Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An Unwitting Guinea Pig

I'm just needing a bit of advice today. I'm wondering whether I should take out an AVO on my eldest son.

This is all stemming from an incident yesterday. I ran speed in the morning and didn't quite complete the session. I could feel my butt tightening up so I decided to use the last 10 mins of the running time to stretch - with minimal success. I stretched again later and got quite stern with my unrepentant piriformis with a tennis ball. But I had little luck and by evening it was really bugging me.

I hit up the tennis ball and the roller again and did lots of stretching and that's when Sam walked in. He volunteered to do some myofascial release. 'Great!' I thought. That's what the physio did on me last Friday and it was really successful. So I agreed quite eagerly.

Sam made me lie with the sore side up and he targeted my glutes to start off with.
Ughhh! His fingers are not as kind as Vanessa's. They were like heat-seeking missiles honing in on my sorest bits. He dug in and I tried to relax. Then he found another spot. Yeowwwwww!! There was vocalisation at this point - no swearing, just a guttural moan which seemed to please Sam.

Then it was on to the piriformis. I think this is where a little swear word slipped out. Man it hurt! Not as badly as childbirth but not far off. And his fingers were unrelenting. They would wait for the pain to ease off and then be off to their next site. I think there was a good amount of pay-back for all the times I'd annoyed or embarrassed him and not enough consideration for the times when I'd cared for, proof-read for, cooked for, cheered for and generally been "the best Mum in the world" to.

Finally he got to my hip flexor. And that's when I found out that a muscle can be in pain and ticklish all at the same time. I was laughing and crying and that totally set Sam off. He started laughing and with every chuckle he seemed to press harder and that's when I knew that he had a seriously sadistic side.

Today I am bruised. I'm sure I can see all the loops and whorls of his fingerprints tattooed into my hips and glutes. There will be no running today - and tomorrow it's back to the physio. At least she has no grudges against me.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not Sick But Twisted

It was fairly good news from the physio. I'm not sick - just a little twisted. My pelvis was twisted up and back on the left and this was related to the tight hamstring and the excruciatingly tight calf from the previous week. It's just like the "Bones" song. My hip bone is connected to my thigh bone and my thigh bone's connected to my shin bone. So running a 21k LSD on a really tight calf is apparently not a great idea.

So once I was deemed to be all bent out of shape it was a matter of beating my muscles into submission. Vanessa, my physio, was actually very gentle (compared to my fingers-of-torture masseuse) and by the end of the session my muscles were behaving themselves. She left the decision to run on the weekend up to me. So of course I decided to run - and not just a shorter run - the whole 20k! But I did promise to take it easy.

Saturday's run was not as pain-free as I'd hoped for. The pain in my hip was gone but there was still mild hamstring pain whenever I pushed off on the left. It was worse going up the hills but it was bearable. I intended to turn around if it got too bad but it stayed the same for most of the run and after I got to 10k there was really no point in turning around. The last 3k were not fun. It was humid and having to deal with even very mild pain is tiring so I actually walked two of the last three hills. Luckily my running buddy was not feeling the love at this stage either (he'd done 10k before we'd started) and he was more than happy to walk them with me - he even encouraged it quite strongly.

I spent a good amount of time Saturday afternoon on a tennis ball and stretching and woke up feeling pretty good on Sunday and decided to forgo my afternoon run in favour of my dusty, neglected stationary bike. One hour and twenty minutes later I had a numb bum and a very wet sweat towel AND a healthy glow.

So now what? I'll go to speed tomorrow but take it easy. If it's really bothering me it'll be back to the physio. Lots of stretching and rolling and getting back into the hip stability exercises that I had neglected a few months back because my hamstring was feeling so good. No hills on Thursday (unless I have little or no pain tomorrow). Just a slow gentle 8-10k instead. And maybe I'll give my bike another whirl on Wednesday if I can stand the boredom.

Melbourne is only 5 and a half weeks away so that's my time-line to be pain-free. It's hard juggling the need to train with the need to rest but I'm going to be cautious because the most important thing is to enjoy my run in Melbourne. Booked my plane ticket and accommodation this morning so nothing is going to stop me.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Pain In My Own Butt

I'm a pain in my own butt!

