On the eve of a hallowed day


I had been disappointed to see that the Bonshaw Cup had been moved from it's original (for me!) running at Lunchtime on Melbourne Cup Day, which served a few simultaneous purposes. One was able to extricate oneself from the office without being too much of a party-pooper, in the name of a 'Run for Charity'. This had the great added benefit of doing something you really liked to do (run!), while everyone else in the office is doing the round of bad food, silly hats and countless sweepstakes and one-day-a-year experts. For those who like it, great, but it just ain't my scene.

With some despair I found out that this years event (not being well enough for many years) is on the Wednesday, the week following the race. Friar pointed out that the move may be because of the race now being run later in the afternoon ~ good point, but now I'll have to look at what else to do to avoid the call and the the wall-to-wall media coverage throughout the day. Even the Mt Ainslie run-up which takes (the winner - NOT me) 10-12 minutes to complete has been deferred for a week. Truly the race that stops the nation.

Bob has gone, somewhat reluctantly, to swim squad tonight. I am feeling much better, although I did have another long afternoon nap. The throat / glands aren't great, but the ear is manageable with pain killers, and although gunked up this morning, the eyes are OK (but then I haven't tried to read / drive / see anything much). I'm pretty confident that I'll be right for the Cross Country Club's summer series of 5k runs which kick off tomorrow night. It was good to read that allrounder is now planning to go, as well as Aki.

A comment on my sense of humour


I admit it. I’m sick.

‘Just’ a cold I think/hope, although even a cold knocks me around a lot. Sunday saw me with (slightly) improved eyes and greatly improved voice, although the right ear was angry and extremely painful. Strong Analgesics permitted me to get back to sleep, so I was able to sleep through the whole morning once again, missing Bob’s departure for the Vets Handicap at Bluett’s Forest, his early return having only jogged 3km, and trip to the fresh food markets and (eech!) supermarket.

Bob was unable to run more comfortably, and we are both very pleased that we didn’t try to venture to Wagga where we would have felt under more pressure to compete and see how we go. It would not have been a good idea, and having seen that there was nearly 18mm of rain yesterday, we feel even better about having blown our dough on the pre-entry fee.

In the afternoon, apart from trying to keep my fluids up, Bob and I wandered out for a social coffee instead. I suggested ‘Musica é’ on the shores of Lake Ginninderra. Although I checked out the website yourRestaurants.com.au to see that it was open Sunday (having found it closed on Monday in the past), when we lobbed up around 3:30 pm, the place was empty (= good = quiet), however the sign on the door indicated that it closed ‘for lunch’ at 3:00 pm and opened for dinner at 6:00 pm. We kept walking the few metres to ‘Black Pepper’ which we found was open ‘just for coffee and cake’ and was readying to close at 4:00 pm. We ordered a couple of long blacks, grabbed a bottle of water from the ‘fridge and stayed for a few minutes.

Although the coffee there is the right price ($5.60 for two long blacks), I found it bitter and rather weak. Bob didn’t notice it with his sweetener. I would still rather have the good Italian style caffé at Musica é though, despite it being $3.50 a cup. Next time! Maybe with Strewth ~ I was jealous about their post-handicap breakfast!

Another early night, and I do feel better, although will ensure that I don’t do anything on Monday to give myself a better chance of recovery and so that I can get to the Cross Country Club's summer series run on Tuesday evening, and if not that doesn’t matter. Big Picture stuff. The Slow Six Foot Track is still the priority and not-too-many sleeps away.

I didn't say it often enough . . .


My fault after-all.

Needless to say, Bob and I are non-starters for the wonderfully named "Palm and Pawn" Duathlon tomorrow. I'm keen to visit Wagga again, ("Why? I hear you ask") as my sister went there to lecture around 1979-ish, and I have fond memories of finding out that what I considered be be the end of civilisation had a surprising amount going for it. When I then met and started going out with one of her colleagues, I got to know some aspects of the restaurants and countryside even better.

But I digress.

No night sweat early on, but a huge one later during the morning. My eyes were/are the worse they've ever been, stuck together with mucous, constantly blurred and hard to focus. I jumped (OK, slight exaggeration) out of bed still planning to go, but by the time I made it up the stairs to the kitchen I knew that this was a foolish pipe dream. As soon as Bob helped me re-make my bed and I had a bath, I went back to bed and stayed there all day.

Aki rang me to say that she and the PRB were going for a swim. I declined, although it was a lovely idea. Bob headed off to the pool at the same time but didn't see them. Otherwise, not much to report. It's more important I recover than put miles on my legs, in the pool, or on the bike. As Lucky Legs says it's only four weeks to the main event - the slow six foot track.
So, rest (boring), fluids and limited reading (thankfully I touch type) for a day or three.

If I say if often enough, does that make it true?


It's all above my neck.

Really it is.

Not much brain or brawn in evidence this week . . . perhaps the lovely Adrienne was right, and I picked up some bug in the water at the pool on Monday night. Once again this morning was spent in damming the flow and doing multiple loads of washing. Ironic on the day that it has been announced that the long drought in the ACT has broken. Throat was once again pretty scratchy and my voice was a whisper (or sexy, husky, I think not!) at best.

Bob is a bit of a sook today I think ~ good for him, he isn't like this much, and has a niggling injury which is annoying him enormously. He saw the physio on Tuesday to look at his piriformis, translated by his friend Jude so eloquently as his "right arsicle". He has been vacillating all week about whether he will be alright to compete in the Wagga Duathlon, and he was miserable about the lack of code for the car radio after the battery replacement. The notion of a drive to Wagga without the CD or radio was too difficult to contemplate.

He dropped the car into the dealership and reluctantly trudged off to the pool for a swim. I thought that I didn't need my voice for the Customs run at lunchtime, and thought that it would be a fair test for the weekend. I got out the mountain bike, and found that the front tyre was quite flat. I pumped it up after riding down to the Lake Stakes on Tuesday, so a tube replacement was called for. No time, I threw my gear into a backpack and took the road bike instead.

Enjoyed the ride, travelling on the main roads (Bindubi St and Parkes Way) instead of the bike paths without too much traffic. I was there in plenty of time to change shoes and gear, although didn't get a warm up in. Walking to the nearest toilets in the Regatta Point centre, I thought I saw Friar walking towards me, however my vision is still terribly blurred and I only half-waved unsure of whom it was. After my string of poor performances, I had been re-handicapped to start off 12:30. Adrienne had a blistering run last week and left off 13:00. With my voice straining, I expected her to fly past at any moment.

My breathing was laboured, and legs slow, but I got through it OK, a few seconds faster than last week. Afterwards I rode through the late lunchtime crowds in Civic to collect some contact lenses I ordered and rode home - at first through the back streets of O'Connor and then on the empty main road of Belconnen Way. I do like riding my road bike, and the weather was great!

I didn't continue the ride though today, but fell into bed after a bath and slept for a couple of hours. The car has been fixed, and Bob seems to be in chipper (sp?)spirits . . . and planning to head to Wagga. We'll see what happens!



Maybe a role for me in the future? Ducktastic!

Thursday - sick


2005 10 27
I kept waking during the night with my dry eyes disturbing me ~ although there was little night sweating.  My throat was getting worse and worse though, and I felt decidedly poorly.  At 5:00am I couldn‘t return to sleep, so wandered up to the kitchen, but this disturbed Bob too much.  I took some analgesia and managed to sleep, although this time I did loose quite a few litres of perspiration in the process, waking up in a babbling brook.  My throat seemed a bit better though.

I was groggy for most of the morning, and my eyes didn’t improve; vision was compromised, blurry and hard to focus, and artificial tears didn’t make much of a difference.  I still felt good about getting to the track that night, and baked a batch of small bread rolls to take along for supper – better than the processed packages of biscuits that often turn up.  I set my phone/computer to beep and warn me at 3:30pm to start taking the Imodium so I could run.

Bob went for a quick swim in the morning, and then managed to get a physio appointment at 11:00am.  By the time he returned I had crashed in bed, feeling much better after a thorough soaking in the tub, and a good scrubbing of my face and to remove the caked up layers of gunk around my eyes, but had become exhausted as a result.  Slept solidly, through my Imodium alarms and didn’t wake until about 5:30pm.  Too late to go to track, and once again my throat was really bad – almost can’t make any noise out of my mouth, so I back to a complicated range of charades to communicate with Bob.  



