Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Med-Long Run , 18ks Heartbreak Hill Return

Out for what is now becoming the regular midweek run with the Chairman Tommy H, but this the first week on our City to Surf course training that takes us along New South Road to the top of Heartbreak and back.
Joined as well at the start by all round good lad 'Weetbix Kid' Renaud Herington and the banter was on pretty much from the start. Showed my silky skills upon departing the Domain that nearly saw me get the footy boots back out and left Tommy H gobsmacked as I fired the ball back on the volley to the locals on the nearby pitch.
Easy pace for the first 5ks before Renaud was getting out of his comfort zone and returned back whilst Tom and I prepared for the tougher hill section starting at O'Sullivan Street.
Picked the pace up straight away with Tom preferring to go slightly easier as I held a steady 3.50 pace but as soon as the harder section came leaving Rose Bay I was struggling. Just as I got past the school near the end I could hear Tommy and with 50 metres to reach the summit he was to cruise past me. Hill section for the day (just over 2ks) done at 4.10 pace and with 9ks done it was an easier return back into the city. Wind seem to have picked up by then and with the dreaded Edgecliff Hill to come once leaving Double Bay I was starting to fade.
Back to the start covering 18ks all up averaging 4.51 for the day that I was happy with.
Will try to lock this session in each Wednesday now leading up to the big day in August.

Tomorrow back out with the team down at Rushcutters for the shorter 400m sets that seem to suit me better.


One of my favourite pics from the Great Wall

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

45 Min Continous (7 x 2 mins,1 min Off - Twice)

Big show and nice to see old boys and good socialites Tommy H, Enda, Jeet and Erika back out for the HuRTs 45 minute continuous set.
Always wary on these type of sets of going out too hard as the return is so much more difficult and when Rich Large started to pull away early I was left to sit in with Marc Ashworth that was to prove a decent partner for the day.  Got to under the bridge by Pier 1 covering 5.2ks in the allotted 20 minutes before I really did slow it down whilst Marc kept a more honest pace and ventured ahead.
A 5 minute recovery and basically repeated all the way back, I didn't read (or listen) to the instructions as it was meant to be a straight 20 minute tempo back but I stayed with the 2 ON /1 OFF set that had me wondering why Tom, Enda and the lads were going past me with ease when I was on recovery around near the ABC Pool?
Worked hard on the way back and managed to get back to the Gates in a respectable 45.09, Over 11ks in total.

Need a good 4 solid weeks training block now and promised the 'Chairman' that I'll commit to run most days throughout the week leading up to the Gold Coast in order to find some form going into the Half in the first week of July.
Starting tomorrow with the first of the City to Surf sessions up to the top of 'Heartbreak Hill'


Monday, May 29, 2017

Update - Run and Swim

Thursday. Into the city for the first run post China to join the HuRTS squad for the Hill and Tempo set, pretty small turnout with yet again no one really taking control and the session lacking any real direction. Just chipped away at the 10 x hills without killing myself and managed to hold the faster lads off from getting lapped as I turned to head back down the hill as they were just coming to end the 10th rep.
Short break and then the new 3k tempo (used to be 5k), again steady pace and just run by myself coming back up to the Stone Gates in 10.51 averaging 3.37s but found it was about 100m short.

Friday - May 1k Time Trial at PAP. Used to get big numbers for the swimming especially for the monthly time trial, sadly like the running there appears little leadership and we now struggle to get a hand full these days.
I started the clock first off the bat and was caught within the first 150m by Marc Ashworth but hung onto him for the next 350 before he then blew a gasket. Forced to swim the last 500m solo to stop the clock in 17.49 not before Pete Walker flew past me at the 800m mark to take the 'Golden Duck'

Monday. No sign of Crossy lad at the pool, thought it was a case of being too cold for him but he assures me that work is getting in the way and he's still not mastered those coffee and lunch orders for his new employees. Small team of only 4 of us that included Brendan Krone for a rare visit.
2ks done all up


Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Great Wall Half Marathon 1.55 - 3rd Overall

