Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Strange day

Caught up with Big Mikey H to run the 19km Centennial route with the usual 3 marathon pace stretches. Reached Woollhara gates in 21.25, then ran the second loop of Centennial in 12:08 (i.e. much quicker than usual) struggling to stay with BMH who was about 10 seconds in front. Finished that at 47:58 feeling again as though I'm struggling with pace at the moment. It seems that what I've gained in strength and endurance I've lost in pace. Felt strong towards the end finishing in 1:14:43 - 3:55 per km pace overall.

Good to get another strong session in before C2S but I'm feeling very tired so will rest for the next couple of days then concentrate more on speed.

Followed up with a Tiger massage - left achilles has been getting stiffer and he certainly worked on that.

Then walked back to the office to find York Street cut off by police tape. A jumper was standing on the top of one of the tall buildings. Quite a crowd were watching but when he started to shuffle closer to the edge I had to turn and walk away. 10 seconds later I heard numerous sharp intakes of breath and a loud thud. Quite shaken up by it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

HuRTS 14 x 3mins

Very select group at HuRTS today. Everyone is either secret training (Kanser), resting (Tucks), injured (Muz, KMK) or just getting fat (our Portuguese friend). So turnout was Durante, MC, Richard H, Springer, Tim's L and C and a few of the Macquarie boys. Didn't know what to expect today - half intended to take it easy as part of the Arthur Taper but then knew as soon as people started racing off I wouldn't be able to restrain myself.

Ran the first with Durante then he pulled away by between 3-5 seconds on each rep, only intending to run 8-10. He did 10 in the end and still looked very comfortable - will be fascinated to see what he runs at Lane Cove on the weekend. My legs felt very heavy from the first rep. Really struggled to overtake everyone and the whole thing just felt laborious. Haven't felt like this in ages. Gradually it felt easier as the session went on (i.e. when you just feel tired as you always do). Hadn't got a clue what pace we were running as we were starting from an earlier lamp post to the one we normally start at - so decided to run the final rep at the same pace over the Action marked KM. Ran it in 3:11. So to put it all in context:

(a) the reps were quick (Durante must have been running 3:05-3:08's);
(b) there was a lot of wind;
(c) have run 160km over the last 9 days; and
(d) can't think of any more excuses.

Ran the last 2 reps by myself - I was the only one to complete 14. Most did 10 with only Tim L and MC running 12.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Recovery run

14km on the flat around the foreshore with Springer, Ray, MC, Rich H, Christian and Holt Hardy. A very easy 66:13 but the legs were tired from yesterday. I'm going to practice the Paul Arthur taper by resting Thursday and running very easy Friday.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tourist Trot STaR

A call to arms by Chris Truscott during the week brought out a good group for the STaR today starting inCentennial. 3 Truscotts, Fats, Keith, Kanser, Durante, Steve Hume, Cameron Arnold, Steve Jackson meant we started at about 4:30's and got quicker all the way. Ended up averaging about 4:13s after running the last 10km in under 40 minutes. Lovely morning and a good group.

Good to hear Tucks having another great run in the Cities Marathon, finishing 6th in 2:30.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Quick Hills

Short of time today so just ran 10 hills outside the front door. Nice hill as it starts flat but gently gets steeper all the way. About 330m. Reps went:

59, 58, 57, 57, 57, 57, 57, 57, 56, 55.

Short jog after for about 8km all up.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Easy Friday

Easy 15km dodging the puddles around Centennial with Ray, MC, Muz and Holt Hardy. 66:15.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tempo run home - PB time!

Shocking day at work - eventually got out at 9.30pm so did my tempo run home. Wasn't expecting much after a big week's training, staying up watching the Tour and stresses at work. But kept the pace honest from the word go despite always feeling tired. Reached Toyota Garage in 26:00 (42 seconds down from when I set the PB in late April). Really pushed the downhill to Spit Bridge as:
(a) I remember writing in my blog that I'd eased off on this section last time;
(b) had in my mind that Cadel said it was as important to practice the downs as much as the ups; and
(c) good practice for C2S where there are plenty of steep downs.
Then pushed the Spit Hill to Sydney Road. Felt really strong on this - hill strength and endurance is coming through. Pushed again along Sydney Road to run 6:43 for the final 2kms. Finished up in 48:45 - a 6 second PB. Real confidence booster feeling so strong in the second half.
Bring on C2S!
Why do I set myself up for a fall every year?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

