Red Bull


A recent news story has noted the consequences of drinking popular energy drink Red Bull in excess as a UK driver was booked for dangerous driving after drinking 20 cans (20 cans!) of the product.

Interestingly, the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry published a
case report in 2001 suggesting that excessive intake triggered a manic episode in a gentleman with bipolar disorder.

Red Bull has had several papers published on it in scientific journals. It is often not referred to by brand, but often by the euphamism of 'energy drink [with taurine and caffeine]' or 'functional energy drink'.

Despite the marketing hype, it has been genuinely shown to improve mental performance for a short duration, and particularly usefully, to counteract dangerous driver sleepiness during tests with a driving simulator.

...when taken in sensible doses, of course.

In Yesterday's Blog I set myself the very moderate aim to go for a run on my own when I was ready. Not a hard task.
Stuck to clear liquid diet yesterday, although felt pretty bad, and Bob and I decided to try and get me into the good doctor on Saturday morning. However this plan had required that I was awake, and just as I was sound asleep when Bob left to have his legs waxed to a silky smoothness this morning, asleep when he returned, and until he was well into his second rye and mixed grain breadroll when I stumbled up to take my morning medication. Eyes hurt and can't see so well. Sinus pain. Other bits I won't mention. Ouch.

A grumpy, whiny start to the day.


The sinus pain that return with vengeance yesterday endured throughout the night and made me the proverbial bear with a sore head this morning. Thus, in typical (female or just person-kind) fashion, I couldn't find joy or cheer in anything. The it's-bad-enough-to-drink anyway decaf beverage I use to sustain myself with each morning had not been replenished by Bob on his trip to the supermarket, my backside hurt (a lot), I couldn't get in contact with Bob to let him know what time I had made his appointment with the quack was, nor knew what time to expect him to return from his run with Jude. I was dragged down by the endless washing of sheets et al, and didn't want to tie up the shower while Bob was out. My hanging of the mirror in my study on my own produced two big holes in the wall, although it is too high.

As I said, in my mood nothing could be right.

I rather gingerly cycled to Customs, leaving plenty of time, avoiding the rather gentle 'Hospital Hill' and taking the flatter museum route instead, and coasting most of the way. The sensation of movement made my sinus pain even worse and did hurt considerabley. Headaches just suck!

I locked up the shopping trolley alongside the cafe at Regatta Point and changed there. Friar had set up the Customs board, and Aki and NB were also there early. I thought I should warm up, and then had a better idea - more self interest than altrusim, I went off early to hold the watch and be there calling out times when everyone returned. This also means that the runner's gear is not left unattended.

Although not accelerating so much at the start as I often do, I nevertheless ran fairly hard and was not slacking off. Quite a few picnickers and casual cyclists were out and about around Acton Ferry Terminal, and I managed to maintain my form. I ended up doing very even 5 minute splits, which was (just) alright. Downloading my watch at the end of the day indicated that I had kept my heartrate at a good 'race pattern'. Slightly elevating over the course of the run, but maintained at a fairly constant level without large variations. I'm pleased with this.
After much ado, a warm down with Aki and SpeedyGeoff, rather thoughtless of me as it was far too hot for Aki who was suffering terribly in the 34* heat.

It was good talking afterwards though, and I think that I decided, very reluctantly, that I shopuld probably revert to a clear liquid diet. I really have enjoyed eating. Particularly the fresh summer fruits and plenty of vegies. Unless I do something though, any running in public or over distance or at speed (duration and intensity are both bad) will be out of the question. So, I have returned to clear fluids, and will see if that helps, and see if the GP has had any luck with my Sydney specialist thinking on the left side of his brain.
Plan for tomorrow: Longish run on my own in the bush near home, as early as I can manage it.
Fingers crossed.

Oi! Oi! Oi!


