Monday, June 30, 2008

Easy Monday

Missed lunch run with the boys due to a last minute conference call so ran home instead. Nice and easy but strolling along quickly. 29:59 at Toyota Garage and 56:46 all up. Starting to get the early stages of tendonitis in my left achilles (last time it was the right) but I'll worry about it after Sunday.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Medium Sunday

Shortened Sunday run today due to GC next week. 2 laps of the flat Manly 10km route run nice and easy with the Tiger. 46:50 and 45:10 for those loops. 21km all up in 1:35 something. Another beautiful day. Would be perfect if conditions were like this next week.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Back to it

15km Manly route (Campbell Parade, Queenscliff, Shelley, North Head and straight home) with two 10km race pace stretches along the Manly mile (5:11) and then the final 2km of the North Head course (3:13 and 3:02). Felt pretty lethargic today, either as a result of lazy legs after 2 days rest or recovering from illness. Beautiful day for running though, no wind, crystal clear and cool albeit warmer than the last week. 64:25 all up.

Bec was asking this morning when the next race for her age group was. Just discovered that the 2.25km Junior Dash at GC has a 5-6 yr old category so we might try to enter her and Billy. Only problem is it runs during the Half.

Friday, June 27, 2008

No run

No run yesterday (client lunch and getting over cold) or today (recovering from 9 hour marathon client lunch). Hoping an enforced taper will do me good but a bit concerned as I took two days off last week too. Big day today for Maggie and she finally mastered the art of crawling....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Easy Wednesday

Ditched the idea of my 19km run to work with marathon pace stretches this morning as my chest was feeling too tight. Felt better by lunch so went out and did 19km with Serg instead. Easy pace, quickened up naturally going around Centennial to finish in 1:21:24 (4:17s). Another beautiful day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

HuRTS 4 x 3km

Tim - I would have swum across if it had been summer, although two people have independently told me that channel is full of sharks. Probably just of the toe-nibbling variety though.

I won't go on about my cold any more as I'm beginning to bore even myself.

Didn't know what to expect today after a tough run on Sunday and [edit: deleted by the boredom police], but rocked up to meet the usual hungry crowd. Set off at a decent pace with Serg leading the way and a front group that included Charlie, Robbie (getting married next month - congratulations mate), Ray (again, putting some effort in), Fats, Muz and myself with Durante just behind. I pushed in my usual section between the hills and we ended at the Stone Gates in 9:44. Given the increased pace we are getting on these reps, we decided just to stop there as we are running out of space. It's exactly 2.9km to the gates so that's about 3:21 pace. Much faster on the way back courtesy of Robbie and Serg for a 9:18 (3:12 pace). Robbie then set off quickly on the third (first km in 3:10) for 9:37 at the gates (3:19 pace) then Charlie paced the last rep until Serg pushed on around Farm Cove. I was dropped half way around by Serg, Charlie and Robbie but managed to pick it up again to finish just behind Serg in 9:05 (3:08 pace).

Another month and another improvement for this session. Felt great today. Beautiful cold, crisp and clear day well suited for fast running.

16km all up.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bizarre Journey

Still suffering with this cold - slight headache, slight sore throat and very tired at work but not bad enough to feel as though I can't get out and run. So ran home after work. Running felt great - completely opposite to how I feel sat in my office chair.

Was strolling along very easily (30:27 at Toyota Garage) and then noticed a lot of traffic along Military Road. Reached Spit Bridge to find it was jammed open - see report here.... Just happened to bump into Kevin Ferry (Strider and on the HuRTS email distribution) who was stuck in the same predicament. The only other route by foot is across Northbridge and Roseville Bridge which would add about another 17km. The alternative was to run back to the City and try to find a cab along the way. So, instead we decided to have dinner and a drink at Harry's Fish Cafe (the first building on the other side of the bridge in the picture attached), sitting by the window waiting to see if the bridge got fixed. Just after we saw the news reporters taking shots, an entrepreneurial water taxi driver poked his head in the window and asked if anyone wanted a lift to Manly - $20 a pop. So the whole restaurant jumped in. Just as we were chugging along in the boat under the Bridge (by now 10pm), the Bridge came down.

