Monday, November 28, 2016

3,2,1 Fartlek (60 seconds recovery) x 3

A change of start area today beginning at the O.P.T for the fartlek session that is 3,2,1 minute efforts x 5.
Worked around to Barangaroo to the turnaround with Stevie P, Jeet and Frenchman Dom with each of us pushing the pace throughout. Was going to aim for 4 of the 5 reps but when I got back to the start area on completion of the 3rd I thought that would do me for the day.
Just over 7ks for the 27 minutes averaging 3.50s
1st rep in 3.47s
2nd rep in 3.50
3rd rep in 3.51

Had a chat with Laura and The Leech once done as both had the same idea I had and pulled the pin after 3.
Cool down back through the city got me to over 12ks including the longer run down.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Pardew OUT .

After the events from Friday and Saturday it was hardly surprising to see I never made the Sunday long run yesterday, so was out early this morning for a kind of make up run. Still feeling the effects I decided to keep it simple and that 3 x flat loops of 3.7ks would suffice with the aim to pick up the pace on each lap.
Felt shocking the first lap and bucket loads of sweet emerged even though I was only sitting around 4.45 pace. Got slightly easier on the 2nd lap and somehow I even found more to end with as I managed to get the pace down to 4,15s
Times and pace for each 3.7 loop.
17.21 @ 4.43s
16.31 @ 4.30s
15.40 @ 4.16s
49.34 all up for 11.1ks ave 4.30

Down to PAP for a dip on a stunner of a day and knocked out 1k before Crossy Lad, Pete and Champ joined in. Real struggle to hold any sort of pace but managed to hold onto Champ for some 200 sets and then did likewise with Crossy on the shorter 100s
2.3ks all up.

The title of today's blog is in reference to good mate Slim Sammy Agnew and his team Crystal Palace.  More to the point the manager Alan Pardew.  The Tin Pot team is in absolute free fall and its time the 'classless' Pardew got his marching orders. 12 months of utter trash and its hard to believe they were sitting about 7th this time last year. It must be bad as Sammy Aggers has gone all quiet on me and I've not heard a sound from him in ages? Very fickle fans I say and they only seem to sing when they are winning.
Stoke on the other hand just seem to be going from strength to strength and it seems everyone has now gone quiet on all the 'Hughes OUT' and Stoke to get relegated campaign.
When will these boys start to give us some credit I say?

Few more pics from the 'guzzlers' at the HuRT Beer Mile

Female Champ Jac and Billy Batt.
Barts struggled to get the beers down.
Killa showing us how it's done.
Eastside Elle surprised many.
Charlie put in another solid effort for 3rd
English lass Gemma was good enough for 2nd and put away 4 cans better than I could.
The less said about my effort the better.
But nice that Bookie's 'Timmy & Tommy' collected a ton from Barts when he took the 12/1 odds.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

HuRTS Beer Mile - Rushcutters Oval

Most anticipated event on the HuRTS calendar these days and along with the actual presentation its probably the best night of the year. Rushcutters was looking a dream as a massive crowd ventured down for what is perhaps the toughest 8 to 10 minutes workout you'll ever do.
All the big guns were out and bookies favourite Charlie Low was all set to put his bridesmaid tag to bed after his two 2nd places over the years. I'd tagged new recruits Toby, and 'Killa (Mike Killacoat) as likely contenders with old heads Highnam, Birch, Renaud and Jordan all looking for bragging rights to end the year.
Two waves with the first race getting under way with the (supposedly) slower runners getting things started, The Welsh duo (James & Craig) were fast out the blocks with Taffy Jimmy pretty much leading all the way, Loads of banter each time he came in for his beer but the highlight was seeing him finish then proceed to bring the contents of all 4 Pure Blonds back up all over the oval.

Big guns were next up and I'd decided to take a different approach this year, with a slow start and cruise the first lap, Was pretty much the last out the drinks compound (only Renee left) and was miles behind but happy to come in dead on 2 minutes for the first of the 4 leg attempt.  Race plan ended up then as I was struggling to even get the 2nd beer into me as the favorites were already coming in for there 3rd slurp. Saw Highnam, Birch and Jordan depart and I wasn't even half way through my beer knowing it was going to be a heavy payout to heap even more misery to my evening.  Dreaded the 3rd ale but had the pleasure of seeing the masters Killa, Toby and Charlie demolish the last of the cans before flying out for the final 400m. I barely staggered in for drink #4 as more where having little battles to finish but I did get a lift as I saw Enda venturing out for a 5th lap - obviously unable to hold his beer in for one of the efforts and a penalty was awarded his way. Somehow got the last of the cans inside me much to the amusement of spectators before hitting the final 400m . Came across the line stone motherless last, think my time was around 10.45 but it could have been 10 hours for all I cared by that time.

