Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Been there, done that, got the cycling jersey.


Twenty frigging hours on a bike - less perhaps a total of an hour in breaks. Started 10am Saturday. Finished close enough to 6am Sunday. What I feared would happen happened, so the fairly strict 10 minute breaks were consumed by doing something I'd rather not have been doing - all the 'solo' riders, ie. the ones doing the whole distance, rather than as a relay team, were doing it 'together', so we'd stop together, and get back on the velodrome together. When they were going 'come on, come on', I got to the point of saying 'all very well for you blokes'. (Am I bitter? - just a little!)

Tell you more about it later... I spent hours yesterday stuffing around with my blog template, getting nowhere in the end... I thought I should report in so you know I survived... and I'll be back again later with more details...

Friday, September 26, 2008


Excellent timing. Not.

In keeping with the title of my last post: Convergence. Or - Why does everything happen at once?

My ISP, in their wisdom, decided to change over all their webhosting to new servers, right about NOW... and while they have all this waffle about temporary servers bla bla bla, I just don't have the time to wade through the geek speak to figure it all out. The personal website I have hosted there is not of any huge importance, and I can handle that being off the air for a couple of weeks.

BUT. As you might have figured by the little red cross at the top of this blog, that's where I just so happened to have been hosting my blog banner image.

And right now, as you'll figure from my previous post, it is not the ideal time for me to be re-uploading files to a new webserver - never mind trying to figure out whether they will actually show up yet or not till the 6th Oct, and what temporary url I'm supposed to use till then!!

Too hard basket!

So, for now, no blog banner. Perhaps early next week I'll work out an alternative. Right now, despite having made some progress (I've made the flied lice..) I really shouldn't even be sitting here typing blog posts of any description.

[Ed: At least I got the blog banner back and working!]




It's all a-happening. In 48 hours I can crash and burn and words can't describe how much I'm looking forward to doing that. I will have earned it, I believe, after having ridden around and around a velodrome for 24 hours or thereabouts.

As I've hurtled towards this... this... err.. challenge, I have seriously contemplated my sanity, suggested many times that I must have been drugged when I agreed to do it, and generally started working up into full blown anxiety.

I can't actually remember what I signed up to do first - the TAFE course, or the charity ride, but clearly, in hindsight, it has not been an easy or sensible partnership. Not when I also happen to have three children to wrangle the rest of the time.

As this week has loomed I've been muttering "But I need to ride. I need to ride" whenever I was in class, or sitting here researching stuff for presentations. Throw in a week of ill-health, and the panic begins to bubble. The sort of panic you'd get if you were going into an exam without having studied. (Well, some of us might relate to that.. my 15 year old daughter patently doesn't get that feeling, but I won't talk about that issue right now...)

Throw in another couple of days the next week with a kid (youngest) who is unwell and better off at home than school, thus preventing attending class OR cycling, and the anxiety wells...

I have done the TAFE work I needed to do, and put whatever I could on hold to complete over the holidays. (So in reality, I don't have much time to crash and burn after the ride at all!)

Last weekend we scheduled some serious training rides. 122km on Saturday morning, and .. you know that saying 'hit the wall'? *Smash*, I hit it. Totally and utterly stuffed. The 5.30am start didn't help... We were home by 11.30, in time to get to a netball presentation... and then I stumbled up to bed and slept for 2 hours in the late afternoon.

Sunday morning I didn't want to look at a bike, never mind get on and ride anymore... Much self talk saw me reluctantly and sulkily clambering on the back of the tandem again; we only did 45km, albeit incorporating a 3km hill. Most of that I was brushing back tears; it was only the adrenalin rush of some fast tandem downhills that perked me up any - plus forcing down one of those energy gels.

I decided that it might be wise not to ride this week.

I did go out and buy some very expensive bike nix with the most awesome padding, which I hope will protect not only those pressure points that suffer most, but *whispers* my.. er... front bits which have been suffering in a way I would never have imagined...

