Tuesday, March 31, 2009

HuRTS - 45mins Fartlek but out for a while

Tough session but a fair crowd and towards the start Durante, Clyde and I broke clear with Serg for a while before Serg eased back to Muz, Kanser and Richard High with MC leading a large bus further back. We kept the pace pretty honest throughout, turning about 100m short of the furthest we've previously reached. Ran back all the way with them until the hills at Mrs Macquarie's Chair where Durante pushed ahead and Clyde tried to stay with him. I floundered like a lost soul. Eventually got reached 2 lamp posts short of the Stone Gates. Clyde was 1 lamp post short - he's plainly been fooling everyone as to his level of fitness. Durante reached the Stone Gates with a few seconds to spare. I reckon he'll go 32:XX at Lane Cove on Saturday if he doesn't kill himself on Thursday. Given Hickson Rd is scheduled, that is not a given.

Then went to see the doc and got the news I was expecting. Continue the eccentric loading, apply Nitrogen patches (I've already got them from the chemists) and use the Strassburg sock which I've also bought. But no running until May 6th (5 weeks) when I see him next. I'll start riding to work and back and will go swimming.

Realistically I'll need 3 months ramp up time again so I won't do Gold Coast (at least not the marathon) but will see whether Sydney is a possibility instead. If all thinks sort themselves out properly, first competitive race will likely be City to Surf where I'll try to retain that Seeded Start.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday run home

Attacked the hills again. Problem with doing that is that you never really slow down in between. 29:05 at Toyota Garage and 55:52 all up. Heel still not right, Sunday runs always bugger it up. I haven't eased up on the training though - probably knowing that the Doc will tell me to rest or ease up tomorrow so squeezing the last few proper training runs it. Kirsten made a good analogy of when she tells herself on Friday that she's going on a diet on Monday and makes full enjoyment of the weekend in between.

Kangaroo Valley


Run home from work at lunchtime with the first section via Cremorne point with Kanser, MC, Durante, Benny St, Dicky H and Clyde. When I left them I worked the hills again, finishing about 16km in 72:20 (after 45:20 at Toyota Garage).


Rested Saturday so headed out early on Sunday (only time to fit it in albeit knowing it would aggravate my heel). Ran through Kangaroo Valley village then straight up Berry Mountain. Turned around at 14km on the Garmin then ran back. 14km came at the very top of Berry Mountain - 5kms after the start of the climb. Felt really good though, no doubt due to the rest the day before. It was a fantastic morning on top of the mountain - beautiful sunshine but looking down on the fog resting over the valley. Obviously pretty quick on the way back with 5kms of straight downhill. 2:01:47 for the 28km. Averaged 4:39's on the way out and 4:02's on the way back for 4:21 average all up. Splits went:

5:01, 4:30, 4:24, 4:12, 4:21, 4:05, 4:19, 4:05, 4:16, 5:04, 5:03, 5:22, 5:21, 5:04, 4:05, 3:53, 4:02, 4:17, 3:42, 4:08, 4:04, 3:52, 3:52, 4:02, 4:18, 4:11, 3:58, 4:03.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

HuRTS Pyramid session

A number of the regulars missing today, so that the front group was just Tucks, Muz, new chap Jasper and me. Second group was led by LF Charlie with Ray, Vlad (taking it easy before Ironman), Dom and a few others.

Really good session today. I led them all (other than the final 450m) with Tucks sitting on my shoulder the whole way. Muz is still feeling the after effects of Six Foot while new chap Jasper seems to have a bit of raw talent. The session was good in that it was sufficiently uncomfortable from the beginning and yet the times were very consistent, particularly the 3 lap efforts which can blow out. Times went:

83, 2:48; 4:11; 5:38; 4:11; 2:42; 72.

Brings up an overall average of 3:03 per km for the total 7230m. Still a far cry off Dec 11th (87; 2:50; 4:11; 5:27; 4:00; 2:37; 71). It was hot today though - 31C. Heel feels fine but calves are very stiff from the eccentric loading. Sod the Ultrasound guy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

700th post

But little to write about. Saw Carl this morning. He killed me on core strength work. Jogged there and back (2km each way). Had a client lunch and evening drinks so no other run. Had ultrasound where the bloke told me it was acute insertional tendinopathy and that I shouldn't be running. Then had massage with Gary. Gary called this evening having spoken to Caleb and indicated things weren't as bad as the ultrasound bloke made out. Slightly encouraged by that but I'll wait to hear what Dr Kuah says. Certainly feels as though the eccentric loading is working. Gold Coast may not be on but I just want to be able to run injury free again and enjoy my training. There are always races to run.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

