2020 Paris Marathon Training: Week Cinq

Officially less than two months away! This week threw a few curve balls by way of some calve pain, rain and special OrangeTheory Fitness classes (a 12 minute benchmark prep class and the 2000m row benchmark.) So I didn’t do as many 5-7 miles run as I would have liked during the week… but I still clocked in at 52km/32 miles or a little more than last week with some shorter runs.  Here is the details: 

MONDAY

I ran to Pacers 14th street than ran 3 miles with the group (well, mostly with my friend Christina) for a total of 9.1km/5.6 miles. The weather was beautiful so we had a huge group!

TUESDAY

After the amazing Superbowl halftime show I could not not take Shane’s J.Lo vs. Shakira spin class at Cyclebar NoMa. It was awesome and I almost cracked the top 10, finishing 11th in the class which never happens to me.

Since it was basically run in t-shirt weather, I also could not not run that evening so I joined Pacers Navy Yard for 3 short miles, followed by a beer at Bluejacket next door. 

WEDNESDAY

I took the 12 minute benchmark prep class at OrangeTheory Fitness Mount Vernon Triangle. My time to beat is 1.2km/0.75 miles from back in September and I’m really hoping to crush it. 

That evening, Corey and I watched The Joker since it has 11 Oscar nominations. 

THURSDAY

Quick turn-around after a 4:30PM OTF class… I was back at 7:15AM the next day to crush that 2000m benchmark row. I beat my previous time by 37 seconds and at 8 minutes and 13 seconds I was the 3rd women in my age group. I guess this is 40 😉  

I had initially planned to take a 6PM yoga class since it looked like it was going to pour rain non-stop for 2 days… but then at 5PM the sky looked pretty clear and I felt like I needed to do a few more miles so I made the last minute decision to head to Pacers Navy Yard. Of course it started pouring rain as soon as we started running. Oh well.

FRIDAY

Rest day. 

SATURDAY

The rain finally stopped, and I joined the November Project Long Run Crew for their Lincoln to Lincoln run. Their route covered 10.5 miles and I had to do 16 so I covered close to 2 running there (my alarm clock didn’t ring so I got a later start than I meant to), then added 3+ miles at the end. Since I’m always slower than everyone that meant I missed coffee at Baked and Wired with the group afterwards. But I made my own fun and stopped at Ladurée for treats instead before taking the circulator back home.  

SUNDAY

Oops. I missed yoga (again). The weather was beautiful, especially after all the rain during the week, so Corey and I met up with two of his friends at Paradise Spring Winery. I had rosé outdoors it was glorious!

What I’m reading/watching/listening to:  I finished The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead and started On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane by Emily Guendelsberger. I have that one both on paper and audio so I’m going back and forth between the two but I mostly love listening to it during my runs. After Joker, I needed something a little lighter so I watched the Taylor Swift documentary on Netflix. You can judge me, but I thought it was quite good! And of course, I watched the Oscars on Sunday (I’m SO thrilled that a non-English language film won for the first time, especially since Parasite is such a good movie) and the Democratic debate on Friday. I mean, what else would I do on a Friday night? 

What I’m eating/drinking:  The owners of Daikaya just opened a new restaurant called Tonari in the former Graffiato space next door. It’s the first restaurant in Washington, D.C. to showcase Japanese-style or ‘Wafu’ pasta and pizza. My friends Kaoru, Cecilia and I went to check it out on opening night and I must say the Uni pasta with soy, mirin, butter, sake, and kombu dashi made for the perfect pre-long-run meal!!

What I’m looking forward to on week 6: More longer runs during the week. Only one OrangeTheory Fitness class and a shorter long run next weekend! I’m excited for next week 😉 Also, I need to make a doctor’s appointment so I can finally submit my medical certificate for the race! 

Back to linking with Kim of Running On The Fly and Deborah of Confessions of a Mother Runner for their weekly wrap-up. Check out everyone’s posts and join the community if you’re blogging about your fitness journey too!!

2020 Paris Marathon Training: Bonjour Février!

Four weeks down, eight more to go! Slowly figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t (ie. taking an OrangeTheory class on Thursday AND Friday AND doing your long run on Saturday is no bueno!) and tweaking my scheduling accordingly. Here’s what last week looked like: 

MONDAY

I took Tammy’s OrangeTheory Fitness class after work. She recently started teaching more 4:30PM classes at Tentleytown and these really work with my schedule. And while I don’t normally love the 3G format, I actually had an awesome class, getting almost half of my points on the rower (I rarely get any points at all on the rower usually !!)

