Monday, July 24, 2017

Double Shot Tuesday Run & Bike Centennial

Legs were still heavy from Sunday but new dad Enda put in a call for the early morning session so along with Birchy we were set to go for some 1k reps at 6.15am
Usual 2k warm up all the while I got to listen to Enda moan about his lack of overnight sleep, waking every 2 hrs with new baby Evie (oh God it was torture honestly )
Started out at a decent gallop whilst Enda was more than happy to let me do the donkey work as we crossed out in 3.32, repeated for the 2nd before he fired up and I basically went the other way. Limited the damage best I could but felt my form had gone and once the 5th was done I decided I was as well. Didn't even wait for the full 90 seconds recovery and ambled back to the start line until Enda was nearing then decided to help him, out for the final 500m or so
Times. 3.32, 3.32, 3.35, 3.35, 3.36, 3.52
Decent 6k cool down with a client to follow made a solid 14 for the morning before heading to the nearest coffee house.

The bike Trash Talk continues to gain momentum and when Tommy H requested some help with hot laps I thought I'd go and give it a bash. Once a warm up was done we agreed on 2 x fast lap efforts, 1 x recovery and then 1 x fast to end with. Now Tommy H might not look the part of a cyclist in his Black Magic Turtle neck sweater and his Lycra pants but don't be fooled the Geordie Lad can move. Keen to test early and put the hammer down I went to the front whilst 'H' was happy to sit in with me, delighted to complete the first in 5.37 but knew I'd not be able to hold again. Pace dropped slightly but surprised to only lose 12 seconds with a 5.49 lap.
A recovery lap was much in need as we both nearly died coming over the finish line before it was on again. Hit the front only this time coming around the Fox Gates 'The Beast from the North East' rallied and found something just as I was about to blow a gasket. Tried to hold on but it was in vain and I was only able to come across in 5.52
Great little set all up and cycled back home pretty knackered having done 36ks for the day.

A big few days overall , forgot to mention my Monday swim as well. Anyway I think I've earned myself a well earned break for a few days. Heading to Uluru in the morning that hopefully will mean I get the chance to run the Half on Saturday, if nothing else I'll be happy to relax in the grounds of the resort.

Have a good week

Sutherland to Surf 11k - 41.39 , 45th overall.

Down to Shire town for the 2nd weekend in succession for the highly popular running of the 11k Sutherland to Surf. Trained down with Birchy and after 2ks warm up with Birchy a few friendly hellos to locals Laura and Crossy we hit the start line. Lined up on the front row with Crossy Lad and moments before the gun was about to go young upstart Harry Summers ambles up and arrogantly stands directly in front of Crossy that got his back right up.
Its a bloody fast start this one and although keen not to get carried away find there is a mass of people ahead by some distance even before the main road cross over at 500m. I go past Laura around the 800m mark and soon after see a 3.26 first Km recorded. Hold steady thereafter feeling as if I'm ticking along OK  before the first of the climbs comes near Westfield Miranda at 4.5k, Struggle to get over the top but happy to pass through 5ks in under 18 minutes. A few rolling hills after but feel as if I'm tiring before the long stretch of a hill around the Woollaware area before the 9ks and my cause is not helped as perhaps the only person to come past was Belinda Martin with her son, that in itself is no shame but the fact was he was only 9 years of age certainly had me double blink. Tried to lift it heading down into Cronulla and started to do the sums in my head that a respectable  40.xx was on the cards but had forgotten the last 1k is the toughest on the course and despite having the stunning beach views I was gonski and certainly didn't finish feeling strong.
Crossed out in 41.39 average pace 3.44s, Pretty happy with that and its good to get a race under the belt especially after the past month with interrupted training and head colds. Disappointed though with the 2nd half of the race and I reckon I lost somewhere between 60 - 90 seconds over the course of 6ks
A great event this one and once done caught up with the gang in the Cronulla Tent care of Crossy with Birchy taking the p!SS cleaning out the pancakes on offer for everyone.
Enjoyed a mid morning coffee where Laura redeemed herself for last weeks ordinary effort by taking us to the finest coffee house in the Shire before returning to Wanda Surf Club for the afternoon on the deck refuelling our battered bodies. Left with wobbly legs and then caught up with old mate Kanser in the city for a few pints and even better banter for a few hours.
Splits for the day. 3.26, 3.29, 3.34, 3.38, 3.48, 3.48, 3.45, 3.52, 3.51, 3.47, 3.56
A few photos from the day.

