Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Began Today ~~~~~

It's a start, nothing to write home about, but if I start my program it means I'm going somewhere, albeit painfully slow, but if I don't start, it means I'm not going anywhere...and that's not a good place to be!

Again, I'm using the Furman FIRST half marathon program that I'm used to and having optimistically altered my 5km time from 31 minutes to 40 minutes and using FIRST times/paces based on that, it meant that today's 400m repeats should each take 3:03 minutes.

10-20 min warm up
12x400m (90sec RI)
10 min cool down.

I drove across to Chevalier College track in Bowral...not a soul anywhere.  Good, no one to observe my comeback on the track since April, 2013!  Luckily also, a narrow lane, just over 200m, had been mowed.  Someone must have known I would return!

1.5km warm up
4 strides and drills
6 x 400m.....finished with 6 not 12, before getting too tired!  And it was so hot!
2:50;  2:54;  2:51;  2:52;  2:53;  2:47
1.5km cool-down

Instead of 90 sec recovery intervals, I walked around the 200m track because it took longer!

As I said, it's at least a start and surely I can't get any slower than those 400ms!!

For Today:  5.4km

Monday, December 30, 2013

I Start Tomorrow!! ~~~~~

I'm quite looking forward to beginning my half marathon program tomorrow.  A different story when I finish I suspect!  12 x 400m!!  I'll be extremely lucky if I can run 1 x 400m without having to stop with lungs bursting for air!  I'll do what I can, and it won't be all 12, and hope for improvement.

Today 5.5km easy

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cross Training ~~~

I call it cross training, but lots wouldn't!  Mowing the lawns with a push mower.....bought at Aldi about $50 to use in between times when the handyman is away.  Now that's a good upper body workout!  Used the edging thing...weighs a ton and finally the blower to clean up.  I couldn't have done all that had I jogged first. 

Tomorrow, day before a Chev track session, I intend to trim a few hedges and generally tidy up because once I get into serious (?) training, I won't have time for these mundane chores!

I'm thinking about and looking at a Samsung ultrabook!!   Just thinking......and looking ......

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I Have a Goal....of sorts!

Now that I've started the slow climb back to sanity and normalcy, post Acer Australia,  while I was out this morning I started to think about setting a goal for the first part of 2014 and an old favourite came to mind......Canberra Half Marathon in April.  That's if I can get myself fit enough which, right now, seems like a huge ask!  Anyhow, I'll set that as the goal and see how things progress.

With this in mind, I'll need to start my half marathon program right now!  Next week I'll give it a go, starting on Tuesday with a track session.  First though, I'm going to have to adjust my 5km time from 31 minutes to.........41?

This morning:  8.6km walk/jog (more jog now)....lovely day here:  sunny, breezy and only 20 degrees. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Goodbye Acer .......

Although I've never had a battle on my hands before with a major company, I was, nevertheless, surprised to find just how much I was affected and the toll it took, not only all  my time and energy, but more so on many aspects of my health.  I suppose getting older doesn't necessarily make many things  any easier to cope with.  I couldn't sleep, I cried endlessly, I felt alone and helpless and all the while I kept on calling Acer's non-existent customer support where operators in Manila are highly trained in being polite and all repeating like robots, the very same memorised script regardless of the problem or question from the hapless victim in Australia.  I dare anyone to try to speak to a real live human in Sydney!  It won't happen, believe me, I tried for more than 6 weeks!

NSW Fair Trading within 30 days persuaded (?) Acer Australia to return my money on the computer that gave up two days after delivery.  What Acer didn't say though was just how long they intended to continue withholding the refund, nor how much more blood they intended to drain me of!   For another 2 weeks I sent 2 emails every day requesting, then demanding, that they do what they were legally obliged to do....refund the cost.

Here are some of the replies/excuse/lies/delay tactics I received:

Speaking to Finance Department today;  will take a week; spoke to finance, will do so again; should be through by end of week;  will check with Finance this afternoon; sending today (not); sorry, I was away yesterday; will talk to finance today....and on and on it continued over 2 weeks. 

You couldn't even get the pickup right, Acer!  Manila arranged for one courier to call ...can you believe this?...while Sydney arranged for another and, of course, neither turned up at the prearranged times, but I had to wait endless hours thinking someone would turn up. When finally a courier did call I hadn't the necessary documents they required: manifesto, address for delivery...well, that makes sense, doesn't it Acer?  Couriers aren't blessed with psychic powers, you know.  They need to know where they are going. Unlike some businesses who wander the world taking money from well intentioned customers.

