|Emz and I in Boston 2011. Yes I was starstruck.|
The Liebster Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. (Upcoming blogger? Not sure about that - I think I have been at this thing so long that all my followers have dropped me. But I'll take all the help I can get).
The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. (I'm a sucker for being called these things so here's me jumping off a cliff for an award).
Rules for receiving this award:
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Then answer the questions the tagger sent for them, plus create 11 questions for the people they’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Notify the people you have tagged.
5. No tag backs. ;)
So here goes - 11 things about me:
1. I love reading. I devour novels. I read while I was in labour, I balanced books on my babies' heads while I fed them, I read in cars, in the bath, on the toilet, in bed. Highbrow, lowbrow, middlebrow - it's the oxygen for my life.
2. I'm finding the cycling bit of triathlon surprisingly tough. I can ride a bike, I can clip in (and out, most of the time), I can handle myself in traffic - but I find it hard to really push myself. If I don't commit to my ride and to really go for it, I find my heart rate dropping to a corpse-like pace. I'm beginning to realise that all of those who have been riding bikes well and hard for some time have a bit of head start on me.
3. I'm a sucker for a dare. It's very immature but I just cannot help myself. This weekend we were in the lake district and climbed a mountain near the Honister Pass. To quote from Wikipedia, " [it] reaches an altitude of 1,167 feet (356 m), making it one of the highest in the region, and also one of the steepest, with gradients of up to 1-in-4 (25%)". We saw some crazy-ass professional looking cyclists heaving their way up this pass and the idea burned into my head that I should try this. I discussed this stupid idea with a couple of my friends who I was there with, most of whom are experienced cyclists. They all said it was "in the mind" and I figured I have a mind like a steel trap, so why not have a go? I had a 3 hour bikeride on the books on Sunday and so, hey presto, Sunday morning saw me cycling to the Honister Pass. It's pretty up and downy on the way there and I was fine with that. After a while there is less vegetation and this is where I started to talk to myself ("it's all in the mind, you're strong, you can do this, imagine how great you'll feel, yadda yadda yadda"). And then I hit the first bit where the gradient is 25%. OH MY LORD! I was hanging on for dear life, terrified the bike would flip backwards with the pressure I was exerting on the handlebars, I was in my smallest gear and could barely get my pedals round and all I was thinking was "[insert swearword] I won't be able to clip out if I get into trouble". I couldn't stop myself all I could think of was clipping out. And I managed. So there I was on this )(*(*&*&^*&% incline out of the saddle. And then all I could think was "man the [insert swearword] up Petra! What the )(*(*&*&^ is going on here? Get back on your )(*(&^*%^ bike!". So I managed to get back on which was no mean feat on that incline. And I pushed on and up. And then, I was nearly at the top and I was going so slowly (and grinding my pedals SO hard, and my heart rate was off the chart) and then I hit a pothole. And fell. Not very hard, as I was going so slowly. And then I could not get back on again, it was just too steep. So I walked my bike the last minute or so to the top. Where I was faced with my next dilemma - how in the (*(*& was I going to get down this pass? It was absolutely hideous. I squeezed my brakes with everything I had and slowly made my way down, imagining all the while what would happen if I came off the road (not impossible as it was v narrow and the cars were wedging past me) and just hoping and praying I'd make it to the bottom and telling myself I was fool to take on the dare. By the time I got to the bottom of the hill my spirit was broken. I was berating myself for being such a fool, for even trying this dumb thing, for ALWAYS rising to a dare. Even if I'm daring myself. My legs and arms were broken too - it was all I could do to get back to our holiday cottage.... I'm okay today. Going for a very flat run this evening...
4. I'm Dutch but have been living in England for longer than I've lived anywhere else and the Olympics have proven to me that I now feel culturally British. I'm going to get that passport sorted!
5. I'd like to be organised but am not. I read Real Simple instead of organising my paperwork and photos.
6. I hate - absolutely loathe - board games. And card games. On the very rare occasions that I play a game with my kids I feel I should be given a free pass straight into Mother heaven as I feel I am making the most enormous sacrifice.
7. On the other hand, I love building Lego.
8. My go-to Karaoke song is "Don't Rain on my Parade".
9. My favourite food is mexican food. I love Wahaca.
10. I also adore Sushi. Japan is the next country I'd like to visit.
11. I'm so not done with goals and challenges. In the next 10 years I'd like to learn how to surf, improve my skiing, learn Japanese, improve my handling of personal finances and find a good yoga teacher. Among other things.
Okay - my questions from Emz are:
1. Favorite social media? Facebook. I have too much to say for Twitter.
2. Favorite post workout meal? Big salad with chicken and avacado and nuts and seeds and all sorts of delicious stuff thrown in.
3. Clean the house or do yard work? Clean the house.
4. Favorite gift you've ever received? Beautiful painting from Adam for my 40th.
5. Do you look most like your mom or dad? Like my mother, I think, though I don't really think I look that much like either of them.
6. If you could go any where in the world - where would you go? Japan - see above. But I'm also desperate to go back to the US to see friends. Do I have to choose?
7. Workout alone or with a group? Alone...
8. Favorite song at the moment? Call Me Maybe. I know, I know. I've never been very edgy.
9. Three qualities of your best friend. Honest, funny, loyal.
10. Favorite Olympic event? 10000m. Strategy. And seeing Tirunesh Dibaba win with such joy was great.
11. Why did you start blogging? Because I was the only person I knew who wanted to talk and hear about running, and I wanted to hear about others who loved it. It's changed my life, brought me new friends and a new career. I'm not stopping!
My questions for the tagged ones? I'm sorry this makes me feel like I'm writing an article in some teen magazine but go for it..
1. What is your next big goal / challenge?
2. What language would you like to learn to speak?
3. Which book has most inspired you?
4. What is the one thing you'd like to do but are afraid to try?
5. Best moment in the 2012 Olympics?
6. Favourite cuisine?
7. To what extent is your lifestyle shaped by the exercise / sport you do?
8. Has your exercise / sport affected your diet?
9. What is your favourite post-race treat - food or otherwise?
10. Which bloggers inspire you?
11. If you're not my FB friend, will you friend me now?
And here's my tagged ones. Oh man - I hate this - it's like picking your favourite child - but this is just a sampling. And some of you have way more than 200 followers - I know that. But do it if you can - it's bound to be fun reading...