It's Thursday, and the Last Hurrah of Spring

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Whita-something-or-other

Bob and I are now on the Coramandel Penisual, where we planned to do a 'big walk' today along the disused tramline in a old gold mining area. Unfortunately, the weather throughout NZ today is foul beyond belief; driving rain, strong winds and gales and generally not very pleasant!

I was able to upload two blogs where I sit in an internet spot within a sports pub in a town on Mission Bay on the west coast of the Coramandel Peninsula. Neither Bob nor I are 100% today, so it is probably a good thing that the weather conspires against us!
I was more than a bit shocked to read that there was a death on the triple tri on the weekend though - thanks Aki and Friar. I'm still dazed by the thought.


2006 11 28 Tuesday Waitangi

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Our few days on the West Coast of Northland was both a pleasant surprise and a tonic for the race weary. It was a gem of relative untouristed isolation and peaceful. Once off the peninsula of the NZ Far North and their Top End however, more tourists and the hype which comes with them started to thicken. A well timed diversion to the seaside township of Mangonui at Doubtless Bay (S34'59.463' E173'32.186') which was a delight and well timed for a post coffee feed of Fush-and-Chups for Rob's lunch on the wharf. We also bought a piece of smoked Hapuka for our good friend 'ron (as in later . . )

The east coast was stunning down to Paihia on the Bay of Islands. Dramatic hills rose and fell at angles impossible for an Australian landscape. Accomodation was plentiful, although quit expensive, and we ended up in a grandly titled 'one bedroom suite' at the strangely named Edelweiss Motel. (Is that an Alphorn I hear?).

Today I spent a very pleasant morning at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, whill Bob set off on a coastal walk a little beyond my rapidly improving, but still swollen ankle. We shall spend another night here at Paihia, before (probably) heading tomorrow to the Comerandel (sp?) Peninsula east of Auckland before our early Saturday return.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Waitangi, and had a good chat to the very handsome ducks at the café while checking out their lunch menu for Bob after his walk. I tore myself away, so that Bob wouldn't be waiting for me too long, posting a postcard on the way, although a bit stunned at $1.50 stamp price. Bob hadn't returned from his walk yet, so I drove to the trail head at the end of School Rd in Paihia township to meet him on the way back. No sighting of him along the roadway, I decided that my ankle seemed strong enough to head along the path to the lookout in the hope of giving him a pleasant surprise. Described as a one hour return wall to the lookout, I decided to go for 15 minutes, and if I could neither see Bob or the lookout at that point, turn around. It was beautiful bush, lush with tree ferns and Manuka trees (I now know what they look like). Just as my phone told me (I was using the pedometre feature on my Sport 5500) that I had been going for 14:59 I saw both the turnoff for the lookout and a Bonshaw Cup T-Shirt striding along the continuation of the track down to the Coastal Track.

He lookout was really good, and the return trip took me 35 minutes tops even though I was wearing my fancy-ist street clothes and orange sandals with my handbag slung over my shoulder to my back.

We checked the maps briefly before jumping into the car ana headeding to the car ferry across to Opua, the former capital of New Zealand. It was then an 8.5km drive to the village of Russell. It was a rare, glorious day with sunshine! The wind was 'a wee breezey' on the seafront but lovely out of the wind. After lunch for Bob & a coffee for me, we spent half an hour or so just checking our email for urgent stuff and booking an airport hotel for Friday night before we fly out.

It was a great day capped off by an excellent meal at a local fish restaurant called 'Only Seafood'. In a beautiful setting, we both opted for the 'Seafood Platter' - a bland title for a dish which was the antithesis of the usual fried offerings named thus. 4 Oysters; 4 Sushi Rolls; a generous mound of Sashimi on a bed of pickled cucumber; just-seared tuna; and a pot of raw fish salad (marinated in lemon juice with coconut milk). Sides of pink pickled ginger, an interesting salad, dipping sauces, soy & wasabi. Gee it was good!



A quickeie on the way

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I have kept my blog (mostly) up to date on my PDA, however, as luck would have it, a spontaneous change of plans have us 'just checking' our email in the township of Russell across the Bay of Islands without my card reader at hand. All will be uploaded shortly! (I hope)

I have already spent far too much time in checking the results (not yet posted) of the Sri Chinmoy Triple Tri . . . I hope that Rad's Racers and Ravers did OK.

Must go - the weather is too nice to ignore and is guarenteed not to last long!