Meanwhile, as luck, karma, Murphy's Law... or whatever.. would have it... guess what is due to start anytime...? Which means (especially the way my peri-menopausal body is doing stuff on a random and ad hoc basis these days) that I'm doing the usual emotional PMS-y build-up thing. You know, ladies. That feeling that your menfolk do not have a clue about, do not relate to, do not understand in any way...? That feeling you want to cry for no reason. The rising anxiety over anything... which means that if you have something that's bordering on 'reasonable' to be anxious or nervous about, then... woot! Happy days... er, not.

Naturally, I am a wee bit anxious about my ability to sit on a bike for 24 hours. Minus the breaks of course. Breaks? 10 minutes every 2 hours, and a half hour break in the evening?! (All the riders ride together you see...)
WTF?!! 10 minutes is barely enough time to go to the loo normally.. never mind if I am dealing with you-know-what. (Never mind the added issues thus related...)

Yes. I am anxious. Please, please, PLEASE don't let it start.

Today I am trying to get organised... and I am anxious about all of that too. Anxious for anxious sakes. Because not only do we have to get ourselves sorted, we have three kids to wrangle! We have to take a tent and sleeping gear for them, so they can go sleep while we are riding through the night. We also agreed to take our triple bike down there for a display... so that has to be sorted. I am about to make fried rice so we have some extra food to shovel in, plus something for the kids. Dinner tonight of course, as well.

All in a good cause. This IS to raise money for ROMAC - a Rotary charity that brings kids from developing countries to Australia for life-saving and life-changing surgery. Puts all my anxiety and woes into a bit of perspective. And trust me... I wouldn't be doing this insane ride if it wasn't for charity.

There is no specific online donation method, but if anyone would like to bolster our fundraising efforts, I would love you to bits. I got the required $500 sponsorship from a local company Arc Attack Engineering, who are amazingly generous when it comes to supporting community endeavours. But I'm working on matching that with personal donations, as I'd like to think we could raise $1000 for our efforts. I am a couple of hundred off achieving that.

You'd have to send me a cheque made out to ROMAC, or deposit in my bank account, and I'd send you back the official receipt. (Tax deductions for $2 or over (in Oz anyway..)... but you'd have to make it worth the 55c postage stamp! ) If it's the right timing for you to make a donation to a worthwhile charity, send me an email trace at exemail dot com dot au and I'll send you either my address or bank account details... and get your address to send you back the receipt.

If you can't, no sweat, no pressure. Just pray to whatever goddess, spirit, moon, or whatever for me that 'you know what' doesn't start till after!

See you when I wake up after it's all over...

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Look at moi...

... and concentrate .. because I've pretty much lost my voice.

I probably sound worse than I feel, but I don't mind the sympathy. It's hard to get as a mum, so I'll take what I can get anytime I can get it. This morning even the kids scurried into action once they heard my rasping attempts to get a sentence out. A bit of finger snapping to get their attention and it worked a treat. Makes you wonder if you could implement that strategy all the time, somehow. (Fortunate that the Daddy was around for back up though.)

Mind you there was a bit of coughing up of blechy stuff going on when I first got up, so I do plead infirmity. There was no point going into TAFE like this, and I decided to give myself the morning off from stressing over TAFE work.

I thought I might upgrade my blog to layouts or whatever it's called; the way this comments section slides off to the left has long driven me insane. I finally settled on a layout that I thought I could tweak to suit me - but then discovered that I couldn't even find the basic background colour code code to change, so I threw in the towel and reverted to what I had. If nothing else I am continuing my theme of going round in circles.

But while I have you all enthralled at my general pathetic-ness, I'll use your brains for ideas. You see, my friends, for this science project that I mentioned last post, I have to investigate a consumer product. Any consumer product I like. Sky's the limit. (No, budget is the limit. As is time. And bother.) Do some experiments.. some research.. and.. present a report. Something like that. (Do you think that I can find my worksheet for it right this minute?! Arrgh...)

And I haven't really got a clue what to do. Most of my inertia is of course motivated by sheer laziness. I'm probably not enough on the bandwagon of education enlightenment with this course, going back to past options that I may have inadvertently passed by. OK, so having a science unit has probably been useful in that it has very definitely knocked back down any wavering doubt I may have had that I unwisely missed an otherwise fantastic career opportunity back in high school when I ultimately did no science units for the HSC. I'm really just not a patient enough person to fiddle-faddle around with all the ins and outs of experimentation and the like. Hypotheses interest me.. but there it stops. Scratch science from the list of potential careers or jobs for me.

