Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Enda-Like Excuses (and he's not even in the Country.

Sunny day, loads of tourists out, school holidays and chuck in the first ocean cruiser of the season docking it meant it was carnage out for the regular HuRTS crew around the Quay and Passenger Terminal area today for the 2 x 20 minute efforts.
I did this session a little over a month ago when I was moving OK with ‘The Stallion’ Durante, only modified it slightly to run harder for a 10k period then just jog back to the gates, and thought I’d do the same again today to test out where I was with my fitness.
A good turnout but everyone seemed to be taking it easy  and after the first 1k or so only D. Tonge was ahead that I found strange, C.T, Thornton’s Delights and a few others came by soon after that as I was holding a steady 3.35 pace, The fun started by the Opera House gates as  the crowds built and by the Quay the pace was reduced to only marginally better than 4 min/ks ( and it wasn’t nothing to do with my lack of fitness)
Got to underneath the Bridge for 5k in 18.48 and then took a break  and had hoped to return in a similar time, A quick chat with Pete Walker and Andy Dunne for a bit of help on the way back and we were soon off again. If the crowds were bad on the way out then coming back it was even worse, so bad in fact coming through the O.H Gates we were forced to stop thanks to a mass of kids, and the Choo Choo train blocking the way. From here on I’d lost it (both mentally and physically) and it was only a friendly chat to HuRTS #1 Renee that kept me going at one point. Got to the 8k mark and decided I was done, jumped the road and caught Birchy coming home at the A.B.C so I tagged on with him for the final 1.5k or so back to the gates.
10ks all up – 8 done at tempo sort of pace in 30.07 (3.45s) – Pretty ordinary set to be honest but at least the glute seemed fine that I was pleased with.
The 8 splits were: 3.37, 3.35, 3.48, 3.50, 3.54, 3.43, 3.41, 3.54

I think we need to avoid the Quay area in future when the school holidays are on – that was the worst I’ve seen it and I can’t see it getting any better. May possible try to do the 20 minute tempo starting at the Hyatt and head Hickson Road and the Wharfs in future?

Will be back out on Thursday for the more popular Rushcutters set on the Oval.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Sun returns for a Monday Swim

The sun returned to start another week that meant Crossy Lad could join me, and was also joined by my nemesis from yesterday Brendan Krone once again.
Got there earlier and knocked out 400 warm up before deciding to do a ‘Pyramid Set’ comprising of 1,2,3,4,3,2,1 efforts with Crossy leading the way. Pace felt OK for the first 3 reps before Brendan took charge of the 400m, followed by Crossy lad getting the call for the 2nd 300 metres as well.
Was starting to feel guilty so reluctantly fronted for the 200m and was working hard to touch out with a 3.11. We then all decided to see what was left in the tank for the final 100m blast and leaving 5 seconds apart Crossy nudged out a 1.24, Kroney quicker with a 1.21 and I was still able to come in under 1.30 that I was happy with.
Small cool down and I was good for another 2.1k for the day.
Times for the day: 1.31, 3.16, 4.55, 6.36, 4.55, 3.11, 1.29
Dare I say it, but I am actually enjoying the swimming these days.

Back into town tomorrow for the tough 2 x 20 minute efforts.

I notice some of the Aussie boys have gone early and started the banter on the Rugby, Brave Boys I say…… thought they may have waited until after the BIG game next week.
OK it wasn’t the result we were after on Saturday, but a good win over the ‘Convicts’ will see us through. Can’t help wonder if that Bonus point the Aussies dropped vs. Fiji may mean an early exit from the comp……. Let’s wait and see hey.

More importantly the Potters got back to winning ways in the Premier League (as predicted), wasn’t the greatest but we’ll take the points all the same. Very disappointed in new signing ‘The Shaq’ (Xherdan Shaqiri), not just in his play but his attitude, walking off and seemingly not giving two hoots about leaving the field with us a man down. Don’t start that caper young man or else you can bugger off and play for Newcastle, we don’t do that sort of thing in Stoke.
Villa next up, another 3 points in the bag as we continue up the table to that European Dream I’m tipping.


