Friday, September 22, 2017

Moving around

Saturday 16th was a 12km where I picked up the pace and ended up doing 4:15's which was pretty encouraging. Feel as though I have the cardio with the bike work but no running legs at the moment.

Sunday and Monday were travelling to Menorca.  Arrived stiff and sore and immediately hired a bike on Monday afternoon.  Got out for ~55km rides each morning (Tues, Wed and Thurs) since. Brilliant country roads to ride along and wonderful way to see the Island.  Have absolutely loved it. All at a good pace (30kmh+) and feel as though the riding is going well.

Been doing some new exercises for the achilles which is giving me some new hope. Will try a run in Berlin tomorrow.

Friday, September 15, 2017


Thursday was another missed lunchtime session so got out at 5pm and did the 12.5km loop of Centennial via the Cross and Ocean St.  Sick of the wharves and love getting out to the Park.  Even the prospect of all the hills didn't put me off.  Also feeling really upbeat with the achilles starting to feel better.  I'm still as slow as.  It's like the increased strength of cycling muscles just doesn't allow me to run freely very well.  Either that or I'm just crap at running due to lack of training.  Anyway, it was an enjoyable 4:45's.

This morning was a response to a call to arms from Timmy.  6am bike training in Centennial was called, and I felt as though I needed to keep the NOTB in the game knowing Macca couldn't make it.  It involved a 4:50am alarm, motorbike to the city then ride from work to Centennial.  Kroney and Timmy had just finished a warm up lap and 30km was called comprising the 6.65km hilly loop we did last time followed by an easy lap x 3.  A beaut of a morning and a brief shot from Timmy before we were straight into it:

Good loop for me as we start with only 400m on the flat loop before we swing left up the hill.  I give this a bit of a nudge, see I've got a small gap on Kroney and a bigger gap on Timmy.  Head around the U and down the hill only to see it was actually Timmy just behind up the hill with BK nowhere in sight.  Some big fella comes past down the hill, I jump on his wheel and we are flying.  Work well with Timmy for the rest of the loop and we finish in 10:30 - much quicker than I expected.  Kroney just dips under 11mins having ridden solo.

Then a gentle lap to recover before we're straight into it again.  I jump out of the saddle up the hill but this time Kroney matches all the way and, seeing a gap between us and Timmy at the top we then work together all the way round.  Far out he's strong, taking big turns on the front into the wind.  Plainly he was just sizing us up on the first lap.  Legs go lactic as I push the false flat around Fox Studios Gates and we finish together in 10:22.

Another sort of recovery lap but we're all dreading the final interval.  It comes around too quickly and we're off again but this time Kroney really pushes the hill gapping me by about 5s at the top.  I look around to see Timmy about 10s behind and realise that I can:

(a)  put a huge effort in to catch Kroney knowing he'll drag me around ahead of Timmy; or
(b)  not do so and have Timmy catch me and work with him.

So (a) is obviously a much more attractive proposition so I do that.  Catch him around the U and again we work together well but at times I'm giving 90% effort just to stay on his wheel.  Finish in 10:23.

Stoked with that session.  Really fast times and a rock solid effort.  But always satisfying to do a great session early in the morning on a beautiful day.  Full cycling gear wanker coffees ensued:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday double

Cycle to work and had a clear run over the bridge and good pace at the bottom of Parriwi so gave it a bit of a dig. At least until the Ralpha road mural when I felt tired so sat down. Felt better after the bends so picked it up again and still managed 3:23. Reckon I could have gone sub3 if I wasn't being lazy.

Then out (late) at lunch for a run around the wharves. Met Andy and had a good chat with him in taper mode before Sydney Marathon on Sunday. 12km in 4:39's.  Achilles was a bit tender after flying to Melbourne and Monday night's effort so took some Voltaren last night. As a result it was great today.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Overheight vehicle

Saturday had Charlie doing his saxophone exam so no trip to Kogarah.  Managed to get out in the afternoon and just pedalled up to North Head for some laps including the snake each time - 30km on the bike.  Achilles was a bit sore after a bigger week so didn't run.

Sunday was my birthday so a lazy morning opening all of my presents (which comprised a can of Irn Bru and a pack of Rolos) before a solo ride around Akuna Bay taking it very easy.  Rode clockwise which is a lot easier - you can get up Akuna hill in the big chain ring in that direction which was the only section I put some effort into. Absolute beaut of a day.  55km.

