Thursday, 19 December 2013

2014 Goals

First things first – my beautiful sister has had an amazing little girl born on the 13/12/13. My little niece Natalie is perfect and we cant wait to see her in a couple of weeks on Holiday!

Second most important news is Ben is back running. With him moving back to NZ it left a hole in me, and I miss him terribly. Unfortunately with Mel having health issues, he hasn't been running - glad to hear he has his running mojo back and is thinking of some races in 2014. Can't wait to go skiing and running next year!
Third most important news, we have finally retained the Ashes. Yes I am a cricket tragic and my life revolves around the trials and tribulations that are our Cricket team. Yes I did name my first born son after Australia’s greatest opening batsman Matt Hayden. #returntheUrn has been huge this summer, let’s make it 5-0.

Following on from my year in review blog, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about my goals for 2014 and where it will lead me. What do I want to have a crack at, what is achievable and what might me a stretch goal? The stretch goal will keep me getting out of bed in winter.

To get it off my chest and out of my head, yes I have been thinking about a marathon for 2014. In doing a lot of reflection about my mental state, I think I suffered from a bit of endurance running burn out. Possibly too many races and too many goals. The back tightness I picked up at the K2D race last year which inhibited my race and derailed my race plans – was most probably a physical manifestation of my mental state at the time. I was simply burnt out.

I have thought a lot about the mental preparation regarding races and how 90% of my events are often derailed by unrealistic expectations (aiming for a crazy race PB).

That’s the problem with being goal driven. I had a boss once ask me “was I disappointed?” when I didn’t receive a pay increase I believed I had earned, I said yes, his response “lower your expectations”.

Whilst his comment was tongue in cheek is does provide an interesting observation of one of the stronger personality traits which I have. Being “Goal Driven” can sometimes be seen as greedy or pushy, or restless, never satisfied. I am very goal driven, and when I have clarity of that goal it can be often at the expense of other activities and relationships in particular. Backing off on my own personal running goals in 2013 helped me invest energy into other areas. It wasn’t the actual time invested, as I was still training 10-12 hours a week (which is plenty) just the emotional energy required to work to a solid plan and build up to the event and attempt to execute the plan then the inevitable come down after the race. There is NOTHING like the week before a marathon!!!!

This year I have learnt to run for me, run for the pure fun and enjoyment of it. Run to feel fast and powerful, just enjoy it with no real fixed goals. The track training really has helped me work through what I want from running and what I am searching for as an athlete.

My athletic goals have at times been very specific and measurable. Like a sub 4 marathon. Or sub 20min 5km. In doing this I often neglected the general fitness and health part of my body, too often just focused on the running sessions, not enough on recovery, strength and nutrition. Losing the ability to do basic stuff.

I am a middle of the pack endurance athlete, my “strength” is my power and speed I have over a very short distance. I am an average endurance athlete.  Too often people get hung up on being a marathoner or ultra-marathoner, sometimes being a bit snobbish making comments about people who aren’t a real athlete unless you are doing mega distances or mega fast times. I can tell you from personal experience that all distances are as hard as the other, only the suffering is longer.

But why a marathon. Why even bother doing another one, since I am back in the gym and getting stronger why bother trying to tear myself back down to do another marathon? Sensible question really, the only real reason is that the actual finish of a marathon and sense of accomplishment is very satisfying. I have never done an Ironman but I am assuming that the feeling of coming down the finishers chute is addictive. What I will be doing this time around is not investing a huge proportion of the year to the marathon. So not a typical Lydiard style marathon program, and definitely not a 40 week 4000km training plan like TNF.

Since I have been back in the gym, I have been doing some CrossFit workouts and really enjoy them. A lot of the gymnastics and conditioning movements I am already OK at, and add in my normal strength levels for the squat, deadlift and bench press I actually am OK at picking up some of the Olympic Movements for the more complex WODs. Oh if there are any CrossFitters on here – yes my “Fran” time is a slow 7.14, my “Cindy” is 16 rounds and my “Jackie” time is 8.55.

