Thursday, August 31, 2006

Crunch Time

Phew. I've really been too busy to post anything this week, which is a real pity, because it's been a pretty good one. Most of it involved running, so here's quick summary:

Monday: One hour run from the Taranaki Street gym, along Jervois Quay, down Thorndon Quay and the Old Hutt Rd to Placemakers and back again. Allie couldn't make it, so I ended up running with some of the faster girls until Capital Gateway, when I finally had to slow down a little. I ran a LOT faster than I did when we did our hour-long run last week. I really enjoyed myself. I didn't have a watch to time myself, so had no idea when to turn around. The target was to run to Spotlight, so when the girls ahead of me got there and kept going I just kept running after them. Well, we seemed to just keep going and going and going and going. It was such a relief to see them finally turn around and start running back towards me. When I turned around there was a domino effect as all the other women behind me did the same. I managed to overtake several of them on the way back. I've found it really helps to have a target. If I push myself to overtake someone I can.

That run did a lot for my self-confidence as a runner. I got that 'could keep on going' groove on. I even managed to sprint the last couple of hundred metres.

Once back at the gym a group of us took part in a strength training session focusing on legs and core. It was rather difficult to go from run to weights, so none of us were really up to much. Then I missed my bus home, and ended up having to walk from Brooklyn in the dark and the cold. I got home rather grumpy!

Tuesday: Beautiful running weather. I spent all day hanging out to get out there, but work and duty called. Dot on 5pm I was out the door. I ran what was supposed to be a fast half-hour, but turned into a fast 15 minutes and medium 15 minutes. My legs were pretty shot. On the way back I ran past the Loaded Hog runners on their way out. Boy they are fast - Allie and I are going to have to leave with the walkers if we want to get back in time for our complementary drink! The slowest runner did the race in a time that for me would really be pushing it!

A quick shower and I met up with Hamish and Andreas for dinner at Little India. Fantastic food and great conversation with Andreas. I really love the guy, and he seems particularly contended and well at the moment.

Wednesday: The dreaded Mt Victoria run. We left from the Taranaki Street gym and basically ran for 20 minutes straight up. We didn't quite make it to the summit, but weren't that far from the final turnoff. I ran slowly, because my legs REALLY were shot, but I never felt like I had to stop. Turning around my calves felt like they were going to kill me. However as I recovered I picked the pace up and overtook a large number of women. Seratonin overload kicked in, and suddenly I loved everyone and everything. The views on the way down were stunning. It was a clear still night, and the Wellington harbour lights shone out over the water. Funnily enough, on the way up I hadn't noticed the views, only the gradient in front of me!

Once back at the gym we did a half-hour stretching session and I managed to get my aching butt and ITB to loosen up a bit. At least today it's really only my quads that are sore, and that's not really surprising. I'm pushing my recovery to the limits alright, but I think I can keep the damage at an acceptable level. My physio has given me a number of ab exercises to do, and I'm looking at going to a physio in Karori who specialises in remedying poor running technique.

Today: Weights with Duck. Thankfully there were no treadmills free for my warmup, so I got to wimp out of the 2km warmup run, and stuck to a bike. We stayed away from my legs, but did lots of upper body and core. My core is really getting a lot stronger, and my arms are starting to muscle up.

Tomorrow: Duck and I were in consensus on this one - no RPM in the morning! I've got to run for 75 minutes on Saturday and my legs really need the break. In fact next week may well be my last Friday morning RPM for a while. We've agreed that I need to learn to swim, and Friday's going to be my swimming day. So I actually have to take some action, and I am, to put it bluntly, shit-scared. But I'm still going to do it, so stay tuned for Pip's adventures in trying not to drown!

A Poem in My Pocket

This week's Thursday Poetry task was to carry a poem I loved around in my pocket. Well, I didn't even get a chance to check out what this week's task was until yesterday, so there wasn't a lot of carrying time, and no pockets.

Funnily enough, I only recently found the poetry book this poem comes from last week, when I was sorting out some junk in our study. I immediately noted its presence, and made a mental note to pick it up and do some reading. Then Thursday Poetry prompted me to actually do it!

I changed my mind about which poem I was going to post though. This week's poem is by New Zealand writer Ian Wedde, and taken from Big Weather, Poems of Wellington, Selected by Gregory O'Brien and Louise White. Incidentally, I also love the photo on the jacket of this collection. The photo is taken from Mt Victoria, and I ran up there from sea level last night!

