Been to the doctor


Bob dragged me to the doctor this morning, a little against my wishes, as I figured that nothing much could be done, so why bother?

The good doctor John pretty well confirmed this (that there wasn't much aggressive treatment), that it was likely that a virus (don't you just love virrii?) might be causing both the gastritis (gut) and respiratory symptoms. Treat my sinus with over the counter drugs for a change to avoid my usual six month antibiotic overload, and see how things go.

My renal (kidney) function is still a bit iffy, but I will need to wait until I'm well until the blood tests are repeated. We talked some more at length about my (?sp) bradycardia or episodes of slow heartbeat with continues. With Bob there being dictated to, we shall try and get me to the hospital when it happens again. There was a fair bit of talk about a pace maker, and that he thought it would make me feel much better straight away, but, and it's a big but, it is a rather radical step.

I'm getting gradually stronger each day, and would dearly love to kick the new year (and 2008 is going to be a really great year) with some exercise, preferably running. That is no doubt too ambitious, but maybe a walk to the botanic gardens is on the cards!

I'm not well


It's certainly not terminal! Nor particularly morbid, however a recurrence (self diagnosis here) of labyrinthitis / vertigo / something balance related I can't remember the exact name of has laid me rather low over the last week.

From the weekend before Christmas I was headachy and achey with great fatigue. By Christmas Eve the last thing I felt like doing was finalising Christmas lunch thingos and driving up to Sydney to spend the festive day with my sister and lovely nieces. However I was keen to do so, and between lying down cobbled together a few things and settled into the passenger seat for the journey.

It was a great, laid back and relaxing Christmas day, punctuated by naps and an afternoon postprandial walk around the foreshores of Lavender Bay and Kirribilli. A journey into the gardens established by Wendy Whitely.

A visit to a friends place on the Northern Beaches for Boxing Day lunch was a bit of an effort after my mid morning nap. I grew increasingly green during the journey, and after our welcomes, I tip a sip of water and promptly raced to the nearest unobtrusive bush. Retching had made my chest so sore that breathing anything other than shallow breaths sent me into deep spasms of agony.

I lay down and slept until we left and drove back to Canberra.

I think that I'm a bit better now, but still nauseas on movement although vomiting and retching less. No run with my favourite boys at the Cotter today which was a disappointment but most important nevertheless.

Study Shows Marathons Aren't Likely to Kill You


From the New York Times:

Study Shows Marathons Aren’t Likely to Kill You
Published: December 21, 2007

Worried about dropping dead if you run a marathon? Researchers in Canada say you can put your mind at ease. The risk of dying on a marathon course is twice as high if you drive it than if you run it, they find.

In fact, they conclude, marathons may actually save lives: more people would die in traffic accidents if the race course had not been closed to vehicles on marathon day. (Nor was there any spillover of extra deaths on alternative routes.) Their paper is being published Friday in The British Medical Journal.

“For each death in a marathon, two motor-vehicle crash deaths were averted,” said Dr. Donald A. Redelmeier, a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and the lead author of the new study. “It’s riskier if you decide to drive your car around on a Sunday morning than if you go out and run.”

As might be expected, marathon directors were pleased.

“That’s a very positive piece of news,” said Guy Morse, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the Boston Marathon. He hastens to add that there have been very few deaths in that marathon — just two, in fact, since the 1970s.

Dr. Paul Thompson, a marathon runner and a cardiologist at Hartford Hospital who has studied the risk of having a heart attack or dying in a marathon, called the new study “a unique perspective,” and added, “It looks at deaths from a societal point of view.”

The researchers admit that they cannot prove marathons saved lives. They were comparing actual deaths during marathons to expected deaths from motor-vehicle accidents based on statistics. But they add that their data certainly raise the question of whether the risk of dying in a marathon is exaggerated.

Dr. Redelmeier, who has run a marathon, said he began his study out of annoyance with the enormous attention given to each death in a marathon — often even greater, he added, than the attention paid to the winner. When someone died in the Toronto Marathon, he said, there were immediate calls to close it down.

“It has a chilling effect,” he said, “and becomes one more excuse not to exercise.”

So he and his colleagues decided to examine data from 26 American marathons over 30 years. They included results from 3,292,268 runners on 750 race days and 14 million hours of running. For comparison, they also examined national data on traffic fatalities, estimating how many would be expected to occur in the area on marathon day and comparing that with the number that did occur.

Fewer than 1 in 100,000 people died while running a marathon, Dr. Redelmeier and his colleagues reported. The chance that a middle-aged man — the typical marathon fatality — would die while running a marathon was about the same as the chance a middle-aged man would suddenly die anyway.

Dr. Thompson, the Hartford cardiologist, said there was another way of making the comparison. He noted that middle-aged men who run marathons are not typical of men their age. He said their risk of dying while running a marathon, while low, was nonetheless about seven times their risk of dying at other times.

