Sunday, April 3, 2016

Update: Diagnosis and plan of ATTACK!

Ill cut straight to the MRI results came back that I have a partial tear in BOTH hamstrings, woohoo! I also have extreme tendinitis in my left hamstring. Yep, that sucks! I was definitely not expecting to hear that when the doctor called me. He started off the call with "How are you feeling" and me being optimistic, as I am, I replied "I think I am doing a bit better". Well he asked me that question because he was expecting me to say that ive been in a lot of pain based on the MRI report and images.

I definitely wasn't expecting to hear this news...partly because I have had zero pain in my right hamstring which is good news. I didn't think I had any tears because usually you feel a pop of sorts or have bruising when a tear occurs. Well this is also good news that I had neither happen. The fact that it hasn't been healing or getting better indicated that something was wrong though because usually I respond well to treatment.

A few days before I even had my MRI we decided that I was going to fly to Albuquerque for 5 days over Easter weekend to see my former physio Jonathan Pierce to get some intense treatment. I have worked with Jon for the past 4+ years in San Diego but in the fall he took a new job with the Brooks Beast Track Club in Seattle. Since I have worked with him for so long, he was always able to just read me and what was going on with my body when I walked in the door for treatment. In Albuquerque, he treated me everyday, most days twice and he found that my body was very tight and locked up in many areas. It was not allowing me to have the best mechanics and was putting pressure on my hamstring. This is something that I believe should have and could have been caught earlier but moving on...

I left Albuquerque physically feeling better and mentally in a better place. Jon and I came up with a good plan to attack this injury and get me back to where I should be. I revamped my team of therapists here and everyone is staying in touch with Jon as my main therapist/leader. We want to make sure that we all work together and that everyone knows what everyone is finding.

I went to see a top sports medicine doctor with my MRI results and he prescribed me some strong anti inflammatory medications (yes, I made sure they are NOT on the prohibited substance list) to get the inflammation down in my left hamstring. We think that if we can get that down/gone that I should be ok since that is the main source of the pain.

So, i've been cross training super hard on the elliptical and hiking as second workouts. I've been doing all my regular racewalking workouts but on the elliptical instead. Its so nice to be able to work hard doing something that I have no pain doing. Today, however, I was able to run for the first time in a month and had no pain! I did 15km's total alternating 1km hike, 1km run while pushing Isabella in the stroller. I have felt good the rest of the day and so I am going to try to racewalk tomorrow.

The hardest thing in this is being patient and not pushing too hard or doing too much too soon. Even though I have time, I feel like I dont have time. It is now April 3rd and this is not where I would have hoped to be at BUT this is where I am and I have come to terms with it BUT I am not settling for it. From all of this, I have come to realize that your biggest competitor is someone coming back from adversity. They cross train their butt off, they are more fired up than ever and it is all getting bottled up and ready to explode for when it counts. Trust me y'all, im coming! This comeback is going to be better than the last and the last was goooood.

Ill keep you posted on my progress. I am excited for what is to come because I know that what is to come is going to be my best ever. How can you not be excited about that! Thanks for the uplifting words of encouragement.

Keep on walking,


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bumpy Road

Right now I am supposed to be in Tokyo having a blast and preparing to try and redo the magic from my first sub 90 minute 20km I did last year at the same race in Japan. Instead, I am at home enjoying family time and feeling like I am starting my season all over again. The last time I wrote, I recapped my 2015 season, my most successful season to date. I wish I could be writing to say how great my training has been going and that I knew with certainty that this was going to be another successful year. Right now, I am feeling uncertain on what is to come.

My training in the fall went pretty well. For the most part, I was training better than last year and felt very excited for the coming season. I did a 10k "race" on January 2nd where I did in a controlled effort and walked 44:34 with a HR 7 beats lower average than I do most of my 20k races at a slower pace. This made me feel super optimistic for my hope to go sub 1:29 this year. A few days after the 10k I started having some pain in my hamsting. It didnt seem too serious at first, especially considering I had no pain on any of my easy workouts (5 days a week) but when I tried to go fast I had problems. It has now continued and its now 2 months later and I am still having problems. Seems like a long time and it is but during this time I have seen a lot of good things that has made me continue without being too worried. I have had a few of my best workouts ever and had no pain doing them, I have had 2-3 weeks during these 2 months with the pain gone and thought I was over the hump. A week before I was supposed to leave for Japan the pain came back when I tried to do a workout and I knew at this point that I had to cancel my trip and really take care of this problem for real.

