Sunday, April 30, 2017

Curl Curl Ocean Swim 2k - 41.23

Sunday. Up and out early again and over to the 'Dark Side' and for once it wasn't for social drinks but Curl Curl was to play host to the end of season ocean swim.
Face dropped a mile upon arriving and looking out from the surf club on the conditions with incoming waves reported at 1.8 metres that I knew I'd struggle in. Gun goes off and true to form its a battle from the start, nearly killed me even getting to the first buoy and I swear the arm was nearly up for the surf boat for collection at one point. Sadly it never seemed to get any easier and when I got around the 3rd buoy and saw I had only completed 575m I nearly cried. I knew no records were going to get broken so I just got through it best I could and it was only after coming around the 9th and final buoy did I ever feel comfortable.
Got to the final 100m and was nearing the point to stand up and felt I was actually going backwards - crazy. In the end I decided to stand and wade out  before eventually running the final 50 metres of the beach to stop the clock in 41.23
Absolutely spent at the end of it and without doubt the hardest ocean swim that I've put myself through. Finally recovered for the pleasant walk back to surf club where the sausage sizzle and 6 beers went down a treat as I sat overlooking the crashing waves still rolling in.
Gave the Chairman Tommy H a bell to see if he was around for Manly arvo beers, but after he snubbed me I returned to the safety of the East to continue the Sunday social.

Monday. Lined up Crossy Lad for a PAP swim and after the rigours of yesterday it was great to be back in the calmer waters of the pool. That said I had to endure Crossy crying about his sore shoulders and the fact he only got a 4th place in some 'D Grade' Oatley 5k run on the weekend (beaten by 3 teenagers as well).
Decent set completed that included 400, 200, 100 and 50 metre efforts to cover the 2ks
Nice surprise into the set to be joined by Pete Walker for a few efforts as well.

Will be back out tomorrow for some 1k efforts with the team


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Stairs and 5k Tempo T/T with Taffy Boyo in 18.43

Busy morning with work and finally found some time to knock out 20 x stair repeats at Waverley Oval before heading to the park for a very easy 6ks as a means of a warm up, I then caught up with good lad Taffy Jimmy Mathews for a 5k time trial /tempo.
Controlled the pace for the first 1k going through in 3.41 and was looking to hold that for the remaining 4ks, The 3rd K is always tough coming around the Fox Gates area and then the start of the 4th is another rise. Felt the pace dropping slightly but was still holding a steady average of 3.45 throughout and happy to get back to the cafe with 5ks under my belt in 18.43 (ave 3.45)
Splits. 3.41, 3.43, 3.42, 3.49, 3.51
Taffy run well, despite his high mileage he's currently doing for Comrades he was able to run sub 4 min/k in just breaking the 20 minute marker.
A further flat lap easy as a cool down before Birchy joined us for the next hour over coffee and plenty of trash talk.
All up about 15ks plus 20x Stair repeats.

Current footy season is closing in and the big game from the Brit tonight is Stoke vs West Ham, a bit of a nothing game to be honest with both teams just paying out for mid table mediocrity.
Take the Potters to turn the Scrap Dealers over - 2-0

Have a good weekend
Train well and stay safe

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Monna Fartlek

Coldest morning of the year and wasn't keen on the Thursday swim but battled away to do the usual 3ks in total that saw me working hard for 400m efforts and then cruising 300m easy.
Still wrecked by the time I jumped out to enjoy my mornings coffee and Turkish bread.

Lunchtime into the city but was running late that saw me miss the HuRTS session, lucky enough to have old mate Enda out though who kindly joined me for a repeat session of what we missed that was Monna Fartlek. Decided to do from the Passenger Terminal and around the Wharfs retracing our steps at the half way marker.
Don't mind this session as its over very fast (20 mins) and I'm able to hold pace for the shorter reps of 90/60/30 seconds.
5.25ks done in the 20 minutes that worked out averaging close to 3.50s
A good cool down back around the Quay and Opera House and happy to be able to fit a session in on what was a busy day.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Anzac Day 2k Reps Centennial Park

