Monday, June 28, 2010

What's on my chest

apart from phlegm, but come on, you know you'd be more astonished if I didn't get sick just before a big race. The Dr tells me it's a virus, and my focus needs to be on 'symptom management'. You know what that means? Pain killers. Ibuprofen. I do not touch that stuff as a rule, but this is on medical advice. I knew there'd be a silver lining in here somewhere.
But I digress. My five faithful readers know that LBTEPA is, first and foremost, an uber-fashionista. I'm all about Putting Together A Look. This afternoon I was packing for Queensland next Saturday - don't ask, it's all too head-bangingly complicated - and realised that the whole VSM#2 story was laid out right there on the bed next to my suitcase. A stirring tale of courage, despair and perseverance, in size 14 100% cotton
*wipes eyes, gazes nobly at horizon*, read on....

I get a rush of blood to the head and pay my entry money. Excitement! Optimism!Training starts! It's all good!Runs get longer and longerI get sick again.Time to eat, and make Plans.Plan A: Plan B: 5:59:59 hahahahahaPlan C: make the cutoffThe real reason I do this.More anon, hipsters!

Friday, June 25, 2010

stuff to take with me

Eight days until I toe the line for VSM#2. I'd say I couldn't be more scared but there's a week to go so there's plenty of time for more Freaking Out. But enough about my unstable mental state. I need wisdom from you, my five faithful readers. I'll take five or six gels with me on M-day. I'll write stuff on them to lift me up, help me up and fire me up. What should I write?
So far I have
- one step at a time, one km at a time, one marathon at a time
- I am marvellously made (from psalm 139)
- the finish IS there
- pain is inevitable, suffering is optional
What thoughts lift or fire you up?

next time: why?
More anon, truth-seekers!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


To mark the historic occasion of the swearing-in of Julia Gillard as Australia's first female Prime Minister, I would like to say GO BIG RED!!! WOOF WOOF WOOF!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Four things, not connected

Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day and the longest night. This is one of my favourite days of the year, because it means the light is coming back.
Over the last two weeks I have bought three pairs of pants that are far too big. I haven't dropped any weight or cms. I just - repeatedly - chose to purchase oversized strides! Whatever can that mean? Do I see myself as taking up too much room?
This last lurgi had better hurry up and bugger off, and take its cough and head gunk with it, because A) I am becoming bored with my bike trainer, despite having lots of lovely ITU World Cup to watch, B) I need to do some running, if only to wear in my new orthotics and C) I plan to run for 6.5 hours in thirteen days' time.
I'm off to Melbourne tomorrow night for the last exam of the semester on Wednesday. I'm hoping to hit the Saucony outlet afterward for some more shoes. New shoes....mmmmm....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Germ warfare

The scene: a war room. There are maps and charts everywhere. Uniformed minions bustle in and out. The phone rings constantly.
Yucky Germ bustles in.
YG: Roll call!
Horrid Lurgi: Here!
Disgusting Infection: Here!
Unmentionable-in-mixed-company: Here!
YG: no need to shout, UIMC. You made LBTEPA's life absolute hell for a week, for sure, but she's over you now.
UIMC: mutters unintelligibly
YG: no need to sulk either, sheesh you're touchy. Now, progress reports please.
HL: Well, I clogged up her head and made her feel all weird and tired for a week or so.
YG: how did that go?
HL: what can I say? She kept running! And working out! And staying cheerful most of the time!
DI: and I didn't do so well either
YG: I thought you did a mightly job! Antibiotics and everything!
DI (sighs deeply) well yes, and they certainly helped UIMC out...but we didn't stop her! She didn't give up!
YG: you did a MIGHTY job UIMC. Really knocked her for six
UIMC: thanks. I do my best. It didn't stop her for long though (frowns). She got all sad for a few days, but took care of herself and got better. What have you been up to, YG?
YG: stuffy head, sore throat, headache. Slowed her right down.
All: but....?
YG: blah blah blah resting a bit, working out when she can. Staying positive. Apart from a bit of comfort eating and drinking, we're just not getting through to her!
All: (deep sigh)
DI:Where's Annoying Chick Stuff?
HL: off being unpredictable with Cramps, Bloating and Cravings. They're trying their best to mess with LBTEPA's head. It's not working though.
All: What do we have to do to stop this woman? She gives in sometimes, but she never gives up!
YG: I reckon we back off for the moment. We've done what we could. Let her have the Gold Coast. Let's meet again in August, eight weeks before Melbourne.
HL and DI: oooh you are a devil YG! Perfect! See you then!
UIMC: mutters unintelligibly
(the group leaves the room)
More anon, germinators!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stop Start Keep On

