Sunday, July 31, 2011

6km track - first workout

What a gorgeous day..............11degs, no frost and full SUN!!!! just a pity I didnt feel like being out in it for my first workout. With all that has happened with my son in hospital I have ended up with a huge migrane. To top off on that I have had two very hectic nights at work (working two 8 hour nights so getting home at 1am) but ...enough of my whining!!

I met up with Sharon and Raylene at the track. They had decided to do a 3km so they could get the feel for it as they are entering the South Island Masters. I just had a 6km to walk today so I decided to do it on the track with the others. I felt really stiff and ungamely. Two weeks off from walking and it felt so odd to be back out there again.

I was not aiming for any pace or time ... I just wanted to cruise around and get the first walk out of the way. The first 3km felt hard, my breathing was ok but my legs felt dead. I was not putting much effort in and so was fairly happy to see 3km done in 16:50 hmmmm seems a lot faster than it felt. So I settled into this pace and carried on for the next 3 km. It was an easy pace to tick along at, breathing was ok...heart rate was up higher than it normally would be. Muscles were the only ones complaining as they just felt like lead. But then with all the medicine I have been taking and little sleep....its to be expected.

Total time for the 6km was 33:57 with an avg heart rate of 159

(I am pretty sure I would have been much slower had I walked on the walkways........I always tend to be faster out on the track.)

6km track

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

20km World Masters Road Walk W40

Having raced the course already, it was much easier to not get so keyed up before this race.  As there were not as many competitors in the 20km road walk races they had both male and females out on the course.  We arrived early so we could watch part of the older age groups 60 - 94years as they had started at 7am and we were meant to start at 9.40am....but as what was being coming a common occurrence, we didn't start until 10.30am.  This meant that the next age groups 35 - 59 years...would be out in the heat of the day racing for some until 1pm.  Our first clue the course was unforgiving was looking at how many finishers were walking around with ice packs strapped onto hamstrings and calf's.

For as much as I dont like to race a 20km.....the 20km is my strongest race.  I had spent the prior day and evening hydrating with electrolytes and water as i knew it was going to get hot and I was going to need to extra fluids after what happened to me on the 10km.  My advice from my coach (Jim) was to settle in to my 20km pace as fast as possible and control the race.  Being consistent for each lap was going to be the key to either winning or getting a PR time.  So with some whiz bang maths we worked out what my projected lap time would be (in fact I had for if I was feeling really good and one for if I was not recovered from the 10km)  

It takes alot out of you when you race three big races with only 3 - 4 days to recover between them, the body sometimes just doesn't recover enough to continue doing well for the next longer distances.

Everyone lines up and I picked two rows back from the front in the centre of the road as this gave me the best line through the next corner.  Sure enough when the gun went off the guys in front took off and opened up a nice clear spot for me to walk through and again no one was walking the cambers to take the shorter route...all were up in the middle of the road taking the shaded route.  By lap 2 I had picked up two male walkers, a mexican and a Croatin.  We walked as a group for the next 3 laps and I tucked in behind them when the wind picked up, using them as shields against it.   By 10km the mexican had dropped off and it was just me and the Croation male.  I had no idea how far behind my Tammy was.  All the NZ walkers that had stayed back to cheer me said she was a wee way back but no one knew the time gap.  At 15km the race starts and it is here that you have to pick up the pace and check where your main competition is.  So it was here I was told she was just over a minute behind me.  I picked up the pace and quickly the croation male dropped off. 2 Laps to go and it was getting hard.  Everything hurt and it was mentally hard to convince yourself to push harder but I managed to pick up my pace to be quicker than my projected pace per lap.  As I came around to finish, it was an amazing sight to look up and see the NZ walk team lined along the finish line waving their NZ flags all screaming at me to push hard to the finish.  I had won my third gold and had a new pr too.  With a winning time of 1:56:54 beating my Melbourne time by nearly a minute.  This would have to be my hardest 20km race to date.  The camber of the road played havic with your whole body and you walked for so far with one leg longer than the other.  But it was also great to have completed three races and get NO cautions or marks on the DQ board.  Plus to be told by judges after the race that I had a very strong and fluid walk.  Goes to show the new coach has payed off!!!  

