Ducks fly west


We are back from the coast to more amazing weather in Canberra for our return.  Predictably, I have no sense of time and as I sit having an 'interesting' (not bad, but not great either) coffee at the Buzz breakfast café in Fyshwick while the car is having it's inaugural service, I'm trying to get my head around the fact that it's Thursday.  

The maximum today is a predicted 20°, with 21° tomorrow.  I have still to find out how the PRB is doing - he should be home from hospital by now.  Nor have I marked Rad's 79th birthday with anything other than a phone call.

Bob will go to swim squad tonight, so I should also go to the gym at that time.  A Pilates class is calling me there at lunchtime though as well, so I may do that, perhaps with a swim (or more likely the steam room and spa) added in during the day, with more vigorous stuff

I'm  looking forward  Customs tomorrow (now that I have a sense that it's Thursday), and must check out the feasibility of joining in the PRB & Tuggeranong Don's Saturday morning group.  The Vet's Half Marathon certainly confirmed that I need to do more long, slow stuff (it is hard to believe one can be that slow and still have the audacity to call it running)!  If I treat my shabby Customs efforts as 'Speedwork', then it can't be bad . . .

Vets Half Marathon


Blog 2006-08-28

Vets Half Marathon

This was my 16th (?) Half Marathon, and a PW (personal worst) by a long way, and I have hardly been more elated. It was touch and go as to whether I would run at all for all of the week, especially after a few poor (poor? Nay, abysmal!) performances over the last week in particular. Last by a long way in the Black Mountain run up (2.6km and with a great difficulty in breathing); last in the almost pancake flat Cross Country Dunrossil Drive 4km; last and looking for a 6 foot hole at the summit of Mt Ainslie after a mere 2.2 km on Tuesday . . . . things did not auger well for the half.

Thursday was a low patch, most of the day spent asleep or in the pursuit of it. However I felt rather better on Friday morning, and after Bob and I had a coffee date at Bob at the National Gallery, and then we visited Peter the PRB in hospital. A quick trip home for Bob to change before fronting up to the Customs run at lunchtime in drizzling rain.

Although I run a snail-paced 27:45 (5:33 pace), I was much better during the run than I had been for ages, even being able to say “G’Day Richard/Tony/Paul/Simon” (et al) as I ran, instead of grunting a gurgling wheeze in lieu.

Waking early on Sunday, Bob and I travelled separately, with me to start with the earliest group (over 2 hours) at 8:00 am, and Bob with the speedy old blokes (sexist, I know) at 9:00 am. Thankfully I was very early, as there was no address on the form downloaded from the website, so I had posted it to regular Vets PO Box address (a fair assumption I would have thought). Alas, no. Along with many others, our form had not been received, so my ample time to change, go to the ladies, etc was greatly shortened. I re-registered for Bob and I, and frantically rang the home and mobile numbers to let him know where his race bib was, as he could not collect it from the usual place.

Eventually getting through, I dashed to the toilets, and nearly missed the start when leaving my bag at Stage 88 and then running to the Start line some distance away. With my heart rate already at 133 bpm, I settled in to the start of the run at a slow jog at the tail of the pack. Within the first kilometre, I came across MC from Customs, and we settled into a steady, chatty rhythm. We were content to let the other purportedly slow runners ease ahead of us, as the ribbon of T-Shirts and caps stretched out along the lakefront around Regatta Point and across Commonwealth Avenue Bridge.

I was happy with our slow and steady pace, happy to nibble away at the miles in small, digestible tastes, rather than bite of more than I could chew and choke! I had to dash off into the bushes more than once, however that is one of the joys of running in Canberra ~ even in a largeish event like this one, there are plenty of fairly discrete bushes along the course . . . it doesn’t happen in the City to Surf!

MC tired a little, and we vowed to stick together over the hills, climbing out of Scrivener Dam, then Black Mountain Peninsula, and finally Hospital Hill at Acton. Down, down through the underpass and the 19 km mark, I started looking over my shoulder for a flash of orange to see if I could catch sight of Bob, as the front runners from the 9:00 am group started coming past with increasing frequency. MC dropped further back and told me to keep going along this stretch towards the Ferry Terminal.

Up until this point my heart rate had been averaging a very pedestrian 124 bpm or so, and the speed had gradually decreased to around 7:30 mins/km. Picking up my pace in this last, familiar mile, my breathing was a little harder, my heart rate peaked at just over 150 bpm ( far lower than the average during Customs or a similar event), and I did far and away my fastest kilometre (5:33 m/km). I was chuffed!

Finishing in an incredible 2 hours 23 minutes and 56 seconds (Incredible if I had run twice the distance that is!), I was nevertheless delighted. It has encouraged me to do more longer, slower runs.

