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May 31, 2012 / Stephanie Vermillion

London sightseeing with a twist of training

London is home to hundreds of historical, must-see sights and is a hub for international food options (I saw a Moroccan restaurant down the street and almost cried with couscous delight). I want to see, do and taste every bit of London that I can, but with a study/intern schedule, our time is limited. And, because I don’t have enough to keep me busy, I’d like to squeeze in some marathon training on top of all of that. Slightly intense and stressful, but I’ll ignore that minor detail.

Fortunately, I’ve developed a solution. Instead of trying to fit anything and everything into the few hours of time off we have per day, I’ve chosen to create my own “training tours” to knock some sights off my quite extensive must-see list, as well as get in my marathon training miles.

Peter Pan statue, Kensington Gardens, London

So where does the food come in? Well with my parents and brother just arriving in London this morning, you can bet I’m going to “fuel up” for all my runs with some delicious London delicacies — starting tonight with (fingers crossed) some fabulous fish ‘n chips.

At first, my “training tours” brought me to Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park, where I saw Kensington Palace, the Peter Pan statue, Circle Pond (which I still call Swan Lake), and the Princess Diana Memorial. After mastering those routes with only a few slight directionally-challenged mishaps, I’m now extending my routes to include Buckingham Palace, St. James Park, and, just this morning, the Horse Guards Arch, where I witnessed my first Changing of the Guards. What perfect timing for this upcoming royal weekend!

Here’s some Changing of the Guards footage, followed by a gallery of the incredible sights I’ve been lucky enough to see while upping my marathon mileage and earning my fair share of fish, chips and, my dad’s favorite, mushy peas!

*Sights seen while training — talk about marathon training motivation!

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