Sunday, October 30, 2011

more ow

ANNOUNCEMENT: LBTEPA's sore foot has been diagnoosed as plantar fasciitis ow ow ow. Treatment will involve no running for at least a week. LBTEPA is concerned-bordering-on-panicky but intends to maintain an attitude of cheerful stocisim.
Any tales of miraculous recoveries from PF involving her five faithful readers, their friends, relatives, acquaintances, or indeeed random persons of whom they have only heard on the interwebs would be greatly appreciated.
More anon.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Sunday's run was really encouraging even though it was very very weird to set out in daylight. It got quite hot by the time I got home, possibly becuase of that strange glowing orb in the sky. I haven't seen it for so long I couldn't really remember what it was. I was literally dripping on the kitchen floor when I got back can anyone say ewwwww? even though I'd taken the camelbak and polished off nearly 2 litres of water in 3 hours. The hardest thing about the run was thinking about doing it - I think I'm more mentally than physically tired of running at the 'mo. It was such a lovely day; I took my time through the paddocks and along the river and still finished 21k under Goofy pace.
I must warn my five faithful readers that Goofy is the current LBTEPA oh no oh no this (tiny insignificant thing du jour) will ruin everything freakout topic. It is likely to remain so, and to significantly intensify, over the next 72 daysyou'rejokingsosoonI'llneverbeready ohdearohdearohdear...... which brings me to my current freakout - and please don't say I told you so becuase I know. I know adjusting my orthotic with a paring knife and a hammer was stupid. What can I say? I blame taper madness. All right, that's a lie. I blame myself; it was a stupid, stupid, stupid thing to do and no wonder my foot really hurts. I'm off to the podiatrist this afternoon to confess and hope it won't take three weeks to fix because then I am stuffed.
Oh, and thank you all so much for your wise words on my last post. I bought those shoes.

UPDATE: All is well, if by "all is well" one means "my current orthotics bear no relationship to either my feet or my gait problems whatsoever so I am having new ones made by someone who actually looked at my feet and my runners and listened to what I said. My sore foot will go away (the soreness. Not the foot. Don't be silly) if I ice it and wear some over-the-counter insoles while the new orthotics are spun from unicorn manes, or whatever they make them from that makes them cost so much. Yay. Goofy lives on!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Things that make you go hmm...

I've been grappling with a couple of very difficult quandaries.
1. There is a bloke I know of who has (ahem) "completed" 140 marathons. He is in his late 60s (I think) and finishes around the 6.5-7 hour mark. He is very happy to show off and take the accolades for his "achievements". This man is a cheat. He shaves the course. I know this to be true, having witnessed it myself on more than one occasion. Other members of Team SD have also observed him doing this. He is a pathetic liar and a disgrace.
But the thing is, I know another bloke. This other bloke is a top bloke. A skinnyfast himself, he is kind and encouraging and helpful to those not so genetically gifted in relation to their chosen sport. He also knows this first bloke. He is not aware of this bloke's habits and thinks of him as a never-say-die inspiration to all back-of-the-packers. He speaks of him as such to others.
Do I tell him?
And the other question:
2. Does it still count as an impulse-buy if you've been lusting after something for weeks?I await your counsel, oh wise ones!
More anon, puzzlers

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What was I thinking?

Quite often when I couldn't stand thinking about the Melbourne Marathon, I'd cast my mind past the unimaginable to What I Would Do Afterward. Difficult to picture, of course - as a Very Slow Marathon looms it eats up the attention and imagination. Marathon day is somehow the End Of Time.
It's always a bit of a shock to find oneself having finished another one. It also means it's time to revisit those imaginings and make them real. Or not. This week I've felt so weary it's been almost impossible to envisage doing Goofy in aaarrgghh 81days aarrgghh. I went for a run today and it felt as though I hadn't been out for weeks. My legs and mind were all, pardon? You want us to do what? Didn't we just do quite a LOT of that? Got it done though, and it wasn't too terrible. I dug out my heart rate monitor as a bit of an experiment and tried to stay in the 60-75% zone. It was interesting, especially when it started to pour just as I was going up a hill - hello 15 extra bpm!
But back to all that "after Melbourne I'm gunna...."It's crossed my mind that keeping on doing what I was doing would do (as it were). I did finish VSM#5, after all. That, I must let you know, is when I slapped myself upside of the head and gave myself a good talking to. I'm not doing another Very Slow Marathon on stupid determination and the smell of an oily rag. I'm not. I need to get started doing what I thought about when I wasn't thinking about VSM#5.
So what was I thinking?
Less booze. I think I mentioned this a little while ago. The Spousal Unit is helping me. I'm certainly not against the demon drink per se (QED) but the pattern get tired and sad-drink-eat-miss training will not get me what I want. And as my five faithful readers know, life on Planet LBTEPA is all about getting what I want.
Swim, swim, swim! Lots of reasons for this. My core muscles need beefing up. I have noticed a diminution in my upper body strength which does not please me. Swimming makes me all happy and in a good mood and tightens up my upper arms, which (if such a thing is conceivable), could be said to be the least perfect part of the LBTEPA physique. We're going to Hawaii and I haven't swum for months! What if I've forgotten how?
Consecutive runs. Eww! I am going to challenge the 'ol fear of injury and JFDI. The very sketchy Schedule at this stage is Monday morning swim (although my lazy disorganised twin already stuffed that up this week, the tiresome b$#%, so I will have to choose between the pool and grocery shopping after tea tonight, le sigh...), Tuesday and Thursday shorter runs, Saturday long run, Sunday shorter run. A spin on either Wednesday or Friday. Oh my but just reading that makes me tired. Note to self: keep up the vitmains!
I must not get caught up in the ohcrapAGAINwhatwasIthinkingit'salltoohardI'mtiredIcan't. I must focus on how cool Goofy is going to be.

