Tuesday, January 31, 2012

HuRTS Tempo

Lower crowd than usual with Kanser leading a small band of breakaways at Rushcutters. Had a quick chat to LF Charlie, Tucks, Bartles and Durante before the start, with each of them admiring my spray-on tan, and then we were off. Tucks was heading the front group which included Scooty O, Bartles, Jase and Macca. Just as he was pushing us all into discomfort, he pulled up under the Harbour Bridge complaining of a bad stitch. I think this injury is related to the "tweaked heartstring" which MC and Young Timmy are often prone to.

We turned at 6.27km and Scotty started to push the pace. We then swapped pacing duties all the way back with Bartles perennially on the shoulder. Scotty pushed ahead in a final run in at the Art Gallery and I finished back in 44:44 with Bartles, running strongly today, a stride or two behind.

Garmin said 12.55km at 3:33 pace but I was wearing the 405 today, not the 610, and the 405 measures short under Circular Quay for some reason. G-Maps suggests 12.4km so about 3:36 pace all up. Pretty pleased with that in the humid conditions.

Needless to say I sweated so much my spray-on tan ended up on my cotton singlet.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday meander

Finally got some work to do which meant I missed the start time for the HuRTS Monday jog so caught up with them at the Opera House. Result was a very easy 13.3km in 59 odd minutes at about 4:27's. Finished up with Tim Cradock (who's getting back into shape), MC, Mark M and Russell. This Monday session seems to attract loads to start with but very few do the whole thing. Hot today. Sydney finally breached the 30C barrier.

Body feeling very good though with the knee much better and both achilles the best they've felt since September.

Our place on Berry Mt over the long weekend was great, the only downside being the grounds which were full of leeches. We were examining one fat one on the doorstep on Saturday afternoon which Charlie splatted with one of Bec's Haivanas and which released a load of blood (only then to crawl off - we got it with vinegar later). I took my shoes off a few minutes later and realised it must have just fallen off my ankle - this was the state of my sock..

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Long run around the Valley

Went a bit shorter today but found a 24km loop along Kangaroo Valley Road, then Tourist Rd, up to the Camberrawa Lookout then down Moss Vale Road to Kangaroo Valley and finishing with a gruelling 6km climb back up Berry Mountain to our house. Took it easy on a beautiful day and took some photos along the way. Struggled on the final climb after 20km where thoughts turned to Six Foot reminding me just how hard it is. Finished up with a 4.5km jog with Bec for 28.8km all up. Slow at an average of 4:44 pace but plenty of hills.

Here are the photos:

Looking back down to Kangaroo Valley from Tourist Road:

Camberrawa Lookout:

Climbing out of the morning mist up Berry Mountain towards the end:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Up and down

11.1km from the house near the top of Berry Mountain on a route along Tourist Rd trying to plan tomorrow's longer run. Not a flat section on the whole route but felt great today. 46:something but it was 4:14's after the first 2km (all up) in 10:00 and the final 2km (all down) in 7:00. Feel as though I'm recovering well at the mo following each easy day. Having said that, I'll go shorter tomorrow after two very long Sunday runs in the past fortnight.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Kangaroo Valley

12km from the village and then up Upper Kangaroo River Road easy in 52:08 (4:20's). Right knee still sore after trying the ski exercises last night (the ones I used for Runner's knee). Didn't work, just made things more sore. Aggravated my adductor which I think is the root of the problem.

Saw some Kangaroos in the village at the end. Never seen Kangaroos in Kangaroo Valley before. I thought the name was a joke.

127km for week.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

HuRT Squad come to Manly

Australia Day today so Kanser, J-Fen, Bartles, Timmy, Big Sam and Macca all came over to my place for a 16.5km tempo at 3:45 pace. It was wet but warm and pretty humid - so much so that I had sweat dripping off my face from 2km in. Went through the first km in 3:41ish but my Garmin was throwing out random figures so I was running blind and relying on the others. All stayed as a group for the first few km before Big Sam and Timmy dropped off the back running together.

Pace was slightly uncomfortable the whole way. If you ever felt comfortable, you knew the pace had dropped to 3:48 or thereabouts. After the turn at Shelley Beach J-Fen picked the pace up and we pretty much ran 3:40's all the way back. Kanser dropped off at 11kmish and must have been dehydrated as he started to feel sick. Coming back towards Campbell Parade I suddenly started feeling pretty good so took a turn at the front pushing the pace. With a couple of km to go it was just J-Fen and myself and we ran back together to the finish. All up 16.4km in 1:01:06 (3:43's).

