Thursday, March 31, 2016

P-DTR, rest day; 3K fartlek

Yesterday: I was just really tired, and a bit down, plus really busy, so I tried to respect my body by giving it a day off except for my PT appointment. My regular PT, Shane at the U Orthopedic Center, had suggested I go see Bonnie who is a PT at the women's clinic, to rule out any pelvic floor dysfunction or problems with muscles in and around that area, given that I was having a hamstring relapse. I agreed, because while I didn't think I was having problems in that area, I figured it wouldn't hurt to get it checked out.

So yesterday afternoon I saw Bonnie and she was very thorough. After examining me she didn't think I had any pelvic floor problems, and thought that basically the problem was my hamstring coupled with some possible lingering dysfunction from my ACL reconstruction 23 years ago. She felt that my popliteus on the left side and some of my back muscles on the left side were a little dysfunctional. I had told Shane last week that I thought I did have some lingering weakness stemming from the ACL surgery, and while I had rehabbed it very well, it wasn't quite the same as the other side. That was all fine and well.

But then Bonnie did something a bit unusual and I'm not 100% sure how I felt about it. On the one hand, I felt that last night it improved my pain level and my functioning quite a bit, but what she did struck me as a bit "woo-woo" and now that I've done some research I can say this much: "P-DTR" or "Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex" therapy is not peer reviewed or evidence-based - YET. Having experienced it and seen some definite short-term benefit (though obviously n=1 and this is anecdotal!), I wouldn't write it off. I thought it was helpful. I'd love it if someone would do some research and show whether it is actually effective or not. Basically, the theory is that some pain results from poor proprioceptor functioning and that using a variety of techniques one can "reset" the mechanosensory feedback that the brain gets.  It seems possible to me that this could have some truth in it; our brains are complex and respond to quite interesting therapies, for example, the mirror box treatment for phantom pain.

Today: 3K fartlek. I went to the gym and did a warm-up on the indoor track. My pain level was a bit better than last week's 5K fartlek, which is good. It wasn't zero, and it was still more painful than before my relapse, with pain 1-2/10, mostly 2/10, and afterward it bothered me quite a bit for maybe 5-10 min before settling down and not hurting any more. I took some naproxen and though I was sitting quite a bit this morning doing injections of zebrafish embryos, it didn't bother me at all, so that was good. Now, at lunch time, it feels pretty much fine, which is an improvement on last week I think.

My fartlek performance was OK, and was about what it has been the past few weeks. Hopefully I can start training more soon and make some real fitness gains. All this waiting is frustrating, but at the same time, I should relax and go with it. My total time for the 2926m was 17:35 which is 18:02 for 3000m. Ave HR was only 157, and my intervals were ~2:55 for the fast and ~3:10 for medium effort. OK I guess. It is what it is...and I feel like I've been saying that for several years now, but what are you going to do, y'know?

Garmin data here. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

hamstring relapse

Yeah, well, it's still not much better, so I guess it's a relapse. But I'm feeling OK about it. Not much I can do to change things at this point!

At PT on Friday I told my PT about the increase in pain, and he advised x-training on Saturday instead of 18K. After consulting with Jim, we decided to do 8K instead. That was all right I guess. No way I would've made it 18K - the 8K was definitely uncomfortable, with pain 2/10 and occasionally a 3/10 - I should have stopped sooner, possibly, as this is the worst the pain has been in a while. But it felt better on Sunday after some anti-inflammatories and resting, and I rode my bike to work on Sunday afternoon with no ill effects, enjoying the good weather before the snow came today. Spring snow...oh yay! Oh, and I was slow on Saturday as you might have guessed - 6:39/km for the 8km; I started much quicker but had to slow down because of pain, not because of fitness.

Monday: did elliptical and PT exercises, felt OK.

Today: tested the hammy out with 6K on the Jordan River Parkway with Kelly (!). Yeah, Kelly actually came with me! She's working this week which made it even nicer that she made the effort. She ran, and I racewalked. My pain was better than Saturday; 1-2/10, probably more 2 than 1 but no 3, and afterward it feels OK. I forgot to wear my Garmin, but Kelly had hers. We did 39:38 for 6:36/km. The weather was lousy! 4C (40F) with wind and rain - starting with a drizzle but turning to pretty steady rain by the time we got back. But I was dressed for it and so it was OK.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

cross-training; cross-training; 5K fartlek

Tuesday: cross-training & PT

Wednesday: cross-training & PT, because I wasn't feeling so hot. I'm fine now, but I wasn't up to a 5K fartlek.

