26 July 2014

Sandgate parkrun 1st 15;48

I was still feeling Tooheys Tuesdays in my legs so wasn't sure how I'd go today. 2km warm up a few strides felt ok but nothing special. Conditions were still and about 14 O C = pretty good - though actually I felt cold.
Said hello to Chris Bell at the start and then we were off. 
I wanted to go out hard but not too hard but ended up overcooking it by going through 1K in about 3;02. Mindful that the 2nd K on this course always seems to be slow I attempted to keep the pace honest. I was out on my own. Hands were freezing but I'd forgotten to bring my (nancy boy) gloves. About 6;15 for 2K that will do OK and onto the turnaround at 2.5K decided to run around it going right. A bicycle rider was coming towards me just at this point and we took a second trying to work out which path each of us would take. I stayed out left to assist with the turning circle. Glanced at my watch 7;51 pretty good going. Someone has created a strava segment 'Start to 2.5km' which had me running 7;46. 
I always try and pick things up after the 180 O turnaround slowdown. Not sure why but Garmin/Strava always seems to time  the 3rd KM here fast when really it should be slower. I was surprised by how close 2nd and Belly were. 
We run on into the sea of humanity as the rest of the field encroaches on the pathway. 
I have a very close call with a women running with a dog but get through without a 'head-on'.
3km in 9;30 and I'm thinking I might go sub 15;50 if I can only keep relaxed and push at the same time. 
I stopped  my watch at the end of the chute and after grabbing my finishers token which accounts for time discrepancy between official time and Garmin time.

Why am I running well? 
My weight is hovering around 60kg! 
I've stepped on the scales and seen 59.3kg! 
Adherence to the Peter Reeves school of how to improve your running by cutting out the beers.
That is the answer.
That sacrifice has paid dividends.
12 months of consistent running but not particularly hard training. 
Dan Murphy's shares are dropping as I type!

My official time 15;48 equalling Nick Tooheys course record!

My wife says that I have thrown down the gauntlet as that would be how I would react!

a glorious sunrise over the bay this morning
250 starters and I'm looking peculiar!

Showing good form at the start (it never lasts!)

I was telling myself to relax but to run faster!

The finish line in sight

Chris Bell ran 17;12 , 1 second outside his PB

Is that the Garmin Lama on his warm down??

23 July 2014

Back on Track back to Nudgee

Last night I went back to the track for the first time in ages.
The all new Nudgee (Private School) track cost $700,000 to lay with ancillaries and is secured by 'prison like'  3m barbed wire topped fencing that reeks of  'your here to do work'. It keeps the dog walkers/ inside lane Charlies and kids playing footy OUT! 
Open to the public I think 5.00pm till 8.00pm Mon to Friday (at the moment). $4 for a session.

I'd arranged to tag along with Nick Toohey (1500m 3;39 in 2011) for his long track session;
1200/2000/1200 with 2mins between reps followed by 5 minutes between sets and repeated 1200/2000/1200.
I haven't run long reps in quite a while so 3 laps was daunting enough! 
5 laps was downright harrowing. 

On a desolate night, the only people there were Nick and I,it had just rained and it was cold! 
Nick's intention was to run 72's/75's. 
I managed to stay with Nick for the first 4 reps but he put the hammer down on 5 and 6 finishing 20 secs ahead on the 2nd 2000 and 10secs ahead on the last 1200. 
I forgot my watch but going off Nick's times I ran;
3;43, 6;14, 3;45
3;41, 6;30, 3;51

This is Nicks data

Nick would like to invite anyone (any standard) who wants to come along and join in 6;00pm Tuesday at Nudgee

- read about Nick and his track session schedule here;
That muscle definition is outrageous!
I'm taking this week off work so I can watch the last week of the Tour live.
I may run at Sandgate on Saturday. Do a long hilly road run the following week followed by Garmin Lama Day on 9th August.

13 July 2014

Skyrun 10.5km 6th 38;44

Decided late on to give the Brisbane Skyrun a go. 
Its only a 4km hill!

Am I catching 5th?

Cant wait to check the Garmin elevation profile of this Mother!

Situated at Mount Cootha, a 10.5km road circuit, uphill first 5km and then downhill to the finish. 
The first runner I saw this morning Jackson Elliott - first place wrapped up!
Race started right on a huge hill and with normal gusto I charged off. After about 200m I thought I was having a heart attack. There are no hills at North Lakes so this was a very rude shock. I was screeching to a halt or at the very least a jog. Thankfully things levelled out and I got a chance to get my heart rate back into line before we hit the 3km uphill section. I ran well up this section passing about 4 guys. Up ahead was Nick Toohey who provided a more than worthy target to try and chase down on the downhill section. Of course there is a limit to the stresses you can put on an old body so I tried to balance the fear of being caught by the young guys I'd passed on the hill, to the racer wanting to catch the guy ahead. The top 4 were long gone by this stage. Didn't quite manage to pick up Nick I think he sensed me closing in. Happy enough with that effort - when else do you run a 5;00 min KM and follow it up with run that was 2;51 ?
Anthony Craig who I beat by a minute at the Gold Coast finished 4th today a minute ahead of me. Some Mountain runner hey!
I spoke to Jackson after the race who said that Liam Woollett gave him a bit of a scare nearly catching him on the down hill after being well beaten on the uphill stretch.
Results are here

Course profile;

No stress or tension (not)

11 July 2014

Laurie O'Hara

This is a profile on the late, great, Laurie O'Hara, it also includes a bit of debate about the use of age grading percentages which at the time this piece was written (30 years?) was relatively new. 
Peter Reeves (The Robot) who won his age cat at the Gold Coast 10K by 7 minutes can now lay claim to the title (the Unbeatable 60 year old). I have previously written about Laurie on this blog (do a search). 

