Two Fruits

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Monthly Handicap at Blewitts

Total distance: 8.95 km
Time: 47' 10"
Rate: 5' 16" per km
Race: Distance: 7.0 km
Time: 31' 33"
Rate: 4' 30" per km
Finished: 30th
Weather: cloudy, temp 15 degrees, humidity 70%, wind NW at 20 kmph
Week: 8.95 km
August: 398.9 km in 23/31 days at 17.3 km per run day
Year: 3386.35 km

Rain overnight and early this morning gave me visions of running through rivers of water on an open and exposed course barren from bush fire damage a few years ago. The car parking area built for the mountain bike users was closed off due to the mud, so our start/finish and car park area was used by their spectators much earlier than expected. The good part was they provided the volunteers to direct traffic, another job under control.
Earlier arrival to put up the tents in case of more rain, used, but the rain held off until just after we had packed up to leave, great timing.
I looked back at last year's result on this course and I was nearly 2 minutes slower. But I've only had one more birthday, and I hope a little fitter than back then. Maybe the weather and the sloshy surface didn't help.
Still, I did have a good run, not too many problems on the up hill, bit slow on the downs, that speed will come back when I get back to Calwell oval to resume some tempo running after the footballers have finished for winter.
Disappointed not to catch Jimmy White, but did have great pleasure passing Strewth with 500 metres to go. I think she needs her mid week training partner to push the pace a little bit more.
Off to warmer climate tomorrow, but the rain looks like following us for a few days at least. For the Qld run, I really would like a dry track, water and mud and me don't mix very well.
I will blog update when I can, so don't expect a day to day running commentary. Back in two and half weeks, take care of the town for me while I'm away.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday Around the Block

Distance: 12.95 km
Time: 69' 33"
Rate: 5' 22" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 15 degrees, humidity 48%, wind light NW at 7 kmph
Week: 80.15 km
August: 389.95 km
Year: 3377.4 km

Plans don't always follow the script. This morning I marked the course for tomorrow's monthly handicap as the mountain bikes are using our start/finish area for parking. Usually, my long run is on a Saturday morning, but I am sort of tapering for GH160km so it would have been a short long run anyway.
Then, I was going to take James to soccer at Mawson this afternoon and jog around the grounds while he played. However, he fell at school yesterday and damaged his shoulder, so didn't play.
Early afternoon, as it looks like raining, I ventured out on a short journey to Theodore, around the back of Tuggeranong hill on the Conder side, and back home.
Nothing exiting, cruise mode and trying to remember what to pack for Qld. Bound to forget something.
Monthly handicap tomorrow, need to run well as I am in contention in the overall points score. Probably have a forgetable run at end of Sept, but I may be able to drop that as one of my worst, only 8/10 count.

Friday, August 29, 2008

What a Stir!!

Distance: 12.95 km
Time: 64' 04"
Rate: 4' 57" per km
Weather: sunny, 14 degrees, humidity 45%, wind light easterly 10 km
Week: 67.2 km
August: 377.0 km
Year: 3364.45 km

Most of these stories are directed at running interested people, and some, like yesterday's bike ride story are for the amusement of work mates. I got to work this morning at 7:30 am, I start late by work standards, to be told I was late putting the story of the bike ride on this blog. Most of them go to bed early but some needed to know whether they had been mentioned, either good or bad. So the story was printed out and put on the lunch room tables for all to read. Plenty of laughs, when you have a go at your work mates and bosses and not get into trouble.
Today, being on holidays for the next 2 and a half weeks, gave me the chance to put my mountain bike in for a service, minor repairs and hopefully a wash at the bike shop. They can then keep it until I get back from Qld ready for me to partake in more adventures with the work group. It also sounds like we may be getting more to ride with us, joining in and getting out is what it is all about. Just having fun, and maybe some of them getting a little fitter and healthier.
Easy run from work to home, lunch and easy back afterwards. Nothing too exciting, a good solid run at under 5 min pace was a bonus. Nice day, can't wait for the warmer weather to really enjoy almost 4 hours off every day.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cream of the Crop

Bike ride:
Distance: 21.8 km
Riding Time: 1hr 27 mins
Rest Time: 18 mins 30 secs
Weather: sunny, temp 12 degrees, humidity 45%, winds light southerly 7 kmph
Running: nil
Week: 54.25 km
August: 364.05 km
Year: 3351.5 km

Another perfect day to go riding with the group from work. After last week's blog story generated much laughter at work, I doubted anyone would show up to get ridiculed in this blog.

Never to worry, I will rubbish those that didn't show, I really should have used the title " Name and Shame". The cream of the crop showed up under adversity, and 7 of us went out for a fun ride. Some really poor excuses today from those that failed to front.

" Jane" from last week, "I have to work day shift this week so I can't make it", poor excuse, swap with someone that's unfit, unhealthy and doesn't care! Jane, almost human, not quite, missing in action.

"Fraaze", workaholic, get your act together sunshine, split shifts are for relaxing in the great outdoors, not covering for those that failed to even get to work. More play, less work, makes grown men slimmer.

