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Ad-hoctober.
03-10-2017, 07:59 AM, (This post was last modified: 09-10-2017, 12:43 PM by Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man.)
#1
Ad-hoctober.
It's a little before 4 a.m. The normally busy street where I live is unsurprisingly deserted. As I move to a jog, resplendent in my bright green 2017 Almeria Medio Maraton 20th anniversary running top, I think of that brilliant opening scene from Vanilla Sky where Tom Cruise drives down New York's incongruously utterly deserted Times Square. The curiosity of that scene is not so much the lack of people: waking up to find yourself alone in the world was hardly a new concept for a film; rather it's the sheer audacity and influence that Hollywood has; sufficient to shut down one of the world's busiest thoroughfares to shoot one small scene for a film.

Well, suburban Sydney is hardly the same as Times Square, but it's still weird to run here and find it bereft of life. But that's also why I love to run at this time of day. This is actually my first such early morning run in over a year, I think. Since taking on the Maffetone Method a little over 13 months ago, these early runs haven't really been possible, due to Maffetone's strict insistence on a 'proper' warm up and cool down which adds at least thirty minutes to each run. As I only have a total of a half hour or so to complete these early outings before heading to work, this hasn't been possible. But now, free of race goals and training schedules for the moment, I've thrown off the shackles to some extent and am genuinely excited to be out on the streets again at this ungodly hour.

It's also a lovely, mild morning; a windless and moonless night but also an ideal temperature for a plod. I turn right from my driveway, head up the hill a short distance, then immediately right again into Park Lane, a nondescript little laneway quite unlike its Monopoly game namesake. I used to be regularly accosted here by a fruit bat that lived in a tree on the corner and which took exception to my nocturnal plods, but it has since moved on and I head along the dark, narrow laneway unmolested. The lane looks flat but is deceptive, and even a little steep near its middle, and I'm puffing slightly with the exertion so soon into the run. At the end, I turn left onto Rosedale Road, past the house that has been a building site of renovation and extension work for the last three years. Now, finally it seems complete, but I also wonder how it's possible to spend so long on what seemed a simple make-over. For a long time, this footpath was frequently blocked by one of the builders who insisted on parking his ute across it, despite there being plenty of roadside parking. I eventually got sick of it and left him a curt note, pointing out that the elderly and parents with strollers were being forced to walk on the road due to his lack of consideration. It seemed to do the trick and he parked there no more; one small victory for courtesy and common sense in the suburbs of the city. 

At the normally busy intersection of Rosedale Road and Park Avenue (which runs parallel to the smaller Park Lane), I run past the unused park bench, situated pointlessly facing the traffic island. It's a stupid, crazy location for a bench and I'm far from surprised that it's never used, although I harbour the faint, surrealist fantasy that one of these mornings I'll find a bearded, middle-aged man sitting there smugly humming to himself without a care in the world, as if to mock me. But, of course, it will never happen. But these Vanilla Sky mornings have me imagining such surrealist possibilities. As I round the corner I startle a trio of rabbits who run off frantic and unsure as to whether it's safe to run across the street or not. Eventually, they do and I continue on. No surrealism here, at least for the moment.

It's right then into Pearson Avenue, down the hill and right again into Burgoyne. This is a dank, dark miserable little street, but it runs parallel to a creek full of frogs, their various croaking adding a patina of interest to the outing. I'm particularly intrigued by one that makes a loud thok thok sound I've never heard anywhere else, and is likely to remain one of life's little mysteries, I guess. At the end, I turn right again and then again to be back on Rosedale Road, and the climb up the bugger of a hill. Although a reasonably tough little climb, it's short enough that I can always manage it without stopping, no matter how unfit I may be at the time, and it's also very useful for hill reps later when I am properly fit again. I make it up the hill this morning surprisingly well and turn once more onto Park Avenue, where I again startle the family of bunnies who has settled onto this side of the street and must now be getting annoyed at this huffing green monster that won't leave them in peace.

Crossing the railway bridge I run past a middle-aged bloke out for an early morning stroll and we exchange slightly puzzled but friendly enough greetings, both of us surprised at meeting another here at this hour. Instead of my usual route down the Pacific Highway at this point, I instead run down Wade Lane, which runs parallel to the highway at the back of the shops, cafes and restaurants that line this stretch of the main road. Halfway along I come across yet another pedestrian, an older, bedraggled and very hairy gentleman in ragged clothes, perhaps hunting through the rubbish bins belonging to the cafes and restaurants, although I kick myself for being so quick to judge him, or even at all. He makes no eye contact and so we exchange no greetings and on I run.

