Thursday, March 29, 2012

10 km Training Walk

It was a stunning day today and I was determined to get out today no matter how busy work was. I had hoped to get out yesterday but that just couldn't happen with all the work I had to do.

My right hamstring was still pretty sore and I was slow for the first km or so. I feared my pace was going to be over 7 min per km but was pleased to find I was able to pick up the speed as I warmed up. There was a moderate southerly wind which meant I had the wind behind me on the way back. I finished the 10 km in 1:07:40 for an average pace or 6:46 and an average HR of 148 bpm.

5 km Waterfront Race - Tuesday

I wasn't feeling too bad but my right hamstring felt pretty sore. John took off way ahead of me but for some reason I decided to try and hang on. He slowed pretty quickly and I passed him after about 500 m. I tried to keep an even pace and to concentrate on the things Jim had told me on the weekend but my performance was a bit more like a fartlek. I seemed to slow down when I relaxed and speed up when I made a deliberate effort to do so. I was pretty happy to finish in 31:01 with an average . That's not bad after two races on the weekend.

Monday, March 26, 2012

My races at Nationals

Sunday 25 March - 20 km Road Walk

It was pouring with rain about half an hour before the start of the race but by the time I started warming up that had stopped and conditions were pretty good. I was trying hard to make the adjustments to my style that Jim suggested and to try and settle into a relaxed rhythm. I was a lot slower than in the Wellington 20 km, possible due to the 3 km race only two days earlier. My first card appeared at around 7 km and the second card a lap later. I was very pleased to start each lap after that knowing that the probability of being pulled off was high. After 13 km Jim made the comment that if the judges were happy with me so far I should be okay as long as I held my form. Unfortunately that was not to be and I was pulled out just before reaching the 14 km mark. I felt the least disappointed I have ever been after a DQ, taking a lot of positives from getting so far and now having an understanding of what needs to be done to get my technique right.

Friday 23 March - 3 km Track Race

Jim stopped me about four steps into my warm up to try and correct the swinging movement in my right hip. I tried to make the necessary adjustments to my technique but I am challenged when it comes to physical understanding and always slow to get the hang of a change in technique. I was happy to get through this race with only two red cards and to achieve a season's best time of 17:56. It was only the second time I have gone under 18 minutes and not been DQ'd.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

5 km Waterfront Race

My programme from Jim said this should be a 5 km fartlek but my programme from the club designated this race as part of the summer competition. I'm not sure if I'm able to complete enough events to be in the running to win the competition but since I might be I wanted to do this one.

There was a strong southerly wind blowing with a light misty rain. I was surprised to find I did the first 500m into the wind in 3:02 but my next 500m was slower. The race was a fartlek of sorts since when I remembered to think about pushing off my toes my pace did pick up. Unfortunately I have to think so much about my technique that such things are forgotten at times. I rounded the halfway cone at 15:40 and decided that I would try to finish in under 31 minutes with the advantage of the wind behind me on the way back. My time was 30:52 with average HR of 152 bpm. I was almost 5 min ahead of the next walker from my club.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Catching Up Again

Sunday 18 March - 8 km Training Walk

The intention was to make this a very easy walk. We decided to park the car in town and walk out to the track at Newtown Park where we had agreed to judge the walk race in the junior champs. We had gone a km or so when I realised that I had forgotten to wear my Garmin but I decided that was probably a good thing. I was pretty stiff after the race the previous day and was not aiming to do anything other than a gentle stretch out. We had lunch at the zoo cafe next to the park then went over to judge. There were around 12 entrants in each race, boys and girls and this was my first experience of judging. It was harder than I expected, particularly on such a short distance, 1 km. Most of them had a fair idea of what they were doing but I did feel sorry for the young girl who tried to do the whole race without bending her knee at all.

We walked back into town after the race to make up the 8 km distance.

Saturday 17 March - 1 hour Race and 10 km Track Walk

The one hour race was one on our club summer race schedule, the winner being the walker with the highest age standard award. I expected that would be Daphne who might get a gold in the W70 group. The gold standard for my age group is 9.8 km which in normal circumstances should be achievable but I didn't see that as a realistic target on this day. A 20 km race 6 days ago, a good workout yesterday, tennis in the morning of the event and nationals in 6 days time were the reason I decided to be conservative.

Once the race started I realised the heat and the wind were going to take a toll and I began to wonder if I would even make the silver standard of 9.2 km. I tucked in at around fifth position for the first couple of laps then decided to pass Kevin and Fraser who were ahead of me and seemed to be slowing. Sue was the next walker ahead of me. I tried to lessen the distance between us but she did seem to increase it for a while until I finally passed her about 2.5 laps from the end. I picked up two red cards by the 5 km mark and warnings from two other judges but fortunately no more cards came in. I was pleased to pass the 9.2 km mark with almost 2 min to go and was close to 9.5 km when the hour was up. I hoped there was no penalty for my bent knee when I put my marker down before continuing the lap and a bit to finish the 10 km. My final time was 1:03:18. I initially thought it was a PB for 10 km on the track until I remembered doing 1:02:30 in our first Harry Kerr relay in Auckland a few years ago. It was good enough for a Wellington Masters record on account of the fact that there is not one in my age group at the moment. I also found it was only around a minute off the national record for my age group so I should have a go at that later in the year.