HuRTS 14 x 3mins

Tough session today. Very warm and still struggling with the after effects of Six Foot. Didn't feel comfortable at all even from the first rep, just a little dead in the legs. Was also worried about how I'd hold up for all 14. So tended to run easy for the first half of each rep then pick it up in the second half. Ran with the front group of Durante, Tucks, Serg (rapidly improving), the Judge and the Chairman. Serg dropped out after 10, the Judge, the Chair and Tucks after 12 leaving me to chase Durante over the final 2 when I started to struggle. Still kept up the same distance (between 900-910m for each rep - just short of gate to gate each time) but Durante stretched away on the final 2. I was outsprinted by MC, Andy and LF Charlie on the final rep.

Pleased to have completed the session. First proper HuRTS session in 2 or 3 weeks.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Run home

Missed lunch with an ISDA talk so ran home instead. Been feeling as if runs have been getting into a bit of a rut recently so happy to have done so. Felt pretty bouncy so attacked the hills - something I'll be doing more of in the next few months. Was a bit uncomfortable to start with raising the pulse more than usual but then settled into a pattern and felt pretty bouncy. Happy the effort.

Fantastic run by Timmy Rowe on Sunday - 1:34 for the Smithfield 30km. Way quicker than I was expecting. Everyone is eagerly anticipating his Canberra effort. Good to see DrJH running strongly at Lindfield - he'll be hard to beat this season.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Striders STaR - North Head

Rocked up this morning to a very depleted crowd - one person in the 6:10 group and about 8 starting the 6:20 group including Gareth Banks, John Binfield, Dennis, Mark Fiore, couple of girls and a chap called Simon. Picked up Ray heading up to North Head. Very easy pace to start with chatting all the way. Discovered that there is form behind the recent rise of John Binfield - he was pretty good as a kid coming 16th in the Inter Counties Cross Country (equivalent of Nationals) and ran a 1:59 800m.

Continued this way until coming down into Seaforth in the final 5km when the chap called Simon (who had been running ahead of us, getting lost then rejoining us) pushed ahead and I ran with him. Was probably running under 4:00 per/km at that stage but I didn't have the Garmin on. All up about 2:27 for the 30km.

Could feel the heel all the way and it's sore. Had been responding well to the eccentric loading (but not on a step) before that so I'll continue it. Will be a long process.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Easy Friday

Out today with a good crowd of Serg, Kanser, Shandyboy, Durante, Benny Saint, Clyde, Tucks and bumping into Tim C along the way. The usual Monday route in about 63 minutes. Felt pretty tired towards the end so I think I've still got a bit of Six Foot in me (that sounds rude).

Went to Northside Runners this morning to get a pair of shoes with a shallower heel following the Doc's advice and settled on a pair of Nike Structure Triax after testing out a load of different types. Haven't worn Nikes since I was 14 years old so will be interesting to see how they go. Also tried a pair of "Newton's" which are specifically designed for people like me with a prominent heel strike (look at my photo approaching the finish line of Six Foot below). They felt weird but will have a word with the Doc to see if he thinks they are worth a try.

Edit: Just updated the race calendar. May and early June looks busy. Great prep for the marathon though.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

HuRTS Mona Fartlek

Yesterday, saw Carl in the morning with my quads still screaming but my heel absolutely fine. Then saw Dr Kuah in the evening. He seems to think it's more likely to be "insertional tendinopathy" as opposed to retrocalcaneal bursitis but I'm having an ultrasound next week to determine which. The tendinopathy will be easier to treat (prevent coming back) so I'm hoping it's that. He seemed to think my shoes were the main problem, as well as calf tension. He said not to stop running but just to take it easy.

So popped down to HuRTS for Mona Fartlek and ambled around the back with Ray and Chris G. Useful to take the floats easy and stretch the legs on the faster bits. Easy jog around Farm Cove at the end for about 9km all up. Durante was flying, making the Stone Gates (which no-one has done in a while). He's the man in form at the moment and my Head to Heads could take a bit of a battering. Still had a slight headache from last night at Hurricanes and the Beach Road. The usual trash talking (particularly from Timmy and Kanser). Wildman has gone soft. He's so fit now he can't hold his beer so I'll have to rename him Pussyboy. Durante had to drag him home early after he started waxing lyrical about the 20 year old girls in his squad....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Six Foot Track - 16th in 3:53:38

This is an event like no other. I say event as it's not really a race. Even on the start line I wasn't nervous - just standing around listening to all the lighthearted humour and soaking up the spectacle. It can't be a race when you're averaging over 5 mins per km and at any time feel as though you could run faster, but know that if you do you may blow up in 5kms time. It's a strength endurance test, and probably the toughest one around.

