Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year in Review

Well, it started with a Parkrun win in Merimbula in a PW.  I'm in better form coming into the start of 2016.  But from there things improved.  A slow start but solid finish in the Sun Run in early Feb showed I was coming into some form and had a good 32:46 in the Striders at North Head in March after a PB over 5000m on the track.  I reckon my Dad would say that was my best run of the season.  I then joined Coach Tiger who mixed up the sessions but more than anything prepped me well for the big races.  A good New York Half on a tough windy day followed in April and a PB (just) at the Sydney 10.  I went into the SMH Half feeling tired but had my run of the season with a PB and a solid win over my usual rivals.  

Caught a bad cold just before Launceston but ran an equal PB nonetheless but was disappointed to let Barts drift past me just before the line.  Got a bit sick just before the GC marathon and tried to squeeze in my last big run too late which I think caught up with me on the day.  It was easily my toughest ever race and was physically drained afterwards but happy to have pushed through.  Then overdid it too soon and paid with a hamstring injury just before C2S.  There was only one race left in my books after that, being the JPMorgan, and was very happy with the way Tiger got me into good form off a limited training period to run a 17:16.  And so here we are.

Best 3 performances:

1. SMH Half
2. State 5000m
3. JPMorgan 

Sydney 10 and Launnie don't make it as I felt I should have gone sub32.

Most disappointing - GC Marathon, although there are always positives you can take from every race and for me it was not giving up.

Biggest regret - not doing more ANSW races.

New Year's Eve

More dinner and drinks last night so could only squeeze the run in during the heat of the day.  Felt good from the off though today and did an elongated route up to North Head but finished at Queensie for a dip in the ocean (where I almost lost my shorts in the big waves) followed by a jog home.  15km in 4:06 pace (grey running) followed by 1.5km jog.


Out early with Ben and Jamie for a loop around North Head finishing with a coffee at Grumporio.  Beautiful morning for it.  Nice easy pace (4:42's).  16km.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Making it up as I go along

Ok, it would be fair to say that over this recent period I haven't been following coach Tiger's program to to dot.  Too much going on, need for sleep, wanting to spend time with the family when on break etc.  So didn't show up to the special training session this morning and only managed to get out for a run at 5pm this evening.  Planned on 14km up to North Head.  Got up there and thought might as well do 17km including the Fairfax Walking Track.  Then on way back from North Head (including the hill just past the North Fort cafe) I ran a 3:49km split feeling great.  So decided to tempo it home from there.  Final 7kms went 3:30, 3:21, 3:32, 3:26, 3:26, 3:20, 3:18 feeling marvellous.

All up 17km in 1:07:17 (3:57's).

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday with some class

So LJ has steadily been getting back into her running post injury, slowly increasing the distance and getting fitter.  And with limited time this morning she couldn't afford the usual 27 water stops.  So she decided it was time to take the step up from Centennial and join the Northern Beaches crew.

Ben, Elle, Erika and myself joined the Shire Starlet.  I was knackered and managed a measly 15km at a gentle pace before retiring to prepare the house for a few guests.  It's fair to say that LJ ran with a broad grin on her face with infrequent utterances such as "this is amazing!" and "I can't believe you have access to this all the time!".  I think she may be back.  And she didn't even get to the Grumporio.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Boxing Day

This may go down as run of the year.  Big Christmas Day with Jon, Jane and Wilf over as well as Dad and Katie.  Crawled into bed at 11.30pm after way too many wines, beers and Calvados.  So a long run and the alarm set for 5:45am was always going to be a challenge.

First few km were torture but at least Macca was feeling the same.  Tim P, Barts and Craig were also there.  Then after Narrabeen I started to feel ok.  Macca made a cheeky manoeuvre to avoid the 3rd and final standard water stop to gain a lead so Barts and I hunted him down through the mean streets of Dee Why.  Ended up running the last 10km in 39:04 and the final 5km in 18:03 (all stats courtesy of my new Garmin Forerunner 25 from Santa) to average 4:22's for the 28km.

