Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

I started the year with a perfect January - ran every day of the month (first time ever) and put in a good base. First race of the year was a disappointing result in the "Sun Run" and probably won't bother with that race again. I don't normally moan about race fees but $50 for a 7km on roads I train on every day was a bit steep. In any case, I'm planning on taking the Striders 10km series more seriously next year given the attention Macca, Ben, CT and others are paying to it.

March was a PB in the Six Foot Track (I take any PB I can these days) and more good groundwork. April was my first 10km with a disappointing run at Lane Cove. In retrospect I think I was adapting to the heavier workload but I should also have been racing more. Then it was the Novice 10km where things started to improve a bit. I'll do more X-Country next year due to my ANSW duties. Then in May the 10kms started to come together with a 33:29 at Homebush (course record for me) and a 33:26 at North Head, shortly before the State 10km where I finally got under 33 mins for only the second time in a tough race. Had a good SMH Half in between running in a great pack all of the way.

Then it was a bit of a purple patch with the marathon, City to Surf and North Head 10km. That was followed by sickness and injury and a disappointing end to the season with 5 weeks of virtually nothing recovering from the achilles. But in summary:

Top 3 races:

1. North Head 10km. First win and a PB to boot over the distance I race most regularly.
2. Gold Coast Marathon. Solid first effort on a day when lots of others struggled, but there's more ground to be made.
3. SMH Half. I've picked this over the City to Surf purely because it was more of a race and I reckon that, comparatively, the time is better.

Top 3 Films:

1. The Fighter
2. The Guard
3. Bridesmaids

Top book:

A Week in December (probably makes my top 3 ever)

Top Viral Clip:

Annoying Orange meets Lady Pasta I share my kids' love for Annoying Orange.

So, there it is. Head to Heads will get refreshed. Tucks can't go missing next year otherwise I'll introduce a forfeit system. Thamal will get added as a stretch target. Looking forward to 2012. Aim is to run 2:33 at Gold Coast, go well in some 10kms and beat my long-standing Half Marathon PB. More Cross Country, more long tempo runs but otherwise more of the same.

Ta da.

Friday, December 30, 2011


Easy 8km first thing in the morning. Legs couldn't get going and felt every ache and pain. Think my body is still adjusting to upping the mileage from zero. 88km this past week. Ran the 7.5km route in 32:46 then continued up to the coffee shop in Fairlight.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Coopers again

11.8km in 46:58 (3:58's). Went out in the warmth of the late afternoon at a comfortable pace. Yesterday that was 4:40's, today it was 4:00's. Make hay while the sun shines.
Now to prepare the house before Timmy et al arrive for beers tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


8.7km recovery run in about 4:35's feeling the effects of the last couple of days, Finished off with a 150m race against Jack, my 14 year old nephew. Bec's birthday today so dinner at a Teppanyaki restaurant, hence the title.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tempo time

Got a text from the Tiger yesterday suggesting a 16km tempo at 3:45s. It sounded ambitious given it would follow my first long run in 10 weeks, but you can't turn down an offer from the Tiger so agreed to meet him at 7:30am at Drummoyne Rowers. We did a warm up, he showed me all the 250m markers he'd painted on to the pathway (including the 16km end spot in large letters next to a smiley face) and we jogged back to the start.
Gary set off like a hare and I followed behind. We ran he first 4km together sharing the wind which was pretty strong and I knew which would make the tempo target all the harder. Gary dropped off coming up the bridge near 5km and I just tried to maintain 3:45's but more often than not found myself running 3:46's. My breathing was fine but the legs were dead from yesterday - no zip so I knew that to pick up the pace over the final 3km to make up for lost time would be tough. Did laps of the Bay in 26:00 and 26:12 and finished in 1:00:36. So 3:47 average pace (despite my Garmin showing 16.17km and 3:44 pace - i'll take Gary with Action's measuring wheel every time). Gary finished in the 63's. Another good one under the belt. I'm convinced these long tempos will do some good.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Bush run Part 1.

