Friday, August 26, 2011

In Daegu at the Athletes Village

Yesterday the middle distance runners and I made our way by train from Changwon City to Daegu. It was only an hour and it was very scenic. There are surprisingly a lot of mountains everywhere in South Korea. We were in first class so it was a very comfortable ride and before you knew it we were there. We then took a bus to the village where we got our accreditation to have access to all the different areas in the village, at the track and race course.

The village is amazing. They are brand new apartment buildings with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen and common area. There are 5 of us in here and we are on the 14th floor which is great for the view but not so good when there is only one elevator and tons of athletes. Below is the view from our apartment.

Today I met up with my USA training partner, Maria Michta, and we did our last tune up workout, 5 x 1km with 2 minutes rest. I felt really good and was right on the pace I wanted to be on without feeling like I was pushing. I had to slow myself down on a few of them which shows that I am in good shape. We trained on a 1km loop in the village that they made specifically for the racewalkers to train on so every racewalker was training there this morning. It was nice to see a lot of my friends again.

After training and lunch I made my way over to the Mizuno Service Center which was a 5 minute walk from the village. I am so blessed to have such a great sponsor. They had a bag with my name on it with a bunch of clothes, different little bags and 3 pairs of shoes, all in my size and shoes I always wear. It makes you feel pretty cool and important to show up somewhere like that and they already had everything specific for me all ready.

Tomorrow is the first day of competition and I am looking forward to going in the evening to watch a few events and to see the stadium, which looks amazing!

I am going to do 12km's in the morning on the same 1km loop in the village. The countdown is on till race day. Now that we are here its getting really exciting!

Keep on walking,


Monday, August 22, 2011

In Changwon City, South Korea!!!

Last Wednesday I finally arrived into South Korea. I pretty much had a stress free trip and felt good upon arriving at our hotel/temporary home in Changwon City which is about an hour from Daegu. Its a pretty big city and we are in the heart of it which is nice for tourism but not so good for my training. We are a 5 minute walk to the track BUT there really arent any good places for me to train here. I ended up finding a spot beside a busy road that has some longer strips that have some bike lanes blocked off by medians. I found a section that is about 1,350m's total out and back that ive been training on. Its just over 3km's from the hotel so ive been walking there and then going back and forth and then head back. Its the best option I have here but its definitely not great!

The whole team has arrived now and I already knew most of the team already. Its nice to catch up with everyone again and to see everyone in such great shape. We have a small team of 32 athletes but I think that a lot of people will be strongly competitive. Everyone here is very focused and its a great group of people to be around leading into a big race.

The hotel is very nice and modern. I am sharing a room with Kelsie Hendry, a pole vaulter and shes a really great roommate, very easy to be with. The food here is top notch but the down side is that it is the same food for lunch and dinner....Sometimes they are some changes but the staples are there everytime. The really cool thing is that they have sushi and its great! I LOVE sushi!!! The hotel is next to a mall and so its nice to have that to kill time. Today we went to the movies and saw "Planet of the Apes", in english with Korea subtitles so that was a nice change from being in my room all day.

I head to Daegu on Thursday afternoon and will be there for the remainder of my time here. We will be staying in the Athletes Village with the rest of the countries so that will be nice. I race on Wednesday, August 31st so ill have plenty of time in Daegu to settle in before my race.

Training has been going very well here and ive been feeling great. We have been so lucky with the weather. It is MUCH better than I was expecting. The sun has only been out for roughly an hour the whole time I have been here so the temperature has been really cool believe it or not but most days the humidity is still high. I am hoping the weather stays this way till my race :) I adjusted to the time difference right away. I havent had any sleepless nights and I have been feeling good during the day. I got so lucky compared to some of my other teammates.

Today I did my last hard workout before the race and I did 10 x 1k on the track. I felt really good and felt like I didnt have to push the pace to get the times and so that makes me feel confident with just 9 days to go till race day.

I will write again once I get into the village in Daegu. Thanks again for all the support!

Keep on walking,


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Im Going to Daegu!!!!

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind! Like I said in my earlier post, I was told that I was going to find out this past Tuesday if I was selected to the Canadian team that will compete in Daegu, South Korea at the World Track and Field Championships this month. I had to wait all day and in the end, I was told that I was not selected. I had a feeling all day since I hadnt heard from anyone that it probably was not going to be good news and so I prepared myself so that I wouldnt feel shocked when I found out the bad news. I was told that I even though they considered my case for a long time, that it came down to the fact that since I had already gone to the World Championships in 2009 with the 'B' standard, that they couldnt make an exception for me when there were other athletes in the same situation as me. I understood their position and I took the result with no complaint.

