Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's W.W.Wednesday

No I haven't developed a stutter. W.W.Wednesday stands for Whingey, Whiney Wednesday. I just didn't want to put it in the title and put people off.

So now that you've already committed I get a chance to complain. And what I'm complaining about this week is pretty much the same thing I was complaining about last Wednesday. Sore legs.

There not sore this week from doing a measly four stride-outs like last week when I was soft. This week those four stride-outs were just the appetiser. The main course was so much more special than 1k reps. We got to do as many 200m reps as our little hearts desired in 45 mins.

I've done this set before. Many, many times. And I don't actually mind it normally. But this week it was kind of special. I got to have my own personal trainer/sergeant major/crazy dictator run with me to gently encourage me to give it my all.

Somehow one of my squad buddies had misunderstood something Coach Chris had said. Either that or they were in league against me and wanted to see me suffer. And knowing Coach Chris it's hard for me to discount that option. My personal torturer thought that he was tasked with pushing me on every rep and that at all costs we were meant to stay together.

And stay together we did. Despite my numerous attempts to shake him. I tried to palm him off to other runners. I tried dragging my feet and whining so he'd get sick of hanging back. I tried pleading with his wife to help. But I've never met a man with more tenacity and ability to ignore a complaining woman. Every rep, he was there. Just in front of me. Yelling at me to stay on his shoulder.

It wasn't so bad for about the first ten reps but when I got into double digits there was significant pain. Sure I could have faked a toilet stop. Or an injury. Or I could have hidden behind a tree (although I'm pretty sure he would have sniffed me out because he has to have a bit of terrier in his DNA). But I didn't do any of these. Yay me for that small victory! 

And the reason I didn't give up is because I'm a runner and we just don't give up when the going gets tough. And even though I may have whinged, complained and doubted my ability to finish, somewhere deep inside I knew that if I could survive that session I would be stronger mentally and physically. And if I did get to puke-point I'd know exactly where to aim. 

So thanks Tom for the session yesterday. It was great. I think.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Show Us Your Tits

Some weeks it seems like the Universe is telling me something.

Last week the Universe wasn't just telling me something. It was yelling at me. In its best, crudest construction-worker impersonation. And what it was yelling was "Show us your tits!"

Apologies to the more sensitive among my gentle readers. Not my words. I'm just quoting from the Universe. I would never be so crass.

The first time I heard the voice of the Universe was when I was getting changed to take the dogs for a walk. There had been men mowing the hill that overlooks my bedroom all day and some were still up there so I was doing the surreptitious change in the corner of the room where I'm pretty sure that passers-by can't see into. Of course I could have put the blinds down but that would take away all the suspense of being almost caught with your pants down.

I pulled off my top and released the twin princesses from their bondage. Why twin princesses? Because this is my fairy tale and although ugly step sisters are probably more accurate, I'd prefer to be on the side of good - not evil.

I was partly dressed (ie just wearing a pair of shorts) when a small black and white shadow darted into the room, grabbed my top off the bed and raced away with it. Kind of like he did with this empty can of dog food from the recycling. I know that I have failed as far as being a good blogger was concerned by just showing an 'almost' illustration of what happened. If I was a good blogger I would have had my camera at the ready and snapped off a couple of pics as I was doing the half-naked chase around the house. But I wasn't carrying my phone (camera) at that particular moment - just a sports bra.

This time, however, Ricky didn't run to his bed with his trophy. This time, because I was chasing him, it had to be a game and chasing games are best played outside. Where the mowing men on the hill have a much better view of proceedings than that little sliver through the bedroom window that they may or may not be able to see through.

I reached the back door and then had to make a decision. Topless backyard streak or sacrifice the $4 KMart singlet. It was a tough one. Would the tiny percentage of frugal Scottish blood win out over years of Baptist indoctrination? 

No it did not. I went back to my room and continued to dress while Ricky waited on the path in the backyard, top in mouth, for the game to continue. Because, apparently, it's only a game of chasey if someone's actually chasing you. 

