Monthly Archives: May 2011

It ain’t pretty….


Sri Chinmoy Newport 10km.

Hubby and I both attended this one – hubby doing the 4km, me doing the 10km, with my trusty mate Andrew pacing me. I had been fairly confident that I would do a PB, and in fact get about 65minutes. The plan was to start off at 6:30km for the first half, then pick it up if possible.

First mistake (unwitting but silly) – I had my blueberry protein shake for brekky. Note to self: simple carbs before a race, nothing to muddy the chambers.

We got to Newport and I stood in the dunny line with a lovely Canadian girl about to do a half marathon. There were lots of people there, mercifully the loo lines moved quickly.

We lined up at the start at 8am, with the lovely fella on the mike asking us to “look inside ourselves”, as is tradition for a Sri C race. The 10k’ers and the 4k’ers started together. The marathoners had set off at 7:15 and the halfers set off at 8:30ish.

We started out so well, I even had to slow it down a smidge to do a 6:30km. I had the energy to have a little yap with Andrew, and managed to cheer on the passing marathoners.

We went through Willy, a perfect morning for a race – not too cold, overcast, no wind. We headed down to Point Gellibrand, rounded the oval and returned. A great first 5 or 6 km.

At about 6.5km it started to go pear shaped. First I started to feel sick. I used my mental strength not to retch. Then I couldn’t talk to Andrew.

At about 7.5km it got ugly. My breathing became fast and laboured. The sick feeling worsened. I started grunting with every breath.

At 8km I was sounding like a dying person with emphysema and Tourette’s syndrome. WheezeFuckWheezeFuckWheezeFuck. I apologised to Andrew for the filthy language, knowing he had heard my potty mouth before.

Along with the sick feeling, I had a monkey crawl onto my back. I want to stop. I can’t do the marathon. It hurts.

Duckgirl and friend passed us at a sprightly pace around then. DG was doing the marathon. Freaky girl. DG asked me how I was going. I wheezed in reply “fucking awful”.

At 8.5 or so km, I stopped and had a good heave, but nothing came out. I walked for about 15 seconds and then carried on.

Andrew, bless him, recited me a quote of Lance Armstrong, saying “pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever”.

Then I “manned up” and thought of part of a poem that I had saved up for occasions just as this one.

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: โ€œHold onโ€;

That’s from my favourite poem, If.

Sends shivers down your spine, doesn’t it?

At the 9km mark, I tried to pick it up, and tried the other trick of imagining Shannan yelling at me “everything you’ve got!!” Unfortunately at 9.5km there was a little incline and at that stage I did not even have the energy to spare.

We hustled down the track to the finish line. Hubby was there cheering me on. I was absolutely spent at the end. I did not even have the energy to queue for the pancakes!.

I really did give it everything I had. Without Andrew there, I would have been walking, or withdrawing.

I think I made it in around PB time (67 minutes), perhaps just under.

It was not as fast as I wanted it, but I refuse to be disappointed in myself. I have had a great improvement recently and I am bound to plateau in parts. There will be other 10km races. I will get to my 60 minute 10km goal, eventually, and this has strengthened my resolve to get there.

The plan: more speed and tempo work. And nothing but simple carbs for brekky.

Big hugs to AJH, for his support.

Official time pending.

Addit: Official time 66:55 – a 5 second PB!

Dubai and Singapore


On my own, for 12 days.

I set of the weekend after next.

Because I can.

bloody good session with the trainer, lots of sprints, was able to keep shoulder to shoulder to him up the final hill.

10km time trial Fri…..eeeek.

Then Sri Chinmoy event on Sunday.


……and that’s the good news.


After a while of ignorance, I have bought some scales. I knew I was losing weight, the pants were getting looser, running more easy. Pants never, ever lie, and running is hard to fool too.

Many pennies have dropped regarding my eating and exercise. I have had some very major healthy realisations recently. Like the world won’t end if I get hungry/don’t have potatoes at dinner/pass up on dessert/miss a workout. I have realised that food is there for nutrition, sometimes for nurturing, to be enjoyed not abused. I have realised that exercise is a goal in itself and not just a way to negate food.

