Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Tag you're IT

Sort of a supplementary post - I've been tagged by GoGirl.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Working in the same industry, but for a healthcare company which today is about to be bought out internationally. Recently moved into a rented unit at Westmead with the future Mrs BB. Getting stuck into Hills District Little A's with the then-small little BBs. Running, cycling, playing squash, lifting weights. Drinking traminer riesling.

Five snacks I enjoy:
chocolate Tim Tams; peanut butter/honey on open bread; Le Snack; cheese & biscuits; bananas

Five songs I know all the words to:
As a 70s/80s music tragic, I thought I'd limit this bit to 5 of my favourite songs : Yesterday; Desperado; Rebel Rebel; Year Of The Cat; Margaritaville

Five things I’d do as a millionaire:
Well it sort of depends on how many millions. With $3m I'd quit full time employment; pay off the mortgage and invest in 3 rental properties for the young BBs; buy Mrs BB her new car now;
spend more time playing sport eg squash, tennis as well as ramping up the running/weights programme; do a post-grad degree in Egyptian and/or Roman history

Five things I like doing:
sport : running, weights, squash; reading HM novels; listening to 70s/80s music; doing stuff with my family; hanging out with Mrs BB (a subset of the last point)

Five favourite toys:
Home Theatre system; internet; car stereo; pool; mobile phone

"Exit, stage left"

Monday, January 30, 2006

out and back and in circles

"The trouble with jogging is that, by the time you realize you're not in shape for it, it's too far to walk back. " Franklin P. Jones (1887-1929, U.S. businessman)
I think somehow Franklin must have time-travelled and gone on a long run with GoGirl

Because that's how I felt halfway into the 20k yesterday. Check out her blog for more details on the run if you wish; my summary is simply
a. she has great fitness
b. she has great stamina
c. I don't

Those that scan my blog will know I run distances up to 12k, with a rare 15k thrown in. So Sunday's 20k was a stretch. Fortunately, nothing major was planned for the rest of the day : the pool beckoned, followed by TV. Note the lack of major physical activity post-run.
Thanks again GG; I reckon I can handle another long run - but not for some weeks!

Exercise summary since last post
* a lot of running : 3 x 8k, 1 x 11k, 1 x 12k, 1 x 20k
* weights : 1 session only. Now, this is not due to slackness, more health awareness. I had a glucose-tolerance test last week (all extra AOK); sadly, the blood-taker erred, resulting in significant external bruising on my left arm, deep tissue bruising and my GP saying no weights for maybe two weeks. Goldarnit - I enjoy the gym.

Still going strong on Caiseal Mor's The Well Of Yearning (book 1 of trilogy). His style has become, in parts, very tongue-in-cheek, and therefore enjoyable.

Apart from (naturally) a Jimmy Buffett CD, I've been tuning into Bowie: the Thin White Duke has returned, in the guise of Let's Dance. I still think his early 70s CDs (Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and Diamond Dogs) are among the greatest albums ever released by anyone. But that's just me.

Normalcy raises its head this week, with schools back and cars on the road again in great numbers. For the BB household, it marks the formal start of the education journey for YD (kindergarten), and later next month Tertiary for ED.

"All my life's a circle........ the years keep rolling by" H. Chapin

Monday, January 23, 2006

Insight through Sight

"In the Kingdom Of The Blind, the one-eyed man is King ! "(Kurt Vonnegut)

I now take this aphorism as having two personal applications :
1. I don't feel so bad about having strong, one-eyed views on major issues such as footy tipping selections (this isn't a valid interpretation, but it's a great way to intro the AFL pre-season)
2. If I try really hard at "stuff", I stand a chance of succeeding better than others who don't try as much. I just won't better Go Girl.

This is particularly relevant, as today I thought I was sticking wonderfully well to my programme : over the last week
* 4 x 8k runs, 2 x 10k runs
* 2 x weights workouts
Very virtuous.
This morning I met GoGirl for the first time, and she was into the last part of her 1hr 30min run. Just great ! My puny 42min blahhed out as I rounded the corner for home.

So, it looks like I'll need to take the LSRs to a better, more consistent level. I'll be trying to do more 12-15k Sat or Sun runs now. It's just that the Clean Streets don't offer the motivation that other areas do. I'm thinking it may be time to do the famous 15k Quakers Hill return run again.
Sorry, GG, 90min is a little long for me, although I admire your commitment and training plan. At least I can still wear my CR cap proudly! It is good, however, to know that we all can continue to be motivated by colleagues at community.