Loads of people in all sorts of strive, and it was carnage with bits of wood chips all around the oval after many decided to fertilize the grounds.  Once people had recovered sufficiently the awards were handed out. Big winners were 'Killa' in first place, with Toby just holding out Charlie Low for 2nd, with Captain Grumpy North Shore Justin taking 4th and "Weetbix Kid' Renaud running an impressive race for 5th. Proud Irish girl Jac 'Corky' O'Connor took out the female division, even beating most of the guys in the process despite her also running a 5th leg (another Irish unable to hold down beers).
Pizza's and more beers were ordered post race as everyone enjoyed a top evening before heading back to our dodgy Irish boozer at Kings Cross - O'Malleys.  One of the best evenings then took place as all outstanding bets were settled over about 30 beers. It cost me plenty but damage was limited when I joined forces with Tommy H and bet $100 with Barts at 12/1 who fancied his chances, who thankfully for us couldn't deliver.
As I said without doubt one of the best social event on the HuRTS calender and I think this will continue to get bigger and better each year. Many thanks to everyone who made the effort to run, with special thanks to Jeet, Angus, and Brucie Lambert for judging and its smooth running and to Paulie Hannell who brought the Striders timing system down so we were all able to get official times recorded.
Me, well another pathetic attempt and looks like I've not only lost my 'A Grade' rating, but will struggle to even run in the 2nd tier. I may have to get the likes of Champ, Hoey, Angus, Jeet and Erika Ekland involved and set up a C Grade.

Some photos from the event and evening.
Winners - Jac and Killa
Will anyone ever beat Jac ? 2nd year on the trot, taking out the female title.
Toby 2nd place, flanked by 'yido' Darren Jordan and Fats who both run solid efforts.
This is what it takes to win the 2nd grade race, Taffy struggling to hold it all in.
.... and then the wood chippings were called for soon after.
Nice to see the girls Elle, Erika, Gemma, Laura, Renee, Sonii and Jac all get involved as well.
It was ugly - C Grade here I come.
Vets Billy Batt, Dave Casey and Paulie Hannell always bring great value.
Jac, Tommy H, Enda and Judge Jeet.
The Team post race.
Judges Brucie and Jeet
Pay up time with Yido Jordan,
... and Birchy is now claiming I never paid him ? bloody shark.
Barts still smiling despite losing $100 to me with Taffy, Jeet and Brendan.
HuRTS Legend - always good to catch up with Richie High.
Nearly time for Tommy to depart, here with Eastside Elle and Ciaran.
Steve Perry and Mikey L
Tommy H and myself celebrate another great HuRT social.


A.B.C Biathlon 20.03

Down to the PAP for Thursday morning swim set. Battled away and although still very slow I managed to get to 3.3ks before jumping out.

With the yearly HuRTS biathlon looming again next week I thought I'd better have a practise run so it was of to the ABC in the evening for my first attempt of the season. Lined up alongside Mikey L but didn't know many others although some of the guys went out like a bullet once the gun went. I must have been in about 10th place for the first 800m or so before I started to pass people. Never felt at all comfortable but got to the turnaround in roughly 7.15 and in 5th position. Put in an extra effort in front of the Art Gallery and tried to kick it down even more on the downhill as I passed 2 more and was happy enough to get to the top gate to enter the pool in a time of 14.22
Major problems once I hit the gate when I went to collect my goggles (in my usual trusty spot) only to find that someone had nicked them... WTF ? Stood around for what appeared an age before walking down the steps in disbelief wondering what to do. Decided to jump in and complete it but it was terrible as I couldn't see a bloody thing, I do know about 8 come past me as I struggled just to put my head in the water as I touched out in 20.03
Annoying but what can you do? I know I'll have to find some 60 odd seconds next week if I'm to beat the Chairman - and that's highly unlikely.

