Thursday, March 28

Conversation in the cat-hedral

--get it?!

Anyway, Suzie is a very, very vocal cat.

"MMMeow!" Says she at the door.
"Yes darling? No, you can't go outside."
"MMMeow!" [you puny earthling, unleash me in the garden! I need to pounce!]
"Yes, you beautiful beautiful girl! "
"Mreow!" [I will agree with you on this point, but I need to pounce! Pounce! Open the gates! Open the gates!]

"Meeew! Meew! Meew!"
"Who's my little crocodile? Who's my beast? Yeah, beast!"
" Meew! Meew! Meew!" [ROAR! ROAR!]

"What are you? Crocodile or alligator? Crocodile? "
"purr... purr... purr" [Clearly your limited intellect has lead you to this ontological dilemma: more complicated logic, inaccessible to you, can easily solve this. I'm part crocodile, part alligator. I'll show you.]
Scratch, scratch, bite, bite. Meow.

Tuesday, March 26

One picture Tuesday

Easter weekend destination: the two of us and probably hundreds of climbers will head out to Arapiles. MWahaha. Expect to queue for routes suckers! We won't (i hope! Because we are early risers mwahahaa) (Also, I will get to experience again waking up in the middle of the night to go for a summit). Roar.

Photo from (which reminds me, here's Triet and I featured on Chockstone! Ah, the things I do for fame!)

Also, further from chockstone:

Do not, what ever you do, be conned into leading "Beelzebub" 27m grade 17 - it's got that name for a reason.

I love climbing!

Monday, March 25

V3! Crush!

Our V3! Crush! went well. It went REALLY  well because  we crushed and were crushed in turn. Crushed, crushed, crushed!

I will spare you the laundry list of the sends but suffice to say that between the three of us we did
  • four V0s
  • thirteen V1s
  • four V2s
  • four V3s
  • two V5s
I found that despite my physique I am much better at face, crimpy climbs than I am at roofy, overhanging climbs, which only goes to show that these guns I am sporting are FOR NOTHIN'! If the pictures D took of me sending one of the V5s (it was only a repeat, mind you) actually make me look good, I will post some.

Next weekend we (and probably half of Melbourne) will be in Arapiles, which will either teach me how to trad climb, or kill us. We'll see.

Thursday, March 21

I R Elephant

But still, IR can hook.
Proof IR can hook

-- bouldering competition. 3rd place, but only because others used me as their beta bitch. Ah well, life is cruel :)

Wednesday, March 20

Swear jar.

I was going to swear less at work and keep this endearing [snort] side of my personality for this blog and my personal life. Bad news at work on Tuesday left me saying this:

Fuck you, cancer. Fuck you.

Tuesday, March 19

One picture Tuesday

Australia is beautiful. And, obviously, having not seen much of it, I can't really complain. Just that it does not seem to be my kind of beautiful, but then again I have definitely not seen enough of it to say. Hm. Dilemma.

Whereas New Zealand ... Sigh..

Would love to live in the middle of this pasture

Double sigh for this one:

Sunday, March 17

How to spend your Sunday at work

... ideally, mostly working, but also, daydreaming about dogs. Dogs of the future that is, because right now the only dog in our household is this:

1. Both Marian and I want a Beagle.

2. I also want a dachshund, mostly because, well, Dachshund! How can one resist these beady eyes?

3. But what I really like and I feel most comfortable with are big dogs. And when I say big dogs, I mean really big dogs.
Like this:

Or this:

However, neither breeds are available for sale in Australia, so I have settled on this: The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog:

Goggies of the future, I salute you!

Saturday, March 16

Six Foot Track Marathon 2013 race report

I'll say this up front such that whoever is reading this will know who they're actually dealing with: I did not train for six foot track. I qualified for it with a 4:00 hr ROAD marathon and did a lot of short runs on steep to very steep trails, mainly because I've lost my running partner but also because I suck at maths and I'm just lazy I guess to train by myself*.

