Thorns in the ride


Bob and I prepared to go for a mountain bike ride along nearby forestry trails in the morning, needing to return around lunchtime to take my mothers dog, Rex to the vet in Sorrell for a check-up in the early afternoon.

Bob’s bike, used for commuting and for a recent day trip to Wee Jasper via Uriarra, was carrying semi slick tyres, and the front wheel was a flat as could be. What started out as a simple task of changing an inner tube, turned into a long surgical procedure of removing fine thorns and burrs with a pair of tweezers. The collection was truly impressive!

An investigation of the rear wheel, which was still highly inflated, revealed a similar impressive array. The removal of one which was acting as a plug to keep the air in the tyre resulted in a similar slow leak and a second flat.

I had one spare tube, and Bob had one. However just as Bob started to fit the tube that was on his bike, I saw a large, unfixable crack, probably caused by him carrying it on his bike and it rubbing. The days bike ride was off, and it was getting late!

Study of the local yellow pages didn’t provide for many local bike shops – in fact it looked increasingly likely that we would need a trip into Hobart. With a quick change of plans, the four of us – Bob, myself, mother duck and Rex – piled into the car and headed off. Rex was quite comfortable in his position in the wagon boot section of the Outback, he had panoramic windows to enjoy the view and was quite settled. We found a good little bike shop just past the hospital in Hobart, and bought the tubes and a repair kit. I avoided the 50% off sale rack of Pearl Izumi gear.

A bottle of water and back to Sorrell for the Vet, a cup of surprisingly good coffee at the Chilli Pepper Café in Sorrell ($3 each) and a little more shopping. Bob had squeezed in an early morning run, however I had had no exercise all day, so despite the late hour quickly changed and headed off for a 30 minute jaunt. It was humid again in the late afternoon early evening, yet I was sorely tempted to run on. Reluctantly I knew that time was against me, it already being after 6:30pm and turned to return. Not as sprightly a run as the day before, and too short, but still satisfying. I covered about 6km in around 34:55, so OK as a training pace.

Tasman Peninsula


Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania

Bob and I managed to get going very late in the morning, after Bob spent a very frustrating, but ultimately successful prolonged period on the phone in getting the car fixed. It turned out that it was only a flat battery, however we eventually managed to get it sorted out.

We called in to “Drfters” Internet Café, just off Salamanca Place as our next port of call. Bob was unable to connect his computer through WiFi, however he was able to use a terminal and get his order in for the compulsory uniform items for the Duathlon World Championships in Györ, Hungry in May this year.

We were then on our way, stopping at the Woolies at Sorrell to buy some food, and were soon on the Tasman Peninsula en route to Port Arthur.

Bob fell asleep in the car, (I was driving at the time), and after brief greetings, he was off to bed for a much needed nap. I changed into my much neglected running gear, and gadgeted up to the max, was off for an hours run along the well graded dirt road with no traffic. It wound it’s way around the nooks and cranny’s of the bay staying just adjacent to the water. I made it to the end of Conical Point, where an assortment of old machinery littered the track near the rusting jetty out to the water.

There were three vehicles, one young bloke and his dog . . . who seemed most excited to see me (the dog that is), as sweating heavily in the unfamiliar humidity, I turned around at 30 minutes and 30 seconds having run just a tad over 5km.

Although I was tempted to take an alternate turn to the right at the nearby junction to extend my run by a kilometre or two, I had both said that I would be an hour, and was already very thirsty. With no chance of a drink before I got back, I knew that I had to continue. The road was essentially flat, although undulated up and down with short gradients. Thinking about that drink I didn’t slow, and began to hit my stride just towards the end. A small negative split was satisfying, as was the 10kms + that I covered in the hour.

Hobart Town


Bob and I arrived early in Hobart, after a very pleasant evening in Ross, with dinner at the pub and more than a few cleanising ales (or pints of Guiness in this case) for Bob. The Motel, although looking from the outside as though it was trying a bit too hard, was great and very quiet.

Our room/apartment in Hobart wasn't ready, so we left the car there and wandered the kilometre or so to Salamanca Place where we had a good lunch in Drifters Internet Cafe (photos of Errol Fynn everywhere), of smoked salmon on bagels (Bob) and sandwiches (Me). The coffee wasn't bad either!

The Motel (Woolmer's Inn on Sandy Bay Rd) looked really good fromt he outside, although it failed to live up to expectations once we were inside. It was 25 years old, and very, very tired. The hot water was hot, but that was about it. In a rare Tasmanian heatwave (apparently the only three day stretch of weather over 30 degrees C in 30 years or something), the rooms were stiffling hot.

The most spectacular electical storm on Friday evening cut off the transmitters for SBS TV during the news and caused havoc most everywhere.

Saturday was a quietish day, Bob riding with the Tridents over the course in the morning, and going to registration and checking his bike in the afternoon. The weather was very humid and an unpleasant surprise for we inlandlubbers. I didn't get out for a run (again!), being busy in the morning, and finding it too disruptive in the afternoon.

A quiet meal of pasta for Bob and Soup for me before a better sleep than the previous night when we had no fan nor airflow in the room.

Hobart International Triathlon

It wasn't too early a start for the Tri on Sunday, and the water was relatively warm for Tasmania and the swim at Constitution Dock.

The tight bike course was 8 laps of a technical city route, with many U-turns and hill climbs. Having completed in the inaugural Hobart Triathlon in 2005, I positioned myself on the base of the sharp, short climb up Willmot Street, where I remember many people coming a cropper the previous years. With an out and back U-turn before hand, I was likely to see many people clearly as the passed three times each lap, and travelled fairly slowly up the ascent.

Before long, I struck up a conversation with a very genial race Marshall, Frances and we enjoyed each others complany between my calls of support to Bob and the other Canberrans as they rode past. After I assessed that Bob had completed his 8 laps, I made my way down to transition, a large shed on the pier, and positioned myself near the exit to the run where I knew one had to pass twice each lap.

It was a good location, and I saw Bob and his cute, choppy little running style easily as he made up ground on many other stronger runners and swimmers. It was difficult to tell what age groups others were in, But I cheered as loudly as I could.

At the end of the race, Bob was third in his last hurrah for the 55-59 age group. It was all very confusing, as he raced in the 60-64 age group in Canberra a few weeks ago (and was better in Hobart). There was widespread confusion, as we know of at least one other fellow, a few months older than Bob who was on the podium for the 60-64's!

We raced back to the motel, showered, and prepared to visit our friends Alan and Penny at their beach house for lunch.

The car wouldn't open electrically and was as dead as a dodo when we tried to start. Plans were reluctantly cancelled and we joined the other Canberra old folks for fish on the wharf before watching the elites race in the afternoon.

A frustrating morning spent ringing around the Subaru dealerships, roadside assistance, Automobile club and back again eventually got us started, although underway far too late. We are both looking forward to our holiday on the West Coast, and I am anxious to run this afternoon when we visit my mother at Murdunna. My feet are itching and the standard summer weather of Tasmania (cool and low to lower 20's) has returned.

Yum! continued


I continued on to Launceston, keen to shower, but not optimistic of my chances before meeting Bob at the Airport. At Cataract Gorge I paid for an hour's parking, and hopelessly overdressed in long (black) pants, shoes & socks (black) - you get the picture - went for a walk. When on the famous suspension bridge, I spied the swimming area and figured that there was likely to be some sort of showering facilities. I walked on for three or 4 kilometres before returning to the car. In the meantime, Bob had rung from Melbourne airport to advise that he wouldn't be landing until 2:25pm. I gathered things together and, very sweaty by now, headed down to the individual combined shower/toilet. Wìth only a button to operate the shower, I braced myself for water of an unknown temperature to come gushing forth. It certainly wasn't hot . . . But nor was it cold. In my hot, sticky state, it was divine.

I didn’t have another coffee at the gardens, despsite the lovely setting, so that Bob and I could have one together when he arrived. It wasn’t until I got to the airport that I realised that I was a bit hungry, and the airport cafeteria was as uninspiring as one expected. I just felt like something fresh and cold, perhaps a salad sandwich, or certainly a cold drink! However as I am now restricting my caffeine intake, and carbonated beverages are not great for me since the operation (cue the Ansett theme from the 1970’s “Up, up and away . . .”) the options were limited to . . . nil.

Bob was on time, and we hit the road south, keeping our eyes open for cute little villages for coffee or to stay overnight. We rang our accommodation in Hobart to see if we could extend our stay to four nights from Thursday, however they were booked out. We stopped at Cambelltown for a coffee at a reasonable looking café, and realised that the village we were looking for was Ross off the highway only a short distance away.



Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm
8:00am, Thursday 15 February

I was in a 'business class' seat overnight from Melbourne to Tassie, and slept surprisingly well (until I woke up in the early hours). Having had no time to spare on reaching the ferry on leaving Canberra at the far-too-late time of 11:00am after collecting some medical supplies in Civic, there wasn't much time to spare.

I remember a rushed trip to the Raspberry Farm complex after a Devonport Triathlon many years ago. Knowing that it was opened for breakfast, I headed here directly after refilling my very empty fuel tank (needing 61 litres for a maximum capacity of 65).

