Monday, December 21, 2009

Basset hounds and other pre-Christmas issues

Well, I was all set to write a post about a midlife crisis I am experiencing. However, I got started on writing it all and detailing it and then life took off, in that way it does in the weeks before Christmas, and before I knew it was December 21st (today) and I'd forgotten about my crisis. People who know me (ie my husband) tend to just let my crises be (I have them on a regular basis - I had a really bad one 2 years ago when I felt that I was the person described on Stuff White People Like - and I'm utterly serious) and judging by the fact that they are intense, and then pass (a bit like PMT come to think of it - perhaps I should be examining the timing?) I suppose I should learn to take them less seriously. Not in my nature, but still.

Anyway. My crisis was about ageing. It already seems ridiculous now that I'm writing about it but there is a still a kernel of deep feeling in there. Basically, I suddenly realised that at 38, if I don't get enough sleep and get the right kind of nutrition (...) my face ends up looking like a snowy field that lots of people have done 3 point turns on. I took a few casual photos of myself on my phone, thinking they would be fun to post on Facebook or on here and GOOD LORD! NO! I look like a basset hound (I could easily get back into this crisis, can you tell?). Anyway. As I said, the crisis went away when I had other urgent business (children fighting, ironing, getting Christmas presents organised) to deal with. The power of distraction - it's magic for toddlers and middle-aged women on the edge of a breakdown.

So back to running. Running. Yes. As I mentioned in my last post, I have started the 18 week Pfitzinger program. This is a first for me - I've only ever done the 12 week program - but I was in need of a new start and a bit of a change and I'm hoping this is it. I know it's more than 15 weeks to Boston from today (especially for Emily who I completely panicked with my inability to get a calendar straight) but I'm going skiing for 8 days in January (Jackson Hole, so with the jetlag I'll need a few more days to get over that trip) so I have added 2 extra weeks onto training. So, given that, I've completed week 3 today. 40M for the first time in this cycle (though that's not hard work for Petey Pfitzinger, he considers that a basis...). On the whole, I'm quite happy with how it's all gone, so far. I've managed every run, even today's 14 miler in the snow. My legs feel like I've done 20 - it was hard work on unplowed roads - but I got the miles in and made it round. As far as my cross training in preparation for next summer's triathlons goes - not quite there yet. But ... I did try our local swimming club. They are super hardcore (they send swimmers from Lincoln to the Olympics which is truly incredible) but were really really friendly. Yay for swimmers over runners, people. It may have helped that I had to have an entire humble pie to myself - I was by far the slowest and crappest person in the slow lane. While my 3 other swimming lane buddies were butterfly crawling their way across the pool (!!!!) I was doing breaststroke. Yeah well. I did feel that I learned a lot in one lesson and will certainly be going back once a week. Biking has been very quiet - it has been snowy and icy here and I'm terrified of falling over, attached to my pedals.. I can see that I might have to join the gym where I swim so I can get some spinning classes in. In the meantime, however, I am still signed up for the duathlon on New Year's eve (2.5 mile run, 9.5 bike, 2.5 mile run) and then on New Year's day we have organised an 8 mile bikeride (or 5M run depending on the conditions) followed by our now traditional New Year's day dip in the icy lake, followed by bacon and sausage sandwiches and HOT coffee...

Finally - oh I have been a terrible blog reader and commenter. While I was having a minor breakdown / buying Christmas presents / contemplating bankruptcy / researching rejuvenating serums on the internet you all have been out there achieving.. A brief and inconclusive rollcall reveals that:
- Susan ran a marathon 10 months (10 months!) after having a baby, after losing all of her babyweight and training her socks off. (10 months after I had babies .. well let's not go there. I was NOT running marathons). Susan is officially amazing..
- Jeanne ran a half marathon in freezing cold after nights of insomnia, just for the reward of brunch. Jeanne that would motivate me - one day we'll be having brunch together after a brutal half!
- Aron, Amy, Tara, Maritza and Tina (and many more) ran the CIM marathon. Aron BQed (fabulous girl - she really drained the juice in the can for this one), Tara became a marathon maniac (no comment) and signed up for a half ironman (actually you are nuts dear Tara!) and Maritza also ran something like her 20th marathon in 10 days and is now, I believe, taking a break for a few days? Are you?
- the only person who has been really lazing around, as far as I can tell, is IronJen and that is because she has just become an Ironman. Jeez Jen you set the bar SO high! What's a girl got to to do to take some time off and drink wine round here?

