Sunday, October 30, 2011

Training - Changing It Up

You might have noticed that I haven't mentioned running much lately. It's not because I'm not running. It's just because I've had to cut back a little. It's the end of the racing calendar (or at least my racing calendar) for the year. And I can't say I'm sorry.

It's been a tough running year for me. I've had too many health issues for my liking - two bouts of the flu/cold and sinusitis that lasted for 8 weeks and then there's the on-going hip injury. But I still managed 3 half marathons, a 10k and two 5k races plus, on average 50k training per week. I've missed more hill sessions than I've been to but sometimes that's the way things go.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about my running. I was so keen to build up again this year and try to re-claim some speed but I only seem to be getting slower so I've had to re-adjust my thinking. So after having a long chat with my EP son and Coach Chris, I have a new plan for this next year.

Firstly I'm putting some strength training into my exercise program. Sam's given me a program that I'm doing twice a week which will continue to strengthen my dodgy hip but will build up my leg strength. I'm doing more squats, squat jumps, hopping up stairs and core work. The session takes about an hour and he's aiming to build up to more plyometric work.

I'm not fooling myself that I'll get faster from this but I'm hoping I'll build up a little more muscle because that's what we tend to lose as we age. I've done a food audit - not like the one the dietitian did at the beginning of the year where she didn't ask about quantities. I've actually looked at the amounts I eat and found that I was averaging between 20-30g of protein per day. I was having enough calories but they were mostly in the form of carbs. Everything I've read (thank you Dr Google) has suggested that I need upwards of 50g a day and that's just for an average inactive person. So I've revamped my diet a little. I'm having protein powder with my cereal and a decent serve of protein at lunch then my usual dinner (which was where I got most of my protein from before). At least now I know that my muscles will have what they need to get stronger.

The reason I decided to change things up was because I was looking at some running photos. This one is from about 4 years ago.

And the next was two years ago when I finally had to admit that all was not well. My sister remarked that I looked wasted and when I compared it to the first pic I kinda had to agree. I'd lost a lot of muscle mass especially in my legs. It may be a little late but I'm going to try to build it back up.

I'll just be running three days a week for the next month or so and then, hopefully it'll be back to four. I'm excited about my new regime. It's going to be an interesting year.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Two Dirty Little Secrets

There are two dirty little secrets that I've been keeping hidden at the back of my closet. Way behind my Winter coat that's been stored in mothballs because it's way too hot. Behind my wedding dress wrapped in the acid-free paper and folded neatly in a big box. And even behind my old violin that's covered with dust because it's been there untouched since we moved into this house.

Secrets aren't good things. My Dad had a secret son for 16 years. Finding out that secret damaged our family down to the core and two years after finding out this secret we're only just finding our equilibrium and moving on now.

So in the interest of full disclosure (and I'm a full disclosure kind of person) I'm going to air my dirty linen.

I've fallen in love. Poor Iven doesn't know he's been usurped in my affections. He may suspect just a little but he hasn't let on that he knows for sure. And it's not that I've been trying really hard to hide it - it's just that Iven can be a little oblivious about things.

It's my new electric mixer. It's everything I dreamed of and more. I just turn the dial and I can feel the power. My old mixer had to have the beaters and the bowl scraped down all the time - but my new beauty has a beater that has scrapers incorporated into it. It has to have been designed by a baker. I've used it three times now and each time it's performed over and above expectation.

I'm not going to take my new love for granted. I'll never try to beat up thick caramel in it like I did with the last one (and that's what led to its untimely demise.)I clean it till it sparkles every time I use it. I say nice things to it - lavish it with compliments. I've even bade it a fond good night (and I haven't done that to Iven for a while now. My bad!)

My other secret is that I'm a Feeder. I offer up gifts of baked goods to anyone who comes near. I walk around with teaspoons filled with caramel or cake mix or frosting and I force it into any available mouth I can find. I just realised this yesterday as I was walking down the hallway with a spoon that I'd dipped in caramel and coated with the cake that I hollowed out of my cupcakes. But it tasted so good that I need to share the experience and the calories.

I think I've become a Feeder because it's a really easy way to make new friends, get people to visit you and, in the case of the gooey caramel I made yesterday, it's a great way to get the garrulous and slightly boring to shut up. Plus I get vicarious enjoyment of what I've made (cause I actually don't eat that much of it). And by feeding someone who enjoys what you've created, my ego gets fed.