I 'popped' out to do the BBQ Stakes at lunchtime - in the midst of much ado at home, I didn't have time to cycle (good thing too as it turned out; frequent heavy sun showers) and arrived when those off a handicap of 4 minutes were already out on the course.

I knew that I'd be slow - no stiffness in the legs, but a significant loss of leg speed. No problemo, all events done over the next 136 days (approximately) are leading up to the Six Foot Track next year. Once again I got faster as I went:

1k 5:57
2k 5:56 11:53
3k 5:34 17:27
4k 5:30 22:57
5k 4:42 27:39
6k 4:15 31:54

More encouragement for the long stuff! I spoke to Phibes briefly, and congratulated him on his well measured run in the Brindabella event. Then off quickly (there was light rain during the run) to get home and attend to the batch of bread dough I had left to rise. First, a diversion to drop a bag of T-Shirts into a charity bin, and to Rad's place to leave a far-too-big-for-me pair of knicks and jersey that he might be able to wear. I left the bag on Rad's doorstep and then - the car had died. I thought (hoped) that it was 'just' the battery, although my concerns about starting the car recently (never a problem after a long drive, frequently when not used for a day of three) had been dismissed by Bob as 'not being the battery' whenever I raised it.

With Rad off to the Masters Cycling Championships in Ballarat, I tried to ring Bob at home, and on his mobile with no luck. He had left for a cycle mid-morning, so this was a bit of a surprise. I started walking down to the nearest Service Station, which had a fair sized workshop, although my requests for a jump start were not met too favourably with the boss away. I gave Bob's cycling nephew Rob a call, but he wasn't able to help. Just as I thought about "holler for a Marshall", Bob returned my call (huff, puff, huff, huff) as he had cycled back into mobile range. He was still a little sceptical about the battery being responsible, but he was actually quite close by now, and we agreed to meet at the car. I walked back in light rain via the Hughes Bakery and bought a ricotta and spinach pastie and a couple of plain bread rolls for Bob to keep the wolf from the door.

I had just arrived at the car, and was putting the rear seat down for Bob to put his bike in the car out of the rain when he rolled up. A quick turn of the key convinced Bob that it was the battery! Thank heavens for mobiles, a quick call to Call Connect got us connected and a guy on the way ~ within an hour and a half.
It rained whilst we were waiting, both quite damp and under-dressed, but it was pleasant being together. Eventually it all got fixed, and we were on our way home, to move the washing now sodden from the rain, bread rolls over-riz, and showers much needed. It was nearly 6:00pm, so our planned Swim Squad tonight was off; a pity, but an easy decision to make. Tomorrow I hope to go for a swim in the morning and track in the evening. One thing urgently needs attention though: replacing the battery meant that the radio/CD player 'lost' its security code. Without it - nada. I've checked all the car's paperwork at home with no success . . . hopefully the dealer will be able to help, although I have a sinking feeling that the unit was replaced under warranty in Cairns. A car without sound is like a fish without a bicycle.

Play Dough and T-Shirts


I am doing a few vaguely incompatible things at the moment; having eventually sourced the 20kgs of bread making flour that I wanted to make Bob's rolls for lunch (a mixture of soy, rye, linseed, and whole grains), I am in the process of bread roll production for a week or two's supply for Bob's lunch. This invariably means lots of dough under the finger nails and flour up to the elbows in the kneading process. Using Rye flour also means that I have quite a wet dough to begin with, which makes it a tad messier!

After having been unable to find my cycling gloves yesterday, I am clearing out my clothes from my study and doing a T-Shirt Audit. About this time last year, Bob and I tossed out around 100 T-Shirts (recycled them anyway). Although we got rid of so many, lots slipped through because of sentimental value (overseas events, or first something typically), despite being of poor quality and too large. (When will running and Triathlon event organisers realise that all entrants are unlikely to be XXL?). I've done /am doing lots of sorting out, but still haven't found my yellow cycling gloves.

Mega+++ Night Sweats last night; fairly predictable I suppose, although I am extremely tired after a very unrefreshing sleep. I changed the bedclothes a couple of times during the night, AND lay down on a towel, and still have a couple of loads of washing. My throat is better than when I went to bed last night although seems to deteriorate as soon as I start talking. Feel pretty good otherwise though.

I got cracking on Rad's Ravers Team for the Triple Tri yesterday, being concerned that the entry closing date was looming. It turns out that entries don't close until 11 November (what a significant date!). We have too many starters for one team, and not enough for two. I enjoyed myself so much last year; Bob was away Triathloning (Port Macquarie? Forster? Shepparton? Wherever there's a Half Ironman, there's Bob), with our team of Rad (Team Captain), Friar, Ron on the MTB for the 1st two legs, Caroline C. (not me) on the last bike leg, husband & wife Lindy & Peter for the swims and Ron's daughter Milli doing the long swim.

Rad was uncharacteristically injured, and I got the go ahead (sort of) to run for the first time in 7 weeks since my op. from the doctor 4 days beforehand. (Surgeon: "I'd take it easy. Don't do a half marathon or anything" Me:thinks "It's only 20km . . .). I did the first run, and then Rad's last leg. I was looking jealously as Mister G was warming up to do his second of all three legs. Next year . . .

So, Friar is a possible non-starter due to a family visit to Sydney, although is really integral to the team. Rad has run the first and 2nd legs in previous years and is keen to now do the third. I am keen to do all run legs. We are lacking some (slow and social cyclists and swimmers) for two teams, but at the moment it looks like:
Rad's Ravers - A Team
Swim #1 1.5k Peter D
MTB #1 35k Michael D
Run #1 20k The PRB
Swim #2 3.5k Lindy D
MTB #2 40k ??
Run #2 12k Friar
Swim #3 1.2k ??? Peter D
MTB # 3 24k ???
Run #3 13k Rad

Rad's Raver - B Team (Family Brent/Harlow/Kramar)
Swim #1 1.5k Milli
MTB #1 35k Ron
Run #1 20k Carolyne
Swim #2 3.5k Milli
MTB #2 40k Bob
Run # 2 12k Carolyne
Swim #3 1.2k Milli
MTB #3 24k Ron
Run #4 13k Carolyne

Looks good, and at the moment I can't wait! Later!

Short Post:


I almost expected the dreaded DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) to come and bite me on the bum, quads and calves today after my arrogant assertion about pulling up well. Once again, nothing. Legs are slow – did the 7k Ginninderra Stakes today at around 5 minute pace, but certainly not stiff or sore. Weird.

This has started to crystallise a few thoughts as a result. My endurance seems pretty good, and I love the long stuff, particularly the long stuff on trails in the bush. I think that Ultra’s are calling me!

One of the downsides of the weekend run doesn’t relate to injury or soreness, and perhaps it’s after the swim last night, however this afternoon I have developed a very sore and raw throat, and my voice has gone west. Good news for some – getting a little peace!

I will try to sleep as much as I can tonight, and hope that I feel better tomorrow. I will have to seriously think about whether to go to the BBQ Stakes tomorrow, even though I was only concerned about the rain and riding this morning!

To bed, to sleep, to recover!

Is that a muscle I feel?


More of an effect from the Bulls Head downhill today than any other recent run (Sydney, Fitzroy Falls), however nothing that can be interpreted as stiff, sore or even tender muscles. Did you know I love downhills?

Worked my way through a long “To Do” list today, not completing it, however making significant inroads. Joined Bob for lunch at home today – yep, I actually ate some Turkish bread straight out of Mama’s oven at the Turkish Pide House at Jamieson. Bob had strongly recommended that I didn’t run today, and whilst I don’t take all (or much!) of his advice, I listened to him today. I had hoped to go for a decent cycle, however the great conditions for the run yesterday had vanished overnight in a swirl of storms, rain and hail. Being the wimp I am, I didn’t venture out into the tempest on the bike. I felt great after yesterday – no muscle soreness again (I’m sure that there is something wrong with me!), however that annoying headache on the right temple persisted all day. The large quantities of Imodium I necessarily take may be acting as a diuretic as causing me to be effectively dehydrated after these events.

