Friday, December 30, 2005

The final chapter

As one year is ending another one begins. Perhaps this was my last run for the year but I felt strong and protected as I imagined the Black Knight running along side me like a shadow. This was uplifting until my mind wandered and I imagined slaying the weak pedestrians with my imaginary battle axe. I'm sure all of you have had this same image ...... no? A little later on my inner Kenyan appeared, and I was able to float across the running trail feeling light as a feather. As dusk closed, a hundred bats from the trees by the creek had taken flight and swooped around my whilst my trusty IPod blasted the tunes that drive me along the road. I wonder if you think the heat could be getting to me? To all those that happen to come across my ramblings may you dreams come true in 2006.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Running start at the New Year

Travel arrangements have been made so I'm committed to this one Canberra Marathon and now I need a cunning plan.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Fats Festive Fatass Brizzi

"5am start before it gets hot!", they said.

"It's a trail run but on forestry roads that are (generally) not accessed by vehicles. Very easy underfoot for the most part." says Kato

"The return trip came in around 50 kms last year, so should be around 46 this year as we are not planning on getting lost again." says Fat Bloke

so what happened .....

I rise at little after 4am after my pledge to join the group in order in work off a little seasonal indulgence. As I rumbled along in my trusty Jeep, I couldn't help but notice the big fluffy cloud cover that kept us warm and toasty all night. It was 30 degrees C, BEFORE 5am and moist air had me sweating just standing waiting to start.

Shortly into the run, Fat Bloke takes his eyes off the ground ("the very easy underfoot for the most part") and ended up a mess on his arse, resulting in a badly sprained ankle as well as cuts and bruises to legs and hands (his run was over). Skon is left in charge of the map, and gets Kato to read it. We had a ~ 250 m deviation until someone noticed we were running into a lot of spider webs.

I had decided on running about half way and then turn around to make it back to the Jeep. The main reason was that I didn't think it fair to hitch a ride down from the top as I was "a little" sweaty. By "a little" I mean that my feet squelched after the first 5 kms, and I quote a conversation that summed up the group "Is that sweat coming off your shirt, I thought you broke your water bottle".

Two and half hours shuffling up and down trails with a considerable amount of walking on the ups, the Garmin told me it was 23 and quarter kms. I came home 10 pounds lighter but none the worse for wear.

Plenty of time left in the day to hit the gym with Katy. It was kinda hot for her, which isn't so good as she has a condition that sees her drop to the floor if she overheats (no Fatass festivities for her). Wisely, we call it quits until later in the evening where I enjoyed a rare run with my wife. We cruised around for about 5km before sinking into the Southbank pool.

And so folks it has been a pretty active day and there is little doubt I will sleep well tonight.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Dictionary of Running Terms

I decided to elaborate on a number of terms I use to breakdown my running patterns and ways to describe stages of races or training sessions ... here goes ... please feel free to add a few of your own:

The Float - First third of a race when holding back a little. This is a great feeling and time to look around and soak in the atmosphere.

The Grind - Follows a float when it's time to put the head down, don't count the kms cause it's way too early for that.

Oig Tobahdato - Oh It's Going To Be A Hard Day At The Office (pronounced Oi-ngg Too-bar-day-toe) .... these are the days when the legs won't click into gear right from the very start and are stuck on slow.

Powering or Pounding - Bouncing, pouncey, up tempo bounding, full of optimism ... full speed ahead, turn up the volume and enjoy the ride.

Rocket Shoes - Fast burning surge of running speed from a limited amount of fuel - such as starting a race too fast before finding that breathing is tough and the legs don't want to go anymore.

Blown It - Depressed sinking feeling when the body says you're done but there is still many miles left to go .... there is where I keep turning the legs over until the motor kicks in again ... seems to take awhile, maybe a couple of kms but is forgotten by the time you hit the end

Tourettes - Involuntary vocalisation of profanity ... tends to hit me around the 30km marker of a marathon or the end of a long run ... Can also strike during hill workouts .... not always involuntary.

Close Out - A point where the mind says "Walk" ... "What are a few extra minutes going to matter" .... "You don't want to run anymore" .... but you do .... its towards the end of the race and knowing that you WILL make it is enough to take you home

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I want a fantasy wishlist too!

Since you asked .... well you didn't ... but why would that stop me ... so my fantasy wishlist ... and by the way this is just the start ... I wish, I wish for .....

