Saturday, 31 January 2009


Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, January 31, 2009 with 1 comment

Thursday results
4x1500m relay (all teams)
M45 18:46.45
Hugh Lennon 4.30
Rod Lynch 4.59
John Morton 4.46
Bruce Graham 4.29

W40 21:17.02 ACT/Australian W40 record by 1.48 / probable world best
Sarah Fien 5.11
Jane Zeller 5.26
Amanda Walker 5.41
Jackie Fairweather 4.57

M55 21:47.41
Jim White 6.00
Trevor Jacobs 5.09
Michael Leahey 5.03
Geoff Moore 5.33

mixed 24:36.98
Bryce Anderson 5.54
Carol Baird 6.24
Tony Kid 6.19
Angel Marina 6.20

M50 25:23.14
Roger Pilkington 5.52
Ian Harris 6.52
Nigel Coldrick 6.21
Ken Smith 6.18

M70 27:58.81 ACT/Australian M70 record by 10 seconds
Roger Abbott
Bob Chapman
Michael Freer
Tony Booth

speedygeese who ran in other events
spiral 4
8 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee W35 6:52
11 Bronwyn Calver W35 6:50
13 Geoff Barker M60 8:21
16 Roger Pilkington M50 6:31
22 Cathy Montalto W55 8:18
23 Tony Booth M70 8:16

M45 Rod Lynch 11: 06.86 74.8%
W35 Bronwyn Calver 13: 09.68 pb 65.9
W35 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee 13:26.30 63.4
W55 Cathy Montalto 14:56.21 71.0
M60 Geoff Barker 15:32.22 60.8

M50 Roger Pilkington 21: 06.72 68.3%


Friday, 30 January 2009

Feet on Fire

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, January 30, 2009 with 2 comments
A 38 degrees day, no cool change in the evening, and still the Thursday night athletics went ahead with plenty of competitors and no hurry to leave at the end. In the middle of the evening we had the 4 x 1500m relay. A great event at the best of times, this time we had a record breaking new look W40 combination, which included our Amanda!!!, smashing the Australian record and running what might also be recognised as a world record/world best sometime "down the track".

The record breakers

Jane Zeller, Sarah Fien, Jackie Fairweather, and Amanda Walker after their record run. If you click on the photo to enlarge, you can see Meet Director Ewen in the background, amongst others.

The previous ACT/Australia/World time was held by our own speedygirls Helen, Charlie, Kelley, Katie, who ran 23.05 in late 2007.

The new record is approximately 21.17.

Very approximate split times:
Sarah 5:11
Jane 5:26
Amanda 5:41
Jackie 4:57

It occurs to me that the W40 age group is very strong here in Canberra.

Amanda cooling down with Ken after the run.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Cat got your tongue?

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, January 29, 2009 with No comments
what I am reading
I have just finished "Anansi Boys" by Neil Gaiman. Great fun, totally unpredictable, Gaiman spins a web of intrigue, complete with flamingos, families, magic, murder, girls, gods, spiders, cats, tongues, hats.

movies I’ve seen
I re-viewed Chicken Run when the grandchildren were here. Worth seeing once, especially if you like both "The Great Escape" and "Wallace and Gromit", or are under ten. There are many quotable quotes:
"My whole life flashed before my eyes. It was really boring."
"That's the open road calling my name, and I was born to answer that call. Bye." .... "He must have very good hearing"
and my favourite, reminds me of my working days:
"The most important thing is, we have to work as a team, which means: you do everything I tell you"

Jackson's first day at school

Evidence of illiteracy

Elephants loom large

Edmund who?

Too many cats

What mouse?

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Fast February

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 with 3 comments
Where do I want to be in 12 months time? Still running the same kms I am now? Still the same body weight? Still the same injuries, the same strengths and weaknesses? Still the same addictions? I hope you decided on some realistic goals for 2009 after asking yourself questions like these.

I keep encountering people who decide to fast from something, or some things, in February. A one month detox, choosing February because it is the shortest month. Be it alcohol (probably the commonest one), or chocolate, or coffee, or television, what is eliminated for one month is something which takes up "too much time", is generally addictive or obsessive, and is not necessarily healthy.

While I disagree in principle with "detox", because prevention is better than cure, and because a healthy lifestyle is 24-7 and not just for one period of the year, I can appreciate that a focussed attempt to make a lifestyle change within a predetermined time period is preferable to no attempt at all.

I am joining in by fasting from coffee in February. I should have no trouble giving up coffee: I have given it up, as is often heard, "many times before".

Official Guide to Australia. Continuing the patriotic Australia Day theme, there has been a high level of interest in celebrating Australia day this year. So I dug up this list of what it means to be Australian. These are all true.

1. The bigger the hat, the smaller the farm.

2. The shorter the nickname, the more they like you.

3. Whether it’s the opening of Parliament, or the launch of a new art gallery, there is no Australian event that cannot be improved by a sausage sizzle.

4. If the guy next to you is swearing like a wharfie he’s probably a media billionaire. Or on the other hand, he may be a wharfie.

5. There is no food that cannot be improved by the application of tomato sauce.

6. On the beach, all Australians hide their keys and wallets by placing them inside their sandshoes. No thief has ever worked this out.

7. Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the plastic milk crate.

8. All our best heroes are losers.

9. The alpha male in any group is he who takes the barbecue tongs from the hands of the host and blithely begins turning the snags.

10. It’s not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to hold.

11. A thong is not a piece of scanty swimwear, as in America, but a fine example of Australian footwear. A group of sheilas wearing black rubber thongs may not be as exciting as you had hoped.

12. It is proper to refer to your best friend as “a total bastard”. By contrast, your worst enemy is “a bit of a bastard”.

13. Historians believe the widespread use of the word “mate” can be traced to the harsh conditions on the Australian frontier in the 1890s, and the development of a code of mutual aid, or “mateship”. Alternatively, Australians may just be really hopeless with names.

14. The wise man will choose a partner who is more attractive than himself………….to mosquitoes.

15. If it can’t be fixed with pantyhose and fencing wire, it’s not worth fixing.

16. The most popular and widely praised family in any street is the one that has the swimming pool.

17. It’s considered better to be down on your luck than up yourself.

18. The phrase “we’ve got a great lifestyle” means everyone in the family drinks too much.

19. If invited to a party, you should take cheap red wine and then spend all night drinking the host’s beer. (No worries, he’ll have catered for it).

20. If there is any sort of free event or party within a hundred kilometres, you’d be a mug not to go.

21. The phrase “a simple picnic” is not known. You should take everything you own. If you don’t need to make three trips back to the car, you’re not trying.

22. Unless ethnic or a Pom, you are not permitted to sit down in your front yard, or on your front porch. Pottering about, gardening or leaning on the fence is acceptable. Just don’t sit. That’s what backyards are for.

23. The tarred road always ends just after the house of the local mayor.

24. On picnics, the Esky is always too small, creating a food versus grog battle that can only ever be resolved by leaving the salad at home.

25. When on a country holiday, the neon sign advertising the motel’s pool will always be slightly larger than the pool itself.

