Friday, September 28, 2012

The Photo Album In My Head

Some memories in life embed themselves so deeply that they're like photos permanently fused to your brain. You can pull them out at will and remember the day and the moment and how it made you feel.

I've got a bunch of them and I was thinking of them on my run on Thursday. There's the picture of Iven running next to 16 month old Sam who was having trouble just running but was loving being with his Dad and holding his hand. And I was loving watching my little family - having my heart filled with joy and peace and contentment.

Then there's the smile on Josh's face. He was about 11 and he'd just placed third in the State comp for discus. It was the most beautiful smile of pride and joy. And thinking of it now can still make me well up.

The birth of my little (6'3") boy Luke was another visual memory the hasn't dimmed with time. He was my third and I had some strong ideas of how I'd wanted to birth him. I wanted to watch the process in a mirror and I wanted him put on my stomach when he was born. Looking down at that little pink, blood-streaked body on my belly and being overwhelmed with love - that's an image that will never leave me.

Four years ago I ran the Melbourne Half marathon and my sister, Julie came with me as my own personal cheer squad. My next brain snapshot is of seeing her standing, waiting for me with less than a kilometre to run. I knew at that point that I'd run a huge PB and seeing her almost had me in tears.

And then there's the image of Nelson, our old dalmatian (RIP) when he was younger and still able to run with me. We'd had the most ridiculous hail storm the night before and the next morning the hail was still there - frozen up to 60cm deep in some areas. He and I ran through the closest thing we'll ever get to snow in Brisbane. He pranced and cavorted, loving every second of the experience.

The reason why I was thinking of these on Thursday was because I had another of those moments. I've had some really ugly runs in the last week but Thursday I felt okay. I'd decided to do one of my favourite routes that's a little challenging with a couple of rolling hills. It runs past a golf course before you hit the rollers and I was pushing up the hills then cruising down the other side. I got to the top of the third hill and almost stopped. The view before me was spectacular. The sun lighting a golden trail down the river, pink streaks of a sunrise that I'd missed (even though I'd been out of bed at ridiculous o'clock), a few rowing boats dotted along the river and a flock of cockatoo in a gum tree nearby. Some times I wish I ran with a camera.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Toby's Bucket List and Cheating on Tests

I'm such a mean puppy mother.

I took my baby to the vet yesterday and left him there. He needed a little cosmetic work - to tidy up the two tumours between his legs. It meant starving him, letting the vet stick him with a needle, and then locking him in a cage. But worst of all it meant leaving him with strangers for hours!

The receptionist had said to come pick him up any time between two and four in the afternoon. So I was a little surprised when I got a phone call at 1:15. It was hard to hear the receptionist over the howling in the background but the gist of the conversation was could I pick him up sooner because the howling was getting on their nerves.

But the most truly awful part of the whole business was the special accessory they made him wear - the Elizabethan collar or, in layman's terms, the bucket. When you've just had a sedative and a general anaesthetic, the bucket makes it really hard to get around.

Poor Toby kept walking into door frames, furniture and stairs and getting the collar stuck. In his doped-up state he couldn't work out that all he had to do was reverse and he'd be free - no, he figured he was stuck there for life. And trying to get his ball out from under the table  was an exercise in futility.

The only safe place for him was a bed and he even needed help to get up there.

This morning he's woken up a bit happier - especially when I finally fished the ball out from under the table

But the happiest member of the household is Bubbles. For just a little while she can beat Toby in their perpetual game of tug-of-war just by going under the table.

Toby wasn't the only one who saw the doctor this week. I had to go back to fill out a questionnaire so I can get a bit of money back from the government when I go to see the psychologist. Basically it was a quiz to see just how crazy I am. It asked all sorts of fun questions like are you more tired than normal (hard to answer when you've just been to a speed session), have you wanted to harm yourself (no, but I'm surprised they didn't ask about harming other members of the family - particularly ones that snore),  have you felt so anxious that you feel you can't sit still (my anxiety doesn't manifest itself in restlessness - I just do the vomit/diarrhoea thing). It was actually a fairly useless questionnaire unless you're suffering from depression and there are an awful lot of other mental disorders that aren't depression.

