Saturday, May 31, 2008

ANSW State Relays

Arrived expecting to run second leg for the A team but found Glenn talking to Robbie on the phone who had been held up. So a quick shift of placings had me running first, Jeremey second, Glenn third and Robbie (when he arrived) last. I was pleased with this as I'd far prefer to run a race than a time trial.

The start of the race was like running x-country as a 10 year old. Up came the elbows and the first 200m was a mad sprint. Settled into quite a quick pace - had no idea how to pace myself for this so the intention was to go out hard and try to hold on. Didn't recognise anyone around me but by the second lap I could hear people barracking for Serg behind me. Started to struggle up the hill in the far field and was waiting for Serg to surge by. He did so just before the 3km mark with another bloke (who turned out to be Earl O'Brien). I latched on to them but struggled up the hill to the top of the course. Serg established about a 4 second lead which he maintained to the finish - just failing to catch Shannon Delaney.

So generally pleased - the time was good (about 12.32 - 32 seconds quicker than last year) but slightly disappointed not to have been able to hold onto Serg up the hill. Typical given recent training that I should finish one place behind him (9th to his 8th).

Not idea of any other times yet, although Durante said he ran 12:53 which is great running for a time trial. Great crowd in attendance - all the top names in NSW. Striders came 5th.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Easy Friday

Met up with Springer, Muz and Ray and ran a very easy 10km around the gardens and to Hickson Road and back. 48:23.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

HuRTS 12 x 400m

Smaller crowd than Tuesday (always the same for the speed sessions) which included Ray, Tucks, Durante, MC, Kanser, The Judge, Tim C, Tim L, RMR, Mathew Kaley (still trying to think of a nickname) and Stephen.

They've marked out a new track around the oval which made it a lot easier to follow your line but added a few metres to the distance - we reckon it was 415m (or what we were previously doing was 385m). Ran most from the front with Durante on my shoulder threatening to come by. He did so on rep 7 , rep 11 and, of course, the final rep but pleasingly was "out-cowboyed" by The Judge who had plainly been taking it easy before then. Reps went as follows:

70, 70, 70, 70, 70, 70, 70, 70, 70, 69, 69, 68.

Tough today - really pushed them so saying the track is two seconds longer is an honest assessment. MC and Kanser thought the same. Pleased to stay in front of Durante for most of them and he must have been trying hard as he didn't put up a fight against the Judge on the final rep.

My legs are still wobbling now an hour after we finished.

Getting a bit worried about Saturday relays as I'm provisionally in the A team. Trying to persuade Glenn to put me back where I belong, first leg of B team so I get dragged around to a fast time.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Medium Long Wednesday

18.5km around Centennial twice but coming back the long way around Garden Island. Easy pace (1:21:38 so averaging 4:24s) but felt pretty tired up the steps towards the end, probably as a result of yesterday's session and 75kms in 4 days. Ran the whole way with Serg and the first half with Kanser, MC, Eamonn and Tim C. Lots of chat going on. At times, I think there were 6 conversations going on at once.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

HuRTS 4 x 3km

Huge bunch today with all the usual suspects although missing Tucks and Charlie. Set off with Serg, Fats, Durante, the Judge and Tim C - Serg (hot off his 32:33 10km at the weekend) and Fats in particular keeping the pace very quick. We reached the stone gates with 10 seconds to spare so about 2.95km in the 10 minutes. This turned out to be the hardest rep. The return 2.95km was done in 9:31, ran with Serg with Tony dropping off towards the end. The third rep started easier before Serg and I pushed ahead and reached about 10 yards short of the first rep. We were then sensible on the last rep and didn't race it, returning in a steady 9:33.

