Monday, December 31, 2007

Highnam Handicap

The big event this morning - 5 loops of the playing fields next to the Boy Charlton pool (about 545m). It's a bit rough underfoot in parts and quite soft grass in others. Had the usual fight last night about handicap times with people vastly underestimating their abilities. Basic format was that Gill and Laurence went off on scratch, Dad on 50 seconds, Jamie on 2 minutes and me on 4:45. Alec ran with Spohie as he's injured his knee. Henry, Paul, Jack and Sophie did 3 laps. Henry setting off with Laurence on her 3rd lap, Paul and Jack setting off when Gill/Laurence had done 1.7 laps and Sophie setting off when Gill/Laurence had done 1.3 laps. Bec and Billy did one lap starting with Paul and Jack.
Finishing times were as follows:
Sophie: 12:12
Jack: 12:38
Paul: 12:40
Bec: 13:00
Gill: 13:01
Jamie: 13:15
Dad: 13:22
Henry: 13:37
Me: 13:41
Laurence: 13:52
Billy: 13:55

Individual splits impossible to work out other than:

Me: 8:56
Jamie: 11:15
Dad: 12:32
Gill: 13:01
Laurence: 13:52

Works out at about 3:17 p/km for me which was about right for interval training. Laps went 1:41, 1:48, 1:50, 1:50, 1:48. Here are the race photos:

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Set off at 6.30am aiming to do 2 hours. First problems were diarrhoea before I set off, followed by pit stops at North Steyne and Shelly Beach. Felt really stiff and the achilles was particularly so. Improved a bit going around North Head (4:20 for the first km of the Striders North Head route) but then on the Fairfax walking track I just started to slow down involuntarily. 4:48 for the 8th km of the North Head route, then 4:43 for the final km then I started to slow even more so that I was managing barely more than a shuffle. Was getting stiff and sore all over at this stage, including in the upper back and neck. So I cut the run short and ran straight home from the stone arch (which, for the record, was reached in an all time slowest 50:05).

Not sure whether the problem was related to the squits, the antibiotics I'm taking for the ear infection or another low lying bug. The fact that I've been really stiff (particularly in the hamstrings) over the past 3 days is probably related. Whatever, it's very depressing. Makes me more depressed about the achilles at these times too.

65:25 for about 14km for what it's worth.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Steady Manly route

10.2km ran clockwise by myself this morning. Clear and sunny but with a nice cool breeze. Stiff to start with but much easier by the end (as usual). 42:15. 8:08 at Campbell Parade, 16:42 at Queenscliff, 23:02 at South Steyne (6:20 for Manly mile), 30:55 at Cafe Chill. Achilles same again, eased off over last 2km when pushing along quickly.
Couple of photos added - first from Tania Park watching the Sydney-Hobart race on Boxing Day and the second of Bec and her cousin Sophie yesterday.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Short and quick

7.5km Manly route ran anti-clockwise. Felt very stiff in my hamstrings to start with and the achilles was the same as ever so was feeling a bit sorry for myself. Gradually started to feel better and more comfortable running at a pace I was pushing at. Took some splits - 8:08 at Fairlight pool, 10:58 at Cafe Chill, 15:22 at South Steyne, 21:24 at Queenscliff (i.e. 6:02 for the Manly mile), 24:24 at traffic lights near tennis courts and 28:56 all up.

Very warm and sunny.

Not sure how much my ear infection is taking out of me. Was up for a couple of hours last night with it so went to doctors this morning who has given me a course of antibiotics. I'm finding I'm knackered and needing of sleep by lunchtime each day but that could just be looking after 4 kids and hosting the extended family.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Same again

Same route as yesterday with Jamie. Cooler today, and we started a bit quicker. I did a fast stretch for the mile along Manly beach (4:58) and then jogged back to meet Jamie. Achilles OK but can still feel it the whole way. 11km all up in 47:51.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day recovery

Very easy 10.2km around the Manly route (clockwise) with Jamie. Beautiful morning for a run. 48:34. It's very noticeable how much easier it is running only 25 seconds per km slower on this route that I did on Monday.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Steady recovery

10.2km Manly route ran clockwise. 44:53. Very sore this morning after yesterday's run and football in the afternoon. Tried to push it at times but could barely get the legs moving. Good news was that I could barely feel the achilles, particularly after the first 2km.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Long Sunday run

Maggie woke up at 5.30am so decided to bite the bullet and just go out realising that if I didn't go out then, it wasn't going to happen. Ran the Manly/Balgowlah Heights/Campbell Parade route (same as 3 weeks ago) in 1:59:36. About 25km. Took it very easily this morning and felt much stronger at the end. Worked out well as I meant I wasn't knackered for the rest of the morning taking Bec to nippers. I think I've been taking my long runs too quickly recently. 48:10 at the Stone Arch so most of the slower time was taken up in the first 10km.