Soon you will be mine, my pretties.....soon.....

More anon, bling-hounds!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Today I actually felt like doing some exercise.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Race report: Melbourne Marathon 2011

Just to either ruin the punchline or prevent any skerrick of anxiety from causing the slightest modicum of stress to any of my five faithful readers, VSM#5 went well...considering.
Especiallly (cue sinister music) the fact that on Thursday I commented to the Spousal Unit that it's actually a good thing I rolled my ankle, 'cause otherwise I'd be FREAKING OUT about this bloody chest.
Ha, missed that in the waterfall of whingeing over the last couple of weeks, didn't you? The Cough was back, with its horrible mates crook, achy and exhausted.
But as always, optimism being the LBTEPA way, I swallowed my despair and terror (sounds as though I thought this was really important, doesn't it?) and Acted As If things were going to be ok. I slept, I hydrated, I took my medicine. I strapped and iced and rested my ankle and hoped for the best. I sang the national anthem at the start line. I'd got away with it! Or so I thought...
But I digress.
I met up with the Mighty Emma and her husband R at our hotel on the Saturday. She was irritatingly perky and excited about our next big adventure. The kilometre from the station to our hotel had felt like a very long way to me so I wanted to slap her. Fortunately, over the course of the day these opposing moods oscillated back and forth so when she was a teary fearful mess I was all positive and resolute (and I expect she had to restrain herself from slapping me). After I'd had a nice sleep the Spousal Unit and Noddie arrived and we went out for dinner blah blah blah nervous chatter pre-race preparation (race nails etc) and off to bed.
Race day. Drizzly, a bit cold. The atmosphere at the start was wonderful - so much excitment! And so lovely to see so many friends again. I'm smiling just thinking about it.
I don't use a garmin so my strategy for the first 10km or so was to keep the mighty Emma in sight because I knew she was planning on a similar pace to mine. I felt good along St Kilda Rd and around Albert Park although the cutoff time when they wouldn't let you turn right onto the full marathon course was always at the back of my mind. I may have gone out a bit fast becuase of this, I don't know. Becuase of my limited preparation and having been sick during the week, I really didn't have much idea what I was capable of. I tried to hold back, but... maybe I should get a garmin? I dunno.
Anyway, I got to the cutoff point under the time. The half marathoners were well on their way by that stage. The elites floated by like angels. I loved to watch them. As an aside - if you're thinking of doing a Very Slow Marathon, make sure you put your name on your shirt, in big letters and preferably accompanied by a memorable slogan. My Stupidly Determined shirt got me so much encouragement! And if you're watching a Very Slow marathon, please do call out to people with names on their shirts! They appreciate it more than you could possibly know.
Down the hill we went, with all the fast runners steaming up toward us. I felt tired watching them working so hard, which was not a good sign. Off down the beach we went, into the most vile, bitter headwind you can imagine. F*** it was windy. I had been going nicely with run two songs: walk one until this point but as I got colder (did I mention this wind came with occasional face-stinging squalls?) I started to become aware that I didn't have as much in the tank as I'd foolishly/optimistically hoped. It was still a very long way home and I would have to start adjusting The Plan so I could get there. Run one:walk one it was, from 17-27km. The northern turnaround was my favourite place in the world becuase I was finally out of the wind. Eight km of tail wind and then only three back into its teeth before we headed back toward the city. I could deal with that. On and on I trundled. I'd started to cough a bit, but it was ok. I almost laughed when the wind swung - a complete 180 degrees, right back into our faces! It was clearly time to call on Chris McCormack's wonderful advice to endurance athletes: EMBRACE THE SUCK. I had to laugh. Hi Suck! There you are! I've been expecting you (although perhaps not on this scale). Let's run together!
By 27km I was getting very cold and coughing every time I ran. My ankle was holding up but starting to ache a bit. The Plan was adjusted again. Walk. Keep walking. Just keep walking.
We got put on the footpath at this stage which was a relief because it was a bit more sheltered from the wind. It was harder to remember my hydration plan without the run/walk cues but I kept drinking whenever I remembered and having my gels on the hour. Once again there was very little water for the slowest runners. It was disgraceful and one of the reasons I'll really think very hard about running my home state marathon again.
