Happy Old 2005!


It was forecast to be hot today - 38*C - so getting out early was the best plan. I failed, the combined effects of night sweats and a (more moderated, but still out there) sinus headache. The kitchen was scrubbed thoroughly though in the process.

I left on my road bike, hoping to get in the first of many decent rides, with no clear plan of a route, however being prepared to take it as it comes. Given the weather, I headed north instead of towards the Cotter / Uriarra Loop to ensure that I had the option of shortening the ride, access to cold drinks and fewer hills to begin with.

With this in mind, I rambled through Gungahlin and out onto the Federal Highway, where I topped up my now hot an empty bidons at the 'servo at Eaglehawk Hill. A smooth roll down the freeway to the Tulip Farm, and then back along the highway. I was greeted with genuine disbelief when I rode through the 'drive thru' at McDonald's at Dickson for another refill of cold drinks with Ice. I got a great reception, and it was a good move, time and cost efficient.

Despite lots of traffic lights, I continued on through civic and up the parkway (memories of the Canberra Marathon), before clicking over my planned 60km for the day.

I felt magical! Perhaps it was just that I kept amply hydrated, however there was nil fatigue, heat effects or anything. Getting smart in my old age?

Bob and I took in a movie (an annual event for us I'm afraid) that afternoon and decided not to see in the new year with a cycling race on tomorrow (for Bob) and another scorching day predicted.

Here's to 2006!

Duck to Cloud City


It was an unusual start to the day, the morning spent unexpectedly cleaning and then catching up with a friend who had moved to Vienna and was briefly visiting Canberra. Bob was going camping with his nephews, however this kept changing and then contracted to a day trip.
Keen to get to Customs, I was madly changing when an email from Aki alerted me to the fact that it may not have been held - a phone call confirmed this and I regrouped to plan the remainder of the day. A game of telephone tag resulted in me arranging to cycle over and be inducted into the lore of Star Wars (the movie trilogy trilogy). I did see the original in about Year 8, but that's it. Aki thought that I needed education.
It took a lot less time to cycle to Aki's new home than I anticipated, despite getting every red light along the way! We had a great day (well I did!), finishing off with ice cream before I hit the road again to make sure that I got home in the light.

Well, the time has come to analyse and hopefully do things better.

Importantly - from Sunday my blog will be at a different address: http://flashduck.blogspot.com.

This is just a pinnicking housekeeping event to keep it to a reasonable size and make it more manageable for me.

I will also reset the totals on my watch from 1 January (somewhat reluctantly), erasing the 8,000 + kilometres on my cycling totals for a fresh new years start.

(to be continued)

Yuletide - Improves!


We left on our bikes later than planned (as expected!), without firm plans, to just enjoy ourselves and see how the traffic and day went.

First, from Exeter to Fitzroy Falls `~ the road was fairly busy at this time of year and it took me a while to get my bike legs back. Just before entering the Fitzroy Falls environs, the unaccustomed breakfast decided to exit, stage north, without fanfare and relatively little disruption, but necessitating a need to stop for drinks and to wash out my mouth at the visitors centre at the Falls.

We looked at the tourist map, and then headed up a quieter road past a fragrant lavender farm and winery to Robertson where we stopped again to purchase more bottled water and a couple of bread rolls at the bakery.

From our departure here, we joined the Kangaloon Rd which was certainly undulating, yet quiet, sheltered and scenic . . . perfect! I dropped behind Bob as I took a phone call from a neighbour over one of the sweeping descents around the reservoir, but we were just enjoying the day.

It was something of a rude shock to hit the built up traffic of the road into Burradoo, however the surface was good and there was a wide, smooth shoulder so the ride was fairly easy, if uneventful. The built-up new suburbia started to encroach, and the high cloud cover had cleared and the sun started to belt down. We decided to make the diversion through to Bowral to get more to drink, having exhausted our supplies.
Bowral was frantic in the post Christmas period, and we made the mistake of following the signs to Woolworth's for a drink, resulting in a magical mystery tour of endless car park ramps and paying top dollar for something to drink. We backtracked past the country club to the Burradoo roundabout and found something like nirvana for a while on a road with no traffic and smooth fast hot-mix. It was rather luxurious! I was excited to see the Chev oval where our own Lucky legs did her track work, but the smooth road surface was too good to last as we continued our way to the section of Highway to Moss Vale.
The busy road was at least improved a little with the addition of bike lanes. Another stop at Moss Vale for water and a check of the map; turn before crossing the railway line and it should be easy! Not as straightforward as expected, but we made it, finding the last couple of k's impossibly difficult as we backtracked to Exeter into a raging, hot headwind with some traffic thrown in. All up ~88 kilometres at a pedestrian, but pleasant pace.
A very welcome shower, a few cashews for a salt loading and then off to the Sutton Forest Pub with the household for a short, but competitive trivia night with impossible questions about obscure music and no politics, television, science, geography (insert all other things I know plenty about here). We was robbed. Lost the $100 prize by one point!

