Training Log: 3/10/19 to 3/31/19

This edition of the training log brings us three more weeks of training. My highest mileage week this training cycle ended up being the week I spent in London at a workshop studying how mainstream right-wing parties respond to challenges on the radical right. The workshop was great and otherwise I saw a lot of the tow path along the canal where I did the majority of my running. Sure, this was a bit of an odd way to spend a week in London and another time, I might try to take in more of the sights. But this time around, this approach felt right. I did sneak in a visit to the Tower of London. I also met up with a childhood friend I haven’t seen in at least 30 years. And, I ran a race at a Tudor palace! So, it was quite a week.

Sunday, 3/10, Morning Crew – Swim 2400, Pam Loves 50s

Swam with Snarky Girl as usual. Foot was very cranky today even though it didn’t bother me much on yesterday’s 20 mile long run.

Monday, 3/11, Early Morning Crew – 5 miles easy (9:44 pace) 

Ran early with Speedy Stork before heading to London for work for a week. Great to see her, but it was really icy, which made me nervous. Also snuck in a doctor’s appointment to get meds for a potential sinus infection and a massage before getting on the plane!

Tuesday, 3/12, Afternoon Crew – 8.5 miles as 2 miles easy, 3×1.5 miles at 7:45 pace w/3 min rest, 2 miles easy – in London

I had planned to do this tomorrow thinking it would be better to get over jet lag before doing tempo work, but I felt all right and high winds were predicted to be on their way. My hotel was right next to a tow path along a canal which is great for running! There was way too much congestion to run fast on the tow path, but luckily I found a nearby park with a loop that is about a mile long and closed to traffic. Victoria Park, in fact! Average pace on the tempo segments was closer to 8:00 than 7:45, but given the jet lag and the wind, I’ll take it. Really happy I decided to squeeze this in today!

Wednesday, 3/13, Jet Lag Crew – 7 miles “easy” (10:34 pace)

Thank goodness I did the workout yesterday because today I felt like poop on a cracker. Jet lag, high winds, travel, etc., made this a complete and utter slog fest. On the tow path again, but felt like total crap. When. Will. This. Run. End?

Thursday, 3/14, Late Afternoon Crew – 7 miles easy (!) (9:59 pace)

I snuck this in between the end of the workshop I am attending and the official welcome dinner. Ran the exact same route as yesterday except four minutes faster overall. This run was magical – the tow path at dusk was filled with runners and cyclists and the darker it got, the more it felt like I was flying along the canal. Absolutely entrancing. Never let a “bad” run make you forget that a fabulous one could be just around the corner. As Coach Mick would say – the balance in the Force was restored.

Friday, 3/15, Late Afternoon Crew – 10 miles, sort of progression run (9:19 pace with four miles at: 8:39, 8:37, 8:24, 8:47)

This was supposed to be the standard Thursday progression run, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that given the terrain. The tow path is my best bet for running in the city, but I am finding it too congested to run fast and I didn’t want to go loop in Victoria Park for 10 miles. Instead, I ran to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and found a great path there. I certainly didn’t progress anything, but I did run four faster miles so calling that close enough. I also saw parrots!

Saturday, 3/16, Early Morning Crew – 5.5 miles (9:27 average pace, middle 3 miles around 8:50)

Back to Victoria Park for some loops. This was supposed to be 8:30-8:45 pace, but the wind and the travel fatigue were catching up to me. I was happy to be done and get on with some sight-seeing and shifting hotels.

Sunday, 3/17, Early Morning Crew – Hampton Court Half Marathon! (13.1 plus .75 warm-up and .75 cool down – 14.5 total)

Yes, I went and ran a half marathon at a Tudor palace! See upcoming race report.

Total: 57.5 miles running (52.5 in London!); 2400 yards swimming

3/18 – 3/24

This week was pretty much entirely easy running. With the half marathon on Sunday, travel back from London on Monday, and a 21 miler on Saturday, I was happy to just run easy miles the rest of the week. This was also the second week of my spring break so no teaching, just lots of grading, and a somewhat more flexible schedule than when the university is in session.

Monday, 3/18, Travel Day

Just flapping my wings on home again.

Tuesday, 3/19, Early Morning Crew – 6.5 miles (9:25 pace)

Met Pokey and Speedy Stork for little neighborhood jog. Felt surprisingly good, considering the very long day yesterday.

