Friday, 29 February 2008


Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, February 29, 2008 with 3 comments
Last night was a night of miscellaneous handicaps and award events before the 800m and 1500m championships in a week's time (Friday night & Saturday respectively) and the 5000m championship in two weeks time along with end-of-season presentations.

The 3000m highlight was a pb by the much improved Rachelle, who finished second in the Moore series as a result.

M50 Ewen Thompson 11:58.44 70.0% fastest goose!
W40 Amanda Walker 12:42.58 68.8
W35 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee 12:49.54 66.1 pb!
M45 Roger Pilkington 12:52.10 64.6
W35 Bronwyn Calver 13:16.24 64.9
M65 Tony Booth 15:23.68 64.4

The Pennington 1500m handicap had some good performances, not least Ken running ~5:06 - most consistent that man - and Kevin improving yet again to ~5:10 - good for an M60!

It turned bitterly cold after the Pennington. Not quite as cold as this though!

In the cold wind, and a small field, Roger dropped into top gear for the 8 lap spiral. I suppose he may have won the series. I didn't notice him running flat out in every race this year though. On the other hand, he did run a few marathons through summer as well! The Adler results will come out Sunday afternoon.

Stromlo this Saturday
There are two more Stromlo Saturday sessions before winter training starts. Saturday 1 March and Saturday 15 March, both at 7:30am. (8 March is the 1500m at Bruce as well as the World Cross Country selection trials at Stromlo; 22 March is Easter; and 29 March is the start of Cross Country Club's winter series)

I wonder if this is as painful as men's nipple chafing? I think she will have been sore afterwards? The hot shower is the killer.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Splash 'n Run

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, February 28, 2008 with 2 comments


How fast should we be doing our long runs? According to Marius Bakken, "The Kenyan secret comes from years of training at the right intensity – and a few years with harder track work." And the "right intensity" is very very fast very very long running. See the article here.

So: wind back the clock and run long, long, long when you were a teenager.

Sadly clocks race forwards, faster as the years progress
Animated Gifs Take 3
I was wrong. Google Docs for uploading animated gifs does work after all - or it does if you can still see a counter madly counting, above. Simply use "upload" - "photos" - I was using upload documents, wrong! (Thanks, LL)

This week is the first time I remember having DOMS, I was very sore a couple of days after the 10k, but have no injuries! I feel great now, but will have another week's rest from racing to get me back to normal. But no rest from training. So when I read on other blogs about DOMS, now I know it's real! It's no fun being sore, and it certainly makes one think twice about whether long runs should still be fast, if they might mean having to reduce pace drastically for days afterwards, and having to miss targeted races.

Where's the Fun in That?
Etiquette #2: "* Don't run through puddles splashing other runners, unless you want to be chased and dunked." I fail badly on that one! Don't I, Jeni, Rachelle? But running should fun. It is specially fun when you don't have to run seriously full throttle all the time.

Steeplechasers have been known to splash and run.
This too looks like fun, pity you have to work so hard to achieve it. Or maybe that's the point?

Keep on running and one day you too will make a splash!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Wheeze Police

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 with 4 comments
Animated gifs re-visited
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In a previous post I explained how to get animated gifs into posts, since the way blogger does it causes animation to be lost. But recently the method stopped working; without knowing why, I guess that gif files have been removed from google documents, as they were never meant to be there in the first place. So we cannot use that loophole any more. Edit - yes we can. See revised "previous post" and tomorrow's post too. At least I have found an alternative, though, read on.

My new solution is to use "tinypic". This method is even easier, and isn't cheating! AND should keep working. If there is an armidillo (above), it is still working!

Thursday track program.
6.00 1500m walk (PH)
6.15 3000m (GM)
6.25 200m (D), 200m Scratch
7.00 1500m (P)
7.20 100m
7.40 400m
8.00 Spiral 8

Weston Creek Half Marathon.
On-line entries for the Weston Creek Half Marathon close 5 March here (or by snail mail, 3 March). There is a brand new course, in particular the start/finish has been changed to Black Mountain Peninsula. Edit - I called this a "Fun Run" before, sorry, no way! And I plan to run it as a tempo run; but if Jeni/Rachelle are running as a team I will be very tempted to try and beat them, so it won't be no tempo run!

The wheeze police are active this month. I came across "etiquette for runners" dated 2000! One entry: * Groaning, grunting, wheezing and otherwise broadcasting your discomfort are not considered to be in good taste. Slow down if you must, but don't make the rest of us miserable listening to you. O.M.G. what a nerve! Shuffle along in your comfort zone if you must, but keep your grumbles to yourself! I thought to search on "running etiquette" when a couple of oldies called me "Sharapova" and laughed at me for making a (low pitched!) groan as I tried to mobilise the body into a run yesterday. And they were walking! Then I saw on the news the young tennis player banned for her noises as she hit the ball. Look, if you're quiet, you're NOT TRYING. As a coach, I want to HEAR your effort. WAKE up, RELAX the vocal chords, and GO! LOUDER!

There are over 20 rules in the etiquette document, but they are missing some obvious ones. Like

* Do not stagger to the finish line at the end of races, particularly marathons. This is seen as being critical of the race organiser and course designer. Instead, run smoothly to the finish, graciously accept the finisher's medal, and trot acros s to the race director and cheerfully thank him for his efforts.

* Likewise, do not show off at the end of a race. Cartwheels and hand-stands across the finish line are specially inconsiderate, as other runners may not have the same skills as you at performing these exercises, and you don't want to give the appearance that you think too highly of yourself .

