This is week 2 of a 18-week training plan that will hopefully get me to the marathon start line ready to have an amazing race, and maybe hopefully PR! And what a busy week it was!
monday, november 4
I had a very chill day, before eventually setting out to run this week’s speed workout, which was 8 miles in total:
1.5M warm up 8 * 600m @ 5K – 10K pace; 400m jog rest 1.5M cool down
My stomach was a bit off during the speed work (not terrible, but not great). During my cool down, my stomach was not happy and made itself known. Luckily, I got home in time to avoid any catastrophes…Lesson learned: I should probably eat less before doing speed work. In my defense, I thought I was safe!
After my run, I packed up most of my stuff–we’re moving on Wednesday, and since I don’t want it to be stressful, I decided it would be best to pack up everything I know I won’t use/wear in the next few weeks. Packing up my clothes reinforced the fact that I definitely overpacked for this trip…
tuesday, november 5
Today we received the good news that we can check into our next apartment a few hours early tomorrow! This means our move = pushing our suitcases down the stairs + one uber trip + USING THE ELEVATOR in the new place to move everything in. Much better than moving everything to Lior’s office and camping out there for half the day…
Tonight, I went to my first We Are Runners workout! The run, which is held every Tuesday, started 2 miles from my current apartment, but will be less than a mile from the next apartment. I ran the 2 miles to the event, partly through a dark Kensington Gardens. I don’t understand why they don’t light the parks here, it seems like such a waste! I did get to see some fireworks in the distance from Guy Fawkes Day celebrations, which was cool. I got a bit turned around on the way to the workout, and arrived just in time, rather than a bit early, like I wanted.
I loved the We Are Runners workout! I found the group on Instagram, and am so glad I did. Though the pace wasn’t much faster than my normal efforts, the run felt hard! It was 4.15 miles, and I was very happy to be done. I then waited for the bus and sprinted a bit home, to get out of the cold. I ran 6.8 miles in total.
An important marathon-related development–today, Lior and I purchased our flights! Not looking forward to the 7 hour layover on the return, but I am excited to mooch off of Lior’s airline status to use the lounge… So far, our only hotel booking is in Tokyo for 3 nights around the marathon…now it’s time to build the vacation schedule and book the rest of the hotels for our two-week trip.
wednesday, november 6
Moving day! The process was very smooth and I’m now all unpacked in my home for the next three months. There are TWO BATHROOMS! It is amazing. The apartment is much more spacious than our last place, there’s an elevator, and in addition to the aforementioned two bathrooms, there’s a washer/dryer in the kitchen. Amazing! I took advantage of this by starting a load of laundry before I left for my run.
I was supposed to do a 7 mile tempo run today, with the first and last miles being the warm up/cool down and the middle five miles at goal marathon pace. Instead, the first two miles were slower and the last five were a bit faster. Whatever, I’ll take it!
The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent doing laundry. The first load took over two hours to wash and the dryer cycle was only 13 minutes and not very effective…so it was alternatively a long process and required some babysitting. At least the landlord provided a drying rack, and I can do laundry from the comfort of the apartment!
thursday, november 7
Lior is on a work trip and won’t return until tomorrow evening. Today, I had my first yoga class at my new gym! The gym is very close to the apartment, and the price seemed reasonable. To enter the gym, I had to enter my PIN into a keypad. Once the PIN was verified, I was able to enter a clear pod…the door behind me closed, and then a door in front of me opened. This seems unnecessary and definitely made me feel claustrophobic. Luckily, I wasn’t trapped in the pod, and was able to enter the gym. The gym provides towel service and yoga mats, which I appreciated.
As for the class, I initially had a difficult time getting into it. The timbre of the instructor’s voice was such that I sometimes had a hard time hearing him. Compounded with the rattling from the air circulation, it was frustrating. Eventually this passed. My one critique (aside from the fact that the instructor should have a mic) is that he didn’t demonstrate the poses. I don’t “know” yoga, so this meant I frequently had to look at what the other students were doing…and for all I know, they could have been as clueless as me!
That being said, which parts were challenging I did enjoy the class. This yoga was more stretching than sweating. If I was using this class as a calorie burner I may have been disappointed, but for me this is a twice-weekly stretching session. I’ll definitely be back.
In the evening, I went to my second We Are Runners run. I ran the 2+ miles to lululemon Regents Street, and then completed the 4.6 mile run to/from Regent’s Park, running the outside perimeter of the part. Somewhere during the run around the park, I got separated from the group…not sure how, since it’s one big circle! The area was not well lit…I don’t understand why London doesn’t light its parks…even the area outside! If I wasn’t running past mansions/in an obviously expensive neighborhood, it would have felt sketchy. If they’re planning this route in the future, I’ll either skip the run or push the pace and make sure I stay with the group! In total I ran 6.7 miles.
friday, november 8
Today I tried my gym’s spin class. I made the rookie mistake of only arriving 5 minutes before the class started…and there were no available bikes. Luckily, I registered a week ago and someone there was on the waitlist, so I got in. Lesson learned–next time, I need to claim my bike early!
In the afternoon, I decided to run in Battersea Park, which is relatively close to my new apartment. I ran 5 miles in total. The park is much smaller than Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park, and also much quieter. I loved running in Battersea Park, and plan to make it one of my regular running routes!
In the evening, Lior and I went to Avobar, an avocado-themed restaurant. It was kitschy, but also pretty good. We then stumbled across the Leicester Square Christmas market, which had just opened. It was cute, but that’s about it.
On the way back, we ate this!
saturday, november 9
In the morning, I went for another glorious 5 mile run in Battersea Park. The skies were clear, it was chilly, but great running weather, and I had an amazing time! I then pulled the trigger and registered for a 10K in Battersea Park in two weeks.
Afterwards, we went to Borough Market. The food stands were great…but honestly it was way too crowded for me, to the point where it was unpleasant. But at least they had oysters! We also had duck confit sandwiches that were tasty (the hot apple cider brandy was even better), and I ordered some DISAPPOINTING sea urchins that were basically empty inside…
In the evening we went to Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlour. We had tried to go last night, but needed reservations…so we made day-of reservations today, and it worked. Another super kitschy place–basically it’s set in the 1800s and you travel around the world, through gin cocktails. We enjoyed our drinks, and I already made a reservation during my mom’s upcoming visit!
sunday, november 10
REST DAY! We returned to Covent Garden for the third time in three days–this time to explore during the daylight. We went to Ivy Market Grill for brunch–skip it, the food was decent but not amazing. This is the theme of our meals in London. We then wandered around the area, stopped for a coffee break, and made our way home (with a grocery store stop on the way, where I barely held it together because I was over dealing with people).
We also popped into the Science Museum, but it was very underwhelming, so we didn’t stay long. (On the plus side, it was free!)
total distance: 38.7 miles, 1 yoga class, 1 spin class
My mileage was a bit higher than initially planned, because I hadn’t factor in the run commute time to the workouts. While I do enjoy having some solo running time, I’m so happy I found a running group! It will definitely be one of the highlights of my week.
So far, I like my new gym, and am happy that I have lots of options for classes–I’ve been neglecting my cross training, and plan to make this more of a priority for the next three months. This week felt very full and busy, and was definitely my happiest week in London, so far!