Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I get knocked down, I get up again

4.45 am. Wake up coughing and with a headache. Get up, take panadol and ventolin.
5.15. Go back to bed
7.30. Get up again
8.00-8.25 wait for Drs to ring back with appointment time as arranged yesterday
8.25. Walk Noddie to school
8.45. Ring Dr. Find there is no appointment because The Cough is "not urgent" (which is true). Can't get to only available appointment on Thursday.
8.47. Cry. Decide VSM#5 isn't going to happen, it's all too hard. Walk home.
9.00. Swig a nice cold glass of HTFU
9.05. Fire up 2008 Ironman World Championship dvd (go Crowie!). Start bike workout. GGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

More anon, tubthumpers!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Note to self

I woke up this morning and thought that's it, I'm deleting my blog. It's stupid. All I ever do is whine about how I'm sick again and it's going to ruin my next marathon. As if any of that is so important. No-one cares about your lame Very Slow Marathons except you. And another thing: it's pathetic to bleat in public.
But then I thought, hang on, it was the putting into words of my panic-stricken mental hyperventilation yesterday that made it all all right again. Writing down a sooky-la-la brain-splat gives it form, and allows me to roll with it instead of wearing myself out trying to avoid it. Once my fear is out in the light I can see it and start to deal with it.
In the case of TBLRCU, I fear
1. a suffer-fest. This was going to happen anyway. Weigh 80+kg, cover 42.2km in five or six or seven hours - it's a long way and a long time and it's going to hurt. I know this, and I know how to do it and end up in one piece as well.
2. not finishing - very unlikely. I finished Gold Coast last year. I was sicker than I am now (six weeks out) on race day, had a more interrupted preparation, and I weighed the same.
3. not finishing under the cutoff (= NO BLING NOOOOOOOO!!!). See above.
So that's sorted. VSM#5 will be slow waves a regretful goodbye to short-lived dreams of sub-six and hard work. But that's ok.
Now, what of my blog? I've been thinking about this all day. Unlike the writings of the gorgeous Shauna, Phil and Lisa (among many others whose blogs I have the privilege to read) my little corner of cyberspace isn't especially uplifting or positive. But when I think about it, it isn't meant to be! One of my favourite things about my blog is the friends I have met through it - and, attention-seeker that I am, I do worry that people will wander off never to return if I am particularly lame for any length of time - but I also like it because it's a place where I can be (fairly) authentic. I bleat and whinge here, and grizzle and give up and start again and get excited and celebrate and nut out conundrums I've been banging my head on, just the same as in my non-virtual existence. Ask anyone.
So in conclusion....
I don't think I have a conclusion. If The Cough buggers off between now and 09/10/11 (cool date eh?) I'll be starting VSM#5 and hoping to finish. Sometimes my blog is Sooky McWhinge-ville and sometimes it isn't. That is all.More anon, polar explorers!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The dummy is in midair

I am resting this weekend because of the disturbing Return of The Cough, because I fear the consequences of Defying the Lurgi, and because I am a grown up athlete now who knows it is better to be consistent than heroic. I recognise that the likely repercussions of overdoing it with a clogged up chest are far worse than those of underdoing it.
On the inside I am beating my fists on the ground and howling my eyes out. This was going to be The One where it all went as planned. I don't know why I thought that. I must have been mad. But I did. I don't want another under-prepared suffer-fest. I want to be confident that I have the kms on my legs to hold a steady pace for six hours. I don't want to have to even consider pulling out THERE I SAID IT waaaaaaaahhhhhh!!! or to work out when I'll need to make that decision, given that VSM#5 involves leave from work, complicated childcare arrangements, transport and accommodation. AND I WANT MY MM BLING. Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!! THIS IS NOT FAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!*.

*LBTEPA's media representative would like to assure her five faithful readers that the above is a quite deliberate and extremely temporary wallow in the self-pity pool. Normal H-ingTFU will resume shortly.

