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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thoughts on the F-word #1

In less than two weeks it will be my birthday - the BWSNBN. I won’t be in my thirties any more. Pardon? What’s going on here? Why wasn’t I informed earlier? Can I get off now? (Slaps self in order to get a grip)
So what has been going on?

Since 1997 I have
- Inhaled chemicals in a workplace accident
- Been bullied by my evil boss and driven out of my job
- Separated from and divorced the ‘what was I thinking?’ husband
- Lost 90% of my friends, who blamed me (bastards)
- Gained weight
- Been unemployed and broke
- Fought my way through chronic fatigue and depression
- Endured infertility, IVF treatment, an awful pregnancy and a traumatic birth
- Discovered we can’t have any more children
- Almost died from anaphylactic shock

And also
- Been to Canada, Japan and Italy
- Had a fantastic fling with an older man (while I was separated!)
- Travelled first-class around Australia
- Met and married my beloved Spousal Unit.
- Begun psychology studies
- Regained my health
- Gained satisfying employment
- Started our property empire (LOL)
- Had my darling Noddie
- Lost weight
- Taken up running and triathlon
- made new friends

I’m glad I didn’t have a crystal ball when I was 30.
Sometimes I feel a bit sad about all the things I wish hadn't happened, or that I wish had happened! Mostly I don't, though.
Try this: - put the two halves of the list in the other order. It has a completely different effect! Maybe someone reading this who is in the middle of bad times can take heart - I am living proof that if you stay hopeful and keep working toward your goals, life does get better.

More anon, darls (I promise there are only 2 parts to this self-indulgence)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

still more photos, still less content

AUSTRALIA DAY
1.45pm
2km - 41.07
Swim rating: thrilled

*PHOTO REMOVED FOR REASONS OF VANITY*

9.30pm
Champagnes consumed - unknown
Party rating: excellent
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Warning: profound thoughts on the Birthday Which Shall Not Be Named (BWSNBN) coming soon

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Australians all, let us rejoice!

First of all, thank you all so much for your kind comments about our dog. The Spousal Unit had Skippy for twelve years, so he was devastated at having to have him put to sleep. Noddie has been fine about it - she told Daddy that Grandpa was throwing a ball for Skippy in heaven.

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Australia Day is tomorrow, so let us rejoice!
- for we can speak out against divisive and immoral industrial relations laws
- for we can be compassionate and welcoming toward all people, in the face of federal policy
- for we can make individual efforts to decrease environmental impact, despite our Prime Minster's refusal to sign the Kyoto agreement
- for we can continue to protest against our involvement in an unjust war
- for we can apply our own principles and intelligence to the bias of commercial news
- for 2007 is an election year, and we can change things.

I like to celebrate Australia Day by doing this swim. It will be even more fun this year because my sister is coming along to do the 1km. Afterward we'll have fish and chips on the beach, then later we are going to a 50th birthday/20th wedding anniversary party. Let's just say I plan to get stuck into it!
*note to self: buy some panadol*

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

We told Noddie

that Skippy had to go to heaven so he wouldn't be sick any more

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He was a great dog.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

What's going on here?

If I’d dragged myself out of bed this morning and run before the Spousal Unit went to work then I’d have achieved six out of six workouts for the first time since I started recording my training. I may still do a pilates video and hit that magic number. But Noddie was restless last night in the heat and I woke up a couple of times with my achilles tendons just throbbing, and I did a bit extra in the pool yesterday so I was a bit sore, and I’m home all day with Noddie today and then we have friends coming over for dinner....so I turned off the alarm.... and that’s ok. I don’t have to do six this week. It’s more important to build up relatively slowly and not injure myself. Minerva and I are going on a long(er) ride tomorrow.
I don’t know what’s going on here lately. I’m feeling very peaceful. Even last week when I was very down, I wasn’t frantic. Laying down the law to J is just that – no anger behind it. Rows with Noddie blow over and we are friends again quickly. Most days lately I actually stop eating my dinner when I’ve had enough – even when it’s really good! I’m consciously seeking snacks that will fuel me, not just comfort me, and drinking lots of water as well. Of course there are areas I could (and am trying to) sharpen up – especially chips at parties, Noddie's yummy stuff and chinese food arrgghh – but mostly it’s not such a struggle to eat pretty well. This confuses me – but I hope it lasts. It’s not showing on the scales, but not to worry - see? Frighteningly calm! Is there a pod under my bed?