Blog 2006 11 26 Saturday

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Thursday
We stumbled our way up the west coast of the North Island, stopping at Helensville for a coffee & to do some shopping at Woolworth's. It has become apparent that it is nearly impossible to buy good, sturdy bread here. Fluffy and white is the norm and Bob is going into withdrawal.

We drove further north, hitting the seriously stunning views of the Tasman Sea around almost every corner and on every rise. After an afternoon break in Dargaville where I grabbed a tub of marinated raw fish (NZ$ $4.20), and a pretty ordinary cup of 'espresso'? (NZ$ $2.00), Bob spent a fair deal of time studying a Kauri woodwork gallery, yet managed to walk away empty handed - eventually!

We then drove through the West Coast Kauri forests in the fading twilight, stopping to have one short walk and gawk at the massive 'Tane Mahuta', with it's massive trunk in the most lush undergrowth.

This wasn't our last stop to gawk at the view and sighting of a stunning yellow-headed bird which Bob thought was a small parrot.

Our last detour before we came to the twin villages of Omapere/Opononi was up Signal Station Road to check out the Scenic Lookout. With views from the southern headland up the Hokianga Harbour, and across to the huge dunes on the northern side, painted a spectacular pink in the encroaching dusk. We tore ourselves away, denying the urge to follow the signposted coastal walks. A few hundred metres down the road I saw a sign on the one driveway advertising "Ti Kouka" , offering a B&B; gardens and holiday rentals. Calling for Bob to stop the car, I jumped out to read the sign on the fencepost. Although a bit more than we were expecting to pay, the location was glorious and we decided to wind our way down through the extensive spring gardens to inspect. Meeting another rental car on the winding driveway down, we found that there was one double room available (they required 2).

We soon met our hosts, Maria and George, and looked at the self contained room which had the most stunning views of this most beautiful place. Bob asked for a discount for 2 nights and this was readily agreed to. Now our accommodation was settled for a couple of days, we drove into 'town' to find a pub and somewhere for Bob to eat.

A fancy hotel (the Copthorne) was within a kilometre down the hill, and on our first drive through Omapere there seemed to be good range of Cafes. Along the road skirting the western shore of the harbour, the waterfront shacks of one settlement led to another, with evidence of gentrification and more elaborate homes on the hills rising behind. There was a Fish & Chip Shop, small supermarket, and Pub at Opononi, and we tried our luck at the Pub which was undergoing major building works. There was a very friendly crowd at the bar and around the scaffolding, making us welcome and ensuring that we knew it didn't usually look like this. Bob carefully checked what beer was on tap and what was popular. Not liking the Red Lion he had drunk on the first night, he opted for the first of what turned into many DB Draughts. It was a very friendly atmosphere, however with all the construction there was no where to sit and have a counter meal. Bidding the locals goodbye, we trundled back down the road to the Copthorne Resort Hotel. Without reservations in the dining room we sat in the spectacular setting of the bistro. Bob got stuck into the DB Draught (NZ $4.60) before finally settling on ordering a fried platter of mini spring rolls, fish, spicy meatballs, mussels, and of course, the ubiquitous chips. At NZ$16.50 for a serving (allegedly) for 2, it certainly seemed better value than the other dishes on the menu which averaged around the mid- $20 mark. Knowing how hungry Bob is (always!), and the need for fresh veggies, I also recommended he order a good looking salad from the menu ($15). On to his 4th or 5th beer (not that I was counting!), Bob was getting pretty relaxed and wasn't anxious to get back to our unit. I found that it was late, well past the time for my antibiotics and magic pills. My 'not-too-bad' for me asian soups were back at Ti Kouka and seemed a long way away. I picked at Bob's salad until there wasn't much left. Bob also passed over to me all of his mussels to avoid any repeat of the Great Anaphylaxis of Rotaroa (1991).

Friday
We both felt surprisingly lazy on waking on Friday. My sinuses were suffering a tad from my head being low (only 2 pillows) overnight, and I was keen for some espresso. Although I had laid my running gear out in preparation for a morning trot, my head wasn't so enthusiastic once morning rolled around. Bob was feeling somewhat lazier than expected too, so after checking out the information centre, (not too exciting and a very pushy "I can book that for you" attendant) and finding scant details about those activities we could do self guided, we drove back a few properties to 'Poppa Jack's' a greengrocer & café. Things certainly are pretty relaxed here with it not opening until midday (or so) most days, 10:00am on weekends. We went a few doors down to another Fish & Chippery (so popular here in NZ) where a clutch of leather-clad bikies were sitting at the 2 outdoor tables which had a pleasant aspect and view of the harbour. Attached to the only service station in the district, inside the whiff of frying oil was too intense for me to stay there, however my hanging around the bikies wasn't encouraging them to leave any quicker, as they tucked into huge baskets of chips and other fried things. Bob & I settled on some seats at a bar against the window, looking through the 'Northland Times' (challenging the 'Cairns Post' for relevance & parochialism despite it's broadsheet format). The service was once again faultless and friendly, the coffee cups big, but the quality was caffeine for a headache, not enjoyment.