Today: 5K fartlek on indoor track. It went OK. My hamstring was much more tender than last week; about like Saturday's 16K and Monday's 10K - pain 2/10. I don't like this trend and am watching it but suspect it's just irritated from the PT and yoga? I need to take some more anti-inflammatories; had stopped because I didn't need them but I need to get this calmed down again.

My fartlek was 30:25 equivalent for 5000m, which is slower than last week by a little bit; perhaps because I was a bit more conservative because of the pain? But it's basically the same speed: too slow, but it'll do for now. I have to be patient, and I'm not good at that.

After my workout I went on the balcony to cool off and took this cool moon photo:

Monday, March 21, 2016

yoga; 10K

Yesterday: yoga, the hard DVD. Then was just sooooooo tired that I had to take a nap. There was no stopping it.

Today: 10k this morning, and I felt OK but was slow and somewhat sore in the hammy; pain was 2/10 but never more. I think the PT from Friday plus some of the yoga stretching is to blame for the sore hammy, though it wasn't *that* sore and feels fine now. Time was 6:41km for 1:06:58 with ave HR 144. Brought both dogs along and they were pretty good though Powder had some lagging/potty issues at the end.

After a busy work day and taking the car to the shop (routine inspection, oil change) and then taking Grace to violin, grocery shopping, and making dinner, I'm thrashed. Low energy tonight, with a pounding headache. I think I'll go to sleep early. My resting HR is nice and low so I doubt this is a relapse of the fatigue; maybe I have a virus of some sort? More rest should help.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

PT; 16K

Yesterday: elliptical; hard PT session wherein my PT put me through a boot-camp-like workout. It was tough, but very good. Everything was a bit sore this morning as a result.

Today: 16K. I was sore, and legs were heavy from 5km onward. My hamstring bothered me quite a bit (it was aggravated a bit yesterday in PT, go figure!) but only for the first 1-2km (pain 1-2/10), and then it settled down and didn't hurt much. The heavy legs worried me and I wondered if I'd finish, but it went OK. Not fast, but not a death march either, which is good considering what I did yesterday. It was cold this morning (27F, -2.7C) but not much wind, and the sun was out once it got light. It was still semi-dark when I started.

Total time: 1:45:35 for 6:36/km with ave HR just 143 - happy about the low ave HR. I'm getting fitter, slowly!

Garmin data here. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016


It's been a good week for workouts. Today was the third day in a row that I've racewalked, and I'm happy to say that it went well. My legs were definitely tired from yesterday's 5K fartlek, and I had to push pretty hard for the last 3K to keep going at a good pace, but I did it! And with very little pain! I'd say that today might be the first day since my injury that I basically walked pain-free. Not to say that I didn't notice the injury site, but it was more awareness rather than pain, for which I'm grateful.

It was pretty nice out this morning, at 3.9C (40F) and clear and calm. Calvin and the dogs came along, and we met our friend Thomas at Liberty Park for a lap around the park and then we walked by his house before heading back toward our house. I left Calvin at the alley and went back out for my last 3.25km, since Calvin didn't want to do the full 10K; he opted to go home and play a little Mario Kart Wii before school :).

Totals for today: 1:05:41 for 6:34/km with ave HR 145. I'm every so slowly getting faster, I think. Progress is slow, but it's still progress.

Edited to add: my 2.5km splits were remarkably even at 16:18, 16:28, 16:28, 16:26.

I'm glad tomorrow is a x-training day; I have PT in the morning as well. That'll keep me busy :). But I need to rest up a bit before Saturday's 16K.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

5K fartlek

Woke up feeling OK but in a grumpy mood, for no particular reason. Sometimes this happens to me; I get full of self-doubt about racewalking or start dwelling on some minor problem in my life and start ruminating. Thinking too much is definitely not good at times! I made myself dress and go to the indoor track anyway. Stopped at East High to see if their outdoor track was open (it wasn't...need to call the school and find out what the new hours are), and then drove to the U. Did some PT exercises to activate the glutes, and then I warmed up for 5 laps with some strides on the last lap (1:42.7; pretty good!). Then I did some dynamic stretching.

I still wasn't in a good mood, but it was a little better. I at least wanted to try the workout; was a little nervous about GI trouble after last week (which was silly since I didn't eat crap like last week), but everything was fine.

