Saturday, 31 December 2011


Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, December 31, 2011 with 1 comment
I do have some goals for 2012. First, I try to tick off at least two items on my bucket list each year. I will certainly do the following two things and may even accomplish others. 8. Complete an ultra marathon; I am planning to enter the Running Festival 50k in April, other options may present themselves. 24. Watch every Coen Brothers movie: I have them all now, "Blood Simple" thru "True Grit" and everything in between; so watch them I will. Otherwise, I have decided my distance goal based on 80k+ per week average will be 4200k having achieved 4047k this year, and my time goals will be as already floated, 90:18 for the half marathon and 20:12 in 2012 for the 5k. There is no time goal for the 50k though, finishing will be enough!
[edit: oh, I nearly forgot, I am going to see if I can get a running streak going, by jogging 4k on my "days off"]

There are quite a few new jokes floating around. I shall post many of them here next year, to keep myself entertained, and you too perhaps.

In January the "speedygeoff's school of running" blog turns 7, and I aim to continue making it as interesting and informative as always, with speedygeese training reports, running tips, photos, bad puns and obscure jokes. Anything I have to say about my progress towards this ultra-marathon attempt might be of interest too. And I do intend to write some new coaching-type articles next year as well. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Happy New Year!

Friday, 30 December 2011

all the best

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, December 30, 2011 with 1 comment
My official PBs.
100m ............ 12.0 .......1962 ........... Adelaide Boys High School oval (grass)
200m .............23.7 .......1964 ...........Adelaide Harriers track (cinders)
400m .............52.2 .......1970 ...........Ainslie Oval athletics track (grass)
800m ...........1:57.2 .......05/02/1972 ...Woden athletics track (grass)
1500m .........4:04.3 .......16/11/1974 ...Woden athletics track (grass)
3000m .........8:47.3 .......11/02/1984 ...AIS main stadium
steeple .......10:29.6 .......12/02/1966 ...Kensington athletics track
5000m ........15:10.5 .......21/01/1979 ...AIS main stadium
10000m ......31:59.3 .......22/03/1984 ...AIS main stadium
Hour ..........17,610m .......14/02/1985 ...AIS main stadium
Half Marathon 70:06 .......03/05/1980 ...Sutherland
Marathon ....2:26.58 .......08/11/1978 ...Telopea Park

Short story of the 800m:
I trained specifically for the 800m in 1964 and then from 1966 until 1974. For just four of those seasons I was to break 2:00, and that was after doing almost 100% track training and little longer distance. Training was hard and fast and carefully planned: for example daily sets of 20x400m in winter with the occasional 20-30x200m; intervals from 50m to 600m in summer and frequent racing. No long runs as such, but my bread and butter 400m session would have totalled 18k including a short warm-up and cool-down. I was used to running fast day after day: the day after the steeple pb mentioned above, which I ran only to get points for the club in a C Grade final (and I got maximum points), I ran in a 4 x 800m relay team which set an SA open record of 7:58. Just before leaving Adelaide for Canberra in January 1969, I ran an 880 yard race on Adelaide oval (grass) in the Highland Games, in a time of 1:58.0, equivalent to a 800m pb of 1:57.3. It wasn't until 1972 that I managed to beat that time, and then by only 0.1 second. My final serious 800m race was a couple of years later when, after running only 1:59.9, disappointed, I decided to give away middle distance track and take up cross country racing.

The details of my 800m PB: Woden grass track. Lap splits 57, 60. Placings (1) Dave Hobson 1:55.4. (2) me 1:57.2 (3) John Bromhead 2:00.7. In the last two weeks before this race, one of my training sessions was 2x300 fast; 4x200 in 25-27 secs, 1x400 in 55 secs: typical of my training at the time. Another session: 3x400 in 57 secs then 10x100; a third session 4x200 in 26 secs, then 6x100. Otherwise I had easy days including 3 days where I ran an easy 8k in 32 mins. My diary says that Nathan was just learning to walk at the time! My diary also says that I felt awful in the hours before the 800m race; that would have been nerves. I always felt worse before an 800m race than after it. Which is one reason why I eventually gave away this, my "favourite" event, and moved to longer distances. Why did I like the 800m so much? Because it is the shortest tactical race, a challenge to the mind as much as the body, and I still think it is the best race to watch.

Six geese a laying

Being a member of the "speedygeese" is much easier than racing 800m!