Or how about

* Never blog. This is the height of poor taste. Displaying for the world to see your inadequate and humilating attempts to write demonstrates your very poor understanding of how you relate to the world around you. Worse yet is when you list your race results and personal bests, as this shows an underdeveloped sense of security as you seek for greater recognition, and an over-developed ego as you think you deserve such recognition.

* If you must blog, never, never, criticise and satirise highly respected running organisations, even when they publish crap**.

**I am sure the website "etiquette" came from is otherwise of the highest quality.

The thought to take with you today, then: express yourself! If you are a runner who has been a bit shy, this advice might be just what you need to get you some good results. I am told that if you are a new mother, it could be useful pre-race advice too.

Spelling it out for those slow on the up-take
Returning to "etiquette for runners", it did cross my mind that it was meant to be funny, but this is unlikely, as it's from the US. I think I might pull more quotes out later. So dear reader, keep your sense of humour! Some days are going to be "tongue-in-cheek" days.

The joke's on me?

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Don’t do this in the gym

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 with 3 comments

Monday night training included 12 sprints of 40 seconds on two minutes, and a longer warm up and cool down than usual. Enjoying the training were Alan, Alistair, Amanda, Bronwyn, Cathy, Christine G, David W, Emma (39 tomorrow), Ewen, Gary, two Geoffs, Helen, Katie, Ken, Margaret, Maria, a Michael and two Micks, Neil, Peter, Rachelle, Rohan, Ruth and Tim.

Sunday's speediest goose over 3k was... Katie. 12.05, into a strong headwind at the finish; nearly a breakthrough!

Monday, 25 February 2008

“A Melody Softly Soaring Through My Atmosphere”

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, February 25, 2008 with 2 comments
My training progress
last week’s target: 90k
achieved: 90k
year 2008 total to date: 732k in 8 weeks
this week’s target: 100k
weight: 65kg ▲
song of the week: Soul Meets Body - Death Cab for Cutie - from "Plans"

“and I cannot guess what we’ll discover”
I have added "Soul Meets Body" to my playlist, but wait there's more ... a video clip of this great song with clips from the brilliant Narnia movie!

I love it when some clever person grafts one of my favourite movies with one of my favourite songs. Last time it was Snow Patrol's "Run" with Lord of the Rings; this time it's Death Cab for Cutie meets The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe!

I still cannot wait to see the next Narnia movie, Prince Caspian, out in May!!

How my running is going
I am not sure, I am sore, I will have a better idea in another week. I will need this week at least to complete my recovery from Thursday's 10k I think. This doesn't bode too well for my March racing plans! But one can just take things one day at a time. I won't ease off training, but racing is suspended for now.

Sunday's ACTVAC Handicap speedygeese results
North Curtin 6.2k (hilly!)

4 Jeni Greenland W30 30:06 66.4% gold
12 Caroline Campbell W65 33:45 82.5 bronze
36 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee W35 29:47 67.9
40 Christopher Lang M55 33:05 63.7
45 Rod Lynch M45 24:24 80.6
50 Richard Faulks M45 25:02 78.6
52 Kathy Sims W55 30:35 79.5
53 Cathy Newman W45 27:57 76.9
57 Alan Duus M60 31:27 70.1
68 Mick Charlton M55 33:51 62.3
69 Peter McDonald M50 31:09 66.5
71 Ruth Baussmann W55 35:01 70.3
75 Margaret McSpadden W60 36:49 70.6
76 David Baussman M45 30:55 63.2
90 Maria O'Reilly W50 29:21 80.4
91 Peter Hogan M60 31:01 70.4
105 Geoff Barker M60 35:49 61.8
109 Roger Pilkington M45 30:51 64.2
111 Tony Booth M65 35:56 67.5

North Curtin 3k (flat!)
8 Amanda Walker W40 12:47 75.4%
10 Cathy Montalto W55 14:16 78.4
12 Neil Boden M55 13:00 74.0
14 Katie Forestier W40 12:05 80.1
15 Michael Roche M65 17:23 60.2
19 Ewen Thompson M50 12:27 74.4
20 Gary Bowen M50 12:33 73.8
24 Ken White M50 12:17 76.2
45 Graeme Small M65 20:21 51.4
47 Maureen Rossiter W55 15:36 74.5

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Let's Get Started!

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, February 24, 2008 with No comments
A New Week

Means Living A Full Life

Whether Chasing or Giving Chase

Or celebrating birthdays
(Jeni pictured above won today's Thomas Series handicap, and on her birthday too! The photo taken at the twins' birthday party, photo by Dave. Dave's better half at centre of photo. )

Or even celebrating for no reason whatsoever. Who needs a reason? Let's celebrate anyway!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

These Handicap Races

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, February 23, 2008 with No comments
... mean a lot of standing around while FAST runners take off and fly!

.but sometimes the speediest runners win something...

..even if it's only a t-shirt.

See you at 8:30 Sunday for the next one!

p.s. At today's Stromlo training - there was one attendee - Mee!

Friday, 22 February 2008

Men's Running Skirt

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, February 22, 2008 with No comments
The only reason I am mentioning Men's Running Skirt, is to pip Half-Fast in the google search engine. Still, go here to read about it.