We decided to hit the coastal tracks near our accommodation, first walking out to the site of the old signal station, then down to the rocks on the coast down a long, sandy dune. We didn't make it along quite as far in either direction as we would have liked, as the tide was already high and rising. A young ex-seal lay between rocks we clambered around. I couldn't stop yawning, despite a good nights sleep, and after Bob had a sandwich or 7, I retired to bed for 'just a bit of a lie down', while Bob headed off for another local walk.

Before I knew it, nearly 3 hours had passed and I awoke feeding much fresher, although just a bit concerned about Bob's safety. It turned out that he had completed a 7.5km rainforest walk over very hilly and muddy terrain. He had a wonderful time, but spent a fair deal of time at the end chatting to a bloke at a woodwork shop who had come to Canberra in 1969 to do a computer course (as had Bob & SpeedyGeoff), and then worked for the Bureau of Stats (as had Bob, SG, Rad and a raft of others). While this bloke had been trained in computer operating rather than programming, they had much to talk about, comparing the CDC3600 with the new whizz bang CDC3500 introduced in 1971. I guess that this passed me by as I was in 2nd Grade at the time.

Saturday
We both felt pretty damn good when we awoke on Saturday and were keen to hit the trails. We had to decide whether to catch a boat across to the sand dunes on the other side of the harbour, or head back into Waipoua Forest for some hiking. Our joint initial idea was to head to the dunes and dressed accordingly. However the early sunshine disappeared behind cloud and we went back to the Copthorne Hotel for an excellent coffee in their lounge, well worth the $3.50 each, and rated at between a 3.5 and 4 (out of 5). Without sweetener, there was the slightest bitter aftertaste, but it was very good. Studying maps over coffee, we were of a like mind, and decided that the 'probably' hourly boat schedule (NZ$20 each) didn't suit our independent and slightly impatient spirits as well as a hike/walk/tramp among the Kauris.

It continued to amaze driving south through the forest. A quick visit to the Waipoua visitor information centre proved rather fruitless, and we parked alongside a riverstoned creek in a meadow of blue and yellow flowers. Starting the walk up a lookout, it was wet and boggy underfoot, with the spindly roots of trees crisscrossing the narrow trail. We made good progress to begin with, however it became increasingly wet, the mud thicker and deeper and spread across the breath of the path. It was very pretty, although too dark to take photos. Nearing the summit as the trail dried up, I went over on my ankle. It certainly hurt, but experience with running had taught me that continuing on often loosens it up and it isn't as bad as the initial twinge would indicate. Hobbling through the now more open bracken and scraggly manuka trees, the ankle pain got worse and then apparently a little better. At the cleared meadow at the top the path flattened out, and it was strangely difficult to walk. Despite the beautiful bush on the way up, the lookout was quite uninspiring even though a substantial wooden structure with internal and external viewing platforms was there. We decided that Bob would walk briskly down the roadway to the information centre, much further but quicker and easier. A constant stream of tourists came up the lookout, all in vehicles. The wind was cold, and spits of icy rain came and went. I had been moving around to try and keep my ankle subtle, and as I got colder I thought that I'd start to walk down to shorten the wait and keep warm. I lasted maybe 90 seconds before I realised that this was a mistake and headed back to seek refuge in the tower. Bob was soon there with the car. On returning home to a bath to remove the mud encrusting my legs and shoes, a bright blue swelling was apparent. I began RICE in front of the Ashes Test while Bob went for another short local walk. So much for my plans to get out for a good run this afternoon!


A Relaxing Day in the land of the long white vowels

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Nu Zealaanders talk funny don't they??

(although they are very nice Strewth and Lorna).

Found excellent coffee at Stark's in the foyer of the old Civic theatre - reprt to follow. Wandered around the waterfront, site of huge controversy here as the proposed site of the stadium for the final of the Rugby World Cup in 2011. Kept along to Parnell Rise and Parnell Rd where we had seen a good selection of restaurants and cafes as we came through from the airport on Tuesday night. Our gut feelings that this was the place to head for food paid off, as we found an excellent assortment of all sorts of great looking cafes and eateries.

