Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in Review

Well, it was a good year.  Having trained all through December 2015 with a view to London marathon in April, I started in pretty good form.  Ran a good Sun Run in tough conditions (headwind the whole way) and it's a tricky run in the best conditions.  Went on to win Striders in March in a good time and all was looking good leading in to London.  Then I got sick 3 days prior.  I was disappointed to say the least, but at the time felt so crap I just wanted to get better.

Came back and was sick for a couple of weeks before starting up again obviously with a really solid base.  Ran a windy Striders at North Head in June and was beaten by The Vonk but knew things were coming together well and Gary's speed work was paying dividends (shown via a good run at the City Mile Dash).  Then ran the Gold Coast 10km and was stoked with a big PB.

Went on holiday to Florida, where didn't do much but I think the stinking hot weather helped keep the fitness up.  Can back in great form in training and it came
together well for a big PB at City to Surf.  Won the Striders 10km just ahead of Scotty in September but by then I sensed I was on a bit of a downhill and losing my mojo after a long season.  Dragged myself through the Melbourne Half in crappy conditions and with a cold but by then it was just a case of holding on for the JPMorgan.  That went OK, frustrating not to get the win in the easiest year ever but you've gotta take your chances and I missed mine.

Top 3 races:

1. Gold Coast 10km:  31s PB.
2. City to Surf:  43s PB.
3. Sun Run.

Top 3 HuRTS Nights Out:

1. City to Surf
2. Awards Night
3. 4 Pines Curry Night.

Worse 3 races:

1. Melbourne Half
2. Striders North Head June
3. Every single Parkrun

Looking back on this, have realised I raced pretty sparingly.  Would like to do more next year.

Things I learned:

1. Cumulative impact of an uninjured training block is priceless.
2. I respond well to high mileage and long tempos.  If I can do three consecutive 20km sessions/runs feeling OK it has great effect.
3. Sessions in Perth and Melbourne work quite well.  Not so much Brisbane.

So on to 2017.  Berlin Marathon in September is the main aim. Would like to run X-C if I can fit it in with kids sport commitments.  Race more.

New Year's Eve

Had 45mins spare before heading up to the McCredie's for NYE so headed out intending to do 10km.  Got a cricket ball into my glutes last night which really released them (not sure why I haven't done this in 3 months) and as a result felt great.  Turned into into a progressive tempo as a result trying to fit in 11km in the time available.

Hot, hot, hot but finished in 42mins for 3:49 average, high-fiving Sammy at the lagoon.  God confidence booster as it felt great.

Friday with kids

8km nice and easy with the kids on their bikes.  Finishing at Queensie for a swim.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Losing track of the days of the week.  Lewis and The Vonk organised a 60min tempo session this morning up at North Head which attracted Barts, Scotty, Toby, Anthony Martin, Lewis, Ben and even Sam.  I arrived 30s late having ran 5km to get there to see them disappear off into the distance.  

Joined them after 3.5km and hung on for 10 brutal kms in the heat (36:22) before stopping.  Was very hot and 37C out there now.  

5km cool down with Lewis (including a beautiful dip in the ocean at Queensie) for 20+km all up.


Easy 11km in the late afternoon after watching Rogue One. Really enjoyed it (although very poignant seeing Carrie Fisher at the very end following the news of the day before).  I would rank it 3.5 popcorns on the Timmy scale.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Nolans 1km reps

Great turn out with Barts, Darren, Erika, Elle, Toby, The Vonk, Lewis, Ben, Paul H and even Jamie showing up at 7am for some Nolans 1km reps.  Did a decent 5km warm up and set up the cones.

The Vonk was flying doing just 5 reps whil Lewis, Barts and I formed the second group.  Averaged 3:13's which wasn't bad on that surface.  Last 2 reps were quicker when I took my shoes off.  Interesting data on the new watch shows just how much the cadence increases when running barefoot. Angus will be excited by this:


Cool down to Queensie, quick dip in the ocean and then brekkie at Emporio.

Caught up with Big Sam in the evening, great to see him again:


Finally, my mates from school had their annual get-together back in Hexham and sent me a special photo message:


Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Day

Dragged the family out to the now traditional Christmas Day Parkrun.  Pleased that after the initial protestations that actually all enjoyed it.  Even better was the dip in the ocean pool at Freshie afterwards on a cracker of a morning.

I did 17:17 and felt crap the whole way.  Reaching a whole new nadir of lack of fitness.  But very happy with my Christmas present:


Boxing Day

Just my standard 11km route which, having got a Garmin FR 235 from Santa, I now realise is 12km.  Dip in the ocean at Queensie with 1km to go.  Am determined to get in the ocean everyday while on holidays.  52:30 (4:21's).

Average heart rate of 141bpm (which was higher than I thought given my resting heart rate is 42) and average cadence of 171 (don't know what that means).  Loving the new watch.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

HuRTs Moaning Fartlek

Well if Tuesday was my first session in a while, Thursday was the first real speed.  And I was left wanting yet again.  Started out with Enda, Andy, Fats and a few others with CT and the Vonk darting off into the distance and Mikey L stranded in between. Haven't done this session in ages and it doesn't ease off.

Started to push on in the second half and finished it off OK covering about 5.9km in the 20mins.  Longer cool down for 11km all up.