Anyway, here are Thursday night's speedygeese results, the real reason for this post.
W55 Maureen Rossiter 77.0 80.6%
M65 Michael Roche 79.4 69.7
W40 Gabrielle Brown 87.1 62.8

M50 Ken White 2:23.0 84.1%
M60 Kevin Chamberlain 2:28.5 85.7
M55 Geoff Sims 2:37.3 79.6
M65 Tony Booth 3:13.0 71.0
W40 Gabrielle Brown 3:14.1 62.2

10,000m Championships
W50 Kathy Southgate 38:26.40 90.2% gold ACT RECORD by41 seconds
M45 Richard Faulks 38:43.29 76.5 bronze
M55 Geoff Moore 41:04.35 79.0 silver
M45 Mick Horan 41:47.79 70.9
W30 Jeni Greenland 43:44.89 68.9 gold
M50 Gary Bowen 43:58.77 68.5 silver
W35 Bronwyn Calver 48:41.81 63.1 gold
M60 Geoff Barker 50:59.68 65.9 silver
M65 Tony Booth 52:14.39 68.1 bronze
W60 Margaret McSpadden 55:05.67 72.6 gold

At least I gave it a shot

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, February 22, 2008 with 2 comments
My first serious race this year. Supposedly.

Minuses: humid, rain, water on track, waterlogged shoes; no real aggression; very inconsistent pace.

Pluses: M55 silver medal, best 2008 5k time at halfway; better 10k time than all 2007; injury-free.

I ran quickly for only the first four laps, trailing Richard and Kathy (Southgate), but slowed badly after that. They both ended up lapping me well before the finish! Then Simon Wall and Burkey passed me towards the end. But at least I had given it a shot. Before the race I really had no idea what form I was in for 10k but thought I could go sub 40 based on the usual indicators. Countered by another indicator, how b….y old I am getting. But you don’t know what you can do until you try, heh? Maybe next time. The 5k split was 20:07, the final time 41:04. Improving; annoying at the same time.

But a wet track is not my forte, and I learned that the lovely light Nike Free 5.0s can soak up water and become relatively quite heavy. So I have learned something very important - have a wet weather footwear alternative.

My next big race - 5k track on 13 March. Will break 20.

This Sunday's ACTVAC Handicap starts at 8.30 am at North Curtin District Playing Fields, Map 68 C3. Remember last year's changed parking - no parking on Dunstan Street, all parking to be on Cotter Road opposite Equestrian Park

February Jogalong Results
Amanda Walker W40 29:16
Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee W35 30:32
Michelle Stuckey W35 32:46
Thea Zimpel 27:44
Caroline Campbell W65 32:57
Margaret McSpadden W60 34:47
Cathy Montalto W55 31:34
Barbara Tucker W55 35:19
Christine O'Keefe W45 42:11
246 finishers

Summer Series Race #4 Lake Ginninderra 7.1k Tuesday 19 Feb
20. Richard Faulks M45 27:48
39. Mick Horan M45 29:53
55. Cathy Newman W45 33:07
63. David Baussmann M55 35:30
65. Geoff Barker M60 36:13
66. Jeni Greenland W30 36:26
67. Neil Boden M55 36:27
71. Caroline Campbell W65 36:55
74. Rae Palmer W60 37:21
78. Mick Charlton M55 37:57
86. Margaret McSpadden W60 40:17
95. Roy Jones M65 43:01
101. Thea Zimpel 46:44

Speedy W55 Kathy Sims - who has been running well.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Eye Candy

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, February 21, 2008 with 6 comments
Today, some things with visual appeal.

1. A Magic Eye picture. Scanned from a book, re-sized using Paint, displayed on a screen, and its "hidden picture" is still as awesome. Persist by staring "through" it, it's worth the effort.

2. A goose, of course

3. A reflection. How do you see yourself today?

4. A water scene...

And it is raining now - perfect for a 10k, surely it won't be canceled!

These pictures might benefit from clicking on them to see their full quality.

Finally, as a balance, some Ear Candy (OK I made that up). For all lovers of guitar. This too is brilliant.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

On Your Marks

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 with No comments

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Should Speedy Geese Avoid Quick Sand?

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 with 1 comment
Monday night training saw Alan, Alistair, Amanda, Bronwyn, Christine G, Christopher, David, Ewen, Gary, Geoff B, me, Helen, Jeni, Jodie, Katie, Ken, Maria, Michael, Mick C, Neil, Peter, Rachelle, Rohan, Ruth & Tim run 12 sprints of 40 seconds each with an eighty second break. We split the session in two and ran six on a slightly uphill cycle path and six on a slightly downhill grass/dirt track.

Should the longest training runs be fast? (continued)
I have always thought that to get the most out of your longest runs, they must be done fairly quickly. On the other hand, 35 years ago the only way I could increase the distances I was running was to slow down. Admittedly I was coming off a background of sub 2 800m running, so I had a bit of slowing down to do anyway. And it takes time to gather endurance. But I was also young, so maybe I could have run harder. Did I have as an excuse that I never mastered running well on hilly courses? If I sped up too many hills I broke, which might be why my Cotter runs were very often mighty slow. But a couple of times when my fitness peaked, e.g. leading up to my sub 2:30 marathons, they could be mighty fast. Also I over-raced, which means I was rarely fresh for the longer days. I wonder if, had I raced less often and run the Cotters faster, would my marathon pb be faster? My guess is, yes. Another factor/excuse though: I found it hard to motivate myself just to train without racing. Another factor: I never got injured, not for my best 15 years! Maybe because I trained slower than I might have? Another question: Does going a lot faster in longer runs increase the possibility of injury (and exhaustion!) or is mainly the distance run at whatever pace a key injury indicator?”

Here's an amusing post about what to do if caught in quick-sand: The emergency procedures include, for example, "1. STOP YOUR WATCH. The most dangerous thing about quicksand is that it can really mess up your splits, which is why it’s critical that you stop your watch as soon as you realize that you’re caught up in quicksand. If you’re wearing a Garmin hold it up above the quicksand as high as you can (because it’s expensive) and maybe it will tell the satellite to send help (no it won’t)".

More on poetry: Not Dead Yet
"I don't deny that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, actually to remind men that they are not dead yet" - G.K.Chesterton.

