Monday, 31 December 2007

there is no distance that can hold us back

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, December 31, 2007 with 2 comments
Monday Monitor
My training progress
last week’s target: 94k
achieved: 72k
year total to date: 3,889k in 52 weeks
And adding today's 16k, 2007 total is 3,905k, up from 3,800 in 2006.
this week’s target: 80k
weight: 66kg ►◄
song of the week: “The New Year”, by Death Cab for Cutie, from "Atlanticism".

"So this is the new year.
And i don't feel any different.
The clanking of crystal
Explosions off in the distance.

"So this is the new year
And I have no resolutions
For self assigned penance
For problems with easy solutions

"So everybody put your best suit or dress on
Let's make believe that we are wealthy for just this once
Lighting firecrackers off on the front lawn
As thirty dialogs bleed into one

"I wish the world was flat like the old days
Then i could travel just by folding a map
No more airplanes, or speed trains, or freeways
There'd be no distance that could hold us back.

"There'd be no distance that could hold us back ".

Man Cold. So true.

It is important to get this message across to the female sex.

Summernats is coming. I think I will stay off the streets! Although,
"A Toyota! Race fast... safe car, a Toyota."

Sunday, 30 December 2007

"The mirror shows many things:

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, December 30, 2007 with No comments
... things that were, things that are, and some things... that have yet not come to pass".

The end of the year is the time both for looking back, and looking forward. There is still so much to achieve. The road is long.... We may not know the way.. but:

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future”

I have been watching "Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring", extended version. How good is the story? How good is the acting? How good is the music? It's all good!!!!!

Now is a good time for recreation and re-creation.

Some things change

Sadly Sonia departed in 2007 for Melbourne. Will we ever meet again? We'd better!

Some things stay the same
A Game - next in the series - submachine 3. This time we have a series of logic puzzles. (I didn't quite complete submachine 2 - I finished the game but I couldn't find one of the "secrets").

"Em, ‘tis I--visit me!"
I miss the training group, but it's only four days to the first track meet of the new year - a 3000m at 5:45pm and a 1500m at 6:20pm (I don't think I can manage both!), and only eight days until the next Parliament House session.

The theme for 2007 was: Three steps per second! What will the theme for 2008 be?

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Amen, Ewen, a new enema!

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, December 29, 2007 with 2 comments
How we trained at Stromlo this morning
We ran three of the one kilometre loops fast, with a jog in between. Katie and Ewen averaged sub fours; Ken averaged sub 3:40. I averaged 3:47, which is five seconds per km quicker than last time. All efforts were good because it was quite hot.

I can think of a couple of positives about training in the heat. One is that our summer races are scheduled for the hottest part of the afternoon so adaptation to hot conditions is important if you want to race well; another is that people who develop heat tolerance perform better over long races especially the marathon. And it's good discipline.

But make sure you have adequate fluid intake each day. You need more water than you think. And please ignore some of the poor advice around at the moment about hydration being over-rated.

Groovy Escher lego: New km circuit to suit Ken and me

I will run downhill all the way; Ken volunteers to do the reverse and run uphill.

Many of the speedygeese are on holidays, some down the coast with many other Canberrans, some visiting parents and other relatives around the country and around the world. Stay safe, and enjoy the jogging, swimming andopartying; and we will see you fresh and relaxed in the new year.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Watch This Space

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, December 28, 2007 with No comments
My New Year Resolutions for 2007 were to stretch, stretch, and stretch. Some progress has been made here. And I wanted to exceed 80km per week all 2007. Not achieved! And I wished to spend more quality time with my friends. Not achieved! And I was aiming for ten grandchildren by the end of the year. Achieved!

My New Year Resolution for 2008 is to establish one regular long run which may get extended every couple of weeks. And to enjoy my entry into the M60s by keeping my goals reasonably conservative.

My main targets are
23 March AMA 5,000m championships
08 April Canberra Marathon
18 May Canberra Half Marathon

How I plan to achieve these targets
I will do 3000m-type training with enough long runs to make the marathon achievable and bring it all together for a go at a fast half marathon in May. By 3000m training I mean anything up to 110km per week with one speed session of km intervals, one faster day of a short time trial or short (3000m) race, and one longer run.

What to do then
I have no idea. I will review progress and decide how serious I want to be for the rest of 2008. I will be licking my wounds, perhaps. Stay tuned. Watch this space. A DNA made Dee news we needed, Amanda.

Criminal mastermind
The December 14th issue of the Lewiston Tribune ran two substantial photos on the same page: in one, a husky man in a black-and-blue checkered coat is seen hanging Christmas decorations in a shop window. In the other, a surveillance camera shows a convenience-store customer's unattended wallet being swiped by . . . a husky man in a black-and-blue checkered coat. Local police noticed the similarities, and quickly arrested the hapless criminal mastermind for felony second-degree theft.

click to enlarge

Thursday, 27 December 2007

the spice of life.

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, December 27, 2007 with 1 comment

Thinking ahead to 2008. Routine should be one's servant not one's master. After all, variety is the spice of life. In music, in running, in family, in church, in coaching, there's nothing more boring than same old, same old. For example in music:

My best five albums new in 2007:
1. Who We Are - Lifehouse
2. Five Score and Seven Years Ago - Relient K
3. Albertine - Brooke Fraser
4. In Rainbows - Radiohead
5. Cities - Anberlin

In today's newspaper many agree with "In Rainbows" but almost all other albums listed I haven't heard. Yet.

Yesterday I dismantled the tuner/CD player/DVD-Video combo/TV/record player system that has lived in my lounge room for ever-so-many-years and replaced them with a simple TV/DVD combination. Then enjoyed watching the first part of Lord of the Rings again. For Christmas though I received a TV/DVD combo for my study, into which I will see if I can connect the old video player.

