Monday, March 31, 2014


Very satisfying day - deal that made last week a misery signed and also sold our house.

Run less so. 11km with LJ, Andy, TKS, JW, Erica et al before I jacked it in thinking my achilles was too sore.  But then it didn't feel too bad.  New shoes may be the issue.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Over to Centennial this morning to meet a huge crowd including Timmy, CT, Barts, LJ, Elle, Renee, Jeet (going well), TKS, TB and even more I didn't know so well.  CT made the pace quite honest from the off and, to be honest, it wasn't much fun as my Achilles was sore and I was knackered from the late afternoon tempo of the day before.  But I got through about 24.5km and it will serve me well.  Actually felt better in the final 5km than at any other time.

Bored people with my talk of the house.  Still no resolution there but fingers crossed.  Out all day watching kids soccer and it's fair to say I'm now knackered.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Tempo time

Bit of a hangover this morning, then a house auction, and finally got out (without orthotics) around 4pm.  Did my 16.5km tempo untimed, but felt surprisingly good, until 15km when I started to feel sick, at which point the pace dropped off a cliff.

Friday with the likely lads

Easy 10km bumping into Timmy and Andy variously.  Then a few beers in the evening with Stevie, Durante, Timmy, Sam and Jimmy M.  Actually, more than a few.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

HuRTS 3 x 2km

Drizzling and cooler.  Just like being back in Blighty.  Managed to run out of the office before anyone noticed and headed down to the Park Hyatt half expecting no-one to be there given how often this session shifts around.  MC has picked up an achilles injury so I arrived to hear Timmy barking out orders and everyone looking confused.

Route was from the usual spot outside Doyles to the end of the old Hickson Rd reps but we had to cut the corner at the end of the Park Hyatt.  In short, it was a bit short.  Anywhere between 1.95km and 1.97km.  I think the times were about 6:20, 6:14 and 6:04 but I wasn't timing them as usual.  I'd guess you'd add about 10s.  Ran with Barts and Enda.  Enda goes strong for the first half then tails off a bit at the end, but he's still in very good form.  Felt pretty good today, with plenty of running in the legs at the end of each rep.  Probably from the easier week.  Achilles better now I've been working on it.
PS:  Hear on the grapevine that CT is joining Barts sekrit Saturday training session.  The one that makes him so strong.  Classic case of "if you can't beat 'em...".  Should mean I get a chance to take another Parkrun win and head the "Curl Curl Parkrun all-time winners" leaderboard.  This is life.  This is primetime.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Let me out

3 days off.  Sunday because I was hungover following the MLB and Kirst was in Ikea all day in any case.  Monday and Tuesday because I'm being monstered at work.  Haven't had to work this hard since the chicken deal last year. 

Did manage the DCRun strength session with LF Charlie and Iain yesterday which went pretty well, seem to be doing the plyo work better this time around.  Today I ran to work (no chance of getting out after I've hit the desk) so I did an extra 11km while the kids were at swim squad for 24km all up.  No idea about pace.  Right achilles pretty sore at end.  But good just to be feeling the elements again.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Curl Curl Parkrun - 5th in 16:25

Can't be many Parkrun's where 16:25 only gets you 5th!  Jogged over with Macca and Ben with the glutes still sore to meet CT, Robin Whiteley and Barts all doing strides looking serious.  And then Scotty O shows up.  My plan was to stay in front of Ireland's new #1 and figured the best way to achieve that was to go out hard with the front runners and try to hold on as long as possible.  Well, they went out very hard with CT leading in 3:01 and I guess I was about 3:08 or 3:09 with Scotty and Macca tracking me.  This way it stayed (Macca's distinctive stride and heavy breathing lets you know exactly where he is at all times) until the little hill on Harbord Rd where Scotty goes in front and Macca drops off.  Ran with Scotty to the bridge with 500m to go.  He immediately bursts ahead and I think he's gone too early but he holds on for a 4s lead closing in on CT.

Great run by an in form Barts for the win in 15:55.  CT improves again to 16:11.  I was pretty happy with my time given how the legs were. But run of the day to Macca.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sore Friday

14km with Tucks, TKS, Erica, Andy, Big Dave C and another chap.  Right achilles sore and glutes still as stiff as.  Had a couple of beers with Charlie D this evening and at least I'm not suffering alone.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

HuRTS Pyramid

Well, my glutes were so farked yesterday that I couldn't run.  I could barely walk.  Having said that, I did try to go for a run but when I got to the changing rooms and tried to pull on my shorts, they wouldn't go over my knees.  I'd picked up Billy's by accident.  Plainly God was telling me something.

Hobbled out to HuRTS today intending to limp around with the glutes still sore as.  Actually felt OK when I got going though and managed to run quite a controlled session with TB.  Only got a couple of splits - 5:45 for the 4 lapper and 4:11 for the 3 lapper (round 2).  Darien gapped us all (check out my clever geography pun)(I think I've used this gag previously) on most reps looking super smooth.

The session ended with Timmy asking the girls to pose for a variety of shots.  He then asked us all to stand for a photo to pretend the whole thing was squad related.  