I didn't do too well on the test. Damn, I wasn't quite crazy enough. But my nice doctor helped me fudge the results a little just so I can be crazy in the eyes of the government. It's the first time I've ever  cheated on a test. I'm still waiting to be struck down by a bolt of lightening.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Toby's First Swim

We went to the beach on Sunday. It was time for our little boy to have his first introduction to the water - seeing that he's a retriever and should, by breeding, be a water dog.

The beach I'm talking about isn't really a beach. It's a patch of muddy slime abutting Moreton Bay. The water is generally flat and it's a designated off-leash area for dogs. It took us about 30 minutes to drive there - quite possibly one of the longest car trips he's had so far and he didn't really enjoy it. And I didn't really enjoy his little claws being dug into me every time we went around a corner or the streams of drool on my leg.

He was a happy little puppy when we finally got out of the car and he could breathe the fresh air again. We took him into the dog park first and he couldn't believe it when we took his leash off. He kept running from Iven to me and jumping up in joy at his freedom. And then he realised that there were other dogs there and he appointed himself the official greeter.

"Hello, how are you. I'm Toby and I'll be your welcomer today. Let me sniff your butt. Okay, you can come in."

"Hello, I'm Toby. You're an impressive sized dog. I will bow before you and cover my butt with my tail so you don't have to sniff my unworthiness. Oh, you still want to sniff it? You'll have to put your nose right down on the ground because I'm so shy that I'm going to sit ... or lie down ... or maybe even roll over in total submission. Please be kind."

These greetings were interspersed by more running between Iven and I and any other unwary dog-owner who happened to venture close. It was unrestrained doggy joy.

And then we left the fenced area and went out to the water. Toby just didn't know what to make of the vast wetness that stretched before him. And he certainly wasn't going to get his paws wet. So a little coaxing was required. I waded up to as deep as my shorts would allow me and called. He bounded in to me then realised his mistake and bounded back out. I called again and again it was in and out quickly. Eventually, though, we managed to get him to go a little deeper and that's when my baby learnt to swim. And like any good mother I caught the moment on video.

I think there'll be more trips out here.


The rest of the weekend was filled with running and sleeping. Sounds like the perfect weekend doesn't it? Well it would have been if the running had been a little more fun. 

I'd planned to run a 20k on Saturday. Fail! It ended up being a very hard 14k. Hard because my legs just didn't want to work. And they didn't want to work because I'd had three hours sleep the night before. And I'd had three hours sleep the night before because I had been worrying (yep, another middle-of-the-night panic attack). 

My legs felt like water before I even left home. I kept hoping that they'd run themselves into a comfortable state but it never happened. And combine that with a hilly route - well, my only option was to cut it short.

So Sunday, after sleeping pretty well, I decided to try it again. I didn't plan to run 20k - just a route that I could add to if I was feeling okay. And it did start off all right. The first few kilometres were quite comfortable. And then I got to the hill and I knew my legs weren't working any better than they had been the day before. So did I cut the run short? Of course not. That would have been way too sensible. I ran the full course then added on the extra bits but gave myself walk breaks up the hills. It was hot and ugly - why is the voice in my head so stubborn that it can over-ride common sense?!!

My total distance for the week was 46k but only the speed session felt okay so I'm starting to have doubts about my ability to finish the Melbourne half. There's only three weeks till the big day and the longest run I've completed is only 18k and a bit. I swear if I could have a few stress-free weeks my running would come along in leaps and bounds. But my crystal ball isn't working so well and I don't know what's in store for the next couple of weeks so I'm going to just wait and see what unfolds. The worst that can happen is that I just don't run it.

So fingers crossed that this week my legs will be kind to me and be happy to go the extra mile.

Friday, September 21, 2012

All Fixed

All fixed!!

I'm talking about my blog - not my life. The scary little message threatening doom and disaster if you should click on my blog has gone and I did it all by myself because I'm a techno-genius! Actually I'm so technically inept that I read what I should do and almost wept because I didn't even understand half of the words. But somehow I worked out what to do so if you choose to read my blog your computer won't implode or explode.

The life stuff isn't fixed but this week has been way better. And I'm taking each good day with gratitude.