More touristy than I'd recalled on my rushed visit last time, it nevertheless provided a pleasant spot for an early morning break. This was noisily interupted by the arrival of a small, elderly tour group. I'm onto my third bottle of iced water, have finished a serve of expensive, but good muesli & raspberry yoghurt (with fresh raspberries) ($9.00), but am blown away by the excellence of the coffee! Mugs are a reasonable size and the espresso has a good full flavoured body, with no bitterness or strong aftertaste. Although severely tempted, I avoided ordering a second so that I could enjoy another café with Bob this afternoon.

I'm collecting him from Launceston airport at 1:30pm, so I have the morning to myself!

I'm Excited!


I might look too much like Big Kev for my liking, but I sure am excited right now.

After a quickish coffee with Bob at Hansel and Gretal, Belconnen before he headed to his doctor to get a mark on his back checked out (he had a very aggressive melanoma a few years back, so is extra careful), I drove into Customs for my "wouldn't miss it for the world" Friday lunchtime.

From the start I felt good, had remembered to take my Ventolin and had the puffer in my back pocket in case. I worked hard, but the legs had a spring in them that I hadn't noticed for far too long. I passed Friar far earlier than expected at the 1km mark and was concerned that my quick start would be my undoing later on in the run.

Despite seeing Yumiko for the entire run, I never could quite reel her in, although I tried! My heart rate was high, although not alarmingly so, and I took some Ventolin after I completed 3km, and after that. It seemed to silence me and give me a good kick to continue.

All in all, I finished just under 5:30 pace (27:22), and felt wonderful. It seems strange to be so thrilled with a supra-5 minute pace result, but there has been a long period of this poor performance, so hopefully I am heading in the right direction for rapid improvement.
I think that the day spent doing paperwork and resting yesterday helped, staying away from hills, and Bob insists that caffeine before the run, instead of the usual after run socialising, helped.
Now, for some consistency in training that has been so sorely lacking over the last 12 months, and further improvement!
Next goal: Weston Creek Half Marathon on 11 March, 2007

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BBQ Stakes analysis


Start Handicap
4:00 (7:30) 7:00
1. 5:59 (6:23) 6:16
2. 6:35 (6:33) 6:56
3. 5:35 (5:47) 6:11
4. 6:37 (6:33) 6:27
5. 5:11 (5:14) 5:27
6. 5:40 (5:50) 5:12
36:29 (35:43) 36:25

It was run in reverse this week, with the easiest kilometres being the last one and a half.

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Pepé Le Pew


Rudi is not an adorable skunk, however he has shown a great ability since he arrived at quickly "growing" and then "shaving off" a dashing looking black moustache which makes him look quite the french monsieur.

He hasn't quite mastered climbing down trees, despite his great improvement in climbing up. He's getting better, and I have to keep reminding myself that you don't see feline skeletal remains on high branches where cats haven't been able to come down without assistance.

How excited can you be to run 6k?


Answer: A Lot!
I was keen to run the BBQ Stakes today after such a miserable lack of running since Friday. The 2.2km Mt Ainslie Run-Up was also undertaken largely walking and I found it hard going.
Making it around the 6k was the sole priority, and I was able to complete this without undue difficulty. The seemingly perfect conditions for running at the start seemed a little hotter when underway, but were still pretty good. Being the first Wednesday of the month, it was run as a team event and in reverse direction. This usually seems harder, perhaps because one is used to going the other way. However I did keep reminding myself that once one was over the hills in this direction, at about the 4.5km mark, it was all downhill from there! I was willing those hills to pass, and dreamt of finally reaching the top of Waldock Street!
I was passed by a procession of just about every runner who started behind me, but did get better as the run progressed, didn't need to walk, and was free of the crippling gut pain. I felt as though I was flying (at between 5:15 and 5:30 pace) in the final mile and was disappointed to be considerably slower than last week, but was still faster than a fortnight ago.
Now, advice please:
Although I think that hills are the best way of improving strength and endurance, I am really struggling with them at the moment. Do you think that it is a good idea that I build up longer distances at the moment doing flatter, and hopefully faster, runs? I figure that my muscle memory is stuck on low gear, with a tendency to slip into reverse!

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Another Tuesday start


After an unprecedented DNF on Friday, an DNS on Saturday and not doing much around here on Sunday things are slowly looking up.

Went for a 'brisk' walk around Black Mountain Bushland with the PRB on Monday afternoon. A few hills and a tad over 10 kilometres covered.

Today was the monthly Mt Ainslie Run-Up in hot conditions. I felt really well today, but my legs had no juice when I started to move. As those walking sped past me I kept churning on, although I too started to walk as the mercury rose the sweat poured and the legs had turned their knees back to front and were urging me to in reverse.