Back into the city at lunch and returned to the scene of the crime at the ABC for the monthly 1k handicap time trial with the team. Knew I was never a chance (especially off a 16.45 handicap) but wanted to see where I'm at all the same. Decent enough turnout but I was swimming solo all the way as came home in 17.43

Monday, November 21, 2016

McKay Oval 10 x 400s

Monday. Had to work but timed it that I finished just in time to find a big group coming through at the Opera House gates so tagged along. Plenty of chat with Tommy H and Enda mostly about the upcoming Beer Mile, and Tom in particular seems concerned, that bad in fact he's telling everyone he's going to start 24hrs earlier on his blog? I got around to Barangaroo and I'd heard enough so cut it short and cruised back through the city with Jac for an easy 12ks all up.

Tuesday. With tops expected to hit 35 degrees I took the early morning option and stayed in the park after work to get my session done. Saw Kanser and Birchy flying around the oval, and both are starting to hit a little form. I wasn't really sure what session to do, so went with something short and sharp and one that I could easily get my head around - 10 x 400s (rolling every 2 mins).
Was warm enough by the time I started and struggled through it in truth and i was barely hitting the line on each rep as the pace seemed to fade about 80m out every time.
Happy to see it through though with the fastest only 74 and slowest 78s
Times. 74, 76, 77, 76, 76, 76, 78, 77, 77, 74

Bloody hot day so the best place to spend the afternoon was to check out the latest flick at the movies. Reckon I've seen the movie of the year in doing so, Maybe biased but its an English one set up in Tommy H's part of the world in Newcastle. Called I, Daniel Blake and centres around Daniel a middle aged Geordie carpenter who's taken a few recent set backs one of which has him suffering a heart -attack which deems him unfit for work. We then witness the hurdles we see him jump through as he tries to make good. Its a cracker, it will make you laugh, cry and even make you bloody angry about how the British system fails its people. Its a typical Ken Loach movie that is raw, honest and emotional.
Movie of the Year, get out and check it out. As an added bonus you even get the chance to see what a dump the Newcastle area is like.
5 boxes of popcorn out of 5.

Tomorrow , rest day but I'll be posting all the odds and how i think Friday's Beer Mile will unfold.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Weekend, Park Run and Sunday Long

Saturday.  Got a rare morning free from work so shot over to St Peters for the Park Run, Had no real intention of running hard after less than two weeks out from the marathon but keen to turn the legs over. Only Mikey and Hipster Chris from the squad around and Chris was pushing a pram so didn't really have anyone to chase.
Certainly nothing flash as I battled away to cross the line in 18.59 for 10th or 11th overall, not before I had the indignity of taking time out about 25 metres from the top of the hill and all of a sudden I was bombarded with photographers like you've never seen. Seems Enda has been paying reporters these days that just jump out from bushes Razor Wareham style to bring me down. I'm being persecuted, and I'm beginning to know what it feels like to be Princess Diana - Its crazy.
Still, even with a 10 second break I was still able to break 19 minutes for what is undoubtedly Sydney's toughest Park Run so it wasn't that bad all things considered.

Sunday.  Good turnout and once Enda had finished cracking funnies about my Park Run we were off, Decent gallop pretty much from the get-go this morning with Branagan Brothers Inc leading the way. Had to also endure Kanser's sledging along the way, and it's a sure sign he's getting stronger as I've not heard a sound out of him for the past two years.
One 6k loop done, before the regular 10k faster and was happy to see it out with a slightly slower flat loop of 4ks with Jeet to round out 20k for the morning in 90 minutes averaging 4.31s
Splits were;
4.41, 4.29, 4.34, 4.36, 4.36, 4.39, 4.30, 4.22, 4.25, 4.28
4.28, 4.28, 4.28, 4.30, 4.17, 4.24, 4.37, 4.38, 4.34, 4.40

Enjoyed a coffee post run with Brendan, Jeet and Birchy once done.