From Australia Day 2005

8k not out. I woke up feeling good, and managed to get going without drama this morning for the Medibank Private Australia Day Fun Run in Commonwealth Park. Bob and I drove down fairly early (for us) and saw quite a few people we knew, although the event was distinctive for all the "twice a year fun runners" who were in attendance. I was delighted to be there, and pleased that the event was on to encourage me to get out and do something early, rather than be too concerned about breaking down into the run, after my previous attempts. With a (rather clumsy) call for 'sub 28 minute' runners to the line, I mingled with others from the cross country club for the 8 a.m. start (On time!)There seemed to be the usual bun rush over the first kilometre or so, with small children stopping after a sprint start, and others fading after their optimistic race from the start. I settled into a happy enough pace, and at 2km felt very comfortable. I still did not recognise those around me. Heading up onto Kings Avenue Bridge I was overtaken by a couple of women, and I was unable to judge their age range, nor run abreast of them as it was far too narrow. Felt good until about the 4k mark, but then faded a bit as the mob thinned out and there were fewer people to chase. Nevertheless was not unhappy with my time of 38:40 given the long break, and better still things held together for the first time in about three weeks. I'm back!

It's interesting to read last years blog of this run, and makes me feel a tad less glum about today's performance. On the good side, while I Slower today than last year (I'm not going to contemplate the course change and distance variation = I'll take it as par for arguments sake), it was a matter of 20 seconds or so, rather than yesterdays BBQ Stakes 3 or 4 minute drop off.

A larger field this year, a slower start and logjam at the beginning, and the good company of Aki and allrounder. I finished well behind both of them, and Bob, uncharacteristically told me not to worry so much about my (lack of) speed.

We had to leave early and collect our Great Niece Madelyn for a few hours of fun. She is great, and we headed to the pool, where at just two years of age, she is extremely confident and has a great deal of physical competence about everything. Our time ended a little too soon, however even hanging around in the kids pool seemed to attack the sinus' and I dropped off to sleep in some pain and discomfort (again) for a few hours.

Not Gone, Not Forgotten


I've tried to get around to blogging for ages, but life keeps getting in the way.
Nothing much to report, apart from one of the slowest ever runs in the BBQ Stakes in the 25 year history of the event. As I was passed by one runner after another, I knew that I couldn't have been last as Roger was still to overtake me and I saw him arrive. It was after the four kilometre mark, but was something of a relief when it happened.
Had a brilliant day with Aki on Monday, and Bob and I organised our visa's for Vietnam on Tuesday. I did a bit more painting of the frame of a notice board and plant a few natives in the garden.
I am relieved that I am on the last packet of antibiotics now and hopefully will pick up once they have finished. Having to take them a couple of times a day with food has exaggerated the poor gastrointestinal effects.
Although I am anxious that it doesn't come to this, I am prepared to forget about the six foot track if I have to. I certainly need to train, and at the moment it is difficult. Although the arrangements for our south east Asian trip was arranged around my desire to complete the six foot track first. I even pre-entered early. But, I need to make sure that I can fly and be in good nick. Stay tuned to this bat channel.
Australia Day is going to be busy, Fun Run first, then hotfooting it to the opposite side of town to collect our just two year old great niece Madelyn for a days activity. It should be fun. And exhausting.

Week summary


It hasn't been a bad week ~ I was surprisingly slower on the Black Mountain Run Up on Tuesday than I had been mid longish run on Sunday evening. It was good fun though, especially seeing such a big turnout including allrounder. I had to dash for an appointment, so missed out on the post climb chat and jog down, however I did manage to get to the TACT office (Triathlon ACT) to enter aki and I as a team in the season's first Aquathon.

I did spend some time in the outdoor quarter of Civic (Lonsdale St, home of the outdoor shops in Canberra like Kent St is in Sydney) to compare sandals and backpacks. The wonderful Wildthing was right, the Keen sandals, although big and secure are very good.

Wednesday saw me drive to the BBQ Stakes at Woden. An unfortunate side effect of the current aggressive regime of antibiotics is rather severe diarrhoea. I am taking bucket-loads of preventative medication, but I couldn't risk the ride. It wasn't as hot and oppressive as the previous week and rain had been lurking all day. This was probably the reason for a relatively small turnout. I went off my never changing handicap, and was passed, once again by all the back-markers behind me. A little disconcerting, however it seems that few of the poorer runners turned up today (no names SpeedyGeoff), so although second or third last, my time, though slow, was still a full sixty seconds faster than the week before. Heading in the right direction!

Evening Reconnoiter


I headed out this evening for a gentle jog, with no plan in mind other than to get out the door. Very sluggish to begin with, I toyed with the idea of turning back very early, or stopping. Instead I took a bit of a bus-man's holiday and wandered along unfamiliar single track which wound its way through dry creek beds and around gullies and fallen trees in Aranda bushland. The element of exploration and surprise was good for me, although the added burden of the terrain meant that I was slowed down to an embarrassingly slow pace.

