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,

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