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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No guts, no glory. No, really.

It’s done. It’s on. I’ve finally decided – after weeks and weeks and weeks of whiny-arse cry-baby lala to-ing and fro-ing, from which, you will be pleased to realise, I have uncharacteristically spared you – that I WILL do the Bairnsdale Olympic Distance Triathlon in March. Yes, the Victorian Olympic Distance Championships. Yes, the one with the Bastard Hill (twice).
panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic
This is despite the following email from the race organiser, responding to my bleating about time cutoffs etc
Don't let that worry you - we don't have a cut off time and last year the legendary Bruce Burston (65-70) came in to hundreds of cheers in 3h25m.
Please Note: If I do anything under 3hr50min I will be leaping about with glee.*
I asked a lot of people whether they thought I should do it, given that I will be SMFL (Stone Motherless Last) by half an hour to a sixty-eight year old. The responses fell into two distinct categories – ARE YOU MAD? (the vast majority) and OF COURSE! WHO CARES IF YOU’RE LAST? IT’S ALL ABOUT HAVING A GO! (the crazily gung-ho). I know, I know, how disgustingly two-faced of me when I’ve ranted and raved about it not mattering how fast or slow you are..…but still..…I fear pain. And hills. Did I mention there are hills?
panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic
Once again the Spousal Unit revealed the key to it all. I quizzed him again** this morning as to whether he thought I should do it.
Well, I wouldn’t do it.
Why not?
I wouldn’t like to come last by half an hour. But you should do it.
Why?
You enjoy that sort of thing.
He’s right, you know.
I do enjoy - that's not quite the right word - facing the unknown; grappling with an idea my mind has somehow fixated on and worrying and worrying at it through the whole process of I can't do that, how can I do that?, I can do that! It’s the reason I ran my first half-marathon, just to see what it would be like. It was awful because I was so under-prepared, but also one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. This Olympic Tri will be really hard; it's the longest distance and time of anything I've ever attempted. It will be a window into what I'm really capable of. There's something satisfying about sucking down that little gulp of fear every time I think about it. Sort of.
panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic
I enjoy doing things that take consistent work over time. Things I have to earn. No-one will know if I skive off my long ride – except me when the Bastard Hill kicks my behind. To be honest, I enjoy being able to do things other people can’t - even if they’re things that other people are too bloody sensible to do! Is being a teeny bit smug really such a bad thing? Don't answer that. I like doing things I feel really proud of. Concentrating for a long time interests me. It’s fun (once again I am sure that's not the right word!) to try and work out what might happen and how I can prepare for it. I can feel a Nutrition Plan coming on! What I really enjoy is having stretch goals that make me feel faintly ill to think about. Is that a bit sick?
panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic
Now I have to work out a training plan with A Lot Of Bike – but enough swimming so I don’t drown in the Bay Swim. So difficult! So complicated! Tell me again, why am I doing this?
It’s the Gatorade tri in Portarlington this weekend. There are four Athenas! Not that I would ever say hahaha I TOLD you people would go in it if it was offered, oh no I would never say that no no no no. Have I run 8km in one go this year? Ummm, that would be once. Eek. Oh well.

More anon, Big Dreamers!
panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic
*Insofar as I am able to given that I will probably DIE.
**He's a patient man