Red Rose, I take Katie's order.
Katie is joining me for training Saturday 9am Stromlo. Any other geese, regulars, ring-ins, lurkers, or shirkers are all welcome to join us. Training will be Km reps with warm-up, cool-down, and a longer run option. Bring a drink (it will be hot), a hat, and block-out. Fly spray advised but not essential. Bare feet a distinct possibility; I will compromise and wear my Nike Frees. That's this Saturday, 29th December.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

I hope you enjoyed your Christmas fun, fellowship and feasting. Fitness is back on the menu today. A good thing about this morning's run was (a) no traffic, and (b) a few fellow runners taking advantage of the fine cool morning to tour the Canberra streets.

The Christmas Carol poll was a convincing win for "good for about 2 weeks of the year". I thinks so too, though I can understand people having stronger feelings either way!

One year's progress?
Looking back - temporarily - I will end this year slightly slower and slightly heavier than last year, but having totalled a few more kms. And last year I was preparing to train at Aranda, where we had a small and faithful group doing speed work on Saturday mornings, whereas this year I am preparing to promote Stromlo, which promises to be the best training venue ever seen, whether for sprints, middle, or long distance running.

The green green grass of Stromlo

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Draw puts ruby, O Jesus selfless, use joy, burst upward

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, December 25, 2007 with No comments
Merry Christmas - courtesy of Langty. (Sound on!)

LEON NOEL was born on Christmas Eve in 1908 and became a child celebrity in his hometown of Valparaiso, Indiana. He was included in Robert L. Ripley's Ripley's Believe It or Not. Noel lived most of his life in St. Petersburg, Fla. He died in Largo, Fla., on Christmas Day 1999.

Here's another relevant-to-the-season Brooke Fraser song from Albertine:


There's distance in the air
And I cannot make it leave
I wave my arms `round about me
And blow with all my might

I cannot sense you close
Though I know you're always here
But the comfort of you near
Is what I long for

When I can't feel you
I have learned to reach out just the same
When I can't hear you
I know you still hear every word I pray
And I want you
More than I want to live another day
And as I wait for you
Maybe I'm made more faithful

All the folly of the past
Though I know it is undone
I still feel the guilty one
Still trying to make it right

So I whisper soft your name
And let it roll around my tongue
Knowing you're the only one who knows me
You know me

Show me how I should live this
Show me where I should walk
I count this world as loss to me
You are all I want
You are all I want

Walking by Faith makes so much more sense than living in fear and hopelessness.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Ma has a ham

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, December 24, 2007 with 4 comments
Monday Monitor
My training progress
last week’s target: 90k
achieved: 65k
year total to date: 3,819k in 51 weeks
this week’s target: 94k
weight: 66kg ►◄

song of the week: “C S Lewis Song’, by Brooke Fraser, from “Albertine”.

If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here
If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary,
then of course I'll feel nude when to where I'm destined I'm compared

Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me

Am I lost or just less found? On the straight or on the roundabout of the wrong way?
is this a soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?

'Cos my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
An avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become

For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath, so we better breathe it
And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know you
Hope is coming for me
Hope, He's coming

Despite completing seven training sessions last week, I managed only 65k. Something to do with heat early in the week and rain later. No Stromlo run last week but I intend running there again this Saturday. I will fit in as much running as possible, around festivities and parties, but I will have to do 94k to run off the food!

Last night, "Hogfather" part 1 was excellent. Nothing was left out! despite the flood of characters and sub-plots. I am so glad they ripped straight into it. I am looking forward to seeing the second half tonight.

Happy Christmas!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Won race, so loth to lose car now.

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, December 23, 2007 with No comments
(No significance except it's another PALINDROME)

Two-man Race

Peter and Roger vying for position on the start line

More Christmas (cracker) jokes
What’s furry and minty? A polo bear.

How do snowmen get around? They ride an icicle.

Who hides in the bakery at Christmas? A mince spy.

To supplement my daily dose of bananas for breakfast, and even with the Christmas feast yet to come, we have been eating loads of fresh raspberries every day for desert, grown just below our deck in the back yard. Raspberries are amazingly good for runners!

are playing New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia soon. IF they come to Australia it would be Sydney, February, and I would be there!

¿Do geese see God?

Let's hope so. At least one does.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Too fast it--it's a foot!

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, December 22, 2007 with No comments
More Christmas (cracker) jokes
What's white and goes up? A confused snowflake.

On which side do geese have the most feathers? The outside.

What do you call a woman who stands between two goal posts? Annette.

Tan geese line Nile, see gnat.

Thursday's track results:
2000m Steeple
M60 Geoff Barker 10:35 65.7%
W30 Jeni Greenland 9:16 69.0%

3000m Steeple
M50 Gary Bowen 13:22 70.6%

M50 Ken White 3:06.1
M45 Rod Lynch 3:10.4
M45 Mick Horan 3:25.7
W35 Emma Adams 3:31.7
M45 Roger Pilkington 3:32.5
M55 Neil Boden 3:41.9
W35 Bronwyn Calver 3:51.4
M60 Geoff Barker 4:52.8
W60 Margaret McSpadden 5:00.3
W30 Jeni Greenland (time not published)

"Marathons may cut traffic deaths"!

Friday, 21 December 2007

Red rummy geese see gym murder

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, December 21, 2007 with No comments
Christmas (cracker) jokes
Two snowmen are standing in a field. One says to the other: "Can you smell carrots?"

Two goldfish in a tank, one turns to the other and says "How do you drive this thing?"

Why did the cat in the desert think it was Christmas? He saw sandy claws.

Last night's track
I wasn't there! I was feeling stuffed (as a Christmas turkey). I went for a jog in the morning and was reduced to walk/shuffle, so I thought a rest in the afternoon was over-due. And there were things needing doing at home - like helping move the "new" fridge into its permanent location.