I started the workout and it felt pretty good. By 3K (well, 2926m, at 17:34, which would be 18:00 for 3K) I knew it was a decent workout, considering the shape that I'm in, and that it didn't totally stink like last week did (though of course last week would've been fine if I hadn't had GI issues). I also knew I wouldn't get under 30 min for 5K, but I know that'll come soon enough. I finished in 30:10 for 4974m, which works out to 30:19 for 5K. I'll take that. Season's best (haha...have only done this one 5K fartlek this year). My fast intervals were 2:53.1-2:56.9, and my medium effort intervals ranged from 3:08.0-3:11.8 (500m equivalents). Not fast, but not the worst I've done lately. I'll take it.

My pain level was mostly 0-1 but with an occasional 2/10. I sat a good amount this morning injecting at work and had a little discomfort but it was pretty minor, so I think things are good on that front. Luckily I don't usually sit around much at work haha!

Oh, and it was a beautiful though cold morning here (photo at left taken from our living room) so the outdoor track might've been icy anyway; I fell on some ice on the sidewalk on my way to the bus stop :( but landed on my backpack and so was well padded, and my computer is fine. Geez.

After the workout I felt a lot better, mood-wise. I didn't feel super awesome, but decent. I have to say I do love racewalking for that if for nothing else.

Garmin data here. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

8K; misc.

Sunday: I did the hard yoga DVD - all of it :). My muscles were VERY tired from the half marathon, and I could feel it when I did the yoga; I'm pretty sure much of that was because of the hilly course. Then we did some light hiking; probably about 2 miles of easy walking on trails in Arches National Park.

Monday: elliptical, and some PT, including jumping rope. My PT thinks that explosive calf strength will help, and I agree. The jumping rope is hard though - it's not just jumping rope, but also doing one-foot jumprope, alternating feet every 2 touches. It requires a lot of coordination; I'm still working on it. I had a lot of delayed onset muscle soreness, and was glad for the x-training.

Today: 8K with Sugar (no Calvin, no Powder). It was about 36F (2.2C) and snowing very lightly but the roads were essentially dry with a few puddles. I felt fine, and well-recovered - the muscle soreness is pretty much gone. I focused a lot on technique and enjoyed my walk. Total time was 52:17 for 6:32/km with ave HR 143, which is pretty good of late. Hopefully I'm going to turn the corner soon and pick up some speed. Pain was 1/10 at most - very well controlled and hamstring is feeling good.

Garmin data here.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Canyonlands Half Marathon 2016 edition

Pre-race: we got here late last night, at about 9:45pm, because Grace had skiing lessons at Snowbird until 4:30pm. But the drive went well, and we arrived feeling good. I discovered that if I leaned the front seat back quite far that my hamstring was much happier, and Grace (sitting behind me) did OK with that, for which I was very thankful.

This morning: My hamstring felt good, and my legs felt rested and ready to go. We picked up our packets at the late packet pick-up, got Calvin on the bus for the 5-miler, and then Diane and I (we drove my friend Diane down for the race) walked to the half marathon buses. The scenic drive up the canyon next to the Colorado River on highway 128 is great, and even better, we got to traverse that route for the race :). Have I said yet that I love this race? All except the last 2 miles, on highway 191 back into town, which is hot and noisy, and by then you're tired! 

The race: The weather was amazing; it was calm for a while when we were waiting for the start (they bus you up there 1.5-2 hr before the race), and it was the warmest it's been pre-race. It was 13.9C (57F) at the start at 10 am. Lovely! The wind picked up and was 16kph (10mph) but it was swirling and wasn't too much of a factor as it wasn't a headwind most of the time, only occasionally. 

I felt great and quite strong for almost the whole race. I focused a LOT on my form and keeping my pelvis properly aligned. I did get quite tired at about 18.5-19km, but hey, with how little training I've had, to only have the last 2-2.5km be difficult was terrific. 

And yes, I was slow - slowest I've done this race - but it actually felt better than the last two years when I really lost it the last 3-4 miles. This time I felt much stronger. I'm pretty pleased with my slow time :), especially because the hamstring only bothered me a bit - pain was mostly 0-1/10, with occasional spikes to 2, but easily controlled with form adjustments. I think I'm finally pretty much better!!!

Oh, and I got a fun compliment about mile 11. A runner passed me, and she said, "I think you are SO bad-ass for walking this whole thing" :). 