I wonder how slow the famous Saturday morning group of the PRB does?

A few days down at Merimbula with Bob will be the icing on the cake.

A belated weekend away


Woo Hoo!
A personal worst at the Vets Half this morning and I couldn't be more delighted! I finished, when the 2.2km on Monday was very suspect.
Now Bob the Boy Wonder and I are heading down the coast for a night or two - I am really looking forward to it. Happy belated anniversary Strewth and Mister B, you both looked wonderful. Exciting to meet Tuggeranong Don, and all my love to Rad for his 79th Birthday on Tuesday.

A better Customs and a better PRB


I had a rough night on Wednesday, and when the PRB rang at the very civilised hour of 9:30am on Thursday to let me know that he was not to be discharged from hospital until Monday, I didn't know if I was awake or not.
Bob was out cycling with Kris, who was training for Hawaii, and although I got up then, it wasn't going to last for long, and I spent most of the day in bed, drifting in and out of a fatigued sleep.
It obviously helped though, for on Friday morning I had already changed into running gear when Bob suggested we have a coffee date. We enjoyed the drizzling, grey view from the top of the National Gallery looking over the grey green native trees, the grey blue lake, and the shiny luminescent grey of wet slate in the Sculpture Garden. We then popped down to visit the PRB in hospital, where Bob hadn't seen him since his nadir the day after his operation and I got to see him unplugged from machines that go !ping! for the first time. We was delighted to see us.
It was a close call as Bob still needed to go home to change into his running gear, but we made it to the start of the Customs run (just) where people went off at any time instead of necessarily their correct handicap given the conditions. I left on scratch (my heart rate was already up from racing, so it was close to a warm up) with Jodie, Ricky and a few others. From the start I felt surprisingly good, and the adductor / hip flexor / groin strain has been getting gradually better over time making the start relatively comfortable.
I pushed hard, as I always do these days, and my breathing was fairly comfortable and not so laboured. Out on my own, I kept at it, and was able to actually form the words of others names as they ran towards me, a sure indicator that I was much improved.
At a total time of 27:45 I'm not going to break any speed records yet, but I was really buoyed by feeling better running than I had for ages.

The Struggle Up Mt Ainslie


Bob & I returned the rental car before heading to the special Mt Ainslie Run-Up event.
We were able to catch up with the returned Duathlon victors, Rad & Bob C., and check on the wounded Friar (household chores are far too dangerous for runners to do).

The start was uncharacteristically delayed to accommodate the photographer, with a mass start with the faster runners then doubling back for a delayed 5 minute handicap to permit the photographer to ascend the mountain in his vehicle.

I was well and truly ensconced in the first slow group, and increasingly lost touch with the other back-of-the-packers. Although I could see that the four people in front of me were walking, I kept plugging away in an attempt to run, my breathing becoming more laboured and rather noisy.

Before I had been chugging away for 11 minutes, the first 3 runners from the fast group passed me with the tiny Emily Brichacek hot on the heels of Adrian Shepherd. Soon enough the other faster runners also passed me, leaving me without doubt at the tail end of the field.

By the stairs I knew that the end was near and picked up. A parade of runners now started to drip down the track, most wishing me encouragement by name as I climbed the last 100 metres.

A few more finishing shots were being set-up as I finished, so after I caught my breath I snuck away to jog down to the base.

This evening while Bob went to his triathlon swim squad I went to the gym, where I ran into Jodie on her way out. After having discounted the Spin Class as being unwise due to a painful perineum, on a whim I joined in the small group. It was a success.


Bob & I returned the rental car before heading to the special Mt Ainslie Run-Up event.
We were able to catch up with the returned Duathlon victors, Rad & Bob C., and check on the wounded Friar (household chores are far too dangerous for runners to do).

The start was uncharacteristically delayed to accommodate the photographer, with a mass start with the faster runners then doubling back for a delayed 5 minute handicap to permit the photographer to ascend the mountain in his vehicle.

I was well and truly ensconced in the first slow group, and increasingly lost touch with the other back-of-the-packers. Although I could see that the four people in front of me were walking, I kept plugging away in an attempt to run, my breathing becoming more laboured and rather noisy.

Before I had been chugging away for 11 minutes, the first 3 runners from the fast group passed me with the tiny Emily Brekinshot hot on the heels of Adrian Shepherd. Soon enough the other faster runners also passed me, leaving me without doubt at the tail end of the field.

By the stairs I knew that the end was near and picked up. A parade of runners now started to drip down the track, most wishing me encouragement by name as I climbed the last 100 metres.

A few more finishing shots were being set-up as I finished, so after I caught my breath I snuck away to jog down to the base.

