Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday similar

Craig came over at 6am so we did a little loop of Passmore and to the start point via the golf course to add a few km.  Then met Lewis, Ray, Scotty and Tim P for the usual route but added the longer loop around Narrabeen Caravan Park given Craig and I would be finishing at my house.

Good chats as usual.  Pace started to pick up after the water stop at Narrabeen Lake with Ray wanting a faster finish.  He got it (which he should not have been in doubt of with Lewis in attendance) with some 3:30's thrown in after Mt Dee Why.

All up 30.3km averaging 4:19's.  Might catch some zz's this arvo. Currently sat on my deck on an old chair feeling like an old man.  But happy.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


Couldn't get out this morning due to kids sport so Tiger's session (Parkrun plus 10min hard, 5 easy, 10 hard) was always in jeopardy.  Looked a killer in any case.  Only got out at 6pm and, given I'm running long in the am, decided on half of it.  Did a long warm up, decided on two laps of the golf course as:
(A) it's exactly 5km; and
(b) I knew there'd be a few Strava times up for grabs.
Ran 16:51 feeling pretty controlled.  I say controlled as my breathing was ok but not sure I could have run any quicker.
15km all up averaging 4:05's.  Managed to venture out just as the thunderstorm hit.

Holy crap, you can tell it's Olympic year.  Times at the Hunter Track Classic are sensational.  1:46.3 by some kid to win the 800m (Jared 3rd in 1:47.8) and Gregson winning a top quality 3000m in 7:47 with a load under 8mins.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Super Easy

Met up early doors with Ben, Erika and Burkey on the proviso that no one would be going quicker than 5min kms.  A lovely 12km sticking to the flat on a nice morning.  Averaged 4:53's.  Couldn't start the day better.  Unfortunately it's downhill from here as I have to fly to Brisbane.

128km for the week.  

First day of school.  Last kid now in.  My work is done:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Timmy's Hills and Tempo

Out with a decent size squad of masochists for one of the nasty sessions on the calendar.  In truth, it's very similar to my session on Tuesday.  20mins softening the legs up (800's on Tuesday, continuous hills today) followed by a tempo.  Today's tempo was more undulating but a bit shorter.  Similar warm (27C) and humid conditions.

Ran with Hoey for the first few hills.  Given I was doing a loop in just over a minute I figured I'd do 20 so broke them down into sets of 5.  You have a find a way to get through this session mentally as you can find yourself staring at the watch after 5mins in disbelief.  After 4 Hoey starts to pull ahead.  I gauge whether I'm still pulling ahead of the chaps behind or whether it's me slowing and convince myself it's the former.  Legs get a bit numb towards the end but I suppose that's the aim.

Massive queue for water then we're straight into the tempo around Mrs Macs.  Timmy does his best Blackadder Goes Forth impression by blowing the whistle and telling the troops the course for the 5km before quietly announcing he's only doing 3km.  I give everyone a bit of a start (alternatively, myself a bit more of a rest) then set off and get into a good rhythm.  3:16 first km but it's gentle downhill.  Then a 3:21, then a 3:22 including the tough little hill before the half way mark and I'm gaining confidence.  Hoey then helps me out for a bit to finish with a 3:17 and a final 3:20 pace 810m including the nasty hill again. 15:58 all up (3:19's) and I'm really chuffed with that.  Seem to have hit some form.

Nice warmdown with Conway for 16km all up.

No time for a PM as its pizza at Ironbark with the family to discuss first days at new schools.  In any case, I'm farked.

By the way, love this "Hanging with the Beckhams" post from Sammy's Blog:    

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Usual 20km North Head route this morning including the 4 x Mackellar hills. Ran with Lewis most of the way but with new lad Robbie Begg (good triathlete apparently) for the first 5km.  Then, bizarrely, Quentin popped out of a side street looking startled, told us he'd nearly been hit by a tree, then promptly disappeared.  I think he must have been trying some of Enda's medication.

