So I left Caves House this morning thinking, there's no way I'm heading up that bloody Caves Rd hill back towards Katoomba. I've been down it and it's a killer. So let's head the other way towards Oberon...
I swear it's 4km straight up the steepest hill I've ever run. Eventually turned after 8km and running past a sign saying "Great Dividing Range - 1365m above sea level". So 615m of vertical climb.
Another solid day at work so missed the opportunity to join the squad for MC's last session.
Only option was to run home post work. Have been feeling great this week (other than the achilles) and full of running so decided to run home solidly at sub 4's, knowing that's tough because of all the hills. Did a 4km warm up around Mrs Macs then did the usual route but along the Cahill Expressway to avoid the stairs in the Rocks and then around Anderson Park to make up 20km.
Basically ran the flats and downs in a comfortable rhythm but had to work the hills (of which there are plenty) to keep the pace on track. Due to the warm up I was always well behind averaging sub4 until I got to Balgowlah and could open up a bit.
Really is a solid run and puts a load of strength in your legs. All up 20km in 1:19:02 (3:57's). No chicks overtook me today.
In Melbourne again. Headed out around the Tan with a couple of my Melbourne partners (they're fitter than my Sydney partners given we were running 4:20's). Then headed out along the Yarra Trail to add some kms and was feeling so good (thank you Mr Voltaren) that I just kept on running. Ended up running 21kms at about 4:22's.
Shock of the day occurred when running along the Yarra at a decent enough clip (km split had just shown 4:17) when I hear footsteps behind me. Sure enough, 400m later someone overtakes me. And it's a girl! Or I should say woman. Running 4:00's as a training run. She looked pretty handy. I need to get on Strava to see who it was but unfortunately my watch battery died.
So I just did Thursday's session instead - 80 continuous. Consists of 20min jog, 20min Fartlek (2min on, 1min off), 5min jog, 20min tempo then 15min warm down jog. Quite a bit by the end (20.2km so 3:57 average) with the tempo averaging 3:27's. Happy with that as I felt in control the whole way through. If only my bloody achilles would improve I'd be starting to feel more confident.
Doing all the 1%'ers on the heel now in an attempt to nip this in the bud.
2 weeks before London 28km felt like a day off. Today I was just tired and sore.
Great crowd though with Barts, Lewis, Heydo, Erika, Emma, Hamish, Toby and Macca. 4:38's. Lewis said it was his slowest ever long run. That fella hasn't lived.
Enjoyed watching the Highgate Night of 10000m on internet (UK Olympic qualifiers). Tom Bedford knows how to put on a track meet. Beer tent on the back straight is ingenious.
Another high quality 10km was on the same day - the Great Manchester Run. Great to see my favourite ever female runner Tirunesh Dibaba taking the win in 31:16. Good form for a final Olympic appearance to cement her reputation as the GOAT. In the men's, Dave McNeil had a great run to get on the podium with 2 legends. He'll no doubt cherish this photo:
Jogged there with 30s to spare. Enough time to say hello to Pete W, Heydo and Marc A. Ran off with purpose. Quickly felt shit. Had a kid on my shoulder for 1.5km (Bryn - last week's winner) then finally shifted him. 3:11, 3:16, 3:24, 3:24, 3:19 for 16:35 all up. About the slowest I could have predicted so pretty disappointed given I worked pretty hard for it.
Body is just sore at the moment and everything is a struggle. I think I'll ditch Launnie and trying to push when I'm not ready. Instead, just build consistency and confidence.
AM: 8km to Shelley and back on yet another picture perfect morning. What is with the weather at the moment? Too good to be true.
Lunch: 8x800m at Rushcutters with the old timers. Mikey led the session and did it with aplomb, encouraging everyone over the line. Barts, Enda, Muz, LJ, Mr Selfie and numerous other old-timers out in force. The only man missing was Timmy, who was at home deliberating on what shirt to wear tonight. I'll post his ill-decision later. Good session run with Barts upfront and Nick R just behind with Hoey floating around all over the place. Off a rolling 4mins I ran:
2:27, 2:29, 2:28, 2:28, 2:29, 2:28, 2:26, 2:19
Last one chasing Hoey home only to have my boyfriend Jerome come floating by looking like Rudisha.
Big crowd for a Wednesday MLR meeting Hoey, 2 Brendans, Pete W, Champ, Charlie and others AND supposedly Kanser, but after 5 minutes of waiting we were off.
Nice easy run up the old route to Centennial, then of course met Kanser at Fox Studio Gates so did another lap with him and Renee. All up 16.8km in about 80mins.
Big news in the Highnam household today was Maggie winning her school x-country and taking down Octavia in the process. She was in 4th after the first lap and managed to overhaul the top 3 for the win. Very proud. Charlie also did really well coming 8th (2nd reserve for District) running against boys a year older.
Too many kids duties this morning so went out at lunch and managed to persuade Timmy to change the HuRTS session to my scheduled session. Really big crowd (holding it down at Barangaroo helps) and with Crossy, Nick R and the bearded chap to chase there was plenty of support upfront.
