Lazy weekends in London

While I love weekends away, there are times when all you need is a lazy weekend in your own home and this past weekend I indulged accordingly.

Yogarise, Peckham
Yogarise, Peckham

After a long, hectic week at work, the weekend started on Friday evening with a rocket yoga class at Yogarise in the Bussey Building, Peckham.

Although I do yoga most mornings, it’s been a few weeks since I went to a taught class and it was really useful to check in with a teacher to make sure that I’m practising correctly and working with my breath, as well as to feed off the energy of practising as part of a bigger group.

The class runs for just over 90 minutes and it is always the perfect way to unwind and re-energise ready for the weekend. I was pleased to find that despite feeling totally exhausted when I arrived, I felt strong throughout the class and could feel my months of practice starting to pay off.

On Saturday I got up reasonably early and did another quick yoga session before heading to Park Run. My last Park Run a couple of weeks ago, wasn’t great. I was way off my target splits and felt dreadful, so much so that I had a bit of a tantrum and pulled up after just 4km in protest against myself! So this week I was determined to just go into it relaxed and enjoy it.

Park run Highbury
Sunny Park Run

This strategy seemed to work and I had a good run – not super fast, but a reasonable pace not far off my PB and, more importantly, I had fun.

As I was focusing more on my surroundings and less on the run I became very aware of the complete spectrum of abilities at a Park Run; from the speedy club runners at the front of the pack, to those who are just starting out on their running careers. There was an older man, happy to walk the route, albeit at a fair clip and a number of people alternating between a run and a walk building up from ‘couch to 5k’. There were the guys with legs so strong they looked as though they had been chiselled from stone, lapping everyone with the greatest ease and elegance and a woman, who I saw cross the finish line where her husband and daughter were waiting with a stopwatch, cheering as they let her know she had beaten her previous PB.

Looking at the array of people turning out at 9am on a Saturday morning really made me smile – a whole bunch of us crazy people who just love to run.

We met R’s sister for brunch after the run at a lovely cafe in Kings Cross. It was so nice to get together, even if only briefly, and she told us how her daughters have started climbing. They are only six but incredibly precocious and excel at anything they put their minds to, academic or sporting, and it’s really great to hear that they have discovered climbing.

Stroll in Clissold Park
Stroll in Clissold Park

Inspired by the girls, and after a short stroll to help my hearty brunch go down, I headed to The Castle climbing wall for a couple of hours of bouldering.

It was a reasonable session – I felt more fatigued than I had done during my climb on the previous Wednesday, but focused on getting some miles back in my arms and enjoying the climbs. I can really tell that I’ve been doing plenty of yoga in the time since I was last climbing properly, as I feel really flexible and more aware of my body and positioning than ever before, finding it easier to twist into moves.

On Saturday evening we went to The Sampler in Islington; a wine shop where you can also take some time to taste an array of delicious wines and a place we had been intending to visit for a while. We enjoyed a couple of hours there (and a couple of glasses of wine!) before going on for Turkish food at Gallipoli. A perfectly decadent Saturday evening.

On Sunday I kept my pledge of re-starting my long Sunday runs and, despite the torrential rain, ran just short of 16km along the canal and around Victoria Park. I took my time but felt strong throughout. It was the first run over 10km that I’ve done in a while and it was reassuring to know I still had it in my legs.

Running in the rain also gave me that overwhelming sense of satisfaction when I got back home and it made the cups of tea and muesli on my return all the more delicious.

muriel'sI spent the afternoon with friends, taking a trip to the Piccadilly Whole Foods to restock on protein followed by a delicious vegan supper in Muriel’s Kitchen in Soho, a restaurant chain that I’d also had my eye on for a while. We gossiped over coffees, juices and scrumptious salads, which was bliss. Muriel’s offers meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes – with vegan options clearly marked up on the menu – and it is definitely another place to add to my vegan-friendly London restaurant list.

All in all the most lovely of weekends, bring on next Friday!

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