Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Season Has Begun...One Week till Germany














Hello again! Ive been gone for awhile but its not because things arent going well, its because ive been incredibly busy! A lot has happened in the last month and a half. Mostly good with a bit of bad.

Lets start with the good. Training has continued to go very well. I had a bit of a blip with my abductor/hip flexor. I only had to take one complete day off because of it, otherwise I was able to train through it. I have had the best training of my life and have had the most weeks of training in the 140's (kilometers) ever. Ive been feeling very strong and everything for the most part has gone very consistent. In my personal life, Tim and I decided to purchase a condo with my parents on the beach which has been very exciting but also stressful... On to the bad.

We have had quite a few people coming to visit us in the past month starting with my sister, Renee and her boyfriend. They were here for a week and it was a bit too demanding for me, too close to my race in Huntington Beach. At the same time, everything had closed with our new condo and we were starting renovations. All of this was/has been quite stressful on me. On top of this, I had more family arrive the day before the race in Huntington Beach and while I was very excited to have them here, it was not my best choice as I was trying to walk the Olympic qualifying time the next day. I was definitely too distracted in the few weeks leading up to the race and was not able to focus on myself and my goals. Even though training was feeling good, my heart rate was considerably higher because of the stress.

I started off the race as planned with my two training partners, Nick Christie and Bruno Carriere. We were on pace for the first 10km's going through the split in 46:39. It was feeling very easily and my breathing wasnt labored at all. To say the least, I felt comfortable. A few km's later I started to feel my body tightening up and I am not sure if it was because of the course, the cold morning or what? I started to fall off the pace a bit and my mind in the moment was not strong enough to make my body push through it. I made the tough decision to pull out at 15km's. I felt pretty disappointed once I stopped because I didnt feel tired, the reason I stopped wasnt because my body gave up, it was because my mind did. Looking back on everything now, I think I was too overwhelmed with everything else going on in my life and the race was the breaking point.

One of the reasons why I decided to stop at 15km's was so that it wouldnt take me very long to recover from the race. I was practically able to jump right back into training right away. I was even more motivated to make my next racing plans and focus on that. I now have only one more week at home until I go to Germany for a month and a half.

I will first race in Portugal at the IAAF Racewalk Challenge in Rio Maior on April 14th. A week later I will race in Naumburg, Germany again, planning on only walking 10km's. Lastly, I will walk at the IAAF World Racewalk Cup in Saransk, Russia on May 13th. Finally I will be coming back home on May 14th, just in time for my wonderful husbands birthday.

Since the race in Huntington Beach, I have had some of my best workouts including a 4 x 3km/1km workout where I walked the 3km's in 13:58, 13:56, 13:46 and 13:40, going through the 15km workout in 1:11:16. I did this workout last year at this exact time and I walked 2 minutes and 8 seconds faster than last year. I exceeded my expectations and walked the workout alone which gives me a lot of confidence going to Europe where I may have to do a lot of the races alone.

I just finished a 145km week of training and now since it is 3 weeks until the race, I will slowly start to back off the mileage again. I am feeling great and I look forward to going after the Olympic standard.

Keep on walking,

Rachel

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