26. The men are tough, but the women are tougher.

27. The chief test of manhood is one’s ability to install a beach umbrella in high winds.

28. There comes a time in every Australian’s life when he/she realises that the Aerogard is worse than the flies.

29. And, finally, don’t let the tourist books fool you. No-one EVER says “cobber” to anyone … EVER!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Lightning Strike

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 with 2 comments
Joining me yesterday morning for a long Australia Day Monday run were Brett, Nadine, Alan, Ruth, Margaret, Roger, Ewen, Mary Ann, & Miranda. A one off mix of geese and other animals. We proved that you don't have to run up and down mountains to get fit; in fact running on the flat enables you to open out and run faster, helps you run rhythmically, and helps you relax more and go with the flow. And around the lake you meet more people, yesterday mainly cyclists. Some with bells. 

Song of the week: The Lightning Strike, by Snow Patrol. Reminding me of our "one hour run" weather last Thursday night. An amazing track from "A Hundred Million Suns". On the topic of amazing tracks, I should point out that a previous song of the week, “You Found Me” by the Fray, is number one on the Australian singles chart this week. I previewed it in my 16 December post. There are some discerning music lovers out there still.

Nothing of any note in the "JJJ top 100" though.

You who read this don't have to agree with me.

Thursday night program:  Track events to look forward to this week are
6:00pm spiral 4
6:30pm 1200/2000 walk
6:45pm 60m
7:00pm 4 x 1500m relay
7:30pm 200m handicap
7:50pm 3000m/5000m
It's time I had a serious go at the 5000m. Let's hope it's cool.

Hot today, cold tomorrow.

Be it hills, flat, fray, leon, sprint, distance, hot, cold, ... variety is good. A mix is good. But I do like "Lightning Strike" this week, and its three component sub-tracks. A mix is good, and as soon as my new iPod arrives to replace my old MP3 player I will create a large mix of attractive tracks for random play. Something new is good!

The Lightning Strike Lyrics
by Snow Patrol

(I - What If This Storm Ends?]

What if this storm ends?
And I don't see you
As you are now
Ever again

The perfect halo
Of gold hair and lightning
Sets you off against
The planet's last dance
Just for a minute
The silver forked sky
Lit you up like a star
That I will follow

Now it's found us
Like I have found you
I don't want to run
Just overwhelm me

What if this storm ends?
And leaves us nothing
Except a memory
A distant echo

I want pinned down
I want unsettled
Rattle cage after cage
Until my blood boils

I want to see you
As you are now
Every single day
That I am living

Painted in flames
All peeling thunder
Be the lightning in me
That strikes relentless

[II - The Sunlight Through The Flags]

From here the caravans are kids toys
And I can hold them all in my palm
I watch the sea creep round the corner
It connects the dots from here to you
The sunlight burning through the loose flags
Painted high on white church walls
I chase my blood from brain to thumped heart
Until I'm out of breath for trying

Worry not everything is sound
This is the safest place you've found
The only noise beating out is ours
Lacing our tea from honey jars

These accidents of faith and nature
They tend to stick in the spokes of you
But every now and then the trend bucks
And you're repaired by more than glue

Worry not everything is sound
This is the safest place you've found
The only noise beating out is ours
Lacing our tea from honey jars

Why don't you rest your fragile bones
A minute ago you looked alone
Stop waving your arms you're safe and dry
Breathe in and drink up the winter sky

[III - Daybreak]

Slowly the day breaks apart in our hands
And soft hallelujahs flow in from the church
The one on the corner you said frightened you
It was too dark and too large to find your soul in

Something was bound to go right sometime today
All these broken pieces fit together to make a perfect picture of us
It got cold and then dark so suddenly and rained
It rained so hard the two of us were the only thing
That we could see for miles and miles

And in the middle of the flood I felt my worth
When you held onto me like I was your little life raft
Please know that you were mine as well
Drops of water hit the ground like God's own tears
And spread out into shapes like
Salad bowls and basins and buckets for bailing out the flood

As motionless cars rust on driveways and curbs
You take off your raincoat and stretch out your arms
We both laugh out loud and surrender to it
The sheer force of sky and the cold magnet Earth

Monday, 26 January 2009

Australian Records

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, January 26, 2009 with 3 comments
Wherever we are ranked, there is always someone better. Or if you are clearly best in the world, the future will always bring someone better. Did you hear the one about the M45 runner who googled interstate race results to see what times other M45s were running? He found an awesome 10k time which smashed all records and was, to use an over-used word, unbelievable. He would have no chance racing this awesome athlete. And yes, he was a genuine M45 and yes, the race distance was a genuine 10k. But .... later he learnt it was a wheelchair athlete.

Big goose, little pond.
Sometimes we need a little perspective.
For Australia Day I have looked up some Australian records. In my age group the national record for 10k on the track is 34.23. Um. Not bad. This is 5 minutes faster than I can imagine running as an M60. The same Perth gentleman also holds the M65 and M70 records, in times I won't ever reach.

Current Australian 10k track records (men):
M40 STEVE AUSTIN VIC 29m 23.1s 1991
M45 RON PETERS QLD 31m 48.69s 2001
M50 RON PETERS QLD 32m 54.8s 2003
M55 JACK RYAN VIC 33m 36.2s 1979
M60 JOHN GILMOUR WA 34m 23.0s 1980
M65 JOHN GILMOUR WA 36m 11.0s 1984
M70 JOHN GILMOUR WA 38m 26.0s 1989
M75 RANDALL HUGHES VIC 43m 05.41s 2000
M80 BILL BURRIDGE NSW 50m 23.45s 2006
M85 KEN MATCHETT VIC 60m 52.92s 2007

No wheelchairs in this list! The future will bring someone better, but it's hard to believe, and it's not going to be you or me.

Transformation: we can change from what we are and become fleet of foot pain free happy and healthy runners. But we won't change into John Gilmour. To celebrate Australia Day, let's just enjoy the fact that we share this wonderful country with such wonderful runners.

¡ıo ıo ıo ¡ǝıssnɐ ǝıssnɐ ǝıssnɐ

Plans (100k)
Last week I easily achieved 95k, even with Tuesday off. So my plan for week 5 of 2009:
Monday 26th: A long run in the morning
Tuesday 27th: An hour's stretching in the morning, a tempo run at Stromlo at 6pm
Wednesday 28th: A short and easy run from home.
Thursday 29nd: Race ACTMA track, probably attempt sub 20:00 for 5k
Friday 30th: A recovery run from home
Saturday 31st: Stromlo intervals 9:00 am, 3x1km, and a long afternoon run.
Sunday 1 Feb: Stromlo long run, and another run in the afternoon if I need it to total 100km for the week.

Note: on Tuesday I see there is at 8:00pm an ACT 3000m Championships (under 18), and at 8:15pm the ACT 5000m Championships (Open and under 20). I don’t know whether non-championship people can run; I had pencilled in the 3000m but not knowing if I can run it, I will give it a miss.

