Saturday, October 30, 2010

Waimea Half Marathon 2010

About a month ago I asked a friend of mine if she would like to enter as a walking team for the up coming Waimea Half Marathon. I had not decided if I would do the full just yet but doing it as a team is great fun. We discussed names and finally settled on "Pink Panthers" so we went out and brought pink wigs, pink tee shirts and pink tights. As I love to do make up I opted to do us both up.

At the last minute I decided I would walk the whole event, which meant that I started first (tagging my team member at the 10km mark and taking off my team number)

The day was a magic day. Super hot with start temp of 16deg and climbing up to 22deg but with no breeze it was very hot. 8am came and the walkers were called to the start line. There had been lots of banter about our costumes and a few who didn't recognize either of us hehe. They counted down and the race started. Wendy bolted from the start as she always does and so I stayed close by but was not to bothered as I had my own race plan and was going to stick to it. Basically - settle in to my race pace and stay consistent throughout the race.

This course is a 5km loop that takes you down a 1km straight, turns and goes up a wee rise then weaves you in and out of big pine trees and then along the beach edge to join back up with the original long straight. By the time we rounded our first lap and came back through the timing shoots, Wendy would have been a good 1 min a head of me and seemed to be pulling slowly away from me. I checked my GPS watch and saw my pace was still around the 6min/km and I was happy with that. I ticked along keeping an eye on the time and the people around me. Runners had started by now and so the banter and encouragement was great. By the second lap I noticed that Wendy seemed to have slowed a litte as I had gained some ground on her. I was really pleased that Wendy had changed her mind and decided to enter this event, as I prefer to have someone to chase rather than be chased. Plus Wendy is a very fast and experienced race walker that I have yet to beat.

I came through the shoot and tagged my team mate and then quickly ripped off my team number and headed out again for the next two laps. I started taking note of how close I seemed to be getting to Wendy and by the 12km I had come up right behind her, she could hear me as I was scuffing my feet quite badly. She surged off and I decided to stay at my pace and follow as it was too soon from me to chase. She pulled away from me by about 20 meters but the gap never seemed to grow. We came through the shoot for the last time and headed out to complete our last 5km lap. I didn't expect to catch and pass Wendy at all...let alone at the 15km mark but its the way it happened. So with my kick down training I figured just go hard now and try to put a gap between us. I have no idea when she dropped off from behind me, I dont think I looked back once. I was so sure she was only 10 meters or so behind me. I rounded the beach and up the last rise to head back up the 1km straight to the finish. The last straight always feels like it takes for ever and the finish line has never looked soooo good.

I crossed the line in 2:09:58 Yay oh Yay, I took 1.5min off my person best for 21.1 km and I think I may have the course record too. I walked around and got my drink and then came back to the start to wait for my team mate to finish - she rocked in winning us the team walk event. So proud and it was great to call out to each other on the walk "think pink" ... soon others were doing the same to us too. So we both walked back over to our bags and sat down with the others while we waited for prize giving.

We were given a team sport prize while we were sitting in the sun, which was a nice surprise. Then the prize giving started. I won the Individual Half Marathon, we won the team walk and we won the best dress team too!! Then they drew out the major spot prizes and I was the last name they drew out ... I also won a pair of Ascics Shoes which I needed desperately as my normal walking/running shoes were old. So all in all a FANTASTIC DAY!!

Race Start - Gillian, ? , Nyle & Wendy

Maree and Me - Pink Panthers

Me out on the course - coming through the timing shoot

Me - We had the best day.

here are my lap splits and race details.
Waimea Half Marathon by kyisis at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, October 25, 2010

20km Long Distance Walking Champs & 10km NZ Road Champs

This is the event I have been waiting for. It would be my first time entering plus I get to met back up with my good friend David Smyth from Australia as he has come over for it and is rooming with me at the motel. Along the way we also picked up an extra roomy, with Rosie from Dunedin joining us too. We all arrived into Hastings on Saturday afternoon and spent our first night chatting about all things walking and also the next days event. Lights out by 10pm and it didnt take rosie or david long to be happily sound as sleep........ME on the other had lay there wide away like a wee possum until 2am then I fell asleep for about an hour as I woke at 3am and lay there again till 4ish waking again at the alarm at 6am!!! Peachy I thought....I really needed a good nights sleep and was reluctant to take a sleeping pill the night before.....(hindsight is a great thing I now know what I should have done) So we all got up, dressed quietly...each with our own minds on the days events. Taxi arrived and away we went. Rosie was set on winning the 15km Open Womens, David set on getting his first NZ Road Title and also completing the 20km event and Me on winning my first NZ 10km Road Title and also winning the Masters 20km.