* learning how to make real bullet points
* I get to go on "blogger world tour" ... this is where I travel around the world, turning up at the morning meeting places and have a social run with everyone ...
* dogs, that when they pass gas, you turn to your partner and say "hey, that smells kinda nice, doncha think?"
* an elephant ... with someone to clean up afterward .... one of those poop bags at the dog park isn't going to be enough
* ABS ... I've probably got some but they're hidden
* extra hours in a day for me
* edit controls so i can rewind and remove all the dumb things i say
* a small ipod that sits behind the ear so i can listen to music and nod in management meetings
* an ipod that is drop proof and still works perfectly for katy despite what she does to it .... and it never gets lost ... and while i'm at it the battery lasts forever
* dentist trips that are more fun than theme parks for clare
* a big invisible bubble that surrounds andrew on this peewee dirt bike so he can't get hurt
* and finally happiness for everyone

Friday, December 23, 2005


Discovered this Chrismas that I love toffee .. I received a little bin full of toffees as a gift ...... wasn't long before I demanded I get another one ... and there was a free toffee handed out at the Toll booth today .... sniff ... I smell you ...... you have toffee don't you ... wait ... come back!

You can come out when you promise not to pee on the couch again!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Had a haircut

I couldn't get in to my usual place so tried a local "salon". After a sort time and little small talk I said "Has anyone ever said that the 'o' looks like an 'a'?" ......"No" ....... There was prolonged awkward period when all that could be heard was the buzz of the clippers and not a word was spoken for a time ..........

Problem Solved

Being good runners you must know the benefits of a banana as a fuel source. Until now, I have had the problem of not being able to take one with me on the long runs. Until now ....... check the link Banana Bunker and join me in wonder why this wasn't thought of sooner. Better still you can pop it down the front of your shorts for easy access!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Back to my Countdown to 2006 List

Just thought of another highlight from this year and I'm listing it under 10 of my "Countdown 2006" (previous post)

The Big 10!

The 10 animals of 2005 .....

1 Elephant that I got to pretend I was driving down a river in the Thai highlands. I was pretending because the elephant knew exactly where he was going and I had no say in it. It was one of the moments in life when I had a dumb grin, didn't say a word, and thought to myself "how cool is this!".


5 Tigers in the Kanchanaburi sanctuary which was 3 adults (here making Katy nervous and excited at the same time .... great bladder control) and 2 cutie cubs sitting on a rock.


3 Geckos that patrol the ceiling of our new house. One is called Amy.


1 Rubber snake (another story)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Garage Sailing

Last Saturday we headed out around the neighbourhood in search of a Whipper Snipper, Pottery Water Jug and a Lamp. This not what we came home with.

First garage sale was in the garage itself, fancy that. There was alot of dusty items which included a box of 70's fashion magazines. "Take the Whole Box" they pleaded. Katy took 2 to reacquaint herself with big hair, sideburns and satin shirts. Scorecard - Money spent $0.

Next we found another place where "all the good stuff had gone". Strangely, there are many of these places. The old woman, tending the remains after "all the good stuff had gone", was propped up on her porch in an old chair with a cigarette dangling from the corner of her mouth. Quickly exitting, I noticed an Whipper Snipper on the lawn. "Does it work?" .... "Used to but not since awhile back" ... "Give to you for a $1" .... "oh dunno" ..... "take it" ... "ok!". Scorecard still $0.

There were a number of in and outs empty handed. Katy picked up 2 pieces of tupperware from a guy for 20 cents. After an hour or so, Scorecard $0.20 for 3 items.

The only other place with a transaction saw us end up with a island knife block bench on casters .... seen them for $100 in the shops ... this guy ... and friends I mean this guy who was completely over the whole garage sale thing had $10 on a sticker .... a short private whispering with Katy and I said "will you take $5?" .... "alright" ... so I put my had in my pocket pulling out all my coins .... "how about $4.85" ... a nod and we concluded our final transaction.

Final Score - $5.05 and left the lamp and pottery water jug on the list for next time.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Kurrawa as seen through my IPod

By the time it was my turn for the second leg of the relay I was ready to go.....

Phase One - Rocket Shoes

Starting a race is such a buzz and I called it the "Rocket Shoe Effect". It felt like I was hardly touching the ground but the draw back with Rocket shoes is that they are fast burning and before long there is no fuel left. I started with track 2, "Black is Black" by Belle Epoque .... it's old disco and I love the "wooooo's" which was great floating up the first steep hilly bit. I wondered what happen to by first track "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind and Fire. There wasn't much of a breeze this day but there was a Fire! As I cruised down the hill I moved into Grandaddy's, Pull the Curtains. I was trying not to be too uptempo early, but it wasn't long before I was going for the gatorade figuring it was going to be a long hot one.

