Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Tourists Part 5

21km wharves route with MC, Big Sam, LF Charlie, KiltedScot, Jeet, Kaley, Jesse, BW and Quentin making an appearance before he flies out tomorrow. 4:37 pace. Right knee sore but massage today helped.

Next Tourist has to be Young Timmy.

Current form: To be determined. Finally injury free and starting to string together some long runs and log the kms. Did 45km over the weekend but a disappointing 5km TT last night knocked his confidence a bit. Still, he's bounced straight back with the spirit needed by logging the kms today, pencilling in the notoriously painful 1.2km reps tomorrow and helping me out by offering to run the Short Course XC at Rydalmere on Sat. This will stand him in good stead and I'm confident it will all come together soon - the average km times for his long runs suggests so.

Most likely to: Get us all into a mass brawl.

Predicted time: The boys said 2:53. I'll stick with that.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

5000m TT ES Marks - 15:39

Drove over with Enda then 3km warm up jogging around the track with the boys. Track was wet from earlier rain but conditions were cool and only a slight breeze so pretty much ideal. I'd brought my track spikes but hadn't removed the 9mm pins from when I ran in them at Nowra and they were too caked in mud for me to change them in the time available so decided to run in my trainers instead. Then come out to the track to see Barts in his sparkly new track spikes! Got to be worth a second a lap easy!

Headed out in a long train with CT leading the way, Barts behind and me at the back. Enda, Timmy, KiltedScot, Kroney and a chap called David Ray were following. I'd planned on running 75's all the way - partly because the maths is easy and partly because it would get me 15:37 - a chance of my PB at 15:36. But CT had gone out quicker. 74 first lap for me, then 2:27, then 3:42, then 4:56 then 6:12 at 2km and I was starting to struggle to hold on to them. Then I lost track a bit but I think I went through 4km in 12:39 (which would be 6:27 for kms 3 and 4, 77 - 78s a lap which sounds about right). All of a sudden CT is coming back towards me, I realise there's only 2 laps to go and feel great so push on. Then with 300m to go I can see I'm about to lap Enda but the bugger won't let me past him. Start sprinting at 200m to go and he goes too and we have a battle royale down the home straight. I'm thinking - respect to this fella - he's obviously making damn sure I don't lap him. But then when I finish, Enda stops too, pauses for 2 seconds then shouts "Shit, I've got another lap to go!". Well, any fatigue I had immediately disappeared as I'm virtually rolling on the floor laughing. He still managed an 80s last lap to finish bang on 17:00.

Happy with the last km of 3:00 but should have committed a bit earlier. I have ultimate respect for someone like CT who can just put it on the line and won't die wondering. I'm a great big pussy by comparison. Great PB by Barts to finish in 15:28. Enda would have gone under 17:00 if he could count to 12.5. Timmy will have been disappointed with his 18:23 but he got out there and did it and is no doubt feeling the effects of ramping up the training. And great to see Craig on the track in his first 5000m running 18:46.

5km warm down for 13km all up.

The Tourists will continue tomorrow...

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Tourists Part 4

Huge crowd today for the usual Monday route. Chatted to MC, KiltedScot, LJ, Big Sam and Kanser. 15.2km.

Next of The Tourists is Charlie D. Seems to have found his running mojo of late, putting in some regular kms and avoiding injuries and illness. And the training times are coming down. Beneath that calm and gentle exterior is a competitive bugger. Make an incorrect assumption and he'll be keen to prove you wrong. I have a feeling he'll have one of the Irish contingent in his sight.

Tour nickname: LF Charlie
Other nicknames: Warrior Charlie

Most likely to: Bail us out of jail.

Predicted time: The boys said 3:09. I'm predicting much faster as a result of a concerted training period and a 3:04.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


10km on the treadmill early doors.

Billy did really well in his gymnastics competition an would have medaled but for the vault, which unfortunately he ballsed up. I can relate to that. Scores:

9.0 on parallel bars
8.75 on high bar (normally his weakest)
9.3 on pommel (his favourite)
9.2 on rings
7.25 on vault

Next on The Tourists is Barts.

