Friday, 31 August 2012

Running will change your future

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, August 31, 2012 with 1 comment
Last night at Parliament House, Ewen ran early, then for the main session Andrew, Andy, Colin, Craig, Eliza, me, Jen, Susan, Tim (new) and Yelena ran 20 x 100m hills: 8 on 80 secs on the easy hill; 8 on 90 secs then 4 on 80 secs on the harder hill. My first actual training back from injury for the last month or so. Talk about windy: the big flag above the House was literally bending the flagpole. Not really a night for standing around outside. It was good to know though that not only Susan but also Andy has been running some good times recently; Andy at Wednesday's BBQ Stakes has been setting some healthy PBs.

Take heart, you don't have to be an Olympian, let alone a special Olympian, to train and get very fit.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

When is the last time you did something for the first time?

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, August 30, 2012 with 1 comment
Perfect day.
Well, today is the perfect day for all those people, who said they were going to come along to training, to join us for the first time. Lovely pre-spring weather, with a nice breeze to help you up the hills at Parliament House.

Less than perfect day.
If you were selected for the National Cross Country this year it would have helped if you had trained in the mud. Here's how the course at Oakbank, South Australia, looked last weekend.

Brian, my gym instructor, was there with some of the kids, and said it was difficult to stand on the course, let alone run.

Elizabeth, Louise, Mel - ACT Women reps at the national Cross Country

The moral of the story is, train under all conditions, not just on nice days like today,  because you never know what it will be like on race day.

Ha ha I spoke too soon. The weather has closed in, now it looks like the perfect day for practising your crazy weather running. It will be fun, guaranteed.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 with 1 comment

With the track season fast approaching we are concentrating of faster long intervals. On the grass at Dickson last night I got the runners to do two-lap-in-lane-four intervals on eight minutes. The first was timed, the other three were handicapped according to time. Times were interesting and nobody faded too much as they got tired.
Colin Craig SusanMickEliza
#12:55 3:20 3:50 4:10 4:15
#22:55 3:15 3:55 4:10 4:30
#32:55 3:15 4:00 4:05 4:30
#43:00 3:25 4:00 4:00 4:25

Next week, more of the same, as we keep working on gaining speed over longish intervals.

Hopefully, my posts are easy to follow. Clarity and simplicity, that is the aim. See you at training!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

the audition

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 with No comments
Song of the week. From the movie The Sapphires it is the audition sequence.

Recommended everyone who loves soul music go and see this movie!

On Saturday I did two short walks to map out some alternative courses for beginners

2.75k: from Acton Ferry Terminal to Parkes Way/Commonwealth Park entrance and back

1.4k from Acton Ferry Terminal, around the willow trees and back

Monday, 27 August 2012

Mt Taylor action

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, August 27, 2012 with 1 comment

An excellent result, Cathy & Graeme!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

ducking the duathletes

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, August 26, 2012 with 2 comments
26/08/12 - Mt Taylor 7.0k
16 Rod Lynch M50 29:17 79.9%
19 Margaret McSpadden W65 47:15 66.6
21 Nadine Morrison W40 33:23 72.2
27 Christopher Lang M60 39:29 64.6
30 Maria O'Reilly W55 33:24 84.5
32 Janene Kingston W45 37:22 68.0
33 Mick Charlton M60 41:18 61.5
77 finishers

26/08/12 - Mt Taylor 3.5k
2 Cathy Montalto W60 18:15 76.4% **gold** and Graeme won silver
17 Brett Morrison M40 16:13 65.3
24 Jill Pearson W50 18:02 71.7
33 finishers

And ducking around the duathletes at Stromlo this morning, Andrew, Abi & Sarah ran a hard session of 4 x 1km with 500m rest.

Meanwhile I am swimming not quite like a rock

Saturday, 25 August 2012

I'd rather be running

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, August 25, 2012 with No comments
Speedygeese in the 10 mile road race around West Basin, Saturday 25 August.
22. Susan Sturgeon 1:22:59
23. Andrew Mathews 1:23:00
39 finishers. Susan & Andrew went on to complete a longer training run. Meanwhile Laura met me at Acton Ferry Terminal for a run of about 10k, in her case only; I walked 4k. Then we went swimming.

I enjoyed the swim (1400m) but not the walk and will plan some swim training sessions as there is little sign of my heel improving enough to be running any time soon.

That's because I'd rather be running.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Vets 2012-13 Track & Field program

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, August 24, 2012 with 1 comment
Hi everyone, there is a draft Track and Field program out for next season. This is your chance to feedback on what changes you would like to see in the program, before it is finalised. Have your say! The program is on the Vets website at

Yesterday afternoon at Parliament House we enjoyed another excellent training session, and once again the rain had poured down most of the day but it was fine and dry for training. Andrew ran early and didn't get wet, and was then joined by Abi, Andy, Craig, Jen, Joel, Sarah, Susan, Verena, Warrick & Yelena for a session which consisted of 2 x 400m, then 12 x 100m uphill on 90 seconds.

