Sunday, August 31, 2008


Warning: this post contains even more self-absorbed navel-gazing than usual

Yesterday Noddie and I were at the finish of the Hill Ride O’Doom to cheer in Secret Sara when we ran into a fellow Cool Runner, the charming M, and his lovely girlfriend. I find M intimidating, which is stupid, and unfair since he has never been anything but encouraging to me - in fact, I wouldn’t have the running goals I do if he and his friends hadn’t been so nice to me when I started. When he remarked that he thought I was supposed to have been riding I didn’t know what to say. Sick again? Not in it because my doctor told me I wasn’t to? It all sounded so lame, so ‘excuses’, so again she’s not doing something she said she would because of some pathetic made-up reason. It sounded like that to me. I hated the words coming out of my mouth, and what these two people I admire must be thinking of me (of course, it's highly unlikely they were thinking anything of the kind!!) The feeling of wimping out, and in particular letting Sara down, had been plaguing me all day. My mind was going in circles.
I shouldn’t have got sick.
There must have been something I could have done that would have prevented it.
Maybe if I just do some little exercise thing each day this infection won’t be such a train crash
I could have had a crack at it.
I’m a piker. I don’t try hard enough. I let people down
I shouldn’t have got sick.
Please note that no-one other than myself said any of these things to me! Stop it, me!
By mid-afternoon, Sara safely cheered across the line – Sara my friend, you are a LEGEND!!!! – I was getting myself really worked up. Confused, tired, sorry for herself LBTEPA needed a good snuggle in the logic blanket to feel better.
Here’s the talk we had. I have left out the ‘yes, buts’ as they were many and I am sure you can imagine them.
FACT: a dodgy thyroid, however well-managed, and recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome, mean my immune system is not 100%. It may never be (although I'm working on it). This is not an ‘excuse’. It is reality. It needs to be managed.
FACT: Noddie started kinder this year and as children do, has brought home every germ going around. This is not an ‘excuse’. It is reality. It needs to be managed.
FACT: My doctor forbade me from training to target the Hill Ride of Doom. This is not an ‘excuse’. It is reality. The last time I disobeyed medical advice went badly. Lesson learnt.
FACT: My ‘A’ event for the winter is the Bay in a Day. Consistent training will get me around. Gung-ho heroics like attempting a gruelling 110km while on antibiotics are counterproductive. This is not an ‘excuse’. It is reality. Suck it up.
FACT: I feel as though I let Sara down. She doesn’t think so. Suck it up. Move on.
FACT: Blaming myself and feeling ashamed for getting sick is predicated on two faulty premises: I am completely in control of everything that happens to me; and everything is about me. ENOUGH. LET IT GO.
I found these conclusions comforting.

Today Minerva and I went out for a bit of a spin that turned into a brain-shaking slog-fest straight into a howling headwind. Think 17km/hr in the small ring on the downhills. Ack. After 25km – about 20km after it first crossed my mind to pack it in, by the way - I cracked like a nut and took the first right-hand turn just to get away from the wind noise. The new road was nice, rolling uphills and zoomy curving downhills, but by the time I got to Whittlesea I was tired and it was starting to spit. You will be so proud of me: I thought, I could ride home, but I’ve done enough for today. I want to run tomorrow. That’s enough.
I found a warm coffee shop with nice magazines and rang the Spousal Unit to pick me up - right in the middle of prayers at church (ooops). He and Noddie drove out to meet me and we had a nice lunch together.

My friend Mary is doing her second Ironman as we speak, and I start my new job, my new career tomorrow.

More anon, strivers

Thursday, August 28, 2008

You're joking

Another sinus infection, with an extra helping of bronchitis-if-I'm-not-careful? More antibiotics? More "resting"? This is starting to become depressing.
*Insert litany of whingeing and lengthy wallow in self-pity pool here*
Now the Plan is this: take antibiotics. Continue eating lots o'veggies, sleeping, drinking green tea, and scoffing echinacea and vitamin C (fat lot of good it's doing, mutters bitter twisted LBTEPA, before being escorted out by the CheerTFU police). Swim ride and run like it's 2047. Eighty years old and still going strong.
Feel frightened about lack of fitness and upcoming events. Say nothing. Keep plugging away.
More anon, faux-phlegmatic friends.
Faux-phlegmatic friends.
...That's fun to say.....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Catch up

Long time, no post, eh?
To the woman who let her 3yo cry and beg for Mummy all the way through the 30min swimming class, who when I mentioned this to her answered, “I know, I’m happy with that”: well (as I said to you) Way to get your kid keen on swimming.
To the pool management who said it was policy that they couldn’t overrule the parents: your policy is wrong and you should be ashamed.