Down past the train station, I then do a lap of the bus interchange and then turn into a curious, unnamed short street that runs under the railway line. I'm assured by a friend of mine who claims to know about such things that this is one of only a handful of unnamed streets in the country. It's true that any map I've ever searched shows this quite busy road with no name, and certainly, there are no street signs to suggest that it does have one. As it has no houses or businesses requiring an address, I suppose it doesn't really matter, but it still seems odd that the Nomenclature Board have chosen to ignore it. 

Returning back along the other side of the train station I complete my run with a lap of the block on which I live. Just on 3.5km have been completed in 22 minutes - not much to write home about, really, other than the fact that I completed it comfortably and felt fabulous doing so.

Back home I settle down to a modest first breakfast of a single egg omelette as I read the horrific news of the Las Vegas massacre. It's getting to the point where Americans must simply be now living with the constant fear of mass murderers striking anywhere, anytime. And the more talk that there is of gun control, the less that seems to be done about it. Clinton, Bush and even eight years of Obama failed to change a single thing, so I hardly see how anything now will change under President Trump. May he prove me wrong ... he's always saying how he will change things others seemingly can't or won't touch.

I don't know if it's something special about early morning running that causes ripples in the space/time continuum, or that these things happen all the time and it's just that an early run heightens your awareness of them, but sometimes completely weird things do occur on mornings when I run especially early. It happened again today. As I arrived at the station for the 5:09 to the city, there, calmly sitting on a bench and reading an enormous book sat the old man from the lane that I had assumed to be homeless. He had such a look of serenity sitting there reading from his giant tome that I was quite taken aback. When the train arrived he made no attempt to board it, and as we pulled out of the station he was still sitting there, serenely reading like some kind of holy man, and I swear if he had been surrounded by an aura I would not have been the least bit surprised. Silently I apologised for earlier misjudging him.

And so to work, and a day spent contrasting my smugness and feeling of well-being after my run with the growing horror of the news from Las Vegas.

If only, as in that scene from Vanilla Sky, these events could turn out to be, after all, mere illusions.


Run slow, run far.
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03-10-2017, 12:34 PM,
#2
RE: Ad-hoctober.
Vanilla Sky is a horribly underrated film IMO.
Speaking of films ... Blade Runner 2049 is out any minute ...

Lovely early morning adventure

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph

Reply
04-10-2017, 01:11 AM,
#3
RE: Ad-hoctober.
I think wildlife is much easier to come by at that hour. Even in the suburbs. It's a really special time of day. Not that I see it very often.
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06-10-2017, 06:07 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-10-2017, 06:08 AM by Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man.)
#4
RE: Ad-hoctober.
I'm going to Bash Brasher


And here it is again:


Dear MLCMM,

Commiserations, your application to run in the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon has been unsuccessful. A record number of 386,050 hopefuls applied to take part in next year’s event and unfortunately you were unsuccessful.

Yours sincerely,
 
Hugh Brasher
Event Director




Year after year after year ... what do you have to do to get into this stupid race?
Run slow, run far.
Reply
06-10-2017, 06:42 AM,
#5
RE: Ad-hoctober.
Wife of colleague of mine also had same rejection (as did I) - but since she had committed to pay the money over even if unsuccessful on first ballot, she was then into second ballot. And she got place through that! Not saying this wasn't anything other than luck. But if you're prepared to give the £ come what may, it clearly ups your chances. (But you might have done that too, of course ...)
Reply
06-10-2017, 08:43 AM,
#6
RE: Ad-hoctober.
(06-10-2017, 06:07 AM)Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man Wrote: Year after year after year ... what do you have to do to get into this stupid race?

You could join a UK athletics club.

At my club, if you enter and get rejected you automatically get put into the club ballot. We have 3 places every year. When I was Secretary there were only 4 people in the ballot that year. Pretty good odds. Although it does fluctuate, so no
guarantee.

Obviously this is more expense. But it would cut the odds.
Reply
06-10-2017, 03:16 PM,
#7
RE: Ad-hoctober.
(06-10-2017, 06:07 AM)Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man Wrote: Year after year after year ... what do you have to do to get into this stupid race?

Why do you want to enter the stupid race anyway?  26 miles on the paved streets of Smokie when there are glorious open (and free) hills to be run?  I don’t get it  Confused
There is more to be done
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06-10-2017, 03:36 PM,
#8
RE: Ad-hoctober.
Why don't you enter the Moyleman, MLCMM? The scenery is gorgeous and the atmosphere with all that ale after the race must be fabulous.Besides,this year three Almerians are going to take part in it.

http://themoyleman.com/

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06-10-2017, 06:23 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-10-2017, 06:26 PM by marathondan.)
#9
RE: Ad-hoctober.
(06-10-2017, 08:43 AM)glaconman Wrote: At my club, if you enter and get rejected you automatically get put into the club ballot. We have 3 places every year. When I was Secretary there were only 4 people in the ballot that year. Pretty good odds. Although it does fluctuate, so no guarantee.

