Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday MLR

You know you're in marathon training when a 20km MLR feels like a recovery run.  Out in the dark once again (can't wait for daylight saving to end on Saturday night) for 20km with Erika, Darren and Lewis.  Avoided the hills.  Moaned about our coach.  4:42's.

Tuesday double

AM:  out at sparrows fart in the pitch black to meet Lewis, Erika, Darren, Jamie, Emma (she's back!) and Dicky for a short sharp session of 5mins, 4mins, 3mins, 2mins, 1min off 2 mins rest.  Given the shortness of the session and length of the breaks it was meant to be run "hard", which pretty much means all out effort.

I wasn't looking forward to it.  Particularly in my marathon training state of constant fatigue.

Told Lewis I wasn't going to be keeping him company and let him go off at the start of the first rep but kept him in sight and gradually worked my way back during the course of the rep.  This is the way each of the reps went.  Average pace for each (on my watch) was:

3:06, 3:04, 3:04, 3:01, 2:53

Legs lactic at end of each rep.  Wouldn't have got within 5s of those times without Lewis to chase.

3km warm up and 5km warm down for 13km all up.

PM:  wandered out at lunchtime and ran with Kanser and Hoey alongside the HuRT Squad doing 5min reps.  9km averaging 4:30's.  Hoey sounds ambivalent about doing Canberra given a couple of issues recently.  Hope he makes the start line.  I'm relying on him!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easy Easter Monday

Easy hour in the afternoon before watching Maggie's soccer.  Felt a gazillion times better than yesterday.  Took Voltaren last night which obviously helped.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Super long

38.4km with Macca, Lewis and Hamish.  Felt sore from the off and it was a real struggle today.  I think yesterday's hard 5km slightly dehydrated was the issue.  Didn't enjoy a step of it and Achilles was very tight at the end (after 2:50+ of running).  

I wasn't much company this morning labouring under every step.  The best I felt was actually from 30km to the end when the kms finally got down to 4:10's.  

4:31 average.  Will take a bit ton recover from that.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hungover Saturday

Had a few too many red wines at the neighbours last night so Parkrun was out of the picture.  Got out mid-afternoon and didn't have long so ran a 3.5km warm up to Manly Golf Course then two loops (5km) hard and then the same jog home.  

Wasn't feeling keen for the session (itself a shortened version of Tiger's scheduled session) and struggled throughout, it felt tough.  8:08 for the first lap and 8:09 for the second so nice and consistent,  but the Garmin was measuring short so I ran the extra 50m to hit 5km on the watch in 16:29.  Last time I did this session (30 Jan) it was 2 laps in 16:51 - so not too bad in the circumstances.  At least I did something.

Good Friday

8km very easy in the am to Shelley Beach before meeting the family for some brekkie.

123km for the week.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Managed to schedule a time with Barts for today for 5km, 3km, 1km with 500m jog between (i.e. 10km all up).  Actually discovered it was supposed to be a 1km jog between the 5km and 3km which may explain how dodgy I felt all afternoon.

3km warm up then into it.  Felt OK on the 5km trying to find a rhythm (16:43) but was desperately clock-watching on the 3km (9:55).  Managed to raise a bit for the 1km in 3:10.  All up 10km in 34:13 - in the heat wearing a black T-Shirt.  

To be honest this afternoon I felt crap.  Very dodgy stomach which took a couple of Coopers Pale Ales to calm down.  Can't tell whether it's a low lying bug (which the kids have have had recently) or just overdoing it.  But Barts said he felt similarly rooted.  We ran the whole thing together.

16km all up.

Top news this evening with my London Marathon entry finally being confirmed:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mellow Melbourne

Well, I thought Perth was good.  Melbourne was even better.  Given I had another 20km on the plan and didn't want to run laps of the Tan I just followed the Yarra Trail up the river from my hotel on Collins Street.  Got beyond Hawthorn at 10km where the tow path was incredibly picturesque (I think I would like to live in Kew/Hawthorn if I moved to Melbourne - but maybe that's like saying I would like to live in Vaucluse if I moved to Sydney).  Turned and returned.

If I thought I saw plenty of cyclists by the Swan River, I saw even more by the Yarra.  Some of them looked like Strava Psychos - gunning around corners not giving a toss about who might be coming the other direction.