Friday, November 18, 2016

HuRTS Presentation Awards 2016

10 years in the making and the HuRTS squad continues to grow and the yearly presentation seem to lift to another level as each year passes.
This year we changed venues and headed into the Rocks to the Hero of Waterloo for the HuRTS night of nights and a good team rocked up to honour all the outstanding achievements over the past 12 months. After a few schooners early it was time to get the show under way and after I gave Renee all my photos she then weaved all her magic in putting them all together to produce a top notch slide show of all the team to view on the big screen. Excellent effort from her that was much appreciated by the masses.
Was keen to get the awards under way straight after before Tommy H got too smashed and he kicked things off with Ultra, Tri and Spirit Awards before the much anticipated gongs went out. Happy to see Brendan Fehon take out the 'Improver of the Year' the lads done well and can mix it with some of the much stronger guys these days. My good mate Kanser finally got his due reward for some absolute shite over the past 3 years to take out The Serg Award otherwise known as Under Achiever, and Jeet's efforts during the Canberra Half where it looked like he'd been shot coming over the line was enough for him to take out the 'I Gave it Everything' award. With just the male and female to be announced, tension was high and the roof nearly came off when Tommy H read out that Renee had just beaten two time winner Erika Ekland for the female trophy  that was well deserved.  Tommy H was up for nomination for the top gong along with Barts and Hoey so I got promoted to give out HuRTS most prestigious award of the night. Probably one of the closest we've ever had and it proved a tough one to split the three, but after 10 years of trying I was stoked when I was able to announce that The Chairman Tommy H was the outright winner. I think his journey is now complete and I've not seen him that happy since his beloved Newcastle football club won the 'Fairs Cup in 1973. I swear I saw a little tear running down his face as he accepted the trophy.
Awards out the way the evening was about to get into full swing and everyone was in fine form across the board, Enda got the mannequin pose video going and God help anyone that wanted to leave early as they all got the 'cheerio cheerio' farewell on departure.
A great evening had by all and without doubt the best presentation in HuRTS history I reckon?

Full awards were
Performer of the Year  - Tom Highnam
Female of the Year       - Renee Everett
Improver of the Year    - Brendan Fehon
Ultra / Walker               - Erika Jordan
Under Achiever            - Dave Kane
Spirit                             - Tim Lindop
Tri of the Year              - Pete Walker
I Gave it Everything     - Jeet Aich

Party doesn't stop there though with next Friday the 3rd annual HuRTS Beer Mile will take place down at Rushcutters and I need to lift my game after failing badly last year.

A few pics from Thursday night.

Top Winners - Tom & Renee.
Improver Brendan
Ultra /Walker - Erika Ekland.
It took a while but Kanser finally gets his Under Achiever.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Timmy's Hills & 5/3k Tempo Combo

Pool early and knocked out 2.6ks in total, really struggled after a few weeks break and was just happy to be able to get it done.

Into the city at lunch for the toughest set on record, Timmy's Hill and 5k tempo set around the Domain. I knew I wasn't really up for it but still was keen to head in all the same to give it a go. Decent turnout as well with the Barts', Crossy Lad, Nicky Roberts, Fats all leading from the front with Tommy H happy to run pretty much at my pace. Felt the pace pretty early and when Tom asked for a time check and I saw only 7 minutes I was ready to pack it in. Chipped away though and happy to get through the 20 minutes working around 4.26 pace .
A quick recovery before setting off for the tempo leg of the session and once more sat in with Tom and few others going past the pool at 1k in 3.48. Dropped slightly on the hill section coming back and had already decided before starting that 3ks would be my limit for the day. Returned to the Stone Gates in 11.30, love to say it was at 3.50 pace but it was slightly short so it actually worked out more 3.55s
Happy enough to get through the weeks training, after all it's only been 10 days since the marathon.

Massive night on the cards this evening with the HuRTS Oscars taking place down in the Rocks at Hero of Waterloo drinking hole. Expecting a big turnout and will be interesting to see who takes home the bling this year.
I have given my views on who should and who will win tip honours(personal views only)
Performer. Should Win. Tom Highnam. Will win Tom Highnam. Missed out so many times but this surely is his year, and will be well deserved.
Female. Should Win. Erika Will win, Erika. Top girl for a few years now and her Melb Half was top notch.
Improver. Should win. Toby, Will win. Brendan Fehon. Made  big gains this year both the boys and this could go either way.
Spirit. Should Win. Jerome Will win Tommy H . Jerome has really settled with the team over the past 12 months and always willing to help out. Tom will take it on the bases more people know him over the years.
Under Achiever. Should win, Kanser. Will win. Lindop. Kanser done bugger all for years now but always keeps a low profile and not many of the new guys know him. Will go to Lindop as I feel a stitch up is on the cards. Be hell to play if so.
Walker of the Year - Who really cares?
Tri - Should Win. Lambert, Will win Pete Walker . Lambo is a regular on the Kona trail every year and always goes well but again no one knows him so I suspect old dog Walker will take tip honours.