Yuletide - Continues!


It looks like Wobbly's (et al) get well wishes did some good, as we arrived at my sister's in Exeter mid-afternoon. It was the first time that we had visited here, and the first time that we were on the home turf of her newish (to me) partner, so we didn't quite know what to expect.

Upon arriving, two more chairs were pulled up for us at the kitchen table ~where twelve people were already sitting down and starting to serve themselves from large platters groaning with food. Rather magnificent food at that. After introductions (with all names quickly forgotten), we joined in, feeling very conspicuously under-dressed in shorts and t-shirts. We weren't warned about the 'company'. A very pleasant extended afternoon concluded with a guided tour as we walked around the grounds, already grand, but definitely a vision in progress.

And so it went into the evening, eventually saying goodbye to couples here and there, as neighbours and others continued to drop in. Finally it was apparent that there were three other house-guests that night, and we settled into our room, had a welcome bath and an early night.

Wednesday, 28 December

(but pleasant enough) sealed road. I was very sluggish to start, but, as per usual picked up as we went. Bob insisted we turn around after about 4.5 kms as I had been so crook, and I out-sprinted him (you have to pick your time for the challenge!) in the final dash.

Breakfast with the rest of the household, before changing into cycling clothes and heading out on our Touring machines (Cannondale F600 Mountain bikes with slicks and racks) for an exploration. There was a fair amount of holiday traffic, but I was keen to get onto some of the cycle friendly roads that I had seen around Lucky Legs' part of the woods and just get some time in my legs. Although hot to start the day, extensive high cloud cover meant that it was very pleasant for cycling.

Yuletide - A Retrospective


Yuletide – A Retrospective

Christmas itself was something of a write-off; Christmas Eve Saturday saw me in greater sinus pain and in bed. Still hopeful of getting to Sydney for Christmas day we didn’t make any arrangements. I struggled up indecently late (I’m still like a kid and like to be up early on Christmas morning to spread cheer), and barely lasted to drink a bit (water and coffee), in an attempt to assuage my big bad sore head. No luck.

Bob rang my sister to reluctantly explain (I have a super cool nieces sister and nieces and was really looking forward to it), while I staggered downstairs once more to rest a while. Bob went over to his nephews place in southern Canberra for lunch, at which time I feel deeply and thoroughly asleep, not waking until after 6pm, many hours after he had been home. I still felt pretty crook.

Boxing Day was a mixed bag; I felt even worse if anything until about 6pm, when I picked up, and just kept improving. My sister had suggested we could join her and her partner in the southern highlands a day or two later, and it was looking feasible for once.

The now-usual every-bone-battered with a baseball-bat feeling engulfed my morning face on Tuesday, but I did try to everything I could to feel better. I realised that if we were to go away for a night or two, I needed some more medication first and drove, and then waited, around to get the prescription filled on the public holiday. It was pretty late by the time we got away, but we diverted via Aki’s place so that I could drop off my Christmas pressie that I hoped would have some use over the next few days. She very thoughtfully gave me a very nice bracelet with which I am immensely touched.

Revenge of the Sinusitis


Nothing much to report (Bah, Humbug).

I was failing rapidly this week, and although I put on my running gear and cycling gear early with the intention of cycling to the shops and then do the BBQ Stakes . . . . I ended up lying down before I got on my bike, even though I had the bike ready with the garmin on to lock onto satellites.

And I lay down, and lay down and lay down . . .

When it was apparent that I wasn't getting to the Stakes, I took my contact lenses out and stripped off the layer of cycling clothes, and promptly slept for three hours or so in my running gear. My face had been aching for a while, but the sinus pain had really started to hit me overnight on Tuesday.

If Wednesday was bad, Thursday was terrible. Panadeine Forte didn't take the edge off, as I awoke with a shocking head before 4:00am. It was a shocking day of pain, only eased by sleep. Bob was able to take me to the doctor today, where I got my ?fifth course of antibiotics. I don't feel up to talking or moving - yet. So much for days 3-7 of my training!

Hopefully they'll kick in soon and I will be up and about. But in the meantime, it hurts :(

Tasting by the Lake


Training Day 3 81 Days to the Six Foot Track

Well, I had planned to do a morning run, but night sweats and the resultant morning fatigue conspired against me. Instead, I busied myself, somewhat groggily in starting to make batches of Almond Bread and Char Grill and Roast Vegetables for my signature Terrine.

