Friday, May 31, 2013

Thursday ramble

Should have done speedwork which is what I'm lacking, but when your eldest daughter is running her zone Cross Country then priorities lie elsewhere. Ran up to Artarmon Reserve and back and saw a few races. Bec made me dead proud. She went off hard in 5th position after 400m, suffered badly mid-race falling down to 18th but fought back strongly on the last lap to finish 13th. She was absolutely spent. I wish I could finish a race having given as much as she did.

There and back for me was 14km.

Few beers with the Berlin boys in the evening. Much fun. Barts is taking a bit of stick for his SMH race report.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday MLR

Usual route, usual jog. Feeling very tired today (particularly after a tough session with Carl this morning) and was solo until Centennial when I bumped into JW for a couple of laps.

Saw the Tiger this arvo and bumped into Benny St. Turns out his first hit-out post racing Mo could be a relay leg for St George on Sat afternoon in the ANSW XC Relays. Shaping up for a competitive event which will be great to watch. Fats, Andy and me confirmed for the Striders 35+ team but struggling for the 4th man. Barts too interested in personal glory these days.

Thoughts for the day:

1. Sad day:

2. Eddie McGuire - WTF?!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

HuRTS 4 x 10mins

Sneaked out for this with heavy legs. Not good with our intrepid leader Conway upping stumps with the hammie problems again and threatening retirement. Timmy a no show yet again but good to see Andy C back in action.

Felt better as the reps went on (usually the way when running on tired legs). Ran the first with Kenny and Vlad with Fats and Barts smashing it upfront. Reached the final lamppost short of the gates (i.e. about 10s short). Back in 9:35. Vlad took off with Barts and Fats on the third rep with Ray and me chasing. Felt like I was working this one well and caught Fats by the ABC Pool to reach the gates in 9:55. Back in 9:32. So a solid session in the end. Longer warmdown for 15km all up.

Some shady shenanigans and hot gossip in the hill walking in excessive branded gear world (otherwise known as ultra running). Deliberate false accusations of cheating and ghost Facebook accounts? You don't get this in your average Striders 10km (except when Kanser decided to gob over his fellow competitors).

Walker apologises to fellow walkers

Monday, May 27, 2013

Long Monday

Made up for Slovenly Sunday with Masochistic Monday. 19km around Manly and then picked up the rucksack and ran to work. 32km all up in 2:25 (4:32's). Was pissing with rain when I set off, bright sunshine by the time I finished. Left achilles sore, right hamstring is tight and my nipples were bleeding. And running for 2.5 hours by yourself is bloody boring - there's only so many times you can dream about outsprinting CT, Tucks and Barts under the Brandenburg Gate while dipping under 2:30.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Slovenly Sunday

10km jog in the darkness in the early evening. Rolled my ankle but its ok. Nice moonrise.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday hilly tempo

Just the same old route. Always ahead today, although the Garmin measured it longer than normal so I can't really compare km splits. Got the 4th km under 4:00 for the first time (3:54) which I think was accurate but the 6th km was short (3:42 against the usual 3:54). Anyway, ended up with 49:55 so sneaked under 50mins for the first time.

2km warm and and down for 17km all up.

Billy had a great game of soccer today almost scoring in the top left corner but just drifting wide of the stanchion. Charlie's team coached by Big Sam continued their impressive run with a 5-3 win (albeit causing us a few nervous moments throwing away a 4-0 lead to 4-3 until the last minute).

Out to a 40th tonight so I don't think the long run with be taking place at 5:45am.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday apologies

Well, all hell broke loose this morning when one of my key clients sends an email explaining that a member of his team was very upset at being left off the list and that I couldn't expect any work to flow my way as a result. So, with grovelling apologies, this has been rectified. Please view yesterday's updated list of the HuRT Squad Chosen Few.

Today was an easy 13km with Ray. 86km for week.

Was checking some old race results yesterday and found these PDFs of the English Schools Track and Field champs in 1988 when I was 14. I just missed the final in the Junior Boys 1500m that day in a sprint finish (as usual) but more interesting is Junior Girls 1500m. Check out who finished 8th in the final. I'd travelled down with the Northumberland squad all the way to Yeovil on the bus and was quite interested in a girl on the bus from Northumberland called Valerie Botham (albeit in a 14yr old asolescent sort of way and who I think was from the same school as Timmy's mate Sian Ellison). Great pins. Little did she know she'd just beaten a girl who would go on to be the greatest female marathoner in history.