Its never pretty, but happy to finish with a 41 minute run.
Stunning morning in Shire Town, with Birchy, Laura and Crossy Lad.
It may have been 22 degrees but Crossy Lad still feels the cold and needed his coat.
#1 supporter for the day Wol even supplied the post race beers - top man.
Selfie time with the locals - Laura and hubby to be Wol.
Todays stats, being in a new age group does have its advantages I suppose.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Double Day Friday - Bike & Swim

Cycled over to the park and with all the verbal Trash Talk what's been going on between some I was keen to back up from last Friday's first session and try to rack up a few more Ks. Cruised around for a few laps before deciding to test myself with a couple of 'Hot Laps' (fast single loops 3.7k). Didn't look at the watch once but with the high winds on what is usually the faster parts slowing things down I knew I'd be doing well to get anywhere close to a 6 minute lap. Delighted then to get back around to the flag poles and stop the clock dead on 6.00 A loop easy then basically repeated, only this time I knew I was slower at the start that would ultimately cost me time but was reasonably happy to stick down 6.04 for the tough effort.
Long way to go and lots of work to do on the bike, I remember being able to do single laps in and around the 5.30-5.40 mark at one time but hopefully I'll get my bike fitness back especially once the warmer months return as I do like the cycling.
Returned home via the coffee house as 48ks ticked over and in truth the legs were pretty much cooked and I reckon a 50k cycle would be my limit at the present time.

With the promise of an indoor swim I was able to coax Crossy Lad out to join me at Ian Thorpe Pool at lunch for what was supposed to be an easy/recovery swim. Nice to see Pete Walker, Champ, Laura and Sonya also in attendance and after giving Crossy the set we were off. Bloody Hell, as early as the first 200 rep I was in strife as I was struggling to hold 1.45s per/100m. Forced to get the hand paddles out I was still in the hurt locker with my fastest of the day done in 3.21
Just about got through them and with Crossy finding it very amusing I was then demoted over to the 'medium' pace lane to join Laura to get my cool down done to bring up the 2ks for the day.
Jesus, that hurt and my swimming has suffered over the past 6 weeks or so. Still that's what happens when you only swim one session a week easy I suppose so can't grumble.

Crossy with his trusty camera, Laura and Champ. you can tell its the end as we are smiling, I wasn't that happy whilst doing the 200m reps.

Going to try for another quiet weekend, Sutho to Surf is Sunday so I may head to the Shire (again) for an 11k hit out, a race that I always used to use as a good lead up race 3 weeks out from City to Surf.

Have a great weekend.
Train/Race well
Stay safe

12 x 400s and 2 x 1k Rushcutter Oval

Down to Vic on the Park Pool first up and with my smaller than usual swim squad due to the forced change whilst PAP is under repair I jumped in and basically did the set session with my team. After a warm up it was 10 x 200m and just took it in turns to lead the lane with my fastest swimmer I have.
A decent cool down and jumped out with 2.5ks under my belt that I was pleased to get done.

After getting snubbed by Crossy lad citing it was too cold and he only wanted to run easy I was forced to lift my game when I agreed to run with the men in form Scotty and Barts for a session down at Rushcutters Oval at lunchtime.
Massive set from the #1 and 2 with 16 x 400m followed by 2 x 1k but I had already decided that 12 x 400s were my limit especially if I were to follow up with the 1000m efforts to end. Didn't want to kill myself to start with but even on the first I knew it was going to a tough session as the wind on the far side of the oval around the 330m mark was a killer. Kicked it off with a 75 second effort and happy enough to say that I managed to get them all around that with the slowest being a 77
Rogered at the end but still had to endure 2 x 1k reps and basically just put the head down and got through them best I could, trying to break each rep down into smaller sections
Times. 75, 77, 76, 77, 75, 76, 77, 77, 76, 77, 78, 76
1K Reps 3.26, 3.26

Tough old set certainly, made harder by the fact I was pretty much running solo especially into the wind on each lap and although the times are not that flash the effort was certainly there today.

Rest day tomorrow, will try to get entice Crossy Lad out for a swim, might help if I tell him we will swim indoors at the Ian Thorpe Pool ?


