25 August 2014

career highlights

I got the trophy for the Gold Coast 10km today. Its worth the wait.
And with it I got a career highlight, getting onto the record book with my mate (the Robot) Peter Reeves.
As well as the legend Ronnie and someone called Moneghetti.

23 August 2014

North Lakes parkrun 1st 15:53

I was woken at 5:00am by the rain and contemplated giving it a miss but then I'd get wet somehow later so may as well proceed as planned.
Its been raining for two days and though the rain might affect my performance I also thought that the lower numbers running would be beneficial in reducing the overtaking maneuvers I constantly moan about!
2.5km warm up some strides and we are off!
My Garmin goes into power saving countdown just as we start so so hitting start the button  only stopped the power save cycle and I had to hit start again to get it going hence my Garmin time was two seconds slower than my actual official time!
I had in mind that I had never run sub 16 on this course and as I'm running as well as ever I should really try for a strong PB on my home course. You never know when the next injury will strike or what the future holds, so make the best of here and now.
I ran a strong first K glanced at the watch for 3:07.
I wanted to maintain that momentum and not slow too much on the 2nd K and was happy to see a 3:11.
I was thinking I was about 10 seconds ahead of Garmin Lama Day. The teeming rain and blustery conditions began taking the edge off my pace. Saturated timber boardwalk sections could become dangerously slippery but I was staying upright. The rain managed to nudge my Garmin on from displaying the time to displaying the average pace and I was happy seeing 3:11 which would bring me home in 15:55.
The cooler temperatures today also kicked in on the positive side to keep me on track for my course PB.
My Official time got rounded up from 15:52 to 15:53
Alan Bradfords M50 5000m Qld record 15:51 and the Australian M50 Record 5000m 15:49 had both disappeared from my sight but now I'm beginning to believe that New Gold Dream is perhaps that glint I spy up ahead in the distance!
I put the hammer down from the start.

This was a pretty full on effort but nothing like the all out, empty the tanks effort of track.

I thought this was funny, Garmin Lama followed by Braveheart followed by The Pelican!

20 August 2014

Toohey's Tuesday 5 X 1200m off rolling 5mins : 18;45 - 3;08km pace

I'm enjoying the track sessions we are doing on Tuesday evenings at Nudgee though I  can't wait for summer for some languid evenings with warmer temperatures but for now, the cool dark windy nights are providing a good grounding. 
Nick's session tonight 5 X 1200m off his rolling 5;00 mins had me 'quaking in my boots', how was I going to cope with Nick running 3;30's and me aiming for 3;42's but with only 78 secs recovery? 
Battling against the wind was not going to help matters. 
I decided to switch off the GPS on the Garmin because of its inherent oval track issue. 
I thought 74's would be a good pace to aim for - 3000m pace I hope!
Nick and Shane Ward were tearing off 10/15 seconds ahead of me, but I was comfortable with my effort. My first 1200m was 3;42 and my last 1200m was 3;45 (with the GPS switched off there was no record of the actual splits). I ran 18;45 for the 6000m effort which is 3;08 km pace which is more than adequate effort = Ave 154bpm Max 177bpm.
This is my heart rate;
Nick finished after 4 so I had Shane help me out for 800m of the last interval, we ran through exactly even paced 75, 2;30 and 3;45. It felt like I was running very easy with Shane doing the lead work, I was near tripping over his heels thinking we are not running hard enough! It is another story, running alone for the 3rd lap.
At the moment I'm using parkruns/races for a second session in the week and just steady runs in between. Only race goal left is 10km at Bridge to Brisbane on 7th September then track.
Still hovering (?) around the 60kg mark (I have seen the scales say 58.x !).

