Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Goal Achieved - Wellington Half Marathon

The weather yesterday was pretty awful with heavy rain and gale-force winds. The forecast was for a southerly change with showers so it was nice to go to the start line in the dry. In this event walkers and runners start at the same time with walkers instructed to line up behind the runners. Since race records are taken from gun time not net time
I considered trying to get up to the front. This is a risky thing to do because your opponents could be starting several minutes behind you and could have a quicker net time without ever passing you.

I was a bit fatigued from my week's training and didn't think I was likely to get a good time so I picked a starting position near the 2:10 mark with some other walkers. It took almost 30 seconds to reach the start line where I started my Garmin.  Walking felt relaxed and easy at the start so I was surprised to find I was doing 6 min pace. My aim was to average 6:20/km and I knew this fast start might tell on me later. I got to the 5 km mark in 30:23 and the halfway point in just over 65 mins.

The wind was at our backs for most of the return journey. I was feeling tired but was motivated to work hard since I knew our team would be pushed to beat the Taranaki walkers and every second could count. With 3 km to go I realised that I would get a PB time by going under 20 min which helped me to lift my pace a bit. My son was at the finish to cheer me in for a gun time of 2:14:42 and a net time of 2:14:04. (Average HR 157.) This is a PB of around 2 min and a 1:30 improvement in my age group record for this race. Bettering the record was one of the goals I wrote down for the winter season. The improvement would have been greater if I had believed in myself and started up the front. I am in this group for another 5 years so I will just have to go for an even better time next year!

Wellington Half Marathon

Friday 22 June - 3 x 2 km + 2 x 1 km with 2 min recovery

With a race on Sunday I didn't want to go 100% on this workout but I felt bad about missing the 10 km on Thursday so wanted to make a reasonable effort. I said to myself 6:15 when I started but I was actually thinking 3:15 per 500m or 13 min per 2 km. I was pleased when my first 2 km was less than that and managed to get faster as I warmed up and then had the wind behind me for the last 4 km. My splits were: 12:46, 12:11, 12:07, 6:04, 6:10 for an average pace of 6:10 and average HR 157 bpm.

I was pretty tired when I got back to the office and it occurred to me that Jim had written down 16 km for Sunday so hadn't realised I was doing the half marathon. He probably would have given me something a bit less strenuous. I should have checked that one out. (I have just checked the training programme and found that my eye had slipped forward to the following week. I was supposed to do 5 x 1 km @ 85%. Duh! Jim did have the Half Marathon in there. Luckily he's given me a lighter week next week so I can get some energy back.)
3 x 2 min 2 x 1 km with 2 min recovery

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rest Day

I had a hectic day at work today with several meetings. Fitting a training walk in was going to be tricky, the weather was not appealing and my right hamstring was not feeling good. Everything lined up for me to give training a miss today but I probably walked around 6 km going between my car, work and meetings.

Wednesday 20 June - 10 km Fartlek

My first km was not fast, probably since I did not have time to warm up before starting. The next few fast 500s were pretty good but I wasn't able to maintain that pace right through. I was roped in to play squash that night since one of the players in my team was sick. Trying to save some energy for squash and some for the half marathon on Sunday meant I did not give 100% effort. In an effort to save time I headed back to work over the last km and ended up going around in circles to complete the last 500m which was the slowest of all laps. My overall time was 1:05:47 with an average pace of 6:35 and average HR 154 bpm

10 Km Fartlek

Tuesday 19 June - 12 Km Training Walk

It was cold and raining and my legs were sore I think from Monday's yoga class or possibly Sunday's squash training so I decided a longer slower walk was a better option. I put my raincoat on and headed out. I was pleased to see my pace was better than 7:15 - at other times I struggled to do better than 8 min/km when I've felt like this. I managed a pretty consistent pace throughout and finished the 12 km in 1:26:15 for an average pace of 7:11 and average HR of 142 bpm

12 km Training Walk

Sunday, June 17, 2012

10 km Road Race - Club Champs #1

It rained heavily through Friday night and I envisaged a soggy walk on Saturday morning. There was some rain during the drive down to Upper Hutt and a shower before the start of the race.  I expected to see Alana and Natasha at this event and was disappointed to find they were not there and neither was Peter Baillie who is injured.  That meant that I took the lead in the first few steps of the race and remained in front throughout. I probably went out too hard, my watch recording the first 5 km in 29:44.  The wind came up in the second half of the race but that didn't really explain my drop off in pace.  I was pleased with my overall time but would have liked to have a more even split between the two halves. I will need to work harder on the kick-down training sessions!

There were only three judges for this event and two of those usually compete but were injured. I was shown two warnings but did not receive any cards and at the end of the race was given the judge's award for the best style. That was very pleasing given the effort I have put into improving my style but I know there is still more work to do on this.

My total time was 1:01:41, average pace 6:10, average HR 162 bpm. The next walker finished over 3 minutes behind me.

