Sunday, April 27, 2008

Only Because I Have To

Yep I am updating today simply because I haven't updated and I should. Currently my lower back is blocked. This usually happens when I am tired and stressed out around my son, his mother, my lover etc;. Today everyone met. I was informed I had to bring him to the artisana show to help his grandmother. I had other plans, finally we got there an hour later than organised but it was cool. My lover met my ex, and my ex mother in law. Friends later went to find Boy wonder and met them too and chatted. It was all very civil. My lower back was twitching, I try to be civil not to bitch, I don't always succeed, but I don't see the point in stooping to the other sides behaviour.
So it was okay in the end, but it cuts, when they assume they can just cut into our precious time together like that.

So what was the other plan. Top Marques.. have a look at these.........




I am not really a materialist but it was fun for a half an hour.





And the coolest......................




This is the luxury car show in Monaco. We had free passes. We went. I insisted on it. I wouldn't pay in 39 euro just to be treated like a piece of dirt. They guys selling the cars walked around wiping our finger prints off, in case the person behind us was a multi millionare interested in buying the car that was bullet proof, bomb proof, assasin proof, but obviously not stupid person proof.

We didn't pay into the workshop in the Ballet either. Last night was my 8 year olds' first exposure to ballet. 5 young coreographers with 5 young scenarists, put together a 2 hour long show of 5 different pieces.......The most impressive for me being a story of rain falling on the earth. It opened with 6 dancers standing around a figure on the ground. Standing on the figure with her foot on the head and the other on the stomach, was a woman in white. She looked like she was about to devour her victim on the ground. The story unfolded, violently, impressively, beautifully, but somehow very darkly, with the use of video and some incredible ballet and shape shifting, our 7 female dancers, 6 in white, one in brown portrayed something about rain falling on the earth, and the suffering the earth endures during this torrent. Boy wonder was scared at this particular one but loved all 5 stories and I was pretty damn pleased.

The weekend is over, finishing up with friends and a dinner. Life is stressful, but good. I can't write about the lawyers till I receive certain pieces of paper. I ran today for the first time, didn't help my back, didn't run far.

Monday, April 21, 2008

It Hurts

Nope I am neither Joe Calzage nor Bernard Hopkins and yet I felt like I was in the ring with both of them at the weekend.
Yesterday morning at 8am I looked like this, ready for my race.



Yes the white light behind me is from the angels smiling down on me.
Let me tell you it was a good race. I hadn't been training enough recently. I joined the ladies, we parked in Cristines lab which left us a 3 km walk to the start. I wasn't impressed. I wasn't ready. I knew it was to thunder and lightning. I brought a complete change of clothes. No sun glasses of course as I had left them in work on Friday, no Suncream, who needs that in a storm and not enough jel packs because simply I forgot. So the light behind is not lightning. It's clear blue sky and bright sun shine.
Yeah Warrior pack the suncream bring a hat.........sure.......I left them on the table.
There was 8000 people milling around the start. There was a 3km fun run for breast cancer, a 10k run, and that semi marathon that I was doing. Thats a smidgin over 21km. The most I had run up to this point in preparation was about 14.5km and even that is not exact.

We took off at 9:30 I had a gel pack I was keeping for after the 10 k mark. I had a half a litre of water, about a pint to sip in between refueling stations that were at every 5k. The sun was beaming down, the crowd was slow to move off. Finally I got over the other side of the Promenade des Anglais were there was more space and settled into my rythm. Why is it the promenade is always English, the Quay is always American and the bar is always Irish?

We turn into Gambetta somewhere before the Negresco and started a long slow 2km climb. It was impressive to see the thousands of people in front of me. I heard some Irish voices. I turned 'Are you girls Irish? ' They were and I felt not so alone and it was good.
The kilometers ticked by. Some guy tapped me on the shoulder and started asking about the emblem on my t shirt. It said 'Marathon Des Sables' No I said that is just a silly thing, a style of shirt, Non, pas de tout, moi je le fais l'anneé dernier...bon ok merci, bon course. Ooops.