Once thing is guaranteed, it will be a fun evening with plenty of banter and sledging flying around, and that Tommy H will NOT see past 8.45pm before being carted out.
Plenty of photos and full round up to come tomorrow.


Monday, November 14, 2016

The Return - Stallion Durante is Back

The can tell the big events in town are fast rolling around, and NO it's not even a running race but with this year's HuRTS presentation just around the corner you can bet that one Pie Eating Michael 'The Stallion' Durante will not be far away. Great to see my old mate (and #1 blog reader) back in town and dare I say it looking very fit (Singapore obviously doesn't have a Harry's cafe?) for today's 14 x 3 minute efforts. Big team out that even brought out the likes of Highnam, Stankard, & L.James for a rare Tuesday visit.
Only 8 days out from the marathon I was planning on an easy session and after a good 3k warm up with Jeet down to the start Tommy H got the masses underway. Sat in and cruised the first rep with the Chairman around the 3.40 pace heading out and then slightly faster for the return leg. Pretty much did the same for the next couple before lifting for the 5th & 6th and without getting too carried away was happy to run the final two with Jac alongside Jerome and partner Ash around the 4 minute marker.
8 reps was about right for the day with the pace for each.
3.41, 3.37, 3.40, 3.37, 3.32, 3.32, 4.01. 3.58

A decent cool down with Durante and Jac to complete my first speedy session back.

Pishe Poor Performance of the Day goes to long time HuRTS member Tony Fats. I was giving out to Jeet on the warm up on how poor I thought voting numbers were this year (53 apparently) for presentation evening. Only to get to the Stone Gates for Tony to reveal that he hasn't voted (and worse that he didn't even know when the presentation was). Very poor from one of our senior members and I wasn't backward in letting him know, Still as he's looking after arranging our 'Craft Beer Newtown Tour' it will at least give us something to look forward to in ...... 2019.

As mentioned HuRTS Night of Nights is Thursday and tomorrow I'll be giving my thoughts on who should feature .... good and bad.


Back Into It

Back with my first run in over 7 days since the marathon, mainly due to the fact I could barely walk for the first 3 days. It was back to my regular Centennial Park as I tried to get the legs turning over.
Felt less than ordinary to begin with but after the first K I found I was ticking each one off without too much hassle, although I certainly don't think I could have gone much harder without feeling it.
Kept it simple and did two and a half flat laps and got 9ks done as I returned to the car.
9ks in 41.11 average 4.35s
Still had the Ks splits on from the marathon and today's were;
4.46, 4.31, 4.35, 4.32, 4.35, 4.29, 4.39, 4.25, 4.33

Lunchtime managed to squeeze a quick trip to the PAP and met Monday regulars Angus & Crossy Lad with Pete Walker and hipster Chris also joining in the fun. Happy to knock out a few sets of 3,2 and 100s nothing special and pretty slow compared to the others but good to get back in the water after a few weeks break.
1600m in total.

Will get back into the city tomorrow for the HuRTS set but won't be pushing too hard at all.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