Between now and M-Day:
- whingeing so much on my blog. Bleating out loud is helpful to me on some levels - if it's written down it's not in my head - I sleep really well - but sometimes it gets out of hand.
Update: Thanks Kathryn - you are so right! I need to bleat to get big scary sh*t done, and I will bleat!
- doubting myself so much. I will finish this thing under the time limit. I'll get the slow and steady run I've earned. The amount of training I've done isn't a reflection of my character. It might be a reflection of my commitment to this marathon, but in a way that's a good thing. I have taken on a lot of rewarding challenges this year, and my family is my priority. The GCM isn't even third on the totem pole at the moment. Melbourne, however.....a different story.
- thinking about how much it will hurt, 'cause there's nothing I can do about that. Frank Shorter, the American champion, said "You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming." Project Amnesia here we come. Start
- getting comfortable with my goals. I need to sit with the part of me that is ashamed of being so slow and pat her hand and tell her it's ok. No-one I care about is laughing at me. People probably do feel sorry for me but I have to deal with that. As the Spousal Unit pointed out, if you need to be good at a sport to enjoy it, you've got the wrong hobby.
-remembering how much I have put in. I'd have liked more long runs, but my mid-week runs and cross-training have been consistent. Many of my long runs have been excellent training for getting through a bad day.
- having faith in how good I am at just keeping on going. Apart from Mrs Wombat and the mighty Emma I suck it up better than anyone I know.
- looking forward to the whole day. I think I'll write a list of all the good things that will happen on 04/07.
Keep On
- being careful with what I eat and drink. Work on being "very careful".
- training 5x week
- resting when I need to, especially since cold season is upon us cough sniffle cough
- seeking support and encouragement from my friends

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What to do?

Hi there blogsphere! It's me, Freaking Out LBTEPA!
We've just come back from an utterly fab weekend of recharging in the Big Smoke. Noddie stayed at her nanny and Pa's while J and I spent the night at a flash-o hotel and had a splendid meal at a smart restaurant with charming waiters and quantities of delectable titbits made of duck and roast veges and scallops and beetroot-cured smoked salmon OMG the smoked salmon mmmm......
but I digress.
It's 20 days until the M-word.
Look at the sidebar. The biggest number is 31. This is Not Good Enough. My Original Plan was to crank out 34 tomorrow, starting super early and having J drop Noddie at Mum's for an hour or so after he started work at 11.00. But........
J is working from 7 until 3. Are you with me here? That changes my run window from 6.30-11am to 4-8.30pm. On a public holiday weekend. In the winter. Noddie's bedtime is 7.30pm.
#%*&#$%. #%*&#$%. #%*&#$%.
Next weekend will be too soon before the M-word, and J will be working anyway and I have an exam the following Wednesday. #%*&#$%. #%*&#$%. #%*&#$%.
So at the moment these are the possibilities
1. Do the run tomorrow. Extremely unlikely. Yes I should HTFU but this is 2010, year of LBTEPA with No Backbone.
2 a). Work out every single day between now and then and hope for the best.
2 b). Stop eating and drinking altogether yes I've been having too many 'treats', of course I have (see 1). with the aim of having a few fewer kgs to drag around 42.2km in less than 3 weeks ohdearohdearohdearohdear, although that would involve discipline and refraining from wallowing in self pity (see 1).
3. Panic.

