Hello from the Cotswolds! The Cotswolds are an “AONB” or “area of outstanding natural beauty”, and a quintessential British holiday location, with charming villages, castles, and lots of walking!
I hope to share more about our long bank holiday weekend here in the Cotswolds, so for now I’ll focus on training for the Amsterdam marathon, with a few other announcements at the end of this post.
*If you missed it, be sure to check out my post about a few things I’ve learned so far about living in London, catch up HERE.
Monday: 7 mile solo morning run. I did the “embankment loop” <- not sure if that’s what its called, but that’s what Dustin and I are calling it, when we run around the River Thames rather then to the east towards Wapping and Victoria Park. 20 minutes of lower body strength + 10 min core on the Peloton app after work.
Tuesday: Early morning dog walk, then a run commute with a colleague (about 3.3 miles) and a run commute home (3 miles), 10 min core on Peloton
Wednesday: 9.3 mile run before work with some marathon effort and a bit faster in there, 10 min core on Peloton after the run.
Thursday: 6 mile embankment loop in the pouring rain. And there were some serious puddles along the river! My shoes were drenched. I fit in 10 min of core + 20 min upper body on the Peloton app.
Friday: Since we were heading to the Cotswolds, I did my long run this day; (I had the whole day off of work.) I ran to Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens and looped those parks a few times for 18 miles total.
I was held up outside of Buckingham Palace; I believe it was the changing of the horse guard.
We drove to the Cotswolds Friday afternoon and arrived around 5:30 pm to our AirBnB in Winchcombe. We did a long walk with the pups before grabbing dinner at the White Hart pub.
Saturday: Rest day from running! We drove to Broadway, where we did a 6 mile walk to Broadway Tower and back.
Next, we drove to Bourton-on-the-Water, where we then walked to Lower Slaughter and back (about 4 miles.)
The pups encountered sheep, cows, llamas, and horses. Quite an exciting walk!
The Cotswolds walking path crosses right through the pastures. There was no avoiding them!
After we got back to Winchcombe, we took the pups to this big open field to run off-leash for awhile. They were living their best life and so tired by the end of the day, as Dustin and I headed to dinner at Restaurant 5 North Street. Great restaurant if you find yourself in Winchcombe! 🙂
Sunday: Dustin, Ruth, and I headed out for a 5-ish mile trail run (Matilda stayed behind to rest- Saturday was a lot for her!) We ran what felt like straight uphill to a prehistoric burial site called Belas Knap Long Barrow.
38 skeletons were found here that dated back to 3,500 B.C. So cool!
I much preferred the downhill after visiting Belas Knap. I am not a strong uphill runner and had to walk a lot!
We plan to explore a few more villages in the Cotswolds today before driving back to London tomorrow.
Summary: 52 miles of running, 26 miles of walking (so far!), attempt at daily core + mix of strength on Peloton
A couple announcements: I have decided to stop coaching runners for awhile; I have always loved doing it as a side job/hobby, but I am feeling a bit over-extended, so I decided it was best to drop that for now. I coach 10 athletes at the moment, most of which are doing fall marathons/half marathons/etc. I plan to take them through their races, but will be sending them referrals to other coaches (share yours if you love them!)
I also decided to stop working with my own coach (who is via McKirdy Trained.) I’ve loved working with her- she safely brought me back to marathons after my dramatic broken leg. With her, I ran the Houston marathon, the Antarctica marathon, the Brookings marathon, the Indianapolis marathon and the Atlanta marathon; we worked together though the pandemic and then on to the Idaho marathon, Fargo marathon, Route 66/Tulsa marathon, Baton Rouge marathon, and then Boston. She was also a great support through my mother’s passing and our move to London. I have nothing but good things to say about her.
So why am I stopping? I’ve realized that I want to have the flexibilty to say yes to any running offers or groups, run commutes, etc. It doesn’t make sense to pay for a coach unless I am 100% committed to her plan. Amsterdam will be my 40th marathon and as a (prior) coach myself, I will set up my own plan for awhile. She was completely supportive and understanding. Maybe at a later date, I will come back to her, but for now, I am self-coaching. I will still continue to run marathons as long as I can. We are researching ideas for a spring marathon (Vienna? Krakow? Geneva? Rome? Not sure yet!)
