Sunday, November 27, 2011

Learning something

I've got the lyrics of this song spinning around in my head. Bow River is the song — you can see it on Youtube. "I've been working hard, twelve hours a day; the money I've saved won't buy my youth again." Okay, I don't want to buy my youth again — I just want to work eight hour days, not the eleven hour ones that have been more common for me lately than sub-2:06 marathons have been for Kenyan runners.

I raced twice again this past week. On Tuesday a 5k and on Thursday a 1500. Both races were an education. Loved Tuesday's race! Decided beforehand my tactics and executed them perfectly. My goal was to finish ahead of my long-time rivals Charlie and Jim by starting 'slowly' and gradually picking up the pace. It was an exact 3-lap course of 1.7k per lap, about 1/4 on a bike path and the rest on reasonable grass. I started the race at a comfortable effort, running with Geoff and Tori early. The first lap felt pretty easy. There was a large finish clock so I couldn't employ my 'no watch' method of running. 8:04 for the first lap and caught Charlie soon after. The funny thing about the next two laps is that I thought I was picking up the pace quite a bit but they passed in 8:01 and 8:00. I now have a better understanding about how 'even paced' running feels. I caught Jim with about 400 metres to go. 24:05 sounds slow but I was more in the 'tempo' HR range for this 5k (AHR of 146) and it wasn't a quick course.

On Thursday I raced my first 1500 metre event since early 2010. It wasn't pretty! Had 27th (and last) place sown up after 50 metres. Throughout I was desperately trying to stick with Janene (and Roger ahead of her), while feeling very ordinary and realising early on the finish time was going to be outside six minutes. Janene broke the elastic with about 600 to go. I ran 6:13.60, possibly my slowest ever 1500 in which I'd been trying. Splits were 95, 101, 103 and 73 (300m). Thankfully I was wearing the heart-rate monitor. My average (143) and max (157) readings told me my body/legs were just too tired to run fast. I'd expect 153 and 160-163 in a normal 1500 metre race.


Blogger Andrew(ajh) said...

I can so relate to your working hours comment. Sometimes you wonder if you "live to work" or "work to live" don't you?

10:44 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Pacing, I used a similar strategy in a X/C yesterday, holding back the first lap then pushing hard the second and third laps!
It's a lot more positive to be passing other runners than trying to hang on when your blowing up!
Yes Ewen your working too many hours!
Do you need the extra money if not cut back and enjoy your free time and running more!
I know your job is very demanding so maybe you need to look at your nutrition to.

12:16 am  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

I cannot believe how much you race, it's wonderful! Not at all suprised the second race suffered a tad, even if Tuesday's race wasn't race HR, it was a very strong workout. Well done!

Fyi, might wanna take a second look at the post title. ;)

6:13 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Andrew, yes, exactly!

Rick, agree it's a good strategy, especially for cross country. Our aware says we have to work 2 hrs overtime/day if required. Don't need the extra money.

Flo, thanks. . . on both points;) Will fix the latter one this arvo.

8:51 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

That was "award"! Predictive text having a bad hair day.

8:53 am  
Blogger Janene said...

I thought that first title was unique ;o). Interesting HR data. Similar to what I'm seeing, just not able to get to those usual 'racing' numbers. The other factor in that 1500m was the horrid running conditions, wind and rain. Sitting behind a short arse like me would not have sheltered you from the wind! You are running well, it is a shame you are tired from all those extra work hours!

1:44 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

You race a lot and in tough races too: the shortest are the toughest because you have to push from the first to the last step. Congrats.
About the job, I am very angry. In Italy the Parliament changes the rules often and I don't know when I can retire. I have been working since 1977 (it means 34 years + 3 bonus for dangerous job) but what's my future? Waiting for other 10 years? Crazy situation.

7:55 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Definitely time you retired Ewen. Think how many more hours you could spend running at a respectable time of day:) Wish I could run at your "slow" 1500m pace! :)

10:49 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Janene, perhaps a Freudian typo with that first title? I'm pretty sure it's not being rested enough that stops us seeing 'racing' HR numbers. Had a good look at your form from that less than perfectly sheltered spot - you run well.

Stefano, that's sad. I can take an 'early retirement' at 55. Pension age is 65 (ugh!) but the government wants to put that up to 67!

Strewth, I like running in the evenings! And 9am on a Saturday morning is very respectable!

5:10 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Should have left the title "as is" so as to put the comments in context.

Another good weeks racing for a overworked blogger. Ramping up the pace from a conservative start certainly makes for a more enjoyable race - well executed. I ran a 1500 once, painfest.

9:02 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Grellan, it was "Learing something" - Leering something? I can't recall the something I was leering at!

I stole your marathon 'cut in' conservative start - a much shorter version - worked well!

9:39 pm  
Anonymous Damian said...

Hi Ewen...this is a bit of a test reply as I just registered to reply tonight. Hope it works. P.S. Your blogs are a good read.

10:41 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Damian. Hearing you loud and clear :)

P.S. The 'follow-up' comments check box works well if you want to follow a conversation (via email) on any particular topic.

7:30 pm  
Blogger Robert James Reese said...

Eleven hour days are rough. That makes getting in the time for running very difficult.

12:25 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Robert, that's the main problem. I need an hour's break after work to rest up a bit before running. 10k is about the most I can fit in Monday to Friday. Luckily my commute is only 10 minutes so that saves time.

5:25 am  

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