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Monday, March 31, 2008

There is no sensible title for this post

Firstly - did you go to Bold's blog and get a link to the write2fight page?
It's not a pretty sight here at chez LBTEPA. We all have the lurgi to varying degrees, which means that Noddie (getting over it) is being allowed to behave like an absolute feral by the Spousal Unit (just getting it) who then does his nut because she is rampaging around while he wants to lie pathetically on the couch and watch endless annoying crap TV, while I (bravely struggling through, ahem) am grinding my back molars flat calming everything down after returning from the physio - who hurt me whilst thwarting the Return of the Unstable Pelvis (thanks Noddie! NOT!) and has introduced me to the happy world of foam rollers - and the supermarket.
However
since I took first place in Gatorade Race 6 (Athena category), owing to Kathy the fast chick having a flat tyre and it being so cold no-one else was stupid enough to show up
and hence
became the 2007 - 08 Gatorade Series Winner (Athena category) - it just shows that turning up is 90% of the battle, no? - I couldn't care less. Pass the echinacea and the bubbly! And don't ask me to take off the bling.

More anon, pothunters!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

'cause it's not always all about me

Go to Bold's blog.
Then go to the site he has founded in memory of his late wife.
Then get one of these and put it in your blog. Using the energy of blogs to help fight cancer is A Very Good Thing, so just go and do it this very minute. Spit spot!

After you've done that, pop over and wish Jeanne good luck in her half-marathon on Saturday, and Kathryn all the best in the Run for the Kids on Sunday. Go on, off you go!

Geez I'm bossy. But it's better than whingeing about how my back is still sore and my calf is still niggly and now Noddie has given me her stupid bug so I feel crappy and I am going to race on Sunday if it kills me, don't you think?

More anon, starfish-flingers!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

not the best fun ever

I’m still feeling a bit sore and sorry for myself today. Gosh it was beautiful down near the river near Mum’s place when I went out for my long run last Saturday morning, golden paddocks, shimmering wetlands, a nice breeze through the poplars…everything was superb apart from the fact that I couldn’t get my stupid calf to loosen up.... cue sinister music..... All of a sudden, just as I was about to turn for home..... BLAM! It was as though something had sunk its teeth into me, or stuck its talons into my calf and twisted and refused to let go. Ow ow ow oooooooooooooooh but it was painful, and try as I might I couldn’t get it to release. After a bit of creative cursing - not too much, as I was more shocked than furious - everything had been going along so nicely! - I took stock. It was still warm and sunny with a nice breeze, the paddocks were still golden etc, I had plenty of water and a couple of gels……it was just the 8k of deserted road, no phone and a gait restricted to a hobble that I had to deal with.
Hmmm, I thought…what would Wes do? So I thought myself some positive and uplifting thoughts and got started back. What would Kathryn and Katy do? I didn’t have anything fabulous to change into and couldn’t think of any pithy ways to sum up my predicament, but I did try and see the funny side, such as it was. What would Morsey do? Although it was hard with neither a dog nor a sense of humour (I think I dropped that in the grass beside the road), I kept on moving, trying to run – cos it was going to take a f#$% of a long time if I walked all the way! – and counted those minutes until it was time to walk. Mary Sunshine and SB lent me some of their unimaginably vast reservoirs of endurance and good temper.... just keep going, that’s what it’s all about……and Iron Wil and Iron Misty told me, hey, hurting and being scared and doubtful you can make it is just part of the fun, as long as you don’t let it stop you! Yes, they are kind of weird, but in a good way. Mostly, though, I tried to be like Jeanne. There’s no better friend when you’re moaning and bitching your way home to the icepack and drugs!Just opposite the bluff is where I turned around
Time went on, and so did the road, and the music in my headphones, and the horrid painful gripping in the back of my leg, and then I could see the last corner and the last hill and I was back and it was time to suck down ibuprofen and be Mummy and go to the races and out sailing and suck down more ibuprofen and ice myself with frozen beans because we had eaten all the peas the day before.
It’s been getting slowly better but I went to the physio yesterday because my back was hurting as well, and I DO NOT HAVE A BAD BACK. It turns out it’s all that pesky sacroiliac region faffing about, not doing its job and amusing itself referring pain out around its friends the hamstrings, hips and lower back. A bit of excruciating thumb-digging by the physio and some mildly pornographic stretches to do for a few days and I’ll apparently be good as gold. Just as well, since the last tri of the season is on Sunday and I am already working on Winter Project #1 (official announcement shortly).
More anon, hobblers!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Beans