The splits from my watch were
5:45, 5:54, 6:00, 5:55, 6:10 (29:44 for 1st 5 km)
6:20, 6:14, 6:19, 6:16, 6:22 (31:31 for 2nd 5 km)
29:44 + 31:31 + 0:25 (My watch measured the course to be 10.06 km)

10 km Road Race (Club Champs #1)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Back on Line - The Big Catch Up

The PC went on the blink and I've been busy so it just wasn't possible to update this blog. I have still been training and competing and will now attempt to get things up to date.

Wednesday 13 June - 4 x 1 km with 2 min rest intervals

This was meant to be 4 x 800 m but getting to the track is difficult so it was easier to do 1 km reps along the footpath.  My programme said 85% effort and I figured that if I was going well I should be able to do 1 km in 5:40 so 6:00 km or even 6:05 would be quite good.  I was happy to achieve an average of 6:01.

The splits were 6:05, 5:55, 5:56, 6:04

4 x 1 km with 2 min rest intervals

Saturday 9 June - 15 km National Championship

We drove up to New Plymouth on Thursday to give us plenty of time to recover from the 5 hour drive before the race on Saturday. We were lucky to have generous friends to stay with from our time of living in this  city.

I planned not to go out too hard in this race but did try to stay on the back of a group that I thought I might be able to keep up with. This lead me to doing 30:30 for the first 5 km which was a bit ahead of my goal of 6:10 per km.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to hold that pace and the group gradually went out of sight.  With about 4 laps to go I noticed Sue Hoskin in the distance and tried to increase my pace but dropped the idea of catching up when I went past the board after 13 km and saw I had two red cards. I did want to achieve a PB and managed to knock 69 seconds of my time from last year, completing the event in 5th place in 1:35:18.  I had hoped for a couple of minutes faster but at least I was not DQ'd.

15 km National Championships

The video below was taken by my hosts approximately 3 km into the race.

Wednesday 6 June - 10 km

I left my GPS watch at home this day so I used a bit of guess work as to where the 5 km turn around point was. I estimated that I was walking at around 7:30 min/km pace and completed the walk in 1:14:13.  I remember thinking that the distance was likely to have been nearer to 10.5 km.

Sunday 3 June - leg 2 of Aurora Marathon

This was a handicap race with the start time based on the competitors estimated time. Leeane did a good job of the first half marathon, finishing about 6 mins faster than her estimate.  I was quite surprised at the pace I achieved early in my leg, probably due to being motivated to catch up to the walkers ahead of me (a couple of these turned out to be runners).  I enjoyed the scenic walk through the valley and was grateful that my leg was relatively flat compared to the first leg.  I did enjoy the steep downhill section near the end where I passed quite a number of walkers. In this event competitors finishing too much faster than their estimate are disqualified. I found out later that this rule was applied to the solo competitors but not to the teams. It looks like the winners of the pairs must have beaten their estimate by a considerable amount since they were some way ahead of me and we were 11 minutes quicker than our estimate. I completed my half of the marathon in 2:19:59.

Aurora Marathon - Lap Two

Friday 1 June - 10 km Kickdown

In my previous two attempts at this workout I started out too fast, made my first increase too much and then struggled to increase in the last half of the workout.  I set myself the target of averaging 7:20, 7:00, 6:40 and 6:20. I found the first half of the workout very easy and surprised myslef with what I was able to achieve in the second half. the total time was 1:06:59 with average pace 6:42 and average HR 149 bpm. My splits were:

2.5 km  18:16  (average 7:18)
5.0 km  17:20  (average 6:56)
7.5 km  16:09  (average 6:28)
10 km   15:14  (average 6:06)

Wednesday 30 May - 10 km with 2 x 5 min @ 10 km pace

Tuesday 29 May - 12 km Training Walk

I have been carrying a sore right hamstring for quite some time which tends to make me slow to warm up. I was pleased to achieve an average pace of 6:47 for this workout and to find that I am no longer fatiguing at the 7 - 8 km mark as I had been previously. My average HR was 141 bpm.

12 km Training Walk 

Sunday 27 May - 20 km Training Walk

The weather forecast wasn't good and there was a strong northerly wind blowing. Philip and I drove down to the Hutt Road to get onto the flat and headed south into town, round the bays to Kilbernie through to Lyall Bay and round the coast to Island Bay. It started to shower about an hour into the walk so buy the time we reached the cafe at Island Bay we were cold and hungry and stopped 1.4 km short of our intended distance. We had a nice lunch, a long read of the Sunday paper then caught the bus back to our car.

20 km Training Walk

Wednesday 23 May - 5 km Fartlek

I was grateful for a light week after having two full on programmes the previous two weeks.  This workout felt pretty good and I was pleased with the pace.  Overall time 30:38, average pace 6:09, average HR 149 bpm.

The splits were:
3:17 + 2:52 = 6:09
3:20 + 2:53 = 6:13
3:16 + 3:01 = 6:17
3:09 + 2:54 = 6:03

5 km Fartlek