Canberra Marathon
Entry forms have arrived. You have only until 14 March, else it's late entries on the day at an increased charge. I will be entering. My plan is to target a sub 3:10. Although this far out, who knows? Lots of info on the website. The race itself is on 13 April.

A Game
The next in the series: Submachine 2 - The lighthouse. Great fun!

I think 2008 will be my year of the palindrome, as subheadings I guess. There are more palindromes than you can poke a stick at. Pity the year isn't labelled "2002". "Ken, I, Nyad, Rob, Al did Labor Day nine K". We have until "Labor Day" to recruit a "Nyad". The others we have.

Be 'green': one erg, E-B!

Speedyself, Rachelle E-B, and Colin Farlow in party mode.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Straw? No, too stupid a fad; I put soot on warts

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, December 20, 2007 with 4 comments

The World Masters Games to be held in Sydney from 10-18 October 2009, has an updated website where you can register your interest -

Running went on hold yesterday with the damp conditions. Today looks no better, it has evolved from damp to soggy. I still may go out, particularly if the cricket is washed out again. Pity about the washing on the line. We are not used to this!

Oh Holy Night
I like a few Christmas carols, and one of the very best is “Oh Holy Night”. But why does it attract some of the world's worst singers?

(I have heard worse)

Good weather for GEESE
Does anyone want to volunteer "geese" palindromes I can use as post titles in the next few days?

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Go hang a salami; I'm a lasagna hog!

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 with No comments
Thursday's Track Program
6:00 pm2km Low Steeplechase
6:15 pm3km High Steeplechase
6:35 pmLord Burley Hurdles
6:45 pm100m President’s Handicap (Heats)
7:00 pm10x100m Walk Relay
7:15 pmPresident’s Handicap (Final)/td>
7:20 pm1km Turkey Handicap
7:30 pm300m
7:50 pmParlauf Relay Free Format
8:20 pmTwosome 2k

Even pace

Ken will be trying to break the 5 minute 1500m barrier in the new year. Wanted - an 80 second per lap pacer!

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, December 18, 2007 with 1 comment
Tour de Mountain 19k Men
20 Mick Horan 1:40.42
25 Bob Harlow 1:43.46
34 Roger Pilkington 1:49.09
45 Geoff Barker 2:26.49
I cannot believe Geoff Barker took a wrong turn and ran 6 or 7k too far!

Tour de Mountain 19k Women
5 Emma Adams 1:42.58
7 Kelley Flood 1:46.04
10. Charlie McCormack 1:51.14
16. Caroline Campbell 2:16.41

Tour de Mountain 13.6k Women
7. Amanda Walker 1:27.34
8. Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee 1:27.34
I cannot believe Amanda and Rachelle breasted the finish line together and the win was given to Amanda!

You’d Better Watch Out
On the subject of Terry Pratchett (see Sunday's post), "Hogfather" is being shown on TV in Canberra. Part one is this Sunday night, 8:30pm. The novel, Pratchett's 20th, is a brilliant Christmas parody. Let's hope the film version doesn't suck.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Six geese a laying.

A major outbreak of bird flu occurred with the death of 178 geese in a province of China in late 2004. Migratory geese are blamed for spreading bird flu from China to other parts of the world. Meanwhile in Canberra, concerns have been raised about flocks of geese arriving at the grassy slopes of Parliament House. Authorities deny that there are health issues nor reason for alarm.

However, sources close to Parliament House, reveal that officials from the Department of Health have hidden tape recorders inside statues of lions and placed them at the entrance to the rose garden, hoping to detect the sound of any sniffles or sneezes being made by the group of geese. So far, the only sounds that can be heard on the tape are deep groaning, heavy breathing, and the shrill sound of a loud whistle. There is some debate as to why the whistling occurs every five minutes, and the unlikely suggestion that an extraterrestrial, or “ET”, was responsible was strongly denied.

A request to have the geese destroyed was refused, on the grounds that the request came from, and I quote, “a bunch of tossers”.

ACT Health has released a list of symptoms of bird flu. If you experience these symptoms, please seek medical treatment immediately:
1. High temperature
2. Difficulty breathing
3. Nausea
4. Fatigue
5. Aching in the joints , and
6. An irresistible urge to crap on someone's windshield.

Mr. Rudd is also getting involved in this serious issue. In a press conference at Parliament House today, Kevin Rudd announced an ambitious plan to slow the potential spread of bird flu by making birds obese.“Birds spread the flu by flying,” the Prime Minister told reporters. “So it stands to reason that if birds are too fat to fly, they can’t spread the flu.”The Prime Minister said that he personally developed the strategy for slowing the spread of the deadly flu after realising that “obesity is Australia’s secret weapon in the battle for global health.”

Happy birthday to Roger, 49 yesterday, Katie, 42 today, and Barbara, 59 in six days time. And Merry Christmas to everybody. No "how we trained" today. That's because 27 of us avoided Parliament House and had a Christmas dinner at Banana Leaf (Sri Lankan) restaurant instead. YUMM-O.

Monday, 17 December 2007

No trace; not one carton

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, December 17, 2007 with No comments
Monday Monitor
My training progress
last week’s target: 70k
achieved: 80k
year total to date: 3,754k in 50 weeks
this week’s target: 90k
weight: 66kg ►◄
song of the week: “Jigsaw Falling Into Place’, by Radiohead, from “In Rainbows”.

I will be training harder through this week, with two fast hit-outs only: BBQ Stakes on Wednesday, and Stromlo interval training continuing on Saturday. Today there will be only a long recovery run, as there is a group dinner tonight (*26 expected) instead of Parliament House intervals.

How many days until Christmas?
My Christmas countdown indicator is cunningly disguised as a poll. Future surveys will be shorter in duration, or it gets boring!