It was ridiculously brutal, extremely hot (40 degrees) it drove me to near exhaustion but yes the old Stoke battler completed the Great Wall of China Half Marathon.
Its not every day you get the chance to run on one of the 7 Wonders of the World and when the opportunity came through work for a trip away I wasn't about to miss out. Arrived a week earlier and after a visit on the Wall on the Thursday I realized this half was going to be tough one as I was feeling the effects in the hips and quads and that was just walking.
Up early on race day (2.45am) for the 2 hour drive and the excitement in the square was already high especially when the touring Kiwi party did a rendition of the Haka before the start of the race. Lined up in wave 1 beside an Argentine guy who was going to run the full in barefoot (lunatic I thought as temps were already in the 30s as early as 7.30am
The first 5ks of climb not dissimilar to our own Heartbreak Hill and check the watch that tells me 23.25 for the first section before heading onto the tougher 'Wall' section. I walk the first set of steps as i tried to get the heart rate down and with the best intentions of running the 2nd set lasted all of about 6 steps before I was forced to power walk once again.  Basically this was pretty much repeated for the next 4ks as I was struggling to go any faster than 10 min/ks. Even the downhill parts on the dreaded Goat Track was a killer and was forced to hold onto the hand rail most of the way.
Back to the start line at 9k totally knackered and could easily have stopped there and then, but out on the road and into the nearby villages was next and despite the soaring heat and legs screaming at me to stop the kids and locals made it bearable. 15k marker and another hill nearly breaks me again and I'm thankful to get back on the road and turn for home at the 16k mark as you then see the slower runners in the opposite direction many giving you high fives and cheering away.
Getting close to home but even at the 20k point of the race i could have easily walked and still not confident i was going to see it out, Had a quick glance behind and with no one in sight i was able to just cruise it out re entering 'Ying Yang' Square to stop the clock in 1hr.55 minutes and surprisingly taking out 3rd place overall.
Absolutely stoked at the race, certainly one of the toughest around and its certainly not one you do for time. The scenery on the Wall is just mesmerizing and one that will stay with me for a long time. As tough as it was again it was one of the most enjoyable runs I've ever done. Couple that with Ayres Rock and New York last November I've really enjoyed my new line of work that has taken me to these places I'd never visited before.
Big party followed on the Sunday evening and in front of 2500 people all the podium placing people  were called on stage in honour of the runs and in my newly purchased traditional Chinese jacket it certainly proved popular in the camera stakes.
First time in China and thoroughly enjoyed the 8 days spent, people very friendly, food excellent especially the Peking Duck that I seemed to demolish at every opportunity and the weather just superb (not sure what Enda harks on about all the time with the smog, as I only ever saw clear blue sky)

Hopefully i can get this as a regular gig as I'd love to return again next year, Still a big 2nd half of the year to come with return trips to 'The Rock' in the Red Centre,  New York in November and just got confirmation over the past few days that Berlin is also the go in September that I can add a trip to the Oktoberfest and back home for some footy at the 'Brit' in October.

The splits that i had for the race were as follows.
3.51, 4.54, 4.19, 5.07, 4.58, 10.58, 10.38, 7.26, 5.07, 4.40, 4.38, 4.34, 4.31, 4.54, 5.13, 4.43, 4.33, 5.03, 4.43, 5.04, 4.48

A few photos from race day and general tour.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers Day Long Run 25ks

Out early and managed an enjoyable 25ks for the day.
Bang on 2 hours in total averaging a steady 4.45 pace

Shorter entry as heading to China for the week to have a hit out on the Great Wall

Saturday, May 13, 2017

5k Centennial Tempo -19.08

Still very tired and had I not lined up Taffy and Birchy for a 5k time trial/tempo beforehand then I doubt I would have stayed in the park once I'd done the 6k very easy with a client.
Taffy was in the same boat as me after another massive week leading up to his Comrades (86k) and Birchy had another massive night..... in the BOOZER.
Set off and straight away I was having problems with my ankle, felt as if I couldn't run and it needed a good clicking? Took about 800m before I was running freely but by the time I went through 1k I was already down on time. Decided then not to force it but to try run it at a more controlled pace even for the hills that were to come around the 3 and 4.3k mark.
In truth never actually felt comfortable at any time and was happy just to get through it in 19.08 as I got back to the café.
Taffy was also down on last week (over 20 minutes) whilst Birchy pretty much pulled the pin at the 3k marker and was already standing back at the café by the time i had finished.
19.08 Average 3.50
Splits; 3.48, 3.49, 3.48, 3.51, 3.50
A flat lap cool down to end to bring up 15ks for the morning.