MLR with marathon pace stretches

19km Centennial Park route with the 3 marathon pace stretches from 2 weeks ago. Ran up until Woolhara Gates (including the first quick stretch) with KMK, then on my own. Ran past Tim Rowe twice in Centennial - he looks very smooth when running. 12:45 for the Centennial Loop (finishing at 49mins on the dot), 2:45 for final stretch (starting at 70 mins on the dot) and all up in 1:15:54 (averaging just under 4:00 per km).

Feeling strong at the moment and confidence is up. Just concentrated on getting through this bout of heavy training rather than worrying about any races for the moment. Convinced this session is becoming my most important of the week.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

HuRTS 4 x 3km

Cool and sunny today but quite breezy - more of a headwind for the uphill reps (1 and 3). Not a huge crowd.

Reps went: 9:55; 9:21; 9:44; 9:12.

Started off in a group with Durante, KMK and DC5 with Muz joining us half way through. Kanser (after 12kms this morning) was next behind us with Tim and MC running well today too. My legs were very tired from yesterday's long run - I knew it would hurt early on so just settled into a steady pace and watched the 3 others disappear off into the distance. They ran about 9:40. Again on the second rep I ran with Muz as the other 3 sped off, however I started to come good about half way through. Picked up KMK who was dying quickly and finished just behind Durante. Ran the third rep with Durante all the way. Again DC5 was comfortably ahead and we passed a fading KMK just before the ABC Pool. Durante pushed all the way on this one and we were catching DC5 by the end. Final rep I ran by myself after Durante said he was going to coast through in 10mins. Was watching DC5 all the way - Kanser went with him for a while before deciding the big fella was just too quick. Failed to catch him by a few seconds after Tim L gave me a great lead up to a sprint finish. Tim L is peaking just at the right time for C2S.

Good session (at least in the light of yesterday's run) was spoiled by a thief stealing my new Mizuno top after I took it off to run in a vest following the second rep.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Long Sunday on Monday

Top of glute felt better today so risked a run at lunch. Still slightly sore for the first 5km then it disappeared so just hoping it doesn't reappear with a vengeance. Felt great today, very bouncy. Amazing what a day's rest does. Ran the flat 10km route, then continued along 45 min fartlek course, then over Darling Harbour bridge, over Anzac Bridge, over Iron Cove Bridge until half way up the hill following it when I reached 63 minutes. Plan was to run 28kms in 2:06. Turn around and ran back. Picked up the pace on the way back to finish in 2:04:13. I think I was averaging just under 4:20s (clocked the 1km around Farm Cove in 4:10 on the way out and 4:00 on the way back) so probably works out at about 29km.

I've gone on record as saying I'm going to run the Gold Coast Marathon next year. Gives me a chance to run 6ft Track properly too. At some point I'm going to have to wander into post 31km territory. That scares me a little.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Top of left glute worsened after yesterday's session. Had trouble sleeping until I popped 2 Voltaren. Took another 2 Voltaren before heading out today but lasted 90 seconds before realising I was running holding my breath to manage to pain. Pretty sure it just needs a couple of days rest (and no more steep hills).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Campbell Parade intervals

Same session as late April - 13 loops of Campbell Parade (650m each), one float then one fast. Floats are not at a comfortable pace but easing off from the fast sections. Worked out that I ran the fast sections quicker than last time but the floats were slightly slower. Reps went:

2:21; 2:07; 2:23; 2:06; 2:22; 2:05; 2:24; 2:02; 2:20; 2:02; 2:23; 1:59; 2:23

Overall 29:03 which compares to 29:23 last time. That was just before State 10km so pleased with this.

Been dreading all sessions recently due to feeling tired the whole time with the increased mileage. Really didnt feel like it today but felt fine when I eventually got out. Top of left glute still sore.

Bumped into Lucy Chapman on the jog home. She's been training with one of my lawyers from work and she has high hopes for her. Hope she can get her fit for November and JMorgan CC.

