Sunday, June 22, 2014

Wellington Marathon - Second Time Winner

A 6:30 am start in the dark was a challenge. I could not easily see my Garmin lap times to check my pace. After about 3-4 km I was caught up to by Chris from Tauranga. We walked together and chatted for a while until she went a few metres ahead. I decided to try and stay with her, knowing that it is risky to let someone else determine my pace and not confident I could keep the 7 min/ km pace up. A number of times I dropped to around 10 m behind but each time I put on a mini sprint to get back on her shoulder.

I was hurting from early on but I got the impression  Chris was hurting too and that spurred me on. Unluckily Chris caught her foot on a curb just over 1 km from the end and was not able to catch up with me once she recovered. She finished just a few seconds behind me.

We had been passed by a strong walker about 4 km from the end and I was not sure if she was in the marathon or half marathon. I was a bit surprised to hear myself announced as the winner as I crossed the line. She must have been in the half marathon. My time was only a few seconds faster than Rotorua. I had hoped for a significant improvement but in the end was happy to equalise. I didn't feel nearly as comfortable today as I did in Rotorua. Perhaps I was not fully recovered.

Wellington Marathon

Walking Training this Week

All I managed this week was a couple of sessions of 3 - 4 km on the treadmill. I didn't want to walk too much due to the upcoming marathon and the tightness of my calf muscles and the soreness of my glutes. I did a couple of yoga sessions and avoided classes with lots of squats and lunges

Sunday 15 June - 15 km Training Walk

I spent 2.5 hours delivering pamphlets in the morning but agreed to do a training walk with Philip after lunch. I was definitely lagging behind him all the way and pleased just to get to the end of the session.

15 km Training Walk

Saturday 14 June - 10 km Club Race

This is the first of 3 10 km races that make up the Socttish club championship. I have been the woman's champion for the past 2 or 3 years. Courtney Ruske flew up from Christchurch to attempt to gain the W U20 record. I knew my marathon training and lack of speed work had left me incapable of achieving a record. My goal was to get to the end in good shape and without any cards. I managed that although I did get two warnings. I was 3rd overall and second woman.

10 km Club Champs Race

Saturday 7 June - 15 km National Champs in New Plymouth

I nearly missed the start of this race. I thought it started at 1:30 but the start time was actually 1:15. We had been catching up with friends and had left our departure a bit late. Luckily I made it to the start line albeit without a proper warm up. There was 3 female walkers in the race who I would never expect to beat so I was happy to finish 4th in a reasonable time with just one card.

15 km National Champs - Taranaki Walks

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

10 km Training Walk

I had to work hard today to make an average pace of 7 min/km and yet I averaged that quite comfortably for the whole Rotorua marathon. I guess it's because I'm recovering from two races over the weekend as well as the recent marathon.

It was a lovely day and there were lots of people out running.

Sunday 18 March - Ekiden Relay 10 km Leg

I probably walked a bit fast the day before so I wasn't able to give my best performance this day. I was however impressed by the support I received and the positive comments on my style. I thought I'd got through without any cards or warnings but there was one card up after I finished. My time of just over 64 min wasn't great but I was happy with it/

Saturday 17 March - Chocolate Race

In this event the winner is the person who finishes closest to their estimated time. I didn't want to go flat out because of the relay race the following day so I decided on an estimate of 37:48 for the 6 km. I was thinking of 6:30 per km but knew I would probably go a bit faster than that. Watches are banned but you are told the time at half way. I was pleased to find that I was just 3 seconds slower than my estimated pace. I put a little more effort in and a sprint at the end and finished in 37:50 - just 2 seconds slower than my estimate. I was both first to finish and the closest to my estimate. My prize was a tasty cake of chocolate which Philip and I enjoyed over the next couple of days.

Friday 16 March - 8 km Training Walk

I had in mind to do a kickdown walk this day but I seemed to get faster very quickly. I was quite surprised at the pace I managed with relative ease, an average pace of 6:35. I'm not sure this was a good idea with two races to do over the weekend.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Saturday 03 May - Rotorua Marathon

The last marathon I did was 4 years ago in this event and I made the mistake of starting too fast so I was determined to be more controlled this time. It was hard to let 4 or so walkers go past that I felt I could match but I wasn't sure just what I was capable of.

