Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's a wrap

13.3km to Brighton Beach again, almost getting lost again.  That place is a space/time vortex.

Will do my 2014 wrap tomorrow.  'Twas a ripper.

Childhood running hero Crammy made a CBE in the New Years Honours List today.  Check out where he lives.  Apparently (according to Dad who's seen them in Waitrose) Sol Campbell and Paul Collingwood also live in Hexham now.  It's a hotbed of sporting superstar talent.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Highnam Handicap

We're a fairly competitive bunch.  Since arriving here in Melbourne for the family Christmas, we've had competitive Mini-Golf (I didn't do so well at this), competitive Go-Karting (80km/h karts - I won this which made me happy) but the big event is always the Highnam Handicap.  

Basically, we spend 4 days arguing at meal times about our handicap start times, Dad has final say and everyone is required to take part over the 2.5km (other than Dad as official timekeeper and Claudie who has one more year respite).

I was starting off scratch, 15s behind Jack and 50s behind brother Jamie.  That's all I was aiming for, with any other scalps being a bonus.  I'd run to the start which was about 7km so was nicely warmed up.  Plan was just to run as hard as possible and use overtaking people towards the end as a spur to push on.

Felt dead legged to start with but after the first hill started to get into a rythmn and could see I was getting closer to Jack.  First km in 3:02.  Overtake Bec, then Kirst and close in on Jack.  Then suddenly at 2km a big group of us close in together - with Jack, Jamie, Sophie, Anthony (Sophie's boyfriend) and me all in a line.  2nd km was 3:00.  Had it been a 2km handicap it would have been perfect. But thankfully it was 2.42km.  I overtook them and Jack jumps on to my shoulder.  I tried to drop him straightaway not wanting a sprint finish but he still keeps up.  We're going pretty quickly now and the final drag uphill approaches and Jack drops off so now it's only Gill, Alec and, can it be so, Charlie! in front.  I pass Gill but that's it.  Chuffed to see Charlie take out the win but a great effort by all.

Here are the results:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bit of speed

Have been getting very stiff recently from not stretching and plodding around at the same pace the whole time.  So decided to throw some speed in today.

Longer warm up on McKinnon Oval then ran to the synthetic track at Duncan Mackinnon Reserve and did 4 x 400m.  Wasn't expecting much as it was early doors and that's what I got.  Times went:

66.0, 65.2, 64.8 and 64.1.

Felt better afterwards.  10km all up.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Long run with the fambily

Ran up to Malvern East station with Jamie and Jack, met Alec, ran a loop of 8km through fields, ovals and bush tracks then ran back home solo with three loops of Duncan Mackinnon Reserve for 26.7km all up.  Just over 2 hours (4:36's).

Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day

Wasn't going to let Brighton get the better of me.  Ran to the beach down North Road, 4km down to Brighton Beach station then back via South Road.  Nice and easy, couldn't go wrong today.  16.5km in 1:11 (4:21's).

Now at the MCG with the boys, Alec and Dad watching the Boxing Day test.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Geographically challenged

Melbourne is dead easy to navigate.  Unlike Sydney, it's built on a grid system, with all roads going North to South or East to West.  It's because it's dead flat, which adds to the ease of lifestyle.  Check it out here:

So apart from the Nepean Highway cutting a swathe across the middle, it's dead straight forward.  So this morning I decided to run from McKinnon to the beach (due West), along the bay a bit (I can't call it a beach being from Manly) and then back home.  All went well, running parallel to North Rd and reaching the bay in perfect early morning weather.  Then I ran back, heading due East.  Except, after an hour, I find myself in a suburb I didn't recognise (Hampton - which was very nice).  So I panicked a bit and ran more directly home, except I then end up in Sandringham. Which is by the Bay even further away.  So having been out for 1 hour and 15 and miles from home with no idea how to get back, I did a Rob Costello and caught a taxi.

Take a look at the map again.  It's all NSWE grid lines apart from a random section in Brighton which looks like a fault line or earthquake has hit it.  That was my problem.

15km, probably.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Set off from McKinnon, ran along McKinnon Road, reached Duncan McKinnon Reserve, did 4 and a bit loops, then back along McKinnon Road to McKinnon.  These Victorians need some spice in their lives.

10km in 38:44 today.  Was feeling more and more sprightly as the run went on.  The splits tell it:  4:23, 4:15, 4:04, 4:03, 3:53, 3:55, 3:37, 3:46, 3:31, 3:13.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


The reason those ACT boys are so fit is the god damn hills. 

Camped at Cotter River Campsite, got up early, ran around and about including up towards a huge dam then up a massively steep hill that went on for 1.5km.  Went off on a fire trail at the top and was treated with some classic Aussie landscapes that begged to be looked at.  Then a lovely run down the hill to finish off.  Beaut of a run.  But dead slow. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Long run and a Parkrun

No Barts this morning so forced myself out at 6.15am thinking Justin may be waiting.  But alas no.  So did a longish warm up of 8km bumping into good old Richie High with his family doing a Christmas Parkrun.

Set off on Parkrun and felt really good for a change.  I was running solo from 200m but felt strong enough to push the pace today.  16:24 all up so not bad for me running solo.  I'm usually the world's biggest pussy unless I have someone to chase.

Did another lap of the course with Richie, then an extended run home via Shelley Beach for 30km all up.  No dip in the ocean or b&e rolls today so took Mags and Claude out to Splat for a slap up break instead.  Nice.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday funk

Out early from home again.  Planned on the usual 10km flat loop but bumped into Macca after 2km so ran with him instead.  We sorted out the world's problems and then it was done.

55km for week.

Wednesday wanderings

Slacked off the running this week due to work commitments, parties and, frankly, taking stock after the horrific events of Monday which I was almost a part of.  Wandered out on Wednesday morning with Dicky and Macca with Dicky leading the way.  Dicky doesn't like to tell you what the route is.  In fact, most times I think he just makes it up as he goes along, particularly if he can find a random path to run down or, better still, a large hill to run up.

But it was nice to get out and managed about 17-18km all up.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sore Sunday

So the 27km plus swim at Queensie and bacon & egg roll to follow is becoming a bit of a ritual.  Just me, Barts, Macca and Justin this morning.  Beaut of a day once the sun came out but the run was a real struggle despite taking yesterday off.  Sore and tired the whole way.  Fortunately everyone felt the same so the pace never dipped below 4:30's.

Friday's Super Series lunch was great but a big day.  Headed to The Bucket List with the beautiful cool people post lunch.  As you can see, we fitted right in.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cashing in

10km early doors around Manly.  Very easy.  Good to see Jenny Whickham out running again.

Lunch today courtesy of CT and Barts at Sean's Panorama off of my Super Series win.  Oh happy days!  Afternoon off work, recognising that I always struggle to concentrate after lobster and champagne.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Redback HuRTS

Putting the paper bin out this morning and had to move a few large bits of soggy cardboard and, in doing so, I came face to face with the biggest redback I've ever seen.  Seriously, it was the size of a 50 cent piece and was 10 inches from my face.  I bricked myself. 

But on to today's session.  1km reps around Rushcutters in the rain.  Very low turnout with only Q, Barts, Jeet, Big Kev, TKS, JW, Renee and a couple of dudes I didn't know showing up.  6 x 1km off a rolling 5mins.  Q, Barts and I took it in turns to lead out each rep.  They went:

3:04, 3:03, 3:02, 3:01, 3:04, 2:56

Took my shoes off at halfway and felt magic running on the soggy wet grass in the second half.  If I could run barefoot without my achilles blowing up my life would be complete.  Darling Point cool down with Barts, Q and Jeet for 12km all up.

Picture of me and my new chick from one of my many recent boozy dinners:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Run swim Wed

A run out to Redleaf pool the long way with Mikey, JW and A.N. Other, quick swim then a run back to the office.

14.75km at a very easy pace.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

HuRTS 2 x 20mins

The mojo has gone.  I've fallen off the wagon.  Was a struggle just to show up today.  But then all the big boys arrived so had to join in.  CT was off like a shot leaving Quentin, Barts, Dick Mullaney and myself chasing.  We were going too quick around Farm Cove so I backed off, thinking Dick was on my tail but it turned out to be Fats.  Reached exactly 6km at 20mins (the big corner on Hickson Rd) about 20s behind Quentin and Barts.  They came to join me for the return.  I did all the work on the way back and pushed ahead up the final hills to get back in 19:49 (9:55 for the final gate to gate).  So in the end a solid session in the heat and humidity.  Body feels it now.

5km warm down for 18km all up.

Now out for another boozy dinner.