Lengthy warmdown with Barts for 14km all up.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

HuRTS 4 x 10mins

Holy sweet mother.  My glutes are gooooone.  Did strength with DC this morning along with LF Charlie and Iain.  Got me legs a wobbling.  Then the 10mins session with the squad.  Intended to take it easy but got into a nice rythmn on each rep running with Macca (or behind to start then catching from half way).  They were at about 3:35 pace.  Enda well ahead, Barts and CT so far ahead it was like they were doing another session.  But feeling pretty good all in all.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday missive

15km with the Monday crowd.  Turns out new fast girl Erica is a Fairlight resident.  All the best runners live in Fairlight.  Which is why I'm moving to North Manly.

About 4:30 pace I think.  Nursing the right achilles.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Getting back Sunday

Intended on going out yesterday afternoon but was emotionally spent after BUYING A HOUSE!  Yep, we're moving.  Going to have to reset all my training runs.

Faulty house alarm kept us up last night and, after sinking a coupley of bottles of red celebrating, I was in no shape to get out early with Dicky and Quentin.  Set out at 11am.  Just did flat loops of Manly for 26km untimed.  Stopped to chat variously to LF Charlie, Quentin, Eamo and Stu Truman.  Although I was barely breathing I just started slowing to a plod over the last 3kms, reminiscent of Six Foot 8 days prior.  So I decided to fully recreate the experience by walking up the final hill.

Right achilles sore the whole way.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

HuRTS 2km reps

Well, thighs much recovered but my right achilles is still very sore.  But decided I needed to get some blood flow into it and was doing it no favours stuck under a desk so headed out to the session.

Copped the usual flack from the HuRTS boys about my sub par performance while Tucks took the plaudits (yet again) then settled into a nice stroll around the reps with current HuRTS #1 himself, Mr Tuckey.  Not much more to report.  Barts looked strong upfront dropping Andy C and Clarkey.  Timmy is getting back staying with Mikey's group and Andy acts more like Ray by the day.

Need to persuade Andy C to run for the English at SMH Half.  The Churchill/Sands Cup is at stake and the bulldogs are struggling.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Six Foot Track - 18th in 3:48:36

Well, the day started in a panic. I completely misjudged timing to arrive at Katoomba High School with 20 mins spare, only to find a queue of 500 people waiting for minibuses. Jumped to the front after hearing an official shouting; "any Wave 1's?  No?  Any Wave 2's?" and arrived with a few mins to spare.  A few quick hellos, lined up next to Tucks, Quentin, Taffy James and Banksy and we're off.  It's the usual mad scramble down the steep, rocky descent.  Probably the most dangerous start to a race on the calendar.  Quentin leaps ahead, I see Muz just in front, then down the steps of Nellies Glen a familiar voice calls my name 2 places behind and it's Mad Robbie Neal.  Held a conversation with him most of the way down before seeing him cruise ahead on the flatter section of Megalong Valley, off to finish a brilliant 5th place in 3:34.

Along Megalong I chat to Banksy before he lets me pull ahead saying "I'll see you at the finish".  I replied; "more likely along Black Range", not realising how portentous this would prove.  My calves are very tight and sore at the bottom of Nellies and I was getting seriously worried.  I've still got 40km to go, there's no way they're going to survive?  Tucks then catches and we run together with Jim Perrett, overtaking quite a few people at this stage.  Great to see Kirst cheering on shortly before the winery, shame the kids couldn't be arsed to get out of bed.  Kirst said Marty Dent was very chipper and chatted to her as she cheered him on. However, this was about 400m before he took a wrong turn.  Apparently he wasn't so cheerful after that.

The technical section down to Cox's is one of my worst sections.  I can just never run this quick.  It's worse this year trying not to aggravate the calves.  Tucks and Jim put in about a minute on me over this 3km section.  3 or 4 others politely asked to come past me here, including Hanny Alston who went on to have a stormer.  But eventually I crossed Cox's with Tongey in 68:20 - about 30s quicker than my previous PB in 2011.

Then the hills of Mini Mini start.  The steep hills seem to help my calves in stretching them out, but the bottom of my left hammy starts to tighten.  Notwithstanding this tedious self analysis, I'm actually feeling pretty good and full of energy.  I decide I'm going to run all the hills at this point, even if it's a shuffle.  As a result I start to catch a few, including Hanny, towards the top of Mini Mini.  Also go past Muz at this stage who is already in trouble, saying he's not cut out for this sort of crap!  The downhill to Alum Creek is painful, legs starting to seize up now.  I then start the shuffle up Pluvi and suddenly this bloke comes flying past - Alex Matthews!  What the hell has he been doing?!

Well, I crest Pluvi in 2:12:30ish (64:11 KOM split - not far behind even Fats) but the legs are now seriously buggered.  From then on, I just drag my ass to the finish.  Banksy comes past just after Caves Rd but I don't care, I just want this thing done with.  Overtook a couple of poor souls in even worse condition than me - Jim Perrett and Campbell Maffett - when you blow on this course you really blow.   Then the long downhill to Caves House starts.  This is just agony.  My quads are screaming.  No more, surely.  Then the crowds.  Then the finish.  I'm ecstatic.  I've done it.  Not sure anyone cares, but I do.  Putting yourself through this pain makes you feel a little but better about yourself.

