kids brought home some stomach virus on Tuesday that made me nauseated Wednesday night and weak on Thursday morning. I bailed and took a rest day, which was a good decision.

Friday: cross-training - biked to work and did the elliptical at the gym at the Student Life Center.

Saturday: was going to do 14K, but took Calvin out for the first 5K and my legs and body were really tired from the week's accumulated house stress, work stress, etc. I'm not going into detail here about everything but let's just say that a lot of physical labor and related stress does bad things to one's body. The 5K was laborious but it was nice to be out with Calvin. Garmin data here (though the satellite didn't kick in for 100m so it says 4.9k but it was 5.0k); 33:01 for 5K - sloooooow but done.

Sunday: after feeling mad at myself for not doing the 14K, I determined that I would do it today. And I did! And it went all right! It wasn't fast, but I felt pretty strong until about 12k and then that last 2km uphill was tiring but I still had some spunk left in me to kick it in gear, and I finished well I think. I made myself NOT think about house stuff, NOT think about work stuff, NOT think about whether or not I'd be able to train and go to Perth for WMA next year. Just stay in the moment, and enjoy the crisp fall weather. We had a cold front come through and it was so nice and refreshing out this morning. Saturday morning it was 22.8C (73F) for my 5K, but this morning was a huge contrast at 8.9C (48F) for my 14K. It was delightful!!! Calm, clear, and beautiful. I tried to really enjoy it, and mostly succeeded. Total time 1:31:33 for 6:32/km with ave HR a nice low 142. Garmin data here. 

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

tired 8K; cross-training

My legs felt good and recovered after Portland-to-Coast; Sunday there was some muscle soreness of the garden variety but by Monday I felt good and did the elliptical and biked to work.

Yesterday I ventured out for 8K, and it was warm out at 72F (22.2C). My legs felt tired and sluggish, and I was slow; the last km was particularly heavy and tired.'s done. 52:59 for 6:37/km with ave HR only 138. Garmin data here. 

As part of work yesterday I had to drive to BYU in Provo to pick up a plasmid we need from a lab there. I really don't enjoy driving, and there's a lot of construction on I-15. The drive went fine, and my legs felt totally fine (yay!) but I think it wore me out some more.

Did a bunch more stuff on the house yesterday after work, and stayed up too late doing it. Feeling it today, but still managed to bike to work and do elliptical on the way up. I have a 6K fartlek tomorrow and hope to do it well, but I confess am concerned that my body is a bit worn-out from the race, the travel, and the house stuff/stress. I'm doing pretty well with the stress management compared to a week ago, but it's still not easy. Hanging in there.