Sunday, January 27, 2008

For we are young and free

Race Report - Williamstown Australia Day swim
2km - 41.39
Swim rating - pleased*

What a GORGEOUS day. That's Noddie in the foreground; in the background you can see how unbelieeeeeeeeeeeeeeevably flat it was - I've never done a swim before where you could see all the buoys along the line at the same time! The water was clear, the sky was blue and the sun was shining....so there was no reason for my slightly disappointing time, but it was such a joy to be alive out there I'm really not fussed. My sister was good enough to pop along and take on Noddie-wrangling duties, which was lovely - without her I'd not only have been unable to participate, but I'd have had no hope of erecting or dismantling the @#$%ing @#$%er beach tent.When I told J I was going to write this race report his response was, what? Run into water; swim; swim more; swim more; finish? That'll be a short post! Now I can't think of anything else to say! Except for the sighting-impaired bloke who zigzagged back-and-forth in front of me for almost the whole way - I swear, if he learned to sight properly he'd have beaten me by miles. As it was, I eventually managed to get a few body lengths ahead of him, yay! Then because it was full low tide we had to run the last 50m through knee-deep water - or rather, being about eleven feet tall he scampered through it like some irritating giraffe while I waded crossly, so I was easily pipped to the line. Bother! Then it was off home to an afternoon of cricket on TV. Life's good, apart from the unfortunate after-effects of the rather strange choice of post-race refreshment - a curry pie. I think all the 1k swimmers took the plain ones. We live and learn.

I should put a bit in here about how lucky I feel to live in our fortunate nation. I fervently hope that over the next few years we can regain our standing in the world as a humane and honourable country. Australians all, let us rejoice!

More anon, aquamen!

*32 seconds slower than last year, which I rated as "thrilled". Hmmmm.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Grumpy, or no guts, no glory.

I'm grumpy and I've decided to take it out on you. You may have more fun if you come back tomorrow.

*Beginning of rant*
Over the last few weeks several people have told me they probably won't do (an event) because they'll be 'too slow' or will do a 'bad time'. It seems what they're really saying is that they don't want to join in because they don't think they'll be good enough at it.
Maybe these are just excuses to not do things that they don't want to do? In that case, why not say, well actually I don't want to do that because I'm not interested. Why make up fake reasons?
But what I want to know is this - waddya mean, 'good at'? Waddya mean, 'too slow'? Who said Time A is 'better' than Time B? Where did this come from? When did effort slide down the kudos scale?
We must STAMP OUT this thinking. It sucks the pure animal joy out of moving our bodies. It sucks the joy out of our well-earned triumphs and achievements. This kind of thinking makes us smaller than we are. It's a waste.
Accept that as an 'adult onset' athlete you will never be 'up there'. And unless you make your sport a, or even the, highest priority in your life - and if you really want that, then good on you, I will cheer you as you zoom by - and spend a huge amount of time and effort, and manage yourself really really carefully so you don't get injured, you still won't be 'up there' even if you've kept at your sport all your life. Suck it up.
Then go for real glory.
Have the guts to dream big. Accept your real limitations and responsibilities and still live the biggest life you can. What's tickling the back of your mind that you'd do 'if only'? Find a way.
Glorious.
Have the dedication to say, I know what I need to do - even if that means taking waaaay longer than you'd like - and I am prepared to do it (says she, who blew off yet another 5.30am this morning, sigh...).
Or else say, this isn't what I thought it was, it isn't for me , or it isn't the right time for me to do this.
Take heart and pride in the small daily triumphs over heredity and history and inertia and fear.
Glorious.
Glory is being out there out there in the waves and the dark and the wind and the sun. It's crossing that finish line you weren't really sure you would reach. Glory is in going harder than you thought you could and doing stuff you never imagined.
It's saying, well, that didn't go so well, but I did my best and I'm proud of myself. No-one cares what you look like or your time except you. How freeing is that?
Give those 'not good enough' thoughts the finger. Show up. Have a go. HAVE FUN.
See how good it feels?
*End of rant*

In other news:
Two nights ago I went to check on Noddie becuase she was being unnervingly quiet. She'd rearranged her bedroom furniture.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Just write something

