again with the delays and excuses..

I know I know. It’s been well over 10 days since I posted. Honestly – I don’t know how everyone else does it. My new job is great – I’m loving it. But when I’m not working I’m picking up my kids, spending time with them, cooking, tidying, laundry and general family admin – and running just about fits in there as well.
I was listening to MarathonChris on The Extra Mile whilst doing 10M on the treadmill last week – the only thing that makes the treadmill at the gym bearable is all of your great podcasts – and she was talking about prioritising running in the middle of a busy life. I know I’m not the only one with a busy life but I guess the difference with my previous freelance life is that so much of my time is now ringfenced – it’s that much harder to squeeze out an hour to run.

Anyway – last week’s long run was meant to be 14 miles. Once again I stopped at 9. Exhausted. Again. I came in and sat on the floor and started crying where my husband picked me up. I asked him whether I should just quit here and give up on London (yes, drama queen should have been my middle name) and he told me no – but to back off the extremely demanding running plan. So yes. 3 weeks into it, I’ve given up on the Pfitz 18 weeker. I’m going to have be realistic – if I’m going to get these runs done, and line up at the starting line in one piece (of sound mind would be nice as well) I’m going to have to do something a bit more realistic. And so I am, once again, stepping back to Uncle Hal’s Intermediate I. I’ve done it twice, it works for me. It’s not going to get me in under 4, I may even have to give up on a PB (London is a harder and busier course than Amsterdam or Chicago) but I can do this one.

For the past 3 and a half years running has been central to my existence. It pulled me out of the post-baby, career-on-hold deadspace and gave me purpose. Now that I’ve entered a new phase – kids in school, new career on track – I may have to look at running a bit differently. Not that I would stop. I wouldn’t do that. It remains crucial to me – the physical and psychological benefits are too enormous. But I may have to accept that there are other limitations to training than physical ones – such as time.

To top everything off – the reason I have time to post today is that I’m in bed with flu (and a laptop). It was going to happen I guess and here it is. Hopefully I’ll get it all over with before Christmas and my skiing holiday. I’m going to be missing a few days running but given that I’ve been fairly diligent with the Pfitz plan till last week I think I can afford it while dropping into Hal Higdon. I think. I hope. We’ll see…

Finally – there’s a discussion going on at What’s a few miles between friends regarding running a joint marathon next year? Any ideas? Any contributions? Head on over and let us know.

Finally finally – inspired by Chris we’ve elfed ourselves as well – check us out !


7 thoughts on “again with the delays and excuses..

  1. Sorry to hear that you plans having been going as well. We can all relate here on training programs not quite going as we envision them!

    There’s no reason that you Hal’s Int program can’t you a PB or even under 4. When you run, you’ll need to run very quality miles. Seeing that this is MY comment, I’ll leave you with my opinion… Take Hal’s program, train at a faster pace AND do some strength training for the whole body but concentrate on the legs for a cross training day.

    You CAN’T say right now that you have given up on your personal best because you HAVEN’T. You can never predict or should assume anything about the marathon.

    Set your goal for 3:50, train there and see what happens when you cross the finishline.

  2. You know, I think the program that allows you to enjoy yourself is going to be the one you need to stick with, and it sounds like that’s where you are now.

    Running is a part of you–it’s not who you are, it’s what you do. You’re in the right frame of mind and you’re going to rock this race!

  3. Petra,

    I think your role has gotten a bit tougher, and I applaud you for making to decision to go to Hal’s plan. I agree with Terry; whatever you want to happen on race day is up to you (for the most part — unless you’re running Memphis — ha ha). Train for 3:50!!!!

    I can certainly sympathize with your “breakdown” and the need for the hubby to step in with wisdom. Chasen has been my rock from Day One of marathon life. And he was my rock yesterday, too (see scary post).

    I would absolutely, 100% consider Memphis for next year if I knew you’d be there, Elf Girlie!!!

  4. I love to read your blog. I am always inspired by it.

    I get frustrated too, I think all of us do.

    Keep it up, though! You’ll make it!

    BTW – A very cute elf family!

  5. I often wonder how people *do it all* too, and then I get into this negative mindset that I must be a failure if I can’t manage a full-time job, three kids, a household, and still run a bazillion miles a week.

    Sigh…don’t go here my friend, there’s no point. We’re not failures, we’re human and we’re placing too many demands on ourselves.

    So, I think Terry is onto something. I think you need a schedule that will allow you to run smarter, not harder (or farther). I’m planning to do the same thing next year – three runs a week 1) Speed workout 2) Tempo workout 3) Long run. That’s it! No more, no less. I think it’s smart, efficient, manageable, and it’s worked for other people.

    One book with some very good information on this approach is Run Less, Run Faster

    Although, I think you could use this approach with any program.

    I would love to run a fall marathon with the group. Susan mentioned Memphis. I would do this race. We could put together a killer team of fund raisers for St. Jude! I would love that.

    I hope you are feeling better soon Petra. Take it easy and enjoy the holidays.

    All the best,

  6. I’m new to running and don’t have any advice to give you on breaking through this wall, but I wanted to leave you some words of encouragement!

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