Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sophie Highnam

Rocked up at HuRTS today for the pyramid session just to take it easy.  No Mikey, no Timmy so I had to mark out the course on the field adjacent to Rushcutters and made a bit of a hash of it being about 20m short.  Still, we all got on with it.  Ran with Barts, George, Jonathan and Elle in group 2 with BOB, Quentin, Dom, Rich Mullaney, Ben Dec and others in group 1.  Just rolled around today with a longish warmdown.

Big news of the day received this evening when I heard that my niece, Sophie Highnam, has been selected to run for Victoria in the Australian XC Champs in Albany, WA in August having dominated her zone and regional XC meets.  Good on 'ya Soph!!  We've seen her brother Jack's Blog (who is talented enough).  Bring on Soph's!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

HuRTS Commonwealth Games Time Trial - 3rd in 15:28

PWell, tonight was one of those bizarre but hugely enjoyable evenings that, 7 days ago, you'd never be able to predict.  It was about then that LJ sent around an email asking if a few of the squad could pace for Eloise Wellings and Emily Brichacek.  They were looking to do a final 5000m hit out before heading for some altitude training in St Moritz and then on to Glasgow where they're both competing in the 5000m in the Commonwealth Games.  It's the sort of opportunity you don't turn down (even all the way down in Sylvania Waters) especially with free Crust Pizza and a singlet thrown into the bargain.

So I picked up Quentin (and Carla), Barts and Muz from work and drove down.  I'd been bricking myself all day and was no less nervous on the trip.  Luckily the wind had died down quite a bit and it was cool.  Did a few laps warmup then bumped into Eloise who had revised down the required pacing through 3000m from 9:09 to 9:12.  So on the start line it was Emily and Eloise, Barts, CT, Muz, Quentin, Crossy, myself and two chaps called Luke and *bad tempered bloke*.  David Tarbottom from Athletics NSW was filming and timing, and then Jock (from Jock Athletic - coaching Eloise) announces Steve Waugh as the starter.  Barts and I look at each other and point to Waugh mouthing "It's Steve Waugh!" while Quentin (an American for those who don't know him) looks on rather nonplussed. 

So we had to run 73/74's.  I put my hand up to run the first 2 laps knowing they're the easiest.  Steve Waugh tells us to go (with little warning it must be said), I stumble, nearly pull a hammie and rush to the front only to find bad tempered bloke flying off way too quick.  Try to slow things down, bad tempered bloke drops back and we go through in 73.  Next lap the same.  Then Quentin comes to the front and does a 72, then slows a bit so I reassume front running duties.  First km 3:05. Second km 3:05.  Third km 3:05.  I'd felt great to 3km but then I start to count the laps to go - 5 now, that's not too bad.  But it's starting to hurt.  Each time we get down the back straight Eloise shouts "faster, faster!" and I swear that if I hadn't had an Olympian shouting at me I'd have been running 2s a lap slower.  At some point here CT comes past and does a lap and a bit in front before I go back again.  Then with 1km to go I'm hurting and must be slowing as Eloise shouts "Tim, move aside" and I'm thinking "who he fuck is Tim and why's she shouting at him" before Truscott yells "TOMMY MOVE OUT".  So I do and the girls go through looking super smooth so I tuck in behind but they start to gap me.  I can see CT's shadow just behind so I know it's now a race between him and me.  Dig in to 600m to go thinking it's only half of Farm Cove to go now.  Then at 400m I give another push and see that CT has dropped off.  At 200m I'm catching the girls again but into the home straight they are racing each other and it's too late to catch.

Chuffed to bits with the time.  An 8s PB and another of Dad's PBs knocked off.  In fact, the last.  I can now retire.  Pleased to beat the boys too, albeit with all of them on the comeback trail.  It's not often we all get to race together like this, especially on the pressure cooker of the track.  Final results were:

Emily Brichacek:  15:26 (PB)
Eloise Wellings:  15:27
Tom Highnam:  15:28 (PB)
Chris Truscott:  15:35
John Bartlett:  15:38
Quentin Reeve:  15:42
Bad Tempered Bloke:  15:47
Andy Cross:  15:51 (PB)
Anthony Murrell:  16:18

So we all do a warmdown and Eloise tells us she's going to St Moritz next week so I tell her I'm going to Switzerland on Friday.  Held back from telling her I'm also going to be in Gateshead where the Aussie training camp is and Scotland as I thought she might think I was stalking her.  Then on to Crust Pizza in Cronulla for free pizza and chat with the boys and LJ.  Eloise gives quite a moving speech thanking all her support crew, her new friend Emily and the pacers.  I noted the use of the plural but picked up on the fact she was only looking at me.  Then her father-in-law gave a speech and I made a mental note not to speak at any of my kids, or their spouses, gatherings.

