Wednesday, 31 December 2008

2008: Last Year of "The Vets"

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 with 4 comments
We are moving with the times! On that note, happy birthday Jodie 42 last Thursday, happy birthday Mick C 57 next Saturday!

Yes, ACT Veterans Athletics is finally moving with the times! The dogs may be barking but the caravan’s moved on! We will be "The Masters" in 2009 from May, I am sure! I am certainly looking forward to when all the woo-hoo-har is over, when the dust has cleared and the smoke has settled, and when the "debate" will have just been water over the bridge!


Bye bye 2008! Everything will be bigger and better and brighter in 2009,  I am certain! More jokes! More fun! More mixed metaphors! More exclamation marks! More kilometres run!!


Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Making it close

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 with 4 comments
song of the week: 42, by Coldplay, from Viva La Vida.

Those who are dead are not dead
They’re just living in my head
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well

Time is so short and I’m sure
There must be something more

Those who are dead are not dead
They’re just living in my head
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well

You thought you might be a ghost ...
You didn’t get to heaven but you made it close ...

Those who are dead are not dead
They’re just living in my head

42 was especially chosen to draw this year to a close, and to anticipate what more there may be next year.

At training last night we had the smallest turn-out since rain struck on 13 October and we were confined to the car-park. However conditions were perfect and we did a session we haven't done for a few of years: 6 x 600 on 5 minutes on the east side, the 600m being two loops starting up a steep climb, plus a third climb up the hill to finish each interval. Present were Bronwyn, Cathy, Christopher, Ewen, Geoff B, me, Miranda & Ruth. Ewen, Miranda and Ruth also joined me for an 8k jog before the session.

I have finished going through all my roles, tasks and activities, reprioritising and pruning for the new year. speedygeese: One thing I neglected to do in 2008 was to arrange for speedygeese singlets. I will get onto it in 2009, with assistance and feedback from others of course. IT: I was "invited" to have a role in evaluating IT for our club in 2008. I really didn't get into it. In 2009 I simply won't have time, it is not going to happen. newsletter: I have a new role as newsletter editor for a non-running organisation. This might be fun, but a lot of extra work. I approach it with trepidation, as I have no experience editing newsletters. Running: After national events in Geelong and Adelaide I will evaluate whether it is worth persisting competing at the national level. I have already foreshadowed that I may toss it in and take up long distance trail running... We'll see. Another option is to focus more on middle distances, 800m & 1500m running, in local competition. The two ideas are not all that compatible! Other: Otherwise, things probably won't be all that different next year.

Monday, 29 December 2008


Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, December 29, 2008 with 1 comment
2009 the year of transformation
To position oneself for personal transformation, the first key is to have a healthy, balanced, sober appreciation of one’s place in the universe, and to develop a true and appropriate sense of awe. The second key is to take charge of one’s mind, one’s attention, will, and thoughts.

Cricket matches can be so different from one day to the next!
As an example, taking the second key first, cricket players, when they line up to face each ball, are constantly reminding themselves to keep their eye on the ball, to remain fully focused, to shut out all distractions. They do this every time a new ball is to be dealt with. Is all this self talk really necessary? Yes, because there are many potential distractions, and the job is done only by paying no attention to distractions, and giving all attention to the task at hand.

As for the first key, the context within which every action occurs, every step is taken, for cricketers is to do with the game, the series, the career, the overall importance and significance of what is happening. This wider context provides the motivation, the raison d’être. The wider context is the "universe" within which we operate. As we enter a new year in 2009, my challenge for us is to adopt a positive and constructive world-view within which to operate, a world-view which allows for hope, challenge, inspiration, even awe; and is far beyond a desire for instant gratification and chasing after only short term goals.

Summary: Keys to transformation
Key 1. Full of anticipation and awe, knowing we can achieve worthwhile goals in the longer term, …
Key 2. …we employ directed self-talk to keep ourselves on track.

Seven day plan
Here's my plan for "week 1" of 2009; the overlapping week. Another 90k like last week:
Monday: Parliament House, a run at 4:30pm, speedygeese training at 5:30pm.
Tuesday: Stromlo at 6:00pm for a 5k tempo run. Plan to try for 22 minutes.
Wednesday: An easy run around Belconnen
Thursday: A longer run. Track is still one week away.
Friday: Another easy run around Belconnen
Saturday: Stromlo intervals 9:00am
Sunday: Stromlo long run 8:00am to complete 90k

Look at the big picture!
Last week I suffered a bit from a very sore throat, missed a day when partying, and finished the week with a sore hip and back, but still managed 90k. This week I shouldn't try to exceed 90k even if I am feeling good because I might pay for it the following week if I do! Better to run 90k  this week and the same the next, than 110k this week and 40k the next.

