Saturday, January 29, 2011

3-Time Millrose Games CHAMPION!!!

Yesterday I was just a bottle of nerves all day. For whatever reason I tend to get extremely nervous for the Millrose Games. I dont know if its because of the track being so small, the fact that I have to go practically 100% effort right from the beginning or what but I have been getting really nervous about this race the past few years.

I knew that the target was on my back since I was the 2 time defending champion and meet record holder. This year I didnt have Teresa Vail as my guide so it was up to me to go out in the lead. This however didnt happen until 2 laps into the race. Nirvana Zalba from Mexico blasted out of the start line and sprinted the first few laps and it brought us through the first 400m's in 1:33!!!! Wow, that was too fast. I knew that there was a potential of her doing that and once she did I was sort of afraid to let her go and get too far ahead of me. She ended up crashing pretty quickly and from then on I was in the lead the rest of the race. I was just trying to push as hard as I could the whole way and get as big of a lead as I could. I ended up getting a few paddles (lifting and bent knee) so with a few laps to go I couldnt tell if I had any red cards or how many so I didnt want to push over my limit the last few laps (I only ended up having 1 red card). I ended up finishing in a time of 6:41.32 which is a new meet record by 6 seconds from my win in 2009.

I am thrilled with my time and thankful that this race is over for another year. I just hate how nervous I get especially since I dont get half as nervous for races that are 100% more important than this one. Oh well! It was my first time wearing the NYAC letters on my singlet and it was so great to wear it in NYC. We had such great support from them at the race.

My dad and I spent the rest of the weekend in NYC and had a great time. We were able to work out in Central Park and catch a broadway show and bus tours. Now im looking forward to going back home to San Diego tomorrow and get one week of good training in before my next race in Coconut Creek, Florida on February 13th.

Keep on walking,


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Feeling Goooood

Last weekend was a great way to open up my real racing season. It was nice to be back on the roads racing 20km's. I had only done one 20km race on the roads last year and racing 50 laps on the track just isnt as fun :)

We woke up to great temperatures on race morning but the winds.....the winds were unreal! At the start of the race it was around 30mph winds. I have never raced in this bad of winds before and whenever I have trained in that wind, it has been miserable. I didnt let it bother me because being the first race of the season, time doesnt matter as much, its just about getting a good effort in. I attacked the race with Tyler Sorensen and the first lap was definitely too slow but it was really hard to tell the pace we were going with the wind and there was no km split (the laps were 1.6667km's). After the first lap (of 12) we got right onto pace of 8mins a lap. I was feeling really good and then with 4 laps to go Tyler took off from me (to chase the Olympic Trials standard of 1:36) and I tried to keep my pace from there but I started to tighten up and my last 3 laps werent so good. I lost a lot of time in those laps and my hopes of finishing in 1:36:xx wasnt going to happen. I ended up finishing in 1:37:18 which was good enough for a 4 second PB.

I am still very happy with this small personal best time because I am just glad to be back to where I was in 2009. This is still extremely early and I have barely done any workouts faster than zone #1 pace (easy pace) so I know that each race will get better and better.

Tim raced his first 50km in 4 years and it was definitely a tough day for him. Not only did he have the winds to worry about in his early stages of the race but once that died down the heat came out. By the time he was done it was 77F so thats pretty warm. He felt good through 30-35k and then Ben Shorey put a surge on and he couldnt respond and thats where Ben won the race. Tim really struggled after that and finished 2nd in a time of 4:25. After he started struggling he just needed to make sure he finished so thats what he did.

I am now in New York City getting ready to race at the Millrose Games tomorrow afternoon. I am looking to win my 3rd straight title. You can view the results after my 4:35pm race here. Wish me luck!!!

Keep on walking,


Monday, January 17, 2011

First Race, New Team

This weekend is my first official race at the USA 50km RW Championships where I will race over 20k. This is not super important but I still would like to do well for an early effort. I have done very little workouts faster than zone #1 pace (easy distance). I feel very strong though and feel like I can walk a good time. I will be walking with Tyler Sorensen and Bruno Carriere (Canadian Junior Champion) with Tyler walking the whole 20k and Bruno walking 10k. I am most looking forward to Tim walking the 50k though. It is his first time racing th 50k in 4 years. He is in great shape and ready to go and see what he can do. The race is on Sunday in Tustin, CA. You can view the results here when they become available.

I hadnt been planning on going to the Millrose Games this year, especially since it is only 5 days after my 20k this weekend however I got an offer I couldnt refuse. We got a call from the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) asking me to join their team. Tim has been on their team for over a decade now and they have been so good to him. I thought it was a great opportunity and its nice to be apart of the same team as Tim. Because of this, I am now going to the Millrose Games to try and defend my title. My dad is making the trip from Canada to be with me at the race and spend the weekend in NYC. Im really looking forward to it.

Wish me luck :)

Keep on walking,


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Starting 2011 Right

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,