UPDATE: I just remembered that while The Cough was deceitfully pretending to have buggered off altogether, I ordered a race singlet. Now I have to do it. I'm not wasting a perfectly good singlet. Ok. Just need a moment to get my head around that.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

These things happen

Oh my, that run was a shocker. I slept poorly, woke up 45 minutes before the alarm (so wrong) and then spent an hour arguing with myself about whether it was too cold (yes) whether I was too tired (yes) and whether I would have a chance to run in the evening (alas, no). I stumbled out the door and set off on legs that had clearly been swapped with those of a three toed sloth. It was a beautiful early spring morning but all that clear pastel beauty was lost on me when it took me a km to pass a(n admittedly very sprightly) walker. I was oblivious to the delicate tracery of the trees by the river as an older couple out running floated by me like I was standing still. At various times I hated the morning, everyone else out there, myself, and especially my stupid, stupid hobby. The only way I got up the (ahem) "hill" 1.5 km from home without walking was to promise myself that after Goofy I am never ever running another step in my whole life.
When I got home I realised I'd put my shorts on backwards. Suddenly it all made sense.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Big mouth

Why did I say I want to go sub-six? Why why why? Now I am risking disappointment! That's intolerable!! What if I do all the training and lose a bit of weight and Stick to the Plan on race day and still don't manage it? What then?
Well, to quote the mighty GeekGrl, no-one will take my birthday away. And I will get bling - I rang the organisers and checked there would be enough medals this year before I paid.
Having a time goal requires an unfamiliar set of behaviours and fear of failure is an uncomfortable feeling, but we here at the LBTEPA Institute for the Stoically Cheerful(With Occasional Freakouts)are nothing if not masters of Sucking It Up. So there you go.
I have a short bike session on The Schedule tonight, and 24 slow, careful kms along the rail trail tomorrow. Then the Spousal Unit and I are off for the weekend to celebrate 13 years since the Universe threw us together and life got good again. Thanks, random chance - it's been grouse! More anon, daydream believers!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This could get quite dull

Ok *rubs hands together in jolly, enthusiastic way*
My chest is clear. It's 52 days until that That Big Long Run Coming Up. It's time to get on with it, smarten up, knuckle down, nose to the grindstone etc etc.
By "on with it" (etc etc), I mean " get to the start of TBLRCU, and then to the finish in time to get some bling". This, in turn, means "uninjured, and with as consistent a base as possible". I haven't actually been mucking around to date, but I've been able to be a little bit casual with my training in my previous marathons I still can't actually believe I've done so many. Beware, you novices! They creep up on you..... This time it's different. In order to have as possible to the VSM#5 that I want, I need to Pay Attention To The Details (ewwwww....)
I want to go sub-6 on interrupted training - there, I SAID IT, I WANT ANOTHER SUB-6 - so I need to hit my target of 5-6 workouts a week. It would be helpful to be lighter, so I need to eat and drink less. An aside: there will be no calorie restrictions - just a lot more thought and a lot less mindless stuffing of the face. The "A few mouthfuls less" method has resulted in my dropping 3.5kg over the last couple of months, so I'll stick with it for now.
It. Is. On.
But what does it all mean, you ask? (as well you might).
It means all marathon all the time at Chateau LBTEPA. It means details of the workouts I tick off on the the schedule, and lame excuses when I don't. It means bleating. It means posting my weight on the interweb (ewwwwwwww....)
Oh my, LBTEPA - that sounds, great, but scary! How can we help?
Oh you are so sweet! Thanks! (It's fun inside my imagination....)
It would be really helpful if you could
- cheer me on
- reassure me
- give me reality checks at appropriate times
- send cases of HTFU as required
Mind you, you also have the option of fleeing, never to return. This could get quite dull. You have been warned.
More anon, champions!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Stuff I know

- days do come around when it is functional and appropriate to nibble a cherry ripe at work, join the family at the pub for a steak and follow it up with a couple of wines at home while yacking on Sk&pe with a wounded Comrade in Stupid Determination. Hi Emma! During this conversation it was brought to our attention that Team SD could be one down for That Big Long Run Coming Up (TBLRCU). LBTEPA's press secretary has issued a statement expressing the strongest possible sentiments of dismay and disapproval at this prospect. So could you all please ping some HTFU over to the uncooperative nerve in Emma's lower back ASAP?
- I also do know that eating like that on top of a bellyful of emotions makes for a very bad night's sleep. I just forget.
- I have many negative thoughts about myself, the same as anyone else. They're a pain. But you know what? Nobody makes me have them - not even me. They're just there. Sometimes I have to wade through them; sometimes I stumble over them. More often these days, I just notice them, wave and say hi there's always room for politeness and keep moving
- nobody cares what I look like or how slowly I'm going when I'm running except me (see above).
- I'm off on a top secret experimental mission shortly. Aim: to establish what kind of day I'll have on TBLRCU. Hypothesis: I can do 20km without coughing. I'll keep you posted.
TELL NO-ONE, and wish me luck
More anon, super-spies!