I went into this with lots of negative thoughts and anguish, doubting myself every step of the looong way in. I went so far as to register for a half marathon to ensure I get over the depression caused by me not finishing 6 ft.... I was so convinced I would not finish! San brought me back to my old self on the day before the race when she said "this is not like you', and I guess at that time everything shifted into race mode and I was positive again.


I flew into sydney on Friday morning and took the train to katoomba. On the plane I read Dave M.'s "9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistake", which gave me with sweaty palms for the whole trip.

Arrived at katoomba and the Carrington hotel just as the organizers were getting stuff ready. Helped one of them carry things from the race car... Could not help but notice how very few females were there. And also, just how fit the men were,WTF?!! (And surprisingly, the very fit men had very unfit wives!! But I digress..) The organizer was saying that the river was at its third deepest depth since the race started... Sigh. Butt fatt makes you float I guess...

Registered, got my bib, and decided to buy a white cap (probably the best decision ever!) and then went to check in at the flying fox.

Talked a bit to the owner, expressed my fears for like the zillionth time, and went to carb up!!

I carbed up with a bucket of soup, some garlic bread, and a salmon bagel, and read my book for two hours or so. Browsed some shops and went back to the hotel.

Prepared the stuff for the next day and went to bed.


Woke up at 5:20 and started to get dressed. Put body glide on every spot on my body that could get chafed. Decided NOT to wear my lucky underwear but wore the race top and shorts. Opted for a knee guard an the ankle guard on my right foot. With this armor on, I moved on to the food: eight energy gels, six snakes, six ginger sugar cubes. First, I tried to put them all in my sports bra. This did not work very well because it turns out they weigh quite a lot and I am not use to that kind of weight around that particular area, ahem - balance is important in races like this!! Second, I tried to use the race belt that Dood gave me for Xmas, but I was afraid I would loose the snakes and the ginger - THAT COULD JUST NOT DO! In the end, I ran with my hydration pack: it fit my cap as well and just felt safer.

Started the two km walk to the start line, but luckily I got picked up by a runner that was taking a cab: it was damn cccccold!!


Because there always is one, I had come up with a plan: 2 hours to the river (15km), 2 hours up to The Pluviometer (11km), 2 hours to the finish (19 km). But of course, what I was really hoping for was: 1:40 to the river, 2 hours to Pluviometer, 1:40 to the finish (my PB for a half marathon is 1:45, so I was not entirely delusional... HA! )


It was a slow trod down Nellie's Glenn - I was stuck behind somebody that was super super slow: I didn't mind that but nevertheless I was very keen to overtake her, which I did after we came down from  the Glenn. I overtook her and started running "the flat bits", all 8 km of them. A good thing I had not taken my phone with me, because I would have stopped so many times to take photos: the scenery was BEAUTIFUL!!! Absolutely beautiful! You could see the blue mountains cliffs in the backend, green slopes and all... There were horsies and cowsies and even kangaroos! Absolutely beautiful! This is where my stupid grin started and it did not get off my face until the finish. I was not running fast, which  explains why the slow lady that was in front of me caught up with me again before the river, at the top of a hill. Again, beautiful scenery, blue sky, green fields.

 And the sweeper! Now, the sweeper is a 7:00  runner that ensures that the 7-hour cut-off is met. If the sweeper catches up with you, you're fucked. And so we caught up with the sweeper for the previous wave, and the lady had caught up with me. Fair enough, this was a sign: I decided to stick with her for as long as I could: this was her third time! It took me 1:45 to get to the river, and the water was not deep, only up to my chest.

Stupid grin status: On!

The race profile shows a steep steep hill up to a saddle, followed by a downhill for about 3 km, followed by another 3-4 km uphill. 11 km back to roughly the same altitude where we had started from, 15 km before. How hard could it be?

Well.. The first four km were the steepest running track I had ever seen in my whole life. I do not know how people actually run up them, but I had no problems in power-walking them. Power walking pace: between 12-13 minutes/km. Some people were actually trying to run this, but, they quickly gave up: fifth wave for the win, this means that you are not very fast to start with. And so we power-walked. This is where the cap saved me: the bare, steep steep red hills attracted deadly heat.

