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This is my new motto. I picked it up as a result of some work wrinkles which didn’t work out the way that I would have liked. So I owned up to my boss about the wrinkles and explained my side of things and decided that the best thing to do was just deal with it. It is what it is. Words won’t make me less busy or more able to meet unreasonable expectations. The best thing that you can do at any given time is accept the situation and go from there.

And the fact is that I am slack sometimes and I don’t like getting up early and I don’t like exercising on Fridays and there’s a whole range of other things that create barriers to me doing and being the sort of person that I want to be. But you know what? I is what I is. So last week I didn’t run much, but when you add in those couple of rides on the bike watching Big Fat Loser, it turns out it was my best week in the Project in terms of time spent exercising. It is what it is.

I am not feeling particularly well prepared for the R4TK, mainly because I am finding it difficult to have the time to do the long runs that I really want to be doing – anything over about 90 mins is pretty hard to fit in to the schedule at the moment. But you know what? It is what it is. I know that I am not slacking off – I just haven’t managed to fit in those longer runs. But you know what? It’s not like I am competing in a team who are relying on me, and its not like I am in with a chance of winning or anything, so what does it *really* matter if I have to walk some of it? And if I do manage to run the lot, well good for me. It is what it is, it can be nothing else.

I have some DOMS from my two good runs in a row so while I wouldn’t mind a run tonight, I think I will stick with the bike. Knowing me, I would have done that anyway so that I could watch the eviction on big fat loser – is it wrong to watch a crappy weight loss reality show while exercising? Who cares. It is what it is. Those goals over the next page are patient. They will still be there if it takes a month or so longer to achieve them than I would like. It is what it is.

For those non-garmin users, I need to explain something. When you upload your run information into Sportstracks, it tries to guess what category your activity should fit into, based on your previous categories that have been classified that way. So for me, if my pace is anything below about 7:45 kms, the program guesses that it is a race. So the other night when it guessed my run was a race I was thrilled. Of course, it works the other way as well. When your normal training runs get tagged as a long run (ie slow), it can be depressing. But today I went out for my long run and it came back as “hills” which I was pretty happy with. So two runs in a row where sportstracks has complimented me with its guesses. Can’t complain about that.

My first run back after a bunch of time on the unforgiving seat of the exercise bike. After such a break and intending to do a long run tomorrow, restricted myself to just 4K. But couldn’t resist and pushed myself hard. Ended up with second fastest 4K in training run ever. As much as I like the exercise thing generally I do miss the whole running palaver. Gee I felt good tonight (actually, I felt like shit, but you know what I mean).

Couldn’t resist this one:

Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a 10 foot pole, put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. +To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. *Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. *A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien) (I hate Tolkien – this was for a book club)
22. +The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) (along with virtually everything else he has ever written)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) (currently reading March by the incomparable Geraldine Brooks which is an interesting other perspective)
24. +The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. +Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. +The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. +Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) (Ayn Rand is a guilty pleasure (albeit one found in the form of a densely written 700 page novel – I hate her politics but part of me wishes I could embrace them).
34. +1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. +The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb) (the only book I have ever read on the recommendation of Oprah’s book club – that was a mistake)
39. *The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel) (I remember in highschool there was a real fad for reading this book which I could never understand.)
42. +The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) (just finished this this year. It was heart-wrenching)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. +Bible (I can’t guarantee that I have read every word of the bible, so not bolded)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) (but mainly because of the part in The Shawshank Redemption where one of the inmates reads out the author as Alexandre Dumb-Arse)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. +The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb) (see previous bad Oprah related Wally Lamb experience)
51. +The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. +Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. +The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. *The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. +The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) (the book that began to change my mind on Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. +The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. +One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. +Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) (plus about everything else Heller wrote – love the crazy clarity of his writing)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. +The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. * A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. +Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams) (I love Adams – apart from this one you can barely find any in print, but available all the time in second hand book stores and op shops)
87. +Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. +Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. +Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. + The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

I never thought I would say this, but I am really liking having an exercise bike at home. I really struggle to keep the running regular in the hot weather we have been having recently – I won’t consistently get up in the morning to exercise so I find myself faced with an energy sapping run in the evening at the end of an energy sapping day. Plus you add any kind of serious heat to my size and level of fitness and anything above a brisk walk is actually training at a pretty extreme level which I don’t think is the best. You add the fact that I am still dealing with the remains of the lurgy and the prospect of being stranded kms away from home with uncontrollable nausea made everything downright unappealing.

The difference now is that with the bike, it is much easier to convince myself that if I am not going to go for a run anyway, I should at least hop on the bike for 20 mins while I am watching the TV show that I was going to watch anyway. It is not too boring to do while watching the TV, and I never fail to push myself beyond my paltry plans and do 40mins to an hour. Before I know it, I have had a decent workout and with the bike situated under the evaporative cooling vent, it is much easier to keep my heart rate at a respectable (ie not life-threatening) level.

