Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tuesday's my worst day

AM: Just 6.5km to Shelly but finishing at Emporio for coffee with Kirst. Seemed to high-five half of Manly on the way. Near Shelly I was staring at this lady because she looked familiar and eventually realised it was Asher Keddie. She smiled at me so I think I'm in.

PM: Turned up at ES Marks already feeling tired but told myself to push through this one.  6 x 1km off a rolling 4:30 followed by 6 x 200m off a 200m jog.  Ran with Alex, Damien and Neil. Kevin and Matt miles ahead off rolling 4mins.

Reps went 3:01, 3:03, 3:05, 3:04, 3:06, 3:05.  Much quicker than last week and makes a huge difference having a standing rest.  Alex was in fine form about 2s ahead and taking the wind on each rep.  200m reps were awful, with Neil schooling me after I jokingly told him it would be a comp between us as to who didn't finish last on each one.

Broke down with cramps afterwards (had also had them at work during the day) and am shattered now.

4km warm up and 3km down for 16km all up and 22.5km for the day.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Run home

Knackered today and it was still 28C when I set off at 7pm so started very gingerly not worrying about pace at all.  Gradually got into it and was moving OK by the end.  Average HR 134 so it's getting better.  14 and a bit km (came home via Burnt Bridge Creek deviation) in 67:51.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Change in the Long Run!!

Darren and Erika were restless this morning. I could sense something amiss immediately.  Within 100m I had Erika in my ear suggesting a different route to that which we have done for the past 4 years without change.  Mutiny was in the air.  We picked up Hamish (Ben and Lewis also there) and headed to Dee Why to pick up Toby.  Then at Fitness First we looped down Harbord Road and immediately up Headland Rd (a killer) to satisfy the Jordans. A loop around Dee Why headland and back along Curl Curl beach and the beautiful coast track before following the Sun Run course to scare those taking part next week.  Dutifully scared, we headed to Shelly where we farewelled Toby and Lewis but something was nagging at me.  Then it dawned.  We'd forgotten that we'd arranged to meet the Cap'n at Narrabeen Lake. Poor fella would be devo.

Finished with a loop of North Head and back to Queenscliff.  Darren, who is in great form, was pushing all the hills (properly pushing) and I was working hard to stay with him.  He is going to surprise a few when he races something more than Parkrun. I much preferred the hilly route though and it suits me better having done a lot of hill work recently.  The standard Sunday route had started to depress me and I wasn't enjoying it.

All up 27km in 4:40's.  No takers for Emporio after the ocean dip so I headed home to find the family heading out to Rosebery Cafe.  They serve a great brekkie there so may need to start to incorporate it.  Saw Emma C and Amy S there with Emma looking over her pregnancy as she's due next week.  Good luck!!!

Great pic from yesterday's Parkrun with Maggie finishing strongly:

Saturday, January 28, 2017


So I got up early this morning to fit in a 4km warm up knowing I was taking Maggsy to Parkrun so couldn't do it there.  Did a loop via the ABC Pool passing Darren and Erika on the way.  They were running 10m apart so must have had an early morning tiff.

Picked up Mags and off we went. I was pumped knowing Scotty was running and someone to try to hold on to for as long as possible.  Got there, did a few strides, calmed Mags down, said hello to Ben, Cap'n, Darren and Eoin but no Scotty.  Stood up.  Half relieved, half disappointed. 

Dragged my ass around the course with Eoin keeping me company for the first km then solo.  Legs felt like they were wading through treacle.  Finished in 16:42.  Starting to get a bit worried about the lack of form.  It's either the load with no rest days, impatience or getting old.

Darren ran a stormer to PB in 17:31.  But run for the day goes to Maggie who smashed her PB by 43s and ran 25:30.  Watch out sub5 min kms.  She was stoked.

15km all up including w/u and c/d.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Rounding it out

Just a lunchtime run to Redleaf with Barts, including a dip in the pool with a bunch of over-privileged 16yr olds.


120km for the week and a solid one at that.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

RunCrew Centennial Set

Well, an evening kick off in Centennial at least kept me off the beers during Australia Day.  Had to play backyard cricket with no excuse of "holding a beer can" for why I dropped the catches.

Smaller crowd with Gary, Benny St, Matt H and Dave Byrne leading the 6 x 800m with Alex and I working together behind.  Admitttedly, Alex taking the outside line so probably running an extra 10m than me.  Straight into a jog 400m "recovery" and, while it slows the reps down a bit, I prefer the constant moving and think it gets me fitter.  They were all 2:35 to 2:37.  I'm sure Tiger's 800's are longer than HuRTs ones.

Short recovery then Alex and I went into a tempo.  I did 1 lap of the white fence, he did 2.  I ran 12:18 although may have finished in the wrong place (all over the place at the end).  Was probably more a 12:25.  Anyway, 3:26 pace.