But a fab night.

The boys

Our official starter

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

This is going to be scary

Monday - moved house.  Knackered.

Tuesday - HuRTS 4 x 10mins but took it easy running 3:50's with Quentin.   Easy session due to a TT we are pacing for Emily Brichaceck and Eloise Wellings (Commonwealth Games 5000m representatives) down in Sylvania tomorrow.  5000m which they want to do at 3:03 pace (15:15).  Sounds very ambitious to me so Barts, CT, Muz, Crossy, Quentin and myself have all been roped in by LJ to help them do it on the promise of a singlet and some Crust pizza.  My prediction is we'll manage 4 laps then everyone (bar maybe Emily) will drop off and it'll become a race.  Feeling good though so I'll give it a crack.  Just hope these winds drop.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Short Sunday

Caught up with Richard Mullaney this morning then met Macca, Ben, Justin and Banksy.   Headed up towards Narrabeen but I turned at Long Reef, not intending to do a long one.  In truth, I needed to just haul my ass back home at whatever pace I could muster.  VERY tired after yesterday, particularly as I spent the whole day moving house and I've had three 4:30am/5:30am starts.

16.5km in 1:15:00 (4:32's).

Last night in 25 Griffiths St tonight.  Many fond memories of the place.  When I moved in I thought a long run was 16km and couldn't beat 35mins for 10km.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Curl Curl Parkrun - 1st in 16:05

So today I did a Quentin on Quentin.  Caught up with Sammy and the boys on the Manly 5.30pm ferry and dragged myself away from 'Lil Jimmy Matthews and J-Fen in the Wharf Bar after a mountain of Coopers Pale Ale at 10.30pm.  Up at 6am to do 12km with Elle before starting Parkrun.  Good crowd today with Quentin, Jamie, Macca, Pete W, Lewis Ingram (who I met for the first time) and others all rocking up.  Wasn't feeling confident after the big night so plan was just to try and stick to Quentin for as long as possible.  But legs felt pretty good after an easy week and I reckon the 12km warmup actually helped.  First km in about 3:08, then about 3:10, then the slow third km in 3:21.  Felt good up the hill on Harbord Rd and realised Q was going to wind it up from there.  Pace got gradually quicker.  Thought that if I stuck on his shoulder he'd get frustrated at some point.  After the bridge and out of the trees I decided to finally hit the front.  He of course reacted, dogged bastard that he is, so it was an all-out sprint from there.

Really pleased with the time - 16:05 feeling pretty comfortable until the final 500m.  Then finished off with another 9.5km with Elle (and Lewis, Jamie, Macca and Jamie's mate for the first 6km) for 26.5km all up.

Finally, proof for all the doubters of my dancing ability - shown here passed on to the next generation:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Oh the highs, oh the lows...

Up at 4.40am.  Down to the Ivanhoe.  Meet Big Sam and little Jack.  Have coffee.  Have ham and cheese croissant.  Get depressed at Suarez's headed goal.  Temporary excitement followed by groaning at every near England miss.  Jump in the air and hug Sammy when Rooney scores.  Stare into my empty coffee cup when Suarez scores again.  Flounce home.  Put running kit on.  Run to work.  Having been up for 4 hours, actually feel pretty good.  Bump into Macca in Kirribilli.  Bit strange.  Have a chat.  Carry on to work.  56:46.  Last time I'll ever do this route.  Momentarily reminisce.  But in my new house I shall be able to run around Nolan Reserve barefoot in the dew.  Maybe even naked.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tempo run to work

Had a client lunch on today (guest speakers Phil Liggett and Gabriel Gate, who were awesome) so substituted the speed session with a tempo run to work.  Always hurts like hell as:
(a) it's bloody hilly from Manly to the CBD; and
(b) i'm no good first thing in the morning.
But didn't feel too shabby after an easier week.  23:52 at Spit Junction (where I met a lady at the crossing who said; "did I see you running from Fairlight? You must be very fast" to which I feigned modesty and said something along the lines of "you know, I do what I can".
Got to work in 50:38 and legs were even a bit wobbly running up Bent Street.  It's only 3:53's but felt tough.  How the hell did I ever run 46:43 over that route?  That record is impregnable.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Enjoyable run

Not often I get to say that.