As i crossed the finish line the officials were stopping all the walkers to remove the timing chips on their shoes, I asked to come back as I needed to keep moving but they stopped me.  As soon as i stood still my knees buckled from under me.  I was taken to a chair in the medics tent but the damage was done and i collapsed from blood pressure and heat.  I awoke a short time later stretched out on a stretcher with ice all over me and on oxygen.  "A touch of heat stroke and a blood pressure spike will do it to you every time" jokes the paramedic.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

10km Road Walk World Masters W40 - 44

Trying hard not to get keyed up and stressed about this race.  By now I had established that Tammy (housemate, friend and training partner) was my main competition.  All of us settled in for the evening and I had been out for a short training walk.  My ankle had bothered me a little during the walk and my coach suggested I take some anti flam medication for it.  Which I did and also some natural sleeping remedy to help me get a good sleep before the race.

We all headed to bed and tucked our selfs up by 10pm but by 1am I was woken by terrible stomach cramps which quickly turned to a nasty dose of diarrhea.  Hmmmm not fun before a long race I can assure you.

We drive into watch the race and manage to catch a small segment of the earlier age groups.  As we had suspected the race was delayed (I was most grateful to this news!!)  and so we were able to chat quietly with new found friends and some old ones too.

Photo below shows where I spent most of my pre race warm up!!1

So race briefing started and we all lined up and got ready to go.  Here I am below ready to start my Garmin and go baby go!!!!

The gun goes off and I am away.  We had approx 600m to walk until we crossed the official finish line and from where I would start my lap data.  It was here that I realized that I only had about 5 people in front of me and came quickly to the realization I had started way to fast, so I quickly slowed up but I still went through my first km in 5:15 which is an insane pace for a 10km and I berated myself for the next lap.  It was very hard to pace yourself (well it was for me) as it was almost a 1 mile loop and they did have 1, 2 & 3 km markers was still very odd.  The only good thing was it was only 6 loops for the 10km .... not 10 as it is back home.  I was feeling very weak and light headed for the first couple of km's and it took that long to slip into my race pace and figure out my race line.  There were two sections in the course that you could cut out a complete "S" in the road and save up to 20secs per lap.  I was the only one in the lead group to cut the lines and we were told to use the "whole" was only annoying when the spectators started milling around on the corner and standing across to the centre of the course......but me and my booming voice soon got rid of them!!!  I am told that those behind me started following my lines as it made more sense....ok it was out of the shade but I would go for the shortest route over the longer shade one any day!!!

By 7th km I was feeling very tired.  The camber on the course was taking its toll on my legs and hips and the heat was starting to pick up.  What started out at 19degs soon picked up to mid 20's and even though I was drinking at each was not enough to replace what I had lost during the night and the morning.  So as I started to slow with GI cramps......Tammy started to gain.....second by second each lap.  I had NO idea how far behind me she was......just that she was there.  I would listen out behind me as I crossed the start finish to hear her name being called out by spectators or the lap counters ... but I never did hear it.

On the last lap (that bell sounded soooo good)  I picked up the pace a little and I did look at my time and try to work out my projected finish time.  I had so wanted a 56:??  and I worked it out in my head that I should get a high 56:??  so I pushed on and passed a number of the slower walkers.  As I rounded the last bend and came down to the finish line (which did have a down hill run to it) the cheif judge stepped out and gave me the hand signal to slow down.....(palms down and pushing them towards the ground) it really confused me as I was NOT lifting and was just starting to build speed for the press home.  I have always been told the chief judge can DQ you in the last 100m but I still thought he had to either show you a paddle to warn you.....or just take you off.  (I found out he did this to ALL finishers)  so of course not know what it meant I slowed right down......and probably lost my 4 secs that I needed in the last 200m.