Ooh, but check this out.  Enda has designed, commissioned and purchased a T-Shirt to celebrate his sporadically successful season.  Macca is not amused:

Monday, December 08, 2014

"You don't get this in Centennial"

Sunday morning.  That was the phrase Barts must have said two dozen times.  27km up the beaches and back via the lake and Cromer with Barts, Quentin, Macca, Craig, Justin and J-Fen.  Finished with a dip in the ocean and a bacon & egg roll and coffee at Emporio.  Perfect start to the day.  You don't get that at Centennial.

HuRTS Beer Mile

I The The heavens opened.  Lightning struck all around.  But nothing was going to stop the inaugural Beer Mile.  After an eternity in the bottle shop at Potts Point trying to decide on a beer (Budweiser won - correct size and vol and not a beer I would ever want to drink again), we arrived to find a decent crowd.  Jono, Fast Charlie, LF Charlie, Quentin, CT, Macca, Muz, Renaud, Adrian, Alex Abell, Sonya, Zoe Williams, Jackie O and Greg.

I had one aim.  Not to get chicked.  I can't drink quickly for the life of me.  So settled on a tactic of many swills, many burps, then run as hard as I could once the burps were done.  The gun goes, everyone knocks their beers back and it's me, Sonya and Muz still trying to finish ours.  Check out the video.  Last beer took an eternity but in the end I quite enjoyed the whole experience.  Wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, and the delayed impact of the alcohol means you're quite euphoric afterwards.  So we had some more beers at the Cross.

This will become a regular event.  For the record, Jono beat Charlie in a great sprint finish, Jackie O can down her beers better than anyone and I avoided getting chicked.

Some photos - the finish:

No one wants to be chicked:

Friday, December 05, 2014

Zatopek B Race - 2nd in 32:28

Flew down to Melbourne at lunchtime and had a few client meetings in the afternoon - wandering around the city concerning myself with how warm it was.  Made my way out to Moonee Ponds at 6pm and caught up with Gill, Sophie and Jack, registered then did a warm up.  It was cooling a bit but I was still sweating on my 2km warm up.  Sun hid behind a cloud just as we lined up to start which was a relief.  Then we were off.

My aim was for 75/76 laps to get to 5000m in 15:45.  Went into the lead at 200m and first lap was 75, then 2:31 at 800m and 3:08 at 1km.  There was a bit of wind down the home straight so the first 200m of each lap was always a bit quicker than the 2nd.  At 1km I started to pull ahead of the field.  2km in 6:21.  3km in 9:32.  Then I started to struggle.  I was dropping to 79s laps and with no-one to run with was just feeling jaded in the conditions with no zip.  Then at 5km I can hear a chap catching me up.  WTF?  Where did he come from?  Sure enough he comes past at 6km, I stick with him for 600m before he sails ahead (he ended up negative splitting - 16:10 then 15:57).  Now, when I was a kid my brothers and I watched my Dad run one of his few track 10kms where he had a large lead for the entire race before he was hunted down and outsprinted in the home straight.  So with Alec, my elder brother, watching on tonight, the only thing I was thinking when this chap came last was thank God it was at 6km and not the final lap.  I would never have lived it down.  "You're just like Dad!" and how he would have laughed.

So then I plodded on, albeit slightly spurred on by having someone to chase.  But 10,000m on the track just grinds on and on - far less comfortable this time around than when racing Barts back in March at Homebush.  How I wished he was here now.  He would have hated these conditions more than me.  At one point I ran past a few girls who were sat lounging around on the high jump mat just inside the track and heard one of them say; "this thing goes on forever!". I almost said out loud; "you're not wrong pet, and you don't have to run it".  But eventually I get to 8km (26:01) - two sub 3's and I could still do this I chuckled to myself.  29:18 at 9km (the announcer had a loudspeaker calling out lap times but given everyone was so strung out it was a constant talking clock) and a token pick up of pace at the end to finish it off.

Massive thanks to my nephew (and Blog writer) Jack for calling all my lap times and general encouragement.  I could hear the disapproval in his voice when a couple of 80's crept in.  

Would I do it all again?  You betcha.

Proud Dad as Billy made School Prefect today:

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Easy strides

Joined the HuRTS for their 3min reps session and jogged around at the back for 8 of them with a few strides thrown in.  10km all up.

Monday, December 01, 2014

More 400's

Tiger massage in the am and then down to Rushcutters with Timmy for 400's off a rolling 2 mins on the Oval.  Almost a full loop which the Suunto measured at 440m but I think was probably about 4 seconds over.  Times went:

74.9, 73.4, 74.3, 74.1, 74.1, 74.3, 74.5, 72.9, 73.8, 71.9

Felt OK.  10km all up.

Squeezing in

Just a steady 10km squeezed in between Nippers and Kirst's surprise birthday party.  Felt pretty good and a great day.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Perfect start long run

29km up the beaches and back via e lake with Quentin, Barts, Macca and Erika.  4:30 pace.  Legs still tired towards the end mind.  Plenty of chat to keep us all entertained, with Erika getting very excited about finding a spot of trail around Narrabeen lagoon.  We passed the greasy spoon near Brookie Oval which turned the conversation to bacon & egg rolls.  So after a dip in the ocean at Queenscliff we rounded the tun out with a large coffee and b&e roll at Emporio, bumping into Charlie D too.  Perfect start to the weekend.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Nolans 1km reps

Up at sparrows fart again for 6 x 1km reps off a 2min rest at Nolans.  Planned to meet the boys at 5:45am.  I was 2 mins late and no one was there.  But before I could mentally finish the phrase "you beauty, I'm going back to bed" up pops Dicky, then Quentin and then Macca.  Bit of a warm up then into the session.

The first rep is always a bit of a heart starter at 6am having been awake for half an hour.  Saw the time and thought this is going to be tough.  Then put the same effort into the next rep and it's almost 10s quicker.  Amazing what a bit of blood flow can do.

First 3 reps had a long section into the wind so we reversed direction for the next 3 and the times quickened.  They were (per km):

3:17, 3:08, 3:09, 3:02, 3:01, 3:05

Ran them all with Quentin.  Very tired at end.  Tough on that surface.

6km warmdown with Macca and Q for 13km all up.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Run swim run swim run swim run

Out at 5.30am to meet Macca, Erika, Quentin and Jake Stollery (serious triathlete) for the session mentioned in the header.  Ran to North Curly pool then swam 4 lengths freestyle.  Then Erika got some minor crustacean in her foot and Q and Jake (with the longest fingernails - Macca and I are obviously much more nervous, and less feminine, chaps) tried unsuccessfully to extract it.  So she was to hobble home.

We ran to South Curly pool for another 4 lengths freestyle (at least that's what I did - I think Jake did 8 in the same time).  Then we ran to Freshie and rather than go in the pool we swam out about 75m then did a length of the beach.  Decent swell here so I reverted to breaststroke managing to hold on to Macca's ankles.  Jake at this stage was approaching New Zealand.

Finished off with a run home for 13km all up.  Got home to find Kirst heading out to Splat with the kids for brekkie so joined them to top off a fab morning.

Claudia and Kirst after Claudie's nativity play this morning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

HuRTS 4 x 10mins

Or, actually, Gate to Gates.  Off 2 mins rest.

Fair crowd but good group upfront with Tucks, Jono, Q, Crossy and Barts all in.  Jono took it out aggressively and I imagine Barts and Macca are feeling a little less comfortable about their $1000 bet that Jono won't run sub32 for 10km by July next year after today's session.

I just stuck in the group but was running the hills well and came back in front on reps 2 and 4.  Times were:

9:30, 9:45, 9:30, 9:47

That's quick for a humid and slightly windy day.

I've hit a bit of form at exactly the wrong time of year but discovered the Zatopek 10,000m B race is on next Thursday in Melbourne.  As there are effectively only two 10,000m track races a year in Aus, this is too good an opportunity to turn down and try to run a sub32.  Alec (LTOB) has already volunteered Jack to be my lap counter.  Just got to run it by Kirst...

Long warmdown with MC, Barts, Kanser and recently returned Aussie rep English Andy for 17km all up.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Run bike home

Too busy at work to run at lunch so in the evening while dodging lightning I ran to Manly then biked home.  14km untimed.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

You can never predict it

Hugely hot and humid today but felt magic on my 10km run.  Wore the Wave Rider 18's with no heel raises and was bouncing along on my toes.  42:00.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Long run and a Parkrun

Out at 5.45am with Macca and Ben.  It was a steamy night and I'd had a few beers after the ferry with Charlie D and some more at home watching Pride & Prejudice so wasn't feeling the sharpest first thing.  We wandered around and about down to Shelly and up to Curl Curl.  Thought I may be able to cruise around for the win but saw Sam Walker on the start line so knew that wouldn't happen.