Enjoyed a coffee and brekkie after with the lads on a beaut of a morning.

Saturday evening staying home in prep to knock out 25ks tomorrow.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Swim at PAP

Tired and unmotivated I headed down to PAP for the 3rd swim of the week to end a somewhat busy week of training. Was just planning to go easy after lining up Crossy Lad but Angus rocked up so that soon went out the window with both of them setting a decent pace from the start.
A 2k set that included 400s, 300s, 200s and 100s was the call and I was just happy to tap away at it in order to get it done.
Never really got going today and the best I could manage on my final 2 x 100s were 1.33 and 1.32

Busy weekend ahead, Only a couple of games to go in the footy with the last home match for Stoke at the Brit against the big flops Arsenal. Always a good atmosphere at this one and this won't be not different.
Timmy's Tip. Stoke 1 v Arsenal 0
Elsewhere its squeaky bum time down at the relegation end especially for the Tin Pot Palace, they are not safe yet and a home lose this weekend will really but them back in the mire.

Will get out for a trot tomorrow but more importantly really want to go 25k plus on Sunday, so it will mean NO big Saturday evening for me.

Have a great weekend.
Train Well, Stay safe.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Rushcutters 400s

Standard 3k swim at PAP first up and it must have been the easiest 60 laps completed on the bases that.
a, training partners were on recovery week following Ironman on the weekend
b, I was in the trusty wetsuit once again that makes it so so easy.
Pretty uneventful but happy to be able to keep the mileage up in the pool.

Cycled into the city at lunch and met a small group at the Art Gallery for the jog over to Rushcutters for the 10 x 400m session. Enjoyed a much overdue chat with Laura who I was delighted to see back running with us once again.
Barts was the main man today but apart from Jerome, Marko Branagan and perhaps Mikey L there wasn't much else on show and I was more than happy to find an ally to work with in 'The Mouth' Brendan (who's actually a decent bloke when he stops his shite banter)
Rolled around with him on my shoulder for the first coming in on 73 before the order was reversed for the 2nd recording the same time. Held the same pace for much of the session although I was starting to feel the pace once the 7th lap was complete. Lost it on the 8th but dug in to finish with the same time as what we started with.

Times. 73, 73, 73, 73, 73, 74, 74, 75, 74, 73 

Happy with that and another solid enough week, just need to make sure I get out on Saturday morning and more important the Sunday long run this week.
Enjoyed a cool down back to the city with Brendan (my new best mate) and J.C (who was still too knackered to even offer as much as a sledge at anytime)

Another bet confirmed last night when I had Taffy2 - Craig pestering me for a Gold Coast Half wager. He tried to rort my recently for Canberra (with +6.30) but I won't get done again and agreed to give him 4 minutes (still very generous on my part, but hey... )

 Will be back to the pool tomorrow, lined up Crossy Lad, let’s just pray he's changed Mary's underwear.




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Barangaroo 3 x 2k Reps

Even with the State 10k last weekend there was a strong turnout at the Passenger Terminal for the start of the 3 x 2k HuRT session that was on program.
Tucked in with a  great little group that included once again the Branagan Brothers, Leech, Rich Large, Stevie P, Jack 'The Lad', Frenchman Dom as well as a few others and despite it being a tad quick I felt relatively comfortable to tick the first set over in 6.51
Much the same for the return leg although coming under the bridge with 500m to go the boys did gap me and I was struggling towards the end as the pace indicated dropping by some 4 seconds. The 2 minute recovery soon goes on these sets and I knew the 3rd was going to be a battle. Held on to the 1k marker reached in 3.31 but basically gave it away after that point to cut back to a 3.49 2nd half to round out the session in 7.20
Times for the day; 6.51, 6.55, 7.20
Happy enough although let myself down on the final 1000m when I should be trying to see it out.
A real easy cruise back to the starting point for another 2k before joining Jerome, Leech, Renee and Jac for a cool down back through the city.