Sunday's speedygeese results
Campbell Park 3k handicap
9 Amanda Walker W40 13:27 75.2%
15 Cathy Montalto W55 15:10 78.8
21 Ken White M55 12:28 79.0
24 Katie Forestier W40 12:35 80.9
28 Geoff Moore M60 12:27 83.8
30 Neil Boden M55 14:27 70.5
33 Jodie Sims W30 14:31 62.5
51 finishers

Campbell Park 6k handicap
2 Annette Sugden W45 31:21 66.3%
10 Roger Pilkington M50 26:54 71.6
19 Mick Charlton M55 31:44 64.7
31 Geoff Barker M60 30:58 69.3
35 Bronwyn Calver W35 28:26 69.2
38 Ruth Baussmann W55 33:53 71.1
41 Miranda Rawlinson W55 31:59 72.5
54 Cathy Newman W45 28:10 75.1
69 Margaret McSpadden W60 37:52 66.1
88 Carolyne Kramar W40 39:26 51.6
97 Ewen Thompson M50 33:24 58.2
103 Tony Booth M70 36:38 65.2
107 finishers

Roger, just turned 50, training for the marathon, and running well.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

"ugly as a box of blowflies"

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, January 25, 2009 with 3 comments another piece of "genuine Aussie slang" I have never heard of. But it is a fair description of my running this morning as I ducked, weaved, and staggered along a rough Masters Handicap course at Campbell Park, forced off the best path frequently, very much a stop-start affair. The only redeeming feature of my run was that it was the fastest 3k of the day, about one second faster than Ken. We were all in the same boat with the traffic, nothing really to whinge about. It would have been very embarrassing though, if  I were not the fastest: I was the sole back-marker this month. And as I am giving away many years to the other quick runners, my age percentage is off to a good start.

Happy Birthday Riki, 10 years old today.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

long weekend

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, January 24, 2009 with 2 comments
Today there were cyclists galore at Stromlo. Some kind of national event.

Sunday is an 8:30am start at Campbell Park

Monday is a holiday; Australia day; and major celebrations are happening at Parliament House, so training there will be impossible. Instead I will be running at 8:00am from the Zoo, about 16k or longer if I feel like it. All welcome.

Thursday night results.
400 metres
M45 Rod Lynch 1:07.82 72.5%

1500 metres
M45 Rod Lynch 4:58.05 80.1%
M50 Roger Pilkington 5:54.76 67.9%
M55 Ken White 5:12.86 80.5%
M70 Tony Booth 6:57.53 68.2%
W40 Amanda Walker 5:40.02 73.0%

One hour
before the deluge: Geoff Moore, Bronwyn Calver, Cathy Montalto ran for 20 minutes. Wow, we all broke the world record by 40 minutes!

Friday, 23 January 2009

up and down

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, January 23, 2009 with 2 comments

Coming up Sunday morning
The first ACTMA monthly handicap of 2009 starts at 8.30am at Campbell Park. Distances are 3k/6k. To get there, turn off Fairbairn Avenue at Northcott Drive and follow the road right around the outside of the car park to the northeast corner.

Coming down Thursday night
The rain came down in the one hour run before we had got a third of the way. And I mean fierce storms. At twenty minutes, lightning drove us off the track and forced cancellation of the event.

Earlier Amanda ran a 1500m within 3 seconds of her pb a fortnight ago, despite the muggy conditions, the gale blowing from the north-west, and being caught by herself in the middle of the field. There are not many who run in the 5:20 to 5:40 range on Thursday nights; most are around 5 minutes or 6 minutes.

My lap splits in the hour were 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, close enough, to give me 20:00 at 12 laps. My plan was to do an even paced tempo run for 10k: 5k in 20:50, 10k in 41:40, then see what I could do from there. I felt comfortable at 12 laps (water logged and all) but that doesn't mean I would have still been OK at 25; the wheels can suddenly fall off in a one hour run. I was fortunate that Richard and Steve and another guy were running the same pace; I was able to sit in, as well briefly taking my turn leading.

up in Sydney, speedygosling Jeni Greenland who passed her final exams last year, has decided to stay put, she had originally planned to move to Binalong. But she will remain in Sydney and is starting her own physio business in June, at a gym. She hopes to be next in Canberra for the Stromlo Running Festival (which is from 27 Feb to 1 March) but doesn't expect to make it back here very often this year..

down in Melbourne
Sonia ran a 6 second pb for the 1500m last weekend, 5:29, and was planning to race 5k on the track last night. This is all new territory for her! The 1500m was her second one and the 5k will have been her first. I will find out her 5k time and let you know. [edit: 20.28. Well done!] There is pressure on her to get points for the club! I do hope they are taking care of our Sonia.

Sonia has read the book by Haruki Murakami that I sent her as a prize for the 50,000th visit to this blog, and she says:
I finished "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" over Christmas in Canberra and really enjoyed it. It was fantastic to really get inside another runners head and I often found myself thinking "that's what I think about when I am running too". One of his running philosophies is "pain is unavoidable, suffering is optional" and it is this approach to running that I am going to embrace in 2009.

Haruki commented on people telling him he was "good" for running or exercising in general. He believes that being good has very little to do about it, he simply has to run and that is that. He also never tries to get people to run, you are either a runner or you aren't and no one will be able to convince you otherwise. Haruki doesn't run with anyone either, preferring his own company and a walkman! He seems to be perfectly designed for long distance running, although he is not very fast he is incredibly consistent and suffers few injuries.

So now I am inspired and I am training for the Melbourne marathon in October!

¡suʍop puɐ sdn ɟo ʎɐp ɐ uǝǝq ʎluıɐʇɹǝɔ sɐɥ ʇı

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Too crook to take a sickie*

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, January 22, 2009 with 5 comments
Aussie slang. While I am an Aussie (not “from Aussie” as Kiwis will have it) I probably don’t use enough Aussie words. Maybe (a) I do without realising it, but only those words that are true blue Aussie, i.e. woven into our language. When I look at lists of Aussie slang I wonder how reliable they are. Are terms like “on the blink”, “as scarce as hen’s teeth”, “down the gurgler” and many more, truly Aussie or are they more wide spread? Or maybe (b) I don’t use Aussie slang in the blog because, while recognisable, much of it is rarely heard and rarely used, or much of it pops out in conversation rather than in writing. Like “good on yer mate”, “fair dinkum” “she’ll be apples". Or (c) I don’t tend to use what people call “Aussie Slang” because it is made up, and never heard. We make up phrases and words to con the gullible, and heaps of them turn up in our guides to Australia. As a result, sometimes they enter the language, but they still come across as contrived. I might use such terms in self-parody. I see in one list “coming the raw prawn”, “crikey”, “dry as a dead dingo’s donger” (you’re kidding, right?), “throw another prawn on the barbie” (what’s this fascination with prawns? Beats me), “fair crack of the whip”. There are plenty more: people using these phrases are self-consciously masquerading as “Aussie”, or are being funny. Should I redress the balance and use more supposedly Australian words and phrases? No worries. 

 My Transformation
It won't be a transformation into an ocker Aussie.
To practise what I have been preaching about transformation, I think the only way I am going to transform into someone fitter is (a) to get my weight to my ideal fitness weight and keep it there; (b) to get mobility back into my hips, and strength into my abdomen and quads and ankles, so I can get up off the ground. And achieve this by (c) doing bounding and stepper work and other drills yet to be realised, and (d) by appreciating that the pattern of training I am currently following, while being very good, may not be the best possible.

Marathon recovery tips
Back in the old days when I ran all my marathons in tiger G9s, the running was fast and the footfall was light and I ran with a very fast tempo “on my toes” for the entire marathon and I picked up my feet very quickly from the ground for each step… and I would be recovered enough in four days to resume normal training distances. But there was usually some calf soreness and tightness, although surprisingly little for a toes distance runner. I found the best recovery methods were (a) Running every day after the marathon. I would always schedule about 12k on day one, 8k day 2, and 12k day 3, at a slow pace, and by day 4 I could run long again. (b) Walking long distances on the day of the marathon and subsequent days. One of the best recoveries I ever had was in Perth where I walked around the pubs after running the marathon, and around the shops the next day. (c) Spa. My best recovery was in New Zealand, when I ran the Hamilton marathon then was driven to Rotorua and stood in the spa pools. There was also a lot of walking and hilly running too, as part of that recovery! (d) fluid fluid fluid. In Perth, because it was hot, for some hours I drank anything and everything I could lay my hands on. From water to coffee to liquid yogurt to beer. Memories!

