Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sun Run - 8th in 33:24

Big turn out from the beaches boys this morning for our local race.  Met up with Macca, Justin, Quentin, Ben and Jamie (where was Dicky?) at Bike Addiction for our jog to the start in Dee Why.  Perfect morning for running with low humidity, about 17C and clear skies with no wind.  Ben, Justin and Q proceeded to jog up Oliver Street, while Macca and I walked and hurled abuse at them, telling them they'd pay for it later.

Quick chat with Charlie D and Mike Baird before the start (as you do) and then I had to stand with the great unwashed (no seeded start for me) while the likes of Macca, Dicky and Jamie swanned around in front of us looking like pros.  It was all a bit relaxed on the start line chatting to Jenny Wickham and Justin before suddenly we were off with me a bit unprepared.  Everyone sprints up the hill, I take it conservatively and find myself about 10s behind a group containing Barts, Quentin and Lewis at the top.  Hell, there's even a chick in front of me.  But I'm breathing hard - surely they've all gone off too hard?  

Pass the chick then Jamie going down the hill, then Nick Roberts going along Abbott Road but I'm making no headway to the Barts group.  On to the Parkrun course and I can see Barts pulling ahead of the group and catching Criniti.  But the rest of the group is still pulling ahead of me.  Get a shout from Clarkey on his bike at 5km and decide that no-one is going to come back to me unless I work hard, so start pushing the hill up to the Diggers.  Turn into Charles St and I'm getting back, by the Harbord Hilton I've caught Quentin, Lewis and Jason Hall so put a real effort in up the nasty pinch and on Undercliff St.  

Sweep down past Queensie Surf Club and get a welcome shout from Dad and then begins the longest run-in in the developed world.  Holey crap, I run along Manly Beach about 3 times a week but that've they elongated it?  But I'm holding form OK and feel fine to sprint if anyone comes up to my shoulder to maintain 7th.  Cruise to the line but, what's this?!  Some bloke (Jason Hall) floats past with  10m to go!

Very happy with the time on a tough course but, far out, what a performance by Barts. Bit of a game changer that one - 3rd overall in 32:39, smashing Criniti (who I almost caught in the end) but soundly ahead of Alex Rogers.  Macca also had a great run in 35:34 showing that strength counts for a lot on this course.  Lewis ran a PB.  Jamie just missed dipping under 36. Divky was mid 36 and Justin's hammy held up in high 36.  Ben did what he intended by dipping under 40 and was that Charlie running as Timmy in 40:xx?

Beaut of a day in Manly showing it off at its best to 10,000 runners.  Lovely B&E roll and coffee at Bench with Macca and Barts (could be the new venue) to round out a great morning.

Friday, January 30, 2015

5 pointer

7km to the ferry wharf via Shelly Beach.  31:27 (4:29's) so only just counts as a run.

Beaut of a morning though.  Rain gone, sun shining and surf up.

112km for the week.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Brett Lee and Taylor Swift

I was never a fan of Brett Lee playing for Australia, but that final over of the Big Bash final certainly warmed me to him.  Hollywood script all over it - last bowl of his career and he's on a hat trick needing to prevent 1 run.  Brilliant match.  I then went to bed and had a bizarre dream about Taylor Swift.

But on to today's run.  3 x 2km from the Park Hyatt turning at 1km (or more likely 980m).  Hoped to feel easy today (what with the Sun Run on Saturday) but in truth I never felt comfortable.  Ran them all with Barts.  We had Q and Jono with us on the first 2 with Crossy pushing ahead on the third.  Reps went 6:17, 6:10 and 6:11.

Very good crowd.  Timmy's hitting a bit of form so I'll be asking for a realistic 2:30 on Saturday morning next week for the customary $20.  Macca showed a bit of speed today and Darren could soon be ousting Erika as the fastest Jordan.

Warmdown with Barts and Eoin for 10km all up.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wet Wednesday

More bloody rain.  House is about to go under.