Both Bob and I bit the bullet and committed ourselves to attend our first Bilby's swim squad at CISAC (Canberra International Sports and Aquatic Centre). We didn’t know anybody there well, and I was by far the slowest swimmer in the slowest lane, but enjoyed the discipline of getting there. Bob pulled me out before the end of the set, us both having swum 1,800m on this occasion, and look forward to attending again on Wednesday and future Monday evenings.

I’m still concerned about the PRB bonking after 17kms or so during long runs. He certainly has the ability and the endurance base to continue at the same level, but is running short of nutrition or has suspect iron levels or something. I’m very keen to keep running with him, especially over the longer distances such as the Cotter runs (15, 18 and 21 miles) in preparation for the six foot track.

Tomorrow – Lake Ginninderra Stakes at lunchtime with Bob.

Bulls Head Challenge Part II


The cry of Black Cockatoos was easy to hear overhead. Glimpses of the Molonglo River winding its way through the valley came in and out of view, and the track maintained it’s excellent surface of fine even gravel throughout. A long descent began just before the 10km mark, and it was around here that I first felt that I had ‘warmed up’ and settled into an easy stride. Rounding a sweeping bend, just past ‘map top’ Hugh who was favouring his gammy knee on the downhill stretch, the PRB stopped to retie a shoe lace. I slowed right down to an almost stationary jog, but did not stop completely, as I always find that starting again is the hardest thing!

On this long sweeping stretch of downhill track winding through the tall trees untouched by the 2003 Bushfires, we also managed to catch up with Geoff who was running really well, belying his 61 years. We had passed through the first 10k in around 49 minutes and I felt really good. I had set the Polar to beep at each kilometre and also at 5 minute intervals, and it was very even, the two sounds occurring within seconds of each other. Eventually the thick forest thinned, and the downhill continued providing an opportunity to pick up the pace. Splits over the next few kilometres were significantly faster (gotta love downhill).

Lap Time Lap Time Altitude Avg Ascent Grade %
1. 0:04:34.5 0:04:34.5 1194 1242 0 -8.4
2. 0:08:28.5 0:03:54.0 1109 1144 0 -8.5
3. 0:14:28.5 0:06:00.0 1135 1121 28 2.6
4. 0:20:24.5 0:05:56.0 1160 1156 31 2.5
5. 0:25:14.5 0:04:50.0 1130 1136 11 -3.1
6. 0:29:22.5 0:04:08.0 1073 1107 0 -5.7
7. 0:34:09.5 0:04:47.0 1065 1069 5 -0.9
8. 0:40:04.5 0:05:55.0 1071 1066 15 0.6
9. 0:44:28.5 0:04:24.0 1020 1049 0 -5.1
10. 0:48:30.5 0:04:02.0 963 990 0 -5.7
11. 0:52:38.5 0:04:08.0 904 934 0 -5.9
12. 0:56:36.5 0:03:58.0 851 874 0 -5.3
13. 1:00:52.5 0:04:16.0 817 832 0 -3.4
14. 1:05:22.5 0:04:30.0 792 802 0 -2.6
15. 1:09:54.5 0:04:32.0 760 777 0 -3.2
16. 1:14:40.5 0:04:46.0 737 750 0 -2.3
17. 1:19:36.5 0:04:56.0 721 726 5 -1.6
18. 1:25:18.5 0:05:42.0 719 733 20 -0.2
19. 1:30:10.5 0:04:52.0 692 700 5 -2.7
20. 1:35:10.5 0:05:00.0 664 691 5 -2.9
21. 1:39:48.5 0:04:38.0 619 634 5 -4.5
22. 1:45:04.5 0:05:16.0 575 585 5 -4.5
23. 1:53:36.5 0:08:32.0 643 609 63 6.8
24. 2:05:16.5 0:21:54.0 604 619 123 1.1
25. 2:11:54.5 0:06:38.0 624 622 31 2.0
26. 2:16:18.5 0:04:24.0 540 576 0 -8.4
27. 2:20:40.5 0:04:22.0 482 501 0 -5.8
28. 2:20:49.3 0:00:08.8 484 484 0 12.7

After we had run about 14km – a mental half way point – Emma Murray came springing past, smiling, looking as though she was having a walk in the park, relaxed, comfortable, and gorgeous. Sigh . . . .

The forest had given way to some burnt out sections and was quite exposed in sections; I was pleased that I opted to wear little to begin with as it was quite warm. The PRB started to fade around the 16-18 kilometre mark, despite the gradient being generous and the conditions good. A section of gravel was quite rough at a bend, apparently set down to fix the road up from flooding recently. Grumphs (Trevor Jacobs) trotted past us at this point, disappearing quickly as he powered up the short climb while my speed dropped back to that slower than a walk once more. Jackie Fairweather then ran past, working harder than Emma although looking very strong and determined in fourth place overall.

Just after 18k, Peter insisted that I go ahead, and rather reluctantly agreed. The changeover point was just ahead, with a great selection of cars, supporters, and volunteers on folding chairs, and well stock drink station with water, Gatorade, jelly beans and fruit. Unable to eat, I grabbed a couple of cups of water and continued on through an exposed section where those in front were no where to be seen. I kept expecting to see the PRB come up behind me once he had rehydrated and regained his energy at the aid station, although this didn’t occur.

Nearing the 21km point, the track deviated to the right, with the Y-junction marked off with witches’ hats. Three trail Bikes came roaring through here as I rounded the bend, and sped off in the direction from where I came and the other, tired runners still were. I called at them to be careful, but am equally sure that this was unable to be heard above the roar of their unmuffled engines. According to the reasonably accurate S625x, I went through the 21.1k point around 1:40:30 which may neither be accurate nor fair given the downhill nature, but I am happy enough to take it nevertheless.

I had been wondering how close to the finish was Vanity’s Crossing, as Bob had warned me that it would be quite high, and even suggested that I take off my shoes and socks for the wading. Around a sweeping bend, the river was in view, with a guy in front of me wading across the knee deep water. The depth gauge near the bank read around 0.6m, and I firmly planted my foot in the water to cross, before remembering that I was wearing the footpod. I thought that it was water resistant, but at that moment couldn’t recall exactly, and, being too late plowed ahead through the refreshingly cold, clear river that reached my mid-thigh. (Ducks Disease – curse of the Seagoons).

It was a relief to see two familiar faces manning the aid station at the other side, Narrelle and Diane, spouses (pl spice?) of two Canberra running identities. I stopped and drank two full cups of water, and then continued on, wondering if the footpod would still work, and how the feet would respond to such a drenching with around 6kms to run.

The pod was fine, and although I found it a little heavy going picking up my sodden shoes and socks with each step on the not-so-welcome uphill stretch, the anticipated blisters did not eventuate. It was a slow old k. though – my 5 minute pace had been maintained pretty well until then, however this ascent with wet shoes took nearly twice as long.

Despite coming across a small group of 4WDs driving on the track, the rest of the run was fairly straight forward, despite the small climb up ‘Ma’ and ‘Pa’, two hillocks after Vanity’s. Here I could see two runners in front of me, walking sections of the hills, and although I didn’t catch them straight away I was to further on. Another river crossing and checkpoint near the finish was far easier, and not even ankle deep. Nearing the end, Cool Runner Phibes came powering past, with a smile on his face and in his voice, cheering me (Go Flash) and a nearby runner (Come on Kez) as his flashed past. There was the welcome sight of Black Mountain Tower and the hills of Canberra spread out before me, and then the roadway ensuring that the finish was just around the corner.

Avoiding 4WD’s and Sunday Motorcyclists tearing up the road, I felt fresh enough to put on a burst, and ‘sprint’ (relative term!) to the finish. Love trail running, love these sorts of distances!

CJ had finished well in front of me, over 4 minutes, and a collection of finishers were cooling off in the cold clear water of the river, using it as a convenient ice bath in the warm conditions. I changed out of my wet shoes, and joined them, tentatively sticking a toe in and then standing in knee deep water chatting to others for a very social bathing ceremony! I think that the Japenese, turks and ancient Romans had it right!