Today doesn't exist in Samoa
I am intrigued by Samoa's decision to skip Friday 29th this year, ie move the international date-line across their little country by changing their time-zone from GMT-11 to GMT+13. No problem except, what if you were on a running streak and hadn't missed a day? Hmmm?
It just reminds us how arbitrary calendars and dates are. I have recorded the events of most days in my diary since 1961, which is how I know that I took up running on 13 March 1962. But the existence of that event is rather more important than its actual date.

Still, this IS the sixth day of Christmas It is fun to keep track of dates... So, no geese a laying in Samoa this year! While here in Australia .....

p.s. Join me tomorrow morning at 7:00am at Acton Ferry Terminal for an early New Year's Eve long run! And if I don't see you, all the best for the new year.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

an extraordinary day

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, December 29, 2011 with 4 comments

I hope the cricket goes well for us today... after the extraordinary day yesterday of tumbling wickets.

My best 1500m
It was the 16th November 1974, at the Woden Athletics Field grass track. Conditions were perfect; and the track was good. But my right achilles tendon was a bit sore so I did a thorough and slow warm-up. I was annoyed about the tendon because I was in pretty good form at the time, and my annoyance produced an aggressive race where I refused to let others determine how I would go. My lap splits on the grass circuit were 64, 66, 67 with a last lap of 63. With 100m to go there were four of us across the track in a line, but somehow I managed a finishing burst to win. Here are the final places:
1. Geoff Moore 4:04.3
=2. Gary Lavers 4:06.1
=2. Graham Moon 4:06.1
=2. Mike Kennedy 4:06.1
5. Peter Bowman 4:06.4
The time of 4:04.3 remained my PB, even after our move to a far better track, the main stadium at Bruce, a couple of years later.

The report in the Canberra Times: 

Other 1500m times that season at Woden were Phil O'Hara 4:01.8, Nigel Beeson 4:02.3, Mike Kennedy 4:05.1, and Graham Moon 4:05.6. I ended up ranked third for the season.

The achilles tendon in question was injured in mid 1974 by twisting the ankle while orienteering, then running a set of 200m sprints and playing squash before it had recovered.  Even today it remains sore and still needs a good warm-up. I wonder how much better I could have run over the years, including the marathons which started in 1975, if I hadn't injured the achilles?

Meanwhile here is someone who is still at the very top ... ringed by admirers?

Kathy Southgate, W55 extraordinary, at Weston Park, November 2011.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

going fourth

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 with No comments

... not that it's beach towel weather here in Canberra. Still, for those who like it hot (and some do, I am told), the forecast is more promising over the next week. As for me, I prefer it cooler, wet and windy as it has been for most of December. It's better for running and you don't have to take extra care to hydrate.

As we go forth into January our Parliament House training sessions will become Rose Garden 200's (Plan A) or some equivalent interval/speed-endurance work (Plan B). Who wants to keep doing chin-ups? Of course you do. So we will visit the chin-up station on our warm-up lap each week; the challenge continues. Craig and I got up to three chin-ups and we would like to extend that to five by the end of January, wouldn't we, to catch up to Joel.

four calling birds

Tuesday, 27 December 2011


Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 with No comments
Training last night at Parliament House: with rain threatening which only came briefly around 5:15pm, three of us ran 8k early: Jen, Thach & me. Then in fine cool conditions the main group ran a few loops of the west side 950m, stopping at the occasional exercise station for a chin-up, push-up, dip or abdomen exercise: Cookie, Bronwyn, Craig, me, Joel, Yelena & Zainab. During one circuit I reached my 4000km target for 2011. Yay! 

On the third day of Christmas...
Too many kilograms after Christmas? Same here.

Happy Holidays.

Monday, 26 December 2011

turtle doves

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, December 26, 2011 with 2 comments

Coming Events Week 52 of 2011:
Monday 26 Dec  4:30pm *Parliament House 8k jog
Monday 26 Dec  5:30pm *Parliament House speedygeese training
Saturday 31 Dec  7:00am *Metro Runners Acton Ferry Terminal
 * = I expect to attend

Trevor Jacobs is 60 today. Welcome to my age group for the next 16 months Trevor!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

first day of Christmas

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, December 25, 2011 with 1 comment

And it is only 366 days until Christmas!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve run

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, December 24, 2011 with No comments
My Christmas Eve run was at 7:00am actually - no later, a good thing too as it was getting quite warm by 9:00am. I didn't know that a circuit of East Basin and the wetlands starting and finishing at Acton Ferry terminal would be exactly 14k. Yes, and it turns out to be even shorter than the West Basin loop. Running today were Andy, Miranda & I, with Metro Runners Leanne and Leighton. The longest Leighton had ever run in one hit was 6 or 7k with us a few months ago. As he finished today he was heard to say that he wouldn't be running again for a while!