Hills and Trail #2

WTF I hear you say.  Met up with Sammy at Queensie at 6.15am and he drew a big crowd with Q, Banksy, Darren, Lewis and the Cap'n all joining in.  Headed to Shelley Beach then a detour through St Patricks and onto some trails I'd never seen before eventually popping out at North Head.  Made our way back to Manly and home seeing Sam head off for some extra.

About 15km all up, 50% more than I was intending.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

HuRTs 4 x 10mins

31C today.  Sensibly, I decided to wear an all black outfit.  

Arrived a bit late and with JFen in attendance there would be no hanging around.  So found myself straight into the first rep chasing the pack who were about 30s ahead.  Caught some back-markers by the end.  Second rep ran with Jeet who was pushing the pace the whole way.  That fella doesn't like anyone running in front of him.  3rd I went with the leaders (albeit Nick R, Crossy and The Vonk seemed to back off) so it was me, CT, Fats and The World's Least Sensible Runner. Final rep back and I eased off a bit running with TWLSR.

Felt a little better on each rep.  Hard coming back into the tougher sessions as the mental prep falls to pieces with a couple of weeks off.

Nice cool down with Enda and Jeet.  15km all up.

Just noticed this on the fridge door.  Only in Australia:

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Hills and Trail

Got up at 6am, put my running kit on, wandered outside, turned around, took my kit off and went back to bed.  Too bloody tired after a big week and another party last night.

Headed out on the afternoon up Allanbie Hill, down Wakehurst Parkway, down to Seaforth, then Tania Park, then Spit to Manly path (much more manicured than the last time I ran it) to South Steyne then home.  Still no Garmin (pls Santa!) but I doubt it was more than 23km in the 1:50 due to all the hills and trail.  But it was enough for me as I was rogered at the end.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Wave Rider 20

Tested the new shoes and first impressions are they are great.  Ran with the kids on their bikes to Queensie, then left them and ran on to Manly Hospital before retracing steps and joining them for a dip in the ocean followed by Salty Rooster.  Magic.

Some snaps from yesterday's Super Series lunch, although none of us are feeling particularly super at the moment:


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Perth #2

Another stunning day in Perth.  I don't think I've ever seen a cloud when I've come to this place.

Out at 6.30am with Jamie from the Allens Perth office.  Same route as yesterday, but a bit faster this time.  I think Jamie was getting competitive as he waved me on when we approached Elizabeth Quay. Felt great this morning.  Finally found a decent hotel to stay in over here too - Best Western Premier Terrace.  It's a bit like going into your granny's house finding the room, but once in they are awesome.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Flew to Perth from Melbourne this morning. Watched a fantastic documentary on the way: "Free to Run (Libres de courir)".  Made me cry.  Thoroughly recommend it (especially for the girls and the old sooks like me).

Headed out in the later afternoon for a run between the bridges via South Perth with TKS.  Lovely to have some company and try a new route rather than my usual 'Dalkeith 'n back'.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday sweats

No time at lunch (again) so out early with Lewis knowing I couldn't miss a day with plenty of travel this week.  A nice 10km chatting with him meant the time passed quickly and feeling almost quite good at the end.  Top start to a lovely Summer's day with a cooling breeze along the seafront.

Thoughts for the day:

1. Who is this Martin Odegaard fella? Some silky skills.
2. As I get older, old conservative people annoy me more and more.
3. Need to sit down and talk with my lawyers more.
4. I've become obsessed with a large glass of water with lemon in it first thing in the am.
5. Some people are born pleasers and others not. 3 of my kids are pleasers, 2 definitely not. 99% of lawyers are pleasers.
6. Sell and rent or reno now. You read it here first.


So finally felt well enough to head out on Sunday but was still pretty tentative so decided on 90 mins turning around at the fire station.  Had Ben, Erika and the Cap'n for company with only Lewis and Scotty doing the usual loop.

Tried to speed up to get to Narrabeen quicker for a pit stop (a feature of the virus) but only managed Collaroy before nature called.  Tough old run (at 4:37 pace) but happy to get something done at least.  Hanging on 'till Xmas.

Wed 7th

Couldn't get out to Redleaf due to work so did 10km solo around the wharves.

Then went to client Xmas party in the evening and ended up getting sick with some virus for the next 3 days.  Probably had it coming trying to burn the candle at both ends.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

HuRTs 6 x 5mins

So after a bit of rolling out I'm starting to feel a bit less in pain when running so decided to test myself out with 6 x 5mins today with the HuRTs crowd. First rep and I'm puffing and panting around Farm Cove mid-pack trying to stay with HuRTs Most Improved Brendan.  Christ this is hard.  Same on the way back.  3rd rep we detour up the hill to avoid the crowds and, having called for the detour, feel compelled the lead the way.  That nearly killed me.  Repeat for another 3 reps.  

Great to run with the Squad and love the banter but a bit of an eye-opener after a few weeks taking it easy.  When did Jerome and Brendan get so good?  How come I'm struggling to overtake Elle?

Cool down with Timmy and Elle for 13km all up.  

Thoughts out to LJ who is injured again.  Do what you need to do to get back LJ (I know she's the most avid reader of this blog - and refuses to click into Timmy's mumbo jumbo).  We miss you.

