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After having been largely blocked from posting on Blogger while in Vietnam (on a government provided ISP), I have now been advised that my blog is somewhat wierd, unable to accept comments, and been difficult to post to.

So, with no small degree of trepedation, I attempt, yet again to enter the blogosphere.

I have run a few times now; at Customs on Friday, at the BBQ Stakes on Wednesday and Lake Tuggeranong 6k Stakes this last Tuesday. A 72 hour lurgy wiped me out on Thursday/Friday/Saturday last week, but I did recover to head over to the Jogalong course on Sunday morning. I was very surprised at how few people I knew there - there seemed to be an intake of older women, and younger women (all good to see), but realatively few familiar faces. It was a long weekend though. An attempted walk on Monday was quickly aborted as the weather turned nasty, although I dusted off the Scooter again on Tuesday, this time to take the 30km trip down the Tuggeranong Parkway to the Lake Stakes 6k. Just clicking over the 200kms on the odometre indicating a running in period I was able to open up the throttle a little bit and was able to sit on (or just under - it is the speed limit!) 100km/hr when heading south on the Parkway. There must have been a prevailing wind, as I was somewhat slower returning (or is it uphill?), but still having no problems in cutting it with the flow of the traffic.

The hideously strong winds did not make the run at Tuggeranong any easier, and on the back of a surprsingly sub-six-minute paced Jogalong on Sunday, I tried to keep myself honest by selecting a handicap that would be 'challenging'. It certainly was. Once a month, this weekly handicap runs a loop of the lake in the opposite direction, and the headwinds at the start were draining and slowed me down to a snails pace. Being a loop course, it was far easier on the last stretch back to the start, however I had done my dash and waddled in a disappointing, but understandable 36:48 (6:08 pace).

The BBQ Stakes the next day should have been a cakewalk. The winds hadn't picked up, the skies were blue and clear and all seemed well with the world. Again, something wasn't quite right, and some medical problems started around the farthest point from the start finish, slowing me down and needing to assess whether to attempt to keep running/shuffling or to start walking. It was clear that I needed to get home as quickly as possible, and my lame attempt at running was going to be quicker than walking. There were no shortcuts.

Overtaking a man walking his two dogs on a short downhill stretch I was breathing a death rattle, but was pleased to pass someone. I was not so impressed when the uphill section was about to flatten out and the dog walker strolled past me walking so much faster than my 170 bpm heartrate would indicate.

I made it to the finish - understandably last - and without checking in (Friar indicated that he would take care of theat for me sensing my discomfort), and went straight to the scooter parked at the finish, threw on my helmet, and jacket, ignoring my pants, and raced (safely) home. Not much else was happening that day.

No running on Thursday, but I did get over to Customs this Friday (today). I was somewhat nervous after my episode on Wednesday, but found a place to park the bike at Regatta Point and navigated my way through the Floriade display to the start of the run. Having run off 3 minutes last time, I felt reasonably comfortable that my handicap was now 5 minutes. If I was running like I did a week before. I kept my fingers crossed.

At five minutes I headed off, not too worried that I was going way too fast on the longish downhill section. It got my legs rolling over and the uphills were coming soon. Somehow, I kept going, on my own the whole way, waiting for the guys coming up the rear to overtake me. On both the Floriade and regular Customs course, the last kilometre is the toughest, even though the moderate inclines are nothing compared to most runs. I knew that my surprisingly fast (still (just) sub 6-minute pace) was going to take a battering on the last incline and tried to keep the pace as fast as possible so that I had a chance of sweaking in under 30 minutes with the inevitable slow down at the end.

It was hard, but I managed to make it in 29:44 seconds. Whew! Not great, in fact slower than the pace I pulled out of the box at the Jogalong, but I was delighted nevertheless.

So, in summary my 'progression' and 'regression' since I returned has been:

26 Sept Customs 5k 32:38 6:28 163bpm
01 Oct BBQ Stakes 6k 36:55 6:08 161bpm
05 Oct Jogalong 6k 35:36(?) 5:56 164bpm
07 Oct Lake Stakes 6k 36:48 6:08 155bpm
08 Oct BBQ Stakes 6k
10 Oct Customs 5k 29:44 5:57 159bpm

Not a lot of running since our return to Australia, but a little bit nevertheless.

Onward and upward!

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