Saturday, October 28, 2006

When I was young I never needed anyone

I doubt if Eric Carmen has run around the Tan. If he had, he may have also felt the natives suffered from ennui.
Business took me to Melbourne for an over-nighter this week. A 12k run beckoned: Yarra and The Tan. One of Australia's best. Donning my CR cap, I sallied forth. Not a bite. Either no other CRs were out last Wednesday around 6am, or else they smelled Sydney. Everyone certainly looked a little bored and listless. Only the Bootcampers were pumped; I tend to steer a firm path around them as I am sure their zealousness is both transitory and superficial.

I am prepared to give Melbourne's CRs one last chance. I will be running Tue/Wed same route, and will deal harshly with eye-avoiders.

Another month's record running. I passed my Oct 04 PB k's today, so will ease off the last few days, allowing a solid start to Nov.

Comparatively fewer k's recently, with the range 8-12k per run; still, a significant increase on previous years, even 2004. I'm finding running much easier now that the weather is so pleasant early in the day. Six am starts are de rigeur; indeed, 5.45 am are also in fashion. This year I now have my trusty Fuel Belt to help me through the coming heat. I'm sure long runs will be confined to early mornings when Mrs BB is resting. It's too hard to do 20k at 9am.

The new Jimmy Buffett CD "Take The Weather With You" is out and the BB household has been treated to repetitive plays. I guess you know he is my favourite, although sadly Mrs BB doesn't share that view. An interesting reflection of life together: she still knows all of his songs by heart.

Susanna Gregory's "Mark Of A Murderer" is approaching its denouement in my reading pile; it is her eleventh fine mystery about 14th century Cambridge, starring physician Matthew Bartholomew. Next up, Mike Ashley's collection of Jacobean Whodunnits.

It would seem that The Weather Man is telling me we shouldn't have bought the cantilever. How else to explain the juxtaposition of sunless and/or windy days? Yesterday we defiantly sat indoors, silently cursing his capricious behaviour, moodily imbibing our Andrew Garrett Sparkling Shiraz (even drinking it caused me anger - ten years ago I was permitted to refer to it as Sparkling Burgandy. I am no Francophile).

Still, I should be grateful. In what other city could you be entertained so freely by both Sheikh Taj el-Din and the Alan Jones biography? Current Soap TV scriptwriters would struggle to put together dialogue as lively; I am expecting each news bulletin to conclude with
"tune in next week - same bat-time, same bat-channel". Even Bruce Wayne would be waiting...

"exit, stage left"

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

And if I only could, I'd make a deal with God...

This is by no means a religious or thoughtful post - merely an intro to my run last Saturday.

I'd be happy for Kate to run up the hill (or road, or building) with no problem instead of me, because on Saturday I had a sort of DNF.

Mrs BB and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary last week, and went to Harvest vegetarian restaurant at Rozelle Friday night. It's just the best veg rest in town and worth the trip. Anyway, someone had to mind YD, so MIL did, and stayed over. That meant getting her home to Wentworthville again Saturday, as she doesn't drive far. Since the forecast was for maximum heat and oppression, our plan was for Mrs BB to do an early walk, breakfast etc and take MIL home; I would run 18k there, meeting the three of them 95 minutes later.

No doubt a pragmatic and thoroughly-prepared mouse also experienced problems that day, as my best-laid plans failed.

Heading off at 7.30am with my fuel belt stocked with frozen water, I felt full of confidence. I should have known it was really hubris.

Probably around 14k I realized I had concerns:
a. I had very little water left
b. it was about 30 degrees
c. hills weren't my friend
d. using the M7 meant the run was not 18k but about 21k
So I went for plan B. Drag mobile from fuel belt, call wife and plead for assistance. I felt I could make it to Fitzwilliam Rd, but not uphill the last 1k. This prophecy proved correct, and I gratefully flopped into my car at the 20k mark after 106 min running, re-fuelled with ice cold water, and headed off for the next part of Life's adventure...

Still, 184k so far this month, with some good early morning runs at 6am or earlier during the week. Now that the weather has turned in my favour, it's more pleasant to run early than mid-morning, which presents a weekend problem. Indolence is therefore actively discouraged, in favour of early workouts followed perhaps by mid afternoon siestas.

With the pool set at 32 degrees, the new cantilever installed to provide extra shade over the outdoor setting and the gas cylinder filled for the BBQ, the only recent pressure has been on deciding whether or not to open the chilled White Shiraz or Verdelho. Mrs BB and I put forward separate convincing arguments for both, but in the end sensibly decided to do what all happily-married couples do: compromise. We had both. Ubi amor, ibi oculus.