Check it out:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

HuRTS 1.2km reps but, shock horror, at new location

Given it was teeming with rain, I made the call to shift to Farm Cove knowing it would be deserted (and having G-Mapped the distance from the Opera House Gates to the bottom of the hill at Mrs Mac's Chair at a convenient 1.29km).

I would like to note for posterity the hardcore of the squad who showed up for this session on the coldest and wettest day that Sydney has produced in living memory:

"Young" Timothy Lindop
John "Bartles" Bartlett
Jonathan "J-Fen" Fenton
Indrajeet "Jeet" Aich
Michael "MrAce" Race
Andrew "Skippy" Heyden
James "Kenny" Everett
Charles "Warrior" Dalziell
Damien "Damo" Sullivan
Paul "Paul" Birch
John "JB" Bowe
Ben "Bob" O'Brien
Anthony "Muz" Murrell

and Yours Truly*

*[let me know if I missed you out]

If they ever read my blog, let them say that I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say that I lived in the time of the HuRT Squad, tamer of chicks. Let them say I lived in the time of Conway.

I wore two short sleeved tops as I was cold. All this meant was that both layers were soaked through within 5 minutes, weighed a ton, and I was still cold. No hanging about today so we were off. Barts was taking it easy so I ran alone at the front other than rep 2 when Muz stayed just behind most of the way and the final rep when Barts helped me out and stretched his legs. Rep times were:

4:00, 4:00, 3:57, 3:57, 3:56

Works out at about 3:06 to 3:03 pace. Legs felt pretty heavy but breathing was good. Pleased to have got it done as those VO2 max sessions always test you mentally. Longish warmdown for 11km all up.

HuRT Squad stretching out around Farm Cove today:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

MLR Wednesday

Strength with Carl this morning. New regime, lots on the hammies. Was walking like Elvis afterwards.

19km at lunch just avoiding the rain. Was late to start so had to run solo. Finally saw MC and Mr Ace crossing the road at the very end. Felt magic today.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

HuRTS Fartlek Not




HuRTS Fartlek with the plan just to take it easy. Everyone else (Fats, Andy, Ray, Smolly, Muz(!) etc.) had the same idea. So much so that Smolly was calling out the start and end of each split and half the time we couldn't work out whether we were supposed to be speeding up or slowing down.

Turned at 2nd wharf on Hickson and pace actually picked up on the way back finishing in 43.5 mins and ended up averaging 3:44's. Felt fine albeit legs a bit weary when pushing on at the end.

I now know Fats' formula for winning Six Foot. It's all about meticulous preparation. Check out the cutlery tray in a Fats' loaded dishwater:

Gary Howard, August 11th 2013:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

SMH Half - 15th in 72:36

Went into this race feeling pretty confident after some recent consistent training and generally being a bit more healthy than my usual debauched self. But then Saturday morning my stomach starts producing noises from deep within and doing somersaults and was just painful after I ate anything. But figured I wouldn't be eating anything before the race. In the end, it wasn't an issue.

Met up with Timmy early doors along with Kirst and Dan (her relay partner) before heading out to meet all the usual suspects. I love this race. There's a great atmosphere to it, and there always has been. Despite doubling in size in recent years it has maintained its feeling as a real runner's race. I also love the switchbacks where you get loads of cheers and encouragement (thanks for all those who shouted - not least Phil Dove who I could hear from half a mile off). It's why I always wear my Striders top as you get a load of "Go Striders!" shouts which never cease to lift you

Set off feeling comfortable running just behind Barts and with Jim Perrett and Robdog. I think Fats may have been on my shoulder too. They then edged ahead and by 4km I was running with Hamish pushing a good pace. Felt OK at this stage but not as comfortable as I felt last year. Going through Pyrmont, Fats and Nikki Chapple caught us as we caught Jim. This was my lowest point - Fats and Nikki looked really strong and I was worried they were just going to power ahead. But we managed to stick together as a group going through 10km in 33:56. Then coming back along Hickson Road I first felt good leading the group, then felt as though I was barely able to hang on. When we got to the nasty hill at the squashed car roundabout I drifted to the front and started to feel more confident - it's always the hills where you can tell how people are feeling. But if that's the basic gauge, Nikki was feeling good as she powered up onto Kent Street with me just trying to stick to her heels thinking it may be hurting Fats and Hamish. We overtook Neil Pearson at this stage with Barts next in front. Any thoughts of Fats being done were dispelled when he reappeared at the head of the group going along the Cahill Expressway. It was at this point last year that I began to unravel so made a real effort to keep it strong up Macquarie Street and then attack the loop around Mrs Mac's chair. Sensed Fats had dropped a bit here so really started to push hard but it hurt. The little pinch before the Art Gallery made my legs a bit wobbly so tried to shorten the stride and increase the cadence. This seemed to work as suddenly Nikki dropped too. I may avoid being chicked! Hell, that was enough to start sprinting. Wait there, I've gone too early. Bugger, I'm starting to fall apart. Then I see the line, see the clock and it looks as though I'm going to run 72:38. I like the symmetry of that, but the results give me 2s quicker. I'll take it. It's an SMH PB. It's probably a Half PB as I'm fairly sure the Blackmores was short in '07.