It is cold and wet and miserable now. Let's hope it fines up for Saturday's West Basin 10 mile race, and for Sunday's Vets handicap out at Mt. Taylor.

Another photo from the Vets Half Marathon

My friend Leanne took this photo while on a run in Melbourne

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Suzie Gye wins Half Marathon

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, August 23, 2012 with 1 comment
In the Alice Springs Half Marathon, Suzie ran 1:43.17, sixth overall, first female by nine minutes. Great run, Suzie!

It is raining today, we had up to ten mm in our rain gauge overnight. Don't be deterred, training will still be on this afternoon at Parliament House.

Cats won't go out in this weather...

... and will hide in a plastic raincoat just in case...

... but we speedygeese enjoy getting down and getting dirty. Kymmy after a tough race! 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Hobart 2024

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 with No comments
Gruen Sweat's Hobart promo

Running on Dickson Oval last night were Brendan, Colin, Eliza, Jack, Liz, Mick, Susan, Yelena & me jogging around. Runners did ten x 200m in total in a mixed session..

Susan ran a 9 minute PB in the half. She attends more speedygeese sessions than anyone else and says this training with us has made the difference.

Additional to our usual training sessions, on Saturday I will be swimming at the AIS from 11:00am (after the Acton run at 9:00am), and on Sunday I will be meeting at the Stromlo Forest Park for km intervals at 8:00am.

More Half Marathon photos
Rob, Clare, Warrick









Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Everybody's somebodies.

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 with 1 comment
Song of the week. I guess I had to get around to highlighting the most popular new song that everybody knows and is covered by everybody. But if you haven't seen this ultimate version before, do so now.

Peter Norman was somebody that I used to know. I was 20 when he set the Australian 200m record running second in the Olympics, and when he appalled all the racists by supporting the call for racial equality and justice. If I were in his place at the time I know I would have done the same, regardless of the consequences.

Well done Peter. A true hero. And well done to my local member of Parliament, Andrew Leigh, for organising an official apology for the way Peter was subsequently treated.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Vets half marathon - cool, still, and fast

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, August 20, 2012 with 1 comment
Speedygeese in the Vets Half Marathon Sunday 19/8
Andy Matthews 1:34.55
Maria O'Reilly 1:40.00
Warrick Howieson 1:44.46
Susan Sturgeon 1:48.49
Cathy Montalto 1:56.11

Warrick's daughter wearing Kylie Malone's medal.

Kylie ran 1:39.15, she said she was thinking of rejoining us soon...

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Lark Hill

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, August 19, 2012 with No comments
After Friday's snow.

Some Results

Women’s 6k Jogalong Sunday 5 August
Cathy Montalto 31:58
Caroline Campbell 34:08
Sarah Pau 34:12

Parkrun 5K #17 Saturday 18 August
Jill Pearson 26:33.

Training today at Stromlo Forest Park
4 x 1k with easy 500m recovery
Andrew ran between 3:30 & 3:45 per km, Abi & Sarah ran between 3:40 & 3:55.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

senates everywhere you look

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, August 18, 2012 with No comments
Clarke & Dawe, from

Today's run from the Acton Ferry Terminal - Andy, Susan & Thach did 11k while I jogged 8.5.

Metro runners 8.5k

Then I went off for my first swim for many years, did 1k in short bursts of 50m. Also swimming were Ann, Laura & Hongyan. I seemed to have survived, though time will tell.

Friday, 17 August 2012


Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, August 17, 2012 with 6 comments
Yay, it's snowing in Canberra, hasn't done so for years. Here are photos taken today at Gold Creek, which is in the ACT suburb of Nicholls.

Young flyers
Last night at Parliament House training, Cathy, Jen & Justine ran early, then Jen was joined by Abi, Andy, Colin, Craig, Eliza, Sarah (new), Susan, Verena & Warrick who ran 10 x 360m with 240m recovery along the west side of Parliament House. I supervised and joggled 5.5k altogether.

A drop in the ocean
Since the year 2000, nearly 1,600 asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat have died or are missing. Meanwhile, how many Australians have died in that time from smoking? Where's the outrage about that? See yesterday's post…

A plunge in the pool
Tomorrow I run at Acton with the 9:00 crowd, then I am off to the AIS for my first swim for many years. I am looking forward to it!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

coffin nails

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, August 16, 2012 with 1 comment

Tobacco smoke is the leading cause of death and the single most preventable cause of death and ill health in Australia (1) . It is estimated that smoking kills around 15,000 Australians each year (2) .