LJ hydrating.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Sweat box

Out in the hot and humid conditions for a 10km sweat with Renee, Jac, Elle, Hoey, JC, Brendan, Toby, Worswick and others.  There was talk of going to Redleaf until we caught sight of Worswick whereupon everyone went silent in fear of the repercussions.  We will go Wed and Fri though.

Today's photo is of my youngest who was sent home from school for having a tick in her head. We were hoping it might have scared off some of the nits but, alas, it was not to be.  After poisoning her head she proceeded to be pampered while shopping at (the new and jazzy) Warringah Mall - apparently for my Chrissie presents.  Her best day ever.  I can see her rolling about on Nolans more often.

Catch up

Busy time at the moment.

Thursday night was the biathlon and it was a case of mission accomplished taking Timmy out by 25s (but he failed to offer me a head to head bet) and TKS by well over the minute offered.  Here is the happy snap:

Then on for a few beers catching up with Wildman at The Bell (strange place that one - not too sure about the clientele).  Wildman was on good wild man form:

Friday was frantic but included our department Xmas lunch so no chance to squeeze a run in.  

Saturday could only squeeze in 5km between various kid duties.

Out for the usual long run on Sunday catching up with Craig for the first time in months, also including Darren, Scotty, Lewis, Toby, Banksy, the Vonk and Elle.  Easy pace (4:37's I think) but struggling quite a bit with the groin stiffness, OP like pain which got worse during the run.  Did some rolling out for the first time in donks last night and feels a bit better this morning.  Can't forget the 1%'ers.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

I am a winner!

So say the Berlin Marathon organisers, with entry confirmed for next year!


Should be a great crowd with Darren, Erika, Jeet, Taffy and Jac also confirmed.  More no doubt to come.

8km to Shelley Beach and back this am.  Biathlon test this evening to come..

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


A run to Redleaf and back with Ninja Warrior Crossy, all new Cap'n Grumpy Worswick, Renee, Elle, Renaud, Bruce and others.  Nice and easy.  Jumped into the pool just to remind myself how to swim (it's been a year) before tomorrow's big showdown at the ABC.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Morning sess

Off to Melbourne today so had to squeeze a run in this morning.  Darren was doing 90s reps starting at 6am at LM Grahams so decided to join him.  Off course I was late and he (with Erika) was already half way through so only managed 6 in the end.  Nice to get the legs moving and the surface was perfect.  Here's a photo Erika took on the final rep:


Finished with a long cool down to South Steyne then home where I seemed to bump into half of Manly.  'Twas packed.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Long run

Haven't run long in a month so I was a bit apprehensive, particularly as I've been suffering from a bit of OP recently.  Massive crowd though (Barts, The Cap'n, Lewis, Scotty, Jerome, Eoin, Toby, Elle, Erika, Darren and graced with the presence of the Shire's finest with LJ marking her Hardcore debut.  Hell, even Jeet appeared from some bushes at some stage telling us he'd just seen a large snake.  We didn't explore that conversation any further).

Did about 28.5km in about 4:25's or thereabouts.  Survived.  Almost didn't survive the bodysurfing at Queensie when I got tumbled and ended up on top of Darren with my shorts around my knees.  

Nice lunch at J-Fens yesterday and old mate Quentin went out of his way to honour our C2S head to head.  Top bloke:


HuRTs Beer Mile

Fast becoming the most popular event on the HuRTs Calendar, this was the third running.  And we've now had 3 different winners.  Which proves what a leveller this race really is.  I think about 33 people showed for this one.  In the mid-afternoon some big money came in on Barts at 12 to 1, so after a brief discussion, seasoned bookies Timmy and myself decided to take the bet.  So the rest of the afternoon was spent worrying about whether we had misjudged Barts' poor drinking skills and would find ourselves $1200 poorer by 6.30pm.  Fortunately, 10s into the first beer Timmy and I knew that our money was safe.  He took even longer to finish his first beer than me.

Leaders (in a close race) at this stage were Fast Charlie, the Cap'n, Toby, Renaud and Killa.  The latter would go on to win it based on drinking time alone.  My dark horse Toby lived up to expectations finishing 2nd, with Fast Charlie, the Cap'n and Renaud rounding out the top 5.  Meanwhile, back in the mediocre pack I was having a head to head contest with Fats having dropped Barts early on.  Finishing the last beer and getting my burps out of the way, I could see Brendan and Darren up ahead and decided to try to sprint them down.  Darren turns around after 200m and starts laughing saying "ooh, here comes Tommy!" in a mocking tone so it was all on from there.  I think I ran my fastest 200m in 30 years but edged out by Brendan on the line.

Spent the next 5mins on all fours.  Then started abusing the officials during the presentation (plainly the alcohol was kicking in).  Then a great night at O'Malley's ensued.  

Hats off to the girls relay teams who showed us how to drink.  The Irish plainly can't hold their booze with Enda and Jac both having to run penalty laps.

The winners:


The Participants:


Taking sweet winnings:


Telling one of my funny jokes:


Richie High!!


Thursday, November 24, 2016

HuRTs 1km reps

Had an unexpected lull in work today so jumped at the opportunity for a run in perfect weather conditions.  And the surface at Rushcutters was perfect too.

