Life in the slow lane
In my 27:00 Customs 5k I did feel more comfortable than the previous week. It was strange running flat out yet falling away from Bob and Colin who were jogging along having an animated conversation. My average heart-rate was 153 – a little below my usual racing heart-rate of 155 to 158. The race showed my lack of fitness. Earlier in the year I was running 4:44 per kilometre pace at this heart-rate rather than 5:24s and I wasn't fully fit.
Feeling like I do at the moment in races gives me a real appreciation for the struggles that beginning runners and novices go through. I also have a greater understanding about the long road back from injury or illness.
Many years ago there was a young runner in the group that Geoff used to coach. She had been injured and was doing her first Sunday long run for a while. We ran a course of 17 kilometres out around the Corkwood plantation and back through Stromlo forest. She kept dropping back from the group and would breathlessly catch up when we stopped for a drink or to open a gate. She was clearly out of shape but completed the run. Years later she ran in the trial for the 10,000 metres at the Sydney Olympics.