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Sunday, September 30, 2007

How was your September?

The numbers:Swim + Bike 27/24 =112%. OCTOBER: Changed to % adherence to The Schedule, an arcane document based around running and riding three times a week each, but not on consecutive days, and the unavailability of Tuesday and Friday evenings and Saturdays after 10.00am. Whoever wrote that scheduling is the fifth discipline of triathlon (after swim ride run, nutrition and stretching. Fine, the sixth discipline. Whatever. Who cares? Give it a rest will you? Crikey) was bang on the money.
Physio 26/28 = 92%. Core 16/16 = 100% OCTOBER: Keep on keeping on.
AFD's 13/16 = 80%. OCTOBER: I should be aiming for more than 4 days a week, but too much failure too soon is my fast lane to 'who the f#$% cares, I give up' town.
H20 27/28 = 96%. OCTOBER: I'm keeping this on the list because sometimes I only drink the last couple so I can cross off the box.
Thesis 18/16 = 112%. OCTOBER: Changed to 10 hours/week which will be HARD. I watch too much TV anyway.
Weight +100g. WTF???? Measurements = LET'S NOT GO THERE. OCTOBER: The Spousal Unit has been appointed official measurer since either I stuffed it up last time or despite exercising twice a day and TBUSing like a loon my dimensions are expanding (nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!). And don't feed me any of your 'muscle weighs more than fat' or 'it's tone that's important' faff cos I AM SULKING.
My chart is all about living my priorities, so I added a column headed 'FRIENDS'. Now emailing or ringing my three dearest friends will no longer be reliant on my scatterbrain.

I am strangely attracted by the idea of signing up for a triathlon series this summer - Chez LBTEPA is the home of gluttons-for-punishment-r-us (training? what training?) - but it's pretty expensive and I'd probably better talk to my physio first.
Also *WARNING* RANT ALERT!* the organisers have annoyed me.
1. They are not offering an Athena (women over 70kg) category because there is not enough demand for it
2. There is no minimum number required to run a category
3. They offer a (MALE ONLY) Clydesdale category
4. They might offer Athena next year if there is enough demand
5. Demand is measured by surveying this year's participants about the event but, if it's the same questionnaire as last year, not actually asking them if they want an Athena category.
6. Anyway the categories for this year have been set *subtext: GO AWAY*
Most people here wouldn't know what Athena is because they've never heard of it cause the biggest series in Australia, boasting about all the newbies it's attracted to the sport, doesn't offer it!
Is it just me or has there been no logic wasted on their thinking?

How has your month been?

More anon, whatever the collective noun is for obsessive-crossers-off-of-charts!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Get one of these

A bloke I know had a bit of a scare recently - a person of his acquaintance went missing at about the same time as a woman of similar description was killed in a cycling accident. The woman had no ID. Fortunately it wasn't Comm's friend, but it did make me think of all the unidentified joggers found collapsed by the side of the road - quite often in Sydney for some reason, terribly dangerous place I gather. I wondered how the Spousal Unit would find out if I had a bad stack on my bike or was in an accident while running. So I bought this.

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It's red so it goes faster
It's loaded with velcro and reflective stuff, has my name and J's contact details, and has been clinically proven to be as comfy as billy-o to perspire in. For about A$30 I can run and cycle hither and yon, secure in the knowledge that in the event of a misfortune befalling me my loved ones will rally to my side quicksticks. You should get one too. People care what happens to you! The link is here.

More anon, voyagers

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

...and then I thought, why the heck not?

Seeing as I've not ridden more than 25km in one go in the last DECADE, why NOT enter a 55km womens' bike event in 5 weeks' time? *SLAPS SELF ON HEAD*
*EDIT: Thanks Celeste - it's in 9 weeks, not 5. It's still a frightfully long way for Mrs Zero-Bike-Base.

Now, let the justification commence!


Doing this ride prevents me from even contemplating my favourite, really fun 10km run the following day, training for which would be far too much strain on my ankle at this stage....good plan!
I get a free bike jersey.....good plan!
I might not die....good plan!
DFL always beats DNSBTFC*
It's early in the morning so it won't be hot and I will be able to lie down all the rest of the day....GOOD PLAN!

After all, what IS life without a stretch goal that makes you faintly ill to contemplate?

