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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sometimes you just have to.

Whinge bitch this sucks grizzle moan complain whine it's not fair bleat sigh sook waah meh whinge bitch this sucks grizzle moan complain whine it's not fair bleat sigh sook waah meh whinge bitch this sucks grizzle moan complain whine it's not fair bleat sigh sook waah meh whinge bitch this sucks grizzle moan complain whine it's not fair bleat sigh sook waah meh whinge bitch this sucks grizzle moan complain whine it's not fair bleat sigh sook waah meh

Mmmmmahhhhhh.
That feels better. Onward!!

More anon, enthusiastic embracers of all life's coruscating facets!*
*sorry, I got a bit carried away there. You wouldn't embrace a facet. That's just silly.
It'd be all knobbly. I really just wanted to write the word 'coruscating'. It's fun to say, too....coruscating...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

how to be super-awesome

...aka almost-midnight ravings from a person who habitually retires at 10.00pm. You Have Been Warned. LBTEPA Uncensored. Oooh!
Still here? Well don't blame me then. It's all good fun until the police come.


You know what? There is no LBTEPA 2.0 and never will be. No new beginnings or remakes - who would dare play me? Like the chips, there's only the Original, and Best! Your Beautiful Life, my cherubs, is a big gorgeous mosaic of stuff. Cool stuff, sad stuff, hard stuff, joyful stuff. It needs the dark colours so the bright ones sparkle more. Every single thing that happens to you is a valuable piece.
Now don't tell me - this is different! This is important , this is SERIOUS. You've got out of your exercise routine, forgotten all your 'lifestyle changes', (heaven forbid) gained some weight? Everything you worked so hard for is completely gone. You're a FAILURE. You obviously didn't work hard enough. Hard to take, but you're up for it. You'll wear the blame and plan the changes so this time time you'll get it right. You'll fix everything and finally be your best self.
At this stage I will recommend a brilliant book you may like, called "Screw Inner Beauty".
However, in the meantime:
Dearhearts - you've not 'fallen'. You don't have to 'start again'. YOU ARE PERFECT HOW YOU ARE. Life is a series of phases. Different things demand our attention at different times, and sometimes we make specific decisions about what we're going to focus on but sometimes we don't. How would it be if one day the tidal wave receded and you just went, crikey, I haven't (exercised/tracked food/rung any friends/crocheted/been out to dinner with my sweetie) for months.... I like having those things in my life, better get back around to them? If you're prone to self-criticism, blame and loathing, better put some time aside for that too. Oh look, it's "feel crap about myself for not being perfect" o'clock, good I was wondering when I'd get time to fit that in. If that's your pattern, then that's your pattern. Since you're the hopeful, hardworking, competent, brave, kind, FABULOUS person that you are (you might not know it, but trust Aunty LBTEPA on this), everything you think/feel/do is by definition FINE. QED. Are you following me? Just have those pesky "unacceptable" feelings if that's what your mind does. Easier said than done of course, but much less tiring than determinedly NOT having them, which in a way IS having them, if you see what I mean. Then get on with what you want to do.
Now this is heresy in some circles I know, but I'm up late and on the tear. Sometimes your priorities are elsewhere than your body shape/size. That's normal and ok (see above QED). Seeing as I am laying down the law here (it's well past my bedtime but I'm a bit scared to go to sleep becuase that's when my face hurts the most. Silly, but there you go. Do stop interrupting me when I'm philosophising) you know what else I say? F$%# "should". I "should" lose some weight. Yeah well you know what? My priorities are keeping J, Noddie and myself healthy and happy, learning my job and passing uni. There may well come a time when I am willing to devote lots of thought and energy to dropping a few kgs. Not now though. And you know what? I'm fabulous no matter what priority I give my weight. And so, my darlings, are you.

I think I'll go to bed now and finish this in the morning.
More anon, incuding:
how happiness is the sum of small joys
being continually cognisant of your blessings
whose goals are they anyway?
what you are good at will tell you how to get what you want
Watch out who you hang around with (in the nicest possible way). This is a bit of Trap for Young Players blessed with fabulosu friends. Just because you think that person is Super Awesome doesn't mean her goals should be your goals, or that her way will work for you. Even if you want it to.
IT'S ALL RIGHT TO WANT WHAT YOU WANT, JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT IT.
No, really more anon this time.
:D

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Smiling, very carefully

Turbinectomy, septoplasty, polypectomy, functional endoscopic sinus surgery. My sinuses will never be the same again. THANK GOODNESS. Nor will the ears of the staff in the recovery room, I gather. Yes, I was The Patient Who Wouldn't Shut Up. I'm sorry. The surgeon said I'll have heaps more energy now. When she heard that, my Mum said she's moving away.
My face hurts. I'm going back to bed. No strenuous exercise for three weeks. I can take that.