Most of the HuRT Squad lined up together 2 or 3 rows back. The gun went before I was ready and just after my Garmin had switched off from satellite mode so I spent the first 20 seconds jogging trying to locate satellites. It finally locked them in so I concentrated on the task in hand and found myself picking my way down the steep stony section before the Nellies Glen steps next to Tucks. This is where I realised my first (and biggest) mistake of the day - choice of footwear. I chose my old racing flats with the heel wedges, partly due to the wedges making things easier on both achilles and partly due to the benefit of the light weight up the hills. They had both of those benefits but I could feel every single stone through the forefoot. My feet are still bruised now. They slowed me down on the downhills - particularly after Mini-Mini saddle and at the very end.

Finally got to the bottom of Nellies Glen and stretched out a bit. Found myself running 3:43 and 3:40 splits feeling as though I was running 4:10's. Caught Andy on this section then Dicky H and Chris G. Then Tucks caught up again soon after and we ran together all the way to Cox's River. He pulled ahead slightly on the final 2km of the technical section as I still wanted to feel fresh at Cox's. Waded through Cox's, took on a gel and Hi-5 drink, had a wee then set-off up the hills to Mini-Mini. I got to Cox's in 1:10:02, bang on schedule. Tucks was nowhere in sight, and remained that way for the rest of the race. He ran incredibly strongly from Cox's onwards which shows what strength in reserve he has. I reckon the hills up to Mini-Mini are the hardest. You still run them as you haven't given in to walking yet but despite this they are some of the steepest. I ran most of the way to Mini-Mini overtaking quite a few runners as I did. Hobbled down after Mini-Mini (bloody shoes), waded through another 2 rivers (where did they come from?) then started on the hills up to Pluvi. Overtook Tim Ashby here who muttered something about "this being ridiculous" (he wasn't wrong) and generally went the whole way up with Adam Jordan and Trevor Jacobs. They ran (in a sort of Cliff Young shuffle) the whole way, whereas I would walk with a long stride the steep sections then run quite quickly the flatter sections. This way, I would catch them up on the flatter sections as well as stretch my legs a bit. I think it pissed them off though. Overtook Brendan Davies near the top of Pluvi and then Cameron Arnold right on the summit. Took on more gels and bananas, hi-5 and water (the aid stations always seemed to appear just as you needed them) then set off along Black Range. Pluvi was reached in about 2:17 - again, bang on schedule.

I was hoping to get into a good stride here and count down the kms - first to 30km and then in 5km sections. However, 26km to 30km seemed to take ages. There's more hills than I remember and I was plodding. If I got a split under 5:00min p/km, I would celebrate. I passed Paul Arthur at this stage and then saw Ray up ahead. Seemed to take ages to drag him in and I hardly flew past him. We had a brief chat and I slowly eased ahead like two ships drifting in the sea. From here on in I was largely alone save for the cheering bystanders who temporarily lightened the mood. I passed one bloke struggling badly just before Caves Road, then was passed by another at about 40km who flew past me telling me to hang on in for a sub4. I fell down some slippery steps just after Caves Road but just landed on my arse. More painful was the sudden cramp in my thigh trying to stand up again. Finally got to the top of the hill above Jenloan Caves signalling 2kms to go. However, the joy at being so close to home is tempered by the fact that you have to navigate the most painful part of the course - a steep rugged downhill. My feet were killing me. I couldn't just let go and run as I would have fallen off the edge (about a 400ft almost vertical drop) so had to run putting the brakes on which was agony on the thighs. Was just about holding off the cramps but it was close. Then the final run in which makes it all worthwhile. The MC calls out your name and you get a huge round of applause. Crossed the line with hands aloft in 3:53 - a 19 minute PB, but who's counting.

Great runs by Tucks who powered ahead for a 3:42 and Terence who I didn't see for the whole race but finished 4 minutes ahead in 3:49. The HuRT Squad backed up well with Ray holding on for a 3:57, Richard Green getting under 4hours for the first time for a 3:58 and Chris Graham as consistent as ever in 4:02. Muz had a good first run for a 4:06 just behind Andy. Tim A and Dicky H struggled in the second half for 4:25's or thereabouts. Charlie just missed his target with a 5:02. Both Dicky H and Ray continued the HuRT Squad tradition of requiring Oxygen and a drip from the St John's Ambulance tent.

