Pages

Friday, October 24, 2014

Marathon Questions

Miss C asked a few questions on my last post & made a couple of comments I wanted to respond too.  The first is about motivation.  

C said "I still find it amazing that there are people like you who willingly want to run a marathon (or walk up Everest etc). I have no motivation to put myself through that and I wish I was more motivated by the idea of the challenge. I think I might be a bit of a hedonist... LOL!"

If someone had asked me this time last year - so do you think you'll run the marathon next year, I'd have said no way.  I'd just run my first half marathon & had awful ITB pain.

If someone had asked me 2 years ago if I could run a marathon, or a half marathon for that matter I'd have laughed & said, not likely, I can barely run 10kms!!!

If someone had asked me 3 years ago if I could run 10kms I might have said, I wish I could, maybe one day.

If someone had asked me 10, or 20 years ago about running, or running even 5kms, I would have rolled my eyes at you & said are you barking mad??  I'm not athletic, I hate sport & I'm uncoordinated & too fat & unfit.  Why would I want to run?  That's for other people who are not me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I didn't all of a sudden develop the motivation to run nor to run a marathon.  

There were baby steps.  I wanted to lose some weight to start with.  I weighed 54kgs when I finished highschool.  In 10 years I put on 22kgs.  It took 10 years to get rid of 10kgs.  I spent the following 5 years fluctuating between 60 & 65kgs & sizes 10 - 12.  

18 months ago I finally dropped below 60kgs & have stabilized in the past 6 months between 56 & 57kgs & sizes 6 - 8.  

I actually put on weight in the past 2 months but dropped almost 2% body fat - which answers another of Miss C's questions: "What role has weight loss played in your training and has it been difficult to keep weight on with all that training???"

Weight loss was my initial goal way back when.  The goal to be fit enough walk & enjoy the Black Cat Track in PNG in 2013 really got me motivated to become fitter & stronger & really had nothing to do with weight.  

The motivation was that I didn't want to be the weakest person on the trip; I didn't want to hold everyone up; I didn't want to spend each day wishing it was over (if it was as hard as everyone says it is).  Fear, I guess was the motivation.

It's been an interesting year for me & I haven't really made it too public, but I've been dealing with a bit of anxiety - enough to seek help.  I realize I've been letting fear of failure & fear of feeling negative feelings rule me for some time now (in additional to other things). Sorry, I'm getting off topic a bit here - what was the question??

Weight loss - no, that hasn't really played a role in my training for the past 18 months.  I'd by lying if I said I wasn't happy with my new body shape, but I do get a bit cranky if people say I look anorexic as someone did the other day!!!  I do jump on the scale every morning, it's more out of interest to see how different foods etc affect my bodies ability to retain fluid etc.

I relation to weight loss - I don't really have a magic formula.  It just eventually clicked I suppose.  I found a PT who believed in me when I didn't believe in myself; that wasn't always entirely healthy though, I believe I've really only just started to believe in myself in the past month or so.  My current PT has been telling me for ages that I've got this & I cant imagine my exercise life without him, but I'm finally doing it for me.  No-one else.  Just me.  

Yup I'm a slow learner and I've spent way to long making decisions based on what I thought other people wanted from me.  

I terms of keeping weight on, that's my PT's department.  He builds up my muscles & apparently I break them down with the distance running!  As I said, I've actually put weight on, but have lost centimetres everywhere except thighs (I have impressive quads!) & reduced body fat.  It will be interesting to see what happens now that I'm not running such long distances.  I plan to keep up the half marathon distance - running coach said to max at 2 hours every second week so that I shall do & work hard on strengthening some of my weaker/lazy muscles (read butt).

I hope the above makes a bit of sense!!  If you have any other questions, holla!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Race Day Wrap

Melbourne Marathon 2014 

We decided to stay in the city for the weekend, a brisk 7 minute walk from the starting line.  The morning was just beautiful & while my hands were shaking too much to get a decent pre race selfie in the mirror as the nerves had set in then




I did manage this as I was walking to the start line - just beautiful!!



It was cool (12 degrees C so I've read), calm & no wind.  Plumbing boy bought his bike in & rode with me to the starting line.  I didn't hear this last year, but they were actually singing the national anthem as we arrived at the starting line & I had a bit of a mad panic on how to get on the right side of the barriers (with the runners!!!).  Ditched my jumper with PB & a few minutes later we were off!  It only took 86 seconds from the time the starting gun went off for me to cross the start line & get running!

