Thursday, May 13, 2010

6 is the new 5 - and other goals.

Yes I have been a bad - silent - blogger recently. And a bad - silent - commenter as well. It's my life people - I'm trying to enjoy the downtime (ie not-training-for-a-marathon-time) to pick up the stitches I've dropped in my life while I was training. I've dealt with admin, with domestic issues, with some personal issues (though sadly, to no avail) and tried to take the time to not rush into my next training cycle. I've tried to focus on the opposite of me - fight the impulsive decisions, reassess past situations before planning new ones.

The problem is that I'm going through a sort of mid-life crisis. I won't bore you with the details of it - for now - suffice it to say that coupled with my crisis are feelings of guilt for even having it and feelings of boredom over having it at all. While part of me is in mental freefall, the rest of me is just sitting there, yawning, thinking "haven't we been here before sweetie?". Or something a bit harsher than that. Like I said, I'm not going to bore you with it apart from the fact that I thought, initially, that I should perhaps not train for a marathon at the moment, to free myself up to resolve my "issues". But that is just too boring a prospect. And what I'm going through I'm just going to have to go through and resolve, one way or the other. And that will take time. And while I'm taking that time (have I mentioned before how impatient I am? This is a challenge, indeed) I might as well do something. And for lack of another good plan, I shall train for a marathon. So here we go again.

The marathon I am training for - and this is the opposite of me - is the Experian Robin Hood marathon. You were of varied opinions about it when I polled your thoughts about it - but the overwhelming reason for me to do this is because it is close and, after the debacle of Boston, I can pretty much guarantee I can get to the starting line. I would say to you that I am going against my instinct and not turning this into a foreign jolly like I usually do, but that would be a very narrow truth - IronJen is going to be in Paris the week before the marathon and I am determined to make it out to see her (I know - that is so good of me). I am sure that we will be able to add to my iron stores by drinking some lovely champagne..

Now onto the cryptic (catchy?) title for this post - I have made some decisions about my training:
- I'm using the Pfitzinger 12 week program, fitting in 2 weeks extra for summer holidays. 18 weeks - well 20 - was just too long for me to keep my focus for. Don't know who I was kidding - true type A (and superfast) runners Aron and Jen warned me about this but hey - only one way to really, truly, find out.
- I'm really going to cross train this time. No really! I have started doing yoga once a week, my bike is being services as I speak, and I have found about new, less daunting, swimming lessons on Sundays. Stay tuned for another update on social group behavior. The 100 pushup program has been on my iPhone for oh, a year now? Now I want to have guns like Michelle's. Keep me to it!
- In the warm-up to it all - I have 3 weeks to go - I am trying to keep my mileage between 30 and 40 miles per week but also trying to move my general knocking-about-not-really-training-just-chillin-and-listening-to-my-tunes runs to 6 miles instead of 5.

And I have got to - GOT TO - move 5 pounds. Off. My butt.

So there we have it. I've boldly put it all out there, now all I need to do is go out there and do it.

I will leave you with some shots of my latest run, in Derbyshire (3 miles uphill followed by 3 miles downhill), and the local wildlife.

sheep in the car park where I left my car..

more sheep on the way uphill - don't you love their trough?

me. yes they are crow's feet. From smiling, people.

green and pleasant, if not sunny, land..

off-roading it a bit - this was a particularly LONG uphill so I was happy to take a photographer's break.

Hope all your running is going well - about to go and check you all out. TTFN!


Julianne Chai said...

I think you'd be quite surprised at how not-bored we would be with your details of ... "mid life crisis". Actually those words really peak my interest. But, we'll leat this there for now... HANG IN THERE!!!! I just love your reasons behind picking the Robin Hood Marathon! Um... I would love to run that race one day... Just for the name!!! Sounds fun!!!!

Emz said...

great post.

There are not Crow's feet - they are "happy lines" --- trust me --- grumpy people......they don't have them!!

Road Warrior said...

Very nice, Petra. Welcome back. Sounds like a little something different to focus on will get you out of your funk.

Marathon Maritza said...

I call them happy laugh lines :)

I would post a big comment but I am emailing you RIGHT NOW!!!

Unknown said...

I agree with Julianne, we can all relate with your situation and issues right now. I am going through some similar stuff and it's confusing but helpful to read your post and know you are muddling through too! We all do the best we can, don't apologize because we are learning from YOU. Thanks for sharing!
I think your marathon sounds like an adventure, but maybe that's my imagination getting wrapped up in the NAME of the marathon, it makes me want to be more international and fly over in September!
Hugs, hang in there and thanks for the gorgeous pictures!

Karen said...

I agree with Julianne, we would so not be bored with details of 'mid life crisis'. You have just left us all curious...tease!

The fact that you are still signing up for a marathon in light of said crisis just makes you even more inspiring.

And they are so not crows feet. You are gorgeous and can't imagine there is anything approaching 5 pounds to loose from that bum of yours!