But................I WON, so it really didnt matter all that much.  My time was 57:03:11 and is a personal best for the judged 10km Road Walk. I could not be happier...... after I crossed the line I wandered off under the trees to get some air and try not to be sick and so missed Tammy's finish which I felt badly about once I realised.  But the scary thing to me was how close she was.  she was only 32secs behind me in the end.  Just over 100m and I now know how tough she is going to make the 20km walk be!!!!!  

We traveled back to the park for the Medal Ceremony which ended up being a total disaster.  We were told no official results were in and it would be an hour til there would be any due to a protest.  As we had to drop Lis to the air port the only choice was to go then and there.  So poor Tammy had to rush to the car, drive back into Davis and then out to Sacramento Airport.  Drop Lis off and then rush back to the University.   Taking her an hour!!  no sooner had she left, the officials started calling up the medal groups and our group was in it.  So we delayed it for an hour, but the teams medals were not being done until after all individual medals were given out.  So when Tammy got back and we were able to get our medals we still had to wait for Tammy to be able to get her Gold Team medal.   All racewalkers had to stand out in the HOT sun, with little water and almost NO shade for over 4 hours. It was worth it though when we all stood by and watched Tammy get her Gold.

So here is the top 3 for the W40 - 44 10km Road Walk

Friday, July 08, 2011

5000m Track W40 World Masters

Well today is the day. All my training, all my time and all my sweat and tears have lead to this moment.

I am standing on the track at the Sacramento City College and the first thing that is going through my mind. Thank god we are racing late at night as the track is in darkness and its cooler than its been all week. We were lucky and got 25 degs for our race but there was an annoying steady breeze and I was warned it was very draining. As I walked along infront of the stadium I was surprised to hear people calling out my name and waving frantically at me. OMG it was people I had met while in Sydney at the Masters Games and they had come to watch me and cheer me on. We went to the call tent and registered and it was now that we could check out the competition. Up until now these people had just been names on the website. Some had put their times up but you were still never sure that the times were correct. My wild card was the Russian. Her time was very simular to mine and I could not find any info on her. When I saw her, my heart sunk and for a moment I let doubt creep in. She was taller than me and probably less than me in weight and it was funny to see her checking me out just as much too. It was only when she moved out of the crowd that I saw she had her hamstring taped up.

Tammy and I went out to warm up and we pretty much kept to our selves from that point. I let her do her thing and she let me do mine. We would make eye contact from time to time and we both knew what the other was going through and thinking. Its really hard when you are racing a friend and one that is pretty stiff competition to boot. Being room mates and virtual training partners that share the same coach......made it tough to want to beat her......but I had to put all that aside and make up my mind that it was the gold I was here for and its the gold that I want.

We got called out on to the track and we lined up. It was hot and for a moment I imagined what the earlier walkers had faced when they walked in 34 deg too hot. I was number 29 so I was way out on the out side of the track and that was a good thing and I had a direct line to the corner. "on your marks" and then 6 secs...and the gun goes heart is pounding and my knees are shaking just waiting for that gun. I press my watch and off I go. In my head I can hear my coach......take it easy settle into your pace fast ... if you are out in front on your own then forget about time and just cruise...if you have someone on your tail then race. Well amazingly, I was out front for my age group and no one was on my heel. I hit the 100m mark a little too quick so pulled back a little taking my first km in 5:22 which was a little quick for this heat but time to settle into it now.

I got one verbal warning from a judge on the second lap but after that....not one comment and in fact after the race two judges commented on my style saying how nice it was (so thanks Jim) I still had no idea where that Russian chick was and was totally blown away to find my self passing her at the 4km ... awesome.... but that then meant that Tammy was near by. I didnt look back once but as I crossed the finish line I would listen back to see if I could hear them call her laps to go.....but at this stage I couldnt hear them.

