Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Swim Struggle

Back for the regular Thursday swim set and after a hard set yesterday I found backing up again this morning 'oh so tough'.  Even the 1k warm up seemed like a battle and when a set was called that involved the old banded legs together I was nearly ready to cry.
Basically 800m of banded legs, followed by shorter 100s and 50 metre reps and once I saw 3ks done I was already cooked despite my coach/mate then calling for one more round (1k), which I politely declined.
Managed an even slower 300m cool down that got me to 3.3ks for the morning before I dragged myself away for a much needed large coffee.
Didn't think two back to back hard swim sessions would affect me as much as it does running but after today its made me think twice?

Suppose to be the 1k swim time trial tomorrow, but I think I'll give it a swerve and rest up.

Did plan on heading down to Rushcutters at lunch for some 400m efforts but once I saw the heavy weather set in it made me soon change my mind.

Ps, Note for Crossy, No Italians in the pool today mate - sorry.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Swimming with the Italians

Crackerjack of a day in Sydney, so much so that Crossy Lad ventured out for a midweek swim along with another of my old training buddies Ian Phillipp's.
After a warm up a decent set was called and straight away I was working hard, no match for the lads on the longer 600m efforts, but somehow just about stayed on feet for the shorter 6 x 100s & 12x 50 metre bursts.
Happy to hold 1.30s for the 100s and once a cool down was done it was time for the customary 25 minute Crossy selfie, but for once this was made all the more exciting when 2 female Italians in the next lane were keen to be included.
2ks done for the day and will return in the morning for the bigger and tougher Thursday session that I have found to be very beneficial.

A few pics care of Crossy Lad Photography.

Crossy Lad and Ian
Making new Friends with the Italians, Cross and Phillipp's have now been dropped. It got embarrassing when Crossy tried to speak the lingo.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Tuesday HuRTS 3 x 2k Reps

Cycled into the city then jogged across the 2k to the meeting spot at the passenger terminal and met a big team out again. Great to see #1 female Erika, Scotty O'Connor,  Fats (still coming to terms with his 6Ft failure), Sweaty and his twin 'The Mouth' was back for more (although not sure what he was doing?), Jerome, and a rare visit from the 'Sculpture' himself Phil Dove.
Always a tough session this one and once Barts had given his orders we were away. The front boys were well clear but I found myself running in a good 2nd group that actually included Crossy Lad, Rich Large, Steve P and Jerome. Far too fast as I stop the watch near the 'Cove' on 2ks in 6.53 and was still in recovery mode after the 2 mins was up and tried to stick with Crossy again for the return leg. Happy to get through that one without to much damage but when I wanted Crossy for help on the dreaded 3rd rep he was about as much use as a chocolate fireguard and was nowhere to be seen?Struggled from the get-go and found myself forcing it too much and my hamstring pulling. Forced to stop at the 1k marker as the troops carried on A quick 30 seconds stretch and decided to see the session out and came in the 3rd rep as the lads were heading for home on the 4th in 7.19
Times for the day; 6.53, 6.55, 7.19
Always say I'm running OK when I can knock all 3 out in under 7s, but I was miles out today especially on the 3rd and again its shows the effect of the missing the long runs.
A good warm down with Erika at the end and it seems we are going Head to Head in Canberra, I wasn't keen for a wager as I know she has the form to smash me (especially over 21ks ), I did however take Stevie Perry for a friendly $20 on this Saturdays Striders 10k at Lane Cove - Kindly offered me a 2 minute buffer. He's a gentleman that lad. Still, I'll have my work cut out as I know he will run around the 35 min marker?
12ks all up before the cycle home.