A good crowd including Enda, Brendan, Hipster Mitch, Branagan #2, LJ, Elle, Erika, Renee, Darien, Jerome and quite a few faces I don't quite recognise (but do my best to introduce myself to).  I'm just crap with names.  Always too concerned about telling people my name.

Schedule was 8 x 1km reps but I called for 6 followed by 4 x 200m.  Took the first 4 easy running with Enda then pushed ahead with Darien on the last 2 running barefoot.  Then got schooled in the 200m reps with the younger blokes puffing their chests out and flying ahead.

Great session on a beautiful day in a lovely spot.  Only downside was the realisation that I would be back here in just over 24 hours facing the prospect of downing 4 beers and running a mile in the space of less than 8 minutes.

News on the home front - my eldest is now in gainful employment having secured a job at Maccas at Manly Wharf.  1 down, 4 to go.  Then I retire.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday mutterings

Huge crowd today in the heat (must have been 20 of us) but I was stuck between the bickering of Enda, Timmy and Kanser.  All talk concentrated on the Beer Mile on Thursday and a massive amount of pressure is building on Timmy to avoid being "treble chicked".

10km nice and easy.

Catch up

Well, I've been taking it very easy since JPMorgan just getting out for a run when I can (not very often due to work) and enjoying it.

Friday 12th was an easy 10km jog around the City with Jac, Brendan and some other HuRTs members, Tuesday 16th I headed down to HuRTS and did 6 x 3min reps.

Thursday 18th I did the Timmy hills and Tempo set (all at 3/4 pace at the moment) before the big HuRTs awards night at The Hero of Waterloo.  Have to say, I thought the night was a real success.  Enough space (including a stage to present from) to house all 60+ of us, whilst being cosy enough to create a great atmosphere.  Highlights were the chants of "Cheerio, cheerio, cheerio!" to any of the early leavers and the excellent PowerPoint compilation of 2016 photos put together by Renee.  

I was genuinely shocked to win the Male PoTY against the toughest competition in years given Hoey's 2nd place in Canberra (2:29 low) and Barts' London result (2:29 low) and GC Half time (69:25).  Other winners were:

Female PoTY:  Renee (well deserved, has really stepped up in class this year)
Improver: Brendan (amazing gains, just has to consolidate now)
Ultra: Erika (our first female winner of this award)
Triathlete: Pete W (back where it belongs)
Spirit:  Timmy (for his cones)
The "Serg" Award:  Kanser (richly deserved)
I Gave it Everything:  Jeet

Some photos from the night:


More winners:


Late night celebrations:

So Friday was a bit of a write-off.

Saturday I did 14km around the Dam - usual route but legs getting soft already.  Then out for another party with Kirst's friends that night, but ''twas a good one with the likes of Ben Streck and Charlie Brooks also there.  Here's me getting ready:

So getting up for a 2hr run at 6.15am was always going to be a struggle, but fortunately Erika had also had a big night so we met up at 7.15am and met Barts, Darren, CT, Toby, Lewis, the Cap'n and another East-side deserter in Jerome for the last half hour before a beautiful dip in the ocean at Queensie and brekkie at Emporio.  Can't beat that for a start to the day.

Monday, November 14, 2016

JPMorgan - 2nd in 17:25

Well, another one done and dusted.  I think that's my 17th JPMorgan and my best ever position.  But slightly disappointed all the same.

Had a manic day, culminating in a meeting at Moelis (Enda's place) at 3.30pm where I started checking my watch every 30s once the clock ticked over 4:15pm.  Eventually, one of the chaps on the other side said something like "I understand you're keen to leave Tom, Enda mentioned you may get like this.". So I made my apologies and left.  Got to Martin Place station and met Jeet, LJ, Jac and Birchy.  I can't get the official bus anymore, I get too nervous being stuck on it.  Arrived at Centennial is light rain so we all huddled nervously in the Allens tent.

What I love about this race is that everyone from HuRTs is there, whether going for it (as most are) or just soaking up the atmosphere.  You warm up and see all your training mates plus some blasts from the past (Richie Palmer, Charlie Low, etc.).  We're then held on the start line in the coldish rain by none other than Benny Saint acting in an officiating capacity.  The bigwigs from JPMorgan obviously couldn't find sufficient umbrellas as they were late to make the pre-race announcements leaving us more nervous and miserable than ever.  Here's a photo of me to prove it:

Finally, we're off.  Plan from the start was to sit in a pack and attack the final km.  Easy.  Didn't quite work out.

Going up the hill I follow CT and Crossy at a quickish but manageable pace.  Turn the corner at the top and Crossy drops a bit leaving me and CT to lead.  We head towards Woolhara Gates and have we got a lead?  Feels that way.  Hey, it's a showdown between me and CT!

Then down the hill and someone bolts past us like we're standing still and immediately puts 30m on us.  Far out, it's Holt Hardy!  I was only talking to him in Monday.  CT turns and asks me "Is he in the race?" Then Neil suddenly comes past so I jump on the back of him with CT seeming to drop a bit.