Had a partners meeting at lunch so went out around the Centennial route in the late afternoon sun feeling good and with almost no aches and pains.  12+km in 52mins.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

HuRTS 45min Fartlek

Rocked up today for a bit of banter more than anything else, and got plenty of it with Enda and Barts in fine form - Enda thinking he's got the making of the former HuRTS #1 and Barts not yet ready to give any ground to the Irish upstart.

Only 3 of us from Launnie made it there, LJ, Birchy and myself taking it easy nursing sore bodies (and heads).  I ran with Macca, Rich Mullaney, Craig P and Phil Dove.  Wasn't that easy in all honesty - we were averaging 3:40's overall and I was mentally and physically drained.  Got back in 44:30 though so must have upped the pace on the return.

Big group upfront with Tucks finally giving it a go, Enda, Barts, Crossy and Clarkey all leading each other out but Barts showed he's on the comeback by leading them back.

Long warm down for 18km all up.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Launceston 10km - 21st in 32:07

At the start of the year I wanted to concentrate on 10kms.  Hadn't been under 33 since September 2011 and it's a distance I've got a lot of respect for - running a good 10km is bloody hard. So a lot of the year had been planned around Sydney10 and Launceston.  Was feeling in good shape in the past couple of weeks so was pretty nervous and excited heading down to Tassie.  Great crowd down there with Timmy, Birchy, Dr Skins, Robbie, Quentin (and Carla), LJ, Elle, Jackie and Charlie K all making the trip.  Sized up a pasta place for the evening, checked out the arctic monkeys and froze our arses off before tucking in early for a good nights sleep.

Managed a breaky in the morning due to the relatively late start of 10am and even managed to watch England's first half v Italy.  Then we were off to the start, good warm up before I plonk myself on the front cuddling a couple of Kenyans while Timmy is still out stretching in front of the start with Liam Adams and co.  Then we're off.

Steady myself in the huge rush.  It's a slightly downhill start which makes it super quick.  Then I can't quite believe how quickly a front pack forms and how quickly they gap me.  I'm leading the second group and by 1km they already have a 40m gap on me.  And I can see from the lead car that I've just run 3:00 for the km!  Quite a few must have dropped off as by 1.5km I'm aware that there's only 1 chap on my shoulder, huffing and puffing like an old man.  It was like running with Macca!  Keep trying to maintain a quick pace.  It's a beautiful cold morning with no wind so I'm not fussed about this chap sitting on me.  I can sense him coming alongside every now and then which just keeps me honest.  It stays this was until the half way turnaround.  No idea as to time as I'm not wearing a watch as usual but work out after I must have gone through in about 15:48 ish.  At the turn I see a bit of a gap to Robbie (he goes through in 16:00) with further gap to a group headed by Quentin.  Give them both a bit of a shout then put my head down and start working to get back home.  But now it starts to hurt.  Mr Huff and Puff is doing more turns at the front now as we start to pick some blokes that have been spat out of the initial lead group.  I start to repeat my mantra - just hold on for one more km.  Mr Huff and Puff will drag me to a quick time and keep that lead over Robbie.  After what seems an age running through fields, suddenly we're back in Launnie and there's only one km to go.  Mr Huff and Puff gaps me but I put in an effort over the little railway bridge and we're turning into the home straight.  Now it's just head down and sprint and, what do you know, there's a couple of Kenyans coming back to us!  Just fail to catch them on the line.  Give Mr Huff and Puff a hug and tank him for dragging me home.  Ask him what time we did (there's no clock on the line and I'm running watchless as usual) but he doesn't know.  Arghhhhhh!