Somewhat spoilt for choice we settled on "The Fishmonger" a fish deli which had a small, but excellent assortment of fresh fish for sale battered or grilled; half a dozen really interesting salads, and potato and kumara chips. To take away there was also a range of roasted salmon lasagne, home made fish pies and fish skewers and fillets with various marinades and rubs. We settled on grilsnapper with


Bob's Race Report of Sunday

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The First Long Course World Champs for Australia

I've been anticipating last Sunday's Long Distance Triathlon World Champs
for 2 years, since race organiser Nick Munting lodged his bid with the
International Triathlon Union. The event lived up to my highest
expectations, in terms of tight organisation, wonderful camaraderie, perfect
weather, marvellous competition and terrific support from the Canberra
triathlon community.

The 300m swim from the beach to the deep water start allowed us to get used
to the 17 degree temperature in the glassy water of Lake Burley Griffin.
The 2 lap course was easy to navigate, though the wave of under 40 years men
just 3 minutes behind my wave took no time to charge through the slow old
blokes. A 350m run from the swim exit to my bike gave me time to dry off
and warm up, and then I was onto the best part of the day: a challenging 4
lap course though Coppins Crossing. As a result of a particularly thorough
briefing from chief technical officer, Canberra's Jane Seaborn, competitors
generally obeyed the rules, particularly relating to drafting and blocking.
As the day wore on the wind picked up to make the final gentle climb up
William Hovell Drive a lot harder than the first. It was a relief to turn
onto the Cotter Road for the final time after finishing the hills. My bike
chain dropped twice in the final 10km causing irritating stops.

By T2 the large crowd was cheering the race winner in his final kilometres,
and the atmosphere was great for all competitors. I felt terrific and went
out hard on the first lap, keen to catch blokes in my age group in front of
me if I could. I had a good idea of the competitors to beat and watched
carefully to identify them. By the second lap many runners were slowing
down significantly, suffering after the hard ride and in the 29 degree heat
of the early afternoon. The vocal support from the Canberra triathlon
community was inspiring, but by lap 3 I started suffering from my hard pace
and the heat. Up the hill near the National Museum everyone around me was
walking but I shortened my stride and kept running. Nausea swept over me
and every muscle in my body ached over the final couple of kilometres.

I was able to smile as I crossed the finish line with the announcer calling
my name and place in my age group. The woman who crossed behind me burst
into tears as she finished. For the rest of the day I could only sit and
drink. Sensibly the presentations were at lunchtime on Monday, by which
time most competitors had recovered. The highlight for me was TACT member
Ken Murtagh's gold medal in the M65-69 age group and special award for
completing the event after major problems with his bike.

Thanks to all the volunteers and supporters who spent many hours in the heat
to make it a great event.


See ya in a couple of weeks.

Regards, Bob


A is for Auckland

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It was a rush to get to the airport in time; my phone had kept beeping on Monday with SMS messages to advise thaqt the flight between Sydney and Auckland was being delayed incrementally. I had a killer sinus headache and wasn't happy with the constant arrival of notes, and ended up switching my phone off.

Unfortunately this meant I missed talkaing to Aki, the PRB and Lucky Legs, but I hope that they will understand.

Rad picked us up and took us to the airport - gotta love the small provincial nature of Canberra which allows you to check in to an international flight less than an hour before the domestic leaves with no hassles and everything checked through. Qantas Club provided a welcome respite, good snacks and soda water (I ended up having less than my usual daily coffee quotient, as I stuck to their excellent decaf espresso), and a pleasant way to while away the delay. We were both tired, and my head hurt like hell; flying might not have been perfect, but luckily the flight up from Canberra was on an uncommonly large 747 and the sinuses (generally) are better on bigger planes.

We were on the same flights as an M55 from Brasil who opted to change his T-shirt with Bob after the presentations (I have photos - but not here!) and we chatted as best we could. We ended up on a LAN Chile flight to Santiago de Chile via Auckland, which was pretty interesting and got us dreaming once again of our lust to spend a while (6 monthish) in South America. I practiced my gracias and de nada where I could! It was the worst Asian Vegetarian special meal I had come across though - two triangles of polenta (very asian); some anaemic looking mushrooms (they always look like that on airlines though); and a few cubes of tofu with a splash of something pretending to be tomato sauce.