Side note – rant. If you haven’t done something, don’t talk shit about it. You cant criticise something from sitting at home watching it on YouTube or you met someone and they are dickhead so everyone that does their sport is a dickhead. There are too many assumptions made about people and what they are doing. If you are being active and healthy, and it doesn’t impact on me doing what I want to do, go for it. I couldn’t care less if you want to do an Ironman, Tough Mudder, CrossFit, Ultra Marathon, Road Cycle, Marathon, Ocean Swim, play touch footy, AFL, League or whatever. It’s your life, live it. Don’t talk shit about someone elses sport, it’s their life and hobby to enjoy. Also don’t have a stick up your ass about what you are doing. There is always someone better than you. Your race times are your own, and I hate the fact I have fallen into this trap of comparing myself or comparing others. Who gives a shit really, it makes no difference. We are all just age group wannabe athletes with full time jobs, careers and families. Unless you are Usain Bolt, Michael Jordan or Shane Warne you are not the greatest of all time. Be happy for others as you are happy for yourself, don’t be so critical of others, don’t be critical of yourself. Sean take note. Rant over.    

In reading Brian Mackenzie’s book – Speed Power Endurance, a lot of the themes and elements speak to me. In looking back over 4 years of running, the greatest gains I made for my endurance running (10km to marathon) were based on shorter harder running sessions, rather than the Lydiard style low intensity high volume. There is a point where MORE volume didn’t make me faster. What I am most interested in looking at is applying Mackenzie’s principals and plan to a marathon to see what the outcome would be for me, as like I said previously being a power/speed athlete rather than an endurance one, I believe I would respond better to this approach. Being a middle of the pack runner having more power and strength will help with the fatigue and fade during the last 10. I am certain if I was stronger in 2012 I would not of faded so badly in the last 10km, losing 10 minutes of time. This approach is not traditional, and may not work. But who cares, it will be interesting to write about!

These are a lot of words to say that I am currently thinking of having a crack at the Sunshine Coast Marathon using CrossFit Endurance program. I am not concrete on this yet, more 70/30.

The loose goals I have are track and field in March 200m, 400m (58seconds) and 800m (if travel/cash permits) then build to a sub 20 min 5km around May and then build to a 10km PB by July at Gold Coast and then towards the Sunny Coast Marathon in the last week of August. There are 8 weeks between Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast Marathons.

I will think more about this and the plan going forward, I will continue to work on those shorter distances in the next month or so and see how the gym work is translating to the track, particularly my 200m and 300m times.

Stay safe and enjoy your Christmas.


Thursday, 5 December 2013

2013 Year in Review (sort of)

It’s certainly has been a weird year – something’s have progressed and improved and others certainly have either plateaued or regressed.

As a dad and husband I certainly feel like this has been my best year yet – I have invested more positive energy into the boys and they are really showing some signs of maturing into well rounded and responsible kids. In hindsight I raced too much last year, which included too many weekends away. I also travel for work sometimes, so being away from the family certainly takes its toll on the family unit and messes up everyone’s routine.  I have certainly felt a strong feeling of guilt, about spending quality family time pursuing my own selfish pursuits. This feeling shouldn’t be confused with investment to be a better athlete, which I strongly believe can occur on a reasonable daily activity level (like running in the morning and gym at lunch). What I am referring to is the long distance travel to all points of Australia to race.

This year I feel like I haven’t raced enough, but I have progressed with my strength and speed – I just don’t have a heap of participation medals to go with the training effort.

In thinking about 2014 one big difference is that Joel starts prep and will be at school with Hayden. Which means Bel will probably work a bit more. At the end of the year I traditionally plan out what events I’m most likely going to target for the year. Only 1 event is certain and that is the Gold Coast Marathon which I will run with Donald. I probably will run the 10k the day before and aim for a sub 45 min run (my PB is 43.55). That way I can push the faster training still and get a few long runs up, I don’t want to be the one complaining at 35km with 7km to go!

Apart from that – there are 2 other trips which I am desperate to do. The first is a family trip to Sydney to watch a Manly Sea Eagles home game. Manly play arch rivals Melbourne at Brookvale on the Saturday night and hopefully the stars align and I can get there for my birthday weekend which is Round 1. The other trip is a family trip to New Zealand to go skiing with Ben, Mel and the kids. In reflecting about the cash I spent racing last year, money would be better spent on a couple of decent family holidays. This is different to investing in my health, such as running gear, gym fees etc.

Which is the hard part of planning trips. When I look back at 2012 I feel very guilty about the money I spent on myself, which could have been spent on the family. It’s not like I was spending our food money on racing, but with events it certainly chews into the family travel budget. As the boys have matured (Hayden is nearly 8 and Joel is 5) – there are more adventures we can all have together on the weekends - memories for life. It was often a lonely feeling calling home after I raced to talk to the kids.