Once under Caswell Drive and into Black Mountain Bushland, I once again chose the more obscure single track and then with Black Mountain Tower looming high above me, the notion that I could do a trial run of the Black Mountain Run Up course entered my mind. It is the first time that this will be 'officially' run as a regular monthly run on the ACT Mountain Running calendar. I managed to find my way down from Frith Road to Clunies Ross Street easily, although was surprised to see a paddock of vehicles at the end, as picnickers arrived to attend the second Summer Sounds concert series of Jazz in the gardens.

I ran to the side, and around to where I adjudged the start of the run would be. Resetting the Garmin, I bravely and ugilly ran up through the concert goers onto the trail which ran adjacent to the Botanic Gardens fence-line. I 'cut' the corner at the top onto Frith Road (this was the course in a duathlon I did, it may not be on Tuesday), and through the fences into Black Mountain Nature Park.

The summit trail is a bitumen sealed track through thickly forested woodland, intercepted with 'speed bumps' and metal barriers in attempt to prevent bikes tearing down the track and eating walkers in their wake. It is easy enough to side-step the barriers when running, particularly at the pace going up.

Eventually the summit trail joins onto the wider track on the northern side which leads to the summit and was sealed with tar on the upper section to the Tower over a decade ago. It is not pitted and broken in many places, leaving a partially sealed, and partly gravel track. As I caught up to and passed a heavy walker with a backpack and drink bottles taking another of many breaks, I thought that "at least there aren't the steps that there are on the Mt Ainslie course". Boring! I know this track, it is my back yard, but I couldn't clearly recall the wide, shallow steps. They are easier to run up than those on Mt Ainslie.

I then had to make a decision on the fly - whether to continue on the sealed track which veered to the east, and then terminates with a steeper set of stairs near the lookout point. I opted to go straight ahead on a dirt section instead, which had been part of an earlier race up Black Mountain, and now led straight to the lookout, although there had been a fence blocking this previously.

Done! A little further than the 2.2kms of Mt Ainslie, although easier overall. I used the opportunity to avail myself of Black Mountain's other facilities; chilled drinking water and toilets on the lower entrance level to the tower. Bliss!

I then ran down the road to'the notorious pushbike hill, and found it very interesting attempting to descend this steep track that I had only gone up before. A few more kilometres until I got home, later than expected, although energised and excited by a wonderful bushland excursion which just got better as it went. Love Canberra. Love where we live.

Today was the first Novice Triathlon Race of 2006 (in the ACT), and many experienced triathletes used it to warm up for the National Series Races starting at the end of the month.

Alas, I did not fit into either the novice or experienced catorgory today, my snoz still aching and keeping me out of the water for a month or two yet.

I did vounteer to help out however, a bit of a dual edged sword, as I felt 'pretty average' (gotta love Australian colloquiallism) when waking this morning, and didn't feel up to getting out of bed. 'The buzz of the site was palpable however when I arrived, and though still aching, the desire switched from being tucked up in bed to being a participant among the other 340-odd taking part.

I received my STOP/GO sign and flouro vest, and headed over to stand on Adelaide Avenue near the Thai and Japanese Embassies to prevent cars travelling down Empire Circuit travel too fast as the cyclist ride past.

It was a quiet Sunday morning with very little traffic. On the main thorourghfare, Adelaide Avenue, cyclists out for a training ride in groups of two or six almost outnumbered cars before 9:00 am. This provided me with a good opportunity to clap and cheer those going past, some trim and fast, but by far the vast majority true novices, many on mountain bikes, with the seats adjusted far too low, wearing a mis-matched assortment of baggy shorts and T-shirts, doing it tough with a painfully slow cadence. I tried to support these guys most of all and was inspired by their participation.

It was all over by the time I got back to transition, however I managed to catch up with a number of Cool Runners such as
Speedy Geoff who was there to cheer along Strewth who was racing on the back of a 30km training run yesterday.

Does My Nose Look Big in this?


The sinus headaches are rebounding, not at their worst, but more than annoying.

I cycled via the Chemist this morning to refill some of my 'usual' prescriptions and repeats of the dastardly antibiotics, 1, 2 & 3. I had a good talk to the Pharmacist, however the delay was long, and I jumped on the shopping cart, (bike in commute mode) and hit main roads to cycle down to Customs in the hope that I wouldn't be late. I snuck through the Archbishop's' residence road as a shortcut and was there in ample time.

