Day 64

The Giant Staircase

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This was a pretty good day. I actually started off with a train trip to Bondi to have some breakfast, then back home to get changed and then met 2 friends at Central railway Station.

We caught the 9.55am train to Katoomba and another mate jumped on at Strathfield. The only thing wrong with the whole day was the fact the train trip was 2 hours each way. The pain of the train strip was removed with the quality of company on the day.

When we got to Katoomba we decided to have lunch at a Coffee shop we found on the way to Scenic World. We downed that and we were on our way.

Once there, although the board only lists full return prices, we found that if you ask, you can by one-way train tickets to get down the mountain. This cost us $10 neat. A bottle of water for the trip and we were on our way.

The whole walk itself wasn’t too bad, quite easy and recommended for anyone. However the stairs at the end were a killer. I had to stop a few times, but once I finally got to the top it was really easy. I recovered well and started jogging to the end point (echo point). I think the stairs took about 30 minutes (for me) and the whole walk was not much more than an hour. An hour and a half tops.

The walk back to the station wasn’t that hard, but it was all uphill. We didn’t have long to wait for the train, and before we knew it, we were all back home.

There’s another group of us planning to do a similar walk in a few weeks. This one is going to involve an area known as the ruined castle. It’s visible from echo point and pretty much just involves walking in the other direction. This walk will also finish off with the Gian Staircase.

Day 63

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Only a short walk today, warming up for tomorrow and getting some computer parts to build a new PC.

I walked all the way to the shop (<2km) and had originally planned to grab a cab home since I had bought a whole tower in the process. But it was a nice day, the gear wasn't that heavy and so I walked back too.

Day 54

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I was to have lunch/coffee with a friend today, but unfortunately they had had a rather big night the night before and I only found out once I had started my route out today (hence the awkward shape of the altered route mid-stream), which assisted in making this walk totaling almost 20km!

Everything still worked out well though, I did the Bondi stretch (an extended 10km jaunt) in exactly 90 minutes. The first and last 30minutes were running/jogging/shuffling, with half hour of walking in the guts. As you can calculate, I do not run very fast. In fact the Ho Chi Minh shuffle (as I call it) is marginally faster than walking. I do find it much easier than running which just seems to hurt too much.

That accounts for the red part of the journey. The green was very much a slow walk and enjoying the sites. I have never done this walk before so I was just cruising having a good ole gander as I wandered the shoreline. A very pleasant walk and a beautiful day for it too.

Bondi Beach (left)
clicking this photo takes you to a flickr photo-set of the day

The day went well, I still caught up with my friend who gave me several glasses of water – much needed. I was pretty much going to walk from there and go on home, but once I realised how close I was to Cogee and decided that if I was this close, I had to finish the walk off there. Once there, I decided my feet had certainly had enough. So I caught the bus back towards home and then did a little shopping on the last little bit of green you see in the map.

Day 52

WHAT A DAY!

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Had Subway for lunch with two mates, and decided to go for a short walk to the Chinese Gardens at Tumbalong Park. After devouring a full foot-long sub I decided a longer walk was necessary. As you can see by the map, it was no short walk. All told it was over 15km, although the last few were a very slow walk – my feet were killing me.

No running today, just a walk. Although I did find a VERY good workout at a set of stairs I found along the route (picture below – click to make full size). These things nearly killed me…

109 steps from top to bottom (or since I was at the bottom, we’ll say from bottom to top). And I did them, not only once, not twice… Not even three or four times. I did these stupid things FIVE times. It did near kill me and on the last lap up to the top I honestly thought my legs were about to fall off. It was VERY hard.

Every time I got to the top I said to myself, “Man, that was good, I should do it again… but I won’t.” And then when i got to the bottom I thought, “that wasn’t so bad, let’s go!” and off I’d go again.

pic of a huge staircase in sydney
The Stairs from HELL

On the 4th set, at the top I said to myself there was no way, let’s continue the walk. But once again, at the bottom I thought stuff it, let’s go again! When I got to the top of the 5th set, I couldn’t believe the burning in my thighs. At the bottom I looked up again and almost went for another round, but some little spark in the back of my mind kept my senses alert and I decided to carry on to Darling HarbourOther than that, the walk was uneventful, but this takes the yearly total of kilometres walked to around 100… That’s a fair effort, almost 2km a day!

