Took yesterday off so did the session today instead. I missed last week's 79 continuous (one of the sessions I think does me the world of good) so did it today instead - from work. Just the usual route sticking to the water's edge. Strong winds today which made some of the fast sections really tough.
Saw Barts out there and rival Kevin Robertson - yelling out a high to both despite being in a fast section each time. A slow average on the Fartlek and tempo but still managed 20km all up (3:58's). Hopefully it does some good.
After a hell of a day at work and with a sore achilles, the last thing I wanted to do was run home. Seriously contemplated the taxi option but I'd told Maggie she had to go to run training (after a day of touch footy) so felt like a hypocrit if I pulled out. So I plodded home.
Achilles actually felt better as the run went on and wasn't as sore as expected. Kirst was in bed by the time I arrived (9.20pm) so this was dinner:
PM: Jogged to ES Marks. Session was 4 laps, 3 laps then 2 laps. Matt was doing 15 laps aiming for steady 70's. We had to pace him around, taking a 2 lap break between each of our reps.
I'm struggling a bit at the moment. Before getting sick last week I was just tired but put it down to the step up to 120km weeks. Now I feel like I'm recovering from the cold. Legs felt sluggish and I've got no bounce or enthusiasm to push each rep.
Lost touch with Matty, Keith and Jared after 1km and held on to 4:51 for the 4 lapper. Bit better on the 3 lapper with Matt and Keith pulling ahead on the final lap. 3:36 I think. 2 lapper and held on for 500m before Alex cruised past with me finishing 2s back from the group (2:22).
Matt continues his fantastic form to run 17:39 for his 6km. That's a 14:44 5km along the way.
Then a bit of a break before starting the 10 x 300m reps off a rolling 2mins. I finished each rep about 10m behind the rest of the group with Jared smashing out each rep in 45s with the last in 42s. He's getting stronger by the week. A girl from Runcrew (Abi Regan) was also putting me to shame running her reps in 47/48. I was at least consistent with each rep at 50/51s. Consistently mediocre.
Sat down after and my calf started cramping. Then did a stretch and the top of my quad started cramping. Then later did a hip flexor stretch and my abs started cramping! So I think I need to pump in some magnesium.
Missed the squad so headed up to Centennial solo for a loop and return. Love heading out there as you feel as though you leave the City behind.
Bit heavy legged to start but better by end. 15km in 4:35's.
Some great results in Berlin last night. Neil ran a fantastic 2:31 off a disrupted prep. Craig "took it easy" (someone needs to have a word with him) for a 2:44 but run of the day was Julia Degan setting a PB in 2:42. This from a World Champ representative who struggles to win Striders 10km. No one transitions to the full better.
Smaller crowd this week with Macca, Dicky, Elle, Toby, Ben and man-of-the-moment Scotty joining me for the usual route. Scotty has hit some great form after upping his mileage to 120kms per week post GC. He's doing that as well as maintaining the speed sessions, and as a result ran 15:48 at Parkrun yesterday smashing my PB and doing it pretty much solo (sounds like Lewis and Matt Robbie were with him early on). I think I'll avoid racing him for a while.
Felt fine today until about 25km when my shoulders and neck started to feel a bit achey and generally felt lethargic - just the effects of the virus flushing out I think. This coincided with me and Scotty catching Macca and me turning to Macca and saying "I'm going to push ahead to Emporio". About 300m later Macca runs alongside me and says "so when are you pushing ahead?".
So we got to Emporio and Macca starts explaining his decision to run the Half in Melbourne and not the full. After about 20mins of long-winded explanations, it dawned on me that he's too worried the Cap'n would beat him if he ran the full..
Please to have got it done. Epsom bath salts and a couple of magnesium tablets should sort out the soreness.
Well, the flu (bad cold really) hit and I took Wednesday off work feeling sorry for myself. Just cold and shivery and streaming nose with a sore throat. Started to feel better by Friday.
Down in Sutton Forest overnight Friday with Kirst. Got up early Sat morning and ran 10km from the Peppers place in my Saucony Kinvaras. Not sure I can use them for training (at least, my achilles would need time to adapt) but will be good for long tempos, Halfs and Marathons. Felt good towards the end pushing the pace a bit. 4:15's.
Set the alarm for the ungodly hour of 4:30am. This gave me 10mins to wash, dress, put lenses in, eat banana and drink large glass of water. Then out to Bike Addiction to get a lift from Hamish. Picked up Macca and Darren on the way and then into Macca's office in North Sydney where Darren decided to avail himself of the employees toiletries.
Down to the start line to pick up the pacing flag where I met Timmy and Muz. Here we are, bleary eyed, at 5.50am:
Treated like royalty at the start line and we're off. Run the uphill section (such a crap start to this race - only the Sun Run ranks worse and that race is a joke) and I do a 3:40 thinking "this isn't going to be fun". Find a group including LJ and J-Fen and can see Muz just ahead so all is good. Suddenly you run down off the bridge and we're flying, running a km split of 3:30 feeling fantastic. See the leaders switching back and The Vonk looks good followed by Hamish Mc and Alex and then Macca. Then on Cahill Expressway I hear someone swearing loudly in front and Muz has pulled up lame - his calf blowing from protecting his achilles.
The next few km I'm running with Burkey at the front of a group of about 10 and we starting clipping off the kms regularly at an even pace. Here we are through Hyde Park:
The group in front falls apart a bit and we catch Eoin at 10km (37:30) with Darren up ahead. Catch Darren in Pyrmont at 13km and get a good luck at the runners here due to the switchbacks. Vlad is going well, Renee is having a cracker of a run but LJ is having an off day.
The group is still holding together and in shouting at anyone threatening to drop off. I was worrying about the hills on the flyovers at Darling Harbour but they divert you around the water's edge so that it's a great - flat - final 7km. Catch Brendon F at 16km and from here it's just encouraging the group to hold together.
Darren and David from Clutz start to pick up the pace at 17km finishing very strongly. By 20km I can see the group is going to make it so drop back a bit to encourage those behind. First Hamish (coming home strong) then Marc Ashworth and others. We're in the final finish chute now and there's an Indian chap who's struggling but on the cusp of making it. I'm screaming at him (to the amusement of the crowd) and he musters a sprint to get through with 3s to spare. And the fella is in tears and comes over to say thank you after. I was welling up.
A great run. I like the course although a few too many switchbacks to be fast. Some great performances out there with Marc, Darren and Brendon all doing fantastically to go under 80 for the first time. But run of the day to Renee in 83:36. She just gets better and better. Take a look at the Striders website and see how high that places her on the Striders Half Marathon Ladder.
Old Man v 800m man. Jogged to Curl Curl to see Jared warming up and a few other familiar faces including the Cap'n and Pete W. Had a chat and found out Jared had instructions to run the first 3km in 9:30 and then "feel the pain". So my morning was set from that.
Off we go and Jared shoots off looking like he's cruising while I take 2 strides for every one of his. Through 1km in 3:02 - holy crap. I push on a bit through 2km in 6:12 and then 3km in 9:32 and he's starting to breathe hard. I gap him up the hill but I'm cooked here too. Get home feeling uncomfortable in 16:07. Smashed by that first km. Strava said I set a personal record for the first half, but was 17s slower than my record on the second half. That says it all.
The Cap'n is showing some form to finish 3rd in 17:16. Jogged home with him for 11km all up.