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..