Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday get together

Strangely Monday is almost the most popular running day of the HuRTs week.  Big crowd today including MC, Charlie, Erika, Renee, Sonya, Enda, Birchy, Jacquie et al.  Achilles a bit sore again - need to stretch and get the magnesium in.  Too much beer and too much heat makes the body very stiff.  Out to Barangaroo and back around the wharves.  Finished up with 4 x 80m hills with Erika for 17km all up.  Legs and achilles felt much better after the 4th hill rep than before, as ever.

Plenty of banter and stories today with Charlie cowering inside his house all last night because he's forgotten how to fight and Mikey giving us his stock picks after telling us he did 7 hours of meditative silence yesterday.  He's unique, that fella.


Saturday was a wipeout.  Felt guilty.

Out again Saturday night to Jon and Jane's Shaggiversary in The Rocks.  Too tired Sunday morning so got out at 3pm after joining the Climate Change march.  26km around North Head and Manly.  Felt fine but Achilles was sore.  Got some abuse from Darren out of a car window up at North Head and, thankfully, bumped into Thamal at Shelley beach on the way back so ran the final 10km with him chatting the whole way.  4:29's.

HuRTS Beer Mile

So Friday evening was the scariest event on the HuRTs calendar - the beer mile.  4 beers (min 5% vol, 355ml), one at the start of each 400m lap.  Now, I'm not renowned for the swiftness of my beer drinking.  More like a chugging Diesel engine than a TGV.  So this is always a struggle for me.

Double the crowd from last year and I can see this event becoming more and more popular.  We had to split into two races due to numbers - I went in the first "fast" race only because all my betting rivals (Macca, Timmy and Birchy) were in this one.  I'd have been more comfortable in the B race (as would Birchy and Timmy as history will show - but more of that in a second). I had 3 bets on - head to heads with Timmy and Birchy and with Macca giving me a 29s head start - based off last year's result.

Timmy's done a great job in marking out the lap with his magical cones and laying out all the VB and New on the picnic table ready for us to grab each lap.  We line up, Birchy goes early opening his can before the starter gives the sign, someone cracks the obvious joke and then we're off.  At least everyone else is while I do my repeated gulps.  The leaders start the run and I'm only half way through. Everyone is now off bar Me and Nick Roberts.  Someone is as slow as me!  We eventually go, I burp for 100m then start sprinting.  Just catch Birchy by the end of lap 1 and the next beer awaits.  

Same again, everyone else slowing down now though.  Next lap I overtake Timmy and Birchy and, barring a barf, I know I've got $40 in the bag here.  Where is Macca.  Holy cow, he's challenging the leaders.

And so we get through.  Nick Roberts is with me the whole way, beer for beer and stride for stride but a barf on lap 4 consigns him to a penalty lap.  I run 7:44 (pretty much same as last year). Birchy is happy with his 8:00.  Macca takes $20 off me running an impressive 7:04 for 3rd place behind Nick Haines and Charlie Low.  Captain Grumpy was in the mix enjoying th VBs.  Funniest thing though was seeing a table of VBs lined up for race 2 with almost everyone in race 1 choosing the New.

I won't mention how Timmy went.

Then we watched race 2.  Great showdown between Durante, Darren and Greg(?) and then Jacquie, Sonya and Erika for the ladies champion.

Then we're all on a high so retire to O'Malleys in the Cross.  Never seen Macca so high.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

4 x 2km

Probably my worst session of the year.  Got up at 5.30am for the 6th time in a row and it showed.  Not helped by it being 28C at 6am and blowing a hot westerly wind.

Just me and Emma today.  Used the same 1km Nolan's route as Tuesday and did 2 laps changing direction each time.  That was the first mistake.  Clockwise was considerably slower than anti-clockwise due to the wind.

Reps were ugly.  When things got really bad, I just concentrated on form.  Reps went:
Last rep was barefoot finally feeling vaguely ok.  Otherwise I was heavy legged and lacking desire.  Emma was the same.  We decided not to ever talk about that session again.

Long warm up and down for 17km
all up.

