Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mt Solitary

I didn't do anything ridiculous like run up it.  Just enjoying the views of it with a beer post my flattish 10km around Leura in 44:25.

Hoping Barts, Macca, Jono and Justin go well tonight.  Good luck gents.  It feels warm here so I'm guessing conditions won't be ideal in Homebush.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tiger Crew and Biathlon

Another super early start with Tiger's Babes for 11mins fartlek, 3 mins rest, 11mins tempo, 5 mins rest then 6 x 30s.

Just Lewis to chase today but chasing I was being shown a clean pair of heels, at least until the 30s sprints.  Ran those barefoot and felt great.  3:36 per km average for the 11mims fartlek (trying reasonably hard), 3:34 average for the 11min tempo (easing off) then sprinting hard on the 30s intervals.

Then in the evening was the biathlon.  Coerced into doing this by Timmy and really wasn't keen (nor was Enda, LJ, Jimmy, Durante et al.) but toe the line we did.  Felt pretty good on the run but with no-one to push me.  Then came the swim.  Didn't try as desperately as usual so swam 6:10 instead of my standard 6:00 but it was enough to hold of Timmy by 4s.  To be fair to him, he didn't make any excuses for dropping his goggles and it gets closer each time.  I was caught by Durante and McGartha with 20m to go and it was pretty desperate in the touch.  Matty Anderson seems to find it amusing that a breaststroker is fighting it out at the end and said as much (apparently) during the presentation.

But here is me getting my $20 for the head to head with Timmy:

And here are the squad post race.  I was absolutely rooted.

Great event. Some lovely beers post race with Timmy, Enda, 'Lil Jimmy, Durante and Sonya.  Top night.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Nanny State

Feeling grumpy today.  Just a few things which make me feel we live in an era (and area) of such mimmsy nimby's.  

First, Kirst says this morning that Manly West is proposing a rule that no kid under 10 is allowed to bike to school.  "It's too dangerous with too many cars on the road" they say.  So stopping kids riding is going to ease that.  Why can't we be allowed to exercise our judgment as parents?  FFS.

Then I get on the ferry and read the front page of the Manly Daily:

Social problems?! Greater social problems having to live in the vicinity of these tools making the objection.  FFS.

Anyway, usual Wednesday morning run with Justin and Lewis around North Head.  Tired as usual but still niggle free so all good. Lots of chat about the State 10,000m.  18km in 4:41's.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

HuRTS 14 x 3mins

Wasn't sure what session to do today.  Had an interview for Billy at High School this morning so contemplated running a track session down in the Shire with Eloise Wellings.  Then was told I need to pick up Charlie from cubs this evening and my argument that we could give him a badge for navigating his way home solo was not appreciated.  So got down to the HuRT Squad lunch session with a cast of thousands including all the regulars bar Enda.

Been feeling knackered recently.  Consistent big training over a decent period of time and not helped by a bad night's sleep last night after being bitten (in bed) on the toe by an ant.  So the first 6 reps were shocking with CT, Jono and Barts all finishing ahead with me, Tucks, Macca and Andy in the next group.  Gradually felt my way into the session and finished the last 4 quite well (especially the last) getting down to 3:15 pace (3:05 for the final one).  Was then rooted for the warmdown.  But all said, it was another hot and humid day so it's no wonder we're all pretty lethargic.  Hopefully it will be a massive boost going into the cold conditions in New York.

17km including warm-up and warm-down.

Timmy finished off well today after I shouted at him on reps 12 and 14.  Barts and Macca both looked nervous about Saturday night's 10,000m.  Macca will be aiming for Sub34 and Barts Sub32 although in secret I think he wants a bit more.  He keeps on talking about CT's PBs.  If anything will snap CT out of his trail-walking fascination, Barts doing the previously unthinkable will be it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

HuRTS Monday

Just me, Charlie D, Bruce, Jackie, Andy, Worswick, the Italian Stallion and a couple of others today.  15km feeling surprisingly good.  Was expected to be shattered after yesterday but bounced around in 4:26's.  Must be the change in shoes.  My Wave Rider 17's are now like plimsolls.

