Sunday, September 26, 2010

Do you remember the 4th of July?

Physically, I'm over my recent illness. I haven't run for 13 days. For me, this is a long break. I'm one of those runners who loses fitness quickly — four days off and I'm puffing on the warm-up run for the Speedygeese session at Parliament House. For this reason, I tend to run pretty much daily if possible.

The last time I had a significant break from running was in 2006. I ran sporadically during a 5-week holiday to America. On the 4th of July I ran from Old Town in San Diego through Presidio Park. That evening we rode the trolley down to the marina to watch the fireworks display over the harbour. The following afternoon I ran 5.5 kilometres and the next day we drove north on 101 to Los Angeles for the flight home. I didn't run for the next 9 days.

I'm happiest with my running when the training is ticking over with regularity. Runs build upon runs, sessions upon sessions and fitness for racing well seems to be there all the time. It's taken for granted. When this is happening I'm loathe to choose to stop running. Why stop? Looking at running as a lifetime activity, I think it's healthy to have one or two periods every year where one doesn't run. Of course, these periods would be choices, not stoppages due to injury or illness. I know many of the Kenyan elite runners, at the end of the competitive season, have a break of up to a month where they don't run a step. I want to be running when I'm 81 — not racing marathons mind you, just running! I think a planned break from running will make this long-term goal more likely. I've extended my rest due to illness into an "end-of-season" break. I think I'll run tomorrow.

You see lots of US flags on the 4th of July
Playing games on the 4th of July, 2006


Blogger Two Fruits said...

Still alive at 81 will be good. Able to run will be better & running a marathon will be impossible dream. I'm sure you will be Ok at 81. This short break will do you the world of good.

9:25 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

But your running friends miss you heaps - can't wait for you to join us on Wed group again. Get well and strong soon. You will be running well at 81 for sure! :)

9:37 pm  
OpenID canute1 said...

At last the tide has turned. The days are becoming longer and warmer, and as your thyroid hormone level returns to normal, the energy will come back too. What would you regard as a good goal for the 3000m at 81? But first of all, there are a few M50 PBs to be established. Good luck.

11:47 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Enjoy the rest Ewen and don't give up just yet on racing at 81. Wait and see how you feel at 80.

1:06 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

my old coach is still dominating australian masters in his chosen event and he is 81+...hopefully some serious assault on those M50 PB's soon.

3:36 am  
Blogger rinusrunning said...

I hope you cat better and run soon.
I think that rest 2 times in the year is a good thing to do.
And the marathon(half) don.t run away and next year you wil run.

3:38 am  
Blogger Love2Run said...

I hope you run tomorrow or the next day, whenever you are ready. I'm hoping to be able to run tomorrow as well but we never really know do we? Nice to hear you're feeling better. Good luck!

8:30 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Two Fruits, thanks. By the time we get there it'll be hard to make "top ten" in the 80+ age-group.

Strewth, thanks. I'll need to find a short-cut for the Wednesday run.

Canute, that's an interesting thought. Just picking out a random number, I'd like to run 18 minutes for the 3000. More than that though, I'd like to be racing against a good number of others in the 80-84 age-group.

Thanks Grellan. I feel about 35 at 53, so hopefully I'll feel about 50 at 80 :)

Jonathon, that's great to know. I love hearing about those older racers.

Thanks Rinus. I still want to run an M50 PB for the half - under 1 hour 40 minutes!

Mike, I'll run today. It's a glorious Spring day!

9:37 am  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Looking at that photo of you on "The 4th" tells me that someone that "parties" like that Ewen has very little chance of making it to 80 ;)

It sort of reminds me of a line from "Weird Al"'s "Amish Paradise"

"I'm going to party like it's 1699!"

9:40 am  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Also Ewen I was surprised to hear, from "Rinus" that you have a cat, it's a runner, and it was also sick at the same time as you ;)

Gives new meaning to the expression "weak as a kitten!"

9:44 am  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Lol @Scott Brown. Ewen is getting down with that flag!

Hope your run today is a glorious one to match the weather and that getting back your sea legs is a quick affair.