Happy with the form. Stronger in the back half than last year (where I went through 10km in 33:37) and last year I was further down the marathon training plan. Would love to give the Half PB a shake at Gold Coast.

Some great runs out there today in perfect conditions. Robdog smashed it with a mid 71. Barts got my PB with 72:08 but Eoin was my run of the day in 76:50 closely followed by Justin B in 77:20. Also great to see RP with another PB in low 76. The Tiger lost his bet going down by 7 minutes against the 6:40 on offer. I'll claim some beers from Andy C too...

The Churchill/Sands trophy looks to be England's again. You can expect a few more photos while testing Fats' homebrew this afternoon, but here's a starter.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday jog

6km jog with a few strides.

Great result by Benny last night - 13:18 for 5000m in the States finishing 3rd behind Mo and Dathan Ritzenheim.

On other world class performances, congrats to Brenda Davies taking out the North Face 100km in a record time with Tucks smashing his PB for 3rd. Looks like CT had a tough day in the office. Hope he decides now to stick to what he has great talent for rather than this trail walking stuff.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday meander

13km very easy with Ray. Wandered over to the SMH route in Pyrmont. Still can't tell what extra fiddly bit they are making us do around Barangaroo but a new entrance popped up today so maybe that's it. Only looked as though there would be one hairpin so not too bad.

Now just have to get through the trauma that is the Manly West Primary School Carnival that's on tomorrow.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

HuRTS 8 x 800m

Small but merry band not shying away from a bit of speedwork. Ray, Andy, French dude, Durante, John Doe and a couple of others. Left hammie started to feel stiff after 4 (and I was looking for any excuse) so just pushed every other rep after that. Tired going in but felt good on the last rep. Times were:

2:30, 2:28, 2:29, 2:26, 2:48, 2:24, 2:48, 2:20

1:30 rest between reps (I'm sure we used to get 2 mins?).

Andy looks good and is foxing for Sunday. Expect a big one from him. Have a feeling I'll be chasing him and Fats around Mrs Mac's chair with 2km to go. Andy says JB is a dark horse too. The English are on fire...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Busy Wed

Strength this morning with Carl. Busy all day so couldn't get out. Ran home untimed nice and easy with a few strides.

Ooh, nearly forgot. Saw the Tiger and he cajoled me into a bet for Sunday's race and forced me into accepting a 6:40 handicap. If he doesn't take $50 off me he should be ashamed of himself.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

HuRTS 8 x 5mins

Something old and something new.

Joined today by Muz for the first time in years now he's resettled back in Oz. Durante was also out. Then a first time appearance for Jamie Palmer (5km nemesis back in September) who was smashing out 6 reps with me and Andy.

I pushed quite hard today - first averaged 3:25 pace, then 3:20, next 4 at 3:15's before easing off on the last 2 at 3:23's. can't say the 3:15's felt easy, but Fats made them look so, running out front at what must have been close to 3:10's for 5 of them. Vlad was also around running with us on the odd numbered reps before "making an effort" (aka running 2:55's) on the even ones.

Had to take a dip in the harbour post session with Pete W, Smolly and Welsh Jim. Not bad considering its almost Winter.

15km all up.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Usual route but Opera House was blocked off so only 14.3km. Very easy, but did some fast strides (3 x 80m) to finish off.

Feel fine during day but neck and shoulders ache by end of day. Maggie was off school today and Kirst is crook so maybe I'm fighting something off.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Same again Sunday

Same as last week with Macca and Justin. 33km in 2:28:31 (4:30's). We were at exactly the same pace as last week until Cromer when Justin put his foot down and dragged me and Macca with him. Another stunning morning - weather is perfect at the moment.

Knee tendon a bit sore. Tired now.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Manly hilly tempo

Felt rotten this morning but well enough to get out this afternoon so decided to punish myself with the hilly tempo. Plan was not to race it but to feel fairly comfortable and run the hills strongly. Felt good the whole way. Still puffed hard especially on the hills but not the usual desperate feeling. Almost a PB in the end (50:37 - 17s slower than fastest on Jan 19th) so pretty pleased with the form. Was helped at Forty Baskets with the tide being out mind.

