January 31st signifies the first month's training of 2016 locked away in the running bank but also the continuation of my bet with Tom to run every day for the calendar year. We had the same bet two years ago and it was around this time that Tom wavered and decided enough was enough. We shall soon see if those 140km weeks of his catch up with him, or whether my pursuit of stairs, hills, long runs and speed in fact catches up with me.
After Wednesday's 17km - post Knapsack 3hr event, my legs took a turn for the worse. Lethargy & soreness struck and as such I could only manage the bare minimum 7km on Thursday and that even took just over 35mins. I considered this my day off without pulling out of the bet.
Fri 29th: Steady10km loop around the Randwick / Coogee in torrential rain - legs much better. And it was a lot of fun. Nowhere near as bad in summer when it dumps all over you. Not sure what all the other joggers did that day - how could they possibly go for a run without their gadgets. That's probably the real reason I saw no one else running.
Sat 30th: It had been over a month since we had visited Dad up on the Central Coast so Jaden and I met him at the Mt Penang Park Run (just off the Gosford freeway exit). This venue was used years ago a few times for the ANSW state short course cross country. I remember looping around those giant paddocks just trying to keep ahead of Sergio whilst we all ran past the juvenile corrections yard full of teenage lads no doubt wondering who was in a more worse off position at that moment.
These days, it's not used for that purpose. The area boasts a small botanic garden, café, sports fields and various specialised schools. The Park run though is a mixture of gravel, thick grass, dirt, road and footpath. I consider it mostly cross country but it can also be reasonably quick in parts.
The start sees you sprint across a wooden pedestrian bridge into a small botanic gardens winding pathway (tan track type surface) followed by a steep down and a steep up and out into a field where you can settle down. 1km: 3:04. The second km is all on road and footpath and at times snakes its way around buildings then back down towards the start / finish for a high 5 with Jaden. 2km: 6:09. The course then heads out up this very bumpy section that is essentially a non pathway. Thick grass, dips, heavily eroded firetrail and loose stones. Luckily it's only 500m out to the turnaround (7:51) and back to the 3km mark 9:30. It was the 4th km that stung me. Back up another 300m rise (not steep but enough) back through the buildings and toward the open paddock again. 4km: 12:50. Finally the last km snakes it way back down and up and through the gardens again where approx. 80m before the finish my watch beeped 5km 15:59 which was the time I was aiming for. Alas I crossed 12 seconds later for 16:11 which I am pretty happy with anyway.
It holds me in good stead for a potential 33:30 or better at this week's 10km Sun Run. I don't think I have quite enough to get over the top of Barts, Tom and Quentin but they all know that I will be giving it my all anyway.
Sun: 31st: Long run again. Greta ran 40km yesterday for her 6ft prep which was an amazing effort so I decided to try and match her. Met the usual Hurts crew at Centennial Park where the pace was conservative and the banter lively. You know it's racing season when you're running alongside Tim Lindop. It's like swimming with a shark circling your every move trying to secure his next meal. Timmy didn't disappoint, trying his hardest to secure a bet against Jeet for some ridiculous handicap for the next Striders 10km. No girls today. Still recovering from Craig's Haggis I believe.
After 23km I decided to head off into the city and over the bridge towards Greenwich where Jaden was to start Nippers soon after. Ouch what a painful last 5km (averaging 5min kms). I even spotted Eoin running alongside the baths but I could hardly speak as I told him that he didn't want to be part of this carnage and that I only had 1km to go. So off he ran as I looped around watching the Garmin tick ever so slowly up.
So 40km in 3:05 which was around the 4:40ish mark average wise. I had visions of relaxing, swimming and eating for the next 30mins whilst Jaden happily got involved in Nippers under Greta's watchful eye.
Nope - he was one of those kids! Say no more. I was thrust into a 20min block of enduring pain until he finally settled down and got into it.
Not much to report for the reminder of the day. Weekly total 115km.
Here's this week's beer review:
3 Pub Circus Pale Ale: Macarthur Grange Brewery
Pours a clear amber with a pleasant beige head of moderate density. Toffee and caramel malt dominates the aroma. Tastes great from the bottle and glass. 9/10.
I will try and venture away from Craft Pale Ales for a while. They are a favourite but there's just so many other varietals awaiting my expert opinion.