Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 31

Last week of my half term break. It’s been so good to have a bit of time to myself after a really tiring term, and I fully expect even more to come at me in the weeks ahead. But for now, my only aim was to continue with my holiday routine and make sure I was going back as rested as possible. Here’s what I got up to:

Monday – 4 miles + living room workout + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 10k + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – 6.2 miles
Sunday – 10 miles

On Monday morning I took a look at the new scavenger hunt list and initially thought it might be a bit tricky, however once I had engaged my brain (and discussed some of the items with Steve) I realised that most of them could be found reasonably close together. I headed off to try and get them and while I was out thought it might be fun to try and complete the hunt all in one run. I actually ended up doing just that and was the first to submit my pictures to the group this week. I’ve found all the hunts fun but this was a nice way to change things up while I was still on holiday from work.

I spent the rest of the day working on a blog post, catching up on some tv and then opted for Hocus Pocus for my afternoon movie. I know I’ve seen this before but it must have been YEARS ago and I know lots of people, especially in the US, get really excited about this one every Hallowe’en so it was fun to remind myself of it. I don’t think I’ll leave it so long before watching again.

It was another living room workout thanks to the dreary weather, then my usual Hatha yoga class. I also discovered that it was International Gin and Tonic day, and it seemed rude not to mark the occasion.

Tuesday was also pretty miserable weather-wise and I was fairly wet when I got in from my run thanks to that fine drizzle that makes the entire air around you wet. It would have been easy to feel sluggish and lethargic with this weather, but I actually ended up having an incredibly productive day. I worked on two blog posts then did two Disney quizzes on YouTube whilst working on making two new Minnie ear holders (I made a couple of these earlier in Lockdown but my trip to DLP meant lots of new pairs of ears and nowhere to keep them!). No workout as Steve had a project of his own – his first go at making tiramisu. It was delicious!

Thankfully much better weather on Wednesday morning (although I wasn’t convinced it was going to last all day!) so I headed out to start my day with a 10k. I enjoyed not having to be in rainy day gear and just enjoyed the autumn air. 

I hadn’t slept too well the night before (no real reason, just one of those things) so wanted to have a fairly lazy day. After lunch I settled down to watch Maleficent for the first time and really enjoyed it (I’ve head the sequel isn’t quite so good). The start of the film really reminded me of the scenery in Flight of Passage (the fantastic Avatar ride at Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World). Really pretty and green with a few more unusual touches to show us it wasn’t our world. I wonder if that was a conscious decision? I actually felt sleepy about half way through the film so paused it for a quick nap and felt much better afterwards.

I also had to pause the movie when my package came from Disney – a new selection of face masks to cheer me up into the new term:

Steve had suggested getting fish and chips for our dinner so he went away out to pick that up. We don’t often get takeaway food these days and definitely haven’t had a takeaway since Lockdown restrictions were imposed in March, but I suspect we haven’t actually had a takeaway at all in 2020 so far so this felt like quite a treat. Sometimes it’s the simple things like a “chippy tea” that liven up a day. Steve had had a really good day work-wise so he wanted to have a mini celebration (work has been tough for the self employed this year) so it was fish and chips, the leftover tiramisu (things like this are always better on the second day) and a beer whilst catching up with the latest from the Bake Off tent and another episode of Shetland – we’re in the last series of this now so we’ll soon be looking for our next box set. Any suggestions? I had a really nice day chilling out and then being a little indulgent in the evening. Simple pleasures.

Thursday actually ended up being fairly lazy as well as Steve had quite a lot on so he was in and out the house all day. I started with a run and was happy that the weather was good enough for shorts and T-shirt with no gilet/hat/extra layer needed. Always a win at this time of year! I also spotted another fun Hallowe’en display:

Post-run I put together another pot of chilli so we would have lots of batch cooking in the freezer and stretch out the time until I would need to make another batch once the new term gets underway (I was proud of myself for that plan!). Then in the afternoon I decided to give Maleficent: Mistress of Evil a go. I think I agree that it’s not so good as the first one, but I still enjoyed watching it. I wonder if the first one is better because it’s a re-imagining of the familiar story, whereas this one is something new? 

I also spent some time reading my book before heading upstairs for my yoga session.

Friday was grey and damp and the route I chose had so many wet leaves on the paths that I had to take it easy for fear of slipping. I always forget about this until the leaves start to fall en masse and the weather is wet. I wouldn’t want to slip and get injured!

More fun, was Steve making a fresh batch of cookies. I had ordered some Disney-themed cookie cutters so he made me a Mickey Mouse-shaped one.

For my afternoon entertainment I began with Once Upon a Snowman (the new Frozen short with Olaf’s back story – I do love him!) then decided to give Descendants a go. It really reminded me of High School Musical but with the “villain children” (no surprise there since it’s the same director) and I really enjoyed watching it. My sister has been on at me to watch this for ages and now I see why!

I also had another delivery that day. Have I been doing too much online shopping??? This one was a pair of Minnie ears I wanted to complete my “2020” themed collection. A funny year to want to remember, but no doubt interesting to look back on in future.

Steve was able to take me through a living room workout using my resistance band and some body weight exercises, then since it was a nice evening I nipped out for a quick walk before settling down for some relaxing yoga. Later it was Friday night movie time (I suggested to Steve that we try to carry on our Marvel MCU project on Fridays rather than Saturdays now since Strictly Come Dancing has started the live shows). This week’s movie was Thor: The Dark World, which was another great instalment.

I had been aware that the weather forecast for Saturday morning wasn’t too encouraging, and when I got up to feed the cats it just sounded hideous outside. Confident that it would clear up later, I opted to go back to bed for a snooze then read some of my book for a while. It meant going out slightly later for my (not)parkrun, but it was worth it to avoid being soaked as soon as I stepped outside!

Fortunately, it was another good week for us on the parkrun quiz and we scored 10/15. My proudest moment was being able to figure out a speed/distance/time calculation and come up with the right answer! ☺️

My afternoon was really lovely: I read a bit more, finished up my Minnie ear holders (they needed the “feet” glued on and the clay was dry ready to do this) then settled down to watch Descendants 2. It was a fun sequel and there’s one more movie in the franchise for me to watch when I get a chance.

After my bath it was time for dinner and the opening night of Strictly. I was soooo happy to see a bit of sequin and sparkle again – we REALLY need it this year!

We headed off to bed knowing that there was the opportunity for an “extra hour”, but knowing realistically that there was no way to reset the resident “spokescat” who would start making a fuss about breakfast at his “normal” time. In the end, he actually managed to hang on about half an hour longer, which made it a bit easier to adjust the routine. Once he was fed I snoozed a little longer then finished up my book – really enjoyed this one. I recommend it for anyone who likes Claudia Winkleman.

My run was my usual 10 miles, but since I had entered the virtual Vitality London 10,000 I actually stopped and reset my watch after 10k so I had the evidence to upload, then restarted my watch for the remaining 4 miles to finish the run.

