Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lulled by Autumn

I spent the four-day break over Easter at my old home town; Wagga. It's still my mum's home town. It was a gathering of siblings, minus one: my little sister is living and working in Minneapolis. So, we had one less person to assemble the 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle — All About Chocolate! My brother and his family helped out. My nephew is 13 and my niece 11; it's amazing how much they've grown in six months.

So, it was a happy family time. I squeezed in two short runs — both down to the lake. In the sixties we could see the lake from our front porch, hence the name of our house — "Lochfyne". Now tall trees obscure the view. On my second run, I tried 'tempo pace' for the last 6k, which sent my heart-rate skyward. I've lost some aerobic fitness since Six Foot. During the last kilometre of the run, I huffed and puffed my way past my old primary school; Kooringal Public. I thought about the afternoon 'quiet time' we used to have — where you crossed your arms on the wooden desk (being careful to keep your sleeve out of the ink well), put your head down, and slept for 15 or 20 minutes.

Since Six Foot, I've been having a 'quiet time' from serious training — just running the miles, on any particular day, as I feel. I'll call this my Lydiard 'train-off' phase — the few weeks of easy running to allow recovery from the track season. The 3000 metre goal will take a concerted effort, and I want to be ready.

So ... I run, sometimes with a friend, or friends, sometimes alone; watching silvery autumn leaves from the birch trees floating through the air like winsome butterflies; and I savour a less intense warmth from the sun, shining brightly out of a clear blue sky.

Where's Strewth?
Phone photo attempt 1 - When running with Strewth I have to be careful not to elbow her in the head.

We found a milk crate for Strewth to stand on
Phone photo attempt 2 - Strewth is not really that short. Sunset is reflected in her glasses.

Autumn sunset over Lake Burley Griffin
Autumn sunset over Lake Burley Griffin.


Blogger Luckylegs said...

What was Ruth standing on for the second photo?

"Train-off" phase? Haven't heard of that one before. I look forward to it.

5:38 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

Ah Ewen! So poetic. You almost had me convinced Canberra would be a nice place to live. Then I remembered what caome after Autumn, and I thought, no not for me. One visit per year is enough.

5:40 pm  
Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

Lake Burley Griffin? You could have pretended you'd just dashed off to Kuta for the weekend ;-/

Nice to hear that you are chilling and just enjoying the air. It's a good way to be. The family gathering must have been good too. Families are great.

6:10 pm  
Blogger Scott said...

Hey Ewen, nice post as usual.

With your sporting pursuits, poetry and general sensitivity you certainly come across as a "Renaissance Man" or as they would say in Australia, a "Homo".

7:21 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

Two out of three photos ain't bad. (Is that how you spell ain't?)

7:51 pm  
Blogger Eric said...

I have to say, that comment by Scott is hilarious!

Enjoy the train-off. A good solid recovery is important.

Also, I checked out the video of Six Foot, and it looks like a great race. Not at all what I think of when I think Australia--very lush and green. Quite a crowd for a 'bush run', too. I'd like to try that someday.

9:07 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Those old desks did seem comfy at the time. We used to nap on them too. Wouldn't it be great to be able to sleep like that these days, the keyboard just keeps getting in the way.

So does Wagga still feel like home?

10:19 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

I had a good goggle at the first photo! Also, I think you're re-defining the Lydiard phase.

4:12 am  
Blogger Grellan said...

'quiet time' we used to have — where you crossed your arms on the wooden desk (being careful to keep your sleeve out of the ink well), put your head down, and slept for 15 or 20 minutes.

ahh times past - I was there for a second - ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

7:10 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Eric, that's why we like Scott - he's a very funny fellow. In fact, he's writing the script for a new Japanese reality/comedy TV show: "Brown's Kitchen Nightmares".
Yes, you must do 6' - the grass was green this year as that part of Australia had good summer rains.

LLs, Ruth was standing on a milk crate we borrowed from the Aboriginal Embassy.

Tess, a bit, but where my friends are feels like home these days.

8:29 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

I love that photo (the second one that is, when I grew a few cms -such a poetic post and sunset reflected in my sunglasses - awesome~! But I do think we had better return that milk crate!

10:20 pm  
Blogger jen said...

Great photos and great post. I savor the recovery phase as well, and I try to take some of that carefree attitude into my next training cycle..

8:33 am  
Blogger Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

A very good idea to get downtime every so often. Enjoy it and rest up!

9:48 am  
Blogger Dusty said...

Scott is cracking me up.

Sounds relaxing and beautiful, but what happens in the winter - you guys don't get snow or anything? Rob has me curious.

9:09 am  
Blogger Phil said...

Cool sunset!

4:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so when i go to minnesota in november, i'll send you a postcard.

i like the first photo. that's a classic. makes strewth look like a spy.

i'm with you about autumn. i miss it. i love the smell of canberra at the time of the marathon. okay, not as the marathoners are passing me. that's just plain woofy.

8:45 pm  
Blogger 2P said...

Hi Mate - I've finally gotten around to reading some blogs...

Congratulations on such a fantastic Six Foot result - buckle year next year :)

6:14 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

Lovely sentiments, completly ruined by that Scott fellow :)
See you next weekend!!

7:08 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

I was hoping to write a retaliatory post for Scott this week but I've been rather snowed under at work.

Speaking of which, to answer Dusty, we get snow on the surrounding mountains in winter, but very rarely in the city. I've only run when it's been snowing 4 times. There are no cities in Australia where you'd have to run in snow.

Canberra winters are a tad cool - range of 19F to 53F - which is mild for Minnesotans, but freezing for Queenslanders such as Rob. Queensland is the southern California of Australia.

Some of you may not know... there's been some sad news this week - Mike has stopped blogging. Drop in and say "farewell".

7:25 pm  
Blogger Dusty said...

Reverse ladders sound brutal!!

19F is crazy cold. I was raised & live in the southern US.

I'm very bummed about Mike too!

1:58 pm  

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