BRAT Bridesmaid Tri 68.50 - 2nd ....Again.

Heffron Park & Aquatic centre was the venue today after a late night watching all the footy for the first of the BRAT triathlons of the season. Another terrible morning and really wasn’t that keen but need to get the bike going before Nepean in less than 4 weeks. Very small turnout with only HuRTS boy Brendan Krone of any value.
With no hot shots around (especially in the pool) I decided that I was now strong enough to just try to sit on Kroney’s feet for the 750 swim – and that’s exactly what I did. Felt OK throughout although at the end of each lap he was getting a couple of metres on me thanks to his tumble turns that come in handy and one that I’ve still too master.
Pretty happy to jump out the pool in 12.49 and after a decent T1 we were both out at pretty much the same time although he then put a gap on me as I was battling to get my feet in the shoes to get going. A lack of bike was always going to make it a tough day and coming down the 400m home straight on each lap was just torture due to the high winds. Its 10 laps of 2k loops and I thought if I could just hang in then I’d fancy my chances to take Kroney on the 5k run loop.
All was going to plan as I came in some 8 seconds behind into T2 but then had a shocker, Off the bike OK but then couldn’t feel my feet and had major issues in getting the shoes on. To make matters worse I had cramp and once I was ready to go he was already some 150m down the road. Consigned myself then to realize race was over, and never really pushed it once I was in that frame of mind. Pretty much held 3.50 for the run to come home with a 19.29 .
Stopped the clock in a rather slowish 68.50 for the day for 2nd spot.  So 2nd again….F.F.S I’ve had more 2nds than a Fat Kid in the School Lunch Queue at BRAT races over the years. Always seems someone that I struggle to topple. Although in truth I should have taken top spot today but congrats to Kroney who worked hard and never let slip at anytime to take the victory.
K splits for the 5k were; 3.55, 3.47, 3.48, 3.54, 3.49

Just on the BRAT Club, I’ve been a member for nearly 20 years now and I can honestly say I’ve never seen the stocks so low when it comes to talent. Very small turnout today and when the likes of Brendan and I (both 40+)  can collect 1st & 2nd by a mile is a sad state of affairs. It seems as if most are happy to sit in coffee houses clad in lycra posting images of the GPS with 10k runs in 54 minutes. Tragic
Even the likes of Irish boys PLOD, Leech, Evan, Jas Hayden, Gnome Hill, Cookie, and the rest don’t even get down for hit outs these days?

A few arvo beers with Birchy who dropped over completed the day and he was all happy, seems he’s snagged some female company these days thanks to going out with his master teacher Taffy after work on Thursdays . Lovely looking girl by all accounts, and has a striking resemblance to Susan Boyle some say?
Geez, I may have to start going into town myself J

Winner Kroney and I prepare for battle before the swim leg.

On the run leg, and had to settle for 2nd spot once more thanks to a shocker in T2

Monday swim with Crossy and then back Tuesday with the boys for the HuRTS set to get the week going. Hopefully the glute is on the mend and will be looking at a good 4 weeks ahead of the Nepean Triathlon.