Okay I've said it. I've long known that I can be a pain in my kids cumulative butts ("put your clothes away - no not on the floor, in the drawers" "make your bed" "do your homework" "eat your veggies" "blah, blah, white noise") And a pain in my husband's butt. ("can you roll over and stop snoring?" can you roll over and stop snoring?" "CAN YOU ROLL OVER AND STOP SNORING?")

But now I've become a pain in my own butt.

Okay I've got to admit that it was only my hamstring to start off with. Something happened when I ran the Brisbane half. I didn't hurt it during the event but later that afternoon I noticed it was tight. I've been stretching and taking it a bit easy on my speed runs. But then we had the hill session from hell last Wednesday and I could hardly walk because of tight calves for a few days. And then on Sunday I decided in all my wisdom, that I needed to get my long run done. Not just a shorter version because my calf was still tight - the full 20k plus 1 for good measure. And the tightness in my hamstring has now migrated north to my butt.

And still this week I've tried to stick my head in the sand and pretend that it wasn't so bad. I did speed on Tuesday but kept to an easier pace and I did hills yesterday but didn't actually run the steepest hill in Brisbane I just did laps of a flat side street. And I iced and had anti inflammatories after but there's no denying that something is wrong because when I try to bend over to stick my head in the sand I get a bite of pain.

So it's off to the physio this afternoon. I'm hoping she just lays her hands on me and I'll be cured. (Yes I do believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy) But if she can't do that I'll be happy with a bit of massage, ultrasound and a shorter long run in the morning. And if that's too much to ask for I'll even forgo the Saturday run as long as I can run next week. But if that fails I will grudgingly take a whole week off as long as I can get to the start line of the Melbourne Half in October.

Fingers crossed that I haven't damaged myself too badly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Student of Life

Life is always full of little lessons. Doesn't matter how old and experienced, how well educated, how worldly - there is always something we can learn. These are just a few that I've learnt in the last week.

- Maybe a 21k run isn't the best idea a few days after you've had the hill session from hell and one of your calves is still sore.

- Eating a chocolate that you've found on the kitchen bench that looks like it's gone through the washing machine may actually taste like it's gone through the washing machine.

- If every single member in your family has had the same throat infection, don't think you're going to get away without contracting it.

- If you're in a hurry to get somewhere that will be the day that someone has left the gate open and the dog's escaped.

- Buying a very expensive mattress for your old dog who has really bad hips can actually help you sleep better at night.

- It's never a good idea to chase the scrub turkeys from the front lawn in a motorized vehicle and even a worse idea when your tyres are a little bald and it's been raining. Anyone know a good panel beater?

- People will always turn up at training if there's the promise of cake. Except if they're still young and have a friend who will deliver their cake to them.

- You will always have friends if you can bake.

This week's culinary triumph - a chocolate cupcake filled with white chocolate ganache and iced with coffee buttercream.

- If you know a client is coming around lunch time chances are high that they will turn up just as you've made a cup of tea.

- Never disregard crazy dreams. They may have an ounce of truth in them.

It's been so interesting to be a student of life this week.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Did She Really Say That?

I had a new client come over this week. She was, on first appearances quite a pleasant, chatty lady but she left me standing there at the end with my jaw almost on the floor feeling like I'd been insulted.

She'd come to have elastic sewn on the bottom of her daughter's running tights. Apparently her daughter is quite the athlete. She'd been offered a position at Brisbane State High - a state-run high school that you can only get into if you are gifted academically, culturally (music or drama) or in the sporting field. Well, all my three sons went to Brisbane State High so when the client mentioned this I quickly told her that my sons went there - thinking this would establish a rapport. But even quicker (I don't think she paused to draw breath or to listen to what I said) she told me that she'd told her daughter that if she wanted a GOOD education she'd go to the local Catholic girl's school.

So in that sentence she'd managed to let me know that my choice of school for my children was inferior.

Then she went on to let me know what a great seamstress she was. She had been told that she had a gift for it when she'd done 16 weeks of it back in Grade 8 and then she used the phrase that I hate most in the world - "no offense". The sentence she used it in was - "No offense, but I chose an academic route instead of continuing with sewing"

Talk about sweeping generalizations. Obviously because I was just someone who sewed in a room under the house I was obviously academically inferior. AND I sent my kids to a school where they'd get an inferior education. It was nice of her to let me know how many wrong choices I'd made in my life.