TUESDAY

The fourth Tuesday of the month is neighbourhood Shake Shack night so I ran 5 miles with Pacers Navy Yard (well, with Allison really… we got left behind by all the fast kids pretty quickly lol) before enjoying a glass of rosé on the house at the local Shake Shack.

I’m SO excited that Shake Shack serves rosé now!!

WEDNESDAY

I ran to Summit to Soul, with Summit to Soul’s Hill Runners and then back home from the hill for a total of 11.3km/7 miles.

It was nice to have company for 2 miles.

THURSDAY

I had plans to catch up with my friend Colleen and celebrate my (belated) birthday after work so I took Tammy’s noon class at OrangeTheory Tentleytown. It was a strength day and I pushed myself both on the treadmill and with the weights. I thought I had a pretty awesome class though looking back at the report afterwards I saw that I spent 12 minutes in the grey zone and 14 in blue, which is a little more than I like… 

Dinner afterwards was  super fun. We went to Little Coco’s. They have a $35 salad, pasta and bottomless prosecco deal on Thursdays that’s pretty fabulous. 

FRIDAY

Rest day. 

SATURDAY

Last week’s H Street Runners’ Winter Sunrise Run (and bagels!) was postponed and I was actually excited to have some company on my long run for a change (downside is less audible time though…) so I got up super early to meet up with the group. It was a good 2 miles for me to run to H street then 5 miles to the Lincoln Memorial and 4 back to H Street. Since I had to cover a longer distance, I missed the bagel portion and ran a little more so I could cover my 14 miles.  

There’s such a feeling of accomplishment when it’s 9AM and you’ve tackled your long run. I was pretty lazy after though and binged Next In Fashion for quite a while 😉 

SUNDAY

Apparently there was a big football match going on… but February 2nd is also La Chandeleur ie. the holiday when French people make crêpes!! We had crêpes for breakfast then Corey, Stout and I headed out to Loudon County to visit a few wineries. I did a quick recovery run in the morning, rounding up the week at 55 km / 34.1 miles. Not bad! My January total was 171 km / 106 miles which I’m pretty happy with as well.

In the evening, Calla came over and we made savoury crêpes. We watched I Lost My Body, an animated film from France that is nominated at the Oscars and the Superbowl half time show while drinking cider. Overall, it was the best day!

What I’m reading/watching/listening to:  I finished Red to the Bone, which is good because it was waaaaay overdue at the library (sorry!) and started the Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. I binged all of Next In Fashion on Netflix and watched I Lost My Body and The Irishman.

What I’m eating/drinking:  I had some left over cherry tomato so I whipped out this delicious burst cherry tomato pasta (recipe from Bon Appetit) for lunch on #MeatlessMonday and Tuesday.

And I highly recommend the bottomless processo/pasta/salad deal at Little Coco’s! Obviously, I also had a lot of crêpes 😉 

And like many people, I’ve been trying to cut out dairy from my life, or at least reduce my intake of milk since I’ll never give up cheese and I do like yogurts. This article breaks down the better milk alternative options and explains which are better choices for the planet. Sounds like I need to give oat milk another try… 

What I’m looking forward to on week 5: I’m gonna be switching my schedule around a little bit again this week to accommodate some special OrangeTheory workouts (a prep class for the 12 minute benchmark on Wednesday and the 2000m row benchmark on Thursday.) I still didn’t take any yoga classes this week and that has to change!!

Back to linking with Kim of Running On The Fly and Deborah of Confessions of a Mother Runner for their weekly wrap-up. Check out everyone’s posts and join the community if you’re blogging about your fitness journey too!!

2020 Paris Marathon Training: Week Trois

Oops! Looks like I skipped last week’s recap 😦 I basically was recovering from the Charleston half marathon AND had to take 4 OrangeTheory classes to use up my monthly allotment so it felt like kind of an off week anyway. But I am back on track for week 3 and finally feeling like I found my marathon training groove!!! Now I just have to sustain it for 9 more weeks 🤣

MONDAY

I ended up skipping my long run on Saturday so I got my 10 solo miles done on MLK Monday instead. It was a beautiful, sunny day. But man, it was COLD! And windy. There were very few other runners out it felt a bit lonely. I finished listening to Chanel Miller’s Know My Name while on the run. It’s a great read, but a heavy topic so that didn’t really help lifting my mood…

TUESDAY

I took Shane’s 7AM spin class at Cyclebar NoMa as a recovery ride.

WEDNESDAY

Wednesdays are typically my date night with Corey so I had to be a little creative to get my run in. Before work was NOT happening (I’m slow so I’d have to get up at 5AM to get 6 miles in and still make it to work on time… and it’s just way too dark and cold for that right now!) leaving me with only one option: a run commute! Initially, I wanted to run to REACH at the Kennedy Center to see the Chinese New Years lanterns but I left work a little too late so I had to adjust my plans and ended up metro-ing home from Foggy Bottom after my 6 miles.

