sjh - mountain biking running linux vegan geek spice - mtb / vegan / running / linux / canberra / cycling / etc

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Tue, 29 Jan 2008

How not to prepare for the first day at lca - 10:45
I arrived in Melbourne yesterday morning around 7:45am (06:40am flight out of Canberra) and managed to get to Melbourne Uni around 8:30am... alas I was not ready to tackle the first day at lca and the Debian Mini Conf as much as I would have liked.

On the weekend I competed in the AROC Edge of Reason 25 Hour Adventure race near Narooma on the coast. I was racing with Dave and Ben in the team My Physio Keeps Me Moving, alas the Physio got sent to Europe for work and missed the race, however I was her replacement.

The Leaderboard and results and race news are all online so you can see it took us 38 hours to complete the race trekking/running, paddling and mountain biking out through the bush and on the ocean. I had fun and had a very easy/relaxed race. I think Dave and Ben had a pretty hard time of it due to never having done such a long race before and not having the training base in them that I and many others have.

Dave and Ben's partners were both racing in the 50 hour race (longer and tougher), they were on different teams, Dave's partner Selina finished in first placed mixed (the premier category) 3rd overall in 44 hours, Ben's partner Danielle finished in 2nd place mixed, 4th overall in 45h40m. Good to see such good results for both of them.

I had been hoping to finish the race by around 2pm on Sunday so I could have a snooze for a few hours before driving back to Canberra. However with the course being longer and tougher than expected and with the speed we travelled I did not finish until 9pm, I then had to get back to Canberra, have 2 hours sleep (got home around 2:30am) and hop on my flight to Melbourne for the week of geeking it up at

With 2 hours of sleep and a little bit of activity outdoors for 38 hours non stop, when I sat down in the Debian mini conference yesterday morning I was finding it difficult to stay awake. Thus I have to admit I was a little too tired to be able to concentrate on the miniconfs all day. I am thankfully a lot better now after a full night of sleep and am enjoying the Gnome Mini Conf a lot.

[/lca] link

Wed, 16 Jan 2008

Dollars per second? - 20:45
So tonight I took the new toy out for the first time trial since getting it. What do you know I got another pb tonight. The time keepers said it was 52:38, I did not stop my watch immediately upon finishing so have a few more seconds on the HRM. Still good to see the speed happening, now I just have to work on cracking 50 minutes before the end of the season.

One of the people at the club asked me if I had worked out the dollars per second as I had purchased this new toy. I do not think I want to work that out just yet, maybe with a few more minutes knocked off it will not be so bad.

[/mtb] link

Wed, 09 Jan 2008

Count the superfoods - 14:38
Many articles online recently have mentioned various plans to include so called superfoods in a diet. Because I recently bought a lot of fresh blueberries and have since been eating them with breakfast I thought I would see how many of these foods I have been eating most days.

Of those mentioned, so far today I have eaten Apples, Avocado, Blueberries, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Low fat yoghurt, Oats, Oranges, Tea, Tomatoes, and dried Apricots (Dried superfruits). I expect by the time dinner is over I will have added Beans, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic and Onions at least.

Of course one problem is trying to eat these in suggested quantities, such as 1-2 cups of fresh blueberries per day, a practice which simply is not economically viable in Australia (even if you had weekly access to the fresh blueberry farm). I suppose some people would point out I tend to be a bit of a health and fitness nut here though, after all I have also done 50 KM of fast paced road riding today, a stretching class and on Wednesday evenings would normally do a 10KM paddling time trial too.

The interesting thing here I think is that I had not even considered my food intake against the superfood list until I looked it up, so realistically anyone could be careful about eating healthy even if they are not in the mood for the amount of exercise I participate in.

[/leisure/food] link

Tue, 08 Jan 2008

Low impact sports - 15:54
So MRD has discovered the problem of many who run a bit. Running is a high impact sport and you have to really work on not getting injured. Sure if he lived in Canberra I could recommend a few people he could see about running injury prevention, correcting running technique, or simply ways to manage running to keep such injuries down. Adelaide is a little bit distant for me to know of similar people there to suggest though.