The big thing floating around with my running is should I have an all-out crack at a marathon PB after Gold Coast. Maybe aim for Sydney marathon in September or Sunshine Coast in August I have never done Sydney and it would be nice to have another “state” completed. With regards to track racing, hopefully work gets me to Brisbane for the QLD State Masters Champs in March. I’ll start to ramp up the track work soon, and hopefully with the extra gym work I have been putting in I will see an immediate improvement. I ran close to a grass 200m PB yesterday, after 4 weeks off so I know the gym work is paying dividends.  

With blogging it has been difficult to write. Less events have meant less to write about.  I have really enjoyed this year spending more time with the family and less time measuring my self-worth on race results, which I have a habit of doing. A pattern I fall into is wanting to push and test myself, then once that improvement curve ends, I lose interest and move on. Maybe I could just be happy at being a multiple marathon completer just running 4 days a week.
I think some of this is also that I am missing planning road trips, racing and travel with Ben, as he has been back in NZ for 2 months now it is starting to sink in that he isnt coming back. I miss having him here to chat with and it probably is one of the reasons that I am failing to plan anything for 2014.

As you can hear, a lot of stuff is up in the air. I know the effort it takes to pull on a marathon PB and a part of me wants that, but I also am aware of the bitter taste of a marathon struggle, where you don’t perform as expected. It can be a soul searching exercise.  The other issue is I have invested 12 months to get faster – and I have seen some real progress, but as I mentioned before the lure of a marathon finish line is like nothing else. Of my 7 marathons, only 1 (Canberra) did I not feel like a rock star when I finished. That’s a lot of good memories and positive emotions bottled up in running 42.2km!

In talking about racing, Gav Bendall is about to run Australia’s longest and arguably toughest Ultra the Coast to Kozi a 240km race from the Pacific Ocean to the top of Mt Kosciusko! Another friend Mat Grills is also doing the race, and I wish them all the best and safe journeys whilst taking on this epic adventure.

If you are wondering what the event date is for the Spring Classic next year, it is the 5th of October, so book it in! It is a week before Melbourne Marathon and a month before Noosa Triathlon.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Race Review and Spring Classic

Welcome to my late race report. I thought I would bundle all of these words together to form some sort of blog/make sense of what I am doing with my life. I can honestly say that last weekend when the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic was on, was the busiest I have ever been in my life. It’s also in the top 5 most stressful moments of all time.

I will talk about the Spring Classic from my perspective later (as an event) but if you are skimming this and not going to read the whole thing – I want to quickly say that we at HRE have taken your feedback on-board and will make a number of improvements for next year. Some of these items were due to budget constraints, others simply growing pains. We want you, as an athlete, to have the best experience so aim to improve every time we bring you a HRE event.

The couple items for next year that will be improved;

  • Earlier start time for all events, 6.15am start for the main race
  • Longer course, course will go all the way to the roundabout for the 10k and half marathoners – thus reducing the laps and congestion at the turn around points
  • Army of aid station volunteers – and larger aid stations
  • Better race precinct, a half marathoners finishers area, bottle of water for every finisher, more kids entertainment, more food options, better viewing area of finish line,
  • Pre-race pick up all day in Yeppoon on Saturday, all day in Rockhampton Friday
  • Communicating our sell out points earlier (sorry if you missed out we only have insurance for a certain number, will raise this to 1500 next year)
  • Singlets will be for sale, so if you want a cool singlet you simply order it before the cut off date – if you want one you can get one
  • Early bird entry fees – discounts for people who like to sign up early
  • Participants hand book, so you have all the details in one easy to reference book prior to the race

Thanks to everyone who raced, we loved bringing you the big city race experience here in CQ – bigger and better next year!

Before I get onto my experience as a race organiser/spectator I will go back 3 weeks to my racing in Townsville.

We had a family trip to Townsville – a chance to get out of town, and for me to test out my winter training. I had nominated for the Masters division but in a conversation with ANQ they placed me in the open division. This didn’t seem to be a bad thing, I wasn’t looking to win any events, just use the faster runners to “pull” me through for a PB.

When I was lining up one of the kids said I was a huge 800m runner! Huge as in muscular. I am no whippet like the other middle distance kings.

My one little gripe was the timings of the event. The races didn’t start on time, so by the time I warmed up etc. We had to wait – up to 45 minutes till the start of our races. The first race was the 800m and I was looking to run under 2.20. The race included the opens and under 18 mens, the pace was insanely quick and I went out way too hard going through the first 400m in 62 seconds, down the back straight I completely blew up and was passed by just about everyone. Finishing in 2.21 I was spent. I should of ran the first lap in 1.05-1.06 and wasn’t “listening to my body” – by the time I got to the car I was dizzy, the 5minute drive to the motel was hell. When I parked the truck, I stepped out and vomited everywhere! I made it upstairs, laid in the cold shower and tried to recover.

