Another week done and the 91st of January is inching nearer at long last! For me this was finally a week where I felt everything had settled into a fairly “normal” routine with the bonus of some exciting happenings along the way. Read on for the details!
Monday – Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles, PT session with Steve + home yoga
Wednesday – home yoga
Thursday – form drills + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve + home yoga
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 12 miles + home yoga
Believe it or not, this was the first Monday where I had a full teaching day – last week we had the disruption of the fire evacuation and the week before was inservice. In some ways it felt a bit odd having my Monday afternoon classes, but it was good to re-establish the routine. Hatha yoga that evening was about building strength in standing postures so our main focus was to culminate with all three Warrior poses before making our way back to our mats for relaxation. Warrior III is the trickiest since it’s a balance, but I think I am improving at this one as I’m feeling a bit more stable in it.
On Tuesday I had the second of my filmed lessons for the professional development programme I’m part of this year. Last time I didn’t sleep too well ahead of it, but this time I was ok since I had a better idea of what to expect. That said, I knew my run would be crucial to keeping me feeling settled, calm and in a good mood for the day ahead and I was actually quite excited to get out as my new running shoes had arrived the day before and I was keen to give them a try since it was a new (to me) shoe. Basically the shoe I like keeps changing its name as it is updated so this new version was quite different to the previous two (which I have still been running in). Not only did the shoe feel lighter, but it had that satisfying bounciness of a new shoe, something I haven’t experienced in a long time as I tend to rotate 3-4 pairs and this makes them last for quite a long time. I was happy with the shoes and set off feeling calm and ready for my day.
For those wondering, the lesson went fine and I’m looking forward to my coaching/feedback session to reflect more on what I might do to make further improvements. I still felt quite tired after it though, so didn’t hang around at the end of the day, choosing instead to get myself to the studio for a workout. We have been working with the medicine ball and a variety of roll outs which target my core as well, and on this occasion I had these alongside some press up variations with the hand weights.
Then once home I did a short home yoga session to round off my day and help me settle into a relaxed evening.
Oh, and Tuesday also featured the excitement of our new washing machine FINALLY being delivered and fitted. I don’t think I’ve ever been so pleased to see a kitchen appliance before, and since Steve had been at home he had even tackled loads of the washing so things felt a lot more organised at last. Phew!
Wednesday is my rest day and I tend to use it to tidy up some odds and ends at work before heading home. When I got there I made sure to take to my yoga mat for another home practice.
My Thursday run was form drills again since the weather was still playing ball – that’s three weeks in a row! I completed 10 reps of 500m drills so next time I’ll drop the reps back down to 6 and increase the distance so I’m developing this. I think being able to have some consistency here is contributing to me feeling like I’m running well right now so I’ll be happy if I can keep this going for a bit.
A slight fly in the ointment was that during the run and for the rest of the day I felt a sensation that I’m going to describe as a tightness building up low in my left leg and towards the inside. I knew that this would probably have a cause somewhere else in the kinetic chain (for me it’s usually my hips) so after work I asked Steve to watch me walking around then, once he had an idea of what was going on, he gave me the right movements to be doing to sort it out. Nipping it in the bud really quickly meant that I could get it sorted before it developed into an issue, and by the time I had been to yoga it was feeling much better.
In yoga I felt pretty strong and with my confidence building around the headstand, went ahead without knowing for sure if my teacher was there to support me. I moved much more easily into the posture and after a slight adjustment from my teacher she stepped away and I held the position for several breaths. This made me really happy as it felt like I just about had it and hopefully all the work I’ve been doing in the studio is also helping to support my progress here. Maybe I’ll be doing this one independently again sooner rather than later.
Friday was a nice day at work as a group of us have fallen into the lovely habit of a kind of Friday lunchtime club. Basically a group of staff from various parts of the school make an effort to go to the staffroom at lunchtime (rather than staying in our subject bases) to eat together and have a good old blether. It’s always so good to catch up with colleagues from around the school and with the hurly burly of the teaching week it’s easy to go a long time without seeing colleagues from other subjects. I hope we can continue this as it’s always such a good laugh and a great chance to meet staff who are newer to the school that I might not otherwise see.
After work I was back at the studio and Steve’s workout this time was still roll outs using the medicine ball, but with the rolls going in various directions to really challenge my core, and we culminated with me doing a set of roll outs with my feet in the straps of the TRX. That was definitely a core challenge!
I had time for some home yoga when I got home which helped me unwind and then we had a pleasant evening with our usual visit to the pub down the road for some food. I always enjoy this as it marks the start of the weekend.
And then it was parkrunday. Since we were still running laps of the park, I decided to give my new shoes a whirl over a faster run. I felt like I had been running well lately so wondered if I could squeeze out another sub-24 minute run. Imagine my surprise when I stopped my watch on 23:23, still feeling like I had a bit more in the tank (I had to slow up a few times to keep the path clear for other park users and to avoid running right into the back of the parkrunner in front of me at the finish line). Curiously, because we’re on an alternative course and, as per parkrun guidelines it’s longer than our regular course, my average pace for this run is actually slightly faster than when I ran my PB back in 2015, but my time is almost 10 seconds slower! I’m not bothered by the lack of a new PB though, more astounded that I had that sort of a run in me in the middle of winter when I’m not in a marathon training cycle (my best times of the year have historically come towards the end of a solid marathon training cycle and my PB us nearly 5 years old!). It just goes to show what consistency and a lack of pressure can do. Oh, and a bouncy new pair of shoes!
And I still had enough energy to run home. Awesome!
Later in the day we had another exciting, if a bit unusual, thing to do. We had been invited to a civic reception prior to the opening of the now annual Light Night events here in Perth – a series of themed mini light shows by the banks of the river. We had been told there would be a parade, but hadn’t realised that this meant those in attendance at the reception would actually be IN the parade haha! But before I knew it I was parading around the town centre behind our MP, MSP and a giant Robert Burns made out of papier mâché (the first event was Burns themed since it was Burns night). Not quite a Disney parade, but I did get a chance to wave to some people I knew who were watching.
The parade was led by a pipe band and finished at the actual event site, at which point we were free to go in and have a look about. This event was free (a couple of the others have a small entrance charge) and there were lights, a projection onto one of the buildings backing on to the event area, assorted performers and food trucks as well as some activities for kids and photo ops.
We even got to meet Burns himself! Is it just me, or does he look like he’s yawning? 😂
We stayed for a short time then began to make our way home, passing another pipe band performing on the other side of the river.
A crazy night indeed!
On Sunday I was expecting heavy rain on my run and worried that it might be a bit miserable, so planned a route that would allow me to make it 8, 10, or 12 miles depending on how I was feeling. As it turned out, it didn’t really rain at all so I took the chance to run 12 miles since I’ve been feeling a bit “stuck” at 10 for a while now. I know I don’t have a specific race to train for, but I do want to keep myself in the sort of shape that I could go and run a decent half marathon at any time, or begin to build my miles up from a solid base. This run felt good and I definitely still had more in my legs when I finished so I’m feeling pretty good about where my fitness is right now. Long may it continue!
Rounding off the week with a bit of home yoga to help me relax and unwind after all the excitement.
What’s the most unusual things you’ve done recently?
Any surprises in your running performance?