Wednesday, July 04, 2012

A 10k from 2005 Reprised

Whew! Surprise, boyish excitement and relief are the emotions I felt when I looked up at the finish-line clock in the final blue-carpeted straight of the Gold Coast 10k on Saturday. The net time of 45:11 (checked later that day on the website) was my fastest 10k since 2008, and not far off the 44:53 track 10,000 I ran in 2005. Wow! At this event in 2010 I raced with Andy, Jo and Ruth — finished in a perplexing 49:26 — wondered afterwards how I could get back to running a fast 10k. If I would. I'm 55 years old, "push'n 60" as some 'friends' love to remind me, an age where springy muscles sometimes rebel and injuries are a clear and present danger.

The race went surprisingly smoothly. I walked up to the start from my digs at the Marriott in darkness, enjoying the mild temperature, wearing singlet and shorts, ready to race. Jogged a slow 2k and ran 4 x 50m strides to waken the muscles. I positioned myself about 50 metres back from the line amongst a crowd of 6000-plus runners. The first kilometre over the bridge produced the expected stop-starty, zig-zaggy running, but not overly so. After the U-turn I was running smoothly with sufficient personal space to feel relaxed. Atypically, as soon as the gun went off, I decided I'd start my Garmin when crossing the start-mat and not look at it until the finish. I ran by feel! This worked beautifully. I raced various people I picked out in the crowed: The greying long-haired dude with backwards baseball cap; the blonde girl in aqua singlet with a seductive light stride; the lady in pink shorts and blue crop-top; the long-shorts, bare-foot bloke. I tried to catch them, stay with them or keep them in sight as they moved ahead. Racing while blissfully unaware of the ticking clock was calming. I just monitored my effort, movement and position relative to others in the race.

I felt fairly strong throughout the race, although sensed a lag in my pace around 7k (which showed up in the splits). I fought against this tiredness and became excited when I heard a bloke reply to his mate "we're running four and a halves." At 8k I was wishing it was over, so I take that as a sign I was racing at maximum effort. Around the corner, over the bridge and suddenly there was just 1k remaining. I went for a long drive for home (as that is the best way to save time), passing some, others passing me, then managed something resembling a kick as I entered the last straight. Happy!

On Sunday morning I watched the marathon 'on the run' with Em from Melbourne, trying to spot running friends in the crowd. It was quite inspiring. Maybe I'll run another marathon one day. That evening I enjoyed a celebratory meal (and a wine or two) with Andy (who'd run the marathon), Beki, Em, Kelly and Janice down at Broadbeach. The perfect way to conclude a successful weekend!

Splits: 4:29, 4:31, 4:25, 4:27, 4:32 (22:24) 4:35, 4:38, 4:36, 4:33, 4:24 (22:47) - 45:11 @ AHR 148.

 Andy snapped a photo as I turned the last corner

 10k Progression 

Enjoying a walk on the beach after the race


Blogger Janene said...

Great running ET. Maybe you should offer your coaching services to those Blues for SOO ;-).

10:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that progression table. It must feel fantastic to be in the same window of finishing time as seven years ago! Congratulations on a strong race!

1:13 am  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Fantastic! Keep turning that clock back, it's inspiring to see. So excited for you, Ewen!!

1:41 am  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Nice one Ewen :0]
Great to see you reverse the aging process and get faster!!!
I also like to race more than go for times these days and as a by product it seems to produce faster times.
Yes don't be a slave to the Garmin people!
Once again made up for you, brilliant!!!
So Ewen what in a nutshell do you put your good form down to ?

2:34 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks J. I'm going to offer my coaching services to the referees ;-)

SK, yes! It feels great to run pretty much the same time as I did seven years ago. Also exciting is the hope that I can surpass some M50 track PBs once the season starts.

Flo, thanks - I'm going to wind it back to 49 then throw it out the window!

Rick yep - I'm leaning that way too - racing is fun AND it produces good times. I think my good form is due to a few things: balancing recovery and training; allowing daily training to be dictated by how my body feels; doing more runs at the Lydiard 3/4 effort (between 80 & 90% of HR max - or tempo effort); consistent training and not getting injured or sick!

2:40 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Very nice! That's a great time, rolling back the years.

I don't think I've ever had a good race where I hadn't wished that this would be over - that particular thought is usually a good sign.

5:19 pm  
Anonymous Beki said...

Congratulations on the great result Ewen - was good to catch up, hopefully see you again at Melbourne!

7:16 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

Again, great race/run Ewen. Surely you are confident that your sub 20min 5km goal is within reach now? I'm sure it is :) Go for it!

8:25 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Thomas. Hope you don't find yourself wishing your 24-hour race is over at the 3/4 mark on the weekend ;-)

Thanks Beki - yes, for sure! Looking forward to a Melbourne catch-up already. Love Melbourne - there'll be many of us there this year.

