Monthly Archives: February 2012

Sri Chinmoy 15(.38) km race.

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It was a hot one, man.

It was 25 degrees at 7am. I did my usual pre-run preparations – coffee, nutri grain, out the door. There were lots of folks, and car parking was a squeeze.

As I was queueing for the loo, I had a thought: The aim of the game is not to die today. I had some aspirations of a sub-1:45 run (that’s under 7 min/km). I was happy to revise them.

Of course, there were far too few loos.

The first five km were about finding a rhythm. I was a bit slow to start; I don’t usually warm up until the 4th km or later. After I warmed up, I played a mental game of kiss/kill/root….:D Lots of eye candy out and about. And a few dead men.

I whooped it up in the 2nd 5km lap, sang out loud, encouraged others to sing with me a rousing rendition of “Fat bottomed girls”.

I saw my coaches, who cheered me on and took photos, like proud parents. I made sure I smiled for the camera.

The last 5km was all about hanging in there. Heart and nerve and sinew.

I thank God (or whoever) for having Anita there, she is a runner in my squad, doing the Paris marathon. She is a mother of 2 and faster than me. We saw each other, high-5’ed each other. The second last time we passed each other, we hugged. The last time, I screamed at her to GO GO GO!!

I also saw one of the faster guys slowing down to a walk at the hairpin. I said “NO, DON’T STOP!!”. He ran. I cheered quite a few people on.

It was getting hot, and us “slowies”, the people over 90 minutes for the 15km, were the only ones out there. I thought, ahhh, pain, here you are, come run with me. Though it was not unbearable.

My iPod kept turning off. So I left it off. Only the sound of my feet and my breathing. It sounded like a waltz. Dub dub dub, dub dub dub.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/152623944

After I finished, Coach took me by the arm and made me sit down (did I look like I was gonna die?) The nice St. Johns person bought me an ice pack and some water. Anita bought me some pancakes. Another girl came up and thanked me for cheering her on, telling me that it was my cheering that kept her hanging in there. I told her to go and enter the half marathon.

As is typical for a Sri C race, it was friendly and fun. Too few loos, but great. Weather sucked a bit.

Re: the fellow I was talking about….it is a situation that I wish I could press ctrl-alt-del on. I told him so. Hopefully all is not lost. We may catch up – I said I would like to meet him, and he said he would too, in a week or two. Hmmm.

 

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For Posterity.

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  • I am scared of rejection
  • I am even scareder of ambivalence, or having to wait.
  • To both, I wail, bare my teeth, and bound away like a wounded animal.
  • Feeling like a wounded animal is fine, but instead of taking a swipe (like a tiger), I should just roll up into a ball (like an echidna) until I no longer feel like that (or at least 24 hours). Echidna, not tiger.
  • I need to find a happy medium between cool cucumber and crazy bitch that is Authentically Me (TM) and will allow me to be happy and comfortable.
  • GBFs (Gay Boy Friends) are great mandatory
  • Wearing red lippy makes any given thing 10% better than without said lippy.
  • Running makes me feel happy
  • I feel far too much guilt and shame.
  • A good outfit makes me feel happy. Killer heels, too, so long as I can walk in them.
  • Singing loudly to a favourite song makes me happy
  • I am not impervious, do not want to be impervious.
  • I seem to be spending a lot of time crying/frightened/shitting myself/sad/sweaty/chafed. It sucks. But it is making me grow.
  • The last 6 (give or take but probably give) men who I have kissed have all said I am a good kisser. I shall carry that around like my cheeky little secret. That, and certain….ahem….grooming I have.
  • When in doubt, give hugs and act kindly.
  • I don’t need to impress people. I just need to engage them.
  • I love seeing the changes in my body from running. I love looking at myself in the mirror in my underwear and saying “Well, hellooooo, stranger.”
  • I love admiring my legs. I always had a complex about my legs, thinking they were too short and stubby. Now, I say, “legs, you girls are awesome”.
  • I love breaking out into song. People don’t seem to mind.
  • I don’t need shoes or outfits. I probably need some more accessories. I need to go to the art gallery, see the muppets and save for my o/s trips.
  • Even though I feel lonely, I kinda like not having my housemate around. I can put whatever I want in the dishwasher (as long as it doesn’t break) and shower with the door open. While singing loudly.
  • No joy without sadness. No love without risk.