4:29's all up.  Knackered this morning.  Increased mileage catching up with me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Australia Day

AM:  5.30am alarm.  Half wake, feel guilty about Q, Jamie, Tim P et al. waiting at Manly Oval.  Tell myself I'm knackered, the extra sleep will help and it would be un-Australian to get up at this hour.

Wake 2 hours later feeling lethargic again but force myself out.  4km warm up, 5 x 800m on the long grass of Nolans out the back gate.  Ken almost bowls me over on rep 4 getting over-excited at my sprinting.  It's getting very warm.  5mins rest then 20mins tempo.  Christ that was hard.  Felt as though I was holding on from the first km.

800's were 2:29, 2:29, 2:27, 2:26, 2:26

20 mins tempo was 5.85km (3:25's).

These sessions get me fit.  I keep telling myself.

PM:  Well - about 3 hours later as I had an Oz Day BBQ in the arvo.  7.5km easy on the grass of Nolans and Passmore in 4:40's.

27km for the day.  Monster monster.

Monday, January 25, 2016


Really struggled to get out today.  Great nights sleep last night but completely lethargic all day. Doesn't help that the kids have worn me down. Thank God Kirst returned this evening.

Got out for a lazy 15km usual route up to North Head.  4:23's.  More Jane The Virgin tonight - classic series.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Easy and short

8km in the early evening.  Felt shocking to start with.  Felt ace at the end.  The splits show that:

Late out due to a pub crawl the night before with my mate JJ and including these jokers:

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Long Saturday

Out this morning (a struggle after a few beers on the ferry and Wharf Bar with Dicky and Tim P last night) with Quentin, Macca and Ray.  Ray is a SOTB regular but said he was looking for a tougher run this weekend so headed North.  In truth, I was looking for an easier run so wasn't looking forward to picking the pace up.  

Eventually got into a groove after 15km and picked the pace up to 3:45's for the final 6km.  Ended up with 30km averaging 4:21's.  Q and I bumped into Jared West over the final km and chatted with him about his training and race plans.  All geared around the Aussie champs and selection in the 800m for Rio.  Beautiful dip in the ocean after as it was hot and humid this morning.

Finally on to the Troubadour again for the brekkie burrito, coffee and signature sparkling water shot.  Magic.  Barts overruled.  It's the new regular.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Streak and Peak

Wasn't massively keen on running this am after a few beers last night.  But with Jimmy staying over and promising him we'd get out this morning I ran the Manly Surf Club with him so he could do the Bold and the Beautiful.  I then did 8km up around North Head before rejoining p run home.  Nice to get out and get it done.

14km in 4:44's.  140km for the week.

Thursday struggle

AM:  7km around Manly finiahing at the the ferry wharf to work.  4:48 pace.  It's muggy out there.

PM:  Had a meeting at 1.45pm so managed to persuade Barts to come out a bit earlier.  Compromise was to do his session of 2mins on, 1min off x 12 (instead of my 12 x 1min hills).  2km warm up then into it.  Big factor was the 33C heat, especially in the sun.  We did it around the Opera House and between the OH gates and St Mary's Gates so it was pretty exposed.  Hung on to Barts for the first 8 reps then I was the one pushing the pace as he started to struggle a bit in the heat.  

Monster of a session, was pretty buggered at the end.  Averaged 3:37's which is good given 1/3rd of the time we're jogging.  2km warm down for 14km all up.

Then in the evening I was on timing duties for the HuRTS Biathlon.  Unfortunately the storm had just blown in so the pool was closed.  The team stoically did the 5km run in the maelstrom though.  Here they are:

Then over to the Tilbury (for the last time - bar staff there are shocking) to farewell my good mate Mr Durante with a few beers and a Tiger Pie courtesy of Harry's Cafe de Wheels.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday MLR

Out with Erika, Clive, The Cap'n and, wait for it, Lewis for the usual Wed MLR.  Beautiful morning and a very easy pace chatting the whole way.  Finished with the usual 4 x hills next to Mackellar.  20km averaging 4:42's.

