1/2 Marathon Training | Exercise | Week 8 Update

Last week was a wonderful week for running (although I'm being honest here that I didn't fit in all of my runs.)  I left bright and early on Monday morning for London for a business trip.  By the time I was done with my meetings on Tuesday night, it was 10:30pm and all I wanted to do was sleep.  So I woke up early on Wednesday morning and ran 5 miles around Hyde Park.  I was suprised to see just how many people run around Hyde Park before the sun rises!  If you haven't been there, Hyde Park is absolutely beautiful and watching the sun rise over the park made it feel magical.  I was thrilled that I got that run in because those 45 minutes I spent running were the only 45 minutes I had outside the entire time I was in London.  I was either in meetings or sleeping.  So much for a fun London trip!

London's Hyde Park

But the highlight of my week had nothing to do with London.  After my meetings were over, I hopped a train from London to Paris to see my brother and his family!  I could not have been more excited!  We decided that I would surprise the girls.  We came up with a plan that the girls would "bump into me" at the park next to their school.  Well, we certainly did surprise the girls!!!!  La Petite Critique couldn't believe I was really there.  She kept saying over and over, "Is it really you, Zia?  Are you really here?  Are you really staying?" over and over and over again.  Then her little sister, let's call her "La Petite Cutie," screamed and jumped on me wrapping her legs around my leg.  It was a fun moment, one I'll never forget and hope they don't either.  I stayed for a handful of days and arrived back home Monday night.  What a fanastic time I had!  I already miss my girls and am planning a return visit.

On Friday morning, my brother and I dropped the girls off at school.  Their school is located right outside the gates of Parc Monceau.  It's one of Paris's smaller parks, but it's absolutely stunning.  The park has an Egyptian pyramid, Chinese fort, Dutch windmills, Corinthian pillars, a Rotunda and gorgeous rose gardens.  More importantly for the girls, it has a crepe stand, merry-go-round and swings!  And most importantly for this post, it has a 1km dirt track.  I was scheduled to run 10 miles, so decided to change things up a bit and run while the girls were at school instead of my usual Sunday morning routine.  So after dropping them off, I ran the track 16-1/2 times for a full 10 miles.  At one point, I saw La Petite Critique in the park for recess.  I shouted out to her and waved like a crazy person.  She looked mortified!  But then she smiled and waved back.  I realized afterwards that I was on lap 14 at that point and was dripping with sweat.  When I returned back to my brother's apartment, I looked like a hot mess.  No wonder she looked mortified!

Parc Monceau

All-in-all, I only got those two runs in, but at least I managed to squeeze in my long run for the week.  I had planned to run 3-5 miles on Sunday morning, but decided to take the girls for pasteries instead.  After all, isn't that what a fun aunt does?

Let's see what tip Sarah over at Coffee & Cabernet had for me this week.

Week 8 Tip
Sarah said:  Learn to hydrate effectively.  Learning to hydrate correctly is just as important as the running.  Learn how much and how often you need fluid.  Don't just gulp a gallon at the end of a run.  For me, small drinks after 3 or 4 miles was best.

Thanks, Sarah!  While at home, I create loops around our neighborhood, so every 3.5 to 4 miles, I wind up back in front of our house.  I leave a water bottle and gu pack on our front steps.  I drink some water and head back out again.  This has worked very well for me and gives me the burst of energy I need to complete my run.  In Paris, I stuck a goo pack in my back pocket and sucked it down after lap 8.  There were water fountains all along the park, so every 3-4 miles, I had some water.  Worked out great!

Runner's Pick of the Week
Since I mentioned gu packs, I may as well tell you about my favorite gu.  I've tried a few and some just grossed me out.  Mr. Stranded and I both agree that the Powerbar Energy Gel  - Strawberry Banana flavor, is the best gu we've tried so far.  It has 110 calories per pack and gives us the extra burst of energy we need to finish out our long runs of 7 miles or more.  This particular gu has caffeine and needs to be consumed with a little water. 

The 1/2 Marathon is on November 6th.  Here we come!


Jen-uinely Inspired said... [Reply]

A run in London and then Paris. How fun! I have never tried any of the gu packs. My husband and I drink regular old water and then the energy jelly beans and there's another energy chew we like but the name escapes me right now. I'm getting excited about your upcoming race!

Hines-Sight said... [Reply]

Bet that trip was great. Jealous. Not of the running though.

shauna said... [Reply]

A big fan of GU never tried te powerbar one though