Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Crawling out from under my rock...

You may have been wondering where I've been these last few months.

Simply put - nowhere and everywhere.  For a while I was just sort of hiding, and fighting the cloud that descends on me from time to time, but most recently I've been cruising around the Gold Coast in a hire car on my honeymoon!

There's a bit to fill you in on - 12WBT, The Birthday, The Crash, The Fort5, The Honeymoon, so this'll be a reasonably long post, I'll try not to bore you.


So first things first - I'm still committed to the 12WBT program, and still making progress.

I've been pretty good with reading the emails and watching the videos, although there are days when it just doesn't happen, but I normally catch up.  I've pretty much fallen off the face off the earth when it comes to the forums and FB groups I'm a part of, but I always tend to withdraw from the world when I'm under the cloud. 

Exactly 1 year apart - thank you 12WBT
The numbers on the scales are slowly but surely making their way downward towards those oh so elusive and I suspect completely mythical  double digits.  My measurements are going down quicker than the weight, which is to be expected as I continue to build muscle to replace the fat.  I've gone from a 26+ to a respectable-although-slightly-snug-but-almost-comfortable-okay-to-be-seen-in-public  size 20.

I never thought it possible for me at least  to have clothes I didn't want to be seen in because they're too big - it actually makes me feel worse about myself to be wearing them now. Not so much because of how much I've lost, but for some reason, I feel more visible, like I'm standing out because it all hangs off me - or as Mum is fond of saying 'it fits where it touches'. Oddly enough, it feels just as uncomfortable, if not more so, to me as things that are too tight.

The Birthday...

I had a birthday around the time of my last post, and was surprised by DS & his girlfriend whom I shall call DIL  turning up out of the blue for a 3 week visit!  They live and work in Melbourne, and getting their schedules to sync with ours is damn near impossible. The whole family were in on it, and I didn't have a clue about any of it!  It had been planned and organised over a period of 4 months, and I remained clueless the entire time. To say I was surprised would be an under statement. 

Here's how it went:
A couple of weeks before my birthday, DD told me that she had ordered my pressie online, and that it should arrive by my birthday, but if it was late it would only be a day or two.

A week before, she said she had the morning of my birthday off work to go to the dentist - I thought nothing of it as she had been to the dentist recently.

A few days before, I came home one day to find the guest room had been given a spring clean hubby told her that it would make me suspicious, but she was confident it wouldn't as she has a habit of doing that sort of thing when she gets bored - she was right.

On the morning of my birthday she told me that her BFF's Nana had passed away, so she had been given the whole day off work she works for her BFF's Mum,  and off she went to the dentist and shopping  or so I thought.  NB: I actually had to check with her later in case this was a part of the cover story, but sadly it wasn't, it was simply a terrible coincidence. 

In the mean time,  BM had slept the morning away, having just come off night shift,  and hadn't been shopping for my birthday pressie.  So when he got up and spent the remainder of the day on his computer and watching movies, I began to get a little P'd off - he hadn't even said Happy Birthday for fecks sake!!

That afternoon she rocked up home and informs me that my pressie had arrived and I had to go get it out of her car. Being properly irritated by that time, I replied that BM could make himself useful and go get it.  But no, it had to be me.  So out I go to find her at the back of her car, just standing there.  Then she points... I turn around and there was DS & DIL just standing there, big grins from ear to ear.

Just a heads up - if you plan on watching the video, I squeal... more than once...


So I went from having no birthday wishes or gift, to having the best gift ever, then pressies came out of the woodwork - including Tai Chi lessons, a huge Rebel Sport voucher, 2 copies of Game of Thrones on DVD, 3 birthday cakes and more!!

During DS & DIL's visit, they went down the street on a secret mission with DD.  On their return, BM and I were sat down and presented with a honeymoon to the Gold Coast, including going to see The Australian Outback Spectacular,  paid for by DD1, DD2, DS, DIL, & DD's BFF   as our 1st wedding anniversary gift.

Aren't they amazing!?

Around the time DS & DIL left to go home, I signed up for my first 3 fun runs for the year - The Fort5 (a 5km event in the Newcastle Running Festival), the Newcastle Swisse Color Run, and the Hunter Valley Marathon 5km event (called The Winery Wander). 

I told Madam Lash what I had signed up for, and she began to tailor my training straight away. Lots and lots of HIIT, more incline training, the Winery Wander is nothing but hills,  Tabata, and some Fartlek... hehehehe... Fartlek...

This brings us to about 2 weeks ago.

The Crash...

I was heading down town, when my car was hit from behind.

The traffic had stopped, but the fellow behind me didn't.

My car, a Ford Territory  didn't look too bad, they're pretty much built like a Sherman Tank,   the back was all pushed in and the tow bar had vanished, but it really didn't seem serious... I was to learn otherwise  the other guy however, didn't appear to be so lucky...

The entire front of his Prado, or was it a Pajero... was pushed in, and it had to be carted off on the back of a truck!  At least mine was still driveable.

We took it the smash repairer and were told that it's probably going to be written off, as the chassis rail is bent - it took them 45 mins to cut the spare tyre out... apparently that's bad...

