Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Slow Wed

Had a massage booked with the Tiger at 9.10am so just ran to Lime Street from home. Very tired from yesterday's efforts. Set my Garmin at the start of the run and it still had yesterday's session showing. I didn't stop the watch yesterday for each rep so it just showed the total - 13.09km in 50:30 for an average pace of 3:52 p/km but that includes 10.5 minutes of rest (walking, chatting), so no wonder I was still buggered.

Just put one foot in front of the other for the first 3km. Felt a bit better from then on but more than happy to stop at Gary's. He sorted out the achilles and PF nicely.

13.29km in 57:55 (4:21's).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

HuRTS 8 x 5mins

My secretary saw me about to write my blog and sent an email suggesting the following:

"Well guys, I was on fire today! My secretary would have been very proud of me running faster than Forrest Gump (my all time idol).

Back in the office I worked on churning my stomach up by mixing juice, yoghurt and chocolate - I'll keep you posted on that experiment!

I'm about to go and get coffee and forget to buy lollies for the bowl - lately I've had dementia and forgot my secretary's coffee yesterday - I felt so horrible.

Talk to y'all tomorrow,

Forrest Gump"

Wasn't quite like that. Big crowd today despite the temperature dipping back to Winter climes again, but with a few of the big guns (Tucks, new boy Stuart, J-Fen and, err, Young Timmy) missing. I tucked in behind the flying Bartles with Fast Charlie on my shoulder and Dicky H just behind. Ran the first 6 at 3:15 to 3:16 pace. Then at the end of rep 5 Rich says, "what's the further we've ever got, it's to that big rock isn't it?". Bartles indicated it was within reach and, running back on rep 6 I pass a flying Keith Bateman going the other way. That was enough to stoke my fragile ego, so set off quicker on rep 7 and pushed all the way, finishing past the big rock and at the start of the fence at the bottom of the ABC hill. Averaged 3:09 pace. Bartles was about 15 yards back. Was feeling good at this stage (apart from a dodgy stomach - cue secretary email above - which I've had for 24 hours) so ran the final rep with Bartles pushing ahead of him towards the end averaging 3:06.

Great session. Felt comfortable at 3:15's but had to push hard to go any quicker. Rodgered now.

Good to see a few familiar faces returning to sessions, MC, LF Charlie and Anna in particular.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oh no, Mo!

Screamed at the telly last night during the 10,000m World Champs final. First due to the atrocious coverage from the Koreans (let's hope there's a Korean running the 5000m) and then the agonising final lap for anyone who follows British sport.

Set about training with renewed vigour today inspired by Mo's words in the post race press conference. Safe to say I don't think last night will dampen his enthusiasm. Having missed a long run yesterday, I went early today planning on catching up with Kanser along Barangaroo and the rest of the squad for the second half. Kanser was nowhere to be seen, bumped into Clyde instead at CQ and ran with him. Really didn't want to be running when by myself but time flew when I had someone to run with. Caught up with the rest of the squad (and Kanser) at Farm Cove and turned with them. To complete the string of accidental acquaintances, bumped into the Tiger near the Hyatt on the way back and ran with him for a bit.

Pace slowed a lot when I joined the group. PF was sore by the end, it doesn't like it when I run long and slow. More worryingly, my right knee was (and still is) sore, just on the knuckle on the inside and particularly when I lift my leg. I've been switching the ice from left foot to right knee all afternoon.

All up 28.12km in 2:02:59 (4:22's).

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not the Pub to Pub

Woke up with a red wine head and sore body. Hauled my ass back to Luna Park to pick up the car and that was my run for the day. PF pretty sore after yesterday's efforts. Having said all that, the pace wasn't too bad after putting some effort in up Parriwi Rd. I've become obsessed about working my glutes on hills. 10.78km in 45:32 (4:13's). Will go long tomorrow.

