10 Weeks Until the Barcelona Marathon


Welcome to 2024!

I hope your new year is going well so far; the first week of my year felt focused on marathon training and of course, work, as everyone came back from the holidays ready to tackle all those things we pushed from the end of 2023.

London weather was very London-y, with lots of rainy days, but there were some sunny ones in there as well.

Here’s how my training for the Barcelona marathon went!

Monday: New Year’s Day! Even though our NYE was low-key and I was asleep before midnight, I still let myself sleep in a bit before heading out for a longer workout. Unfortunately the Parliament track in Hampstead Heath was closed for the New Year’s Day holiday, so I ran to the cinder track outside of Regent’s Park instead; 2 mile warm-up, 10x400m hard, 45 sec jog, 400m at marathon pace, 45 sec jog, then cool-down. I did the same workout two weeks ago with 8 sets; that extra two sets made it quite long! 11 miles total. Yowsa!

I had signed up to take an afternoon pilates reformer class at Heartcore but my body was pretty tired after the workout, so I decided to eat the cost (it was too late to cancel) and do some core and stretching at home instead (followed by a nap!)

We took down our Christmas tree and (limited) decorations later that day. Our borough, Camden, does have free collection points for trees, but our spot was quite a far walk (without a car), so we did opt to pay a little extra for a service to come and take it away, which felt like a smart choice as it was also pouring rain…of course it was, ha!

Tuesday: After the 11 mile workout the day before, I was happy to have a rest day from running, especially being the first day back in the office after a lot of working from home over the holidays. I did squeeze in a Pilates reformer class at Ten Health over lunch, which was grand.

Wednesday: A very easy 7 mile solo run before work, another Pilates reformer class after work at Ten. I had taken an advanced class there on Tuesday, but opted for a beginner’s class on Wednesday and I actually really like the beginner’s class- it incorporates a bit more stretching and a lot more guidance and corrections on the moves. I’ve been consistently taking reformer classes now for about two months (since right before the Dublin marathon), but it is still nice to get the guidance to correct when I’m doing things wrong.

Thursday: 7 mile run with Ruth before work with some more “aerobic” miles in the middle.

Ruth and I took the detour to the top of Primrose Hill; sadly, Primrose had been closed for a few days as there was actually a stabbing there on NYE of a 16-year-old boy. The U.K. doesn’t have any of the gun violence that the U.S. does, but it does still have violence….

After work, I walked (in the pouring rain) to the Heartcore Hampstead studio for their pilates reformer class; Heartcore’s classes are a lot more like solidcore in the U.S.- faster pace, harder, less stretching. I’m doing a bit of everything during this Reformer ERA I’m in, with Heartcore, Ten, and APPI- all very different styles of Pilates on the reformer.

Friday: 8 mile run before work, with a stop at “It’s Bagels” in Primrose for a few bagels to bring home. Running with a bag of bagels is a little awkward; I definitely should have brought my running backpack if I had planned ahead.

Saturday: Long run Saturday! At least it wasn’t raining. It was about 45F or 7C, which is still shorts and a long-sleeve for me. I had 6 miles easy, then 7 miles at marathon effort, then 4-5 miles easy to get home for 17.8 miles total. It was a busy morning out there in London; I ran along Regent’s Canal to Paddington:

From Paddington, I ran to Hyde Park, looped Hyde/Kensington twice for the marathon effort miles, and then ran home through Regent’s for the cool-down.

While in Hyde, I saw this woman walking THREE vizslas! Incredible.

Of course we followed up the long runs with some dog walks at the Heath; then I had a haircut at Trevor Sorbie in Hampstead (I’ve been splitting up my color and cut into two different appointments or else it just gets too long to be sitting!) and Dustin met me on the high street for dinner at 28 Church Row, one of our favorite Hampstead restaurants.

After dinner, we grabbed a pint at the Horseshoe Pub in Hampstead and there was a cat there on a leash! There’s always tons of dogs at the pubs, but this is the first time I saw a cat!

Sunday: Dustin, Ruth, and I ran to Regent’s to join the Croissant Chasers group for an easy run, 8 miles total for me.

A few months ago, as a gift, I received the book “London: A Guide for Curious Wanderers” by Jack Chester. This was such a perfect gift for me, as I really enjoy learning about history, particularly through running or walking tours. I learned that the author, Jack, also gives walking tours in London, though they sell out quite quickly. I got into his mailing list and signed up for one this afternoon, “Secrets and Symbols of the City, “Discover the secrets of the City of London: its hidden gardens, off-the-beaten-track alleyways and oft-overlooked little details.” It is from 2:30-4:15. Will report back on how it is! It’s chilly here (40F/4C), but the sun is shining!

Summary: 59 miles of running (so close to 60- big week!), 3 pilates reformer classes (2 at Ten Health, 1 at Heartcore), attempt at daily core and stretching. Lots of time in the Normatec boots!

In non-running news, we watched the new Netflix movie “The Society of the Snow” about the Uruguay rugby team in the 70s whose plane crashed in the Andes; this is their incredible story of survival. It’s intense and very emotional! It’s based on the same true story as the movie “Alive” but I think this one was better. I recommend it but be prepared to cry!

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!

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