Any of you Melbourne girls up for it? The link's in the sidebar. We could bitch together about what a stupid idea it was! There's a 20km too if you're not as much of a lunatic as someone we know

More anon, lanternes rouge!

*Did Not Start Because Too Chicken

Saturday, September 22, 2007

r + b = :)

Now you are no doubt simply agog to know how much of the good stuff He Who Heals All is letting me do - rest assured, my friends, even if my head explodes with frustration there will not be one step or pedal stroke more than prescribed by The Plan. The Plan is this: 30sec run + 1min walk for 30 min, and 30 min on my actual, real, going outside bike! Woot! Twice this week, three times next week (plus the usual swims) - but maaaate, I'm Paula Radcliffe and Kate Bates rolled into one, baby! Perhaps I'll just be Emma Snowsill LOL.

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= Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I don't know why these stupid photos won't go side by side on the page - they do in the preview GRRRRRRRRRR
Other news:
*SMUGNESS ALERT* I did 80% of my Christmas shopping in a 50 minute rampage around DFO last night. I don't like shopping, so when I shop, I shop. My trusty red mp3 finally died (awwwwwwwwwww): let me introduce my new companion! Tres groovy, non? I never said I wasn't fickle. Now if only I could lose more than 400g a week and my thesis would write itself........

More anon, pod people!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Well there's not much happening here Bruce

Well there’s not much happening here, Bruce, the crowd is getting a bit restless….but hang on – what’s that?
Look Tim – a sight we didn’t think we’d see for quite some time – a heartwarming sight – a sight built on determination and courage....
Please stop talking such bullshit Bruce - now listeners, from the broadcast box here we can just see through the tunnel leading into the stadium – the crowd have just got the feed on the big screen and they’re rising to their feet screaming in delight as a small figure...
What? What? Who is it? What’s she doing?
...a small figure, dwarfed by this mighty stadium, the site of so many dreams and triumphs…..
if you don’t tell me right now Tim I will biff you one
...she’s lifting her knees
...her shoulders are back and her head is held high
...she’s breathing easily and grinning from ear to ear, oh this is an emotional moment Tim
here’s a hanky for you Bruce now get on with it

...it’s LBTEPA

....and she’s RUNNING!!!

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and the crowd goes wild!!!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

pick yourself up, dust yourself off..

...and start all over again.
Surely you too call on Fred and Ginger for solace and inspiration in times of crisis? Such poise! Such grace! Such fabulous clothes!

This afternoon I put my oldest friend Fil on a plane back to the U.K. where she lives with her adorable husband and two sweet sons. There's no reason for her to ever come back to Oz again now both of her parents have died. Fil and I have known each other for thirty-two years (eek! does that mean we're old?) through moves, more moves, overseas travel, marriages, divorces, relocations, more marriages, kids - and most of this was before email. Seeing her again has reminded me how much I miss her. The U.K. is such a long way away *wipes eyes*

This is a hideous photo and I am going to throw out that cardi and get my hair cut immediately, not to mention saving up for a chin lift - but it's the only photo I have of the two of us since the evil Spousal Unit broke my camera cable and I can only download from the memory card not the camera. Boo!

I am quite sad. To my shame I have dealt with it by embarking on a pretty much non-stop scoff-fest since I got home from the airport. Feel The Feelings, then smother the little bastards with food! Lemon tart, leftover pork, rice crackers, Noddie's cheesy pasta... you name it, it was shovelled willy-nilly into my voracious maw. You know what's a real trap? When you eat to feel better and it works. I'm feeling a bit sick now. I'm glad the Spousal Unit is working late so I won't have to bother with dinner.
But
I've done my 20 on the exercise bike and my core and physio exercises.
I've drunk all my water (and NO wine).
After I post this, I'm going to work on my thesis until J gets home.