17 August 2014

Botanic to Bridge 2014 8km 4th / 1st M45+ 26:18

Flew to a raining Gladstone Saturday evening , leaving a similarly wet Brissie. Was wondering how id cope with the logistics of this 8km point to point race! Fortunately woke up to clear cloudless skies and warm enough to leave the gloves behind! Backpackers is only half a K to the finish precinct to catch a bus to the botanic gardens for the start. Warmed up with Jackon Elliot who is such a top top bloke. He had word that Ben Ashkettle from Melbourne was going to be running but knowing he'd just run the Townsville Marra in 2:22 was probably still going to have it in his legs (along with the $4000 cash he won in his back pocket. Jacko had won this race 3 x without competition  so it was interesting to see what this threat would do. Other Gladstone regulars Chris Bracken and Clare Gerahty and her partner Scott Imhoff, lined up on the start line.
We took off slightly more reserved than I recall up the 400m hill!
I had 5 guys in front of me and became detached pretty quickly .
I felt I was moving ok at my limit, I held it together up and down the next few km's. Around 5km I could see I was catching 5th and 6th and swept past them running strongly. Forgot to mention in the first K Jacko had gapped the others and was charging off imperiously to his 4th victory in this event!
Pretty soon he'd disappeared out of sight.
For me I was looking forward (!) to the last big hill @  Goondoon  St through Gladstone CBD. I survived it by slowing down and shortening my stride , over the crest and it's a steep downhill before things level off and then over the bridge to finish @ Central Queensland Uni.
I did have a point along this 'run in ' where I felt pretty uncomfortable but on checking my heart rate after I was holding steady but max 172/173bpm so not sure why the discomfort, I was in clear space and ran  through the finish without raising the effort. I was pleased to run  40 (edit) seconds faster than last year on what seemed the exact same course. Jacko ran 40 seconds quicker suffering a cold but finding the threat of competition to his benefit.

I Decided not to give the 3km a go this year a, jogged back to the backpackers for a shower.
Flight back to Brissy at 2:00pm job done.
Will post a performance comparison of my runs here in 2011, 2013, & 2014

2011 course was shorter last km was different but first 7 comparable.

10 August 2014

Garmin Lama Day - North Lakes parkrun 1st 16;03

A 2.5km warm up = run from home to start, a few strides and some hellos to the Masters. 
I haven't run North Lakes parkrun for a few months so it was nice to get back to familiar territory. 
'Race' plan was always going to be to work hard/run hard but it was never going to be an all out effort. 
I rarely manage to hold myself back over the first KM but succeeded today with a 3;16. Soon enough we complete the first lap and head into the second and I managed a rare glance at the Garmin for another 3;16. You have to concentrate on what line your going to be running trying to take the tangents when you can but deep into lap 2 that is never possible and your concentrating on just avoiding collisions. I noted the 4th KM was a 3;10 which is pretty much as fast as I can run a mid race KM. I held form OK to the finish (may have tied up a little judging by arm carriage on Shardys video). Happy to cross the line in 16;03 official time.
It was an open invitation for breakfast at ours after and I managed to cope with simultaneous BBQ'ing sausages/bacon/eggs whilst juggling condiments and cutlery, cereal and bowls: without question for me this was the performance of the day!
My thanks to Shardy for video and photos and to Garmin for their incredible generosity for providing the tee shirts.

08 August 2014

Happy Birthday Kate.

Tuesday's session at Nudgee was 16 X 400 with 100m jog recovery. 
I averaged 72's.
Not bad by myself on a chilly Winters night.
Sunday's 22km counted as a tempo run (3;40's) (a  hilly half), yesterday's 15km was a half tempo at 3m53 K's and just steady miles in between.

Kate is 18 today! 
Not sure if that makes me feel old but a run in the morning is enough to let me know 
I am old!
Kate took these photos 'Selfie' style this morning.