Seriously - you are all very very incredibly impressive. And I will catch up. At some point.

So now I'm going to post this and start making my mammoth shopping list for Christmas food. Have my parents coming across from arctic Holland tomorrow for 6 days. People coming over for Christmas eve, and then we have the Duguid / Moll 4 days of celebration - Christmas day, Boxing day, Felix's (and Maritza's!) birthday, and my mother's birthday. The duathlon will be a welcome break. I intend to stick to my running schedule over this time - keep me accountable. Wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous new year. May 2010 bring you all you wish for. Lots of love, Petra

11 comments:

Meg Runs said...

You are the most honest blogger I know and I always enjoy hearing what you're up to! Girl, you just tell it like it is in your life and I really wouldn't call your issues "crises," I think you're just experiencing real life in a real way!! I love it!!
I love Pfitzinger's running/marathon training plans by the way and I hope it goes well for you! Sounds like you have a busy December and a fun January planned. Keep up the living--you're sound girl!
xoxo meg

Meg Runs said...

You are the most honest blogger I know and I always enjoy hearing what you're up to! Girl, you just tell it like it is in your life and I really wouldn't call your issues "crises," I think you're just experiencing real life in a real way!! I love it!!
I love Pfitzinger's running/marathon training plans by the way and I hope it goes well for you! Sounds like you have a busy December and a fun January planned. Keep up the living--you're sound girl!
xoxo meg

runningcommentaries said...

I am so impressed by all of you who run in the snow. I can't even imagine!

Keep it up. Can't wait to hear more in 2010~

Road Warrior said...

Ah, another Petra explosion--I love it!

Sounds like you're back on the wagon with Pfitz. Does your husband know you're seeing him again?

Looking forward to the New Year's pictures. Even I'd do that if it was followed by a bacon/sausage sandwich!

Susan said...

My heavens - you have GOT to get your own reality show!!!!! I would stay up to te wee hours to watch it! I would just love to be a fly on the wall of your life. :)

Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are truly an inspiration to ME.

aron said...

yay boston training!!! so excited for you :) i also think you are amazing!! you were my inspiration for "leaving it all out there" - thank you for that <3

marty said...

i have a theory on crises - i have developed a coping strategy: when i am not in a crisis i know the next one isn't far away, thus when the next crisis does come around the anxiety isn't as bad as when i was waiting for the present crisis. i then think about this deeply and i manage to confuse myself which stops me thinking about the crises, and i focus on my confusion instead. thus, eventually, i get fed-up trying to figure out why i am confused and start thinking about why the next crisis hasn't arrived yet. and so the cycle starts again. coping made simples:)

marty said...

ps. joyeux noel

lizzie lee said...

Wow, 14 miles in the snow sounds a challenge.

I was/am not too much of a mid-age crisis person, but there is one line of one of my favorite poems that can help: "Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth."

Have a very happy New year
sincere-lee
lizzie lee

Drusy said...

Petra, Petra, Petra.... in 10 years you'll look back and think how great you looked at 38, and miss your chaos with the little monsters. Enjoy!!

Have a great ski trip!

Marathon Maritza said...

Yes, I am taking a break. A big one apparently, as I've done nothing but eat during this Christmas break. Eeeek!

You are doing well and are gorgeous, but I agree, keeping our skin looking healthy is a concern of mine to, and you can never underestimate water, sleep and eating well.

You are awesome, and I miss you! Have a happy, fun, safe New Year's!