As per most fun runs I've done it was pretty chaotic at the start & a lot of people to dodge until everyone settled in to their pace.  My pace was a little faster than I'd planned for the first 5kms with a split of 27mins 34 secs, but I felt good.  I was so fast that my sister & niece missed my first fuel drop there!

The course provided water & fuel (I cant remember what brand of sports drinks they had) but I had my own brand of sports drink which was my sole fuel source for the run.

The course had 3 x stations for personal fuel at approximately 11, 26 & 36kms which I'd dropped off the day before, but had arranged a few extra so I didn't have to carry the bottles very far.  As I said I was looking for my sis & niece at the 5km mark, but alas, they weren't there.  



I continued down down St Kilda road, feeling OK & started to run along Albert Park lake, just enjoying the scenery.  At this point in the half marathon last year my knees were already hurting & had been almost in tears, so feeling good lifted my spirits.  Then lo & behold up ahead, I saw a sign!!!



Sis & niece had found a hole in the fence, scarpered through the golf course almost getting hit by golf balls & managed to get into the park & along the course!  I spotted them before they spotted me & gave them a big wave to which they both looked relieved & then excited as they handed me my first drink as I ran past.  I hadn't seen the sign my niece had made before then & I almost teared up at the effort she'd put into it!!!

I actually missed the first official fuel pick up - it was at the end of the 11.2km water station on the right hand side - runners were directed to both the left & right of the water station & as I was on the left I went left not realising the personal fuel pick up was tacked on to the end of this station on the right!  Minor detail.  10km split was 55mins 36 seconds.

Finished with the lake & back to Fitzroy Street, where lots of spectators lined the streets.  As I reached the intersection of Grey street where my cousin's band had played their final gig ever a month or so ago, one of their tunes came on the shuffle - couldn't have timed it better & was so totally random, but I took it to be a good omen!!

15km split was 1 hr 23mins 33 seconds.  Just after this the 4 hour pacers over took me & I started feeling quite disheartened until a lovely spectator who was yelling out encouragement yelled out something to the effect of "well done everyone, make this your own race" & from then I resolved not to focus on the pacers & run my own race, as he advised.

PB was waiting for me at his designated location at the Bay street turn around at my next fuel drop at approximately 17kms.  I was very pleased to see him as this also took my mind off the pacers & ensured I stopped looking for them.  He rode along side me on his bike (he on the footpath, me on the road), I took out an ear bud & had a bit of a chat with him which also made me feel better.  He told me I was looking good form wise & looked to be doing it pretty easily!!!  There were a few other cyclists also providing support & supplies to runners close by me, so it was quite OK for him to be there & chatting to me.  

Put my ear bud back in & continued along my way the pacers now forgotten.  20km split 1 hour 51 mins 25 secs.  PB just cruised slowly along side me before checking where I wanted my next lot of fuel (I'd planned it to be at the St Kilda Sea Baths).  He sped ahead to get the bottle out & hand it off to me - this was the half way mark 1 hour 57 mins 8 seconds.

I was starting to feel fatigued & was looking for the 25km turn around point as I knew that it would only be 7 more kms til I would see the cheer squad.  I collected my 1st official drink (2nd station) with ease & started counting down the kms.  I'd lost sight of PB for the next few kms, but he wasn't far away - there were a lot of spectators at this point.  25km split 2 hours 20 mins 5 secs.

Back up Fitzroy street (a slight rise) felt like a hill & I had to dig deep.  Grandpa Blue got me up that hill & before I realized I'd run another 1.5kms!  It was time to think about Grandma Joyce for a bit as I was now back in St Kilda Road.  I almost giggled as my watch beeped to let me know I'd completed another km as I was thinking one of the best things Grandma taught me was that the greatest of all condiments for hot chips is mayo!!!!!

There were lots of people along St Kilda road & I'd made sure that any kid who had their hand out for a high five (all along the course) got one from me - last year my knees hurt so much I just couldn't change direction to do it.  I also made sure I yelled out thank you to them as well.  30km split 2 hours 40 mins 25 seconds.

At the 32km mark as planned I spotted my Sis, niece, cousin & aunt with the rest of the signs & my next bottle of fuel!!!!




