Monday, September 26, 2011

You're joking

Having perused the race book for TBLRCU (my knee is still a bit painful but seems to be improving thanks for asking please keep all digits crossed not that I'm FREAKING OUT about it no no no no nooooo) and studied the course maps, I cast my mind back to happy times at the mighty MCG - great days at the footy, concerts, and of course VSMs #1 and #3. I visualised running the last km strongly, steaming up the chute to get my next bit of awesome bling.....
and then I thought, hang on.....
the new finish is Up. A. Hill.
Look at Jolimont St East Melbourne on g00gle street view if you think I'm making this up. I wish I was.

More anon. I'm going to have another cup of tea now, and make up some cheesy visualisation about being pulled up the hill by a giant tractor beam.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

the last long one

Hi there sports fans
You'll be thrilled to learn that I had a great 12km run this morning, despite the fact that just before I left I discovered that my immensely comfortable, flattering and EXPENSIVE shorts had given way in the thigh seam. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! The change of attire for modesty's sake which this necessitated resulted in my disturbing the Spousal Unit for a second time at You're F%^&ing Joking O'clock aka 4.20am OMFG that's a stupid, stupid time. Shame on you, Sk1ns! Expect a stern letter soon.
Unfortunately this great run was interrupted by some pretty rugged knee pain and followed by a quite tiresome and very cold 9km walk home. I tried a bit of a trot about 3km from home and it had mostly gone, but so had any energy, oomph, determination or let's-just-get-it-the-#$&%-done whatsoever. It was a short trot. I think (HOPE) the pain was because of ITB tightness, and I'm pretty sore right now so the Plan Is This: ice and ibuprofen today, foam roller on Monday ow ow ow and stretching like Gumby for the next two weeks. Another thing I'll be doing after today is going back to my old iron supplement. I don't think the new one is up to my energy requirements.
Please note that LBTEPA's press secretary would like to emphasise that this morning was not a disaster, debacle, shattering, crushing, a bad omen, a harbinger of doom nor a worry of any kind. The judges' decision on this matter is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Now let the taper begin! I *heart* the taper.More anon, trailblazers!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A cautionary tale

Gather round, children, and hark to the wisdom of your Auntie LBTEPA.
If you decide to have that extra glass of wine to celebrate your refinancing finally coming through, and also Noddie's first piano performance at assembly (well done little mate!), and then decide that you'll have a bit of a sleep in, but that will be ok because you've put dinner in the crockpot before work and also J has the day off so there will be a window to get your run done in the afternoon, which will also be good practice for TBLRCU because it's a warm day and you've mostly run in the cool so far.......
mark my words, gentle readers, it will all go horribly wrong.
The Spousal Unit and Noddie will both be sick and miserable and you will look after them and make sure they are ok becuase you love them, and you will get on your bike trainer at 8.45pm and watch Tristan Miller run across Mongolia and not think about how tired you are or how yet another run has gone down the gurgler because of another stupid lazy decision, because You Are An Athlete and that's what you do.
And next time you will remember that "later" does not exist.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

where there's life

Yesterday I was wandering around in quite a foul mood, partially due to the fact that the 2kg I painstakingly whittled away over six weeks seems to have found its way back in a week come on we all know I have not-all-that-latent weight issues that stage spectacular escapes from their cages pretty much this time every marathon, and partially due to the fact that I sort of wanted to/felt that I "should" be working out but due to Domestic Concerns was unable to work out what would fit in with both everything else I needed to get done (a lot) and what I felt like (nothing) . After some time it occurred to me that perhaps this EXTREME GRUMPINESS was because I was still quite tired after (ahem) "racing" 21.1km on Sunday, and perhaps I might have another day off. I must point out that this is a notion that a Stupidly Determined Very Slow Marathon runner can grasp only after some effort.
The following thought crossed my mind:
It was only a half, why would I need two days off?
....deafening silence.....
...sound of head being slapped....FFS, you idiot. Get. A. Grip.
You will be glad to know that when the echoes died away I repaired to the recliner and stayed there. There's even hope for Team SD.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Bairnsdale half marathon. 2:49
Rating: very pleased.
As expected
- super well-organised race, heaps of water stations and very well-marshalled especially given the loopy course
- I was dropped by the pack within a km and didn't see anyone AT ALL until the 10k-ers caught up at about 8km, then spent the last 7km by myself as well.
- I felt very upset indeed about this for quite some time, but didn't die, and managed to leave some of that %$#@ by the side of the road where it belonged.
- helped, I think, by my decision to not look at my watch. My goal was "the closer to 3 hours the happier I'll be" (so I was very happy) and the plan was to run at a "not very comfortable" pace (RPE* about 7.5).
- my nutrition and hydration plan worked perfectly. A drink every walk break and every water station, and because this was a nice civilised race that started at 8m so I had a proper breakfast, gels at 8km and 16km. ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY NUTRITION AND HYDRATION PLAN!
- dear marshalls: slow does not mean struggling. It means slow. While I appreciate your attempts at encouragement, telling me to "keep going" at 4km is a bit pointless. I'm doing a half-marathon FFS. Oh, hey, maybe I'll stop here instead.
Not expected
- the new visor is very comfortable, made it easier to keep cool and is also quite flattering as I'm sure you will agree.
- my sunglasses, however, have turned on me, and made my head ache abominably unless I took them off and bent them outward every few km :(
- I held run 3 songs: walk 1 the whole way, even at the (ahem) "faster" pace. This was pleasing as I've only been doing r2:w1 in my long runs.
- having the president of the tri club ride up behind me and tell me I was doing a great job and that he was proud of me. I really appreciated that.
- I had loads in the tank for the last 4km. This is very reassuring, as now I can approach TBLRCU with some confidence that it will not be an utterly horrid suffer-fest.
- the very very steep hill at 20.5km. I probably shouldn't have dropped the f-bomb when I realised the marshalls weren't joking when they directed me up there. These things happen.
- being described as having a good attitude by the cycle escort when he realised that this was my 8th half marathon and I've done 3 more fulls than he has. I didn't push him off his bike though.
- I didn't come last!!!! The charming Phil from Canberra was really struggling; I gave him the last of my water and tried to get him to run with me but he was too had it, poor lambie.
- really nice blingMore anon, grinners :)
*Rate of Perceived Effort

