Sunday, November 25, 2012

When I grow up I want to be like Luckylegs

I'm happy with my running this week. This morning's 11k included 3 x 1000 metres on the cross country course at Stromlo. Had the company of Geoff, Miranda and Andy (not marathon man Andy!) — I ran a little conservatively for times of 4:24, 4:19 and 4:15. These times are close to my hoped for 5k race-pace. My right calf has been a little tender since the YCRC 5k cross country race on Tuesday. While warming up with Geoff I felt a sudden cramp in the calf. Massaged it out and completed the race without further complications.

The race itself was interesting. I eased my way into it, letting Geoff streak off ahead, thinking to myself 'can he hold that pace?' — 'he's coming back from injury and was well behind last week.' I gradually got into a smooth stride but only made small inroads into the 75 metres or so gap. It was a 3-lap course and my splits were 7:53, 7:40 and 7:42 — a total of 23:15. Last year on the same course I'd run 24:05 (although I hadn't tried quite as hard), so an encouraging result. Equally encouraging is the fact that Geoff ran 21:52 for 5k on the track two days later! Perhaps I'm not far away from that sort of time.

On Thursday night I ventured out to the AIS track for the combined Open/Vets meet. We had a special guest competing in the 5000 metres — Norma Wallett (known to her friends as 'Luckylegs') from Mittagong. It was her first outing on the track for quite a few years and she smashed the Australian record in her age-group. She's 83 years old! Ran an amazing 31:11.58, which works out to be 6:14 per km pace (10:02 mile pace). I ran behind Norma while counting her laps. There were (surprisingly) so many starters that runners in the combined 3/5k event were told to count their own laps. She recorded an age-group percentage of 95.0 while breaking the existing Ausralian record by almost 5 minutes. When I grow up I want to be like her. What an inspirational lady!

Friends Ruth and Luckylegs after the Australian Record


Blogger Lize Brittin said...

Wow- she looks amazing!

Congrats on another good race. It looks like we would make great training partners. :)

3:35 am  
Blogger Thomas said...

Wow - age group rating of 95, that's world class! It must be an honour to be sharing the track with someone like that. I felt like that in July when racing with Sharon Gayter.

10:12 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Lize, yes - she's always being mistaken for someone 20 years younger. We would, but if you improved I'd make you do all the talking ;-)

Thomas, it was. Anything over 90% is incredible.

8:55 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

I'm not going to let anyone tell me I should give it away as I'm getting too old thanks to Lucky Legs! Thanks Norma.

12:00 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

You're a mere teenager in sporting terms Scott. Plenty of time for elite level glory. Once you switch sports to Equestrian ;-)

9:26 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Do hope your calf is better and your streak is continuing Ewen! You sound like you're running really well. LL is simply amazing and an inspiration to all of us. And yes, she definitely looks 20 years younger than her age!

12:07 am  
Blogger Janene said...

Good running ET. I'm sure if I was at the XC event you'd have been running scared and have zipped by Speedy G ;-).

I'm expecting s snappy time from you either at track or at Stromlo next week. I've been struck down with the dreaded traveller's gut, not sure if I'll get to Stromlo. Maybe I'll drop a bit of weight to compensate for the lack of training ;-).

10:33 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Strewth, stumbling towards the finish line with the #runstreak. Day 365 tomorow... but it's a leap year!

J, thanks. I'm desperate for you to get back to your best (or at least speed up a minute) - then I'd be doing the 'Jim Whites' (looking over my shoulder) all the way. Get well soon!

10:57 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

Congrats on the 365 day streak! Top job! So ..... is there a rest day coming up soon or are you going for a 730 day streak?

4:50 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Liz. NO 730 day streak! 400 will get me into the new year and cover all of 2012 - after that, a rest day will happen for sure!

10:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The image of you shepherding the inspiring Lucky Legs on her way to shatter the W80 record reminds me of the winning caption for the delightful picture of you as ‘bodyguard’ for young Lily in the 800m a few years ago. Of course in reality in that 800m you were actually engaged in a tactical bid to outwit and outrun your young rival, but the two images say something about the accessibility of the joy of running to individuals spanning an age range of more than seven decades. In Canberra, the running community appears to be especially inclusive. It is a good place in which to continue to ‘grow up’ rather than ‘grow old’.

9:54 am  
Anonymous Karla said...

Thanks for sharing this, Ewen. In my first marathon I was passed by a woman who had to be over 70 and thought, "Wow! I hope I'm still out there running and kicking butt at that age." Norma is definitely an inspiration!

2:12 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Canute, great comment! Thanks. Yes, Canberra is a good place to 'grow up' - playing all the way.

No worries Karla. Being passed by older (and much younger) runners is always an inspiration. I'm sure you'll be kicking butt well into the mature years!

4:59 pm  

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