I was sad about the decision at first but just like I had thought the whole month leading up to the decision, I said that if I did not get selected to the team that I would take it as a positive and look at it as an opportunity to get more training in leading up to the races in Europe that I will do in September. Right away Tim and I were thinking about our next steps and moving forward with training.

This morning when I woke up, Tim said told me to check my e-mail and he seemed to have known something I didnt. I hadnt gotten any e-mails that indicated anything except for an e-mail from my former coach Richard Borek saying "Congratulations on making the team, I dont know why they left you off the team in the first place". This really confused me because the last I heard, I was not selected. Turns out that our good friend, Allen James, sent an e-mail to several Canadian racewalkers stating how outrageous he thought it was that I was not selected to the team. This sprung Jianping Xu (JP), a Canadian racewalker originally from China, to send an e-mail to Athletics Canada's board of director's chair to ask why I was left off the team and he told them how much he thought the team was missing out on me not being on the team and how much it would help my development. Then e-mails started being spread all over. Apparently Athletics Canada's athlete representatives (Jared McLeod and Jennifer Joyce) thought that I should be named to the team and they never gave up on me. They kept urging Athletics Canada to select me and it ended up going to CEO Rob Guy. He then decided that I should be put on the team and said that he would make it happen. WOW!!! I was just shocked and amazed at all these people rooting for me. I am definitely not used to that kind of support. I am forever grateful to them for sticking up for me like that. I had no idea that any of this was going on the last few days. Finally I got a phone call from Athletics Canada saying that they reconsidered me and decided to put me on the team! It was just so unexpected!

I am thrilled to be going back to the World Championships. Two years ago when I was there, I thought that I had NO CHANCE to make the team again in 2011. I knew that I would have to walk the 'A' standard of 1:33:30 and I thought that I was many years from accomplishing that. Although I didnt quite walk the 'A' this year (yet), I am pretty darn close! Only 13 seconds off! I have completely surpassed my goals coming into this year and I hope to continue the improvement in the next month and a half as I race in Daegu and in Europe.

So here are the details-

Race: August 31st, 9am (EST- 11 hours difference)
Video Coverage: In Canada only, they will show the race live online at Everywhere else, they may show it live online at

I leave on Tuesday to travel to the pre-competition camp in Changwon City, South Korea. I will blog when I am there!

I cannot thank all of you enough for your support and encouragement! It makes such a huge difference for me and helps me stay motivated to work towards my goals. By the way, today is exactly a year till the women's 20km racewalk race at the Olympic Games in London. Daegu is the first step towards making it to London, here we go!

Keep on walking,


Friday, August 5, 2011

Still Waiting....

It is August 5th and I am still patiently waiting to hear whether or not Athletics Canada is going to send me to the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. According to the website, if I get selected, I would be set to leave for Korea on August 14th, just over a week from now. Tomorrow is the last day for anyone to still qualify for the team. I think that no news is good news because this means that it wasnt a no right away. So far the Canadian team is quite small and so I hope that is to my advantage. Hopefully I will hear from them asap....

In the meantime, training is going incredibly well. I really couldnt ask for it to be going any better. I feel like I am back in the same shape as I was leading up to my PB in Bekescsaba, Hungary in April. Just finished my biggest mileage month ever totaling 576km's and I am still feeling great. I will have another few weeks of bigger mileage and then if I get to go to the World Championships then we will start to taper down and if not I will take a lower mileage rest week and then get back to the grind.

On Monday we got back from Long Island, NY where we were visiting Tim's family. We had a great week and were able to get all of our training in. My parents made the drive from Canada to see us for a few days so we were happy to have training partners again. We saw the sights of Long Island and went into New York City for a day. It was definitely a sweat bath being in New York. Both Tim and I dont miss living on the east coast in the summer! Our training went well but it wasnt as enjoyable as it is in San Diego. However, if I get the chance to compete in Korea, it will have been good acclimatization for the brutal weather they have there.

Last week Athletics Canada came out with their Olympic standards and qualifying period for the Olympics next year in London. Earlier we thought that we would only have from January 2012 till June 2012 to get the qualifying time but they have decided to extend it and we now have from June 2011 till June 2012. This is fantastic news! This means that when I go to Europe again in September, if I can get the A standard of 1:33:30, 13 seconds better than my PB from April, then I will have technically qualified for the Olympics. This is a very excited opportunity and I hope that I can put good training together and race smart in September to get the time. My plan is to go to a race on September 24th in Naumburg, Germany.

Hopefully the next time I post, it will be about me heading to Korea but if not, I am ok with that too. If I dont get selected, I will see it as a chance to get more training in so that I have the best shot possible to do the A standard in Germany in September.

Keep on walking,