Monday, October 04, 2010

Learning to Run

This past week I've gradually resumed running. On Monday, 5k with the Geese (Katherine dropped me at Kings Avenue Bridge on the 8k warm-up run — 5:44 kilometres was too much); Wednesday a very slow 9.5k with my mates, enjoying the lengthening daylight hours; Saturday, 6 x 500 metres with 58 second walking rests (these 500s were hard, slow); Sunday 10k on the flat in 60:34 at a heart-rate that's usually good for 53 minutes when fit.

I feel like I'm learning how to run again. Not exactly with a blank sheet of paper — more like a sheet of paper pencilled with a few numbers and doodles. I'm glad to have scrambled 75k in the past 4 weeks. I haven't lost it all. Whatever "all" happens to be. It's just so joyous to be running — breathing in the lovely temperatures and smells of Spring.

I know I have readers who'll soon be racing marathons or half marathons, perhaps in Melbourne or Chicago or New York. Enjoy the experience, run well, and have fun! Others of you have just raced — perhaps a 5k in Philly, a 10k in New York, a marathon in Zeeland or Toronto. Well done! Still others are injured and not running, or postponing races à la Ryan Hall. I have no idea how many people read this blog, but thanks to those who take the trouble to leave comments. They're quite encouraging (and at times entertaining). There could be readers who've run off course (as in a poorly marked fun run), ending up here at the end of a Google-search for "obsessive compulsive runners" or "good looking Aussie blokes" — to the latter girls I apologise — even my Mum doesn't think I'm deserving of a walk-up part on The Bachelorette.

Racing on the trackRacing a 1500m on the track in 2008


Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Sweet post, Ewen. What perfect timing to begin ramping up again, with Spring at your doorstep. Funny to think how opposite our environments are, yet here we all are, doing our thing on the pavement and trails. May it be a comfortable return and see you even stronger than before the pause.

2:13 pm  
Blogger Carolyne said...

Aahh - the sweet blooming of Spring in Canberra!

Make sure that you don't do too much, too fast Ewen. I know all about the sense of learning to run again, but sometimes the autopilot of muscle memory can over ride the brain of knowing when to hold back or cut back or skip a day of running for a day.

Nice post, I enjoyed reading it.

3:43 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Good to see you back running Ewen. Coming back from a layoff is always fun because the only way is up! Enjoy the meteoric rise.

5:18 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Now that modesty does not sound like you at all!

10:24 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Good to see you running again, Ewen. But 58-second walking rests...hey, you're working hard, next time you can take the full minute!

12:37 am  
Blogger Jason said...

It's always good to be reminded just how great running is. Take away racing, paces, splits etc. The act itself is awesome. Enjoy the sunlight.

6:48 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is great that you are enjoying a gradual build-up of running again. I hope that there is a corresponding decline in those punishing working hours.

9:41 am  
Blogger Effin' J said...

Aw, what does your Mum know?

I love this positive post and am so happy to read about you running again. Thanks for picking me up and reminding me that a day of running is better than the alternative, regardless of speed or distance.

11:39 am  
Blogger Love2Run said...

We're winding down, while you're just getting started. I think the world is all upside down! Good luck with the new season.

12:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent that you are running again Ewen. I have high hopes of the same shortly... am still restricted to a lame sort of walking/shuffle just now. But, hey, the weather is great; I am down by the sea; and I refuse to be downcast. See you out running soon.[Miranda]

2:36 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Flo, you're too kind. Whether upover or downunder, we're both are enjoying perfect running conditions at the moment.

Carolyne, thanks. Nice to hear from you! I'll follow your advice on using the brain. You're the master of comebacks. Get well soon!

Grellan, you're right about that. The improvement curve is fast and fun.

Thomas, I'm totally modest about my meagre achievements - except when reminding Scott Brown that I still have a couple of PBs that are superior to his ;)

Bob, thanks. Yes, that was funny. A bit pedantic. I didn't want to go over 60, so 'about' 58.3 was the actual average recovery. I like fairly short recoveries as they stop me from running anaerobically, especially when I'm not up to running fast.

Jason, thanks. I know you and the family will be enjoying the longer hours. That grass field will be coming into it's own.

Canute, yes, there are positive signs that the working hours are returning to something more manageable.

Jaymee, my Mum wants to nominate me for the old ugly tribe on Survivor! Lucky they only take Americans. Have a great day of running in Chicago!

Mike, while I'm sweating it out on the track I'll think of you and Andrew trudging through 20 milers in the snow ;)

Miranda you shouldn't have said that. Speedygeoff will nominate you as one of the walkers. Hope you're back into full running form soon.

5:13 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Great to hear your back on the road again, enjoy the Aussie spring sunshine :]

5:41 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

I think your plan for 3 days running + 1 day drills/hills is exactly right & shows you're using some common sense...I was going to add "at last", but thought better of it!