To the supermarket people: Thanks for finally giving me the $50 I got out on eftpos but the cashier forgot to give me as I was rushing Noddie away from the lollies. They weren't arguing about it or anything; it's a very small market that sometimes resembles a sheltered workshop and it took them five days to check the video footage.
Thanks a MILLION times to them as well for looking after Noddie's Teddy. We were all devastated when we couldn’t find him. At one stage Noddie told me she missed Teddy, and I said, when that bear comes back I’ll tell him he's a naughty bear for making us so worried. She answered, I won’t be mad at him, I’ll cuddle him and tell him I’m glad he’s back. We were so happy when he was waiting for us by the cash register four days later when we went in to buy some bread!

I was absolutely worried sick about the weekend’s long bike ride. You know how you get stuck on those righto-it’s-crunch-time-you-slackarse thought loops? I ‘knew’ it was now or never – if I didn’t do close to 100km, at least 4.5 hours, the Bay in a Day was just doomed. So melodramatic! I’d planned to ride with Secret Sara, aka suck her wheel the whole way as she’s been training so consistently, but she had to change from Saturday to Sunday morning and I had church. So Sunday afternoon it was. I was up a bit late watching the diving – congratulations Matthew Mitcham! and had had a few sherbets as it was J’s and my tenth anniversary and we had a big fight about how his habit of leaving everything to the last minute (in this case, arranging babysitting, the ONLY thing he’d been asked to do, not that I was ropeable about it no no no no no) meant that we were not, as planned, in a swish hotel with a spa, but at home eating takeaway chinese, which subsequently gave me food poisoning. Fun fun fun.
I had an absolutely Brilliant Plan for the oh-crap-I-have-to-do-this-hard-thing-and -I'm-scared ride. I expected it to be thoroughly horrid and that I would hate it! Then when it was horrid I said to myself, well, you knew it was going to be like this, so just calm down. It worked a treat! I have to say though, most of the time it was pretty nice. I mostly rode through paddocks and along country roads. It was nicely overcast and there was hardly any wind, and although there was one mofo steep hill that I had to walk the second half, the other side was so steep I hit 62km/hr! Wheeeeeeeeeee! I ended up doing 95km in 4 hours 12 minutes. A huge mental barrier has been smashed. As I smsd to Sara, with 8 weeks to go, I think I will be able to whinge my way around the bay now after all.

Then again, as one of J’s friends remarked when J told him what I was doing for the afternoon, that’s what cars were invented for. Note to self: investigate chamois butter
That's enough about me – pop straight over to SB’s blog and congratulate him on completing a ONE HUNDRED MILE RUN!!!! And also to Benson’s page to tell him very well done on his second Ironman. Don’t mention the platinum togs though

More anon, wearers of padded pants :P

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I needed that

Left Friday 05.00, got home Monday 23.55. Hammered it - out every day by 8.30am, never home before 8.30pm. Mucho champagne. Tired. Content.
Ann and I have known each other since we were 18. So good to be just me for four days. Snigger. We went here twice. Gorgeous river views. Excellent salt and pepper squid.
Second-last stop on the 8-hour winery cruise. Fremantle maritime museum from the Rottnest Island Ferry. Rottnest IslandWesternmost point of Rottnest. Another beautiful beach. A quokka. Rottnest Island pub and the view from our table. Perth Carillon. You're not the only one concerned at its phallic symbolismCelebrity blogger meetup - the lovely Hannelie! What a pleasure.
Don't make me go home.............

