….and training for the Amsterdam marathon, which is now 5 weeks away.
Holy moly, what a week…
First, was the tragic news about Eliza Fletcher. My heart breaks for her family, and like many other female runners, it’s so scary; I run alone quite a bit and this could have just as easily been me. I am so angry with all the victim blaming when we should be pointing our fingers towards the assaulter. What a terrible, terrible event. I know this community all feels the same, so I’m only preaching to the choir here…
Personally, it was a challenging week in other (much more minor) ways. We moved on Monday, from the temporary housing by the Tower of London to our permanent flat in Hampstead. It shouldn’t have been a lot of work, but it felt like it! Then, I was in the office Tues-Thurs for some stressful days, and then Thursday was the sad news of the Queen’s passing. As Minnesotans say…uffda.
Read on for my full recap…
Monday: Last run along the Thames to Regent’s Canal to the east. I’ll still be able to link up to Regent’s canal from our new place, but I probably won’t be running that far east very often (though it would be easy enough to tube to Victoria Park to run with my new friend Katy!)
The canal had many snails on it this morning! I was careful not to crush any as I ran.
As tough as it was living next door to the Tower of London, I know I will look back on that month with gratitude as it was a great place from which to explore London, it was just a bit challenging living there with two vizslas! I can tell you that Ruth and Matilda are 100% happier in Hampstead, with Hampstead Heath literally 1/8 mile from our flat.
Goodbye to this stellar view…
And hello to this view from Hampstead Heath, 4 miles north of the Tower of London (we are still in London, just not central London.)
After my morning run on Monday, I worked for a 1/2 day before we picked up a zip car (well, a van), packed up our limited stuff, and made our way to our new place.
Of course, there were challenges- the keys didn’t work when we arrived. Apparently the landlord had changed them but the realtor didn’t know, so Dustin drove back to the realtor for the right keys, and I took the dogs for their first walk to the Heath.
It was a busy day settling in; neither our air shipment nor our sea shipment of stuff from home has arrived so Dustin took the van to Ikea for some basics to get us through, like bowls/cups/cutlery/towels, etc. Our 3-bedroom flat is mostly empty right now, except for an air mattress! Well, that’s not true, we’ve started purchasing some things that will work well with the other furniture that is arriving, like a desk/chair for the bedroom we are using as a home office and new dog beds (since theirs don’t arrive until the air shipment arrives), wardrobes (closet space is limited here!), and a few other things.
We have a small garden in the back, which the dogs LOVE (and its so great to just be able to let them outside again, vs. go down an elevator and walk 1/2 mile to the nearest bit of grass.)
But there are lots of snails back there- big ones too!
Tuesday: Dustin and I ran 5.5 miles together for our first run in Hampstead Heath. It’s a HUGE park, but most of it is trail vs. pavement, which is a little challenging for me. And it is HILLY. I guess I’m going to have to get used to it, as it will be my day-to-day running route. Maybe the hills and trails will make me stronger!
There is a beautiful track right in the Heath, very close to our place, called Parliament Hill Track. I purchased the year pass for £84, but technically it doesn’t open until 7:30 am, so I only think I can make it work on days I work from home. Or I can run after work (but I don’t love that idea!)
Then, it was my first day commuting on the Northern line on the tube! I have a 0.75 mile walk to Belsize Station, and then a straight shot on the Northern line to Leicester Square (i.e. Piccadilly Circus) to my office. I still hope to run commute going forward at least once a week, but the tube commute isn’t bad at all.
10 min core + 10 min body weight strength on Peloton after work.
Wednesday: Solo 8 mile run in the Heath before work. I did a lot of backtracking to try to find the paved paths. 10 min core on Peloton after the run.
Another cool thing about Hampstead Heath- there are 3 swimming ponds open ALL YEAR LONG, one for women, one for men, and one mixed. I hope my swimsuit and goggles arrive before its too cold (though maybe a great place for a quick ice bath/dip!)
Thursday: 9.7 mile run before work; I had read about this Dollis Valley Greenwalk paved path to the north of the Hampstead extension (another section of Hampstead Heath) so I used Strava to help plan a route to get there. My route took me on some very muddy & challenging trails through the Heath, but I did pop out in the neighborhood of Finchley and I was proud of myself for finding the Dollis Valley Greenwalk! I was only able to do about 1.5 sets of my speed intervals on that path before having to turn around to come back through the Heath, but the Dollis Valley path might be a good option for a long run.
At the office on Thursday, a colleague of mine with a friend at BBC news had the scoop by midday that the Queen had died and it would be announced at 6 pm London time. Operation “London Bridge” had begun; there were clues, as all the BBC newscaster had changed to all-black attire as they awaited the formal announcement.
And he was totally right! I left the office right after 6 and there was the breaking news as I emerged from the underground (my current cell phone plan doesn’t work underground.)
