Saturday, December 30, 2006


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I was riding my new bike, and being unfamilar with the gears, managed to drop the chain at some traffic lights. While I was fixing it a pair of hoons in their doof-doof mobile drew up, wound down their window and laughed at me. My clever repartee (why don't YOU do some exercise you lazy bastards?), elicited the following comment

it's because there's too much weight on the bike!

Naturally I answered with some suggestions about anglo-saxon verbs starting with F. My bike is henceforth named Minerva, goddess of wisdom and warriors. 'Cause it's a battle out there.

Friday, December 29, 2006

where did that week go?

It’s 8.30am; we’ve been up for two hours. Noddie has had her cornflakes and taken half-an-hour to decide to have her asthma medicine (while Mummy pretended not to care whether she took it or not), and played with playdough, bubbles and her tea set because she did have her medicine. She is now watching her Fairies dvd from inside the tent that Nanny gave her for Christmas. She is wearing her dressing gown, wings, wand and fairy shoes and surrounded by many of her friends. Teddy, alas, is not there; he disappeared on Boxing Day and has not been found despite my literally dismantling the house, to the point of emptying the bins and removing the couch covers. We think he’s gone to the North Pole to help Santa get ready for next year :(.

It was the Spousal Unit’s birthday on the 27th – many happy returns of the day, you great big spunk, mwah!!
After J's birthday barbecue and Christmas for 17 at our place we are feeling a bit partied-out. There is something very satisfying about throwing a sizeable bash, from the cooking and tidying beforehand to the fridge crammed with leftover salads and cake afterward. Oh, and the talking and laughing and catching up with friends and drinking and dancing and the ‘did you hear what she said?’ postmortem after everyone’s gone home.

Time to rest, recharge, muck around with Noddie and GET MY SHIT TOGETHER. I’ve barely exercised since I was in hospital. I find the thought of 5.30am unbearable. I’ve gained 1.5kg. Time to make me a plan!!
Now the plan is this – it’s all far too tiring to completely overhaul my life and lose weight and train for triathlons and give up drinking and what have you. It’s completely beyond me. BUT... I’m sure I can manage to think about two things at a time. That’s not too hard.
So this week my focus is exercise (more) and food (less/better).
And on Monday I’m doing this, woo hoo!!
BTW my trusty steed will probably be called either Pegasus or Minerva (although Basil is strangely appealing, thanks DG for messing with my head LOL).
More anon, friends

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

My new friend

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Thanks Santa!!

Here are the technical specs etc for those so inclined.
Now, what shall I call her?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

2 more sleeps

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Noddie is watching Play School after our exciting morning visiting the Myer Christmas windows via train, tram and escalator. Wombat Divine has been one of our favourite books this Christmas, and Noddie and I spent ages peering at the incredibly clever and detailed displays (apologies to the window cleaners for the finger and nose marks). You will be happy to know that the Spousal Unit WILL receive Santa's bounty this year, thanks to Borders being on the way to the station. Here's a *raspberry* to Dymocks online who have let me down badly and will never again profit from my impetuosity.
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I have been tagged by the lovely Jeanne!
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? I haven’t had eggnog but I’m sure I’d like it better than hot chocolate.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wraps them! Lots of them!
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White outside if we get around to putting them up, and coloured inside.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No
5. When do you put your decorations up? First weekend in December
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Roast pork with 7 vegies
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Finding the pillowcase full of presents at the end of the bed. Singing carols around the piano to my grandma.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Huh? What are you talking about?
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? If you can see any green then you’re not trying
11. Snow? Umm, not wanting to be too obvious, but it's summer here
12. Can you ice skate? No
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My overlocker and my mp3 (thanks J, mwah!)
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Having all the family together, Christmas music, and mince pies
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Christmas pudding with custard.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Playing cricket in the yard after lunch
17. What tops your tree? An angel
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Can I say both?
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? O come all ye faithful (Mormon Tabernacle Choir) and I’ll be home for Christmas (Bing Crosby) which always gets me all sniffy because it reminds me of the year I desperately wanted to get home for Christmas but couldn’t.
20. Candy canes? No
21. Favorite Christmas movie? A Bush Christmas, and Miracle on 34th St
22. What do you leave for Santa? Mince pies (even better now I am Santa LOL)
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Now, I’m not tagging anyone because we’re getting to flat-out pre-Christmas mode. But go for your life if you like!
Wishes for a very happy Christmas to everyone.
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Friday, December 22, 2006

