I promise to post about my 27 mile run (in fact, I have much of the post written) – but Marathon day is just a few days away, and I’d like to be caught up with my training reports before I run. Otherwise, posting them would be a bit anti-climactic, right? And since the 27er was really more training for the 50K anyway, I’m going to hold off until after the marathon before sharing that post. Hope that’s OK with you. If not…well, I suppose you could hack my computer and try to steal the post, but really…that would probably be a waste of your time, and my annoyance. So, let’s just call it a truce, OK?
*ahem* Anyway. On to what happened two weeks ago (including running-in-London photos):
Monday (Aug. 5): Rest
Tuesday: Run (4.1 mi) and BodyPump
My flight to London didn’t leave until Tuesday evening, so I had plenty of time for a morning run and lunchtime BodyPump. Bonus: I found a new favorite BodyPump instructor. She gave great, clear instructions – and deviated from the BodyPump “script” when necessary.
For example: During squats (with weights – bar on shoulders), instructors always tell us to “keep your back straight, and don’t lean forward” – I’m sure this is part of the Les Mills BP script. But the truth is, with a weighted bar on my shoulders, if I kept my back “straight up like it’s against a wall” while squatting, I would certainly fall over backward. Some forward lean is appropriate, and necessary. This particular instructor is the first I’ve heard to finally (FINALLY!) acknowledge this: “Keep your chest up and off your legs. A bit of forward lean is fine – you need it to manage the weight on the bar. Just remember that the work comes from the squat, not from leaning forward and back.” Hallelujah!
Wednesday: Run (5.3 mi)
This was my first run in London, designed primarily to explore the area and to fight late afternoon jet lag. Our hotel was just one mile from Regent’s Park, so I ran one congested, 6 PM mile to the park, three glorious miles around it, and one slightly less congested mile back. Then, I took the best shower ever. [Post-flight showers are awesome. Post-run showers are pretty good, too. Combine a long flight, a day of sightseeing, and a run – MAN that shower was terrific!]
Thursday: Sort-of Tempo Run (5.7 mi)
KMN is back on a training plan, and Thursday was his tempo-run day: 2 mi Easy/2 mi Tempo/2 mi Easy. His tempo pace is a bit slower than mine, but I like hanging out with the guy, so I stuck with him. We were blessed with cool London temps (55-65°F / 13-18°C) for virtually all of our runs; this was no exception. I’ll admit that dropping about 30 sec/mile in the easy pace department without even trying was pretty awesome.
We hiked around the Tower of London complex all morning, though – but that’s a topic for a different post!
Saturday: Long run (15.2 mi)
Guys, in case you skipped the paragraph above about the cooler temps – COOLER TEMPS ROCK! Basically, I cranked out 15 miles at pretty much marathon pace. This might be a smidge fast for 2 weeks out from the marathon, but my effort level really wasn’t that high – the speed was accidental. I blame it on the gorgeous weather. I’ll admit that this run made me incredibly excited for Perth.
We started out on the Regent’s Canal, but were quickly directed off when we came to the Islington Tunnel, the longest tunnel on the Regent’s Canal. There’s no footpath through the tunnel – tunnels were dug no wider than absolutely necessary. Without a path, the horse pulling the boat was unhitched and led over the tunnel, while the boat was guided through the tunnel like this:Thanks to reasonably good signage, we navigated the 1 mile detour and got back on the canal. We ran about 4.5 miles out, found a water stop in Victoria Park, then turned around and came back.
KMN stopped at 10 miles, but I continued along the canal for another mile or two. I got off again, this time at Regent’s Park. I did one loop around the park, then cut back through the center, took a few “garden” photos (it is England, after all!), and headed back to the hotel. All in all, not a bad run. And hey, after weeks of 20, 22, and 27 milers, a 15-miler felt…short!
Sunday: Run (5 mi)
Back out to the canal for some easy end-of-week miles. I intended to go back out for another 3 in the evening, but my arches were feeling a smidgen sore. I think the combination of running exclusively in my Pures (which I don’t usually wear for 4-5 runs in a row, but they were the only running sneakers I brought) and lots of walking/sightseeing time on my feet just tired them out. This isn’t uncommon for me, so I opted out of the run, used my elbow to give my arches a mini-massage (try it – it works!), and skipped my last few miles.