Monday, July 17, 2017

3 x 10 minute efforts Centennial Park

Shire girl Laura joined Enda, Birchy and myself for the early morning start session within the park and after a 2k warm up we decided that 3 x 10 minute efforts was the order of the day.
Just stayed on the path for the 'out' leg and tucked in beside Enda as we ticked off the first 1k in 3.37, remained pretty steady for the 2nd and as he called out the 10 minutes we were around near McKay Oval just shy of 2.8ks
The return leg is harder and it wasn't long before The Galway Flash has opened up a gap on me, tried to keep it honest though as he was a lot faster and I found I was only about 20m short of the original start line when the same 10 minutes was called. Was feeling fatigued at this point although I knew I'd get through the last one and once again despite Enda pushing on I was able to get to the same position as the first rep with  Laura not that far behind as well.
A couple of Ks cool down and another solid session was banked, Strange set as we all said that the breathing felt fine today but our legs wouldn't turn over any faster to record quicker times ? Not sure what to make of that one.
Enda run strong and would have been doing close on 3.30s at the end, Laura wasn't that far behind me on each rep, whilst Birchy is finally starting to put a little consistency back into his running that will soon see him return to form.

I'm a little worried about Laura to be honest as I don't think my 30 second handicap start will be enough for this weeks Sutho to Surf against her. Yes I know I'm probably slightly quicker at the moment but on home turf, local knowledge and with the crowd support it may be enough for her to take the dollars ?

13ks all up for the morning


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Shire Run 21ks

Saturday. Finished work early enough and was undecided what to do running wise? Stay in the park or shoot over to St Peters. Went with the 5k Park Run but was very flat and un-motivated even before the start and with no-one that I knew around the front end I was beaten even before the gun went. Went through the first 1k OK but after that it was simply shocking, ambled up the hill, seem to stroll the downhill and went through the motions for the remainder except maybe the last 600m where I worked out I was still on for a sub 19 minute effort if I upped the tempo.
Crossed out with a second to spare in 18.59 for a 7th placing but it was ugly at best.
Splits were; 3.29, 3.53, 3.45, 4.04, 3.42 Average 3.47s

Sunday. Needed a change of scenery for the first Sunday long in a few weeks so it was down to 'Gods Country' and a visit to the Shire for the Audley National Park trail run. Lined up Jac, Birchy, Jeet, Taffy, as well as local host Lady Laura on what could have been the possible coldest start to a run for the winter so far.
Very easy pace heading out mainly with Taffy and Birchy before kicking on a little with Jac to the turnaround at 10.5ks. A little regroup before turning and retracing our steps as Laura & Jac chatted away as time flew by so quickly. Stunning run and one that had us all remarking that we should do more often when we want to get away from the park anytime.
Returned back to the weir with 21ks done in 1hr:44 minutes averaging a very sensible 4.59 average. Probably not as long or as fast as I should be doing but the scenery, terrain, tranquility and the chat made it a perfect hit out.
A quick coffee followed, before Laura took us for what was supposed to be the 'Shire's finest brekkie, All I will say on that is, I'm glad Hoey wasn't with us - he'd have had an epileptic fit especially when our host was charged and extra $3 for one strawberry cut up into 8 to go with her toast . Appears like its only Erko and the Eastern Suburbs you can order a decent brekkie these days?
Other than that we had many a laugh and a top morning had by all.

Rest day Monday but will be back on Tuesday and 4 good solid weeks to come.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Back in the Saddle

With a bit of talk going on with the lads about a possible 'Head to Head' triathlon race at Nepean in October I thought I'd better take the opportunity to get the bike back out for its first outing since summer for a few laps around the park.
Cycled over then a few easy laps and even pushed a few as I sucked along on some groups wheel. Returned home with nearly 40ks done, tough enough and once City to Surf is out the way (not to mention the colder weather) I'll be keen to get the bike going again.

Today was probably the first day in about two weeks that I was starting to feel normal again so lined up an easy 10k run with Crossy Lad, basically it was a repeat of the trot we did a fortnight back around the back of Darling Harbour, Fish Markets, Blackwattle Bay and then back into the city via Anzac Bridge. Good chat and banter along the way with Crossy dressed like a Myer's dummy with his 2XU gear on from head to toe.
10ks done in 46.12 averaging 4.35s

Praying for an easy weekend coming, think I'm due one. Will try to get out tomorrow for a run then get my Sunday long going again with only 4 weeks to the big day.

Have a great weekend
Train well and stay safe

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Friday. Ventured over to the dark side of the bridge and joined the 'Bold and the Beautiful' team out for the Manly to Shelley Beach and back swim. Early start but had a great morning when the locals came out to play that included Warrior Charlie, Ireland's #1 Macca, Gleeso , Benny S, and most surprisingly Tommy H (in wetsuit but minus arms bands). Cold morning but water simply stunning.
Followed by a decent brekkie that is so often hard to come by NOTB, even if the service was average.
Top morning, but what was to follow for the rest of the day and weekend that included a surprise party left me lost for words.