More anon, not-all-that-enthused-about-unpacking types
Next: a Plan to get back into things. I can feel some stickers coming on

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Respect the distance

I've been a total crock the last couple of days. I had a migrainy-thingy yesterday. J got home late and I hadn't organised things well enough to fit in a run. I had an allergic reaction to something last night so I am weary and dopey from the drugs. The Olympics are on TV and although it's sunny, it's chilly and a bit windy. I have to pick Noddie up from kinder at 2pm. I'm going away for four days on Friday.
210km is a long way. I.Will. Ride. Today. Sometimes it's just about getting out the door.
Done. Home. Warm again.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Text to Secret Sara (my riding buddy and a complete legend)
Had 2 much wine + 4 hrs sleep, thought What Would Sara Do? so rode to Whittlesea.

OMG how great was the opening ceremony???? I was glued to every second of it! It was so nice sitting there with the the heater on, watching the grand spectacle with the rug over my knees and J snoring in the recliner by my side. It was wonderful - the 'dream rings'! the unrolling scroll! the magic carpet dancer! the admiral's journeys!the tai chi dancers! the low incidence of cute children! You rarely see such good goose-stepping these days, either, and when the middle-aged gold-medal gymnast with the torch just flew into the air to light the torch it was just breathtaking!
My favourite is always the the athletes' parade, although it went so fast, it was hard to find all the tiny countries in my atlas, and there was a disturbing tendency toward beige uniforms - I know ours were rather, er...shiny, but the colour was lovely.

Four hours' sleep was worth it, although I did have to channel the mighty Sara to get on my bike for my long ride. The wonderful Spousal Unit took Noddie and a picnic to Whittlesea, my planned turnaround point, so I couldn't wimp out even if I wanted to. Which I did. Crikey it was hard. I struggled to maintain 20km/hr. Had I really had that many sherbets to celebrate 08/08/08? No, as it turned out - the stupendous headwind that I was too busy blaming myself to notice on the way there was a glorious tailwind on the return journey! Bliss! Topped off with a dozy afternoon watching the olympics it made a Very Good Day.

This morning I was running in the heavy cold stupid rain. Although I was soaked, I was sort of enjoying myself in a cold wet way. It was good to be out there moving strongly. All of a sudden I noticed the first pink plum blossoms with their promise of Spring. Born to be alive came on the ipod, and I thought to myself, Yes. Yes, I am.

More anon, blessing counters

Friday, August 08, 2008

As you were

Blogger mates are the BEST. Thanks so much for your thoughts and concern ((hugs)).
When my future employers emailed yesterday to tell me that they are placing me in the job I applied for (depression support) after all, my response was 30% disappointment and 70% relief. If I had ended up working on the suicide line I would have made sure I did a good job, and I do plan to work on a higher-demand phone service in another six months or so...... but it would have been a very intense introduction to my new career. This will be much more manageable. Twenty-four more sleeps until "I'm going to" (be a psychologist) becomes "I am". I can hardly believe it. No more sleeps until the Olympic opening ceremony!! I have watched every opening ceremony since 1976 in real time. Three a.m, schmee a.m., if that's when it's on, that's when I watch it. My getting up for the Athens opening ceremony was a bit of a suprise to the Spousal Unit, since the Sydney Olympics were in our time zone and everyone watched them, but he's got the idea now. I'll get at least one sleeve of Noddie's new cardie knitted tonight. Last time I was embroidering her christening dress - ah, memories..... I'm tipping plenty of martial arts and possibly some fireworks, waddya reckon? Then it's a 24/7 sportfest for the next two weeks at casa del LBTEPA. By the end I will want to strangle the stupid parochial channel 7 announcers -I am interested in sports even if there are no Aussies in them! I don't wanna see the ones we do well at more than, say, twenty times!! Grrrrrr!* -and will have sworn off all products from any of the major sponsors. It's the price I pay. There's always SBS.
Iron Wil's HTFU and get your lardy arse out of bed mantra -
Get up. It sucks. Then it doesn't. Go and Train. It sucks. Then it doesn't. In that order. Always
- was the only thing that, well, H'd me TFU and got my lardy arse out of bed and into the freezing starry morning for a run. It was the first time since I've started again that I didn't feel like Dumbo minus the avian capabilities. I wished I'd gone the long tights instead of the shorts though, brrrrr.

