Sunday, February 26, 2012

20km NZ vs Au

The Hobart 20km NZ vs AU Road walk.
Due to an abnormality in the weather, there was a hot wind blowing down from the Desert and across on to Hobart. This produced Hobarts hottest day in 17 years! It touched 38 degs just before the start of our race.
We had all made sure we had hydrated well and had spent the afternoon in our motel room away from the heat. I had also decided to start eating some of my electrolyte jells and sugar blocks as I knew that the conditions were going to make this a very hard race to complete.
We made our way over to the check in and then milled like sheep under the trees in the middle of the road. You could spot the elite walkers a mile away.....they were the ones wearing Ice Vests and sitting in ice water pools. Plus they kind of had an air of grander about them too or maybe that was just me being a little awe struck.
The Course was a 2km loop with the start finish being about half way. Heading off from the start the first aid station was the food and special drinks table – approx 400m away from the start. You then went up a small rise and around into a dead end for the turn. Heading back the water station would be set up opposite the aid station. You then carried on down to pass next to the start and then on and around in front of the cafes and restaurants to the next turn point after the turn point you came back past the restaurants again and here they had a sponge station. If you timed it right you could get two sponges and then you round the corner and back to the start finish.
We all line up for the start. We seeded ourselves on the start line and the gun goes and we are off. My instructions from my coach was to be very conservative for the first 10km and then pick it up from there. With the temperature at the start of the race 37.6 degs it was a matter of race smart. I felt great at the start off and felt that I had picked a nice pace. It felt easy and within 400m there was only 3 of us at the back ... the main pack had pulled away and left us. As I completed the first lap (2km) and I saw that I had done 11mins, I knew then that it was way too fast and that I may end up paying for that. Normally I would think that time was too slow but in this was too fast. All ready two had dropped back behind me. As we came up to the aid station I could see there were problems ... no one seemed ready for us. All I wanted was just water but there was no water there and my pre mix bottles had been mixed up. I came around to pass where we were told the water station would be to find it had not been set up yet. This would mean an further 2km in this heat before any of us could get water again. We rounded the second lap and my time had dropped dramatically, I was down to 12mins now. I got my special drink passed to me at the station and then came back around and picked up my first water. The heat was intense and I could feel my shoulders burning and my legs were getting heavier and heavier. I came back around for the 6km and took on both special drink and water again. It was here that I say my NZ team mate laying on the side of the track and then not much further on a number more of Australian and international walkers. As I passed next to the start finish I saw our NZ Male Mike Parker off the course. I was to later find out that the 6km marker was the point were most of those that didn’t finish ended their walks, all succumbing to lack of water and the heat. At the 8km mark the Australian girl Alegra passed me, and I was in no shape to chase so I had to sit back and just watch her go. It was a heart breaking moment as I knew in normal race conditions I would not have let that happen. I continued on but I was starting to really struggle, as I came back up to cross for my 10th km, I was starting to wilt badly. I was down to nearly 7min kms and was weaving across the course, at one stage tripping on the centre cones. My coach was watching me very closely and had decided he was going to pull me off the course once I passed back near him. The saving grace for me was at the 10km point a breeze picked up from off the sea and suddenly cooled things down....temp dropped about 5 degs and I am guessing the special drinks I had made up were starting to take effect because my 11th km I picked up my pace and was looking better. Each lap I was picking up my pace and as the race progressed and the temperatures dropped, I got stronger and felt better. I started gaining 40 secs per lap on my one remaining NZ team mate. But best of all, I was gaining ground fast on the Australian. By 16km I had caught and passed Alegra and was gaining ground on Rosie (NZ team mate) not that I was racing her but I was using it as a challenge to keep me going. After using all my mental will and determination to push though the 8 – 10km marks I had to have something to keep me focused. Hearing that bell to signal just one more lap ...never sounded so good!!! I picked up the pace as best as I could and pushed hard to finish. I desperately wanted to be under 2 hours but sadly that was not to be today. I was close though. For as much as I am disappointed in my time, I take comfort in the fact that EVERYONE was 5min – 10mins off their times.
After the race we lined up and were presented silver medals for the NZ vs Au race. This was awesome as it was unexpected. I then spent a good portion of the evening consoling our team member who had pulled out after succumbing to the heat and lack of water. It was heart wrenching for her and to have not had the support of her coach made it even worse. I must admit to being bitterly disappointed in her coach for not being supportive of his walker in her time of distress. I can only hope that she has taken the experience of this race and moved on. You only have to look at the results and see that over HALF the field did not finish! This is including some top international experienced walkers. With some being taken away by ambulance.
So my time was 2:00:56 I now have 3 weeks til nationals were I feel I must pull out a good time to redeem myself. Looking at my data it is interesting to see the negative splits - those kick downs really work!
This race was sadly marred by the shocking organisation of the water table. I realise that there is a rule about no water on the first lap but surely on the hottest day in 17 years they could have excused that and plus it doesn’t take a math whizz to work out that it will be 4 km until anyone could take on any water. There should have been TWO water stations and the sponges.