Serg - no excuses mate. Just get out there and cut down on the chicken. Try getting up early...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Easy MLR (of sorts)

Easy 16+km around to Cremorne, back over the bridge and around and about along Hickson Road. 73:13. Ran with Kanser, Springer, Big Mikey H, Ray and Tim C. It was supposed to be easy until we got to Cremorne when Kanser decided he needed to be back at work so started gunning it all the way home. Tim C and I went with him. He really pushed all the hills and dropped me on most. Need to attack hills more in my long runs.

Knocked over a 5 year old in Neutral Bay when neither of us could decide which way to go to avoid each other. Bit embarrased by that but fortunately her mother obviously wasn't a local to the area as she was an apologetic type.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

HuRTS - Hills

Today's select HuRTS crew resembled a who's who of Australian middle distance running in the late 90's. As well as Stevie T we had Holt Hardy, a 1:48 and 3:38 (800m/1500m) runner in his day. With Rich H and Durante, that's 4 sub 1:55 runners.

Headed over to Rushcutters having given everyone the option of 400s or hills. I wanted 400s as my achilles was feeling a bit tight. Everyone else wanted hills. So I decided to do them but not kill myself in the process. Ran up Yarrannabe St 9 times after running up Thornton once but realising the recovery back down was too long. Ran 1:23 or 1:24 for all the reps but for one early on at 1:26. Was about 5-10yards behind Steve and Robbie for the first 5, then closed in on them for the last 4. Felt pretty comfortable so was pleased with the session. Don't feel as though I battered the body around as much as I did last Saturday.

Jog there and back for 13km all up.

Edit: Just had a bird's eye view of the Popemobile. He basically did the Mona Fartlek course. I reckon he'd be entitled to a "I made the Stone Gates" T-Shirt, as it didn't hang around.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Long Wednesday run to work

Usual 19km run to work but have changed the marathon pace stretches. Now run at a true marathon pace and longer - first from Pittwater Rd entrance to Queenscliff lagoon to Manly SLSC (about 8:20), the second from the bottom of Parriwi Rd to Neutral Bay (15:54) and the third across the Harbour Bridge (no time - too knackered to look). 40:00 at the bottom of Parriwi, 49:02 at Spit Junction and 78:20 all up. Quicker again (no doubt helped by the longer fast stretches) but it was tough today. I was very tired coming through Kirribilli - off the back of 116km for the past 7 days (my biggest to date).

Beautiful cool day - perfect running conditions.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hurts Progressive tempo

All over the place today. Sydney is full of Catholic pilgrims for World Youth Day which meant the Opera House was crammed, Hickson Road was closed and the Overseas Passenger Terminal was blocked. Intended route of running 45minute fartlek route was gone so we improvised with Charlie's Botanical Gardens route here....

Plan was to run for 23 minutes, turn around and retrace our steps and try to get back to the start by 45 minutes. Felt great in the first half - reached 6.36km in the 23 minutes (3:36 pace) running with Durante, DC5, Charlie, Fats, Ray and Andrew Wilson. Then immediately following the turn DC5 picked up the pace and pulled ahead. I ran with Charlie for a while until he stepped off the road heading up Art Gallery Road. Felt strong up the hills (for once) and pulled in DC5 just before the ABC pool. Pushed on to finish in 44:33. 3:23's for the second half to average 3:30's overall.

Nice session. Very social for the first half and it only gets painful in the final 3 or 4km.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Recovery run

13.5km run to work. Still very stiff and sore to start with but eased into it so that it was a proper recovery run. Felt much better by the end. 27:55 at Spit Junction and 58:31 all up.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Long Sunday run

Out in the pitch dark at 6am for the 28km Manly route (Burnt Bridge Creek, Queenscliff, Shelley, North Head and MSW). Just a question of dragging myself around today feeling very tired after yesterday's session. Glutes and tops of thighs very stiff. Pretty slow - 2:08:27. 4:20 and 4:13 for the North Head kms but they were probably when I was moving most easily. Sat in the pool afterwards which was bloody freezing but did my legs no end of good.

Jamie - how do you work out elevation on GMap?

