I jogged around the track at Blacktown to see what it was like. The track is about four months old and very like Canberra's, only no lumps or bumps anywhere. It felt very soft and spongy too, but it was mid afternoon, about 33 degrees, and I guessed that when Friday's cold and wet change arrived it would become firmer. Which it did.
Early start for the 10k, humid, squally and wet, a head wind on the home straight. I settled into 4:00 pace for the first 2k but couldn't hold it and at 3k was just aiming to break 41 mins. At 7k the left hamstring started to hurt - an old injury going back twelve months. I limped on to a 40:41, which turned out to be fourth place, with third running the 39:59 I would have liked to have run.
I had entered the 1500m but there was no way I could have run it. I had a massage and did a lot of work on the hamstring and felt reasonably good. A time close to 5 minutes would have got a medal but I was more interested in watching the M60s where I will be in May; Kevin won silver just behind the first placegetter in 5:13, a time I should be able to run next year. I seriously think trying to recover from a 10k in 1 or 2 days just isn't on any more! Next year in Adelaide it would be smarter to run the 1500m instead of the 10k.
Another early start; conditions better today, still hot on the track but the wind not so strong. I decided I had nothing to lose as on paper the placegetters should be way ahead. But "on paper" was wrong - some of the other runners weren't that close to their best recent times. Whereas I was. My 5k splits - 3:44, 3:49, 3:55. 4:01 and 3:56. In that 3:56 last km, the second last lap was a woeful 100 seconds! This is because the injured hamstring really tightened up halfway through the race and it was difficult to keep the pace going. I was with the eventual third placegetter at the half way point and had moved ahead of him when the pain started. At that stage the eventual fourth placegetter was about 60 metres ahead but we were gaining. At the finish despite the hammy I was only six seconds behind third and five seconds behind fourth, they didn't really get away and were probably struggling as much as I was. Anyway, my time of 19:25 was a season's best and a much better run than the 10k.
And that time would have given me a medal in any other age group! That's right, it was faster than the time of every other bronze medallist, except the M55 one.
I had written off Monday as I do not bounce back from two races in three days, especially with all the niggles I experience and have to manage. And cross country is not my forte, unless the course is flat, firm and fast. This course had long treacherous grass; holes on the course meant you had to watch every step and skirt around dangerous bits; the grass was wet too which meant waterlogged shoes and some slippery bits, and the course was "undulating" which should have meant I would be crawling up some of the hills and holding back down them, as I do, to protect the back and legs. Then in the warm-up my hamstring was seriously sore, and I was wondering how long I would last before I would have to pull out - probably the first hill, and it was an up-hill start. However, on the positive side, my opposition had their problems too - of the nine entrants there were six starters; one guy had gone home fatigued unable to compete, another had injured himself, and a third, the one I had raced with in the 10k, had the "trots" so bad he did not line up at the start. The course was four laps of 2k. The gun fired, off we went, I was at the back, and miraculously all hamstring pain disappeared. I looked around and there was one M55 just behind me, and three just ahead who hadn't raced off. Five of us towards the back of the field which meant only one was ahead somewhere. So I moved up ahead of three of them and followed at a "slow" pace the NT guy who I thought I could beat by running steadily, as he had run very inconsistently on the track. And indeed, it was a hard slog, the sun was beating down and bringing up the moisture from the grass, and I trod in holes three or four times, but I caught him at 1k and got away from him at 3k, and that was that. A pain free run; a silver medal. The 2k lap splits? Fastest was 9:03 and slowest 9:09, now that's even pace! How do I explain feeling great on a course like this? It's the training at Stromlo that's done it: perfect preparation for a tough grassy cross country.
Bring on the marathon!
Three easy weeks then the marathon; then five easy weeks then the half marathon!
My training progress
last week’s target: no target
year 2008 total to date: 1082k in 12 weeks
this week's target: 70k
weight: 63kg ▲
Speedygeese at the AMA Nationals
M55 Geoff Moore 40:41.65 4th
W30 Jeni Greenland 44:18.0 2nd (hand timed: the electronic timing failed!)
M60 Kevin Chamberlain 2:26.20 bronze
W55 Kathy Sims 3:01.66 silver
M55 Geoff Sims 2:25.56 sixth
M45 Mick Horan 2:13.55 sixth
And in the M55's, Canberra's John Lamb ran 2:16.14 to break Kevin Chamberlain's 5-year-old record by 0.06 second
M60 Kevin Chamberlain 5:13.32 silver
W55 Kathy Sims 6:09.78 silver
M45 Mick Horan ~4:45 fourth
M45 Mick Horan 18:54.57 fourth
M55 Geoff Moore 19:25.87 fifth
W30 Jeni Greenland 20:42.61 silver
That's an excellent time from Jeni.
8k cross country
M55 Geoff Moore 36:26 silver
W30 Jeni Greenland 42:19 silver
3 hours ago