New Fiscal Years Eve

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Overnight sweats: high to mega
Headache on waking:slight

Quite a good night, although I hit the snooze on the alarm, and only peeled myself away from the covers because lying on wet towels and pillows was getting (caution:technical jargon ahead) yucky.

It is a grey, drizzling day. Surprisingly, the SMH was delivered by 6:15 on the second day running (we have a very slack local newsagent), although both it and the Canberra Times were wet inside their plastic flasher jackets. Placing them on the metal body of combustion fire is an effective drying tool, but the crisp, crinkling nature is not the same to read.

I did some chores and errands although by the afternoon the pervasive dampness of the "it must be good for the land" rain, was becoming both a drag and restrictive. Aims to check out tiles and paint colours at Fyshwick were shelved and I squelched home to bring in piles of wood out the second load of washing for the day, and do some ironing. With the fire lit, a fine layer of soot?/dust? seems to settle over everything, meaning that there is always a great deal of cleaning in winter. Such an exciting life!

I spent about an hour on the wind trainer. More a matter of turning my legs over than effective training, but something. Plan to do more tonight.

An email confirmed that Dickson Oval was closed again tonight, and I had managed to buy a couple of desk lamps at a great discount for Bob's study. In attempting to set these up, I found one was missing a transformer, and neither came with bulbs. I didn't recognise the mount, so dragged myself out to a specialist lighting store to find some. Eventual success, although at a cost that was 2/3rds of the lamp price. Still a good deal.

Bought some more, and hopefully the final length of speaker cable for some re-wiring that I've been doing, and then lost the plot a bit. Maybe because I was in the place of the devil - a large, anonymous, generic maul - which seems to proliferate food courts and coffee lounges where people spend weeks at a time eating crappy, smelly food at all hours. Maybe I was having an event of low blood sugar concentration (Bob's constant theory) and had been too busy/tired/blah to eat. Maybe I just lost the plot.

Notions of eating something, preferably good, although junk would do, had been plaguing me since midday. I got home, and just couldn't be bothered. Rang Bob and got through to him while he was cycling along (why bother to stop to talk - huff humph - to your wife) from one end of Cat Ba Island to the other. Started to fit the expensive halogen bulbs - however with all combinations of each of the lamps, transformers, bulbs and power points - no dice and no light. Am now repacking the square pegs to fit in the round boxes. I hope that I can find the receipts for it all.

New Fiscal Years' Eve.
I had high hopes to reset totals, do a bit of a personal stock-take, and start the year afresh. I think I'll go to bed instead and have a good night's sleep. Hopefully I'll be bright and able to do it all in the morning.


Aki swaps pizza for the stakes

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A good night. Only a low to moderate night sweat, no headache and up fairly early. These grey days are so uninspiring though, I can well understand the effect of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - winter depression - among many in long northern winters. Or why they turn to drink.

Not a problem here today.

Picked up Aki to drag her along to the southern side of town, and run her first BBQ Stakes handicap from Woden. It was quick trip, and we popped into the Runners Shop and redeemed a voucher for a new pair of Thorlo's. Hopefully this will ameliorate the further development of blisters were still early at the Stakes, which still had quite a reasonable turnout. The conditions were dry, although it was unpleasantly cold. Aki ran extremely well on a course that is usually troublesome for first time runners.

Once again I was quite cold at the start and failed to warm up. Two other blokes started off my handicap of 11:15, and whipped away early. I heard them talk about not running off their correct time. My first km was frightfully slow - 5:35 with only a 20m ascent. Another runner past me. The next km was a further incline, steeper for the next 600m. I was able to reel in some of the others who went off an earlier handicap than me at this point. Still very slow at 5:15.

The 3rd km undulates on a fire trail, under Hindmarsh Drive, and then back on the trail skirting Oakey Hill. On the descent under the roadway I caught up with one of of the blokes who started with me, and felt strong. While some of the faster runners were bearing up on me now, I found the rises on this part of the trail much easier than I had for a long time. This continued for the remainder of the run, jockeying for position with faster runners coming from behind and attempting to reel in those in front. Aki plodded up behind me at the 5km mark, and finished only a few seconds behind me.

My last kilometre splits were much better, varying with the terrain, although all around the 4:40 mark. I finished in a satisfying 29:00, which delighted me. Heart Rate at a pretty moderate average of 158.

Afterwards I introduced Aki to Mt Taylor, although I for one found the cold too hard to take for long. My base level of clothes were damp, and despite a long sleeve top and jacket I was chilled. We each took water bottles with us, and drank the lot at the top. The view was magic, all of North Canberra on one side, and the Tuggeranong Valley on the other. We didn't stay there for long, and made out way down the same track to get back to warm up. It took longer than expected, and topped off a successful day, even if not long.

Tomorrow I plan to do an early session on the Mountain Bike over the off-road duathlon course. Hopefully the rain holds off and it's not too miserable and cold. Best of all, the ankle is painless. Swelling on the side hasn't subsided at all despite a compression bandage but it doesn't seem like it is showing any ill effects.


(edit:WAS) A grumpy Tuesday lament

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Hmmmmmm.

If I had got around to posting this on Monday, I would be upbeat and a little smug. I went for a swim during the day, short (about 1km), and slow (too embarrassed to say with everyone else lamenting their 20 minutes kilometres). But I was doing everything right for my ankle, felt good and optimistic for the week ahead.

Spoke to Aki last night and arranged to go to the Lake Ginninderra Stakes on her rare week off Uni. Had a good afternoon nap which probably wiped away any of the residual tiredness from the weekend's hanging around (which is always more tiring than exercising).

However, as I tap this I have another shocking pain in the head, that is limiting me greatly. I haven't had a headache like this for a while, and it is in conjunction with another mega-sweat which mustn't be a coincidence. Slept pretty well in the early part of the evening, although woke with a headache which continued to develop. Is it just the act of sleeping of wet pillows (my neck is very stiff and sore), aggravating the sinus' during the swim yesterday (face hurts now), or something to do with the night sweats? I'm recording this here, because by the time I get to the doctor next week for the results of the test last week I'll have forgotten it all!

Spent a bit of time this morning tapping in to look at the best on-line prices for Nokia 5140 phones. Bob was offered money for his 5210 by the shop in Vietnam, and upgrades are good. I know that an upgraded model, the 5140i is to be released shortly and hoped that it may be a good time to buy. Of course that the 5140 would sync with my Polar 625x has absolutely nothing to do with it! :)
Edit: Later. All happy now.
The headache persisted, although improved considerably after about 6k of running! Aki's diagnosis of dehydration is certainly an issue, even if I did drink 5 litres yesterday, not much was retained. I was somewhat apprehensive about the ankle, although strapped it in a compression bandage, applied Voltaren Gel and popped a couple of anti-inflammatories.
Started the handicap off 18 minutes with another young bloke who whipped away from me at the start. I wasn't concerned and hoped to do close to 4:45 pace, setting my watch to beep at these intervals. I was pleasantly surprised to pass the 1, 2 and 3km marks right on target feeling good and running within myself. I must have picked up the pace a bit towards the end which I usually find hard to do on this course, finishing in around 32:36 at an average of 4:39m/km. Aki managed to stay well in front of me for a course PB and picked up a bottle of Verdelho for her troubles. Afterwards she took me to investigate the famous Aki's (a.k.a. Percival's) Hill, site of the multiple hill repeats. A nice view over the district, and good training venue. I suspect that it would be very exposed and hot in summer, but good in this weather.
Back to feeling smug and vindicated. Ankle is good, head is better if not best, and I managed to get quite a few errands run. Plan to introduce Aki to running on the south side of town tomorrow while she is on an all-too-short Uni break.


A successful Woodford to Glenbrook campaign

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Time away from home: 26 hours
Time spent driving: ~ 7.5 hours
Distance drove: 660km
Time spent running: ~ 3:20 minutes
Distance run: ~686m

I enjoyed the weekend.

So, I may have DNF'd the Woodford to Glenbrook run which I had been so looking forward to (I'm technically a very good downhill runner), but I did the 'right' thing, and am benefiting from it. And, to top it all off, I got to meet in the flesh (and mohair singlets) three more members of the Cool Running family; Two Penny's, Colin and O Runner.

The band downstairs didn't disturb me too much, I woke a few times and heard them finish their set at around 1:30am. Felt great in the morning, showered and was ready in good time, leaving Springwood at the time I had hoped to. Found a cluster of CR caps at the start, but went off in search of friends from Canberra who were here for the run. The weather was surprisingly mild, and my concerns about the cold were unfounded. With bikes everywhere, eventually the race got underway and I happily settled into the middle of the pack as it pounded down the first section on Railway Parade at Woodford. I had decided at the last minute to leave a light long sleeve top on, to be removed later. As it started to rain lightly I was pleased with my decision. The light deteriorated, and I removed my sunglasses and put them in the zippered back pocket.