Tuesday. Massive weekend and even come Monday night I was still struggling when Enda put an SOS call out to train early doors Tuesday.  A 2k warm up then we decide to knock out 3 x 2k  reps on one of my courses within the park. Joined also by Birchy the 2k consists of a easier first K but a hill in the 2nd that stings. Happy to hold Enda on the first even if the time wasn't the quickest, Struggled on the 2nd and basically it was just survival mode for the last. About 4 weeks back I did this session running all under the 7 minutes today I was not even anywhere close . Still its not every day you hit a milestone birthday and have one of the biggest weekends in years.
Times. 7.18, 7.23, 7.33
2k cool down and that will go down as one of the toughest of the year so far, just thank God I got through it.

Wednesday, Was rushing around all morning but eventually I managed to squeeze getting into the city for the midweek City to Surf run. Was in no humour at all and the legs and body in general were still in all sorts of pain from the weekend. Met Jac and Hoey (with his arm warmers to protect his puny arms) and after telling them I was going to be slow we were off and away. True to form the pace was well down, so much so that Renee and Brucie Lambert caught us just before Heartbreak. Didn't push the pace at any stage and just happy to run around the 5 mins per/k throughout.
Returned back to the car at Woolloomooloo with just over 15ks done in 74 minutes averaging 4.58s for the hit out.

Thursday. Swimming has been non existent over the past few weeks (apart from last Friday ) and with PAP now closed for some renovations I was forced to hit nearby Victoria on the Park to smash out a few laps. Nothing special at all and happy just to see out the 2ks, made even easier as I donned the NEW wetsuit kindly brought for me by my Thursday morning swim squad.

The past couple of weeks have been awful in terms of training, but the best on the social , but I really do need to get the training back on track now for the next month or so before the big City to Surf in the second week of August, and it all starts back tomorrow.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rushcutters 3k & 1k Reps

Happy to forgo the Thursday swim set as the birthday celebrations continued, this time with a big brekkie and yet another cake that was a nice gesture from my clients.
After adding an extra 3 kilos to my ever growing girth I headed down to Rushcutters after getting a 'special' invite from the top HuRTS kids on the block Scotty and Barts. Also honoured were Lady Laura keeping me honest, C.T, Lewis and some other guru named Jake that looked pretty handy as well?
Set was called that included a 3k to start with and it was the old 1k loop from way back, happy to keep it pretty even although I felt I was working far too hard on the 3rd and final lap. A 10.44 effort averaging 3.35s was a pass mark but as soon as the 1k broken reps were next up I was battling.
400m hard/200 easy/400m hard was the go and couldn't match the 2nd effort with my first on the 4s but still stopped the clock for 3.29
Second go was basically a repeat and when the body started to tighten up that was my way of telling me not to be a hero and to call it quits for the day.
2k Warm Up,
3k Effort in 10.44
2 x 1k in 3.29, 3.28 (400s in 74 &78)

Tough enough, especially after the weekends run and the past 4 days, although you'd not think so watching the lads blast around, I think the 5th rep they did was in about 3.06 to be honest and I remember a few years back when former favourite Tucks left that the boys (Tom, Barts, Q) took it up another level, well I think its been raised even further these days with the introduction of Scotty O and Nicky Roberts who I forget to mention yesterday as one of my runs of the day in the Goldie thanks to a 70 minute half marathon run.
Already looking forward to this years City to Surf to see what they can bash out ?

Rest day tomorrow, although taking my life at the mercy of the NOTB boys who have invited me over for an early morning swim followed by soggy rolls and lukewarm coffee. Its the brekkie I'm more worried about surviving than the swimming to be honest :)

A few more pics from the weekend.

a 70 minute half was right up there for Nicky R, seen here with #1 supporter 'Mad' Lizzy.

Taffy Jimmy and Craig.... words fail me.

Shire Head (Laura) and the Sledger (J.C) come together usually means trouble?

Solid running from Stevie Perry - 2.5? in the marathon and Jac with a 88 in the half.

Think the girls enjoyed Waxy's ?

Jac is always a good one to have out for a social night. normally drinking most under the table.