Today I was thinking about "whatever happened to" and the following people came up:

1. Tim Cradock
2. Tim Ashby
3. Tim Rowe (what is it with Tim's?)
3. Chris Graham
4. Lucy Chapman
5. Lara Tamsett
6. Laura James

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday speed

AM:  Funny little speed session courtesy of Gary which was 2km solid (5mins rest), 10 x 300m off a rolling 2 mins (5mins rest) then 1km hard.

Good crowd of Quentin, Clive Cooper, Jamie, Burkey, Darren and Erika.  Pretty much ran everything with Quentin but Burkey was amazingly quick on the 300m reps.  Plenty of speed that lad.  Quentin was obviously paying his respects for the sad passing of Grizzly Adams last week.

2km in 6:15 along the beachfront (3:09, 3:06).  300's in 54s or thereabouts on Manly Oval and 1km in 2:52.

Jogs before, after and Inbetween made it 13 all up.

PM:  Easy 9km or so post work.

Monday longish

Out with the HuRT Squad at lunch chatting to Hoey, Jackie O and Bruce etc.  Then at the turnaround point Andy Heyden appears wearing his 1980 style red England football shorts, last seen when paired with a set of antlers for the pre-Christmas run.  It was really quite disturbing and if Timmy had been there sterner words would have been exchanged.

But he kept me company for the rest of the run after others disappeared so he was forgiven.

Finished with 4 x 80m hills for 17km.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Long run

Same as last week and another big crowd, this time with Barts, Scotty, Darren, Erika, Dicky, Ben, the Cap'n, Tim P, Macca and Craig.  Bit tired after yesterday so wasn't keen to lift the pace at the end but with Macca dropping the water stops and Barts super keen I just tried to tuck in behind him and Scotty.  A few 3:30's there and a faster earlier pace meant I did the 30km in 2:07:09 (4:14's). I'll pay for that this week.

Did my best to recover by having the Grumporio Big Breakfast (Barts ruled out Troubador) followed by a super hot bath. Ocean as good as ever.  That initial cold rush as you get your head under is my favourite moment of the week.  Sad deprived life that I lead.

Very strong running by Erika who did 37km in 4:29's.  She's hitting some form.  Darren holding on for 2 hours 45 too.  But biggest improver is Tim Peel.  3 weeks ago he was struggling with the earlier pace and only running 45mins with us. Today he did 27km averaging 4:21's.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Park & Fart

Woke up feeling a bit shabby but persuaded myself to get out and do the session knowing it wouldn't happen later.

Jogged the 2.5km to Curl Curl.  Decided to take the Saucony racing flats with me just to get me in the right frame of mind, otherwise I struggle to push it at Parkrun.  Session was 2km hard, 1km easy, 2km hard.  Went out hard and starting breathing heavily at around 700m but steadied to do the first 2km in 3:05 and 3:11.  Felt like I was jogging the third (3:54) and Andy (with Jamie not far behind) just got on to my shoulder at 3km, called me a tease, before I was off again.  Straight up the hillock which was not nice but finished feeling OK to do a 3:16 and a 3:06.  16:32 all up.

Then a brief chat and started to jog the course again with Jamie and his mate Roachy.  Got to 800m before I started the 8 x 1min fartlek (1min on, 1min off).  That went OK running 3:45, 3:44, 3:42 and 3:35.

Then a 4km jog home.

Canny busy morning like.  Lay on the sofa all afternoon.  Still no Telstra.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday cold

Melbourne like weather patterns.  38C yesterday, about 18C today.  Just in time for our ceiling fans to have been installed!

Out solo initially today for the world's most boring run but luckily ran into Ren-dog half way around and ran the second half with him, where the time just skipped by.  11+km very easy.

134km for the week, one of my biggest ever.

Thursday heat

AM:  7km along the beach in warm and muggy conditions.

Lunch:  38C (and humid with it) but the session had to be done.  Turned up at Rushcutters with Scotty, Crossy, Darren Moyle, Little Tom, Paul H, Erika and a small band of other nutcases to find Timmy had laid out the track via his famous cones on a perfect Rushcutters surface and had even brought an Esky full of bottle of cold water for us.  Really above and beyond the call of duty.  So we had to do the session.  It was a lesson in heart rate control.  Knew that if I pushed too hard I would blow or feel sick.  Erika had a cold sweat half way through the session so had to ease off completely.  By rep 6 I knew I'd get through OK so pushed harder on the last 2.  Times were:

2:31, 2:30, 2:30, 2:32, 2:31, 2:31, 2:28, 2:24

Scotty was 1-2s ahead on each of them other than reps 6 and 7 where I was ahead, but plainly he was saving himself for the last where he blasted me away.