THURSDAY

Broke up my run in two: 4.3km during my lunchbreak, on the treadmill at OrangeTheory and 5.8km in the evening with Pacers Navy Yard.

It was Power Day at OrangeTheory 🍊 and since the longest push was 2 minutes and the all-outs just 30 seconds I decided to push myself and it felt awesome. It was also Robin’s first class (she’s one of Corey’s best friends and manages the CorePower studio next door to OrangeTheory Tentleytown) so that made the class extra fun.

In the evening, I (slowly) ran 5.8km with Pacers Navy Yard, with Anna and Allison for the most part, before meeting up with my friends Nicole and Madalene for a special Lunar New Year tasting at Ice Cream Jubilee nearby.

I loved the Red Bean Almond Cookie flavour, and got to take a pint home!

FRIDAY

So Monday-Thursday felt awesome… and I think I should have definitely taken a rest day on Friday or done a yoga class. Instead, I took an Orange Theory Fitness and my body hated me. To make it feel a little better, I had a lovely get together with my friends Kaoru and Cecilia for happy hour at SushiKo after work. I love sushi so much!! 

SATURDAY

I had initially planned to do a part of my 12 mile run with the H Street runners but that plan was pushed to the following week because of the weather. It ended up not actually raining so I headed out for another solo run (well, just me and Amy Klobuchar I guess…). I did bump into Seth from the H Street Runners outside of Georgetown and we ran a mile together (my fastest of the run for sure!) which was nice. Overall, it was a really slow run. My left calf is hurting me a bit and I still have a little bit of pain in my right leg too… but I got it done

At 5PM, I headed to Summit to Soul, a local woman-owned fitness boutique on Capitol Hill for their first book club. We discussed Confessions of an Unlikely Runner by Dana Ayers and it was pretty fun. The author is a local D.C. runner so it was neat reading about routes I’ve done and races I’ve participated in as well. It wasn’t a great work of literature by any means, but definitely a fun, quick read (it’s 150 pages!)

After that, Corey and I grabbed dinner and headed to a friend’s birthday party. I was pretty whipped from the week, so we didn’t linger too long.

SUNDAY

A most glorious and needed rest day!! Corey, Stout and I went to watch the planes take off at Gravelly Point for a bit.

In the afternoon, I went to pick up my first wine of the month order at Gran Cata, a Latin American focused wine shop in Shaw, and had a quiet evening setting things up for the following week.

What I’m reading/listening to:  I finished Chanel Miller’s Know My Name as well as Confessions of an Unlikely Runner by Dana L. Ayers, which we discussed at Summit to Soul’s book club and Amy Klobuchar’s The Senator Next Door, the almost-last installment in my attempt to read all of the democratic candidates’ memoirs. Cannot. Wait. To. Be. Done. With. That. 

I got tons of great books from the library (including Red at the Bone and The Water Dancer) so I’m looking forward to a good week of reading! 

What I’m eating/drinking: Nothing too exciting to report here this week so I’ll just leave you with this picture from sushi happy hour at SushiKo.  

What I’m looking forward to on week 4: Another week like week 3 would be great, perhaps with a little more yoga. My legs feel a bit sore and tight. I’m still trying to sort out my schedule and find a good decent work-life-marathon training balance, which is really hard (and is going to get harder as training ramps up, I know!) Has anyone here found the magic formula??

It’s been a while but now that I’m writing again, I’ll be back to linking with Kim of Running On The Fly and Deborah of Confessions of a Mother Runner for their weekly wrap-up. Anyone else getting started with their Spring marathon training??

2020 Paris Marathon Training: Première Semaine

New year, new me, new marathon training season! In 2020, I will be tackling my first Spring marathon, and I’m a little anxious to see how training through the winter goes. That being said, the race is officially less than 3 months away so I officially kicked off training this week. 

MONDAY

I signed up for the 8 classes/month membership at Orange Theory Fitness and since I was away for two weeks over the holidays I have a little bit of catching up to do. So I kicked off the week with a 7AM class.  I came back from London with a bit of a cold, though it was a bit rough but it felt good to be back in class.

TUESDAY

3 easy miles with Pacers Navy Yard. 

WEDNESDAY

Orange Theory Fitness class. 

THURSDAY

I had some class pass credits I needed to use so I took a spin class at Flywheels City Center.

FRIDAY

Travel day! I had an early flight to Charleston, SC and just enjoyed a nice day off exploring (and eating my way through) the city. The expo for the O2 Fitness Charleston Marathon was not the most exciting though it was in quite a beautiful venue! Oh, and of course, I turned 40. 