Bulls Head Challenge Part 1


Where do I start?

At the last moment, Bob decided to do the Vets Cycling race this morning, and we drove down to the Cotter together with the (road) bike in the car. He then used the track pump and rode up the McDonald Range as a warm-up for the race start at Uriarra Homestead.

Disappointingly, I had missed the start of the Brindabella Classic at 7:00am who were going to have a hard day at the office with the long uphill haul to the Bulls Head turnaround. I collected my number and looked around for people to carpool with up to the start, described as a 40 minute drive. I found the Perfect Running Buddy helping to put up a marquee, and managed to squeeze in to his pre-arranged lift. I searched in vain for Cool Runners, but found that I was too late.

There was a small collection of vehicles at the halfway changeover point, and I saw a smattering of blue and yellow caps and tops, including Bernie G. After a wander off to investigate the bushland on the other side of the yellow poles marking the road above the snowline, I met a lovely little snake slithering across my shoe. Waiting around at the start, Prue thought that we were having a covert secret meeting, talking in code (CJ, PRB, Friar) and all wearing elongated communication devices on our wrists. As the only non-CR and non-garmin wearing runner in the group she really didn’t know what she had stumbled upon!

A few minutes past 9:00am we were off, a mixed lot of all ages and perceived abilities, some wearing camelbacks and fuel belts, whilst others were travelling light. With a downhill start the PRB and I started towards the back and saw most of those in front start fast and increase their lead in front of us. With 27.7kms to go, I didn’t mind settling in near the back for the start. The trail wound its way through thick forest on a well groomed fire trail. A fairly steep climb followed a sharp descent within the first few kilometres, and then evened out to a level track until around 6 kilometres were run.

Before this though, the lead bicycle with it’s maliot-jeuned rider past us close to the start, and then was followed by a collection of many of the usual suspects for this kind of event; David Baldwin, Emma Murray, Trevor Jacobs, Jackie Fairweather and Cool Runner Phibes. I had predicted to Bob that morning a 2:30 finish if all went well, and these guys were nearly at the top in around 2 hours. Wow!!!

As the field had spread out, it was just possible to make out a few familiar figures on the track winding magically around the forest in hairpin bends; CJ, Hugh in his bright red and blue ‘map’ orienteering top, fellow Team Moore member Geoff B. I felt good on the downhills, but once again struggled on the inclines.

A warning at the start of a fallen tree had passed without notice – until it appeared a massive trunk with a litter of branches and twigs. Once under the trunk, the littered debris continued for another couple of metres. I imagined that this would have been very difficult after 20+ kilometres of climbing.

Rain, Rain, Go Away


Sometimes I get things sooo wrong!

Posted this on the CoolRunning Messageboards this morning:

Add me in to help with the car pool.
The weather this morning is great! Likely to continue tomorrow! Although the forecast still says 'clearing shower', I predict good conditions.

It did start out as a beautiful day. I got lots done in the morning, and headed down to the pool for a swim, a little later than I would have liked, but for a swim nevertheless. I decided to eschew the fins this time when I started, as I found it such hard going without on Wednesday. My first 100m was OK, and I kept going for (hopefully) 1,000m to ease me back into it. While I felt surprisingly comfortable in the water (very good), my times are as slow as they ever have been (bad), and I need to do a lot more swimming if I intend to do any tri’s, such as the Canberra Half Ironman on 11 December and the Long Course Triathlon Champs on 12 February 2006.

In the interests of full disclosure, when I say slow, my 100m splits were as follows:

  1. 2:36 2:36 Whee! Flying Start!
  2. 2:51 5:27 settling in . . .
  3. 2:52 8:19 and in,
  4. 2:52 11:11 stroke, breathe
  5. 2:58 14:09 slowing now. . . .
  6. 3:02 17:09 getting slower
  7. 3:03 20:14 and slower
  8. 3:00 23:14
  9. 3:11 26:26 no excuses!
  10. 2:53 29:19 Sprint Finish last 50m!

Enjoyed it immensely though. Bulls Head Challenge tomorrow may mean that the pool is out until Monday. Note to self: Must swim.

Leaving the pool, the sky was dangerously dark despite it nearing midday. The heavens opened up and there was flash flooding obscuring everything in its wake.

Vanity’s Crossing is going to be fun as it is (maybe knee height?), and I don’t mind at all running in the rain (it’s not too cold). It’s the logistics of hanging around at the beginning and the end when it’s wet that I hate.

Que Sera Sera.

Crimes of Passion


It’s been a disjointed patch this week ~ still no sign of a haircut on the horizon, and it is really starting to annoy me!

Thursday started with good intentions (This is the Road to Hell – Chris Rhea), and Bob and I went out to Fyshwick to buy the multifunction printer/scanner/fax/coffee maker that I had attempted to get on Wednesday afternoon, arriving as they locked the doors. Not a problem – I had contacted Aki to let her know that I would be tied up for an hour or whatever and hoped to catch up that afternoon. More Good Intentions.

As the designated techno-spouse, I then began to connect it and get it operational. Whilst not inherently difficult, it did mean establishing a wireless network and getting everyone to talk to each other. This took quite a bit of time! In a pique of frustration, I ended up turning off the automatic fax reception until I work out what I am doing wrong with that connection to prevent annoying data screeching when answering the voice line.

Installing the full version of the software on my computer took something like 8 hours!? Although I downloaded the diet version onto Bob’s in ten minutes or so. Needless to say, no playtime with Aki and no opportunity to get to the first night of the Vets Track at the AIS.

Anyway, now we can print, scan, fax and order coffee from wherever in the network our laptops may be. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do the coffee.

Friday is Customs Day, and as I said to Aki it is like brushing one’s teeth. Bob cycled down there, and put the bike in the car. Although Floriade is over, the protective fences are still up and we are locked out of our usual course. With the toilets now 1km away, I squeezed unobtrusively through the fence to the nearby block a 100m away. On my return, Nigel C sought to do the same, although unable to fit, a delegation gathered to remove the chain over the top of the rails. After this had happened, with Nigel out of sight, a highly officious STAR security guard marched up, shouting at we rag tag mob of runners about “breaking the law” and being “illegal”. Although we explained about Nigel going to the toilet, this resulted in him barking more Sergeant Major like grunts and locking the hole shut with locks designed to keep those inside interred indefinitely. With a sinister smirk on his face, he marched away to lay pray for his quarry.

On Nigel’s return, we gathered to instruct him to climb on the sub-station box over the top. No problem. We are shameless in our joint conduct of such a heinous crime. Sir!

Customs was good – slow legs meant a slow time despite feeling good, but I have no complaints. (5k in 24:14).

I've been tagged!


23rd Post from 8 February 2005:

Worn out by the Supermarket . I don't like to shop. But I like to run, cycle and now swim, and that is what I did today . . . starting with a 6k jog in the bush this morning to check that my new shoes were OK. I then went to the pool and did 3k again, however this time I did the warm up with fins (and clearing my goggles) over 500m, with a steady 2.5k freestyle to finish. Worked on my arms and breathing to give me confidence for the Sri Chimnoy Lake Swim on Sunday. Late afternoon saw me out on the road bike for a whirl, although the wind was high and gusty at the time, which made the going hard. Something of a tailwind on the return journey which was welcome. Planned 'quick' trip to the supermarket lasted over an hour and enabled me to stock up on many of those essentials we had run short of. I hate shopping (bike shops, ship chandler's, camping supplies etc excepted). Even if I didn't enjoy it, I felt virtuous and satisfied with what I had achieved. Mad rush home, change into running gear and off to the ACT Cross Country Summer Series 5k. There was a huge turnout ~ 50 women and 86 men ~ and I was pleasantly surprised that I came in at 22:38 and a negative split after such a big day. Especially the shopping.

Gosh, did I do all that?

Here are the rules:

1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (or the closest one to it)
4. Post the text of your sentence in your blog along with these rules.
5. Tag five other people

I tag Stephen Lacey; MonnyChick; Travis; Travy and Matty.

The genesis of an emerging triathlete . . .