I looked up a head and saw the USA walker Katie Grimes W45 age grade just a head of me ... with 2 laps to go I thought, hey I can catch her. So I set off chase to catch her and i did on the finishing lap at the back straight. I passed her and headed to the finish line but I knew she would pick it up and fight me all the way. Sure enough she pulled up beside me with 50m to go and says " race ya" and took off. I dug in and gave it my ALL but there was no more to give and she beat me by 1 sec ... all of 1 metre....but it didnt matter as she was not in my age group. suddenly dawns on me. I have just WON the World Masters W40 5000m and got a track PB

My time was 27:33

so it is off to the track tomorrow for the medal ceremony but for now..............we DRINK!!!!! Napa Valley Cab Sav and See's Chocolates.......mmmmmmm does it get any would have been better if my hubby had been here to see it!!!!

Official results here.

5000m Track W40 World Masters

Thursday, July 07, 2011

20mins with strides

First news for the day................I slept!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! all night too! and man that feels soooo much better.

Today we were to do 20min walk with 3 stride outs. So tammy and I walked and David jogged beside us. The temp was perfect. It was 8 am and temp was about 23degs.

Man its nice to have company during a walk plus a walker that walks at my pace!! yay. We walked along on the tree belt. This is a maze of pathways that weave between the housing here and is just amazing. Picture our railway reserve but put it on a grander scale......have it weaving between the blocks of houses instead of just out and back. Jasmin grows every where here and so the air is filled with the sweet perfume of Jasmin.........arrrhhhhhhhhhhhhh Hot pink flowers on most of the large bushes and nearly every house here has huge trees in their gardens/yards.

The following photos were taken yesterday at the track but shows my stride and the small changes that I am trying to make.

20mins with strides

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

3 x 500 track 85%

I am so freaken tired!!!!! I got 3 hours sleep last night....I lay awake trying every trick I could to get my stupid body to shut down and go to sleep....I tried my sleep remedy ... I didnt take a sleeping pill as we had to get up early in the morning to train and for every hour that I lay awake it was to late to then take a sleeping pill. It got to the point that I was over eyes feel like I have arc eyes!!!!

We got up at 6.30am and went to the track while it was cool. It was about 17degs when we headed down and even though we only had to do 3 x 500m at 80%, we were sweating heavily.

My first 500m was WAY to fast and the heat felt so thick. It almost feels like you have to punch your way through the air. 2nd lap I tried to slow down and pull up the pace but I was already into my rythym and just went with it. Tammy had an optional day today so she filmed and took photos. 3rd lap I managed to pull the pace down a little bit....but it was a good lesson. I need to race smart!!!! Its going to be mega hot. Right now it is 5.30pm and its 41 degs....its too hot to be out side!

so my splits are

3 x 500 track 85%

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

8km gentle track walk

It HOT.....its damn hot!!!!!! and its only 7.30am

We got up and went down to the track. Tammy had a hard session and David and I had 8km gentle. We decided to do all of it on the track as it is so rare for any of us to have company.

Its heating up pretty quickly. It was 19degs when we left home but I can feel it climbing fast. I was alittle concerned that I wouldnt be able to get my shoes on but thank goodness....through the night the swelling had gone down. (yesterday afternoon I noticed that my ankles had ballooned and also my calfs. By night time they were huge and I was having trouble moving my feet at all. So I spent the evening with ice bags and feet elevated and also slept with them up on a pillow.)

Tammy started out as she had 2 x 2km and then 2 x 500m and David and I were to take it easy. Good for me I had David there as he did make sure I took it easy. lol As tammy passed us during her second set of 2km, I wanted to help her so I picked up my pace and paced beside her to keep her going for that last part of it. Plus it gave me a feel for how it will feel for thursday in the heat. My heart rate shot up to 178....which is very very high for me.