Usual Wednesday route with Macca, Ben, Erika and Quentin.  Good company, rain unnoticed once you start but legs were cactus after yesterday.  Q complaining about his knee again which isn't good news.  Needs to get on the Voltaren and foam roller.

17km in 1:18ish (4:43's).

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

HuRTS Fartlek

Well, it was pissing down today.  Not just London drizzle, but a full on Sydney downpour.  I thought it was going to be one of those days you turn up when others don't and steal a march.  But all the top dogs must have thought the same as Barts, Tucks, Fats, Crossy, Jono, Quentin, Macca, Andy, Enda and Hoey were all there

Fartlek was slightly different to usual being (3 (1) 2 (1) 1 (1)) x 5. But I quite liked it.  Always seem to go OK on the fartlek - I think the concept of running hard but being rewarded frequently suits my mentally fragile character.  Crossy went of quickest so went with him but Jono came by around Farm Cove and pushed the pace on (especially on the floats).  Q and Barts were taking it easy on the way out.  Turned on 22.5mins well down Hickson Road opposite the Lend Lease courtyard.  At this point Q and Barts hung around to join us on the way back.  Pushed from the Opera House onwards to get back with 12 seconds to spare.

Watch said 12.86km which would be 3:29's overall average.

5km warmdown for 18km all up.

Still no Timmy.  Has he permanently shunned Tuesday sessions because they are too hard?  And no sign of CT in 2015 either. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Australia Day long

Out early doors with Justin and Craig.  We'd planned a special route just for Ben but he decided today wasn't for him.

So down to Shelley and back before heading up the beaches but cutting across to Narrabeen Lake just past the fire station.  Justin headed back after 10km so just me and Craig.  Was a bit tired after last nights run but fairly light on the feet and averaged 4:30's so not too bad.  Ended up back at Queenscliff with 30km exactly on the clock in 2:15.  Then the usual dip in the ocean and B&E roll and coffee at Emporio.  But even better was Craig's B&E roll showing up late so he demanded 2 extra free coffees.  I like hanging out with demanding people.  Over the 2nd coffee he urged me to run Orange or Bathurst Halfs.  May look into it.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Perfect Run

Kirst bagged the early slot so only headed out at 5pm when it was still 30c on a stinking hot day.  But felt good.  

Went out in my boardies and trainers (I looked a right sight and, of course, bumped into a load of people I know as a result).  Did a loop of North Head but stopped at Queenscliff, dived into the ocean and caught the perfect (huge) wave to body surf back in.  At that point I thought it can't get better than this so jogged home.

16.5km and enjoying a no niggle period.  You have to cherish these.

Charlie heading out to bat yesterday:

Curl Curl Parkrun - 2nd in 16:26

4km warm up via the flat route with Erika then showed up for my first Parkrun in ages to find the crowd bigger than ever.  Met Quentin, a sweaty Carla, Jamie, Craig Mac, chap called Mike and Dick Mull, with the better looking Heyden and Mr and Mrs Binfield also in attendance.

Knew Q would make it a hard race and we tussled all the way until 4km when he put the foot down and gapped me.  He knows how to beat me as the gap didn't grow after his initial effort with him finishing on 16:23.  Good hard hit out and a solid time in the warm and humid conditions.

5km warmdown for 14km all up.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Easy peasy Friday

Very easy 11.5km bumping into Louis early on and running with him.  Felt knackered for the first 6km then got into it.

110km for the week.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Nolans 1km reps

Well, jumped out the back gate onto Nolans this morning to put the cones down to mark out our 1km loop to be greeted by this low level mist that made the whole area look like a scene out of Sleepy Hollow.  Very romantic it was.  Macca and I contemplated holding hands for the first rep in this dreamlike setting.

But instead we just bashed them out.  First 2 were a struggle - as ever at 6.15am.  We were slowed by the longish wet grass too which made your trainers sodden within seconds.  For that reason I ditched the shoes after 3 reps and ran barefoot in the second half and, as usual, the rep times showed it.