This evening while Bob went to his triathlon swim squad I went to the gym, where I ran into Jodie on her way out. After having discounted the Spin Class as being unwise due to a painful perineum, on a whim I joined in the small group. It was a success.

A special Mt Ainslie Run-Up was conducted for a Runner's World Photo Shoot today. This was likely to be quite an excited gathering, as Mountain Suprema Emma Murray retained her title in the World Long Course Mountain Running Event yesterday in Colorado, with mentor and legend, the Mountain Supremo himself, Trevor Jacobs coming 23rd outright (not too shabby for a bloke about to turn 55).

Here is a listing of the results. John Harding's report states:

It should be noted that Emma finished 11th outright in the field of 800, only just behind these outstanding male internationals. Reminiscent of Six Foot Track when she was 4th outright in a field of 900.

It should be remembered that Emma's background is bush walking, rogaining and orienteering, so she has no trouble running over rough ground (a very different skill to rhythm running on the road). And she has phenomenal endurance from her staple training run of a 100 min effort in the mountains before breakfast next to where she lives in Canberra. How many male runners do this most days of the week before heading off to work? And Emma also does something else on most other days of the week, from a lunchtime orienteering event to biking to work or a run.

The Canberra marathon was her first road marathon and because she has done very few shorter runs on the road, there was little to guage what pace was realistic. So the Pat Clohessy approach for Deek's first marathon was used: run comfortably for 30kms then push the pace from then on if feeling good. So Emma ran comfortably with Trevor Jacobs for 30kms then put the burners on and came home in 2:45. The evidence is that a sub 2:40 is well within her capability. She won a trip to the Osaka
marathon in Japan next year in finishing first Australian in the Canberra

It will be interesting to see how excited John Harding is at the run today!

A Good Monday


The plan was to do my 1st 'Stretch & Tone' class at Club Pink at 9:30 am this morning. I had seen it underway when I was having my fatness (sic) assessment, and I certainly could do with more stretching!

I didn't have too bad a night, but once again upon waking at 3:30 am, I was not going get back to sleep until the sun was riz (the birdie’s were already busy chirping outside my window).

So I was a little slow in getting going, needing to fire off an email to Bob about the saga of the SLR Digital Camera we had replaced by insurance last year through their agent in Melbourne, which had failed download. Emails, phone calls and returning the SLR body as requested had failed to fix the problem.

I did manage to get to the class on time, and thorny enjoyed it. I am writing this as I am having a drink afraid in 'Cafe Pink', before doing some proper exercise on the Rowing machine and the weights. As part of my 'make the Gym a lifestyle' mindset, I plan to eke things out and pace myself.

With a compact edition of MS Word on my PDA, I plan to update my Blog more frequently and keep myself honest!

(Later . . . . )

I had a lovely time in the gym during my security shift: according to my programme, the six minutes @ the designated work level was far too short. I was surprisingly able to do each of the sets at 'correct weight'. I shunned the treadmill today; however did use the 'Cross Trainer', a low impact device which always looks a bit boring to me. Nevertheless, I did manage to get into it, keeping my cadence well above the required 65 rpm, and found my heart rate gradually rising over the 20 minutes to a maximum of 160 bpm.

Unfortunately, time was against me now, and I called it a day to shower and change before visiting Peter the PRB in hospital.

He was much better than only a few days before, and was bright eyed and doing a Suduko. He had even eaten a little at lunch, a great improvement on his poor appetite of the last week. We even made it downstairs to the not-so-exciting surroundings of 'Cafe Hoz' in the foyer for a coffee. While here we were joined by a fellow Saturday morning running group member, Beryl. I rued my current lack of form and inability to join them for the foreseeable future.

Returning to the ward as his Imed machine was on a constant 'ping', we found that his No. 1 son had also been up and had left ultrasound photos of his yet be born grandchild.

Excited by another excellent gym session, and a good day all round, I got stuck into further household chores, cleaning the fine dust from the fire which seems to coat everything; more vacuuming, and the omnipresent laundry that so bedevils my life at the moment.

The house looked (at least temporarily) clean and bright when Bob rocked up around 6:30 p.m.. We had a dinner meeting which began at 7:00 p.m., although Bob thought it unlikely that he would return in time. One of the most pleasant meetings was had by this little duck, with no time to do anything else than go to bed.

Tomorrow Bob shall return to Swim Squad, and I will go down to the gym at that time. I'll just need to be organised and have his dinner ready to zap in the microwave when we get home after 9:00 p.m..

Why is Running so difficult?


The mind is willing, but the flesh is weak.

After a few games of telephone tag, I managed to read much of the weekend papers before collecting Aki in 'Lemon Peel' and heading over to the ACT Cross Country Run at Dunrossil Drive, the entrance road to the Governor Generals residence. We thought that we had arrived in plenty of time, only to discover that the Girl's Race (who organised this??) was already underway, with the Men's run to start at the designated 1:00 pm start time.