Despite feeling like crawling back into bed for a restorative snooze, Bob and I left home on our bikes and cycled down the bike paths through Acton to “The Boathouse on the Lake” restaurant – a frequent site visited for the start of various Cross Country races and on the East Basin running route.

We had only had a little finger food at the meeting last night (fine for me, although Bob missing a meal is a biennial event). He went into Civic for a pre-Christmas breakfast with former/current work colleagues, however seemed to have mixed up the venue and came home rather frustrated and very hungry!

We changed into casual gear (an advantage of warm weather is the ease of carrying clothes), and we first in for our midday booking. We were offered a table outside, and despite there being a somewhat gusty wind off the lake from the southwest, opted for this scenic, and rather exclusive option!

All alone on the deck outside, it was if we were on our private beach, with attentive staff topping up water and bringing a procession of food as part of their lunchtime ‘tapas’ style menu. Dual portions of three or four dishes were presented on platters and presented; to begin with:

  • one large pacific oyster natural with rock salt and lemon;
  • a small demi-tasse of warm vichyssoise (almost a contradiction there) with a poached oyster in the cup;
  • a tiny ramekin of an intensely flavoured tomato and basil consommé.

An ordinary white fluff breadroll was served with this course, which was the lowlight of the meal.

  • Next came a dish with lightly tempura battered reef fish on sliced potatoes (stated to be kipfler, but more like desiree), accompanied by a mass of salad leaves with prosciutto. There was a zig zag of a creamy saffron sauce providing more style than flavour.
  • A couple of large Prawns were on a platter with another salad of small arugula, thin slices of chorizo and mildly melted buffalo mozzarella. This was also good.
  • Two final plates rounded out the tasting lunch menu – one had two moderate sized tarts of a light puff pastry and a (rather too eggy for me, but fine by Bob) filling of feta with a side of stunning caramelised onions.
  • A dish shaved sweet potato chips accompanied two small medallions of kangaroo, on segments of pink grapefruit. Although described as a ‘rocket and soft herb salsa’, the attendant sauce had the consistency and taste of a sophisticated guacamole – certainly avocado was a star ingredient.
  • On the other side of this platter was the other red meat – similarly small medallions of beef, with a flavourful mash of potatoes and capers, and a stunning jus of red wine and sage butter.

Bob had a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with the food, while I stuck to water. We were busy watching a young family of ducks enjoying the day, in the water, out in the shade, back to the waters edge again. A group of lunchtime runners, many familiar bods from Customs, ran along the back of the restaurant in a large pack. We hoped to see them return in front of us, but alas did not see them again.

Onto dessert!

Another single large platter with an assortment of tiny delights.

  • Taking centre stage was a fan of finely sliced pear, roasted with vanilla and saffron with 2 melon ball sized scoops of a rose scented semi freddo.
  • In the East corner were two gems of chocolate and chassis pudding, the blackcurrent flavour coming through the fudgey chocolate orb.
  • To the south were the same tiny handled ramekins used to serve the vichyssoise. This looked somewhat like a raw egg had been cracked into it ~~ a slightly opaque clear liquid surrounded a yolk coloured ball. This dish was amazing! Intoxicating and intense in flavour, much more would have been too much. The ‘ýolk’ was a seedless passionfruit sorbet, suspended in a albumin of a White Port and champagne Soup, still with the slow rise of bubbles rising in the mouth. Stunning.
  • Pots of Crème Brulee were not caramelised on top, and had an orange liqueur escaping through to the base, served with small wedges of dark chocolate wafer.
  • The western edge of the plate was the chocolate fix – although my decision to leave it to last was perhaps a mistake as it was (an originally) frozen terrine of lush valhrona chocolate. Napped in a toffee sauce, it stood better on it’s own, and should have been eaten earlier rather than melted. The intensity of the flavour was fantastic though!

Bob had a generous glass of sticky with this, and then excellent coffee to follow. A great meal to celebrate.

As I changed to cycle home, I knew that if I had the option of crawling into a vehicle then and there I would have weakened, and was very slow and labourious as I started. Bob stayed with though, and let me have a ride on his wheel for most of the trip. Not long home though, I crawled into bed again with the cricket on the radio and slept for another 2 ½ hours or so. I keep thinking of the John Lennon song with the lines transposed to ‘sleeping my life away’.

Left over pumpkin and tofu curry with soba noodles for Bob’s dinner – I had an apple and finished the grilling and roasting of zucchini, eggplant and red and yellow capsicum.

No running (dash it), but a lovely day!

Happy Anniversary Darling!