Happy with that.  Feel as though I've got a bit of strength there but totally lacking in speed at the moment.

17km all up with w/u and w/d.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wed plod

Jogged to work. Forgot how hilly it is. Legs a bit leaden but have been worse. 1:06:57 (4:45's).

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tough Twin Tuesday

AM: 40mins very easy fortunately bumping into Lewis along the way.  Ran past the Cap'n now looking like Jon Bon Jovi courtesy of a new haircut.  4:54's.

PM:  Jogged to ESMarks with Renee and Erika. The latter could hardly control her excitement at her first ever track session.  They were joining Greta while I did my first RunCrew session since pre-JPMorgan.  Session was 3 x 4 x 400m with a 200m jog between reps and 600m jog between sets.  

The crew has changed a bit in my absence with some seriously fast blokes.  The first group was Matt Hudson, Kevin Batt, Keith Mc, Liam Ridings and wonderkid Jackson someone (16yr old who has run 3:50 for 1500m).  Second group was me, Alex, Neil and Damien Simpson, much improved chap from Dee Why.  We split up over the second set and I was well behind Damien at the end.  Fastest 400m was 72s (WTF? I normally average 67/68) and slowest was 75s.  Very windy but still.

Jogged back to the office after for 18km all up and 26km for the day.

Back home (again) - Monday

Very easy 11km route to Shelly Beach trying to keep the heart rate under 130bpm.  Failed with it averaging 133bpm.  I blame the wind along the beachfront.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mollymook - Sunday

Similar loop to yesterday but including a run along Narrawalee beach each time.  Got the tides wrong having to run in soft sand.  Bloody hill and bloody hard.  I was seriously depleted after 2 hours (26.5km - 4:31's) and almost collapsed when I got back into the room.  Had to have a Coke - my first in 3 years.

Mollymook - Saturday

Out again in the late afternoon around the streets of Mollymook.  Schedule was a hilly 60minutes so I interpreted this as run hard.  Was also keen to test myself.  Planned on trying to get the average pace under 4min kms (i.e. 15km).

First (hilly) km in 3:52 so knew I was going ok. Felt great today so just kept on ploughing through.  Hills started to get to me towards the end with one monster at 15km.  The Garmin Connect pace graph gives an indication of how up and down it is:


Managed 16km all up (3:45's).  A great session.  Bizarrely I heard someone shouting my name out half way through - turns out Sam Towill was staying down here (looked like he was on a surf trip).  You can't hide from the tentacles of HuRTs.

Followed by a massive dinner at Bannisters which was awesome.

Rare selfie:


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mollymook - Friday

Kirst and I drove down early after dropping the girls at the airport. Stunning place.  Got out for an easy 40mins (although plenty of hills) before dinner.  Starting to feel stronger in my running.

View from our balcony.


108km for the week.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Back home

Touched down at 8am and straight to work on a busy day.  Farked now.  Got out at lunch and trundled around at the back of HuRTs for 10km, in awe at Enda's new found form.  That boy is going to smash it in Tokyo.  Good chat with Kanser who seems to be running 140km weeks.  I go away for 3 days and the world goes topsy turvy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


10km on the treadmill in 42:37 in the am.  Thighs smashed after coming down from The Peak yesterday. Jumped in the pool afterwards.

About to hit Lan Kwai Fong:



AM:  Run to the Peak.  Hilliest run known to man.  I have to admit I walked Old Peak Road in parts.  The locals were coming down backwards.  Short and extremely slow but got the heart rate going (and buggered my achilles).  27mins up and 15mins down for 7km.

PM:  Managed to squeeze in a treadmill session.  8km in 32mins.  Wanted to get the legs moving after this am.

2 different sessions but I reckon it does the world of good to mix it up.  Staying in a fantastic hotel (The Landmark Mandarin Oriental).  The amenities put Australia to shame.  Weighed myself on their fancy scales in the gym and was 66.5kg.  Heaviest I've been in 18months. No wonder the long runs feel so hard.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Getting it done

Heading off to Honkers this arvo so only option was another 6am start.  Almost rolled over this morning but the thought of the satisfaction on CT's face was enough to get me out the door.  Met with Lewis and Darren after yet another PW first km (5:48 this time).  In truth, it was a cracker of a morning and actually felt pretty good by the end - good enough to do the 4x hills at Queensie.

15.6km and 4:40's.  The fact that Lewis and Darren average 4:30's and 4:32's when we do 90% of the run together show the impact of my first and last kms solo!

Sunday, January 15, 2017


29km with the Hardcore. Tried a fast finished. Failed after 2km. Thanks Lewis for bringing me home.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Hot, hot, hot

AM:  Parkrun with Mags in just over 27mins.  Doesn't work me running with her. She just slows down so I end up running 10m in front the whole way.

