Chronicles of a Gingerbread Man

A story about running as fast as you can (with swear words in it)

It’s only the beginning…

For something to begin, something has to end. For me this is my association with 12wbt.

For the (almost exactly) 12 months that I have been *doing* the 12wbt, this has been my theme song..

I had planned on making a super-cool video to go with the song, but I think that this blog will do the same thing.. So here goes…

Last November, something inside me changed, clicked, woke up. I don’t know what the hell it was, it just happened and I had to change everything about my life. I was very unhappy and really needed to do something before it all went terribly pear-shaped. I did. I started exercising and I found 12wbt. It wasn’t until the following Feb that I was able to officially begin my first round, but in the meantime I joined the SE Qld Crew on Facebook and I started stalking every blog and snippet of information that I could find on the web.

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I joined Bootcamps Aust and started attending 4 sessions a week with them, I walk-ran 6kms on the other two days a week. I started at 85kg. By the beginning of the round I was 72kg. I also started attending a PT session with my awesome Trainer Ash once a week. I remember I was absolutely gutted that I wasn’t under 70kg at the start of the round so my work-mate, Nick (also a Rugby Coach) and I did an impromptu lunch-time hill-sprint session. That was one of the toughest things I have ever done, it only went for 30min and is one of the few times that I have wanted to vomit during a session. I lost 3kg that week.

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And it was really time to buy new work clothes. I was pretty happy to go from a size 16 to an 8. I hadn’t been an 8 since I was 18.

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So Round 1, 2012 started and I hit the ground running (literally) I found myself wayyyyyy out of my comfort zone, running up and down stairs at Kangaroo Point most Sunday mornings.

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Turning up to training sessions with Lisa Curry, and then backing them up with PT sessions… I entered the IWD fun-run and found that I could run 5km without stopping, and in 32 min…. Wow! I entered a 10 km race and discovered that I can also run 10km… and in a bloody decent time for a first attempt as well (52.4o).

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I went the long way around deciding to do the half-marathon, but absolutely loved the distance and the training.. Not to mention the race itself… Love, love, loved every second.. Though it was already time to move onto something bigger and I also loved every single minute of the full marathon. I’ll never forget standing in this line and realising just how real it had all gotten.

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Though, I knew I was going to be ok.. had plenty of support… like from my workmates…

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(disclaimer- This message may or may not have been written by NS and DK)

During the course of all of this I have met some amazing people, I have made some of the best friends that I could have. I’ve lost friends… but I found myself. (yep, this is definitely me)

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So it is ‘myself’ that has been struggling along for the last few weeks. Lots of things good and bad have happened and it’s all kind of left me a bit flat and flagging. Plenty of goals and no real motivation to go and do the work that I know I have to do to get there. Plodding along really… It’s been a real struggle to try to work out what is going on, but I think I have it. It is time to move past the 12wbt mindset. It’s time to do things for myself, to rely on and trust in myself. It’s an enormous undertaking… So many big goals and no ‘group’ or ‘program’ to lean on.

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In the course of the year and learning to run, I saw a need for a ‘runners group’ within the Qld Crew. Running questions were asked over and over as posts got lost and events would tend to get messy and no-one really knew what was what and there was plenty of duplication and confusion. So I created the Awesome QLD Runners.

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I enlisted my good friends Corinne, Karlee and Ann Marie to help with the Admin (read- do all the work) and we are off to a great start with nearly 200 members.. and I think that this is ‘enough’ for me. I need to simplify my life and probably limit my online time as well.

I have been really struggling with where I live for the last 12 months I have been fairly unhappy with how far I live from the city, It was my decision to live here and I do accept responsibility for it, but I want to move. But I can’t. Circumstances are just not going to allow for it right now and I have to accept that and move past it. Eventually it will happen, but it is not right now.

When I left the workout on Saturday I was approached by a marketing research lady who asked me a heap of questions about 12wbt. The very last question that she asked was if I could say something to Michelle, what would I say? I was a bit lost for words at the time, though, I guess I would say ‘Thankyou’. I am incredibly grateful to be where I am today and I wouldn’t be here, but for the great support that I have had through the program.

So what is next? I’m graduating from the 12wbt, so it’s time to start acting like a graduate! I have some serious running goals to attend to and I plan on having a whole heap of fun training for them!  I think the toughest thing about stepping out on your own, or planning on it is that there is no magic pill, no special formula.. No one-stop-shop where everything will be revealed… Just a plethora of information, blogs, experiences and what-not all out there for dissemination. The sheer bulk of information is mind blowing, confusing and quite frustrating at times. Though, I guess that I have learned that I am learning..

