Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


So. I think I've pretty much recovered from the 1/2 marathon.  I've managed a couple of runs without my knees protesting too much.  The left one is still a bit dodgy & the physio had a look at it last week while I was there for the biceps tendon issue which is slowly slowly slowly healing.  

He is sure that the problem is weak glutes after observing me attempt one legged squats.  He made me do them differently to the ones I'm used to doing in the gym where I suspect my quads are doing most of the work as I was woeful!

So the next 12 weeks training program, along with getting ready for a 10km in Warrnambool in January & the 5km Colour Run (just for fun) will involve a fair bit of shoulder & knee rehab.  I've been slack with my shoulder exercises over the past couple of weeks leading up to the big run & said physio excused me (he's a runner himself).

I'm still doing 2 x PT session a week & last night we attempted a few reverse pull ups for the first time since the biceps tendon issue started.  I was SCARED!! Mostly at how useless I'd be at it & of hurting myself.  

I seem to have survived the session unscathed although the whole shoulder seems a bit out of sorts, crunchy (noisy!! it kind of grates) but not painful.  I've realized that I've been leaning my left elbow on my desk & slumping to that side which probably doesn't help.  I'm trying to concentrate on drawing my shoulder blades back & down basically all the time!!  It's hard work!!  The left one kind of hunches forward (is rounded) so hopefully said rehab will sort that out...............

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Melbourne 1/2 Marathon - the Event

The alarm went off at 4.50am & I bounded out of bed after a reasonable nights sleep.  As I said yesterday, I did dream I'd forgotten to bring & pin on my race number which had a timing chip in it & I didn't get an official time!!!

A quick shower & I donned the gear I'd laid out the night before.  The 1/2 Marathon didn't start until 8am, but there were 8,000+ marathoners, 10,000 10km-ers & 11,000 1/2 marathoners all starting between 7 & 8am along with the wheel chair marathoners so traffic & parking was bound to be chaotic.  Public Transport didn't start early enough for me to use that either, so Plumbing Boy was volunteered (by me!) to be my chauffeur for the day.

I was still undecided as to how many layers to wear, considering the forecast was for a top of 16 degrees C with rain (& possible hail in the afternoon).  In the end I went with my favorite running singlet & long sleeve running top over it.  I also chucked on a pair of trackies over my running tights, a hoodie over my running top & a wind breaker as well.  I felt a bit like I was going to the snow!!!  But after being so cold before the last 10km event, I was taking advantage of having a gear holder!!!

Breaky was my usual running fare - half a multi grain muffin topped with Almond, Cashew & Brazil nut spread & as much banana I could manage to smush on top.  Plus a little water.  Didn't want to have to pee halfway through the event!!

We arrived in East Melbourne at 6.10am & managed to snaffle a non timed loading zone park (virtually on the corner of Clarendon & Victoria Parade for those of you who know Melbourne - & that was as close as we could get at that hour!!!!) & walked to the MCG.  

Sussed out where the starting point was & then wandered into the G so Plumbing Boy could see where he would be waiting & watching from & to sort a rendezvous point for after the run.  The marathoners started at 7am & the 10kms at 7.30am.  It was interesting watching people of all shapes, sizes, ages & ethnicity all buzzing about getting ready to run.

At around 7.30am we decided to wander down to the starting point as I didn't want to be late.  I had read that there were were pacers in the race & had planned to find & stick with the 2hr pacer, but I had no hope of finding them.  There were 11,000 people all queued up on Brunton avenue awaiting the start, behind the 10,000 10km runners who's start was running late!

Finally it was time to lose the trackies, hoodie & I'd decided the windbreaker as well as it was quite still.

So, here I am looking quite calm & relaxed just before starting!!  It was so much easier having someone with me to hold all my excess stuff & I was definitely warmer than I was last time I ran the 10km event having been able to keep my warm clothes on for much longer!!

Finally it was time for the 1/2 marathoners to start, it took me a whole (longer) Spiderbait song (approximately 4 minutes) for me to get from where I was to the actual starting line.  There was a bit of a walk then a bit of a shuffle, then slowed back to a walk as people had gotten a bit too excited & a bit to bunched up before starting to shuffle again & then jog & then we were off!!!