Durante wolf-whistled a naked bloke and I've got a new office change room partner in Jackie but that's about it on the interest front.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fast Finish Sunday

I Did a slightly longer warm up of 3.5km this morning and only just caught the boys who I could see leaving the Boy Charlton Pool as I approached it.  At this stage we were in the middle of a huge downpour and, embarrassed to say it, but I think I heard Barts whooping as they set off in the rain.

It was Barts, Macca, Lewis, Andy and Justin this morning.  Pace was nice and easy (averaged 4:38's before the fast finish started) but I didn't really feel comfortable and was dreading having to pick up the pace.  It was only Lewis who fancied the FF, with the others saving themselves for next week's State 10,000m.  Had a gel at 21km then started picking up the pace at 22km (emerging from Narrabeen lake).  The final 10km went:

4:01, 3:53, 3:43, 3:40, 3:44, 3:32, 3:29, 3:29, 3:28, 3:27

So 32km all up in 2:17 odd (4:17's) with a final 10km in 36:26 which is about what I was looking for.  Lewis very strong again, couldn't hold on to him in the final km when he bounced away running a 3:17.

Beautiful dip in the ocean after (water temp about 4C cooler than last week) and the usual order at Emporio.  Nice.

Good to see Ogi finish as first Japanese lady in the Tokyo Marathon.  She's the girl I ran with all the way at GCM in 2012:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Easy Sat, first in a while

Just 10km along the beach in the evening.  First easy Saturday run in 5 weeks but doing a fast finish in the morning.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Squeezing it in

8km early doors around and about then running to the wharf.

111km for the week.

Thoughts on the Fast Ferry:

1. Has someone died on Eastenders?
2. This cyclone hasn't landed near Townsville.  All the others always seem to land at a town "near Townsville".
3. I wonder if Thodey gets some sort of share options based on Telstra's price when he retired.
4. The IAAF are adding an O50's event to the World Champs.  Only 800m at this stage. Wonder what you have to run to win? My guess is 1:56.
5. Cricketers Arms beer was very good last night. Might even be better than Coopers.
6. How long does it take a girl with a big tattoo to regret it?
7. Has anyone actually listened to a Ramones song or do they just buy the T-Shirt?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Running with Tiger's Girls

Met up with Danielle Allen, Emma Collyer, Anna White and Amy Stafford (the Manly Run Crew) as well as Macca, Jamie, Quentin and Lewis this morning at Passmore for a session Gary had scheduled for the girls.  It was 2mins, 6mins, 10mins, 6mins, 2mins off a 2min rest. 

Given we'd all be running different pace I laid out some cones from the centre of Passmore to the path at the perimeter (where we would do the reps) so that when we finished each rep we could just converge back in the middle with no-one having to travel any further than the others.  Worked quite well with each of us emerging from the morning mist to regroup before the next rep.

To be honest, Quentin and Lewis took it out quicker than felt comfortable for me, but to avoid running solo I tried to stick to them.  I did for the first rep, I think I dropped off the second towards the end (can't remember). On the 10min rep we ventured onto Nolans Reserve and I struggled on the grass but caught them on the final 2 laps of Passmore.  Same story on 2nd 6min rep and Lewis showed us all a clean pair of heels on the final 2mins.

Pace per rep went:

3:10, 3:23
3:17, 3:21, 3:14
3:16, 3:09

I found that pretty tough and was almost lactic on the final 2mins.  But did a long warmdown (5.5km), some stretching and a hot bath and I've got Pink Floyd legs now (comfortably numb).

The girls are strong.  Danielle has some real speed but must have had a tough week after her 5000m exploits on Saturday followed by a 1500m at the Bankstown Invitational on Tuesday night.  With focussed training I reckon she would be in Lara Tamsett territory.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wednesday MLR

18km this morning around North Head (the extra km trying to find Justin) with Macca, Lewis and, eventually, Justin.  84:52 (4:40's).  Another beautiful morning but Autumn is closing in as it was dark when I woke up.  Legs buggered again but had a hot bath at home after and felt much better after that. 