Just back from a meeting ~a glorious evening to walk the 3km each way, and a fairly painless meeting with a stunning evening teal sky.
Tomorrow is the 13th anniversary of our marriage and it just gets better! We are having lunch at The Boathouse, and in typical fashion are cycling there. This means that we shall miss the monthly Lake Ginninderra Handicap again.
Probably not much to report until tomorrow night. May it be another great 33 years and then some.

Training continues today!


Training Day 2 82 Days to the Six Foot Track

Purpose: Recovery Run
Stats: Garmin Polar
Start Time: 11:18:21
Total Distance: 15.38 k 14.922 k
Total Time: 1:32:16
Avg Pace: 5:59 mpk 6:19 mpk
Total Calories: 994 kCals 934 kCals
Avg HR: 162 bpm 143 bpm

G’Day, Rip van Duck here.

Just ‘rested my eyes’ what seemed like a few moments ago when Hodge was quietly noodling his way past his century. Next thing I know, he scores a double and Punter declares!

Without the car, I went for a run from home today, close to lunchtime. The weather was still very mild, although it is expected to warm up during the week. It felt a little silly heading out the door in full battle dress; Fuel Belt with 2 300ml bottles; mobile; camera (to see how it was to carry); earphones and radio clipped on to my HRM strap; and a comprehensive ‘dashboard’ of Polar S625X™ on my left wrist, and Forerunner 301 on the right. I haven’t been so loaded up for ages, perhaps since last summer, but as this was the first ’training’ day in my Six Foot Track assault, I needed to get used to building up my training runs after a very slack month or six weeks.

Despite the temptation of heading up to Black Mtn Tower to get some serious hill training in, I just wanted to get some slow miles in my legs today after the Tour de Mountain yesterday. I set my imaginary friend to let me know when I had covered 10kms in one hour, I hoped to put 10k under my belt, although didn’t have any plans or route in mind.

As usual I was delighted with the getting out for a nice, solo run in the great bush around home. It was as spectacular as usual, and I soon felt thirsty and was pleased that I brought water with me. I seemed sluggish, and doubted I would make the 10k, however trundled around the start of the Aranda bushland and planned to just follow my nose.

I was annoyed with myself to find that I had suffered from time-zone amnesia once again when I attempted to tune in to the cricket at 11:30 am and only then remembered that with the difference in time to the West, it wouldn’t start for hours. There had been considerable work on the Gungahlin Drive Extension (GDE) around the underpass of Caswell Drive when I found my way through this morning, and turned south with no route in mind.

It was a lovely ramble, although as usual it was nearly 10kms into the run that I started to wake up and seemed to hit my straps. At this stage I was on the loop around Little Black Mountain and checking the Forerunner found that if I really pushed it, I could just about crack it up to an average of 6 minute pace. Start slow, finish strong!

I took a couple of photos along the way, however was not prepared to stop, so they are rather shaky. No problem in carrying the camera though! I felt like I could go on forever, however had to remind myself to hasten slowly, and not do too much today. I humoured myself by not backtracking, and ended up home with 15 slow kilometres under my now long empty Fuel Belt.

Tour de Mountain (Training Begins Today!)


With essentially no training for over a month, it may have seemed foolish to commit to the John Harding Production of the Tour de Mountain around the suburban ridge-lines of Canberra. The organised event nevertheless provided Bob and I a good impetus to get out of bed, and out of the house, early for the 6:30 am start. Starting at a satellite shopping centre, there was plenty of parking and access to toilets - always a good start. We got underway on time, and although I had not done the event before, was only concerned with following those in front of me, and the fluorescent orange and yellow arrows.

I stuck at the back as many runners flew up the roadway in their starting sprint. So underdone, if I could do about the same time I took in the 20k run leg in the Triple Tri (1:55), I'd be happy. If much slower, I couldn't really worry about it ~ ideally, I didn't want to come last.

The first of the road crossings took us over a thankfully quiet Yamba Drive, and then through the suburb of Isaacs (after the first Australian born Governor General, Sir Isaac Isaacs - about the time have an Australian Head of State, not just an Imperial representative!) to Isaacs Ridge and the start of the trails, real climbs and fantastic views. Even though we had only travelled around 2.5kms, the field had already spread out enormously, so that only a few runners were visible on the long track ahead. Fellow six foot track slow version trekker Ewen passed me at this point, as the track began to rise precariously and I slowed to a snails pace. Wombatface walked up the worst of the hills, and was gaining on his lead with every step. I must learn to walk up hills (faster than jogging, and less tiring).