We arrived at the location. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky nor a breath of wind. It was going to be a hot one!!! Just as we arrived we got to watch the start of the 50km Championship walk - all men today. (cripes I would not want to be doing 50km in this heat) We grabbed our race packs and laced up the transponders. With Athletic NZ putting the Road Champs on as well it meant many more walkers entered so I think we had the largest met of walkers seen in a few years. With a 1km loop course it meant you could always see what was going on and you always had someone just in front or just behind you...It was great!!!

So its 8am and we line up. I had been told to settle into my race pace as quickly as I could so when the gun went off thats pretty much what I tried to do. I let all the quick ones head off early as most of them were also only walking 10km so I didnt want to go at their pace. But it wasnt long before I slowly started picking them off one by one....before long I was leader of the 20km walkers, I had Sue Hoskins hot on my heels with her only being 20mt behind me at the 8km mark. At about 8.5km my knee gave out.....I have no idea of what happened but it felt like something had peiced me behind my knee. It hurt to bend or straighten it, I was guttered. I slowed up my pace a little which helped but that also meant Sue got past me. I struggled through the 9km loop and contimplated pulling out at the 10km but as I came through to cross for the 10km my knee was no longer hurting and I was able to carry on. (again I have no idea what happened and it has done this too me during my training walks of late too) So I saw that Sue was about 40mt ahead of me so I picked up the pace and caught her up but then she also picked up the pace so I sat on her heel for a couple of laps as I didnt feel I had it in me to hold that pace for the next I pulled back and let her go her a 15m lead on me. At around 14km I slowly gained on her again as she had slowed down but rather than go then I chose to sit right on her heel and see what she would do. But over the next 3 km she was slowing down so much that I figured it was time to make a break. I had already worked out that I was off my pace so I was now trying to pick a good time to make the break so that I could hold my pace. I picked 17.5k mark.....I stepped to the right of her and just pushed hard. When I crossed the 18km she was a good 40mt behind me and the gap grew to about 100m or so very quickly. So I tried to push hard and pick up my pace. All I wanted to do was finish in a time faster than any of my training times. So when I crossed the line in 2.05 I was thrilled. It was not my fastest time but it was not my slowest time either. Besides it was sooo hot out there. The heat off the tarmac and between the huge storage sheds was so intense. I have no idea of what the temp was but it felt like a good 30degs.

So I won two golds for those races. But sadly due to an admin error they didnt have the medals for the 40 - 44 age group for the Road Champs, so myself and Katie T didnt recieve a medal (they will be posted to us soon)

I will up load my data from my GPS when I am home but the splits were all wrong, by 3 km mark they were off by 50mt and it just got worse, but I do have my " offical " splits.
1 - 5.55
2 - 6.05
3 - 6.06
4 - 6.05
5 - 6.02
6 - 6.08
7 - 6.09
8 - 6.13
9 - 6.25 (this is the lap my knee went)
10- 6.16
11- 6.16
12- 6.11
13- 6.21
14- 6.27
15- 6.31 (sitting on sues heels)
16- 6.25
17- 6.31
18- 6.23
19- 6.18
20- 6.16

So all in all a great day and a great race!!!!

Today (Monday) I am not feeling too bad but my left knee is very sore, so I do think I have tweaked it a little and will go and get it checked out tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

5km Series - Fartlek

Tonight was the Wensley Road course. It is an out and back up over the switch backs. (Two sharp hills) So trying to do a fartlek was a little tough as the first km where I was to go fast was partly up hill and I also struck the same when I reached the switch backs. The start and stop of my fast and slow was either side of each rise so it is very hard to see that I speed up or slowed down.

I was really thrilled to have gone under 30mins for this course and with that type of training. Total time was 29:52 I felt awesome. No niggles or tweeks anywhere. So I am feeling very confident about my upcoming race on Sunday. I am not going to post a time as I dont want to post to high or too low. I am just going to give it my all and be very happy with that.

