Today was the club race Swan Trophy. I have no idea why it has this name. This is an undulating course with a slight up hill rise for the first 5km and a slight down hill for the last 5km. Its a basic out and back course.
In the past I have done it in ......1:13 then 1:10 then 1:03 then after Sydney Masters Games 58:28 and last year 1:00:01
I was really pleased my coach had said to "race" this one. So not really knowing what I would do for 10km I looked up the past few years to find what the record time was for this course. It was set last year by Wendy Healey at 57:14.....so that became my goal. Get 57:00 flat and I would be happy with that. I have had a painfull hamstring for the last 3 days. I got a bad cramp in it and its been tender ever since. So I was worried that this race may give me an injury from it. But my coach assured me that it was just a spasm and that use is the best recovery. But that if it really "hurts" then dont do the race or stop and pull out.
I drove out to the Maitai Valley and met up with everyone....I love these races as its like a family gathering. It was chilly but I opted to keep my shorts on and just wear my sponsor long sleeve marino.......(I could have easily taken it off but needed to over heat a little) When we lined up I noted that Nerilie had just arrived on her bike ... she is an AMAZING walker and pretty much my masters idol for Nelson. I have never raced her and it will be her records that I have as my aim in the next age group. But she was doing the 5km today and so I noted she had strolled up the road a little and I hoped she was going to 'judge" the start. We are off and I went out like a jack rabbit......pulled my self in check and quickly settled into my rhythm. The first km is not so tough..up and over a small bride and then down into the curves as the road winds around the river. Then at the 3km mark it starts to gently climb. I wanted to get to the 5km turn cone in about 28mins and I got there in 27:42......ok a quick try to do math......nope brain was mush......but I had to come back just as quick as up...so I figured perhaps 55 or 56.....hmmm yep I could live with that.
I pushed hard as I turned to take advantage of the down hill... passing the other walkers and then coming up against the on coming runners (they started 15mins after us) there were lots of encouragement called out and well dones, keep it up.... and that all helps.
I found it pretty lonely today....I am not used to being this far out in the lead......I couldnt see anyone behind me but I knew the 2.5 cone was coming up so I might have a few of the 5km walkers to pick off. Sure enough.....as I went past the cone I could see two walkers ahead.
I was breathing hard....and had been pretty much the whole walk....which is something new to me. Up until now I have held back in my walks training to a heart rate etc...and I have found it fairly easy...today was NOT easy. It was not hard but I knew I was pushing myself. The interesting thing I have found looking at my data is the diff between my max heart rate and my avg. My max was 167 and my avg was 161...this shows me that I was keeping my self up in the high end of my fitness and was still consistent in my pace and exertion too.
As I came over the bridge for my last km, I checked my watch......then checked it again.....I quickly added 6mins (worst case senario) ... wow 55mins:??? secs....holy cow....I was going to get the record and a new personal best. So I dug deep and as I came over the bridge and saw the finish cones were only 500m away .... and I know how fast I can do 500m in my track training...i went for it. Really pushed myself. I crossed the line and stopped my watch and then looked down....................OMFG!!!! I asked the people who were taking the times to tell me what they had for me as I thought there had been a mistake...............nope NO mistake. 54:43 was the time I had done. So that is a course record (t0 my knowledge) and a personal best for me.
and the best news.......Nerilie coming and telling me that she couldnt fault my technique and that I looked strong and very fast. The only thing I did wrong.....was 2 strides out from the finish line.....I broke style as I hit my stop button..... so she just said to me to make sure I focus on at least another metre before I finsih a race.
data attached with my km splits. I have VERY happy with these and with this race. I am so ready for Sacramento................BRING IT ON!!!10km Swan Troph