Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cross country and track racing

My running (and cycling) is going well. I'm comfortably managing to do around 40 kilometres per week of running and 220 of cycling. I reckon the cycling is keeping my aerobic condition at the level it would be if I were running twice that much and doing no cycling. I'm enjoying the cycling — it's fun and less sweaty than running. In the past two weeks I've had a couple of races that excite me to the possibility of running really fast. For me in 2015, 'really fast' is 22 minutes for 5k. A time that once was so easy!

The first race was a cross country 'Summer Series' event at Barrenjoey Drive — 3 laps for 5k around a dirt road and bumpy, sandy track course near Lake Burley Griffin. I felt good during the race, running evenly, catching and passing people during the second and third laps. Maria said afterwards "You're running well!" My time was 23:29 at an average heart rate of 143, only marginally slower than the 23:17 I ran in February 2012 (AHR 148). Four weeks after the 2012 Barrenjoey I raced a 5000 on the track in 22:14.

The second race was the 'Pennington' 3000 metre event on Thursday afternoon. It was an 'age handicap' with start groups based on WAVA A/G % tables. I took off with Roger as Sue was about to complete her first lap. Rog bolted, so I settled into my 'run-by-feel' race pace with Sue breathing down my neck after her first lap. I gradually cut into Roger's 30 metre lead over the next 2k. Sue went past when she had 1 lap to go (2 for myself and Rog). I got to within 3 metres of Rog but he sprinted hard over the last half-lap, beating me to the line by 2 seconds — 13:22 to 13:24. Not a brilliant time, but it was a warm afternoon and I'd felt good during the race. Really good! Cross country and track racing are the two types of running I enjoy the most. I'm looking forward to further solid training before the ACT Vets' 5k Championship in a month's time.

 Cycling back along the Tuggeranong Parkrun course after volunteer duties