Went out hard as I was keen to test myself for the first time since London. Crossy did the same thing and I only inched ahead in the final 100m. Similar story for rep 2 where I had to work bloody hard to get past him. Rep 3 and he slowed as did my time as the legs were getting lactic. Managed to hold it together for rep 4. Times went:
2:56, 2:54, 3:00, 2:59.
All off a rolling 5mins. That's very quick and I wonder about the accuracy of the distance. But all the GPS watches had it on the km and we weren't running in circles.
Then the 500m reps off a rolling 3mins. I struggled on the first to turn the legs over with Crossy gapping me quite a bit (having sat out of the final km rep). Better on the second rep finishing well. Struggled on 3rd then same again running solo on the last. Times were:
1:30, 1:26, 1:30, 1:25
My legs are now absolutely buggered. I gave it all today and have been pretty rooted all afternoon.
Great to see Andy back in the thick of things and there's a few fresh faces who are starting to get pretty quick.
Had 40mins on the program. Intended to run home for 40mins (too busy at work to get out) then catch a cab but there were no cabs at 40mins as I was on Parriwi Rd and then they were all going the wrong direction. So just ran home all the way. Pace very easy (4:43's).
Bloody annoying that the Passmore/Nolans Bridge is out of action, that added an extra 500m.
Ran with Timmy. Aimed for 38:30, 39:30 10km splits. Always hard with the Garmin measuring short. We did 38:50 then 40:15. Managed to get a good group together between 10km and 15km. Timmy struggled up the hills but made good ground on the downs. To be honest, he held on better than I thought for a 1:25 positive split on a tough course with the hills back ended. Great to run with Champ and some other appreciative blokes too. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
28km all up. Good weekend's training.
Hoey had a fab run upfront and seeing him made me want to race again.
Took Billy to Turamurra for his morning soccer game and as such drive up Allambie Hill. Decided it was time I ran it again. 4km straight up hill. Kirst was meeting friends at Clontarf beach so worked out perfectly.
Felt great - seem to be going through one good day, one bad day at the moment. 14.6km in 4:16's with plenty of hills in there.
So the comeback slog continues. 7x400m plus 3km tempo today and I was scared. Small but select crew including Barts, Timmy, Birchy, Jerome, Jeet, Darren M, JFen and co. 400's started at 71's and finished at 68's. Tempo was easier at 3:37's.
Done and dusted. 13km for the day after a longer warm down.
Legs tired. Amazing how the legs soften with 3 weeks off.
I've decided that "Steady" means being aware of your Strava split times while not going balls out.
Fancied a run around Centennial today (having slept through my alarm this morning) and after Timmy turned me down due to "work commitments" (later to be seen on Facebook canoodling with the boys taking selfies in the ABC Pool) I decided to go solo. Always run a bit quicker going solo, mainly because I get bored and want to get it over and done with. That logic doesn't quite work when the session is "75 mins" but there you go.
Nice run. Long time since I've been in Centennial and enjoyed it on a beautiful day. 18.1km in 75:00 (4:09's).
Toying whether to run SMH Half, only because today felt quite good and I need to start racing again at some stage. Asked for a late entry but no response yet so decision may be out of my hands.
6 x 800m (rolling 4 mins) along the seafront from North Steyne with Lewis, Quentin, Darren and Skins. Holy crap, had forgotten how hard speedwork is and how quickly you lose it. Was way behind Lewis. Gradually crept closer to Quentin each rep (about 2:37's I think) until the final 2 when I finally got some zip back, finishing with a 2:30.
So Parkrun was Maggie and Charlie's long run. I ran with them for 200m, realised no one was running away out the front so decided to push ahead to the front. Felt pretty comfortable running 17:20, just for the win. Then jogged back to the 4km mark and saw a battle Royale between Charlie and Maggie, the former making a late charge but Maggie seeing him at the last minute and doing just enough to hold him off.
5km warm down for 10km all up.
Then out to the Troubador, Ashiana's and the Steyne with a huge Manly HuRTS crowd for evening curry.
I found this note on Maggie's bedroom floor yesterday:
Those in Facebook will have seen it. So felt compelled to take her training this morning. We did a 1km warm up, then 6x Mackellar hills concentrating on lifting the knees and powering up. Basically, fast track strength training. Then a 1km warm down. She was motivated by the sight of another 8yr old girl doing sprints with her Dad on Nolans while on our warm up.
Then did an extra 8km bumping into the Cap'n near Shelley Beach and finishing off with him. Another beautiful morning. About 11km all up.
Well, that was disappointing. After feeling everything was coming together, I came down with a fever on the Friday before London, which turned to a bad cold and then sinusitis. Still on the heavy duty antibiotics now. Wasn't going to stop me watching Barts, Macca and Sammy though and doing so made me vow to come back. The crowd support was huge and the atmosphere electric. Barts did us all proud with a fantastic run in 2:29:18. He approached it perfectly in a very controlled fashion. The man accused of a heart of flint even shed a tear at the end, as did I.
12 days off and, despite still being bunged up and blowing stuff out of my nose that scares the kids, I ventured out this morning for an easy 10km. Beautiful morning along Manly Beach and I just soaked it up enjoying what I've been missing out on.
Was very upset about missing London after 6 months injury and sickness free but in the end there's always another race and the real reason I do it is morning s like these and the camaraderie I enjoyed with Barts, Macca and Sammy in London.