As the track continued to climb to the first of the Trig Points we were to tour, the ground was blanketed by both the fields of golden grasses which had so rapidly changed from their lush emerald growth, and the surrounding meadows of bright yellow flowers which were knee deep as far as the eye could see. The first of the welcome descents meant that I could make up some time on the female runner in front of me, although a few more climbs and declines were necessary for me to finally make up enough distance to pass her.

The views over the heads of the yellow flowers was spectacular, and I wished I had a camera with me (although the likelihood of me actually stopping to take a shot is very slim!). To the north was open grassland and a scene pastorale, whereas to the south and west, the suburbs of Canberra spread out like Lego set at the base of a dramatic backdrop of the brooding mass of the Brindabellas and countless local hills and mountains in the middle distance. You got to love living in Canberra when you are part of an event like this. We are so lucky to have so many wonderful places to run, right where people live and work.

A descent through the pine trees and across the romantically named Long Gully Road provided access to the first water station and onto Wanniassa Hills. I stopped briefly for a sip of water, not wanting to spread the cups too far and wide for the hard working volunteers manning the table. Here I passed a guy who was running around Ewen's pace up until that point as he stopped and spent longer drinking and chatting. A more forgiving climb to the next Trig Point followed, and long stretches of an orange single track cutting it's way through vast open stretches of native grasses already displaying a far more sun-bleached image of the golden fronds than those on the more sheltered Isaacs Ridge.
Tour de Mountain
An underpass provided an easier route to cross the next road, and we crossed into Farrer Ridge, briefly skirting the rear of some houses. The guy who had stopped at the drink station trundled past me steadily here, and I doubt that I saw him again, even in the far distance for the remainder of the event. Once over Athallon Drive and on to familiar tracks at the base of Mt Taylor. At one early stage here I could see five runners in front of me, winding their inexorable way up the track before it turned to an all-weather concrete track up the eastern face of Mt Taylor. We had run down this path in the second leg of the Triple Tri , and I was pleased that we were doing it in this direction today.

There were quite a few Sunday morning walkers out on this narrow track, although we were able to pass without too much drama, and the dogs were well behaved. Early on the sealed section I saw Ewen in front of me, and another runner in a sweat stained grey T-shirt. I set myself the goal of catching up, and hopefully passing, the grey T-shirt by the 15km mark. This was a seemingly luxurious 2.5k away, however I knew of my weakness on the climb, and how long it can take to make up relatively small deficits. The path changed to wide, shallow steps and I changed to walking, there being no real alternative going up with my short legs. I kept walking, as fast as I could, for most of the way to near the summit, passing another woman at the same time as Ewen. It was only when the descent started on the old roadway (a bugger to run up), that I managed to pass Ewen, although I knew that if there were any more climbs he would be far in front.

I was on a roll, literally, but my right shoelace had loosened it's double knot and was adding a dangerous dimension to the fast descent. Another woman was in front of me, and I reluctantly stopped at the next fence-line to tie it up, fumbling childishly as the fingers did not wish to obey me and taking far longer than I could have thought. Thankfully, I caught up to the other woman before too long and then spied a guy in front. I enjoy the feeling of running on my own, but with people around to push me from behind or to realistically chase. Around the base of Mt Taylor, I saw a a line of runners making their way up the mountain. For one brief, but disconsolate moment, I thought that we were to climb to the summit again; analysis of the Forerunner indicated that there was only around 2.5kms to go, which put that idea to rest. Thank Heavens!

The final drink stop, and the turn off the trails to rejoin footpaths and road running. I caught up and passed the grey T-Shirt, even later than I had hoped, and enjoyed the ease of running relatively fast on a quiet road, essentially downhill. I spied a guy in the distance, and managed to just reel him in near the final, and most dangerous road crossing. From his breathing I could hear him breathing hard and managing to keep up with me (and not be passed by a fat duck in a skirt). Around the final corner to the home straight - we both sought to go well. There was a large crowd at the finish - I could see Bob standing at the line with his camera yelling - and I knew that I wasn't going to make a pretty picture as I threw myself over the final few metres. I think I may have taken him by a nose, but it doesn't matter, I did myself proud, even if I was running myself Ugly!

A finish (by my watch) of 1:55:02 was a poor time, and so far behind the leaders, but one I was fairly happy with. It was spot on what I had predicted, not knowing the course, and once I had warmed up (about the 10k mark), just felt better and better. Love the trails, love the long stuff. The dark side is singing it's Siren's song.

Afterwards, a good social occasion and chance to catch up with some people I see all too rarely. The unintended break will probably do me good long term, and as Diana said, my Training Starts Today!

Train the Trainer


I learnt a very good lesson today ~~ and it is all thanks to Aki. Bob and I cycled down to Customs today, sans motorised vehicle, and I was disappointed with the time it took me to run the 5km. Having been (a tad) warmed up from cycling there, my time, 23:32 was a full minute and a half outside my Customs PB, I was going HARD!

