Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Onwards and upwards (and downwards too)

A fellow blogger emailed me a few weeks ago asking me how I had managed to fit the Pfitzinger schedule - which is pretty demanding, time and distance-wise - into my schedule.  The answer to that is - simply - by prioritising it.  

That sounds decisive and straightforward enough but can be much more problematic than it seems.  To run the mileage that Pfitzinger demands, and to fit in the rest, sleep and nutritional focus that will help to maximise the mileage I have been cutting corners out of all corners of my life.  

And some parts of my life have very few corners to cut.  Take my family.  They are used to my Sunday morning long runs.  They are used to waking up in the week and finding me either still out on the trail, or just coming in.  But to fit in Pfitzinger's 8 - 12 miles before 7am is harder than my usual leisurely 5.  Getting up at 6 I can cope with.  Getting up at 5 takes some getting used to.  And of course, everyone pays the price for my getting up at 5am.  By 9pm, after a day at work and all the joyous and not-so-joyous tasks of the mother, housewife and wife that greet me in my second shift as I walk through the door, I am not the best company.  This is not the time to come to me with a "I can't sleep".  Or a "let's do our finances now".  Or any conversation or activitity which requires patience and engagement.  Because I no longer have it. 

Work is fairly unaffected.  That is to say that I do a very stressful and demanding job part-time which is really a full-time job wedged into part-time.  I definitely have my bad patches - I am in the middle of one now - but I think that, on balance, I deal with my work stress by running and this is definitely a blessing for my colleagues.   

Other interests?  Well - this blog is a case in point.  While I've never been as "regular" as some, my blogging has definitely tailed off in the last 6 months while my mileage went up.   Which I don't like because I need you all, more than ever.  I like hearing from everyone, sharing with everyone and feeling a part of it. But right now I am training and running so much that I can't actually find the time to share much of it.  I keep composing audio comments while I'm out on a run but I never make the time to sit at my desk and actually record them.  My recipe blog - there are photos on my computer, recipes written up but actually putting them together?  I hope it will happen but something big would have to happen to free up that chunk of time.  

And just as I felt my plate was full - we are moving!  Only next door - my in-laws and I are swapping houses.  No - don't ask.  Our domestic setup is unusual, we live next door to my father-in-law and his girlfriend and, as their house is bigger than ours, and they are getting older and we are taking up more space, we are swapping.  So!  I am packing up the whole house. The icing on the cake of this gem of a domestic situation is that we are living with my in-laws while they renovate our house.  There is plenty of space but still.  It will be interesting.  So not only am I packing, but I am also storing lots of things that in the short term I will not be able to have around.  As anyone who has done this knows, this is very tiring work.  So wedging in my runs around this as well is adding another layer of complexity. 

On balance the running is helping.  The stress relief, the boost I get from running well - all well worth it.  But I would say that training, and in particular following a demanding schedule, does cut into the rest of your life.  And while we have all spent a lot of time thinking about the positive aspects of running, and I wholly believe in them, there is no denying that spending that much time on a hobby affects your life, not always where you would wish it to. 

Training - thank you for asking - is going well.  I have just started my 12 week training plan for Berlin and the Bizz, tacking two extra weeks on to cope with the summer holidays / injuries and /or illness.  In the weeks prior to starting the program I managed a 40M week and a 38M week, a 10 miler run at an 8 minute mile pace and a 12 miler at 8:30 minute mile pace.  I feel ready for the Pfitz.  Bring it on boy!

So now from the ethereal to the more, well, earthy aspects of my life.  About 4 weeks ago I realised that I had progressed from being to having a pain in my a**.  Yes I pulled my hamstring.  The very top of it.  I had never given much thought to my hamstrings but now I had to.  I didn't even know where it was.  The name is a clue.  I had a pain in my ham.  So off I trotted to my friendly osteopath, font of all running and physical wisdom.  He did not seem unduly concerned but recommended stretching and .. massage.  A .. well .. ham massage.  I've had two of these ham massages and they have made me realise just how English I've become. While I'm lying there on the massage table having my issues dealt with, so to speak, we speak about climbing mountains, training schedules, nutrition etc.  In other words - we both make very sure to avoid any mention of the massaging of the ham.  

You will be delighted to hear, however, that the awkwardness and embarassment has been worth it as my ham is much happier and so am I.  I think that tomorrow we can just go back to my usual ITB stretches and knee massage... 

So if you don't hear from me, it's not because I've given up.  I'm probably out running.  Or at my osteopath's.  But I haven't forgotten you - don't forget me.  I'll be back! 

13 comments:

nylisa said...

You're so inspirational! You and the rest of the running friends is what keeps me from falling off the track, so to speak. Hey, maybe if you keep compiling audio/blog/recipe bits of goodness, you'll have an entire book that you can work on after Berlin! Happy training!

aron said...

whew that just made me tired!! wow you are really out there rocking lady! cannot wait to see how this training schedule pays off :) good luck with everything and know we are all thinking about you too!!!

Maddy said...

So glad to see you have posted again. I was feeling like I owed you an email to check in - which still do.

You are amazing! And I know all too well the joys of living with the in-laws and living next door.

Susan said...

Oh Petra -- you are the queen of busy! And moving, too -- even if it is just next door, is a BIG DEAL. I'd say that running DOES keep mummy happy!

I really admire you, my friend. You are definitely an inspiration for me in the family department!

Bootchez said...

I cannot imagine even contemplating your schedule, but do enjoy your blog posts when they pop up. The in-laws -- wow!

Tara said...

omigoodness you are one busy lady! seems like you're handling it all well and really the only way to take on Pfitz it to make him a priority!!! sound slike you're well prepared to take him on for another round! Happy Training :)

lizzie lee said...

Petra, I need you too, so though I understand, please don't fall too far behind with the story telling. It's much needed.

Your post tells me I can't do Pfitz. Or can I? I better should ask: Do I want to? I may not want it. I like my sort of not-so-demanding schedule....

ShirleyPerly said...

Thanks for the update, Petra! Glad to hear your running is going well and the pain in the @ss has been averted. That move next door is interesting. I don't think I could ever live next door to family members, to be honest.

Good luck with your training and all else you are juggling. We all know what falls off the plate first when we get too busy. Take care!

Marathon Maritza said...

Though it may take me a while to respond, I'll never forget you!

I'm being equally as awful about posting as I am about reading, so I apologize....reading all you do makes me realize 1) that you are INCREDIBLE and 2) that I can get my act together if YOU can!

I'm glad your ham is feeling better and that training is going well! I can't wait to hear all about Berlin and Bizz when you come to VISIT US!!! Hang in there, good luck with training, house-swapping, your ham, and all things mother-wife-runner. If anyone can, YOU can do this.

Lots of love, friend.

Jade Lady said...

I admire you! Prioritizing is so rough - esp when it calls for early morning stuff.

ok, now I understand why you're packing- good luck with the swapping!

jeanne said...

and you think you're behind (not your behind. or ham. whatever.) I had mentally replied to this post, so therefore I thought I had actually physically replied. I'm talented like that.

I remember thinking when I first read this: GOOD LORD! living with the in-laws?? Packing a house of four people??? That is REALLY the icing on the cake! (Yum, cake!)

My hat is off to you. I now officially feel like a slacker. I haven't managed to yet clean up from my itty-bitty kitchen remodel that was done, like 3 weeks ago!

Take care of yourself. I hope you schedule some rest, and be careful with that hammy. :)

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