I’m here wrapping up my second full week of living in London; read on to hear more about how we are adjusting to life here, as well as all the gory details of training for the Amsterdam marathon, which is in ten weeks!
Monday: After 52 miles of running, 30+ miles of walking and some lower body strength work last week, my body was tired on Monday morning. I ran just as slow as I needed; 8 miles total. 10 min core after.
The highlight of this run was definitely the fox I came across in Mile End Park!
We spent the whole day driving around with a relocation agent looking at flats to rent. We are limited because we have Ruth and Matilda; even though technically landlords can’t turn you down because of dogs (it’s the U.K. law), they still do. The market in London even for rentals is so competitive that potential tenants actually get into bidding wars!
It honestly felt like an episode of House Hunter International; we saw 8 flats and if we liked one, our agent said we needed to act on it that day.
There was one we liked; by the end of the day, we put in an offer and are still waiting to hear. Fingers crossed! I’ll share more on the search if/when we find a place. It’s stressful!
Tuesday: A run commute with a colleague!
She lives right across Tower Bridge so I ran to her side and she showed me the best route to the office. I feel lucky as our building has lockers and showers with towels/blowdryers/flat irons; it’s so convenient. I plan to leave more things in my designated locker to have to carry less in my backpack.
Run commuting is QUITE popular here though- there are many other runners with backpacks in the morning! More common than Minneapolis. I love it!
I decided to run commute home as well, but running after work amongst the crowds was a real challenge. I managed another 3 miles, but it was a lot of stop-and-go and walking.
15 min core after the 2nd run. With most of my team in the U.S., I end up with evening meetings, which is fine, just part of the job! My mornings are a bit quieter, but work inevitably goes farther into the weeknights. This has made strength training a bit harder to fit in, though I’m trying my best.
Wednesday: 7 mile morning run along the Thames through Wapping towards Victoria Park with a bit along Regent’s Canal. Once I get on the canal or in the park, there’s a lot less stop & go, which makes settling into a consistent pace a lot easier.
15 min core after work, several dog walks.
Fun to see Tower Bridge lifted to let a huge yacht come through.
Thursday: WFH day. I was up early to work for a few hours, but then stepped away for a longer workout: 2 mile warm-up, 4×2 miles at marathon effort (or as best as I could given the stop-and-go nature of some of the routes!), 1 mile easy. 12 miles total, kind of a lot for a Thursday, but wfh made it more possible to fit it in.
A longer weekday run meant I made it to Victoria Park, which was lovely.
The downside of this run is that the strap on my brand-new Ultimate Direction handheld broke! I’ve reached out to their customer service but they can’t process non-US claims. I have to take it back to the store where I bought it here. Very disappointing; I ended just ordering a cheap one from Amazon for now, as I needed one for my Saturday long run and didn’t have time to go back to the same store beforehand.
In the evening, I was able to do 10 min core + 30 min of lower body on the Peloton app. Lots of dogs walks.
Friday: Rest day from running, 10 min core + 30 min upper body and lots of dog walks. We also walked to Spitalfield Market to grab some margarita pizzas for our pre-long run fuel. Delicious!
Saturday: Lucky me, Dustin was willing to run my pace with me again. It’s so nice to have a companion for these exploratory long runs! Plus, he does keep me on a faster pace; we ran 17 miles at an 8:45 min/mile average. There were stops along the way (bathrooms at Victoria Park, water refills at a fountain, and stops to pull out our phones for Google maps!) but that’s to be expected.
We ran Thames River -> Wapping-> Regent’s Canal -> Victoria Park -> Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. They are setting up a celebration there for the 10 year anniversary of the 2012 London Olympics. I remember those Olympics pretty clearly; I can’t believe its already been 10 years!
For the 17 miler, I took 3 gels; we are almost out of gels and hoped to buy more this weekend, but the local running stores are closed on Saturdays AND Sundays. Crazy!
After the run, we walked with the pups with us to the grocery store (Waitrose– kind of reminds me of a Trader Joe’s) and then had a quick lunch on the patio at the Moretown Belle. It was about a 2.5 mile walk round trip for Matilda and Ruth, which is plenty for the 13-year old lady. We decided to let her rest for the afternoon, but brought Ruth with us to meet up with some friends (who are also runners and dog people!) at Cat & Mutton for an afternoon pint and then a wander through the Broadway Market , followed by a dog walk through London Fields. Such a fun afternoon and I hope we have the chance to hang out with this couple again; running and dogs are two important ways that I hope will help us meet new friends here.
Another exciting part of this afternoon excursion was that to get to where we were meeting, Ruth had to take the tube for the first time!
(Well-behaved) dogs are allowed on the tube, but you do have to carry them on the escalators as its too risky I guess for fur or paws to get caught.
We brought lots of treats and gave all kinds of positive reinforcements to Ruth to make sure it wasn’t a scary experience.
If you’ve been on some of the London tubes, they can be VERY loud. We took the Central line from Bank, which is also notoriously hot. But Ruth did so great; she was very brave and kind of rolled with the punches!