Just as the run left the road to enter the trail down to Glenbrook I felt my right ankle go snap. I can't remember slipping, twisting or landing awkwardly on it, but it wasn't good. Thinking that it was just one of those things that improves with running, I stopped stretched it a bit and watched the field go by. Typically of the kindness of runners in these events, at least every second person asked with concern "If I was alright?" The field thinned out and I was confident that even starting from the back I would be fine in making up the time. Tentatively I tested it seeking to jog, but it hurt - a lot - and even placing in on the ground was not a good feeling. The rain got heavier, and I did the sensible thing, trudging back to the roadway where I hitched a ride in a brand spanking new 'Fire Appliance'.

I was hoping that my friends husband would still be at Woodford station as he had my car keys, phone, cash and spare clothes. No luck. I wandered over to where I had parked my car in some vain hope that he was there, and to check that I had locked the doors. I had, and the rain got very heavy now, and I was beginning to feel rather cool. I took refuge in a bus shelter to assess my options. I thought about catching a train down to Glenbrook (without a ticket), although my terminally honest nature found this unacceptable. I saw a CareFlight vehicle drive south, and moved on to Plan B - and hitched yet another ride on the same Fire Engine. Although well out of his way, the driver took me all the way to Euroka Clearing after dropping off some other firies at the Warrimoo Station.

At this early stage, I was concentrating on doing everything I could to minimise the effect of the injury. I kept my ankle well elevated and applied pressure with my hand. I hobbled over to the First Aid Tent at the site finish, got it strapped and had an excellent view of the finish as I sat up like Lady Muck with my foot on a chair chatting about cycling to a friendly firie, Paul. Although my ankle wasn't swollen like the previous strain when it rapidly assumed the dimensions of a grapefruit, it hurt far more. I couldn't imagine that it was broken, and managed to beg some pain killers. Ultimately, my friends husband found me, and I was able to put on warmer gear, and have access to money and keys.

It was great watching the runners finish - the leaders ahead of many 'fun' cyclists who had started first. From my vantage point I had a growing sense of pride as cool runner after cool runner finished strongly, certainly taking the majority of the first 20 places. Fats had an awesome run, finishing second behind Paul Arthur and looking fit and strong to the finish.

After a restorative coffee, I wandered over to the other side of the finishing chute to say G'Day to a few blue and yellow caps - here I was delighted to meet Two Penny's, O-Runner and Colin. It's a slightly surreal experience coming face to face for the first time with someone you have chatted to and got to 'know' on the computer for the first time. On one hand you know all sorts of things about the person, their sense of humour and likes and dislikes. On the other, they are strangers! The sense of strangeness quickly disappeared, although I felt like a real woose having pulled out of the event. I joined Colin in getting a lift back to Woodford with O-Runner and felt that all was good with the world. Now, only to drive home.

I had packed an insulated bag with ice packs and my fortijuice, so I cruised back along the highway with almost frozen bags wrapped around my ankle and tucked into the leg of my tights. An uneventful and enjoyable trip back, stopping at McDonald's (I have to admit it and come clean!) at Sutton Forest for their toilets and a cup of McCafe coffee. Not the best coffee, but better than most on the road. With the fuel light showing as I entered Canberra, I diverted and filled the tank up first, so that I wasn't stuck during the week. At home, the house was freezing, but managed to get the fire going with little drama.

My ankle is decidedly much better. In fact running from Tuesday seems quite a reasonable thing to do. It has been a salutary lesson in the benefits of learning to read my body better, and not seeking to struggle through at all costs. The pain has largely subsided, there is now only minimal swelling and I am confident about returning to running soon. Isn't it wonderful what old age does in making one do the right thing?


Square Eyes in July

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I don't think that I'm going to sleep for the next six weeks.

ABC TV and Radio is having a Blues Festival, including the Martin Scorsese collection of seven films. I saw about half of these at Electric Shadows last year. What I saw was excellent, and I'm looking forward to catching up the ones I missed and revisiting the others.

However, it is the sport on SBS which is really going to cut. With the Tour de France being shown live, and the Ashes, there aren't going to be enough hours in the day.


Coming Up on SBS Sport
Cycling - Tour Of Ireland Highlights Sunday 26 June 11:00am - 12:00pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 1 Saturday 2 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Athletics - 2005 Golden League Highlights from Paris Sunday 3 July 10:30am - 12:00pm
Cycling - 100 Years of the Tour De France The Birth of a Legend Sunday 3 July 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Sunday 3 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 2 Sunday 3 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Monday 4 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 3 Monday 4 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Tuesday 5 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 4 Tuesday 5 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Wednesday 6 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 5 Wednesday 6 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Thursday 7 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 6 Thursday 7 July 10:30pm - 1:30am *
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Friday 8 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 7 Friday 8 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour de France - Highlights Saturday 9 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 8 Saturday 9 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Athletics - 2005 Golden League Highlights from Rome Sunday 10 July 10:30am - 12:00pm Cycling - 100 Years of the Tour De France:The Legend Rolls Sunday 10 July 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Cycling - Tour de France - Highlights Sunday 10 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 9 Sunday 10 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Monday 11 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Tuesday 12 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 10 Tuesday 12 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Wednesday 13 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 11 Wednesday 13 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Thursday 14 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 12 Thursday 14 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Friday 15 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 13 Friday 15 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Saturday 16 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 14 Saturday 16 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - 100 Years of the Tour De France Images of a Tour Sunday 17 July 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Sunday 17 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 15 Sunday 17 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Monday 18 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Tuesday 19 July 6:00pm - 6:30PM
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 16 Tuesday 19 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Wednesday 20 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 17 Wednesday 20 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Thursday 21 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 1 - 1st Session Thursday 21 July 7:15pm - 9:30pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 1 - 2nd Session Thursday 21 July 10:00pm - 10:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 18 Thursday 21 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 1 - 3rd Session Friday 22 July 1:30am - 2:30am
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - Highlights Friday 22 July 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Friday 22 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 2 - Session 1 Friday 22 July 7:15pm - 9:30pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 2 - Session 2 Friday 22 July 10:00pm - 10:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 19 Friday 22 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 2 - Session 3 Saturday 23 July 1:30am - 2:30am
Cricket - 2005 Ashes Highlights Saturday 23 July 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Saturday 23 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 3 - Session 1 Saturday 23 July 7:15pm - 9:30pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 3 - Session 2 Saturday 23 July 10:00pm - 10:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 20 Saturday 23 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 3 - Session 3 Sunday 24 July 1:30am - 2:30am
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - Highlights Sunday 24 July 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Sunday 24 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 4 - Session 1 Sunday 24 July 7:15pm - 9:30pm
Cycling - Tour De France - LIVE Stage 21 Sunday 24 July 10:30pm - 1:30am
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 4 - Session 3 Monday 25 July 1:30am - 2:30am
Cricket - 2005 Ashes Test Series - Highlights Monday 25 July 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Cycling - Tour De France - Highlights Monday 25 July 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 5 - Session 1 Monday 25 July 7:15pm - 9:30pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 5 - Session 2 Monday 25 July 10:00pm - 12:10am
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - LIVE Day 5 - Session 3 Tuesday 25 July 12:10am - 2:30am
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 1st Test - Highlights Tuesday 25 July 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Athletics - 2005 Golden League Oslo, Norway Sunday 31 July 10:30am - 12:00pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 2nd Test - LIVE Day 1 - Session 1 Thursday 4 August 7:15pm - 9:30pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 2nd Test - LIVE Day 1 - Session 2 Thursday 4 August 10:00pm - 12:10am
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 2nd Test - LIVE Day 1 - Session 3 Friday 5 August 12:10am - 2:30am
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 2nd Test - Highlights Friday 5 August 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 2nd Test - LIVE Day 2 - Session 1 Friday 5 August 7:15pm - 9:30pm
Cricket - 2005 Ashes - 2nd Test - LIVE Day 2 - Session 2 Friday 5 August 10:00pm - 12:10am


Boathouse 10k

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Boathouse 10k

Once again, everything seemed to be back to normal on awakening this morning. Apart from terminally dry eyes overnight, I seemed to be firing on all cylinders. I packed my bag with what I thought I might need at the end of the Woodford to Glenbrook race into a small backpack, over packed for every weather contingency during the race and put my bag in the car early. Filled up with petrol, checked the tyres, and then permitted myself to logon the computer. This can always be a dangerous open ended activity; however I kept in under control, and only had to put the drinks and ice packs into a bag when I got home, shower, lock up the house and go.