Friday, September 25, 2015

September 1k 'Golden Duck T/T - 16.51.. 1st

Grey skies overhead, The ‘Sharks (Hannell & Wong) back in the pool, bringing the time trial forward a week and even the sledging of my NEW $3.95 K-Mart swimmers were still not enough to prevent  the Stoke Boy from taking out the September ‘Golden Duck 1k Handicap race at A.B.C on Friday lunchtime.
The miserable weather continued but it was a decent turnout with 10 starters for the monthly event, Dan set the clock off and whilst I had to give The Champ an 18 second start, it proved a lot less in the end as he was poncing around with his swim cap and before he knew it missed his start and only went 4 seconds before I was let loose.
I sat in behind him for the first 200m but realized he was too slow and when I saw Crossy Lad in the next lane only metres behind I tucked under the lane rope and jumped on his feet for a bit of help. Managed to stay with him for about a further 300m before his extra pace saw him drop me and then I was in no-man’s land.
Really had no one to work from and had to just hang in for the second half of the race, hard to tell who and where people are with the handicap, but with 100m to go I had a quick glance and didn’t see anyone within 20m of me that meant either I was miles behind or the duck was coming back home to Erko.
Touched out in 16.51 and saw a smiling Brendan Wong standing at the pool, thought I’d been done again but was then happy when he wasn’t in the event that meant I could relax as Champ was next in and then Manly Steve to fill the minor placings.
Fastest time for me since about Feb this year I reckon, and a big improvement from the 18.xx s I was swimming in the middle of winter.  Pretty happy all round and hopefully I can continue to keep the swimming up for the upcoming tris and biathlons over the summer.
A bit for controversy (when isn’t’ there ?). As Angus Boyd was parading around pool side as if he’d won, apparently in his wisdom he deemed my K-Mart specials were worthy of an extra  1 minute handicap….. WTF ???? I’ve never heard anything like it in my life, and how they come up with 60 seconds is anyone’s guess. What next? Oh, I’ve only got a Chopper Raleigh as a bike and you have Specialized – that’ll be a 3 minute handicap for you.
Geez, glad Gleeso wasn’t there or else they’d have given him a 2 minute penalty for wearing his ‘Peppa Pig’ sluggos as well.
Utter madness

Some good times across the board and they were:

Manly Steve  14.05
Pete Walker  14.49
Angus B          15.28
Crossy Lad     16.05
Timmy             16.51
Kroney            17.06
The Champ    17.39
Dan                   17.45
Paul Hann      18.06
Brendan W      7.36 (then had to cut short to get to his regular  Yum Cha lunch)

Big weekend on the cards, will try to get out for the Sunday long run, and a few ales in the afternoon, Was going to train with Crossy but he’s let me down again (says it’s too cold to venture out for his now ageing body?)
Stoke have a must win game at home again this week, I know I said it last week BUT they won’t lose this one. Biggest certs on the coupon. Take the Timmy’s Tip and get on Stoke 2 vs. Bournemouth 0 and as an extra bonus take the Shaq to get his name on the score sheet.

Have a good weekend
Train well, stay safe
September ‘Golden Duck’ Winner ;)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Half a Double Header Session.

Terrible conditions once again and only the tough were out for today’s Double Header. The NEW Curl Curl Champ Richie Mullaney was out leading from the front and when the going gets tough, HuRTS #1 Renee is never far away and was joined by other ladies Erika Ekland, Greta and one other lady who I’ve yet to meet but looks pretty strong?
I was struggling for time today but seeing I was in town with a client before I ventured over for the first leg that is the 20 minute hill tempo. The key was not to start to hard and just maintain a steady pace, Richie went out strong, and I found I was soon behind Brucie Lambert as I went through the first k in a healthy 4.08
Lapped a few of the back markers soon after but was already looking at the watch as early as about the 8 minute mark.  Managed to get to half way and was happy to tick the clock down after that as I noticed the pace was dropping. This is one tough session but it was made slightly easier today as the high wind was behind us each time heading UP the hill that was more than welcome.
Averaged 4.20s for the whole 20 minutes.

A quick trip over to the Stone Gates soon after and I basically set the guys off for the 5k tempo run but had to make a quick exit once I’d seen them depart.

Back to the pool tomorrow for the swim to end the week.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Running with Tommy and his Trotters

Cold, Wet and Windy as I decided to get the bike back out and head to Centennial for my first ride of the season (apart from the BRAT duathlon) – Yep, another great move by Lindop. Tough going and in the swirling wind at times it felt as if I wasn’t even moving.
Very quiet this morning and wasn’t helped in the fact I didn’t see a sausage that meant I had to cycle solo as each lap felt like about 10. Returned home with just under 30ks done but was satisfied to see I was able to hold 28.7ks/hr
A lot of work to be done before now and Nepean if I’m to take on Champ, and more importantly before the Sprint Races at Kurnell where I fear the ‘Standard’ 3 minute head start from Crossy Lad will be nowhere near enough.

