Saturday, February 7, 2015

Homebush Striders 37.34

Great runs, Podiums, PBs, injuries, tears,  and the Disappointments , Yep the first race back in the popular Striders series out at Homebush had it all.
Rocked up out at Homebush to find a massive HuRTs turnout with all the regulars, and nice to see the return of the Leech and ‘Kenny’ back after injury, as well as big Ronnie (Biggsy), but  the highlight as always was seeing good mate (who we don’t see at HuRTS anymore) Richie High who’s always great value and someone who I’ve always got on with.
Warmed up with Irelands #2 Enda and Pommy Paulie Birch before making my way to line up alongside the Chairman Tommy H and Michael Ho (the Chinese Detective) who made a beeline for me wanting to make a bet,  Bet was made (but more on that later) and before we knew it we were off.
Always a mad dash around the car park but settled Ok for the first 1k just in behind the like of Julia Degan (first female), The Leech, Richie H,  Kenny, Biggsy and few others, felt fine but as soon as about the 3k mark that group just seemed to  gap me by about 30m and before I knew It I was battling.  Coming around the common just before 4ks I saw Richie H had been dropped from the group also and was at least making ground on him, unfortunately for him as I was approaching his calf gave out L, a quick slow down to make sure he was OK ( for about 3 seconds) and I was to continue to complete the first of the two laps.
Really was in no man’s land coming out the car park on the 2nd lap and was happy enough when Anna White joined me at the 6k marker, It kind of spurred me on and we tried to help each other exchanging places on numerous occasions around the 7 and 8k mark. Could see the 2nd female was struggling coming back from the common and thought if we push it could at least give Anna White the chance of the runners up spot? The last little hairpin turn coming up to the road is a killer although once back on the straight it’s a nice fast 300m kick down.  Anna kicked first , then I had a go and in the process we both edged out the 2nd lady as I crossed out in 37.34 for the day.

Some great runs out there for first race back of the season, Tommy H never disappoints storming home to grab 3rd in 33.10, others of note were Enda’s 34.47 edging out Macca by 5 seconds, Kenny with 36.30, The Leech right on his heels (what do you expect?) 36.33. Ronnie (Biggs) was strong and Birchy will be happy with his 40 minute effort. The Timmy run of the Day though must go out to the ‘Chinese Detective (M.Ho) who pushed the Chairman all the way to PB with a cracker of a run for a 33.15
Me? Well, to be honest pretty disappointed (again) with the 37.34 – never really in it and just gave up far too easy when the going got tough. I went into the race in high hopes of running a sub 37 min after training well but even after 4ks I was battling. Just have to keep plugging away I suppose, and start getting a little more aggressive and go with the flow when the break comes in races?

On the betting stakes , well not a lot of damage done really – thanks mainly to Enda of all people who put Toms NOTB boy Macca in his place beating him by the 5 seconds, Tom did cover the 3.20 on me (easy) and I lost out to Enda who also smashed me even with a 1.45 handicap start. Hoey’s on the start line bet paid off for him as well , after he gave me 2.15 start.
Just on the betting, all bets will obviously be paid out , BUT there is a lot of rorting and shafting of the system going on that will have to stop.
Kangaroo Court sits this afternoon over beers and its already been decided (in true Kangaroo Court style) the following.
Hoey has been slapped with a ‘Never to bet Again’ tag – after a blatant rort to extort money from me and should be locked up for such crimes, Enda has been giving a 3 month ban, (first bet back will be May SMH Half) after stating all along that he would run around 35.15-20 then runs 34.47?  and even Tommy H has been served a notice about future bets after saying he would run a 34.xx (and runs a 33.15)
Am I the only honest HurTS out there?  I based all bets on me running a 37 – Ok I didn’t run it but had I done I still would have been done on all the bets made.  Poor performance from some of the lads.

In the afternoon I had to venture over to Queens Park for the 2nd run of the day in honour of Cedric ‘Cedo’ Sidebottom for the 6.7k Memorial Run of the former founder of the BRAT club that I have been involved with for the past 20 years.  A great English eccentric who helped me when I first got into running after finishing playing footy. Epitomized everything about the club, before the days of emails and mobiles he used to write all the results out and post them to all the finishers, timed the races and laid out the course, supporting EVERY runner home giving it the famous “Mighty effort’ to all
A good turnout with many of the old (old) guys showing and was therefore surprised to see Champagne Charlie in attendance, alongside another HuRTS boy Brendan Krone.  3 laps of the 2.25k course and the bloody hills over the back of Q.P made it one hell of a run especially with 30 degree heat beaming down. The two boys went ahead and I was just happy to complete the laps to be honest keeping an eye out for the 4th place runner throughout.
Stopped the clock in 27.43 for 3rd – wrecked by the end of it and was happy to see the beers and BBQ fired up once done and time to reminisce .
 A full on day was then complete with a trip over to Bondi to take in the Open-air Movies next to the pavilion to watch ‘The Imitation Game’  a cracker of a movie and a full ‘Barry Norman’ film review will come tomorrow.