Despite the late arrival, we were soon in our Apartment near the centre of Auckland, rugged up against the shock of an icy wind and max of 18 (long since gone since we arrived), and went exploring for local restaurants. Not too excitingm the choice of kebab and chips; burgers and chips, chicken and chips and chips with chips wasn't too exciting in the district of the CBD and Sky City. We returned to a small chinese cafe and bar we saw earlier which was full to bursting, and chose Bok Choy with garlic, beeef with chilli and black bean, pork with black (woodear) fungus with the soup and rice thrown in for $40 with a couple of TsingTao beers for Bob. It justified its popularity with the third or fourth shift of diners for the evening coming in as we headed our weary bodies back to bed.



The World Long Course Triathlon Championship

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Or: How I stopped competing and learned to love the Bob "Boy" Harlow train and (almost) win.


There is much to fill in in the meantime, but as I am writing this at Sydney International Terminal with the flight is about to leave, the blanks will have to be filled in later.

Sunday morning was a oh-so-early start with Bob and eye


What a Week!!

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And Where Do I Begin???

The wonderful luckylegs made the excursion down the freeway to Canberra from the Southern Highlands, barely missing out on a day of snow and freak weather conditions.

Sneaking in a visit to her motel "on spec" while Bob grabbed a little afternoon shut-eye, we had a ball of a time catching up, and I managed to get home just in time to change into running gear and get dropped off at the AIS track to cheer her along in the 1,500m track meet. What a Star!! Not only did she break the established W75 ACT record, she smashed it by soemthing like 45 seconds.

On Friday, LuckyLegs came along to the Customs Joggers 5k run, on a slightly abridged, but nevertheless, accurate course. She established her own PB for the distance in a not too shabby 31 minutes, almost getting lost in the process. Go girl! Friends from Carins, down to compete in the weeksends Long Distance Triathlon also came along to compete. I was over 28 minutes, but was happy with my run. Coffee at the great views, terible service "The Deck" restaurant afterwards with Bob and Peter the PRB made it all good fun.


Monday, Monday

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Those old sinus feelings strike me down again.
Sounds like the lyrics to a torch song ~ but alas, it is just a feature of this time of year. Last year I was on antibiotics from October through to March - with no swimming in the meantime. I finally got around to making an appointment with my GP last Tuesday, as spraying saline and steroids up my nose and taking sudafed wasn't helping me much as all. This weekend Bob was away at the Crocs Olympic Distance Triathlon at Nowra (he easily won his age group in 2:24), and I spent the days sleeping, struggling out of bed and cleaning up a little, sleeping, washing my bike from the mud from Tuesday's deluge, and then sleeping some more.
I was no better today, and finally got my non urgent appointment this evening. I filled in the long suffering Dr John in on my forthcoming procedure and how everything else is going. His gentle prodding of my face has resulted in great lingering pain throughout the evening. More discussion of my symptoms has me with a referral for yet more blood work and more antibiotics.
Most importantly, he was quite positive about the planned procedure and the hope that it may assist me in leading a more normal, more social lifestyle . . . and diet. So, that's all good, but right now, my face just hurts.


Friday, busy Friday

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It is Sunday morning as I write this - it took me nearly a day to recover from the culminate effects of a most enjoyable, but busy Friday!

The Butter Bean was due for it's first service (12,500 km) on Friday, so Bob and and took it out to Fyshwick when the service section opened at 8:00 am and popped round the corner to "Pellegrinos" a newish cafe which was doing a roaring trade for breakfast. We co-ordinated our diaries a little (I was to find out later that I am missing some important dates still), and enjoyed perhaps the best coffee we have had since recording our experiences this year. Full bodied, good crema, and no hint of bitterness. Generous mugs were $3.50. Service attentive and iced water freely available. Great for Fyshwick, but not so convenient for us!

After an hour or so, we hotfooted it over to Manuka to attend the annual PM's XI Cricket match. Once upon a time, it was predictable that this match would be held on a Tuesday in early December, however just as the tradition of an Australia Day Test Match on Adelaide Oval has been swept aside, the match is now a movable feast, with this year being held as a curtain raiser to the long awaited Ashes Series.

The match was sold out, and upgrades at the ground meant that our seats were undercover (the best available when I booked as soon as the bookings opened in June) and in the manner of other grounds around Australia, there was only the smallest 'hill' area left on the eastern side of the ground in front of the Corporate Marquees. Peter, the PRB was already there when I arrived, as Bob waited outside for his friend Brian.