Bel thought I was going to die, and kept asking “is this more fun than marathons?” in her really concerned caring way. I love her so much, she was really worried about me. At that point I was glad she wasn’t at TNF to see me near death! 20 minutes later I was back, feeling better! Weird.

The 400m was my showdown event. I really wanted to bury myself and run under 60 seconds.

The same again, the race was moved and I had to run later in the day. They again combined a number of races. Kids were talking about running 55s – so I knew I was going to be close to last again. I settled into my blocks and tried to push out hard, and go balls out. Coming down the home straight I was pushing and knew I was close to a minute, it felt quick. Maybe because of the heat or wind, but it felt faster than the 61 seconds I was awarded with. The elusive sub 60 minute 400 still eludes me. I’m not far off it.

Sunday was a mess. The kids had a swim at the water park and by 11am Bel was feeling sick, we went back to the motel and she had a migraine (from the heat I think) and was down for the count. So I went and ran the 200 by myself. I have run a 27.00 self-timed on the track and a 27.89 on the grass self-timed and was really hoping I could execute a sub 27 200. As I was in my blocks the gun went and I launched out as hard as possible, again it felt really quick, the adrenaline was pumping and I put in a huge dip at the line. I waited around for my time and disappointingly ran a 27.39 – there isn’t much in it I guess between a good race and a great one.

A learning from the event, is not to warm up so early. The other factor was being prepared to wait. Just waiting killed my energy and buzz.

So the next 12 weeks will be about building a base again and after Christmas concentrating on the Queensland Masters Athletics Games again. I need to be stronger out of the start and build a better tolerance towards the end. A few improvements should see more running PBs.

Donald has been hounding me about the blog, and to be honest I really miss the finish line of a marathon. I have committed to running at least 2 next year. Maybe I could run 3 and get my marathon total to 10. I don’t have a burning desire to run a PB just do it for the experience. Track is where my energy is still going.  

Speaking of Donald he ran his first half marathon on Sunday. As we spoke on Monday for the debrief I can hear in his voice that a lot has changed, his focus on becoming a better athlete is 110% - there is nothing that will stand in his way of GC 2014. I said to Bel last night, that it is motivating to hear how he is changing his life. He will become a better man by running. If you are willing to listen, you learn so much about yourself.

So last week arrived, I had been given the honour of Master of Ceremonies at my Cousin’s wedding. Owen was marrying his fiancĂ© Cedar in Byfield. She is absolutely the perfect life partner for him, so caring and compassionate, but also will take charge when required. They are so much in love, and it just warms my heart to see them both so happy together.

The MC duties however provided a logistical challenge with setting up the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic and being in 3 places at once, of course the wedding reception was in the rainforest so no mobile reception!!! Painful!

With regards to the event – Jason and I started HRE in January 2011 with the dream of bringing a big city race to CQ. Sunday actually felt like we had achieved that goal, with 900 runners tackling the beach front it was a sight no one had ever experienced.

A lot of work goes into events, and it included us working 38 hours straight over Saturday and Sunday to pull it off. For those of you that have already provided feedback (good and bad) we are listening and will make course changes, start early, improve aid stations, have more organised finishers precinct, and do a full 2 day race pack pick up. There are a few other details which we want to get right to ensure all runners have the best possible race day experience. If you have any feedback let us know at

Whilst on the thank-you list, I must thank all of the Aid-Station Volunteers and Luke Fallon for working over time getting aid to people. Like I have said earlier, aid stations will be better stocked and resourced next year – one of the growing pains this year.

The race itself was run and won with the favourites in the 5km and 10km men’s getting the money, Paul and Miles both ran great races. Drew came in from Emerald late in the week and wanted to run his first half marathon, a new course record of 1.16 it was insane to watch him carve his way through the field. Rodney ran really well also, setting himself up for another big block of ironman training leading up to Port Mac. Raelene and Gav get prepared to run the Coast to Kosciusko Ultra – Rails wins the 10k event! Loved seeing our Cooee Bay Pharmacy pace runners bringing people home on their goal times!


