Tse Tse Fly loose in Canberra?

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It seems the most likely reason for this bout of Sleeping sickness that I can think of!

I grabbed a few zzzz's when I'd returned from the run on Saturday ~ I thought at the time that I was warming up as much as resting. It was a very difficult job getting out of bed on Sunday to go to the Vets Handicap to marshall. My alarm went off, and off, and off. My eyes were incredibly gunky (technical term), and despite a few vials of artificial tears, I had to rely on seeing-eye glasses today rather than contacts.

Bob cycled down to the course at Mt Taylor, and in my haste to arrive in time (or just to arrive), I was ill prepared to run. I threw an extra warm top, hat and warm cycling gloves into my backpack just in case. It was a mild morning, but I was cognisant of the need to keep warm after turning blue yesterday. I jogged up to the turnaround point for the short course event (1.75km from the start) and felt comfortable with what I was wearing. However standing around did nothing to help! First, the windstopper fleece came out, followed by my silly-looking hat with ear flaps presented to me by the owner of "Blueberry Hill" xc ski lodge in Vermont, where I did a spectacular 10k cross country in 1999. I just got colder.

It was wonderful to see so many people though out there walking, jogging, exercising their dogs and utilising yet another of one of Canberra's wonderful urban nature parks. We are very lucky. I spoke to quite a few of those out enjoying a wonderful Canberra winter day, including a bloke from Queanbeyan walking his son's dog, a fit Indian couple interested in the distance markers, and a couple of casual joggers. The runners and walkers in the short course event (3.5km this month) started coming through, including the amazing Carol Baird who was backing up from her 'training run' over the 60km course yesterday in 6:09. Another recent media-star, Rick Hatcher from Customs was walking sprightly up the rear!

Just as the short course participants petered out, the front runners from the 'long' course (a hilly 6.8k) started coming through, and were soon thick and fast. The handicap system may have it's detractors, however it consistently produces exciting finishes. I saw Friar running well and advised him that he was in 21st position. My buddy Peter was not too far behind, and Bob was quite a way back with 2km to go, having started off as a back-marker. When all were through, I gathered up the signs and witches hats along the course and made my way back to the start for a welcome hot drink and a chance to catch up with others. Peter offered to go for a run with me that afternoon, which I sorely needed, and we exchanged mobile numbers.

By the time I got away however, diverting via the petrol station to fill up after Bob's extended trip to the cycle race (not such a success ~ in a very good position, he punctured for the second week in a row during a race, and had to do the final 2/3rds as a hard, individual time trial). I soon climbed into bed again, after another dose of BionTears which wasn't relieving my eye grot. I was soon asleep once more, racking up the frequent sleeper points. When I did emerge, groggy and gritty-eyed, I watched the news on TV (how does anyone know what is going on in the world if they don't watch SBS?), and then headed down to bed again at 7:30pm. Zzzzzzzzz.


Bush Capital Runs

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Bob's late decision to do a Vets cycling race today instead of running the Mountain Running Association's inaugural Bush Capital Run left us with a slight logistical dilemma. Being held at Tarago, about an hours drive from Canberra, I arranged a lift home with Rad so Bob could take the car. Rad also picked up Aki and I to get there, meaning he had a long, long day at the office traversing the city from one side to the other.

The conditions were perfect for running, although a stiff wind developed later in the morning. With a long queue for the 'loos (lots of showers in the school gym, but only two toilets with lots of waiting women), I didn't have enough time to grab my bags from Rad's car to leave in the gym. The start near the school oval near Limestone Ave ensured that there was not going to be a crush of runners over the first kilometre, nor a need to negotiate the dangerous metal bridge.

I caught up with a number of Cool Runners at the start; CJ, Wombat, Friar, Prue B, and Aki. From the start I found my wonderful running buddy Peter. We ran together easily, starting out with an easy first kilometre of over 6 minutes. The 16km and 25km events started together at 9:00am so the field was quite thick at this point. Just near the 2km point, a bevy of young 5km speed-stars were coming back from their turnaround. As we crossed the road, and ran up the track nearest the airport we passed a few runners, some known, some unknown. Once again we were running so comfortably together time and kilometres passed quickly.

With increasing discomfort, I had to disappear into the bushes. With many people around, this proved to be quite a long journey and took some minutes. To my surprise and delight, Peter was waiting for me a little further along the road. We resumed running, although we had been passed by many. Aki was now only a metre or two behind.

For some reason, I stopped fully at the drink stop, nearly skittling Peter in the process. I never stop at the water station, opting to 'grab 'n go'. I'm not sure why I did this, and it surprised Peter as much as me. As we made our way to the hilliest section of the course, the field had thinned considerably, and there were few others around us. Turning left up to the steeper, rocky section of track, I was impressed that I had managed to ride my MTB up there, especially with it set up for commuting with slicks, locks, racks and navigating with the map on the top of my handlebar bag.

Peter was able to run downhills faster than me today, my only advantage over him in the past. With considerably more strength on the hills he has improved enormously in the last three months. Rounding the water tank, we had a comfortable downhill on gravel roads to the 11k mark which marked the turnoff for the return leg. Once again at the second drink stop I pulled up cold, and stuffed up Peter again! I had been spitting a great deal and was finding it rather difficult to swallow. It's not unusual for me to spit constantly (apologies to everyone within a couple of metres), but this drinking thing was new.

The out-and-back section to the Federal Highway was interesting, a good surface, rarely flat, and with great views of the city and yet engulfed in the bush. With the 16k runners having turned off, there were far fewer people around now. A triathlete I regularly run in the BBQ Stakes with, and who has consistently beaten me in every 10k in recent memory (advising sagely that "I must do hill work"!) was within view for the length of this section. On a downhill part, Peter and I flowed past him, only to jockey our positions repeatedly over the next 7kms. I would fall back on the inclines, Peter chivalrously dropping back to keep me company and where we would be passed. As the trail flattened we would catch up, and roll alongside.

On my exploratory cycle, I had turned around at the gate onto the highway. The course however veered to the north, passing over a boggy patch of mud (which Peter was able to hurdle expertly) and yet another equestrian log entrance. By now we had greater expertise and were able to lightly tread across the logs. A drink station was set up at the exit of an underpass where we turned around a cone before retracing our steps. Those marathoners who had started half an hour earlier, and the 60k ultra runners who left at 7:30am were to continue past here for another off-road bushland ramble on the Gungahlin side of town.

Relieved to arrive at the last water stop, as I knew that there were only five easy kilometres to go. A well known section of track following the rear of houses in the suburbs of Hackett and Ainslie. Apart from the section where we had to squeeze through the fenceline at the end of Antill St, this was all undemanding running and quite flat. Despite this, I suffered from some strong abdominal pains and had to reduce the intensity to aemeliorate the spasms. Peter refused to go on ahead and instead reduced his pace too. The welcome yellow sign indicating 1km to go came into view, and we run the largely downhill section on the northern boundary of Ainslie Village. Cutting across the open land in front of CSIRO, the bunting marking the finishing chute came into view, with spectators lining the side.

Peter and I each probably slowed down too much in an attempt to finish together, and managed to dead heat in 2:17:09. Using the McMillan pace guide, I had been aiming for an even pace of 5:36 per kilometre, so I was happy, although I feel that I pulled Peter back too much. It was so nice running together though, I wouldn't swap it for quids!

At the end, each finisher was handed a commemorative mug. John Harding does a good job with these. I realised that morning as I was putting away things from the dishwasher that if you came to our place for a mug of coffee, the options were a well-worn 1984 Boston Marathon mug; Canberra Marathon Award winner; ACT duathlon championships; Kokoda Memorial Mtn Running Champs (1992); 1995 Mtn Running Champs; and the Three Peaks Classic 1991. In a weird way, they all match!

Aki was looking a bit sore and sorry, with her ankle strapped, elevated and iced (she was resting as well, so doing everything right). A bit shattered by the course, she did well to finish in a highly respectable time. Experience will come with a bit more time.

We met CR Epozay and the legendary Ray James. What nice people (of course!). I started to get really cold, although I had a light top to put on, all my gear, including FortiJuice were in Rad's car, and my blood sugars dropped and there was nothing suitable for me to hike them up. I would have loved to get stuck into the fruit and fruitcake! We saw the amazing, freakish, he-is-not-human Trevor Jacobs toddle freshly over the finish line in the 60km event within four and a half hours. I have an understanding of what 4:30 pace feels like for 5kms, 7kms and 10kms in the past. But to maintain that pace for 60 kms, let alone on a course like this is fantastic.

I think that John Harding is onto a winner here. With a little more publicity and getting it onto the calendar of events for those in the South East corner of Australia, it should only get bigger and better. Good organisation and well set up drink stations; more fluorescent direction signs that one would think possible to ensure that no one should get lost, an interesting course with a great surface, and a variety of distance options. A good (if cold at the end) day was had by this little duck.