I have been getting therapy 2-3 times a week since the beginning of January and nothing seems to be getting rid of this for good. I have now just completed a full week off training and since I have started back training a few days ago, the pain is still present. I am now in the process of getting an MRI to just make sure that the hamstring isnt torn. We are hopeful and think that it is just tendonosis, inflamation but we just want to rule anything else out. This is my first real injury in my whole career and so it has just been a learning process on how to deal with it.

In the mean time, I am trying to be positive and optimistic as the Olympic year is getting underway. I know that I can get in shape quickly and that I have become a totally different athlete these last few years and that will help me moving forward. Once I am pain free, I know that ill be able to get to where I was before all this happened. It is still early enough in the year that I have plenty of time to get ready. All I need is one GOOD race and that race is still just over 5 months away, the Olympics. Im fortunate that I already have my Olympic standard and all I have to do is prove fitness.

Not the update I would like to give but its an honest one that I sure others can relate to. Everyone is always looking for perfection in an Olympic year but the reality is that you cannot control everything and sometimes that is a good thing. I am trusting the process and believing that I am capable of great things this year but that it will be a different path than usual to get there. Thanks for all of the support.

Keep on walking,


Thursday, September 17, 2015

2015 Season Review!

Hey everyone, im backkkkkk!!!! You can definitely say that my blogging this year has been sub-par this year! I must say its been a mix of not having the energy at night to blog after long days training and playing with Isabella and being a bit superstitious that since ive stopped blogging as much that ive performed better. I know, the latter is a bit silly and I do not consider myself a superstitious person but sometimes I just like to keep good things rolling.

Anyways, im back and will hopefully post more often from now on. I left off with my last post talking about the beginning of my season and now im about to talk about how my season ended. I am now on my month off training and have had a lot of time to reflect. Here are some short recaps of my last 3 races of the season in case you dont know the results.

Canadian Championships in Edmonton

My goal going into Nationals was strong and direct. I wanted to break my own Canadian 10km track record. We only did a 10km this year because it was only 15 days before the Pan Am Games. I knew it wouldnt be difficult to go under my 44:26 but I didnt plan on trying to kill it. I was hoping to go between 44:15-44:20 and so I went out on pace and did exactly what I wanted to, 44:16. It was the perfect tune up to Pan Am Games which were my ultimate goal and focus this year. This was my 8th National Championship title!

Pan American Games in Toronto

After focusing on this race so much this year, I couldnt believe it was finally here and I was READY. I knew that there wasnt anything else I could have done to better prepare myself for this race. We went in with the plan to go with the leaders and put myself in a situation to go after a medal. We knew it was going to be hot and humid, we expected it all year as we prepared for it but we did not expect it to be as bad as it was. We went out hard, I was 22:13 at 5km's which would be too fast for me even if the weather was perfect. I then went through 10km's in 45:09.

I had already started slowing, as did everyone else but from then on it became trying to maximize my race and try to place as high as possible. It was a bit of a death march and even though I was really trying as hard as I could, I only managed 47:40 for my last 10km's which had me finish in 1:32:49 and 6th place. Even though this was not at all what I had imagined for this race, I really did go away feeling proud of myself. I knew that I had tried my best all the way to the end and it was my best race in those type of conditions. In hindsight, I should have done my own race and paced myself differently but hindsight is hindsight. Either way, I was excited for what I had learned and for how I was going to move forward towards Beijing a month later.

Toronto was everything I had hoped for in a home Championship. I had so many family and friends there to cheer me on and support me. I got overwhelmed when I was warming up just watching everyone start showing up to be there for me. It meant so much to me and that memory will be one at the top of my list for my athletic career. Thanks everyone!

IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Beijing

Even though I had this one big race left in my season, I really struggled post Pan Am's. I thought I recovered well from the race but as soon as I got back to San Diego, I struggled. I was so tight. At first I thought it was just from the flight home but it just wouldnt go away. I ended up having to go get treatment 2-3 times a week, I had to stop several key workouts and my weight lifting was very restricted because of being so tight. The tightness just wouldnt go away and so I just had to learn to deal with it. I think it came down to the fact that it had been a long season and I was starting to crash. I had every reason to think that my race at Worlds would not go well. Most people would have crumbled if they went through what I was and I did at some points but when I got to Beijing it all changed. Our Canadian team right off the bat was performing so well and Ben Thorne kicked it off with a somewhat surprising bronze medal in the men's 20km racewalk. I couldnt help but be inspired by everyones performances. The question kept popping in my head of "why cant I have a breakthrough performance too?". I went through my training log to remind myself how strong my training had been this year and that it was still all there and that I was ready for this. The work was done and I had a good strong race plan after what I learnt in Toronto. 