The poem I have chosen I love most obviously because it is about Wellington, the source of most of my inspiration. It is a poem of winter, but also of the hope for spring. Coming out of a long hard winter as Wellington is at the moment, it really resonated.

I love the way this poem implies that change is something that happens when you are not looking. I like the way that the writer's mood is so firmly tied to the atmosphere around them, even though they do not immediately realise it.

I identify with this poem because the route the writer takes is a route I often run, so I am familiar with the sights, sounds and smells described. I like my poetry physical, and this is a very physical poem.

A combination of exercise & insomnia is best
for keeping you in trim (falling in love
helps, but don't be surprised
if her response to your high condition
is a mixture of weariness & self-pity.
Well what did you expect, the
Liebestod from Tristan?

Study this sadness, give it some time,
it's real & it's 'just happening'
don't put it down
to autumn blues, in certain places the underground
cells of narcissi are preparing their banners
a wintering gannet slaloms the gales
down Evan's Bay, something else
is certainly going to happen

and one day in winter
you'll see someone whistling
as you put your dawn coffee on
checking out that baleful glint in the clouds
listening with half your attention
to a jock babbling on the pre-breakfast programme.

As you go to work in the grey light
the cold breeze off the bays will pour down your throat
chippies and steel-fixers blowing on their fingers
as they jump from the purple & red Fletcher Construction van
at the muddy Greta Point building site

a stink of diesel & fish will hit you
where some boat is up on the skids
getting her rust chipped

further on
by the new Hataitai Beach bathing shed
you'll notice a pale-blue item of underwear
chucked up on the toilet roof

at the Evan's Bay yacht marina
the same flash hulls will be wintering in their cradles
among rotten rope-ends and splashes of orange marine

everything that is the same
will have changed while you weren't looking
and if you listen
carefully, around about now
you will hear
that it's you
that's still whistling.

Monday, August 28, 2006

It seems I really was running in a phenomonal downpour yesterday. Two more houses evacuated following slips, and a train on the Johnsonville line derailed. Driving to the Sanctuary this morning there were small slips all the way from Aro Valley to Karori. At the Sanctuary water was crashing through the dam overflow outlet. The stream had reached river proportions and was pushing roughly underneath the Te Mahanga boardwalk. From the aftermath it was clear that the steep Union Mine track had become a waterfall at the rain's peak.

Hamish was asleep in bed, having returned home from another of Aviel's parties at 6.30am. Such is the life of a superstar vj, so I got up at 8am and left him to it. The weather forecast suggested that the storm was over, but as a precaution I stopped off at the Warewhare and bought a cute little $19.95 rain parker that zips up into a zip pouch. Who knows whether it will actually provide any protection - thankfully the predications were accurate and the clouds failed to release any more ammunition. BTW: pity the poor Warehouse staff who have to be at work for an 8.30am opening. Who really needs to go to the Warehouse at that time of the morning on a Sunday? Oh, um, me. Oh, okay...

I think I'm going to have to get into orienteering. Armed with nothing more than some slightly dodgy written instructions I have managed to find 18 nestboxes over two weekends, some in rather remote locations, without getting lost or seriously maiming myself. That's despite the instructions to the first nestbox of today's nestboxes being completely incorrect. Confused, I bushcrashed my way to a brightly coloured piece of tape in the distance, hoping vainly it would lead me in the right direction. Unfortunately all it did was lead me to a completely wrong transect line. Frustrated and a little anxious I eventually managed to bushcrash my way back down to the track again. Thinking a little more clearly, I realised that the directions referred to the wrong Hihi feeder. Once that issue was resolved locating the nestbox was a piece of cake. In fact all of the nestboxes I visited today were , although a long way from the track, relatively easy to find and access.

After a while I was able to dull the sense of anxiety and self-preservation that had been dominating my emotions, sit down, and calmly enjoy my environs. The bush in the area of the Sanctuary I am working in now is truly beautiful and tranquil (when its aura isn't being disrupted by Angsty Pip). When the start-of-the-season nerves abated I was able to remember why I do this again. Already I have noted several promising signs of pair-forming, and hopefully this will be a good season.