I will have a core memory of emerging on a rainy day from Belsize Station after a strange day at work to have a homeless man yell to me, “Ma’am! Ma’am! The Queen has died!”
Many colleagues walked over to Buckingham Palace that evening, but I had already left the office to head home to exercise the dogs at the Heath and then walk to one of the many pubs with Dustin and get the vibe regarding the news with the locals. Its going to be an interesting upcoming 12 days; I feel kind of lucky to be here to experience it first-hand.
Friday: Finally a wfh day. I took Ruth for a quick 4 mile run through the Heath; she loved it, though she would have preferred to be off-lead with ALL the other dogs running around. And multiple other vizslas!
Quick random note– we pronounce vizsla VEESH-LA, whereas everyone here pronounces it VIZZ-LA (like FIZZ). So I feel like I have to say VIZZ-LA or no one knows what I’m talking about!
Speaking of British terms, I have a highlighted story on Instagram of all the British terms I’ve learned. Check it out!
After the run, I did 20 min of core + 10 min of body weight strength on Peloton. I don’t have any weights until our sea shipment arrives, so I’m making do with barre/core/bodyweight. Send me your favorite Peloton classes that don’t require weights please!
Saturday: Dustin decided to run with me (yay!). We ran from our place in Hampstead through Camden to the Regent’s Park, then on to Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace. We checked out the crowds and memorials for the Queen before making our way back, with an extra loop or two of the Regent’s Park to get to 17.75 miles total. Solid long run and I felt way better than last week’s 20, but I am sure some of it was having company and all that was going on around us!
I will admit that a lot of what I know about the Queen is from loving the show The Crown. But it really seems like the British loved her and the whole country is mourning.
Have you watched when she had tea with Paddington Bear for her Jubilee? So sweet. I love that Paddington tweeted this when she passed:
Post-long run, the pups ran their hearts out at the Heath before we walked them to their new vet to get established as patients. Everything is neighborhood driven, and walkable. It’s the best. Definitely something I love about London.
That evening, we took the overground train to Coal Drops Yard for dinner at a tapas place, Barrafina, which was lovely.
Sunday: 6.3 mile run on the trails in the Heath with Dustin and Ruth. We ran by a little wildlife preserve within Goulder’s Green (another part of the Heath) with a deer enclosure, as well as a few random animals- donkeys, wallabies, owls, and a lemur. We will have to go back to check it out a bit closer, not while on a run!
I followed the run with 10 min core + 10 mine barre + 10 min body weight strength on Peloton.
Summary: 59.86 miles- had I known I was that close to 60, I would have added on a bit! Not a great week in strength training, but I’ll try to do better next week.
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!
How wonderful for Ruth and Matilda to have a more pup friendly place to live. You must be thrilled that they’re so happy with their new home. How long until your furniture arrives? I know you mentioned it when you first arrived in London, but I can’t remember.
I’m sure it was/will be very interesting experiencing the pomp and circumstance surrounding the queens passing first hand.
The air shipment arrives today but the furniture is in the sea shipment which was delayed until the end of the month. It will be great to have a regular bed and a couch!!
Hope you enjoy your new home.
Just love looking at your photos. Keep ’em coming.
Kudos on a good week for running and your hubby as a companion.
Thanks Darlene! I like it when Dustin keeps me company on the long run!
Although it’s a very sad time in England, it will be a very interesting experience for you and Dustin to witness firsthand. I am having a hard time saying “King Charles” because it just does not sound right to my American ears (yes, a BIG first world prob). Anyways, looks like a solid week of running! There are so many great bodyweight workouts on the Peloton app…have you tried filtering your search?
I do filter but some instructors are better than others for body weigh. Or do you mean filter by “high ratings?” I want simple strength, not a bunch of HIIT, I get a lot of cardio with running. I’m sure I’ll eventually come across a few that meet that criteria.
It is strange to have a king now! Elizabeth reigned for so so long!
It sounds like you are so much happier in your new neighborhood! I would love all those trails. I’m sure it will be so much more like home once your stuff arrives.
I thought of you upon hearing the news that the Queen had died. What a time to be in London! It has to be very interesting for you. One of the physicians I work with is a Brit and she was glued to her computer between patients. The rest of us were definitely not as invested, lol!
You would love the trails Wendy! I will get used to them I’m sure. So muddy 🙂 I need my trail shoes to arrive (or I guess i could buy a new pair, but I don’t want too much stuff here, there’s not much for storage.)
Hampstead Heath looks like an amazing place to live! 3 pools! An all women’s pool, no less! I remember when we came here with the cats (before going back to get the dogs) — yes a mostly empty house my husband had been living in so there was a mattress on the floor. I feel you! But we didn’t have to wait for a sea shipment. We have friends who’ve done many overseas stints so I know how that can go. Hopefully all your stuff will get there sooner rather than later! You’re getting to live through some amazing history… Read more »
I hope our things arrive before we have visitors! My sister/husband and his sister/husband are coming in October. They will have to find an alternate place to stay if we don’t have our stuff!