Good job I didn't bother fronting up to Pub to Pub. Vlad won it ahead of the Horne and Truscott, so even getting on the podium would have been unlikely. Ominous that the Horne was ahead of Truscott. Sounds like he's almost back. So no more easy Fun Run wins available.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tempo Saturday

Had to decide between a 14km tempo and hills, so took the easy option. Good running conditions, cool but little wind. Fairly non-descript run. Said hello to Tony Wong en route and that was about it. 13.92km (measured short this time) in 49:48 (3:34's). Turned in 24:59 so 10 seconds quicker on the way back. Ran through 10km in 35:52.

Going to a charidee ball tonight so decided against Pub to Pub in the morning.

Just heard a rumour that Tucks won Willy to Billy today. Fantastic result if correct, well done mate.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Easy Friday

Back to back interviews, calls and meetings today so ran in. Felt very average for the first 2km (yesterday's hangover diet of Hungry Jacks and lollies didn't help) then got into it. 26:03 (chasing two cyclists up Parriwi Rd) at Spit Junction and 55:12 all up. Beautiful day. Dare I say it, Spring is here.

96km for the week.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Easy Wed

Interviewing at lunch so headed out just after 1pm for a shortened one lap of Centennial with Dicky H and Andy. Legs very tired, but a nice easy run on a beautiful day chatting to the boys, mainly taking the piss out of Timmy.

View from office window this arvo below:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

HuRTS Progressive tempo

We had it all today. Big crowd, popular session. Started out at 4 mins per km in a group with Tucks, new boy Stuart from Deutsche Bank, Jason, Dicky H and JB. We were pretty strict about dropping the pace to 3:50's after 10mins, then 30:40's after 20mins but after the turn (at 23.5mins), suddenly we seemed to throw in a 3:20. Then under the Harbour Bridge I could see a big crowd of the squad standing around someone and feared something bad was up. Anna had had an epileptic fit (discovered after she'd actually had 2). Someone said an ambulance had been called and rather than more people crowding her, we set off again.

Pace dropped again after 30mins but rather than running 3:30s I clocked splits of 3:15 and 3:17. Sensed the group was splitting up and only Tucks was still there coming around Farm Cove. Pushed the hills back home (running a 3:25 split up the hills feeling really good) to finish in 44:20 (12.36km). Final Gate to Gate in 9:45.

Feeling in good form at the moment. Looking forward to a race.

Anna recovered OK. She sensed she was recovering after the second fit and cancelled the ambulance with Bartles giving her a lift home.

Sorting out stuff in storage and came across this photo. It's of me winning the Boys Northern X-Country Championships in Feb 1989. You can see why I was never any good at rugby, and notice the spazzy left hand which remains 22 years on.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Easy Monday

Got caught on a call so trotted out by myself bumping into the group along Hickson Road. Turned with them and ran back, chatting to Wildman, Dicky H, Pete W and Laura along the way. Felt great today, PF and achilles are good, I'm convinced the straight leg, grab foot while sitting down stretch is the cure to all my ills.

12.03km in 49:44 (4:09's).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back to long Sunday

Caught up with Dickyboy and Ben at 6.30am at the ABC Pool for what I was hoping would be a nice easy run along some bush trails. They are both doing the 3 hour pacing job at the Sydney marathon so are planning on a few longer runs over the next few weeks. I'd jogged down to meet them at a very easy pace still struggling after last night's efforts, only for Dickyboy to set off like a hare at 4:10 pace. I asked what was going on, and he said they were planning on running at 3 hour pace (4:12's) but with some 5km intervals "a bit quicker". Hell, this was news to me. After struggling to keep up suddenly we were off on the first faster paced section. Started to feel OK at this stage. Took a magic gel ("Smart") at 10km and felt better again. The first faster section I was averaging 3:57's. Easy run through the bush next to Narrabeen lake and we were off on the second fast section (16km - 21km). Averaged these in the low 3:50's pulling ahead of Dicky and Ben. Fortunately, it finished just at the bottom of the nasty hill climbing out of Dee Why. Final quick section (26-31km) was basically Queenscliff to Shelley and back, but cutting back via Pacific Parade. Dicky was running really well at this stage and we did the whole section in 3:45's. Coming back from Shelley I started to get tired. Dicky mentioned that my old Geordie accent came out as I got more tired. I must have sounded like Jimmy Nail by North Steyne.