Sunday, 16 December 2007

Anne, I vote more cars race Rome to Vienna

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, December 16, 2007 with 1 comment
I am developing an interest in palindromes. More to come. Any "geese" ones out there? "Geese" should be an easy word to reverse in a sentence...

Keep taking the dried frog pills
My all time favorite author by far, Terry Pratchett, has been diagnosed with a very rare form of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. A side-effect of a stroke he had two or three years back. Terry is my age, my birhday is six days after his. Among my favourite novels of his are "Pyramids", "Thief of Time", "Jingo", "Small Gods", "Last Continent", "Going Postal", "Weird Sisters", but they are all brilliant. For a full list see

"I remember yesterday. But the memory is in my head now. Was yesterday real? Or is it only the memory that is real? Truly, yesterday I was not born." - Terry Pratchett, "Thief of Time"

I was reminded this week how weird it was coming out of general anaesthetic once; losing that time felt like I was no longer me. It shook me badly. I thought: a sense of continuity is crucial to my sense of identity.

The nature of time is another of my interests.

Interesting Times
At last, real signs of improvement - my Stromlo kilometre intervals yesterday averaged ten seconds faster than last week's - down from a 4:02 average to a 3:52 average. My legs actually felt strong for 200-300m of each km. Haven't felt like that for a while, it's a feeling I'd LIKE to be continuous through the whole km.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Sums are not set as a test on Erasmus

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, December 15, 2007 with No comments
Thursday Track Results

M45 Colin Farlow 62.44 77.2%
M55 Geoff Sims 64.75 81.1

M45 Mick Horan 4:45.36 82.9%
M45 Colin Farlow 4:45.38 81.4
M50 Ken White 5:04.93 81.8
W35 Emma Adams 5:13.37 77.0
M50 Gary Bowen 5:20.85 75.1
W40 Katie Forestier 5:35.70 74.0
M55 Neil Boden 5:55.43 72.0
W35 Bronwyn Calver 6:11.99 64.9

M45 Richard Faulks 11:22.93 72.5%
M55 Geoff Moore 11:50.28 76.4
M45 Roger Pilkington 12:04.95 68.3
M50 Ewen Thompson 12:15.43 68.4
W40 Amanda Walker 12:54.57 67.8
W35 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee 12:54.68 65.6
W35 Bronwyn Calver 13:10.45 65.4
M55 Geoff Sims 13:21.46 67.7
W55 Kathy Sims 14:06.15 75.2
M60 Geoff Barker 14:08.50 66.2
M65 Tony Booth 15:25.30 64.2

Spiral 8
2 Katie Forestier W40 14:20
3 Geoff Barker M60 16:59
7 Geoff Moore M55 14:23
9 Gary Bowen M50 13:48
15 Roger Pilkington M45 13:49
16 Margaret McSpadden W60 18:07
17 Neil Boden M55 15:19
18 Tony Booth M65 16:46
20 Bronwyn Calver W35 15:39
22 Kathy Sims W55 16:36

Great pbs from Emma, Rachelle, and of course Bronwyn; I was pleased with my even splits of 3:55. 3:59, 3:56 in the 3000m. The 1500m runners would go even faster if they could master even splits! Gary is hitting form very fast. In fact all the runners are firing. The training must be working.

Christmas is coming; the geese are getting FIT!

Friday, 14 December 2007

Beauty Rich and Rare

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, December 14, 2007 with No comments

Last night's track saw all the speedygeese do well. Amongst the best was Bronwyn with three pb's - a 22 second 3000m pb closely followed by a 1500m which was a one second pb, then the spiral 8 lapper where she improved about 30 seconds. Full results soon!

Approximate 1500m lap splits
Name400 mark800 mark1200 mark1500 finish
Great times! And a strong opposing wind in the home straight, too

Please recover
But recovery isn't sitting around twiddling your thumbs, still get out and RUN! Just not at race pace, that's all.

The next GM 3000m races are on Jan 3 and Jan 10. That's right, even the combined meetings will feature them. Don't forget to come early, they start at 5:45pm ACT Athletics time, and you will have to check in early, and organise race numbers like this year, I imagine. Guess what, they are combined with the walk! What fun. What chaos that is going to be.

Tuesday’s Science & Technology Centre (1.8k) relay: over 200 participants.
38. Mick Horan M45 6:09
50. Richard Faulks M45 6:19
108. Peter McDonald M50 7:13
112. Maria O'Reilly W50 7:17
116. Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee W35 7:20
132. Neil Boden M55 7:36
179. Barbara Tucker W55 9:04
183. Margaret McSpadden W60 9:20

Zatopek result
Scott McTaggart ran 9.05.44 for 3000m steeplechase, annihilating the ACT & Australian M30 records.

A game to go on with while we are waiting for the official track times (I still don't know mine!): Submachine Zero

Thursday, 13 December 2007

The Risk of Over-Racing

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, December 13, 2007 with 1 comment
There is an enormous selection of races on offer in the ACT. If you are not careful you can be lured into running too many of them.

The risk of over-racing is very simply
So how much racing is too much?

The rule of thumb for recovery AFTER a flat out race is: No RACING or SPRINT TRAINING for the SAME NUMBER OF DAYS after a race, as MILES of the race.

So if you race a hard 25k for example, you should not try to run very fast for FIFTEEN DAYS AFTERWARDS. It takes that long to recover back to where you were, assuming you keep on training without the full on speed.

Please review your recent races and tell me if you have allowed yourself that recovery time????

A sensible person would plan ahead - so, HAVE a plan! which allows those recovery days. e.g. if you were to plan to run a half marathon, you would plan no more important races for two more weeks. etc. The two weeks is a minimum!!!!!! I try to allow a bit more for my aging body!