"No show Ned", the girl with all the right intentions, until the wind starts blowing. Muttered all week, "I'll be there", the going gets tough and no show. She'll be there when the weather is warmer, wait and see.

Then there's "silly old Keith", must say smart bugger, picks a split shift that's off the road just after the group rides off. If you can't beat them, stay behind.

" Ivan" not the "Great, the Terrible" came with us twice after bragging about how good he was, never to be seen again.

We covered plenty of territory today, nearly all of our 21.8 km off road. Started off at the depot where our " tug-of-war" team member, depot manager was trying, poorly, to lower the flag on the flagpole at the front door. It's a battered and torn version of the ACT flag, and lowering it to half mast before a group of his best and fittest were going out, was not very inspiring. No faith shown in our returning to complete the afternoon session of work, I bet he went in to look up " White Lady Funerals" in the phone book.

We met "B.T" at the Lake Tuggeranong dam wall, and headed down to the river, where the track would take us back to Pine Is and Point Hut. I run this a couple of times a week, but some haven't been along it, it's good fun running a better still on a mountain bike. Interesting on a bike, never mind the wombat holes, or the rocks, or the hills, or the sand. No spills, just a lot of laughter. Bike helmets are to stop hurting your head when you go through a hole in a gate, Paul.

Those that didn't know the track, a few small hills require the right gear to be selected on the bike at the bottom, we all stuffed it once or twice, walked and pushed a bit, and then the leaders waited to regroup.

Point Hut arrived, "Tinkerbell" wanted to go to Gordon playground to play on the swings. Another day maybe when Boot Camp returns in full in warmer weather. So we find a challenge.

Behind Gordon, there is a steep bugger of a hill that leads to magnificent views over the Tuggeranong valley. To get there, a short climb of less that 500 metres, gradient maybe 30%, I have 27 gears on my bike, but I needed only one, the lowest one available. Good rider Terry and I were the only two to make without walking and pushing the bike, not too bad rider Mal walked a little bit and rode a lot, fearless leader KD and Tinkerbell
walked a lot, rode a bit, talked a lot, looked impressive, but gee, more time on the road and less Tarzan work would help. Mt Everest has nothing to fear from KD on his intrepid trip shortly. Some good Sherpas will have to carry him and his gear to get to base camp. The two football experts bought up the rear by far, but then they don't pretend to be able to ride hills.

Top of the range, another work mate was walking his dog, or was the other way round. Stopped to chat while the legs recovered and away we went to the end of the suburb near Banks. The flatter ground allowed the back of the pack to move to the front, and given freedom to open up, blew the pack away on our way to work.

Great day, those that missed out will never know, those that went will talk about it for a next week. Keep up the good work while I'm away in sunny Qld for the next two weeks trying to run 100 miles in 24 hours. The "Cream of the Crop" rode today.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Relaxed Mid Week

Distance: 19.0 km
Time: 101' 01"
Rate: 5' 19" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 13-14 degrees, humidity 50%, southerly wind at 10 kmph
Week: 54.25 km
August: 364.05 kms in 20/27 days at ave 18.2 km per run day
Year: 3351.5 km

Not as much to do today, all seemed to flow along nicely. That's the best part about my work, there is no carry over to do tomorrow. Walk out the door, and that is all, each day starts fresh.
So with little to do except to run home for lunch and back, that is what I did. Work, river, Point Hut, past Lanyon shops then up through Conder houses to the track on base of Tuggie Hill, back towards Gordon to the underpass of Drakeford Dr, then home. Rest a while, then run back to work via Woodcock Dr and Bonython. Dirt, gravel and sand tracks all the way.
Nice day at noon, sunny, but a bit of coolness still in the southerly winds. Won't miss those in the next two weeks.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

So Busy, Barely Time to Work

Distance: 7.8 km
Time: 42' 04"
Rate: 5' 23" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 16 degrees, humidity 30%, wind WNW 20 kmph
Week: 35.25 km
August: 345.05 km
Year: 3332.5 km

So much happening this week, some planned, some because things need to get done before going away on holidays, and some beyond my control.
I did get a chance to go for a short run, more an easy rest type day to get down to the cold water in the river.
Either, I have a high pain tolerance or the water is not as cold as it has been for winter. There is still plenty of snow melt in there, but maybe warmer by a degree or two. Still, 3 x 1 minute is all I could stand. But at least the sun was shining and the sand is not cold.
It had the right effect, the legs felt much better on the jog back to work. Not that there is any problem, but the coldness is almost addictive, some type of masochistic feeling. I have missed the water during winter, I know I need to resume a proper recovery program from now on. The ocean on the Gold Coast is going to be too warm after GH to be of any benefit.
Can't wait for Thursday's bike ride, last week's blog story generated plenty of interest at work. Good cross training day and plenty of fun. Unfortunately, no "Jane" this week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Same Again, Easing Down

Distance: 13.5 km
Time: 68' 50"
Rate: 5' 06"
per km
Weather: nice, sunny, temp 13 degrees, humidity 48%, wind NW at 15 kmph
Week: 27.45 km
August: 337.25 km
Year: 3324.7 km in 34 weeks at 97.8 km ave per week