How to count to two and a half

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I hadn't allowed myself enough time to change and warm up (internally) from riding over the course before Bob and I went together to Geoff's AIS training session. Feeling rather drained by the time we arrived, and sat in the car composing myself. As the others in the group were on their group warm up around the campus, we did a couple of laps on the track. Gosh, it's a lovely track! Despite putting on a 2nd windstopper fleece, I was cold though. So cold that I was just waiting to catch up with Bob (an inconvenient 200m ahead) to suggest that I jog the 3km home and jump into a hot bath. I was just too cold to hang around.
We regrouped and I was absolutely delighted to see my favourite running buddy was here. I hadn't seen Peter since the Gold Coast Half, and really missed him. I had bored everyone to death with questions like "have you seen Peter?" and "is he OK?" for the last month. We jogged around the track together, and he said near the end of our first (or was it the second?) lap how easy it was to run together. I hadn't even noticed that we were running, our pace is so similar, step for step. After a few more laps, we were to do a one kilometre time trial. Great! Two and a half laps! Only I was brain dead (blame it on the cold) and couldn't count correctly. I did a 600m time trial. All together now, One, Two, Two and a half.
A few more laps, then four sets of 200m. I'm slow, very slow, but perhaps was beginning to warm up by now felt better during the final ones and could have kept going. Peter has also entered the 25km option on Saturday, so I bashed his ears about the route I had just ridden (feeling virtuous), but am so delighted that he will be there on Saturday morning. I expect that we shall run a large portion of it together, perfect as my planned training run for the Sydney marathon. The website advises only 44 days to go.
An easy customs today, social as much as anything else. The weather continues to be spectacular, and I have no doubt that it will be stunning for the Bush Capital runs tomorrow.


Trial Cycle of the Bush Capital 25km course

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I rode around most of the Bush Capital 25km run course this afternoon, which encompasses the 16km route and is the start and finish of the Marathon and Ultra courses. I was unsure of the exact start, however crossed the basketball court to a very narrow metal bridge with a rail on only one side. If we do use this, be very careful of the drop at the end, especially when tired at the end of the run.

After entering the nature park through a narrow access point in the fenceline adjacent to Ainslie Village, the path of compacted red soil climbs gradually to meet the main path around the base of Mt Ainslie. The surface is a good and fine grained, with only gradual undulations as it leads to the crossing at the road up Mt Ainslie. Entering the nature park next to the 'National Pistol Club', the path is narrow, although hard packed and soon terminates at another management trail with a good surface. On the map above, this is on the top right hand corner, where the red line turns to the left. This undulates a little more, however I missed the turnoff which should lead us on Saturday around the back of Campbell Park Offices. These stand out like a white concrete town incongruously amongst the trees on one side, and the airport on the other.


The path winds gently up and down here, although at the end of the straight section marked above, it turns east and climbs fairly sharply for a short distance. ACT Vets who have run the Mt Ainslie monthly handicap course will know this as the climb near the end of the run. At the crest however, instead of following it down to the finish, it turns sharply and steeply once more to the start of what is probably the most challenging part of the course. The track here is less 'groomed', with grass closely cropped by kangaroos only broken by a brief width of hard compacted trail, frequently littered with jagged rocks. It climbs fairly steadily, with some spectacular views across the city available to the south east.
Following a fenceline for some distance, the track gives way to some sections of very rocky and unstable ground with a sharp pitch. One warning: It is possible that riding the bike actually made this section feel worse than it would be to run, however I think it would be prudent to exercise some caution here, especially if a little uncertain of your footing. Eventually the conical roof of a water tank appears, and rounding this leads to a gentle downhill on a sealed section of road, which gives way to another broad light coloured trail with billabongs on the northern side. This is marked on the map by the red line on the left joining the return track on parallel to the base of the map.
This track leads to another access point into Mt Majura Nature Park and signs and a large stile indicate this. At this point, the 16km course returns to the High School by turning left to follow the trail adjacent to the rear of houses in Hackett. For those doing the longer options, the trail winds behind more houses to the right, before it begins to climb once more when it turns away from the homes when running around the back of another, smaller, flat roofed water tank. I carried the bike across an equestrian gate, and the track climbs into thicker bush here, with Mt Majura looming above. If you care to look for kangaroos here you may see the macro fauna of this district. Whilst the 'roos in the Mt Ainslie section are of fairly normal proportions, those I saw here today are either a direct link to the prehistoric giant marsupials, or were small horses masquerading with pouches and powerful tails. Aki beware!
The track to the Federal Highway is straightforward - it twists and turns, however without climbing over stiles (like one does in the Triple Tri) it is just a matter of following it to the end. There are a few reasonable dips and crests here which we shall no doubt notice on the way back, especially those doing the longer options. Once again there are some stunning views across the Bush Capital here if you care to look, it always reinforces how lucky we are to live in a city like this.
On rejoining the loop where the 16km runners turned off, the trail is generally easy running (very easy from the seat of the bike), following the rear of houses to the end of Antill St, where one must cross the old access road to the tip and squeeze through the access points on either side. The final few kilometres are fairly undemanding . . . the surface is good, navigation is easy, and the course is rolling at best.


Another glorious winter day

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I managed to squeeze in a visit to Canberra's Runners Shop between an appointment and the BBQ Stakes this morning. I was looking (again) for another pair of triathlon style shorts, lycra with a light fleece cycling pad. I have an old pair of Netti's, and a newish pair of Ironman ones picked up at the Expo in Hobart. They are quite unflattering, have no pockets, but I find them supremely comfortable to wear. Both pairs are so thin and discoloured now that I wear the two pairs together, and wash each day. Options were limited, but I came away with another Ironman pair . . . they feel tight, but I remember that the compression was tight in the dim distant past on my others.

While there, I sought out the lairy Asics gel Forster shoes to Tri (joke, Joyce). After running Canberra in my size 18 Nimbus VI's, and enjoying the lightness of being when wearing my no support flats, I had been thinking for a while that I would like something somewhere in the middle. I'd gladly wear flats, indeed I have opted for them in halves and shorter distances on road for years, but I know that it is unwise for me to flog my unstable feet over longer distances. Bob swears by the Forster as a lightweight trainer (rather than racer), and he has a stable of uphill running shoes, downhill shoes, and racing and training shoes in every weight and for every condition. I normally like to be individual, however I have been very impressed with the weight and support of this shoe.

As usual, Asics had changed the colour range again, and the new shoes I found especially pukesome - green and blue (that was OK), with a non-Skarmel friendly pink screaming at the toe box. Fortunately, there was a superseded colour schema in my size on special - the only problem being distinguishing them from Rob's on our overloaded and shared wall mounted running shoe rack in the storeroom opposite where our four bikes are hung.

At the BBQ Stakes I was off a handicap of 11:15, and lots of others shared this start time. We seemed to split roughly into three groups, with me in the middle. I had no intention of chasing the fast guys who were obviously foxing a bit with their handicap today. I toddled along, with some of those off earlier handicaps coming into sight. I felt strong, if not fast, on the Waldock St hill passing a few earlier runners. The triumvirate of Terry, Andrew and John from the 11:15 group were comfortable and running together as a group. I started to pass a few more early starters, even on the hilly part up Oakey Hill. It seems that after a slow start when returning to running in April last year, that my (up) hill legs are finally starting to come back. About time!

Continued to run passed people, and although my breathing seemed noisy, my heart rate was still only around 70% of max. I was sure that some guy had overtaken me early, and it wasn't until I came down the final hill through the underpass that I realised that I was in front. Woo Hoo! That's the good news. But I was 10 seconds behind CJ's (recent) time, and broke 39:30, so was ineligible to win. So it's not really bad, Bad News. Hopefully CJ and I can urge each other along some time.

After diverting via the Chifley shops to buy some drinks as I had left mine at home, I parked at the top of Waldock St and prepared myself for a Mt Taylor ramble. It was a glorious winter day! A bit breezy at some times, but glorious nevertheless. I strapped on my fuel belt, with a car key and phone (tuned in to the radio), and planned to run for an hour at the McMillan calculator pace for an easy run of 5:28. Travelling clockwise, I was once again astounded at the number of tennis courts backing on to Mt Taylor reserve. Rostered to do duty at the Vets run this Sunday, I was to miss this course so followed the northern trail down to Athlon Drive and then returned up the sealed road to the horse paddocks. I flirted briefly with the idea of continuing across to Farrer and Isaacs Ridge, however I had a one hour plan and thought I should stick with it.

After backtracking, I circumnavigated the base of Mt Taylor along the trails skirting Sulwood Drive. Back at the car too early, I followed the route of the 3rd kilometre of the BBQ Stakes course to where it joined the bike path, returning by this route. I pushed a bit on the last bit, covering 11 kms in 1 hour 12 seconds. 5:28 pace precisely.

I'm pretty happy with today, a recent BBQ Stakes PB, although one that I should be able to shake a bit. Loved the Mt Taylor loop, although wish I could have run longer. Run. Rest. I'm a slow learner, but I'm learning.