Park run and 'Double Up' Day Monday

Saturday. Finished work early and with the option of going home to watch the Ireland v Wales match or run the St Peters Park Run, I decided the worst of the two evils was the 5k.
Little enthusiasm but got a lift after talking to Mikey L fresh from his 6ft and Tokyo marathon runs who was happy to run an easy tempo and agreed to try to pull me through. Crazy start with over 50 teenagers from god knows where all flying and jostling for position over the first 500m. Went through the first 1k in 3.33 and soon after we hit the hill (in reverse these days) and its not easy. Poor Mikey kept pulling away only to look over his shoulder and seeing me about 30 metres back on struggle street.
Start to pass a few at half way and even though the pace wasn't that quick at 3.45s at least its consistent. The usual hassle of getting past the slower runners at 4.2ks and I'm happy enough to get it done as the clock ticks over at 18.44 (ave 3.45) and 8th place overall.
Many thanks to Mikey for his help and without him I reckon I was on for 19 minutes plus. I need to lift my game and start building the Ks over the next couple of weeks as I'm simply not doing enough these days.

Monday. After admitting I'm not doing enough Ks after the Park Run it was then very ironic that I then missed yet again another Sunday long run. I can thank the Two Taffy's for that after a day on the drink watching the Swans take a beating in the opening AFL game of the season.
The spin off from missing the Sundays is that I have to head into town on the Monday to fit a run in. Big crowd out with 'Sweaty' Jerome, Jac's, Hoey, Brendan, Renee, and 'The Mouth' (still gibbering on) on a peach of a day. Enjoyed a good chat especially with Craig who was harping on about going back to Scotland for a 10k event that even Jac had little interest in.
Easy pace around the Quay and Barangaroo and back for 11ks in total in 52 minutes (ave 4.50s)
I cycled into town so on the return journey stopped at the pool for a few easy laps, Did 800m before knocking out some fast 8 x 50m reps. Surprise face at the pool in Taffy2(Craig) and finished with a chat and a cool down before jumping out with 1400m done.

Will be back out tomorrow and head down to the Passenger Terminal for the 3 x 2ks efforts with the team.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Morning Swim - P.A.P.

After a week missed it was back for the regular big Thursday set at PAP and after an easy 1k warm up (very slow), the set was called for 25 x 100m rolling off a set time that worked out 5 seconds per/100m faster then when we last did them around.
Knew it was going to be a tough one and once I got my head around it I was all set just to sit on feet for the next 50 laps and chip away best I could. Can't ever say I felt great at anytime but was getting about 5 seconds break after each rep that was consistent throughout.
Very much a mind thing as once I hit 20 I knew I was home and dry and was happy to tick another solid set from the list.
100 metre cool down was about as much as I could manage and with 3.6ks done it was time for a well earned coffee.

Rest day tomorrow but will try to fit a run in before massage time and hopefully get some work done on this neck/shoulder issue that is causing me grief.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Midweek Run.

Into the city for the midweek run and it was as if summer had returned with 30 degrees and the humidity returning.
Pretty easy and despite sweating buckets just cruised around in 53.10 for 11ks averaging 4.50s

First bet lined up for the Canberra Half in a little over 2 weeks, and its another Taffy that has rorted me this time - Craig has somehow managed to score a 6.30 minute handicap of me. Once agreed he then comes back and tells me he's done a Monna Fartlek set that included 5ks in 19.10
On that bases he won't be needing any start and will beat me from scratch.
$20 wagered.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Barangaroo 6 x 1k Reps

Planned to do my usual Tuesday early set but once again snubbed by 'Larry Let Down' Enda and when time got short it then meant I had to venture down to Barangaroo on a very hot and humid Sydney lunchtime instead.
Massive crowd and once 'main man' Barts had barked out his orders we were underway,  Must have been about 7 or 8 of the top guys ahead but I was happy to lead a good 2nd group in that included the 'Branagan Brothers, Angus, Jerome, 'The Mouth' (new nickname for Brendan Fehon), Hipster Chris,  Enda and a few others in with a 3.22
The next 3 were all pretty similar time wise but was spent after the 4th and decided to help the slower 3rd group out for the next two working at 3.45 pace to end with.
6 reps done and that was enough for the day, so it was a decent warm down with HuRTS girls Ruth and young Elle back up Hickson Road before cutting through the city back over to Woolloomooloo.
Rep times. 3.22, 3.23, 3.21, 3.23, 3.43, 3.42

Might try to get back out tomorrow for a run as I do need to start building the miles back up.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sunday Longish 20ks