Saturday, July 12, 2008


2km warm-up then 15 x Margaret St Hills (GMap attached) immediately jogging down Woods Parade so it was a constant 600m loop. All between 1:30 and 1:33. Tried to stretch out on the flat bit along Fairlight St each time. Killer session. Only way through it mentally is to think of them in sets of twos.

2km warm down for 13km all up.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Easy Friday

Easy 15.4km run on usual route to Centennial but only one loop. 66:47 (i.e. 4:20s). Ran with Serg, Stevie T and Robdog.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

HuRTS Hickson Road

Smaller group than usual today, but what we lacked in numbers we made up for in talent. BMH, Stevie T, Robdog, Serg, Tucks, DC5, Fats, MC, Tim L, English Andy, Steve C, Hamburglar and IHS. Reps were lead out by BMH, Stevie T, Robdog and Serg with DC5 and I in a group behind just in front of Tucks. Times went as follows:

3:31; 3:24 (pb); 3:31; 3:27; 3:30.

So another new set pb, but despite that I was well off the pace. Robdog was showing great form, and Stevie T has obviously put some training in as he stuck to BMH throughout and then outpaced him on the final rep. Like last month, I'd feel fine for the first 300m, struggle in the middle then pick it up towards the end. The encouraging thing was that I would be closing in on the front group towards the end of each rep - caught Serg on a couple (he's started his base loading on pies and Portuguese chicken) and got close to Robdog on a couple. Didn't seem as mentally tough as usual but I was probably hallucinating. I was pretty much lactic from rep 3 onwards.

HuRTS T-Shirts now all distributed so our fame will shortly be spread far and wide. A few spare and Mona Fartlek is next wek so another chance for people to lay claim.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Medium Long Wednesday

Head out at lunch with MC, Big Mikey H and Kanser for the 19km route to Centennial, around twice and back to work. Planned on two "true" marathon pace stretches - one from Rushcutters to Woolhara Gates and one around the 3.6km inner loop of the park. Only BMH was keen on the marathon pace stretches. Bit of a drag up Ocean Street but didn't go crazy on the pace. He had to head back to work before the second loop of Centennial which I did in 12:44 (3:32 pace if 3.6km is accurate). Felt comfortable. All up 1:17:11 for the 19km which is 4:03 pace. Found that once you start doing the marathon pace stretches you never quite slow down to the original very easy pace afterwards. Felt good today but calves were stiff. Had to run in the flats as I left my trainers at home. Need to replace both in any case.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

HuRTS 45mins Fartlek

Turned up today not intending to run quickly, just to ease the legs into slightly more strenuous stuff following Sunday's race. My calves are still sore (as always after a long race). Good to see Big Mikey H after a great run on Sunday (31:11 in the 10km) - he and Dimitri being the only people I know who really performed well at the weekend.

Today was the usual 1 min fast, 30 seconds easy for 45 mins. Set off in a group with Serg, Muz and picked up Fats near Mrs Macquarie's Chair. Serg and Fats were pushing on with Muz and I just hanging on. Felt very tired for the first 15 mins. Turned halfway along Hickson Road and headed back with Serg deciding to push on and Fats dropping off with the runs (he'd been complaining about a dicky tummy the whole way). Kept going with Muz until half way around Farm Cove when he dropped off. Was feeling much more comfortable at this stage. Ran the last section by myself falling 20 yards short of getting back to the Stone Gates.

Nice to be back into it. Feeling very positive about training and trying a couple of new things leading up to City to Surf after chatting to Pete and others. Have started the eccentric loading on the achilles again as the left is stiffening up in the mornings.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Gold Coast HM - 34th in 1:13:09

Ran a very easy 5km on the treadmill on Saturday night and woke nice and early on the Sunday after not really sleeping when Maggie woke us all up at 3:10am. Eventually got to the start after a panicked boat trip across Broadwater from Sea World (they didn't know where to dock which meant we were bobbing about in the water for about 15 minutes). Went through the pre-race rituals and put myself on the second row as I didn't want a mad sprint start.