In a state of near collapse and with Christmas approaching, I finally begged Acer management to finalise the refund before the Christmas holiday period began.  I knew if it wasn't through by then, the whole horrible nightmare would have to start all over again in the New Year, and I just couldn't see myself handling that too well! This brought a response from the Manager of Customer Support who phoned me late one evening to apologise....whose email I managed to find on Acer's Facebook page!....and to whom I sent yet another email.  I have to say he acted promptly, replied that he had personally gone to the friggin (my word!) Finance Department and stood there while some idiot (my word again!) put the credit through.  He asked me to let him know the outcome.  I will tomorrow.

The refund was through within 24 hours on Christmas Eve!

I never expected my reaction to those 6 weeks of stress to be what it was.  Towards the end, I felt as if I was a lost character in a spy movie where a large and indomitable force armed with all the weapons, sets out to destroy the defenceless little guy who has nothing but his/her own wits to depend on for survival....this is truly how I began to see myself : an isolated victim being personally attacked!How the human psyche works is truly amazing!  Reminded me of  the character of Brody in "Homeland" and how he succumbed to prolonged torture!

Anyhow, it's over, but I would never, ever, no matter what, ever have anything to do with Acer products again and God alone knows I love the latest electronic devices!  Neither would I ever, ever, ever recommend Acer Australia (UK, India or anywhere else on earth for that matter) to others or to have anything to do with this company...see their Facebook page for a worldwide, multitude of complaints like mine. 

In a strange and very ironic way, I think I was lucky.....there are numerous victims who have never reached and probably never will receive a fair solution to genuine problems with Acer's denial to support their customers.  A disgrace and........a pox be upon you Acer!

This morning I jogged/walked 6.7km.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Last Week and This Week .....

Last week I walked 5 km each day, missing 1 day when I felt it was too hot

This week, starting today, I will walk/jog 5km

Today I managed to jog further, but only by saying to myself: jog to end of path, take a walk; jog to next driveway, walk; jog to that tree, walk, and fooling myself in this way, I probably jogged half the distance.   So unfit, I wonder if I'll ever run again!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Today was a misty day in the Highlands ....but did that stop me?

At the school..."Daisy-May" with calf.
 No! For the past several weeks I seem to have spent the best part of each day talking to Acer's useless, nonexistent operation in Manila, quaintly known as Customer Support.  I have several other names for it, but more about that later this week.

For the next while I'm going to do each morning, what I did today :

1 hour briskly walking.  Not distance, just time on feet; a different direction each day and then include some jogging.

 Today, began at the Highlands School, through Renwick and back to the school.  Cool, misty rain made for a most pleasant way to start the day and, with a little bit of luck, the rest of my life!

 The calf knows me so well now that she takes the liberty
of chewing my clothes but her favourite party trick is undoing my shoe laces while I brush her!

Friday, December 06, 2013

I've Had Enough .....

More than enough!  Two weeks of unrelenting stress as a consequence ofno response from Acer Australia to refund my money and in spite of everything I've done by phone and email, has left me sick and depressed.

At 84 I don't cope with stress as easily as I did at 44! This whole awful experience, the first of its kind in my lifetime, leaves me with the feeling I've had enough of this life. The only thing that worries me now is my 2 little dogs, Amy and Oscar.  What would happen to them if I wasn't here to love and look after them.

 I'm tired of life's vicissitudes.


 Just my thoughts at 2:00 am.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Another Email ....

This morning, after another wide awake night until 4:30 am, I sent another email to Acer Australia's on line store in Sydney, asking for a reply to my other emails of  the past 10 days and requesting the refund that, by law, I'm entitled to.

I assume it will go where all the others have gone....nowhere.  It makes me wonder, though, where DO they go?  Some real live employee must receive them; they're never returned.  So is there a little Acer person who opens his or her computer each morning and, on orders threatening death by torture, taps 'delete' to everything in the inbox?

 I am so sick of all this.....

Updated  3/12/13......Just like I said: No response!

I see Acer's Facebook page has hundreds of similar complaints to mine from all over the world!  https://facebook.com/acer and yet they're continually updating the same pages brazenly extolling their latest products and thanking their millions of "fans" for their support!


Sunday, December 01, 2013

Chasing Acer Australia

For the past10 days I haven't been out for a single run.  Amy and Oscar haven't been deprived of their walk and that's about all I've done.   Instead of progressing to my program, which I'd planned to do before December began, I have spent just about every hour of every day phoning, being fobbed off, emailing and never being replied to by Acer Australia.

Words fail me when it comes to describing what it's been like: the nights I haven't been able to sleep, the days when I've been sick to my stomach with stress and all the while Acer Australia doesn't give a damn.  I requested a replacement to the dud Acer Aspire S7 395 until I realized they had no intention of cooperating, so I went for the jugular, enlisted FT NSW and am now asking for a full refund.

