Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Berlin Marathon: Week Seven Update

Wow, that long weekend off flew by. I took Friday off to go Kingston with Geoff to celebrate his 64th birthday but he got a ticket for the Ashes at Lord's and moved the drinks to Monday. So I booked Monday off and kept Friday as well for the sheer bonus joy of it.

I warmed up for the trip to Kingston with a 12-mile long run on Sunday morning, starting at the gym then heading over Putney Bridge, back along the Surrey side of the Thames to Chiswick Bridge and back to the gym. It was tough, which suggests I'm on course but by no means ready for Berlin yet. Good job there's still plenty of training miles to bank.

A welcome sauna and jacuzzi helped the muscles and I spent the afternoon in the garden rehydrating on Brewers Union German beers from the Askew Road off licence.

A drizzly Monday morning heralded my last session with Yasmine before California. This was my introduction to the TRX rope system. I'd been to one group class in the past and used it for upper body strength but Yasmine's focus was on the glutes and core as usual. It was a fun and challenging workout out. One of the great things about these PT sessions is learning all these new exercises which I can build on up to and beyond the marathon.

After the session I got the Overground to Clapham Junction then the train to Kingston, picking up Geoff on the platform at Earlsfield on the way. The plan was to try Stein's, the German bratwurst and beer parlour with branches on the riverbank at both Kingston and Richmond. The only problem was that the Kingston branch doesn't open until 5.30pm on Mondays, neither of us had checked and it was only 12.15pm.

Plan B involved a quick al fresco pint at the riverside The Ram under the clouds surrounded by graduating students and their families, another at the town centre Wetherspoon's, The Kings Tun, while we waited for the next train to Richmond, a quick one at The Cricketers on Richmond Green and another at The White Cross on the riverfront to break up the journey to our final destination, Stein's.

Wasn't really worth the effort. The beer was fine, served in two-pint glasses by a young Romanian barmaid, but the food was average, dished up on plastic plates on a grubby outdoor table featuring a sign warning against singing or talking too loudly for fear of offending the millionaire neighbours.

We escaped to the District Line via a return to The White Cross before enjoying a nightcap in The Tabard at Turnham Green then home for a well-earned snooze before bedtime.

All in all, perfect preparation for today's steady, post-work, 50-minute run in the lovely evening sunshine to Barnes Bridge and back, complete with negative splits and jasmine blowing through my mind. I think I'll take tomorrow as a rest day.

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