Saturday, October 15, 2011

Breaking Thirteen

I like the electronic timing that one usually gets with track racing here in Canberra. I raced a 3k on Thursday night, finishing 5th in 12:59.91. On the road that would have been 13:00 — 12-something, even though no faster, looks and sounds better. Just as 29:59 for a road 10k would have looked better for the 46-year-old Steve Moneghetti, had he run that in Launceston instead of the equally incredible 30:00 he recorded back in 2009. As is the rule with all road-race times, his 'sub-30' was rounded up to the next whole second.

Mine was a strange race. A 'combined' 3/5k with only 9 starters. Initially I had planned to race the 5000, but binned that idea after running the first two laps too fast. I was sitting about 10 metres behind Ken and Heath who were following about 20 metres behind Katie (she would run 12:17.50). Heath would drop out not long after the 1000 metre mark. I passed that point in 4:14 — the pace I'd like to hold for a 5k, but too quick this night. I briefly moved ahead of Ken just after 2000 (a 4:20 k for me), when he temporarily slowed. He was doing a training run of 5 minutes 'on', 1 minute 'off'. With 700 metres to go Roger eased passed. I chased with all I had left (not much!) — saw the photo-finish clock with 75 to go in the home straight and realised a 'sprint' would be needed to break thirteen. Roger had run 12:54.72 and Ken 12:45.25. The race was won by Steve in 12:09.39.

I think I'm at a good place to start the summer season. Average heart-rate for the race was 148 and I can usually average 153 - 155 for a 3000. I'm one of those runners who tends to improve with regular racing and I'd only completed two sessions of intervals in the lead-up to the 3000. I raced the Melbourne 10k last Sunday in 47:16 and didn't feel fully recovered from that effort by Thursday. Although Melbourne was more of a holiday than a serious 10k race I ran hard! One consequence of a moderate mileage programme is that the 10k seems like a very long race (at least mentally). While in 'beautiful one day, perfect the next' Melbourne I enjoyed cheering on friends in the marathon and half, as well as a relaxed post-race lunch and coffee at the Observatory Cafe.

Warming Up (Jim White photo)Jim White took this photo of me warming up for a Vets' Handicap race. The trail is less than a kilometre from the AIS 400m track - perfect for an easy warm-up jog.


Blogger plu said...

Brilliant run well done.


9:07 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Shocking But I might have to admit Thomas might have been Right! Keith Livingstones 5k programe would have you do a 2 hour long run right through untill a couple of weeks before your biggest race, where you can drop to 1 1/2 hours[effort level 70-75% MHR].
As Lydiard once said Endurance is KING!
Enjoy the racing season and the sun.

10:56 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

There are 2 things I'm very jealous about: electronic timing and summer. I haven't seen either here in Kerry, ever.

2:00 am  
Blogger Grellan said...

Looking forward to you breaking twelve before the summer is out and who knows you may touch on that elusive eleven oh seven you were chasing a while back. Enjoy the racing season.

2:30 am  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Congratulations, Ewen! 12 really does look impressive (and is). I love that you say you get better with more racing, I want to have that same success. I guess you could say I'm Pullin' a Ewen for the next few weeks. :) Best of luck with your next one.

8:09 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great time; finely judged. You report that there was not much in the tank when Roger went past with 700m to go. At first sight, that is appears to be a simple consequence of the Melbourne 10K six days previously. But I am inclined to speculate that there was a more subtle player in the game: the elusive central governor. After you started a bit too fast for the 5000m I suspect that the wily governor recalibrated your perception of effort to permit a respectable sub-13 3000m while protecting your incompletely recovered body from over-exertion. The governor did not allow you go with Roger, even though this was almost certainly within your capacity. If you had gone with him, your time for the third Km would have been around 4:21 . Your aHR of 148 confirms that something was holding you back. The governor made a pretty good job of regulating the pace, though it did need a bit of assistance from the photo finish clock to fine-tune the final sprint to give you a margin of 0.08 seconds. Maybe this governor is a figment of my imagination, but however you interpret the evidence, it appears that a time comfortably under 13 minutes is well within reach

8:40 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Plu. Hope your Nepean Tri training is going well.

Rick! Thomas will get a big head if you keep going on like that. I've ordered Keith's book - sounds like a good read. At Jog's suggestion, I'm doing a 1 1/2 hour weekly long run. Two hours + on moderate miles is a bit much. Also, I want to race pretty much weekly (which you're not), and don't have a 'biggest race'. The problem we have down here are summer heatwaves, so a 35C day may coincide with a biggest race if such a race were targeted.

Ha! Thomas, that's a good one. A nice mild sunny day today - about 20C.

Grellan, thanks. I believe an M50 PB for the 3000 is possible (11:58), but 11:07 seems stratospheric these days.

Thanks Flo. Good luck 'Pullin' a Ewen' in your upcoming races. I would have loved your 21:24. Great time you speedy girl!

Canute, interesting theory about that wiley old Central Governor. I have a bit of a mental block with racing Roger. He's generally faster than I am, and that was his 3rd (!) race of the evening. He ran 12:38 in an earlier 3k and 5:55 in the 1500. I know that he's great at pace judgement (he was 5 seconds behind at 1k) and was running on strongly at the finish. In a 'normal' 3k (when I'm expecting at the start to race 3k) my middle km is the slowest.

10:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on your HR, that sounds like a promising start to the summer. I like your mention of 12:59 and 29:59 vs. 13 and 30. It's odd how wrapped up we get in cracking those number barriers... numbers based on an arbitrary time system of 60 seconds and arbitrary distances chosen by people who lived long before us! And yet, running a 5K in 19:59 instead of 20:00... feels like an entire universe of difference. I think about it often and wish that I weren't so focused on the number barriers (usually beating myself up when I fall just short), when in the end they really are so arbitrary. In any case, nice run. I hope you all have a glorious summer down there.

1:06 pm  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

Gotta love the timing clock rounding up in distance races. But look at the times for 100 metres. I think they round up on the clock on the TV screen, then round it down to get the WR.
I once broke 4:30 for Brindabella Classic. Ran 4 hrs 59 mins 59 secs. Lucky me that day.

9:13 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

You are doing a very good speed job. For me it is always a hard decision: long distance or speed? In Italy, in my age-group I have only chances in the LDR.
Sorry for Australia but the All Blacks played a perfect match.
Indeed I am also sorry for Wales, they didn't deserve to lose against France. BTW I will go to Cardiff for the 6NAtions match Wales-Italy.
I am too busy at home, I cannot accept to be the next head coach of italy.

2:47 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

SK yes, interesting about the arbitrary nature of times and distances. Sometimes I wish a kilometre was only 900 metres, then it'd be easier to break 20 for 5km, or for you, 3 hours for the marathon. In your case the numbers are good rivals, as you're the fastest female runner in that part of the US.

2F, I think you mean you broke 5 hours for the BC. You easily broke 4:30 for the Six Foot Track - 4:25 or so as I recall.

Stefano, yes, competition and opportunity make a difference to the events we're drawn to. Down here we have good racing from 100m to Ultramarathons. I hope you reconsider the coaching job - Italy needs you!

4:17 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Congratulations! Brilliant run that!

9:18 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Good run Ewen. First track race for me for the summer is a 1500m at Narrabeen today. Lucky it is only 4 laps as the day is warm.

11:30 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Jonathon, thanks. I should run the first lap a tad slower, so will be calling you for some tips about that.

Ah, I like Narrabeen Paul - ran 2:20 and 18-something at a Striders meet back in the 80s. I'll guess 5:04 for your 1500. With that time you'd be a superstar down here!

12:03 pm  
Blogger rinusrunning said...

Nice pic, looks fast!.
The 10k in holliday run!, what do you run the 10k in Working run ;-).

8:27 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Rinus. I'd rather be always on holidays and running. Doing that was fun in America! My 10k runs while working tend to be slower - especially after a 10-hour day.

9:31 pm  

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