Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bad, mad, glad

I've been glutinous this week, finishing three races — all were ACT Masters Championship events. On Thursday evening, in astonishingly cool conditions after last week's heat-wave, I raced the 1500 metres. The 50-59 males were grouped together and I finished 6th (last) in a confusingly slow 6:03.49. I was hoping to run around 5:45. An hour later, still mad about my poor result, I competed in the 5000 metre race-walk. With no expectations, I was more than happy to place 2nd M50 in 29:49.61.

Yesterday morning, Canberra's soothingly cool weather was just about perfect for distance running (except for a persistent breeze which was a home-straight head-wind). I decided to race the 3000, rather than run for a time, having thought about Canute's comments in my last post: "maybe you are paying a bit too much attention to the stop-watch at the moment. Your ‘epic’ battle with Lily in the 800m last year demonstrates that it can be fun to set a different sort of race target from time to time". Fortuitously there were a number of runners with similar form to myself, which made for good racing.

Kilometre 1: I took up a position on the outside of the curved start-line, next to Speedygeoff. At the gun, I moved towards lane two, slotting in behind Gary and Nadine, with Carol and Amanda just behind. Gary was following Geoff, and set a perfect pace for the first kilometre, which we passed in 4:05.

Kilometre 2: This is the part of a 3k where I usually lose time. I was determined not to let any gaps open to my pace-makers ahead. Gary's pace slowed slightly running up the back straight, so Nadine went past, with myself and Carol following. Carol then overtook me, so I sat behind for half a lap before resuming a spot behind Nadine, who was running with great strength. I would have loved to have shared some of the pace-making with her, but I was at my limit and barely hanging on. 4:09 for the second kilometre.

Kilometre 3: Nadine drew inexorably ahead, stretching the elastic band until it snapped with the finality of Sylvester Stallone dropping Michelle Joyner in Cliffhanger. I was all alone for the last two laps, running with urgency, hearing frequent encouragement from spectators for my pursuer Gary. I looked around briefly with 300 metres to run and could see that he was gaining. I ran down the back straight as hard as my lactic-filled legs would allow, before going into full sprint mode for the last 100 metres. I could hear Gary raising a similar effort, and I didn't feel 'safe' until 20 metres before the finish-line. 4:12 for the last kilometre for a pleasing 12:26.26. It had been a fun race! Interestingly, the sprint-finish off a fast pace produced the highest maximum heart-rate I've recorded in recent years (167) — I had thought my maximum was around 164 to 165.

Afterwards I was presented with a silver medal for placing 2nd in the M50s — a great memento for what had been a memorable race!

Bling for a small fish in a small pondACT Masters Athletics present lovely medals to almost anybody!


Blogger jojo said...

so what are the times for the 4 and the 8? have you run them yet?
and well done btw

6:59 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Good job on the 3K Ewen. You must be encouraged to get that kind of time before it even gets into the racing season.

Nice report too. You certainly have a way with the mother tongue. If you don't mind I'm going to use your expression "confusingly slow" in another context, that of describing the majority of my students.

Yes, yes, I know there is no such thing as a bad student only a bad teacher, blah, blah, blah.

7:48 pm  
Blogger Aki said...

Lol. There is so such a thing as a bad student. Ewen is an example. :)

8:04 pm  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

Well done on the relatively even-paced race! Should bode well for your racing goals this year.

8:48 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Well done Ewen, just thinking about that that scene in Cliffhanger makes my palms go clamy!

So I am guessing with all the "short" stuff I wont be seeing you go past me again at Six Foot this year?

9:26 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Good run Ewen. 34 seconds quicker than 9 days ago is impressive. Should be 11:38 on March 5 by the time Six Foot taper kicks in.

9:34 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Scott and Aki, I'm self-taught so eminently qualified as a bad teacher and student.

Dave, in spite of my love of the short stuff, I'm doing 6' - with a goal of 'minimum pain' (lots of walking). If you're faster than 6:45, you won't be overtaken.

