Just around the river bend … and then some

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So on Saturday Lissy, Laureen and I set off to cover a crazy 20 miles, the last long run before the MARATHON!!!!! Cara also joined us for 10 miles in prep for her upcoming half marathon!

Lissy had put together an awesome route starting at Warwick Avenue following the canal all the way to Limehouse Basin then joining the river back West with a victory lap of Hyde Park to finish!  So with the sunshine promising to show we set off … only slightly daunted by the 20 miles ahead of us!?!

The first half of the route was AMAZING!  The sun was definitely shining (though not ideal when you are testing your new marathon outfit which sadly happens to be predominately black – colours to be added soon!) and the Canal itself provided the perfect distraction from any running worries.  I particularly loved the section between Angel and Mile End as I spotted a good few new brunch places and even a yoga class which was taking part right in front of the river – gorgeous!

By the time we reached Limehouse I think I am right in saying we were all feeling pretty good, the sun was out, we had passed lots of fellow runners (some again providing a nice distraction ;D) who were definitely doing their “long” run too and the route so far was perfect.

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Me, Lissy, Laureen and Cara enjoying Canary Wharf behind us!

On leaving Limehouse we joined the river and headed back West whilst celebrating passing the 10 mile marker! HALF WAY!  When we got to the bend around Wapping station the fantastic scenery just kept coming!

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London is truly amazing in the sunshine!

After a quick detour for a toilet stop at Lissy’s house just behind Tower Bridge we continued on the North side of the river – a route all three of us know far too well!  It was quite nice to be back on familiar territory, though it does have pros and cons – you know where you are … which means you also know how far you have to go!

14 miles in, around Temple/Embankment, it was clear we were all starting to feel a little overwhelmed about the distance we still had left to clear.  However, cleverly we decided that we would take a slightly different route through St James’s Park as we had gained miles with earlier detours.  This was a genius idea because when you turn into St James’s Park you are greeted by the most beautiful view of flowers in FULL BLOOM!  The three of us could not help but beam from ear to ear, it definitely but a serious spring (ha) in our step!!!

By the time we reached Hyde Park the end was in sight and with the help of a serious music blast (thank you to Mista Jam’s Old Skool Garage Mix) we toured around and then of course I couldn’t help but sprint all the way down Exhibition Road with the BIGGEST GRIN ON MY FACE!  People were definitely looking at me with very confused expressions but I DID NOT CARE!  Seriously nothing could stop me smiling I had actually finished the longest run of my life and … well … I didn’t feel too bad … a little “sun kissed” (I knew I would have a red nose) but otherwise NOT BAD AT ALL … well actually hungry … definitely hungry!

So onto Muriel’s Kitchen for a feast!  I will write a full report soon but for now … we all had a very lovely healthy lunch, salmon, meatballs (which were HUGE) and gorgeous filling salads…but let’s get to the important stuff .. the cake!

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Laureen went for the lemon & polenta cake, I of course choose a warm fruit scone with serious amounts of jam and fresh cream and Lissy opted for the orange and coconut loaf!!  I would definitely recommend Muriel’s, it has a gorgeous interior, the staff are extremely helpful and the food is GOOD but be warned it is a little on the pricey side … but hey!

All in all my day was amazing, once again I loved running with some of the TNR ladies, the sun shined and I felt – dare I say – comfortable in my 20 mile run.  Lissy and I decided to celebrate the run with a glass of wine and some food in Shoreditch …

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This may have turned into a few cocktails and chocolate bars  …

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But hey life is all about balance and if you cannot celebrate with passion fruit mojitos and my new discovery – Picnic chocolate bars – after 20 miles when can you ;D!

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