I really enjoyed the walk back down the Round The Lake track to the ops shed. Walking down a well-maintained track always feels so easy after crashing through the undergrowth for over four hours. I also had that 'hanging out in the bush' glow on.

The Eastern RTL is full of Hihi testosterone at the moment. The feeders are being mobbed, and males fighting for territory are using the track as a flight path, hot in pursuit of the enemy. It's all very exciting, because I haven't really seen that many Hihi in this particular part of the Sanctuary before. It feels like they've all turned up specially to entertain me!

I always LOOK like I've been doing something hardcore after a nestbox session in wet weather. I wind up muddy EVERYWHERE. Hot showers aren't just good after wet runs. They're good after long cold damp days in the bush as well.

This is going to be a hugely active week. Weights and a one hour run tomorrow, a Mt Victoria hill run on Wednesday, training with Duck, RPM and two homework runs. Let's see whether I manage to survive!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

While I remember, just how do people with the IQ of National MP Bob Clarkson get into politics? And who on earth votes for them? Okay, this is Tauranga we're talking about, but really?! So exactly where is the country of Islam, Mr Clarkson? While we're at it, if you have an issue with gays and lesbians 'shoving it down your throat' (unfortunate terminology), do you then also object to the public display of affection between heterosexuals? And why should my gay friends not be able to express their love for each other in public when you're perfectly comfortable with discussing your testicles with poor unsuspecting, and certainly less-than-impressed women?

Why is a nun wearing her 'habbitat' (oh, come on!) fitting in, when someone in a burkqa isn't? Couldn't someone hide a gun under a habit? Or under a long woollen coat either for that matter. Should every shivering Wellingtonian be made to go around wearing close-fitting clothing, to ensure that they're not packing a hidden weapon?

If only trying to debate with someone like Mr Clarkson on these issues weren't so pointless as to be boring.

You know you're a mad runner when...

  • You get up at 6am on a wet Saturday morning to do a one hour powerbag workout at the gym with your running group;
  • You follow that session with a 35 minute run in TORRENTIAL rain; and
  • You add in another 15 minutes on a crosstrainer, despite being soaked, because you didn't complete your full homework run.
Note: This photo was taken by a Wellington photographer, Phillip in December, but captures the essence of what it was like to run outside today. Bloody insane in other words!

The three highlights of today's run were the bemused looks on the faces of people passing by all rugged up against the elements, the knowing smiles from the two other runners I passed, and the sheer freedom and nuttiness about being out there in what must have been one of the heaviest downpours this year. I had on a short pair of running tights, a short sleeved polyprop, and a t-shirt. I elected not to wear a rain parker because it wasn't that cold and I prefer to get wet than overheat. Add to that no hat (and thank goodness for contact lenses), and I was about as exposed to the elements as it was possible to get.

Running in the rain is FUN. So is being dedicated enough to actually get out there and do it. Splashing through puddles and feeling the rain trickle down the backs of my legs has never been so rewarding. Peeling off sodden running tights and jumping into a blisteringly hot shower was pretty satisfying too...

I LOVE running, because I've proven to myself that I can do it. This is a whole side of me I've always wanted to own. Roll on 15 October (half marathon d-day).

Friday, August 25, 2006

My first full week back running with the jog squad came with some beautiful, "that's why I run" moments. On Monday Allie and I found ourselves running to Greta Point and back, an hour's return trip. It was a clear, cold night. I was aware that I was really testing my recovery, so I was cautious about going too quickly. The faster girls quickly took off ahead of us. We ended up in a strange little bubble of space on our own. Going out we had a tail wind that sent us scuttling along like tumbleweeds. Turning around we began paying pennance for the wind assistance. Allie kept getting blown towards the road. On a couple of occasions I found myself stopped in my tracks by the strong wind gusts. However neither of us gave in and once back in Oriental Bay we were able to pick up the pace again.

The next day's aftermath wasn't that severe. A little achiness around the hip, and strangely achy knees. If only I'd been able to match that achievement on the day of the Shoe Clinic 10km I would have been home well within my target time. My confidence in my abilities has grown so much since then.