Thing is - she couldn't have been more wrong. I chose an academic path through high school too and got a degree in the field of my choosing. I also finished in the top 5% of students in the state in high school. The school my kids went to had much better results academically than her daughter's school last year and my sons all finished with marks that got them into the uni course of their choosing. The fact that I didn't stay with vet science as a career was because I wanted to be a stay at home mum and I was lucky enough to create a business which I love and can do from home.

From the moment she walked into my workroom she was judging me. And finding me inadequate. And yet I see myself as successful. But success to me isn't having a big house, expensive cars, sending your kids to private school and dressing in designer gear. Success is having enough money to pay the bills. Having no debt. Having a job I love and customers that I adore (obviously I wouldn't count her in that category). Having time to do the things I love - like running. Having time to be there for my kids - even though they're pretty grown up now. Having wonderful, caring friends. Being content with my life.

I count myself as rich, fulfilled and very blessed. And I saw her attempts to make herself seem impressive quite sad.

I got to have a little Facebook rant about it and told all my friends. Generally got it off my chest. Then yesterday she came back to pick up the tights and asked me if my ears had been burning on Wednesday night because she'd been talking about me. Couldn't help but wonder if her hair had caught on fire from her burning ears on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An Open Letter to Coach Chris

Dear Chris

I can't believe what you did to us yesterday. The pain you put us through and the lingering effects today. I've been walking around today looking like I'm auditioning for Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks.

Have you put some sort of mood-changing drug in our Powerade which give you control over our ability to think for ourselves? That's the only reason I can come up with because I'm sure that eleven perfectly sane people would not voluntarily put themselves through what you put us through yesterday - AND pay you for the privilege of becoming disabled for the next few days.

Kangaroo Point Stairs were bad.

Those last twenty or so burned the quads unbelievably each of the five times we ran up. And going down was not much better. I was freaked out that I was going to fall. But I didn't and felt such a feeling of accomplishment when I finished until you made us run them one more time and said it didn't count as a sixth. But believe me right now - I COUNTED IT AS A SIXTH!!

If I wasn't under the influence of mind-control drugs I would probably have gotten into my car at this point. But like a lamb to the slaughter I followed on to those stairs at the Storey Bridge. How many flights WERE there? Eight? Ten? Twelve? I obviously didn't count - or maybe I just couldn't because of oxygen deprivation. But my legs were getting the hang of ascents and I didn't feel the burn till the top three steps. So I'm counting this as a small mercy. And again five reps! And of course THE SIXTH ONE COUNTED!

And then it was on to Medina Hill.

I have a special love/hate relationship with this hill. Compared to Gower St, it's not so bad but when you have to run it TEN times ... I think it was this part of the run that's made me walk like a duck today. I got up on my toes and drove through strongly with my thighs (well as strongly as my thighs will drive through) and today my calves scream at me if I flex my feet beyond 5 degrees and I've discovered an inner-thigh muscle that I never knew I had. And then we had to run it one more time to get back to the bridge. Why couldn't we have just stayed at the top on the tenth rep?

And then what did your sadistic little self make us do? Four more reps of Kangaroo Point stairs! Well I WALKED a lot of those reps. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!

This letter is in part a warning - now I'm more clear-headed, I'm plotting my revenge. You won't know when it's coming but believe me it's coming. I may make a 'special' batch of brownies (can you still buy chocolate flavoured laxatives?) I may accidentally sew together the legs of your jeans when you get me to take them up. Or I might just have to use one of those ropes that the climbers were using on the Kangaroo Point Cliffs and string you up while we all go off and have coffee.

So consider yourself on notice.


PS Have a great time in Canberra on the weekend and I'll see you at speed on Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Animal Karma

In my previous and short-lived career I was a vet. And as a vet I sometimes had to do things that I didn't really like or agree with.

Shoving an arm up a cow's butt - didn't like it but on cold Winter mornings it wasn't that unpleasant.

Tail-docking puppies - definitely didn't like making the poor little puppies squeal.

Putting down pets at the owners request - hated it. And having to suggest it wasn't much better.