Among my favourite poets are/were William Blake and T.S.Eliot; I must dig out their verses applicable to running!

Thursday Feb 21 track program:
6:00 pm800/2000m walk
6:10 pm60m
6:30 pm200m (Boag)
6:50 pm800m
7:15 pm400m
7:30 pm10,000m championships

ACT championship weekend – part of Alice’s email:
A reminder that entries for the weekend of championship events is due on Thursday evening. This year there will be no late entries after the Wednesday prior to the championships i.e. March 5th. All entries will be entered into the database that evening for printing into the Program the next day. Note that there are changes to the weekend timetable including (a) the 800m will be run on Friday night; (b) the Saturday session will start at 10:30am.

Well, I have entered the 1500m but not the 800m. I may not actually run the 1500m. First, let's see if we can survive the 10k this Thursday. A sub 41 minutes would be good! Still, I could run the 1500m too; I may have been avoiding quick races in recent years, but I'm not dead yet!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Cool Poem

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, February 18, 2008 with 8 comments
My training progress
last week’s target: 100k
achieved: 100k
year 2008 total to date: 642k in 7 weeks
this week’s target: 90k
weight: 64kg ▼

poem of the week: "Six Significant Landscapes". Something different: A very cool poem and some discussion of it, at

I was hoping to ease off for this Thursday's 10k but I don't think I can, I have too many running commitments! I will run it anyway and see what I can do. A proper ease-off will have to wait until the next 10k track, in Blacktown in April. Who knows, sometimes training through brings just as good results as easing off might.

Long Runs at High Speed (continued)
Many of the best runners in the world do a high volume of long runs at a very high intensity - in fact, just below their lactic threshold. Does that mean that we (60 year olds) too should be running a high volume of continuous long runs at relatively high intensities?

I know we need more recovery time as we get older. But can we and should we handle the equivalent training loads? is today's question.

Coming through!

Watch out, oh slow ones. We geese and other speedy creatures take no prisoners...

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Sunday Sermon: How Fast are you Going Now?

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, February 17, 2008 with 1 comment
How fast should our long run be?
Running longer improves fitness like nothing else. When we mix speed days - interval training where we run our fastest pace or tempo in short bursts - and easy days, where we run moderate distances at a slow pace - and long days, where we adapt to spending time running, and where we extend the time on our feet as we improve, just how fast should we be running on these very long days?

I think we should not run our long runs slowly, we should try and run them as fast as it is sensible to. But how fast is that?

I leave the question open for now!

Today I had a most comfortable 20k run, even after the 17 200s of yesterday I found it very pleasant. And fantastic company added to the enjoyment. I feel I can run a lot further, but will hold back the distance for a couple of weeks still, as I don't want to do too much too soon. But I can definitely go farther and/or faster!

Never mind, training will continue as usual
At both Parliament House and Stromlo this week, we will run some shorter intervals with longer recoveries than we sometimes do.

I have "pulled the poll" about winter training because I have already made up my mind; from April onwards I won't be cancelling Parliament House and I won't be cancelling Dickson. I may end up doing a session at Stromlo "by myself" in the middle of the day, Wednesday. To which of course others can come if they wish and are able. Thursday, Dickson, will be an opportunity for me to do a very long run first, then focus on coaching. Rest assured, I wouldn't expect nor invite anyone to do both Wednesday and Thursday speed sessions flat out!

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Carpe Diem

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, February 16, 2008 with 3 comments
Thursday's 800m Pennington times
2 Ken White M50 2:20
3 Kevin Chamberlain M60 2:30
4 Geoff Sims M55 2:31
5 Rod Lynch M45 2:26
14 Katie Forestier W40 2:48
15 Roger Pilkington M45 2:47
17 Neil Boden M55 2:57

Feel free to subtract a second or two from the official time to get a more realistic estimate of what you ran. As MD I found it was so chaotic at times I didn't really have a chance to get involved in what was happening in the races. But highlights I did get to see were Ken’s bold attempt to win the 800m! And Emma's pb of 11:45 in the 3000m.

Stromlo Forest Park

I have been enjoying training at Stromlo for the last couple of months. Today's session which included 17 (yes, seventeen) 200m runs with 100m recovery, had Ken, Rachelle, Helen, Bronwyn, Katie, Jeni, Amanda and myself participating - I won't say completing the session, as Jeni had to do some physio on Helen at one stage.

I think we will be able to meet there in winter this year in the evenings as there should be enough light to see around the whole circuit, or if it gets really dark, at least down the 200m "main straight". The options are to replace the Parliament House training session on Mondays, which won't be popular with about ten of the regulars there and might mean a reduction in numbers; or to replace Thursday's Dickson training, which might mean we lose some of the speedsters who sometimes train with us; or to add another training day, but which day? Saturdays will generally be the Cross Country Club race day, which we can use as speed work. Tuesdays maybe? I would make sure Monday and Tuesday sessions were complementary.

There's a poll for a few days at right hand column and/or leave a comment!

Carpe Diem (Seize The Day)
Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi
finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios
temptaris numeros. ut melius, quidquid erit, pati.
seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam,
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare
Tyrrhenum: sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi
spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero.

Leuconoe, don't ask — it's dangerous to know — what end the gods will give me or you. Don't play with Babylonian fortune-telling either. Better just deal with whatever comes your way. Whether you'll see several more winters or whether the last one Jupiter gives you is the one even now pelting the rocks on the shore with the waves of the Tyrrhenian sea — be smart, drink your wine. Scale back your long hopes to a short period. Even as we speak, envious time is running away from us. Seize the day, trusting little in the future.

