Now that I live in London, I always seem to forget about Independence Day. It’s hard to get into the July 4th spirit when you have to spend most of the day at the office – and I suppose it doesn’t help to be surrounded by Brits! 🙂

Thankfully, I had an amazing weekend to make up for it. Actually, it contained pretty much everything I would want out of a July 4th holiday weekend: a day off (I happened to take Friday off of work, but for once, stayed in town); plenty of sunshine (for London, that is); refreshing summery drinks (nevermind the fact that my love of Pimm’s makes me more of an Anglophile);

An outdoor dance party (Silent Disco at the London Zoo’s late night – AMAZING);

  

And an awesome BBQ/house party with a great group of people (hosted by a Brazilian).

The only thing missing was a day at the beach and a fireworks display, but until I claim my own personal independence from the UK, I’ll have to survive without that!

So what did I get up to on the running front?

I must confess, between a heavy training week last week and a very socially active weekend, I didn’t put on my best running performance. My plan to do hill intervals was quickly rejected as I woke up hungover and exhausted on Saturday morning. However, I eventually got out of bed and had a strong, fairly pleasant 6.75M/8:54 avg pace run, including technique drills and followed by some running-specific strength training. Not too shabby!

Sunday’s long run, however, wasn’t quite so enjoyable…Note to self: do NOT gorge yourself on Brazilian bbq, combined with a few too many pear ciders, the night before a long run. Or ever. I think I’ll have to go veg for a week to counteract the damage – although it was an extremely fun evening and the food was delicious (Brazilians know their BBQ).

Despite my uneasy stomach, I headed to Richmond Park, determined to do my planned 12M off-road long run. It was tough, particularly because my right hip has been a bit sore lately, but I completed the run at a 9:09 avg pace and the lovely weather, as well as E’s company, helped spur me on.

So that marks two weeks down, fourteen to go of my Portland marathon training! If you’re interested, you can check out my first two weeks in full here. I have yet to build my entire program, but I plan to do that in the next few days – much better to have a sense of the big picture when completing each individual session.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday – and just so you don’t think I’m completely unpatriotic, I’ll leave you with a silly photo taken at Royal Ascot last summer. Happy Birthday, America!

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