I have started the first of Caiseal Mor's Wellspring Trilogy (Well Of Yearning). He is a well-rated Australian novelist, of Celtic background, having successfully published two former trilogies centred on Ireland in the mists of time : an engaging mixture of fantasy, history and tales of derring-do.

Currently the Holden is pumping out selections from Radio Songs 1970-1974, a double collection of Hits from the 70s. Great to once again hear Lobo, Hush, Alvin Stardust, Yes and Seals & Crofts. Not so good to hear Maria Muldaur or Norman Greenbaum. Just kidding... I skip through those two...

... and finally, a comment about the bane of a runner's existence

Kingdom Animalia; Phylum Arthropoda; Class Insecta; Order Diptera ("two wings"); Family Muscidae; genus Musca; Species domestica: Musca domestica

The common house fly. I don't need Elton John to remind me of the Circle Of Life or The Byrds to point out that for everything there is a season turn turn turn.

As far as I am concerned, it would be delightful to learn that George Dubbaya has The Fly in his sights straight after Iraq.
Not only does the local chapter attempt to accompany me on my runs, they insist on joining in the fun of the BBQ at home. YD's efforts with a fly swatter puzzled them sufficiently to generate a temporary withdrawal, although perhaps this was merely for them to have a good laugh at our efforts, and indeed agree wholeheartedly that Joseph Conrad summed up our chances rather well:

" It occurred to me that my speech or my silence, indeed any action of mine, would be a mere futility"

Exit, stage left

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Holiday In Need Of A Change ?

"If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious as to work."
William Shakespeare, "King Henry IV Part I", Act 1 scene 2

I'd like to narrow the definition of "sport" to that which is socially acceptable in the 21st century, and thereby ward off any licentious comments. It seems to me that Will has got it all wrong. I would love to have to deal with 52 weeks of paid leave. Still, 4 is what I get in total, so I try to make the most of it.

Last week was a bit yin/yang-ish. While enjoying the break and the holiday in general, we agreed that - perhaps - 10 years of exploring Port Stephens' charm has perhaps now sufficed.
"STAY is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary:" Amos Bronson Alcott
We think that By The Bay's invitation must now regretfully be declined for coming years. Nothing wrong with the house or area; it's just that it may be time to see something different.

A pity in some ways; last week's running was my best vacation km on record : 6 runs for 67k, with 2 x 13k being the best. Add in a workout at the non-airconditioned gym, twice daily trips to the beach for frolicking and pelican-spotting, and the fitness angle was covered.
Another surprising discovery : white shiraz for 3 days followed by chardonnay for 3 days, mixed in with cider, greatly assists the holiday ambiance. Also, BBQs held on outdoor decks, with ocean views and aided by libations of previously mentioned beverages are intangibly better.

DVD viewing featured series 5 and 6 of Seinfeld, along with The Hitchiker's Guide to The Galaxy (THGTTG).

Books read were NOT Historical mysteries !!!

Along with THGTTG (the novel) by Douglas Adams, I read and contemplated What Was It All For ? The Reshaping Of Australia by Don Aitkin. He looks at the changes in Australian society since the 50s from a very personal perspective : starting with his Leaving Certificate 1953 Armidale High School reunion and interviews with classmates. He believes the changes have occurred due to immigration, education and wealth, and expands on this theme.The style is very easy to follow - not at all a dusty academic tome - and the topics very relevant and challenging. I would urge those interested to get their hands on a copy, and consider. Where to for education in 2015?

Musically, the Beach Boys got multi-spinning, thanks to YD's fondness for their unique sound. Also, Michael Buble managed to get 2 of his CDs very regular airplay at Chez Corlette. I think I have had my 2006 dose of him thank you very much.

Returning on Saturday, I have managed 2 runs (10k, 8k) and a gym session. Sadly, no rabbits or dogs to set the pace, although the flies greeted me rapturously yesterday morning : so much to relate, all crowding around together in their eagerness. I think Aerogard needs to re-formulate to get my continued consumer support.

" Exit, stage left".