Now off to Berry Mountain.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MLR Wednesday

Usual Wednesday run in the rain (albeit warm and muggy) with MC, Todd and King James and with The Kilted Scot and The Unkilted Yorkshireman peeling off after one lap of Centennial. Very easy pace. Slightly worried about right knee.

18.55km in 1:27:29 (4:42's).

Phish Food, Chocolate Fudge Brownie or Triple Caramel Chunk? Tonight's dilemma.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

HuRTS 4 x 10mins

Crowd was bigger than Ben Hur today. We may need to make arrangements to split the group soon as it's starting to become a bit unwieldy.

This is a tough session. Tried just to hang on to the back of the front group today but they were going at a pace and that was tough enough. J-Fen and Scotty O were leading the charge with Tucks, Bartles and I trying to keep up. We failed, reaching the gates in 10:03 with J-Fen and Scotty about 15 seconds in front. The next rep they just stepped up the pace again while I flailed around in the background, at least running consistent pace. The third rep was weird as I felt good and drifted to the front so tried to keep the pace honest and get to the gates in under 10mins. Just managed it with Scotty and J-Fen hanging on. Final rep I was spent so just tried to keep the same pace. Times for the Gate to Gates were as follows:


That's not bad but I was way behind Jonathan and Scott who ran it as fast as I think anyone has.

Had a massage this arvo at Jackie's with Amanda, who I reckon is the best one there. She's the female version of Jean-Louis (although more attractive) and did a great job.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday meander

Out with the squad at lunch for the usual Monday route. Had a chat with LF Charlie (moving to Clontarf, we have another local!), LJ, MC, Craig, Jonathan W and Luke. Then picked up the pace a bit running back with a chap called James. All up 15.66km in 1:09:52 (4:27's). Felt great today, complete reverse of last Monday so must have recovered better from the long run.

Big weekend for Maggie. Saturday she started swimming for the first time with any floaties (I can sense Timmy pencilling the gags already) and yesterday I taught her how to ride a bike without stabilisers. She then went on to ride for 3.5km. I gave up chasing her around Campbell Parade so just decided to take a video from the in-field.

Maggie riding

Right knee feels a bit sore, like it's bruised under the kneecap, so need to keep an eye on that.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another long 'un

Up at 5.30am again to meet Big Sam and Richard Banks for a run up the beaches. Richard joined us because he's just been asked by the Japanese to run some marathon in a town south of Fukuoka which is twinned with Townsville - off the back of having won the Townsville marathon last year. He's only been given 3 weeks notice so is putting in some quick prep.

Coolish again (at least it was at 5.30am) but the km's flew by chatting away. Felt much easier for the first 20km than last week having taken it easier yesterday. We looped around the Narrabeen Track and got very excited about a new gate they've opened accessing Cromer Golf Course allowing you to circumnavigate Narrabeen lagoon without the risk of cutting your nads off while trying to jump the sharp fence. Rather than complete the circuit though we ran back to Dee Why making the run only 31.08km in 2:20 something (about 4:30's). I then did an extra 4.5km with the kids to Nippers so we'll call it 35km all up.

Felt tired from 20km onwards which was a bit disappointing given how good I'd felt up until then.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Not a tempo

Woke up with a hangover after going to a party last night so decided against a long tempo run, thinking I'd just screw my body. Did an easy 10.3km instead with Charlie, who is getting quicker, on his bike. Awesome quote from Charlie this morning; "When I grow up I want to have big ears like you, Dad.".

10.3km in 46:29 (4:29's). Felt pretty good. Ran past Thamal who was running with Flynn on his bike. I'm starting a trend.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Run to work

Hauled my ass into work this morning in what I think is a PW time - 61:09. Didn't care. Enjoyed the plod.

120km for the week with some decent quality work.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

HuRTS 8 x 800m

Over to Rushcutters on another warm day with a smaller, but hardcore, group in attendance. Still decent sized mind. Aparna who works for me (and an ex-Sydney Uni runner) was making her debut. With news that J-Fen is leaving KPMG and Andrea Ilakovac having gone, I'm planting some seeds for success in this year's JPMorgan team.