Wet and blustery morning and I wasn't sure if it was for the return of Laura James or the fact Enda had hired a bus load full of Irish just to come to give me grief after his boys took us out in the rugby? Still it was the biggest Sunday turnout for the year and great to see Jerome & Leech patch things up, Rich Large, Laura, The Sweaty (Craig), Razor, Branagan Bros, and 'Elvis' (Costello) all tagging along.
Usual easy 6ks to start as we wadded through the puddles before the 10k loop at 4.38 pace then tried to rally a small team for a final flat 4k loop. Not much joy on that front apart from Rich & Jerome for about 800m before dropping and the surprise packet 'Elvis' who was about 30m ahead all the way as I was happy with my 3.58 pace
90 minutes all up averaging 4.33s for just under 20ks.
Retreated for a coffee post run with Leech, Jerome and Laura. Great to have the 'Shire' lass back running with us again after a spell on the sidelines.
No sign of Birch, Taffy, Jeet, or Enda again this morning? - worried about them boys.

Rest day tomorrow, but may head for a swim and I know I'm fighting a losing battle in these conditions but I'll try to persuade Crossy Lad to join me.

Photo from some of the team this morning.

Jerome, Timmy, Laura, Eoin, Champ and 'Elvis' - Rob Costello on his last run with us before heading home to Ireland today.


Friday, March 17, 2017

A.B.C Biathlon 20.01 3rd overall

Miserable morning and neck still playing up so decided to avoid any hard swimming to start the day. In fact only did an easy 800m before taking myself of for coffee and breakfast.

Spent the rest of the day dilly-dallied on deciding to do the A.B.C Biathlon, before going for it. Once there though I knew I'd made the wrong call and once more the heart just wasn't in it once I saw the high winds and showers that were pretty constant. Lined up against some Spanish guru in full speed suit who's races in the ITU series and after 500m I could see why.  Found myself in 5th spot going through the first 1k but even at 3.45 pace I was struggling , Jumped up a spot at the 1500m marker and soon after the turnaround started to push the pace for home and went past one more. With the front two miles ahead I seemed to ease off slightly and I was about 20 seconds down on normal as I hit the steps at the top of the pool in 14.20
Customary 30 seconds as I try to bring the heart rate back down before the first of 6 laps, again never really pushed that hard and managed the swim leg in about 5.10 stopping the clock in 20.01 and the first time for the season that I've failed to break 20 minutes.
3rd overall with Spanish guy winning (although he was about 50m down after the run leg) just swimming over the top to win in 17.30
Few beers post race over at Wooloomooloo Bay Hotel after where Birchy joined me to showcase his NEW $200 haircut ( the lad must be mad)

Once home I started to receive all these strange messages from good mate Sammy Aggers over in London,  " Blue and White Army' (repeat x8), 'Palace for Europa',  'We are the best team in Sth London'
The poor man has lost it I reckon and my departing message was that he should go see his doctor. So concerned I checked out his blog and he said as much himself on his Wednesday 15th March posting.
Check it out.

Yesterday (Friday) was spent in the city to celebrate with the Irish for St Patrick's Day, Cracker as well as we hit the Guinness for the day, Decent enough showing from the team throughout the afternoon before hitting the Trinity Bar for the evening session.
A few photos from the day.

Great to see Frenchman Jerome get into it and joins us for a few beers.
Irish lass Jacqueline never one to miss out on her National Day.
Welshman Taffy James, on just another day out.
And with NO Enda around Macca took up his rightful position of Ireland's #1 runner and drinker.
Birchy undergoing his latest $200 cut, he's not happy about the price increase.

Big weekend on, Stoke play champions to be Chelsea at home , tough game and will be close but take the Cockneys to edge this one out.
Stoke 0 v Chelsea 1

Have a good weekend
Train well and stay safe

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Botany Aquatic Centre Swim

Still stiff neck and not feeling great but had a window to catch up with old training partners again Roger & Ian that saw us venture over to Botany Aquatic Centre, near Mascot.
Very heavy overnight rain meant we virtually had the pool to ourselves and after a 200m warm up we decided on a pretty straightforward session of 10 x 100m (off 1.45s) and 10 x 50m on the minute.
Never comfortable with my neck but got through it OK making the times followed by an even easier 200m cool down to give me 1900 for the morning.
Despite battling along I do enjoy catching up and training with these guys, neither train hard or race anymore but are still more than capable of swimming 1.25s per/100m without breaking sweat.

