Thursday, 20 December 2007

Pause 1: I hate the treadmill

In the hotel. No reason I couldn't have run outside, except, well, I didn't really feel like it. Too much time on airplanes has tightened my calves. Off to the exercise room with me. 1/2 mile on the treadmill, and I'd had it. So I lifted weights instead. C'est la vie. Something is better than nothing, and as long as I do at least a little this week, and pick it up again next week, I'll be happy. Plus, Christmas at my in-laws = desire to run for the break.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Week 3, Day 4: I'm a princess

7 miles scheduled today. I went back and forth abou the headgear. In the end I decided to forgo the wollen warm one. Mistake. It wasn't too bad except when the wind came up, but my lips and chin were CHILLY! At the outset, I was alternately dreading and excited about this run - my legs feel a bit heavy, but this was going to be the longest I'd ever run on purpose. I ran the Serpentines 3-park route, stopping the clock for map-finding, so not a lot of walking but a fair number of breaks nonetheless. This route takes you around the central London royal parks, including past both Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace (and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting - see the Serpentine website for a great description). I also decided it was time to do a little mid-run fueling. I meant to get some Lucozade, which is what they're planning to have at the marathon, but I forgot yesterday and they don't sell it at the M&S I went to. I went for 750 ml of water and a bag of Percy Pigs, which I ate about I every mile and a half or 2. This felt like a pretty good strategy, so if Lucozade sucks I'll probably use this as a backup. The water was in a huge bottle (all they had) - if anyone reading wants to send me a present, I'm in for one or two good handheld water bottles (reviews and recommendations requested from my runner friends). One place this route takes you is through the Sunken Gardens, outside Kensington Palace. My friend Cora said this was one of her favorite places when she was living in London, and I'd never been - it was nice to see, and made me think about Cora. Looking forward to seeing her this week, too. When the run was over, I decided to do a little last minute shopping - cut to me chasing the bus to Oxford Circus down the street. I outran it, though! 7.2 miles, 1:29:38.

Week so far: 17.3 miles, 3:39:07
Cumulative: 48 miles, 10:26:37

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Week 3, Day 3: off schedule, off pace

Skipping a day earlier in the week seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately, 1 day turned into 2, and now I'm a bit off schedule, and since I'm leaving REALLY early on Tuesday I am trying to get my self back on schedule. This translates into 4 runs in 4 days this weekend. Not the best idea, perhaps, but I think it's a bit early in the schedule to be skipping runs. Went out today for the Highbury Fields to Clissold Park run. I think if I hadn't been planning for 7 miles tomorrow, I could have gutted it out, even though I was tired from not eating properly lately and hung over (see not eating properly again). But honestly, tomorrow's run is much more important to me, so I walked about 3/4 to 1 mile in the middle. Not my best run ever, obviously, but also much improved from when I first started running this route, so no complaints here. Since I'm solo this week, maybe I'll even do a little yoga tonight to prepare for tomorrow's long run. 3.08 miles, 38:20.

Week so far:
10.14 miles, 2:09:29.89

Week 3, Day 2: baby it's cold outside

Friday December 14
Took the day off from running yesterday as I'd returned from Switzerland and a concert late. Glad I did - when I went to work it was still so slick with cold wet sidewalks I nearly killed myself
walking to the train. Today was not so cold, but I still broke out the ninja hat at 1:30 pm. Went for a good run on the Highbury Fields to Finsbury Park route. At the park a whole group of "yobs" tried (successfully, I might add) to startle me. They thought it was funny. [Eyeroll] I did pretty well, even though I stopped (and stopped the clock) to retie my shoes a couple of times. Ran to the Park n Pay on the hill - better than last time. 2 goals for this run next time: not to stop at the park gate, and even further up the hill. 4.13 miles, 55:23.38.

Week so far: 7.06 miles, 1:33:00.83

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Week 3, Day 1: running jetlagged 101

Ok, not really jetlagged - 1 hour time difference cerainly isn't enough. But entry level in running in a new country 7 hours after getting off the plane. A good warm-up for what's to come. Basel has the lovely Rhine flowing through it so I ran along it this morning. In the pre-dawn, its very quiet, but the big hotels along either side are gorgeously lit. A few other runners, but not as many as I usually see in London. Is it because I wasn't in the right place, or do the Swiss not run? I started out unhappy because the hotel didn't have a gym, so I had to run outside, in the dark, in an unfamiliar city, where the street signs are hard to decipher. But now I'm so glad - what a beautiful (if a bit chilly and drizzly) morning. It doesn't matter, indeed. 2.93 miles, 37:37:45.

Week so far: 2.93 miles, 37:38.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Week 2, Day 3: Sunday December 9: Someone please take Hackney off the map!

