Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What Runners Want

I told Scott Brown that I had a great idea for this post. Woke up in the middle of the night with the first paragraph fully formed in my head. It was well written. I failed to write it down. There's a tip for you. If you wake up startled with a great idea in the middle of the night, resist the temptation of the pillow and write it down!

I wanted to talk about what runners want. Well, what I as a runner wants. I'd like my running to be at that exciting stage where I can see potential for improvement. Faster times. Exciting races. M50 Personal Bests. For the majority of 2010 I haven't been in that place. My races have been struggle-fests. Killing myself at the Gold Coast to break 50 minutes for 10k. Since March this year I've felt like I've been running in six inches of powdery red dust on the back road to Uluru.

On the 15th of December I bumped off that dirt road onto a narrow ribbon of bitumen. Coarse bitumen. I saw a number on my heart-rate monitor that indicated I was, at last, improving. My heart-beats per kilometre (the RS scale) for that 10k run with my mates, were 745. Since March this number has been north of 760 — often closer to 800. The day before my one good 5000 (21:50.7) back in January, I ran at 718 heart-beats per km. As 2010 draws to a close I'm excited that improvement once again seems possible. The 20-minute 5k can happen.

What do you want as a runner? Maybe it's nothing more than feeling the breeze cool your sweat during a warm evening run in late December. If so, enjoy!

21 Comments:

Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Oh only if, I'd writen down all my dreams and ideas, I'd be a muti-millionaire by know :]
What I want: to be leading a marathon with Scott Brown on my tail, I kick hard and pull away to victory in 2.32 a new P.B. :]
Ewen I'm glad your feeling better, I reckon your be doing 20 min 5k's next year!

6:32 pm  
Blogger Andrew(ajh) said...

I think my ultimate running goal is a sub-4 hour marathon, but I'm a little bit scared to formalise this as I'm not sure my body will withstand the training load required.

8:51 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

What I want....

is to know if this post was the result of your dream idea?

If so then you've got more things to worry about than improving your 5K time ;)

And Rick "kick hard and pull away"?
The only time you'll see that is when horses grow hands!!!

11:25 pm  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Ewen, we have had so much in common this year, albeit in drastically different environments. I, too, want the same: that feeling of excitement and improvement. It's teased me recently but hasn't come out to play permanently, so 2011 remains a question mark. I hope we get some big thrills this coming year, at least in our running lives. :)

5:13 am  
Blogger Thomas said...

Hey, I thought you had burnt down your house!

Since I have been banging my head against the virtual brickwall that is the sub-3 marathon, smashing that damn barrier is all I want for 2011.

6:09 am  
OpenID canute1 said...

After the delight of running in fresh snow during the past week or so, we are now splashing through puddles of melt-water that cannot soak away through the frozen ground, with a dull 40 watt sky above, so your image of running through red dust around Uluru sounds quite exciting. But in truth, almost any off-road running fits the description of what I want. One of my favourite pictures from your blog is the one of you up to your chest in Cox River, holding your running shoes aloft (though I must admit that picture of you and Lily doing battle in the 800m is a close second favourite).

I hope that 2011 brings lots of what you want: a few M50 PBs, some exciting races and that sub-20 5000m

7:15 am  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

Hey Ewen. What a great post for all of us as we run into a new year. Like most runners I'd like to achieve some new personal bests (and/or age-relative ones), and to continue to enjoy my running.

I reckon you'll crack 20mins for 5km by the end of July 2011. I'll bet multiple coffees on it.

Happy New Year!

10:00 am  
Blogger rinusrunning said...

You can go run in the night.
Run in the cold is nice, but after weeks you want the heat running!.
Have a nice en good 2011 en run wiht fun.
www.rinusrunnning.nl

10:13 am  
Blogger nev said...

You know that feeling of when you are "in the zone" - may feel like you are flying in an 800m; or, 'on pace' in a 1/2 M. That's what I love about running, the freedom of of just being able to run to the best of your own ability. I crave for that feeling.

12:06 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Nice post, Ewen. I hope 2011 is a good year for you, with some nice times.

12:44 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Rick, if you just beat Scott in a marathon with 2:32 I think he'd be happy (like the Aussies would be if they lost to the Poms in Sydney by 1 run).

Andrew, you can do it. If you build up slowly it's amazing what the body will adapt to.

Scott, wait till you see my next post now that you have me dreaming about Susan Chalmers ;)

Flo, that's a sweet comment. I'm sure you'll be teased permanently next year. Here's to big thrills in 2011.