Caught up with the lovely Elle this morning for coffee who only has 2 weeks until Goldrick Jr appears.  She was on fine form and I think I even managed 2 sentences during our 45 minute catch up.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

HuRTS 4 x 10mins

Rocked up today feeling tired again so planned to feel my way into the session.  Q, CT, Tucks, Andy, Crossy, Ray and Macca were there also holding back a bit so we ran about 3:40's on the first rep, getting back with 4s to spare.

CT, Q and Tucks pushed ahead on rep 3 with Andy coming past me while I finished with Crossy.  Was doing 3:32's on that one.  Got back in the same time but needed a final 300m push to do so.

Just a session to get through without hurting myself.  Not comfortable at all though.  4.5km warmdown with Andy for 16km all up.

Nice to see LJ back out again easing her way back in.  Andy looks to be getting some form back - Macca and Enda will need to watch the mild-mannered boy from Watford (Milton Keynes? Luton? Somewhere down south).

Monday, February 16, 2015

Homeward Bound

Ran from work to Manly Wharf, picked up my bike and ride home.  14km, dead slow as the legs were barely functional.  Equivalent of 61mins running past my old house.  All up 14km in 4:40's.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

NOTB Triathlon

Macca referred to our now standard Sunday routine as the NOTB Triathlon - 30km run plus swim in the ocean plus brekkie.  Same again today with Barts, Macca and Justin toeing the line.  Pace was very easy (4:41's) but we were all rooted after last night's efforts and it was one foot in front of the other stuff.  Took a gel at 25km (first time in months) just to get me home and it's amazing the hit you get when you're not used to them.

Bit embarrassed at Emporio when the waitress assumed the chai decaf soy skimmed latte was mine and not Barts', but otherwise another perfect start to the day.

Splits from yesterday.  Pretty consistent throughout.  I ran well from 3km to 4km (7th place to 1st place) which is a good sign at a tough stage of the race, but couldn't match the final sprint.  Barts's final lap was faster than everyone in A grade bar one (Matthew Cox).

Saturday, February 14, 2015

ANSW 5000m Champs - 4th in 15:19.64

Drove out with Dad after a day of trying to corral the kids, grab some rest, watch some cricket and eat for an evening race.  How do you eat for an evening race?  I settled on a bacon & egg roll for breakfast, 2 chicken sandwiches for lunch, various bananas and 3 piccolo lattes.  Figured that as it was hot and humid, piccolos were the way forward.

Arrived at Homebush with Dad with the rain starting to fall and it still at 26C.  At least the wind had dropped but I wasn't expecting fast times with the warmth and humidity.  Did a warm up with Macca and Barts, then a few strides and was feeling pretty good.  I was running in my Mizuno Wave Rider 17's but without orthotics - which reduces the weight a lot.  However, the track was wet and they soak up the water so was regretting not just risking the spikes.  But hey ho, don't think shoes make that much of a difference.

Knew quite a few of the field and figured Barts would be leading it with Kyle McDonald, myself, Lewis and a few other youngsters in tow.  But I was wrong.  The gun went and everyone went screaming off.  I settled into mid-pack after a 35s first 200m then had to navigate my way around in lane 2.  By 1km (3:00) I was in a pack of about 6 including Kyle and Barts, with 2 random chaps another 30m in front.  But I figured they'd come back.  Our pack was working well together banging out 72s laps and I knew it wouldn't be won by a random bloke in sub 15:00.  2km in 6:02 and they're coming back to us.  I was about 4th in our pack, feeling pretty good for once.  Normally in a 5000m my brain is scrambled and I'm just holding on, but I was aware of each km and thinking I need to work the 3rd and 4th.  Through 3000m in 9:09 and I figure we're on for a pretty good time as the pack is still working together.  Somewhere between 3km and 4km we swallow the 2 in front so the race is now on.

At some stage before 4km the 3 lads in front gap me, Barts and another chap so I go past them to bridge the gap.  Then figure I might as well go to the front just to say I gave it a go.  Also, I want a good time so want to keep the pace honest.  I'm then overtaken, and from here things are a bit hazy, but I think I took the lead again at 600m before being overtaken before the bell.  Kyle, a chap called David Spence and another called Brady Goodyear are ahead and Barts goes after them in chase.  My legs are gone so I'm just trying to hold form as well as possible.  Brady falls off the front 2 at 200m to go, Barts takes him and I've now got someone to chase.  Then I hear the track announcer call out; "So it looks as though it's come down to a two horse race" and all I can think is 'I wouldn't count Barts out yet mate, that's really going to piss him off'.  Sure enough, Barts admits after the race that announcement really pissed him off.  So I was dead chuffed to see the big fella chase down the young blokes in the final 100m to win by 4/100ths of a second.  He even gave it a fist pump, so it's not just me who is subjected to it.