We didn't get under 6:30 m/km on the jog back to the office.  Despite doing the session topless, my singlet was dripping wet.  Horrific conditions but pleased to get through unscathed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesday MLR with hills

Out with Emma, Erika, Quentin and Dicky this morning for the usual North Head route plus 4x hills beside Mackellar.  The others left me comin back down Darley to solo for the final 8km.  Ran past Jenny Whickham and Lewis then, neither of whom know how to run slow.  Was tired today after yesterday's efforts.

My thoughts for today:

1. I'm jack of Telstra.
2. RBS tell me I have to sell everything.  What do you do if all you own is mortgaged property and running shoes?
3. Hills are good for me.
4. Where can you buy a standard TV aerial lead these days?
5. Pop up bars are the way forward.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Double Tuesday

AM:  8km to Shelley and back very easy in 4:39's after failing to get up for the tempo at 6am due a bad nights sleep.

PM:  45min progressive tempo.  Tried to replicate the planned 6km tempo by taking it easyish on the way out and coming home strong.  But was hampered by the heat (felt like I'd explode 30mins in) and the headwind on the return.  Hoey put 15s into me from the Opera House revelling in the conditions.  I put similar time into Nick R who has been on fire recently so was pretty chuffed with the session.  Got back in 44:53.  12.36km and 3:38's all up after a number of 3:54's to start.

25km for the day including warm up and down.

Got home this evening, had a hot flush and started sweating profusely.  Almost fainted.  Tough day.

Monday, January 11, 2016

More kms

17km at lunch in the heat with the squad.  Loads out there including Hoey, Jerome, Bruce, Erika, Darren, JW, Gerry and I think I even saw LJ at some stage?

Finished off with 4 x 80m hills on the Domain but without the usual better feeling I get after each one.

4:35 average.  

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sunday with crowds

11 of us this morning - Ben, Macca, Quentin, Craig, Jamie, Tim P, the Cap'n, Andy, Banksy and, after missing us at the start and chasing us all the way to Narrabeen before catching up, Elle.

Usual easy pace to start before pushing ahead in the final 6km.  I was chasing Macca and Craig after thy skipped the final water stop so it was close to 3:30's.  30km all up in 2:09:29 (4:19's).  Beautiful dip in perfect waters at Quennscliff before a controversial decision to skip the crowds at Grumporio and test the quieter Troubadour for breakie.  Well, it didn't disappoint with a perfect Burrito Brekky wrap and a coffee with a fizzy water shot.  Unique.  But Barts's OCD would have been playing havoc.

Saturday, January 09, 2016


14km in just under an hour (4:15's) in the late arvo.  3am in bed last night so that was the earliest I was capable of getting out.

Nice time by Robin Vonk (16:18) at Curl Curl Parkrun this am.  He'll be beating his coach at this rate.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Streak run

Made a ridiculous $50 bet with CT over who could maintain the longest running streak.  Having watched Liverpool Legends with Jeet, Andy, Enda, Timmy, Ronan and Kanser last night and enjoying a number of ales at the time, the streak was all that got me out today.  Particularly given coach had it as a rest.

Did the bare minimum - 7.5km in 33+mins.  But it brought up 125km for the week.

Thursday, January 07, 2016


Alarm went off at 5.30am.  Got to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and decided I needed more sleep.  Erika, Darren, Jamie and Quentin would have the pleasure of my absence.  My Garmin Connect told me I then got another 1 hour of deep sleep before getting up at 7.30am.  Then ran the 6.5km to the Snake at North Head where I randomly bumped into Macca running his first hill session in 2 years!