*I'm not crook. No worries. She'll be right, mate. By the way, my mother is just back from Kiwiland (huh!) and had a great time.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

I'd rather be a quack than a ducky

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 with 1 comment
DVDs: currently I am watching Blackadder series 2. Episode one has the leech doctor's famous line : “I’d rather be a quack than a ducky.” It was good to see Flashduck, also a Blackadder fan, at training this week. You might like to check out her blog every now and then for news of Peter Hogan's progress in hospital.

Despite the best laid plans of mice and geese, I didn't get to the track yesterday. I hope the runners survived the storm! We must not laugh, the same weather pattern is forecast for a few more days, and Thursday's 1500m could be run in stifling heat, a tropical downpour, or strong winds! See you there!

Nathan as a child.

Emma sent me a new year’s email:
Happy New Year! It is a few days into the New Year........this resolution of sending an email has taken longer than expected. However, I've just come back from my second run of the last 6 weeks (because of an injury), full of spark and ready to go! Still haven't worked out a mailing list but hopefully it is more complete than my last emails.

Canada has had one of the biggest snowfalls in decades. Vancouver has not had this much snow since early last century. This may seem a little precious, to move to Canada and complain about the snow...but everyone else here is. Vancouver is not prepared like the other cities and after many falls of snow, only the main roads were ploughed leaving people and cars stranded for weeks.

Flights all around the country were cancelled and the news was full of people camping out for days at the airports. There have been huge (2-3m) tall piles of snow on each side of the road, conditions were really treacherous....and when it started to thaw.....another cold snap came in and it was black-ice everywhere. Everyone is worrying about how Vancouver will manage if this happens next winter with the Olympics.......with good reason.

The Christmas season started with the school Christmas concert. A really enjoyable affair, well run, simple and musical. Toby and Lucas are still singing their songs! YPS parents take note...there is hope! The was a round of pot-luck dinners and lunches with work and running (it is a big thing here!.......and not as simple as "bring a plate" I have discovered!). Christmas lights are popular here, and it was a treat to walk around our snowy neighbourhood all lit up!

We spent Christmas on a skiing holiday.....our first (except for a write-off weekend once in Oz) the lads could have a white Christmas. The drive up to Kamloops, along the Fraser Valley and then up through the Rockies was scenic (when we could see through the snow) but scary. There were toppled-over semi-trailers along the highway and cars which had also missed the road, strong winds and snow and ice on the road. The drive was supposed to take 4 hours....we took nine! But got there safely. Winter tyres are a great investment. Great powder snow....and an added bonus for us beginners, it was so cold, it was very slow! Our first day out skiing was minus 25 degrees, on the last day it was a balmy minus 12! We all had lessons. Jasper "accidently" went down a black run on his last day. Rob and I enjoyed some time together with the boys in ski-school and had a lovely Christmas Day snowshoeing through WinterWonderland scenery. Jasper and I had a cross-country adventure together....12km! We had a few falls, and Jasper was exhausted at the end but the conclusion was it was great fun....and the 4 bars of chocolate didn't hurt!

Marg, Grant and Oliver visited Vancouver on their way to the snow. So glad to see some great friends! I am still homesick for Australia and my Canberra life. It is so lovely to be able to start at the middle of a friendship where conversations are comfortable because you are known......well, I have a much greater appreciation than before.....and I have always consciously appreciated and been thankful for my friends.

I remember Charlie and I were discussing how sometimes great friendships or connections can happen at "inconvenient" times, but this can somehow make them more special. Well this is what I think will happen here! I started swimming again recently (due to aforementioned injury) and my coach and I clicked! A few weeks before she moved with her family to Colorado to do her masters.

Rob is well. We were a little surprised when we arrived and found that Kindy is only 1/2 a day, it ended his plans to start working later in the school year, but I think he is taking advantage of this special year he can spend with the boys. Not sure how it will go when we are both childcare is hard to get, and we don't have our usual safety nets of family and friends yet.

This year, as I think we have decided this is a short-term operation (not sure of the time-frame, but we won't be doing any more exams in order to stay here), there are a few things we would like to do. The first thing I need to attend to is to finish my diploma and the masters in Infant Mental Health.........I'm getting my workspace sorted today, and to get as much of the good bits of this clinical experience as I can. There are a lot of differences between the Australian and Canadian system and I want to feel that I have really "done it". To go on some cool holidays.......perhaps San Francisco in March, a couple of running holidays, and Rob and I are considering a Quebec or Maritimes holiday when Mum and Dad come over in Summer and hopefully Rob can set off on his cycling adventures too. And a road trip down the West Coast of USA. North America is HUGE, diverse, abundant and there are opportunities and chances for experiences everywhere! Enjoy this great house we are living in and is this word again......appreciate. If only we could ship it back to Yarralumla!

After several days of rain, the snow is finally going. I can't believe I set out on my run in shorts! (3 degrees and raining!) thinking it was a mild day.......and still thinking this when I came back! Everything is a comfortable shade of grey again.... the ponds and ditches still look like grey slushies, but there are only a few solitary white icebergs along the road.

Roll on Spring! The clip below kinda gives a good idea of what Winter feels like to our family at the moment,,,,,

Cheers. Emma

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Staying Alive

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 with 3 comments
Monday night training
At training this Monday were Tim, returning after a long absence but still super-fit, MickC who appeared late, maybe he couldn’t find us early, or perhaps he was just avoiding the heat, Carolyne whom we haven’t seen for a long time and who was content to catch up with old friends, Jodie who was Bronwyn’s intrepid lap scorer on Thursday and swears she didn’t miscount the laps, although how would she know as she didn’t arrive until the race was well under way, Bronwyn the 10k runner who with Jodie’s help knocked 96 seconds off her time, i.e. about one lap's worth, Joel fresh from holidaying in Peru and meeting all of Yelena’s friends and relatives and is so pleased to be back, Yelena ditto except she wishes she were still there, and good luck in tonight’s 3k, Neil completing his weekly training run without any trouble, and keen to promote tonight's interclub/grand prix track meet, Rachelle tempo running around the circuit at about my training pace, Ewen supplementing a hot run along the lake shore with an attempt in the sprints to outrun Tim and Bronwyn who were racing each other as usual, Ruth now marathon training who also ran early with Ewen and me but ran faster at the start to catch us and may have run further than we did to make pit stops, Cathy now six-foot training (see below) and looking even fitter than usual, Yili starting his track career and pushing hard, working hard, and me the only wimp in the group nursing a few niggles and saving my strength for a rainy day.

