I’ve been playing around with a different blog platform (when I put it like that I feel like a philanderer – just call me Tiger).
Much as I love you, wordpress, there are some things my new blog does that you can never do for me:
- allow readers to submit photos, video, links, and posts themselves
- write proper html in posts
- customise templates
- easily update twitter and facebook
- blog from my phone a lot easier (including pictures)
The new blog understands me.
So what is the new blog, you ask?
There’s an RSS feed here:
Check it out, contribute something, play around and change any bookmarks or rss subscriptions you might have, cause this blog may not be around too long.
Filed under: blog Tagged: blog
I quite successfully managed to avoid the X factor this year, which I’m quite proud of. I was dimly aware of a guy called Altion Childs who apparently lived in a cave. I’m not quite sure what that has to do with singing, but I really wasn’t that bothered.
So, it was something of a surprise to read yesterday that the caveman actually won the whole competition. Not one of those earth-shattering surprises mind, just one of those “Oh really?” level ones.
Now the guy has done an interview “telling all” about how he was mocked, presumably as a teenager. See: I was mocked.
I don’t want to trivialise this sort of thing, as I know bullying can be pretty devastating, but just in case you, dear reader, are in a similar situation, here’s a list of things you can do to avoid being made fun of:
- Avoid thanking “the mystery that created me” on live TV. If you don’t know how you were created, there are plenty of books and, I suspect, websites that can enlighten you
- Avoid little crumb-catcher goatees. Even Shannon Noll can’t quite pull that one off (see picture below)
- Avoid little scarfs (not sure what they are called, can anyone enlighten me?)
Still, I do like the guy, even though I haven’t heard him sing, simply because his reason for going to the cave was to rediscover his “beautiful sadness”. A very Lorca thing to say.
I came perilously close to bailing on my run this morning. I was sitting in the bathroom at 4:55am half dressed in my running gear and I seriously considered going back to bed. Surely I could just run tonight? Luckily I did run, as there’s no chance I’ll want to run tonight. I’m already looking forward to bed, and it’s not even 9am. 12.5km.
Filed under: music, trash
I’m not terribly keen on summer as a rule. I tend to spend the months of January and February mentally counting down “only 8 weeks to go until autumn”, “only 7 weeks to go to autumn”.
I hate feeling hot and sweaty. I hate having to get on stinky crowded trains in the afternoon. I hate having to get dressed in long pants and shirts when it’s already 26 a 7am. I hate it how even the shortest run becomes some sort of endurance event.
So I really just want to grit my teeth and hold on until it’s all over.
When April hits and the weather starts to cool, I am at my happiest. But at this time of year, I start to get a bit down at the mouth.
Melbourne this week has given us a bit of a taste of summer – 3 consecutive days over 30 degrees. I’m not happy.
On the weekend I ran a gentle paced 15km in the afternoon. It was only 24 degrees but I was wrecked at the finish. This morning I ran 12.5km quite early, but even at 6am I was sweating like a pig in a sauna.
Yes, I probably should harden the f**k up, but I’d really rather not.
It’s time to move to New Zealand.
Filed under: training Tagged: hot
For some reason, last night’s appeal for companions on my 27km run through Melbourne’s eastern suburbs didn’t get much of a result. Even a personal appeal to a fellow blogger received a polite “tempting but….” response.
I wasn’t discouraged, and pressed on alone like a good little soldier.
It’s quite light now at 5:30am, which makes the whole enterprise seem much more sane. I’ve also learned from previous experience that spending the whole 2 hours plus listening to commercial radio with their zany morning crews doesn’t actually improve my mood, so today I ran with some podcasts on the mp3 player instead – 1 from Radio National and 2 episodes of TOFOP (a podcast from Will Anderson and Charlie Clauscen).
The run itself was fairly enjoyable and not overly fast, at least until the last 20 minutes when I had an inexplicable burst of energy, upped the speed and extended the route for an extra couple of kms. Have a look at this map on mapmyrun.com to see the extra bits I tacked on in the city.
It was just over 29km in 2 hours 17 minutes.
So, as adventures go, it wasn’t much to write home about, but it’s done.
