Monday, December 28, 2009

Confidence Boost!!

Yesterday I had 18km to walk on the track.

With my progress going so well - my base lap time on the track has changed. It was 2.33/lap but I seem to be constantly walking at 2.29/lap.

So my goal for my 18km was to pick a pace and just be consistent.

I have to admit that doing 50 laps on the track seemed so daunting to me. So having the chance to do 45 laps at my own pace was great. I didnt really know what time I would finish but I just hoped it would avg out to make a full 50 to be under the qualifying time of 2:08

I started out and straight away was doing 2.26 so I stayed with that pace for the first 5km (12 laps) then I eased back to 2.29 and I stayed at the pace 95% of the training. My training partner turned up at lap 32 (he had injured himself while out running but was still keen to help) So he started passing me my water bottle and counting out my times.

With 3 laps to go he called you think you can pick it up for the last three??? so I dropped 5 secs - 2.24 and then for the next lap took it down to 2.20 then my last lap I started power off at the 200m mark and brought that lap pace down to 2:10

My total time for 18km was 1:51 I was ecstatic - that means I would have done my 20 km (50laps) in 2:04

So I now know I can qualify .... now its just a matter of maintaining my fitness and then rockin it on the day. I so want a spot on that team!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Training coming together

Well there has been no rest for this chick!!

With finding a part time job 2 days a week plus working her normal job....(50 hours a week in total) plus walking approx 50 - 70 kms each week....I am shattered!! But still smiling. is paying off. There is only 3 weeks to go until the 20km trial. I have started my track training. Coach has set the base line lap pace (this is a slow pace that will see me finish in exactly 2 hours 8min) so anything under this pace is a good thing.

We started track training this week. 5km and then 10km of rhythm training. I am to walk each 400m in 2:33 and stay consistent at that pace for 50 laps. Easier said than I thought...what a piece of cake!! its so slow but after 15km your legs get tired no matter what pace you are doing!!

So I wanted to post my last training splits. I am so pleased with how my track training is going. My coach is now really pleased and is sure I will do far better than I think I will.....only he wont tell me his time for me.

So long as I do under 2hours gives me a chance of being selected.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Zealand vs Australia Race Walking Test Announced

Below is the Official announcement on the Athletics NZ Web-page.

I must admit that I have not enjoyed the politics that are going on in the back ground but I have decided to put it all behind me and go up and race anyhow. I still intend to give it my all and I would be so so stoked to surprise many and be selected for this great race.

New Zealand will compete against international race walking powerhouse Australia in a Test Match in Hobart early next year.

The Test Match will see up to four male and four female competitors from each country race over 20km on 13 February.

A trial to select the team will be held at the Douglas Track in Waitakere on 10 January. The winners and runners-up in both the mens and women's competitions in the trial will be automatic selections, while the next finishers will be subject to a qualifying time to make the team, 1hr 50min for men and 2hr 8min for women.

In announcing the match, Athletics New Zealand's Sport Manager Brett Addison said, "This competition is long overdue, with twenty eight years since the last New Zealand vs Australia teams race walking competition. It's a fantastic concept and we have been fortunate that Mike Parker and David Lonsdale of Race Walking New Zealand have done so much work setting up the test match."

Parker said "The most significant thing about this forthcoming Oceania Race Walking Trophy is that it is the first time for sixteen years that New Zealand race walkers will have the opportunity to compete as a team in some form of international competition. This can only improve the standard of our best walkers, athletes who might not be able to aspire to higher levels of competition.

"Such an event as this one, held bi annually might just provide the impetus for one or two of them to make the break through to that next level. We have had years where only our elite NZ walkers, and they come along so rarely, are able to aspire to Olympic and Commonwealth Games selection. This competition is all about making an initial step towards bridging the international gap and improving our overall standard along the way."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Boosting the training prog for the Trial

Well I have been given my new training program. Gulp!!!!

Seeing as I have spent the last 3 months training to 10km only ... we have had to drop me back to 7min/km pace and add distance to get my stamina up. So each weekend the Sunday walk extends by 2km.

Today we did a slow 18km and next Sunday is the dreaded 20km. The scary part of the training is the weekend after that................that's when we step up the pace too.

I am intending to get 20km done in 2hours......the qualifying time is 2hours 8mins...which is more than do able. What gives me doubts is googling the names of the other competitors and seeing their recent times. Ok some were un-judged so that could make a difference on the day, but it did stop me and make me think "why am I doing this?"

Then I think about what all this means to me....At my age to even be trying for the trial team is an amazing feat, to actually have a shot at the 4th spot is again an amazing feat and if I have to be truthful I guess I have a small fear that I am aging and am trying to recapture a small portion of youth. I laugh when I read that too, but......I do think that race walking has turned out to be my fountain of youth. I feel younger than ever, fitter than I have ever been, have a waist again, have toned up, feel healthy and fantastic!!!!

I can now understand how athletes can end up addicted to exercise. The endorphins you get from a good hard walk make all the days stress's disappear. You cant but help to feel positive and smile...LOTS.....

I was told recently by one of the juniors that "race walking is the new pink" I have to agree with her. :0)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Opening night for "The Track"

Tonight was the official opening night of our new Mondo Track and first meet of the year.

The club put on many events - ranging from 100m, 200m, 300m and 1 mile for the Masters. They also put on a 3000m Track Walk. Parents were encouraged to join in but instead they choose to spectate and cheer from the banks.

It was great to see so many people and to watch some very fine young athletes....(who knows .. one of them could be the next big thing!!)

Sadly there were only 2 race walkers..........myself and Pete. The others had made themselves scarce. So we decided to just take it easy and treat it like a training session............. YEAH RIGHT!!!!!!

Gun goes off and so does Pete....I am left thinking "holy smoke" so much for 2.26 pace so not to be out done, I caught up to him and sat on his heel. Pete being the much more experienced walked dead centre of the lane forcing me to walk the outer line or tuck in about a metre behind him. I was not falling for that tactic so sat right on his shoulder on the line. (Yes I walked a little further but I was not letting him away with that)

I kept watching my GPS and thinking "man we are flying" it was faster than our training nights but I was surprised I was keeping up.

We rounded the last lap - got the bell and it was on. I was waiting for Pete to make his move (as he was me) 200m mark went past and I thought he will go out now so I hung on moving closer to his shoulder we rounded the back straight and I let rip at the 100m mark ... shoulder to shoulder we walked at the 25m mark I pulled away to cross the line in 16:50......My best time ever on the track. Yahoo!!!!

Sadly the time cant be posted as an official time as there were only 2 judges. So for future races we will make the effort to find 3 judges. You just never know what will come out of a track night.

A great night was had by all.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Waimea Half Maraton

The day dawned with absolutely perfect conditions. Slightly overcast and not a breath of wind....I am sure it was to spite me.

With the decision made to pull from the Half Marathon I was able to focus on how I would race the 10km. I woke to a fully blocked nose and my face felt like I had been hit between the eyes!! I was not even sure if I could complete the 10km but I didn't want to let my team mate down (I did have a back up plan - my coach had put his hand up if I pulled out at the last minute) My husband was also in a team but for running. So we headed off to Rabbit Island to find both our team partners and to put on race numbers. I went over and scratched from the Half - I don't know who was more surprised..the organizers or the competitors?

Last year I teamed up with my training partner Yvonne and we dressed up in bright neon outfits and had a ball. This year she had teamed up with her friend (and top Nelson walker) Wendy. I nearly doubled over laughing when I saw their costumes. They had a multi coloured Mo Hawk wig on and the most ridiculous looking pants I have ever seen... (they had plastic moulded bare bottoms that were part of the pants).....all I could think to say was "check it out...two moons!!!!!" They looked fantastic and did win the best dressed and deserving so too.

I was to walk the first two legs and Pete the second two. I was also double booked for the day as it was my grand daughters 2nd birthday, so I was to leave as soon as I had finished my legs.

The race got underway and it was a good tussle for the first 500m with Wendy rocketing out in front. I had decided to stick to 5:50 pace and so slowly caught her up and passed. I came through the first 5km at 29:47 and was to finish my 10.4km in 1:01:47 much faster than I had anticipated. The last two km were my worst with my ears popping and hurting along with my sinuses too.

I tagged my team mate and then waited for my husband to come in (runners started 20mins after walkers) He finished his 10.4km in 56mins which is awesome for him. My team mate (pete) completed his two legs 10.8km in 1:05:?? giving us a combined time of 2:07:30 winning us the team section - (I am fondly called Trumpeter and he is SOF - sly old fox)

Walking Teams
1 221 02:07:30 Trumpeter and SOF
2 213 02:12:48 Mad Dogs
3 220 02:33:43 The Nanas

Me out on the beach end of the course.

Pete aka SOF winding his way through the picnic area

This is Wendy in costume and Gary about to catch and pass by

Friday, October 30, 2009

A hard decision to make....but....

Tomorrow is the Waimea Half Marathon. Its held at Rabbit Island on a 5km loop course. I have to admit its one of the most boring course's known around here. Every year I have managed to team up with a group or one other and just entered the teams section.