I didn't run Tuesday. I had a group of women coming over that night and looming deadlines at work to keep me busy. On Wednesday the jog squad had an interval training session down by Frank Kitts Park. Duck stood there with her whistle (she's getting way too fond of that thing) while we ran backwards and forwards along the waterfront. We started with a warmup job to Frank Kitts from the gym. When we got there we were ordered to do another 'warmup run' to the Shell station and back. There were several comments along the lines of "I thought we were already warmed up", but everyone complied (as you do). I really wasn't in the mood for a big session, and I found it really hard to push myself to keep up with the front pack.

Once back at the park we started doing short sprints of a couple of hundred metres, at increasing intensity. I took part guiltily, having not been given the go-ahead to do speed work yet. I kept nearly running into people and felt very un-co. However when we finally hit 100% exertion something kicked in. Suddenly I found myself pumping down the tarmac near the front, yelling from the effort as I neared the end. From that point on the rest of the evening was fun. My body finally woke up from recovery downtime.

Running with 30 other women can have its amusing side. The poor pedestrians traversing the walkway between the waterfront and Frank Kitts found themselves pursued by us all at high speed, and nowhere to go. Some took fright. One man commented, with a huge grin on his face, that he'd never been chased by so many beautiful women before. Most simply looked kind of confused. One yelled out "why not walk"? Well, running can be so much more fun...

Thanks to a stretching workshop after the interval training, a missed bus, a walk from Brooklyn in the cold, and a very late dinner, I didn't get enough sleep last night and ran out of gas half-way through my personal training session this morning. However not before running two kilometres on the treadmill in just over 11 minutes. I would never have thought at the start of this year that I would be running at 12kmph. Once 8kmph was it!

I elected not to run tonight, figuring I needed the sleep more. Besides, my quads are killing me from doing lunges with one foot on a weights bench. Tomorrow morning I'll be up for a solo RPM (Nic and Leonie are in Auckland), and on Saturday we have powerbag training with the squad, followed by the 50 minute run I didn't get in today.

Yay - back into things! The stretching session did explain a few things for me though. I'm quite a flat footed runner and my left leg splays out to the side. Although I've always been told I have tight calves I've always felt that the reason I couldn't push my feet towards my shins when stretching was more to do with the front of my feet (where the foot connects to the shin) than with the calves themselves. Well, turns out I was right. The physio who did the workshop is going to give me some stretches that will hopefully lengthen out that particular muscle, enable me to heel-toe run more effectively, and help my left foot to land straighter. It's all good, because although I look more like a runner than a shuffler these days my poor and inefficient footfall has been bothering me.

Oh, and my brand new running tights are falling apart in a rather embarrassing place. I'm definitely taking them back, and there was NO running commando on Wednesday night! VPL be damned, I was forced to wear some old-fashioned, conservative underwear to protect my modesty!

This week's Poetry Thursday topic was "time". In a week when I had very little of the ticking stuff I messed around with a bit of word play and came up with something that was quite fun and frivolous. However in the end I decided to post this poem, written a few months ago. It's indirectly related in that it tracks the passage of time, though it doesn't explore the theme of time directly. It was a very personal and significant poem for me at the time, although I hope it also has some general appeal.

This Body Has Borne You

This body has borne you,
Carried you down the birth tunnel
Out into harsh hospital daylight.
Lifted you onto all fours,
Two feet…
Sent you running on grass -
Over hills,
Through sand,
Squeezed between your bare toes.

This body has borne you,
Broken bones under monkey bars,
Fallen from your bike bruises,
Gravel grazes.
School hallways,
Shopping malls,
Pyjama parties,
Blue light discos.
First kiss on warm spring night.
Furtive caress in movie theatre darkness.

This body has borne you,
Pulled by the moon,
Nudged into womanhood,
Swelled you with passion,
Drowned you with tears.

This body has borne you,
Midnight furtive binges,
Repentant mornings.
No-carb diets and
Liquid detoxes.
Protein shakes,
Weights routines,
Long weekend runs and
Downward dogs.

Through illness,
Flush of health,
Wilful neglect,
Good intentions,
This body has borne you.

This body is not your enemy.
This body has loved you,
Stayed with you,
Suffered through your worst excesses,
Responded to your tentative
Attempts at reconciliation.

This body is your story,
Your road map.
This body shows where you have been.
If you allow it
This body will take you to
Where you are going.

This body is your friend.
This body is you.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm on a roll. My first Sunday Scribblings:

Our two Burmese, Gaffer and Ede have always been fairly easy to read. Their eyes are so large, their faces so defined, and their attitude and intent so clearly reflected in their body language that it has always seemed like the communication between us runs both ways.