The same was true as we wandered through the very busy market- what a trooper.
There are so many weekend markets in London- its fun to explore.
We caught a cricket match at London Fields as well:
Well, if the 17 mile run + loads of walking and a market wasn’t enough, we walked back to Bermondsey Street again for dinner at a delicious Italian restaurant, Cafe Murano, followed by a nightcap pint at London Beer Factory on the Bermondsey Beer Mile (again.)
A very full and fun Saturday of embracing our London life.
Sunday: 7 mile run with Ruth and Dustin; Ruth’s longest London run! We caught part of the cycle of the London triathlon that was going on; the cycle went right past our temp flat.
I’m not sure what exploration we will do later today. Dustin is doing some indoor climbing with a coworker (his favorite type of strength work!) so I’ll probably hit the gym in the building for some strength and then we will head out for some exploring when he gets back. Be sure to check out my instagram to follow along!
Summary: 58 miles of running, loads of walking, attempt at daily core (not perfect) and a mix of strength training on the Peloton app.
I’m linking up with Running on the Fly and Confessions of a Mother Runner; check out their blogs to connect with other fitness bloggers for workout ideas and inspiration!
Fingers crossed that you get your rental!
So fun to explore new places to run. Lucky you with a running companion.
Love your pictures. Makes me feel like I’m there.
Well, I don’t always have a companion but he’s willing to run with me right now as we explore!
I love this! And you’ve seen Tower Bridge open! I used to walk along the South Bank from London Bridge to work and loved seeing it open every now and then!
It is cool to see but I do wonder how those same boats make it under the other bridges??
They don’t go very far up the Thames from there and all the others downstream have a way through.
Looks like you are settling in well! Awww Ruth is so very good on the Tube! It took us 3 TRIPS to England before we found our first place. We ended up in a 14th century renovated schoolhouse in Staffordshire with a Blacksmith across the street. Horses would clip clop past all day long. I remember the realtor using the term “gazumped” when people rented properties out from under us. It’s nuts! I can’t believe it’s been 10 yrs since the London Olympics either!
Gazumped! What a great word
It sounds like you’re fitting right in with your new home. Ruth is a brave girl riding the tube. Fingers crossed that you get the flat you put the bid on! I know you’ll be happier once you can settle in on a more permanent place.
She was very brave! Not sure she’s make it during rush hour though.
Wow, what a busy week! Sounds like you are settling right in. I love how dog-friendly London is!
Dog friendly except when it comes to rental properties!
But VERY dog friendly in restaurants; we were at that Italian place Saturday, which was relatively “fancy” and there were two dogs at the table next to us inside!
Oh, good luck with the apartment (flat!) hunt. That sounds stressful.
That’s great you have such a nice set-up at work. Our office gym has nice amenities, but you aren’t supposed to leave things overnight — there are not that many lockers, and we aren’t the only tenant using it.
I love how you are doing so much exploring — and I love seeing the sights through you (and Ruth).
This is my first office with an overnight locker, my Mpls setup was similar to yours!
looks like all of you are really settling into London life! Fingers crossed you get the rental you want. Keep the fun photos coming! Love to see where you are running
We are trying! Will feel more settled when we aren’t living in essentially a glorified hotel!
So many cool new places to explore!
I’m amazed that they allow dogs on the Tube — and how well Ruth did on it! I don’t think Bandit would do so well with that, and I KNOW Lola wouldn’t have.
I’m sorry that the flat hunting has been so difficult. Fingers crossed you get one that you love.
I think have to allow them, there aren’t a lot of other options! I’m glad we tried it first with Ruth, Matilda will struggle a bit more but eventually she will have to for some reason, but probably not just for fun like Ruth!
I love that you have explored so many different spots of London already! I’ve only been to London once a few years ago, but I remember seeing a lot of runners on my morning walks to our office. That’s awesome that run commuting is more common there!
Awesome job to Ruth on her first tube ride! Keeping my fingers crossed for you on the offer you put in for the flat.
I hope you come back for work again!
What a fun week! So many new adventures! That’s pretty crazy about the running stores being closed Sat & Sun! Ours has closed on Sundays, which I think is because there are so many races going on right now and they are low on staff. International House Hunters is my fav!! When you get a permanent place will you have a car? I hope you get it!
Dustin thought he’d buy a car but most people are saying we won’t need one, even though we want to take road trips with the dogs- it’s easy enough to rent a car though, we are doing it for the upcoming August bank holiday weekend!
Sounds like all four of you are settling in well! You’re really embracing your new London life. Yes, the running and the dogs should help you find new friends. I love exploratory runs like that- it really makes the miles fly by. I will be eagerly awaiting the news on the apartment!
Thank you Jenny!
It sounds like you all are settling in pretty well. I love seeing all of your pictures! I hope you get that flat you wanted.
Thank you Michelle. Fingers crossed! And toes 🙂
It hasn’t taken you long to find your groove in London! It’s going to be a fun adventure, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about all the local stuff you get to see and experience. Great job getting all those miles in!