It was such a relief to get off the beach, up the hill and on to St Kilda Road. I was very worried about the time - I was trying to move as quickly as I could but there were no f***ing km signs so I couldn't gauge my speed. I got talking to a lovely man who told me he'd been in the army and I was going about as fast as they'd expect to do a route march (about 6km an hour I think?). He may have been lying but it cheered me up at a time when every low fence and bench was an invitation to stop....stop...stop....stop....
You can stop when you've finished. Only about two hours to go.
Hi Suck, still here? We're having quite a day out, aren't we?
I was cold, I was hurting, I was never so tired in my life. But I never went to this-is-too-hard-I-give-up despair. I was always, always focusing on what I needed to do to make it home. I never cried and I stayed peaceful- except when I saw a marshall giving away a bottle of the only water I'd seen since 27km to a random passer-by (ahem, leaving a box of water by the side of a popular exercise track is not providing a water-station to slower runners, it's providing free drinks to every f***er on a Sunday workout) - then, I confess, I did my nut at him for a short energy-wasting moment. Tool. The coughing had eased a great deal by the time we got to the gardens so after I'd walked the Shrine Hill I tried running one song/walking one again and it went ok. 4km to go. Run one, walk one, run one, walk one. Drink. Run. Walk.
I passed the place where I was sent the wrong way last year (resisting the urge to give an undeserved finger to the charming and helpful volunteers) and set off across the bridge. I knew my CR friends would be waiting and I started to get a bit sooky oh please be there, please be there, I need some help, I can't do this by myself any more and then they were there. In the distance I could see them pouring out down the steps and I started to tear up. As I got closer I could hear them yelling, and I saw them making an arch with their arms for me to run under. Thank you, my friends, from the very bottom of my heart. I'll never, ever forget that moment. The feeling of being home again and cared-for and somehow safe again was so strong and filled me with such energy that when the workmen who were blocking the road with their truck said I'd have to go around it (WELL HI CAPTAIN OBVIOUS) I replied, no mate, I'll go through!
Around the corner I saw the lovely lovely 41km sign, my favourite number in the world. Run one, walk one. Run one...and then I was nearly there so I unplugged myself (would you believe the last song was Tubthumping? I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gunna keep me down.... True!) and ran it in. Part of me was pissed off about the uphill finish but part of me was So F***ing Over running that I didn't care and just steamed up it. The Spousal Unit was yelling and waving and beaming at me from the stands so I ran harder. More than anything I was looking forward to crossing the line and lying down on the ground and crying my eyes out but my dear little Noddie was standing there with a cup of water for me so I didn't, just gave her a big hug instead. Eww Mummy you're all sweaty and yuck!
Done.(not taken at the finish line)
I was extremely happy and proud of myself at how I managed the day, under the circumstances, but my abiding realisation is that I really don't need to do stuff like that to myself any more. I know how tough I am. I have already told J, my Mum and the Mighty Emma - who finished in 7:15 with a pinched nerve that essentially left her with one-and-a-bit legs for the last 15km (as opposed to later, when we may or may not have both got completely legless, I admit nothing) - to remind me next year that I will not be entering Melbourne if I have a chest infection between July and September. I'll happily blow the early-bird discount to avoid an experience like VSM#5.I'm not saying I don't think I should have done it. I made the best decision I could at the time and really, even though it was a long difficult day, I got through it and quite well too. Life isn't about only doing easy things or being successful or avoiding suffering. It's a source of great satisfaction to me that I'm (ahem) strong and healthy enough (don't laugh!) to toe the line and face down 42.2. I'm happy I did VSM#5 and that it worked out as well as it did. Now I have quite a lot of uni to catch up on - and a trip to America to plan! Life is good.More anon, goofy challengers :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Home again

Hardest thing I've ever done.
Ankle fine.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Hi ho

So here we are. I'm typing away here, slurping down tea and icing my ankle one last time before I catch the train to the Big Smoke and Very Slow Marathon #5. That came around quickly....
I really have no words, so I'll nick those of the mighty Emma, my comrade in Stupid Determination:
there's a familiar turn of mind that anyone who has faced the marathon will know. I am alternating between "Ohshitohshitohshit, we're all going to die!" and "Who the hell am I to even consider running a marathon?" Good luck to my friends who are facing down the big 42.2 this weekend. Remember, it's a long way and it's going to hurt a lot.

