Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I've been tagged! Thanks Java Joggers and Giorgio for the award (Rule #3 in award acceptance.)

I must pass this award on to 6 others (Rule #2) So here goes -
Emz (If I can't Convince You - I'll at least Confuse You)
Rio (Her name is Rio and She runs)
Jill(Run with Jill)
Liz (Runner Mum)
AJH (Age Groups Rock)
and Marlene (Mission to a(nother) Marathon)

I have no idea how to link you guys in because I'm technically inept and non of my sons are here to help me pretend that I'm capable.

And Rule #1 - Answer this question : if you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?

There's actually not a lot in my life that I'd change except I would have ignored my fears and joined a running group way sooner.

Have a nice day!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Marathon School

I've been learning heaps in the last couple of weeks. Training for a marathon has given me a new insight into life and people. Just yesterday, when I was running my new longest run of 32k, I realized that people don't run marathons for fun. Running for hours at a time is not comfortable or enlightening. It can be exhausting and painful. But having finished my weekly masochistic ritual I get a smug feeling of self-satisfaction. I'm finding that I'm actively looking for opportunities in conversation to insert my new longest distance.

Another thing that I've discovered is that people's reactions to my new achievements vary according to their fitness level. The couch potatoes out there look at you with disbelief and caution. In their eyes there is a hint of insanity attached to anyone prepared to venture out at ridiculously early hours to willingly subject themselves to
prolonged torture. The exception to this group is couch potatoes who are related to you. They were always aware of your mental instability but love you regardless. Then their are the exclusive world of the fit. They are supportive and encouraging and happy to give advice when necessary.

Another fact I've discovered is that no matter how much you lubricate up, there will always be another place, a new place, that chaffs. And you won't discover this spot until you hit shower. Sometimes there are screams from my bathroom. ( my apologies to the neighbors)

And, finally, I've discovered that you CAN teach old dogs new tricks. It doesn't matter that I can see the big five-oh approaching at the rate of knots, my body can still adapt to new stresses placed on it. That's strangely satisfying in a glad-I'm-not-dead way.

So I'm three weeks down and six weeks to go. So far I haven't broken any bits of me yet and I haven't chickened out (although I've given it serious thought) Roll on week 4!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Whiff of Freedom

There is only 12 more weeks to go! 12 more weeks until I finish high school for the fourth and final time. No - I am not an incredibly slow learner. Nor am I a perpetual truant. I just have lived and breathed and supported my sons every step of the way for the past 11 years.

And having done this 3 times before, I'd just like to say that year 12 is hard! It's a pressure cooker. A runaway train at the crest of the hill that gathers momentum as it heads towards the finish line. This week has been a prime example. We started with a pretty big weekend - a basketball game, a Maths assignment and a day at eisteddfod. There was no time to finish the Chemistry assignment that was due on Tuesday so Monday was spent with a quick trip to school to deliver the Maths assignment and then a full day doing Chem (and by full day I mean until midnight). Tuesday was early percussion ensemble practice, school then stay on after school to perform with the big band at a special dinner event for local businesses (home at 8:00pm). Wednesday was a regular start but stayed back late to go with the girlfriend to her debating final (They lost but she won the debater of the meet award). Thursday had an after-school symphonic band practice followed by soccer dinner (home at 10:30pm) Poor Luke! He looked so tired this morning as I dragged him from his bed.

I'd like to say that the worst is over but he has another big weekend (although I've banned him from the basketball match this week) and next Tuesday and Wednesday he has 2 full days of standardized testing. And I thought training for a marathon was hard! I wouldn't be 16 again if you paid me - well, maybe if you paid me a significant amount of money that would negate the need to go on to uni and work for a living.

So there is only 12 weeks until I finally taste freedom - no more lunches to make, no more frantic school runs and no more ironing of uniforms. I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tough Tuesdays.

Wow, Tuesdays are hard! It's really sad to be saying that at the beginning of the week but I'm feeling like Tuesdays are now my Fridays (when I used to be most tired) and my world is a little topsy-turvy. By Tuesday I've done 3 runs in 4 days and racked up almost 60k! Is it any wonder I'm tired?!

This week I, stupidly, ran Monday's run a little hard. It was because I was feeling so good last week AND because I read a book that told me to run part of this run as a tempo session. So I ran about 10k of Monday's 17 k run at tempo and it came back to bite me on the bum yesterday. The speed session went pretty well but boy was I longing for an afternoon nap.

But today, after 9 hours sleep (unfortunately, not uninterrupted because of Iven's sinus infection) I feel sooo much better. And that's just as well because tomorrow is hills!