I dropped Bob off this morning, and then headed straight to the pool for my first swim of the season. Not that I think that swimming in a temperature controlled indoor pool has a season, but, heck I’m slack!

I arrived at a near perfect time ~ the schoolies and office workers were finishing off their early morning training and the pool was calm and light. Conscious of my being an alien in this environment, I started off with a few minutes in the hot spa to warm up eternally frigid limbs. I found a slow lane to myself, and eased myself into it with a lap (100m) with a kickboard and fins. Fun! Easy! Ditched the kickboard and swam with fins for another fun 400m. Sure, the woman in the next slow lane was faster using a combination of breaststroke and freestyle, but I was genuinely surprised that I could do it so easily. I didn’t have to remember to breathe.

Then, off with the fins for the real test. Whether it was the miles in my legs, or just general lack of swimming fitness (and skill!), it seemed that I was going backwards in the water for a long, long time once I didn’t have the benefit of my pink-and-yellow duck feet (see image above). Eventually I was 50m away and only had to turn around to come back! Whew! I kept going, and despite only having to follow the thin black line, I eventually settled into it, and was beginning to enjoy the darn thing! Probably fortunately, I ensured that I stopped after 500m free, not wanted to reproduce Bob’s too-much-swimming-too-soon shoulder injury, and conscious of number of things I needed to do this morning.

I dried off and warmed up in the steam room briefly, stretching and revelling in the warmth.

The first time is always the hardest, a little swimming, often.

Spoke to Aki on returning home and arranged to go down to the BBQ Stakes with her, even though I had to have a check-up of my orthoses with my podiatrist beforehand. It all went well, and although Aki was unable to run, instead race walking over the undulating 6km course. Once again I started very slowly, without any stiffness in my legs, however they were slower than they should have been. It was once again a matter of (not) warming up though – a massive negative split of 16:32 / 14:04 indicates that!

We then sought to hire some kayaks on the lake, although the dull conditions meant that the boat hire kiosk was closed. We moved onto Plan B, and began Aki’s first lesson on learning to ride a bike. We made substantial progress and I think that a new Triathlete is in the making! Watch out Loretta Harrop!!

A good day, feel very healthy, and only a short run and veggie swim, but heading in the right direction.

A Magic Aranda Ramble


Bob was home today, and we spent the morning organising the bed order in the light industrial area of Fyshwick. Sometimes things can go right, and the bed base I had wanted was 25% off. Bob was happy with my decision. I was keen on a latex mattress having grown up with one. They are very expensive; however I had narrowed it down to three options at stores other than where the divan base was to be ordered from. As there were (genuine!) discounts from the prices I had been quoted the previous week, I did check out their mattresses and found what I wanted at a third off the price! Still an expensive little package, but this divan will get plenty of use in my study here and I am now quite excited. Hopefully delivery will be (well) before Christmas!

Bob is acting as chauffeur tomorrow, driving his (part time) boss down to the rest of the electorate at Jervis Bay for a full 12-hour day of meetings. We decided to ‘celebrate’ (any excuse) with a coffee at The Deck. Along Parkes Way we saw an echidna (we are sure that it’s our echidna) on the narrow nature strip with a high retaining wall on the other side. We were both very concerned, so rushed to the café to get a telephone book and rang the ACT Rangers to report it so he may be rescued. This went well, so we were able to relax over a coffee on a gorgeous looking, although still breezy day. We disagreed about the direction the wind was coming from, so I pulled out the trusty Compass function on Nokia 5140. Cool!!

I had to wait a couple of hours after we got home before I could go for a run and start taking the Imodium. When I did get out, the wind had died down and it was a magical, magical run. Sometimes it is wonderful just to follow one’s nose and (warning: big lie coming) ignore the time (I did have GPS and foot pod technology). Once again, fairly slow to begin with, not made easier by my decision to not follow any standard route and wind up and down single track.

A stunning run, a little over an hour and it felt soooo good!

Not enough time


I can’t believe how good I feel ~ no hint of stiffness or soreness, the legs were no doubt a bit tired on Sunday, but hey! What the heck, they’re like that for no apparent reason at other times?!

Bit of a moderate night sweat – I’m interested in ?vat_man’s experience of night sweats after hard efforts (he’s talking 100’s of k’s, but still relevant methinks). Tasks around the home took up much of the morning, and then the cricket (was meant to) start . . . Although I had mislaid my radio and spent rather too long looking for it, I headed off on the F600 for a long overdue cycle. It was the last day Bob was filling in the office for this week-long stint, so I asked him where he was planning to run today. If I could meet up with him, great, but I wasn’t going to plan my day around it.

I threw his digital camera in the handlebar bag as I left, (wish I knew what the cricket score was though!), and rugged up with leg warmers and a lightweight long sleeve jacket. Less than a kilometre from home, I saw a wonderful young echidna on the side of the bike path . . . he was quite dark and looked very lively. I was screaming downhill at the time, and it took me a while to stop and rest the bike up against a rail, take the camera out and trot up the path in search of him. He had gone to ground, or maybe I didn’t look far enough up the path.

The rest of the cycle down the Bindubi bike path and along the lakeside from Black Mtn Peninsula to Acton was uneventful, except that I was so cold that I could only think about turning around and warming up riding uphill! There was a stiff breeze, causing serious waves (about 8” high, but rolling, real waves nevertheless) to slap against the western shore of the beachlet between Acton and the NMA. I saw Nigel C just past here and remembered that it is his birthday on Wednesday. Must remember to acknowledge it at Customs on Friday.

Straining against the headwind near the Commonwealth Bridge underpass, 3 roadies rode past me in the other direction, the last one yelling “Hi Carolyne” as they rode past. Just ahead was the familiar figure of Bob and his choppy running style. I pulled the camera out, but the strong wind meant that we were sodden from the spray of the Captain Cook Memorial Jet which should have been turned off today! It was drenching, and riding alongside Bob on the gravel / mud I ended up looking like a legitimate MTB rider with mud caking the rear of the bike and my conspicuous yellow leg warmers.

It was lovely chatting to Bob as he ran around the Lake, although as he was nearing the Merchant Seaman’s Memorial I saw something under a tree ahead. I thought it looked like another echidna, but figured that this was just after this mornings close encounter. A possum? A large squirrel did cross my mind (I was so excited when I first saw squirrels in Washington DC when I first ran. Within an hour, “bloody squirrels” was more the sentiment). I rode over, and dropped my bike, grabbing the camera on the way. It was an echidna, lighter in colour than my morning friend, but stuck out in the middle of Commonwealth Park on thick lawn, not at all suitable for digging in. I took a couple of shots, and he kept following me, pecking at the yellow toe of my cycling shoe. An aggressive nesting starling kept buzzing him and I as we were under it’s tree, but the friendly echidna just waddled off across the grass, swinging it’s ample backside from one side to another with an amazing swagger. Bob had interrupted his run to look too, and he had never seen one in such a central location before.
Canberra, you’ve got to love it!

Resuming our run / ride across Kings Avenue Bridge, and then Bob showed me a gravel trail around the base of (New) Parliament House, seemingly unused. Back to work for him over Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and over Parkes Way at Acton. I continued back home via the bike paths through the inner north and Bruce. It had warmed a little, but not enough to do anything more than unzip the long sleeve top open ‘a bit’.

All up, a very cruisey 29kms over nearly 2 hours. Bob and I were able to catch up on lots of news and the plans of each over the next few weeks; we are looking forward to our (!joint) ‘trip to the country’ to do the Wagga Tri-ants Duathlon at the end of the month together. After snapping on the TV when I got home to see a replay (was it earlier in the day? No! Yet another wicket falling (Boucher), making it 8fa. Bob rang me as soon as he got out of the shower and logged on to Cricinfo to tell me the score in case I was still cycling. As he told me, Vittori went for a duck, and the World XI weren’t long for this match.

Dressed to go for a run, but started cooking up some bits and pieces in the fridge for Bob and didn’t get out.

It was very good though; so here’s a rough summary.