Must be doing something right

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A busy day, with a quick trip to the monthly Lake Ginninderra Stakes sandwiched in the middle. I didn't have any expectations, other than looking forward to getting out and running for the first time since Friday. There was fine rain and a fairly stiff breeze. Neither particularly pleasant nor inspiring for a good hit out. My gut was quite tender and sore before the start, and I decided to wear a long sleeve Nike dri fit top (gotta love Nike clothes) and shorts for the run. I only removed a wind-stopper fleece at the last minute.
Leaving off my correct handicap time of 18:00 minutes, I was jogging step for step with another unknown guy, fairly young, tall and with long, long legs. For the first 600m or so, I kept reminding myself that that I wasn't racing him, and to remain comfortable and not burn out over the first kilometre. I would have been quite happy for him to draw away, but he didn't until about the one kilometre mark. This was a bit of a relief. A quick glance of my watch indicated something more than 4:30 and less than 5:00 minutes. With a fine mist of rain over everything I wasn't too sure. My watch beeped at 5:00 minutes and this seemed OK.
My heart rate seemed pretty low for a race, albeit a low key one. My polar gave a reading for average on the screen and this showed 141. No wonder I felt so relaxed. Over the next few kilometres, the long legged bloke increased his lead to fifteen metres or so, but I could see the runners who left on 16:00, 17:00 and 17:30 handicaps, and was gradually able to reel them in without undue effort. A glance of my watch on the bridge at the 3km mark indicated a far too fast 13:30. I was surprised to be averaging 4:30 pace, it didn't feel it, and I was taking it relatively easy. After a couple of bad days, I wasn't going to flog myself, but wanted to run well.
Around the 4km mark, my gut decided to complain loudly and violently. I considered backtracking to the toilets (while running further away from them), diverting via the next lot near the bridge, or just getting back to the finish as quickly as reasonable. Passing a bloke or two on the section of the peninsula away from everything I just kept running. 5km was a ridiculous 22:40ish (through the drizzle). I started calculating that if I were to do 5 minute k's for the finish that would be 32:40. Or a bit faster might get me down close to 32. Unlikely, but very attractive.
Holding on, I was delighted to see Isabelle out there, running with her baby far out in front still in the womb. She looked 9 months pregnant last month, so to see her today was incredible. A couple of guns passed me, and I caught up with the 'evergreen' Friar and saw the long legged guy getting much closer. We ran together briefly once more, then I saw the finish corner and moved off. Fifth overall, and third eligible in a surprising 31:33, a course PB by about 25 seconds. No time to linger, I dashed off to attend to my gut, shower and change. Whatever I'm doing, I must be doing something right!


A little bit crook

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I enjoyed myself at a Trivia Night on Friday night and looked forward to a long run on the weekend, preferably Saturday morning. Good weather was forecast and I even recorded my intake of FortiJuice to semi-carbo load in preparation.
When I awoke on Saturday, I didn't feel too bad, however a very cold night and a thick, thick fog put off any thought of an immediate departure. As the fog on the horizon cleared, one developed in my head which made seeing, thinking and remaining vertical too much of a challenge. Damn. Retreated to bed and fell into a fitful sleep. Gut pains were increasingly a feature as well.
Result: No run on Saturday
Sunday, a headache to end all headaches. Slept once again in the afternoon, and was generally grumpy and in ill humour. Every noise seemed sharp and discordant. No run Sunday.
Monday - felt better as the day wore on (more or less). Belly extremely bloated and distended, but that's nothing new for me, headache definitely better, although still overcome by waves of debilitating fatigue. I sent Bob off to Geoff's Group tonight (he'll be late, as usual), which I hope he enjoys. We have a long consultation with my GP tomorrow morning to discuss surgical and other options for me which have fairly significant ramifications. Looking at my planned activities though I can't see that it is an immediate option. There are events that I am keen to do from now through to Christmas, and then I need to be able to train for the Six Foot Track! As much as anything, I don't feel bright or compos enough to discuss and weigh all the options adequately at the moment.
A very busy day planned after that, including a trot around the Lake Ginninderra Monthly Handicap course and then dashing off for a 2:00pm appointment in town. Friends book launch in the evening. I feel more confident about getting out there and running tomorrow, and don't have any fears of not being 'up to' doing the Bush Capital 25k on Saturday.
I should remind myself of what is written in the profile in the top of the sidebar:
. . . am slowly learning to read my body better and adjust my training and expectations accordingly.


Sydney Traffic Warmup and Customs PB

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I spoke to Bob at the end of my Roseville Bridge run, and throwing on a pair of jeans went to meet him for a coffee at the TA offices. There was too much work and no staff, so I zipped back to the hotel for a shower and then spent the afternoon doing database stuff to help out. An earlyish night - not too early as the Test had started - and plans to escape Sydney in good time in the morning to return in time for us both to do the Customs run. We just aren't used to Sydney traffic, and despite leaving at 7:30am, we only arrived at Commonwealth Park just before midday, allowing just enough time to change and get to the start.


The day was glorious, clear blue sky, intense colours, although quite cool. My handicap remained unchanged at 13:00 minutes, and Bob was to leave at 13:15. Without the time to do a decent warm up (which as Friar attests is certainly valuable), I kept my fleece on at the start in the chill breeze. I could hear Bob behind from when he started, and expected him to fly past at any moment. He did, at about the 1km mark which I reached in 4:32. With a downhill start, my k-pace is usually slightly fast for the first kilometre, so I thought that I was going OK, but not sparking today. It seemed a bit lonely out there, with allrounder, Adrienne and Vin off earlier and catching sight of Aki on her way back carrying the watch. Only the fast guys to come and whizz past . . . .

Near the turnaround, I saw Bob pass allrounder, and hoped that I might be able to catch her soon as well. I hit the lap time at the willow tree turn, and was surprised to see it read 11:09. I always am a bit slower (1 minute when I started, around 10-15 seconds now) on the second split with it's uphill climb, but I didn't think I was running so close to 4:30 pace. I kept working, and still couldn't catch allrounder. She is so fit, and such a natural sports person that it is a delight watching her move ~ except when I was so desperately trying to catch her and her staying just beyond reach! A few blokes got me on the hill, and I saw Jodie ahead, jogging far to comfortably and within herself. She put on a finishing burst and flew past me with a kick at the end, with a clock time of 35:08.

I clocked 35:09, meaning a nett time of 22:09, a new course PB. If only those other two minutes would disappear! Bob, having jogged through for 21 something and took the car home to shower and change and return to Civic for a haircut at 2:00pm. Aki and I left some gear at the cafe at Regatta Point and had a chatty casual jog clockwise past the Hospice and over the "Two Bridges" (Kings and Commonwealth Avenues). She concentrated on form and ran on her toes . . . the style was good and it is incredible how much she has improved. There was a stiff headwind over Commonwealth Avenue, then we collected gear, I became instantly frozen solid, and complained the whole time we walked the seemingly long, long way to the car now parked in the CBD. I still surprised at the Customs run, I went hard, but not hardest. Things are looking good!


Roseville Bridge exploration

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On Wednesday afternoon, I wanted to exploit my all too rare access to the coast to go for a swim in the surf. I'm still a wimp in the cold though, so had packed a wetsuit for protection. After a shower and some warming broth I headed down to North Curly - although there were a few boardriders in the surf, it was reasonably deserted and the sea was a bit flukey. I reluctantly made a sensible (not-a-local) decision and headed over to Dee Why where I hoped there were more people about. Sick of driving, and seeing the sun sink further on the horizon, I didn't venture beyond the carpark at the south end of the beach and eventually got into the water in the ocean baths. This was the site of our Year 7 swimming carnival, and I was amazed when I was in the water how shallow it was, with my hands scraping the bottom in places. Despite the (lack of) depth I still froze, and found myself increasingly mis-navigating over the length and breadth of the pool as my cognitive function declined and I turned into a zombie. I don't know how IceBergs do it.
Thursday, I dropped Bob at the TA office and on a whim, drove to the green patch under Roseville Bridge. I had looked in the street directory and there seemed to be the option of following trails from the parkland up through the park to Mona Vale road. Paid my park day use fee, sussed out what to wear, and headed off past a gang of workmen who were doing a lot of chainsawing. The significance of this didn't strike me until I returned.
The track was initially broad and a firm, sandy surface alongside the end reaches of the harbour. It continued around the cove like this, passing huge expanses of exposed mollusc's on the tidal fringes. The path narrowed although stuck to the edge of the watercourse, and then climbed up to an elevated area still running parallel to the now narrowed tidal creek. This was real bush single-track, and quite a bit of fun. I had to watch my footing, however the variations in surface led me to think that it was a good form of training in so much that it got the muscles used to moving over differing surfaces and adapt quickly. (Taking a cue from what Graeme the Super Physio explained to me about my bung ankle).