3:16, 3:14, 3:12, 3:09, 3:07, 3:02

Macca would set off early from rep 4 to give me something to chase.  He was averaging about 3:30.  He's the only person I know who runs 1km reps at his 10km race pace.

5km warmdown for 12.5km all up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday MLR

Well this morning I was buggery rodgered.  Dragged myself out of bed at 5.45am after staying up late watching an English medieval drama last night (lots of sex and violence) and met Macca, Justin and Erika on her eagerly anticipated return. 

Well, we had 1km with Justin before he decided that his hammy was too sore.  Although eyebrows were later raised when we subsequently saw Amelia (Justin's wife) on her run so maybe it was just a shift in the Bromley household balance of power.

Usual route up around North Head although it was just Macca and me dragging our asses up the hill as Erika turned at Shelley Beach to chase down Jenny Wickham after we pointed out she was a super fast 38 year old female.

17km all up at 4:38 pace.  But done and no real niggles to complain of at the moment.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

HuRTS 2 x 20mins

Where is Mikey?

It's the question on everyone's lips.  In the meantime, we got on with the session in hand.  Massive turnout today but only Barts and I were pushing it upfront albeit with Hoey joining us for the first 20min rep before he jogged onwards.

Reached the final arch before the Hickson Road bend (about 100m behind my best) but we started conservatively and built into it.  Felt OK on the way back and ran shoulder to shoulder with Barts getting back in 19:40, with a 9:54 final Gate to Gate.  Required some effort though.

4km warmdown for 17km all up.  Finally put some effort into a session for the first time in 5 weeks.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Home boy

Took the summer clerks out for lunch so ran home from work.  Cool and wet for a change and made it almost pleasant.  Even more pleasant was bumping into 'Lil Jimmy on the way for him to hurl some abuse at me.

Knackered long run

Out at a dinner party Saturday night. Got home at 12.30am then up at 5.30am for the long run.  Rooted from the get go.  Fortunately, Macca, Craig, Justin and Dicky felt the same way so our pace resembled something produced SOTB.

But all made up for with a dip in the Ocean and bacon & egg rolls and coffee back at our usual haunt of Emporio. With Dicky paying which was very kind.

Luckily we got our ocean dip before this happened:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A session with the missus (and Justin)

For the first time in forever I went for a run with Kirst.  Plan was to do 6 x Passmore Loops with Kirst doing 3.  Then we bumped into Justin on the way so he joined in.  

Justin has some real pace!  Plainly wasting his time with all that marathon stuff.  I was aiming to get all 6 under 2 mins and managed with 1:55, 1:53, 1:55, 1:54, 1:55, 1:55.

Started to get a bit lactic towards the end.  Justin was running just under 2 mins but slowed on the last two with a hammy twinge. 

8km all up.

The week that was

11km with Kanser very easy.

110km for the week.  Bigger volume but piss poor on the effort.  Hopefully feel more up for it next week.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Timmy's Hills

Well, I was feeling tired and had forgotten my orthotics so wasn't really up for the session today.  Coupled with that, it was Timmy's killer 20mins of hills followed by a 5km tempo.  

With only Barts pushing the pace all alone, I ran with Timmy, Crossy, Tucks, Kaley and Big Kev for the most part - with Johnny Burke being in the wrong place at the wrong time so having to join in the 5 tempo.  Did 19 hills and 3:50 pace for the tempo shouting at Timmy the whole way.  Feel better for it now.

11km all up.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Base Building

I have to call it that as there was nowt else special about how I felt this morning.  Met Macca and Justin for 17.3km around North Head.  Knackered and sore.  Even Macca was quiet for the first 6km.  Impressed to get the average km speed down to 4:48's.

1:23.  Beaut of a morning though, especially at Queenscliff.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

HuRTS 14 x 3mins - The Great Divide

Hot, hot, hot today.  And humid.  So with Mikey away, I warned everyone to take it easy early on.  