All up 31.89km in 2:12:26 (4:09's).

Great run by Wildman to finish 9th in the National XC Champs yesterday (thanks for the heads up Flakey). He's getting closer and closer to the big guns.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Old Manly route - PB!

Planned 14km tempo but ran out of time so I did my old 7.5km Manly route hard. 1.5km warm up then just attacked it. First 2km in 6:50 so knew I was on course. Couple of km splits along Manly beach of 3:21 and 3:18, was buggered running up the Suwarrow hill but finished in 25:23 (3:26's). Over a minute PB from March 2008.

Short jog after for 10km all up.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Easy Friday

Out in the cold, howling wind and heavy showers for a very easy run around Centennial with Kanser and the King. 12.47km in 55:59 (4:29's). Ran without orthotics for the first time in 3 years. Loved the feeling of going "au naturel", we'll see whether I avoid any achilles reaction.

70km for the week.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

HuRTS Mona Fartlek

Peeps still taking it easy. Non J-Fen, no Y-TimTam, nobody to push for the T-Shirt. T-Ucks, B-Artles, D-High, Scott(?) and I ran together fairly easy, hitting all the hills at the bad spots and finishing about 15s short of the gates. Felt good on the way back so and ran the 30s quite well to finish well in time. Jog back around the course with T-Bell, S-Pringer, T-Ucks and E-Stank (that's right, he's back!) in the sunshine. E-Stank's talking about avoiding all racing until he can get fit enough to beat Y-TimTam - so sometime early December when he hits the summer booze then.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fitting it in

Saw the Tiger. He sorted out my PF. Paid him $100. Wish Kanser would do the same. Busy at work. Ran home. Felt great. 54:31. More work. Pints of Kolsch at 4 Pines. All's well that end's well. Note the single spacing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

HuRTS 14 x 3mins

Beautiful day today (C2S weather) and, despite having a sore left plantar fascia, decided to head out for a chat and jog. Big crowd but with no-one putting in any effort other than good old Kanser, who moaned about the fact that we were plodding around and took off. Timmy should be scared, he's starting to look dangerous. I only did 10 along with Dicky H, J-Fen and "top 16" Laura. PF felt better after though. Ran without heel raises for the first time in 2 years as my achilles feels almost cured.

Paper results came out today. Net time was 46:49. Timmy's was 49:17 so he is claiming the $50 by 2 seconds. Flakey has rightly pointed out that no-one cares about net times, gun times are where it's at. So I'll hold my cash for the time being. Truscott ended up with 46:47, hadn't realised it was so close in my desperation to reach the line. He's angling for a head to head bet at JPMorgan. I might take him on, it's my favourite race and will get me through the bloody 400m's sessions that lie in store.

One for Alec - the mighty Manly Vale Falcons (2011)....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

C2S: 27th in 46:56

Drove in with Dickyboy and Ben with great plans to take my high caffeinated gel 30 mins prior to the race and run a stormer. Dropped my bag off in the luggage trucks and shortly after realised that i'd left my gel in my bag. It was pissing down with rain. I thought C2S guaranteed good weather? We all huddled near the gents toilets in the Domain and Timmy mentioned that he had a spare gel so I swallowed that, convinced that my race plans were back on track.

