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.