My weight at the beginning of the year: 78kg. My weight now: 72.2kg. Waist circumference is down to 76 cm. All while enjoying my food, a bit of wine, and ramping up the exercise to a challenge and adding an exercise related goal, and building on it (10km to marathon).

I am very proud of myself. I have confidence around food. I have put on a pair of jeans that I bought ages ago, they fit now, but alas, with the trendy brand, the cut is not great on me.

Yet with all these food and weight related pennies dropping, pennies of other themes have been falling too.

These are massive pennies. Frisbee size, in fact.

I have made some very big realisations recently. Huge. Not really pleasant, in fact not at all. It has been one of the hardest weeks ever, this past week.

It is really far too huge to put on this blog.

I have engaged in some old-skool face to face action with my friends, not chatting on facebook. In fact, I have banished it. For me, it has had a quite insidiously erosive effect on my relationships. I need to keep things real.

The blog is important, I love you guys, and I will post a bit. I have been writing things that I keep to myself and a close friend. So I am getting things out, in my own way. I enjoy reading and engaging with your blogs, your lives, but I bet there are some things you keep close to your heart, too.

I am in.


I have paid for my London Marathon Berth, and it is going ahead. This is exciting.

I need excitement and lots of positive things to focus on at the moment, because now is a time of real, significant, scary upheaval. Here is not the place for detail.

I will be fine but it’s gonna be rough.

Addit 2300: I submitted my paper to a journal! Yay! hope they accept it!

Sydney Interlude.


Every year, I do a teaching session in Sydney with a group. We teach physician trainees how to do the clinical exam. We also do the same in Melbourne the week before. Year after year, the Melb trainees are better than the Syd trainees. There were many facepalm moments yesterday, so there was lots of debriefing in the car on the way back to the hotel (Four Seasons). Luckily we had a nice dinner out at Bel Monde, as per usual with lots of grog. The choc fondant dessert was to die for, the rest of it was …….ok, good but forgettable.

I slept poorly despite the very comfy bed. I woke up at 2, 3 5 and 6:15. I laid in bed and then got up and looked through the window: sunrise over the opera house. Magnificent. I saw the Sydney half marathoners, first the wheelchair athletes, then the front runners. I was then inspired to go to the gym at the hotel, which was nice, cool and smelled like expensive aromatherapy rather than stale sweat. It also had tvs attached to the cardio machines, but there was only crap on telly. I did a good sweat/detox, drank loads of water and herbal tea, and felt energised.

Later, we met up with Andy and Beki – the former had just run a blistering half marathon. Andy graciously picked us up in the city and took us to their pad in Rose Bay – very swanky suburb. We had a lovely brekky and a good chat.

After that, we went to see the Archibald Prize exhibition, the winner, a portrait of Margaret Ollie, was just gorgeous.

We went to the Lindt cafe for snack/lunch – yummm. And then the plane home, during which time I had a satisfying snooze. Now home with dog lying on my feet keeping them warm. I am glad to be home, but could do with another few days weekend.

Doing speed.


No, not the amphetamine made in a dodgy kitchen version.

I have been making a foray into the sub 6 minute km.

Yesterday – did a 5:38 minute km outside, which I was proud of, as I had a severe case of tummy pain (bloating) at 3am, just a few hours before the run.

Today, I was determined to do a 5 minute km on the tready at the gym. It hurt. Mostly, it was a burning in my lungs. I thought “just do this, you have the whole day to recover”.

I did it. I am happy and know I will be able to do better. Not in a “jeez I should have run faster” kind of way. I am just more confident now, in my running and in general.

Back in the habit.


Many wax lyrical about motivation and willpower.

Motivation and willpower are completely overrated.

Like any big effort is 99% Perspiration, 1% inspiration, I would say it is also 99% habit, 1% motivation and/or willpower.

Motivation and Willpower are the skinny pair of sass and bide jeans that barely cover your arsecrack, Habit is a comfy pair of tracky pants that you happily change into after a day of hauling up your tight jeans.

M and W are the test you cram for and worry about having failed, H is the movie you can quote verbatim.