After that it was time for all the “domestic duties” – food shopping, tidying up the house and getting organised for my return to work tomorrow. Who knows what the term ahead will bring…

Do you enjoy any arts and crafts?
What have you been reading lately?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 30

Yippee! School holidays! Despite the freedom of not having a timetable to follow for a couple of weeks, I did quickly establish a routine as there were some very particular things I wanted to get done whilst off. First, I wanted to catch up with all the blog posts I hadn’t written (not a spoiler to say I was successful there) and that became my morning job when I was feeling motivated after my run. Second, I wanted to catch up with a tv programme I had lurking about in my TiVo box (again, a success as I watched it over lunch most days). And finally I had a big stack of Disney trivia quizzes saved in YouTube – a blogger I follow has been doing them each week and I was quite a bit behind – so my aim was to complete one of those most afternoons. As a bonus, I had some movies in mind that I wanted to watch and with the weather less than ideal for being out and about much, this felt like a good time to snuggle in a take advantage of my Disney+ subscription! Of course I also maintained the run streak, did some yoga each weekday and made sure to fit in some workouts. For me, all of that is the perfect way to unwind.

Monday – 4 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 6.2 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – 6.2 miles
Sunday –  10 miles

Yay for daylight running all week!

I began the week as I meant to go on – with some reading in bed. The weather was pretty grim but was due to improve a bit later on and since I had an appointment and errands in town, I decided to postpone the run until afterwards. Instead, I got started on my blog catch-up mission and while I was doing that, Steve had a go at making soda bread for the first time. He brought me a slice still warm from the oven and it was delicious!

When I got home from my errands I decided just to head straight out on my run before having some lunch as I knew waiting would mean an even longer time until I could run. It was still a bit drizzly, but it was nice to be out. I had received a medal through the post that morning, so proudly sported that for a while post-run. It’s part of a set inspired by Disney princesses and my new goal is to complete the set.

My mum had said she had a couple of things to drop off and she arrived shortly after I got in the door. The delivery included a banana loaf. She had been using bananas to help ripen her homegrown tomatoes then made some banana loaf once the bananas started to go brown. We actually haven’t made any banana loaf/bread (does this mean we’ll be trapped in 2020 until we do??) but this was delicious.

It was a fairly busy day given I wasn’t at work (my plan was to get all the appointments and errands out of the way at the start of the holiday to free up plenty of time to relax afterwards) so it was good to have my yoga class as usual in the evening.

Tuesday was a lovely morning for a run and I was in no hurry to complete it, so took my time and enjoyed being able to notice things in the daylight. A real highlight was spotting this seasonal display. It’s the eyes that get me!

I then had to nip into town again to get my flu jab (I aways have this since the year I got the flu – a hideous experience I have no desire to repeat) but this year it seemed even more important. I’m glad I did as right after this it was announced that pharmacies were suspending bookings for private vaccinations. I booked mine weeks ago when the pharmacy got in touch to let me know I could and this was the first suitable slot, but I had been worried about whether or not it would actually happen. Thankfully my booking meant there was a vaccine set aside for me and I had paid at the time of booking. I had originally thought I might have a workout in the afternoon, but my arm was sore from the jab so this didn’t seem like such a good idea. Instead, I settled down to watch The Aristocats (I wanted to watch any of the movies connected with my virtual Run Disney adventure which I hadn’t watched any time recently) so started with this one. I have seen it before but not for many years.

And my own “aristocat” joined me for some of it 😹

With all the appointments etc taken care of, I had a bit more space for leisure on Wednesday. After some reading in bed I set off on a really random running route as I was trying to track down some trickier scavenger hunt items. I had no idea where I was going to go, but had a rough distance in mind and it worked out fine. 

My next job was to make a batch of chocolate fudge. It was chocolate week on Bake Off so for once we were going to be prepared!

And this time my afternoon movie choice was The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I know my sister and I used to have this one (or the soundtrack) on quite a lot when it first came out, so it was nice to revisit it. Again, I had kitty company. I think he was pleased to have me at home again.

I think we might be past garden workouts now as the ground will be squelchy until the spring, but I did have a living room workout between the film and my evening yoga session.

My Thursday run was another good one as the sun was out (love some autumn sunshine!) and I was rewarded with the delivery of another medal. I have taken part in the Platform 9¾k run every year and this was the final year (year 7: one for each year of Hogwarts). The medal has had a different design each year so is a really nice set to have.

After that my task was to prep a batch of chilli for the slow cooker. This would be our dinner then the rest frozen in portions to last another couple of weeks. To relax, my afternoon movie was Ratatouille. Again, one I have seen before but since visiting Disneyland Paris a few times in the last couple of years and going on the Rémy-themed ride there, I was keen to remind myself of it. The Parisian scenery is just stunning and I love the music.

I was surprised that my “company” didn’t appear – I thought a film about a rat might be appealing to a cat! – but he did show up at the end. Typical!

I rounded out my day with another living room workout and yoga session before settling down for dinner and tv with Steve.

My Friday run felt great. I have no idea why, but I was feeling good and my legs were turning over beautifully. I love it when that happens! It really made me happy for the rest of the day.

That afternoon I plumped for the live action Aladdin. I hadn’t seen this one before but love the original animation, so having heard good things about this one (a lot of people aren’t keen on the live action remakes) I wanted to give it a go. My verdict is that I really enjoyed it. Will Smith knew better than to try and mimic Robin Williams as the Genie, instead making the role his own, and I was pleased that Princess Jasmine got a stronger role. 

I was initially watching by myself, but Smokey arrived in time for one of my favourite scenes!

And just to prove that pictures of my cats don’t always go to plan, here’s an out-take from when I tried to capture him sitting on my lap watching the film 😹

By the end of the film, I had somehow attracted both cats, and I was amused at them hanging around:

Steve came in at this point and started laughing at me, saying that my “crazy cat lady” training was going well. I have no idea what he means 🤣

After this, another living room workout, a yoga session, then a relaxing evening with Steve. One week in and I was feeling pretty content with my holiday “chez moi”.

The weekend, of course, was much as it usually is. Interestingly my (not)parkun time was the exact same as the previous week (when it was a PB). In parkrun challenges terms, that would be Groundhog Day. Is it the same for a (not)parkrun?

It was a good week for us on the parkrun quiz again with 10/15 (yay!) then I had a restful afternoon of watching vlogs, reading my book and taking a quick nap while Steve was meeting his brother.

Our day wrapped up with the next Marvel MCU movie (Iron Man 3 – a new one for us) and it was overall a really pleasant day.

On Sunday I lay in bed to finish up my book (Midnight Sun – the Twilight retelling. It was ok but nothing special). This book was the last one on my 2020 challenge sheet (from a Facebook group I’m in) and it was satisfying to see the completed sheet. I’ve read plenty of other books this year which don’t appear on here, but here are the ones which fitted the categories set for 2020:

Then I headed out for my run. It was a fairly typical autumn morning and it was nice to trot around 10 miles.

Once the shopping was done and put away we settled down to watch Bake Off Extra Slice and for this one we had a real treat – Steve’s inaugural batch of mince pies. He had prepped the pastry on Saturday then filled and cooked them on Sunday (he used a jar of mincemeat – not ready to make that from scratch yet!). They were really good!