Best of all, Calvin did the 5-miler and got FIRST PLACE in the 11 and under age group!!!! I am so proud of him!!!!!!!! :)

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Everything felt OK today. I was slow, but no slower than I have been lately. One of these days I'll get some leg speed back, I hope. Hopefully before too long, or I'm going to worry about Perth!

Calvin and the dogs came along, and we met our friend Thomas at Liberty Park for him to do a lap with us, which was quite enjoyable. The weather was really lovely, a bit overcast and 7.2C (45F).

My hamstring was OK; pain 0-1/10.

I've been very, very tired this week - feel like I haven't slept well or enough. Been going to bed a bit late; need to keep an eye on that or I'll risk fatigue problems again.

Total was 39:42 for 6:37/km with ave HR 147.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

5K --- nope, 3K ---- fartlek; GI distress

Dang it. Just not meant to be.

Went to outdoor track with Calvin at 6:35am; it was LOCKED. GRRRRR. Came home. Changed into shorts. Went to indoor track. They wouldn't admit anyone under 18 because it wasn't "family hours", which are very limited at Friday after 5pm, Sat & Sun all day. Geez.

Calvin and I had doctor appointments this morning at 8:50 and 9:30, so we had to get dressed and get going to those. That all went fine; everything good so far - had some blood work done and my cholesterol is nice & low with good HDL:LDL ratios (big surprise there, with my diet and exercise - NOT!) - CBC good, with hematocrit at 40.0 the best I've seen it. Waiting on B12 and serum ferritin, but expect those to be normal with the oral supplementation I've been doing after having deficiencies in B12 and iron.

Anyway, had to head to the track at 2pm because work was busy, including a birthday lunch for me and for the PI in the next-door lab (her birthday was today, and mine yesterday). I didn't eat much, but I had eaten a lot yesterday, and something caught up with me. At the track, by 9-10 min into the fartlek I was nauseated and having some intestinal rumblings. By 3K I was worried and had to call it quits after one extra lap. It was ugly, and I'll spare you the details, but at least I made it to the restroom.

I was slow, too - as you might expect given the GI distress. Geez. Can't catch a break.

Total time 18:01 for 2926m, which is 18:28 equivalent for 3000m. Terrible. Garmin data here. 

Hamstring: felt decent during at 0-1/10 pain level, but bothered me a bit afterward; sciatica.

Hopefully next week I can actually do the 5K fartlek and it'll be better.

Monday, March 07, 2016


Don't worry, I'm fine. I just 1) ran out of time, and 2) had very heavy legs. I almost made it but had to stop to get the kids to school.

First, yesterday: Yoga for runners, the hard DVD. Plus a whole lot of planks and PT exercises. Wore my legs out a bit...

Today: My legs were, unsurprisingly, tired and heavy after the DVD and the PT. So, yeah, I was slow, but I am not at all worried about that. I know in the long run this will make me much stronger and less injury-prone, so I'm totally fine with being slow for now. Because I was a little slow, and because I brought Calvin and he was slow getting ready, we had to cut it a little short to get him to school. As it was he was very nearly late.

The good news? My hamstring felt very good - pain was mostly nonexistent, and sometimes 1/10. Yay!

It snowed last night and was seasonable this morning at 1.1C (34F), and the roads were (thankfully) clear and wet but not slippery.

Total: 9.54km in 1:04:27 for 6:45/km with a nice low average HR of 142. 

Saturday, March 05, 2016

16K! (10 miles!)

OK, so I was slow, but I made it 10 miles for the first time since my hamstring injury in early December. I'm inching my way back, bit by bit.

 The weather was gorgeous this morning - so unusually warm - just enjoyed it for all it was worth, since it's pretty much guaranteed to snow several more times. It was 52F by my iPhone but Garmin says it was 55F (12.8C), so I dunno. But either way, it was shorts and T-shirt and no gloves weather! YAY! Calvin came along and planned to do 10K with me and the dogs, but then he was feeling really good and talked me into changing our route and we ended up doing 11K together, leaving only 5K for me to finish alone. Nice! I am very much enjoying his company as he actually loves to run and loves being outside. His commentary on everything cracks me up and entertains me as I train. Plus he's pretty silly - here's a photo of him climbing the railroad ties at 600 East at the S-line (~2500 South); I had stopped there to put Powder's poop bag in a trash can, turned around, and then he was up there. Haha!