Just 10kms to go!!!  The cheer squad said they had a lot of comments on their signs & lots of fun with the other spectators over them!!!  PB was still pedalling along beside me even though his fuel deliveries were completed :-)  At this point I was starting to feel tired again, left hammy was tight & right knee was starting to pain.  I'd packed a pair of anti inflammatory's in the back of my singlet pocket as suggested by my running coach & decided to down them.

Next minute we were turning left into Southbank Bvd - nice downhill, under the arts centre & along the river before running through the Alexandra gardens to the shrine. 

I knew this would be a tough section as there was a bit of an incline & my running coach said she had seen runners struggle here hence throwing a few hill sessions into my training.  I felt OK & was overtaking a lot of people.  PB told me later he was watching them with amusement as I overtook them, they tried to lift to keep up with me, but all gave up!!!  Top of the hill was 35kms, split 3 hours 16 mins 31 seconds.

Next minute I hear someone yelling GO CAT GO & it was my niece running on the footpath to my right!!  I ran over to that side of the road grinning my head off & she ran with me for half a km til she reached the rest of the cheer squad who'd done a mad dash to the Birdwood Ave/Domain Road intersection!!!  That was the best thing that could have happened.  Having Tess run with me & seeing the cheer squad again really gave me a lift & I knew then that I was going to make it. 5 Kms to go!!!!  I knew PB was there & that if I became overwhelmed, he would give me a pep talk, but seeing the others made be so happy!!!!!

The next few kms in my head pretty much went like this "killing in the name of rah rah rah, killing in the name of 5 to go" then 4 to go, 3 to go etc (that's part of a song & part cheer leader if you didn't already know LOL!!).  40km split 3 hours 44mins 35 seconds.  I'd refrained from checking the actual time until I turned into Wellington Parade where there was a great downhill & I saw I was still under 4 hours.  The MCG was right there!!!  I knew I'd picked up the pace over the past 4kms, but wasn't quite sure how far away the finish line was at that point, but I was running like the clappers down that hill!!  kms 39 & 40 both - 5 mins 27 seconds; 

Right into Jollimont Road & I remember thinking that bloody finishing line better be just around the corner, they better not have some bloody switch back & make us run over that bloody bridge (that I ran over last year where people were just stopping & walking & I wanted to punch them)!!!!!  km 41 5 mins 30 seconds

The the course went left into Jollimont Street & the finish line was there!!!!  There was a big digital clock on the finish line, still under 4 hours.  A dude on a microphone was yelling encouragement that runners could still make it under 4 hours & had the crowd counted down the last 10 seconds.  

I just ran as hard as I could with my eye on the clock & made it under with 2 seconds to spare.  OMG!!!!!  The 2 x 4 hour pacers were there waiting & both patted me on the back & said well done, you did it!!!!  km 42 5 mins 21 seconds.




It wasn't until the following day that I realised that the clock was based on the time the starting gun went off, which was not the time that I actually started the run!  My watch was very accurate time wise - 4 seconds slower than my official finishing time as it took me that long to register I'd finished & I should press stop LOL!!!!  I had 86 seconds to spare, not 2!!!!

Into the marshalling area for my medal, some water & an apple, then I hot tailed it out of their to the rendezvous point.  I really wanted to keep my legs moving & people were just laying down &/or standing still in the marshalling area.  I'd done that last year after the half - pretty much stopped dead on completion & then could barely walk back to the car that day!!!  I wasn't going to make the same rookie mistake this year!!

My phone started ringing before I'd finished eating my apple with the cheer squad wanting to find out my time as they didn't see me cross the finishing line - but that was totally OK.  I wouldn't have seen them as I was so focused on getting over that line before the 4 hours ticked over!!!

We met up & wandered back to the hotel for a shower - I think I spent the whole walk either texting or talking on the phone to well wishers (thank you all!!!!!) & letting my coach & PT know how I went.  It certainly took us longer than 7 minutes to get back to the hotel stopping & starting, talking & laughing!!!




We'd organised a late lunch & post run celebration at a friends Cafe in North Melbourne - there were about 20 of us altogether where I enjoyed my usual fave breakfast (avo smash topped with house cured salmon & a poached egg on sour dough with chilli oil




+ a latte, a power smoothie, plenty of champagne & a heady post run glow.  Friends brought in a beautiful bunch of flowers - I was feeling the love!!!  I don't think I could have been happier had I actually won the damn event (which by the way will never happen - the first girls in were 2 hours 30 minutes!!)