Grumporio was back to form with Italian style eggs after a beautiful dip in the ocean at Queensie to wash off the booze oozing out of my pores.

Christmas Day

Dragged the family out to Parkrun.  Had to work a bit harder for the win than I'd hoped for running 17:05 but the flashing Rudolph nose was playing havoc with my breathing.  

Very impressed with Maggie running on strongly to be 2nd Highnam home in 28:58 with Charlie just over 30mins and Kirst then Bec following shortly after.  But they all ran all the way which was the aim for the morning.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve

Responded to Barts call for an earlier session.  So headed over to Rushcutters with him (and Timmy setting up) before noon for 6 x 1 efforts off a rolling 5mins.  And efforts they were.  Legs cactus after Tuesday's session, Wednesday's biathlon and another night on the beers last night.  Felt like I was running through treacle on reps 1 to 3.  Took a breather and pit stop on rep 4 and rejoined for the final 2.

Did them all in 3:03 with the final one in 3:01.  Poor Barts was dragging me around though.

Then the boys turned up so we could look smugly at them and proffer that they enjoy their session and not slack off.

11km all up.  Rushcutters in fantastic nick as the photo attests:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Manly biathlon

So the triathlon was canned due to the potential for wet roads on a very hilly and twisty route.  It was just the 700m swim to the Mambo metal stairs and back followed by 5km to Queensie and back.

Jumped into the water and it was hell. Couple of big rollers came over and I was swallowing water.  Steadied myself, reverted to breastroke and I was ok.  Was on the heels of one fella but could see Jono and Macca (and Charlie not that I knew it) miles ahead.  Every now and then I'd revert to freestyle but lose the toes of my pacer so realised I'm quicker at breastroke.

Saw some big fish and some big shadows which was a bit sobering.  At the metal stairs the waves were crashing into the wall so had to navigate quite carefully.  After an age it was all over and went into transition surprised to see Ben coming in just behind me.  Spent an age in transition getting my socks and t-shirt on then onto the run.

Hammered the first km knowing I just needed to get some blood flow through the legs.  Felt like my stride was tiny but I was passing a load of people so felt encouraged.  Saw Jono and Macca just after I went past North Steyne but where was Charlie?  Turned after the steps at Queensie and we're now into a headwind.  This should help me I think so just put my head down and grind out the final 2.5km.  Finish in 17:0x for the run only to see Macca, Jono and Charlie chatting together at the end!

17:15 for the swim.  17:0x for the run.  ~1min transition for 35:15 all up.

Lovely b&e roll with coffee with the gang at Shelley Kiosk as we're all done before 7am.  Now knackered.

The top 4:

Too much tomato sauce:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

HuRTs 2 x 20min

Woke up at 5.30am with the intention of doing the RunCrew session in Manly.  Got a text from Emma saying she was bailing due to leg issues and that was the excuse I needed for an extra 2 hours sleep.

Slipped out at lunch feeling pretty good for the 2 x 20mins.  Ran with Tongey, Nick and Darren Moyle on the way out with JFen 30m back and Barts emerging from the bushes later on.  With a big group I pushed the pace on the way back and one by one they dropped off other than Nick who's a tenacious bugger.  Saw Hoey up ahead on the final 2 hills and he dragged me home a few yards ahead of Nick in 19:45.

3:24's on the way out and 3:21's on the way back.  4km warmdown with Barts and JFen for 16km all up.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday meander

Slow as to Redleaf with Mikey, Hoey, Charlie, Champ, Nathan and others, running out the long way and back the short way.  Another dip.  Not sure it's going to help my Triathlon on Wednesday though.

Back on the Wagon

Dragged my ass out on Sunday morning to run 26+km with Ben, Tim P and the Cap'n after Saturday night at a party and Friday night at the Allens Xmas Party.  4:32's was as much as we could manage in the heat.  The dip in the ocean at Queenscliff was sublime.  The Italian style eggs at the Grumporio almost as sublime.