Only afterwards, having a short black with Aki as I was lamenting my lot and enviously thinking about how much allrounder has improved. Riding past her on Tuesday and seeing the pace at which she was doing her intervals, I thought aloud that intervals must be the answer. My advice to Aki a year or so ago was then to come back to haunt me as she, now the seasoned runner, gave me advice. Big picture stuff . . . likelihood of injuries, need for endurance and distance. Smart girl.
I was too inward focused ~ I think I had some guilt about being such a bad friend (to Aki) over the last week. I had been really looking forward to doing lots together, and ended up caught up with family stuff or worse, sleeping instead. Must remind self that I was around 45 seconds faster than last week (at least it's heading in the right direction), and I can't expect to run well without training!
So much to do, so little time. Managed to get some more gifts at the Gallery this afternoon, which demanded a very cautious ride home with a box sticking out of the back rack.
Now, for some training and a consistent 2006!

Better, not best


I feel l much better physically, although am still under the hammer time-wise and slept for four hours or so yesterday afternoon.  I’m sleeping my life away!

Another biggish night sweat last night, with horrendously dry eyes which prevented me from sleeping for long tracts of time.  As a result I am really groggy and tried again today.

Bob and I cycled down to the hospital yesterday morning to see max and his Mum, however she was understandably exhausted and visitors were off limits.  I spent the afternoon asleep.

I took the last of the current course of blunderbuss antibiotics today ~ hopefully it shall improve from here.  We have just found out though that the car needs a new power steering pump (or some such).  We negotiated to have the car on the weekend to get to the Tour de Mountain on Sunday.  We are likely to be without a vehicle for the whole week, not ideal before Christmas, so will need to be organised.   I’ll do my best to get to Customs at lunchtime today, and stay awake!  

Sleep, sleep, perchance to run


God I hate these night sweats! They make me so tired!

Bob and I went out to visit a twelve hour old Max this morning, and picked up the presents from Civic on the way home. I lay down, just for a minute mind to you to rest my eyes, when (İwhoosh!), the next thing I knew Bob was waking me up and it was closing in on 5pm. Where did the day go?

Although groggy, I struggled into some running gear and wandered down to the annual BBQ Stakes Christmas Handicap (with barely a second to spare). Once a year before Christmas, the regular 6km lunchtime run is moved to the late afternoon, and run as a ‘Turkey’ relay handicap; teams of two predict their total time to complete the course as a relay of 3kms each; and start off a handicap to finish in 40 minutes. Bob and I joined together, neither feeling fast or flash, and arbitrarily predicted a total time of 28:30.

A last minute trip to the bathroom meant that I had a decent warm up jogging to the start of my run leg to catch the others up. Although Bob was not in the first wave of runners coming through, he did appear after a miraculously fit and flash looking Phibes, fresh from his fantastic run on the weekend from the Coast to Kosciusko. He tagged me and I bumped straight into another finishing relay runner. Once I had disentangled myself I was off, rather too fast on the uphill start, but feeling surprisingly fresh.

I kept going, and passed many of those who had been tagged before me. While many were taking it easy to get close to their predicted time, I couldn’t see the point and just ran. In the end, I crossed the line in 3rd place, a gross time of 38:47, well under the required 40:00 minutes. A short, quick hit out over three kilometres, this wasn’t surprising, however the relative heat suits me and made many of the others suffer.

Off a 11:30 handicap start, Bob did 13:17 for his relay leg, and I managed 13:48. Not a great time, but I felt good. Some strong gut pain from the 2km mark on, but not too bad considering. Thankfully I finish this last course of antibiotics tomorrow which should help. They have really knocked me around.

Sweat, Shop and Tears


Some more of Bob’s computer equipment arrived on Tuesday morning and he needed quite a bit of assistance in setting it up.  I could have done it quite quickly on my own, but he wanted to see how and what to do which took ages.

I have been having drenching night sweats again which mean that I wake tired and groggy, and can’t get going all day.  There is also so much washing to do each morning as well . . . . sigh.   I had an afternoon appointment in Civic, and we were keen to get as much Christmas shopping done as soon as possible.  Bob’s namesake nephew was also expecting his third child and she was already a week overdue.  

I cycled in and dropped by the National Gallery of Australia shop to pick up a gift for my sister for Christmas, thence to my Civic in the nick of time for my appointment.  Locking up my bike and changing from lycra to floral dress was quick and without drama.  I stayed in my frippery to knock over most of the rest of the shopping for extended family, leaving much of it at the store for later collection with the car.  It was a long, long afternoon, but I felt pretty damn impressed with what I achieved (especially as shopping is not my favoured activity, I missed out on that female gene).