Very strange but very entertaining. Didn't do any good to my cold though as it was freezing out there and I was only in shorts and a T-shirt.

About 10km for the shortened run.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back to Manly Flat

Took the last two days off feeling crook with a cold. Couldn't face another day off and the cold didn't seem to be progressing so decided kill or cure was the only option. Jogged down Suwarrow in the pitch black at 6am this morning and planned on running 3 loops of my flat 10km route getting progressively faster. The session worked out perfectly. 10km loops went:

42:50, 40:16; 38:01.

Felt better as the run went on. Normally I struggle from 20km but was running the second loop looking forward to picking it up again on the third. A real confidence booster - Thursday proved that my speed is OK and this session showed the endurance is fine. Just need to make sure I don't go mad in the first 3km at Gold Coast and a PB must be on the cards. Catching Dave Sweeney may not be so straightforward though as he seems to be flying in training.

Jogged home after for 31km all up. Shoulders and neck feel stiff now so just hope I haven't made myself more ill than I should have.

Beautiful day when the sun came up. Clear blue skies, cool and no wind. Manly looks great at this time of year without the crowds. Bumped into Pete Walker running with the pram near Shelley Beach.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

HuRTS Mona Fartlek

This one hurt today. Better turn out than ever (Serg, Charlie, Tucks, Durante, Muz, Robbie Neal (first time appearance), Thurston, Fats, Kanser, MC, KMK, RMR and a host of others) set it up for a quick one. Serg and Thurston went off quickly running sub3 mins per km for the first 90 seconds, I then made sure the floats were kept honest - they ended up being run at about 3:30 - 3:35 per km. We managed to hit the top of each of the hills just before the floats ended which made life a bit easier. The trick to running this session well is to put the effort in on the first two 60 seconds reps heading up Art Gallery Road.

Reached the Stone Gates with 20 seconds to spare - dawdled as we reached the road as we still had 5 seconds to go and didn't want to run down the hill! At this point Serg and I were about 10m ahead of Tucks and Robbie, with Thurston and Durante just behind and Fats and Muz just behind them (not sure whether Fats and Muz reached the Stone Arch or not - this being important as I'll be ordering the T-Shirts shortly).

Just tried to keep the speed up on the way back - Serg and I running together, with Durante until Farm Cove when he dropped off slightly. All up 6.1km averaging 3:19s on the way up and 3:13s on the way back. Knackered at the end.

3.5km jog back for 10km all up.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Long Wednesday run to work

19km run to work via Queenscliff lagoon with the usual 4 marathon pace stretches. This run was my bread and butter last Spring and I'm sure it was the reason I ran a good Sydney Half. I did it every Wednesday during August, September and October - basically as a punishment session following a disappointing City to Surf. My quickest time back then was 82:09 (and never varied more than 90 seconds from that). Today I ran it in 78:57. This is my problem at the moment. The training seems to be going really well but the performance in the races just doesn't seem to back it up. I'm hoping this is because I haven't been tapering and that the right preparation for Gold Coast will put that right.

Beautiful day this morning - finally the rain has cleared and it was bright blue skies with no wind. Felt very tired - particularly at the start of the run with recent training in my legs. Managed a very controlled run up Parriwi Rd - feeling better than I've done it in ages. But struggled on the quick reps along Military and particularly the Harbour Bridge.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

HuRTS 14 x 3mins

I always think of this session as being the least onerous of the Tuesday sessions, but in fact it involves more fast running and more "time on feet" than any other session we do. The reps were all between 950m and 910m, which works out at averaging 3:09 to 3:17 per km per rep. The 3:17's felt comfortable but the 3:09's felt as though I was having to put effort in.