SATURDAY

I knew the Charleston half marathon would probably not be my best race so I treated it more as a long training run… one that came with cool swag and a medal 😉 It was uncomfortably humid in Charleston that morning and the course was not the most exciting, with basically no crowd support anywhere. It’s probably not a race I would recommend though I don’t regret doing it. I mean, when else am I going to have shrimp and grits at the finish line?

SUNDAY

Recovery slash eating our way through Charleston day 😉

Between being sick, traveling, racing, catching up on OTF classes and celebrating my birthday it was a bit of an unusual first week and I’m looking forward to settling into a bit more of a routine as training progresses.  

What I’m reading/listening to:  I’ve been struggling to go through Meg Wolitzer’s “The Female Persuasion.”

I’d hate to DNF it but I’m also not really enjoying it and I have so many other books waiting to be read (I just borrowed Chanel Miller’s Know My Name and I can’t wait to start listening to it.) How do you decide to give up on a book? 

What I’m eating/drinking: Charleston is an amazing food town and I had so many great meals there starting with biscuits at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, brisket and ribs at Lewis barbecue, beer at Palmetto Brewing Co., and clam liguine at Le Farfalle. And that was just Friday 😉

After the race, we had an amazing brunch at Big Bad Breakfast (the tomato gravy in the breakfast “crumble” was spectacular!) before capping off the trip with brunch at Husk on Sunday and oysters at both Leon’s Oyster Shop and The Darling Oyster Bar.

I feel like I was stuffed all weekend, good thing I also ran a half marathon in there somewhere 😉

What I’m looking forward to on week 2: Like I said, I have to take a lot of Orange Theory Fitness classes this week, 4 to be exact, so that’s going to take precedence over running. Tuesday is the monthly Shake Shack run with Pacers though, and I am looking forward to that as well as hopefully a nice, long trail run over the (three day!!!) weekend. 

2019 Chicago Marathon Training: Race Week

Who thought running two marathons in two weeks, both requiring travel, was a good idea? Me apparently. So this week was race week… again. Here’s how it went:

MONDAY

I didn’t want to run but I did want to shake my legs after spending all of Sunday in planes so I took a Flywheels spin class.  

TUESDAY

The second Tuesday of the month is always Pacers’ Shake Shack Track and Shack. I ran 5.50km with the 14th street group, mostly with Gloria who is currently training for her first marathon (Marine Corps). I tried the Pumpkin Pie shake at the Shack and kinda loved it. I also love that Shake Shack now offers a smaller shake size. I can’t drink a full 16oz one!

WEDNESDAY

I tried Hot Power yoga at Illumin8. The studio is beautiful but I don’t think I loved the instructor and I enjoyed Corepower more (the classes were pretty similar). But I’ll try it again with a different instructor.

THURSDAY

Track! It wasn’t the most interesting track, we just ran around the track for 35-40 minutes. Everyone else did 4-6 1 minute sprints after that, but this was my shake out run so I took it easy, skipping the sprints and sticking with 5.90 km in 40 minutes (6:47 / km).

FRIDAY 

Back to Corepower. I felt very tight and none of the moves came in easy which worried me a bit pre-Chicago…. I had a big work event that night, our annual Space Oktoberfest party so I also didn’t quite have the relaxing night I wish I could have had before my 7AM flight! 

SATURDAY

Made it to Chicago by 8:30AM and met up with my friend Nicki. We dropped off our bags at Aloft Mag Mile and headed to the expo. Bib pick-up was a smooth process, though we didn’t love any of the official marathon gear from Nike, which is a bummer.

For dinner, we met up with Dan and Maria who I know from DC running for a fabulous carb fest at Coco Pazzo. We went to bed on the early side! 

SUNDAY

Race day! I’ll dedicate a separate post to recap the race but I will just say that the crowds were AMAZING and truly made the race a spectacular experience. Also, I understand why they call Chicago the Windy City 😉

Bilan de la semaine: Ran 53.6 km, including 42.1km at the Chicago Marathon. Took 1 spin class, and 2 yoga class. It was a good week! 

What I’m watching/reading/listening to: Still making my way through Americanah (I’ve got maybe a third left) and I also started listening to Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution. Doing that one on audio like I have all the other candidates’ book and it’s over 18 hours long! It’s gonna take me a while 😉 

What I’m eating/drinking:  I wish I had more time in Chicago to have more fun food, but that wasn’t in a cards for this race (neither was a PR apparently.) I did love the special Goose Island we got at the finish line. It tasted sooooo good after 26.2 miles!!