Total for the week: 35.2 miles (was aiming for 40); 6 hrs, 45 minutes workout time. Overall, not too bad a week. I would’ve liked to get in a Tempo run at my tempo pace, and maybe a few more miles – but for a vacation week, I’ll take it!
Don’t worry – the next week is short and sweet. Or at least, full of lots of rest days…
Monday (Aug. 12): Run (5.4 mi)
Last run in London! 🙁
Tuesday & Wednesday: Rest
Blergh. I hate two mid-week rest days! But I left the hotel in London around 10 AM on Tuesday, and by the time I got into my apartment in Singapore, it was already 1 PM on Wednesday – and I hadn’t really slept for more than an hour or two. I should have forced myself out in the evening, but I opted for a (very) early bedtime instead.
Thursday: Run (6.5 mi)
I slept through the morning cool, and after the gorgeous London weather, I had trouble convincing myself to head out into the heat. So I did some slightly-hilly treadmill miles instead.
And was planning to stay at the gym for BodyAttack – until I realized that jumping around, sashaying side-to-side, and kicking in the air might not be the smartest idea, 10 days out from a marathon. The last thing I wanted to do was bust an ankle (been there, done that, a month before a marathon). So, I went home instead.
I acquired a scratchy throat sometime before dawn on Friday. “Stay calm, you have more than a WEEK to recover!” Still, I panicked a bit and opted for extra fruits, lots of water, and lying low. I also took a shower, put on real clothing (OK, yes, that’s a Moving Comfort tech shirt, but I am wearing it with a skirt!), and did my hair. See, new haircut:
Saturday: Run (10 mi)
Having decided that the scratchy throat was merely a pesky mini-cold, and not anything more sinister, I got up early to cheer for the Love Your Heart Run. I took up my usual place on the upslope of Marina Barrage.
I would definitely consider running this race next year, if it fit into my schedule – if only because it was extremely small, for Singapore. The runners actually had space to maneuver and move, which is a welcome change from some of the bigger, more packed, Singapore races. As always, cheering for folks was a blast, and I even managed to get a smile out of some. 🙂 And there was only one woman who looked at me, plugged her ears, and started shaking her head. Sorry, Ma’am – I’ve got it, though. No cheers for you next time!!
Thoroughly inspired, I went right home, changed, and got my miles in for the day. They weren’t exactly pretty, or as easy as I would have liked, but they were logged. Last double-digit run before the marathon: DONE.
Sunday: Yin Yoga & Run (5.1 mi)
My standard, procrastinated Sunday run. Yep, did the same 1 mile loop I did two weeks ago, except this time…I got caught in a massive cloud-burst. Just as I was starting my third loop, the sky totally opened up! After my initial annoyance, and a brief wish for my cap, I just laughed. The rain was cool, and it was falling so fast that there were enormous puddles everywhere. I splashed about like a little kid, having a blast – until I inhaled some of the water pouring down my face and started choking. Not just anyone would be able to do that. I am immensely talented, folks.
When I got back to our apartment, the security guard took one look at me, realized what happened, and tried to hide his amusement at my drenched condition. I laughed right along with him. I promised him that I wouldn’t track too much water indoors, and eventually just shed my socks and sneakers, which were holding about a gallon of water. I love how the rain can turn a regular run into a mini-adventure!
Weekly total: 27 miles, with 6 hr, 13 min of total training time (plenty of stretching and rolling). I’ll confess – this wasn’t exactly the training week I wanted to have two weeks before the marathon. I intended to cut back on the more dangerous activities (BodyAttack!), and probably lay off most of the spinning – but I’d wanted to do some upper-body Pump, and yoga, and a bit more running. But life is life – and this is what I did. One more week (really only 3 days, by the time I post this) until the big day!!
Tell me about a time you were caught in an unexpected downpour – while running, or just while living life.
I’m putting the finishing touches on my Perth packing: What items must I NOT forget?
[I already have my toothbrush, Body Glide, race day apparel, and passport.]