Friday, January 06, 2006

run rabbit run

"On the farm, every Friday
On the farm, its rabbit pie day.
So, every Friday that ever comes along,
I get up early and sing this little song:
Run rabbit - run rabbit - Run! Run! Run!"
Noel Gay & Ralph Butler

Well, today is Friday, and I saw a rabbit while I was running. Interesting. I thought they were more into XC courses, but this one was striding out along the local street, before switching to XC as I caught up with it. It made me wonder what prompted it to venture into curb and guttering terrain. Unlikely it would have been attracted by the stirring sounds of the bobcats or trucks. Perhaps it was sneakily cutting corners on a favourite training course. In any event, I would think it will be moving on again, round about the time that the next digger carves up the remaining land in that vicinity.

Training for 2006 has been to plan so far:
Mon 02/01 10k run, weights session
Tue 03/01 8k run
Wed 04/01 8k run
Thur 05/01 8k run
Fri 06/01 8k run

And now the better news...
Tomorrow we're off to Port Stephens for the full-on family holiday (all 3 kids). What a lovely spot : great beaches (surf/no surf), shopping and dining.... and great running !
The plan : 4 x 8k plus 2 x 12k.
Mixing up the courses a little this year.
The longer runs will be point-to-point, to Fingal Bay, and then another one to Soldiers Point. Both will require collection by Mrs BB in the car, so we'll probably combine a family swim at the end.
I'll also try to get in a weights session or two at Glen's Gym. Got to keep the triceps etc in shape ! No doubt I'll be able to do this anyway through acrobatics with YD in the water.

Family hols also provide the careful planner the opportunity to mix in a few other favourite pastimes. A short list : BBQs, wine tasting, DVD watching, reading, music listening, conversing, vegging.

My next post will be around 14/01, and should include updates on training as well as the reading log.

Bon Voyage!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

happy new air

"One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things" ~John Burroughs

Burroughs was a 19th century American naturalist and writer, who produced some outstanding essays at a time when industrialism was starting to dominate the landscape.

I would be interested to understand how John would have risen above a little thing like his air conditioning collapsing on NYE at 9pm in 40 degree C heat.

Having planned a relaxing evening of family Thai meal offsite, followed by TV fireworks, it was disconcerting to discern a steady "drip drip" during the Elton John concern which preceded said fireworks. Initially thinking his percussionist was out of beat, I subsequently discovered that the drip tray in the a/c unit "en-roof" had a small hole at the lowest point of gravity. This then proceeded, inexorably, to the particle board and down through the pantry lightswitch. Fascinatingly, turning the switch ON resulted in all power going OFF.
An impromptu visit to the neighbours resulted in araldite being applied At Source ie "en-roof". Sadly, this procedure could only occur when the area was dry. Several towels and 45 min later, we proceeded. I had fortuitously managed to sweat off 5kg during the process, so all was not in vain. What was in vain, though, was the a/c, as we had to leave it off for the darned araldite to take effect. So, a hot, sleepless night... Luckily, today's performance by the trusty a/c was acceptable; lucky, given that Jan 01, 2006 was officially the hottest NY day on record for Sydney : 44 degrees. No running (serendipity).

Today being new year's day, I thought it might be an opportune time to review last year's running performance: 301 runs, total 2,647k, averaging 221k per month, and 8.8k per run. Not up to the 2004 record of 3,189k but I had planned to do less in 2005 and so avoid more spontaneous trips to the chiro/physio. With reasonable success.
I finished off 2005 with a 15k run through Parklea and Quakers Hill.

Someone may find perverse humour in the fact that I decided on the long run (equal longest for year) simply to check out a car for my ED which was part of the road-side lineup at The Parkway. The obvious irony in going substantial distance on foot in search of a substitute for pedestrian activity was not lost on me, especially after the 6k in about 30 degree heat. An unsatisfactory resolution to a particular car for sale ended the morning on an unhappy note. Perhaps I should consider enrolling in any current Shonky Car Sales courses that TAFE may be offering.

So 2006 is off to a flier. What goals present themselves for approval ?
1. keep to the fitness plan
* 2,750k
* participate in West Met winter series
* stick to the weights programme
* cycle !!
2. continue reading programme (keep up the reading - no more than 6 books awaiting the first page turn, at any one time).
3. Obtain CD copies of hard to get music, previously only on my LPs - notably "Legends Of The Lost And Found" by Harry Chapin.

To finish, a quote from Samuel Langhorne Clemens:
"New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."