Monday, November 30, 2009

The future is bright (and cold and wet).

Finally! You thought I'd just crawled under a rock and given up right? As well I might have done given all the moaning and whingeing I have done in the past month. But the funk is officially been, done and gone. How did I achieve this? 



First of all, by going back to the opposite of me. Remember that? Well this time I took it and interpreted it slightly differently (it's my church, so I get to make the rules) to just mean "doing things differently".
• After being on a running schedule for most of the year, I had no schedule. After getting each and every run in for the past 7 months, I let myself off the hook sometimes. I took a break and it was good.
• After more than 5 years of doing only running, I bought a bike. I have held off on buying a bike for a long time because, being Dutch, and having used a bike as a primary means of transport for years in my teens and twenties, I was under no illusions as to the problems with bikes. I.e - technical problems. Flat tires. Chains coming off. Strange noises. Adjusting and readjusting. Endless stuff. And this was all on the simple and cruddy bikes I used to ride. Heavy "sit up and begs" that had no gears and had backpedal brakes. However, I was owed a birthday present and eBay suggested a beautiful bargain. It was delivered to me with clipless pedals and while this would, normally, have been an excuse for me to park the bike in the garage for 6 months while I procrastinated about working it out, I headed to the bikeshop instead and bought some shoes, some cleats and a helmet and set about working out my bike. Yes I fell. Four times hard, so far. I have forced myself to work out how to adjust the tension, I have adjusted the seat, and have also - major victory, worked out the gears. Somewhat. That's still a work in progress.
• I have entered a duathlon (31st December, 2.5 mile run, 9 mile bike and 2.5 mile run) and am currently trying to find somewhere agreeable to go swimming. If I can find a place to train and learn, the next summer will be summer of triathlons. I really am working on this one peeps!
• I did some of the things I haven't done when I was training so hard. I spent some time with friends, I filled in my tax return (so late it's not even funny) and I generally lazed about a bit.

However. However. However. The most interesting realisation to me has been that while I needed a break from my schedule and running I am happier and more effective with a schedule in my life. Somehow it sets my course for each week - this is the training I need to get in and I need to work my week around it. I get a lot more other stuff done when I'm training. I waste less time. I feel better - physically and mentally - with a goal. All hardly an aha erlebnis for most of you, but I'm not really a Type A like so many runners. (You should see the state of my house!). I'm amazed that I'm able to stick to a schedule and find it so useful to organise my life, and set out my priorities.

The other thing that has got me back is, once again, the kindness of you lot. The emails, the messages, the FaceBook comments. I couldn’t drop out if I wanted to could I? So thank you – you know who you are..



So I'm back in the game now people. The past few weeks have seen my first brick workout (8M bike followed by a 5M run -hardly an IronMan but still) and I’m determined to keep up my biking as my cross training in the run-up to Boston. I’m going to try the 18 week Pfitzinger schedule this time – it’s long but I want to try and see how the more gradual build-up will go. I’m fitting in 2 extra weeks as I’m going skiing in January – yes this time I will have sports massages while I’m out there and I’m already booked in with my osteopath immediately upon my return. Tight quads will NOT derail Boston.

Finally – can you keep a secret? You know I’m better when I get naughty. And I have been. I have had (and still have…) a very bad cold at the moment. On Saturday night I was in bed by 7pm feeling like death. However, I had entered a half-marathon on Sunday weeks ago to motivate me to get some mileage in. I woke up at 6am on Sunday feeling okay and so, without telling anyone, texted the babysitter and headed to the race. Well of course it was a stupid idea. The rain was sheeting down. It was SO cold. So wet. So hilly. Despite that I got race giddy and ran my first mile in under 8 minutes – so the end of the race was very grim indeed. I wasn’t properly trained, nor physically well enough to run a half-marathon yesterday. But I did it. And I crossed the finish line in 1:52! No PB, but not bad at all. A good yardstick to start Boston training with.

I'm going to publish this now so I can go off and catch up on your blogs. Apologies for the radio silence - I'm back in the game!

8 comments:

marty said...

Great to see you back Petra. We've missed you. Good you are back with a training plan (and a bike). It's going to be interesting following your progress through 2010. Good luck with your training.

runningcommentaries said...

I love my bike-- it's a nice change when you need a rest from running but learning to use the clipless pedals/cleats can be really challenging.

Glad you're back!

Meg Runs said...

Yeah, it's great to hear from you and see that you're back and happy with your fitness and biking, etc. I can't wait to follow your training!

Emily said...

Yay - you're back! how long did it take you? I think I'm still in my funk...maybe a couple of weeks left now? When do you start your Boston training? We should do the same training! I was originally going to do a 12 week plan but why not 18? I am the same way on following a schedule. And I'm not really type A, maybe just a lower case-a? I don't know. I'm starting to feel bad about my lack of enthusiasm about running and stuff...slowly!

Have fun on your bike too!

jeanne said...

I so LOVE the opposite of me! Except, if I do the opposite of me, then don't I need to do the OPPOSITE of that, since that's what I'm doing?? Sigh. It's hard being me.

Yay! A bike! I understand the bad associations, but this is not your mother's bike! (and p.s. triathletes must post bike photos. It's required.)

I have no idea how to fix cleats, so you are already ahead of me.

You could quite successfully complete that du tomorrow. You are going to KILL it!

I hear you about the schedule. Even if I'm not following it, I feel better just having one.

You never cease to amaze me. :)

Marathon Maritza said...

Well look at you go, you secret biker, secret racer you! Great job tho!

I can't even tell you how excited I am to do something OTHER than running and to have no schedule. I'm dying for it.

Miss you! ♥

Road Warrior said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere, Petra. I like that you've started to incorporate biking into your workouts. I firmly believe my cross-training helped in the last marathon. It takes so much strain off of your body.

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