With all the excitement of a(nother) trip to France behind me, my suitcase (finally) unpacked and some sense of normality returning, it was time to use the second of my two weeks off to have a bit of time to myself to catch up on some life admin and recharge before the busy nine week term ahead up to the festive season. I also took the opportunity to squeeze in a few additional workouts, much as I did back in the summer holidays.
Monday – PT session with Steve + Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles
Wednesday – PT session with Steve
Thursday – 4.5 miles plus Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve + Hatha yoga
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles
I began the week down at the studio for an arm workout involving the resistance band, some press ups and weights. Steve is still mixing up what I’m doing so my body never gets used to it and doing exercises such as press ups and the TRX which rely on body weight mean it will always be a challenge.
I also had my usual Hatha class that evening and although I didn’t have the same need for it as at the end of a work day, having missed the class the week before, it was good to get back on my mat and relax.
Being off meant I could head out for my Tuesday run a little later, which at this time of year means in the daylight! My holiday habit, where possible, is to make a cup of tea when my alarm goes off and take it back to bed to read for an hour or so. It’s such as nice way to start the day when there’s no rush to be somewhere and still plenty of time for my run later in the morning. I stuck to my regular 4 miles since that has been working well for me, and although there was a slight weariness in my legs after the weekend of running following a week off (because I was away on the trip) I knew that would fade through movement.
I also did a little home yoga later in the day…once I moved the cat off the mat – clearly he wanted to be the cat in the rhyme 😹
In term time I tend to take Wednesday as a rest day but don’t have quite the same need for it in the holidays so I headed back down to the studio for another workout. This time it was the TRX and the resistance band.
Once home, I got to work on the first batch of French onion soup (my fave!) for the winter. Yum!
Then headed into town with Steve as we had free coffees to claim at Caffe Nero.
And to round off my achievements for the day, I prepped a batch of peanut butter fudge ready to set in the fridge overnight.
On Thursday morning I decided to stretch my run ever so slightly by running a loop rather than an out-and-back route. While I was out I realised that the next time my midweek run takes place in daylight it will be during the Christmas holidays. Yay for Christmas and the holidays, but sad times about the diminishing morning light 😢
That evening was Ashtanga and the class had a number of new people there, which always changes the dynamic a bit. I always enjoy the class, but definitely prefer weeks when it’s an experienced group so we can move through postures a little more swiftly and add some extra things into the practice. I opted for a supported headstand again as I’ve decided to park my ego at the door on this one and go right back to start over again. My thinking is if I build up time in the posture with a little support, I can gradually rebuild my strength and confidence to tackle it solo. I do keep meaning to work on it a bit more at home, but time just keeps getting away from me on this one. Watch this space…
When I got home, I finished the traybake I had been making – my first go at this one. I had made the biscuit base and left it to set while I was out so had to melt the chocolate and let it set to finish it. Two homemade sweet treats in as many days? Who even am I? 😂
Friday morning was a busy one, beginning down at the studio for a session. It was the TRX, some press ups and the resistance band, but this time Steve played around with the speed I completed the exercises, e.g. lowering into a press up slowly, then pressing back up fast. This adds a new edge of challenge to the workout.
From there, I dropped my car off at the garage as it was due to be serviced and I had managed to get an appointment while I was still off – that makes my life so much easier! I declined the offer of a lift into town (it’s really not that far) and walked in myself as I was heading to a Hatha yoga class. My Monday night teacher recently started a Friday morning class which I ordinarily can’t get to, but to make up for the class I missed while I was on the trip (we pay for blocks of classes) I went along to this one. It was a bit strange to be doing Hatha on a Friday morning, but after a fairly busy start it actually felt pretty good.
It ended up being a really active day as I walked home from town then walked back to the garage later on to collect my car. Lots of steps!
As ever, it was the parkrun sandwich on Saturday. I had a really nice run down and was pleased that my efforts during parkrun resulted in a time 30 seconds faster than last week! I’m still not quite in my optimal form, but it’s coming and I have to remember that conditions are becoming a little tougher as the grass gets more boggy and the wind picks up. We’re also still using an alternative course which is slightly longer than our regular one, so I need to remember that when I look at my times. As an added bonus, I was 10th female. Top ten when there are 230 runners isn’t too shabby!
I had a fairly busy day planned as after we had breakfast with Steve’s brother, I got in my car and headed off to the Stirling area to meet some friends for coffee. We were coming from all over the place so this was the easiest meeting point. We went to the cafe at a farm shop and I had a delicious slice of mars bar cake to tide me over until my dinner, It was yummy!
In actual fact, when I got in I decided to be a bit indulgent and have a bath to relax for a bit before spending the evening watching some telly. After a couple of days of dashing about, this was just what I needed.
And then it was Sunday. I ended up heading out for my run a little later than planned as I got some housework done first and was “only” running 10 miles. I know that sounds so strange to say “only”, but the reality is that’s about 90ish minutes of running so still easy to squeeze into the day. It would have been a different story if I had 16 miles or something!
What I’m finding interesting is that without anything to train for right now, I’m actually running better than I have in ages for my long runs. I’m sustaining a quicker pace than I have all year without even trying, indeed I’m not actually looking at my watch and just running to feel. I ran the same route I did the weekend between my two visits to France (that still makes me feel so jetset lol!) and at the time noted that it was the fastest I had run since May or June. On this latest run I was faster again, and certainly don’t remember running under 1:32 for a 10 mile training run any time recently. I checked back my stats for a bit and got bored looking, so I can’t imagine it was this year. At best the tail end of last year, but even then I’m doubtful. It feels really encouraging to be running well and I’m curious to see how that pans out in the coming months as I have no plans to put any serious races in my diary right now.
The afternoon was then spent visiting my parents, who supplied us with tea and a slice of tarte au citron. Just the thing!
And for those wondering: 1)Yes I’m still wearing my shorts and 2) the kitties are still friends (although they did have a brief and unexplained falling out this week, now resolved as this photo shows).
It’s been great to have a quieter week, but now it’s time to get back to work and strap in for the busy weeks ahead.
What’s your favourite sweet treat to bake/make/buy?
Tell me something good you’ve read recently.