For my little family, Joel and Hayden loved the kids dash again! The kids ran the same course as the adults Mile Bolt – I loved it. I loved seeing Hayden and Joel race hard and push themselves. Hayden really surprised me in the 5km – he ran 26 minutes, which is another 2 minutes off his 5km PB. I bet you all think we train and I pressure him, but it’s the opposite. We do no training, just ride our bikes and kick the footy. I am ever conscious of not making them both do too much whilst they are young. I want them to have fun and enjoy it.

For me the greatest moments are when people are suffering yet still have the courage to push through to finish. Nicole was aiming for 2hrs and fell off the pace, and finished with 2.07. I know she is capable of running under 2hrs – but it just wasn’t her day – next year for sure.

Also a big shout out to Aaron and Leah Benson who were married the day before. Leah was adamant that she was going to pace run no matter what and made it quite clear she would “protest” if she was left out! We had her bib made with “Just Married” on it. It was so cool. Aaron decided his form of protest would be to take our cash and ran 3rd in the 5km! Awesome to have both of them there running and sharing their experience with everyone.

That about covers it for the last few weeks, I am back in the gym and doing some track sessions and general running at the moment.

Be safe


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Race Week

Its been a weird journey this past 6 months since I raced in March. There have been times when I have had no motivation to train, and it was difficult dragging myself out of bed to the track for another solo session - other times it has come easy.

My body composition has finally started to change shape from a bigger marathoner to a powerful track runner - I am back in the gym regularly 4-5 sessions a week and in the past month have really been consistent with a speed/power program designed to sharpen me up for the races this weekend. I am still probably carrying a little too much body fat, nothing a few tweaks to my diet over summer wont fix.

If I am honest, I missed the Gold Coast Marathon race week. Just the buzz of GC and after PB'ing last year it holds a positive memory from my last visit. I also miss the road trips with Ben and Rodney. We had a heap last year, and it was a great way to share our plans and just have "boys time" on the road. Having someone share the event certainly makes the whole race experience more fun.

With Ben heading back to New Zealand a month ago - you realise how short lifes experiences are. In the last few weeks before he left we crammed in a few extra catch ups, when there is an "end" to something isnt it stupid that you then try and make the most out of it. The same could be said for friendships in general and the time we have with our loved ones. Life is way to short to be waiting for tomorrow. Ben has taught me many lessons with his experiences, the biggest one is to enjoy life and take the opportunity to explore whilst you can. He has lived in NZ, USA and Australia and travelled to Eurpoe and USA to race triathlon. No regrets about those life experiences.

With Ben heading back it also makes me think about losing another close friend, staying in one location (Rockhampton) over the years has resulted in me having a heap of friends who no longer live here. Donald, Luke, Monica, Greg, Ben. I have included my sister in the mix, as I really miss her being in my boys life and growing up. Maybe once she has her baby at the end of the year she will move back!

With regards to racing and training - after this weekend, I am going to invest a solid 12 weeks of gym work to get stronger and leaner. With an eye on the Qld Masters State Champs again in March 2014. I am thinking I might try and sneak to Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast for a couple of other events over the summer - just to keep a race focus.

This weekend, I am racing the 200m, 400m and 800m. My goals are fairly loose. I would love to run under 27 for the 200, and finally have an offical time of under 60 seconds for the 400m. I am feeling quite quick and have run some grass track PBs recently so hope they convert to speedy times on the tartan.

The trip is also a family holiday so looking forward to enjoying time with my boys and Bel. They are growing up super fast.

Catch you next week


Friday, 30 August 2013

Run Donald Run

Its been a while since I blogged - but the main reason for blogging this week is to record my unforgettable trip to Perth to run the Chevron City to Surf.

Now Perth is a LONG way from sunny Rockhampton. The reason I travelled to Perth was to run with my long time friend and first time runner Donald.

Donald and I have been friends since 1999, we both worked at Woolies (the Empire) together. He was studying politics and I had just started my OHS degree. He left Rockhampton in 2001 nearly the same week I met Bel.

On the weekend during my 48hr visit to Perth we spoke about a lot of things, we hadn't seen each other since 2009 but we speak every week via email or text. Donald is one of those friends that would do anything for you, loyal to the core - he is someone I would want in the trench with me.

Donald was meant to be visiting Perth for a holiday, and has since landed himself a terrific opportunity working in politics. Long hours, stress and sadness of the passing of his dad had resulted in his weight pouring on.

A little over 2 years ago, he started running - and I made a promise to him that I would run his first race should he be brave enough to sign up. However as is often when you start running, injury struck and he was out of action for 12 months. One physio told him that he should give up running and take up cycling!