Both secrets are a little sad and a little sick but I'm not going to change!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Walmartians and Pessimism

You only have to spend a little time at a public hospital to realise just how good you've got it. How attractive, slim and intelligent you are compared to the general population - or at least the population that spends time at a public hospital. If you've seen any of the Walmartian pics that get frequently sent to my in-box you'll know what I mean.

One of the other patients having hand surgery on Monday was one that had just a few functional synapses in his head. He'd managed to break his hand fighting (a real person, not a toilet door like Josh) They'd put his hand in a cast until his surgery but because it was a very temporary cast they only used the old-fashioned plaster of paris type. These casts can get a little hot, apparently and this boy had a brain-wave when his hand got too warm over the weekend. He plunged his plaster-of-paris-covered hand into a slushy. Ten points for ingenuity but a plastic bag over the hand may have stopped the cast from being ruined.

What I couldn't believe was the number of OBESE (not just cuddly - I'm talking about lumbering, sweaty and panting-just-walking-up-the-corridor obese) nurses and doctors that I saw. They do realise that being overweight is a main contributor to a whole host of diseases, don't they?

And the smokers!!! The hospital staff in uniform out the front having a long drag on their fags (a fag is a local term for a cigarette and I just realised that the expression I used could be really misinterpreted by the more smutty-minded of my readers) Again a major contributor of disease.

Sam recently read a study which said that the majority of the population will think of unpleasant possibilities in an optimistic light. That is - if you are a smoker and have the disease-potential of your habit pointed out to you, you will choose to believe that it won't happen to you. I had always believed optimism was a good trait but I'm starting to think that the world needs a lot more pessimists.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Josh Goes To Hospital

I spent all yesterday at the hospital. Josh's hand is now fixed and he may one day be able to play the violin again.

Hospitals are a strange microcosm of life. Normal social niceties just don't exist there and questions are asked in the guise of routine conversation that would never be asked over the dinner table.

'So when did you last pass a motion? Did you notice any blood or mucus?'

'What colour is the phlegm you've been coughing up?' (there's a weird obsession with body fluids - their shape, texture, colour and frequency)

My favourite question of the day was directed to a very sweet, grandfatherly octogenarian.

'Do you have any body piercings?'

Where were they imagining that he might have had a piercing? Do eighty year olds even do that? And did his knitting-toting wife have a matching one?

The sixty five year old man two chairs over from Josh and I was spared no indignities.

'What are you in for?'

'They're going to look at my prostate.'

'It says on your chart that you're having a trans-rectal prostatic biopsy. Have you done any bowel preparation?'

'Yes, I had an enema last night and another this morning. I was really surprised that they didn't hurt.'

I'm sorry but this has leapt feet first into the realm of way TMI! Thank goodness Josh was only there to have his hand fixed or he may have been mentally scarred for life.

But he may not come out totally unscathed. He had to wear a DRESS! It was a fetching mauve number with quite a risque split up the back. He also had to wear an audaciously cheeky pair of see-through paper undies ( not exactly cut for the male of the species). He should have shaved his legs cause you could see his lack of personal grooming right through his compression stockings. And they made hm top off this fine ensemble with a jaunty red paper hat.

I'm a mean Mum. I laughed and threatened to take pictures.

We had to wait four and a half hours until he was taken to theater. Then it was another four and a half hours waiting to be called to see him in post op.

I am not great at waiting. I read. Played sudoku. Had a coffee. Checked emails, Facebook and my blog. Had lunch. Went for a very long walk, Then waited some more.

But it's all done now and despite all the stress and worry I have a lot to be grateful for. I'm so very grateful that he didn't get bumped from the list and he got operated on. I'm grateful that I didn't vomit with nerves (which happened last time one of my children went to surgery). I'm so utterly thankful that I have a wonderful Mum who made a meal for my family so I didn't have to get home and cook. But most of all I'm glad that Josh has come through with flying colours.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Bad and The Good

I found out this week why Josh had such a tough time on my Melbourne weekend away. About a month ago he went off his anti-depressants. He did it by himself, without his doctor's knowledge and he did it cold-turkey. My vet training didn't give me any education on anti-depressants so I had no idea that going off them cold-turkey is a big no no. When you're on them they provide all the serotonin your brain needs to keep it happy and they do it so well that your body decides that it doesn't have to make so much of its own any more. So as the levels drop in your brain you start to feel worse and worse and this can take a few weeks. Josh's bottomed out on the weekend we went away.

