Hello friends! I hope you had a wonderful week. This is my weekly recap of training/life in London. My next marathon is in 13 weeks, which will be the Vienna Marathon.
Monday: Rest from running! With over 50 miles of running the week before, I needed a rest day anyways, and I woke up to pouring rain and appreciated the option to snooze instead. After work, I completed day 26, leg day, on Iron Strength, (i.e. Caroline Girvan’s free strength training program on YouTube) + core on Peloton.
Tuesday: Run commute, 4.2 miles, then another 3.65 miles with my colleague Nicole. No rain! It was actually in the upper 20’s F or -2C, so the air was dry and crisp!
After work, we had a bowling outing right in central London near our office, at the Ham Yard Hotel. I never would have guessed there would be bowling in central London!
Wednesday: 8 mile run with some tempo intervals in there. Brisk! I think it was about 27F (nothing compared to Minnesota weather, ha!) and there was some ice on the ground from frozen rain puddles, but it was easy to spot and avoid, even in the dark morning hours.
Day 27 of Iron Strength after work, upper body + core on Peloton.
Thursday: Another run commute!
This time my colleague Tina joined me; she lives about 1 mile away, so we met in the middle for a 4.6 mile run into the office. We ran through Regent’s park and were treated to a beautiful sunrise and a surprise camel sighting!
It ended up being a long day at work and I didn’t get home until after 9 pm. I even skipped my daily 10 minutes of core as I was pooped…but that’s okay, one missed day doesn’t mean I should give up on that goal. Nobody’s perfect.
Friday: Ruth and I ran 7 miles together after the sun came up, which was great. It was about 40F/4C, but she was shivering; I should have put a jacket on her. This Minnesota dog is getting wimpier here in London, hehe!
Saturday: I put myself out there and tried out a local running club, the Serpentine Running Club. This is one of the few in London that has their long runs on Saturdays (most are on Sundays!) The club met at Hyde Park, which is about 4 miles from our flat. The leader told me to be at the meeting place at 9:30, so Dustin ran with me to Hyde and no one was at the meeting spot. I rechecked my phone to ensure I was at the right place and jogged around a bit to stay warm; eventually some people showed up at 9:45 and then they gave others another 15 minutes to arrive. Then, at 10 am, we did 10-15 minutes of warm-up drills together. Europeans sure do love their warm-ups! I have never seen this at a US running club; in the US, you show up on time ready to run and then you go. (And you start much earlier!) Instead, I had nearly an hour from when I arrived to the spot (and I did 5 miles and was plenty warmed up) to when we actually started running again, which was a little tough on the body…
Anyways, once we finally started running, everyone was nice and friendly. This is one of the biggest run groups in London. They have organized runs most evenings: Mon/Tues are at the Paddington track, Wednesday is another run at Hyde Park, Thursdays are hill repeats on Primrose, and Saturdays are the long run. I was glad I tried it out and I will go back, but now I know better than to be there at 9:30. I am not sure if they move up the start time in the warmer months, but I suppose I could always run more miles ahead of time, run with them, and then join for their coffee hour afterwards and take the tube home. I skipped the social hour this time after the run since I still had to run home.
Between the run there, about 7 miles with the club and back home, I ended up with 17 miles total. I was really struggling on the 4-5 miles home, I needed to fuel more and my stomach wasn’t feeling great. But I got it done. I was happy that by the time I arrived back at our flat, Dustin had showered and taken the pups to the Heath to wear them out so I could recover a bit.
Early that evening (or late afternoon?), we joined my old college roommate at her Craft Beer Club.
I’ve mentioned this friend here before, she’s been living here for about 5 years and recently obtained her indefinite leave to remain here; “Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is also commonly referred to as ‘Permanent Residence’. If you are a foreign national and you are granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will have permission to live and work in the UK without restriction.” – Essentially she has passed all the tests and interviews to no longer need to have a company sponsor her work visa (like we have to) to stay here. It was reason to celebrate so I was happy we had this opportunity to connect.
We joined the group for a pint at two different pubs before dropping out and heading back home. It was a very friendly group of people and I hope to attend one of their events again.
Sunday: Snoozed a bit before heading out for a 7 mile run with Dustin. Then off to the Heath for lots of walkies with the pups in the sun!! (A lot less rain this week.)
Summary: 51 miles of running, 3 Iron Strength sessions, attempt at daily core on Peloton
This upcoming week will be a planned cutback week as we are flying to Val-d’Isère in the French Alps on Tuesday to snowboard through Sunday. It’s my first time in the Alps- I’m a little nervous! Apparently one of the longest runs is at Val-d’Isère; it’s over 10km long. The resort is enormous (and looks beautiful!)
I’m not sure if I will run much while there, which is just fine for 5-6 days, since I’ll be snowboarding every day. As long as I don’t break any bones snowboarding, I can get right back into training when we return.
The best news? Our snowboards, which have been missing since 12/23 (when they never left Heathrow on our way to Finland) were delivered to our flat yesterday. Just in time! Will they make it with us to Val-d’Isère? Ha, who knows?
Well, that’s a wrap! 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!
Ugh on the late start to your group run. Working as a medical provider, I’m all about people being on time. But I’ve learned that is truly an American phenomenon because my patients who are from other countries treat their appointment time as a suggestion, lol. It’s hard to manage that! At least now you know, but fueling will definitely be a challenge.
I’m excited for you to snowboard in the Alps–I’m looking forward to lots of beautiful photos. So glad that your boards showed up! Have a fun week!