20km NZ vs Au

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

5km around the block

Last walk before Hobart.

Not much to say about this one....was not a great walk.

Stupid Rain, stupid slippery road, stupid old slippery shoes.......just stupid.

Its done its back to the ice pack and heat pack...........GREAT!

Fly out at 11am .... should be an epic weekend. Will let you know.

5km around the block

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

10 km out an back atawhai

Tonight it was a 10km walk. I had just received my NZ uniform and I was going to test out my shorts. These are the shortest shorts I have ever tried to wear. So I put my skins on under them and tried to get used of them. Well a dual layer of material was NOT comfortable! Tomorrow I will try them out with just the shorts and see how badly my legs rub.

Plus it was a test of my hip. It was just a spasm of the muscle but it still hurt and annoyed me. I had no idea of what pace I was to walk tonight, but I felt pretty good and just thought I would wing it and walk to how my hip felt.

I had a couple of sharp twinges but nothing major or lasting. Most twinges were able to be sorted with a posture shift. I felt good and strong and looking back through my data I sort of did a kick down.

total time 58.14

10 km out an back atawhai

Thursday, February 16, 2012

800 + 200 x 7

I felt awful this morning. I have had a flemmy throat for two days and just felt crumby. But I knew that this walk had to be done.

I had planned to take a little easier than last week as I really didnt want to end up with a runny nose as well.

I started out and felt ok, I was breathing pretty hard and having to swallow thick crud. I had company at the track today. A runner came down and was doing 3km, 2km and 1km...well thats what it looked like. When he was on a lap recovering I was able to catch him and pass him and he would laugh and say he has never yet been passed by a walker. Lol

About 4km I was having great trouble with my breathing...only due to my throat being so fully of crud and my lungs were feeling thick. I started coughing as I was walking but I carried on and continued my walk. My legs never felt tired and I was happy enough with how things went.

4.08.1+1.00.5= 5.08.6
4.07.3+1.00.5= 5.07.8
4.07.9+0.59.5= 5.07.4
4.13.5+1.01.8= 5.15.3
4.16.6+1.01.6= 5.18.2
4.16.9+1.00.9= 5.17.8
4.16.6+0.59.0= 5.15.6

800 + 200 x 7

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

16km out and back

After getting up and down, up and down repeatedly yesterday while painting the wee thin stripe around our hamstrings were very sore and tight!! Plus with having 16km to walk was going to be a painful walk. But as luck would have it...not so bad in the end.

I filled up my drink bottles and headed off up the track. I was ticking along nicely and enjoying the day. Overcast and 20degs...nice. I had my long sleeve top on as it was meant to rain but I had to take it off half way through the walk. At 8km I stopped briefly to take my top off and tie around my waist and to stretch my hammy out. Then it was pick up the pace again and head for home. By 13km ...even though I felt fine and still felt I had plenty in my legs, my tank ran dry and I suddenly felt very heavy and my times slowed up. I was on the up hill part anyway but I just dragged my self up the next two km. The lack of food and lack of enough water took its toll. Nothing major, no injury or anything like that. I just went heavy and slowed up.