Today was particularly good. And by good I mean productive. Even though it started with a cancelled massage (boo), I managed to keep my composure and make the most of my extra time. My cleaning lady couldn't come this week. Or last week. And she's off on holidays for the next two weeks. So I started the day by giving two rooms the once-over.

I know you're probably shocked that I have a cleaning lady - me being a total domestic goddess. Yes, I cook and sew and even iron when the mood takes me, but cleaning is one of those thankless chores that gets undone as quickly as you do it. I figured out early in our marriage that if I was rearing children, cooking and running a business I shouldn't have to clean as well. And for a bit of money every week my marriage would stay intact and no one would have to die a horrible death because they'd spilt milk on the kitchen floor. I don't cry over spilt milk - crying's not violent enough.

Cleaning was followed by a long session on the phone making appointments to all the places that I'd been putting off - dentist, veterinarian and fart doctor. The dentist is just my annual check-up and clean. The vet will be removing a couple of dangly things from between Toby's legs. I still have Nelson's testicles in a bottle in the medicine cupboard - maybe it's time to get rid of them and I would if I could think of a good form of disposal. I don't want to bury them in the yard because Toby might dig them up (and, God-forbid, eat them). Throwing them in the bin just seems gross and putting them down the waste disposal unit is a little disrespectful when you live in a houseful of males - but it can keep a wayward husband toeing the line.

The fart doctor should be interesting. Of course he's booked out until November - there must be lots of other people who produce more than their fair share of flatulence. My GP has promised me lots of special treats with him. How does a colonoscopy sound? And a gastroscopy? Hopefully if they use the same scope they'll do the top before the bottom. I was actually just hoping for dietary advice when I brought the subject up at my last visit.

Appointments all made, it was time to put on the Minnie Mouse apron and crank up the cake mixer and the oven. And the music. Last week's chocolate extravaganza was just a precursor to the main event.

This little baby took me most of the afternoon to make - time well spent if you ask me. And I've made it for absolutely no reason except to see if I could. If you look in the background of the pic you can see Bubbles plotting how she will get her share. She keeps forgetting the chocolate's not good for dogs.

Lastly I wanted to mention yesterday's run just to prove how entirely hard-core I am. When I woke up at 5am I felt fine - just went through my pre-run ritual of eating a banana and having some beetroot juice. It had the effect I was hoping for but, unusually, my stomach just didn't feel happy after the toilet visit. But I did what any runner would do - ignored it and walked up the hill. 

I started running once I reached the top and managed a whole 200m before the banana and juice decided to make a re-appearance. Gross! The beetroot juice tastes even worse coming up than it does going down and it looked like I had had a stomach haemorrhage. I turned around to walk back home but realised that I felt heaps better and I really didn't want to miss a run so I did another about-face. Almost an hour later I got home with 10 and a bit kilometres under my belt. There's nothing weird about doing that is there?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One Day At A TIme

Thanks everyone for your concern and support. Things have improved quite a bit since the weekend and I'm in a better head space to be able to share a little about what has been happening.

A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child. Or so I've heard it been said. And one of my sons hasn't been very happy lately. Actually it's been going on for a couple of years now and we have good times and less good times but the last couple of weeks were in the way less good category.

And when he is in that frame of mind he drinks too much - way too much. He doesn't always confine his drinking to the weekend. It can happen any night of the week. He will go out to have a meal with friends and just not come home.

Yes, I know he's an adult but when he's living under your roof you can't help but worry. And I'm really great at worrying. I worry that he's been hurt or worse. I worry that he's been picked up for drink-driving. Or that he's drunk so much that he's passed out somewhere on the street. I worry that he won't get to work in time. Or that they'll get sick of him turning up late and he'll lose his job. I worry over what he's doing to his body - to his brain and liver and stomach. I worry about him picking up a girl and having unprotected sex and getting her pregnant or catching an STD.

All this worry came to a head last Thursday. He went out with a friend (who he's had some pretty wild nights with) and when I woke up at 12:30 am and he wasn't home, all those dark thoughts came flooding in. Sleep was a lost cause so I got up to read until he got home. By the time he got home I was having a mini-panic attack. He was fine and sober but I was a mess.