This year I decided that I would bite the bullet and do the Half. I was thinking ... I will be fit and still race ready from the Worlds in Sydney, even though I had only trained up to 10km and have not walked 21.5km in about 6 months. I was feeling strong and confident.

My training partner asked me this week to team up as well. That's the good thing about this race, you can compete in two events - team and half. The person doing the half starts first and tags you at the 10km mark...then you both head out. The person doing the half then pulls off the team number and carries on for the individual portion.

Well since I have been back from Sydney, I have been plagued with a horrid head cold or maybe a sinus infection. Everyone tells me its probably the flying that has set it off as I feel like I need to equalize my ears....they are blocked and keep popping all the time and I have no balance. I have been fatigued and constant blowing of my nose has driven me nuts. I had to rush around town two days ago and nearly fainted from the effort.

So I have made the decision to pull out of the half. I will still do the 10km for the team but I know that I am not well enough to push my body that far.

Then it is rest up and let my body take a break.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

World masters gold, silver for Sunderland

Article in our local paper - Nelson Mail

WALKING BACK TO HAPPINESS: Nyle Sunderland displays the gold and silver medals she won at the 2009 World Masters Games in Sydney.

Just a year after winning three gold medals at the Oceania Masters Games in Townsville, Nelson race walker Nyle Sunderland has returned home from Sydney's World Masters Games with a gold and silver medal.

Now the 42-year-old athlete is looking seriously at heading to Sacramento, California, in 2011 to compete at the World Masters track and field championships as potentially the pinnacle of her competitive career.

In Sydney, she missed out on the 10km road walk gold by around 12sec, despite finishing in a personal best time of 59min 50sec.

She was one of nine competitors in her 40-44 age group competing over a 2km loop course at Paramatta Park, eventually finishing second to Australia's Fiona Porley.

"[The course] had two slight rises coming up to each turn so it wasn't a fast course," said Sunderland. "Those rises didn't feel like much for the first couple of kilometres but, trust me, by the end they felt like mountains."

Sunderland's tactic had been to sit on Porley's heel from the 2km mark before trying to walk her down, which almost worked.

"At the 9km mark, she pulled out from me and I made the choice to follow and I probably should have waited because when I caught her, she gave one last burst and I couldn't keep up. It was a really tight race. She lives in the Blue Mountains and trains on the Paramatta track so she knew it like the back of her hand."

That wasn't the end of the drama, though, as both athletes ultimately succumbed to the heat.

"She collapsed at the finish line and was being attended to, then about three minutes later I did the exact same thing. I think it was just all the heat and exertion and over-excitement ... but both of us were carted off by paramedics and given oxygen. It was only about 25 degrees, which doesn't seem like much. It just felt hotter because of the black tarmac we were walking on.

"The heat coming off that was just phenomenal and you were quite sort of dehydrated anyway, it didn't matter how much water you'd drunk."

Anticipating a rematch with Porley in the 5000m track race at Olympic Park five days later, Sunderland was disappointed to learn that the Aussie had withdrawn as they prepared for the start, supposedly still feeling the effects of her 10km victory.

"I was so psyched to give her a really good battle and she pulled out."

Strategically, Sunderland again planned to "let the rabbits go absolutely ballistic" before reeling them in.

Having also been grouped with the 35-39 competitors, "I'd pretty much caught them all up by the first lap and continued to stay strong in the field and led both age groups the whole way round", she said.
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Her time of 28min 28sec was also a personal best by around a minute. "I had to look twice at the clock myself, I couldn't believe it. It was a phenomenal race."

Sunderland said she was fitter and faster than she'd ever been and attributed much of her success to the support of mentor Stephen Farquhar, training partner Peter Hague and husband, Shane.

"Without their help, I wouldn't have achieved what I did."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

5000m Track Walk 2009

I spent most of Saturday afternoon at the track soaking in the atmosphere and supporting the guys. Who in turn promised to come and support us ladies.

I woke Sunday feeling really good, tried not to think about the race too much and went out for the morning to see a couple of sights. I must have planned and re-planned my race strategy 100 times. About 1pm I went to the track and lay on the grass listening to my ipod and watching some of the women's races. I was so amped and ready to met Fiona again. A couple of the guys turned up and helped me with my warm up and stretch's. I had brought a tee shirt so I could get signatures on it, so one of the guys grabbed it and shot off to get the women who had finished to sign it.

One of the most awesome things of the day was that my aunty from NZ was in Sydney at the same time and had found her way to the track and was there to watch me race for the first time. I was so excited and very nervous....I really wanted to win now.

They had grouped two age groups together again 35-39 and 40-44. We were all called to the call room and it was here that I found out Fiona had pulled out. She had not recovered from our 10km and was ill. I was really disappointed with this news. But any one of the ladies could still take it out.

We lined up and I got the outside lane. My one and only game plan.....let the rabbits bolt and then I would chase them down. Sure enough, 3 went out (1 in my age group)but surprisingly I caught them up with in the first lap and passed them on the back straight to take the lead of both groups. One of the 35-39 group stayed on my heels, but it didn't bug me and I just kept at a steady pace and slowly pulled away from her. By lap 6 she was 10mt behind me and by lap 10 she was 30mts behind. The water station was set up on lane 5 and the guy would not step in to pass you the drink so it you wanted one you had to cross three lanes to reach it and there was a judge right beside him. Two girls were warned as I passed by. I finally succumbed to the need for water so choose a time when I had to lap a slower walker.

Rounding the end curve and hearing my aunty and her friends calling out really kept me going, but the most amazing thing was by lap 10 it felt and sounded like everyone was calling my name or go NZ was the most amazing feeling.

I had been watching the clock and trying to work out in my head if I was on target or not but ended up giving that up...(maths not being my strongest subject anymore??) and focused on my breathing. The bell sounded (man what a sweet sound) and I started to push and pick up the pace...I counted my steps till I heard the bell ring again for the next walker (105 steps) I just had to complete the last lap - get past all the judges and I had won my gold. I came round the last bend and into the next lane for finishing and noise felt deafening. I picked up the pace and went for it, eyeing the Chief Judge in the last 100mt. Crossing the line in 28.28 (well thats what the clock said, still waiting for results to put on line)

Then it was wait for the race to finish and the judges to confer and then it was announced I had won my GOLD!!!!!

So below is the finalists in the 40-44 Women 5000m track walk 2009

Thanks to all my sponsors. Now to keep them on side and hit them up for Sacramento 2011!!!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Today I must rest!!!!

I have walked the city over and over. Time to sit.

We are heading out to Bondi Beach today and then will go look at Kings Cross. These are the last two touristy things to do. We were going to head out to blue mountains but I didnt want to be cooped up in a car for 2 hours each way.

Its my big race tomorrow. Must admit to being more jittery about this one. Now that I know how fast the other lady is and how she will be tough.

I didnt sleep well last night and woke this morning feeling very unwell. Hoping its nerves and not something I ate.

My Aunty from NZ has arrived in Sydney and is also coming to watch me race. So now I will have heaps of supporters cheering me on.

Will report back tomorrow night on the out come.

Wish me luck............

Thursday, October 15, 2009

10km Road Race - World Masters 2009

I woke at 5.30am and I was amazingly calm.

It was really weird...I had spent three days just freaking out. I had arrived in Sydney to compete at the World Masters Games...More competitors here than there were at the Sydney Olympics. The venue is HUGE!!! and I just felt like a small fry from a little wee hic town. What the hell was I thinking!!!

I had decided to think on the race as ... just a normal 10km race against 9 people....not 180!! and that did seem to work. I rang for a taxi and sat listening to my ipod and chilled out.

The weather was perfect...clear and calm. I unpacked my gear and said quick hellos to the others from NZ and then I headed out to warm up. I spent a good 40mins on the course doing drills and quick sprints etc. I kept my number hidden until the very last minute so that no one could see what age group I was in..but I was quickly checking out all those who had not.

The started us all in our age groups so the first group started at 8am..I started at 8.07am The gun went off and I let the rabbits go out first. I could hear my coach and training partner telling me to walk my own race and let them go. I was most surprised that I caught up the first 3 by the 500m mark and it was then that I realised I only had 1 in front of what I thought. So I kept up at the pace I was happy with and by the 1km mark I had started gaining on her, by the 1.5 km mark I was right on her heels, but she was pushing a good pace so I thought I would stick to her like glue and walk her down. Every now and then she would break from me and at first I went with her but I learnt quickly that I would recatch her within in seconds. We turned at the 5km mark in 28mins 55 (I felt fantastic but I knew it was too fast but I was not letting her go)

I continued on her heels and felt that there were times when she slowed that she was hoping I would pass but I didnt want to be chased and so I used those moments to rest too and of course she would explode away again (so I knew if I had been in front I would not have held out) at the 8km turn I thought....its on now!!! and she picked up the pace again. My now my legs were hurting and my hip was feeling tight...I ignored it and pushed on. She pulled away at the 9km mark and I didnt know if I should chase or wait....I chose to chase (hindsight...I think that was wrong) I caught her up at the 9.5km mark and she burst away on me again but I just had nothing left...I tried to follow but was already going faster than I ever had before. She pulled away from me and I dug in a pushed...we had transponders on our shoes for timeing so we were crossing over a mat to record our laps and then a mat to record the finish...when I crossed the first mat they all called out....thats great you are finished you can stop I did...Literally!!!!! and then all these people were screaming go go go and I realised the FINISH blue mat was another 30 mtrs legs buckled and I managed to get going my time is about 15 seconds off. But it made no diff to the end results. I had finished in the official time of 59:52 and had won the SILVER medal!!!!!

