Monday, May 14, 2012

Darn it! 8K fartlek

I've been wondering for a bit if my right knee was soft. On Saturday, I timed a race for the club and did some videotaping. I had someone videotape me too. It was ugly. OK, I wasn't warmed up at all, and my right knee does tend to be iffy when I'm not warm. looked BAD. I spent the rest of the weekend panicking, and then this morning I did something about it.

(Oh, and FYI, I biked a lot on Saturday for cross-training, and took a rest day on Sunday).


I brought my video camera to the track and set it up on the tripod because I couldn't find anyone crazy enough to meet me at the track at 6:15 am. I did one lap of warm-up and looked at the tape, which got me almost at the end of the 400m lap. Oh boy...not good, not good at all. I did another lap, adjusted the video camera to get a closer view, and it was still ugly. Ouch. I resolved that I was going to fix it then and there no matter what. I have no idea exactly what I did, other than concentrating on bringing my knee through lower and feeling it straight underneath me, but it worked like a charm. Voila! Straight! I could feel that it was right for the 3rd and 4th warm-up laps.

I stopped for a brief restroom break. Calvin had some stomach virus on Saturday and I seem to have gotten it. I was not throwing up but had intestinal discomfort, big time, both last night and this morning. I knew I could still do the 8K fartlek though; and besides, there are now a couple porta-potties at the track which is huge in case of emergency. I didn't need them once I got started though.

My technique did feel different. Not hugely, but different. Crap. And guess what? I was slower, too. All those gains I thought I'd made? Nope...just bent knee. This is why they have rules in racewalking! I was not trying to cheat, but somehow my technique took a nosedive. Seriously, I have no idea how it happened. I didn't feel pressured by my coach or my friends to get faster in a hurry; I was just trying to do my workouts well. Darn it!

My fast 500s ranged from 2:46 to 2:50, except the first which was 2:41. My medium 500s were 2:56-3:05. Total was 46:21 with average HR 165 (high...ughhhh). Yup, much slower. But I know I was legal, and that is all that matters. I still want to do a 1:26:37 or less in Riverside for the 15K to earn my Masters All-American certificate, but if I can't, I can't. Darn it. Darn it. Darn it.

Overall, it's good though. I was easily able to fix the problem, I know what it feels like to do it right, and I should be able to complete the race. I am still faster than last year before the 15K and I'm still in great shape. I'm just not as fast as I thought I was. Oh well! That's my sport, and I still love it.

Here's the video.

Garmin data here.


Harriet said... last judged 5K (2004) I walked a 28:2x and picked up FOUR red cards (three for bent knee, one for lifting toward the end); I had two with one km to go and then I tried to outsprint a faster walker at the end. I too had made lots of "gains" which were due to bent knees.

Congratulations on your reality check: you ARE faster than you were before. And congratulations on being able to distinguish between legal and illegal walking; I never developed that "feel". Coaches told me that is one of the big differences between the good athletes and the average ones; the good ones seem to be able to tell what their bodies are doing while they are doing it. Ray Sharp is good at that.

good luck!

ps: this reminds me of what happened when I was trying to learn how to walk fast on my own: I did a judged 10K and "frankenstein walked" it in 1:06. Legal, but slow. A month later I "racewalked" a 10K road race in 57:4x..."woo hoo" I thought! Then I did a judged race and I got two cautions (and red cards) very quickly...I managed to "Frankenstein walk" it in and finish the 5K in 30:42 though I deserved to be DQ'ed that day.

A couple of weeks later I met up with a teacher and it was not a pretty sight. :-)

Tammy said...

Thank you, Ollie. I agree that being able to distinguish that something is illegal is critical. Now I know to listen to that little nagging voice a bit sooner. I suspect I've been quasi-illegal for about a month now...