Not many crowds and those that were not clapping too much. I was trying not to get discouraged, I knew the girls were already way in front. The race turned a big loop, passed under a tunnel and came back down by the Palais de Medditterain, back onto the prom and back from where we came. Now we are running toward the Port.

At 6 km I was thinking to myself I felt really really good, I wondered where my running buddies were, I fancied that given they were much faster, ran 3 times a week and have been running longer that they would already be around the 8km mark. That was until I heard a voice behind me.....'Target acquired, missles locked, ready to fire' It was Christine, I was perturbed. How the hell could they behind me at 6km?
Both of them were there, then I saw there two friends as well, then I saw the Irish girls still there..... it seems I took off way too fast. I hadn't thought so, and still don't really think so.... I matched the girls for a few KM the banter was fun, I was starting to get hot, when water was available I took two cups one for the head one for the mouth.... We passed by the lab where we had parked that morning, down into the port and back along the Quay des Etais Unis where we had been already not so long ago. I could feel the 10 km mark coming up I watch as the girls started to put distance between them and I , I grabbed at oranges in a box, I had two, I gave one to the person beside me who hadn't seen the opportunity. The Irish women peeled off for the 10k finish I thought about stopping too, we crossed the starting line for the 3rd time once again going along the orginal route..but now toward the airport. I had run this before, I knew I could do it, I continued. Some old guy of about 70 finished his talk with a 10k runner who peeled off and settled in for the duration. Some other old guy spectating, called out the name on his shirt, encouraging him on. The two old guys waved at each other...and Mister 70 went on his way.

There is a watering station I momentarily passed the girls who had stopped, I took water on the run, one and half cups in the gob, half a cup over the head, ......we saluted each other. The passed me with ease soon after, at 13km on a completely straight stretch I had totally lost sight of them. The field had thinned out dramatically, now where as before there was a lot of varying body shapes and sizes, the field was thinner, more uniform, fitter, faster, in better shape. My head was okay but my calves which had been a little tight since the start were starting to ache. Shit I have to get to 15k, if I get to 15k I can finish this bastard.

I was surprised, I started to well up without knowing why. I calmed down keep my rhytmn breath, drink some water, shit Gel pack whayhey around 11km I think.. ....it was like a magic wand, I sucked half it down and it felt like my speed and my ease of running increased, I put it back... I tried it again on 13...the effect was the same I kept the last bit but by 14k I had suck the last smidgin out of it and thrown it away, fuck the environment 'they' will clean up later. This from the guy who carred a small ring of plastic 3 km that morning to find a bin.

I saw the mayor, I saw people I recognised from Monaco. I didn't see any angels. I was sore very very sore. my legs were sore, my heart was sore. I was not stopping. I watched the flags go by in the other direction, 1 hr 30, then 1 hr 45, then 2 hours. I noted this one was the only one of the 3 carried by a woman, each of them had a group around them. The group ran like Chinese security gaurds around the olympic flame, protecting their pace setter as if their lives depended on it. They probably did.

I was aching again, god what will happen if people notice, my eyes welled up, are the red cross going to stop me because I am hurting so bad?
I turned on 15k, There is a God, they had the equivalent of gatorade, bannanas water sugar lumps I took them all I drank down about 2/3s of liter in seconds, wolfed banana and ran back, yes ran back for sugar, I wasn't stopping I was running this bastard to the end....but I was now in unknown territory. I had never run this far before. If I could get to 16k I could finish. I popped raw sugar in my mouth and drank water, I can do this just let me get to 16km. The sugar is gone, it's roasting hot. I am soaking with water and sweat. Now I let a real sob out of myself. I was still passing people up to this point, but now from 16k onwards I felt like I was going backwards. I could see Mister 70 just a 100 meters in front.

