London Marathon: Weeks 1-3

Less than 15 weeks until the London Marathon! Eeek! What I love about the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan is that it starts off very, very slowly… which is exactly what I needed for the almost two weeks I was in Taiwan (weeks 1 and 2). Normally, December weather in Taipei consists of temperatures in the high 60s to high 70s, with a mix of rain and cloudy days — i.e., perfect for running. This year’s trip was the first time in my experience where it rained almost every single day. Luckily, I was staying with my sister and she has a fitness room in her building with 4 treadmills in it. These treadmills were a little janky, but they got the job done. I’m normally OK with running up to an hour on treadmills, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t make myself run longer than a 5K. The one time I set my mind to running 10K, the treadmill kept stopping on me every 10 minutes. I couldn’t just jump on another one because you have to go sign out the key from the front desk…and I just couldn’t be bothered.

Getting a little more personal (which I don’t often do on this blog), my mom’s mental and physical health took a nosedive towards the end of the year. Running was a double-edged sword – it gave me the time to myself and the physical exertion that I needed, but I also felt really selfish about taking more time than absolutely necessary. Since I don’t get to see my family very often, every minute I spent running meant a minute away from them.


On one of the rare, sunny days when my mom felt up for an outing to her favorite park in Taipei.

So, going back to the subject of marathon training, I was really relieved that the first two “long runs” of the cycle that I skipped were only 6 and 7 miles long. Week 3’s long run was only 5 miles (!!), so I ended up trying to make up for lost time with a 7 mile run.

Here’s a quick run-down (pun intended) of how Weeks 1-3 went:

  • Week 1 (Taiwan): 3 runs for a total of 9.2 miles. Target was 15 miles.
  • Week 2 (Taiwan): 4 runs for a total of 11.3 miles. Target was 16 miles.
  • Week 3 (back in US): 3 runs for a total of 13 miles + one cross training session (Orangetheory). Target was 15 miles. Getting closer!

California sunshine makes for a nice long run

Just as I’m getting back into the rhythm of things, I’m leaving again! I fly to Germany tomorrow for 10 days. It’s for work, but I’ll also be visiting friends while I’m there and doing a little solo traveling. I’m excited, but the running logistics are difficult. For one thing, it’s going to be much colder than I’m used to. Average high temps will be around freezing, with lows in the 20s. The week that I’m working, I’ll be busy during daylight hours and there’s no treadmill in my historic (read: old) hotel. (There aren’t even toiletries!) The other obstacle is that I’ll be doing a lot of train travel, which means a smaller bag…which means I can’t bring too much stuff. I’ll already be packing for 10 very cold days. On the other hand, I would love to be able to tour the cities by running – I may end up just bringing one running outfit and my lightest pair of shoes, and if I end up running more than once, I’ll have to re-wear the same clothes. I’m counting on the cold weather to suppress the stink!

So, I may or may not be running for the next 10 days. To ensure I get my long runs in, I intend to run tomorrow morning (9 miles), before my flight, and then run when I get back. I’ll probably be too jet lagged to run the day I get back, but maybe I’ll get up super early the next day and get my run in (10 miles) before the work week starts. We shall see.



Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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8 comments on “London Marathon: Weeks 1-3
  1. Amy says:

    It seems like getting those runs in is so much harder than it used to be! I’m sorry to hear that your mom isn’t doing well. I’m glad you got to spend some time with her. Safe travels to Germany!

  2. Mike says:

    Beautiful picture of you and your Mom, I’m glad you got to spend time with her and the rest of your family over the holidays. Safe travels and be safe in Germany! Hopefully the TSA stays on the job until you get back. 😬

  3. Angela says:

    Hey, you do what you can do. Totally feel you on the travel challenges. Hope you’re still able to have some fun one way or another!

  4. bt says:

    Gorgeous picture of you and your mom!

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On the docket…

4/28/19: London Marathon

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