I knew I could walk 1:31:30-1:32 if I walked a smart race and so I planned to stick to that pace, especially for the first 10km's and then try to pick off girls ahead of me after that. I really had to stay very patient because I felt soooo good! I would look at my 1km splits and if they were a bit too fast, I would slow myself down knowing that the 2nd half was where the real race began. I went through in 45:49, right on target. I was in 23rd place at half way and from there I just kept picking off girls ahead of me and I knew I had passed quite a few people but didnt quite know what place I was in. When I turned off the course to go into the tunnel into the stadium I heard someone yell that I was in 13th place. 13th PLACE!!!! I was so excited, I couldnt help but smile as I made my way to the finish line. I finished in 1:31:39 and practically even split my 10km splits. I was ranked 16th place going in and I had really hoped to place that or better but was really unsure so I was so proud!

I was absolutely thrilled with my performance! I had finally broken my bad championships streak and feel like I know what I am doing now haha. This result made me the best result ever in my event for Canada which was icing on the cake. This gives me the 2nd way of qualifying for the Olympics next year, yay! 

I came into this season with big hopes and goals and did not really necessarily expect to achieve them. I did learn, however, to believe in myself more than ever and that was evident every time I raced. Definitely the highlights of my season were breaking 1:30 for 20km's for the first time and 13th place at Worlds. This places me exactly where I want to be going into the Olympic year and I plan on making even higher goals as I move forward. It really is true that good things come for those who believe. 

I am now 3 weeks in to my 4 week break and im feeling refreshed. I definitely needed some down time from my training regimen and from being so strict with my diet. Sometimes a girl's gotta eat what she wants to eat! Im now feeling ready to get back into my regular routine and get fit again. 

I'd like to quickly thank my team, those who have helped me get to where I am and who continue to be there for me as I move forward. Thanks to Jon Pierce, my therapist and overall consultant. Jon continues to bring me new ideas and keep me on top of being a professional athlete and his advice is invaluable. He also keeps me injury free and this is how I can continue to progress. Thanks to Luke DePron, my personal trainer. He has brought my strength to a whole new level and this has elevated my training to a new level. Thanks to Anne Shadle, my sports psychologist. The tools she has given me on how to approach my training and racing and learning to believe in myself and to take out unnecessary distractions has been career changing. I wish I would have worked with someone earlier in my career as I think it has made a HUGE impact on my racing. My training partners Miranda Melville and Emmanuel Corvera. There is no one else id rather train with. We push eachother and are supportive in every way. We truly want the best for eachother and it shows because most importantly, we are good friends. Last but definitely not least, Tim, my coach and most importantly my husband. I know that I couldnt be married to anyone else. To have someone who supports me, pushes me to my best and is completely understanding of what I am doing, he is irreplaceable. I am one lucky girl!

One more week of break then back to work. Lets keep this going!

Keep on walking, 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Breakthrough Start to 2015!

To say that the start of my racing season is going well so far is a big understatement. I started the new year at a rough place with having been sick for 6 weeks therefore I missed a lot of my usual base training. I also got a late start to doing some hard workouts and so I was very unsure of where I was at with my fitness. In January I was simply trying to get back to feeling good and getting my heart rate back down to normal. I started doing some hard workouts so that I could get my fitness going again. Once February hit I finally felt like I was getting my legs under me again. Training started clicking and my hard workouts were where they were last year at the same point or better with less base than ever.

First real race back was at the Canadian Indoor Open in Montreal and since the women raced separately from the men, I knew it would be a solo effort. I was confident since last year I walked my 12:23 Canadian record alone so I was hoping to go under that. I felt good and went through the first kilometer in 4:05 and then a little bit into the 2nd kilometer one of the judges, who must have been inexperienced, showed me the red paddle which means you are disqualified. I almost came to a complete stop but then realized that the judge didnt know what he was doing and kept going. It definitely threw me off so with that and loosing focus a bit, I fell off the pace and came in to the finish in 12:33. Still my 2nd best time ever so I cant complain. Good enough to finish the indoor season ranked 6th in the world.