Next, a little bit of allen key action as I had bought a new scratching post for the cats (the sisal gets destroyed and unwinds eventually so I usually buy these at least once a year) and it needed to be assembled. This one had been in the middle aisle of Aldi (I love that place!) and they seemed pretty happy with it.

Then after dinner I had a bath and watched the Strictly launch show. I’ve been finding it hard to get excited for it this year – perhaps because the build up has been a bit more low key and the show will run a bit differently this year – but this made me feel ready to see some sparkles and sequins again.

By this point I was feeling pretty relaxed and refreshed. One more week of holidays to go…!

Are you a “Strictly Come Dancing” fan?
Any running or other achievements lately?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 29

The final week of term at last! Normally I don’t feel too bad at the end of the first term as it tends to be the lightest (comparatively speaking) in terms of stressful pinch points, but this year everything just feels so much harder than the norm. I know lots of teachers in other schools and in various parts of the world feel the same. My main aim was to sustain the pattern I had developed and tie up a few loose ends at work before finishing up for a much-needed break.

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles
Friday – 4 miles + garden/living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – 6.2 miles
Sunday –  8 miles

Although I stuck to an easy pace on Monday morning, I definitely noticed that I was feeling fresher after keeping the mileage lower the previous week. I’m glad I was feeling good as I had to dash home at the end of the day for a remote meeting then had about half an hour to myself to relax ahead of my yoga class. The focus this week was on spinal movement which felt good.

Steve had ordered some new running shoes and he brought them through to show me. He set the box down and it was immediately claimed. I’m not sure quite what they think they are achieving, but at least they are always entertaining!

Another nice thing to happen was that a lovely S2 pupil hung back at the end of our lesson to give me this. I asked what prompted her to do this and she told me that it was the end of term and teachers have been going through a lot. A very perceptive and thoughtful young lady! (It’s ok, I took care to sanitise the packaging and make sure I washed my hands after picking it up).

Tuesday was one of those runs where it was fine when I went out but a bit damp towards the end. I feel like this is going to be an autumn pattern so I should maybe get used to it! I worked a little later so had time for a workout in the living room when I got home but then had a little admin and tidying away to do before dinner so I ran out of time for yoga. 

Wednesday was an odd day. It began with Facebook reminding me that on this day in 2019 I was in Disneyland Paris for a day as part of the French trip (DEFINITELY would rather be there than at work!) and quite a few pupils were commenting on it too. At least we have good memories to look back on. This was also the day when a key announcement was made about the plans for the exams in Scotland this session, so I found it hard to concentrate on the marking I was trying to do. In the end I decided to drive home and do some yoga instead as I needed something to settle my mind. Sooty made sure to supervise from one of her favourite vantage points.

We did watch some tv together in the evening, but I also read over some of the qualification-related information which had been published alongside the announcement as I expected questions from pupils the following day.

More excitingly, I had given Steve the task of sorting out tickets for the Gary Barlow tour next year and he was successful. If I’m honest, I don’t truly expect to be at the SSE Hydro watching Gary in June of 2021, but the concert HAS to happen eventually so I wanted to make sure I have a ticket for when it does (these things are not always easy to come by, as anyone who has ever attempted to get a ticket for a Take That concert will attest to!).

Being my busiest teaching day Thursday was, of course, a bit of a whirlwind. I began the day with a run as usual and noticed that my hands were pretty chilly by the end – I think it was getting colder as I was out there!

I had one or two errands on the way home and in order to get everything I needed I had to venture into one of the larger supermarkets – I haven’t done that since March! It was really quiet and I think I got a bit over-excited as I wandered up and down the aisles looking at things (but not touching). One of the things on my list was to pick up our “Bake Off cake” as there had been no time for anything homemade this week. I was quite pleased with my find.

And finally, the last day of term. It was nice to get out for my run to enjoy a bit of quiet time as I knew there was a lot I wanted to get done that day (I was pretty successful with my mammoth to-do list). This run was day 200 (!!) of my run streak and it seemed quite nice that the occasion fell on the last day of term. When I arrived at my desk I found that our curriculum leader had been leaving gifts for us all and this seemed fitting on a day when I had something I thought was worth celebrating.

I arrived home with enough time for a workout which began in the garden (TRX) but since it was a bit chilly we ended up going inside to do some ab work in the living room. I then went off to do some yoga while Steve made the dinner. We went on with the next in the Marvel MCU timeline by watching The Avengers. Again, one we had previously seen, but now that we’ve watched more of the franchise, I think we got more from it.

Meanwhile in kitty world, the shoe box continued to be popular 😹

Being on holiday must have agreed with me as I began my Saturday by running a (not)parkrun PB! Still about a minute away from my parkrun PB, but it was so good to feel like I had some kind of achievement I could log.

Unfortunately the positive vibes didn’t continue into the parkrun quiz as we equaled our worst score with just 5/15 (the focus was Junior parkrun and I know VERY little about that). I actually did do a little work in the afternoon as I knew I would be glad of it when the new term began, but when bath time rolled around that seemed like the ideal moment to crack open the fizz I got the day before.

We finished up the day by plugging the gap in our MCU project by watching The Incredible Hulk. I had read that this one didn’t really add much to the overall timeline, but if we’re going to do this then I want to do it properly!


Then Sunday began in my favourite way – reading in bed with kitty company – and I was looking forward to more of this as the holidays unfolded.

It was a really nice autumnal day – not too cold and the sun was shining – so I really enjoyed my run. We had all our usual chores in the afternoon and then spent the rest of the day relaxing. Most excitingly, I went to bed without having to set an early alarm (although Smokey will always make sure to make a noise when he thinks it’s breakfast time!). Time for a bit of me-time!

Have you been keeping up with (not)parkun?
Anything concrete you are looking forward to in 2021?

Homemade Run Disney – A (Virtual) Magic Moment

Oh 2020. Remember when I thought I was going to have Disney-filled year? Turns out that wasn’t to be, and although my miracle trip to Disneyland Paris in August was just the pixie dust I needed to assuage some of the sadness and frustration of this year, the opportunity to bring a little homemade Run Disney magic into one of my weekends was a welcome distraction. I summarised my virtual Magic Run Weekend experience in my last Week In Review post, but here are more of the details (and photos – lots and lots of photos!) for those craving a little more.

This was set up by a Facebook group I’m in – Run Disney Paris Fans – and was simply a free bit of fun to inspire those of us who love going to DLP for Run Weekend and were missing t this year. It was great to see how everyone got creative to put together their own events and photos.

The first thing I needed to do was decide on my running costumes. Had I actually been going to DLP I would have spent much more time over the details of this, but since this was just going to be me running around the streets of Perth, it wasn’t quite so important to have the details just so. Besides, there’s only so far I’m prepared to go in what I wear running around town by myself 🤣

Knowing the chosen themes made it a bit easier to decide and I settled on Marie (The Aristocats), Cinderella and Rémy (Ratatouille).