What I’m looking forward to next week: NO RUNNING! lol

Linking up one last time with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down. Now that I won’t be training for anything, I’m not sure I’m going to keep up with those weekly post and I don’t know what direction my posts are going to take in the next few weeks…

2019 Chicago Marathon Training: Taper Week

So, I’ve been focusing on Berlin a lot, but I am also running the Chicago Marathon on October 13 which is a bit crazy, I know. But YOLO right!?! When I got into both lotteries I knew I had to participate in both. And just like that, recovery week from the Berlin Marathon was also taper week for Chicago.  Here’s what I got up to:

MONDAY

NOTHING 

We took the train to Potsdam with Calla and her parents and then took a river cruise there.

In the evening, we met my parents for dinner at Dudu in Mitte and I finally had the pho I’d been dreaming of for days!

TUESDAY

We checkedout of the Westin Grand and had the most amazing meal at La Soupe Populaire Canteen followed by amazing pastries at Five Elephant, also in Mitte.

It was the perfect foodie note to end our visit to Berlin. Not perfect was not realizing there were TWO airports in Berlin! After dropping my parents at Tegel Airport, Caitlin and I made a mad dash for Schönefeld Airport. We made our flight but learned a valuable lesson along the way. 

WEDNESDAY

First day in Copenhagen! We went for a recovery run in the morning and saw the little mermaid statue and Kastellet along the way. Running is a great way to discover a new city! 

After that, we took a rainy boat tour which had been highly recommended by our hosts, had a fabulous lunch at Geist and an equally fabulous dinner at BÆST followed by natural wine at Pompette.

THURSDAY

Another Copenhagen run. This time we planned the route along some of Copenhagen’s lakes (Pebble Lake, Saint George Lake — they look more like canals to me though!) so we could end at Hart Bageri for breakfast.

After that we headed to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, a 50 minute train ride out of the city. It was SO worth the adventure of trying to navigate the train system in a foreign country!

When we got back, we checked out one of the Mikkeler bar before having dinner at another farm to table restaurant, Manfreds

FRIDAY 

Time to hit the third country on our European adventure: Sweden! Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, and the Danish capital are only 40 km away and it was a fun and easy ride on the Øresund (Öresund in Swedish) Bridge, Europe’s fifth longest bridge and the star of The Bridge, a hit  Swedish/Danish crime drama that is set in both Copenhagen and Malmö and that I obviously need to watch now.  We wanted to get to Malmö for lunch so we could eat at Saltimporten Canteen. This restaurant is the very definition of a hidden gem (it’s basically on a half abandoned pier in the middle of nowhere) and is only open for lunch on weekdays. It was SO worth it!!

We spent the rest of the day exploring the city.

SATURDAY

Malmö has some amazing biking/running routes! I did a 8.5 miles loop through Kungsparken, Slottsparken, and along Rubersborg Beach.

I meant to go all the way to Sibbarp so I could get the best view of Öresund bridge but I was worried about not making it back on time before the end of breakfast at our hotel, the Clarion collection hotel temperance. Breakfast was free and amazing and I ate all the swedish things including herring! After that, we headed back to Copenhagen for our last afternoon there.

SUNDAY

Travel day. We both had early flights and spent most of Sunday in planes. Caitlin connected through London and me through Amsterdam.

Bilan de la semaine/mois: September was a big month, obviously. I ran 246 km / 153 miles, including 42.7 soaked wet kilometers in the streets of Berlin.

While I had hoped to do a little bit better, I’m very proud of my 17 minute PR and hope to shave off a few more minutes in Chicago next weekend. I’m also proud that I took 5 yoga classes this month, and did decent on cross training with 1 Orange Theory class and 3 spin classes. For the week, I ran 27.8km / 17 miles in 2 different cities/countries. I walked a ton too (57.8 miles total according to my tracker!!)  

What I’m watching/reading/listening to:  I had all intentions to finish Americanah during my trip but I only started it on the flight back. I love it so far though. I wanted some easier read/listens given all the traveling we were doing so I downloaded Too fat, Too Slutty, Too Pushy: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Peteren and Chelsea Handler’s Life Will be the Death of Me…and you too!

Loved the first one. Each chapter of the book focuses on a different celebrity or public figure, from Serena Williams (too strong) to Lena Dunham (too naked) which made it easy to pick up and stop. It was also very interesting. I hated the second one. So much me me me me me… 

What I’m eating/drinking:  I had amazing food throughout my trip. Each city will warrant a post of its own! 

What I’m looking forward to next week: Basically getting over my jet lag and getting back into a bit of a routine as I gear up for Chicago! And yes, I am looking forward to that marathon, of course, though I can’t believe I was crazy enough to sign up for two marathons in two weeks 😉 

Still linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down. Some of the other bloggers are also training for Chicago and I can’t wait to see all of their post race posts soon!! 

