Sunday, November 25, 2007


well its not quite true.
i still have an interest in politics in general just not voting for politicians!
my colleagues at work tell me working for queensland health broke my brain.
they may be right.
after several inquiries into several different health 'scandals', the state almost running out of water, and education and law enforcement debacles i have absolutely no faith in the queensland government.
they dont plan, they ignore problems on the horizon, hide them when they occur, deny them when people find out until there is an uproar, then spend millions in inquiries and the results of which they ignore because people have forgotten about the original problem by the time the findings are released.
i guess people might consider that 'smart' politics i call it deceit :)

in my own peculiar way i have decided to extend this to all politicians from all parties at all levels (and especially the bureaucrats who advise them) and have decided to only vote for someone i can trust and who i think will do a good job.
which means basically i will never vote again.
i was quite happy to pay the $20 fine for not voting this weekend but sitting at work at 5.30pm twidling my thumbs exactly 50 metres from a polling booth i thought i had better turn up and at least vote informally.
i use to think only knobheads voted (intentionally) informally.
i am now a knobhead.

walked into an empty polling booth.
told them my name/address.
got my bits of paper.
folded them as i walked straight to the box 3 metres away.
popped them in and smiled at the old lady giving me a quizzical look and was back at work exactly 2 mins later.
...and twidling my thumbs again.
that saved me $10 a minute.

it felt so good it just reiterated my one-man stand and i am now committed to do this for a long time yet.
cant wait for the next election to do it again.
still watched the election coverage for several hours with great interest.

monday: 14km flat 66.00 (quickest for 6 months or so!)
tuesday: missed a planned run as calf a bit sore!!
wednesday: 60min stat bike
thursday: mt coot-tha - mr g's torture test (long) 18-19km in 2.13 a 4min pb without trying on a warm day. calf had settled.
friday: 14km flat 72.00 plus pilates and massage
saturay: nothing
sunday: 14km flat 70.00

less 'nothing' this week :)

tesso when i have my six pack i am showing it to everyone except you! ;)

work conference at the gcoast this week (mon-wed).
then off to nz thursday for kepler (saturday).

all politicians are fcking idiots!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Morning Runner?

ran twice this week in the mornings which is very unusual for me.
its not that i have planned to.
with lack of daylight savings up here its light before 5am so when youre lying there wondering what to do for the next 3 hours it makes sense.
means on a day off the arvo is free to do other things (if you have enough energy left!)
getting back to feeling 'strong' again: did nothing but flat/road suff this week all around 5min/kms, all neg splits and it all felt cruisy.
did 2 walk sessions this week with TOH for cradle/overland training.
have had a few pilates sessions now to try and build up the tummy muscles.
will have a six pack by xmas .... 2010.

monday: nothing
tuesday: 14km flat 67.30
wednesday: nothing
thursday: 14km flat 67.00 plus 1.5hr coot-tha walk with packs plus massage plus pilates! obviously i didnt work this day :)
friday: nothing
saturday: 23km flat 1.56 plus 1hr light walk whites hill reserve
sunday: nothing

CR john has very kindly given me the 1 meg versions of the photos below so when i have time will exchange them.

kepler in 2 weeks

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Getting back to 'Normal'

shouldve thanked CR exe 'junior' (aka spot) for 2 of the photos from the last post.
these ones i also 'borrowed' from CR (john) and were too good to leave out...
first is my fav: view from near the hut on mt hotham run looking back over razor-back track.
2nd is from similar place looking along the road - unfortunately cant see all the snow/ice on the cars!!
3rd is earlier on along the razorback.
someone on CR today reckoned the winds there were 110km/hr ...sheesh - i think i'll stick with 90km/hr thats still narly and more believable!!