Finally found out who was behind the recent AnonGate episode, turns out the culprit was favourite and #1 reader the Old Stallion himself Michael Durante. Seems the Pie Eater finds time to read the blog and came out of hiding to own up.

Even though the two boys don't train - Roger (left) and Ian are still far too strong for me in the pool.

The man behind AnonGate - Michael 'Pie Eater' Durante, in one of his love-ins with partner Wildman Stevie T


Monday, March 13, 2017

Crook Neck with McKay 400s

Woke on Monday to a crook neck that restricted my movements and prevented a lunchtime swim. Not much better on Tuesday morning but seeing as I was already in the park and done 7ks warm up (slow) I decided to stay on and work on McKay Oval to knock out some 400s.
Wasn't in the mood to be honest with enthusiasm very low and it certainly showed in the times as I battled my way through the 10x reps working off a rolling 2 mins.  First one in 75 and it turned out to be my fastest, at one point was thinking of walking for coffee on completion of the 6th.
Only saving grace on this session was that it was all done in under 20 minutes.
Times for the morning. 75, 78, 78, 79, 78, 78, 78, 79, 78, 77
Took my sore and battered body off for a much needed coffee and Turkish toast once done.

I notice someone has been posting on the blog as anonymous questioning my recent times from the weekend ???? Mmmmmm - very strange that. I love the banter and slagging that goes around and welcome ALL comments ( positive & negative) but if you are going to post then please please don't be gutless and put your name to it. Many thanks

Back out tomorrow, think we have a swim set lined up with old mate Crossy Lad getting his nemesis Deano Degan to join us, should be interesting ?


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Deano Degan - To the Rescue.

Worked then meandered around the park for the best part of 7ks as a means of a warm up contemplating what session (if any) to do? Stood around for ages looking for inspiration and any form of help when out of the blue Dean Degan comes trotting along. A bit of a chat before I asked him if he'd help out for either a 3k faster OR 5k tempo run with me. Once agreed we settled on the 3k option and we were away.
Led out the first 1k going through on target at 3.33, before Deano fired up and took control. Happy to stay with him then passing through on the quicker 2nd on 3.27. The 3rd K is always the toughest and today was no exception especially with the bigger crowds around due to the Food Festival that was on. Somehow managed to hang in though as we stopped the clock bang on 10.30 that saw the final 1k completed in 3.30
It was then a cruise return 3k trip back to the start  and I was more than happy to finish with 13k for the morning as I listened to Deano's chat about how he always puts Crossy Lad in his place whenever they race.

Bit of break after then I was down to the pool once more as I got roped into a Swim4Kids Charity event. didn't have to swim hard but as a team we had to knock out as many laps as you could. I'd settled on 3k would be my token effort, what I didn't figure was that a mate was going to keep me honest all the way in wanting to takes turns for 500m each. I could sense each 500m getting quicker and come the last section I was knackered. Stopped  the clock in 53.41 averaging 1.47s per/100m
An easy 200m more as a cool down and I was more than happy to jump out with 3200 to my name as I munched down on the nearby sausage sizzle followed by a trip over the road for a well earned bevvie.

A night on the tiles down in the famous 'Shire' area in a new boozer called the 'Prince', did put out a call to locals Lady Laura and Crossy Lad but got a big snubbing from both - poor form.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thursday PAP Pain.

Worked then stayed at the pool for the tough Thursday swim set. Been going well and building the strength and distances up over the weeks, Started with 20 x 100s, then 25 and last week 30, and now starting back at 20x we do the same only this time of a rolling time that is 5 seconds quicker per/100m.
Once again just tapped them out sitting on feet throughout and despite it being quicker mentally it was far easier knowing I only had 20 reps to get through.
Struggled a little on the 13th but once I managed to get to 15 I knew I was pretty much home.
1k warm up with the 2k rep set and a 200m cool down got me to 3.2ks for the morning and my work was done.