  1. Sweated Silverbeet in a little olive oil in an enamel cast iron skillet
  2. Threw in some slivers of (peeled) chorizo
  3. Crumbled reduced fat feta cheese on top in a light layer
  4. Zapped sliced potatoes in the microwave for two minutes.
  5. Beat a couple of eggs with loads of fresh ground black pepper
  6. Poured eggs over chard/feta mixture
  7. Lay sliced potato over the top in a layer
  8. Pressed down with an egg slice to ensure egg mixture through
  9. Finished off in a moderately high oven and/or under the grill until golden.

    It was a ‘what was on hand’ kind of thing, so if I could have been bothered I would have tossed in garlic and onion first. Bob gave it the thumbs up by scoffing most of it at once!

What run?


As if more evidence was needed, I felt fabulous after a solid nights sleep, and woke feeling full of beans. I decided to join Bob down at the Weston Creek Fun Run in the morning, a low key 6km event held by the popular Weston Creek Athletics Club. I would have liked to have cycled down as Bob did, however we had an important social engagement at 11:30 that morning and was far from confident about how I would be cycling home.

I arrived at the same time as Friar who lives locally and would have pre-entered. With no sign of Bob, I entered and paid for both of us and collected our numbers. There was a fairly small turnout, although Emma Murray was conspicuous as the No. 1 seed. Bob tore up on his bike (just) before the start, and I gave him his number and made my way to the start 300m down the bike path. After a briefing, we were underway on time and my planned 5:30 recovery pace seemed very optimistic. Nothing hurt, but the legs were heavy and tired. No problem, there were lots of casual looking joggers around and I was there to stretch out my legs.

The first kilometre split was very slow, but I was far from lonely and kept plodding along. I picked up as I went along, my muscles warming up and felt better and the ‘dead leg’ syndrome disappeared. Near the half way mark, a massive netball tournament was on, and the path was lined with dozens of sport skirted 7-9 year old girls cheering and raising their hands for High-5’s. Even here, one of them yelled ‘Go Carolyne’! Who, I can’t imagine! The suffering young brothers of some girls were also there to will the runners along.

Near an underpass was the [warning: cliché ahead] evergreen Rick H, Weston Creek stalwart and life member. He stated that the rise to the underpass was the last climb now, which I found hard to believe, however coming from Rick it carried some weight. He was wrong, and a steady, if gentle climb to the finish told in a slow split.

To illustrate my run, my splits were:

  1. 5:48 Uphill
  2. 5:46 11:34 Uphill
  3. 5:11 16:45 Downhill
  4. 4:45 21:30 Downhill
  5. 4:45 26:15 Downhill
  6. 5:47 32:02 Uphill

What was especially interesting, was that the footpod of the Polar S625x recorded exactly 6.00 kilometres on what would be an anally correct course.

Great birthday bash in the afternoon for Connie which took up the rest of the day. Fitzroy Falls? Great day, but run? What run?

Fitzroy Falls from 35km Drink Station


After my diluted coke (“would you like ice with that?”!) I felt absolutely marvellous. I knew that I wasn’t going to go fast, but I felt really comfortable just plodding along. I maintained a steady pace, despite it being predominately uphill. The last 5kms were marked, with big smiley faces to indicate that there were ‘Only 4kms to go!’ Along here I saw a vision ahead walking, and thought that it may have been a freshened up PRB. It was, and he took off his warm top and jogged alongside me the few kilometres to the finish. This was great and although there must’ve been a thin constant trickle of runners coming through, the few sightseers at the lookout and walking along the track were very surprised to see us.

Coming up to the finish was an amazing, almost tear producing experience. Despite rolling on to something like 4 ½ hours, a huge contingent of blue and yellow garbed Cool Runners cheering and waving pom poms. The cry of ‘Go FlashDuck” led me to form my arms into wings and attempt to flap my way to the finish! I must have just hit the lap button and not stopped my watch so I am unsure of my time. I think that I was about 49th overall, from (maybe 80) starters. Normally my goal is to finish in the top 50% of the field, however given that in no sense was I racing I was pleased. Four and a half hours was the dream, so I can’t complain!

Loved talking to others at the finish, especially Expozay and Eagle, although the many glasses of water I had at the end started to tell on me and despite loving the conversation I started to feel very green again and inelegantly brought it up alongside my car. They politely excused themselves and I sat in the car for a while and pulled off my wet clothes and put on some dry shorts and top.

I grabbed a FortiJuice and joined the Cool Runners sitting on the grass under the Marquee with a great picnic spread of goodies from Lucky Legs. I made a few faux pas’ while on the Cool running blanket, not recognising runners with their clothes on! I could present Lucky Legs with her Canberra Times Cap for being part of the winning team, and in my attempt to get her Polar S625x up and running to its full potential, seemed to cement my image as a fully fledged gadget girl!

We waited until the last runner finished, something over the 5 and ½ hour cut-off, and then for the sweepers. Soon after, the presentations were underway. It got very cold all of a sudden, and I threw on the first warm top I had at hand. The sip of FortiJuice didn’t agree with me, and I was feeling green again. Jo Blake smashed the course record in winning, and presentations including spectacular bouquets of waratahs, as well as baskets of local wine and confectionary. I picked up third woman (how, I don’t know!) and another bottle of wine and Waratah as first woman over 40. Fantastic!

In saying our goodbyes I couldn’t keep the FortiJuice down any longer and found an appropriate patch of garden. The PRB kindly carried my booty to the car, and ensured that I was safely on my way. It was a good drive back to Canberra, and was delighted to see Bob when I returned.

What a great course, and a great day! Fully recommend it and hope to be back for the great country hospitality next year!!

Very pleasant accommodation at the Sturt Craft Centre on Friday night, peaceful and relaxing with a strong sense of having returned to a National Fitness Camp! It was the smell – vaulted timber lined ceilings and a tiled floor, I couldn’t put my finger on it, either the recently used fireplace or the unflued gas heater?

I didn’t get around to another FortiJuice, so I barely cracked 600 calories in total on Friday. I felt good, but this was to tell later in the race!

I slept well until about 1:00am when I awoke and the brain got buzzing. Listened to a crackling NewsRadio relaying the BBC and Deutsche Welle overnight, and took an excursion out to the home-on-wheels to collect my trusty latex pillow. Fell asleep sometime after 3:00am, and woke with the first rays of light around 4:40am. Having set my alarm for 5:00am, I knew that there was no chance of me getting to sleep again, so bounced into the shower instead.

I had time to explore ‘the other side of the tracks’ for 10 minutes before McDonald’s opened at 6:00am for coffee. Settled on both a short and long black. Drove over Range Road again straight through to Fitzroy Falls, where a large sign indicating ‘Marathon Here →’ marked the spot. Some large marquees dotted the area in front of the Twin Falls cottages marked the race site, and a large paddock was set aside for parking with a few portaloos.

It was still fresh outside, so I relaxed with a FortiJuice and a gel. I saw the PRB’s car arrive and wandered over to say hello. A Canberra couple, Mario and Alice yelled their greetings en route rushing to the Portaloo. A trickle of people arriving soon turned into a deluge ~ many sporting the familiar blue and yellow. On the start line I had hugs and kisses from the Eagle and Lucky Legs. It is wonderful to be able to catch up with some of these special people although living distantly.

We were off on time, with a field of about 80 chatting and carefully winding their way down the start of the track. Once I had removed my long pants about 15 minutes before the start, I began to get very cold. Although I knew that I would warm up quickly, I find it very hard to do anything when cold, so started wearing a CR Tri Top and arm warmers. Soon after the start I found myself alongside Expozay and our foot fall was eerily in step. The field started to thin out fairly quickly and the trail winding up and down through the bush was visible as a long line. Tim was in view not too far away early on, but gradually disappeared from view.

Expozay and I talked easily, about her plans for the Sydney Spring Cycle with Amjam next weekend. Amjam is running so well at the moment that was also the subject of much discussion! I fell right back on any of the hills, and as we turned off the main track where there was a gentle uphill I fell right back and we lost touch from then on. It was nice while it lasted, although too short with about 5.7kms covered! At around 9kms a long downhill section littered with loose rocks began, and I was instantly in my element again with my stride opening and my body relaxing in the drop. I passed Expozay just before the 10km mark, and reminded her that she will catch me soon on the next climb or flat section. This proved to be the case.
The track wound its way around the bush, mainly on fire trails with some slightly rough and narrow sections on the way. Just part the first creek crossing (not sock wetting), a special first aid truck was set up, and this was to be repeated at the other potentially dangerous sections where sharp drops led to a rocky creek. Another example of the excellent planning and organisation of the event.