I keep telling myself don't race. Don't race. You are only in competition with yourself. I am going to finish this, don't race... I am talking out loud now, I am shouting at myself. 'Com'on Collie you bastard, you are going to finish this fucker. I think of the tri girls blog I read, who called her bike 'The fucker' she will be laughing at me. I think of Gillette, yeah I know, weird, hanging around the end line hugging me when I get there. I think of Lover, who got out of bed and took my photo and went back to bed. I resent it for a moment but I know that deep down when I cross that line I need to be alone for a moment and besides she will be there when I get home with that great smile.

Fuck my legs hurt, I can't do this...it is really fucking sore, God I forgot I have water, I drink what is left. There is 16k written on the road in front of me, this is further than I have ever run. I start looking down the coast from where I have come, I try to see that finishing point that I have passed 3 times on the race already, I try picking out hotels. Mister 70 is about 200 meters in front, some people pass me, then he is 250 meters in front. There is another guy Walking, a big well developed type. Some running club on his shirt. Why is he is walking? Mister 70 passes him. I am breathing, I am cramping, I try stretching my stride.... the guy is walking but I am not any closer. 17k , that's further than I have ever run. Jesus just over 3 to go, thats just one back and forward of the canal stretch where I run, I can do that can't I? Hell I hope so. 18K that is further than I have ever been, but I have lost my way, I have no water left there is a team at the side of the road they have bins of water but nothing to drink with, not stopping I am running this all the way, I dive my hands in and drink while running. I can't get bearings at all. I have no idea what part of the promenade I am in and I am in agony.

Some rock and roll guitarist is playing a slow riff, I want him to rip up the joint but he has been there all morning, now watching the stragglers I am sure it's time for the closing set and he is winding down. It doesn't help. ...

18.5 I am in pain, I don't want to stop, 18.6 I am limping, 18.7 I am swearing at myself 18.8 I am pushing pushing, mister 70 is dissappearing up the street, 18.9 I am crying, Fuck it come on I shout out loud, I don't give a fuck who can hear me and they won't understand anyway, God yes 19km I have run further than I ever thought I could yes only 2 to go, the pain, the cramps Aaaaaaah fuck it, I can't, It is too fucking much I can't.

I stop running, at least I try, my legs don't obey they keep moving as if runing but I am walking, 50 meters, 100 meters 150 meters, how the hell am I going to finish. My legs are like jelly, I am sobbing. My time for 2:15 was optimistic but now I have hit 2:18 and 2k to run and I can barely walk my calves are like cannon balls hanging off my legs.......There is a small man dressed like a Old movie gangster standing at the traffic lights, I am crying, tears streaming down my face, snot cascading down my nose, and I am ashamed. I don't know why, it's just spilling out of me. There is a bunch of teenage girls walking down the promenade, about 20 feet away from this Italian. How do I know he is Italian? Well he lets me know. He lets me have it full blast. I have no idea what it said but it sounded like stop fucking crying you blithering idiot get your finger out of your ass and run to the finish you fuck head. The girls run to him whoooping and cheering me out, I laugh and cry at the same time and I am moving again. I am running again damn it I am going to do it I am going to finish and I am going to finish running. Thanks to him being there and saying whatever he said. I can see the big runner in front of me he is running walking, running walking, Jesus I am at 20k further than I have ever run and I am going to make it, I can see the finish line, now people are cheering me, every time there is a nice word I sob, it's as if they know I need them to say it. Good christ on Calvary this is crucifying me... I am not stopping now, he is just in front of me maybe 100 meters, he is running again, fuck this I have enough of this shit, I am not finishing like this...

