Sunday, July 27, 2008

Comes a Time

I'm tired. I ran in a 3000 metre race at the track this afternoon — finished 11th in 12:19.93. This is a very long way from 11:07. So far away, that I now doubt my ability to run such a time.

Anyway, it was an interesting race. The Speedygeese cheer-squad and odd other friends offered me enthusiastic encouragement from the sidelines. I had a serious (and fun) battle with a young girl over the last 5 laps. Each time I pulled up beside her to overtake, she would surge ahead with youthful impetuousness. I made my last attempt with 200 metres to run — she might have said "see ya later old man" by the way she sprinted off to thrash me by three whole seconds!

Today marks the end of my first week of the hill/speed phase of Lydiard training. It comes after 13 weeks of base training, averaging 95 kilometres (or 9 hours) of aerobic running per week. I decided that 13 weeks was long enough — my aerobic improvement seemed to have reached a plateau.

I've reduced my weekly mileage to around 75 kilometres. This should be enough to maintain aerobic fitness. I've also introduced a "hill run" — a 13.9 kilometre circuit which includes 18 short hills of various gradients. In addition to this, I plan to run two track sessions per week, starting with fairly aerobic, race-paced intervals one day, and shorter 'leg-speed sprints' the other. After a certain number of weeks (not sure exactly) of this, I'll move on to the anaerobic phase of training. Just quietly, I'm looking forward to this part — that lung-burning, leg-dead sensation is a far too distant memory.

My 13.9 kilometre hill courseCity lights make my hill course a great one to run at night

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Bad Hair Day

I've been to Hollywood, I've been to Redwood
I flew to Paradise for a run of gold
I've been in my mind, it's such a fine line
That keeps me searching for a run of gold
And I'm getting old.

My 10k race at Surfers Paradise didn't go as planned. I finished in 45:15. I was expecting to run 2 minutes faster. My mate Jim had recently run 43:14 at the Canada Day fun run — if I'm on song, I can duke it out with Jim.

So... I couldn't even eke out an M50 PB. The hill in the final kilometre quashed that last-minute idea. On the day, I was simply bad — Anton Chigurh on a bad hair day. That bad.

I'm not sure what went wrong. I raced hard from the start, but I wasn't generating any speed. My first kilometre was 4:14 net — quick enough, but by 5k (22:11), I was behind schedule and just got slower. The encouragement of Em and others lifted my spirits, but not my speed.

I finished dazed and tired — just like in 1995, but also confused. Perhaps I'd caught a bug. From Plu maybe, or Katy? Or CJ, or Strewth? It would be rude to blame friends, so I'll choose our starry-tattooed young waitress from Saturday lunch. She did get rather close when leaning over to place the second round of coffees on the table.

Q1. The surf flags are blowing
Q1 at Surfers Paradise is the tallest residential building in the world

I should have given the 10k a miss and gone for a surf
I should have given the 10k a miss and gone for a surf

Me by phone
A phone self-portrait on the beach at Surfers Paradise

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

After the Gold Rush

After bragging about our mild winter, the weather took a decidedly cold, wet and windy turn yesterday. Never mind — soon I'll be flying 1000 kilometres north, following the sun to the Gold Coast! This year I'm racing in the 10km event for the first time. Usually I've done the half marathon — chasing a fast time on a flat course. As I'm training for 3000 metre track races this year, I thought the 10k would be far enough.

The photo shows me (yellow singlet) after the finish of the half in 1995, looking a bit dazed and tired. I'd been running with Raewyn Blair (2510) during the race and she out-sprinted me to the finish. Although not a PB, I was fairly happy with the run. I wrote in the diary: "Great result, course PB. 1st k 3:38, last 3:55. Early start was hard, no warm-up. Good conditions, 12°C, light breeze. Training shoes. 83 minutes may have been possible. 5k splits - 19:33, 19:45, 19:54, 20:02".

I'm catching up with some old (and ancient) friends on the weekend — we'll be eating, drinking, being merry, and running. See you all next week!

I'm looking a bit dazed and tiredAfter running 21.1k, I'm looking a bit dazed and tired