Great few beers in Caves House with Charlie, Tucks, Muz, Andy, Dicky H, Ray (who looked drunk despite being a teetotaller) and Terence, then home where I crashed out. Bit disappointed to miss out on the team prize but Gramps Army are just too strong.

Thighs are killing me still now. Weird thing is that my heel bursar is fine. Still seeing the specialist on Wednesday though as I need to sort it out before continiung marathon training. This race has taught me that it's all about the kms.

Will be back again for this one.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Bet

Training this morning with Carl and massage with Gary this afternoon (for which I got paid $23 after cleaning up on two $50 bets recently). So another bet had to be laid and Serg was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Caught up with Benny and Clyde, Serg, MC and Durante for the usual Centennial route but I cut short at the Fox Studios gates for a gentle 12km. Just before peeling off, the conversation turned to Benny's great 5km run where we were working out splits per lap. Turns out it's about 65 seconds per lap, to which Serg says he could stay on board for about 1500m on the basis his PB for 1500m was 4:05. However, he went on to say that that mark was "pretty crap" and that it should be well under 4:00. With my PB being a good 19 seconds slower, I challenged him that he'd never get under 4:00 for the rest of his life. Serg immediately grasped my hand like he was settling the takeover of Rio Tinto and said "how much?". I said $200. He said $500. I said you're on. He quite gracefully offered up a time limit of 3 years. Clyde said we should index to CPI. I agree. So watch out 11th March 2012. I think Serg will be somewhere in his 40's by then so should be interesting. If he and Gary find a race to pace each other I may have to go and speak to Westpac.

Of course I have huge respect for Serg as a runner, but a 3:59 1500m is very different to a 68minute Half....

Further banter yesterday between Serg and Muz has led me to introduce a head to head table on the blog for 2009. I've added CT just because I know a runner of my inferior ability comparing himself to him will piss him off. DNF's count as win's in my book. Let me know if you want to be added to the list...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

HuRTS - 6 x 5mins

Training is following a familiar pattern at the moment. Haul myself out of my office chair at 12.10pm. Limp with sports bag to the lift. Get changed in changing rooms feeling sore in both achilles and the legs. Start jogging to the rendezvous point at about 8 mins p/km wondering how I'm ever going to do the session. Meet the lads. Quick chat. Everyone looks fitter and more keen than me. Set off. Feel terrible. Barely able to move legs and struggling at 3:40 per/km pace. Feels hot and humid - is it hot and humid? Second rep - not much better. How come everyone has suddenly gotten so quick? Where has Durante's weight gone? When did John Binfield become so fit? Ah, at least Serg looks as though he's struggling. 3rd, same. 4th rep, starting to feel OK. Have we slowed down? Check watch. No, we're actually running quicker. 5th rep, feels good. I'm at the front! Pace is quicker again yet feels easier. Oh, here's a hill and there go Durante and John. I can't run hills. How am I going to be able to cope with Six Foot? At least my singlet looks good. 6th rep. All feels great now. Only doing 6 today so let's speed it up and see how I feel. Feels great - 3:17 pace. Stop for water. Have a short rest. Legs seize up. Start trying to jog. More painful than running quickly. When will I ever feel good again?

Monday, March 09, 2009

And then there were two....

Big crowd started for the usual Monday run today - new Dad Kanser, Serg, Muz, Dicky H, Mat K, Wildman, Springer and Dave Casey. Various drop outs along the way resulted in only Wildman and me finishing. 63:59. Felt very average for the first half struggling in the humidity but gradually felt better during the second half. Good stretch afterwards eased the heel - the nerve stretch for my hamstring (leg straight out in front of me but pulling the toes towards me) seems to work really well.

Getting excited about Six Foot now. Plenty of talk about it today. Muz is looking very sharp.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Medium Sunday

Just two laps of the 10km route today before Six Foot next week. I think my bioryhtmns are one day out as I felt great today, very bouncy and barely breathing. First loop in 42:06 and second loop in 39:57. The heavens opened on the second loop which made running down Manly Beach a dream (the tourists were in the pub) but the shoes got very heavy. Good practice for next week.

21km all up.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Striders 10km North Head - 5th in 33:22

Was secretly hoping for a sub-33 after some big weeks recently and a decent taper. But it wasn't to be. A good crowd showed up this morning and in the first 1km there was a breakaway group of 6 of us - Jeremey, CT, Trent Wood, Jan-Willem Schaar and Darren Moyle. We stayed together until 3km going through 1km in 3:10, 2km in 3:24 and 3km in 9:32. I was feeling good at this stage, but at the turn at the stone arch (much closer to the stone arch than the old turn was) I suddenly started to struggle. There's a long drag of a hill here and my legs suddenly went dead. Darren Moyle dropped off the back soon after and I quickly passed him but was in no-man's land from then on.