Shirt rescued. Modesty intact. First round to me Universe!

Second round happened just a couple of days later when I decided to wear my brand new, just-because-he-loves-me anniversary top (that Iven only just found out about when he arrived home on Friday). Such a pretty pink and such soft, light fabric - I knew that I was really going to love wearing it in the hot, humid conditions. 

And I did. While I was walking up the hill to where I start my run. But as soon as I started to actually run I wasn't so happy. That soft fabric was so soft that it stretched with every step and within 100 metres half of my bra was showing. So I hoiked it up, kept running and within metres I was flashing most of my bra again.

Of course I could have gone home and changed but I'm a runner and runners hate to take a step backwards. Let alone walk up a hill, down a hill, get changed then tackle those hills again. See, I hate hills so much that I'd rather run around Brisbane half-naked than go up and down them unnecessarily. So I persisted with the readjusting and rearranging until I had a genius idea. Okay, genius might be an exaggeration but getting any thought that's lucid and not a 'look at the pretty bird' type thought is genius in my world.

The genius idea was to pull up the straps of the singlet and tuck them under my bra straps. Yeah, I know it's not an idea worth patenting but it got me through that run sane. And gave me round two against the Universe.  

So there Universe! Two attempts. Two failures. I'd give up now or you might eventually win and believe me, you'll be sorry!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Little Whine And A Lot Of Crap

I need a little whine this morning.

No - that's not a mis-spell. I haven't turned to alcohol to dull my pain. But come to think of it, it might not be that bad an idea.

And what pain is it that I want to dull? The pain of a body that's not used to running at speed. Sure, I run and run regularly but it's kind of an economical shuffle. Where my legs lift as little as possible to achieve my goal of moving forward. And where my feet barely leave the ground - as evidenced by the numerous times that I've almost tripped on uneven surfaces.

Yesterday, before we really got going on our speed session, Coach Chris had us do a couple of short, sharp sprints. He calls them stride-outs but we all know that they're sprints. Not more than 20m and building in pace. We only did four and today I hurt. Pathetic!

I know this might be a little confusing for the non-runners out there because it's a speed session and surely that must mean we're running really fast. But our speed sessions are aimed at building up endurance speed and generally the lengths of our repetitions are longer. So our pace is slightly more than our normal running pace but nowhere near a sprint. Yesterday the reps were 1k and you can't run 45 mins of 1k reps at sprint pace.

Sprinting is a whole different beast to endurance running. You have to hold your body more erect, engage your core and lift your legs higher. But I didn't think that 80m of sprinting (and not even that fast) would have me crippled the next day.

I'm not sure if the best way to stop this from happening is to do them more often or never do them at all. The way my legs are feeling today I'd vote for the 'never do them at all' option. But I rarely get a vote about what we're doing at speed. Even when I try to bribe the coach with cake.

On to other newsworthy events.

I have a new hobby. It's one that involves exercise and environmental issues and is aimed at preventing a fly infestation that could possibly take over the entire city of Brisbane.

Have you guessed it yet?

Give up? Okay - I'll tell you. My new hobby is collecting dog poo. Every couple of days I'm in the back yard with a small trowel and a plastic bag walking the grid. Today's haul was almost 500g. And yes, I did weigh it. Three dogs can produce a substantial amount of excrement.

Don't hate me for having such a fun life.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

How Awesome Am I?

I'm a pretty awesome wife.

Actually I'm an exceptionally awesome wife - even if I do say so myself.

I do the cooking and the cleaning and lots of organisational things that keep this household functional every single day. Plus I run a business to help with the household budget. But that's not why I'm an awesome wife.

I've also refrained from killing my spouse on the odd occasion that he's breathed too loud or eaten crackers too close or stood behind me while I was trying to compose a blog post. But that's also not why I'm an awesome wife.

I'm an awesome wife because I saved my husband's butt last week. He was going to commit the most atrocious over-sight. One that would not be forgiven or forgotten for a long time. If ever. And as much as he should have had to face the consequences of his neglectfulness, I just couldn't bear to see him suffer. So I took action.

