2009 – Marathons and midnight suns, catching up on lost time?

Feeling sorry for myself

Next year I turn 30, and with that I look back at my 20s and wonder about all the promises, hopes and goals I had set myself. What were they? Did I achieve any of them? Are they too late to salvage?

All in all, I’m in a good place now – despite the Irritible Bowel Syndrome which has set new eating challenges for me, and cooking challenges for my better half, I am fit and healthy. I am in a well paid job that I enjoy, I live in a beautiful country with new and exciting adventures, I have embraced new sports (volleyball, skiing, snowboarding) and my technical development is on a rapid upward slope.

However, and here’s the thing… What happened to all the dreams about climbing E10s, winning orienteering competitions, completing marathons in under 3 hours, being as fit and strong as I can be? The truth is, I slacked off. My strongest climbing years were over 5 years ago – at the time I thought I was on the up, but really I was hitting the peak (excuse the pun).  My best running was over 2 years ago – again, I thought it was the start of my climb to triathlons, marathons, ultra-marathons, iron man! In reality it was the best I could do without much effort – and my lack of effort since has of course meant that if anything I’ve become worse.

The year of the runner

It’s time to “catch up”.

After 6 years of trying, I have my guaranteed place for the Flora London Marathon, and if I’m training for that, why not a few more? So here’s the list so far:

I’ll come right out now and say that I’m hoping for good results – I don’t just want to get round these races, I would like to be hitting 1:45 or less for the half marathons and 3:40 for the full ones – although with the crowds and atmosphere at the FLM I think I’ll be happy with anything under 4:00. Silverstone will be the marker – it will decide my pace for the races to come. Depending how the training goes in the next couple of months, I hope these targets get even lower.

So if you see a very tall, thin shape pounding the streets of Oslo in the near future wearing some ridiculous streamlined, dayglo running gear – that will hopefully be me. If you don’t, please feel free to kick me, spam me, throw things at me and remind me that if I don’t train, I’m a loser.

Week 19…

So week 19 of 2008 is almost upon us (thank the Scandinavians for their odd use of week numbers instead of “real” dates) and the sun is shining. That means no excuses – the running shoes need to come out at some point and the bike can’t complain about getting wet…

  • Monday – cycle to work, then to norskkurs? Hmm, maybe I’ll have to think about that second part, since I don’t really want to be sat in a classroom smelling like I’ve just run a marathon…
  • Tuesday – Volleyball
  • Wednesday – same as Monday
  • Thursday – cycle to work, climb in evening
  • Friday – rest
  • Weekend – Hoping for some climbing/orienteering or at least get out for a run in the forest

My “diet” has been going ok – finding more and more things to keep me full, but generally just relying on endless amounts of fruit, rice cakes and smoothies to keep me going during the work day! Still don’t feel 100% but cutting out the dairy has certainly helped.

Almost Vegan but feeling better

Background

After a couple of weeks without lactose I’m starting to feel a bit better, my stomach has settled a bit and more importantly I haven’t feel so tired and malnourished for the last few days. As a vegetarian for almost 20 years I’m used to being picky about what I eat, but avoiding lactose (chocolate!!) has been very tough.

Things still aren’t perfect, I won’t go into the details, but at least my general outlook has improved and now I feel like I can start training a bit. It’s probably too late for the Gothenberg Half marathon which I have entered, that’s on the 17th May so doesn’t really give me enough preparation time. Last year I only gave myself about 2 weeks of training before doing the race, but I had been much more active in general back then so it didn’t go too badly.

The orienteering season has just started, and the weather is looking better and better so there will be opportunities to climb soon too – so I need to get my ass into gear, as my fitness level has taken a steep dive since I came to Norway.

I hope that by recording my training plans and progress online, it will motivate me and give me realistic targets to chase. Also anybody that wants to join me will be more than welcome.

Since this is the first plan – it will include tomorrow (Sunday) but future plans will be Mon – Sun as I don’t want to get accused of being one of those “week starts on Sunday” types 🙂

Plan for week 5th May 2008

  • Sun – Fixed orienteering course in Østmarka (details in this pdf) or if the weather is bad – climbing
  • Tue – Cycle to work, volleyball training
  • Wed – Cycle to work, cycle from work to norskkurs in city centre, probably train home 😉
  • More to come… (Mo has friends visiting so not sure about the weekend)