Luckily the were no significant injuries - I'm sporting a really impressive bruise to my left calf, and my nerves are shot, but that's about it.

The Fort5...

That was a Tuesday.  The coming weekend was my NewRun Fort5 event. Great timing. We went to Newcastle and stayed the night at the Travelodge, not strictly necessary as we're not that far from Newy but it was a real treat.  We collected my race pack on Saturday afternoon and had a lovely lunch of BBQ King Prawns & Calamari Salad with Mango Chilli Dressing on the harbour.

Sunday morning was bright and sunny, BM dropped me at the start line while he went and parked the car.

I thought I was running late as the announcer was giving instructions over the PA as I arrived and there was a throng of competitors waiting to take off. I worked my way down into the crowd, and to the back, to keep out of the way of the fast people.

Announcer Dude asked everyone to self seed, which I had done, and the next thing I knew we were off!

I started to move off, when I just thought I'd check something out...  'Is the the Fort5?' I asked an awake looking person who had obviously had copious amounts of caffeine... 'No love, it's the 1/2 Marathon'


I was taking part in a bloody half marathon!!  I don't fricking think so!  I got out of there quick smart, talk about a close call...

Once my heart got over the fright, I had a bit of a wander around, just people watching, loving the diversity of the people that enter these events.

Suddenly I realised that I was nervous. Why would I be nervous??

I had done 3 events already...
I knew what to expect...
I knew the route...
There was no logical reason for nerves...
But there they were...
I was ready to be sick...
Tears were brimming... Tears!

The race began, I was in the right one this time,  and the nerves instantly vanished, what a relief!

This was more like it!

Beautiful morning, ocean view, lovely breeze, smell of bacon wafting...   mmm bacon...

The whole route was lined with cafés and houses all cooking bacon!  On a Sunday morning!  How dare they!  No more nerves, didn't want to be sick, tears were gone, but now I just wanted BACON!

About a quarter of the way through, I heard a voice calling out "You're doing great Annie! You can do it!", I looked up to see my cousin Luke, who is a mad keen cyclist - but who had no detectable  bacon on him,  and who I hadn't seen for about 4 years, he was there on his morning ride, waiting to greet me!  We met up for a late breaky after the race, at Merewether Surfhouse, which was a lovely way to spend what turned out to be an amazingly wet day.  Yes.  There was bacon.

There were a couple of places along the route that you could stop for a loo break, and while I didn't actually need to use them, Voice thought it prudent to remind me that if I just popped on in there for a minute or two, I could come out and head straight for the finish line, no one would know... it'd be easy... and I'd have a really excellent finish time...

I didn't actually argue with Voice over it, I just said 'I would know' 'yes it would be easy, but I don't want easy, I want to earn it' and I did earn it.

Along the way I stopped to take a short video, to chat with the official photographer who told me that the best smiles are always at the back of the pack, to hug my cousin, to take some pictures of hand made signs, to horse around with a video camera man, but I never once stopped to cheat.

Just ignore the bingo wings...
People walked and ran past me while I was doing all those things, but I didn't care, I was enjoying myself.  I was cheered down the finish chute by masses of random strangers, some of whom I had chatted with along the way that morning.

As I crossed the finish line I heard Announcer Dude call my name that was a bit of a thrill  and my finish time.  Now, I was sure he called 1hr 21mins, could have been 1hr 31mins, but I was sure it was one of those.

I was so wrong it's not even funny.

Try 1:04:10!

Just over an hour to walk 5km!  My last timed event was almost 2 hours.  I still find it hard to believe.

I placed 526th in a field of 533 - so not last!

After my first few fun runs I couldn't move for days.  I had to be helped out of chairs, and up and down stairs.  This time, I was at training being flogged by Madam Lash the next day, and the day after that was Tai Chi.

The Honeymoon...

Suddenly it was time to collect the hire car and head off on our honeymoon at the Gold Coast.

We've only been here for 4 days seems like longer  but we've had a blast.

We stayed in a top floor apartment with amazing ocean views at the Outrigger, went to The Australian Outback Spectacular, ordered room service, ate pancakes, shopped at a DFO centre, spent the day at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where I was mercilessly stalked by various critters, mostly lizards... damn you nature!  and walked and walked and walked.  Then for something different, we walked some more.

So now it's Sunday night, it's been a very full couple of weeks, a roller coaster couple of months,  we still don't know what's happening with my car, and we begin our journey back to reality tomorrow.

It's been great, but I love my little house, and we're both more than ready to go home.

Home Sweet Home


  1. Annie so many wonderful things to comment on here, lest of all you blogging again! I was despairing, I will admit. Sorry to hear about the accident, mind you I have been the car to hit a line of cars, it's not pretty! Hope it doesn't shatter your nerves too much. As for that photo, totally phenomenal! Birthdays, honeymoons, love it all girl. You are truly inspirational the way you grab life and roll with it.

    Carol /

  2. Don't despair! I'm still here... My nerves are recovering, so it's all good. The insurance company have decided to write off my car, so I get to go car shopping! WOO HOO!
    Thank you for the lovely compliments xox