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Race Week

BOOM! Last Berlin marathon training recap! It’s travel week. And race week. And packing week. Here’s how it all went down:

MONDAY

Joined Pacers 14th street for one last run before Berlin.

TUESDAY

I went to the Anthem for the first time, to see Massive Attack. SUCH a good show.

WEDNESDAY

I’ve used this taper week to take advantage of Corepower’s free trial week. I took 5 classes in 7 days and actually really loved the experience. I’ll do the $99/month new members deal when I get back. I feel like after two marathons I won’t want to run and will be happy doing all the yoga. Anyhoo, took one last C2 class on Wednesday.

THURSDAY

Travel day !

FRIDAY 

Woke up in Paris and since my flight from DC was late I missed my connection to Berlin. Things got a little messy from there becauS (shocker) all the other flights to Berlin were full. After playing the stand-by game for 6 hours I eventually got on a 3:30pm flight. Immediately upon landing, I headed to my parents’ hotel, showered, changed and then the three of us headed to Pauly Saal for a fabulous five course dinner to celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary. It was amazing though I was ready to sleep by dessert. I finally made my way to the Westin where Caitlin was waiting for me with a glass of German wine, as friends do 😉

SATURDAY

We got the expo done right away then met some friends at Markethalle Neun for lunch. We did a little sightseeing but Caitlin and I wanted to rest our legs before grabbing dinner and going to bed early. We also caught a bit of the in-line skating race, which takes place on the same course as the marathon.

SUNDAY

Race day! I’ll dedicate a separate blog post to the actual marathon but let’s just say it wasn’t an easy race. It started raining around noon which means I ran most of the race soaked. I had an awesome first half, the second part was a different story. I still finished with a 17 minute PR, which I’m really happy about though the first half had me think I might be able to do a little better. Oh well, there’s always Chicago…. in two weeks 😉

Bilan de la semaine: It was stressful wrapping things up at work, packing and then dealing with flight delays. But I made it to Berlin! I PR-ed by 17 minutes in tough conditions and now I get to enjoy a week of vacation!

What I’m watching/reading/listening toI finished Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of Unruly Women by Anne Helen Peterson. I have his one on kindle and audio but ended up mostly listening to it, especially on the plane as I was trying to fall asleep.

What I’m eating/drinking:  I’ve had a lot of great meals in Berlin already. I’ll just highlight this dumpling soon. It warmed my soul in cold and rainy Berlin.

What I’m looking forward to on week 18: Recovery… and tapering for Chicago. I can’t believe I have to do this all over again in two weeks!! What was I thinking?? (it was something like YOLO). But most immediately, I’m looking forward to spending a few more days in Berlin and then traveling to Copenhagen and Malmo.

Still linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down. I love checking in on everyone’s week and training. Hope you do too! 

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 16

Well… I had a 16 weeks marathon training plan and it’s week 16… but Berlin is next week. Now sure how this happened, but let’s just say I’ve never been good at math. After building up for the past 5 weeks, I’m starting to dial back the effort. Here’s what that looked like this week:

MONDAY

Rest day! It was a beautiful day so I just went to my pool after work and enjoyed a book and a martini while I soaked my feet. Le bliss.

TUESDAY

Easy 5K on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail with Pacers Navy Yards.

WEDNESDAY

45 minute spin class at Flywheels City Center. In the evening I worked a screening of the new Downton Abbey movie. It was like a very good two hours special episode. If you loved the show, you’ll love being reunited with all the characters!

THURSDAY

I’m doing my free trial week at Corepower and squeezed in my first C2 class before heading out to H Street to celebrate the opening of the new Pacers pop-up shop.

FRIDAY 

I hadn’t been to Orange Theory in forever but I didn’t want to miss the 12 minute benchmark run.

I know I could have done a bit better than 1.2 miles so I was a little disappointed in myself. In the evening, I took another Corepower class.

SATURDAY

Rest day.

SUNDAY

Last long run before Berlin and my first run with =PR=DC DTP in a while (also probably my last lol). I ran to the meeting point in Georgetown from my place and then I ran 12 miles with Charlotte who’s training for Marine Corps for a total of 15 miles.

Bilan de la semaine/mois: It feels weird to go from running 50 miles one week to barely 20 the next but I guess that’s tapering for you 😉 I actually really enjoyed the 2 Corepower classes I took, doing other workouts besides running and overall not feeling like a slave to my runs…

What I’m watching/reading/listening to:  I finished Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Singaporean author Balli Kaur Jaswal. It was a fun book, but nothing spectacular.