We were home by around 4.30pm - I headed for a long soak in an epsom salts laden bath tub & PB had a nanna nap!!!  A small bowl of pasta for dinner then in bed by 8pm.  I didn't sleep very well - I think every time I moved, I felt something hurt & it woke me up LOL.  My legs & hips were a bit achy, but that was to be expected.

I didn't really get a sleep in on Monday - came in to work for a hour & 1/2 then went for another soak in the tub; then back to work for a bit before heading to the gym to see my PT for a debrief, a light session & a mega stretch with him.  I walked slowly on the treadmill for 20 minutes before & 5 minutes after to get the blood flowing through my muscles & felt really good by the time I got home.  My usual 30 minutes session turned into an hour with all our talking!!!!

First run will be a slow 5km tonight (Wednesday) - running coach said in her experience, the first is always ugly, then the second you feel back to normal.  That's been about it for recovery.  Had Nando's for dinner Monday night & enjoyed some chilli mayo with my chips!!!  

If you've read this far well done!!  It's a bit of an epic post!!!  There is a little more to write yet - I have a few questions to answer - you're excused if you're not interested in the rest!!!  But again, thank you all for your support!!!!!

Race Day Apparel:
Shoes: Asic's Gel Kayano 20
Socks: Compress Sports low cut racing socks
Knickers: Calvin Klein Microfibre
Tights: Lorna Jane Echo 3/4
Crop: Lorna Jane Comfort Sports Bra (but an older version)
Singlet: Lorna Jane Hazel Excel Tank
Accessories: Spi Belt, Adidas Cap, Garmin watch

I had my phone in my SPI belt - I may not do that again for the distance - I felt like I'd bruised a little on my lower back where I'm a bit boney & despite having the belt quite tight, it did bounce a little.  I didn't use any body glide or such products as I hadn't had any issues with chafing.  I did pack a lip balm - hemp one from the body shop which I applied a couple of times over the course.  I did have a rub mark on my upper buttock/lower back area - not sure if it was the lower seam of the tights; the band on my knickers or the bottom of the phone in the SPI belt bumping there!!!  The rub marks didn't hurt, I only spotted them by chance.

I did end up with 2 x blisters - I'm blessed with good feet & these were the the first blisters I'd had running!!  I knew I'd have a rub mark on my right big toe, & was amused to find a blister there; on closer inspection I had another small blister on my left 2nd toe - hadn't felt it on the run - only found both because I looked!!

Fuel was adequate - I'd trained with the tailwind.  NO gels, lollies or anything else required.  Despite missing one of the fuel pick ups, I had enough - I'd made up enough for 4.5 hours of activity & split them amongst 8 bottles, with about 150mls of water in each bottle.  Fuel aside that equates to 1.2L plus I also took water at all bar 1 station - it may have only been one or 2 mouthfuls but estimate maybe 2 litres of fluid in total ingested over the 4 hours.

Breakfast was my usual 1/2 an english breakfast muffin with peanut butter & jam - I needed both sachets of peanut butter to get enough!!!  Next time I'd bring my own.  Also had half a cup of tea; & one of my tailwind bottles as I walked to the starting line.

Carb loading: Friday I ate my normal breakfast, morning tea, lunch & second lunch + 1.5L of tailwind.  We went out for dinner that night (for my birthday) & I did have a few glasses of champers, king fish & oysters for entrĂ©e, steak with salad & roast potato's for main & gelato for desert!!

Saturday: Buffet breakfast - small amount of fruit, yogurt, bircher muesli, poached egg on an english muffin with tomato, mushrooms, bacon & a steamed prawn dumpling, a latte.  Finished off with 2 mini gluten free muffins & a cup of tea.  Yup.  Piggy.

Lunch: 2 x terayaki chicken sushi rolls

Afternoon tea: 1.5 litres of tailwind; Lindt white chocolate & raspberry icecream in a waffle cone

Dinner: 1.5 slices of Margherita pizza; medium bowl of spaghetti with meatballs

Supper: Chocolate Choc top at the movies!

4 litres of water or there abouts!!!

Post Run Nutrition (1st hour):
2 litres of water
1 Apple
1 small cup of some sort of sports drink
250ml Chocolate protein drink

1pm - 3pm
1 Latte
1 Kale, Pineapple & spiralina shake
Breakfast (see above)
Champagne (not saying how much)
Water - probably another 2 litres!!

Dinner
75g pasta with matriciana sauce; garlic bread, wine, more water!!!

