2015: A year below expectations (well mostly)

So another 12 months has come and gone quicker than a main event at a UFC pay per view. Many are happy, several are sad, the majority are in the middle and a select few are all of the above. Personally it has been a year where I’ve set lofty expectations, yet most of the time they’ve fallen a little short.

This year I only made seven appearances playing locally in the reserves. Initially the plan was to help out the coaching staff, impart some knowledge, umpire a few junior games and try to enjoy the year. Instead I was basically pushed into playing despite hamstring injuries in April/May meaning I could only kick on the non preferred left foot. Then later in the year I had little option but to fill holes in the side as the numbers dwindled and the kids lost confidence in playing a second game each week. The saving grace was that I managed to bring up 200 club games, although the small memento has had to be altered due to an incorrect spelling of the surname…..no biggy there; work hasn’t got my surname right on a roster for close to eight years. Whether I play on in 2016 will depend on playing stocks and how I fare in Canberra in April, more on that shortly.

Even the umpiring became tiresome, not so much the Under 13’s who this year displayed exemplary behaviour, but the women’s games which may come as a shock. Perhaps it was being the last game of the day being officiated by someone overly grumpy about being at the ground from 8am to after 6:30pm. Maybe it was the fact that with the lack of adequate lighting (the lights our club are barely passable for training, and only cover two thirds of the ground at best) meaning the area saw a 14 a side game being squeezed into an area more suitable for an AFL 9’s game. Possibly it was the fact that I felt rushed having to do everything you have to do after that game with minimal assistance, with everyone else at the ground just wanting to go home when all I want is to have a shower after the game. Certainly I will be requesting that I get more help after a game in terms of pack up if indeed I make myself available for the women’s games in 2016, with the preference being just to be a goal umpire for the year.

 

Then came the running for 2015, and I could easily find fault and excuses for every event I entered in the last 12 months. The run down of woe is as follows….

TWILIGHT RUN, ST.LUCIA (Brisbane), March: Entered in the half marathon, race curtailed due to a storm after 10km. Some parts of the course were probably more suitable for white water rafting than running.

CANBERRA MARATHON (Australian Running Festival), April: Marathon, made three unscheduled pit stops, the 3rd of which lasted a full 10 minutes in a porta-loo at 30km. The delay cost me a 4:00 time as even after the first two stops I was with the 4 hour pace group (I followed him into the dunny for the second pit stop, about 7km before the fateful 3rd stop). Training for this event severely interrupted by TC Marcia.

GOLD COAST MARATHON, July: Slow recovery from hamstring issues in April/May prevented any meaningful long training runs. Basically ran out of energy after 26km, although given the warm conditions it was reassuring to know I wasn’t the only one struggling. Pre-event nutrition and hydration also not up to scratch, perhaps it was going to the Suns vs North Melbourne game that was the issue, so next year the early start for GC vs St.Kilda may actually be helpful.

CITY2SURF, SYDNEY, August: Despite a time that ensured I would start in the front (Red) group next year, I wasn’t happy with the way I ran after a strong effort up Heartbreak Hill. The slow km after the hill probably cost me a race best.

PERTH CITY TO SURF, August: Struggled to get a decent night’s sleep, either due to the ice cream at 8pm or being transfixed by watching Muriel’s Wedding late night on Gem. Probably spent too much energy on the flat first half of the marathon (sub 1:48 at half way is almost as quick as my quickest half marathon time), but had issues with knees and ankles after about 32km.

SYDNEY MARATHON, September: Ran in the Half Marathon, actually was the best I had run all year. Would have gone even better had the finish chute not been so congested as I was putting the hammer down for a sprint finish.

MELBOURNE MARATHON, October: Everything looked positive until about 31km. After a small hamstring cramp (easily resolved), started battling knee soreness. Ran/walked the next 6km alongside the legendary Digger Hargreaves (whose goal of a sub 4:00 like mine was slowly fading) before the pain in the knee became too great to handle. Almost walked to the MCG, then limped the last section to the finish line. Nurse believe I had partially torn the  meniscus in the left knee.

POINT TO PINNACLE, HOBART, November: Timing (Melbourne was a week later than last year), knee and road issues had prevented me from meaningful mountain training. Survived 13km before the knee again gave me trouble, and had to walk amongst the walkers (this race has a runners and a walkers section, the walkers can only walk) for the last 8km up to the summit of Mt Wellington. Apparently though I clocked in a few minutes ahead of former Crow John Klug….

 

At least there was one sporting highlight for me this year that I managed to see in person, watching the Wallabies put one over the All Blacks to clinch the Rugby Championship (bland name for the 4 nations tournament isn’t it) before the AB’s got serious. I suppose it had to be worth forking out $80 for a seat four rows from the back of the top tier at the Olympic Stadium in line with the tryline to the left of screen.

 

The schedule for 2016? Well it’s still a work in progress with several additions (work and finances will be a factor here, hope to catch another couple of games here and there), but here is the anticipated schedule

DECEMBER 2015: Boxing Day Test, Day 1 Locked In, Day 2 less so but more likely than not.
MARCH 2016: Twilight Run, St.Lucia (Brisbane), Half Marathon March 20, Bulldogs vs Fremantle, Docklands, Easter Sunday
APRIL 2016: Australian Running Festival (Canberra), 50km Ultra. If all goes well here then I may enter the Comrades Marathon in South Africa in 2017.
JULY 2016: Suns vs St.Kilda, Carrara, July 2, Gold Coast Marathon July 3, Bulldogs vs Suns, Cairns, July 16
AUGUST 2016: City2Surf/GWS vs Eagles (Showgrounds) August 14, NRL match (if played in Sydney) August 15, Fremantle vs Bulldogs (Subiaco)/Perth City to Surf (Distance TBD) August 26-28
SEPTEMBER: Sydney Marathon (Half Marathon) September 18
OCTOBER: Melbourne Marathon October 9/16, Auckland Marathon October 30 (Yes, Auckland)
NOVEMBER: Gabba Test vs South Africa (Dates and times TBD)

 

So as I listen to Fairytale of New York on repeat, stay safe over this period, may all your backyard tons be made like Viv Richards as opposed to Chris Tavare, and I hope to be reporting from the greatest city in the world bar none after the events of Boxing Day.

About Mick Jeffrey

32 Year Old, Bulldogs Member and tragic. Reserve Grade coach after over 225 combined senior/reserves appearances for Brothers AFC in AFL Capricornia. 11 time Marathon finisher, one time Ultra Marathon finisher and Comrades Marathon competitor 2017.

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