Picked up Aki and we travelled to the Cross Country 10k run at the Boathouse, where I confounded her with logic to join the club (finally). This invoked a bout of nerves on her side, as she felt overwhelmed by the sight of fast club runners. A short warm up, and then we were off, starting somewhat too fast over the first kilometre before settling into a better rhythm for the second. I started to draw away, and as the light showers came over I continued instead of drawing back. I felt good up the 4km turnaround, but soon after found myself running in a gap on my own and found it hard to retain my focus. Passing the finish line at the 8km mark I attempted to push, but the last two kilometres out and back were rather long, and into the wind for the last part. A somewhat disappointing time of 47:30ish probably equates to the 47:00 flat last Sunday, although if anything the cold, wet, and slightly hillier course was easier with so many people around me running at a similar pace.

Aki put on a massive finishing burst, out sprinting a guy who was equally focused at the end to crack the 50 minute barrier. Despite being warm whilst running, I quickly cooled down to begin shivering and put on ice the idea of doing a decent warm down run. Once I was home, I had a hot chocolate or two, bathed, and hit the road about 4pm.

The light and weather was initially foul for driving, needing a great deal of attention as one drove through showers which needed the wipers on full bore one moment, and eliminated all visibility, then momentarily cleared. Closer to Sydney the weather cleared and as darkness fell it was easier to see than the changing half twilight. Drank a lot of water and my favourite beverage, Saxby’s Diet Ginger Beer during the drive, and at about 5:30pm remembered that apart from the warming Hot Chocolate at 3pm I had not had any sustenance all day. A frequent problem before longer events. Grabbed a Power Bar from the glove box and had this. Not ideal, but not too bad. The driving conditions meant that cracking and drinking a FortiJuice wasn’t feasible.

Found the pub at Springwood without difficulty, and was delighted to see that I had a TV for a quiet evening relaxing. Caught most of Doctor Who, spoke to Bob whilst he was on a train travelling to Hanoi and organised my things for the morning. Had a fortijuice and a couple of cups of broth. At 9pm a band started up downstairs, actually not too bad, playing covers of everything, but loud. Thank heavens I didn’t choose this hotel with Bob – he would be a very unhappy chap. I shall keep the TV on for the moment with the cricket on, Australia v Bangladesh with the Aussies finally working their way through the batting order with some rapidity. Currently 6-139 in the 34th over. Whoops, another just fell to Symonds. 7-fa


I can see clearly now the rain has gone

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Woke up this morning after only a moderate sweat, to a blue sky. It was fairly breezy, although not as bad as last night when the big bad wolf was huffing and a puffing rattling every nook in the house. The wind died down as the morning wore on, but not until it managed to blow the remaining clouds away. This is what Canberra winter days are all about ~ it might be 12*, but the sky has a clear intensity so that is it feels much warmer.

Whether it was the improved weather, or an alignment of the stars, I felt great, and achieved a great deal in the morning before heading to the Customs run at lunchtime. I did a warm up jog today, and went out reasonably hard. It didn't take me the first couple of kilometres to hit my straps today, and I was able to remove my long sleeve top under Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, just past the 1km mark.

Adrienne started 45 seconds in front of me, and I sought to keep touch with her on the course, probably gaining about 20 seconds on her to the turnaround. From there on, we both probably lost pace a bit, as we were heading back into the wind which can blow off the lake with some ferocity. Whilst not scientifically rigorous, my estimation of her lead on me as we past milestones along the return course was around 22 seconds, and she was able to retain this to the end. An excellent result ~ when she first came to Customs a few weeks ago, she had not broken 25 minutes for 5km. Today she did 23!

After dodging some errant kids on a school excursion I finished in 22:36, a pleasing 8 seconds outside my course PB. The rest did me good, and it looks as though I might be back on track. In the afternoon, I managed to get out on my mountain bike and ride much of the course for the Sri Chimnoy off-road duathlon. Gee, it's great to get out on the MTB and burl around the bush! Play time! OK, I was quite slow, not helped by the number of locked gates I had to negotiate by stopping, lifting the bike over and starting over. But thankfully I was able to ride up all of the hills, and didn't supplement my diet with dirt at any stage. I missed one small section, however I am keen to get back out again during the week.

A good training day, even if not exceptionally long or hard. I am looking forward to running with Aki tomorrow, and the Woodford to Glenbrook trail run on Sunday. Bring it on!


Happy Birthday Bob!!

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On this day in 1947, a boy Robert Stanton Harlow was born to Frank and May.

Bob as Pirate Bob Half Ironman

On this day in 2005, Bob (a.k.a. Rob; a.k.a. Boy Harlow) is cycling between Tam Duong and Sa Pa in northern Vietnam. This will include a climb of 1,900m and no doubt a few cleansing ales at the end of the day. There is meant to be the most spectacular scenery today, although also the hardest day of cycling. It will be a challenge after being woken during the night with a rat gnawing his toe. He did not sleep after that.

Bob and Friend celebrating at Cancun Bob XTerra

Happy Birthday Gorgeous! How can I summarise Bob's achievements in a few lines? When I met Bob in 1990, he was an accomplished if steady middle of the pack runner with a marathon PB of 2:42. There were only three trophies in the house, and although keen, he was not a contender amongst his peers. Since then however he has gone from strength to strength, especially since turning his attention to ultras, and thence triathlon and duathlon events. The highlight must be his age group win in the World Duathlon Championships in Alpharetta in 2002, however participation in events all over the globe, including the Comrades, Powerman Zofingen and Austria and many World Championships must be up there. He is also a hell of a nice guy!

Bob during swim at Cancun


Lunch stop at com pho, Hoa Binh


He is able to combine his love of travel and sport with a great attitude to life, interest in politics, great wine and food, music and good friends.


Escape from the sleet to the Bunker

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It was never going to be an easy day.

After the car being serviced last week, a fuel line or something had to be ordered to be replaced. No problems. I can stick the bike in the car and cycle home as usual, right? But with the part available and the car booked in this morning ("should take about an hour and a half"), I had an appointment in the city at 10:30, and also had to be at the pathologists when they opened.

I went to pathology rooms when they opened, but so did a lot of other people. It took all of 65 seconds, but I had to wait nearly an hour. After all that, it is possible that the sample is contaminated and not preserved and will have to be repeated. Which would mean another fallow day like yesterday.

So to drop off the car. "Be ready to pick up at 4:30 this arvo". "4:30" I sputtered, "but . . . ". As I walked away I formed Plan B in my mind. Caught a bus into the city, hung around and had a coffee trying to warm up, and got into my appointment just as the sleet was starting to swirl. The temperature peaked at 10:30am at 6.7 degrees, and then deteriorated.

The sky was reasonably blue, but snow clouds hung around the mountains. It was impossible for me to get to the BBQ Stakes today, not enough time to cycle (thank heavens for that), and no running gear with me. I went to Electric Shadows to check out their sessions of Hell on Wheels which starts tomorrow, and snuck in to the start of Downfall, an excellent film about the last days of Hitler in his bunker. Highly recommended.

To cut a cold story short, filled prescriptions (how come "it'll be 15 minutes" can always be nearly an hour?), bought a (***Food Warning****) sushi roll when I had no hope of getting close to FortiJuice for hours, and eventually got the car and home. By some miracle, the lump of wood I put on the fire when I left still had life in its coals and I could get it pumped up easily. It's still cold inside the house though!

Plan B had been to run or at the very least mountain bike from home over the Sri Chimnoy off-road course this afternoon. Unfortunately, it is already dark, and I still have to hang out the washing from this morning and make the beds from last nights sweat-a-roo. I will get up on the wind-trainer after I've done that and filled up the now empty wood-box.
Note to self: wear gloves, I still have a killer splinter in my thumb from a log this morning.

I'm not a fatalist, that would imply that there is a reason for things and therefore some higher power than our own consciousness. But I do believe in making the most of things and looking on the bright side. It was a great movie, not necessarily an easy one to watch, but one I would have been very disappointed to have missed. Going to the cinema usually seems so self indulgent of time when there is sleep and training and so on to do, and it is highly unlikely that I would have seen it otherwise.


a fallow day

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A quiet day, although quite busy. I had to hang around the bathroom in preparation for a test, I will spare the gruesome details. Nevertheless I did set up the bike on the wind trainer and pumped up the tyres, did the usual round of washing and spent forever cleaning the shower and bathroom. (I'm on a roll after yesterdays kitchen scrubbing). Sent some long newsy emails to Bob as well now that there were more important issues than (stifle yawn) the State of Origin.
Lai Chau is an out of the way place about 100km north, and 4 hours drive, from Dien Bien Phu. It is also one of the hottest places in Vietnam, during the summer months of June and July when temperatures can climb to 40oC. During the rainy season the town is prone to severe flooding from the Da River. Nevertheless the scenery around Lai Chau is quite breathtaking and worth the effort involved in getting there.
The effort involved getting in Bob getting there was a 90km cycle. I don't know when I will hear from him, communication is getting more difficult.