Just before going to Indoors we were rushing to decide which early season 20km race we should go to. It was between Lugano, Switzerland and Nomi, Japan, both races were on the same day, March 15th. I had a gut feeling that going to Japan would be better for me because its easier to adjust to the time change so we decided to go there. My training partner, Miranda Melville, and I flew to Tokyo for a few days prior to the race and got to do some sightseeing. We loved Tokyo and were very impressed with how clean everything was.

It was finally time to head to the small city of Nomi to prepare for the race. Going into the race I was ranked 2nd to a Chinese girl. Historically the women hadnt walked very fast here so I really had no idea what to expect. My race plan was simply to go with the leaders and see how the race went and go from there. I fully expected it to go out slow so I didnt feel very nervous at the start but to my surprise a Japanese girl went for it and the Chinese girl and I went with her. Our first kilometer was 4:23 and I thought "uh oh". Thankfully the Chinese girl didnt continue to go with the Japanese girl and so we slowed slightly and walked together going through 5km's in 22:25. We stayed together through 12km's going through 10km's in 44:46 (22:21 last 5km). At about 12km's the Chinese girl took off on me and I couldnt go with her. I maintained the pace as well as I could on my own through 15km's in 1:07:15 (22:29 last 5km). At 16km's I started having a very nervous/scared/anxious feeling in my stomach and it really crippled me and I had a rough next 3km's. I got to 19km's in about 1:25:29 on the clock and thought I better fight this feeling in my stomach if im going to break 1:30. I fought hard and did a 4:23 last kilometer to finish in 1:29:54! Wow! Broke my own Canadian record and personal best by 49 seconds! So thrilling for me. I couldnt believe I did it. I have been dreaming of this since last year and to think I did it when my training was less than optimal was incredible.

When I got home we took a planned very easy recovery week, there was no rush in getting back into hard training since it is a long season. I enjoyed a week with my parents visiting and we went to Disneyland for the first time. It was great! After about 10 days I was back in my regular routine and feeling recovered from Japan. Next race planned was the USA Pan American Racewalk Cup Trials in Whiting, New Jersey on April 12th. Since my race in Japan went so well we decided to only do a 10km. This was the only record I didnt have yet and the record was 44:25 which felt very within my reach. 

The plan was to try and walk with Nick Christie for his first 10km's of his 20km race. We started off right on pace for the first lap (1.25km laps) and then just past half way through the 2nd lap, Nick decided that he felt good and sped up ahead. I was then alone at 2km's into the race to fight by myself. This is a position I have been in many times before so I knew I could do it. Went through 5km's in about 21:49 and could feel it being tough alone. I went on to have a few rough laps and knew that I had to get my act together that last lap in order to break 44 minutes which was my big goal. I pulled myself together and managed to walk a 4:17 last kilometer to finish in 43:52! This was a new Canadian record by 32 seconds. I must say I felt pretty good at the end and wish I had someone there to push me a bit harder but I cant complain with the time. You can check out the photo story done by Jeff Salvage on

I feel like I still have so much training to do and so im excited to get back to it. This time I wont be taking as easy of a week off and am able to jump back into training pretty quickly since it was just a 10km race. Next up I have the Pan American Racewalk Cup in Arica, Chile on May 9th. This will be a great preview of what to expect at the Pan American Games in Toronto in July. I will be racing the same girls and it is a strong field. There are 4 of us who have broken 1:30 for 20km's in the last year. Im hoping it brings me to another personal best as the weather should be good as well.

Recently the Toronto Star did a story on myself and the top Canadian men. Please check it out here and here as Kerry Gillespie did a fantastic job! 

The season has only just begun and I can only imagine how much better its going to be as I continue to prepare for the championships this summer. Thanks for following my journey! 

Keep on walking,


Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Year, New Opportunities!

So excited for the new year which brings a championship season with the Pan American Games and the World Track and Field Championships. I cant believe it has been 4 years since I was last at a World Championships but I am so ready to get back there as a completely different athlete than when I was there last. This year comes with many new opportunities and I cant wait.