I saw the winner collapse and go down and I was really worried for her...I was ushered into the tent and I was feeling terrible. They laid me down and took my transponder off. I got up and went over to Fiona and we hugged and cried and got our photos in the local paper. Then I went and rang my I was doing this I noticed I was having trouble breathing. I couldnt get air in and was going dizzy and seeing spots. I quickly hung up and then I fainted. I came to with paramadics attending to me, taking my blood pressure which had dropped very low and pricking my finger and also putting me on oxygen. The heat out on the track was dropping us like flys and i was drinking but they said that myself and fiona was just exhaustion from exhurting ourselfs. Fiona came up after we had settled our selfs and said it had been the race of her life and that she was getting so upset out on the track as she couldnt shake me off...she said "every time I tried to distance myself from would just strole back up behind me again and it really threw me!" my game plan had I have to face her again for the 5km on Sunday.....

Oh what a race that will be.

I will post photos once I get back.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Packing....Nerves.....Race jitters

I think I have packed and unpacked my suitcase 10 times!!!!

Have I brought enough warm clothes....hmmmmm......but what if its hot??? So its back to the basic......jeans, tee shirts and runners!!! cant go wrong I guess.

I went out on Weds night and raced in the first 5km Race for the Waimea Club. It was the Hart Road Course.....(rather hilly) I was not planning on pushing too hard. I wanted to test out my hips and check for any niggly pains. Yvonne had come out to jog and was keen to jog along with me and I was thrilled for the company and the push. The first 1.5 km is basically up Queen Street and then the undulating Hill Street. So I had thought to sit around the 6km mark or slower. I could hear another walker behind us at the 2km mark and I commented to Yvonne that I wish he would hurry up and pass as I was just wanting to cruise. By the 4km mark both walkers had gained and one started to pass. All of us commented that his "style" was unusual and I thought....there is no way a jogger is getting me on this one. Yvonne pushed on a head and I gave chase. What a chase it was, with me just pipping him on the finish line. I stopped my watch and expected my time to be 31+ mins....I was really shocked to see I had done it in 29:17

I really needed the confidence boost and to know my body would hold together.

So now the pressure and the nerves start to build. I so want to bring home a medal or two!!! I feel I owe my coach, my husband and my self that satisfaction as we have all put in hard work, hours and kms to get me to this point.

I will try hard to get on line and up date my blog and face-book with results.

Thanks so much for all the support and well wishes I have had .... It has truly helped me keep focus and motivation. Cheers to you all.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

My Granddaughter

I had to share this. My granddaughter is just so special to me. I absolutely adore being a Nana. I know this has nothing to do with race-walking but she was a much needed distraction to me today.

I went and did track this morning and it went really well. But the thought of not seeing her for two whole weeks just bugged me and hubby went and stole her for the afternoon. We both adore having her......its great to just be two big kids for the day.

She will be two at the end of October. She has inherited my families height and is very tall for her age. She used to be a dead ringer for her mother at that age but as she grows she is more and more like her daddy.

So this post is for my family that don't get to see her much.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sponsers and Training

Photo is of me on my training walk today, it had stopped snowing and was a little warmer tonight.

I have not had a chance to get on line and up date my blog this week. It has been a busy week.

To start with I had set myself a goal of how much sponsorship I wanted to achieve. I wanted to sell 10 golds, 10 silvers and 10 Bronze. I am thrilled to say that I have sold all 10 of my Golds, 3 of Silvers and 4 Bronze. I will try for one more week to sell off the last of my silver and bronze and that will be it. I have put my sponsors on my training top (as per photo's) and yes I do train in it. My training partner says its like walking with a advertising billboard .. haha...funny man!! I have also put the same names onto my training bag, it looks very official now.

My physio is now over and my injury is holding. I wouldn't say I am completely healed but I am managing to train with no pain...its just very tight when I have cooled down. So with ice and gentle stretches it is slowly getting better.

I have dropped my shoes to the podiatrist and he is working on a support to take the pressure of my nerves. I have opted to only have one pair done...just in case. So I am hoping to have them back for next weeks training.

So this week I have done

Tues 22 - 5 km in 29:40 avg pace 5:56/km
Thurs 24 - 6 km in 35:16 avg pace 5:53/km
Sat 26 - 7.5 km in 45:46 avg pace 6:06/km

Am off for another 7km walk in the morning with my coach and hubby.

My training top below with all my "gold" sponsors

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Shoe Clinic - Podiatrist in store today

Today I went into the Shoe Clinic and saw Chris Gates. He is one of the best Posiatrist's here in Nelson.

I have been having trouble with my feet for some time and have not know quite what to do about it.

I can racewalk but often feel like I have a pebble stuck in the bottom of my shoe at the base of my toes (ball of foot) does hurt but more feels annoying. When I wake up in the morning, the initial standing up on my feet hurts sooooo bad. Its like someone has smacked them with a bat in the night. But once I get going I am ok. Where I once wore high heels all the I can last an hour....if that...sighs.......

Well Chris Gates spotted it right away. I have Inter digital Nerve Pain (Morton's Neuroma/Neuralgia) Its where the nerves are squashed up between the toes and they get inflamed and swollen. Mine have been like it for years really but Racewalking has really flared it up.

Good news - it is fixable.....bad news....not in the time I have before the worlds. So quick fix is to pump up the soles of my shoes to take the pressure off the nerves. Then build me orthotic's to go in all my shoes.

But he did say that the operation on my feet when I was a teenager was botched up and that was why I flick one foot funny when I race walk as the mechanics of the foot have been changed. Nothing can be done about it now.

Public health system has a lot to answer for in New Zealand!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Seeking Sponsorship

Well a good friend on mine gave me the push I needed.

I used her idea and ran with it.....and its far its been really popular with only 1 business saying no we dont sponsor sports.

I have offered the following and below is the A4 poster I have made up for them to disply in a window or wall......Each is printed on the correct colour metalic paper.

Gold Sponsorship $100 = your company name on my training outfit and gear bag, in large type, and a thank you advert in the local paper when I get back from the World Games in October.

Silver Sponsorship $50 = your company name on my gear bag (smaller type than the gold sponsorship) and a thank you advert in the local paper when I get back from the World Games in October.

Bronze Sponsorship $20 = a thank you advert in the local paper when I get back from the World Games in October.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Spoke too soon...back to physio

Well I was all excited about getting back out on the roads again...Friday ended up with awful weather and was very cold so I opted to sit it out and wait for Saturday. For some silly reason I still had it in my head that I would and could race the 10km but a phone call to my coach ended that very quickly. (In hindsight...a good idea) He suggested a rec walk for 2 km to warm up...a good 10min stretch and then a slow gentle 4 km race walk.

So hubby and I headed up on the the walkway behind our home and started out. The rec walk was ok...didn't feel I was feeling confident and optimistic that the race walk would be easy. Stopped and did our stretches and then headed off back down the track. I only lasted 500m when I could feel the muscles pulling again...I walked through it for another 500m but it didn't let up. It didn't hurt as such but I could feel it the whole way. (feels like when you are doing a stretch and you are at the top end of the stretch..muscle is sore but not 'ouch' sore) So we walked slowly back home and rang my coach. I am back to the ice and stretches and will ring physio on Monday.

I did try to walk a little around the house and its right when the foot comes under you and takes the weight of your body...that's when it pulls. Not sure what can be done or how long it will take to heal.....but its soooo frustrating. I only have 28 days before the World about cutting it fine.

I did manage to get out on the mountain bike and do an hours ride. Not quite the same but it keeps the hip moving and gave me a short workout.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Oh NO!!!!! Groin Strain?

Ok.....Had a fantastic day Saturday. Went home on such a high from the race and my time and just the whole perfect day.

Woke up Sunday feeling a little stiff and sore but nothing too major. I knew I had a 12 km walk today but knew that I would not be at coach's pace.

Hubby and I went out at 2pm. Another magic day! We decided to go around the waterfront by the port and then follow the river (which meant uphill for the last 2 km to home) off we went. My legs felt like lead and I couldn't get any speed out of them so I settled in to an average pace of 6.20/km. I really wanted to get the distance out today. By the time we hit the 12km mark I was done. No energy and feeling very stiff and sore.

