Sunday, May 29, 2011

Long run with the Manly Boys

Up for a 6am start with Sam and Quentin. Took 2 Voltaren last night to get through the run and the heel was painless. Voltaren is the best drug in the world. And so small. Kirst could have slipped two into my mashed potato last night and I wouldn't even have noticed. I'm going to have to take some rest. Legs are far too tight and continually running on them just makes the achilles sore. I'm doing a load of stretches which works temporarily but feel as though I need to give them a rest to recover.

In saying all that, today's run was a monster. The boys went off at their usual pace. I felt great throughout and the time flew with plenty of conversation. Big Sam started to put the hammer down at 23km and we did the next 10km in under 40 mins. Timmy and MC - try and stick with him next week at your peril. The big guy is flying and I'm predicting a low 34.

All up 36.02km in 2:30:47 (4:11's). Another 6km at the same pace and it would be a 2:57 marathon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

North Head 10km - 5th in 33:26

Stood on the start line in cold conditions next to Thamal wondering how to tackle the race. I wanted to be aggressive like last month but didn't want to make the same mistake as last year in sheltering everyone from the wind and giving them a free ride. We quickly settled into a leading group of 5 - myself, Thamal, Quentin, Bleasel and a young chap called Jonathan Hew. Thamal and I did most of the work. I ran without a watch again and, with no clocks on the course, I was completely blind. We stayed together as a group until the end of the loop at the end of the first lap (i.e. about 5.5km) when I started to drop off. My legs were just dead. Was still turning them over OK but just had no zip or strength today. I'm guessing it's the effects of a big week this week.

Found out later we went through 5km in 16:30. Jonathan Hew developed a rocket up his arse at 8km and immediately gapped the rest of them by 20m, with only Quentin chasing. This meant that Thamal dropped off which at least gave me something vaguely to chase to keep me honest. Bleasel is looking stronger by the week. Results here.

So a bit disappointed to be 30 seconds behind Quentin but I was surprised with the time as I thought I had completely blown out over the final 4km. I'm thinking I might take 3 days off after tomorrow's long run to freshen up. I'm constantly tired and the achilles is sore. I figure this will freshen me up before State 10km next week where I hope to go under 33. However, it may not be ideal to take 3 days off 5 weeks out from the marathon. Would be interested to hear people's thoughts.

Special mention to Sam who is getting stronger by the week to run 34:57 (a minute improvement in 3 weeks!). Helped along by Ray who has now entered GCM too and ran 35:01 after a 20km warm up.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Easy peasy

7km jog off the Jet Cat in Manly. Very slow. Heel sore.

100km for week.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

easy run home

Busy day at work meant I missed Hickson Rd reps with the boys so ran home at 8.30pm instead. 61:37, a new PW!

Good interview here with Benny. He even gives a shout to the HuRT Squad!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday MLR

With JB and Richie H deciding that their priorities lay with Corporate Cup, I was a bit worried about being alone for the marathon pace stretches today. Luckily I was able to fall back on the services of the Australian 10,000m record holder and Wildman to push me along.

Bloody awful weather - cold, wet and windy. Showed up to find MC, RMR, King James, Andy, Benny St and Wildman huddled together. We shuffled off. My legs were numb, both from the cold and the last 2 days training. At Rushcutters I signalled the start of the first quick stretch and the Saint immediately heads off to the Gents leaving Wildman, Andy and I to force ourselves up through Edgecliff and up Ocean St - gale blowing in our faces. Felt tired here and wishing the session over. Easy lap of the park with the Saint suddenly reappearing from another toilet and we were off on the quick lap. Stevie called out splits of 3:25, 3:22 and 3:23 while he and Benny casually chatted about this and that and I concentrated with my head down, legs burning and spit dribbling down the side of my face.

