Friday, August 31, 2007

Slightly under Friday

Still not feeling 100% but a late lunch cancellation and a beautiful day meant I was keen to get out. Ran a very easy 11km with Ray and Gerry towards Balls Head but missing out the headland itself. 52:06.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mona Fartlek

Woke up this morning feeling unwell with a sore throat and general weakness. Contemplated not showing up for today's session but felt slightly better as the morning wore on so turned up with the intention of taking it easy.

Felt very sluggish over the first two fast 90's - Serg and Anthony were way ahead and I was struggling to hold onto Ray. Then on the first 60 I suddenly felt better and started to push the pace. Reached the 10 minute turnaround at the drain just before the final lamp post (probably the same spot as the first time we did this session but not as far as last time) - Anthony was just before the gates and Serg just after - and pushed for home trying to stay ahead of those two and catch Ray. Ran the final couple of 30's with Serg feeling much better. Finished further around the Opera House than usual (the final fast rep finished halfway between the gates and the Opera House) and fresher than last time. Overall, pleased to have shown up and not kill myself (this session isn't half as tough as Hickson Road). Let's just hope the cold doesn't develop over the next 2 days.

11km all up.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Long Wednesday

19km run to work with the usual 4 five minute fast stretches. Beautiful morning for running (a little cooler than the last two days) which was a good job as I had little motivation to do a hard long run otherwise. Really struggled along Manly Beach and up Parriwi but felt surprisingly good along Military Road before struggling again over the Bridge. 1:23:24 all up.

Felt knackered when I got to work so tried some of Beaky's Endura sports drink (his parting gift when leaving the firm) which is supposed to aid recovery. Nearly vomitted. God only knows how your supposed to glug down a litre of that crap.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


3.5km warm up + 6km Pain + 3.5km warm down for 13km.

Another warm day meaning Pain was a little tougher than usual. Serg and Durante raced off into the distance leaving the usual crowd of Ray, Tucks, Anthony, Chris's E and G, MfM, Mike, Toby etc. Put the usual effort in and was pleased with a 1:56 on the long rep running from the front. Buggered by the end.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Easy Monday

Easy 14km around Balls Head with Gerry and Mike. Lovely day - pretty warm (Spring has arrived) so quite sweaty by the end. Picked up the pace towards the end to finish in 62:37.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pub 2 Pub

A big night on Thursday at the AAR alumni event plus a big client lunch on Friday wiped out most of the Friday and Saturday and meant I went to bed on Sat night doubtful as to whether I'd show up for this race. But it was a beautiful morning and Charlie had me up by 5.30am so I put on the racing flats and jogged to the start at Dee Why (catching a bus to Long Reef).

Met up with TJA before the the race and heard about his flu over the past week so I guessed he wouldn't be pushing it. Fascinating start as everyone tries to get to the hard sand while avoiding the surf. It was pretty manic to begin with - had sand flicked in my eye and by the time I'd dealt with that we were already heading off the beach. Jeremy Horne took the lead and I settled into second with Charlie Low, TJA and one other I didn't recognise. From Long Reef golf course until crossing the lagoon at North Narrabeen I just tried to force the pace all the time and drop members of this little group. Crossing the lagoon Charlie pushed on and I couldn't keep with him, he then seemed to accelerate up the hill to Turrimetta Beach (which was a real bugger of a hill - steep and dragging) and by the top had about 15 seconds on me in less than a km. I sensed that TJA and A.N.Other had dropped off the pace here as well as I couldn't hear them but daredn't look around.

From then on I just tried to maintain 3rd - stretching out on the flat sections and just putting my head down up the hills. Really appreciated the shouts from Richard High at the bottom of the Mona Vale hill as it's another tough one. (Also had a couple of shouts which were well appreciated from 2 cyclists when running through Collaroy Basin - couldn't identify them due to the helmets and sunnies).

It's a fantastic course. The views are so good at the top of the hill at Turrimetta Beach and again running down towards Mona Vale hospital that you can still appreciate them when in some pain.

Didn't get my time. Something around 47 mins I think. It's irrelevant as no-one knows the course distance and is different from last year. Jeremy ran 44 something and I guess Charlie was about 40 seconds in front of me.

About 20km all up including the 6km run to the start.

[Time was 45:58 - pretty pleased given the times of those around]

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hickson Road

Hickson Road reps. 5 x 1.2km with strict 2 minute rests. Reps went:

3:40; 3:31; 3:36; 3:34; 3:36(3:33)

On the last rep I had a large Mercedes pull out in front of me from the Walsh Bay wharf which completely broke my stride and added about 3 seconds. In fact, the second rep involved some twat walking straight across our path to get his cab (he looked like the "tell Charles I'm on my way" chap too) which nearly knocked me and Mike over.

Pretty conservative start (not having done them for a while I think) but pleased that they all got quicker. I felt stronger the further through we went. Ran them all with Anthony other than the last.