Eventually I finished in what must surely be a considerable PW of 24:46! I doubt that there would have been too many PB's today. The jog down was so welcome - I do love running down hills! A small swimmette in the afternoon followed by a belated visit to my GP in an attempt to seek an answer to the spasms that have been crippling me of late. It seems that it is common after the type of procedure I had, and another patient would went through the same thing around the same time is going through the same thing. It could take a year to settle down.

I drove down to the Cross Country at Woden, arriving just as the first runners were crossing the line. Double parking, I changed into my cycling gear, and left my keys with Bob and rode his bike home. Bob was going to take the car to his swim squad and we decided on the swap.
So, far harder to run than I would have expected, but around 4km of running (or walking with an elevated heart rate if I wasn't able to run up hills); 100m of swimming (!); and around 16km of moderately easy cycling.
So, not great, but heading in the right direction.

Hmmph! A DNS


I had everything organised last night for a quick, quiet getaway this morning for the lake circuit run this morning with the Pink Arrows. Shoes prepared with footpod and orthoses on the desk, socks ready, shorts and heart rate monitor, fuel belt and drinks in the fridge at the ready, car key already off the keyring so I could easily carry it with me, clean t-shirt, cash and provisions in a backpack for the car. Alarm set for 4:40am.

As my daily alarm for my "it's not really a sedative" sleeping miracle pill went off at 6:55pm, I discovered that despite multiple trips to the pharmacy this week and three prescriptions filled, I had run out. Doh!
I wasn't going to get it filled that night (it wasn't really going to make a difference was it?), and went to bed in good time, not too early, and not too late. But sleep didn't come, and the spasms which had stopped me running at Customs did return with sharp slashes of cutting spasms.
I finally fell asleep around a quarter to four, now fairly confident that I wasn't going to make it down to the lake for my planned run that morning. Darn it! When Bob left for his run, I fell asleep more deeply, not waking until nearly noon.
I continued to have severe spasms throughout the day and will just have to write this weekend down to one of those experiences (what doesn't kill us must make us stronger, eh?).

The good, the bad and a DNF


It's been a good day. Went to the gym this morning and stayed until some abdominal spasms made me realise that enough was enough.
Rode my newly serviced boike down to Customs, and was thrilled with how good the rear brakes were, and stunned at the difference in gear changing with a replacement gear cable inner and outer fitted. I'm sure that I was so much faster! At the very least, I was able to maintain a far higher cadence throughout, especially going up hills seated.
There was a good turnout at Customs, although for some reason the gut spasms returned when I started to run. I left off my correct handicap with the PRB of 6:30, and had been confident that I would better my time of 28:46ish from last week. Well before I got the the 1km marker though I thought it best that I turn back, and over the last hundred metres I had a rigorous argument with myself along the lines of
"You should stop now. It hurts too much to be healthy.
"Just keep going another k and see what it's like then
"It's not right to be this sore. Think of the big picture - long run tomorrow
"Softy! What are you? Weak or something?
"Don't make it worse. Stop you idiot . . . "
Eventually I did stop, and, although I started to jog back I soon reverted to walking when I realised that this made the gut much more comfortable.
I made it back in time to see Scotty check his own time on the stopwatch and run off at a blistering pace. Thus the 5 or so bikes that were used as transport to the run and the assorted chattels were guarded. The recent re-handicapping worked well with most of those leaving off their correct time coming in a rush together within 30 seconds or so. Well Done Mr Handicapper!
A coffee with the PRB later woke me up and quelled my incessant yawning. The ride home was equally successful on the serviced bike. I'm going to have a lot of fun on this in the next few months!
So - long run (for me) tomorrow with the Pink Arrows, starting from Acton Ferry Terminal at (yawn) 5:45 or earlier!


A Slow Trail run through Black Mountain Bushland


I did quite a few chores this morning, including dropping my shopping trolley bike off at the Ride Shop in Civic to have the rear brakes fixed and a general service to see what else needed to have done.

It was late by the time I managed to get away for a run, however the weather was milder than all for the last month and an early afternoon departure wasn't a problem. I was running for fun and vowed not to be concerned about the distance I covered. Good theory, however as I wound my way up the steep tracks which lead up to the summit of Black Mountain, I seemed to barely cracking a slow walking pace. Surely I will speed up on the way home without the hills?

It didn't seem to make any difference though. I was enjoying the run enormously, despite the lack of pace. With the Gungahlin Drive extension road works, I certainly didn't take the quickest way home.
All in all, I didn't speed up on the way home afterall, but by the time I was running for three quarters or an hour, I didn't have a care in the world and wanted to just keep going.
The stats:
Distance (approx.) 12 kms
Time: 1:28
Average Heart Rate 142
Maximum Heart Rate 169
Calories 1,000
Pace 7:24
Tomorrow, Customs.


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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