The exception proves the rule

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The exception proves the rule. Unfortunately, I realise that 'prove' in this context is used as a transitive verb:

1 archaic : to learn or find out by experience 2 a:to test the truth, validity, or genuineness of the proves the rule prove a will at probate b: to test the worth or quality of; specifically : to compare against a standard -- sometimes used with up or out c: to check the correctness of (as an arithmetic result) 3 a: to establish the existence, truth, or validity of (as by evidence or logic) prove a theorem proved in court b: to demonstrate as having a particular quality or worth.
Mega night sweat overnight, yet I probably had too few calories (I got too busy to eat. Bob wouldn't understand this concept, he has a thing called hunger which reminds him), and stayed on liquids all day. It seemed that food provoked the big ones, so this was unexpected.

As a result I am rather more stuffed up and phelmy than the last few days. I am sleeping really soundly (good), but in wet bedclothes and pillows (bad). Also a bit dehydrated. Lemongrass and ginger tea, decaf coffee and other warming-for-the-soul hot beverages to keep my fluids up today.

When I saw that Farmers seek to ban 'couch potatoes', I immediatley thought of this delightful Leunig cartoon from September in the SMH calander.
Leunig couch potatoes


Bob can Eat.

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Crisis averted. Bob can eat.

I managed to get the money wired to Bob this morning, and although it took about 90 minutes for him to pick this up, he thought that this was instantaneous for this remote region.

When I returned home, I realised how much I had to do. I had left many things hanging when Bob contacted me, and I have now to work through the list. The fire had also gone out upstairs overnight, so on returning home I took the opportunity to clear the ash and start it again. A messy, although necessary task. This led on to vacuuming, scrubbing the kitchen floor, and so it goes . . . amazing how long all this takes, and how tiring housework can be. (I'd rather be running).

Bob has been uploading some photos on flickr - such as being shaved in a Hanoi Street:

or of the road he cycled.

I have a meeting tonight on the (dark) far side of town . . . not too bad, but on a cold winter night it won't be much fun. It also starts too soon for me to get to Parliament House tonight since they've moved the venue. Although the training will be undercover tonight, with all the drama in getting Bob fiscal today had meant that I have had only a cup of broth and a single fortijuice since last night and it would be unwise to run in the next 20 minutes with so few calories. I had better drink up now in order to be ready to go out tonight.


Banana Bob

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Heard from Bob tonight; although there was no opportunity to tell him about my excellent recovery and Aki's triumph at the Terry Fox. He is in Dien Bien Phu, "a lovely small town" he started. "But I have a problem".
(intake breath).

He only has a 100,000 Dong note which has a mark on it. Apparently this has rendered it unacceptable anywhere in town. His US dollars aren't accepted here either . . . and the bank isn't open on Sundays. Credit cards are not used nor cash advances available. There is no ATM's (although he finds out that one may be coming in about 3 months).

While he has a hotel for tonight, he cannot do anything without cash; attractions have (albeit) very small fees, there are broadband internet cafes all over (50c an hour), but without cash . . .

Of more concern is that after his cycle today he cannot afford to eat . . . the hotel stretches to tea, but that's it. Luckily, on his descent into the town he bought 15 bananas at a roadside stall for about 20c. He could do a lot worse than have a night on the bananas.

On a somewhat dodgy phone line, he outlined the three plans he had thought of; he had enough money to catch a bus back to Ha Noi, although this is a 16 hour journey, and he suffered through countless S-bends on today's leg, and has also been over that ground. Plan B involved busing it to Sapa, and a train to Hanoi. Plan C was a tentative ability to fly there, however the feasibility of this was uncertain.

A bit of internet research seems to indicate that I can wire some cash there with Western Union tomorrow morning which should allow him to see things in the town and eat soon! The list of locations is rather tricky to interpret from this end, with many consonants and few vowels. All I can do is try to fix this up first thing tomorrow morning ~ with a 3 hour time difference and all things going well, he should have access to cash at 7:30am in time for breakfast.

Fingers crossed.
Feel even healthier.




I was pleased to hear on the radio last night that showers were predicted for Sunday afternoon. After excellent if cold, running conditions, yesterday I was quite happy for it to be reproduced this morning for the Terry Fox 10k at the Canadian Embassy.

I awoke to drizzle and obvious overnight rain ~ it looked set in and not overly auspicious for a fun run. I expected a small field.

Aki and I arrived early to register, and then I disappeared to find a coffee and somewhere to warm up. This seemed like a good idea at the time, but I found the cafe too cold, and the coffee too hot to drink. On our return we had to park a fair distance away and were rather overwhelmed by the huge numbers of people who had turned up (for a good cause). There were most of the usual suspects as well as a collection of footballers, gym junkies and a surprising number of twice a year runners.

Cool Runner Phibes and I warmed up together for a short distance which provided excellent company, a chance to chat, and an unfamiliar warm-up for me. With the large field, I thought that I had seeded myself about right, not too far from the front, but on the gun fire walkers with large hiking packs and flashing lights were still strolling three abreast in front of me.

I felt good, very good, and thought that there must be a lot to the adage that a cold lasts 7 days with medical treatment, and about a week without. I didn't stroll, but my breathing was easy, and I didn't push myself hard either. Surprisingly, I just scraped in to the first 25 women, for some unknown reason, the times of only the first 25 men and women were to be recorded. Tragically, Aki came 26th, so missed out on an officially recorded time, although she smashed her PB, not only breaking 50 minutes, but crashing through for around 48:40. Her exact time will never be known . . . . There were quite a few Cool Runners around; Phibes was well placed when I saw him at the turnaround, Wombatface fronted up after another big week, and new blogger CJ put in a great performance and strong finish in the 10k. A CR singlet was in second place when I saw the turnaround of the 5k, and the "don't call me elite" CR Southy wiped the field clean in winning the 5k event easily.

The second best news is that just as suddenly as this debilitating cold descended on me last Saturday, it has flown out the window. I feel excellent and am confident that I can compete in the Blue Mountains next weekend and resume training and life. Yay! The rain has now cleared and I feel good.



Saturday Evening Wash-up

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Aim: To Run
Method: Attend Mountain Running Champs at Mt Majura
Result: Achieved

I continued to feel good this morning, and gathered my gear together. I decided to park on the Hackett side of the mountain, to use the walk to suss out my fitness to jog, and after a bit of farnarkling about, walked to the Guide Camp with a backpack and rugged up to the elements. In the sun it was fine, although the shade made it quite chilly. There were loads of people out walking, jogging with dogs, and especially mountain biking. John Harding had excelled himself with signposting the course, with explanatory notices for casual visitors in the area about the events that afternoon.
Registration was a simple affair, although standing around in the shade was not conducive to warming up. I reluctantly removed my tights and fleece before the start, and was pleased that I knew the course so that I could opt to do one lap, or where to shortcut it back to the start if I found the going too hard after a week off.
I started conservatively, last in the pack of too-fit-looking women. I churned along up the hill, not so concerned about walking this time, although with separate starts for the Men, Over 60's and Women, the field strung out early and the gaps just widened. This continued for most of the two laps; the breakaways groups I saw earlier on the first lap descent had stretched out enormously.
The great advantage of the rain over the week meant that the deep, soft surface had firmed considerably making the run much easier. This was just as well as I only treated it as a training run, and kept my heart rate at an average of 72% of normal, maxing out at 80%. The previous run was a fair bit higher!
At the end, I probably recorded a time a minute or two slower, better than anticipated, however this is no doubt due to the improved surface. I did come absolutely, stone cold last, but was pleased to have survived. I didn't hang around the finish this time, heading back to the centre for a hot coffee and to put on dry clothes and socks. I was sorry to have missed seeing the guys racing, especially as there was great support around the course, but I was turning blue and knew I needed to warm up.
Bob
Bob rang this evening from Tuan Giao, after a monstrous climb over the mountains from Son La. To reduce weight on the 90km cycle leg, he miscalculated the amount of water to carry, but regarded it as the most beautiful "stunning"country that he had seen yet. In Tuan Giao there were very few Vietnamese, ethnically populated by 50 Hill Tribes with a distinct language, dress and culture.

Tomorrow I think he plans to head to Dien Bien Pho about 80kms away.

Right now, I need to peel myself away from the one day cricket between Australia and Bangladesh. Having watched both the Test and one day-er in Cairns a few years back, it doesn't surprise me that they are doing relatively well. (3-93 after 25 overs). Will turn up at the Terry Fox tomorrow, although I suspect it will be an all time PW.