Nice boring day at work in the morning, just the way we like it. Too much excitement means something has gone wrong. We love dull and boring. Ran home for lunch on the track behind Bonython and back the same way, almost, slight detour.
Afternoon, got involved with a incident involving a passenger who had assaulted another bus driver. Police arrived to take suspect away, and hopefully leave him in a cell to rot.
The story may not make the news, but then it's reasonably common. Not until a politician can make some mileage out of it, will it ever surface.
The good news is the monthly handicap on Sunday will not be disrupted by the mountain bike parking problems, entry for all off Uriarra Road and exit on to Coppins Crossing Road.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Rolling Along

Distance: 13.95 km
Time: 75' 12"
Rate: 5' 23" per km
Weather: nice sunny afternoon, temp 14 degrees, humidity 33%, calm
Week: 13.95 km
August: 323.75 km
Year: 3311.2 km

Recovered well from yesterday's long run, so had an easy relaxed run today down to Pine Is, along the river to Point Hut and back home. A early afternoon run, so the BBQs still had some tasty smells filling the air. Should have stopped and tidied up the scraps, but resisted temptation.
No sore spots but do need to hit the cold water this week. I know it's good, but there is still snow in the water of the Murrumbidgee.
One week of work to go before heading north.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Slow Long Run and the Short Run

Distance: 55.05 km
Running time: 5 hrs 40 mins 38 secs
Rate: 6' 11" per km
Calories used: 4286
Elevation gain/loss: 620 metres
Weather: sunny, temp at start 6.6 degrees up to 11.5 degrees, humidity 55% down to 40%, wind cold southerly at 20 kmph down to 6 kmph, gusts early to 30 kmph
Week: 105.85 km
August: 309.8 km
Year: 3297.25 km

Firstly, my brother from Cairns who trains young Bini, the 12 year old from Ethiopia, has told me that Bini finished 3rd in his age group at the Australian school cross country championships in Geelong, just seconds behind the winner. He would have frozen down there today if Victoria had the same cold southerlies that we had here. That is a great result and should give him plenty of confidence to know he can match it with the best in his age group in the country. He may not have even been wearing shoes if the course was grass.
Today was my last really long run before GH in 3 weeks. Missing a week of training probably has not been that bad, more mental than physical.
Today I broke the run into 4 sections, each time returning home to eat and drink, and catch a replay of Steve Hooker winning the pole vault.
First lap, up through Gowrie to Fadden, then on to Wanniassa Hills, over the trig, nearly blown away by the strong southerly, on to the underpass under Long Gully Road to Isaacs ridge, short circuit before going back through the underpass to MacArthur, Fadden Pines on Isabella Dr and back home. Eating, toast with banana and honey and coffee, then out again.
Second lap, a circuit of Tuggeranong Hill, Conder, Theodore sub station, Calwell oval, past shops and home. Eating, creamed rice, tasty.
Third lap, down to Point Hut, along the river track to Pine I top car park, then return behind Bonython to Woodcock Dr and home. Eating, toast and honey.
Last lap, flat run around Isabella Plains, glad to finish but feeling good, could have continued on, plenty left in the tank.
Had a few bad patches during the run, but it came back together with a walk and then a rest between laps. Walked nearly all the hills as well as a short walk break after 30-40 minutes. This translated into a reasonable km rate overall, still much faster than I will plan to run in Qld. Up there the plan will be to firstly finish, then maybe somewhere around 26-28 hours, fairly slow but over half the time will be in the dark.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Assisted by the Wind

Distance: 6.5 km
Time: 31' 54"
Rate: 4' 54" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 11 degrees, humidity 50%, wind southerly, cold and strong at 24 kmph
Week: 50.8 km
August: 254.75 km
Year: 3242.2 km

The handicap sub committee met this morning to check out the work being done at Blewitt's Forest. A new overflow car park is being constructed to assist with parking for the mountain bike World Cup event on at SFP the same weekend as our monthly handicap.
Luckily for us, a new entrance to this overflow car park is at our start/finish area. Entry will now be here on Uriarra Road, not on Coppins Crossing road as in previous years. A group email will be issued next week after the work is finished and inspected by our chief handicapper. Looking good at this stage.
After that short inspection, a few of us had a look at parts of the running track at Stromlo Forest Park to find a suitable course for a monthly handicap next year. We are keen to use the area, but the whole complex has not really been designed with us in mind. A terrific mountain bike area, a good grass cross country track suitable for world class events, but not ideal for us just yet. There are good possibilities just needing more research.
Then, after I was dropped off at home for lunch, I ran back to work with the strong southerly assisting. No point beating against it when it's there to help. Down Woodcock Dr to the gravel track behind Bonython, around the outside of Stranger Pond and back to work. The strong wind helping makes the km rate look better than I really ran.
A really long run tomorrow depending on weather conditions. Can't afford a lapse at this stage, certainly will leave starting until it has warmed up a bit.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

All About "Jane"

Today: Group Bike Ride
Distance: 28.5 km
Running: nil
Weather: cloudy, temp 12 degrees, humidity 40%, north wind 20 kmph

Group bike ride today with the guys from work, regular Thursday bike on mountain bikes around the paths and hills of Tuggeranong and parts of Woden.

