A day off !

Happy Monday everyone. To those of you in the South of England, I hope you have survived the storm………. still in one piece in Hertfordshire but the windows did rattle overnight !

In my earlier blog about getting ready for winter training I talked about planning special events with family and friends that have nothing to do with this all-consuming triathlon hobby. It’s great for the spirit, mind and body and reminds us that you do have more in your life. That is exactly what I did this weekend !

My parent’s wedding anniversary (46 years, wow, wow, wow) and my birthday (40 boo, boo, boo) are about 10 days apart and so we decided to spend the weekend together. It was never going to be a full-blown party, party weekend, more a relaxing weekend doing things together as family. As it turns out, it came at a perfect time for me as earlier in the week I was finding training a struggle, starting to have feelings of doubt about why am I doing this, I’m not getting any faster / fitter / slimmer etc etc – it was apparent that I needed to listen to my mind and have a little break. Any potential feelings of guilt at missing workouts was taken care of by doing my long sessions during the week, so the only thing was a cross county race on the Sunday morning which was with my running club, so it would be with friends.

Mum & Dad, Covent Garden, 46 years married !
Mum & Dad, Covent Garden, 46 years married !

London was the destination for the day……….. nothing really planned, just jumping on a train and heading into the big smoke. Looking back what we actually did was wander around from one place to sit to another, normally involving food, but who cares ?

First stop was Leicester square and a café called Muriel’s Kitchen http://murielskitchen.co.uk/. This was a quaint place with lots of yummy things to eat and interesting things to look at. Next time I want to sit at the table with the hanging chairs !! It is a small chain that started in 2011 in South Kensington and the food is inspired by the owners’ real grandmother and her passion for feeding the family and supporting family run suppliers. My flapjack was delicious and the rest of the goodies on display meant it is now on my ‘come back again’ list !!

Next stop was the National Portrait Gallery, always a favourite of ours as the exhibits are always changing. We took the time to see the rooms designated to the work of Martin Yeo and I have to admit to being blown away by paintings of Kevin Spacey and Helena Bonham Carter. We then took a walk around the ‘Elizabeth I and her people’ exhibition, which is only avaliable for a limited time.

National Portrait Gallery
National Portrait Gallery

Was it time to find something to eat……… again ? Yes, I think so………… off to Covent Garden we went and decided to try Jamie Oliver’s Union Jacks restaurant http://www.unionjacksrestaurants.com/home. For those that haven’t been, its a small oasis amongst the chaos of the crowds, street entertainers and shops……… fun ! Great food, cooked in an open kitchen and full of local and artisan ingredients, even wine from a Kent supplier. We even saw a celebrity, and I would consider Emma Thompson A-list right ?? If it’s a place visited by British film royalty, then is ok by me !!

Jamie's Union Jacks, Convent Garden
Jamie’s Union Jacks, Convent Garden

Next stop was the Odeon cinema on Shaftesbury Avenue for ‘Captain Phillips’, the movie with Tom Hanks as the captain of a container ship, attacked by pirates on its journey around the African coast. I honestly wasn’t sure if it I was in the mood , but the film was full of tension and I was surprised to find myself fully engrossed.

We were ready to head home after this. It was a cramped but short journey on the tube back to Kings Cross and an uneventful train ride home.

It was the perfect therapy to wander around, without a plan to follow and I realized this when I woke up on Sunday morning, looking forward to the 5 mile cross-country race ahead of me. Something to do with the extra hour of sleep too ? Probably 🙂

A perfect morning for a cross country run, Cheshunt Park, Herts
A perfect morning for a cross-country run, Cheshunt Park, Herts

As time goes on, and we get into the middle of an intense training plan and start to focus on new time goals and self-driven expectations, we forget what we know to be right – rest and recuperation is a crucial part of any training program ! Will I forget about rest and recuperation again ? Probably but perhaps this blog will be my reminder this time !!

Time to say cheerio for now and speak soon

Catherine, Age Group girl

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