But, at least I RUN. Warm room again tonight. Things are looking up.


An Ironic Week

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The irony of me developing a cold (it would be churlish to refer to it as "Bob's Cold") hasn't escaped me.

Bob was Triathlon-ed and Raced out, and keen for a break from it all. I kept finding reasons / excuses about why I didn't want to go away at any particular time because of (my running) races, desire to establish a training regime and lock into some of the social and other networks I have missed out on over the last 10 years. Hence, the perfect solution was for me to run, socialise, race and so on based here in Canberra while Bob got away from it all for a few weeks before the full force of the training and managing the Age Group Duathlon Team for the World Championships in Newcastle kicked in.

Huh!
Since he left of Thursday night (9/6/05) I have done my standard Customs run, and have been holed up in the house ever since. Frankly this wasn't the plan.

I remind myself though how important it is to build up my immune system and make sure that I am OK before pushing through. Being here on my own ~ well, Lucy and I being here on our own ~ it is a little difficult to work out exactly when that is.

I ate some Special K last night, (mmm . . . food), probably broke the night sweat record, although managed it better (lots of big thick towels at hand; new covers and pillows; a warmer house) and am not so crook this morning, although have a lot more washing! The day looks pretty good, blue sky, quite still. The decision on whether to venture out to the Mountain Running course to help, view or run still has to be made.



Wybalena Grove, Lucy on deck at sunset



Decisions, decisions. Thanks for all your care and comments guys. I really appreciate it and it means a lot to me. I'll let you know what I decide.


Son La

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Another morning, another load of sheets and sodden towels, and a greatly deteriorated cold. Yuk! Sleeping in puddles with an overnight sub-zero temperatures cannot be good. I made the room and house even cooler last night, with only the lightest bed cover, to ensure that my problem wasn't overheating. It isn't. I just get extra, extra cold when I'm wet and the house is freezing.
Sorry for this misery whinge, but I have gone through half a box of tissues this morning, my neck is the size of a front row forward, and it's hard to swallow. I WANT TO RUN. NOW.

I went for an exploratory walk / jog yesterday when there was a break in the weather, and felt OK, although my breathing was very laboured. I was far too cold to get on the bike. With my newly found determination to be here for the long haul, I didn't even consider (well, not for long) going to Geoff's group to do speed-work in the cold night air. I did however meet Aki afterwards and we went for a warming hot chocolate at
Tilley's Devine Cafe. No music tonight, but it was fun.

Bob rang from Son La whilst I was there, and he plans to stay there for two nights and have a day off the bike. It rained the whole way from Moc Chau, and the hotel he found wouldn't initially let him inside until he cleaned his bags which were covered in mud. When I was at home that evening in attempting to update my blog Bob came on-line and forwarded me an email. We played email tag for a while, so I know that he is still alive!

Edit:Later

I feel worse, if possible. Will go and post the applications for the Duathlon for Rad, Bob and myself, and then crawl into bed. (Damn, first must make bed). No customs for me today, and I shall have to be less intimidating to Fatty Vautin if I am to run in the Mountain Running Champs tomorrow.

Hai No to Son La


Smug little duck

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Thank goodness no one has to put up living with me at the moment, I'm a smug little bitch!
In the space of a few days: I
  • pulled out of a race at the beginning when I thought it would be unwise;
  • wasn't feeling unduly responsible for letting others down when I realised that I shouldn't run (or visit);
  • slept, drank and rested when I needed it; and
  • asked for assistance.

The result? An almost-recovered cold, a good rest, and high probability of being fit to run as planned on the weekend and resume normal training. Yay! For those who may have known me for a decade or more (Bob, are you reading this?), this is a first for me and a remarkable change in my tenacious (read=stubborn) tendency to struggle through regardless of the consequences.

I heard from Bob again this evening. It's amazing how far the rapid pace in technological change has reached, and what a difference it makes. Only a few years ago, we communicated through pen-on-postcards whilst travelling, it was novel in 1996 for him to telephone me on a RailPhone while en route to the Boston 100th. Now, nearing the end of sealed roads in pinko-commie North Vietnam, he just uses his mobile phone to call me whenever nearing a village in mountainous country that would defy coverage here. Postcards were cheaper, but its wonderful to know that he is alive and well in real time, instead of the 'lost and lying in a Catalan ditch for 16 days' scenario of 1992.

I was sick, but I'm recovering. I will go for a jog in the warmth (huh! relative winter warmth), of the midday sun. Bob is alive, and very, very hungry having had nothing to eat since a bowl of noodles for breakfast (all that was available). Hopefully in a larger town he might be able to get some French inspired bread for a pain au vegemite.

I'll just go back to my complacent little life here in front of the fire.



Today Bob left Hanoi on his loaded bike, cycling through the heavy traffic. He then entered another world in the rural countryside, heading to his planned destination for the first night, Hoa Bihn, 75kms from Hanoi. Bob gave me a quick call from here as he climbed the mountains out of the city in the early afternoon.

Vietnam Cycle 20050614

I unexpectedly heard from him again as he had just arrived in Mai Chau, a further kms from Hoa Binh; dehydrated, too tired to be hungery, and in a town where the power was off for "a couple of hours" (or so). whilst I would have done the same thing myself, we did flog himself far too much. Not evident on the map above is the mountainous terrain over which he was travelling. He sounded completely wasted last night, so I hope he takes it easier today, eating and drinking heaps, and not travelling too far.
The highlands and mountain plateaus in the north and northwest are inhabited mainly by tribal minority groups. The northern section is narrow and very rugged; the country's highest peak, Fan Si Pan, rises to 3,142 metres in the extreme northwest. The southern portion has numerous spurs that divide the narrow coastal strip into a series of compartments. For centuries these topographical features not only rendered north-south communication difficult but also formed an effective natural barrier for the containment of the people living in the Mekong basin.


No running today, Narrelle

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Nothing to report on the running front. I'll keep this blog up to date though in case Bob can access it from Vietnam.

I had a wonderful surprise this morning, a visit by the Legendary Doug and Rad, who diverted their usual Tuesday morning run from Black Mountain Peninsula to our place up the hill.
Doug FryTACT Presentation Dinner 2005 006

I proudly showed them the photo's Bob had posted on Flickr from his first two days in Hanoi.
Bob leaves Hanoi this morning on the first leg of his cycle into the North and North West . . . travelling on his own, it is something of an unknown, exciting adventure. I hope that he is able to maintain his fluid intake and buy plenty of bottled water en route.

My cold is going all over the place. I was very croaky last night, slept pretty well early in the evening, and then sweated up a storm. I hadn't actually realised how bad it was until I got up and put another log on the fire and found everything sodden, including the covers over the sheet. I stripped the bed, found new pillows, and lay down towels and dry bedclothes.

It was just at the time that the Twenty/20 cricket match had Australia at none-fa 23 . By the time I fell asleep, it was 7 for 32. It didn't take long. I haven't watched a match, and find the razzmatazz of baseball music off putting. I'll always remain an aficionado of Test Cricket ~ it's like the difference between Chess and a poker machine. One requires skill, patience, tactics, reading one's opponent . . . the other? Well, you know what I mean.

It was difficult to breathe this morning, just clogged up, but some Antihistamines (Telfast 180) has cleared this up for now. Feel much better, although the ears have having a party popping balloons in my head. The snoz is productive, and I have periods of barking like an old dog with bad cough. A cold last year settled on my chest and ruled me out of the Canberra Times 10k started just like this, so I will be careful. My balance is also skew wiff, I guess because of my ears being blocked.




Wisdom of the Age(s)

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I'm proud of myself.

As stated in my profile, I am seeking to learn to adjust to my body's limitations and train accordingly, and this weekend has been a case in point.

Bob had developed a cold during the week, and felt quite poorly, although I was very unsympathetic as I was fine and dandy! On Saturday, after a gentle 4km warm-up in light rain and mild conditions I began to feel the onset of a sore throat and not feeling so great. Having warmed up, I then became terminally cold at the start of the real event, and pulled out within the first few hundred metres. Sensible. I've never done that before.

I was greatly looking forward to my weekend; running with Lucky Legs, Ewan and Tim on Saturday at Mittagong, then heading on to visit friends in Sydney and maybe catch up with my sister and nieces. Saturday evening was spent packing, allowing for every contingency, putting luggage in the car in readiness of an early departure, and laying out running gear, drinks and gels for the morning.

I awoke at midnight feeling as though any activity would be unwise, and started to think about driving along the guys as support for drinks, clothes, etc. An hour or so later I re-woke drenched with my bed a wading pool, with my fingertips shrivelled up. I could barely swallow, my ears and sinus' ached, and my glands were balloons. There was no way I could drive up to Mittagong. I sent Ewan an SMS, took some paracetamol cold tablets, changed beds, and slept a little.