Was aware of the achilles all the way (without it hurting too much) despite plenty of stretching but I think that's a result of heading out so early.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Quickish 7.5km

Not a great deal of time this morning (all the family is arriving) so headed out for a quickish Manly route at 8am. 29:35. Was struggling to start with (achilles also a bit sore) but started to get ito it after Manly SLSC (struggled to a 6:10 along the Manly mile). Very humid - overcast and muggy. Pretty poor week's training with the illness and Thursday night out.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Speedwork - 400s

Smaller group today - Christmas lunches and the end of year are taking their toll. Just MC, Kanser, Michael Harrison, Eoin and myself.

Was forced into 10 x 400m (as opposed to 3 x 4 x 400m which is what I suggested). Recovery was 50 seconds (i.e. we were running off 2 minutes). I thought I would drift towards the end but it didn't work out that way. Reps went:

70, 70, 71, 71, 71, 71, 70, 70, 69, 69.

The route around Rushcutters was Kanser's, as opposed to the route we ran 3 times prior to JPMCCC. I think it's a touch longer, probably 1.5 seconds. Ran the first two with Michael. He then pushed on over the next four while I struggled a bit. Felt as though I was getting closer over reps 7 and 8 and then caught him on reps 9 and 10. Please to have got quicker over the last 4. MC was running strongly on reps 2 to 6 quite close behind (I could hear the heavy breathing!). Achilles was fine. I like the Brooks Racers. Warm, muggy and overcast.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Back from the dead

Just about recovered from my Man Flu (see link for details... so jogged home from work very easily. 13km in 60:01. Lovely run, achilles was a bit sore until Toyota garage (reached in 32:01) then eased up. Highlight was an owl swooping down in front of me and landing on the fence as I ran down Parriwi Road. It's true that they are silent when they fly.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Long Sunday run

26km around the Oxford Falls route. 1:57:14. Went off too fast but I was feeling good (as was the achilles). 4:25 per km for quite a hilly route. Really feeling it now. Think I've brought on a bug as I feel knackered and feverish.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday frolics

Very easy 15km around Balls Head with Kanser and Ray. Longer because we had to double back to pick up Kanser. Very easy pace but very sore after this week's efforts. Beautiful day though (crystal clear but not too hot). Perfect for watching the meteor storm that will hit Sydney's skies at about 1am tonight. About 70 minutes all up. Saw Tara this afternoon. She's strapped my foot. My running gait suggests I pronate on my right foot which could be causing the achilles problems.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


45 minutes Fartlek today, 1 min fast, 30 seconds slow. Started at KPMG, along Hickson Road and around the Harbour foreshore up to Art Gallery Road, around the Domain, back around the foreshore and finished just under the Harbour Bridge. Good session but not the speed session I was looking for - a bit too similar to Tuesday.

Another good crowd, with Charlie, Tucks, Ray, Tim C, Enda, MC, Durante, Peter W, Kanser (who started a bit lat and then disappeared(?) and Michael Harrison (winner of this year's Novice) making a first appearance. So that's the second Novice winner we now have in our group. Ran the first half at the front with Michael pushing ahead on the fast sections and then hanging back on the jogs for the main group to catch up. From the Domain onwards Michael, Tucks and I pushed ahead. Like Tuesday I was feeling pretty strong - particularly towards the end. Still want to do some 400s though.

Covered about 12km on the fartlek, plus 1.4km jog back to the start plus 1km there and back for about 15km all up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Medium Long run

Took myself off around Serg's route to Centennial Park. Had intended to put some marathon pace stretches in but soon ditched that plan when I realised how tired and sore I was following yesterday's session. 15km in 64:01. Faster than Monday - mainly from Centennial onwards. The first 4km was very painful.

Followed up by a trip to Sydney Running Centre to spend all the vouchers I've accumulated over the Striders 10km season. Bought (rather cashed in vouchers for) a pair of Brooks Racer ST-III for fast intervals and longer races, a lightweight T-Shirt and socks. It's like being a kid in a sweet shop in there. Had a good chat to Damien Tancred about the joys (or not) of running.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Aerobic conditioning

8 x 5 min with 90 second rest. Averaged the first 3 or 4 at 3:25-3:28 pace, then speeded up so that I reached just short of the Opera House gates on the final rep averaging about 3:17. Great session. Felt really good today - comfortable until the final 3 and then just hung in before finding something in reserve over the second half of the final rep.