An afternoon on the beers, and then tonight it’s the Toon v Stoke clash – let’s hope I can be giving the Chairman Tommy H a good serve of texts tomorrow ? J


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Smashing the Pool Up

2 x 300, 4 x 200 and 6 x 100s was the set for the HuRTS swimmers today as I went into town to find a big squad that included all the super fast guys, Pete, Charlie, Leech, Todd, Super Kev, Crossy Lad, Karim, Sam Towell, and nice to see a return of the fastest – Travis Shields. I knew my spot today, (at the back) with Paulie Hannell and later the Sweaty Sock (Craig) .
The first 300 was about as fast as I can go, coming in on 4.37 (probably the equivalent of me doing 3 min/ks ) hanging on to the feet of Crossy and then backed up with a 4.42, Was pretty much spent after that though and once the first 200 was done I was in need of a breather and was forced to miss the 2nd rep, Jumped back on the 3rd to swim with Leech (who was also feeling the pace) as we were started to get dragged all over the place by the time the 100 reps were to come around.
100s done and then a quick relay with your nominated partner, I got Pete Walker once more but we couldn’t stop Crossy and Karim winning (yet again), after Karim struggles to swim 1.45s in the set then manages to swim neck and neck with Walker  for a 1.12 when it matters ??? …. Bloody shark.
Best part of 2ks done all up including the warm up, shattered at the end, and it will be an easy night tonight.

A big big weekend on the cards, obviously the Striders 10k first up, then in the footy the Mighty Potters head north to Sid James Park where we take on Tommy H’s Newcastle team. One of us will be in for some banter come Monday I suspect, although to be honest  I think we can go there and come away with the draw
Timmy’s Tip – Newcastle 2  v Stoke  2
Somewhere between those two it’s another night at the flicks so prepare yourself for another Movie Review come Monday, and then the Sunday arvo beers are back on the agenda for this week.

Got sent this little spiel earlier today, and look who’s giving out testimonials these days, from  a well known Triathlete and Long Distance Runner  ? you got to love the spelling J

Have a great weekend
Train Well & Stay Safe

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Swimming and Easy 200m Running Efforts

Down to the P.A.P Pool at first dawn, and found just enough time to do a 200m warm up before doing a 1k straight and a 200 cool down. I find swimming solo so much harder than when I’m with the guys and so it showed in the times knocked out. Although I wasn’t killing myself I still felt I was working hard enough and touched out in 17.54  (last week’s T/T was 16.48)
Short on time after so had to run close to home this morning, went over to the ‘Alan Davidson Oval, within Sydney Park, home of Saturday  Park Runs, Absolutely cracking oval and can’t believe I don’t use it more as it rivals Rushcutters easily.  With the Striders race on Saturday I was keen not to overcook it so after a 1k warm up I stole a session I did with Barts and Tom before J.P Morgan  and just did some 200s.
Basically it was 200m hard, 200m float x 10 – more strides then pushing it too hard coming in mostly on 38 seconds, with the final one 35.
Had words with one women whose little rat like yappy dog got under my feet at one stage that I wasn’t  happy about and could have done without, and had I not been so mild mannered it could have easily been booted row Z in the nearby pavilion.
1k cool down for an easy 6ks for the morning.

Being honest I’ve not trained too bad since the start of the year, and done all the sessions and work so fingers crossed I can hopefully put a marker in the sand for this week’s Homebush 10k.
Since the last entry Tommy H has come to the party and offered me a 3.20 start (still won’t be enough),so hoping I can break 37 mins to stand half a chance? It’s normally a close run thing between us so we’ll have to see how it pans out?
Another bet you may have seen (if you managed to stay awake and got past Toms first paragraph on his blog) is that I have taken Enda to beat Irelands toughest (and #1 runner) Macca in the same race. I must have rocks in my head, but surely the man with the biggest VO2 Max in the team can pull something out the bag and help me out with this one?  Let’s just pray he can stay on course and awake this time around.

BIG NEWS coming out the Irish camp regards the Churchill / Sands Cup, It’s not official yet so I won’t spill the beans and will hold off for now – but hell if this is true it could have a major bearing on the outcome, Stay tuned

Out tomorrow for the Friday lunchtime swim at the A.B.C with the team, might go easy as all roads head out to our glorious West on Saturday for the 10k


Monday, February 2, 2015

3 x 3k reps .... At Race Pace?????

I’m loving these conditions, a lot cooler, slight rain with the odd shower and no humidity make it so much easier to run. I copped a serve from the ‘Chairman’ recently after I’ve been doing the 2 x 3ks reps and him telling me it ‘won’t cut it’ and needed to be doing 3 x 3ks so today in perfect conditions ‘I Manned up’ and did the extra.
A flat 4k warm up then it was straight into it, an unusual  slight headwind for the first k  kept my time down a little, but I suppose it stopped me going out to fast, held well through 2ks and then got the tailwind back for the usual tougher 3rd k coming around near Fox Studio gates.
Best part of a 700m floating recovery before repeating, and although keeping it under control actually went 6 seconds faster. This is where I normally find excuses (or POD to talk to ) and call it a day but after a 2nd 700m float I was keen to go again.
Started to feel the pace about half way but dug in and happy to say that I was only 3 seconds down on the 2nd rep.
Pretty consistent for the morning, and was working hard but hopefully it was a controlled set – and the fact I did 3 reps must stand me in good stead.
15ks all up for the morning.