Tuesday. Rounded up a nice little team on Anzac Day morning that included The Branagan Brothers, Birchy, Rich Large, and Enda  for some 2ks reps.
Got a decent little route where the first 500m is a slight climb before a relatively flat 1k then you get the downhill back for the best part of 500 metres. I was in touch with the lads up the hill on the first rep before the Irish lads gradually drifted away and was working hard before coming over the line in 7.08 (3.34 pace)
Second lap and the boys picked up the pace and I was struggling on the hill. Just tried to keep it ticking and hope the 2nd K would be quicker. Pace did drop though and was 6 seconds slower coming in on 7.14
For the 3rd rep it was just a case of getting through it and somehow managed to find a kick down over the last 250m that kept the time respectable coming back in with a 7.11
7.08, 7.14, 7.11
Again certainly not the quickest but at least I didn't chuck the towel in at any stage although it felt as if I was running at 3.20 pace at times.
Decent cool down with the boys before then going on for another 6ks with a client for work.

Memorable afternoon spent with Pommy Paul Birch to honour the Anzac's down at the Royal Oak cleaning up on the old 2Up game before supping a thousand beers with the winnings.
Top day.

Wednesday. After a busy morning working all with a dodgy head I wasn't keen to head into the city for a run but I promised the Chairman Tommy H I would front up to continue with our Centennial Park midweek run that we have been knocking out. Cruisy pace especially the first half as we hit the hills and stairs on the way but actually felt better as the run went on.
Another enjoyable run and happy to report 15ks done in 72 minutes averaging 4.50 pace

Big day tomorrow, will knock out my 3k swim first up and then attempt to do some speedwork at lunch, although its set to be the coldest day of the year so far so I've already given up any hope that Crossy Lad will join me for that.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Deek 5k Rushcutters Oval

Cycled into the city for the 3rd straight day and met the boys at the Art Gallery for the 2k warm up over to Rushcutters Oval. Good banter along the way with Enda and the Branagon Brothers (Kev & Marco) mainly centred about the upcoming British Lions tour and the selected party.
Deek 5ks was on the cards, basically 8 x 400m with a 200m float after each. Sat in with Enda and Richie Large for the first in a respectable 76 second lap but even on the recovery the fitter lads were able to hold a stronger pace then my 48 secs.
Felt the pace drop as early as the 2nd and come the 3rd I had grave doubts I'd even get through it. Had Super Kev come past on the 4th and then Adrian Mc on the 5th who I latched onto only for him to pull out come the 6th effort. Then had the misfortune of getting lapped by frontrunner's Scotty O and Special Q but found I was somehow holding my pace.
Couldn't stop the watch soon enough as the 5k ticked over and happy enough to see 17.37 recorded for the day.
Reps. 76, 48, 82, 48, 83, 52, 85, 50, 85, 54, 84, 51, 85, 55, 84, 20

Then enjoyed the return trip to the city with King of the Sledge - J.C and Enda as talk turned to the abolishing of the controversial 457 visa that hopefully may keep some of these Irish lads coming into the country and stop the constant rorting that goes with it.

3 days running on the trot, happy with that and will take a rest day tomorrow now.

With coach away it made the decision of either a 3k swim battle solo OR a nice brekkie with my team a no brainer so only managed a token 800m effort to start the day at PAP


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

HuRTS Post Easter Fartlek & Tempo

Tuesday. Cycled into the city and after a big 5 day long weekend that started with drinks last Thursday I wasn't looking forward to my first run back.
Very small crew out and it was left to 'The Mouth' (Brendan F) to give the order to the troops for the day. Basically 2 min ON/ 60 seconds OFF x 7 followed by a 20 minute tempo back home. Found I sat in with 'Mouth and Enda who appeared soon after starting with the overall pace averaging 3.51s on the way out.
Decided I'd only do 5 of the 7 and it worked well as Crossy Lad was on my tail as we ventured through the busy Quay area. Cruised for 5 minutes after that (1k) before turning and attempting to tempo it home.
Always tougher return and it was here that Crossy proved his worth (for once) holding the pace all the way carrying me along. Thought I'd gone for all money coming off the Domain up the hill to the road but hung in and managed to hold a steady 3.57s all the way back to the Stone Gates.
9ks done and only averaged just under 4 mi/ks that certainly didn't set the house on fire but I was definitely feeling it.
Really do need to start getting the consistency back with my running.