Andrea's cat
What a great photo, Andrea! Stolen from your blog, I know, but I couldn't resist. Cats seem able to keep things in their proper perspective!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

speedygeese form guide

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, December 28, 2008 with 4 comments
Alan Duus: regular runner at Parliament House, who doubles as the handicapper for the ACTMA monthly handicap races. Try not to upset this man!
Alistair Green: when not travelling to compete in strange multi-event races, runs with us at a good solid pace. Ran a very very fast 5k race recently, but is yet to provide proof via GPS that it wasn't short.
Amanda Walker: wins training run intervals, and races frequently on the track. One who is rapidly finding form.
Bronwyn Calver: doesn't know the meaning of a rest hour, let alone a rest day. Plays every sport invented and some not yet invented. Was my pencilled-in favourite for the Wild Goose Chase but didn't win. This is because she didn't cheat. (And you can't get good help these days, see "Jodie")
Caroline Campbell: wins every triathlon in her age group. I must watch how she achieves this; I suspect she uses a rope to get a tow in the swim leg.
Cathy Montalto: happiest runner in the training group. Can run all day, although known to have stopped for lunch occasionally.
Charlie McCormack. One of our four world record holders. Doesn't get into Canberra to run with us as often as she would like. Could excel at marathons and the like next year.
Christine Gates: no one remembers who this is. Ditto for Jill Head, Jodie Sims, Kirsten Livermore, and Yili Zhu. and many others who joined us only briefly this year.
Christopher Lang: I am not sure if he is a 100m runner or a marathon runner, runs faster in training than in races.
Colin Farlow: having a training break, will come back happier, healthier, and fitter in a season or two when he decides to. A great talent.
David Baussmann: known to prefer squash to running. Someone, please tell him running is easier.
Ewen Thompson: his many fans believe his goals are serious. He will be telling them he is trying for the six foot track record/800m ACT record on the same weekend next year. They will believe him.
Gary Bowen: Coming into form, and only needs to discover the meaning of “an easy day” to be flogging the rest of us, now that he is wearing spikes and learning to run on his toes.
Geoff Barker: very good mountain runner who comes down to earth to train with us occasionally
Helen Larmour: coming right back to form, excels over long distances. One of our four world record holders.
Jodie Davis: "not competitive" "not a long distance runner" and not a slacker, seeing that she finishes every training session, and finishes strongly.
Joel Pearson: young, fit and happy (see "Yelena").
Kathy Sims: brilliant runner and brilliant under pressure. Holds ACT records and knows how to peak for the big occasion. Trains smartly, not flat out every time. Will improve again in the new year.
Katie Forestier: looking in top form and improving, will be “nipping at my Achilles heel*” before long in middle distance races. One of our four world record holders.
Kelley Flood: exceptional talent, could take any race by storm (get it? Flood-Storm?) but who we haven't seen at training for a while (see "Mick Horan"). I would love to see her run track. One of our four world record holders.
Ken White: training well and looks like he is coming back "on the boil" any day now.
Margaret McSpadden: consistent runner who gives Ruth a run for her money (see below)
Maria O’Reilly: seriously talented runner who has been seriously injured. Still running, and managing to inspire and motivate the rest of us, something she does so very well.
Mick Charlton: another consistent and regular runner who wouldn't surprise me if he won a handicap race in the new year.
Mick Horan: Potentially the fastest member of the training group who recently looks a bit tired for some reason (see "Kelley"). Will do well nationally next year after getting back into consistent racing.
Miranda Rawlinson: Biggest improver in the group this year, and self-confessed "sneaky" Wild Goose Chaser. Will keep improving with speed training.
Neil Boden: Consistent trainer. One day a week. Could improve a lot if he retired from work and took up running!
Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee: will learn to race hard one day, and knock 30 seconds off her 800m time and 60 seconds off her 1500m time. I predict she will be the biggest improver in 2009.
Rod Lynch: can run hard only about once a week but has enormous natural talent. We are all jealous. He hasn't hit top form for a while, but if he does, will be among the relay record breakers on the track.
Ruth Baussmann: consistent runner who gives Margaret a run for her money (see above)
Sonia Veldhoven: too fast for us, ran away to Melbourne before debuting on the track. We have missed a treat.
Thea Zimpel: still learning how to train, but by the time she qualifies to join the ACT Masters, will have done enough consistent training to excel in the W30s.
Tim Calver: known for his coffee and for running out of sight in training. Will do well on the road next year.
Tony Booth: excels on the track and set ACT records this year. Looking stronger and could do really well in 2009.
Yelena Pearson: one of the year's very big improvers in training and on the track, is young, fit and happy (see "Joel").

*this should fill the bill as yet another mixed metaphor.

Granddaughter Kayleigh on the monkey bars at Florey last week, showing how it is done.


Saturday, 27 December 2008

Blacking Out The Friction

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, December 27, 2008 with No comments
I have nothing but good memories of 2008, perhaps it was the year of living positively. Some of the highlights include the new Free 7.0s which I bought in January and have worn in every important race since; and the new desktop PC which is so much better than the five year old one, except for the stupid American Word 2007 spell checking. Then in races I ran a 19:25 5000m in Blacktown which could have been much faster if not for a very sore hamstring following the 10k race 2 days earlier, and the next day in Parramatta won an M55 silver medal in the AMA nationals for the Cross Country. Next: gold!? In May I celebrated turning 60, and then proceeded to break 5:20 for the 1500m, following that up with a good run for a silver medal in the ACT M60 8k cross country championships. Competition in the ACT is of a higher standard than the competition is nationally! And when track season started, I joined three others to break the national M60 4x800m record by 19 seconds. On those laurels I can rest, for now.