Another good session under the belt, but buggered now. Great day for running again, no wind and cool. Good to see a large bunch finishing the session, including Kanser, MC andurante.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Easy recovery

13km run to work after dropping Billy off at Redlands House. 25:31 at Spit Junction and 56:21 all up. Felt very tired to begin with - yesterday's run obviously took more out of me than I felt at the time. Eased into it from Spit Junction onwards. Time not too slow though, just felt heavy legged. Another perfect day for running.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Long Sunday run

Same route as 2 weeks ago. 28km in 2:01:09. A beautiful day for running - cool, still and crystal clear. Went out at 2pm and felt much more comfortable than running at 6am, which is why it was so much quicker than last time. 71:11 at the stone arch after 4:06 and 4:02 for the final 2kms of the North Head route.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Short tempo

Not much time available today so short tempo run to end of Darling Point and back, my old route. Kings Cross short cut still blocked off so slightly longer than of old heading up Macleay St before going down to Rushcutters. 8km in 28:23. Felt great today, very bouncy although back of right knee was a bit stiff.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

HuRTS Mona Fartlek

Good crowd as usual for this popular session. Set off quick (although with quite a headwind going around Farm Cove) with Serg and Fats just behind. Made sure the floats were honest so that 3 mins was just before the gates and the first 60 was 10m short of the hill beside the Boy Charlton. Fats dropped off on the second 90 leaving Serg and I to push on beyond the Stone Gates (reached those with 10 seconds of float remaining). Serg was strong all the way today, thought he might drop off on the 30s and he threatened to coming down the hill to Farm Cove but then pushed on again and really put the foot down on the last one to drop me by about 10m.

All up 6.05km so pretty pleased to be averaging under 3:20s including the recoveries and bearing in mind the wind.

Tucks and Kanser were being sensible and still taking it easy following the SMH Half. Fats was complaining of fatigue early on which wasn't surprising given how quick he was going on Tuesday. Serg's confidence is back.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Medium Long Wednesday

18.5km around Centennial and then Farm Cove and Opera House with Serg, MC, Muz, Durante and Springer. 1:20:41. Nice and easy although it got a little quicker towards the end. Followed up with an Easy Tiger massage, which was more painful.

Can tell that Serg is going to up the ante at Mona Fartlek tomorrow and that Fats won't be able to resist challenging him. I'll try and hang on.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

HuRTS 14 x 3mins

Rocked up to HuRTS still feeling the effects of Sunday. Smaller crowd than usual (to be expected). Serg and Anthony (neither of whom raced on Sunday) and Fats (who did) were putting the efforts in but I hung around in the pack with Durante, Tucks, Kanser, Tim C, Tim L and MC. First few (at about 3:30 pace) felt sluggish but felt better as the session went on and the second 7 were much quicker, and less painful, at just under 3:20 pace.

Felt steady all the way through and nothing like the usual fatigue I feel on a Tuesday afternoon. Which is nice.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

SMH Half - 18th in 1:13:21

Bit of a strange run. I'll get the excuses in first. Had a terrible preparation - Kirst was out at a Ball with her girlfriends until 1am and Maggie decided to start screaming at 11pm so only managed about 4 hours sleep. Stomach had also been giving me problems although before the race I had thought it was just nerves. Having said all that, I felt pretty good lining up at the start after catching up with Kanser, Charlie, Tucks, Mike, Durante et al beforehand.

I set off far too quick. My plan was to stick with Tucks for as long as possible and so for the first 5km I was in a group with Tucks, Chadi, Robin Whiteley, Anthony Farrugia, DrJH and Nick Bennett. Tucks made a sudden detour half way along Hickson Road to "do a Paula" which confused me for a second, I lost a bit of concentration coming under the Harbour Bridge and suddenly I was 10 yards off the back of the group, by myself. From then on, I was on a damage limitation exercise. I could see the group had fragmented up Hunter St and tried to concentrate on catching DrJH as I knew he always goes out quick and would likely be the one to tire in the 2nd half. I seemed to make good progress going out around Art Gallery Road and suddenly felt quite good again. However, I could hear footsteps behind which I guessed was Tucks and, sure enough, between 9 and 10km (outside the Art Gallery) he came past. We went through 10km in 34:10 - the only split I took.