Home late from Christmas shopping, I still had to stock up on groceries, so showered quickly and headed down to the local for the boring stuff.  Not an exciting day, with little exercise to speak of (and NO running!), but I feel satisfied and virtuous.

Baby Max finally arrived that night, which was pretty exciting.  A great big bruiser like his sister, he is going to be a handful.  

A relatively early night for Bob and I on Sunday resulted in a better night’s sleep, and neither of us were feeling not too shabby on Monday morning.  We had arranged to meet my sister for lunch, and we had to make the executive decision about what to do earlier.  While we both wished to go for a run (Bob had gone for an exploratory run west of Kirribilli on Sunday), however we knew that we couldn’t fit in that and get to the Pissarro exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW.  

We walked across the bridge, and through the Botanic Gardens to get to the gallery, and got to the exhibition without too many crowds ~~ there was a group of girls’ school students (which was pretty amusing to watch) and we made our way from one chronologic period gallery to another.  Frankly, with the benefit of 200 years, the early stuff left me fairly cold, however once we hit the print /etching room I was transfixed.  The later work though was fantastic.  Both Bob and I were impressed with the same elements in similar works, and we unfortunately had to rush through the best stuff in order to get back to the hotel in time to check out and get to my sisters for lunch.

We had a very pleasant lunch of a small portion of the mountains of leftovers, before we headed back to Canberra.  We didn’t arrive home until quite late  . . . a run tomorrow!!!  Please

A weekend duck tale


An uncommonly late night for us on Friday, having spent a pleasant evening at the ACT Sport Stars of the Year Awards Dinner. We chatted with some running luminaries (by my estimation), like Trevor Jacobs and Emma Murray (gasp!). Oenene Wood isn't too bad on the bike either!

It was a pretty good night, although getting to bed so late meant that we were behind the eight ball for the rest of the day. We figured that we could catch up and nap in Sydney before the party. This didn't quite come to pass, so another day without exercise and going into the evening tired. Luckily, my body held together and it was a great night! Too much food, but it was all good, and further supplemented my Claire's boyfriend's mother homemade houmous, kofta and kibbe (which I missed out on, damn!).

To fit in with the Garden Party theme (lots of fairy lights, cucumber sandwiches and floral dresses) Claire opted for lolly-pink iced cup-cakes. The speech made by her best friend from school revealed some things that perhaps a mother shouldn't know. When these friends put on the greatest hits of 1984, I was amazed at how well I knew them. I then realised that I was Claire's age (20) in 1984 (it was still a few days to her birthday) ~ when I told her this she was as disbelieving as I was (Thank goodness) . . . after we did the maths, she said kept saying "but you're my age . . ."
Although we were both really tired and didn't expect to stay for long at all, we left after 11:30pm to walk back to our hotel. Another v.e.r.y. late night. this was to tell on us later.
We had organised to meet a friend of Bob's from Queensland Uni (during the Punic Wars methinks), who has been an academic in Vermont (USA not Vic) for last many decades. He has a habit of coming back to Australia regularly for his sabbatical, so we keep in fairly frequent contact. Although not meeting until midday, there was no way I could get for a run that morning; my head was suffering terribly, sinusitis raging throughout the bones of my head and neck, which stopped me getting out of bed and I spent the morning in bed and asleep.
I stumbled downstairs and joined Bob and the Prof for a cup of coffee and glasses of water before stumbling back up to our hotel room and crawling into bed. To everyone's surprise, Bob woke me up when he and the Prof returned to our room at 6pm. While they retired for yet another cleansing ale at a nearby pub, I got up and groggily had a bath and dressed. Still tired and sinusy (the pain, the pain), I met the boys and we had an excellent Thai meal of Chilli Basil Kangaroo, Chilli Salmon, Jungle Curry Vegetables and fresh Spring Rolls. It's great to eat, but I wish that I was running too!



Customs on Friday was excellent as usual, despite the fact that Aki was there looking resplendent in her civvies, (having left her running shoes at home), and me going very, very slowly. ‘A’ for apple, allrounder and I were each slated to leave off the handicap of 13:30 . . . their form was so much better than me at the moment, and this was to be proved true within a few minutes.

I stayed with them for about 600m, before they drew away, allrounder in front followed by ‘A’. The gap continued to increase, however I kept working at it. A steady stream of other runners managed to pass me at regular intervals, including the distinctive huff-puff of Bob bearing down within the first two k. I was secretly delighted to see ’A’ gaining on allrounder (who went out too fast in the first kilometre or so). Not far after the turnaround at the willow tree she overtook allrounder. Allrounder has just been going from strength to strength, improving with every run, and I knew that ‘A’ would use allrounder to run another PB.