"Exit, stage left"

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Love me, love my dog

The family's recent holiday in Darwin has considerably shortened the odds of a canine member of the BB household appearing soon. I'm not sure if Lobo had a Jack Russell terrier on his lyrically-recorded journey in 1971, but this breed - or part thereof - has leapt up the doggy charts, as Mrs BB's sister has one and so naturally YD wants the same.

Apart from them both having a great break, one further benefit has emerged from the holiday: Ballina remains unchallenged by Darwin as a potential retirement location. Best described as a drinker's paradise, it offers plenty for the eye but little for the soul. Apologies to any underground Darwin culturalists reading today.

Running continues full steam ahead: 64k in the past week, including
* Monday 5k recovery jog after the 28k effort on Sunday
* Tuesday and Wednesday 10k each at 6am (plus weights Tuesday night) Clean Streets of KR
* Thursday rest day and pick up tired travellers from airport
* Friday 11k lunchtime along beloved M7 north run
* Saturday 20k home/Quakers Hill/M7/ work, with lift home from Mrs BB
* Sunday 8k recovery run Clean Streets, followed by weights at BLC

So it appears that October is on track to beat 2004's PB distance of 273k - my plan has me doing 300k this month. I'll be in Melbourne late in Oct, and hope to do a Yarra river/Tan loop of about 12k then. It's a lovely spot.

No real races of interest tempting me to fork out my hard-earned: mind you, I am a little picky. Not far from home, low entry fee, easy course, not too early in the morning. Hmm, think it's just as easy to do a training run when I want. Maybe the St Marys 8k 29/10/06 could be a starter.

Well, Weird Al's new CD is a hit with me, with some great parodies. Rather than do a review, I suggest purchasing a copy. Then see the video clip for "White and Nerdy". Spot on.

On the reading front, I have just started the first Sister Pelagia novel by Boris Akunin, he of Erast Fandorin fame. A legend in modern Russian literature (indeed, his alias B Akunin is a pun in Russian), his new series produces a gangly, highly intelligent young nun as super sleuth. The style is reminiscent of Umberto Eco, with many wry observations on late 19th century Russian society. Good so far.

It's a strange time of year for sport, with only a distant country holding much interest for now: India, venue of the Champions Trophy. Might be interesting.

"exit, stage left"

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I used to hurry a lot, I used to worry a lot, I used to stay out 'til the break of day

If you know this famous song from 1979, then you'll understand why I've used it. My longest run ever!!!
Today, I decided to kick-start October with a solid run. With the family visiting relatives in Darwin this week, I obviously have too much time on my hands. Batching plans included car washes, washing, ironing, vacuuming etc etc so I thought today I'd try a record distance. My previous best was 25k; today I managed 28k! Fully prepared withe the fuel belt, I discovered the drinks stay cool until 1 hour 10 minutes into the run. Then they might as well come from a warm shower. I rationed, but ran out around 22k so didn't go for 30k. Total time today: 2hr 32 min. Felt good enough to attempt the other item on the agenda: weights workout at BLC. Managed that easily - I just avoided most leg weights.

Plenty of running since the last post: in fact, 143k including today. Weights too. Interesting to follow Miner's Movie Quotes and Robert Song's Music ones. They are getting quite a following. I've managed a few, although perhaps I should get out more and see a movie or two.

A super AFL grand final and a good result for me. The Weagles have always been up there in my top three faves for a while, and - psst - I don't like the Swans!
Just because I live here doesn't mean I have to support them. After all, I lived in the Bennelong elecorate for years, and that never made me vote for little Johnny.

Just finished watching the NRL grand final. Congratulations to the Broncos. I still hate them. It probably all goes back to the first state of origin in 1980, and Chris Close's shameful assault, unpenalised. Ever since then I've realised that Queensland RL players have been recruited solely for us in NSW to despise. For everything, turn turn...

So I guess that's a 50% strike rate this year. About average. At least I never really looked like needing to destroy the television.

We have a Labour Day long weekend here in NSW. My work colleagues at Melbourne H/O complained bitterly on Friday, until I reminded them
a. they had one in March
b. they have Cup Day in November, which we don't get ever. They rapidly found other topics to pursue.

In CD news, I can report that the new Elton John release "The Captain And The Kid" is pretty good, probably his best since 1992. I have also purchased Weird Al's new one "Straight Outta Lynwood" and will shortly be putting it through its paces. More later.

It's rather a strange time of year right now; warm enough certainly to provide a hint of forthcoming heat, although with the football seasons just completing, it still has a winter feel. We now move into a sort of limbo land until the Ashes tour begins in earnest. Let's hope Greg Ritchie is wrong: I think we CAN win with Abbott and Costello in charge...

"Exit, stage left"