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Fri, 27 Feb 2009

Still not running enough - 11:44
I know the runs at Jindabyne are short, however I still need to do a bit more in the coming two weeks to be in better shape for them I think. After coming back to Canberra from Tasmania I did not run much for two and a half weeks as it was too hot. Right now my running form is pretty bad, on the ARNuts run with Mark and Heather on Tuesday, doing a pretty easy sort of pace and not doing too many stupid steep hills (a surprise when Mark is on a run, what with his claim that there is no such thing as a bad hill) and my pace was really low for where my heart rate was sitting.

Wednesday afternoon at the paddle time trial the wind was pretty nasty and slowing everyone down a bit, then I got a 50cm stick caught in my rudder somehow and the boat was not steering properly. So I stopped to get it out, thus my pace was way off, so I kept t slower for the rest of the time trial and was 3 minutes slower than the past two weeks. (actually 4 minutes slower if time stopped is included)

Yesterday's swim however felt pretty good, well by that I mean my lats and forearms were sore afterwards, which I hope means I am working my arms better in the water and getting more forward motion happening. I do not feel up to a lunch time run today, so will need to head out for at least one longish run on the weekend I think. Probably going to head out on the road bike in the morning, to see Libby's new road bike and to do some hills. Tomorrow arvo I want to make it over to Stromlo to check out some stuff at the Stromlo Running festival, I may ride there for that. Nothing else is set in stone yet.

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Wed, 25 Feb 2009

Stardust comparison - 10:56
I have often said how I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, when the Stardust movie was released I went to see it and loved it, however I had never read the book. I bought the book just before Christmas (not the illustrated one) and this week finally got around to reading it. Last night I read until I finished and was up too late to get up at 5:30am to head out for the road ride.

It is interesting to see how much the stories diverge in places and yet how they tell the same story well and also how good they both are. The stories are different and the movie definitely has a slightly more Hollywood sort of end. The book, though short, provides a lot of detail that can back up the movie well, it also deals with conflicts differently. I also think it makes more sense at the end how Tristran and Yvaine travel together (although the movie does not explicitly say that did not happen, so again it is just an extra detail that may not have made sense squeezing it into the movie.

The flying ship is not quite such a large part of the book, however I think that is partly because they had Robert Deniro in the movie and wanted to do a lot more with him. Anyway I love both the book and the movie and recommend them both highly as good entertainment.

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Thu, 19 Feb 2009

Same as last week. - 11:28
On the weekend I did a 90 km road ride and 10 km run on Saturday, was reminded I need to do a bit more running before Jindabyne. Swim squad Friday evening was a tough work out but I got a lot out of it I think. Sunday morning I showed a cousin who had come to Canberra for the AROC around Stromlo. Fun couple of loops around tracks out there. It was really windy and threatening to rain so did not paddle on Sunday.

On Monday I was lazy and did not do anything except stretching class, Tuesday I did not get time to do a pool session, ended up doing the ARNuts run in the evening. Wednesday I missed the road ride as I had to take Mum to the airport, I did however do the paddling time trial. The interesting thing to note here I thought is my heart rate. In the run on Tuesday night my average heart rate was 156 with a max of 181. However in the paddle on Wednesday for 51 minutes I had an average heart rate of 165 with a max of 172.

What is fascinating about this is I usually find it hard to get my heart rate up when paddling, on the Thursday evening paddles I tend to have trouble getting it over 140. However put me in a racing situation and I paddle with it up much higher. This is just more proof that racing situations really are good to force you to get real intensity that is not easily simulated in training. Time wise I did the exact same time for the 9.6KM as last week, almost to the second, 50m58s this week.

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Thu, 12 Feb 2009

Getting close to 50 again. - 13:26
So the paddle time trial yesterday I managed to do 50m57s which makes me happy, though I did a fair amount of wash riding, it does mean I am getting down near 50 minutes again. Last year in February and March I managed to get two sub 50m30s twice. Given I have until day light saving is over to get under 50 minutes for the time trial I should hopefully be able to do that in the next little while.

The fast paddlers in the club tend to suggest you need 4 paddle sessions a week to really improve, focusing on technique in all of them even when doing a hard session. I do not quite do that many, largely because there are other disciplines I also do, so I doubt I am going to be doing the time trial in a K1 in 44 minutes in the next year or two as these people are. However I should be able to crack 50 minutes which will be good.

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Wed, 11 Feb 2009

Late out the door - 14:56
This morning I woke up for the ride at 5:35am, realised I needed lights and felt a bit drowsy (only got to sleep after midnight due to reading a bit after helping a friend do some moving). Went to put my Garmin on and it said low battery, fine should be no problem, I have done a few hours exercise in the past with it past low battery status. I obviously forgot to leave it plugged into the laptop for long on the weekend after two three hour sessions.

Got out the door, realised I need more clothing and went back in for another vest. Got back out and on to the bike when I noticed the Garmin was blank, oh well it was not going to last, no record of the ride today for me. Went back in and put a normal watch on. By this time I had squandered any time to make it to the ride start on time so chose a route that would meet up early in the loop for todays road ride.

Got there and let the fast bunch go, hopped onto the medium fast bunch, due to feeling tired I was more in the mood for something I would find cruisy than for a hammer fest. Had stretching class at lunch, reminded myself I need to do more hamstring stretching. Will do paddle time trial tonight in La Muerte, hope next week D and I can do the time trial in Matt and Amanda's double ski and see if we can improve much on our TK2 time last week of 53m19s. In La Muerte I am still not down to the 50m10s I was doing last year before Jindabyne, however I am getting lower again, down around 52m10s two weeks ago, hope to crack that in the cooler weather today.