We talked about what had happened but he seemed to spiral down emotionally till Saturday when he was very flat and not responsive (he suffers from depression). And my anxiety hit a peak so that whenever I thought about the situation I felt immediately nauseated.

But since Sunday he's picked up enormously. It's almost like he's turned himself around. He seems so much more centred and calm. He's started running again and is talking to me (really talking - not just answering questions) - yay! I'm feeling much more stable too but I still intend to talk to the psychologist. I need some tools so that when/if this happens again I know how to deal with it, what to say and how hard to push him.

Being a parent can sometimes be the toughest job in the world. But I keep reminding myself that all this will one day be a distant memory. That all we have to do is get there one day at a time. And both he and I will be stronger for it.

But life isn't all doom and gloom. There are still really good things happening. Like yesterday's speed session. It was the first one all year where I RAN FOR THE WHOLE SESSION. It was 400 and 600m reps (for me and a few of the squad who are coming back from injury or illness - 1600m reps for the other suckers). I did a comparison with some of my pre-sickness times and I really haven't lost too much speed since last year.

Our hens are back laying again. This may not seem a big deal but it really makes me happy to go and collect eggs every day. It's a bit like getting a little present. Iven collected the eggs on Saturday while I was out running. He put them in his dressing gown pocket so he could do a few other outdoor chores and unfortunately forgot about them ... until he leant against the kitchen bench. Thanks Honey for that laugh when I really needed it.

And I'm really looking forward to Saturday's run. I'm hoping it will be my first 20k for the year. And I'm really hoping that Coach Chris chooses a kind route. And by kind I mean dead flat. My Melbourne half is only three and a bit weeks away so I really need to get a couple of longer runs done before then.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend Roundup

It's been a tough few days. The heavy personal stuff that I mentioned in the last post is still there and will be for some time yet and to be honest, I haven't been dealing with it that well. In fact, I've been dealing with it that poorly that I went to the doctor on Friday to get some help. Sometimes problems are just too big to deal with by ourselves and we need to reach out.

My doctor was wonderful. She listened empathetically and has suggested I see a psychologist to give me tools to deal with my anxiety because staying up all night and worrying isn't working so well for me. I know that there are some people out there who think there is a stigma attached to seeing a mental health professional but I am not one of them. I actually think it's crazy to struggle on with a problem when there's someone who can help bear the load.

So after I saw the doctor I had the best sleep I'd had in days just in time for Saturday's long run. I was a little worried about how I'd go on the run. I knew where we were supposed to be going and knew that it was really hilly so I opted to go my own flat way even though I'd be doing it by myself. But I'd only had one good night's sleep in four and hadn't been eating very well on Friday so I needed to allow myself to walk if I found the going tough.

And surprisingly, I didn't find the going too tough. I kept my pace nice and relaxed. Kept my heart rate slow. And lost myself in the beauty of the river and the rising sun. And I managed to distract myself from my worries whenever they crept in. What I'd planned as a 12k run/walk became a 15k run. Magic sometimes happens in the early hours of the day.

After the run I hung around a little longer to have a coffee and a chat with the squad. BEST DECISION OF THE WEEKEND. I got to download a little to one of the world's best listeners and just got to feel normal for a while.

My normal M.O. when I'm worried is to suck inwards. To hide away into a cave that I've dug for myself and sit there and let the worries fester until I make myself physically ill. Spending time with people is actually a way better management plan. And that's what I did a few times over the weekend.

I also baked. Because baking keeps my mind and hands occupied.

Caramel Mud Cake with the works.

The caramel mud cake was covered in a caramel butter cream. Then I drizzled milk chocolate ganache over the top and threw on lots of chocolates. It didn't quite turn out how I'd planned but next time I'll refrigerate the cake after I've put on the butter cream so the ganache doesn't ooze quite so far.

Banana Cupcakes

The banana cupcakes were originally a couple of nasty black bananas in my fridge. I covered them with a white chocolate ganache and a honey, cinnamon butter cream. So much better than tossing those horrible-looking bananas into the compost.


What do you do when worries get on top of you? Has anyone got any great tips to share?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Three Things Thursday (got it right this time.)

