If I wasn't apprehensive about this weekend's Half Iron Man before, I am now. I've just read the rules and the blurb for my stint reads as follows: 'The competitor may run or walk. The competitor may not crawl.' You mean people are actually reduced to CRAWLING in this thing? Well that's it then, I'm doomed. Especially as the rules also state in this, the eleventh hour that headphones may not be used during the run, after more than three months of happily pounding the pavements to motivating music. How on earth am I going to get through almost 22km without my iPod? It's even surpassed Trinny, Susannah and Gok in the best friend stakes of late. However one thing is for certain. I may come last, and probably will but I'm NOT going to crawl. This time tomorrow the Fab Five will be calling Taupo home for six strenuous days and iPod or no iPod, I am really looking forward to it. For starters, at the moment I can eat whatever I like! Kind of necessary really if I don't want to fall over during training. Noel is not only my personal trainer but also my personal chef these days, stuffing me full of all sorts of yummy carb-laden meals. How lucky am I! We're also extremely lucky to know a family who have kindly agreed to lend us their holiday home in Taupo, saving us hundreds in accommodation!
Somehow in between work and training Noel and I have also found time to get a huge chunk of our Christmas shopping out of the way. Just about the whole lot in fact, in little more than 24 hours! With my time constraints I was reduced to shopping online and it has been great; although while it may be a more convenient way to shop, it's certainly not always cheaper. I do find it a brilliant way to shop though as it gives you time to think. It adds up the tally for you as you go along, which can save a fortune in itself. It's easy enough to click 'add to cart', 'add to cart' but then suddenly you go to checkout and WOAH! You've racked up HOW much?! I don't think so - quick, press the 'delete' button! I've also found the majority of the time, it actually costs less to drive to the store and grab the item in person than have it posted out. However, at least shopping online gives you a chance to weigh up the pros and cons and is much kinder than getting a nasty surprise at the store checkout. You have time to change your mind, to reason with yourself and evaluate your purchases. I know that shopping this way has saved me at least $200 this week and that my kids will be no worse off for me not buying some of those things.
I've also saved substantially more on several gifts thanks to the Vault. I hope Liam doesn't read this over my shoulder! He wanted a new iPod for Christmas but I wasn't willing to pay $249 for the model he wanted, I was looking at around $100. I shopped around and around and couldn't find anything which was reasonable enough quality to match the price - and then I remembered this hint on refurbished iPods directly through Apple. I followed the instructions and picked up a fantastic silver iPod Nano for just $109! He won't even notice the difference! I can't say what else I bought due to prying eyes but I also saved a small fortune buying top quality 'smellies' from Strawberrynet. I was feeling really proud of myself until a flyer came in the mail today from The Warehouse, offering one of the items I had purchased for $20 less. Grr!
Anyway, this is just a quick post as I have to go and pack. Presuming I survive Saturday's near-death experience, I'll be back online around the 18th. See you then!