I had to put down a few animals in my few years practicing and there was a few incidents that were memorable. I had to go into an old man's house and put down his best friend because he was really old and really sick. The old man sat with the dog and stroked it with tears running down his cheeks while I gave it the needle. And afterwards he walked me to my car and offered me some flower bulbs because I'd admired his garden.

Another time I was asked to euthanase a very sick budgerigar. This was not long after I'd graduated and I'd never euthanased such a small bird before. We'd had to kill chickens for pathology practicals so I decided to do it the way I'd done it on the chickens which was basically to break its neck. Unfortunately budgies have a lot weaker neck than a chicken and when I twisted and pulled I managed to twist and pull the whole head off. I don't know who was more shocked - me or the vet nurse. But I am grateful that the owner hadn't wanted to take the bird home to be buried because I don't know if sticky tape would have worked on feathers and duct tape may have been a little too obvious.

So after all the bad things that I've done to animals - all the needles, the rectal temperatures, the injections of emetics, the nail clippings that were a little too generous, the tooth removals, the abscess-lancing and the very many other procedures that were intrusive and unpleasant - I think the animals are finally coming for their revenge. Either that or it's karma.

Today I had a very large bird (well, I'm assuming that it was large) crapped on my car while I was at training.

Then while I was doing my last 1500m rep, a possum ran right across my path and I almost tripped.

Nelson decided to sleep in front of my door last night and every time he had a dream (you know the one - where he's running in an open field chasing ducks) he'd kick my door. It sounded like someone was knocking and I was up twice during the night seeing who wanted to come in.

Since Iven has been away I've been the first up on three of the four mornings. And on three of the four mornings there's been a nice little present on the laundry floor for me to clean up. On the morning that Sam was up first - nothing!

And finally, today Bubbles escaped from the back yard and found something brown and very, unpleasant smelling to anoint her body in. I had an unexpected break from work to give her a bath.

So before anything more goes wrong I'd like to make a very public apology to any animal great or small that I have offended. I'm so sorry!

So can we call it a truce?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I finally got to sleep in - thanks to my wonderful oldest son. We all know what happened on Friday night and Saturday night was a bit of a bust sleep-in wise because the dogs get mighty hungry around 6:00am (and yes, there'd been a little accident on the laundry floor). But this morning Sam had to be up just after 4:00 so he did the early morning toileting, feeding and clean-up (if it had to be done) and I got to sleep till 7:30. Bliss!!

Saturday's long slow run was quite a pitifully small group compared to the norm. A lot of the squad had gone down to Sydney to run the City to Surf. Apparently it's the world's biggest fun run. There were 85 000 entrants this year. I didn't go because the size of it just freaks me out. You have to start lining up around 6:00 am but your wave may not kick off till 9:00 - so what do you do if you have to go to the potty? Our guys all had a wonderful time - especially our elite runner, Clare who ended up coming third.

But having said that the group was pitifully small doesn't mean that it was a pitiful run. We ran 21.5k on a gorgeous crisp, cool morning. I got to trial some new mid-run nutrition and I didn't have any gastric complaints. My new gel-replacement? Jelly beans. 14 jelly beans are the equivalent of 30gm of carb. They tasted good - except the blue ones (but I found a taker for them) - and they're pretty cheap in the scheme of things. I didn't eat them while running, though - just when we stopped for a drink AND we weren't running particularly fast so I'll have to do a trial run where it's more a tempo run to see if my stomach still stays happy. But so far so good.

Sunday I watched the telecast of the City to Surf and got all inspired so decided to run to Sam's soccer match that afternoon. It was around the 10k distance but it was early afternoon and our days are just starting to warm up so I decided to wear shorts and a singlet. The only thing is I forgot to lube up since I don't have to worry in Winter when I'm wearing tights. Chaff much? Today I have scabbed up inner thighs and last night there may have been whimpering and some tears shed in the shower. Ouch!!! And the stupid thing is that I bought some Body Glide just last week.