Unfortunately, this epiphany won't get me a 'pass' - and it would be rather stupid to not pass the course because of Attitude.

But what to test/research? Some people in the past have tested laundry detergents. Some stuff like brands of baked beans. Paper towel absorbency (and we mucked around with paper towels in class last week.) I'm vaguely tempted to do dishwashing liquid, because I do get frustrated when I wash up on other places sometimes... (particularly places like holiday units where they provide the el-cheapo stuff that barely creates any suds.) And I could get people in the course to bring in a sample of what they use (saves money on buying lots of samples.) But how do I test it?!! (And do I really want to find out that the dishwashing detergent I choose to buy isn't as good as I think it is?!!)

Anyhoo, if any of you lovely people have any brilliant ideas (that won't involve too much work for a lazy sod) then let me know! You never know... you might just come up with the perfect idea and save me a lot of angst!

Labels: ,

Monday, September 08, 2008


On the smell of an oily rag

.. whilst fighting off a throat or chest infection.

I'm going round in circles. Round and round in bloody circles. It would be an amusing metaphor for the ROMAC ride if I didn't find it all just a bit unfunny. So much to do, I don't know where to start -and yet when I do prioritise, things keep distracting me, or knocking me off the rails.

The current priority is, of course, to train the derrière up for 24 hours on a bike saddle, but priorities, schmiorities... they're there to be thwarted, patently.

Friday it rained. Well, never mind, the weekend was approaching and good weather was forecast, thank heavens, unimaginable as it was most of Friday.

Friday night after swim squad and dinner my throat suddenly felt scratchy. No, no, no, no, noooo! I headed for bed early, with fingers crossed. Voices in head: "You don't have time for this! You tried, tried, tried not to think "how good is it that I haven't got sick yet this year" but, looks like did, You Idiot. Waaah! OK.. so just.. don't panic...Sleep...and in the morning it'll be gone. Like magic. You just sleep it, and wish it away, k?"

5.40am departure scheduled - the town-and-back-with-community-ride-in-the-middle ride. And of course I slept like cr*p (husband snoring, weird dreams, etc etc.) One minute the clock read 3am, the next thing I peered up at it, suspicious about the daylight beginning to permeate the room. 5.25. Oh sh*t. Late! It's impossible to get up, get ready and leave in 15 mins. [Alarm setter malfunction. Him.] He reckons we can still ride and 'meet them all somewhere'. But me? Headache. Sore throat still. Damn it, not going then. Maybe a sleep in will help. Probably a ride ("a ride" she says casually ... like a ninety kilometre ride!) wouldn't help. A sore throat is something I just don't need at this point in time (though that's a silly thing to say isn't it? - who ever needs a sore throat at any time?) Better off not riding. Hmmmph.

I wussed through Saturday (and netball finals) on aspro, then had a late afternoon sleep. Note: if Tracey sleeps in the daytime this is Ultimate Proof that she is actually not well (and probably should have served as a warning!) I picked up a bit after that, and got a good night's sleep on Saturday night (in hindsight, further proof, again, that I was not 100% because, like a toddler, the more normal outcome from a dusk hour sleep for me would be rattling around all night!)

Naturally, then, although feeling a bit 'chesty', but no sore throat, and no headache, I determined that I would be ok to ride. (Had to ride.) And so we set off from home at 7.30, and ended up doing 118km! On two weetbix, two scones and half a banana. (We met up with some other riders for morning tea, hence the scones and the drawn out ride - we didn't get home till around 2pm, after then running into more cyclists that we knew, and then helping out another anonymous cyclist who had had a puncture, but forgot to bring a tube!)

Fuel reserves a bit light on perhaps? (And that's the oily rag analogy/reference... k?)

