Saturday, March 31, 2007

A season's best

I've just woken from a nap, after running the Cotter 18-mile. It was a spectacular morning. The sky was bluer than blue. At the top of Yellow Rabbit Road, the air had such clarity that the distant silhouette of Black Mountain Tower was etched sharply on the skyline.

Running with friends makes such mornings special. It was a select group – Steve (who happily jogs at whatever speed is going), CJ (who runs up hills like they're smooth concrete footpaths), Strewth (who waits patiently until a lazy wombat catches up), Chris (who makes sure nobody gets lost) and Jill (who never complains when we say "the hills are over, now it's flat").

I also had a friend who selflessly volunteered to pace me on Thursday night. This was the last track night of the season, the main event being the ACT Veteran's 5000 metre Championships. It was also my last track race as an M45. Next season I'll be joining the ranks of the really crusty and ancient M50s!

I was very keen to run faster than the 'Free Beer 5000', and set a goal of sub-22 minutes. Katie, a member of the Speedygeese, offered to pace me at laps of 1:45. She did a beautiful job – I didn't know she was capable of such precision. The 3000m split was 13:02.4, five seconds ahead of schedule. I slowed slightly in the fourth kilometre, but just concentrated on sticking with Katie. I managed to raise a modest sprint in the last lap to finish in 21:45.27, a season's best. Very happy with that! It had been a great night to end the season – thanks Katie, and thanks Geoff for encouraging the Speedygeese!

There was another runner who had a good race on Thursday night. I run with her on the grass track at Calwell – well, I do the warm-ups and warm-downs with her! Kathy is really old. She's been a W50 for ages. On Thursday, she demolished the ACT W50 record (held by none other than Rosemary Longstaff), by 1 minute 27 seconds, running 18:27.97. This was also 12 seconds under her ACT W45 record, and according to Robert Song's calculator, is equivalent to 16:02 for a 30-year-old. Well done Kathy!


Blogger Tesso said...

Fantastic stuff Ewen!!!! That time deserves a six pack. Sub 21 and its a carton :-)

I love that calculator. In fact I the older I get the more I love it.

6:40 pm  
Blogger Scott said...

Great Ewen

That time is really hoofing it. The new age group will only see you do better times.

It seems like the 50 years plus people are running better than the 45 in a lot of cases and that "new kid on the block" mentality might help you shave a bit more off your recent times.

All the best with it

6:52 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

Congrats, what a great run.

And I am in awe of the W50 record, I am lucky to know a great Master runner down here is Melb too, he was recently in a world record beating over 50s 4x1500 mtre relay team.

Goes to show that you can't keep a good runner down :-)

7:47 pm  
Blogger CJ said...

You were looking comfortable on Thursday night - ok you might not have felt it but looks count for everything! Well done!

And it was a great morning for running this morning - I thoroughly enjoyed it...and the company too!

9:51 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Congratualtions on the time Ewen. Don't tempt me with the coffee shop I might stop.

1:17 am  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

Strewth is in 4 hr shape for Canb marathon, maybe you should late enter and keep her company. And then sprint away with 5km to go. M50 puts you in my group, better write out a new training plan to stay in front. Great day today.

1:28 am  
Blogger Eddie said...

Well done Ewen. An excellent 5000M time.
M50 is a tough category. A lot of seasoned old buggers who don't know the meaning of "slow down".

1:28 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

Great way to end your season and your M45 days. See you in a few weeks.

4:25 pm  
Blogger Speedy Goose said...

Ewen pacing you was one of the highlights of my track season - it was enourmously gratifying to help you achieve your goal and you did great just hanging in there.

See, I have been listening to you and the Speedy Coach (for all of my mentoring and advice) all this time about the even running AND it works brilliantly - sometimes I forget and get a bit excited and start to fast but thats okay, it's all experience.

I wish that running just 1 minute slower was as comfortable, because I was hurting today racing that 5km today in 20:45.

What's our plan for next year then?

5:54 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

Congrats Ewen on a good best season time.

8:58 pm  
Blogger Don Juan said...

Well done. Life begins at 50.

Yellow Rabbit looks good for a run in the mountains. My favourite is Blue Cow.

9:00 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Congratulations on beating your goal for the 5000m on Thursday. Great time for a young fella. Once you are in your new "really old" age group you will have to set an even more impressive goal! Thank you for your company and encouragement yesterday. It was a perfect day for such a run.

9:46 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

What a fantastic run Ewen. I wish my routes had coffee shops on them. We've got plenty of longhorns along the way though, but they don't serve coffee.

10:28 pm  
Blogger iliketoast said...

That's great to finish with a season best, well done.

6:40 am  
Blogger Phil said...

You rock Ewen! 21:45.27 is damn fast. Congratulations.

4:09 pm  
Blogger PortRunr said...

Ok, so you've recovered well from Six Foot I see!Congratulations on a great run Ewen.

10:23 am  
Blogger Mat said...

Great job there Ewen. Well done!

11:25 am  
Blogger Shane said...

Great result Ewen, a perfect way to end the season. Well done

7:25 pm  
Blogger Vicky said...

Congrats on the seasons best and on progressing to the next age category! That first paragraph is just so poetic - I just love some of the place names round your way!


7:41 pm  
Blogger TA and the Gnome said...

Yet more proof of my theory! You do your best short (3/5/10k) times after doing a marathon. Congrats (and enjoy being "really old" next season :-) )


11:36 pm  
Blogger Jen_runs said...

A classic 2P quote for you -

"Swimming is for blouses" :-)

5:24 am  
Blogger Tuggeranong Don said...

I've seen you since you did this post, Ewen, but still want to say well done for your season finale. Great effort mate, even if it was a geese assisted performance.

As always you hit the mark on the joy of running with friends. It makes those cold, cold mornings all the more worthwhile.

6:46 pm  
Blogger 2P said...

Geez I'm glad I didn't go for double or nothing :-)

Nice work on the seasons best mate - must give you hope for that sub 20 ;-)

9:25 pm  
Blogger Hannah said...

Good stuff :) You write so well I feel like I'm right there with you!

11:38 am  
Blogger Phil said...

Ewen ... thanks for the comments on VT. I vaguely remembered the details of Port Arthur; but went back and re-read the stories about the horror this morning. It's amazing how disturbed some people can become and know one notices until they are shooting up the entire town.

9:22 am  

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