Sunday, December 25, 2022

Finishing 2022 with a fast parkrun

It's been a long time since I rock and rolled
It's been a long time since I did the stroll
Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back
Let me get it back, baby, where I come from

This is the first verse of Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin where Robert Plant sings about the long, lonely time since he walked in the moonlight with his love. For me it's been a long time since I did the full effort stroll at a parkrun 5k. It was way back on February 22, 2020 at Tuggeranong where I placed 99th in 26:33.

On December 10 I decided to make amends for my inattention and see if 'having a crack' would carry me back to the days of fast times at parkrun. My confidence was high, having trained well with the Speedygeese and resuming racing on the track with the ACT Masters, recording a 14:50 3000m on the Thursday prior to parkrun.

I arrived early enough for a good warm-up with strides, then lined up next to Kenny, not too far from the front. Start was fast and after 500 metres I was happy to find myself behind Adam (a consistent 25-26 minute runner). Crossing the footbridge just before 1.5 km I eased ahead of Adam and followed a young lady, Rachel, towards 2 km. It was about here that David flew past (he would run 24:52).

My legs were still feeling good after the 2.5 km turn. Go legs! I knew I was running fast enough to run under 26 minutes as I was maintaining my position in the group of runners. The little down slope after the footbridge is perfectly placed before the 4 km mark. The effort was now hard and lonely, the finish a long time away! 5 minutes feels like a long time when everything hurts! Finally, the parkland finish was in sight and a final sprint to the line. 61st place in 25:47. Yeah-hey, ooh yeah!

The 1 km splits were: 5:27, 5:12, 5:06, 5:14 and 4:48 at an average heart-rate of 143, maximum at the finish was 152. Bring on 2023!

Dec 16 photo with the Friday Customs Joggers runners

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Running faster

2022 is turning out to be a good year for running. I've entered a new age-group, the 65-69s, which means a new pack of runners to race on the track and at parkruns (although we all know that "parkrun is not a race!"). In recent years I've concluded that if I can finish in the same times as the previous year, that counts as improvement. Physical decline as one ages through the pensioner years is real!

I've raced two 'peak' 5k races this year (and plenty of low-key events). Both have been improvements on the same races in 2021. Back on January 8 was the Athletics ACT Stromlo 5k road race in which I placed 41st from 50 in 26:13, an improvement of 2 seconds from 2021. I had the incentive of racing my mate Jim and a few other Masters runners. On July 23 was the annual Runners Shop 5k held on an out/back course beside the Monlonglo River. I was very motivated to run under 26 minutes (my goal for this year). I had Jim for company early, then caught and passed a lady around 1.5k. For the rest of the race there was a gap of around 150 metres to another lady which I couldn't close. I could hear the steps of a man from behind in the final kilometre. When he kicked past I couldn't stick with him, finishing 12 seconds back in 20th from 29 runners. My time of 25:33 was very pleasing, faster than the 26:15 I ran in 2021.

For the second race, new shoes contributed quite a bit to the improved time, new Nike Alphafly racers being a faster shoe than the Nike Pegasus Turbos I normally use. Still, I'm running faster than last year, which is quite exciting. The hands of time can't be stopped but they can be slowed! Consistency in training is making a difference this year. I'm hoping to continue that trend into 2023.

Training with the Speedygeese at Parliamant House