I felt pretty good this morning. My pain was 0-2/10, mostly 1, some 0, some 2. Kind of the usual as of late. It felt better than last week's 15K, probably because I didn't do as much sitting the day before? Though I did some sitting last night, but it wasn't too bad. My legs held up pretty well until about 13.5K when they got kind of tired, but I was still able to push a bit until 16K. And yeah, I was slow, but was faster than last week. That counts for something right? 

I don't think I got as tired as the dogs. Powder went 11K and Sugar did all 16K. Now they are really not interested in moving much (photo at left) :).

1:45:55 for 16K (6:37/km) with ave HR 144. 

Friday, March 04, 2016


Today: PT exercises in earnest (I've been slacking a bit since going to San Diego) and then 40 min on the elliptical. I slept a bit longer and better last night and am feeling less tired today. After yesterday's speed work, I am keeping close tabs on my hamstring; I had some sciatica yesterday with sitting - fairly mild, but annoying - but today it feels 100% fine. It isn't even bothering me when I climb stairs, which is good :).

Tonight I'm taking Calvin to the symphony, so we'll see how it feels after sitting :/. They're performing Saint-Saens piano concerto #5, which is a wonderful piece, so I am excited to go.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

3K fartlek

This morning I had a little trouble waking up :/. I didn't go to bed that late, but I am still a bit tired from last weekend. I should have gone to bed earlier last night, but have to catch up on all the household stuff after being gone. Never a break for this mom! But that's OK.

I did manage to get up soon enough to get myself and Calvin to the OUTDOOR track by 6:40am - yay! It's not under snow any more! And it's light out now at 6:40am! Well, until daylight savings starts in 2 weeks :/. I'll enjoy it while it lasts. Bonus: not only was it light out, but it was pretty warm at 3.9C (40F) and calm and clear. The sunrise was beautiful as we arrived at the track, but I left my phone at home by mistake, so no pictures, sorry.

I was happy to have Calvin's company this morning. We did the warm-up together; I started slowly and did the 1600m (with 2x100m strides in the last lap) in 10:25 or so. The first 2 laps were quite slow as I just focused on technique and getting a firm foundation for the workout. After the warm-up we did some dynamic stretches and then started on the fartlek. Calvin was new to the workout but I explained it to him as we warmed up, and he got it just fine. I told him to go his own speed, since he runs much faster than I racewalk. He is a good runner for his age! He did the 3K fartlek in 14:15, which is 7:40/mile (4:45/km), and he lapped me (of course!).

My fartlek was a little better than last week, at 17:58 total time and 2:53.8, 2:57.0, 3:11.5 (medium), 2:55.2, 3:09.8 (medium), 2:51.0 splits. I didn't push at my absolute hardest effort on the first 1km and the second 500m hard; more like 90% as I was trying to make sure I didn't hurt myself and watching my form. I am still feeling very cautious about the speed work. The last 500m I let 'er rip, especially on the last 100m, and it felt OK. Pain was 1-2/10 about like yesterday. Mostly it was just a mild aching but stronger twinges at times which is a good reminder to check form. My average HR was only 157, so clearly a little room to push more, but the last 500m was 164 average and 170 max, which is good. I have to be patient. I'm trying not to think about the fact that I need to do 20K faster than this morning's pace by October...but obviously that thought crossed my mind. I'm just not going to dwell on it. Train, eat right, sleep more (! bad at this!), cross-train, yoga, and PT, and it'll happen. Hopefully. And if not, well, I can have a good vacation with friends or something :)?

Garmin data here. 

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

cross-training; 8K

Yesterday: cross-training; did elliptical. Felt fine after my relatively faster 8K on Monday.

Today: 8K with Calvin again. It's very fun to have his company and it's nice to take the dogs and get them some exercise, too. They were good today - no poop stops haha! The weather is beautiful right now; 5C (41F) this morning and calm and clear, which we enjoyed a lot. I even took off my gloves at the end of our walk. My hamstring was pretty good; it hurt a little more than on Monday but I'd say it was mostly a 1-2/10. Tomorrow will be a little speed work and I'll test it out a bit more.

Total time - subtract ~40 sec from watch (failed to stop it for Calvin to stretch out his legs) - about 52:50 for 8K which is about 6:36/km with ave HR 149. Slower than Monday, but whatever.

Garmin data here. 

Should have done yoga this afternoon, but the bachelorette weekend (mostly the lack of sleep from trying to keep up with 25-year-olds!) did me in and I needed a nap instead. Oh well.