Andy rejoined us for the jog back, one last quick stretch along Garden Island and we were done. One of those runs you just feel pleased you managed to finish and put in the bag.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

HuRTS 4 x 3km

Used to be 4 x 10 mins. But when you get fitter it becomes 4 stone gates to stone gates, which is 2.92km, which is the way it was today.

Another huge crowd but with a few of the speedsters (Wildman, Tucks and Quentin) in hiding. More girls again, with Sonya and Olivia joining in this time. Ray will have to pick and choose who to run with soon.

Set off in a group with Fast Charlie, Andy, Dicky H and Bartles all running together with Teetotal Timmy, JF, Clyde and a host of others in hot pursuit. I was immediately struggling with the pace. Went through 1km hanging on to the back of the first group in 3:24 thinking I was running 10s quicker. It wasn't that it hurt, just that my legs didn't feel as though they could go any quicker. Felt good on the hills though where I'd claw back any gaps. Gradually got into it finishing OK. Times for the reps were as follows:


So they got quicker each time (reps 1 and 3 uphill). I felt better each rep. Make a concerted effort to drop everyone on the hills on rep 3 with just Fast Charlie holding on. Then on rep 4 I felt fantastic.

Obviously a bit of yesterday's run in the legs to start with. May struggle on Saturday as it's a big week ahead. Still deciding whether to do North Head or the relays.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Long Monday

35.02km in 2:35:55 (4:27's).

Did 22km around Manly - Burnt Bridge Creek, Queenscliff, Shelley, North Head (inc. Fairfax), North Steyne then picked up my bag from home and ran into work. Felt pretty average around 20km and it was a bit of a struggle from then on but didn't feel much worse at 35km. Made an effort up Parriwi Rd as I knew that would be the make or break. Had a burst of energy at 32km - dunno what Kanser is on about with this 32km mental barrier issue. He's plainly got issues.

Had to run in my flats which wasn't great for the left foot. Not too bad after plenty of stretching.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Easy Sunday

Still not feeling great this morning after Friday night's efforts so ditched the idea of racing the Manly Fun Run and ran with the kids in the 2km instead. Billy had a great run finishing 11th in 9:04, Bec was 22nd 30 seconds back but run of the day was Maggie showing her mother and elder brother a clean pair of heels to finish in 14:04 running all the way. Probably a safe bet that she was the first 3 year old.

Felt better in the afternoon (and it was a beautiful day) so headed out with Billy on his bike. We did 12.25km in 51:46 (4:14's). Billy will sleep well tonight.

Quick note of Friday night's bets so that no-one forgets. $200 that Wildman can't run sub 2:25 for a marathon by Gold Coast 2012 and $20 with MC on whether TB can go sub 34:20 at State 10km. Kanser went for $50. The match up that no-one was willing to put money on though is Young Timmy v MC.....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Easy Friday

Cruised around the usual 16km route with TB and Kanser. Beautiful day, much warmer than recently. 69:50. 97km for the week.

All set of the Sydney Striders Annual Dinner tonight. The hottest tickets in town. Young Timmy hasn't been able to sit down all day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

HuRTS Pyramid

Showed up today expecting a small crowd of maybe 2 or 3 and so was shocked to see a hoard of runners congregated near the Art Gallery. Tucks, Bartles, JB, JC, JF, Enda, Ray, Andy, Dom, Sam, LF Charlie and a whole host of others. Plans for an easy session were immediately aborted.

Reps went as follows:

80, 2:42, 4:08, 5:36, 4:06, 2:42, 76

5:36 for the long rep is 3:03 pace. So comparable to the best I've done (11th Dec '08). Nice and consistent though, and as Tucks said, that's the game. This coming from the metronome of the running world.

Legs felt pretty sluggish at the start of each rep but I tended to find something about half way through and finished them all alongside Tucks with Bartles a couple of yards back. Tough session mind.