For me it's meant sitting by the phone calling every 1300 number in their nonexistent customer service, based in Manilla where the operators have been well trained in talking as fast as they can without taking a breath, in case the caller says something they don't know how to answer and, just to make sure of that,  the accent is beyond deciphering.

Just a sample of the shxx I've had to listen to from Acer Australia's Manilla based operators. -  forget about speaking to anyone from Acer H/Q in Sydney; it never happens .....

Samples only:

(1)  Look underneath computer, find small hole, insert pin...no hole......switched to another 1300 number.
(2)  Someone will call you within 30 minutes....no call and I phone next 1300 in list.
(3) Yes, will follow up your complaint........never to be heard from again!  Next 1300 number.
(4)  Will call you within 1,2,3 days , could take 3 weeks to resolve....this from 3 separate calls by me.
(5). I go through every 1300 number with nothing but runaround and then begin all over again......
(6)  We need proof of purchase ....WTF!!  Until we get that from Sydney, unable to do anything.....surely YOU have copy of invoice, I gasp!  Anyhow, I email copy to Manilla AND Sydney to make sure they all see it.
(7). I send my copy to Manilla, they send to Sydney.....never heard from again. I start over again...more emails to Sydney HQ....no replies.  Back to 1300 numbers for the umpteenth time.....sick and distressed!
(8)  Before I make myself more ill, I send one final email to HQ Sydney, begging for someone to respond.  I get a reply telling me I didn't give them my home number .....dear God, they've had my phone number since I ordered the bloody thing, but I send it again.....  and to phone 1300....where it would be dealt with.  Same number already called many times!
(9). Phoned anyhow: told still waiting on 'proof of purchase'! I broke down here, unable to cope.  Told it was wrong department...switch me over.....not necessary,can fix here.
(10)  Next day.....email from Manilla telling me only HQ in Sydney could handle matter as they were only the warranty department in Manilla.  I try in vain to explain that Sydney sending me onto Manilla and then Manilla sending me back to Sydney doesn't make sense!  And the operator doesn't draw breath.
(11). One final email to Acer Australia, Sydney, expressing my disgust and dissatisfaction and handing over to Fair Trading NSW. I was just too worn out and sick to continue on my own. They haven't replied of course.

THE ABOVE ARE A FEW SAMPLES ONLY of what Acer put me through for 10 days!

I always check for mistakes when I blog but this is too long and I don't have the "belly" to go over it!  Please excuse.

In fact, I think I only wrote for therapeutic reasons, trying to exorcize my mind of the whole painful experience.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Same Again ....

Same course as yesterday but with another loop added.  Nothing to write home about except there was more jogging than walking .... definitely!

Today:  8km

Saturday, November 23, 2013

After the Storms. .....

I didn't get out yesterday due to several thunderstorms - of which I've always been afraid - plus constant heavy rain.  Today, however, quite the opposite: sunny and very warm; though, as I look out the window now, heavy clouds are building up.  I must take Amy and Oscar for their walk soon.

So, this morning: began at the school, through Renwick, out to Scarlett Street to where it ends and back to the school...jog/walk, with more walk than jog.

For Today:  7 km

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Going Further ~~~

Today I started at the school, avoiding the soccer field, through Renwick, along Inkerman Road to where it ends and then back to the school.  A much cooler morning than forecast with a nice  breeze.  I jogged/walked - more jog than walk today - and completed 6.7km, the furthest in some time on the road.  My knee seems fine and if it stays this way I'll repeat this distance and course until next week.

Puzzled by Garmin Connect not showing the run, though according to the ATN agent, it was transferred.  Checked software and plug-ins ...all correct.  Is Windows 8 playing a trick on me?  Will have to look into this asap!

Today:  6.7km......storms forecast for tomorrow, but I must keep this 2 day streak going!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

After a Few Days Off ~~~

....to learn the ins and outs of a new computer, Acer Aspire S7 392Ultra Book.  Gorgeous thing to  look at, all white and silver, very portable and light, 6-8 hours battery time (some say longer), a soft, grey carry case and a nice challenge for me getting to know Windows 8, a touch screen and everything  moving at the speed of light....or so it seems, after the unexpected 'death' of the Asus Eee last week.

 I decided on the Acer Aspire Ultra Book after nearly going bonkus searching and researching day and night, laptops and ultra books on either my Nexus 7 tablet or the Samsung Galaxy smartphone.  Sore eyes for days!  I'm very pleased with this Acer and must admit that there's not much I enjoy more now than working my way through a new piece of technology! As well as the User Manual, I'm working through the on line Acer Windows 8 Tutorials....my coach is called "Paula" and she speaks clearly with no American accent!  The tutorials, watched on video while Paula speaks, are excellent for anyone new to Windows 8.  Available to those with Acer computers only!

