Sunday, August 30, 2009

Respect the distance

Stuff I learned this morning
- 33km is A Very Long Way
- I'm STUPIDLY determined
- I should have listened to Secret Sara All praise to Her Infinite wisdom!
- shouting at your ipod after it falls off for the 100000000000000th time doesn't help
- You'll never walk alone kept me from giving up and ringing J for a lift home.
- When you are having an utterly crappy time, don't talk to anyone. Listen to your music. Think about the next four minutes. Do. Not. Cry. You can cry when you get home.
- even if I have as slow, painful and difficult a run as I did today, I'll make the Marathon time cutoff.
- if you just step into your ice bath wearing all your running clothes it somehow makes it better.
- next time I think I'll do (INSANE THING X) just to see what it's like, I'll think about it again and say naaaaaah........
More anon, strivers

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Excuses excuses

This should be the inspiring, sweat soaked, tea-swilling and baked-bean jaffle*-scoffing recounting of 33km, as per The Schedule. ALL HAIL THE SCHEDULE! Sometimes I hate The Schedule. But I do what it says. It's the boss and will get me over the line on Marathon Day. That's six weeks and one day from now NOT THAT I'M COUNTING no no no noooo.
But a niggly hip and a sweaty weird stupid headcold thingy kept me awake last night and I feel like a limp sweaty weird headcold-y dishrag this morning. Meh. Live with a germy five year-old with lots of germy little mates, that's what'll happen unless you have a cast-iron immune system (BTW If you do have one, and could spare it for six weeks, could you send it here?). I'm now off to bed for the day with my uni reading. I've almost caught up, thanks for asking.
I'll run tomorrow morning and let you know how it went.
No excuses.
(thanks for the link Tea, that's the greatest!)
More anon, teeth-gritters!
*For those enquiring commenters on my last post
Jaffles for the baffled.
Baffling jaffles

FOR JEANNE: everything there is to know about vegemite

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The day the music died

When I got home from the slowest run EVER yesterday, the Spousal Unit was standing in the driveway colluding with the neighbour about the insane secret shed project they think I don't know about. They looked a bit surprised when I lurched past them, mumbling shoot me now, just shoot me now............ then J told the neighbour I'd just run 30k and he looked even more surprised. I only regained the power of coherent speech after I'd got outside a pot of tea and a baked-bean jaffle.
Oh. My. Goodness. It was HAAAAAAAAAARRRRDDDD. It started out hard and slow and went downhill from there. The alarm went off at 4.50am - yes, gentle reader, four fifty ay em - that's not stupid o'clock, that's ten to OMFG o'clock. The reason for this ridiculousness was that J had to leave for work at 10.30 and I didn't want to be cutting things too fine. Scoffed half a vegemite roll and a cuppa and hurled myself out the door before I thought better of it. That's a lie. I thought better of it the whole way. You know that feeling where you can't get your shoe tied properly so your foot slides around? No? Oh well. I just could not get it right... then my knee started hurting.... oh it was a world-class whinge fest out there, it surely was. It wasn't until about 11km in that it struck me - tightening the lacing at the bottom of my shoe might be more effective in keeping my forefoot still than ineffectually fiddling with the laces at the top. Can anyone say DOH? It sounds so minor, but meant that I never got into any kind of rhythm; the first hour and a half is usually the bit of these long runs that isn't quite so rotten, and yesterday it was just niggly and stupid the whole way. And then...the sun had come up and it was becoming quite pleasant yes I know I know, being out running for 90 minutes before sunrise is just wrong wrong wrong, and if you think it isn't well here's a *raspberry* and you can keep your perky virtuousness to yourself THANKYOU and I was trundling up the third-last hill of course I know exactly how many hills there are, waddya think I am, not anal-retentive? when
*cue sinister music*
my music died!
It was the last straw. My legs hurt all the way. I forgot to eat one of my scheduled gels ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY NUTRITION PLAN, and my mood plummeted with my blood sugar. I tripped really heavily and bruised my knee - and let me tell you, endorphins work really well whether they're provided by pleasure or shock, it's just when they wear off that the effects are different- and I was all alone with my own thoughts! Nooooooooo!
If I ran through the permission-to-sook checklist once I ran through it a dozen times. Any joint pain? Sharp muscular pain? Any wheezing or weird sweaty dizziness? Are you soaking wet and freezing? No? Then, LBTEPA my friend, it's not so bad really. It's okay. You can keep going. Have another little sip of HTFU and run for four more minutes (my primary goal is to stay uninjured so I'm using a 4:1 run:walk interval to get the Ks on my legs).
I have to say, though, in some ways it was a nice change to go without music. It was quite peaceful. I might do it again one day. But there's one thing I do know - because I thought it many many times on that pathetic crawl around the northern suburbs - if the Running Gods send me one like this on marathon day, I'll still make it. I can slide down into self-doubt and utter hatred of my utter lack of ability, and trip over things and wreck my tights (luckily my horrid old tights that were going into the op-shop box anyway, not my nice new tights. That would really have upset me. And Noddie was able to use her favourite new words, subdural haematoma and contusion! So it's all good! But I digress) and pick myself up again and keep on going. Yes I can. And yes I will.
And by crikey that pot of tea and baked-bean jaffle were the best I've ever had.More anon, earl grey fanciers!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Things it's good to know