Sometimes things are going well and sometimes God grabs a baseball bat and whacks you round the knees to get your attention.

I got whacked around the knees today. After my less-than-stellar run on Tuesday, I backed up with a fairly tired, heavy-legged 10k today. My heart rate stayed in a good zone so I'm not panicking yet but the rest of the day has been crap. Tired and nauseated. I think the message I'm supposed to take form it is that 54k is too much for me yet. Stop being greedy!!

Contributing to the tiredness is some sneaky television programming which saw my current favourite program being shown as a double episode. I didn't know it was a doubler until I was part-way through the second episode and too sucked in to go to bed. I don't do post-midnight bedtimes so well any more. Even if I have the time to sleep in the next day, I just can't physically do it any more. And the following night was Sam's soccer semi-final over the other side of the city. Another late night.

There's been some really personal stuff happening too. I'm not quite ready to share it yet but it's heavy and it sucks all the energy out of me.

But on a day that was not the best, I had one little glimmer of silver in the clouds. A new client wanted me to make some athletic gear for her. In a hurry. So I did and she came to try them on today.  She tried on her outfit and was so excited about how it looked and felt then told me that she'd had a crappy day and hadn't really wanted to come. I'd made her day. And her happiness made mine. And so did finding out that she'd brought her guinea pig for the ride. That's a first for me.


Self-pitying venting done. Now on to the real purpose of the post. I wanted to do a little expose of what really happens in the communal female showers after training. This is for all of you who've never been in one (which would be most males except for that footballer who couldn't read a few years ago.)

One of the squad and I regularly use the showers at the athletics track before heading off to breakfast. There's lots of laughter and chatting, and occasionally there's the wail of disappointment when one of us realises that we've left an important item at home. Deodorant's no biggie - one of us will usually have something. Underwear is a little more challenging. You can choose to re-wear the sweaties that you've just removed or to go commando. But when Bec left her shirt at home this week it took challenge to a whole new level. Bec works at the uni and couldn't exactly go to work without a shirt. 

So being a GOOD friend - a VERY GOOD friend - I let her have mine. 

She put it on and then told me it was a bit like Single White Female - she's trying to gradually become me. She wants to be an almost-50 year old with three sons who won't leave home??! When I pointed that out she told me that she'd return the top asap. I guess she changed her mind. 


And what would a post be without a gratuitous cute Toby photo. Yes, I will give him a cuddle from all of you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Navel Gazing on the Run

Today's post was going to be some gratuitous bragging about how well my running has been going and how awesome I am. BUT I'm just home from a really tough speed session that reminded me not to get too far ahead of myself so the bragging will be somewhat tempered.

Let's start with Thursday's run. I can't talk about Thursday's run without feeling a little boastful. I managed a fourteen kilometre run with not one but FOUR toilet breaks. It was less a run than a tour of the local public loos. I'm not exactly sure why things got so bad. It started off well.

I'd forgone my morning run for some well needed sleep (eldest son playing in a soccer preliminary finals match on Wednesday night that went to overtime = a very late night for this old duck). I endured a day of guilt before hitting the road at about 4:30pm AFTER going to the toilet and knowing I'd be fine in that department. I only made it to the third kilometre before I felt the urge and being a big believer in the wisdom of Billy Connelly ("never trust a fart") I decided to duck into the nearby toilet.

Job done and I was off again. This time I made it all the way to kilometre #8 before deciding to err on the side of caution. I love conveniently placed public toilets! Back on the road I was convinced that I would be fine now - as I had been after the first pit stop - and I was feeling pretty good so I decided to tack on an extra loop to my normal run. I only made three more kilometres before having to visit the Anzac Park facilities. And then it was only one kilometre more until I was sweating and cursing at the lights, desperately hoping that they'd change in time. My last toilet visit was at the local shopping centre and I will be eternally grateful that it was late night shopping and the centre was still open.

Poor Iven was a little worried by the time I got home. I'd told him I'd be a bit over an hour but with all the stops and the extra loop it was a little over two hours.

When I set out with the group on Saturday, Thursday's run was still in the back of my mind. And I was mentally working out where all the toilets were on the route once I knew where we were going. But it seemed that Thursday's run was an aberration. I managed the (almost) 19 k without so much as a murmur from the deep.

