Thursday, November 30, 2006


The New Apartment

Well, here it is; I've finally moved in. Hopefully I will be staying here for the next two years. Do you know the last time that I stayed in one place for two years? It was a long time ago, I can tell you that. The apartment is great; only a half mile from the beach, very close to the 'hot spots' of St Kilda, fully furnished - couch, chairs, bed, tv, dvd player, stereo, table, forks, spoons, glasses, iron, vacuum, etc, etc - parking, balcony, in-unit laundry. And also not too far away I get my choice of prostitutes - of course most of them look like they've been working the same streets since the '70s (they're old). I don't know, maybe I've only seen the day shift and quality improves come second shift. Now I'm working on phone and internet, which should be all hooked up in a week or so. What to do now? Get some balcony furniture and maybe a better reading chair - oh, and I guess I should set up my office. It should be nice though. Check out the pics:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Get me out of here...

I've been living in a hotel and out of a suitcase for almost a month, I don't have any of my stuff, my to-do list isn't getting any shorter, and I haven't slept in days. I'm tired, irritable, and just stressed. Finally today I had a revelation - I need to get out in the bush (the wilderness, people, come on) or ride some waves and just forget about everything. My recent trips included some walks on the trails but were just a "let's just do this quick so I can go here and take pictures of this and do this.." and I can't do that now. So this weekend I'm going over to The Grampians to do some hiking or down to Torquay to do some surfing. I know, it's only Tuesday but the thought came to mind and I had to get it down to seal the deal. That's all I had.. enjoy your day.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Running for the week of 19/11

Date - Scheduled - Actual
25/11/06 - 0.00mi - 0.00mi
24/11/06 - 3.75mi - 3.75mi
23/11/06 - 3.00mi - 3.00mi
22/11/06 - 0.00mi - 0.00mi
21/11/06 - 3.75mi - 3.75mi
20/11/06 - 3.00mi - 3.00mi
19/11/06 - 0.00mi - 0.00mi
Week Totals - 13.5mi - 13.5mi
Year Total (since Nov 1) - 42mi

I'm going to stick with the 0/3/3.75 schedule for this week and will go up to 20 next week. This will give me 16.5mi for the week, which should be a better transition.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


The Great Ocean Road

Sunday - 19 November 2006

A long drive along the Great Ocean Road

I'm trying to take as many trips as possible and a big touristy thing to do in Victoria is drive along the Great Ocean Road along the southern coast of Victoria, west of the city. I wasn't in a big hurry, so I didn't get out on the road until 9am and rolled back in around 6:30pm.

Stops included Sheoak Falls for some hiking, a cold weather rain forest for a quick walk, a tree top walk that cost $19.50 so I didn't go in (not that I'm cheap; it just would have been more fun if I were with somebody else), the 12 Apostles, and Port Campbell to buy some much needed gas (I can't believe I made it).

There's really not too much to tell about this trip - the pictures are all I need so let's just jump to that.

My driving route for the day. 9 1/2 hours and 560km

If you made it to this sign without realizing which side to drive on then you've been enjoying the scenery a bit too much

A beach in Lorne for up above

How about this for a running club?

In the rainforest - this tree was huge, I could have crawled through the opening to the other side

Some of the 12 Apostles

Cliff by the 12 Apostles

Also near the 12 Apostles

The dude that worked there said that these weren't part of the 12 Apostles. But they're right next to them and are the same thing, what's the deal? Do we just want to keep them at 12? I don't get it.

If anyone else is looking through travel stuff and have an idea for one of my trips, let me know and I'll be glad to try it out.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Running for the week of 12/11

Date - Scheduled - Actual
18/11/06 - 3.75mi - 3.75mi
17/11/06 - 3.75mi - 3.00mi
16/11/06 - 0.00mi - 3.75mi
15/11/06 - 3.75mi - 0.00mi - It was cold and hail and wind and I didn't want to go outside
14/11/06 - 3.00mi - 3.00mi
13/11/06 - 0.00mi - 0.00mi
12/11/06 - 3.75mi - 3.75mi
Week Totals - 18.00mi - 17.25mi
Year Total (since Nov 1) - 28.5mi

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


The Outlook

Yeeaahhh.. All day I felt like I needed to get out for a run. You know that feeling when you start to get addicted? That's what I had today. Got out there and ran a strong, fast 3. Not much but I'm keeping the miles way way down. I can't afford an injury or burn out at this point and while I was out there I thought up my strategy for the next couple of months. Conservative I know but I'm not that young anymore - don't worry after a few months of warm up I fully intend on ripping it up; it's just that the ramp up needs to be a little longer these days. Here we go:

3-4 weeks of what I'm doing - 3/3.75/0, no hills, no sprints (even though I realize that those are the fastest ways to get yourself in shape)
2 weeks of 20, sprints extra twice a week, 1 day of hills
2 weeks of 25, sprints extra twice a week, 1 day of hills
4 weeks of 30, sprints extra twice a week, at least 1 day of hills
Nothing over 10 until the 4 weeks of 30 are over
From there it's peak to select races and keep the 30 as a base. Hit the trails and try not to run into a tree while running along the beach ;-)