Hang on... he already is a member of a running club that was (I think) at least founded in the UK. Wonder how easy it would be to get UKA affiliation for RC...?
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06-10-2017, 06:26 PM,
#10
RE: Ad-hoctober.
Answer - lots of work and money.
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07-10-2017, 11:17 AM,
#11
RE: Ad-hoctober.
(03-10-2017, 07:59 AM)Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man Wrote:
 Returning back along the other side of the train station I complete my run with a lap of the block on which I live. Just on 3.5km have been completed in 22 minutes - not much to write home about, really, other than the fact that I completed it comfortably and felt fabulous doing so.
A Vanilla Sky morning, fruit bat memories, a trio of rabbits, a creek full of frogs, a rare unnamed street and a mysterious bearded man who I'm sure had a tale or two ....those 22 minutes certainly gave a lot to write home about  Wink
I've got to say it, these are the posts I like best .. Smile
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08-10-2017, 01:34 PM,
#12
RE: Ad-hoctober.
(06-10-2017, 03:36 PM)Antonio247 Wrote: Why don't you enter the Moyleman, MLCMM? The scenery is gorgeous and the atmosphere with all that ale after the race must be fabulous.Besides,this year three Almerians are going to take part in it.

http://themoyleman.com/

Ah yes, good call Antonio. The truth of the matter is that gaining an entry to the London mara, being as difficult as it is, was always merely the catalyst to actually undertake what is an expensive journey at a less-than-ideal time of the year (in terms of weather). Being able to enter the Moyleman any year does, rather perversely, not give me license to undertake the trip.

Now, if the race was to move to a warmer part of the year however...
Run slow, run far.
Reply
08-10-2017, 01:36 PM,
#13
RE: Ad-hoctober.
(06-10-2017, 03:16 PM)Charliecat5 Wrote:
(06-10-2017, 06:07 AM)Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man Wrote: Year after year after year ... what do you have to do to get into this stupid race?

Why do you want to enter the stupid race anyway?  26 miles on the paved streets of Smokie when there are glorious open (and free) hills to be run?  I don’t get it  Confused

Ah, that would be because you have sanity on your side.
Run slow, run far.
Reply
08-10-2017, 01:36 PM,
#14
RE: Ad-hoctober.
(06-10-2017, 06:26 PM)marathondan Wrote: Answer - lots of work and money.

Ain't that the truth. Confused
Run slow, run far.
Reply
08-10-2017, 01:38 PM,
#15
RE: Ad-hoctober.
I think I'll just give up racing. I've done enough of them and they just cost me anguish and lots of cash better used elsewhere.





*snork*
Run slow, run far.
Reply
08-10-2017, 03:13 PM,
#16
RE: Ad-hoctober.
(08-10-2017, 01:34 PM)Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man Wrote:
(06-10-2017, 03:36 PM)Antonio247 Wrote: Why don't you enter the Moyleman, MLCMM? The scenery is gorgeous and the atmosphere with all that ale after the race must be fabulous.Besides,this year three Almerians are going to take part in it.

http://themoyleman.com/

Ah yes, good call Antonio. The truth of the matter is that gaining an entry to the London mara, being as difficult as it is, was always merely the catalyst to actually undertake what is an expensive journey at a less-than-ideal time of the year (in terms of weather). Being able to enter the Moyleman any year does, rather perversely, not give me license to undertake the trip.

Now, if the race was to move to a warmer part of the year however...

Well, MLCMM, with the global climate change, unfortunately, in March it could be quite hot in the Lewes area. Besides, we can bring the good weather from southern Spain.

Reply
08-10-2017, 04:41 PM,
#17
RE: Ad-hoctober.
(08-10-2017, 03:13 PM)Antonio247 Wrote:
(08-10-2017, 01:34 PM)Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man Wrote:
(06-10-2017, 03:36 PM)Antonio247 Wrote: Why don't you enter the Moyleman, MLCMM? The scenery is gorgeous and the atmosphere with all that ale after the race must be fabulous.Besides,this year three Almerians are going to take part in it.

http://themoyleman.com/

Ah yes, good call Antonio. The truth of the matter is that gaining an entry to the London mara, being as difficult as it is, was always merely the catalyst to actually undertake what is an expensive journey at a less-than-ideal time of the year (in terms of weather). Being able to enter the Moyleman any year does, rather perversely, not give me license to undertake the trip.

Now, if the race was to move to a warmer part of the year however...

Well, MLCMM, with the global climate change, unfortunately, in March it could be quite hot in the Lewes area. Besides, we can bring the good weather from southern Spain.

The first year we organised the Moyleman I got sunburnt.
There is more to be done
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