- you have to laugh
This appeared today on the noticeboard (of the crisis counselling service!) where I work.
Due to recent budget cuts and rising utility costs, as well as current economic conditions, "The Light At The End of the Tunnel" has been disconnected.
We apologise for the inconvenience.

- I can still think on my feet
Last week Noddie and I had the following conversation
N: I don't want to be a mummy or a nanna
LBTEPA: (thinks: GOOD!) oh?
N: becuase I don't want to have my tummy cut open for a baby to come out.
L: fair enough....
N: did you have your tummy cut open so I could come out?
L: (thinks: bugger! I can't tell outright porkies to my five year old) no, I didn't.
N: well, how did I get out then?
L: (thinks: bugger! I am SO not having this conversation) you just came out.
N: but how did I get out?
L: (thinks: bugger!) oh look! There's a train!
N: Oooh! A train!
L: (thinks: PHEW!)
Other things I know
I am gradually slowly little-by-little chipping away at my mountainous backlog of uni reading. Boxes are being ticked. I've done this before. I can do it again.
To Commenter EE: if I gave M this shirt she could wear it as a dress. The colour makes your usual getup look quite restrained and tasteful :P
To Commenter Paul: the word verification on your blog doesn't work so I can't leave a comment! I wear those gorgeous socks for runs over 1.5 hours. They are used and recommended by the magnificent Iron Misty. They are super comfy and I never get blisters, and they look cute. What more could I ask for?
Things I'm not sure about
Can I possibly be getting another bug? sniffle sniffle hack hack. Curse Noddie's permanent, potent germ-miasma!
Emma suggested I could run for Team Uni. That has crossed my mind, especially since I might get a free ~ purple! ~ singlet out of it. And being an Official Representative of My Uni, at my age, weight and speed, would be amusing. It's all a bit complicated though, and the singlet, although desirable, clashes horribly with my CR hat and lacks the pockets I will need for my Nutrition Plan ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY NUTRITION PLAN! What sayest thou, gentle readers?
One thing I am absolutely sure of
I am surrounded by amazingly generous friends and family. I've already passed my original fundraising target for CanTeen, and am approaching my revised target so fast that I've had to raise it again! I am humbled by the encouragement and kind messages I have received (but don't forget the can of HTFU and the roller skates at 35km. I'll be needing them).
You all ROCK.
More anon, rainbow-gazers!