In the past, I would have struggled through, but not now. I'm in for the long haul, not an early relapse this time! Sunday was spent in bed, sleeping for most of the afternoon. Uncharacteristically, I could barely drink anything, despite putting the kettle on a couple of times, I had no broth, no coffee, no chocolate. No appetite and a terribly sore throat. I had thought that I could bust out and have some good or bad food, as I wasn't running. Cruel justice that I couldn't swallow even my usual liquid diet!

I slept better on Sunday night that I have for ages. No night sweats, not waking, and comfortable. I feel much better today, and am drinking like there is no tomorrow.

I have spoken to Bob three times since his arrival in Hanoi; he is still suffering from the dregs of his cold, is amazed at the numbers of people. He has sent a couple of wonderful, newsy emails from his hotel in Hanoi from where he will head off on his cycle journey on Tuesday. He took his bike to the streets of Hanoi yesterday and cut it with the mass of scooters and cars. A little hair raising, although he survived. The food sounds amazing, as does the early morning exercise culture.
I feel much better, 6 litres of fluid on. I'm not sure when I shall run again, I don't want to risk anything.


ACTCCC Weston Park

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ACTCCC Weston Park
Originally uploaded by FlashDuck.
An Aerial View of the cross country course yesterday.


300m ~ dnf or dns?

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I have so much to do, however I have been suckered in watching the new "Dr Who". A very British sense of the absurd, with many fart jokes.

So, I may as well blog now, for I may not blog for a few days.

Woke early again, and changing the drenched sheets woke me up more than I could go back to sleep. So, I got up at 4:00 am and read the paper, had a bath and vacuumed the car and half put the car seat covers back on that I had cleaned. Strange stuff fell from the sky, and before I knew it, I headed off to the Cross Country.

And it continued to rain. and rain.

I did the first (short) race as a warm-up, at 5 minute pace and felt comfortable and smart! Didn't mind coming last, and felt adequately prepared for the longer event. I changed into dry shoes and socks drank a full bidon of water, and prepared to start with Aki and my running buddy. Miraculously, many people appeared from where they were sheltering in cars. the first 50m was fine. But then I got colder and colder and I stopped after about 300m! Aki continued to run 4 laps of the 4km course in increasingly heavy rain. I'm very proud of her!

ACTCCC Weston Park

My throat is still sore, and glands a little swollen. I'm pleased that I pulled out, the run tomorrow with Lucky Legs, Tim and Ewan is far more important!


When the Cat's Away . . . .

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I get stuck into housework!

(Sort of).

Bob left on his Vietnamese Cycling Odyssey last night, and I have been busying myself with removing most obvious food items from the 'fridge, and replacing the shelves with containers of Jelly, flagons of water and cartons of 30 FortiJuice. A small container of lactose free milk for Lucy, the wonder-cat and her grilled chicken and 'roo mince are the only obvious exceptions.
With a heap of vacuuming done, I have been attempting to bring my winter clothes to the fore, manage paperwork, do some backups, and all that jazz. I arrived later for the start of the Customs handicap than I would have liked, as I needed to collect some gear from the pathologists which took a lot longer than it should have. Then, whilst washing my hands the tap went ballistic and I had one side drenched. Luckily, it was quite still with very little breeze.
I went off my correct handicap of 11:15, only 15 seconds behind two 'new' girls, who are improving with frightening speed. Adrienne only started coming to Customs last week and broke 5:00 minute pace for the 5k for the first time. Bronwyn has been along a few more times, pushing Aki to her PB, although she too shall overtake me shortly.
Once again, I was yawning for the first k or 2 of the run, not exactly feeling sluggish, although not in sparkling form. I managed to pass the girls at the turnaround, and continued well. The last bit was a little difficult as there was no one to chase, yet I managed to hold on fairly well. I finished in a net time of 22:45, well off PB pace, however a good haul over the last 3km. It still underlines the fact that I need to do a lot of work on warming up, especially as just about all my PB's (not those stated in the sidebar) have been achieved during a leg of a multisport event . . . when I am well warmed up.
Afterwards, I put on a long sleeve top, added a fuel belt, and, once I tore myself away from listening to an interesting report on NewsRadio, hit the path over Commonwealth Avenue Bridge. I did an anti-clockwise loop of Central and East Basin, partaking in a bit of bush bashing and rock scrambling when exploring a new route into the Wetlands, and coming back past Duntroon and the Boatshed.
A very satisfying and surprisingly quick 13.8km - just under 72minutes. Felt good and light on my feet, unexpected after the hills yesterday. (An 800m ascent over the 12km). spoke to Aki for an hour, and am pleased to hear that we will see each other at the cross country tomorrow. Now to check my emails, and continue on the paperwork!


Mt Majura revisited

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Bob is flying out tonight, so no Geoff's group.

Instead, I met the legendary Carol for a run on Mt Majura. I certainly held her back, compounded by my legs being ever slower after a couple of heavier days. Great conditions, although the continuing dry and warm weather has meant that the track had further deteriorated into a thick sandy mush in places. Including the point where the track has a 28.5% gradient!

Two laps of the Mountain Running Course, including the single track through the pines, and a couple of kilometres each way from where we parked the cars. Good value!

Bob and I then went to Bernadette's - or rather I had a BYO FortiJuice while he tucked into a Tofu Burger, and enjoyed a reasonable coffee. A few trips back and forth to the airport delivering bikes and checking in, back home for Bob to change and eat dinner, and then back again. Now I can finish my blog from yesterday and catch up on things.


I'm going running with Lucky Legs! Lucky Duck!

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I am really excited about Sunday . . . I am meeting up with Lucky Legs at Mittagong to join her on her 30km long run on Range Rd and the Macquarie Pass. We finalised details this morning and we shall be joined during the middle 20kms by Ewan. Great stuff! I'll continue up to Sydney and catch up with my dearest school friend from 2nd Grade. I've just learnt that she is even doing the 2k of the Mini Mosmathon with her 7 year old daughter, too!

I had 'negotiated' with Bob to run home from Mt Ainslie yesterday and from the Stakes today . . . . however his developing cold had meant a change of plans. So, while he rested at home, preparing for Vietnam, I drove out to Woden and did a few errands, ran the BBQ Stakes at a very sluggish pace for the first couple of km's, and then added my fuel belt and headed off to tackle a circumnavigation of Mt Taylor. An undulating 6k loop, there were a huge number of people walking on the trails near the houses enjoying the unseasonally warm weather (20*C today), and one other jogger.

With another 2km or so there and back it meant a total of 16.5km for the day.

I'm going to run with Lucky Legs! What a Lucky Duck!


Happy 60th Lynne

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It is Bob's big sister Lynne's was born 60 years ago today. Happy Birthday.

I had a mega night sweat last night, and this left me feeling pretty ordinary in the morning.

Bob is also feeling under the weather with a cold coming on. A late change of plans meant that there was to be no running for him today, so instead us both going to the monthly Run Up of Mt Ainslie today, and me jogging home the 10-14kms through the bush, I gave Rad a call and he gave me a lift.

Standing around, I couldn't stop yawning again, and felt like crawling under a doona and sleeping. There was another good turn out to the run, with over 30 starters again. My yawn-fest seems to serve a good purpose though, for in the absence of being a good judge of pace, I do start off conservatively, and finish well. Just chugged along today, and finished in an official time of 17:35, the slowest female by far, yet a steady improvement over the last four runs.

  • 19:54 1 March
  • 18:45 5 April
  • 18:00 3 May
  • 17:35 7 June

I was able to say Hi to some of my favourite people, including the legendary Carol Baird, who is one of my heroes. Not only notable for being an EverReady Bunny, her mountain running and endurance skills are awesome, with excellent times.

Retrieved my hip pack from Rad's car, had a gel, and jogged off on an alternate route home. Not very exciting to begin with, through suburban streets skirting the CBD, but then I ducked into the campus' of ANU and CSIRO, before hitting the range of trails in Black Mountain. A fortuitous choice, as an urgent toilet stop was required just as I neared the ANUTech building. This short route was probably less than 10k, as it took me only 56 minutes to jog with a loaded bag. Very encouraging.

That evening, a birthday gathering at the Hyatt for Lynne. I hadn't thought through what to do at the restaurant here, I was obliged to pay (it was a buffet), and find it really difficult sitting at a table with people eating around me. To complicate matters, Bob was sleeping when I returned home, and I couldn't get any nutrition or hot drink into me until he woke up after 4:00pm and I was feeling rather woozy.