Here's an average Gaffer train of thought over the period of a few minutes:

"Love me, love me, love me, love me. You don't love me. Love me, love me, love me, love me. Cuddles, I want cuddles damn it. Hold me, hold me, hold me hooooollllllld me. Pay attention to me, pay attention to me, pay attention to me. I'm going to hide behind this sofa and claw at it, and THEN you'll pay attention to me. Haha, you paid attention to me. Love me, love me, love me, love me, love me. Cuddles.... Cuddles.... Cuddles... Aaaaahhhhhhh, cuddles. I love you, you love me, I love you, you love me, I love you, you love me.....

Ede is the dignified elder female of the household. She rules with a quiet dignity. This is a cat who knows what she wants, and how to get it. Ede wants, primarily, to live in peace. By day she wants a warm spot in the sun. By night she wants to lie under the duvet up against my side. When we brought our Tortiseshell moggy Tissy home, Ede nearly moved out in protest. It is clear that Ede regards our little ball of fluff as being well and truly beneath her.

Tissy, unlike our spoiled pedigrees, is a cat impossible to read. She speaks a completely different language to the other two. In full her name is Fortissimo. When we brought her home she was tiny, fluffy and vocal. Gaffer took about an hour to realise that this little brown dustpuppy played, and from that point on he was smitten. Ede declared war on sight.

Although unreadable, Tissy is also the cat of 1000 identities. She is Madame Chin, mistress of Kitty Foo. She is MC Tissy in the (kitty) house. She is the secret shadow, Ede's spy and tormentor. She is Tissy Tiss Tiss, running around the house emoting to nobody other than herself. She is the small cat with the ridiculous possum tail.

I have no idea what is going on in Tissy's mind, but I suspect there is something of the calculated observer in her under-the-radar small cat presence. Our scatter cat is quietly scoping us out. One day she will call in enforcements, take over, and eventually rule the world.

Friday, August 18, 2006

When you gotta go....

I'm sorry, but you just GOTTA go... Again, I'm sorry, but it was warm, calm and sunny all day. I wanted to be out running with every sinew in my body. And the chance to run with Allie on such a fine evening was too good an opportunity to turn down.

Sure, I had to negotiate. Only an itty-bitty run, only half an hour. I was negotiating my run with you, but I was also making a bargain with my hip. Let me do this little thing and I won't run again until Monday. Well, unless it's as beautiful on Saturday, and then I may have to test a little trail run around the Sanctuary.

Oops - did I say that?

So, a gentle amble up Bowen, a saunter down Tinakori, a crawl down Thorndon Quay, and a few minutes spent dodging pedestrians during rush-hour on Lambton Quay. 28 minutes, 43 seconds. I kept up my end of the bargain, and I stretched. I even kept the time up on my stop watch incase I was busted on my return.

So the damage? My hip is slightly sore, but the foam roller after the run helped, and it's actually better than it was this morning. The chocolate and two bottles of cider I had tonight almost certainly did more harm.

And received in return? The peace of mind that comes from asking of your body and having it respond. The satisfaction of a goal well met.

So I don't regret a thing. Not one itty bit.
My first Poetry Thursday post...

This week we had the freedom to post anything we wanted. I did originally write a poem about freedom itself, or rather, freedom of choice. It struck me at the time that the fact that I could sit there and ponder choice in itself meant that I am leading an incredibly privileged life.

However sitting at my desk yesterday the elements hit me. Wellington City, so often my muse, struck again. The sun moved around and shone through the full length window in front of my desk, and that unmistakable feeling of spring reverberated through my body. Then, walking to the bus stop shortly after 6.30am this morning, it was so light that I didn't need to use my cellphone's torch. That, followed by another perfect Wellington day, led me to distraction from the final draft of a business impact assessmentI was supposed to be completing, and ended with the creation of the first poem I will post to the Poetry Thursday blog.

It's a rushed work, not my strongest work, but it's postable, and that's what matters! So without further ado ...