If you can control your pace, and only if, then by all means go in races in between, but don’t run them flat out. Call them “easy races” or better still “tempo runs”. We used to call them “time trials” where we were trying for a time and practising other skills like sitting/surging/relaxing etc etc. Or running even pace, or a negative split. Like my “slow” 10k the other day at the track: it was exactly that: a paced run at a pre-determined slower than racing speed. My Wednesday BBQ Stakes runs are often time trials, and I don’t just wait until I get there and see how I feel, I have it all planned out in advance, because otherwise I would tend to over-do it.

But if you can’t hold back, don’t go in intermediate races at all. And if you have a choice of races, choose the shortest ones, thus allowing you to race more often!

I will repeat that. Race short races in preference to long, simply because short races require less recovery time, and are just as good a test of fitness.

Remember that half of training is REST. Possibly the more important half: the half when the strength is built back into the system.

Do you stick to a sensible plan, or are a chronic over-racer? Some members of my training group ARE over-racing. They will surely pay for it!

Amanda's Birthday

Here is Amanda opening a present. It's a Garmin!
W40s are faster than W35s. It's a known fact. And they have better toys.
Photo by Jenny. Click on it for the full effect, and to read the writing!

On over-racing: some of us race "everything" at Vets track. If you run two or three races at Vets on a Thursday night, that's quite OK. Just add the distances and allow an appropriate recovery based on the total.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007


Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 with 3 comments
Who won the 1000m speed skating final at the 2002 winter Olympics?

I NEVER get tired of watching this video!

(Despite the American commentator on this version.)

Steve's win (also mentioned in and in reminds me of Spike Jones' frenetic hit single, from 1948 my year of birth! The lyrics are:

"It's a beautiful day for the race. Stu Chan is the favourite today, Assault is in there, Dog Bisquit is three to one, Safety Pin has been scratched, and at twenty to one: Feitlebaum. Now the horses are approaching the starting gate, and eh, THERE THEY GOOOOOO!

"And it's Stu Chan going to the front, Cabbage is second on the rail, Beautiful Linda is third by a length, and Feitlebaum. Around the first turn Stu Chan is still in front, Cabbage is second by a head (Cabbage by a head!), Beautiful Linda is third and Feitlebaum. Into the back stretch, Dog Bisquit is now leading the pack, Lady Avalon is second, very close. Banana is coming up through the bunch (Banana coming up through the bunch!) and Feitlebaum. At the half Stu Chan still out in the front, Apartment House is second with plenty of room, Assault is passing Battery (Assault and Battery!), Notary's Old Jack is fourth, and in last place by ten lengths I believe it is, yes, it is Feitlebaum. Around the turn, heading for home, it's Stu Chan and Dog Bisquit and Girdle in the stretch. Flying Sylvester is third and Mother-In-Law nagging in the rear (Oh! Oh! Oh!). And now they come down to the wire, and it's number one and now number two and it's very close, it'll either be a photo finish or an oil painting, and now Louis speaks with the left, and Louis is in there, slugging, and it's a battle, and now they are tearing hair, there's hair all over the ring, there's hair all over the place, I don't know whose hair it is. It's mine! AND THERE GOES THE WINNERRRRRRRRR! Feitlebaum."

I used to play the 78 on a record player at home.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

I get knocked down, but I get up again

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 with 1 comment
Last night, at the last Parliament House session until 7 January, Amanda, Barbara, Bronwyn, Christopher, Ewen, Gary, me, Jodie, Joel, Kathy, Katie, Ken, Margaret, Maria, Mick, Neil, Peter, Rachelle and Yelena enjoyed 6x660 on 5 minutes in not too hot conditions. We found out that there are four more birthdays coming up soon: Roger, Katie, Barbara and Jodie, to make (at least) eight in the training group this month.

Sunday's Black Mountain Challenge (5k) result for the Speedygeese:
21. Richard Faulks M45 22:22
34. Emma Adams W35 24:35
39. Mick Horan M45 25:29
45. Roger Pilkington M45 26:20
51. Kelley Flood W45 26:38
55. David Webster M55 27:10
62. Amanda Walker W40 28:11
80. Geoff Barker M60 29:40
85. Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee W35 30:02
92. Mick Charlton M55 31:09

Note Emma's brilliant run. Note the age-group next to Amanda's name.

Friend-of-the-geese Scott McTaggart won the race outright by a minute in 18.07. Good luck Scott in the Steeplechase event at Zatopek. The ACT M30 3000m steeple record is 10.17. Ha ha. The Australian record is 10.05. Bye bye Australian record. It will be sss-mashed. I should add that many of the M30 records are very soft, compared with the older age groups. Scott will start changing that.

Track program this Thursday night at Vets
6.00 1500m Walk (PH)
6.15 Sprint Hurdles (B)
6.25 3000m (GM)
6.45 60m
7.00 1500m
7.30 400m
7.50 4x100m Relay, 2x200m Relay
8.00 Spiral 8

Photogenic Mick, "Smiling".

At Honeysuckle Creek. You wouldn't know, except by the look on the faces in the background, he'd got down on his face after finishing the deep space race, them sprang back up again before our very speedy photographer John Kennedy could snap him in the dirt.

Monday, 10 December 2007


Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, December 10, 2007 with 1 comment

My training progress
last week’s target: 70k
achieved: 87k
year total to date: 3,674k in 49 weeks
this week’s target: 70k
weight: 66kg ▼
song of the week: “Unforgetful You”, by Jars of Clay, from "If I Left the Zoo”.
"You never minded calling me a child
Well, i guess that's how i acted all the while
But you live through every tantrum
You see through every lie
Though they seem to be more common
I just wanted to know why".

