Monday, December 29, 2008


The other day I decided: I look fabulous. I decided that I would always think I look fabulous, not just when I’m scrubbed up and frocked up and posed to hide the turkey wings and chins. You see, I’ve been a bit down on myself lately. I’ve gained three kilos since July, fully half of the weight I chiselled off in the first half of 08. It’s easy to look in the mirror and only see my thickened waist and heavy thighs. I'm a champion at looking at a photo and only seeing the spare tyre and the overbite. I have decided to break that habit. My measurements and my weight are not my worth. I look great all the time because I am LBTEPA and I say so. Sometimes even out loud.
As for that pesky lard, don’t think I don’t have a plan, cos by crikey I do! Mwahahaha!
Now the Plan is This: after the sherbet-fuelled scoff-fest and party-extravaganza that is December in our household (I blame my inlaws; if they’d canoodled in January 1961 instead of March the Spousal Unit J would have a nice convenient October birthday instead of exposing us to incipient hyperglycaemia every Christmas), there will be no chips, no chocolate, and no cake of any kind for the duration (other than in exceptional circumstances). I’ll restart my strategy of five days a week with no more than one drink, and only after 9pm (so I’m having it because I want to, not to mute the chaos). I’ll write ‘STOP’ on my hand so as to thwart its frequent sneaky forays to the cracker jar. Most importantly, I will move my lardy - yet fabulous - posterior every day. I’ve fallen into the trap of saying oh woe, oh woe, I haven’t (made/organised/managed) enough time for the workout I planned. Well fine, I’ll just sulk and fold washing instead. Then suddenly it's been three days since I last worked out and my pants are even tighter.
All very basic and Captain Obvious. I don't like to fail. All the 'wins' in this plan are behavioural rather than weight based because, well, me and the Scale Gods, we don't get on. I don't need those b#$%&*s messing with my head. Don't tell anyone, but my real aim is to look sensational in my new red dress, which is only ok at the moment if I concentrate really hard on sucking my tummy in. I'll let you know how it goes...
Next: LBTEPA decides that two weeks is not enough preparation for an Olympic distance tri.

More anon, Fancy Nancies!

Friday, December 26, 2008

how was your Christmas?

Everything was just lovely this year. We had such a happy day. After church we scoffed prawns and warm pork rolls at the park, then the rellie hordes descended for the cold-meat-and-salad and present-fest. I'm never ever eating again....until the Spousal Unit's birthday party tomorrow....uurrgghh
More anon, revellers!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

dreaming of a white christmas

Sorry, couldn't resist the pun
Today is Noddie's very last day of family day care ever. What a milestone. We have organised an aromatherapy massage for her carer; that woman has earned it. I did go to the family Christmas party after all and it wasn't all that bad, even with no lunch (we were late because of Noddie's Sunday school prize giving) and no chardonnay. Otherwise the weekend was chock full o'Christmassy goodness - I've done my final, final, no really there's no more I need Christmas present shopping! I was going to get my in-laws a digital phot frame (what do you get people with no interests?), then whom should I spy in a shop signing his autobiography but their football hero? Half an hour in the queue and the it's bad to loathe your in-laws demons were appeased. Then it was bauble making and Daddy-present-buying with Noddie, Saturday night carol service where the tiny doll in Mary's arms turned out to be a real two week old baby (awwwwwww). Monday was a family breakfast and a trip into the city to see the Myer windows , with some christmas pudding making (late, I know, but better than nothing) and pre-visitor-onslaught cleaning to top it all off, all to the strains of Bing Crosby and the Mormon Tabernacle choir. I love Christmas.
I even managed to squeeze a couple of runs and a ride. You know, a missed workout is often not about the actual exercise; it's the fact that clawing some time out of the day is itself another task. When I'm feeling overloaded it's often 'too hard' to juggle the jigsaw to fit in one more thing. I'm pleased I did it this weekend. I'm also happy it's a quiet day at work today, and that my best friend A has come over from Perth for Christmas and we'll be catching up today.

More anon, seasonal-enthusiasts! Joy to the world !

