Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The green, green grass of Calwell

Some of my most memorable training runs were with Jim Tucker on the 400 metre grass track at Calwell. Like many grass tracks Calwell has a hill. From the finish line you run gently up to the summit of the hill at the 200m mark then gently back down to the finish. When I trained with Jim, we liked running 300 metre repeats, thus avoiding 100m of uphill.

Now, back in those days, which was not that long ago when I think about it, maybe the mid-1990s, Jim was a seriously quick runner. He regularly ran sub-60 seconds for his 400m races which was a time I could only dream about. Using my endurance I was able to beat Jim in 1500m races, but in an 800 he'd be running sub-2:20 leaving me 3 or 4 seconds behind. I think our ideal race would have been a 1000 metres.

In our 300 metre repeats at Calwell, Jim would leave me struggling in the first 3 or 4 such was his natural speed. It was frustrating but fun training. I'd be killing myself trying to keep up and he'd casually look over wondering what my problem was. My problem was that I was just plain slow! There's a runner in Geoff's group who also has plenty of natural speed. Jim is usually a good judge and he's predicted Katie will run 2:35 for 800m, 5:30 for 1500m and 12:00 for 3000m this coming track season.

This afternoon I was back on the green, green grass of Calwell. I ran my first serious track session for a number of months. For quite a while I've had this niggling hamstring soreness which has hampered my feeble efforts to run fast. I can handle long slow runs but anything quick and my hammy starts saying "don't do this". Today I said to myself "stuff it, I'm going to try something faster".

I decided to run some barefoot 400s starting at the summit of the track. My recovery was 1min 30secs of walking. The 400s were 97.7, 97.6, 93.8, 92.6 and 90.9. These times aren't all that quick, it's equivalent to a pace of just under 4 minutes per kilometre. The thing is I didn't feel too bad and my leg didn't say "stop, or else". Afterwards I ran a comfortable 2.5k warm-down with Kathy and Marlene. I thought to myself, if I can keep up this training my running might go somewhere.

This weekend it's going to Sydney! The Blackmores Half Marathon is on Sunday. I'm really looking forward to running across the Coathanger with thousands of others and cheering on Luckylegs to the finish at the Sydney Opera House.


Anonymous Jim said...

Memories. These days I can only match those times on my mountain bike

3:23 pm  
Blogger CJ said...

Good luck for Sunday Ewen - hope you have a good run. I'm looking forward to running across the bridge - this will be my first time.

8:20 pm  
Blogger allrounder said...

hi ewen...to get a green line:

when you have the route open in GoogleEarth, right click on the route in the "Places" panel and select edit from the pop-up menu. Select the Advanced check box and you change the color in the Style Panel (click on the coloured box & the colour options appear)...pick your colour then save the route as normal...

8:33 am  
Blogger Horrie said...

Have a good run on Sunday Ewen. I'm sure you will if you follow your own advice. Hope to catch up with you after the run.

10:16 pm  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hope you went well on sunday! Dying to find out how you all went :)

8:10 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Jim, you were always a great athlete looking for an event. Have you tried 24-hour mountain biking yet?

Thanks AR, I now have a nice thin blue line - just like they used for the Sydney Olympics!

10:54 pm  
Anonymous Jim said...

No Ewen, I hoped to be an athlete but could not find my event so have resorted to being a sportsman looking for a sport

11:20 pm  

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