Beer Mile tomorrow.  I don't think I've ever wanted to beat anyone in a race as much as I want to beat Timmy in this one.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday MLR

16km easy with Emma, Erika and Dicky followed by 4x80m hills.  Beaut of a morning.  Then onto Claudia's Christmas concert where she was a Japanese dancer.  Not sure what it's got to do with  Christmas but she got to dance with a parasol so she was happy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday 3 x 1km

Short and sharp today.  Up at sparrows fart as usual and managed 3km jog before meeting Erika and Emma for the session.  Decided to finally obey coach's orders to run on grass and so got my cones out and marked out 1km around Nolans.  Grass was fairly long and dewy so was expecting the times to be down a bit.

Km reps went 3:03, 3:00 and 2:57.  Happy with that on the grass.  Took my shoes off and ran barefoot for the final rep which feels magic in longish damp grass.  Anything to take concentration away from the lactic build up in the legs.

Girls going well running under and over 3:30.  5km warm down and all done before 7am.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday morning starter

Manic morning with Kirst held up in Melbourne overnight.  Managed to get out at 6am for 12km to Shelley and back.  Ran fast up the hill behind Shelley just to get the blood pumping.  High fived Lewis running back along Manly Beach and chatted to Macca after bumping into him on Riverview Pde.  How very social.

4:24's.  Left achilles sore after the weekend.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday similar

Just me, Craig and Rich Mullaney this morning.  Slightly different route going around the back of Narrabeen Caravan Park and the West side of Narrabeen Lake.  28.5km averaging 4:24's.  Bit quicker as Craig was down to do the final 8km in 4min clicks.

Tom B has got Craig into shape nicely for the 50km World Champs in Doha.  He's put in some big blocks of mileage, has been sickness and injury free and now just has to taper nicely for the race in 2 weeks.  I sense Craig's biggest worry is whether to ease off at the start and run his own pace or whether to go in a pack with someone like Brendan Davies.  I think he should just see how he feels on the day.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Manfred Mann and Parkrun

Busy morning on kid duties with Kirst away so had to do the 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1min reps (off 1mim jog) before Parkrun and under strict instructions to do it on the grass.  So did 3+km warmup then the set on the fields adjacent to the Parkrun start.  Found it tough going on the grass.  Got through it averaging 3:30's (inc. the jogs).

Then 5mins jog and rest before starting Parkrun.  Recognised Gary Mullins but didn't realise how fit he was.  First km was comfortable in 3:17 (having been fully warmed up), then 2nd km in 3:17 and he's still there.  Third km in 3:23 and now Gary is in front, 4th km in 3:16 and we're side by side, final km in 3:05 after being urged by Gary to keep going with 500m to run and I get the win by 5s.  Pretty bloody tired at the end of that.  3+km jog home for 17.5km all up.

Charlie at cricket this morning.  His batting is improving:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

London bound!

Session this morning was 75mins continuous - which is 15mins jog, 20mins fartlek (2mins on, 1min off), 5mins jog, 20mins tempo then 15mins jog.

Ran with Erika and Emma around the usual loop of Nolans and Passmore.  Longer warm up of 3.8km then into it.  Always find the fartlek harder than the tempo and I usually run the tempo at a slightly quicker pace.  But not today as its the first one i've done since June.  5.81km for the fartlek (average pace 3:26) then 5.75km for the tempo (3:28's).

All up it's over 19km which is why it's such a solid session.

Erika and Emma averaging just over 4:00mins per km for both.

Congrats to my eldest brother on his new job.  Looks like he's about to become a pom again!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Saw this graph on Twitter this morning:

I was surprised to see so much red towards the top of the map.  It seems that Americans have become hysterical about settling 12,000 "widows and orphans" (as described by Obama) on the basis of the Paris attacks, when something not too far removed from the Paris attacks seems to occur in an American school or university with depressing regularity.

But back to running.  Today was a very nice slow run to Redleaf Pool in mid-30's heat with Mikey, Charlie, Hoey, Andy, JW, Tym, Nathan and others.  7km there, lovely dip in the cool water watching the rich socialites before running 7km back.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Have You Been Paying Attention

12 x 500m again this morning off the usual rolling 3 minutes.  This is rapidly turning into my most dreaded session.  Hurts like hell and if it doesn't you ain't running fast enough.  This morning it was Erika, Emma and Jamie with me on the pain train.