Wednesday, 3/20, Morning Crew – 7.5 miles (9:14 pace), plus weights

Traditional 4 miler from the gym has somehow become a 7.5 miler? Yikes. But a beautiful sunny day and happy to be home.

Thursday, 3/21, Morning Crew – 9.5 miles (8:59 pace)

It took me awhile to get the hang of mid-week longer runs on Thursdays. I have to get up and work quite early while the kids are still asleep and then run after they go to school. I kept crashing mid-run before I figured out that I need to eat again if I am going to run this far at 10am. These runs also got easier once I decided to do the same out-and-back every week so I don’t have to make any additional decisions. After several weeks of this pattern, I am finally getting the hang of it and today felt truly easy.

Friday, 3/22, Morning Crew – 5 miles (9:08 pace)

Easy run around the campus loop. Took advantage of still being on spring break to sleep in a little.

Saturday, 3/23, Early Morning Crew – 21 miles (9:14 pace) HOP21!

Way back last summer Coach Mick insisted I join a Facebook group called Boston Buddies. He doesn’t insist on much so I signed up even though I hadn’t qualified yet. As usual, this was a great idea and the Boston Buddies have turned out to be a group full of support and information and fun. They organized this HOP21 run. We parked at Boston College, took buses out to Hopkinton, and ran the first 21 miles of the course to the top of Heartbreak Hill! North Shore Strider and Corgi Speedster also came along. It was a gorgeous day and fabulous to get a first-hand glimpse of the course. Plus, I finally got to meet some of the Boston Buddies in person at lunch after the run! A great day and a huge confidence booster for my last 20 miler.

Sunday, 3/24, Morning Crew – Swim 2800 Ice Day Workout

Swam with Snarky Girl. Tired and kind of sore, though swimming helped. 21 miles is far.

Total: 49.5 miles running; 2800 yards swimming. Yes, of course I thought about running the extra ½ mile, but 21 on Saturday was really FAR ENOUGH!

3/25 – 3/31

First official week of taper! Though I am boycotting the term “taper” and also the taper crazies this time around in favor of “peaking”. I think that term originates with Greg McMillan, but I watched High Power Running Mentor #1 execute this approach last fall with great success and Coach Mick also seems to prefer “peaking” to “tapering”. It’s more a mental shift than anything else, but a critical one. If I appear obnoxiously confident over the next couple of weeks, it’s because I am. I’ve worked hard these past few months and I’m excited to see how that plays out. We’ll see what happens on race day!

Monday, 3/25, Morning Crew – 5 easy miles (9:14 pace)

Campus loop with Snarky Girl.

Tuesday, 3/26, Early Morning Crew – 8.5 miles total, 2 miles WU, 2.5 miles at 7:45-8:00, 1 mile easy, 2 miles at 7:45, 1 mile easy

Pretty cold. I decided to do this on the track so I had more control over everything. It wasn’t “easy” but it was fine. Long way to go on the track, but I didn’t mind it.

Wednesday, 3/27, Morning Crew – 7 miles (9:10 pace), plus weights

Another longer run from the gym. Kind of grindy this morning, but got it done.

Thursday, 3/28, Morning Crew – 6 (8:55 pace, progression run)

I’ve been doing 9-10 miles on Thursday morning, even 11 once, so 6 really starts to feel like taper. Plus loads of sunshine today helped this feel great. Squeezed this in between managing kids and giving talk on European populism at a retirement facility in Essex. My weird life.

Friday, 3/29, Morning Crew – 5 miles (9:01 pace)

Girlfriend run with Teacher Runner. Running just the two of us is like flight, like heaven, like getting to ride on a kite. Our strides match perfectly and it feels effortless. I treasure runs like this one.

Saturday, 3/30, Early Morning Crew – Gym trifecta: bike plus weights plus yoga

Tough Guy Trainer has added a yoga class! This is enough to get me out the door pretty promptly. Stationary bike is soooo boring, but I watched boot camp while I was on there and that helped.

Sunday, 3/31, Early Morning Crew – 15 miles, progression run down to marathon pace

Started with Pokey and Speedy Stork. I had some digestive issues, probably from weird dinner last night, but my head was completely in the right place on this run and I felt great and nailed the times I was looking for. Woot!

Total: 46.5 miles running; 45 minutes biking.



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