Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We're Going to BERLIN!!!!

Athletics Canada has just announced the 31 member team for the World Track and Field Championships and I am on the list!!! I found out last Wednesday but could not say anything until the official list came out! I was not expecting to be selected for the team so I am very excited about this opportunity! I have qualified off of the B standard which in Canada is called Rising Star.

I now leave on Monday, August 3rd for the pre-camp that is just outside of Dusseldorf, then on August 11th I will take a train to Berlin and then on August 16th is my race at noon.

I have now been in San Diego since I got back from Serbia. It has been good to be back here, training on th course I was on during most of my base season. I was able to get a good training week in last week and now this week will be good also. Then starting on Monday when I fly to Germany my training will start to go down again in preparation for the race.

You can follow the Canadian team in Berlin at http://athletics.ca/berlin2009/ and you can find the official results at http://berlin.iaaf.org/index.html.

Thanks for all your support in helping me qualify for this team!

Keep on walking,


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Success in Serbia!

My race went so well! I had high hopes for what I could do as a result but I manage to actually make my hopes a reality! My goal for this race was to break 1:38. My personal best time coming into the race was 1:38:30 and I was ranked very far back in the field.
My plan going into the race was to stay back from the lead group and let them go as fast as they want and for me to try and go as close to my goal pace as possible which was 9:48 per 2km loop. There was no 1km split in the 2km loop so on the first lap, it was really hard to tell how fast or slow I was really going. I felt great though and my heart rate was pretty low (high 180s). When it came up to the first lap being finished, I heard the lead packs split time of 9:52 and I was behind them so I knew I was going too slow. I hit my lap split and I was at 10:04, WAY too slow! Once I saw that I immediately thought that I needed to start going. My next lap was 9:39 and I was feeling good but thought then that 9:39 was a little too fast for this early in the race. I kept my eyes on the other competitors ahead of me and just tried to stay focused on them and staying relaxed. I just kept clicking off laps in the low 9:40s and the high 9:30s. None of the splits fazed me. I went through 10km's in 48:48, roughly the time I wanted to do for my first half.
The second half of the race continued to go well as I started clicking off all my splits in the 9:30s. I couldnt believe how great I still felt. By 14km's I was in the top 10 among all of the competitors which I was so thrilled about. At that point, I was just hoping for my placing to stay in the top 10 and for me to continue around the same pace so that I was able to fulfill breaking 1:38. I then moved into top 8 and then top 6 and by 16km's I was in 6th with 2 other girls chasing me down. When I hit the 16km split I was at 1:17:34 and was thinking that if I managed to do around the same pace that I was doing that I would be able to break 1:37!!! Well under my time goal. However, by 17km's my legs had a different plan for me. I could no longer keep up the leg speed that I had been doing the whole race and slowed down quite a bit. Once my legs seized a bit, I was just trying to finish. I hit the 18km split in 9:52, way slowed down! One lap to go and the 2 girls that were chasing me down, now I was chasing them but they had much more in them then I did. I ended up finishing my last lap in 9:56 and finishing the 20km's in 1:37:22, a minute and 8 second personal best time! I also finished 8th place, much higher place then I could have imagined! I beat so many other girls that had much higher personal best times then I did!
Even though I slowed down considerably the last 2 laps of the race, I was so thrilled anyways! I beat my goal by much more than I could have imagined. My time also puts me eligible to be selected for the Canadian World Track and Field Championships team that will be competing in Berlin, Germany in mid August. My time 'only' achieved the B standard so this means that it is not an automatic that I make the team so I will have to wait till July 26th to find out if they select me or not.
Here are all my splits from the race:
1st: 10:04
2nd: 9:39 (19:44)
3rd: 9:43 (29:27)
4th: 9:42 (39:09)
5th: 9:38 (48:48)
6th: 9:35 (58:24)
7th: 9:32 (1:07:56)
8th: 9:37 (1:17:34)
9th: 9:52 (1:27:26)
10th: 9:56 (1:37:22) *2nd 10km split: 48:34*
I really feel like this year has been a big breakthrough for me now that I have finally improved enough to make it worthwhile to chase an Olympic berth in 2012. I have improved on my 20km time by 2 minutes and 35 seconds this year! I am hoping to continue my improvement this coming year. If I dont qualify for Berlin then I plan on going to the USA 15km Racewalk Championships that will be held in Minneaplois on August 15th to try and beat my 10km PB one more time. Then I will take a much deserved break from training before I start to prepare for next year.
The rest of my trip was really good. I got to relax a bit and not worry so much about anything and just have fun. I went and watched the rest of the track and field events and did some sight seeing. Overall it was a really good trip.
Tuesday myself and the rest of the team travelled from Serbia to Toronto. The next day I travelled to San Diego where I am now for a little while. Its so great to be here again since I havent been here since April. I have a lot of wedding planning to do while keeping up some good training in hopes of competing in Berlin. Ill keep you all updated on what Athletics Canada decides.
Keep on walking,