Then the next bit of prep was to make my race bibs and medals. We were able to download the designs from the Facebook group, then I set to work laminating the bibs and getting creative with cardboard, tinfoil and ribbon to make my medals. A little fiddly, but I actually found it quite good fun! If I had been taking part in one of the challenges (31k or 36k) in the live event I would have just had one bib for all of the races I was running, but I liked the idea of having all of them since this made it more unique, as well as connecting with my chosen costumes.

As the weekend rolled around, my aim was to recreate as closely as possible the way the event would unfold. That meant 5k on Friday evening, 10k on Saturday morning and a half marathon on Sunday morning. To keep me organised, ahead of each one I gathered together everything I needed for my costumes as well as some additional props for post-run photos of “character meets”. Yes, I was going for it 100%!

Beginning on Friday, my Marie costume was fairly simple: white tech top, white sparkle skirt (with shorts underneath), white compression socks, pink trainers and the Marie headband I bought at DLP.

 

I actually had great fun running my 5k and even though it was my second run of the day (I had run a super easy 5k in the morning before work) I felt good. Interestingly, nobody seemed to be paying me much attention as I ran around at 5pm on a Friday in my Marie costume (and no, I didn’t wear the ear headband to run) 😹.

After my run I added a couple of additional details to my costume: I put the ears on, tied a pink ribbon around my neck and donned my Marie face covering that I got on Shop Disney. Fully costumed up, it was time for my post-run photo shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, of course, no Run Disney event would be complete without some character meets. My observation from previous years is that there aren’t so many in the 5k. For my homemade event I was welcomed to the finish by the Beast, my princess Belle-themed (pre-Duffy) Disney bear and The Big Cheese himself – Mickey Mouse in his running kit.

For my final flourish, I chose one of my Disney T-shirts to act as a “finishers’ top”. Given my theming, my Disney cats one seemed the best choice.

It was such a fun way to start my weekend and definitely made me feel a bit less sad about not being on a flight to France.

For my 10k on Saturday I was going with Cinderella. This costume was probably the least precise to my perfectionist mind, so I think of it more as “Cinderella-inspired”: pale blue (ok, turquoise) tech top, pale blue tutu (with shorts underneath), white compression socks, black trainers and my silver tiara running hairband. It was a little chilly so I ended up adding white arm warmers before I headed out.

This time I did get a little attention as I was running, but it was a friend of mine (who also runs) in her car. I guess when she spotted someone running in a tutu on a Saturday morning she figured it could only be me 😂

Once again there was a little adjustment when I arrived home as I added a homemade black ribbon choker (I hadn’t fancied running with something tight around my neck) before taking my medal pictures.

Getting carried away with the shoe theming!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This time I included a “castle shot” as well:

Character-wise, this time I “met” Minnie Mouse (in her Belle-style gold ballgown) and Mickey, who had a different set of shorts and T-shirt on. Thank goodness, I wouldn’t want him to be whiffy!

And thanks to some Disney magic, Mickey was able to transform to a bigger size in order to give me a post-run hug haha!

This time my choice for the “finishers’ T-shirt” was my Princess Power one since it features Cinderella.

Not quite the Saturday morning I had originally planned, but good fun nonetheless.

The pièce de résistance was my Sunday morning half marathon. The event at DLP is always such a highlight with loads of characters and lots going on (you can read about my previous experiences here and here). I had known the overall theme for the weekend when I was in DLP so when I spotted a hat on sale that would make for an easy (but fun) costume idea, I bought it. For the rest of my Rémy costume I needed: grey tech top, grey capris, pink socks and I even set out a wooden spoon for my post-race photos! Again, it was a little chilly so I added some grey arm warmers at the last minute.

For this one, I had Steve help me out with a “start line” photo, with Mickey Mouse (in his finest Breton stripe) acting as race starter (although I didn’t actually wear my hat for the run itself).

With the hat safely back on my head at the end of my run it was time to take my final “Run Weekend” photos:

An attempt to recreate the post-race picture with all the medals attached to the castle railings. You get the idea!

There are always loads of characters around at the half marathon, so my event was no exception. I was pictured with Rémy (of course!), Duffy Bear in his French outfit and, for reasons best known to himself, Stitch (I mean he has nothing to do with the theming, but he’s a cheeky scamp who likes to invade photos 😂).

I was also pleased to see that Mickey had changed out of his French outfit and was back in his running kit (another set, he must have almost as much kit as me haha!) and we got a few pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And for my “finishers’ T-shirt”, I stuck to the fact that at DLP the half marathon swag is always Mickey/Minnie themed regardless of the race theme. The “Best Day Ever” T-shirt I got in August seemed perfect.

I was also keen to get a decent “castle shot” and came up with a way to manage just that. Almost believable!

All in all, I had great fun putting this together. No way as much fun as actually going to Disney for a running weekend, but a nice way to add a bit of magic to an otherwise mundane weekend and it gave me something a little different to focus on for a few days. I recommend it!

Fingers crossed that next time we get to run in Disney for real…! 🤞

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 27

I must admit, this really was a week of two halves – little of note in the working week and then a bit of homemade magic at the weekend. Here’s how it went:

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5  miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Thursday – 4 miles + home yoga
Friday – 3.2 miles + 5k
Saturday – 10k
Sunday – 13.1 miles

As the week began I was pleased to note that while my body felt a little weary from running 13.1 miles the day before, my legs actually felt perfectly fine. I continue to be fascinated with how my body has adapted to running every day and how well I seem to recover. Probably because generally I run at a fairly easy pace and don’t push things too much. Between my morning run and a walk with Steve when I got home from work, I pretty much wrapped up the bulk of the weekly scavenger hunt and it was nice to relax into my yoga class afterwards.

Strangely, though, I felt more tired and sluggish on Tuesday morning. Perhaps a busy Monday had an impact as I headed into a day featuring lots of admin and meetings. That evening was fairly restful and we began watching the adaptation of Us on tv. For some reason this attracted kitty attention, even if one of them was facing the wrong way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday was better as I felt much more awake and was able to have the workout I had postponed from Tuesday. More excitingly, we settled down to watch The Great British Bake Off which had returned to our screens the previous evening. It was so good to watch something that felt “normal” (even if things were a bit different behind the scenes this time to make that possible). Unfortunately we hadn’t had the foresight to sort out a sweet treat in advance and GBBO always makes us crave something sweet so poor Steve had to go out and get some “emergency cake” 😂. We will need to be better prepared in future!

On Thursday morning the weather was much chillier and I had to wear gloves for my run. Back when we first went into Lockdown I wore gloves on all my runs as a reminder to not touch anything (e.g. the button to trigger a pedestrian crossing) while I was out, but as the weather improved it was too warm for gloves and they had been tucked away in the drawer for many weeks. I don’t think I’ll need them all the time just yet, but I think I will need to check the forecast much more carefully in the evening when I lay out my kit to make sure I’m ready for whatever the weather has to throw at me.

An exciting thing on Thursday was that my finisher pack from the virtual Edinburgh half marathon arrived. This is the same swag I would have got in the event of the live event taking place – medal and T-shirt presented in a lovely little box. I got something like this in the 2019 event and it was exciting to get this through the post. The box also contained sample packs of hot/cold gels and an armband that lights up – useful with all the dark mornings ahead.