And talking of feeling better - my sad baby is really getting back on his feet. Josh has picked up remarkably. He's almost back to his normal, loud and slightly annoying self. It's lovely to see the smile really reach his eyes and to hear him singing - even when I'm trying to get to sleep. I'm not sure why he's turned the corner. Possibly a combination of the anti-depressants, the wonderful, insightful guidance of the psychologist, his fantastically supportive friends or the fact that time heals all wounds. And because he's feeling so much better, I'm feeling so much better.

And finally, here's a sneak preview of one of the costumes I've made for the Commonwealth Games. It still has to be decorated - sequins and diamantes - but I'm pretty pleased with the result.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This is somewhat of an experiment in alternate technology. I still have no computer - but I do have a very fancy phone. I'm sitting in a school hall at a percussion eisteddfod. My youngest competed in a solo section (came away with a 3rd place trophy) and is now playing in a school ensemble. The music's pretty god but I think that any child not playing should have their sticks collected till it's their turn. Percussionists cannot have sticks in their hands without wanting to hit them on something or someone.

Yesterday's run was another first for me. 30 k! It's weird setting out knowing that you won't be back for almost 3 hours. And each time I finish I realize that next week's run is only going to be longer. I'm not convinced that I love running such long distances. I get so stiff afterwards and tired! It wouldn't be so bad if I could nap but that's not always an option. Yesterday it was brekky out, a trip to the fruit and vegetable markets, a basketball match then a walk with a friend. I was a little cranky this morning knowing I had a day of listening and sitting ahead - but no sleep-in or afternooon nap.

Overall, though, I do think I'm coping with the extra hours on my feet. If only I could manage the chaffing issues!

So week 2 is done and dusted. Total distance - 67 k. Total calories burnt - a lot!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I've been forced off-line temporarily because of equipment malfunction. Last week my computer gave off four weird beeps and died. And I've been so busy with work and MARATHON TRAINING that I haven't had a chance to get it to the computer doctor or the computer mortuary.So I'm typing this on Luke's computer. Surrounded by Luke's mess (although his bed is now made - had to do something while the computer was starting up)

Week 1 of serious marathon training is done. I'm not sure if I'm liking it yet. Not sure if I should be feeling so tired. Not sure if I'll see this through to the end. I'm just not sure about a lot of things.

Last week I ran more than I've ever run in my life - a whole 65k! Last Saturday I ran my longest ever run of 28k! There's a lot of firsts happening here. I actually coped with the 28k pretty well. I kept my pace restrained and checked my heart rate regularly. I was a little over it all by 25k but plugged on. The physical repercussions were a tight soleus and a bit of nasty bra chaffing (that I didn't know had happened till I hit the shower) and just general fatigue. No blisters!I did end up nauseated for the rest of the day so this week I'm going to throw down an extra gel mid-run to try to prevent my blood sugar bottoming out.

Yesterday I had to do a 16k run and that went well but by the end of the day I'd had it! A long run coupled with a full day standing up working made me a tired bunny. And then today I had speed. I was a bit scared about how my body would cope being pushed while still fatigued but the session went remarkably well. 6 X 1k reps - my fastest 4:34 and my slowest 4:37.

The whole marathon thing is freaking me out a little. I keep vacillating - I can do it! Can't possibly do it and I'm going to pull out! I have to keep telling myself to take it one run at a time and see how it goes. There's going to be a lot of self-talk happening between here and Melbourne.

And on a professional note - I've been asked to make some Rhythmic leotards for the up-coming Commonwealth Games. I'm thrilled to have been asked and for my work to be shown in such a public arena.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Marathon Madness

Check this out! It came yesterday in the mail - proof positive that I've finally bitten the bullet (or lost whatever small vestiges of sanity I was holding onto)

And there's more proof if you could see my training program. Coach Chris has ramped up my k's big-time. My Monday run has gone from 10 to 16k and this week's long, slow run has jumped to 28k. The longest I've ever run in one go is 25 so from this Saturday on I'll be heading into totally uncharted territory.

I'm excited and I'm nervous. Coach Chris is a little nervous too - not wanting to tip me over the edge.

It's funny how a little thing like overtraining syndrome can really shake your confidence. Last year I would have been really pumped about doing these distances. I wouldn't have doubted my body's ability to adapt and thrive. This year I'm fluctuating between wild optimism and fear. But I guess coming back from any injury or illness is like that.