Monday, August 17, 2009

28 in the bank

You know that bit of philosophising the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? I have a new definition: heavyish,almost middle-aged (I'm allowed to kid myself! I'm running the Melbourne Marathon in eight weeks I need some delusions!)woman does VSM (Very Slow Marathon).
And you know that triumphant energetic feeling you get when you charge home at 9.30am after a pleasant 4-hour 28km run? NEITHER DO I!
I do know some things though
- I have the most wonderful generous friends in the world. THANKS THANKS THANKS to everyone who has clicked onmy fundraising link and helped me raise money for CanTeen. I've already had to increase my target amount!
- leaving home at stupid o'clock means you have the beautiful sunrise almost to yourself.
- 28km is a bloody long way, but if you start at stupid o'clock you can get it done by 9.30 and then go about your Saturday
- running 28km before lunch means you spend a lot of time at family parties smiling vaguely and being grateful for soft chairs.
- fluoro green and purple clash horribly. Don't recoil like that! I warned you I'd post a picture of the shirt! But it's ok. I kept my jacket zipped because it was cold. No retinas were harmed during the run.
- fatigue and pain are not bad things in themselves. They are if you let them be. They will suck out the will for forward motion, nay, the will to live, if you let them. I am learning that VSM training is mostly about mind games. And not glimpsing youself in plate-glass windows. In my imagination I am Paula Radcliffe. I choose not to accept reality at this time.
My new best friends are bodyglide (get your mind out of the gutter, people -it's anti-chafing stuff!), blister tape and my toe socks
More anon, packers-up of your troubles in old kit bags!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Since last we spoke, gentle reader, I have worn a smart new dress to my 25 year high school reunion (don't do the maths on that, the answer is O.L.D.) and straggled home very cheerily at 1.30am after a really good party.
Lessons: Living well is the best revenge. So are great earrings and a really smart new dress.
A smile and good posture are the best accessories.
A 100% dyed-in-the-wool b#$%* at 12 and 18 is still a 100% dyed-in-the-wool b#$%* at 42, and it's not wrong to be pleased that she still slouches and has bad skin.
It's a gift to be able to see adolescence from the perspective of a satisfying adulthood.
It's silly to get all choked up when described as ' really popular', when that's the last word I'd have used to describe my peripheral place in the school galaxy. It was 25 years ago, why do I care?
It's a pleasure to meet the good people that my schoolmates have grown to be.
I have finished my first assignment for the semester three hours before it was due (thank GOODNESS for electronic submission).
Lesson: it's harder to shoehorn very slow marathon training and study into my life than I expected.
Some time in the next few hours, one of my closest friends will be landing on Planet Parent - and I haven't finished darning in the ends of the crochet blanket I'm making. Eeek!
Lesson: write my blog posts in one go! Baby Jade has arrived! Congratulations to M and G, and welcome to the joyful, maddening, amazing, frustrating I think I've made my point journey of parenthood.
J got home from work at 11.30pm the other night. Two hours later we were woken by a phone call from his work mate, who said you know how we were joking that my wife was so dark with our long hours she might not be home when I get there? Well she's taken the kids and gone! He came over for dinner last night and talked about it a bit; it all sounds a big sad mess.
Lesson: count my many, many blessings. Appreciate knowing what I want, and more importantly, knowing that it's ok (and important) for me to put my own needs first sometimes. Generosity and energy come from feeling whole and supported.
Tomorrow I'll be rising at 5, running 28km, then going to a family lunch then out with friends. I can't believe that I just wrote that sentence, or that there is so much potential for mishap in a sixteen-hour period.
Lesson: I'll let you know on Sunday.........
More anon, thrillseekers!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

What it's all about

Hi! Back again after that brief sinus-induced hiatus. Luckily their influence over my life is waning somewhat. Thank you horse pills. We're off to the old home town this afternoon for another high school reunion and I want to enjoy myself rather than spreading metropolitan lurgi throughout the countryside. I still don't have any idea what I'm going to wear though!

You might be wondering why I am doing this marathon in October. I certainly wonder from time to time! I'm running this marathon for myself, undoubtedly - I want to see what it's like to run very slowly for the better part of a workday, as you do you don't? oh. Fair enough - but also to raise money for CanTeen, which supported my friend Sally and her family as her sister Kim fought leukaemia.This is an email I sent around yesterday to everyone I could think of. I have to confess I've never really seen the logic in getting sponsored to do stupid things, but now I'm seeing it's a way to overcome that sense of helplessness one has in the face of life's cruel randomness. It certainly is a motivation to train and do this thing as well as I possibly can (not very well, I'm not kidding myself ). Another bonus is learning how generous people are, whether with money or other kinds of support, whether kind (albeit puzzled) thoughts and wishes, practical advice and of course the odd can of HTFU when I need it! I appreciate ALL OF IT.


HI everyone
*ahem* (straightens shoulders, attempts not to stammer)
In the next little while I'll be doing a couple of things I've never ever done before.One is a full honest-to-goodness-all-the-way-OMG-what-was-I-thinking marathon (that's 42.2km, aka a f#$% of a long way)
The other is asking people for money. I'm running this marathon to raise funds for CanTeen, in honour of my friend Sally whose sister Kim died of leukaemia earlier this year, aged 20.
I'd appreciate it if you'd think about clicking on the link below and having a look. If you're able to spare any cash I'd appreciate your donation very much - a dollar a km is $42 (I've got to stop writing that down, it FREAKS ME OUT), a dollar an hour for my projected time is $6 (ditto) (there's a link on my sidebar as well)

In return for your support, I promise
- to count my blessings and celebrate the gift of good health
- to train regularly with the aim of avoiding injury and getting to the start
- restrict my (public) whingeing to amusingly self-deprecating anecdotes
- wear the BRIGHT fluoro green (and very oddly-shaped) shirt Canteen sent me at least once (not in the race though, I need something with pockets for all the food I'll need)
- send you a photo of myself in said shirt (optional)
- keep doing this (below) until I either finish or am pulled off the course
- not do this (below) before the finishIf you don't wish to donate, and can send along some encouraging thoughts/prayers/emails/spare roller skates at 35km, that would be fantastic! And of course if you have nothing to do on Oct 11th between 12.30 (in my DREAMS) and 2pm, you could come along to the MCG and cheer me in. I'll be just like Kerryn McCann, only way older, heavier and slower. But I'll still be smiling!
cheers and see you soon

So there you go. I'm off to ransack my wardrobe for something awesome yet effortless.
More anon, reminiscers!