My targets for 2008.
The following races are penciled in as "flat-out":
03 January 3000m track
10 January 3000m track
17 January 3000m track
23 January BBQ Stakes 6k
27 January Campbell Park 3k
31 January 3000m track
07 February 3000m track
12 February 5k Stromlo
14 February 3000m track
21 February 10,000m track (first important race)
28 February 3000m track
04 March Molonglo Reach 6k
13 March 5000m ACTVAC championships
21 March 10,000m AMA championships
23 March 5000m AMA championships
08 April Canberra Marathon (not too fast!)
18 May Canberra Half Marathon (first M60 race)

If I keep to the plan, anything else I run up to 18 May would at best be a "tempo run".

Training sessions at Parliament House December/January.
10 December a repeat of last week's session
17 December no training, group dinner
24 December no training, Christmas Eve!
31 December no training, New Years Eve!
7 January start of 4-5 weeks of anaerobic training: I have mapped all training sessions I expect to be conducting in 2008, and the only anaerobic work scheduled for Parliament House during the year will be in January through to mid February.

Training sessions at Stromlo Forest Park
, Saturday mornings, 9am.
This is the perfect venue for a range of interval training sessions, and the perfect surface for minimising injury while developing speed and strength.
15 December 3x1k
22 December 3x1k
29 December 3x1k
5 January 3x1k
12 January 3x1k and so on into mid February.
As perfect as the venue is, I still have a wish list: It would be nice to have some trees/shade, none of those pesky flies, an underpass to the grass circuit so we don't get collected by cyclists, and a hitching rail or at least a seat for hamstring stretches.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Well Trained

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, December 09, 2007 with No comments
Happy birthday Amanda 40 today.
Happy Birthday Yelena 26 today.

Last night Jenny and I joined in the celebrations of Amanda's 40th birthday at Maria & Peter's house. A day early, but we did stay until midnight. I think we did, it's all a bit hazy. A few friends and a few relatives enjoyed the occasion. A balmy night, it is good of Amanda to have been born in summer.

Yesterday I trained at Stromlo for the first time. John Kennedy pushed me along in 3 x 1k reps, and Diana was also there, also Bruce and Carol not far away, and intermittently a crowd of elites flew past: Marty, Anthony, Adam among them. I was pleased to run 4:05, 4:00, 4:00 for the three intervals. I wore my Nike Frees for the first time in not-slow running and if I recover OK the plan is eventaully to revert to bare feet. It is 42 years since I regularly ran bare-footed!

I also ran bare-topped, it was so sultry. I suppose that's a longer term option out there too.

By the way, John's times were way faster than mine.

An old favourite with a new caption

This is how it feels to be sharing the running track with a large company of elite runners in the vicinity. Who could gobble you up in an instant. The runners, like the dogs here, are well trained!

Saturday, 8 December 2007

The Power of the Honk

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, December 08, 2007 with 2 comments
In the good old days when I used to visit Portsea, I was a teenager then but now I am not, all that is left is a very good memory, Percy Cerutty used to provoke us to “soar like an eagle”. But now-days I think that eagles are over-rated. OK, you get the odd eagle who can over-come all odds and do something extra-ordinary, and one day I shall wax lyrical on how inspiring they can be, but eagles with all their magnificent qualities tend to be loners: they are up there soaring majestically alone. Going solo.

Rather than focusing on the undoubtedly tremendous insights our life might gain were we to live, fly and soar like an eagle; the metaphor which means much more to me, the bird I can really identify with, is the goose.

For a start, look at all those goosy sayings. The ones about being silly; or about scaring (saying “boo”), or the ones about laying golden eggs. It appears that geese are as active as eagles, but are not very bright. That’s me, down to a tee. I am not very bright but I waddle around making a fool of myself, happily ignorant of the fact.

Where we really differ, we geese, from eagles, is that eagles soar alone. Eagles don’t form clubs. We geese club together and help each other out. If you see yourself as an eagle, sure, go ahead, soar alone. There are a few such isolated cases (pun intended). We read about the eagles in the back pages of our newspaper. Sometimes eagles succeed, and when they do they succeed splendidly. Sometimes eagles fail, and then they fail with a great crash. You know who I’m talking about.

But if you are like me and are a goose and not an eagle, you just might find it of value to team up with the rest of us gooses and get some mutual encouragement and support. My motto is “Fly Like a Goose”.

Watching geese from the ground is a poetic, even mystical experience, they look to be flying easily and effortlessly in their V formation, they look serene, it looks very peaceful. Like the grace of a top runner in full flight, at top speed they seem to just flow without effort. But, if you were up in the flock you would find it very, very different. What would instantly startle you would be the noise the geese were making. The geese aren’t just gliding along silently; they are constantly making a loud, raucous racket, honking to one another.

These honks are simply for one purpose: they are creating an environment where every goose is being continually encouraged and supported by the other geese to do their best, to keep in formation, to succeed in their goals of speed and endurance and form. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were also being encouraged to maintain three wing-flaps per second! (training group in-joke, sorry). But just the noise, the sounds, of honking, serve as sufficient reminder to continue and persist and endure and focus.

This has been a very long explanation of why, at the track, among the old clichés of “looking good” and “just one lap to go”, you might just occasionally hear, if you listen very carefully indeed, the cry of “honk honk”. It doesn’t mean “Pull over, I am passing”. It means “Go Go Speedy Geese”.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Still hanging in

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, December 07, 2007 with No comments
Happy Birthday Rod Lynch 48 today
Happy Birthday Joel Pearson 24 today.

Last night was my first "successful" 10k for a while, i.e. I finished. The time was OK, the relative splits good - each of the first nine kms was around 4:20, and the tenth around 4:10. And neither hamstring hurt, despite it being my third day in a row of quicker running. I am very very happy to have no niggles. It is great when you don't feel injured! So I will train on, taking it a bit easier for a while, including a few intervals at Stromlo tomorrow morning for the first time.