Has been in scintillating form all season, smashing all his PBs (and mine) after steadily improving week on week since March. Only question mark is the step up in distance to the marathon. Only done one (New York last year) which didn't go to plan. And seeing his face drop while watching at the 32km mark of the Gol Coast marathon was amusing. But he's a different runner this year and has done all the base work.

Tour nickname: Barts
Other nicknames: Bartles
Most likely to: Lead the charge early on and crash by 10pm.
Predicted time: The boys said 2:31. I can't see him failing to get under 2:30. 2:29.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Tourists Part 2

Out at 5:45am for a cheeky 3km warm up then met Dicky, Macca and Barts for the usual 33km. Bumped into Ben at 14km who also joined in. Pace picked up in the final 5km with a few 3:45-3:50's thrown in. Great to see Macca running again and he showed his usual strength at the end.

36km in 2:35 something (4:21's).

The 2nd tourist has to be Macca. He told us he almost pulled the pin 3 weeks ago before running 35:24 at Homebush and deciding he wasn't as unfit as he thought. If he can stay vaguely injury free and keep on putting the long runs in like this morning, I think 9 weeks is long enough to get back to PB form. The Tiger is now sticking needles in him which has to be a good thing.

Tour nickname: Macca.
Other nicknames: Macca doesn't need more nicknames.
Most likely to: Run a negative split.
Predicted time: The boys said 2:38. I think Macca will fight his way to a PB. 2:36.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Tourists Part 1

Very easy 13km with Enda - Ray and Paul H joining in for parts.

136km for the week. Biggest ever.

So today starts a rundown of the Berlin Tourists 2013 and current form and prospects. Enda seems an appropriate place to start.

Tour name: Echinacea Enda. The longest name on tour.
Otherwise known as: Edna. Enda Spankhard.

Current form: Looking very promising. Was strong in the 800's yesterday averaging 2:31's. Admitted today that he's put together 6 weeks in a row of 30+km Sunday runs which is enough to put strength in anyone's legs. Coached by Clyde so will undoubtedly be well prepared. Concerns lie only around sickness. Cleared his nose 37 times during today's run. Needs some more sleep.

Most likely to: Make us all sick.

Predicted time: The boys said 2:45. I'm going to say 2:44.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

HuRTS 8 x 800m

Bit of a longer warm up then over to Rushcutters for the 800's session with a big crowd including MC, Big Sam, Timmy, Enda, Barts, CT, Kenny, Andy, Jeet, LJ, Ellie, Greta, Biggsy et al. Loads of kiddies on the oval so we mapped out 400m on the rugby pitch (long grass, tight turns, slight incline and all - see Timmy's blog for the full list of excuses). 2 mins rest between each rep. I had it at 820m on my Garmin so was probably pretty accurate for 800m.

Reps went:


Pretty pleased with that. Ran with Barts and CT for all reps. Longer warmdown with Barts and Andy for 14-15km all up.

MC's going better than he's telling everyone, still trotting out the "three and a half weeks holiday" line. Timmy went off like a firecracker, slowed markedly (I'm pretty sure he was chicked on one rep) before recovering again at the end. Big Sam just watched him the whole way with a look on his face that said "Stoke may roll my Eagles, but come race time there's no way you'll be rolling me". Good to see Laura finally putting some effort in. Must have been the presence of coach CT and Greta.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shona Stephenson

Usual Wharves Wednesday but Mikey and I were bowled over by the size of the group today including Andy's 1 & 2, Big Sam, Kanser, Mr Ace, LF Charlie, Jessie, EmJam, Bart, BW and JW. So much easier with a big crowd to chat to the whole way. Time flew by going a bit further around the toaster to complete a Half in just over 4:30's. Felt great again. Amazed to see Sammy knock out a half off virtually no training.

Massage later with the Tiger where he mistook me for a voodoo doll. He gave me a lift back to the office and I took this snap of his passenger seat. Seriously, he's turning into an athlete of the tri/ultra persuasion.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

HuRTS 2 x 20mins

Usual good crowd for a Tuesday but Barts running late so missing the fun. Roxy was there to make up for his absence though. Good to see Macca back.