I don't know what happened, but I started to stretch out, to sprint, I was getting faster and my strides longer, I was sprinting the last 500 meters at full stretch, maybe it was on 15 meters maybe it was the last kilometer, I don't know but I know I felt like I running hard and fast and It was easy, I flew over 21k, I didn't think about how far I had come, I was getting to that line. I burned him..........I ran past him fast and left him for dead, There is the red carpet there is the finish line there is my foot on it and fuck me I did it. I did it, I did it, I sobbed, I sobbed hard.... I couldn't walk, I was doubled over. I tried walking, my legs wouldn't obey.
I couldn't find my friends, I hobbled over to drink. I could see people getting massaged, I don't know how, I want that, Someone come and see that I am not okay, that I am really hurting...more drink, some asshole pushes me out of the way to get some sustenance I look at him, realising quickly I have finshed before him and in a better mental state..imagine.....
they guy who snips off my running chip looks blankly at me, I want him to hug me and say well done.

I see people with medals, I am hobbling like an old man. I see the guys with boxes stacked in front of them, one of them has a medal in his hand. I ask him is there medals, he says well yes I have one. Thanks I say. I want it. He gives it to me in my hand. Fuck it I want him to put it around my neck and for the band to strike up. I hobble really hobble out. I am not doing that again.
I see the girls.... there are no hugs, a slap on the back from one of them. How fucked up are these people. Nat looks away when I say yes I finished and I cried like a baby. It doesn't fit with her virile image of me I guess. I will always have that soft side and never really be ashamed of it. It's who I am. I don't know what I was crying about, I don't know why I was ashamed out on the course.
This is what I looked like afterwards..........when I had my bath.....and we talked about it, and lover saw it was something special and I still had the head spinning not understanding what I had done nor what I had left on the road behind me...



I finished a half marathon in 2 hours 28 mins and I have a fucking medal. I told my son and he is really really proud. I lost 2kg which is about 4 pounds in weight. If you need to loose weight I don't recommend you try this. My brother called and people seemed to come out of the wood work. The angels had been there all along, they were just letting me do it by myself. But God it hurt.

Will up date you on the ex lawyer moron as well next post.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Human Race

Well am I ready?
My 21km race starts on Sunday morning. I don't feel too ready for it, the most I have run is about 14km I have manaqed to run 3 times a week. I took advice and didn't run at all this week. The weather is the worst I have seen here. Just like home. Torrential rain. The forcast for Sunday is torrential rain with storms. So I am acutally confident that I can finish it if it's raining.
If it is sunny it might be a few kilometers too far. But hey, I said at the start of the year I was going to do this. So here goes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Boy, what a birthday!

Can you imagine the joy of having your best friend, your brother, your favourite sister in law, your lover, and your child with you around the table. Throw in a couple of more friends,


some fireworks,


a cake



and some presents



and of course a good dose of magic



and you get what my boy told me was the best birthday ever. When I questioned him on it, in his usual truthful way, he said, 'Well, with you!' I am still smiling but it did scratch a little.

This time he has been spoiled rotten. Presents arrived from far a wide and we had already spent a fair whack on the bike. Now he can come cycling with me when I go running. It gives him more time with me and I get to run and not feel guilty. He loved it. He loved the visitors, the party, the cake the attention, the games, the walks, the shopping, the meals and generally just hanging out with each other. He loved the time we spent because it was real.
He still looked up often in a room full of people to see if I was there and when I wasn't he would come looking for me. He is great. So it's a happy birthday to him and may we spend so many more together.

My new lawyer seems to be the business, the bank approved my loan to pay her. The Sun is shining and for today all is good in the Kingdom where only happiness is King.
Thats it. Only happiness.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The weekend was a blast.


Happy birthday to both my Mam and Dad who have turned 80 years old. They are doing okay.

Okay Sooooooooooooooo hum. Well this is going to be a megre attempt at some photojournalism for what of a better word. Let me fill you in. I saw who I had to see. That was the best part. I ate great food, that was the second part. I didn't run.



I had planned to go running for 2 hours on Saturday but the plane was late, I arrived late, I needed a haircut for the party, I had to see my best friend. Actually I have 2 best friends that don't live with me. Anyways.........
I got the haircut but didn't get to run. Here's me with the haircut. I know it's pretty vain, but I change my appearance so much, and I saw the mirror and I thought, why the heck not. A lot of Irish guys passed me on the way and thought I was completely nuts....