Friday, 15 February 2008

The Power of "Sorry"

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, February 15, 2008 with 2 comments
speedygeese 3000m track result 14 Feb
M45 Rod Lynch 10:52 75.9%
W35 Emma Adams 11:45 73.3
M50 Gary Bowen 11:57 70.2
M45 Roger Pilkington 11:59 69.4
W40 Katie Forestier 12:09 73.3
W30 Jeni Greenland 12:28 67.5
W55 Kathy Sims 12:48 82.9
M55 Neil Boden 12:57 68.6
W35 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee 12:59 65.3
W35 Bronwyn Calver 13:10 65.5
M65 Tony Booth 14:23 68.9
W60 Margaret McSpadden 15:36 72.0

These are very good results in the 3000m. Your times are getting faster!

speedygeese 5k results Acton 12 Feb
26. Richard Faulks M45 19:10
44. Mick Horan M45 20:00
69. Roger Pilkington M45 21:27
88. Neil Boden M55 23:42
93. David Baussmann M55 24:12
111. Roy Jones M65 26:32
112. Caroline Campbell W65 27:07
119. Geoff Barker M60 28:00

This is one of the few "fast" 5k road courses.

Sprint Marathon

Neil halfway through the 2k leg. Plenty more pain to come!

More on “Sorry”
“Sorry” might be the “hardest word”, but it is a very powerful word. Can we, like the Prime Minister, offer it without qualification? My observation is that as soon as one begins to hedge the word, it loses its power to heal. Again, well done Kevin.

Still more
The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Dont dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be

The wars they will
Be fought again
The holy dove
Be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never free

...Ring the bells that still can ring
...Forget your perfect offering
...There is a crack in everything
...Thats how the light gets in

We asked for signs
The signs were sent
The birth betrayed
The marriage spent
The widowhood
Of every government
Signs for all to see

Cant run no more
With the lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud
But they’ve summoned up
A thundercloud
And they’re going to hear from me


You can add up the parts
But you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march
There is no drum
Every heart
To love will come
But like a refugee


-Leonard Cohen, Anthem

Thursday, 14 February 2008

A Great Day

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, February 14, 2008 with No comments
A Great Day for you, me, and Australia

A great day shared by all true Australians. It was a privilege to be part of Sorry Day, 13 February 2008.

Today is a day of love.

Busy today, so tomorrow speedyJenny and I will go out for dinner to celebrate Sorry Day, Valentines Day, and the fifth anniversary of my retirement (yep, 14 February 2003 was my last working day). Meanwhile I will be going out to the track tonight, to hand out membership cards. And something else - oh yes, I am tonight's Meet Director. And, happy birthday to my brother, 58 yesterday.

More Sprint Marathon Relay action

Mick H handing over to Gary. Go go green shoes!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Geese of a feather

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 with 1 comment
Doing it with your eyes closed

Sherryl lets Ken have it at the Sprint Marathon Relay.

Thursday Feb 14 track program:
6:00 pm800m(Pennington)
6:30 pmLong (200m) Hurdles (Boag)
6:40 pm3000m (GM)
6:45 pm100m (Daniels) 100m Scratch
7:00 pm10,000m Walk Championships)
7:15 pm4x100m Relay
7:30 pmSpiral Run 5 (non-Adler, start Lane 3)

Note: A new spiral event has been added, just for the distance runners.

A reminder: Enter the ACT titles! Entry forms are on the website. Entry fee is $10 + $3 per event. Races to enter in advance include:
Thursday 21 February10000m
Saturday 8 March1500m
Sunday 9 March800m, steeple
Thursday 13 March5000m

A further reminder: please remember to enter the Australian (AMA) championships asap. Entries close 21 February – that’s very close! Go to and click on AMA Nationals 2008. See if you want more. I have entered the 10k, 1500m, 5k and cross country. If you don’t enter I will be very sad as I will have no friends there! Lots of speedygeese went to Hobart last year, Blacktown is much closer.

Birds of a feather flock together.

See you in Blacktown at Easter.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Light's Vision and a Clear Run

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 with No comments
Monday Night's Training
Allrounder does such a good write-up, read hers! Present were Alistair, Amanda, Bronwyn, Two Christines, Emma, Ewen, Gary, me, Helen, Jeni, Jodie, Kathy, Katie, Kelley, Ken, Maria, Michael, Mick H, Neil, Peter, Rachelle, Rohan, Ruth and Tim. The "fast" loop was 330m and if I remember correctly, the "recovery" loop ~260m. The short steep hill on the "fast" loop made the session feasible.

Last Sunday's Sprint-Marathon Relay

Working out strategy? Or, working out where they are supposed to start from? Rachelle (cap), Maria (sunnies), Mick H (track suit top) and Margaret (doing the impression of Colonel William Light) make their final preparations.

This morning Jeni, Rachelle & I ran 10k. We were saturated top to toe and I mean saturated. The only good thing was, no wind. Earlier, driving to North Canberra from Belconnen via Ginninderra Drive at 7:30am, a clear run, light traffic!! The perfect time and road to travel on. The traffic was horrendous elsewhere this morning. I didn't feel like running the second 10k I had planned, but after changing T-Shirts I felt several tons lighter so I jogged 6k, not 10k because after all the shoes and socks were still heavy. Love the rain, though! It is a good thing today's Summer Series race is on the path and not across country! On the other hand, pity about the one day cricket scheduled for Canberra today, India v Sri Lanka. They may still get some play though as the sun is now out, but I understand the drainage at Manuka is, to put it kindly, less than optimum.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Crying out for Consistency

