Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new - give it to me 2011!

Hope you had a good Christmas? We did - we started off the holidays with a Santa run and have been charging through the weeks ever since. And almost before I realised it - in the brief breather between Christmas, boxing day, Felix's birthday (December 27th) - and New Year - it's the 31st!

2010 was the year that did not go as planned. Har dee har har I hear you laughing - life's like that - and I knew that, but I don't think I really knew it. So 2010 came along to make that point to me. You all know that at the very last moment I found myself unable to travel to Boston to run the marathon there. It was an enormous disappointment which to some extent overshadowed my feelings about running for a long time afterwards. You may also have gathered, through my frequent cryptic references, that 2010 has also been a very challenging year for me on a personal and emotional level.

Yet, as I lie in bed thinking about everything that has happened in this past year, I feel that both experiences, unpleasant as they were at the time, have been instrumental in pushing forward personal growth and development. I joked about it at the time, but failing to get to that starting line in Hopkinton really did force me to surrender to the universe. I am not always in charge. And I was able to use that experience when things got rough on personal level - where in the past I have always tried to "fix" things and problems, I realised this summer that sometimes you must let things be as they are with people as well. Actions have consequences and instead of always trying to undo them or change them, sometimes you just need to let things unfold as they will. Oh big stuff, I know, and hardly stuff I'm done figuring out. But I do feel happier with where I stand, and stronger for battling through it.

And my running? This has not been a year of PRs or medals. My Boston training cycle was mixed - I was exhausted for a lot of it. I abandoned my training for the Nottingham marathon due to exhaustion presumed to be the result of anemia. I ran very few races. But it has been a year where my training, however unsuccessful at times, has proved a mainstay and an anchor. Having something to do, a goal to achieve, however unrealistic at times, has helped me through. And on. And in the course of this year, I also discovered how much I enjoyed biking and swimming. My progress in both areas is slow - I am still taking swimming lessons and my bike has not been out for a month due to the diabolical weather - but I have signed up for the London triathlon next summer and will be out there training for that AND my London to Paris bikeride as soon as I have finished Boston.

And let's just talk about Boston for a minute. Training for Boston is going well. I have said it before and I will bore you with it again - I love having a coach. She tells me what to do - I do it. When I panic - which I did earlier this week because I was worried I wasn't exhausted enough by my training - I email her and ask her whether I should panic and she emails me straight back and tells me no, I'm fine, I'm building a base and some speed, and the long runs are ahead of me, and then I stop panicking because, you know, she's got a plan for me! She knows what she's doing - I just need to continue doing it. And the logistics for Boston have fallen into place as well. I didn't want to blog about it any earlier for fear that my kids might read this and realise what that dastardly Santa had in store for them but our big Christmas present this year was that on April 5th, we will all fly out to Orlando for 10 days (with ALL that entails, including, I hope, some running with my Florida peeps) and then on the Friday before the marathon we will fly up to Boston and squeeze into one room at the Lenox Hotel together and my kids and husband will be able to cheer me on in the race - how cool is that? They would have been unable to join me this year, so this definitely makes running it in 2011 extra special..

There is so much to look forward to in 2011. Not just the races and the trip with my family, but I am also turning 40 and am looking forward to it. It's a milestone and I'm so happy to be heading there in good health and spirits and with so much good fortune in my life. I'm not sure yet how to celebrate it - any suggestions welcome. If you can include some travel and a race, all the better!

And last but not least - you all have made 2010 for me. You, my blogging buddies, are real people and real friends. Your comments, views and insights have been invaluable. I was lucky enough to meet some of you this year and hope to meet many more next year - either in Boston, Florida or maybe here?

Merry new 2011. May it bring you ALL you hope for. And come run with me.

23 comments:

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

things do happen for a reason and maybe the 2011 Boston experience with your family is the reason for the 2010 mishap. and you did say you learned a lot in 2010. So looking to 2011...it's going to be fantastic! Boston Baby! Woo Hoo!

(Boston - hill work, lots of hill work)

nylisa said...

You are an inspiration to others. You keep me motivated to run and I thank you for that. Things may not always go as planned, but in the end it's the journey that shapes who we are. Happy 2011, Petra!

misszippy said...

Love the Santa run picture of your family! And I think Ginny is right--2010 happened for a reason. Now you'll go to Boston and PR in a big way, plus you'll get to do it with the kiddos and husband on board. Perfect!

jen said...