Quentin now comes in running a great back half to pick up Robbie at 8km.  He's back under 33 with a 32:46.  Then Robbie comes in on 33:01 and it's a bit of a gap to Charlie K on a very good 35:39 - this lad will be quick with a bit of training.  Then LJ comes wheezing over the line on 36:04.  She's had a cold all week but looks disappointed not crack 36 - even though it's a road PB!  Then Dr Skins (we're still trying to work out the nickname) on 36:40 and Timmy then comes in with a slightly disappointing 37:30.  The Birchy running to his Central Governor in 38:40.  Next up is Elle running a great 39:04 (she'll be under 39 very shortly) and then Jackie with a 2 minute PB of 40:39. 

Here we are immediately post race - Quentin, Birchy, me, Timmy, Charlie K, LJ, Skins, Jackie, Robbie and Elle.


Timmy spoiling the picture with the glamour couple Quentin and Carla.

So then we had a bit of a jog, bit of a shower, found the only breakfast joint open in Launnie (you're not allowed to call it Launceston apparently) on a Sunday, then the gents retired to the nearest pub whilst the ladies (and Birchy, honourable girl that he is) went to powder their noses.  Quite a while later they showed up whilst we were already half cut.  Here they are below, looking delighted with their results off coach CT's training plan. 

Then we went to the classy James Boags brewery and from there all class went out of the window as we ended up in the Irish pub, called "Irish" as far as I could tell.  I cut some fine moves on the dancefloor but Timmy seemed to be getting all the attention.  I won't post the offending photo.
All in all a top weekend.  The punters were happy.  LJ took home $450 from it, superstar that she is these days.  I have a feeling Launnie could become a regular fixture.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Friday plod

Last plod before Launnie with a Good Friday crowd of MC, Tucks, TKS, Adam, Crossy and others.

So here we are in Launceston, 11 of us.  Dinner booked for 6.30pm.  All a bit subdued at the moment lounging around watching World Cup replays and saving energy for the morning.  Getting nervous now.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

HuRTS Hickson Road

Continued the easy week by rocking up to the session and cruising around at 3:45's but adding a 100m at 95% during each rep.  Feeling good and getting really pumped for Launnie on Sunday.

I set up the office floor sweepstake today to try and get my fellow Aussie workers a bit more excited about the World Cup.  Well, half the floor didn't even know what it was but you mention a sweepie and they've all got their wallets out and studying the form.  Anything for a bit of a flutter.  So I'm first with my hand in the bucket and who do I get - England.

Wednesday ramble

Just the Centennial route back via Fox Studios, nice and easy but high cadence with LJ, Clarkey, Kev and BK.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

HuRTS 8 x 5mins

Monday off. 

Taking it easy this week so just cruised through the session.  Wasn't quite as easy as I'd planned running with Macca and Renaud but nothing like last Tuesday.  Was finishing just shy of Mrs Mac's Chair.  Long warmdown with Barts after for 16km all up.

Someone took some great photos from SMH Half on behalf of all Striders and sent them around on the distribution list today.  This is with 4km to go:

Stupid Sunday

Out at 6.30am with Macca, Ben, Justin and Erika for a loop up to Narrabeen Bogan Park and back.  Nice easy pace the whole way until Macca decided to see how strong Erika was by running 4:10's back into Manly.  She looked completely unflustered by his test.  All up 28km averaging 4:28's.

Then 13 runners of Manly origin descended on The Steyne and Last Train to Delhi for Curry Night.  All was good.  Then Ben, Paul and I went into The Boatshed.  No one else followed.  They're far too sensible.  At 3am I decided I was in the wrong place.  But the live band was great.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Striders 10km North Head

Had the 40min pacing job today, trying to save myself for Launceston next week.  Turn up on the start line to find Enda looking exuberant and all the star runners missing.  It can't be I'm thinking.  Last Striders 10km he turned up for was in November when he took out the win when all the big guns were again AWOL.   Fats and Quentin were there but Fats had had a cold all week and was doubtful and I'd been drinking litre glasses of Lowenbrau in the Bavarian Bier Cafe last night with Quentin which left me feeling dodgy this morning so Q couldn't have felt much better.

Anyway, fair play to Enda.  He did all the work dragging Q and Tongey around for 8km but Q always buries himself in races and came out with the win over the final 1.5km.

I had a nice time pacing 40mins.  Plenty of people around, including Renee and Elle, to encourage and the group all came through under 40mins with a strong final km.  Coffee and breakfast with Timmy and Bec after for a good morning.

Friday plod

11km plus something with MC, Crossy, Springer, Adam and others.  Tired and sore after a tough week.