My Monday run was really successful. I have no idea exactly how far or how long I ran
(I forgot to charge my Garmin) but I'm guessing around 1:35 and 17k. The only bad part about the run was the service station attendant who told me that they didn't have a rest room - liar! I am grateful that it was a dark morning and there was a discreet tree nearby.

Tuesday I backed up at speed but took it a little cautiously. Monday and Tuesdays will be the only days I run consecutively so I get rest days fairly regularly.

It's going to be an interesting 9 weeks ahead.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Old Men and Their Old Cars

Today I got to ride in my Dad's new car. He bought himself a very special present for his 70th birthday. It's the same car as his first car - a 1937 Chevrolet.

Getting into the car seemed so familiar. It smelt like my childhood - like my Grandpa's old truck that he used to take his produce to the markets. It smelt of times that were slower and less stressed and way more fun.

Mum told me about driving the old Chevy back when we were kids. The time it rolled down the hill and wrecked a neighbour's fence (without much damage to the car at all - they made them sturdy back then). The time that Dad put his arm through the window (he'd thought it was down) and cut himself badly. He'd run inside holding his bleeding wrist and yelling that he'd cut his jugular (anatomy was not his forte).

The most interesting story was when I was a baby. Back then there were no baby capsules or car seats with harnesses. There weren't even any seat belts. Mum put me in a carry basket on the backseat. When she had to brake suddenly, Newton's law of Inertia took effect - the basket toppled over and I fell onto the floor. I've finally worked out why I'm scared of flying!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Guilt Free

I ditched this morning's run. I say that quite unashamedly because yesterday was one of THOSE days. It was a day where I was up before dawn and still going after 11 pm.

It was hills yesterday and my body's still not feeling the love as far as hills go. Worse - it was Channel 9 hills, where we meet at the top of the mountain so there's nowhere to go but down which means we have to finish running up. There's a particularly nasty trail that Coach Chris loves (and the squad hates) which he always finishes with. For the whole of this year I have not made it to the top without walking. But yesterday I ran EVERY SINGLE STEP all the way to the top. Yes, some of it might have looked like I was barely moving but I made it!

Josh and I had two doctor's visits to make yesterday. The first was a re-visit with last week's GP to check on how things were going and to do a bit of paperwork. The second was with the Psychologist. Josh wanted me there for moral support which allowed me to see exactly what was going on. I was really impressed with her. She was encouraging, insightful and has given Josh a lot of perspective already (and some homework). I'm really confident that this is going to make a huge amount of difference to him. Thank you all for your support and encouragement.

And to round off an already packed day ( I managed to also do the groceries, catch up with my Mum for a coffee and get some work done), Iven and I had to take Luke to a band competition. His school's band had made it into the State finals of Fanfare. One of only 5 schools out of 723 from across the state. The music was amazing - especially when you realise that the band members are only teenagers. But although the music was incredible, I just couldn't relax and enjoy it. All I could think about was my sore, tired legs (from hills) and how sitting cramped for three and a half hours was not good recovery. I also found myself doing that thing that I do when I run - letting my mind just flit. I spent hours thinking about whose pants were too short and how that girl wearing the ridiculously high heels had a very awkward pelvic tilt and why can't teenage girls see their school's name on a screen without screaming. Was I too tired? Probably.

So if I was too tired last night, than I'm even worse today (thanks Bubbles for waking me up at 3:00) Already I've tried to use the car's remote control to open my house and I've given the wrong card to the health insurance lady just because it was green. So that's why I didn't run today and why I feel no guilt whatsoever.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Winter Hiatus and My New Best Friends

What's with the crazy weather?!! Two days ago, still in the middle of Winter, I was walking around in shorts and a t-shirt. My long run was completed with a good lather of sweat and wearing a singlet. Today it's been blowing a gale - an icy gale - and this morning's run was in a long-sleeve top and gloves.

I've been struggling for sleep over the last week. Some of that's because of worry. Some is because I am not nocturnal, unlike my rather loud sons. And some of it is because of my elderly dalmatian. His bladder just doesn't seem to hold as much as it did or he's possibly suffering from that condition that many old men get - prostatic enlargement. Lately he's been waking me up at the ungodly hour of 3:00 am to let him out and try as I might I just can't get back to sleep.

Yesterday I dragged through the day on only four and a half hours and, of course, the major medical story on the news was sleep-related. Seems like I'm headed for heart disease and other nasties if I don't get a good 7 hours. So last night I took action. I can totally swear by ear plugs! I had a solid seven and today felt amazing. Iven, however, got the 3:00 am wake-up whine. Now I've got a dilemma. Ear plugs tonight? Or be kind to my husband?