Friday, February 26, 2010

Sweating on a long run

Tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn I plan on running 30k with friends around beautiful Lake Burley Griffin. We'll be out for around 3 hours 15 minutes — afterwards, hopefully I'll be feeling normal enough to enjoy coffee and breakfast. I've been sweating on this run. It's a good bit longer than the 23k I'm used to on Saturday mornings. It's a bit of a test to see whether I'll like marathon training.

I'm slightly worried because my races haven't been going well. Thursday a week ago I started in the 5000, but reached 5 laps feeling very ordinary, so decided to bail out at 3k (12:47.4). Last night my legs were totally dead — was lapped by Speedygeoff, Brett and Nadine. Janene, Jim and Bronwyn were out of sight. I ran 13:59, which is more like half marathon goal pace. The heart-rate monitor told me I was running at tempo effort (86%), but the legs just wouldn't go faster! Anyway, my fingers are crossed for tomorrow's run.

Speaking of sweating, I've posted a couple of David Appleby's photos from the 10,000. You can see the sweat pouring out of me! In the second photo I'm being lapped by the third-placed female. There's also a link to a YouTube movie of a mystery run with the Wednesday Wiggles group. The quality isn't great — I need better video compression software, so if anyone knows of a good program, let me know.

Sweating up a storm in the 10,000
Sweating in the ACT 10,000m Championships

Being lapped by the 3rd-placed lady
Being lapped by the 3rd-placed lady

View Movie at YouTube
Wednesday Mystery Movie

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Aging Disgracefully

I ran 45:57.54 in the 10,000 last Thursday evening — 1:03 away from an M50 PB. I'm at peace with the result. The race plan went well — started with 1:48 for the first lap, 4:28 for the first kilo. Kept up that effort throughout the race and ran the last kilometre in 4:29. Unfortunately the weather decided to put on a show more suitable for outdoor dining at midnight, rather than one for racing 25 laps of the track. It was 27 degrees when we ran (81 Fahrenheit), and humid. The sweat was pouring out of me. I'm a generous sweater, so don't run next to me on a training run in summer! Deek once said that the marathon should be held during the Winter Olympics. I'll add the 10,000 to that request.

For the first few laps I ran behind the group of John, Roger and Bronwyn. I overtook Bronwyn but John and Roger gradually got away — they were running too fast for me. The rest of my race was pretty lonely. I just concentrated on keeping the effort constant. Took one drink from the table set up on the back straight, but could have taken more. With 10 laps to go I saw the distance between myself and John shrinking from the 100 metres he'd built up. I managed to pass him with 2 laps to go, then calculated I'd need a quick last lap to break 46 minutes — did this with 1:40 for the last lap.

I've been thinking that I haven't aged gracefully. Like the motorcycle club I'm a member of, I've grown old disgracefully. If I were to run 45 minutes for 10k (on a cool day), the age-grade tables say that's worth 39:45 for a whipper-snapper. I'd need to be running 41:30 now to be "as graceful" as I was back in '91. Anyway, I'm having as much fun with running as I was back then, so that's the main thing. With running, it pays to have a sense of humour. If you can't laugh, you won't survive the pain inherent in running to the best of your ability. That's why I run with funny people — like the Speedygeese, or the Wednesday arvo runners — pictured below doing their best Wiggles impersonation on the front porch of Parliament House.

10k splits: 4:28, 4:32, 4:35, 4:33, 4:34 (22:42), 4:37, 4:41, 4:43, 4:45, 4:29 (23:15).

I run with escapees from Shutter IslandRunning is less painful when you run with funny people

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Coach and I

I'm racing 10,000 metres on the track this Thursday. Canute expressed confidence when commenting on my last post that a time "comfortably under 45 minutes" was likely. If the Seiko at the finish reads less than 44:54 I'll have an M50 PB — how I want one of those! My tactic will be to run the very even schedule that worked for the one hour race. First lap in 1:48, first kilo in 4:30, and so on.

Scott wondered if my absence from blogging was due to stumbling through the back verandah's glass sliding door in a lamb chop and wine induced stupor! Thanks mate! Actually, I've been looking over my training diary from 1991 — trying to figure out what led to seven lifetime PBs. I think the simple answer is that I was desperate to run well, and sought out a good coach. That coach was Geoff Moore, who these days leads the highly popular Speedygeese running sessions. Geoff is a great motivator and in '91 gave me the confidence I needed to achieve breakthroughs.

The group was small compared to the multitudes that run with Geoff these days. There were less than a dozen serious runners, and we trained on a lovely grass track that's since been taken over by the Canberra Raiders football club. Geoff introduced me to long warm-up runs. We'd run 5 or 6 kilometres around the hilly Eucalypt Trail before doing our 1000 metre repeats on the grass track, then finish with a 3 or 4k warm-down run. In the depths of icy wind-blown Canberra winters we'd sprint hill repeats on Regatta Point. In the dry heat of Canberra summers we'd race on the AIS track. Wherever we were there'd always be friendly encouragement from all in the group. Happily, not much has changed.

Geese sprint. I take phone photos!Geoff (dark blue), supervises hill sprints at Parliament House, February 2010