I managed to catch Brady and dip under 15:20.  Was stoked with the time.  But more so the race - it was great just to be in a race with a pack like that.  Not sure how Barts managed to put 7s into me on the final lap.  But the fact is he ran 6:03 for the final 2km to my 6:10, so it's not as if I finished particularly badly - he just finished brilliantly.

I think Lewis will be a bit disappointed with his 16:18 (given he went through the first 5km last week in 16:30) and Macca was with his 16:48 but they'll both be better for it in bigger races to come.  I admire anyone who runs track.

Was great to see a load of people out there - Tiger, Hamish Mac who I did a long warm down with, Benny St doing pacing duties for the Community 5km, Kenny and Renee and old rival and former great James Harrison with Robin Whiteley giving a few shouts out.  A great night.

Photo courtesy of Macca - me and Barts with our respective Dads, who frankly should be looking more impressed with us than they were.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Massage meander

Another crap night's sleep which is disappointing before tomorrow.  But I'm well rested after a very easy 4km jog to Tiger's massage then a 5km jog back.

Big race tomorrow.  In the B race with a few of the other regulars like Barts, Lewis, Kyle McDonald and Hamish.  I think Barts may take it on his current form though as the immediate next rung up are all in the A race.  If I get within 10s of him he'll have had a disappointing race based on his Sun Run performance.

90km for the week.

One of the benefits of taking the day off yesterday was being able to watch Maggie in her Futsal game.  Rock solid this one.  The Toon could do with her as a central defender.  Took a hard ball to the face late on which drew "Ooohs" from the crowd but fought back the tears like a true champ.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Best hangover cure

Took yesterday off.  Too tired and knee was slightly sore from over-exerting on Tuesday.

Summer clerk dinner last night and was supposed to meet Tiger's Girls for a session this morning but enjoyed the red wine at Otto a bit too much.  Had a day at home so hot out this arvo for 12km easy including a dip in the ocean.  Bumped into Lewis and ran with him for a bit.

I think there may have still been some alcohol in the system when I dressed for today's run:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

HuRTS - 5 x 1km

With State 5000m on Saturday Barts and I decided a 45min tempo wasn't the right session today so switched to something shorter and sharper.  Just a small group of me, Barts, Quentin, the battling Irishmen (Enda and Macca), Renee and a couple of others.  Ran the reps around Farm Cove in the heat of the day - about 28C and sunny.

First one starts and I feel like I'm holding on from half way in.  Then second one Barts pulls slightly ahead, Q comes past me and I manage a late rally to catch Q.  Feels quicker and it is - significantly.  It's amazing how much quicker you get on these reps when your legs get used to the pace.  Third rep and I'm pushing the pace towards the end but trying so hard my legs start stuttering a bit and hitting the ground early!  Fourth rep I'm telling myself just to hold on.  Same again on last - if I can get half way I'll be happy, but again rally late.  Times went:

3:08, 3:01, 3:00, 3:00, 3:00

Pleased with the consistency after the first.  It was a very tough session, both mentally and physically.  Finished with some 200m strides then a jog back to the office.

11km all up.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Mob Monday

Great big mob today, including Enda, Charlie D, Kanser, Andy, LJ, Big Mikey H, James Lambert, Hoey and a bunch of the AMP boys.  Just the usual 15km which was a bit quicker than usual.  

Tucks looked very intense ignoring us around Farm Cove.  Secret training.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Super Sunday

Another beautiful Sydney morning and out at 6am to do a few extra km before meeting Barts, Quentin, Craig, Justin and Macca for the usual route.

4:30 pace the whole way and time flew by.  Legs were a bit heavy after yesterday but generally felt pretty good.  One of the most enjoyable runs of the week (and such a contrast to running solo) when you're looking forward to the dip in the ocean and coffee and b&e rolls after.  30km all up in 2:15:58.