Dr. Redelmeier also said his results did not depend on the marathon — some, like the one in Boston, have rigorous entry criteria for most runners and so tend to have a fitter group of athletes. Some are run in the heat, others in the cold. On some the course is flat, and on others it is hilly. The death rate, on average, was the same low number.

The study also found that half the people who died in a marathon did so while running the last mile and almost no deaths occurred in the first 13 miles.

Dr. Redelmeier says he took his own results very seriously. He is not a fast runner, but when he ran a marathon in Lake Placid, in 4 hours 17 minutes, he deliberately kept his speed down in the last mile.

“I kept cool,” he said. “That takes a lot of self-control. I have this fragile male ego.”

Destination: Canberra Marathon


OK, So this is Christmas / and what have you done / . . . (apologies John Lennon)

The dreaded unspecified lurgy (head cold/sinusitis/hay fever) has finally abated, and I was able to get to the physio yesterday. This is significant for a number of reasons, not the least as I wanted to be sure that I had the go ahead to train for the Canberra Marathon in April before I publicly announced my intention.

Graeme expressed his professional caution about my need to continue strengthening exercises and work on my balance and tightness in my ITB, however was quite encouraging. I weigh the same (almost double my lightest, and a good 25kgs over what I should) as I did before leaving for America, and running, especially long, endurance running training hopefully will be the best way of dropping some of this off.

I erred on the side of caution yesterday and turned up to the start (albeit late) of the final Lake Ginninderra Handicap for the year, but did not attempt to run it. Instead, after ascertaining that they didn't need help with the start and finish activities, I jogged off (slowly) in the opposite direction, heading anti-clockwise around the lake, hoping to run into Rad and Friar.

It was amazing how dropping the pace maybe 30 seconds a kilometre below maximal effort can be so easy and seemingly effortless. I didn't expect to go far, however once across the bridge, thought that I would make it to the 5km mark and turn around for a round trip of 4km. Still, once there, with no sight of Rad and a path liberally littered with the carcases of large, fat black cicadas, I decided to make it around 5km, and rounded the peninsula. Although I was enjoying it, and considered continuing on around the course to make it a slow 7km, I realised that I was warned only a few minutes ago to hasten slowly and I reluctantly turned around and headed back.

I picked up the pace on the way back, and, heading into the wind, found the going much tougher! It was very satisfying though, and I was pleased to have reminded myself of the value, and enjoyment of running slow in relative terms. As my 'race pace' is slow pedestrian these days, I found that I forget how different it is to go slower again and enjoy it.

Once home, I collected my cycling gear together and went for a short ride to Scrivener Dam and back. It was a stop start affair for much of the outward journey, as I tried to adjust sensors to measure speed and cadence and attend to an annoying wheel revolution 'click' coming from the rear.

Despite taking close to an hour for the 15 kilometre ride, it was immensely satisfying and I am keen to get back in the saddle on a regular basis. So the plan is hatching; regular runs, not being too concerned about pace or distance, and concentrating on building up the time and enjoying it, added to cycling as much as as I can.

I still need to spend quite a bit of time on the mini tramp and working on my strength and balance as well, but I am excited at the prospect!

Back to the sinus sniffle


After returning from the US, Bob and I suffered from jet / travel lag rather more than we would have expected. Nevertheless, after getting our long overdue haircuts (Thanks Angelo), medical supplies collected, legs defuzzed, visiting Bob's sister, and then attending the most important afternoon tea party for our (great) nephew Max's 2nd birthday.

Most of all, I was really looking forward to the Friday Customs Joggers 5k. It just happened to be the end of season celebration, which was icing on the cake, however catching up with friends and running the 5k course in the first time since early May was really what it was all about.

It was wonderful to see Rad, Friar, and all the other Customs runners. I hoped that I would be able to give 30 minutes a good shake given my recent 'races' in the USA, and so elected to go off a handicap of 6:30. This proved to be good call, although I never expected to find this easy, flat 5k so tough.

I raced away, OK, a little too fast, from Rad at the downhill start, and saw a few people in front of me whom I thought I had a good chance of catching. Before reaching the flagpole at Regatta Point however I noticed my heartrate climbing alarmingly, past 160 and well into the 170's. I had remembered to take my Ventolin inhaler behorehand this time, however the breathing was getting very laboured and it was hard going as I reached the 1km mark.

The warm day was a relief, however quite a shock for this little duck. I had been fighting off a developing cold since our return, and my hard run 30 minute 45 second run had me gasping for breath and taking a long, long time to recover. Pushing myself must have pushed the cold / hay fever / sinusitis over the edge, and I spent the next few days in bed, struggling for breath, only getting out to join Aki for a coffee at Hansel and Gretal in Belconnen on Saturday before returning to bed. I had hoped to do the short version of the Tour de Mountain on Sunday, however I'm pleased that I didn't as the the intemittant rain would have been a coffin nail.