Zeno's Advent Calendar

Zeno advises that the best way to approach a long run which never seems to end is to think about half of what's left at a time.

Friday, 23 December 2011

green goose

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, December 23, 2011 with No comments

Celebrate this Christmas!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

piggy wiggy woo

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, December 22, 2011 with No comments

from Christmas Blackadder

Some results: Ginninderra handicap 29/11 Miranda 38.20. 20/12 Miranda 37:55, me 31:42

As we progress towards another year:

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

For the 5k, how much speed do you need?

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 with No comments
From a training standpoint, speed is rarely the limiting factor in how fast you can race, even for a distance as “short” as the 5K.” The article is at this link and explains why aerobic training is more important than speed training. And not only that, anaerobic training is more important than speed training. “Anaerobic capacity was found to be the second greatest predictor of 5K performance after aerobic capacity”, article here. So our speedygeese training is on the right track. We are not missing out by omitting sprint sessions from our training regime.

Miranda & I ran at Lake Ginninderra yesterday; I have lost 2 minutes fitness over 7k but at least I now know where I stand. Other races on offer this week are today's BBQ Stakes, and Friday's Customs 5k. Next week; no racing, but speedygeese training will go ahead as usual on Monday: boxing day. Then the following week is the New Year; back into the routine armed with all those running, health and fitness resolutions! Also, Saturday mornings at the Ferry Terminal will continue as usual without a break. Sunday mornings at Stromlo are on hold and resume on 8 January.

Let it snow
Everyone knows by now what happens when you google "let it snow". but have you tried searching for "tilt"? Or "recursion"?


As a Christmas diversion, I do like the "Tesshi" escape games available on the internet.  The latest is at but earlier ones might be easier to start with to get used to how they work. A couple of tips; you may have to wait a while before they fully load, just be patient, you will see "SWF loaded" but it's still loading. After that, change language to English (games #58 and on) before commencing the game. Finally, you can save the game and come back later, it will load straight away. The "FUNCTION" button gets you to these options.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

why discomfort is good for you...

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 with 1 comment
"Western culture has things a little backwards right now. We think that if we had every comfort available to us, we’d be happy. We equate comfort with happiness. And now we’re so comfortable we’re miserable. There’s no struggle in our lives. No sense of adventure. We get in a car, we get in an elevator, it all comes easy. What I’ve found is that I’m never more alive than when I’m pushing and I’m in pain, and I’m struggling for high achievement, and in that struggle I think there’s a magic.
"This rings true for me. I think there are three reasons why you and I should embrace discomfort, whether we deliberately choose it, or it simply happens to us.
  1. "Comfort is overrated. It doesn’t lead to happiness. It makes us lazy—and forgetful. It often leads to self-absorption, boredom, and discontent.
  2. "Discomfort can be a catalyst for growth. It makes us yearn for something more. It forces us to change, stretch, and adapt.
  3. "Discomfort is often a sign we’re making progress. You’ve heard the expression, “no pain, no gain.” It’s true! When you push yourself to grow, you will experience discomfort." the full article at this link.

Tired Runner.

Parliament House Training last night: Thach, Nadine & I ran 8.5k early, then for the main session of 3 x 950m fast with a 950m jog in between were Andrew, Andy, Cathy, Colin, Craig, me, Kym, Lauren, Mick, Nadine, Neil, Ruth & Tim. We didn't do our exercises this week because humidity and rain made the exercise stations slippery. But next week training continues, with another go at exercises perhaps before going home to watch the Boxing Day Doctor Who Christmas Special!

Monday, 19 December 2011

fowl play

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, December 19, 2011 with No comments

Coming Events Week 51 of 2011:
Monday 19 Dec  4:30pm *Parliament House 8k jog
Monday 19 Dec  5:30pm *Parliament House speedygeese training
Tuesday 20 Dec  12:10pm *Ginninderra 7k handicap
Wednesday 21 Dec  12:10pm BBQ Stakes 6k handicap
Friday 23 Dec  12:10pm Customs Joggers 5k handicap
Saturday 24 Dec  7:00am *Metro Runners Acton Ferry Terminal
 * = I expect to attend

Race Result: Bronwyn Calver was the sole speedygoose in Sunday's "Tour de Ridges" 21k, recording 2:27.37, 17th female finisher out of 23.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Celebrate Christmas Safely

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, December 18, 2011 with 3 comments

Today it was Andrew, Jacob & Lucia's turn to join me for a 16k run around Stromlo. The pace was pretty good, in between stops to check out the scenery. Also the "Tour de Ridges" was on this morning (I didn't know it was called that and have no idea why), as was a triathlon. Great weather for running, there is still no December day this year where the maximum temperature has exceeded the December average of 25 degrees. Let's make the most of it and train through this month.