Today (Monday) I had an 8 km walk and was expected to do 5.50km pace. I was more stiff and sore than Sunday. Hubby said he would come too and we headed out at 5pm. It was a little cold so we took it easy for the first km to warm up. We turned to walk down Beaston road (a steep wee road approx 800mts in length) about half way down I felt something pull in top of my leg/groin. I mentioned it but kept going. Thinking that once we leveled out it would be fine. But after another two kms it didn't get better, didn't get worse but I just knew that if I pushed it then it would really hurt. So I stopped and we just strolled home.

Rang my coach and he thinks I have a groin strain. No race walking for me till I have been to physio. So here I sit with an Ice Pack on my groin (not pleasant!) and lots of arnica cream feeling a little sorry for myself. I think I just pushed the old body a little too much this weekend and it told me so.

Will keep you all posted. I am sure it will be fine with a little rest.


I have tweaked my tendons in my hip. Two days rest....with ice and gentle stretches should see it come right. I have opted not to race this weekend but rather do a gentle walk instead. Physio said it was a good thing that I listen to my body as most athletes tend to push through it and end up with a worse injury.

So I am greatly relieved and will take their advise and rest. Thanks for everyone's well wishes and support.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Presidents Handicap 2009

Today was our clubs Handicap race. It was meant to be 9km but all of our GPS's said it was 8.83km.....close enough.

This is a great race as it gives the slower runners/walkers a chance to come first and win an event. If the handicap is done right it will have us all crossing the line in quick succession and possibly catching some of the slower ones.

Today the weather was perfect! With spring only really just starting and the snow fall last weekend you would expect it to be nippy but not today. Clear blue sky with sun and would have been a good 15 degs....Magic!!!

There had been some grumblings between the clubs about a few of our walkers that dont...basically they creep. So us racewalkers arranged for the local c grade judges to come and make them selves seen on the course. This worked a treat, the creepers still creeped but not nearly as bad as they normally least this time they still looked like walkers and not slow runners!!!

I was to start off 22 mins after the first I went out and had a good warm up and stetch. I was handicapped on my time in wellington and the was my first "walk" back with the club so I was being watched by all.

In my mind I had decided that if the track was 9 km and I did 54min or less...I would be really pleased with that. Well today I aced it with a time of 51:21 I am totally thrilled....but why couldn't I pull that one out in Wellington?? It just goes to show that things around you effect you more than you can realise. That gave me an avg pace of 5:49 and my coach had wanted me to do 5:53 so needless to say my coach is very happy with me....and training just got harder.

My hubby who had planned to jog it today ended up as the clock holder and was there to cheer me on when I finished. What a perfect way to finish a race.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Finding my Mogo again...

The Victor
by: C. W. Longenecker

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win but think you can't,
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you're lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.
If you think you are out classed, you are.
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of your-self before
You can ever win the prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

Today I went out and did a slow 7km walk. I needed to get my focus back on deck. It has been a stressfull couple of weeks, with flu hitting, my daughters scooter being stolen, then finding it - damaged and a few job interviews to throw into the mix. I lost my heart for it all. I went "flat" and mentally gave up.

A friend of mine emailed me the above poem and told me to get back out on the road. To focus on Sydney as it was now 6 weeks away and now was not the time for a minor melt down.

So I went out for a walk I could enjoy ... and I did. It was a gentle racewalk and my training partner (my rabbit) ran with me as he has injured his leg and cant race walk yet. We posted 43:21 but we were able to chat the whole way and have a few laughs.

I have spoken to my coach and we are tweeking my program and starting tomorrow its rebuild time.

You've got to believe if you want to succeed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Photos From Wellington - Style Time

Well I guess we are our own worst critic's, but for a change I can look at these photos and say that all in all my style is not too bad. I still pull my shoulders up when under stress but am learning to recognize when I am doing it and to roll and drop my shoulders.

The link in the title takes you to the photographers site and you can see all the walkers photos (if interested)

But here are some of my favorite shots of the day.

The bottom photo is taken on Lap 3 where Teri and I battled back and forth for 1st & 2nd but she walked a great walk and lead out by Lap 4.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wellington Road Champs

Early morning and hubby gets up and drops me to the airport. Its a crystal clear day here in Nelson. A nice sparkly frost but clear Sky's, I can only hope that Wellington gives up the same.

Its a quick uneventful flight and I just parked up and listened to my MP3 and tried not to think about any thing.

One of the organisers kindly picks me up from the airport and takes me out to the event. Trentham is about a 40min drive from the airport. The day is glorious, I cant rave enough about it as it was so not a typical Wellington day. Not a breath of wind, no clouds in the sky...just beautiful hot sun shine.

When we arrived I wondered over and started chatting away with other competitors and we all got so engrossed in our chat that time just flew and before I knew it I had to quickly race over to the change rooms and get ready so I could spend time warming up. I went through my list of drills and stretches and then did a few quick 100mts to get my heart rate up. I had started hydrating the day before as I still felt off colour and thought the extra fluids would be a help.

I was hoping to do a fantastic time of at least 60mins. Its a nice flat course so I had a great chance of doing so. The course was a 2km lap with a tight dogs leg just past the 1km mark but other than that it was a nice fairly straight course. I was getting nervous as the start loomed.

We all lined up and we're off in a flurry of feet and arms. I zipped out in front to follow close to Peter Bailey (a top NZ walker) and thought gosh I feel great but its a bit quick. I kept going thinking that if I get far enough out front I just need to maintain that.....(that was my first mistake!!) My first lap was 11.32....I knew then it was too fast. As we rounded for our second lap I could here the feet of a walker gaining on me and it took another kilometre for her to catch me up. We tussled back and forth for a further 500m and then I thought I would just tuck in behind her and wait till the last lap (This was my second mistake!!) very slowly she pulled away from me and each time I would push to catch she would increase too, which really played havoc with me mentally. I just couldn't gain on her. By my 4th lap (the 8km mark) I had run out of energy and lost my bounce (as the judges put it) and I guess mentally I had given up too. It was getting very hot out on the course and I had not grabbed a water yet. So on my last lap I got some water, gave myself a stern talking to and dug it in, but it was a little too late. Coming second didn't bother me in the least, but clocking in at 1:01:30 did. I was very disappointed in myself as I knew I had blown it. I had gone out too quick and had let myself give up.

But the most positive of all was getting NO Marks on the board and NO warnings!!! And that was the main reason for going across. I also had all the judges come over and offer advise and compliment me on my style and my progress over the last couple of years. So all in all a great trip. I know now what needs to be improved and where I need to focus more energy with my training and that is distance...I need to be doing longer distances for endurance. The speed will come back again.

Here are my lap times and I will post some photos as soon as the club puts them up on their site.

Nyle Sunderland #1- 11:32 #2- 12:19 #3- 12:27 #4- 12:40 #5- 12:32 total - 1:01:30

Friday, August 21, 2009

Off To Wellington in the morning.

Just a quick post.

I have not "raced" a 10km for about 4 months. So I opted to fly to Wellington this weekend and race in their Wellington Road Champs. Main reason is that this race is judged and I need to get in front of judges before I go to Sydney.

I am also looking at it as a time trial too. I do hope I can get a fast time...a lot will depend on the weather as Wellington is well known for its "winds" and its forecast for clear sky's but northerlies.....

I also get very flustered when I am in front of judges. I tend to doubt myself and it does tend to make me go slower as I try to hard to have perfect form....the off shot of this is I normally end up with too short a stride and get that makes me more nervous and the circle goes on.... So tomorrow I am going to try really hard to not look at them and just go hard out and if I get a card to ignore it and push on harder. (easier said than done)

Due to me not belonging to a Wellington club, I cant win any medals or trophy's but I can get a certificate of entry......but that's OK I have not gone there for the medals, this time. best time for a judged 10km is 1 hour 3 mins. So anytime better than this will be fine.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Track in the RAIN......and.......

Well I got up this morning feeling my training gear on and was going over my program when my darling husband says......"is it raining???" So I draw back the curtains and sure is pouring!!!! I said ... Yup...and I'm going to get wet.....

Our nice new mondo track was built smack bang in the middle of reclaimed swamp and it is the habitat for many ducks and herons etc. So every time we use the track we are always walking in duck poo. Paradise duck poo is the size of a small cows!! I kid you not. On a dry day it is annoying as you try hard to dodge it but when its wet it washes over the whole track. I cant see it will ever be any different. The ducks wont leave so it will always be covered in it.

So I headed off to our track, put my jacket on and did 4 laps to warm up. My jacket annoyed me so much that I took it off. I figured I was going to get wet anyway so may as well be able to at least move my arms while training. So I started my pyramid training.

My times today were 2.13 per lap.

First 400 was way too fast....2.02...... body felt great and my breathing was fine but my lungs were burning. So I did another 400 this time 2.10...better, by now I am soaked through and the track is about an inch deep in water and the wind has picked up. So while trying to walk your feet are dragging through the water and you are slipping on the corners. next I decided to do my 800m.....4.29....2 secs slow..I can live with that. As I walk the 200m to restart my next lap, it stops raining, which is great as I was thinking about heading home.