Friday, December 19, 2008


Once I got dry and warm and woke up properly after the weekend (about Tuesday) and had a couple of free minutes to faff about on the internet, I looked up my first-prize Athena sunnies. All I can say is oooh! What a lucky girl I am. Clearly their powers of fabulousness are beyond mortal ken: they even pulled me out the door for a run yesterday afternoon!
I've been doing a lot of overtime lately so keeping up with things has been a bit rush rush juggle juggle keep moving stay calm. That's finished now; we are cashed up and I'm tired and ready for Christmas and the summer holidays (if it ever gets above twenty or stops raining, not that I mind the rain because of the drought but really.... I digress). Today I'm going into the City on the train to do errands and finish the shopping By Myself. Maybe have some lunch and a swim. Bliss.
I'm supposed to go to a family do on Sunday afternoon that is likely to be chock full o' J's charming relatives (true), where Noddie is likely to behave poorly because she has yet to get the hang of parties, poor love (true) and where my inlaws will leave it to me to deal with it and not interfere or make homicidal-rage-inducing comments (so not true). J is working, so I'll be driving and thus fortification-by-chardy won't be an option. I might give it a miss. Noddie and I can make shortbread instead. Good Plan!More anon, holders of realistic expectations!

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm not A fat panda

I had a good time in the 4km ocean swim on Saturday. My friend Secret Sara had a totally crap time in the same swim, although I didn’t realise it until afterward, or that it was her very first ocean swim ever. At first we were swimming together and I was encouraging her, but then it occurred to me how annoying it must be to have someone constantly yapping on when you’re doing it hard. I thought she’d probably prefer me not to be at her shoulder saying ‘go Sara go’. I tried to stay just ahead of her and wait at each bouy to wave to her so she’d know which way to go, but then every time I waved, the safety boat would roar over because they thought I was in trouble. Then the weather blew up and I was having to concentrate on my own sighting and moving with the swell – and when I got to the next bouy I couldn’t see Sara any more. Every time I stopped I asked the lifeguards if they could see her and they always could; she seemed to be moving steadily, so I kept going. The course was two long thin rectangles; by the short end of the second loop it was getting so windy we were just about swimming uphill. Sighting was a matter of waiting for the top of a swell, line up the bouy and hope for the best until the next one. If it had been that rough when we started I don’t think they’d have let us set off. I became engrossed in the rhythm of breathing and sighting, one two three two two three three two three sight two three, one two three two two three.... It was hard to see the markers on the outermost leg of the course because they were white (stupid stupid stupid when the whole world at water level was pale grey). At one stage it was raining so hard that I couldn’t see the shore, or the bouy, or anyone. I just bobbed up and down in the water for a minute, enjoying the lovely sounds of the ocean and the rain and the feeling of the water…..a beautiful moment. Exhilarating. I peered in the direction I thought the marker should be and there it was, so off I went again. I kept asking the lifeguards if they could see Sara – they always could - and telling them her name and asking them to encourage her for me. She’s so strong and determined that it didn’t occur to me that she wouldn’t be ok. The water got more and more rough. I was just grinning at the sheer magnificent lunacy of it all. I was feeling strong, and happy with my technique, and tired and very cold and worried about Sara as well. I was so happy to round the last marker and be headed in. This was almost the most difficult leg of the race because you had to cut diagonally across the swell. The lifeguards kept telling people to look for the yellow pole but it was almost impossible to see against the coloured bathing boxes – I found the lifesaving club and then sighted on a tall building behind it for a while one two three two two three three two three aha there you are, you bastard until I could see that wretched pole. Once I got to it I could see the finish. It was a mess – they had laid out the cans for the 1.2km race so we had to weave through them, and there were a lot of swimmers warming up as well. I just kept swimming and sighting and watching the red letters get larger and larger, one two three two two three three two three bring it on two three… All too soon my fingertips hit the bottom and I stood up to stagger through the shallows and up the beach. I’ve been spoilt doing triathlons, I think – I was so surprised they didn’t take off my chip! I don't know why I felt as though I was going to be sick, but once the urge had passed, all I could think of was where Sara might be. I squinted out through the rain and all the 1.2km people until I saw a little white cap in the distance. She was still a long way out and moving very slowly so I went out again to swim her in. I nearly had tears in my eyes at how brave she was to keep going when she was obviously exhausted. We got to the shallows and her poor legs were cramping so I helped her up and over the line. I took her chip off and she just started crying and saying she was never ever doing that again, a very sensible response really, so I hustled us off to the change room to start to get warm. I was absolutely shaking with cold. Sara kept saying she wasn’t cold at all so I was worried about that too. It was only when we were getting changed I realised Sara had never done an ocean race before. The other women were so lovely, they were all praising her and telling her that it was a technically difficult course (true) and a really hard day (f#$% yes). Because I have been swimming in the ocean for most of my life I am not scared of the sea. I cannot comprehend how hard that must have been for her out there. To gut it out like that leaves me in awe.
To conclude the swim report, I would like to express how much in love with my car heater I am. When I got home J and Noddie were at a birthday party so I fell asleep on the recliner with the heater on full blast hello? Summer? This is LBTEPA and I would like to ask just when the F#$% you are planning on arriving? Then we watched Kung Fu Panda, now officially my new fave movie. Fave lines:
Tai Lung: You're nothing but a big fat Panda
Po: I’m not A big fat Panda, I’m THE big fat Panda!
.....making a neat segue into Sunday’s triathlon, where I was not just an old slow Athena. I was THE old slow Athena. In answer to Jeanne’s question, you "accidentally" enter a triathlon the day after a 4km swim when you fail to comprehend that Dec 13th and Dec 14th are consecutive days. You’re right, I need to be more big picture. Let me confess that I just wasn't feeling the love on race morning. It rained so hard I was soaked to the skin setting up transition - it was worth my TA membership just to stand in the Triathlon Victoria tent. Some effortful reframing was necessary to avert the complaining-despair death-spiral. My happy place was hiding but I found it eventually. The quickest way to describe things is to remind you of my race report of a couple of weeks ago, subtract ten degrees, double the howling wind, add squalls of stinging sideways rain and take away one Athena so I got first place and a nice new pair of sunglasses. I’m still in love with my car heater.


