Sunday, April 23, 2017

SLC Half Marathon - 2017 edition

Friday: rest day, with some gentle hiking with my friend Lois in Red Butte Garden. Awesome.

Saturday: Salt Lake City Half Marathon!

I woke ready to go and feeling pretty good. Had a banana and grabbed my stuff, but forgot my Garmin. At least I have my fitbit, but I can't do splits on it. Oh well! I didn't mind too much as I was doing this just as a training race. I was excited to get out there and enjoy the camaraderie, and the weather was absolutely perfect. Started off low 40s (~5C) and sunny and calm, and ended at probably 50F (10C).

Took it easy for the first 5 miles (a couple small steep uphills but mostly gentle downhill), and then through mile 6.5 it's a relentless though gentle uphill. That takes a lot out of you, but I took it easy and it was OK. A little more downhill and then one more difficult uphill (hard to racewalk legally near the top) before coasting down to mile 8-9. The kids were supposed to greet me at mile 8.5 but didn't :/ ah well.

I still felt pretty good in miles 8-10; legs got pretty tired around mile 10 but I took a gel and that seemed to revive me a bit (or it was just a coincidence!). Either way, I was able to do the last couple miles pushing it just a little (moderate-moderately hard) and I felt very good - tired, but good. After crossing the finish line I felt fine and recovered well the rest of the day, although it was a bit of a crazy schedule. Church stuff has been super busy with being on the search committee for a new pastor, and we had a lot of stuff to do this weekend, so that made recovery harder, but I am hoping to sleep well tonight.

Oh, and my time? A reasonably respectable 2:21:37 - for out of shape and just enough training to go the distance, I will take that. Fitbit data here. 

I'm definitely sore today, probably from the hills and the extra effort the last couple miles, but it's a good kind of sore. Hoping to hit the gym for some weights this week and do a lot of cross-training. Onward! Need to get ready for Portland to Coast in August, and then still setting my sights on WMA in Malaga, Spain in 2018.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

elliptical; 3K fartlek

Tulips from this morning, at left. So beautiful around our neighborhood!

Yesterday: elliptical for 30 min, plus walking a lot around campus (errands).

Today: 3K fartlek. I woke up feeling really good, for the first time in a while. It wasn't that I got that much sleep, because I didn't (7 hr?), but I guess I slept well? I did have a very relaxing evening with our small group from church, and some good conversation with Loren before bed; Calvin drove me a bit crazy with piano practicing issues, but otherwise things were peaceful. I can't say why I felt good, but I did. Go figure.

I was actually kind of excited to go to the track. It was 8.9C (48F) which is pretty average or slightly warmer than usual for this time of year in the morning, and I wore capris and a long sleeved shirt but forgot my gloves. That was OK, though as it was borderline whether I needed them. It was a bit breezy so I was chilled to start but then after the warm-up was fine.

My warm-up was a lot faster than the last 2 weeks for the same thing - 10:09 this week vs 10:33 and 10:34 for the last 2 weeks. I felt good. The workout followed and was good - I was happy because all my fast 500s were back under 3 min, where they belong :). My medium 500s are still slowish but that's fitness and it will return.

Garmin data here. 

Splits Time Cumulative Time Avg HR Max HR
1 02:57.2 02:57.2 149 157
2 02:59.8 05:57.0 161 164
3 03:13.4 09:10.4 158 164
4 02:59.9 12:10 164 167
5 03:17.7 15:28 160 167
6 02:59.2 18:27 165 169
Summary 18:27 18:27 159 169

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

elliptical; 6K w/3x200 @85%

Yesterday: elliptical, but only for 25 minutes...I was tired, and busy. Something is better than nothing though!

Today: Had a bit of trouble getting out of bed so I was running late. I managed my 6K with my dog Sugar just fine; my legs were a little tired when I got out of bed but felt fine on my walk :). Did 6:39/km for 39:55 with ave HR 144. Then rushed home to walk Calvin to school - I like the hangout time with him; he can walk himself but it's good to spend the time with him. On the way back, with my dog Powder, I did some 200s - but only had time/distance for 3 before getting to our street. As it was I still missed my regular bus and took a little later one. The 200s were slow but I expected that. Whatever. I'm training.