Through 3km and there's Gary telling us to work together and we'll reel him in for sure. I'm not so sure.  He's looking comfortable.  But then he's proved right and we're cutting into his lead.  After 4km (towards McKay Oval) we go past and I push on a bit, into the lead.  Fuck me, I'm in the lead and I'm going to win JPMorgan!  Then some fella (Brett Halls) suddenly breezes past like I'm standing still.  I can't match it.  Fuck it, I'm gone. Turn Fox Studio gates and someone comes up to my shoulder, argh fuck it again it's Neil. Maybe 3rd will do, it's a podium after all.  No.  Can't let him beat me. Barts would be too disappointed. So on the rise from 5km to the Cafe I just nail myself and get a gap.  This is the gap on the final turn (photo courtesy of Greta):

From then on, I sprint for the line.  Congratulate Brett on the win (he seems non-plussed), turn around and see everyone coming in.  Holy moley Barts is 3rd.  Where the hell did he come from?  A great result considering his recent return from injury and just goes to show how much racing depends on belief and determination.  Then Neil.  A great run by him and he really is an all-rounder.  We know how good at the marathon he is but obviously has plenty of speed as that's the second great JPM he's run in consecutive years.  Then bloody Toby stumbles across the line, pipping CT in the process.  A massive run by him and my vote for HuRTs Improver of the Year.

We get ushered along but not before I see Erika coming in second in 19:41.  Holy crap, another huge performance with a time that's within 11s of LJ's PB and a time that would have won her the race in the majority of the previous 10 years.  

Then follows plenty of beers and chat in the Allens tent before we head to the Light Brigade.  Jeet and Bruce attempt the worst smokebomb in history along Oxford Street, while Macca, Hamish and I end up in Maisy's for the second round of burgers and milkshakes at 1am.  Another perfect night.  Apart from Donald Trump being voted in as President.

Serious talk:

The crowd:

HuRTs Ladies:

The Light Bridgade:

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

The day before

20min warm up session from the ferry to home.  

Have a manic day at work tomorrow but have cancelled all appointments from 4.30pm onwards (fortunately one meeting was with JPMorgan so I think they understood).

Monday HuRTs

Huge crowd today with a final tune up before JPM.  Ran with Enda, Kanser, Hoey & co before being joined by Holt Hardy.  He's doing a lot more on the bike these days but always pops out for JPM and will likely knock out a low 18.  Wouldn't want to leave anything to a sprint finish against him though as a 1:47/3:38 guy.

10km all up in 4:50's.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Taper session

Beaut of a day. Started with a walk up the coast with Kirst and brekkie at Splat. Bit of cricket with the kids, lunch at Ruby Lane, another episode of Stranger Things in the afternoon (awesome new series - it's scaring the bejaysus out of Charlie) and dinner at the Cogleys.  Managed to fit in a taper session locally in the late afternoon which consisted of a 5km warm up, 5mins hard (3:08 pace but first km (3:13) into the wind), then 4 x 30s on Nolans.  Followed by 4.5km cool down.

Ribs a bit sore when huffing and puffing through the 200's.

Happy days.  Could have killed for a beer though.


Allambie Hill/Manly Dam route making up 14km.  Felt fab today and really enjoyed it on a beautiful day.  Made up just over 14km in 4:17's.  

Ribs still sore (still can't sleep on the left hand side) but better each day.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Breathing through a straw

Met up with Barts.  3km warm up around Mrs Macs Chair.  Session was 6 x 1min hills then straight into 10mins hard.  Couldn't find a hill long enough so we did 10 x Domain hills followed by a Mrs Macs loop.

Hills went fine with the legs feeling pretty good and getting into a good rhythm but could only manage to breathe shallowly due to the ribs hurting.  Then straight into the tempo, 3:11 first km was good with Barts just behind, he catches me at Mrs Macs then pull ahead a bit up the hills but the legs were dead and my stomach was sore due to breathing shallowly.  9:40 for the Gate to Gate loop.  Not bad in the circumstances but need to sort out the ribs to give JPMorgan a good crack.

3km cool down.

Girls this am.  Another 120km of commuting for sport.


Aborted run home with my ribs too sore. Picked up a beer injury on Tuesday evening.  Just couldn't breathe properly.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Melbourne Cup session

With the race that stops a productive afternoon on today, got out early with Darren and Erika for 12x500m on The Nolans path off a rolling 3mins.  Actually bumped into Jared for the warm up and cool down but he was doing a faster session on the grass.

First 3 reps were torture as they always are at 6.15am.  Rep 3 was a 1:32 which produced an expletive.  All the others were 1:30 apart from the last two in 1:29.  Very happy with that as I felt good this morning.  Nice and lactic over the final two reps which showed I judged them right.

14km all up.

Put your money on Jameka.  You heard it from me first.

Monday cruising

Jog home.  With a session in the morning took it as easy as I possibly could.  1:08:47.  Next year when I up the mileage this will be become a regular commute so 1:08:47 is the easy jog benchmark.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday's are the best

Especially now we're properly in Spring. Lovely weather, would have had a dip in the ocean but for a breakfast date with Macca, Ben and the Cap'n at 8.15am at the Grumporio.  But now they know my name they shall henceforth be known as the Happyorio. 

2 hours this am (and 3mins) covering 27km.  Did the usual route in reverse but finishing at the house before grabbing the bike to breakfast.  Erika and I had a bit of an OCD moment when Toby and Lewis suggested reversing the normal route.  Took about 5km to adjust.  I was tired after yesterday's session (I always struggle backing up 12 hours later) but the company was great.

