Berlin Marathon Training: Week Two

At a whopping 12 miles, this week actually turned out to be a pretty big test for me. That’s roughly what I was running in the lead-up to Wildflower, and getting through this week and feeling at minimum no worse (and, ideally, far better) than I did at that level a few months back seemed key to this whole crazy marathon plan. On that front, week two was a winner; I have mostly good days with a handful of less-good ones, and I’m slowly figuring out the keys to managing the less-good ones (though not their triggers; they’re as random as ever). So, onward and upward …

Monday: Three miles through the Panhandle, followed by marching the Trances into my podiatrist’s office and whining about blisters.

Tuesday: Unplanned mostly rest day. I woke up 15 minutes too late to squeeze in a reasonable swim, figured that was fine because I’d be going to yoga at night, and ended up skipping yoga to go to Pete’s work anniversary party. I did have a physical therapy appointment, though, in which I accomplished perhaps .25 miles of running drills.

Wednesday: I was dreading the Panhandle but had a tight schedule preparing for a work offsite and didn’t want to risk trying something new. So, I took some advice from every running book/magazine/blog and reversed my standard route so I was running the “out” on the bike-free portion of the path and the “back” on the multi-use portion. Amazing that in four years of living in this neighborhood, I’ve never made this tiny change before. My Sportwatch had died overnight, so I ran with only a regular time-watch, later discovered I’d averaged 9:32/mile pace, and started to wonder whether I was going too fast. Also, still getting blisters and feeling like I’m pushing off the outside of my right foot in the Trances.

Thursday: After the work offsite, 30 minutes of pool running. Oh yeah, I did. After several e-mail exchanges with the aquatics director, I landed myself on the “approved for floatation devices” list, and when I showed up on Thursday, the lifeguard either a) knew all about it or b) didn’t know and didn’t care. Either way, he was more than happy to fetch me a belt, and I hung out in the slow lane listening to This American Life. Finished with a 30-ish minute swim (1400 yards, mostly pull).

Friday: Pre-work, get-up-early-so-you’ll-be-tired-and-sleep-on-the-redeye bike ride through Golden Gate Park and along the Great Highway. I covered 14.5 misty miles while marveling at how different the 6:30 a.m. park crowd is from the 7:15 a.m. park crowd. (At first glance: More groups, better running form.)

Saturday: Rest, other than weight-lifting my 3-month-old nephew.

Sunday: Some number of miles through west Philadelphia and the Penn campus, completed in some amount of time. My best guess is that we went about 6.2 miles (the route maps as 6, and we crossed some extra streets avoiding construction) in about 1:07, with probably an hour of it being true running. It was hot and sunny, and the first 3.5 miles were mostly unshaded, and Pete was dealing with some stomach unpleasantness, so we walked a handful of times. At some point in that process, my Sportwatch completely lost signal, other than a brief time when we were running 2:05/mile pace. So in the spirit of not being too caught up in the numbers, I’ll just say that my goal was to keep the run truly conversational, and whatever pace that was when we were running, it felt right to me. Running is my favorite way to explore, and I loved crossing the river and circling Rittenhouse Square and seeing what various Penn classes had donated to the school (ice rink? Well done, class of 1923!). Also, on today’s episode of As The Shoe Strikes, I wore the purple Adrenalines and got no blisters. Hmm. Later in the afternoon, three attempts at the monkey bars (one successful) while playing with my niece.

Week Two Totals:

  • 12-ish miles of running
  • Four podcasts finished during workouts
  • Three pages of e-mails proving I’m allowed to pool-run
  • Six mosquito bites (obtained in roughly 15 minutes of Philly dusk)
  • Zero new blisters; thanks, Adrenalines?
  • Five failed attempts at doing a pull-up on the playground
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