Monday, April 28, 2008

Long In The Tooth? What a nerve!

Loyal readers will faint with shock at the speed of this follow up post.
Having enjoyed a pleasant four days (more later), it's time to document for posterity.
Thur 24/04 Rest Day!
Fri 25/04 14k along T-Way to MIL's house; weights later in day
Sat 26/04 10k along Windsor Rd Bike Path to Riverstone; weights later in day
Sun 27/04 5k SMC race
Mon 28/04 8k Clean Streets 6am!

SMC report:
A clear morning, slightly fresh and about 11 degrees greeted the larger-than-usual field. I hoped to do well, but failed.
A finish time of 24:07 wasn't bad, and a last k of 4:17 was pretty good, but somehow the time didn't match the effort. If I had been in a "guess your time" competition, I would have come last; I felt like I was on 23 min pace but I was off.
Over five races I've managed 23:32, 23:54, 24:00, 24:00 and 24:07.
Still, a decent hitout, mate Joe managing around 20:50 after feeling flat. Good effort buddy.
One more race to go, and of course plenty of West Mets on Saturdays to sharpen the sprinting skills.

Since late-ish last year I've had problems with an upper rear tooth, resulting in a number of dental visits and treatment for a cracked tooth. Well, now it's gone the next step and requires either
a. root canal, or
b. extraction
The past week has been an interesting one, from a statistical point of view. It will no doubt be useful to chart the pain progression and determine the mean average onset of pain after Nurofen consumption. Perhaps a few correlations can be drawn between that and exercise. I can certainly infer one thing: eating and drinking on one side causes agony.
Well today, part one of the required process occurred, and we have on our hands one partly dead nerve, sufficient to eliminate pain until part two commences Thursday week.
My dentist, a keen Jerry student - meaning Lewis and Seinfield - informed me that, if extraction is required, they have very modern pliers. And sedative. They apparently don't tie string (one end to your tooth and one end to a door handle) any more.

Just finished Ben Elton's "Blind Faith" which had more than a passing resemblance to an updated 1984.
A few more CD's arrived, including the rarity "The Graham Gouldman Thing" from the late 60's. Interesting to hear his own recordings of songs he wrote for others eg No Milk Today, Bus Stop, Pamela Pamela.

Anyone see M Turnbull sweating on 7:30 Report tonight? His upper lip and chin betrayed him. No wonder, when he challenged Kerry's "assertion" of 10 interest rate rises under Howard.
"Assertion"? I do believe empiricism still has a place in our world, unless of course we choose to take a kind of existentialist attitude to facts.

Off to Melbourne for work tomorrow; staying in town with full-on days and evenings, but still plan to get to The Tan for a couple of laps - and perhaps spot proud, cap-wearing CR's?

And so for additional company I will be taking Paul Doherty's "The Templar".
Cave ab homine unius libri

"Exit, Stage Left"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A useless Tip

Attempting to emulate Snagglepuss in speedy exit, I will try to be briefer than usual:

* a very enjoyable family break last week, out to Wellington, Dubbo and Mudgee. Saw the Wellington Caves, Dubbo Open Plains Zoo (perhaps the highlight for YD was the electric cart we hired to get around in) Old Dubbo Gaol, Dubbo Observatory, and Ye Olde Mudgee
* the new iPod nano with car adaptor worked a treat, eliminating the need for cumbersome CD's in-car. Special mention must go to Al Stewart and Jimmy Buffett, who helped us through the miles. Extra special mention and thanks go to Mrs BB who tolerated these artists until Jimmy Barnes came on, followed by George Michael. YD was quietly content in the back, glued to her portable DVD player with headset. And so travels the modern family, content in their isolated world and with the knowledge they will not hear the dreaded words "are we there yet???"
* three decent 10k runs in Dubbo/Mudgee, utilising the picturesque Tracker Riley Bikepath in Dubbo (traversing the riverbanks) and Lawson Park in Mudgee, perhaps the loveliest of parks seen on the trip
* for the statistically minded, since last post a total of 163k has been clocked up on the road, along with five weights sessions. Of these 15 runs - apart from the aforementioned holiday runs - most have been in a new running location, Beaumont Hills. With a mixture of easy flat sections and testing hills (but with great views) I have found this to be a welcome break from the Clean Streets of the past three years, and easily accessible via an easy five minute run, stopping for lights at Windsor Rd

Sub report: West Met Series
* 12/04/08 West Met #3 Rydalmere: 5k 24:02 min
Quite a decent time on a generally flat but stop/start course due to the construction mentioned last post. Two laps of a 2.5k course meant a total of six dead stops to turn around, making for rhythmless running. I later found out the course was slightly longer than 5k, so an even better result in retrospect
* 19/04/08 West Met #4 Smithfield 5k 23:38 min
Best run of the season so far, with a completely different course from the SMC; all cross country with concrete bike path, one lap only, so easier to maintain pace. Relative to others I pace against, I performed creditably time-wise, although finished 59th to break the three week 51st placing pattern. Mind you, there were more than 90 runners this week, up from 70-odd. It seems that the Smithfield run is great preparation for cross country championship events, which might explain the unfamiliar faces finishing ahead of me

I've found that doing an easy 10k run earlier in the morning before the West Met works well for me, along with no eating past Friday evening (but plenty of sports drink). Some might say this is a great way to build up to an eventual hypo collapse or at the very least faint from hunger, but I have been doing it for a few years now and it seems to work. As does consuming late lunch soon after the 2:25pm race...