I must have upset the Chairman Tommy H somewhere along the way? The normally mild mannered and FAIR Geordie lad has gone all Endalike’ and is not coming to the party in regards to wagering a fair bet for this Saturdays Striders 10k. Negotiations have stalled and we could be heading into the first race of the season without our customary $20 if he doesn’t see sense. Tried to tell him that he is in form, I’ve yet to register a decent time in over 2 years , unable to break 37 minutes last year, yet he is still bulking……. Very strange???

Will knock out a few midweek ks in the park in the morning, might see what the BRAT /Hardmen are up to, probably won’t see the Irish lads Hanley or Stankard if there is a sprinkling of rain I bet?

Been taking in a few movies of late and in the ‘Old Kanser’ like way I can recommend the following.
1.       Marvellous – Absolute cracker, Based on a true story set in my home town that follows Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin a man that shrugged off his perceived limitations and went on to become a true legend at Stoke City F.C and what manager at the time Lou Macari still says was his best signing ever made. The story of a man with learning difficulties without a care in the world, when you see it you will also just fall in love with him. Top movie and such an icon, (wish he was there when I was playing).   A low budget kind of movie , made for T.V but  watch it if you can ( I have it on disk if you want)
5           boxes of popcorn out of 5 for this one  - and did I mention it was filmed in Stoke ??

2.       Grand Budapest Hotel, - Very strange this one, about a concierge at a big European Hotel and follows the adventures of him and his most trusted friend the lobby boy. This movie had it all , funny, sad, gruesome, action and had ALL the stars in it with a ‘Who’s Who’ list
Decent movie that has many predicting big things come Oscar time, I wouldn’t put it on that pedestal but enjoyable all the same
3.5   boxes of popcorn for this one

3.       Calvary – Irish movie set in Sligo. About a priest (when isn’t it in Ireland?) who is threatened during a confessional and how he copes with the conflict.  Very good movie that stars the only actor they have over there – Brendan Gleeson, (this guy pops up everywhere) good scenery as well. 4 boxes for this one

4.       Brick Lane – Older movie this one (2007) and actually watched this one whilst the Asia Cup final was on Saturday.  Another good one about a Bangladesh girl who comes to East London in the 80s for an arranged marriage and a new life leaving her loved sister behind. It shows how she copes with the struggles and in particular her middle aged, set in his ways hubby.
Another excellent movie, a little sad at times and nearly had the tissues out at one stage.
4 boxes of popcorn out of 5 (not to mention far better entertainment than watching those Socceroos) J


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Over the Bridge to Manly.

Sunday, Missed my Sunday long run for the 2nd week in a row as I tried to balance out a little triathlon training so ventured out on the bike first up. Pretty easy to be honest and did 40ks in the park before getting off and then trying to find the team on the run. No joy though so it was an easy 35 mins ambling around. Did see Fats flying past at one stage though, seems as if he’s got a new training partner ??
A quick trip home then it was time to get the passport out, change some dollars up and head over the bridge  to the North Shore for the ‘Cole Classic’ swim that was taking place in Manly/Shelley Beach. I hadn’t pre- registered and after I didn’t see anyone over there I just jumped in the water and did an easy 15 min or so staying close to the sheltered Shelley Beach. Only saw David (?) from the HuRTS team, good runner who is running near me at training (36 min – 10k he says) but is an even better swimmer, coming in around the 31 minutes for the 2k yesterday (rumor was he used to swim with Hackett and company years ago and swum 15.30 for 1500m??) No sign of any of the North Shore runners, I tried to get in touch with the Chairman but I heard him and the boys were sitting in the Coles car park on Pittwater Water, noses up some car exhaust taking in the fumes?
So after a few hours I ventured home to safer grounds.

Monday. No Sunday arvo beers this week so was up bright and early and it were perfect conditions for a run, a lot cooler, raining and no humidity so tried to make up a few ks for yesterday. Just did an easy 6k first up, then worked tempo pace for 5ks – although I felt I was working harder than tempo that’s for sure. Sat on average pace of 3.45s coming in on 18.49 all up before 1k cool down
12ks for the morning , feeling good and it certainly makes it easier without the heat and humidity that we’ve had to contend with over the past 8 weeks or so.
Striders race coming up this Saturday, and just holding that pace with get me home in 37.30 , pretty much what I was running for the whole of last year so I hope I can at least knock off 30 seconds on the day to get me back in the 36s, although first race and for some reason Homebush never delivers quick times despite it being flat.
A few confirmed bets I must state;
Vs Enda at Striders Homebush +1.45 start on handicap
Vs Crossy at Kurnell Sprint Tri  +10 mins start on handicap (he is Duathlon Champ after all)
Vs Tommy H – still to be confirmed , I’m angling for a 3.30 start ??? (he will run 33.20, and me 36.50??? will be close?)