After about 10 km I caught up with Andrew Shelly who has established himself as a great ultra-distance walker. Andrew is preparing for the 24 hour race and planned to walk another 2 hours the following day so was not going hard out in this event. We walked together for around an hour and I took the opportunity to pick Andrew's brain about nutrition and pacing for the long events. My legs were starting to tighten from around half way but I remained relaxed and determined. Before long I passed two of the walkers I was tempted to go with in the first couple of km. I continued to pass plenty of walkers and realised that I was on target to meet my goal of going under 5 hours. It was great to cross the line in just under 4:58. I tried to get to a place where I could watch others finish but soon realised that I needed to sit down. I felt much better after drinking a lite or so of electrolyte so it seems I must have been pretty dehydrated at the finish. My 6th place on the day was upgraded to 5th after the first place getter was moved into the running section. I was happy with my 15 min PB.

Philip finished around 47 min later in 5:47. He made the mistake of starting near the back where he was unable to get up any speed for many km.  He had a much faster second half and finished in pretty good shape.

The Garmin ran out of power a couple of km from the end. It showed a pretty steady heart rate but a definite drop in pace towards the end. I have entered the Wellington marathon which is a flat course whereas Rotorua is quite hilly. I'd expect a 5 - 10 min improvement but it will be dependent on the wind which can make a significant difference.

Rotorua Marathon

Thursday 1 May - 3 x 1 km @ 70%

I was well aware of the upcoming marathon so was pleased to get a bit of speed going without working too hard. This was a atisfying workout.

3 x 1 km @ 70%

Wednesday 30 April - 8 km Fartlek

 Breaking my wrist during preparation for the marathon meant I'd been short on speed work. I needed to put some effort into this session whilst keeping in mind the race was only a few days off.

8 km Fartlek

Friday 25 April - Bridle Track and Crater Rim Walk

This was meant to be a 25 km walk at race pace. We were on holiday in Christchurch and the port hills were a good place to walk without worrying about traffic but race pace was never going to happen. Unfortunately my Garmin was low on power so we do not have any data. We walked up the bridle track to the summit of the port hills then had a look around the vistiors centre at the top of the gondola. We walked around to the summit and ate our picnic lunch with a great view over Lyttleton and Diamond Harbour. We then walked over the ridge to above Sumner then down to the beach and along the roads back to our car at the bottom of the bridle track. We would have done at least the required 25 km but at a slower pace. It was a very enjoyable way to spend ANZAC Day.

Thursday 24 April - Orton Bradley Park - Banks Penninsular

We drove to Lyttleton. It's sobering to see the township struggling to recover from the annihilation of the earthquake. The volunteer at the i-site recommended a walk at Orton Bradley Park so we headed over there and choose the walk to the lookout. We got wet feet in a boggy spot at the bottom of the hill but were rewarded with a spectacular view at the lookout. We took an alternative route on the way back and lost our way a couple of times. It was getting dark when we got back to the car and the park gates had been shut but fortunately the padlock had not been pushed together. We walked less than 10 km in 3 hours but the terrain was tricky and not meant for speed.

Orton Bradley Park

Wednesday 23 April - 8 km Training Walk

After 5 hours in the car the previous day driving from Upper Moutere to Christchurch were were keen to get out and stretch the legs. It was a fine, crisp morning so we went out before breakfast, leaving a good part of the day to look around the city then find a camping ground to put up our tent.

8 km Training Walk

Monday, April 21, 2014

10 km Training Walk

The sun was shining and the sky blue when we woke up this Easter Monday. We decided to go for a pre-breakfast walk since yesterday's was so enjoyable. It was a different route today with steeper hills than the previous walk but the time went quickly. 72:22 for 10 km for an average pace of 7:14 min/km and average HR of 125 bpm.

10 km Training Walk

Sunday 20 April - 8 km Fartlek

We were surprised to awaken to a fine morning since the weather forecast was for a pretty grim day. It seemed a good idea to get out early so we headed off before breakfast.  My first km was supposed to be fast but it took the body a bit to warm up so it was not sprint pace. On the outward leg most of my sprints were on downhill patches which made for some good times but the opposite was true on the way back. It did show me that attempting to sprint on the hills helps to get up them more easily rather than slowing to a plod. Philip thought it was 10 km to the Prices Road corner but it proved to be only 8.7 km. Average pace 6:36 min/km, average HR 142 bpm.

3:36 + 2:59 = 6:35
3:33 + 2:53 = 6:26
3:24 + 2:59 = 6:23
3:28 + 3:00 = 6:29
3:24 + 3:18 = 6:42
3:00 + 3:26 = 6:26
3:20 + 2:57 = 6:17

8 km Fartlek

Friday 18 April - 32 km Training Walk

We decided to head cross country from Rosedale to Mapua to keep away from the main roads as much as possible. The route was undulating and we had some issues with a flooded bypass under the main highway but it was a very enjoyable day. The weather was showery and we were lucky to arrive home shortly before a heavy downpour. The Garmin stopped working at 27 km and did not show our increased pace as we neared the end. Walikng is such a great way to see the countryside!  Average pace 9:34 min/km, average HR 98 bpm.