Monday was spent watching Mags in the Regional athletics in the am.  She came 8th in the 1500m in 5:49 and was a bit disappointed. They go off crazy fast and she hung back on the first lap and just picked people off for the rest of the race. She then came 9th in her 800m heat but was knackered as she only had 75mins rest.  It was great watching all the races, some real talent. Interesting though that Under 10's both boys and girls is as competitive as Under 12's.  The winner of the U10 Boys 1500m ran 4:55 and the first 3 were all under 5mins.  That was the same winning time for the U12's and he won by 10s.  Mags time (slower than she ran in Zone) would have placed her 7th in the U12's so plenty more to come if she stays interested (which, judging by her current enthusiasm I'm sure she will).

Busy day at work so attempted a run to Mosman where I intended to catch a cab. Couldn't find one so ended up running all the way home - 14.5km in a pedestrian 4:59's.  Achilles good after the rest though.

For some reason I get really pissed off with overheight vehicles. Flying to Melbourne this am and the Harbour Tunnel is closed due to an overheight vehicle. Does the driver just think "what the fuck, I'll give it a shot and hope for the best". I got similarly annoyed when that truck knocked down the stone arch at North Head. That's my rant for the day.

Actually, I've got another. People who try to take too much carry-on luggage on planes. Check it in you pricks!

Maggie - pony tail flying, picking off the 4 in front with 500m to go.

Friday, September 08, 2017

touch footy

An easy 9km around Nolan's and Passmore watch Mags play touch footy. 4:42's. Achilles feeling good.


Feeling more confident with the achilles I ventured over to Rushcutters for the Pyramid session.  Great to see a number of familiar faces there including Timmy, Enda, Kroney, Eoin, Scotty, Toby, Brendan and a number of new (and pretty fast) faces as well.

Basically I ran at the front of the second group trying to keep the pace under control. Didn't push too hard but not sure of the pace as I'd forgotten the Garmin. I'm guessing it was about 3:40's.  Ran the last lap a bit quicker. All in all, really happy as the achilles held up OK.

All the boys are flying out there with Scotty at a different level. Timmy and Enda were pushing well in the first group and the ego takes a bit of a hit being so far back but so long as I'm injury free I'm happy.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Timmy's TT!

Put the call out for some hot laps earlier in the week and Timmy's response was to suggest a 20km time trial as something to prepare us better for Nepean Triathlon in 7 weeks time.  So with a degree of nervousness I dragged myself to Centennial Park at lunchtime.  Passed the HuRTs crew along the way (Charlie, Hoey, Renee and many others) and wished I was with them rather than about to endure over 30mins of pain.

Met someone resembling Tony Martin at the CP cafe, full-on tri bike, fancy helmet, smooth Rapha gear and all.  Then Tony starts talking in a soft Melbourne/Stoke combo accent and I realise it's Timmy.  He sets the route which involves 3 laps of a figure of 8 around the Park and, importantly, includes a nasty 700m hill up to Woollahra Gates - basically the reverse of the hill you come down in the JPMorgan CC.

We start up at the Paddo gates in a special box that Timmy marks out for the occasion.  He says we need to keep the laps consistent and something under 12mins per lap would be good.  He says go, I jump off, he misses getting his shoe in the cleat and I've got a gap zooming down the hill.  It levels out and I get into a rhythm only to hear this "WHOOSH" as Timmy comes flying by.  I seriously spend 500m balls out trying to get back onto his wheel, I feel the legs going lactic and think, holy crap, he's gapped me already and we're less than 2km in!  But eventually I get back on, recover and take a turn at the front as we go past Champ and a Brother Branagan.

Continues like this for a bit until we hit the hill, I turn onto it and get out of the saddle and work it pretty hard knowing you can recover at the top.  Turn at the top to see I've gapped Timmy by about 10s.  Come around the U and finish the first lap in 10:40.  Second lap is all solo, just trying to get into a rhythm, deal with the wind (strong into the face heading up to Fox Gates) and give the hill another nudge again.  Turn at the top and see the gap is probably about 20s now and finish lap 2 in 11:15.  Same again for the third.  Push the hill a bit harder knowing I'm nearing the end and finish lap 3 in 11:17 for 33:12 all up.  Timmy comes past in 33:47.  Average pace was 35.7km/h which isn't bad given the wind and the fact it includes 2km of hills.

