Run London

in All Posts, Trip to London

I think we both had a lot of trouble sleeping last night (we woke up at 3:30 AM, ready to roll) and were relieved when it was finally ‘time’ to get up.  We got dressed quickly and hit the streets as the sun came up.  The Marble Arch looks so pretty early in the morning, doesn’t it?


On the way to breakfast, I took the necessary “tourist” picture:


For breakfast, we headed back to Pret’s (I have a feeling this is going to be a re-occurring theme for the next few days), and grabbed a delicious and nutritious breakfast:



Granola with yogurt and rhubarb compote + a banana.  This was the first time I’ve had rhubarb compote, and it was divine!


Then it was time to squeeze in some MARATHON training!  Did you know the London Marathon is on April 25 (the day before my 26th birthday)?  Maybe I’ll be back for that!  🙂 After all, the best way to see a city is on foot!


The Husband and I ran a 4.1 mile loop around London, sightseeing and window-shopping as we ran.  It was so much fun! 


Our loop took us past Trafalgar Square



The River Thames


And to our goal:  St. Paul’s Cathedral!  The neatest thing about London (and Europe in general) is that these amazing buildings are nestled among other smaller and less important buildings… it was really neat to just turn a corner and come upon this architectural masterpiece.


Unfortunately, we couldn’t take pictures of the actual cathedral, but here’s what it looked like (source and source):

Pretty amazing, huh?


Did you know a cathedral has stood in that spot for the last 1,400 years?  And in 1666, a fire (the Great Fire of London) burned down the old building.   The present building is just 300 years old (young by English standards!).   The organ is the 3rd largest in all of England and is from the 17th Century.  And of course,  Princess Diana and Prince Charles were married in the cathedral!


I grabbed a Lavender Shortcake at the cathedral’s cafe, which was as delicious as it sounds!


The best part of the St. Paul’s is that we could climb up a scary spiral staircase to the very top dome (you can kind of see it peeking out the top in the first picture). 


In total, there were almost 530 steps!!! My legs were shaking by the very end!   ‘Twas a great workout.




The view at the very top of the cathedral was SO worth the climb!  It was scary, windy, and cold… but beautiful, too!



After the cathedral, we ran a little farther, hopped on the Underground, and headed to Covent Garden for lunch.  I wanted to go to a vegetarian restaurant called Food for Thought (about 20 people e-mailed me to say I had to go!), but it was closed for Boxing Day (which is a major holiday in England).


So instead, we popped into a little corner shop and got a simple and inexpensive lunch:


A hot baked potato and tomato soup.  Yum!  Warmed me right to my bones.


And then back “home” via the Underground!  Transportation in London is so easy.  I wish we had subways like this in Orlando.


Like I said, running through a new city is just so fun.  We saw so many neat sites, and the Husband ran further than he’s ever gone (with me) before! 


I’m going to take a nap and then we’re going to see Oliver at the theatre tonight!


What’s the most beautiful building you’ve ever seen in real life?  I really appreciate outstanding architectural.  There’s a building at the University of Pittsburgh called the Cathedral of Learning, and I just love the look of it!



  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 26, 2009, 10:11 am

    WOW, everything is SO gorgeous! I have nver traveled out of the country so I am really enjoying looking at your pictures, Caitlin! 🙂 I feel like I’m watching a movie!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 26, 2009, 10:12 am

    OH yes – and loved your Pitt shout-out. The cathedral IS beautiful. Especially when you are tanked and trying to find your way home. It always pointed us in the right direction!

    • caitlin December 26, 2009, 12:17 pm

      p-i-t-t lets go pitt!

  • Danielle (Coffee Run) December 26, 2009, 10:14 am

    I haven’t been running long enough to run through a new city but it sounds amazinggg. Do you find that the longer you’re in London, the more you start picking up the accent? I visited London for a week and caught myself starting to talk like them! lol

  • Whitney December 26, 2009, 10:14 am

    Looks lovely. As a fellow Pitt graduate (grad school graduate), you may or may not know that every so often, they have races up all the stairs to the Cathedral of Learning. Haven’t done it yet, but maybe someday!