My college roommate told me I should never expect things to start in time. You are so right that it’s kind of an American thing. I was so punctual- never again! All the waiting around was a challenge, but I’m still glad I tried it out.
Oh, I’m impressed you stuck it out and waited for that group. That would have driven me bonkers. I also wouldn’t do well with such a late start, but if I could plan ahead I guess I could manage it. 😉 I went to Val D’Isere as a kid to ski. I don’t remember it much, but I still remember the souvenir shirt I got because it had velvety letters on it. How random is that! Anyway, have a blast snowboarding! I think your snowboards have had enough of an adventure on your own and will stick with you now.… Read more »
What a great memory Coco- how cool you went there as a kid! I’m excited to see what all the hype is about with the Alps
Well a few days in the Alps has got to be fun! Can’t wait to see those pics. The winter there must feel so mild to what you are used to. Good for you to get out with a new group. 9:30 sounds great to me 🙂
It does feel so mild! Even the “cold” days are not so bad.
I’m excited for the Alps!
That is crazy about the late start to the group run…and that it seems to be the protocol, LOL. At least now you know. Your upcoming trip sounds fun!!
Thanks Kim- yes I’m slowly learning that the concept of punctuality isn’t really a thing….
Well Vislas don’t have any fat on them so I am not surprised! Although Bandit seems to hate all coats. Sigh.
Have fun snowboarding! It’s so much fun following you around Europe. 🙂
Fortunately Ruth and Matilda don’t mind coats as they need them. You’re totally right, vizslas just don’t have enough fat OR fur to keep them warm!
I’m not surprised about that late start time with the running group. Everything in Europe is so loosey goosey. Glad it was fun though! I remember Val-d’Isere from back when it was the ski venue for the 1992 Olympics in Albertville. Have so much fun and hooray for the snowboards!
Totally loosey goose!
I didn’t know Val-d’Isere was an Olympic host! Neat!! I’m excited to experience it; my colleagues say its very different than the ski towns in the US.
Wow. That’s a whole lotta running. I got tired just reading. You are in great shape.
I spent my junior year of college in France. Believe it or not my first skiing experience ever was that year.
Can’t wait to hear about your time on the French Alpes.
Thanks Darlene! I do spend a lot of my free time running.
How cool that you studied abroad in France! Where ? And your first skiing was there. How lucky are you!
Sounds like a good week for you, both socially and running-wise, but how annoying with the late start of the group run, that is NOT fun in the winter.
Enjoy your trip to Val d’Isère, hope all goes well this time with your snowboards.
How odd with the camel, lol!
Exactly! It might not have felt quite so long if I wasn’t so cold. I had warmed up so much running to Hyde Park and then was so chilled just standing around for so long.
Regent’s Park goes right by the London zoo, hence the camel!
I think it’s great you tried out a new run group. It would have driven me crazy for things to have started so late. I’m glad you enjoyed it enough to plan to go again.
Enjoy your trip to the Alps!
Thanks Michelle. I had to convince myself to stick around when no one was showing up…
Yes, I can see how the timing of that group run could be problematic. But having people to run with definitely makes the miles fly by. I’ve struggled a little with nutrition on my last two long runs- I felt okay during the runs but got very nauseous once I stopped. Maybe I need to try something other than GUs.
I can’t wait to hear all about your vacation! I’m guessing we’ll be seeing some beautiful photos. Have fun!
Oh, I agree that having people to run with will help and I feel like its the best way for me to make some friends. So I stuck with it, even though it was cold and a lot of standing around.
I only had one Maurten gel for 17 miles so I’m sure that’s part of why I felt so terrible at the end.
Your snowboarding trip to the French Alps sounds amazing (and terrifying)! Can’t wait to hear all about it!
That would drive me nuts to start the run so late after the posted start time. Will you just show up later next time you join them?
A wee bit terrifying for me too. I hope I can handle the Alps!
Yeah, I think if I go again, I’ll add more miles to the front end and plan to show up at 10 instead.
I’m so jealous you are going to snowboard in the Alps!! it looks amazing! That will be so fun. You had quite a social week too! That is interesting about the run club starting so late. I agree that most groups are right on time!
Have fun on your trip!
Thanks Lisa! I am very curious how the Alps will compare to the US ski resorts!
One of the biggest pet peeves I have is people not sticking to the set time! And sadly, where I’m from this is rarely the case – most of our races start late which can be very frustrating! But glad that you still had a good run and will be joining them again. Having company on long runs makes such a difference!
Totally with you on the frustration of the late start…but I am still glad I stuck around even when I was freezing!
Interesting! English run clubs are not for me, I guess! To me, no amount of social would be worth that level of disruption – you arrived warmed up and have to chill for an undetermined amount of time plus their warmup. Plus, it just takes such a chunk out of the day with the added downtime. But them I am Team Introvert, so take that with a grain of salt.
Those pups are sure getting good use of their Heath. It is a much better place place to burn off their zoomies than in the Minneapolis snow fields!
That’s a bummer on the late start time for the running group, but it sounds like it was a good group to run with…once they got started!
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I’m such an on-time person that that would’ve driven me crazy! I get anxious when I’m a few minutes late and always amazed by people who don’t. The Alps sound amazing! What an incredible experience. Post pictures!
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That time thing would drive me nuts. I am usually punctual and get annoyed when people do not show up on time. 🙂 Have fun in the Alps! Take lots of pictures.
Thanks Zenaida! I don’t know why they told me to show up so early…
Love your pictures. We start our club runs on time but we do run a warm-up as many people arrive in cars – I always do it even though I’ve run there!
I’m curious if other US clubs do warmups together. I’ve only seen it here!