After four kilometres or so of PAIN, we reached mini-mini saddle - downhill heaven for about three km after it. Now, of course the plan said NOT to sprint this part, but of course I could not listen to the plan and so I sprinted, or what counted for a sprint in that race: 5:40 min/km or so.

And then we reached the steep part again. The last four km were the steepest running track I had ever seen in my whole life. As opposed to the steepest running track I had seen 3 km before, this was motherfucking steep. Steep like 4 km of Chambers Gully motherfuckers put together for four kilometres of PAIN. I was in constant pain: calf pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and, most importantly, quads pain. Pace: 15-16 min/km.

A guy overtook me at some point (power-walking, mind you): this was his 12th Six Foot Track Marathon, including the illegal ran he had done last year, when Six Foot was cancelled (5:45 btw, without any support). He commented on my armour, and after I explained, we had a bit of a chat for 15 min or so. Before he left me behind, he predicted that i would finish in 6:30! And then he left! Damn his black tights and green six foot 2012 t-shirt!

Time to the top of Pluviometer: 2:15. In total: 4hrs or so.

Stupid grin status: On!

Tired: YES!

There were many swear words going through my mind while on this part. It felt mostly like running on another planet. It was dry, red, and barren sometimes. There were three notable hills that I remember, but I am not sure as i was too busy listening to my quads going: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! or alternatively FUCK THIS SHIT!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAARGH!!

I wanted to run the hills but my quads didn't, so I power-walked them. Spotted an echidna and stopped for two or three minutes to just look at it.

Stupid grin status: On!

Tired: No!

Dead: YES!

This part was through beautiful green forest. It was awesome!! There was a motherfucker in the middle, the steepest one so far (but very short): 17 min/km on this one. Got overtaken by two ladies in tutus. Stopped at one of the fire trucks to talk to one of the fireys. My quads wanted to leave on the scree slope (jesus christ, a steep scree slope just before the finish!)  but by virtue of ligaments and other magik dust they still stuck on.

Sprinted to the finish.

Stupid grin status: On!

Tired: No!

Dead: YES!

*also, you can't train for power (for climbing) and for endurance at the same time. Just sayin'. D., feel free to roll your eyes now.

Thursday, March 14

Such a purrfect day

  1. My running partner came back from the states and brought me these!!!! I had one three and they were awesome!!

2. A former student came into my office and gave me these (no I cannot be bribed with food)! Habaneros for the win!!!

3. A colleague stood me up for lunch. This left me supremely tired and hungry, so this had to be remedied.  Veggie tacos from a food truck parked outside the university!!

4. Sat on a bench, ate the above, glanced and the below view, and read Joel on Software. Life is good.

Tuesday, March 12

One picture Tuesday

I did not take the phone with me to six foot (good thing, otherwise I would not have finished in under 7), so here's a photo from katoomba:

Monday, March 11


Finished Six Foot track marathon in six hours and thirty six minutes. What I do not know, is how the hell can marathon runners in Singapore stay on their feet for that long. Anyway, not the longest six hour and a half of my life, but still. Was grinning like an idiot. Will not be able to look an energy gel in the eye for a while. Walking like a crab. Will write race report once photos are out. The river was not too high, only up to my chest. Cold is cccccold!

Thursday, March 7

Realization. Part 245.

I'm bad at math. Well, not quite. But yes. I'm bad at math.  Or maybe I'm not as good as I want myself to be.

Six foot track marathon has a 7 hour cut-off time. I did this calculation while I was running up Blackhill, so probably  my brain was not getting enough oxygen.

Right. So, a 7 hour cut-off time for 45 km means

7 x 60 / 45 = 6 min/km

So then this was stuck in my head: I have to achieve 6 min/km or less for every one of the 45 km in the uphill/downhill rollercoaster that is Six foot in order to finish under the cut-off time.

And I bashed myself and I threw myself at those hills in order to achieve something even remotely close to 6 min/km. Needless to say, this did not get me very far distancewise, because if you really try to run Blackhill in under 6 minutes/km you stand a very good chance to kill yourself. And I was depressed and didn't talk much about it and basically prayed that the whole thing might get cancelled. It won't by the way. It's ONZ!

