I had a fantastic week in Budapest, Hungary. I stayed with such amazing people, Sandor and Viki, two of Hungaries top racewalkers (pictured with me left). They showed me the city and we had really great training together. We then made the 2.5 hour trip to Bekescsaba by train on Friday afternoon for our Sunday race.
Training on Saturday went well. I was feeling good and the weather was looking to be perfect for the next day's race which started at 9:15am. The 1km loop was fast, I could tell. The turns were very wide and so I dont think it hurt us too bad for the 40 times we had to go around them. I knew when I decided to come to this race that I would have to walk alone since the men's race started 15 minutes earlier than ours and there were no women trying to walk a very fast time.
Right from the gun I as alone. I was confident that I could walk a fast time because, hey, I train every day alone so if I can push myself in training, why not in a race. I was feeling good and just clicking off the km's. I knew by the first 5k that it was going to be a good race for me. I went through the first 5k in 23:21 which was my fastest 5k in my last 20k in Huntington Beach. I knew that if I could maintain that pace that I could walk the World Championships A standard of 1:33:30. The next 5k was equally good in 23:22 (46:43 for 10k) which is right on for the standard and was still feeling great. Then started a bit of the mental struggle of 10 more laps to go and walking alone and having no one there to yell and support me. I reached 15k in 1:10:09, almost a minute improvement from my race in Huntington Beach (23:27 for that 5k). I thought to myself at that point, im going to get the standard! I "only" had to walk 23:21 for 5k and id have the standard. I did the next 1km in 4:41 which was fine because I knew that I could knock a few seconds off in the last km but the next 3km's didnt go so well...I sort of fell asleep and walked all those km's in 4:44, ugh! At that point I knew that the standard was gone but I was still going to have another huge PB. I did my last km in 4:38 and finished in 1:33:43, a 39 second PB, yay!!!!! Oh and by the way, another Canadian record! I was still thrilled and didnt care too much about the standard anymore. Im just glad that I am that much closer and that its within my reach if I have someone to push me in that last 5km's.Take THAT Podebrady! What a way to come back after my disappointing DQ last weekend! I always tell people that racewalking is an event that you can get DQ'd one weekend and get absolutely no red cards the next weekend and that is exactly what happened to me. I came away from the race on Sunday with a clean board, not even any warnings. I honestly dont think that I did anything different in this race then in Podebrady but that is just how racewalking is.
One more race to go in my European trip. I am back in Germany now for another 2 weeks until my race in Italy on May 1st. I think that I have a really good chance to go for the standard in Italy since the race will be a lot more competitive and ill have some friends there that can push me through the tough parts of the race by yelling at me (good yelling!). Im just going to go for it again and at this point, I have nothing to loose. If I get the time, GREAT, if I do another solid time ill be just as happy! I have now taken 3 minutes and 40 seconds off my PB this year! WOW, my season has gone beyond my expectations already so im not going to get too greedy!
Thanks for all the support and believing in me. I am finally where I want to be and where I thought I could be and hope for much more to come.
Keep on walking,