Sunday, June 8, 2014

More gelato than speedwork

Well, that was a rollercoaster three weeks. 

Two weeks of this:

Atop Pietra di Bismantova in Reggio Emilia (photo credit: Mr GCA)
I had gelato from this particular gelateria three times while we were in Florence.

The view from atop Il Duomo
Hikes and museums and cathedrals and gelato, oh my. 

Followed by nearly a week of this: 

working our tails off 8am-10pm each day to cover a confluence of three conferences - World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week, and CleanEnviro Summit

And a couple of tiny life triumphs: 
- I just found the swimsuit wringer machine in my gym. How have I lived without this before? Now after my long run I go and do my cooldown (five minutes on a stationary bike), my strength and core, my stretching...and I soak my shirt in water and wring it out manually a couple of times - and then stick it in the wringer so it's practically dry for the unfortunate folks around me on the train ride home! 
- A couple of my poems are running in the Manoa Journal's special Singapore issue, Starry Island

Gold Coast training log week 11 (May 12-18)
Monday: 11km of trails, then TRX in the evening
Tuesday: 10.53km -- mile reps with warmup and cooldown
Wednesday: 5km and stretch class 
Thursday was a travel day. 
Friday: 5km around Rome (we did a loop of the Colosseum!), 
Saturday and Sunday were spent walking around Rome. While wandering around we walked straight into 
a Race for the Cure 5K - Komen Foundation, pink ribbons and all - happening just around the Colosseum! 
Note: I'm not even going to count mileage for this and the next couple of weeks. Who knows how much time we spent on our feet? Nor do I really care - the point of this trip was a physical and mental break. 

Gold Coast training log week 12 (May 19-25)
Monday was another travel day - this time from Rome to Florence, and then getting settled in at my husband's uncle's place with my in-laws (they were with us from Monday till the end of the trip) 
Tuesday: 8km loop around Florence, in the hills south of the old city
Wednesday: Early morning hill sprints while nervously watching for SUVs to come barrelling down the narrow, steep road 
Thursday was spent wandering around Venice. 
Friday was in Florence again followed by a long drive up to the small town of Borgomanero to visit relatives. 
Saturday and Sunday involved a lot of heavy-duty eating...

Gold Coast training log week 13 (May 26-June 1)
Monday: 8km hill loop around Florence in the morning, followed by a 6km chunk of the Renaissance Ring to a small, ancient monastery. If you are in Florence for more than a few days I recommend taking a day out to do this; it makes a great break from fighting with the crowds of tourists. 
Tuesday: We drove to up a small Italian mountain town in the Appenines, got on a trail in the mist and fog, and then promptly veered off-course to an expert trail that involved a considerable amount of scrambling. Epic.
Wednesday: A far better hike.
enough said
Thursday involved SO MUCH CHEESE - a tour of a Parmigiano Reggiano factory, to be precise - and SO MUCH CURED MEAT (we hauled 2 kilos of prosciutto di parma and a kilo of sausage back home). This trip had all the elements of a perfect holiday: a little museum-ing and cathedral-ing, a little family time, a little outdoors time, and a lot of food. 
Friday to Saturday were also epic: woke up -> drove to Parma -> waited for train -> got on train to Bologna -> waited for train -> got on train to Rome -> waited for train -> got on train to Rome airport -> checked in -> waited -> sat on plane to Dubai -> napped, waited -> got on plane to Singapore -> landed in Singapore at 8pm. Total travel time: 30 hours. 
Sunday morning: 17km. 
Gold Coast training log week 14 (June 2-8) 
Monday and Tuesday were spent at the Epic Conference.
Wednesday was also spent covering the conference, but I hauled myself out of bed at way-too-early o'clock to run 8km. Instant mood lifter.
Thursday: 12.2km tempo (AM), 6km easy and core (PM). 
Friday I slept in.
Saturday: 10km tempo with colleagues for the Run for Cover 2nd qualifying round
photo credit: PictureArt
followed by 7km of mind-numbingly slow plodding because my legs refused to go any faster
Sunday: 14.5km of a planned 20, cut short in the interest of my poor right knee which was feeling off-kilter and somewhat sore (not severely, just like...*wrong*, as though the ligaments have got tangled which I swear is physically impossible). I think my ITB and calf are tight and pulling. Core and stretching. 
Total: 57.7km, working my way back to fighting fitness


  1. Sounds like a great trip! I wished that the U.S. was more forgiving about bringing in cured meats -- 3 kg of prosciutto + sausage sounds delightful! Good luck getting back into the swing of marathon training. :)

    1. Hah, yeah. My in-laws, who live in Ohio, were looking rather wistfully at our stash! (oh god does this mean I can't bring all the barbecued pork from Singapore when we visit for Christmas? :P)
      I think Week 11 of an 18-week marathon cycle is a good point to have a little time out from training - maybe not an entire two and a half weeks, but perhaps three or four days of just walking around, chilling out and mental freedom from training. By that point one is often a bit worn down!

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  3. Aaaaahhh I wish we'd been in Florence for longer! I bet running in the old part of town was great. I definitely want to get over there if we ever get back to Florence again. Looks like an amaaaazing trip! :)

    1. Florence was far and away my favourite part - it was absolutely gorgeous, all the time! Those museums are made to be visited over and over, preferably with some really good art history books in tow. Trying to take in everything at once is like trying to read a thousand books using only Cliffs Notes when I'm more of a one-book-at-a-time girl.

      You were right about people in small towns speaking little/ no English - when we got to Borgomanero to see my husband's second cousins I made a heroic effort to speak a tiny bit of Italian and they made an equally heroic effort to speak some English, with my mother-in-law stepping in with her college Italian when things got too dire.

  4. Sounds like a great holiday. And you even kept up your running - that's impressive!

    1. I confess, I had help. Husband's aunt, uncle and cousins are living in Florence for the year so I went with them on their usual loop around their neighbourhood!

  5. So jealous. I lived in Florence for six months and they were some of the best days of my entire life. I'd love to go back again. It's so beautiful!! Glad you had such a good time and ate so much gelato.