Drinking as much as I could of my Gatorade I shift gears into Scooter - The Logical Song and Scissor Sisters. Only 20 minutes down and phase 2 starts.

Phase Two - Oh It's Going To Be A Hard Day At The Office or OIG TOBAHDATO

As the onset of Oig Tobahdato (pronounced Oi-ngg Too-bar-day-toe) ) hit me all the symptoms were there ... like an overwhelming desire to vomit ... I could have expressed this some other more delicate way but I kinda like the sheer violent connotations it conjures up. Scissor Sister were back on main stage with "Comfortably Numb" .... but nothing could be further from the truth. The following three tunes were "On and On", "Powerless" and "Do You Really Want to Feel It" ala Futado and Fragma. Despite my powerless disposition, I struggled on and on whilst not really wanting to feel it at all. The heat of the sun beating down on me and a rapid rise in my own temperature, took me some time to get under control.

Phase Three - The Grind

I like to call the middle part of a run "The Grind". Head down, don't count the km's, keep your eye on the runner in front and don't let the guys behind overtake you. There was a further 5 tracks that hardy registered until the Kaiser Chiefs launched into "Everyday I Love You Less and Less". It became a little ballad I shared with the pavement below and the sun beating down from above. I really got into it and there I started my reincarnation.

Phase Four - Pumping It

There was a water stop with crushed ice that I stacked under my hat and this quickly fixed my overheating issues. MJ and Hannah drove beside me with water and encouragement. I was shot by one of those massive water guns and Tara and Scotty were staked out at a water station cheering me on. This is what running is all about, I thought to myself. "Dance Me In" by Sons and Daughters signaled my change in outlook. There was a couple of big live AC/DC tracks with Angus sweating out the massive guitar solos whilst I did my best to do the same. There were also a few more memorable tracks that seemed just perfect for the moment like "Run Like Hell", Pink Floyd as well as Tusk and Flagpole Sitta.

Phase Five - Close Out

There was one final steep hill with steps done the other side. I took the opportunity to "suck it up" by walking up the embankment. I guessed there was about 4km's left, so turned it up with my favorite running song "Shake That!" - Scooter. I was very familiar with this part of the course having traced it over and over again training for the Gold Coast marathon. I closed in on a couple runners and felt good enough for the big finish - yeah.

I'm happy with my run and experience it gave me. I missed my last track being Rock n Roll, Part 2 - Gary Glitter but the Queens of the Stone Age, "No One Knows" wasn't a bad second choice for a finishing track.

For the record, I did get lost when facing a road with a "No Through Road" sign at the entrance. I was part of four confused runners that headed down the street, backtracked, went the opposite way towards the highway before doubling back for a third or fourth time to find the hidden pathway by the beach.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Stealth Bomber

I was driving to work this morning when all of a sudden a loud chopper motor bike rumbled past my window. The guy was all in black and wearing the cut out bowling ball type helmet. I never saw him approach and he ducked in front of a car and disappeared over a hill never to be seen again. It was then that it hit me .... that must be the same technology the US military paid billions of dollars for to make jets that can't be seen by radars.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Here's a season to be jolly, Kurrawa a ra a ra ra ra!

Nature has erupted into full symphony just 3 days before the Gold Coasts next big event on the running calendar. I ran to my car this evening amid torrential rain with thunder and lightening bursting and flashing at high velocity. All this sets the scene for a race more famous for extreme humidity and soaring temperatures than its lack of high profile sponsorship.

Sunday will be my first Kurrawa (aboriginal word meaning "Blue Sea") and I'm looking forward to it in a way different than any other race. This time I won't be out to qualify for Boston, obtain a specified average pace or even achieve a PB. No my goal is to try and not get lost on the route and ensure I finish before all the sausages from the BBQ are gone.

"This event is a 50Km and 2 person relay of 25Km each from Kurrawa Surf Club (Broadbeach) To Duranbah (& return) on Queensland's Gold Coast. It is a flat course along roads & paths adjoining the Gold Coast beachfront. Start time 5:00am from Kurrawa Park, 200 meters north of Kurrawa Surf Lifesaving Club Carpark, Broadbeach Qld."

Sounds harmless doesn't it? I think there should be more relay races like this.

Monday, December 05, 2005

2006 Countdown

Here goes my list:

12. Dogs: chuck's x 2, Bella, Angel, Dave, Tim, Lucy, Burt, Shorty, Scratch Me Happy (Rocky), Jimmy, Charlene

They are just the foster dogs that lie about the house. I have a firm rule "No more than 2 dogs in the house at any one time" ...... currently there are three. Tamale is the one we own (the black and white one) or are we the ones she owns? Here she is with Bella doing what they do best.