It's hard to train right and eat right at the same time. It takes energy to train, and takes energy (quite a lot actually) to eat right. I am trying to sleep more, but that's tricky too, as I'm serving on the search committee at our church to find a new pastor (our previous pastor had a great job opportunity open up in New York City, and after 16 years here we miss him but it was good for him to take the opportunity). The search committee is a lot of work, but I'm glad I'm doing it. Add in the usual kid stuff and work stuff and it gets a little crazy - no, a LOT crazy. I'm learning to say no to other things to make all this work, but I don't want to stay this busy all the time and am glad this is just for a season. Meanwhile, it's challenging.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Yesterday: I was supposed to do the 12K yesterday, but I woke up feeling unbelievably tired and decided there was no way it was going to happen. I'd been sleep deprived for a couple days and it wasn't good at all. I don't think it was the mystery fatigue, but I'm watching for that. I've had a few times this week when I felt like I could possibly be getting a touch of the fatigue so I'm watching it. I NEED TO GET MORE SLEEP (yelling at myself). Anyway, by noon I felt better, despite going to Weight Watchers and gaining 6 lb in 2 weeks (yeah, I knew I was eating poorly, but geez!). I'm back at it again, needless to say. Spent the afternoon doing a lot of fairly heavy-ish yard work because we had to --- I was tired and didn't want to, but the problem is that we need to get it done, and it keeps raining on the weekend. This was the first weekend in a bit we've had a chance to work on it, and we wanted to take advantage. A few more good weekends and we should have most of it done, but here in SLC if we don't do it now then it just gets WAY too hot to do it. Spring is unpredictable though, so it's hard to find the right window to do yard work when it's sunny and it's the weekend!

Today: Got up and was a bit sore from the yard work, plus had to prep for having people over for Easter dinner today. Got the ham in the smoker, and made a Jell-O salad, and put candy for the kids in eggs for our Easter egg hunt, and then I had to run off to church to be there at 8:30 for music practice - I love playing for Easter so that was pretty awesome - some great piano and organ stuff. Needless to say, the 12k didn't happen until we got home from church, I made 2 pies, and then we did the Easter egg hunt. Then I could finally go racewalking, and though it was warm outside (not hot, but nicely warm - a bit warm for RW this early in the season for me) at 17.8C (64F) I actually had a decent walk. OK, it was slow, but I did a hilly route AND my legs were tired from yard work AND it was warm outside, so I think given all that I did a really good job. Photo of how GORGEOUS it was outside today above at left - SugarHouse Park was so fabulous.

After getting home I finished making dinner, entertained until 8pm (see photo above with our friends!), cleaned up until 9pm, and now ... I'm TIRED!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

elliptical; 3K fartlek

Yesterday: elliptical for 45 min. I felt very, very tired yesterday and after 30 min I thought about stopping, and maybe I should have, but I thought, "It's just the elliptical...I only have 15 more minutes". I ended up taking a nap for ~25 min when I got home from work, which helped. I'll have to keep an eye on this.

Today: 3K fartlek. I am a little sore from something - but just a little (very minor), all over - shoulders, arms, abs, legs. Otherwise, feeling good, and the weather was amazing this morning at 16C (61F), calm, and clear. I did a warm-up with strides, and it felt OK. Not great, not bad, but OK. Then I did some dynamic stretching and started my workout. After the first 1km (kinda slowish, even a little slower than last week) I felt pretty tired and had no gas in the tank. Legs were heavy and not moving well, but I felt good mentally, telling myself "no judgment" and "relax" which helped. I finished about 14 sec slower than last week but that seems fine given how I was feeling. I worked hard and got a good workout in, which is what matters at this point.

After the workout I felt great, and I feel pretty good now too. Hoping the tired thing isn't a trend. I have been thinking that if I can train again and lose some weight that I really want to try to go to Spain in Sept 2018 for World Masters. My family wants to go to Spain (kids are in Spanish immersion) too, so it would be a win-win. Now to stay healthy and uninjured. Haha.