Ok darl, I'll remember.
Wish me luck, eh?More anon, nervous grinners!

Friday, October 07, 2011


Thanks to the above-and-beyond efforts of the darling allied health staff at my work, the recollection of which brings tears to my eyes, I have been given a chance of starting on Sunday. The physio said my ankle has a grade 1 strain (the most desirable sort I gather) and that we did exactly the right thing icing and strapping the expletive out of it straight after The Fall sorry I can't believe I wrote that - quick, blame the ibuprofen! I was given therapeutic ultrasound and some exceptionally elaborate strapping which I will need to consult a manual on advanced papier-mache to duplicate. I went for a short run/walk last night, as directed and despite being almost nauseous with anxiety, and there was only a little soreness and no swelling. I am told that these are good signs. I'm seeing the physio again today.
So The Plan Is This:
Act As If it's all going ahead. Have another short run this morning, as directed, and hydrate like a lunatic, especially considering the ibuprofen. Final decision on Saturday.
Most importantly, I need to prepare all my Important Race Crap (TM)
This of course includes gels ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY NUTRITION PLAN!, adorned with inspirational sayings. A girl's gotta eat, after all. And read.
hence, faithful readers, I am once again appealing for the pithy sayings and mottos that fire you up, cheer you up and make you believe that even if you don't actually believe you can complete whatever ludicrously task you are attempting, you might as well keep plugging away at it for the time being.
So far I have
Why not?
One more step. One more km. One more marathon
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog
and from the late Steve Jobs, Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
Share your wisdom with me, my friends! And fingers crossed, eh?

More anon, my treasures.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

stay tuned

I stepped off the front verandah about an hour ago and on to Noddie's skateboard. Went down like a sack of spuds. Currently icing a very painful and swollen ankle.
More anon, teeth-gritters.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

But of course

- I appear to be getting a head cold, complete with sore throat, a headache and aching joints. @#&%!!! Bring on the echinacea and vitamin C, I say, and we'll see who rusts first!
- my old sunnies turned on me in my last couple of long runs. Can your forehead gain weight? So I went to the bike shop in a panic - it is only 5 more sleeps until TBLRCU arrgghh excuse me whilst I repair beneath my desk and rock back and forward for a bit - and my style advisor (Noddie) told me to buy these so I did. - J has organised himself at the VERY last minute to come along and spectate. I am very happy about a way.....I won't go into details but it's a good thing he is a big sweety and my helpmeet in life's vicissitudes because having to choke down disappointed, let-down rage for weeks does my head in and takes a day or two to get over.
- my shoes died! Noooooooooo!!! I have a new pair of the same model in the wardrobe which I will be wearing around the clock between now and Sunday. I'd rather have blisters than a sore knee.
- when I looked at the wear pattern on my old shoes I realised why my knee was hurting. @#&%!!! and grrrrrrrrr!!!That was when I discovered that you don't have to go to the podiatrist to get your orthotics adjusted. A paring knife and a hammer will do just as well.
- the weather on Sunday is looking gorgeous. This is Not Good News for Team Stupidly Determined. We like it cool and would be more than satisfied with downright chilly. The winds about which the skinnyfasts whinge are as naught to us. Thank goodness for the mighty Hydration Plan is all I'm saying.
More anon, taper lunatics!

Saturday, October 01, 2011


Noddie and I are back from three splendid days in the Big Smoke, shopping and culture-vulturing and cheering at the Grand Final parade and eating things we don't have at home like sushi and Vietnamese pork rolls and good Chinese food in groovy little cafes an arm-width wide. Noddie was absolutely thrilled with our hotel - not only did we get to eat breakfast In A Restaurant - what could possibly be more awesome? - but there was a gym on the second floor where she could try all the machines while Mummy ran on the treadmill.
It was here, dear readers, that your heroine had an epiphany. It's been a very long time since I've run in front of a mirror. As I ran, I had to look at myself. And do you know what I saw? I saw heavy and bloated and tired and sad.
I look how I feel.
You may have noticed that I've been very down these last couple of months. If you haven't, it's becuase I have been functioning on manufactured "up", fuelled with food and wine. That mirror told me that I can't do it any more. I have to start using coping strategies that don't involve food and drink. I told J how bad I've been feeling and he's going to help me.
There are eight more sleeps until TBLRCU. I couldn't feel less like doing it but I'm going to. In the world of the Stupidly Determined Very Slow Marathoner, guts overcome fear and faith conquers doubt. Which is good because I couldn't be more doubtful or scared. But you know what I say to that? Scared schmared is what I say. More anon, rock stars!