It is well established, that among other diseases and conditions, smoking is a major risk factor for a range of cancers, including lung cancer which is the most common form of cancer death in Australia (1).  Currently, 89% of lung cancers in Australian men and 70% in Australian women can be attributed to smoking (3) .

Trends in smoking prevalence in Australia compare favourably to many other OECD (4)  countries, with the current daily smoking rate having decreased from 19.2% in 1998–99 to 15.1% in 2009–10 (1).

Compared to the national average, the ACT has slightly lower rates of smoking with 11% of ACT residents aged 14 years and over being daily smokers (1).

Despite the ACT having a slightly lower rate of smoking than most other Australian States and Territories, the Cancer Council ACT is committed to further reducing the impact of smoking in the ACT community, as well as reducing smoking uptake, particularly amongst young people.
  1- AIHW 2011. 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report. Drug statistics series no. 25. Cat. no. PHE 145. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 22 November 2011
  2- ABS (2009). 2007–08 National health survey: summary of results, Australia. ABS cat. no. 4364.0. Reissue. Canberra: ABS.
  3- AIHW & AACR (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Australasian Association of Cancer Registries) 2004,Cancer in Australia, 2001, AIHW Cat. No. CAN 23, AIHW, Canberra; C
Chao, Thun, Jacobs, Henley, Rodriguez C, Calle. (2000). Cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer mortality in the cancer prevention study II. Journal National Cancer Institute, 92(23), pp 1888-96.
  4- OECD: Organisation for economic cooperation and development. An organisation of 30 developed countries, including Australia.


Health Issues

Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. It also causes heart disease, stroke, lung diseases (including emphysema), blindness, stomach ulcers and many other conditions. It has been estimated that one in nine new cancers and one in five cancer deaths occur in Australia each year as a result of smoking (5) .

The 2004 report of the US Surgeon General, The Health Consequences of Smoking, published the following four major conclusions:

1.    Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and reducing the health of smokers in general.
2.    Quitting smoking has immediate as well as long-term benefits, reducing risks for diseases caused by smoking and improving health in general.
3.    Smoking cigarettes with lower machine-measured yields of tar and nicotine provides no clear benefit to health.
4.    The list of diseases caused by smoking has been expanded to include abdominal aortic aneurysm, acute myeloid leukemia, cataract, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, pneumonia, periodontitis and stomach cancer (6).

The Cancer Council ACT’s position is that there is no safe level of smoking and/or risk- free exposure to second hand smoke. Furthermore, Cancer Council ACT identifies quitting smoking as the single most important measure a person can take to protect their health and reduce their risk of cancer – particularly lung cancer.

Passive smoke:
There is also strong evidence that passive smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke can cause death and disease in otherwise healthy non-smoking children and adults.

Passive smoke causes:
In adults:
• heart disease
• lung cancer
• irritation of the eyes and nose.

In children:
• Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS or cot death)
• lower birth-weight babies (where the mother was exposed to second-hand smoke)
• bronchitis, pneumonia and other lung/airways infections
• asthma exacerbation
• middle ear disease (otitis media or ‘glue ear’)
• respiratory symptoms (e.g. coughing, wheezing).

Cancer Council Australia recommends (7) :
• people avoid tobacco smoke, to eliminate the risk of health problems caused by passive smoking;
• children are protected from second-hand smoke, including in the home and car. The hazard in the
home and car requires greater public education so that everyone recognises the risk to which their
families and others are exposed; and
• all indoor workplaces, public places and popular outdoor venues such as al fresco dining areas, leisure
and cultural settings be completely smoke-free.

Further information on health issues related to smoking can be found at:
[5] Cancer Council Australia. Smoking. Available from

[6] US Department of Health and Human Services. The health consequences of smoking. A report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General; 2004. Available from

[7] Cancer council Australia. Health risks of passive smoke. Available from:

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

C2S 2012

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 with 2 comments
Speedygeese and friends in the City to Surf:
Bruce Graham 47:46 2nd M50-59
Tim Calver 54:21
Lance Purdon 55:11
Michelle Wells 58:06
David Webster 60:44 4th M60-69
Craig Davis 61:40
Heidi Johnston 62:18
Maria O’Reilly 63:50
Kelley Flood 64:04
Jennifer Bright 64:43
Ewen Thompson 67:54
Warrick Howieson 68:29
Kathy Sims 68:45 1st W60-69
Mick Horan 69:26
Graeme Patrick 70:36
Janene Kingston 72:35
Geoff Sims 73:08
Mary Ann Busteed 75:39
Bronwyn Calver 76:29
Cathy Montalto 77:25
Amanda Cook 77:55

 Graeme and Cathy at Bluetts

Amelie, the third of my grandchildren to experience gymnastic bling

You looking at me?