Also, I missed going out on the wet days...enough excuse! Those were the days I eagerly searched and researched.

Today:  30 minutes easy jogging + a few incline repeats on a grassy slope beside the school basketball stadium.

Addendum: 3 cows, 1 calf, 5 goats and 1 old sheep still doing well!

Saturday, November 09, 2013

On the Road Again!

This morning I took myself back to the streets in Renwick.  I'm tired of the soccer field but also wanted to see how my knee reacted to the hard surface.  Happy to say there were no problems at all!

A short time ..... Only 40 minutes and as much walking as easy jogging. I can't help but notice how quickly I become out of breath.....so unfit, but hoping that by perseverance I'll one day, not too far off, get back to good form.  That's the aim.

  Very happy to see my little doggie friends in Scarlett Street hadn't forgotten me, but raced out, jumped up and down and joyfully trotted some distance beside me just as if I hadn't been away at all!

Pleased to have made a comeback of sorts!

TODAY........ON ROAD 40 minutes.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Walking ......

Much too hot this morning to jog on the soccer field.  32 degrees at 10am when I was ready to leave.  Instead I decided on a long walk : from home to school, through Fenwick and back home......not greatly enjoyable, with a hot wind blowing,  but better than doing nothing.

I hope the forecast for rain is correct......haven't seen rain since I can't remember when!

Today .....6km

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Another 30

......just 30 minutes easy jogging this morning.  Extremely hot on the soccer field.  Finished with 2 drills and strides.  Same till next Monday.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Same Again ~~~

Pretty much like the previous two days :

3.5km walk from school through Renwick and back to the school to look in on the new calf who was draining the last few drops of milk from her mother's 'tank'!  Then across to the goats' paddock where, for my trouble, all I got was a butt in the legs from 'Bucky"!

Checking on the calf, centre trees!

A hasty retreat, some name calling and over to the soccer field where I walked today's 21 minutes...this was to give my knee a break...as in a rest!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Now That's Better!" ~~~~~

...and that's what I said out loud this morning as I finished a short session without knee pain!


First, a 3km brisk walk down Bong Bong Hill and along Old South Road.  I'll increase this by 0.5km each day. Then eighteen minutes easy jogging in the soccer field.  I'll increase this by 3 minutes tomorrow.....today, all done without any pain in my silly old knee!  A good spray with "Off" kept the flies away, adding to my good humour and lower heart rate!


About 4.6km today + 30 minutes stationary bike

Monday, October 28, 2013

That Was Awful! ~~~

...and that's what I said out loud as I finished this morning! 

I drove to the school, warm-up....walked 1km down Bong Bong hill and back up (1+1=2km!); then jogged for 15 minutes in the soccer field and finished with a few stretches.  Some pain in my knee and I won't even mention the annoying flies! Nevertheless, I'll go back tomorrow and try again, adding 3 minutes to the jog.

I Suppose!
About 3km today.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Start Again...Next Week ~~~

It's taken the cooler change to get the swelling down and my leg back to normal.  For the coming week, start Monday, I should be OK to trot, but if not might make it every alternate day and bike instead. I'd like to have a good month in November and start a program early December.  That's the plan. We'll soon see!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Easy Again ~~~

While my knee is still a bit 'iffy', I'm walking not jogging.  This morning, from home, through Renwick and back home.  Very humid,  few drops of light rain and millions of sticky flies!  Later today, I'll do some stationary bike.

Today 45 minutes brisk walking.

Almost forgot, in my spare time today, I finished the User Manual, Samsung Galaxy S4, all 147 pages!  I understood it all too and was able to find everything that the manual mentioned, on the mobile as I went along.  A lot of its features won't be used a great deal but I found it extremely interesting working it all out and amazed at what it's capable of doing!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Staying Inside! ~~~~

...until the heat, ash and smoke lessen.  I'm not wasting time, though; I'm up to page 125 of 147 of my Samsung Galaxy S4 User Manual!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Nothing Doing! ~~~~~

Nothing today!  Thick smoke all over the place from burning off in surrounding ranges. Staying indoors.  My eyes were sore enough yesterday.  Also, my knee is a little 'iffy'!

Since mid-day, my leg has been quite swollen, so I won't be doing anything tomorrow except, perhaps, the stationary bike.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A 'Steady' Run ~~~~

A thick bluish smoke haze right in on top of us with the surrounding ranges invisible.  Another wind change from the bush fire areas.  My eyes have been sore as a result of the smoke and ash.

This was to be an easy session this morning but I struggled!  Might be the smoke or that it's ages since I've run every day of the week  The aim was to do a 'steady' run keeping AHR between 110 and 115 bpm.
Finished with very sore eyes from the smoke.