It’s not much of a secret that I used to have a glass-or-two of wine most nights, and sometimes more. I was getting a bit worried how much I was looking forward that little “switch-off/reward/mhaaaa my day is now ovah” buzz that came with it. Let me tell you a real secret. Over there in the sidebar there’s a little table of AFDs for the month. Look! I didn’t mention it to anyone because I wasn’t sure if I could actually kick my habit. BUT I HAVE! To be honest, I have a light beer most days, but I am no longer looking forward to the little wine buzz. I may never give up drinking altogether, but from now on it’ll be the planned exception rather than the everyday. I’m proud of that.

More anon, pod-people!
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Good things

When I got home on Sunday morning, Noddie raced to the front verandah and called out “Welcome home from your triathlon mummy –hip hip hooray!” and gave me a big clap! It was gorgeous :)

I have designated this a light training week. It’s extremely hot and humid (for here), J has the lurgi that laid me low a couple of weeks ago and Noddie is the Fussmeister in the heat. Someone has to captain the ship. And if I want to ignore The Schedule and just swim I will, cause it is all about me LOL.

I am trying very hard to neither join nor be enraged by the grizzlefest going on here about the heat/power blackouts (caused by the bushfires)/water restrictions. For goodness' sake people, what about a bit of backbone? Some cheerful stoicism?

My nephew wants to do another triathlon! I was so pleased – apparently N hadn’t realised how big, exciting and fun these events are. I will have him hooked on the buzz yet, mwahahaha! Unfortunately we will be away for the next one so I can’t join him, but I think Sib 1 might be up for another one.

On that note, our tickets to Vanuatu have been posted and will be here this week!!!! I am so excited I can hardly stand it (but that’s a whole other post). I’m starting to get a bit excited about my (unmentionable) birthday (in Feb) as well; so far 8 of us are doing the surfing lesson and twenty-five or so coming to dinner. Bring on the bubbly, baby! I have even bought a new dress.

My bike fitting was BRILLIANT! Go and get one for your bike AT ONCE! No, really! I was on the trainer in the shop for about half an hour while the charming Matt adjusted the headstem, the handlebars, the pedals, the gears, the seat and my pedalling action – such small changes and such a big difference. We had already spent half an hour choosing pedals ** and shoes suitable for both me and the bike (and he didn’t ask what a nuffy like me was doing with a nice bike like Minerva, either). Did you know you can buy ‘hybrid’ pedals? They have clips on one side and are flat on the other, so you can a) get your balance before you have to clip in, and b) ride your bike to the milk bar without having to put on your bike shoes. I *heart* my pedals!
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**I’m not sure if these are the exact pedals but they are v. similar.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Race Report - Gatorade St Kilda triathlon

