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.