Here's me riding the bull on Friday night:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Bull & Bear

OK, so last night was a bit random.  What was supposed to be a couple of farewell drinks at our local boozer before it shuts down tomorrow turned into one of the biggest nights of the year.  The bar staff were bringing us free jugs of beer all night long as their loyal customers.  Pippa (the 2nd highest paid barmaid in Sydney apparently - probably the reason the place has gone bust) joined us later on as the photos attest.  So today was not a day to run a 60min tempo in the heat.  Instead, I turned up at HuRTS and ran Timmy's set of 20mins of hills followed by 5km tempo.  Actually felt quite bouncy but I think I was still drunk.  Nick R was smashing it out but I ran with Jerome on the hills then Timmy for the tempo.

The pictures:

Early on with the Bull & Bear regulars plus token female:

Pippa joins us for a beer:

Contemplating the flavour:

It's a thumbs up:

Birchy grabs himself a souvenir:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday commute

Got a lunch on today so ran in after walking to school and dropping the kids at Manly West (final day of the year).  Charlie and Maggie are still willing to hug me at the gates but Billy wouldn't be seen dead within 20 yards of me so I proceeded to run after him with my arms out wide shouting "give me a hug!" for maximum embarrassment effect.  It succeeded.  I was very embarrassed at the yummy mummy's looking at me strangely.

Felt very tired on the run in after the last few days training so took it very easy and un-timed.  But the body is holding together OK.  13km.  Can I count the 2km walk beforehand and pretend it was a trail 'run'?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tuesday double

AM:  8.5km around and about and to the wharf.

PM:  Hurt Squad 14 x 3mins with a 60s rest.  Averaged about 3:18's (exactly gate to gates).  Felt tired running them but in the comfort zone.  Nice crowd (it's been a while since I've done a Tuesday set) but perhaps not as big as usual?  But the class was there with LJ in particular back in the fold and Hoey, Barts, Tongey, Nick R, JFen and a rapidly improving Jerome all pushing the pace upfront.

Jumped in the harbour with Barts, Charlie, Hoey and JFen afterwards.  Then a 3.5km cool down with Barts for 18+km total, 26+km for the day and 42+km within 20hours.  Except it wasn't a cool down as I proceeded to sweat like a pig post shower and freak out all my workmates.  It was very humid but plainly my body was struggling with the workload.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday solo

Too busy again at work so only managed to get out at 6pm.  Did the wharves run plus 4x80m Domain hills.  Nice to run in the cool of the evening.  16km total.

Bec did the Bold and the Beautiful this morning in 37mins.  I might try it soon.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday same old

Out with Barts, Craig, Ben and the Cap'n for the usual 29km.  Picked the pace up as usual towards the end to average 4:23's.

Bumped into Macca at the end and we tried a new breakfast joint post our dip in the ocean.  This is fairly momentous for us but the stale brioche rolls at Emporio have let us down one time too many (i.e. twice).  So Salt at North Steyne was chosen and the b&e roll was top notch and the belaroma coffee pretty good too.  A few too many cyclists for my liking but you can't have everything.

Sat - Curl Curl Parkrun

Saturday morning was a 2.5km jog to Parkrun with Timmy and Jimmy with the intention of pacing the former to sub18.  But with Ben Streck in the start line my job was done as he's been hovering around that mark for the past few weeks.

Scotty O was there and disappeared off like a rocket.  Ben went off quite quick while I followed Timmy through the first km in 3:24.  Pushed ahead to try to drag him back to Ben through kms 2 and 3 but he would only sit 5 yards off my shoulder content to smile at the cameras.  Drifted up towards Ben on the uphill between 3 and 4km so encouraged him home to a 17:54 with Ben strong over the final km.

Timmy just failed in his sub18 attempt and Jimmy ran well in his first race back to run a 19:12.

4.5km jog home with the boys and Julia Degan for 12km all up.