I've been rendered speechless by the weekend's double-header, will try and do reports soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


A couple of years ago I read a really good book called Unplug the Christmas Machine. Its main point was that, apart from the things we really have to do (like Noddie's kinder concert and having my in-laws over), a lot of the stuff we do at Christmas is stuff we think we should do, and as such, may or may not contribute to the joy and meaning of Christmas. There are Christmassy activities that I pretty much almost always do, but apart from church and the family, and to an extent the tree now because of Noddie, any one of them could be thrown off the back of the sleigh (did you notice that seasonal pun? Oooh I'm hilarious...) if it sucks happiness out of Christmas rather than adding to it. I try and make sure the season is about what I think are the essentials - the birth of Jesus, my family, and mince pies.That being said, tomorrow is my (luckily non-compulsory) work Christmas do and also my running group christmas drinkies. Saturday, if the forecast gales don't eventuate, is the biggest swim of the year - and please do recall that my motto this summer appears to be "Training: it's so 2007" - and I've accidentally entered a triathlon on Sunday(as you do), prior to our end of year get-together with J's oldest friends. Luckily they pretty much expect me to nod off by their pool by now. In parenting news, encouraging Noddie to be a sharing girl has backfired badly- her temperature and mild gastro are making the rounds of the house! Before you break into groans of oh no, not again, let me assure you I've ALREADY DONE THAT, interspersed with short intervals of banging my head on the wall. Not to worry, eh? As the Spousal Unit keeps saying, I'll be right. He's right. Show up. Race. Stop. Smile. Easy.
So as the post title says, Do As I Say, Not as I Do. Pace yourself. Stay well. And I'll cross the finish lines, upright and smiling.