Feelin' hot hot hot

7 am and it's 30 degrees already. Did I accidentally move to Darwin?
Thank goodness for lists as I am starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.
Food shopping for 17 for Christmas Day supper - check.
Running sheet for Monday's menu - check.
5 loads of washing washed, hung out and dried - check.
Fruit mince for puddings (yes I know I should have made them in September) - check.
First exercise in a week (pilates, ow my abs, I mean ooh my core feels so toned now) - check.
Realistic exercise schedule for next few days - check.
Ignoring the king tide of mess engulfing the house until Sunday morning because there's no point whatsoever doing it before then unless I want to do it again - check.
Note from my tiresome Truthful Twin - this is A LIE. I can't ignore this hideous cesspit of random shite. I will shortly become enraged about it and storm around picking things up, then get upset and eat a mince pie.
Swallowing irritation at J's rellies for announcing a last-minute Sunday afternoon family do and cutting 5 hours aarrgghh off my preparation time - check.
Swallowing disappointment at getting my second-choice thesis supervisor (well-known to be 'hands-off' ie not very helpful/interested) - check.
Deeply thankful for people like Sparkdriver who sacrifice so much to protect homes and property from the dreadful bushfires that are devastating our state - check.

If Dymocks online and Australia Post don't land the Spousal Unit's present on the doorstep today I'll have to go shopping again and my brain will explode.
Now Noddie and I are off swimming, because it's Friday and that's what we do on Fridays, and then to my work Christmas barbie because I cannot organise another thing, not even my in-laws to mind her.
We will be accompanied by two of Noddie's particular friends, Sharon and Teddy, unless I have a CBB* attack and we stay home.
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*Can't Be Bothered

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

feelin' all right

Noddie has calmed down a bit (thank you, God).
Unexpectedly, I'm not desperately itching to exercise, although I am looking forward to riding my bike on Thursday. The answer to the question of what would fill all that extra time when I'm not sweating up a storm has turned out to be SLEEP. The Spousal Unit and I are the king and queen of somnolence, the sovereigns of slumber, the rajahs of zeds.....
The cd is stacked with carols; the spare room bed is piled with boxes; all that's left is to wrap them up and organise supper for 15 on Christmas Day. It's all good. I love Christmas! (even though my inlaws are coming aaarrrggghhhh. I CAN and WILL cope - times like these are why the good Lord gave us sparkling shiraz).

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Small Triumph: I was just at a work farewell morning tea where there was yummy cheesecake. I took one bite and thought, this is not worth missing out on a mince pie later - and I stopped.
What small triumphs have you had lately?

Monday, December 18, 2006


Noddie seems to have contracted a galloping case of Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Her attitude du jour is "make me!" and phrase of the day is "No!" It's very tiring and kind of disheartening. Having my oldest (single, childless) friend (A) visiting from Perth and witnessing my struggles to maintain some semblance of harmony made it harder. I felt almost ashamed that she should see me like this. A said she was glad she didn't have kids because she knew she wasn't patient enough. She's a good friend.
But then on Saturday I was cleaning out the pantry because we had ants, yucky and I was being all sooky and saying ooh there are ants on me (there weren't, I was just carrying on) and Noddie came straight over and started trying to brush them off me. All together now: awwwwwww. So maybe she'll stop fighting about everything one of these days.
She loves knowing the names of things so she's pretty happy that the three kings in Dick Bruna's Christmas book are (of course) Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar - and she decided their camel is named Andrew (because she loves Playschool so much).