Friday, September 16, 2011


The facts:
- most people in my family 'carry a bit of weight'
- I'm an emotional eater and drinker
- there's been a bit of extra stress at Chateau LBTEPA this last little while (thankfully nothing serious, but above our "cope with easily" level)
- my next marathon is in 22 days and lighter is better when I'm a) carting 80-ish kg for 42.2km and b) even more underdone than usual
- some of my painstakingly-shed lard has made a comeback. #$%*! #$%&!!
The Plan:
- suck up that this is all very boring. I've been at uni forever. I can do boring.
- refrain from diving into the I hate myself pool when I get on the scales
- write down Every Single Thing I eat. This does actually work for me, especially during the 5-7pm shovelling-stuff-into-my-gob-will-make-this-overwhelmed-feeeling-go-away arsenic hour, but still, booooooorrrrrrrrinnnnnnnnnngggggggg
The things I do for bling...........
After a couple of surprising conversations with colleagues whom I would have expected to know a hell of a lot better, I do feel I have to make the comment that I do not subscribe in any way to the "lighter/smaller = healthier" point of view. Whenever anyone mentions to me that they're wanting/trying to lose weight, my response is "why?". If the answer is not "becuase I believe (not "becuase my dr told me") that this will improve a specific health indicator", or "becuase 42km is a long way to cart 80kg" did you see the self-justification there? then I become quite tiresomely challenging about mindlessly buying into distorted social mores about size and attractiveness. Ask anyone.
I think that as an older, larger, slower athlete - with, it must be admitted the full set of body image issues oh my let's not take the lid off that box - the balance between self-acceptance and not wanting to move so much mass around 42.2km did I mention VSM#5 is coming on like a train ohshitohshitohshitwe'reallgoingtodiiiieeee might always be a dilemma for me. But that's ok. The main thing is to be thoughtful about things. And not boring.
More anon, sleepwalkers!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Things that crossed my mind yesterday morning.

@!%&*! is it 4.40 already?
I need a cuppa. Is that rain?
@!%&*! It is rain. Good thing I set out my jacket. And wrapped up my phone.
I'll just have a quick look on EffBee while I eat my toast
Just get out the bloody door will you, it's going to take forever and be awful whenever you go.
@!%&* it's cold, not too windy though this would come back to bite me as you will see
I'm glad I wore the hat with the light, it's bloody dark
Ack! I wish they'd tether that damn goat in the same place all the time, it gives me such a fright when I nearly trip over it this is absolutely true
Being wet isn't so bad really this is absolutely a lie
I'm feeling pretty good, mustn't get over excited, there's a long way to go.
Not far to the turn-around now.
Waaah! That's where the wind was!! @!%&* it's cold!
It's not so bad among the trees
I wish there were some trees here. Bugger me this wind is fierce.
Maybe three hours is enough for today, I haven't been well.....
I don't care how fresh they are, I am not buying anything from a person who puts an apostrophe in EGGS.
I run tall, I run loose, I run straight, I run forever....
@!%&* it's cold. This is really hard. Really hard.
I said, this is really hard
And by that you mean...?
I don't like this
You don't like being cold and tired?
No, I don't.
Point taken.
I'm glad no-one heard me say that
I run tall, I run loose, I run straight, I run forever, I run like Crowie, I run like Macca, I run like Chrissie, I run like me...
When I get home I am going to wear my HTFU shirt IRONICALLY. That would be funny.
Maybe four hours is enough for today, I haven't been well....
Can't wear your HTFU shirt if you do that.
My legs hurt. I want to stop.
You can want all you like but you're not stopping. Thoughts are not actions.
I could stop at Mum's, that's 27km. That's a long way when I haven't been well.
But I wanna wear my shirt.
I feel good, I am filled with energy, there is no hurry.....
Not far until the main street and out of the wind a bit
I could walk home, that would do.
Oh, please.
You can run one song walk one if you like, that's my best offer.
I can still manage run two walk one. I'll get home more quickly anyway. @!%&* it's cold.
Oh look! That fence is exactly the right height to stretch my hammies and hips!
Ohhhhh, thaaat's better...
I feel good, I am filled with energy, there is no hurry.....
I've never been in anything like this wind. I'm glad I'm not riding my bike.
Not far now THANK GOODNESS I am so tired
1km to home and you know what that means run a bit faster run run run don't stop you have something in the tank you can do this you will remember this on race day and you will have something left then too I run tall I run loose I run straight I run strong I run like Crowie I run like Macca I run like Chrissie I run like me and I Do Not Stop.
What time is it? 10.30? Really? That's 5 hours exactly! Excellent! Yay!
Now for my ice bath. Ewwwww.
Home alone - licence to swear granted! (the Spousal Unit had taken Noddie to tap dancing)
@!%&*%#!! @!%&*%# &$*@%#!!!