Went through 4km in 13:02 (a 3:30 which showed how much I had dropped off) but 5km in 16:20 so was still hopeful of a sub-33. However, 6km in 19:48 (a 3:28 which incorporated the hill opposite the fort museum) put paid to that. 7km was 23:07, 8km in 26:38 (again, that bloody drag of a hill) and 9km in 30:05.

Lesson learned was not to go out too quick. Some really slow kms in the second half. Wasn't helped by being by myself though. I thought the course was not as quick as the old course. Seemed to be hills all the time and in the wrong places. Most people had pretty average positive splits other than Tucks who ran even splits despite taking it easy in the first half. Weather was good - no wind but maybe a bit humid.

Some good runs out there. Timmy L is getting right back into it running a 35:50, only just ahead of Eoin who ran a 1 minute PB to finish in 35:55. Tim Cochrane was catching me towards the end and must have got under 34. Good to chat to Rich P and Dimitry afterwards.

Need to race more (as Dad said) - very hard to run fast times just off interval training.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

HuRTS 10 x 400m

Woke up this morning feeling good for the first time in about 3 weeks. Heel was very sore after trying to do eccentric loading on it (will have to have a word to the Tiger about that) but actually felt as though I had some energy for once. May have something to do with ditching Kirst's plan for dinner and eating a load of carbs - I think I haven't been eating enough after upping the mileage. Probably has more to do with the easing up in training finally taking effect.

Headed out today to Rushcutters for 400s with Durante, MC, LF Charlie, Tucks, Dom, RMR, Stephen and a couple of others. Muz showed up late then went off to run hills. The Oval was closed for a match so we made an ad hoc route around the grass field adjacent (measured on the Garmin). I just did strides in around 76 secs per rep putting in 2 or 3 quicker ones. Durante was flying running 65/66's and MC was also going well just behind Tucks. Nice view at around the 100m mark which made a pleasant change from looking at Durante's ass.

Beautiful day today (clear as a bell and not too hot) but I hear the weather in Melbourne is not so good which is a shame for tonight's race. Good luck to Steve, Ben and Tim. I was wrong on the pacing job, Steve's racing so all the best mate.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

More easy stuff

Easy 14km around Centennial once and cutting down the steps on the way back with MC, Serg, Wildman (who cut short), Clyde and Andy. About 4:35 pace. Saw Carl this morning and Gary just after so the legs have been stretched and pummelled. Back of left knee slightly sore on hills. Left heel slightly sore.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Missed HuRTS lecturing at UNSW so ran home instead. Fairly easy although faster than normal. Would guess at 56 mins but I buggered up pressing the start button on my watch.

Post Script: Huge congrats to Kanser and Olivia on the birth of Cara Lily. Expect to see many duels between Cara Kane, Nia Tuckey and Maggie Highnam in the future.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Easy Monday

Usual Monday route with MC, Muz, Serg, Wildman, English Andy and Gerry. Felt very easy today after yesterday's rest. Wildman and I found ourselves alone out front after about 2kms as the group fractured. Ran all the way with him. 1:03:26 for the 14.36km (4:25's). Will be interesting to see if he gets the pacing gig for Thursday evening at the Melbourne Track meet. Should be a great race. Birmingham should win it (of the Aussies) but will be interesting to see if Gregson takes him on.

Edit: Just heard that he got it so will have to set the recorder for Channel 10 when it's broadcast.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Saturday long tempo

Missed Friday due to forgetting to take my running kit to work so Saturday's planned short tempo was replaced with a long tempo. Jogged down to the Roundhouse and planned on running 7 laps of the 2.5km circuit keeping all the kms under 4:00 per km. Worked out fine. Km times were as follows:

3:57; 3:55; 3:56; 3:55; 3:56; 3:54; 3:57; 3:55; 3:53; 3:52; 3:51; 3:52; 3:51; 3:51; 3:49; 3:43; 3:44; 3:37 (pace for 0.5km).

Overall average of 3:52 (17.53km in 1:07:47). So all nice and consistent and felt pretty comfortable until about 14km when the pace picked up slightly knowing I was approaching the final lap. Felt pretty worn out afterwards mind. 117km for the week (again).

No run today. Was at Ken and Emma's 40th party last night and hit the lemon and lime daquiris pretty hard only getting in at 3am. So today is a write off. Happy to ease down this week in any case.