The soccer match was fun to watch - probably because we won. But also because of the conversation I eavesdropped on. There were a group of 12 year old boys talking about school - what's cool and what's not (apparently riding a scooter can get you beaten up in some schools but an expensive bike or skate board are perfectly acceptable), who's cute and who's not and which teachers are mean. There was one teacher in particular who was getting bagged for hating ALL the boys and only being nice to the girls. One of the boys had an eye-opening observation about her. She COULD be nice to you but ONLY if you gave her respect. Really?!! Well surely that's problem solved right there. Give her respect (which you should be doing to every single person who walks the earth) and you'll have a happy peaceful co-existence. But by the scathing way the boys were talking about respect I didn't think that was about to happen. I think they've got a lot more learning to do - and I'm not just talking about the book-type of learning. All the teachers out there - you have my undying respect for what you have to put up with.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cocakatoo Vandals, The New Kitchen and Late-Night Toilet Shenanigans

The photo's not great but I found this little fellow in our peach tree. We have cockatoos everywhere around here and I've decided that they're the disenfranchised youth of the bird world. They're loud and they travel in gangs.And they're vandals! My friend here was sitting in our beautiful tree just breaking off branches and dropping them onto the ground. I wouldn't have minded if he'd been eating them. And when I got closer to take the pic he said something really rude to me (Okay I can't actually speak fluent cockatoo but I could tell from his tone that it wasn't nice) then took off before I could call the cops.

And here's the kitchen - a year in the making but worth the result. I'm sorry I couldn't find any before shots. But picture pine laminate cabinetry with apple green bench tops (it WAS in in the 80s) and really scuffed and scratched cork tiles on the floor. Nice!

The end result is a lot more modern and a thousand times more functional.

Note the homage to my running career on the shelf above the computer. I've managed to collect quite a few medals and trophies over the last decade. Not bad for a girl whose only trophy as a child was for memorizing scripture from Sunday school.

This picture has my 'big bargain of the week' in it. The clock over the doorway was marked at $29 and when we got to the registers it came up at $2.75. Woohoo!!

And what would a kitchen be without a basket of fake fruit?! I thought the benches needed a splash of colour and plastic never rots. But these are such a good fake that one of Josh's little nurses brought him in a fake pear to eat. But I can't laugh. I remember taking a great bite into a fake wax apple when I was a kid - the flavour was disappointing to say the least.

I've had my first night alone. Sorry hon - not missing you yet. The bed was made with freshly washed sheets and smelt of sunshine and lemons and I was sure I was going to get the best sleep ever. And I did till 12:30 when I woke up convinced that something was looking at me. I almost wet my nice clean bed when I saw a ghostly apparition in a cape at the base of the bed.

At this point I have to explain that I'm VERY short-sighted so when I wake up in the night even a dressing gown hanging on the back of the door looks like a ghostly apparition. I sleep with ear plugs in so my nocturnal sons don't disturb my beauty sleep and I sleep with the door shut for the same reason.

The ghostly apparition made a weird whining noise so I knew it wasn't the dressing gown. It was Nelson! I mustn't have latched the door properly and he'd managed to push it open and he 'needed to go to the toilet thank you very much.' What his whine neglected to say was that he'd been REALLY busting and he'd accidentally done number 2 on the kitchen floor but he'd managed to hold onto number 1 and if we didn't get moving quickly all that bladder control would be for nought.

I love cleaning up dog poos at 12:30 in the morning!

Anyway I got my own back at 4:50am. I'd cleaned up the solids but hadn't mopped (I know - I'm a bush pig but it was at an ungodly hour) so the first thing I did when I did get up was to give the floor a good clean. He went trotting through the wet, slippery patch and all four legs went in different directions. That'll teach him!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Painting is Finished!!

You'll all be pleased to hear that our marriage has survived the Great Kitchen Painting Trial of 2011. Iven finished painting on Monday - an 8 day epic paint festival - and it looks pretty good (as long as you don't look too close in some parts)

I have been without full access to both the kitchen and laundry for most of that time and we all know that my kitchen is one of my happy places so it has been a little testing at times. The most testing moment was when I was finally allowed back into the laundry to catch up on a few days' washing. Washing isn't that exciting but for a change I was happy to be doing it cause as little as I hate doing laundry, I hate piles of dirty clothes even more. I filled the machine with our dirties, put in the detergent, pressed the button and walked away. It was only when I heard Iven's frustrated voice about ten minutes later that I knew that something wasn't right. SOMEONE had put in the laundry tub and forgotten to attach the plumbing under it. Major ooops! There was water all over the floor and guess who had to mop it up? I personally think that the one who neglected to attach said plumbing should have to rectify the results of their oversight. But I'm a long-suffering wife...