A few beers late afternoon /early evening before heading up to Enmore to check out the touring 80s Brit Band - The Specials. Quality evening and a right blast from the past as we were throwing all kinds of shapes on the dance floor that took us back to our youth. The black bloke on the guitar is still brilliant and unfortunately the lead singer is still a weirdo.
Younger (and Aussie) readers probably wont remember them ,but check out the link for one of the more popular tunes in Ghost Town.

Big weekend up again, sadly NO footy for the boys as its the FA Cup round, so no Stoke prediction this week but we'll go with the Chelsea v Man Utd game.
Timmy's Tip, Chelsea 2 v Man Utd 1

In the Mountains its the BIG off road walking event of the year for the 6ft Track. A couple of the gang are heading west for it.
Two that I will keep an eye out for are good mates Taffy James Matthews and 'Corky' Jacqueline O'Connor. Taffy has lost 20 kilo and is now below 100kg so should be OK, whilst  Jac is in good form and if she doesn't take the compulsory 25 minute aid station break & nap that they usual do will run well.
Predicted Times
Taffy  4.17:54
Jacqueline  4.43:39

Have a great weekend.
Train well and stay safe.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Midweek Swim

Just enough time in between work to head to PAP to turn the arms over. Nothing difficult today and even had a lane to myself. Mixing it up with sets of 200s and 50m efforts.
1800m all up.
Will be back in the morning for the usual monster Thursday set.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Barangaroo Reps - 1k & 500m

Wet, miserable and bloody windy as I enlisted the help of Crossy Lad once again for a set down at Barangaroo that saw a set called of 4 x 1k and 4 x 500m.
Wasn't feeling great before the off and with Crossy racing on Sunday I thought that he may be able to help out with anything under 3.30s?
Felt OK for the first rep although the high winds coming off the water made it a lot tougher but didn't feel as if I got any reprieve on the 2nd that I was hoping. Managed to keep the reps consistent for the first 3 even if I was getting dropped by Crossy as early as the 200m mark but sadly I wasn't able to hold it for the final 4th rep.
Times for the 4 were (rolling off 5 mins), 3.23, 3.23, 3.23, 3.26 (Think Crossy's were 3.16, 3.12, 3.05, 3.02 )
Would have been happy to call it quits there and then but still had the shorter 500s to go, somehow managed to find something and surprised myself when I was able to hold 3.12 pace (approx.) to knock out, 1.40, 1.40, 1.40, 1.38

Great session and in such conditions and basically running solo I'll be happy with those times for the day.
Didn't realize until running the final 500m that Crossy had his trusty camera out and in sneaky paparazzi style was taking shots without my knowing.
Will post them myself as I know he'll only do so later if I don't.

The 3 stages of the session - part 1. Must have been early to be running beside Crossy.
Part 2. Starting to pull away as he kicked it down to 3.02 pace.
Part 3. Spent, nothing left in the tank.


Crossy Lad Return Swim

A nice surprise to see the return to the pool of one A.Cross today but not before I had to endure the full 2hr.05 wrap up from his Wollongong O.D Tri yesterday and that was without the 25 minutes of tears he delivered after he got spanked by old mate POD.

Spends more time taking 'Selfies' then swimming this lad.

Once we got that all out the way we were all ready to go with sets of 200s, Crossy was more than happy to sit in with me today that meant we took turns to lead each one. Averaged between 3.12 - 3.16s before he demanded one strong effort to end with. Managed to hold him for the best part of 150m before he got away but was more than happy to touch out just at the clock ticked on the 3 minutes.
Happy with 1600m to start the week, but if I thought that was it I was sadly mistaken.......I had forgot that when Crossy Lad swims he barely leaves the pool without the obligatory selfie photo.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Mardi Gras Long Run

Saturday.  Missed the Striders race due to work and despite it hammering it down with rain I stayed in the park and decided to do some tempo. Had done 6k very easy prior as a warm up so then went with 2x flat loops of a waterlogged park.
Would have been happy at 4 minute per/k pace but found I was moving OK as I went through the 1k marker and basically just tried to hold for the remainder.
A 14.15 full loop (3.7ks) at 3.52 average before repeating once again. Felt I was working far harder on the 2nd especially around the tougher Fox Studio section therefore I was happy to stop the watch on 14.05 averaging 3.50s
28.20 all up averaging a decent 3.51 for the morning before catching up with Birchy for breakfast who spilled the beans on Enda about all there Tokyo adventures.