If you want further proof that this works, look at what I achieved in recent months with only 3 days of running each week.... 3 Australian Records!!

7:33 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

I agree it's so lovely when Spring really starts to bloom and the days become longer and warmer. It's great to have you back running with us. Your mum was wrong - those "latter" girls would be lucky to snap you up! You're not too bad for an old bloke!! :)

9:08 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

You should be doing more things with that blank sheet of paper then drawing "doddles" on it.

But I suppose it's hard for a single man to think of much else then his "doddle" come spring ;)

All the best with it ;)

12:32 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Rick. It was superb this afternoon - just like an English summer :)

Luckylegs, you can say "at last", as you know what a thick head I have. Your Australian records are my inspiration!

Strewth, thanks. With that endorsement you'll have me running faster than ever to get away from them ;) I always said you were a great judge of character.

Scott, you're right about Spring being a time for daydreaming. I'll try hard to do my best with it, as will you for that marathon in Nagano.

8:18 pm  
Blogger rinusrunning said...

Nice post and i think a lot bloggers viset your site.

3:30 am  
Anonymous Ali said...

I typed into google "obsessive compulsive good looking Aussie blokes who runs" ... then pressed I feel lucky :)

6:28 am  
Blogger Robert James Reese said...

That's the cool thing about seasons -- they're just long enough that you're happy when the change rolls around. Here in NYC, I'm thrilled that it's finally fall and starting to get cool.

Best of luck with ramping back up to the normal routine. Sounds like it's going smoothly so far.

7:45 am  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

Sadly it's true. We are now "geese".

9:29 am  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

Pardon my ignorance, but how does 5 and 6 days of running per week (see your '2010 Training') equate to the 3/4 you mention here?

As poor a mathematician as I confess to being, for the life of me I cannot see how it adds up!

7:44 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Rinus. I'd be happy with half the number of visitors that you have. I think yours is the most popular blog in Holland.

Ali, that's funny, amazing, and creepy, all at the same time!

Robert, yes, I like the changing seasons too. Can't say I envy your icy snow-covered paths in winter though.

Speedygeoff, for me Geese is a term of endearment. Like Blues or 'Pies or, heaven forbid, Crows ;)

Luckylegs, that's a blunder of miscommunication on my part. I'm not running 3 or 4 days per week. For a while I'll be following a schedule of: Run 3 days in a row, rest day, run 4 days in a row, rest day, run 3 days in a row, rest day, run 4 days in a row, rest day, etc. So the days of the rest days will change from week to week.

8:21 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

Oh! Not another blunder! My mistake this time!

10:24 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

Hey Ewen. Great to hear that you are back running and perfect timing with both the start of spring and the start of daylight savings.

Those of us who love running all year, every year, find lay-offs hard to deal with and coming back can be a bit "one-step forward, one-step backwards" but lay-offs do freshen us up. I ran my PB marathon of 2.59 after coming back from a stress fracture. Of course I'm not advocating illness or injury as a freshening up training strategy but "every cloud does have a silver lining". Enjoy getting back into it and let's catch up soon for Saturday post run coffee as per usual.

11:37 am  
Blogger Andrew(ajh) said...

Ewen, thanks for the comment. Now I've got your blog in my reader too! It certainly is a good time to be getting back into the running, hope the comeback continues successfully.

3:56 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

LLs, that's OK. At least you're blunder-free when it comes to mathematics.

Jog, that's interesting about your PB marathon. I'll look at my recent illness as a "silver lining". Looking forward to the next Saturday coffee and hearing all about Melbourne!

Andrew, thanks - comebacks are a good learning process. It'll be good to follow your progress in 2011.

9:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ewen, it's it the best feeling to be at the beginning of a running season again, feeling like you can start fresh and build anew? Might I share a link with you? Because I know exactly of what you write.

12:52 pm  
Anonymous marmot ski said...

Good luck to your training! After reading this,I felt like wanting to run too. :)
More power!

1:20 pm  
Blogger jojo said...

yep, ill be struggling to run 5.44km when i come back in 3 months too

5:19 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks for sharing TK. That's exactly of what I write.

Jojo, maybe, but although stress fractures are bitches of things you'll be back stronger than ever.

8:20 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

I love how your yellow stripe matches your yellow shirt!

Take it easy and don't run too much too fast.

2:00 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

good to see you back! spring has sprung.
work yourself back into it. Ive found that when work is too much, i can at least usually be a weekend warrior most weekends, and then you just try and find the best available slots during the week, even if its just for a 2k or a 5k or something, hit it hard, build the momentum, and before long the times will drop astronomically. keep at it.

9:18 am  

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