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Another big night on Thursday for our client Christmas Party so a jog to Redleaf with Jimmy, Smolly and Liam, a dip in the pool and a jog back was perfect.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Caught up with Melbourne clients last night.  If my liver survives intact until Christmas I deserve HuRTS PoTY.

This morning was a run to the Tan, couple of laps, then back to the hotel for a lovely breakie.  Perfect morning in Melbourne - blue skies and cooler and less humid than Sydney.  

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Wednesday short

Too busy at work then went to the STC production of King Lear starring Geoffrey Rush last night with Bec.  So missed my PM run and was too knackered to join Justin when my alarm sounded at 5.30am.  Got out at 7am for a very easy run to Shelley and back in 35:50 (4:28's).  

Usual crowd out there including Amelia (the future Mrs Cap'n) and Lewis who I high-fived in exuberant fashion.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Double trouble


6km tempo along the beachfront.  Erika, Jamie, Quentin and myself fronted up.  I told Quentin we needed to be sub20 and he duly obliged.  Km splits went:

3:13, 3:17, 3:18, 3:23 (turning at Shelley), 3:19 and 3:09.  So through 5km in 16:30 and 19:40 all up.  Mission accomplished.

Hard work that, but great to have Q there pushing the pace with me occasionally doing my share if he slacked a bit.

Saw the Cap'n pretending to smile on a see-saw.

3km warm up and 5.5km warmdown.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Sunday Special

The usual route with a returning Barts, Macca, Ben and Justin.  Stunning morning and we ran nice and easy but stretched our legs over the final few km.  29km in 4:31's.  Then a dip in the ocean (cold but perfect for the legs) and bacon & eggs at Emporio.  I challenge anyone to top that for a Sunday morning.  Saw Anna Fitz running around Narrabeen Lake.

Put up a new bed, chucked one out, lay down on the sofa to watch some David Attenbrough then wandered along to the Riverview Pde Christmas Street Party.  Lasted 30mins, just enough time to remind myself why I appreciate living at the povo end of the street.

Maggsie all dressed up for next week's ballet performance:

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Saturday cop out

Another missed session.  This time courtesy of the Annual Super Series lunch at North Bondi Fish.  But a top afternoon celebrating with CT, Q and Barts - us all buying the latter his lunch as a result of winning with 2015 season.

Managed to get out in the late arvo for 10km around Nolan's running with the kids.  Charlie did 5km in 28:47.  I did about 45mins.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

4 x broken 6:30's

Different session today.  4 x (2:30, 1:30, 30) with 1min easy between each rep and 3mins jog between each set.  So it works out as a continuous 35mins.

Just Quentin, Macc and me this morning.  Wasn't looking forward to it as I was tired all of yesterday and convinced myself I'd take it easy behind Q.  We did ease into the first set (just 3:20 average for the first 2:30) but you'll see those times started coming down for each new set.  Nice session in the end - mentally easier as once you've done the first 2:30 then 1:30 and 30 reps can be blasted out.

9.3km in total for the 35mins (3:45 pace including 9mins of slow jog).

2.5km warm up and 3.5km warm down for 15km all up.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Wednesday MLR

Same as last week with Emma - elongated it to 17km this time but with the same 4 x 80m hills which I'm finding really beneficial.

Emma's getting stronger.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

12 x 500m


It's now become my most dreaded session.  Hurts like hell and is hardly over and done with quickly either.

Big group out on Nolan's this morning with Macca, Jamie, Emma, Erika and the Cap'n all showing up.  Beautiful morning with mist over the fields but which meant they were pretty damp.  The shoes were heavy after the warm up.  Marked out 500m on the grass to keep the boss happy.

Reps went 1:33, 1:33, 1:34, 1:34, 1:34, 1:34, 1:33, 1:33, 1:33, 1:32, 1:30, 1:28

Took my shoes off for the final 3 which made a big difference as ever.  3-4s a rep slower than on the paths but made a difference when Jamie or Justin was on my shoulder.

3km warm up and 4km warmdown for 14km all up.


11km running at the back of the HuRT Squad 45min progressive tempo.  Canny warm like.