I had to cancel my physio appointment on Monday, yet today (Tuesday), if not fully recovered, did wake up with a relatively clear head and was able to breathe (a bonus for sure).

Now, to bring on Christmas! Phew!

Back in Oz


I'm pleased to be back, and will be really pleased to have unimpeded access to a computer of three without having to share with the Bobbette.

Our last day in the US far exceeded what one could have expected . . . although it was very tight, we decided to run a 10k in Central Park on the morning of our departure. Not being prepared to cough up the mega bucks to stay in Manhattan on our last nights, we were staying in the Borough of Queens in Flushing, near La Guardia airport for our last tow nights. It was pretty cool being in this area of NYC, it really was little Korea, and a very vibrant Chinatown. A meal on our first night at "The Happy Buddha", a vegetarian Chinese restaurant was typical - and certified Kosher. (Of course).

After returning the car (loved the car!) on Saturday, we travelled on the local train to Manhattan, which was pretty interesting all on its own. We registered at the New York Road Runners Club near Central Park on the east side of 92nd Street. It wasn't the ACT Cross Country Club! A large Brownstone, the stream of fit bods coming through the doors alerted us to the fact that this wasn't going to be just a little fun run (like in Chattanooga, Tennessee). Fantastic facilities abounded, and we paid our $30 bucks and collected our timing chips and the obligatory race T-shirt (long sleeve, white).

T-shirt score; Bob 10, Carolyne a mere 6.

We then wandered down Madison and Park Avenue among the very beautiful, very expensively dressed people, and were equally agog at the remarkable Christmas windows in stores such as Barney's or Ralph Lauren. They were amazing. A visit to the store at MOMA was a bit of a disappointment, I had been so excited when I was there a couple of weeks ago, I thought that I would wrap up (that is, start) all my Christmas Shopping. The crowds were truly horrendous though, and although we tried, I just couldn't see my way through the throng of people and gave up.

Sunday morning meant an early start and a late check0out to get to the run in time. Thousands poured into the Park at the 102nd Street entrance, and we joined the crowds for the Joe Kleinerman Memorial 10k.

It was a great, very cold run, with thousands of all standards running around the perimetre roads of Central Park, past frozen lakes with snow on the banks. I had decided that I had to be very restrained . . . it was at least an hour and a half of travelling back to Flushing, with around a 2 kilometre walk from the subway back to the hotel, and I had to attend to some medical matters which took around two hours before we checked out and left for the airport.

No matter how good I felt, I couldn't burn myself out and be too stuffed for the rest of the day. I started slow, stayed slow, and was relatively even, given the uneven nature of the terrain. I ended a bit disappointed with my elapsed time (around 63 minutes), but, then It was just what I was aiming for, and I was able to get through the rest of the day and the flight home. And, hey! I wasn't last either!

A great way to finish off our trip to the US, and a fitting finish. Central Park must be one of my favourite places, so uncommonly natural among city parks, it is a real treat.


This is the first hotel without internet access, a basic little motel (“The Vesuvio) with a No Vacancy sign out the front. We are on the northern coastal tip of Delaware (the first state), spending the night before catching a car-ferry across to the Atlantic shore of (New) Jersey and then on to New York.

Despite the coastal location, as we neared we kept wondering what the white stuff was that was around the sides of the road. I’d decided that it must be salt to de0ice the roadway. I mentioned this to Bob, and initially he agreed, however the thick piles of white stuff on car hoods and rooves seemed to make this premise incorrect. Yep, it was late in the afternoon, and it was snow, snow, snow.

With the sun setting so early, the over the top Christmas Decorations in the front yards of houses along the route were lit up like, uh, a Christmas Tree, and with the snow resting on the trees and reflecting the lights it was rather special.

There were hotels along the coastal highway, Route 1, once again a testament to the American obsession with shopping, with the strip malls lining the highways form tens of kilometres, carparks full, however we were keen to get off the road if possible, and despite the dark and difficult driving conditions we headed towards the ferry at Lewes on the coast, and were shortly within another world.

Although right on the sea, there was a thick dusting of snow on most things, with large icicles hanging off vehicles and buildings. A glorious little street of shops and businesses was lit up for the season, and to my Antipodean eyes looked like a set from some impossible sugary sweet Christmas movie. It was magical. That there was a coffee roaster there (closed by this time, but showing the promise of opening up early in the morning for our pre-ferry espresso hit) added the icing to the cake.

The motel owner came out to serve Bob clad in her pyjamas (or lounge pants as they are commonly called here), and despite the No Vacancy (every where in this beachside resort were closed for the season, thick snow coating the Beach Shack and surfboard rental signs), offered us a basic, but clean room for the night. A very thick coated black cat welcomed us and was affectionate greeting.