The crowd seemed to be older and more sedate than previous years, few attempts at getting a Mexican Wave started seemed to gain momentum, and I can't recall an "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie Oi Oi Oi" all day. Brimming cups of beer were still being drunk from 10:00 am, but the cricket was the focus on the day.

The Australian Team was typically a development squad, with the obligatory ACT Player amongst them, although as the first match of the season there was no retiring cricket legend as in previous years which has seen Tubby Taylor, Mark and Steve Waugh lead them on to the field. Perhaps Darren Lehmann should have been called up?

By contrast, the English team was almost full strength, with Flintoff, Giles, Collingwood and Trescothick . Winning the toss, they elected to bat first. Numerous newspaper and media reports have covered the match better than I, but sufficed to say it was a cracking match! I nipped over the Manuka during the lunch break and found a 'modern chinese' cafe who made me a bowl of clear noodle soup with bok choy (not on the menu) and I had this and a pot of chinese tea sitting in the weak sun before heading back to the match.
After the game, Bob and I raced home, showered and changed to meet friends for a light meal before going to the Australian Opera's production of the G & S Pirates of Penzance. While I am not a particular fan of musicals per se, it is difficult not to be amused by G&S, and starved for 'proper' opera in Canberra it was good to have an occasional bit'o kulture.


PM's XI Cricket Match Tomorrow

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That means, No Customs!!!!


Wednesday

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After a pleasant weekend running around Black Mountain, I was looking forward to my run when I got out of the house on Wednesday afternoon. The day had been spent with the great-niece Madelyn, running around playgrounds, following her on her Trek Tricycle around Yerrabi Pond, heavy duty swing swinging, and a go on the really, really big kids flying fox at Gungahlin. [insert photo]


It was late by the time I got out, and Bob suggested that I head up towards Belconnen Way to check out the new path on the eastern side of the Gungahlin Drive Extension (GDE) which looks like it will be a dedicated bike path.

At 5:00 pm I headed out the door, weighed down with techno gadgets and various other items. I stopped and fiddled with these after a while, and then walked for a while. Going up the concrete path I stopped to walk once more, this time my lower back being quite sore, although nothing was rubbing there and I mainly just “did not feel like running”. It was strange. I wasn’t feeling heavy in the legs, (I was in the arms though, no doubt a result of pushing a very heavy young girl on a swing for prolonged periods above my head), I wasn’t feeling “flat”, nor did I have the run blahs. I wanted to run, but for periods just didn’t. I made it up to the end of what seems to be a bike path [insert photo] and jogged for a short time before walking once more.

It was a beautiful early daylight saving evening, and I loved being outside, however had lost my mojo to run much. It was so weird.

About an hour and a half, and about 10 kilometres. Not too flat, and quite a happy . . . walk? Jog? Stroll? Who knows, I enjoyed it!!


ACTCCC Molonglo Reach

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There wasn’t much time, but I changed and got my gear together on my bike to cycle out to the ACT Cross Country Club’s (ACTCCC) Spring Series first race of the series at Molonglo Reach (The Boathouse).

I put my lights on my bike in preparation for returning home before I left, and having locked the house as I was heading off, great big globs of rain started to fall, and I dug out my keys to grab a waterproof for Bob and my Gore-Tex. Bob had left already, as he was on duty this week, and was heading on to Swim Squad afterwards.

By the time I was on the cycle, it was raining. The wind came up, but the temperature was still quite warm. With moments to spare, I propped the bike against a tree, changed my shoes, then judging that I had enough time, changed my cycling knicks to running shorts. Well warmed up, if not prepared I hit the start with others and the rain started to fall in increasing quantity as we made our way east along the bike path from the boathouse around the hospice and to the turn around point just across the bridge where the east basin becomes the Molonglo River once more.

Runners in the other direction were passing me from very early on, and my legs were a little tired from the lunchtime run in the Bonshaw Cup. Bob was standing at the end of a line of orange cones with an umbrella overhead and cheered me on as I came near and turned around.

Despite having to stop twice to tie up my shoe laces (once on each foot), I was pleased with the run, and improved as I got going, despite the conditions.

I started to get cold at the finish and changed and lit up before cycling home in the steady rain. It cleared fairly soon though, so I pulled over at the Ferry terminal at Acton and put on a warm under cap and removed my drenched top which I wore during the run and was making me very cold. It was a beautiful evening to cycle home now that the rain had stopped and I felt virtuous with my activities over the course of the day.

