Saturday, May 20, 2006

Winter has me in its grip

I know what Don McLean meant, back in 1974.
Having spent the first 13 years of my life in Melbourne, followed by the rest in Sydney, I have mixed feelings about each. Both world class, Sydney has Harbour-flashiness, Melbourne exudes class and real style. I love AFL, not Rugby League. Shopping in Melbourne is superb; so is eating out on a modest budget. Running is great in both.
Sadly, it comes down to this : Sydney has the weather, Melbourne doesn't. No arguments please.

Having first hand experience through regular business trips down south, Melbourne shines over summer - but come April, watch out. Last trip was typical: steely-grey skies, promising heavy rain. It hit at unexpected times, followed by weak sunshine. It was c-o-l-d. They say it's character building. I'd be pleased to stay undeveloped.
Perhaps two quotations sum it up. One could say they define the colder months in each city:
"Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius." ~Pietro Aretino
"Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." " ~Robert Byrne

Still, running in Sydney's Hills Area is pretty cold this time of year. I've managed to do a few lunchtime runs during the week, along the M7.

Since last post, it's been a combination of early morning 8ks around the Mean Streets, or longer lunchtime runs as mentioned. I prefer the latter, but work often gets in the way.

On track for another record breaking month, even with a few niggles around the right knee, and left leg. Oh well, keep rotating the shoes, and aim for a >280k May.

Last week's West Met 4 Meadowbank was a nice easy flat 2k, with completion times me 8.52 and Son 8.06.
Today was West Met 5 at Dundas: a solid XC course. I did 9.55 (37th/63) for the 2k, while Son managed 8:17, finishing 9th. It's a tricky course, not unlike running through a farmer's uncultivated fields, with a couple of sneaky turns and inclines. I was quite pleased with just competing, as I managed an 18k home to work (via M7) run just before. Legs a little shaky.

This was after the Big Night Out: school rock n roll trivia night, where Mrs BB and I formed the brains behind table 9, finishing 4th/19. Mrs BB went as a Pink Lady; sadly, so did most of the others, including a table of teachers whose behaviour should have seen them up on disciplinary charges had they been in school hours. Modest quantities of beverages were consumed, and I managed to take home a selection of car cleaning products for winning "best dressed male" award: a sort of 50s rocker called Grease McSleeze.

Next week's West Met is my nightmare: competed once only, but in the interests of supporting my son, I will do for the first time since 1997. What a shocker of a course. A real XC which shows no mercy.

On the music front, nothing new to report, although a recent Robert Song post led me to spin Neil Young's "Harvest" on the car CD player. Timeless.

Book-wise, I am completing I.J.Parker's Rashomon Gate, an HM series set in 11th century Japan. Set earlier than Laura Joh Rowland's series, but just as well written and entertaining.

Previous post: the great news is that Sophie is off the critical list and out of Intensive Care, moving to a general ward. She is even expected to be able to return to school in Term 3, during July! What a fighter! Keep praying and please - keep pressure on to fix both school crossing safety and drivers' attitudes. Speed can kill. Cars bounce; people don't normally.

"Exit, stage left"


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