Just a steady week for me this week running mainly at lunchtime to run in warm sunny 20+ O c temps rather than freezing dark early mornings. Not too sure if I have any goals left for the road this year but for sure would love to be able to get to the track season for fast 1500/3000/5000 and maybe 10000.

07 July 2014


I was the second guy home over aged 35+ and finished 10th in the Queensland Championship 10km see that result here

Listen out for Mona's;

the longest 'run in' known to road racing!

If I had glasses maybe I could read what time that clock says!

I got to slow down or I'm going to beat Mona's time!

All the hard work is done time to relax.

Completely relaxed and easing off!

Rounding the aquatic Center

Run through the line and start praying the robot is off song.

Does this 'run in' ever end?

You sponged off me for the last 2km now you suddenly come to life!

kids these days! Shaved legs!

Garmin Lama 
32;58  or 94.6% age grading is worth some insane performances

05 July 2014

Gold Coast 10km 25th 32;58

Managed to get to Southport about 30mins before the start. 
A very brief warm up and get to the start line with 5 mins to spare. 
Squeezed onto a front line position. 
Not too manic at the start and I wonder why we are travelling so easy or more to the point why the leaders haven't pulled away. 3;04 first km.
Eventually they do pull away as we settle down into the rhythm of the race over K's 2 and 3. The course has a 180 O turn at about 1.5k and then you run back past the finish line and head North. At about 4k a huge pack of about 10 go past me and I can't do anything to hang onto them.
At the 5km there was an official clock, which I past at 16;07. Super fast for me for a 10K, but I can't believe how many guys had gone past me. It make you feel like you're running mediocre.
After that big pack went past that was pretty much it for race position I caught a couple of kids (the two who finished just in front of me) along the way who tucked in behind me and let me work the super hard K's 8 and 9 before they stepped out and pushed on. As we come towards the finish I look up and see 32;50, Mona's age cat record is 32;58 so I sprint for the line and cross it as the clock ticks onto 32;58. 
I hear Mona's who is doing race commentating saying "and that's David Sweeney who won up at Caloundra last week".
Really I should have run quicker, running more conservatively in the first half and pushing harder in the second. However, I'm satisfied with today and that is a pretty rare thing for me to say.
Sharing the course record with Mona's - wow!

Gold Coast History;

2007 10km 18th (1st) 33;14
2008 Half 27th (1st) 72;26
2010 10km 41st (1st) 34;32
2011 10km 26th (1st) 33;24
2014 10km 25th (1st) 32;58

Official results here
Moving Time
Elevation Gain
Elevation Loss
Avg Pace
Avg Moving Pace
Best Pace
  I stopped my watch after the finish line.

You can see the two 180 O turns, not sure what the other trough is attributed to. Also you can see the last minute where I quick up the pace after that long drag before the left turn into the aquatic centre.
Afterwards I caught up with Peter Reeves  who had just smashed the course M60 Record and also Con, Chris, Barry, Phil and Jenny. 

30 June 2014

Peninsular Power

30km done salt stained top. Wind played havoc with my mohican.

A 2.6km warm up at home with Sascha (the dog) then out to the Redcliffe for a long run on Sunday. I looked at my watch after two K's on thought that's pretty quick for so little effort! I didn't realize I must have been blown along by the wind. Running Westerly, Southerly and then Easterly and then reversed, I had both the benefit and burden of very strong winds all the way. There were white caps and waves at Margate where you very rarely see them due the calming influence of Moreton Island out in the bay.
I was enjoying just ticking off the K's, nice and steady, not pushing it. 
I was going to turn around at 10k but had just ran through all the market stalls at Redcliffe and didn't want to face that again so soon and as I felt pretty easy, decided to run on to 15K which is the Ted Smout bridge. The wind had me bent over double at some sections.

