Saturday, May 24, 2008

Where am I?

Last Saturday I ran in a 5k race on the scenic bike-paths adjacent to Lake Burley Griffin. My time was 21:46. I had a good race, even if the weather was less than desirable. A chilling westerly, which I'd have been rapturous about in my old sailing days, turned my final 2k into a Michael Jacksonesque moon-walk.

I've been pondering where this result leaves a naturally ponderous athlete when it comes to a lofty goal of running 11:07 for 3000 metres. My 5k was 48 seconds faster than for the same race last year. A mere 3.5% improvement. Am I optimistic in believing I'll be 3.5% faster when the summer T&F season rolls around in October? If I can be this much speedier I'd be rewarded with an 11:33 — leaving me lactate-legged and panting, over 100 metres behind the runner who's face expresses the immediate relaxation of sheer relief upon looking left at the Seiko and seeing 11:07 click over.

I'm in for a long hard winter. As I train through wind-swept afternoons, I'll take great inspiration from a movie not yet in production. "Far out in Fargo" is the story of an ice-encrusted runner who staggers in from the frozen plains of North Dakota, slashes 6 minutes from his PB to win a famous marathon in 2hrs 30mins 34secs — in doing so, he leaves a highly ranked Kenyan sitting in the gutter, dumbfounded and head-shaking in disbelief.

LBG is a beautiful place to runLake Burley Griffin sunset from near the Carillon. I like the coolness of this photo and the mystery of the unknown runner.


Anonymous kmflood said...

Ewen are you stalking that girl :)

5:21 pm  
Blogger iliketoast said...

no doubt you are not about to be left out in the cold on your goal of 11:07 ... it is a long road and one that will no be easily achieved but doesn't that make it so much more rewarding ... you will do it, take the steps along the way, sub 11:30 is next

8:29 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

A 3.5% improvement is not to be sniffed at. Take it and add some more. You hardly expected an easy ride. Keep going - you're headed in the right direction.

1:16 am  
Blogger Dusty said...

3.5% is very nice.. you will get the 11:07.. you just have to believe. Besides, 3,000 is shorter! You can totally pull it off!

The picture is cooling me off just looking at it.

2:13 am  
Anonymous Steve said...

3.5% is just an interim guide and I'm sure you'll do that plus more when the time comes.

I've just noticed your monthly totals and I'm curious why for some of the months you've got 'month name slash month name'. Very impressive, by the way.

12:04 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Hmmm, didn't I see a 5:39 1500m for you on Speedygeoff's blog. That should convert so something under 11:30 doesn't it? Maybe if you keep up that Michael Jacksonesque moon-walk you can 'beat it' :)

7:12 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

mystery runner? It's me, can't you tell?

11:55 pm  
Blogger Eric said...

Yes, a 3.5 percent improvement is nothing to sniff at. Very nice racing! If your time improves that much in a year, you should be ecstatic! This isn't interest on a savings account, man! =)

I like the sound of that movie. I especially like the dramatic license you took with the script! haha. (My PB only improved by 3:12) The production of Part II: Return of the Kenyans starts today!

Thanks for the props, Ewen. Cheers!

5:13 am  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Hey Ewen

Well if you ask me, and you did in a round about way, I reckon, like "kmflood" thinks you'd stand a better a chance of breaking 11:07if you spent more time running and less time lurking behind bushes taking snaps of "mystery" runners.

The only thing "mysterious" here is why you haven't been arrested yet ;)

Anyway, if you can pull it off, so to speak, it will be a "thriller."

10:27 am  
Blogger Phil said...

21:46 is really rocking ... even in the best weather. Your improvement is actually much better than 3.5%. You are assuming that at some point you'd be able to run a 5K in zero time, so the range over which you are computing your improvement is 0:00 to 21:26. A more reasonable way to look at any improvement is to view it over the range of possible times. Let's assume that the fast you could hope to run a 5K is the current WR; somewher around 12:37. Since you can't be reasonable expected to better this time, you can look at your improvement over the range from 12:37 to 21:26. Using this scale, your actual improvement was an impressive 7%.

Have a great winter.

10:58 am  
Blogger Dusty said...

Congrats on your 1500! I saw it on speedygeoff's blog.

1:34 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

I'm innocent KM and Scott. I was lining up a phone photo of the sunset when into the frame of my life (and out again) ran Sus.. um, I mean unknown runner.

"I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her 'til I die".

Thanks all for your encouragement. I'll take heart from that new calculation Phil, and yes, I was more than happy with the 1500.

7:02 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Congrats on your 1500m M50 PB - awesome! And with the improvement on your 5km race things are looking good!

7:58 pm  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

If you are more of a speed type (e.g. your shorter race times ar better than the long ones on equivalent basis), I am pretty sure your 3k time will go down by more than 3.5%

10:58 pm  
Blogger bill carter said...

Hi Ewen

I think this is a case where you are being a little rough on my friend... I think a 48 second improvement, which is right around 16 seconds per mile is huge. We runners sure do push ourselves don't we??

I have to admit that it is a little odd for me to think that winter is just beginning there, when we have just gotten through ours and it is getting nice now.

Best of luck, my friend and I'll just bet you get that 11:07.. or better.

1:31 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

"Doesn't matter if its black or white" some good tunes from MJ (the singer/dancer not the basketball NBA superstar) when he was in his prime.

4.21 per k for 5k is pretty good, especially if the wind is howling a bit. I like the story about the marathoner in Dakota!

Keep going Ewen, you are on track, and I think comparing 5k times in winter with 3000m times in summer, can be a bit apples n oranges, that 11.07 is certainly within your reach...May need to go after the shorter reps/intervals to focus in on it, when the time is ripe.

8:48 am  
Blogger Phil said...

The next time I see some clueless bimbo with insanely large surgically enhance breasts walking along the beach in Uggs, I'm blaming you.

Thanks for all your great comments.

4:27 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

We don't have to wait for "Far out in Fargo" to be inspired. We just to read your blog Ewen.

9:23 pm  
Blogger jojo said...

its a great start for that 11:07 :)

6:55 pm  
OpenID IHateToast said...

i'll see that movie, but only if steve buscemi is in it. seeing fargo makes my toes cold.

i think you have the build for the ornery texas rancher with a heart of gold and three unruly but HOT daughters. and you train on your ranch.

woah. tangent.

3.5% you'll do it. and you'll make 8 minutes on the bull.

11:00 pm  

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