New York Marathon 2016 - 3.20:21

Underdone, poorly prepared with no long runs over 20ks, and loads of time spent working leading up to the event it was never going to be pretty, but its not everyday you get the chance to run in what is considered one of the biggest and best marathons in the world, so with that it was an easy decision to board that plane heading to New York.
Flew out on the Tuesday (arriving Tuesday evening) and it was full on from the Wednesday with clients, functions and of course the usual late night social drinks that was to prove the undoing come race day.
Race morning soon arrived on the Sunday that saw our scheduled bus pick up early at the hotel for the long trek south to Staten Island. Arrive with hours to spare but the mood is fun and time passes quickly before we are led to our start corals in an orderly fashion and before long we get the usual National Anthem and the sound of the cannon to let us get under way. I promised myself prior to the race it was more for the experience and that I was to take in the whole occasion and whatever the pace was then I'd be happy with but thought a 3.15 comfortable run was more than achievable?  The start is just magical as you cross the impressive Verrazano Bridge that then takes you into Brooklyn and its not long before the first of the crowds starts to appear. Don't look at my watch for perhaps the first 5k or so but even doing it easy I sense I maybe a tad too quick so focus on the next 5 to aim for 4.10s as the crowds just kept getting bigger and the bands are a constant joy as I hear some fine tunes that almost has me practising my latest moves. If the bands were impressive then the home made signs were absolute quality. Mostly centred on the election and Donald Trump was mentioned in about 95% of them that kept a constant smile on the face. Still moving well in downtown Brooklyn before heading up through Williamsburg and into the next borough that is Queens. A couple of slight rises around Ks 17 & 18 sees the times dip slightly but unconcerned then when I get it back on the 19th and when the half way marker comes I pass through in 90 minutes bang on.  A few quick calculations and figured even with a 10 minute positive split I'd be home well within the 3.15 suggested time frame. I had great crowd support at the 14 mile (23k ) spot that gave me a massive lift but it was soon after the wheels started to fall off. Just before the 25k point the Queensboro Bridge entered the game and absolutely mullered me. It was a long two Ks and I left it barely holding 5.30 pace. The only saving grace was once you turned off it and came onto First Ave you were hit with a massive sound of noise from what was undoubtedly the biggest crowds on the course. First Ave must be a 6k stretch - long and straight, and its here I start the first of my run /walks that was remain for the next 60 minutes or so.
Into the notorious Bronx section next about 32ks done and yet another highlight jumped out in front of me in the shape of two black female police officers, no bigger than Hoey (4foot) but were as wide as 'The Hudson River' itself shaking there booty at me in full voice yelling 'Go Timbo'. Certainly got me going again and it was over to 3rd Ave where I was now struggling to run at 5.20 pace and my hips were all but seized up and I could sense that the last 6ks were about to get a whole lot tougher.
38ks done and then the 'One flat lap of Centennial Park' talk was out as we entered Central Park in Manhattan for the final stages of the race, not before having the indignity of seeing a 6.35k buzz up on the watch ( I didn't think possible?). Despite being in the HURT box Central Park was seen at its best before you leave for a (not so quick) run up 59th St that saw the final drama unfold right in front of me when some guru's legs just buckled and fell flat that resulted in me (unsuccessfully) trying to get him to his feet on numerous occasions before the oncoming medics were able to assist. A final turn back into the famous park with 400m to go and the grandstands and music were on a different level as I crossed out in a time of 3.20:21
Absolutely cooked, and those last 15ks were anything but easy that I may have suggested post race. The time was never going to be relevant but I never thought I'd be hurting like that over the last 3rd of the run, but it just shows if you don't do the Ks then it doesn't matter what pace you are going its still a bloody long 42ks at the end of the day.
Looking back, would I have changed anything ..... certainly NOT I loved every minute of it, although I should have perhaps not had that last beer with the 'Love Doctors' on the Wednesday at 3.30am in the morning and should have avoided 'Fluffies' Diner Pizza at 4am on the Thursday but we were in New York after all.
The race itself was so well organized and hats off to the people of New York who really embrace the event and the whole day itself.
Managed to get my whole race splits and have broken them into 4 x 10 sections
4.19, 4.00, 3.47, 4.02, 4.03, 4.08, 4.08, 4.09, 4.05, 4.19
4.09, 4.12, 4.14, 4.19, 4.07, 4.15, 4.25, 4.26, 4.12, 4.26,
4.20, 4.30, 4.15, 4.19, 4.59, 5.03, 5.29, 5.03, 4.59, 4.57
5.00, 5.11, 5.11, 5.35, 5.10, 5.11, 5.50, 6.35, 5.37, 5.59
5.19, 5.28, 2.18

Love the whole experience and would certainly go back , Enjoyed the views from a Manhattan Roof top bar celebrating over a few Ales or two before then spending a few days exploring the great city and helping get my mate Donald Trump over the line in the election on the Tuesday evening.
Times Square was going ape when the results were coming through in the early hours.

Good job Taffy Lad doesn't get arrested in NY.... They would never get him in the Smart Car