More anon, embracers of denial as a coping strategy!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

sometimes showing up is all you can do

Race report: Sussan 10km
Time: 1.11.33
Rating: Pleased
9.30pm Saturday. A fun party, but not so good that I couldn't drive home. Why I was awake at 5am (an hour before I needed to be) I have no idea. 9.30 am Sunday. Three out of four goals* done. I'm not writing a race report because it would be a whole lot of I hate this why do I do this I suck so badly there's Secret Sara, she's been going about how slow she is and there she is ambling along in front of the 60 minute pacer she's so fast I'm so pleased for her I'm so bad at this oh thank goodness there's a water stop how stupid to forget my gel I am so crap at this stop whining I'm not listening la la la thank goodness I have someone nice to talk to (hi Penny from Horsham!) this is no fun why do I bother? because Mum would love to be here, that's why, and because Dad would love Mum to be here but she has to look after him just now thank you God he's ok don't get teary when you're running up a hill that won't help ok the Spousal Unit said try not to stop until 9km then see how many people you can pass by the end come on it's only gunna be about 7 more minutes crap I am sick to f#$%ing death of your lame arse complaining shut the f$#% up for f#$% sake my legs hurt I bet I can keep going this hurts but I can hang on hang on keep going I bet I can pass another one you are so my rabbit lady that's 19 people woo hoo there's the finish and the clock f#$% I was hoping to be faster than that oh well chin up and smile for the camera thank goodness I can stop now where's the water? and you don't need that.
Huge kudos to my friend Berny who went close to a PB when she knew at 3km her knees were not on her side, and to Secret Sara's awesome first post-injury outing. Truthfully, if it hadn't been for all the Coolrunners at the start and during the run it would have been a rotten morning. As it was, it was character-building. I didn't disappoint myself and that's all I could reasonably aim for with the amount of training and sleep I've managed lately
I went to church on the way home because J was taking Noddie (I usually go) and our minister's wife thought I was ever so brave and strong and fast. She's such a nice woman.

All four goals achieved *grins*
More anon, reality-embracers!
*1. Show up 2. Run 3. Stop 4. wear the shirt

Friday, December 05, 2008

am I missing something?

When I went for a run on Tuesday I had my first asthma attack in five years. I had to walk home (sulking). Last night while running I had my first severe histamine reaction in three years. I got home ok and didn't need to use the epi-pen or ring the ambulance, just dose myself up and wait out wanting to claw my excruciatingly itchy skin from my body. This morning I no longer look as though I've been in the ring with Kostya Tzu, but if anyone is short of a dwarf I could stand in for either Dopey or Puffy. Let me know. I like to be helpful.
Could the the universe be trying to tell me that Sloth is The Answer?

On Sunday I am running my first stand-alone 10km in, errr, I can't remember. You may recall that the race is (early) the morning after the Spousal Unit's Awesome Work Christmas Party. Here is my plan : 1. Show up 2. Run 3. Stop 4. Wear t-shirt. Too easy.
More anon, eventuality-coverers!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Can't complain

I've spent my only day off this week, and a lovely sunny day too, perfect for a ride, I might add - the only antidote for my ever-burgeoning posterior and plummeting fitness - doing our last two years' tax. We have some fiddly investments and a big messy study where vital papers are prone to disappearing without trace. I think there's a wormhole somewhere in there leading to a parallel dimension. Its inhabitants must be startled by the frequent, inexplicable manifestations of bank statements and sunglasses. Sigh. I hope I learn from this.
Still, I'll be wrapping Christmas presents tonight after dinner. That's fun. The Christmas cards are made and the letter written, so I'll be sending them out tomorrow too. I love sending cards. Email me your address so I can send you one too. Not if you're a creepy stalker of course. You can just go away.
Is it mince pie time yet?

More anon, cheerful vaguesters!

Monday, December 01, 2008


Warning: December at Chez LBTEPA means severe baubling. Are you a mince pie, by any chance? Or a good taste, don't you think that's enough lights now minimalist? Be afraid. Be very afraid. Bwahahaha!*
More anon, carolers!
*Much as I am of the 10km I am doing this Sunday, the morning after J's legendary work Christmas party. Training is so 2007.