A broad rock shelf terminated this section of the run and I made my way across the mossy surface (a little too brazenly on reflection) and then back onto a new track which ran under a low rock shelf. Luckily my growth was stunted when I was eleven, so I didn't have to stoop too much! The trail wound its way through bush which was quite different to that around Canberra; areas thick with banksias and gumnut men, lush wet forests (water? what's that?), and flowing creeks. There was little bush bashing to the termination of this track ("Carroll Creek") where a metal bridge crossed the creek with a rusty pipeline running alongside it, and according to my scan of the marked and named trails marked on the street directory, this would join up with the "Governor Phillip" track and thence to Mona Vale Rd. I searched one set of depressions in the undergrowth after another hoping that it was the start of a slightly overgrown trail that would soon reveal itself. All were littered with large branches and overgrowth, and, with much reluctance and a long time spent bush bashing and not running, I admitted defeat (on this occasion) and backtracked over the bridge. Stairs led ahead, and although certain that this just led into the borders of the suburban Forestville, followed in case I had missed something and to get moving once more.

A broad disused bitumen road led up, although it did not make for easy running, as whole trees with thick branches blocked the road at regular intervals. At first I thought that this was to prevent vehicular access, however realised that they had been blown down. I ended up on a signposted access area, complete with National Parks office and access to where I could have parked for free. I decided to continue to run up the road which was very quiet and turn around at the end. After the stop-start nature of the run during the last km or so I felt that I was flying! I called into the National Parks Office (open 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday) to ask about the access across the creek and maybe pick up a map. Despite cars in the carport, the door was locked with a sign to come back between 8:30 and 5:00 (it was around 11:00) and nobody answering my knocks. Reluctantly I backtracked, diverting via a sign marked to the Casuarina track. This was good, easy running for a while along a ridge-line, which then dropped down to a wet, overhang where one walked underneath a curtain of dribbling water. Across the other side, the track was good once more, however here a large clump of downed trees proved too much to waste more time on attempting to climb over, and I backtracked and retraced my steps to where I started.

With the benefit of having gone over the route, I was certainly faster on the return, and once again captivated by many aspects of it. On nearing the car I saw that the chainsaw gang were still busying themselves on many large fallen trees, including one which had decimated a large shed on the side of the road. Having run far too little distance, far too slow, I continued past the car and did a 'quick' lap around the roadway under the bridge to the eastern roundabout where boats are launched and back again. Another 2kms which a much more sprightly pace of under 4:30. All up, around 14kms in about 97 minutes, with many, many stops. I could have run on a road, or travelled to somewhere I knew, but I love the thrill of exploration.


A jog down memory trail

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We managed to leave home within half an hour of our planed departure, which is close to a record for the ever delayed twins. We were able to fill each other in on our plans for the next few months (Bob should read my blog, but he doesn't) and we just enjoyed each others company for the drive.
After directing Bob to the TA (Triathlon Australia) office at French's Forest via a slightly dubious 'shortcut' through Seaforth, I changed into running gear and headed down to the bushland adjacent to where I spent the first nine years of my life. Back then it was simply "the bush" or variations on the theme of Bantry Bay bushland. I drove past my childhood house (it now looks so small, where is the giant front yard and the gardenia bush?) and to the end of the suburb where there hadn't been too much development in the last 35 years. Parking at a sportsground opposite some new (to me) buildings for social clubs I spent a fair bit of time fiddling around assessing what to wear (warm compared to Canberra, but windy), what to take (phone, drink and car key in Fuel Belt), and wondering where to go.
I kept wondering rather than planning and left the sealed road to a sign reading "Garigal National Park". That's new. At the gate the path was familiar, but quite overgrown and apparently less used than it used to be. The first few hundred metres were comfortingly familiar, although National Park signs now appeared indicating hikers and track names. I didn't know what any of this meant, so followed my nose down to where a favourite cave used to be. The trail melted into a rock-face, and I spent a little time here wandering over the shelf looking for old stamping grounds. I didn't find what I remembered, so backtracked a little to follow once more the white paint which marked the route.
Here the track was totally unsuitable for running, although I did try! Deep, wide timber 'steps' had been constructed as a retaining wall for sand, and the undergrowth was often thick and prickly. This trail terminated at a broad sandy trail, with more track names, and I followed my nose again and settled into an easy jog. Alas, this was not for long, and I was climbing hands over heels at times over rock faces and fording a small running stream. It might not have been good running training, but it was fun!
This led me to the back of some houses on an escarpment which I followed for a short distance, however the track disappeared and I backtracked to the broad trail. Headed in the other direction this time, and shocked a group of four older bush-walkers coming in the other direction as I flowed over the rocks leading to the creek downstream. Not easy running, but it was easier to move here and though slow it was actually suitable as training. Another creek crossing and more scrambling over rocks. I had become much better at this now and found this bush-walking/jogging good value, even if I was covering very little distance. Joining up with a fire trail again, I met a bloke jogging with two dogs and a solo walker. From here I backtracked the kilometre to where I had parked the car.
I had covered about six kilometres, in close to an hour. I continued on past where the car was parked and completed a loop which took in my route from home to the local milk-bar (where I was sent to buy my mother cigarettes), and then to my Primary School. I jogged over the bridge which was built when I was in Kindergarten or First Grade, and then back along the route I used to walk home each day for four years. When I started school (at the beginning of second term in 1969, as I was too young at the start of the year), I refused to allow my mother to come and pick me up, and insisted on catching the bus home instead. She emptied a matchbox and placed my 5c bus fare in that. It wasn't long before I insisted on walking instead of catching the bus . . . it took about the same time I argued, but I just liked walking.
An interesting journey, even if not of maximum training value. Hopefully, a longer more consistant training journey around the northern beaches tomorrow.


Canberra Times Cool Running Team?

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Feel excellent after yesterdays run, and feel that I am on track for the Sydney Marathon. What are quads? No ill effects at all. These longer trail runs really suit me!

I had mentioned to Aki on Friday an idea I had about the number of (female) Cool Runners coming out of the shadows in Canberra recently. How about entering as a social club in the Canberra Times Fun Run on 18 September? The idea wouldn't be to win (Allycat take note!), but as an esprit de corps, and a demonstration of the community we have developed on-line. From the top of my head; allrounder, Aki, CJ, JTI, Strewth, Alleycat, Southy, and (me) are Cool Runners. OK, so Southy is elite and likely to be snapped up for a winning team (with her ultra talented daughter), JTI isn't able to run at the moment, and many of us will be a week after the Sydney Marathon/Half Marathon. But the idea would be for fun, not glory!

I have only listed the women, what about the blokes??? Add allrounders housemate, and we have a team!

Idea #2 is to get JTI and Aki into a team for a duathlon. With her wedding only days away, I haven't broached this with her yet!
I would have loved to get out for a run/cycle/swim today, however there were appointments and meetings which made this impossible unless I ventured out in the pre-dawn sub-zero gloom. Better runners than me did this!!
Tomorrow (Tuesday) we have a funeral in the afternoon, and will then head up to Sydney first thing of Wednesday morning for Bob to meet with people in the Triathlon Australia office. We will stay Wednesday and Thursday night and head back to Canberra on Friday morning, hopefully in time for the Customs run at lunchtime.


Race Report

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After Canberra's sub-zero nights, it wasn't too cold in Nowra overnight, although there was a very cold wind vigorously whipping everything in sight. I felt good, although was quite unsure about what to wear during the run in these conditions. I reassessed my estimated time from driving over the course yesterday from four hours, to closer to four and a half. With this in mind, I broke some of my cardinal rules for racing ~ I took a small mp3 player, as I figured that I would be out there on my own for a long, long time. I also prepared my fuel belt to take drinks and gels with me. Never done this in a 'supported' run before.

After stopping at McCafe to pick up a pre-race coffee I saw half a dozen others also en route to the run. Arriving in good time for registration at the school, I did what many others were doing after collecting my race number and retreated to the sanctuary of the car out of the wind. The wind didn't abate, and I finally settled on wearing arm warmers with a Cool Running Tri Top, and a light fleece cycling jersey on top. No gloves, or hat (a cap would blow off instantly), I hoped that I would be OK. I looked for Tim and the others I knew I would be there, without success, although did run into a couple of Canberra Ultra stalwarts, and was able to pass on a couple of gels to some friends who came unprepared.

Seeding myself towards the back, the race started right on time. I kept reminding myself of my plan to start real slow, and just slog it out. The run started by winding its way around suburban streets, and whilst the odour of bacon and eggs was thick in the air, many households were out on their decks and on the footpath cheering the runners on their way. Gotta love country events.

The local support continued, and I remembered why I love these sort of runs. Unlike mass participation fun runs, there is a great sense of support and respect among all those who participate, and people invariably share friendly words, offer support and do not have the hard competitive streak against others. There is an acknowledgement that to enter, and run this sort of distance means that they are runners, not cowboys.

