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You call this a taper?

My 6th marathon is coming up and all of the training plans I've followed previously have included a pretty drastic decline in mileage the last two weeks. For this marathon, I decided to follow the Hanson's Marathon Method after reading their book.

The plan includes 6 runs per week, whereas I was running 4 days per week previously. For some context, the highest mileage week on Hanson's is 57.5 miles and my first "taper" week was still at 49.5 miles. I've been feeling great following their plan so I'll trust they know what they're doing.
Monday - 7mi easy I've been loving the easy runs. I actually get to enjoy running rather than slogging through every workout being tough. I love running through Hyde Park, so my route went from Hammersmith Station through Hyde Park then to work. I wrote a more extensive post about this particular run here.

Tuesday - 6x1mi @ marathon pace - 10 sec + 1.5mi warm up/cool down I tested out some super light race shoes Tu…
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Palaces, Parks and Churches

Commuting to work by foot has to be my favorite way to start the day. The roads and parks are pretty much empty, the air isn't quite so polluted and I get my blood flowing for the rest of the day.

It's getting lighter out pretty quickly. Sunrise was at 6:37am, which means most of my run I could actually see where I was going. Today's 7 mile route took me from Hammersmith to St. Paul's via Hyde Park.


Just a couple weeks ago when I would run this same route, Hyde Park would be pitch black. There are very few lights in the park, which made it very tough to see where I was going...go figure! But now that the sun is up, I get to appreciate it for all of its beauty.

I entered Hyde Park at Kensington Palace, where Princess Diana lived until her death in 1997 and where Princes William and Harry were raised. Many Royals still live here today. Definitely a place to visit if you come to London.


From there, I headed to the north side of the park then headed east, going past the s…

Tips for Visiting the U.S. Embassy in London

I started the process of getting a new passport back in November (I ran out of pages in my old passport...first world problems) and got notification in late January that it was ready for collection. Normally it doesn't take this long, but apparently I forgot to pay them. Details, details.

Given I had upcoming travel to Germany in February, I decided to delay picking it up and risk not having anywhere for passport control to stamp my passport. Fortunately that all went well. When you receive a letter for the US Embassy that you're passport is ready, they "encourage" you to use their courier, DX. This involves a not very cheap additional cost and when you schedule a pick up, you get an 8am-6pm time window. Seriously! They must have learned this from the people the cable companies.

Knowing first hand how underwhelming the service from the courier is, I decided to show up at the Embassy on Wednesday to pick up my new passport. I was quickly turned away by a crotchety old…

The Beast from the East Run Commute

Unless you're living under a rock, you'll have heard that the UK is having some horribly cold weather, snow, etc. It's basically like the apocalypse. It chaos everywhere. Ironically the busses seem to run just fine, yet the trains have major problems.


Today is especially cold. It's below freezing, but what made it particularly awful is the gale force winds.


Check out those wind chills! And while you're at it, look at the direction of the wind; it's coming from the ENE. That's right in my face for the entire run. This sucked!

The alarm went off at 5:35AM, I caught the bus to Richmond Station, did my warm up, and off I went on my 12 mile commute to work. As soon as I got around the corner from the train station...BAM! The winds, RIGHT...IN...MY...FACE! Like brutal winds where you feel like your pushing up against a wall.
For two miles, I pushed against the wind with tiny snowflakes seemingly piercing my eyes. It was painful to look up. Really, my only goal t…

Thorpe Park Half Marathon Race Recap

Today was the second Thorpe Park Half Marathon and my second time running it. Last year's course, which was promoted as flat and fast, wasn't. So this year we ran a new course, which, while not as scenic, was significantly flatter.

Last year's race was also the first time that I met my Instagram friend Rachel and we've been good buddies ever since. We catch up for a run whenever we can including at today's race to celebrate our runversary, marking the fourth race we've run together.

The shorts and grey weather of last year were replaced by sun and sub-freezing temps today.


The race village at RunThrough events always has inspiring since that apply to running and to life. The race organizers are fantastic. I saw Matt, who started RunThrough, and introduced myself and then found Lucy, who works for Matt and is an Instagram friend as well. I love how running brings people together.


With three weeks to go in my prep for the Limassol Marathon, training called for 1…

Bruges: Canals, Cobbles & Beer

The kids are on break this week for February half term (basically a one week break in the middle of each trimester) so we headed out on our next family adventure to Bruges, Belgium. This time we decided to take the Eurostar which made for a comfortable, quick journey. By quick, I mean the Eurostar bit. From home to St. Pancras to Brussels to Bruges took 6 hours all in, but there was minimal complaining from the kids so I'll count that as a win.

Per usual, Beth had pretty much everything planned out. We tend to plan too many activities so this time Beth let the kids vote on what they wanted to do and she built the itinerary around that. They got to do what they enjoyed and Beth and I got to do some things on our own without them.

TUESDAY When we arrived in Bruges, I made everyone walk to the Airbnb so that we could see the city a bit and get our bearings. Along the way we got a good feel for what the city was known for: canals and beautiful cobbled streets.




After struggling a bit …