Sight of the Day goes to Crossy Lad who invertedly rocked up to the session after forgetting his run shorts. Not to be outdone he decided to run in his good wife's Mary's latest latex underwear. Not the best sight and it was little wonder he was running fast at the front with the speedy 'Special Q' and Scotty O to avoid others seeing him.

Bet of the Day. Got collared by Erika at the end who wanted a head to head $20 bet with me for the upcoming Gold Coast Half. I must have rocks in my head as she beat me by a near 2.30 at the recent Canberra Half but being the fair guy I am, I agreed to give here chance to win her hard earned back.
Bet On.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Monday Swim

Too cold for Crossy Lad to venture out so had to get Brendan Krone (aka Trigger) to join me at PAP to begin a new week with a swim.
Very easy 500m before Pete Walker rocked up and the speed increased loads, a series of 300 and 200m efforts (getting dropped on everyone) before I managed to hang on for the final 5 x 100m all done at 1.30 or under.
2ks in total and good way to kick start what will be another big week.


Back with Sunday Long Run - 24ks

Felt pretty good after yesterday and with a  rare night at home for a Saturday I woke even earlier that saw me head to the park in plenty of time for what was to be my first Sunday long run in ages.
Managed to sneak in a flat lap (4ks) before joining Elzy, Laura, Rich Large, Jacqueline, Nick, Neil Branagon Brothers and Craig Wiseman for the usual 6k loop out of the park.
Pace pretty easy to start but once back at the café where we collected Leechy and Birchy (sober) I noticed the pace quicken. Once I saw a 4.28 soon after I made the call to pull back and wait for Birchy, Craig and Jac as did Eoin. Far more civilized pace thereafter as the pace dropped to around 4.42.
20k done as we got back to the café that left one more flat loop and Craig decided he wanted a faster pace to finish that we left him to do solo that left Leech, Jacqueline and I to meander holding the same to see out 24ks in total in 1hr52:30 averaging 4.44s
Really enjoyed the morning and nice to be back out knocking out the longer Sunday runs again, and really is something I need to do on a regular bases if I'm to get my running back on track
One thing I don't really enjoy though is how the group splits, this morning was a classic example with no less than about 4 'mini' groups doing the same route. The Shire girls were well ahead in one, Branagon's in another, Rich Large & Nick in the 3rd whilst the rest brought up the rear despite still running a steady 4.42 pace
The whole purpose of these Sunday long runs is that its gives everyone the chance to run together and enjoy the company that we don't get when we do our speed work throughout the week, if not then sadly those unable to run sub 40 minute 10ks simply won't bother to turn up.

Enjoyed a post run coffee with The Leech, Birchy, Jacqueline, Neil not before getting the photo of the day care of Craig Wiseman.  Poor Craig made the rather silly remark that his Scottish boys would turn England over in the recent 6 nations where a $20 bet was wagered.
Only one outcome really

A $20 collect from the Sweaty Craig Wiseman.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