Friday was pretty productive. Most of my non-teaching time is on a Friday and if I’m not needed to cover a class it allows me a good chance to get caught up on lots of fiddly bits and pieces. My day had started with an easy-paced run of just over 5k – less than I would usually do on a Friday because I was hatching a plan for a second run when I got home from work.

Why the second run? Well, this would have been Magic Run Weekend at Disneyland Paris and much like in May when the cancelled Princess Weekend came around, I was going to take part in a “homemade” version set up by a Facebook group I am part of. This was entirely free as there was no medal or anything like that, it was all about the admins creating a theme for the weekend and those of us who wanted to take part trying to be as creative as we could in pulling together costumes and re-creating aspects of the Run Disney experience. I’m going to publish a separate post with some of the details (and one heck of a lot of photos!) but will include some of the basics here.

The overall theme settled on was “Disney movies associated with France”. It was then sub-divided into the different races and challenges, in the same way it would be in the actual Run Disney event. There was a kids’ race themed to Beauty and the Beast (yes, I was a little put out that my favourite movie was associated with the one race I couldn’t legitimately take part in), the 5k was The Aristocats, 10k Cinderella, half marathon (21k) The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 31k challenge (10k + 21k) Sleeping Beauty and 36k challenge (5k + 10k + 21k) Ratatouille. I had been booked to take part in the 31k challenge (because the 5k would have been on the Friday evening and I can’t get to DLP in time when I’m at work) but since I was making my own fun, I decided to go for the 36k challenge, hence my second run on Friday. I could have just waited to go out in the evening, but I had learned very quickly earlier in the term that I feel much better all day when I get a run in the morning, so a double run day it was!

I had done a little prep the weekend before and back when the theme was announced I had started pulling together some costume ideas from the stuff I already had (and one teeny little purchase which could be used again at future Run Disney events). 

For my Friday 5k I was Marie from The Aristocats:

Then on Saturday morning (after a bit of reading in bed) I headed out in my best Cinderella-inspired outfit:

The top wasn’t quite the right shade (I got this one for my Anna from Frozen costume in the 10k last year, which I recreated for my virtual Princess Run in May) but it was as close as I could get with my existing kit.

I did have to step out of the magic a little for some “regular” Saturday activities (and our appalling 6/15 for the parkrun quiz definitely burst the bubble somewhat) including going for my second haircut since the hairdressers were allowed to open again in July. She styled my hair straight, which was novel for me as I haven’t bothered straightening my hair in ages!

Then I spent a bit of time reading my book. Smokey had been lying on a different chair looking kind of pleased with himself for “catching a mouse” 😹:

But he soon joined me for a little nap:

And we rounded out our evening with our next Marvel MCU movie. This time it was Iron Man 2 – another one we had previously watched but had little memory of.

Sunday began with a little more reading in bed, then it was time for me to run the half marathon distance. This time I was Rémy from Ratatouille and again, stuff I had (the hat I got on a super-cheap deal when I was in DLP in August). It’s not very obvious from the picture, but the capris are actually grey:

It was a bit weird wearing capris since I normally wear shorts unless it’s really cold, but it was all really comfortable kit for the distance. And of course, I was probably about an hour quicker than I would have been at DLP since I wasn’t stopping all the time 🤣

When I got back I had “completed” my 36k challenge so did my best to take a photo with all my homemade medals (look out for my separate post on my homemade challenge to see more photos). Not as easy as with actual Run Disney medals since my cardboard-based ones lacked the weight to help me separate them out along my arm, but you get the idea.

Th weekend finished in fairly standard fashion with food shopping, a bit of tv and my evening bath, but a bit pf Disney magic, albeit homemade, was just the boost I needed to see me into the last couple of weeks of term.

Do you have a favourite Disney movie/character associated with France?
How easily could you pull together a themed running outfit from stuff you have about the house?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 26

It finally happened. After realising the light in the morning was getting less and less, in mid-September I realised I would need my hi-viz as I was heading out into the darkness. Winter is well and truly coming! Generally speaking, I was pretty much settled into a routine with the intent to fit in a couple of workouts each week and as much yoga as possible around days when I felt I needed to work a little later. Here’s how it looked:

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles
Thursday – 4.5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + garden workout
Saturday – 6.3 miles
Sunday – 13.1 miles

There was very little of note on Monday. I started the weekly scavenger hunt on my run, noted that I should probably start wearing my hi-viz, then got on with a fairly typical day. It was good to get to the evening and my yoga session and I was happy to get into bed at night so I could continue my book. This was a gift from my head of department when she retired at the start of the summer and comes from a publisher called Persephone Books. They reprint neglected books by (mostly) female authors and have these really pretty inside covers. This was my first one of these books and I was really enjoying it. I know this book was made into a film so I must look into watching it some time.

Tuesday was pretty soggy with a downpour in the middle of my run, and also the first morning I wore my hi-viz. It really marks a transition point in the year when this is needed, but at least at this point there was still a bit of light at the end of my morning run. It was another busy day at work so it was good to be able to fit in not just a workout (in the garden since the weather had improved) and some yoga (although I was almost thwarted by “yoga cat” who plonked himself right where I wanted to be 😹)

We had been given some cooking apples so Steve made a crumble with them, which made for a nice dessert whilst watching some tv.

Wednesday was super busy so all I managed was my run in the morning. I had an appointment in town after work and while I was there I was a brave girl and ventured into a couple of shops for a couple of things I needed (pretty quiet at this time of day) and ran one or two errands. When I got in I needed to prep some chilli to cook in the slow cooker the following day so had Steve chop up some of the ingredients for me so I could just quickly assemble it all then sit down to relax. I think Smokey must have had a busy day as well!

Busy again on Thursday, but I managed to get home a bit sharper so had time for a workout before my yoga. A real highlight was my new running shorts arrived and they have a pattern that felt ideal for me. They remind me of my wee cat Molly who left us a few years ago.

I was pretty productive on Friday and despite wrapping up a set of tracking reports, still had time for a workout when I got home (but not yoga). Steve had been to Dundee on an errand during the day and remembering that I had my “prize” still to collect from the Brooks Run Happy At Home challenges during the early part of Lockdown, I asked him to see if he could pick it up for me (this was the nearest place for me to have it sent). I knew it was a medal but had expected something flimsy and cheap so was pleasantly surprised to find a decent medal waiting for me when I got home. And this was for a free challenge! Well done Brooks.

In the evening we finished watching The Fall. I wasn’t sure where it was going to go, but we both really enjoyed the programme so recommend it if you haven’t already watched.

Saturday was fairly typical of current Saturdays. I headed out for my (not)parkrun then in the parkrun quiz we were pleased to get 10/15. Later in the day I had a bath and watched back the feed of parkrun returning in the Northern Territory of Australia. I’ve enjoyed watching these live feeds (although I don’t actually watch live) as it was so nice to see a parkrun happening and observing familiar things happening in a different part of the world. One day that will be us again…

In the evening we continued with our Marvel MCU project, this week with Iron Man. This was a film we had watched years ago, but had very little memory of it so I enjoyed seeing it again. At the same time, I also took care of a little arts and crafts project ahead of a fun running adventure I had planned for the following weekend (more on that next time).