More anon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Now The Plan Is This

Now the emotion, dehydration, sunburn and chafing (b0dyglide works much better when you actually apply it) are starting to fade, it's time to do a proper race report.
I want to start by saying something a bit controversial. You don't have to believe in your goals or be able to imagine yourself succeeding at your Big Dream. These are great techniques for lots of people, of course, but I am living proof that Acting As If is another way to chase your dreams. My goal of a sub-6 hour marathon is very modest by most standards, but I couldn't begin to imagine myself achieving it. However, I trained As If I believed i could do it, and I raced As If I could do it. And I did do it!
The Big Day really began on Saturday when I came down from Bairnsdale on the bus. Let me tell you, three hours on an express bus when you're hydrating in anticipation of a warm-weather marathon is a challenge in itself! It was a pleasure to catch up with all the CRs at the pasta dinner - so many people who'd all worked very hard to achieve their goals, whether that was sub-3 (well done BigKev and Jeffer!), sub-6, making the cutoff or simply to finish a run uninjured. I was fortunate to be the guest of my dear friend Mrs Wombat. I don't know how I slept so well - but the last hour before the alarm went off was packed solid with crazy dreams of sleeping in, lost 1pods and missing shoes.
4.30am arrived all too soon at Chez Wombat. A quick cuppa and some toast and we were on our way. I don't know if it was nerves or something less suited to after-dinner reading but I needed more loo stops than normal - thank goodness for the squillions of facilities at the MCG - and barely made the start. I crossed the mat at 7.03. It already felt very warm and humid so I was glad I had my water bottle belt. Enouth details, LBTEPA~! I hear you cry. What of The Plan? I'm a slow learner for sure but am finally starting to work out what works for me. Watching the clock stresses me out, but I needed some way of planning my pacing so I didn't get too over-enthusiastic and run out of legs at the end. I like to run with music, so The Plan Was This: run two songs and walk one for 27km, then run three songs and walk one for the last 15. Drink every walk break and have a gel every hour. Don't laugh! As a wise friend said to me, when you doubt yourself and those 'not good enough' demons start circling, remember they're running their marathons, and you're running yours. Mine was going well. I enjoyed St Kilda Road, especially chatting to amazing brave Theresa (who I met at Run Melbourne and was doing her first marathon in honour of her late father) and funny Dave from Minyip in the Superman t-shirt and terry-towelling hat. It was nice to get around the corner and feel some breeze. The winners were zooming past as I headed down Fitzroy St - how amazing they are! I stuck to my plan and kept running and walking and drinking and listening to my music (a carefully-selected playlist exactly 7 hours long). There were lots of spectators at Albert Park because the course intersected with the half-marathoners. I could have done without the half runner cannoning straight into the back of me but no harm done, and it was great fun to high-five all the little kids, they were so excited.
The sun came out as we headed down the beach (cue sinister music dun dun DAH). It started to get hot (hello Captain Obvious) so I tweaked The Plan I can do that you know - at every walk break I drank, and poured water on my head and neck. Luckily the sports drinks at the water stations were blue, so the great Oh Crap Was That Gatorade? head-cooling mishap of GCM '10 was not repeated! I felt like shifting gears a bit at 25km but held back becuase it was hot and I still had a long way to go. I just wanted to get back to the shade of St Kilda Road and the gardens, really, but I trusted The Plan and stayed slow. It was a bit irritating to be chivvied off the road by motorcyle cops an hour before the off-road cutoff so the street-sweepers could clean up, but in a way it was a blessing because we were in the shade on the footpath. I kept trying to remember that anger is tiring and a luxury I couldn't afford.
I was very happy to get through the crowds on the footpath at the tram terminus on Fitzroy St - and even happier at how I was still able to steam up the hill. Could there be something in consistent training and not racing sick? Wow! Who knew? The lovely Baz, friendly CR and superfast marathoner, was working the water station at the top of the hill. They didn't have any water except the sachets and my hands were too tired/stipid/unco to open them, but Baz was good enough to fill my bottle for me. It was such a relief to get around the corner and out of the sun. Then the lovely blogger Paul appeared on his bike! So good to have the company and encouragement mate - and to finally meet a real live imaginary internet friend! It was a real boost and I appreciated it.
It was getting a bit hard to hold the three songs (especially Wagner, OMG I was SO OVER the seventy-five pretend endings to ride of the Valkyries) but I kept at it, and enjoyed my walks very much. Most of the km markers were gone so I didn't know how far we had to go, but that was ok becuase I couldn't do any sums in my head and freak myself out. This is a bit naughty but I was rather pleased to finally overtake a woman I knew - she'd been way ahead of me along the beach; the fact that I caught her was a validation of my determination to be patient patient patient - I would run my marathon and they could run theirs. Stay calm, stay hydrated and fueled, stay as cool as possible. Run three songs, walk one. We were well into the off-road time zone so we had a lot of kerbs and intersection to manage. We didn't have to stop many times for traffic lights and I was very careful not to trip. My feet were getting weary, they didn't want to step up and down! How happy I was to see the Arts Centre - I knew there was just a quick trip around the Shrine hahahahaha it's actually a Pig of a Hill for a Very Slow Marathoner and a couple more km to go. I'd Planned to walk all the way up the Shrine hill and that's what I did. There wasn't any water at any of the few stations that hadn't been packed up (please note I waS AN HOUR AHEAD OF THE CUTOFF that is so f$%^ing appalling) so I filled up my bottle from the bubblers.