Wombatface / Ewan was there at registration which was a pleasant surprise, so we had our names ticked off and undertook to run with the blokes. It was only 4.2km, so I was confident that there would be some 'slow old blokes' to run with at the back.

As it turned out, quite a few women started with us, however the slow old blokes must have been hibernating, or, more likely, that are not nearly as slow as I remember!! The course is simple to follow, along the grass verge of the roadway, heading downhill for around a kilometre before crossing to the other side and then running distinctly uphill for the next kilometre.

Before I had completed my first lap, a grey swoosh! flashed past and crossed the finish in 11:49. A new course record, I'm sure Marty Dent would have preferred to win the City to Surf last weekend than the cup that was on offer today. I never expected to be lapped!

There had been one other woman in front of me I had hopes of gaining upon, however she drew further away on the ascents. A fellow started to appear, stopping to walk for stretches in which I would get closer and closer, however by gurgling breath must have scared him off, as I never quite caught up and he managed to finish well in front.

Last in the rather smaller, select field of the Black Mtn Run-Up on Tuesday and last again today in a somewhat broader field. Oh well, as I said to someone who asked, I'd prefer to do it like this than not do it at all (which is probably a close call).
I dropped home RP, whose car was up in Brisbane where he was working on assignment, and then popped home to change and make up some sandwiches for Aki. Not much in the fridge, but home made grainy rolls, pesto, grilled tofu and tomato would have to do.
On returning to Dunrossil Drive where Aki and Ewan had gone for a run around the golf course, we headed over to the hospital to visit the PRB again. He is immensely better than when we saw him post op, and reluctantly left as his sister from Victoria arrived. Aki and I then dropped in to her favourite Coffee House near her home on the way home, and I picked up 4kgs of salt for my frequent sitz baths.
Driving home I realised that I wouldn't worry about the Vets Handicap at Urambi Hills tomorrow. I was very tired and needed to sleep. If I didn't have to worry about having to wake up, I might sleep better.

It's Friday, It must be Customs


After the usual last minute delays, Bob managed to leave on his drive to Melbourne, bike in the car and blisters popped and betadined. I caught the bus into Civic, getting there an hour before the Customs run, and fortified myself with a takeaway coffee from Kaldo in the NAB foyer at London Circuit.

The ladies toilets were being painted, so Rick acted as Cockatoo as I dashed into the men's, before starting early. My handicap of 10:00 minutes would have me finishing at the back of the pack (which is OK), but as I had many of my worldy (or at least technological) chattels with me, I didn't want to leave things unaccompanied for too long.

I ran hard, however my breathing was much better today, and I fought hard against the strong westerly that blew from the lake around Acton. My halfway willow tree split indicated a slower time than last week when I was being paced by Nigel, but I picked it up and continued to work. No tape to duck under today, I sprinted to the finish all on my own-some, oblivious to how silly it might seem to the busloads of school children who may have observed.

I finished in 28:15, a tad slower, but I felt a bit better and the conditions were not as good as last week.

Heart Rate
Low 77 bpm
Average 154 bpm
Max 188 bpm.

Speedy Geoff kindly let me put my gear in his car boot, and we did a Duck paced warm down clockwise around Central Basin. He insisted that he didn't mind going so slow, but I find that very hard to believe! After cleaning up and getting changed at Regatta Point I walked across to the Budget Rental Car depot at Rydges Lakeside, however not until I spent a stressful time fending off two pairs of typically aggressive Plovers who must have nested in the grasslands in the median and near Parkes Way. Plovers are bad news!!

After some delay, I picked up a canary yellow Hyundi Getz, a basic, but perfectly acceptable little runabout to brighten up my weekend while Bob was giving the new car a run down to Melbourne.

It got lots of use as Aki and I visited the PRB in Canberra Hospital, had a coffee and then searched for an acceptable Laksa (I opted for the lower fat, healthier Pho Tai) for dinner.

Feel particularly enthused by the added run with Geoff this afternoon, so plan to go to the Cross Country tomorrow.

War Memorial with Madelyn


When I realised that travelling at the moment was a very bad idea, and thus tripping down to Melbourne and the Picasso exhibition (for me) and the National Duathlon Championships (for Bob and Rad) was not going to happen for this little duck.

Bob decided to head down on Friday instead of Thursday, so I arranged to take out Madelyn as a regular Thursday outing with her crazy Great Aunt. A serious cold led to her father being unable to race (cycle) and so was also home, as was her big brother Sam, due to a Teachers Strike.