I’m glad you’ve got moved OK. And it meant quite a lot to me (that’s the English quite, meaning lots, not the US one meaning a bit) that you went to Buckingham Palace and shared your pictures. I’m not a big monarchist but the Queen’s passing really knocked me, I did really respect and like her. Then there were the logistics of letting clients know when I will be taking the day off for mourning and whether we should run parkrun (thank goodness we did, and people loved that we did).
I am happy you enjoy the pictures! It’s interesting to get your perspective on my experience here!
What a time to be in London! I thought about you there on Thursday when I heard the news. I’m sad, and I’m not British and don’t even have a special fondness for the royal family. But she was queen for SO long! Most people’s entire lives.
Moving is stressful, no matter what. And I didn’t realize you’re still waiting for the rest of your stuff to arrive! But- your new situation looks like a runner’s dream, and a dog’s dream. I love the look of those trails! Nice job getting so much running in with everything going on.
Exactly! She was queen for so long, just a constant for so many people!
Yep, still waiting on the sea shipment.
That was a stunning view you had from your temporary flat but I suspect you’ll love Hampstead so much more. How great to be so close to a nice park. The Brits love their dogs! As soon as we heard the Queen was on “health watch” I figured she’d probably already passed. We happened to be in Paris when Diana was killed there. I’ll never forget the outpouring of grief.
The Brits do love their dogs – and it seems like Hampstead particularly loves their dogs!
wow what an interesting time to be in the UK! They do love the queen. I hope you enjoy your new home. Sounds like it will be fantastic once your stuff comes over.
It will feel much more like home when we have furniture 🙂
It has to be a relief to finally have your own place. I would love to have hills near me. They will make you an even stronger runner than you already are. I am loving all the photos you post.
Only five more weeks? Those marathons seem to sneak up on you.
I’m sure being in London with the Queen’s passing is quite the experience.
I hope you’re right about those hills, they definitely feel tough!
You’ll be in London soon enough Michele!
Wow – such a crazy week for you! I’m glad that the move went *relatively* well and that you are getting settled in. The view from your new place is gorgeous!
I’ve never really paid much attention to the Royal family but I imagine things are very somber and surreal in London right now.
Thank you Kim!
Ha, we have a Vizsla too and just looked up how to say it. We say “Veesh-la.” Which is fascinating because we live in Iowa and I would expect the Iowa and Minnesota pronunciations to be the same! Guess I am going to have to try “Veez-la” on for size!
I must have written the phonetic version wrong, I saw Veesh-la too. I wanted to emphasize how they say VIZZ-LA, like FIZZ- LAH
What an interesting time to be living in London!
Your new location looks lovely and it’s so nice that Ruth & Matilda will be more comfortable. I hope your shipments arrive soon!
I found it amusing that you are shipping your weights over to the UK, but I guess that makes sense! That must be pricey – hope that was a covered expense!
I’m originally from Iowa and my brother and some friends had vizslas. They all pronounced it Veesh-la or Veez-la. So color me surprised to learn your pronunciation!
Ha, I guess it is weird that we are shipping the weights! only the air shipment had a weight limit (500 lbs) but the freight/sea shipment is only a size limit, so we’re bringing the weights!
I wrote the phonetic vizsla wrong- we saw VEESH-LA too, I was trying to emphasize how the Brits all say VIZZ, like FIZZ- LAH.
I can imagine there are so many new words, or pronunciations, over there. Looks like a really great new place to live especially for the dogs. It’s so interesting that all of the websites you linked to has an announcement of the Queen’s passing. What an interesting time to be living there! And hooray that you are getting some of your US stuff soon!
It’s English, but a different kind of English 🙂
Oh my. I will send you all the Peloton bodyweight ones as I have irregular weights access. I think too you can filter by body weight and just ignore the bands ones. So amazing/sad to be there in person. But yes, the BBC was biggest visible crew that the bad news was imminent.
Love the snails, and glad the puppers are loving their new home too. And oops. I thought it was VISH-LA because the person I met with one here said it that way
Thanks Cari! I’ve been filtering by bodyweight, but was curious if anyone had some that were good (that don’t include HIIT moves!)
Look at those snails! Yikes!
What a time to be in England. Seriously. I find the royal family and history absolutely fascinating, and it’s truly incredible how they managed to coordinate this enormous event.
I find it fascinating as well! It’s been cool to learn more while I’m here.
Those swimming ponds are so neat! Hope your swim gear arrives in time for a dip, too. And vizz-la – I had no idea they pronounced it differently over there! Are their tails longer, too? IIRC, they aren’t docked in Europe. Loving seeing all your London adventures, Jessie! New places looks lovely, too 🙂
There’s a documentary about the Hampstead ponds on Netflix! We just started it last night, but haven’t finished. Yes, all the vizslas here have undocked tails…we feel a little guilty about ours!