Weekly Recap: 11 Weeks Until the Tromsø Marathon

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I have missed a few weeks with my weekly recaps after the Barcelona marathon- just took a little breather from documenting life here, but I’m back!

I did chime in last week with a recap of our trip to Italy, catch up HERE.

I’m now training for my next marathon, which will be the Midnight Sun Marathon in Tromsø, Norway at the end of June- my 45th marathon! Not as monumental as 50 will be, but I still think Tromsø will be a great way to celebrate 45 marathons.

Training Plan:
The marathon is just 11 weeks away. It will be a slightly shorter training cycle. I’m following a similar plan to what I did for Barcelona, just abbreviated. For the first week after Barcelona, I didn’t run at all, just walks and pilates. Then I had two weeks of unstructured running (including our trip to Italy.)

Last week as my first week back to the plan; I did a 9 mile speed workout and a 15 mile long run with Dustin (who is tapering for London.)

The plan I am following is the Level 2 plan from the Boston Marathon website. That plan- even level 2 of 4- is a bit intense though, even for me- and I like high mileage! How I adapted the plan for Barcelona (and how I plan to adapt it for Tromso), is to loosely follow the schedule, except dial it back a bit, by doing only one speed workout per week instead of the two on the schedule, and not quite as many workouts within the long run (only when I’m not running with other people.) I always take one full rest day per week from running. Years ago, when I had a coach named Antonio, he would do a 10-day running cycle between rest days for me- I did run my fastest marathons with him. But now that I’m in my 40’s, I generally think I need a full rest day a week. (After Antonio, I worked with Esther of McKirdy Trained for awhile, and she always scheduled one rest day a week; she did coach me back to a BQ time after my broken leg. They were both great coaches!)

Tromsø Goal:
So, that’s the plan for Tromsø. I was kind of hoping to try for a good-for-age London qualification (for U.K. residents, that is- sorry American friends, good-for-age only works for U.K. residents!)

Good for age for 40-44 year old women was 3:50; I ran a 3:51 at Dublin and another 3:51 at Barcelona, so I was close. But the London marathon organization just decreased the requirement for 2025 by 5 minutes, so now its 3:45, (or, similar to Boston, 3-5 minutes under 3:45 to actually run it.) My personal best is a 3:36, but that was before my broken leg. Post-broken leg, I ran a 3:39 and several 3:41’s, so I do think I can get there, but I need to be pretty structured. And to be honest, I don’t like to focus too much on a time, but rather focus on the experience. I want to ensure that I always have the joy of the marathon when I run. I see a lot of runners who are very focused on a time; with that, it seems that training becomes a chore, rather than a joyful hobby. I want to stay focused on the joy, but I also think it would be nice to run London while I live here via a good-for-age qualification.

Anyways, that’s just my perspective on marathoning and training. With all that said, I’ll see how the next 10 weeks go; I don’t want to sacrifice too much of the rest of “life” and the other things I enjoy, but I would still like to focus on getting in the 3:4X range again.

Here’s how this past week went in training for the Tromsø Midnight Sun Marathon!

Monday: Easy 7 mile run before work. Heartcore Pilates on the reformer after work. It was a tough class- the teacher was Rik, who is one of my favorites.

Tuesday: Rainy morning, so I opted to have a “lie-in” as the Brits say, and then joined the Mornington Chasers run club for their Tuesday evening run. I have said it before, but its difficult for me to commit to an evening run, particularly due to work. It’s much easier to run before work (and I much prefer it!) but I made the promise to myself that I would go, and I did!

I ran to the club (1.5 miles), ran 7 miles with the group, including a tough climb up Highgate hill, joined for tea and biscuits afterwards (so British!) and then ran home, ending up with 10.6 miles total. It was a lot for a random Tuesday evening!

Wednesday: Run commute with my colleague Tina, 4.5 miles, then a social 5k with the office group, for 7.5 miles total. I’ll admit it was hard to get up to run early after running late the evening before! The turnaround is tough on the body. (Though I probably should get more accustomed to running in the evening when Tromsø starts at 8:30 pm!)

I regretted wearing pants and long sleeves, I don’t know what I was thinking! It was 45 and that’s shorts and a tank for me!

Heartcore Pilates after work; the studio has recently announced that they will be very strict on latecomers and not allow them into class. The Northern line train had some delays, so I got there from the office right at 6:15 pm and the class had technically already started. But the teacher kindly still let me join. I hate to lose credits because I am late…but I completely understand the policy!

Thursday: I set my alarm to run (well, I set my Whoop alarm, which really is the gentlest way to wake up It just buzzes on your wrist- but it works!) However, my Whoops said I wasn’t very well recovered, so I decided to take a rest day. I hadn’t taken one yet; the Whoop can be a good tool for reminding me to take rest days. I really like to be “in the green” with recovery; yellow is not great, and red has only happened to me a few times; I definitely didn’t like it!

Friday: Another run commute with Tina. We both usually work from home on Fridays; However, shopping brought us into the office, ha! There is this place right next to our office called the “Regent’s Showcase.” They host sample sales with various brands every week and the discounts are incredible (around 80% off). We had both booked in to the sample sale for the lunch hour (you have to schedule a time slot to attend.) Unfortunately this sample sale was SO nuts and it was pretty picked over by the time we got there. Oh well!

Anyways, Tina and I took the long way to the office through Hyde Park for 7 miles. We finished on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace, which is where the marathon will finish next weekend. The signs were already up!

Saturday: Solo long run with a workout: 2 miles easy, 3×3 miles at marathon effort with 1 mile easy in between, 3 mile cool-down for 16.5 miles total. Really stunning morning, sunny and 68F/20C. Got a little warm out there! Hopefully its slightly cooler for the marathoners next weekend.

After the run, we went to the Dusty Knuckle, a bakery in Dalston Junction (the east side of London) for delicious coffee and toasties. Highly recommend! We wandered around Dalston Junction and Stoke Newington a bit, which was a new-to-me area of London. Always more to explore in London!

Ruth joined us (Matilda stayed back to rest) and she was very patient, even though there was quite a long queue!

Sunday: 5 mile trail run with Ruth and Dustin in Hampstead Heath. I’m signed up for an evening Heartcore class tonight (and I will be there on time, haha!)

Summary: 54 miles of running, 4 pilates classes (3 Heartcore, 1 Ten Health)

Here’s one bonus picture of Ruth in front of Buckingham Palace with her royal guard uniform- she got a lot of attention! More people were taking pictures of her and Matilda than of the actual guards, hehe…

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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