Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mona Fartlek

The Thursday crowd goes from strength to strength. Today was Serg, Ray, Tim, Richard P, Darren Q, David Clark, Chris and myself. Met at Opera House gates and ran 90 (90), 90 (90), 60 (60), 60 (60), turnaround, 60 (60), 60 (60), 30 (30), 30 (30), 30 (30), 30 (30), 30 (30), 30 (30).

Unbracketed times are ran hard and bracketed times are a float, the idea being to keep them sub-4min per km. Intention is to get back to the start by the end of the session. The idea of shortening the rep times (and rests) is that the pace is maintained throughout.

Serg g-mapped the route here:

Took it out with Ray and Serg but with Serg pushing on it was just me and him by the turnaround with Ray about 50m back (he was taking it easy for Sat afternoon). Picked up David Clark on the way back and the three of us pushed it all the way. Finished about 150m beyond the start so we must have quickened the pace quite a bit.

The route suggests 5.85km for the 20 mins - average of 3:24 per km including the floats. I reckon the floats were no quicker than 3:40 pace so we must have been averaging under 3:10 pace for the hard intervals. Enjoyed this one. It hurts when you're doing it but you can recover quite quickly afterwards.

2km warm up and 4km warm down for 12km all up.

That's three good sessions in three days so I lifted the confidence a bit.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Balls Head Revisited

14km around Balls Head with three marathon pace stretches - from the Commodore to Balls Head, along the Luna Park Foreshore and over the Harbour Bridge. Really enjoy this session - the fast patches are never too painful (and I don't time them) as I just try to get as close as possible to lactic build up then try to run relaxed to keep it at bay. Felt fresh for the start of each one although the stretch over the Harbour Bridge is more an acceleration all the way due to the hill to start.

Felt great today - only ill effect from yesterday's session is a pain behind my right knee, more noticeable when trying to run uphill. Hoping it's just a minor strain. Still got sore ribs following my fall from the Razor 10 days ago though.

54:15 for the section I time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Serious Pain

4km warm up + 6km Pain + 1km warmdown = 11km.

Prepared myself for a tough session today (despite a broken night's sleep rushing to the hospital at midnight) after last week's slow affair. A few of the usual crowd were missing but with Durante, Dave Clarke and the fast improving Mike and Anthony there, there was plenty of competition about. I tried to push all of the early reps in order to take the sting out of Durante's tail on the long rep. Didn't quite work. He and Dave set off like a couple of hares on the long rep while I just concentrated on not letting the gap exceed 5 yards. Sensed Dave was weakening after the first mosaic and was slowly catching Durante after the second mosaic but failed by a yard to get him. Still recorded easily my fastest time (1:53) for the 709m. It's probably not too far off my 800m PB.

Just about held it together for the two grass reps along the top but was weak on the penultimate hill. Mike finished very strongly and Anthony too was looking good. 25:55 all up so a very good session.

I'm predicting Mike will run sub 35:30 at Lane Cove on Saturday morning and Michael will go sub-35, weather permitting.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Needed the rest

Took Saturday and Sunday off - partly because of being away at the Gold Coast but mostly because I was knackered after a tough week following last Sunday's SMH. Today was the usual Monday lunchtime run with Ray, Mike and Richard P - Balls Head was closed for a police investigation so headed around Berry Island instead. That made it about 17km in 1:18:14.

Friday, May 25, 2007

How did Uncle Dave do it?

Up on the Gold Coast for the Partners Retreat. Had some time to kill this morning so ran 28km. Set off from the Sheraton Mirage and ran all the way down the beach to Burleigh Heads (about 14km I guess in 63 minutes), had a drink and ran back. Got bored of running on the beach somewhere south of Northcliffe so joined the road and ran back on the pathway next to the beach. 2:05:30 in total. Extremely tired at the end, mainly through dehydration. I've drunk gallons this afternoon.