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, February 11, 2008 with No comments
Monday Monitor
My training progress
last week’s target: 90k
achieved: 110k
year 2008 total to date: 542k in 6 weeks
this week’s target: 100k
weight: 64.5kg ▼
web clock of the week!
quote of the week: "When you're going through hell... keep going!" - Winston Churchill
song of the week: Which to bury, Us or the Hatchet/Let It All Out - Relient K - from “MmHmm”

Let It All Out
Let it all out
get it all out
rip it out remove it
don't be alarmed
when the wound begins to bleed

cause we're so scared to find out
what this life's all about
so scared we're going to lose it
not knowing all along
that's exactly what we need

and today I will trust you with confidence
of a man who's never known defeat
but tomorrow, upon hearing what I did
I will stare at you in disbelief
oh, inconsistent me
crying out for consistency

and you said I know that this will hurt
but if I don't break your heart then things will just get worse
If the burden seems too much to bear
the end will justify the pain it took to get us there

and I'll let it be known
at times I have shown
signs of all my weakness
but somewhere in me
there is strength

and you promise me
that you believe
in time I will defeat this
cause somewhere in me
there is strength

and today I will trust you with the confidence
of a man who's never known defeat
and I'll try my best to just forget
that that man isn't me

reach out to me
make my heart brand new
every beat will be for you
for you

and I know you know
you touched my life
when you touched my heavy heart and made it light

I haven't quite decided what to race this week - maybe the Summer Series race at Acton on Tuesday, maybe the track 3000m on Thursday. After last week's quicker 3000m, I am not sure I can lift myself mentally to another fast effort so soon! And my first real target this year is the 10k track on Thursday 21st. I need some sort of hit-out this week, but the 10k will take 100% concentration and determination if I am to be satisfied with the outcome.

"The race must be won in the mind 100 times before it is finally won in reality"
~ Marty Liquorie (quoted in "Lore of Running")

Our numbers are increasing

Make sure you get to know and make feel welcome the newest speedygeese. And invite more to join us. Make a point of showing everyone how friendly we are!

*The words of the title, "Crying out for Consistency", come from the song.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

But it was only 36k

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, February 10, 2008 with 3 comments

On a perfect day for running, nine teams of six competed in the 2008 Sprint-Marathon. This is a great event, and Jim White does an excellent job organising it. What I liked was the fact that several new club members were there to participate. I was not in a team, I planned to "run along" for most of it, but no way I could keep up with most runners; they are too fast. I ended up doing 25k of the 36.

A Game
Try Even though it is in Japanese, your seven year old brother/son/grandson should have no trouble completing it, maybe with a little help if they don't "get" what it's all about initially. And if you try it, you will find out that the game is in fact aimed at seven year old boys!

ACT Athletics track results.
1 Mile Saturday 9 February
Mick Horan 5:10.90
Kathy Southgate 5:38.93

5000m Saturday 2 February
Ewen Thompson 21:29.58
Thea Zimpel 22:17.89

Saturday, 9 February 2008

What is a "Sprint-Marathon"?*

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, February 09, 2008 with 2 comments
Picture from the Past

Kathy and Maureen having won gold and silver in the 800m Nationals in Adelaide. In that race, they crossed the line almost together, and Kathy set a new ACT record, which Maureen went on later to break.

"Must-Have" for training - the Nike Parachute.

As if I am not running slow enough already.

Thursday's Speedygeese Track times

M45 Rod Lynch 10:45.87 76.6%
M55 Geoff Moore 11:27.45 78.9
M45 Roger Pilkington 11:49.99 70.3
W40 Katie Forestier 12:11.79 73.0
M50 Ewen Thompson 12:16.07 68.3
M50 Gary Bowen 12:38.72 66.3
W40 Amanda Walker 12:58.28 67.4
W35 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee 13:10.46 64.3
W35 Bronwyn Calver 13:32.85 63.6
M60 Geoff Barker 14:33.60 64.3

M45 Mick Horan 2:16.67 83.6%
M50 Ken White 2:23.01 84.1
M45 Rod Lynch 2:32.10 75.1
M60 Kevin Chamberlain 2:32.64 83.4
M55 Geoff Sims 2:37.66 79.4
M55 Neil Boden 2:51.99 71.6
W55 Kathy Sims 3:01.79 75.6
W35 Bronwyn Calver 3:05.34 61.7

spiral 7
2 Geoff Barker M60 14:30
10 Neil Boden M55 13:05
11 Margaret McSpadden W60 15:34
13 Kathy Sims W55 13:01
15 Kevin Chamberlain M60 12:20
22 Bronwyn Calver W35 13:47
27 Gary Bowen M50 12:22
31 Roger Pilkington M45 13:26
33 Mick Horan M45 17:06

Stromlo training saw Bronwyn and me decide to run 10x200 with a 100 jog, then an extra 3x200 with a 100 jog because "coach felt good". But the wind was bitterly cold and I ran with three layers on. I expect to see those who weren't there running the sprint-marathon tomorrow. Rug up. We aren't acclimatised to eleven degrees with a strong southerly which adds a significant "wind chill factor". Oh, and happy birthday Bronwyn & Tim's mum, 66! (That old!)

*A "Sprint-Marathon" is a continuous relay race where runners do one km (and one two km) intervals with a long rest while their team mates take their turn. Each runner might cover 7km in total, or more because after their last run they keep going until all runners in the team cross the finish line together. It is run on a loop course, and the total distance the baton travels is meant to be a marathon (42.195k). We conduct it annually in February when it is allegedly warm enough to be standing around. It is a popular event with I guess about six to eight teams competing each year.

