Dublin Marathon Training: #runnersnotrunning

I have to say, I hate missing sessions on my training plan. For weeks 1 and 2, I ticked them all off – even on the hottest day of the year. But I’ve had a cold for the past week and a bit, so last week – and this week, so far – have seen exactly NO runs.

This is sooo frustrating, as I was just starting to see some real progress! To top it all off, I joined my local tri club last week, and was excited to get some cross-training in, too. However, a tickly cough and a stuffy head aren’t really that great to swim or run with. Boo.

But I wanted to get outside and do something, at least – so on Sunday, James and I decided to catch a train to London and spend the afternoon skating. It wasn’t quite the same as a long run, has to be said, but it was good fun and a pretty good workout – especially given how tense I was! (A master skater, I am not!)

We got the tube to Green Park, and walked across to Hyde Park from there. We passed lots of very tired looking cyclists (unfortunately, the Ride London ballot decided that this wasn’t my year – fingers crossed for next time!) and even saw one rider setting off for a run in his kit! As if 100 miles of cycling wasn’t enough for one day…

We sat on the curb, got our skates on … and then James had to help me up, because face-planting the pavement would have been a rubbish start 😀

Skating in Hyde Park

Step 1: skates on, and managed to stand up – with a little help!

The main goal was for me to learn to control my speed and be able to ‘t-stop’. Up until now, I’ve always just skated into poles/walls/the person I’m skating with, which has worked fine for me 😉 But James wasn’t standing for it, so I had some work to do…

Pokemon Hunting in Hyde Park

James made some new friends at a local PokeStop… 

After a wobbly start, I managed to pick up a little speed and could manoeuvre well enough to avoid the huge crowds of walkers, cyclists, skaters and runners. And then James realised that there were a ton of poke stops and lures about (and a gym), so he picked a route that would periodically take us past them all.

I was having enough trouble keeping myself upright, so my phone stayed in my bag for most of the afternoon. James, however, was multi-tasking like a boss, challenging gyms and catching pokemon and skating circles around me (literally). Sigh.

Skating in Hyde Park 2

The expert vs. the not-so-expert (but I didn’t fall over, at least!)

Hyde Park

Skating selfie! Whilst standing still and holding on to James for dear life…

But I’m pleased to say that I finally got the hang of the whole t-stop thing! I’m still not great at using it to slow myself down, and I’m still working out how to stop at short notice, but I’m hoping that after a few more practice sessions I’ll be able to join the ‘Sunday Stroll‘ – a weekly guided skate around London.

Always good to have something to aim for, right!? 😀

– – –

How did you spend your weekend? Are you training for anything at the moment?

Skating in the sunshine

I’ve been fairly healthy the past few days. A friend introduced me to a new Android app – ‘My Fitness Pal’ – which calculates how many calories you should have each day to maintain/lose weight. You have to enter everything you eat, and all of the exercise you do, which makes it a great source of motivation for healthy eating as you instantly feel guilty if your calories go too high! Cycling to work is awesome though, because by the time I get to my desk, the cycle has cancelled out my breakfast! More snacks for me!

For the past few days I’ve been having low-fat vanilla yoghurt and sliced strawberries for breakfast. It’s light, tasty and low calorie – a brilliant combo!

I mean, I do love my porridge/toast, but if I have either of those, I inevitably add honey or peanut butter (to the porridge and toast respectively), which aren’t particularly forgiving on the calories/sugar front.

As a slight contrast, this has been a bit (!) of a burger weekend so far. Yesterday evening my boyfriend and I went out for dinner, and somehow I found myself with a reeeally tasty burger and mojito:

Best combo ever – I’d forgotten how much I love a good mojito. Sooo much lime .. Yum!

Today, the two of us and a couple of friends decided to make the most of the glorious sunshine and headed into London, to skate in Hyde Park. With it being a) sunny and b) marathon weekend, there were tons of people about – and even more than usual because of an event called the ‘420’. I didn’t know anything about it, so was extremely confused when the guy behind the till at M&S mentioned he was heading to Hyde Park to smoke pot this afternoon, and was that why I was going, too?

I assumed he was already a little high, if I’m honest. But it turns out that it was a perfectly valid question – ‘420’, I learnt is the police code for pot smokers, and every April 20th (4/20) hundreds of people congregate in Hyde Park to smoke pot, listen to music and generally chill out. Unfortunately, this meant that every now and then a waft of pot smoke would drift past us, which was disgusting .. But the fun we had skating was definitely worth it!

I hadn’t actually skated since I was back in school, so I was a little rusty (read: wobbly and hazardous to pedestrians) at first:

But with a little help (ok, a lot) from my boyfriend and friends, I was skating along quite comfortably by the end. They tried to teach me to ‘t-stop’, but I didn’t quite master it – instead, I found a much better alternative: Stop moving my legs, and slowly roll towards whichever friend was closest, hoping they would either not notice me (the preferable option, as I was then able to grab their backpack and stop entirely) or catch me (which, to be fair, also made me stop moving .. when they actually agreed to catch me, that is).

.. I’m assuming this is why they took it upon themselves to actively teach me to stop in a variety of different ways that didn’t involve me rolling into inanimate objects or living things.

What can I say? I’m creative!

And here’s the expert! (Though I clearly look more professional ..)

After nearly three hours of skating (I’m pleased to say I didn’t fall over once!), we headed to an American diner near Euston station, for American burgers and milkshakes. I caved and went for the cheeseburger, which was delicious! In true American style, the portions were really generous (awesome!) and they served my milkshake in the metal jug that they made it in, and gave me a glass on the side – I got 2 and a half servings!

Needless to say, I’ve not filled in today’s calorie count. Maybe I’ll start over with the app on Monday ..

I’m beginning to think I should probably squeeze in a run tomorrow.