School and surrounds
Two drills
60 minutes 'steady' run
AHR 114 bpm ....right on target!

For Today  ~~~ 60 minutes 'steady' running

All over the place!

Friday, October 18, 2013

I Have a Plan ~~~

Thanks to Ewen for answering my plea and showing me where I'm going!

For the next 3-4 weeks don't try MAF HR.  Instead:

Run easy until AHR gets to 130bpm, then walk until HR comes down to reasonable level.
Then run again until HR goes up to 130bpm

Alternate with steady runs at AHR 110-115
So, this morning I set off to the school anxious to try out something new and planned by someone who knows what he's talking about....except when it comes to maths!  Sorry, Ewen, couldn't resist a dig especially when it's not true!

I did the usual drills and strides first. 

Jogged around the soccer field, watching the Garmin face for AHR.  Out of the soccer field and up and down the road alongside; back into soccer field and repeat for 45 minutes and my AHR stayed on 120 bpm.  No matter what I did, it just sat there on 120 and I was dying to take a break! 

Earlier in the week, my AHR shot to 120 after a few metres of jogging easily. Well, the only thing left was to throw in a hill!  Jog down Bong Bong Road and struggle back up the steep hill.  At the top, the Garmin still had AHR 120bpm!  I was all puffed out but still hadn't had a walk break.  I had jogged for 1 hour without a stop!!  And that's where I ended for today......after the usual stretching.

15 min warm up, drills and strides
 60 min 'easy' jog
AHR 120 (76%);  MHR 145 (92%)

This morning's 1 hour jog.

I enjoyed this session mainly because I was following a plan, trying to achieve something and not just jogging aimlessly.

For today 75 minutes.

Thick blue smoke everywhere this morning with the change of windmust be awful where the surrounding fires are.  Thinking of all those brave people fighting them.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Patience! ~~~

I'm to need a lot of that in the days and weeks ahead!  Bored with the soccer field, I took the road to Renwick, my old training ground, and was faced with wind, dust and  bits of branches all aimed in my  direction. Along the streets in Renwick, there were all the old up hills and downhills and everything in between; all this proved one thing ...just how unfit I am!  Three months off is going to take a long time to to make up for and I need something I don't have a lot of....patience!

My heart rate soared after a very short time so I stopped and walked till it dropped again, and did this repeatedly.  I kept thinking of the Phil Maffetone heart rate method and reminded myself to have a look at it when I got home.  I did and very surprised at what I found.  Here it is :  180 minus my age; minus another 5 beats after coming back from an injury :  180 - 84 = 96 - 5 = 91.  Maffetone advises aerobic training anything 10 beats below this, but better at the top of the range.

During this morning's 45 minutes, my AHR was 116 bpm and my MHR 135 bpm. and that was with walk breaks when heart rate reached anything over 120 bpm.  91 bpm seems like I'll have to walk and crawl to keep HR down!  Can anyone help, comment?  Blowed if I know what to do! Maybe just keep on doing what I'm doing and things will improve.

From school to Renwick and back.
 Few Magill drills and strides
45 minutes easy jogging

Today  ~~~   60 minutes

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

On the Road Again ~~~

Well, some on the road!  Just a little bit, to see how my knee would handle a hard surface...and also I'm bored running around the soccer field every day.  Looking at the map, I not only ran around the school, soccer field and  road, but it seems I hurdled over all the buildings as well!  Rad had better watch out!!

Jumping over roof tops is such fun!

I did the usual Magill drills and then 45 minutes easy jogging.  Perfect weather: warm, cool breeze.  I feel that I'm improving a wee bit each day now.  And my knee is just fine!

60 minutes.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Same as Yesterday ~~

At the school soccer field  :  Walk around to warm up; some Magill drills and strides (very slow ones!); 40 minutes easy jogging; walk around to cool down; stretches to finish with.

 A brilliant morning to be out, even if it's only called jogging at this.  So,....thanks to the friends who encouraged me since June to get back into again!

Monday, October 14, 2013

At Last, a Start!

After 6 weeks recovering from an arthroscopy, I made yet another start back this morning with instructions from the orthopedic surgeon to stay on soft grass surfaces for a few weeks, and so I made my way to the Highland School's soccer field to see if I'd remember how to jog. 

First, a few Magill drills with strides between, followed by 40 minutes of slow, easy jogging !  A cool to cold morning and I hadn't forgotten.....plan is to do the same easy jogging each day for a few weeks on grass and see where I go from there.

Was it good to be moving again?  Yes, it was!!
About 60 minutes all together.

Where I jogged this morning.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ta & gnome

Well, there you go, Gnomie, I've worked it out! Posted from my smart phone. Hope you're impressed!