A hot bath when I go home was perfection!



The second Tuesday of the month is the day that stops the nation!! (Every two years) for the election in the US, and every year for the Bonshaw Cup at HMAS Harman in Canberra.

It is always a perfect foil for the gunk that surrounds the Melbourne Cup hype of the gambling race that day (I feel sorry for the horses). One of the longest running fun runs around, this annual event is decidedly blokey and defence service oriented, although the ring-in civilian runners certainly do their bit as the fastest on the day!

I was still sinusey when I got ready to go, having made an appointment with my GP and unsure about whether I could run or not. Bob cycled out there, although I had to recall him to home minutes after he left as I found that he had locked the car on his way past, leaving my bags and keys inside.

That out of the way, we arrived in the nick of time, registering for $10, we received a good quality dri-fit style T-shirt, and various trinkets and stationary knick knacks from the Defence Credit Union. I missed the race briefing, having found my dear friend Adrienne from customs whom I have seen so briefly this year. We were still talking as the gun went off at 11:30 am, and I seeded myself at the back, not knowing if the distance (6.4k or 4 miles in the old money for the defence fitness test) was too ambitious for me. I chatted to Friar for a while, who was back from Korea, looking very fit and far from fat, and then Debbie who was on the management team for the world triathlon champs next weekend.

I found it hard going up the tiny rises early on in the run, and both Friar and Debbie dropped back to stay with me. Debbie and I kept on, the chatter eliminating many of the undulations that I remembered so well from last year. The weather was perfect for running to begin with, with good cloud cover. This cleared, and it was still and humid requiring me to whip my top off and attempt to tuck it in my shorts. The rigid, heavy duty cardboard race number though was not easy to drape.

I didn’t stop at the drink station at half way, as welcoming as it seemed in the conditions, as my digestive system still does not cope well with ingesting fluids on the run. I left Debbie behind here, although I knew that this would be temporary, as I slowed down progressively and would crawl up the inclines. Over the last few kilometres she did catch me up on a hill and escape into the distance, whereas I thrilled at the prospect of a descent. On the last hill , those in front of me were largely walking, and determined not to I concentrated and powered up in low gear, passing a few and not seeing Debbie again. Unfortunately my finishing sprint was not enough to get me over the line in front of a woman on whom I was closing throughout the event, and I gulped down cup upon cup of water at the finish.

My time? (about) 34:09 for 6.4km Seems really slow, but I was (and am), genuinely happy! Adrienne managed to make it in under 30 minutes despite not having any race practice.

After all the barrel draws and awards, the sausage sizzle (I avoided all greasy meat, sausages and sliced white bread), and lots of chatting with friends, I headed off and had coffee with Adrienne at Deakin.




Monday, Monday

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I've been doing a little more research into the effects of the operation that I will have in a month's time, hoping that knowledge is power, rather than a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!!
How soon I can reasonably expect be back participating again seems a moot point at best, but I am very optimistic!!
Peter, the PRB and I had a walk around Lake Ginninderra this morning before his radiotherapy appointment. I had mistimed things somewhat, so despite my waist pack coming to great use, we didn't have time for coffee. At home I showered and changed ready to meet after his appointment, however after this I found myself overwhelmed with tiredness, and lay down and slept until early evening. What an exciting life I lead!!


A Good Weekend

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It has been a pleasant, if undemanding weekend.

I met Aki for a coffee and a much needed catchup while Bob was out on a long ride - a very hilly 140 odd-km up to Corin Dam - which was great, although I was a bit taken aback by her almost shaved head. I did manage to get out for a cruisey run in the bright new yellow trail shoes in the late afternoon however, which was great. I didn't follow any normal route, just explored (and bush bashed a little) around the local Aranda Black Mountain Bushland. The shoes were great, at any pace, although I did develop the slightest 'hard' blister on the side of my left foot. The big boxy square toe box and rubber toe caps seem to suit my fat feet well, and certainly protected me from all the rocks I kicked!

I was a bit (a bit!!!!) of a gadget girl though when I went out, with almost every electronic device known to man strapped somewhere on my body.

Bob had a long run scheduled for Sunday, and used the bike paths around Lake Burley Griffin to get his legs used to the hard surfaces of the bike paths that will be used on the World Champs in two weeks time. He was tired after the 34km, but after he scoffed breakfast we went out to our local Vietnamese for a bowl of Bun Bo Hue, endless cups of Chinese Tea and Water. Coffee afterwards at Tilley's at Lyneham had a great vibe ~ a true local, with friends catching up, some having coffee, many glasses of wine or beer and water for the dogs and bike parking. The music, as usual was great, and the food which came out looked pretty good too!