Course description, started at work, Erindale, Wanniassa to Farrer ridge, over to Isaacs ridge lower tracks to underpass of Hindmarsh Dr at O'Malley/ Garran, then Athllon Dr back to work.

"Jane", not HIS real name, to protect the innocent or stupid, had one of those days. Called Jane because he is trying to look like Tarzan but is more like "Jane", no heart. Fully imported from overseas, loves this place but not a pommie, did not stop moaning all the way. He has this nice mountain bike but why get it dirty, why go on dirt tracks, bike paths are better. Why go up hills, although going down hill is fun. Are we going to turn back soon?

It all started before we had left, what about a jumper, do I need the sunnies, nice stack hat, hope it doesn't get needed. Away we went, 7 in total, bit windy but Ok. Captain of this group has a plan, not much of a plan on where we going. Vaguely, he remembers something about the Triple Tri last year. I know where to go!! Isaacs.

A group of light and heavy weights, various technical skills, slow on the up, fast on the down, no fear, some bikes that came off Noah's Ark, my stack hat was on the Ark as well. Must get a new one.

No problems really until Farrer ridge, first bit of dirt and a hill. Jane complains, just pedal faster Jane, don't stop and move it! Nicely riding in a group around the back of the houses when fearless leaders says, right turn. Nearly brings down the Peleton, all lose speed up this rocky hilly track near the underpass to Isaacs. We all have to walk, no momentum, guess what? Jane gets a puncture. Brilliant, I bet deliberately, needs a rest.

Luckily, good rider Terry has a repair kit, fixes problem and repairs puncture.

Jane needs to be back to start work at 2 o'clock, plenty of time, still has 2 hours but worried, and lets all know.

We lose the track around the back of O'Malley, where the Triple Tri goes, cross country over trees, branches, grass, bush, we can hear cars but can't see the road. Lucky not to another puncture. Eventually we find the underpass at Hindmarsh Dr leading Garran, we need to walk and push the bikes, long, dark, take off the sunnies, and very narrow. Smart ass leader gets out first and stands on top of the drain, spaying water over everyone as they exit. Doesn't he know it's still winter. Gets Jane a beauty, complains again.

Jane is running out of time as we make our way towards Woden Town Centre. Idea!! Have bike, no need to ride back, put it on the front of a bus and travel for free, even though I am a bus driver and travel for free anyway.

Jane pikes out, waits for a bus on Athllon Dr near Mawson and still only beats us back to work by 10 minutes or so.

Great day out, this bike riding is fun with the group, bit of everything today and good cross training for me. As well, the unfit are getting a bit better, the bugger certainly can move down hill, I have his measure on the ups. No need to cut out the glass of red wine every night, just cut down the size of the glass. And, a better bike.

The ride always gives plenty to talk about for a week. And next week it will be someone else's turn to rubbish.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mid Week Madness

Distance: 11.3 km
Time: 58' 45"
Rate: 5' 12" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 12 degrees, humidity 40%, WNW wind at 20 kmph
Week: 44.3 km
August: 248.25 km
Year: 3235.7 km

The running part is very simple, find a nice time of the day, put on some good shoes and warm clothing and away you go. Started at work, around the back of Bonython and Gordon, up Tharwa Dr to near Calwell oval, past the shops and home for lunch. Easy.
While out running, time to think, not about work, but other important things. Like the next monthly handicap at Blewitt's Forest on Sunday 31st August. The area and course we have used now for a few years, nice and undulating as it is the last event in the King and Queen of the Mountain series. The problem is there is a World Cup mountain bike event on at Stromlo Forest Park over the weekend, plenty of people will attend.
So many people in fact our start/finish area may be used for overflow parking. A hasty meeting between organisers, Govt officials and ourselves have resolved the problem, well done to our handicapper Alan. Very little will change from our point of view for the running of our monthly handicap, in fact we may have a better parking area to use.
An email to all will be issued as soon as possible to advise of any changes. Unfortunately for runners, the course will stay the same, we just can't organise a bulldozer in time to take the top off the hills and flatten the course out. Hopefully the cattle will have been mooo..ved out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kambah Pool Circuit

Distance: 20.7 km
Time: 1 hr 57 mins 27 secs
Rate: 5' 40" per km
Weather: sunny, light high cloud, temp 8-10 degrees, humidity 60%, wind light northerly at 10 kmph
Week: 33.0 km
August: 236.95 km
Year: 3224.4 km

I would have been very happy to stay in front of the TV and watch the men's triathlon starting at noon today. Instead, I had to get own running back on track, so I missed all but the last 500 metres of the Tri.
Nice day after a freezing cold start to the day, - 5 degrees, coldest overnight for a couple of years. Why? Global warming!!
I like today's run, almost no one about, can't be run in summer because of the long grass near the river hiding those nasty brown and black snakes. From work it's over to Learmonth Dr, onto the Urambi Hills track, old monthly handicap course as far as Gleneagles estate, past the golf course and down Kambah Pool Road to the river. That first part is just over 9 km with a few hills.
Then it's on the river track back to Pine Is past Red Rocks gorge, Kookaburra gate, Tuggie Creek, Tuggeranong rock wall ( no wombats in sight today). Very narrow technical track, undulating, bit scary where the track is high above the river with a big drop down and no fence. Good fun.
Another solid run after the lay off, no running as well as refreshes, also allows any other niggles to heal. Pity the water in the river is so cold, otherwise the legs could have had a bit of relief as well.
Easier day tomorrow with work group bike ride on Thursday, should be another fun week.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm Back...Spring is nearly here