Song of the week
Hamburg Song, by Keane. This song is brilliant brilliant brilliant. Go to

Thursday night program 22 January (track)
6:00pm sprint hurdles
6:15pm 1500m walk
6:30pm 100 (Daniels)
6:50pm 1500m
7:10pm 100m
7:20pm one hour run

Jogalong result from 4 January
Cathy Montalto 31.31, Caroline Campbell 33.59

Torture on a high mountain
The definition of “Montalto” is “High Mountain”. And “Catherine” is the name of a fourth century saint and martyr from Alexandria who was tortured on the wheel. So it is not inappropriate that our Cathy is training for the Six Foot Track, aka “torture on a high mountain.” You go girl! You are without doubt a “woman with altitude”.
Cathy herself is here.

Staying Alive
Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I'm a woman's man, no time to talk. Music loud and women warm. I've been kicked around since I was born.
(all together now...)

Monday, 19 January 2009

Running is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel of monkeys

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, January 19, 2009 with 5 comments
Overweight Non-Runner (incredulous): how far did you say you ran today?
SpeedyGeoff (speaking more distinctly): 27k
ONR (concerned): how are your knees?
SG: my knees are fine.
ONR continues to adopt a sympathetic stance.
SG: I mean, I have never had knee trouble, not in 47 years of running.
ONR (disbelieving): but running must put a lot of pressure on the knees?
SG: No. Look, I have suffered from tight and sore back, glutes, hamstrings, calves, achilles, but my knees are fine. Really.
ONR is unmoved, as if he didn't hear me and is waiting for a confession which mentions knees.

Every runner has met one: a person who thinks running eventually and inevitably stresses the knees. It just isn't true! But where do these myths come from? It's beyond me. Or, is it from contact sports? Running shouldn't be a contact sport! The rules say so!

Running strengthens the muscles around the knees. Use it or lose it!

My plan for week 4 of 2009: 95k in total, including
Monday 19th: An hour's stretching, the 4:30pm run at Parliament House followed by speedygeese training at 5:30pm.
Tuesday 20th: A longish run in the morning. I won't be training at Stromlo this Tuesday.
Wednesday 21st: An easy run from home.
Thursday 22nd: Race 1500m and/or possibly the one hour run.
Friday 23rd: A recovery run from home
Saturday 24th: Stromlo intervals 9:00am, 3x1km.
Sunday 25th: I nearly forgot - ACTMA monthly handicap at Campbell Park; starts at 8:30am. I will have a jog in the short handicap race.

"Full of hope, anticipation and awe, knowing the future is malleable and that you can intervene to achieve worthwhile goals, you employ directed self-talk to get yourself onto the desired track and to keep yourself there, while staying dissatisfied, even frustrated, with where you are now. Instead of saying 'I have always done it that way', be prepared to let go of some good things so that you can grasp some better things. Remove the limits you have placed on yourself and on others, because you need to be led on a ‘wild goose chase’ that carries you beyond your limited perspectives."

Next thought: Broaden your horizons. The past does not determine the future. We don't always see everything. There are always more possibilities than we know or are capable of knowing. Forget the "if only"s, grasp the "what if"s.

"Anything is possible if we have the imagination to visualise it." Nearly everything...

Let your imagination run riot.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Don't let the moss grow beneath your feet

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, January 18, 2009 with No comments
I am not just eating, sleeping, running and blogging; last week I managed to get out to the national museum with the Hall grandchildren as well. A great place for kids and a nostalgia trip for adults; but most visitors there were international tourists. Recommended to everyone.

And today I ran barefoot again; 5k this time at the end of the long run.

Bring on second childhood!

Thursday night results:

M45 Rod Lynch 11:29.33 72.4%
M50 Roger Pilkington 13:24.79 62.5

M45 Mick Horan 2:17.02 84.1%

800m (handicapped)
W40 Amanda Walker 2:46
M45 Rod Lynch 2:29
W55 Kathy Sims 3:05

M50 Roger Pilkington 45:27.21 66.2%
W35 Bronwyn Calver 46:20.37 66.6%
Thea Zimpel "47.48 or so"

The National Museum of Australia
Liana and Amelie at the National Museum on Friday

Scotty, Mon (foreground), Amelie, Jenny, Josiah (background) at the National Museum.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

I can jump poodles

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, January 17, 2009 with 1 comment
While we wait for the last Thursday's track results to appear on the AACT and/or the ACTMA websites, and this month's Jogalong results to appear on the ACTCCC website, here is the latest ACTCCC news: "After positive feedback from the Spring Series trial, the club has decided to continue the 6:15pm start time for the ACTCCC Summer Series. First event is at the Stromlo Forest Park, on Tuesday February 3. There will be a 2km race and a 5km race, both starting at approximately 6:15pm."

Bare feet
Fifteen minutes of running in bare feet on the Stromlo grass was the highlight of my training this morning. That's the first time since school days! I feel like the boy on crutches who is elated when he first jumps puddles! I can run again!

My best run
There have been three memorable races of the thousands I have run. The combined schools mile win in 1965, the marathon win and ACT open record in 1978, and the 3000m in 1984 which was and still is the M35 Australian record.

The first of these was probably my best run. I started running in 1962, mainly sprints and 400s, then from 1964 until 1972 I specialised in the 880 yards (800m), except for a three month period at the beginning of 1965, when I trained specifically for the 1500m/mile.

Just before my 17th birthday, I represented my school (ABHS - Adelaide Boys High School) as its runner in the "open mile". This sports day had everyone from eight schools at Adelaide oval cheering, and one and only one representative from each school in each race. (In fact, there were seven colleges and one school, us). And there were separate races for under 14, under 15, under 16, and open. The head-to-head nature of each race added to the excitement.

My big rival was a St Peters boy who had pipped me in the under 16 800m the previous year. And at interclub that summer he had consistently beaten me in the 1500m, often by as much as 100m. But this was the big race!

So in bare feet (which drew comment from the rich college kids), black borrowed ABHS T-shirt, black shorts, I lined up against these confident opponents, the mile champions from each of the colleges. My plan was to sit for two laps and kick down hard in the third lap, knowing that David Looker of St Peters had a devastating kick. (but I had been working on that!)

First hundred metres I dropped into last place while pushing and shoving happened well in front of me. Then down the back straight, once they had settled down, I eased past the others bar one - David Looker, who was leading - and trailed him through. On the second lap I decided he was slowing too much, so at about 550m I took the lead and started my push to drop him. At 1200m, one lap to go, I was getting clear, and I sprinted. At 1500m, 100m to go, he had pegged me back and was on my shoulder, ready to kick home. But I found another gear and we roared down the final straight together, me staying ahead and winning, 4:32.2 to 4:32.4.

Now what are interesting about that race are the 440 yard lap splits: 68, 73, 70, 61. That's something I never achieved again! A last lap of 61 seconds for a mile/1500.

Also interesting was how happy my Sports Master was. Apparently he had made a little side bet on the result, with the St Peters Sports Master.

Reality rears its ugly head.
Wonderful achievements are often possible, particularly on the big occasion. But here’s a touch of reality. On paper I wouldn’t even make the top twenty 60 year olds, in Australia, were they all to run in the races I have planned this year. Even here in Canberra there are two much faster M60s who run regularly, and two others I can think of who if they turned up now, would also be invariably faster than me. I can list three from NSW who are consistently faster than me, and that may be the tip of an iceberg. Two from SA, Two from WA I know of. And in Victoria where the Masters Games is being held, distance running is far more popular than any other state, the odds are there are many lurking in the wings planning a come-back for these games. So am I delusional thinking I might win a race at this level? NO! Because the times M60 5000m races are won in at the national level, are times I am capable of, all stops out. But I also know there are many better performed M60s, and I also know I misfire in races as often as fire. But I will venture and see what I can gain.

