Monday, 11 July 2011

Monday: Getting back to normal Gold Coast life

Although I was not feeling one hundred per cent when I woke this morning, I was better than for the past six days. I headed off on a run along the beach north, to the Mirage Resort. After breakfast and watching Stage 9 of the Tour de France, Carolyne and I went for two coffees each at Elk.

I took the bike in the car to Nerang velodrome to try out the criterium course. It is a terrific 1.45km course, with a 20 metre climb at the back. There is a tight turn after a further short climb, with a fast descent down the main straight. The whole course is surrounded by thick sub-tropical bush, making it a delightful setting.

After 17 laps of the crit circuit I tried a few laps of the velodrome. It has a smooth surface, and would be a good place to do some t

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Sunday: Feeling a little better

Had a good night's sleep. The weather was fine and clear, but cold. Coffee at Elk.

Late in the morning, once the weather warmed up, I went for a short run.

Back at the apartment Carolyne and I watched the Federal government announcements on the carbon tax.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Friday: frustratingly crook

Woke up with my throat probably even sorer than yesterday. Felt better last night and had hoped to run this morning. Feeling frustrated sitting out the beautiful weather.

Greg Mallory, an old friend from Queensland Uni, called from Kingscliff, over the border in NSW. He was attending a sports history conference.

I picked Greg up at 5:45pm, and we drove back to Kurrawa Surf Club. After 3 pleasant beers we walked across to the O-me-ly Vietnamese restaurant. Greg bought a couple of beers for us, and a bottle of red. The food was good, as usual. At about 9:30pm Jonny Thannhauser and two friends from Sydney arrived for dinner. I picked up Greg's bags from my car, still outside the club, and left them with him before continuing back to the apartment.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Thursday: still crook

After a disturbed night, was not anxious to get up this morning. The sky was crystal clear, and the overnight wind had dropped, but still I had no oomph. As well as listening to Fran Kelly on Radio National, watched the reply of last night's fifth stage of the Tour de France.

The day panned out like yesterday. After the usual pleasant coffee at Elk, we had a 40 minute walk along the beach. Then to Dan Murphy's for wine stocks.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Wednesday: a cold coming on?

Struggled out of bed at sunrise, with a slightly sore throat. Immediately scrapped my plan for an easy run, or other exercise. Watched the SBS replay of Cadel Evans winning the fourth stage of the Tour de France, in Brittany.

After some work on the computer I woke Carolyne at 9am and we trotted down to Elk for our coffee in the sunshine. We moved slowly though the morning. We drove to the Miami shopping centre to use the free Wifi at Zarraffa's Coffee. There we had a second coffee of the morning while I downloaded my eTax for 2011. Carolyne also shopped for groceries at Coles.

Back to Broadbeach for lunch, then a quiet afternoon in-doors. Both of us had a snooze, me for an hour, Carolyne for about 3 hours!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Tuesday: lovely weather

I woke up still sore in the legs from Sunday's half marathon, so was happy to go for an easy cycle. After breakfast I rode south to Burleigh Heads. On the return I drafted a couple of other riders, but had no spark in the legs. I continued north, through Surfers and Main Beach, and turned at the roundabout at the Mirage Resort.

Back at Broadbeach, Carolyne and I went to Elk where we were able to get a nice table in the sun, out of the breeze. We couldn't resist having two coffees. I had to get back to the apartment to get my swimming gear for swim squad at Southport.

Roger walked to our apartment, arriving about 5:20pm. We all walked to Kurrawa Surf Club where we sat overlooking the beach. Roger and I enjoyed a couple of beers. From there we walked to O Me Ly Vietnamese restaurant on the far side of Broadbeach shopping centre.

As for our first visit here for my birthday, the food was excellent and reasonably priced. Roger generously shouted the meal. Carolyne and I shared four freshly made pork rolls, and then both had Bun Bo Hue (spicey beef noodle) for a main course.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Monday: recovery day

Yesterday I arranged to pick up Roger this morning. So at 8:30am Carolyne and I met him outside his apartment and we drove to Hard Cafe in Tedder Street, Main Beach. There we met Victoria Hennig. While Roger, Carolyne and I survived on the good coffee, Victoria tucked into a two course breakfast.

After an hour at Hard Cafe, we all drove in our car to Elk to meet Jess Faulks and Davey Hamer at 10am.

After coffee the four of us drove to Mount Tamborine in the Gold Coast hinterland. The town covers quite a large area along the ridge, with greta views over the coast. We walked along the main street, buying an ice-cream and licorice.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Sunday: Gold Coast Half Marathon

Woke up at 3:15am and could not get back to sleep before my alarm went off at 4:15am. Drove the back way (Ferry Road) to park in Australia Fair underground car-park at Southport. It was a 5 minute walk to the start of the Gold Coast Half Marathon. At 5:25am there was still no light at all in the eastern sky. I decided to wear my multi-focal glasses, the first time I have done so in a race. Many runners were mingling about, most of them in lines outside the toilets. A few were near the start, but I could think of no better place to spend the time.
The race start banners covered both sides of the divided Gold Coast Highway, and an official confirmed that we could start on either side. I chose the left as it was further from the race precinct and I guessed that it might be the less crowded side. I kept within 3-4 metres of the start line and enjoyed an easy start in the dark.
As we headed north towards the turn-around point at Runaway Bay, I focussed on establishing a comfortable pace. I also was careful to maintain a straight line and minimise the chances of colliding with other runners. In the dawn light I could not read my watch. As soon as I was to do so, I checked my pace. By 6km I was on target for a finish of about 1hr 34min. I felt comfortable and started to pass others who had started too fast.

During our current stay on the Gold Coast I had cycled and driven along the course several times, so I felt I was running on familiar ground. The race leaders passed on their return leg, led by a motor-bike cop and a vehicle displaying large race clock. The leaders were spread out over many hundreds of metres.

I f
inished the last few hundred metres as hard as I could, and found later that my heart peaked at the finish at 160, not much short of my maximum. It satisfying to cross the line in my 80th half marathon in 1:33:45 this morning, my best time for 5 years. The course is fast and conditions were ideal. Was 5th M60-64. I'm well satisfied.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Saturday: Elk coffee with friends

Yesterday we agreed with Roger to call him early so that we could take him for coffee. As soon as I turned on my phone this morning I found a message from Jonny Thannhauser, saying that he and Elizabeth would meet us at Elk Espresso at 9am. This suited us. I booked a table then called Roger to arrange to pick him up from his apartment on Island at 8:35am.

The 5 of us gathered at Elk.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Friday: Barefoot Barista

At the suggestion of good friend Jonny Thannhauser yesterday, Carolyne and I changed our morning coffee plan to meet Jonny at his favourite haunt, the Barefoot Barista, in Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach. I cycled the 13km while Carolyne rode Denny, her motor scooter. There were scattered clouds, with showers evident. I rode into a headwind that felt cold.

The Barefoot Barista is a small venue, full of recycled materials but excellent coffee.

At lunchtime good friend Roger Pilkington sent a text saying that he would be arriving at Nerang railway station at 1:30pm after flying from Canberra.