So the party was great, 3 of my brothers and my Sister were there. My sisters in law, nephews, neices, cousins, aunts, friends of the family. It was in an old Grand hotel in Dublin called Wynns. I know I ate steak, and steamed vegetables, I asked for it very very very rare and got it just rare ( which was as I wanted). The Polish lady serving the Chilean Wine looked after me all night and by god the wine was gorgeous. My bro had paid a fair whack for the cake which had written on it..

Around the World in 80 years, Happy Birthday Mam



So I am bugging myself now trying to get this to look right and you guys are getting an update of me trying to remember my html, work with a French Photoshop on an Italian computer......ahem...I am inserting photos with blogger but hand coding to get it better than it's giving me....ahem as I said....
So here is a pic of my super cool nephew, this guy has got it going on, and we decided to leave the red eye because it makes him look super super cool



Anyway the plan for the Sunday run was out the window at 730am when I woke up freezing and nursing a hang over. So I looked out the window, saw the SNOW, yes SNOW and I took a photo turned on the heating and went back to bed. I will only post it if no one believes me.
So I didn't get the run in, but I saw my brother on TV. My bro and his wife ran the 10k in the Phonex Park. I was laughing my head off. It was hail stoning and the guy who won the race was from Ethiopia I think. He had never run in weather in like it. The reason I was laughing was because I was warm in bed and the interviewer was giving out about the pain of the hailstones. I thought of sunny warm Nice in the South of France where I live, and of course my honey who is there. So life is not so bad only I am back and there is no sun. Bummmmmmmer
I had dinner with My Best Female Friend and no none of you stand a chance with her, and she is a friend and I am committed. ( I should be committed, to a home) Right? Good, Next!


So good food, good beer and good chat with my best buddy Tom and Ann they are in side bar about the Connolly film.

Then I got confused. Really confused. I saw this




I wondered what happens if you are slightly drunk and you get the chewing gum and the condoms mixed up? You end up chewing for hours for sure, but.....ah heck doesn't bare thinking about, but I am sure it's painful.

I don't really have a thought for day except this perhaps. Kylie Minogue was interviewed by Ellen Degeneres recently and said her doc had told her originally she didn't have cancer. Apparently her having cancer in her breast has contributed to the amount of women getting breast scans or checking themselves out and doing something about it. It's at a time like this I think that men and women must be different if only by virtue of things our bodies bring us. I know guys can have breast cancer but it's much rarer. I don't think girls get testicular anything unless they are playing with the boyfriend. Anyway whoever you are, where ever you are, I hope you enjoyed a look into my very personal life. I hope you keep yourself well. I hope you find the strength to keep going. Bless you all, and cheers. I had a real blast this weekend.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Flying

I just had the bejaysus scared out of me.
I turned on the light in the bathroom, it arced, blew, and smoked.
It gave me a bit of a fright.
Just like the bill I got from my sham of a now ex lawyer for 600 euros, for meeting him twice and for him engaging with the other party. Okay to be precise it's 598 taxes included. Cheeky bugger.
I don't have 600 euros so it will have to wait.
Tomorrow I fly to Dublin. My folks are having a party. I hadn't understood at all what the hell was going on so I am going on my own. Actually it's a mother of hooleys in a hotel. My folks are both 80 and feel like celebrating.
I had a funny thought today. I don't know if this is true but try it out. Fear. If you fear something enough you will make it happen. So don't bother being afraid. Just grit your teeth and go for it.



So at least I have this wonderful smile to come back to :-)


I think I might get used to adding some images here and brighten the place up!

Ho hum.......update: I just found out it's going to be dry in Dublin this weekend, waaaaaay, and 8-12 degrees centigrade....nooooooo waaaaaaaaaaaay....! This morning it was 21C at 9am in Cap D'ail...brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

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