And that's how I ended up with these.

Don't see the link between being an awesome wife and new running clothes? Ok, I'll explain.

It was our wedding anniversary on Sunday. Our 29th to be exact. And to celebrate the anniversary Iven decided to go visit his Mum for a week. Strike one.

He even left early on the insistence of his bossy older sister which meant that he missed our planned celebration. That was strike two.

I was a little annoyed about it when I went grocery shopping on Thursday. Could have been that I had a touch of PMS as well. And let's throw in some irrational menopausal mood swings just to make the mix even more fun. Anyway, by the time I'd finished the shopping and was jacked up on coffee, I was feeling indignant and entitled. So it was either fortunate or unfortunate, depending on your perspective, that I was passing a Lorna Jane shop when this indignation and entitlement reached its peak.

It didn't take much to justify a new outfit. Particularly because I was getting new shoes and I really didn't have anything in my running wardrobe that would match those shoes. Well, thanks to Iven's incredible good taste, generosity and absence I now do.

The second outfit was just because he loves me so much!

And just for Coach Dion, I got a shot of me in the new outfit - post 14k hill run in 30C conditions. It's hard to get a full length selfie that even includes the shoes. Just as well I've got long arms.

Iven still doesn't know about his incredibly generous gift. He may never really know unless I read him this post. But that's what awesome wives do - they fix things without their husbands even knowing and without asking for praise or recognition.

And for those males among my readers who are asking what Iven got for his gift. You just have to look at that last picture. He gets a less crazy, too-tired-to-commit-any-crimes-against-person, sweaty, hungry wife. Who can still fit into her wedding dress. So I'd say he was the real winner here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sorry, Didn't Quite Catch What You Said

Since I was sixteen I've been a dog owner.

Sometimes a multi-dog owner. Sometimes a single dog owner. Sometimes a dog owner with a cat on the side. Or a bird. Or a mouse. Mice really - after buying into the ill-conceived notion that seeing babies born would be a learning experience for the kids. Sure they learnt about the birds and the bees but they also learnt about maternal cannibalism. They've never looked at me the same since.

Being a responsible dog owner (or at least I like to think that I am), I'm passionate about having well-trained dogs. Yeah, I let them on the couches and on the beds but that's my choice. What I mean by well-trained is knowing I can tell them to sit and stay and they'll kind-of listen if they feel like it.They'll generally behave on a leash (i.e. they won't pull me off my feet when I'm taking them for a walk). And they'll wait until they have permission to eat their dinner. They also don't chew the furniture. Or pee inside - except for Ricky but he's still a work in progress.

One of the things that we've taught Toby and Bubbles is to sit at the top of the steps patiently before their walk while the walker (usually Iven) goes down. This has been necessary to prevent broken arms, legs, backs or head injuries from being barrelled over by two dogs excited to have their walk. They sit almost twitching with anticipation until Iven says 'okay' and then they pelt down the stairs.

But the other day we found out that he doesn't actually need to say 'okay' to get the same reaction. In fact he doesn't even have to speak. Apparently a loud fart sounds a lot like 'okay' to a dog anticipating a walk.

Must stop feeding Iven so many cruciferous vegetables.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Don't Think Too Hard About It.

I've got a new motto for 2015 - Don't think too hard about it.

Perfect for someone who tends to over-think and over-analyse. Perfect for the over-cautious. Perfect to kick-start some decision-making.

Applying this new motto has meant that I'm signed up for the big one. Another marathon. And this time it's not Melbourne. This time I'm doing Gold Coast.

A couple of weeks ago on our long run, one of my squad friends asked me if I'd consider doing it with her. I couldn't decide straight away but I didn't say no. The long run ended up being a really good one and I was a little buzzy on endorphins afterwards. I'm not sure if it's really a good idea to make decisions under the influence but I did. I've even made it official by signing up. No going back now. And every time I start to think about the training or the event I'm shutting down any negatives with my new motto.