Day 50

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I had a big day planned, but it turned into a small one, due to the alcohol I had drunk last night :(

I must be a masochist at heart because as punishment for my alcoholic indiscretions last night, while most certainly not in the mood for a walk, I had cause to go to Tempe to pick up a networking component, and then I walked home. It wasn’t that far, but it certainly took longer than it should have.

The walk was 7.9km and included a quarter-pounder from McDonalds. Yes, I know, but I was still suffering from the dehydration of the night before. I drank around 3 litres of water on the walk including 2 glasses of orange juice. To make the dietary intake worse, before going to Tempe, I was at Bondi for lunch and had the great ole Aussie lunch – fish and chips.

Sorry about the map, because of the diagonal walk, I could not zoom in too far. Use the link to open up google maps in a new browser window or tab.

Food wise, bad day.

Exercise wise, still a bad day, since the exercise was not really working myself

Day 44

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My feet are much better today after last night having thrown them into a vibrating foot massager with hot water… I topped the water up (to make it hot again) twice and by the end my feet were like jelly :)

Today I went off with a vengeance again. First, off to get my hair cut (north towards the city), then east and south to Moore Park shopping center (I’m after a particular computer component – and decided specifically I was going to let my FEET do the walking, not my fingers*). I had spurts of jogging in there, nothing too great, but enough to get the heart rate up.

The better part of the journey was the trip back to work (I wasn’t working, but went to the work gym to jump on the rowing machine). What I did was alternate my walking and jogging such that I started jogging for 30 seconds, walked for 30 seconds, jog 45s, walk 45s, jog 60s, walk 60s, jog 60s, walk 45s, jog 95s, walk 45s… Then continued off in some arrangement like that until I got to the gym. It was good cardio work and got me working hard.

Once at the gym, I jumped on the rower… Normally I’d do 2km in around 10 minutes. The next setting up was 5km… Hmmm… should I do it? YEP! I decidedly slowed the pace a little (from 32 strokes per minute, to around 29 spm) and that did help. I started with the resistance on 6, but soon put it up to 8 after about 1000m. I took a 30 second breather about the 2.7km mark and got back into it. For the last 1000m I thought I’d try a little harder and got the spm up to about 35, but soon died in the ass. I slowed back down again. Then with 200m to go I really put in. 39 spm and then I thought I was going to die. I didn’t make it 100 metres before I had to cruise in the last 100. All in all, a GREAT workout and I completed the 5000m in around 27 minutes. I forget the exact figure, but it was well under the half hour.

Then, when I was happy with that and about to go home, the gym instructor came over and we started talking and he ‘convinced’ me that we should do some abdominal work. I’m sure they get off on pain, and having someone there watching you does give you that little bit of incentive to really put in and “be tough”. I was tough, but not before failing some of the exercises miserably. Ahh well, I have no idea what you would call half of these, but they were good. And most of them I can do at home. So I probably won’t. :-)

* There was a television commercial in the ’90s that promoted the public telephone system, and the yellow pages. It’s slogan was “Let your fingers do the walking, not your feet” or something similar

Day 43

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After this mornings weigh-in, I was pretty happy especially after so much hydration last night… It was a good feeling. So when I knew I had a few things in town today to take care of, it was without much-a-do that I set off on another walking expedition.

I hate a specialist meeting in town and I was running late, so I caught the bus into town (otherwise I would have walked!). As can be seen from the trip, I travelled from Macquarie Street, to King Street for lunch (chicken schnitzel and gravy sandwhich – a fav of mine from a particular shop there), then onto capital square (just up from Central Railway station. They didn’t have what I was after and so I decided to go for a walk out to Moore Park and see if they had it there, but a friend of mine called me and said he was on his way to Entech…

Audio, Video and flashy LEDs, who could resist. Although there weren’t many scantily clad women there, there was enough to keep the inner child excited for the afternoon, before heading off to Broadway to do some final shopping.

I got to Broadway only to find the whole shopping centre was shut-down with police crime scene tape and fire brigade tape sealing off all the entrances and people lined up for miles… Apparently they had a power problem there, or something and had to evacuate the building… Whatever, I just walked on home.

I didn’t hit 8 km today (which has usually been the benchmark I have noted), but 7½ is just as good. Not a hard walk today, my feet are still recovering from yesterday.