Quicker again for the 20km today at 4:13's and I think the legs are returning to normal.

Perfect Perth

The three hour time difference makes it very easy to wake up at 5am so I was on the road by 6am.  Or I should say on the path.  Hit a cycle/walkway on the Swan River and headed to the coast.  Passed a gazillion cyclists but it was perfect, flat running on a beautiful early morning.

Legs still tired to start with but eased into the run and picked up the pace towards the end feeling great.  All up 20km averaging 4:16's.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday morning longish

Sunday was a rest.  Mentioned to Gary on Sunday that the pace on Saturday was fine but needed some more mileage to address the stiffening legs towards the end.  He responded with 2 hours scheduled for this morning.

26km running to work with North Head thrown in.  Plenty of hills and my legs were smashed for the final 10km.  4:47 average so very easy.

Saturday long tempo

Ok, this was the big session pre-London.  Drove up to find a good crowd of Barts, Neil, Robin Vonk, Scotty, Macca, Eoin and the Cap'n all killing about.  Did a 3km warm up and then (eventually) into it.  Everyone was doing something different - Neil was doing 3 x 7.5km, Scotty as long as he could last, Robin 20km, Macca and Eoin 25km with just Barts and me doing the full 27km. Jamie also jumped into for a solid 10km and did his bit at the front.

First 10km was fine averaging 3:33's.  Middle 7km picked up a but averaging 3:30's.  Barts was strong at this point (4th lap of 6) really pushing on and barking orders at me to keep up.  Definitely had to concentrate in order to do so but managed ok.  Last 10km averaged 3:27's and could feel my legs stiffening a bit towards the end.  But very happy to average 3:30's on an undulating course.

3km warm up and down for 33km all up.

Friday jog

8km early doors to Shelly Beach and back.  Very easy, contemplating the session tomorrow.

111km for week.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Nice recovery

10km very easy around the City with Renaud, Jerome and Steve.  Great blokes all.  

Felt better after than before.  4:47's.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Well I told Quentin and Lewis on the run today that when I'm on the start line in London I'll remember runs like this morning as the ones which get you over the line.  Pissing down with rain and pitch black until we got up to North Head.  Was mighty relieved to have their company.

All up 20km in 4:27's.  Felt pretty good this morning.  But the rain made my short sodden and resulted in some nasty inner thigh chafing.  Put some cream on post-bath which looked like pure animal fat. Nice.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

79 continuous with Barts in the Rain

15 easy, 22 hard, 5 easy, 22 Fartlek (1,2,3,4,3,2,1) and 15 easy.

Was supposed to do it at 6am with Lewis but I was still in my beauty sleep at that time.  Did the 15 before HuRTS start time (well, a bit late but Timmy was nice enough hold the crowd for me) then we were off.  Was lucky enough to have Barts in the group who was happy to do my session.  

Tempo felt arduous (3:27's) and the Fartlek felt better (3:28's).  Barts a support throughout. 

All up 20.15km in the 79mins (3:55's).  Solid.

Had a full house in the evening for B&B where the gossip was in full flow and Birchy showed his true colours.


Monday, March 14, 2016

Easy Monday

13.5km very easy around the wharves with Elle, Jacqueline, TKS, Jerome et al but finished off running the final few km with an Irishman called Jim who I've not met before.  Nice chap.  Makes a change.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Great Ocean Walk

First, congrats to all who completed Six Foot Track.  You're more brave than me.  It's a beast of a race and must have been even tougher in the heat and humidity of yesterday.  Run of the day goes to Erika for taking out second place in 4:20.  I still think she's got the talent to win it though.  Mike Lichwark surprised all to be first HuRTS home in a great 3:42 but my other top performance goes to Darren running a big PB in 4:17.  He's been struggling injury and, to be first home from his household was feat enough!

Inspired by the performances in the mountains (and not knowing any other routes to follow), I ran the Great Ocean Walk from Apollo Bay.  I had 2:10 on the schedule and thought I'd squeeze in 30km in that time.  I didn't realise how nuts the Great Ocean Walk is.  Rock hopping, sand running and running up massive hills on trail over headland is not my forte (and did my achilles no good) but it was very beautiful surrounds.