My left calf is quite painful since the Long Run Of Doom a couple of days ago and I have discovered why people recommend using a bag of frozen peas to ice sore areas. Frozen beans are pointy.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter

Easter Blessings to you!We're at Mum's for the long weekend. Take care, and enjoy those HCBs!
Or easter eggs, if you prefer (weirdo)More anon, oologists.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

79 = 81

I am aware that this post makes me appear a complete half-back flanker, but there you go.....
So there I was, standing at the counter in the photo shop when my phone rang. It was the lovely and endlessly patient department secretary with my long-anticipated thesis mark. Congratulations! Your thesis mark was 79, which gives you an overall mark for fourth year of 81. Well done!
I was speechless. 79? Seventy-nine? You f#$% me around all year with supervisors buggering off and other supervisors giving away our subjects to their masters students so I had no hope of significant results and you take four months to sort out my ethics application so I have three months instead of seven to get twelve thousand half-decent words down, and you take three months to mark it, and you can't even choke out one more mark so I can have an HD? Spitting chips doesn't even begin to describe my reaction. Ropeable, livid? Pretty much spot on. Then I got all moany and poor me and it's not fair about how well I could have done had I had the aforementioned seven months. I didn't know what to think so I wandered about the shopping centre for a while, scowling horribly, and bought J a present. Luckily it's hot cross bun season - I only eat them in the two weeks before Easter otherwise I would be like the side of a house, I love them so - so some warm buttery goodness, and a couple of kind phone calls from my lovely lovely friends were just what it took to help me calm the heck down and cheer the heck up. HUGE mwah mwah mwah and hugs to M and A, you girls are the BEST! This isn't pretty, but I have to confess it didn't take me long to move from self-pity to self-congratulation - the official position on my fourth year thesis is now something along the lines of no subjects? No supervisor? Three months instead of seven? That the best you can do? Bring It On, baby - and I'll still get 79, so there! *blows raspberry*
So now what? The Spousal Unit - who has just been promoted at work - CONGRATULATIONS YOU BIG SPUNK!!! - and I have celebrated with Indian takeaway and bubbles. Ooooh I know- last of the high-steppers, that's us! I'll apply for entry into Masters in Clinical Psychology in October and find out in November where I'm going next year. I hope 81 is enough to get back into LaTrobe (plan A - just down the road, and with a very highly-regarded CBT-based program), cause it's all I've got. It'll certainly get me into RMIT (plan B, a little bit further down the road and also CBT-based but mostly child psych, eww).
So that's that. Now it's time to get off my lardy behind and out on my bike before I pick Noddie up from kinder. You have a lovely day :)
More anon, toilers!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Why Dreaming Big is Good For You

*Yawns*
Stretches, tries to remember what being a hard-arse early-rising tri-machine (ROFL) was like. Fails.

You know, it could easily have turned out quite differently. My highest duties are as wife and mother, and I am paid to go to work. I could have set my sights on the Olympic tri, and worked hard, and something could have come up that made it 'not the right time'. I would have had to suck it up, and think about the Next Plan.
But nothing came up. It was the right time. I did face the fears and do the work and it all worked out superbly on the day.
Now I feel taller. I smile all the time and walk with a certain inner strut. I own a Wonder Woman t-shirt and now I wear it. I've started working on my next Next Plan (of which more anon) and I already know I can do it if I keep working. This will almost certainly change - I don't think one success eradicates the bleat gene! - but just at the moment I can do anything, with awesome shoes and perfect lipstick.
That, my dear friends, is why you should Dream Big. You can't always pull it off, but when you do, it's the Best Feeling Evah!

Moving to non-messianic mode, we've had a lovely weekend. J and I went to a wedding on Saturday and Noddie had a sleepover at Nanny and Pa's place = Mummy and Daddy sleep in until 8.30! Last night we piled along to the park for an Easter picnic orgnaised by J's work. Great fun. I am SUPPOSED to hear my thesis mark from uni today but am not holding my breath. Hmph.