My last run on Monday was Chambers Gully, and as I was heading up the premotherfucker slope and was redo-ing all this complex math in my head ...


and pulled out the iPhone.

7 x 60 = 420 min

420 min/45 km = 9 minutes 20 seconds/km

Aha! As such, I will go in this race without having crossed 24 km in the last 3 months, but with very good uphill training and good recovery times. Also, a severely bad ankle, but more about this some other time. Fingers crossed.

I just hope I don't get injured, or worse, get pulled off the track because I don't have a chance in hell to finish it.  My BIB number is an even number :(

Tuesday, March 5

One picture Tuesday

There is only one duck of this kind around the Torrens linear park and we call it "Special Duck". Special Duck is a ladies man and this is one of the few occasions where he was on shore without his ladies, and as such I could get a good picture of him:

Sunday, March 3

Bouldering in plastic fantastic

I hate climbing gyms. I love the outdoors.  I moved to an outdoors-y place. I climb a lot in climbing gyms. Logico, si?

I have truly become the weekend warrior and the weekday working queen, but in the past few months I have struggled to find the motivation to pull on plastic. Plastic is just what the name says. Plastic. Artificial. Sometimes colorful. The routes are set most of the time by tall motherfuckers who do not think about other people. There are little extra handholds on which one could set one's problems and thus one cannot get very excited about projects. Not training on plastic makes one unfit for the outdoors. It does not help that there are only two small gyms in Adelaide, and both suffer from the same problems. And the bickering goes on and on.

So I try. I have at least two friends with which I set up climbing appointments that I almost never miss.

I try to get my money's worth every time: I must climb enough routes/problems that the price drops under $1 per route/problem. Sometimes, this works well: there is enough combination of psyche and route/problem difficulty that one gets very excited and forgets about leaving, eating, sleeping, nom nom-ing. Sometimes, it doesn't.

I started to watch climbing porn - I never used to before. I still have my sanity though, and put Chris Sharma on silent whenever he tries to talk the meaning of life to me.

It never occurred to me to quit though. So yeah. Don't hang up your shooz my friend, there are ways.

Later edit: perhaps dangerous and obviously increasing of the waist line, but food bribing might work: like in: finish one route, eat one delicious snack. Hm ...

Saturday, March 2

Suck it up, buttercup!

I thought that 2012 was the year where I hit my rock bottom sportswise but it seems I have set a lower one this year. I have just given the CoolRunning forum about the weather in the Blue Mountains what seems to be the 30th refresh*. This whole whining and winging and complaining may be just a defence mechanism (after all, it did get cancelled last year and that did depress me) or a way of getting out of something that I didn't train for, but after all I will get to experience the Blue Mountains and get to run in some cool weather for a change.

As such, I've decided to suck it up and just run it for as long as I can, and then, if I can't, just come back home and pretend I saved somebody's life and thus did not finish in time. Or something. Off any carbs starting with tomorrow until Wednesday, and then mid-day wednesday the carbs are on again! Whee!

* I do not use any readers to inform me when new things are put up on blogs/forums etc. All my reads are manual if and when I do remember to read blogs (which is very often, sadly: I refresh dodo's and other people's blog once a day), I am very disappointed when there are no updates (Ionuca, I'm looking at you!)

Friday, March 1

Xia Yu

I've been hoping. Hoping and hoping and hoping that it will rain so much next week that Six Foot Track Marathon will get canceled. Canceled such that I don't have to run, but not canceled for the rest of the nutters out there that really want to run this. And, more importantly, that have actually trained for this. Cause I know I haven't! Well, at least not like I wanted to.

Canceled such that I can dash for the grampians and enjoy the long weekend.

Canceled such that I can actually give my lectures rather than have somebody replace me.

Canceled such that I don't fail miserably on it and get depressed all over again. To be honest, I'm kind of sick of (my) failures.

And then a sadistic, masochistic part of me wants it not to get canceled. Probably for the same reasons that I joined in the first place. Bah.