But a chance run on the treadmill at the gym earlier in the year ignited the fire and he was back training solidly again. Just before he went to the UK to watch the ashes we both signed up for Western Australia's biggest event; the Chevron Perth City to Surf.

We would be running together step by step on Sunday with 48 000 other competitors in the event, we were one of 27 000 in the 12km race. Donald and his training partner Kylie had never entered a race before, never pinned a bib on in anger, never experienced the finishers chute. The nerves turned into excitement on Saturday, we chilled out in Perth, watched Karno in 50 Marathons in 50 Days then got some rest before the race on Sunday.

I have never raced an event with 48 000 others, I wasn't sure how the logistics would be. I guessed we would be waiting for at least an hour or two before we actually got to start. I hate when I am right!

As we drove into the city it started to lightly rain, I commented that it would be a great day to run the marathon, nice and cool with no sun. The newbie runners didn't like the prospect of running their first race in the rain!

We parked the car and did our last pit stop at Donald's office (which was downstairs from the convention centre) and we could see thousands of people streaming down into the convention centre. The lift was quiet as we went down stairs and over the road to the race.

As we started to walk across to the convention centre, there were thousands of runners all waiting trying to get in, it was weird as I was expecting that we would all line up along the road for our wave start. Instead it took 20 minutes of waiting before we were ushered into one of the huge convention centre rooms. Here we waited for another 45 minutes before we started! Our race was meant to commence at 9.15 but it was 10am when we finally got our side and started to run.

As we crossed the timing mat, it all became pretty real. The first KM was very quick and I probably got caught up in the excitement of the race, pushing Donald a bit too hard. This was a mistake as we hit a huge hill at the end of the first KM. It involved a bit of a power hike, but then we were off settling into a steady pace, cruising along down hill enjoy the event.

For me it was like paying my dues to the running gods. I had been blessed to have Ben run with me for 3 ultras, and as I was coaching Donald along the course it struck me that today I was the Jedi Master - Ben's encouraging words were coming from my mouth "get your breathing under control" "relax down this hill" "keep your head up".

We were probably moving a bit too quick at certain stages, and by the time we hit the 8km mark Donald was suffering - he said to me that it was really hard and he was struggling. I gave him a bit of "tough love" and said it was meant to be hard, and if it was easy everyone would be out here, run of the mill motivation but it was enough to ensure he got back into the grind and worked hard up the final hill to the finish.

Coming down the finishers chute was amazing, it was a great feeling and I was able to capture it on video on his camera. It was pretty cool watching it back - I wish I had all of my marathon finishes on camera like that!

As we finished a few tears were shed, and we wandered through to where the medals were being given out. A special moment for both Donald and Kylie.

In a farcical turn of events we grabbed a drink and within 2 minutes became separated. 45 minutes later we finally found each other, due to poor reception at the finish precinct!

A 30 minute bus ride back into the city and we were finished. I kept my runners bib on and medal, and as we sat down to have lunch Donald was already planning his next race. The running bug had well and truly bitten!

Running so often connects people on a deeper personal level. You are a runner no matter what the pace or distance, it is as primal as it gets. One foot in front of the other to get to another point, powered only by your own legs. Sharing the running journey and race experience with friends is a special moment. Much more rewarding than racing for yourself and your own time.

It had been a weird weekend, Ben and his family have left Rocky and headed back home to Wellington NZ. It sad to see such an awesome friend leave, but Donald is proof I can do the long distance friendship. It just takes commitment from both sides.


PS - Don't forget to sign up for our race the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic
Pre Race

Just before the start

2km in massive hill!

Me, Kylie and Donald

Well Earned!


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Time Poor

Interesting blog by Adam "The Boring Runner" today. You can read it and put your own spin on it, but for me I live in a world of conflicting priorities.

Priority 1 - Super Dad to Hayden and Joel. My boys are at a really fun age. Nearly 8 and 5. So we spend most of weekends playing lego, going to the park watching cool Marvel movies. I know when they hit their teens I will be the dorky Dad - so I am soaking it up now.

Priority 2 - Husband of the Year to Bel. Besides the normal husband duties we have a good split with our domestic duties. I love to cook so handle most dinners, Bel loves to mop the floor 3 times a day - so we are both happy. Bel works so it can be a juggle sometimes with her working late or on the weekends. Nothing too different to most people though.

Priority 3 - Running. Well that shouldn't surprise anyone! Part of my track running is now gym work so on average I have 12 sessions (6 running and 6 gym) over a 7 day period. Most days its running before Priority 1 get out of bed and gym at lunch.