More anon, my treasures :)

LATE UPDATE: I have received my thesis mark and therefore my final Honours mark. I am in the peculiar position of feeing simultaneously extremely pleased and absolutely ropeable.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Race report: Bairnsdale Olympic distance

WARNING: THIS POST IS VERY VERY LONG.
IT CONTAINS MUCH SWEARING.
ALL SONGS ARE TO THE TUNE OF ‘ALLOUETTE’.

Just FYI: Nutrition Plan (all hail the mighty nutrition plan!)
5.30am - Muesli
7.30-8.00 Powerbar
T1 and T2: big slug of Gatorade
Bike: gel every 40 minutes (changed to 30 in 2nd loop to fit in with terrain). Complete bottle of water each loop.

Run: half bag of sports beans at first water station, rest if wanted. Spare gel in pocket.

You know the best way to halve your pre-race nerves? Get up AN HOUR LATER THAN YOU PLANNED! That way you only have half the time to stress out, and have to use some of that to rethink your Nutrition Plan, cause 5.30am muesli is so not going to work at 6.45. After a banana and a piece of raisin toast I sequed smoothly back to the original Plan. Phew! Seriously, I was freaked out. No time for even one cup of tea, nor, well, how can I put this? Let’s just say it was good the portaloo lines were short. Both times. My parents live about 500m from the start so Minerva and I coasted down the hill to transition in the quiet foggy morning. I had a couple of extra things to think about because it was a longer race, with hills: specifically, when to put my gloves on; puncture kit or not; and how to make sure I didn’t forget my T1 drinks. I ended up sticking the drink in my helmet and my gloves in my bento box; I went without the puncture kit because we had flash-o seatpost bike numbers and they didn’t both fit. I had to throw something into the lap of the tri gods and that was it. It was still quite dark and cloudy and I was feeling pretty lonely and – ok, ok, yes – a bit scared, ok, f#$%ing terrified. I sat propped against post to chew my suddenly-a-bit-difficult-to-swallow energy bar and watch for the family coming down the hill - if they made it to the start - I’d bolted out the door so fast to get to transition before it closed that we hadn’t worked anything out. How happy I was to see them! Kisses and cuddles all round were just the thing *beams in recollection*
True confession: before we set off to the start I spoke to the timing blokes and made them promise they wouldn’t pack up before I finished. Sad.
I’ve run the river track to the swim start many times, but it was so strange to be ambling along in my wetsuit and sandals. People were saying how cold the water was so I was pleasantly surprised when I climbed down the rocky embankment and slid in. Being in water always makes me feel peaceful and happy, so by the time it was our turn to go I’d Shut my buzzing neuroses The F#$% Up and was back inside my own head again at last. Whatever happened, I’d done all I could to prepare. It was showtime!
Swimming down a sluggish brown river under a pale sky and calm beautiful trees is on my ‘I hope they have this in heaven’ list.

