Marketer’s Dream….

Apparently that should be my real name, and not because I have a degree in marketing but because I am the living proof that marketing and advertising work.

Discard the fact that my mother works in marketing and I used to– I’m not here to sell you on the value of spending money on marketing or to convince you to increase the budget of your marketing team.  I didn’t even understand what marketing was until I was in my teens.  I thought it had something to do with shopping or the supermarket or I’m not even sure what I thought, I certainly couldn’t wrap my head around the difference between marketing and advertising the first time my mom explained it.  Anyhoo, it works and I can prove it…..

So, yesterday The Runner and I bought a new car.  Well, it was mostly The Runner but because I’m sacrificing The Duchess (my car, which if it were pink, not baby blue would actually have come in a box with a Barbie logo) I suppose I can get away with saying that we bought a car.  Some background on me, The Duchess and The Runner.  I bought The Duchess (so named because of the Duke sticker on her rear window) shortly before or around the time that The Runner and I met.  Really as a 28 year old, single girl in Sydney, I thought a baby blue Peugeot hardtop convertible was the perfect car for me.  And it was, and I love her even despite her flaws (tiny backseat, slightly temperamental, growls a bit when you try to accelerate, doesn’t like going up hills, and there is the slight, minor dent which I never get fixed that sort of takes up most of the passenger side).

Anyway, fast forward a few years and The Duchess has been our main/only car for most of our relationship, it’s great, we’ve driven her up to Coffs Harbour, to the Hunter Valley, down to Jervis Bay and all points in between, there’s just one thing,  The Runner hates her and hates being seen driving her…..(refer back to the earlier comments on The Duchess being what Barbie drives when her Ferrari is in the shop- seriously, I even found this game on the internet- check it out!  He thinks she’s too girly for him, which in fairness, unless he’s pretending to be Mardi Gras Ken, is probably true.  Plus, now that he has his super flash bike, it’s awkward when he puts the bike on the back of The Duchess because the bike is worth more than her.  So The Runner has been plotting against her for a while and has been lobbying for a new car for about 18 months.

So yesterday, it happened.  We spent all day in a car shopping and test driving marathon.  Literally, 2 Peugeots, 1 Mazda and 1 Subaru later with a Nissan still to see, we finally bit the bullet.  We liked the Peugeots (both of them)- The Runner has always had Peugeots and The Duchess wanted to see her legacy live on, but wish they had combined the two cars we liked into 1 SuperGood Perfect car.  Seriously Peugeot, why make two cars that are the same size, roughly the same price but with totally different features in both.  The Mazda was ok, but the salesman killed the deal when he started going on and on and on about how common and popular they are…..Hello, do we seem common to you buddy?  He didn’t get the hint and kept going on about it, no Thank You!  Plus, I HATED the cloth seat pattern….picky I know.  However, when we got to the Subaru, everything just clicked, I’m not saying there were harps or angels or trumpets or anything but The Runner and I were both in love.  We had found the perfect car for us, despite its smaller boot…. We were thrilled!  3 hours and lots of handshakes later, we’d agreed to ditch The Duchess and go for it.  So what’s the big deal right?  What point am I making?

Well….. Glad you asked.  There we were this morning on the couch watching highlights from the Noosa Triathlon on TV.   And what did we see over and over and over again??  Ads for Subaru, our new car, and more Subaru logos.  Subaru as it turns out is one of the official sponsors of the Noosa Triathlon.  So there were miles and miles and miles of signs along the course, almost all of the official vehicles were- wait for it, the Subaru XV, also known as our new car.  Yup, that’s right.  For 5 days in Noosa, we would have seen the Subaru logo in the background everywhere and seen our dream car all over town.  At the Expo, parked at the Roundabout during the race, in orange, in polka dot, in camo paint, you name it, it was probably there.  The cherry coke colour we chose that we both swore we had never seen it in before- yup, nearly certain it was there and that we saw it in Noosa at some point.  So there you have it, The Runner and I are living proof that sponsorship and advertising work.   After a week of subliminal and not so subliminal marketing, we took the bait and bought the car!  So now, rather than having a car that Barbie and Skipper can frolic to the beach in, we have a Triathlete car– not sure what that means exactly, but it’s definitely not girlie – and if it is, it’s a girl with Lady Muscles who is a bit badass!!

P.S.  We’re not idiots, just very open to persuasion– after all, it is a pretty good car!

Update from Noosa

So, it’s been an action packed and fabulous time in Noosa and we’re not done yet! I absolutely adore Noosa (except that the grocery store closes at 5:30 on Saturday night- it is 2012 Noosa, I’m sure you can manage a 9pm finish).

The race itself was good, The Runner did a PB (personal best) and the triathlon virgins that we’re up here with all survived and two new Tri WAGs were initiated–technically only one is a wife/girlfriend but the term still applies.

We arrived on Friday morning, however The Runner’s bike didn’t arrive until Friday night. Every year Jetstar has the same problem trying to get thousands of bikes up to Noosa from Sydney- which is annoying but kind of makes sense. Bikes are big and take up a lot of room, and when everyone on a plane has one, someone is going to miss out! Of course, that was not what The Runner or his friends wanted to hear on Friday afternoon when there were 4 triathletes in the house and not a bike in sight. Especially when said missing bike is worth a small fortune (it’s worth more than my car actually). Oh well, it all worked out and bikes all arrived unscathed. I’ll spare you some of the other funny bits of the race lead up, although really one tip, if you’re going to attempt to do the race as someone else, you should probably be able to recite their address and where they work without pausing!

The morning of race day is always a time of nervous energy- possibly more for me than The Runner. He was up at 4 am and so was I. He was checking his gear, getting dressed, having breakfast and stretching and I was, well, I was just nervous for him. Nervousness is a weird thing when it’s behalf of someone else, because it’s not really nervousness, it’s more a feeling of willing someone to do well but knowing it’s completely out of your control. I felt like one of those parents at a spelling bee who is trying to telepathically send the correct spelling to their child, sending out I before E mentally across the room. So, even though I didn’t leave for the race until about 7:15, I was tossing and turning all night and wide awake at 4am trying to both be helpful and stay out of the way.

But all the nervousness from me wasn’t necessary, The Runner had what I thought was a good race, but it wasn’t quite as fast as he had hoped. Really though, the real fun starts when the race is over, and we’ve had an absolute blast! We’ve had some delicious food (big shout outs to Gaston, Masimo’s ice cream, Scirocco and Zachary’s), I’ve embarrassed myself by telling the winner of the whole race that I thought he was lying about winning- it was only when he produced a picture and came over to the table to chat to everyone that I finally believed him, and we’ve hung out with great friends, relaxed by the pool, and had a few vinos– It’s really been a great time.

Luckily the house we are in has an awesome kitchen that we’ve put to good use, last night Neil made his amazing and now legendary paella, I made quinoa with chicken and roast veggies for a pre-race meal and the first night we had an awesome BBQ. Today we’re off to Bistro C for Melbourne Cup lunch. If you’ve never been to Noosa, I highly recommend a trip…. Especially if it doesn’t involve running, biking, or swimming!!

It’s Noosa time!

Tomorrow, we make our annual pilgrimage North for the Noosa Triathlon, or the Noosa Multisport Festival as it calls itself. Personally, a Multisport Festival makes me think of the Olympics or at least a Sports Day  at school- but alas, there are no 3 legged races, egg and spoon races, or fencing, so I’ll refer to it as the Noosa Triathlon thank you very much.

The Noosa Triathalon is one of the highlights of The Runner’s year.  It’s not the longest race he does (in fact it’s relatively short and easy for him in comparison) but it’s one of his favourites, and it’s a time for me to, well….. actually I don’t wind up doing a lot up there, but  I really enjoy that– mostly.

In some ways, the Noosa Tri weekend (or week this year) is The Runner’s happy place– (mine is the Hunter Valley).  In Noosa The Runner and his biking and swimming mates will spend the three days before the race obsessed with the course in Tri-heaven.  For the three days after, they will compare times, performance and who knows what else. There will be talk of helmets, wheels, nutrition and all things triathlon.   He’ll want to walk the swim course, drive the bike course and cycle the run course…. Seriously.  And there will be 19,999 other people who speak the same Tri-language as he does.  To me, it’s mostly unintelligible-  blah blah blah bike, blah blah blah run, blah blah blah swim.  But The Runner LOVES it!

I’ll be on the sidelines as always, supporting him and giving knowing looks to the others in my tribe- the Tri WAGs.  Yes, we’re a lot like Victoria Beckham but without the pout.  We’re a pretty easy bunch to spot, we’re the ones on the side of the road with a book, camera, stopwatch and coffee.  We normally have looks of mild boredom mixed with anticipation mixed with fear that we’ve already missed the big event.  Tri WAGs (also known as Tri-Widows over Noosa weekend) have a finely developed ability to half read a book whilst timing how long since they last saw their partner and calculating whether they have time to grab another coffee or run to the loo before they come back around.  We have cameras that we juggle one handed so that in the 5 seconds that our partners pass by we can half snap a photo and half cheer– resulting in very blurred photos.  Trust me, it is nearly impossible to do both.  Mostly, we’re a very patient bunch.   If we have kids, the kids have a sign saying “Go Daddy” or something similar.  

N.B. from what I’ve seen kids are quite helpful as spotters- they stare at the course as if waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve, whilst their Mom (Mum) is able to read the paper or her book.  Every so often they shout, “There he is!” which more often than not, is not their father.  It is quite funny when they point and wave at some poor guy who has a look of fear on his face, hoping he’s not in an episode of Jerry Springer or Maury Povich.

Noosa will take The Runner about two and a half hours (he will quote you his exact times from the last 3 years if you ask him), during which he’ll spend 20 minutes in the water swimming 1500m, cycle about 40km, and run a 10k.  I will be in roughly the same spot for about 3 hours…. waiting.  The Runner will pass my spot roughly pass four times.  Yes, four times.  You do the math.  I will have some time on my hands as will the other Tri WAGs and widows.  Hence the books,coffees, and slightly bored but supportive looks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad that I’m The Runner’s support crew, and this year, we’ll have lots of friends up there with us to enjoy the week with us.  If you ever get a chance, head to Noosa just to watch the Triathlon, it’s a beautiful setting and whilst there are some super-fit, world class, elite athletes, there are also a fair number of people who have never done a triathlon before some of whom look like they’ve never actually ran anywhere except to the fridge.  I admire all of them for giving it a go– and of course I’m always so proud of The Runner when he competes.  

I’m looking forward to some downtime this week, I’m just hoping the kitchen of the house we’re staying in comes fully equipped- I wouldn’t mind doing some cooking while he runs!

The Next Challenge- The Avoca Cafe Cookbook








So at last night’s challenge, the honor of picking the next cookbook went to the first guest who arrived– I think this might be a new He Runs, I Cook tradition.  Our guest, DC,  a lovely lad from County Cork, picked The Avoca Cafe Cookbook- a gift from The Runner from one of his first trips home.  Apparently The Avoca Cafe is really famous in Ireland and is in Wicklow- where The Runner is from.  Hopefully, The Runner and I will get to eat there when we’re back in Dublin in May.  I’ve made one or two things from this book in the past but I haven’t really delved too deeply into it.  I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it.   But alas, as luck will have it, we’re off to Noosa for one of the highlights of The Runner’s year, Noosa Triathlon.  My Avoca challenge will have to wait until we’re back.  Stay tuned for highlights from Noosa, the last two years have been amazing- and this one should be even better!