Wellington Spring

Earth turns the corner into spring;
And instinct switches on the rejuvenation button.
Wellingtonians on their lunch break feel the
Nerves in their spine tingle,
The hairs on their arms
Dance in preparation for the
Cycle of growth about to begin.
Before long every cell has
Switched into fast forward.
The public servants' brains register an
Exquisite sense of anticipation -
Opiates for the mammalian,
Cuing up a call to romance,
Love, adore, frolic, caress,
Luxuriate in new warmth
And renewal.
It is time for life.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Moments from a weekend:

8.00am Saturday morning, running around the Bays with Sarah and the Jog Squad. Feeling how much better my injury is, feeling like I'm getting strong again. Enjoying the beautiful morning - the calm harbour, the cool air. Turning back to the gym and finishing up on the cross trainer, chatting to Dale. Watching Sollie and the other Combat trainers teaching the new release with the volume up and the studio pumping, wishing I had enough time to join in. Having a long hot shower, followed by baked beans on toast at the Les Mills cafe. Jumping in my car and driving to Taranaki.

2.00pm Saturday afternoon, sitting in my sister's warm little Lockwood on the cliffs above Middleton Beach in Opunake, sipping tea and looking out at the ocean as a squall blows through. Enjoying the carpet and the wood and the quiet.

6.00 Saturday night in Stratford, eating a roast chicken dinner, followed by apple pie, and drinking Chardonnay. Staying up till late talking with my parents and sister and watching interesting documentaries on tv while a hot fire blazes. Sinking into a soft futon with feather duvet and hot water bottle and dropping into a deep sleep.

1.00pm Sunday, sitting in Dad's car parked outside the mountain house on Mt Taranaki/Egmont watching snow falling because it's too cold to get out. Convincing him NOT to drive up the mountain when the advise given by the mountain staff is that chains or a four wheel drive are needed to go any further.

5.00pm Sunday, watching the Tararuas writhe in the mellow sunlight as I approach the Kapiti Coast. Listening to Piglet purring as she flies over the tarseal. Feeling the energy from the South Island as I drive towards Wellington, and the sense of being nearly home.

6.00pm Sunday, emerging from Ngauranga Gorge and marking the small Wellington sign as the city opens up in front of me. Arriving home to hugs from Hamish and cuddles from Gaffer. Enjoying a glass of Fiddleback and more chicken for dinner, before surfing through several new and interesting blogs.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

While I think of it, following on from Leonie's own four things:

four things on entering the world

  1. I'm an Aries, born 17 April 1973
  2. I was born two weeks' premarture in National Womens (I think), Auckland, New Zealand
  3. I have one younger sister, Sharilee (Shaz)
  4. My grandmother Phylis named me.

four places i’ve lived

  1. Henderson Valley
  2. Ede, Holland
  3. Ponsonby
  4. Mornington, Wellington

four things i’ve done

  1. jumped out of a plane (static line jump from 3000 feet)
  2. lived in Holland for a year on student exchange
  3. abseiled down a 100m tomo, then climbed up a 100ft ladder to get back out again
  4. written a Masters thesis

four jobs i’ve had in my life

  1. kitchen hand
  2. paperback buyer
  3. strawberry picker
  4. business analyst

four places i’ve been on holiday.
(in New Zealand)

  1. Lushingtons Bay, Banks Peninsula
  2. Pakawau, Golden Bay
  3. Whitianga, Coromandel
  4. Oakura, Bay of Islands

four movies i could watch over and over

  1. Magnolia
  2. American Beauty
  3. The Quiet Earth
  4. Garden State

four of my favorite foods right now

  1. Dahl
  2. Chow Mein Cube spicy noodle cube
  3. Cyclops strawberry yoghurt
  4. Bogarts Maltese Falcon pizza

four things i love doing

  1. singing
  2. writing
  3. running
  4. dancing to uplifting music

four places i would rather be right now

  1. watching dolphins on the deck at Lushington's with a glass of Pinot Gris
  2. meeting my host-nieces in Hungary
  3. Travelling through Canada on a train with the Cowboy Junkies
  4. dancing in the sun at the source of the Riwaka with a fire bath waiting for me under the trees at night and a tent in a quiet spot in the shade.

four things i create in my life

  1. physical wellbeing
  2. creativity
  3. wisdom
  4. the courage to live without the need for security.

Well, I was going to post a Thursday poem, but after thinking long and hard I decided not to, because it could be read and interpreted in the wrong way by two people who are very dear to me. And partly also because posting it would have tipped this blog well and truly into the 'angst' cliche category.