Last night's Vets track results
M45 Rod Lynch 10:55.38 74.9%
M50 Gary Bowen 11:54.41 70.4
M55 Neil Boden 13:09.62 67.5
M45 Roger Pilkington 13:51.50 59.5
M60 Geoff Barker 14:49.77 63.1

M45 Colin Farlow 38:51.50 75.1%
M55 Geoff Moore 43:14.88 75.1
M45 Roger Pilkington 43:50.34 67.6
W40 Katie Forestier 44:50.10 69.8
M50 Ewen Thompson 44:54.57 67.0
M50 Gary Bowen 47:00.71 64.0
M60 Geoff Barker 53:01.49 63.4
W60 Margaret McSpadden 56:09.54 70.1

Higgins 800m results - Colin in another excellent run was a close second behind John Lamb; Ken was well up in third place.

2Colin Farlow M453.221.092.1384.4%
3Ken White M503.281.052.2384.1
7Gary Bowen M503.371.052.3276.5
9Rod Lynch M453.431.092.3473.6
12Katie Forestier W403.481.042.4471.7
15Emma Adams W353.521.102.4270.6
17Tony Booth M653.590.513.0872.9
18Kathy Sims W554.010.443.1769.8
20Neil Boden M554.141.023.1264.2
26Roger Pilkington M451.091.023.3952.2
28Geoff Barker M605.040.584.0652.5

I usually don't mention the 200m, but this result is worth noting:
W35 Emma Adams 31.21 70.6%

Prince Caspian Official Trailer

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Track Ten Tonight

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, December 06, 2007 with 2 comments
The Track 10k is looming - it's tonight! I might jog it if I feel like it!

Now where have I seen that singlet before?
If you thought our Kelley is the only one who wears a PCRG uniform day and night, there are others! Check out the photo in Clairie’s blog, baby and all! Leave a comment while you're there!

Wednesday’s BBQ Stakes 6k times: me 27.03, Roger 30.31, Helen 30.42, and those two DID run together this time.

Tuesday’s Spring Series #5 Stromlo 5k
[Edit Friday 7 Dec - Corrected Results]
32. Richard Faulks M45 19:10
56. Ewen Thompson M50 20:54
61. Geoff Moore M55 21:17
89. Neil Boden M55 23:47
102. Rae Palmer W60 26:00
104. Geoff Barker M60 26:44
107. Lisa Wilson W40 27:38
112. Caroline Campbell W65 28:53
113. Margaret McSpadden W60 29:01

Ewen at Innabaanya with his winner's medal

Ewen won the November Vets Handicap at Innabaanya, jogging. After showing subsequent form over 5k, he is now the hot favourite to win the next two or three Veterans Handicaps as well, setting a record for successive wins. Shhhh, don't tell the new handicapper, speedygoose Alan Duus. Photo by... yes you guessed it... Kelley.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Reyne down, reyne down

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, December 05, 2007 with 3 comments
Ewen's outstanding performance
Last night at the Stromlo 5k, Ewen exceeded all (his) expectations by breaking the 21 minute barrier. A 20.54 for the 5k, with a small negative split, had him saying "I cannot believe it" several times after the run. Well done Ewen! I am sure he will post something soon on his blog. Despite all the rain, the surface was firm and fast. This is a great venue!

67km per week
I said yesterday I should try to end up with a 2007 average number of kilometres per week higher than my weight in kilograms. I am currently weighing in at an exceedingly high 67 kg, so how many more km do I need this year to exceed 67 per week average? The total would have to be 3494km or more. And I have already run 3615km up to Tuesday, so I could stop now!? Except, no more upward arrows allowed (frown).

2007 v 2006
My other target is to exceed 2006’s total of 3803k which gives me only 26 days to run 189km. I should just scrape it in by Christmas!

Speedygeese at Sunday’s Jogalong
Helen Larmour W45 26:31
Sonia Veldhoven W30 28:03
Amanda Walker W35 28:10
Barbara Tucker W55 32:49
Lisa Wilson W40 34:00
Margaret McSpadden W60 34:42

James Reyne / Australian Crawl's classic song is featured on a new post by Scott - visit him, have a listen, make a comment.

Bronze medallist

speedy goose Geoff Barker racing at Honeysuckle Creek on Sunday. Photo by John Kennedy.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

km > kg?

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, December 04, 2007 with 1 comment
I agree with Ewen; if my weight keeps rising, my goal should be to keep my weekly distance (kilometres) higher than my weight (kilograms). This might have to be my new year resolution, as this year the two have been converging. In fact I might be deluding myself: if I end up averaging 65km per week, say, in 2007, I will have to pass on Christmas turkey etc to drop 2 kilos off my weight by year's end. The only satisfactory answer is to run more km: I will report tomorrow how many I need!! Then do it!!! There's no escaping the Christmas feasting.

New - A Christmas Poll.
I have added a poll to this blog, just to see how polling works. It could end up being quite a useful feature!

Monday night training
Wet and thundery, the weather didn't deter sixteen of us from training at Parliament House, and curtailing the cool-down to share farewell champagne with Sonia. There had better be a welcoming training group near Heidelberg she can join, or else she will just have to return to Canberra! Doing six reps in thirty minutes of a longish loop including three up-hills, were Alan, Amanda, Emma, Ewen, me, Helen, Joel, Kathy, Katie, Ken, Margaret, Maria, Neil, Peter, Sonia, and Yelena. We wished Joel a happy 24th birthday for Friday, Jelena a happy 26th for Sunday, and Amanda a happy 40th for Sunday. The only regulars missing had run in "deep space" the day before. Thank you Sonia for the champagne, the lovely home made almond bread (which Jenny and I sampled last night with rock melon and caramel topping), and most of all for just being you.