I do however notice Michael has discovered the addiction/endorphin rush of hard exercise and how much it really helps to reduce stress and make everything in life better. There are other sports which much lower impact that can keep the hard exercise endorphin thing happening. I am of course somewhat partial to cycling which is a very low impact sport, also paddling is a fantastic sport for low impact high intensity exercise (as I think evidenced by the number of veterans or aged people who participate in it heavily, it is interesting to note the Hawkesbury classic MLREC2 class record is 10 hours, however the Veterans MLREC2 record is 9h30m)

Both of the above sports have the rather unfortunate need of large and possibly expensive equipment, paddling having the additional need of water on which to paddle (also arguably a lot of technique coaching in order to lessen any chance of injury). There is another sport that can be useful for low impact high intensity exercise, this of course is swimming. The downside of swimming is how incredibly boring it can be. I imagine Michael has time constraints due to family and work that make getting out for exercise can be an interesting time management problem at times too. Swimming can be made more interesting in a swim squad, however they run at specific times.

I tend to recommend cycling (and as with most exercise, it is more fun with a group of people) for anyone wanting interesting, fun, low impact, high intensity exercise. It gets you the endorphin rush until you can get back into running. On this note, MRD should be recovered by LCA, AfC also gets into running a bit (as I found out when I met him at lca2003 in Perth). Running shoes are light and easy to bring along to LCA, I think the three of us (at least) should think about a morning run or similar one of the days we are at LCA this year in Melbourne. I wonder if anyone else is keen for a 10 to 15 KM run at a gentle pace (5 to 6 minute kilometres) one day?

[/mtb] link

Thu, 03 Jan 2008

When crass commercialism is a good thing - 19:13
It seems offensive when we see Christmas shopping, decorations and advertising sometime in August, we probably often have similar behaviour to the early ramping up on Mothers and Fathers day in the commercial sphere. However I have to say one aspect of this seeming crass commercialism that I noticed this week that appeals to me does exist.

I have mentioned in the past that the annual festival of the spicy fruit bun is a good thing because I adore hot cross buns. I could almost live on the things (okay ignoring for a moment they do not contain enough of a balanced diet to do that). I am able to purchase hot cross buns in Woolworths already, in early January, I do not need to wait until March. Rock on.

In other news I just realised my leisure/food category had completely disappeared from my laptop, probably during a recent fsck. Time to look through my laptop backups and compare against what is on the system to see if anything else is missing that should not be.

[/leisure/food] link

Wed, 02 Jan 2008

Coast ride - 12:24
Some friends and I rode to the coast on Saturday, the fun back way with no traffic (via Araluen). I had my camera with me so there is one of my ubiquitous pages of photos from the ride. (with links to the gps data)

Amanda suggested we all head to the Clyde River blueberry farm before driving back on Sunday, damn was that a good idea. Fresh blueberries at $16 per KG. Yummm I now have a lot of blueberries in my freezer.

[/mtb] link

Tue, 01 Jan 2008

NYE on an island - 20:56
Myself and a bunch of friends ushered in the new year on an island, alas not some exotic location, we were in the middle of Lake Burley Griffin on Springbank Island. It was a most enjoyable and relaxed way to bring in the new year, sitting around talking over wine, beer and a bbq picnic. We all paddled across in a range of kayaks and a canoe to carry more gear.

Alas for me the experience was marred a little bit by my back hurting, to the extent I am finding it difficult to stand up, walk or even roll over in bed. This is a back pain I have had in the past, most recently was back in March after the Jindabyne Multisport race when I drove from Jindabyne, to Sydney via Canberra and then back the following day. My back muscles were tightened and spasming, which it turns out was due to really tight sciatic nerves. On Sunday I was in a car (without a back support as I have in mine now days) for 4 hours or so the day after a long ride, so this may have helped bring it about.

Trying a few sciatic nerve stretches now and it appears they are playing up again. I guess I can blame a lot of this on the fact I have not been doing my stretching routines over the past two or three weeks since stretching class has not been on and it has not been on my mind. I rang Danealle (a physio friend) and she said Voltaren and copious lying on my back or front were the go and I can hope the swelling and stuff goes down in the affected areas.

Hope it will be better soon and stretching class is back on next week which will be good. Right now I can type on my laptop with it on my lap lying down, but it is not as easy as reading or watching movies.

[/various] link

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