Lined up well before the start and the tension was the same as ever. I had Richie H and Timmy next to me so the mood was fairly light but soon enough we were on our way. Tried not to go too crazy down William St but what can you do when sprinting downhill in front of 85,000 people? Jason I and Bartles were in front, as well as the 2 leading ladies so I figured I was being fairly sensilble. Overtook them going through Edgecliff and noticed I was making a load of places on the hills. The same happened through Double Bay where I caught Keith Bateman. At this stage I could see a group of Tom Crasti, Truscott, Chadi Elashka, Anthony Farrugia and Charlie Low in front and figured I was going very well - all guys I'm normally well behind and yet they were in striking distance. I seemed to be struggling on the flats and downhills and going well on the uphills. At the start of Heartbreak Charlie pulled off the the side and I started to catch Chadi. Went past him at 7km and started to get pretty excited - i've never beaten Chadi before but started to concentrate on Truscott in front. I was now by myself and trying to hold it together but probably drifting a bit. At 10.5km Chadi came past again and I used him to drag me along. Some big chap came past on the long downhill into Bondi but then suddenly Chadi and he gapped me on the slight rise along Campbell Parade. At this stage I was suffering and just trying to hold it together. Finally at the turn with 300m to go I have a quick look over my shoulder and who should I see but Tucks! The f**king Burglar! Haven't seen him all race and assumed he was about 2 minutes back but there he is within 8 seconds (or "the pocket" as Timmy calls it). With 6-0 for the season I wasn't going to allow him to get this one so just started sprinting all out thinking he'll have to suffer to win this one. In the course of sprinting I caught and over took Chadi for a first time win over him. Ironic that it took Tucks behind me to make me do that. Finished just behind Truscott to get in under 47 mins.

Very pleased with the placing but a bit disappointed with the time. I felt great today - especially on the uphills and based on who I was running with expected something in the low 46's but when I went through 10km in 34:00 I knew it wasn't on.

Fantastic time afterwards. Fair few beers in the AAR Chalet then dancing in the Pie Face Chalet. All very random but part and parcel of C2S.

Some great runs by JF in particular in 47:41 and Timmy in 49:22. I lost a heap of cash on bets but well worth it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last shouts

6km very easy in the evening with a few run throughs.

Was getting coffee this morning in my usual spot and bumped into Paul McClarnon, a Strider who's a decent runner (he beat Timmy by 6 seconds last week at Lane Cove). Turns out he lives on Bellevue St, one next to ours, so should have another occasional Sunday morning companion for the long runs.

Congrats to the Tiger on the birth of a new cub, Koji. He was trying a very dodgy bet about Millie not giving birth before I finished C2S, knowing full well she was in labour. We eventually agreed on a complicated 4 way combo:

$50 Harry S beats Marty D
$50 Norman doesn't go sub 43
$50 I don't go sub 46:30
$50 Timmy isn't over 49:30

I reckon I'll get 2 so we should be even.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More tapering

Very easy 11.38km in 48:58 with Timmy, Dickyboy, Big Sam, Norman, Russell, Indrajeet, Dom etc. Plenty of trash talk. Timmy said he was going to rile my big brother Jamie and looks like he achieved his aim. I can hear Alec laughing all the way from Melbourne.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Taper time - getting excited

Out for a very easy 13km run with MC, Kanser, Craig, Brendan, James, Russell etc.

Run at 4:30's but you can tell it is taper time as I just couldn't be arsed. Told Kanser he was looking a bit heavy and he got all upset with me, going silent like a 14 year old girl for the next 5km. I could only coax him out of it by raising the issue of Timmy's mental fragility in the face of big races, and he was on to that like a red rag to a bull - telling me how Timmy didn't have the wealth of racing experience that we did and, having not tasted success at a young age, didn't know how to handle it in his mid-life. I thought this was going over the top a bit, but was just happy to hear the big fella talking again.

MC pulled up lame (tweaked hamstring) at the Opera House. This was about 90 seconds after we told him that Laura was going to smash him on Sunday and I was getting ready to lay a bet. I'll let you work out the correlation.

Otherwise not much else to report. Here are my C2S predictions:

1. Norman: I'd say 43:10, but then he always smashes my expectation, so I'll go aggressive and say 42:40.

2. Fast Charlie: Hit form beautifully. Done a load of big hill sessions. Performs when fit and not injured. 45:15.

3. Bartles: Some big kms in prep for NYC marathon and has speed, but a relative newcomer to this toughest of courses. 47:13.