3 days post race I'm feeling really good.  All the aches & pains have pretty much gone.  I fluctuate between going - wow - I did it!!!  42.2kms!!! to not quite believing it's done!!  I've been a little unsure about how big a deal it really is over the past few weeks - been driving PB a bit batty actually - he's been talking it right up, & I've been down playing it - I mean it can't all be about me yeah??  Anyway.  If you have any questions holla!!!!!!!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Marathon Training Week 21/21 - Race Week

This is it!




Don't forget  I'm fundraising for Beyond Blue - secure donations gratefully accepted here - closing 28th October 2014

This weeks training looked like this:

Monday: PT - light session - glute med work, squats & core; stretching.

Tuesday: PM Run 1: 12km recovery pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: AM Run 2: 10km normal pace
PM PT - light session - light weight squats, deadlifts, core & stretching.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

SundayAM Run 3: 42.2kms Melbourne Marathon 3hrs 58mins 34seconds

I could have NOT done any PT this week, but I wanted to keep things as routine & as normal as possible.  No need to leave me alone with my head to stress myself out LOL!!  My PT hasn't trained a runner before so he was a little worried about me coming in, but thankfully one of the other PT's has 3 runners in on Sunday - 1 x half marathoner & 2 x marathoners & he has his clients in doing light weight & core so Mike felt better after we'd chatted to him.

12km recovery was done on the treadmill - the weather was a little ordinary & to be honest I was a little worried about hurting myself, which was totally warranted after the mirror incident on Wednesday morning (see last post).

I was happy enough to do the 10km in the morning outside - for some reason I feel comfortable running in the dark.  I guess it's because there is barely any traffic or people out & I managed a good pace.  I really didn't start to feel excited until after I'd done this run.  Plumbing Boy asked me when I got out of bed Thursday morning if I was excited - my reply at that point was no!!  It's too early & I have to go & run 10km now.  But after that run went well, I really started to feel enthusiastic.

At this point I should probably thank you all for boring you all to tears over the past 21 weeks with nothing other than marathon training!!!  I can't promise that I won't continue with it, but Thank You all for all your encouragement, kind words & support in this Quest!!!!

I'm working on a separate race day report - stay tuned!!!!



Monday, October 13, 2014

Success!!!!



Race report to follow in a few days :-)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The excitement builds


The excitement is starting to build!!  Did my last training run of 10kms this  morning, so the training is all completed!!!

Got attacked by a mirror yesterday.  We only have one full length mirror which is basically a pane of mirror, not fastened to anything & it lives down the side of the freezer.  I lift it out when I need to use it & lean it up against something.  As I pulled it out yesterday, it slipped, the corner which was already chipped smashed into my thigh on the way down then the whole thing smashed onto the floor!!!

I've got 2 x 25mm long parallel cuts on my inner (ish) right thigh down towards my knee & a bit of a bruise as well.  I immediately covered it with tissues & bound it, not wanting to look.  I made plumbing boy check it out about 10 minutes later - no stitches required thankfully!!!  It's still a bit tender, but didn't bother me on the 10km this morning thankfully.

Race bag is packed & we are staying in the city for the weekend as it's also my birthday tomorrow & we're going out to a fancy restaurant for dinner.  I haven't had an alcoholic beverage for a week or so & am planning on having a couple tomorrow night to celebrate, then water til Sunday post marathon!!!!

I think I'm ready!!!!!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Marathon Training Week 20/21




Don't forget  I'm fundraising for Beyond Blue - secure donations gratefully accepted here

This weeks training looked like this:

Monday: PM: PT - 1 rep max dead lifts; core. 

Tuesday: PM: Run 1: 12km slow & steady

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: AM: Run 2: 10km fast (scheduled) 5km acheived
PM: PT - 10 x 40kg back squats; 10 x 12kg kettle bell goblet squats; 10 x jump squats.  Repeat x 4

Friday: Rest

Saturday: PM 20kms

Sunday: Rest

Monday night I felt OK & we did dead lifts with the idea of seeing what the maximum I could lift doing only 1 set.  Started at 40kgs 3 x reps & worked my way to failure at 90kgs - couldn't quite manage 1 rep.  Mike was hoping to get me to the "tonne" but estimated around 80 - 85kgs would be my max with at least some semblance of form.  He was dead on the money.  I could do 3 reps at 80kgs.