I'm almost going to miss my little pot belly that I've been playing with the last few months. I know I don't have too many readers but anyone want in on this? Bon? I know it's winter but you've got to get back in the game.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Angels and Demons

Just finished Angels and Demons by Dan Brown yesterday. I read the book because I read The Da Vinci Code, which was ok, but people kept telling me that Angels and Demons was better so I decided to give it a try. Frustrated with the praise that The Da Vinci Code was getting, I know I went into this with a bad attitude but my mood only soured as the book went on. Sure it kept me entertained like bad television but this thing was poorly written, had no character development or understanding, and the back stories just were not there. I'm sure the person that adapts this to film will have no trouble doing so because this thing was written like a movie with bad cliffhangers and bad suspense. What I found irritating was the suspense that the author tried to generate on obvious situations and numerous times I found myself saying, "Just Goddamn do it, I figured that out 10 pages ago." Other times I would close the book, look up, let out a sigh, and say, "This book is so stupid." So read it if you're bored for a couple of days but there are a lot of better books that deserve your attention.


Running for the week of 5/11

Here's this week's log:

Week Totals...................10.5mi......................11.25mi

Friday, November 10, 2006


Dandenong Ranges and Mt Donna Buang

Last Sunday I wanted to get out to the wild places of Victoria, at least get an idea of what I had to work with. So I headed east towards Dandenong Ranges National Park, which is the closest national park to Melbourne. It has mountains, trails, forests. I didn't plan to do much hiking, mostly driving, gathering information for future trips. What I found was a better understanding of the land and roads, some places that I'd like to visit soon, some great running trails, and some good mountain biking trails.

My first stop was about 40km away and was rather busy with tourists and I decided to take a bit of a hike up the hill, which ended up to be a long hike and quite steep. And what did I keep thinking? "I can't wait to come back here to run up this thing." There were quite a few birds up there, including one that sounded like a monkey, and it was very peaceful. I will be going back for some day trips once my hiking equipment gets here.

From there I drove through the small towns on top of the mountains. I then stopped at this place called Sky High Something or other. It had a view, you could see the city, a restaurant, some other stuff but it pretty much blew. What else did it have? An entrance fee. So I pretty much paid 4 bucks to use the bathroom.

Next came Mt Donna Buang, on the way up I found a rain forest walkway that had quite a few old growth trees, which were huge.

And now it was time to test the Pulsar and head up to the top of Mt Donna Buang (1250m) - otherwise known as the Mountain of Surprises (I'm not sure why but that's what the sign told me). The top of the mountain is the closest place to Melbourne that gets snow, which sounds promising to me. Looks like a possibility for snowshoeing next winter. They also had a viewing tower at the top. I've run into a lot of these in the White Mountains and I've always had a lot of trouble with them as I'm afraid of heights. But I've worked at it and this one I got all the way to the top with no problems at all - and it even had gratings for the stairs and floor.

Unfortunately, this weekend will be staying around the city looking for an apartment and taking care of other things. I think next weekend I'll venture further out, hopefully I'll find some higher mountains or some new beaches or some other natural wonder. Let's hope the Pulsar can bring me back...


Let the decompression begin

I've always been a laid back kind of guy, absorbing problems thrown at me or rolling with them. But I'm also one that believes that a day can not be wasted and because of this I have turned myself into someone that does not rest, that does not relax, that believes that if I am not out of the house by 10am then I have wasted the day. In the US, especially on the East Coast, life moves very fast - we're in a rush to get wherever it is we're going, we speed to the next red light, cut someone off just to be one car closer, push people out of the way if they're walking too slowly. Have you ever stood on the left side of an escalator in Boston? I wouldn't recommend it.

Now Australians are a lot more laid back then we are in the States, yeah, I'm in the city, which is a little more fast-paced but, believe me, it's nothing like home. And it's a welcome change for me and something that I've needed for a while. I still plan on accomplishing quite a bit while I'm here but with a more relaxed way of it. It is a difficult transition; I have been trying to go about everyday tasks in a more easy-going manner but it'll take some practice.

Starting off when the light turns green I slowly make my way through the intersection but 100m from the light, I look in my rearview mirror and I am well ahead of everyone else. Walking down the street with someone slower in front of me. For a few minutes I can let it go but then I find myself saying, "Ok, now let's go." I'll get there and I think be happier for it.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Back in Melbourne

ok. I've been slacking, I know but now I'm back in Melbourne and should be able to keep this up but at the moment I have a ton to do. And what's worse, I don't know where the cord for my camera is. And what's a blog without pictures? It's a lot of words is what it is.

But I'm settling in. I'm still in the hotel for a bit, still looking for an apartment but that shouldn't be too difficult. It's a 4 day weekend here so I'm working from home, I guess. I landed on Friday, found some lunch and then just slept for a long time. Saturday I went to look at apartments and then just walked around, slept some more, then a whole lot of nothing. Yesterday I went for a long drive, close to 300km. I went east to the closer mountains on an information gathering excercise for later trips and then just drove around. More to come on that when I pick up a new cord for the camera.

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