Next Sunday SMC 5k beckons. The second last for the season, it will be a good test of speed. I'd like to think I can beat 23:32, my PB. We'll see. Once more, I'll head out there with Joe, who seeks to break the elusive 20 minute mark post-hamstring recovery. The last couple of months have seen a goodly turnout, with many familiar faces, many of whom are competing in the 10k.

Working through Laura Joh Rowland's "The Snow Empress", her latest installment in the Sano Ichiro late 17th Japan mystery series. I read it with a sense of urgency, as there are three further library books demanding attention, including Ben Elton's latest "Blind Faith".

Still filled with joie de vivre after the November 2007 Federal Election and the subsequent fall from grace of the Opposition Rabble, I have avoided posts on politics, in general, since then - at least without the same frequency or intensity leading up to said election.
Nevertheless, I feel it necessary to comment on two events arising from this week's activities, both involving Tip Costello.
1. Great excitement surrounds Tip's memoirs, due out 01/10/08. I'm sure they'll be a great read. Also pleasing to learn that Tip is writing them on taxpayers' time, so I'm sure he'll represent his constituents proudly until at least then. A shame Work Choices never applied to him, or even a simple Contact Of Employment that enforced the requirement to devote himself diligently to his primary employment role, as is the case for the rest of us. Apparently Brendan Nelson supports this definition of Serving Your Country
2. perhaps this is why Brendan has slipped to third as voter-preferred Opposition Leader, behind Malcolm and Tip! Bizarro World indeed.
Oh, and just a gentle reminder why that is really just shuffling the deck-chairs: the latest Newspoll has Labor's TPP lead at 61/39...

Perhaps Brendan would like Robin William's definition of Politics
Politics: “Poli” a Latin word meaning “many”; and "tics" meaning “bloodsucking creatures"

"Exit, Stage Left"

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Hail Fellow West Met

Now that the West Met series is here, more frequent blogging may occur. While ruminations around music, books, politics and other topics may entertain the jaded reader, this blog's raison de'tre is running. And plenty of it.

Week one (29/03) was Haberfield, a tasty little course; easy on the eye, nice and flat with a mix of grass and bitumen bike path. As always, the first run of the season is WARM. No exception this year, with the temp around 23. A large field enthusiastically signed up and parted with $20 for the 14 runs. Reasonable value, no?
After running nearly all 2k events in 2006 with Son, and virtually none last year due to his soccer match times, 2008 sees a step up to middle distance races of 4-5k each, although without Son who is focusing on soccer again (in the mornings). I am heading to each event with friend Joe, who is promising some decent results. Last week saw him deliver 16:05 for the 4k. I managed 18:51, and was pleased with that, especially finishing the last k in around 4:20.

Week two (05/04) was Concord, an interesting cross country course which involved some hills, plenty of sharp turns and a warm 21 degrees. I estimate most people added about a minute to their Haberfield result: Joe 17xx, me 19:44 with a blistering last 500m uphill in 2:16. That was one tough run, made more difficult by standing at the starting line for 10 minutes in the warm sun trying not to become comatose.

Next week is Rydalmere,a tricky course along Parramatta River, involving a few turns also, as the original route has been cut short due to Waterfront Apartment construction. Ah well, rich people have to live somewhere too.

Plenty of decent training apart from the races, with distances from 8k to 15k being posted. Weights is more enjoyable, with the new iPod Nano purchase enabling me to block out all the C Rap on Music channels in the gym. Memo to self: ease up on belting out Paradise By The Dashboard Light. Patrons are nervous.

I find myself in the strange position of having read all borrowed library books and all newly-purchased books. I am therefore starting on "Don't Stop The Carnival" by Herman Wouk, a copy of which I purchased on eBay some months ago. I have also placed five urgent reservations at the local library for books on the BB reading list.

I seem to be so busy nowadays that I rush through Bloglines, read entries and move on without comment. I apologise for this Tesso, 2P, Jenruns, Owlie, RobertSong, Marcia, NTR and all others. The blogs are interesting, and I will comment soon.
Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of your Australian holiday Marcia and

Robert Song and Tesso!!!
Good luck in Canberra!!!
(Oh, and we just bought: George Of The Jungle, Aquaman, Josie And The Pussycats, Penelope Pitstop and tales Of The Texas Rangers. I'm contemplating series one of Robin Hood - the 1950's version with Richard Greene).

For now, though I must take my leave and return to my novels. As Cicero once told me:
Consuetudinis magna vis est

"Exit, stage left"