11km all up. Need a longer one tomorrow to find the 100km this week.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday MLR

Usual route. Turned up late to find everyone gone. Caught up with the crowd along Garden Island (MC, Sam, Andy, JB, Craig, RMR, King James etc) then started the marathon pace stretches just with JB and Andy. 22:05 at the top of Ocean Street so a solid effort. Quick for the Centennial loop with JB pushing all the way (splits of 3:27, 3:20 and 3:25 feeling good). Then Wildman appeared and I ran back with him with a 3:19 split along Garden Island. All up 18.70km in 1:18:00 (4:10's). Perfect weather, cool, sunny and still.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

HuRTS 5min reps

Big crowd, most taking it easy post SMH Half. Cool but beautifully sunny day. Perfect running conditions. Took all the reps easy trying not to overdo it. Chatted variously to Ray, Tucks, Quentin, MC, Laura, Aine, JB, JF, JC, Sam, as I say, loads were there. Other than Young Timmy of course. Last seen wandering down Wembley Way with a bottle of Jameson Irish...

Kids School X-Country today. Bec came 2nd and will be going to District which was brilliant given she's had the last 2 weeks off school having had her tonsils out. Billy unfortunately came 7th (top 6 go to District) having been pipped on the line just like his Dad. He was gutted. He was racing against boys in Year 4 though (he's in Year 2) so will have plenty of chances in the future.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Plod recovery

Very easy plod on the Monday route with MC, Ray, Sam, Andy, Craig, Brendan and others. 11.5km in 55 mins just to flush out the legs.

Managed to find a photo where I was in front of Tucks. It will go down for posterity...

Results of yesterday's race. And how good is THIS for the race splits?! Check out that 15-20km split Kanser...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

SMH Half - 22nd in 1:12:38

Woke at the ungodly hour of 5am to catch a cab in with Sam, Dickyboy and Ben. It was blinking freezin'. And dark. Wondered what the he'll I was doing. A few stretches at work and a very short jog before being called to the start line very early. Stood around having a chat with Tucks, Steve Jackson and Keith. Everyone seemed to be there -particularly from th HuRT Squad. This really is a runner's race.

Gun went and got myself a clear path through and immediately felt pretty good. No idea about km splits as I'd decided to run without a watch again. Soon found myself in a group with Tucks, Jonathan Bleasel, Quentin, Quentin's friend from the USA and another chap who I think was called Geoff judging by the shouts from the side of the road. Speaking of which, that was the best thing about this race. Lots of loops back where you passed runners from behind going the other direction and got loads of shouts which was always a lift.

Went through 5km in 16:43 with Keith a good 30s in front and Tongey about 10s in front, having gone off fast once again. Our group was just sticking together though working really well - pretty rare in shorter races. Nikki Chapple, the first girl, was just in front and remained there from 5km to 15km, working by herself rather than in the group of 7 which couldnt have helped her. At 10km (34:03) we caught Tongey who I thought might immediately drop off but he raised the pace to stay with us. Had dark thoughts coming back along Hickson Road but worked the hill up to Kent Street well (i seemed to run the hills well today) to regain touch. We caught Nikki coming into Art Gallery road and I hit the front of our group with a rash surge of confidence only to have Tucks come past soon after. Still kept touch with him coming around Mrs Macs chair where we caught Keith (who suddenly stepped aside? - i'll claim the win in any case). However, Quentin and Tongey then came past at the ABC Pool going strong and gapped me. Legs were tiring rapidly and just held on from there holding off Jonathan and pipping Quentin's mate in the run in.

Chuffed to bits with the time. I was hoping for a sub74 so to run my second fastest on a tough course (and I'm still dubious of the accuracy of the Blackmores Half when i set my pb) was great. Bit disappointed not to challenge Tucks and Tongey in the run in. How come I manage to finish 5 seconds behind Tucks whatever the race distance? Plainly a psychological issue there.