Ran first km with Sam but he then started to pull ahead and I wasn't mentally ready for a hard run so ran it as a tempo in 17:07.  Macca, Ben and I had a bit of a chat with the Parkrunners after, trying to extricate ourselves from a bloke running 21mins for 5km telling us we should be running in minimal heel drop On shoes.  Also had a chat to the lovely Carla (Quentin's other half) who expressed surprise that Quentin should be awarded Male Performance of the Year without consulting her.  She has a sense of humour that girl.

Did a few more km afterwards to bring it up to 26km for the morning in 1:56:17 (4:28's).  Ended perfectly by jumping into the ocean at Queenscliff with Macca to ease the legs.

Friday, November 21, 2014

8 x 800m plus HuRT Squad Awards

Well, the first session of the day was in the heat over at Rushcutters at lunchtime.  8 x 800m off a rolling 4mins.  First group was Tucks, Crossy, me, Timmy, Jono O'Loughlin and another chap.  Ran them all pretty consistently feeling OK.  Tucks helped push the pace on the last one which, for someone with OCD like me, spoiled the statistics a bit, as the times were:

2:26, 2:26, 2:26, 2:26, 2:26, 2:26, 2:26, 2:23.

Jog there and back for 11km all up and 93km for the week.

Then it was on to the HuRT Squad Awards.  Great night chatting about running and not much else.  Charlie started the evening with a heartfelt speech.  Elle scared us all by fainting.  Mikey scared us all by buying a drink at the bar.  Timmy scared us all with his shirt.

The winners were:

Male Performance of the Year:  Quentin
Female Performance of the Year:  Erikakaka
Ultra Performance of the Year:  Tucks
Most Improved:  Renee
Spirit:  Timmy
Serg Award:  Mikey
Triathlete:  Pete W

Notice how the top gongs go to the Northern Beaches chapter of the HuRT Squad.  Hardcore.

LJ, Wildman, 'Lil Jimmy and Benny Saint 
Timmy telling LJ off for losing her trophy.  LJ not looking too fussed.
Sonya, Mikey, Erikakaka and Elle, all laughing at one of my great gags.

Adrian, Gretski, LJ (is that the world's longest necklace?), Erika, Birchy and Barts.

And later in the evening when we should all be in bed, Kanser, Fats, Timmy and Barts.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday MLR

Up at dawn for 16.5km around North Head with Macca and Justin.  Beaut of a morning.  77mins (4:40's).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

HuRTS Progressive Tempo

Tired again today but need to stop being such a moaning ninny, so I shall mention it no more.

Intended to take it easy and that's how it started with no-one taking up the pace.  Tucks and Jono Windsor were in front with me, Macca and Hoey a short distance behind.  Ran past Francoise Hollande  (that's one for my eldest brother) and the tricolor nr Mrs Macs Chair and we were all together again.  Continued this way until the turn at 23.15 at the far edge of the 2nd bridge on the Hickson Rd bend.  Pace immediately picked up with Jono and Tucks pushing it and me and Hoey behind with Macca starting to drop off.  Stayed this way all the way back and around Farm Cove but on the hills on the way back we first went past Jono then passed Tucks on the hill nr the Art Gallery.  Not often you can say you passed Tucks on a hill.  In fact, I think it's the first time I've ever said it.

Finished on 44:22 so a solid hit out.  Then did a long warmdown with Mikey and Slapstick for 18km all up.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday plod

Very tired after the weekend, so managed only an 11km jog with the sizeable HuRTS crew.  Felt better after a bit of a stretch mind.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hot and longish

25km up around North Head and around and about on the flat.  1:50(ish) - it was 4:22's.  Felt fine but running long(isn) by yourself just gets a bit boring after a while.  Got tired towards the end - amazing how dropping back the kms on the long runs has an affect after only 2-3 weeks.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Curl Curl Parkrun - 2nd in 15:53

Had a few beers last night, first on the ferry home then at a Mike Baird fundraiser at the Golf Club.  So wouldn't have fronted up for Parkrun this morning but for the fact I'd promised Barts I'd be there.  Met Macca, Justin, Jamie, Quentin and Jamie's mate on the run there.  We all stood around before the start wondering why we'd bothered.

Then we're off.  Suddenly I didn't feel too bad.  Barts set a quick pace from the start.  First km in 3:04, then 2nd km with me leading in 3:06.  Then Quentin comes through for the tricky km on the grass and it's a still solid 3:16.  I push up the hill and back around the loop for a 3:11.  Then Barts comes past, before I go past him again before the bridge.  Then he puts a real effort in over the bridge (600m to go) and I give up.  Q comes past.  I tell Q I'm gone and he should push on to catch Barts.  Then Q blows up and I go past him again.  So it finished Barts, me then Q in 15:46, 15:53 and 15:57.  Can't be too often you get 3 under 16 at a Parkrun.  Happy enough with the course PB.  Barts is smiling like a Cheshire Cat.  We try and tell him it was a dead rubber of a race but he's having none of it.  Fair enough.

Then we all jogged over to South Curly Ocean Pool and swam a couple of lengths before jogging around the foreshore to Queensie before Justin and I head home.  Great start to the day.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hot and easy

Hot today (35C apparently although didn't feel that high) so the run was the long route to Redleaf pool, bit of a paddle then run home.  13.5km with MC, Jonathan L, Hoey, Charlie meeting 'Lil Jimmy, Smolly and Champ at the pool.  Very easy pace (5min km+) which suited me perfectly.  Apart from beers on the ferry home, it was the best part of the day.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

JPMorgan CC - 4th in 17:05

So the big event rolled around once again.  But for once I had no excuses.  Managed to put together a great training block from mid-September after recovering from man-flu and, with a good 5km TT and hit out at Lane Cove, was feeling confident and in good form.  But then the day rolls around, I get incredibly nervous and doubts start creeping into your head.  So just concentrated on the plan.  I knew there'd be a big group of us - Alex Rogers, Quentin, Barts, CT, Crossy, Muz, Clarkey, Tucks and Brett Halls all fighting it out while the superstars (Dent, Hunt and Thurston) raced off ahead.  I guessed we'd still all be together at 4km, so the plan was to take it relatively easy up the first hill so as not to blow too early, then just to nail myself from Fox Studios Gates onwards to see what anyone had left.  Nice and simple.

Arrived with about 30mins to go, did a bit of a warm-up with Hoey and Jeet, just in time to get in the annual HuRT Squad photo:

Got nervous on the start line.  Then we're off.  Quick start but deliberately take it relatively easy up the hill as per the plan.  But round the Paddo Gates corner just behind Alex with Q, CT and Barts all around.  We seem to form a little group already.  I catch Alex's heels and apologise on the way up to Woollahra Gates, and notice people are working a bit on that little uphill section so am encouraged.  This is the group (Alex, me, CT, Barts and Quentin) rounding the Woollahra Gates corner:

Then holey moley!  To borrow from David Coleman, Alex just opens his legs and shows his class!  He flies down the hill, with CT following him.  I literally just can't keep up.  But as we gather back on Grand Drive, CT falls back into the group leaving Alex about 10m ahead of us.  As we hit 3km, I start to think that this race is really quite short, we're over half way through and unless we make an effort to catch Alex he's just going to drift ahead and it's going to be too late.  So I make a real effort to bridge the gap - secretly also thinking that if I catch Alex we will work together and it will give me a chance to break from Barts, CT and Q.  I catch Alex at about 3.5km and he looks quite surprised.  Then something happens that decides the race for me.  Anna FitzGerald is standing on the side of the road.  Now I'm a big fan of Anna, so I wait for a friendly "Go on lads!" or a "Well done Alex, well done Tom!", but instead I hear; "Go on Alex, don't let him get away".  Anna!  What happened?  I'm angry now!  We go through 4km and I can see Fox Studios Gates ahead and the slight incline that goes with it.  Here it is:

So the plan was always to nail myself from here, and that's what I do.  Is Alex dropping?  I can't tell.  Maybe he is?  He's bound to be quicker in a sprint, so I have to keep on piling on the pressure.  Through the 5km marker.  Christ, when will this gap in the fence ever appear?  I can't hear him now.  Through the gap in the fence.  Careful not to slip on the gravel.  Hit the grass then start sprinting for the line.  Can't let anyone come past now.  Cross the line and do 6 above the head fist pumps.  Barts and I had discussed this beforehand.  Whoever won between us was going to do some sort of celebration.  I was thinking pistols before hand, but in the heat of the moment it was skyward fist pumps. 