I just motored along, long and strong, enjoying myself. When the bridge near the finish came in sight I started thinking about transition and what I would do…drink, sunnies, helmet, number, socks, shoes….. drink, sunnies, helmet, number, socks, shoes…..being whacked in the face made me really angry! It probably meant I was out and running faster than normal (not that you’d know)...drink, sunnies, helmet, number, socks, shoes and OFF WE GO!Being a bit familiar with the bike course helped me work out where I should put my gloves on. And don’t say ‘on your hands’, smartarse! Not the highway, not the roundabout, not the gravel. That left the flat bit near the church. Done. It was time to climb.
Huffing and puffing up a long grade like that makes me tired so I kept my breathing as slow and even as I could. *Sings: Just relax now, just relax now, just relax now, that’s a good girl. Again it was good I knew the course because it’s a bit deceitful. There are three shorter get-thee-into-bottom-gear-and-grind inclines after the first long straight one, but because I was expecting them they pissed me off instead of making me sad. *I’m a legend, I’m a F#$%ing legend, I’m a legend, riding up a hill. Don’t look at the top, just keep going. Don’t wobble, there are cars. Just keep going til the next reflector. Just keep going, that’s the way....
The last corner on the hill is so steep it almost makes you laugh in a ‘you must be f#$%ing joking’ way – it looks as though you’re ‘there’ at the highway turnoff, but then you have to get out of the saddle and attack a nasty little 100m rise before the swooping undulations of the next 8km. *I’m a legend, I’m a F#$%ing legend, I’m a legend, riding up a hill. Tell the marshal I’ll see him in an hour and off we go. I always try and thank race marshals, especially in a race like this where they are out there by themselves for ages waiting for the back-of-the-packers. It was also a gauge of how much I was struggling. If I was getting too stressed or too tired to forget common politeness, then the whole point of the day – to enjoy myself – was lost.
Only the first five elites lapped me which pleased me immensely! The last downhill into town is absolutely brilliant; a pity about the right-hand turn onto a main road at the bottom, oh well. Tip for young players: don’t make your Olympic distance the first time you open and scoff a foil pack of strawberry-banana chemical sludge on the fly. Two weeks ago on my ride to Whittlesea I thought practising gel-eating was a bit of a waste of time, but on race day by crikey I was pleased I had the knack. Zoom zoom zoom through the flash new estate, (thankyou marshal! See you in an hour!), not far to go into town. Only what the race director described as a ‘pinch hill’ and what I described as a ‘bitch pig (or was it pig bitch?) hill’to go. Out of my saddle again? F#$%ing f#%$ers! Whose idea was this? Wave at the Spousal Unit and Noddie and around we go again
No one was more surprised than I that I didn’t have to get off my bike halfway up the second climb and weep bitter tears. It seems the 2.5kg of missing lard and 380km of TITS (Time In The Saddle, you disgusting creatures!) since Christmas has made a difference. Another 20 minutes of sweating, swearing and baring my teeth*I’m a legend, I’m a F#$%ing legend, I’m a legend, riding up a hill. I could see a tiny red figure at the top, waving and cheering. My Mum was up there waiting for me! Thanks Mum! Not long after this the Tall Old Bloke (TOB) passed me for the first time so I knew I was last. I wasn’t, actually – there was another, even older bloke who had mechanical trouble, of whose existence I was unaware. TOB was on a very nice looking bike but it didn’t stop him getting lost twice! He was obviously faster at 68 than I will ever be, but I don’t think it’s too harsh to point out that that obeying the marshals – or even noticing the marshals – is an essential race skill. The pinch/pigbitch #$%^#$% hill came around again, as they do, but I was fired up now and swore at it – stick to what you’re good at, no? – until I was on the flat again. Time to get my gloves off and think about T2.
This was the time I felt worst about being so slow. People were running to the finish line; even faster people were obviously waiting for us to start the run so they could get their stuff. The marshals and officials looked sorry for me. F#$% ‘em. They took my money. They could WAIT. I had checked out the course so I knew ‘that awful hill’ was actually a set of steep stairs - an extra walk break! – so I wasn’t scared, especially since someone had swapped my legs for some that felt strong and co-ordinated. Yay! That morning Noddie had insisted she was going to run with me to 'help me' (now everyone say ‘awwwwww’). As I passed her I could see that the Spousal Unit had tried to get her to run with me, towards him, but that she didn’t quite understand and was just standing still. This whole day was about all of us, not just me, so I went back and got her. Even now I get blinky thinking about her little face lighting up as she took my hand and we ran together to Daddy for sweaty kisses and hugs. Off up the road I went. I’m a legend, I’m a F#$%ing legend, I’m a legend, running up the hill. Nine minutes run, one minute walk. Whose legs were these? I hoped they’d let me keep them. It was getting a bit warm as TOB caught up to me (again) just as we reached the stairs. He was a lot more cheerful about getting repeatedly lost than I would have been! On we trotted. I’m a legend, I’m a F#$%ing legend, I’m a legend, running all the way. We were both a bit upset to find that the water stations were not every 2km as we had been led to believe. It might not have made much difference to the fast people but when you’re still running at noon there’s a big difference between water at 2,4,6 and 8km and 2,5,8 and 9! It seemed to affect TOB more than it did me, probably thanks to the two whole bottles on the bike. Thankyou Nutrition Plan! All hail the mighty Nutrition Plan! Where’s our water, where’s our f#$%ing water, where’s our water, you f#$%ing p#$%s? I tried not to sing that too often because I was mostly in a pretty good mood, running my intervals and singing to myself about what a legend I was. 5km to go! I can do 5km at 5am with a hangover! I am so finishing this bastard, yes I am! The run course was very pretty and mostly along trails, such a treat for my footpath-hammered feet. By the end of the shadeless stretch along the river bank, though, I was pretty angry watching poor TOB up ahead of me trying to run a bit and then having to walk. Especially since there had been a drink station set up at the swim start, which they’d obviously packed up. Where’s our water, where’s our f#$%ing water, where's our water you f#$%ing p#$%s? The last 2km of the run would have broken my heart if I hadn't been expecting it. They ran us past the finish line and up the steep-as-the-stairs track to the road past my parents’ house, then around the block to the finish. Transition was mostly empty and TOB had stopped at the 8km drink station and seemed to have given up (although he did finish) but I was really focused doing all my darling family proud by finishing strongly. When a man at the 9km drink station commented that I was ‘doing it hard’ I snapped, no, mate, I’m doing it slow, and I kept running. Past the cow paddocks, up the nowhere-as-big-as-the-hill-near-my-house-that-I’ve-run-up- three-times-a-week-for-the-last-month, over the top – hi Mum! Thanks for running with me! It really did help! You ROCK! - around the corner and down the hill to the chute and I was finished. All I had to do then was walk back up the hill again (nooooo!), eat fish and chips (my wonderful Sherpas' richly-deserved favourite lunch) , and smile at how blessed I am.I'm still smiling.