Learning takes time, takes practice, takes experience.. I keep telling myself that I am getting better every day.. I learn a little more, try a little harder, make another mistake, learn, keep going..

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The final countdown…..

Ahhh, yes… The moment that we’ve all been waiting for.. The most awesome unleashing of inner-awesome in the history of the world…

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QUEENSLANDER!!!!

Make way for the brilliantness that IS the Bris-Vegas Finale!!!

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It all began with the craziness of Parkrun… Tk and I parked at Kangaroo Point and walked around to South Bank, well, we walked half-way round to Southbank before we realised that we had left the Awesome Runners Flag in the car.. bugger poo-bum, we had to walk back to the car then drive to South Bank so that we were there in time. Off to a rockin start!! Made it to Parkrun and got our AWESOME hats from the AWESOME Sarah! I was so proud of starting out with all the girls in our white hats… We are a team!! We had an AWESOME run.

Then there was some breakfast shenanigans, the crew all rocked up at Aqua which was just lovely!

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We arrived at the convention Centre in time to see my great friend Ute compete in the fitness challenge… She rocked it like a true champion. So proud of her strength and determination.

We then lined up for our crazy QLD entrance…

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And had a great workout

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It is safe to say that I have had an unforgetable weekend. I met a few people in the flesh that I didn’t know before, but really, I just got to hang out with some awesome people that I have gotten to know over the last year or so. I am so incredibly grateful to this program for bringing to me this incredible group of ladies. When I started ‘the running group’ a few short months ago, I did it because I felt there was a need for it… nothing more… but in the meantime, whilst I was thinking of other things.. The group has morphed into this active, friendly, encouraging space… where every runner is welcome. To say that I am happy and proud seems to be a gross understatement.

Yes, it really was the final countdown for me. Stay tuned…

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Up & Down & back again…

 

Caged

You hold so tight until your knuckles show
Escape
As far away as you could ever know
You sink them all down
And watch them float up
Until the wheel has spun around
You will be bound by what you are

So, Who am I?

I am De.

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I am a Marathon runner.(does that define me? Fuck yes, yes it does… Not many people can say that, I am amazingly proud to be a part of the 1% of society that does)  I am a mother. I am a good friend and I would like to think that I inspire others and the fact is that I have a certificate to say that I do. I also have a pretty amazing film clip…

Am I a passenger?

From the very first time that  I listened to these lyrics, I didn’t want to be a passenger… I was literally a passenger in my little brothers souped up Commodore, we were driving through the tiny village of Clunes in Northern NSW.. when the bit about the picket fence and salary kicked in..Isn’t it funny how a moment in your life can define you? It was strange for me to be traveling without my daughter (she was with my mum and dad in the vechile behind) and I felt free.. I felt like my own person, no overbearing partner, no child that dictates how I feel or what I should be doing. I was strangely disconnected from my ‘real life’. Hanging out in a crazy V8 commodore listening to Powderfinger.. It doesn’t really get much better than that!

Chained 
So many places you’d prefer to be 
Then framed 
By a picket fence and salary 

How many of us just want a Picket fence and salary? I worked my heart out in my current job for over 12 months just to to know that I had that ‘salary’. My job is hard and it’s scary and it’s really no place for a woman. It plays havoc with your hands and your face and your ability to be a girl at all. Does it define me? It is part of the person that I am, it is certinally part of my awesome life, but no matter how scary or not-girl-like it is, my job does not define me. In fact I take imense pride in the reality that I don’t really have to think about work when I am not there (except when I am on call… but anyways) I walk out the gates and I am a free woman.. It is not my lifes work, and I am really good with that. It’s a job. It is traditionally a mans job and I have worked my friggen arse off to be competant in it. I am extremely proud that there is not one thing in that job that I cannot do..

In all the hidden pleasures you find
In what you’re looking for
I hope that you remember that pride
Comes before a fall

So, what about the rest of me? On the surface, I look great! Big-Mean-Scary job, I run marathons in my spare time.. I’m raising an awesome daughter that speaks her mind and is not defined by the ‘norms’ of society. I have a great dog and an awesome car.. (Kevin, the cars name is Kevin).. What of it?

It is the little things. The details… In my previous life I was a wedding photographer, taking photos of people’s big day. I found that it was the details that defined the day, I was always lost in weddings that didn’t have ‘details’… It was the pretty little touches that made up the day, personalised little things.. Details, details, details… god is in the details..