So, the plans were altered and the six of us (8 month old Max made up the group), headed up to the War Memorial in two vehicles. It is a a great testament to the place that it was a place of fascination for a two and a half and eight year old. I spent not nearly enough time not seeing the interesting exhibits and must return to study some more.

Tried to sleep that afternoon but was too exhausted. Need to sleep. Didn't get to gym or for a run.. Must do better.

News on Peter, my PRB


Peter is in Ward 9A (9th floor, western wing), and currently in room 11.

Bob and I visited him this afternoon. Phone calls to patients on the ward are only permissible after 10:30am, and visiting hours are 11am to 8pm. The phone number for Patient enquiries is (02) 6244 2613. In contravention of his 'See Food' diet, he is still Nil by Mouth at the moment, so no grapes or chocolates - yet!

Peter was very tired and, by his own admission, was having a really bad day. We didn't stay for too long, although denying being in too much pain, he was grimacing and obviously in great discomfort before we left. He is not up to much at the moment, but was as considerate and lucid as ever.

Hopefully he shall start to improve. Any 8 hour operation is both serious and very draining. The medicos are very happy with success of the operation, however it will no doubt be a long convalescence and period of recovery. I'm sure that you'll join me in doing what we can to support him.


Black Mountain Run-Up shouldn't present too many problems, after all, I didn't do the City to Surf and it's only 2.6km right?

Uh, Dummy, don't you remember how bad you are at running at the moment?

I was quite confused beforehand, although living a tad over 5kms from the start by foot over the trails of Black Mountain, I drove and allowed plenty of time. The increasingly impressive engineering works at the corner of Caswell Drive and Belconnen Way led to long delays, but I still had plenty up my sleeve. In a pique of dissociative amnesia, I turned off the road into Dryandra Street, vasilated, then turned right before I was headed out of way of everything.

After a U-turn, I crossed under Barry Drive and onto Frith Road before realising I was completely in the wrong place. Doh! No time to back-track to Clunies Ross Drive, I dumped the car at the the corner and jogged down the track to the start of the run. I was going to be late, but as I continued down the path thought that I would tack onto the back of the group coming up, figuring that my warm up down would at least equal the distance and difficulty of running from the start.

Later than the designated starting time, I could see the massed runners on the footpath starting line, and them start running at a 'Go'. I was closer than I imagined, and although the speedy guys raced past on the southern side, I tucked in to where Friar was, and he advised me that he had been running for 44 seconds.

2006 08 16 Black Mtn Run Up

It was very pleasant to run with him, however before the 1km mark was reached (and where the incline was still only very gradual), I dropped further and further behind until I was well off his pace. Once the incline started to steepen, I found it a real struggle, and was wheezing and struggling with my breath, while a tightness in my calves indicated a weekend of long, hard, tough mountain running that was only in my dreams.

I reluctantly walked most of the way up the concrete summit trail, and would have DNF'ed and not continued to the summit if I wasn't last and thought that John and Friar wouldn't be waiting at the top for me. I plugged on.

Eventually I made it to the top in 24:50, a significant PW, and indicative of my regression;

1. 15/08/2006 Black Mountain, ACT (2.6k) 24:50 9:33
2. 18/07/2006 Black Mountain, ACT (2.6k) 23:19 8:58
3. 20/06/2006 Black Mountain, ACT (2.6k) 22:17 8:34
4. 16/05/2006 Black Mountain, ACT (2.6k) 20:47 7:59

After I started to breathe again, Friar and I first walked, and then jogged down to my car. Jogging downhill and on the flat section of trail, I actually enjoyed the run and couldn't believe how bad I had felt on the ascent.
Decided it would be best to give the BBQ Stakes a miss tomorrow, and go to the gym instead.

So far, So good.


I'm currently going through the clothes from my wardrobe and culling out the "I'll fit in these soon" favourites from their valuable hanger space to a high shelf. I am not tossing out my DKNY Size 2 Jeans (No Aki, I didn't get you to try on these, those were size 8), for my weight is notoriously unstable swinging from a dangerously low 42kgs to my current elephantine 77kgs seemingly at will. I would like it to stabilise (like it so often does) in the low-mid 50's again.

Going to the wardrobe full of fat clothes, middling clothes and skinny clothes, and still having nothing that fits me is unnecessarily depressing. So, I will keep some clothes (bottoms!) hanging that might fit me again in the not-too-distant-future, but banish from view my favourites (and best quality) stuff. It will be nice to look forward to fitting into them again.

My fitness programme at the gym this morning was really positive, despite the confirmation of my 'Overfat' status. I was surprisingly strong, both in my upper body and in my legs, so I will look to hold on to that. My mysteriously vacillating blood pressure (hypotension one month, medication for hypertension the next) was on the hypertensive side, and three readings managed to score one which snuck under the borderline for being banned from activity without a medical clearance.