Some observations:

(a) Longest distance I've ever run in a straight line. How many people out there can beat 14km without turning a corner?
(b) Running in a straight line is very boring.
(c) It's very hard not to speed up when running in a straight line on a dead flat surface.
(d) Kept on thinking about Dave running 50km on the track. How on earth did he do it without going insane?
(e) There are lots of overweight, tanned blokes on the Gold Coast.
(f) There are not nearly so many attractive females as Queenslanders would have you believe.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hill reps

Hill reps in the Botanical Gardens with Ray, Durante, Anthony, Chris from HSBC, Darren Q, his mate Simon, and Pete W. 3 x 5 x 180m hill with a jog back down and a 1km jog in between each set. Still struggling with the fatigue. Durante ran off the front of each of the reps. Started to feel comparatively stronger against the rest of the group in the final set where fatigue was really setting in.

Still unsure of the benefits of this session. It certainly gets the lungs burning and the legs feel very tired by the end but not sure it does much for a 10km runner.

Jog before and long warm-down for about 12km all up.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Attacking the soreness

Easy 8km run pushing on every now and then either side of an Easy Tiger massage. Which was bloody painful. About 35mins.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sore Pain

4km warm up + 6km Pain + 1km warm down = 11km.

Took Pain easy today, suffering from a stiff back after my Razor stack and sore calves. Well, real reason I took it easy was that I was knackered. The faintest whiff of a hill and the legs just failed. Not a huge crowd, but with Durante, Ray and Mike there to push things along it wasn't slow. Struggled on the long rep after starting quickly, with Durante pulling ahead, Ray easing past and Mike and Anthony pipping me to the post. Amazed to still run 1:59 though when I thought it was more like a 2:05.

At least it's done. 26:50 all up.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Stiff and sore

Very easy 14km recovery run around Balls Head with Mike and Ray. Spent all the time chatting about yesterday's race. 60:11.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

SMH Half

This race is fast becoming one of my favourites. All the usual suspects try to turn out, most will be aiming for a good time by tapering which makes the atmosphere before and after fantastic. Great support out on the course today - really appreciated the shouts by Brightshoes, Fats and Serg as well as the "go Strider" shouts from runners heading in the opposite direction. It's also great to line up with top runners - a number of Australian representatives like Martin Dent, Brett Cartright and Scott Westcott. I remember Dad always saying that was what he loved about running - the fact that it's one of the only sports where the average club runner can line up with the elites of the sport.

Had a chat with Tim Ashby, Ray, Richard P and Flake before the start - Flake looking nervous. Plan was to take the first lap quite quickly but try to stay relaxed and then just hold on. Had the usual made scramble at the start - passed Easy Tiger at about 1km just after hearing a huge shout of "Go the Tiger"!" Tim made his usual quick start and had about 20 yards on me even by 2km. I settled into running the first lap with a tall chap I think called Gerard - that seemed to be what people from the side were calling him. Asked Gerard the time at 5km and he said 17:20. Still felt fine so just tried to settle into a relaxed stride. Didn't take on any water at 5km - planned just to take small sips at 10km and 15km after last year's stitch. Passed Charlie Low at this stage - obviously out of sorts and I assume he dropped out shortly after.

Picked up a few places on drag back up to St Mary's and got the first chance to work out my position on the switch back outside the cathedral. I was about 25 seconds behind Tim at this stage and I guess about 30 seconds in front of Ray and Guy Doulman. I was still running with Gerard(?) and slowly reeling in a couple of St George runners. We'd formed a bunch by Pitt Street (good of Serg to still give me a shout despite running with the St George runners!) - definitely easier to be running in a group. Argyle St wasn't as bad as I had thought and felt strong doubling back along Kent. Reached 10k in 35:25 and started to push along Hickson Road - pavlov's dog reaction to the Thursday reps. Felt great running in the crowd of 4 until Hunter St for the second time. Really struggled up there - Gerard(?) and the first St George runner pulling ahead while I clung on to the second. They both started powering on from the top of the hill while I ran with the other St George bloke.

I was starting to really feel it by this stage - tried to see how far back Ray was at the 15km corner but couldn't see him. Just tried to concentrate on holding the form until St Mary's where I could see without having to look behind me. I'd given up worrying about times by this stage and was just concentrating on not letting Ray or anyone else catch up. Reached the St Mary's switchback for the second time and was still about 25 seconds behind Tim - but Ray was much closer. Really put some effort in from here knowing there was only one more hill. Felt fine going down Hunter (who doesn't) and along Pitt but struggled around the corner onto George St. Heard Fats giving a shout on the corner of Argyle and immediately tried to listen for him shouting for Ray to gauge how much time I had.