I decided to run again on Sunday afternoon to get a fourth run in for the week and again all went smoothly - nearly 12k to take my total to 55 for the week.

And then I went to the speed session this morning. Coach Chris slotted us into groups according to speed and I slotted myself into the slowest group to give myself extra time between reps. I knew right from the first rep that I was running on very tired legs. I managed the first three 1k reps with the group then dropped out to run the last three in my own time - extra recovery is still essential.

I was feeling so cocky after my great weekend and now I'm back to asking myself questions. Should I just stick to 3 sessions a week? Should I do one session as a run/walk? Should I keep my weekly mileage under 50k? Should I do one harder week and one easier? How will I know when I can push myself harder unless I actually do it?

I didn't intend for this post to be negative. I'm still really happy with how things are going. I just have to temper everything with a good dose of caution. And so I don't bore you all with my navel-gazing I have a picture of my last evil cupcake creation. How does caramel mud with a dark chocolate ganache and lashings of caramel buttercream sound? Yep, it sounds like at least an inch on my hips too. Thank goodness I only eat the batter because the calories in the batter don't count do they?!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Saturday in Pictures

This is how my Saturday looks.

18.65k of happy! My longest run of the year to date. Wearing my new shirt which is a gorgeous colour and makes me look 10 years younger (in my humble opinion). And that works out perfectly because running 18.65k makes me look 10 years older. I finished a bit tired but it was the right kind of tired - not the sick and tired that I had at the beginning of the year. Never has chafing felt so good!

The mess we came home to after a lovely cafe breakfast of eggs and coffee. Toby likes to move his bed so he can see more. The rest of the mess is his blankets and his toys. I should really train Toby to pick up his own mess like I did with my human children but considering the states that their bedrooms are usually in I might just save myself the effort.

The mystery of where where Josh's teddy had disappeared to was solved!. Toby didn't really steal it - he was just showing it around the garden and keeping it company. There's nothing cuter than finding your dog cuddling a teddy.

Luke's girlfriend Becky's mother is having a milestone birthday this weekend. And a milestone birthday deserves a party and some very feminine cupcakes. Toby was in the kitchen giving me lots of moral support while I was making the icing. I couldn't work out why he got so excited when he saw the piping bag until I remembered that he gets the left-overs now to save me from myself. Poor Bubbles doesn't get any but it's only because she's so little that any extra calories go straight to her waist.

I wouldn't have thought that a dog would like lemon icing so much - after all he wasn't so keen on the squeezed out lemon peels.

And it's only just 1pm. I think a nap's in order :-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Some Of Life's Little Ironies

We make plans and God laughs.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Probably because work has consisted almost solely of cutting out posing trunks. Cutting out posing trunks is a mindless task. You choose the correct pattern, then the correct fabric, pin the pattern to the fabric, cut around the pattern then repeat. It's a task that I could have done at Kindy had we been allowed to use scissors that weren't plastic and didn't have curved ends. (But my Kindy was a little anal about things like sharp scissors, running with knives, running with forks in our mouths and jumping off the roof to see if we really could fly.) Or alternatively it's something that I could train a monkey to do if only Iven would finally let me get a monkey. (Honestly, after 26 years of listening to that man snore you'd think the least he could do for me is get me a monkey.)

Anyway my thoughts have centred a lot on the past. About what I had planned for my life and how my life has panned out so far and that's when I realised just how far my plans have gone awry... since I made my major life plans at the age of ten.

Back when I was ten I decided that I was going to get married, have three children and be a vet. Now to all intents and purposes I've achieved all those goals. But my goals were a little more specific than that. I was going to have three children, yes BUT the first was going to be a boy named either Damien or Heath - I hadn't quite decided. Then I was going to have two daughters, Christie and Hayley (named after child actresses).

And how did I go? FAIL! Three sons - Sam, Josh and Luke. I'd like to point out, though, that this wasn't really my fault. It was totally Iven's fault being that he's the only one that can provide the Y or the second X chromosome. (This is nothing new - things that go wrong here are nearly always Iven's fault whether he did it or not. That's just my rule.) Would I have it any other way? Absolutely not. I've loved having a house full of males - except for the issue of toilets and aiming. And it's taught me so much - like not to store the spare toilet rolls anywhere within a two metre radius of the toilet if you actually want to ever use them.

