Friday, 5 September 2008

Right back where we started from

After a long and sleepless flight last night, I am now back in England. Exiting the airport I was greeted with 41 degree Fahrenheit temps and a persistent rain with the promise of some severe storms this weekend. Ah, England, how I’ve missed you.

But this is yet another quick trip. On Tuesday I leave on my sojourn to Rome. I’ll be in the eternal city for just over three months to conduct research for my dissertation. Only one thing mars my excitement – I can only take one suitcase which can’t weigh more than 20 kg (about 44 lbs). In that one bag, I need to pack regular clothes, conference clothes, running clothes, shoes and my research materials. Unless I learn some Houdini-like tricks within the next four days, I foresee me forking over a large sum of money to take another bag onto the plane. I really don’t want to do that. Keep your fingers crossed I can find a solution that doesn't cost me more money.

I no longer need cheese because I ran out of whine
The pity party is now officially over. Sorry about that. Being overly hard on myself is a reoccurring theme in my life and it seems running cannot escape it either. Well, at least that makes me consistent.

As for the Florence marathon, I’m still undecided but teetering towards a ‘yes’. This being the case, I will begin a training program on Monday. I’ll need to make a final decision within the next couple of weeks though to facilitate travel plans for others, so at least I won’t be dragging my feet for too long ... like some people. :)

So, which program am I going to use? Good question. Not surprisingly, they’re all fairly similar, but I’m leaning towards Lam’s suggestion of the SmartCoach plan from Runner's World. Imputing all my info, it created a schedule for me with three runs per week and three 20-milers. The latter is definitely a bonus since I’ll have the opportunity, should I deem it necessary, to change one of them into a 22-miler and probably forgo one altogether since it is scheduled on the weekend I am presenting at a conference. It’s a small conference, but they’ve pretty much planned every second of the weekend, so I’ll be lucky to get in a short distance that weekend let alone 20 miles.

Furball Update
Athena sunning herself on the deck and blinding the rest of us

My beautiful furbaby has been diagnosed with lymphoma. The prognosis is obviously not good. Thankfully right now she seems to be feeling fine, but we know that when she does begin to decline it will be sudden and swift. I have cried on and off over the past few days and especially when I had to say good-bye yesterday. It breaks my heart to know that I will most likely not see her again with my own eyes, but at least I know she is happy, pain-free and well-loved. She has lived a long and spoiled life in my family for fourteen years and she will continue to do so until it is her time.

All right, time to end on a happy note. I want to wish good luck to Lisa, POM, Theresa, Vanilla, Viper and anyone else who is racing this weekend. You are going to kick some serious ass, my friends. Can’t wait to read about your triumphs next week.

Till then, take care everyone and have a great weekend.

23 comments:

Marcy said...

ROFLMAO Good little jab! You know you liked it, Razz! :P

Whatever you decide, we'll be rooting for ya chica!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Thanks for the shout-out!

You're already planning your first marathon now? WooooT!!

RazZDoodle said...

How about instead of feeling sorry for yourself and taking jabs at injured runners, you suck it up and train? Huh? How bout that?

Have a great friggin' weekend.

tfh said...

Ah, I've had a few "tag sales" in airports for overweight suitcases in my time. Good luck fitting everything in.

Athena is a beautiful cat. What a contented picture.

I'll be looking forward to reading the Florence race report. ;)

chia said...

Good luck packin' happy traveller.

*hugs* I love my furbaby too and can't imagine how rough this is for you.

Merry said...

Oh Xenia, I am sorry. I kept hoping it would be something not-quite-as-sad. She look quite happily pampered in that photo.

Is it premature to ask what exactly your dissertation is going to focus on?

RazZDoodle said...

I genuinely feel bad about the news about your cat. Sorry to hear about that.

Maybe I should read the **entire** blog before posting. Nah. Why start now?

Xenia said...

Merry--Generally, my diss focuses on the practicalities of ancient construction in Rome. If you would like more specifics, I can email them to you.

Razz--No worries. I'm all about the equal give and take of smack talk. :)

Nitmos said...

Get on that Florence thing.

Soory about the cat. She looks pretty cosy under that chair though.

BeachRunner said...

Ahhhh Roma! Sit on the Spanish Steps and realize how lucky you are to in such a beautiful city. Then get the hell out of there and enjoy a vino and tartuffo near the Pantheon.

Running Knitter said...

Sorry to hear about your cat.

Glad to hear you made it back ok and the pity party is over. :)

Viper said...

Thanks for the shout-out. Smart Coach is a good choice to get you started ... so get started.

Bon Voyage.

thebets said...

Aw...I'm so sorry about your kitty!

Lily on the Road said...

oh boy, I'm so sorry to hear the vet results for Athena...poor sweetie...

What about "mailing" some of your things to yourself...or have a friend do it. Something you don't need immediately, but something that won't kill you in postage?? I use to do that years ago when I had to move across the globe...something to consider.

We *heart* you whatever your decision is for the full marathon...

have a super duper weekend!

Laura said...

So sorry about your cat... my dog last year had kidney failure and I was heartbroken :(

Good luck with Florence - I'm excited that you're going for it!

Roisin said...

I hope your kitty is feeling a little better, and I'll send some prayers your way.

Now, sign up for that marathon! You can do it!!!

Theresa said...

Welcome back to the land of sunshin...ahh..ok, incessent wind and rain! Maybe there will be sunshine in Rome?

So very sorry about your kitty. It's heartwrenching to lose a pet-friend no matter what, but much worse when you can't be there, I think. I hope that she will still have several months of feeling well and being pampered by her family, who obviously loves her very much.

Now go meet hot Italian men! :+)

Ted said...

I am quite envious of you. I think its so cool to be able to run around Rome. You will have to tell us how the food are in Italy. Ahhh, the smell of spaghetti, manicotti, lasagna, the list goes on... I am drooling.

Steve Stenzel said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your cat! That's heartbreaking! Best of luck!

Marcy said...

Oohhh I have one of those arm band things that lights up. I dumped it when I ran past the house because it gets annoying and slides off. It's not enough though. I gotta get some of of those firefly lights that the peeps at Road ID sell. I don't know how I feel about wearing the full reflective vest LOL

RunnerGirl said...

Sorry to hear about your furbaby, hang in there!

Meg said...

Sorry about your kitty. I'm glad you had a chance to say goodbye.
So jealous you're going to Rome! Enjoy it! It sounds like you're leaning towards doing the full; I bet you won't regret it. I never knew about SmartCoach...it looks great, I'll have to try it for my next race!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Runner's World featured Rome in that section about different towns. I followed one of their routes and it was absolutely gorgeous. Maybe you can look on the site. Regardless, you are in for some amazing runs and times in the next three months. What an opportunity.

Sorry about the furball. Glad she has had a great life.