I felt OK, and was pleased to see
Mr B there for the first time to run. We went off the same handicap, 13:00, mercifully eased 30 seconds since last weeks miserable performance at 100% effort. My face pain was continuing, and I didn't feel too flash. I pointed out to Mr B the variations on the course going out for the return, and he sped away once we rounded the willow tree at the halfway point.

The handicapper was in great form this week, with a sea of runners converging at the final downhill stretch across surprisingly deep, lush grass. A group of teenagers on tour had their Frisbee and footy tip and kick games interrupted as we all swarmed through the middle in an attempt to get to the line.

Aki kept in front of me, and I uncharacteristically didn't call out for her to 'Go Girl' as usual as I knew she would kick on and ridicule me. I didn't catch her anyway, she claims that she could hear me (!), and although blessedly faster than last week, I remained quite unhappy with the run overall.

Aki and I retreated to the Deck for our usual post-mortem, although the tone was a little subdued as though we were each faster than last week, it seemed to be no consolation for our unsatisfying runs. I rode home on Barry Drive to pick up my prescriptions (I'm sure that the steroids are bloating my nose!), before heading home.

BBQ'd Duck


Wednesday is BBQ Stakes Day. The forecast was not good, and it would wise to give if a miss in the heat of the day. However, defying logic, I am slowly getting close to my 100th run of the Stakes. So what?
Friar has run over 1,100 of them! (and he has the T-Shirts to prove it).

That's one of the things you see, I did my first BBQ Stakes in 1991, when I worked at Woden. However, I moved to work in the City and training tended to be based there. Then I got sick, and yadayadayada, runs were very occasional at best.

However, since my 'comeback' in 2004 I have been much more consistent. So I am running slowly, but nearing first base in the BBQ Stakes hierarchy, a 'free' T-Shirt! After 15 years, in which time I threw out all my running records and gear thinking that I would never run again, I want the (lousy) T-Shirt!

I rode the shopping trolley down there, leaving a few minutes before Bob and expected him to catch up with me very quickly. I got a crick in my neck checking over my left shoulder with the expectation of seeing him any minute now. I was locking up my bike before he arrived. Woo Hoo. Good that we're not competitive.

I thought that I 'should' go off my correct, although never changing handicap of 12:15. I hit my watch 15 seconds early when I thought that another runner (much taller, faster, younger, better looking, maler than me) left at 12:00 minutes and I thought that we were at the same time. Even with the 36* temperature, I thought that I would be OK. I went as hard as I thought sensible, and seemed to maintain my position in the small field of the day. Bob went flying past after I had run about 2 1/2km, and while I made an indecent suggestion to him as he huffed past, I assumed that he went off early.

The strangest thing happened nearing the 5km mark. I wished the run was over and I wanted to stop. I didn't of course, although walking was very tempting. I rationalised that the sooner that I finished, the sooner it would stop.

I made it to the end, somehow, a little unsure of my time as I had stuffed up my watch, but I think that I rocketed over the 6k course (I'm being facetious) in 32:16. The two consolations were that I was quicker than last week, and the first eligible runner over the line finished in a gross time of 41:56, two and a half minutes after the usual winning time.

I didn't bother to put on a jersey to cycle home and didn't care how I looked, the sweat wouldn't stop. Fortunately, the heat kept people away and I didn't see others, and the skies opened as I had two kilometres left before home.

A quick bite, and then Bob and I caught a session of 'Good Night, and Good Luck' an excellent biopic about McCarthyism.

Duck Paddle


Tuesday was a great day

I had a smaller sinus headache when I woke, however I was able to do a quick coat of the ceiling, before I rang Aki to find out what we were up to. It was going to be hot, too hot, and I waiting for Bob to get back from his run first so I didn't have to lock the house up on such a day first.

It took just about as long to drive to Aki's place as to cycle, and I took her on a magical mystery tour of the northern suburbs of Canberra in my attempt to take a short cut. We then headed down to Lake Burley Griffin to finally go kayaking, on our list of things to do for some time. The rather basic flat bottomed plastic boats were neither fast, nor inclined to go in a straight line. Despite the hot weather and our midday start, being out on the water with a slight breeze and with increasing amounts of water entering the boats with each stroke, (there were no skirts), it was quite pleasant.

