Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Hometown

Last Saturday dawned with weather perfect for motorcycling. Unfortunately the GSX needs a new rear tyre, so I drove the car to my old hometown of Wagga Wagga. I had planned to race the Canberra Times 10k on Sunday, but my sister was staying with Mum in Wagga, so it was a good opportunity to see them both before Jane's move to Tasmania. Jane had recently returned from an overseas trip where she visited the UK and later caught up with my other sister (now living in Minnesota) in New York City.

Lucho has ten rules of running. Rule #1 is "Family comes first". Rule #2 is "Did you read #1? If not, please read again". So, it was a family weekend. As serendipity would have it, there just happened to be a race in Wagga on Sunday morning — The Lake to Lagoon 9.5k Fun Run. I put in a late entry and ran while Jane and Mum went to church. Running is my church.

I enjoyed the race — well, the first 6k — having made a strategic decision to put my Prefontaine tactics on hold for this one. It was hot. In truth, the temperature was only 26°C, but having spent a Canberra winter running in temperatures south of 10°C, I was psyched out by the unseasonable gloriousness. I'm not a good hot-weather racer. There was also a fresh northerly wind whipping up waves on the normally placid Lake Albert. It was a headwind for much of the race distance.

With the weather conditions in mind, I raced with a little space between the throttle and the floorboards — perhaps starting at half marathon effort. Even so, I didn't have much in reserve for the last flattish 3k beside the river to the downtown finish. I enjoyed dicing with the local runners. There were a couple of small boys — one who surged Pre-like whenever I edged alongside — you've got to love that! There were two grey-haired old blokes, some footy players, and a couple of 20-something girls — one who had a mesmerisingly perfect running style.

My time for the race was 46:05, so not great, but safely home and living to look forward to the next one — which happens to be this coming Sunday in Sydney — The Blackmores Half Marathon. I get to run over the Harbour Bridge — Woo-hoo! I want this race to be a good trial for Melbourne in October, so I'll run as Canute did in the Robin Hood Half — keeping the heart-rate under control for the first 12 to 15k. If the shiny side is still upright for the run back to the Opera House I might bring in a little Pre-work. We'll see!

The 2006 Lake to LagoonReady to go in the 2006 Lake to Lagoon


Blogger Scott Brown said...

"20-something girls — one who had a mesmerisingly perfect running style".

Sounds like a good excuse for perving but it probably won't hold up in court.

3:58 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Thats ok in a hot headwind Ewen. Sure it wasn't the hot air coming off the gen y 20 year olds?
See you Sunday.

4:22 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Sounds like a good excuse for ditching the Pre tactics and running behind them.
Anyway, good warmup race.

7:54 pm  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

We know 20 something girls have perfect running styles, the closer you get the better the style. It's also better to see if the muscles work in sync, do they go to the gym, and are the curves perfect as well. It's part of the learning process, never too old to learn. Well done Ewen on still being able to produce a good run.

9:52 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Can you explain what that means, "only 26°C"??? We had 22°C on Dingle on Saturday, and us Irish were basically melting onto the road.

10:33 pm  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Cool picture, you Aussie folk don't look much different from us northerners. ;-) I LOVE that your hometown is Wagga Wagga, you can't make that stuff up. Good luck this weekend! I'll be running a Half, too. Hopefully good weather for us both (just converted 26C...hot race that was!).

12:30 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thomas, 26°C isn't hot for summer, when week after week of max temps in the 30-35°C range is normal. It was just a tad warm for this time of the year.

Scott (and others), what was striking about this runner was that she was a mid-foot lander, and ran with perfect head to toe symmetry - she was as good to watch as Bekele or Haile Geb or Allyson Felix. Really!

Flo, Wagga Wagga is aboriginal for 'place of many crows'. I guess the singular Wagga means not that many crows!

7:27 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

"Perfect head to toe symmetry"? I suffer from that too!

8:23 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Have a fun half this weekend. My tips is for ABs to be too strong but the ferns might struggle again.

8:46 pm  
Anonymous JoeGarland said...

Are they trying to do the wave? Nice crowd, and I see that you too have the issue of kids starting at the front. In my experience, though, they sprint out so fast that by the time you pass them, a 100 yards out, things are sufficiently spread out to make it easy.

It's always tough getting hit with warm days coming out of a winter, although since Flo didn't tell me I had to convert the 26 to degrees us Yanks understand; it's 78.8.

BTW, did you guys have this Tasmanian Devil as part of your culture?

12:00 am  
Blogger bill carter said...

I don't know if I am relieved that you ditched the "Pre tactics" for a day or thinking that you could have taught that boy a lesson or two. Very respectable time in my opinion and the conditions sound not really conducive to a PR or that sort of thing.

I am really interested to see how this upcoming half goes if you get some nice, cool weather.

Take care Ewen and as always best of luck.

1:14 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps it wasn’t serendipity. Maybe the god who looks after runners approves of Lucho’s commandments and rewards the faithful. It sounds that is was a good light-hearted race. Good luck in Sydney

5:57 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Joe, that pic was from the 2006 race but they did the same thing this year... they had a flat-bed truck in front of the start for a couple of fitness instructors to take the crowd through a warm-up routine.

That was the bit where they said in time to the music "put your hands in the air". Not that we needed any warming up at all! The winning female was quoted in the paper as saying "it was much tougher than I thought it was going to be... the gradual inclines got to me. The headwind was very strong, so I am fairly disappointed with my time." [she ran 37:46] The first male ran 33:50.

Yes, I grew up with Looney Tunes. You don't want to get between a real Tassie Devil and its food at feeding time!

Thanks Bill and Canute. At least at 6.30 in the morning it should be cooler.

4:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wannabecoach said:

Or did they ask "Who thinks Ewen will win this race"

7:45 pm  
Anonymous JoeGarland said...

Question 7. I got it wrong, but at least I knew not to pick number 2.

11:27 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Good one Joe - and now I can say "you remind me of Timbuktu" to those female runners who wear crop-tops.

4:04 pm  

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