Happy New Year Sweetheart! :) I love this post. I think 2011 is going to be a great one for you. I have a big idea for your 40th...will email you. :)

Krister said...

Best wishes to you and your family for the new year.

Road Warrior said...

Glad to hear you singing a good tune at the end of the year. New years is a time for us to reflect on the good and the bad, and to let the bad go and keep the good going.

So excited to meet you in Boston in April! And with the full family no less!

Jill said...

10 days in Florida sunshine in April will be the perfect Vitamin D aborption before you hit the hills in Boston. I know when I emailed you the other day asking if your fam was going to Boston with you, you didn't write back about that so I figured you were still working it out...I was so excited to hear they will be all joining you for the big Boston debut - you're going to have a blast! And you're going to run so well, you're in good hands and all our training woes are taken care of so all you gotta do now girl, is run!! :)

Wishing you much happiness and many MANY healthy miles in 2011. I hope we meet one day...in London or Paris or Holland...or here in the US! :)
xoxo

Susan said...

Oh my friend - YOU have made MY 2010 bright! And I know that 2011 will be no less blinding!

marty said...

Happy new year to you and yours, Petra. After 2010, hoping 2011 is Petra's running year. All the very best.

ShirleyPerly said...

I am SO HAPPY that you are enjoying working with your coach! I absolutely LOVE having someone just tell me what to do vs. always guessing and soliciting opinions on what I should do. Look forward to seeing you in Boston for sure and maybe Orlando too if our travel schedules synch up. Have a wonderful New Years and keep inspiring!

Meg said...

I LOVED reading this post, it brought back the difficult memories and feelings of what you have been through but it also shows how things ALWAYS turn around and work out for the best...that's something I never feel when I'm going through something tough! Note to self=REMEMBER THIS!
It's so nice you can let your coach do the thinking and the planning...that's just one of the HUGE benefits! Thanks for sharing your feelings about Boston, I'm there too. R E L A X, that's my new mantra!
New Years HUGS!!

Running and living said...

Have a great 2011! You sound calm, content and ready for the year! Love that!

Aron said...

You just sound so much more "together" right now :) love it!! You are going to do great in Boston and I CANNOT WAIT to see you there!!!! It's going to be a good year :)

Marathon Maritza said...

Despite some hard times, you have had an amazing 2010 and I am so proud of you for everything you have learned and accomplished. You have taught me a lot in sharing your stories via the blog and emails (I even quoted you on today's post!) and I hope I am able to see you again this year! Maybe you should celebrate your 40th in California and bring your kids and we will all go to disneyland!

Thank you again for proving that even from afar, you are a great friend. May 2011 bring you all the wonderful things in life.

XOXO

Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel

Tara said...

Bring on 2011! I love that your family is going to share in your Boston experience with you! Funny how things always seem to work out for the better :)

Amanda@runninghood said...

what a fabulous and reflective post. Thank you. Yes, things do happen for a purpose and the bad stuff usually makes us stronger and more focused on our goals or help us redirect. Loved your comment on my blog today! I'm so glad that my blog spiritually inspires you. so sweet. And I want to hug Meg too. And Ana Maria...new to her but wow, she really makes me want to go get some big goals! I will have to look into chi running too. Thanks! Good luck with your training. Hope it is going well

Christian Schmeikal said...

Hi Petra!

Really impressive progress you've had in your running career! I can only hope that I will become at least half as successful in my own running. Right now I'm struggling to reach sub 37 10k in 2011.

Cheers!

My blog Running for performance

Aka Alice said...

Happy New Year Petra...geez, your holiday season sounds just like mine!

I think we are a lot alike. It's not easy for me to admit that I cannot control everything. This is probably a good lesson to be learned; sometimes we just have to ride it out!

2011 is going to be your year! Woot!

lizzie lee said...

Petra.... Not much to say as I think we have shared it all about Boston. The best for you in 2011...

PS: What an excellent gift the FL/MA combo and having the opportunity of being w/your family in such a race... CONGRATS... and BTW, you all look very nice in Santa's outfit!!!

Runner Susan said...

Merry 2011 to you, too! I need to come over there and run London. Go 2011!

Emz said...

when is your big day? I may have to come to london for a 40th birthday. yes, I just invited myself.

Amanda@runninghood said...

Hey Petra. So nice to hear from you! Um, those 6 min mile paces are done in short spurts...I can't keep em up for long. :) Yes, PMS for me means being tired, stuffing my face, and eating my husband's head for even a wrong look. :) Okay, I'm not that bad but it feels like it. :)