The weekend after is the Waimea Half Marathon and I have entered to walk the Half and also be part of a team. So I start out and wear two numbers and then Maree starts out at the 10km mark. Our team name is "Pink Panthers" and we will be decked out in Pink tops, shorts and pink bob wigs......I will make sure we take some photos.

Here is my garmin data for anyone interested.

5km Series - Wensley Road - Fartlek by kyisis at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, October 18, 2010

10km Kickdown

Well today was to be a great day all round! First - I got the job I had been hoping for at Contour Roofing and Second I had an awesome training session.

I decided to go out and walk on the Atawhai Walkway as that was one of the flatter areas. I was going to be doing a 10km kickdown (4 x 2.5km) So I decided that if follow these paces it will work out just fine. 6.30, 6.20, 6.10 and then 6.00

Now my watch is set up to auto lap each 1km so its a little hard to see the actual pace marks but my first km was too quick and my second km too slow as I tried to slow down and settle into it. 4 & 5 km were a little better and I had picked up the pace a little by then but when I turned at the 5km I felt great and headed for home with gutso. To see my pace for kms 8,9 & 10 ... I was rapt!!! I was tired and my legs were sore from my 15km but all in all I felt awesome and thrilled to be out. My hubby had come along on his mountain bike to keep me company, as we got to the walk way it started to rain (he was not as thrilled to be there then lol) but once we got going it passed over and ended up a nice hot day. He brought the video camera and filmed me. I will up load that to YouTube and link it to here too. My style is still very stiff and heavy looking but I am getting faster again and when I slow the video to frame by frame I am legal for knees!! that was my biggest fear. I dont think I will ever have a style that has me lifting or looking light on my feet so I concede to work with what I got.

and here is the youtube site for my video

My Garmin details are here.

10km Kickdown training by kyisis at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday, October 17, 2010

15km Training Walk

 I went out for a short 8km training walk on Thursday and it felt awful.  I had no energy and my legs were so heavy, later that night I felt my aura in my left eye and knew I was in for a migraine.  So that was the end of my training for the last 3 days.  I woke this morning and still felt foggy headed.  The pain was nearly all gone but I knew I would be ok to walk with it.  The weather decided to really test my dedication though, it was very windy and raining but at least it wasn't cold....its about 13deg which was actually quite mild.

I decided to head out on the same course that I had used on Thursday but to carry on for 7km  then turn and make up the extra on the return stretch.  I was feeling pretty good which surprised me, the wind was behind me and so it felt nice and easy.  I thought I would get 7km out before I turned but it instead ended up being 6.5km........and it was then that I felt the wind.  It didnt feel like much of a tail wind but when you turn and walk into it....well it felt pretty strong to me ..hahaha.. plus the rain was stinging my face so I just put my head down and gritted my teeth and punched into it.  So my pace dropped for the return kms.  When I got back up on to the walk way by my home I knew it was only going to make the walk 13km so I decided to carry on past and walk out and around the school and come back to home on the road.  So I used the last 2km as a mini kickdown and pushed hard to finish them with a good solid pace. 

It was an ok time, not as fast as my 16km pace the week before but then it wasnt windy or raining either.  So I guess that evens it out.  So 1:35:36 for my 15km with an avg pace of 6:22/km

 Heres my Garmin data if anyone is curious.
15km training walk by kyisis at Garmin Connect - Details

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

5km series Olympus Way - fartlek

Tonights 5km was meant to be Churchill was going to be challenging enough to try and do a fartlek on that course but when I got to the event and found out it was the Olympus Way course, well lets just say it was going to be a whole lot more challenging. Olympus Way is the stair case course. The first 1km is a slow climb to reach the stairs and then its 96 steps straight up. The course then winds around the back streets of Richmond climbing gently as we go. At the 1.5km it starts the downhill section.....(right where I was to slow and take it easy for 500m) then it continues flat for another 1km before climbing sharply up and winding back up the streets. My last 500m slow walk timed in perfect with the steepest part and I was able to slow power walk up this one. Then the last 1km was and up and down to the finish.

I tried really hard to push for this one but the first km was steeper than I anticipated and so it doesn't show how hard I was walking.

So for anyone who is curious to check my lap splits , they are set for 500m laps.