Great to catch up with everyone after. Amazing run by the Chairman to run 70:45, the bloke's a machine. JF suffered over the distance to run just over 76. Same with Bartles who started strongly. Enda came good for a mid 76. Clyde ran mid 74 off little training. Even Kanser and Durante were out for a run. Other good runs out there. General consensus seemed to be that it was a tough but fair course. Even achilles OK so happy days.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another one squeezed in

Friday was 11km late in the evening, this time through Darling Harbour, Glebe, Camperdown and back along Parramatta Rd to the office. About 11km very easy, feeling much better about SMH Half tomorrow than I was on Tuesday.

101km for the week.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Squeezing it in

12 hour meeting in Melbourne yesterday put paid to any running. Knackered again today but took some time out of work at 8pm for a run. Headed up to Bondi Junction via Garden Island but got lost and ended up going all the way around Queens Park and back. About 17km all up so a bit further than I wanted. Felt surprisingly OK though, that's what a day's rest and perfect cool conditions do for you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

HuRTS Progressive Tempo

Crowd of thousands today, we even had 4 girls (Ainee, Emma and Laura from MBL and Anna) but some more usual faces like Rich, LF Charlie, JF, Terence, MC, Tucks, Andy, Wildman, Sam and the Chairman. Tucks, Wildman and the Chairman immediately went to the front and I started running with TB. I just had no energy to go with the front boys, the weekend's efforts having caught up on me. Turned under the second bridge still with TB and immediately put some effort in. Caught JF, Rich and Andy at CQ at the same time that Tucks, Wildman and the Chairman caught me. They were flying. From then on I ran with Rich all the way back. Final gate to gate in 10:09 and got back in 44:54 (12.6km). Average pace of 3:33's but I was running tired. Think I'll take tomorrow easy rather than the 19km marathon stretches and try to recover.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Easy peasy

Very easy run home. Would have been enjoyable but for the fact it was freezing cold and pissing with rain. 59:47. Some pictures from Saturday's race:

Look - Stevie does a spastic hand like me!

Just to prove the point, here's mine.

Young Timmy; "Now if I just close my eyes, perhaps I can just pretend the clock says 34 something..."

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Long run with the Manly boys

Out with Quentin and Sam for exactly the same as last week (including my 5km "get the legs moving" extra bit at the start). Stunning morning this morning - perfection conditions again and some beautiful views. The boys kept the pace very honest but still chatting all the way. Did an extra bit to Shelley Beach and back at the end (bumping into Jamie along the way) which upped the kms a bit. All up 33.58km in 2:21:31 (4:12's). Felt really good today. Took gels (Powerbar gel) at 50 mins and 1:40 which made a big difference.

Sam's going well - looked very strong today. Expect he'll make some big improvements soon.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Homebush Striders 7th in 33:29

I thought it was in the bag. 1:45 headstart for Timmy, had been feeling good, finally record a good time and I turn around after finishing to see Timmy crossing the line within 10 seconds of his PB! Hats off to the fella, things are obviously a bit tough at home to put so much effort into getting $20 off me. Tucks did question whether he'd hidden behind a tree and avoided the final loop of the horse track but I've got more faith in him - Timmy's an honest grafter. So he gets the cash by running 1:42 behind. Amazing how close we manage to make it though. Last time it was an 80 second start and he finished 80 seconds behind. I put it down to two consistent performers who know how to get the best out of themselves. Others may put it down to two old buggers who are scared to get out of their comfort zone.

I was chuffed with my race. Told myself beforehand that I wanted to push hard for 5km then hold on. Even ditched the watch as well as i just wanted to race it and not worry about times. Plan was to stick to Tongey who always seems to go out hard. That plan went out the window after 50m when Tongey didn't go out hard, so stuck to Tucks (as ever) instead. He was generally in front other than for short periods when the pace dropped a bit and I'd take a turn. Went through 5km in 16:30 and realized going round the car park that we were in front of the Horne which was a bonus. Tucks was pushing on between 5-7km and I was just hanging on but the hill killed me and I had a shocker km between 7 and 8km where Tucks gained about 10 seconds and sure enough I hear the quickfootstpes of the Horne approaching. I tried to hold on to him when he went past just after 8km to let him drag me around which worked to a certain extent but then I hear Tongey approaching too. Desperately tried to lift the pace past 9km to avoid a sprint finish with Tongey but to no avail. Started sprinting over the bridge and start catching the Horne at the same time. Too short though. Finish in 33:29, a NEW COURSE PB! Haven't said that for a while so very chuffed.