I also started Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and that is a spectacular book exploring the impact of the slave trade down generations, following the descendants of one Asante woman from 18th-century west Africa to the modern-day US. I’m about half way through the story (each chapter follows a particular descendant) and hope to finish it before I head out to Berlin because it’s WAY overdue at the library!  And I actually did watch some TV this week too. I binged the entire Netflix series Unbelieveable In addition to being an excellent crime drama, its portrayal of how victims of sexual assault are treated is both difficult to watch and important. I highly recommend everyone watches this series, though it can be triggering for many.  

What I’m eating/drinking:  I *finally* had a GREAT pumpkin beer! 

What I’m looking forward to on week 17: Well, traveling to Europe… and running all over Berlin!! I’ve got a few more days in D.C. where I’ll be doing more Corepower classes but I’m basically as ready as I’m gonna be. So this is it! Wish me luck!!! And if you have any last minute tips for preparing for an international marathon (and a rainy one too!) I’ll take them!!!

Still linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down. I love checking in on everyone’s week and training. Hope you do too! 

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 15

I guess slugging through last week’s increase in mileage paid off because this week’s training felt a lot easier despite increasing my run days and mileage by close to 12 miles. Here’s a recap of Peak week:

MONDAY

Since I had done my long run on Saturday instead of Sunday the previous week, Monday was not a rest day but a run day. I hadn’t ran with Pacers 14th street for a while so I ran to the store, then ran 3 miles with the group and then ran home for a total of 8 miles.

TUESDAY

One of my favourite group run every month is Shake Shack Track & Field. I ran with the 5 miles group and earned my burger! 

WEDNESDAY

Run-muted 8 miles down the Capital Crescent Trail. I was worried about the heat and while it was hot and humid, the trail is pretty covered. I should have worried about cyclists more! Clearly the route is popular with bike commuters.

I was passed by a gazillion bikes but didn’t see many other runners. Oh, and it rained actually towards the end. I didn’t mid that at all 😉  

THURSDAY

We had a small group at track and the workout was rough (2400m, 200m, 2x 1600m) but I actually really enjoyed it and got to catch up with my neighbor Kara (Kara literally lives next door to me!). Afterwards I ran (figuratively this time) to Calla’s to watch the democratic debate. We had pizza from Tino’s Pizzeria (I loved the Can I Smoke? with tomato, finocchiona, smoked scamorza, aged provolone, fennel <– love fennel so much!) and drank Ricky Rosé, a barrel aged sour with blackberries by 3 Stars Brewing Company and Other Half Brewing.

FRIDAY

Time to take a break from running! I tried a new (to me) spin studio, Zengo Cycle. The first class was free so I figured I’d give it a try (the studios are on class pass too.) It was a good workout but I couldn’t get over the lack of technology — no screen, no way to tell my RPM or how many miles I had biked. I think Flywheels and Cyclebar are definitely more up my alley but I’m glad I tried something different. 

SATURDAY

Racing the day before your 20-miler is probably not ideal but I really wanted to participate in the Four Seasons’ Race to Beat Cancer. Pacers had an awesome team and I didn’t push myself too much, finishing the 5K in 32 minutes.

SUNDAY

I was dreading running my twenty miler and debated until the last minute if I would run with my =PR=DC DTP group or not. I was kinda set on a route I had mapped out and, in the end, my friend Jessica humoured and ran it with me. This was two weekend in a row running with another person and I don’t know why I haven’t been doing it more often (well, I kinda know and it has to do with being slow and not having a ton of people I can run with.) Jessica did 18 miles and I did 20 in 4 hours. I guess I’m kinda ready for Berlin now (and looking at a 5+ hours finish again sadly…)

About the route — one of my favourite local trail is the Mount Vernon Trail but I’d never taken it much further beyond Ronald Reagan National Airport. Last weekend one my insta/strava friend Ned / airbus777 posted his running route from National Harbor back to DC and I was kinda obsessed with doing something similar, though I wasn’t sure about crossing Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge. Ned had actually ubered to National Habor then ran home and I wanted to do it as an out-and-back so I tweaked it accordingly. We ran mostly along the water — and got quite a bit of real estate envy, there are some gorgeous townhouses facing the water! — all the way to Jones Point, south of Old Town Alexandria. Back when D.C. included bits of Virginia, Jones Point was the tip of the federal district and we got to check out the original stone markers that marked its historical boundaries.  There used to be 40 of those stone markers and 36 are still standing, including 2 right by my office in Friendship Heights. I actually totally want to run my way to more of them now!

Bilan de la semaine/mois: I did everything I set out to accomplish and felt much better checking off items on my training plan than I did the week better. I ran a total of 81.1km/50 miles (up from 62.4km/38.7 miles the week better) and took one spin class for cross training. I’m feeling a lot better going into taper and Berlin! 