My fall and into the Christmas season came with many ups and downs. Training had been going great as I started back in September and into the beginning of November. I had been getting my mileage back up again and starting to feel like myself again after taking most of the summer off. We had 6 weeks of trips planned crammed into an 8 week period. With this came lots of fatigue and illness. Unfortunately, the illness really affected my training. I ended up being sick 5 weeks out of those 8 weeks and this put me feeling behind the eight ball. I felt like I was starting back in September all over again after I was finally rid of all the sickness.It was tough mentally to feel that I lost so much time but I managed to keep it all in perspective that I had a long season and that I would be fine.

 In the middle of my trips I competed at the USA 50km Racewalk Championships here in San Diego on December 14th. My plan was to walk 20-25km's with fellow Canadian Mathieu Bilodeau as he raced the 50km's for the first time. Originally the plan was to walk about 4:53/km and if that was the case I probably would have gone 25km's but once we got going Mathieu impressively started bringing the pace down to 4:48/km or faster and therefore I only lasted 20km's in fear of it taking too long to recover from doing 25km's at that pace. I was thrilled to walk 1:36:40 at what felt like a comfortable tempo pace. This was about a minute faster than a race I did last year a few weeks earlier and my heart rate was a bit lower than last year also. This was very positive after having been sick for about 3 weeks before this point. This gave me a lot of confidence that I would be alright.

After my next 3 weeks of being away and getting sick all over again, I was THRILLED to be back home in San Diego. It almost felt like it was the happiest I have ever felt to be back in the sunshine and back in my regular routine. I think that helped reboot my training. Although I still had some bumps and still am, I have been seeing steady improvement in my fitness every day. I missed a lot of time at the gym while I was away/sick also and that is finally getting back to where it was before and/or improving. Just yesterday I did a back squatting personal best of 150lbs and still felt like I had more in me.

I now feel as though I am on track to have another break out season and I cannot wait for the opportunity to attack my races. I have no limits and I am not afraid. I wanted to thank my supporters because without them, my everyday training would be a lot harder. Thank you to Mizuno Canada, New York Athletic Club and Nuun Hydration! Next up for me is the Canadian Indoor Open on February 22nd in Montreal where ill be racing a 3,000m and going after my own Canadian record of 12:23. Let's do this!

Keep on walking,


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Comeback: Part 2, 2014 Season in Review!

I always knew that after I had my baby that I would comeback to training and competing, the thought of not coming back never entered my mind. Even though I was very scared about having a baby and what that would do to my training/life, I was sort of looking forward to having a year "off" to not be so stressed about revolving my life around athletics. My hiatus made me realize a lot and made me super pumped to get back into racing and do better than ever before. I was determined to not let my past disappointments define my potential and future success.

I was super solely focused on myself and being smart with my comeback. I made sure that I walked within my target heart rate even if that meant walking slower than I wanted to some days. I was super careful to not do too much in the beginning and to build up my comeback gradually. Looking back a year later, I think Tim and I approached this perfectly. I had no injuries and I felt strong throughout the whole year.

I owe a lot of my comeback to my TEAM San Diego teammates. We are all so positive and supporting of eachother. We push eachother when we need it and we are just as happy for our own success as we are for eachothers. I wouldnt want to be surrounded by anyone else than these 4 people; Miranda, Natos, Mike and of course Tim.

I had the best base season id ever had. I started working with my trainer once a week from Fix Body Group named Luke. He has completely revitalized my time at the gym. I am doing things I never thought I would be doing but in a great way. I have gone from barely squatting the bar (45lbs) to 135lbs and from deadlifting a 53lb kettle bell to 155lbs. I still have a lot of room to improve with my strength and it is incredibly exciting.

I went on to compete in my first race in almost a year and a half at a small indoor meet on Long Island, New York in the middle of December. I raced a 3,000m indoors for the first time in several years. I managed to walk 12:38 fairly comfortably and that started my comeback season with a bang! I knew that if I would have gone for the Canadian Indoor Record of 12:31 that day that I would have gotten it. This was just the beginning of seek of many Canadian records this season.

Next was our annual junior racewalk camp in South Texas where I planned on doing a 10km on the track. Originally my goal was to break 45mins but after my 3,000m race a week earlier, we decided that the Canadian record of 44:30 was within my reach. I had Nick, Alex, Natos and Tim to walk with and push to stay with. It was tough but I was so proud at how I fought mentally through it. I was on pace to walk 44:45 until 3km's to go and I managed to get my butt back in gear and walked 13:11 the last 3k. It was so thrilling to walk these times on what I considered very little work to walk fast.

