Sunday, October 20, 2013

I'm no Anton Krupicka

I've raced four times since the Sydney Half: two 5ks, a mountain race and another 5k. In the second of the Parkrun 5k races I ran a fairly pleasing 23:25 (similar to my form early in the year). There's a rather long Youtube video (26 minutes) of the first Parkrun in which I can be seen in a yellow shirt after the turn.

I entered the AMRA One Peak Challenge race as a substitute for my weekly long run. The course was 12k and included some lovely familiar trails and an early climb to the summit of Mt Majura. My mate Jim was running so I thought I'd run along with him for a while and see how the race unfolded. Jim bolted at the start so I let him go and settled in for the hike up Majura. I caught him fairly easily once we turned onto the bitumen service road. My undoing after that was catching a glimpse of Leonie's alluring blue and lemon striped shorts in the far distance. She reached the downhill trail with about a 45-second lead. I charged after her like the man from Snowy River, "down the hillside at a racing pace, striking firelight from flying flint stones and never drawing the bridle till I landed at the bottom of that terrible descent."

After another 4k of desperate pursuit I finally drew abreast of Leonie on the 'easy' climb to the drink station (around 9k) and ran scared down the next steep descent. Especially fearful when I glanced back at an uphill turn and spotted her less than 100 metres behind. "Bloody hell — I'm going to have to keep running hard!" And I did, all the way to the finish at Mount Majura Vineyard. Victory (11th place actually) by a mere 31 seconds. A costly victory though — for the next four days my quads were too sore to run. I'm no Anton Krupicka when it comes to racing up and down mountains. Training on relatively flat trails isn't good preparation for mountain racing.

Funnily enough, after a week of no running I raced the Tuggers Parkrun yesterday and ran just outside my year's best (23:07 on the track back in March), recording 23:10 for the 5k course. I wore the Brooks Racer STs and ran pretty even 5k splits: 4:51, 4:38, 4:32, 4:38 and 4:31. Had a good race with Adam early on and was closing on a young girl until 500m to go — gee kids can sprint at the end of races!

Sending flint stones flying on the descent of Mount Majura [John Harding photo]

18 Comments:

Blogger Scott Brown said...

I hope it wasn't you and your "flint stones flying" that were responsible for those terrible fires you guys are having.

10:03 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

No surprise here - when I ran my first mountain race I was basically out for a week. I even hurt muscles that I never knew had anything to do with running.

7:28 am  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

In my two half marathons on the last two weekends, equivalent times, the first dead flat, no soreness or after effects at all. The second "undulating", you will be pleased to know everything now hurts.

9:43 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

No Scott - more likely some teenager stopping to have a smoke during a school cross country race ;-) The fires are bad - and it's not yet summer.

Thomas, you don't know how good that makes me feel ;-)

I'm very pleased to hear that Geoff. Next year you'll remember the pain and race the Gungahlin Parkrun instead.

4:59 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

So, are you still going to run the Run Y'ass Off 1/2 marathon next w'end Speedygeoff? What about you Ewen? You up for another undulating 1/2 marathon on Sat? :)

7:56 pm  
OpenID canute1 said...

A 23:10 parkrun indicates promise of sub-23 on the track in the near future. Was it the benefit of the down-hill sprinting, or the enforced taper?
The slopes of Majura summon nostalgic memories of running through eucalypt forest, but it certainly looks tinder dry at winter’s end.

8:59 pm  
Blogger Lize Brittin said...

I know where you can come train on some hills! ;)

It's nice to see you running well this year.

1:34 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Liz, not this year. I haven't entered and would have to leave here before 6am to be there in time to register. I think my legs will thank me for not racing it!

Canute, probably a combination of both. Although I think the enforced taper wasn't the perfect taper for a goal 5k race. Yes, the bush is very dry, although we had some welcome rain overnight and today.

Lize, your hills are REAL mountains! I'm scared.

3:52 pm  
Blogger Raina said...

Nicely done, Ewen! Losing to Leonie is real motivation. :D

Now you got your hill training in, you can expect to keep getting faster :) Congrats on the great 5k!

6:08 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thank you Raina! I'm keen to do even more hill training now. Daylight saving is helpful in that regard, although work has been hectic the past 2 weeks - that's why I'm behind on reading blogs :(

11:03 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

Glad you run all these races! This year I have run only 2 races. In Italy we need the Parkrun circuit to have more chances to spend a nice running-day.
Are you ready for the rugby month of november?

5:43 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

Are you going to run this one Ewen: http://runwiththewind.com.au/ ??

9:26 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Stefano. Yes, the Parkruns are low-key enjoyable races. I'm sure they'll come to Italy - they're everywhere else. Yes, go Wallabies!

Liz, I'd like to, but have booked Melbourne City 2 Sea with Jim White. He's doing that and the Rialto Tower run-up on the same day (crazy bastard).

5:39 pm  
Blogger Mark Watson said...

Awesome post Ewen. I enjoyed your victory almost as much as you. Well written again.

8:17 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Mark. It was a sweet victory, but I'm still paying for it with a compensatory hamstring niggle now.

4:48 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Marvellous mountain racing Ewen. You'll be chasing Krupicka types down before long if you did things like that most weeks. Well written account which had us the readers feeling like we were doing the race too. Reminds me of my slightly over aggressive attack down the steps at Nellies Glen earlier this year which had a lot to do with 5 days of quad soreness. Sounds like a cool race... Good 5k race too. A few more things like those two, and the times will tumble heaps. Way to go... Hilly trails are killer intervals sessions in disguise...

7:39 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

Are you ready for the test match? Good luck Wallabies!

8:43 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Jonathon. Yes, Nellies Glen! And the final descent to the finish. It was just like that. I need to run more hilly trails, but will have to ease into it.

Yes Stefano! The first two games should be easy - verses England, then thrashing Italy in Turin ;)

12:25 pm  

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