I was tired but just wanted to get through the session solidly. Tucks and Scotty O were taking the front running. I'm lacking confidence to attack these VO2 Max sessions so was sitting behind Kanser and Bartles on the first lap of each rep before trying to go harder on the second lap and close the gap on the front 2. The reps settled down into going through the first 400m in 73/74 with the second 400m being a bit quicker. Times were:


All done with a 100s rest in between.

11km all up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday MLR

Massage with the Tiger this am then out with a decent sized group of LC, Big Sam, Jonathan W, Laura, King James, Todd, Russell and a few others for the usual double Centennial Wednesday route. Sunny and warm today. Sweated buckets out there but a very easy pace so not too tough on the fragile body.

All up 18.35km in 1:26:13 (4:42's).

But, big news of the day and one which all loyal readers will be very excited about is the announcement of a new blog! It promises to be more interesting than Kanser's, more frequent than Enda's, less French than Jamie's and have fewer spelling mistakes than Timmy's. It is Fats' Blog. Better still, he's agreed to run under the HuRT Squad team for Six Foot, so we have a chance of beating Gramps' Army this year.

Finally, here is quote from an article announcing the probables for the Kenyan Olympic marathon squad:

Arriving at the names was not easy since 150 men and 50 women made the A-Standard qualifications," AK chief and IAAF Council Member Isaiah Kiplagat told a packed press conference. "Selectors looked at consistency, the ability to win without pace making, discipline and commitment to represent the country when deciding the names.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

HuRTS 8 x 5mins

The whole of Sydney turned out for the session today. Everyone was there (other than Enda, whom I'm assuming Kanser has chained to the desk) - even Durante, again. MC's getting scared of the chap's latent talent already. It was pretty chaotic but we managed to get through the session.

I was still tired and sore before we started. Told myself it was one of those sessions you just had to get through. Ran most of the reps with Tucks, Andy and Macca. Fats and Timmy joined us for the first few. They felt a bit easier as we rolled through them and the muscles warmed up a bit. All run at 3:25 to 3:30 pace other than the final one at 3:16 pace.

14km all up and 17 days in a row. I've mentioned Thurston's theory on 17 consecutive days previously (although he probably made it up when pissed). It sounds easy but is surprisingly difficult to achieve, at least for me. Something, be it work, hangover, home commitments, injury or sickness, always seems to get in the way. I only managed it twice all of last year, including in January when I ran every day - like I hope to this month.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Super sore

Walking like John Wayne this morning so headed out for a short one just to ease the body. MC, Tucks, Jonathan W, TB, Craig, Kanser and others all in attendance. Even bumped into the Lovely Lisa making a welcome return to training around Farm Cove. Very easy pace and body felt slightly better for it afterwards, particularly after a good stretch. 11.42km in 52:17 (4:35's).

Got the splits from Saturday's race..

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Super long

Up at 5.30am (yikes) for a long run with Big Sam. We did our pre-Gold Coast route up to Narrabeen Caravan Park and around the Lake coming back via Dee Why front and the beaches. The first few km was one foot in front of the other stuff in 4:48's wondering how I was going to get through this. Then we hit our stride between 10km and 20km on the new path around the Lake and struggled home from Dee Why. Sam has bags of stamina. Despite very little training he still manages to keep the pace honest past 30km. All up 35.82km in 2:41:51 (4:31's).

I then had 30 mins rest (and a bath) before heading out with the kids for their run. We ran Queenscliff to Shelley and back (5km) in 26:12 (5:15's). I was struggling to hang on to them in the final km.

Now farked.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

State 5000m

Didnt know what to expect today. Only had 3 weeks of proper training but had been pretty pleased with the way things were going. Decided that anything sub 16:10 would be OK but with a stretch aim of going sub16. I was a nightmare to be with all day so have to thanks Kirst for her patience. Drove all the kids out to watch and form a great cheer squad.

Did about 5kms warm up with Macca while watching the earlier races and getting even more apprehensive. When the leaders in Race D go through the first km in 3:11 you get scared about what Race B is going to be like. Lined up on the outside and we were off in very good conditions - about 22C, slight drizzle and no wind. Everyone dawdled through the first 200m in 38s so I look the lead, much to my kids delight who went nuts on the sidelines. First km in about 3:09, after an injection of pace from someone at 800m which left me in 5th place. Don't know what 2km was in but someone seemed to be shouting lap times of about 75 or 76 each lap which sounded good. 3km was reached in 9:28 and at this stage I'm just staring at the back of the chap in front (Chamkaur), hoping for the laps to pass without the wheels falling off. A couple of others had gone past, Chamkaur slows a bit so I try to put a real effort in over the final 2 laps. Finish down the home straight with the legs going lactic which is always a good sign.