I cracked. I just went to get soup, but it was the worst possible choice in my condition (although it smelled delicious) - (high fibre) Lentil Soup. I put some arugula and lettuce leaves on a plate, and a collection of oysters. Boy, I enjoyed this! I went back and had more. I felt pretty good, and 'just' checked out the hot food (I was still goose pimply); A couple of grilled salmon steaks stared at me. A spoonful or two of rice didn't seem too rash.

I looked at the deserts. Not a big sweet eater. But my stomach had stretched and I guess my willpower was shot. Let's just say I was taking some of my doc's advice from yesterday.

This will come at a cost, but was probably worth it. Back to fluids tomorrow.


An unplanned rest day

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I felt pretty good this morning.

Bob had lots of things to do in preparation for leaving for Vietnam on Thursday, and I offered to go with him to assist with some errands and technological decisions. So I threw on some clothes, despite being in need of a shower, and joined him.

The morning disappeared in a blur of bike stores, memory card sellers, and foreign exchange dealers. We left without dong (Vietnamese currency), with US dollars, and not much time to get to my medical appointment at lunchtime.

We spent a whole hour not only at the GP's, but with the GP which is rather notable. It was essentially a periodic review, and I wanted Bob to be involved or aware of the discussions relating to my diet (liquid), running, night sweats et al.

Afterwards, Bob grabbed some fresh turkish bread from our local pide shop, and made himself lunch. We then resumed our search from one end of the city to the other with mixed success. This wore me out completely, I got very dizzy and weak, and suddenly the notion of racing off to do hill repeats at Parliament House lost it's gleam. As the discussion at the doc's had turned to hypoglycemia I slumped into bed at home after a hot bath relieve my goose pimples (when I'm like this, I only fall over in the shower, so bathing is the only option). Then to bed with a hot cup of broth to warm my insides, and a fortijuice to fortify.

I picked up, but too late to get to Parliament House. Bob went to a spin/run brick session and I weakened when I got up and made myself an egg white omelette (of sorts).

The funniest thing was, my doc (seriously) suggested that I didn't run, and become obsessed with swimming instead! As the three of us all had a good belly laugh, he then prescribed that I "sit around and eat chocolate". I wish that New Zealand style lifestyle prescriptions were already available and I had this in writing to frame.
"Do not run, and sit around and eat chocolate"

Feel (kinda) guilty about the omelette, hope it doesn't cause too many problems tomorrow. It shouldn't, no fat, no fibre.

Slight change in medication, preparation for some tests in a couple of weeks, and a referral back to my dietitian. In the meantime, I'll just keep warm.

'night, night . . . . . . .


My Best Training Run, ever?

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It wasn't an ideal surface, spectacular or new scenery, fast or long.
But the company was perfect.

At the cross country yesterday, I met up with my foot perfect running buddy Peter for a warm up and chat afterwards. He was assisting at the monthly Women & Girls Jogalong on Sunday, and suggested that we have a jog afterwards.
I planned to meet up with a friend who is just returning to running, and jog the 6k course with her, before doing a few k's with Peter. The post-event barrel draws and gathering of the many took quite a while as per usual. However, we eventually got on our way at 11:00am.
From the outset it was the most pleasant run imaginable. I am sure that I rabbited on incessantly in part due to nerves, yet he accepted it with seeming good humour and the clockwise loop of West Basin passed effortlessly. Before I knew it we were back at our starting point in Weston Park. A few stretches and a coffee later topped off an almost perfect training run.
I hope that this is the start of many others, and look forward to devouring many of the soft surfaced trails of Canberra's nature parks and forests with him in the future. In the end, we did the 16km loop at a steady 5:30 pace throughout, feeling fresh.

Thank you.



In the June issue of VetRunner is a report by John Harding on local Mountain Running. The following relates to the weekend I travelled to Albury:

Bob Harlow had an interesting new warm up routine for a mountain championship. He rode his bike from Belconnen out to the Cotter and from there to Tidbinbilla before heading into Tuggeranong where he went to the wrong place for the start. He then rode around for quite some time, seeking directions twice, before he eventually turned up with barely minutes to start time. In fact he was putting his running shoes on while the pre-race briefing was conducted.

Nevertheless the extended warm up paid dividends as Bob took out the M55 championship in 38m52s over the 7km out and back course. Charlie Modrak was second in 42.49.

It sounds as though this man needs a wife to look after him!

Problems with Triathlon Australia
In today's SMH were two damning articles relating to the misadministration of Triathlon Australia. Here are the on-line versions, from the
sport section and page 3.

Going the extra mile
On another note, the Chicago Lakeshore Marathon course was changed, resulting in a distance of 27.2 miles (43.9km). The 529 finishers are not very happy vegemites, which can identify with! Even in short races, that last kilometre seems to last forever . . . .

ACT Cross Country Club
On a personal note, the warmth of the house belied the chill in the air outside, so last minute additions to my clothing (and wandering around on the wrong side of the road) resulted in me doing a Maxwell Smart and "missed it by that much", or at least the earlier 3.5k event. After a warm up with Peter, I felt surprisingly flat at the start of the 6k at 1:00pm, and was well back in the field. This seemed to be exacerbated on the rise on the back of the lap, yet I was able to catch up with lots of runners on the downhill. Swings and roundabouts, drop back on the ascent, speed on the descent second time around again. I really have to work out how to improve my hill climbing!

A slight negative split, not too bad, as the starting 500m was downhill to the 2 lap course, meaning an uphill finish. Lots of chatting afterwards, Bob cycling off to the Runners Shop, and me heading off through the pimply landscape formally known as the Stromlo Forest.

The trees are starting to grow back, and bike was good on the firm sandy surface, despite running slicks (smooth tyres), and with a pack on the back of the bike with running shoes + stuff, and my handlebar bag with spare fortijuice, gels, gloves etc. It was great to get back on the dirt (and not eat any today).

OK, I looked pretty strange: yellow leg warmers, black thermal socks, yellow and blue cycling shoes, warm, black thingy under my helmet, full fingered gloves, etc. Strange, but comfortable and toasty warm!


Ice Cream in the Air

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I'm finding this current cold snap very difficult. I cycled down to Customs today, in part to try out my new handlebar bag and the handling of the bike with it attached. With the map pocket fully 'loaded' and folded out, it worked a treat, with no appreciable alteration in the bike's handling. Despite wearing a wind-stopper fleece, skullcap under my helmet, and gloves I was far too cold, and actually developed an ice cream headache from the chill. Bbbrrrrr.

Although early enough, was not able to warm up at all, as there was no one else to hold the watch, and quite a few newbies. Thankfully, Paul arrived with 7 seconds to spare, and I went off with Adrienne, a first time customs attendee. We chatted for the first 3km and then I must have moved off a bit, although I didn't mean to then. Whilst I was sprinted past by the eventual winner near the line, I was surprised at what an easy run it was. Maybe going out a bit easier for 5kms might be worth trying in future.

At the end, Bob turned up on his bike, having cycled out to Phillip to buy a seat rail mounted bidon holder. We popped up to the Deck at Regatta Point for a coffee, and caught up. It was wonderful to see him, however as he pedaled home, I first headed east to ride around East Basin and Jerrabomba Wetlands. I wore everything I had with me this time, including arm warmers and super heavy duty full finger gloves, and I only warmed up 500m from home.

A good day, and especially good having seen Aki yesterday, it feels like it's been a long time.


MTB and Dickson Track

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I managed to get out and have a short, sharp burl on the mountain bike (Cannondale hardtail F600) though the local bushland for a quickie to see how the handlebar bag handled, and if I could use the top map pocket for navigation and maybe el basico MTB orienteering. It was great getting back on dirt, although in my haste I had left gloves behind (it was still c.o.l.d). Constrained by time, and a little tentative about twisting my foot out of the cleat on the sprained ankle, but great fun.

In the evening I lobbed up to 'Team Moore' at Dickson oval for my first track session in four weeks. Aki was there, along with my favourite running buddy Peter, and the format was the same as in previous weeks, with 8 x 300m sprints, followed by a baton change and 200m recovery in teams of three. It was a clear, dark, star studded night with no cloud cover to protect from the plummeting temperatures.

I felt that I flew in the first rep (I don't think I'll find a vocation as a sprinter though), however found it increasingly difficult to lift, with my breathing very laboured. When Aki padded past me easily when I was doing it tough on rep 2 or 3, I shouted some carefully chosen words of encouragement (and I quote: "I hate you"). Her style, speed and endurance is continuing to improve all the time, and with her undoubted commitment will do great things, soon.

By the end of the 8th rep, I was well and truly ready for the warm down jog, and the pendulum had swung to enjoying the (benefits of the) session, even if during the efforts this was hard to conceive!