He went straight back on them once I got home but it'll be a couple more weeks until his serotonin levels get back to a good level so until then he's still not in a really happy place - he's not as bad as he was but not as good as he could be. And he has to deal with the fall-out of that weekend - a broken hand from punching a wall. I'd like to add at this point that Josh isn't the first of my sons to have punched a wall. Sam did it some years back after a relationship break-up. But Sam hit a wall that wasn't as strong as his fist. Josh wasn't so discerning. Plus Josh has a high pain threshold and didn't know it was broken until I told him that I thought it was.

This has resulted in two hospital visits. (The Australian system is not very efficient so we spent four hours waiting the first time and three hours when he had an appointment) When he was there at the second visit they couldn't decide if they wanted to plate it or not (Honestly the janitor that cleaned the toilets could probably see that it needed some form of internal fixation) so we've only just heard that he's to be operated on next Monday ... maybe. We get the joy of going to the hospital at 6:30 am to wait all day and maybe be bumped out of queue by a trauma that happens on the weekend. And if that happens we'll have to do it all over again. It's going to be a long week.

My stress levels have gone through the roof. Probably because I am a stress-head and always have been. And my running has tanked. This morning's session was incredibly hard - just a 12k run but I hardly made it and I walked up a hill. I know it'll come back but for now I just have to ease back and run gently.

But my silver lining on all these clouds are my wonderful friends. Yesterday I got to visit Jenny (Tuesday breakfast/running) who's just had a back operation and that was lovely. In the afternoon I got to chat with Natalie (Saturday walking/coffee). I had a test conversation with Karen who is up in Brisbane from Canberra and wanted to run with us today - seriously Karen that run made my week. Thanks for staying with my slow self. And I chatted with coach Chris about important matters of state.

And I finally got to use my new electric mixer! Is it wrong to love an electric appliance more than your spouse? IT IS AMAZING - just ask all the running squad that got to sample the first harvest from my beautiful, shiny new friend.

And best of all my computer is working again. I haven't done anything to it. It just decided there was life in the old boy still.

So although life has been a little tough I'm still chugging along and I can still manage a smile.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It Doesn't Always Stay Grey

Some lovely things have happened this week to counter-balance all the heavy from last week.

My big boy Sam has always wanted to by a physiotherapist. Unfortunately his leaving score from high school wasn't enough to get him in so he chose exercise physiology instead. But the dream didn't die and he's tried for a few years to get into the post-graduate physio course. And on Monday he found out he'd been accepted into the next intake. He starts at the end of November and it's going to be a tough 2 years of study - but I've never seen him so excited. You just can't wipe the smile off his face. And what was also nice, his brothers were incredibly excited for him too. There were beautiful messages of congratulations on Facebook, hugs and high-fives in the hallway and such a positive energy in the house.

We got to meet Josh's new girlfriend on Monday. I've seen her a couple of times and said hello but Josh finally had her for dinner so we could talk to her over a meal. And I really like her. She's polite, respectful, has beautiful manners and a gentle spirit.

And on Tuesday night we had another full house at the dinner table with the other girlfriends. I love the energy and the conversation and the laughter. It makes the house feel full of love and joy. Hannah had lots to talk about - she'd been to a psychology lecture on sexism and was really enjoying pointing out all Sam's sexist traits. And he was denying sexism and claiming a superiority complex which he's sure is justified. Luke's girlfriend Becky is a debater and she was enjoying inserting insightful comments and I was pleased that the table was full of girl-power and oestrogen - nice for a change.

Josh has improved since last week. I've since found out that the brain becomes dependent on the drugs and reduces production of its own happy chemicals. So cold-turkey was probably not the wisest way to stop and I'll be getting him to the doctor next time to work out a plan once he feels he's ready.

I had the crappiest speed session ever yesterday. My legs felt like I was running through mud. It was 1k repeats that occurred every 5:30. So if you ran your repeat in 4:40 you got 50 seconds recovery before running your next. But the closer you got to a 5:00 min rep, the less recovery you got. My reps started at 4:37 and finished at 5:10. So much for keeping them consistent. But I found out that most of the group struggled too so I'm not feeling too bad about it.