Distance: 12.3 km
Time: 65' 12"
Rate: 5' 18" per km
Weather: 11:15 am, sunny, temp 9 degrees, humidity 45%, wind light NNW at 7 kmph, 2:00 pm, temp 12 degrees, humidity 35%, wind west at 15 kmph
Week: 12.3 km
August: 216.25 km
Year: 3203.7 km in 33 weeks at 97.0 km ave per week

So much to tell and there can only be one title. I am "back" (pun intended) running and feeling really good. Returned to work, a few people enquired as to what had happened. The rest, the no exercise smokers said " told you so", left them alone.
The other titles could have been " Attacked by my first Maggie of the spring" on my way back to work. Or a few days rest work wonders, or fingers have blisters from changing channels with the remote watching the Olympics. Or one Emma leaves town and 2 Emma's finish 1st and 3rd in the Triathlon.
And I did mention while in Cairns that a youngster in the training group, just about to have his 13th birthday, great kid from Ethiopia, (Bekele country) is running very well up there. He ran a 5.2 km race over the weekend (in shoes, runs bare feet on the grass) in 17 mins 40 secs at 3' 24" pace. Watch out for him.
Also I set the alarm clock last night to get up at 12:45 am to watch the 10,000 metres on the track. What a great race, if you missed it, you probably won't get to see it again. Bekele and Gebre were the great runners in the field, but Bekele is the master at the moment over the 25 lap journey. Completely controlled the race, a few slow laps in there at 67 and 69 seconds per lap, but he won in 27' 02" running the last lap and destroying the field in 53 seconds. Just brilliant.
Makes me look pitiful, struggled home concerned not to overdo the pace in the cool wind for lunch, watched the tri, then back to work totally inspire by Emma. Good day today, everything went right.
I did mention the secret to recovery from injury is whiskey, not right, better with scotch. Cupboard is now empty of alcohol, can't afford to get injured again, too much to do.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Very Slow but at Least......

Afternoon: Distance: 8.95 km
Time: 59' 12"
Rate: 6' 36"
per km
Weather: sunny, temp 12 degrees, humidity 37%, wind WNW at 20 kmph
Week: 37.1 km
August: 203.95 km
Year: 3191.4 km

This morning I wrote I was feeling better but wouldn't run. Late this afternoon changed my mind and decided to get out. The whiskey had done the job and, as the km rate suggests, there may have been a few sideways steps as well as forward and backwards. Truth is there was a lot of walking, in a straight line.
No real problem with the lower back, however it was the "warmest" part of the day. A short loop run over to Tharwa Dr, up the hill to Calwell over and back home.
A few soccer players at the oval enjoying the afternoon sunshine, although a little windy.
I normally work a few hours on a Saturday night, but opted out this week with the 3 days off work, if you don't work Friday you can't work the weekend.
Just saw Tamsyn run the 800 metres, heaven knows what she is doing. The time just over 2:01 mins is OK, just not good enough at the Olympics. Why run the 400 metres this afternoon? The final of the men's 100 is on shortly, it should be a great race, world record maybe?
I will probably rest again tomorrow after watching the women's marathon in the morning. Then hopefully a slow return to normal running during the week.

Going Nowhere but getting better

Yesterday, Day Before and Today:
Distance: Nil

Getting better, running, the only running I am doing, is out of whiskey. Must get to the local liquor shop this afternoon.
Seriously, improvement is slow but I have been patient, at least the Olympics are on 2 channels and the weather at home hasn't been the greatest. Today looks really good for an easy 50 km run, but not yet.
Hopefully I will get back to work on Monday, a couple of short runs to get back in to the groove. Then next weekend a long run before I decide which event to enter in Qld.
If next Saturday is Ok, then stay with the plan to do the 100 mile, if not so good do the 100 km, if no good maybe the 55 km, if terrible just go for the holiday to somewhere warm for 2 weeks.
It seems like almost a years running has been thrown away by a simple but frustrating injury. Off the scene for a week, don't know how CJ gets on with multiple times off, now I really do feel sorry for her, and anyone else with long term problems.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Today: Nil

Not moving very quickly, in fact lucky to be moving at all. Went to the doctor who said I have soft tissue damage, not a sciatic problem as there is no pain other than a localised area. I may have contracted a chill from those cold days over the weekend as well.
I have the rest of this week off work, some strong pain killer tablets and a muscle relaxant pill to take as well. Take 2 a couple of times a day with half a bottle of whiskey. If the tablets don't work, you won't care.
At least the Olympics are on TV, so I have something to do to fill in time.
A few days of rest, I may be right to resume running next week and go back to work. Qld is still a chance, but reassess the distance and drop back from miles to kms.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Three Fruits

