Weekly Recap: Six Weeks Until the Tromso Marathon

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Isn’t all the wisteria in Hampstead so pretty? (Above pic.) I just love it this time of year!

6 weeks until the Tromso marathon! Zipping right along to marathon 45.

Here’s how training went this past week:

Monday: Rest from running, beginner’s Pilates class at Ten Health after work, nice and easy class with lots of stretching.

Tuesday: Run commute solo, then an office run. In the rain.

“If it ain’t raining, it ain’t training.” Its true that if I didn’t run in the rain, I would be skipping way too many runs here in London. But really, this was a nice gentle rain and it felt great and its warm here these days.

Wednesday: Workout Wednesday! With the Hackney Half this Sunday, I only had one workout on the schedule this week, but it was a longer one. Warm-up, 4×10 minutes at “marathon strength” or 8 min/miles with 3 min jog in between, cool-down. 10.4 miles total.

I had to get ready for work sooo quickly; in fact, I sort of half got ready and then finished when I got to the office (I keep makeup in my locker there.)

Bit of a tangent here, but do you ever get annoyed that women are sort of “expected” to put this extra time into their appearance in the corporate world? Men can get ready for work in like 5 minutes. Even if I didn’t wear makeup, I would still have to blow-dry my hair.…so much time wasted.

Fortunately, my office is flexible in that I can eat breakfast when I get there. I sympathize with people who are trying to fit in marathon training with a job that starts ASAP upon arrival (vs. easing in with catching up on email), like teachers, nurses, doctors, i.e. where there is no flex…I’m happy I have a bit of flex.

Thursday: 8 mile run with Ruth; we did my normal 7 mile route around Regent’s Park and then ventured into Hampstead Heath where I let her off-lead to zoom around. She went nuts! It was as though running with me on lead ramped her up and gave her more energy for her zoomies.

Friday: 6.7 mile run with my friend Susan, who is an American from Florida who lives here in London half of the year. She’s back now for the summer, so I’m looking forward to more runs together, as she is training for the Berlin marathon. She broke four hours at a Georgia (U.S.) marathon this spring for the first time at the age of 58! Impressive.

Friday night, Dustin and I made our way all the way south to Clapham (basically the total opposite side of London than Hampstead) for a tour of a bomb shelter built by the TFL (Transport for London- the company behind the underground) during the 1940’s to house 8,000 Londoners during the war. It’s 100 feet under the ground and was fascinating! I really enjoyed the tour (book it HERE), highly recommend if you are interested in that sort of thing. It is not offered very often and sells out quickly, but it was so cool to see. After being used a shelter, it was a “penny” hotel for awhile. No way would I stay there! The bathroom situation was pretty dire, from what the guides explained…

Saturday: Dustin and I realized that our race packets for the Hackney Half never arrived in the mail as they were supposed to; apparently, we both never updated our mailing address on the race site, so they were mailed to our old flat. We started this run with a jog to our old flat, where we spent 15 minutes going through the rubbish bins (yuck!) and talking to the neighbors to see if they had our packets. We found Dustin’s in the rubbish bin, but not mine…what to do??

We finished the run (6.3 miles) and then made our way out to Hackney Marshes where there was a 5k going on that was part of the Hackney half events. I was able to speak to the organizers and get a new race bib. Whew! I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who made that mistake. Lesson learned though, I won’t do that again!

We took advantage of being in Hackney (I love that area!) and grabbed lunch at Crate Brewery.

If we didn’t love Hampstead and being near the Heath, I think I would want to live in Hackney…

That evening, Dustin and I attended the “Night of 10,000 PB’s” at Parliament track, right in Hampstead Heath. We went to it last year- it is SO cool! It’s a 10k track race for elite athletes and this year it was the British Olympic trials for the 10k. AND there were several Americans here to race, like Keira D’Amato and Fiona O’Keefe!

Fiona got second place to Megan Keith (a Brit); Keira actually DNF’d, but it was cool to see her for the first 4 miles or so.

Sunday: Hackney Half! I ran a 1:47 and was happy with that. My splits were pretty consistent, other than a stop at the loo in mile 4. It was a warm day, but still managable for 13.1 miles. There was plenty of water and electrolytes on the course, as well as water misters, which felt great.

I ran this half last year and really enjoyed it; it was just as much fun today! Really great course through various neighborhoods in east London. Lots of spectators, bands, DJ’s- just a big party in Hackney!

With a warm-up of 1.5 miles plus 13.1 race, just under 15 miles for the day.

My coach seem happy enough with my time, as he had hoped I could use the race as a longer marathon pace workout- I ran it a bit harder than marathon pace, but not too far off. Not sure I can keep up that pace though for another 13.1 miles!

Dustin ran a 1:26, which he was happy with 4 weeks after racing London.

Summary: 53 miles of running, two easier Pilates classes.

I’m linking up with Running on the Fly and Confessions of a Mother Runner; check out their blogs to connect with other fitness bloggers for workout ideas and inspiration!

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