It was quite difficult in the beginning finding a clear route around people who were running slower than I was!!  I found the 1/2 marathon group on the whole were much politer & more considerate runners the the last 10km event I ran in.  There seems to be a hand signal some runner use as they are about to run in front of you - like an indicator - so you know they are coming through & will run faster than you.  It is very frustrating when people over take you & then run slower than you!!

half marathon route is in green

Kms 1 - 5 were uneventful other than dodging people & trying to decide whether or not to take off my long sleeve top!!  The first marker I saw was 4kms & I was 3 minutes ahead of time at this point.  I actually retained this all the way through to 16kms.  I made it to 5kms before taking off my top & tying it around my waist with my race number now on my butt!!

By 8kms my knees started to hurt, particularly the left one which was the one that had been giving me the most grief recently.  

I just had to grit my teeth & work through it.  I'd trained to hard too give up now, however there were points where I could have stopped & walked.  Corners & running in anything other than a straight line got progressively more difficult the further I ran.

There were people lining the streets & particularly in the last half there were kids high fiving you as you ran past.  Unless I was in that outside lane at the time it just hurt to much to veer quickly towards them to give them a high five.

As per the map we ran down St Kilda road, right in to Barkly Street when we reached St Kilda, then right to run anti clockwise around Albert Park Lake.  I was hanging out for the half-way point, as in my mind then I would be on the home straight.  

I actually braved a drink station at around this point – I’ve been training without hydrating – my PT Ok’d it in the cooler weather, providing I hydrate well the day or 2 prior.  It reconfirmed why I stay away from them if I can – people stop dead in front of you to grab a drink then walk while drinking!!  The idea is to keep moving.  I got caught up in said walkers & almost tripped over.

I'd never actually been to Albert Park Lake before – they have a Formula 1 Grand Prix race there so I was trying to keep my mind occupied with thoughts of racing cars & looking at the condition of the road as I ran around it.  

At around the 8km mark I’d settled into a steady pace behind a guy & a girl who were running together.  Guy looked like he was doing it easy – as in he could have run it backwards - but was obviously running it with the girl.  I made it a bit of a mission to stick with them as I was worried my pace would drop with the increasing discomfort of my knees.

There was a switch back 2/3rds of the way around the lake, then back to Barkly street & back down St Kilda road, the way we’d come.  In Barkly Street we were joined by some Marathoners on the way back!!  Mind you we’d seen & cheered on the front runners at around our 4th KM – they were almost done as we were just starting!!  The fastest guy finished 2hrs 10 mins 47 sec & girl 2.26.05 in the marathon, both breaking records.

After the 11th KM, I didn't see another KM marker until 16kms, girl had started walking around 2kms prior & guy had taken off.  I wasn't following anyone anymore, I was just trying to finish.  

There were times when I could have stopped & walked, however I knew if I stopped I probably wouldn't physically have been able to start running again.  Plus, I’d trained so hard & wanted to run the whole way!  At this point I started counting my breaths to 100, over & over to take my mind of the pain as was I struggling to get into that easy meditative state.

We hung a left at Southbank Bvd, where I got a lung full of cigarette smoke – thanks to that particular spectator!!  More & more people were lining the streets & cheering us on.  Right into Sturt Street & under St Kilda road, along Alexandra Avenue, Right into Linlithgow, then right back onto St Kilda Road.  

There was another drink station & a volunteer yelled out “you're inside 3kms now” and I thought no way is it 3kms to the G from here – it has to be closer!!  Over the Yarra & right down through Birrarung Marr to the William Barak foot bridge.  I remembered the lady behind me in the queue while waiting for the upgrade telling me about this point – the uphill on the footbridge being a bit of a killer at the end of the run.

Lots of people were stopping & walking up the ramp & I thought to myself if anyone stops in front of me I’m going to punch them in the head, as again, I knew if I had to stop for any reason, I probably wouldn't be able to start again.  

I manage to thread a path through the walkers & runners without too many direction changes & I could see the MCG looming – it’s always huge, but felt much bigger today.