A good weekend was topped by having my entry (preferred) confirmed for the New York Half Marathon on March 15th.  Will have to adapt the training a bit.  Ditching the Track 10km on 28th Feb and will put some longer tempos in beforehand.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Striders 10km Homebush - 3rd in 33:10

With Kirst learning how to mediate divorces, I was flying solo with the kids today.  Decided that the best way to get the race in was to put the kids on water hand-out duty and bribe them with breakfast and a trip to Homebush Aquatic Centre afterwards.  Was hoping that my 2 bets with Timmy - giving him a 3:20 headstart and my backing of Macca over Enda - would give me enough money for brekkie.  In fact, I'd offered Timmy the alternative of buying us all breakfast if he lost both bets (and had refused the kids any food this morning just to get them extra hungry).

Showed up a bit late due to organising the kids and only had time to squeeze in a couple of km warm-up.  But bumped into Craig, Macca and Enda and could see there was a good HuRTS turnout, with even Richie High on show and Kenny and Eoin making long awaited comebacks.

On the start line, man-handled Claudia out the way wanting a last second cuddle, then we were off.  Matt Hudson and Dave Criniti sprinted off with Neil P in their wake.  I was next and noticed Lewis immediately tucked onto my shoulder so knew what his game plan was from the off.  Was aware that there were a few others on the back of the group but not sure who they were.  Neil was pulling ahead until 3km when the gap to Lewis and I (and a.n.other) settled.  Then on the horse track one of the runners from behind takes the gravel with Lewis while I stick on the path and who is it but Hoey!  Holy Crap!  He's obviously taken my 10km race advice to heart and been aggressive from the off.  Now I'm worried, as Hoey is a notorious negative splitter and, on this course, I have a fairly standard 30s positive split.  Hoey goes ahead of Lewis and I and starts doing all the work.

Continues on this way through the start finish area for the end of the first lap (Lewis later says it was 16:30 at 5km) and I get a big shout from the kids and we're catching Neil.  However, even at 7km Neil is holding a 10m gap and Hoey is inching closer to him and away from Lewis and myself.  So I make a big effort here to catch them.  Then remember what Macca and Craig were saying last week about not sitting behind someone when you catch them so I immediately go ahead of them and try to push on.  I'm aware though that Hoey is just sitting on my shoulder.  But he doesn't go ahead.  I'm sure with more confidence, and race experience, he would have as I reckon he was feeling better than me at that stage.  I'm not sure he could have felt any worse.  But the longer he sticks behind me the more chance I think I have.  So we get to the mini-climb onto the bridge, I hear Gary shout something like "drive forward!" and I just concentrate on sprinting for as long as I can.  Thankfully, the footsteps behind get quieter and I hold on for 3rd.  Embarrassingly, there was even a mini-celebration, as evidenced here:

Hoey came in 5s later for a massive minute PB - and a huge step forward.  He'll run low 32 on the State 10km course in May.  A big thanks to him.  With his relentless pace we were able to catch Neil which I'm sure I wouldn't have done running solo.

But then the real interest came.  How did my NOTB Irishman do against the soft SOTB Irishman?  Well, despite Macca giving it his all Enda came in 6s in front of him.  Both went sub35 so the competition worked in both of their favour.  I just feel for the kids who lost out on another meal and had to make do with begrudgingly offered scraps from Enda's cinnamon muffin at breakfast later.

A good run by Justin in 36:09 and great first runs back from Kenny and Eoin in mid 36.  Anna Fitz also had a good first run return in 37:35 just behind Timmy's 37:34.  I keep on telling the fella that he needs to do more of the sessions he hates - the longer tempos - if he's to get back into the 36's.  You can lead a horse to water...

So, Timmy and I were even for the day.  But my man Macca will be back.  He doesn't take defeats well, especially when he's forced to pose for a photo with the SOTB pretender wearing this T-Shirt:

So a top morning all round. Nice breakfast with the Irish "E"s of Eoin, Enda and Eamo before all scaring our younger kids shitless with giant buckets of water.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Easy Friday

12km solo up around Centennial Park.  Dead slow but no niggles and felt great.