*I do know that Noddie doesn't actually have ODD. Her behaviour is exceedingly tiresome but age appropriate, dammit. SHE WILL GROW OUT OF IT

Saturday, December 16, 2006

How very odd

I'm not allowed to exercise strenuously until at least next Wednesday. It's a peculiar sensation - I can neither picture having six whole days off, nor can I imagine doing anything energetic ever again. Analgesic-induced lassitude is quite fun.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

No dramas

I have to have a wee 'procedure' tomorrow which will entail a general anaesthetic and an overnight stay, followed by a few days of being not entirely up to par, so I will probably not be posting until next week. It was planned and is nothing too serious, so no dramas. The surgeon assured me that I'll be able to ride the new bike that Father Christmas might be bringing me.
Cheerful and stoic being the LBTEPA way (have I beaten that phrase to death yet? LOL) I have taken a sick leave day today and am spending it getting all the washing done, going for a run and wrapping the Christmas presents. I am also going to eat at least one mince pie mmmmmmmmmmmmm and drape tinsel over all stationary objects in my home.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Baptism of fire

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This post could have had a lot of titles – “FIGJAM”, “f*$# that was hot”, or “I do this for fun, you know”.
It was 30 degrees (86F) when I started at 9am and 37 (98F) when I finished 1:43:56 later. The run was brutal – I saw three people collapsed by the side of the path (all being attended to) and the medical tent was crowded with people covered in icepacks and on IV drips.
So. Where to start?
Pre-race: to combat some tummy butterflies on Saturday night I painted my 'race nails'(bright red of course).
Naturally I had to paint Noddie’s thumbnails too. She was really excited about being my ‘cheer squad’ (at first she called herself my ‘cheerful’ – gorgeous). We were on less cordial terms at 12.30 when she cried and fussed and coughed until she threw up everywhere aarrgghh. I didn't get back to sleep until 1.45, but what can you do?
My older brother (Sib 1) and I got there pretty early and I set up my transition the way I’d planned it, with an extra bottle of Gatorade. Later that really saved me. I was comforted all day by the way my planning helped me get through – I felt a bit stupid at times being so detailed, especially compared to Sib 1 who just showed up in normal t-shirt and bike shorts with a towel and goggles, but it aided me in maintaining my personal equilibrium on a hard day. The planned LBTEPA attitude was 'cheerful and stoic', which turned out to be pretty much the key to everything.
We ran into my friend M and her boyfriend G, which was a pain. M is a “oooh I am so panic stricken oh dear oh dear” person, and G is a “well, coming last is worse when you’ve just run a 40 minute 10km” WANKER. I have no idea why he tries to compete with me. Sib 1 and I just sat in the shade listening to them yap on about how nervous they were. Some other people we were talking to thought we must be spectators because we were so calm. But what was the point of getting het up? It’s not as though my spot on the team for Beijing was at stake. Sorry, stopped channelling my evil bitchy twin now. She’ll be back though...…
Swim: Sib 1 and I were sitting in the water – flat as a tack, superb – waiting for our waves to start, when my S-I-L arrived with the Spousal Unit and Noddie! I was so happy to see them! J told me later that Noddie had to be restrained from running down the ramp to swim in the wave after mine - I do wish I’d seen that.
The water was warm so I swam in my tri-shorts and singlet. Having a lot of experience with ocean racing was helpful because the usual flailing scrum was no worse than I expected. Sib 1 (who started 17 minutes behind me) said I was practically the only person swimming in a straight line LOL. My time was pretty disappointing, but in the whole picture of the day the moderate effort in the water probably helped me survive the run. And I will be much less cavalier about skipping my swims from now on.
T1 – it was all such a blur I had no idea when to click my watch so I didn’t bother. I’m always happily startled when I get out of the water and can actually run (thanks legs, you were great :). I’d rehearsed what I was going to do in what order – hey, there’s a reason this blog isn’t called “who needs a plan anyway?” – so I was happy about how it went. It seemed ok but was quite slow – another thing to learn about.
Ride: Off I went for two 10km loops. I used an affirmation to keep focussed (“my legs are long and I ride strong” – sounds silly, but it worked) which really helped keeping up my cadence, as did all the practice with my gears. It was already very hot so I changed my hydration strategy (coo er how flash eh?) from every 15 to every 10 minutes…until….oh no! just after the halfway turn I dropped my drink bottle!! I didn’t dare stop as it was quite crowded (lesson: wait to drink until you’re back into the groove). I hope no-one hit it and fell. I just wasn’t sure what to do. Thank goodness for plan B (you just knew I’d have one) - stopping briefly at the run water table for a slurp to keep me moving. Sib 1 and I called out and waved on each loop – he looked hot but strong. He emailed me last night to say he thought I had some talent on the bike!!!
T2: who knows why I took so long? Crikey I was happy to have that second bottle of Gatorade to take with me on …cue sinister music…
The run.
My toes were a bit numb from the bike but that soon wore off. During the ride I’d seen runners really suffering so I was a bit scared, but cheerful and stoic was the LBTEPA way so off I trotted. Really muscular, fit-looking people were walking and looking dreadful. I knew it would be easy to get agitated and distressed so I made a plan to run 100 steps and walk 20 for as long as I could. That way I was making the decisions about when to stop, and remaining in control of what was going on. When that got too hard I ran for three light poles and walked for one. I gave some of my Gatorade to a bloke who was looking bad. When a friend ran up to him and helped him keep going I was happy for him, but I felt lonely too – that’s when cheerful and stoic slipped to just stoic, but it was enough. Thoughts of people I admire kept popping into my head - Nancy and her decision to pull out of Ironman because she couldn’t have got back to her husband and children safely, and Greg’s pact with his friend to “Charlie Mike” (continue the mission) their Ironman races no matter what . I hoped J wasn't too worried. I couldn't contemplate DNFing, but neither did I want to end up in the medical tent.
It was very good to finish. Afterward I just kept drinking and drinking and drinking until the nasty dehydration headache went away. Sib 1 finished well but was disappointed with his run – serves him right for not having a hydration strategy LOL (joking). He was really impressive. The thing I was proudest about was staying contained and within myself so I never went to that despairing ‘this-is-too-hard, I want to give up’ place. My time was quicker than I expected too, and faster than friend M too mwahahaha (back in your box now please evil twin).
The Spousal Unit told me he was proud of me and kept putting his arm around me, which really meant a lot because he's not a demonstrative person. This morning Noddie wanted to go to another triathlon but I told her that Mummy was too tired!
Seeing as it was my first triathlon (and did I mention it was bloody hot?) I was pleased with how I went, but there's a lot of work to do before the next one!
I was glad my nephew N wasn’t there as he might have hurt himself in the heat – I don’t know how good he is at pacing himself and recognising his limits. I hope it’s not so hot when he races with me in January.
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Friday, December 08, 2006