Training last night at Dickson. Colin, Craig (reserve), Jill, Mick, Roden, Susan & Yelena ran a series of undulating circuits in relay teams of three. Once again I jogged around supervising, still nursing a painful heel. Each circuit took in about 300m of short uphills and downhills, then a 100m straight to finish off. The runners alternated "racing" a lap and jogging a lap.

Next training session: 9:00am at Acton Ferry terminal, Saturday.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

running and the heart

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 with No comments

Just as there is a natural rhythm when running - surging and breathing out to expel the "bad air", relaxing and letting the lungs inflate to breathe in fresh air ready for the next surge - so also there is a natural rhythm during weeks and months of running - pushing hard for a time, then running more easily for a time. It's called "racing" and "recovery". And conventional wisdom says that the longer the race, the more recovery time is required.

Here is a quote from an article at
which warns of potential dangers to the heart caused by running too many ultras.

"Much of the damage seen immediately after the race goes away within the month. It is only when the heart is consistently and repeatedly damaged that the scarring builds up. If you’re going to continuously compete in long-distance running, cycling or triathlon events, there are a few precautions you could take, O’Keefe says.

"Break up your exercise to give your heart a rest, recommends O’Keefe. Sitting at your desk, your heat pumps about five liters per minute, but during exercise it can pump up to 25 liters a minute. “That’s a lot of cardiac work to do for four hours at a time,” he said."

Sensible running makes the heart stronger but only if you have sensible rest as well. It is actually the rest after the stress of running which does the strengthening! Good news: "doing nothing" is an essential part of training. So don't just do something: sit there!

Song of the Week: Always a Winner, by Pete Murray
This year there have been released many very good new albums, it is really hard to separate out which are the best. But just at the moment I tend towards nominating Pete Murray's "Blue Sky Blue" just ahead of many others.

This album has kept growing on me all year.

"Always A Winner"
Hey, see it my way
If we all had a dream
We could bust this place
And we could take it down
Like a runaway train
I bet you'd make me smile
Like I'm going insane
So pick your style
And pick your place
And we can burn like the summer
With amazing grace
Gonna win now
Cause I know you are
You are my one true love
And you got me this far

Always a winner, yeah you're always a winner for me
Always a winner, yeah you're always a winner for me

With my best friend
I put my best foot forward
Gonna dry you out like a winter time wind
And it wont stop now no I keep coming
Better knock me down sober so I can't get up
This time will see the last time
Oh you're always a winner
Don't you burn yourself out

Always a winner, yeah you're always a winner for me
Always a winner, yeah you're always a winner for me

Pick me up don't bring me down
Take me right now to the other side of town
That's where I wanna be, you and me alone
We've gotta build it right up so we can make it our home
Guilty man, don't want no guilty man seen
I'm gonna break it right now
Your a winner to me

Always a winner, yeah you're always a winner for me
Always a winner, yeah you're always a winner for me
Always a winner, yeah you're always a winner for me
Always a winner, yeah you're always a winner for me

Footnote: It's funny, lyrics sites often get lyrics wrong, and they obviously copy each other, which propagates these errors across the net. I reckon I've got the lyrics right, but one line of mine differs from all the lyric site versions.

Monday, 13 August 2012

back end

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, August 13, 2012 with 2 comments
Congratulations to Martin Dent who ran a negative split in the Olympic Marathon! 

To repeat an absolutely awful phrase I heard first at the swimming, over and over, and hope never to hear again, Martin's back end was his best. In other words, the second half of his race was faster than the first, he finished strong, passing many runners, finishing 28th in 2:16.29.

Full marathon results are at

Meanwhile Warrick's elevation map of Sunday's City to Surf shows that the back end looks just like that - a back end. I will have a speedygeese results update soon!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

My Olympic Highlight

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, August 12, 2012 with No comments
Nothing was better than David Rudisha's world record in in the men's 800m. Leading all the way, he smashed his own world record and he smashed the field. He is the first member of Kenya's Maasai tribe to win at any Olympics. His father had won a 4x400m relay silver for Kenya in the 1968 Olympics. His mother was a 400m hurdler.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

née Poppett

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, August 11, 2012 with No comments
Lucia hands in her thesis


Metro runners joggle around a 7.1k course

It may have been bright and sunny this morning, but it was freezing cold! Andrew, Laura dlC, Thach & I ran the above course. No layers were removed.
Eloise Wellings races in London

Star Australian distance runner. Still just 29 years old.
Olympic 10000m 32:25.43
Olympic 5000m (round 1) 15:35.53