Big PB for Aki

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It was a very cold start to the day, with a temperature of -3° at 7:00am. It cleared up to produce a stunning day, with clear skies and little wind. The air was cold, and when the wind stirred it felt as though it was right off the snow, but good for running anyway. There was a big turnout to Customs at lunchtime today, no doubt many others were attracted by the good conditions. I managed a small warm-up, and felt good even though it had been a fairly solid few days. I decided to set my watch at 4:30min pace, meaning that it would give me a time alert each 4 1/2 minutes, and I had set my speed zones for ±30 seconds on 4:30 pace.

Bob arrived (on his MTB) with seconds to spare, and there was something of a logjam of friendly rivalry as allrounder and Aki both left on a handicap of 12 minutes, Adrienne at 12:45, me at 13:15 and Bob at 14 minutes. I could see Adrienne from early on, however she maintained a gap. My watch beeped obediently at 4:30, simultaneously marking my first kilometre and the first 4:30 time-check. Bob hadn't passed me yet, which was surprising, and it wasn't until we neared the 2km mark that he huffed and puffed past. Around here my watch went rather wonky, beeping frequently, which I decided must be due to an expired battery in the footpod.

I saw Aki well ahead of allrounder and looking good, running strong and tall with good form. The frequent beeping of my watch was very annoying, and I didn't know what recording it was able to do. I hit the button at the turnaround tree in case; 11:18. The journey back was a hard slog, only catching Adrienne near 4km, and not having allrounder or Aki in view. My breathing was loud, but I felt good. Able to hold it up the hill to the finish, I got very annoyed with the need to avoid sundry pedestrians, joggers and walkers enjoying the fine winter day. A second or two in that for sure!

It seemed a long, lonely run from rounding the pavilion to the finish line, and I missed having Jodie there to out sprint me and bring me home. Crossed in a gross time of 35:47, a watch time of 22:32 with splits of 11:18 & 11:14. I had harboured a sneaking hope during the last half that I might be able to sneak in for 4:30 pace (22:30), although after a few miles in my legs and my watch going haywire I had no idea of where I was. Puffed at the end, I recovered quickly, and was reasonably happy. Allrounder did yet another PB, Jodie was injured, but Aki managed to strike a massive blow to her course PB of 22:56 set 3 weeks ago, recording 22:30 flat (yep, faster than me!) . I was delighted for her!

I stuffed around with changing the battery in my pod, and we went for a cruisey warm down along the lake front up to the picnic area opposite Duntroon and back, about 10-11 kms. Good fun. I'm looking forward to a run with my 'perfect running buddy' tomorrow morning, probably around the prickle trail and Dairy Farmers Hill. The joy of Stromlo forest slowly returning to normal. For so long it was like an adolescent boys facial stubble with the high wispy weeds above the immature pine trees just looking dorky. Now, as the pines grow stronger there is at least the impression of a hard earned growth.

3 Responses to “Big PB for Aki”

  1. Blogger CJ 

    Hope you have a good run tomorrow - I think the weather will be ok. And well done on your Custom's run today :-)

  2. Blogger Friar 

    Great description of the regrowth in the forest areas.

    Did Aki run the extra 11km.??


  3. Blogger allrounder 

    i assure you there were no fisticuffs between aki and myself but she may as well have knocked me to the ground with that run she had - she was flying...

    i agree with friar - your descriptions really do bring a great image to mind...

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