A slightly treacherous walk on the crunching snow and ice led us next door to the Biting Slider, a seafood restaurant and bar. It was obviously popular and quite full on this Thursday evening, and although the prices were higher than we would have wished to have paid, the small menu of fish dishes looked good.

We both opted for the special of the day, blackened Rock Fish with rice and seasonal vegetables, and really enjoyed it having not stopped for lunch and only having a pretzel and muffin during the cause of the day.

It was a great day though, with our journey across the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel linking Virginia’s Eastern Shore to the ? being a particular surprise. At over 17 miles (27 kms) on water to cross, and whilst maintaining shipping lanes for the significant commercial traffic, the bridge stretches for miles at a time, with two mile long tunnels along the route.


2007 12 03 Blog Charleston, South Carolina to Morehead City, North Carolina

Bob and I are on the road again, this time leaving the grand old city of Charleston on the Atlantic Coast, reluctantly heading north to the colder weather in preparation for our departure on Sunday. A severe weather alert is on for the North East, with lots of snow and blizzards forecast. That might sound cute Aki, but we are so ill prepared for such things we would be tied to our hotel.

Our Sunday in Charleston was terrific, even though we were apart for most of the day, as Bob cycled off with his new best friends around the Savannah area, while I took it easy in the morning after my sore, stiff bones from the bridge run before walking off in the direction of the historic downtown, with no map and an adventurous heart. Having passed a seafood shack, Hardee’s, Arby’s, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Burger King and Pizza Hut within 230m of the hotel on my way to town, I didn’t worry about getting something to eat or drink straight away. And I didn’t want any of the fast food offerings either.

On my way down though glorious old streets with substantial houses, and tree lined streets, I soon came across an old college area with row upon row of frat houses, each of the same two storied frame (weatherboard) construction, with a sequence of oversized Greek letters on the front. It kept reminding me of the old National Lampoon move “Animal House”, and I thought that I saw the late John Belushi crawling out of the window more than once.

Following my nose, heading down to the north east, I was soon in the historic downtown area, where there were many shops lining the main street (King St), although being a Sunday. Most were shut, or only open after church in the afternoon. Heading further towards the waterfront park I had seen marked on the map, I moved through some rather uninspiring touristy market shops before finding myself on the waterfront where a small boardwalk led out into the bay over swampland, with ‘porch’ swings suspended along the length, all being well used by couples canoodling or not.

Out in the bay was the famous Fort Sumter, and a naval installation with an aircraft carrier and frigates across the bay. Along the waterfront, a good crushed gravel path provided a great surface for all the topless male joggers (it was a warm, humid day) to show themselves off, before the path changed to a standard concrete surface around the point of East Battery. A fine, small waterside park marked the end of the point, and the path continued around past many substantial four and five storied homes.

Bob rang to say that he was back from his ride, and we agreed to meet in town for a coffee. I only then remembered that I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink yet. About to meet Bob, I decided to hold on, although I was getting a bit thirsty as it was very humid.

The streets were being blocked off for the big Christmas parade to be be held early that afternoon. Lounge furniture and camping chairs were beginning to line the streets, and peanut sellers were hawking their wares along the roads where people were beginning to congregate. Bob had got caught in the

Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!


Where do I begin?

Bob and I are very happy to have stayed in Savannah for the Bridge Run - I was (almost) last, but feel as though I am really running when I get 10 miles 15 kms under my belt. Bob did blitz his opposition, and now we have the difficulty of deciding what to do with the glass framed poster of the run with a small plaque declaring him his age group winner (and, it should be noted by a proud wife, he would have also won the two age categories younger than him as well).

So, we packed the car and headed off to Charleston, South Carolina, further north along the Atlantic Coast. Checking into our hotel which we booked on the internet the night before, there was evidence of cyclists in the vicinity of the car park. At the elevators near our room, I asked two women wearing Cycle Georgia T-Shirts what it was all about; it turns out that we had landed smack bang near the end of the Festi-Velo (cool name), a three or four day Audex-style cycling event in Charleston.

We found our way to the JOE, a nearby baseball stadium and found the registration, meal tent and clusters of cyclists and masseurs. As Bob had his bike, which we shall need to pack soon, I encouraged him to see if he could join a ride for Sunday with others. I toyed with the idea of attempting to rent a bike, however I was extremely stiff after the run, and the knee propbably didn't appreciate my 55km cycle in Natchez as much as I did.

We ended up purchasing two wrist bands for late registration, which entitled us to meals (dinner that night, as well as breakfast and lunch), a tube of toothpaste (?), a toothbrush (??), a Christmas ornament (damn, more fragile glass stuff to carry and break), and (yet another) T-shirt. Twenty five bucks - a lot cheaper than our very ordinary plain tomato pasta dish last night in Savannah.

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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