Gatorade Triathlon Race 3 St Kilda
THE FACTS:
750m Swim: 15:35 – although 250m longer this was only 3 min slower, just demonstrating what a lame effort I put in last time LOL
T1: 2:16 – 1 minute faster, including getting my wetsuit off!
20km ride: 49:24 – 1:01 slower than last time. It was quite a bit windier today, and muggins here dropped her chain at one point (note to self: practice practice practice those gears!).
T2: 3:08 – 0:30 slower, including changing from bike shoes.
5km run: 34:10 – 3:00 faster.
Overall: 1:44:36 – 1 minute slower, including a 250m longer swim
THINGS TO AVOID IF POSSIBLE:
- POOR PLANNING!!!
- Forget the event is on and do four training sessions in the three days prior. Can anyone say “tired legs”? Also “you idiot”?
- Late nights for the two nights previous to the event (I had no control over Noddie waking every three hours on Friday night, but it didn’t help).
- Packing my race bag at 11pm on Saturday night (see above) – I would have enjoyed the party-of-no-escape more if I hadn’t had that to do when I got home.
- No practice at all on the clipless pedals prior to the race. This turned out ok, but I was extremely worried and unhappy about it.
- No practice doffing the wetsuit – once again this went well but was another source of anxiety.
- No practice with using Sport beans instead of gatorade for the run (see above re: ok, anxiety).
- Chafing! Note to self: get some shorts where the elastic hasn't perished ow ow ow
THINGS TO DO AGAIN:
- Make the most of the time I had. As I set up my transition I visualised the order I would do things, and then rehearsed it as I was doing the swim and ride.
- Failure-proof the day. As far as I was concerned, the only thing that could make it a bad outing was if I fell off my bike and broke my arm.
- Visualise things going well – J suggested this regarding unclipping my pedals, so I spent quite a bit of time imagining them clipping out easily whenever I needed them to, and they did!
- Consciously stay “in the moment”. That is, I really tried not to think about the ride and run during the swim, or the run during the ride. I had to trust my training, and, while not going foolishly all-out, not “save myself”. If I crashed and burned in the run, tough.
- Concentrate on a higher cadence in the swim. Very happy with that.
- Spray legs with cooking spray for faster wetsuit removal – I was out of that thing like a banana from its peel LOL!
- Use mantras. “My legs are long and I ride strong” for the bike, and “I am strong and I run fast, I stay focussed on my task” for the run.
- Scarf down a few Sport beans at the start of the run and a few more at the turnaround. This was probably overkill in terms of nutrition, but I was feeling weary and flat from my stupid week.
- Thank the event marshalls. This is not only a good distraction, but also spreads the love, and you know I’m all about that!

My nephew, in his first triathlon managed the swim quite well, and hammered the ride and run. I was so happy that he had such a good day!

I've had a few comments that some people would love to do a tri one day - all I can say is find one, pay the money, and do it - what's the worst thing that could happen? Trust me, once you realise you won't lose your spot on the team for Beijing, it's all good :)

Friday, January 12, 2007

T - 2 #2

Sunday is nearly here and I forgot to taper! Bugger!
And I haven't developed a hydration strategy or visualised my transitions yet!

I'm going fully geared up this time, so I really should think about how I'm going to get out of my wetsuit and into my bike shoes, which I will be picking up this afternoon at my bike fitting, which I am having because I am so madly keen and professional (*laughs hysterically*) - actually it was included in the bike purchase and I'm all about freebies.
I'm sure 24 hours is enough time to learn how to not fall over while unclipping my pedals. In a hurry. Under race stress. (*laughs hysterically again*)
More anon, daredevils!

*UPDATE* In answer to Dante's question, my nephew is doing the shorter Brooks because his swimming isn't up to the longer distance. He and my sister decided weeks ago but didn't tell me (because I am so overbearing and tiresomely enthusiastic?). I am pleased for him because I was a bit concerned how he'd go in the water and didn't want him to be put off triathlon by a bad first experience. Now I can cheer him on (and give him a shellacking next year)!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Very fortunate person complains: world doesn't revolve around me

I’m a bit ashamed of this line of thought given that the world is a big serious place full of very bad things, and my life is a fortunate one, but it’s been niggling at me and I want it gone. So if you’re not in the mood for whingeing then come back tomorrow.