In this section leading up to the half way point I met CR RB who had completed Melbourne Marathon last week and (rather modestly I was to discover) described himself as a “4 hour marathoner”. It is always good to meet other Cool Runners and invariably it confirms what a nice bunch they are!

At the 20km drink station I saw a small bunch of 3 or 4 runners slowing down to stop and refill their drinks, and check out the jelly beans. An enthusiastic female volunteer went into overdrive when she saw me and cried out excitedly that I was second female. This was a shock, although I knew that Expozay would quickly catch up and that the second half was mainly uphill. I reminded myself what I was there for (a long training run in the bush with drinks provided) and just kept on enjoying myself. It turned out that is was downhill until about 24km, and there was a consistent climb until after 28km. As I had said to others at the start, I will run comfortably in the first half (or downhill stretch) and expect a huge positive split as the climb up to the finish begins.

There was a large, well stocked drink and snack stop close to 25km ~ a group of half a dozen women with ample supplies of mini mars bars, jelly beans, watermelon and other fruit. I think one of the volunteers took a rather unflattering photo of me here: I had long since rolled the arm warmers down to wrists and stripped the Tri Top down around my waist where it was sodden.

Along this stretch Expozay flew past me looking very fresh and fast. We wished each other well as she sped off into the distance. I was concerned when I saw Blue Dog heading towards me, and yelled to ask if he was OK. Silly me, as not too long after I saw other runners also coming back along the track on an obvious out-and-back section. Cheery calls of support from Eagle, who was looking very comfortable, and others on their way back provided a great fillip. The track was very steep and rocky in one area, making it difficult on the loose rocks especially with runners on their return leg. Not long after, Expozay cheered me along as she returned, with the advice that ‘the turnaround was just around the corner, really’! She was right as it turned out, and I had a GU and got rid of the packet at the water available there.

Fewer people around me now, and I’m sure that I was well back in the field. It was fairly straight forward back up to the 25km / 30km refreshment station where we now turned right. I was needing to take two cups of water now, was hot and threw some on my head. I drew level with another runner who was walking ahead and David introduced himself to me. We jogged together and talked for quite a while – it was his second ever marathon, and second time at Fitzroy Falls. Just as he asked me if I had stopped to walk, I was overcome by an overwhelming nausea and spotty vision. I stopped then and there, to prevent an unsocial upchuck, and then started to walk. David kindly walked with me for a while, and I dug out my other GU and gobbled it down.

Still green around the gills, David bid me farewell and jogged away. The trail was easy to follow thankfully as my eyesight was in its splotchy black spot mode. My brain must have cleared up somewhat as I was calculating if I (had to) keep walking if I would beat the sweeper. The GU must have kicked in, and settled down the excess water sloshing around and I started to jog again. It seemed as though I was walking forever, but in reality it was about 5 ½ minutes when analysed on my watch. Despite a steady uphill climb and nearing 34kms I felt fabulous and picked up my second wind. The next well stocked drink station had the usual selection of fruit and also cans of red coke. I knew that it was better to be prudent here rather than run through as I usually did, and when I found out that there was no flat coke, opted for a cup or two mixed with water. I had caught up to David here and left him behind, not to see him again. I hope that he did OK.

(Still to be continued)

Fitzroy Falls Report - Part 1


A Magnificent Day!! If they could fit another 2 letters on the excellent signs, they could read:

CRFFFTM -> -> -> ->

as the sea of blue and yellow caps dominated the event. The organisation was exceptional - it gave the impression that there were more Rural Fire Service Volunteers than runners for much of the event. They were friendly, supportive and manned specialised first aid stations near each potentially dangerous creek crossing, as well as well stocked drink stations around every 2 1/2kms.
Expozay had a blinder, with a fast finishing second half on no breakfast. Blue Dog was running really well when I saw him, close to the leader, as was the Eagle, backing up from Melbourne last week. Lots of 'Go Coolrunner' support from other runners, and I shared the trail with RB for a little while, running easily and also backing up from Melbourne. Coming up to the finish, a sea of blue and yellow pom-poms and tops and caps gave everyone the most rousing welcome as they came into view and crossed the line.
Love Cool Running! As Plu says, "Always a Cool Runner First".
A BBQ lunch burger and drink was also included in the entry fee. Afterwards, as Lucky Legs explained, we all feasted under a Blue and Yellow Striped Marquee, with a spread of Bacon Muffins, fast disappearing Banana Bread, and Carrot and Poppy Seed Cakes. It was wonderful!! Presentations were done immediately upon the last runners finishing, and here the organisers excelled themselves again: Bouquets of spectacular Waratahs for the first 3 finishes in each event and substantial baskets of local wine and homemade produce! Wow! Age group winners were also presented with wine and a gift wrapped Waratah.
Congratulations to everyone who came, especially The Owl and Jen Runs who travelled down for Cheer Squad duties, and Lucky Legs who must have spent all week baking such a wonderful spread. Jo Blake blitzed the field and did a spectacular 2:51 and course PB. Kelvin, Bernie G and many other CR's made for a fantastic day in the Southern Highlands!
I will post a personal report later - this is copied from the CR Message Board.



2005 10 14 Canberra->Sydney->Mittagong

(Still!) Felt good when I awoke, and packed the car with enough for a year-long trip around Australia.  Always take more for a weekend away than an overseas trip, and with no planning and unsure of the weather at Fitzroy Falls on Saturday, I thought that a kitchen sink might come in useful.  It was just about perfect driving conditions, even cloud cover where I was heading, pleasant temperature, everything.  Even the other road users were very good and sensible ~ tootling along in the left hand lane in a line with evenly set cruise controls (until the Sydney fringe hoons anyway).  It was a great bonus to be able to listen to the Super Test for the first session, after gaining a new perspective on the Sting album released last year, in the way that it is so easy to do when alone and able to adjust the sound surrounding you with impunity.

Arrived at the hospital over two hours early, but after the mix-up yesterday thought that I would check out the location and confirm that I was ‘on the list’.  There were a few things I was happy to do (so too much time was better than barely enough) as it was at Prince of Wales, near my old stomping ground at UNSW.  I was somewhat taken aback to be told to wait, as they didn’t know what order the procedures would be undertaken.  Heightened thoughts of being able to get away early were reinforced when I was called in almost immediately, leaving a full waiting room of pre-existing patients.  The paperwork was quick and straightforward, and I changed in to the funky (!huh) hospital gown.  Then I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

There was a silver lining though, as a tv hung from one corner with the 2nd session of the Cricket Test on.  Kerry O’Keefe on ABC was annoying me with his facile giggling, so the more measured (and hard to hear!) TV commentary was a good change.  I developed a crick in my neck from the acute angle I was holding it up and to the right, so spent the time since drinks standing up to be more ergonomic.  With hideous timing, I was called in as the decision on Michael ‘Pup’ Clarke’s dismissal was pending.  He had been playing some lovely looking shots and looked set for a good innings.

Thankfully, the Assistant Surgeon who first attended to me had been paying a great deal of attention to the TV when he passed, so I could find out the result, and we had a long chat about the series and the Australian team.  Eventually the senior surgeon arrived and we were underway.  The results need to be analysed and compared to previous results of the same procedure undertaken in 1998 and 1994, but he sounded rather more encouraging than two months ago.

A quick chat to Bob, and I hit the road.  Bloody Sydney traffic!  I was in no hurry (the same cannot be said of many of the other drivers), but it was stop-start on the M5 (and its feeders) from Randwick to near the Casula turnoff.  I know its Friday afternoon, but boy I’m glad I don’t have to cop this all the time anymore!

Threw some gear in the room at Mittagong when I arrived, and then did a bit of exploring, first on foot around the village (poetic licence, but it’s more of a village now than when the Hume was the main Sydney-Melbourne route), and up Mt Gibraltar coming back to Mittagong along the eastern side where substantial properties dotted the landscape on large land holdings.

