Sunday, July 31, 2011

Longish run

Spent last night at a charity trivia thing at Paddo RSL and left the car there overnight so plan today was eventually to finish up picking up the car. Caught up with Dickyboy, Big Sam and Big Ben at 6.30am and Dicky led us on a trail tour through Mosman. Mosman has more hills than Rome. And plenty of trails too. The pace was slow as a result but tough on the old legs. Eventually popped out at Spit Junction after 16km so I said farewell to the boys and headed into the City and on to Paddo.

Nice run on another beautiful morning. Looks as though the crap weather has ended for now. Felt OK at the end despite it being my first long run in 6 weeks (discounting GCM). All up 25.5km in 2:00:56 (4:44's).

Havent had any issues with my achilles now since GCM. No idea why that is. Still do the eccentric loading but have slowed the speed of them down a lot and it seems to be working.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

NSW Short Course X-Country

I've been late to 2 races in my life. The first was when I was 11 and Dad turned up at the Morpeth Road Races in time for the Colts race, but not the Minor Colts race. In fact, as we drove to the race, we drove past a bunch of young kids running fast down the road and when I pointed out to Dad that it looked like we were late, he just said, don't worry, they're just warming up. He was wrong. The only other race I've missed was the ANSW Short Course X-Country in 2008. I turned up after getting lost just in time to hear the gun go off.

Today, at the same race, it was very close to being the same. Turned up with 3 minutes to spare, Flakey asked whether I had my chip yet and when I said no, very kindly raced off to get it. I attached it to my lace, ran to the start, and then the gun went off.

Felt very average after only about 400m. Richie Roberts pulled inexorably ahead and after about 1.5km who should appear on my shoulder but my close rival from 2008, Dr Jamie Harrison. We basically ran together hauling younger runners in until the drag of a hill on the final lap when I pulled slightly ahead and started to catch the 2 runners in front. Stayed with them until the end, with me finishing between the 2 in a sprint finish. Clocked 26:27 after running laps of 8:29, 9:00 and 8:58. Very similar to last year (26:22 with splits of 8:32, 9:01 and 8:49). Definitely felt Thursday's hills still in my legs today but pleased to crank out another race.

Beautiful day today - warm, clear and no wind. Had a great time.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Easy Friday

Run to work. Legs felt great at the start until I hit the first hill. That was how the rest of the run went. Fine and moving well along the flats and downs, crumbled when faced with any incline. I think yesterday must have taken it out of me. Doesn't bode well for the X-Country tomorrow.

26:43 at Spit Junction then 56:19 all up. Still a reasonable time.

98km for the week.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

HuRTS - Hills

New hill this week - starting opposite the Lowenbrau Keller (just to tease us all) and running up Argyle St before turning to the top of Observatory Hill. Lower turnout than usual due to mavericks organising break out sessions but still a decent crowd up front with Tucks, Bartles, Jason, Dicky H, Dicky G, JF and Young Timmy forming a good little group. JF was on fire today pushing ahead of us all, although there were some raised eyebrows when he decided to jog back down with the rapidly improving Lisa after the 8th, run with us on the 9th and then up stumps. Definitely some mind games going on there. Equally with Young Timmy who seemed to get confused about the route on the jog back down the hill. Every rep.

Tried to hold on to Tucks and Bartles on the hills, without much luck at the start but with better luck towards the end. Good session, as the first rise is run fast with the hill kicking up in gradient towards the end. Legs felt wobbly after, which is always a good sign. I think I was doing about 2:12/2:13 for each rep, but the watch died on me.

14km all up.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday MLR

Stuffed at work. Turn up 5 mins late. Everyone gone. Take an age to get a satellite reading (that sentence wouldn't have appeared in many runners' training diaries 10 years ago). Set off at pace trying to catch the squad. Run past Craig and King James near King Cross (not sure what route they took after that), and Norman Cook, Andy, Jonathan Worswick and Mr Ace near Rushcutters Oval. Fortunately they chose against the fast pace sections today as I'd already been running sub 4's to catch them up. Pace did lift though. Nice run around Centennial, telling Norman all the same stories I told him on Monday forgetting that I ran with him then too. He was polite though. Jonathan regaled us with tales of ultra runs through muddy fields, with only Andy showing vague signs of interest. Pace stayed honest throughout.

Distance felt fine but was starving and energy depleted towards the end. Not helped running past Harry's Cafe de Wheels at 18km.

All up 18.56km in 1:17:07 (4:09's).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

HuRTS 5min reps

Showed up today wanting to push myself to see how much I'd lost since GCM and how much of a struggle C2S is going to be. Cast of thousands again, I won't mention everyone's name as I only know about half the group now. The female contingent is growing with Sonya, Lisa, Emma and Laura showing up - Laura fresh from her 38:50 over the 11km Sutho to Surf (going through 10km in 35:10) - that's basically National standard.