There were some other people at the track - they had brought umbrellas with them and were checked out gear and grounds for an up coming event etc and they called out that I must be mad to be training in this weather. Just as I start the next 400 the clouds opened up and it really came down..."great!" so I started out and got 3/4 of the way round when my heel landed square centre of a large duck poo and over I went.....legs and arms everywhere. The guys came running over to see if I was ok..............I was so embarrassed...I looked like a drowned rat and to make it worse I was now covered in duck poo!!! not a good look I can tell you. So I thought to myself..there is dedication and there is madness!!!!! I went home.

My husband is still walking up behind me......quacking......he thinks it was a "quack up"....I some how don't think I will live this one down.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finding motivation in those I follow

I have had a whole week off with some horrid friends all roll their eyes at this statement. But to me it feels like forever.

You get into a routine and you follow a program. Then you track your results and get great delight in seeing your times start to drop as you get nearer to your goal each week. But to have a week taken - can be almost heart breaking.

So as I read the blogs I follow - I find each one inspires me and I draw from their accomplishments! One gets up at some crazy hour in the mornings and walks on her own in the dark and one has just completed a Marathon...IN THE DARK!!! WITH ALIENS!!! so its time for me to harden up and get back out there.

Coach has told me to stick to the program even with tomorrow being my "given" rest day...I am to still follow it. So its track on Saturday morning - Pyramids(stack training) which I will do in my new compression gear. I am really keen to log my times on the track in the new gear.

So I will take this wee moment to thank all the wonderful walkers that I follow and have developed friendships with. Reading your blogs and your posts brighten my day and help me when my own training gets tough.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Everyone around me has the flu......

We have three guys at work walking around coughing and sniffing.....they wont go home as being boys they aren't "sick"..... Bah hum bug I say...I have told them all that the moment they oink they are outta here... lol

On a serious note lunch time today I was breaking out in cold sweats going hot and cold and have now developed an annoying tickly cough. Enough to interfere with my drills tonight. Lucky it is rest day tomorrow. But then I have a tough track session with 6 x 1km at 5:40 / min pace and then if I still have some energy there are our Club Road Champs on in the afternoon - 6km is the distance but will see how I am feeling.

Between now and October (Sydney World Masters Games) the only race I have is over in Wellington. The wellington Road Champs - 10km and its judged. So I am heading over in 3 weeks to get time in front of the judges and also a good time trial. My 5km pace is coming along nicely but I am struggling with my breathing by the 7km mark. I am told this will change and to keep pushing but its frustrating. Plus the last thing I need now is to get sick!!!

*****UPDATE******** here is a photo of me....aren't I the epitome of good health!!! as I lay on the couch feeling like an icicle. So much for retaining my trophy at the Club Champs today, I can barely walk down my hall way.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

New Compression Gear

I swear by compression gear. I first brought Skins - I brought long leg, short leg and a long sleeve top. At first I thought I had been duped into buying overpriced product until I did my first long distance walk in the long leg. Wow what a difference. So I raced out and brought the short leg and used these for official races. They were amazing. No muscle pain after a race, no wobbly muscles as you raced and just enough to keep you warm when really cold. After a year my skins were not as tight so I brought some 2XU long pants. These were good but they were rather see through from behind ... something I was rather conscious of when racing or training in groups.

So I decided to look for some new gear but I wanted some thing new. I ended up on Ebay and found the CW-X brand. These are a new product with compression bands that wrap around particular muscle groups. There were about 5 different pants to select depending on the muscle group you wanted to target. I selected the long pants and short leg to race in.

well they arrived today....................OMG!!!!! They look like they would fit a barbie doll but after carefully easing myself inch by inch...I did get them on. They felt amazing. They instantly worked each muscle group. I had just completed a fast 7km and my legs felt like bricks but once I put these on (took my 2XU's off) I felt like I could have done another 7kms easy. I will wear them tomorrow night for our 5km walk. I am very interested to see if they make a huge difference.

Click on the link above (title of post) and it will take you to the main site. I brought the Pro range. I found them on Ebay it was by far the cheapest place to get them.

But for anyone thinking about compression gear.....I recommend them. For either training in, racing in or recovering in.

*******update************** WOW is all I can say. I went out for a 5km walk tonight and was expected to do 29:30..............we rocked it in 29.09!!!!!!!!!!! these pants ROCK!!! I swear it was the pants, my legs have never felt so good.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wow .. What a night after some week.....

Well my training took a turn for the worst last week. I completed my drills on Thursday with my husband helping me by calling out all the funny exercises we do (while also laughing at how silly I looked) Friday was my day off but I woke with terrible stomach pains and the return of the "Deli Belly" that I caught while in Phuket. So it was a very short day at work with more time spent in the "small" office than my desk. I was also heading away to spend a girly weekend with my best mate in Blenheim. I must say that it was a rather uncomfortable trip over, but thankfully seemed to clear itself by that night.

I was meant to try to gain entry to the track over there and complete my track sessions, but with my tummy the way it was there was just no chance. I returned home on Sunday and still felt terrible so opted again for no training. Then the guilt set in.....

Monday was drills so hubby came with me again and helped me - this time he didn't need to giggle at me, the cleaners at the school did that for him.

Tuesday was first night back on for training. It was meant to be 8km but my stomach was very sore still and I was unsure of what speed I could do or how long. I met up with Pete (my training partner) and hubby (who runs with us) and we set out. It was raining and very very cold approx 4 degree's. We set off will full intent on doing 8km no matter what the pace was but at the 2.5km mark I knew I would'nt make it so made the decision to turn back - plus none of us had jackets and it was raining hard. We did 5km in 30.34 not the 29.40 I should be doing for 5km BUT...I didn't beat my self up in fact I was really pleased with that time, as at least I was out there trying.

Wednesday 5km tonight. Pete couldn't make it and I was really worried as I was unsure if I could reach target time with out him setting the pace, so I rang hubby and asked if he wanted to come and so I picked him up on the way. I felt great tonight. Tummy felt fine, legs and lungs were great. The night was perfect with little breeze and mild about 10deg. We set off and as per normal I went out too quick but we quickly settled into a steady pace. It has been awesome having my hubby come along when we go out as he has learnt our pace. So he slotted into Pete's spot just in front of me and lead the way. I of course chased after him. I always hit the wall at the 4km mark...(am unsure of why) but we did slow a little here. Hubby picked up on this and called back some support and off we went again. I was almost too afraid to look at the time when I clicked my GPS. Had I gone under or over...... Tonight I had to do 29.40sec............................I did....................A PERSONAL BEST EVER!!!!!!! 29.28secs
Here are my Km times
So the time off from training didn't do me any harm, if anything, it gave me a huge improvement for my short distance.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Training...rain, hail or shine!!!

Well its been an interesting week! What with stack training at the track on Saturday going to plan. Had to stick to a pace so each 400m lap had to be 2.08 so off we went me and my rabbit (aka Pete) how we do stacks is we race 400m then stroll (or in my case-drag) for 200m then we do 800m etc... so it looks like this 400, 800, 1200, 800, 400, 800, 400 and usually at the end I wonder off to find my lungs and legs. But this time we were flying. My fittness has come up and we hit target time for each lap!! my coach was ever so proud.

Then that afternoon the club had a cross country run on - Tasman Centre Champs and I was allowed to run in it. So hubby and I went off to this event in the afternoon. I changed from vet Women to Open Women so I could run with hubby but it was 8km and a tough course....But I got 2nd Open I dont have a clue! but anyhow there it is. BUT.....when I woke on sunday my legs were so so so sore!!!! I felt exhausted too but I had a 11km walk at 5.58min/km to complete to day. Yeah Right!! But heart in the right place, I set out later in the day when it was warmer, but my body just wouldnt get it together and with a strong side wind and with the cold rain it was not going to plan. I pulled out at 10km with a time of 1 hour 4 min. Thats an ok time but no where near target time.

So I decided to rest for the next two day.....the heavy rain helped with that call :0)

So tonight (weds) I met up with Pete (my rabbit) and also hubby for a fast 5km as per my training program. We pushed hard and both made comment at the half way mark of whoa, way to fast...but needless to say...we pressed on and completed our 5km in 29.36 a best for me! so if I can do that on a walk way with rises and bumps and road crossings......I have to be able of doing 28.?? on the track.

80 days to we shall see

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Keeping the motivation going....

Oh Gosh...what a week its been. My training has been full on and I am struggling to keep up the pace set out. In saying that, I am hitting the target times but I am at full race pace to do so.

Today's walk was the hardest and I lost faith in myself. I forgot that last night I achieved a personal best for 5km and tonight my muscles were just exhausted. My lungs felt much better tonight but I just couldn't push my body any faster than I had done.

My first track session didn't go as planned. My first kilometre was far too fast and that just makes the rest hurt really badly. I was meant to do 6 x 1km reps but only managed to do 3.5 kms before pulling up with cramp in my hamstring. Being that it was Saturday morning at 9am with a -2deg frost, my body just couldn't get warm.

So here is how my week has gone so far.

