Bright lights, big city

We've been in London this week, mostly on holiday although I was also down to speak at a conference on Wednesday.

As some of you know, our daughter Rebecca lives in London, working as a senior designer in a textile design studio. We've always loved London, and since Rebecca moved down we've got to know a different side to the city – away from the main tourist areas.

Bex lives in Balham, which is a beautiful little suburb on the South of the river. We'd never heard of Balham before she moved there. It's a busy little place, with lots of great cafes & restaurants, yet only half an hour from the centre of London.

As always, I took my running gear with me – I love running in London. This time though, I'm in the midst of marathon training, so instead of easy plods around Clapham Common, Tuesday's session was 6-8 x 1000m. I thought about going down to Battersea and doing this on the track, but instead chose to do it around the Common. That was my first mistake.

Next, my Garmin Vivoactive doesn't let you pre-program workouts, so I was working from memory, and for some reason I had it in my head that 1000m was 0.67 mile, not 0.625. I just couldn't get into a rhythm. I was also tired from last Sunday's 16 mile run – I guess that's why these intervals are usually done on a Thursday! However we were going to a dinner on Wednesday evening after the conference, so I decided to do the session on tired legs. Another mistake.

I pushed on and got the session done, but it wasn't a good one. We more than made up for it with brunch at H Street Deli in Balham though – my granola was incredible as you can see from the picture below.

I didn't run on Wednesday because I was speaking at the conference, so Thursday was my second run in the capital. This time it was just an hour's easy run, which I did around the Commons – Clapham, Wandsworth & Tooting. You forget how green London is.

I'm used to running around a small village or in the countryside, where I might pass the odd dog walker, field of sheep or horses. London is the other end of the scale. People everywhere! So many runners, and more cyclists than you can shake a stick at. At times it feels like you're running in a race there are so many other runners around. I kinda like that.

So on the whole, not my best running week, but I toughed it out, got to spend time with Bex & Joanna in one of my favourite cities and ate some amazing food, so I can't really complain.


This week in numbers:

  • Miles run – 30
  • Time on my feet – 4:29:50
  • Amazing brunches eaten – 3

Oh, and by the way – if you happen to be in London between now & September, go and watch Hamlet starring Andrew Scott (you'll recognise home from Sherlock Homes). It was an outstanding performance!

4 thoughts on “Bright lights, big city

  1. Haha if you go to the Battersea track when you’re down then I bet we’ve seen each other before – I can usually be found lurking somewhere in the depths of the track. Your runs sound great – and you are correct, every run in London is a race 😁 . Glad you had a great week!

  2. Great pics Ali, sounds like you’ve had a great holiday! Training never goes perfectly when traveling but sounds like you made some good adjustments and got some nice work in. Glad you are enjoying London and being with the fam!

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