Turned the corner onto Kent and immediately the spirits lifted. I knew I had enough to finish strongly from here. Passed the 20km in 71:20. 3:40 needed for the final 1.1km. Wasn't sure I had enough speed for that but just pretended it was another Hickson Rd rep. Sounds of the crowd on turning the corner lifted me again so just sprinted for home. Crossed in 74:44. Even managed to punch the air. Absolutely stoked with the time.

Ray came over in 75:12. Great PBs by Springer and 26miles. Flake looked disappointed with his 86 and has faster times in him. Tim Ashby finished 22 seconds in front, Tim Cradock is on the comeback with a high 77. Durante must have been very close with a 77:5x - he'll be sub-34 for 10km on that. Richard P struggled in the second half for a 79. Guy must have struggled in the second half as he dropped of the pace.

Great to catch up with everyone afterwards. A brilliant day for running.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

More taper

Very easy reverse Manly 8km route. 33:05. Still trying to fight off the onset of a cold. Very lethargic today - either nervous and saving something for tomorrow or a sign the bug is about to get me.

Friday, May 18, 2007



12km amble around Manly. 51:37. Took the day off work after a couple of late nights and deals closing. Felt fantastic after yesterday's day off. Spent most of the run thinking about Sunday's race and how to run it.


Rest. Evening spent in the bar with the Thursday running crowd. Have vague recollections of some bet with Kanser about Striders race at North Head in September.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Squeezing it in

8km Manly route run early in the morning. Too busy at work and heading up to Brisbane this afternoon so had to run at 6.30am. Made it a quick one (30:00 exactly) with a very fast patch for the mile from Manly SLSC to Queenscliff SLSC (5:13). Slowed down after that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Popular Pain

3km warm up + 6km Pain + 2 km warm down for 11km all up.

Really good crowd out today with Ray, Serg, Tim, Mike, Tucks, Phil Woods and Anthony. I was leading the first group so the reps were hard but the recoveries very easy. 1:56 for the long rep battling with Serg all the way around and 25:55 all up. Serg was strong all the way around. Ray took it easy, no doubt saving himself for the weekend. Good to see Tim back in the mix.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fog on the Line

Intention was to run to work this morning. Woke up feeling knackered, so quickly changed plans for a lunchtime run. Started walking to work and realised how misty it was - a quick call to 131 500 confirmed suspicions that all ferry services were cancelled due to fog. Checked out the bus queues and they were a mile long. If ever there was an appropriate day to run in, it was today. Walked back home, got changed, ran to work. One of the crappiest runs of all time. Still very fatigued in the legs following last Thursday's session. Reached Spit Junction in a very plodding 28 mins and tried to up the pace to save myself further embarrasment. Reached work in 58:45. Not easy enough to be a recovery run but not quick enough to do any benefit.
At least it's done.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday amble


Very easy 18/19 km over lunchtime in about 80:30. North Steyne, North Head (stone arch turn off in 47:00) Fairlight Pool (63 mins) but cutting off Tania Park and turning back after going around Crescent St just off North Harbour Reserve. Kept it short not wanting to overstretch this week in the lead up to the SMH Half. Felt easy the whole way but still a bit of fatigue in the legs after the past 2 weeks' efforts.



Friday, May 11, 2007

Recovery run

Very easy 14km recovery run home from work. Legs pretty tired and sore after yesterday's massage and interval session.

32:30 at Toyota Garage and 61:15 all up.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Back to Hickson Road

Just for old times' sake. Thought it appropriate in having to run it 3 times next week for the SMH Half. 5 x 1.2km with 2 minute recoveries. Times went:

3:36; 3:32; 3:37; 3:33; 3:37

Easily the best session I've done on this route. Good crowd with Ray, Serg, Durante, Mike and Anthony (Serg's mate from work). Ran them all with Serg and would pull ahead only in the final 100m. On the final rep I felt gone (was about 15m down on Serg and Durante at the final speed hump) but put in a final burst to keep the times consistent.

Had a massage before which made the legs feel like jelly on the first rep. Warm up and down made for about 12km all up.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More of the same

14km run home from work with some marathon pace stretches over the bridge, along Military Road and along Sydney Road. Faster pace not as quick as yesterday but the jogging in-between must have been.