Chuffed to bits to get under 16 and run 15:52 at this stage of training. Macca also seemed to enjoy his first ever track race running a 16:51 but without the benefit of someone to draught behind. Watched most of the girls race (where Emily Brichacek was mightily impressive) cheering Laura on who ran a great 17:55.

Results here:


Chadi ran a superb 15:03 in the A race. Looks like CT must have blown up trying to stick to the big guns as he came in in 15:50 despite his training suggesting he was capable of something close to Chadi. It still gets him one up on the head to heads.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Easy Friday

MC controversially used the HuRTS Distribution list to advertise some pathetic frolic in the pool today, so it was a hardcore who turned out for the Friday easy run. Big Sam, Rob, Mat K, Luke, Simon, King James, Indrajeet and others. We went very easily oevr the bridge and around Cremorne Point. A very tanned looking Charlie D caught us coming off the bridge on the return and started gnashing his teeth at the mention of Timmy. Seems Young Tim may have pushed the teasing a little too far recently.

All up 13.53km in 1:09:27 (5:08's). Now just to kill myself on the track tomorrow night.

104km for the week. First 100+km week since mid-October. Even that one was a one-off. Last time I did them consistently was August.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

HuRTs 4 x 2km

Big crowd on a beautiful day. Bit of a headwind on reps 1 and 3 which I shared with the front guys (Fast Charlie, Scotty O and Andy). Hell, even Timmy gave it a pop today. Although pop he went at the halfway mark on each rep. J-Fen was taking it easy and Tucks and Kanser were nowhere to be seen. Nice to Fats making a welcome return.

Reps went:


First one didn't feel any easier than the rest despite the time difference. I was struggling to hold on to Fast Charlie and Scotty O today, and Andy put in a really good effort on the final rep.

Reps were run off a rolling 9 minutes.

Just checked and it's a year (Jan 27 2011) since I last did this session. I must pussy out of Thursday sessions frequently. Back then I ran:


(2 seconds per rep quicker) so not too bad.

Christ, forgot to mention that partner in crime Durante fronted up today for the first proper session in, probably 3 years. He may have been struggling to keep up with MC but it didn't stop him having a pop about my slappy feet...

Health check and easy run

Had my annual health check today. Weight 68.3kg (up 1.7kg from last year and 4kg from 2007 and 2008!). I'm hoping it's all muscle. Resting heart rate 42. BMI 20.6. Blood pressure 118/60. Good cholesterol of 1.7 and bad of 2.6 (good result says the doc). Adjusted age of 27 which sounds nice. Having said that, at 27 I was about 78kg, binge drinking every night and eating 4 doughnuts a day.

Ran home feeling very energy depleted as I'd had to fast most of the morning and hadn't eaten enough afterwards. 57:48 despite a cool following wind seemingly the whole way.

I've entered the State 5000m. The family are making a rare outing to come and watch. This normally guarantees me a bad run.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

HuRTS Tempo

Told MC the Progressive Tempo should be replaced with a straight tempo which he agreed to so today was the first chance to test it. 45 mins turning at 22.5mins. Marathon pace (or "15s per km slower than 10km pace" as MC put it, which sounds faster than marathon pace to me). Set off in the front group of Fast Charlie, J-Fen, Kanser, Scott O'C and, wait for it, Big Mikey H. We all stuck together until the turn when Big Mikey H carried straight on. Paul Macca and Andy were on their own behind the front group so we concentrated on catching them which happened around Circular Quay. Fast Charlie pulled ahead around the back of the Open Air Cinema and J-Fen went past me just before Mrs Mac's Chair as I started to tire. Felt pretty good on the hills on the way back though and finished about 5 seconds behind FC and J-Fen, just in front of Scott and Kanser.

Nice to be back in the mix again and it's a good session. Because it's a straight tempo people seem to judge their pace better so we finished more "en masse" than on other sessions. My Garmin measured it 12.2km and, finishing in 44:35, gives an average pace of 3:39's. GMaps measures it at 12.14km which gives an average of 3:40's, so close enough.