More anon, sportsfans!
*always good to practice ranting in advance

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


When I got my letter of offer for my New Job (did I mention I have a new job?) it wasn't for the one I'd been interviewed for!!
*Short pause whilst the grammar police take LBTEPA away for a beating*
Naturellement I went into a flat spin, immediately assuming they'd mistaken me for the chickybabe in the interview group with the sheaf of extra-specific hard-core fab-o certifications - and I'd resigned my old job and told everyone and it was all going to go horribly wrong. That's normal, no? After repeated frantic phone calls I was on first name terms with their receptionist, a kind person who reassured me that she would, she really would pass on my messages as soon as the HR person got in (now go away and stop ringing please).
I'm wavering between being flattered and terrified at being told what happened: the interviewers sit down with the HR people and work out who they think would be best on which phone service, and they decided that I would be best placed on their suicide help line! Am I up for it? They think so, and by crikey I will do my level best to be.
You know what? Three weeks off running is like starting again! Ow ow ow. My calves and my foam roller are back hating each other, my balance feels off and I am frantically re-reading Chi Running to try and recapture the magic hahahahahaha. Breathes in, breathes out. Patience, grasshopper. This too will pass.....
We've just had the morning pack the bag with lunch/homework/show and tell/face washer/drink/money for 'incursion' (= visitor (with dress ups this time) - don't ask, just do not get me started on what a complete (starts with W rhymes with plank) Noddie's kinder is, just don't get me started) frenzy. Noddie and the Spousal Unit have set off together hand in hand up the hill. Awwwww.
The washing is folded, the dishes are done, the beds are made. Minerva and I are out of here!

More anon, fanciers of fluffy green cocktails!*
*grasshoppers LOL I am so funny

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Overnight sensation

Well boys and girls thank you so much for your kind comments on my New Job. It is likely that there will be Numerous Gratuitous Capitals in this post as I am officialy Over Excited. After almost ten years (it doesn’t sound so bad if you say it fast) of on-and-off part-time study, taking breaks to have Noddie etc etc, I will finally be working as a psychologist, for a depression support phone service. After three months I can start to work in the other types of services provided by this agency, such as drug & alcohol work, suicide helpline etc etc. As well as allowing me to actually earn a living at something I'm trained to do and fairly good at *does happy dance* , I'm hoping that having this job will make it easier to get into the Master's program I am aiming for next year.
I couldn’t be more flabbergasted. You see, most people – even my dear Spousal Unit – have this image of LBTEPA as effortlessly goal-oriented. I think of something I want to do, I set a goal, I make a plan and I go for it. True. But I never really believe things will work out the way I want them to. Why should they? The world doesn't revolve around me. So every single time I manage to pull something off, every single time a plan comes together ( *puffs on imaginary cigar* cause I love it when a plan comes together) I am astonished, delighted and extremely relieved. I got away with it again!
I have three more weeks in my old job - give or take a long weekend in Perth visiting my very best friend, hurrah! – an excellent send-off lunch, a week off to finish our tax, burn down the house, oops I mean clean out the study and the sleep-out, and then my new working life will begin. The weekend I finish work is also the tenth anniversary of that memorable evening when J and I got together (let this be a warning to you: drunken one-night stands can go horribly wrong) so we are off to a posh hotel in Bendigo for some (ahem) “couple time”.
Yesterday Secret Sara and I rode to Whittlesea together. She did 20km extra at each end, making a round 100km! Go Century Sara!! You are a legend!
Here's another entry for Captain Obvious 2008: riding with someone like Sara is So Much Fun! Conversation topics included clothes, weight loss strategies, dogs, bike saddles, gatorade, psychotic killers, Fear Of Hills, and training with hangovers not that either of us would ever do such a thing no no no no. I felt very heartened that I could manage 60km fairly easily after three weeks off. The possibility of actually doing the Hills O’Doom ride is still hovering in the back of my mind. I’ll decide closer to the time so the Spousal Unit and my doctor don’t have me committed.
Today will be my very first run since the Gold Coast Half. I wonder if I can remember how?

More anon, excessively cheerful types!