Sunday, July 24, 2005

Earth to Ewen

I'm into my second full week of 'running to school'. Is it getting any easier? On my real blog I said I've developed a new appreciation of sleep. Running twice a day has me dreaming of lying down - hopefully not on my back with four feet in the air as Luckylegs has suggested. Sleep is good!

In times past I've visited Joy and Mal after doing a long run in the morning. Embarrassingly I'll 'nod off' on the couch while watching a DVD. My slumber is interrupted by Joy constantly repeating 'Earth to Ewen, Earth to Ewen'. If I don't get good sleep during this 'running to school' experiment Joy will need 'Earth to Ewen' over a loud-hailer and maybe a spray of icy water.

This means my visits to CoolRunning and the CR Blogs will be less frequent. At least until things settle down a bit at work. I've been very busy with 'real work' of late which is somewhat sad. I prefer the 'unreal work' that I do on the computer at home.

I've started using 'Google Earth' to map out some of my runs. The detail in the satellite photos of Canberra is amazing. When you zoom in cars and 2 metre wide footbridges are easily spotted. It's scarily like the spy satellites demonstrated in 'Enemy of the State'! The map on this page shows my two weekend runs... an 8.3km lap around the suburb of Theodore and a 21.2km out and back run to Fadden. Maybe in future I'll ask Joy to use the words 'Google Earth to Ewen' to jolt me from my peace. That is sure to work!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Eliud runs to school

Did somebody once say 'wombats are slow'? I've finally figured out a practical use for running after doing it for 25 years. I can use it to get places! No longer will I shrug my shoulders when friends like Joy and Mal say "Why do you run? You're not getting any younger you know!" I can simply reply "So I can get to work".

Running for me has always been a leisure-time activity. I've run and trained so I can race. I love racing. I've always been aware of how much running the great African runners did as youngsters. They ran to and from school. An early running hero of mine was Henry Rono. In Seattle in 1978 he ran an astonishing 3000m Steeplechase world record of 8:05.4. In 2004 Eliud Kipchoge at age 19 won Olympic bronze for 5000m in Athens behind Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele. Eliud said: "When I was in Primary School I used to run every day four times about five or six kilometres to and from school. I was always running. You know, the time is limited, so if you don’t run you don’t have enough time."

Ewen runs to work.
I've been doing this for less than two weeks. How has it been? In brief, fun and satisfying. By the shortest route I live 6.7km from work. Luckily this is about the perfect distance for an 'easy' morning run. If I want to avoid hills I can skirt them on the bikepath but this way is 8 kilometres. The 'short way' takes about 39 minutes to run which is 30 minutes longer than if I rode the GSX. This means I have to go to sleep half an hour (or more) earlier.

On the way home I can make the run longer and take in some of Tuggeranong's excellent fire trails and bush tracks. When I get home I don't have to think about making time to go out for a run. This past week I ran 97 kilometres which is a fair bit for a lazy wombat. It will be interesting to see if these extra kilometres make a difference to my running. I hope it's not just training a keen eye for good places to lie down during my races.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Perfect the next...

I'm writing this on the morning before driving away from this golden place. Yesterday was a near perfect day for running - nice and cool at 5.30am when we walked over to the start followed by a pleasant southerly breeze for the last 10km of the half marathon on a sunny perfect Queensland day.

Saturday after breakfast... we met Luckylegs for lunch at a cafe on Tedder Ave. A phone call and we were joined by Plu resplendant in CR gear. Johny Dark and Tesso (half of Clairie and Tesso's blog) also dropped in for a coffee and sandwich. Afterwards I walked over to race HQ with LL. Met a couple of CR bloggers for the first time in the flesh - MPHaz, minersrun and the wordy, wise Owl.

Sunday, the perfect day... Met LL and other runners staying at 'Oscars' to walk to race HQ at 5.30am. I lined up at the start near Cato and a lady, both were waiting for Puntermatt who was to run 5:00/km pace. I decided to run at the start near Pat Carroll's 1hr 40min pacer who was tied to green helium baloons (very easy to spot).

This turned out to be a good decision as I was not finding it easy sitting on 4:40-45 min kms. My race went okay with 47:52 at 10k. After the turn I gradually lost touch with 'green balloon man' and ran 49:00 for the next 10k. The Forerunner was almost spot-on with the 1km splits. With 500m to the finish the 'CR Cheer Squad' was in full voice led by Jen_runs. The "go wombat!" calls were much appreciated. I finished in 1:41:57 after a bit of a battle with sore legs and achilles over the last 3 or 4 kilometres. Had a brief chat with MPHaz (82min PB), Miss Skarmel (PB) , Johnny Dark (96 mins) and Chris from Calwell (77mins PB).

After a shower at home I walked back along the marathon course looking for Jennifer and Luckylegs. At the bridge I watched the 10km runners start and spotted Mr G doing his second 10k race for the weekend. Slow Sue was also there and ran a PB of a touch over an hour. I didn't spot LL so walked up to the 40km mark. I saw Cathy Montalto running well in her ACT team gear. Jim Moody then Kevin Chapman came past followed a little later by Jennifer. She was doing okay if looking a little hot and bothered and ran 4:40.

Then, a long wait for Chickybabe. Where was she?! After 5hrs 30mins had elapsed I walked back to race HQ as Jennifer was waiting. I must have just missed LL as she finally finished in 5:57 after having a real strugle with leg soreness and feeling unwell and wobbly in the latter stages of the marathon. The 'CR Cheer Squad' had run with her to the finish. In the afternoon I made a brief appearance at the Clairie/Tesso drinks at the Surf Club and was pleased to have a chat with Courtley Love and Fast Sue. That evening I joined Luckylegs for a gourmet meal. Thankfully she was feeling much better - almost back to her (some would say) 50-year-old self.

Shortly I will be leaving paradise but I think I'll be back next year - it's a great place for a run!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Beautiful one day...

The rain has finally stopped! Yes, it's a beautiful sunny Gold Coast day. It's the Saturday before the half marathon. I'm typing this in a bit of a hurry so forgive my dodgy typing and plu-like spelling.

Yesterday evening I phoned Luckylegs and we arranged to meet her for a walk on the beach. Guess what? In spite of all the best Telstra technolgy we got lost! We must have been waiting at the wrong yellow surf lifesaving tower. So, my male sense of direction is not all it's cracked up to be!

Later I went out for a walk and heard somebody call out "Hey, Ewen!". It was Kerrie W who was with Maria's group from Canberra. They were sitting on the sidewalk at 'Tooley's' just up the road from our digs at Pacific Views. They had just placed their orders so I joined them for dinner. Enjoyed a superb pasta meal and a quiet ale. All except for Kevin are lining up for the half marathon tomorrow.

This morning it dawned a perfect day and the view of the sunrise over the pacific from the 21st floor was beautiful. We went for a 5k jog up to Seaworld following the bush track until we were stopped by flood-water just past Mirage. While having breakfast on the balcony I spotted Jackie Fairweather (I think) running back towards Surfers. There were many Japanese runners out - clad in full tracksuits! How ridiculous! It's hot!

We're meeting LL for lunch at 12.30 - if we don't get lost looking for her! Then, a relaxing day of doing nothing much at all in paradise.