Decided to take it out easy due to the heavy workload this week. Good group of us at the front running together - Kenny, Ray, Macca, Roxy, Andy, AMP chap (what's his name?) and Muz. We reached just before the BarCycle sign after 20mins - GMapped it at 5.71km. Average pace just over 3:30's. Roxy and I started a bit further back on the return leg (the BarCycle sign) to give us something to chase. He really turned the screw (looking like he was cruising as ever) and I was feeling OK so ran with him. He pulled ahead of me coming around the Opera House but then I caught him again and pulled ahead finishing in front of the whole squad (wahey! - I think that's a first) in 19:02 for the return. Average pace 3:19 and 9:55 for the final gate to gate. Felt great on the way back.

2km warm-up and 4.5km warmdown with Andy, MC and LF Charlie for 18km all up.

Much talk on Elvis wanting to change his nickname for his Berlin Tour singlet. We all decided this was against the rules but agreed on a compromise - De Niro.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Old timers Monday

Chilly today, but didn't stop some of the big-timers returning from injury popping up today. Big group with Big Sam, Kanser, Barts, MC, Andy, LJ, Ellie etc. all out for a plod.

Managed a very tired 15.2km.

Bad news is Big Sam has officially withdrawn from the marathon, adding to J-Fen and Kanser as non-starters. Still hoping to get them all along for the trip.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Kirst is back!

Headed out around noon after a morning trip to the airport to pick up Kirst, Bec and Billy. Was a bit worried after yesterday, felt completely depleted all day. So had a massive plate of spaghetti bolognese for dinner followed by a large bowl of Ben & Jerry's (Choc Chip Cookie Dough - kids choice, I was trying to persuade them to go for Half Baked) and miraculously within 45mins I felt good again.

Today was perfect for running. Cool if a bit breezy. No niggles and felt good to be running. Just got into a rhythm and punched out the kms like clockwork. A real confidence booster after yesterday. The usual 33km in 2:15:36 (4:06's). Ended up a bit like a fast finish. Kms went:
4:32, 4:22, 4:12, 4:20, 4:13, 4:10, 4:15, 4:07, 4:09, 4:14, 4:01, 4:07, 4:07, 4:02, 4:11, 4:09, 4:00, 4:11, 4:04, 4:03, 4:00, 3:59, 3:59, 4:16, 3:57, 4:02, 3:57, 3:51, 3:55, 4:00, 3:54, 3:52, 4:10.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

20km tempo

Arranged to head over to Barts' place this morning for the tempo. Dropped the kids off with his poor wife Sam early doors then headed out on Barts specially formulated "flat" 20km route around the streets of Willoughby.

Well, it's no wonder he's so strong. There are no flat roads in Willoughby. Those that look vaguely flat are false flats. But I was very flat today. A combo of big night Thursday, quite a heavy week and no carbs last night I reckon. Even during the first km I was struggling to stay with Barts and anything under 3:40 felt like a struggle. Legs felt incredibly heavy. Poor Barts kept on having to run on the spot waiting for me to catch up or circle back to pick me up.

Anyway, only pleasing thing was that I struggled on through it without falling apart completely. Finished 20.58km in 1:15:32 (3:40's). Barts could have been 3mins quicker if he'd run solo. But it's not too bad considering the toughness of the course.

Now just want to sleep all day.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Easy Friday

Worked from home today. Caught up with Quentin who is in town for a very easy 13km.

119km for the week.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

HuRTS Pyramid

Over to Rushcutters feeling a bit jaded today. I think the Tour de France is catching up on me. Breathed a sigh of relief to see Barts was missing so I could ease up a bit, but that was short lived with Kenny flying today and keeping me honest on my shoulder for at least the first 3 reps. Times went:

79, 2:44, 4:12, 5:38, 4:13, 2:43, 74.

Timmy messed up the rest before the 4 lapper after I went to get some water so I was chasing them down after a shorter break. So times a bit down from when I last did this session in May. It was hard work too. Grass was long and ground soft but it's lack of sleep I'm suffering from.