Learned colleagues, I await your opinions.
More anon.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Raspberry fool

My friend the mighty Emma wrote this recently:
"Before I went mad and became a marathoner, I had the great pleasure to chat to Lee Troop about the marathon. His wife was about to make her marathon debut. She had lived with a marathoner for so long, and wanted to know what it meant to run a marathon. Lee said "You think she would have figured it out from knowing me for so long. It's a long way, and it hurts".
I've never seen a better description. It's a long way, and it hurts."
The rest of the post was about how endurance is a double-edged sword. And it is! So complicated! Maintaining health means listening to your body - am I sick? Am I getting very run down and need to rest? Am I so sore that I need an extra rest day to avoid injury?
But maintaining endurance means not listening to your body! Very Slow Marathon training means wall-to-wall mind/body dualism - get up and run, keep going, don't stop, just a little bit further, four more minutes..... if I listened to my body it'd be like living with Father Jack - SLEEP! EAT! DRINK CHAMPAGNE!
So how was Saturday's run, I hear you ask? Bad luck if you didn't, there are 24 days until VSM#2 so it's all marathon all the time around here. I've warned my colleagues: when it comes to polite enquiries about my training, either be prepared to use your containment skills or Don't Ask.
My run was "good". I "enjoyed" it. That's "good" as in my nutrition and hydration went perfectly, apart from a bit of chafing from my new camelback. I've been using Endura gels b/c they a) are Australian made and owned b) don't give me a tummy ache or the sugar shakes and c) they're cheap. I am very tinny. In a huge bit of sad endurance sport tragic news, they have added new flavours to the range! Helloooo raspberry! No more bleah citrus for me, yay!
It was also "good" in that I didn't sit down and cry anywhere (or die). Please note I never said anything about not wanting to - the hills were both sizeable and numerous, and as a Stupidly Determined Larger Runner, gravity hates me. I "enjoyed" the run in that I was happy about my pace, my mental strategies and not feeling compelled to sit down and cry anywhere (or die). And seriously, the Rail Trail is such a gift. It's a fine gravel surface the whole way, gorgeous, gorgeous countryside, farms, forest, mountain vistas.... I even heard bellbirds! And the Big Scary Cows with the Big Scary Horns on the wrong side -the trail side - my side! - of the fence in the middle of nowhere didn't chase me after I sidled nervously past them.
Ice baths are ice baths nonononodon't makemeaarrgghhf***f***f***please canIgetoutNOW?, but I am officially a Huge Fan of compression tights for recovery. I think I might need a new pair........
Something funny just struck me - when I read Emma's post, I thought she calls herself a marathoner. I don't think of myself as 'a marathoner'. Now I've re-read this really slightly obsessed post, I think the evidence is against me! 25 days, people.....
Other grouseness in The Sweet Life of LBTEPA: Oh my but isn't the latest series of Dr Who BRILLIANT? I crochet while I'm watching, and the episodes have been so exciting my tension goes all wrong and I've had to pull bits out!
J is in Melbourne doing training this week so Noddie and I are heading down on the train on Friday afternoon squeals and girly handflaps - we haven't been on a train journey for EVER, then off shopping for new tap shoes and a red teapot, among other fab things ditto, then out with friends to a real Vietnamese restaurant for salt and pepper squid. Thinking about this makes me so happy I could just cry.

More anon, lotus-eaters!

Friday, June 04, 2010

When in doubt....

....put up a sign on the pantry doorspend some money weatherproof your new phone - ooh! It's red! Thanks J!and get out there again.
06:30 tomorrow. 31km. It's on. I'm scared.
See you in Bruthen.
More anon, trailblazers!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Reality bites, with even more WTMI

Another trip to the dr, $75 (!?!?!) at the chemist and a day spent alternating between vinegar baths and the armchair closest to the heater and I've finally got the unmentionable-in-mixed-company things that have been making life miserable mostly settled down and had something like a night's sleep. Generally I think it's a great gift to be female, but this week I'd forego lipstick and heels and shave every day in a heartbeat. It's been pointed out to me that this rampaging unmentionable-in-mixed-company may have had something to do with Monday's debacle. Meh.
Strangely enough I had to have another day off training yesterday. I did try a short ride - yes I do need my head read but who among us hasn't been in that frantic OMFG it's only (x days) until (scary event) gotta get something done headspace? This time before Very Slow Marathon #1 I'd already chalked up a 30km and a 33km, then did another 33 and a 35 after that. If all goes well in the next weeks hahahahaha I'll have managed two 27s, one 30km and a 32km. Good thing GCM isn't my A race. It's looking like being a train crash. More anon, expectation-lowerers!