Into town at lunch and after running an easy 6ks with a client I organized to meet up with Tommy H, surprised then when I rocked up to see Mikey standing there with his 'Merry Men' of about 12 who were out for an ‘Easy trot’. Good to see him back and it appears he’s getting more regular these days even using the HuRTS distribution list for his own personal use.
Easy around the Domain, Farm Cove and past the Passenger Terminal, Tom, Razor and I turned just under the Bridge and cruised back until we hit the Opera Gates and then it was decided we’d run the final 3ks back to the Stone Gates at pace. Both Razor and Tom took off pretty fast whilst I was working alone battling the high winds and hills for the tough return. Felt I was going backwards near the A.B.C and again coming over the expressway and was more than happy to get to the Gates in 11.30 – averaging 3.50 pace
Just over 11k in total, plus the 6ks prior gave me a decent 17k for the day.

Well if last Wednesday we had Kanser talking absolute TRASH, today it was Tommy H’s turn…… Oh My Gawd, What twaddle he churned out, never stopped going on about his ‘Gammy Toe. His overnight blog stooped to new LOW levels as he posted photos for all to see (thank God only 2 people saw it)
Anyway on the plus side, I’m pleased to report that the Geordie Boy is on the mend. Even getting his running back on track as he covered the 3ks in 10.15 (3.30 pace).And just to prove all was OK he then flipped his shoes & socks off and made sure his feet were still in working order.

Tommy H couldn't resist showing me how his toes are on the mend.

Will be back in town tomorrow for toughest of the lot - the 'Double Header' 20 minute of Hills followed by a 5k tempo...... Let's hope the winds have dropped by then.


Windy City for the 3 Minute Efforts.

Into the city early to catch up with good mate Mike Gleeso for a chat over coffee and discuss his race in the half from Sunday, triathlon plans for the season ahead, his travel plans back home in January and how much he really does love Stoke on Trent and the people from the area.
Despite many running over the weekend there was still a decent team out today although no sign of the top boys except for ‘Hammer Head’ Crossy Lad and Bulked up Hoey (with his top off) – not sure what’s in those Free range eggs and organic chickens he’s eating but it looks like he’s on a decent course of ‘roids’ with his new look rig.
Set was 3 minute efforts today and I decided before the start I was good for 12 max, We used to do 14 but in truth hardly anyone does the complete set these days…. And those that do, will complete them at a pace my granny could keep up with and in turn work each rep at about 30% effort.
Very windy and with the school holidays it meant it was extra busy that made it tougher especially going out for each rep, I was happy to sit in with ‘Brummie’ Rich Mullaney (fresh from his Curl Curl Park Run win on the weekend) for each rep and headed out at 3.30 pace. A nice tailwind meant a faster return and worked back in 3.24s. Good to see Macca floating around after his marathon on the weekend and I didn’t miss the chance to give him a serve about his shocking pacing duties from Sunday after he come in on 2.58 bringing home only his 3hr flag beside him.
The Champ and Pete Walker joined me in a few reps and were looking strong throughout as I was maintaining pace on each rep, started to tighten up on the 8th rep and was forced to work harder to hold pace on the 9th and was happy to call it a day once the 10th was done.
Rep pace for each.3.30, 3.24, 3.29, 3.25, 3.29, 3.26, 3.30, 3.26, 3.31, 3.27
First real speedy session for a few weeks and happy to get through it and the pace was pretty honest so I can’t complain.