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Mon, 09 Feb 2009

Exercising in the heat. - 11:24
Saturday Jan 31 I headed out on the ride to Yass and back via the back roads (gps map) which is a lovely ride, however on this day the temperature got up to 38 degC. It was fine riding out there as we arrived in Yass around 9:30am and it was only 23 degC or so. However the ride home was somewhat brutal, we stopped for a swim at Uriarra Crossing, then by the time we were at the top of the third sister climbing out we were dry. Upon making it to the Zoo/Aquarium I needed to hide in the shade under a tree while Anne got some cold drinks from the aquarium to restore sugar and cool down a bit. I still managed to get along to a bbq at a friend's place after the ride and then went for a quick k2 paddle with Danielle, I was however quite tired from riding over 160 KM in that heat.

Thinking about the previous weekend I should have known I would struggle in the heat, however Saturday morning just past I headed out with some AR friends to do a 100 KM road ride, due to the heat we shortened it by 10 KM and mixed it up a bit (map here), though the pace was fairly high for riding in almost 40 degC heat, I definitely struggled to stay with the others more than I normally would. I had however decided a morning exercise session would be better than the 20 KM state paddling round happening on the lake from midday onwards. The heat just got worse as the day wore on, then the winds picked up. I wandered down to BGCC in the afternoon to learn the race was cancelled half way through due to dangerous conditions and that the wind had been a problem.

I had already decided to attempt the 30 KM Burley Griffin Bash paddle race on Sunday rather than the 20 KM marathon state round on Saturday. A 9am start rather than Midday in this heat sounded much better. So I rocked up on Sunday to do the 30 KM race. I was running late so started 3 minutes behind everyone, having thrown some sunscreen on at the last second. I had only 1 gu with me to eat for 3 hours of exercise, this would prove to be my undoing. Having just thrown sunscreen on my right hand was slipping on the paddle for the first 10 KM and I was not holding the paddle as well as I should. I was doing alright for my first 20 KM with splits of around 61 minutes for each 10 KM on the gps. However I had my gu at 18 KM or so and also accidentally paddled about 1KM more than I should have not knowing where to turn around at one point.

By 24 KM I had run out of water so was able to refill my 3 L bladder from one of the rescue boats, however 2 KM later the lack of food did me in, I was starting to hypo or something and was unable to paddle and was losing balance. At this point I realised I was not going to make it back. I started heading for a lake shore but fell in. One of the rescue boats grabbed me and we loaded myself and my boat onto it and I got a lift to the finish. The main problem here was I really should have had a lot more food with me for three hours of exercise. I know this full well so do not know why I thought I could do it this time around, simply because paddling is lower intensity over this distance than I would do if running or riding.

The temperature on the lake felt nice however as soon as I finished and was back on shore it was obviously around 40 degC again, fortunately the heat has finally reduced a bit over night and so far Monday has been a nice temperature, it is forecast to stay this way for the rest of the week which is good news.

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Mon, 02 Feb 2009

Ani Difranco back in Canberra, what a great gig - 22:22
I knew she had not toured Australia, and especially to Canberra for a while, however I just checked back through my email and I discovered it has indeed been 5 years since Ani was last here. I saw her in the Canberra Theatre back on February 28th 2004.

Today I was lucky enough to see Ani perform again, once more in the Canberra theatre. What a fantastic concert it was too. Her opening act was Mike Kelly from a group in Melbourne (I can not find any more information online). He had a good voice, looked some what Johnny Deppish and on was a good opening act.

I may be biased, heck I know I am, Ani is always fantastic to see live, tonight was no exception. She had her current backing band of Allison on drums, Todd on upright bass (and a miniature Piano tonight also) and Mike on percussion.

The set list was really good from my viewpoint, opening with Little Plastic Castle, also including later on two other songs from LPC (still my favourite Ani album) which were Gravel and Swan Dive. She closed the night with Both Hands which of course is the opening song on her first album (which she also used to close her last concert in Canberra back in 2004). She played a song celebrating the Barack Obama election which I had not heard but had a good vibe and showed how happy she seems to be to be rid of Shrub.

A number of songs from the latest album (Red Letter Year) worked really well, Present/Infant, Alla This, The Atom (which she stopped during without remembering the lyrics or something, which had some happy cheers and lots of support from the audience), Way Tight and Red Letter Year.

A few other songs were played, such as Names and Dates and Times from Puddle Dive, Shameless from Dilate, Evolve from Evolve, lag time and modulation (one of her two songs about forgiveness she claimed on stage, rather than her more normal song saying you fucked up to herself or someone else) from knuckle down, Swim from Educated Guess and You Had Time from Out of Range. Ani also was responding to the audience well, joking around, telling stories, interacting really well and impressing the heck out of us all. I almost wish I had done what I used to whenever she toured Australia and bought a ticket for the Sydney gig also. I just did not have the time to get up there tomorrow. This was however most excellent tonight. Also reminding me I have not spent enough time with the latest album to really get to know it as well as some of the older stuff.

One of the more amazing things about this concert was I had not been checking Ani's website every month or two like I used to, she had not toured Australia for so long I must have not kept it in mind. I had no idea she was touring until I opened my Christmas present from my sister Jane and found the concert tickets. Jane of course was worried thinking I had already purchased 18 tickets and was hell bent on being there. What a fantastic gift and most appreciated. Thanks Jane, surprising me with tickets to see my favourite artist performing here for the first time in 5 years, way to go.

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