Poor Timmy finished up a little bit delirious and could barely string a sentence together. We left him dazed and confused standing in the middle of Art Gallery Road so I hope the old fella's OK.

I've decided that the best way to get fit is to race myself fit so I'm considering doing the State 5000m on Saturday night. Just got to get permission from Mrs H. It'll be a bit ugly but I criticise others for not putting themselves out there when not on top form so I should practice what I preach.

Booked accommodation for the Six Foot Track. Managed to get a property which is situated on the track itself so I should get a big cheer from the family running through Megalong Valley. Check it out here.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Back to work

Heavy Lasagne at a work lunch so ran it off on the way home. Felt rough until the end of the Harbour Bridge then got into a stride and enjoyed the rest of the run. Worked the hills. Achilles feeling very good. 29:53 at Toyota Garage and 56:00 all up.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Recovery run

4.5km run with Bec & Billy to Nippers (does it count if done at 5.30 pace?) then 11km in the afternoon with Billy & Charlie on their bikes (not much quicker at 4.45 pace). Knackered today.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Bush Run Part 3

Out at 6.30am with Dickyboy and Justin. Route was similar to Tuesday but with more bush running, both in Manly Dam and Red Hill. I was knackered today, feeling the effects of yesterday. Struggled through the first few km. Felt OK'ish from about 7km to 20km then really struggled home with the last 4km being run from one bubbler to the next in the warm conditions. All up 28.4km in 2:17:48 (4:51's).

Friday, January 06, 2012

More tempo

16.56km tempo in 61:55 (3:44's). Through 10k in 37:18 and 16km in 59:45. Felt comfortable at times and a struggle at others. Much cooler than yesterday and quite blustery - was tough running down Manly beach into the Southerly but a breeze on the return. Achilles feeling better and better so I'm feeling more confident about things.

93km for week

Thursday, January 05, 2012


Caught the bus with the family to Spit Bridge then walked back home on the Spit to Manly. Took 5 hours including breaks, I had Claude in a backpack the whole way. Achilles was a bit sore after from all the climbing with 15kg on my back. Frustrating as it's been feeling great recently - maybe because I'm not sat in a chair all day long.

Knackered afterwards but jumped in the pool then ran an easy 10km in 42:18.

Received an email from Richie High today from Cambodia. He's set up a blog detailing his adventures with the family over the next 3 months which is here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Recovery run

Kirst was out with the girls, I needed to do a recovery run so took Billy and Charlie out on their bikes for as long as Charlie could survive. It was 31C and humid today so nothing quick was going to be on the cards in any case. Ran the usual 7km route to Shelley Beach which we reached in 33:30. Charlie seemed happy to continue on so we retraced our steps. All up 14.4km (I had to double back a few times to deal with mechanical issues and ended with a loop of the playpark) in 1:08:04 (4:44's). Perfect recovery run and very proud of Charlie. He only learned to ride a bike in September and now he's doing 14km in just over an hour.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Bush run Part 2

Met Dickyboy at 6.30am for another bush run. He gave me 3 fairly unattractive options, so I plumped for the one where the bush was closest to home just in case I got bitten by a snake or just collapsed with exhaustion. That was Manly Dam, Red Hill and out at Cromer and returning home via Dee Why. We seemed to keep the pace pretty honest in the bush and then were running 4:10's and below back on the road. As a result, I as pretty shattered by the end. But it's another under the belt. All up 27km in 2:05:28 (4:38's).

Monday, January 02, 2012

Character building

Kirst gave me 45mins at 1.30pm. It was hot and windy, but I wanted to add a bit of quality. After 200m of a 12km tempo, I was ready to ditch the quality. But stuck at it, telling myself I'd would be rewarded at some point. Ended up doing the 11.8km in 44:25 (3:46's). Every km between 3:45 and 3:50 with a couple of quicker ones towards the end when I finally felt as though I was using my glutes and not just quickly shuffling.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year's Day

Normal 14km route with Billy and Bec on their bikes. Reached the turn in 29:12 but felt great on the return so picked the pace up a bit. All up 56:27 (4:02's). Massive crowds in Manly, particularly on the path to Shelley, so there was a bit of tourist dodging. Bec took one out herself and had a stack.