Wednesday. Arranged a midweek swim with Crossy Lad at PAP and even though he stuffed around his times I didn't want to miss out so headed in on my bike for a quick fire 2ks.
Once again, I seemed to battle my way through it and even when I wanted to either sit a rep out or do 10 instead of 12 reps Crossy wouldn't have a bar of it.
From there it was a cycle into the City and another mix up/time change meant I didn't get what is now becoming the regular Tommy H Centennial Park Trot in. Not to be undone I took the easy option and cruised around the Domain and Barangaroo and back via the Quay for 11ks in 53.50


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Broken Miles, White fences and swimming week

Tuesday, Cycled into town for a catch up with HuRTS good guy  'Mr Weetbix Kid' aka Renaud, with his injury I've not seen much of him these days and he's always good value when we do catch up. Although he was to spend most of the time trying to get me to lead a HuRTS tour to the Ukraine through some lady named Svetlana for some reason?
Over to the Passenger Terminal after for the HuRTS 1600m broken Mile reps (1k On,300m OFF,300 ON) Smaller team out with only Scotty O, Special Q and Crossy Lad leading from the front. I felt tired even before the start but surprised myself that I was able to hold sub 3.30s on the 1k for all 4 reps. Run the reps alongside Stevie P, Kev Branagan and Dicky Large for the first 3 and just when I thought I was struggling Enda appears from out the bushes and helps me out on the final rep.
Times for the 4 were.
5.42 (ave 3.34)
5.34 (ave 3.29)
5.45 (ave 3.36)
5.42 (ave 3.34)

Perhaps the longest warm down in history with Enda as we headed back around the O.H into the Domain back up to the Stone Gates.

Wednesday. Met up with Crossy Lad for a return to the pool after a forced break with a head cold last week. Didn't want anything hard but with Crossy he doesn't know anything different. Sets of 200s and 100s was the go and even struggling I was able to hold 3.17-3.18s for each (Crossy 3.09 - 3.10)
Managed to fit in 1900m before I had to make a hasty retreat into the city.

Basically a repeat of the week before with the Chairman Tommy H. Headed out to Rushcutters then up Ocean St into the park. Decided on a faster tempo flat loop that saw the pace kick down to close on 3.53s before retracing our steps back.
Was absolutely rooted, but it was an enjoyable run with 'H' and I returned back to my bike with 14.7k done averaging a decent 4.39s

Thursday. No swimming last week and today I was wishing I was anywhere else but the pool. everything was sore and had no interest in what lay ahead.
Luckily I was spared more pain then I had to with an easier set that just had me getting the head down and tapping it out.
Loved the company BUT hated every one of the 60 laps covered
3ks all done and the coffee never tasted better once I was back in Erko.

Big weekend coming up for Easter, few drinks tonight, and heading out to see English band Madness once again on Saturday. Super night, and a guaranteed fun night ahead. Just for Tommy H as I know he loves this and can't get it out of his head and will be singing all Easter.

In the footy , Stoke have gone off the boil the past 4 weeks BUT will get back to winning ways on Saturday when they give Hull a thumping.
Timmy Tip - Stoke 3 v Hull 0

Have a great Easter.
Train well and stay safe

Canberra Half Marathon 88.05

Canberra Running Festival is always a good weekend away and armed with a full car of Muppet's in the Two Taffys' (Jimmy & Craig) and Pommy Paul Birch the 3 hour drive down passed in no time.
Customary early pasta on the Saturday (with Birchy losing the head again when his pizza arrived late) before an early night then getting set for the 21ks that lay ahead.
Early rain but had cleared as I warmed up with #1 Female Erika and pacer for the day Enda Stankard before hitting the start line. Gave Enda the orders that at best would result in a 85.25 finish but I knew that was always going to be a tall order with the lack of long runs over the past month or so.
Easy first 1k but as soon as the slightest hill comes into play before the 2k marker I'm blowing hard as Erika flew past (never to see again). Settle down after that and exchange some good banter with Enda along the way as he reels of the amount of holidays he has had passing it as work.
Through 5k in 19.40, pretty much on the money but it seems the GPS is reading wrong (short), 7 and 8 you get chance to double back and see oncoming runners that takes your mind off the job ahead. 
Another 5k down at 20.33 and the pace has dropped even though the effort seems as hard. I get to track Erika on the flick back at 12ks and see she is 1.30 ahead and Taffy2 is about the same behind as due to our wager I try to do the sums and work out if I'll be paying out once done, and its not looking good as I'm hitting struggle street
Enda, and fair play to him offers some words of wisdom that somehow gets me out of my slumber at the last hairpin (15ks),  a good call out to supporter Birchy at 18 and then its the last final slog over the bridge at 19 as we try to find something to get us home.
Its a long last 7 minutes especially the final 500m as you see the finish line but are forced to do the loop around that takes about 2 minutes? I must have been going easy prior as I was able to pretty much sprint the final 500m or so nearer to 3.30 pace to cross over with the clock reading 88.05
Wish I could say I was disappointed in that time but the truth of the matter is I can expect no better without doing the hard work needed
The recovery area is always a hive of activity after as we all compare times, and even though my time was average I still beat #1 Erika by the merest of margins on the handicap by 6 seconds, whilst the Taffy Lad had the mother of all explosions over the final 6 ks to come in some 10 minutes after me - Oh Dear.
Splits were, 3.54, 4.01, 3.50, 3.54, 3.55, 4.02, 3.59, 4.14, 4.07, 4.04, 4.05, 4.04, 4.03, 4.06, 4.09, *4.47, *3.44, 4.07, 4.07, 4.11, 4.06, 2.26 (3.38 pace)
* = under bridge, lost sat.