We first headed over towards the National Museum, managing to do lots of 360's on the way, and along the 'seawall' for a short way before cartwheeling our way back, as the wind picked up and our time was nearly up. It was not much of a paddle, the equipment was not so great and she had been spoilt from using the TK1 and sea kayaks with the benefit of steering rudders. It was rather longer since I paddled, probably January 1995 when Bob and I changed our plans to do a quick circuit of the Kepler Track when we found that we could organise kayaks for a couple of days, and had a few idyllic days during a circuit of Lake Manapouri, camping on deserted sandy beaches lined with Beech Trees, Kiwi's in the brush, large fish swarming throughout the water that was so clean we just dipped our cups in to drink as we paddled. Bliss.
Rather wet, and me looking very bedraggled (Aki managed to retain considerable style), we returned to the Deck at Regatta Point for coffee, opting to sit outside to dry off.
The afternoon was spent as Casa Kramar Harlow, where I put the last coat of bright blue paint on the wall, and Aki and Bob chatted. the evening was terribly hot, and we walked (more or less) around the Aranda 6k loop, the weather only cooling slightly as the sun set.
I managed to move a bit of furniture back, back already feel that this new medication regime is having some effect. Let's hope it lasts!

More of the Usual


More of the Usual


My Blog was eaten.

Another trip to the GP this morning ~ it was another fallow weekend, largely spent asleep, or walking around holding my face, moaning that it hurts"!

The sinusitis that never ends returned with the fury of a woman scorned and subsumed Saturday and Sunday in it's wake. Stronger, longer and more alternative antibiotics prescribed this time, along with steroid to be inhaled (I'll have the strongest snoz around), more Sudafed, keeping up the saline irrigation etc etc. Alas, the prescription also included no swimming in the pools or Lakes of Canberra (a bit of salt water surf wouldn't go astray), so that puts paid to my triathlon aspirations for the remainder of the season.

We met up with Bob's eldest nephew for a quick bite before he headed back to Nowra, and I then felt strong enough to go for a cycle (the preferred option) or put another coat of paint on the ceiling and walls. The 'should' option won ~ the don't-call-me-baby Sky Blue walls and ceiling got another going over, much faster and without the streaking of the first coat. A time consuming, but thorough wash up of the roller and brushes before play time in calling my friend, "Little A" aki.

It looks as though my triathlon days might not be over afterall . . . . like Frankenstein's monster she has taken to swimming like a, uh, duck to water, and it looks as though these Cool Running Chicky Babes might be making waves in the have fun stakes yet! Way to go Girl!!

The Sky Blue of the Ceiling keeps making me think that it needs clouds ~my artistic ideas are severely limited by my ability to execute them. I'll have to make a decision and do it soon though (like tomorrow), because camping all my gear in the living area upstairs can't last forever. If only I could be like Patrizia Piccinini and think of the great ideas (no, not the clouds silly, I mean the big, great ideas) and get someone else to do them for me . . . .



I make a good impersonation of lurch noises, but I don't know how to convert this to text.
Once again, I woke with my head racked with sinus pain and it took hours to be able to function. Somehow I managed to become 'lert enough to do a bit ó painting. The first effect of the roller on the ceiling was something of a shock = it seemed very blue, instead of a light tint.
No guts, no glory. I figured that I had better keep going.
The plan was to give the walls and ceiling a coat of paint, do some exercise, and give the room a second coat that afternoon. Good plan. But that was as far as it went.
I struggled through with the ceiling and the two remaining walls. It was rather patchy, as I was very slow (especially to begin with) and it was drying well in the warm weather. I finished up and spent a long time washing out the painting equipment properly in preparation. I didn't feel like it, but knew that I 'should'. I don't like 'shoulds'.
Bob arrived home from his morning cycle, avoiding the Summernats territory as I requested. He looks especially good in a wet T-shirt, cycling jersey and nicks!
I had promised to help spread out some mulch on the garden adjacent to the driveway, and thought that I had better do this now rather than leave it until a 'later' than never arrives. By the time I had done this all thoughts of a run or cycle were subsumed by the need to lie down, soon. I managed to have a welcome bath first, and then struggled to lie down. Too soon I was asleep, well into the late afternoon. It was too late and I was still too tired and groggy to contemplate doing anything.
And thus endeth the lesson for today.

