First of all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I know im a little late on both of those and I did have plans to blog while we were in Canada for Christmas but it just got too busy. We had a GREAT Christmas though. It was so nice to see my family again, especially my niece Anna :) Unfortunately I only got to see my sister Ruthy for 2 days since she lives and works in Toronto but it was nice to see her nonetheless.
We got so lucky with the weather while we were in Peterborough (my hometown). It didnt snow once, it didnt get colder than -10c when we were training (which may seem super cold to some people but I was happy with that!) and we were able to train OUTSIDE every day!!!! It was great. Last year for the week of Christmas we only got in 92km's for the week and this year we got in 120km's which is pretty good for being so busy and having many family engagements. We were very lucky to have my parents running with us almost every day so that helped us get the mileage in for sure.
Next up was the USA Junior Racewalk Camp which Tim and I do every year (Tim has been there for the past 10 years and I have been there for 6). This year we had 20 boys and girls and that included 6 college girls. It was a very successful camp, we had many talented racewalkers there and we look forward to seeing some great times from them this year. I was able to get some really good training in. It was nice to be back in some warm weather and this year was 100% better than last year. Last year at the camp we had lots of cold and rainy days, it seemed as though the sun never came out. This year was quite the contrary, it was sunny every day and it go up to the high 80F's for a couple days. I managed to get 144km's (my 3rd week this fall/winter over 140km's) and felt great throughout the whole thing. I was able to train with a local boy, Alex Chavez and a girl from Mexico, Nirvana Zalba, it was nice to have training partners every day.
We had 2 races like usual during the camp. On New Year's Eve we had the 1 mile race on the track and on New Year's Day we had the 5km race on the road. For the 1 mile race we decided to have 2 separate races as usual since there were so many people racing. In my race (the 1st race of the day) there was Tim, Alex Chavez, Ricardo Vergara, Vince Peters and I. Tim and Vince were doing 3k and Alex, Ricardo and I were doing the mile. Alex went on to help pace Tim through his 3k and Ricardo and I helped eachother to a fast mile time. I ended up walking 6:50 which is a great time for this time of year with little to no speed work (nothing under a km). This is a personal best (PB) time on the outdoor track and only 3 seconds off my best time ever over the mile. I was very happy with it and how even my lap splits were. The 5k went equally well. The plan was for Tim to try and help Alex walk a PB and I wanted to see how long I could hold onto them. The gun went off and we went through the first km in 4:37. The guys dropped the hammer right after that and I decided that it probably wasnt smart to try and go with them. I then proceeded to walk my next 4 km splits in 4:33, 4:31, 4:36 and 4:30. I really needed someone to walk with during the 4th km to pull me along but I was really happy with my time of 22:48. This is also a great time for this time of year, I walked 50 seconds faster than last year at this race so thats a big improvement. The picture above is from the 5k race. It was a great way to end a very successful training camp.
Training has just been going so well. I really havent changed much about my training this year so far compared to last year except that I am doing much higher mileage. Last year I did only 8 weeks total of 130m's or more and this year so far I have done 6 weeks of 130km's or more. I am feeling very good and very strong. It all just keeps getting better. I have now been walking the same times but with a much lower heart rate so that shows how well my training is going. Up next for me is the 20km race at the USA 50km RW Championships in Irvine, California. I am really looking forward to that race, my first real race of 2011.
Right now we have fellow TEAM members Bruno Carriere from Canada and Trevor Barron from Pittsburg, PA visiting us. Its nice to have some other athletes around and different people to train with.
Keep on walking,