I then drove along the infamous ‘Range Road’ and some of Macquarie Pass used as Lucky Legs long training run.  Not surprisingly, it climbed the mountain range behind Mittagong and wound it’s way through a soft, green landscape, lush with recent rains and dotted with recently milked dairy cattle looking as though they had stepped out of a cheese advertisement.  The most spectacular sun set in the west, encompassing a full third of the sky with a giant orange basketball.  I couldn’t see any of the marks that Lucky Legs had placed on the roadway, or the water tank used for refills, but was impressed with the view and the hilly and undulating nature of the route she traverses.  Turning into Macquarie Pass, the vegetation thickened into eucalypt forest with good shade.  This was great running territory, and cried out  to be cycled over soon.  The road surface was sealed and in very good condition, and there was no traffic.  

I came back through East Kangaloon and skirted the edge of the Wingecarribee Reservoir.  As an afterthought, I popped into the Carpark of McDonalds, chocka block with every Southern Highland teenager on an early Friday night, to check if they had WiFi access.  They did, and I shall probably pop by at 6:00am to collect an espresso coffee.  I may try to connect while I am there, but it depends on how I am going for time, so may wait until I get home.

Time has slipped away.  I’ll finish this cup of broth and crack open another FortiJuice.  Lay out my gear for tomorrow, hope that it’s not drizzling (as predicted when I last checked) and get to bed early.

Topsy Turvy Day


I like to make a decision and know where I stand. I’m flexible, and more than willing to play it by ear, but in some things certainty is best.

It has been a long protracted process for me to ‘do the right thing’ about an appointment make by the specialist (surgeon) for some tests when I saw him two months ago. It was clear that he didn’t think that it would shed any further light on a solution to the problem, and following my disappointment after the last session I couldn’t see any point in going through the whole process of expectation all over again just to be told, yet again, that there was nothing they could do.

I wanted to run this via my long suffering GP first, so that he was kept in the loop, and I wasn’t seen to be cavalier about it all. His basketball injury and protracted break from work delayed things to begin with, and then the specialist didn’t respond to his calls (despite being the best man at his brothers wedding).

Waiting Waiting Waiting.

With the tests due the afternoon before Fitzroy Falls, I was keen to get the nod early to make plans for travel and so on. After nearly two weeks with still no joy, I bit the executive decision bullet and decided not to go through with the appointment and cancelled it first thing this morning.


Waiting for the rooms to open meant I needed to drive to the MICE (Mature Individuals Cycling Easily) ride, even though it was only about 3km (downhill!) from home. It was a very gentle re-introduction for me to get back in the saddle, and ride with a bunch. Stops to regroup and wait for punctures to be fixed meant that the 48km was completed at a very pedestrian overall pace.

I didn’t hang around for a ‘cuppa’ (they are a cuppa generation) as there was much to do. When I got home, I was on a roll! Accommodation at Mittagong confirmed; availability to travel with the PRB mostly sorted out (I had been non-committal due to tests); I was feeling dangerously well. A bit of telephone tag, and a plot to get Aki to the CR Cheer Squad at Fitzroy.

Ran this by Bob in his office before my appointment; found that Aki would be doing assignments on the weekend; then the bombshell. GP rang (late afternoon!); contrite, but having spoken to the surgeon this morning (after my cancellation!) and the strong recommendation was to go through with it tomorrow.


I had an hour or so to consider the issue – after a heap of frustrating phone calls, it was confirmed; my appointment is at 2:30 tomorrow. Things to reorganise (particularly my brain space). It takes time to get on to the PRB (he eventually rings me). But that’s done. Gotta Go, need to pack and make sure I have maps, FortiJuice etc.

Ciao Ciao.

What a Difference a Day Makes


2005 10 12 What a Difference a Day Makes . . .
♫♪ What a difference a day makes / twenty four, little hours ♫♪♪
(with more of a nod to the Pet Shop Boys than Doris Day!)

Yesterday, well, yesterday I got up, had a bath and was so exhausted that I couldn’t finish dressing and ended back in bed for most of the day.  Painful arms and hands, with especially tender elbows.

Today, slept heaps and groggy when I awoke, but felt really good after that.  Got underway to do more bed research, run the BBQ Stakes if I had a chance, and get back into life.  It (life that is) has been very successful!  Made a few appointments that I had needed to cancel over the crook period (de-fur: tomorrow afternoon; Dentist: 3rd November; Orthothes check-up: Next Wednesday).  No luck with the fluffy duck hair-do though, so I’ll just act like some sweet egg based cocktail.

Bob had lost his keys riding to work this morning (Don’t Panic Lucy), so I spent quite a bit of time searching for them without success.  He retraced his steps (or wheel revolutions) at lunchtime and found them on a construction site median strip where they had bounced out.  I started off my correct handicap at the Stakes (although the number of fast, fast runners heading off before me were a bit of a concern) figuring that I may as well be re handicapped properly.  There was one other runner off my handicap of 12:30 and I was interested that for the first couple of hundred metres there wasn’t much difference between us, despite my bad run of late.  He predictably put a lot of  time between us whenever there was a slight incline (and a far greater gap as the hills got steeper!), but I was feeling incredibly fresh and light of legs.  My breathing was a bit noisy, but none of the wheezing or difficulty in breathing I had been having.  

Woo Hoo!

I did a speed session at Woden library on my way through and arbitrarily borrowed a stack of books from the 796.42 shelf (running) and a couple picked up at 915.9 (Travel – Asia).  Partly motivation for me, and mainly to assist me embark upon the ‘training’ of Aki.  A Four Hour Marathon in Four Months was selected on the basis of marathon-type training for half marathon success.  I look forward to checking them out.

When trawling the web (I found a start-up budget airline with flights from Bangkok to Hanoi for US$25) I chanced across the ING Thailand Temple Run which (just happens to be on the Sunday after we arrive on we arrive (very late) on the Wednesday night.  We weren’t planning on staying around Bangkok and were just using it as a staging post for our travel into Laos and Vietnam.  There is a half marathon being held as well, which goes past 10 temples on each way of the out-and-back course.  Interesting prospect.  Must see what there is to do in the area for a start.  We plan on travelling very light, so we would post our race shoes back.  Bob thinks of all sorts of minutiae when planning such things.

I’ve lost my train of thought, so will post this instead of just sitting looking at it.  

A quiet, but good day


Bob and I were tired yesterday, although it wasn’t the world’s most demanding event we were both running on the back of pretty ordinary weeks. I slept deeply, with a fascinating lucid dream of a (small) crocodile coming into our home, holding on to my leg with its jaws, and not letting go. Day 2 saw me direct it to ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ which it gladly did, befriending and protecting the cat and being a very well behaved house pet (although being brought home dead – it was a dream after all!).

I must be tired, because I’m not even tempted to give it the most cursory analysis; I’m disappointed we haven’t got a housetrained crocodile ‘pup’ to protect us when I woke up.

Bob made another appointment for us both to see our GP as the test results were in. I was keen to know if I had to travel up to Sydney for tests on Friday (or more correctly be granted approval to cancel). We both went, and there is a bit of follow-up for us both, although unfortunately the surgeon hadn’t been contactable, so that is still hanging. I filled Bob in on the results of my bed hunting expedition on Saturday over a cup of cheap ($2.90) but rather bitter coffee (long black, no sugar) at Black Pepper. é muscia next door was shut on Monday. Their coffee was over the standard Canberra price ($3.50 a cup) but was well made and smooth, with none of the burnt aftertaste of that I had today.

We wound our way home, where I climbed into bed for yet another snooze. I missed having a swim with Just Tri It as I was so tired which is very disappointing, especially as the school holidays have now finished and it would have been very pleasant. I have now read on her blog that she is due to have all her wisdom teeth out so maybe I’ll be able to help out later in the week.

Woke too late to do any exercise, despite it being a very pleasant day. Bob is helping out in the electorate office for the rest of the week, so I’ll have a bit more freedom with my time. I need to test out my diminished fitness and see what happens. Tomorrow!

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