How to Run Like a Girl


First, I will get the whinge du jour over and done with; I woke up this morning with another big bang sinus head, the first after a few, welcome days of relief. This once again ate into my days' productivity in large, unrecoverable chunks. And it hurt!

Having decided to use the opportunity of having moved most the furniture and books from my study to paint the other walls and ceiling, I completed the moving task and went to get the appropriate paint from the shop in the morning with the aim of getting a coat done while at Customs with Aki. However, with the damn sinus', and Bob requesting 'just a few things' from the markets while I was out there, it was too late to begin and get there in time.

I enjoyed Customs, Bob arriving by bike, with a couple of new starters as well as most of the usual stalwarts. Aki and I both went off our correct handicap, Aki running without a watch. Allrounder's absence was noted, as once again we were still off the same time, despite my significant lack of form in the last few months. I went hard though all the way, and once again was passed my many (but not all this time!) of the backmarkers who started behind me.

Aki was looking good at the 3k mark when I saw her, and had long finished by the time SpeedyGeoff out sprinted me to the finish. (Having exhausted my whinge quota I won't mention my time here). Thankfully, Aki finally managed to score an overdue win for the first time in over a year of running the Customs course. Way to go, girl!

Desperately unpolitically correct, SpeedyGeoff, Aki and I did practice our 'running like a girl' styles, keeping our arms and elbows high, hands and nails out (for drying the polish) and kicking our legs out from the knees. Geoff was very good, and deserves special mention, however Aki did have a natural advantage and talent!

After much chin-wagging (sometimes I think that the blokes are worse than a mother's club) Aki and I left for a gentle warm down, a counter clockwise two bridges run, with a mid-point ITB stretching break. Coffee at the Deck to finish, and then home to (huh!) finish getting the first coat of paint on. I had stopped in to the chemist to get some Sudafed (recommended by doctor and friend at Customs and at Mt Ainslie) in an attempt to thwart future sinus mornings, and as I changed in readiness, the thunder rolled on and it rained. Rule of painting: if you wouldn't hang out the washing or wash the car, don't paint.

I completed a thorough masking of the sills and architraves, while watching the final overs of the 3rd Test match. By the time the rain stopped, the light went and I had to accept that it would be a job for tomorrow.

[Warning: bad painting pun ahead] Roll On!

Dancing on the Ceiling??


Nope! Painting the town red! Or Blue. And the town is more like my study . . . .

It's not that Bob and I are indecisive about everything, far from it.

"Would you like to go to Hong Kong for your birthday?" he asks

"Sure thing" I say and we are there the next week hiking and running around the hills without seeing a soul for eons.

But housework related activities are a little different. It took a couple of years of taping hand drawn sketches on the walls of the storeroom of "this is how our bikes could look if they hang" before Bob could concede to look into it. You see, although I have lived here since mid 1991, I still feel that this is Bob's house ~ he's been here forever, and the mission brownish and remaining macrame 70's touches reinforce this.

Anyway, with us both home, I am spending a great deal of time in my study which is a conglomeration of bits of old furniture we both had, and with an exposed brown brown brown brick wall, it is rather bland.

I had strung up a couple of flags (the Torres Strait Islander colours are great), but it was always a stopgap that never ended. Today we popped down to a local paint shop and I bought some rather bright blue paint for one wall of my small study. Enthused, Bob also opted to get a similar tone (slightly darker and greyer) to one day paint the wall behind the bikes, with the idea that we then have a light-almost-white above it, behind the white wire shelves and on the vaulted ceiling.

This afternoon I spent preparing the wall and carting literally thousands of books and journals upstairs and moving furniture around. I was able to get one coat of bright blue on the wall tonight, and even in the surrounding mess it makes me feel happy.

Customs tomorrow with Aki, and a bit more painting. I will try to at least un-brown the back (study side) of the door in the room as well. I'd better go before I make some really bad pun about listening to Miles Davis and being Kind of Blue.

Summernats 2006



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Summernats is a car festival held in Canberra, Australia. Summernats is held annually, usually at the start of the year in January. Summernats is the most well known car festival in Australia, and an event which attracts many tourists to Canberra.