92km for week.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

HuRTS 400's tempo combo

Over to Rushcutters for 8 x 400m off a rolling 2 mins followed by a 3km tempo.  Felt crap on the way over - tired and unenthusiastic.  Barts, Timmy, Crossy, Rich Mullaney and Andy H made up the first group with MC easing off (again) in group 2 with a big group including LJ, TKS, Renee, Birthday Girl Elle, Big Kev etc.

Crossy was putting in some effort for a change in the 400's and was a few yards ahead for most but I was getting closer in the second half.  Had to really work hard to reel him in though and was running 67's and 68's on the long grass going lactic towards the end (down my arms of all places).

Dreaded the 3km tempo but felt OK once we got going running with Barts. It was wet today and when we turned the tight corner on to the wooden bridge I felt my foot slip out from me and slid into the side railing, only to turn around and see Barts flat on his back.  Looked like the bloody Keystone Cops.  Got going again and finished in 9:55 for 2.99km on the Suunto (Timmy's finally measured the distance correctly). Will download the stats tonight but pretty sure final lap was 3:13 including slowing a lot to cross the bridge of doom.

Long warmdown with Barts for 13km all up.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014


15km at a pace slightly quicker than normal with MC, Clarkey, Big Kev and Gareth.  Up to Centennial and back via Woolhara Gates.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

HuRTS 45mins Tempo

Big crowd today with all of HuRTS regular favourites on show, i.e. everyone but Enda and Timmy.  We had a big group of 6 of us up front with Crossy, Quentin, Fats, Barts, Muz and me all running together.  I was feeling pretty jaded after yesterday's long run so tucked in behind Fats on the way out with Quentin also doing his share.  Around the OPT I felt the pace drop a bit and was starting to feel a bit more comfortable so did a bit on the front too.  We hit 22.5mins just after the mid entrance to Barangaroo (where the road changes colour), so pretty good.

Made some effort on the way back but was still feeling good.  Then Muz comes past at the Toaster and more effort is needed with the group falling apart.  Muz dragged me around to MMC while I'm thinking how the hell am I going to keep this pace up the hills when suddenly he shouts out; "That's it for me mate, see you Thursday!".  My emotions ran from relief to downright anger - the bastard left me knackered having to climb to the finish!  Finished off ok to run 44:19 all up for 12.7km (3:28's).  Long warmdown with Q, Barts and Andy H for 17km all up.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Long Monday

Achilles just too sore to run on Sunday.  Took plenty of Voltaren and could do the eccentric loading by Sunday night and felt great today.  Did a Centennial loop then joined the squad for the normal Monday route.  All up, 27km exactly in 2:00:00 exactly.  4:15's for first 13km and about 4:40's with the squad.

State XC Relays

Down to deepest, darkest Shire territory for the XC relays in Miranda.  Always love this event.  The different clubs line their tents right by the course (the toughest section), plenty of viewing opportunities to cheer your team mates on and a short, sharp course that has you blowing hard and legs a burning due to the little hills.

CT went off in the first leg and they were sprinting.  Crossy (running for Sutherland) said he went through the first km in 2:56 and he was mid-pack!  CT was well up with Robin W and Nick Cope until the hills on the 2nd lap where they put a bit of time into him.  Still, he handed over after running a quick 12:48.  

I went off quick in my track spikes and caught a couple early and had Big Jim Dawes to track down after he took over from Nick Cope from RBH.  Caught Jim at the end of the first lap but was making no headway into Geoff Arnold of St George who ended up running 3s quicker.  Happy enough to finish in 12:57 after blowing hard on the hills and handing over to Fats leading the O35's.  The achilles was buggered though.  With no heel on those spikes it was always going to be a risk.  

Fats ran a great 13:04 (ahead of Muz 13:07 and Crossy 13:14) - I think the hills suit his strength and with Keith running a good 13:10 we won the O35's pretty easily:

Fats and I, with the Tiger at far left for RBH and Crossy at far right for Sutherland.

But story of the day was the scones.  Much has been said and written.  Suffice to say I finally got some.  And, boy, were they good.  Some more jam next year (maybe the Bonne Maman variety) and it will be perfect.

Finally, for the family, Claudia is desperate to start soccer.  Here she is, shin pads, boots and all, in Maggie's kit for the mighty Brookvale FC: