Saturday, October 29, 2011

Summer's first 5000

My second race in what I hope will be an endless summer of racing was run on Thursday 20 October. It was a 5000 metre track race organised by the ACT Veterans, once again held in conjunction with a 3000 metre event. These 'combined' races are a strange experience if one is racing the longer distance. The 3000 is the popular race (27 runners verses 5 in the 5000 on this day). What's strange about them is that I'm running 'with' a group of people (Ken, Emma, Heath and Janene for example), when they abruptly start kicking down the pace on their last lap while I still have 'six to go'. Then when I have 'five to go', the track looks like the aftermath of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral — sparsely populated by people, just when I need them to compete with to the finish.

Needless to say, my concentration waned somewhat in those last five laps. Especially as I knew by my 3k split that I was racing towards an 'average' finish time. I ran 22:40.02. I was hoping to run at least '21-something', even though McMillan predicted 22:38 from my result in the previous week's 3000. Anyway, I'm confident about running in the 21s before long. Under 21 and my dream goal of breaking 20 for 5k could take a while. But I'm not going to stop trying!

Looking back over the years, my best 5000s have gone like this: 2005 - 21:03, 2006 - 22:30 (road), 2007 - 21:45, 2008 - 21:29, 2009 - 21:59, 2010 - 21:50, 2011 - 22:40. In the summer of 2006/07 I started the season with a 14:08 3000 and improved to a 21:45 5000 — this reminds me that it's possible to make significant improvements over the course of a season. I'll finish this post by wishing all those readers who have big races coming up 'fast times' — and for those who are returning from injury or illness a fast recovery!


Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

I wondered why the Queenie went over to Australia, then I realized to see you in action!
Maybe you can pay some fast dude to pace you in the next event, mind you I hear them Kenyans don't come cheap!
20 mins the impossible is possible if you believe!

9:58 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

This is only the start of the track season. It's good to have room for improvement. By track season's end you will be flying:)20mins is indeed possible for you!

10:14 pm  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Not that I would know about such things, but I hear from my faster friends how hard it is to run a race when you're mostly out there alone so it's totally understandable that your oomph dissipated as the rest of the field cleared off. You've got tons of time and races ahead to whittle that "best" down. I'm confident you'll be making huge strides as the season progresses.

1:34 am  
Blogger Jaymee said...

Based on attitude alone, I would have to say "you got this". Just keep racing and believing.

5:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure you will soon be recording times in the 21’s. It is great that you are part of a running community with such frequent race meetings, though as you point out, doing 5 additional laps after most of the field have completed their 3000m race, presents a challenge to your mental strength. But I suspect an even bigger test of your mental and physical strength is lining up for a race in the middle of the working week. One of the almost inescapable features of moving into middle age is that the working day becomes much more exhausting – of course you are not really into middle age yet but you do have a demanding job. So don’t set targets that are too ambitious on work days. I hope you are able to schedule a few races for days when your work schedule allows you to start in a relaxed state.

8:30 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Rick, that's right! I'm @Queen_UK's #1 subject and she's my #1 fan. I paid Speedygeoff once to pace me to 22 minutes but after 1k he became restless and scampered to a sub-21 time. I must get that belief thing happening. Thanks for that.

Strewth, thanks. It is a long season. A few remedial massages will help me get through it.

Flo, your equally fast friends are right. It's a bit like running a time-trial when your nearest competition is out of sight around the next bend.

Jaymee, thanks. Love that comment.

Canute, you're perceptive. Must admit I'm struggling a bit with the long working days - and yes, much more so than when I was in my 30s. At 54, I'm definitely into middle age although I still feel (and sometimes act) as though I'm in my 30s. I'm inclined to target the Tuesday 5k series run by the YMCA Running Club as I'm not as buggered early in the week. Work should ease off post-Christmas so that would be a good period for the track races.

3:42 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

In my opinion the 5 km is the most difficult distance because we have to run in "apnea". Moreover the training is very tough: speedwork, speedwork and speedwork.
I have planned my "top" 5 km on march 10/2012 in Cardiff when i will go there for the rugby match Wales-Italy. I am sure that my score will be better than the Italrugby one.

6:22 pm  
Blogger Janene said...

Well ET, I live in hope that I will be able to join you on the last 5 laps in the 2nd half of the track season! Maybe then we can both push each other to great 5K times. But yeah, it can't be much fun when it's just a few hardy souls out there doing those final laps!

7:35 pm  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

On today's performance, racing is getting better. A trip to the oval, lane 6 looks good.

8:29 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Good run! Canutes on the money as usual. Strewth is spot on too. Just stick with it, tweak a few things (but no injuries)step up the training a little, and maybe try the tuesday race, or some strategy to optimise your potential on race day...Unfortunately work does seem to get in the way of racing often...I can relate to that, but the 21's will come (I'm trying to get into them too, if you fly me over to canberra I'll pace you haha I had a look at canberra airport on my very long way back from melbourne, or maybe come do a Masters race over this side of the country or in NSW or Vic or QLD...) Seriously though sounds like you are hitting good form, and the big breakthroughs not far away...when they come that sub 20 will start to feel a lot more achievable...

2:26 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Stefano, that will a tough game. I predict you'll have a more satisfying result in your 5k than Italy does ;)

Janene, yes I'm hoping the same. Perhaps around February or March of next year we'll be having some good races. Hope so!

2F, and the hill in lane six is flatter than the ones we had for the handicap ;)

Jonathon, after you paced the winner of the Melbourne Marathon for the first 500 metres I doubt you'd be any use pacing slow old me! Yes, I'm hoping to gradually tweak the training and races over the course of the summer.

7:57 pm  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

Definitely you can do it Ewen. I like your plan to run a number of races for the summer. Should help the body to learn tolerating pain (oxygen debt, lactic acid).

7:53 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Sling. You're right about pain tolerance - especially with those races up to 10k. The level of pain is quite high and sharp, so having it not come as a shock (by getting used to it with regular racing) is a good training effect.

8:32 pm  
Blogger rinusrunning said...

Thats a good 5k time and i think you can run faster than my!.

6:34 am  
Blogger kevin f forde said...

keep up the good work

6:32 am  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

I don't know if it's allowed for a inlander and a former biker to use the term "Endless Summer"! Leave it to the surfers which brings me to this link.

Thanks for the well wish vis a vis Osaka marathon and have a good summer!

11:17 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:08 pm  

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