FOOD for the day: Chicken Schnitzel on brown bread, no butter – but with gravy. A curry beef pie from harris Street, 200g or so of egg and bacon pie (like a quiche without the pastry) and a protein shake. And about 3 litres of water.

Day 42

Can you get arrested for abuse of your feet?

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Well, it does take a lot to get me motivated, but when I do… There’s not much stopping me. After a pretty bad weekend (alcohol Friday night, a bowl of wedges and a recovery hamburger and chips on Saturday) I really had NO inclination to do any exercise for days.

I promised myself that today I would, but it was still a challenge… I didn’t want to.

Then I was reminded of a squash game I had today in North Sydney. Immediately I pulled up the location on google maps and mapped out my walk (see right). I did my usual Ho Chi Minh shuffle most of the way to the harbour bridge (stopping twice to repack my backback and answer my phone)… Walked the majority of the bridge and finished off with walking the rest of the way to the venue, North Sydney Leagues club.

We played a solid hour and fifteen minutes of hard paced squash (this guy is far superior to me and runs me ragged). We then walked back to North Sydney railway station and I caught a train home. I didn’t do my usual weigh in this morning (due to not going to bed last night), so after a shower when i got home I jumped on the scales. I was a bit worried that the 4-5 litres of water I consumed today was going to put me over yesterdays weight, but shock horror…

I BROKE the 10KG mark!!! I weighed in at 95.0kg.. A whopping 10.5kg since I started about 42 days ago.

Today’s meals have been a bit light on, consisting of copious amounts of water, pork crackling, a chicken “puff” (chicken filled pastry with vegies), a 2 protein shakes (with a possible third before I go to bed since I am a little hungry about now).

Anyway, tomorrows weigh in should be interesting… But I have no exercise planned. (Must think of something!)

I am going to be so sore tomorrow… but, recalling an earlier adage, there is an expansion on the idea:

nothing tastes as good as being thin feels…    even if it kills you

Day 31


View Larger Map
Repost of old map. The three markers indicate where I made it to
on each of these walks so far attempted. The further left the mark,
the further I got (after having made it around the park itself)

Today has started off with a bang.

I did my usual (like third time) Centennial Park run. I got 7 minutes into it before I had to start walking, although that 7 minutes is more like a Ho Chi Minh shuffle for me. But a work-up, none-the-less.

I set myself a goal on this run, to get as far around Centennial Park in the hour as possible. I was meeting all benchmarks with flying colours (although I felt I was a little slow to Moore Park golf course). I hit my previous 1hr point on the run, at about 51 minutes, maybe less. And I could see the park gates in sight. 6 minutes to go… Then 5…. Then 4… I was through the gates…

3½ minutes, then 3 minutes… Getting a few steps further everytime. I hit one of the roads into the scg, and still had a minute left. I got past the traffic lights and felt like collapsing.

1 HOUR!!!

I then eased the pace right back, it was more a dawdle than a walk. I wanted to be truly rested so that I could get on the rowing machine for 10 minutes. The time to beat, 9m42…

The time I got… 9m52.

10 seconds slower, but I would have to say I was more rooted today than I have been in any workout in the last 15 years! Gievn the effort with the run/jog/walk this morning, I think I can let myself off 10 seconds! LOL…

Time for a shower and some sleep.

Day 16

Mum rang me on the weekend. She lives in a country town about 6-7 hours from Sydney (it all depends how you drive).

She is coming to visit. Needs to get to the big smoke for some sanity.

So we are going to catch a movie and go for a walk (she recently found out about my fitness kick – and also found out that I’ve done Centennial Park a few times). So I walked to Broadway (via the other side of Central since I wanted to get my haircut first). We then caught “the movie” and then (unfortunately) drove over to Centennial Park and did a power walking lap there-of.

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After the walk we made our way back to my place and then caught a meal at the Woolpack Hotel (Redfern). The chef mucked up my meal and gave me battered fish instead of grilled, but I ate it anyway. Although I am finding I am starting to NOT enjoy some of the bad things so much anymore. To be honest, it wasn’t ‘his bad’, I wasn’t clear in my ordering. I just expected him to know what I wanted since he serves me every other day and he knows about my diet. So, two pieces of fish, and a heap (and I mean a HEAP) of salad.

Can someone die from eating too much salad?

Total distance today: a little more than 6km