Priority 4 - HRE. I should probably put my day job (Priority 5) in here, but if this is an honest appraisal I am really working hard on building HRE with Jason. Priority 4 usually comes straight after Priority 1 has gone to bed. Although sometimes it clashes in normal work hours (thus cutting into my Priority 3 lunch workouts). All signs point to a massive Spring Classic this year lets hope it pays off and we can donate $5000 to JDRF.

Priority 5 - Work. Yep this is the one that pays the bills and sometimes moves to Priority 2. As the Safety Manager at CQUniversity myself and my team are busy dealing with normal safety dramas, meeting with stakeholders, travelling to our other campuses and generally just sitting down responding to emails and writing risk assessments and procedures. Good times.

Priority 6 - Coach. I can't believe I have time to scratch myself, but somehow Coach Hayden's Under 8's footy team. It's only half of the year, and it's great fun. I am sure dealing with the kids has accelerated my receding hairline!

"So what" I hear you say, "I am busier" "I have more important priorities"

I have no doubt that people out there are busier and have more important priorities. The point of this blog is to make sense as to why I prioritise running over doing my MBA. Adam's blog is a reminder that not all investments have an equal return. Getting in that extra 10k run might not actually make a difference in the marathon, maybe the hour is better spent playing lego with the boys or taking my wife out for a coffee date.

The problem with setting goals is that sometimes they overtake all aspects of your life and consume all available time, which can sometime become an unhealthy obsession. I personally found that with my Ultra training being Priority 1 for a large proportion of my 2012. In hindsight that wasn't good for my world/family etc.

Would love to hear from everyone else!!

PS - Time to sign up for the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Will you conquer the Mountain! New HRE Event!

12 months ago I was in the Blue Mountains getting ready for the biggest race of my life.

12 months ago I was an Ultra Runner and solely focused on getting that buckle and finishing under 20hrs at The North Face 100.

A lot can change in 12 months.  Track is back.

In preparation for TNF last year I ran Mt Archer a lot, I learnt to love the suffering up the Mountain and would often complete the 20km round trip from my house to the summit of Mt Archer and back before work in the morning. It was good hard running.

Last week we were excited to finally open the registrations for our new event the Highpoint Access and Rescue King of the Mountain (KOM). Time to lock in the 15th of June into your calendar - this event is a must for anyone who wants an "official" summit time. Race will be from the Pilbeam Drive sign to the summit. I know there are a lot of walkers who do this, and I have seen them power up there - would love to know their times. The event is for both walkers and runners up the mountain 

Registrations here:

This event will once again provide the bells and whistles that you expect from a HRE event, like electronic timing, a fully closed race course, adequate aid stations, finishers recovery area, race photographer - and especially important for a mountain event - buses back down.

Last year my best time was a sub 35 minute summit, for the near 5km run up the road to the top. With a little over 500m of elevation gain in 5km it certainly is a tough run. I know Ben and Michael can summit in under 30 minutes - sub 30 minutes is insane.

My best effort on the mountain was a "triple" - that's 3 consecutive summits in a row. All up that's 30km with 1500m of elevation gained and descended. I did this with Ben and Rod and I don't know of anyone who has done a quad (4 summits) but if someone is out there - let me know!

For those wondering how my track training is going, I must admit I am riding a huge improvement wave at the moment. I have dragged Ben to the track a couple of times, but he complains of feeling dizzy after!

Last week I was away for work and was able to hit the tartan track in Bundy. Although I got caught in a storm and it was raining I ran a really solid 200m in 28.00 seconds and a new track PB (self timed). So I am heading toward running in the low 27s for the 200m and my goal of a sub 58 400 is looking likely this race season.

Good luck to all TNF 100 racers this weekend, special shout out to Marty, Gav and Raelene who are heading down for Wilsons Promontry 100km.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Boston & Aussie8

This morning I had a hard track session planned, warm up, dynamic stretching then 4 x 300s on 47-48 seconds. The huge storm we got last night left the grassed track really dead and boggy in sections so I bailed on the session and headed out for a recovery run instead.

It was a great chance to clear my head.

Unless you have been living under a rock you would know about the Boston Marathon bombings, and as I type this one of the alleged bombers has been killed and the other is at large. This morning I ran for Boston.