It seems the longer I put off writing the harder it gets, so today is "drag self by scruff of neck to the puter and have at it" day! Mojo has been quite low this week in all respects - could it be the return of the Bastard Bacterial Infection and Horse Pills knocking me about? - I dunno, and I also don't know why I always blame my own lack of willpower/discipline/character/any redeeming qualities whatsoever when I sleep a lot (and don't train much) BECAUSE I'M SICK. But as we say here at chez LBTEPA after a Noddie-disciplining episode, that's fimished now. I think the main thing is to refrain from self-flagellation and remind myself that, let's be completely honest, my spot on the team for Beijing isn't at stake is it? Last night I was all fired up to spend forty-five minutes on my bike trainer when Noddie went into the tired/hot/a bit peaky four-year-old Complete Meltdown she'd been threatening all day. As Nancy's husband put it so eloquently, our highest duty is as parents: I hopped off the bike and onto Noddies bed to read her into calmness and sleep. The bike can wait.
So what's been happening? Half-past dark starts haven't been happening, so that means training has had to be sqeezed into the day and hasn't been happening as much as I'd like. It's been hot and Noddie has been tired and very difficult and thus AFDs haven't been happening - yes I am quite aware of my dysfunctional stress responses and I'm working on them *oooh, defensive aren't we?*.Luckily I've been reading in a lot of other blogs (another reason I haven't been writing? hmmm?)that other intrepid souls have been struggling mightily with CBB* syndrome. It's all very well to say 'Look at me! Here are my impressive plans!', but another altogether to commit to doing what it takes to make my dreams come true. I can't do it in that fired-up, all guns blazing way that suits many people. Fever pitch doesn't last. I just have to think - and act - myself into a state of mind where this is what I do. I get up early. I exercise regularly. I increase my workouts in accordance with my actual capabilities and don't get injured. I eat sensibly and drink in moderation.
I wear cool shoes- yes, I have jumped ship from asics to adidas; thus far the relationship seems very promising
and cool gloves- thanks for the bike shop voucher Mum!
and I run in lovely placesI have to move to my parents' town, I really do...
and I ride up big hillsOK it doesn't look that big from the top but seriously it was HUGE
I remember that all this exercising and racing is a get-to-do, not a have-to-do, and I have fun All The Time.

That's probably enough for today. Cheerio my ducklings!
more anon :)
*Can't Be Bothered

Monday, January 14, 2008

Gunna

All through the hoo-ha of my thesis at the end of last year I was looking forward to 2008 as my 'gunna year ' - I'm gunna do this, I'm gunna do that!
No uni! All that lovely lovely uncommitted time! I can get really tired and it won't matter!
Oh, the plans I have made!
Here they are.

Walk Noddie to kinder and be a kinder mum (I gather they cut up oranges and things? Ewww, I hate oranges *makes face* But I'll do it for Noddie). I was able to rearrange my work days so I have Noddie's kinder days off. Thanks boss!
Recreational reading? Sounds like fun! Bring on the trashy crime novels!*
Prune the roses. Our thirty six rose bushes have struggled on gamely the last two years but I keep expecting a handsome prince to ride out with Sleeping Beauty on his pommel.
Clean up the jungle/rubbish tip that the back of our yard and our shed have become while I've been too distracted to stop the Spousal Unit bringing Important Stuff home and leaving it around in huge messy piles arrgghh. I shouldn't go so crook at him when he made jam last night mmmm jam mmmm from the plums the birds didn't get but I'm just a big meany as you know.
Piano lessons. That tall wooden thing in our living room will no longer just be a place to put stuff out of Noddie's reach.
Sewing mmm new clothes mmmm, although since my twenty-two year old Singer died some of the fun has gone out of it - whipping it up on the Toyota doesn't have the same ring to it :(

And the really fun stuff....
26/01 Williamstown Australia Day Swim 2km
03/02 Gatorade Portarlington 800m/26km/8km
17/02 Gatorade Elwood 600m/20km/6km
24/02 Big Bay Swim Williamstown - Port Melbourne 3.4km
01/03 Pier to Perignon Swim Sorrento Portsea 4km. (maybe)
09/03 Victorian Olympic distance championships Bairnsdale 1500/40/10 (maybe)
30/03 Gatorade St Kilda 750m/20km/5km
11/05 Mothers' Day Run 8km
22/06 Run to the G Half Marathon (maybe)
06/07 Gold Coast Marathon. My very first shot at the Big One!
11/10 Melbourne Half Marathon. I WILL run around the G!
19/10 Bay in a Day Ride 210 km

.......who knows what else?