Splits  Time Cumulative Time Avg HR Max HR
1 03:00.1 03:00.1 145 157
2 03:03.9 06:04.0 158 161
3 03:20.4 09:24.4 154 161
4 03:04.1 12:29 160 163
5 03:22.6 15:51 156 163
6 03:03.8 18:55 161 166
Summary 18:55 18:55 155 166

Garmin data here. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

8K w/3x3' @10K race pace

Today: Legs a bit tired from yesterday, and I had some trouble getting out of bed :/ but I realized that I'd feel better if I did my workout, so out I went. It was lovely out this morning - calm, clear, 40F (3.9C).

My legs felt pretty tired and heavy, and after the 2nd faster 500m, they felt a bit shaky/Jell-O-like, which I think is totally expected given my lack of training. But they held up fine and I completed the workout without incident, and my 500s were a bit faster than last week at 2:59, 3:05, 3:03 for similar segments (slight downhill, slight uphill, slight downhill).

Total time was 52:21 for 6:32/km with ave HR 147. The HR is lots better than last week and the trace on Garmin connect looks like I'd expect for this workout. I can tell that even just in my second week of training that things are clicking in a bit. I know it's going to take months, but it's nice to have things looking up even a little.

Now if I could just get my diet a bit more under control. The chocolate has been winning, and that has to stop. I need to relocate my motivation --- not just in racewaking but also in life and what I really want my life to look like. Time for some thought (and I need to not be too busy to reflect). It's spring break for the kids and I'm going to take Thursday & Friday off work so that'll help.

Monday, April 10, 2017


yesterday: rest day, complete with nap

today: 6K

I didn't go first thing in the morning 'cause I needed to get to work and get some stuff done. But once at work I was able to carve out 40 min for a racewalk. It's slightly hilly here but I have a flatter-ish course that I can do, and it was much nicer later in the morning than it was earlier. It snowed yesterday and was still a bit cold this morning so late morning was perfect. It was about 0C (32F) when I woke up but it was a balmy 7.8C (46F) when I walked.

I pushed the pace a bit and my HR was in the upper 150s a lot, but I felt good and the sunshine made me happy :). So there.

Garmin data here. 38:14 for 6:22/km with ave HR 154. 

Saturday, April 08, 2017

18K at the Oval

Yesterday: ~35 min elliptical, plus did some hiking at Red Butte Garden (~30 min) very, very easy with a friend (she's in her mid-60s and a little frail for her age). 

Today: 18K on tap, and with it raining (hard) and 40F (4C), I opted for the indoor comfort of the Olympic Oval. It was odd today as there was no ice (!) just concrete where the 400m speed skating track usually is; I guess they have to redo the ice occasionally. So, no long track speed skaters to watch, though there were a few short track skaters on the two hockey rinks in the center of the oval. The track is 442m and so for me 6:30-6:45/km would be about 2:53-2:59 per lap. I was hoping to stay in that range, and I did overall, though there were a number of slower laps. Sigh. My legs were kind of tired by 10k, but not terrible; still, I wasn't feeling strong today. I also didn't feel awful, so I will take it :). No GI distress at all, which is great. Last week after my 16K I had problems, and also had some trouble after the 14K the week before, so no trouble is good news. 
I was slow, getting to 5K about 33 min and change, 10K about 1:06 and change, 15K in 1:40:40 or so, and 18K in 2:01:17. My pace overall was 6:44/km, which is a lot slower than I'd like to be, but my HR was mostly in the low to mid 150s (average was 149, but that reflects short stops for gel/water 4 times during the workout, I think) and I felt I was pushing the pace a little. The reality is that after not training for a long time, and increasing in age, I'm not going to be fast. But I'm glad I could train and prep some more for the half marathon in a few weeks. It will be slow, but at least I can do it, which is the main thing. 