12km all up.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday MLR

20.5km with MC, Bart, JW, BW, MrAce, KiltedScot and EmJam on what is becoming one of my favourite runs of the week around the wharves. 1:32ish (4:30's). Mikey and I even saw the mysterious Kanser doing some sekrit training.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

HuRTS 4 x 10mins

Well, it's actually become gate to gates again.

Went harder than I wanted to, and should have, today. Mainly because I was running with the rapidly improving Muz and Barts. First rep to gates in 10:00 felt OK. Back in 9:43. Then too hard up the hills in 9:45 (very quick), then back dropping off Barts in 9:36.

2km warm up and 3km warm down for 17km all up.

Good to see Timmy getting back into it and Muz going so well so soon after rejoining us.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Easy Manly

15.5km around Manly in 65:37 (4:14's) with Charlie (riding Billy's bike). Felt good today. Charlie going well sticking with me running 4min kms in the second half but he was rogered by the end. Bumped into Thamal looking smooth as ever.

New clothes from Grandpa and Liz:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mosman Reversed 31km

Booked Mel to babysit the kids then set off for the STaR. Had tentatively arranged to meet CT, Reno and Fats but only Reno was there at 6.20am so we set off at an easy pace with that group. And thank God it was an easy pace. This STaR must have more hills and steps than any other. We were still averaging 5:35's after 14km when CT finally caught us (having set off 15mins behind!) but he seemed pretty average to slow his pace a bit.

Beautiful cool but clear morning and felt pretty good throughout - this is about 18 long runs on the trot now so 30km is starting to feel fine. With all the hills and bush it felt more like 35km though.

Fantastic run by Barts in the Harbour 10km this morning to knock off one of my PB's and run 32:11. I reckon 10km is his distance as I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have got within 20s of that. Also great to see Benny St continuing his great form heading towards the World Champs running 13:10 overnight.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

ANSW Road Relays

Cut this one a bit fine. Picked up Andy from St Ives on the way with Charlie, Mags and Claudia in the back. Had no idea what I'd do with them while I was racing but packed their scooters and they seemed to entertain themselves nicely on the Uni of Newcastle campus. We arrived with 10mins to spare. Dicky P had registered the teams so just time to strap on the timing chips. I was running last leg so had time for a couple of laps warm up.

Great race with the Opens, Over 35's and Under 18's mens all running together. In the Over 35's, Sutherland were once again our main rivals but we were also a bit nervous about beating the Under 18's Striders team as a few of those young 'uns are pretty quick over 4km.

Fats was off first but was always going to struggle running against the in-form Kevin Robertson from Sutho who ran a very quick 12:28. Fats came in in 12:59 after going out hard on the first lap. Andy was next, overtaking the Sutho runner and putting some time into him, running a good 13:14 despite niggling achilles issues. Dicky P was third leg running a solid 13:40 but had Nick Bennett from Sutho chasing him down and putting 17s into him. This left me against Andy Cross on the final leg. I thought that I might have a few seconds on him but was wrong, never bridging the gap and Andy in fact ran 3s quicker - a 12:40 to my 12:43. Not a bad hit out running solo (and 4s quicker than last year) but need to continue the speed sessions.

Then Andy and I joined Charlie and Mags running the 2km fun run. Charlie smashed it this year and Mags ran the whole way, even sprinting to the line to beat a young boy despite the fact she was almost crying with fatigue. Sometimes I worry I push them too hard but they both seemed stoked afterwards.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Manly Friday

Had to fly to Melbourne yesterday so missed the chance of a run.

Today I'm "working from home" while looking after Charlie and Mags. Cracking day. Got the kids on their bikes and basically ran from playpark to playpark with me adding bits here and there. All up 18km in 1:19:17 (4:23's). Then lunch from Doggfathers sat on the beach. Shortly off to soccer training. I could do this more often.

83km for week.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Longer Wed

20km around the wharves with MC, JW, Brendan, Slapstick and Jessie. Very easy pace but it was over and with no niggles before I knew it. One of the nicest runs I've done all year.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

HuRTS Fartlek

Just rolled around today easing back in running with Barts, MC, Aidan, Pete W and others. Longer warmdown for 15km all up.

