2015 Year in Review

Saturday, January 02, 2016

If '14 was about patiently base building, then '15 was adding speed to that base. The help of HuRTS was needed to make the next step. The main highlights:

1. Base and Tune-Up Races (Jan to early Feb) - good aerobic fitness through Xmas but that is it. Struggled with PF injuries and perhaps anemia which 'limited' me to max 100-120km mileage with the odd speed. Two great 10km showings at Striders where I learnt from #1 HuRTS Tom to be aggressive.

90s PB at Homebush (33:15, report here), then joined the 32-class at North Head in March (32:45, report here). Consolidated my 10km credentials at the Sydney:10 in April (32:50, report here). Everyone turned up to run a PB....

The key to 42.2k fitness was not to ignore longer stuff. Proud of a 1:49 at the SMC 30km club race (3:40 min/km) in a training week. I'm thinking in March, can I beat my 2:35 marathon PB?

3. Big Lesson at 6FT (March) - denial for 5 months; 'if I don't train for it, I won't have to turn up'. Lorie and I discovered we were expecting so I figured I'd be an obese and sleep-deprived dad in '16 (i.e. '15 my only shot). First 5km descent destroyed my quads. Recouped my losses and overcame my demons with 21st in 3:51, report here.

4. SMH Half (May) -  eyes still on GC as my key race, but SMH was a good test. Felt over-raced here, with 130km in the prior week and no taper. Happy with 73 min as at 5km I was toast and 20km burnt toast. However, the HuRTS elite were in a class above. Report here.

5. 2:30 at GC Marathon (July)  - the 'big one'. Strangely not nervous for this. Came in well rested with a view to 3:40 min/km as about 'right'. Worked with the Japanese for 10km, then up'ed still feeling like magic at 21.1km (sub 75 min). Held the pace nicely, picked off Tom at 26km and was well in control till 2km to go. Big world of suffering last 2km. 2:30:14, 23rd place with multiple elites and 5 min PB.

Departing thought - 'I can now retire from marathons'. Race report here.

6. 2nd place and 2:33 at M7 Marathon (late July) - fail, a 3 week retirement! Spurred by the euphoria of GC, I entered M7 on Friday for a Sunday race. Still sore, tired and unmotivated. The only upside was mixing up my Sunday long-run. Hard first 5km but eased into what was an undulating and lonely race. Legs didn't deteriorate. #2 behind a Kenyan by 10s and only saw my watch after the finish. 2:33, 2nd place at 3:40 min/km ave. Race report here.

7. Worst B&E Roll in Sydney (September). Name and shame to Bench in Manly. Trusted training partner and B&E expert Timmy L was a witness after I paced him at a 10km race.

Food review here of this infamous roll. Seasonal low light...

8. Late Season Racing (Aug-Nov) - too broken 14 days after M7 to race C2S. Body and mind was pleading for a rest. Still, 48:14 was a PB and I stayed uninjured. On the day, the team was both impressive (Barts, Timmy) and less-impressive (Enda, Tommy). Enda is now a celebrity ...

JP Morgan CC, an awkward distance (5.6km) and time (6:30pm) yet a big social event. Fitness come November had dovetailed since the baby arrive. Surprised myself with 8th place in 17:47, 30s faster than 2014. HuRTS was 8 of the top 10, with the top guys nearing 17-flat. Mind boggling. Race report here. Some of the quick guys.

Mentally finished by now but one more race. Balmain 10km Fun Run late November. 33:45 chasing in vain a 2:18 marathoner Vlad (and a GPS watch first prize) on the hilliest 10km course ever. Course is considered 60-90s slower but I'm good on hills. Race report here. Neil and Vlad.

So there it is, big PBs across 5.6km, 10km, 14km, 21.1km and 42.2km. Injury free, big mileage and new friends made. The top 3 performances:

1. GC Marathon - 2:30
2. M7 Marathon - 2:33
3. Striders 10km at North Head - 32:45

Top 3 B&E rolls:

1. Kepos Street Kitchen in Redfern (review here and photo below).
2. Bowen in Marrickville (review here)
3. Revolver in Annandale (review here).

Race wise, stoked with every single showing and I think race execution is bang on. PBs are quickly forgotten so the real value is the company day in day out. One mile dash team below.

45 min pacing duties at Striders 10km Lane Cove, Lambert responsible for 40 min.

 Most important is the +1 driving me to every single race...

Bring on 2016!

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