 I got back home from our Christmas trip and I was lucky enough to train with Eleonora Giorgi of Italy who was in San Diego for a training camp. That was very eye opening for me that I could compete with some of the top women in the world. It was a blast and she was so encouraging to me. It was just pure fun, no competitiveness, just fun.

We had a race coming up in San Diego that was an opportunity for some of the walkers here to qualify for the USA Indoor Nationals. I had a very heavy week of training so the plan was to help Natos and Miranda walk under 12:45 and then maybe do some other intervals after so I got a good workout in. Well I decided a few days earlier that I would still pace them but then continue 2kms to go after the Canadian 5,000m record of 21:52. I knew that if I walked the goal pace for 3k that I would easily get the record. Even though the fourth km was a bit ugly, I pulled it together to walk 21:37 and get the record. Record #2 of the season!

Training continued to go well and improve inbetween all the racing. I always had my trusty training partners in Natos and Miranda to keep me going. I had a few weeks before I left to go to Canada and New York for a few more indoor races. First up was a 3,000m at York University in Toronto where I was going to go for the Canadian record. I was going after it solo since it had to be a women's only race for the time to count as a record. Luckily I strive in situations when I need to push myself and I went after it and after the first km I knew that I had it. I finished in 12:23, a new Canadian record by 8 seconds! Record #3 complete.

Next was Millrose Games where I was already a 3 time champion. I was very confident after the 3,000m 6 days earlier. I figured I could walk 6:25 which would be a 16 second PB but ultimately my goal was to compete and go for the win. I pretty much took the lead from the beginning and made the pace fast and took over the title once again in a time of 6:17, woah! If Canada recognized 1 mile racewalk records, im sure this would have beaten it.

After this I had a good month of training before I was going to do my first 20km since the Olympics in Lugano, Switzerland. This race is known for being fast and so I was hoping to jump in on that history and destroy my PB. Going into the race I had gotten sick from Isabella and was only able to travel to Europe 6 days prior to the race so I had a hard time adjusting to the time change. Even though those things were tough to deal with, I had confidence from ever since Isabella was born that I could perform off of very little sleep and so it didnt phase me too much. I felt good in the race except I only had people to walk with for the first km, otherwise I was alone the whole race and had a hard time after 12km's to push through it. Even though I was disappointed, I still finished in 1:31:40 which was a minute and 25 second PB, definitely something to be happy about.
Exactly two weeks later, I made a last minute decision to go to New Jersey for the USA World Cup trials race. Even though I went to the doctor after I got back from Europe, my illness did not improve, it got worst. I was hopeful that by race day in New Jersey that I would be fine. I finally got a prescription for an antibiotic the night before the race and decided to start taking it right away in hopes for a miracle. I needed it because I hadnt been this sick in years and on top of it, I had a really bad headache. I woke up the morning of the race just wanting to sleep and thought that I at least needed to start the race since I traveled so far but figured id drop out. I had a hard time warming up but the race must go on. Something must have clicked and changed because we started the race and I didnt only feel fine, I felt great and walked most of the race solo to another PB of 1:30:43, almost a minute improvement from 2 weeks prior. It was like a miracle after I had been feeling!
Luckily the antibiotics worked after about a week and I recovered from the races and had a month to train and get ready for the World Racewalk Cup in China. I continued to have the best workouts of my life. We did a bunch of hard workouts in the afternoon to prepare for our afternoon race. I was feeling great! Thankfully traveling to China is much easier coming from the west coast than Europe and I adjusted to the time change easily. I was feeling great for the race and my race plan was simply to continue was I was doing all year. I started off pretty cautiously and stayed behind the lead pack and had hoped to pick people off throughout the race. I felt pretty comfortable until about 15km's and then the heaviness set in and I tied up a lot and just lost all turnover that I had and slowed down a lot in the last 3km's. I finished in 31st place in a time of 1:31:14. Even though it was not my best day, it was my times time and placing at an international competition and I was proud of that improvement.

I went home and had just over a month until my last race of the season at the Canadian Track and Field Championships. Even though my main goal of the season was World Cup, I still had a lot of hopes for my Nationals. My training continued to go well and decided that even though the course in Moncton, NB didnt sound very fast, that I would still just put it all on the line and go for a PB. The race was in the afternoon and ended up starting almost 20 minutes late. I felt great for the first 10km's on PB pace and then pretty soon after it hit me hard. I dont think I have ever tied up as much as I did in this race. Not sure if it was because hunger set in from the start time delay, because it was pretty warm out or the difficult course but I just died even though I was still trying as hard as I could. The goal ended up turning into making sure I was under my previous PB leading into the year of 1:33:05. Thankfully I barely sneaked under that time walking 1:32:54. It was rough but I was thankful to win my 7th Canadian Championship title and get the Championship record.