Each kilometre was marked, and I went through the 5km mark right on 25:00 minutes. Faster than I had planned, but this was flat, sealed and I was jogging comfortably so saw no need to slow down greatly as I knew that the hills were coming and were likely to slow my pace to a third of that. A drink station at 7km was before a descent which marked to start of the more hilly countryside. I opened up my style and ran past a few runners here, however I knew that I was still a reasonable downhill runner and that once the climb started and those who had slowed to walk through the water stop had started running again I would be passed by a procession.

I was feeling a lot more confident now that I might make it to the finish ~ I had two toilet stops by the 2km mark on Friday, and had no problems thus far today. It was also possible to start breaking down the run into having nearly completed a quarter of the total distance, instead of having 29kms to go! I chatted to a nice looking guy as the road undulated up and down, with him drawing well away on the climbs and then becoming reacquainted on the descent. He was a local and thought that the first 12km's were the hardest. I saw his point, but couldn't agree with him. The scenery became increasingly stunning and lush, and I hit 10k in around 52-53 minutes, and the halfway at 1:26. This surprised me, as last weeks 10 miler was done in 1:24 on a much easier course. Two and a half or 3 hours for the next half still seemed on the cards.

Just after the 19k mark was a flooded causeway which was hubcap deep yesterday when I drove through. The prospect of wet shoes and socks wasn't attractive, but unavoidable so I plowed through not anticipating the water to be cold as well! Running in wet socks was a little difficult, and I could tell that the rubbing was likely to be causing blisters but tried to ignore it. People were harder to see now, the field had stretched out, but I could still always see a couple of shirts ahead of me which was a good feeling. I had honestly thought that I would be all alone for most of the run.

The real climb started, and I was passed by one or two blokes, although the hill didn't seem nearly as bad as I had recalled from yesterday and thought that it must continue until hitting the sealed road nearing Kangaroo Valley township. I kept plugging away, happy to do a 20 mile training run, taking water at the drink stops and not drawing upon my fuel belt at all which was superfluous, although no hassle. Seduced by the joy of long trail runs, I started plotting how to ensure that I could go to the Mt Wilson to Bilpin run, the Fitzroy Falls marathon, and Six Foot Track. The mp3 stayed tucked in my top and earphones dangling. This was far too much fun to be distracted.

A long winding descent was lovely, and I kicked myself for missing out on the Woodford run - downhill, trails, 25k - arguably the perfect run for me. Next year. Out on the sealed road I could see maybe half a dozen runners drifting into the distance. This was a pleasant surprise. I had altered my 'not last' plan at the start of the run to 'ideally in the top 75%' when I found myself going well and not much worse than real looking runners. We were advised that there were 'around 140' entrants this year. With the brain death that comes from running, I struggled with the maths of what placing I would find acceptable. It's amazing how long simple calculations can take at times like this! I was somewhat sceptical about the 140 figure too - there look like a lot at the start, however had to assume that there would be no shows from pre entries and DNF's, so the 140 would probably be whittled away significantly.


From the drink station at the Country Club, it seemed to go on forever! I didn't know where the Showground was, and had to check whether to turn east or west. A sign indicating 30km was about 120m short of the 31km mark at the highway. Crossing onto a bike path, a procession of people told me 'not far to go now' and 'nearly there'. Yeah right. This was not so much fun. Dodging the vehicular and pedestrian traffic around orange cones stretching into the distance was psychologically difficult. The kilometre markers were pretty good until about 26k when it seemed to jump. Now, with the 30k and 31k signs in sight of each other, I had no confidence about the '1km to finish' distance. Eventually the showground appeared and it was a short run across grass to the finish chute. Under three hours. Wow. It was easier than I anticipated, and I ran smart and easily.
As soon as I had finished lovely CR Tim came over and congratulated me, and I think that the ultra-guys from Canberra may have taken a photo of me at the finish. I quickly sought out my gear bag, and moved to one of the bench seats to change into clean and dry socks and put on some dry gear. That done, I had one of the FortiJuice drinks I had in my bag, and wandered off to see who I could find. I then remembered that I should contact Boy Harlow to let him know that I was still alive and see how he fared at the Sri Chimnoy Half Marathon. I downloaded my HRM (Polar S625x) to my new replacement phone (Nokia 5140) and sent the resultant graph and report to him as an SMS. Within a minute he rang back, and knew that I had finished and completed the distance (32k), duration (2:53:15), Average and max heart rate (153/165), Ascent (740m). Really nifty.
Later a woman came over to me and recognised me as Flash Duck from my blog! Another cool runner, it was her fourth or fifth King of the Mountain event. I collected my scones and found some friendly faces to donate them to. My certificate recorded a time of 2:53:59 which confuses me somewhat, as I would not have been more than a second out at either end. At first I thought that '15' must have sounded like '59', but that doesn't work either. I just can't see where the extra 45 seconds could come from. My position was recorded as 67th - which makes me very eager to see how many finishers there were. I might have just snuck into the top 50%, but am more likely to have just missed out. It was a great day and a fun event.


Windy, but wonderful

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After Friday's experience (post still to be published), I was very uneasy about the wisdom of attempting Sunday's Shoalhaven King of the Mountain 32km run. I had DNF'd with great discomfort in a low key, flat 5k run. What prospect did I have of completing a 20 mile training run down the coast?


Bob did a long ride with the Bilby's on Saturday morning, while I weighed up my options. I was keen not to repeat my Woodford to Glenbrook experience where I drove 600kms to run less than 700m. On the other hand I didn't want to pike out, especially having left Lucky Legs, Wombat and Tim in the lurch a few weeks ago. I needed to prove to myself that it wasn't totally absurd to consider running these sort of distances.


So, with some trepidation I headed out of Canberra around 1:00pm and was a little more careful about evenly spacing my intake of FortiJuice during the day. I drove through Exeter on the way to Fitzroy Falls, and was listening to some early roots-style Blues; John Lee Hooker/s, Muddy Waters et al. As I was rolling through the lush rural countryside, the music at times made me think that I was somewhere in the Appalachians, clusters of cows around tumbledown farm properties and wispy smoke spiralling from chimneys in the valleys. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience for it's poetic quality.


After crossing the Hampden Bridge at Kangaroo Valley, I decided to follow the King of the Mountain route down to Nowra. I had only the rough sketch map from the entry form, although it was straightforward from the highway turnoff to Illaroo Road. Extraordinarily beautiful, the road wound around the mountain through valleys, on a hard unsealed road. I was somewhat horrified as the road descended knowing that I had to climb up here, and disliking the ascents even more as it would mean further to climb in return. At the halfway mark I was exhausted just driving!


Friday aborted

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Coffee - good.

Attempt at Customs 5k - not so good. I didn't feel overly flash on Thursday night, and thought my lack of good form on Friday was probably as much to do with an emotional flatness, as anything else. So I fronted up to Customs on another cool, blah kind of day, hoping that Aki was able to get there OK from Uni. There was no need to worry. Although I knew I wasn't in sparkling form, I planned to do a longer loop after Customs had finished, so had packed other shoes, socks and dry clothes in the car in preparation.

Aki and allrounder were each starting earlier than me, and I decided to stick to my handicap start time even though I knew that I was not running anywhere near that form. Chatting to Ian, a thoroughly nice guy I hadn't seen for too long, I only heard a muffled "13 minutes gone" and headed off a little belatedly. The first hundred metres (downhill) was OK, but it quickly deteriorated and I was feeling very ordinary. Sighting Mike on his way back as he went early to "carry the watch" I made a half joking comment about turning around and coming back with him. I didn't realise at the time what good advice that would have been!
Aki, having left 30 seconds earlier disappeared into the distance. Despite trying, I 'died', finding barely enough to put one foot in front of the other. I detoured before the globe for my first toilet stop. By the one kilometre mark I felt dead. I plodded along, thinking that even a slow 5k plod would do me some good. More and more of the back-markers passed me, and I dashed into the Acton Ferry Terminal loo's before even completing 2kms. Rejoining the path, even plodding was hard, and I was finding it painful. I stopped to walk, and then attempted to jog once more. It was no good. I cut my losses and turned around and walked, slowly with increasing gut pain, back to the start, shortcutting across Commonwealth Avenue.
It wasn't the DNF that I minded, but how this would affect my weekend plans for the Shoalhaven King of the Mountain. It had not been a good week physically, and having not been able to complete a 5km fun run, how was I going to be in a 32km mountain run? I'm quite pleased with how my new found sensible attitude has paid off, but really did not know how to read this.
With another 6-16km out of the question, Aki and I retired to the relative warmth of Regatta Point to catch up. A short black seemed to work wonders, I felt more human than I had for days, and felt much more capable of tackling another run. More discussion of life, the University, and R4YL, another short black and life was looking pretty damn good. Still demoralised about the uncertainty that the condition is causing me, and the difficulty in managing it, but hey, I'm out there much of the time.
Plan to drive down to Nowra and stay with Bob's "little nephew" Warren on Saturday. I don't need to make a hasty decision, but should do so before too long for Warren's sake.