Then turn around to watch everyone come in.  Quentin pips Barts on the line for 6th place.  You'd normally back Barts in a sprint finish, but I've learned to my cost not to leave it too late against Q.  CT faded in the final 2km for 9th.  First woman (Lucy Starrat) comes in then guess who pops up for 2nd?  LJ's secret training has paid off.  Only just back from injury and she almost runs a PB for second place.  Fantastic stuff.  If anyone loves this event more than me it's LJ.  There's PB's galore (and the inevitable questioning of distance) but having done this race so many times and knowing where they always place the start and finish lines I don't think there was any significant change.  Maybe the finish line was a bit further up but it wouldn't make more than 5s difference.  I think people ran fast because it was unseasonably cool. 

Great to see Erika smash it in 20:23 for 4th place girl and getting a win over Greta into the bargain.  Standout performances from Jeet (19:16) and Charlie D (21:26) and a good comeback run for J-Fen in 18:47.  Also shouldn't forget Wildman's 16:35.  That's as quick as he ran when he won it, yet his comeback this time has been much shorter.  Great to see him battling it out with the likes of Marty Dent and Jeff Hunt.

Then we at some burgers and drank lots of beer and talked crap.  Here's some photos of us doing that:

It's getting rowdy.

 Barts, Wildman, Kanser, Durante and Jeff Hunt.

This fella dreaming of winning Coast to Kosci.

Big Bill Batt.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More strides

10km including 6 x 45s strides with the HuRT Squad.

Monday, November 10, 2014


Rushcutters 8 x 200's (strides) with a longer jog home.  11km.  Left hammy a bit sore.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Catch up


10km very easy including massage.


21.1km in 1:41 with Craig, Q, Justin and Erika.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

HuRTS 4 x 2km

Legs smashed from sprinting with the young 'uns yesterday.  Turned up to HuRTS just to cruise through so ran with Erika.  7:21, 7:20, 7:20, 7:11

11km all up.

Had to pull out of State 3km.  A surprise 40th has been sprung on me.  Also coming down with a sore throat.  Arggghhhhh!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Training with Junior Striders

Caroline Yarnell asked if I'd like to help out with training the Junior Striders.  Given they meet at Passmore Reserve (effectively my backyard) and it's something I've been keen to get into, I jumped at the chance.  Also this week it fits into my plan of dropping the mileage and increasing the quality.

So turned up after a 2km warmup and we did what Caroline called "1km pickups".  The route was the path around Passmore Reserve, so 1km is 1.5 laps.  You get into teams of 3.  First guy runs half a lap and is joined by the second guy.  They both run half a lap together and you're then joined by the third guy.  All three run half a lap together where the first guy drops out, etc.  Effectively it means you're doing 1km reps with the rest between being the time it takes one of the guys to run a full lap.  In practice, as you're picking up and dropping your teammates as you go, the pace is kept pretty constant.

I was with the 2 fastest juniors - Luke and Kieran.  My first couple of reps were pretty manic (2:57 pace) as Luke and Kieran were showing the bravado (and speed) of youth.  As the reps went on, their enthusiasm and pace waned a bit and it felt increasingly easier.  My pace times went 2:57, 2:57, 3:03, 3:03, 3:09, 3:03.  Then we did some relays (3 x 250m) and some run-throughs.

Was good fun and had a good chat with some of the kids later on.  About 9km all up.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Melbourne Cup

Well, had originally planned 400's at 11.30am.  But with work manic and Jamie offering an alternative session in my backyard, I couldn't turn it down.  Only probably was that it started at 5.40am.  I've never tried to run fast at 5.40am, other than when I haven't actually been in bed beforehand and have challenged someone to a drunken race.

So, Jamie, Quentin, Macca, Amy, Erika and I met at Nolans for 6 x 1km reps on the grass off a 2min rest.  Marked out a rough track (which was closer to 1.1km) and straight into it.  The way each rep would go would be Q would go off fast, I would catch him at about the half way point then take the lead, then he would come back at me in the final 100m.  Times for each 1km mark were:

3:16 (bit of a heart-starter)

Had woken up by then.  Finished with a 5km warmdown and was home by 6:40am.  But still managed to be late for work.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Monday long 'un

So Sunday was my first day off in 3 weeks.  Kirst was away.  Legs were fairly smashed from the 10km the day before so enjoyed the morning watching Maggie kick ass at Nippers, breakfast at Splat!, some gentle house-tidying then rode over to Erskineville on my good bike for Timmy's BBQ.  Beautiful day and a great spread put on by Timmy.

So did the long run this morning.  Basically did a loop to Shelly Beach and back then ran to Erskineville to pick up the bike a ride back to work.  28km all up in 2:03 something.  Averaged 4:26's.  Actually felt great after a day's rest.  But hard work coming through the City with all the stop starts which slowed things down.  Caught John Bowe at the top of Spit Hill and ran with him for a bit.  Passed Hugh Williams going the other way on the Harbour Bridge.  Then Timmy laid on a cup of tea and a warm spicy chicken roll to top the morning off.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Striders Lane Cove - 2nd in 33:28

So with Kirst away this weekend, I leaned on Barts' wife Sam to look after the younger kids so I could race.  Rocked up to his place on a weirdly hot morning.  Everyone looked a bit apprehensive in the "warm-up", realising it was going to be a tough day in the office with temperatures at about 25C at 7am on the start line.  Great crowd in attendance with Neil, Quentin, Barts, Dave C, Fats, Enda, Macca, Timmy, Ben, Banksy, Erika, Elle, the Tiger and Amy.  Enda once a gained regaled us with all his illness woes and we groaned accordingly.

My plan was to tuck in early and not do any work until at least 4km and the hill that follows.

So off we went.  No-one seemed to want to lead so Neil drifted to the front.  The pace felt fine but it was never comfortable thanks to the weather.  Up Scribbly Gums (they seem to place the turn around cone higher up the hill each time) then back down and Dave and Neil get about 4 or 5 yards on Barts, Q and I.  Could see that Enda was just in front of Fats going quite well.  Timmy also travelling OK.  

I'm really struggling between 3 and 4km, hating the conditions and just wanting to drop out.  But then Neil comes back to us and Barts drops off on the hills up to 5km, so I push on with just Q coming along.  Work the downhill around the top corner and feel like I'm getting a bit of a gap but Q always fights back.  Stays this way until 8km when he tries to push ahead so I wait until the final hill and push on from the top of it.  Suddenly I've got a proper gap and concentrate on Dave in front.  Feel average the whole way but happy with the result and time in the conditions.  

Barts struggled in the heat and Q went better post Marathon than I was expecting, but then he always gives 100%.  Watch the finishers come in and wonder where Enda is?  Macca comes in, then Timmy and Ben.  But still no Enda.  We even do a warmdown and can't see him.  Eventually find this wreck lying on the grass at the finish line.  Turns out he blacked out at 8km, rolled down a hill into a bush and was out cold for a few minutes with the runners behind unaware and running on past.  Far out!  He's got blood, a dirty face, and everything.  For all his moaning, this was a genuine "give it all" performance.  He couldn't have scripted it better!

Great run by Lewis Ingram who gets better each race.  Also good to see Erika on the podium although she wasn't happy with her time.  But no one was today.

The squad:

Barts, Neil, Erika, Macca, Elle, Timmy, Enda, Paulie Hanley, Me, Brendan and Birchy.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Very easy

Very easy 10km with TKS, Pommy Paul and Sonya around the wharves on a stunning day.

So battle resumes tomorrow at the Lane Cove 10km with Barts and Neil, with Quentin being thrown in for good measure.  Looks like Hoey is out though.    Tactics will be very different to Wednesday night.  Hang on and hope basically.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Running with Champs

So I turned up late to the Rushcutters 6 x 1km set which I was just going to jog in any case.  Latched onto Elle for the first (2nd) rep seeing Wildman pushing upfront with some chap on his shoulder.  Who could this be?  Quentin was 20m further back.  Barts also taking it easy?  I was confused.  Finished the rep to say hello to Holt Hardy!  Where has this fitness suddenly come from?

For the younger members of the audience, Holt and Steve were both pushing for Australian selection at the Sydney 2000 Olympics - Holt in the 1500m (he's a 3:38 man at his best) and Stevie in the 3000m Steeplechase.  Both narrowly missed out, but are class acts and both getting some form back.  Thurston's we knew about.  Holt's was a surprise.  Turns out he's aiming for the JPMorgan race.  Who would have thunk it?  Gary Howard take note.  This isn't the cowboy race you always claim it to be.

Jogged around chatting to Barts and Charlie.  Nice and easy 10 all up.  A few beers with Charlie tonight with Durante promising a show but failing to deliver.  Old habits are creeping back in.  Maybe Timmy still has a chance.