Lunchtime:  31C so I decide to do my hilly route around Manly dam.  Extended it around Nolans to make up 15km.  Legs moving well (still a touch of OP) but too hot to do anything other than get around. 1:10:17 (4:42's).

Resting this arvo in the heat watching How I Met Your Mother.  Claudia knows not what she does:


Friday, January 13, 2017

Early loosener

Early loosener in many senses.

Just to Shelly and back with Dicky, Darren and the Cap'n.  Muggy.  Sweat man.  37:08 (4:38's).

10th day off booze.  May be tested today though.  104km for the week.  Second in a row over the ton.  Good.

Ooh, not sure I mentioned that I caught up with LJ yesterday.  Well, she's looking great, on the road to recovery and in good spirits.  Top lass that one, come back soon!

Thought for the day.  Young Mark Hughes is the spitting image of Jamie Stewart.

Jamie Stewart:


Mark Hughes:


Thursday, January 12, 2017

HuRTS Rushcutters set

Jogged over with a decent sized group which included a Dutch chap called Hessel (who apparently found out about HuRTs through Strava) and Kevin Batt being dropped off with the group by his old man.

Arrived at Rushcutters to find Timmy had faithfully laid out the cones for a perfectly marked out 800m/200m set.  So it was to be 6 x 800m (off a rolling 4 mins) then 6 x 200m (with a 50s rest).  Well, any illusions as to feeling as though you might be an alright runner are shattered when someone like Kev Batt comes past you.  He floated by as if he was jogging for the bus.  I knew he was quick but didn't realise until chatting to him afterwards how quick (7:51/13:39 last year).  Nick Roberts was a bit in front of me for the first 4 reps but came good in the final 2 when I went barefoot.  I ran them starting at 2:33 and bringing them down to 2:23 by the 6th.  Legs felt like treacle though.  No bounce in them at all and the times only came down through sheer hard work.

Then on to the 200's where we did the usual trick of me choosing a hare and telling them to stay in front of Kev for as long as possible.  Jerome, Mikey L, Brendan, Nick, Toby and I all had a go.  I think Mikey and Toby may even have succeeded in staying ahead the whole way.  I certainly didn't.  Gave it my all but he coasted alongside me with 50m to go shouting encouragement as he did so.  Keeps the 200's interesting though, gets everyone involved and makes it a fun session.

Warm today.  Garmin Connect tells me it was 27C for the session.  11km all up.

Apparently Lewis is my top training partner:


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Steamy MLR

Alarm went off at 5.45am and I had to make the decision whether to be out running within 15 minutes or roll over and head out at lunch.  But with a forecast 39C by lunchtime I had to bite the bullet.  It resulted in a new PW for the first km (5:32, which actually included a few strides to get some bloodflow into my legs) and when I saw Darren and Erika the former said I looked like Macca at the start of a run.  Lewis and The Cap'n then showed up so we did the Shelly/Fairlight loop and I finished with 4 x strides on Nolans.  Turned out to be pretty pleasant running along the beachfront.  We'll be longing for these sorts of days in July.

16km all up averaging 4:36's.  Need to start incorporating some hills into the MLR but for the moment I'm just adjusting to the increased kms.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

HuRTs - getting it done

Well, I slept in this morning so that counted out a Manly Hardcore session.  Then my watch failed to charge so that counted out a solo session following the RunCrew schedule.  So turned up to find a huge HuRTs crowd, obviously full of January good intentions.

Tough session on the cards with 20mins of Domain Hills followed by the 4.8km Mrs Mac tempo.  Made doubly hard by the fact it was 30C.

Nick Roberts, Hoey, Fats and Darren Moyle all shot off ahead up the hill while I just worked alongside Mikey Lichtwark knowing how tough this session is and how the hills catch up with you in the final 7-8 minutes.  Pulled ahead of Mikey towards the end and just caught Fats and Darren but with Nick and Hoey about half a lap in front.

Then followed quite a long gap as we all desperately queued for water.  I was pretty strict in setting people off for the tempo in 4:20, 4:00, 3:45 and 3:30 pace groups, but with only Nick, Fats and myself in the final group.  Tried to hold on to Nick but he pulled ahead on the first hill at Mrs Macs.  Was pretty tough doing the tempo in the heat but dragged myself around in 16:47 (pretty much on 3:30's).  So the session was done and another in the bank.

3km cool down for 13km all up.

Monday, January 09, 2017

17 days

Wildman Thurston once said to me that if he could put together 17 days straight, he knew he was back on the wagon and starting to get fit.  I raised this with him a few years later and he claimed he had no idea what I was talking about and shouldn't listen to the crap he made up on the spot to start a conversation.  But it's always stuck with me as I realise how infrequently I put together 17 days straight.  Just done so, for the first time since July or August I reckon.  