Did a warmdown with Tucks and Wildman, who turned up to collect his $50 from Timmy (he had to get under 34 mins) and ended up giving Dave Criniti a run for himself money finishing second in 32:15. You could sense he was disappointed not to get the win. That's the difference between champions and us also rans.

Beautiful day - cool, sunny and no wind.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Very easy Friday

6km jog to work (before hopping on a bus) at a very easy pace. Achilles sore though. Had a 9.5 hour meeting today which isn't great race prep but mustn't grumble, the bet with Timmy stands.

93km for the week.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

HuRTS Mona Fartlek

Smallish crowd today but with Wildman, Tucks and Bartles fronting up it was never going to be easy. Some familiar faces showing up as well with Luke, Geoff, Sam, Dickyboy and Ray all there.

Had decided I wanted to push today's session from the start in order to make the Stone Gates. Given how many times we've done this session, it gives a pretty accurate guide as to where you're at with training. Set off hard with the boys behind and kept the floats honest such that we cruised the first gate to gate in 2:53 (ie. 3:10 pace including half of that as float). The hills were tough and we had a bit of a headwind but managed to get into the virtuous circle of running the hills on the floats. Stevie helped out heading into the 60s efforts and we reached the Stone Gates with 20s to spare. This equals our fastest ever from June 19 2008. Struggled a bit on 3rd and 4th 60s when Stevie gapped us but recovered again on the 30's. Ran with Tucks all the way back with Bartles just a bit behind. It's a solid session. Hurts like hell when running it but feel fine shortly after. Pleased to have the confidence back to go out hard though, i'm going to try the same on Saturday morning.

Jog down after for 11km all up.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Marathon pace Wednesday

Usual Centennial route with Andy and Rich with the usual marathon pace stretches. Overall time was 1:19:50 which was slightly down on last week despite being quicker (22:45) to the top of Ocean Street. I think the quick sections were quicker but the runs in between were slightly slower. Richie kept the quick pace very honest. Felt very fresh after yesterday's rest day (enforced through work which is hell at the moment).

Monday, May 02, 2011

Australian 10,000m Record!

Go Benny Saint! Fantastic result in Stanford last night with Ben running 27:24 to beat the Aussie record by 5 seconds. What a champ!

Easy run home tonight, but tired to start with. Felt better as the run went on in perfect cool conditions to finish up with 56:40. Feel as though I'm turning a corner...

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Long run with the Bloggers

Tiger arrived at 6am limping so we hobbled 5.5km together before joining up with Dicky Green, Young Timmy, the Burglar, Sam, Quentin and Jamie at North Steyne. Dicky had a fairly flat route planned going up Pittwater Road, via Narrabeen Lake, back to Dee Why Beach and home. Because it was fairly flat, the boys seemed to think it would be a good idea to run at about 4:10 to 4:15 pace. Felt pretty good today though even with the quicker pace which is good after yesterday's race.

Timmy and the Tiger came around for bacon and egg rolls and a few cups of tea after which was good on the first sunny Sydney day in weeks. Tiger even showed us his trampolining skills. I gave it a go after and only managed to split Billy's lip and make him cry.

All up 30:02km in 2:13:08 (4:26 pace - the average slowed by a couple of very slow kms over the cliff at Queenscliff at the end and a slow start). Took a gel (Hi5 Isogel) at 15km which worked well but I reckon I needed another one just before 26km so perhaps every 45mins? I'll try that next week.

Revelation of the day was Hamburglar's fitness - he'll smash 3 hours at Gold Coast at this rate.