Weds 8th - 5km in 29 min 56 sec - avg pace 5.59min/km (coach's target 6min pace/km)

Saturday 11th - Track - 6 x 1km reps (coach's target was 5.44min/km)
lap one = 5.38
Lap two = 5.48
Lap three = 5.45

Sunday 12th - 10km in 61.20 (coach's target 6 min/km ) course I did had slight up hill gradient

Tues 14th - 5km in 29.38 avg pace 5.55min/km (coach's target 5.58min/km)

Weds 15th - 8km in 48.40 avg pace 6.05min/km (coach's target 5.58min/km)

So for most of my training I have been under coach's target times...except I shouldnt be beating myself up too much. I am almost too afraid to ask what my times will be in 5 weeks when the next program is written up for me.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

My first training walk

Went for my first official race walk training. I still cant believe my coach gave me a 7km walk for my first time out in 2 months. Plus even more earth shattering was that he told me to go at 6min/km pace......THAT was my RACE pace.

So after struggling to get my form correct in the car park while I warmed up waiting on my training partner Pete to arrive, I pondered this pace and started to doubt myself. It was one thing to be running and gain some extra fitness but why was I so breathless after just walking around the car park?????

Pete arrived and away we went. We started out sticking to 6.15 min/km pace to warm up and easy the old body back into it. We headed out along the Atawhai Walkway....its a nice smooth flattish walkway with a couple of road crossings along the way. Once we warmed up Pete stepped up the pace. His normal race pace is 6 min/km so he just settled into that in front of me and I gave chase.

We must have picked up the pace at some stage as we passed through the 5km mark at 30:25sec. At the 6km mark I asked to slow for a moment as I started getting stitch and was feeling that "sick" we eased up a little. After a couple of mins I said OK lets go again....and away we went. Both knowing it was only 1 km to go. I always think to myself some thing that my coach told me at this point....."Its only going to hurt for another 6 mins, so go hard"

As we crossed the main road beside the athletic park, (approx 500m to the finish) we had to slow right up due to the uneven foot path and it was dark with only random street lights...making it rather treacherous underfoot. But we carefully picked out way along and then did a quick sprint until we heard my GPS chirp out the 7km mark.

I hit the stop button on my watch and was almost afraid to look......did we make it...did we hit the target time????? my lungs were bursting (so much for my fitness) but my shins felt fine and so did my calf's....YAY....

We did it in 43.09.............I was truly gobsmacked.....I honestly didn't think I could pull that time off for my first walk. Plus if we had not been held up at road crossings and had to slow for the foot path...we know we would have hit 42 mins...just as my coach had requested.

Monday, July 06, 2009

New Walking Program

Today I met with my coach and have been given my new 5 week program. Drills twice a week, 3 road walks each week and two track sessions.

I do my first 7km training walk tomorrow night with 6min/km as my pace guide. I am looking at reducing my times down so for 5km I post a 27min on the track and for the 10km road walk I post a 58 mins. I feel confident that I will hit them bang on..... but must admit to first day training jitters.

To start out at my old race pace is daunting to say the least. But I trust my coach and know he knows best.

I will keep you all up to date on how my training is going.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

1st July 2009

This is the date that I can officially stop running all the time and start back on my race walking build up for the World Masters in October. I have just looked up on the World site and see that there are 4 in total in my age group. Now its a race, now I have a goal and incentive to really put 100% to my training and my coach!!

I am so excited to finally get on with it. I have really enjoyed my running ... more mentally than anything. It is nice to know you can make you body move at a time under 60 Min's for 10km. If I can do it running, I can now do it race walking!!!!

I am fitter and lighter on my feet. In fact I think I am in the best shape I have been in my life. Watch out I come!!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Birthday Gifts

June 12th was mine and my husbands birthday. Yes we share a birthday!! being Gemini's they say we spend our lives searching for our other halfs. So I guess you can get much better than that. Except one of us is two years older than the other.

I got so spoilt. I had my wonderfull ring that Shane had brought me in Phuket, I also got an insence burner, a platter and lollie jar from my kids. I got a gift basket full of moisterisers etc from my mother in law and with the gift my mum gave me I brought the following. An egyptian 3D puzzle ball. It is awesome and I am really rapt with it.

Shane got a wood carving I brought him in Phuket, a 40th mug, a warm vest, lunch, a box of chocolates and an ice mug.

Then to top of the weekend we went and run a 8 km Cross Country at Happy Valley as part of the club competition. Nearly broke us both.

I am still on a NO race walk - I am running at present to build on my cardio fittness and also to try and build the other muscles in my legs that were lagging a little. I am loving the jogging/running, there is no pressure and you can push along quite happily. But with only 2 weeks left I best get out there and make the most of it. It will be back to some serious training for the World Masters - there are 4 in my age group so there will be a race. yay

Monday, June 08, 2009

Sportsperson of the Year 2009

Well, its finally Friday night.....The night of the Sportsperson of the Year awards. I have to admit to feeling nervous. Up until now I had not even given thought that I could possibly win this, but with all my Friends showing so much confidence in my achievements that I did sit and think...well maybe I could. I knew I would really like to win it, but I was not really going to say that out loud.

When we arrived, everyone was mingling in the foyer and drinking not to feel out of place...bubbly was drunk!!

Soon after our arrival all the finalists were asked to move into the hall and check where their tables were, then we were taken back stage where we stayed until they announced our names and what categories we were in. I didn't know until that moment that we were all to be awarded with a special plaque for making it as a finalist. So I was really chuffed....but also realised that I had our camera in my handbag and had no way of getting it to Shane.

So we all lined up out the back in our wee groups and got to chat for about half an hour while we waited for it all to start. It was nice to mix with the others and get to meet the other two finalists in the Masters Category. To make my night, I was the last one out of our group. The first two being guys and having a name of Nyle.......the compare called me a HE......until I came on stage and then he did a double take and apologised. The funny thing was that it was Butch Bradly and I worked with him for a year at the Radio station..but in his defense he didn't know me as Nyle back then.

So I made my way to our table and joined Shane. Our meal was lovely and I slowly helped to polish off the last of the red and white wine. When they announced the masters section it was won by the Triathlete who had competed at the worlds. So it was well deserved. The overall Sports Person of the Year...was won by the Mako's player that was named an All Black. So it was well won all round.

We had a fabulous night, the only down fall of it all was that the mixing of some red, white and bubbly brought on my migraine and I have been down for the last 3 days hiding in a dark room unable to train or function.

But I am determined to do well at the World Masters and in all my next events and hope to have another shot at it next year.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Nelson Sportsperson of the Year

About a month ago Athletics Nelson nominated myself and my coach for the Masters section of the Nelson/Tasman Sportsperson of the Year.

Not long after nominations closed my husband and I went over seas for a much needed holiday. We were gone for two weeks and I had no idea of when we would hear about the awards.

I contacted my coach to see if he had heard anything, but he hadnt.

Well today I got a letter in the mail from Sports Tasman to say I have been selected as a finalist in the Masters Catagory. I am thrilled. I truely didnt expect to be selected, it was an honour to have been nominated by the club.

I have not heard from my coach yet, so I am unsure if he has been selected too. But I am fairly confident that he will have been.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Nelson Shoe Clinic Half Marathon 2009

(Photo as in Nelson Mail...Nyle in full flight just at the finish line - pushing hard and watching the clock - setting a new course record of 1:04:43)

Under the advice of my coach, it was decided that I would enter the 10.55km walk (quater marathon). With the damage I had been doing to my legs with the wrong shoes - I had taken a break from race walking to let my legs heal.

I woke up today to race a 3deg frost...brrrr.....and I was very thankfull that I was not doing the half marathon as they had an 8.30am start. We all started at 9.15am and even though it was chilly it was a lot warmer for us. For the first time in ages I woke up with no pain in my calfs and shins and was really feeling great.

With my training partner doing the half, (which she won) I was not sure of the competition I would have today. I new Gillian, Ros and Wendy were all racing the quater but I new Wendy would be my closest and toughest to stay with, in fact I had thought she would bet me as she is one of nelson's fastest walkers-she just hasnt competed since I started.

With a lot of pushing and shoving at the start, from the runners....(I did sneek up to start with the lead runners) I settled into a steady pace. Wendy also had snuck up to the front but on the other side and was ahead of me. I decided that the best move would be to pass her now and try to stay in front. Shane had also entered the quater but was running and he ran past giving me a wave.

With not having done any walking I was not sure of how my pace would be or if I could hold a pace for any length of time. I went through the 3km mark at 17min 30 (my track 3km time..gosh it was a bit quick) the I hit the 5km mark at 29min 15 and I was feeling great. Normally I dont look behind me in a race. I feel it uses too much energy and if you are pushing as hard as you can then it really doesnt matter if someone is coming up on you. Well I broke my own rule and at the 7km mark I looked behind me as I rounded a bend and was shocked to see Wendy only 50mtrs behind me. I checked my pace and thought...I can go faster and so took off. (Wendy jokes that she saw me look and then I was gone....)

