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Get fit quick

Runners lining up for the start of last night's Central Coast
10km/1hr Championship at the Mingara Athletic Track
(courtesy Judy Murray)
By my usual standards, it was a late night last night.  I had been helping officiate at the local Central Coast 10km/1hr Championships at the Mingara Athletics Club twilight meeting and didn't get home and finish dinner until 9:00pm.

It's about the only time I get involved in track meetings these days, as the event is jointly sponsored by my club, Terrigal Trotters, and I generally help out with the lap-scoring.  For some years in the early 1980s, I was secretary to the committee that organised all regular track and field competition in Victoria (involving thousands of athletes) and managed a number of track and field meetings, so saw plenty of track racing, as well as competing myself.

I keep saying I will run in the 10km one year, but don't really have fond memories of 10km track races and don't want to do it unless I'm running well.  Twenty-five laps of the track can be mentally tougher than the marathon, and I always preferred the latter.  I don't think I ever achieved my potential at the track 10km (despite winning an Australian Universities title in 1979) and often wondered whether it was a lack of mental toughness.

Part of the lap-scoring crew, ready to go for the Central
Coast 10km/1hr Championship last night
(courtesy Judy Murray)
Last night's racing was fun to watch and a number of runners achieved Personal Best times, while others ran their best times for some years.  I always find it inspiring to be present on such occasions and feel very happy for the athletes.  Others did it tough, but soldiered on to the end anyway.  Also inspiring.

My late night made it that much harder to get up at 4:00am, as I did this morning, to beat the heat for my planned 36.5km run around Brisbane Water (see Round the Bay).  The Melbourne Marathon is only eleven days away, so it might seem a risky strategy to embark on a third 30+km run within eight days, but I think it's appropriate for where I am of my personal fitness scale.  I know I am not currently capable of running anywhere near a sub-3 hour marathon in Melbourne, but would like to comfortably run faster than the 3:24 I recorded at the Macleay River Marathon on 9 June 2013.  I feel I am fitter than I was then and have been running better in the past week.  Whatever time I run in Melbourne, will be the base on which to build for a faster marathon in three months time.

The reason for the series of long runs every three or four days, is that this has worked best for me in the past to quickly return from injury.  I'll do one more long run this Sunday, a week before Melbourne, and then have a very quiet week in the hope that I freshen up and that the chronic injuries ebb away a little.  If I was fitter, I would have a longer taper, but at this stage I believe that the current series of long training runs has the potential to improve my marathon time by 5-10 minutes by Melbourne.  Assuming, of course, I don't get injured.

This morning's run was relatively comfortable for the first 24km, but my legs became very tired in the last 12km, and I slowed.  I messed up my timing, but think it was between 3:10 and 3:15.  I would like to be running faster, but have to accept that I had a hard long run three days ago, and my legs and chronic injuries are still feeling the effects.