Friday, 8 February 2008

"Humour is the shortest distance between two people" - Victor Borge

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, February 08, 2008 with 4 comments
ACTCCC Summer Series #2 Tuesday 5 February
Weston Park 5k
Speedygeese results
22. Richard Faulks M45 18:48
39. Mick Horan M45 19:57
61. Annette Sugden W45 21:49
64. Cathy Newman W45 22:05
67. David Webster M55 22:37
77. Neil Boden M55 23:12
80. Kelley Flood W45 23:22
98. Mick Charlton M55 25:22
100. Geoff Barker M60 25:36
103. Caroline Campbell W65 26:44
109. Barbara Tucker W55 27:47

Vets track Thursday night
In the 3000m my 11:27.45 season’s best by 12 seconds was the only real training group highlight; my splits were 3:50, 3:51 and 3:46. I glanced at the garmin at 1500m, those splits were 5:45 and 5:42. All in all I had an uncharacteristic surge in the last two laps, and felt stronger than usual. However, this season's target pace for 5000m is still faster.

The 800m times were slow because of the strong wind.

It cooled down and calmed down somewhat for the novelty race, the spiral 7 ("Why do they always get the best conditions?" he asked again) and the runners who actually tried did quite well. But I don't think much of this race except as a cool-down: the up-and-down handicapping makes no sense at all, and what I find most off-putting is that burglars abound.

But I am in good spirits having achieved my race target of a sub 11:30. I would like to thank Bryce for running steadily at that pace for much of the race, helping me along!

Want to know what happens to your blog when you post??? See

Strewth at the speedygeese dinner

If you listen closely you can hear the ocean!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Racing Daze

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, February 07, 2008 with 1 comment
Friend Tesso is putting in some quality training ready for the Canberra 50k in April. This picture shows that she is going to be well acclimatised if the humidity we have been experiencing this year continues until then.

Because Doug Fry is ill (see yesterday's post) there will be a delay in getting February Jogalong and Tuesday's Summer Series results. I will post news on Doug as I receive it.
So I thought I would post our times for the January jogalong before they get stale, and leave February's until later. The interclub 5000m result has been delayed too.

Speedygeese at the January Jogalong
1. Emma Adams W35 26:45
2. Amanda Walker W40 28:43
71. Rae Palmer W60 30:58
82. Caroline Campbell W65 32:46
92. Bronwyn Calver W35 29:05
104. Barbara Tucker W55 34:32
143. Cathy Montalto W55 32:45

Racing day
It's a 3k day today, nice and cool, and I am nice and rested* compared with last week. Let's hope it's a year's best. Sub 11:39 is the ask - as much "sub" as possible. That would be "nice"!

*by "nice and rested" I mean, last week on Tuesday I raced 5k in extreme heat, whereas this week on Tuesday I ran 20k and had to rest afterwards by having a nap, I was so exhausted.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

First Day at School

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 with No comments
But first, DOUG FRY is under observation in Canberra Hospital for a blood clot in his brain and is reported to be doing OK. We’ll be able to get an update before the T&F competition Thursday. Doug blogs as FRIAR.

And also, this Thursday's track program.
6.00 1500m Walk Championships
6.10 Pentathlon Championships
6.20 3000m (GM)
7.00 200m
7.30 800m
8.00 Spiral 7 (A)

First Day at School

Monica February 1982 (with older sister Loani)

Liana 5 February 2008 (Monica's daughter)

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

The Pain of the Parallelogram

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, February 05, 2008 with 2 comments
Report on Monday night training
We ran ten loops of a 300m parallelogram on soft turf between the flagpoles below Parliament House. The course was angled such that the longer sides of the parallelogram were 100m and the shorter 50m. I do enjoy designing something different each week! I made them all sprint the 100m and reluctantly allowed them a jog on the shorter sides. And I challenged them to complete the ten loops, allowing them one loop less for each time the leader lapped them, thus giving the runners an incentive to push the pace. On this occasion too I deliberately used the word "sprint" rather than "speed" or "tempo", because I wanted a flat out effort on the twenty 100s. I haven't heard such a happy and animated group afterwards, either from meeting the challenge of such a difficult session, or from relief that it was over, or a bit of both. As a reward we trotted up the main Parliament House slope at the end of the session to admire the rain-swept view; the extra few metres were greeted with lack of audible complaint by about half the group. At training were Alan, Amanda, Bronwyn, Christine G, David, Emma, Ewen, Gary, Geoff B, Geoff M who joined in too, Jodie, Joel, Katie, Ken, a brave Michael R back after a long break, Mick H, Neil, Rachelle, new starter Rohan, Ruth, Tim who ran "too fast" and lapped almost everyone, and Yelena. A good turn-out again, and it was after a day of constant rain!

The 2008 Women and Girls Fun Run is on at 9 am Sunday 6 April at Stage 88, Commonwealth Park. Online entry is now available at

Which way are we running again?

Monday, 4 February 2008

Help Fight Local Warming

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, February 04, 2008 with No comments
Monday Monitor
My training progress
last week’s target: 80k
achieved: 91k
year 2008 total to date: 432k in 5 weeks
this week’s target: 90k
weight: 65kg ►◄
song of the week: "Rain Down", by Delirious, from "World Service"

"Rain down all around the world we're singing
"Rain down can you hear the earth is singing
"Rain down my heart is dry but still I'm singing
"Rain down rain it down on me."

If anyone is wondering, all planned training sessions will go ahead, even if this rain continues all week as predicted.

video of the week: Help Fight Local Warming. (Or, Safe Blogging for Men). If only I'd known this earlier!