Picked up the pace alot on the last km - downhill to home. Total time for 16km was 1.37.34

Plus today is Valentines Day here in NZ and its also our 9th Wedding Anniversary too.

16km out and back

Sunday, February 12, 2012

5 x 2km with 2 min rest

I got up early and went to the track to do this before my group of walkers arrived for drills and training. I am NOT a morning person, so I hated being out there at 8.30 am.

My right glute was still sore this morning plus my whole body was aching abit after the entire day of scrubbing ceilings! My poor shoulder and back are both telling me they had done enough. I started out and just picked a pace that I was happy with. I was not pushing hard just tinkering along. I was not particularly worried about my times for today, I just wanted to get this done.

I stayed fairly consistent and strong for most of this walk. Pace dropped off a little towards the end as my glutes started to fatigue and I had little left in them.

so here are my two km splits.


I am happy with that.

5 x 2km with 2 min rest

Friday, February 10, 2012

10km out and back

Its a funny day to day. Its over cast and every now and then it will try to rain, the wind will pick up and bluster for a bit. Then next thing, its sunny and very muggy.

My nose has finally stopped running. I ended up with exercise induced rhinits. I get this when ever I exert myself too much and it normally lasts between two and three days. It annoys the hell out of me when it happens, as it is not like a normal runny nose. This is like someone has turned a hose on and it just pours......NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU BLOW.

So I bumped this walk back a day, so that I could breath while out. I had Bex this morning and we are both very happy with how the body is holding up. My only niggly spot is the peroneal tendon on each leg. Running my fingers along the tendon it feels like a row of peas......all lumpy and it is rather sore. So Bex gave it a good massage today and I will continue twice daily to ease it.

The walk itself went well. I was cruising along, it was a little windy and twice it started to rain. So I pushed a little bit on the way home as I was getting cold.

total time 1:00:07

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

800 + 200 x 5

This was a fantastic workout. My glute pain had settled - probably pulled a little due to all the squatting down while painting. I got down to the track and unlocked the rails, then did a 400m warmup.

My first 800m I decided to not push too hard as I wanted to try for some good speeds for the total 5. I would stop for 30secs and then really push hard for the 200m.

My body held together well, with no glute pain during the whole walk. I did have one dizzy spell but I managed to get through that with out stopping. I felt strong the whole walk and didnt feel too out of breath.

here are my km splits. Each has 30secs between 800m & 200m and then a 2min recovery.

4.07.1 + .59.5 = 5.06.6
4.04.4 + .58.2 = 5.02.6
4.04.0 + .57.0 = 5.01.0
4.05.0 + .56.7 = 5.01.7
4.06.0 + .54.7 = 5.00.7

800 + 200 x 5

Friday, February 03, 2012

12 km Fartlek

The blog has been a little quiet this week. I did do a 15km out and back on Weds. Nothing exciting to report.

Today I had a 12km fartlek and I was very apprehensive about doing this one. After an incident on Tuesday at the track I was nervous to push my self again, but my coach had told me that it was ok to stop and start again and so I just decided that I would do just that if I needed too.

I started out and I felt really good and strong. It was nice to have a rest day before a speed session. It wasn't planned but my mum was over from Blenheim and I really wanted to see her, so I bumped my speed session a day. My first km was a good speed and then my recovery 500m felt quite slow but the time said it wasn't. 2:52!! and it carried on like this for a wee while.

I did stop at 4km, 6km and 10km. I needed to drink and also to gather myself. But I didn't stop for too long. I went through 5km in 27:08 and 10km in 54.58 (huge pb) and finished up the whole walk in 1:06:01

I would have to say this is probably my strongest walk yet.

data below

12 km Fartlek