Filed under: running Tagged: long run
For some reason I neglected to mention I went to see Leonard Cohen last Saturday night. It was actually pretty newsworthy for me, as it involved my wife and I going out, at night, with no children for more than about an hour. Very rare. The concert was ace, as expected, although I found the merchandising a bit strange. They were selling coffee cups called “Cup of Mercy”. Now, if you’re enough of a Leonard Cohen geek to get that reference, you’ll probably know it’s quite offensive. (Book of Mercy is one of my favorite books, almost good enough to get me interested in spirituality).
On the way home we even had a bit of excitement. It was about 12:30, it was rainy and we were driving along a busy and slippery Hoddle Street. Without warning, the car in front of me slammed on the brakes and I had about 3 quarters of a second to get from 65km to a complete stop. It turned out some drunk (or something else) guy had stepped out into traffic and was dancing in the middle of the road.
The girl driving the car ahead of me was traumatised. She jumped out of the car and starting whacking the guy, who ran away to safety – on the other side of Hoddle Street.
Everyone was okay, at least physically, but it was a shock. I guess us suburban family-types should make sure we’re tucked up safe in bed by 9:30, as normal.
After then, this week has been a bit blah. Go to work, stay at work, go home, go to bed. The only excitement has been the microwave exploding, which isn’t really the excitement I’m hoping for.
So, seeing as there are no near-by mountains to climb, I’m planning on running to work tomorrow morning. It’s about 27km from my place in Ringwood East to the city, but I might even go a longer way. Nothing brightens up a long dull day at work like starting out completely exhausted.
Anyone in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne feel like joining me?
I also have another running adventure planned, although this won’t be for a little while. I plan on running the entire length of the Dandenong Creek Trail. I mapped it out once and I think it’s about 45km from Liverpool Road down to the bay (in Carrum?). It should be doable.
Anyone want to do that one too?
Filed under: running Tagged: long run
A few weeks ago, I decided I was going to spend the next 12 months catching up on classic literature. This was all Em‘s idea, I should add.
I pictured myself reading Plato in the original greek, Proust in French and Joyce in gibberish. The reality, so far, has been lots of trashy mags mixed with endless websites.
I’ve finally decided to kick the quality reading into gear, and I’ve started off with War and Peace. It’s not too bad so far. There are lots of people called Boris, Natasha and about 20 Anna’s, but that’s fun. The first 50 pages were okay. Unfortunately there are still another 1350 to go. I can’t see how he’s going to pad it out for that long, but I’m sure I’ll find out.
In the meantime I have to drag it into work with me on the train, and I swear it’s making me very uncomfortable. It’s almost enough to make me buy a Kindle.
18km this morning on a very flat course based around the city and Port Melbourne. A beautiful morning for running.
Filed under: running Tagged: war and peace
Yesterday afternoon was surprisingly pleasant so we had a barbecue. My 4 year old played the whole afternoon with his best friend and also his little sister, growing increasingly mental with cordial, toys and 4 year-old energy. There were spills in the lounge room, spills in the kitchen, messes in the bedroom, spills on top of the messes, cereal on top of the messes on top of the spill.
At one point the boys dragged all the toys in the house outside and tipped them all on the grass, including bits of train sets and puzzles, just for fun.
It was a nightmare, it really was, at least until I remembered we were at our friends’ house, not ours. At about 6pm everyone under 5 was seriously flaking out, and the tantrum rate was about 1 every 5 minutes, so we went home to our nice clean house.
Unfortunately, we’ll probably have to invite them to our house next time. I think I might hide the red cordial.
15km on the treadmill on Friday night. It was my usual pseudo tempo session – I try to run at a steady 14km for an hour, followed by an easy km to cool down. Ho hum.
Yesterday I ran 23km in 1 hour 45 minutes, fairly easy.
Filed under: running Tagged: kids
It often strikes me that the world is going to hell in rather a rapid way. In fact, I can often be heard to say, on hearing Ke$ha‘s “music”, that life is barely worth living.
I had another moment like that last night.