Edit to add :  Have found the Google Blogger App and it seems to be the best one to use, but I'd still rather post from my PC when it's available.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Only News for My Blog .......

I have a smart phone!!!  My first smart phone!  The new Samsung Galaxy S4!  And I'm thoroughly gob-smacked!!

I can't believe what it can do.....it can do everything and then some!

I've downloaded the PDF file of the User Manual...all 147 pages of it! In the past 4 days I've followed every page, every step...and I'm still only up to page 88!!  I went into the Telstra shop this morning to tell the especially nice and helpful assistant how pleased I was and what fun I was having.  He couldn't believe I was working my way through the full version of the user manual; apparently most don't bother, but I think it's the only way to find out all the amazing things this piece of wonder can do!  I know I won't use many of the apps etc but what fun finding out how they all work!  Millions if features just for the camera alone!!

I should be through all 147 pages by the time the next model is released, although...these days new models seem to arrive almost the next day!

In the meantime.....back to the manual!

Oh, nearly forgot : I can start light jogging next week on grass surfaces...6 weeks after arthroscopy on my left knee.

Now....back to the Samsung Galaxy S4, User Manual, page 89! 

Mine is black!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Another Three Weeks ~~~

I saw the Orthopedic surgeon today, three weeks after an arthroscopy, and now I must wait another three weeks before returning to running!  A little disappointed, but as he explained, though surgery takes only about 30 minutes and my recovery is excellent, the surgery itself is still quite big.  It was a large tear in the medial meniscus and needed to be cut out, not repaired.  So....patience is the way to go for now, later jogging on grass and after six weeks, all being well, I should be able to return to hard surfaces.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hey, Old Friends!

Ruth and Ewen drove from Canberra yesterday for a belated 84th birthday lunch for me! Who's like them?  Darned few!!

We lunched at Gilberts in Mittagong - baked vegetable loaf and feta with salad.....really good!  Though it was getting late by the time we finished all the 'catching up 'chat, we found time for me to show them the Highlands School, the goats and new calf (born just 24 hours previously), all of which I write about so often here.

From there, we drove down the road to the new Renwick development (also much written about here), and looked through all the display homes.  We were suitably impressed with the latest in modern housing, except that all shower recesses were deemed too small by Ewen! Oh, and there had to be 2 basins in the en suite, not just one!  We each agreed on the same home as our favourite...very modern but homey.

It was a most pleasant day and I thank them both for driving all the way from Canberra....not to omit the flowers and Ruth's yummy chocolate brownies!!  Two down, six to go!!

At Lunch - Ruth, Me, Ewen

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Born Today ~~~

"Look!  I'm walking!"
Exhausted, after just one day!
"Daisy-May" gave birth today to a baby girl calf!  I was at the school just an hour or so after her birth and watched her struggle to her feet and then attempt to run around with 'Mother' in hot pursuit! So funny and amazing to observe the start of a new life!
New baby calf!  for 'Daisy-May'!

 Mother's Love!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I'm Walking! ~~~~~

My first 'proper' walk today, 8 days after arthroscopy; some puffing on the hilly sections; from home to school and back.  I could feel that my knee hasn't properly healed yet and no way would I have been able to include any jogging.  I called in at the school and had a chat to 'Bucky' and 'girl friend', brushed their coats, sat in the sun for a short time and walked back home.  Windy, cooler; good to be at last able to walk!

"Excuse me, don't you think we'd look good on top of a wedding cake?"
"You make me laugh!  You silly old  Billy!"

4km today....and each day for the rest of this week.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Time with the Goat Family ~~~~~

This is "Bucky"
This is "Bucky's" future bride & 2nd wife!

"Bucky", a fine example of a goat!

This is "Bucky's" first wife and kid!

Dating & "Getting to know you!"
Bucky & future wife.

"The First Family"

l to r.  Buckey, Uncle Goat, Bucky's kid and first wife!

The whole family of goats!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Spring is Here I Hear!

So why is it so hot?  Shouldn't complain, but one does wonder just how hot summer will be this year!

Blossom time in the backyard...taken late this afternoon.

I didn't do quite as many exercises today as perhaps I should have; a little weary!  I did one full set of leg strengthening exercises, ten minutes on the bike and a short walk with Amy and Oscar around the school grounds.

Some of this time I spent "talking" to the goats and brushing their coats.  They love this 'beauty treatment" and all vie to get in front and receive the most attention!  I'll take a photo tomorrow...when it's safe to do so....like turning back the boats!!!   If I hear that again...GRRR!!!