It's only a matter of time
The year's end sees me liking and playing ten songs in particular; nine of these were new this year.
1 Playing Along - Keane - Perfect Symmetry
2 I Am Free - Michael Gungor - Battle Cry
3 Crack The Shutters - Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns
4 How Sweet The Name - Delirious - Kingdom Of Comfort
5 The Planets Bend Between Us - Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns
6 Grapevine Fires - Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs
7 42 - Coldplay - Viva La Vida
8 Lifeboats - Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns
9 Perfect Symmetry - Keane - Perfect Symmetry
10 Your Heart Is An Empty Room - Death Cab for Cutie - Plans

I have resumed running reasonably fast; three km intervals averaging 3:44 is starting to look promising again. I would be very happy to average between 3:40 and 3:45 for my km sessions through summer. And it was good to see Gary, Katie, Amanda and Rachelle running fast 200s today at the same venue.

In 2008 we had our fill of motivational posters

Friday, 26 December 2008

Woo Who?

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, December 26, 2008 with No comments
Sonia. That's who. Sonia’s (interstate) number-plate is WOO-something, I am not revealing the rest. Consistent with that, Sonia signed off her last email with “Woo Hoo”, being excited about seeing her Canberra friends again! Sonia arrived on Monday then enjoyed an evening's Wild Goose Chase before settling into Christmas partying with her family and friends. We may see her, some of the family, and some of the friends, tomorrow morning at Stromlo for our 9am interval training. I don't expect anyone, least of all Sonia, will excel running the intervals, unless of course they forget to stuff themselves yesterday. I will be running my 1ks; others can choose what they do.

I am not sure if Sonia has a past but she certainly has a present:

On the run this morning, I met up with Ian McLeod. He's the son of John who used to run with us years ago. And brother of Fiona who was a very good runner. Ian is visiting from overseas... for Christmas of course, and runs every day "just to keep fit".

Yes I am trying to run most days too, even through the "silly season".

"If I miss one day of practice, I notice it. If I miss two days, the critics notice it. If I miss three days, the audience notices it."

Happy holidays!

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Christmas Letter

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, December 25, 2008 with No comments
2008 was the year of change. Everybody had anniversaries of one kind or another. Jenny and I turned 60 this year and celebrated for nearly two months. Loani and Wes had their 15th wedding anniversary, Nathan and Lisa their 13th, and Mon and Scotty their 9th. Kayleigh turned 9, Josiah and Jarod both turned 8, Liana, Jackson and Alex all turned 5, Olivia, Amelie and Tyler all turned 3, and Charlie 1. If you think there may have been some note-comparing a few years ago about whether or not to get pregnant, you may be right. This Christmas letter may be recycled in twelve months time, with the same words but with every number incremented.

On Your Marks! (What on earth are they doing?!)

Get Set!


My best photos of the year! 

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Words on play

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, December 24, 2008 with 2 comments
This blog has seen quite a bit of wordplay: anagrams, palindromes, Beatles titles, mixed and un-mixed metaphor, plays on words. It has been a good year: I at least have enjoyed the journey of writing this stuff, even if a bare handful of readers are equally amused. Funnily the blog itself is all words on play: primarily focused on the way we use recreation to re-create ourselves from week to week and from day to day. And who amongst the speedygeese is playing along this week.

With today being one day short of Christmas, possible post titles wash through my mind, relevant to mangers and mistletoe, family and fun, shopping and toys, trees and stars. I have toyed with the idea of writing a satirical Christmas letter; perhaps I should first write a real one, we have been talking about writing such a letter for several Christmases but time gets away from us.

As well as running-recreation-play I do like to mention the music I play. In that vein, here is today's ...

Song of the week - "Playing Along”, by Keane, from their “Perfect Symmetry” album. This is currently my favourite song. Yes, “Grapevine Fires” has finally been replaced as my favourite.

Not the album version at all, but a very different live un-plugged version of “Playing Along” is on youtube:

Playing along

At the start of the news day, the fires begin
In words and in pictures, but I'm not listening
I'm not taking it in
I'm going to go to the country, where nothing goes on
Going to bury my head, where I can't hear the sound of bombs
Playing along

Me, I'm just playing along
You and I, so many good people all Just playing along

I'm going to go to a bar, where is the jukebox is on
Going to shut out the noise, with a rock'n'roll song
Playing along

I'm going to turn up the volume
I'm going to turn up the volume
I'm going to turn up the volume
Till I can't even think

Tell us a tale of the proud and the free
Sing us a swingtime american melody
From 'follow the fleet'

Me, I'm just playing along
You and I, a billion people all
Just playing along

I'm going to turn up the volume
I'm going to turn up the volume
I'm going to turn up the volume
Till I can't even think
I'm going to turn up the volume
I'm going to turn up the volume
I'm going to turn up the volume
Till I can't even think

I'm going to turn up the volume
Till I can't even think....