I had to put in a finishing time when I entered this race so I guessed 1.04...which really was much faster than I had inteneded to do...but amazingly I did just that. I finished in 1:04:43 so I was really thrilled. Shane finished in 58:50 which is just fantastic. He is doing so well.

We had been at a coaching weekend too were shane and I both passed our C grade Race Walking judging course.

Here am I with my trophy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Frank Aplin One Hour Track Race 2009

This is an event that I really enjoy. It is different from any other race that I enter. You don't compete against the other walkers but against the clock and yourself. You have one hour to walk as far as you can on the track (400m laps)

You enter in as per your age group. Each age group is graded and given distances to achieve to reach medals. In my age group it was 9.1 km for bronze, 9.9 for Silver and 10.7. Last year was my first time at this event and first time in front of judges. I didn't medal last year stopping 150mtrs short. So I went back this year knowing I would achieve a medal...I was just never sure which one.

With all my troubles I have had with my legs and my shoes, I was not as confident about my distance. I was so looking forward to this and knew I could do really well - if I was in good form. Do to shin and calf pain I had not been able to train as much as I would have liked and I knew it was also frustrating my coach, who had given me a program to follow and I had been pretty much unable to do any of it.

We travelled down on Saturday afternoon and spent the last part of the day shopping at the Riccerton Mall. Heading back to the motel and settling in for the night. Awaking to an overcast day was a relief. It wasn't raining but it was not cold either.

As per usual in my nervousness we arrived about 30mins before anyone else did, so I had the track to my self and so made use of it for some calm time.
It didn't take long for the other 16 walkers to turn up....for many of us its a great catch up time and alot of friendly banter was being made and a fun atmosphere is created.

Shane was to be my and Stephens lap scorer and he settled in with his chair and spot on the side line.

With out much adieu the race was started and away we all went. The front group broke away quickly and made a size able gap by the first 3 laps. I had basically decided to find a pace and stick with it. I had programed my GPS with the silver lap times and did stay on track for the first 8 laps but with two cards from judges and then two marks on the DQ board....I slowed dramatically and really struggled mentally for a good 7 laps. But a few pep talks from Stephen as he lapped me helped me along and I picked it back up towards the end. When the horn blew we all stopped dead and I nearly fell flat on my nose.

The markers came round and measured where we had stopped and I new then I had won the bronze....BUT....I still had a very anxious wait for all the judging slips to come in as one more mark would see me DQ'd and I so didn't want that.

The best surprise of the day was Stephen winning the Trophy for walking the furthest and also him winning the judges pick on best style, plus he also won a bronze for the distance walked in his age group - 10.7km

On the way home Shane suggested we swing past Hamner Springs and soak in the hot pools for a couple of hours.........even though it was really crowded...I really enjoyed it and my muscles did too.

Photo is of me and Stephen(My Coach) and our winnings.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

NZ Nationals - 20km Road Walk

Sunday Morning came around too fast. After spending a wonderful day strolling the streets of Wellington on Saturday with crystal clear blue skys. It was sad to wake up to a light breeze at 6am. My plan today was to keep the younger competitor behind me as I was overly confident that age and experience would see me through and that she in her youth wouldnt have the stamina to carry her through...........You know...there are many times I should just keep those thoughts to myself!!! lol

The course was an interesting one. Walking around the top most part of the westpac stadium (under cover) then out across the walk way that goes down to the trains. A 2km lap all on concrete. Which I thought .. YES!! this will be a breeze, nice and flat and fast. Man was I way wrong.

We all line up for the start. I had programmed my GPS watch to beep at time splits not distance and was all geared up for my 20km pace. The gun goes off and away we went. I was most pleased to have the younger one behind me. But as we came back in doors after going out and around for our first lap, I realised we were going way too fast. Infact my watch didnt beep til 40 mt past the start/finish line!! as we came round again the young one started chatting to me and I also noticed she was getting warnings for bent knees. Me being me, I offered her some advise and said "keep your toes up" but she didnt listen. At the 5km mark I knew there was no way I could keep this pace up for another 15km and said to her...if you want to do the 3k track pace go for it!! to which she replied - "I intend to and will catch my mate" and away she went. My stratigy for doing that was this......she was not going to slow down so by going faster she was getting more warnigns and risked being DQ'd.

She put a large gap between us and by the 9km mark my body was screaming. My hips hurt, my knee was swelling and it felt like I had broken toes. With the knowledge that the young one had the bronze, I was going to pull out at the 10km mark. The wind was picking up making walking very hard and I was struggling to keep my form. As I came under cover for the 10km lap, I looked at the DQ board and saw that she had been pulled off the track - DQ'd. But that I had 2 marks on the board too. So to win the bronze I had to keep going for another 10km and not get 1 more mark on the board. After a stern talking to my self, I continued on and battled the wind, the judges, my body and my mind. The last lap took forever to get round, with every inch of my body complaining. I crossed the finish in 2 hours 10mins ( not the 2 hours and 3 mins we had planned) but I had finished and had no more marks giving me the Bronze Medal. Both of the top women walkers didnt post great times and everyone was saying how hard the surface was to walk it wasnt just me.

It was then a huge panic to get back to the motel, then to the track for medal presentaion. Which ran late and we had to hurry it up as we had booked a taxi to the airport at 1.15pm as both of us had planes to catch at 2pm. We made it to the airport with 2 mins to spare.

I had the most amazing time away. I was thrilled that the walking groups all knew who I was and had been following my progress too. They are a great bunch of competitors all offer advise freely and all so friendly and helpfull.

Here is the 20km Open Women recieving their medals. Rachel, Michelle and Me.

NZ Nationals - 3000m Track Walk

26 March 2009 - Myself and my coach travelled across to Wellington along with many other Nelson Athletes to compete at the NZ Nationals. We all represented Tasman Centre. For our track walk we had to first qualify to be able to enter and as luck would have it both my self and stephen did at the NZ Masters.

Wellington put on a gloreous day - by Wellington standards. Sunny but windy!! I was very nervious entering this as it is my first time competing in the Open class. So I was up against women half my age and size.

The gun goes off and all my plans go out the window as I get caught up with the first bunch. Sadly for me the first bunch seem to just steam away from me as if I was walking backwards but I was the leader of the next bunch of ladies. After 3 laps I settled into a steady pace with 3 competitors hard on my heels. Eventually the group made a break past me but did so in the group of three. I couldnt follow as they stayed two wide so I couldnt get past with out going 3 lanes wide. They were also working together and helping the middle girl (who I found out later was in the Open Women and not Under 19's) As I rounded the last lap (7.5 in total) I decided to give chase to the girl who had passed me as her group had carried on and left her behind. She was 40mt ahead of me and I picked up pace 100mt from the finish. I almost caught her as we went across the finish line. She beat me by 1 sec!! So I came 5th in the Open Women.

I had expected to do 17min and 20 secs but was most surprized to see I had finished 17min flat. That is 27 secs better than my best time. So I am thrilled with that.

My coach was just thrilled and was busy calculating my new training pace for the next couple of months.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Belgrove 18km Race

Records tumble during Belgrove event
The Nelson Mail Last updated 13:49 23/03/2009 Share Print Text Size Relevant offersThe Tasman Masters fifth Belgrove 18km road run on Sunday not only had a record number of entrants but also resulted in three race records being broken.

In winning the men's race in 1hr 4min 51sec, Simon Mardon broke his own record set two years ago by 74 seconds.

He had a good tussle with Brian Kemp before eventually managing to gradually pull away over the last 7km to win by 40 seconds. Kemp, who is currently enjoying his best form ever, also went under the previous best time.

Brent Stebbings had a good run to take third place overall in 1hr 8min 35sec.

Fourth and fifth placings were taken by two M40 runners, Neil Cotton (1hr 10min 13sec) and Steve Flaus (1hr 10min 18sec), who are both in serious training for the Rotorua marathon in six weeks time.

Sixth overall and the first M50 runner was Murray Hart in 1hr 10min 53sec, who also won the Tasman Masters trophy for the highest age graded percentage with 79.51 percent.

The second record was broken by Paula Canning in winning the women's race and finishing 11th overall. Her time of 1hr 13min 32sec broke her own record set in 2006 by 3min 39sec.

Canning's record continues her good form as evidenced by her win last month in the Buller marathon. Second place went to the improving Nicola Mercer in 1hr 22min 24sec.

The third woman was Collette Read in 1hr 24min 21sec who achieved an impressive improvement of 10min 47sec on last year's time.

In the 18km walk, Nyle Sunderland broke the women's record set by Wendy Healey in 2005 by 3min 36sec in recording a time of 1hr 55min 7sec. Her time was also an impressive improvement of 7min 56sec over her time last year.

Stephen Farquhar (1hr 44min 13sec) repeated his performance of last year in taking line honours in the 18km walk. Bevan Cook claimed third place, four seconds over the two hour mark.