My programme was drawn up by a kindred spirit, still sore from the city to surf on the weekend, she seemed to understand my goals and the need to take it easy sometimes, and easy fatigability.

Time to Come Clean . . .


I'm Fat.

Not just overweight, not just unfit, but great, big and FAT!

Why this has happened is 'just the usual' I suppose, too much food, and not enough exercise. OK, so the not enough exercise is largely due to (an unrelated) health condition, but I'm at my wits end.

So what am I going to do about it?

There was a gym membership promotion this weekend at Club Lime / Club Pink, down at the CISAC pool at Belconnen. I took not of the ad in the newspaper on Friday, but didn't think too much of it.

Friday - a depressing nightmare. I won't go into the gory details, but worked very hard during the 5k run on the Customs course, my heart rate averaging over 154 bpm, and finding breathing tough, even though I enjoyed chatting and running with NC as we both left early. He cruised, I gave it everything, and managed a measly 28:11.

I had to hot foot it home to shower, and then slept until early evening.

Saturday I awoke with a shocking sinus headache, meaning more time in bed, best when asleep, to ease the pain that was crushing my face in it's vice. The fire went out overnight and wasn't re-lit all day, I wasn't well.

Sunday - after another straight 12 hours sleep, I managed to almost wake up in time to catch the start of the City to Surf. Best of all, my head was clear and I wasn't feeling too shabby. Household chores took up the morning, while I was keeping a close eye on the Cool Running website to see what news there might be on the City to Surf, the Yeppoon Half IM, and the Gold Coast 24 & 48 hour track races. While I was there, I gave my two cents worth to newer runners seeking advice on a very quiet board.

I did feel like a hypocrite without being able to explain!
Without word on how Aki or Bob went, I diverted the phone and headed out, destination unknown, just to get out of the house during this nice weather. I ended up at Woden Plaza, and was uncharacteristically bewitched by the displays of new season (summer) dresses. With my rapidly ballooning body, I can only fit into one pair of black trousers and some running gear. I'm really sick of it, and the waistbands are getting tighter, not looser.
I tried on a few things, however this just made me very, very, very depressed. Spoke to Bob briefly, and he seemed quite happy with his race. Wandered a bit, with one pair of slacks being possible, but that was that.
Headed over to Belconnen to check out Club Pink. Hey, I have wardrobes full of clothes I love, and I don't want to buy fat clothes. Dressing Room mirrors are very unsympathetic as well.
It was pretty busy, and I had it in mind that Run2Eat did spin sessions there. Nothing of a Girly Girl, I must admit I got good vibes, and was getting desperate. Comparing lots of apples and oranges I did bite the bullet and join. I look forward to some gentle swimming, and getting some more advice on weight training.
So - I have avoided stepping on the scales as I am getting fatter and fatter, but I am booked in for a fitness assessment tomorrow morning at 9:15am. No turning back now.
I do know that this will seem very hypocritical (No. 2) to Aki, who I dissuaded from joining a local gym only a week or two ago. I hope that she understands.
So, lets hope that this helps me to jump-start something.
Fingers crossed xxxxx

Tunnels and Leaving on a Jet Plane


Today Bob and I picked up our Niece Madelyn once more for the day, also collecting her elder brother Sam this time to drop at school (many, many kilometres away!) at the same time.

That done, we drove to Deek's Dunny (at the corner of the barren waste ground that is now at the corner of the Cotter and Uriarra Roads), where Bob changed out of his tracksuit and ran the 11km home along the good dirt trails through the re emerging Stromlo Forest and the Cork Oak Plantation.

Maddy and I then headed into Civic, and to the transition area at the end of Anzac Parade at 'Gallipoli Reach'. Last week we had headed towards the tunnel play area (that Aki and I discovered and played in last year), however the joys of outdoor sculptures en route meant that we didn't quite get that far. This time we did, and it was a treat for both of us!
After over an hour of climbing up, down, through and down, we reluctantly had to leave to meet 'Uncle Rob' at home and take him to the airport. I was wearing Sports Gear today, although was unlikely to get out for a run - this was a calculated plan as I both plan and want to be as active and 'sporty' with my 2 year old giant, and planned to do lots of running, swinging and crawling around. It was a good move!
Our walk back to the car was necessarily delayed by more great things to climb on, a man made creek to cross by jumping on rocks, and the discovery of a security pass on a hidden track. A phone call to the agency's number on the back didn't bring me any joy then and there, so I followed it up at home where I grabbed some fruit for Maddy, and helped Rob on his way. Fortunately, the pass holder worked at the Airport Business Park, so with her mobile number at hand I could kill two birds with one stone.
The three of us had a drink together before loading on the plane, and then spent a goodly length of time curled up in the window of the airport, waving to the 'nice men who were driving the aeroplanes' looking at the luggage being loaded, and watching plane big and small landing and taking off. It was a good day, with a much loved cheese and tomato sandwich in a cafe before going home for a sleep.
Unfortunately, Bob and I will be in Melbourne next week for the Australian Duathlon Championships, so no play date for Carolyne. There's always the weekend after though, and lots of parks and playgrounds to explore.