On Sunday my original plan had been to run 12 miles as part of my mini-build to a half marathon the following weekend. But once I was out I realised that the route I had in mind was going to be a bit longer and the least I would run was 12.5 miles. When I realised that I decided just to add on a bit more and complete the half marathon distance a week earlier since I was feeling good. This meant I could submit my time for the Edinburgh Half marathon (usually part of the marathon festival, a weekend I have taken part in a number of times, including the half marathon last year) which this year was a virtual event. I hadn’t entered the live event (although often put in last minute entries for the Edinburgh races since they are fairly close to home) but when I was sent the details fo the virtual event I realised we would receive the exact same medal/T-shirt/pack as we would at the live event. This appealed to me and I also wanted to show my support for a long-standing event so that it will still be there in future. Like some other events, we were still sent race numbers, although I didn’t actually wear it when I was out. Still a nice touch though.

I noted that I felt pretty good after my run, even with the little extra bit I ran. It wasn’t my fastest half marathon time (although decent), but then I hadn’t gone out to “race” so I can only assume that my run streak has put me in a pretty strong position to be able to comfortably run a half marathon. That makes me happy.

And so another week drew to a close. It was good to complete a running challenge and I had exciting plans for the following weekend too…

Have you taken part in any of the virtual events organised in place of a live event this year?
Are you still able to run in daylight or are you getting some darkness now?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 25

As I continued to develop my “back to work” routine, I did manage to fit in a little more yoga this week. It’s important to me to find even a few minutes for this as I know it helps me to unwind and mentally settle at the end of the day and work can feel pretty fraught in these strange times. I did only manage one workout though, but that was due to other work-related commitments.

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Saturday – 6 miles
Sunday – 10 miles

Monday’s run meant getting the weekly scavenger hunt underway – so much easier early in the morning and with daylight as it’s easier to spot and photograph some of the items close to people’s houses when there’s nobody about! I had some errands in the evening then a bit of work to do before my evening yoga class. Definitely needed the me-time this week!

It was really windy again on Tuesday morning but I was happy with an easy run to clear my head since I knew it was going to be a busy day. Aside from all the usual teaching/marking/prep demands, I also had the final 1:1 coaching session for the professional development programme I was completing (it involved a coaching session after each filmed lesson) then after school everyone involved gathered (in a socially distanced fashion) to give a final presentation to complete the programme. It’s always so much more nerve-wracking to speak in front of colleagues as opposed to pupils, but it was really interesting to hear more about what everyone had been trying in their different subject areas. Even better, we all received a framed certificate to mark our completion of the course. LOVE a certificate!

The session did mean a later arrival home so I relaxed with some vlogs while dinner was in the oven then enjoyed an evening of tv.

Wednesday didn’t feel like such a good day, sadly. I was tired from Tuesday’s mental exertions but it still felt good to get out the door for my run. However work remained busy and I felt a bit frustrated with technology all day as things just seemed to be moving so slowly and making things tricky for me. On the plus side, I came across this when I covered a lesson and it made me laugh – one for the Father Ted fans. Steve suggested I should add “Down With This Sort Of Thing” beside it 😂

I was still grumbling when I got home and Steve fairly swiftly packed me off upstairs to do some yoga. Definitely the best course of action as I felt much better afterwards. He also surprised me with his latest baking experiment – homemade sticky toffee pudding. It was delicious! 😋

Things started off ok on Thursday, but I did notice an autumnal nip in the air and that there was a bit less light while I was out – the seasons clearly changing. Work was still frustrating as not only was it my busy day, but I was still struggling with slow tech (we had opened things up for a BYOD policy and it was slowing everything down. Steps have since been taken to improve this, thank goodness!). I also had some additional meetings so I was shattered by the time I got home. Sometimes, that’s just how things go.

Friday began kind of dark and windy, but at least my day felt a bit more productive! After work I was able to have a TRX workout in the garden and Steve also had me using his new paralettes for the first time (like freestanding press-up bars) before a bit of yoga to unwind from the week. But being at home is giving Steve plenty of time to experiment in the kitchen (he really enjoys cooking, whereas I find it a bit of a chore) and he made us jambalaya from scratch for dinner. Another success!

Meanwhile the kitties also had a treat for dinner as my mum had dropped off some leftover chicken for them earlier in the day. I think they were keen to get stuck in 😹

I was definitely ready for my weekend and enjoyed starting my Saturday with a bit of reading in bed before heading out for my (not)parkrun run. When I got back the kitties found an all-new way to create havoc when they discovered that the gym ball Steve uses in place of a chair when he’s working at his computer upstairs, could be moved. At first they just batted it around a bit, but before we knew it the ball was bouncing downstairs and they were doing their best to look innocent 😹

We had a good week on the parkrun quiz though – 11/15! Not a PB, but after weeks and weeks of 8 or 9, it was a welcome change.

I was able to relax throughout the remainder of my day – I finished my book, did a Disney quiz, caught up on some life admin and had a bath. Then in the evening it was time for the next part in our Marvel MCU project: Captain Marvel.

I LOVED this one. Strong female lead and a 90s soundtrack/setting made it perfect for me. I know it’s only the second one in the timeline, but we have previously seen a handful of the other movies and right now, this one is my favourite.

Sunday was the day that would, in an alternate reality, have been the Great North Run. I’ve actually never taken part in this race (it’s on my race bucket list though) and had not entered this year, but I did decide earlier in the summer to take part in the GNR Solo virtual event. It began on the date in June that was the official “birthday” of the event and ended 78 days later on what should have been race day. In those 78 days we were to record 40 runs (for the 40th year of the event). Given my run streak I had reached the 40 runs a while ago, however I was curious to see what my cumulative mileage would be over the 78 days so waited until after my Sunday run to submit my evidence. After a bit of adding up my stats were: 414.5 miles/66 hours of running over 78 days. That rather surprised me.

I did my best to relax for the rest of the day as I was beginning to recognise that the working week was going to be consistently exhausting right now.

Did you take part in GNR Solo/virtual GNR?
What is the best movie you’ve seen recently?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 24

Things shifted a little in this week with the updated guidelines for face coverings in schools in Scotland. I had been wearing my face coverings when moving amongst pupils, in corridors, etc but at this point we had the expectation that pupils would also be wearing face coverings in the corridor and on school buses. An ideal time for me to debut my Disney face masks which had arrived at the end of the previous week 😀

Training-wise things felt fairly settled with my running and workouts, but I was finding it a little trickier to fit in as much yoga as I would like as I was tending to stay at work fairly late each day to try and keep on top of everything. Here’s my week:

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles
Thursday – 4.5 miles
Friday – 4 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Saturday – 6.2 miles
Sunday – 8 miles

As you can see, as we moved into September as I was still getting daylight for my morning runs and often treated to some beautiful skies as I was heading out into the sunrise. For example, this is the view that started my week. I love the colours!