Deep Space Mountain Marathon
Honeysuckle Creek ACT

5 Geoff Barker M60 2.02.18

8 Kelley Flood W45 2.40.48
9 Mick Horan M45 2.51.38
10 Roger Pilkington M45 2.55.59

Track Timetable for this Thursday night
6.00pm 1200/2000m Walk (PH)
6.20pm 3000m (GM)
6.40pm 100m (Daniels),100m (scratch)
7.00pm 800m Higgins Handicap (& Pennington)
7.30pm 200m
7.45pm 10,000m
plus the usual assortment of field events.

Sonia, Amanda, and Peter

Sonia is about to depart for Melbourne. Amanda is about to join the W40s, boosting the prospect of more Australian relay records. Peter is training particularly well at present, his form up the hills on Monday was outstanding. Photo by Kelley.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Golden Kelley

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, December 03, 2007 with 1 comment
Carrying over her Australian relay record form from Thursday, Kelley was the fastest female in the 25k event at the "Deep Space Mountain Marathon" at Honeysuckle Creek this weekend. [So I suppose a few short hills in tonight's training at Parliament House will not hurt?]

And Geoff Barker ran third in the 18k. Well done speedy geese!

Monday Monitor
My training progress
last week’s target: 84k
achieved: 72k
year total to date: 3,587k in 48 weeks
this week’s target: 70k
weight: 67kg ▲
song of the week: “Transatlanticism”, by Death Cab for Cutie, from the "Transatlanticism" album. "I need you so much closer".

I was going OK last week until my lower back seized up on Saturday. Really badly this time. The common connection with that and other recent back soreness is ... my Friday swim. So that's it, no more swimming.

Stromlo Cross Country

Here is a group of us running on the mown grass at Stromlo last month. The Spring Series race is there tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6pm, then from Saturday this week I will be training there with anyone who wants to come along. I will arrive at 9am. I hope to establish a regular Saturday morning training session there, right through summer at least.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Beyond Words

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, December 02, 2007 with No comments
At today's Jogalong Helen ran a near pb of 26.31, in humid conditions, and Sonia and Amanda were also very quick with 28.03 and 28.10

My Best Songs Ever Playlist as 2007 draws to a close
1 Broken - Lifehouse - Who We Are
2 Run - Snow Patrol - Final Straw
3 [*Fin] - Anberlin - Cities
4 Transatlanticism - Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism
5 Death Bed - Relient K - Five Score and Seven Years Ago
6 Chocolate - Snow Patrol - Final Straw
7 You're All I Have - Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
8 United States - The Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist
9 Make This Go On Forever - Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
10 It's Beginning to Get to Me - Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
11 Gleaming Auction - Snow Patrol - Final Straw
12 Open Your Eyes - Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
13 Expo '86 - Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism
14 Headlights on Dark Roads - Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
15 Easier To Be - Lifehouse - Who We Are
16 Waste Another Day - Brooke Fraser - What To Do With Daylight
17 Devastation and Reform - Relient K - Five Score and Seven Years Ago
18 Shut Your Eyes - Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
19 Company Calls Epilogue - Death Cab for Cutie - We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes
20 Storm - Lifehouse - Who We Are

The words are as important as the sounds.
The sounds are as important as the words.

Running writer Karmin for whom I have the highest respect, regard, and appreciation beyond words, introduced me to no less than three of the seven artists represented above. There was already synchronicity with Lifehouse: Jason Wade rocks. Significantly, although not represented in a list of just twenty, Coldplay too. When WILL their new project come to light? Thanks again Karmin: Snow Patrol; DCfC; Anberlin were the ones. I have been a huge fan since 1958 of the best music I could find, and it is still getting better.

Old favourites I have been listening to: Pink Floyd (On the Turning Away), Sting (Walking on the Moon), Dire Straits (Brothers in Arms), and Radiohead (Paranoid Android).

This is the hilariously funny official video clip for Paranoid Android; still one of my all time favourite songs after all these years. The video - be warned – is for mature audiences, although not (quite) X rated. And if the sights are as important as the sounds and the words, as they seem to be these days, this must rate as the best of the best.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Open up the Heavens

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, December 01, 2007 with 2 comments
54mm of rain fell in our back yard overnight, making total rainfall for the month twice the Canberra average for November. And now on 1 December, the heavy rain has resumed mid-morning. About time!!! Here's the radar at the storm's peak last night, with Holt right in the middle of it:

Thursday results

4x1500m Relay
W40 Australian Record 23:05.23
Charlie McCormack 5.39
Kelley Flood 6.06
Helen Larmour 5.45
Katie Forestier 5.34

Other Speedygeese in 4x1500m relay teams:
Neil Boden 6.23
Bronwyn Calver 6.16
Kathy Sims 6:48
Maureen Rossiter 7:23
Colin Farlow 4.41
Mick Horan 4.59
Roger Pilkington 5.37
Ken White 5.08
Gary Bowen 5.22

Medley Relay (200, 200, 400, 800)
Ken White, Mick Horan, Roger Pilkington & Bronwyn Calver were all in a team which ran 4:44.75

Helen Larmour, Kelley Flood, Charlie McCormack, and Katie Forestier decided to celebrate their Australian record by running together in the medley, and ran a time of 5:29.59

Gary Bowen was in a team which ran 4:16.43

spiral 7
4 Bronwyn Calver W35 13:16
6 Kathy Sims W55 14:02
8 Roger Pilkington M45 12:11
9 Margaret McSpadden W60 15:52
11 Adam Robinson M30 13:20
21 Gary Bowen M50 12:22
26 Neil Boden M55 13:38
28 Geoff Moore M55 13:11
30 Geoff Barker M60 16:03

Another Innabaanya Moment

Gorgeous Katie and a selection of her adoring fans. Click to enlarge if you dare. Photo by superstar Kelley.