No more writing today, I will go back to playing with the grandchildren.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Wild Goose Chase

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 with 1 comment
Monday night training saw Amanda, Bronwyn, Gary, Geoff B, me, Jodie, Katie, Ken, Maria. Mick C, Miranda, Rachelle, Ruth & Sonia enjoy a wild goose chase of my devising, a kind of scavenger hunt without the scavenging, around Parliament House. The wildest goose was Miranda, whose powers of observation under pressure turned out to be the best of a good bunch. Miranda won a caramel koala for her efforts; as did Sonia who arrived from Melbourne that afternoon, but in her case the prize was more out of sympathy than any merit or accuracy, although she did finish 5 minutes before everyone else, and the effort in question was her dragging Amanda by the arm all the way.

Tour de Mountain Mawson, Sunday 21 December
25k men
29 Mick Horan 2.20.13
41 Adam Robinson 3.35.35.
41 finishers + another 18 women finishers

17k men
15 Roger Pilkington 1.32.55
23 Geoff Barker 1.46.51
24 Peter Hogan 1.48.28
31 finishers

17k women
6 Charlie McCormack 1.42.33
7 Bronwyn Calver 1.44.44
15 Caroline Campbell 1.56.00
17 finishers

9k women
2 Jodie Davis 1.06.32
3 finishers + another 4 men finishers Not many were too keen to run just Mt Taylor. Well done Jodie!

Mountain running in 2009
I have been noting mountain runs I might run next year. This is not one of them. The mountain runs I *might* attempt next year, if I am around at the time, include Brindabella/Bulls Head (if it’s on in 2009); Deep Space marathon events; Bush Capital marathon events; the Black Mountain challenge. The Fitzroy Falls marathon and the Nowra-King of the Mountain run look interesting too. But I will never run on any course which has rough or steep downhills. Including steps!

Twenty questions
The Wild Goose Chase involved answering these twenty questions. Forty minutes was allowed for the runners to find the answers. There were no perfect scores but only one of Miranda's answers varied from mine.

For the record, the questions were:
North of Parliament House
Q1. Bus shelters: Explorer Bus status? three words (5 pts)
Q2. Built by “Barry Webb Associates 1988” they line Federation Mall. Count them all! (20 pts)

East of Parliament House
Q3. Who donated the two stone lions? (5 pts)
Q4. Near the lions, who unveiled the Bali memorial on 16 October 2003? (5 pts)
Q5. What are the loading dock opening hours? (5 pts)
Q6. The fountain on the NE corner – what is it in honour of? (5 pts)

South of Parliament House
Q7. Opposite the start of Melbourne Avenue, how far is it to the “public entrance”? (5 pts)
Q8. How far do you think it really is? (5 pts)

West of Parliament House
Q9. What is at station 6 on the fitness circuit? (5 pts)
Q10. Do one. Did you do one? Hint – the correct answer is yes. (5 pts)
Q11. Down the sealed path to the North-West, past our “favourite” hill and under the road, you come to a park. What is its name? (10 pts)
Q12. What can’t you do right now on our “favourite” hill? (5 points)
Q13. “Sports Field Closed”. What for? (5 pts)
Q14. What sort of “course” is the fitness circuit? three letters. (5 pts)
Q15. The sundial at the NW corner. What kind of sphere? (one word spelt correctly for 10 pts)

Old Parliament House
Q16. To the east of old Parliament House is the House of Representatives Rose Gardens. Just inside the near gate: in what year did women vote for the first time in a Federal election? (Careful!) (5 pts)
Q17. To the west of Old Parliament House, just inside the Senate Gardens, what is the surname of the “celebrated architect” whose sketch inspired the design of the shelters? (5 pts)
Q18. At the same spot, what does RSTA stand for? (5 pts)

Q19. There are some tennis courts around Parliament House. If there were doubles matches going on at every court, how many people would be playing? (10 pts)
Q20. How long are we permitted to park where most of us park? (5 pts)

You are welcome to do the 40 minute test yourself on foot, don't ask others the answers, especially don't harass the guards, and you can submit your answers to me for evaluation!

Two answers in one

Click to enlarge. I lurked near here to make sure question ten was answered correctly!

Monday, 22 December 2008

Plan Planning

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, December 22, 2008 with 2 comments
The Last Week...of 2008 is coming up. There's nothing normal happening any more, not that there ever was. But we step out of our routine: there is no gym, no track, no racing. Warmer weather and grandchildren arrive at about the same time. The weather still cool enough to run long. The grandchildren all in holiday mode: a little less tired and a little more excited even than normal.

We start planning for the new year. Do you have a plan for making a plan?

Miranda sent me this. I wonder why?

To prevent the geese from getting fat, we still want a plan for week 52 of 2008.