Then there's the whole vet thing. My plan was that I'd be an exotic animal vet working at a big zoo. The closest that I get to wild animals at the moment is screaming when our resident rat makes a break for freedom from behind the freezer, taking photos of pythons that have come in search of wild rats and fresh chicken eggs and getting the dogs to chase the scrub turkeys out of the back yard. And the closest thing I get to being a vet is shoving a worm tablet down the dogs' throats once a month.

When I had just graduated as a Vet I had a job at a local surgery. One day a girl came in with her dog that had a few lacerations and this girl was allowed to suture them up herself. It turned out that she was a qualified Vet who'd married a man who was threatened by her education so she'd given up her profession and was working as a sewing machinist in a clothing factory. I wondered at the time who would give up all that education just to sew. Well it turns out that I would. Being a Vet didn't work so well with being a mother (the way I wanted to be a mother) so I gave it up and built my own business sewing. I'm thinking that gave God a huge laugh.

But having a sewing business meant that I could be home for my boys. And I got to satisfy the creative side of me that just loves to make stuff. I've gotten to dress everyone from babies all the way through to elite athletes and I've met some incredible, inspiring people.

I guess what I'm really trying to say with this post is that while we might make plans, life has a way of changing them around. It can be incredibly frustrating not to meet the goals that you've set but what you end up with can be better than you could have possibly imagined.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Three Things Tuesday (Alliteration Fail!)

It was Father's Day here on Sunday and I found that my chalk board had been hijacked. Sam had written this beautiful sentiment for Iven. Awww!

But while I was touched by his thoughtfulness I couldn't help but wonder where I stood in the list of 'great gifts.' Competitive? Hell, yeah! Even when it comes to parenting.


This is how I felt this morning after speed session. Four 1500m reps with a 500m recovery between each. Coach Chris offered me the lighter option of 500m reps but I wanted to see how I'd go. I managed them all in sub-5 minute pace (7:09, 7:16. 7:19, 7:19) - happy! Follow this with our usual post-run breakfast and a nap. You honestly couldn't ask for a better start to the day.

I'd like to stress that the running session was done on less-than-happy muscles. Because my running has been going quite well, I decided that it was time to push the envelope a little and hope that it doesn't tear. Yesterday I did 45 mins on my exercise bike (watching TV because the exercise bike is incredibly boring) followed by some of the lower body strength exercises that Sam had given me at the end of last year. And because I never quite know when enough is enough, Toby and I did a little more running than usual on our walk.

Even before I'd gone to bed last night I could feel that it wasn't going to be pretty in the morning. And this morning I was sure that rigor mortis had set in prematurely. Somehow everything seemed to work just fine once I'd warmed up. But even now, just a few hours afterwards, I'm starting to seize up again. I'm terrified of having to go to the toilet because I may just get stuck there until Iven gets home. This is one of those moments when I wished that girls could pee standing up.

But even though I'm complaining, it feels kind-of good to have DOMS. Is that masochistic? I wish the area affected by the DOMS was instantly toned and uplifted so it was obvious to the entire world that I'd done hard-core squats and lunges and even some plyometrics and wasn't hobbling just because I'm getting on in years. Pass me the walking stick.


This weekend's baking creation was for one of Luke's friends, Peter. Actually, according to Facebook, he's my friend too. I was initially a little taken aback when he asked to be my Facebook friend and tried to find out from Luke why he'd asked me. Luke told me that Peter thought I was cool. I was flattered - not many people think I'm cool. I don't try to be cool but cool-ness is something you've either got or haven't and apparently I've got it. (If any of my sons are reading this please do not snort derisively or post snide comments - let your poor mother live with her delusions. I promise your lives will be easier if you do so)

I personally think that Peter asked to 'friend' me because he heard rumours that Facebook friends get birthday cake (except if they live in other states or countries). So Peter ended up with this creation that required mathematical precision and a steady hand to keep it intact.

Yeah, I know what boys like.