Saturday, September 13, 2008

800 the Movie

I ran another M50 PB last Sunday — for 800 metres. I was racing in the slowest of four heats at the ACTA High Noon meeting. I'm not as rapturous as I'd normally be about a PB as it was my first ever 800 in the 50+ age-group! It had been over two years since I'd savoured the exquisite pain that is the 800 metres. In January 2006 my time was 2:55.70. Last Sunday I ran 2:48.55.

I thought about titling this post "Laurent Yves St Claire-Monfrere's revenge". As fortune would have it, I was racing my adversary from the 3000 metres on 27 July, Lily du Maurier-Passante. If you recall, young Lily accompanied me for the whole race and steadfastly refused to be overtaken — surging like Tirunesh Dibaba every time I dragged my ponderous body to her side.

This time I fashioned a tactic to thwart Lily's surging style. At the sound of the gun, I sprinted hard from the curved starting line and positioned myself ahead of Lily as we ran up the back straight for the first time. The race was being led by one of the three adults in the race — another master, somewhat younger than myself. In second and third place, running side-by-side were U14 runners Caitlin and Corey. I sat behind these two and ran through the first 200 metres of the race in 40 seconds.

I steeled myself to accelerate should young Lily try to overtake. Luckily she didn't, and I was happy to follow C&C through the first 400 metres in 84 seconds. Then I ran as fast as possible for the next lap, arms pumping and throat burning. C&C sprinted with 100 metres to go, whilst I was already at maximum speed and starting to get that lactic-arms feeling. The finish line couldn't come soon enough. I safely held my fourth place, with Lily finishing fifth, just over a second behind.

In one respect, the 800 metres is very similar to the marathon. A couple of days later, I'd forgotten the pain and was already planning how to improve in my next race. Madness? This is the 800! Runners... Prepare for glory!

I love the grass at Stromlo AND the track!Racing 12k on the grass at Stromlo is less painful than the 800!


Blogger Mike said...

Hi Ewen - Nice to see another fellow Masters runner who does some middle distance events! Nice job on the 800m.

1:19 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Well paced and good tactics too to beat Lilly, well done on a good run.
have to laugh at; " the exquisite pain that is the 800 metres."...great quote!

6:05 am  
Blogger wildthing said...

Go ahead and be a devil - be rapturous.

I think you deserve it with such an impressive PB.

I think I would like racing on the track. I must try it some day....


8:50 am  
Blogger Hamburglar said...

Congrats on the PB, but more importatntly, well done on your win over the arch rival Lily.

9:28 am  
Blogger IHateToast said...

i think you'll have to change her name to Griselda for me to cheer you on. lily du maurier-passante is the name i'd give to the most perfect person in the world. it's too good of a name to compete against.

and you know you just fueled her up for another ewie-lily smackdown.

8:54 pm  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

Nice job. Looks like 2008 is a good year with four PBs in the bag and hopefully more to come.

11:46 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Congrats on the strong finish. Looks like the Wallabies covered the points spread, whats your prefered drop?

7:13 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

A PB is a PB Ewen. Savour it. I think you are going to have to accept the fact that one day soon Lily will be using similar tactics and no amount of surging is going to help. Just trying to prepare you Ewen.

7:35 pm  
Blogger jojo said...

hey so how does our comp for the 8,15 and 3km work(can we add in the 400? is it an -add up all the times and the least wins/??? cos i reckon i have you in the 4/8-15 we are dead even-but the 3km you SMASH me- or it is a count how mny the most amount of 'rubbers' wins..i cant be ULTRA competitive if i dont know the runles MAN!!!!

10:00 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Congratulations! They say the 800 is the most difficult distance to get right, and the most painful, too.

10:47 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

Ewen, well done on the 800 meters. (or metres, for translation purposes only) 800s are really, really horrible. The worst race ever I think.

2:12 am  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Congratulations on the M50 PB Ewen. Since reaching 50 you have certainly turned your life around.

You used to be depressed and miserable. Now you're miserable and depressed ;)

3:28 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

This week I would have to go for the Warriors at home against the Roosters. No points this week sorry.

6:53 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

The 800 is just like the marathon ???

How long has it been since you went all out in a marathon and were recovered in a couple of days?

I can remember in my club days running an 800 or 1500 early in the afternoon, and then backing up for a 5000 for the last event of the day.

12:48 pm  
Anonymous cindylouwho said...

Thanks for all of the guidance with runner susan!

10:01 pm  
Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

Well, me, I just love the photo. The sense of pure speed is just amazing. You guys would have left vapour trails for sure! ;-)
(It's OK viewers, I'm just jealous that he can run)

Great job on the happyakumiitoru too.

12:01 am  
Blogger Dusty said...

Congratulations!! I totally know what you mean with that lactic arm thing. ugh.. if one could will a finish line to come closer.. I think we all would when we have that happen! Way to go!!

9:52 am  
Blogger Dusty said...

Congrats on the PB!!! Go Ewen!! I read this last night, but didn't get to comment until now. Thought about you "Mr. Speedster" while doin my 800 repeats this morning. :)

2:38 am  

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