32 km Training Walk

Monday, April 14, 2014

10 km Training Walk with 3 x 3 min at 10 km pace

It has been convenient to walk on the flat but my lack of speed on the hills last week showed that I need more training in that sphere. I will try to walk home at least once a week. It was much better today.

10 km Training Walk

Saturday 12 April - Great Forest Half Marathon

This was an off-road event over a gravel road that was undulating and very sandy in places. I had walked 69 km in the 7 days leading up to the race so my glutes were fatigued before I started. I was passed in the first 500 m by one male and one female. Their pace was faster than my planned pace so I let them go, hoping they may tire later in the race. I was happy in my result of 2:20:56, 3rd overall out of 135 finishers and 2nd woman on this challenging course. No Garmin data since I left it charging at work. Duh!

Thursday 10 April - 12 km Training Walk with 3 x 3 min at 10 km pace

I found the hills difficult after quite a bit of walking already this week so the speed bursts didn't really happen.

12 km Training Walk

Wednesday 9 April - 10 km Fartlek

I was very happy to complete a 10 km training walk in under 65 min.

10 km Fartlek

Tuesday 8 April - 15 km Training Walk

It was a pretty grim day - wet and windy and my Garmin was low on power so I didn't bother with it. I was soaked to the skin by the time I finished but pleased to have made the effort to train. I think it took around 2 hours.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Marathon Training

This is the first time I can remember walking 7 days in a row - a total of 94.5 km. The speed today wasn't great but my body seems to be holding up well.

My daughter Hannah has a dislocated tendon in her ankle that needs an operation to reattach it. In the meantime walking is the only exercise she can do so she decided to walk with me this morning. I would have tried to average 7:30 - 8 min/km but Hannah's pace was 10 min. When she got picked up at the 13 km mark I picked up the pace for a while but my last 10 km was pretty slow. Some of that was due to the terrain but I was definitely tiring as well. The legs need a bit more conditioning for me to do a good time on the marathon.

32 km Training Walk  Average pace 9:05 min/km, average HR 100 bpm

Friday 4 April - 6.5 km

6.5 km Training Walk  Average pace 7:20 min/km, average HR 125 bpm

Thursday 3 April - 13.8 km

13.8 km Training Walk  Average pace 7:16 min/km, average HR 128 bpm

Wednesday 2 April - 6.5 km

6,5 km Training Walk  Average pace 7:25 min/km, average HR 117 bpm

Tuesday 1 April - 14 km Tempo Walk

3.5 km slower, 7 km race pace, 3.5 km slower

14 km Tempo Walk  Average pace 7:06 min/km, average HR 134 bpm

Monday 31 March - 6.5 km 

6.5 km Training Walk Average pace 7:25 min/km. I forgot to pick up my heart rate monitor that day

Sunday, March 30, 2014

National Champs Weekend

Friday was the 3 km race. The warm-up area was the top field on the grass - not ideal but I preferred that to the road and carpark which was pretty busy. I have never understood the call-room procedure that has athletes sitting for 20 mins after warming up. It has to be the worst preparation for a race. I completed the first 200 m in 1:02, 10 sec too fast and the first km in 5:53 which I thought was okay. Warnings appeared on the 2nd lap and by the time I passed the board for the third time there were three penalties by my number. I hadn't even got to halfway. I got to continue to the 2 km mark but that was no consultation. I figured my mistake was a lack of concentration - too much concern about pace and little focus on technique.

In approaching today's 20 km it seemed a big ask to convince the judges for over 2 hours when I couldn't even make 10 mins in the 3 km race. Nevertheless I was determined to give it my best shot. I arrived early and had a good warm up and was well organised for the race. I made sure I stood as tall as I could and tucked my bum under. I started at the back of the field, letting myself settle in to a good rhythm. Despite that I  received two warnings on the return leg of the first lap and two cards by the end of the third lap. I was resigned to an early exit but actually felt I was walking as well as ever. Over the fourth lap I decided it was time to put my hands up and surrender. The judges clearly don't think I should be out there so I won't be in the future. Sure enough the third card had arrived by the end of that lap and I was pretty emotional about not just the end of my race but also my time in this sport. I have had a lot of benefit from my 5 - 6 years of racewalking and no regrets. I will still continue walking but in unjudged events.

20 km National Champs or not

20 min easy plus strides

5 km Training Walk

6 x 500 m with 2 min rest intervals