There have been many pieces already written about the bombings, and my deepest sympathies are with the families of the lost and injured. The thing that has hit home to me, was that no runners were killed. The 3 deaths were of spectators watching. It is hard to shake the thought that my boys, my wife, my mum, my friends are the ones who are normally there watching me finish a marathon. Innocent bystanders. Not runners, but your support crew. When you personalise the loss at Boston its hard to imagine how the runners could be feeling - finishing the Boston Marathon is at the top of every marathoners bucket list. Finishing this year would leave very mixed feelings.

As I finished the easy 10k this morning, my thoughts were fixated on Boston 2015. I may have to buy my way in, but I will go there and remember them, I will run for those who cannot run.

I will Run for Boston.



For the past 10 days my recently married mate Luke (Eddie) Edwards has been setting a new World Record for the fastest summiting all 8 of Australia's state and territory highest peaks (mountains).

Click here for Aussie8 website 

The three guys have done an amazing job in managing the logistics of getting themselves from State to State and then backing up to summit these awesome mountains. Mt Ossa in Tasmania looked insane with heavy run and freezing temps - can't wait to hear all of the stories.

Having finished last night, I haven't had a chance to get all of the details so I will follow up with a blog after I get a chance to do an interview. It is an awesome achievement, and a record which I doubt will ever be broken.


Saturday, 6 April 2013

Gone In 60 Seconds

Where has the last 4 months gone?! Wow! So much has happened, yet every time someone mentioned where was the blog, I felt like I didn't have enough of a story to write.

Going back and reading what I wrote last year, I realised I am a depressing melodramatic writer - so I will endeavour to write something a little more upbeat and positive for this year. As Billy (gun HRE pace runner and tax guru) said recently "man your blogs are good, but depressing" - so I will commit to writing stuff which is fun and relevant.

I really love Adam's style of blog and whilst I am not as funny as him, he certainly can get his point across in a short blog not an epic novel like I was convinced my blog needed to be like! Plus I love his crazy photos, so more of those to come!

As a recap of what has been happening here are some photos to help fill in the blanks.

Joel finally has his training wheels off! Go Joel!

Eddie and Bonnie got married - such a great day!

Bel and I at the wedding, first night away from the kids for Bel in 2 years!

Boys growing up too fast!!

Which gets me onto my running plans. At the end of last year I had a little break from structured running. I was feeling a little drained from the lack of results and a couple of bad races where things didn't go to plan.

I rode my road bike a lot, did a bit of training with Big M and even cracked a 100km ride! I won't lie, cycling was fun, and it gave me some time to really think about my purpose in running.

It was around this time that Jason suggested working on my strengths - not fighting them.

By this he meant throwing some effort into shorter distance running, where my power and speed would be more beneficial rather than endurance running.

Now it seems kinda crazy to finally write this, but I won't be running a marathon this year. I might not even run a race longer than 10km! I have decided to give shorter running, particularly Master Track racing a go.

What no marathons, I hear you say! Yep that's right. No marathons on the approved travel plan for this year. Besides Jason and Ben, most other runners have been perplexed by the move. I feel like I am constantly justifying what I am doing, pretending like I don't care, and that I'm just stuffing around.

Well I am not.

I am deadly serious about making it count. I'm pouring a heap of hours into the gym to build a powerful weapon of a body, and after my first track event in Brisbane in March - really feel like I have found my niche and moving in the right direction.

So the plan this year is to race only up to 5km locally and travel for another 1 or 2 Masters track events. There are a couple of races later in the year, and if all goes to plan and my times are heading in the right direction - I plan to run the Australian Masters Track and Field Championships next March in Tasmania.

The events I will focus on will be the 200, 400 and 800 meters. I ran the 1500 at the Queensland Masters Champs, but didn't enjoy the event like the 400 and 800.

Gold medals from Masters State Champs
So to answer the question that so many have asked "When will I come back to real running?"and by real running the reference is marathons and ultras, well not till at least April/May 2014. Depending on my enjoyment with the track experience, it could be a lot longer. Running fast is FUN! My goal for the 400m is to run a sub 57 seconds race - thus gone in 60 seconds.

With regards to HRE events, they are anything like a sprint!  Jason and I have been working everyday on increasing our events. In early January we had a meeting about growing the business and met with the local council about the process for approvals to close down roads to run our events. Its a big step (and expense for us), but the only way in which we can deliver runners the "big city race experience" is to hold events that are on fully closed courses. Its certainly isn't a quick, easy (or inexpensive) process to put running events on, with months and months of boring behind the scenes work we are really close to announcing the new events and locations for 2013, we will also be launching a new website!

Thanks for taking the time to read, and I'm sorry this has been massively long.

Be safe on the roads!