T minus 2

I was going to call this post FU, SU because the Spousal Unit and I had a huge row (about addressing Christmas card envelopes, of all things) the night before J's grandfather's funeral, during which some very unfair and hurtful things were said, and not by me.
But then my eye was caught by a card on my fridge which says "marriage is about overlooking the smallness and seeking the greatness".
I also read Wil's latest post about training to build strength of character as well as body. So I have let it go.
The funeral went as well as these things ever do.
And now I have a triathlon to do on Sunday. Patchy training or no, I will front up and have a bash at it. I've planned my outfit (most important!),my nutrition, thanks to geekgirl, and my attitude. Cheerful and stoic is the LBTEPA way. Stop laughing!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

warning: chick stuff

My female friends: get one of these.
It is the answer to all your exercise worries. I am serious.
Your girls DO NOT MOVE.
At all.

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(Sorry for scowling like this but I hate these shorts and I've trodden on my skipping rope LOL)

Monday, December 04, 2006

12 hours

9.30pm Saturday - Melbourne Bloggers' Dinner (sorry for cutting off your head Beck!)
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9.30 am Sunday - After the Sussan 10km.
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Muggins here forgot to start her watch so I was a bit disappointed to find 1.07.59 in the results today. I did what I could with a touchy achilles and antibiotics for a sinus infection. It was, as always, a great day.
J's aunt and cousin did the 10km walk so we caught up afterward for brunch - they are just the most delightful people, it's always a pleasure to see them. In the afternoon we had a christmas catchup with J's oldest friends - another enjoyable and nurturing time. Then Noddie coughed herself sick AGAIN and went all blue around her mouth and we took her to the hospital and she stopped coughing so now we have a new rule that if it's not bad enough to call an ambulance then we wait until morning. Then we had a bottle of sparkling red at 11pm so I'm a bit tired today. But it's all good :)

J and his family are travelling ok. Thank you for the kind comments.

More anon

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Vale Reg

My husband's grandfather died yesterday. He was 93. It was peaceful (he had been on morphine for a couple of days) and J and his parents were there.