I made it out again that afternoon, and started walking and stopping initially, partly due to my recent ingestion of food, and largely due to my fiddling around with my e-waistband to get the music (Joss Stone) just right. Along with the camera, pedometre on the phone, GPS mapping, foot pods . . . . you get the idea.

It was 5:00pm when I left, and I was out for over 90 minutes exploring further afield in Black Mountain and delighted to come across so many people out walking or walking on the Daylight Saving Weekend Evening. Good Stuff!!


New Shoes!!!!

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It was a busy day today ~ haircut first up (out in under two hours); then a trip over to Commonwealth Park to change into running gear and get down to the Customs start, returning a call to Lucky Legs on the way.

My handicap seemed to be a fair 9:00 minutes flat, and I found that I was completely excited at the prospect of running with other people for a change. I wanted to go off my correct handicap to give it a really fair go, but an almost new runner (once on the Floriade course) didn't know the route, so we (kind of) split the difference (a soft 8:15 for John and an unknown 9:00 for me equals starting at 8:30).

Sure I started a bit fast, and didn't feel too guilty about leaving him in my wake as I scooted off down the familiar path at the start. Within the first few hundred metres I realised that I hadn't taken my Ventolin at the start and I was beginning to wheeze and gaggle for breath. I passed the first kilometre mark at around 5:05. Too fast!

I felt great though and kept it up, hoping to catch up with someone in front. By the two kilometre mark I could well and truly tell that someone was catching up to my heels quickly and getting closer. I hoped that it wasn't the new runner John, but didn't bother to turn around and check and have my fears confirmed.

I rounded the halfway willow tree around 13:35, which would give me a finishing time of something over 27 minutes, knowing that the last k is always tougher. Soon, new runner John caught up with me and I tried to wheeze instructions for the finishing route to him through his over ear iPod earphones. He wanted to stick with me, although I knew that he was stronger than me and would beat me by far.

When there were clear runners ahead to follow, he did leave me, and race ahead. I felt pretty good, and although breathing with some difficulty, didn't find the hill as hard as I had remembered recently. Rounding the Pavilion at the crest, floppy haired Nick passed me and I informed him that he was the first eligible runner. He put on an extra spurt of speed down the hill to the finishing flag. I cut across the now flattened ex-Floriade beds and tried to maintain my speed. Although finishing behind new John, I closed to gap and raced to my bag to collect some Ventolin and have the Ventolin. I was then as right as the rain that deluged Canberra this afternoon.
Overall time - aim sub 30 minutes. Overall secret wish list aim sub 28 minutes.
Finishing time - 27:27.
Then, with 30 minutes to kill on the southside before a family visit for Bri's birthday. I popped into The Runner's Shop at Woden to check out there current crop of shoes. I am down to one pair - Forster Tri, and although I haven't been running much compared to 12 months ago, with jogging with Molly and so on over the last season, they have been getting their k's up and the soles worn down.
Having settled on the Asics lary tri shoes as my everyday shoes over the last year, feeling so much lighter and faster than regular training shoes (such as Nimbus / Kayano), I thought that I would try and go down the route of 'just' having a pair of specialised trail running shoes for the fun stuff, and a pair of the Forster Tri replacements - the Noosa Tri - for sealed surfaces. I just had to justify it to Bob!

872OR Although wracked all day with a terrible sinus head, I didn't even feel like trying anything on, but I walked away with a bright yellow pair of New Balance 872 Off Road shoes.
And a pair of the patterned Noosa Tri shoes

.mens_asics_tn631


Surgeon's appointment.

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Had a wonderful last few days in Sydney - catching up with friends and family and aided by improved weather!
This morning I had an appointment with a consultant surgeon whom is far more intimately associated with parts of my anatomy than I care to acknowledge. Having tried Plans A(i) to W(xii) over the last decade we have decided to take the next drastic step.
Bob was with me, and we had discussed it at length, so it was a joint decision. We will have a short break in the north of New Zealand after his World Championship Long Course Triathlon at the end of November, before I undergo the procedure in early December.
It will affect my ability to leap tall buildings and run faster than a speeding bullet for a short time, however I had long since decided that 2006 wasn't going to count, so this is perfect for a cracking 2007!


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