So Iven has managed to fill almost two of his three weeks vacation productively and for the last week he's giving me a real treat. He's going down to visit his Mum. Woohoo!!! I get to have the bed to myself for an entire week. I get to read till as late as I want. I get to watch whatever I want on TV - oh, hang on, I get to do that already. But I have to get up for the middle of the night dog toilet duty.

Yeah, I know it sounds a bit mean but I do think that our marriage has lasted over 25 years because of moments like this. When you're in each others pockets continually it can be a bit wearing. Togetherness is good but a little space can be good.

And on the running side - my left hamstring has been giving me a little grief since Sunday's half. I don't think I've torn anything but it's been really tight and I decided to err on the side of caution at speed on Tuesday. Unfortunately we had the session that I least wanted - 200m repeats. Fast take-offs were a little risky so I told Coach Chris about the hammy and that I'd be running conservatively. After 8 reps he pulled us over and changed it up a bit - 400m, 200 recovery, 200m, 200 recovery and repeat. Again, I ran conservatively - or so I thought. When I got home I checked my watch (can't check it on the run because it's too dark still) and my 200s were in line with what I'd been doing. And the 400s were faster than what I'd been doing for a while. I'm quietly thinking that this may be because of the Vit D.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Brisbane Running Festival

This is what I did this weekend. It was the Brisbane Running Festival and I decided to do my long run with a few thousand like-minded people. My aim was to enjoy the run and stick to around 5:30 pace.

It was a new course and I don't think they'd thought out the beginning very well. We started in a wide area only to be funneled into a narrow path. So it was jog, walk, jog, walk and a very slow first k. The path was covered in uneven pavers (tree roots had pushed them up) so with the congestion, the pre-dawn start and the unevenness it made for a treacherous run. And we had to do the initial loop twice so the front-runners overlapped the rear-enders making it even worse.

By the third k things had sorted themselves out and we were finally able to run at our own pace. I was running comfortably with the k's ticking over at 5:10- 5:15 pace. It was a little faster than I'd intended but I was feeling good so just went with it. The morning was warmer than expected but not too unpleasant and the course was fairly shady.

The first turn-around was at about 10k and we were turned back along the river towards Southbank. It was so pleasant running along the river enjoying the scenery. We ran back through Southbank then past the bridge we'd run across at the start and headed out past the Kangaroo Point cliffs - a well known spot in Brisbane for rock climbers. And it's here that my run fell apart. I started getting stomach cramps and when this happens I know I have to find a toilet fast! There was a nearby loo and no queues so I made a detour which proved not to be too quick. The cramps made it hard to know when I'd actually finished. I timed my rest stop at 2 mins and even though I didn't know if I was done I set out again, reassured that there were more toilets ahead.

The next turn around was up at around 17k and quite a few GaleForce friends were marshalling around here. It was so nice to see so many friendly smiles when I was feeling so miserable. And then, 1k after turning around, I had to stop again. This time it was the other end. Not so fun having retching at the side of the course and my apologies to all the runners that passed at that moment - especially the sympathetic vomiters!

At least there was only a few k to go. I sucked it up and headed back out into the throng. There was no way that I was not going to finish. I headed back over the bridge and into the gardens, rounded the bend and the finish was there. I crossed the line in 1:56:33

So not the best run for me but not too bad. I have to sort out my stomach issues. I'm suspecting that the new gel I've been using for the last few weeks just doesn't suit my stomach. I've had to make pit stops on my last few long runs and it's always about 4 k after I've taken the gel which is long enough for it to be absorbed and have an effect. Stomach issues are something I'm just not prepared to run through - I know my body and when I get the warning signs I just need a loo or a bush or even a large rock to squat behind.

As far as the event was concerned - the beginning needs a huge re-think. It was way too dangerous. But on the plus side - the toilet situation was good, I had no trouble finding a park, most of the course was scenic and flat (except for the industrial area we had to run through), the officials knew what they were doing, the water stations were manned by such friendly, enthusiastic kids, our bibs had our names on them so we got personalised support all the way around AND the finish area was great. Oh and I love the singlet that I got (which is the real reason I entered).