Thomas, stay healthy and you'll do it!

Canute, I don't envy your dull 40 watt sky - I'll stick with the 100 watt one we're having today. I've enjoyed your descriptions of the delights of running in the English countryside. I hope you can jag a few M60 PBs next year, despite the demands of work.

Jog, thanks. That's one bet I hope you win!

Rinus, we've got plenty of heat down here for you. 38C on Sunday :) You have a good and fun 2011 too.

Nev, so true! That's a great feeling. Keep craving.

Thanks Bob. Same here for your 2011.

7:45 am  
Blogger Love2Run said...

Runners just want to run free, hoping for the elusive floating feeling that seems to come only once in a blue moon. We just love to run and are thankful for being able to do it! Best of luck in 2011! I'm right there with you on the sub 20!!

5:49 am  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

I have the same goal as Thomas, ie sub-3 marathon. But more importantly, I'd like to improve as a runner and stay healthy.

Happy new year and all the best for 2011.

12:50 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

What do I want as a runner? Four things:

1. To stay alive for at least another year or more!

2. To keep running for at least another year or more

3. To run injury free for at least another year or more!

and

4. To see how many more 80+ awards I can get!

7:53 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Runners want the same as everyone else - fulifilment.

All the best for 2011 Ewen and may you fulfil all your dreams or at least have pen and paper to hand to write them all down.

11:16 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

Nice post with an important tip.
Best wishes for a great running 2011.
What I want .... an injury free year!

6:05 am  
Blogger Dubs said...

Ohhh... this is a great post. I was kind of thinking about what I want while running today - unfortunately, that had me going a bit faster than I was supposed to.. but that felt good. I need a list.. I will work on this. :)

I want to race you to sub 20 and we both post times in the 19's! :)

Just finished watching the local news that was showing the flooding in Australia again. You all are now on local news, not just national or world news. I hope you all are OK.

2:38 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Mike, that's great about chasing the "elusive floating feeling" - hopefully you'll enjoy that in the first of many sub-20 5ks!

Sling, I'll enjoy seeing who between you and Thomas is the first to sub-3. I'm sure you'll both get there.

Luckylegs, great points. Stay injury-free so you can beat those whipper-snappers as they move into your age-group!

Grellan, thanks. I'll be writing them down!

Black Knight, same to you. Staying injury-free is the first step to great running in 2011.

Dubs, you're closer to sub-20 than me, but I'm happy to give you a head start in this race ;) The floods are mainly up north although we've had our share down here, but not as bad. Amazing that we were in drought conditions this time last year, but that's Australia for you.

6:18 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

All the best in 2011!
Never give up on trying to get back to that happy place as a runner. Whether that be through PB's or just enjoying it, just keep going for it.

Good article about Scott Brown in recent edition of R4YL you and speedygeoff got a mention.

The 5k last month a sign that a return to the 21.50 form is there for the taking, if you can juggle other demands well.

I should be thanking God every time he allows me to run in any shape or form with my knees. So every run is a bonus for me. I want my wife and kids to run lots in the future. Sure I'd also like PB's, and maybe to compete for Australia would be my ultimate goal.
I guess for 2011 I want a sub 6 hour 6 foot finish, and a swag of PB's, plus I am still keen on getting a little closer to a sub 3 hour marathon, although it seems way out of reach just now, I am still after it, if I can build the progression/momentum for long enough...Short term I want a good 3000m race this week, and to do well in the CR 100 day challenge (aiming to try and hit the target of 300km a month for January and February). i want to get under 45min for a 10k again, and eventually under 38 min...

Most of all I want to do more trail running, and exploring the bush, and be less focused on races, and more focused on enjoying the wonderful gift of running.

8:03 am  
Blogger Robert James Reese said...

Good question. For me, much of 2010 was spent trying to figure out the answer to it. I think that I want to see what I can do at the marathon distance before age sets in too hard and then move up to the longer stuff without having to worry about times too much. But, then again, I see a lot of you master's runners really enjoying the competitiveness of the 40+ and 50+ divisions, so who knows how I'll feel when I get there?

Good luck with your 5K adventure, looking forward to reading good news on that front.

9:19 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Jonathon, that's a great sentiment about enjoying the wonderful gift of running. We're lucky to have that, and shouldn't take it for granted. Some great goals there. Keep chasing them!

Robert, that's interesting. Go after as many PBs as you can while you're in your 30s (not only the marathon), and make them as good as possible! Age-group racing is good fun, so definitely something to look forward to.

8:37 pm  

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