That's not the only time I've used it. It's gotten me back onto the trails for the last couple of weeks. On Sunday mornings, no less - a time previously assigned to sleeping in. The first Sunday morning my alarm went at 5:15 and it was not a welcome sound. The first thoughts that popped into my head were "Why? You're tired. It's going to hurt. You can just go back to bed." But then I remembered my new motto which apparently has super-powers. All of a sudden I was dressed and in my car. And, yes, there was some hurt - there always is on Mt Coottha - but there was also satisfaction and some pretty spectacular views.

Especially the one from the top.

But this new motto has other uses outside of running. When my son asked if he could get a puppy I could have thought of a million reasons why it might have been a bad idea but I chose not to think too hard about it and it's all working out fine. Even better than fine - little Ricky has been such a great, positive, happy addition to the family.

I think that applying this new motto has been even more successful than applying my New Year's Resolution - to be kind to at least one person every day. The other day I held the rubbish bin open for someone. They smiled and thanked me and I immediately thought "Great, that's today done. I don't have to be nice for the rest of the day." Hmm - not exactly in the spirit of the resolution. Better keep working on that one.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

He Has A Name

My grandpuppy finally has a name.

Henrique. Ricky for short.

Of course his name has a back story and it all started in mid November when our struggling football team, Brisbane Roar, scored a rare win. Actually it was more than a mere win - it was a thrashing as far as football scores go. 4-0. The Roar's Brazilian import was the star of the match scoring a hat trick. His name? Henrique.

Our little Henrique isn't exactly deft with a ball at his feet. He's still getting used to all his body parts and trying to move them in a coordinated manner. But he did score a hat trick of his own the first night in his new house. He pooped three times next to Iven's bed.

Which brings me to the topic of toilet training. I'll bet you're all dying to know how it's going cause I'm dying to tell everyone just how much fun it is to be forever vigilant. And how much fun it is to walk up and down the stairs multiple times a day to take Ricky outside. And how much fun it is to stand out in the rain saying 'go do wees' in the hope that he'll do his business there. Especially when you've spent fifteen minutes blow-drying your hair.

The first day was not great in terms of toileting success. There were way more misses than hits. And his bladder just doesn't seem to hold a hell of a lot. At least his poos are pretty solid.

But day 2 was a different story.The puppy that was intimidated by the stairs the previous day, had it all sorted out and had become the stair master. He took himself out for a wee four times that I saw. What a champion!

Still it wasn't a 100% success rate. There was a couple of little whoopsies - including this masterpiece. Not quite sure if he was practising his signature or trying some impressionism.

Day 2 also saw the first visitors to greet Ricky. My niece came over with her daughter and 11 month old twins. Almost too much cuteness for one photo!

Loving having this little guy in the family. Despite the occasional clean up in aisle seven.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Welcoming A New Family Member

Stuff has happened since I last posted.

Good stuff. Fun stuff. Cute stuff. All in the shape of this little guy.

Josh and Serena decided to make Iven and I grandparents. Finally! 

They'd been away in Sydney for a week and had planned to pick him up on the way home. It was all set for Sunday until a bolt embedded into their car tyre late on Saturday night. At that point none of the plans were set in concrete any more. They didn't even know if they'd be able to drive until Monday. The last we heard was that they'd found somewhere that was open on Sunday that might be able to fix it and they'd decide after they'd been there.

We waited all day Sunday to hear some news. Serena messaged mid-afternoon to say that the tyre place hadn't been able to fit them in and basically they were stuck there till Monday. 

Later on that afternoon I messaged Josh to see if he'd watched any of a very disappointing soccer match be the team we support. He messaged back to say he hadn't and asked how it had gone. I'd just finished a reply back to him when he walked through the back door and into the lounge room - puppy in hand.

I was confused and excited all at the same time. Confused and excited enough to scream. Fairly loud by all accounts. We'd been conned. In the nicest way possible.


They'd actually stuck pretty close to their original plans. Just kept us out of the loop.

So we celebrated the new arrival with cake. And then let the little guy settle in. 

I am not a crazy dog lady.Well, maybe just a little bit.