Tuesday was also very still and quiet first thing, but the sky looked a bit more fiery this time:

Fortunately the weather stayed nice so I was able to have my workout in the garden after work. Making the most of this while it’s still possible as once we get deeper into autumn/winter the grass will get pretty squelchy so even in nice weather it will be much less appealing to be working out in the garden.

On Wednesday I had lots of work-related things to do so all I fitted in was my morning run (thank goodness for getting out early!) but when I did eventually sit down Smokey was on hand (paw?) to make sure I stayed put for a while!

Thursday was a big day for me as I had my first lesson of the day filmed. Last September I embarked on a professional development programme which should last through one academic session and includes 3 filmed lessons. But then 2020 and Covid happened, so we ground to a halt after 2 filmed lessons. The plan was to finish up the programme in September, ahead of the second cohort in the school getting started on theirs. I was actually much less nervous this time as I knew with all the changes to keep things as safe as possible there was a lot outside of my control, but I was still up and out sharp for my run so I could be in early to make sure everything was set up. Thursday is also my busiest day so when I got home I really wanted to just relax after a super busy day.

The weather on Friday was really windy, but I was still able to run in the morning then get another workout in the garden and yoga session in the evening. I’ve been making sure to close all the activity rings on my Apple Watch each day (well, I do enjoy a streak!) and like that it gives reminders when I haven’t moved in a while or am closing in on my daily goal. But this reminder just made me laugh:

I just stayed still and within a couple of minutes I had closed the ring 😂

Of course Saturday was a (not)parkrun (after a leisurely hour reading in bed). We did the latest parkrun quiz afterwards and got…8/15 again! Smokey was no help whatsoever!

I also discovered that the cats had been looking for reading material again. Clearly Five Little Kittens got their attention 😹

Then I spent the remainder of the day doing more things I enjoy – a Disney quiz, watched some vlogs, had a bath – then in the evening Steve and I embarked on our new movie project. Having watched all the Star Wars movies in release order earlier in Lockdown, we are now going to watch all the Marvel MCU movies in timeline order. We have previously watched one or two of the earliest of these, probably as released, but not very many and neither of us remember much of them, so this should be a fun project. I think we can probably manage one per week, starting this week with Captain America.

I dropped my Sunday mileage back a little (I had a longer term plan for building up towards a half marathon. I could run the distance already, but wanted to still have a short build) so 8 miles was perfect. I had just received a new pair of running shorts so they made their debut:

And having enjoyed going out to the woodland park the previous Sunday, I headed back again. Still one of my favourite places, even if the route through there is just 1 mile out of my run.

The rest of the day was fairly standard, but we did manage to fit in a couple of episodes of our latest tv box set, The Fall. Have you seen it? I can recommend it if you haven’t.

All in all, quite a nice weekend and just what I needed after a really busy week.

Have you seen any of the Marvel MCU movies? Which is your favourite?
What are you watching on tv right now?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 23

At this point I was starting to settle a little bit into the school routine, but probably not as swiftly as I normally would since a number of things were a bit different to the norm – why wouldn’t they be in 2020? Fitness-wise I was able to continue the streak and begin to establish a pattern to my midweek runs and I was also able to fit in a little more yoga and workouts. Pre-lockdown my habit was 2 workouts per week, so being able to return to this, for the most part, would be an acceptable routine to follow. Here’s how it looked:

Monday – 5k + home yoga
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout
Wednesday – 5 miles  + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles
Friday – 4 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Saturday – 6.6. miles
Sunday – 12 miles

Monday began, of course, with a run. I have still been taking part in the weekly scavenger hunts and the list is up ahead of my Monday morning run so I use that one, when it’s basically a recovery run, to start looking out for items and have a think about where I might find some of the others. It’s a nice way to add a focus to my runs and I enjoy noticing new things along familiar routes.

There was no yoga class that evening, so I did a video instead then had a relaxing evening with the last of the birthday cake and fizz.

Tuesday began ok but the weather was HIDEOUS on the way home so it had to be a living room workout with the resistance band. I’d much rather have a workout in the garden, but at least there is an indoor option.

Thankfully it had improved for my run on Wednesday morning, but that day in general had nothing noteworthy about it other than the arrival of my official Disney face masks which I ordered earlier in the summer. I was so jealous when these were available in the US so it was exciting when they released them here.

Thursday is my busiest teaching day and I try not to work too late afterwards (since I feel pretty mentally exhausted afterwards) but I had an extra reason to be home in good time on this particular evening – we were expecting a guest! 2020 hasn’t offered much by way of social occasions, however Steve’s nephew, who had been in Glasgow with his girlfriend throughout lockdown, was about to return to his studies in London and so we wanted to catch up with him before he left – who knows when we might manage again! At this point, indoor visitors were allowed (with appropriate hygiene and distancing in place) so I had agreed that he could come for something to eat then he and Steve were going to go for a drink in the pub down the road (I wasn’t keen on going anywhere public). I dashed home quickly to make sure everything was tidy and I had things like hand sanitiser and clean towels available, but Steve had actually taken care of most of it while I was at work. It was great to see Liam since he’s always good company (he and Steve are actually very alike) and I also enjoyed the quiet evening once the two of them went out. A nice bit of downtime after a busy day. Smokey enjoyed the time just with his mummy as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Friday I ran a few errands on the way home then the weather was good enough to get a workout in the garden with the TRX (my favourite). By this point I was really starting to notice the difference from being at home all the time during Lockdown and was really looking forward to having more quiet time at home over the weekend. As ever, some entertainment was provided by the cats who have taken to scattering their toys EVERYWHERE. I had bought a new cabin bag ahead of my DLP trip and kept the box for them to play in (because cats and boxes!) and they surpassed themselves by taking a toy in there to play with. Sometimes I do wonder what goes on in their little heads…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weekend is a great opportunity to indulge in my favourite way to start the morning – having a cup of tea in bed and reading my book. The chance to relax a bit means I head out for my (not)parkrun feeling refreshed and on this occasion I actually ran super close to my (not)parkrun PB – I only missed it by a couple of seconds! Then it was time for the post-(not)parkrun bacon roll and quiz (another 9/15) before Steve headed out to meet his brother for their weekly coffee and chat. I enjoyed the chance to chill out then had a bath later on with my fun new bath foam. Since I often feel mermaid-y, I HAD to have this one!

I wanted to move my long run distance up a little from the 10 miles I had been “stuck” at all this time, so decided to go to 12 miles for this run. After lying in bed to finish up my book, I headed downstairs to find the kitties had also wanted to do some reading. Quite why they wanted to read running magazines remains a mystery, but at least they kept them in order 😹

Running a bit longer meant that I could follow a different route to what I had been doing and I decided to head out to the woodland park for the first time in months. I had been avoiding going as far from home as that and was conscious that the paths could be quite narrow, but at this point it felt ok to head that way. I’m glad I did as I ended up coming across something I hadn’t seen before – a community library created from an old red phone box. Pretty cool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it was really nice to be back in nature at the woodland park again. There was some work being done on some of the wooden bridges there and the detour took me right into the trees. So peaceful.