AIS under lights

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It's been a busy couple of days, with attempts at exercise of varying success. Blood tests on Thursday morning to check on further elevated IgM levels, and racing to the other side of town for extended consultation with my dietitian. I have this habit of being overly cheerful and optimistic during appointments, and with the benefit of hindsight I feel that I shouldn't have agreed so well and cheerfully with everything.
The short of it though doesn't look good for me having a normal diet in the medium term. I need to source some more complete nutrition drinks (mmm), instead of just relying on FortiJuice, (and broth and gels). Most of the stuff that is appropriate (i.e. Osmolite HN) is 'vanilla' flavoured (or unflavoured), and probably taste foul because they are designed for tube feeding rather than enjoyment.
In the meantime, a careful recording of everything into my mouth, exercise, the whole shebang. This is harder to do than it sounds, recording every sip of litres a day.
Lobbed up for "Team Moore" training at the AIS on Thursday night. As the local ovals were closed once again, it was decided to move training to this fantastic facility. As a last minute change, not too many people turned up, and it was a clear starry night, with no cloud cover so it got colder and colder. Only four of us did an exploratory warm up around the bike paths surrounding the AIS, although another half dozen were there when we returned to the track. It was a magic environment ~ A wonderful clear sky, a great tartan track well lit with a backdrop of bushland, and a superior sound system playing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue during the warm up. Others were much more enthusiastic about the contemporary stuff that followed (which was very good), but the Gershwin made it all a little surreal.
With our small group divided into those who wanted to concentrate on 800/1500 during the track season, and the others (distance), we did a few congenial warm up laps, stretched and jogged some more just to keep warm, while the track guys (and Maria) did a 400m time time at 90% effort. We then followed with a 1,500m time trial at 90%, being warned NOT to sprint the last 100m. I felt reasonable, although eased off the pace each lap a tad as my gut was not nearly so comfortable running faster than jogging pace. More stretches, then we all joined up to do 200's - a bit of confusion here at first, but sharing lanes if we needed to, we ran 200m, then wandered back across the throwing field to do it all again. This was pretty good, and I was pleased that I didn't start going all out, and felt quite comfortable in my running style, although my gut flared up again in the third or fourth repeat and I called it quits.
I look forward to more magical Thursday nights under the AIS lights. Another excellent reason to live and run in Canberra.


Bittersweet

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It is a bittersweet day . . . we heard late last night that a good friend died last night. Pat had been ill with cancer for some time, although I remember him as a runner. He was a little younger than Bob, with two grown up sons. Among the old group of friends, everyone is really miserable and there are a lot of tears being shed.

On the other hand, it is Lucy's 20th Birthday Today. Probably the best darn feline around of any age. Happy Birthday Lucy!

I'm still fed up with my gut, which is getting worse, and really stopping me from getting out of the house at the moment. I didn't have chocolate or ice cream or anything yesterday. Slept in until very late, had heavy night sweats, and was really groggy when I got up. I arranged to meet Bob in Civic at lunchtime for LUNCH ~ this was not on the plan, but I was so fed up, being unable to run the BBQ Stakes that I felt like food for the first time in five weeks. Maybe not the wisest idea before Sunday, and with my gut getting worse. But good for the soul anyway.

The fatigue continued and I came home, crashed in bed and slept for a few hours. Lucy was pleased to have me home and spend extra time in asleep! Lying down in bed was few hours was special birthday treat.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to see my Dietitian again, my GP is concerned about the long term nutritional use of FortiJuice. Maybe the operation is even higher on the cards.


Much Ado about Nothing . . . .

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I was quite excited last night about the clear night sky ~ no clouds, and I'd hoped for a clear, crisp day today. No such luck.

Minus two last night was fine, but we awoke to a general light grey gloom covering the sky, and only allowing this filtered light through. It didn't improve, and neither Bob nor I had the enthusiasm to do much. We altered our plans and decided to go for a swim instead, maybe run in the afternoon. My gut continued to deteriorate today and I ended up staying close to facilities. Bob eventually went down for a swim, while I went to bed and slept for a couple of hours instead. I'm starving today, all I can think of is food. Actually, starving indicates that I am hungry . . . this is no doubt wrong, I just can't stop thinking about food. Especially chocolate. and ice cream. and chocolate.

I don't know how long this will continue, so the BBQ Stakes is in some doubt tomorrow. I might be able to have an exploratory wander on my own first to see if that works. Until then, I'll just keep my fingers crossed.


Starry, starry night

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I'm tempted not to post right now, as I am not my usual Pollyanna self, and realise that this shall pass quickly. Slept well, no headache, only the slightest night sweat. Fell back asleep while 'listening to the news'.
Went for a swim in the afternoon, forgetting that it was school holidays, but nevertheless enjoying a moderate 500m with fins, and comically slow 500m free (in the 'fast' lane!). I was aware of my sprained ankle the whole time, although it does not bother me at all whilst running. As I was swimming the final 20m, I realised that I hadn't thought about breathing or the technical aspect of swimming once. It was just happening. Slowly. Very slowly.
Note to self: Must do this more often.
My sinus' are OK so far, which was another good excuse not to swim.
With some juggling, I dropped Bob, his bike and wind trainer to Girls Grammar for a HT (home trainer - spin) session, and then high tailed it around the corner to Parliament House to attend 'Speedy' Geoff Moore's training group at Parliament House. The group had already left the underground car park marshaling point when I arrived. Even though it was dark, questions to a couple of friendly security guards pointed me in the right direction, and I met up with the group on the end of their warm up lap. Recognising people in the dark was difficult, but we made it down to the promenade between old (provisional) parliament house and the 'Big Sprinkler'.
Geoff tested his whistle, and we were directed to run 'on' (hard) for 40 seconds; and 'off' (easy) for 80 secs. This was on a circuit around the flagpoles near lights, ideally to be completed on the grass adjacent to the concrete path.
I quite enjoyed this, although found that any intensity made my gut uncomfortable and I had to ease off to make this a 'harder' effort, rather than just go for it. There is a lovely sense of camaraderie jogging around in the lamp light under the flagpoles on a glorious, clear winter evening. The moon looked like a modernist reclining chair, and there were a billion stars in the sky. Another simple lap of parliament house, and we called it a night.
I'm bitter and twisted though as my gut seems to have flared up again, despite having the world's most boring diet, and being very 'good'. I've continued to have significant problems each day, and need to consider what, if any, action to take. Not an easy decision.
My mood wasn't improved when I went to pick up Bob from Grammar, and sat for 50 minutes in the car getting colder and colder. I changed out of my wet gear, but I still got far too cold.
I've now thawed out, bathed and feeling more like my old self. Bob has stated his interest in joining me in training sessions at Belconnen Pool and at Dickson Oval. I hope so, it's good participating in the same events and sessions even if we are at a different pace.


The weather gods must be happy

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Sleep: Fantastic
Night Sweats: What's a night sweat?
Headache: Uh?
Felt very fresh from yesterdays run (once I defrosted) and joined the other Cross Country Club members for an annual 10 mile loop of West Basin. The weather forecast had been for 90km winds and rain, which sounded pretty miserable. Spots of a fluorescent light blue sky was visible under the white cloud cover, which only heightened the effect of the snow cover on the mountains. There had certainly been a big dump last night. I had no intention of going hard today, and was pleased to trot along with Aki as we established a manageable pace. On the first bridge my Cool Running Cap was lifted by it's brim by a sudden gust and flew onto Parkes Way. Thankfully this multi-lane freeway was quiet on a Sunday morning, and I could climb over the barriers to retrieve it.
It took a bit of energy to catch up with Aki, who once again was running easily, with a strong and easy style. She laughed at Hospital Hill, which once proved a barrier, and the rain continued to hold off. Gusts continued at the usual places, over Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and along the lake foreshore, and by Lennox Gardens we were largely running on our own without company visible in front or behind. The aim was to maintain around five minute pace for as long as possible; and up until about 5k, we were remarkable steady in our pace and on track. I stopped for the first of four toilet breaks here though, and despite feeling that I was running quite well and without undue effort, I never caught Aki again, only glimpsing her in the distance in front of me.
'Unfit' Bob did 73 minutes for the 10 miles, Aki a solid 82 minutes, and I was happy with my 84:12 elapsed 'gun time.