Home to some hot nutrient empty sodium (packet broth) to supplement my fortijuice and warm me from the inside. Hip flexor sore at the end, but good now. Ankle so much better, I shouldn't mention the uncertainty of the variable grass track.

Spent an hour removing cable ties on my bike holding sensors and mounts etc, which was long overdue. Hope to cycle to customs tomorrow, only drawback is that makes it difficult to do more than the 5k due to security.

Mood :-)


Not much about running

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The Thomas Keneally lecture last night was excellent, and over all too quickly. Ranging over topics largely related to the detention of Asylum seekers in Australia, with a good smattering of 'dissident' writings from Iranian, Iraqi and Afghani writers as well as some words from Mary Robinson on human rights which were chilling in their saction of what the world (or the members of the 'Coalition of the Willing') is now doing.

Yesterday Bob and I exchanged early birthday gifts: He shall be in Vietnam from 10 June to 6 July, with both of our birthdays in that period. He was delighted with the Sennheiser Noise Cancelling Headphones, and had spent much of the day testing them out. With us both at home much of the time, he is in the mood for whatever is on ABC Classic FM most of the time, whereas I tend to gravitate towards news and 'learning talk' radio (Radio National, NewsRadio, JJJ), or more upbeat bluesy or contemporary music. Joan Sutherland can really grate on me when I'm not in the mood (I'm rarely in the mood for Joan).

His present to me was an Ortlieb handlebar bag (in blue), for our future cycle touring adventures. He ordered one a few weeks ago and tested it on his South Coast Cycling trip. Fitting it to the bike is however not as easy as it could be, and is an exercise in frustration of getting the screw to tap into the nut on the mounting bracket. He managed one side this morning (after many dummy spits), and I managed to do the other (utilising the zenning it philosophy of Plu and Tim) when he left for his run this morning.

I'm anxious to run, however the lateral side of my right lower hip/ upper thigh is tight. I was very aware of it during the Mt Taylor ramble yesterday, and it bothered me during the night. It seems a bit looser now, which seems that it is worse in the cold. I've never been good at being sensible, and I'm not sure what is the 'right' thing to do.


T-Bone cup and Mt Taylor ramble

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The first Wednesday of the month is "T-Bone Cup" day at the BBQ Stakes. Corporate teams and ring-ins compete against each other in this weekly handicap event, running the 6k course in reverse. 62 runners competed on this perfect first day of winter, and the handicapper had done his homework, with most finishing in a shoulder-to-shoulder sprint.

After another cold morning (check the weather at the bottom of this blog page ~ -4.6*C today), there was a wonderful intense blue sky and no discernible breeze. My ankle was again stiff and sore to run on, especially with the uphill start, however this little duck wasn't going to let that stop her! Too slow on the ascents, better on the descents, I had a blistering last kilometre, finishing just beyond mid-field at 34th of the 62.

After the post race bon hommie, I thought that I would use the opportunity to run in the area and did an easy (read:slow) 10kms around and up Mt Taylor. Think the 2nd run leg of the Sri Chinmoy Triple Tri. I really enjoyed this, and am looking forward to another easy rambling run for fun tomorrow. The weather is perfect in the middle of the day, and it is so good for the soul.

A long, tiring AGM last night, trying to enthuse myself to head out for a Tom Keneally lecture tonight. I'll enjoy it, but feel like just curling up with the cat tonight and vegging out. Or zenning it.




About me


  • Six Foot Track 45k 11 March 2006
  • Entered!!!
  • Backpacking Laos & Vietnam 14 March to 26 April 2006
  • Flights Booked




  • Long Course Tri 2k/83k/20k 12 February 2006
  • Sri Chinmoy Long Course Tri 2.2k/80k/20k 6 March
  • Backpacking Laos & Vietnam 14 March to 26 April 2006
  • Thailand Temple Run 21k 19 March 2006





  • Customs 5k Fridays
  • BBQ Stakes  6k Wednesdays
  • Tour de Mountain 19k 18 December
  • 1:55:02 Results
  • Cross Country Summer Series 5k Tuesdays in November
  • Cool Runners Six Foot Track Slow Jog/Walk 46k 25-27 November
  • Wonderful!!
  • Sri Chimnoy Triple Tri Relay 20 November
  • 1:55:38 1:04:53 1:22:55 Results Report Photos
  • Tour de Femme 20k Fun Ride 13 November
  • 40:40ish
  • Bonshaw Cup 6.4k 16 November
  • 30:30ish
  • Hartley Lifecare Fun Run 5k 17 November
  • Belconnen Fun Run 6k 12 November
  • 28:38ish
  • Mt Majura Vineyard Two Peaks Classic 26k 5 November
  • Last! 3:08:00 Results Report
  • Wagga Tri-ants Duathlon 10k/40k/5k 30 October
  • Scratching
  • Bulls Head Challenge 27k 23 October
  • 2:20:49 Results
  • Weston Creek Fun Run 6k 16 October
  • 32:02 Results Results
  • Fitzroy Falls 42k & 10k 15 October
  • Results
  • Orroral Valley 20k 9 October
  • 1:52:44 Results
  • Sri Chinmoy 10k 3 October
  • 0:50:14 Results
  • Duathlon Championships 10k/40k/5k 23 September
  • 3:09:07 Results
  • Canberra Times 10k 18 September
  • 0:45:30 CR TE AM!
  • Sydney Marathon 11 September 3:47:13
  • ACTVAC Half Marathon 21.1k 28 August
  • Entered DNS
  • Black Mtn UpDown GutBuster 5.2k 16 August 0:33:38
  • Results
  • Mt Wilson to Bilpin Bush Run 35k 20 August 3:15:14
  • Results
  • City to Surf 14k 14 August 64:17
  • Bush Capital Mtn Runs 25k 30 July  
  • 2:17:09 Results
  • Shoalhaven King of the Mtn 32k 17 July
  • 2:53:15 Results
  • Sri Chinmoy Off Road Duathlon 3.3k/23k/7.7k 2 July 2:40:29
  • Results
  • Woodford to Glenbrook  25k 26 June DNF Injured Results
  • Terry Fox 10k 19 June 46:59
  • Results
  • Aust Mtn Running Champs9k 18 June 1:06:33
  • Results
  • ACTVAC Monthly Handicap 9k Farrer Ridge 29 May 0:46:05
  • ACT Mtn Running Champs  9k 28 May 1:06:50
  • Results
  • SMH Half Marathon 22 May 1:41:56 (1:40:50)
  • Results
  • ABS Fun Run 7.3k 19 May 0:34:45
  • Results
  • Canberra Half Marathon 15 May injured Results
  • Sri Chimnoy 10k 8 May 0:47:55
  • Results
  • Nail Can Hill Run  1 May 56:23
  • Results
  • Newcastle Duathlon  24 April 2:45:39.2
  • Results
  • Canberra Marathon  10 April 3:47:56
  • Results
  • Women & Girls 5k 3 April 22:53
  • Results
  • Sri Chimnoy 10k 28 March 47:56
  • Results
  • Weston Creek Half Marathon 13 March 1:43:23
  • Results
  • Sri Chimnoy Long Course Tri 6 March 5:30:35
  • Results
  • Hobart International Triathlon 20 February 2:52:05

  • Canberra Capital Triathlon 30 January 3:01:43
  • Results
  • Medibank Private Australia Day8k 26 January 38:39
  • Results
  • Lorne Pier to Pub Swim 1.2k 8 January 22:12
  • Results
  • Lorne Mountain to Surf 8k 7 January 0:37.56
  • Results



    moon phases

  • 5k 20:11 Cairns 2000
  • 10k 43:49 Moruya
  • City to Surf 1:02:57 2000
  • Half Marathon 1:33:50 Steamboat 2000
  • Marathon 3:47:56 Canberra 2005
    Chip Time (3:47:13) Sydney 2005



  • Kilometres Run
    January 212
    February 199
    March 214
    April 201
    May 188
    June 182
    July 255
    August 246
    September 155
    October 159
    November 200
    December 62
    Year to Date 2,267




    Last posts

  • 2006 Blog now active
  • Happy Old 2005!
  • Duck to Cloud City
  • 2005 - A Retrospective / 2006 - A Prospective
  • Yuletide - Improves!
  • Yuletide - Continues!
  • Yuletide - A Retrospective
  • Revenge of the Sinusitis
  • Tasting by the Lake
  • Happy Anniversary Darling!


  • Days Sick
    January 10
    February 10
    March 10
    April 4
    May 7
    June 8
    July 9
    August 11
    September 11
    October 11
    November 9
    December Lots. ?15


    Distance Swum
    February 17,400m
    October 3,800m
    November 4,150m
    December .
    Distance Cycled
    November 120km
    December 297 km