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!
I guess if your run has to be held up, the guard mounting is a fun reason! Broadway Tower looks so cool! It’s great that you found a dog-friendly Air BnB.
It sounds like you are making the right decision on both sides of coaching. It makes sense to be flexible to take advantage of your time in England.
Haha so true!
Broadway Tower was built as a “folly” though people did live there sometimes!
Dog friendly air bnbs are the best!
Your pups are living their best life! So fun to see you all embracing your new surroundings. Sounds like your coaching decisions are smart for you right now. Have a great week!
The Cotswold trip looks SO exciting! I love seeing all the pics from your London excursion.
Thank you Kim! It was fun to get away!
Oh good I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Cotswolds! It’s so beautiful there. We made several trips during out stint in England. How fun to have the dogs off leash! When I lived in Birmingham I took up English horseback riding and we’d go on “riding hacks” in the park. The horses would go nuts there, jumping over bushes etc. It was all kinds of wild fun. I totally understand your decision to back off of coaching and being coached. Everything has a season. All the best with your spring marathon choices!
Thanks Marcia! That’s great you went multiple times, we mostly saw the north & west but will definitely take a separate trip to Bath (and Bristol, which isn’t Cotswolds but my cousin lived there and loved it!)
Love the pup v. sheep pic. Both of your decisios sound great and the best thing about them – and so many others – is you can revert down the road if factors change. 100% agree about saying yes to all the things. I thought about hiring a coach when I was training for Malibu, but couldn’t commit for the same reasons. I’m too fly by the sea of my pants
Thanks Cari! You are right, I can always change my mind about coaching and being coached but a break is right for now.
Cotswolds looks like such a beautiful place! I love the photo with all of the sheep. How did the pups react to seeing all the other animals?
Matilda was way more chill; Ruth lost her mind! There was one time we had to pass a herd of cattle and Ruth started barking like crazy and I wa really nervous they would stampede us!!!
Wow, that looks really beautiful! I hope you do a Cotswolds recap post. Yes, I can see why you’d want to be flexible to get the most our of your time in London. Like you said, you can always go back to your coach at a later date. Sounds like everything is going amazingly well for you- Ruth and Matilda must be in heaven!!!
I plan to do a Cotswolds specific post mostly for my own travel journaling so I have a record!
The pups seem to have settled in amazingly well! Keep sharing all your amazing adventures with us — I am loving living vicariously through you.
I loved working with a coach, but I get that it’s not always the right decision but great to know that they’re there if you need them!
Thank you Judy! The dogs enjoyed the Cotswolds more than us!
I am confident I made the right choice for me right now for coaching.
Lovely to see you enjoying the Cotswolds! And fancy being stopped in your run by the Changing of the Guard: very cool!
Haha thanks Liz! I had never even heard of the Cotswolds before!
Matilda and Ruth must be loving life with so many fun places to explore. Do you find it easier or more difficult to do things with them over there versus here in the states?
Coaching is very time consuming so I can understand you wanting to take a break.
I’m loving your pictures! Please keep sharing!
Easier in some ways, as everything is dog friendly but harder esp in the city as it’s crowded, there’s trash, etc…so a bit of both!
And good for you for setting healthy boundaries and taking a moment to assess your needs. I think it will all be a good thing.
Thank you Jen. I already feel relief so I know I made the right choice for me now.
What a great week of running.
Thanks for being my tour guide. Love seeing where you run and walk.
Big news. Both sound reasonable.
Many times I thought of hiring a coach. But my job is unpredictable and I need to do my own thing.
Good luck with the rest of your training.
Thank you Darlene!
What a huge running week for you. You are going to great in Amsterdam. I love how you said you had a rest day and walked 6 miles. Still so much exercising. And the guards blocking your path…how rude 😛 So cool that you get to run around London though.
Sounds like you are doing what is best with the coaching. I hope it all works out. Looking at all the marathons you have done…wow! You’ve had some good ones in there. I’ve eyeballed Antarctica before so I’m impressed you did that one.
Thanks Michele! You’re going to love London!
Those were just the marathons I did with my current coach, I did many others before her, they’re all on my 50 marathons tab!!
The photos are amazing ! So beautiful! Looks like everyone is starting to settle in, even the dogs. Love the sheep pic.ha!