I turned after 13km (70mins) dreading the hills on the way back.  Took a wrong turn at 19km and found myself in a car park.  My brain started working telling me that where there were cars, there must be nice hard bitumen.  So I followed that and eventually got back with 26km done. Not far but I was buggered so it must be the equivalent of a 30+km run.

Checked out my Strava splits and saw that I got a record up the final fire trail hill between 12 and 13km in ahead of some notable trail runners - perhaps Six Foot next year could be on the cards!

Stopped for lunch near Lorne and Kirst and I sampled another craft beer shown here:

It too was shite.


Woke up in country Victoria in a town that, in my basic translation skills, means Beer War.  Parkrun was down on the schedule, but the nearest one was in Geelong about an hour's drive away.  So ran out the door down a long straight road, turned at 5km and ran back hard, then did 3km easy to warmdown.  5km hard was about 16:50. Session done.

Drove down to the Great Ocean Road, passing through a town called Forrest.  Now this is my nickname at work (I'm sure it's the same for many runners) so I couldn't resist the photo op:

Settled into our second overnight place and, having been inspired by the write-ups on CT's blog, I sampled some local craft beers.  And half a bottle of a local red wine.  Here were the craft beers:

They were all shite and I'd have traded all 6 for 1 bottle of Coopers Pale Ale.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

60min tempo

Marathon training on a daily basis goes a bit like this:

Knackered, knackered, knackered, climbing stairs at work is tough, ooh - feel slightly ok, hard session, knackered, knackered, doubting why the hell im doing this, legs feel slightly better today, hard session, knackered, I seem to shuffle everywhere, knackered, bit better, hard session, knackered.

Today was a hard session after finally feeling vaguely ok post-weekend last night.  Jogged to North Head, met Lewis and Justin.  Justin set off, I asked Lewis for a moment to compose myself, then we were off a minute later.

Felt OK when we got going and 3:30's were doable.  In fact, we were remarkably consistent, with my Garmin recording every km between 3:28 and 3:32.  Lewis was a massive assistance so many thanks mate.  All up 17.25km in the 60mins averaging 3:29's.

27km all up!!

I then had the delight of meeting LJ for mid-morning brunch to chew the fat on running and babies.  Great to hear she's back running again, such a champ.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Wednesday getting it done

Work is manic.  Got out early feeling half asleep for the first km.  But a great Manly Hardcore crowd of Erika, Emma, Darren, Lewis and Robbie Begg made for a great run chatting all the way.  

But hell it was sweaty.  What's with this weather?  I never used to sweat much but my tops are drenched at the moment.

Tuesday non-session

Boss said no to any session on account of the big weekend and ongoing achilles issues so just did 90mins.  Hurts were doing 14x3km so joined them around Farm Cove for a few easy ones.  That increased the pace a bit which meant the overall run ended up as a Half Marathon - 21.1km in 1:28 (4:12's).  Felt OK.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Easy Monday

10km with the squad around the city.  Spent most of the time chatting races with Hoey and beach sprints with JC.  4:46's.  Achilles much better today after a lot of rolling out last night.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Long Sunday

37km with Barts, Macca, Craig, Lewis, Toby and the Cap'n.  Tired from the word go, fuckadoodled by the end.  Like really tired.  Like end of Marathon tired.  But the ocean was amazing.  


Saturday, March 05, 2016

Striders North Head - 1st in 32:26

Slept overnight in the Four Seasons - not because of any family rift but the Partners conference which was wrapping up at noon today.  But enough time to nip out for the Striders 10km.  With Barts, CT, Hoey, Lewis, Robin V, Scotty and Neil all due to race I wasn't going to miss this one.  Only Q out of the usual rivals was missing.  Unfortunately it turned out that Hoey was struggling with a niggle so couldn't make it.

Got a lift with Jackie O and Birchy after nearly being punched out by a homeless person at 6am.  At least it got the adrenalin flowing and ensured dump #4 of the morning was a dead cert.