The comfort zone. The holy trinity.

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On Sunday, when I was in a bit (err, a lot) of a torpor, I was lucky to have a friend around to watch/lend support. I told him that I have cried more in the last 9 or so months than I ever have in my life before. He said: “that means you are out of your comfort zone”.

Marathon training, I don’t cry per se, but I certainly face a lot of discomfort, fear, pain, and doubt. I have to deal with it, rather than give up. I have to learn from it. There is no choice, unless, of course, I do the unfathomable and quit.

[Training Log, week 11: Monday – drills; Tuesday- rest and massage; Wednesday (pending) 4 km time trial.]

The main point of this post. I need to debrief. Along with all the running, a lot happened on the weekend.

I am ready to discuss it now.

I have been doing the internet dating “thing”. It is moderately successful, insofar as I have had dates. Mostly, with nice people. Mostly. A generally positive experience.

A few weeks ago, I had a first date with a fellow who rocked my world, knocked my socks off. Not quite sure why. It may have had something to do with his height (6 foot 3, thanks very much), his dress sense, the fact that he smelled delicious and was ruggedly handsome. He was smart, caring, in touch with his feelings, and smiled knowingly when I said stuff.

I had a lovely time. He seemed to, also. I couldn’t resist – I went in for the pash at the end. It seemed to be received well. I also wanted to give him something to remember me by, as he was heading off to East Timor for the next 2 weeks.

For a few hours after the date, I was on cloud nine. Mais oui. After, though, the anxiety set in. What if he forgets about me? What if he thinks better of it? What if he falls in love with somebody overseas? The mind was going into overdrive.

After a day or two of mooning about, I got over it, and, gradually, he fell from my mind. I put on my cynical hat and said, in my head, “oh no, he’s not going to call me”. I went on other dates, with other people. One person, I went on a few dates with.

Last Monday, he texted me, and said he wanted to catch up. I was thrilled. No. End. We planned to meet on the Friday. He had not called by the Thursday to confirm and “firm up”, so I called him. Instinct told me that he was perhaps vacillating.

We went out on Friday. He saw me, and kissed me right on the junction of cheek and lips (confusing). We had dinner. We had drinks. Hands were held. There was kissing. Talking. Just sitting there in contented (? intoxicated) silence. There was, again, a goodbye pash. He took me home and said “I’m not coming in”. I replied “I haven’t invited you in”. So, at 1am, the night was ended. Another date was mooted (by him) for Thursday.

I was determined to just bask in the afterglow of it, without getting too excited about how things would move forward. I had made that mistake before.

I sent him a text Sat afternoon, telling him that I had a lovely time and was looking forward to seeing him again.

A few hours later I got a convoluted text message from him saying (not verbatim but close) “yes, the evening flowed very nicely on a visceral (his words) level, but I feel the pace is too fast I need some thinking time as I want to be striding purposefully along with you rather than a few steps behind….”

A great big cup of “WTF???” was hence made.

I could go on a big “he said, I said” tirade but in the end I got an email essentially saying you are an amazing woman but I’m just not that into you, and I was just going along with the affectionate stuff rather than actually being up for it. Also there was a bit about him being 9 years older than me and very serious about settling down, hence he was keen not to waste time.

I could go on and analyse all of it….but, when it comes down to brass bolts,

I was rejected by a boy I liked, and it fucking hurts.

I wear my heart on my sleeve where it is liable to getting slapped about. So I run away screaming and howling like a wounded animal.

Through my tears, and mooning, and generally being a sad-sack, my little “sensible” was asking me “Why? Why are you so upset? It’s only been two dates…” Best not to deny or trivialise a feeling, but to explore why you are feeling that feeling (and there is thousands of bucks worth of therapy right there, people).

Because I thought I connected with this guy.

And….and….it was the holy trinity of attractions – physical, intellectual, emotional. He got me good, to quote Duffy.

I have wanted this holy trinity for so, so long. I have only just become conscious of this absolute need. I dare to want what I have never had. And when I think I might have it, I want to hold on to it. Desperately.

Aha! So this is why I feel that the rug is being pulled from underneath me, that my wine has been tipped out, that the light has been taken out of the day, when the fella just ain’t that into me. Even when I don’t particularly know them that well. It’s the opportunity I felt I lost, and it was all my fault.