Waited around after to see 'Run of the Day come in with Darren Jordan recording a 2.50 marathon time and couldn't be happier for the lad.  It then started to rain and with the clock still ticking at 3hrs.30 and Taffy James still not home we thought bugger it and decided to retreat to the hotel before heading for a much needed brekkie.

The return journey was as eventful as the one down and before long we were back in Surry Hills for the evening where many a replenished ale was downed.
Great craic and really enjoyable weekend away. Many thanks to old mate Enda as well for coming down and helping out on pacing duties - He actually was pretty good , but please don't be telling him that for Gods sake.

A few pics from the weekend

Before race start with Enda.
Fun times - must still be early? At the 5k mark.
Not looking so good at the 17k mark.
Finish line and glad to get that one done.
Its not a race if you can't (hopefully) win a few bob - Collected on Erika for $20 winning by 6 sec.
Whilst the 'Rorter got Rorted' after having it in the bag with only 6ks to go before exploding.
Kudos to Taffy, despite being on the pi$$ , he's still able to knock out 42ks
.... and still able to party as hard after.  Worried about him.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Midweek catch up with the Chairman.

Cycled into the city, and its been along time in between drinks so it was good to catch up with the Chairman Tommy H for a run through Rushcutters, up Ocean St into the park and back via Surry Hills.
Pace very easy as we headed out, in fact I think it took till we ventured into the park before we managed a sub 5 min/k as we chewed over the fat on all the latest activities. Quickened doing the flat loop and then returning as we got back covering 12.5ks in 58.45 getting the average down to 4.43s
Top run and I think it was just what was needed as I take the long road back in order to find some much needed form.

It may have been a while but Tommy H is still delusional when it comes to talking about his beloved Newcastle Utd, despite winning nothing for over 60 odd years he still believes they are a big club... Bless Him.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Centennial Park 2 x 3ks

A late evening call from Enda to see if I could run early meant I had a partner for a Tuesday speed session without the need of going into the city at lunch.
Although cooler it was miserable with rain in the air and blustery winds around, Did a regular 2k warm up before Enda called for 2 x 3ks efforts. Don't think any of us were really up to it but I set off at a decent clip with the Irishman happy to let me do the early work. He finally woke up at the half way mark and took the lead and from there I was happy to tuck in especially over the tough last 1k to come home at 11.09 - ave 3.43s.
A short break and it was a repeat although I was keen to sit in from the start at a reduced pace in the  hope I would be able to hold, sadly it wasn't the case as Enda pretty much held whilst I had the fade drifting out to 3.50 pace to stop the clock in 11.30
Not pretty but it was the best I could muster. A further 2ks cool down made it 10k for the morning before heading to work with a further 5ks at 6 min/ks

Got Canberra this weekend, but I will head out tomorrow lunchtime for a trot as its pointless in tapering for this race in the form I'm in.