2p the watch was great!! except it doesnt measure temp well when on the wrist but i knew that before buying it.

the physio asked me the other day what a 'normal' week for me would be.
i guess in an un-injured state i would like to run a race (usually an ultra) once a month with an easy week either side of the event.
this of course leaves only 2 weeks of 'training' in between which i would do maybe 60-70km/week (but thats a pretty 'narly' 70km!) and some exercise bike.
have struggled a bit lately to achieve this and stunned myself today by realising kepler is only 3 weeks away so i better get into some 'normal' running.
managed a negative split at sub 5's today for my flat 14km run for the first time in a while.
a bit of hammie tightness but nothing like the other week.

bought the boots and packs for our overland track walk this weekend.
yes more gear!!
the packs are NZ made:
i have the peak aspiration and TOH the natural exhilaration (dont u like the names?!?..... just waiting for one of tims comments!)
funnily enough i didnt like the lightweight ones as much.
they have a unique shoulder harness system which basically can move slightly from side to side so the pack 'swings' less.
my boots are la sportiva: which are basically gore-tex trail running shoes with loose ankle support - that'll fool 'em!
went on a 1.5hr coot-tha walk today to test the gear and eveything seems good.
christened the boots in simpsons falls and they came out looking crisp.

monday/tuesday - last half of bright
wednesday/thursday/friday - nothing except massage
saturday - 7km walk/run with dog and 30min stat bike (easy)
sunday - 1.5hr walk and 14km flat run (69.00)

'that political thing' which i am definately not paying any attention to in 2 weeks.
kepler in 3 weeks.

congrats to mellum at gnw - 3/3!!

'gear man'
over and out.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

No need for Sunscreen

Bright Alpine Climb ('4 peaks'): Melbourne Cup weekend 2007.

total 48.8km approx 4300m of climb.
official results have me at 6.59.28 but a minute was missing from all 4 days!!

'the razorback' track - mt hotham

bon accord walking track - near turn onto 'the razorback'

mt feathertop summit - paul, me, 'tim' (not tim turner or tim2 - another tim!)

federation hut - en route to mt feathertop

this event is in its 29th year and involves 4 runs over the 4 day melbourne cup long weekend.
the first day involves up and down (start/finish at the same place) whilst the rest are timed in the 'up' direction only.

after my 'extreme taper' i felt fit and ready until i actually tried to run that is! - on the friday afternoon and found myself limping due to a tight area at the tip of my left calf no doubt related to the piriformis/sciatic nerve issues.

after some stretching (which the physio told me NOT to do) made things worse i spent a very lonely evening in a cottage in harrietville desperately trying to massage and loosen up the area.
meanwhile contemplating a phonecall to qantas!
repeated the same the next morning and fronted up to see what would happen.

day 1 - mystic hill 346->915m returning to start 11km: 1.28
checked in and aquainted myself with the starting procedure which basically entails turning up whenever you feel like it (generally walkers 7-8am and runners 8-8.30am) handing them your 'ticket' with your race number on it and them saying 'go' in 1-2 minutely intervals - very informal!
trotted along at a steady pace and felt ok (but not great) once things had warmed up.
the uphills started early on and reminded me of the steep ski-slopes i went up when in colorado a few months back.
certainly made the kokoda trail at coot-tha look flat!
got to the top which was also the launching platform for paragliders.
a drizzly day but not too cold.
was a little worried about how steep the downs would be but after a first steep 'glissade' section the rest was quite gentle firetrail.
caught up with bryan ackerly from cradle, arnstein from townsville (met at ghouse events) and paul ashton (alpine 100 mile RD). met cr's exe and lebusqp.
went through the apline 100 mile maps with PA before heading 'home' to lie on a tennis ball for a while.

