Thursday, September 28, 2006

I'm in.

It looks as though I'll be getting up very early on Sunday week (beams).
I ran for 95 minutes this morning with no more than the usual "I hate this whose stupid idea was this how long have these bastard hills been here my legs hurt it's too hot is it time for a drink yet?" so it is now official: barring unforseen circumstances, against which my fingers are firmly crossed - as, I hope, are yours - I WILL be running my second Melbourne Half Marathon on October 8th (grins foolishly to self).
Dayum but that vitamin C is some good shit!!
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(*soundtrack to this post: feelin' groovy*)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Vitamin C, how I love thee

Can this be true? I'm not sure if I can believe it: I'm suspicious that it might be temporary and I shouldn’t get my hopes up or enjoy it too much....
Bah! Caution to the winds I say! Let’s strike up the band, bring out the dancing girls and cue the trumpet fanfare because ….


I didn’t realise iron was so complicated - apparently my blood was full of the uncooperative (I envision it as lumpy?) un-absorbable type of iron and sorely lacking in the helpful pep-you-up with-vim-and-vigour sort. My doctor suggested I start taking vitamin C to get the good stuff where it ought to be, so I dragged my weary carcass to the chemist and purchased some large orange tablets to add to the array I chug down each day (I’m not joking when I tell you I rattle when I walk).
So yesterday afternoon I was conscious of a strange feeling of…energy. The walk to the station was about a mile shorter. Yesterday evening I didn’t lurch from the table to the kitchen to the couch, wishing it was early enough to decently go to bed. This morning I didn’t wake up and think “oh f#$%, I have to get up”.

How long have I been under-par that I can hardly remember feeling this good? I’m rather pathetically hoping this isn’t some kind of illusion that will wear off. But just this moment I don’t care.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

achy breaky heart

My heart isn't really broken, I just couldn't resist giving you all the worst possible ear-worm mwahahahaha.
My arms and legs and joints, however, are achy and leaden and I cannot even imagine being able to run my everyday 9km let alone 21. I am told this is normal when iron and thyroid levels tank simultaneously. Boo! And you, bastard cold - you can just bugger off, because you're not helping.
I'm delaying a decision about running the Melbourne Half until next Sunday, when the dosage changes may have had time to kick in. For the moment I'll just call this a realllllllly long taper.

Friday, September 22, 2006

how I feel is REALLY not who I am

Blood test results: very low iron and self-destructing thyroid. Side effects: weight gain (or inability to lose weight) and depression. Oh, and tiredness/ weariness/ lethargy/can't-get-out-of-your-own-roadness. Hoo-f#$%ing-ray.
Now I can start to feel better. Yay for drugs! But I'm pleased I got Wednesday's insight before I got the test results. It really helped me to challenge those permanent/pervasive/personal pessimistic thought patterns I was getting tangled in.
- I'm jealous of my friend M going to China DOES NOT EQUAL I am a bad friend.
- I've been a bit slow to get stuck into uni this semester DOES NOT EQUAL I am lazy.
- I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately DOES NOT EQUAL I can't cope with life.
See, it's easy!
I've been a HUGE fan of Martin Seligman's idea of learned optimism for many years - but it seems I'd better dig that book out and read it again, eh?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

how I feel is not who I am

Scott has just saved me with that one sentence.
This will sound stupid but I'm so relieved. I am not how I feel. Feelings will go away and I will still be here.
It's as though a stone has rolled off me. I can see a way out of the mental sludge I've been wading through. Maybe I can lose that 'just hang on, keep struggling and things will get better soon' feeling, and rest. And not disappear.

Monday, September 18, 2006

in praise of gardeners

It's late twilight, getting dark, quite warm for September. I'm puffing up a hill, enjoying the effort and thinking about how funny my Staffy Rosie looks from behind as she trots along. In an instant everything changes as I run through a waft of the most intense, sensual fragrance – freesias, roses, stock, jasmine... I'm a different person, joyfully alive in the world....
That beautiful moment happened over and over on my run, and each time it did, I thanked God for gardeners. They don't know how much their efforts planting and tending enriched the life of this passer-by.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