3:36, 3:48, 3:53, 4:03 (still can't get that tough km under 4mins), 3:33, 3:49, 3:56, 3:36, 3:54, 4:44, 4:13, 4:22, 3:06 (857m).

Bloody hard on the hammies this run. 2km warm up and down for 17km all up.

This one for the family:

Bec's Little Prelude

Striders Night of Nights

13km easy in about 57mins (4:26's).

Then on to drink too much at the Striders dinners and ask Lisa Weightman inappropriate questions (like would she beat Lara Tamsett over 10km, which she seemed pretty confident of).

115km for the week.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

HuRTS Pyramid

Strength with Carl this morning but only a little bit on the legs as mostly core an upper body so felt OK for this session.

And a funny session it is. There aren't many occasions I've done it at max effort for one reason or another. It's quite intimidating, especially on the 3 and 4 lappers, to commit early on. Anyway, all I had to do was follow Barts who continues on in sparkling form, with J-Fen not far behind and Ray and others dropping in and out occasionally. Reps went:

80, 2:40, 4:00, 5:29, 4:10, 2:37, 74

That's as good as the best I've done. Disappointed with the 4:10 when Barts took a big lead on the first lap taking it out quickly, but otherwise pretty happy considering the lack of speedwork I've done recently.

Some photos from Saturday:

Tucks and I (and random ranga):

Dicky H, J-Fen and Richie P:

Macca and Hamish M:


The Tiger and Justin B in the background:

MC in blue:


Young Timmy - he could take a lesson in form from Laura:

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Short Wed

Busy day. Massage with Theresia late arvo followed by very easy 8km jog.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013


Bec had her school XC today. Last year she won it easily (they're all geeks at her school) after having done 3-4 months regular training with me and Billy. She kept on telling us how she was going to win today (despite having done nothing but sit on her arse for the past 3 months) to which Kirst and I would respond by singing the following Supertramp song to her:

Supertramp: Dreamer

Well, I was in the changing rooms after my run at lunch and received a call on my mobile with Bec singing it back to me. So well done girl. She wins her "mother and daughter treat trip to Max Brenner". Talk about incentivising in inappropriate ways.

Today did 45mins tempo. Ran with Andy the whole way with Barts, Vlad and Fats ahead by about 60m at the turn. Fats came flying by us under the bridge and was on fire today. Edged ahead of Andy climbing the hills at the end and tried to catch Fats but didn't quite manage it. Still, 12.65km in 44:54 (3:32 average) was good considering that's 80km in 4 days. Felt heavy all the way but breathing was fine, but strong on the hills at the end which was good. 10:11 for the final gate to gate. Barts continues to go from strength to strength - elongating the session to a 60min tempo and still averaged 3:27's.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Different Monday

Shock! We ran an alternative Monday route, continuing on around Pyrmont Wharves but finishing straight up from CQ. 16.5km very easy with Barts, MC, Ray, Slapstick, Laura and others dropping off along the way.

Dad's booked his hotel room for Berlin so I will have a cheer squad!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Getting longer Sunday

Out with Macca at 5.45am for 33km on our usual Northern Beaches route but avoiding the section to the Narrabeen track. I did an extra loop of the golf course at the end (saying hello to a very speedy Gus McGillavry powering up Kenneth Road).

2:31:45 (4:35's). Felt ok today despite yesterday's race. Nice to have no specific aches or pains (touch wood).

Bec, warming up for Brookvale FC game. Hopefully she can avoid 2 weekends in a row of all my kids being smashed at soccer.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Sydney10: 23rd in 33:02

Well, in the end it was pretty much exactly what I expected. Kanser would accuse me of falling prey to the central governor.

Turned up pretty early after a good week of sleep and off the booze. Did about 3km warm up then some sprints and was feeling pretty good on the start line, albeit very nervous. Had a good few chats with all the crowd and it was a huge HuRTS turnout. Biggest disappointment was the absence of Andy who texted last night to say he'd fallen victim to the stomach bug he'd been trying to avoid all week. Just the worst luck as he was flying in training. I was in this position last year so know how he feels.

