Brrr! How is the weather where you are? The tail end of this past week really began to feel like winter and my shorts had to remain on the shelf in favour of leggings and other winter running gear. Novel at the moment, but I’ll soon be longing for warmer temperatures (and a bit more daylight!). Here’s what I’ve been up to this week:
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 4 miles + PT session with Steve
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – drills + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles
This was the second of two weeks with no yoga class on Monday evening so I made sure to do another Yoga with Adriene video for some home practice. I’m drifting away from my home practice a bit again, so need to try and sort my routine out to fit it in more often as I know it makes me feel great.
The early part of the week was still reasonably mild so although I was out early, the shorts were still in play (with a long sleeved top). A lovely 4 miles at an easy pace really set me up for the day.
That evening I headed down to the studio for my first strength session of the week. Arms have been my priority but the exercises Steve gives me also target my core and upper back. I’m really beginning to notice the improved range of movement in my upper back, which is really encouraging. For this workout it was the resistance back followed by a number of press up variations, some of which felt quite challenging!
On Wednesday I had a complete rest from any kind of exercise. I had a parents’ evening at school which kept me out late (always such a long day for everyone involved) and although a very positive evening, I was really tired when I got home and it was already after 8pm so it was food, cup of tea and straight to bed to recharge.
Despite the tiring day I was still up, albeit a smidge later, on Thursday morning to head out for my run. I had toyed with binning the drills and just having a run instead, but I knew that by the time I had run the first mile – my warm up mile for the drills – I would be feeling good and ready to go. So I made sure to programme my watch in advance and got out the door. This week I did 10 reps of my drills and it felt pretty good. Unfortunately the weather had turned by this point so it was much cooler (leggings cooler) and absolutely pouring so I was glad I had left my “rainy day running hat” out along with my other kit!
As a midweek bonus, one of my colleagues was celebrating her birthday therefore we had cake. This particular colleague is vegan so it was vegan cake. I’m not sure I’ve had that before and was pleasantly surprised at how tasty it was. Perhaps because it was home baked rather than shop bought – that makes a difference.
I was pleased to have my usual teacher back for Ashtanga that evening and I felt like it was a really good class for me. I held Wheel for 10 long breaths (remember when I could barely move into that position?), managed the standing version of the posture I achieved last week (I think the improved upper back mobility is contributing to that one as it involves a slightly tricky bind) but stuck with asking for support for my headstand as I was feeling a bit “off” in my balance. Our bodies are different every single day when it comes to balance, and I’m learning to accept this and simply be grateful for what I can achieve rather than striving for more all the time.
On Friday we were heading out (more on that in a moment) but I managed to squeeze in a workout first. Priorities ha! This time the resistance band was a mere warm up and the majority of the workout was a variety of press ups. Ooft!
The reason we were headed out was because a good friend of ours was celebrating a big birthday and had invited us to a party she was having. The theme was James Bond and the invitation stated that party attire should be “iconic Bond fashion or your favourite villain”. Now I do love a bit of fancy dress but I’m fairly limited in my James Bond knowledge so was a bit back and forth about what to wear. I guess it would be easy to simply glam up in a pretty dress and heels, but I wanted something instantly recognisable as coming from James Bond and eventually decided that I was going to be a female Bond. After getting irritated at the discrepancy in price for male and female clothing (a totally flimsy women’s blouse was twice the price of a pretty decent man’s shirt 😡 – for future reference I’m the smallest collar size in a slim fit shirt 😂) I got myself sorted out and after an early dinner, donned my 007 outfit.
Steve was also going as Bond so it was two for the price of one!
I have to say, the tuxedo look was waaaaaaaaay more comfortable than a dress and heels. The boys have it so easy!
I did have a beer with my dinner, which I usually do on a Friday, but stuck to soft drinks at the party as I wanted to feel fresh and ready to run on Saturday morning. I still had a great time at the party – dancing, chatting and catching up with some people I haven’t seen in ages – and we stayed until after the DJ finished and people were sitting having another drink and a chat. A totally polite time to leave and I got to my bed around midnight. Late for me but I was still able to get a good amount of sleep before parkrun.
The only fly in the ointment was the weather. Friday night was super cold (I know because we walked to and from the party!) so there was a lot of ice and frost sitting on top of all the fallen leaves. I ran (carefully) to parkrun then kept the pace down for the run itself so that I felt more in control of my footing and able to make a quick change/stop should there be dodgy underfoot conditions. This added just over a minute to my recent times, but I’d much rather have an easier run and stay safe than risk a fall that affects my running. It was a nice morning despite the cold and I enjoyed running at a steady pace whilst knowing I wasn’t going all out.
I ran home after parkrun to get showered and changed, then we drove back down to the cafe where all the runners were gathered as we had decided to meet Steve’s brother at this one for a change. This meant a delicious bacon roll and cup of tea, surrounded by plenty of parkrun chat, before going on to get our food shopping done. And in case you were worried that all the to-ing and fro-ing might result in me forgetting something, Smokey made sure I had all the essentials before I left 😹
Fast forward to Sunday and it was STILL cold. Steve headed out quite early but I waited a bit to let some of the ice and frost melt a little before I ran – plenty of early runs in the frost ahead so why add more? Although I’m not training for anything specific right now, I am still following the pattern of a three week build up then a cutback week and this was the “down” week in the cycle. That meant it was “just” 10 miles.
It was pretty grey and cold, but I really enjoyed my run and felt comfortable. When I looked at my average pace at the end I was happy to see that it was right on 4 hour marathon pace without me even trying – I was just out enjoying a morning run and running to feel. I know I’ve said it before but I’m really enjoying this period of running with no pressure. My motivation is that I WANT to run rather than I HAVE to run, leaving me happy to go out and routinely run distances that once would have been the sole preserve of a Serious Training Cycle. I’m going to mix things up a bit in the new year, but right now this is working for me and I’m feeling fit and strong. Very positive.
Roll on next week!
What is motivating you right now?
Do you prefer winter running or summer running?