And go on, so tell me maybe I was just a bit crazy for riding at all. (It's not like I haven't thought it)

Would you believe?... Today I'm iffy again... so I've just pulled out of my swimming squad class for this afternoon... and I'm not motivated to push myself in any way aerobically. So much for "I should ride every day."

Meantime, as I've also lamented before, it's not as if I have nothing else to do...

I've got myself dizzy with all the bits and pieces I should be doing, that I don't quite know where to start, or what to prioritise for when. Too many pots on the boil - and I'm the cook having a nervous breakdown - sitting in the corner of the kitchen with my head in my hands, rocking back and forth.

End of season netball stuff. Organising certificates etc. Organising the design samples for the new association uniform (did I actually volunteer to do that?... um, yep.) Redrafting the local rules. Drafting the special rules for the Twilight comp. (Hassling people to send me the information!). Drafting other stuff that I've been asked to draft. Never mind getting the website up to date with all the info and photos that I know it needs.

Bicycle User Group stuff. Design completely new website. Keep up with the ride calendar. Etc.

TAFE Stuff. Two presentations. One due next week. One that could be due after the holidays, except that it would be smart to do it this week, as I've been conned into 'speaking' at a Rotary dinner next Monday with regard to us doing the ROMAC ride, and given I haven't done any public speaking in about 60 years, then it wouldn't be a bad idea to use this TAFE requirement as PRACTICE.

And a science assignment.

Which is the scariest thing of all, because I have no idea at all what I am going to do, and what's more? Gradual dawning that my Care Factor (in regard to science) = 0.

More about that next post, because, dear reader, I am going to call upon a creative thinking brain power resource that I do have at my fingertips. YOU!

Ah yeah, and also there's the usual house and home stuff. Parent teacher interviews this afternoon. And dinner. And washing. And what does a vacuum cleaner look like again?

I don't know that blogging all this has helped - though you might say that at least I've got something off my chest. If only it was this infection.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, September 05, 2008


So much for plans.

It's raining. A lot.

This means I am not on my bike, as was my plan for today.

Given that in two weeks time I am intending to sit on a bike seat for nigh on 24 hours, giving my bum time to get used to the idea of sitting on a bike seat for nigh on 24 hours does seem to be a good plan to have, albeit one not that easy to schedule around my new 'school' commitments, as well as the usual family Stuff. Today was my 'free' day for the week, and ideally I could have ridden maybe 60km, which would have been a reasonable bum toughening distance.

Marc and I did 89km last Sunday, and I managed 30km by myself the day before. On Tuesday, thanks to a teacher being absent, I prioritised bike time instead of study time, but ended up practising my tyre changing instead (not really the top of my list right now!) and thus only clocking up 20km.

Really, it's not enough, and I'm starting to stress just a wee bit about it all, and wonder what the hell I was doing when I agreed to do this.

I'm not so worried about the muscles; at least on a velodrome there are no hills. And the sleep deprivation is not something you can really train for. I'm trying to look at it as a big night out! OK, big day and night out. Reminds me of the occasional overnighters I did at college. Some to get assignments completed - some, of course, of the more social variety.

I'm not quite sure what category I'd put this little adventure in...

(What's that you say?... A category called, simply, "Madness"? Yep, you could be right...)

Mind you I have done a few overnight adventure things in my time: a few overnighter canoe marathons, so I'm not a stranger to overnighter endurance events. (Let's just forget the fact that I was much, much younger then - and we started paddling at 4pm - this bloody ride thing starts at 10am!)

And since then, of course, I have become a mum, and even if, in hindsight, I've emerged relatively unscarred from the battle zone of three babies' sleeping habits (blessed as I have been with pretty good sleepers), I have still experienced a few sleepless nights with newborn feeding issues, and then sick babies - and bigger kids for that matter... (while the Daddy slept through it all, but let's not go there!!!)

So where was I? It's raining. And I'm not riding. Because of all things, would you believe, I can't control the weather. Dammit!

I have, of course, six kazillion, seven hundred and twenty four other things I should and could be doing, and the issues I am having with time management and prioritising and procrastination would fill another blog post. (So I might leave them for another blog post, and perhaps attempt to do some of them now!)

Labels: ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?