Sunday, June 03, 2007

The next big thing

Gnomey's photo of me in the SMH Half MarathonFour weeks from today I'll be dragging myself out of bed at some ungodly hour of the morning to race 21.1 kilometres through the streets of Surfers Paradise.

I guess this race is my next big thing. My indecisiveness is due to never having been a 'big thing' runner. Although I've run marathons, and more recently, the Six Foot Track, I don't train for such events with the purpose of running as fast as possible on the day. I just want to survive these adventures in one piece, so as to resume normal everyday running.

I'm not a marathoner. I used to be a 1500m to half marathon runner. These days I prefer 3k to 5k races. Am I a wimp for not having 'big thing' goals? I blame my even temperament. Do I lack commitment? Part of my reserve comes from many years of involvement with teenage runners. Some of them started out with 'big thing' goals such as running in the Olympics or the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. These were very talented athletes who had the ability to achieve these goals.

On a smaller scale, there are runners like Stu, who had two 'big thing' goals this year, one to run a sub-40 10k at Sandown. He missed by just over a minute, but does that make his year a failure? When I was in my thirties my 'big thing' was just to try and improve. There was always another race.

I had a goal at the beginning of this year of running 95:29 at the Gold Coast Half Marathon. McMillan reckons I might run 1:40:32 which is probably closer to the mark. Whatever happens, I intend to enjoy the day, because afterwards, there will be another race, and another.

24 Comments:

Blogger Tesso said...

You are hardly a wimp! I find those shorter races much scarier and much harder as you have to run fast and hurt the whole way. At least in halfs and fulls there's only pain towards the end and its a different sort of pain.

I think you should at least go for sub 1:40 at the GC!

1:34 pm  
Blogger Cirque said...

You definitely don't lack commitment Ewen! I'm looking forward to cheering for you at GC!

1:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ewen, I certainly would not say that you lack commitment. I would say that running is not a means to an end for you. You run because you love running and the challenges that it brings. Special goals and racing really just add a bit of direction and excitement to your running. They are not the reason you do it.
Southy.

3:19 pm  
Anonymous IHateToast said...

you're a total wimp, but that's because you canceled your registration for the mud wrestling competition because tesso looked threatening.

but on the topic of running? pah. i'm like you, except less hairy. and shorter. and slower. there is mucho hype to a marathon as if that's the defining race. silly that. just run it if you want, don't if you don't. we all have our own distances and dabble with the others. i think i'm a 1k runner. in h.s. i ran the 400, 800, 1600 and x-c (2 miles). i did those well enough. much better than i do half and full marathons. i run the latter so i can run with my lervemunkeee. and hey, i often have nothing better to do on those days anyway. i'll be cheering you on. outfit planned already.

3:20 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

Sounds like a very sensible approach to me! It's too easy to get caught up in the big event fever and then end up either feeling disappointed or even worse, injured.

3:48 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

Hey, you are off to the GC, maybe I'll see you there.

Still hoping the Doc will give me the all clear to run/walk the 10Km I entered, though there is no way I will be wearing the timing chip!

4:38 pm  
Blogger Shane said...

I like your approach to running Ewen and by no means do you lack commitment.

I think it is a sensible approach to not have goals for the big events. Events such as the GC are awesome, very enjoyable with heaps going on around you. However by no means an ideal environment for the average joe to run their best race.

I agree just enjoy the day get through in one piece and focus on your training for your preferred distances at smaller scale events.

5:15 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

You have to go hard in some races hunting for PB's at some stage. So any race could be your next big thing.

5:16 pm  
Blogger Scott said...

Nice thoughts Ewen,

what you said about "I blame my even temperament" makes a lot of sense. It seems we all run in line with our deep seated personality.
You're smart to know yourself and follow the path you're on.

Some of us don't know or are loathed to admit we should do this or that or admit we are not really cut out for certain things.

I'm not saying don't try, we have to push ourselves, I just think some of us set ourselves these "big things" not fully thinking it through.

I'm a real obsessive type, prefer that than being call "anal" and I often set my self up for disappointment, with these "big things" overreaching with my running goals and praying for good weather on race day.

Better that I be like you knowing that there will always be "another race" that is a wonderful way to think. But of course I can't do that cause I'm obsessive. well at least I can say, like you, I'm being true to my nature.

6:42 pm  
Blogger TA and the Gnome said...