Good crowd today - the front group was myself with Serg, Durante (going very well), Charlie and Steve Thurston with Ray occasionally bobbing in and out and Tucks occasionally putting some effort in (generally he looked as though he was running them at marathon pace). Loads of others including Tim L, Kanser, MC (who looked very strong today finishing the 14th rep quickly), KMK, RMR, Muz, Springer (making a long anticipated re-appearance), Enda etc.

Felt tired from the very start as a result of recent training but running quickly when tired is what I need. 1km run there and 2.5km warmdown for 17.5km all up. Not looking forward to tomorrow's run.

Seems that Bec wasn't faking her pull-out of the Mini-mos. She, Billy and Kirst have all been diagnosed with Tonsilitis. If you don't see any posts in the next few days, you know what's happened....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Easy Monday

15km route around Centennial Park with Springer, Ray, Kanser, Durante, MC and Steve Thurston (Durante's workmate and ex-8:31 3000m SC runner). Nice and easy. Cool and wet. 65:18. Didn't feel yesterday's run in my legs as much as I had expected which is good as it's a big 2 weeks ahead.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Long Sunday incorporating Mini-Mos (6th in 34:39)

Ran to Mosman (7km in about 31 mins), quick few strides then ran the Mini-mos. Strangest start as the preferred runners had acres of space. A few stars (Marty Dent, Scott Westcott etc.) and then me. Set off quite quick just behind Jeremey Horne (Tom Crasti going off even quicker with the real guns) and went through the first 2kms in 3:08 and 3:17. Then the hills appeared, the wind started to blow and being in no-mans land, it was just a case of trying to keep it honest against the watch. Clocked 4km in 13:30 and 6km in 20:24. Went the wrong way a couple of times, once when Tim C who was doing the Striders STaR shouted out to me. I was doubtful of the previous turn so stopped, started to run back then realised I was right the first time. The marshalling was very average, at the next turn there were two ladies who were facing the wrong direction accepting a cup of coffee when I approached - I had to shout out to them to work out which way to go. KMK was getting closer as a result of this. Very hilly final section to finish 6th in 34:39. Worst 10km time in 2 years (first time over 33:30 in over a year) but in the context of a tempo run in the middle of a long Sunday run it's not too bad.

After the race I ran for 7kms to the pick up point for Bec but received a call from Kirst saying she was still ill so then ran home. Very tired when I eventually got home - a little over 30km in 2:05.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Easy trundle

Very easy 8km around Manly route including an extra section to the pharmacy to get some Nurofen for Bec (not good news with her first race tomorrow). 35:51. Picked up our numbers today - Bec is number 2133 and I'm number 5. Hopefully it will mean people will think I'm in the ilk of Marty Dent, Brett Cartright etc........ but just having a bad run.

Flakey - Durante is easy sub-9 these days. He was 9:03 back in November run by himself and is much fitter now. I just don't think Kanser realises how painful the final 3 laps of a 3km race are.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Easy Friday

11km easy run around Botanical Gardens to under the Harbour Bridge and back. Met up with Durante, Serg, Enda, Kanser and Springer. Nice sunny day but a bit of a cool breeze. Passed Rich H, Christian and Hamburglar (the old ING team) running the opposite direction.

Kanser offered $1,000 on Durante beating me over 3000m. I'm considering taking him up on it but might need to lay off my risk a little. This was after he heard he ran 3:56 over 1500m in Year 12. He's been eating a few pies since then though so I'm a little more confident...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

HuRTS Hickson Road

Was dreading this session as my legs still felt tired after the last couple of days and this is not the session to go into feeling anything less than on top form. No Tucks or Charlie (absent since SMH Half) but Serg, Durante, Ray, Kanser, the Judge, Muz, MC, KMK, RMR, Tim's L and C, Mat K and Rich M among others all showed up making it a good crowd.