Another big crowd including Serg, Anthony, Ray, Mike, English Andy, MfM, Darren, Derek, Chris E, Fats and Charlie Low, who I was chasing on the last rep after the Mercedes encounter.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Long tough session

19km run to work including loop around Manly (adding Queenscliff lagoon). 4 quick stretches along Manly beach, up Parriwi, along Military and over the Harbour bridge. Hard to really push the quick stretches today - particularly Manly and the Harbour bridge - as a strong southerly was blowing straight into my face. Only really good one was Military where I felt great.

83:32 all up.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Try hard Pain

3km warmup + 6km Pain + 3km warmdown.

Made a decision half way through Pain today not to worry about any future sessions coming later in the week and just give 100% in each one. Interesting talking to Serg afterwards who, without having heard what I'd just been thinking, said that Knoxy had put down his increased performances this season to doing just that.

Having said that, still reckon I took it a bit easy on the hills.

Felt tired to start with but gradually got into the session. Please with the long rep. Like the mug I am I took the lead into the wind then watched Durante, Serg and new bloke Michael from Macquarie sail by as we rounded the corner. Felt that MfM was weakening in the last 100m so attacked again and was chuffed with a 1:57 - particularly given the wind. Kept the recoveries moving so we ended in a quick 24:30. Big crowd running that time - PitD really is improving. Today we had Ray (who was on fire although conspicuous by his absence on the long rep), Serg, 2 Mikes (3 if you count MfM), Tim C, English Andy and Andrew W but no Tucks or Anthony.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Balls Head again

Very easy 14km around Balls Head with Ray, Gerry and Durante. 65:09. Bloody miserable weather.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Long Sunday

26km route though Seaforth, Oxford Falls and Dee Why in 1:57:57. Started a bit quicker than last time and struggled from Dee Why onwards. Took all my dedication to get out this morning. It was chucking down with rain (although I think I judged the best 2 hour window) and not the warmest. Bring on the summer.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday tempo

Usual Manly 7.5km route run quickly. Faster than comfortable but not a time trial like 3 weeks ago. Felt better as the run went on and finished strongly in 28:04. Works out at 3:43 per km.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Easy Friday

Very easy 14km around Balls Head with Mike and Ray. 63:26.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday alone

14km run to work with the usual 3 marathon pace stretches. Really tried to push them today, particularly Parriwi. Jogs in-between were faster than usual resulting in a quick 54:51.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Long Wednesday

Run home with city loop added - 18km with the usual 4 marathon pace stretches. 1:17:07. Felt better than I was expecting, comfortable enough on the fast stretches and enjoyed the jog recoveries. Not looking forward to backing up in the morning though.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Gentle Pain

1km warm up + 6km Pain + 4km warmdown. Felt good today - putting more effort in on the reps (particularly the hills) than of late. Time was slower than usual in high 25's though. Missed my time on the long rep as a result of dropping my work pass half way around. Good to say Ray putting some effort in for once and to catch up with Tucks, Anthony, Tim C and the rest.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday magic

Early morning massage with Tiger followed by 14kms over lunch with Ray in a very leisurely 67:02. Commisserated one another with yesterday's performances and planned the next attack.

Photo of yesterday's race attached courtesy of Benny...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

City to Surf


Finished not sure where in 48:01. I'll get all the excuses in first - a number of people ran slower (or a lot slower) than I expected - including Serg, Chris Truscott, Ray, Mike, Durante and Richard P. But the people I was expecting to be competitive with and run quick lived up to expectations - Chadi, Tucks (in a fantastic 46:45) and Anthony (in an equally impressive 47:32).

I set off fine running the first km quick and heading into Edgecliff Tucks, Anthony, Darren Benson and I were running side by side. Then going up the Edgecliff hill they just pulled ahead and I couldn't do anything about it. I told myself that I'd come good after Heartbreak Hill and that I just had to hang in but the legs just weren't there today. Started to pick up a few places around Rose Bay and always had Anthony in sight but come Heartbreak Hills I lost a couple more places - from blokes who went on to run sub-47:30 so it wasn't a question of starting too slowly. Hit 7km in 24:45 (18 seconds up from last year) which I was disappointed with but then looking back this meant that I still ran the back half slower than last year. Overtook Anna Thompson at the top of Heartbreak Hill and from then on I was running by myself. Tried to put it in along Military Road but I wasn't bridging any gap with Anthony - if anything, from here he was getting stronger as a couple of blokes he was running with fell of the pace and I overtook from 9-11km. Managed a decent finish but then felt guilty for not having tried harder earlier on.

Most disappointing thing is that I normally perform to expectations in the big events and this is the first time that hasn't been the case. It's hardened the resolve to knuckle down to training and catch a few more people next race though.

For the disappointment of the run, the post race entertainment made up. Great to catch up with so many people afterwards, including Springer (another great run showing he's getting back to form and great hospitality in going out of his way to get us free beers in the Deutsche Bank tent), 26miles, Ray (who was probably as disappointed with 48:51 as me), Mike, Durante, Uncle Dave (good to see him back in action), Tim Cradock (who had a great run - how can anyone run 36:10 in a 10km the week before and then back up with a 49:01 C2S?) and particularly MPH who then led me on to the Hotel Bondi for a few more refreshing ales.