These are lifesavers:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Saturday 5km tempo

Couldn't get out to Parkrun due to the busiest kid schedule ever.  One drop off for Duke of Edinburgh weekend away, 2 drop offs and pick-ups for sport (Avalon and Wahroongah - just to make life easy) plus 3 separate parties.  I've covered 200km in the car today.  Eventually got out at 5pm so did 4km warm up then 5km hard (2 loops of golf course again) with the same cool down.

Started and finished at the corner of Quirk and Balgowlah Rd thinking there was a 2 loop Strava segment that covered that section but it wasn't picked up.  Went out hard which was tough as the first 400m is an incline to the clubhouse. So your legs are cooked from then.  3:08, 3:16 then the hills clocking 8:03 for the first lap before a 3:22, 3:17 and 3:13 (8:15 second lap for 16:18 all up).

My PB is 16:17 set back in March when in peak form before London.  But back then I ran 8:08 and 8:09 so much more even split.  In short, I'm in good but not great form.

Friday solo

Missed the group (again) so did the usual variation of the wharves adding some botanical garden hills at the end.  13.5km in 4:36's.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wednesday sort of MLR

Does 17km count as an MLR?  I think it has to be 18km to be an MLR.  Just like a long run has to be 26km.  I don't think Timmy's done an official long run in 3 years.

Was late for the group (work too busy again) but bumped into Jimmy early doors around the Opera House so did the rest with him which made it much more enjoyable.  Finished with the usual 4 hills up the Domain.  Felt sore and tired to start after the previous night's session but better at the end.  17km all up in 4:40's.

Another early morning shopping trip (6.20am) this am to get the kids packed lunch food and dinner.  No-one in the shops at that time which makes it dead quick.  But got home to discover Billy had scoffed all the Arnotts Premium Choc Chip cookies last night which sent Claudia into tears, so had to improvise with some jam sponge.  Wish I had packed lunches like this when I was a kid.

Decided to run Berlin Marathon next year so sent a HuRTS email out looking for support..

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tuesday ES Marks

Usual jog there with the achilles and bruised foot feeling much better (achilles as good as it's been in weeks).

Just Benny this evening and when he said 5 x broken miles off a rolling 6:30 I thought he was describing his own set, not mine.  Different broken miles this time being 400m hard, 200m float, 400m hard, 200m float, 400m hard.  Everyone was doing slightly different variations with Hamish running 4 at even pace and Neil doing 4 broken versions with me.

Hamish was running well and ahead on each rep, pulling ahead on my floats.  Did the first rep in 5:03 chasing him and I was cooked from then.  Wanted to pull the pin after rep two and was conjuring up all manner of excuses to explain to Benny.  But then after rep 3 you've broken the back and, even though I was getting lactic, managed to finish them all going 5:08, 5:12, 5:12, 5:13.  Not bad in retrospect but at the time it was sheer hell - mentally one of the toughest sessions I've had to endure.  8km of running all up at 3:10-3:15 pace with few rests.  But the body is feeling in good shape.

15km all up including cool down.

15 days to go.

Have got kids pack lunch prep down to 30 mins.  They now think my packed lunches are the best ever.  I find that buying bouncy white bread, Jatz and Arnotts Premium Choc Chip cookies works a treat.



Late to start so met the squad at the Opera House.  Good crowd running with Kanser, Hoey, Worswick, Brothers Branigan & Co.  Saw some girl looking as though she was shooting a porn film around the wharves.  I kid you not.  Caught on her the way back but she was wearing a bikini by this stage.

Ended with some hills at the Domain.  15km in 4:41's.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sore Sunday

Great night at the Steyne and Ashiana's last night with about 18 of us at the Steyne and a dozen for the curry.  Nice to see Emma and Nathan out.  All was going great until I tripped down the stairs exiting Ashiana's and turned my ankle, complaining like a sook.

Took some Voltaren this morning and managed to get out late arvo for various loops of Manly from the house which involved stops at home at pre-determined intervals in order to cook the roast dinner.  Just about worked although ran out of time for gravy.  Managed exactly 27km in the 2 hours (4:27's).  Have to say, it's a struggle without Kirst.  Haven't had a moment's rest today.


Check out the edges on the lawn:

Some amazing times at Burnie 10 this morning, looks like Australia's fastest ever 10km.  Also looks like various people (Harry Summers, Hugh Williams in particular) blew up trying to stick with the pace:

Saturday, October 22, 2016

JP Morgan session

Kids sport this morning so got out at lunch for Tiger's favourite JPMorgan session.  Basically 6 x 1min hills then straight into 15mins hard.  It's designed to replicate running up that bloody hill in Centennial at the start of JPMorgan before trying to get into a fast pace.

Did a 4km warm up to Suwarrow Street then straight in.  6 hills is just enough to soften the legs.  I was keen not to recover too much after the hills as you lose the benefit of the session so jogged straight back down and across the road and straight into 2 laps of the Golf Course loop.

