With our trip to Germany spanning both weeks 4 and 5 of training, I thought I’d combine these into one post. It’s a little easier that way. Things are getting a little screwy with sticking to the training plan, and we’re both getting nervous for the half marathon.
The training plan said this:
- 4 @ 12:36
- 4 @ 12:36
- 3 @ 12:36
- 4 @ 12:36
- total 15 miles
However, we skipped our long run last weekend, so we had 10 miles to fit in somewhere. Also, we had two 8+ hour flights (plus jet lag), a 4 hour train ride, a rehearsal dinner and of course a wedding to contend with. We also walked a lot. Like in Berlin alone we probably walked at least 8 miles. It was a lot of time spent on our feet, and we didn’t want to punish tired legs or be to exhausted to sight see. Of course, I relished the chance to run in Germany, but we had no intentions of missing any exciting moments just to get miles in. Here’s how it went down:
Monday ran 10 miles @ 11:27. I was actually nervous heading into this run. This was definitely my longest run since April, my stomach was feeling wonky, and it was a Monday. The stars were not aligned for a great run, but it worked. We found out around 5 that we got the apartment we wanted! Buoyed by that great bit of news Chris and I hit the road around probably 6:45. We started off nice and slow, and it was a bit of a struggle to stick to 11:30 in the begining, but we eventually found our pace. Following the water, we made it almost to Weehawken before hitting 5 miles and turning around. There was no reason to run it a minute per mile faster than prescribed, but I know we can do it, so we did.
While out, we saw our friend Cameron flying by in a blur and we got to watch the sunset over the city. It really is beautiful on the water at night. I forgot how much I liked that. I’m still sad that the daylight hours are dwindling, but the skyline all lit up at night is breathtaking.
Around mile 7, I got it in my head that all I wanted in this world was a Coke. Coke’s are something I generally only crave when I’m running, but when the craving strikes, it comes on hard. Immediately after finishing I bought a Coke plus, in a departure from my usual Gatorade, a dark chocolate coconut water. It tasted great but did absolutely nothing to rehydrate me. I ended up downing 2 more glasses of water before feeling less parched. I think I’ll stick with Gatorade from now on.
Tuesday- rest day. Pack pack pack pack pack. Actually, it wasn’t that bad. I came home from work and ran a few last minute errands to get ready for Germany. This included getting food for the kitten monsters plus every stomach medicine in Target’s pharmacy. Seriously, I picked up Tums, Pepto, Dramamine and Immodium. Unfortunately, both Chris and I have really unpredictable stomachs, and travel never helps, so I wanted to be prepared.
I had a list in mind of what I wanted to pack, so that actually went pretty quickly. Shockingly, I packed relatively light for once, so I threw in an extra pair of jeans, a light weight trench coat (it’s chilly in Germany!) and a scarf for good measure. I am officially no longer packed lightly, so all is right in the world.
After packing, I settled in with a glass of wine and reruns of 30 Rock to try and calm my frayed nerves. I don’t like flying., but I actually wore everything I brought (except for a just-in-case pair of shorts), and I wasn’t missing anything. This will literally never happen again.
Wednesday-2 early morning miles @ 10:20. We planned on doing 4. I locked us out. Womp womp. It ended up being ok though because I slept all of 1 hour on Wednesday “night” on board the plane, and I may have died if I had actually run the planned 4.
Thursday- rest. I cannot remember the last time I felt that bad. Seriously. I got all four wisdom teeth out in one go and I felt better than I did walking off the plane on “Thursday morning.”
We boarded at 8:30pm New York time and I made the mistake of waiting up for the meal on flight. I sort of fell asleep from midnight to 1 am NY time then just could not sleep anymore. When we deplaned in Germany at 2:30 am our time (already 8:30 am in Frankfurt) I was really not sure how I was even going to remain standing through customs. It was brutal. I’m a baby about sleep to begin with as I don’t really function on less than 7 hours, but combine that with the disorientation of the time change and the nausea and general malaise from the plane flight, and it was really touch and go for me.
Chris’ sweet friend picked us up from the airport and gave us a tour of Frankfurt. He wanted to take us to lunch, but I honestly told him I might die if he didn’t take us to the hotel immediately. A 2 hour nap helped a bit, but we were still up until 11 German time, basically a full 24 hours of being awake. I didn’t fully adjust until Monday. No joke.
Friday- 3 miles @ 10:30. The morning of the wedding, I had a lot of time to kill. Chris was busy with pictures and events all day, so I got a quick three miler in. I was feeling slightly better after a full night’s sleep but still only at about 60%. I assumed there weren’t a lot of places to run in the little city we were staying in, and I didn’t want to go missing on the first day, so I ran on the treadmill. Another runner on the trip told me afterwards that there was a really cute park right down the road. My runner envy has never been so strong. Oh well.
Saturday-rest. We ended up traveling a lot more than I expected on Saturday. By the time we got from Wiesbaden to Frankfurt, it was dinner time, so a run didn’t happen.
Sunday-walked 4 miles. Still not fully adjusted to the time difference, the long train ride from Frankfurt to Berlin knocked the wind out of me again. We walked 2 miles from the train station to our hotel then probably another 2 miles around the city, which I decided to call good enough.
total 15 miles (only 5 of the planned 15 for this week though). It wasn’t great. I probably could have forced myself to run on Saturday and Sunday, and I might have been a happier camper if I had, but I made the call in the moment, so it is what it is.
- 3 @ 12:36
- 5; inc warm; 3 @ 10:57; cool
- 2 @ 12:36
- 10 @ 12:36
- total 20 miles
Monday- walked 5 miles. Unsure of whether we’d be doing a lot of walking, we decided to save our run for later in the day, and only do it if we felt up to it. I’m glad we did that because after a 3.5 hour walking tour all over Berlin, we barely had the energy to shower.
Tuesday- ran 4 miles along the Spree. I was feeling pretty beat by Tuesday. I was just over the jet lag. I hadn’t slept more than 6 hours on any of our vacation nights, and we had been doing a lot of walking. I did not want to run. It was actually Chris who convinced me, and I’m so glad he did. This was a great run! We took the train from our hotel to Tiergarten which is a big inner city park that is absolutely beautiful and ran home from there. We were a little more familiar with the city after our tour, so we had no trouble getting home, and it was so nice to see the city that way. The weather was wonderful, the river was amazing, and the miles just slipped away. Don’t worry, I complained about being tired for the whole 1st half, but then I really appreciated it. I’m a treat, aren’t I?
Wednesday- rested and traveled all day. We were up at 8am German time, out the door by 9, and did not walk into our home until midnight German time (6pm in NYC). Traveling is ridiculous. I seriously don’t know how people do it all the time. I loved seeing so many new and beautiful things, but I’m so happy to be home for a little while. I cannot imagine doing that again any time soon. After forcing myself to stay awake until 10 NYC time (4 am in Germany), I collapsed and slept like a rock forever.
Thursday- ran 3 miles @ 9:31. Really nothing too remarkable here except for the fact that Chris and I were still crazy exhausted yet managed to bang out a 9:31 pace. We knew we were maintaining a strong pace, so we both picked it up towards the end and finished strong… then collapsed on the couch with red wine, so much pasta and a Netflix documentary. We liked our trip, but we love being home.
Friday- ran 3.2 miles @ 9:59. It was not easy waking up at 5:45 to get these miles in. It’s so much darker here in the mornings than it was when I left. Also, we had many more daylight hours in Germany, so getting dressed in the dark definitely gave me a sad. However, two hungry cats and the prospect of running with adorable Debbie after way, way too long got me up and out the door. I could not maintain anything quicker than that pace, but it was so nice to chat and catch up with Debbie. The miles flew by, and for the first morning in a long time, I wish we had planned on a longer run.
Saturday- 8 @ 11:45. This was supposed to be 10, but a bought of dehydration and a random downpour (tornados in Queens??) forced us to cut it short. We’re very, very nervous for the half marathon. Eek.
Sunday- abs and glutes work, 10 mile bike ride. One of the most persistent pains I feel after a long run is lower back pain. I have a very weak back, and really should be keeping up with maintaining a strong core. I haven’t been. So, I turned to Runner’s World for an abs and glutes plan. They kicked my butt! Still, I wanted to do something to stretch my tired legs, so Chris and I went for a quick bike ride before meeting up with some friends for brunch.
Total- 18 miles. We only came up 2 miles short and maintained some pretty strong paces this week. Given all the traveling and other disruptions, I’m pretty surprised we actually came that close. Still, there’s a big difference between 8 miles and 13 miles, and we only have one more week to bridge that gap. Eek again.