This may be of some interest to my parkrun buddies.
The UK parkrun results had disappeared from Power of 10 website and Runbritain website but they are now back on runbritain so if your interested in seeing how you compare to those in the UK it is well worth a look. 
Power of 10 is worth a look to see how you shape up all things track. You can filter to your own age group and a particular year or go 'all time'.
I need to run 4 seconds quicker if I'm to match the top Brit at parkrun 'all time' M50 ;

You need to register to get the extended rankings section;


The parkrun results are back on the runbritain website; 



03 August 2014

Maleny Lions Mountain View Challenge Half Marathon 1st

I was up early this morning to get to Maleny for the Maleny Lions Mountain View Challenge which started at 7;00am. Unfortunately the early hour caused me to forget my Garmin so I have no record of the performance.
It was my intention (hope) to treat this Half Marathon as a training run hoping that a rural country town and other events (QA Long Course XC Champ yesterday and Brisbane Mara Festival today, as well as the Cane to Coral in Bundy might dilute the opposition to manageable proportions. 
Maleny is out beyond the Glasshouse Mountains an hours drive from my home and situated 400m AHD. It must get a lot of rain as milking cows are the predominant agriculture and the Maleny Dairies are famous for their dairy produce.
At the start line Bryan McManus (see Caloundra Foreshore 10km) introduced himself and like a dumbkopf  I didn't recognise him (hair cut/no backward placed cap on head). 
'$hite' I thought, I was going to have to work for a win!
The course basically  heads out of Maleny Uphill to Mary Cairncross Country Park , does a loop and then return same way we headed out. 
At the start we were to run two laps of the showgrounds however we got misdirected to run around for a 3rd lap which was to add another 1km to the total!
For the first 5 or 6 km Bryan and I ran together enduring what Stava says was 450m elevation (total).
We were pretty honest in the effort. After 6km Bryan dropped back a bit and I opened up a little and gapped him to a comfortable distance. At the turnaround I'd guess he was 30 secs behind. I never saw him again till the finish but he said I was yoyoing between 35 and 40 secs ahead. I ran the 'descents' back to Maleny easy trying to find grass where possible and look after my calves and knees. I ran about 81;30 for 22.1km about 3;40 K's - a good hit out.
After the presentations the lady from Clif Bar gave me a stack of their products which I was very grateful for and shared with young Bryan. 
Oh the celebrity of it all!

If anyone is thinking of doing this race next year I'd thoroughly recommend it but 
remember you'll have Bryan and me for competition and I wont be taking it easy and you'll have to be good at running up and down mountains!
I found today's course and course profile on Stava from the 3rd place finisher Brad.
Today's course (lucky we turned around before Bald Knob!)

The Course profile - 22km!
Lucy I have nothing further to declare!
Not exactly the City to Surf start line but I will be back next year!

31 July 2014

Toohey's Tuesday

On Tuesday I headed back to Nudgee to accompany Nick Toohey on his session. Thankfully 5 other guys showed up including Peter Bracken and Jaryd  Grantham from Shoes Feet Gear who had served me earlier that afternoon when I acquired a pair of Mizuno Wave Hitogami (racing flats) earlier in the day (coincidence or what!).
Last weeks session knocked the stuffing out of my calves so I needed to look after them.

Nick's session was 2 X 4 X 600m off a rolling 2;30 with a 5min break in the middle.
I hammered the first in around 1;40 but was still a mile off Mr. Toohey. The lactic from that first interval stayed with me the whole session - Masters runners can run fast but their ability to disperse lactic must diminish. I struggled the rest of the session but was glad to have Sean and Jaryd to work with. 
A great session for a 1500m runner but not so relevant for a 5000/10000 guy. 
I will take a closer look at what is proposed next week if needs be work an aerobic session by myself.
My stats with the Garmin paused for recovery were;

Heart Rate
Avg HR:155 bpm
Max HR:174 bpm
Heart rate didn't get going on that first interval = anaerobic work leading to lactic

Had a steady week running in the beautiful warm afternoons though today managed a 5.6km Roo with Sascha early and a 15km Brisbane River run in the arvo.

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??
I'm going to save this snapshot for prosperity before Nick has the chance to rid my name from the record books!

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