Decided anything under 17mins would be ok so aimed for 8:20 for the first lap (3:20 pace). Started well with a 3:13 but then it started to hurt running up the rise in Kenneth Rd into a slight wind.  Bit of respite after passing the clubhouse and was chuffed to see 8:14 for the first lap.  It's then just a case of digging in and holding on.  Passed the Cap'n outside Jamie's  house as it was really starting to hurt but finished well for 16:39.9 for the 5km.

Very happy with that, albeit buggered. Will do me the world of good.  4km cool down for 16km all up.

18 days to go.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday How do I do it

Ok, sounds like a bit of an Enda headline but struggling a bit at the mo with Kirst heading off to the UK (with Bec) with me to look after Billy, Charlie, Mags and Claudie for 2 weeks.  Spent 1.5hours on lunch boxes this am. How the hell was I to know Claudia only ate salami and not ham and Mags preferred apples to blueberries. A friggin nightmare.

Got out at lunch during a manic day (did I mention I was busy) to join the back of HuRTS mid-set so ran with Timmy for a bit before jogging around before rejoining Stoke's finest for a jog back.  11km all up  in 4:41's.  

20 days to go.

Wednesday team

Big crowd for a Wednesday run which we did up to Centennial rather than the usual wharves.  Love getting out there as you feel as though you're out of the City. Great crowd in Timmy, Jac, Hoey, Brendon, Renee, Paulie H, Wongie, Strom, the Brothers Branagan and a load of others taking part.  Big discussion on the relative quality of the running blogs on the market.  Of course I kept quiet as holder of the most long established and respected blog, listening to Timmy (News of The World editor's cutting room floor) and Hoey (snooze-fest central) bloggers fighting it out.

12.5km in an hour.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Flushing out the DOMS

Popped down to HuRTS, not intending to run hard, but just for a social run.  Turned out there was no session on the calendar so after many fraught emails I set a 35min fartlek at 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1mins off 1min jog.  Turns out to be more of a 35min tempo than anything else, particularly after you hit 20mins having only had 2mins jog.  But keeps the pace up the whole way with increasing breaks after shorter efforts.

Great turnout on a beautiful day with Scotty, Barts, Crossy, J-Fen, Brendon, Jerome & co all upfront with Enda, Birchy, Timmy and Taffy all showing up from the HuRT Squad Social Set.

Ran with Timmy most of the way averaging 3:51 by the end of my 35mins.  Legs not too bad at all.  I think given all the bludging I was doing on Sunday into the wind meant I didn't kill myself too much.  Cold has started to clear up too.

3 weeks and 1 day to JPMorgan...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Melbourne Half - 15th in 1:14:00

Well, some races you just have to get through and tell yourself you're stronger for having competed.

Bit of a shambolic build up as I've never done Melbourne before so had no idea where to go etc.  Got funnelled into the MCG and from there it seemed to make sense.  Found the preferred start area, quick chat to Erika and then Eloise (just running for the win - no time in mind) and then we were lining up.  Took off with the likes of Brett Robinson, Ben Moreau & co feeling great for 200m until a rise up to Flinders St emerged and my legs suddenly felt like jelly.  Didn't really recover from there.

Loads came past until I eventually got into a rythmn and started to re-catch people.  Massive shout from the family at 3km which was nice.  By the end of St Kilda Rd (5km - 16:39) I was in a pack of 6 with Eloise about 50m back.  Then we hit the wind around Albert Park.  Holy crap.  It was a joke.  One by one we all tucked into behind each other, tripping over each other's heels in the process.  Eventually at the top end we turned away from the wind and I pushed on - with the group fizzling down to 3 but catching the chap in front.  Again hit the wind in the pit lane around Albert Park (10km - 34:30 - almost 18mins for that 5km!) before turning back to St Kilda Rd.  

St Kilda Rd was another joke.  Huge headwind the whole way had us sharing the lead in our group of now 4.  From here my sole aim was to: 
1. Avoid getting chicked.
2. Beat these jokers in my group.

At 17km we turn off SKR and here's the extended family again screaming their heads off so I give them a fist pump as I'm feeling pretty good having run 3:40's for the past few km while bludging into the wind.  Up the pace a bit here.  Eloise is getting too close.  Back on SKR towards Flinders St station - another huge shout from the fam and we're now on the tow-path.  Decide to attack the pedestrian street hill to drop the group and it works.  Into the G and enjoy running loop to the finish.

Feel pretty crap now having stoked the virus.  I wouldn't have run but for the fact I'd have got a reputation for pulling out post-London.  But glad I did.  

Erika had a great run to finish in just over 84.  Hoey showed his incredible endurance to hold on for a 2:32 whilst the Cap'n ran a very solid 2:46.  They were my runs of the day.

Then onto post-run drinks which lived up to expectations despite my short attendance:

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Saturday in Melbourne

Woke up having taken Voltaren and the body felt fine but feeling sorry for myself with a miserable cold.  Sure I've put on weight in the past 5 weeks too.  Altogether not in the right mind space for tomorrow but what the hell.  Will give it a go just to be part of the crowd.

Did 4km with a few strides this morning with Kirst (who did 6km).  Probably the first time ever she's run further than me.

Friday shocker

Drove from Goulburn to Melbourne in 7.5hours only being stopped by the police once and clocked by a speed camera once.

Arrived having developed a cold and feeling stiff and sore.  Did 4km on some fields to loosen up.


