Sunday, April 29, 2012

15 km Training Walk

I needed to finish my training early today to allow time to help my son Julian with his Business Analysis assignment which is due tomorrow. I managed to get out the door and drove down to the start of my walk before 9:00 am. There were gale force warnings in place for Wellington, some of which I experienced in the return leg. I remembered to wear the wide belt around my hips today. This made me feel quite hobbled but I think it did improve my technique. My glutes were pretty sore after this walk! Thank goodness for a hot bath and a great massage from my very supportive husband.

My speed was not great (1:56:38 - 7:45/km with average HR 124 bpm) but I did manage to hold my technique for 15 km despite the strong wind. I am confident that the pace will pick up as the muscles become conditioned.

15 km Training Walk

Saturday 28 April - 10 km Training Walk

My programme had a 6 km walk today. The plan was to do this on the club walk at 9:00 am but the rain was off-putting and was expected to clear later in the day. I had a squash training session at 11:00 am with my daughter, Hannah, who gave me some great tips then we drove into town after lunch.  Hannah headed of jogging with Philip and I walking behind. I caught up with Hannah after 4 km. She started walking so she didn't get too far ahead. She jogged slowly with me for the next km until we reached the cafe that was our destination.  After coffee and cake Hannah was getting restless so we walked back to get the car while Philip read the paper. The pace was so that Hannah could walk with me but I did maintain a race-walking technique. We agreed to speed up for the last km so that I completed 6 km at a reasonable pace.

10 km Training Walk

Friday 27 April - 4 x 1 km sprints

When I checked my programme before going out I was pleased to see that Jim had specified just 4 km. I expected it to be 5 km but my right hamstring was sore and I was glad for the lighter work load. My watch took a while to find the satellites which gave me plenty of time for a good warm up. The first 2 km was pretty much into the wind, meaning the return legs has more of a tail wind. I was delighted to average 5:59 but feel I should be aiming for at least 5:45.  My times were: 5:59, 6:06, 5:55, 5:54

4 x 1 km with 2 min rest

Wednesday 25 April - 10 km Training Walk

Having spent the ANZAC holiday morning helping my son on a university assignment I was ready to get out for some exercise. We decided to walk into town and to take the train home afterwards. I finally remembered to look out the wide belt that Jim suggested I should wear to achieve a forward hip movement rather than sideways. This does seem to slow me down but I will persevere with it. The weather was fine and I enjoyed the great harbour view as we came down the hill from Khandallah. Average pace 7:15, average HR 135 bpm.

10 km Training Walk

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

5 km Fartlek

I was sore after Sunday's walk but quite pleased that the soreness was more in my glutes and less in my hamstrings. I played my first game of squash in over six months last night so that probably contributed to my sore bum.

My watch took ages to find the satellites which was a good thing as I warmed up for around 1 km waiting for it. The wind was significant so I was pleased to see my first 500 m was 2:47 but not so pleased when the first km was 6:00. I'm supposed to keep the pace up over that first km. I found the fast sections of this workout hard. My overall time for the 5 km was 30:34 for an average of 6:07 per km. That's not too different to my pace in the race on Saturday!

It's good to be getting back into my training but I am glad the speed sessions this week are not too long.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Back on line

I have been walking over the past few weeks but haven't had a chance to get to my blog in a while.

Sunday 22 April - Home to Karori and return
It was a lovely day today and Philip suggested a walk through Wilton's Bush. Many of the tracks there are hilly so I suggested that instead we walk there from home so that we could get in plenty of race walking. There was a lot of downhill walking on the way. We stopped at Karori for some lunch (about 7.5 km) then headed back to the bush where we took park in a tour to show off some of the fungus in the reserve. We then walked home - not all of which was race walking due to the steepness of the terrain.

Saturday 21 April - Peter Tearle Trophy Race
This was the first race of the winter season and one in the all-rounder competition. It is a handicap race and my starting time was around 20 min after Peter Tearle, our oldest member after whom the race is named. We did almost 7 laps of a block in the suburb of Island Bay. I did an extra two laps as a warm up since my right hamstring was quite sore and needed plenty of warming. Peter had completed two laps before I started but I did pass him the first time on that first lap. I was happy with my pace and received some compliments on my style. Philip wasn't walking so he did a good job of reminding me of the technical things I needed to think about each time I passed him. By around two laps from the end I had managed to get myself onto the same lap as everyone else and did manage to pull a few people in near to the end. The winner was probably only 50 m ahead of me but it wasn't possible to catch him up. I finished 4th with an average pace of 6:04 /km and received a prize for being closest to the handicapper's estimated time. I also got a prize for winner the summer all-rounder competition and won the Race Walking NZ raffle draw for the month with Philip getting the third prize. It was a good afternoon for us!

Wednesday 18 April - 8 km Training Walk
My leg was feeling stiff and sore but I was determined to get out for a walk. My initial pace was around 7:30 so I was pleased to get that down to under 7:00 especially considering the reasonably strong wind.

