Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Marathon Diet Plans

Friday, I was chewing a Mintie at work when I made a decision. It was that time or shortly after that the decision was made ...... No more Minties/Candy and no more biscuits/cookies until after the Melbourne Marathon October 8! In fact, No More Minties Ever!!!!!

A Mintie is a hard chewy mint flavoured taffy gooey sweet item. My decision of sweet abstinence came the moment I felt something hard and gritty in my mouth. I spat out my tooth and a filling stuck in a half chewed Mintie. Frantically I check for blood and held my breath waiting for the sharp writhing pain of exposed nerves ..... but there was no blood ..... there was no pain.

Monday, I had a filling that they moulded into a nubbin. Not sure why! Now I have a strange sensation that one of my teeth is a prosthetic.

Anyhow, I'm enter a new phase in my training. One of the themes is Nutrician, so I'm going to eat more of this (below). The other theme is race preparation but I'm not sure what that means yet (will post on that later).

The long thing on the end is a Zucchini. Katy is a big fan of these but I just don't see the same attraction. Skin on or skin off is a matter of taste, but I warn you that if you leave them too long they go limp.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Noosa Half - What the Dickens?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way ....

Obviously Dickens was a runner, how did we miss this? At first he refers to his Personal Best of Times (PB or PR), the foolishness of getting caught in the moment of the race start and heading out too fast, the testing of belief in our own ability, the Darkness and despair as the Winter of our run closes in and after the finish line, the contemplation of what lies next.

Could he have been talking about anything else? .... I think not!

Three stages of the Noosa Half Marathon stick in my mind.

1. Standing on the start line alongside my fellow pacer Scott. We were both wondering if we should have skipped the last beer the night before. There was a constant stream of runners coming up to us and asking what time we were pacing. On most occasions they would nod, when told 1:40, and then find their place in a little group directly behind us. I was confident in my ability to cruise through this time, although there was a small doubt in my mind, from a few comments in the days leading up, that it might be a little bit of a challenge. So inwardly conflicted, I made small talk with Scott as the overwhelming faith people put on a pacer washed over me.

2. Out on the course, I was controlling the pace and letting Scott know up front whether to lift the tempo or not. This job had become mine, not because of my fine tuned sense of speed and pace, but more because of the Garmin strapped to my wrist. For most of the run, the pace was very comfortable and it wasn't until about the 15K mark that I felt any fatigue. It is about this time that I became most vocal about pushing the runners ..... especially on the hills. The more I encourage others, the more pumped up I become, and the thought of any fatigue disappears. Even crossing the line I was still so hyped up that I couldn't wait to run back and find Katy.

3. The third memory of pacing involves the feeling of a sort of sadness born from the inability to help runners at the end of the race. In my own races, I know the feeling of exhaustion at the end and the effort needed to keep a pace so easily done in training. The final stage of the race, I just want to pick people up and carry them to the line. I knew the exact time and pace needed to bring home one of my fellow Running School members. I knew we were off by around 20 seconds over the last 10 minutes or more. I think her name was Kate because I don't know her that well and although I knew her by sight we had never previously spoken. In Kate's eyes I could the effort and strain going into every step, I could see there was nothing more to give. Many times she lifted to stay alongside me. Finally, I had to let her go and finish the last few hundred metres to meet my committed time. Kate came in within a minute and thanked me for getting her closer than she ever would have done so alone. Just missing the goal doesn't concern me as much when it's me, but it does more so when it's someone else.

Noosa's done and now I move on with a little more wisdom and desire to be my best in Melbourne. Perhaps Dickens is telling me to keep pacing in his closing words, but after all, this is the tale of two cities and the next one awaits.

It's a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

New pictures

Sorry folks, my last picture may have crossed the line of good taste. Here's one that might please you more ........... or not. (See Elizabeth, I listen and respond to your better now post something else stat! comments)

Good taste and State Fairs have rarely been found in the same sentence. On Wednesday we ventured to the "Ekka", Brisbane's Royal Show or State Fair equivalent. We like to play a game which is sort of like "I Spy" .......... sorta! It's called "Best In Show" and the categories can be made up at the time. The rules (as if I live by rules) are that you can pick a category as you go and then it is up to other players to find a "better" choice for "Best In Show".

The first winner was best crack ..... I'm sure you'll appreciate the photo and would have trouble arguing that this is indeed a mighty display.

The second contest involved a "Worst Dress". This is open to teenage girls who deliberately apply excessive make-up and combine high heals, fish net stockings, hair dyes, and various multi-layers of plumage. Judging is based on appropriateness for walking through agricultural yards and the elaborate nature of the accessories.

The picture of the winner, as you see, hardly does justice to the fish net stockings and bright hair streeks but I can assure the field was especially strong this year.

I do feel qualified to judge this event as I have many titles for "worst dress" that I proudly list in my portfolio of accomplishments.

I have added a picture of the wood chop ..... only because I love the wood chop.

And finally one of the many massive mosaics made out of fruits, vegies or seeds.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Too much information?

I had a bit of a tooth ache ..... you might be wondering, how did it end up here (as per picture above)?

I called the dentist and could only book in for an examination and clean .... in a few weeks!!! This doesn't help my tooth ache, that interupted my sleeping the last few nights and has me taking pain relief. So the dental receptionist said I could perhaps get anti-biotics from a GP if it related to an infection. Ok (I thought to myself) so whilst I am there I can take care of a few other things I have been putting off ........ enough said, I hope!!!!

Having seen my GP now, my mind is completely off the tooth ache. I feel a little weird and feel that I should have received flowers ..... at the very least.

All systems are go for the Noosa Half-Marathon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Proud Dad

Number 8, fouled in first half for growling

That's my cow girl in the black hat behind bow tie man!

In this one she was just horsing around!

Not so proud of naughty dog not allowed on day bed!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Multi Gran's Meal

How good is that!!!!!!

It's called a "pork special" and the side is a cucumber/onion thingy.

This morning was a special adventure with Clairie and Tesso. I really enjoyed the 16.4 K mid week run with these two very much and finished with a quick final 3K with "Stefan the Super-fast". Last time I saw him, he was waving on the curbside in the Gold Coast marathon as I sauntered past.

One more thing ......

I am pacing the 1 hour 40 minute half-marathon at Noosa. My next race is the Oct 8 Melbourne Marathon so this pacing gig fits in perfect for not having to worry about what to aim for at Noosa. I'll enjoy it more this way.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Timing is Everthing

It can be as simple as the batch of cookies Katy made or as complex as ......... bugger! ....I had the feeling this was going to be a great post ..... sigh.

Anyhow, toast hater's mother is here ..... now if the kids are the croutons she must be ..... careful now ...... a little help .... please .... suggestions for a suitable nickname.

It's great having her ([Insert Witty Toast Related Nickname]) here and we have enjoyed the weekend in Noosa home of the Noosa Half-Marathon in 2 weeks and home of Australia's premier Tri on October 29th. I did my long run from Noosaville to Perigean Beach along a series of hills and winding paths ..... just about killed me. After some wise words taken from the chronicles of Bolder and a chat with Tesso on Thursday, I decided that I'll do an easy week after 2 hard weeks in my training program. This decision gave may great comfort knowing that the "hills from hell" (as I now know them) will soon be followed by a week off the weekly slog which is training for a marathon (perhaps I'm being a little dramatic).

Next weekend I'm off to the theatre to see Crouton's debut. Seems that instead of two singing horses they made a costume change to have the two performers form one horse. And which "end" did my crouton get????? The head .... phew ..... which reminds me how I started this post ... yes, not only is timing everything it is also about position.