Still, writing that poem stripped back a couple of layers that I didn't realise were still havning around. I'm feeling really light and free at the moment. I'm even enjoying not wearing my greenstone. Though I did take it into work today to talk to Angela about getting it restrung.

But I'm not in the mood for being seriousness, so instead some frivolity and pampering. Fancy a pina colada bath?

The Ingredients
1 can coconut milk
3 tablespoons baking soda
Shot of rum
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice

Pour coconut milk into a running bath. Add baking soda, then pineapple juice, then rum. Get into bath and lie there thinking about all those nights spent dancing on the bar at your local trashy nightclub, singing "April Sun in Cuba". Now you KNOW we've all been there...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Being allowed to run a little again has gone slightly to my head. The physio told me I could run for 10 minutes... so I ran for 15. Then she said I could run for 15 minutes, so I ran for 20. I'm hoping she's giving me really conservative times in the knowledge that I will probably do more than I'm supposed to...

So, since first being allowed to run again on Tuesday, I've done:
  • 1 fifteen minute slot on a treadmill, followed by 30 minutes on a cross trainer
  • A 20 minute run around the Bays with the jog squad
  • A 12 minute run on the treadmill, followed by lower body power training with Duck that left me almost unable to walk...
  • A mad RPM class with Jocko in which five tracks were hill tracks. And I did NOT take it easy... Oh - and a five minute sprint on the treadmill after that...
Today I rounded my week off with another 22 minutes of running around the Bays. It felt soooo good, and I really could have kept going, but I sort of behaved (given that I was only supposed to be running for 15), and went back to the gym. However, doing another RPM class could have been considered silly, and then stopping for an energy bar and a change of clothes before doing a Body Balance class could be considered over the top...

Oh well, after that and a quick stop into Subway I bought myself a new and badly needed pair of running tights. Then I wandered over to Pagani. Hamish is doing visuals at a While You Were Sleeping gig tonight and I wanted something new to wear. I'm so sick of my clothes. Either they don't fit or they're not bright enough. I thought Pagani would have something that was both sexy and colourful.

The lovely saleswomen at Pagani, which is after all only a bargin-level clothing store, deserve full credit. They were friendly, helpful, interested, and they REALLY knew how to find the right piece of clothing... I ended up with half the tops in store in the changing room with me. I haven't had so much fun in a long time. I bought two tops that fit the bill perfectly. Both have shoe string straps, are fitted around the bust, and then drape down over the middle down to the hips. One is an olive-green colour, and the other is green and pink. Both look fabulous, and I would never have even thought of trying them on a few months ago. I also bought a new size 10 pair of jeans, and a little black bolero top to wear over the other two.

So today I feel fit and sexy. Yay!

Leonie sent me a link to a great poetry blog, Poetry Thursday. Thank you so much beautiful woman. Yet again you have sent me just the right link at just the right time, when I really wanted to put my words out there to a wider audience. Unfortunately my first Thursday poem will never be printed here. It's too personal and may only ever be seen by my husband, if anyone. It's all about yearning, unfulfilled longing, and learning to deal with the knowledge that you will never get exact what you want. However I will make an effort to include a Thursday poem on my blog from this point onwards. I am finding that being creative does take time and commitment, and lately I've been giving all that commitment to my training. It's time to get a little balance!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Child of Earth

Child of earth.
Crawling through
Rows of strawberries
Wrapped in black polythene and
Cradled with straw.
Wandering home
Through tyre ruts and mud.
Sinking then falling
Into coolness and ooze.
Sitting under pine trees
Cleaning garlic as dust
Floats in the
Languid afternoon air.
Chasing eels in secret pools
By a bend in the stream.
Dankness and shadows
Mixing with the perfume
Of wild ginger.

A connection forged of
Dirt and stone,
Grass and twig.
A heart requiring
Air and sunlight
And space
To breathe.

I realised today that I am experiencing everything very physically at the moment. Everything, including memory, is touch, taste and smell. There's something of a reclaimation of self going on. It's not so much that I'm living less in my mind, but that my mind and body are communicating a little better than they used to.

I want to run again. I'm not fully healed, but mentally I'm ready. If the physio says I can, then tomorrow I'll be leaving her office and going straight to the treadmill.