Flake, I plan on 'reverse-tapering' the speedwork, and having very easy days prior to races. Not sure a taper from 90k a week will do much.

9:47 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Woo hoo - the cool weather makes such a difference. Fantastic results, lots of bling and awesome 3k - well done! You looked really strong in that walking race too.

10:13 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Not sure why on earth you did a race-walk, but the 3k sounds like a good race.

I once did a 5k with an uphill finish that elevated my HR to a level that was higher than what I thought my max was.

11:26 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Well done Ewen on holding a very consistent pace in the 3k. Nice collection of medals for a few days work.

4:53 am  
OpenID canute1 said...

Well done.

5:05 am  
Blogger cindylouwho said...

Love the metals!

5:11 am  
Blogger cindylouwho said...

Metals are always good!

5:12 am  
Blogger Love2Run said...

Nice new photo, nice bling and great race report. I love the blow by blow and feeling someone breathing down your neck at the finish. Great job!

5:24 am  
Blogger Mike said...

Great race Ewen.

When you set a HR record you know you gave it all you had

6:32 am  
Anonymous Julie said...

Nice job, Ewen. After having recently run a set of 4:10ish 1K intervals, I'm impressed that you could do three of them (and faster, no less) in succession.

And don't do any more racewalks (was that some sort of self-punishment?). It only encourages more of the same. I like to call them the Ostrich People.

7:21 am  
Blogger Rob said...

Seems to me you earned the medals Ewen. Congratulations! I loved your description of the race. You could get a job as race caller at the gee gees.

9:13 am  
Blogger Ali said...

Well done Ewen!

2:14 am  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

Ewen, those are awesome medals!

3:59 am  
Blogger jen said...

Congrats Ewen! Great job winning second place, you earned it. Great report. Hope your weather stays comfortable!

4:43 am  
Blogger Eagle said...

Great run, great time and a medal. Life is not much better.

1:24 pm  
Blogger IHateToast said...

whee! glee!
must flee
to pee.

11:19 pm  
Blogger bill carter said...

Hi Ewen

As I was reading your replay of that final race I was really getting into it. And the suspense was killing me. Gary may have had people pulling for him, but I was giving it my all in a belated attempt to cheer you on to a 2nd place finish. Congratulations!

BTW, I truly appreciate the supportive and kind things you say on my blog. I write these posts knowing that I am fortunate to run the way I do (despite your mention of a guy who runs 2:19 as a 40+ year old marathoner), but still wanting to see if I can knock just a little bit more off that PR. Sound like anybody you know EWEN??

Best of luck my friend.

8:57 am  
Blogger iliketoast said...

Man, that's racing!!

It is reports that like that, that dissolve the times into the triumph of the battle. I like it!

8:01 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Nice race, congrats on that medal. Yes re the op its be a slow and long build up, much like a marathon!.

6:46 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

a well earned silver! Well done!
enjoyed reasding the race report of the 3km , very interesting, well described.
Good to see some glad came about after you got through the mad, its the same with the big picture, we all have to go through some mad to get to some glad every now and then...

1:58 am  
Blogger Eric said...

Sorry to see that you got so angry, you were compelled to race walk! haha. Nice race report as well.

When is 6 Foot? It doesn't seem like a year has passed, but it's probably about that time. Cheers!

9:21 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Hi Eric. I'd like to be that angry before my next 3000!

Six Foot is two weeks from this Saturday. I hope my back is less buggered by then, or it's going to be a L-O-N-G day.

4:58 pm  
Blogger GRIFFIN said...

Hey Ewen,

Gary here, great race report my friend...

Just one thing to add though, you won the Gold Medal in the 3000M, not the Silver !

May I suggest you see the Race Committee at track tomorrow and get what you truly earned.

Gary (GRIFFIN) Bowen

5:51 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Wow - thanks Gary! I'm glad I caught you on a day when you were carrying an injury. Does that mean I'm Canberra's best 50-54 3000m runner? ;)

1:17 pm  

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