I figured out I could now watch TV shows downloaded from the web on my PS3. Not such a bad thing, you might imagine, but think about it:
Someone at the ABC has converted lots of TV shows into digital streams and loaded them on their website. That content is sent through the wires to my modem, which then transmits them wirelessly through my living room. My playstation picks them up and then sends it through a special cable to my TV.
Can you possibly imagine the brain-power and tireless work that has gone into getting all of that stuff to work? It’s collossol, and all just so I can watch an old episode of Black Books.
It strikes me that a society that can get all that to work, but can’t be bothered to fix the environment, public schools or Aboriginal health, has some serious personality problems.
We’re all f**ked, I tell you.
Filed under: trash
As of this afternoon, I’ve managed to hand in the last of my course-work for a course I’ve been doing this year. It’s a real relief, let me tell you!
I started the year with the best of intentions, as you do. I saw myself in at the library daily, researching online and handing in assignments weeks in advance.
What happened, of course, is I left everything until absolutely the last minute, and I ended up at 10 o’clock last night trying to figure out how I was going to blag my way through a “catalogue of evidence” and indeed what that means in the first place.
So, it’s done now, and it’s good to have that procrastination monkey off my back. Hooray!
A good hard hill sprint session yesterday morning. Nothing today so far – too much homework to do. Hopefully some tonight.
Filed under: running
I can’t believe it. It’s only early November and I already have tan lines. And this comes after one of the wettest, coldest, most miserable winters in years and years.
They’re pretty amusing too. If you were unfortunate enough to see me naked in the shower (about the only place you’re likely too) you’d see I’m about evenly tan and blindingly white. The face, arms and shoulders are tan. Then, where the running singlet would start, I turn as white as the driven snow. Below the short-line the tan starts again, only to finish abruptly at the ankles, in a clearly defined line that reflects the top of my running socks.
That does it, no swimming at the beach for me this year.
A frankly dire long run on the weekend. It was 21km and felt crap from start to finish. I kept looking at my watch and marvelling at how long it was taking me to cover the distance. In the end it turned out I had actually run 23km, so it wasn’t quite as slow as I thought, but still, it was s***t.
This morning I had another heavy-legged, tired sort of run around the Yarra and Burnley. It was about 16km.
Filed under: trash Tagged: tan
A fairly uneventful run yesterday on what was a fairly uneventful Cup Day. The only thing of note was a small ocean that seems to have developed spontaneously on the north edge of the track around Croydon golf course.
There was no way round, over or under so the final 10km of my run were full of squelch sounds.
I also went to the pool later on in the day, for the first time in about a year.
Oh baby, have I lost pool fitness! Last time I swam, I could do a km. Now I struggled to do 500 metres, including multiple stops at the end of laps. Then apparently I looked awful afterwards.
Oh well, I never liked swimming anyway.
Filed under: running Tagged: swim, wet
I vaccilated a fair bit before writing this post. Yes, I find the Spring Racing Carnival tiresome in the extreme and I would quite like to say so. On the other hand, I would quite like it all to go away, and perhaps writing about it will just draw people’s attention to it further.
In the end, I decided there was so much crap being written about it anyway, I could scarcely make things worse.
Don’t get me wrong, I quite like horses themselves. They are quite remarkable creatures: proud, strong, athletic, intelligent.
The people who surround horses, however, are quite another story. Most of the year the only people you see around horses and horse racing are inveterate gamblers, “colourful local business identities” and the old men you see at the local old-man’s pub. Then, bizarrely, in spring-time the race courses are invaded by tens of thousands of dressed-up bogans desperately hoping to hang out with the couple of dozen beautiful people, all of whom hang out in various glamourous tents.
I don’t understand the appeal myself.
The appeal of horse races has well and truly worn thin. One horse race would be kinda interesting: the thunder of hooves, the speed, the silks the dramatic finish. But they have thousands every year, and after the 454th horse race, they all kinda look the same. I don’t buy the “historic” nature of the cup itself. Phar lap was historic, possibly, but generally it’s just another horse race.
If you, like me, were stupid enough to come to work today, you would no doubt have been subjected to the office sweep. Some helpful person would have cut a picture out of the paper and run around asking for $5 to pick a horse’s name out of the pot.
