Spring is the best, isn’t it? Full of renewal, optimism, and excitement about the summer to come!
Spring felt like it was here in London this week, but I was also on a high after a very fun 3 days with our Minneapolis visitors!
Quick recap of the first part of our friend’s visit: They arrived Saturday morning; with the coronation starting at 11 am, we went to central London to catch some of the activities. Due to the rain, we mostly watched from a pub (with a bunch of entertaining Brits, which was still quite fun,) until it was time for the ladies to go to a high tea at the Savoy (which was lovely.)
Sunday, the ladies did a 7 mile run, with a loop of Regent’s Park and jaunt up Primrose Hill. I love showing friends London via running!
Then we went to brunch at Farm Girl in Notting Hill, followed by a lovely coronation concert/ picnic in Parson’s Green in West London, with a few more friends who live out that way.
I haven’t spent a lot of time exploring that far west (Parson’s Green/Fulham), so it was a nice change of scenery.
That evening, the guys went to a football (soccer) game, West Ham vs. Manchester United, and the girls had a low-key night with some pizza and and wine at Mimmo La Bufala back in our neighborhood.
Now onto this week’s recap of fitness and life in London!
Monday: Last full day with our friends; I took them on an 8-mile tour of (north) London, including another jaunt up Primrose Hill. I started out with just 3 of our guests (Heather, Andy, and Julie); Dustin was running with Ruth on his own, but we ended up running into the two of them outside the zoo where they were saying hello to the giraffes (Ruth’s favorite), so he and Ruth joined our group for the return run to our flat.
There were some delicious food options; I went for the freshly made pasta followed by some gelato.
Next door to the Mercado Mayfair was the Mayfair Chippy; a few of our guests wanted fish and chips and Mayfair Chippy is the best, so they ate there and some of us ate at the Mercado.
Then we walked through Hyde park to Harrod’s, where we browsed the food hall and some other parts of this famous department store; this flashy store is quite a scene, an interesting spot for visitors.
After Harrod’s, we walked back towards central London to Fleet Street, where we visited a few of the historical pubs that we had learned about back in October when my sister Erin was here and we did a historical pub tour. In fact, we actually ran into our tour guide from that tour, who was giving another group the same tour!
We visited the Blackfriars pub, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (where all our guests somehow end up so far!) and Punch Tavern before heading back to Hampstead for our final dinner together at the Holly Bush.
I love how Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese has been around for all the royalty- and now King Charles III!
The Holly Bush is located up a relatively steep hill; most guests complain after we drag them up that hill, ha! But then the walk back home is easy and downhill…
Tuesday: Our friends departed early to take the Eurostar to Paris to continue on their vacation (they are visiting Avignon and St. Tropez, and then coming back through London at the end.)
I really enjoyed their visit; it was so nice to have friends from Minneapolis here, though to be perfectly honest, it did make me a little homesick, more so than when my family visited. I think that’s because my family doesn’t live in Minnesota, so I normally wouldn’t see them more than 3-4 times a year. Having them visit was wonderful, but felt more like the past with a few visits a year. But having friends visit that were part of my day-to-day life back in Minneapolis (particularly my friend Julie who I ran with a lot) made me homesick.
Fortunately, we did book a visit back to Minneapolis in July (right at the one-year mark of living in London) so I will be back there soon. And the friends are coming back through London on the tail end of their vacation this time, so I will see them again in about a week.
Anyways, since I was up early with them to say goodbye, I went for a 7 mile easy run after they left.
After work, I did my 10 min core + 20 min of Strength for Running on Peloton. I was surprisingly tired that evening (I guess hosting is tiring, and it included a few more pints/drinks than normal) so I was ready for bed at 8:15.
Wednesday: 7 miles with Ruth, then core after work.
Thursday: rest day from running; I took an early morning class at Barrecore Hampstead.
Friday: Track day! My colleague Tina and I are both doing the JPM Corporate Run in July.
The JPM Corporate race is a 5.6km race in Battersea Park (tons of companies participate.) I feel like the expectations are inflated a bit within my firm as to how fast I can run 5.6km! So I feel some pressure to do some shorter speed workouts to focus on this race to at least do the best that I can. The JPM race is in 8 weeks, so I am going to mostly focus on training for shorter speed before switching focus to the Dublin marathon.
Tina and I did the same workout: warm-up, 10x400m at race pace with 200m jog recovery, cooldown. It was really fun! 7 miles total.
Dustin actually is on a corporate race team for his company as well, so he decided to join us and did a similar workout. He has similar pressure from his work team, with high expectations of how fast they think he is!
I did a 30 min strength for runners classes on Peloton + 10 min core after the track workout.
Saturday: “Long” run of 9.3 miles.
Running is still such a wonderful way to explore London, and this week was no different! We headed up to Highgate (up a VERY steep hill, what a way to start a run!) and then connected to the Parkland Walk trail, which took us to Finsbury Park. We were going to do a full loop of Finsbury Park but there was a parkrun going on, so we just saw a bit of the park and turned around.
After the run, we actually met with an agent to look at a few flats; we’ve been in London almost a year, so we just want to see what else is out there to see if we want to move at the end of our lease. We aren’t sure we will move, but just exploring for now.
Sunday: We slept in as long as the pups would let us (which is never very late!) and then did a 7 mile run with Ruth. We are planning to take the overground train to Richmond. Any Ted Lasso fans? As you know, it’s mostly filmed in Richmond.
And, happy (U.S.) mother’s day! Missing my mom more than ever today.
Summary: About 45 miles of running, 1 barre class, daily core, and two Peloton strength-for-runners sessions.
My goal is take one Barrecore class a week plus 1-2 at home strength workouts (either Peloton or Iron Strength) plus daily core on Peloton. I bought a package of 10 classes from Barrecore that expire in 2 months, so that means I need to go once a week. The studio is close to our flat (less than a 10 minute walk.) I push myself a bit harder in a class format then at home, but I also enjoy the convenience of at-home strength training. So that’s my general plan for strength, but I will always be flexible and open to changes.
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