Once again, LBTEPA demonstrates that something can be salvaged from the most grotesque train crash of a day. No need to thank me. I'm here to help.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Wild thing

(just quietly, go and read the last comment on my last post. Whatever can it mean? LOL I wish I took drugs like that)
It's been a quiet week in Lake LBTEPA - busy in a 'oh, ok, my supervisor who left in June didn't hand in my thesis funding application? No worries, I'll do it again right away this afternoon', oldest friend over from the UK to bury and mourn her father and pack up his house, new exhaust system and replacement windscreen for my car, the Spousal Unit doing strange (disruptive to my routine) work shifts etc etc kind of way. No big dramas, lots of little stuff.
There have been a couple of forays onto the wild side. It's all over between me and my surgeon - that's it, finito, ta ta, bah-byeee! He's delighted with my recovery and says I can run 'last week'. To that I reply (not to his face tho), you stick to the cutting and pasting mate, and we'll leave the making-it-work-again to my physio. He Who Heals All has set 30 seconds of pain-free hopping as the benchmark for hitting the footpath, so I may be observed diligently bobbing up and down on a daily basis, often accompanied by the lovely Noddie.
No, this will not be on YouTube.
This week's project Out Of My Comfort Zone (I forgot to tell you about that - one not-habitual thing each week) was (are you sitting down?) hanging the washing on the line just as it came out of the basket! Oh I know, I know......how could I? Jeans next to t-shirts, Noddie's stuff all mixed in with ours, undies cheek by jowl with socks! I felt so daring!
That was probably a bit more revealing than I meant.
Apart from that it's been SSDD - morning swim, evening exercise bike, core work every second day, TBUS (Think Before yoU Scoff) slowly changing my habits.
More anon, my lovelies!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

You asked for it

Well, a couple of you did so here it is....the LBTEPA manifesto.
I wrote this after several friends talked about how they are feeling tired, torn, overwhelmed, unsatisfied…. not unhappy as such, and courageously counting their blessings, but not happy. They each commented that my life is so 'balanced' - I nearly laughed, then felt bad that they are comparing themselves to something they have obviously misinterpreted! Moi? Balanced? Come orrrrrn, you all know I struggle and bitch and moan and wallow and despair of my faults and my pathetic efforts at improvement and of my dreams coming true as much as anyone else.

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But then I thought a bit more.
The key to this 'balance' is that I know why I do most things.
I try to live a principle-centred life. When I go crook at Noddie or J, I always fight fair. I know what problem I’m trying to solve so I don’t (usually) feel guilty. I don't say yes when I mean no, and sorry is not the hardest word. I'd usually rather be kind than be right.
I have stated, ordered life priorities, which help me work through those ‘what to do? What to do?’ situations. At the moment they are
1. Family. 2. Study. 3. Health. 4. Work.
For example, I could have arranged for Noddie to have an extra day a week in childcare so I could cram in more uni work and get my thesis done without requiring an extension. No. Noddie will be at kinder next year, and school after that and she won’t be my little girl any more. I’m not sacrificing these precious days together because uni made a mess of things, even if it does mean I take an extra year to qualify. I’m angry, but not confused. Thoreau wrote that the cost of a thing is the amount of life you have to expend to get it and I think that’s true.
Clear priorities help me stand my ground with J about his domestic habits. Washing and putting away clothes, cooking and doing dishes is looking after my family. Picking up dirty dishes or clothes or newspapers is NOT!
This year I’ll sacrifice a workout for a library session if I need to – and try harder to organise myself so I don’t have to next time. See where I’m going with this? It makes it easier to do the things I want, too – if I’ve fulfilled my obligations to my family I have no (ok, only a few, ok, not too many) qualms about taking time for myself. Having a big picture of my life means I can be kind to myself after one of my frequent stuff ups. I never have to ask myself did I try hard enough? because I know that I always try my (often poor) best.
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J and I have discussed the values we want our family to have, so a lot of my choices are about leading us toward them – setting an example of fitness and discipline means I take the time to work out, enter us into family fun runs/walks, and chivvy Noddie and J out the door on morning walks because he needs the exercise. Valuing education and endeavour means I take the time to study. Having a peaceful home as a priority led to my choosing to work part-time and to J putting some of his hobbies on hold so we’re not rushing all the time. Helping each other be the best we can be means we try and make sure everyone gets to do the things we really want to. I want Noddie to see life as an adventure so I make sure she has them, even if it’s just a walk to the creek or a train ride.
J and I review our major goals twice a year. It probably sounds all lame and idealistic, but knowing where I want to go means I can keep correcting my direction. If I have a plan I can change it; if I don’t, I’m just drifting.

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This might sound a bit Captain Obvious, but it took me a long time to learn that I am allowed to want what I want. I am allowed – please note I did not say entitled - to want a happy marriage, a well brought up child, a fulfilling career, an inviting home, a financial plan, a marathon (and more), travel….. big dreams, big adventures! Believing it’s ok to want all these things means I don’t have to have them all at once. There will be a right time for all of them if I keep moving toward them and don’t give up.
And if what I want is ok, then quite likely I am ok!