Friday 16 March - 2 X 2 km + 3 X 1 km

I had planned to do this workout on Thursday but it was a busy day at work and I had visitors arriving from Motueka so I gave it a miss, feeling a bit guilty. It didn't seem such a good idea to do a hard workout the day before a race so I was in two minds about a workout today. The weather was good and my colleagues who are used to seeing me go out most days began to ask why I hadn't gone out today. I went out after 3:00 pm and was surprised to manage under 12 min for each of the 2 km sets. Unfortunately I was not able to manage the same pace for the last 3 km but the overall pace of 6:06 min/km was not bad. Average HR 157 bpm.

The splits were: 11:56, 11:58, 6:08, 6:14, 6:31

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Huge Catch Up

Tuesday 13 March - 8 km Fartlek

I wasn't sure how this would go just 2 days after a good 20 km race but I was feeling pretty good. There was quite a strong wind at my back so I realised that it would be hard to get good times on the way back. My first 500 m was not great but that is the usual pattern. After that things went quite well. To me that a huge improvement from a few weeks ago when I was struggling to do 7:30 min/km after a good effort due to very sore hamstrings. It seems like I have finally managed to get glutes to do the main work and they don't seem to take so long to recover. Overall time 51:10, average pace 6:23, average HR 152.

3:12+ 2:58 = 6:10
3:22+ 3:06= 6:28
3:15+ 2:59 = 6:14
3:27+ 2:58 = 6:25
3:26+ 3:05 = 6:31
3:29+ 3:03 = 6:32
3:35+ 3:07 = 6:42

Sunday 11 March - Wellington Champs 20 km Road Walk

I wasn't sure how this walk would go. My glutes were still quite new to working this hard and had been starting to fatigue after about 8 km. I had done quite well in the half marathon 2 weeks earlier but I didn't need to think about judges in that event.

I wanted to start conservatively but when I saw the first 500m was under 3 min I knew that wasn't the case. I tried to settle in to a steady rhythm and pretty much achieved that. I kept an eye on my 500 m splits, hoping to keep them under 3:15. I was pleased to reach the 10 km mark in under 63 min with no warnings or cards. My own husband who had been roped into judging gave me a warning not long after this and a card appeared on the board at around the 11 km mark.

Weather conditions were perfect. It was overcast with some light drizzle at times. There was a moderate head wind coming out from the start/finish line but it did not have a noticeable impact. I got the bell at around 62 mins and realised that I was going to achieve a personal best time. I clocked in at 1:09:47. I have been DQ'd at more 20 km races than I have finished. My previous best was at the long distance champs in my first year of walking where I did 2:14 but don't know the seconds. This time is also a Wellington Masters record in my age group by about 7 mins but I have to make the effort to do the paperwork on that one yet.

I was the second woman to finish behind Alana Barber who races for Racewalking Auckland. Since she is not a member of a Wellington club then I was named as the Wellington Champion for this year. It was a pity that Robyn was out of town this weekend as we may have had quite a close battle.

A couple of hundred metres after the start of this race I realised I had forgotten to wear my heart monitor strap. I decided that was a good thing since I have had problems with it slipping down during training and I may have risked losing form whilst concentrating on adjusting the strap.

It's late and I need to get to be so I will be very brief in my next few reports. I did type a good description of these the other day but the system decided to throw an error when I tried to publish them and auto-save wasn't working so I lost everything I had typed.

Friday 9 March - 3 x 2km + 2 x 1 km

Total time 50:21, average pace 6:17, average HR 156 bpm. I was slow on the first km, did quite well for the remainder of the 2 km sprints but disappointing on the 1 km sprints. Probably a sign of fatigue and the hard effort put in on the 2kms.

Thursday 8 March - 10 km Training Walk

Total time 1:10:54. average pace 7:05 aver HR 142

Wednesday 7 March - 12 km Walk with 2 x 5 min@ 10 km pace

Tuesday 6 March - 10 km Fartlek

Sunday 4 March - 10 km Training Walk

The 20 km race scheduled for this day was postponed a week due to the stormy weather. In the afternoon we parked in town, walked to the Newtown fair and then walked back round the bays. Not great speed or distance but we did at least get out.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday 2 March - 5 x 1 km with 2 min rest

I was a bit slow in my first km but very happy in the way I loosened up for the next three. My pace dropped off again in the last km for an overall average of 6:06. I tried hard to maintain good form throughout.

My splits were: 6:15, 6:07, 6:01, 5:59, 6:10.

Thursday 1 March - 10 km Training Walk

There was quite a strong southerly wind blowing but I decided to walk out and back even though it meant I would be slowed down on the way out. I figured the extra effort required wouldn't do me any harm. I wasn't completely recovered from Sunday so was not too concerned when I found myself walking at 7:30 pace. I was meant to do 2 x 5 min at 10 km pace (which is around 6:10) and decided to leave this until I had the wind behind me on the way back if I could find the energy. I was feeling pretty comfortable throughout the walk and did manage to speed up towards the end although not to 10 km pace. I did not want to work too hard because I wanted to produce a good performance in the 20 km Wellington champs on Sunday. The average pace was 7:20 and average HR 141 bpm.