After a great Christmas Day where I stuffed myself full of Christmas Pudding and Pavlova and couldn't get comfortable for about 30mins after crashing in bed due to my bloated stomach, I was up and out by 6.30am to meet Dicky G, Paul Macca and Justin(?) for a run "with a few trails, but nothing too technical" as Dicky described it. Nice easy pace to start with (and throughout) which was a welcome relief. Headed up the side of Manly Dam, along Wakehurst Parkway, through Forestville and down towards Roseville Bridge but back along the pipeline. Some monstrous hills in there which immediately reminded me of Six Foot and wondered why the hell I'd entered. Beautiful morning though and good company meant the 2:15 passed in no time. About 25kms.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Billecart Salmon

My usual 14km Manly route. Set off with Alec and Gill who were doing the same route but only 12km's turning just before South Steyne. Worked out we'd probably all finish at the same time that way and that's the way it turned out. Clocked every km between 4:10 and 4:15. Felt comfortable other than between 10 and 12km where the humidity affected me. Had forgotten what it's like to struggle through the humidity. All up 58:59 (4:12's) turning in 29:45.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Just 10km from work in 42:45, following a Tiger massage this morning. Feeling very tired.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hickson Road

Stuffed at work so couldn't make the start, so joined in on rep 2 and only did 4. They went:


Ran at the front with Bartles, Ray, Andy and in-form Scotty. Ray went off like a madman on the last rep and only just got in touch with him at the end after he went lactic in the final 100m. Nice to spend at least a little time at the front again though.

The first was tough but they felt more manageable after that. Can't believe I've done 5 of these in 3:30 or under before though. Still the toughest session and one from which men are made from. Noticeable that Enda and Kanser were missing...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Coopers Pale Ale

Just a run home after a stressful day in the office. First run home in a while though. Ran it surprisingly quick (54:43) feeling pretty good, but the conditions were perfect (cool and no wind). Ran past Fats on the Harbour Bridge and said hello. He shouted back something along the lines of his New Year's resolution being to turn up to HuRTS. We'll see.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

HuRTS 4 x 10mins

Frantic at work. Fronted up late. Joined in after about 15s. Tucks, Charlie and man-in-form Scott O'Connor were way out in front with Andy valiantly chasing and Timmy, Rich H and I chatting along in the next group. Was working far harder than normal though just to keep 3:35 pace going. Quickened up a bit on the way back running with Enda. Then on rep 3 set off with Timmy but soon developed a neck strain trying to work out where he was. Turned out he'd decided to bludge again, running (and later swimming) with the ladies. He can't seem to handle this session. Ran 5 yards behind Andy for the whole rep and picked up Scott towards the end, averaging about 3:32's. Then, with dead legs and a lack of ticker I rolled through the 4th getting back in 9:43 watching Tucks and Fast Charlie fly by around Farm Cove.

Plenty of improvement to come. Good to see Big Sam out there planning his assault on London Marathon. Paul Macca, MC, Luke and others also making welcome returns.

It will get easier, it will get easier...

Decided to add some ammunition to Timmy's cause by posting some photos. I think this one involved Enda describing his experiences in Bangkok to JC and Kanser.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

MLR Sunday

Decided it was time to try and start to up the kms today. Fixed on a 19km run which was basically my 14km Manly route plus a loop of the Golf Course on the way out and at the end. Plan was to run the second half a bit quicker and finish strong. Reached half way (9.53km) in 38:42 and still felt OK at 15km (60:48) so spent the final 4km trying to get the average pace under 4:00 for the total run. Had to put in a bit of effort as a result and felt pretty tired at the end. All up 19.1km in 1:16:02 (3:59's). Plan to make this my standard Saturday run leading up to next year's marathon, hopefully getting the pace down to 3:40's.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday squeeze

Just the short Manly 7.5km route in 29:46. Will try a longer one tomorrow.

HuRTS Awards Night

Thursday night was the annual awards night. Bigger turnout than ever as HuRTS goes from strength to strength with about 40 people turning up for the night of nights. I even got a little bit nervous before the presentation such was the anticipation for some of the biggest accolades in Australian running. Benny St was there to present the awards to the following:

Male Performance of the Year: Tucks. It seems that HuRTS is falling foul to the creeping influence of the off road ultra brigade.