My lack of fitness was testament to my being passed by an increasing stream of runners from behind. Despite my best efforts, I finished the slightly amended course in a pitiful 24:17, a full 75 seconds behind ‘A’ and allrounder who battled it out for a sprint finish. I was fairly pleased with my run, regardless of the slow time and the lack of training in the last two weeks. The antibiotics are still knocking me around, so maybe I shall have to take life (and training) somewhat more soberly.

Bob had arranged to meet a fellow M55 triathlete who was visiting from Adelaide for the Half Ironman on the weekend, for a coffee at The Deck at Regatta Point. Aki, ‘A’ and I all ended up there joining them, before I whisked Aki away to assist me on a number of errands around Canberra including picking up my ‘refurbished’ orthodics from the podiatrist. They were marginal before the six foot track, however since the rain, and the river and creek crossings they were very sorry indeed!

After picking up my gift for Claire’s 21st, we stopped for a restorative gelato. Mine – a catholic combination of caffé and bacio was excellent.

Life slowly Returning to Normal


I went for my first, albeit short, run yesterday in ten days; a hot and windy hit-out over the BBQ Stakes course at lunchtime.
Boy it felt good!!
I think that I wasn't allowing myself to do the 'fun' things until I had managed to get the internet connection up and running first . . . and whilst there are still many things to do, I 'rewarded' myself. Slow, although I worked hard and consistently, and finished 28th (maybe 60th percentile), so the weather may have worked against me in my finishing time of 31:17 for the 6km course. I have been eating too - and although I did the Imodium / no food in the morning thing yesterday I had no problems. Looks like my body is still busy fighting the sinus infection instead of itself!
I love the hot weather, even if it is only forecast to max at 24c today. I will get out for a soul restoring ramble in the local bushland early this morning before knuckling down to do more of the myriad of chores, such as repopulating the computer, and helping Bob with getting the garden in some sort of order.
I am still so behind in the blogosphere and generally I think that I shall just have to write the month off.
So good to be running!

Bigpond 0 FlashDuck GOLDEN GOAL


What a frustrating five days . . . sparkling new computer with no legit connectivity. We did occasionally hit upon (quite unintentionally) some unsecured neighbourhood wireless networks, but in this time I have done NO exercise (despite some good weather), eventually and reluctantly ringing the tech support people.

Can't complain about the attitude or helpfulness of the techies. Unfortunately the result yesterday after heavens knows how much time, was to contact the computer manufacturer. I was exhausted by the end and decided to sleep first. I am on another course or two of mega-antibiotics for the continuing sinus' saga, and am still sleeping a lot.

Without Centrino support offered by Bigpond at all, and nothing performing according to Hoyle, I slept on it and decided that I would cut some losses and purchase an authorised' wireless adaptor to get at least one laptop up and connected. Another phone call to Telstra didn't prove too fruitful, but I went to a Telstra shopfront and (eventually) managed to find one.

It didn't work. I had all the original disks, keys passwords etc, but no dice. Ggggrrrr. Really nice techie guy helped me this time. Confirming that I was doing all the right things instead of stuffing it up was consolation at the time, but not lasting. After much farnarkling, we got one laptop connected with an Ethernet cable, But that was it. Advice: go to supplier and get them to help.

I had a nap.

Embiggend with the restorative powers of sleep, I twiddled and twitched. Then; Ay Curumba! This is looking good. I was so excited as I was prompted for the WEP key and saw the flashing of the wireless LED on the router that I kept emitting little noises of excitement. I was connected!!!!

Got the printer set up to the network without too much drama, and spent another half an hour or so tweaking Rob's laptop. Woo Hoo! I feel really proud of myself, and all without (an outdated version I suspect) Wireless Adaptor. Centrino up and atom.

Gloat Gloat Gloat.

Now to catch up on others blogs and do all those other important things in life!

Not Drowned. Wave. Wave. Wave.


(Wobbly Man ~~ this is a reference to both the 80's band and the original Plath poem).

I haven't posted for a while, although I am alive and generally very well (sinus infection again, but that doesn't count). I am just busy trying to configure the new computer, and not having much success with setting up the Centrino Wireless Network with Bigpond. Everytime I get to stage 2,386 (actually I'm exagerating. There are only 47 steps), I stuff something up and need to restore to an earlier point and start again.

Very frustrated. Don't want to ask for help. Techno Spouse.

So, little or no access to update. Or time. Gggrrrrr.

Good meal last night at Chill at Campbell shops. Review later.

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