We had just finished our 8km and I must admit to being all over the show with my lap scoring lol.....and as Tammy only had her last 500 to complete we walked back up and pushed her for the last 100m. I am pretty sure that like was awesome to have others out there that can push and keep up with you. :)

got home to see it is already 26 degs and climbing....and its 9.00am. So now it is shower time and then we will go and collect our race packs and explore Davis.

8km gentle track walk

Saturday, July 02, 2011

3km, 2km & 2 x 500m track

My last workout before I fly out.

I needed this to be a good one for my confidence. Things have not progressed the way I wanted them to in this last week......but then looking back over my race seems I ALWAYS seem to have a drama unfold before a big event. Do I do it subconsciously on purpose????? is it my way of giving myself an out if I fail???? or is it just the stress that I put on my self and so I become way too tense and hence succumb to injury more easily. Well a head cold is a head cold.....doesn't really matter when I got it or why......but I did and yes the timing SUCKED...but it could have been way worse. Today my head is clear and my nose is not so blocked up...........thats GREAT news.....but I am feeling rather thick in my throat and am doing EVERYTHING I can to stop this from going to my chest.........and it is NOT going to go into my chest!!!!!

So after my little melt down earlier this week prior to getting sick................I decided to ease up a little on the track today. I wanted to be 100% sure that I was walking well and legally plus I also didnt want to push my self tooo hard as I was feeling very tired still from the 5km yesterday.

The track was super busy today. They had a soccer game on in the middle and so all the spectators were ringed around the track........WHY oh WHY would they all stand on lane 1 when they can clearly see two race walkers are using it and each time while warming up I had to call out and ask them to move .... by the last warm up lap I slowed and said we were doing time trials and could they please keep this lane free................they were more helpful after that. Even the lady with the wind up toy dog tried hard to keep him under control and not out on the track to trip us up.

My first 3km was hard. I was trying to find a pace that I felt comfortable at and one that I new everything was working properly too. My breathing was on the high side for this and I was starting to get a globby throat. By the time I made it past the 2km mark I was almost going to stop but I pushed through to finish. Then after a 4min recovery I headed out for the 2km ... I was really tired for this part and it felt harder than normal but again once you know you only have one more lap to go it becomes easy again.

Lastly I had 2 x 500m and these were short and sharp but I had little energy left to do anything stunning time wise. It was lovely having Raylene out on the track today and she was hard to catch and pass!!

so my km splits are:
5:25 = 3 km 16:11

5:29 = 2km 10:51

2:35 = 1km 5:14

3km, 2km & 2 x 500m track

Friday, July 01, 2011

5km atawahi - headcold

Ugly walk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have caught the head cold that is going around town.  Funny enough I went in for my last physio today and Debs also said she had come down with it .... so we much have shared it on Tuesday.  Sigh....

But finally today my nose has stopping running and my head is not soooo sore or funny feeling.  So I decided to do a short walk to test out the body.

First thing..........its only been 4 days but my SHINS 2km I have really sharp intense pain in my right shin near the ankle................almost about to stop when just stops........go figure that one???  So I carried on, not looking at my watch but just going by how I feel.

I have no energy and feel very heavy and sluggish.  I made sure my style was bang on for today......yep knees locked, yep butt tucked under, yep knees locked....NO Bobbing................ok style is fine.  I get to the turn point........again I dont look at my watch as I know this route and dont need to check when to turn...and I didnt want to know my time or pace.  I just wanted to be happy to be out walking.

I was starting to feel alittle more shin pain..but legs felt like jelly.  I also didnt want to be breathing hard as I dont want to start coughing.........but I did find that it was all feeling a lot harder than it should have.  So I was very surprised to see my time of 28:55......but my heart rate was up compared to what it would normally have been.  Avg heart rate 150bpm

I will try out a small track session tomorrow and then its fly out on Sunday.  Its finally here....its going to happen.

I WILL race well, I WILL feel better, I WILL give 100% and I WILL get a medal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5km atawahi - headcold