This morning I met up with Flora for our first steady-state run, together with breakfast. It’s the first time we’d met really so it was sooo lovely to have a good run and get to know each other a bit more! We were also joined by another friend of hers, which was also so nice. I haven’t ever really run with people before so I wasn’t sure how it would go but it was amazing! I loved it. We thought we’d run about 7-8km through the Putney/Barnes loop, so we met up at Hammersmith Bridge.
As it happens, the Putney/Barnes loop is actually 12.6km! If I’d known that in advance I wouldn’t have done it because it’s my first proper run since I got injured (not counting the intervals during the week) and as stupid as I am I’m not that silly – 12km is a lot more than 0km! It’s also a lot more than the 4/5km I did earlier in the week in intervals. But my foot held up fine! It was getting a little achey towards the end, but other than that it wasn’t too bad. I can tell I’m not running quite right on it – my heel’s coming down way more on the damaged side than on my right foot – but it’s not too bad and I’m keeping an eye on it. It is super-sore now, but that’s not too surprising given that it’s the first time it’s had to do a proper run, and I spent a good 45 minutes stretching it out when I got home as well which is definitely going to help … Anyway, that aside, the Putney/Barnes loop is suuuuuch a gorgeous run. It’s probably 60% trail and 40% tarmac, all along the Thames – basically from Hammersmith Bridge we ran down the tarmac Thames Path on the north side, through Bishop’s Park, over Putney Bridge and then back up along the trail on the south side through to Barnes, over Barnes Bridge and back along the tarmac path to where we’d started. I have to admit that the pictures here weren’t taken today (actually I took them on Christmas Day when my sister and I walked the same route) but it was kinda grey and miserable today so these look better :). Even when it is grey though it’s still lovely out, not only because it looks so picturesque but also because it’s got such a lovely vibe. It’s full of runners, cyclists, families, walkers, dogs … which makes it sound chaotic but it’s still got plenty of room to run.
After our little runabout we headed off to to Cafe Plum for breakfast. I’d definitely recommend it – it’s a totally chill cafe just behind the river in Hammersmith, although there are also two other branches in Fulham. We both had the poached eggs with bacon and – importantly – a freshly squeezed juice … the juice was amazing. You can make your own from a list of various options so I had carrot, orange, grapefruit and ginseng. DELISH. The best thing about exercise is sooo the food. I’ve actually literally spent the entire weekend eating so it’s probably just as well we did go for 12km, that might’ve worked off about 1/8 of the massive Burmese feast I had last night … and the brunch I had at Lantana … oops …
Anyway, it was absolutely lovely hanging out with Flora, I’m so glad we got to meet properly finally and that we had such a nice time. I’m also glad our run paces aren’t a million miles off each other’s, although Flora’s definitely got more stamina than me, I was pretty much done but she’d done more than me to start with (she jogged up to Hammersmith Bridge, I took a nice leisurely walk from my flat) and she jogged home (ditto on the walk for me). But at least I just about managed to hold my own phew! I’m really looking forward to the next time!