Friday, January 09, 2009

20 seconds

I raced the 1500 metres at the combined ACT Masters/Interclub meeting last night. The only redeeming feature of my race was the absence of a sagging third leg, which no doubt will humour Steve in snowy Tokyo, as he savours yet another schooner of Belgian Tripel beer. My salchows for the 4 laps — 93, 96, 96 (sag-free), 70 (last 300 metres). Charlie Eppes will tell you that adds up to 5:55.56. Just over 6:21 per mile pace for a measly 1500 metres.

There were three heats, and Gerard Ryan, the ACT M35 record-holder with 3:55.43, was his usual cheery self as he marshalled the competitors. "You can all run C-grade!" he enthused, counting the remaining 18 runners after A and B-grades had been allocated. I positioned myself towards the outside of the starting line, next to Spody. His acceleration was characteristically slow, and I thought the pace was about right as I followed Spody to the first bend. As we ran into the home straight, he overtook a couple of runners while I sat behind them into the brisk head-wind. I pretty much followed Geoff S for the rest of the race, before he blitzed the last lap with natural 400 metre speed.

I was disappointed with my time. I ran off into the bushland behind the stadium for a solitary warm-down. I was mad about the difference 20 seconds can make. That much faster and I'd have been glowing for days, pleased to begin a new year with an M50 PB. Instead, I was gloomier than John Howard on election night. When I finally returned I was lucky to see a number of geese running brilliant 400 metre races. It looked fun! I've decided to race at least one 400 before the track season is over. If I can get to within 15 seconds of Susan's sub-60 PB I'll be extremely happy! I still haven't formulated any goals for 2009. I have decided to give the 10,000 metre race next Thursday a miss, and run the 3000 instead. Until then, I'll whistle a happy tune while training, as I dream about finding my own style, and running fast races. I hope everyone has a great weekend!


Blogger speedygeoff said...

Just think of Bruce Graham last night: he would have been chasing down that elusive M45 3000m record, arranged for Nick to pace-set, discovered Nick's pace was too slow, tried to negotiate the bruising head-wind and walls of, while not wide walkers, closely packed narrow walkers, and was heard muttering to himself afterwards "PW, PW" and seen shaking his head. But he'll be back pushing out the 1k and 2k intervals at Stromlo this Saturday! And so will you.

7:02 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Shame about missing that M50 PB, better luck next week.

Not sure about trying to run through injuries like shin splints. I gave that a decent shot a while back and couldn't seem to get 'through it'.

7:27 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

It happens...getting slower, but keep whistling a happy tune & 'strike a careless pose' next race & you'll be fine!

7:54 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

20 seconds is a tough ask for a 1500. Your defeat of the 3rd leg sag is commendable though - consistency first, then speed. Happy whistling & best of luck in the 3k.

9:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wannabelimerickwriter said....

Don't be a fool and peak to soon
And end up with the wooden spoon
Just take your time
For it's no crime
To plod along to a happy tune

9:46 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

The only goal I've set for 2009 is NO MARATHONS. I need to pick a few local short ones so I at least have a goal.

I wish I had a track group like you. It would be nice to have friends who like doing what you do.

3:26 am  
Blogger jen said...

Nice try out there Ewen! It sounds like a tough day for you but that's still a very very impressive time in my eyes. :)

4:27 am  
Blogger Mike said...

Stay positive! 20-seconds is a lot, but if you've done it within the past 12-months, then you can certainly get there again.

You'll probably just need to tailor your training for the specific distance that's most important to you.

Good luck!!

6:17 am  
Blogger Love2Run said...

You're lucky to have races to compete in. Our track is under about 6 inches of snow & ice. You haven't been exactly doing speedwork for this shorter distance either now have you? It'll come...

10:43 am  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Not the way you'd have wanted to start the year but just think if you weren't a runner that line might have read simply "I ran off into the bushland behind the stadium for a solitary w---." So we are all lucky you're a runner.

1:33 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

We are indeed lucky you're a runner! It's all relative. Be glad you don't run at my pace!! This is only the start of 2009 - you will find that elusive 20secs! Keep smiling. I'll listen for that happy tune on Monday!

5:37 pm  
Blogger jojo said...

dont leave comments like that on my blog mister!!!!! stu may get ideas... 5:55 is still faster than me at the mo

9:22 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

I would feel sorry for you, but since you sabotaged my race strategy for Sunday by telling Grellan to sit on my shoulder rather than the other way out, I see it as justice done.

Or was it the other way round?

Never mind, just kidding anyway. Don't take the 20 seconds badly, go out and try again.

9:44 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

All the best in 2009!

1:59 am  
OpenID canute1 said...

Strategically you ran well – but the time was disappointing. Many of your friends emphasise that if you continue to whistle a happy tune things will get better – and they are almost certainly at least partly right. However, I am an old grinch, There is always something to learn from a race – maybe the lesson is simply that we all have an occasional off day, especially when circumstances such as wind in the home straight, tend to slow us down. However I wonder whether or not you are training too hard. It is clear that you are capable of 1500m well under 5:40 because you did 5:38 last year. So maybe you should focus on enjoying your running rather than pushing yourself. One possibility would be more sessions in which the goal is to enjoy running moderately fast but without pushing yourself. Just a thought from an old grinch – to be ignored it if it doesn’t sound right.

7:09 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Canute. I can be grinch-like too. I agree that there's often more to learn from bad races than good ones. I tend to think it was an off day - tiredness, too short a warm-up, not closing the gap to the next group early in the race... The 5:38 from last year should be possible again.

I'd like to do some of those moderately fast runs like you experienced recently. It's hard to predict the day when it's going to happen though. I might be too tied to my schedule, in that if an easy day is planned and I'm feeling good, I hold back instead of making use of that feeling.

1:19 pm  
Blogger IHateToast said...

we put too much on a calendar date. it's not everyone's ny either.

i'm most impressed by your ability to dodge a tanty.

no wonder you're the man of my dreams. ;-)

9:14 am  
Blogger Rob said...

Hey Ewen, don't worry you still have plenty of time in your M50s to get all the M50 PBs your heart desires. You just have to work a bit harder that's all :)

9:06 pm  
Blogger bill carter said...

Hi Ewen

You have to stop being so hard on my friend Ewen. It seems the longer I am a runner (a little over 5 years now) the more I understand that all the training in the world can only go so far. There are good days and bad days, good weather and bad weather, and all the other factors that can make a few seconds difference. Of course, even these considerations overlook the fact that age and wear and tear on the body are factors as well.

I don't mind saying that I would be proud to run the way you do at 51 years of youngness.

Best of luck with everything.

12:36 am  
Blogger Dusty said...

Hi Ewen! Thanks for checking on me - I've been rather ill and now trying to recover.

Bummer about the race - could it have been the wind that you mentioned? I know it added over a minute to my 5K time - someone actually did the math based upon some studies done (wind speed, duration in wind, etc). I wasn't happy with the time, but after that, I wasn't upset by it either.

Good luck in the race! I do hope I can race on a track this spring. I do envy your grass track. Take care & wishing you the best & fastest times in your next race!

3:05 pm  
Blogger jojo said...

your 1500 splits were very simialr to mine 92,96,96,66- gotta do a 400-they are soooooo much fun

9:04 am  

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