Thursday, April 06, 2017

elliptical, 3K fartlek

Yesterday: 45 min elliptical, in a 25-min session and a 20-min session (interrupted by walking the kids to school). I bought a cheap, used elliptical for home, and it's been great. The ones at the gym are a lot better but sometimes convenience is very important as to getting in a workout or not getting in a workout!

Today: 3K fartlek. Gorgeous weather at the track. Calm and clear, and not too cold at 8.9C (48F). Just right. I had a bunch of negative thoughts, but successfully pushed them aside both before and during the workout. I told myself there was no judgment and that I was just out here to have a good hard workout. That helped, and I got it done.

Did 1600m warm-up with strides in 10:44, and my legs felt sluggish. I got a little concerned about that but they are fine now (lunch time) and as long as the fatigue stays away we're good.

The fartlek went about how you'd expect at this point, given that I haven't done one since December. Splits are below. I'd complain that I'm slow, but actually given my fitness (not much!) this seems fine. It's somewhere to start and I'm proud of the effort.

Splits  Time Avg HR Max HR
1 02:58.8 149 156
2 03:04.7 158 161
3 03:15.8 156 161
4 03:03.1 161 164
5 03:17.6 158 163
6 03:01.3 163 167
Summary 18:41 157 167

Garmin data here.

And, you can't beat the view from the track.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

8K w/3x3' at 10K race pace

Nice but weird to be "training" again. That's in quotes only because it's very light so can hardly be called that, but at the same time I am worried I'm pushing too hard, so it's a weird thing.

I kinda didn't want to go this morning, but once I got out there I really enjoyed it. Part of that was that I thought I'd be horribly slow and I was merely a bit slow, which is a little encouraging.

At least the weather was good. It was chilly (seasonably so) at 1.1C (34F) but no wind, no rain, and no snow, which at this time of the year is fantastic, so I'll take it. Plus it's spring and the flowers are going crazy, which is lovely, and my dog Sugar is a great companion.

My 3x3' at 10K race pace (haha what IS that these days? I just did it by effort...'cause I'm slow now so pace is relative) felt fine, and at 3:02, 3:06, 3:04 for 500m were slow but not horrid. I'll take it. I did stop for about 2 min to take a phone call from Korea (from a pianist who'll be staying with us in June for a week) at about 30 min into my walk, but it wasn't in the middle of a 500 at the 10K pace, so I took the call. Other than that, my legs felt good and all was well. No fatigue (yet); keeping my fingers crossed.

Total time: 52:18 for 6:32/km with ave HR 149. 

Tomorrow: some cross-training :).

Monday, April 03, 2017

Emigration Canyon 10-miler (16K), 6K

Busy week (as usual lately - too busy - am working to change this). Not proud of it and hoping things will calm down a bit.

Saturday I did the Emigration Canyon 10 mile race (16K) and enjoyed it a lot despite being slow and getting quite sore because of the large amount of downhill. It was uphill for 2k and then downhill for 13K and then more or less flattish for 1K. Tough course but so pretty. I finished in 1:46:01 for 6:33 per km (my watch said 16.2km), which is slow for that much downhill, but I don't care right now. Just glad I did it. That afternoon I worked very hard in the yard for 3 hr, getting rid of major weed problems. Yay spring :) for flowers but :( for weed eradication and the resumption of yard work. I'm not a fan.

Sunday I cross-trained 45 min on the elliptical followed by a soak in the hot tub at the gym to ease my muscles and help me relax. It felt great.

My muscles were still quite sore today and it really hurt to start racewalking but once I'd done about 500m it felt better, and though I was slow again, at least it got done. 6K in 40:22 for 6:44/km with ave HR 143. Yeah...slow...oh well. I'm heavy and out of shape, but hey, I got out there and got it done.

Now if I can just sleep enough to keep the fatigue at bay and help with weight management. I'm still attending my Weight Watchers meetings and am down over 7lb since January but still have a ways to go.

One of the things that's keeping me really busy is that I'm on the pulpit committee at church, helping us find a new pastor (our previous pastor got a great new job at a large church in New York City; we miss him). It's a ton of work and lots of meetings, but actually has been interesting and fun. to run...lots to do :). Including SLEEP hopefully.