Did I mention elsewhere that someone stole one of the baby goats?  Who would do such a wicked thing when its life still depended on receiving its mother's milk? I'm still upset about it. It was my favourite kid too and so tame it would sit on my lap and fall asleep.   I'm trying to convince the buck that the mother would be a suitable next wife!!  I think it's working too!

Progressing ~~~

Another good, pain free day!  My knee is unbelievably free of any pain...it's like a miracle!  I feel I could begin a walk program but have been advised not to do so until I see the Orthopedic surgeon next week.  I'd like nothing better than to stride out for a brisk walk in this fantastic weather, but have decided to err on the side of caution and wait for the nod.

In the meantime, continuing with knee strengthening and stationary bike...30 minutes bike today and dozens of exercises for my left leg!

Happy running days ahead?  Sure thing!

Friday, September 06, 2013

That's Life ~~~ After 84 years!

I'm amazed that my knee is completely pain free only 3 days after the arthroscopic surgery!  Yesterday I did all the exercises I'm supposed to do plus 20 minutes on the bike.  The orthopedic man said they don't often do this kind of surgery on people over 80 because their knees are usually riddled with arthritis,  but my knees were so good - apart from a torn meniscus! - it was very much worthwhile doing!

That cheered me up considerably, as did the messages, calls etc I received for my 84th birthday yesterday!  84 years....who can believe it??  Not me!  A mix of many things this 84th year : injury leading to missing the events I usually enter in the latter half of the year :  the ACTVAC half marathon in August, Fisher's Ghost and Bankstown 5km races still to come but which I won't be ready for;  losing some friends through death, others I thought of as friends - so I guess no loss at all;  and then regaining friends from school days as well as retaining those friends long trusted, more than made up for any lost.  Win some, lose some.....that's life!

Thank you to all who have either read or commented on my blog in my 83rd year and hope all will continue their wonderful support in this my 84th year on planet earth!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Holding on to Hope ~~~

Tuesday's arthroscopy hugely successful!  Pain associated with medial meniscus tear negligible; 4 to 6 weeks recovery rebuilding strength :  exercises for operated leg 3 -4 times each day; progressing to walking, progressing to cycling, progressing to running!

At last.....light at the end of the tunnel!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Some Trivia ~~~~~and Updates >>>>

"The Mittagong Antiques Centre is one of the largest antiques centres outside metropolitan Sydney. With more than 45 dealers displaying a wide variety of antiques, there is sure to be something for you. Enjoy a break at the coffee shop located within the store."  This blurb is more than true!

 Hidden amongst all these treasures is a small cafe that has goodies to die for and it's quiet, hidden from the masses and where I, with three class mates, spent the day.  Delicious pumpkin soup followed by (for me) bread-and-butter pudding with cream! Yum! It was so windy and cold in the Southern Highlands today, I was happy to have chosen this venue to meet up with some LC students, 1945, whom I hadn't seen for some years.  When one door closes.......another opens!  True!

We had a wonderful time looking at photos - My! How we've changed!  -  but we still recognized one another : a familiar voice and smile, a 'something' that everyone has as an identifying characteristic and which time does not dull, in spite of the the fact that two of us (me included) had either a bad leg, knee or diet problems that have come with advancing age!  None of us were impressed with a young driver who tooted us as we made our way across a pedestrian crossing, clinging to each other for our very lives!!  He would have had no idea of the expletives these gentle looking old ladies hurled in his direction!!

It was very special for me to have spent a day with these wonderful "girls"!  Of course, we got up to mischief when let loose in the antique vintage clothing section, where we tried on hats, coats etc,  dating back to the '50's to 70's, laughing uncontrollably at each other's modeling antics!

A trivial day's events I suppose, but great fun and a great venue to spend a cold, windy day with class mates!

Having fun dressing up!!

Update on my left knee : Saturday....  Saw GP this morning (emergency cases only on a Saturday; I was in extreme pain all yesterday and last night and counted that as an emergency!) and he was able to access the system for MRI results.  Looks like badly torn medial meniscus (as I have suspected all along!) and orthopedic surgeon most likely will need to do an arthroscopy...again, as I suspected!  Till then, I have stronger medication to relieve pain which seems to feel worse by the day.  However....one step at a time!

Update....Aug. 30....  At GP for script and full report on MRI..."A complex truncated medial meniscus tear". 

 Looks like I've done it this time! Orthopedic surgeon on Monday and, with a little bit of luck, arthroscopy on Tuesday.

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Left Knee ~ and Updates ~~ and Trivia!

This afternoon I'll see the orthopedic surgeon and hopefully get to what is causing such pain in my knee.  I'm guessing (a)  MRI and (b) possible arthroscopy.   Update when I know for certain!