1:31 on the first rep, then a series of 1:30's with me wondering how I ran 2s per rep quicker when chasing Quentin.  Then after 6 reps Jamie woke up and started pushing harder on my shoulder, so I pushed harder thinking I was slowing.  A series of 1:28's finishing with a 1:26 followed - the last was eyes closed, pumping the arms waiting for the lags to buckle.

3km warm up and 5.5km warmdown for 15.5km all up.  Solid and legs comfortably numb all day.

Today's title is in homage to my favourite program on the box at the moment.  Sam Pang's dead-pans are priceless.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday commute

Too hungover yesterday to do anything other than yoga in the late arvo.  Big curry night Saturday night which unwittingly ended in The Old Manly Boatshed.

Today was a slow commute to work in 69:26.  Made the mistake of running across Passmore Oval which soaked my feet from the off.  Traffic was a bitch today so was very satisfying overtaking all the buses.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Saturday long

Usual route with Macca, Craig, Rich M, Darren and the Cap'n.  Nice and easy but picked the pace up to sub 3:40's over the final 4km.  28.5km averaging 4:33.

Breakie in Emporio afterwards which is cementing its reputation as the finest b&e establishment in Sydney.  They've gone brioche with the rolls which is slightly inner-west hipster wank but I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.  I could tell it was a step too far for Macca though.  Here was mine - 10/10:

Then Rich M arrived and shunned the protein for a sugar burst.  Here is the over-elaborate Muffin with Richie showing us that it has no impact on his fine figure:

Friday, November 13, 2015

National Walk to Work Day

So I ran in.  Legs were smashed in the first few km following Wednesday night's exploits, but then felt pretty good after that.  Deliberately took it very easy and it was a beaut of a morning.  Had a cyclist slow down and start chatting to me going down Spit Hill and turned out to be Mark Green - he was impressed by Quentin's run on Wednesday.

67:06 all up.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

JPMorgan CC - 4th in 17:16

This is just the best race.  Everyone in the HuRT Squad does it.  Everyone wants to look good in front of their fellow employees so lays it down.  Throw in a tough but fast course and you have the recipe for an awesome night.  I think I left the Cross, pizza in hand, at about 1am.  Actually, not sure about that.  Ask Birchy.

Spent the whole day as a nervous ball of energy.  Couldn't sit down for more than 10 minutes a pop.  It's always my second most unproductive day of the year, rivaling only the day after JPMorgan.  We had a bus laid on to take everyone from work but I just jumped on the train to Bondi Junction.  Couldn't face being trapped in there in traffic crawling down Anzac Parade.

Did a warm up with Barts, Emma, CT and Muz.  Then headed over to the start line for the warm up (including a few strides up the hill) and to meet a mass of HuRT Squad members.  You stand on the startline and, every direction you look are more members of the squad - acknowledging each other with nervous smiles and wishes of good luck.  Here's the front row:

We're held there for ages and I'm getting more and more nervous, just trying to collect my thoughts.  Here's me, Crossy and 2:28 man Darren Moyle taking it very seriously:

And then we're off.  I try not to blow my legs too early by sprinting the hill, but you do have to commit early in this race as there's limited time to recoup any early losses.  My plan from the start was just to stick to Barts.  I figured Jeff Hunt would be way ahead and that Barts would be leading the charge.  I hadn't figured on Quentin.  Anyway, by the top of the hill (it always goes on a bit further than I expect it to), Quentin, Barts, CT, Alex Rogers and myself have formed a little group behind Jeff who has put a big gap in early on.  This was at the bottom of the hill, I'm hidden behind Crossy:

Alex drops off around the 1km mark (3:05) so the group going around the Woolhara Gates is the usual CT, Barts, Quentin and myself.  Going down the hill we're side by side.  Through 2km (another 3:05) and CT starts to drop off.  I'm just tucked in behind the two big guys all the way to 3km (3:02).  At this stage, Quentin mutters something to Barts which I found out later was words to the effect of "C'mon, let's drop him".  And drop me they did.  Just as we're running past Coach Tiger.  Between 3km and 4km Quentin runs a 3:01.  I must have done something like a 3:08.  At 4km it's really starting to hurt and my brain starts scrambling.  I look ahead and see a white singlet running ahead of a black one.  I think to myself that I'm sure Barts was wearing a black singlet, not a white one and can't quite comprehend what's going on.  What is going on is Quentin continuing to apply more pressure and drop Barts.  He's run an absolute stormer and is now closing in on Jeff Hunt.  Meanwhile, I'm desperately trying not to fall apart.  Kick again I'm thinking at the Fox Studios Gates, attack this hill.  Not long before the final turn.  I see Barts running on the wrong side of the road and realise that he's goooone.  But too much to make up and too close to the finish.  Here I am at the Fox Studios Gates:

Finally turn the corner and try and lift for the line but I am knackered.  But dead chuffed.  Just nice to be back in the mix again after injury.

Then turn around to see everyone finish and the usual fantastic tussles.  Surprised to see Neil next in 14s behind me.  I didn't think the shorter course would suit him but he's run a great race to beat CT, Crossy, Hoey et al.  Then 18 minutes clicks over and these two come sprinting in, eyeball to eyeball:

Then look out for the girls.  Lucy Starrat wins it in a very quick 19:08.  Lexy Gilmour next, then Kirsten Molloy just ahead of Erika in 4th for the second year running, like me.  Just behind is Emma who had been in 3rd until 4km when she blew.  LJ was there at the end (in active wear) screaming at us all.  If there's anyone who loves this event more than me its LJ.  Love the fact she turns up regardless to support us all.

Behind Quentin my run for the evening goes to Charlie dipping under 21mins (20:58) and smashing his PB, taking some big scalps in the process.

Back to our marquee for the beers and banter.  The best bit.  The girls:

Then we have the boys:

The rivals:

Super Elle made a stunning sub22 comeback:

Some of my banking team at Allens:

Larger group of reprobates:

And now it's starting to get a bit loose:

And some real old timers reliving the good old days:

And today, 'Beckham' paid up on his bet:

And my favourite, Barts looking nervous and Quentin knowing exactly how it's going to go:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The day before JPMorgan

Busy all day in meetings.  Finally got out at 6pm for 30mins very easy followed by the same 4x80m Domain hills as last Friday.  Felt the same - crap on the first but moving much better by the 4th.

All manner of bollx being spoken about tomorrow's race.  I've got a feeling Jeff Hunt is going to be out on his own, Barts is going to be chasing on his own, Quentin and CT will be duelling next with Alex R, Brett Halls and Miles Waring thereabouts and with me, Hoey, Crossy and JFen in the subsequent chasing pack.  And I've probably missed a few there.  So a top 10 finish would be a bonus.  You read it here first.

Monday, November 09, 2015


3km warm up, 11mins Fartlek (1min on, 1min off), 3km warmdown.

Headed down from work in the late afternoon after 5 hours of meetings (only marginally better than yesterday's 7 hours - remembering it's Monday today) to a freshly mown Rushcutters in the warm sunshine.  Was pretty magical and made the fartlek almost bearable.

Barts ran a super 8:46:00 in the State 3000m in Saturday, a seriously quick time.  He was only 10 or so seconds behind Jeff Hunt.  The lad is in fantastic form.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Curl Curl Parkrun - 2nd in 15:54

Got a bit nervous for this one.  Realised yesterday that Quentin was running as a final tune up before JPMorgan.  The Tiger had it down for me.  I was a bit worried I'd run an average time and lose confidence for Wednesday.  But with Q running, all I had to do was hang in for as long as possible and be dragged around.

Did a 4km warm up.  Changed into the Fastwitches. Bit of a chat with Macca, Bindi and Q and then we're off.  Feels quick but I'm not going lactic so just go for it.  Through 1km with Q in 3:02, push ahead for a bit and through the second mm in 3:08, then the third km in 3:19 exchanging the lead but starting to feel the pinch.  Up the hill, still holding on but waiting for Q to pile the pressure on.  But we're still together at the bridge and it's only in the last 400m that he puffs he chest out, extends those long legs and pulls ahead to win by 3s.