Reps went as follows:

3:35; 3:28; 3:32; 3:25; 3:30

Legs felt tired all the way through so pleased to still keep the times consistent. I'd feel OK for the first 200m, struggle in the middle part of each rep (dropping off whoever I was running with) then would feel stronger in the final 300m and make up some ground. Ran reps 1 and 2 just behind Serg. On rep 3 he and Ray (finally making some effort in these HuRTS sessions) set off like hares and were a good 50m ahead at half way before slowing in the second half. Durante came up to my shoulder on that rep. Rep 4 Serg and I started 7 seconds behind the main group and found it easier chasing people hence the good time. Rep 5 I ran with Muz who dropped me at the bridge before I caught him again in the final 50m. Durante, KMK and the Judge ran a blinder way out front.

Pleased with being able to cope with the speed session after yesterday's long one. I'll repeat this format in the weeks up to Gold Coast. Have now booked flights and accommodation so it's all on and I'm getting excited about it. This race, City to Surf and JPMorgan NYC are the races I'll be tapering for in the near future.

Will be interesting to see how Durante and KMK fare against each other on Sunday. Durante should have him easy based on training sessions but it's amazing what a little confidence can do.

Added a photo of me and Mags at the weekend for the family, showing how much she's grown up recently...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Longer Wednesday

AM: Run into work after dropping off Billy. Added the usual 3 marathon pace stretches which felt good although I struggled over the bridge after really putting an effort in up Parriwi. 24:04 at Spit Junction and 53:05 all up (quick).

Lunchtime: Very easy 10km around the Botanical Gardens and Opera House to OPT and back, running with MC for the second half. 43:52. Bumped into quite a few running Corporate Cup, including Pete Truscott and Inhisshadow (plainly as keen to keep fit after becoming a father as I was), Springer and the Judge.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

HuRTS 45mins Fartlek

Not quite as big a crowd as last time we did this but still a good showing including Tucks, Serg, Muz, Ray, Kanser, Tim C, MC, Enda, Mat Kaley and with Fats joining after 5 mins. Felt comfortable from the word go today - probably as a result of taking Sunday off. I'll remember that in tapering for Gold Coast Half. Pushed the pace so so that by the Sebel it was down to Fats, Serg, Tucks and myself and then at the turnaround it was just Tucks and I - Serg suffering after a big run on Sunday. Turned at the end of the Hickson Road rep - so further than last time. Picked up Serg on the way back and the three of us just pushed on through to the end. Tucks said he clocked 10km on the Garmin at 33:49 and we finished at the final lamp post just short of the stone gates for 13.25km in the 45mins (3:23 per km).

Good session. Bit of a pick me up after the weekend but need to convert these sort of sessions into races.

Post script

When we were away in the Blue Mountains this weekend we came back to find a possum had built a home in the bookcase in our kitchen. We only discovered this this morning when all the fruit in our fruit bowl was half eaten. At first we blamed Charlie until Billy actually spotted the possum. Kirst tried and failed to eject him all day so it was left to me when I got home. Finally managed it (and have blocked the catflat which he entered by) after taking a few photos. Here are a couple. The elder two kids thought he was fantastic, but Charlie was completely freaked out by him. In fact, you now only need to say the word "possum" and he bursts into tears.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Bilpin Monday

1 hour around Bilpin on a cool misty morning. Beautiful running weather.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Striders 10km - North Head - 10th in 33:00

Well, it was all set up but I was just a bit mentally weak. Had a telling conversation with Serg afterwards where he said he got to 7km and thought; "it's just a 3km rep from here". I got to 7km and thought; "if I just hold this pace I shouldn't be in too much pain".

Set off sensibly with Tucks. I didn't wear a watch and heard only one split - 1st km in 3:10 which was good. I just ran with Tucks and one other chap for the first 4km - Serg having gone off quick with the large front group and having dropped off the back. Then between 4 and 5km up the hill Tucks dropped me and closed in on Serg. From then on I was by myself. I found I was running quick at times but obviously losing concentration and dropping further off the pace at others. I finised with a quick last km but without a clock at the end I had no idea what time I had run. To discover I missed out on a 32:xx was disappointing - I'd have done it if I had a watch on. Most disappointing thing though was not being able to push myself into the pain zone - finished feeling as though I hadn't given 100% which I hate.

Lessons learnt were:

(a) wear a watch - always seem to end up by myself and the watch is the only way to keep things honest in those circumstances;
(b) need to introduce more tempo runs. Interval work is great but tempo runs teach you how to endure pain;
(c) start working my Wednesday run more, either through marathon pace work or length or both. I feel as though I'm wasting it at the moment.

Some great runs by the HuRT squad. Particular mentions to Kanser on his 34:15 pb - a great run meticulously planned and perfectly executed. Great to set a target and see it through. I knew he was on for a big one based on his pre-race nerves. KMK had a great first ever 10km in running 34:07 and Mat Kaley ran 33:50 - a 70s improvement from Lane Cove. Serg showed great bottle to fight back from being dropped by Tucks at 6km.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Easy Friday

9km at 4:40 pace around the Botanical Gardens with Muz, Serg, Durante and Ray. All set for tomorrow but a shame that Robbie won't be there. Serg can hardly contain himself - he had to have an ice bath last night to calm himself down. Conversation went a bit quiet when he explained that it was his Dad who added the ice......

Big showdown set for Kanser and the Tiger. I've got money on Kanser so I don't want any mental weakness. Hopefully Uncle Dave will be pacing him to a low 34 time which I think will secure my money even if the Tiger decides to make an effort. Fingers crossed for MC. If you're reading this mate, my advice would be to ditch the watch and just race it. There will be plenty in the 34 bracket. RMR is a shoe-in for a 36:XX.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Minimos Training and HuRTS Gate to Gate

Early in the morning 3 laps of Campbell Parade (2km) with Bec after promising I'd take her training for Minimos. 11:16 - she ran all the way and finished with a good sprint.

7 x 909m off 2 minutes at lunchtime with HuRT Squad. Had a few too many beers last night so my legs felt pretty lethargic but still managed to bang out some quick ones. Reps went:

2:51; 2:56; 2:38; 2:54; 2:39; 2:51; 2:39

The 5th and 7th were run starting easier and pushing the second half, so pleased with the times considering it wasn't flat out all the way. Feeling pretty confident about Saturday but Serg has now progressed too much - he was flying today with a last rep in 2:32.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

HuRTS 5min reps

8 x 5mins off 90 seconds. Good crowd despite the wet conditions. Ideal in fact, as it kept the tourists at bay. Ran the first couple with Durante, Muz, Tucks and Serg (the Judge joined in on rep 3) then the next 5 Serg and I pushed ahead and on the final rep Serg blasted it from the start leaving me trailing in his wake. Each rep was faster than the previous one. The first averaged 3:25 and the final 3 were under 3:10. Felt great today. Now just to take it easy for the rest of the week as Saturday's race should be a cracker. Chris Truscott is running which should mean he and Serg will set off like kids at a school fete, leaving Tucks and I to mop up the pieces in the final 2km. It's all so predictable.

Will be interesting to see how the rest of the squad perform. Kanser was strong on Sunday and was looking good on rep 6 today but then cut short (again) so whether he gets close to his PB will depend on how the speed endurance is. I'm predicting a final KM showdown with the Tiger. MC is back on form and just needs to run a sensible but committed race. Would be good to see RMR get under 6 minute miles.

Monday, June 02, 2008

East Monday

Caught up with Serg, Durante, Kanser, Muz, MC and Ray and ran around the shore to KPMG building and back (basically the 45 mins fartlek route). 14.5km averaging about 4:30s. Very wet. Plenty of conversation about Saturday's relays - results of which are attached here. If these are verified it'll be one of my best runs, beating Dave Criniti, Michael Harrison, Chadi, Robbie, Paul Arthur and Nick Bennett and within 5 seconds of Glenn, Jeremey Horne, Robin Whiteley, Barry Keem and Nick Cope.

Trying to work out how to attach the results...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Long Sunday with the boys

Kanser, Springer, Tim L, Durante and the Tiger came over for the same run as last week. 28km 2:09:25. Nice easy pace chatting all the way. Tucked into a fried breakfast afterwards. Good days.