Tuesday, 15 November 2016

JP Morgan

Well it's been another two weeks since posting and during this time I have raced, partied, trained fast but certainly not long. The motivation to build the miles has not come back to me and so I am enjoying the faster efforts, and less weekly kms. I seem to have almost knocked off for the year but we shall see what's around the corner.

The highlight of the week before JP Morgan (running wise) was probably the HuRTs 8x400m/200m float session at Rushcutters. Also called Deek's quarters (despite Monna also smashing this each week for most of his career), this session in my book is in the top 3 hardest. It's short but it's intense. Hard efforts at sub 3min pace ideally and floats at 3:20 pace for 8 cycles of 400/200m.

The few days prior included:
Mon 31st Oct: 8km easy
Tue 1st Nov: Melb Cup day - so I jogged up to the park and ran the first 1550m of the JP Morgan course 3 times as an attempted rep with a jog down the hill recovery. At the time they hurt - 5:30/5:25 & 5:20 but I knew I wasn't pumped up and in race/session mode so I predicted perhaps 5:10 through this marker next week in the race. Total 10km
Wed 2nd: 5km. Yup 5 whole kms. Told you I was struggling.
Thur 3rd: HuRTs 8 x 400m. In Tim's absence I took on cone duty to set up the 400m track on this silky smooth grassed oval. After many warm up laps I felt it was as close (perhaps 5-10m over) to 400m as I had time for. JFen agreed which was all I needed really. There was a huge turnout of Hurts guys and girls (hmmm JP Morgan must be close) with the one noticeable absentee being the initiator of this session - John Bartlett. With no Barts I tried to fire JFen up to have a crack but he was not buying in. Always the smart trainer that one. I then tried to pump everyone up with a description of the session and that they should be doing some run throughs to get the heart rate up.

They weren't buying either. There was too much gossip to cover. Who would take out the Serge award this year (so many options), how to get our hands on dodgy JP Morgan bibs, even - who was Jerome dressed by that day!

So we launched and in true CT fashion I took off fast. Best form of defence is offence. If a session, hill or race intimidates you, get angry and treat it with contempt. Well that's one approach and sadly one that often fails ha! But it's fun to give it a crack. I tracked around the first 4 efforts at around 72-73secs with a 43-44sec recovery before my fade tapped me on the shoulder and told me to slow down. Still I battled on ensuring there was a shift in pace each time and ended up falling over on the ground at the finish in 15:40 for the 4.8km with JFen coming in with a solid 16:30. Everyone gave it a red hot go which was impressive to see. Easy cool down with Brendan, Enda & JFen. Total for the session 12km.
Fri 4th: Forgot to run. Yep serious. Got to 7/8pm and thought - 'shit I haven't run today' and that was that.
Sat 5th: Rejoov runners Sat session. These are gaining in numbers and we were even graced with Ireland's number 1 - Enda Stankard who is trying to put 48hrs of continuous training together at the moment for the Tokyo full in Feb. The session was 10 laps of a grassed hill loop opposite the CP main café. 5km worth of tempo - a nice 350m down section with a sharp biting 150m climb back up. Again I started off well going through in 8:05 before slowing for a 8:30 in the 2nd half - 16:35. Enda coming in soon after considerably stuffed and facing a cool down back to Nth Bondi - ouch! Mine - 13km total.
Sun 6th: 20km easy with the Hurts and Rejoov gang in the park.
Not a bad week really - 68km

Then it was JP Morgan week. Last year Tom, Quentin and Barts were all on fire leading in and it was always going to be a tough race for me (out of the mix coming 10th or 11th - can't remember).

This year we had Barts who was playing down his chances even more than the Aussie cricket team were against the Sth Africans. Quentin unfortunately out of action with illness, Tom who simply loves to get drunk, forget where he is and fall over and sleep, then me who after the dismal Melb marathon effort was even more unpredictable. So the banter went back and forth. Neil was included in the list of potentials (can't fly under the radar anymore mate) as was Hoey IF he raced it.