It is held at the Canberra Racecourse in the suburb of Mitchell, off Northbourne Avenue.
Summernats features many street machines with airbrushed artwork, and restored and modified cars. It is held over a four day period, with many events, with prizes in competitions such as for
burnouts. There are also parades of cars around the track. Also is a Miss Summernats competition, and fireworks at night. It has increasingly been promoted as an event for families.
In 2005, Summernats was in its 18th year, with Summernats 19 planned for January 2006.
Summernats official site
from ""

The Summernats start in Canberra today, which is ample reason to avoid the inner north of town, especially if on a (push) bike! There will be plenty of street machine petrol heads screeching around the streets to show off their burn out skills, and practicing their taunts of anyone with the potential to wear a skirt in preparation for the wet T‑Shirt competition.

A Slow Stakes, but a PB for the year!


It was actually quite cool this morning, and although I was too tired to put more on the bed than the sheet, it was a great change over the previous few nights.

Still drained, I worked my way up to cycling down to the BBQ Stakes at lunchtime: at the last minute I took the (hitherto more) dangerous route of the Tuggeranong Parkway, given that there was so little traffic. Although the standard course for Triathlon’s as far as the Cotter Rd turnoff, it felt slightly strange riding along it on my MTB geared up for commuting with racks and bags. Still I was averaging a good kick along ~ until the bridge over the dregs of the river and the Weston Creek Bike Path where the road started to rise, ever so slightly, but enough to slow my fatigued legs to a crawl.

I was there early though (I hate being late), and had plenty of time to catch up on the cricket, chain up my bike and catch up with Rad and Friar. I even had the unusual opportunity to do a kilometre or two of jogging to warm up.

Despite running consistently below my handicap in the last few months, I went off my correct time again to keep me honest. It was a modest turnout for the Stakes (36 out of maybe 60 regulars) given the large group at Mt Ainslie yesterday, however was passed early and regularly by all of those starting behind me.

Aki has no fears of her ‘slow’ 27 minute Customs time, I was well over this at the 5km mark and pushing hard the whole way. I enjoyed it nevertheless, and it was good to catch up with people.

Whilst doing the hard k’s, I sought to explain why my running performance had been so bad for the last few months. I realised (with the benefit of blogsight) that I went into the Sydney Marathon on the back of a cold/’flu and haven’t been firing on all cylinders since. This would also explain the tenacity of the sinus infection.

I cycled home on the bike path around the lake, adding the scenic Yarralumla Bay and National Museum along the route. It was really tough though, and I just fell onto the bed and slept. I don’t understand why this fatigue is so enduring.

Triathlon Scratching


The ‘upcoming events’ list on the right was prepared a few months ago, and is in dire need of revision. I fear that swimming is not going to be feasible in the medium term, save for an occasional dip in the ocean or even the lake. My sinus’ are unrepentant, and likely to flare up at any time . . . the chlorine of a pool is (almost) fatal. I am sure that I will need to replace the triathlon events with running. Bugger.

The 3rd day of January was the first Mt Ainslie Run-Up for the year, and although battle scared, I did want to make an appearance to catch up with friends such as Rad and Friar. I had to convince Bob that this wasn’t totally foolish, as I still was required to adopt a goose-stepping silly walk worthy of a development grant (Python fans understand) to get down the stairs around the house, and some movements were exquisitely painful.

Bob required the car for an errand, so I rode down the empty Parkes Way to the War Memorial, having the benefit of the wind at my back and arriving quite early. There was a surprisingly big turnout given that two thirds of Canberra had disappeared to it’s Eastern Suburbs on the Coast, and quite a bit of catching up to do. We were warned not to PB today given the hot conditions, and I thought that I would stay with my old friends at the back of the field.

Despite there being 29 runners, the field spread out from the outset, and I was plugging away on my own for most of the 2.2 kms, without another in sight. I almost PW’éd in 19:48, but that didn’t bother me. If anything the knees and groin loosened up with the activity, although it certainly wasn’t pain free!

I decided to jog down the roadway for the first time, and found that I preferred this, slightly longer, return route and will repeat this in future. More catching up at the finish, changed into cycling shoes and I was off, cycling along Limestone Avenue this time to return home. My Polar on the handlebars revealed that the time was 1:57 pm and I was stunned! I had planned to be at Aki’s at 3:00 pm and there was no way I could get there on time. A quick phone call, and a hard slog into a headwind home.