Then I realized we had to turn left at the bottom of the bridge & run a bit further around the back side of the G to get to the entrance.  I almost cried doing that left turn as it was pretty sharp & I was bunched in by other runners. 

Almost there.  Up ahead I see an older man has collapsed just outside the entrance to the MCG & medics are trying to run across the runners to get to him.  I felt really bad just running past him.  

Finally we were on the hallowed turf of the MCG.  Again, the lady in the queue behind me had given me the heads up here too: they had put matting down for us to run on which did feel really odd as she said it would, & as suggested, I avoided it where I could & ran on the turf.  She also said it was a bit weird running in as usually the roar of the crowd at the G is huge, but when only a 1/8th full, the roar is somewhat diminished!!  I couldn't hear it anyway as I had my ear buds in – which worked an absolute treat & cannot more highly recommend them – Plumbing Boy said I looked quite distressed but very focused & did not hear him cheering me across the finishing line!!  

I did glance about, but couldn't see him amongst the crowd – I just wanted to get over that line!  He did say “thank god you wore the Orange sneakers otherwise I mightn't have spotted you as you were 15 deep”!  There were 3 or 4 lanes of matting with turf lanes in-between – marathoners were on the outside & we were on the inside lanes – with me running right on the inside of the ground on the turf - he had a few runners to look through to spot me!!

Finally I was done.  I didn't stop to stretch, I just wanted to get off the ground, get a drink & find my warm clothes!  It had just started to spit & there was a massive queue to get off the ground.  I think it took 10 minutes or so to get up the race, get my finishers medal & get down into the area where the drinks & fruit were out of the weather.  

I drank down my water & grabbed a poweraid & an apple. The apple was so good!!!  But everything was chilled & I was getting really cold now from carrying & ingesting them!!  I hobbled my way back to the rendezvous point & gave all the cold stuff to PB (I never got around to drinking the poweraid – was too cold); dumped as much of my wet (sweaty) clothing as I could without getting nekid in public & pulled on my warm dry layers!!

It had now started to rain in earnest & we got quite wet getting back to the car as I was so slow!!  One lady stopped & said to me – “oh my god, if you are walking like this how on earth did you manage to run”!!!  I was in pretty bad shape & neither knee would bend.  I was kind of shuffling & stairs, down in particular were not good at all.  I’d brought my ice pack in a eski with my celebratory bottle of champers to have with lunch later, so applied that as soon as we got back to the car, while cranking up the heater to defrost!!  

I shared my recovery iced chocolate protein drink with PB who still hadn't had breakfast as he couldn't be bothered waiting in a queue for anything!!!

I guess it’s all sounding doom & gloom at this stage but I really was in a fair bit of pain.  I lost the 3 minutes I’d been up over the last 5kms but in the end, according to my goals, I had a good run: I finished the race without stopping i.e. ran the whole distance.  

My final time was 2 hrs 7 minutes & 35 seconds – only 1 minute & 35 seconds off having a great run, so I guess that’s not too bad; ended up running at 6.03 minutes per km.  I didn't use the app on my phone so don't have the splits compare, but I’d have liked to been under 6 minutes & maybe if I hadn't attempted a couple of water stations yada yada yada…………who knows.  

There is always next year!  There was an app whereby you punched in the bib number & could supposedly watch the competitor run the race – Dad said it was woeful & couldn't see me, but my sis watched my “dot” run around the MCG!!  According to the App my time was 2hrs & 2 minutes!!  I wish!!

I did like that at all times, there were runners as far ahead as I could see, & by my placing in the middle of the field, there would have been runners behind me as far as the eye could see.  

I came 5,751 overall in a field of 11,000; I was the 2,617th female competitor & 417th in the 40 – 47 year old age bracket for my event.  

The winners of the half marathon came in at 61.57 minutes (men's) & 71.23 (ladies).  As I've said before, I’ll never be a great runner, I’ll never win a race, but I’m OK with that.  

As I said earlier, the ½ marathoners on the whole were vastly more considerate & polite than the 10km fields I've been in – I guess ½ marathoners may be more experienced runners & I really appreciated those runners who did their best to not hold anyone up.

