We’ve been living in London for three full weeks now. We’ve explored a lot and learned a lot, but yet we’ve barely scratched the surface.
Here’s my weekly recap of life in London and training for the Amsterdam marathon:
Monday: 7.1 miles before work; I ran farther down the Thames River path than normal to the Isles of Dogs. Did not see any dogs. Not at all as advertised! Jk.
10 min core on Peloton.
Tuesday: 3.3 mile run commute again with my colleague!
And then a 3 mile run commute home (mostly walking, crowds are insane after work!), then 10 min core + 20 min lower body on Peloton.
Wednesday: Rest day from running, about 4 miles of walking + 10 min core & 20 min upper body on Peloton.
Thursday: 10.3 mile run before work. 10 min core + 30 min lower body on Peloton. Lots of walking…that’s the norm in London.
After work, Dustin and I grabbed dinner at the Culpepper and then stopped at the Ten Bells for a pint on the walk home; the Ten Bells is a 300-year old pub, and is notorious for being the location that Jack the Ripper picked up two of his victims. Yikes!
Friday: I brought Ruth with me for a 7 mile Embankment loop run.
She hadn’t run that route with me before, so we stopped for some sight-seeing, haha!
She is so quick to snag any food/trash left behind. I had to stop multiple times to try to pry stuff from her mouth…probably my least favorite part of running with her in London, at least in the busy touristy areas- all the garbage. There are rubbish bins all around, so I don’t understand why people still litter.
Anyways, there are sometimes brides getting photos taken in front of Big Ben in the morning. I guess the light is just right!
Saturday: 18 mile long run; my first solo long run in London! Well, technically Dustin ran with me for a few miles in the beginning and then found me in Hyde Park, so we did a few more together in the middle, but I was mostly alone.
I mean, he was around just in time to take a picture of me in front of Buckingham Palace. Ha!
I explored a new route; I ran essentially the same route that I run-commute to work and then cut through St. James Park and looped Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. I ran a few loops in the parks before heading back to our temp flat for 18 miles total. The last 4 miles back along the Thames to our flat were quite crowded and a bit challenging, but the miles in the parks were lovely. There were multiple (artsy) public water fountains and a few public bathrooms. Score!
After a dog walk and grocery store walk, we took the tube out to Chelsea to do some shopping and exploring. One of my favorite non-running brands (Boden) has a store in Chelsea- so exciting! I’m used to just ordering online, it’s nice to be able to try things on.
We also wandered around Mayfair for awhile, checking out Old Bond Street and the historical arcades.
Eventually we headed back to our flat, walked the dogs again, and then walked to dinner at Gunpowder in Spitalfield’s. All in all, we walked TEN miles this day, after running 18 of them. Legs were tired!
Sunday: We were up early to do a quick 5-mile run with Ruth before a fun day trip.
We bought tickets to take the national rail train (different than the tube that I take to work) to Margate, a seaside town on the southeast coast known for its sandy beach.
We actually did still take the regular train/tube to King’s Cross station to catch the national railway to Margate, so both pups are now experienced riders. They both were pretty easy going about most of it, even when they had to be carried on the escalators.
Here’s a helpful map of where Margate is located. The high speed train takes about 90 minutes to get there.
During the summer, the main beaches are not dog-friendly, so we had to walk a few miles to a quieter one farther down. Once there, Ruth and Matilda could run in the sand and in the surf off-leash, which they enjoyed.
We had often said before we moved that this would be an opportunity for Matilda, at the age of 13, to see the ocean for the first time, and now she has. She actually drank from it at first, the way she does in Minnesota/Wisconsin lakes and then quickly changed her mind on that one!
This was the main beach when we first arrived…
This was the beach by the time we left!
There’s a 6-mile coastal walk from Margate to Broadstairs, but round trip would be a bit too long for a day (particularly for Matilda) so we just did about half of the walk and then turned back to Margate for a late lunch and an ice cream cone (even a frozen treat for the pups!) before taking the train back to London. A full day of sun and fun for us all!
Summary: 55 miles of running, over 30 miles of walking (eeks!), 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!