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Hi everyone
This is LBTEPA's sinuses, guest author for the day! You've heard a lot about me, I know.
LBTEPA is lying down at the moment wishing she could rip me out - a bit uncalled for, I think!- becuase I spent the last couple of weeks dripping annoyingly and then blocking up not to mention making her snore like a combine harvester, the Spousal Unit is a saint I tell you and am now infected and making her cough and feel utterly crappy and take antibiotics. She'd never really cut her nose off though; she wears sunglasses all the time and they'd fall down without me.
She's not been exercising much this week after dragging me out in the wind on Sunday night that'll teach her, hahahahaha! except for a session on her bike trainer. She toughed that out, I'll give her that. Yesterday when she tried to run I made her feel all sweaty and weird and want to throw up. That's when she decided to go to the doctor. Now she's eating horse pills to make us feel better. I know she wishes it was easier to tell the difference between a touch of the sniffles and incipient infections, and I know I could make the signs clearer...but sheesh, where would the fun be in that? Mess with her head in every sense, that's my motto!
It's not as though I want to f#$% up this insane marathon thing. Not really. I can't help it that I need a lot of attention! I'm going to try and get myself sorted so LBTEPA get her two thousand word literature review done for uni next week, and have a nice time at her high school reunion on Saturday night (she hasn't even decided what to wear yet, can you believe that?). She's not freaking out much about all of this though - a nice change! Maybe having a head full of clag is doing that?
Well, cheerio for now, bwahahahaha and lovely talking to you

Monday, August 03, 2009

Far far away

25km? It's a long way. It was hard and my legs hurt. But it wasn't desperately unpleasant. A little bit scary when I misjudged the time and was running in the dark along a very empty dirt road with ditches on either side. A little bit painful when I caught my foot on an uneven footpath and went down ooof in a literally breathtaking trip, fortunately with no ill-effects other than an impressive subdural haematoma - Noddie's favourite new phrase. That child is a worry. A little bit disheartening as it took FOR-F#$%ING EVER and I have to go 17km further in ten weeks' time. It was a little bit encouraging, as I felt that I could have kept up the effort for quite a bit longer. I stuck to a 4:1 run:walk schedule the whole way and it worked very well, until 2k from home I was so cold and it was so dark and windy and I wanted to be back with the Spousal Unit and Noddie so much that I just kept on going. I'm versatile like that, you see.
It's interesting to be a person who can run 25km. Quite unexpected. My brain is a bit trashed though, and I have to study. Awkward.More anon, troupers!

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Oh, the plans I had made! At my pace, marathon training requires a significant time investment which in turn requires significant planning to fit in with The Real World. But it was all set. It was all going to go like clockwork. The sinus-taming drugs were going to kick in so I got a good night's sleep for a f#$%ing change o HOW I hate my sinuses AND germy five year olds coughing on me serves me right for helping Noddie's grade with their reading and I was going to get up super-early and get The Long Run run done as per The Schedule before the Spousal Unit had to leave for work. My gear was set out and my blister-prone toe was taped ....and then.....
the neighbours had a party that kept us awake all night and I'm talking all night as in they finally turned the music off at 7 a.m. I kept thinking it must be going to stop soon - and the music would get softer and I'd fall asleep...and then half an hour later it'd all start again. Le sigh.... I ended up 'sleeping', with a pillow on my head, until 6.30 - well after my planned departure time. I. Was. Livid. Thank goodness for earl grey tea. I also had the opportunity to tear (polite) strips off one of the party survivors/hosts who was sitting blearily in the open garage as I went off for a short run. His apology appeared sincere. Then Noddie and I had a grand afternoon at the footy with my sister watching Brad Johnson break the club games record. Woof woof woof!So instead of The Long Run fitting neatly into the wee small hours of Saturday, I'm now having to shoehorn it into either this afternoon/evening so I can study all day tomorrow Hi Spousal Unit, I know you've been working since 7am but now you're home I'm disappearing off down the road for the next three hours and leaving you with Noddie , or early tomorrow morning Hi Spousal Unit, I know you've been working since 7am but now you're home I'm disappearing into the study for the next three hours and leaving you with Noddie, and by the way you're walking her to school tomorrow while I disappear off down the road. He's a treasure, isn't he?
I'll be back in a couple of days to let you know how running 25km feels....
More anon, priority-jugglers!