Here's my plan for this week - another 90k like last week:
Monday: Parliament House, a run at 4:30pm, speedygeese training (The Wild Goose Chase!) at 5:30pm.
Tuesday: Stromlo at 6:00pm for a tempo run.
Wednesday: An easy run around Belconnen
Thursday: A longer run on Christmas morning
Friday: Another easy run around Belconnen
Saturday: Stromlo intervals 9:00am
Sunday: Stromlo long run 8:00am

Next year, routine will resume all too quickly. With skill, the routine can be improved on. I wish we could just play it by ear more, I wish we didn't need to do such planning, but without it my lack of discipline would show.

The change of years however is the opportunity to modify the routine. To improve it, to make new and better choices, to set new goals.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

An elephant madness has covered the sun

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, December 21, 2008 with No comments
Back in 1968, The Incredible String Band was my favourite group, actually a duo.

While my choice of the best new albums of 2008 are
1. Narrow Stairs – Death Cab for Cutie

2. Viva La Vida – Coldplay

3. Perfect Symmetry – Keane

4. A Hundred Million Suns – Snow Patrol

5. Kingdom of Comfort – Delirious

Saturday track results.
1k “Turkey” guess-your-time
1. M45 Rod Lynch 3: 05.48 80.8%
M50 Gary Bowen 3:12.09 79.4
M50 Roger Pilkington 3:26.47 73.3
M55 Ken White 3: 08.48 83.8
M55 Christopher Lang 4:20.56 61.6
M60 Geoff Barker 4:48.47 58.9
M70 Tony Booth 4: 06.63 72.8
3. W40 Katie Forestier 3:35.67 72.4
W40 Amanda Walker 3:38.04 70.3
2. W55 Ruth Baussmann 4:48.63 64.5

2K “Twosome”
1. M55 Ken White/M50 Gary Bowen by 0.74 seconds from
2. M55 John Lamb /W40 Katie Forestier, then
3. M50 Roger Pilkington /M50 John Morton
4. W40 Amanda Walker /M60 Geoff Moore
5. M70 Tony Booth /W35 Nadine Thomlinson
8. W50 Jill Pearson /M45 Rod Lynch
9. M55 Jim White /W55 Ruth Baussmann
10. M55 Christopher Lang / M45 Peter Cullen
12. M35 John Donovan /M60 Geoff Barker

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Seizing the moment.

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, December 20, 2008 with No comments
This holiday season I am delighting and/or annoying friends as I seize the moment and take as many photos as I can at our various celebrations. Well, if only one in a hundred photos I take comes out OK, I have to keep snapping (or whatever the digital equivalent of "snapping" is) to have a chance of getting a good one, worth publishing here. The following are as good as it gets.

Speedygeese dinner

Margaret and Ruth

Ken, Helen, Maria, Cathy and others in the background

Roger turns 50.

Roger making sure he blows all the candles out. Eventually.

The world record holders

Charlie, Helen, me, Katie, Kelley at Roger's birthday party. It is a privilege to train with these very talented runners.

DVDs I am watching: Jenny and I watch an episode of the great British comedy series set in France during German occupation, 'Allo 'Allo, most evenings. We are up to series seven. I have all the DVDs except series nine, which hasn't come out yet. Listen very carefully, I will say this only once. Every nationality gets satirised, so funny.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Smile and the world smiles with you

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, December 19, 2008 with No comments
What am I reading? The theme is "Social Networks and Happiness" and the article is found in "Edge: The Third Culture".  By a couple of scientists who did a study which was published in the British Medical Journal. Here is the introduction:
"We found that social networks have clusters of happy and unhappy people within them that reach out to three degrees of separation. A person's happiness is related to the happiness of their friends, their friends' friends, and their friends' friends' friends—that is, to people well beyond their social horizon. We found that happy people tend to be located in the center of their social networks and to be located in large clusters of other happy people. And we found that each additional happy friend increases a person's probability of being happy by about 9%."

Last night.
A cluster of happy chappies ran around the track last night enjoying the novelty events, the ten minute deluge, the prizes, the fun. We will rename the Turkey 1k race the "Goosey" after the first six places (at least!) were taken by speedygeese - a turkey event is where one has to guess one's time before racing. And the closest six were from our training group. Birthday girl Katie is not talking to Ken (or at least I her heard her telling him that) after Ken put in a devastating finish to cross the line with Gary and just pip Katie and John L by the narrowest of margins in the "Twosome 2k". Amanda ran a 20 second pb in the 1k and a 20 second pb in the 2k. We didn't see Santa this year; he must have got bogged when the storm hit.

Distance Run 
"If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run..."
Yesterday I passed last year's total distance run. Good! That makes me happy. Happier, even.


"Happiness" is hanging out with happy people. 

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, December 18, 2008 with 1 comment
Happy Birthday Katie 43 today!
Happy Birthday Roger 50 yesterday!

Black Mountain Challenge result
33. Mick Horan 25.09
44. Roger Pilkington 26.27
57. Bronwyn Calver 27.52
64. Amanda Walker 28.28
67. Geoff Barker 29.22
70. Peter Hogan 29.35
88. Caroline Campbell 31.57
114 finishers
I note that Vanessa Haverd was tenth in 21.39. She's quite good!!