And this is why I am no good at playing it cool…..not that I particularly believe in games. However, I think I could do with learning to sit back and allowing space for nice surprises to happen, rather than just trying to go get ’em. I must balance passion and spontaneity with sitting back and reading the signs a bit. In retrospect, I could have read them with this guy.

And I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that, hey, I can work it. I have a lot going for me. The most important thing is that I am quietly confident and at peace with that. Whether somebody else appreciates that is another thing entirely, and bears no relation to my actual awesomeness.

And if they don’t, then, at the end of the day, I don’t want them. I might think I want them, but I don’t. And I must live by that. There are lots of people who moon over others who don’t like them. It is no way to live life. As much as it hurts, I must take myself, my heart, and my sleeve, and quietly walk away. NEXT!

The whole attraction thing is a funny one. Those initial “butterflies” that might signal that you are smitten with somebody, are very, very similar to the butterflies we get when we are anxious. And we are usually anxious for a reason. Hence, the butterflies must be taken with a pinch of salt. What we may find attractive initially may turn out to be completely wrong. What may initially seem unremarkable may turn into something brilliant. The question is, how long do you wait to find out? Usually there is some inkling, though.

I hope to find that holy trinity. I have time. I actually feel a bit sorry that this gorgeous fellow feels like his time is running out, that he has to quickly settle down with the right person (which is what he actually said) rather than spend a bit of time getting to know somebody, that he could not even spare the time for a third date. To give him his due, though, he was concerned for my feelings, didn’t want to lead me down the garden path. Fair go to him.

So I am going to dust myself off and chalk it up to experience. I have met a couple of people who have “got me good”, even in the short time I have been out and about. I should again, and hopefully the feeling will be mutual.

Back to the last post.

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So I did an 18km run today, off the back of an 8km run yesterday.

It was good. I felt strong throughout, even when the gels I took gave me watery diarrhoea.

I went out feeling “fuck yeah, I’m running 18km, how d’ya like that, bitches?”

That’s the thing about distance running. The whole managing discomfort thing, the whole rising up against it thing. It’s a rollercoaster.

The other aspects of my life are like that. Exhilarating highs. Harrowing lows. Just got to get through it.

Like in dating. Sometimes I wonder why I bother with dating.

In school, I never attracted the boys, so I just went on with schoolwork. It served a purpose, I suppose.

Now, I want to experience the full richness of life. Excitement, exhilaration, lust, love.

Most of these have come, but they are interspersed with low points. Points where I am sad, disappointed, points where I cry. They don’t last, but they make me want to step off the rollercoster. So I am, in my own way, for a moment. Just taking some time and opportunity to do those things that replenish myself. Laugh. Spend time with my friends. Concentrate on the less assailable things in my life. Lick my wounds. Let them heal.

The overwhelming, colourful, smelly, surprising, heartbreaking, exhausting, invigorating richness of life.

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Marathon training, week 10.

It’s been a bit hard – enough in to feel in pain and niggle and tired, too far away to see the end in sight, mileage to increase. For the first time I have been wondering whether I can do it.

I am doing it. The best I can.

This week:

Monday – strength, drills

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – speed session – warm up, 2x1000m, 2×750 metres, cooldown. Hot.

Thursday – rest

Friday – pool session, 1 hour, running, stretching

Saturday  – 8km run.

Sunday (planned)- 18-19km run.

Lots going on right now, other than that. Am too tired to blog about it though…..

 

3 steps forward, 1 step back – Week 9 Marathon training.

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Halfwayeeeeeeeeek.

Pride goeth before a fall, it is said.

Running log:

Monday’s training, the day after the long run, went well. I felt good.

Tuesday – fine.

Wednesday – fartlek. Felt as flat as a tack. Instead of jog/run intervals, it was walk/jog intervals. I just felt tired, and had an overwhelming feeling of CBF.

Thursday – 35 min run, then run walk. Felt good. Medium pace 6:30.

Friday – rest

Sat and sun – meant to be a 10km each day – split long run.