Love this event but it wasn't to be this year.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

So it's done...

Something very satisfying about finishing your last run before a big race - it's now just two days rest (although I may plod about a bit on Saturday) before the big race of the year.

Today was 14km easy (again) running down to the Opera House and then two loops of the Mona Fartlek circuit with Ray, Tucks, Anthony, Simon and Tim with a couple of strides thrown in. 1:06:11.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

More easy running

14km from work in 1:06:00. To Rushcutters, through Trumper Park, Past Lord Dudley, up Jersey Road, in Paddington Gates, one loop of Centennial and back via Fox Studios, Cleveland and Hyde Park. Very slow and gentle.

OK - my predictions for Sunday:

Serg: 44:47
Tucks: 46:51
Anthony: 47:22
Ray: 47:50
Durante: 48:59
Mike: 49:32
Flake: 54:12

That's unless the wind picks up (in the wrong direction) which the weather forecast is threatening...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Enjoyable Pain

3km warmup + 6km Pain + 3km warmdown.

Another big crowd with Tucks, Ray, Serg, Chris's G and E, Anthony, Mike, Tim C and Dave Clark among others. Everyone taking it easy in a taper for Sunday. Was really enjoyable as a result - just floated on the reps chatting all the way around.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Easy Monday

14km around Balls Head at lunch with Ray. Very easy run chatting all the way (although Ray does that at any pace) about the weekend results and City to Surf. 1:07:53. Felt tired in the second half as a result of the weekend's efforts so have ditched any plan to take Pain and Wednesday seriously and will just be running easy for the rest of the week.

.....One of the things I was chatting to Ray about was the conversion factor between the Lane Cove 10km result in August and City to Surf results. Ray mentioned that Stephen Jackson had analysed this over the years. Sent Action a PM this afternoon and he replied saying that looking at over 100 results over the past 3 years (there are some people out there who are even more obsessed on stats than me) the conversion factor is as near as dammit to 1.4. Gives me a predicted 46:58. Still think this is very ambitious but sub47 has got to be the ultimate aim.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Medium Long Sunday

Another beautiful day for running. Same route as last week in 1:41:49 (47:10 at Stone Arch). Easy run but felt more tired during the second half as a result of yesterday's race.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Striders 10km Lane Cove

3rd in 33:31.

Occasionally you run a race and everything just works. Felt fantastic today. Plan was to push the pace from the start and run this course like everyone says you should - put it in until the turn at 5.3km and then let the hills bring you home.

Took off at the start and was surprised to take the lead for the first km. Was still in the lead at the start of the hill up to Scribbly Gums when Jeremey Horne just took off. He turned about 15m in front with me, Tom Crasti and Tim Ashby in the following group. I tried to push on the pace at the bottom of the hill to drop Tim but just seemed to drag them both with me. I think Tom and I must have made a small gap over the next 2km as we went through 5km in 17:03 and Tim said he was through in 17:08. Tom pulled in front up the hill to the 5.3km turn but I was still feeling good enough to catch him on the downhill following the turn. Basically just ran with Tom from there through to the bottom of the hill at Scribbly Gums - trying to force the pace but failing to drop him. I must have eased off at that point as he suddenly surged ahead and had 10m on me in no time. I ran a slow km from 8-9 as he'd built up a gap of 10 seconds by 9km. From there I just pushed for home hoping to hold Tim off.

Tim finished in 33:46. If you're reading this mate, that's now 3-3 for the season (I think we can ignore the SMH - 10kms are where it's at) and having pulled it back from 3-0, you've got to be worried about the Striders cumulative 10km points!

Although the time wasn't quite as quick as I had hoped for, I was chuffed in how I felt running it. Feeling confident for City to Surf now but just hope I haven't peaked a week early.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Easy jog

Very easy 8km to Darling Point and back in 36:24. Back of right knee sore after yesterday's hills. Not sure what to expect tomorrow. Will be disappointed with anything over 34 and pleased with anything under 33:30.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


3 x 6 x 180m Hills with a jog down after each and a 1km jog between sets. Big crowd again including 2 Mikes, Ray, Phil, Springer, Andy, BT Blokes and Chris G. Pushed them but didn't kill myself in trying to save something for Saturday - no lactic at the end. About 34 seconds each. The 2 Mikes (particularly Durante) were leading the way.

4km warmdown for about 13km all up.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

City to Surf prep

Ran the City to Surf route at lunch with Serg, Mike, Anthony, Chris E and Andy. 15km all up in 62:33 and about 59 minutes for the C2S route.

Main aim was to work out exactly what happens after Heartbreak Hill. There always seems to be one extra turn that I forget year on year that saps the mental spirit when racing. Conclusion after running the course was that:

1. Other than Rose Bay, there are virtually no flat bits.
2. Heartbreak Hill isn't half as bad as it's made out.
3. The hills in Vaucluse following the turn off onto Military Road are the worst section.

So plan has to be to attack the course from the top of HH (8km) until the end of Military Road (11km).

Can't wait.