Female Performance of the Year: Laura. This was never in doubt.

Most Improved: Young Timmy. A controversial choice for many. He only knocked 40s off his 10km PB for God's sake. But it goes to prove that if you shout about it loud enough, people will listen.

The Serg Award: MC. My prediction is he won't retain it next year though. Early money is on Young Timmy.

HuRTS Spirit Award: Dicky H. Always listening. Always joking. Always running. Always drinking.

I missed a large part of the evening on a work call but it meant Friday I wasn't feeling too shabby. Did 10km in the late afternoon, 20:24 at half way and 39:18 all up. Felt great for the first time in 6 weeks (final 2km in under 7 mins) so things are looking up.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Too busy

8km in 32:00 alone.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

HuRTS 2 x 20mins

Much excitement amongst the HuRTS chattering class today, with the perennial underperformer announcing an exciting new session for the squad - 2 x 20mins! There was a lot of thought and science put into this new session. Those who whispered mutterings to the effect that it was nothing more than 8 x 5mins or 4 x 10mins but with fewer rests were immediately shot down for doubting our peerless leader and training guru.

So off we went, after establishing that the proponent of the session was not coming because he'd tweaked his hammy again. Ran with J-Fen (who was taking it easy today) on the way out. Struggled with 3:40 pace but we covered 5.48km in the 20 mins (3:38's). On the way back I was by myself until Kanser and J-Fen joined me around CQ so I ran with them. Felt pretty tired on the hills but got back in 19:29 (3:33 pace).

11km all up.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday getting longer

Out with the squad (chasing them for the first km) which included MC, the King, Craig, Big Sam, Jonathan W, Rob and Clyde but which splintered around Farm Cove. Ended up doing about 11km at 4:26 pace.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bit of effort

Headed out at 5pm with Dicky Green for what I thought would be an easy 10km (Dicky's been off for 10 days sick). Pace was never quite comfortable though. I think Dicky was enjoying putting me out of my comfort zone. Ended up with 10.4km in 42:00 (4:02's). Longest run in about 5 weeks. Ran past 200 Santas, 6 reindeer and a Christmas Tree. All pissed.

Wearing the Wave Elixir's with the laces tied low and seems to work well for the technique and achilles.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

More plodding

7.8km on the paths up to Seaforth and back. Wore new Wave Elixirs. That's about as much interest I can muster.

Great run by Benny St this evening to be the first Aussie track runner assured of a spot in the Olympics. I'll enjoy watching him from the stands.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Passport Photos

Today was an easy 7.5km with Rob, Craig, Ray and a few others before having a massage with the Tiger. Achilles a bit sore so will take it easy over the next couple of days and do all the stretches.

Kids had their passport photos taken this week. They were told that they weren't allowed to smile and that they might not be allowed out of the country if their photos showed them smiling. Billy managed to look like a zombie, Charlie looks like he wants a fight and Maggie couldn't help but sneak a smirk in. Claudia was only one who could look vaguely normal.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Losing track

I think last Tuesday I was with the squad doing fartlek easily.
Wed was a rest.
Thursday was 8km easy.
Friday was department Christmas party.
Sat was a hungover 8km.
Sunday was a lively 8km.
Monday was a rest.
Tuesday an 8km run home before getting a taxi at Spit Junction.
Wednesday was over 8km at home at 4min km pace.
Today I joined the squad for the first proper session in weeks. 4 x 2km. Planned from the start just to run with MC doing 7mins per rep but unfortunately he's improved a bit so it was 6:50, 6:50, 6:50 and 6:48. Struggled through it lacking both pace and stamina, but survived and the achilles is OK. Kanser and Andy H have both hit form. Clyde did his usual burglar activity and Tucks was wondering why everyone was running so fast. Plainly he's been out on the trails for too long. I won't even mention Timmy.
Fingers crossed for Billy tomorrow.