I did it again. Went out for a nice, well mapped 6 mile run. One of the directions says "cross the river and head south." I must have turned north (no sun visible to tell me which way to go), because that was the last of the landmarks I saw. Instead I ended up running most of the way back to my house, but because I don't have my Christmas present yet, I didn't know it. Meanwhile, part way through the run I got, as they say here, "caught short" and had to go find a bush. Stupidly, I chose a bush that had prickly burrs in it. My legs were a bit numb (it's cold and rainy!) and I didn't feel them until I was on the wrong bus trying to go home (see again about north and south and the sun). An hour and a half later, cold, stinky, and hungry, I find myself riding the bus through Hackney. If you've been playing along at home, you'll know I've already been lost in Hackney once. At least this time I had bus fare. Roughly 6 miles, roughly 1 hour 15.

Week so far: 16 miles, 3:23:40
Cumulative: 31 miles, 6:47:30

Friday, 7 December 2007

Week 2, Day 3: Friday December 7

My life is about to get crazy. I'm traveling to 3 countries, 4 states, in less than 3 weeks. Here's the mark of a budding runner - I'm trying to sort out how I can run in all the places/timezones I'm going to be in. Anyway, to begin the craziness, I'm not in the office today but at an offsite (though still in London). Lucky for me it didn't start until the middle of the day, so I got to sleep in some and still make my run today. Unfortunately, though, this meant that the streets were crowded again. Also, all my regular running clothes were in the wash. It doesn't matter. Off I go. Pretty good run, with a bit more walking than normal - not really sure why. I know we're in the buildup phase of the training, but my joints feel fine, my lungs are keeping up well, but my muscles haven't quite gotten there yet. It doesn't matter. Highbury Fields to Clissold Park route, 3 miles, 37:23 - I might get under 12 min/mile on this route yet! The big drop recently was running with my sister - but I'm proud to say I've sustained it after she left.
Week so far: 10.1 miles, 2:08:38

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Week 2, Day 2: Wednesday December 5

What should have been a vacation day, but as usual work intrudes. I didn’t do a morning run because I had something to finish. When I finally got out to run around 12:45, the rain had stopped – a nice surprise! I was having a pretty good run, despite the crowded streets. I was trying to do 14-15 minutes running, 1 minute walking, but accidentally took the first walk for 3 minutes as I tried to cross the street into Finsbury Park. Teach me to run in the middle of the day. [insert eye-roll here, but it doesn't matter.] I stopped to stretch once in the park, then ran most of the park loop (walking a bit up the hill from the dog waste container just after the playground to the top. I think it will be good to benchmark my treks up this hill, and measure my improvement in hills). Then as I’m in the last mile or so, my phone rings. Seems I did the clock math wrong, and my 2:30 call was actually at 1:30. Oh well, whatever, but it did upset my rhythm, and it was hard to get back in the groove. It doesn’t matter. Came in, and the rain came down again. Poured so hard I felt like I was inside of a carwash for a few minutes, then just stopped, and the sun is out again. Highbury Fields to Finsbury Park route, 4.1 miles, 54:00.

Week so far:
7.1 miles, 1:31:15

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Week 2, Day 1: Tuesday 4 December

3 miles scheduled. Beautiful quiet fall morning - not too cold, though I was certainly glad I had long pants and long sleeves. It was hard to wake up, but this week's mental mantra is "it doesn't matter" and that really helped me to get going. It felt good to be running, and running well-ish. Certainly not easy, and I'm still not fast, but it doesn't matter how fast I run. What matters is that I run. And after Sunday's long painful slog, it was great to see that I could still run. Lots of other runners out at 6:45, though basically no one else, and I felt awesome being a part of the community of runners, even if we don't talk to each other or even say hello. Oh, and I saw a fox! Highbury fields to clissold park route. 37:15.

Week so far: 3 miles, 37:15.

Week 1

Week 1 of the non-runner's marathon training is complete. I didn't write a diary, or much in my comments of the book, but here's the stats:
Tuesday, 27 November: 3 miles s
cheduled. 3 miles run (highbury fields to clissold park route) with no music on a foggy morning. 38:53
Thursday, 29 November: 4 miles scheduled. Got totally lost after making a wrong turn out of finsbury park. Ran for about 4.5 miles (55:10 or so), walked another 4-5 in trying to find my way home. This "run" ended up being about 2.5 hours total. By the time I got home, I was nearly paniced, and so was Meg. Not a good day.
Friday, 30 November: 3 miles scheduled. 3 miles run (highbury fields to clissold park route) with Lindsay on a slightly rainy afternoon. After yesterday's ridiculous "run" I was understandably a bit sore. Still, I improved my pace (I think running with Lindsay helped): 37:16.
Sunday, 2 December: 5 miles scheduled. This was awful! Very windy afternoon. I'm so glad Lindsay was with me, because I had the most intense shin pain, and an incredible inability to pick up my feet for a good part of it. 5 miles run/walked about 50/50 (highbury fields to finsbury park route). 1:12:29.

Total for the week: 15.5 miles, 3:23:34
Training total: 15.5 miles, 3:23:34