Saturday, 20 June 2009

XCR Lake Wendouree 15k: Double PB

Caught a lift up to Ballarat with Matt Morris, another Matt, and an ex Australian junior XC champ (he beat Colis Birmingham a couple of times!) whose name I forgot (help me out:P) in 'the party bus'. It was bloody cold when we got out, and the wind was blowing right into our faces no matter which way we faced. I made a mental note to shamelessly draft off as many tall people as possible:P

Did an easy 2k warmup and slid my way into the pack at the starting line. My stomach was feeling a bit iffy (probably shouldn't have had three cups of coffee and ten choc-pancakes for breakfast:P), and I had an awful premonition of having to pull out of the race after two km with catastrophic GI distress:S Luckily this didn't happen:) First two km were pretty slow. Seemed like everyone favoured a relaxed start and was doing their best to hide behind those in front of them rather than pushing the pace. I marked my point man 50m in and did my best to stay with him. He was looking very relaxed and was steadily threading his way through the pack and I followed behind, slotting through the gaps he created.

After three km on the Steve Moneghetti running track, we moved on to the road and with the firmer surface came an increase in the pace. I did my best to track my man, keeping him within 50 m as I reeled off 3:42/k, feeling pretty comfortable. The wind was quite strong, but I had a group around me, so that shielded me from the worst of it. Everything went well until about 10 km in (new PB: 37:25!), and then a bit of a hill caused me to drop out of the rapidly eroding group and then fall back even further when the buffeting wind sapped my energy. A woman I was running next to urged me on, telling me to work with her 'We'll take it in turns, I'll lead this k, ok?'. I croaked 'Sure!' and watched as she immediately moved away from me:P I struggled for two km, giving it everything I had, but only managing 3:58/k. The race seemed like it was going rapidly downhill, and my legs were feelin really buggered. My goal of finishing in sub 57 was vanishing before my eyes, and I wasn't even sure if I could do sub 60 anymore.

Then salvation arrived in the form of a tail wind as we rounded the lake. I didn't immediately pick up the pace, but when a couple of people went past me, I latched on and was suddenly going 3:45/k again:D It was hurting, but not as bad as before, and I could feel the finish line now. I've always thought that if I can only hang on until 2 km to go, I am psychologically capable of holding that intensity to the finish line. And so I did.

I reeled in my point man and passed him with 500m to go..and then he promptly seared past me along with about 10 other people. My kick was non existent, but at least I still managed a 3:36 last km and a 56:25 finish! That was a five and a half minute PB over 15k for me (compared to last week at Bluestone, so not really a fair comparison:P) and I was pretty darn happy about it:)

Pretty smashed afterwards though! I felt worse after the race than I have in quite a while. Dizziness and blurred vision assailed me for a while, but I managed to do a very easy 2k cooldown jog and that cleared things up.

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I'm very satisfied with that performance especially considering the very limited taper I did. It translates into a 1:21 HM, which is oh so close to my goal for this year (1:20). I think I'd definitely be in with a chance, but am quite skeptical about my ability to achieve my other 'equivalent performances'. A 36:41 10k is definitely not on the cards for me at the moment: I just don't have the leg speed. On the other hand, my relatively consistent splits today show that I can hold a decent pace for a long time without fatiguing, which is the kind of fitness I'm aiming for at the moment. When track season rolls around, I'll start doing some intervals and work on my leg speed, but for now, I am very happy with how my training is going and won't change a thing.

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I did an easy 6k when I got home, which actually felt great. So I only have to do 15k tomorrow to reach my 125k target for the week. Should be very achievable.

I'm meeting up with all the guys (six of us now) going on the Melbourne to Sydney trip tomorrow for a ride-cum-planning session. It should be a good chance for everyone to meet everyone else (currently I'm the only link for a few people). With two weeks to go, we're getting to the advanced stages of preparation and have worked out our route and schedule (I'll do a post on it when I have time). I'm all kitted out and am really looking forward to finishing exams (two down, three to go) and setting free!

1 comment:

Matthew Morris said...

Pretty good effort on running 2 PB's in the 1 race!

The other clown was Craig.