I would put odds on me finishing 5th or 6th in these races, were I a betting man. I will do the best I can. I cannot control what others do, so I will tell you how I went in terms of my effort, not their's. But a rare win would be nice. My training is going well; everything is well under hand.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Alice in Wonderland's endless influence

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, January 16, 2009 with 2 comments
Thursday night at the track
As the 3000m field set off, the temperature dropped a few degrees, but not enough to make it comfortable for the runners. However, just as the 10k started at 8pm, the temperature dropped dramatically, resulting in some good performances in the large field. A highlight was Jackie Fairweather's W40 10k ACT record by 4 seconds.

Of the speedygeese, Amanda in the 800m ran a personal best time by about 4 seconds. This was in a handicapped 800 so the time won't be official, but "about 4 seconds" is a convincing pb!

Not to be out-done, Bronwyn ran a track 10k pb by 96 seconds!

Keep your ear to the grindstone, there are bound to be more good performances soon!

I didn't run; took photos instead

lap scorers in the 10k

Bronwyn. (And Jackie)

what I am reading
I have just completed Pratchett's A Hat Full Of Sky.
“Coming back to where you started from is not the same as never leaving”

what I am watching: Labyrinth. It wasn't as good as I remember, but that is a rarity. A kind of "coming of age" movie aimed at girls of about 12, with lots of good Jim Henson muppetry and an imaginative Escher-inspired castle.
Jennifer Connelly tells David Bowie:
"My will is as strong as yours.
"My kingdom is great
"You have no power over me".

Thursday, 15 January 2009

The next best thing

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, January 15, 2009 with 1 comment
My Top Ten Secret Likes
1. Staying in bed.
2. Repetitive intoxicating hypnotic music by Snow Patrol and Death Cab for Cutie. Loud. On repeat.
3. Turkish delight, fruit and nut chocolate, fresh blackberries and cream, tinned pears and chocolate sauce, nougat, fresh strawberries and cream, caramel apple cake with caramel topping, ginger plums (I can smell them cooking now! Literally), grapes, figs, apricots, anything at all with ginger in, ….. not necessarily all at once! No, not not necessarily all at once!!
4. Happy people.
5. Running like the wind.
6. Quince. Raw, cooked, no matter. Freshly cooked quince with ginger and cloves. YUM!
7. Live comedy. Examples: Lano and Woodley. Barry Humphries. Spike Milligan. Rod Quantock. Alexei Sayle. Shaun Micallef. Must be funny, not stupid and offensive, which eliminates almost every new alleged comedian of the last twenty years.
8. Feet up and a glass of red wine at the end of the day.
9. Stromlo grass running track. Heaven will have one like it! Maybe not quite as good.
10. Old fashioned text adventure games, such as Zork, Planetfall, Humbug, Jacaranda Jim; all downloadable for free these days. I am playing Planetfall. Again.

11 – vegemite
"Gillard promises to save Vegemite from fatty-foods ban"
(The Age, Friday, 9 January 2009)
Acting Prime Minster Julia Gillard has hit out at suggestions that the iconic – but very salty – Australian spread Vegemite could be forced off supermarket shelves if a Government taskforce recommends taxes or bans on fatty and salty foods.
Gillard told The Age that Vegemite would not lose its place on grocery shelves on her watch.
"I am a very happy Vegemite eater and there is no way in the world that Vegemite would be banned in this country.
"Vegemite is part of being Australian, part of our history, part of our future – and I'll be continuing to wake up in the morning and having it on my toast."
The Australian Food and Grocery Council and the Australian Retailers Association were also up in arms, vowing to fight for the yeasty product.
"The AFGC is disappointed that (the) National Preventative Health Taskforce has chosen to risk the credibility of its report to Government through failing to base its considerations first and foremost on scientific evidence, rather than conjecture and supposition," the group says.
Scott Driscoll, executive director of The Retailers Association, has labelled the potential ban or taxes as "un-Australian" rubbish.
"For a Federal Government taskforce to be even talk about imposing a tax on Vegemite for consumers due to salt content is political correctness gone utterly mad," says Driscoll.
"Retailers nationally can all testify that demand for the popular breakfast spread on toast remains high, and for the Australian Government to be paying members of a taskforce to come out with such garbage is a serious waste of taxpayer dollars in itself. "The bureaucrats peddling this nonsense should go away and spread some Vegemite on a piece of toast, sit down and watch The Castle on DVD and realise they're dreaming!"

The next best thing

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Gurble wurble fromitz

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 with 8 comments
Song of the week Fiction Family – When She’s Near

This is being released on single and album very soon.

My Top Ten Pet Aversions
1. Television presenters who act, and are treated, as if they are the celebrities. Celebrity worship in general.
2. Cold milk. Especially cold milk on weetbix. And peel. Peel is not a food!
3. Injuries.
4. Dishonesty.
5. Living in the past and eschewing the present. Bit of a worry that, because as soon as dementia sets in, I will be claiming that "The Incredible String Band” (a Scottish folk duo formed in 1965) is the next best thing. Of course, their new album, “Tricks of the Senses”, is being released on 29 January 2009…….. oh, they ARE the next best thing. Gurble wurble fromitz.
6. Americanisation. Of anything.
7. Cheese. Mexican food (when it is saturated in cheese).
8. What I think of as Bad Music. i.e. Country. And Western. Opera. Heavy metal. Rap. “Bread and Butter”. “I’ve Never Been to Me”. “Throw Your Arms Around Me”. (that last is a Hunters and Collectors song if you don’t recognise the name, and even more cringe-worthy than “never been to me”, if that is possible.) And anything by the Bee Gees, who are much worse than one’s memory of them.
9. Television news. Any television news. It is, in 2009, still all one sided propaganda. Reporters and cameramen come in with the story already written and ask questions but don’t listen and rush away uninformed. As remains their audience. Information content: zero.
10 The use of “alleged” and “allegedly” in reports about crime. What nonsense!

While I am there at point ten, another pet aversion is the sympathy and leniency shown by many to criminals and for criminal behaviour. And what lawyers are reported as saying in the defence of criminals like the one below is appalling. 

"Man caught drink driving after life ban"
A Canberra man banned from holding a licence for the rest of his life has been caught drink driving a day after he was granted bail for more driving offences.
Robert Jones was pulled over by police on Saturday night in Holt, a day after being released from custody.
The 62-year-old returned a positive alcohol breath test and admitted to police that he did not hold a driver's licence.
The court heard it was the 15th time he has been charged with driving while disqualified, and the 13th for drink driving.
Jones has already spent nearly four years in jail for driving offences in the ACT and New South Wales.
His lawyer told the court her client had now given his car away and that he had been drinking because he had a terrible week.
Magistrate Grant Lalor refused him bail on the grounds that he might re-offend if released."

And Holt is the suburb I live in. And for every one caught out there are plenty getting away with it. I know just from standing outside my front door that no less than four households within my view have this calibre of person.

Gurble wurble fromitz.

Speaking of fromitz, I am currently "playing" Planetfall. More on that tomorrow, when I report on my top ten secret likes.