So much to Blog (so little time)


I was full of Joie de Vivre on Sunday morning, looking forward to a pleasant, controlled trot around Telopea Park thirteen times under the peaceful eyes of the Canberra Sri Chinmoy team. I arrived early, to find that the early start would not be operating this year as times were being entered into the computer, instead of there being lap counters this year. Although I had had no coffee, I was pleased about the extra time to race to the toilets in the park when I would have been running.
Bob cruised up on his bike for the run, and Aki made it in time for the start despite an inauspicious morning waking up late. The conditions were gorgeous, still requiring gloves and warm gear at the start, although there was a very welcome moments silence at the beginning in the Sri Chinmoy fashion.
Self Seeded at the back, I was soon keeping the marvelous Rad and Val company as others shot off into the distance. Bob was attired in his new Orange Nike Dri-Fit T-shirt, so I could easily keep an eye of him as he trotted around the loop course. On the first lap I saw Aki close on his heels and was horrified that she may have gone out way too fast and would regret it. She looked good and was running comfortably though.
Onto the second lap I could still feel the sharp pangs of groin pain that always hits me when I start running, but which may settle down a bit with a controlled, steady, slow pace. I was sticking to my end of the bargain ~ I was slow and steady, but the sharp pain continued to bite. I ran through the second and third laps, being lapped by the lead runners early, then the still so speedy gang of three M55's (Des Brown, Peter Clarke and Paul Archer), and as I came along my final straight on the eastern side of the course, by a very focused Aki who had tossed her jacket and gloves away at transition and was looking so focused I'm sure that she didn't even see me!
[to be continued . . .]

What about You?


A)  Four jobs I have had in my life: (beginning with 'S')
1. Scallop splitter
2. Shoe Spruiker
3. Snail gatherer
4. Soda siphoner (McDonald's)

B)  Four movies I would watch over and over
1. All of the Fawlty Towers shows
3. Manhattan (Woody Allen)
4. 2001, a Space Odyssey

C)  Four places I have lived
1. Coogee, NSW
2. North Cairns, QLD
3.  Maroubra Baryons
4.  Cook, ACT

D)  Four TV shows I love to watch
1.  Absolute Power (corrupts absolutely)
2.  Test Cricket
3.  Le tour
4.  The Chaser franchise

E)  Four places I have been on holidays
1. The Argentine Valley, near the Italian Rivera.
2.  Camping on Lizard Island
3.  The North West Kingdom of Vermont
4.  Eating Ants Nest Soup in Laos

F)  Four websites visited daily
4. Doonsbury



Friar was on the ABC News last night, racing away in the Customs run yesterday as an appropriate visual to illustrate the Griffin Plan. Unfortunately, I missed it as I was in the kitchen preparing dinner, however I did see Marco at the end of the story running around Regatta Point.

I was unable to run Customs yesterday, as I was in charge of our little niece Madelyn, and we both held the watch, after a simple picnic lunch in the pavilion with a couple of friendly honking black swans.

I plan to do the Sri Chinmoy event tomorrow, and my slowest ever half by a long way. The hills seem to be particularly tortuous, so I will welcome seeing how I cope with the flat, and somewhat boring 13 lap course of Telopea Park. Unlike most previous events from memory, the weather conditions tomorrow look perfect. Instead of sleet and snow, -1C to 15C degrees with clear blue skies is ideal for a 9:00 am start.

Bob is just settling in to riding his beautiful new bike . . . . .

Bush Capital 25k


I so enjoyed Customs on Friday that I was sure that I would be up to something in the Bush Capital Runs on Saturday - as long as I woke up before noon that is. Both Bob and I had entered the 25k events, although I thought that if I made it to the starting line, I may pull out after a short distance or turn early to do the 16k, or even grab a lift back.

In true John Harding style the event started right on time, 9:01am by my watch. The usual pangs of pain grasped my groin when starting to move, but I knew that if I stuck it out a bit more it would improve.

Well and truly at the back of the pack, I was surprised to see the PRB so far ahead, running well and easily, despite being clad in a full tracksuit. By about the 1k mark on the main trail, we started to run together, once again finding an easy companionable pace. I was surprised once again at the difference it made in running at a slower pace - even when my 'race' pace doesn't even come close to 6:00 minute/kilometres! We didn't have a need to talk, but I could quite easily and was really enjoying myself. On the flat the PRB and I held our own at the back of the pack. Whenever there was a rise however, I slowed to a tight, short, choppy shuffle. I didn't know it at the time, but the tightening of my stride early on was a harbinger of what was to develop.