Do you ever feel as though your life is eating your dreams? That you compromise and give way and do what you have to do and make bargains with the universe (even though you know that’s stupid and you swore you’d never do it again because it only breaks something fragile inside you every time you set yourself up for inevitable disappointment) and say oh well it’s ok that I can’t do that thing that I dreamed of, so I’ll do something else, and be happy about that instead. And then something else happens, and your second-best dream can’t happen either, and gradually you move further and further away from those bright dreams that you used to hold tightly in your heart, and then you turn around one day and you can’t see them at all any more. How long can you wait and hope and plan and scheme and say ‘one day… one day…’? When this one single life you get seems to be turning into someone else’s, but you’re too tired and too sad to keep building your own dreams all by yourself so you might as well just float along with the current because it’s easier and there’s company?
Sometimes it seems that the only time I get to have my big dreams is at 5.15am when I’m sweating alone in the dark. But sometimes I don’t know if that’s space for my dreams either, or just my only space. And I need more sleep than I get. Sleep or time. What a question.
So the stories are read and the husband is cuddled and the floor has no crumbs and the toilet doesn’t smell bad and we are all fed and dressed in clean clothes and my uni reading is done. And the songs from the foreign language books and the piano and the garden and the country become fainter and fainter.
It shits me that I am feeling like this. This is PATHETIC. I was brought up better than this. I KNOW that this is a time of many commitments which I CHOSE and which are sources of great joy and challenge and will shape what happens in the future. I KNOW that there will be periods in my life when I will have lots of time to do things that inspire me, and many of the things that make me happy now will be over. To every thing there is a season etc etc. This isn’t about controlling how life turns out, or having it all, all at once. I KNOW that doesn’t happen.
Or maybe I don’t…..thanks for the lesson, life. Moving on now. The other thing I KNOW is that these feelings will pass. Don’t worry, I have plans (of course!) to keep those little flames flickering while the rest of my life steamrolls on. Just wanted to vent. Thanks for listening.

BTW thanks to Duane for reminding me that I have a triathlon to do on Sunday! My first one with Minerva! Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What I did on my holidays

- had a nasty bug for 2 days & couldn't get out of bed
- ran along the river and found out how bad a truck full of dead carp can smell even at 8.00 a.m
- swam at the beach
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- in my flash new togs that I got for Christmas
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- went out sailing with Dad, J, Noddie and Teddy
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- only drank light beer
- except at the races
- where I was invited to enter Fashions on the Field (I've never been so surprised in my life)
- I didn't win, but it was a hoot up on the catwalk!
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- received a lovely compliment from a fairly young and completely sober stranger, and had my photo taken for the local paper!

more anon, return-to-workers

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hmmmm.....

I'm at Mum's with Noddie for a few days. Much to my surprise, the train trip down here was really, really fun this time. The Spousal Unit will be joining us on Friday night for a beach-and-races weekend, woo hoo!
J rang me with some wonderful news - after 10 days, Teddy has been handed in to Bunnings' lost property! The T-man is back from his "adventure" (which was where we told Noddie he'd gone). Where this leaves Noddie's new Teddy I don't know, but I'm sure there's room in her life for two special friends.
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Noddie chose her accessories herself, bless her
This morning I rode some of the cycling course of the Olympic distance triathlon eeek oooh scary I'm sort of thinking of doing in March. I'll do the full circuit on Saturday now that I've worked out where I got lost LOL.
I was thinking about what a long way it was, and how big the hills were, and how hard it would be to have done one loop up that bastard hill and then have to do another one, and then run 10km after that. And how tired and far behind everyone else I would be.
And then I thought, what else would you be doing? Sitting at home growing ever more lardy? Watching, and wishing you had that kind of guts ?

Then I had some more thoughts:
is this really an appropriate project for me this summer, given my other commitments? Have I built enough base fitness to just tough it out if I have to? Is my vaulting ambition o'er reaching itself?
Hmmmm.....

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007: day 1

HAPPY
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NEW
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YEAR!
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GYGO NYD Triathlon Results:
1km Swim: 18:44
20km Ride: 59:14
5km Run: 32:36