Then on the way back home again I thought the view from the bridge looked really nice as well. I think my run had put me in a really good mood!

I was really pleased with my weekend running – a fast 5k on Saturday and a longer run than of late on Sunday. I enjoyed having a restful Sunday afternoon/evening (after getting the food shopping done) to set me up for the week ahead.

Do you have a favourite place to run?
What interesting things have you noticed while you have been running?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 22

This was the first “proper” week back in school as we had all year groups in and following their normal timetables. It was also the first real test for me of how it would feel to continue my run streak whilst being back at work (as opposed to working from home where there was no commute and I could be more flexible with my hours). I knew I didn’t want to make a choice to stop, but also wasn’t sure how sustainable it would be with changing work demands. However having adjusted my “streak rules” from 30 mins/5k per run to include just 1 mile (under exceptional circumstances, my preference would still be 30 mins/5k as before) made it seem much more achievable. Now I had 2 months to test this out.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s what I got up to in this particular week. You will see that outside of running, my workouts and yoga sessions dropped back while I adjusted to my new routine.

Monday – 5k + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4 miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles
Thursday – 5 miles
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – 6 miles
Sunday – 10 miles

Despite trying to relax over the weekend, I did feel tired on Monday. It always takes a week or two after the summer holidays to get used to the physical and mental demands of school life again, but this time it was after a gap of almost 5 months since I had last been in the classroom. Of course it was also a huge adjustment for pupils returning to school after weeks of home learning. To help, I kept my run to a super easy pace and was very glad of my yoga session in the evening to help me wind down.

I felt much better on Tuesday after a really good sleep. My run felt better and I had enough oomph left later in the day to call in on my parents (opting to stay in the driveway rather than go inside – still allowed at that time – for fear of bringing germs with me from school). There was no time for a workout, but I did make sure to complete a yoga session before dinner and took a short walk with Steve before bed.

Wednesday was pretty nondescript. My run was probably the highlight of the day as the conditions felt nice for running – dull, but dry and cool with plenty of daylight. The rest of the day, however, was just getting stuck into work, trying to learn the names of all my new pupils (approaching 200!) and trying to get on top of my planning. Steve and I have still been watching assorted box sets in the evening, and on this day we started White House Farm after hearing lots of good reviews of it earlier in the year.

On Thursday morning the weather was dreadful and Steve was postponing his run until later in the day. Being at work doesn’t leave me as much room for manoeuvre as when I was working from home, but on this occasion I decided it would be better to wait until I was home rather than have to take extra time to get dry (and sort out my no doubt soaking and tangled hair) before heading to work. I did feel a little strange all day without those early morning endorphins (and my Apple Watch kept hounding me about not making my usual progress in closing my activity rings) but it was definitely the right decision as my evening run was quite pleasant. It was actually day 150 of my run streak, so I much preferred the conditions in the evening than an early morning soaking for this occasion! I have a full teaching day on a Thursday so don’t tend to hang around as late at the end of the day since my brain feels pretty fried, so this was a nice way to help me reset, even if it did cut down on the time I had in the evening, That said, I did manage a 10 minute yoga session between running and dinner, which helped me to unwind after the evening activity.

An evening run meant there wasn’t so much time between my Thursday and Friday runs as I was able to get back out in the morning again on Friday. It was a little wet by the time I got home, but I was treated to a beautiful sky as I set out. I was conscious that I wouldn’t have morning light for much longer so wanted to appreciate sights like this while I could.

Later that day I got a message from my mum with an article from the local paper. They had covered the flooding I mentioned in my last post which had gouged a channel out of the grass banking at the bottom of the main road. She told me to look closely, and it turned out the photo they used had Steve in it as he headed off on foot to take care of some errands! He had mentioned there being some pictures taken down there, but hadn’t realised it was for the paper. Good thing he didn’t wave for the camera haha!

My working day was broken up with some home baking at lunchtime. I have been wary of “communal food” and sharing anything like this, however a lovely colleague had taken the time to bake this for me since it was my birthday over the weekend, so I cleaned my hands and donned some disposable gloves to take charge of slicing it up so that I felt an extra level of safety. I’m glad I did as it was delicious and I was sent home with the last bit of it. Only after Steve had gobbled up his slice did I reveal the secret: it was vegan cake! Honestly you wouldn’t be able to tell if you didn’t know.

I was also give some beautiful flowers which brightened up my kitchen table once I arranged them in a vase (I use the word “arranged” loosely – I have no idea what I’m doing with flowers ha!).

For the first time that week I managed a workout with the resistance band before a yoga session while the dinner was cooking. We then had a relaxing evening watching tv then taking a short walk before bed.

My actual birthday was Saturday, so I was in no hurry to get out of bed early. I had some presents to open and it quickly became clear that the kitties have no sense of other people’s birthdays and instead were captivated by the wrapping paper!

Amusingly, both Steve and my parents ended up getting me the same card. The sentiment suits me just fine!

I had originally expected a “parkrunday birthday” this year so in the absence of parkrun I was doing my best to bring celebrations into the day. I actually had a parkrunday birthday on one previous occasion and marked the day with post-run Bucks Fizz. I had remembered this so our post-run coffee/bacon roll also included some Bucks Fizz this week.

It was also a double parkrun quiz day since we were still a week behind after my trip away, so did one in the morning and one later on. We got 8/15 and 9/15 respectively but, to be honest, this seems to be our score most weeks so I’m tempted one day to open up the answer sheet and guess at all the answers without hearing the questions, just to see if it makes any difference 😂

In the afternoon I amused myself by FINALLY sorting through my DLP purchases and tidying them away, then Steve and I went out for a walk. He had been running on a path which winds between nearby fields but I had never been up there and was curious to see it. It was a really nice walk and it felt like being in the middle of nowhere even though the bypass was really close by. Perfect.

I was also amused to note that rather than hound me about closing my activity rings, my Apple Watch kept wishing my a happy birthday. It even “gave” me balloons!

When we got home it was time for the cake Steve had got for me. I had wanted my favourite unicorn cake, but there weren’t any available so he got me red velvet instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I opted to have mine in the bath with a glass of wine. Very indulgent!

I had requested steak, peppercorn sauce and homemade chips for my “birthday tea” and Steve set abut getting that ready. It was delicious.

It may not have been quite the birthday I would have expected at the start of the year, but by 2020 standards it was a pretty nice day.

It did, however, mean that I wasn’t best fuelled for my Sunday morning run. Who knew that cake and fizz wasn’t the best preparation for running haha! Still, I enjoyed my 10 miles  and was pleased that I had kept my run streak alive through the first full working week of the term.

We spent the afternoon with my parents as dad had invited us up, allegedly so Steve could watch the football, but I suspect the reality was mum would only let him watch the football if he invited us up so she could chat to me at the same time. With social restrictions changing all the time, I was glad to have that time to sit and chat rather than have a quick driveway/doorstep catchup.

And so the week drew to a close with my usual Sunday night bath (accompanied by the last of the birthday fizz – decadent!) and I was ready for another week in school.

How did/will you mark your birthday in 2020?
If you’re a parkunner, have you experienced a parkrunday birthday before?