warning: much bleating ahead

This is pretty much complaining so if you’re after inspiration you’d better go and read someone else’s blog – any one of my links actually!!
I’ve been sleeping so badly the last few weeks – I’m starting to feel actually depressed instead of just a bit tired/down, and that’s frightening me. Last night I tried to counter all the negative thoughts with postive ones so I could get back to sleep. It worked quite well. Here they are.
The Bulldogs lost. They’re a young side and they’ve played their hearts out this year. Can’t ask for more than that.
I’ve been feeling like crap for a few weeks. I had blood tests on Friday so if necessary my iron and thyroid tablets can be adjusted. Summer's coming, yay, and I'm getting over my cold too.
A glass of wine is not the answer to feeling tired and overwhelmed in the evenings. Last week I managed 2 AFD out of 7. This week I’ll be better. J and L are great helps with this, bless them.
Those new scales aren’t helping – having 10kg to lose instead of 6 just seems so much harder. Plan: weigh myself twice a week instead of daily. Scales in the cupboard not out on the floor.
I’ve eaten nothing but JUNK for the last 48 hours. That’s not completely true although there was a lot of treat eating and tired eating which is never pretty. And I did attempt some damage control with portion sizes and not eating chips and so on.
I haven’t done any work for uni for this whole term. Mainly because of the group project we’re stuck with which is giving me the pip BIG TIME. I just have to suck up my ‘issues’ and get stuck into it. *I’ve already done a little bit this morning and will do more shortly. I will learn from this and make sure I don’t get myself into a pressure situation again.
I’m very worried by the amount of time I spend not working at work. The soft-boiled eggs will surely hit the fan soon. I’ve come up with a Plan which I’ll start tomorrow morning – I’ll schedule 'blogging breaks' to pop up on the screen! If that doesn’t work I will try Plan B – asking our IT tech to cut my internet access until after 3pm. It would be easy to blame my boss for lack of direction and supervision – and I do!! - but I have to take my own responsibility and action as well.
I took our Staffy Rosie with me when I ran on Friday night. Gosh it was pleasant. I did 9km including a few hills, and got home just as the sky was darkening so I was bathed in the gorgeous golds and pinks of sunset all the time. I’m lucky.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

thanks everyone

yes, 2 posts in one day. But I wanted to express this.
I was moping around the house this morning feeling overwhelmed and agitated by the endless tide of shite that whirls around my house waiting for me to pick it up, as well as the other obligations lurking in the shadows of Too Hard Too Much I Give Up. So I wrote my earlier post as a kind of bleat for help, and, I confess, sympathy from you all.
Then I realised I had a choice. I could endure today, and get as much done as possible under the weight of that overwhelmed feeling, or I could do something different. I was in such a state of almost-panicked tunnel vision that it didn't occur to me that even though I didn't have time to run, I could still exercise (and get some o' those grouse happy-endorphins!!). Because...(and you'll laugh) one of those bits of irritating shite that gets in my way all the time is... an exercise bike.

As I pedalled I was thinking of you and how you'd laugh when I told you this story. 30 minutes later and I'm feeling much better, thanks. Sweaty and calm. A bit down still, but no longer helpless. Thanks everyone :)

yesterday and today

got up at 5.15 to run. Nice.
had huge fight with Noddie (hello? she's two! who's the adult here?) that upset me all day.
ate ok.
wasted time at work.
new scales register 4kg higher than old scales.
drank wine with dinner.
will be different.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Say it out loud.

The last 2-3 weeks I have not been
- getting up early to train
- cross-training (I like weights – why don’t I do them?)
- journaling my food
- watching portion sizes
I have been
- drinking more wine than is appropriate when my target is weight-loss.
- making excuses.
This must change. The excuses are the most dangerous thing. Yes, I am quite busy. I have a job and studies and a husband and a kid and a house and hobbies and and and…... but I have plenty of time if I use it properly. Let me not kid myself.
I do know what I want. I want to lose 7kg by Christmas. I want to run 2.29 or faster on October 8th in the Melbourne Half Marathon. I want to qualify as a psychologist. I want to do an Olympic distance triathlon this summer (oooooh, that’s scary to see written down…..).
I know how to get these things. I know that I need to take responsibility for what I eat and drink. I know that I need to get up early and work out in the mornings. I can do hard things. I’ve done them before. I can keep my eyes on the prize.
This post is to SAY OUT LOUD that I want these things enough to put in the work required to get them.
*Except possibly the Olympic tri. I haven’t decided about that yet. I can’t see when I could fit the cycling training into my week. But still.

At the moment it feels tiring to think about life this way. But that doesn't stop it being true that only discipline and focus will get me where I want to go. I just have to find a way to picture it that isn't so daunting, eh?

The Spousal Unit is bringing me home some new scales today (I told him to pick the ones that made him weigh the least!) as ours finally gave up last week. I’ve been to the stationary cupboard and swiped a notebook to carry around to write down my food and drink. My alarm is set for 5.15 tomorrow. Wish me luck :)

This has been a sad week in the big world. Steve Irwin and Peter Brock are no longer with us to share their passion and vision. Iron Wil has had to redraw her Ironman dreams. The anniversary of September 11th has reminded us of the preciousness of life and the importance of valuing the goodness in people.
Let’s all be inspired, and inspiring.

Monday, September 11, 2006


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*My sister and my nephew were also very happy that the Bulldogs won*

I'll write later about the really crap utterly depressingly bad meant-to-be-20km-but- only-managed-16km last-long-run-before-the-Half that I did before I went to the footy, because I'm too happy today. And too hungover. Go Dogs!! Could someone please pass me another diet coke?