Gee it was hot running this morning! The only breeze was when Jackie Fairweather breezed past me, somewhere along the bottom fence line below Hawker, the track between the bottom (southern end) of the Pinnacle and the back of Hawker.  I don't often see people down there, only rabbits, kangaroos, and occasionally foxes, hares.

speedygoose Christopher masquerading as a cyclist. But seeing what their training sessions entail, I fully understand.

From Monday's Canberra Times, page 4.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Don’t call me spritely!

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 with 3 comments
I am not spritely! In fact, lots of people would consider me young, if they were alive today!

Monday training at Parliament House saw Bronwyn, Cathy, Christopher, Ewen, GeoffB, me, Jodie, Joel, MickC, MickH, Neil, Ruth, Yelena & Yili run 12 x 200 with 100 jog, a repeat of last Monday's session. Again it was relatively cool by the time we trained, but we won't be getting any relief for the rest of this week; heat wave conditions are forecast. Let's hope the fire bugs give it a rest this week.

Track Timetable for Thursday January 15
5:45pm 1500m/3000m walk, 3000/5000m run
6:15pm long hurdles 200m/300m/400m
6:30pm 60m
7:00pm 800m handicap
7:30pm 200m
8:00pm 10000m ACT (open) championship
8:10pm Relay 4 x 100m

I think 8:00pm will be too early for the 10k, it is unlikely to start cooling down until 8:30pm or 9:00pm. Of the training group, I know that Cathy and Bronwyn plan to run it.

“We all need to be led on a ‘wild goose chase’ that carries us beyond our limited perspectives” – Mark Batterson, from the book "wild goose chase". I have downloaded the first chapter and may have to buy the book! Seems he is saying that the way to get away from monotony and boredom is to treat life as an adventure. Sounds familiar! More soon as I read the book.

Transformation Key 5: Remove the limits you have placed on yourself and on others. Are you calling yourself something limiting? Don’t limit yourself to what you already know, what you already do! And don’t limit others. Don’t speak of others in the way you have in the past. When our first child was small, I was continually amazed at what he was capable of learning and doing, when given the opportunity and encouragement by his parents to do so. Children are capable of incredible things, much more than we might realise. How much more could adults be capable of if they were allowed, and allowed themselves, to spread their wings and fly? Raise your expectations of what small children can achieve. And what adults are capable of. And most importantly, what you are capable of. Don't pigeonhole yourself, or let others pigeonhole you, from a limited perspective.

Spritely? Don't call me spritely. I will show you "spritely!"

Monday, 12 January 2009

Transformation: You CAN change spots on an old dog

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, January 12, 2009 with 1 comment

My plan for week 3 of 2009:
Monday 12th: An hour's stretching in the morning. Parliament House in the heat of the afternoon, a run at 4:30pm with Ewen and anyone else who turns up (Ruth? Miranda? others?), then speedygeese training at 5:30pm.
Tuesday 13th: Stromlo at 6:00pm for a 5k tempo run. Plan for 22 minutes despite the heat.
Wednesday 14th: A recovery run around Belconnen.
Thursday 15th: A rest from racing. But I will come out and watch the 3k/5k, 800 (handicapped!), and perhaps the 10k if anyone in the group decides to run it.
Friday 16th: A recovery run around Belconnen
Saturday 17th: Stromlo intervals 9:00am, 3x1km.
Sunday 18th: Stromlo long run 8:00am to complete 90k once again.
This is all very similar to week 2, except for the non-race Thursday.

Transformation: updates will keep coming. Change is always possible, even when you're older, when you might hear people say "you're set in your ways". Reject that thought! You CAN change spots on an old dog. Key #4: Don’t say “I have always done it that way”. Even if something is GOOD, something else may be BETTER! Be prepared to give everything away so you can grasp what is on offer! At the start of a new year I lay EVERYTHING down on the table. Then I pick up what seems right and sufficient. Some old things, some new things (and possibly some borrowed things, some blue things?) It’s not that I have decided (in advance) to discontinue some activity. It’s just that one can get tied into something which is less than productive or meritable. And one can be doing good things one shouldn’t be doing, because there may be better things not being achieved.

Transformation: Summary so far
Key 1. Full of hope, anticipation and awe, knowing the future is malleable and that you can intervene to achieve worthwhile goals,
Key 2. …you employ directed self-talk to get yourself onto the desired track and to keep yourself there,
Key 3. ... while staying dissatisfied, even frustrated, with where you are now, and
Key 4. ... being prepared to let go of some good things so that you can grasp some better things.

Spiral 4 times from Thursday are in the newspaper, but they are the gross times, not the net times. Running from the training group were Gary, Rachelle, Bronwyn, Ruth, MickH, GeoffB, & Rod.

Spiral 4 net times, according to the ACTMA website
M50 Gary Bowen 7.39
W35 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee 6.57
W35 Bronwyn Calver 6.54
W55 Ruth Baussmann 8.24
M45 Mick Horan 8.26
M60 Geoff Barker 8.26
M45 Rod Lynch 5.53

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Time To Run!

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, January 11, 2009 with No comments
After a sluggish 1500m last Thursday, this weekend I have been feeling much better; on Saturday I ran 3:49, 3:36 and 3:35 for my 3x1k; I followed this up with a second run in the cool of the afternoon; and I pushed fairly hard at times on this morning's run. Given that the temperature should go up again this week, I am thinking of having an easier day tomorrow and try for a quality run on Tuesday and not worry too much about any racing that might be on offer this Thursday

OK, a good day; why are the bad days so bad? While I don't over-train, I definitely don't under-race. A clue there, I think.

speedygeese times last Thursday
Mick Horan 61.17 80.4%
Geoff Sims 61.57 85.9
Ken White 67.50 75.9
Thea Zimpel 73.07
Bronwyn Calver 74.29 69.9
Amanda Walker 74.43 71.3

Mick Horan 5:02.23 79.0%
Ken White 5:15.80 79.7
Rod Lynch 5:15.96 75.6
Geoff Moore 5:35.45 78.3
Roger Pilkington 5:36.56 71.6
Amanda Walker 5:36.93 73.7
Geoff Sims 5:42.86 76.6
Ewen Thompson 5:55.56
Bronwyn Calver 6:07.50 66.3
Kathy Sims 6:08.01 82.5
Ruth Baussmann 7:36.33 67.5
Geoff Barker 7:45.42 58.3

Roger Pilkington 12:36.8
Thea Zimpel 12:46.5

I haven’t got the full results for the “hand timed 3000”, nor any results for the spiral 4, which wasn’t an Adler, so may never appear?

...waking up is hard to do. Now you know, you know that it's true.