For the last 12 months I have defined myself… With my mindset, with my weightloss, with my running goals…. I have aligned myself with a program and I have had a bloody good time… I have broken free from my ‘former definitions’. The old ‘de’ was defined by her past, a past that needed to be carried around like a hulking great backpack, seen worn by european travellers at Roma St station at any moment of any day. Not this De… no baggage.. not everything has been dealt with and not everything NEEDS to be dealt with. Some things just need to be left behind, not held onto for further degustaion…

The time has come to just stand up.. roll with the punches, accept that what I cannot change and move and shake with the things that can..

We are 3 days away from the 12wbt BRISBANE FINALE and I am more than a little excited! All my best girls are converging on my beautiful city to PAR-tee the weekend away and I can’t friggen wait to let it unfold! It is going to be grand on the grandest scale.

And, about that film-clip

I have met some of the most amazing and inspiring women on this crazy trip (eugh, I am not going to say ‘journey’, frig I hate that word)

Yea, ok, this is *that* philosiphical post that I just *had* to have. We will resume to normal programming after the weekend… Thanks to everyone that is still listening to me drivel on. I really, really appreciate it!!

xo

Snakes & Ladders

Anyone  that has even ever heard of me, knows, that I am in it for the ‘Long Run’. I have said it more than once… I really, really love the long run. LOVE it. I really love running, period, but it’s the long run that gets me. I love to go out there and loose myself, run as fast or as slow as what I want, stop when I want to take a picture of something that has caught my eye, drink from the bubblers (yes, I do… I really hate carrying water with me) and take in this beautiful city that I live in, that I am so blessed, so lucky to live in. The long run is very forgiving. I left work in an absolute shit of a mood this afternoon, really angry for no good reason. Tk is at cheerleading until 6.15pm and I finish at 4… such a long time to have to fill in time. I had been organised and had my shoes and clothes, thinking I may go to the gym. I had 20min to fill in yesterday and I went to the gym and did a fast 3km on the treadmill, so the desire to run was there… Fast run for the week, tick….. Long Run?? Hurmmmmmm, I have plans on Sunday (the designated day for the long run worldwide) and my long run isn’t all that long… I needed something between 8-12km comfortable…. Toowong to Southbank is something like 8-12km and I was sure feeling comfortable. So I put on my big girls pants and drove to Toowong. I set off on the pathway around the river only to find that it was partially closed along Coronation Drive.. I nearly turned back, but I still had so much time to fill in, what would I do? I’d be let down with myself, I’d be cranky.. I was still cranky.. Stupid weather, stoopid council blocking off the path and how come they were letting cyclists through but not pedestrians? Surely as a runner you are not a mere pedestrian? Grumble grumble winge whine, back up onto Coro drive I go.. I still ran. As it turned out, it was only a short stretch and I could go back down onto the river path again, oh, good! Things are looking up. I ran to the Go-between Bridge and crossed over there. there was still lots of silt and mud on the path and it was obvious that the council had been cleaning it up. Tick for Brissy City Council.. I’m feeling better already!

I love you Southbank!

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Ran through Southbank like a boss! I must admit I briefly toyed with the idea of a tour of Kangaroo Point as well, but my sensibility kicked in at the Goodwill Bridge and I hung a left and up and over my favorite Brissy bridge, funny isn’t it, I LOVE the goodwill bridge… HATE the Storey Bridge. Back onto my old stomping ground, left off the bridge and along the river.

I love you North Quay!!

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I got back to the path-pedestrian diversion at Milton and I said to myself that I could stop running if I had done 8km. I checked runkeeper and I’d done 9. Friggen A!! I walked back to my car at Toowong.

I’ve done it, the very first long training run of the season. Yeahhhhaaaaaa! It was in the afternoon (I hate the afternoon) I had no iPod (I hate running without music) There were diversions from my planned route (Diversions make me want to give up) It’s friday afternoon and I had to run past 3 pubs (I love pubs on a friday afternoon, that is, being in them rather than running past them) but I did it. I also have plans to do it AGAIN!

Oh yes, I have many, many plans to go run, run…..

AS FAST AS I CAN!!!!!!!!!!

The trap to catch out the younger players…

Sigh.