Craig and Maren Harford won the 18km relay run in 1hr 26min 54sec to head off Peter Hague and Shane Sunderland in 1hr 33min 55sec.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 2, NZ Masters in Tauranga 2009

Photo of our team - Gary Holtz, Me, Peter Hauge, Stephen Farquhar & Yvonne Shaw

2.30am Sunday morning I awake with cold sweats and vomiting…..”oh Joy” I think to my self. I lay awake until its time to get up trying hard not to be sick again. After talking with coach it is decided that I try and start the race and just get around the judges to finish. Today is the 10km and one that I had hoped to do my best in. We all get up and put on our damp racing gear from Friday….ughh…..and head for the 2km walkway. Yvonne takes one look at me and teases me that even when I tell her I am sick she can still never beat me and that I will prob do a record time…….. I weakly laugh and start to dread the start.

8am we are lined up ready to go, gun goes off and away they all go. Stephen to the front, Pete, Yvonne, Gary and then little ol me. There were 6 judges scattered around the track today, so you really have to be watchful and concentrate all the time. By the 2nd lap round I saw Yvonne pass pete and as I too got close enough I also passed Pete….he was looking greener than me!!! Both of us must have eaten something that didn’t agree with our tummy’s. I was not enjoying this race on little bit. I was mentally struggling with the fact that Yvonne was getting further and further away from me and the fact that I was going to be ill at any moment was not helping either.

I managed to make it to the 5km mark before I had to succumb to the queasiness in my tummy and took the opportunity to be ill on the grassy corner out of everyone’s view. Pete by this stage had got his second wind and was away again. With Yvonne in his sights he set out after her and did manage to catch her in the final few laps but sadly for Pete on the last lap as he went over the speed bump a judge was watching and it was decided he had a bent knee and he was disqualified. Which was such a shame as he had picked up and was making good time.

Yvonne cleared the 10km with no marks on the DQ board and won her age group with a time of 1 hour 2 mins. I crossed the line with 1 mark on the DQ board (you can have 3 then you are disqualified) I won my age group with a time of 1 hour 4 mins. Glad to have finished I crawled off to the side and lay on the cold grass and proceed to feel like I was going to die!!! It was the worst I have ever felt during a race.

Photo is of me slowly coming back to life and speaking with Stephen (my coach)

After the race we zipped back to the motel, through all the gear into the rental and it was announced that I was driving back home while the guys were going to sit in the back and enjoy all the wineries on the way home……………..all 3 of them. Needless to say that by the time we pulled up at the airport, the guys were in a “great” mood and poured them selves out of the car and into the airport. Luck it was a gentle flight back home.

All in all, we had a fantastic trip away with most of us winning two gold medals and being NZ champs in our age groups. Stephen and I have qualified and been invited to enter the NZ Open Track & Field at the end of March…so what this space.

Day 1, NZ Masters Champs in Tauranga

Day 1, NZ Masters Champs in Tauranga

Friday 6th March 2009 brought about the start of the NZ Masters Champs. We had decided to fly up to Auckland and then drive to Tauranga… thinking it’s only an hour drive – turned out to be more like 3!! The flight up was bumpy and I got my ears talked off by a wee 6 year old that sat beside me. After a 2 km walk to find the Juicy Rental cars – we bundled into the wee car and were off…………in the wrong direction and almost ended up in Auckland city!! Being with two men… was up to me to get directions and head us in the reverse direction and on our way.

We arrive in Tauranga 3 hours later and it is pouring with rain. The track is just a wash with water and did not look that inviting for walking…back stroke or freestyle more like. The only positive thing was that it was very muggy and humid with no wind. After a wee huddle amongst our wee team it was decided that personnel bests were not going to be broken in these conditions and that to just get the race over and done with was good enough. We braved the rain and proceeded to warm up and get ready for our first race of the weekend – 3000m track walk.

At the gun, Stephen leapt out to a front spot, closely followed by Pete. I set off after them and quickly passed the two walkers between us. I quickly set into a comfortable pace and was surprised to hear as I went past the time keeper that I had done a 2.11 first lap and that I was feeling great. This continued through the next 5 laps and as I came round on the last lap and heard my time I knew that if I pushed now it would be a personal best……and it was.

I improved my 3000m track time by 9 secs…………17:26 was my official time. Nelson also bagged 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th with 3 of us getting personal bests and 4 getting GOLD medals to boot. Stephen (our coach) was just thrilled.

Saturday was our day off, so we travelled back up the road to Wahi to met up with Cath. While exploring Wahi we discovered that up behind the old pump house was a huge huge hole!!!! Infact, it’s the largest open cast gold mine in the Southern Hemisphere. Most impressive. We all drove back to the motel and preceded to park up for the night, it was raining again so telly was put on so the guys could watch rugby. We were all watching the lightening out side when a close clap of thunder struck…….blew the power for the whole of Tauranga and Rotorua for 2 hours. I have never heard a clap of thunder like that before.

Friday, February 20, 2009

2009 World Masters Games

Well I cant beleive I am about to post this.

The World Masters Games are being held in Sydney this year, in October. It has been something of a small dream of mine that I should enter. I told a few people I would love to do it but didnt really think that it would be a posiblity.

After my success at The Buller Half Marathon, I started to look towards the end of the year with a great longing. Then some thing happened that made me change my priorities. What happened? A very sad event happened.....while competeing at the Buller as I neared the end an ambulance went out with lights and sirens blazing. Everyone was talking about this at the prize giving and then a couple friends of my training partner came over and told us of seeing a male walker colapase and they stopped running to asist and ended up giving CPR until the ambulance arrived. Lucky they were nurses. Well after that, no one knew who it was or any other details until I looked up on the Stuff Sight and went to the Westport paper and learnt of the persons name. It was a walker we all new, he was only 60 and his wife had walked that day too and had won her age group in the rec walk. They both come over to our events and compete and are well liked and respected. Sadly, he died on Weds afternoon after spending 4 days in intensive care.

This made me think that time is really too short and that why put off tomorrow what you can do today!! so I chatted to my hubby and he said go for it.

So I am officiall announcing that I have booked and paid for my flights and entry....

I am going to the 2009 World Masters Games in October!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Buller Half Marathon 2009

This is an event I have been waiting all year to enter again. Last year I was second women home in the Race Walking section and I was so determined to go back and win it and do a faster time.

This year was to be more of a challenge to me than I had first thought of.

1) - my training partner and very good friend was entering as a RaceWalker
2) - I had torn my calf and it has not healed
3) - I had not long recovered from 100 day cough

We had all challenged my husband, Shane, at xmas time to enter and so he had been jogging along with Yvonne and me on our long Sunday treks. Week 1 a 12km, week 2 a 16km and week 3 an 18km and then after that we shortened it back again. But 2 weeks out both Yvonne and I were injured. We had both pulled the same leg calf muscle. Both of us were hedging bets on how the race would go and as the day drew nearer the scarier it got. I just couldnt see myself being aggressive and competitive against her. I was really worried that I wouldn't be able to find my competitive edge at all.

This year the race was run on Valentines day....which is also our 6th Wedding anniversary.....a nice way to celebrate it I thought.

We drove down to Westport on Friday, stopping at the swing bridge and going over (me terrified of heights....I nearly had kittens..TWICE!!) but I lived and made it back.

We pull into Westport and find our accommodation. A lovely man had opened up his home and billeted us for the night.

5am Saturday, we awake to eat banana's and get ready only to find its RAINING!!!!! well that's better than 30 deg heat....a little....We head to the buses and get taken to the start line. Promptly dropped off at 7.30am and left as offerings to the sandflys (that were the size of house flys!!) Race start was 8.30am and the gun goes off and away went the runners. I waved and blew kisses to Shane as he jogged past to start his first ever Half Marathon. Then in a huge mix up, instead of waiting 5 mins the guy yelled out to go as walkers were getting mixed up with the runners. So off we shot. Yvonne and I flew off to a shocking pace...way too fast but neither would let up. We did out first km in 6mins 11 (and thats up hill too) and that pace continued for the first 7km. I clicked on my music at 7km and set off in the hope that I could pull away and put a small amount of space between us. I slowly pulled away...metre by metre until at the 10km mark there was a 30 mtre gap. By the 10km mark my leg was hurting terribly, I had felt it tear and the pain was awful, but the stubborn me kept pushing. In this whole time unbeknown to Shane...he was only 100m a head of me and I had been watching him the whole time. I had hoped to catch up to him just at the finish but he found a surge of energy towards the end and I lost sight of him. But the time I crossed the bridge 2km out from the township, I looked behind and thought I saw Yvonne hot on my heels (about 30 mtres behind me) and was so paniced as I was completely done and dont think I could have fought her off.

Turning at the ANZ bank has never felt soooo good. Racing towards the park and finish I was thrilled to know 100% I had won the race walk section and given a personal best time. As soon as I crossed the line it was a quick dash to the first aid station and ice on my leg for half an hour. I was there for Yvonne cheering her on and jumping for joy seeing her beat her last years time and finish too.

We stayed on for prize giving and I won .. a trophy, a pair of shoes, a rimu jewellery box and a huge bottle of bubbly. The cute wee tiger is my Valentines pressy...hehehe...still romance there.