28:58 at Toyota Garage and 55:50 all up.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

No Pain

14km run into work with the usual 3 marathon pace sessions. Tough up Parriwi Road (Spit Junction in 26:12?) meaning the second and third stretches were more of a struggle. Just tried to concentrate on relaxing and avoiding the lactic but easier said than done.

56:15 all up.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A bit clammy


Very easy 14km around Balls Head reserve loop with Richard P, Kanser, Ray, Mike and Kanser's mate. Struggled on the hills with a bit of the illness still in the legs but pleased to be up and running again.


Rest. In bed. Succumbed to gastro bug the rest of the family had. Disappointed as it was a beautiful day and I was keen to back up with a long one after Saturday's race. Felt terrible though. On days like this I wonder how those people who don't miss a day's training in 30 years or whatever manage it.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Striders 10km North Head

2nd in 33:26.

Absolutely stoked with the run. 25 second PB. Only downside was missing out on a win by 3 seconds.

None of the top runners were there with the NSW 10km road champs on this afternoon and Dave Criniti out with an injury. Still, there was a large crowd of people I'm normally competitive with - Andrew Tuckey, Tim Ashby, Richard High, Ray, Guy Doulman etc. Set off pretty conservatively - Ray took the lead but it felt very comfortable. This was confirmed when he shouted at the time at the first km marker as 3:24. We immediately speeded up - Guy taking the lead. By 2km (6:42) I was in a group with Ray, Andrew and Tim just sitting behind them. The plan was to try and relax over the first big lap and really push the first half of the second lap. 3km went by in 10:02. I wasn't worried about Ray pushing on as I knew he was dropping out at 5km - just wanted to keep within striking distance of Andrew and Tim. Sure enough, Ray pushed on between 4 and 5km taking Andrew with him (we reached 5km in 16:45) . However, by the start/finish turn Tim and I had caught Andrew again. He immediately seemed to push on again up the slight rise heading away from the start line and I could feel Tim dropping off the pace. However, from the roundabout Andrew was just pulling ahead and despite the pre-race plan I couldn't stick with him.

Tim had caught me by the car park loop and together we started to make slow in-roads on Andrew. I hit 8km and tried to push on again but the dragging hill really hurt. At 9km, Tim came past very quickly (he said afterwards it was to try and break me and that I was looking spent!) but called out the time as he did (30:23). I realised I needed a 3:28 final km for the PB so just gave it everything I had. Caught Tim just past the roundabout (almost identical position to that when I overtook him at the last race at North Head in September '06) and started really sprinting. Felt I might have gone too early as there always seems to be one extra speed bump on the run in. At one point I thought I might even catch Andrew but he was too far ahead and held on for a 3 second win.

Perfect conditions today - clear skies, cool and not a breath of wind. Lots had great runs. Richard is getting back to fitness knocking another 40 seconds off last month's time to run 34:40. Durante knocked 2 minutes off his Homebush time to run 35:30. He'll be winning these races soon. Ray must have gone through 5km in under 16:40.

[Just looked back over Blog and compared last September's race at North Head when I ran 33:51. Apparently went through 3km in 9:50 and 5km in 16:36 that day which suggests much more sensible pacing today! Can put that down to Andrew - Mr Even Pace.]

Friday, May 04, 2007

Looking after a sick family

14km easy run to work. Lovely morning. 28:10 at Spit Junction and 59:41 all up.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Could do with some sleep

Very easy run home. 14km. 31:45 at Toyota Garage and 60:23 all up. Just switched off. Well, actually I was planning tactics for Saturday's race. Not sure why. Whenever I do race I just tend to feel terrible and try to fight the mental demons ("I can't keep this up.....I'm going to stop soon") all the way.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Good Pain

3.5km warm up, 6km Pain plus 1km warm down. 10km all up.

Big crowd today, including Richard H, Durante, Ray, Chris G, Serg and Andrew Tuckey. They all really pushed the reps hard - but probably with slightly more rest in between - the way it should be. Not bad all up time of 25:50 though. Fast over the 709m rep (1:56) chasing Durante who ran 1:54.

Andrew's running North Head which will make it interesting, particularly after his win in the Bathurst Half at the weekend.

That ends a big week - over 100km including two speed sessions and one race.