Lovely to see your visit to Margate! As I said on FB, that was the seaside we used to go to when I was young – well, it’s where you went instead of Blackpool if you lived in Kent (see the High Weald on the map? I lived there). Posher beaches were to the south but Margate was school trips to the funfair, etc. I spent time in Herne Bay when I was a university student and after as my then boyfriend’s* parents lived there (* now his wife is friends with my neighbour across the road and I spot… Read more »
Oh, tell me more about the posher areas? What is Blackpool all about? We honestly picked Margate only because of one blog post we read about dog-friendly seaside towns, and it wasn’t as dog-friendly as it would be off-season. It was BUSY and quite a party at the main area!
Blackpool to start off with is the uber-pleasure beach / seaside resort, complete with ballroom, tower, illuminations, etc. It’s where everyone from a certain distance north of London went for seaside childhood holidays and days out, hen dos, etc. (my husband is from Middlesex and they’d go Southend). Posher places to go are Camber Sands (not really sandy, though – it has a shingle beach but sand dunes behind) and Eastbourne (lovely faded glamour but also a shingle beach except at very low tide). Herne Bay and Whitstable (faded with lovely bones north Kent seaside towns) are also pebbly. Dungeness… Read more »
Holy smokes, that beach got crowded! I’m really enjoying your tour around the area. What cool looking places for dinner and drinks! I keep thinking of Emily In Paris, but yes I know, not Paris! Do you work later in the day than you had in the US? I think you mentioned work started later in the morning now?
It’s been fun to explore, especially with the nice weather!
I start later now (8:30-9) but definitely work later; my direct reports are Minneapolis and NYC, so it does mean a second “day” sort of starts when they get in at 1 or 2 pm. But I think we’ll adjust after a while.
Dustin is in the office every day ALL day; 8 am-7 pm or so, so much different/longer for him so far!
Looks like you are having so much fun exploring all of your new running routes. Keep the photos coming love to see them
I’ve not been to London and I’m loving learning all about it through your adventures. Your day trip to the beach sounds lovely!
You had a great week of running and lots of walking. How fun to explore your new city while training for your upcoming marathon.
I’m so glad you’re enjoying it Debbie! Running definitely helps with the exploring 🙂
I had no idea there was a beach community in England! Glad you got to enjoy it as well as the girls. Funny that Matilda didn’t like the sea water. Did you find a permanent flat yet?
Still ironing out some details on the tenancy agreement but hopefully!
Do dogs usually like the taste of sea water? I figured she didn’t know it would be salty until she started gulping it and changed her mind!
How fun to see the bridal photo shoots!
You are spending a lot of time on your feet apart from running – what does your coach say about that? 😉
OMG on the crowds on that beach. My post-covid self isn’t ready for that yet!
I can’t remember if it’s a blogger or someone I know off-line who got a muzzle for their dog to keep it from eating who-knows-what on their walks. Scooby eats dried leaves in our back yard, but doesn’t try to grab them on our runs.
My coach hasn’t said anything and I do track it all in the system she sees; I thought I walked the dogs a lot but it’s way more walking here, but a lot of that is going to continue as we won’t be driving and it’s the best way to explore and see everything!
Interesting on the muzzle! Ruth would hate it but it might help not having her choke on a discarded chicken wing.
Crazy to think you’ve already been there 3 weeks! Looks like you are settling in nicely and making the most of it 🙂
We are trying!
All that walking (as well as all the running). Busy and active 😉
Yes, lots and lots of walking!
You’ve been in London for less than a month but I absolutely love how much you are embracing the city and getting out to explore via walking and running! How cool would it be if there were tons of dogs on the Isles of Dogs? LoL
Looks like you are making the most of your new home and exploring a lot! All of the beachy towns we explored in England were similar to what you saw in Margate. Not my cup of tea. Blackpool was awful. The Lake District is kind of far from you but it is well worth a visit. Not surprised Mathilda didn’t care for the sea water! Haha!
Oh it wasn’t that bad! The fact that the beaches were dog friendly was great and only a 90 min train from central London! In a comment above, Liz recommends Blackpool?! We weren’t looking for a luxurious beach day for us, just a fun day for the pups. I’m sure we will make it to the Lake District at some point.
Wow, that is a LOT of walking!!! I guess ten miles of walking is a good “active recovery” after your long run. I love how Ruth and Matilda are getting to explore London as well. And they got to see the ocean, yay!
Yep! As much as we can bring them with, we will! Of course there will be times that we don’t.
Thanks for sharing all your adventures! I love reading about them!
Thanks for stopping by Katie!