I think I enjoyed the training more than the actual race day; although had my knees been in better shape I am sure this time that would have been different.  I was in a much better mindset that any of the other fun runs I've done in the past.  I was quite calm at the start, slept OK the night before, was confident I could run the distance, the only thing worrying me was said knees.

Our god daughter has been inspired with all my running & wants to do this event with me next year.  So yes, despite the pain I do want to give it another crack next year & my goal will be to either run it with her (if she manages to do the training for it) &/or to beat my time for this year.  I really want that sub 2 hours!!!  Before that I have to sort out my knees.  

Next project is Operation Knee Rehab.  Watch this space.

And finally, just to prove I really did it (and thank you for reading all the way through!!!), here is an official race day photo - I was too cold & stuffed to bother taking one myself when I finished - taken in the first 5kms as I'm still wearing sleeves!

Monday, October 14, 2013

1/2 Marathon Training Update - Week 9

Week 9: October 7th - 13th

Mon: PT evening
Tues: 4.5km morning - 23.56 mins = 5.23 mins/km
Wed: PT evening
Thurs: 5.5km morning - 28.49 mins = 5.18 mins/km
Fri: Rest
Sat: Rest (went for a 4km walk)
Sun: 1/2 Marathon Event - 21.1kms

The final week of training arrived.  Did a killer leg work out Monday night which saw my quads still protesting on Thursday!!!  

Knees still a bit grumpy from Saturday's 15kms so opted for a shorter run (4.5km) on Tuesday morning (had planned 5.5km).

A giggling boxing workout Wednesday night (couldn't explain it even if I tried - but there were lots of laughs) followed by 5.5kms Thursday morning before heading into the city to see if I could upgrade from the 10km to the 1/2 marathon. 

Knees started to complain around 5kms which worried me, but I hoped a couple more days stretching & foam rolling & rest might get me through.

As per last post I managed to upgrade from the 10km to the 21.1km - 1/2 marathon.  I was in the city at 7.10am, grabbed a coffee, walked to the MCG & at 7.20am there were already around 30 people in the queue waiting for the office windows to open!!!  Wow.  By the time the window opened there were at least 100 people in the queue.  

I got chatting to the ladies in front & behind me in the queue - lady in front was hoping to run her first 1/2 marathon this year & had been told on average 50 places  become available in the 1/2 when it sells out.  

The lady behind me had done her first the previous year & was training with a group who's organizer was on the committee & had advised her there were around 200 places available.  We were feeling quite confident at that stage we'd all get places.

The ticketing windows opened at 8am & at 8.05am word was passed back that those wanting to up or downgrade had to go & pick up their original event's race packets first!!  Oh no!!!!  The two ladies & I, & the bloke who'd let us know this all ran off together to the 10km event pick up fairly frustrated as we'd have lost our spot in the queue & were all in danger now of missing out on the upgrade as who knew how many more people would have joined the queue while we were now in another queue picking up our 10km packets!!!

The bloke had a bit of a bright idea though & suggested 2 of us go back & hold places in the queue while the other 2 pick up the rest of the race packets.  As I'd forgotten to bring my race number with me & I didn't want to be responsible for further hold ups, the lady behind me offered to pick up the rest of the race packets while the other two held all our places in the queue.

It was a bit of a nervous wait for me & I almost expected to be turned away for not having my race number, but thankfully they had a print out & I was able to help the volunteer locate me & my number quickly.  I raced back to the queue & was happy to see that we had been allowed back into our original places in the queue & were now next up at the ticket window.  I ended up going first as I was first back with my packet & was able to upgrade.  There were at least 30 or 40 packets left in the box my new packet was taken from so I was confident we'd all get our upgrades & let the others know.  The bloke said he wouldn't feel confident until he had it in his hand!!!

As I finished my upgrade, the other lady came back with the rest of the packets & the bloke was next up.  We all said good bye & good luck; then the lady who'd picked up the rest of the packets yelled out to me - hey, is it your birthday today (she'd over heard the exchange I had with the volunteer when I picked up my 10km packet).  I grinned & said yes, & now I have my birthday present!!  They all cheered & wished me a happy birthday & I left the MCG feeling blessed!

