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Holiday Report/ Borovets/ 63 days.

February 14, 2011

So, this blog is about learning to run in 100 days. Strictly, that’s no longer the case.

It is mastering the ability to run in 63 days. OOOrr, more pressingly, running an uphill half marathon in 3 weeks/21 days. *gulp*

It could also have a sub heading of Additional Things to Master Simultaneously Within This Period.
Overcome a Bulgarian chest infection and undertake the full kitchen renovation and loft installation, whilst not being overwhelmed by the uncertainty of employment… but most likely the subheading at the moment will be how to cope with coming back from a week’s ‘skiing’ break to all of those mini-life crisis’s and focus on running. Ideally. I mean 100 days was hard, yet people rallied and said I could do it- Yes You Can, was the chant…we are the Obama generation after all and it was off the back of reading Michelle Obamas book that made me ponder about doing more, being more and all those bourgeoisie ideals… And after the first 2 weeks of relatively positive progress I started to think they could be right, but then the last week before holiday was such a struggle the doubt started to grow.

Easy success does not make for a good story now, does it? Nope, we need blood, guts and gore too. Serious pain and suffering. Serious, mind-blowing challenges- house renovations, job changes aren’t actually physically dangerous. Sudden excessive physical exertion can be though. And if there is one thing that is true about me, it’s that I’m a people-pleaser, I care for public opinion ;P
I aim to please and so for you, my faithful reader, I can add in some gore too- albeit, no missing limbs, but I am trying hard at coughing up parts of my lungs at present. Judging from the nervous ticks my colleagues have developed over the course of my first day back, I seem to be doing quite well too…further supported by the fact that it is Valentines Day and I’m tucked up with one of the cats in the spare room as Matt tries to get a decent nights sleep… *sigh* Lonely lepers life.

I didn’t run for a couple of days before our holiday because I was working very late on some projects at work, actual work is quite hectic in the run up to the end of the 3 year programme, but it is compounded by the fact that we all need to reapply for positions at the company. Given my contract was coming to a conclusion anyway, it was not exactly a surprise but still it makes for a distracting environment. Hopefully, we find out tomorrow who stays and who goes. At the minute it is like an episode of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here when Ant and Dec say to the various contestants It could be you or it could be you… or maybe like Strictly Come Dancing where the lights go out one by one, above the various couples who are still in the competition so they can safely scuttle back to their desks in relief whilst others keep standing with bated breath, smiling politely in awkward mortification that maybe they aren’t popular enough, maybe the bosses just don’t like them enough. Even, though they know it isn’t a popularity competition (far from it) it still feels like it. It still reeks of the desperation to be liked.

So, at least after a stressful time at work, home is a sanctuary to retreat to… unless you’re in the final straits of finishing up the house renovations that have taken you 3 years to get around to! Dust and dirt on every surface. The bathroom which is the only completed room in the house has some cracks around the light sockets from the traipsing about that is happening in the loft and plasterer who did the corridor somehow swapped the dimmer switch from the light to the fan…so at least the fan can go faster or slower.

Ok so, no job security, no home peace and quiet- surely a holiday would be welcome and a respite from the daily internal stress of knowing that I am not running enough, that I am not trying hard enough, not blogging enough, not fund raising enough… surely?

Well, on paper. We’ve been planning this holiday with Nic and Scott for several months- certainly before all this madness of dramatic self improvement. We were going skiing in Bulgaria for a week. I’ve never been to Bulgaria so it sounded very intriguing and different. Which, to be fair, it was intriguing and it certainly was different.

In a nutshell there was no snow- which was the case through out Europe so I won’t lay that exclusively at Bulgaria’s door. Without having gone somewhere first all we could do was rely on the positive feedback and relatively mixed bag reviews about the hotel and resort. I dunno about you but I reckon if I stayed somewhere that didn’t use sheets on the bed or that had low visibility due to excessive smoking or a nightclub enterance (true) in the reception area, I’d say that kinda makes for a rough night…? But then again, I could just be being fussy and maybe I have too high expectations for a 3 star hotel.

So, no snow, no sleep- what else could go wrong? Judging from the black eyes, head wounds, broken limbs (one with 2 broken wrists) that were on the bus out of Borovets at the end of the week- quite a lot. So I guess I’ll be grateful. All I (and Nic and Scott- Matt has a turbo Immune System) got in our holiday goody bags were ripping chest infections. Wow, I mean serious pain. Nic caught the mother virus and then spread the love to me and then Scott. Altititude plus a sore chest sucks, people. Sucks!

But I’m not one to moan, so I must also point out that the sky was blue all days. But I didn’t bring any sunglasses and it was too painful to be outdoors on some of the days so I’m pretty sure that is second hand knowledge. Although, there were a few hours of skiing to be had- quite a lot of it on proper icy slopes though,hurtling along a green run which bissects one of the steepest and least kept black run I’ve ever seen. (which in true Bulgarian health and safety we would later to brought to go tubing down- with only 2 guys and a net to catch us…true story. But better told live where I can bring my full animation to life.

At least I am grateful to be home. Where I understand what the medication does. Although I think I had a reaction to the nighttime cough medicine as I am now covered in a rash…. hmmmm, interesting…. maybe that’s why Matt’s so keen to esconse me in the spare room with Greysie…

And that is why I have been silent on this blog for 10 days… and now I am back and the ticking clock is resounding loud and clear in my ears…but until I can breathe without haemorraging I am probably not going to be running.

In moments of weak knees about the upcoming half marathon and marathon… I just say to myself that I must remember the experience of hitting ice whilst skiing. I can scream all I like but the reality is I am either going to fall, get up and end up at the bottom of the slope somehow so the screaming really isn’t that helpful. Or I can grit my teeth and stay upright- chances are I’ll be alright… or my last option which is what I do a lot whilst skiing: relax into the fall. (and take as many other skiiers down with me whilst I go. Afterall, even solo sports can be enjoyed as a team?) and so far I’ve not been injured, even after some spectacular wipe outs.

A pleasant realisation I’ve had whilst writing this epic entry is that this is a blog about a marathon on the 17th of April, but by then we will have finished renovating our house, I will know what job I am going to be doing for the foreseeable future and I will also be the glowing image of health. Or I’ll be on the evening news on the 17th of April for taking out as many other runners as possible…potentially off Tower Bridge- at least it’ll be scenic.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Kym permalink
    February 23, 2011 20:56

    Excellent blog entry, although I didn’t enjoy reading your angst about everything going on in your foreseeable future and your physical pain, moreso just that you ( in true Andy style) came out the other side positive and enlightened.

    Life can be hectic and I know you like to fill up your spare time with projects or perhaps be distracted from mundanity ( is that a word?) but perhaps I might offer a suggestion of once all the projects are over ( including your marathons) your next project will be how to do nothing! You are awesome to push yourself and you will always achieve, always, but remember kids are on the horizon and you will be giving every ounce of energy to them, so create some quality time with yourself to just chill and make the most of it being just you, Matt and the cats.

    This is sent with much love and admiration and the hugest respect for you. For you my dear are quite simply brilliant!

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