  • Evan Thomas December 26, 2009, 10:14 am

    That cathedral sounds soooo cool. I love places with that much history.
    I wish there were more places in the states where you could pop in and get a simple potato! That’d be fast food I wouldn’t mind having

  • Tami December 26, 2009, 10:15 am

    you look so relaxed and HAPPY! best wishes for a great trip

  • Cassie December 26, 2009, 10:29 am

    this is so cool! i want to travel in Europe one day!! continue to have an awesome time 🙂

  • Rosey Rebecca December 26, 2009, 10:32 am

    The architecture is beautiful!! I need to go there!!

  • Georgia December 26, 2009, 10:39 am

    Kutna Hora Czech Republic has a cathedral decorated with bones (weird I know!!)- chandliers made of skulls etc.- but it’s amazing and ties into the Black Death during that period. It’s pretty crazy to see history just sitting there.

    And close seconds of course Notre Dame and then The Colloseum is unbeatable.

  • Molly @vegandorm December 26, 2009, 10:46 am

    Oh my god – my heart is aching for London right now! I went to all those places! Running in Hyde Park was the best run of my life – just so beautiful!

  • The Hot and Fit December 26, 2009, 10:51 am

    London’s transport is SO expensive, though!
    I loved the Colgone Cathedral , definitely a masterpiece, and the Baha’i Holy Places in Haifa

  • Melissa S. December 26, 2009, 10:54 am

    man, you are so making me want to go back…since i didn’t get to experience much when i was there at the age of…12! but i remember st. Paul’s cathedral and Trafalgar square!

  • Sammi December 26, 2009, 10:57 am

    We went through Neuschwanstein in Germany when I was younger and that castle is probably the most amazing building I’ve ever seen. I’ve actually been there twice but the first time I was only 6 months old so I don’t really count that!

    Also, basically everything that I saw in Italy was amazing. The Vatican is absolutely breathtaking! Everything in Rome is in a completely different category when it comes to how wonderful it is! When you can stare at a pile of broken down stones for hours, you know it’s special!

  • Julie December 26, 2009, 11:00 am

    So fun!! You guys look like you’re both having a blast.
    I loved seeing the arc de triomph.

  • Lee December 26, 2009, 11:02 am

    I really like one of Gaudi’s builings in Barcelona, but I can’t remember what it’s called. It’s quite the sight.

    Your birthday is 5 days after mine. Well, six years and five days, but we’ll ignore that part!

  • Anne P December 26, 2009, 11:02 am

    I LOVE running around new cities. And Europe…. ahhh it’s so gorgeous. I really miss being in Prague because every time you round a corner there’s another gorgeous architectural masterpiece waiting for you. The most beautiful? The Prague Castle (aka cathedral). It’s spectacular.

  • Kristin December 26, 2009, 11:12 am

    Salisbury Cathedral took my breath away!

    What a great way to see a new city.

  • Britt (Runnerbelle) December 26, 2009, 11:24 am

    I love exploring new places on my run, looks like you had a fun one!

  • Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen December 26, 2009, 11:35 am

    GORGEOUS pictures! How fun to get to run your way through a new city 🙂 The lavendar shortbread sounds beautiful!

  • Lexie December 26, 2009, 11:42 am

    Yay Cathedral of Learning! Hail to Pitt! I get so excited every time you post something about Pittsburgh. I’m a nerd like that! Enjoy the rest of your trip 🙂

  • Angie December 26, 2009, 11:44 am

    I am loving your travel photos through London! It has been years since I have been there and you are bringing back great memories…Thanks for allowing your readers to follow along. Have a wonderful time!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) December 26, 2009, 11:58 am

    Seeing cities on foot is great. That’s how I did Paris and many places in Spain. I miss the metro system from Europe. It was so easy to get around.

    The most beautiful thing that I’ve ever seen is a cathedral in Seville, Spain. So big and gorgeous and full of history. I loved walking past it everyday on my way to school.

  • Sam (Merit to the Carrot) December 26, 2009, 12:00 pm

    I would die to have a run like that through London. You and your husband look like you’re having an incredible time!!

    …and that lavender shortcake looks foodgasmic.

  • caronae December 26, 2009, 12:00 pm

    Lavender shortbread sounds great! I LOVE cathedrals, they’re just so old and fun. Have a great weekend!

  • Karla December 26, 2009, 12:08 pm

    What a great way to see London! Glad to see your enjoying your trip!

  • Susan December 26, 2009, 12:13 pm

    LOVE that picture of you and the husband together. One of the cutest ones I’ve seen on the blog!! One of my favourite things to do when I travel is go for a run, it’s the best way to see the area 😉

    The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen is the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. One of my favourite moments!

  • Kailey December 26, 2009, 12:14 pm

    ahh london looks so pretty!! I bet it was an easy 4 miles since you had such a great scenic route!

  • dorothy December 26, 2009, 12:20 pm

    i remember doing that climb too! i agree it was totally worth it haha 🙂

  • K December 26, 2009, 12:24 pm

    Hi, just a random reader, but I wanted to comment and say you definitely need to go to Food For Thought, it is the Best vegetarian restaurant I’ve ever been to! and I’ve been to quite a few!

    • caitlin December 26, 2009, 12:27 pm

      think we are going to try to go again during the second leg of our trip!

  • Christy December 26, 2009, 12:37 pm

    Haha I love the warning “mind the gap” — you’d never see a saying like that in the United States! Too funny!

  • Harriet December 26, 2009, 12:58 pm

    Your run through London sounds beautiful!

    I can’t even think of the most beautiful building, i love St. Pauls cathedral and so many more. I went to Vienna recently and some of the buildings there are amazing. The Schonbrunn palace, particularly the gardens are beautiful but just so many of the buildings are just wow. Also i stayed in Inverlochy castle in Inverness, Scotland a few years ago and it was just stunning.

  • Laura December 26, 2009, 1:17 pm

    I’m sorry the sun hasn’t come out for you today- it was lovely sunshine further up North. If you like lavender shortbread, you should try lavender scones! I, too loved the architecture when I lived in London…I used to have my uni exams in The City near St. Pauls! The Strand, near Covent Garden has some grand old buildings and Hampstead is really posh but very quaint. Regents Park is lovely, and great to run around- you could then pick up some really nice food in Camden-(just don’t buy the magic mushrooms!), or Wagamamas (Japanese) is really nice and very vegetarian friendly. Also, check out Charlotte Street, a whole street of really nice restaurants- just off Oxford/Regents St, so you could always do some sale shopping at Topshop or Nike! My favourite places for architecture so far are probably in Greece- the Parthenon, Oia on Santorini or Knossos on Crete. Love Greece! Hope your jet lag settles soon, very impressed you can run in spite of it!

  • Katie December 26, 2009, 1:40 pm


    The first time I went to London I was PSYCHED to find Prets too!

    The most beautiful buildings I have seen have been on international trips with work.

    Hope you’re having fun.

    Happy Saturday,


  • MelissaNibbles December 26, 2009, 1:41 pm

    Amazing. Thank you for sharing with us. I’ve always wanted to go there and now I’m going to start saving. I have to go!

  • Jenna December 26, 2009, 2:41 pm

    everything looks great!

  • Nicole - Geek Turned Athlete December 26, 2009, 3:10 pm

    The jetlag is always worse going to Europe than it is going back to the east coast! Trust me, I’ve done it a lot! Stop taking naps, and I swear it will be easier. 🙂

    I ran a half marathon in Prague for my birthday this past year, and I would have to say that was the most beautiful city that I’ve ever been to with the cathedrals, theaters, little shops, fairs, and old old cobblestone streets.

    Have fun in England, and remember to mind the gap! haha

    Don’t ask to slap anyone’s fanny over there! Completely different meaning!! 😉

  • becky December 26, 2009, 3:50 pm

    the most beautiful thing i ever saw was my when i caught sight that my mom did my laundry for me the day after i came home from college for break. what a view that was.

  • Saima December 26, 2009, 4:07 pm

    Boxing Day is a big holiday in Canada as well…we dont have Black friday here!

  • Anna December 26, 2009, 4:48 pm

    I’m so glad you already got a chance to go to St. Paul’s Cathedral… so beautiful. Ah, your post with the baked potato just reminded me of all the baked potato bars in Scotland, I wonder if they exist in London too. Basically just small shops where you can grab a baked potato and choose which toppings you want on it. So great… actually, that sounds like the perfect dinner tonight.

  • lauren (athlEAT) December 26, 2009, 5:36 pm

    so fun to see you in London! I spent a spring semester in college over there and LOVED it. Want to go back so badly. Enjoy!

  • Tina December 26, 2009, 5:48 pm

    Prets is everywhere, including the US! You guys should explore other restaurant options. You’re in London afterall! When are you going to have the chance to eat unique cuisine again! Take advantage if their ethnic options and eat your heart out! You can explore options while practicing moderation!

  • Abby December 26, 2009, 5:51 pm

    P-I-T-T Let’s go pitt! I hear ya about the Cathedral! And I’m so jealous of your run. It’s a dream of mine!!!

  • Jenny December 26, 2009, 6:06 pm

    That seems like a really fun and different way to play tourist in a city, especially a city like London! Looks like y’all are having a wonderful experience.

    It’s really hard for me to decide where I’ve seen the most beautiful buildings, probably Florence, Italy. I really appreciated the art and architecture there.

  • Michelle@eatingjourney December 26, 2009, 6:20 pm

    It’s the 4am curse. No matter where you travel, you always wake up at that time. It’s weird.

    1. The Taj Mahal
    2. The mountains of East Timor at sunrise
    3. The read dirt roads of the Australia outback

    I couldn’t pick just one. Enjoy.

  • MaryJoe December 26, 2009, 7:31 pm

    hey this is a real nice post and i also like your blog layout designs, have bookmarked your site and looking for more updates.

  • Erin December 26, 2009, 7:33 pm

    I used to spend SO much time and money at Pret — you’re right, the English have mastered packaged sandwiches!

    The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Il Duomo in Florence or this tiny church we stumbled on in Ireland.

  • Kelly Michelle December 26, 2009, 7:39 pm

    you are making me miss London even though I only spent a weekend there! Love the husbands Miami sweatshirt sooooo much 🙂 I too with Florida had undergrounds like that although I’m pretty sure they would be underwater…

  • Carolyn December 26, 2009, 7:45 pm

    Hope you make it to that restaurant soon! I’d love to read about it!

  • Monica December 26, 2009, 7:49 pm

    Mmm I love Pret, but they opened up all over the US now too so maybe there is one near you! I know there is one on every corner in the city (NY) haha:) Glad you’re having fun, I’m so jealous it looks beautiful!

  • Amy December 26, 2009, 8:19 pm

    Wow! Looks like a great trip. And the weather is pretty clear – fantastic pictures from the cathedral. I’ll have to do some thinking (or maybe perusing my old pics) on my favorite building. I like the overall architecture of buildings, but I really love architectural detail (like cool door handles, or the way an arch is formed). Not to burst your bubble, but I think you would have already had to put your lottery bid in for the London Marathon. However, there are always charity spots that you could still get. It’s a great marathon, but can feel a little crowded because of the narrow streets. It was still an awesome experience though. Keep having fun, Amy

  • Lisa December 26, 2009, 8:27 pm

    Going for a run is SUCH a great way to see a new city. My brother lives in NYC and when I go I make sure and lace up for a jog…and I always see something new! Makes running so much more enjoyable!

  • Kristina December 26, 2009, 9:18 pm

    The most beautiful building I’ve ever been to? Westminster Abbey by far 🙂 The Cathedral of Learning is pretty cool though. I loved studying at the big wooden tables on the ground floor.

    I’m so loving your photos…you’re bringing back so many memories of my favorite city! Both times I’ve been in London, I’ve stayed at The Edward Lear (, which is right off of Oxford Street, and right around the corner from Marble Arch! My first time in London, I did all the steps to the top of St. Paul’s and have a similar photo of myself up there!! You’ve got to walk the Millennium Bridge from St. Paul’s over to the Tate Modern…such a cool view from the Thames!

  • Jolene ( December 26, 2009, 11:42 pm

    The most beautiful buildings I have seen in real life are all the buildings in Havana. Lovely.

    Your hair looks so good pulled back!! Very pretty!!

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