I spent the rest of the day on a bit of a high finally being sure I was going to compete in the event I'd been training for!!  Out for quite celebratory dinner Thursday night before spending Friday & Saturday hydrating & eating as cleanly as possible.  I only slightly increased the carbs, but did have pasta for dinner on Saturday night.

Went for a 4km walk Saturday afternoon to test out the new ear buds I'd bought that morning - lordy I know I should have bought & tested them well prior, but you know how it goes.  Rules for any big runs are to not try anything new - shoes, socks, clothes & ear buds!!!  LOL. I was to break two of those rules as I accidentally went into Lorna Jane on my way on from ear bud shopping & purchased a couple of items.  My running tights were starting to fall down a just bit after-all, plus my shoes were feeling lonely.  Can't manage to save the image from the website, so you'll just have to click here to see them.

On the Monday night at PT, Craig had asked me which shoes I was going to grace the event with - I of course said purple!!  He said NO!!  I like the orange ones!!!  So I made a deal that should I get in, I'd wear the orange ones.  Now I had tights to go with them.

I alternated between being excited & nervous & worried about how my knees would hold up.  I slept pretty well during the week except Wednesday night (the night before finding out if I got in).  Saturday night I slept unusually well for me the night before an event, although I dreamed that I'd forgotten to bring my race number with me & they couldn't time me!

My PT went on holidays Thursday for a 10 days, so nicely timed for me with tapering & having planned a week off after the event.  He did want to know if I'd gotten in - text went "Orange it is - I'm in" his response was "1hr 59 please"
- nothing like a bit of pressure!!!  Possible, but would have had to have had no knee pain at all to achieve.  

As I said in a previous post, I'd set 3 goals - good was to finish without walking, great to finish within the 2 hr & 6 minutes I thought I would finish in & brilliant would be anything better than that.

Tomorrow I'll tell you how I went!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I'm In

After a nervous wait in the queue this morning I have a place in the 1/2 Marathon on Sunday.  

Wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

1/2 Marathon Training - Week 8 Update

Week 8: 30th September - 6th October

Mon: PT evening
Tues: Rest
Wed: 8km road morning (forgot watch, no time)
Thurs: PT evening + 8km treadmill (didn't record time but on pace)
Fri: Rest
Sat: 15km Treadmill (didn't bother with time - slow)
Sun: Rest

Tuesday morning's run was postponed til Wednesday because of the shite weather we've been having.  It was blowing a gale & pouring with rain when my alarm went off at 4.40am, so I rolled over & went back to sleep.

Wednesday morning saw me running with sore knees at around 5kms & a sharp stabbing pain in the right one about 500m from home that almost made me stop running altogether.  Insert sad & frustrated face.  As soon as I got home I grabbed a texta & drew on my knees to show where the pain was & took a couple of photos.

I had physio session for my shoulder that night & wanted to be able to show the physio exactly where the pain was.  Last time I had a bit of a knee issue I saw his offsider who complained I wasn't specific enough in telling him where the pain was, so promised next time to draw it onto my knee/knees for him (or anyone else who needed to know).

Outcome was as I'd suspected (after consulting Mr Google).  I have tight ITB - the Iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip & down to the outside of the knee.  When it tightens up it can cause pain to the outside of the knee.  You can read more here if you like. 

I've been icing 3 times a day except for yesterday as I was out & about & today it would seem I've forgotten.  Best I get onto that.  I've also been on the foam roller.  Insert suitable curse words because rolling on that band of muscle/fascia or what ever you want to call it bloody well hurts.  I guess that means it is tight.

Physio wasn't overly worried as it's only just started over the past couple of weeks with the longer distances.  He's a runner himself & has been involved in my current training plan as I've been seeing him for the bicep tendinitis for most of it & we usually chat running while he's working on the bicep/shoulder.

On that front, we had significant improvement last week after going back to 4 days of anti inflammatory's & ice 3 times per day.  I pretty much have full range of motion, but there is still one test he does that causes pain, although on a scale of 1 - 10 it's around a 3 - compared to the 8 it started with.  We are both hoping this could be the last week of treatment......