And to finish on a totally different note - there's been a little romancing in the henhouse. The girls are being visited by a tall, dark, handsome (depending on your taste) stranger. It's a menage-a-trois (excuse the spelling if it's wrong) but so far it seems quite functional. I'm thinking of calling him Tiger because of his colour and his propensity for multiple, simultaneous girlfriends.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Last Week

It's been such a big week since I came back from Melbourne. I took the entire week off running - and it's just as well. I was so tired after our big weekend away. I even took a Nanna nap in my workroom on Tuesday. Thank goodness no one turned up because they would have found me snoring on my bed. And no, it's not strange to have a bed in your workroom.

I came home to a bit of a situation with my middle son. He'd taken himself off his anti-depressants about a month ago and had been doing really well initially but in the last week before I left he'd been going downhill emotionally - things at work and girl issues and still very poor self-confidence. But to cut a long short, he's back on his anti-depressants and I'm hoping that he picks up quickly. There's a lot more to it but it's all a bit raw for me to share at the moment.

So to change the mood to something a little lighter - I lost a very good friend yesterday. I know that doesn't sound much lighter but it was my electric mixer. I have only had it for two years and had previously just used a wooden spoon and a hand-held mixer so I loved this mixer. It changed my life and my baking. It has served me well week after week, through cookies and cakes. But yesterday I asked something of it that was just too hard. I was making soft caramel to put in my new cupcakes and the last thing I had to do was beat it up. So rather than using my pathetic, puny arms I chose to put the thick, sticky goo in the mixer. And I burnt out the motor. (Major sad face) When I came to mix up the icing nothing happened. Thank goodness I didn't through out the old hand mixer (25 years old and still going - they don't make things the way they used to.

I managed to finish the cupcakes

but I was left with a crisis. I've agreed to make cakes for a friend's 30th birthday and I can't imagine making them any other way now. So today I went out to look at what was available in terms of higher-powered mixers. I was only going to look and report back to Iven and somehow manage to convince him that we can't live without one. But when I walked into Harvey Norman and I was offered a $90 discount I just couldn't resist. Isn't she pretty?

The cupcakes are as yet nameless. Too much happening in my brain to be creative. They're vanilla with a soft caramel filling and topped with caramel buttercream and almond praline. I'm open to suggestions.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More Melbourne.

After our run and a well-earned breakfast we headed back to the motel for a shower and change of clothes. We were quick - there was no time to waste, had to get to the markets. The plan was to catch the free City Circle tram, which we did, but in hind-sight it may have been better to walk or pay for a ticket on another tram because this one was packed. We Aussies are cheap and will go free if it's offered. The trip was spent standing on already tired legs.

But eventually we made it and we were hungry AGAIN! The Victoria Markets has a really good food court and I knew exactly where to go - the Pide place

Haloumi, tomato and mint. It was divine!

Then we wandered the rows of stalls. Sam bought some clothes (it's not at all weird to go shopping for clothes after you've just run your first half marathon). And then I found the best stall ever - cupcake wrappers and sugar flowers! Let's just say that my wallet got a workout.

We decided to walk back to the motel to drop our stuff rather than catching the tram again. Unfortunately Sam's mother has a really lousy sense of direction. She was convinced we were going in the right direction but she was very wrong. We walked for at least half an hour before realising MY mistake. Oops, my bad! And then we caught the tram.

Back to the motel. Drop our stuff. Then out again to Transport, a bar that the squad was meeting at. It was obviously a meeting point for other running groups and I had a lot of fun watching people who could hardly walk getting a little drunk. Are you walking that way because of your run or because you've drunk too much? And I got to watch Australia beat South Africa in the Rugby World Cup.

Then I was hungry again so Sam and I went in search of dinner and the ice cream I'd promised myself. And finally it was back to the motel and a really good night's sleep.

Monday was all about food. What is it about running a half that makes you so hungry? I run that distance most weekends without feeling so hungry.

Sam could hardly wait for his breakfast.

And then he was still hungry when we went to Acland St in St Kilda - famous for its cake shops.

Back to the city - more shopping, coffee and a foot massage. And then it was time to catch the shuttle to the airport. Melbourne '11 was over.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Melbourne - The Race Part.

It's all done! Melbourne is over for another year. Sad face!!

It's hard to be home after such a fun weekend. I had such a good time and such a great travel companion. We're both so tired but it was worth every second.