Busy day at work especially with Kirst picking me up at 7.30pm with the kids to start our road trip to Melbourne. Overnight stop was fixed at Goulburn.  Finally got out for 5km hard followed by 4 x 30s sprints at 6.50pm and arrived back at the office to find Kirst waiting.  Oops. Quick change then we were off.


7km with Elle and Jac running Corporate Cup.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Light at the end of the tunnel

AM:  30mins to South Steyne and back.  Saw Darren and told him to take it easy.  That fella is always in a hurry.  Only ran this morning because I missed yesterday due to work.

PM:  Jog to ES Marks.  Benny had 10 x 400m off 2:15 on the cards for those doing Melbourne (me, Neil and Alex - the latter two doing the full).  First in 68s then all the rest in 66s/67s.  Pretty happy as I felt strong enough to push the home straight each time.  Jog back to CQ as Jared is sick for 15km all up and 21km for the day.  Bit too much.  Will take it very easy tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Short Sunday

Was chatting to Charlie over the back fence in the afternoon after arriving back from Seal Rocks so arranged a short run with him.  Just to Shelley Beach and back.  Charlie was doing his running impressions on the return.  He nailed Darren but I wasn't happy with his impression of me.  Basically looked like Eric Liddell from Chariots of Fire.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Seal Rocks - MLR

Shortened long run starting the taper for Melbourne next week.  Took Voltaren last night (first in 2 weeks) as my Achilles was sore after running the session yesterday in the Kinvaras.  I'm ditching them for the Fastwiches.

Felt magic today.  One of those days when everything is flowing and you feel breathless running 4min kms.

16.5km in the 70mins (4:18's).

I always go on about the wildlife up here. Dodged a snake on the run today (looked like some sort of broad headed snake).  This morning we caught a snake eating a frog outside our cabin:

Seal Rocks - 75 continuous

Drove to Seal Rocks late on Thursday night arriving close to midnight.  Up on Friday morning dossing around on the beach.  Then in the heat of the day had my glance to get out for the 75 continuous.  15min warm up, 20min Fartlek (7 x 2min on, 1min off), 5min easy, 20min hard, 15min cool down.  On the undulating trail to Yagon and back.

Tough going in the heat and dry gravel (with my feet slipping in the Kinvaras).  Fartlek was pants but pleased with the tempo averaging 3:33's in tough conditions.  3:59 average for the 19km.


Same as Wednesday.  Sore again.


10km in the evening around the City.  Feeling sore.


4 x broken miles down at ES Marks.  Very blowy which made life tough down the home straight.  Ran them with Alex, me pushing ahead on the km rep (about 3:05 in the wind), him catching on the 300m float then him pushing ahead on the final 300m hard.  All run between 5:12 and 5:19 (first 2 slower before Benny told us to speed up the floats).  All off a rolling 7mins (shorter than previously).

Tough old session.  15km all up.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Home Alone

So Kirst and the kids headed off to Seal Rocks at lunchtime leaving me home alone (other than Ken).  So I lay on the sofa all afternoon watching multiple episodes of Narcos before heading out (after tying Ken up) on my favourite loop with some added Mackellar hills at the end.

Felt really lacking in energy to start with (wanted to sleep all day) but got into it and enjoyed the run at the end with the legs feeling quite loose.  Got back to find Ken gone.  How he unclipped himself will remain one of life's mysteries.  But shouted his name a few times and he came bounding towards me from nowhere.

15km in 4:28's.


Sunday, October 02, 2016

Slow and long

Usual route with in-form Scotty, out-of-form Lewis, the Streck (who I went 1-0 up on spotto), Toby, the Vonk and the Cap'n.  Slow this morning but thankfully so for me after 65km in under 48 hours.

Good news is achilles feels much better after a combo of double strength magnesium (amazing muscle tightness recovery powers) and new shoes.  OP a bit sore.  

Followed up with a bush walk with the whole family and the Cogleys up at Red Hill.  Came across this amazing user-built off-road freestyle bike track and some blokes doing amazing things on it:

Now enjoying a late arvo coffee sans kids at Ruby Lane.  I'm shagged so this is bliss:

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Baxter Basix

Loop of the dam via Allambie Hill.  Officially my favourite run and what I return to when needing to find my mojo.  Bumped into Hamish Bell (didn't realise he was a Beaches man?) outside Manly Vale PS but otherwise just me and my thoughts in the late arvo.

14km in 4:23's.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Slumpity Slump

Took yesterday off so did the session today instead.  I missed last week's 79 continuous (one of the sessions I think does me the world of good) so did it today instead - from work.  Just the usual route sticking to the water's edge.  Strong winds today which made some of the fast sections really tough.

Saw Barts out there and rival Kevin Robertson - yelling out a high to both despite being in a fast section each time. A slow average on the Fartlek and tempo but still managed 20km all up (3:58's). Hopefully it does some good.

111km for the week.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Run home

After a hell of a day at work and with a sore achilles, the last thing I wanted to do was run home.  Seriously contemplated the taxi option but I'd told Maggie she had to go to run training (after a day of touch footy) so felt like a hypocrit if I pulled out.  So I plodded home.

Achilles actually felt better as the run went on and wasn't as sore as expected.  Kirst was in bed by the time I arrived (9.20pm) so this was dinner: