The title says it all really – I am back at work as I post this! My last week away was spent exploring the mountainous Santander region of Colombia (well, it’s all pretty mountainous), staying in the most incredible hotel room perched on the side of the Chicamocha Canyon with some simply stunning views. Three days of travelling including making my way back to the UK meant I didn’t manage three runs though.
Run 1 – the tempo run took place from the beautifully preserved colonial town of Barichara, along the ancient Camino Real to Guane. I’m going to talk more about it in a future blog post (once I catch up with that part of my travels!) so for now I will leave you with the elevation chart – and yes that is 4km of steady uphill at the end!
Run 2 – the long run took place back in London – my first London run in 2016! I landed midday on Saturday after an overnight flight from Colombia and a short stopover in Madrid. I wasn’t sure I would manage the run as my bag with my trainers in it didn’t make it from Madrid – we were going out for a Sunday lunch at 3.30 so I only had a limited amount of time in which to run 20km! Luckily the bag arrived around 10.30pm which was the perfect time! I set off to run my usual route along the Thames Path, feeling great as it wasn’t ridiculously hot and humid! I did have to battle a pretty strong headwind on the way out though…
The turnaround point for a half marathon from home is at Putney Bridge, where there’s a Wetherspoons pub – I stopped there to ask very nicely for a glass of water before beginning to head back! With the wind behind me I was able to pick up the pace and finished with a negative split and two pretty fast 2km – 20km in just over 2 hours means a sub-2 hour half marathon next Sunday looks possible…
It was a lovely run, the sun was out and so were all the people – hundreds of runners, perfectly made-up women in huge coats and nice boots, a teenage boy playing football with his dog and even a guy riding a penny farthing! Good to be home.
Cross-training: I might not have managed all my runs this week but I did a good job on the cross-training with three 30 minute yoga workouts, two in the most beautiful yoga studio you can imagine with open windows and doors looking out over the canyon.
Mum and I also went on a 2 and a half hour mountain bike ride – my first time on a bike since before Christmas due to travelling! It was wonderful to be on a bike again and the views were astounding. So the total training time was 8 hours 20.
Best marathon training eat: James had arranged for us to go out for a Sunday roast with Charlotte and Jack to one of the best meat restaurants in London, Hawksmoor. We had a wonderful beef roast, huge Yorkshire puds with all of the trimmings, a delicious bottle of red wine, cocktails, and chocolate puddings. Proper English food after six weeks out of the country! I highly recommend it, expensive but the best roast I’ve had (other than James’!).
Something fun that was nothing to do with running: James and I had a very peaceful, lovely evening at home on Saturday night with a drink in Brixton followed by dinner at home and watching the Hobbit – home comforts! Alternatively, mum and I loved our short stay in the gorgeous colonial village of Barichara in Colombia – we were in a beautiful hotel and after our run to Guane we spent the rest of the day reading our books and just enjoying the atmosphere.
Marathon training inspiration: the Athlete on Fire podcast has a series called Becoming Ultra in which they pair runners training for their first ultra with a coach and follow them through their training with catch-up interviews every few weeks. Its really interesting and quite good to listen to, especially when you’re only training for a marathon!