Sunday. Somewhat small and disappointing turnout for the S.O.T.B Sunday run, obviously Taffy, Birchy. Jac, Ho, Jeet, Champ, Leech, Super Kev were unable to back up from the big night at the nearby Hordern?
Nice to have Enda back from his Tokyo (failure), Sweaty Craig, Marko Branagan and the old TAXI man himself 'Elvis' aka Robert Costello over for a brief stay. Easy pace for the first 6ks before we kicked it down a little for the 10k loop, It was during this 10k section that Sweaty (Craig) got all excited about his Jock boys in the 6 Nations(Rugby) and he demanded a $20 bet against England next week that I was more than happy to accept. Honestly thought it was Xmas again and it certainly made the remainder of the loop far easier.
Back to the cafe and only a flat loop remained for me to bring up the required 20ks for the morning.
90.20 all up averaging 4.38s
With numbers down I had to go for coffee solo as I sat a happy man reading all the overnight scores from back home that included the promised Stoke win ..... and I even gave you the 2-0 scoreline.

Rest day tomorrow, that is unless Crossy Lad mans up and decides to venture out for a swim?
BTW, So glad I bypassed the 'Gong' Tri this morning with conditions shocking, Official word in from Crossy was "Torrential rain, flooded roads and windy as fark, and to compound the pain your Irish mate PLOD smacked my @rSe"
For the record PLOD got 2nd , Crossy Lad 3rd :)


Friday, March 3, 2017

Jock, Paddy and an Englishman Running.

Worked in the city so took the opportunity to hang around after to join in the lunchtime run. With heavy showers around it meant only the smallest of turnouts that included Craig Wiseman (Jock), Marko Branagan (Paddy) and myself as we set off around the Domain, Quay and Barangaroo at a nice easy pace.
Plenty of chat along the way and with Marko starting to show some good form in training I thought I'd ask when he was going to put it on the line in a race?  After much deliberation we locked in April Striders and of course I didn't miss the opportunity to get a wager on with the 'Talented' Branagan.
Didn't have my GPS but was good for 50 minutes that I figured was about 10ks all up that was perfect.

Note, Did finally get the call from Crossy Lad for a swim but he was only going to go easy that I thought might be too slow for me so run instead.

Big weekend on the cards, although I think I might give the 'Gong' Tri a miss, Heavy rain is forecast that will make the bike leg a misery and not sure I want to venture down South having to get up at 4.30am for it?
In the footy, Stoke WILL get back to winning ways this weekend when they take on the pride of the North East in Middlesbrough. Confident this week so the Timmy's Tip is -
Stoke 2 v Boro 0

Also a big night locally on Saturday with some of the HuRTS lads having there biggest party night of the year. Lets hope it stays dry for Jeet, Angus, Gleeso, Champ, Hoey and Brucie Lambert as they make the way up Oxford Street on the colourful float.

Have a good weekend
Train Well & Stay Safe


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Thursday Monster Swim

Headed to the pool once more and after a 300m warm up I was all ready for a what was to turnout to be a monster of a set that saw me swim 3k pretty much without stopping.
30 x 100m efforts off a set time was called and once I managed to get my head around it we were off. Happy just to sit on the feet the whole way as I tapped it out coming in on each rep with 4 or 5 seconds to spare before going again. Got to half way OK before I started to feel the pace on #18 and from there it was just a case of playing mental games to get through it.
Very pleased to get it done, and then after a further 200m (real slow) cool down I was out with 3.5ks to the good as I ventured away for my mornings coffee and well earned toasted Turkish bread.

Really want to get back out on the bike but the rain over the past week has put paid to that idea at the moment.