Sunday, August 07, 2011

little by little

Note to self: when tempted to FREAK OUT, wallow, panic or sulk about the Disaster that is VSM#5 training, please read the following and HTFU.
4 days ago - extremely crook, started on good drugs.
2 days ago - dragged myself through 2 days of work, constant foul cough from 5pm, no energy at all.
Yesterday - had a good catch up (conversation without needing to sit down = big progress) with fellow endurance-sport bores at the tri club season launch. Walked the full entire whole 4.5km home from town whoopee f%^*ing do, eh? Intermittent hacking cough*.
Today - able to sing a bit at church. Carried wood and split kindling. Occasional cough.
During the two weeks aarrgghh I've not been able to run I've been doing a lot of visualisation using my mantra I run tall, I run loose, I run straight, I run strong. My legs feel pretty strong, but I dare say the truth of that will come out when I actually hit the road. I haven't gained any weight, mostly by dint of sort-of firmly resisting the self-pity chardy. No! gasp my five faithful readers (as well you might, after all the faffing around you have witnessed vis-a-vis vino et moi**). Crikey! That's new! However have you done it? The trainers at the LBTEPA Institute for Behavioural Modification have gone right back to basics, is how - I'm using a sticker chart. If I get 40 stars before Melbourne I'm going to buy a swish-o running shirt I've been eyeing off.
In other news, I am completely distracted from my (ahem) "woes" by the news that there will be an Ironman in my home state this summer!!! OMG OMG OMG!!! I am a not-so-secret IM tragic. I've even downloaded the last 5 Kona world championship tv specials from y0utu&e and watch them when I'm on my bike trainer - but I never thought I'd get to spectate at such an event! We have booked our accommodation already.
Now before you wander off, darls, please pop over and wish my brave and amazing mate Duane all the best with his first half-ironman! Go Duane go!

More anon, high-fivers!
*Noddie's teacher, for whom we do not particularly care, set the kids the task of finding new "ph" words. The Spousal Unit and I were careful to add "phlegm". Happy Monday morning Ms W. Bwahahaha
** Coo er flash eh?

Friday, August 05, 2011

48 hours

2 days ago I was sucking down oxygen and airways-opening stuff like the mask was a lifeline to the mothership. Since then I've swallowed horse pills and steroids and enough asthma stuff to make me trippy (on doctor's direction of course).
Don't answer that.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

well, that was unexpected

After I nearly threw up from coughing and dizziness from a very slow difficult walk across the playground at Noddie's school I caved and went to the doctor. It was that or the hospital but they were good enough to fit me in. Gosh I felt foul. Thank goodness the Spousal Unit got home from Melbourne in time to pick up Noddie from the clinic so she didn't have to see me really unwell. I don't have pneumonia though, just almost-pneumonia. That's good.
Other good stuff: the breathy-mask-thingy. Love being able to breathe almost-properly. Breathing is under-rated. Also, good drugs! I feel better already. When can I exercise? I asked. When you can breathe without coughing. Ok. Right. Nice clear decision criteria. That's good too.
Stuff I'm not thinking about right now: the look on the doctor's and nurse's faces when I said my next marathon is in nine weeks.
Bad stuff: there is no bad stuff.

More anon, shoulder-shruggers at life's vagaries!

Monday, August 01, 2011

twenty to six

A quiz for you.
a) is not as well as she thought and ended her planned 20km run after 6km due to unhelpful quantities of chestal phlegm ewwwwww
b) understands that knowing your limits and listening to your body is part of an endurance sport life
c) is very disappointed, discouraged and disheartened Melbourne is coming on like a train ohshitoshitoshit bastard germs I so don't need this breathe in....breathe out...
d) all of the above