NOTE: When I emailed the RD about the water he acknowledged that they had stuffed up and was very apologetic.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Through the wall*

167 232 LBTEPA Olympic F 40-44 3 S 25:52 T1 02:16.7 B 1:49:33.2 T2 02:09.6 R 1:18:33.4 3:38:25.7

Somehow I must always remember how good this feels.There’s a permanent FIGJAM grin on my face and I feel lighter than air – I did it!
I did all the work – day after day I went through that too-busy too-tired wall that was really called your dreams aren’t worth chasing after. I did all the planning and scheduling and fitting-in-with-the-family and one-less-piece-of-pizza. I gave the finger to the fear and the shame of being too fat and too slow and the you don’t belong here, everyone will laugh at you thoughts. After sitting through the carbo dinner with all those 43 minute-10km single-digit body-fat triathlon machines I wanted to cry, but I went home and packed my race bag and checked my elastic laces and made sure everything was ready. Next morning I went down and set up my stuff and I really wanted to run away, but I walked to the start through that wall of body image issues THAT WERE ALL IN MY HEAD and I started to swim. And I NAILED my nutrition plan - all hail the mighty Nutrition Plan! -and I kept on going and going and going until it was time to stop. Just the way I'd imagined.

I did it.
I did it.
Unbelievable.

*grin*

More anon, comrades. Race report on its way.
*I know my good friend Iron Wil won't mind me pinching her tagline.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Friday, March 07, 2008

F.U.S.

I don't know, turn my back for a second and everything goes to wrack and ruin - Cheerful LBTEPA here, back to take over from that tiresome Sooky La-la LBTEPA. Many, many thanks for your encouraging words to her. She has been sent out the back with a can of HTFU and a spoon.
F.U.S. does not stand for F#$% U, Spousal unit (although it could, given that we have just had a fearful blue - loyalty prevents me from divulging the details; we have sorted it out now).
It stands for my plan for this weekend's triathlon:

Finish,
Upright and
Smiling.
One of my Best Plans Ever, I think! There's a much longer post about why I am doing this and how I talked myself out of talking myself out of it during my run this morning - OMG how good do your legs feel at the end of tapering? Why wasn't I told? - swirling around in my head, but I must continue flinging random articles into bags so I can pick Noddie up and head east before the long weekend traffic goes nuts. I do have a list, but when I tipped everything out of the too-small bag into the far-too-large bag I found seven tee-shirts. Tizzy, anyone?

More anon, lovelies :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Not scared of the bike leg any more

...because I've just looked carefully at the RUN course of my first Olympic triathlon this Sunday. I have one thing to say about this:
F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%!
That'll teach me to read the course description rather than expanding the blurry aerial photo map 250% and studying it with a magnifying glass. Ignoring the word 'challenging' was clearly another crucial error. Mum's startled 'Oh! I didn't realise you were going up that awful hill!' (she lives nearby) didn't help either. And it's going to be hot.
Excuse me while I go and process some blind hyperventilating terror for a couple of hours.
F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%
Fear not, Wes and Benson - positive thinking and problem-solving strategies are scheduled for later this evening. Just have to sweat with fear and whack myself with the What. Were. You. Thinking? bat for a while.
And I was just starting to feel a bit rested and a tiny bit confident....
F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%F#$%!

More anon, quiverers!