I was to do 1500 fast, 500 slow, 1500 fast, 500 slow and 1000 fast. (so laps 1,2 & 3 are the first fast section, lap 4 my slow etc......) Lap 2 & 3 were the stairs which I tried taking 3 at a time.....that got the heart rate up quick lol...But my last lap was a nice fast one so I was pleased to finish this course tonight in 30:50

5km series Olympus Way - fartlek by kyisis at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday, October 10, 2010

El Taverna 10 miler (16km)

I got up at 5am this morning and made myself some breakfast (a weetbix and milk) and then went back to bed until 7am.  At 7am I got up got dressed and then race walked down to the start as my warm up.  The start was about 3km away from where we live.   It was quite nippy this morning and when I got to the start I still had 15mins mucking around and quickly cooled again.

After chatting to the other walkers for a little bit and jittering about to keep warm we were finally taken down to the start.  7.45 am for the walkers and 8.30am for the runners.  With little formality we were given the count down and we were off.

Heading up onto the railway reserve, as I knew it has such a climb I held back a little as I figured there was no point using up all my energy on the first 3km and that I could easily pick up the time on the down hill section.  As we headed from the road onto the track my watch beeped......"bugger I thought, it was still set on 500m auto record" so I fiddled around with my watch and set it to 1km....thinking it would auto correct.  No it didn't, it started the lap scoring from that point but my watch would bleep at me in between saying true to its original settings.  Oh well I was not going to bother to much about it as it would still give me my distance and time, the splits were here nor there for this race and it was handy when I got a little message telling me what my last 1km split was.

I was feeling great and when we reached the down hill I decided to let fly and use it to my advantage.  The course uses part of the Half Marathon course and some extras thrown in too.  I went through 5km at 30:44 The section that takes us out to Monarco is probably the worst part.  The road has a bad camber and is very pitted, but it is the same for all of us.  As we loop out of Monarco we hit the 10km mark, I went through at 1:01:25 .... its my fastest 10km time in a wee while.  My body was feeling good, no aches and pains, breathing was under control...all in all I was feeling strong.  I looked a head and saw that Wendy was about 500m in front of me and figured that she has slowed as I was pretty sure she was at least 800m earlier.  So I picked up the pace (so it felt) and put chase.

Pushing hard as we hit the main road in Richmond, 1km to the finish and tried hard to pick up the pace.  I wanted to beat my time from two years ago.  I had finished in 1:48 and I felt confident that I would finish around the 1:40 mark.  Lucky for me the traffic lights changed in my favour just as I came to them and I didnt have to waste time waiting for a safe time to cross, I pushed hard for the last 100m to finish in 1:39:28......a much need confidence boost as that is an avg of 6:09 per km.

This is a little video taken by my hubby as I passed by our house.  Its taken from our camera so its not the best quality.

Here are my lap splits - a little confusing as I mixed up the first 500m.
Eltravena 10miler by kyisis at Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, October 09, 2010

4km along railway reserve

After coming down sick yesterday I felt sure that my 16km (10miler) race was out. But thankfully it went as fast as it came on. Triple dose of vit C, fluids and sleep sure helped. So tonight I went for a very short walk along the railway reserve behind our house. I took it very easy as I wanted to see how I felt plus this was going to be the start of the race tomorrow and I was very curious to actually measure it out on my GPS and see the elevation as I already knew it was steeper than I first thought.

On the data below the best way to figure it out is to take it from the 1k through to the we start from home which is approx 1km from the end. But I worked out that from the very start of the track it is 28 meters and then by the first km along the track it has risen to 54 meters and by the time you make it to the end of the track (another km as the track is 2km in length) it is 84 meters. Thats wonder I am pushing hard feeling like I am crawling in speed. Thats a total gain of 56 meters in 2km.......yeah quite a climb.....and I have that to look forward to again tomorrow.......

again.....blonde moment.....I have still not changed the settings on my watch and it was reading each 500m....the first two km I had hubby jogging beside me and then I carried on by myself.
4km along railway reserve by kyisis at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A walk up the Grampian Hills behind our house.

Well tonight was a x-train so Hubby and I grabbed the dogs and chose to walk up the Grampians behind us.  We used to do this every night last summer and both of us got very fit very quickly.  Its not a huge climb but when unfit its a good 35 minute walk but when fit we would blast it out in 20 minutes.  Tonight it was a 35min walk as we and our dogs are not so fit anymore and surprisingly it was me who felt the effects of walking up 3/4 up the hill my calf's were really hurting and when we walked down I had to stop twice to stretch them out as they kept cramping......"old age is what my hubby muttered a couple of times"..... hes such a funny man!! lol

The path up is just a dirt path amongst ferns and high trees with a bubbling brook running by the path, something our dogs loved lots.  When we got to the top I wandering to the look out and took some photos but sadly as the weather was just starting to turn it was sort of foggy so its not Nelson at its best. 