day 2 - mt feathertop 505->1922 12km: 1.34
didnt get much sleep overnight due to a storm and was wondering what they would do the following morning - would things go ahead?
things fined up in the morning at the start but with the forecast still a unpleasant they decided to stop the race at federation huy (1720m) about 1.5km from the top.
unfortunately (of fortunately depending on how you look at it) i only found this out when the first few runners started coming down when i was 100m from the hut!!
i waited for PA to get to the hut then encouraged him to crack on to the summit with me.
after trotting off he asked me a couple of times why i had waited for him when i realised he thought the finish was still ahead!
gee i could of had some fun but decided to be good :)
we were already nearing the turn at 'the razorback' when i fessed up so he was happy to crack on.
a photo above is of (L->R) paul, me and 'tim' who were the first to crack on to the summit.
the only way to get off feathertop is to walk so it was rather a long day.
it took me over 2 hours to walk back from the hut - half an hour longer than it took to get up!

day 3 - mt hotham 505->1730m (diamantina hut) 15.3km: 2.30
once again starting in harrietville where i was staying.
had met up with CR exe the day before and he had suggested a car shuffle for the morning so we met up early and ran this together.
the drive up got a bit nasty above the tree-line with fog and strong winds.
just nearing diamantina hut (the finish) there was ice on the road and thick snow/ice on the cars that had been parked there overnight.
certainly an eye opener for the day ahead.
started the run a bit late at 8.30 and certainly things were pleasant below the tree-line infact i did actually need some sunscreen on - the first sun we had seen all weekend!
the serious stuff starts a few kms below the tree-line at a place called 'the wall' that involves a 300m climb in a km or so.
just after this several people including the RD were waiting for us warning us of the conditions ahead and turning people back who were already buggered.
i put and extra thermal on here as well as hat, gloves and my montane 200 jacket.
getting above the TL was like another world: immediately hit with strong wind gusts.
they said they were 50knots which is 90km/hr.
i'm not sure about this but they made the 55km/hr gusts at the prom this year look bloody tame!!
i wasnt cold so much as simply blown off my feet.
little icycles were blown into my face and left a burning/stigning feeling.
the gusts became more constant at the turn onto 'the razorback' so it became more difficult to trot inbetween them an we spend more time stumbling along and leaning into the wind.
i tunred around a few times to make sure CR exe (neil) was still there but have to admit i was more concerned about getting my little toosh off the mountain!!
visibility wasnt too bad considering so seeing the road and hut 300m or so ahead was very pleasing.
entering the hut i felt like a cocaine addict who had had a sniff but wanted more.
immediately i suggested a trip to the mt hotham summit but exe knew i was joking :)
apparently quite a few had hypothermia and i saw a lady about to be taken to bright hospital by car.
the official mt hotham temp for 11am (my finish hour) was minus 8 including windchill but i'm sure the wind was stronger out on the trail.
it certainly made the minus 5 at kepler last year look balmy!
we gave a lift to a 20 year veteran who reckoned it was the worst conditions she had seen.
many apltly described the conditions as 'a blizzard'.
they say there is no such a thing as bad weather - just inappropriate gear!
this weekend was certainly a test for both my gear and myself.
i spent A LOT OF TIME figuring out what to bring on each day.

day 4 - mt buffalo 320->1360m 10.5km: 1.29
lovely place to finish the weekend.
a nice sunny day - tshirt and shorts run. great scenery and a nice place to finish at 'the chalet'.
probably my best run of the weekend - my niggles progressively settled and i just pushed harder and harder each day.

huge thanks to those who sent texts over the weekend kel, g, mellum, jen (especially mr g with his weather updates!)

a great social weekend: knew bugger all people at the event but always felt welcome.
great organisation and relies very heavily on volunteers including the mt hotham bus driver!
sat at the 'townsvillian' table at the sunday night dinner and interestingly met roger lebish who is now a bright local - he was a glasshouse 100 mile finisher in 2000!
small world.

a few tips on driving in the alps
* its best not to drive the rental car on 4 inches thick of ice
* when driving on slippery roads its a good idea to be 'in gear' when trying to accelerate
* its not neccesary to fill up with 'premium' unleaded. infact its downright stoopid!