Sunday, 27 November 2011

Some thoughts on running

I have occasionally commented in this blog about my running activities.  As I haven't troubled folk much in the last few days I thought I would offer a few musings on that topic today.

A frequently asked question is why people run.  In my case it is twofold:
  1. It helps keep my weight down (so I can continue to enjoy wine and beer); and
  2. I find it relaxing (particularly when point 1 has been successful).
Over Winter point 1 had not been successful and as a result I had not been getting off my butt and out the door for a run as much as I should.  So in October I decided that I needed a target or two to assist these processes.

The main target was to be the Melbourne Marathon 2012.  This is to be held a few days after my 65th birthday so offers a good chance of getting my name on the ACT Vets Athletics " best marathon times" list for that age group.

However, to enjoy that event required that the alien life-form which had taken residence behind my belt buckle needed to be evicted.  Once that was achieved I could then start to look at getting fit.  My view was that the main cause of my profile resembling a snake which has swallowed a modest sized pig was snacking, mainly on peanuts and muesli bars.  Thus they were banished from my diet while intake of fresh fruit and water was increased.  Also increased was my amount of work around the garden (not only expends calories but also is relatively remote from the snacks).

Thus far, over about 6 weeks, that seems to have shed about 3.5kgs which is not a bad start.  As an alternate, but highly correlated, performance indicator my belt seems to have stretched a bit so my strides are in danger of falling.

Today I got some evidence that my running is getting back to where it should be.  It was the final Vets Handicap race for the year, on a course on which I came second last year.  It was a 2-lap race totalling 7kms, and I didn't feel I was going too well on the first lap.  However with just over 1km to go an official told me I was in 16th place and I could see a bunch of early starters just ahead.  There was a risk that the speed fiends starting after me would swamp me but in the end only 4 did, while I overhauled about 12 folk to come in 8th, just missing on a medal.  My friend Roger came 4th (he was one of the swampers) and has won the year long series!

Interestingly, my time for the event was 1:24 slower than last year on the same course but the weather this year was a lot better. I managed to get under 5:30 per kilometre for several of those on offer which was better than I have managed in the recent past.

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