Monday, June 24, 2013

Running in London

The first day in London we went for a long walk along the Thames River, seeing many of the sights - the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Tate museum, etc. The whole time I kept seeing runners  along the riverwalk and I wanted to be one of them!

We crossed the river to see the sights on the other side and I saw a girl wearing a Toledo marathon shirt! We chatted for a minute, and that had to be a sign, yes?

By the time we checked into the hotel, I hadn't slept in 29 hours, I was exhausted and mega dehydrated, but my legs were itching to go run! It was in the low 70s and sunny - why would I pass up on that weather? Especially in London???

I laced up my shoes, turned on Baby Carmen and went for one of my top five favorite runs. I walked from the hotel to the river, then ran along the river to St. James Park, where I did two laps, then turned and doubled back the first part of the route.

The park was moderately crowded and there was a formal event happening in a few hours, if the ladies' big hats were any indication. Each lap passed the Mall, Buckingham Palace, the Cabinet War Museum and the Guards museum. It was crowded enough to be completely safe, but not so crowded as to interfere with running. Each lap was 1.1 miles. I wouldn't want to do 20 laps, but two was a good number.

Despite the lack of sleep, lack of water, lack of food, lack of energy, I felt GREAT! It wasn't my fastest run, certainly wasn't the further, but it was probably my favorite run ever (that wasn't a sub- 5-hour marathon :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Done! Stood on the Prime Meridian

Much like the time I "dated" a Storm Trooper, standing on the Prime Meridian was never on the bucket list because it didn't occur to me until the opportunity was right in front of me.

I was invited to go on a trip to London and Paris, both of which I've seen before, so I thought outside the box to come up with new and different things I hadn't seen on previous trips. In London, that was going to Greenwich to see the Prime Meridian.

It was easy enough to get there - take the Tube to the Tower station, then change to the DLR (Docklands light rail). Alight after a few stops, walk ten minutes, and you're there. It's actually part of a huge park at the Royal Museums Greenwich. The park is free, but the special exhibits have a charge.

You can get thisclose to the meridian. You can see it, you can photograph it, but if you want to stand ON the line, you have to pay for entrance to the courtyard. It was free until last year, when the city began charging admission to the courtyard in anticipation of the Olympics. Bummer, yet they needed to finance the games. I didn't travel that far to just see the line, and in terms of London tourist stops, 7 pounds was a cheap one.

I walk the line, I walk the line....

There were exhibits on the history of how and why the meridian was created, the history of telescopes, determining sea location, telling time, etc. Outside of the meridian were a planetarium and an exhibit on aliens. The Royal Observatory also owns the Queens House - not Buckingham Palace, and I didn't pay to enter, so no idea what it is. It's the building directly behind me in the photo. Nearby was the Cutty Sark, a tall ship. I didn't pay for that either :)

The park afforded a nice skyline view of the city. Behind me just off the right side of the picture is the North Greenwich Arena, also known as the O2, home of the Les Miserables anniversary concert and the Olympic gymnastic events.

I guess now I need to stand on the equator and the International Date Line :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 1 - no problem!

Tuesday was day 1 of Hal's intermediate 1 plan to get me ready for Chicago. It also could have been the easiest run in the world to skip, but obstacles be damned! I ran! When it's important, you find a way, when its not, you find excuses. No excuses here!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 11

I've used Hal Higdon's novice 2 program to train for my races in spring 2012, fall 2012 and spring 2013. Knowing that I'll be running the Goofy 2-day event in December, and also knowing I have more time to train in the summer than in the winter, I decided to tackle the intermediate 1 program this summer, or at least start it and see how it goes. If it's too much, I can always drop back to the novice 2, which I pretty much have memorized by now.

The two big differences with the intermediate plan is that I'll be running 5 times a week instead of 4, and I'll have to run both Saturday and Sunday. I'm not a fan of Sunday running, but we'll see if the extra miles help me.

To train 18 weeks for Chicago, I have to start the week of June 9, so my first running day of the program will be Tuesday, June 11. There is a huge wrinkle in the first week, which I'll detail after I've defeated it :)

Happy running!!!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Technique training?

I had company again for my Saturday run, which is great and always welcome. I forgot my watch though, and we weren't running in my neighborhood, so I had no idea the distance or pace, we just ran what felt good. Toward the end we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things, then walked home for a healthy dinner.

Well I got bored of walking after just a few steps, so I started "jogging" alongside my friend who was stuck carrying the grocery bag. Mostly I wanted to keep my heart and lungs working, then I realized that by going really really slow, I was able to focus on my form and technique.

I focused on keeping my hands low and at my hips, then moving my arms straight back and forth. Going so slow ensured I was landing on my entire foot, not letting my heel sneak in for the landing. I was "running" with my mouth closed and still getting enough oxygen. I was doing everything right!!!! The only problem is that I was going a 16:00 mile.

I don't know if there was any real benefit to my "technique training," but I figure it can't hurt!