Today: Nil

It's all gone pear shaped, so now we have three fruits, apples, grapes & pears.
Something has done amiss in the lower back, pinched sciatic nerve I hope. I had to come home from work early today, doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, and hopefully find someone with the ability to fix me.
I am not going to be good patient, mainly through lack of experience.
Still time to be ready for GH160, but I have no confidence in getting to the start line now. Wait and hope. More later.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Nice Winter's Day

Distance: 14.7 km
Time: 65' 43"
Rate: 5' 09" per km
Weather: sunny, cool, temp 10 degrees, humidity 45%, wind light NW
Week: 28.15 km
August: 195.0 km
Year: 3182.45 km in 32 weeks at 99.45 km ave p.w.

In contrast to the weekend, today at noon was a nice winter's day. Only one short sleeved shirt required, sunnies and hat essential. I tried the run home for lunch, rest a while then try to get going again similar to that to be experienced in a few week's time.
The course was simple, run home via the river and then back close to the same way. The run home had the slight breeze behind but it was up hill. The run back the opposite, down hill against the breeze. Down hill wins all the time. A bit faster, not by much, and the good part, is there was no protest about getting going again from the legs. A good sign.
Longer run tomorrow, probably go to the top of Mt Taylor again.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Inspired by Stephanie

Distance: 13.45 km
Time: 67' 09"
Rate: 4' 59" per km
Weather: cold, part sun/cloud, temp 6 degrees, humidity 63%, NW wind at 20 kmph, felt like 2.5 degrees.
Week: 13.45 km
August: 180.3 km
Year: 3167.76 km

Woke up this morning to find snow on the ground, not much but enough to take a picture of and send to the family around Aust. Locals will have seen it for themselves. So, too cold to run early, then the swimming was on from the Olympics at noon, so the run was not until 1:30 pm.
It was very easy to be inspired to go running after that brilliant swim from Stephanie in the medley, such a stunner in all the ways. Tops to look at, great tactical swim, said catch me if you can, and they couldn't, broke the world record by heaps.
Loaded up in warmer clothes than yesterday, found a long sleeved top that I took to NZ for Kepler Challenge a few years ago. I only wear it when it really cold, it keeps the heat in, but you get too hot once the temp gets above 5 degrees. Bike shorts under running shorts, second shirt over the top and gloves, and as CJ sometimes says, not quite Michelin Man.
Warmer from the start, inspired by Steph to run, much better even with the cold NW wind. Easy track down to Point Hut, along the river to Pine Is and back home. Very few people about, except in cars with the heaters on.
That inspiration will keep me going for a long while. So good.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I Want to Go Back

Distance: 37.2 km
Time: 3 hrs 39 mins 50 secs
Rate: 5' 54" per km
Weather: cold, sun/cloud, temp 5.5 - 7.5 degrees, humidity 75% - 65%, wind ESE at 9 km to NW at 30 kmph, felt like 4 degrees all day
Week: 120.9 km in 6/7 days at 20.15 km ave per run day
August: 166.85 km in 8/9 days at 20.85 km ave per run day
Year: 3154.3 km in 172/222 days at 18.3 km ave per run day

With snow showers forecast and a top temp of only 7 degrees for tomorrow, today didn't feel much better. It was cold, it is winter, and a week in warmer FNQ has not helped. Just had to get out there and do some kms.
I had blood taken this morning to see if I am alright to keep living and running for a little while longer, results at end of the week. So late breakfast, waited for the frost to melt with a low overnight temp of -4.5 degrees, before leaving near 10 am.
Today was designed to simulate how I need to run in a few weeks time. Run for 30 minutes, walk 2 minutes then run again for 30 minutes and walk. Repeat all run, home after 90 minutes for eating and drinking and out again.
First lap through Gowrie to Fadden nature park, over Wanniassa Hill trig, right to Karralika and MacArthur, past Fadden Pines on Isabella Dr to Ashley Dr and back home. Second lap over to Tuggeranong Hill, climb part of the ridge then on to the sub station, behind Theodore to the Calwell oval and back home. Met Softshoeshuffle on the track, stopped for a chat, caught up with events since Bush Capital run, then continued on. Back home for a honey sandwich and drink then start third lap.
Last lap down to the gravel track behind Bonython, over Stranger Hill on a loop, then back home.
Easy as I was feeling the cold, found some gloves to wear as well as the long sleeved top and shirt I started with to handle the wind. The north westerly was cold, blowing off the snow. Hopefully winter has only a few weeks to go.
Not a real good run, no rhythm, didn't warm up, I want to go back to the warmer weather.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Fun

Distance: 12.35 km
Time: 64' 42"
Rate: 5' 14" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 12 degrees, humidity 48%, wind calm
Week: 83.7 km
August: 129.65 km
Year: 3117.1 km

I tried to think of a blog title to do with today's date, but couldn't find anything significant. The Olympics start tonight, City to Surf is on Sunday in Sydney, a day is a day, unless you are born today or one of the many couples getting married. Nothing at all to do with running.
Easy jog home for lunch via the river track and Lanyon shops. Really nice day at noon, just warm enough to notice, with little to no breeze. Still some snow on the mountains, spring must be around the corner.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mt Taylor

