Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WMA 20K - finally!

It's been 3 days since the race, and I'm just now getting a chance to blog about it. After the race, we ate lunch (ravenously hungry!), got our medals (sloooowly - disorganized!), and then just had time to go home and shower before heading out to dinner at the Buckhorn steak house in Winters, CA. Mmmmm, nothing like a nice steak after a long race! Then on Sunday it was off to watch the marathon early with David (Lis and Nyle cleaned the house - thanks guys!), home to pack, then on the road to southern California. We arrived at our hotel about 8 pm, got dinner, then crashed. Monday was spent at Disneyland and then I was waaaaay too tired at 9 pm to blog. So now it's Tuesday pm and I'm finally getting around to it!


Race day dawned overcast and cool in Sacramento, but by the time our race started at 10:15 am it was sunny and warmish. It got up to about 75F (24C) by the end of the race, which isn't THAT hot, but it was certainly warm enough to affect walkers in a longer distance like the 20K.

I felt stiff but not too bad on the warm-up. I thought I was recovered enough and ready to roll. Yeah, my legs were still sore from the 10K, but I've done hard workouts like that and been fast, so I figured it was no problem. Well, it was a problem. The lack of harder longer training due to my shin injury reared its ugly head pretty early in the race, and by 8K I knew (and told David who was walking next to me) that it was gonna be a tough race. The splits pretty much tell the tale of how I felt: 29:25 (5K), 30:03 (59:28, 10K), 30:10 (1:29:38, 15K), 30:59 (2:00:37, 20K). Ouch. The first 5K was fine (I enjoyed walking with Franz from Austria and David from Australia!), the next 5K was so-so, and the last 10K hurt. A lot. I did get pretty warm as the race went on, and dumped water over my head and used the sponge station every lap. I drank at least a liter of water during the race (from my personal water bottles - easier to drink from than cups!), but even so I ended up a bit dehydrated. Not as much as my friend Nyle, who walked a very fast 1:56:54 for a huge PR...and then ended up in the medical tent with crazy blood pressure and overheated, etc. She was fine about 15 min later, though, thankfully.

I was shooting for 9:14 per lap for a 1:58 20K, but knew after a couple laps that would not happen. I did a fast 7:08 for the first 1.24K (5:46/km) but then settled in to a good rhythm of 9:20-9:22 per 1563m lap. My first 4 full laps were 9:22, 9:22, 9:20, 9:22. Not bad! Then I got tired...like I said, between 7-8 km I couldn't hold that pace any more. I did 9:30, 9:35, 9:31, 9:30, 9:30, 9:30, 9:33, and then kicked it up for a 9:19 for the final and fastest lap. I was able to do that partly because I chased Maite Moscoso for the last half of that lap - she's a 1:48 20K walker from the USA and I was amazed that I was so close to her (she must have had a bad day? I didn't ask after the race - didn't see her) so I tried to catch her. I failed, but was only 2 sec behind her at the finish. I also passed Pam Tindal from Australia in the last couple laps - she is a very fast walker in F50-54 who can normally do much faster than me, but she hadn't trained the long stuff much so I actually beat her by a minute or so. I passed Katie Grimes (a 1:53 walker), too, but that was because she raced to get the gold and strategically stayed slow behind her competition until a couple laps from the end (she's in the 45-49 age group, not mine, thankfully!).

walking with Franz early in the 20K

trying to stay cool

right at the finish - great shot from Lauri :)

When I got to the last lap I could see that I'd be over 2 hr, and I was a bit disappointed, but I raced it hard anyway and I figured that given the previous two hard races and all that it was still a good time. 2:00:37 was my official time, and it was good for my third silver medal in W40-44, and is also a PR since I have never raced 20K before (lots of 1/2 marathons, which are 21.1K, but no 20Ks). Not bad considering all I've been through this past year. I wanted to train harder, and couldn't, and that has been frustrating. However, my coach is awesome and somehow managed to whip me into pretty good shape despite it all.

3 races - 3 silver medals - 3 PRs - gold medal in team 10K. 5K 28:04, 10K 57:35, 20K 2:00:37. I need to sit back and savor the accomplishments for a bit, and then get back out there and train! There are more races ahead, more World Masters (2016 is in Perth, AUS!), and lots of reasons to stay in shape.

Next goal race: Top of Utah marathon on Sept 17, 2011. I'd like to do a sub-4:30 or sub-4:25 marathon :).

Garmin connect data here.

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