I have put little comments on each of the photos.....I have zoomed in for these as it seemed to make the photo clearer.  The port shot shows the 1km loop I used for my 20km walk and my 10km kick back.  Nelson's port is one of the busiest in New Zealand.  Then we look straight down and can see our house and the walk way that I start and finish most of my walks on.  (This will be the start of the 16km on Sunday.....straight up the 45m gradiant...ugh) Also had to put one photo in of our dogs....dont have any kids at home any more so we spoil these guys rotten in stead.

A close up of the Port and Marina....also shows where I have been doing my 1km loops.
 Looking down on our house and Railway Reserve
 Looking out over the Port.. and part of residential Nelson
 Hubby and our dogs at the top.....letting the dogs get their breathe back - trixie was sniffing for rabbits....
 this is a section of the track (I stole it from the mountain bike site....shhhhh)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

5km Series - Hart Road

Tonight was a nice and easy 5km with the club. Every season from October through to end of March the Waimea Club holds its 5km series, there are 9 courses that we usually end up doing 3 times. They are varied in difficulty - meaning hilly......not so bad for the runners but not always that suited to any walker. But still its very social and alot of fun. There is always a time keeper so its up to the individual to make it what they want....they can either race themselves or others.

I can see by my splits that I had not changed the settings on my watch from my fartlek so it recorded in 500m

I was told to take it easy tonight and so I did. When we were told to start I just headed off at my own pace not really worrying about who was in front or behind. We headed up Queen Street and turned into Hill Street (aptly named for its 3 large curves) then we turn down into Hart Road and then back towards the finish. I look at my splits and chuckle to myself....I sort of did my own sort of kickback as I got faster per km .... reverse splits is a good thing. I really enjoyed this walk but my legs were very tired and I dont think I could have pushed much faster if I had wanted too.

Tomorrow night I have decided is a rest night so I will grab hubby and the dogs and walk up the grampian hills behind up to the TV tower. I will make sure I take a camera and post some pics of the views over Nelson.

Here are my splits for the race
5km Series - Hart Road by kyisis at Garmin Connect - Details

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

10km fartlek - Fail -

After a very very gentle 30min race walk on my tread mil for Mondays workout I was all set for the 10km fartlek......

I was really amped to do this work out. I felt it was going to be a great challenge and I was so up to it......yeah right!!!

I did my usual....and bolted for the first km doing it in 5:35, my lungs were burning and I was struggling to recover. I completed the next km and was having trouble with my breathing for the fast 500m, when I turned to come back and do the 3rd km, I knew I was in trouble. I just couldnt get my breathing to settle and when I had to pick it up for the 500m I was really struggling. But me being me decided to punch on through it and force myself....big mistake there!! as my watch beep for the 3km I managed to hit the stop button just as everything started to spin and I had to stop.....I was gasping by no air was getting felt like an asthma attack...I had to concentrate on slowing my breathing down and getting it under control. It took about a minute to gather myself and then I started out again, but I did pull back the pace and never really regained it. I had hoped to do a sub 30 for 5km and hit the 60min for 10km.........but obviously my fitness is just not there yet...its getting my legs were still feeling the 20km walk too. My poor toe nail is black and blue now, I am sure I will lose it soon.

I hit 5km in 30:35 and then total time for 10km ended up being 1:02:27 I am a little disappointed about this but I guess these work outs are very new to me and they take a bit of getting used was only my second time and it was over 10km.............ok enough excuses!!! roll on the next work out. There is the start of our clubs 5km series tomorrow so I might go and stroll around that.

here are my splits for anyone that is keen to peek
10km fartlek by kyisis at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday, October 03, 2010

20km - 1km laps

Today I was to try out my new shoes and do 20kms. It is tricky to find a good course as no matter which way I head from our house, it is always up hill back home. So I thought I would find a nice 1km flat section of road and do 1km loops.........the race I have coming up is over 1km loops so may as well get used to it now.