Last week I found particularly demanding, with several early starts, too much racing (see my "over-racing" article in the February Vetrunner) and a longer week than planned. Still, the improvements continue, and as I say in the article, if you choose very short races rather than long, recovery is much quicker. Now to get that 5k time back under twenty minutes! The plan is to race once this week, a track 3k on Thursday, the further under 11:45 it is the more confident I will be of a sub-20 5k. Meanwhile, next Sunday's "Sprint Marathon" relay will be an opportunity for me, not in a team, to run most of the relay with the teams, seeing how long I can keep up. But not flat-out; a threshold run. Other company would be good!

See you at Parliament House tonight. Bring a change of clothes and a towel!

Good Weather for Frogs

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Thea's Day Out

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, February 03, 2008 with 1 comment
30th Anniversary Jogalong, February 2008
After running a strong 5k track yesterday in the ACT open championships, today Thea took nearly a minute off her jogalong pb at the special 30th Anniversary Jogalong, attended by half the runners from jogalong #1 of thirty years ago, and by the Chief Minister, John Stanhope. A record (I expect) 300 runners - women, girls and boys - raced. Some of our newer speedygeese ran - Michelle had her second ever jogalong run, taking five minutes off her time from March last year, chopping her pb from 37 minutes to 32 minutes. Christine O ran her first ever Jogalong with a time just over 42 minutes, a good start! And regulars included Amanda (or "Mandy", see below) and Rachelle, who were very speedy indeed, despite their hard racing and training of the last few days.

Thea's new running style

Just let her pass if she catches you in a race!

And Sonia now in Melbourne says "Hi" to everyone. She writes!!
"Sorry it has taken me so long to email, I am not working and usually avoid computers like the plague! But I had to email you today, we ran "The Tan" this morning, I took the two lap option (8km) and did it in 36.57. It doesn't sound very good does it but I was bloody pushing it the whole way with one of the men in my new running group. Given that I was nearly at the vomiting stage, I would have thought I could have gone quicker but there was a massive hill (well it was massive on the second lap anyway).

"I have found a fantastic new running group that set off four times a week from a big park nearby, we have even ventured to a track a couple of times to run four hundreds. Our fearless leader is Charlene Rendina! I can't believe I just stumbled into her running group but I am glad I did. She is wonderful and my new running idol. We are not a big group, usually between 4 and 8 each session but we have been doing lots of different things so I am really enjoying it. I am just hoping some of Charlene's running ability rubs off, I doubt it will.

I am very glad Mandy is running so much without me, it was tough for both for us at first but I'm sure you looked after her for me.

"Now Geoff, just because I have found Charlene, doesn't mean I don't miss the speedy geese and our speedy coach HEAPS!

"Apart from the running which is going well, we are all settling into Melbourne well."

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Will I ne’er get fast again?

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, February 02, 2008 with No comments
Speedygeese track results from Thursday night:
400 Metres

M55 Geoff Sims 62.25 84.4%
M50 Ken White 64.64 78.7
W55 Maureen Rossiter 76.06 81.6

1500 Metres
M45 Mick Horan 4:41.06 84.2%
M50 Ken White 5:02.42 82.5
M60 Kevin Chamberlain 5:12.80 84.6
M45 Roger Pilkington 5:20.38 74.5
M55 Geoff Moore 5:22.90 80.6
M50 Gary Bowen 5:29.37 73.2
W35 Bronwyn Calver 6:01.27 66.8
W55 Kathy Sims 6:02.72 82.6
M55 Neil Boden 6:08.22 69.5
M65 Tony Booth 6:45.68 69.6
W55 Barbara Tucker 7:27.84 69.8

3000 Metres
M45 Richard Faulks 10:59.74 75.0%
W40 Amanda Walker 13:01.48 67.2
W35 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee 13:10.13 64.4
W35 Bronwyn Calver 13:18.64 64.7
M50 Gary Bowen 13:19.06 63.0
M60 Geoff Barker 14:32.56 64.4
M65 Tony Booth 14:32.73 68.1

Stromlo training
Today I averaged 3:44 for the km intervals. Like my 1500m times, for the km intervals I am achieving unusual consistency. I am happier being consistently moderately fast than I have been over the last decade or so being quite fast intermittently but being unable to hold that form for any decent period of time. Like two days.

Fixing my PC part two.
With my PC chucking several wobblies each day, it would have taken hours for someone to track down what was happening, fix the root cause of the problem, and clean up any damage. All I am doing is looking for a work-around. Seems I may have found it; removing the hardware acceleration may have done the trick, and hasn’t compromised performance. I will be doing more diagnosis though. Today, if there's time. Meanwhile, the work arounds are working.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Lightning, black clouds, little rain

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, February 01, 2008 with 2 comments

Thursday night track
I ran in the earliest race I could because I thought the weather might cause the cancellation of the program, at any time... and I was nearly right.

1500m: cool and humid. I ran exactly last in the first (fastest) division; but managed a recent pb of 5:22.9, better than my 2007 best time. It started raining as I ran the final 50m. Kevin had a significant improvement. In the second division, with light rain falling, Roger ran well, and Bronwyn ran a big pb.

3000m: After a break while we watched the lightening, the meet was not abandoned and the 3000m went ahead. Most runners faded in the third km in the humidity and lack of breeze. Amanda and Rachelle had good runs given the conditions.

The Spiral 6: in this novelty event, Gary had a good run, after his not so successful attempt to 13-minute pace-set in the 3000m left him well warmed up and ready to run. Kathy was running well too.

Spiral 6 results (other results soon)
2 Gary Bowen M50 10:04
7 Kathy Sims W55 11:02
8 Roger Pilkington M45 9:43
9 Bronwyn Calver W35 11:24
12 Neil Boden M55 11:12
15 Kevin Chamberlain M60 10:40
21 Tony Booth M65 14:17
23 Geoff Barker M60 14:14