The thing is, part of me feels guilty for not running. That is until I give myself a stern talking to in the mirror and remind myself that the whole point of this is to get myself fit and healthy, so my priority is getting my exercise done regularly. I know I will get back to the running more when the weather settles down and I am hoping to really push myself over winter so that I can be a lot fitter by the time next summer rolls around.

So I have another Sunset Series run scheduled for Wednesday around Princes Park. At the moment it is looking like I won’t be able to get there but there is still a vague chance. Hub has been in meetings every night for about 8 days and he is thinking of putting his apologies in for the meeting he has on Wednesday. If he does, then we will have a date night, but otherwise I will head off to Princes Park. Two great options for a pleasant Wednesday night anyway.

Was off work yesterday after I was so nauseated that I couldn’t stomach the idea of boarding the train. Took a very unusual sick-day and spent the day asleep while trying to manage my more unavoidable work over the phone. Back at work today but still feel decidedly green. Don’t know what is going on, but I see that a couple of others have had a few green moments as well, so I hope it is not a real bug going around or anything.

Everything seems to be bearable if I sit in one spot, but I popped across the road a moment ago and came back feeling quite under the weather. Blergh.

So I learned today that going for a long run the day after doing hills training is probably not a good idea. Was hoping to do 12k along the Merri Creek Trail, but adjusted my goals on the fly when I started to really struggle after about 4K. I realised that doing 12K would be throwing the 10% rule out the window anyway. So I figured out that I needed to do about 8K to have a 10% increase to my best ever weekly km and aimed for that. It was UGLY. A fair few walk breaks – it was hotter than I thought and I hadn’t really hydrated as much as I should have. But I bloody well finished it.

The result? My best week ever in kms running, and in total exercise time as well as I did a couple of days on the bike. Definitely a rest day from running tomorrow so will do some work on the bike and a better body for men workout. If I manage to string a few weeks like this together in a row, I will begin to feel like I am back on track.

Coolangatta Gold elevation

New Coolangatta Gold PB today. Was going for 6km but only managed 5.3. Still, pretty happy with it. Next time I will be aiming to get to the start of the walking trail to the top of Arthurs Seat which I figure would make it about 6.5 or so. It is a pretty tough workout because the return route is pretty hard on the legs as well.

Wasn’t at all speedy today but wasn’t expecting much particularly after the race on Wednesday and still want to do a long run tomorrow. Am on target for a pretty good week distance wise so pleased to be able to get back on track a little after my slow January.

WordPress and blogger have finally got up to speed, enabling me to import all of my archives. So you can find all the getting buff goodness in the archives.

Conversation with the T-shirt person:

Me – Is this where I pick up my t-shirt?
Her – Yes absolutely. What’s your name?
Me – [tells her…then waits… then takes the sheet from her to find my name – I didn’t feel I could do it with the electoral commission people, but I can do it with a fun run organiser]
Her – So you ordered an XXL?
Me – That’s right [you want to say it louder, lady? I am not sure that the skinny bint over there in the XXS *heard* you]
Her -[rummaging] The XXL only comes in black.
Me – That’s fine. [Well, duh, it’s *slimming*]

So it was a lovely course, but given that my running log for the last three weeks shows one very ordinary 4km run, I wasn’t bursting with confidence. Met up with heaps of ausrunners which was very cool. Morseyruns introduced me to a very drunk friend of hers at the start line which was fun (hehe).

The first lap I was trying to make sure that my friend Tiger Boy didn’t lap me, so every time I heard footsteps over my shoulder I panicked. Freak passed me in sight of the finish line. I really tried to swear at him but I am pretty sure that he didn’t hear me over the top of my heaving breath. I should say that he made up for me by running me home in the last 500m just when I was begging the running Gods that he would do just that. Little does he know that he is now obliged to lock in to help me out for the rest of my running career while he might otherwise becoming a leading light in the Vic Aths scene [evil laugh] (well at least until he stops lapping me).

Seeing as I was trying to treat this as a training run, it was actually much easier to do that on the separate lap as I was pretty much running on my own, and it was lovely. It started to get a bit darker going through the Zoo the second time and I started telling the volunteers my only goal was to get back before dark. The one big advantage of a loop course was I knew what I still had before me and it was down hill most of the way to the finish line, which was a big relief. The first time around (when I was trying to finish before getting lapped) the bloody race organisers tricked me by making me think that I just had a corner and a brief straight to the finish, but then they made me go out around another whole big loop!! Tricky race organisers.

Nudge was obviously freaking at the concept of a city run after work and kept spitting out the weirdest numbers. He kept measuring the distance very short and therefore telling me I was running very slow. I was getting really depressed at the 9min kms he was spitting at me, until I crossed the line and learnt that he had just been goading me.

Gun time only was 63:XX which is not a PB but is my second best 8K time ever. I will definitely take that as with the interrupted training and preparation I completely ran out of puff in the last half of the race. Hopefully I will be in better shape for the rest of the series and might even be able to give the PB a bit of a crack.

UPDATE – official time 1:04:04 (which is just wrong), gender 158/161