12:36 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

Running today! What happened to the "extended break"? Did I miss it? I thought till the end of this month or the next at least would be appropriate having been so sick for so long..

Unless you do that first, in my opinion...which probably doesn't count for'll be stuck on the same old merry-go-round: sick, somewhat sick, sick, somewhat sick etc etc...

Take a long break from running, do something else and get really fit, not just somewhat fit!

6:58 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Scott, you're good! Getting a laugh out of Flo at the expense of Rinus is genius. Both you and Flo have nailed it in one - I'm happy to raise a barn and churn butter while my cat is getting down and partying like it's 1699.

Luckylegs, your wisdom is superior to mine - I should be listening, but my left ear is not yet 100% ;) Two weeks does feel like an extended break for me. I wouldn't have run today if I didn't feel fully recovered and rested. If I get sick again, I'm happy for you to say "I told you so".

8:28 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

You can count on it!

For 2 weeks you were sick...and you count that sick time as the 'extended break'?

Give me a break, please!

9:28 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

As someone who just had 11 days off, I can sympathise! But your fitness will return quickly enough, don't worry.

Btw, why stop at 81?

10:51 pm  
Blogger Dubs said...

I remember the 4th! My Mom PR'ed in her 5K.. she had a very quick walk (she is 77).

So tough to be out and also sad to not get to go out with your running friends. I can relate, but at least I had sticky, awful heat to make me not miss the runs as much. I'm sure with your cooler weather down-under it must be 10x harder. My advice is take the time you need so you only have to stop once. You will be out there and strong and as my friends keep saying - you come back stronger. Can't wait to be chasing your times again soon!

PS - My Dad hiked a mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, USA on his 70th birthday. I was in amazing shape and joined him. It was ALL I COULD DO to keep up. Next September I'm going to try to hang in with him for his 75th. You are going to BLAZE at 81!

1:54 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Hope your cats feeling better Ewen. You might want to take him to this guy, or not?

1:30 am  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Tess was interested to hear about your cat.
lucky that their parted by a large ocean, otherwise there might be an almighty [cat and dog fight'.
I can see you bouncing back fitter and faster in no time, not so sure about your cat, hope shes not on her last legs!

3:59 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thomas, hope you're feeling better soon. Yes, if I haven't got the hang of running by 81 I'll have to keep going.

Dubs, great to hear your mum and dad are both active - that's where you get your good genes for running.

Scott, I think not. I don't want to get cat-AIDS... and teaching a cat to catch a frisbee is beyond even my powers as a coach.

Rick, Tess would win that one - paws down! My cat is just a Rinus/Scott Brown initiated rumour - if the truth be known, I'm a dog man. You can run with dogs :)

4:57 pm  
Anonymous JoeGarland said...

Ewen, The Lex only has the 4, 5, and 6. The 1 is on the 7th Avenue/Broadway line; it's the local from South Ferry to Van Cortlandt Park (and goes through Columbia). The 2 and 3 are the expresses for that line (although they go between Brooklyn and the Bronx).

The 7? It goes from Times Square through Queens, and is the quick way to Citi Field and the facility for the US Open. (The 4 also goes by Yankee Stadium.)

There's never been an 8 and there was a 9 for a while, duplicating the No. 1.

Of course we have lettered trains too. "Take the A Train" (which is actually a way to get to JFK) and such.

The loneliest are the 2 "S"s, for Shuttle. One goes back and forth between Grand Central and Times Square. Just those two stops.

NYC Subways In NYC, they are easily the quickest way for getting around town.

BTW, what do Aussies think of "Quigley Down Under"?

(For those wondering what this is about, you'll have to head to my blog.)

11:17 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Glad to here your a dog man.

1:35 am  
OpenID pigtailsflying said...

Hi Ewen! I live on the 7 line. One of the great things about the NYC subways is that each line has its own character based on the neighborhoods they run through.

Looking forward to hearing about your return to running. Those crazy Kenyans; I suppose when running is your job, you really take advantage of the off-season (like ball players).

11:07 am  

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