Perfect timing for a Saturday loop of the lake

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Night Sweats: High +
Sleep: Poor
Headache: Yes

It wasn't a great night's sleep, and I was washed out and headachy on waking. I only roused from bed because I needed to get off the second set of wet sheets. Bob had decided at the last minute to join the Bilby's for a cycle, and complaining about the cold and the wet weather headed out the door just before 8:00 am. I improved, and was keen to keep my 'run date' with CJ, although was more than a little nervous in being too slow and holding her back, and having a whole raft of socially unsavory habits that are perennially in evidence on a longish run.
A quick telephone check an hour before confirmed that we both would be at the appointed place at 11:00 am, a ridiculously civilised hour for a run, although just what the doctor ordered for me! Looking out the window while on the phone, the rain continued . . . .
Arriving at Acton Ferry Terminal I fiddled around with a last minute visit to the toilets (hot air dryers are greatly appreciated on days like this!), checking on whether to wear gloves, covers on the legs or not, how much to rug up and so on. CJ arrived right on time, and after I remembered to turn on the technology we started to circumnavigate West Basin under grey, but dry skies. The road was flooded around Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, but the bike paths were generally in quite good condition for our training run. There were a few recreational cyclists, although it was generally quiet with little traffic.
The time passed very quickly, and I chatted incessantly. On reflection, I can't remember any rises or difficult sections. Our pace was easy, and certainly conversational! I had hoped to keep within the McMillan Pace Calculator range of a long or easy run today, although I barely looked at my watch today, too busy having fun! We diverted via the National Museum peninsula instead of the shortcut over hospital hill, and then under Commonwealth and Kings Avenue Bridges to the Boathouse, looping back at the hospice and into an icy wind straight off the snow. This was the first difficult section, although the rain had miraculously held off for the two hours we had run.
A final section over Kings Avenue bridge and along the southern shore of Central Basin in front of the National Monuments and back to the cars, meant we ran for the 2 hours 30 minutes planned (2:30:30!) and covered 26.66kms, with very little backtracking. The pace averaged 5:40 and my heart rate was a somulent 136bpm. It was a lot of fun- and especially finishing off with a warming coffee afterwards. It was a successful experiment doing a longer run with someone else, and CJ was extremely tolerant of my spitting, snorting and other anti social habits. It certainly made the time pass quickly! We were so lucky with the weather too, no rain during the run, although it had been a very unpleasant morning.
A hot bath was called for when I returned home, and some warming broth to supplement the fortijuice. Tomorrow, a casual turnout retracing my steps around West Basin from Black Mountain Peninsula.


Soggy, but satisfied

3 comments

Temperature: 7.7*C
Conditions: Wet

It's great having Bob home, although being around food is hard, and we have so much to catch up with! He was rapt in Vietnam and is not impressed with returning from a northern summer to the damp, cold, short days of a Canberra winter.
No post yesterday, no run and felt pretty crook in the afternoon with a more-than-annoying headache and fatigue. Ended up sleeping for a couple of hours in the afternoon, which didn't fix me up, but I did feel better.
Another headache, worse, again this morning which really knocked me around. I was looking forward to going to the Customs run with Aki today though, and Bob then decided to come as well. We three arrived early, with steady, set in drizzle and a general air of glum or gloom. We procrastinated about getting out of the car, taking our warm clothes off and getting to the start. Once there, Bob dashed off on a circuitous warm up to ward off the chill. He had rather alarmingly stated that he would 'run with us', as he was 'so slow'. No pressure! The only time I have run with Bob in 15 years is on a recovery run after an event when I'm fit and he's worn out. Otherwise it's a constant battle of him running ahead and doubling back in frustration every minute or two.
A few people turned up, despite the dismal conditions, and we opted to move the start and finish to an undercover area. Aki had been whacked a good handicap after her sizzling run last week and was to run off 12:30, whereas I remained on 13:00. Bob left with me. I was out of the blocks fast, knowledge of the ease of the wide sealed downhill to start to my advantage. Further along, Bob caught and past me just before the 1km mark where the fine gravel path was under large puddles of water. I tried to keep track of how far ahead Aki was during the run, and estimated that she maintained her 30 second lead over me, while Bob gradually gained on her so that for the first half we were generally spaced out at even intervals.
With Aki in front, Bob could easily tell the way to go from the Willow Tree turnaround and the lakeside track back to the bike path. Around 3.5 km's, Bob passed Aki and she seemed to give up just a little at that point and slow down. The track turned to gravel once more and the pools of water were deeper and covered larger portions of the track. A few gun runners flew past, eating up the distance and eschewing the mud. I saw Aki at the pavilion and looked at my watch: with the thirty seconds added on, it was possible for her to break 23 minutes. I hadn't counted on the changed course and finish area. It was certainly a little longer than the 'original' Customs 5k. Bob finished in a nett time 22:26, I did 22:57, and Aki 23:24. Allrounder was in front the whole way and although out sprinted at the line succeeded in having an excellent run.
We finished by having a quick coffee at Regatta Point, before heading home and me arranging (what madness!) to run with CJ tomorrow. The weather doesnt look any more promising, 4-9* with rain. Blah.


The Harlow has landed

5 comments

Night Sweats: moderate +

As I write this, Bob should be disembarking from the flight and queuing for customs. However I just checked the Sydney Airport site, and it's still up there. Just landed, only 70 minutes late. I feel good, and this is no doubt in part due to my returning to sleep after waking at my recent ridiculous 'usual time' about 5:15am. I was pretty sweaty, so changed the towel I was lying on (I know, too much information) and cuddled up with Lucy. Thankfully she is going well again. A few days ago I feared that the end was nigh ~ she had thrown up twice in 24 hours, and in attempting to climb up the ladder to the loft, misjudged her steps and came tumbling down. I'm trying to take a very pragmatic view of these things. Just as I have no qualms about euthanasia for people, I certainly would not want to extend her life if suffering. Thankfully, she is back to her normal self, and will see Bob this afternoon and her 20th Birthday.

I left for a run quite late this morning. It was a beautiful day to run, quite clear and relatively warm with very little breeze. I sought to use the McMillan pace charts for the first time for pace of my training run, however I shall certainly need to some some advice on this. On the undulating (to downright hilly) trails around Black Mountain bushland, the upper and lower limits were inadequate. Obviously there needs to be some margin, but what is reasonable? Any advice would be gratefully accepted! Pacing tolerance aside, it was a gorgeous run, coincidentally much of it over the MTB and run courses in Saturday's duathlon. I did not include the goat track known as "Breakfast Hill" however! After a slow warm up, it was magic, especially towards the end, when, running through Aranda Bushland I was accompanied for nearly a kilometre by a small flock of Black Cockatoos. Surely they are the most majestic of birds? Such an fantastic sight when flying, their streamlined bodies with massive wedged tails, and yellow faces. Having them fly around me, creaking door squawks, some at knee and head height.

Bob is now back, looking wonderful and relaxed, and tanned, and fit despite his protestations that "he has done no training" (!) I have already been regaled with some wonderful tales, and he dropped off during the SBS Tour de France summary. Now, he is finishing off his first Carolyne-style meal for a month; tandoori tofu, cauliflower and eggplant (and some chicken ~ he has become decidedly omnivorous over the last year or two), with onions, garlic, carrots and green beans tossed through. I wrapped this in garlic chapatis with arugula and yoghurt. I meanwhile had some broth and then (whoopee) Jelly (green and red!). I am going to lash out and have some FortiJuice to finish off.

There is a great deal to do, not the least to contact CJ about our planned run together on Saturday, and to submit my entry for the King of the Mountain. I had to check with Bob that he didn't have anything else organised yet. Bob has just fallen asleep again. Night night.



Bob -1, Mt Ainslie revisited

4 comments

Ain't Cool Running wonderful?

I'm constantly amazed at how an on-line site has created a real community, and of the friendships and support that it has directly engendered. Just as over the weekend I couldn't stop thinking about Lucky Legs, Wombatface, Hannah, Ben and others up at the Gold Coast, I had a great week training with Aki and introducing her to some other runs around Canberra. And on the weekend I hope to go for a longish training run with CJ on Saturday.

I would still be on a downer (2603) if it weren't for meeting up with Aki this morning and getting out in Mt Ainslie's wonderland this morning. Coming home to see messages from CJ, Jen and JTI is icing on the cake. (Mmm, cake).
I lobbed up to the Mt Ainslie run-up today, another big field, although not the usual faces who are normally around my pace. At the start I was too busy congratulating a fellow customs runner who had a blistering race in his first mountain bike event, finishing second. Too soon I drew away from the back markers and there was daylight between me and everyone else. I probably should have had some sustenance before the run-up, as my legs felt fine, but I was lacking somewhat in energy. I picked up towards the end, when I saw a bloke walking ahead of me. I never caught him, but it certainly was good to see someone else on the course. I did a poor time, 18:21, and didn't hang around at the finish but jogged straight down to have a fortifying FortiJuice. (Mmm, FortiJuice). I then did what I had been putting off until the last minute, shopping for food to restock the house for Bob's return.

I must admit it has been much easier only having low residue, low fat drinks and foods in front of me, not having to cook, or smell Bob's tucker. So, I stocked up on the basics for breakfast; muesli, soy milk, fruit and yoghurt. For lunch; tofu and eggplant to grill, tomatoes, mesclun, tapenade, lean ham, and eggs. Dinner is more of a problem for me to avoid, and I have some pumpkin and tofu curry in the freezer already. Lots of vegetables, bananas, 5kg of basmati rice, soba and udon noodles, 20kg of rye and linseed flours, extra virgin olive oil . . . .

Stop it! I had better make a batch of bread rolls for his lunch tomorrow, and stop thinking about this glorious fibre-rich, fresh food!