I pretty much did my own thing today, starting steadily at 3:25 pace and bringing it down to 3:10 pace by the end.  I'd start behind the field to have the psychological advantage of overtaking people on each rep.  Whatever it takes to get through this killer session in these conditions.

So why The Great Divide?  Well, after 10 reps I look up to see 75% of the squad sat in the shade of a tree having pulled stumps for the afternoon.  I then look at who's left to finish off the 14 reps and it's Macca, Barts, Angus, Charlie D, Jono Woodhouse and myself.  And what do we all have in common?  We all live North of the Bridge.  Those Eastern Suburb pussies with too much money for too many home comforts don't understand effort and sacrifice and pain.  NOTB = Hardcore.

Jumped in the Harbour to cool down after and it was magic.  Slightly longer warmdown for 17km all up.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Old Timers

Well, you could have rolled the clocks back 7 years today when I showed up for my first HuRTS run in a month to find Kanser, Durante and Tucks waiting.  Then when Enda joined us after a few km you could have been forgiven thinking it was a HuRTS version of The Expendables.

Very easy 15km run today chatting the whole way.  Mostly about Kanser's brave, new training regime.  It's kill or cure. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday recovery

Manly Mexican Night last night so a gentle 10km in the teeming rain this arvo in 46:30.  Didn't feel as bad as I expected but couldn't have gone much quicker.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Manly Hardcore Posse

Out for the usual Northern Beaches route  (but running to the BC Pool to start) with Macca, Ben, Justin, Craig and Barts.  Barts was relieved to finally have some blokes who could run for more than 200m before having to stop at a bubbler.

Ben hasn't eaten a potato in 7 days on his no carbs diet so headed home after 5km.   The rest of us headed on at a casual pace but struggled with the humidity.  It's not like Queenstown.

Got to 22km back to Dee Why and Barts took his usual gel.  I think some bloke in the Eastern Suburbs gives him his supplies.  I wanted to get through the Dee Why hills so pushed on a bit from here and then all hell broke loose with Macca pushing up on my shoulder, Craig cruising at his usual marathon pace and Barts feeling as though he had to push the pace.  Final 6km went 4:00 (up the Dee Why hills), 3:49, 3:44, 3:38, 3:35, 3:34.  To be honest, in the heat I was rooted and my tummy felt a bit squiffy over the final 2km.  But Macca was pleased as we nudged under 4:20 pace for the whole 29km.  

Then a dip in the big surf at Queensie where I was tumbled around like a front loader and, as Barts was paying, Macca took us to the poshest B&E roll breakfast joint in town (brioche rolls no less) where we ordered four ladies (not tradies) and looked thoroughly feminine.

Back to the tough stuff (other than breakie).

Friday, January 09, 2015

Back home

Steady 10km around Manly in 40:32.  Nice to be back home after 3 weeks of travels.  

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Queenstown #3

4 hours of downhill mountain biking this morning (my favourite activity here) so I was pretty knackered getting out for my afternoon run around the lake.  12km in 49:32 (4:07's).  Once again, felt better as the run wore on.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Queenstown #2

Today I did my first Bungy jump.  I wouldn't have done it but for Billy.  Despite being only just the minimum age and weight (and not a little nervous), he went 10mins before me and totally nailed it.  Here he is, flying through the air:

The girl on the Bridge turned to me after he went and said "Is he your son?  He did that well!".  I was dead proud of him.  So of course I couldn't pussy my way out after that.  So here's me shortly after:

It was a massive adrenaline rush and we were both buzzing afterwards.  I had asked for the Bungy rope to be adjusted so I got a water dunk, but they must have overestimated my weight as I missed by half a metre.

After getting back to Queenstown I was exhausted but got out for 10km around the lake (such a great running track).  Very easy to start with but felt better as I went on and finished in 41:18.