I have no way of proving this, but I’m pretty sure at some point in this week, Sandy Roberts will be wheeled out to “commentate” on the horse racing. The only way I’d like to watch Sandy Roberts at the horses is if someone tied him to the back of a horse and he was dragged around the course bouncing until his head was a bloody pulp.
Spend your time doing something nice with your family. If you absolutely have to bet, do it on number 3 or number 8. Why? Because I always put one bet on a year on this race, picked at random, and I always seem to win every second year. This year I’m due a win, and those are the numbers I’m feeling in my waters.
16 hills kms yesterday, nicely timed between showers. 9km this lunch-time, dodging the remains of the parade crowds in a brief break of sunshine about lunch-time.
Filed under: Events Tagged: horses
There are some people who know me well, who would say everything makes me absent-minded. I disagree, it’s only waking up in the morning that does it.
Anyway, long running clearly has the unfortunate effect of inducing a stronger than normal case of absent-mindedness that lingers for most of the day.
The Gold Cost Marathon 2009. After the run, I made it back to the hotel (no mean feat in my considerably muddled condition). Unfortunately, when I checked out, I left a bit of paper in the room that had the booking number for the flight home.
No problem you might think, except that the girl at the check-in counter refused to give me a ticket without it. So, I trooped off to find an internet cafe to look up my email, which would have the number in it. Great idea eh? Well, yes it would have been if I had remember to get some money out to pay for the internet.
When that was fixed, I managed to find the number, but had forgotten to bring a pen or paper to write it down. So… another trip to the shop to buy a pen, then back to the internet.
Then (sorry, this goes for a while) I made it to the front of the checkin line again, only to be told that Yes, the booking reference number was correct, but I was booked in for a flight in 4 days time.
A few terse words were spoken, and eventually I agree to fork over a sum of money to get on the next flight to Melbourne.
Problem solved eh? Not quite. At that point my credit card decided to take a vow of silence. Now, I’m aware credit cards don’t talk a great deal as a rule, but – and this is important – they can usually communicate quite well with credit card machines and atms and the like. This one stopped communicating at all. It was dumb, silent, mute, totally at a loss for words.
So, another trip to an atm followed by another wait in line to talk to the lovely airline girl, who was becoming my best friend.
I did make it home to Melbourne in the end, and to the bosom of my loving family. Of course, the loving F may have appreciated it if I had have remembered to tell them I was running late, but that’s another story.
Myself this morning. I ran 27km – from home to work – wearing a running shirt inside out. Yes, I got dressed before I ran, not afterwards, but at no point during the run did I notice the problem, which proves my point. Then afterwards I went to the shower, but neglected to bring shoes, so I had to walk back to my desk wearing a suit accessorised with a lovely pair of Brooks Adrenalines.
So far, I haven’t forgotten anything more, that I’m aware of. That worries me, as I’ve probably forgotten something really important.
Oh well, it’ll come out eventually.
Filed under: running Tagged: memory
I really, really hope this story is true:
I’m sure the man involved wished it wasn’t true, but I do. I will reproduce the story here, for your pleasure:
A Queensland man faces criminal charges after allegedly tattooing a 40cm-long penis onto his mate’s back.
Police have charged a 21-year-old man from Bundamba, near Ipswich, with two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and one offence relating to the public safety act.
He will appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court on November 15.
It depicts a 40cm-long image of a penis and a misspelled slogan implying the man is gay.
Police said the pair had a disagreement before the tattooing.
Ipswich Detective Constable Paul Malcolm said the victim was mortified by what happened to him.
‘‘The victim wasn’t interested (in a tattoo) at first but he was talked into it and he said he wanted a Yin and Yang symbol with some dragons,’’ Detective Malcolm told the Queensland Times today.
‘‘The bloke started doing the tattoo and there was another bloke standing there watching saying, ‘Mate, it’s looking really good.’
‘‘He was told not to go out into the sun and not to show anyone for a few weeks.
‘‘When he got home he showed it to the person he lives with and she said: ‘I dont think it’s the tattoo you were after’.’’