I then hung on to Tucks until Argyle St (passing DrJH on Macquarie St), by which time we had also been joined by Robbie Neal. It's amazing how much easier it feels running with others - suddenly the pace seemed to be back in the legs again. However, up Argyle they created a gap and I was on my own again. DrJH caught me on Hickson Road and we ran together until the bottom of Hunter when he dropped back again. At this point, Mark Warren and another chap came flying by. I tried to cling on to them around the 3km Mrs Macquarie's Chair loop knowing I could salvage something by beating Mark (who had beaten me at Homebush). Also realised that if I lost touch with these two, Fats was likely to catch me, having noticed how much ground he had made up when I turned at Mrs Macquarie's Chair. So I clung on. Mark struggled up the hill just before the Art Gallery and the other bloke (who had pulled slightly ahead up the hill) wasn't extending the gap so just clung in. Realised I was catching him at the St Mary's u-turn so put in a final sprint into Hyde Park to pick up one more place. Robbie Neal must have slowed over the last few km as I wasn't far behind him in the end. Tucks finished strongly (of course) to pick up Farrugia and Glenn (who is plainly struggling). If he hadn't had the pit stop he'd have been ahead of Chadi.

Pleased to have beaten Mark and DrJH, a bit disappointed with the time but it's a tough old course. Not many PBs out there today, Fats being the notable exception with a great 1:13:4X. Durante also had a good run in 1:15:15. Richard P got a slim PB and Tim C is getting back to form with a 1:16 something but Kanser was well down on what I thought he'd run and nor was MC as quick as I thought he'd go.

Half's are a strange race. Realised today that you have to put a bit more thought into them that just "go out hard and hold on". Have bad stomach cramps now so will see how I pull up tomorrow.
(PS. HB - cheers for the photo. Thank god I hadn't realised how close Charlie Low was at that stage!)

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Very easy trundle around my Manly 7.5km route (run clockwise). 33:25. Michael - we should catch up for a run sometime.

Have managed to avoid the lurgy but not a heavy night of red wine. Got back home at about 2.30am last night after losing all my money at Poker. Was looking good at one stage.

Thinking of running without a watch tomorrow and just racing it. Felt as though I became a little obsessed with my time at Homebush - particularly towards the end when I should have been concentrating on beating people. I'm predicting big PBs for Tucks, Fats and Uncle Dave. Dave should go under 70 and I reckon Tucks will be under 71.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Easy Friday

Dave - my wife and eldest have since caught the vomitting bug so I wasn't being paranoid! I'm the only clean member of the family.

Very easy 10k run up to Kings Cross and around the Domain with Serg, Kanser and Enda. 48:45. Felt fine and nice to loosen the legs after yesterday's session. Now just to relax until Sunday and not drink too much red wine or smoke too many cigars at Poker Night tonight...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

HuRTS Hickson Road

Back to where it all began, and an appropriate session given Sunday's race will involve 2 Hickson Road reps. I don't think I'll be running them as quick as we were today though.

5 x 1.2km (well, 1.18km and 1.17km to be exact). Reps went as follows:

3:34; 3:30; 3:30; 3:29; 3:30

That's averaging about 2:58 per km. Way faster than I've ever run them before. I think my best Hickson Road session prior to this was 10 May last year (again, just before the SMH Half) when I averaged 3:35s. Not as if I was on my own either. Another great crowd again today, similar to Tuesday but with Durante and Fats showing up too. Serg, Durante and I led the first couple with Tucks, the Judge and Charlie just behind. Serg and Durante really pushed hard on the third rep from the start. This is usually the make or break rep which determines how well the whole session goes. Clawed my way back to them with about 400m to go. Just held off Durante on the 4th rep then KMK appeared from nowhere on the final rep to keep them all honest. Loads of people running well - Durante was right there on all of them before holding back on the last, Serg still put in 3:32s on the final two reps and Kanser kept them all at or about 3:40. Tucks as usual loitered around the front keeping a low profile. Given how well everyone is going it will be interesting to see how the placings pan out on Sunday.

I've taken to washing my hands every half hour like a tourettes sufferer. Billy, Charlie and Maggie all projectile vomitted last night (I was amazed at how much Maggie must actually consume - whenever I feed her about 95% ends up on her face or on the floor), and Bec still has a hacking chesty cough. I'm contemplating just booking myself into the Sheraton for a few nights.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Easy recovery

Easy 16km recovery run with Durante, MC and Serg.