Good to see LJ back out there again.  And Happy Birthday to TKS.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rozza 5000m TT

And so, I decided that the answer to the conundrum in the last post was to wind it up with 2 laps to go and hope for the best.

And that's how it went.

Turned up tonight the usual bag of nerves.  Not sure why I rev myself up so much for these track time trials.  Conditions were pretty good, a bit of wind but temperatures were about 18C.  The only issue was the big group doing 800's at about 4:15 pace which we would have to navigate our way through after their coach refused to ask them to run in lane 2.

Barts, Neil, Jason and Rich Mullaney all showed up, so it was a small but quick group.  Not sure why it's not more popular.  I still think a quick 5km does wonders for your fitness (and confidence).  Paulie Hannell and Greek George kindly showed to timekeep so i wouldn't be making the mistake I made against Quentin last time out.

Off we went and Barts goes to the front.  First lap - 72s.  Second lap - 72s.  Third lap (according to George) - 72s.  Even in my oxygen depleted state I figure he's reading the top line of his iPhone for lap times which is just repeating the first lap! Sure enough, it wasn't until lap 6 that we deviated from 72s according to George!  Having said that, we did go through 1km quickly in 3:01.  I overtook Barts at this stage and led from then, but with Barts right on my heels the whole way.  Going into 3km, I'm aware of two people behind, have a quick look and, sure enough, Jason is still hanging on.  All doubts go through your head at this stage - I'm doing all the work, they're both cruising, I'm going to blow and they're going to sail by.  But at some stage Barts shouts out "how many to go?".  I've got no idea, and tell him so, but start to think he's finding this uncomfortable.  I knew nothing would happen until 2 laps to go.  So with 1km to go I start to think about picking it up.  With 2 to go I start to make a concerted effort. With 600m to go I'm aware a small gap is created, so hit a lap to go and really start to push, especially down the back straight.  Knowing Barts has a great kick finish, all I'm thinking is that I want to make him work really hard for this.  Barts often talks about just closing his eyes and going all out towards the end of a race, so with 150m to go, and still with a gap, I do the same.  The legs are wobbly but I hold on.  There may even have been a fist pump.  15:26:15 to Barts' 15:26:80.

Stoked with the time and PB.  You must always celebrate PBs.  Jason held on very well for a 15:48 and looks so smooth running 3min kms. Neil ran a PB less than 2 weeks after a 2:27!  Rich M is heading the right way with a 16:45.

Here's the splits:

And here's the squad:

By the way, there's a new Blog on the block, and it's good.  Check out Hoey's. 2:35 man and low 34 10km with plenty more to come as he has youth on his side.

Easy HuRTS


Turned up just to jog the 2 x 20mins in prep for time trial tonight.  All up about 12km including 2km warm down, chatting all the way.

So CT is out of tonight's 5000m TT.  So far, just Barts, Jason, Rich Mullaney and TKS are confirmed but we'll see who turns up.  I'm guessing Barts will employ very similar tactics to our State 10,000m race back in March.  So how do you beat a guy:

(a)  who is in good form;
(b)  who has a better sprint finish; and
(c)  who is likely to stick to your back the entire race?

Monday, October 27, 2014

More 400's

Well Timmy bailed.  Despite all his good intentions and even mentioning on his own blog post yesterday, he comes up with; "you could have given me more notice!" this morning when I text him.  I'm almost willing to put the house on Durante now.  This made me think as I was running over that we refer to people as a "soft cock" or a "hard ass", but we never use the opposing adjective to the same noun.

So I wandered over to Rushcutters solo.  Marked out a rough loop, which was probably about 2s longer than last Thursday's.  Then threw myself into it.  Plan was not to kill myself on the reps today because:
(a)  running solo, I couldn't be arsed; and
(b)  wanted to feel in control and concentrate on form.
Reps were mostly 78s (i'm guessing 70/71 for the 400m) with one 77 and a couple of 79s.  All of a rolling 2 mins.  Felt pretty good at the end.

11km all up.  Right knee a touch sore but I see the Tiger tomorrow am.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Easy Sunday

10km around Nolans then up to Fairlight to pick up the car from where we'd left it last night before going to a wine tasting party.

I picked the Reds but didn't know my Rieslings from my Semillons or my Sauvignon Blancs.

Kirst has come down very rapidly with suspected pneumonia.  Straight up.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

And again...

Same 30km Saturday route, this time with Barts, Justin and Craig.  Very tired early on, couldn't get the kms under 4:30.  Legs still sore from Thursday and it was humid with the temperature rising this morning.  

Picked it up from Narrabeen bridge and actually felt more comfortable running 4min kms than 4:30's.  All up 2:11 something with the final 10km about 39:30.  Had some mad chick beeping her horn at us both on the way out and back.  Turns out it was Elle.

Then watched Charlie play cricket but had no time for brekkie.  Got home and bonked on the sofa.  Far out, I was gone.  I was brought around by Bec's pancakes with lemon and sugar.  I was like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, suddenly had energy to do my chores.

Might break the sugar fast tonight and take tomorrow off.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sore, sore, sore

My groin.  Not from the double up running session yesterday, but from frog kicks doing frantic breaststroke.  Got out today with Jeet, Big Kev, TKS and Bruce for 10km around the wharves.  Big Kev is getting fit and no longer runs easy, so Jeet and I dropped off when he started running 4:15's.  I was going to up stumps at 5km, but gradually felt better and got through the 10km.

Beers on the ferry home and a couple at Manly Wharf on a beautiful Friday evening.  Charlie D was regaling us of Barts' drunken stories from a Morgan Stanley client drinks last night.  Apparently, Barts is really a 2:21 marathon man but hasn't had the opportunity to prove it.  Unfortunately I have the task of trying to keep up with this prodigious talent tomorrow for 30km.

Manly in the evening:

111km for the week.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

400's and a Biathlon

Oh happy days.

Keen not to miss my key 400's session in the build up to JPM, I turned up at lunch to a big crowd (must have been 40+) for the changed session of 400's at Rushcutters. Reg Bartley Oval was being guarded like Fort Knox, so we congregated on the football pitches adjacent and marked out our 400m circuit.  This involved 2 recce's, not least because of the sunbather at the 180m mark.

So eventually we marked out at 440m circuit (don't ask, I was flustered) and we're off.  Barts pushed the pace early.  I pushed the pace towards the end.  All done around 72/73 (probably 66's/67's for 400m) with Quentin blasting the last for a 69/70.  Solid session. Lengthy warmdown with Barts and J-Fen for 14km all up.

Then tonight it was the biathlon.  I'm busy at work.  I was tired from the lunch session.  But I couldn't face the abuse I'd get from Timmy for a no-show so I front up with 'Lil Jimmy, Sonya, Angus, Paulie H and Sam J for the torture fest of 4km running then a 300m swim.  Got boxed in early, then opened up with one random fella joining me.  He stuck with me until 3km then dropped.  I did 12:36 (near path loop) with 6:31 at halfway.  Then jumped in the pool.  Did first 50m freestyle then reverted to breastbroke.  1, 2, 3 blokes come past (one being Angus) but where is Timmy and 'Lil Jim?  I'm getting desperate, but make the final turn and have a quick look to see clear water behind me.  Oh Happy Days!  Try 3 strokes of freestyle, realise it's hopeless so revert to breaststroke and finish on the slightly annoying time of 19:00.

Then beers in my favourite pub (The Tilbury) with the boys and overall female winner Sonya before heading home.  Great night.

The transaction:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday with some talent

Rocked up today to quite a sizeable group for a Wednesday, with Jeet, Big Kev, JW, Clarkey, Saffer Jonathan and others and a random American girl.  Turns out she's a client of Jamie Palmer's who he recommended to run with us today.  Angela someone.  She ran 2:46 at Chicago last week chasing a 2:43 qualifier for the U.S. Olympic trials.  Let's just say she looked like she could run.  Through halfway in 80:11 holy cow.

So we all speeded up to try to impress her.  Ended up doing 14.5km way too quick. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

HuRTS 1km reps

So the usual session is 14 x 3mins but with JPMorgan approaching a few of the lads were keen on changing the session to 10 x 3mins (off the usual 60s rest) and pushing them harder.  This basically works out as almost 10 x 1km.  

Well it was a who's who of the HuRT Squad today with Wildman, Tucks, Barts, CT, Quentin, Muz, Crossy, Ollie Lord, Jason R, Big Mikey H, Hoey, Enda, MC, Timmy to name but a few.  I was feeling pretty fresh having run long on Saturday and having an extra day's rest.  But best of all the new Mizuno Wave Riders had arrived in the post and, jeez, I felt bouncy for a change.  Made me realise how hard the old trainers had got after 3500km.

