Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Only 3 Seconds inbetween me and the Olympics!

Check out this newspaper article from my hometown's Peterborough Examiner on my season and my upcoming year trying to make the Olympic team. You can view the article here.

This weekend I am headed to New York with Tim as he will race 50km's at the USA 30km RW Championships. I look forward to being able to visit some family at the same time. Should be a fun weekend!

Keep on walking,


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Back at it, 42 weeks to go!!!

Back to training! Wow, 2 weeks off went very quickly but I am glad to be back and moving towards making the 2012 Olympic team.

I started training last Monday and its been humbling so far. I wish that I could have started back exactly where I left off but obviously that is not possible. So far training has been going well. The pace ive been walking  has felt easy but my biggest obstacle is my heart rate. Its normal that for the first few weeks that my heart rate is high before it goes back to normal but its just frustrating. Today I tried really hard to go slower so that my heart rate average would go down. Even though it was my lowest heart rate since I started training, im still not happy with it. Hopefully by the time I start the new week on Monday, my heart rate will be closer to normal or will be normal. Ive been able to train with my new TEAMmate Miranda Melville who just moved out here so its been nice to have some company for a change.

The Pan American Games kick off this weekend for track and field with the women's and men's 20km Race Walk events. Now that its come, I wish I was there but then I remind myself why I decided not to go. The games are too late in the year which is why most of the top athletes in the western hemisphere also decided not to go. I also didnt want to miss so much of base season if I didnt take a break until after the games. I already feel like im getting a late start by starting in early October but of course, I know ill be fine. I want to wish my TEAMmates Maria Michta and Lauren Foruges all the best on Sunday as they represent the USA!

Just over a week ago I found out that I was one of the recipients of the Canadian Athletes Now Fund. The fund gives support to athletes in all sports in Canada to help us work towards our goals. Their support this year is going to make a big difference for me and put less pressure on me in such an important year. If you have the means to donate, please do so in such a crucial year for athletes as we strive to make the Olympic team next summer. You can click on their logo on the right side of my blog and find out how to donate. Thank you for your support!

Im looking forward to everything that is to come this season. It should be one of the most exciting years of my life, I cant wait!!!! I look forward to bringing you all along with me on my journey.

Keep on walking,


Sunday, October 2, 2011

THREE Seconds!!!

After Daegu I returned back home to San Diego for 11 days before I left again for Germany. I really thought it was important going home in between races because it is really hard being away from my husband for so long. It was really good to re-charge and have a break from the travel. It went by quickly but I was excited to get off to Germany and finish off my season strong. 

I left on Monday, September 12th to fly to Dusseldorf and I stayed an hour away from there in Wattenscheid with Sabine and Bastian Krantz again. Its so easy being there and it feels like home. I was able to get some good final preparation in there before the race. The weather was much colder than I was expecting and so I ended up having to wash my warmer clothes pretty frequently, oops, didnt bring enough clothes!

Training went really well leading up to the race. When I was back in San Diego I only did one fartlek but it was my fastest 10 x 1k/500m fartlek ever. I knew this was really promising and as long as I could just maintain the fitness till the race, I would do well. Training went equally well in Germany. Only did one hard workout while in Germany and it was equally strong in the cold and wind. On Thursday, September 22nd I left Wattenscheid for Naumburg, the race city. It was nice to meet up with a few fellow Canadians and other friends. 

Race day, September 24th!!! I really had mixed feelings going into this race and event though my training had gone well over the last few weeks since Daegu, I still had the little devil in my head saying that I wasnt going to reach my goal. I still felt my usual calm warming up for the race and once we got to the start line, all the bad thoughts were gone and it was race time. Went out the first lap (1km loops) very conservative in 4:46 and then decided to get myself on goal pace of 4:40/km. I was walking alone after the first lap and it was hard to judge my pace. I ended up going 23:07 for the first 5k and even though I knew it was too fast, I didnt slow down for some reason. I just kept rolling and clicking off the km's. The next 5k was even faster, 23:04 for 46:11 for 10k, oops! Even though I should have been worried with that 10k split, the first thing that came to my mind was that I had a 34 second cushion on my goal time and I thought I would get the time no problem. The next 5k was a bit slower in 23:32 but I still felt confident that I would be ok. At 15k in 1:09:43 I calculated in my head what I would have to walk at a minimum to still get the time but with 1km to go I realized that I miscalculated and that even with going as hard as I could the last lap, that I was either JUST going to get the time or just miss it. Unfortunately, despite pushing myself as hard as I could, I walked 1:33:33. As you can tell by the picture above, this was quite disappointing. After I had a few minutes to think clearly, I was thrilled that I was able to walk a PB by 10 seconds which would also be a new Canadian record for the 3rd time this season and I came back from Daegu strong. How could I be disappointed? However, that goal I was going after was the Olympic A standard and I missed it by 3 seconds. THREE SECONDS!!! It was nothing. Its only 0.15 of a second per km! Seriously? I really just missed the standard by that little. Managed to place 3rd in the race and win 250 Euros which was a fantastic bonus. 

After a night of fun in Naumburg after the race, it was time to leave and go back home. I couldnt wait to get back home and get into a normal routine and take my break from training. I have now been off training for a week and its been nice to do things that I dont usually get to do before training. This week I will start doing some cross training and a bit of running but still no racewalking for another week. 

I have had an amazing season and here are some of my highlights:

- Four 20km personal bests (3 minutes and 49 seconds off my PB coming into the season), 5km PB and 1 mile PB
- Broke Canadian 20km Record 3 times
- Won my 5th Canadian Championship
- Qualified for my 2nd World Championship Team

I am proud of myself for believing that I had the ability to improve so much. I know that as long as I continue to work hard and train smart that I will continue to improve and qualify for the Canadian Olympic team next summer!

Thanks for the continued support this year. Knowing that so many people believe in me, it really does help me want to strive to keep doing better.

Yesterday morning I did a radio interview with The Fan 590 in Toronto. You can listen to my interview here. Start listening at 43:30.

Keep on walking,