Tuesday, 20 November 2012

2012 - The Race Year in Review - Part 2

The 2012 race year also brought me into contact with a lot of good people, all of who have contributed greatly to my success this season.

I had been in contact previously with Carmen Jackinsky, a racewalk coach and shoe pioneer (Re/shod walking shoes; more on these in Part 3!) from distant Oregon. She had been kind enough to review a couple of videos I had done of my "technique", give me some pointers and exercises, encouraged me to get a muscle imbalance assessment from a Physiotherapist and to check out a friend of hers who is a walk coach in London, Ontario (fairly close to here). Interesting how one contact leads to another...and another!

First, I scoured the internet and found a PT clinic relatively close by that specialises in athletes and sports medicine and even hosts races! I went for an assessment and several followup appointments in February to learn strengthening exercises with Steve Georges at Loaring PT. Helped me immensely! Now that I am through this race season I am going back for some followup core, posture and balance work. We did another assessment last week and found improvement in almost all areas!

Next, I searched Carmen's friend on the internet and found out that she was going to be running an all-day racewalk clinic the very next weekend about an hour-and-a-half away! Needless to say, I was so there. Enter Sherry Watts into my life; she is now my coach! We interact over the 'net, through videos and discussion and she sets up training schedules for me. I can't begin to tell you how great this has been!!!! Looking forward to next year under her watchful eye.

This is also the year that I discovered Walkers and Runners Around the County of Essex (WRACE). Sherry actually mentioned them to me. They are a local club that sponsers twelve races throughout the year, ALL with walking divisions, ALL almost in my backyard! How could they have been there all along without my really knowing what they were all about???? I participated in three of their races this year and will enter as many as I can in 2013. This introduced me to the 5K distance, which I discovered I like!

And then there is my "walking family' - the wonderful people at the Walking Site Forum who have been my sounding board for a lot longer than just this year. A more supportive, friendly, caring group of internet friends you could not hope to find. They were with me every step of the way in 2012, and hopefully will be for many years to come.

Next up - Part 3: The Gear!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

2012 - The Race Year in Review - Part 1

I know, I know - 2012 ain't over yet, but the "Celtic" New Year is November 1st and I have no more races planned for the rest of the calendar year, so I feel justified in starting my review now. I'm in a short period of active rest right now before starting my next training cycle, so now is the time to do this!

Let me say from the get-go that this was an extremely good walking year for me in many ways. I found a coach, joined a club, managed a few PRs, tried some new distances, got my imbalanced muscles back on track, found some great gear and just basically had fun - I guess it doesn't get much better than that! I'm going to break down my posts into topics; otherwise, this could get really long (longer than usual for me, that is). Let's start with a roundup of races.


Up until this year I had only done half marathons as races. This year I added 5K and 10K distances and found I really liked the variety. Of course, this meant I had to learn totally different race strategies for each type of race, which is a good thing. I also discovered a local series of races run by W.R.A.C.E. (Walkers and Runners Around the County of Essex), which not only welcomed walkers in the 5Ks, but posted results separately and gave awards! Needless to say, I will be doing more of these in 2013! Here, then, is a list of what I did, when I did it and how I did; I also have added links to the blog entries for these races:

(Remember: all of these are racewalking):

April 14, 2012: Martian Meteor 10K (Dearborn, MI): This was to be a training race for the Sudbury half in May. There were no separate walking divisions. 1:12:09. I actually came 41/86 in my AG group, which was mostly runners (!). 10K PR  Blog entry

May 13, 2013: Sudbury Rocks! Half Marathon (Sudbury, ON): No separate results for walkers in the half. 2:38:31. Blog entry

June 23, 2013: Detroit River Days 5K (Detroit, MI): My first 5K ever! No separate walking division.  35:07. 4/17 in my AG group (including runners). Blog entry

July 14, 2013: Sunsplash 5K (Belle River, ON): 34:57:06. 1st in walking division! This was the first of the WRACE series that I did. Blog entry

September 3, 2013: John Smith 5K (Windsor, ON): Second WRACE event.  34:45. 2nd overall and first female walker. 5K PR

September 23, 2013: Run for Heroes 10K (Amherstburg, ON). Results were posted separately. 1:12:36. First female. Blog entry

October 20, 2013: Cincinnati Half Marathon (guess where?).  2:35:36. 4/75. 1st in AG group.Half Marathon PR Blog entry

October 28, 2013: Hallowe'en Hoot (Windsor,ON): Third WRACE event for me. Got to wear a cool costume! 35:32. 2nd overall; 1st female. Blog entry

I have never done this many races in a season before: the shape of things to come?