Out around Darling Point, Double Bay and almost Rose Bay then back adding a loop around Mrs Macquarie's Chair and the Opera House in 1:13:16 (averaging 4:35s). Beautiful day, easy pace, plenty of chat (as you'd expect with those 3) but the highlight was Durante pretending to be his brother when a loose soccer ball came our way at Double Bay only to plant his clearance straight into the head of a sweet 6 year old girl standing only 5 yards away. That only just surpassed Serg running into a Korean tourist and knocking his latest model digital camera to the floor.

We ran pretty quick after both of those episodes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

HuRTS 45mins Fartlek

1min quick, 30 seconds slow. Managed to program my watch this morning to beep alternately on 60 seconds and 30 seconds, which was very useful. Did waste about 2 hours of good billing time trying to achieve this though.

Huge crowd today, probably a record turnout. I counted 23 starters. Not sure why everyone was so keen on this particularly tough session and far fewer than 23 actually finished it. Notable absentees were Fats and Durante. I expect the latter was probably playing Badminton or mixed Netball. Perhaps he was reading about the Central Governor theory in order to engage in intellectual conversation with Kanser.

I set off quickly with Serg in order to spread the field a bit to avoid any disasters running down Art Gallery Road. We started at the Stone Pillars today as it's quicker for most people to get there from work. Given the first 2km is all downhill, it makes for a very quick start. We were quick also because of the large group of us upfront, including Serg, Tucks, Charlie, the Judge and Phil D. Serg, Phil and I largely took it in turns to push the pace. Reached the turnaround just short of the end of the Hickson Road rep when Phil D dropped out. It was then a war of attrition trying to get back to the start in the remaining time. The Judge dropped off at about 32 mins, Charlie at just before the Opera House, we went through the 10km mark in 34:35 (this is including the slow bits - would have been a PB until 2 years ago) then Serg dropped off at 11km complaining of an injury (hope it's nothing serious as he's starting to get quick again). Which just left Tucks and me, Tucks having been quietly hanging around in the background for most of the session.

We continued pushing the pace just failing to get back to the Stone Pillars in the 45 mins. All up, 13.09km at an average pace of 3:27 per km. The fast stretches were run between 3:10 and 3:15. On my very basic maths, that makes the slow sections averaging 3:59 per km.

One of my best sessions of the year. Felt very comfortable until the last 5 minutes. Looking forward to Sunday morning now. Tucks will be strong though.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Easy Monday

16km around and about the Botanical Gardens and up towards the cross with Serg, Ray, Muz and Enda. About 72 minutes. Felt full of running after yesterday's rest but it was good to have an easy run as this week is shaping up to be a tough one.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Long Saturday

Mothers Day tomorrow so headed out at 6am for 2 hours. Beautiful time of day to get out and perfect Autumn conditions again. Ran along Sydney Road to the Burnt Bridge Creek deviation, down to Campbell Parade, through to Queenscliff, around to Shelly, up around North Head and Fairfax walking track then completed my old 22km Sunday route around Balgowlah Heights.
28km in 2:04:31. 4:10 and 4:00 for the final 2kms of the North Head route. Hillier than I've been doing my Sunday runs for the last 4 months and the back of the right knee and achilles started to feel it towards the end. Will probably try to stick to the flat in general. Felt good today though.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Easy Friday

Easy 12km around the Botanical Gardens with Springer, Serg and Kanser. Picked it up a bit doing the last 3km by myself around Mrs Macquarie's Chair. Beautiful day out there. 56:09 all up.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

HuRTS 12 x 400m

It's was commonly accepted today that, of all the sessions we do, this is one of the toughest. Probably a close run thing with Hickson Road. Strange as it is also the shortest session we do. The reps involve you going partially lactic from the first rep onwards, but the toughest element is how mentally difficult it is, particularly between reps 4 - 8 when you are hurting and yet feel as though you still have so much to do.

Really good crowd today (people are getting keen) including Ray, Kanser, Serg, Muz, Durante, MC, Tim C, KMK, RMR, Greg, Fats, Stephen, Pete W etc. Reps went off every 2 minutes as follows:

69, 69, 68, 68, 68, 68, 67, 68, 68, 67, 67, 67.

Huge improvement from 10th April, mainly due to having a big crowd around. Serg and Durante were pushing each rep (in particular Durante in the second half) so that we were finishing them all together. I was pretty stuffed on the final 2 - tried to increase the pace to catch KMK and Durante on the final rep but the legs said no.