What a day.  Mountain biking tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Queenstown #1

This place is magic.  It's like a cross between Switzerland and Scotland.

No time to get out this morning. Too busy  raising the adrenaline levels.  Was brilliant fun but only depressing thing was being weighed for the purposes of the "Ledge Swing" ( and realising I'd put on 3kgs over the festive period.

But got out this arvo and felt great, running 12km in 47:18 (picking up the pace the whole way).  13km all up after jogging up the mammoth hill to the hotel.

Me and Billy looking awesome above beautiful Queenstown:

About to do some Luge:

Monday, January 05, 2015

5 pointer

Not much time this am before flying to Queenstown with Billy, so just managed a run to Shelly Beach and back (8km).  Bumped into Justin along and chatted about all things in zud.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Long trip home

10km early doors along the boardwalks of Merimbula before preparing for the long trip home.  As usual, felt crap for the first 2km after emerging from the tent then felt magic on a beautiful morning.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Merimbula Parkrun

Had to squeeze in a long run, so got up early, did 10km, then did the Merimbula Parkrun, then did another 11km.  Very average time of 17:42 but it was hot and humid and I couldn't be arsed.  Got the win though and had a chat to TKS's mate Steve Isles afterwards who came 2nd.

Slowest long run in history.  Just can't get going at the moment.

Friday, January 02, 2015


10km out of the tent.  Checked out the Parkrun course.  Can't see how they can run it tomorrow as it's nearly all narrow boardwalk and was packed with tourists walking their dogs this morning.  Beautiful route though.  Ended up running up a stinking great hill back to the campsite which spoiled an otherwise enjoyable run.

Here we are:

Thursday, January 01, 2015


Out of the tent and 10km along a riverside path in Bairnsdale that looked like it was designed by a runner.  Check it out.

Seriously, it was like that for 5km before I turned and returned.  Magic.

Year in Review:

Started the year with the plan to run a fast 10km.  This time last year I hadn't run under 33mins for 10km in 2.5 years.  So I was dead chuffed to get under 4 times and set a PB.  The other distance I raced most was 5km, what with Parkruns and the monthly Rosa 5km TT.  Found them really good for sharpening the speed.

So, 3 best races of 2014 were:

1. JPMorgan 5.6km.  Big PB and almost everyone was there.  

2. Launceston 10km.  Another big PB and went for it from the start.

3. City to Surf.  Another PB, almost everyone was there and although Quentin was ahead, i was chuffed to run well after coming back from Europe.

As usual, my best results come from races I really psyche myself up for.  On the downside, I was disappointed to miss another marathon.  It'll be 3 years since I last ran one when I do Gold Coast this year.  But London 2016 is now the big aim.  Other disappointments were not doing a great Half this year and missing State 3000m to have a crack at my toughest PB.

What I learned:

1. Improved diet this year made a massive difference.  Lost 3kg and ran PBs across nearly every distance without changing my training.

2. Speed works for me.  400s etc.  improves my technique as well as natural pace.

3. Glute/hammy strength exercises work a treat.  Improve technique and keep injuries at bay.

4. I went through the year almost entirely uninjured (save post Six Foot) and consistency of training makes a massive difference.

5. Ultras are not for me.

What to aim for in 2015:

1.  Marathon sub 2:30.  May not be Gold Coast.  May need to wait for London 2016.

2.  10km sub 32.  Tough ask.  Unfortunately the Harbourside 9.8km falls a week after Gold Coast.

3.  Half sub 71.  Not many chances, particularly if I do Gold Coast Full, so another tough ask. 

So there it is, another year done.  I think there'll be some big changes this year so will be interesting to see how it pans out. For now, I'm in a campsite in Merimbula drinking a bottle of red as the air mattress has a big hole in it so it's going to be an uncomfortable night.  But Merimbula Parkrun on Sat morning awaits, the first one of the year. I'm going for one of the newly announced Parkrun T-Shirts for 25 races completed....

Today's spot: