Twenty Miles of Smiles

I’ve been runnin’ yeahhh. A couple of  weekends ago I did my pre marathon 20 mile (or 32km in my metric speak) training run. I could give you a boring run down of what time I woke up, what I had for breakfast and all of my bowel movements for the day but instead I have twenty things that made me smile over the twenty miles.

 Twenty Miles of Smiles

1. A new route, I kicked off the happy feelings by dumping Richmond Park for the day and trying a new and unknown route.
2. Rallying the troops, I sent a tweet out asking for pals and I got some.
3. Charlie – the virtual buddy! Charlie was running her long run the same day and although we couldn’t run together thoughts of her helped! Especially as she’d already done 8miles but the time I’d done 5km
4. Home made Courgette Granola Bars to start me off.

Twenty Miles of Smiles GranolaTwenty Miles of Smiles Granola bar

5. 4 fridges, in a row, abandoned in the middle of nowhere. Where they dumped together or are they breeding?
6. Bridges, London’s bridges always amaze me in their variety and are a nice way to tick off distance on your run, from Wandsworth utilitarian number to this pretty pastel fairground bridge (Albert Bridge)!Twenty Miles of Smiles Bridges
7. Landscape gardens, lots of the new housing developments have bits of landscaped gardens which you can run through, it’s great to break up the monotony of running next to the river with a bit of green and some pretty flowers.

Twenty Miles of Smiles Gardens
8. Outdoor gyms, one of the bits of parkland 5km from home had an outdoor gym/trail. I’d like to run over there and play when I’m not training for Bacchus.
9. Imperial Wharf, wow it’s sooo cool! I want to live here. I spent my kms through here, imagining my life in one of their penthouses.
10. Tweets and texts, thanks to everyone who sent me a little tweet or text as I was running around. It really spurred me on everytime.
11. Pedestrian traffic light at chelsea harbour, there is a little lock with a bridge that raises to let boats in and out, the fact that it had a proper traffic light to stop pedestrians going over made me smile – health and safety!
12. Laureen, at 10km in the beautiful Laureen joined me on my run. It was so lovely to have company, someone to pace me and lots to talk about.

Twenty Miles of Smiles MI5
13. Chris, at 15km ish Chris found us, I’ve known Chris for years and he is training for the Royal Parks Ultra. He ran 8km to meet us and paced us the rest of the way because he is a speedster, and also in a band – check them out.

Twenty Miles of Smiles Chris

14. Poppies, shortly after we met Chris, Laureen mentioned that we were near the poppy installation at the Tower of London, so we took a detour and enjoyed the art. Yes it’s not very representative of the marathon to stop and take poppy pictures, but it was fun.

Twenty Miles of Smiles Poppy
15. New jobs, running along we discovered that all of us were about to embark on a new stage in our careers, this sorted the conversation! Congrats Chris and Laureen on your new endeavours. This may be the first you’ve heard about my new job I’ll update you more soon.
16. The Ship’s toilet, over a 33km run you are almost certainly going to need the toilet, The Ship came at just the right moment, had just opened and the staff kindly let us pop to their VERY nice loos. Thanks guys!
17. A race in Battersea Park, I was glad to have Chris with me as he knows this side of the river, otherwise I may have missed Battersea Park altogether. There was a little race going on with runners of all ages, some holding mummy and daddy’s hands but no race numbers or signage so we don’t know what the race was.
18. Charlie 2, my other Charlie couldn’t meet us on the run, but ran to waterloo, hopped on a train and timed herself perfectly to meet us whilst we stretched outside Putney station (see above picture of Chris). It was fab to get her little text updates with where she was as we ran the last 5-6km, I couldn’t slow down, we had to meet Charlie.

Twenty Miles of Smiles Nuun
19. A sprint finish, as Chris and I ran up Putney high street I realised the station would be 32.5km, I knew Chris would be up for it, so we speeded our legs up and gave it a sprint finish to round it up to 33kms. Resulting in some nice little stats…

Twenty Miles of Smiles Splits
20. Smoothies and cinnamon rolls! I had the foresight to make cinnamon rolls for our post run treat, whilst running I planned a smoothie recipe and the two came together a dream. Chris, Charlie and I chatted fueling, running, yoga, and all manner of things whilst we scoffed cinnamon buns, a perfect cool down.

Twenty Miles of Smiles Buns

What makes you smile when you are out on a run?

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20 comments

  1. Audrey says:

    Love this recap. It made me smile a lot.
    I was thinking “okay tonight I just want to go home” but now I think I’m gonna go for a little run!

  2. Maria @ runningcupcake says:

    Breeding fridges made me laugh! I love seeing rabbits when I am running- that usually keeps my brain occupied for the next mile while I think about them. Cinnamon rolls for after a run are great too, especially home-made .

    • Stephanie says:

      Rabbits are pretty rare round here! I occasionally see them on my morning run commute through Richmond Park, next time I’ll try and count them! Home-made is always best in my book 😉

  3. Dana says:

    I love this!! My long runs are certainly nowhere near as long as 20 miles (yet!) and I tend to dread them and struggle while I’m running, but I might adopt this idea as a way to make them more fun. For every mile, I’m going to try to find something that makes me smile and think of the positives! :)

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Dana, my long runs aren’t normally this long! Are you training for something at the moment? I use a few different methods like this on the really long ones. I think the route makes or breaks a long run!

      • Dana says:

        I am, I’m currently training for my first half marathon which is in 2 months (yikes!). My longest long run so far has only been 5 miles, but even that small a distance is a bit of a struggle for me. I think you’re right – the route makes or breaks the run, and I definitely need to find a more exciting route than my same old thing!

        • Stephanie says:

          Dana I was in the same place as you a year ago, you’ll get there. 2 months is plenty of time, do you have a plan in place? Running with friends helps a lot too!

  4. Sarah says:

    Aw, this is a lovely post- such a nice way to recap a run! I’m well tempted to do a marathon again just to fill the long miles with fun again- definitely where I fell foul last time.

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