Finished off 30K's at 4;05 kms and loved the fact that my black top was covered in salt stains. Tried to take a photo to capture it but didn't come out in the picture.
A nice easy week planned for me now just steady running and maybe a few rides.
Glasshouse Mountains in background

22 June 2014

Caloundra Foreshore 10km 1st 33;36

I have raced this 4 times previously, 1st, 2nd , 3rd and 'got lost' last time I ran it in 2010!
It mostly  hugs the foreshore pathway from Golden to Moffat Beach. There are a few sections where your out on the road . Mostly cement path but some boardwalk and some paving stone sections (dangerously slippy when wet like today). Towards the finish the course rises over a couple of headlands short sharp killer hills!
Up at 5.00am for 7th day in a row and out the door at 5.30 for the hours drive to Golden Beach. 2km warm up and feeling yesterdays run in my legs. 
No sign of Jacko, Clay (going to run sub 2;30 on the Goldie) or Hintsa or any of the usual suspects that take the honours - I may just have a chance! 
We used to start on the pathway but in the few years since I've competed they have closed off the road and had us spread out across it = much better!
Slight false start and I'm having kittens trying to check if I paused and unpaused correctly and am recording the run! I hear it beep at 1km -  it must be working ;-)
So me and a young lad from Pacific Athletic Club - didn't know at the time it was Bryan McManus a medicine student in his last year at uni. At about 3k he starts to gap me and I think that's ok I'm not going to bust a gut in this race and I'm actually in overall 2nd place (wow that's $200!). At 4k I'm back with him and I think he lets me lead (to do some of the work - tactically). I hear his footfall and then it starts getting distant and then I cant hear it! I'm clear in the lead at 5km - I'm only going to win this race overall ($500!!). I ran consistently always asking the volunteers to confirm directions (I did get lost remember), I cant hear any cheering for 2nd place (I never look round), this is as comfortable as it gets!
The tough rises knock the stuffing out of me towards the finish but I am happy to run comfortably across the line in 33;29 (most watches had the distance 100/150m short).
Bryan was second in about 34;10.
The ladies race really did have some class. 
Cassie Fine beat Clair Geraghty.

At 52 years of age I know these wins will be fewer and fewer so I must savour the sweetness of victory what a way to cap to an awesome/terrific weekend!!

2006 2nd 34;49
2007 1st 34;22
2008 3rd 32;58
2010 DNF
2014 1st 33;36

21 June 2014

Sandgate parkrun 2nd 15;53

1500m warm up a few strides had a bit of stomach cramp which made me pensive about performance.
Said hello to Peter Bracken at the start, and we are off!
Initially get left checking my Garmin has started! Sprint to 2nd but can't overtake kid in lead! Kid turns out to be David Lean tall but looks about 15! Later find out we blast through first K in 3;02, settle into stride but have this feeling not going fast enough so try and overtake David but each time he pulls up level with me!
Dog walkers across the pathway have me screaming TRACK! Indignant looks as we scrape past.
This happens twice.
On the road beside us  large peletons of bike riders are finishing their long Saturday rides about to head for the nearest coffee shop / that isnt part of the runners culture is it?
At the turnaround David still leads me, my watch is on auto scroll so I miss the time but see 3:10 must be average K's "hey that's OK!"
We have a smaller gap on Peter and the others than I'm used to seeing / hey why am I feeling so bad? Why cant I get past this kid?
We run into the field coming at us spread across the path my attempts to overtake are again thwarted as we are forced to run single file. Again glance at the watch and it reads 18.6 kmph ? That's OK?? But still think we are going to slow but because of need to run Indian file behind David I resign myself to not getting sub 16!
As we get the bendy bit on the pathway I glance at my watch and it reads 15:00 wow surely I'm within a minute of the finish??
David pulls away slightly and I think about the 3second gap I let slip on young Alex a few weeks back and though I'm not inclined to 'race' him as such, I close back up and get to the finish line within a second of him.
I take a few minutes to recover before I check my watch for my time, wow did I really run that!
Happy to go sub 16 and achieve a soft season goal.
We are both given 15:53, for me worth a 94.3% age grading , my best ever!
Another perfect day Winter Solstice 2014





20 June 2014

Racing Seb

I think the anti inflammatory drugs have the side affect of giving me  horrendous mouth ulcers - does anyone else suffer this? I have stopped taking them this week and am now suffering with sore knees. I look positively geriatric when I am walking downstairs to the point that I'm almost embarrassed by my laboured steps. At home I walk down backwards!
I have to find a balance between the anti inflams /knee pain or mouth ulcers.

Saying that I have had a good weeks training.

21K on Sunday at 4;07 with all the aches and pains of the duathlons still in the legs. 
A 15K 4;00 lunchtime run on Tuesday - with a very fast return portion.
A 5 X 1km 'round the houses' road session yesterday morning (when it is so hard to get going). 
Fitness wise, I'm in good shape. 
I'm just over 60kg with a huge reduction in beer intake (I didn't even have a beer to watch the State of Origin [drown my sorrows!}). It wont be long before I'm sub 60kg and I cant ever remember being that in my adult life!
I may give Sandgate a burl on Saturday and Caloundra on Sunday (it is not a PB course). Less than 3 weeks to the Gold Coast (10km) which is the goal race.

My buddie Stu Moore (8) in his Cambridge 'Blue' chasing Seb (in African Violet) at the Palace.
Probably the British Universities Champs about 1980.

My buddie Jimmy Espir (9) leading Seb (early 80's)

This morning I got out on the bike (raised the saddle!) for 20km on very wet roads, then this afternoon I ran 15km along the river in 4;05's.