Saturday, February 27, 2010

Last few days at 7000 feet

Our last few days in Flagstaff were interrupted by some bad weather. We ended up getting a lot of snow that forced us to train indoors for a few days. Luckily on the Monday I only had 12km easy racewalk to do and the guys were supposed to do some 500m's anyways. On Tuesday Lauren and I had intervals to do so all in all it worked out really well to be forced to train indoors on the indoor track at NAU.

Tuesday I had 7 X 2km's with 2mins rest inbetween. I had a good feeling after the workout on Saturday and I knew that I wanted and needed to do better than the week before since last week I tried to do the same workout but it ended up being a bit of a disaster and was very discouraging. I think that last week I still wasnt 100% over my bad cold. Luckily this week it went really well and I felt really good, even better than Saturday. The goal today was to just make sure that I started "slow" enough and gradually got faster for each interval. Here is how it went:

1st: 10:15

2nd: 10:12 (2.3 Lactate)

3rd: 10:02

4th: 9:56 (3.9 Lactate)

5th: 9:54

6th: 9:47 (3.6 Lactate)

7th: 9:38

I felt really strong and I know that I wasnt pushing too hard. I technically could have gone faster since my lactate really wasnt that high. 4.0 lactate is considered what you can for 20km's but I didnt think that I needed to push any more since technically you can walk about 10 seconds faster per kilometer than you do at altitude so I was walking plenty fast. Thanks goes to Coach Tim for walking a few of them with me.

On Wednesday we left Flagstaff to drive to Albuquerque, NM for the USA Indoor T&F Championships where we have four of our Champions International TEAMmates racing today (Tim Seaman and Tyler Sorensen) and tomorrow (Lauren Forgues and Maria Michta). What a difference the drop in altitude makes. It is 2000 feet difference here than in Flagstaff and we have been feeling great since we have arrived here. My heart rate has been so low and training has been feeling so easy. I think that Tim and Lauren will have a great benefit from being in Flagstaff.

We will be finally making our way home to San Diego tomorrow, I really look forward to getting back home and going about regular life. We have had a great training camp with lots of good memories.

Keep on walking,


Monday, February 22, 2010

Finally Adjusting to Altitude

Well we have now been in Flagstaff for just over 2 weeks and this time more than the other two times that we have been here, I have been having trouble adjusting. This was mostly happening because I was sick the first week that we were here. This delayed the adjustment a lot and I also know that if you get sick at altitude that you have the potential of getting no benefits from being here. This started to worry me a lot. My heart rate was really high and I was feeling terrible. I took the first Saturday easy instead of doing a fartlek workout I just walked easy distance. A few days later on the Tuesday, I had been feeling better so the plan was for me to do 7 X 2km. I clearly was still not completely recovered from my cold because I felt terrible. I ended up only doing 5 X 2km's and 2 X 1km's. This really made me feel discouraged but still I moved on with the rest of the week hoping that Saturday's workout would be better. The weather was supposed to be getting bad on Saturday so we decided to try and workout at the NAU Lumberjack Skydome (indoor track). This facility is amazing! Its built of wood and is massive, its sort of hard to tell from the photo above. It was a bit of a treat as far as indoor tracks go since it was 300m's. Coach Tim wanted me to do 12 X 1km so that I could get a positive workout in and feel good. I walked the first 5 with Lauren as her workout was 6 X 1km and 6 X 500m. We started off easy and gradually picked it up. My times were:

1st: 5:12

2nd: 5:09

3rd: 5:05

4th: 5:02

5th: 5:01

6th: 4:53 (3.2 Lactate)

7th: 4:52

8th: 4:48

9th: 4:48 (4.0 Lactate)

10th: 4:49

11th: 4:49

12th: 4:45 (5.0 Lactate)

Im really happy with the workout. It felt pretty easy for the most part and im just really happy that I had a good workout. This is technically my first "hard" workout in over a month. I think that even just based on this workout that I could probably walk 1:40 for 20km's at altitude but even thinking that, I really dont think that I want to go to the IAAF World Racewalk Cup in Chihauau, Mexico this May. Id rather spend my time and effort going somewhere that I can walk a good time. We will racing schedule has not been set yet.

We only have a few more days left here in Flagstaff. Unfortunately starting yesterday we got a lot of snow. I still managed to walk 25km's in a blizzard but it was tough. Today there was no way that we could train outside. It looks like I am at home in Canada here today. Instead of walking on the treadmill we decided to go back to the indoor track and walk on the outside lane there instead for 12km's. Tomorrow we will go back to the track again and I will attempt to do 7 X 2km's again. Should be fun :) Then we leave on Wednesday to go to Albuquerque, NM for the USA Indoor Track and Field Nationals where Tim, Lauren and a few of our other teammates will be competing. Tim will be attempting to win his 12th Indoor Championship title and also trying to surpass Henry Laskau in overall National Championship titles. Currently he is tied with 42 titles.