In truth, I reckon I got all the time gains on the hill and he was about the same, if not a bit quicker on the flatter sections.  So plenty to work on before the big dance at Nepean.  Easy ride back to the office and a great session to knock out over lunch.

In other news, I received a call from a very excited Maggie this afternoon to tell me she's also been picked for the 800m next week at Regionals in addition to the 1500m.  The girl who pipped her on the line for 2nd in Zone after she eased up (she won't be doing that again) has had to pull out.  I'm more stoked for the fact that she's so stoked.  I'd be crapping myself that I had to do two tough races in one day.

Tuesday bike/run

Up at Sparrow's Fart to meet a a cycling crew comprising Manly based mates Toby, Dave Chapel, Rich "Smitty", Charlie Ridout and another chap I missed the name of.  Met at Warringah Mall at 5.30am with me wearing my sunnies.  I have to wear them on longer rides as I get bloodshot eyes otherwise but it was pitch black at 5.30am and I think the other blokes thought I was mad.

They go quite hard up to Church Pt with a final sprint finish and then cruise back along the beaches stopping for coffee at Curl Curl which was great.  In truth, Toby and I did all the work up to Church Pt with Smitty coming by for a final sprint with 500m to go, Toby and I leaving him to suffer for 300m before Toby jumped away and me losing his wheel to finish 2nd.  After coffee I grabbed my back pack from home, rode to work pushing Parriwi Rd (3:25) and the infamous "Intermediate Hill Sprint" (21s) for 60km all up.

Headed out in the afternoon for a 10km run.  Heel felt a bit tight but stretched it out around Barangaroo which made a huge difference.  All the riding has made my legs like bamboo sticks.  But the run got better the further I went and finished averaging 4:25's.  Plenty of stretching in the evening and the achilles was much better this morning.  Feel like the tear in it has healed and now I'm dealing with the usual achilles issues I've had for years.  May even try some speedwork soon.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Monday Run/bike

Lunchtime meeting so had to get out for a run later.  Later turned out to be when I'd finished work for the day, so did 8km around Mrs Mac's feeling pretty lethargic and low on energy, then jumped straight onto the bike and road home, where I felt great.  Got home in just over 40mins despite hitting a few red lights and managed 4:43's for the run.

Countdown to Euro trip is starting.  Everyone seems to be hitting great form in the running (Darren, Macca, Andy and Big Sam over in London in particular).  Wish it was me.  I think my muscles have forgotten how to do it.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Maggsy 300's

Out in the arvo on Nolan's after a lazy Father's Day. Had bought Mags some new waffle shoes so wanted to run them in before her 1500m a week tomorrow. Did a 2km warm up then 5 x 300m with me running an even pace and she coming past me kicking with 100m to go. She did 62, 63, 61, 63, 62 and was rooted afterwards so mission accomplished. 

I finished with a jog for 9km. Achilles felt great doing the 300's but my groin is very sore tonight and even half a bottle of Pinot at Toby & Alex's down the road has not eased it.

Tentative positive signs

So I haven't posted in ages because the running was non-existent, I've been trying to sort out the problem and rehab.  In short:

(a) the surgeon said he'd have to detach my achilles so the recovery period would be 13 months;
(b) I'd be seeing slight improvements with a load of calf strenghthening exercises; and
(c) surgery would have had to wait until after my Europe trip in any case,

so I decided against it. I've continued to do a load on the bike and am now up to 8 consecutive weeks of long (2 hour) rides.  I started running again 2 weeks ago - just 8 to 10km every other day at the moment.  I've added heel wedges to the orthotics and have avoided the old heel pain but can still feel something lower down on my heel when I run. But not painful enough to stop me for now.

Yesterday was another 70km down in Kurnell on the bike averaging 34kmh followed by 8km (4:19 pace) around Nolan's in the late afternoon. I find I run ok immediately following a ride but struggle the next day so today will be slower.

It's all currently prep for Nepean Triathlon (1km, 30km, 10km) on 29 Oct which is turning out to be bigger than Ben Hur. Timmy's odds list looks like this:

 At some stage I'll have to don my swimmers.

Finally, Mags is going great at Athletics, finishing 2nd in Zone 1500m in 5:32 and now through to Regionals at Homebush (Mon 11th):