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My dear mother told me that happiness is the sum of small joys - training yourself to deliberately, actively enjoy the funny little things. Did I tell you Noddie calls the classical music station on her radio ‘surprise dancing music’? I start every swim with a huge splash and a play in the bubbles. It pleases me every single time I do it, and I’m allowed. I wear lipstick and earrings and cool shoes because I like them. Martin Seligman thinks happiness is about savouring, mindfulness and developing your strengths and virtues. I may have to form a fan club! After I lose 10kgs, get fit again and knock off the grog of course.
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Books that have changed my life:
Stephen Covey’s “Seven habits of highly effective people” and “Seven habits of highly effective families” about principle-centred living.
Barbara Sher’s “Wishcraft” and “I could do anything if only I knew what it was” are about discovering the essential things that make you happy, and how you can get them. How to ignore all the “I shouldn’t/I can’t because...” and climb over all the ‘too hards’ and ‘not practicals’. They remind me that sadness and fear and complaining are acceptable and essential parts of going after big dreams. Stiff upper lips are for people with no imagination. These books help me fit my secret ‘big life’ into my little suburban existence.

That’s enough for now. I’m sure I’ll have to come back to this post to remind myself, but this is how I try to live.
Of course it could all be about justifying doing exactly as I please. Who can tell?

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Now it's your turn to write down how you like to live. Consider yourself tagged.

More anon, visionaries!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Gritted teeth

I'm having A Day. You (if you're female) may know these Days. A Bastard Day. One of those hormonal, itchy-brained, furious, tearful, despairing, hateful, exhausting days where simple human interaction is the Hardest Thing In The World and the only answer is to burn the house down, eat and drink too much and go back to bed (in someone else's house).
But today Things Will Be Different.
I will not go back to bed until I have worked on my thesis for at least two hours.
I will not eat my bodyweight in chinese food until I have exercised and done my physio.
I will not drink any wine until after 7.30pm (and trust me, on days like this that is a Big Ask).
I will not burn the house down even though it is very very messy and coming home after we visited J's houseproud friend this morning made me want to cry.
Tomorrow I will wake up and today will be over and I'll be proud of myself.

**THE FINAL SCORE: Bastard Day 0 - LBTEPA 4. Go me.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A lucky escape

So..... I was talking to some friends and the stuff we were talking about made me want to write my "life manifesto" - why I do things and how I try and live the best way I can. A lengthy and abstruse document chokkers with illuminating vignettes and arcane wisdom, spanning the miles majestically etc etc.
Then I thought, naaaah, what have my dear readers ever done to me?

It's been a week of small triumphs. I've knocked back (as in refused, not sculled!) a glass of wine on more than one occasion *pauses to pat self on back* - hey, it's my life and they're my little victories!
Having TBUS (Think Before YoU Scoff) written up over the stove has proven an effective deterrent to the not-really-second-helping-just-another-spoonful habit that was creeping in.
This morning I woke up at 06.05 - 25 minutes late!!! oh no!!! - and still hurled myself from my warm bed, into my togs and trackies and to the pool. This was largely thanks to Comms' most recent post. Comms blogs about avoiding an uninspired life "using determination, right attitude and sacrifice make your dream come true". I want an inspired life.
This will make you keensters laugh, but I have cracked 20 minutes straight on the exercise bike without having to be given CPR afterward. Little by little, eh? Physio tomorrow but I'm not expecting to be allowed to run yet. Soon, my chickens.....

Huge news: WE FINALLY HAVE ETHICS APPROVAL!!! SO I CAN START RECRUITING!! and then wait for people to get back to me and then send them the questionnaires and then wait for them to be sent back and then enter and analyse the data and then write it up.......but heck, this is progress! I wonder when I would have got the approval if I hadn't rung the committee secretary? Just asking.....

More anon, dreamers

Sunday, September 02, 2007

HFD2U

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads I know
and to all you blokes who have a Dad
or might one day become a Dad

and especially to my favourite Dad
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and my favourite Daddy
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*At the Father's Day 5km walk. Noddie was a trouper the whole way and my ankle was a-ok.

Now go and get your prostate checked. We can't do without any of you.

More anon, venturers!