101km for the week.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Passmore Reserve Reps

Out bright and early for a 4km warm up which is the minimum before I can contemplate running quickly at 6.30am.  Only Macca this morning so we decided on 8 x Passmore Reserve reps (650m) off a 2 min rest.

Did this session on a Saturday afternoon about 3 weeks ago with Justin (albeit only 6) and was averaging 1:54/1:55's so was pretty crestfallen to see 2:01 on the clock after the first rep.  But that must just be the impact of running early doors, as the times came down after that, thank God.  Reps went:

2:01, 1:59, 1:58, 1:56, 1:57, 1:56, 1:56, 1:54

In a further warning to Enda, Macca really pushed on rep 4 which brought the time down.  Legs were getting a bit wobbly towards the end of each rep after that and - sitting here at lunchtime - they're still feeling pretty fatigued now.  So a good session over a good distance.  You push almost as hard as a 400m rep but have to hold on and concentrate on form towards the end.  Will do me no good for Saturday morning but hopefully one in the bank for State 5000m next Saturday.

5km warmdown for 15km all up.

Read a great oral history of the 1990 Commonwealth 5000m final on last night.  Interesting tips on Andrew Lloyd's training before the race which we should put into practice.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Wednesday MLR

Usual Wednesday route with Macca and Justin.  Got up earlier today for some reason so actually met them past the Boy Charlton Pool for 17+km. 

Was prepping Macca all the way round for a good performance on Saturday morning.  He told me he was totally psyched and was going to smash any Irishman that got near him.  Justin indicated that he'd be happy to beat Timmy but would be going out conservatively and showing the legendary NOTB strength to bring it home on the 2nd loop.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

HuRTS 8 x 5mins

Everyone there today with a quality showing upfront.  Barts, Quentin, Jono, CT, Fast Charlie, Tucks, Fats (giving it a nudge), Andy (hell, even he gave it a bit of a nudge), new man "Dark Horse Tom", Macca  plus blokes I'd never seen before.


Big news of the day was showings from our three star ladies - the 3 "E's" - LJ, Erika and Elle!  Where was Renee?  Running scared as the superstars returned.  Well, I say returned, I think they hobbled through a couple of reps, had a chat then said their goodbyes.

I eased off today, with the plan for the first few months of this year being 3 weeks on and 1 week off.  Intended to run with Macca but he just got stronger and stronger finishing the last 2 reps with Quentin and Barts.  Post-session I immediately got on the blower to Timmy and suggested a NOTB Irishman versus SOTB Irishman challenge for $20 on Saturday morning and he took it!  Just hoping Macca hasn't peaked 4 days too early and that Enda crumbles in perplexion at Timmy's new-found faith in him.

Felt comfortable all session which was good - far better than last Thursday.  I think the day off on Sunday has worked.  Not sure what I was averaging without a watch but we were getting to the second tree on the flat section opposite Garden Island.  I'll give the sprints on Thursday a go but otherwise take the rest of the week very easy.

Ah - on top of the No.1 Irishman bet Timmy has final agreed on a 3:20 handicap for Saturday morning.  Rorted once again.  I'm not used to negotiations where someone throws their toys out of the pram and refuses to pick up the phone until they get their own way.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Long Monday

At Craig Mc's on Saturday evening which involved a crate of beer and 6 bottles of wine between the 6 of us.  Can't remember putting the kids to bed or getting home for that matter.  But after a week off the booze those beers tasted nice.  Which resulted in Sunday being a bit of a go-slow day and my first rest day of 2015.  Happy enough to dip my head in the surf watching the kids do Nippers.  Maggie was beaten for the first time ever at Flags (by a boy - they're getting quicker) and the look of shock on her face was priceless.  The immediate bursting into tears wasn't so cool. 

Managed to squeeze in a longish run today.  10km solo before joining the squad for 15km.  Had to put up with Enda and Kanser baiting each other for an hour.  The disharmony in the Irish squad is growing.  And to say that Enda is focussed on beating Macca this weekend to crow about being Ireland's no.1 would be an understatement.

25km all up averaging about 4:30's.