Sunday, May 02, 2010

Zen and the Art of the CRRF 5k

I talked in my last post about the idea of planning a strategy to beat an opponent in a race. This presumes one is capable of running with the opponent in the first place — just as Marty Liquori was capable of running with Jim Ryun in 1971. On Saturday afternoon in the CRRF 5k I was no Marty Liquori. After 1k I was already 30 seconds behind my rival, Jim White. I was having the Dave Moorcroft dream — racing in the 5000 metres at the '84 LA Olympics; losing contact early; being lapped by the winner; eventually finishing 14th, a minute outside my PB (which happens to be the world record).

I'm not running well. Maybe I've caught the Scott Brown or Steve Lacey virus? I've been working unavoidable longer hours recently — 10 hours or more some days. Training at the end of a long work day isn't something I look forward to. Maybe I should employ a Zen attitude and pretend that swinging a sledge hammer on a railroad gang, knocking down them cross ties in the rain, is a pastime of beauty and empowerment?

The ugly splits: 4:30 (147), 4:41 (153), 4:58 (156), 4:47 (153), 5:07 (153) = 24:03. Jim ran 21:49.

Me trying to race 5kNadine snapped this photo and posted it on Facebook. I'm running through the park up the hill (well, it felt like a hill!) — I think I look suitably tired but not totally ugly.


Blogger Scott Brown said...

Yes, Ewen you may have my virus. Do your armpits itch as well?

Or you may have Stephen Lacey's virus. Does the postman look at you like you are sleeping with his wife?

8:26 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Hey Ewen we all have bad days - believe me, I know! However, it was a tough course and you need to take that and all those long working hours into account. You still ran well and now your focus is the Half at the Gold Coast. Hopefully you will be well rested for that. Bring it on! :)

8:37 pm  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

The long work hours probably do have something to do with it. Also, when's the last time you had bloodwork done? Any chance that iron or Vitamin D are messing with you? A few of my online friends have had these troubles the past year and had not been aware of it.

8:47 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Losing contact early is a bummer Ewen but as you say you weren't capable of running with your opponent on the day. Your day will come never fear.

You weren't wearing girlie arm warmers by any chance, cause that's a sure sign of viral infection of the Scott Brown variety.

9:45 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Very ugly. I say retire from speedwork and run marathons. Truly virus like symptons.

9:56 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

its hard when you lose contact early...and long hours certainly take the edge off you I can relate to that...
maybe some work on a long kick will help, maybe you just need to be a but more PRE-ish early on...maybe you just have to be patient until the long work hours settle a bit, and the opportunity to run well comes, either way, keep going, plenty of improvement ahed if you can keep the momentum ticking over...seems to be a lot of people losing their zip at the moment...

12:57 am  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

I also have a very heavy job.
I run before work therefore I feel my job adds to my endurance and not take away from my training, by giving me heavy legs.

3:24 am  
Blogger Love2Run said...

I propose a vacation! Nothing like it to refresh the spirits. Your splits don't seem so bad, I've seen worse, there was a little respite in the 4th km.

4:38 am  
Blogger Janene said...

We runners can be our own worst enemy. We beat ourselves up when we are down and then lay in just a few more kicks to be sure. If you keep pushing a tired body too hard it won't go faster (probably why I already have my 2nd respiratory viral infection for the season!). Ruthie covered it all, stay focused and allow the body some time to rest and recover. Long work hours do really knock us around.

9:09 am  
OpenID canute1 said...

Ewen, Maybe it was a just an off day at CRRF – but as far as I am can see, you have been struggling for a few months now. You ran pretty well in the ACT Vets 5000m in Jan and then had a great one hour run a week later. You appeared set for a good year. Then things went off after you increased the length of the long runs. However you have a strong background of high volume training and you are taking the long runs at a fairly easy pace, so it is hard to believe that the long runs are too long. Maybe it is the additional stress at work, but I am inclined to agree with Flo that it is worth getting a few blood tests. Also as I am sure you know, when things are stressful at work an extra hour of sleep can be as helpful as an extra hour of training.

9:12 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Yes they do Scott! But I thought that was from using Mum deodorant (on special) instead of Lynx. At least Stephen Lacey's wife can cook ;)

Bad days I don't mind Strewth. It's the ones that feel like you're running in quicksand that get to me. Yes, bring on the Gold Coast!

Not for a couple of years Flo. I eat enough meat that I wouldn't have thought iron was a problem, but I will get it checked when I get a chance to visit the Doc.

Good one Grellan, but it was far too hot for girlie arm warmers. It was like an Irish summer :)

Flake, I thought I'd shaken the marathon virus ;)

Thanks Jonathon. I'd like to be more PRE-ish early, but I had no speed at all Saturday.

Rick, I think I'd be OK if I could train before work. Trouble is, that'd mean getting up at 3.30am (my shift starts at 6) and training alone in the dark.

Mike, there's a big one planned for 2011. The 4th km was mainly downhill, so not really a respite. The 3rd and 5th kms were gently uphill.

Thanks Janene. I'll try not to put the boot in so hard when I'm down. I'll get Scott Brown to do it for me - he kicks like a girl ;)

Canute, that could be the case. A total stress thing for the past couple of months. Training, work and not enough sleep. The latter is something I intend to remedy. Thanks.

6:52 pm  
Anonymous Joe Garland said...

I think you just need to ride it out. To drop 2 minutes means something's off but not something fundamental.

It reminds me of my 5K at Hyde Park. They had markers every K. They completely bolluxed me. By the time I had kinda/sorta figured out my pace I'd hit the next K mark and have to start the whole process again.

12:39 am  
Blogger Robert James Reese said...

Sorry to hear the 5K didn't go as you'd hoped. I know it's easier said than done, but shrug it off and don't let it get inside your head.

7:53 am  
Blogger rinusrunning said...

a Bad run day is not so nice, but after the bad day comes an good day!.
And a race begins on the end and thats the heavy part!.
Have a nice weekend send from zen!.

7:38 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Ouch to those splits!

10:58 pm  
Anonymous Ali said...

that does not look like a hill you are running up, it looks flat.

Take your next scheduled run day off, have a rest, relax. You'll feel better

4:35 am  
Anonymous Julie said...

Sometimes the bear eats you. But I echo the sentiments on the blood test advice, including a vitamin D check. Eating red meat sometimes isn't enough; you might want to look into taking iron supplements.

What's funny is that you rallied at the three-quarter mark, which is usually the hardest portion of most races (at least for me it is).

7:52 am  
Blogger jojo said...

at least you CAN race at the moment :( id be happy with any racing at the mo

9:20 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Joe. I'll try and ride it out. Just have to find Canute's "sweet spot" of training, life and everything. By the way, km splits in a 5k make perfect sense. 5 x 3.5 = 17:30, 5 x 4 = 20, or in my case, 5 x 5 = 25 ;)

Robert, you're right. I think I should race more - then the bad ones won't play with my head too much.

Thanks Rinus. You have a good weekend and 24 hours too!

Thomas, yes, they were pretty horrible!

Ali, when one is going backwards, every gentle up-slope feels like a mountain.

Julie, I love that saying. Next time I'll eat the bear! Rallying at the 3/4 mark is from my track background - run the 3rd lap hard and the last will take care of itself ;)

Jojo, you are so right! Even bad racing is better than being injured. Get well soon!

9:44 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

Very handsome photo, Ewen. You look really strong!

5:02 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Susan. You're a good judge. I look strong because I don't wear arm warmers ;)

7:19 pm  

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