Interesting finish line photo:

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Gold Coast Half - 29th in 71:18

Pretty poor night's sleep as I was quite hyped after the Lions result and then up after Barts shouted at me at 5am(!). Jogged to the start and caught up with LJ before a few run throughs catching a load of others - Tiger, Richie P, Hamish, Anna and others. And then, still in darkness, we're off.

Plan was not to sprint off but start stead and build into the race. Nikki Chapple was on the start line in front of me so I knew she was someone I could pace off, as well as Barts. I'd been feeling really good in training recently so was hoping for a good time, at least a PB (my longest standing). Pretty soon there were three groups on the road - the leaders, a big group including Vlad and Chadi and then the group of Barts, Nikki, Jess Trengrove, some lad representing the ACT and myself. Nikki was setting the pace like a metronome. I wasn't wearing a watch, but Barts said that after a 3:08 opening km she was banging out 3:20's like clockwork. We reached 10km in 33:27 pretty much intact but with Jess dropping off. Then at the turn (10.8km) Nikki just seemed to put the hammer down (in truth, I think she just maintained pace) while Barts and I ran together. This was my worst spot from 10km to 12km. Barts started to form a gap and I thought, here we go, it's all over. Then, bizarrely at 12km, he drops his gel while trying to open it, and starts scrabbling around on the road trying to pick it up like a blind man searching for his glasses. I thought thank God, I'm back on him again and so sit in.

Felt the pace start to drop here. There's a bloke 50m up the road being spat out from the earlier group so I put a burst in to catch him. Do so and, with a stroke of luck, he ups the pace so sit behind him now hoping to pull away from Barts. It's starting to hurt here (16km) but we're in a good rhythm so I stick to it. Then at 18km he starts to slow so I try to push on, conscious Barts always finishes strong. Sure enough, I pass J-Fen shortly after and he gives me a shout, then shouts for Barts about 5s later. Feck. This isn't going to be easy. Desperately try to keep on lifting the pace. Final km and the turn seems to take forever to come. Reach the final run in, take a quick look and just kick for home.

Stoked with the PB and finally able to give Barts a run for his money. He finished 7s back. Run of the day was Laura's 2min PB for a 78:35. Anna also cracked 80 mins for the first time.

Now for some beers.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Day before junk

6km in the morning with a few strides. Took me 4km to stop hobbling from all the niggles.

Then up to Surfers. 70 odd minutes of pain to go...

Friday, July 05, 2013

Easy Friday

14km very easy with Ray, EmJam, John Doe and others.

100km for the week. All set for Sunday.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

HuRTS 10 x 400m

Decided to give this session a go to stretch my legs. Idea was to cruise around feeling great and as though I had another gear. Well that gear ain't there. Struggled to hold on to Andy C and plenty of effort was made. Felt better for it after though. Had a couple of 71's, one 70 and all the rest were 68's or 69's. Grass was long and ground was soft. Can't think of any more excuses.

Out tonight at Ribs and Rumps for Charlie Boy's 7th Birthday. The kid's a champ, but can't pose for a photo to save his life:

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Back in Manly

14km in 62:30 (4:26's). Sore and lethargic. Couldn't have felt more different than yesterday.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Wolgan Valley day 2

20km on the trails of Wolgan Valley after a day sat on the balcony reading David Millar's autobiography. Doesn't get any better than this. And the run was magic too, with the tennis ball having worked wonders for my left knee.

20km in 1:24:45 (4:14's). One of those days when running feels easy.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Wolgan Valley day 1

Out with Mrs H for 7km in Wolgan Valley. Knee still giving me grief so I kept it short. Got a tennis ball into my ass afterwards which was agony but I think is the root of the problem.

Had dinner in the restaurant with about 7 other tables (being Monday) and happened to be sat next to Pete Beacroft! Had a great chat with my ex-colleague and 30min 10km man. He's twice the man he used to be but bags of natural talent if he ever looked to return.