4. Tucks: Has struggled to find form after his stress reaction injury or alternatively is pulling the best bluffing act ever. Don't discount the latter. But being a betting man, I'll go with the former: 47:57

5. JB: My bet for next HuRTs man home. Struggled since GCM but has class and determination in spades. Knows the race well. 48:10

6. JF: A real step up in form recently and some very impressive hill reps. The only factor against him is, like Bartles, a lack of experience over the course. 48:15.

7. Richie H: Good form over 10min reps. Will be chasing JF the whole way. 48:25.

8. Richie P: Consistent performer. Will be desperate to hold off Timmy. 49:02.

9. Timmy: Form of his life but big questions over mental fragility following State 10km where he should have run 30s quicker. Will he be equally obsessed about getting under 50mins? I think so. 49:45.

10. Big Sam: Yesterday showed signs of regaining his pre-GCM form. Should be enough to get him back in front of Dickyboy. 50:25.

11. Dickyboy: Mr Consistent. Been turning up to more HuRTs sessions recently so I reckon he'll be slightly quicker than '09. 50:30.

12. Laura: Will take the honour of being first HuRTs girl home. And don't underestimate that. 51:40.

13. Flakey: Scraped into preferreds this year. Won't be happening next year. 54:30.

14. LF Charlie: Who? Anyone seen him? 57:30, narrowly holding off...

15. Lisa: First of the CBA girls in 57:40.

Top three will be Shelley, followed by Adams and then Dent.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

HuRTS Gate to Gates

Final hit out before the big one on Sunday. Everyone's nerves were palpable. Young Timmy could barely keep his hands still (despite the fact that only Emma of the girls showed up). Fast Charlie was in the zone. Tucks was silent. Dicky H wouldn't stop going on about Timmy's recent rate of improvement. Bartles and JF were too scared to even show up. Most scared of all was MC, who has foolishly offered to pace Laura. On current form, this is like me offering to pace Mo Farah. More excited than anyone was me. Went off like a hare with just Fast Charlie following. Started to go lactic after 4 reps, so decided to ease off, before coming good again on the final one. No idea whether this will turn out to be a sensible session or not. Felt OK after though so hopefully no damage done. Reps for the 909m were as follows:

2:40 (2:56 pace)
3:04 (3:22 pace)
2:46 (3:02 pace)

All off a 2 minute rest.

10km all up.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Easy run home

Missed going out with the boys during the day due to a work lunch so ran home, with the rib eye steak, potato gratin and fine slice of Tiramisu still heavy on my stomach.

15:35 at Ben Boyd, 29:00 at Toyota Garage and 54:30 all up. Otherwise pretty uneventful.

Getting excited/nervous about Sunday now.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Long Manly route

My old Manly route via Burnt Bridge Creek, Queenscliff, Shelley, North Head, Collins Beach and Manly to Spit cutting back from Tania Park. Felt really sluggish for the first 10k (43:20), took a gel after an hour then it was a different story. Felt magic in the second half finishing strongly in a course PB of 1:58:58. There could be something in this. I always run crap first thing in the morning so maybe it's partly nutrition. I think I may take a gel pre-C2S next week.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Striders 10km - Lane Cove

Caught a lift with Ben, Paul, Dicky Boy and Big Sam and turned up on a coolish morning but not half as cold as Lane Cove usually is for the August race. I was on 40 min pacing duties so none of the usual nerves and could just enjoy the beautiful surrounds of Lane Cove National Park on a cool but clear morning.

Nice training run. I decided to go at straight 4 min kms the whole way which probably helped no one as I was passing a load of people going up the hills but before being overtaken by them on the downhills. Kanser, being too close to me than he should have been, gave me a stack of abuse the whole way on my pacing skills. I reckon he could have run 2 mins quicker if he'd just kept his mouth shut. Nice chats with Action, Christian, Marty Doak and Ron though. Finished in 39:54 with splits of 3:59, 3:53, 3:55, 4:04, 4:07, 3:59, 4:00, 3:59, 4:05, 4:01. What's Kanser complaining about?

