Sunday, November 16, 2014

Racing Ron and Riding

On Thursday 6 November I was helping at the ACT Veterans Track Meeting and was able to compete in the 'late' 3000/5000 metre race at 8PM. An unplanned race that turned into a good one. The 3k is my favourite distance on the track — long enough to require excellent aerobic endurance, yet short enough to be fun by eliminating the 'this is taking forever!' thought.

After the pack shuffle at the start of the race I slotted in behind Ron Vines with Jim and Roger close behind. Ron is 71 and a very good runner — at the age of 43 he ran 2 hours 34 minutes for the marathon. This race was his tune-up for an attempt to improve the Ginninderra 5k Parkrun 70-74 record two days later (he was successful with a time of 22:21). Ron pulled out a 10 metre gap after two laps. Roger passed me as we approached 1k (4:28) while Jim said "What are you going to run?" I blurted out breathlessly "Under fourteen!" Jim, rather surprisingly, soon dropped off. Roger had passed Ron and I managed to reduce the gap to a few metres, covering the middle kilometre in 4:34. With a lap to go I sensed I was stronger, overtaking Ron with 250 metres left and finishing with a time of 13:32.97 (4:31 last k).

Speedygeoff always (good naturedly) stirs me by saying I have to race old people (or young children) to be competitive. I don't care! I know I'm a very average runner in the 55-59 age-group but I like racing, so I'll race anyone of a similar standard to myself. This particular evening it was Ron — next Saturday at the Parkrun it might be a 9-year-old girl. As an aside, young kids are very hard to beat as they usually possess a devastating sprint finish!

I've been riding my bikes quite a bit, covering around 130 kilometres a week. I'm really enjoying the riding (with the Strava website providing good motivation to improve my 'segment' times). My quandary is fitting in the amount of riding I'd like to do and balancing that with running and recovery. I feel very fit aerobically and would hope to improve that 3k track time to sub-13 before the season's finished. If that happens the sub-22 5k goal is a realistic possibility. On a mild and calm evening!

With Norma and Jim at the Fisher's Ghost Fun Run last Sunday. Norma placed 3rd in the 'Over 70' category. She's 85!

I was lucky enough to spot a young wombat during one of my recent bike rides. Very cool!


Blogger Janene said...

Great running and riding Ewen. Stay injury free and those sub 13 and 22 goals won't be too far away. Best of all is the wombat pic, so cool!

8:54 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

You are running & riding well at the moment Ewen. All the cross training I have done over the last 12+ months has definitely saved my running :). I just wish I shared your love of racing. I love having races to revolve training around but pre race anxiety has plagued me for 30 years. I still race (less often than I used to) but I couldn't say I love it - except when I've crossed the finish line :)

9:31 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Janene. I was so lucky to see it as I was riding easy and looking around at the time - usually I have my eyes on the path looking out for dog walkers and snakes!

That's good to hear re the cross training Liz. Interesting about your pre-race anxiety. I only get nervous before 800 and 1500m races as I know how much they're going to hurt. My habit of rarely aiming to taper and peak for a particular race probably helps allay anxiety - and the frequent racing.

3:41 pm  
Blogger Mark Watson said...

You must have been going up a very steep hill or have bloody great eyesight to notice that wombat out on your bike. Then again Google tells me they are on average 100cm in length which is quite large. They have been known to charge humans too. Just saying. Nice race report and run there Ewen. The cross training is a must but I agree, where on earth do we find the time.

8:27 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Mark. If it had been a $50 note I would have spotted flying down a hill at 70kph. That's the first I've heard about wombats charging.. koalas dropping on your head, yes ;)

9:28 pm  
Blogger Cecilia said...

Racing sounds like a lot of fun! I miss competitive athletics, but I'm not sure how I'd go whirling the hammer these days!

I am very much jealous of your wombat sighting. I love those critters but rarely see them in the flesh!

5:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done. I agree that racing people of about your own standard gives the greatest satisfaction. The wonderful thing about the current era is that the person of your own standard might be years younger or older, and male or female.

It is great to see Norma looking so fit, and racing well.

8:21 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Cecilia, with a bit of luck you'd still be able to whirl it a long way and miss us runners doing a 5k on the track ;)

Thanks Canute. Norma's a great inspiration. She's mastered the latest touch-screen Garmin and has fun racing 'Virtual Partner' all around the southern highlands!

4:32 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

That's the beauty about running Ewen, there's always someone to compete with. My club has organised a few 3k track races recently and they look very exciting - although I am only helping out with the organisation at the moment as i'm not ready for the pain (anaerobic work) yet.

The bike is supposed to be very good as a cross training exercise for running but it's always difficult to find sufficient time for both. Looking forward to your 5k progress. onwards and upwards.

2:20 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Now that's funny about the pain, Grellan! This from someone who has pushed themselves through the pain of running all day! Hope to see a report from the track one day, saying how much you enjoy the exquisite short pain of a 3000 ;)

8:53 pm  
Anonymous Raina said...

I have noticed you doing a lot of riding on Strava! I was starting to wonder whether it was your first love or running was. Either way you've had some very impressive rides recently, and that 3k run was outstanding.
Your comment about racing very young people makes me laugh. I learned this lesson at the end of a half marathon when a 16 year old boy out-sprinted me in the last 200 meters. I really thought I had him beat , but he was holding back quite a bit!

9:03 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Hi Raina, I used to do 'schoolboy' cycling (not competitive) to get places, plus a couple of big tours with a mate. I'd stopped cycling when I started running at 22. Bought a racing bike when I dabbled in triathlons (due to running injury) in my late 30s but didn't train for cycling. When I could run again, I stopped cycling! Have taken it up again this year to help my running but have been enjoying it for its own sake. Cycling is good fun - and I'm not a good enough cyclist to make it as hard as running can be ;)

3:34 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

Glad you have a successful running and riding.
Unbelievable what Norma succeeds in doing, she is an inspiration.
It is always wonderful to meet the animals during our workouts. I cannot stand to meet the .... hunters!

10:04 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Yes Stefano, she is an inspiration - still racing the Parkrun 5k at 85 and finishing ahead of many youngsters!

6:14 pm  
Blogger LL's BLOG said...

Well, I've been smiling all day today having knocked 49 seconds off my Parkrun previous PB of 36:16. New PB of 35:27 and age graded total of 86.02%. So excited, you'd think I'd won an Olympic event!

Now, I'm smiling even more having just read those lovely comments about me posted on your blog, Ewen.

8:59 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

You should be smiling Norma - that's an incredible time and A/G percentage. You're a Parkrun superstar!

5:02 pm  
Anonymous Norma said...

sOh! I made a mistake and you didn't pick it up!!
Age graded score is 87.02% not 86!!!

10:13 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Ah, yes! I need to go to rehab maths. English was always my best subject :-)

5:26 pm  
Anonymous Norma said...

Good excuse!

This is my 6th attempt to prove I'm not a robot!

7:27 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Sorry!! I'll turn off verification for a while...

8:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, looks like I have to prove I'm not a robot if anonymous, so verification stays on...

8:14 pm  

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