Well, I started crying when the physio said I was well enough to run my first marathon, so I guess I'm one of the 'next big thing' types. However, I'm starting to realise the joy of running races for the sake of running, not just for the result. Maybe you're just further down the maturity track than many of us... :-)

Gnome

9:22 pm  
Blogger mpluss said...

Just think of 400m runners. Now that is pain. Like Tesso said it might be over quick but it hurts. I will see you in QLD probably the half but I have a month to think about doing something silly.

Plu

9:29 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Surfers will be warm, nearly as warm as Italy! Ewen, whatever pace you run at you always run well. Just keep an eye open for that heiress and train to enjoy the day, the atmosphere and the beautiful women! Nice photo!

10:40 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Nice thoughts there Ewen, good luck in the half and as you say if your goal is to just finish it in one piece then that's fine. I find it useful to have a goal time in mind to give you something to focus on and aim for but agree that if you miss it there always another race. I'm a bit different to you though, I think I do need a 'big thing' to give me something to aim for and a reason to train. At the moment the big thing is to just get injury free ! Have a good week & well done to the Wallabies.

8:38 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

I have always been a "next big thing" person. I take immense pleasure of setting a far away target and working towards it. Sometimes the journey is better than the actual next big thing. It is not always vital to achieve your goal but onlt to know you gave it your 100% in preparation and on race day.

Most of my running life I have been driven by the next big thing but lately sometimes I dream about becoming a sociable person who attends group training runs, turns up at all the races and goes out for coffee afterwards. I have even thought of breaking the diet and having chocolate now and again.

But I think Scott is right about deep seated personalities and I fear I will be setting the date for my next big challenge on my current age-equivalant PB for many years to come. Once I knock over my Marathon time, I will be out for my 5/10k equivalents, I'm sure.

9:22 pm  
Blogger Stu said...

Hmmm 'the next big thing'... yep I love to pick one or two big events for the year, but I like to pick them early, so what to do when the have past and there are 6 mths to go?? Oh well!

A great post and I am sure that you will have a great time at GC and that is way more important!

:-) Thanks for the publicity on your blog.

10:27 pm  
Blogger Phil said...

The great thing about an out-and-back course is that you have a very difinitive half way point. I see you cruising comfortably out along the bay (I assume that what the water is) and then hammering it home on the way back. Looks like a great course for a PB.

3:25 pm  
Blogger R2B said...

My next big thing always seems to come around before i have given myself enough time to train for it!

But with Scott i agree that you must know yourself pretty well by now and tend to stick to that ...BUT... isn't it good to step outside the comfort zone on occasion and savour that feeling too?

R2B

9:07 pm  
Blogger Eddie said...

Gosh! Is it less tahn 4 weeks. I had better do some training.

That's the way to do it, Ewen, play it down.

7:45 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

Don't blame your even temperament. That's a good thing - as for commitment, you're more committed than most which make your priorities right on target!

10:25 pm  
Blogger allrounder said...

I want to run one at that pace!

I'll be a "Finish Line Helper" - hopefully you want need any hel finishing!

Re: running on dry land until I actually run on grass I won't be changing my blog's sub-title...and yes, I was running on the treadmill at 8kph...next session will be at 10kph so that'll be fun!...the 207bpm definitely was a glitch (it occurred around the 4:45 mark)...

5:05 pm  
Blogger PortRunr said...

Your approach is pretty good Ewen. It really doesn't matter how you go about it, as long as you're out there enjoying it and a part of the running community you're well ahead of most people.
I think you should aim for well under the 100 minutes, although I dare you to cut it as close as I did!!

9:50 pm  
Blogger iliketoast said...

when you have a "stretch goal" it is good to "achieve it" .... but to run short can result in great disappointment .... it is a tough one i agree

i think what Scott says makes alot of sense and personality is the key

1:22 pm  
Blogger Spark Driver said...

Every up comming race is a big thing to me. But I do consider myself to be fairly new to this running caper.

11:34 am  
Anonymous Steve said...

You've entered the race, so at least there is one goal already set and no doubt you've been training in order to achieve that goal.

Just go with the flow, what's the worst that could happen and if it does, does it really matter.

Over at my blog, my footer tagline is "Enjoy the journey, the destination will take care of itself". Not sure if this is relevant, maybe I'm just rambling.

10:43 pm  

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