It was an easy wharves run with a big crowd.  Spoke to (variously) Elle, Renee, Enda, Hoey, Bruce, Brendan and finished off the 18km with just Big Brother Kev and a good chat to him.  Also did my prescribed 4 x hills and I'll try to stick to Gary's training schedule from here on.  Not sure why I've been paying him for the past 2 months as what I've been doing hasn't looked anything like what Training Peaks told me I should be doing.

Watched this with the family this evening.  Bloody brilliant.  5 popcorns.


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Last day of hols

Different crowd this morning with Barts spending time at his second home in Palm Beach, Scotty out on the piss, Macca still nursing a broken body and Lewis deciding to run 30 hilly kms at sub 4min kms.

Dragged myself out of bed and bumped into Darren, Erika, the Cap'n, Ben and Craig already running 4:30's due to Darren having started 20mins earlier.  So that lopped a minute of my average pace for the 2nd km.  OCD went through the roof when Toby (who we picked up at Dee Why - not many people often say that) took us in a detour around Long Reef and the lovely houses of Collaroy Basin.

From Narrabeen lake Toby and Darren started picking up the pace and by Cromer we were running 4min kms.  Toby peeled off at Brooky Oval so finished off solo.  28km in 4:22's.  Bloody knackered but the ocean was perfect.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Parkrun - 1st in 16:34

Well, it was better than Christmas Day.  Looking after myself a bit better this week but on the other hand just finished my first 100km+ week since early October.  

Had Benny pushing me hard in the first km with him determined to get there first and me determined to deny him.  I pushed a bit ahead and got there in 3:10 but could still hear him on my shoulder at 2km (6:30).  Could it really be him?  Determined not to look over my shoulder but he's still there during the third km and it's starting to hurt.  3:30 for that one.  Struggled up the hill but with "Ben" dropped I eased off and starting blowing hard.  3:40 for the 4th km which is a shocker. I normally pick up again for that one.  Came home a bit quicker (2:02 from the bridge) for 16:34 official (16:37 on my watch). 

Plus points are there is a load of time to pick up in that 4th km.  Minus points are it's still a crap time when pushing hard.  But it's where I'm at.

2km warm up and 3km warm down bringing Maggsy home.  She, like Darren who ran very even splits but missed his PB by 2s, needs to attack more from the start.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Recovery day

8km very easy (4:53's) to Shelly Beach and back with a dip in the ocean at Queensie.  Heart rate averaged 127's which is the lowest I've got it.

101km this week and 3 days off the booze - both records since early October.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

75 continuous

Just did this solo. 15mins jog via the golf course to Passmore, 20mins fartlek (2mins on, 1min off) on my usual Nolans/Passmore/Riverview loop, 5min jog, 20mins tempo, 15mins jog reversing the first jog.  Warm conditions (Garmin connect says 24C) but a decent amount of shade for the hard bits.

Intended on just getting it done but it went better than that.  Was pleased to see the fartlek averaging 3:35's and even more chuffed for the tempo to average 3:31's.   Make no mistake, at peak last year I would be averaging 6 to 7 seconds quicker per km but for the time of year and shape I thought I was in it was pretty good.  Main thing was to keep the times consistent.

18.9km all up averaging 3:58's.

Now on to watching Season 3 of The Fall.  Best TV series since Game of Thrones.  It's brilliant.

Easy hour Wed

Back from Jamberoo in the afternoon so headed out in the evening for an easy hour. Planned to meet Kirst at Freshie ocean pool but it's being cleaned.  4:32's trying to keep the heart rate down (137 average but was 131 average until I hit the Queensie hill).

Short sess Tuesday

Met Sammy and Ben very early doors for 8x800m on Graham's Reserve.  Was probably a bit longer than 800m but nothing too quick this morning.  Short warm up and down for 11km all up.

Then headed to Jamberoo with the family where bizarrely we saw Macca and family and then TKS with family.  It was the HuRTs day to be at the world's greatest water park.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Local long

Craig came around at 6.30am and met Darren and Lewis 5mins later at the lagoon.  Very sore first 10km having just woken up and the achilles not being too happy.  Body warmed up by 10km though and the final 15km went well with Craig pushing the pace a bit over the final 3 or 4km to finish averaging 4:30's.  Just happy to get it done though before catching up with neighbour Jase and Sammy in the Grumporio.  Highlight of the morning was the barista in The G knowing my name.  It's only taken 3 years of daily visits.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

New Year's Day

12.4km running to Craig's to pick up the car after last night's revelries. Hot, humid, overcast and still.  The sort of day where everyone is short tempered.  Horrible run and my left achilles was sore.  4:33's.