Mon 7th: easy 11km
Tue 8th: easy 8km

Wed 9th: JP Morgan - and yes the rain moved in at the same time as the crowds. It is an unlucky event on average with regards to the weather and this year was no different. It fell heavier from 6pm to the race start of 6:30pm.

Keeping us back on the start line was none other than Benny Saint who dressed in Corporate event attire (with black leather shoes) could have easily beaten us all dressed as is. Nothing like a dose of perspective on a start line full of pumped up corporates.

And away we went - I jumped well and immediately led the race. Wasn't trying to and weirdly it kept going up the hill. Wait a minute - what? Leading? WTF. I was supposed race this year differently. That involved a slower start and coming home harder. But it did feel slower even though there was a river flowing down the same hill towards us. Apparently everyone else had the same idea. Around the top corner near Paddo gates and Tom levelled up with me. We cruised through 1km in 3:18 which was at least 10secs slower than our 2015 fast start. Tom surged, I matched, then I surged and he matched so we just settled in a bit around the very top of the Woollahra gates right turn and down the hill to record a swift 3:05 for the 2nd km. We both thought we had it - racing for 1st and 2nd. Umm nope. Reality kicked in as the other groupies decided to make an effort and catch us. Neil, Barts, Holt Hardy even bolted past at 2.5km as if it were a 3km race. I questioned Tom whether Holt was in fact in our race.

Neil particularly ran strong and despite willing my legs to go faster and beat him, he pushed away with Tom in tow. They chased Holt and I was left in 4th place. I ran the next 2km much stronger than last year but others were looming and also running well. This race is the only one of the year that takes me back to my school cross country days and nervously pushing for that top 6, top 8 spot to make it through to zone, regional and state. Here around my backyard, we tussled but from nowhere the eventual winner, Brett Halls flew past to gather us all up. Being an experienced 1500m runner obviously counts for a lot in this race with 2 of them ahead of me (Holt Hardy) however while Brett continued on, Holt faded and I passed him at the Robertson gates just as Barts passed me and headed onwards to Neil who was also coming back to me. Others had caught me and I managed to push away again. No sign of Hoey. Not sure why he didn't race it. He's a young'n and should not let these opportunities pass but he does deliver in the marathons I give him that.

5km mark was 15:48 which was pleasing but it was hurting. Behind another fellow HuRTs Toby Hedgeland was making a push for home with Darren Moyle in tow (casually listening to the best of Barabara Streisland possibly on his headphones). I made the last right hand turn in 5th waving to Greta and Jaden and thinking 5th was pretty good. Barts, Neil and Tom were just ahead so all good but suddenly heard - "cmon CT"from behind. Not quite a heckle but Toby who was obviously on EPO decided to try and rev me up as he then quickly bolted past in what was the run of the day to many. Well done mate. So I finished 6th in 17:42 which was similar to last year despite a much more exciting race this year (and smarter).

Tom was 2nd behind Brett with Barts 3rd, and Neil 4th. Solid all round with HuRTs men taking out 6 of the top 7 spots.

What then followed can only be summed up in pictures so enjoy.

Thur 10th: 6km recovery jog.
Fri 11th: 8km easy
Sat 12th: Rejoov session in CP. 2 lap progressive of the white fence. Wet again but ran ok. 13:10 then 12:10 for the laps. Total 14km
Sun 13th: No run - too hungover from our Rejoov xmas party  / wine tasting night. See below for the pics. Fun night. Thanks to all our Rejoov Runners including those Hurts guys and Girls who have run with us, come away with us or have supported us throughout 2016. We're sorry we couldn't invite
absolutely everyone - one day with a bigger pad perhaps.  

Total: 60km for the week. No wonder I'm putting on weight.

And to round out this blog - below is none other than Enda leaving the party early yet again. Always first to dish out the digs when I leave 2mins before him, this picture says it all. Just gone dark and he's off home. Cheerio mate!

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