Friday, September 08, 2006

All is not lost

Well blow me down with a feather but even after only one run in the last 9 days I have not lost all my leg strength and endurance. I didn't time tonight's 8km but I was happy with the effort I was able to sustain, especially as I am still a bit croaky from the Bastard Cold. From now until Oct 8th I am going to write "2.29" on my hand every day, to remind me to refrain from eating Noddie's leftovers or over-indulging in the vino. MUST. STOP. EATING.
Note to self: do some hills between now and race day or Fitzroy Street will make you cry.
On Sunday I'm going out with the scary speedy greyhound coolrunners at Brimbank Park for my last 20km before the Melbourne Half. This will numb me nicely for the footy in the afternoon. I'm trying not to think about either thing much - have you noticed your mind almost physically flicks away from subjects which it anticipates will be painful? Or is that just me?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Shep Half details - for Jeanne

Following repeated requests from the lovely Jeanne here are the details of my recent half marathon in Shepparton. First the km splits and what I tried to learn.
6.55 *I went out too fast but was trying to monitor my heart rate and not get too puffed. Something to practice.
7.15*pretty pleased with the evenness of these last few. Oh yes, it was all on purpose!!!
7.49*gave myself a severe talking to as the inclination to stop was strong at this point
6.57 *very very pleased I had something left in the tank for the last 1.1km.
That's when the grin hit my face that stayed there for about 3 days. I don't race often so I hardly ever have proof that all those drag-your-arse-around-the-block kms actually do something - but they clearly do!!
This run was all about practicing not giving up, not hating it when it got hard and working my watch properly - please don't add up the numbers, as I pressed the split buttons a few extra times so I've rounded some of them together to make 21 laps instead of 24!! The drink carrier was brilliant and I really felt the powerade working.
The course was charming, although a bit loopy - a long (14km) figure 8 and then a short(7km)one, all along the riverbank with the wattle just coming out. Beautiful. Flat too.
On the way home we stopped at a huge adventure playground (Kidsworld) so Noddie could climb and slide and ride on trains, closely supervised by the Spousal Unit of course, not that he's a doting Daddy, no no no no nooooooooo. So everyone was happy.
Seeing as what happens on holidays stays on holidays, we won't mention Noddie waking up every 2 hours - I kid you not - as she was disturbed by the unfamiliar surroundings of the cabin where we stayed. By 4am Mummy was less than sympathetic. Livid sums it up much more accurately. With any luck at all I'll have a much better rest for the Melbourne Half on Oct 8th. Maybe it will make up for all the training I haven't been doing and the weight I haven't been losing? Let's not go there tonight.
Tomorrow and the next day I have a placement for uni with an educational psychologist. Saturday J works, and on Sunday I am breaking the habits of a decade and going to the footy to see my beloved team play in the elimination final. I'm sick with anxiety already. More anon, dudes!

Monday, September 04, 2006

the really important stuff

It's 8am on Monday morning. Noddie and the Spousal Unit are asleep in the big bed after a night when I changed Noddie's sheets twice and listened to J snore like a combine harvester, as he does when he's sick. We are a House of Plague. Germtown. The Phlegm Palace - sorry, that was a bit gross but why should I suffer alone?
Naturally I haven't been running. I spent Saturday consumed by those frantic mouse-on-a-treadmill thoughts - this is my second bad cold this year, what's going on? I eat well, I'm maintaining my weight, I work out, this isn't right, how can this be happening 5 weeks out from the Melbourne Half? Serves me right for racing too soon before my main event, my preparation is ruined now, there goes my new PB, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...all that stuff.
Then I got a grip. Sometimes people just get sick. It's pretty pretentious to think I'm in complete control of everything that happens in my life. No-one except me cares about my uber-slow time so if I get another PB, great, and if not, I've had one this year. I've had no injuries (touching wood) and I've done the distance three times in the last month so I know I'll finish. Running in a huge event like the MM is about feeling as though I belong in that atmosphere, that excitement, that buzz! And I've done the work, I've paid the money and I have the courage to show up and be slow on the day so I do belong there. It will be a great day whatever happens - and I'm sure you realise there's a medal involved!
I'm still pretty dark about this cold though. Adding insult to injury, I hopped on the scales this morning and seem to have gained 2kg overnight! What can you do?

On to the REALLY IMPORTANT stuff:
HAPPY FATHERS' DAY (for yesterday) J!!!! We love you!
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Friday, September 01, 2006

No, no, and again no.

I have lost my voice and my head feels a bit funny and I'm very tired. I AM NOT getting a cold five weeks out from the Melbourne Half Marathon. This is NOT HAPPENING. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

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Noddie and I made a "day out" of buying the Spousal Unit's Father's Day present and went into the city on the TRAIN!!! and then went in a TRAM!!!(Noddie's emphasis - she lives to ride public transport LOL). We had a picnic in Flagstaff Gardens, across the road from my work.
To be 100% truthful, the reason we popped into work was to get my Shep HM medal b/c I left it on my desk and I didn't want anything to happen to it. But I didn't tell anyone that.
Must...protect...the preciousssssss....