What I’m watching/reading/listening to:  So I actually really enjoyed doing last week and this week’s long run with company BUT making conversation also means not listening to audio books… as a result I don’t have a lot to report on the book front. I did turn on my T.V. to watch Chelsea Handler’s documentary Hello Privilege, It’s Me Chelsea! on Netflix. Like Chelsea, I’ve been on a bit of a journey to understand how I’ve benefited from white privilege and from a system of systemic racism so I can be a better ally to people of color. I still have a long way to go… and I think so does Chelsea Handler… 

What I’m eating/drinking:  

I’m still on a bit of a vegan baking kick and made Chocolate Covered Katie’s pumpkin banana bread ahead of my long run. I had two slices prior to my long run and didn’t feel as hungry as I did the weekend prior. Also, it’s delicious!! Katie runs with pacers Navy Yards sometimes and her blog has gone a long way to make me think than vegan food can be fun and tasty!

What I’m looking forward to on week 16: It’s finally time to slow things down and start tapering!! 

Still linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down. I love checking in on everyone’s week and training. Hope you do too! 

2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 14

Hello September (a.k.a. MARATHON MONTH!!) Here’s how the first week of fall went (yes, there was pumpkin spice involved lol):

MONDAY

Rest day 😴

TUESDAY

Ran 3 miles to Pacers Navy Yards and then ran an additional 5 miles with the group for a total of 12.91 km / 8 miles. It was rough. 

WEDNESDAY

Run-mute down Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenue. I struggled the whole way (when I saw that the Bank of America thermometer at Dupont Circle showed 96 degrees I understood why!) I hated everything about this run, but I got it done which was basically my theme this week. 

THURSDAY

I had a work event at the French Embassy in the evening, so I knew I would miss track AND had to get my run done early. I did 8.5 miles / 13.7 km along parts of the mall and East Potomac Park and hated every minute of it, though it wasn’t as hot at least.

FRIDAY

Since I was having such a hard time with my runs, I thought I could use a little break before tackling longer distances on Saturday and took Christine’s 8AM spin class at Flywheels. I definitely think that was a good call! In the evening, I had a quiet dinner with Calla at Nicolette Italian Kitchen, a new(ish) Italian restaurant close to my place so I could be all carbed up and well rested before my long run in the morning!

SATURDAY

I decided to join the November Project DC’s Long Run Crew for the first time and that was such a good decision.

The route was a bit weird, two 8 mile loops, one pretty straightforward going around the capitol, along the mall to the Lincoln Memorial, up Rock Creek park until Pennsylvania Avenue then down K street and Massachusetts avenue back to Union Station (that loop meant I was able to stop home for my bathroom break!!). The second had us go to the Arboretum and then run around there for however much we needed before ending at Union Market for some post run treats.

It *never* happens to me, but I had people to run with!! Manuela, who planned the route, and Ari who is training for the Marine Corps Marathon, both ran at my pace. We lost Manuela at the Arboretum but Ari and I ran the whole 17 miles together which was awesome.

It forced me to push myself, not give up and take walk breaks, make small talk… I should clearly do this more often 😉

SUNDAY

Rest(ish) day. Corey and I ended up walking 10 miles that day… 3 in the morning walking his dog Stout, then almost 5 miles shadowing the GO Ruck light 911 commemorative work out around the Pentagon. And then a few more along the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria.

I kinda wish I could have done a bit of a shake out run, but it was a fun day (though deceivingly hot!)

Bilan de la semaine/mois: I started the week feeling so sluggish, dragging through my runs but ended on a solid note with a great long run (stats for the week: 62.4km/38.7 miles)! I’m feeling pretty good going into peak training week! Though I’m a little worried about that 20 miler!

What I’m watching/reading/listening to:  I finished Modern Lovers (I was doing this one half on my kindle, half on audiobook) during my 8 miles run on Thursday and I don’t really have another audio book queued up… since I had someone to talk to during my long run on Sunday, that was fine, but now i *need* to figure out a new read before all my runs this week…. help!

What I’m eating/drinking:  First pumpkin drink of the season! I tried Starbucks®’ Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew now that it’s September and I can do fall things. It was ok… at 250 calories a grande, I won’t be making this indulgence a regular habit.

What I’m looking forward to on week 15: Peak week!! Last week, I only did one of the two 5 miler I was supposed to do so this week, I am doing all 4 of my runs (2 x 8 miles, 2 x 5 miles), track + my 20 miles long run. Taper is just around the corner, I just gotta push it through one more week of increase! Wish me luck! 

Still linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down. I love checking in on everyone’s week and training. Hope you do too!