We left on Saturday early. But the weather wasn't cooperating - a big storm cell over the airport shut down all flights for a few hours (could have slept in). Finally it cleared and we were on our way. The flight was totally uneventful and we touched down in Melbourne unscathed. (One day I'll tell the story of what a bad flyer I've been in the past. It involves high drama - vomiting, calls to the airport medic, wheelchair rides and an upgrade to business class)

The plan was to drop our stuff off at the motel and head off to the Queen Victoria Markets but it was so late by the time we got to the motel that there was no point in heading there. We went into the city instead, ate some lunch then walked to the race precinct to check it out and to work out where the GaleForce cheer squad would be. Then it was back to the motel to change and get ready for the night's entertainment - the soccer/football match Sam and I had been looking forward to. It was a good match but it was funny being at a match that you're not emotionally invested in and don't care how it turns out. And as it turned out it was a nil all draw.

We got a fairly good night sleep. I did my usual wake up three or four times after unsettling dreams but I managed to drop off again every time I woke. And then it was finally time to get ready. We were ready and out the door in time, walked up the street and ran into half the squad. We walked to the course and cheered on our marathoners then headed off to drop our bags with the cheer squad. And miracle of miracles we found a bank of portaloos on the way that were totally empty and CLEAN.

I was heading into the race with zero expectations and no goals except to finish. What a load that takes off my shoulders. I had no nerves. I was relaxed and happy on the start line and totally in my element surrounded by squad friends. One of the girls had been sick during the week and she asked how fast I'd be running. When I told her around 5:30s till my hip seized up she decided to run with me.

The hooter went off and so did we. My hip was not playing nice. I don't think the flight down followed by lots of walking then more sitting were the best lead up. It took 3k to settle to a dull ache. The first k was slow (around 5:40) but we settled into the 5:30 and a bit less after we found some space. I was having serious doubts about my ability to finish early on and it really took me until 8k to feel confident. I took a couple of my honey shotz around the 8k mark and they made me feel good.

My friend was travelling pretty well, or so I thought - by 10k she was lagging behind me. slowed a little for her to catch up and it was here that she asked me to encourage her cause she was feeling pretty awful. Stupid flu! I had no time goal so I hung with her. And for the next 7k we mostly stuck close. I'd get a bit ahead then wait for her to catch me. She was looking pale and I could tell she was hurting. But she was pushing on regardless.

Then at 17k the marathoners started to come through our group. We were being yelled out to stick to the right, then to the left then back to the right. And in all this confusion I lost my friend. I slowed down and looked back as best I could but I can't look back and run in a straight line. I couldn't see her anywhere. So I decided I just had to finish alone. A couple of the k's had blown out to nearly 6 mins but I was soon back on track with my pace. My hip was sore but bearable but my hip flexors had really tightened because I'd been running at a pace I wasn't comfortable with. The last 4k weren't fun but somewhere in there I managed a 5:04. I finally hit the stretch that Sam and I had walked the day before and then there was the cheer squad making a hell of a noise. Loved the support! And then it was up a bit of a slope, around a corner then the finish straight. I stopped my watch at 1:57:50, still feeling a bit guilty about losing my friend and wondering how she was doing.

I met up with Sam where we'd organised to meet and he's done a fantastic run. His watch had died at the beginning of the race (turns out plugging it into the computer doesn't recharge it. You have to plug it into the power supply for that to happen) On the big clock he'd crossed at 1:48-ish so we guessed that he'd run about 1:46. His official time was 1:46:06. Not bad for a boy who's never run that far in his life. I was one proud Mum! And you can see from the pic that he was pretty pleased with himself. Or maybe he was smiling so big because our breakfast had just arrived.

That wasn't all for Melbourne - but I'll leave the holiday part for the next post.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Last pre-Melbourne post. It's so hard to believe that this time last year I was getting mentally ready for my first marathon. All the hard work had been done. All I had to do was to actually run the thing.

Twelve months later and I can't say it's been a great 12 months of running. I've had 2 bouts of the flu, sinusitis that lasted for 6 weeks and now I've had this stupid hip injury for 8 weeks - really awful preparation for a half marathon. But in the long run it doesn't really matter. I will finish the half on Sunday. I will have a lovely weekend with my big boy. I will get to watch a great soccer match. I'll get to visit the zoo. I'll get to drink great coffee and have some nice meals that I don't have to cook or clean up after.

I went for my last run this morning and it was a shocker. It was only 6k but it felt really horrible and hard. Don't you love those confidence-building runs just before a race? I'm hoping that it was just my body's way of saving the good stuff till Sunday. One thing's for sure - I'm going to be taking it out really slowly because my body is quite unforgiving if I push it too hard.