State 10k Homebush 37.13

Survived the drive out to Homebush with a hungover Birchy in the car (Jeez, the fumes of beer coming from him was unreal) and once out was met with a massive HuRTS contingent. A decent warm up with Taffy, Birchy and the Leech and we were on the line ready for the usual frantic fast start.
Keen not to go out too hard but still saw a 3.31 tick out as the first 1k clicked over, saw Jeet and the Hipster Chris past soon after and tried to get into a decent rhythm. Settle after that and after getting a look at the front guys on the first hairpin get ready for the long slog back to the starters line that then completes lap 1.
Cant remember the time at half way but still find I'm moving well enough and can't recall seeing any K split over the 3.45 that was my goal at the start to enable a sub 37.30
Get a call out at 6.5ks from old crooner Keith Bateman and that lifts me slightly to go with him and prepare myself for the last 3ks at the final hairpin. Start to feel the pace soon after and try hard to keep it ticking over managing to get over the last climb before the easier entry into the stadium but not before North Shore boy Justin comes past. I love the last 300m on the track but unable to kick it down any despite getting a big shout out from the stands on the final bend from Enda. One last surge and I hit the line as the clock says 37.13 and all things considered I'm pretty happy with that.
A few minutes to recover before its a chance to see how the team have gone and as expected there are some fine runs to call. Far too many to mention but nice to see Rich Large PB with a 35.2x, as well as Taffy Craig with a  39.35 (PB) but I think Toby's 33.17 was as good as anyone's (beating C.T in the process)
Splits were.3.31, 3.38, 3.37, 3.44, 3.43, 3.37, 3.44, 3.45, 3.49, 3.42, 20 secs.

Good run complete then with the betting stakes coming good, Tommy's NO show was good enough for $20 (although doubt he would have covered the 2.30 margin?) and despite a PB from Taffy2 Craig I more than covered the 80 second margin to relieve him of another $20
Enjoyed brekkie after with the two daft Welsh Lads and Birchy who was smelling loads better from sweating all the ale out of him over the 10ks than he was a few hours prior.

Few pics from the morning.
Nice start to the day for the State 10k
It's never pretty.
Last 100m
With the Taffy Boyo's Craig and Jimmy.
Good runs from the boys, Eoin, Craig, Birchy and Jimmy.
Embarrassing act #1 - Rich Large couldn't wait to ring his bell.
Embarrassing act #2 - and neither could Craig.
Class Acts Nicky Roberts and Scotty O'Connor.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

HuRTS 1k Reps and Midweek Med/Long

Tuesday. Not normally a swim day but when mate Ian came calling and with good conditions it was back down to PAP to knock out a quick fire 2k. Exactly the same set as the previous day with Crossy Lad, only quicker.
Cycled into the city after and after a warm up I was met with a massive team and good to see some of the older runners return such as Biggsy, Phil Dove and Travie Shields for the 6 x 1k reps around Barangaroo.  Pretty sharp straight from the gun and I was surrounded by a decent group that included Stevie P, Biggsy, Jeet and Tommy H of all people. Rolled in on 3.22 and it was to stay much the same for the following 3 reps that followed. Tired after 4 and for the last two was keen to run it more at race pace (3.45s hoping for Saturday) Felt loads easier straight away and was comfortable running under that to end with.
Times for the day. 3.22, 3.23, 3.23, 3.25, 3.40, 3.38
A 2k further warm down back through the city with Tommy H rounded out 10k for the day.

Wednesday. Like Tuesday a midweek swim is not normally on the cards but when training partner/coach put in a call to say he was switching his days due to his Port Ironman race this weekend I had little choice but to do the same. Made loads easier as we had the wetsuits on and it certainly told in the reduced effort but quicker times throughout.
2.5ks done comfortably, its like cheating in those wetsuits.
Usual midweek medium long run with Tommy H only this week we were joined by Jack 'The Lad' & some Irish geezer Dave. Decent lads although you couldn't get a word in edgeways with Dave for the first 5ks but he soon went quiet when we got onto our normal footy talk. He seemed to know bugger all about the game and we never heard from him for the remainder of the run.
Decent pace and perhaps the quickest we've done so far, 70 minutes all up for the 15ks averaging 4.40s. Doesn't seem that fast but the first 5ks is all up hill and plenty of stairs in both directions.
Really been enjoying these midweek runs, made all the better when Tommy H starts to fire up and tries to tell anyone that is listening about his Newcastle Utd being a big club - It always brings a smile to my face that one.

Couple of big days, so will ease up now before Saturdays State 10k. I know I'm not in great form but I'll give it a bash. Expecting somewhere around the 38 minute mark and just hope my 2.30 handicap start vs Tom and my 80 second I've got to give Taffy2 will be enough in the betting stakes on the day?