Did a warm up with Hamish and then lined up.  I drifted to the front with Barts from the gun with a decent sized group jumping on the back and forming a significant gap early on to Macca and Jamie.  That group included Neil, CT, Lewis, Robin, Scotty and Gary Mullins.  At 5km (reached in 16:08 on my watch) we were still altogether but for Gary a short distance behind.  Here we are:

So half way through the race and we're all together, I immediately start to feel very average on the slight incline that follows this and I'm thinking I may struggle to finish top 5 here.  But I tell myself we're travelling quick and if I can just maintain pace there's no way every one will hold on.  And gradually the group sounds as though it's beginning to thin.  Here's CT starting to drop off between 5Km and 6km - he'll later retake Lewis:

All the way until 7km I'm feeling very average and just hoping for the group to thin so that I can get a podium.  By the car park loop though I sense that it's just me and Barts (I never dare look around) and suddenly around the loop I get a 3m lead and sense he's struggling.  I'm also knackered but have to at least give it a go or he'll never respect me.  Keep on trying to force the pace but not making any huge gap.  Then at the top of the hill after 8km I feel I've made some ground so just try to consolidate it.  This is really hurting now but know that I need sufficient gap at the Stone Arch or he'll hunt me down in the final 500m.  I really keep on pushing and round the Stone Arch, here Ben give a shout and see that I have maybe 8 seconds.  That should be enough but I have to put a massive effort in just after the arch so that he doesn't feel as though he has a sniff.  Here I am absolutely buggered with 200m to go:

Finish and I'm farked.  Barts comes in 7s later followed by a jubilant Robin dipping under 33mins.  Next up is Neil, then CT and Lewis before Gary M who is equally happy running 33:50.  Jamie does well for a 35:18 closely followed by Macca in 35:30.  Run of the day for me is Jeet in 36:18 (a full course PB).  Here he is:

Then Craig (who will be looking for his big mileage to sink in soon), Burkey (finally an appearance) and the Cap'n.

Kanser will also be looking for his mileage to sink in soon in 39:12, Birchy had his mind on Oxford St this evening while Jimmy won't want to speak of his effort.  But at least he turned up.  #wherewasTimmy.


Super Elle:


Splits were consistent - good final km:


At our Partner conference.  8km around the wharves super slow at 6.30am with my fellow partners.  At least it kept me off the booze the night prior.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

HuRTS 400's + 3km tempo

Achilles was too sore for hills this morning despite taking Voltaren last night.  Ventured out at luncthime in the heat with the HuRTS crew.  We were banned from Reg Bartley so Rushcutters Bay it was.  No nude ladies this time.

Did the 400's feeling tired in the legs.  Didn't push them and averaged 70/71's for whatever distance it actually was.  Then a short rest and into the 3km tempo where it was a completely different story.  Cruised around in 3:15's feeling fantastic.

Had Tom Middleton join us today for the first time.  But it was Quentin leading the charge on the 400's with little Tom, Tom M and Toby in pursuit.  Nicely organised once again by Timmy and good to see Enda back.  Ensured the banter was in full flow.  Cop out of the day goes to JFen who did the 3km tempo with the slow pack despite running 3:25's.

13km all up.

Wednesday easy

Ran to work.  Not much more to add.  14.5km in 4:44's.  Left achilles was sore.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

1km reps


Marked out the usual 1km loop on Nolans in the dark at 6am (1st day of Autumn and these sessions will become progressively more difficult to stage).  Had Tim, Erika, Darren and Jamie this morning but joined also by Lewis for his first official Manly RunCrew session.  The grass was dry and had recently been cut so wasn't the usual wading through treacle that you can feel running on this surface.

Reps went 3:11, 3:06, 3:06, 3:05, 3:03 and 2:55.  Not sure about that last rep.  Felt as though I pushed harder but I think it's a misreading as it wasn't that much quicker.  No idea about the accuracy in general as we all seemed to be reading different distances.  I was just running the same distance each time so at least each rep can be compared against the others.

Ran them all with Lewis.  Felt as though I was holding him back at least for the first 4 reps as he was reluctant to take the lead.  But that's probably good for him.  I much prefer feeling controlled in sessions rather than venturing into the lactic when trying to race people.

3km warm up and 5+km warm down for 15km all up.


40mins very easy bumping into Hoey and Jeet finishing their HuRTS set.  8+km.