So my goals for Sunday are to run around the 5:30 pace, to enjoy the run and to find my son afterwards so we can have a celebratory breakfast at my favourite Melbourne cafe.

This is my beautiful little boy about 23 years ago and him now. I still melt when I see those chubby little cheeks.

Just 2 more days and this young man will be a half-marathoner.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Only got time for a quick one today - if there's spelling/grammatical mistakes please excuse cause I'm typing really fast.

Work has gone from trudging to high speed in just one phone call. I make swimming costumes for a local school and I'd had a couple of phone calls from them in the last few months - just preliminary inquiries about this year's pricing structure and time frame for delivery. It was getting close to the school holidays and I was sure I'd get an order before they went on break but I got nothing! Diddly-squat!!

In the back of my mind I was worried about a couple of things - were the inquiries to compare me to another company and the other company ended up with the order? or had they forgotten to put the order in and I was going to be slammed when school went back?

Well I was half right with the second thought. They hadn't forgotten to put in the order, they'd just emailed it to the wrong email address. Oops! I got a slightly frantic call on Monday afternoon wondering why I hadn't acknowledged their emails. So now I have a huge order to get done as soon as possible - which is great but it might have been nice to spread it out over those weeks where I was twiddling my thumbs.

And my Facebook page for work has gone viral. Okay, maybe 24 likers is not quite viral (especially when you consider that at least a third of them are relatives) but it's a start.

Three days till I get in that flying tin can heading to Melbourne. Sam is so excited. He found out that the first game of the season for the A League (Australia's soccer competition) is being played about 1 k from where we're staying. So we've ditched the squad dinner and are heading off to, hopefully, an exciting night of football. I'm a bit sorry that we won't be going to the dinner but it's Sam's and my Mother/son weekend away and I want it to be really special and memory-making. I want Sam to look back years and years from now and remember what a wonderful time we had and then decide to put me in the nice nursing home, not the one that's vermin-riddled and has a psychotic nurse who likes to put oldies out of their misery. I'm looking at this weekend as a form of insurance for the future!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Making Adjustments

Computers can be such a great tool. But sometimes they can be the bane of your existence. I have spent two weekends without full computer access due to one problem or another. This weekend's issue was a graphics card driver problem. Not really sure what that means but my computer wouldn't start properly and if it did start it would shut down after a short period - usually in the middle of doing something mighty important like reading blogs!

It pays to have at least one son who's computer savvy. Josh came to my rescue and my computer is back to its user-friendly self. :)

I've mentioned that work has been very slow lately and things haven't really improved in that department. But I'm making a few changes to get my name out there. First up is a Facebook page. If you're on Facebook you can check out my Physique Aerobicwear page. And I promise there'll be no cupcakes!!

I'm starting to accumulate photos (thanks to my lovely niece Lily who's the model in thiese photos)that I can use on a web page. I've resisted having one for so long because work was always so busy. But I have to drag myself into the 21st century. I have to admit that I hardly ever use a phone book any more - I Google everything. So if I want to be noticed I need to get my business on the web.

I've made some other mental adjustments apart from work this weekend. I've come to the bitter realization that I am going to be flogged by my #1 son this weekend. He's been worrying that he won't be able to complete the 21.1k on Sunday and I'd generously said that I'd be happy to keep at his pace and walk if we had to. HAH! He went on a run yesterday just to help with his confidence. He managed 18k quite comfortably and worked out that if he'd kept running the same pace he'd finish around the 1:45 mark. It totally sucks that I've been training for years and both my boys will do their debut halves in times I only dream of. I guess it could have something to do with the fact that they're males in the prime of their lives and I'm a female who's desperately trying to hold on to the last vestiges of youth and fitness.

I've done some adjusting of my rehab program. Sam is suspicious that my injury is all stemming from a hip flexor that plays a high C if you strum on it. Did some one say tight?!! And because all muscles in that area have some relationship to other muscles, it's creating havoc. So as well as all the other exercises I now have to stretch that hip flexor and roll on my tennis ball until I'm screaming. All I can say is that it feels mighty good when I stop.

This blog wouldn't be complete without my compulsory cupcake of the week.

I've called it A Hug From Grandma. It's white chocolate and rosewater - sweet and smelling of Grandmas. The icing is also white chocolate and rosewater and tastes so delicate. I've just decorated it with a pink sugar flower and pink edible glitter but if your granny has a touch of dementia you could add a sprinkle of toasted, chopped pistachios.