Week 28: workouts

My month-long stay in Denmark has finally come to a close, and, though I did enjoy the trip, I’m very happy to be home again.  I’m sleeping in my own bed and cooking in my own kitchen.  The weather is a bit oppressive, but the company here in Baltimore more than makes up for that.  There’s no substitute for good friends and training partners!

After last week’s fast but mentally-draining runs, the theme of this week was “relax and enjoy it”.  I’m happy to say that everything worked out according to plan.

On Monday I took the morning off, as I have been doing for the past few weeks.  It’s nice to have a little extra time in the morning, though I don’t plan to make this a habit for too much longer.

For my Tuesday morning run, I ran only two miles in place of my usual 5k.  I wanted to enjoy the run and move at a comfortable pace.  To keep things interesting, I chose a different route so I could see a bit more of the neighborhood.  To my surprise, I discovered that I’ve been living within a mile of at least twelve embassies.  In fact, I’ve been walking past the Iraqi embassy twice a day without even realizing it!  My route is shown below in green and to the right are all the embassies in the area.  It’s funny to think that I would have completely missed this fact if I hadn’t decided to take it easy this week.  I felt great during the run, and I finished the two miles in 19:25.

embassy12A – Thailand,  B – Iraq,  C – Israel,  D – Armenia,  E – Italian,  F – Romania,  G – Turkey,  H – Austria,  I – Serbia,  J – South Africa,  (not pictured: Latvia and the Czech Republic)

wed-runSince I would be traveling all day Thursday, I went for another run on Wednesday morning.  I set out to run two more miles and explore the area to the north.  During the run I felt even better than I did the day before.  I ran a little faster and finished the two miles in 18:47.  On Hellerupvej I passed the Copenhagen International School which I later learned was one of the five founding members of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.  Their 2012 graduation class of 48 students were from 22 countries!  That would certainly be an interesting cultural experience.

Thursday morning I woke at 5:30am to shower, eat breakfast, and head to the airport.  I had a little trouble with the train to the airport, so I arrived little more than two hours before my flight was scheduled to depart.  That wasn’t a huge problem until the baggage conveyor belt broke at the check-in counter and it took over 1.5 hours to check in!  By the time I managed to check in, my flight was already boarding.  I immediately ran to security, then from security to my gate.  I arrived with ten minutes to departure, but the flight ended up being delayed for over an hour (likely due to the baggage issues).  When that first flight finally landed in Paris, my next flight was already boarding.  Again, I sprinted to passport control then to my gate and made it with time to spare.  I had no more trouble for the rest of the trip, and I managed to get a bit of a workout in during my travels, though I’m sure it doesn’t make up for all the extra sitting.  I finally arrived home around 10:30pm (4:30am Copenhagen time).

I took things easy on Friday to adjust to the new time zone and to recover from a long day of traveling.  I spent the day catching up on chores and settling in at home.

On Saturday Adam raced a triathlon, so we woke at 4:30am to grab our gear and hit the road.  I ran around a bit to take pictures and had a good time catching up with his mom.  After the race we were busy with a family graduation party and wedding planning, so I didn’t feel the need to go out on a ride or run.  This was my easy week and I happily spent the time catching up with family and friends.

Even this week’s long run was a social event.  On Sunday morning at 8am, Adam and I met Abbey, Paul, Jill, and Andy (Paul’s friend) at Boston Street Running store.  We set out to run four miles at a comfortable pace around the harbor.  The furthest Abbey has run before was four miles, so we didn’t want to exceed that distance – we have no desire for overuse injuries!  The weather was hot and humid (a far cry from weather in Denmark), so I was very happy to take an easy/moderate pace on this run.  I knew I needed to adjust to the new conditions, especially with my asthma.  I’ve never run in such a large group before, but since the pace was well within my range, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Running with a group was always an uncomfortable prospect for me in the past, so I consider it a mark of progress that I not only survived it, but enjoyed it.  We finished the four miles in 44:22 and opted to call it a day rather than set out for more.  It was a wonderful finish to an easy week of very enjoyable running.