It wasn't easy getting Bella to the stage of being soooooo relaxed that she would miss the bed and sleep where she fell. These dogs come to us straight of the routine of being high energy racing dogs. We take them in and offer green tea, burn incense, apply therapeutic massage and meditation classes before they are ready to be adopted out to a new family as their domestic pat. It's a tricky job of exact science, but someone has to do it right?

11. Things I like about my job ..... hmmmmm .... eleven! They provide stuff to make lunch .... until next week when that comes to an end. I might not be able to finish 11 things after all.

10. Animals, as described in a post after this one.

9. Best tunes of 2005

Sons And Daughters - Dance Me In
Soulwax - NY Excuse
Josh Pyke - Middle Of The Hill
Kaiser Chiefs - Everyday I Love You Less & Less
Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot
Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To
Foo Fighters - DOA
Giants Of Science - Here Is The Punishment
Grandaddy - Pull The Curtains

8 memorable moments with Bear and Andrew:

* Helping Andrew catch a fish at Fraser Island, taking it up to our camp and filleting it straight into the pan with a little butter, now that's as fresh as you get and tastes the best ...... except when your son drops his in the sand ... oh well
* Hearing how well Bear did in the math test and her "tournament of the mind" ideas
* Watching Andrew in his first year of soccer and seeing how well he reads the play, covers the opposition's dangerous attackers and plays the team game
* That "thing" they made from Knex and populated with beany bears
* Seeing Bear in her first grown ups party dress
* Spying on the Bear standing up in her surfing school
* Hanging out, swimming in pools and playing tennis with their cousins on the Gold Coast
* Throwing out all their toys when we moved house ........ just kidding .... or am I?

7. New culinary creations this year including:

* Pad Thai - but how to stop the noodles sticking to the wok
* Cashew Chicken Stir Fry (my favorite but had to back off a little after Katy said she didn't want it for every meal every day of the week .... in hindsight I might have over done this on the meal rotation)
* Stilton Cheese Sauce on Steak
* Chilli Poppers that nearly killed my dear friend Jennie whilst she chugged a full litre of milk to try and sooth the burning sensation to no avail (I must admit I found this a little amusing and eased the pain I endured from the same chilli cheese stuffed monster wrapped in bacon)
* Margaritas ala Sharon which made me wonder, that after having two, I could no longer feel my legs
* Chilli 2 or 3 alarm ... real nice (can't believe I have never made Chilli before)
* And 7 any number of several Thai dishes made at the Cooking School in Chiang Mai

6. Marathons for Katy and I including: Thai Temple, Brisbane, Gold Coast x 2, Columbus x 2

5. Half Marathons: Thai Temple, Queensland x 2, Brisbane, Noosa

4. Katy's knitting creations .... a tank top with the mud flap girl in sliver on a black background that shred back cotton into her armpits to create the eastern european look, and intricate shawl for her mum, a yoga mat bag, one pink bob with bangs and an orange beehive wig

3. Wedding anniversaries ... and still loving every minute of it!

2. Favourite movies of the year. Million Dollar Baby and Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

1. New house - complete with an infinite number of projects just waitng for us, like deciding what colours to paint the outside, making a vegie garden, and on and on it goes ......

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Two too cruel!

Here we are again at the Columbus marathon around Mile 20. So I calculate 6 miles left by 8 minutes and that has me arriving around 3:16 or thereabouts figuring there is the 0.2 to account for as well. What a great race, 16 bands none the less. My favourite was the guy on the bike with an electric piano playing the William Tell Overture as we ran up the slight 4 mile gradient of High St. But first cruel part was the folk band .... something like Peter, Paul and Mary on a stage a little way to the left .... so the harmony was ok but the lyrics sounded alot like ... "Hey you fool, whatya doin, running this much you're goin die" .... la la lalalala (shake of a tramboline) ... "We are talkin to you Mark, why doncha quit, if someone's doing die you'll be it". Now perhaps those might not be the exact words or even close to it. But that's what I was hearing.

Cruelty of Columbus Number Two was also not intended to be .... probably. A running group set up an archway at the 23 mile mark ... and you just had to think it was the finish line. Such a let down.

All that behind me, leads to the great finish. Now I could be exangerating but ..... all of Columbus lined the final stretch and it was bigger than Macy's parade. I turned the corner of a street wide enough to drive 15 buses down side by side. The crowd erupted in deafening cheers as I flew down the steep decline with my legs pumping all the way down the 300 metres to cross the finish line.