Even though I finished hungry for more, it was time for a well deserved break. I decided to take most of the summer off and just enjoy time with family since the next two summers will hopefully be jam packed with competitions. I took all of July and half of August off of training and then started up slowly doing all types of exercise in August. Once September 1st came around I started back into full time training. I wouldnt say that I really needed that much time off but at the same time, my goal is to race at my peak in August 2015 and I felt that it was the best decision to delay the start of training as late as possible in order to not peak too early. Im confident I made the right decision.

Training so far has been going very well. We are approaching things a bit different this season in order to be ready to compete at my best next summer and so far it is all working out great. Ill do another update soon about my 2015 season plans. Sorry this post is so long but every step was very important to get me to where I am now. Im looking forward to an even more successful year this year!

Keep on walking,


Friday, August 22, 2014

Motherhood: Part I, 2014 Season in Review!

Woah what a difference a year makes! Life has been a complete turn but it could not be any better. I have been happier than ever and that has been very clear in each of my races this year. After taking a year off for pregnancy and the birth of my daughter Isabella, I gained a lot of perspective about life and athletics. It made me realize that the way I was approaching my athletic career simply and honestly was too serious and not fun. I know that I need to be serious but I stressed out over things that really werent that important after all. I think I would not have realized a lot of these things if I had not have taken a substantial amount of time off.

My life does not revolve around training and racing anymore. Like most professional athlete parents will say, my daughter is more important to me than racewalking. Trust me, I love to train and race but sometimes those things have to suffer because Isabella requires a lot of my time and effort but I wouldnt have it any other way. One of the best things that has come out of having a baby for my athletics career is the fact that I dont have any time to think about my training after training is done for the day. I go, do my workout and focus on what im doing then but when I get home I am on full mommy mode. I definitely over thought everything that would happen in training on a daily basis before. I would over analyze it and it definitely affected my training and racing negatively. Like they say, too much of a good thing is never good.

 I definitely can relate to athletes like Paula Radcliffe, Kara Goucher and Jo Pavey who all excelled in the first year and beyond post baby. I really felt a physical boost from either the pregnancy, birthing experience, hormones from breastfeeding or whatever it was. All I know is that I felt like I had mommy powers and that having a baby and being an athlete wasnt going to make me worst, it was going to make me stronger and tougher. I could definitely tell that I was able to push myself more in races this year than I ever had before. Whatever it was, I hope it continues as I move forward.

 My comeback and success this year would not have happened without the support of my husband and coach, Tim. He modified my training to fit with my new lifestyle and was very careful with me to not get injured in the months after birth and after sleepless nights. He has been such a great dad to Isabella. He has been so helpful with her, especially when it comes to race time, he would take some of the burden off me so I could rest a bit more. Having a supportive partner is so important and im lucky to have Tim.

I would say that things wont be as "easy" for me this coming year since Isabella is older and more active. I was getting glimpses of this before my season ended in June but now that she can walk, her world has opened even more. A typical day for me is like this:
- Wake up between 6 and 7am
- Start my workout sometime between 7 and 8am
-Go to the gym right afterwards to take advantage of my babysitter
- Come home and go outside and play at the beach
- Eat lunch
- Isabella takes a nap (I nap sometimes but mostly I get chores done while she sleeps)
- After she wakes up we either we go running and I push her in the stroller or if I dont have a second workout, we go to the park
- Eat dinner
- Play again, bath time and then bed time for her

This makes my training time in the morning my ME time and I dont get much more ME time than that but thats ok. Unlike most other jobs, I dont get sick days. There have been times this year when ive been sick or exhausted and I cant just stay in bed and ignore my "job". It goes both ways, if Isabella is sick and is up all night, I am up all night. I need to be available for Isabella 24/7. Im definitely not complaining though. Luckily those days havent come that often this year. I dont want my choice to be a parent to be an excuse for bad training or races because it was my decision to have a baby.

 I hope this gives some of you a better perspective on how elite athletes juggle motherhood and athletics. While it isnt easy, it just makes all the successes that much sweeter and the failures unimportant.

Keep on walking,