Little did I know I was about to move from the off-road zone (rather rudely referred to as the "missed cutoff" route: I prefer the term 'thorough', myself) to the Freak Out Zone. As I said before, I hadn't Dared to Dream about a sub-six or anything like that. It's been a long difficult winter in many ways and I didn't need the risk of disappointment. But secretly, secretly, I wanted it so much. With 9km to go I glanced at my watch to see if it was gel o'clock yet.....and realised that, if I held on the The Plan like grim death, I could do it! Unfortunately this happened at the bottom of the big hill that The Plan said I had to walk up. I went as fast as I could but was consumed by worry that The Secret Dream would be lost just as I'd caught sight of it. It was time for drastic measures. After my last gel, I took off my watch and put it in the pocket of my water belt. For the last 8km, the Plan was to Trust the Plan.
If you'll excuse the colloquialism, bugger me but my legs were hurting. Luckily I was up to 'S" on the Playlist O' Fabulousness, so Pink got me going down St Kilda Road for the last time. So what if my legs are about to fall off? I am a rock star!
Now this is about when things turned into a...errr... I'm really trying to be as positive as possible so should probably choose a term other than clusterf#$%. But accuracy is important. You see, I'd rung the organiser's office earlier in the week to check that the off-road course was THE SAME AS LAS YEAR, and was assured that indeed it was. Needless to say I was disconcerted to directed down a hill I'd already run - I protested that I'd already been around the park, but the marshall was adamant. This was the way - not the long straight way past the post-race party where my friends were waiting. He was certain. Off I went down the hill, reminding myself again that anger was a luxury I didn't have energy for. It was hard to keep running when I was so worried we were sent the wrong way but I listened to my music and ignored the increasing cries of "enough!" from my by now very painful legs. Once we crossed Swan St things became even more concerning. I coudn't see any marshals so I backtracked (#$%!&$!) twenty metres or so to ask the people manning the road closure barriers. Up the Tennis Centre STAIRS? Are you SURE? There didn't seem anywhere else it made sense to go so up the sixty or so steep steps I went. Still there were no marshalls. I was running on adrenalin, yelling at people, where's the finish? To the right? ok. Through a gate and up a laneway? ok. If that's where the finish is, that's where I'm going. Part of me was livid that we were sent such a bullsh#$ way when we'd been out so long, there was no way they'd have sent the skinnyfasts this route. Another part of me was frantically wondering what time it was; the rest was just keeping on going until I somehow found the finish. I've run the railway tunnel bridge many times before but it's never been as high or as steep. I was just yelling at people where's the finish, which way to the finish? I must have looked demented, because I was. Mate -where's the finish, do you know which way the finish is? I just wanted get out of this nightmare blur of people and not knowing where I was supposed to be going. DOWN THE STAIRS? This had to be wrong but it was where people were pinting me and I had nowhere else to go. The marshall told me to hang a sharp right through some manky uneven gravel and past a couple of bins and then I was finally finally on Batman Avenue and only a couple of hundred yards from the gate. I wanted to die, I wanted to lie down and cry, I wanted that to stop running so much.... into the MCG I ran. What time was it? I could see the clock under the big screen. It was 12.57. I was going to get my sub-six!! The temptation to just stop and walk it in was never so strong, but I'd come so far and I was going to hurt myself just a little bit longer, keep going just to see if I could. I started to cry as I came up to the line. I never knew I could run like that. I'm so happy just thinking about it.
I'm not going to dwell on how gutted I was to not even offered an apology in lieu of a medal or the fact that we were misdirected onto a course that was 300m short. I spoke to the course director today; he was livid about the marshall who just left at the end of her shift without briefing her repleacment, who apparently couldn't read a map either. I have communicated all my concerns to the race organisers and will resend the email before MM11 in the hope that this can become a Great Race for all competitors.
What I am going to focus on is the >99% of Very Slow Marathon #3 that was wonderful - getting to do all my long runs through the bush, the beautiful network of support from CR, and of course the privelege of being friends with my dear brave Mrs Wombat, who finished in 6.57 with a sprained and bleeding hand from a fall at 16km.
It was harder this year, and not just becuase of being hot and lost and worried. It was harder but it was better becuase I'm working out the best way for me to go after my Big Dreams. If you have a Big Dream, please, please GO FOR IT - even if you can't believe it will ever happen. Becuase if I can, you can - and take it from me, it's more worth the struggle than you can possibly imagine. I might be a source of mirth to friends and loved ones as I get in and out of chairs and have no access to anything below my knees, but I haven't stopped smiling or taken off my medal.In a way I never will.
More anon.