Keep on walking,


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

46:25 and then off to Flagstaff!

Tim and I had a nice and busy 5 days at home before we left for our drive to Phoenix to visit with my grandpa and then race at the US 50km Racewalk Championships. We had planned on meeting Lauren Forgues, Trevor and Bruce Barron there to race and then drive up the mountain to Flagstaff for altitude training. Myself, Tim and Lauren had planned on walking just 10k and Trevor 20k. The plan was for Tim, Trevor and I to walk together for 10k this way they would help me get a 10k PB hopefully and it would be a good pace for Trevor enroute to his 20k. Tim and I had been sick the whole week (Tim worst than me) and so Tim didnt want to push himself too much before going to Flagstaff. The race went really well. It was great weather (maybe a little chilly for the first few laps) and the course was great (other than the hairpin turns that consisted of just one cone). We walked 9:22 for the first lap (2km loops) and progressively got faster with the next laps being 9:18, 9:18, 9:17 and 9:09. It was a nice negative split with the 5ks being 23:19 and 23:06 finishing up in 46:25. A minute and 5 second PB, wow! It felt great, it didnt feel terribly hard but not super easy either. I am thrilled with the time especially since I have done barely anything fast, no km's at that pace in practice at all really. This bodes really well for later in the season since we are starting to do some fartleks now twice a week. Trevor also finished up really strong breaking the US Junior 20km record by almost 6 minutes walking 1:31:51. Lauren also had a very good race walking her 2nd fastest 10k ever in 51:16. It was a great start to our training camp in Flagstaff. I think we could have all walked at least a second faster per turn since they were so tight so that gives us a lot more potential for the next race.

We are now in Flagstaff and luckily for us, the snow storms seem to have stopped, at least for the time being. There is quite a bit of snow on the side of the road but the roads are completely clear. We love it up here! We are staying in the same condo as last year, right beside our 2.5km training course. We will be here for 2.5 weeks and then we will be driving to Albuquerque, NM for the US Indoor Nationals where Tim hopes to win his 12th National Indoor title and surpass Henry Laskau as 2nd most National Championships of anyone in track and field for the USA. Im really looking forward to watching him race since it will be my first time at that meet.

Keep on walking,


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Champions Again!

Well as you know, I have been having hamstring problems and so I either havent been able to finish speed/fartlek workouts or do many at all. This was different than last year for sure. Last year I did not many fast workouts but the ones I did were successful and gave me a lot of confidence for Millrose Games. My build up was a lot different this year though with much less fast work. Even though I didnt really want to test my hamstring anymore before the race, my coach, Tim, wanted me to walk 2 X 500m's not all out but fast enough to build up my confidence a bit before the race. I ended up walking them in 2:11 and 2:07 and didnt feel like I was pushing all out. This helped my confidence a lot although I still did get very nervous the day before the race.

I was feeling very good all day Friday. We went for a 2km hike just to wake up our bodies and loosen up a bit. We headed off from Long Island into NYC on the train for my 4:35pm race time. We met up with the rest of our TEAM that were also racing there and then headed to the Madison Square Garden to warm up. I felt very calm once I was with everyone and was warming up. The race started 15 minutes earlier than scheduled and that made all of us very upset. With no choice, we all headed to the start line early and I just didnt worry about it. Before I knew it, the gun went off and all the girls bursted to the lead and me, well, I was left behind a bit. After that I got a little worried about getting lost from the lead girls so I did my best to get around everyone and finally caught up to them within about 50m's. I sat behind Loretta and Teresa and then Teresa made a move around Loretta and I went with her. I then sat behind her until a lap and a half to go and then passed her and put the hammer down. I managed to beat her by 3 seconds in the last 250m's (roughly). I wish that Coach Tim would have told me to pass Teresa sooner because I think I could have broken my meet record but im still very happy with the win and especially happy with how easy the race was. Throughout the whole race I was looking over at Tim and being like 'hey, this is easy, I am going to win this'. I knew it after a few laps that I would win because of how good I felt and how easy it felt. All this with virtually no speed/fartlek work.

Tim's race went equally well. He led the race right from the beginning and led till the end. He looked great, much better than Andreas haha :) (see race photos at:

You can see the women's race video at: and the men's race video at:

Now we have been home in San Diego for a few days and we leave again tomorrow (Friday) for Phoenix to race at the US 50km RW Championships there on Sunday. I will be walking a 10k with Trevor and Tim as they walk 20k. Ill be looking for a nice PB! Wish us luck!

Keep on walking,