I was doing 10x1min.  Went quite hard but tried to maintain form.  It really brings out every niggle in your body.  Got home and stretched religiously.  18km after running home with Macca and a solid session.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

More rain

Out into the wind and rain yet again for another North Head loop.  16.75km in 1:11:49 (4:17's) feeling great.  All this rest being on holiday does me wonders.

Today Mr Garmin believes I live in Harbord.  Doesn't he know it was officially changed to Freshwater?  And that I don't live there?  At least it's not Manly Vale.

Getting bored of North Head.

Tough Tempo

Wandered outside at 6.15am and its raining and windy.  Why the hell do we do this I ask myself.  And I've got to get to North Head before I even start the session. 

But, dressed in my Eurotrash Gilet, I ventured up there to find Darren, Erika, Jamie, Macca and Ben waiting.  Quite a turnout on a hideous morning.  Erika informed us that you only felt the full brunt of the wind once you got beyond the roundabout.  Jamie said his instructions were to do only 20mins and to hold on to me, so at least I'd have company to start with.  My session was 60mins tempo.  I'd normally aim to hold 3:30's for that but would have to reassess with the conditions.

Set out with Jamie on my shoulder which kept the pace honest.  16:10 for the first lap averaging 3:32's but it was a lap of two halves - struggling to get under 3:40's into the wind then enjoying the tailwind on the return.  Jamie stops just over a km later and I'm running solo and immediately slow.  16:36 for the second lap but stabilise to do 16:42 for the third.  Then a shortened final lap for 16.72km all up (3:35's).

Very happy with that in the conditions even if the coach wasn't.  I could see the looks on the faces of everyone else running into the wind so knew they were all struggling too - Macca managed 3:54's for his 60mins.

4km warm up and warm down for 25km(!) all up.

Then a few good beers with Macca, Darren, Erika and families over a BBQ in the late afternoon rain at Macca's.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Stair rods

Went out at 1.30pm just as it starts coming down in stair rods.  After I got drenched it was an enjoyable run.  Felt good again (helped by all the sleep and rest I'm getting - up to Episode 13 of "World War 2 in Colour" on Netflix).  Queensie to Shelley was deserted.

Downloaded Garmin Connect after instructed by Craig and it looks great.  More stats than the Enigma Code.  Today:

Very upset that it believes I live in Manly Vale though.

Exciting news for the day is that there is a new blog in town.  Given it belongs to good mate and fierce rival Chris Truscott, I'll be paying it close attention.  Link is now added.  BTW, his targets for the year pretty much match mine.  Although I'll struggle to run a decent Half with SMH  coming shortly after London and being in The States during Gold Coast.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

More grey running

16.5km in 67:57 (4:08's) up around North Head.  Second half much quicker than the first after pushing the Darley Rd hill.  Frankly, legs felt cactus in the first 4km so that put paid to the 60min tempo on the program.  Need some new shoes I think.

Then out today to Patonga Beach on the Palm Beach ferry with Craig, one of his mates and families.  It pissed with rain so we just started drinking at the Patonga Beach Pub at noon.  So that put paid to the rest of my day.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Long Saturday

Out with Barts, Macca and Craig for the usual Sunday 28km.  Still feeling under the weather with a sore throat so was happy to find the three lads feeling the same.  So the pace was nice and easy all the way ending up averaging 4:29's.  I was automoton mode just trying to turn the legs over to get around.

Beautiful dip in the ocean with the water temp perfect at the moment.  Then on to the Grumporio with the boys getting increasingly adventurous in their choices of breakfast, with Craig going for Eggs Benedict, me going for the Grumporio Big Breakfast and Barts choosing a feminine concoction involving a side of avocado.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Curl Curl Parkrun - 1st in 16:30

Promised myself I'd do this to start off 2016 on the right foot.  But in truth I wasn't feeling crash hot.  Had a slightly sore throat the night before which had deteriorated overnight.  Went out quite hard in the first km to shake off any opposition but my legs weren't enjoying it.  Struggled through for a 16:30 and jogged home feeling sorry for myself.

Out with the boys for a long run tomorrow so will get an early night and hope for the best.

104km for the week.