How to be unhappy #6. Have a lengthy "to do" list. Of things you will get done one day. Let it get longer and longer.
How to be unhappy #7. Believe the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill. Envy your neighbours.
How to be unhappy #8. Believe in luck. Buy lottery tickets and plan all your life around winning some day. Wish, wish, wish.
How to be unhappy #9. Procrastinate. Forget about what needs to be done; put your feet up, grab the coke and chips, and watch TV.
How to be unhappy #10. Blame everyone else. It's all their fault. For every little thing. The world owes you a living. "They haven't given me what I deserve!"

I cannot be bothered elaborating any further. Why? It all seems so irrelevant. I am still on cloud nine.

Unhappy angels envious of the ones on cloud 9.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

World Record leaves speedygeese in a flap!

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 with 5 comments
By no means speechless, but amazed, aghast, stunned, and gob-smacked are words to describe the reaction of the speedygeese last night at our Christmas dinner when we learned that an awesome Australian Record set by four speedygeese 12 months ago had been confirmed as a World Record!

I still cannot believe it, it has yet to sink in.

I wonder if the four members of our brilliant, amazing, awesome 4 x 1500m W40 relay team feel the same way. You bet they do!

So hard to believe, so unexpected, that our little happy training group would have world record holders. Four of them, indeed!

I mean, it is significant that, for the race itself which was held on 29 November last year, the girls got a team together of friends who knew each other and got on well with each other and trained together, just for the purpose of establishing an ACT record. They didn't try for the best possible team by inviting "faster" and better known runners from outside the group, members of ACTVAC in the W40 age group but who make rare appearances at track, just for the sake of fast times. Let alone going outside the ACT to other Australian athletes for the sake of establishing a world class time. No, the team was made up of four speedygeese who then went for it and excelled themselves.

The world records are in ten year age groups, and this world record is in the W40-49 age group.

I remember having said to the speedygeese, "you don't realise how good you are". Now I think we do.

Charlie, Kelley, Helen, and Katie. World record holders.

Shared I think with all the speedygeese. Not just my input and encouragement; special mention should go to others who are best friends, advisers, helpers, training partners, inspirers in the group for one or more of these four. I think of Maria, Ken, Roger, Mick more recently! Who have stood out, and others like ... no, you have all played your part, it is hard to list names in case I leave someone out unintentionally. We can all share the joy of this world record.

I reproduce in full my excited post from back when I knew this was an Australian record. But it is now a world record! I was as happy as Larry (who is a very happy bloke, I am told) when reporting the Australian record. Now I am just stunned!

"Australia's Best"
"Highlight of Vets track last night was the W40 Australian record set by four of our bestest speediest geese in the 4 x 1500m relay. Charlie and Helen were awesome, each running 4 or 5 second pbs, Kelley did brilliantly in her first track run with us, within a few seconds of her pb, and Katie brought the team home with an improving time this season and was the fastest of the four. The record was by just three seconds!"

"Gorgeous Geese and Speedy too."

"Charlie, Kelley, Helen, Katie after their Australian WORLD Record run. Click to enlarge."

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

ding dong merrily

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 with 2 comments
"The twelve days of Christmas": This is spoken by Frank Kelly, this is old as most jokes are; this I have heard so many times before, but I still laughed and laughed. Audio only:

Monday training: the last of our longer speed-endurance relays - Al, Amanda, Caroline, Cathy, Christopher, Ewen, Gary, Geoff B, me, Helen, Kathy, Katie, Ken, Margaret, Mick C, Mick H, Miranda, Rachelle & Ruth ran zigzag relays in teams of three, ten intervals each this week. Next week something special....

Weekend racing at Black Mountain: This year's run-up suffered from road closures due to the Half Iron Man being conducted at the same time, now that's not good planning. So people parked a km or so away - even further if they were running late, LOL, but enjoyed a great run up the mountain, and an even better breakfast afterwards at the top. See Allrounder's blog for the course map and elevation.

I don't have the Black Mountain results, but I do have December jogalong results: Helen ran 27.36, and Caroline 33.33.

Song of the week. The Fray – You Found Me - The album comes out in 2009. The atmosphere and heart of "The Fray" is closer to the real meaning of Christmas than most things happening around here.

This Thursday night's track program is a "novelty" night.
6.15pm a 1k "guess your time" turkey handicap. Hint: people invariably run much faster for 1k than they think they can.
6.30pm a 100m walk relay (if the same format as last year, this is a ten person shuttle relay, with "walking" not always strictly observed)
7:00pm 100m heats (handicapped)
7:15pm 100m final (handicapped)
There's a men's and a women's prize here. Called the "President's handicap", the President in question may turn out to be a past one?
7:45pm "twosome 2k". Everyone does run a full 2k, but only 50% of the runners do it flat out. So if you want to know what you can do for 2k, pair up with a very fast runner.
There is also a [modified] caber toss, a gumboot throw, a standing triple jump.
But I will come along for any lollies or champagne on offer.