Forgot to give the recently started Rugby World Cup a mention the other day, Already seen one great upset when the Japs gave those Boks a nice touch up. Let’s hope there is more to come.
I think it will be the same big names though come the semi’s, but I think home advantage is a massive thing in this game and for that reason I’m telling you all to get on the ‘Red Rose’ boys. Yep for only the second time in history England will hopefully be carrying William Webb Ellis come the 31st October.
The Blacks will blow it again (as usual) and get turned over in the semi’s, the Taffy’s have injuries already, the Green Men will promise so much but won’t have the heart and the Skippy’s are just NOT good enough and won’t be troubling anyone.
Just come across this little skit, England’s take on the All Blacks haka – be great to see them do it in front of them with the 80’000 crowd going ballistic.
Check it out,

No sign of Tommy H yet again and I really am getting worried now for his future running career? Although I sent him an email out to advise him about our ‘Head to Head’ biathlon race we have going on the 8th October, and I think he may be concentrating on getting his swim leg up this year. One of my North Shore spies sent me this as he was spotted going into Manly Aquatic Centre this morning in an effort to improve his swim leg.


The Chairman Tommy H's running may be going 'down the pan' but he's getting serious this year about his swimming in an attempt to beat me at this years Biathlon. he says he's getting sick of people having a go at him for his swimming prowess and is out to prove the doubters wrong.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Swimming Repeat

Down to the PAP and it was a repeat of a set that I did last Monday only Crossy Lad joined me today instead of Angus. Once Crossy had fixed up his swimmers that he had on ‘inside out (obviously his mother forget to dress him this morning) we were all set to for the 1x 500m, 10 x 50m and 1 x500m to end.
 A 500m warm up pretty before he got there and I then unashamedly just sat on his feet for the first timed effort. Felt fine as we touched out in 8.10 before we pushed the 50s harder going up the pool and then recovered for 50 on the way back down. Don’t think either of us were particularly keen for the 2nd set of 500s but we dug in and I wasn’t going to let go of Crossy’s heels and was surprised then when we touched out in 8.07
The same session last week was done in 8.15 & 8.24 so the improvements are coming.
A cool down and another 2.1ks done to begin the week.

Despite NOT running yesterday I still had a cracker of a day, Up just after 4.30am and had every intention of running in the half, getting everything ready and catching the train over the bridge, but even just warming up with the lads in front of the start line I just never felt right and even running at half pace for 21ks was I thought asking too much.  Pretty tough but it was the correct call and before long the gun went and the boys were away, I had the cash on C.T to clean Barts up but the current #1 had other ideas as his rich vein of form continues as he broke the tape with another 71 minute run. On a perfect morning for running there were some solid times posted. The best though didn’t come in the half but in the full with the Timmy’s Run of the Day going to the Leech….. Yes, Eoin Reville finally learned to back himself and did some work and was well rewarded with a 3 minute PB coming home in 2:46:01
A good birthday bash recovery in the Striders tent followed to mark 35 years in the clubs history before heading to ‘The Dolphin’ on Crown St for drinks, big afternoon had with the likes of Pommy Birchy, Jeet, Chris & Greta Truscott and two of my new clients Taffy Craig & Victoria (who both recorded big PBs as well as being staunch readers of the blog J ) Knew it was starting to get out of hand when the Jager Bombs were lined up and soon after poor Jeets eyes were rolling when he thought they were the new line of ‘Organic’ drinks on the market.

My favorite session tomorrow for the 12 x 3 minute efforts, will make it into town to give it a go.

 A nice start to the day, looking back into the city early morning.

The boys lining up before the start - sadly i couldn't join them on the 21k journey. Sammy J, Renaud, Jeet and C.T

The start of the Marathon - The Leech is in there somewhere on is way to an impressive 2:46

Not a bad spot to end a race.

With good mate C.T helping the Striders celebrate the 35th Birthday.

If last week Kepos Street Kitchen dished up the best Bacon & Egg Roll then sadly the Striders had the worse. I think they ordered them straight from Tommy H's favorite 'Emporio'?  A Bacon & Egg roll without the bacon and replaced by a rubber piece of Cheddar Cheese. I can only think that my mate Glen Gusso was on catering duties for this one. Shocking, just glad Hoey wasn't around.

With my two latest clients, Craig & Victoria both recording big PBs for the day.... and did i mention that they are both avid readers of the blog ?

...But it just had to get out of hand when the Jager Bombs came out, If Jeet asks though tell him they were Organic Energy Drinks and good for New York Marathon training.