London by Boot and Shoe: What I Miss About Trail Running

Tayte Pollmann’s articles are supported by American Trail Running Association corporate member Nike Trail Running. You can follow Tayte’s adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I had to “walk” using crutches for 2 weeks following achilles reconstruction surgery. Weaning myself from these walking assistants over the past month has been an education for my mind and body. I don’t remember the feeling of learning to walk for the first time, but the feeling of learning a second time has been amazing! This past week I’ve been walking all over London, as I await my final visit on February 4 with my doctor. I look forward to the day I can run, but for now, walking has helped me enjoy many of the benefits of running that I’ve been missing. Walking, like running, can be an effective way to develop healthy routines, enjoy some fresh air, and experience one’s surroundings.

Find Purpose in a Healthy Routine

One of the things I miss most about running is its sense of routine. Before my injury, I loved to go to sleep with my running clothes on and wake up the next morning ready to run. This routine helped me relax, feel good from running endorphins and define who I was as a runner by doing what I loved everyday. When I was no longer able to run, I lost this routine and felt confused about how to make my day as meaningful.

Walking everyday has become a new meaningful routine and filled a void in my life. Moving on my two feet makes me happy and reminds me I’m on the right path to running strong again. Walking, like running, is something that can easily be done everyday because all you need is a pair of shoes, (or in my case a medical grade aircast boot and one right shoe!). Check out the video below to see some of my walks around London’s Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Plus, see the inside of London’s famous Double-Decker bus!

Enjoy Some Fresh Air

One of the best parts of running is that it gives you the chance to be outdoors. I’ve spent much time indoors since my operation and have been missing the outdoors. I recently found a creative way to enjoy the French Pyrénées mountains on a stationary bike, and as my walking has improved I’ve spent more and more time outside. There is a definite satisfaction to breathing fresh air, feeling the sunshine, rain and snow, and remembering that every day is shaped by nature in a unique way. My daily walks, even on a rain-soaked day in London, remind me why I love the outdoors. Check out the video below to see my walk through London’s Greenwich Market and exploration around Greenwich Park.

Know Your Surroundings

One of the best ways to get familiar with a city is to experience it on a run. I’ve memorized the streets and trails around my parents’ house in Sandy, Utah by running them countless times. Similarly, it’s fun to run upon arriving in new places to get the “lay of the land” and see what one can discover. Since I’ve committed to walking every day in London, I’ve seen many amazing attractions including Tower Bridge, The Shard, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe, Buckingham Palace, The National Maritime Museum, The British Library, The Barbican Center, Big Ben, The London Eye, and Westminster Abbey. Additionally, I’ve come across some of London’s hidden gems like a library located on a barge in the Regent’s Canal and the Crodough, a croissant shaped like a donut. Check out the video clip below to see the “book barge,” London street performers and more!

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