Tried to keep it easy in the first km (the leaders went off amazingly quickly) but still clocked 3:11. 2km was reached in 6:34 and 3km in 9:58. I was a bit concerned by this as I realised I was averaging only 3:24's and it felt tougher than I was hoping for. At this stage our group of 3 (which coincidentally included Noureddine Benfodda, the chap from New Caledonia that I ran a large part of the Sydney Half with last September) was about 100yards behind a big group of 5, and from leading our mini-group I was now hanging on as they upped the pace to try to catch them. Missed 4km, 5km was 16:39 (i.e. down to 3:20s) and 6km was 20:03. Between 7 and 8km we got within 25 yards of the group in front but I was struggling and got dropped. This was the big mistake of my race as they never got any closer (other than one bloke who was later spat out) and the other 2 chaps in my mini-group caught them by 9km. 10km was reached in 33:33 and I was still feeling pretty confident of a 71 on the basis I could drift a minute on the way back and still make it. But I guess that's the wrong mental attitude to have. As soon as I turned at the 10.5km mark we hit a strong headwind. I caught one bloke at 12km and tried to push straight on past him but he kept on sticking to me. I'd then duck in behind him to shelter from the wind and he seemed to drop the pace significantly so that it felt as though I was clipping his heels the whole time. I guess this was the effect of the wind but it was bloody annoying. I clocked splits in the 3:40s and was just frustrated. At times I felt as though I could push the pace but then couldn't really find any rythmn. 15km was reached in 51:28 (a 17:55 5km split!) and I was thoroughly pissed off at this stage. From being 27 seconds ahead of schedule I was now 28 behind. To rub salt in the wounds, the two leading ladies came past with a pacemaker at 18km. This was a bit of welcome relief. They were clocking solid 3:30kms and so suddenly the pace lifted without much more effort. Being Japanese, they weren't the best windshields but their pacemaker was. I don't think he was intending for me to take the benefit of this though. Still, it's dog eat dog out there. Drifted off their pace over the final km when I was very tired and limped across the line.

Only saw Dave Sweeney at the turnaround mark having set off on a flyer. Sounded like he struggled as much as I did in the second half to clock a 72:26 after a 32:55 at 10km, which gives a bit of incentive for C2S. He doesn't look 46, must be dodgy birth records like they have in Kenya. Most of the HuRT squad struggled too - Durante in 75:10 (like me, a very similar time to SMH), Kanser in 77:02, Tim L in 79:35, Tiger in 79:50, and MC finishing in the low 80s.

The wind obviously had a significant impact but a few of us from the squad will have a chat about whether we're doing the correct training at the moment. I feel as though I could currently run a much better 5km than Half. This was borne out by Serg's performance. After a great run last week at Scarborough Park he was disappointed not to get under 32 in the 10km (32:16). Will definitely keep up the Wednesday long runs before City to Surf last year as they worked last Spring.

Great to catch up with so many people before and after, it felt like a local race.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

More easy stuff

Just 7.5km run from work to the Toyota Garage carrying around 10kgs in my backpack. 33:05. Knees pretty sore with the weight and calves tight. Nearly there.

Easy Wednesday

Just back from State of Origin game out at Homebush. Hope the result isn't a portent regarding my battle with the Queenslander Dave Sweeney on Sunday morning.

Very easy 12km with Serg, Durnate, Robdog, MC and Muz at lunch today in 56 mins. Much talk about how Serg has to do the HuRT Squad proud and beat the HuRT Squad defector Big Mikey H. I'm confident of a Serg victory. He talks a good game but to be fair to him always performs on the occasion. MC wouldn't stop going on about how the Irish 10km courses are short. We tried to tell him that their measuring devices were just the same as the rest of the world's but he was having none of it...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

HuRTS 5min reps

Sprinted down (running late) to a different group than usual with no stalwarts such as Kanser (breaking records in Ireland), Serg, Robbie or Durante (doing their own secret fast training which sounded a bit too quick for me). Ran the first 4 reps quickly with Fats, Charlie, Muz and Big Dave Clarke in about 3:15 pace then the final 4 reps comfortably with Mike Race and English Andy in about 3:40 pace. Felt tired after the first 4 (more tired than usual - we were getting to the big stone so pushing them quite hard but worried it was the effects of the cold) but fine by the end.

Big Dave Clarke was right up there for 7 and looked strong. KMK did usual latest thing of starting easy and getting quicker all the way through (leading Charlie on the last rep). At this rate, Macquarie will be hard to beat at JPM. Kanser might be looking at B team...