Thanks Liz. Sort of confident ;-) The calculators give me about 21:45 but I run better at 3/5k and the track's quicker than the road. So, with more improvement, bringing in some speedwork... sub-20 seems possible now :)

9:14 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

Well done Ewen. Looks like you took tht last turn rather wide. Could have saved a few more seconds with the inside line.

Funny that you should get inspired to contemplate running another marathon from observing. You saw me finish and at that time I was thinking the exact opposite ie why would I ever want to do this again ;-)

Didn't see you at Southport SFLC. :-(

5:45 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

My tip for your time was pretty close!

However... if you continue rolling back the years like this, you'll have to start all over again! How would you change things, I wonder.

7:43 pm  
Anonymous Mo said...

Good result Ewen.


5:02 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Graham. I was worried about getting boxed in - like a novice 800m runner ;-) You were hiding your finish-straight agony very well! People looked like they were having fun out there (at least at the 9k mark). Yes, was torn between the club and offer of dinner down at Andy and Beki's. Sorry I missed you.

You're not only an expert runner, but an expert tipster Luckylegs. If I started all over again I'd select Kenyan parents ;-)

Thanks Mo. You would have enjoyed the course... even flatter than the ones in your country!

3:58 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Nice! Those Ks and last K being the fastest shows you judged that race near perfectly. I can see you heading towards breaking 40:00 mins before you're 65 and the pins become unresponsive!

7:48 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

So ... ? Next goal race? Where and when?

And let's arrange coffee to welcome Ruth back :)

8:48 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Great race Ewen. Pretty much even splits all the way - a big improvement in racing strategy compared to some of your previous 10ks. Listening to your body is far more intuitive than following the watch and you're obviously a good listener, being a frequent visitor to Scott's blog ;-)

11:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done. It is really great to see you reaping the benefits of very consistent training. I suspect that getting the hypothyroidism treated has helped turn the clock back a few years.

2:24 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Congratulations! well deserved! Turning back the clock feels good. Awesome to do it running by feel. I heard Mottram or someone recommend that too once. There sure is something in that. Sorry I didn't check fb quick enough at the end to get to the grandstand. What an amazing day. Melbourne the next big occasion, but with the progression you have going huge progress and some M50 PB's coming your way if the progression continues. Well done!!!!

9:43 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

That 10k progression chart is outstanding!

9:48 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Scott. Not sure about sub-40 at 65 - think I'll leave that to Speedygeoff. At least I'm trending in that direction now.

Liz, the Runners Shop 5k in 2 weeks, then the Canberra Times 5k in September and the Melbourne Half in October. Sounds good re the coffee - let me know when she's back.

Ha! Grellan, I only watch Scott's videos to hear the budgies - their chirping soothes me to sleep.

Canute, thanks. That's a good point re the thyroid medication - a reminder that 'normal' health has much to do with how well one runs.

Thanks Jonathon. I'm excited to see you turning back the clock too - all-time PBs for you coming up I expect. Yep, catch up in Melbourne for sure.

7:08 pm  
Blogger missmia said...

Getting speedy in your old age!Nice one.

I always run by feel in events - once I hit go on my watch I don't tend to look at it again until I cross the finish line. If I start looking at it during the event it does my head in.


8:49 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks CJ, but come on - I'm only slightly older than you! (in dog years). I always wondered why you raced so well - must be from not having done your head in ;-)

3:31 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

Is Saturday the below 20 minutes day? If 'yes', I'm coming to watch!

3:40 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

Why is that garbage bin there? How do I remove it?

3:43 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

Me too.

3:45 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Luckylegs and Speedygeoff, sadly, no. I won't be anywhere near breaking 20 on Saturday. I'm tired. I don't think the 'new' course is all that fast with that detour around the landslide. Fast times will need to wait for the CT 5k, or the track in summer.

P.S. The garbage bin is there in case you want to delete a comment.

7:23 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

I know what it's for! I didn't know it stayed on comments after being published.

That's sad news for the 5km, but never mind, you're still young enough to improve!

7:42 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Wow, first chance to catch up with your blog. Very impressed with your time. Well done! Was that our Andy who ran the marathon? If so how did he go? Don't understand your time chart. You said you ran 49mins in 2010 but time chart says 45.57? Anyway this year's time must make you very happy:) Will be back after 25 July but have grandchildren til start of Aug so coffee after that! Looking forward to big catchup!

4:21 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

LLs, thanks. I'm planning my improvement trajectory to be at my peak when I'm in the 85-89 age-group. Hopefully I'll be running as fast as you by then.

Thanks Strewth. No, that was Andy from Sydney (like our Andy he's also from the UK!). The 45:57 was from a track 10,000 earlier in 2010. I ran 49 for the Gold Coast 10k so must have lost form between February and July that year. Yes, we're all looking forward to a coffee catch-up!

7:47 pm  

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