Update #1, 21st August  ~~~   MRI this morning and what a noisy piece of wonder that is!  Thirty minutes of  bang, boom and blast!  Fortunately ear mufflers supplied but even so, enough to wake the dead!! 
Update #2....still to come!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

How lucky I am....

.......to have such good friends!

 Adding cheer to my day was a visit from two friends I haven't seen for quite some time :  Ray James and Karin (who used by Aunty K on Cool Running!).  Both were on their way to Wagga Wagga to run tomorrow's marathon and they broke their trip to stop off at my place for some lunch and chat.  They both carried a plate of cakes Karin had made for my forthcoming birthday!!  One plate of delicious chocolate cakes topped with strawberries disappeared in no time!  I doubt that the second plate will last too much longer than the first though I'll have it all to myself!!

Ray had said he was bringing a friend but kept it a surprise that the friend was Karin!  Five years had elapsed! I was absolutely delighted to see both as we all go back quite a few "running years".  Two wonderful friends!  Thank you for making time to see me.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Best laugh for today!!

In today's Sun Herald :  for me, two of the funniest - unhappily correct I think- comments about our two leaders debating tonight!!

BIGGEST RISK If Rudd gets uncomfortable, he might start talking too much. When he talks too much, his sentences turn into convoluted baloney.


Most irritating habit: ...Laughing like a lunatic hyena. Even Abbott's staff are hoping nothing much funny happens tonight.

Too funny for words!!!!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A "Classy' Reunion ~~~

 I don't often attend class reunions - or reunions of any kind for that matter because they're usually too depressing - but I did yesterday and I'm so pleased I did.  Not only did I find that so many were still alive and well, but I was able to recognize those whom I haven't seen for far too many years to mention!   This  reunion came at a good time for me and made for a most enjoyable lunch in Sydney with, of course, lots of reminiscing and laughter.  A big surprise was to find that one has been living in Bowral  all these years without either of us knowing that the other was but a short distance away!

A special highlight of the day was visiting two of our 'old' (literally very old!) teachers now living in a nursing home and aged 96 and 99 years respectively!  I had no idea they were still living, never thought anyone who taught me could possibly be still alive, which makes me realize how young they must have been when they taught us.  Both are as sharp as they always were but frail physically.  I'm so pleased I had the chance to see them...who knows, maybe for the last time.  We're all "getting on"!

I've had several phone calls last night and this morning from class mates saying how pleased they were that I attended....at last!  Three of these 'girls' will be driving down in a couple of weeks for a lunch get together which I'm really looking forward to especially now that the door to running has been closed - temporarily I'm hoping  - and I can expect more laughter as old times continue being discussed!

 "If you do nothing unexpected, nothing unexpected ever happens."  (Fay Weldon)

Monday, August 05, 2013

"It's On!" ~~~~

Two events  of undetermined significance : The Federal Elections and,of far greater urgency, my knee!  No laughing matter for either one!  However, even before the elections take place, I'll have an orthopedic surgeon take a look at x-rays etc of my bad left knee and who will tell me what I need to do - or not to do- to improve the present grave situation.

Till then, I'll just keep on walking, and walking and.......more walking!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Unhappy Knee! ~~~~~

No running for a while and until my knee trouble is sorted out but will continue to walk each day.

 In the meantime.....at least my pansies look happy!!

This baby goat is putting the pressure on its Mum!

I'll be back.....when there's something to write about.  ツ

Monday, July 15, 2013

Short Again ~~~ 4km

My knee allowed just a jog to the school and home; quite sore today, darned thing!  I did take time to call in on the baby goats though.  I could watch them for ages when they both climb onto a long, narrow log and see who can balance the longest before one butts the other one off!  The two little ones are such good friends and have become inseparable...

Resting in between games...

Nothing like a good latte to get started!

And later.....A Good Lie Down!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Weekend ~~~~~

Not a very profitable one for running.

Saturday ~~~  2km jog to school and back (4km)
Sunday   ~~~   the same! (4km)...knee not good today.
Long walk for Amy and Oscar both days.

The Weekend 8km!!!  
For the Week 29.3km

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Goats & Me! ~~~~

What a superb day! The sun is shining, the skies are blue and.....I ran further than yesterday!  I started at the school after spending some time with the baby goats...kids, I think they're properly called : buck, doe, kid.  They are so funny to watch : trying to climb on top of logs; one was attempting to climb over its mother's back as she lay in the sun!  Oh well, on with my run!

7km easy, keeping HR low.
AHR 65%

I wore a knee support, bought yesterday, and I find that if my knee is warm there's much less pain.  Today was good and only for the last kilometre did I notice any pain at all. For now, though,7km is just about my limit before moaning and groaning start!

A Day in the Life of Some Goats ...

...and me

Today  7.3km!