March is coming to an end, and another busy month has passed without a blog post. More importantly, April is just around the corner, meaning the London Marathon is fast approaching.
I fail again at writing a more focused, insightful post, but too much has happened to just skip over it. So here’s another bunch of highlights from the past month of marathon training:
Desert workout in the Middle East
My team went on an offsite to Petra, Jordan after having built a Google Maps Street View Trek for Queen Rania Al Abdullah and the country’s tourism efforts. Even after spending countless hours working intimately with the Street View imagery on the website, each of us was still stunned by the remarkable beauty of the facades and landscapes. No photos can do this place justice, and we were so grateful for the opportunity to physically visit this one of seven wonders of the world.
Drew and I originally wanted to go for a desert run one of the mornings, but I think it’s safe to say we got a fair workout from all the walking, stair-climbing, jumping (see above), swimming, and Dead Sea-floating we did. Although all that hard work was probably cancelled out by all the mezze and shawarma we ate. Every meal in Jordan was an amazing one.
Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon
It was a cool and unique experience running around the iconic Formula 1 racetrack. I felt a bit of deja vu when I started to recognize parts of the track from video games. So it was pretty funny pretending to be a car as I zoomed through the lanes and maneuvered the sharp corners of the road.
The location was sort of remote and inconvenient, but everything was well-organized. It was reassuring to know that it was put together by the same organizers as the London Marathon.
Ran 20.75 miles
My longest run yet left me feeling surprisingly refreshed and injury-free. I broke it up into two parts—an 8-mile “warm-up” run through some neighborhood parks all the way down to Shoreditch, where I quickly met up with LDN Brunch Club for a 12-miler. The energy and support of the runners in this crew always make long runs more enjoyable. And in that final stretch of my 20+ miles, the thought of brunch sounded better than ever.
I’m doing one last 20-miler this weekend before I finally taper off in the last few weeks before the marathon.
IAFF/Cardiff World Half Marathon
As the last official event before London, I didn’t put any pressure on myself to finish with a PB, especially with injury prevention being my top priority. And with the cold, windy, rainy conditions of the day, slowing down came naturally (though it would have been nice to get through that ugly weather quicker). Mo Farah led this race at the start line, and finished in third place–about twice as fast as my 1:52:53 😳.
I had originally planned to do this race on my own, but was able to connect with some runners from Run Dem Crew (London) and Running Junkies (Amsterdam) via LDN Brunch Club. I met a lot of great folks who kept me company through the long weekend. I also stayed with the sweetest AirBnB host who served me breakfast and enjoyed listening to my running and travel adventures.
You know training is getting serious when you upgrade your medical insurance plan. I saw a physiotherapist for pain in my right foot and left IT band, but everything turned out okay. I just need to be careful with it in this last month of training. My physio then analyzed my running technique (gait analysis) to point out a few minor adjustments I could make. Overall, my form is good, but I could increase my cadence just slightly, in order to reduce the stress on my foot.
I also have been keeping up with my bi-weekly massage (incredibly helpful after the long runs), and finally bought a foam roller after everyone scolding me about getting into it.
As you can tell, it’s been a busy month. Although I’ve been cramming updates lately, I hope these posts are somewhat enjoyable and indicative of the amount of effort I’ve put in to make this a meaningful first marathon. I haven’t ben able to share much news here about my charity, Music in Hospitals, but I always enjoy spreading the word about it when people ask me what I’m running for. It’s been incredible to see their enthusiastic reactions and receive their generous support for this cause.
Help me out with my final stretch of fundraising by donating today! As of this blog post, I only have less than £300 to go! Thanks again to all my contributors so far. I’ll make y’all proud!