In background (non-running life)

  • Setting up trial for PhD
  • Trying to get enough sleep, variably
  • Trying to eat well, knock off grog, variably
  • Being quietly asked by boss not to be late (then feeling completely overwhelmed)
  • Increasing pain/discomfort about hips/ITB. Pain around pyriformis/lower back/sacroiliac joint continuous. Ingrown toenail. A bit of a shit sorry shin splint on the left side.
  • May have met a nice man……..
  • Baby showers, bikini waxes, giving lectures, housemate’s 30th birthday (kept up till 2am Sunday morning…)

Got up early on Saturday, the beginning of a busy weekend, to do a 10 km run. I was tired and everything hurt a bit. I thought, it’s ok, it’s just the warmup. However, I just could not get up the head of steam. I just didn’t feel right. Irritated, I stopped and walked after 5 km.

I was angry with myself. I am sure you all know what goes through the brain.

Then I thought rationally.

a. There is a fine line between a niggle and and injury, and, being a newbie endurance athlete, I don’t necessarily know where that line is, but know I don’t want to cross it.

b. it is far more common for people to have to pull out before the race because of injury than because they are underdone.

c. I am doing super, super well, and I am due a plateau. 😀

d. Life happens. It’s just happening loudly and quickly at the moment.

Sometimes I wonder whether I am biting off more than I can chew. But chewing is a day to day proposition. Most of the time I can, sometimes I can’t.

I had a good chat with a running buddy (he knows who he is) and he made me feel better about this week.

So – this week, a  busy week with PhD stuff. I will increase the stretching, strengthening (glute med particularly) and make sure I eat and sleep well. Day by day. Giorno per giorno.

3 hour long run. That’s what I’m talkin ’bout.

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A busy weekend just past, need a holiday to rest from my weekend!

Saturday, I caught up with the lovely Em, who had just finished training her ladies running group. We had a big breakfast and caught up on goss, then went shopping for sports gel.

After that, there was a coffee date that I tweeted about, and just don’t wanna talk about. He was a belligerent douchebag.

Saturday night involved pasta.

Sunday – the long run. 3 hours. I had been feeling quite trepidatious about it all week. Last week was a bit of a tough week. Foremost because I had to talk with a family lawyer (something I had been procrastinating about). After that, I cried for half a day. Everything just felt hard. But I’m over it now. And I digress.

Back to the long run. It was hot (27 degrees at 8am) and windy. On starting, I thought “this might be difficult”, but I decided to apply my work ethos to my run. I am good at my job, see. I just thought, do the best you can, get it done by foul means or fair. So I set out. I decided to go to Princes park and do a few laps, because a. it is flat, b. there are lots of drinking taps and c. I can stash my carbs in my car rather than carrying them on me.

Despite the unfavourable weather, there were lots of folks out. Quite a bit of man candy. Quite a number of DILFs 😀 Always good distraction. I had my iPod on, and entertained the good people of princes park with my singing. I high fived a lady doing multiple laps in the opposite direction. I kept up my fluids and carbs. I trialled the gels that I bought – endura. They were actually quite yummy!

It was all good, in the beginning. I was feeling mentally and physically strong. That was, up until about the 18/19km point. It started to get hot. The wind started really whipping up. I got sandblasted from the track! Things started hurting, and I began to panic a bit.

Then something occurred to me. All the lyrical that Dean Karnazes waxes about pain and not giving up, that suddenly made sense.

I turned off my music, because all of a sudden it was grating. I had to look calmly inside myself and say “yes, you can”. The pain diminished, somewhat.

About 10 minutes later, at about the 2:20 mark, I nearly called it a day again. I started walking. Then I thought “no, keep going, walk if you have to, but you said you would do 3 hours so do 3 hours”. Better to slow down than to stop.

On the next lap, I saw that a tree had been uprooted. This was a wonderful thing to see, just what I needed. The wind could uproot a massive tree, but not stop me from running. Fuck yeah, how’s that? I ran with a few walking breaks, and my running pace was similar to before my little breakdown!

I learned a lot on that run. I finally internalised the important psychological elements of distance running, learned a little of what it was to continue on despite discomfort. To use my heart and nerve and sinew.

A few little issues though – predominantly some chafing on my back from the bra-strap hooks. Had to stuff my singlet up between the strap and my skin to stop it rubbing, so the fine people of princes park got a titillating look at the small of my back.

After the run, I went home for an ice bath, taken with a large chocolate big m!

My run

Now that I have done a 3 hour run, it is about consolidating over that time, the coach doesn’t want me to run much longer than that in training. I will need to ramp up my overall running volume.

To quote Fame – I’m really coming together.