Run of the day was definitely James Matthews.  I thought sub 4 was a stretch goal but he smashes it looking super strong with a 3:53.  But honourable mentions to Tucks going sub 3:40, Worswick going sub4 (with a Pluvi to finish split in the top 15!) and Banksy with a 31minute PB.

Looking at the splits, and like most things in life, I am Mr Average.  21st quickest to Cox's, 20th quickest KOM, 20th quickest Pluvi to Finish.  But most time can be made up from Pluvi to Finish.  Worswick and Taffy Jim smashed me on this section.

Will I be back?  Not sure.  I still can't walk properly 3 days later.  But there's something about this event.

500m to go:

..and about to cramp:

Me, in front of Tucks, oh yes:

Crossing Cox's, with Tongey:

I did it!

Friday, March 07, 2014

Getting to the start line

Took the last 2 days off trying to rest the calves before Sat morning.  Feel a it better but the achilles is a bit sore.  Will be agony after but I should get through OK. Not nervous enough for the race which usually means I won't pull out a great performance.

Will be interested to see how Tucks goes - has he been foxing us?  Confident Fats will pull out his usual stron performance but tw win may be past him as Dent and Alex Matthews are the men to beat.  I'm secretly hoping to tap Muz on the ass somewhere along Black Range.

Splits from last week:

And, just for Timmy as he was asking about it, a panoramic shot from my officewindow  this morning:

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Wednesday would you believe it

The summer Wednesday route, which I almost daren't publish as it seems so indulgent.  Let's just say Bondi deserves its reputation as one of the best beaches in the world on days like today.  Me, Mikey, Dave Clarke 5, Mr Ace, Wingewick and √Član today.  Voltaren worn off and while the achilles is fine, the calves remain super sore.  Beginning to get worried about ability to run Six Foot now.

Tuesday kinda HuRTS

Voltaren took effect.  Achilles fine but calves still tight.  Did the 8 x 5mins very easy back in the pack.  We've got a great squad there.

Monday meander

Couldn't walk on Sunday.  Achilles blew up and calves were incredibly tight post race.  That's running in no heel spikes for 10km on a track for you.  Took Voltaren and hobbled around 11km with the usual HuRTS Crowd.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

NSW 10,000m Champs - 8th in 32:46

Well, it was the usual build up to a night race - me being a stress bunny all day and driving Kirst mad.  Not helped by having our house on the market for viewings and trying to find other properties.  Dad had agreed to be my lap counter and keep me company on the way out to Homebush but I wasn't much company for him.  A few nervous mutterings and compiling a list of excuses.  Reached the track, said hello to everyone and did a warm up with Barts.

My plan for the race was to keep calm early on and bang out as many 78's as I could, hopefully with a group around me.  Well, that's pretty much how it went, but absent the group.  Started off following Nick Bellemore and Barts, but Nick pulled ahead and Barts slowed so I jumped in front of him around lap 3.  So the race was basically me pacing Barts from lap 3 until lap 24.9, when he overtook me in a sprint finish with 30m remaining.  Officially, he was 32:46:34 and I was 32:46:77.  I should have gone earlier, I left the sprint until 150m to go.  Barts said as much afterwards, as I could sense him working hard over the final 800m.

It was my first ever track 10,000m and I enjoyed it.  It's a long slog, and mentally more difficult than anything else.  But it's not the painful lung buster of a 3000m or the sustained pain of a 5000m.  From 2km until 5km we war banging out 75s and 76s feeling good.  Through 3km in 9:42 and 5km in 16:16 and I worked out that I could still get under 33 running 80s from then on (3:20 pace).  However, I must have relaxed a bit as by 7km we were at 22:56 (6:40 or 80 per lap for the previous 2km and probably slowing while doing so) but the fact that I was doing the maths and working this out shows how different it is to a 5000m when I'm often unaware how many laps I've got left let alone target times.  So I knew we had to start hitting under 80s a lap and we did - I'd look at the clock each time we passed the finish line and it'd be a 78 or 79.  So with 3 laps to go I knew we would be under 33mins and I figured that it was time the start working out how to beat Barts.  Gradually upped the pace and could sense him working but he still held on.  I've been doing a few sprints as part of every run and foolishly thought I'd have an advantage.  The last lap sped up all the way, I started sprinting at 150m but could still hear him.  It got desperate at 50m but then he comes past.  The announcer shouts out something like "WE'VE GOT A BATTLE BETWEEN A COUPLE OF STRIDERS HERE…..AND, OOH, HE'S FIST PUMPED IN TRIUMPH".  Yes, you heard it here.  Barts fist pumped as he crossed the line.  No apology.  No mention of "you deserved it Tom for doing all the work", just a fist pump.

Few laps warmdown.  Paid attention to an enthralling women's High Jump.  The girl who finished 2nd drew a big crowd.

In summary, very happy with the time, bit pissed off not to finish with a win over Barts.  But in good shape and body is going well.