Wildman went off hard on the first rep and tried to keep him vaguely within reach with Barts tucking in behind me.  From there it was hard to tell how everyone was faring as we were all starting and finishing at different spots.  I knew I was travelling quickly though and by 8 I was cooked so just ran the last 2 through.  I was just about reaching 1km for each rep.  Average pace for them went as follows:

3:03, 3:01, 3:02, 3:04, 3:01, 3:02, 3:00, 3:04, 3:26, 3:22

Very happy with that.  Will continue to work on the speed as the base is there.

Long warmdown with Tucks, Quentin, Barts, CT and Slapstick for 15km all up.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Old school

Monday route but around wharves to avoid the increasingly dangerous Hickson Rd.  Ran with Andy, MC, Clarkey, JW, Renee, Elle, Ray and a host of others including, wait for it, Durante!  He only went and ran 15km.  But most impressive of all was his athleticism shortly after the turn when he hurdled a boom gate.  I kid you not.  It was the most athletic thing I've seen since Wildman threw a pool ball on a tin roof and leapt up a staircase 4 at a time.  I doubt I could have high jumped this boom gate with a squishy mat on the other side.

I immediately backed him to beat Timmy at JPMorgan.  Form is temporary.  Class is forever.

Oh, the 15km averaged 4:22's as I spent the first 2km at sub4 pace catching the group.

Finally, for the record, those on the HuRTS distribution list will have seen Timmy giving it out yet again claiming I'll be flapping about in the pool in the biathlon on Thuraday trying to avoid being chicked.  Well, to prove the hypocrisy of the man, here is a text I get from him not 24 hours previously claiming I have to give HIM a handicap!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cream Crackered

Had a few beers and curry last night with the Manly running boys (and girl) so was a bit ropey this morning.  But no rest for the wicked as its Maggsy's birthday today so I had to prepare for a gaggle of 7yr old girls to entertain.  Managed to squeeze in 10km around Nolans and Passmore at lunch, bumping into Macca as I did.  Favour was returned as I then bumped into him on his run 2 hours later.  Actually felt pretty good today after the first couple of km.  45mins. 

Thank God this day is almost nigh.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Same again Saturday

Out with Craig Mc for the same run as a fortnight ago.  Great running conditions this morning, cool, cloudy but no breeze. Felt great today - pace very comfortable chatting until 20km then increased the pace a bit to close to 4min kms for the final 10km.

All up 30km in 2:09 - 4:19's.  Macca would be happy.  He doesn't like doing his long runs over 4:20 pace.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Early doors

Ran to work, first time from new house.  It's exactly 2km further than the old house, which is interesting to no-one but me.  Ran with Dicky but bumped into Ryan early on.  This meant we were going way quicker than I'd planned even before I met Dicky.  I've worked out that Dicky and I are incompatible because we both like to lead.  This means the pace just gets quicker and quicker.

All up 15km on an even hillier route than before in 66:59.

100km for the week and hard fought given work and travel.  Happy.

Desperately waiting for my new Wave Rider 17's to arrive.  I bought these bad boys on Feb 2nd, so I've done around 3500km in them.  They're looking a little worse for wear (check where my dodgy achilles' rubs) but have lasted incredibly well. I normally get 1000km in trainers before having to replace.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Missed the HuRTs session due to work so took myself out at 2pm and did it solo.  No room on the pitches next to Reg Bartley Oval (which is closed for maintenance) with kids playing school sport so ran around the track on the outside of Reg Bartley, jogging to close the loop and start the next rep each rolling 2 mins. 

Felt a bit long and GMap has it at 425m:  Reg Bartley Track

Reps went:  72.4, 73.1, 72.9, 73.3, 73.2, 72.4, 73.6, 72.4, 72.4, 71.5

So that's averaging 68's which is about what I expected first up.  Will be easier when I can run with people.

Long warm-up and warm-down for 14.5km all up.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday SLR

A bit over 14km today with Crossy, Kanser (yes, you read that correctly), Big Kev and JW.  As usual on a Wednesday, Crossy and JW were not hanging around and after a couple of 4:10's early on, I begged them to slow down.  Poor old Kanser didn't know what had hit him.  My legs were shattered again and had the short choppy stride going on.  Ended up doing a bit over 14km around the wharves averaging 4:16's, so we didn't slow down that much.

Continuing the theme of Melbourne Marathon stories, I received an email forwarded this morning which shows correspondence between Beaches Ben and Striders President Joe.  I'm guessing Joe was reaching out to Ben to thank him for helping one of the older Striders runners to the finish at Melbourne.  It's a great read and shows the true camaraderie of the Marathon:

"I blew up at 24km aiming for a 2.52. A training partner ran past at around 27km and tried to encourage me to stick with her [Ed:  this is Erika]. I told her that I was done; my rubber band was stretched. Thankfully she went on, ran her PB and to her race goal of 2:58. My plan B was sub 3hrs and that went at around 29km; my rubber band had snapped.  I was in a world of hurt along St Kilda Road and thought about jumping in front of a tram to end it a couple of times.  I may have even been delusional as I swear I spoke to Craig Mottram as he ran passed me pacing a buddy of his.  I walked through one of the last aid stations along there and was given some support by another fellow runner with a friendly tap on the shoulder keep at it.  Plan C came into effect which was to finish what I had started, just finish and I told myself that time did not matter.  It was around 37km just before the rise of the Tan that I then decided to take with me anyone else who I could convince that the clock did not matter anymore.  So if I saw someone walking or standing I went up to them and told them that they were coming with us and that I'd be there by their side and we would finish this together.  I would tell the group that "time didn't matter, concentrate on form and let's keep going together".  I think I picked up about 4 or 5 people and Graham would have been one of these.  I ended in 3:14:48 my second slowest marathon from 9 attempts, only slower than my debut in 2005.  Funnily I ran 17 seconds faster in Canberra in March this year pacing 3:15.  I'm ecstatic to hear that Graham achieved a Boston qualifier with a small amount of encouragement from me when I was broken, well and truly broken.

Please pass on my contact details to Graham and congratulate him on his stellar debut Melbourne marathon and Boston qualifier."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

HuRTS 4 x 10mins

Still felt crap after last night (and have stomach cramps this evening) but main issue was very stiff legs. Just couldn't turn them over today, although they felt better each rep as the blood started flowing.  Did the reps over the old 10min route but starting from St. Mary's Gates.  First was ran with Clarkey just in front of Mike.  Second picked up a bit.  Third ran with Tucks just about reaching the Opera House Gates (3:28's so not bad).  4th starting a bit closer and try to sprint at the end to hold off a flying Wildman but failed at that too. 

But another session done.  If I can sort my legs and tummy out I don't think I'm in that bad form.

Fats ran well today, as did Muz and Barts.  Muz is a dark horse for a great run at JPMorgan.  He's been slowly getting better and better each week.

Long warmdown for 17km all up.

Was emailing Macca this afternoon asking about his run in Melbourne.  This was his response.  It's a great report that shows his mental strength and positive approach.  Well worth a read.

"Hey mate, after I saw you guys last Tues I went and did a Bikram class in the evening to get a good stretch on the old hips and legs and just didn’t feel that great. Next day I was just knackered and had a splitting headache but went for a recover run just to loosen the legs. Felt like crap so pulled the pin and went home. Took 2 days off work and lay on the couch as just felt lethargic. Should’ve known as Anna and the kids had been under the weather the week prior.

Started feeling bit better on Sat after a good rest and chest was Ok so flew down and put the feet up on the couch most of the afternoon. Still felt a bit flakey but not as bad.

Sun morning made sure I had a Redbull and Panadol early and then straight off to the start. Prior to the race I made the commitment to run at 3.40’s and if I fell apart well at least I gave it a shot. I was just praying I didn’t get the migraines I’d been having latter half of the week.

First 5k I was fine and started catching a few packs in front. Got to 10km bang on 36:39 so perfect pacing so far then everyone around me dropped. The next pack was around 400m ahead so no chance of bridging that gap. I just put the head down and after dropping a few gels basically ran the reminder of the race solo with the next pack behind consisting of Justin, Heydo and nice little group about 90sec back.

I got to halfway in 1:17:39 so again bang on track but running along a very long flat road with no one in sight was hard and after a few more km’s I found myself slipping to 3:45’s then 3:48’s. At the far end turn Heydo had bridged the gap and now only about 50sec behind so either I was slipping or he was running smart in a good pack. It was a long slog back up to St Kilda rd on my own trying not to slip any further. At 32km I started to struggle and was a bit dizzy but only a Striders 10k race to go so just concentrated on form and had my caffeine gels. The km splits were now 3:50’s and I couldn’t let them slip any further so really had to dig. It’s a long grind along St Kilda Rd and quite a lonely stretch with only a smattering of people clapping as you go by.