So physio said I was OK to Thursday nights 8km on the treadmill as it would be a bit easier on my knees & I can control the speed.  He said usually running faster eases the pain.  He said if I got through that to give the 15km a go on the road, but be sensible.

The 8km after a 30 minute PT session wasn't too bad.  I remember way back when I started with Craig in February - I tried to do a 5km hill run after a session which was nigh on impossible.  He really does his best to exhaust me in those 30 minutes.  It might not sound like a long time, but it's bloody intense.  I made it through the 8kms & even managed to increase the speed over the last 4kms & worked up to a sprint in the last km.  My overall fitness has increased massively!!!  Knees were a bit sore & achey afterwards, but not to bad.

Saturday morning was cold & windy yet again.  I am so over this weather!!!  Being a sook I decided to do the 15kms on the tready - hey, I've done all the other big runs outside & I'm feeling nervous about my knees!!!  

I forgot my gym treadmills automatically stop after 60 minutes & almost fell off just shy of 10kms!!  Had to crank it up again for the last 5kms to finished off the run & was probably just under 15kms, but that's OK.    I'd hit reset/restart on the tready before I registered the actual distance at 60 mins.  I was slow but it was more about getting the kms on my legs & maintaining a reasonable distance as I'd begun to taper.

That was my last hard week.  The actual run is this coming Sunday.  I have 2 x 3 - 5kms scheduled for this week as well as my usual 2 x PT sessions.  I find out on Thursday if I actually have a place otherwise I'll be doing the 10km only.

I am hopeful for a place; I just hope I can overcome the ITB tightness before Sunday & run the distance.  

At this stage I'm setting 3 goals:

A good run: will be to finish without having to walk due to said knee pain.

A great run: will be to finish without knee pain maintain my current pace of 6 mins per km (finish time of 2 hours & 6 minutes)

A brilliant run: will be anything better than a great run!!!

The above help stop me doing my head in worrying about knees & times & the rest - that said, the long range forecast is for a top of 17 degrees C - wind & rain!!  It would seem my desire for a warm still day aint gonna happen.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Another Article on my Grandpa

The local paper did another interview with Dad RE my Grandpa Blue & our Black Cat Trek experience, with the view to run it the week of Remembrance Day.  Guess it must have been a slow news week as he ran it Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Funny from My Dad......

A funny my Dad sent me - I've not had the pleasure of the procedure below, but considering the family history, it will be something for me to look forward too.  I'm still crying at the hilarity of the article......

ABOUT THE WRITER: Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humour columnist for the Miami Herald.

Colonoscopy Journal:

I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.

A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a colour diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through  Minneapolis.

Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner.

I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'

I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven.  I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America 's enemies...

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous.

Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation.  In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically 
water, only with less flavor.

Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep.  You mix two packets of powder together in a one-litre plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a litre is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug.  This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humour, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.'

This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but, have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch?  This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt.  You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently.  You eliminate everything.  And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another litre of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep.

The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous.  Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurts.  I was thinking, 'What if I spurt on Andy?'  How do you apologize to a friend for something like that?  Flowers would not be enough.

At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.

Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand.  Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down.  Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep.

At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode.  You would have no choice but to burn your house.

When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anaesthesiologist.  I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere.  I was seriously nervous at this point.

Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anaesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand.

There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA.  I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, 'Dancing Queen' had to be the least appropriate.

'You want me to turn it up?' said Andy, from somewhere behind me.

'Ha ha,' I said.  And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade.  If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

I have no idea.  Really.  I slept through it.  One moment, ABBA was yelling 'Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,' and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood.

Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt.  I felt excellent.  I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.

On the subject of Colonoscopies...
Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous..... A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:

 1.  Take it easy Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before.

2. 'Find Amelia Earhart yet?'

3. 'Can you hear me NOW?'

4. 'Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?'

5. 'You know, in Arkansas , we're now legally married.'

6. 'Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?'

7. 'You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out...'

8. 'Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!'

9. 'If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!'

10. 'Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.'

11. 'You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?'

12. 'God, now I know why I am not gay.'

        And the best one of all: 

13. 'Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?'