Tuesday the weather turned nasty in the afternoon & the forecast was for hail so I did my slow recovery run on the treadmill.  The TV's in front of me didn't start working til the last 4kms, but a class started thankfully 20 minutes in so I had something to amuse me.

Wednesday I felt blah so took the day off training & had another long soak in the tub (after cleaning the house in preparation for the arrival of my parents) - figured I deserved it.

Thursday morning I was supposed to do a faster 10km.  I realised about 1.5kms in I was going to have to detour via a toilet.  I'd eaten a fair bit of harissa @ dinner the night before.  Well.  I actually had to penguin waddle the last 700 metres to the nearest loo otherwise I might have had a horrible accident LOL!!!!!  Of course I no longer had enough time to finish the 10km & headed for home.  My running coach was most amused & actually very happy I'd had a "shit" run so to speak - better to have one before the event than on the day LOL.  Needless to say, no more harissa for me.

Mum & Dad returned from an oversea's jaunt Thursday so I collected them from the airport & then Plumbing Boy & I drove them home to the country Friday night.  Saturday morning I did my last long run along the rail trail from Illowa to the break water & almost back again.  It was very picturesque except where I had to run past the abattoir - lordy that stunk!!!  I almost dry reached!!!!  I had 2 x water boys (well, one girl).  

My sis & PB road the trail on their bikes, opening & closing the gates in the first 3 km section then riding on ahead then stopping & waiting for me with water bottles.  They stopped for coffee at the breakwater while I headed for home.  PB had to hot tail it to get me some water at the 18km mark & my sis caught up at the 19.5km mark.  PB was urging me to go faster & beat her LOL!!

Spent the rest of the weekend catching up with the travel stories & pics & generally hanging out will family.  One week to go EEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKK!!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Marathon Training Week 19/21



Don't forget  I'm fundraising for Beyond Blue - secure donations gratefully accepted here

This weeks training looked like this:

Monday: PM: PT - 70kg dead lifts; 40kg bench sleigh runs, bench laying leg thrown downs (abs)

Tuesday: Run 1: 7km - didn't time

Wednesday: PM: Home work out - shoulder rehab exercises, push ups, squats, clams & 1 legged squats, core

Thursday: PM PT - Rowing sprint 300m, medicine ball thow (up) & squat x 10, medicine ball slam & squat x 10,  walking lunges 15 steps, 15 jumping lunges, return walking lunges 15 steps.  Repeat x 4. Planks 
Run 2: 5km treadmill didn't time

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Run 3: 36kms 3hrs 28 mins 10 seconds. average pace 5.46

Sunday: Rest

This week was all about preparing for my longest run ever!!  Why we did such an intense work out on Thursday night I do not know, however it served it's purpose as I had to work really bloody hard to get through the 36kms on Saturday.  My legs were still tired & stiff.  I reckon after tapering the extra 6.2kms I need to run on the day of the event couldn't possibly be tougher than what I've now done.  

I wasn't too nervous before hand & did all the carb loading & hydrating I'd been practising which I think worked fine.  Mentally the last 9 kms were  really hard work so I started dedicating each km to a particular person or two.  9th was dedicated to my Grandpa Blue - I spent time remembering things about him & of how proud he would be of me, not only doing this marathon, but the black cat trek with Dad.  8th km was his wife Grandma (she died when I was 16), I ended up repeating her name over & over Joyce Emily Mary & decided I would name my next pet JEM.

7th km was dedicated to my Mum's parents (other set of Grandparents Rita Jean & Clifford Hugh.  6th was our friend Chris (& his dog Eric) who took his own life in 2009 & one of the reasons why I support  beyondblue. 5th Plumbing Boy's brother who also took his own life 20? years ago this January. 

4th went to my mate D (miss eye of the tiger) & her family.  I just repeated their names over & over.  3rd was my cousin J (miss killing in the name of) & C (my cheer leader) - that went "killing in the name of, rah rah rah" - that almost made be giggle.  2nd last to PB & my PT Mike - who I imagined loping beside me; & the last to me & my cat.  If I'm not running this bloody thing for myself them why am I doing it right???

I recovered quite well - had a good stretch, came home & had a bath with epsom salts & then managed to spend the afternoon on my feet being a domestic goddess & watching a very ordinary AFL grandfinal.  Poor Swannies.

Not long to go now.  I'm counting the sleeps - some days that counting hasn't been so good LOL!!!  I announced I had 8 sleeps to go when in fact that should have been 11 or 12!!!  Bring it on!!!!