The thing that gets me, mainly, is the title of the article. It implies somehow that someone might actually want a penis tattooed on their back, under the right circumstance. I think I’ll stick to anchors or roses or “authentic tribal” patterns.
Something close to form this morning – 13.5km in under an hour, including all the time it took to stop at bloody traffic lights. Not bad. More importantly, not even a twinge of knee pain.
Filed under: trash Tagged: tattoo
It’s taken two weeks, but I finally feel physically okay after the marathon.
At first I just had general muscle soreness (everywhere beneath the neck). Then I had some very specific knee pain. Then a cold. At one stage, I think I had all three plus a toothache.
There was probably a dose of post-marathon blues thrown in there somewhere, but it was buried somewhere under the toothache so I didn’t notice.
Now, I’m finally feeling okay. I’m still running a bit gingerly, but really enjoying not having to run to a schedule. I managed 17km yesterday. I have no idea how fast it was, and I don’t care. It was over a fairly hilly course and I was running just to “perceived exertion”.
It’s great to run just for the pleasure of it.
Filed under: running
A sort of low-grade, irritating cold has been haunting me since the weekend, too pitiful a cold to even merit the label “Man-flu”. Today it put in a more respectable performance and managed to keep me home from work.
A cold is not normally the kind of thing that keeps me in the best of moods, but this one has had an unexpected benefit of dropping my voice by at least an octave. Now I can be twice as irritating as normal.
Not only am I snotting and coughing everywhere and complaining incessantly, I’ve also been regaling the kids with my fabulous interpretations of old Jonny Cash songs in my extraordinarily deep and husky voice. They are merely interpretations, as I can never remember more than half of the lyrics.
I do, however, remember the words for a bunch of Fred Neil songs, which is a wonderful thing for all concerned. Until you’ve heard me sing “The Water is Wide” in my dressing gown 4 times in a row, you have never lived.
I also did a few terrific renditions of Everybody’s talking which were enjoyed by all around: Everybody’s talking at me, but I can’t hear a word they’re saying (at this point I think I heard my wife say something under her breath about “wishing she couldn’t hear a word I was saying”, but I must have mis-heard).
I do think the world lost a great singer when I took up marathon running. I really do.
BTW – if you haven’t heard Fred Neil before (it is possible), try this youtube video for size:
Filed under: music Tagged: fred neil
Last time you heard from me I was in a reflective mood, having managed to pass through the back-in-the-glow-of-post-marathon-ness in record time. I think it took me about 25 minutes to think “what’s next?”
Since then, nothing. At least, no blogs.
I have an excuse. I have been out of town, in a location where the internet may as well never have been invented; my mobile doesn’t even work.
The JH family have had a week near the beach, building sandcastles, eating fish and chips for dinner and generally doing quiet family things.
I tried a bit of that. On Monday I ran for about 400 metres barefoot on the beach. On Tuesday I ran about a km on an abandonded Picnic Beach at Wilson’s Prom then a further 7km on bitumen at a really easy pace. On Wednesday I ran for about 3km before feeling some knee soreness and abandoning things.
I plan to test out the knee again today, but it will only be for about 5km. I think I deserve a holiday, don’t you? I’ve already run over 3000km this year. I’ve also been sick for the past few days – man-flu probably – so a break from running has been unavoidable.
I was rooting around an out-of-the-way cupboard yesterday looking for a light bulb (do you remember when we were promised the new eco-friendly bulbs would last a long time?) when I came across a harmonica. I made the mistake of letting my four year-old play the thing, and now it is “his”. So, if you’re out somewhere, perhaps a park, perhaps a shopping centre, and you hear what sounds like Bob Dylan on a really bad day, that’s him. My humble, sincere apologies. Feel free to come up and slap me over the ear.
Em over at the wonderfully unpunctuated i run there i am is having a reading challenge – 12 Classics in 12 months. I love a reading challenge. I still remember with great fondness the MS readathon at primary school. I was a bit of a champion at that sport. Anyway, I think it’s a good idea. Here are some books I haven’t up until now wanted to read, but I would like to have read. (Apologies to Mr Clemens)
- Remembrance of things past – Marcel Proust
- War and Peace – Tolstoy
- The Prophet – Khalil Gibran
Hmm… there must be some more. I’ll have a think and get back to you. I did try to read Ulysses by James Joyce a few times, but I’m not convinced persevering will be worth the effort.