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Almost Race Time!

Everything has still been going very well here in Belgrade, Serbia. Ive been getting in some good training, just short and light workouts to keep me strong and sharp for the race. I have been feeling really good. Yesterday I did 5 X 1km on the track at race pace and it felt really solid. Its been pretty hot here which has been hard for me to be able to keep my heart rate down. My body has been feeling really good the whole time I have been here though.

The Track and Field competition of the games started yesterday. A lot of our team competed yesterday and for the most part, a lot of people qualified for their finals. Tomorrow morning (Thursday at 7:30am) is the Men's 20km Racewalk. Inaki (beside me in the picture) is the lone Canadian male competing in the race. There is some solid competitors in the race but I think he can do well and for sure come out with a personal best time!

I race on Friday morning at 7:30am. Here are the entries for my race: http://results.ub2009.org/results/ENG/AT/ATE132C_AT1092XXXXXXXXENG.htm I have raced quite a few of the girls before but I am still sort of going into the race blind, not knowing what everyone has walked so far this year or what their personal bests are. I am hoping for a top half finish for sure and a personal best! I am feeling good and ready to go.

Now I just have to rest and relax for the next few days until my race! You can look at the results for Track and Field here: http://results.ub2009.org/results/ENG/ZZ/ZZG103A_ATXXXXXXXXXXXXENG.htm

Wish me luck :)


Friday, July 3, 2009

In Serbia!

I arrived in Serbia safely on Tuesday afternoon. Everything has been going pretty well here so far. I have adjusted to the time change very comfortably, no middle of the night wake ups or anything so I am thankful for that! Since it is a games (all sports), we are staying in an athletes village that is basically like 10 huge apartment buildings all in one area and is all fenced in. Its like a mini version of the Olympic Village that you would hear about. There are restaurants, grocery stores, you name it, there is one in the village. We are also close to a mall so its nice to be able to get out of the village and do something. Most people around here speak english so its been easy to get around and figure things out.

The weather has been great! It hasnt gotten any warmer than 26c and when I train in the morning its maybe only 18-20c. The first few days I struggled with trying to find a place to train but the last few days have been great. It seems as though they have bike paths all over the city instead of sidewalks! Its great for me. Very smooth, asphalt surface and the paths are everywhere so you never have to worry about running out of path.

Today we went and looked at my race course. It is a 2km loop, very flat and smooth. It has very wide turns so it seems like it will be a good, fast course. I race next Friday, July 10th at 7:30am. I am really looking forward to it. I have already seen some of my competitors training around the village. I havent seen the startlist yet though so I dont know how many people are in my race. I will probably find out in a few days.

I have my first hard workout tomorrow since Nationals. It will be my only harder workout before the race. Ill have one on Monday or Tuesday but just some 500's at race pace just to loosen up.

Btw, Nationals went well. Coach Tim told me the night before the race to just take it easy and just go fast enough to win so I did just that. I took it like a tempo walk and felt very comfortable through the whole thing. I wasnt breathing at all through the whole race and was able to talk and joke around with people the whole time. It made it a lot of fun! I ended up walking 1:43:28. Its funny to think back to when this time was a fast time for me! Im so happy with how far I have come over the years.
If you want to know more information about the meet, you can check the website at: http://www.universiade-belgrade2009.org/
Keep on walking,