12 Weeks Until the Barcelona Marathon


I hope everyone is enjoying this festive season; as the Brits say, “Happy Christmas!” (I feel like Americans only say Merry Christmas, so “Happy” Christmas always sounds British!)

This is my weekly recap of training for the Barcelona marathon in 12 weeks and a recap of life as an American living in London:

Monday: Track day! I was working from home so I was able to take advantage of the recently re-opened Parliament track in Hampstead Heath. It officially opens in the morning at 7:30 am; I was there and warmed up around opening time. My workout was warm-up, 8x(400m hard, 45 sec jog, 400m at marathon pace, 45 sec jog). Essentially marathon pace was meant to feel quite easy compared to the hard sets. I liked it! 9 miles total.

After work, I took a Pilates reformer class at the studio down the road from our place.

Tuesday: Rest from running! And a perfect day for a “lie-in.”

I fit in Pilates after work at the studio by my office, and that was that. It was, however, an advanced class. I don’t think I’m an advanced Pilates student (yet) but I was able to modify and try out the harder moves as much as possible. It was a challenge!

Wednesday: 7 mile solo run before work, Pilates reformer over lunch.

Thursday: 7 mile run with Ruth before work.

That evening I had a much needed hair appointment….I think there’s some grays sneaking in there! Sad. That’s what 42 years of age gets you…

Friday: Another wfh day, which worked well as I had a longer run with some marathon pace in there. Dustin joined me as a ‘pacer’: warm-up, 4 miles tempo, then easy jog home where Dustin dropped off to get ready for work, and I ran to the track to finish with a moderate mile there. The new track is so bouncy!

Over lunch, I took another Pilates reformer class- I realized that was my 5th class of the week- that might be a bit too much. I definitely have a habit of overdoing it when I get excited about a new fitness thing…but I think 3 times a week is more reasonable and is my goal going forward.

That evening, we headed into Covent Garden to the Royal Opera House to see the Nutcracker Ballet. I actually had never seen the Nutcracker Ballet before other than on TV. It was beautiful. Much enjoyed.

Saturday: I met my friend from the Mornington Chasers for 10 miles at a lovely conversational pace, then came back home, picked up Ruth, and ran 6 more with her for 16 miles total.

We spent our “eve before Christmas eve” with a traditional pub roast at the Wells Tavern in Hampstead. Delicious. There are a lot of great pubs in Hampstead, but the Wells is one of my favorites lately and its less than a 5 minute walk from our place.

Sunday: Dustin and I ran 5.25 miles into central London, jogging past a few more holiday decorations!

I wore my running pack with warm, dry, clothes, and we changed after the run, did a little bit of last minute shopping at Selfridge’s and Marks & Spencers, and then took the tube home.

Summary: 55 miles of running, 5 pilates reformer classes.

Though our Christmas Eve/Christmas Day are going to be low-key with just the two of us (plus the pups), my dad bought a last minute flight to come visit right after Christmas. He’ll be arriving the morning of the 28th. I’m looking forward to seeing him again, much sooner than we thought (we are meeting him, my sister Erin & her family in Italy in March for their spring break.) You may recall that my mom passed away right before we moved to London (June 2022), so I’m very happy that he’s making the rounds to see all his 5 daughters over the holidays- even the one that lives abroad!

Ruth and Matilda are ready for Santa!

Ruth actually received one of her gifts a little early, which was a new VizslaTea jumper/jacket. She tore her old one up beyond repair dashing through the woods…in the Heath! She must have snagged it on a branch. But the new blue one looks so cute! Hopefully it lasts a bit longer.

Ruth is why we can’t have nice things. 🙂

That’s a wrap! 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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