Great session though.

Post script: Got SMH Half number and chip in the post today - No. 28. Pleased with that.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Medium Long Wednesday

Ran flat 10km route extended around Opera House to the Overseas Passenger terminal then back with Springer, then added a 3km loop of Mrs Macquarie's Chair to bring it up to 16km. 69:11. Nice and easy although Springer was feeling good and trying to push the pace beyond easy comfort level at times. Beautiful day and plenty of people out.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

HuRTS 5min reps

8 x 5mins off 90 seconds. Big HuRTS crowd today including Charlie, Serg, Durante, Kanser, Muz, Springer, MC, Enda, Greg, Tim C, Ray, Dicky H, RMR. In fact, easier to identify people by their absence, the notable absentees being Tucks and the Judge.

We were flying today. We started off pretty quick and then ramped it up. This was mainly because Serg and Durante were putting some effort in. How Durante only managed to run 34:17 on Saturday, God only knows. The bloke must be the world's softest racer. I think Kanser needs to have words and explain that it's supposed to hurt when you run a race. Serg leaped forwards today, getting back to form. He completed the session (for once) and had 30 yards on me on the final rep before I clawed it back just before we finished. I had us running over 1.6km over the final rep which is well under 3:10 per km.

Warm up and warm down for about 15km all up.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Long local Sunday

2 x 10km route in Manly plus to South Steyne and back. 27.5km in 2:03:22. Caught up with the Tiger for the first 2 laps (47:30 and 44:50) then by myself. Beautiful morning, cool and sunny.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

NSW State 10km Road - 20th in 32:37

Had been pretty nervous about this one, and felt very much so travelling out to Homebush. Nerves were eased after a quick chat with SilverFox and Tucks then headed out jogging the course with Kanser, MC and Durante. The course looked fantastic - nice and flat with long straights just to put your head down and run. Conditions were also perfect - cool and no wind.

Lined up next to Uncle Dave and Chris Truscott (pushing Chadi back into the second row, felt a bit guilty about that as he's a much better runner). Set off very quickly. I'd heeded Serg and Pete's advice and wanted to make a very positive start. Followed just behind Chadi in 3:02 for the first km. Wasn't feeling completely shot so was quite pleased. Missed the 2km mark and went through 3km in 9:33. At this point, Robbie Neale went past so I decided just to try to stick with him as I knew he would run well. This is basically how the rest of the race went. Felt good in parts, just tried to hang on in others but it was basically a good hard race, never at all comfortable. Robbie and I picked up others as we went so that for the last 3km there was a good group of five of us, including Mark Warren and Richie Roberts. 5km was reached in 16:09, 8km in 26:07 and 9km in 29:25. At that stage I was just hanging on. Even though we were all in a group I had nothing left for a sprint to try and pick up any more places.

Stoked with the race and the big PB (as well as knocking off another of Dad's PBs). A load of great performances out there. Keith and Fats running 33:20s (Fats will go quicker at North Head without a cold), Kanser back under 35, Uncle Dave back under 32 and SilverFox setting a very low-key PB!

Thanks for all the comments and encouragement. Amanda - sorry for very confused conversation! Not sure my brain was working probably on account of being so knackered.

I can now lock-in the Half at Gold Coast.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Easy plod

Very easy run around and about in the Botanical Gardens with Ray and Tim C. 10kms in about 50 mins.

Disappointed to hear that Tucks is now a no-show for tomorrow after pulling his hammy again. Further, Fats has come down with a cold. Neither of which does much good to our Striders team (or my bet).

Thanks for the comments Pete (over ambitious as usual) and good luck Greg and everyone else for tomorrow.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Farm Cove intervals

Instead of 8 x 800m we did the pre-race gate to gate Farm Cove reps (909m) - 7 of them running the odd ones fast and the even ones as floats. Rep times went as follows:

2:43 (had to stop because of a large bunch of schoolgirls)

Charlie, Tim C, Ray, Springer, Greg, RMR, Kill Michael Kill, Dicky H and Steve showed up, with Durante and Kanser dropping by on easier runs. Wasn't going to push the last one but KMK got competitive and I'm not mature enough to resist. Felt great today. Hope I haven't peaked two days early.