It was a wonderful day. Not a cloud in the sky, not a breath of wind and 22 degs C (72F) defiantly a shorts and tee shirt day!! I picked Atkinson Street down the port as it is not a busy street and it has been built on reclaimed land so and flat as I can find. Plus nice views of all the boats and birds as I walk back and forth.

I started out a little too quick. I found that my head just went into "race mode" and really had to fight with my self to pull doing 5km in 30.40 was not the plan but its what ended up happening. The idea was also to push for 2km 3x during the walk. I made my first attempt at the 7km mark but as soon as I pushed my knee would I eased up. I stopped briefly at the 8km as I needed a drink and I put some anti flame on my knee (which made a helped lots) I also found one of my Power Gels and sucked on that quickly as I had not had breakfast and was feeling the effect of no gas in the tank. So I started out and tried to keep to a fairly steady pace, I did try to push again and managed to made a small dent in my pace time but the tank was empty. I passed many people out walking their dogs and by the 15km mark had my very own cheer leading squad calling out from the boats in the Marina. There are a large number of live a boards in our marina and so I caught their eye. My cheer leaders had brought deck chairs out on the deck of their boats and were sizzling steak on a bbq and having a quiet drink. Smelt so good too.

My shoes were awesome. No complaints there at all. I did however get a lot of chaffing under one arm and had put Vaseline on before going too. I just didnt expect it to be so hot.

As I turned for my last 2km I felt such a releif that I had actually completed it again and the body had held together. I pushed hard for the last km and had hoped for a much faster time than a week ago. I was a little disappointed that it was not as fast as I had hoped but still it was a little quicker than last. I finished in 2:06:41 about 1 min faster. So I will take that.
This was my view heading back to the start of my one km.  Great walkway - smooth and flat.

Heading up off the walkway onto the road for about 200m then I would turn and head back again.

The live a board boats in our Marina - My cheer leaders are on the first boat on the left side of picture. You can see them posing as they thought I was taking their picture.
Here are my laps for anyone who would like to view.
20km - 1km laps by kyisis at Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, October 02, 2010


Yesterday I went out and did an 11km kickback. One thing I didn't mention in my quick post was the sad demise of my favorite training shoes. During my walk I noticed that my big toe on the left foot was feeling hot??? odd I thought. I carried on but for the last three km it was actually really hot and just starting to hurt, by now I had thought I must have a stone in my shoe. When I got home and took my shoes off I was shocked to see the I had "walked" out of my shoe. There was a hole right through and I had worn a hole in my sock plus I had a lovely looking blister. Cant say I don't push off now!! lol But this brought me a new problem. Do I use my racing shoes to train in or dig around in the wardrobe for an old pair that still had some life left in them.

Here are my retired Saucony Type A2 shoes that have done 893km (that I have at least recorded in them, probably a whole lot more)

My wonderful husband came to the rescue and marched me off to the Shoe Clinic (Nelson major training shoe store) to get some new shoes. There was not much to pick from as racing flats are not that popular so I got some Nike Zoom Speed Lite x2. I will use these for a few days to break them in and then they will be come my race shoes and my race shoes at present will swap to be my training shoes. But we have found the same shoe for sale on Ebay and will probably buy another pair in a month or so.

NEW SHOES!!!!!!  

So needless to say I didn't train today as my foot was very sore and also when I woke this morning I was very sore on the inside of my Thigh/knee?...just very tight when straightening the leg (the down hill section I may have stretched out too much) so I opted to ice my foot and my knee and they feel so much better now. So will head out in the new shoes for a 20km walk tomorrow....unless I am told other wise by my stand in coach/friend who is helping me out.

Friday, October 01, 2010

11km kickdown

Tonight I was to do a 12km kickdown .... altering my pace at each 3km segment...going from slow to med to fast.

I choose to go around our big block and for some reason I thought it was 12km but turns out it was only 11km. Oh and on that note......I should have thought more about this course as the beginning has a slight down hill gradient (which I made sure I was slow on) but the last 3 km is slightly up hill. Not overly noticeable to the eye but you can sure feel it when you walk it. So sadly, even thought I was pushing hard, my splits for the last 3km dont look like it. Trust me on this though, I was sure breathing hard and for the last km I went all out and my poor lungs sure felt it.

Here are my splits for those that are curious.
11km kick down by kyisis at Garmin Connect - Details