Susan said...

You are just wonderful. So honest! I love it.

I like the shorter training plan. Admittedly, knowing that I still have 21 weeks until my race is a bit daunting. But on the other hand, I think it'll do me good. Regardless, yours truly is not ready to run in 12 weeks!

I'd like to get 5 (or 20...) pounds off my behind as well.

Runner Leana said...

Best of luck sorting through your mid-life crisis. I agree, if it takes time to sort through then doing something in the meantime sounds like a great idea. Sometimes all of that running helps to put things in perspective, or sometimes it gives your brain a break. Best of luck. Congratulations on going to the Robin Hood marathon. I'm keen to hear about that one.

And great pictures too!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Hello Petra - I can relate to you post on many levels. I have "mini spells" where I totally think I need a new hobby, or a new life, but I go for a run and it makes life so much better. Can't wait to start back on Monday - yippie!

I think the new marathon focus will be good. I love yoga - it's a super compliment to running and it helps my mind also. I am so with ya on those 5 lbs. To many it seems like a little thing but for running and performance it makes a big difference. Let's do it!
The pictures are simply amazing. What a place to run!

Irish Blue said...

I can really relate to this post. I think I'm experiencing some midlife issues too. Not sure it's a full-blown crisis, but it's kind of like the dance is half over and I'm starting to wonder what the hell have I done with all of that time? I guess it's part of the human condition.

I think your training plan sounds smart. I've learned to like cross training and will be starting some yoga again this week too.

I'll be following along for the reflection. ;-)


Running and living said...

life is about changing minds and plans, nothing is static, no worries! good luck with the 12 week plan!

LMC said...

Given the choice to train for a marathon or let a crisis eat at me, I'd go for the marathon training every time. Running provides perspective and gives us something positive to focus on. I hope you make it through the crisis as whole as possible. Hang in there! I can't wait to read about your training and learn from your cross training experiences. Maybe, I can just swim and bike vicariously through you.:) Have a great week!

Aron said...

i love you <3 i hope you are feeling better soon, and you know we all go through ups and downs in life. its totally normal. things change, we change, its just about recognizing it and making the best out of any situation.

cant wait to follow your training! its funny because now i am planning on a longer cycle (most likely 16 weeks) but i think thats because i will have a couple month break in the middle, which i never have before!

misszippy said...

Your run looks beautiful. Nice soft surfaces!

I hope your mid-life crisis is not really a crisis, but more of a bump in the road. Anxious to hear how it goes with the new marathon. Cool name, btw--do they have corresponding cool shirts?

CewTwo said...

I can imagine (but I do not know) what your feelings are after your recent debacle. How, through no fault of your own, you could not do what you paid for, trained for, and wanted to run.

It would become a real time for reflection for me.

I know that I might just contemplate a caravan vacation with, maybe, a gleaming Airstream trailer! (hehehe)

Anonymous said...

I love the sound of the marathon you choose! Makes me think of hunky guys dressed up running all over the country ;) I am like you and tend to be very quiet when dealing with personal issues, so I get not putting it all out there. Just know you have lots of support and love headed your way from Cali :)

Jill said...

Um, have you invaded my body recently? I'm in a funk and having a mid-life crisis. I have personal issues, admin issues and domestic issues. I feel blah and lifeless...but running certainly helps life the soul, I know you're going to pick back up and get feeling strong. That Robin Hood marathon actually sounds really cool, I'd love to come out there one day and run it :). Hang in there girl!! And btw, I have TEN lbs to get off. my. butt. See, you're already one step ahead of me!! Btw, Yvette says hi and her and I send big hugs!

ShirleyPerly said...

I think we all can relate! I too have stepped away from blogging as much for a couple different reasons. I should write a post on them but they seem so negative and I keep hoping they'll pass ...

Anyway, I'm glad you've decided to give yourself some thing to focus on. That race, esp. with all the Robin Hood publicity lately, sounds quite interesting!

Geoffrey said...

Hi, Petra--I know I'm one of your unknowns, but I've enjoyed your reports and followed your progress. Marathons are too big to run injured--I almost think you caught a break last month (always assuming the BAA follows through with the deferment). As for the future, what about trying other distances? Marathons aren't the whole story. You could probably PR in the half, ten mile, or 10K--all that training hasn't disappeared. A good race could really set you up. Forget about Boston for a while, anyway--it's over-hyped; your knee didn't need 26 miles of asphalt and all those dreary Boston suburbs. Go get it next year when you're feeling fresh... Maybe the jacket color-scheme will be improved by then. Your local scene is not "local" for those of us in the US. It's interesting. I also agree with Julianne and felt my interest piqued by your words... I dare you to bore us. Good luck with everything--

peter said...

Mid-life crises aren't bad; they can be transforming. This is the only life we have got, and we only go through it once. Crow's feet from smiling, I like that!