How to be unhappy #5. Please others
You cannot expect to be happy if you only live to please others and never take time out to please yourself. So to stay unhappy simply always do what your children want you to do for them, always keep the house spotless, always work late when there is work someone wants you to do, always make sure no hair on your head is out of place in case someone sees you, attend every boring family dinner and training sessions and track meet only because someone else expects it of you, remember everyone's birthday without fail, and just be there for others even when there is no way you’d want to be there otherwise.

Actually, pleasing others is great fun as long as you are pleasing yourself as well. I love our training group because everyone chips in and helps others out, but we are all there primarily for our own personal benefit, me included, aren’t we?. And it doesn’t hurt to go off on a holiday occasionally, and come back refreshed and super-motivated. I do!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Where I Live

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, December 15, 2008 with 3 comments
Google earth has managed to capture me driving my car into the driveway of our house!

How to be unhappy #4. Always be ready with an excuse.
Have excuses for everything that doesn't work out in your life exactly as you want it to. "It was my parents' fault" is a popular one. Runners at start lines of races are the best at this, I do it myself. "I had a big lunch". "My leg is sore". If these excuse-statements become habitual, that is how you will come to see yourself most of the time, as someone who won't be at their best at any time. Although, I don't think runners in general are like that, I think it's more a case of them psyching out the opposition before the race starts. But you know the type.

There will be more of these "unhappy" offerings to come, but do not fear. I am getting them out of the way so that we can swing to the positive before Christmas ready for a brilliant new year!

Karma. Here's an interesting website!

My plans this week
Monday: I am skipping my gym class this morning, I will be seeing my health professional today to see if I should run or ease off. Or at least, to see what he thinks, I will still run. Then our normal Parliament house training, a run at 4:30pm and meeting everyone at 5:30pm
Tuesday is our speedygeese dinner in the evening, so instead of going to Stromlo late afternoon I will run long from home during the day.
Wednesday I may attend the gym class, then go for a moderately long run somewhere. Another dinner is on that evening so I have to keep the running going or more upward arrows will appear!
Thursday At this stage I am planning on running around Parliament house preparing for next week's Monday session, then later in the day going out to track at the AIS but I won't risk competing.
Friday is my gym session followed by yet another Christmas function at lunch time, maybe after that I can fit in an easy run, and in the evening party party party! This week is looking good!
Saturday 9am Stromlo intervals.
Sunday 8am Stromlo long run.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

I thought the sunny days would never end

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, December 14, 2008 with 1 comment
It’s time to make a stand
This year’s “Higgins” race, due to the shemozzle at the start, has no reliable times unless you timed yourself. The “Official” results are below, in order across the line. My best guess is that most times, but not all, will be between 2 and 6 seconds faster than indicated.
2 Geoff Sims M60 2:28
4 Mick Horan M45 2:19
5 Kevin Chamberlain M60 2:32
8 Tony Booth M70 2:53
9 Rod Lynch M45 2:28
10 Gary Bowen M50 2:33
14 Kathy Sims W55 3:02
15 Katie Forestier W40 2:51
17 Amanda Walker W40 2:55
21 Helen Larmour W45 3:02
25 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee W35 3:03
27 Roger Pilkington M45 3:05
31 Neil Boden M55 3:17
32 Bronwyn Calver W35 3:10
36 Geoff Barker M60 4:03
The Higgins is capable of being run properly by the right person. I may volunteer to do it and the other two Pennington events in future if such a person is not available and if I am not racing.
By the way, the start group times, I think, are still flawed, despite being altered a few years back, but I suspect any move to bring attention to that fact would be unsuccessful.

M45 Rod Lynch 10:38.64 78.1%
M45 Roger Pilkington 11:44.29 70.9
W40 Katie Forestier 12:17.69 72.5
M50 Gary Bowen 12:20.33 68.5
M45 Yili Zhu 12:21.33 65.2 *Yili's first track run (with ACTMA, anyway)
W45 Helen Larmour 12:40.70 76.3
W40 Amanda Walker 13:04.49 67.5
W35 Bronwyn Calver 13:12.49 65.7
M35 Adam Robinson 13:59.74 53.5
M70 Tony Booth 14:04.33 71.2
M60 Geoff Barker 15:13.27 62.1

The "Geoff Moore" 3000m Series: many have already qualified at the half-way mark of the season.
Progress points - men
1. Bruce Graham 85.1% average best of 5
2. Michael Leahey 79.7
3. Rod Lynch 75.4
4. Roger Abbott 72.5
5. Jim White 69.7
6. Dale Moore 68.7
7. Roger Pilkington 67.7
8. Gary Bowen 67.1
9. Bruce Hoogendoorn 61.3
10. Nick Blackaby 59.9

Progress points - women
1. Helen Larmour 75.0%
2. Katie Forestier 73.2
3. Amanda Walker 67.6
4. Bronwyn Calver 64.6

Men “Knocking on the door”
Paul Considine 79.0 (4 races)
Geoff Moore 76.4 (4 races)

Women “Knocking on the door”
Anne Young 80.3 (4 races)

"Susanne the plans they made put an end to you"

Just as good now as he ever was.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

I've seen fire, I've seen rain

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, December 13, 2008 with 4 comments
Good weather for Goslings!