Around 34k got caught by one of the Syd Strider Twins and he went ahead. Couldn’t stay with him but at least a bit of company albeit for 30sec or so.  Into the Bot gardens and 37km could see a struggling Q and ran past him giving each other some encouragement. Next thing Heydo comes screaming past then another bloke at 38k when I had nothing. Tried my hardest to stay close but the wheels were falling off big time.

40km couldn’t have come soon enough and it was just mental from there on. Got a stabbing pain in my gut (think it must have been from all the nurofen I’d be loading up on since Wed) so just praying it didn’t stop me. There was no 41km marker and next thing I know I’m in a daze with 200m to go. I had a quick look at my watch and after seeing 2:38:01 went all out up the hill to get close to 2:38:30 and try and prevent Enda from Irish bragging rights. Wasn’t to be but just happy to finish to be honest.

Reflecting on the race I am pretty happy. I ran the pace I wanted to until halfway. I pretty much ran a time trial for 28km and came 2nd in the 45-49 AG, beaten only by Dave Tonge.  I could have sat back in a slower pack but who knows, may have ended up with a slower time. The legs held out most of the race and didn’t cramp and I was strong enough throughout the race.

I may or may not have gone faster if wasn’t sick leading up to the race but not going to ponder on that considering 4 out of my last 5 marathons I’ve been sick in the week prior.

It’s good to say I can break 2:40 as a 45 year old so all in all I am stoked as it’s my 2nd fastest ever marathon.

Some good runs out there but a good few also disappointed including Q no doubt and Justin just giving up at 29k. He’ll be the most upset I’d imagine. 

Looking forward to the curry night and a few beers on Sat as wasn’t feeling great on Sunday to celebrate. You still coming?"

Monday, October 13, 2014

Getting it done

But at what cost?

Had to work hard all day, couldn't get out at lunch.  Eventually got to 7pm, by which time a massive storm had rolled in.  Asked myself whether it was worth trying to run 2 hours now?  Told myself that's what losers say.  So headed out for the usual lap of Centennial before running home.  Felt really good until Spit Junction (20km) then gradually started to struggle before feeling absolutely crap when I got home.

It was hilly, I think I was going quite quick to start with, I've had a dodgy tum since Phuket, but no idea why I bonked so badly really.

Still, 28km in the bag.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Back home

Arrived at lunchtime after 3 hours sleep.  Worked in the backyard all afternoon so snuck out feeling pretty knackered.  Must have been the sleep deprivation that made me do a trail run of all things.  Went out around Manly Dam.  Would have done a circuit but had to turn back after the Allambie Rd exit as there were 4 helicopters with those water carrying things bombing an out of control bushfire, and smoke heading my way.

About an hour (11km).

Well done to everyone who ran Melbourne today.  In these days of Ultrawalkathons, it's often overlooked just how hard it is to push yourself to the limit in a road marathon.  Massive respect to you all.  Wish I could be chatting it over with some beers on St Kilda Rd now.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Phuket Day 2

10km in the morning sweating out the booze.  Needed the loo the whole way.  At least it was good core strength training.  No elephants today.

103km for the week.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Phuket day 1

Out at 8am for 15.5km.  Through the beach resort of Laguna, overtook an elephant, out onto the minor roads heading North adjacent to the beach, through a few sleepy villages, said hello to plenty of guys sat in Asian squats beside the road seemingly watching the world go by, back to the resort.  By now it's 100% humidity and topping 30C.  Then got chatting to a chap from Penrith Tri Club.

Averaged 4:21's.

Did I mention I overtook an elephant?

Post breakfast recovery:

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

HuRTS Progressive Tempo

Slightly lower crowd than usual with Melbourne Marathon this weekend but still a few guys like Macca and Barts using the session as a final tune up and Hoey, Tucks and Muz keeping things honest at the front.  

Started very easy chatting to Barts.  Paced picked up towards halfway and, to be honest, I put quite a bit of effort in on the way back feeling good all the way and as though I had the "extra gear".  Back in 43:46 which showed how much quicker it was.  Pretty spent afterwards though.

Long warmdown with Mikey chatting about everyone's predicted times on Sunday for 16km all up.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Happy Mondays

Public Holiday and another beautiful day.  More time fixing the back yard.  Got out while Charlie was playing cricket for 12km around Manly, dodging the Jazz Festival crowds.  Probably the hardest 12km of the year - I was absolutely knackered.  Celebrated every sub 5min km with a high five to myself.  I'd be depressed with it but for the fact the body otherwise is niggle free so life is good.

Sunday, October 05, 2014


With the majority of the Northern Beaches crew running Melbourne next week, it was just me and Craig Mac this morning for the usual route, albeit starting and finishing from my place.  Spent all day in the garden yesterday so was pretty knackered but we got through it chatting all the way, mainly about everyone's chances next week.

While there's been a lot of talk about Irish Marathon performance of the year, everyone seems to have overlooked that the English performance of the year is up for grabs.  With Dicky Green's 2:52 in Rotterdam the only marker, it's a relief that Heydo is running next week or, God forbid, Timmy would have a chance at that particular title.  And we'd never hear the end of it.

30km all up in 2:12 something (4:24's).

Current favourite song:  Timmy Trumpet

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Homebush Striders 10km - 5th in 33:31

So, up early doors and out in the Landcruiser to pick up the Manly running crew.  First up, Ben and Grumpy Justin, then Dicky and Macca.  Grumpy Justin first complained about the radio, declaring that he couldn't abide talkback radio (despite the fact we were listening to Nova).  Then he complained about the heated seats (I find they warm my hammies nicely).  Plainly he wasn't eagerly anticipating the race ahead.

Lined up after a 4.5km warm up with the boys and realised the front 5 was likely to be exactly the same as last month, with Wildman, Neil P, Uncle Dave and Alex Rogers all toeing the line.  The gun was about to go, Timmy positioned himself right in front of me so I manhandled him out of the way and we were off.

Now, when camping with Toby Cogley last week, he was extolling the virtues of taking caffeine tablets before a race so today I gave it a go.  I took 2 No Doz half an hour before the race.  Alex and Steve stormed off with Neil chasing and Dave and I chasing him.  At 1km Dave starts to close so I go with him.  We hit the hill and I'm catching everyone, feeling magic.  At the top of the hill I decide to give Steve a scare by taking the lead so he responds in anger.  At this point, the caffeine wears off, Neil, Dave and Alex come past and I start panting.  They pull ahead, I try to regroup, and from here on i'm running solo.

It must have a pretty quick first 2km.  No idea what I went through 5km in but I'd guess 16:20 as I slowed down A LOT on the second lap with no one to chase.  Every corner I'd have a sneaky look behind to see if Lewis and Hoey were catching but fortunately the gap was fine.  Regrouped a bit towards the end, particularly after seeing Timmy enter the horse track when I was coming out and thinking I had a chance at the 3:55 head start bet.  Was pretty happy with the 33:31, only 2 seconds shy of my course PB.  I hate this course and never run well on it.  It always picks up any humidity (and there was plenty this morning).  But less pleased about going from 2 to 5 in the finishing positions compared to last month.  But to be fair, I've had an average couple of weeks training in that time and the other boys are getting better and better (Neil ran a PB today which is sensational on that course and in those conditions - watch out Chicago).

Timmy held on for a 3:45 gap - another close one in our history of fair bets.  Stevie and Enda - take note.  Stevie ran a great 32:18 holding on to the win from a fast finishing Dave.  Will be great to see what he can do with some more training.  Other notable runs from Dicky in 35:59 and a slow starting Hoey in a low 34.  He hasn't run many 10kms and will learn the need to attack from the start.

Another 4.5km warmdown before coffee and muffins in Manly with Ben, Macca and Slightly Less Grumpy Justin.  He still wouldn't allow WSFM or KIIS, and I didn't dare twiddle the seat warmer knob, but at least he was slightly more conversant (albeit frightening the family away from our table with his fruity language).

The Northern Beaches crew:

Dicky, honorary beaches man Stevie, Yours Truly, Ben, The Grumpy One and Macca.

In form man Neil, flanked by a couple of pretenders:

Friday, October 03, 2014

Friday ramble

Up early doors again (3 days running, you can tell I've been off booze all week) for 10km around Manly on another beautiful morning.  Enjoyed it.