I ran from the front with Bartles, Jason I, JF, Tucks, Quentin, Dicky H and new chap Jo fresh from Melbourne (perhaps he can be Vicky Jo) who is with ANZ - Dicky is already replenishing his JPMorgan team following the loss of Benny Saint. Kept all the reps very consistent - went through 1km in 3:17 each time on the way out and 3:19 on the way back. The only variation was on the final rep where I averaged 3:14 pace. Big crowd for the first 6 but only Bartles staying there for the final 2. Fast Charlie also joined in on the final 2. Felt great out there today. Was worried all the way through that the recent lack of mileage would hit me towards the end but just managed to stave off the legs going wobbly.

Just noticed Mo Farah's fantastic run in the 5000m Diamond League meet in Monaco - beating all the top names (Lagat, Merga, T Bekele, Kipchoge) and running the world leading time this year - yet the English press has largely ignored it. The Brits haven't had a runner this good since Cram.

15km all up.

Monday, July 25, 2011

HuRTS Monday

Usual route, but a liner was in at Barangaroo so we did a detour then stayed on Hickson Road on the return. Cast of thousands again, the group just gets bigger and bigger. It splintered a bit today though as we weren't hanging around. I ran with Norman Cook and Durante and on the return with a chap called Angus who was pushing the pace. It was all sub4 min kms from CQ back home. Dicky H, JF, Pete W, Craig and Ray were around but taking it easy.

All up 15.4km in 1:03:05 (4:06's). Felt great today. True test will be how I feel after tomorrow's session.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More steady Manly stuff

Was supposed to meet Quentin, Sam and Dickyboy for a long bush run this morning but after sinking a bottle of wine and two whiskies last night, then staying up to watch Cadel perform heroics in the TT, the last thing I was capable of at 6.30am was running. So headed out later for a route to Shelley then finishing up the hills in Balgowlah Heights to pick up the car where I'd left it the night before.

Very similar to yesterday, started easily then picked up the pace the whole way, putting in some effort in the final 3km up the hills. 11.41km in 45:25 (3:58's).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Steady Manly stuff

Ran the 7km route to Shelley then cut back via Pacific Parade. Steady to start with, picked up the effort after turning at Shelley and really pushed the final hill up Suwarrow. 10.34km in 40:42 (3:56 pace). Felt pretty good but that's 3 weeks off for you. Not much else to report, didn't see anyone I knew, Manly beach seems to have disappeared with all these storms.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Running! (Part 2)

Last Saturday I said I struggled towards the end. Woke up Sunday feeling like crap, went to the doctor who prescribed me strong antibiotics for a chest infection and sinusitis. So no running until today.

Unfortunately, today wasn't the best day to start up again - freezing cold and bucketing down with rain. Dicky Green (who claims to be a Northerner) sent an email saying that even mad poms wouldn't be going out today. Wasn't having a bar of that. Put my Gore-tex jacket on and leapt into it. After your hair gets soaked within the first 20 seconds, it's not too bad. Ran past LF Charlie and Pete W before bumping into Quentin and started running with him. Then who should pop out from behind a tree but Tucks, so the Three Amigos all ran together just like every other race this season.

All up 10km in 42 mins. Nice to be back into it, feeling a bit better this time.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Usual Saturday

Headed out for the usual Saturday 14km route. Felt fine to start with running at about 4min kms (the Garmin ran out at 2km) but got tired at about 8km and struggled home to be honest. In fact, stopped at Campbell Pde at 11.5km where Alec had been looking after the kids. He'd been timing them doing laps around the 650m bike track so plainly is as competitive as me. Jogged the final 2.5km after that. Might pass on the long run tomorrow and just do more of the same rather than pushing too early. I really missed Kirsten so I might give tomorrow's run a miss and spend the day with her. I just don't know what I would do without her.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Getting there

Run to work. Felt very bouncy to start with but heavy legged by the end. Cold is gradually going. 26:32 at Spit Junction and 56:12 all up so not too shabby a time. Ran in the new Mizuno Wave Elixir 6's that we won at the City Mile Dash. Quite hard compared to my Brooks' but nice and light.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

HuRTS New Hills

Major excitement within the HuRTS camp today with MC introducing a new session to the calendar. With C2S in mind, the plan was for long hills, and did it pull a crowd! We basically had a turnout rivalling the C2S itself today, all waiting attentively for instructions from MC. We did a slow jog up to work out the course to start, realised it was 750m so decided on 7 reps.

Still with a hacking cough I decided on taking it easy and found myself with JF, Timmy, Luke, MC, Richie H and a load others. Norman Cook was miles out front, with Fast Charlie isolated behind and Bartles further isolated behind him. Luke and I took a short cut on the run back down the hill (trying to shorten the recovery) while others didn't, so we found ourselves running together behind Bartles.