Gun went and it was the usual mad, slightly downhill, sprint. Conditions were perfect (cool and still) so knew it was going to be quick. I'd decided not to wear a watch though as I'd knew there would always be plenty of people to chase so no need to chase the clock. By 1km I'd settled in behind Barts with Tucks just behind. There were plenty of others around though, with CT and Nick Bellemore just ahead and some ranga chap I didn't recognise. Plan before the race was to stick to Barts for as long as possible, knowing the 3km to 5km section (slightly uphill) would be the biggest test. Sure enough, after the hairpin at 3.2km he starts to chase a few guys up ahead and I couldn't respond. At this point Tucks came past so I latched on to him instead. Stayed this way until the hairpin at 5km which we reached in 16:22. Renaud took this photo shortly after:

I fell off a bit here, then rallied at 6km and told myself to keep the effort up. Went past the group you can see above just after 7km with only Tucks coming with me. At this stage, Barts was about 50m up the road but was stranded so I thought we may have a chance of catching him if he started to fade. But at the hairpin at 8.2km Tucks started piling the pressure on and was inching ahead. I was just holding on at this stage, aware of some footsteps behind starting to catch. Tried to rally at the end, especially coming into the final straight when I saw the clock and desperately tried to get under 33, but it wasn't to be. Another photo from Renaud in the final straight:

Bit disappointed immediately after in not dipping under 33 and being 27s behind Barts, CT and Robbie, but in retrospect I think they all had great runs (when you see how close to Liam Ridings, Mark Warren et al they got) and I still managed to beat some very good runners in Hamish M, Kevin Robertson, Sam Walker etc. Timmy will no doubt take the piss for finishing just behind Tucks YET again but in truth I think he brings the best out of me in races and I'd have been slower if he hadn't been there.

Some great runs out there - Barts (a 1s PB with 32:35), Anna (big PB in 37:05 and taking Laura's scalp in the process), Richie P in a great PB despite being well the wrong side of 40 with a 34:24 but run of the day for me was Mr Ace running 36:00. Also dead chuffed to see my Sunday run buddy Macca defy all the doubters and prove once again that racing is very different to training in running 35:13. He'll be on a steep upward curve from here.

Nice warmdown after with a bubbly MC, J-Fen, Mr Ace and others. The estimated times were pretty accurate - actual results next to the predicted times in yesterday's post. A bit controversial, but I reckon this course is longer than in previous years. The 5km hairpin is closer down Olympic Boulevard, but the 3.2km hairpin was placed much further down the road - the difference being that you run the longer 3.2km hairpin twice but the shorter 5km hairpin only once. That said, I reckon it's an accurate 10km now - despite everyone's Garmin readings.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Taper time

Very easy 6km jog with MC, BW and Chris Shaw. All the talk was on tomorrow's race. It's the biggest 10km of the year and, after City to Surf and JPMorgan, one of the biggest on the HuRTS calendar. We should have a very large turnout. As a result, I thought I'd post my random selection of predicted times:

CT: 32:35 (Actual 32:33)
Robdog: 32:40 (Actual 32:37)
Barts: 32:45 (Actual 32:35)
Tucks: 32:55 (Actual 32:59)
Andy: 33:15 (Absent)
Fats: 33:23 (Actual 33:43)
Jonny B: 33:30 (Actual 34:21)
J-Fen: 33:45 (Actual 34:05)
T-Bell: 33:47 (Absent)
Kenny: 33:59 (Actual 34:49)
Ray: 34:20 (Actual 35:27)
Enda: 34:23 (Actual 35:09)
Dicky H: 34:25 (Actual 34:41)
Tiger: 35:05 (Actual 35:32)
Macca: 35:40 (Actual 35:13)
MC: 35:45 (Actual 35:50)
Laura: 36:20 (Actual 37:27)
Timmy: 36:49 (Actual 37:44)
Anna: 37:20 (Actual 37:06)
Aidan: 37:20 (Actual 37:31)
Kilted Scot: 38:20 (Absent)
Elle: 39:32 (Actual 39:47 very impressive!)

Some fast times there but I think the boys (and girls) are running well.

Harry Summers will win the race in 29:10 (Yep, 1st, Actual 29:36) and Celia Sullohern will be first female in 34:40 (Actual 35:13 but only 2nd).

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Crocodile man

Easy 9km today with 8 100m sprints thrown in. Felt good in my new Musha 5's. MC, John Doe, Slapstick, Mr Ace, LF Charlie, Laura, Mermaid and Elle the Belle were all along for the ride.

Had to include a picture of Khotso Mokoena jumping over crocodiles. I love these man versus nature/machine media opportunities (like Bolt races a horse or Guzzo beating a car to the City from Epping):

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Vitamin B12

Strength with Carl this morning. Massage with the Tiger this arvo. Followed by 11km around Pyrmont very easy. Going hard on the vitamins, protein powder, Juice Plus, you name it. These are the final acts of a desperate man.

Super proud of Kirst who ran a 7km time trial in 35:12 this morning (finishing up the monster hill that is Condamine St). Her running coach plainly knows a lot more about running than I do.