Couple of photos:

Tom with chins:


Friday, August 05, 2011

The Return of Wildman

HuRTS Drinks last night at Cargo Bar. Norman Cook was put to bed and Wildman came out to play, to lead me astray as usual. The result was a monstrous hangover this morning, so big thanks to Clyde and Dicky H (suffering as badly as me) for dragging me through 40mins at lunchtime. Toughest run of the year.

A few more bets were laid (noted here for evidence):

Richie giving Timmy a 1 minute headstart at C2S. Timmy finally agreeing a 2:30 headstart against me. Each for $50.

Wildman giving me a 2 minute headstart at ABC biathlon and Timmy 2:20, each for $50.

101km for the week.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

HuRTS Hickson Road

The toughest session. I worry about it all morning when it's on. Tucks says he does the same. Hurts like hell and mental torture. Felt knackered this morning (probably half psychosymatic) but feeling the effects of a tought fortnight back after 3 weeks rest. Thought I'd just push the first and see how I felt. I normally don't run the first quick enough. Good group of Bartles, Tucks, Jason, JF, Dicky H, Timmy, Dickyboy and Big Sam up front. Bartles was on my shoulder until half way through each rep and I'd try to kick at each set of speed bumps on the way out and each bridge on the way back which gave me a few seconds for each rep. They went as follows:

3:35 (3:02 pace)
3:35 (3:04 pace)
3:34 (3:01 pace)
3:35 (3:04 pace)
3:32 (2:59 pace)

Bit of wind on the return leg (10m shorter) which made the times consistent. Went lactic half way through the penultimate rep. Just sprinted through the final one from half way home.

Pleased with the session. 10km all up.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Wednesday MLR

Usual route on a warm day (24C mid-Winter!) with Norman Cook, Clyde, Jonathan W and Ben Decreuse (to start with). Pace was honest from the outset but felt OK. Thurston was scaring us with his predicted time for C2S.

All up 18.64km in 1:17:48 (4:10's).

Locked in 2 new bets. Durante's giving me a 1 minute headstart for $50 in the first biathlon of the series (need to find a pool soon) and I'm giving JF a 1:30 headstart for C2S ($20).

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

HuRTS 4 x 3km

Tough old session this one. Basically you're running for the same period of time as the 8 x 5mins reps, but with only 6 minutes total rest as opposed to 10.5 mins total rest.

Another big crowd, ran from the front with Fast Charlie pulling ahead about half way through each one and gapping the rest of us considerably. Had Bartles on my shoulder the whole way through the first 2 reps with Richie H, JF, Tucks, Vicky Jo, JB and Timmy (yes, you read that right) just behind. However, this session is all about the 3rd rep (read Timmy's Blog for evidence) - the penultimate is always the toughest and this session makes it doubly hard as you run it up hill. Put a real effort in on this one trying to keep the time consistent knowing I could just roll back downhill on the last. Times went as follows:

9:54 (3:23's)
9:28 (3:14's)

Got a bit excited about this session for a while thinking it was the fastest I'd done it until I checked my blog from 22nd July 2008, shortly before running my C2S PB. So maybe a PB isn't on the cards.

Good session nonetheless. Had stomach cramps all afternoon just like the old days so obviously put a bit of effort in today.

Locked in a $50 bet with Timmy giving him a 2:30 headstart for C2S. The guy is on form and giving him such a generous start was the only way I could pin him down. He's obviously been learning sharking skills from Richie H.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Easy Monday

With the Banks on holiday, it was a lower turnout on a cracking day. Ray showed up, fresh from his 2nd place in the Cities Marathon yesterday (2:40:05) where he netted himself $3,000! Jonathan W, Big Sam, Pete W, Brendan and a couple of others also there. Usual route. Watch died again so no idea of the time but Sam said we were averaging 4:14's overall when he peeled off at CQ.