Aki's Ainslie Adventure

1 comments



I was out of bed well before the alarm this morning, as I had been unable to sleep in the wet sheets. I felt like changing beds and going back to sleep, but having arranged to meet Aki for a before Uni run at Mt Ainslie, I did a load of washing and tried to de-grog instead.

It was cold (0°), and a beautiful low fog formed a layer above the ground and around the tree line. Grass on verges and sports-grounds were distinctly crispy-white and I kept thinking about Monty Python's Wizzo Chocolate sketch ('Spring Surprise' and "crunchy Frog') as I was travelling through the ethereal scene. Aki and I were both querying our sanity on one hand, and congratulating ourselves on arranging to meet to get us out. We parked at the end of Antill Street, near the start of the Vets 9.3km Mount Ainslie loop, on the course for the Bush Capital runs on 30 July and not far from Uni.

I was slow to start, and we both left in long legs, long sleeves, hats and gloves. We jogged very slowly to begin with, the cold bit, and our muscles need much warming. We frequently came across mountain bikers coming off single track, headlamps attached to their helmets; other joggers; walkers; and a large number of cyclists obviously using the trail adjacent to the houses to commute to work. The run became more and more special ~ the rising sun glinted off frosted bushes making them glow silver. The light had an uncommon intensity, highlighting the red trail in it's orange glow, with a deep blue beyond the mist line. Unsure of the time available, we turned back at Mt Ainslie Road, and essentially retraced our steps.

Aki was significantly lighter on her feet as the run continued and the pace picked up greatly. We both agreed that it was wonderful to be out there running this morning, and look forward to doing it again soon. Wouldn't be dead for quids.


Monday, Bloody Monday

2 comments

Good weather today. Cold overnight, clear blue skies once the fog lifted.

I had a long session with my doctor (GP) to discuss test results and the next moves. Although the tests did not indicate any solution to the night sweats, I can cope with this, although it will much harder to manage and more intrusive when Bob returns on Wednesday (Yay!).

Another issue which significantly affects my quality of life was discussed with some candor and at some length. It was here that we realised how much my condition had deteriorated over the last 10 years, and that I had been eating a normal diet then. I'd almost forgotten about consideration of normal food. Upon a fairly blank response to "How would you like to eat a normal diet" (shrug of the shoulders accompanied by an "I'd rather run" look on my face), he quickly added "and be able to run". This did provoke excitement. I felt a little overwhelmed with the options today, even though they had been on the table in some form for a few years.
Major surgery would be involved, but then the medications I take in attempt to aemeliorate the symptoms of the current condition are not without their problems, and such extensive use over a long period is entirely unknown.
Instead of arranging it then and there (like I usually do), I suggested that I talk it over with Bob when he returns on Wednesday (Yay!). I rang Bob afterwards, just as he was breakfasting to fill him in on the important bits while I had them clear in my mind. I forget things quickly, and know from experience how important this is.
The rest of the day is a bit of a blah. I felt a bit blank and frustrated, then changed for exercise. I was a bit dipsy, because I found that I was half dressed for cycling and half for running. I didn't know what I was going to do. Changed into running gear, with a CR tri top and arm warmers to take the chill off during the first part of the run. Planning a bushland ramble, I headed off, only to be cut short within 500m by the very issue we had been discussing. Unable to continue, and not having dosed up, I skulked home feeling pretty shitty about it all.
So - no exercise that counts today - vacuuming, cleaning the wood-box, blah blah blah.
Bob sold his phone tonight, so is out of contact until he hits Australia again. Probably a good thing because I might look for sympathy. Spoke to Aki tonight to arrange a before class jog tomorrow morning. Unfortunately it means an early start, but it is too good an opportunity to pass up. I really enjoyed talking to her, and it was the fillip I needed. (I guess 'fillip' is a word?)
Too much to do, wood to bring in, cat to feed, clothes to arrange, bed to make.
Note to self: remember to take tablets tomorrow morning on waking.
fillip \FIL-up\, noun:
1. A snap of the finger forced suddenly from the thumb; a smart blow.
2. Something serving to rouse or excite; a stimulus.
3. A trivial addition; an embellishment

transitive verb:
1. To strike with the nail of the finger, first placed against the ball of the thumb, and forced from that position with a sudden spring; to snap with the finger.
2. To snap; to project quickly.
3. To urge on; to provide a stimulus, by or as if by a fillip.

If any one in Mirgorod gives him a neckerchief or underclothes, he returns thanks; if any one gives him a fillip on the nose--he returns thanks then also.
--Nikolai Gogol, "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarrelled with Ivan Nikiforovich"

[Y]ou may take your coffee of a morning in the little garden in which he wrote finis to his immortal work -- and if the coffee is good enough to administer a fillip to your fancy, perhaps you may yet hear the faint reverberation among the trees of the long, long breath with which he must have laid down his pen.
--Henry James, Collected Travel Writings

[I]nflation can always give only a temporary fillip to the economy.
--Friedrich Hayek, "Can We Still Avoid Inflation?"

Her raspberry cream tart is given an added fillip with bourbon and nutmeg.
--Marian Burros, "Cooking," New York Times, June 3, 1984

The utopian and romantic -- and in the end completely unrealistic -- idea that the building should serve as a mooring post for airships led to the creation of a tower on the tower, giving a final fillip to the design.
--Nathan Glazer, "Miracle on 34th Street," New York Times, December 3, 1995

You fillip me o' the head.
--Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fillip is probably of imitative origin.


Jogalong and West Basin with Aki

1 comments

Night Sweats: slight, early
Headache: no

Once again I woke early, fresh, and with Lucy pressed close to my side. I was surprised to find that I had been lying on a towel, until I remembered that I had put it down sson after going to bed and finding myself sweaty after a short sleep. Unfortunately, I continue to suspect that my lack of real food for the last two days is an important factor in me not having night sweats. I would prefer to eat.
The weather was great when I got the paper, quite mild, with stars peeking through. Unaccustomed to this extra morning time (not needing to strip the bed, do a few loads of washing and bathe and wash my hair before leaving the house), I busied myself in the study. So I was very surprised when I left the house to find it bathed in fog and the temperature decidedly chilly. Farther from home, it had developed into a thick pea souper. It was good to have arranged to meet Aki for a run to ensure that I didn't procrastinate too long.
We arrived at Weston Park for the Cross Country Club's Women's Jogalong. This was to be Aki's first Jogalong, and I knew that she would be good on the course, and coupled with her competitive nature, would enjoy having so many people to chase on the 6km handicap course. On arriving, there were many familiar faces, including many Aki now knew. Some discussion with Geoff on handicap times beforehand resulted in Aki going off my (soft) group 33, 16:00 from the start of the watch. The walkers and slower joggers had left earlier, and as we started, one girl took off like a rabbit. We paced ourselves quite well, passing unruly clusters of toddlers and kids with some accompanying adults along the route as they did their 1km "Mini-Jog".
Once on the bike path, it was easy to keep track of Aki as the foot fall was a comforting thud thud at my heels. We were passing many people, and the turnaround was once again a little far along Dunrossil Drive. I mentioned to Aki thatthe course was long and not to be too concerned about the sub-30 finish. A quick check of my watch at 4km indicated a steady 4:30 pace. I decided not to mention it in case she decided it was too fast. The final kilometre it was once again on a slightly muddy track, and I frequently checked to see that Aki was 'in touch' as I could no longer hear her. With an awesome finishing kick she flung herself at the finish for an exceptional Jogalong debut of 28:39.
After presentations, we changed socks and checked what gear to wear in the dim and cold conditions. E ventually we were off, heading in a clockwise direction to ensure that there was access to water on the second part of the course. I found it bitterly cold to begin with, my teeth chattering and body shivering. When warmed up, we maintained an easy conversational pace of about 6:30 minute k's. Instead of going up 'Hospital Hill' I suggested we add on a bit by going around the National Museum. I love the architecture and views from here and it seemed like a good idea at the time! Not long after Aki faded greatly, and she stubbornly refused my offers of me going ahead to pick up the car, or taking a walk break. All up, a total distance of 18.4km in 2 hours 13 minutes. My heart rate was hopelessly pedestrian - dipping to the high 90's while running, and averaging 122. Somewhat of a difference to the Jogalong run, which averaged 157 and peaked at 166. It was great running with Aki, and I may have misjudged it a bit, but it was fun!
Only when heading home did the sky break up into a clear blue ~ the first time all day. This felt good! The fire had mostly gone out in the 61/2 hours since I had left home. Unenthusiastically I got onto clearing it of a huge pile of ash. I had put off going shopping for too long, so was out of firelighters and had had no success in splitting the dense red logs with an axe. I reluctantly went to the supermarket, not a great idea when it is dark, cold, and I am tired and hungry. I did avoid most comfort foods, however did succumb to a tub of Colombo Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream.
Much to do, the Tour is on, I have only just got the fire going despite many attempts, and I need to bone up on the Gold Coast results.




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