This is the post that I don’t want to write. I’ll be damned if I don’t though, so here I go…

I ran the resolution run today. Well, mostly I ran the Resolution Run today. I am so bloody embarrassed! It was my birthday on Friday… after work I went and stayed the night at my friend Ann-Marie’s house. We had a lovely time, she cooked a beautiful dinner and we ate cheese and drank wine…we drank a fair bit of wine… I woke up on Saturday just buzzing, did my groceries, mozied along home and started preparing for the upcoming week. I had a couple more drinks and I stayed up WAYYYY too late. I was just in the mood. I talked to my sister on the phone… I realised it was nearly 2am… Gulp! I was running the Resolution Run tomorrow! I set my alarm and probably thought about my over-indulgences and how my time would be affected.. Sigh… Nevermind.. I’ll just get up and go do it anyway.

Well, obviously I slept straight through the alarm because I was woken up by Ann-Marie ring to ask me where I was parked… Ahh, parked? I wasn’t even out of friggen bed yet… Oh dear! I got dressed faster than the speed of light and was in the car before I really knew what I was doing. Determined to get to the run. I rang Ann-Marie and Karlee back to find out where I should park that would be close to the starting line and was gobsmacked that I could follow Karlee’s directions and found the Parking garage, parked the car and ran to the run.

The 10k had already started when I got there but Ingred was waiting for me at the start of the 5 and we did the sideways shuffle while she pinned my bib on… And off we went. I had never actually planned on running this event, so I had no idea what I was doing… just following the peeps in front. My plan was to catch up to Ann-Marie and have an easy run bitching to her about what an idiot I am… So I ran and I ran…. I wore my headphones even though they are not allowed, yea, I’m such a rebel like that! I did my two laps and finished absolutely exhausted, hung out with the girls and headed off to find us a nice spot for some post run coffee and breakfast.. But something wasn’t sitting right with me. You know that slightly wrong feeling, I was putting it down to being late and not starting with the others.. still… nagging away at me….

I got my results online and I (apparently) ran 11km in 55min. That’s an awesome time for 11km.. Keeping in mind that my 10km PB is 49 Min….. For the few hours that I thought this was my time.. I was pretty happy about that….

It took me quite some time to find my car again and eventually head off home, wasn’t til I got home that the penny dropped.

I cheated…

I cut the course.

I just want to say right here right now that I by NO MEANS meant to cheat, but I didn’t do a part of it… When we went for our second lap I completely missed running through the Botanical Gardens… Nearly 2km’s. No wonder my time was stellar! Now I know how Lance Armstrong must feel (ok, that is probably a bad joke.. too soon?) Worse still I was running under Ingred’s name and I feel like such a fraud!! I’ve now got a bloody medal that I don’t deserve and I’ve done someone out of their rightful ‘place’.

AND it’s the first run of the year! The RESOLUTION run.

I’m owning it. I’m an idiot and I completely fucked up.

Better luck next year?

Disappointed, Disillusioned, Disorientated and one awesome run in the park.

This Lean and Strong caper is so much more than you think it is going to be cracked up to be. Attempting it for the first time over Christmas is probably the stupidest thing that I have ever done.. Oh, wait.. No. Not the stupidest, but its fairly silly. Silly if you don’t know what you are in for… Next year will be different.

I have watched the girls go through their L&S paces this year in Rounds 1,2 & 3 and read all about their concerns and dramas and thought often, ‘why are you thinking that’ ‘why are you behaving like that’ ‘why are you comparing yourself to others’.. Again, you know me, I had it all worked out. As usual, I don’t. I felt as though I have lost my cardio fitness, I had lost my will to run either fast or distance. I have enjoyed the workouts FAR more than I ever imagined that I would, but I have put on weight, I’m still unhappy with the way my body looks… I felt like a….

Sometimes I give myself the creeps

Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me…

On the back of a reasonably ordinary Christmas, I met my mates for a run this morning. My *old* run. The run where I found myself as a runner.. The run that I used to to every week, before I was a runner… I thought it would be just for fun. I have heaps of food in my fridge from xmas so I said that I would bring some eggs/bacon/tomatos and we would just have a quick BBQ afterwards rather than spend money in the cafe. I was delighted that my friend Ingred (even though she can’t run) decided to come along to cook us a Barbie breaky and just catch up, which was absolutely beautiful. In fact, I think it was exactly what every single one of us needed. Good mates, a laugh, some food and coffee (thanks Lesley) and of course a few gratuitous sexual connotations… Oh C’mon!!! There is a fair bit of talent hanging around at that time of the morning, be a shame to waste it!!