Too soon I crashed – falling into a deep and unremitting sleep until well into the evening. The post-nasal drip is still dominant and I wake with the most ghastly taste in my mouth. This fatigue is a bore – I fear that I will sleep 2006 away completely.

There’s always tomorrow . . . . .

Roast Duck


Still fired with enthusiasm, I made an arbitrary decision to run first and then cycle as today was also going to be hot.

I took my fuel belt with me for drinks, and had no firm plan other than to put some miles in my legs and start working on the steep mountain tracks at our doorstep. It started innocuously enough, around the usual gentle trail and under Caswell Drive, seeing an old couple walking and someone no doubt enthused to jog/walk as part of their New Year’s resolution.

I headed down towards the lake on the track and briefly flirted with the idea of heading over to Stromlo through the Cork Oaks. I continued to remain in Black Mountain, and doubled back on a higher track hoping to join up with the eastern descent that I had too rarely run. The climbs were tough, and I found that I was running (I use the term loosely) out of habit, despite my plan to ‘learn’ to walk hills more effectively.

Onto the eastern track, a fair bit of bush bashing was required after so many trees and large branches had been blown over in the recent storms. With the benefit of hindsight, I made the mistake of diverting up a sharp, rocky ascent back up to the summit loop trail (which must be one of the prettiest around). Just as I had stepped onto the level track and started to run properly, I tripped on a submerged rock and fell heavily. Feeling annoyed, I gradually picked myself up, to be greeted with a body covered in gritty mud in many places, the fine dirt and gravel of the trail congealing with the ample sweat pouring off me in the heat.

It didn’t seem like much of a buster, but both knees were battle scared and starting to swell a little. I walked, and then ran a bit down the now concreted and signposted ‘Summit Trail’, although found that this was rather too optimistic. Perhaps the added factors of the heat, (my drink bottles long since emptied), and having only fruit and salad since the ride stripped my spirit, but my heart wasn’t in it and I cut my course short and walked back home.

A bit disappointing, but necessary. Another unscheduled and essential sleep that afternoon meant that it was something of a truncated day (again). My knees were stiffening up considerably, and of more concern, it seemed that I had a fairly strong groin strain on each side. Going down stairs was a comedy routine, standing up punctuated by audible yelps. I was not too optimistic for further activity tomorrow, and it is so essential.

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions


My 2006 blog is getting off to a slow start – a mixed bag right along the way!

“The Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions”, and good intentions I have plenty of. I wished to repeat my cycle of the previous day (time and distance, not the route) and sought to prepare my road bike to better cope with the issue of hydration. I had a dual bottle carrier fitted behind the seat which I lent Bob for his trip to Vietnam, and spent some time finding it and fitting it to my road bike. New Years day was unbelievably hot – and by the time I had it all sorted, I slept until we left for niece Madelyn’s 2nd Birthday party.

Simple fun & games were had by all, including a band of other small cousins. When we got home, I managed to head out for a short run leaving around 7:00pm (love daylight summertime), through the bush.

Click for Hanoi, Viet Nam Forecast

About me

  • I'm Carolyne
  • From Canberra, Australia
  • I love to run! Staying in Weymouth, Dorset on the South West Coast of England until October. I'm 46, live in Canberra with Bob and have been running since 1990. This has been interrupted by long periods of illness, however I am extremely stubborn! I'll never be a fast runner, however I give it everything, and am slowly learning to read my body better and adjust my training and expectations accordingly. Or rather I would, if running were possible at the moment - I will retuyrn soon.
  • My profile

  • <>Vietname vs Brazil Olympic Football Friendly 8PM 1 aAugust 2008
  • A Hot time in the Old Town tonight
  • <>Trip to Nha Trang and Da Lat 4 August to  August 2008
  • Flights Booked
  • <>Scooter Trip to Ninh Binh  aAugust 2008
  • Planned
  • <>Trip to Cambodia and Siem Riep 17 August to 24 August 2008
  • Flights Booked & 2 Nights accomodation

  • 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

  • New Blog Address
  • After having been largely blocked from posting on ...
  • Back in Canberra, Blogging Service (hopefully) Res...
  • Kama, Krama, Kramar Chameleon
  • Restaurant Review - Siem Reab
  • Back from Angkor Wat
  • Update
  • Notes from a Rainy Da Lat
  • Overnight Scoot to Tam Dao Hill Station
  • Viet Nam Plans

  • 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