Distance: 19.95 km
Time: 1 hr 49 mins 45 secs
Rate: 5' 28" per km
Weather: sun/cloud, temp 11 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 71.35 km
August: 117.3 km
Year: 3104.75 km

Rest day yesterday just to get used to the cooler weather again and recover from a few harder runs while on holidays. I needed a hill or two today and for the rest of this month, so the perfect time to go the top of Mt Taylor. Similar run to one I did on 18th June, that day was up the new Richmond Fellowship track (zig zag), today it was on the way down.
Started out from work, around the outside of Lake Tuggeranong, up Athllon Dr to Sulwood Dr roundabout, then left on Sulwood to the track into the Mt Taylor nature reserve. It is a shorter trip to the top of the mountain this way, still ran all the way except the steps just past half way, too close and steep for me. Other than that, a good run to the top, very few people about today, fairly average day up there.
Down the zig zag track, not as fast to run down with the loose gravel and erosion logs needing to be jumped over, slowing progress. Torrens side fire trail is the one we used a couple of weeks ago for the monthly handicap, but a good surface and easy run down hill to Athllon Dr.
Even better all the way down to lake's edge, around the outside again and back to work. Good run, not as cold as I thought it would be, still wore shirt under running top. Short run tomorrow, long one on Saturday, not sure until the day depending on the weather, forecast for the weekend is not great.
Strewth, yes the house is back to 2 occupants, until a short time in Feb next year. It was a long 11 months.
Ewen, you always run better when it is warm and sunny, and slowed down by some topless bathing beauties. Could have " done a CJ" and fell over because I sure wasn't watching where I was going.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Last Day in Paradise

Distance: 21.5 km
Time: 1 hr 43 mins 31 secs
Rate: 4' 49" per km
Calories: 1568
Water temp: 24 degrees
Weather: sunny, temp 23-26 degrees, humidity 62%-50%, wind light SSE at 15 km
Holiday distance: 102.8 km in 6 days
Week: 51.4 km
August: 97.35 km
Year: 3084.8 km

Last day today in FNQ catching a plane south at 1:30 pm gave plenty of time to get another few kms done at the beach. Palm Cove is just north of Cairns airport, a long sweeping beach of 5.5 km. Brother and I and dog Charlie started at the southern end instead of the jetty end as we had done last Friday.
Another perfect winter's day in the sunny north, gentle breeze off the sea just to keep it nice and relaxed. A few less people about which was good as the tide was coming in fast, so not a lot of hard sand to run on.
Ran bare footed again to harden the feet, the sand is nice and soft, the sea warm, not quite cold enough for recovery but nice to wash off the sweat and sand.
Reasonably even paced running with the breeze just slowing on the run south, averaged 4'45" with the breeze and 4'55" against. Finished in time to have a shower, get changed and be at the airport to fly out at 1:30 pm. Plane delayed for half an hour so making the connecting flight out of Brisbane was close, I made it but really worried about the suitcase. Somehow, we both arrived in Canberra at the same time to a complete change of weather, temp 4.5 degrees, rain, cold, humidity 90%. Sometimes you just wonder why?
Back to work tomorrow for a few more week before 2 weeks off to get back to Qld for Glasshouse run. Need a few long runs before then, a few nice Saturdays would be good, but the Olympics start this weekend, so much to do and so little spare time.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Track Running

Distance: 11.9 km
Time: 55' 18"
Rate: 4' 39" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 24 degrees, humidity 65%, wind ENE off sea at 15 kmph
Week: 29.9 km
August: 75.85 km
Year: 3063.3 km in 31 weeks at 98.8 km ave

We went out for lunch today then said goodbye to my niece returning to Brisbane after a few days up here. Then track session on the grass at the school. About 15 turned up to run the 200 metres on 1 minute. We had to wait for a rugby game to finish, chance to get a few laps done around the outside of the field. Not really a need to warm up, always warm up here.
Three sets of ten 200's, not sure on how to attack this session so went with the flow to start and ran 48 seconds for each 200 giving me 12 seconds to recover before going again. A short walk break before going again, still trying to maintain 48 seconds for each 200. Comfortable so picked up the pace from mid way through to end of the second set.
Last set decidedly quicker, pace down to 40 seconds per 200, longer rest before going again. In the long run, not much faster than I would run a tempo at the track, but the stop start nature makes it harder. Bini ran 37 seconds time to start down to 31 seconds at the finish, says the short stuff doesn't suit him.
Jog back to brother's place as a warm down. Good session, humidity made it difficult, warmth not a problem but drinking is essential in this climate. That session in summer would be torture.
Running on the beach again tomorrow morning before leaving here at 1:30 pm to return home.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wild Turkey

Distance: 18.00 km
Time: 1 hr 42 mins 15 secs
Rate: 5'41" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm,
Altitude: 750 metres ASL
Week: 18.00 km
August: 63.95 km
Year: 3051.4 km