Very good crowd today, including Tucks, Serg, Charlie, Ray, Kanser, Tim C, Enda, MC, Durante, Luke, Toby and others. Everyone seems to be improving - we had a big crowd at the front of each of the first 4 reps. Most stopped short at 6 with just Tucks, Tim C, Ray and myself completing 8. TimC looks to be improving a lot. 1km there and back for about 14km all up.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Steady Monday

Steady 15km run around Centennial with Serg, Kanser, Enda and MC. Bit faster than the usual Monday run but still comfortable. 67:00 all up. Nicer route than the one I normally take - attached here....

Much cooler today than the weekend. No probs with the achilles. Stretching seems to make all the difference.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Xmas Brunch STaR

Joined in the STaR from the Japanese School at Terrey Hills. Over 24km nearly all in the bush in 2 hours and 3 minutes. Hilly in parts but not as bad as the usual STaRs on the Northern Beaches. Took the first 17km very steady running with Chris and Peter Truscott, Dennis, Frank and Flake from 10km in, then Chris speeded up over the final 6km. Tried to catch him but then fatigue set in. Need to do some more long runs if I'm going to be able to get through 6ft Track again. Pretty humid so very sweaty by the end.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Fast and short

To Manly SLSC via Queenscliff Lagoon and back. 26:02. 12:48 on the way out but struggled on the way back (too much beer yesterday). 5:40 and 5:38 for the mile along Manly beach and back (about 3:32 per km).

Been playing with the new camerao so here are a couple more photos....

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Run home

14km run home. 58:15. Decided to take it very easy at the start (had a couple of glasses of wine over lunch) but was feeling great so naturally speeded up a bit. Achilles a bit sore the whole way but fine after stretching it out at home.

I've attached a photo of the kids taken today with the new camera and one of my thoughtful Dad....

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Easy run

Met up with Kanser, Rich and Durante for an easy run around Centennial. Went the direct route, one lap clockwise plus a bit up to Paddington Gates and then back along Moore Park Road and from Anzac Parade back home the way we came. Just under 14km in about 62 minutes. Chatting all the way.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Aerobic conditioning

Went to see Tara yesterday about the achilles and received some ultra sound plus advice on exercises and stretches. Then saw Gary this morning who really worked on the calf (and one muscle in particular that looks to be causing the problems) which was agony. Felt much better afterwards though.

So much better that I joined the lunchtime crew for 10 x 3mins off a 1 min rest around Farm Cove. Pretty good session regarding the achilles as it's not too quick (we averaged about 3:20 - 3:25 pace I guess) and is dead flat. New shoes felt great and no problems with the achilles. Ray, Charlie, Tucks, Kanser (good to see him join in), Anthony, MC, Toby, Durante and a couple of new blokes showed up. Pretty much ran with Ray and Charlie at the front (Tucks and Anthony were taking it easy) with MC also pushing on strongly. Felt good until no.7 when they started to hurt. That was compounded by the final 4 getting faster and faster, as is Charlie's wont.

Did plenty of stretching afterwards, particularly of the achilles, and it's felt great this afternoon. I think part of my problem recently is that I haven't been stretching immediately after sessions - leaving it for a while because I've been too busy. Seems to lose the impact when you do that.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Long Sunday

Took the last 3 days off due to a combination of two big Christmas Parties on Wednesday and Thursday night and continuing problems with my achilles. The latter is being looked at by Tara tomorrow and after a few days rest and strengthening exercises was beginning to feel better. So with that confidence I headed out for 25km this morning. Ran the North Head/Balgowlah Heights/Campbell Parade route in 1:56:08. Set off at an easy pace but picked it up far too much going around North Head as a result of joining the Warringah Triathlon Club during their run leg. Also bumped into TJA on the way back. 4:15 and 3:58 for the final 2kms of the North Head 10km route and 46:08 at the Stone Arch.

Started to feel good coming along the Burnt Bridge Creek deviation to finish quite stronlgy (other than the final km). Have a few aches and pains now though. The back of the right knee was stiff up the hills and the left hip flexor is tight.

RunSweeney - those are very impressive times for a 46yr old. Keith Bateman will have to keep an eye out on a few of his Masters records in 4 years time (although you have the disadvantage of only being one year older than Mona!). You seem to get better as the distance gets longer. I will run the NSW State 5km and 10km at the end of Jan and start of Feb but the idea is to take it easy until the New Year after a long season and a few niggles having developed. Would be good to cross paths again soon though.