Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Childlike abandon

I've been waiting to tell you about a race that happened two Sundays ago. It was an amazing race. 1500 metres on the track. Even my up-over readers would know how far that is — the metric mile. One-and-a-half kilometres.

The race was one event in the first of the High Noon meetings to be held at the AIS track over winter. It was an "all-comers" meeting. The weather was all-perfect — 16°C (61°F), sunny, just the occasional zephyr ruffling the windsock near the long jump runway.

A field of 23 runners and 2 race-walkers crowded the curved starting line. Our ages ranged from under 10 to 60; boys and girls, all anticipating the excitement and tactics that 1500 metre racing provides. At the crack of the gun we charged off, aiming for the same bit of Mondo 100 metres away. I thought I'd started with blinding speed, but looked around after 50 metres and thought 'wow, I'm last!'. Why couldn't I run with childlike abandon? Why was my central governor set permanently in slow motion? It didn't matter. I was racing. I was having fun!

Around the top curve and some of the littlies started to slow. I picked my way around them — at times contemplating testing my steeplechase hurdle technique. Speedygeoff was just ahead, but he pulled inexorably away. The Seiko showed 1:04 at 300 metres. I didn't get any other splits — I just chased the one other person in the race who was on the ancient side of thirty and within reach. I caught him with a lap to go, then increased the pressure trying to bridge the gap to Emi. Youth prevailed by 3 seconds. I finished 13th — incredibly pleased (and surprised) with my time — 5:38.49. This was an M50 PB, but what gives me hope for the future is that it was "out of the blue" and run off endurance training. When I introduce interval training, theory has it that I should become faster.

For the record, the 15-year-old winner of the race ran 4:11. The first in a line of talented girls ran 4:52. My 5:38 is apparently equivalent to 4:56 for a 33-year-old.

Lake Burley Griffin - May 21
Calm conditions are good for racing — as we have here on Lake Burley Griffin in this view of the National Library from the National Museum


Blogger plu said...

Now that is a good run and a great story. Not long till Gold Coast now.


9:56 am  
Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

Well done Ewen. Great to hang on for a fast time. It will be interesting to see what the interval work does for you. I think you are on to something with the central governor idea limiting our performances as we get more fit and somehow hold back from stretching our systems to the limit.

I was at my son's school sports day yesterday and during the lunch break this little kid of about 6 or 7 took off running around the 200 m track. He was flying. For the first 50 m. Running OK for the next 50. Slowing noticeably by the third 50, and kind of jogged/staggered the last 50 and finished puffing and panting and all out of breath. That's childlike abandon for you. And yes, we all need to channel it every now and then. A bit like Eric over in Fargo.

2:23 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Running like a 33 year old sounds good. Great race Ewen. We might see a faster Ewen at CS2 this year. No blog posts as no running. Miracle may happen on Thuresday.

8:42 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

Wow Ewen! Terrific. You were flying. It would be great to get rid of that governor. It think it located somewhere between the ears. I know Ron Peters has a defective one.

8:50 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

Certainly a very encouraging race off just your base.

You now only have to do that again with a big sprint in the last 200m and you've nailed the 3k.

I'd save the child like abandon for the post race celebrations and keep the govenor on for some nice even pacing. IMHO.

9:07 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Awesome! At 50 you can still run with "childlike abandon". Now you have an M50 1500m PB to beat - love the way you tell the story so that we are running it with you!

10:44 pm  
Blogger Dusty said...

1:04 at 300, sounds like lightning speed to me if I'm doing my math right. 5:38 is fantastic! Congratulations on your new PB! Great race report!

You've got me excited to do the summer all comers track meets we have going over here. I think this is the 3rd week, but I'll have to wait until I return from my break. You make it sound so fun!

10:56 pm  
Blogger TA and the Gnome said...

I think what we need is some measured and controlled childlike abandon... :-)

Top race. Always good for the confidence.


11:36 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

That Eleven oh Seven for the 3,000m is looking much closer after a race like that Ewen. Fair play to your central govenor for keeping you in check. Well done. Can't figure out why you waited 2 weeks to tell us though.

4:43 am  
Blogger jen said...

Great job!! Congrats on the AG PR. You may have started off in the back of the pack, but you had the last laugh (well, to at least half of the runners)! Well done Ewen! That's blazing fast.

9:14 am  
Blogger Phil said...

Fantastic race Ewen. Picking off the kids after the start only helps re-inforce your resolve not to start too fast.

Also ... Those of us up-over are a confusing bunch. Even though 1500 meters is technically a "metric mile", many high schools refer to 1600 meters as a metric mile - go figure.

3:06 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

What a great run. Shouldn't you pick on someone your own size though :)

7:57 pm  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

If it is called a " High Noon " meet, was John Wayne there? He would be a M50 by now!!

9:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can only run with childlike abandon if you flail your arms and let your feet run outside the path. like flailing, too.

work on that.

3:50 pm  
Blogger Jason said...

Sounds like what racing should be about.

6:51 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

I have a version of Oklahoma Home done by Bruce Springsteen on his recent We Shall Overcome album. It certainly makes me chuckle as well.

8:33 pm  
Blogger iliketoast said...

basically half way there for the 3000m time ... keep at it

9:17 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

i want to write what katy put. you need to get a video of that too!

Great job Ewen!

11:33 pm  
Blogger Hamburglar said...

don't you hate those kids ;-)

I do a 2.5 k race each year and the kids are all in front of me at 200m and then you have to pick through them the rest of the way.

Well done on the time!

5:37 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

You ran a great race Ewen. Were you listening to Hall and Oats prior to that race?

"Adult Education, Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah".

9:19 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Hey Ewen, great race , good to see you still have some speed in those legs.

No Robbie Deans jokes okay!

8:41 pm  
Blogger Stu said...

We don't have mid winter All Comer meets here in Vic, sounds like a good idea.

Well done on the time, sounds like you were moving justone or two sec too fast for the first 300m, but it is so hard when everyone takes off so quickly!

9:40 pm  
Blogger bill carter said...

Hi Ewen

Who knew you were so speedy?? And as fast as that off of endurance training. I think to run truly fast you have to allow yourself to run freely and not run as we older people tend to do. We run with such control and everything is kind of where it seems like it should be. Wouldn't it be fun to just let those arms fly and legs bounce and just see what happens??

Congrats my friend on a very fast mile and best of luck with the training.

5:09 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

well done on an excellent run!
1.04 is a good first 300...
racing on track is always fun, I kinda miss it, maybe next summer...
That 11.07 looks very achievable!

7:00 am  

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