We changed out plans on where to go to celebrate my birthday. Port Douglas was planned but a triathlon on the beach front ruled that out. Instead we headed to the Atherton Tableland for a run and BBQ at Lake Eacham. Lovely spot with a walking track of 3 km around the outside. Nice and closed in by the rain forest, much cooler than at sea level on the coast, but a really nice spot.
A few people about walking the track, nicely undulating on a gravel track. Lost the GPS signal for most of the run.
Four laps before lunch and a couple after ranging in time from 18'40" down to fast one at 16'13".
An ice cream on the way back then we celebrated with a few champagnes so please excuse the blog story tonight. Today has been a great birthday, must get up here more often.
The coach has given me tomorrow morning off before track at night when we do 200 metres and then go again inside a minute. Three sets of 10, I will be stuffed at the finish.
Long run on Tuesday morning on the beach before flying home in the afternoon.
There were wild turkeys at the BBQ, not to be eaten and not to be drunk.
Finally found some water cold enough to soak the legs in with the fresh water in the lake probably at 20 degrees temp instead of the sea at 23. Overnight has also been cold, temps getting down to a cool degrees,the locals are shivering.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Another Day in Paradise

Morning Run at oval:
Distance: 11.6 km
Time: 53'30
Rate: 4' 37" per km
Weather: sunny,temp 23 degrees, humidity 50%, easterly at 7 kmph
Midday run:
Distance: 11.3 km
Time: 68'48"
Rate: 6' 06" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 25 degrees, humidity 50%, NNE at 15 km
Week: 76.55 km
August: 45.95 km
Year: 3033.4 km

Morning sleep in before a two run day again. The running track is just over a km down the road so a perfect warm up although with the temp at 23 degrees, warming up is not too important.
Vacant possession on the track, just about perfect conditions, so I ran 20 laps in lane 5, plus a lap of cool down before jogging back. Just like home, ran bare feet, changed direction after each 5 laps, easy running at 4' 23" per km.
Wrote blog on yesterday's running while the others were out shopping, then brother and I drove into the city to run on the Esplanade. Heaps of tourists about soaking up the sun, should have stayed there but we went on by and over to a lookout at 110 metres above sea level with a good view over to Green Island and the planes at the airport.
Started to feel the efforts of double up running on the steps up to the lookout, but regained a bit on the way back. Passed by the tourists at the market on the waterfront to complete another wonderful day of running in paradise. Total kms for the day almost 23 in just over 2 hours.
Last run today as an M50, up an age group from tomorrow so it must get easier.

Just Perfect up Here

1st Run: Palm Cove Beach at 11.00 am
Distance: 10.75 km
Time: 49' 53"
Rate: 4' 39" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 25 degrees, humidity 40%, light ENE breeze off the sea at 15 kmph, sea temp 23 degrees, sand temp 20 degrees:
2nd run: Local Primary school oval at 5:00pm
Distance: 12.3 km
Time: 53' 02 "
Rate: 4' 19" per km
Weather: just before dark, clear sky, temp 21 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm,
Week: 53.65 km
August: 23.05 km
Year: 3010.5 km

Friday was my idea of an almost perfect day on holidays. I'm not much of a tourist, been to Cairns before, just a good day to spend with brother and niece. Morning drive north of Cairns to the beach at Palm Cove about 25 km past all the resorts that support a big tourist trade in FNQ.
The beach is just over 5.5 km long on a long sweep around the the bay. Tide was on the way out so the run out was in the softer sand near the high tide mark. Plenty of tourists catching the warm rays of the sun, not many in the sea, probably too cold for them. Turned at a small creek at the end of the bay and ran in the salt water to keep a little cooler, give the legs a bit of relief and because I like it. So out in the soft sand, back in the water made a great morning to run.
Finished up with a splash about in the sea, water a bit too warm for really good recovery, but is sure as hell warmer than the Murrumbidgee River at Pine Is.
A rest after lunch because the Friday afternoon is track running for a group of youngsters my brother trains. Tonight they did 6 x 1 kms with the first 5 at just under all out pace and the last one a handicap based on time for first 5. I jogged between each set and missed run 4 to recover just cruising while the others went fast.
Must tell you that there is a youngster living out here now from Ethiopia, name's Bini, about to turn 13 years old, ran just over 3:00 min pace for each of 6 km, bare feet of course, he is really good.
The handicap was decided on the times for each of your runs, I had ran most between 4'08" and 3'55" pace, so I got to start on go. I had my brother just 15 seconds behind me with Bini on 55 seconds behind. The others around 30 seconds and the fastest on 60 seconds behind.
Very scary to run from the front not knowing or daring to look behind to see if any are catching.
The youngsters didn't look like catching me, but brother, doesn't like being beaten, very good competitive spirit, makes you run fast, just failed to run me down. I heard breathing and footsteps with 100 metres to go and just found another gear to hold him out by 1 second. I ran the 1 km in 3'40", very happy after covering 23 kms for the day.
Great day, I am half way through another day, ran tempo at the oval this morning and will write a full story after our second run later today. Tough training up here, glad brother doesn't coach me full time. Who cares if the training is tough, the weather is perfect.