Bush Capital 25k

The weather was perfect for a long trail run. Despite fairly heavy frost in the open areas and temperatures well below zero, it warmed uncommonly quickly to an almost balmy 7'C by 9:00am. I think I've been in Canberra too long! In his usual sweet fashion, the PRB waited for me as I struggled up the slightest rise. Those runners whom I smugly trotted past on the flat at the beginning, now whisked up and over me at this first modest hill before Campbell Park Offices. At the 1st drink station I stopped completely for a drink of icy cold water. No cup grabbed on the run like last year

The PRB's troublesome calf gave grief on the hill forming part of the Mt Ainslie Handicap Course. I kept going, attempting to maintain a Running motion, even though I was passed by walkers in the process I knew That I had to try to keep moving and that stopping would spell disaster. On the rocky downhill I managed to pick one or two of these people up, which buoyed my spirits

Soon the alleged '10k' drink station and relay change over came into view: I could see a stream of runners turning left in the near distance to complete the 16k course. Although I had (pre) entered the 25k event, I didn't think that anybody would mind if I piked out early. It was tempting, but I felt OK, if slow. Secretly I was pleased to see that my pace to this point was between 6:30 and 7:00 minute pace. This was quite a bit faster than I expected, and knowing that the worst hill was over, how bad could an extra little 9k be

After checking with Mrs Mountain Running at the drink station that I wouldn't be holding them up if I was very slow, I took the plunge and turned right onto the 25k leg. I expected to see the front runners to come whizzing past me at any time. At the equestrian crossing, a female runner I'd passed on the tricky downhill caught up to me and asked if there were any more killer mountain climbs. She was from Victoria and wasn't expecting this. She also congratulated me on my downhill technique. I do like descents'.

A couple of likely lads crossed over the horse grid; they certainty looked fit, but they looked far too relaxed to be racing the 25k. Soon, the short, sharp hills and drops of this stretch of Mt Majura took their toll on me as a small numerous of runners overtook me as I found the hills a struggle once more. My groin, always painful, now became increasingly tight and affected my stride on the right side making anything other than a shuffle impossible. I really understood what the girl meant about the hill in the other direction; this was a long slow uphill slog. From here I watched the last of those runners I had so smugly run passed on the downhill finally disappear from view as my stride became measured by a progress of centimetres.

My groin hurt, it hurt a lot, but there were no short cuts from here, it was just going to be a matter of plugging away at it. Occasionally a walker or group of walkers might come past in the other direction; here I would try to regain my composure and look OK, despite how I felt

The final few kilometres were tough, despite me knowing this stretch of trail along the back of inner north houses from Hackett and Duffy St to Campbell High, and the so keenly awaited finish. Here, in such glorious Canberra winter weather, there was an increasing sprinkling of casual walkers out enjoying the stunning day which was rapidly approaching noon.

Bush Capital 25k Elevation

So much for my pleasure at being so far ahead of my expected time earlier on; I knew that I would slow down considerably in the latter stages, but glancing at my watch indicated that I was 'running' at a pace of close to 15 minutes per kilometre - a slow walk at best. My groin had seized up completely by now, and movement was extremely restricted and painful. The 4, 3, 2 kilometres to go signs were welcome but coming increasing less frequently. Finally, the bright orange 1k to go sign came into view, almost instantly followed by the turnoff from the Mt Ainslie track to the back of CSIRO, and the finish. My vision was wonky here, but the sight of a very refreshed looking Aki appeared before me. I tried to appear more normal as she jogged on the spot to guide me to the finish. Nearing the finishing chute, I pulled out a burst of finishing sprint energy, which later analysis was to reveal reached a dizzyingly speedy 6:15 m/km in my final burst of speed.

My final time of 3:04:50 was immaterial, although certainly last! I'd finished. There was a great welcome from the Cool Running band of allrounder, Strewth, SpeedyGeoff and co. Aki, (bless her coolmax and thorlo double socks), broken me cups of a refreshing orange drink. I was later to find that this was Fanta, a drink I wouldn't have had for over 30 years.

Bob had long since disappeared home for a shower and then to attend a meeting. We had agreed to communicate by phone as soon as I had finished. The walk across the school oval was not only slow, but a painful shuffle of tiny baby steps. I took off my wet top and found an irritation I had been aware of and tried to ignore during the run, was in fact a giant patch of chaffing - at least 1 inch by 2 inches in the old money. My pelvic immobility meant that changing from my running tights was not going to happen easily, so I just pulled on warm gear on top.

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