I've pulled up pretty well. My hamstrings are a little tight so I'll take it easy at speed tomorrow but I'm pretty happy with how I spent my Sunday.

Check out the distance for the half marathon. They must have been psychic! With all my detours, that's exactly how far I ran.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Proud Of My Boy!

When my kids were little they used to say cute stuff that would keep me laughing for days. Well, my baby boy did it again the other day. Yep, I know he's not so little any more (almost 18 and 6 feet 3 and a half inches - and don't dare forget about that half an inch!)

He'd just gotten home from work and raced to the loo (because you can't go to the toilet at work apparently) and hadn't bothered to shut the door. He heard me walk past and yelled over his shoulder "Mum, I'm so proud of myself"

Lots of thoughts flashed through my head. Proud of what? That you're toilet trained? Yep I'm proud of that too but I was prouder when you WERE two. That you can pee standing up? Well, you've got the equipment so I wouldn't be so proud of that. That you can pee without the toilet seat up, while standing up and not miss? I'm not so much proud but relieved about that one. No woman likes to sit down on a splattered toilet seat and if you can hit the water from your great height I guess that's a pretty big achievement.

But actually it was none of the above. He was proud of something he'd done while driving home. He'd heard an ambulance (over the throbbing, beat of his music, no doubt) and pulled up out of the way so it could race through and he felt like he'd vicariously helped in saving a life.

And at that moment I was so proud of my young man. Not because of the car thing. But because he could multi-task - something that men aren't really known for. Yes, my boy could aim, fire AND think all at the same time.

My apologies to all the men reading my blog. I know you're all different and I shouldn't generalize. But it's so much fun it's hard to resist.

PS - just read this out to my hubby and he gave me the finger. Ah well, can't please everybody.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Good Stuff

There's some good stuff that's been happening in the last week. Not mind-blowingly good stuff but stuff that is good enough to balance out the hard times.

The first is Josh. I've shared a lot over the last year about his ups and downs - especially his downs.Well, he had a major up last week. He's been at his job for 3 months now and for 3 months he's been worried about his work performance. It's his first job in his professional life in his chosen field. He had gotten his degree with a false sense of "I should know everything now I have a degree" but one of the things that you don't know is how much you REALLY don't know. You get a great job and you find you're having to ask advice ... a lot and it makes you feel inadequate. And they're paying you pretty good money so they MUST be expecting you to be brilliant at what you do.

Josh was also having a few issues with being able to tell his supervisors how long projects were going to take. He'd say two weeks and they'd say "that long?!" and he'd feel like he was letting them down.

Anyway he had a performance review last week and his supervisor had written a glowing report about his ability, his work ethic and generally how impressed he was with Josh. And since then Josh has been a different person. He's SO much happier and, by extension, I'm so much happier. It's amazing the difference that a pat on the back can make.

Sam's had some good stuff happen too. He's been asked to train with the top team at his soccer club. It's a huge thing for him because he's had a couple of years off playing - finishing uni and starting his job. He came back at the beginning of the season and was really disappointed with how he was playing but persistence has paid off and he's back playing the quality of football that he's proud of.

And my good stuff is directly related to my Vitamin D project. I had been suffering with aching knees after sessions - especially when it was cold. Two weeks of supplementation and my knees are not hurting AT ALL. It's awesome! My resting heart rate has dropped back to close to normal and yesterday I had my best speed session in about 3 months. I actually ran my last 400 rep faster than I ran my first - I didn't have my usual decline as the session wore on. I don't know if the improvement in performance is from the Vit D but even if it's just that my knees feel better, I'm happy with that.

The only little negative in my life today is that my kitchen is again in total disarray. Iven's taken holidays to paint it. I'm not doing a great job of putting up with the inconvenience this time - probably because he's the one doing it. I wanted to get painters in and the job would have been finished in 2 or 3 days but Iven doesn't paint that quickly and there's only one him so it's likely to take well over a week. And it's not just the kitchen that's being painted. He's doing the laundry as well - the other most important room in the house. Please send thoughts for patience and tolerance.