A few hours break during the afternoon so hit Norton Street to take in a movie to pass a few hours on a miserable day.
Perfect Strangers was the chosen flick and what a good one it was as well. Italian with subtitles (that may cause a few issues for certain readers) about 7 friends who catch up for a dinner party and they decide to play a game that involves sticking the mobiles on the table and any message/text or call to be shared with everyone. What emerges is pure brilliance as everyone has some startling secrets that is revealed with disastrous results.
Starts a little slow but once it fires up it will keep you hooked
Superb - 5 popcorn's out of 5 for this one. Go see it if you can
* Actually got me thinking if I invited 6 HuRTS members around for a dinner party that I figure there maybe something lurking that i don't know I would select - Charlie D,  Jeet. Angus, Taffy, Erika  and Razor Wareham?

Timmy Footy Rant. I gave Sammy a serve yesterday for not supporting his side in tough times , well I've got more issues with his Palace team. Shocking performance from the fans at the weekend with fire bombs going off all around the ground. Its NOT needed at English footy grounds and I do hope the FA come down heavy on them to stamp this sort of behaviour out especially in light of all the trouble in the capital only last week.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Striders 10k Lane Cove - 39.05

Over to the home of the Striders 10k series that is Lane Cove and warmed up along with Birchy and Stevie Perry, A strong showing from the team though with the likes of Barts, Scotty O, Hamish and the regular NOTB boys lurking around.
Knew I wasn't in shape for this one so was keen to go out easier than normal in the hope I might be able to bring it home over the latter stages of the race.
A 3.42 to kick it off that was about right but even before the first climb at 2.5ks I felt the pace dropping that was a concern. First hill out the way and about 3ks I had the 2nd girl and Keith' Buzz' come past that had me trying hard to join but sadly was unable.  The big test comes at 4.5k and lasts till the turnaround at 5.5k, really struggled to even make it without doing the dreaded 'walk of shame' and once on the downhill I had a chance to see where all those behind me were and in particular Pete Walker who I knew would be out to beat me.
Tried to lift on the downhill but it wasn't much and when those little pinch hills come into play around the 7 and 8k marker I was toast. Had two lads come past at 8.5ks and very soon after Pete Walker does the same. Now I know I was goneski at this point but something triggered me to go with the 3 of them in the hope I could just stay for one more Km knowing (and hoping) I could out kick Pete at least over the final 500 metres.
A lot of talking took place for the next 3 minutes (first sign of madness many say) and with 400m to go I was still with them and decided to kick for home. It hurt, but that's what its supposed to feel like at that stage and despite a very disappointing time of 39.05 for the morning at least I had a 'minor win' over the sprint finish event.
Terrible race overall for me, but in truth its little more than I deserve as my training has been less than ordinary of late
Looking across the board, nobody really impressed. Barts got beat by Neil, Scotty was over a minute down on his usual, Birchy was ordinary and was forced into a walk break. I suppose Stevie P was about the best of the bunch and was certainly good enough to take me and cover the 2 minute agreed handicap. Fair play to him.
My watch was all over the shop this morning but the splits I had were.
3.42, 3.50,4.10, 3.57, 4.21, 3.56, 3.58, 3.55, 4.02, 3.32

If the morning was shocking then the evening was a cracker, Had the invite to the famous NOTB Curry night, massive team ventured to Freshwater for the night. Great to catch up and even if the food was the usual mush that is dished up over that part of town the beers, banter and dancing was worth the trip in itself.

Canberra this week and I'm dreading it, I can barely get through 10ks so a half is going to kill me, Still, it is what it is.

In the footy, I missed the Timmy's Tip on the weekend but in truth I would have gone the draw, (and we lost 2-0) Can make amends with a midweek round and Stoke travel to Burnley and I've got a special.
Timmy's Tip - Burnley 0 v Stoke 1
Also back home, Slim Sammy Aggers is starting to give it 'large ones' - unbelievable that lad. Zilch from him all year, then a couple of wins and he comes out the woodwork, very fickle fans.
Still, I'm not changing in my belief they will be get relegated along with Sunderland, Middlesboro
Stay tuned for more ..... more tears from Aggers that is.

Few photos from Saturday
You can tell when its a bad race with all the poncing and waving around.

Barts, Scotty and Vonk

NOTB boys with Stevie P and I.
Elle, great value on a night out.

 The Manc Lads - Birchy and Gleeso.
The footy tipping team, Gleeso, Craig, Birch, Taffy James and new man Darren Jordan

Lets hope Darren is a better tipster than dancer?

HuRTS females #1 Erika and Elle

Getting late

A night at the Opera House followed on Sunday and caught up with the Irish Mafia