I can't wait.

More anon, big dreamers!
*how many exclamation marks can I use? Lots!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

why I can't possibly write anything.






I'm having far too good a time.
More anon, sybarites!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Closure

A very experienced triathlete said to me recently that we should think of what hills are doing for us, not what they are doing to us. I think this is a wise perspective and one I adopt whenever possible. Not when I'm actually riding up a hill, as I'm too busy swearing. But still. The Scary Bastard Hill makes me queasy with anxiety no more. More and more pissed off as it goes on and on and on, yes. Panting and red-faced with hurting legs, yes. Triumphant at the top, yes! Hill schmill. Bring it on! The arrow at the top of the elevation chart is where I stopped and turned back - twenty minutes up, ten minutes down, wheeeeee!
I had a moment of closure yesterday. I finished the run around the river trail that I started last Easter and abandoned when I tripped and snapped my ankle ligament.
I'm sorry I haven't posted much lately. I am so deep in holiday lassitude it's all I can do to get my Mum another cup of tea.
More anon, cruisers!

Friday, January 04, 2008

going to the country

So there I was all primed and bursting with enthusiasm and a New Plan (ooooh! a New Plan!) when POW! I was struck down with a stupid germy infection and have spent the last two days wobbling feebly about, bleating I'm sick in plaintive tones, and lying down in my room with the door shut while J took over arsenic hour (approx 5.30 - 8pm, for the edification of the child-free) parenting duties, mwahahaha. It was almost worth it.
Thanks to the miracles of modern horse-pills I am feeling much better today. I fished out a Pilates dvd that I bought at the supermarket ages ago - hey, Lisa McCune said I had to! who am I to ignore such wholesomeness? - and had an unco go at it. Noddie thought it was great fun and is insisting we take the dvd to Gran's tomorrow. Yes! We are off to my parents' for a week! The Spousal Unit is driving us up tomorrow and we are going to the races on Sunday - bring on the big hat, baby! - then he is going home in the evening and rejoining us next Friday for my Dad's 70th birthday. Poor J
(he'd have had a better chance of getting holidays if he'd actually asked for some; my sympathy is limited cause I'm a big meany). We led an expedition of survival-trained SAS to the sleepout - also known as Mother's Despair or J's Black Hole O'Shite - and extracted the bike carrier so Minerva will be coming too! There's a tri I really kind of sort of have no idea why I want to do in March, which has a hill I really want to have conquered before I commit myself (to being DFL. In the Victorian Triathlon Chanpionships. Maybe I should just have myself committed). I Fear this hill. Driving up it makes me anxious. I WILL ride up it this week.

More anon, shake-n-bakers!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

The second annual NYD tri was hard work - it's 41 degrees today and the gym air conditioning, although struggling gamely, wasn't really up to it. But it was fun, in a sick way. Noddie had a sleepoverat Nanny and Pa's last night and J and I went to a party. It was quite like the old days - in the afternoon I whipped up a cool frock to wear, and we slept in until 9am!
Everyone is doing the big reflection/resolution thing and I think that's a good idea, but it's so f%&*ing hot here I'll have to do it in two parts.

WHAT I LEARNED IN 2007
that springs to mind right this minute and what gave me the lesson.
Complaining, bitching, moaning and wallowing in self-pity is a normal and essential part of getting through hard stuff (ankle reconstruction, thesis)
Being really clear about your priorities makes life much simpler, if not easier (thesis).
Most things turn out ok if you are determined that they will (ankle reconstruction, thesis).
People's opinions may hurt me but they don't stop me (the Athena thing).
I am so blessed with loving people in my life. It's important to keep reaching out and telling them (J, family, nearby and online friends)
Big dreams fit into a little life if you let them (triathlon, uni).
Some people look at a problem and only see why it can't be solved. They are pains. Don't hang around with them. Hang around with people who see life as an adventure full of fun things to be enjoyed.

More on goals later, must fall asleep in front of, err I mean watch the Hopman Cup

Happy New Year, my friends :)