Filed under: running Tagged: books
12 months ago today I was at one of my lowest points in a long time. I was bored at work, Gold Coast marathon had been a major disappointment, I had an injury in one knee and was about to discover an injury in the one one. To top it all off I was told I had cancer in a rather delicate place. (If you look back in the archives you can read about it).
On the day of the 2009 marathon, I read about all the people doing PBs in what sounded like glorious weather and it did nothing to help my mood, considering I had just had an operation to remove something better left unsaid.
I felt my body was falling apart, like I was losing control.
The 12 months since then have been a pretty dour struggle to get back that sense of control, largely by running myself back into marathon shape, as well as getting a new job and a few other things which I won’t burden you with.
So today’s marathon, which I consciously knew was just another race, held a much greater significance for me, sub-consciously. I might not have been thinking about it, but my body was, giving me stomach cramps and nausea for the 48 hours leading up to the race.
Then, on the start line, as the siren blew to start the race, I inexplicably starting weeping. I don’t think anyone noticed, and it was over by the time we hit St Kilda road, but it really set up a strange race.
Then at the end, when I almost always feel emotional, I just couldn’t stop crying. Not sad crying, the sort of crying you do in moments of great emotional release.
I take this to mean the experience of running this race did what I needed it to.
The running itself left a little to be desired. I ran well for the first half, then continued pretty well until the 31km mark. From that point on I knew I’d reached the race proper, but I shifted into a nice fast rhythm going up St Kilda road, with lots of space around me, and concentrated on counting down the k’s.
It was a nice rhythm, but a fragile one. At Toorak road we merged with the half marathoners and all of a sudden I was ducking and weaving, here jumping onto the verge for 5 metres, there grumpily saying “marathoner coming through”.
It really shook me up. I slowed and couldn’t get my pace going, even when they half marathoners diverged. In the end I ran 3 hours 3 minutes, which is my second best time. I do think I could have run faster, but I’m not overly worried.
I know I’m never going to run 2 hours 10, or even 2 hours 40, and I can live with that. I think a 3 hour marathon is about as fast as this old body will go. So, I’m not overly worried.
I saw a few bloggers and denizens of the forum world before, during and after the race. Cilla, Steve, Tiger boy, PJ and others.
Now it’s a beautiful afternoon, which I’m spending gardening with the kids and trying to fend off nausea and dehydration headaches.
Filed under: Events Tagged: marathon, race report
Well, it took a while, but the pre-marathon madness hit in force this morning. After weeks of serenity and confidence, I woke convinced I was coming down with a terrible cold.
To be fair, I did feel sniffly and headachey and I had spent 2 hours in meetings with my sick boss the previous afternoon.
It all added up, and what it added up to was not good: a sick marathon this Sunday. Months of training wasted.
I spent the day shoving industrial quantities of vitamin c into myself and loudly cursing fate.
It was jaykay who solved it with some excellent Facebook-delivered advice (“htfu”) which I have duly followed.
I am now of the belief this is wholly psychosymatic and that everything will be better after a good night’s sleep.
It’s a theory.
Sometimes I hate this marathon business.
BTW, this is the longest post I’ve done on my android phone. Apologies for any spelling problems.
Filed under: Events, injuries Tagged: marathon, sick
A lovely email just came through from the good people at marathonphotos.com kindly asking if I would like to preorder my photos from this weekend’s Melbourne Marathon.
Are you mad?
I’ve seen what I look like when I’m running, and it ain’t pretty. My wife took a picture of me 30 seconds after crossing the finish line on my first marathon, had the print blown up to a large size and framed, and brings it out to taunt me on occasions when I have earnt her displeasure.
It’s not pretty; it actually causes me pain to look at.
The times when I want to look at a photo of me running, let alone pay for one, are very few and far between. If I do want to buy a picture of me running, I need to see it first.
8.5km last night. It’s a very easy week, this week.
Filed under: Events