M and W are the annual rego (or insert other big cost here) bills which you scrimp and save for, H is the weekly $10 from your direct debit for your gym membership.

M and W are the hare, H is the tortoise.

M and W are like a surf beach and H is like a calm little bay.

Being overwhelmingly creatures of habit, it is far easier to default to this than to rely on motivation and willpower.

This is what I have learned. For good and for bad.



Cold – fixed.

Hot water system – fixed.

Nutrition – on the mend.

Soup – made.

Socks – sorted.

So I need to relax that I have not done much exercise this week, have not had the time, have been crook, but I did get in a fast and furious gym session yesterday, before teaching all day and then going in to work to have a difficult conversation with a family….so yesterday was pretty tiring. I slept rather poorly last night, and spent the arvo sleeping rather than exercising, but I did not feel too bad about this.

As an aside, I have all this fab makeup, but previous efforts to apply it in any fancy way resembles those of a 2 year old. So I watched some you-tube tutes on smokey eyes etc, and just fiddled around. Very therapeutic. I took some photos with my new Pentax i10 camera which has all kinds of funky effects. Here are some of the results

who says you can't play up the lips and the eyes?

using the contrast function, I look like I am concentrating

I hope to get out for a run tomorrow. In the morning. Before an 8am start. Because if I don’t do it in the morning, it doesn’t happen!

Have a good week, sparklers.

Back on the grid.


Wednesday: Caught plane to Singapore – Jetstar Star Class. Not quite business class, but better than economy. Best of all, we got to go into the business class lounge. They had breakfast stuff there! And free grog (not that we partook of it at 10 am – just sayin’). We also got a nice glass of champers when we boarded the plane (well, it would be rude to refuse, no?)

Who was in the seat next to me but one of my old physiology lecturers from 2nd year uni. What can I say? Bombastic cranky old bastard then, bombastic cranky old bastard (probably with alcohol withdrawal judging by the way he skolled the champers) now. He was on his way to a conference. He was “friendly” but banging on about all this research he has done and how all the other stuff is crap. I tried to change the subject by asking him what he was doing now semi retired. He owned a winery. I told him about my running/marathon aspirations and he said “well, that’s just stupidity”.

I moved next to my colleague who had seat free next to her.

We got fed really well. I did not eat all of it, but partook of the wine and dessert baileys as offered, because alcohol makes long-haul flights and airports eminently more tolerable.

We got picked up from the airport in a Merc E class – it was a great car, I tried to put the seat back by finding the handle thingy but there was a whizzbang electronic button for that. Best of all was Nanda, the fellow who picked us up, who showed us everything and told us about Singapore, that they don’t speak English, the speak Singlish.

Then on to the Marriott, a beautiful hotel on Orchard road. We briefly checked out the shopping mall over the road, but had little time. We had dinner and the obligatory singapore sling.

The bed was the comfiest I had ever slept on, like sleeping on a cloud. It was a king size bed. The brekky buffet was THE BEST I had ever seen, but I refrained from having a 3 course brekky like I have been known to do before.

It was a day full of meetings, then back to the airport. More free wine in the biz class lounge….. I was too tired to shop. Oh, apart from the camera bought on the way to the departure gate. ๐Ÿ™‚

Touched down at 0630, quickly through customs etc (I only had carry on luggage) and home by just after 7, I saw hubby before he went to work. Snooze, then work.

No exercise, lots of grog and not very healthy food (but not in excessive quantities), I need to get back on the straight and narrow. More than that, I want to get back on the striaght and narrow. I felt really fidgety during the meeting! I am also a bit sick of vino!

I think the good nutrition prior to going away helped me get over my cold – usually I am down with a chesty cough for a week after a cold, but I think the all the omega 3s have helped with that. My heartburn had gotten better (by contrast, I am feeling it now!)

Our hot water system has gone on the blink, we have somebody coming to look at it tomorrow. I just rang the number on the hot water heater, at 6:30 pm on a Friday, got somebody on the 2nd ring, no being put on hold, who said that he could come out tomorrow. Wow. That was painless. Guess if I want a warm shower tomorrow morning, I will have to go to the gym.

Teaching all tomorrow, then having mum around for dinner. Long run for Sunday.