ANY-hoo… In the first instance, we went to run. Bec and Lesley are training for their first half, so they got there a bit earlier than us slow-pokes and did a few km, we met Bec at the bottom of the stairs for her second city loop. Bloody hell! I watched her run through like she owned the joint, Ann-Marie, Karlee and I all commented on her form.. but let alone the form, she was setting a cracking pace!!  Eugh, I can’t run like that anymore (said my head) so Karlee and I ran together, around Kangaroo Point, across the bridge (I wish I could get over it, but I still hate that bridge) down Ivory Lane and along Eagle St. When we got to the Botanical Gardens Karlee told me to go on without her, whcih was good for me because it was at that corner that Ute met me when I got my 10km PB at the Brisbane Running Festival and whenever I run down that path now I think of her and that fantastic day and I want to go faster! I started along the pavement and I thought that I saw a glimpse of Bec’s back… Woah… Do you think you could catch her? Na, you can’t catch her, you are not that fast anymore… Why bother… arummmmmm. No. Don’t….. You drank way too may beers over xmas, you won’t get there. Bad food choices, you are not fit enough anyway…..

STOP!

JUST (for the love of god) ….. TRY!

So I did. I tried. I ran that awesome stretch of the Botanical Gardens with my head in the air, concentrating on my form. I felt good. I thought I saw the back of her and I rounded the corner to tackle the goodwill bridge. Up the bridge and down the other side, in my absolute element… I *freaking* LOVE running fast downhill. That gave me some strength, I remembered… I’m good at this! A few more hills through South Brissy and there was no way that she was getting back to KP without me. I think I got her with around a km to go…. It means nothing that poor Bec had just done 14km when I’d only done 7.. and it wasn’t a race to begin with.. Just that when I saw her at the beginning and how great she looked I thought that I wasn’t anywhere near as good as that.

Turns out I was wrong… again!

Take your dream.

Make it happen.

Stop your bloody whining.

PS. I had one L&S workout that I had missed in the craziness of christmas. So I went to the gym and I did it. No excuses.

JFDI.

A Prize, a milestone and a case of the missing mojo…

Yea-Haaa! Thanks to some beautiful ladies I was awarded one of the prizes in the weekly surprise for *this* blog. I have to say right up that I’m blown away. I keep getting comments on my writing and I don’t know what to say. I just write like I would talk and although I know I’m a fabulous talker… I ain’t ever won any prize for that!! So thanks beautiful ladies and thanks Mish. I was reading through all the other nominations and to be put in the same catagory as people like,

Angela Wallace, Words can’t describe this awesome lady, so I have none.

Michelle.. I don’t know her, but I’ve LOVED her blog

Kate Beck. AKA Supergirl!

Vicki Martin, who is the vintage goddess and my hero!

Is just bloody awesome. To actually make the top ten from 200 or so nominations really *really* blew me away. I got the email from the support crew on a particularly trying day.. and it really did turn my frown upside down. (YES! I know I said that you shouldn’t let communications change your mood… what I meant was NOT for the worse… good emails are aok!)

AND! In the spirit of celebration, I have just discovered that on Saturday I ran my 20th Park-run. Wowsers!! That means that I have ran 100kms up and down the brisbane river from New Farm to Tenerife and back again on a Saturday morning THIS YEAR!! No wonder I know every footstep of it back to frount! (Yes, mum that was for you) I was going to push the double pram and was looking forward to the company of young Elizabeth and Victoria once again, however I was blown away (again, I know, I’m like a bloody feather lately) When Kym announced last night that Elizabeth would be running Park-run HERSELF today??!! What. The.? I resigned myself to pushing Victoria in the pram and hoping that TK didn’t notice that there was a spare seat on the bus!! Alas, the (very selfish) husband of my friend with the kids decided to spend the morning SLEEPING IN and I had to do the run under my own steam!! Flippen Heck!!! Someone could have warned me. What a grueling 5km it was this morning. I gotta give it to you QLD, you are one stinking hot biatch!

Which would bring me to the case of the missing mojo.

What the fuck is wrong with me sometimes?

Yea, we are up to Week 5, R4 of the 12wbt.. and some things are not how I had planned they would be. Sometimes I really need to put on those big girls pants and just get the *hell* on with it. I’ve been pretty wrapped up with L&S and have not been to a group exercise session in AGES! So I got my sorry arse out of bed on sunday morning and went to PIP and did the New Farm leg of the longest Parkrun. It was awesome, I’ve missed the company and I need to make the effort to get there more often. I am a strange beast. I work all week with all men, then I work-out with all women. I’ve missed my girls…

For some reason wordpress and my lil mac are not getting along today and I can’t upload photos.. So in the spirit of the season, damn it all to hell and post anyway. Again, thankyou to all the awesome people that nominated me.. I’ll be buggered if I know how I’ve got this far.