Happy Birthday to Katie, 46 years old today. Happy Wedding Anniversary to Wes and my daughter Loani, 18 years on the 18th.

How to excessively celebrate with beer chess.

...  you drink what you capture. Not recommended!

Please celebrate Christmas safely and healthily in 2011!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

girls on the run

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, December 17, 2011 with 1 comment

Today it seems all the girls were out running by the lake - it took us 15k before we saw any boy runners, other than ourselves. Running 18 or 19k were Ewen, Andy, me, Ruth & Jen, we also stopped and talked to Liz "fresh" from her Coast2Kosci 45 hour support crew experience.

Girls graduating: many of my Metro friends have graduated from ANU this year.

Zainab (on the left) attended Metro Runner Leanne’s (2nd on left) graduation on Friday.

Girls exercising: an old album cover!

A message from my girl: after seeing the above

Friday, 16 December 2011

refusing to be stopped

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, December 16, 2011 with No comments

Thursday, 15 December 2011

How often should you run?

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, December 15, 2011 with 4 comments
Years ago, before I took up marathons, I remember adding early morning runs to my already busy running schedule. My cross country times improved markedly. I used to have about five or six running sessions each week and this grew to twelve, consistently, a I prepared for and raced marathons.

"" published an interesting article entitled "How often should you run?"
"The recommended range is three to 14 times per week. Here’s how to choose the right number for you..." (continued at this link)

It’s tricky though when you do other activities as well as running. For instance, the minimum training for a serious triathlete might be three swims (e.g. a form and drills day, a hard interval day, and a long day) three runs (e.g. a hill sprint day, a long interval day, and a long run day), three bike rides (one of them very long), plus gym work and stretching, all in one week, while scheduling one easy rest or recovery day. Twelve sessions a week seems quite reasonable when you factor in cross training and supplementary training. Worth thinking about as we plan our training patterns into the new year. Do have that one rest day though.

My goals for 2012 should probably be no harder than my goals for 2011. 2012 goals will include:

  • Run my first (and last) 50k ultra in April 2012
  • Turn 64 in May 2012
  • Run a 5000m in 20:12 sometime in 2012
  • Total kms for 2012 20.12 x 200 = 4024km
  • Run a Half Marathon in my PB (70:06) + 20:12 = 90:18 sometime in 2012
There, that looks achievable.

When the rivers ran

North Canberra flooding a few days ago. Half way through December and we haven't had a day with a maximum temperature anywhere near the December average. Nice for running!

Thank you everyone for your warmest wishes. Warmest wishes to you for Christmas as well. Make the most of the cool, because the days will warm up all too soon.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

morning after

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 with 1 comment

What a great night last night with a fantastic group of geese! (Even the people were great!) Bring on more dinners! A special thanks to anonymous, a.k.a. wannabecoach, who provided the geese for the geese... they were a great hit. Now I had better mark the roll: Andy, Janene, Rae, Roger, David, CJ, Ruth, Tori, Andrew, Lucia, Abi, Kym, Warrick, Richard, Jen (pictured above), Bronwyn, Jenny, me.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Mick & Kelley Horan

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 with 3 comments

Mick & Kelley, just married in Hawaii. Photos by Kerrie Tanner.

Training last night at Parliament House: Thach, Nadine & I ran 8k while it was still a bit warm, then in the main session Nadine & I were joined by Andrew, Andy, Bronwyn, Christopher, Colin, Craig, Kym, Ruth, Tim, Warrick & Yelena for a 30 minute cardio + exercises on the fitness circuit.

Exercises included push-ups, dips, chin-ups (I managed three) and the plank. I shall add another exercise next week.

We are not breaking for the holiday season: Monday night training will continue through Christmas and into January.

Thought for the day:

Albums of the Year - 2011

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 with No comments
These are my five favourite albums new in in 2011.
1. Death Cab For Cutie - Codes & Keys + Keys and Codes Remix EP.

Sample song: Doors Unlocked and Opened on Keys and Codes Remix.

2. Radiohead - The King of Limbs + TKOL RMX

Sample song - Morning Mr Magpie - a live version

3. The National - High Violet.

Sample song - England - a live version

4. The Middle East - I Want That You Are Always Happy
Sample song - My Grandma Was Pearl Hall - audio from the album

5. Switchfoot - Vice Verses
Sample song - Vice Verses the title track, audio from the album