Defence Lake Attack

Raining? I'm sure it wasn't meant to rain today. Spring has come early and today is meant to be a bright sunny, warm, perfect running weather type of day. I ate breakfast, had a good strong cup of coffee. I'm starting to wonder if I'm placing more importance on the coffee than the food. Grabbed my gear and drove down to Albert Park.

By the time I arrived, the rain had stopped and it was turning into a bright sunny, warm, perfect running weather type of day. In fact, it stayed that way for the whole day. Yes, I am excited that winter is over.

I decided to park near the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, which was on the opposite side of the lake from the race start, mainly so parking was easy, and that I wouldn't have any trouble getting out after the race. As usual I arrived early, walked in and picked up my race number before any queues had formed. I killed some time by going for a walk and performing some light stretching. Before it was time for my 40 minute warm up. I probably could have taken less time, but I really enjoy the gradual build up of a long warm up. My legs were feeling good, I was calm and looking forward to going hard.

The 5km runners and walkers were sent off at 10:00, and us 10km runners were to start twelve minutes later. The course is a very flat loop around Albert Park Lake on a gravel track. On each lap, there is a short dog leg, just to make sure we cover the correct distance. One lap for the 5km, two for the 10km. As I waited up near the front of the starting pack, the announcer advised us to be careful of the slow runners and walkers that we would run into. The walkers had been asked to keep left, but many decided they didn't want to do that.

The artillery cannon was fired and seemed to scare the shit out of everyone and we were off. Right on the start line I had to dodge a six year old and another lady who had thought it was a good idea to start at the front and walk. The initial crowded start spread out very quickly and I was able to fall into a good, solid rhythm within the first kilometre.

Over the first lap I felt like I was running fast, but it didn't feel hard. I decided to hold it and see what happens. In the end I was able to maintain the pace, but it became harder and harder as the kilometres ticked away. In the end it looked like I had naturally picked the correct pace from the start. No complaints about that.

One aspect that I usually enjoy about these shorter running races is I often get to really race some other people. I enjoy sitting on someone's shoulder and putting in a surge to break them, or try to hang on when they do the same to me. Unfortunately this was something that was missing from this race. The reason was, because of the large number of walkers making the race an obstacle course. My attention was focused only on two things. The first was trying to maintain a good pace and the second was trying to dodge and not run into the walkers covering the track.

I need a short vent about people. People who run slow, or walk have every right to participate in the event. In fact, I encourage it. What I don't appreciate are people who decide to walk five abreast and completely block the track. I don't appreciate the selfish teenage girls that were amusing themselves by deliberately jumping in front of the runners. I don't appreciate the walkers that insisted on walking along the right side of the track after they were told to keep left. I don't appreciate the woman who decided to stop in a narrow bottle neck and turn her pusher sideways completely blocking the path of everyone. Instead of only every now and then having to run around a couple of people who weren't thinking, the majority of the race was spent weaving in out of people who refused to follow the basic advice from race organises. Coming up towards the last corner of the finish line I had to push through two adults and four kids who thought it a good idea to hold hands and spread out completely blocking the path. Why? Are these people just plain selfish and rude, or are they just that stupid they don't have any concept that they are making it very difficult for others?

Despite all this, I was very happy with my run. I finished in 39:19, placing 11th overall. Checking out my heart rate and timing data it was clear I held a fairly constant pace throughout, with a steady but gradual rise in heart rate. My heart rate averaged 91% of HRmax. Looks like my fitness is up, and I can only see my times getting quicker over the next couple of months.

Comments

  1. Excellent race! I agree with your "rant".

    At my last 10k, the announcer said to all the runners, "Please note: the pace signs are NOT for how fast you can run one mile. You must be able to maintain that pace until the end."

    Still didn't work, but I thought it was a good effort.

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  2. That's a good test Jason. I haven't raced seriously (don't count C2S), for quite a while. There's nothing like a race for testing fitness.

    I'd say those walkers are just ignorant. We have the same situation in the Terry Fox.

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