Thursday, September 08, 2011


Ventolin and steroids make life a lot simpler what with being able to breathe and all but they also makes me a bit trippy and nervy and give me the shakes and makes me JUST WANT TO EAT which is tiresome since the "A few mouthfuls less" method has resulted in a 4kg loss to date and I am well on target to start VSM#5 at slightly less than last year's weight. Yay! That's if I can stop myself hoeing into anything that might contain or resemble food. Maybe I'll glue the bikkie jar shut. I'm taking less medication than prescribed but criiiikkkeey....I think it must accumulate or something. At work I have to really concentrate on not yapping on like a speed-addled nong. Stupid asthma, stupid fluctuating temperatures, but that's what you get for living on the 47th parallel I suppose. That and gorgeous Spring mornings. Still, breathing is good. I'm a fan. I'll try and do with a bit less tonight and see how I sleep - less medication, I mean. Not less breathing.
I'm a bit nervous about attempting 32km on Saturday morning but it has to be done. I am calm, I am patient, I am brave, I am strong....just ask my mantra. If I say it enough times that will make it true, yes?
Time to go and stretch like Gumby*. My efforts make Noddie laugh. She is the uber-Gumby! *My five faithful readers may rest assured, though, that if I should ever embrace a life of crime it will be characterised by competence and forethought, unlike some people.
More anon, rabbiters-on!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

All being well

LBTEPA's press corps would like to thank her medical team, coaches and mental health staff for all their expertise, advice and HTFUs over the last several weeks of angst-ridden lurgi-wrestling. After 5 days on Good Drugs, an experimental pleasant trundle around the streets this morning has produced no ill-effects. Our heroine has thus been pronounced officially On The Mend, Good As Gold, Back on Track and Thrilled to Bits. Can I have a WOOT??
(here's one I prepared earlier)LBTEPA would particularly like to express her gratitude to the ever-supportive, although sometimes understandably bewildered Spousal Unit, my Mum (ditto, minus the bewilderment - she's known me longer) and of course my five faithful readers, whose patience and seeming fascination with the interminable minutiae of Very Slow Marathon running seems to know no bounds.
So, about this Big Long Run Coming Up ......
These days I know a bit about how I can do marathons - obviously not fast, mind you, but reliable. Don't try this at home, kiddies! I am fairly confident that my mad plan for the last four weeks will get me over the line on 09/10/11. During the reign of The Cough I've exercised almost every day, mostly cycling and walking but moving which is the main thing. I've practiced all my visualisations and training mantras over and over. This weekend, all being well, I'll do a glacially slow 32km. The following week is the Bairnsdale half marathon so I will do that race but walk there and back, making 32km all up. The following weekend I'll do another 32km, once again as slowly as possible without actually coming to a complete stop. That should get my mind around hanging in there for hour upon slow, tedious hour on race day! It will be great!
Mind you, it could all go horribly wrong. We shall see.
I know why I'm doing this marathon, too (all being well).
- it's a trip to the Big Smoke yes yes I know I could just come up for a day's shopping....
- to catch up with my dear comrades in Stupid Determination
- to reconnect with my tribe, the slow, brave, proud back-of-the-packers
- to see my good CR friends, who are indirectly responsible for all this because of their kindness and encouragement to a complete beginner
- because I CAN. When I was ill with chronic fatigue I walked very short distances, very slowly, often with a cane. Why would I not run a marathon now?
- because I've been blessed with the gifts of health, patience and endurance (and Stupid Determination) and I think I should use them.
Wanna know the real truth? I'm doing this because I want to, and FOR THE BLING!
More anon, bounty hunters!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

I don't think she realised Who I Am

The Dr said it's most likely aggravated asthma and gave me some lovely steroids to make The Cough bugger right off, and a script for antibiotics in case she's wrong. When I asked whether it would be harmful in the medium- to long-term to have a crack at my fifth marathon five weeks from now she said a) no, it wouldn't be harmful at all, becuase exercise is good for asthma I thought that was brilliant and b) now this is really good she didn't actually think I'd feel up to it by then.
BWAHAHAHAHA! THE CRAZY FOOL!!!More anon, 6.59.59ers!

of course

....I finally get in to see the dr and the chest crackle goes away. That's one of those win-win thingos, right?