Reps went 2:51; 2:57; 2:58; 3:01. Then my chest felt really tight so I stopped, hurled some abuse at Young Timmy, and jogged back. Still happy to take baby steps at the moment.

About 11km all up. I reckon that session may be quite good. The lads were taking it too easy though - often the way with a new one.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011



Have I been sick. Even Enda's been taking notes.

Had Monday and Tuesday off post marathon. Then Wednesday started to come down with a bad cold but was swamped at work so just had to fight through. Thought I was pulling out of it over the weekend but then Monday I was a shivering, feverish mess and spent the day in bed, drinking Lucozade and eating Mars Bars. Best day ever. Chest still feels full of crap but ventured out this evening for 10.58km around the Opera House, Hickson Road, Darling Harbour, Chinatown and Central in 44:21 (4:11's). Chest tight but legs felt great after all the rest. Coughed up a lung at the end. Then walking back to the office the thighs felt strangely sensitive so still the lingering effects of the marathon. But running again! Feels good.

4.5 weeks to go to City to Surf. Holy crap, nowhere near enough time. Will just aim to train hard and hopefully be on an upward curve come race time.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Gold Coast Marathon - 24th in 2:36:40

After all the worry about health in the week leading up, woke up on the day feeling good. Andy and I were sharing the apartment so walked over the the start with him and hung about in the elite area admiring the Kenyans and Troopy etc. generally feeling a little out of place. Didn't even do a jog as a warm up and before I knew it we were on the start line wishing Ray, JB, Big Sam, Quentin, Andy and Richie P a last minute good luck.

Race plan was to go out at 3:40's at least until 25km, see if I could hold it until 30km and then just battle my way to the finish. And that's the way it went. Quickly formed a group with JB, Tongey and a couple of other guys just banging out the 3:40's like clockwork. If a split edged up to 3:42, JB or I would put a bit of an effort in to bring the next one down to 3:38. It was almost fun. I wouldn't say it ever felt entirely comfortable (I was thinking this when I was running - at any point I'd rather be sat on the beach) but it's unlike any other race where you are under pressure the whole way. It was nice to turn at Burleigh Heads and get a load of shouts and "Go Striders" from the runners going the other way. At about 18km JB gapped me. I checked my watch and I was still running 3:40's so I let him go. He seemed to struggle a bit at 23km when I caught him again and at this point I was feeling great - heading back through Surfers and knowing I'd soon be back to the start/finish line. We had dropped Tongey and the other two guys so it was just us running together and regularly overtaking runners who had gone off too quick. At the turn in Main Beach (about 29km) I sensed JB was dropping off so concentrated on running strongly up the one gentle hill on the whole course. Running through the start/finish area at 31km was magic - loads of shouts from the HuRT Squad and with splits of 3:36 and 3:37 between 30 and 32km the encouragement obviously lifted the pace. But then suddenly you're own your own again, heading away from the crowds and the finish line and past the infamous 32km mark. I caught and passed a tiring Quentin here (he had barfed 2km earlier) and was catching other runners but the km splits were dropping - 3:45, 3:47 then 3:50. It wasn't like I was hurting badly but I just couldn't make the legs move. Luckily managed to stop the slide at 3:50 and held that pace for 4kms between 35-39km. 39-40km was a struggle at 3:53 but then suddenly you can see the finish line and the mood lifts again.

The run into the finish was brilliant. Massive crowds, could hear and see JF and Timmy screaming their heads off. Saw that I was going to get under 2:37 so start waving my fists in the air like a madman. The best feeling I've had finishing a race. Got a bit emotional after crossing the line and had to pull myself together a bit before going to meet everyone.

Big thanks to JB who got me through three quarters of the race with very even splits (5km splits went 18:15, 18:22, 18:27, 18:20, 18:22, 18:26, 18:40, 19:27). But massive thanks to Big Sam and Quentin for those 35km training runs with Sam putting his foot down and banging out the sub4 min kms from 25km onwards - I'm sure they had the biggest impact. Sam himself, despite being completely out of action for nearly 4 weeks, was on for 2:46 before cramping badly at 38km.

Some big beers afters with Young Timmy (celebrating a famous victory over Enda), Tucks, Quentin, Sam, Enda, Rob and JF.

Will definitely be back for another. But it's not as hard as Six .

Me, Timmy, JB, Andy and Quentin

Friday, July 01, 2011

Friday all alone

Easy 10km squeezing it in during a manic day at work. Pretty stressful at the moment. 10km route in 42:09. Sounds faster than it felt, but then again I've been pissing around for 2 weeks now.

Tucks mate, that's rotten news. What's the suggested rest period? Might have to schedule a few races shortly after it ends so that I can address the one-sided head to heads this year...