Sunday 15 April - 8 km Training Walk
Philip and I parked the car at work and walked around the waterfront to the cafe at Greta Point. We had a long break for a coffee and read of the paper before returning into town to buy some vegetables at the market.

Monday 9 April - Australian Masters 10 km Road Race
This was the final race for me of the championship and the most challenging. It was 5 x 2 km laps along a diagonal path in a mid-Melbourne park. There were probably around 45 walkers with the men starting 2 minutes before the women. I thought I settled into a reasonable rhythm but Jim was telling me to tuck my butt every time I passed him so I knew he was concerned about my technique. I got a lifting warning in the first lap and had my first card at the 4 km point. I received another card at around the 6 km point so was pleased to finish the event in my second best ever time without being pulled off.

Unfortunately the chief judge found me after a few minutes and told me I had been disqualified. The board was showing three knee cards but the sheet showed my first card was actually for lifting. Whilst it was disappointing not to make it through all my races I felt I had made huge progress on my technique in a short time and was not upset.

It was a huge advantage to have Jim's coaching throughout this championship. Thanks so much Jim!

Saturday 7 April - Australian Masters 5 km Track Race
I was pleased to draw a place in the middle of the track for this race. Walkers with the high numbers had to start on the outside edge of the track. I tucked in behind two other walkers from my age group but before long felt I needed to pass them to maintain the pace I wanted. I passed one in the finishing straight of the first 200 m and the other about 200 m later. Each lap Jim was encouraging me to pull my left shoulder back and to stand upright. I was aware that I picked up two cards by around the 4 km mark so I concentrated hard on holding my technique. With 200m to go Jim encouraged me to work hard to finish under 30 min. I responded and managed a personal best time of 29:54, gaining a silver medal in the W50 age group. I was on edge for a few minutes after finishing in case another card came in but I must have done enough to convince the judges.

Friday 6 April - Australian Masters 1500 m Track Race
It was a warm afternoon by New Zealand standards so I was glad this was a short race. With around 20 starters in this race I was surprised that there was not a split start. I was given 10th place on the start line and was grateful not to be out wide. After about 150 m I almost stepped on the heel of the walker in front of me and decided I would have to pass her and the walker in front of her. Apparently I got a lifting warning as I did that but I did not see that. On the next lap I saw a judge approaching with a knee warning in hand but it was actually for the walker behind me. I didn't see any other warnings during the race and went as hard as I could in the last lap. I finished second in my age group in a time of 8:20, a 20 sec pb, and a raspy feeling in my throat. I don't think I've managed to go fast enough previously to feel as taxed as I did at the end of this race. It was great to know that I did not receive any penalties from the judges in this race.

Keep an eye out for some photos which I will try to add to this site in the next day or so.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hello from Melbourne

Neither Philip nor I slept much on Friday night knowing the alarm was set for 3:30 am so that we could get to the airport before the 4:30 am check-in deadline. I got up at about 1:30 am and pottered around in the kitchen for 30 mins or so, went back to bed for an hour then we both got up at about 3. Our son Julian kindly came over and stayed the night so he could drive the car back from the airport. I hope he didn't get stopped driving within the kerfew time - he's not meant to drive until after 5:00 am. I have been on at him about getting his full licence!

We requested to be billeted for the Masters Champs and were put in touch with Allan Woods who not only was happy for us to stay will him the whole 10 days but also offered to meet us at the airport. We took a while to clear customs and it was a great relief to see Allan with our names written on a sheet of paper. On seeing all the faces when we came through the door I wondered how we would pick him out.

We couldn't have a more helpful host and are enjoying getting to know one of the locals. Allan competes in the running sprint races in the M70 division. He coaches basketball, teaches a class similar to the modified Tai Chi that Phlip teaches and also plays music. He and Phlip have a lot in common!

Saturday 31 March - 7.5 km Training Walk

I haven't managed to follow my programme very well this week and really should have done the session of 3 km fartlek + 5 x 400 m. My legs had been feeling very tight and by the time we went out for a walk my body felt like the time was about 10:00 pm even though our watches said 5:00 pm. I decided that sprints were not a good idea. We did a very gentle walk in the direction of the railway station to gain our bearings and stretch out a bit. We averaged around 8:45 per km but did feel a lot better after some exercise and a shower. Needless to say I was in bed by 8:00 and had a great sleep.

Friday 30 March - 10 km Training Walk

This was meant to be 15 km but I didn't get out until after 4:30 pm since I needed to finish things off at work in preparation for being away. I hadn't started packing and couldn't afford to be too late home so 10 km was all I had time for. My legs were even tighter than the previous day and didn't loosen up as much so I was not able to go at the pace I wanted. I completed the 10 km in 1:12 for an average pace of 7:12 and average HR of 130 bpm.