Rain - 68 mm in our rain gauge this morning from yesterday's steady rain, three times more than we have measured any day all year. And the capacity of our gauge is 68mm, the gauge was full. So it could have been more.

Earthquake - I felt and heard the very light earthquake yesterday afternoon. Centred near Murrumbateman, 1 on the Richter scale. Quite an unusual event.

Fire - The BBQ Stakes Christmas relay was won by Helen and Bernice Wednesday. Helen ran the first 3k leg (uphill) and Bernice the second. Teams have to guess their time and are handicapped accordingly.

Wind - It's blowing warm today. I hope no-one expected me at Stromlo this morning. I slept in expecting the track would be water-logged from all the rain and therefore closed, but the wind may have dried things out.

Funeral - Kerryn McCann farewelled in Wollongong yesterday. Story here.

Photos - last set from Innabaanya:

1. Middle of the pack (Gary)
2-6. The gathered throng.

Fire and Rain
I just love the rain. A persistent, drenching rain like yesterday's is brilliant, everything becomes so sparkly and fresh. Yet the media and the "indoors people" of this world complain and grumble about it, calling it "miserable weather" and talking about how "glorious" it would be if it were not raining.

How to be unhappy #3 - have a pessimistic view of everything. See the down side of rain, of sun, of fire, of earthquake. Because the future is unknown, fear the worst. Talk up the possibility of failure and minimise the hope of success. Expect disappointment and misery. Your attitude will be reinforced as you focus on the negative and that is all you end up seeing.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Change is inevitable

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, December 12, 2008 with 2 comments
How to be unhappy #2. Resist any change.
Do not try new things. To be truly unhappy, try and keep everything as it is. Love only what is familiar and routine. Have the same annual holiday in the same place at the same time every year. Only talk to the people you always talk to. Eat the same food you always eat. Take no risks; try nothing different and you will make no mistakes and be perfectly safe. Everything should be predictable. And ho-hum, your life will be so boring.

Innabaanya photos (continued)

1. Alan
2. Geoff B
3. Let the presentations begin
4. Katie, multiple prize winner
5. Carol and Bruce
6. Ewen hiding at the back

Thursday, 11 December 2008

How to be unhappy

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, December 11, 2008 with 5 comments
What I am reading: actually I am still reading the books I have mentioned before. So much for getting through a-book-a-week. So instead, I will write something:

How to be unhappy #1. Live in the Past.
The unhappiest people are always talking about the past; “those were the days”; “things were always much better back then”; “we will never have days like that again”; “all the best runners lived long ago”; “if only we could turn back the clock” and so on. The reality is, things are much better today, and the past is over-rated.

There is nothing wrong with valuing the past, as long as it doesn’t diminish what is happening right now. If you don’t realise that your life is getting better, you will only be miserable wishing and hoping that things would be like they were.

People are often trying to relive some past experience, some feeling they had years ago but which they can never experience again, and will go to great lengths to try and recreate that experience. They may resort to repeating the past, building monuments, ritualising or institutionalising activities which are aimed at recreating the past. But it’s all in vain, you cannot revisit the past now, no matter how hard you try.

And the present holds the promise of newer and better experiences!

But if you really prefer being unhappy, look backwards not forwards.

Runners at Innabaanya (continued)

1. Here comes Alan...
2. Peter's in front
3. Outa my way!
4. Miranda, Rod
5. Rod's catching up
6. Amanda, Ken, Katie all cooling down, and Maria, Roger, CJ all racing.
click to enlarge

And, your last chance to book in for the speedygeese dinner is today.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

What’s good for the goose?

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 with No comments
We watch those eagles soaring effortlessly above and we think we are the same, but not everyone has natural ability. Geese must train hard, otherwise we may end up fat for Christmas.

The geese who trained hard on Monday were Alan, Amanda, Bronwyn, Cathy, Ewen, Gary, me, Helen, Jodie, Katie, Ken, Neil & Ruth. My foot is still very sore after this session. Three teams of three ran 12x260 with 210 jog, a team of 4 ran 8 or 9 x260 with a 260 jog.

Thursday night program.
6.00 Long Hurdles
6.15 1200m/2000m walk
6.30 60m
6.50 800m handicap
7.10 400m
7.30 3000m

Song of the week. No Sunlight, by Death Cab for Cutie, from Narrow Stairs. I just love this new video version of the song:

Next Tuesday's speedygeese dinner - tomorrow (Thursday) is your last chance to add your names to the list of attendees - who are so far Thea, Jenny & me, Helen, Mick H & Kelley, Miranda & Andy, Neil, David & Ruth, Cathy N, Roger, Rachelle, Christopher, Mick C & Jaki, Ken, Cathy M & Graeme, Margaret & Peter.
Plus one other "surprise" person. Maybe there will be something special happening?

Photos from Innabaanya (cont)

1. Maria
2. Cathy N
3. Maureen who probably won't like the photo
4. Caroline who won the handicap race
5. Mick C, Ewen in the distance
6. Bob working hard

Commonwealth Games marathon 2006 - Kerryn McCann.