1. I don't expect anyone to read every word of each post, but if you did on Thursday and Friday, you will have noticed I used every one of my "misused words", as listed on Thursday, in Friday's post.
2. That's eleven.
3. And one or two extra ones I didn't mention.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Andrew Lloyd, running legend

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, January 10, 2009 with 5 comments
My favourite running moment was watching Andrew Lloyd win the Commonwealth gold medal for the 5000m in 1990. One day I would love to do an “Andrew Lloyd”, i.e. pip someone for gold who has thought he has won. I would also love to find a video of this moment; so if you have one or can acquire one, PLEASE add it to YouTube!” The following picture and story are from

ANDREW LLOYD CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 1990 Commonwealth 5000m Champion

Andrew Lloyd's determination to fight back against impossible odds was not only evident in the greatest victory of his career, but also in life itself. Although Lloyd had shown his distance running potential on the track early in his career, it was in the marathon that he achieved his earliest successes. He won the Melbourne marathon in 1979, 1980 and 1981, and recorded a career best of 2hr 14min 36sec in 1984. On the track, Lloyd's first major success was winning the 5000m/10000m double at the 1985 Australian Championships. Later that year, Andrew suffered serious injuries in a car accident that claimed the life of his first wife. Lloyd slowly regained his fitness, although the injuries sustained in the accident would necessitate seven operations over time to his right ankle and right elbow. Lloyd participated at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul where he failed to finish in his heat of the 10000m, and was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 5000m. The 5000m final at Seoul was memorable because the winner John Ngugi (Kenya) established an enormous lead over the field in the early stages which he never relinquished. Ngugi tried exactly the same tactics in the 5000m final at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland on 1 February 1990. Ngugi had a 40-metre lead at the bell, with the runners behind him, led by Ian Hamer (Wales), starting to make their moves as they fought for the minor medals. Lloyd battled Hamer for second place around the last lap, finally passing the Welshman soon after entering the straight. At this stage Ngugi's lead still seemed unassailable, but he was starting to falter, and sensing his chance, Lloyd produced an incredible finishing burst (see photo above), to just pip Ngugi at the line by a mere 0.08 seconds. (Ron Casey)


Friday, 9 January 2009

Big Fat Goose Egg

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, January 09, 2009 with 1 comment

Thursday night
Irregardless of the strong cold wind, several training group member’s ran pbs last night at track. Amanda literally flogged half the field, when in a quite unique performance she proceeded to decimate the opposition with an awesome 13 to 15 second improvement in the 1500m. Other’s to do well included Thea, who put in a 140% effort, running 3kms one or two second’s faster than she’s ever done before, following that up with a 400m pb by 2 or 3 seconds. Was Thea happy? Absolutely. And not to be outdone, Ruth, a rookie 1500m runner, did well to complete her maiden 1500 after almost getting cold feet from all the alleged celebrities she imagined she saw. We all suffer from an irrational celebrity fear! One of the celebrities looking good was former goose Sue Bourke, who in a marathon effort ran two 100m races, a 200m and a 400m, all very fast. This year, the ninth and final year of the decade, promises to be, like, awesome!

Ten out of ten for all these excellent performances. Twelve out of ten! But a big fat goose egg for my trot around the track in the 1500m, I felt like a blob of jelly.


My racing plans
It is good to commit to paper and to public view all the races you have pencilled in to attack. So here’s my list. But as you will see, I am not always sure what to run…
Thu 15 Jan either the 3k, 5k, or 10k. A week out, the forecast is 35 degrees, which may or may not influence the decision
Thu 22 Jan probably another go at the 1500. Cannot do worse than yesterday. There is also a one hour run, I would like to do that as well or instead if I feel like it, as it will be the only one this year.
Sun 25 Jan Campbell Park, the short handicap. No big deal.
Tue 27 Jan race the 3k.
Thu 29 Jan race 5k fast!
Tue 3 Feb race 5k at Stromlo, flat out.
Thu 5 Feb race 3k fast!
Tue 10 Feb probably jog the Boathouse 5k. I am avoiding running hard on the road.
Thu 12 Feb 1500 fast! Last try-out for a possible 1500 in Geelong
Sat 14 Feb 3000 fast
Tue 17 Feb run at North Curtin. Just a tempo run.
Sat 21 Feb try to win gold in the AMG M60 8k cross country at Geelong
Mon 23 Feb AMG M60 1500m. Run it depending on (a) the field, (b) my form, (c) recovery from the cross country. But 1500m is not really my thing, I cannot run such a fast pace with such short legs!
Wed 25 Feb AMG M60 5000m. Put all my goose eggs in one basket and hit it!

The 90 seconds per lap I have down pat for 1500m needs to be extended to 3k (on 14 Feb) and 5k (on 25 Feb). Then I will be content. Until April.... see, I am not putting all my chickens in one hatch. But now that I have revealed my plans, if I fail to attempt these goals I will have egg all over my face, from head to toe.

Thursday, 8 January 2009


Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, January 08, 2009 with 16 comments
Ten misused words to make me cringe, wince, and whinge.
(1) Literally. Most often used when its exact opposite, “figuratively”, is what is meant. “He runs at literally 100 kilometres per hour”. No he doesn’t!

(2) Irregardless. There is no such word. “People use it, irregardless”. A woeful mix of “irrespective” and “regardless”

(3) Absolutely, basically, actually, exactly, really etc. Used to be absolutes, but are just noise words now. Makes we want to ask, “really?”

(4) 110%, and the like, when used to mean “100%”. If someone tells me about a “140% effort” someone has put in, I will disregard anything else they may have told me before or since.

(5) Wrong apostrophes, its for it’s, it’s for its, misuse of apostrophes generally. Think before you write! I won’t ever spend good money on fruit advertised as “orange’s”.

(6) Unique, when qualified. I am not “quite unique”, Either I am unique or I am not.

(7) Decimate. Whenever a news report says that a population was decimated, I think “So exactly one out of ten was destroyed? I wonder how they managed that?”

(8) Rookie. I suppose it’s not strictly a misuse, but I find myself saying things like, “how does a novice American basketball player come to be playing for an Australian footy team?” It is a word so foreign to our culture. Yes there are other US words that annoy me, but none as much as this.

(9) “Athelete” for Athlete. Come to think of it, “Athlete” for player of any sport, “Marathon” for any distance, etc.

(10) New Millennium for year 2000 and on. For the information of the mathematically challenged, which seems to cover all journalists and all politicians, it was 2001. And now in 2009, it is the 9th year of the third millennium. There are other hysterically wrong mathematical ideas, but this one annoys me the most..

I am sure there are one or two others, Clichés and worn out phrases aside, what other words are genuinely misused these days?

And it goes without saying...

"Awe" is amazement verging on fear. The word has been hijacked to mean everything and nothing...

It seems I am swimming against the grain, opposing words and figures of speech which are in common usage. I feel as if language is dumbing down too much, and would like to challenge people to become more creative and constructive. But it's a tough cookie to crack.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009


Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 with No comments
what I have been reading
"The Wee Free Men", by Terry Pratchett

The first three Discworld novels that centred on the character Tiffany Aching each received the Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book (in 2004, 2005 and 2007.) The first of these, "The Wee Free Men", I have just completed, and next I will read the second, "A Hat Full of Sky". I read the third, "Wintersmith", some time ago. What I love about "The Wee Free Men", besides the obvious writing skills and imagination of the author, is how down-to earth it is, and its panning of fairy-tale romance. Perfect for young adults! I will give it 8 out of 10, and "Wintersmith" 10 out of 10.

Official track program for tomorrow
5:45pm 1500m /3000m Walk hand timed only
3000m Run hand timed only
6:00pm Sprint Hurdles (110/100/90/80m)
6:20pm 1500 metres
7:00pm 100m- handicap
7:30pm Relay 4 x 100m and 2 x 200m
7:45pm 400 metres
8:10pm 4 Lap Spiral
8:35pm 1500m/2km/3km Low Steeplechase
2k/3k Steeplechase High Steeplechase
Order of events announced 60 minutes before

Management Charts
I have found a few basic management charts for your next presentation. Feel free to borrow them, they are designed to impress any Canberra Management team. Have I opened a Pandora's box of worms?