Very happy with that.  I wanted something sub 16:20 so to get within 1s of my course PB was a huge bonus.  4km warmdown with Macca bumping into Emma who surprised herself over a 2km time trial.

Now to rest up for Wednesday.

Maggie's party this arvo:

Friday Fastwitch

So with just 40mins easy with a few hills on the cards, I jogged over to The Running Centre in Edgecliff and settled on a pair of Saucony Fastwitch's as a racing flat.  Haven't raced in anything but my Mizuno Wave Rider's - including 5000m on the track - for the past 2 years.  But in a fit of desperation and clutching at straws for a boost in performance at JPMorgan next week, I decided a lightweight flat was the way forward.  There's a teeny bit of science here in that I seem to run my reps quicker barefoot.

They felt great, so bought them and ran back to the office.  Stopped at the Domain and did 4 x 80m hill.  First one was shocking.  Last one felt great. I guessing Tiger put them in to activate the glutes.  If so, it worked.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Remember remember

Well, that session this morning was as average as they get.  Just me and Emma in rotten conditions.  Did 3 x 1 min hill (over Queenscliff bridge and up the path).  Then 4 x 5min efforts along the beach.  First one was OK averaging 3:18's.  Then turn around to realise I'd been running with the benefit of a huge tailwind.  Almighty struggle to get back on the second rep where the Garmin was reading 3:50's at one point.  Ended up averaging 3:42 for that.  Then it died, obviously in sympathy for me in avoiding having to record any more piss poor performances.

Just felt really tired again today though.  Need a good night's sleep tonight as I fell asleep and was dribbling on my Fast Ferry morning commute.

Longish warm down bumping into Macca a couple of times for 15km all up.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Post Melbourne Cup hangover

No Justin, just for the win.  All or nothing with me.  There was plenty of shouting at the TV.

16km today with a bit of a hangover but with Andy to chat to and drag me around.  Saw Hoey and Gleeso, then - bizarrely - Mikey C running solo.  Normally he has more hangers-on than Floyd Mayweather.

Untimed, unmeasured and unsightly.  It was just a case of getting it done today.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Melbourne Cup

Out early again for 12x500m off a rolling 3mins with Quentin, Macca, Jamie, Erika and Emma on the path through Nolan's.  

Really pushed hard today trying to stay close to Quentin.  It may have been a touch short of 500m as I averaged 1:29's to start and 1:27's for the last 6.  But it certainly felt like 3min km pace.  Q was 1-2s in front for each rep.  Was running through treacle on the final rep so hope it does me good.

2.5km warm up and 4.5km warmdown for 14km all up.

Gleeso says to bet the house on his top tip and, as a fellow lawyer I trust that fella.  But I'm going to put $500 down on Max Dynamite instead.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Monday moaning

Out on a very warm (29C when we set off) and muggy day which wasn't conducive to feeling sprightly.  But for some reason the pace was quick - running 4:20's around the wharves.  Massive group but I was mainly chatting to Enda, Hoey, Kanser and James Lambert.  Well, I say chatting, more like grunting and complaining at the pace.  14km.

Sunday easy

Tired.  3km then yoga then 6km.  Legs very wobbly post yoga.

Saturday Parkrun and long run

Out at 6am for 11km solo before meeting Macca, Andy, Ben, Paul and Chris Yates at Curly for Parkrun.  Andy was dressed in a full length skeleton suit including mask so sole aim of the morning was not to let that joker beat me.  But general intention was to run with Macca and push him around.

Set off easy, caught Macca between 2 and 3km, would feel him slow a bit on the hills then come past me again on the down.  He pushed hard with 600m to go but just failed to get under 17mins.

Then did a warmdown with Macca and Andy before taking Charlie to cricket at Seaforth Oval and doing my final 7km from there - pretty tired at this stage.

27km all up.  Average 4:31's.  16:59 Parkrun.

Then on to Oktoberfest: