Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gearing up, heading out and going naked

I’ve been blaming my lack of posts in the past 10 months on work. However, now that work has, for the time being, disappeared out of my life, I’ve been posting even less. Thinking about it this morning while I was pounding out 10 painful miles on the treadmill (of which more later) I realised that the main reason my posts have been further and fewer between is because of the demands of my training program. I am too busy running to write about it.. This does not seem to affect other Pftitzionados I know (and I am hereby, officially, coining this phrase – feel free to use and distribute) like Aron, Tara and Maritza but in my case, this is what seems to happen.
So, another post, another excuse. At least it’s a different one.

Since giving up work about 4 weeks ago things have not stopped. My daughter and then my son started their summer holidays, tax returns were due and then our old flat in London (vestige of our previous life which we rent out) was vacated by our tenants and my husband and I spent a week dealing with the revolting state our tenants had left it in. An ongoing project but thankfully it has been interrupted by our summer holiday, booked way back in February when it was freezing and cold and all I could think about was getting some heat. Well I’ve found it.

I will be uploading this post from the island of Naxos, in Greece. We are staying in a lovely hotel 10 minutes from the beach and have, so far, spent our days either by the pool or at the beach. Reading, building sandcastles, swimming – it has been absolutely wonderful to switch off. It is hot – very hot – and saved only by the breeze, well wind, that blows across the entire Cycladic chain of islands in summer. And yes, I have been getting my runs in. 12M on Tuesday was run along the coast as an out and back. 5 yesterday was not too taxing but I was dreading this morning’s 12. It was a V02 workout with 7M at halfmarathon / 15K pace. The roads are fine to run on but dusty and sandy – not at all great for speedwork – and the wind makes your speeds differ widely, depending on whether it is in your back on or in your face. So I decided to go for it on the hotel’s treadmill in its very bare gym. This being continental Europe, all the treadmills are in kms but Pfitz has helpfully started incorporating some km distances into his schedules. So I warmed up for 2K and then ran 12K at 11.5 km/h pace. Which I think is sort of the right pace. Hard to work out. It didn’t feel too painful so it was probably not quite fast enough. On the other hand I find doing any distances on the treadmill psychologically incredibly difficult so it was probably best to pitch it conservatively. I then had 5K more to run and have to admit defeat – after a cooldown of 2K I had had enough. I just cannot bear these things! Being on it for nearly 90 minutes was just about the hardest thing I’ve done in this training cycle. I find it so boring, find myself counting down the distances to the nearest 10th, and am just running and waiting for it to be over. Anyway – I’m not beating myself up too much for the >2M I missed – I ran those on Monday anyway on the treadmill at the airport hotel – and tomorrow is my first 20 miler of this training cycle so it’s not bad thing to cut things a bit shorter today. I’m taking a leaf out of all Roho’s books here – I’m going to start this run at 5:20am so I can get most of it in before the sun gets really serious.

Changing the topic, I was going to do a post on all my new gear, gearing up for Berlin. There is finally a Hammer distributor in the UK and so I placed a big order for espresso (nutella) gels and some small packets of the various different drinks etc. that they sell. However, it appears the distributor has a pretty iffy computer connection and my delivery took about 2 weeks to arrive. I was going to take a photo of all my new food and my new shoes and tights, but I got fed up with waiting and started using it all. So you’ll just have to believe me when I tell you that I’ve bought a new pair of Asics Gel Nimbus 11s which I am slowly wearing in and that my mother has treated me to a pair of serious compression tights which I’m hoping to start using in September and will certainly be wearing on the plane home from Berlin (as I’m basically crossing the finish, pulling on my tights and then getting on a plane)…

As for going naked you will be relieved to hear that this has nothing to do with my ass injury – and that’s all fine now thank you – but rather has to do with my orthotics. Those of you who have been working their way through this blog for a while know I was really injured last year and tried every possible thing to get over it. One of the things I did was go to see a podiatrist and, of course, I was prescribed custom orthotics. Has anyone ever gone to see a podiatrist and not come back with (screamingly expensive) custom orthotics? Anyhow I have been wearing these things for well over a year now, training and racing, but about 5 weeks ago I started to notice that I was really feeling them in my shoes. Then I went out for a long run and found I could not run with them at all – they really hurt my feet. Of course I did not have the original insoles in my shoes anymore so I had to bail on that run. At home, I found some insoles and started running, tentatively, without my orthotics. Would the sky fall? It didn’t. 5 weeks on and I’m running free of my orthotics. I bought some new insoles and haven’t looked back. Speaking to my osteopath about this he thinks it is because my legs are so much stronger than last year and I just don’t need that kind of support anymore. I’ve saved the orthotics but hope never to have to use them again…

Which brings me to the end of an exceptionally boring post. Sorry about that. I wanted to update you on my life and training and, for once, there isn’t too much going on. Just getting my miles in and letting things come at me – for once… The peace won't last so get ready to catch me when I next panic!

6 comments:

ShirleyPerly said...

Pftitzionados - great term!

I think blogging is a passion type of thing. You do it as a form of expression or outlet, for yourself, otherwise it becomes a chore. I know sometimes I have much more fun reading than I do writing, esp. when I feel I have nothing much to say other than I'm still training, etc.

But, it's always wonderful to hear from you, Petra. I admire your ability to run in new places. That's something I am uncomfortable doing (for safety reasons) unless I'm in a race or with others and hence often get stuck running on hotel treadmills. Not much fun, I agree!

aron said...

haha love that phrase :)

i have to blog or my head will explode!!

jeanne said...

yum you said nutella!

vacay sounds lovely. treadmill sounds like misery. I admire you for sticking it out for 90 minutes!!

I too had custom orthotics (you're right, i don't think it matters what your problem is when you go in, you're going to come out with orthoics) and wore them for a year and then the same thing happened. I took 'em out and everything was fine!

Another $500 down the drain. sigh!

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arcteryx said...

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saucony said...

congratulations to you!
Keep up the good work!