gutted

was part way through my race report now it looks as though we were misdirected to a course that wasn't the full 42.2 I am gutted

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Big Day Out

So tired. So happy.
Here's the quick post I put on coolrunning.
THE GOOD - a perfect day out despite the heat, and my first sub-6 (actually I think it's more AWESOME than good but of course I would think that)
THE BAD - shooed off Beach Rd an hour before the off-road cutoff so they could clean up, no water at all for the last 8km, no marshalls for the last bits of the off-road course, which was different from the map we were given. As I said to the woman at the organisers office, if they don't want to look after the slow runners they should make it a six-hour cutoff and be done with it.

THE UGLY - NO MEDALS FOR MARATHONERS WHO TOOK LONGER THAN 5.20. Apparently they'll post them to us. WRONG WRONG WRONG.
THE MAGNIFICENT - Grizzlybear giving me his medal when he saw how upset I was. What a wonderful, kind person. I will always be grateful for that lovely gesture and will absolutely send you mine when it arrives so you can celebrate your 3.35!. Mrs Wombat's gutsy last-minute finish with an injured hand was also magnificent, well done darl ((hugs))
I've started my race report but it'll take a while I think. It was A Big Day.
Here are some photos.

A message from Noddie. SUB-6!!! Chip time 5.55.35!!! The best support crew a Very Slow Marathoner could ask for. Mrs Wombat - one of the best friends a Stupidly Determined Marathoner could ask for.The bling. As I said above, I am more grateful for this than I can express.
More anon, funny walkers!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Too nervous for words

As you can see, much preparation is required for the not-average Very Slow Marathon. As a rule I don't take painkillers during a run, but the Bastard Sinuses must be tamed one last time. Nothing like (ahem) "profound" thoughts to distract me from 6 hours of WHYAMIDOINGTHISWTFWASITHINKING?
I'm guessing this 'consumed by pre-marathon dread to the point of speechlessness' is normal as it's been three out of three so far. GULP.
More anon, panic merchants!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Who are you?

I am, among other things, a wife, mum, daughter, sister, friend, endurance athlete, Bulldogs fan and psychologist. I live in the country and love it. I miss the city.
I like making things, except food. I like to decorate my surroundings. I believe that accessorising is what separates us from the lower animals. I wear hats to the races.
I dream big. I go after scary goals because life isn't about being half-arsed. I AM NOT BEIGE.
I am teetering on the pre-marathon dread/excitement see-saw. I'm feeling very (this post has been edited because it's wrong to diss your loved ones on the internet). But I'm going to have a good day because I've decided I will.

I'm an ebay and f&ceb00k tragic and a blogger. Apparently I have 16 "followers", some of whom are clearly very shy. I'm also a comment ho (and am feeling in need of some encouragment this week).
Now, mysterious ones, tell me who YOU are!
More panic-stricken pre-marathon ramblings anon

Sunday, October 03, 2010

When small rather charming-looking birds ATTACK!

Please note: I did not fall off my bike. Or swear (Noddie was with me).

SSDD

Well firstly congratulations to my Magpie friends on the shellacking handed out by your boys to the Saints in the GF MkII. The Spousal Unit was working and I was at the races in a fab hat but I taped it so J could savour every moment of the crushing annihilation when he got home. What a good wife I am.Secondly, OMFG THIS TIME NEXT WEEK I'LL BE DOING MY THIRD MARATHON WTF WAS I THINKING I MUST BE INSANE WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS?
I'm going up on the train the night before to stay with my crony in Stupid Determination, the magnificent Mrs Wombat. (this post has been edited becuase it's wrong to diss your loved ones on the internet)