100km for the week.  Showdown with Wildman at Homebush tomorrow.  He's giving me a 30s headstart.  He should be giving me 60s based on my post illness form.  But I'll front up and try to gain a bit of respect by limiting the gap from a total blowout.  More interesting is how I'll fare against Hoey, Enda and anyone else who cares to show.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Passmore Reserve Fast/Floats

Well, I think the last time I did this session was 6 years ago.  There's a reason for that.

No word from Macca and Justin was a no-show (although I rumbled him on Manly Beach on my warmdown!) so just Erika and me this morning.  Did a 3km warm-up, quick chat about who's going to win The Batchelor, then straight into it. It's 13 laps of a 650-660m circuit, 1 float then 1 fast, etc.  Laps went:

2:23, 2:08, 2:31, 2:02, 2:30, 2:02, 2:32, 2:02, 2:29, 2:00, 2:30, 2:00, 2:27.

Interesting how they stabilise after the first 2 reps (float being too quick and fast being too slow).  All up 29:42.  4km warmdown for 16km.

Back then I was quite a bit quicker overall (29:03) but the fast laps in general were a bit slower but the floats were quite a bit quicker.  Christ, I trained hard back then. No wonder my times were so consistent. But also little wonder that I got a chronic achilles problem.  Check out who I outsprinted in the State Road Relays on August 3rd 2008!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Wednesday MLR

Usual 17km route with Justin, Dicky, Q and Erikakaka.  Legs stiff and heavy after yesterday's session but got into it after 8 or 9km.  Thankfully temperatures much cooler today.  Lots of talk about the marathon.  Erika finally getting some confidence [and I am]* predicting some big wins over Timmy, Ben and Jeet.

*Erika demanded I print this correction.  She said nothing of the sort.  It was just Quentin, Dicky, Justin and me who made this prediction.  Slack typing on my part.  I apologise for any confusion caused.  She, of course, still claims only to be aiming for a Sub3

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

HuRTS 8 x 5mins

It was stinking hot again.  My shoulders were still sunburnt from the weekend so had to wear a sleeved top.  My only clean one was black.  So in black shorts, socks, t-shirt and hat I ventured out into the 30C heat.  Managed to hold on to Quentin, Hoey and Crossy for the first 3 reps (all about 3:20 pace).  Then started to feel it on the 4th.  On the 5th and 6th I was a wreck and down to 3:32 pace.  I was in no mans land.  Hell, even Enda was in front.  Took my top off for the final 2 and, bingo, felt fine running with Q and Muz.  

Jumped into the harbour to cool down after which was magic.  Got a bit scared about sharks though.

Affected by the heat in the afternoon.  Thank God it's supposed to cool down tonight. 

15km all up.

Speaking of sharks, Wildman - despite criticising me for training crap over the past 2 weeks and brimming with confidence himself - refuses to give me more than 30s on Saturday morning.  Honestly, it gets to a point when the only fair bet you can get is from Timmy!   But fortunately one of the lawyers at work has agreed to a 5minute head start at JPMorgan for a 6 pack of Coopers Pale Ale so should get some redress.  I don't think he'll manage 4 min kms.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Seal Rocks recap

Saturday was an easy 14km at Seal Rocks.

Sunday was zilch.  Drank too much red wine around the campfire on Saturday but in truth I don't remember anything after someone passed me a floppy looking cigarette.

So today I got out early for a lap of Centennial before meeting MC, Clarkey and JW for a run to Red Leaf pool, a quick dip and a run back.  Would have been fine but for the fact it was 30C.  Struggled big time in the heat and felt pretty drained for the rest of the arvo.  But 27km in the bag.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Self flaggelation

Was supposed to meet Macca and Justin for some 10min reps this morning but once again I had a drinks reception last night and at 5.30am my body was telling me 2 more hours sleep was much more sensible.

So headed out at lunchtime for the same Centennial route as yesterday, but decided to run it quickly as punishment for my morning laziness.  19:51 at Oxford Street/Centennial. It's a punishing first 5km of hills and steps.  A couple of sub 3:30's around Centennial finishing in 46:09.  Measured it at 12.28km (I thought it was closer to 13km?) so 3:45's average.

What are all these accurate times and distances I hear you all cry?  He is normally naked of the wrist.  Well I'm heading to Seal Rocks now and need to measure my long run so managed to fix my Suunto last night.

My Suunto, looking a bit like Paul Ince circa 1997:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday amble

Summer clerk calibrations over lunch so popped out at 4pm for a loop of Centennial.  Bit more bounce there today.  Plenty of snot.  That's about it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Short MLR

Wednesday run with Dicky, Erika, Justin, Ben and Quentin.  Cut short down Darley Road (so about 15km) as I wasn't feeling great.  Legs feel tired now.  Amazing how a few days rest makes them soft.

Beaut of a morning though.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Fighter

They might as well have been playing Rocky's Theme as I emerged from Deutsche Bank Place today for the HuRTS Fartlek session.  But they breed them tough in the North East of England and I wasn't going to let a minor bit of flu and a grade 2 lung infection bring me down.  

Plodded over with the legs about to give way from under me and met the huge squad waiting.  Fortunately everyone was taking it easy today post the Half on Sunday so found a good group of Smolly, Jeet, Erikakaka, Timmy and others to run  with, with 'Lil Jimmy Matthews appearing at half way after nicking a motorbike having forged some keys this morning.

I'd like to say it was fun but it wasn't.  But coughed up some rubbish so hopefully took a step on the road to recovery and back to HuRTS #1, the people's favourite.

Monday, September 22, 2014

What went wrong

Friday did 11km catching up with the squad while at my partners conference in Sydney. 

104km for the week.

But I was starting to come down with a sore throat.  Felt rotten by the evening.  Saturday was a write-off.  Took some of Kirsten's heavy duty pain killers which worked a treat.  Sunday felt sorry for myself checking out everyone's times at the Sydney Running Festival.  Good to see Barts back on top and Neil running a PB.  CT and Timmy should be ashamed of themselves. 

So not sure where to go from here.  A promising season has been wiped apart by a foiled trip to Melbourne Marathon and sickness for the big Half.  Will have to use the ever reliable JPMorgan CC to motivate me again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday MLR

Usual North Head route with Dicky, Quentin and Justin, but didn't add the Golf Course loop so only 17km.  It didn't rain!  In fact, it was a beautiful sunrise running along Manly Beach.

Dicky led us out so it was quick (close to 4min kms around North Head).  Quentin was puffing a bit on the hills so plainly has been on fat farm back home in the US of A.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

HuRTS 2 x 20mins

Bit stressed at work.  Knackered from the weekend.  Found a gap to run out the office today but felt lethargic and unmotivated from the get go.  

Muz cruised ahead.  Took me almost 2km to even overtake Timmy.  Then ran with Michael Ho (looking very smooth), Macca, Andy and Ray reaching about 5.5km (original start of Hickson Rd reps). 3:38 average pace I think.  Felt a bit better on the return just holding on to Hoey (which he will now be called) all the way back in 19:10 (3:29's).  Hoey gave Charlie a pat on the back at the Art Gallery as we passed him. So I did the same.  This seemed to make Charlie sprint so plainly he didn't like it.  Finished with someone dry-retching as they reached the gates.  So Tommy's performance of the day goes to him.

3km warmdown for 15km all up.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Moody Monday

15km very easy with a large group including Tucks, Enda, MC etc.

Choppidy chop

15km in the arvo.  The Adios Boosts feel more comfortable by the day but still a choppidy stride without my orthotics.  Up around North Head for 15km all up.  Then entertained Macca, Charlie and next door neighbour Jason and wives for a dinner.  Are too much sugar.  Am now buzzing...

This morning we did the Retro Cycle Ride around Manly:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Catch up


Timmy combo of 20mins continuous hills plus 5km tempo.  Seem to go alright on the continuous hills, albeit make up most of my time on the downs rather than the ups.  Crossy and Barts were a bit behind, but Crossy was closing in from halfway onwards.

Then on to the tempo.  Legs tired to start with as usual (and as the session intends) but got into a rythmn and finished with Barts in 16:04 (10s quicker than last month).

5km cool down for 15km all up.  Tough session.


Birthday drinks on Thursday night.  Everyone kept buying me rounds.  So on Friday I was hungover.  Nowt.


31km.  First 10km easyish with Macca, Ben, Justin, Craig and Barts.  Then Erika joined us for 20km at her marathon pace (4:15's).  Ended up doing 4:10's I think and she was chatting the whole way.  I can only grunt when I do 20km at marathon pace.  She will smash 3hours in Melbourne and will go sub 2:55 I think.

Had to run in the Adios Boost with no orthotics as I left my usual trainers at work.  Short choppy stride with high cadence as a result.  It's tough on the calves but actually feel less fatigued overall.