I think this was the final photo I took of the night , with Neil, Jac and Birchy.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Gold Coast Half Marathon 84.45

A mid afternoon flight to the Goldie with mate Taffy James arriving just in time to see the Lions spank the A.Bs and once that was in the bag I knew I was in for a weekend that would remain long in the memory banks for years to come.
Early start on the Sunday with the gun going off at 6am and after a panic that we'd not drop the bags in time (when isn't it with the Taffy lads) I was on the start line beside Jeet and Brucie Lambert with Erika not looking that confident just over my left shoulder. A week of sickness prior meant I needed to rethink race plans so took it out easier and was therefore surprised when Erika hadn't gone past me by the 5k stage of the race? I just tried to sit on a comfortable 4 min/ks to that point and did so until I started to feel the pace as early as 8k then it all started to get tough. You get some bigger support around the 10k before the turnaround that also gives you the opportunity to see those ahead as well as those close behind and I got a shock when I saw Taffy2 - Craig only about 30 seconds down on me.
The wheels were fast coming off from about 12k mark as the pace dropped to 4.07s so it was no surprise then when Craig went past looking strong around the 15k stage. Gone for all money when my 'Knights in Shining armour' appeared in HuRTS #1 & #2 Scotty O'Connor and Barts who were not taking NO as an answer in helping get me to the line. My protests fell on death ears and once I got my head cleared I was back moving at under 4 min/ks. The boys were both so positive as we got closer to the finishing line. One Kilometre to go and Barts boomed out to kick it down again and with his words '20k into the run Timmy, its not meant to be easy' still ringing we were fast going past people that had dropped me some 3ks back.
Its a great finish this race as you hit the grandstands on the swirly road home and I'm happy to see it out as I look at the clock in 84.45 when all appeared lost before half way.
Km splits were;
3.42, 3.52, 3.56, 3.53, 3.56, 3.57, 3.55, 4.00, 3.58, 4.01, 3.59, 3.59, 4.02, 4.03, 4.07, 4.04, 4.03, 3.59, 3.57, 3.57, 3.50, 3.25(200m)
84.45 ave 3.59s

Many thanks to the boys in helping out, I was struggling till that point but it does prove to me more than ever how much running takes place in the head as with them I was able to find some form later in the race.

As always in the Goldie it never fails to produce some fast times and plenty of Pb's along the way, Started well with the top lads blasting out the 10ks on Saturday and continued in the Half and Full distances. Leech put Marko to the sword with a 2.45 I believe (?) with the younger Branagan struggling to find anything over the final 10k
In the half, special mention to Jeet, Angus, Brucie and Jac on all fine runs but my 'Timmy Run of the Day' must go to my old client and student 'Taffy Craig Boyo who not only beat me but recorded a PB of over 5 minutes - Great effort that.

Enjoyed watching the marathon boys after come through at the 32k marker before heading for coffee and brekkie nearby with Laura, Jac, Barts, Taff Boys, and Birchy before it was all ON for the afternoon Birthday celebrations.

Down to Southport Surf Club where I was met with a big gang and packed pub out to watch a boxing match. Beers flowed as easily as the banter with everyone in fine form following a successful run morning. Must have stayed for about 5 hrs before the stagger out and onto the 'infamous' Waxy's dodgy bar for a fun filled night. At $3 bottles of Coronas there was only ever going to be one outcome and again we were on the money. Glasses toasted, dance floor hopping, Dazza Jordan taking on the local Goldie Gangster, Jeet showing the ladies how to throw shapes on the dance floor and even C.T seeing out his 6.45pm curfew made for a cracker of a night.
Come midnight and once Laura had been carried out by Jac, it was left to Leech, C.T, Birchy, Craig, and I  to see the night out as Leech got me another pint that just about tipped me over the edge before I called it quits with a 2am kebab.
Brilliant night all around and would like to thank everyone who ventured out making huge efforts on my behalf to make it one we wont forget - Cheers

A few pics from a top weekend.

3 of HuRTS best, Jac, Laura and Erika.
Great runs from Bruce and Gus in the Half.
As Ben and Eoin in the Full.
Fastest of the Day - talented Nicky Roberts, with Neil and Lizzy (nice dress Liz :)  )
Bonkers these two - Taffy Boyos - Jimmy and Craig.
With Craig, Birchy and the 'Best' Sledger in the business 'Hardman' J.C.
Its getting late, Jeet, Jac, Nicky R and Lizzy.
Two of the best runners and social heads , Darren and Laura James
Irelands #1 Leech and I , getting late.
Jeet #1 on the Dance floor.
Good mates who are never far away on the socials or if you ever need help with anything - Jac and Paul Birch.