This was definitely a week of two halves – REALLY busy in the early part of the week at work as we prepared for our inspection, then much more laid back as it was the long weekend we get for our mid-term break. That break was probably exactly what I needed to hit reset and get a bit of rest before a Really Big Week at work. I also made a few tweaks to my training to take account of how I was feeling and the weather conditions (Storm Ciara segued “seamlessly” into Storm Dennis).
Monday – rest
4 miles PT session with Steve + home yoga
Wednesday – 3.5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve + Hatha yoga
Saturday – parkrun open sandwich + home yoga
Sunday – 10.5 miles + home yoga
The start of the week was really rather quiet training-wise. I had parents’ evening on Monday (the last one for this school year – yippee!) which meant missing my yoga class and what with everything else going on at work right now, overall it was a really busy day and I was exhausted by the time I got home, not least because it was a fairly tricky journey with lots of snow still about courtesy of Storm Ciara!
This meant that when my alarm went off for my Tuesday morning run, I just couldn’t face it. I STILL felt really drained from the day before and the conditions outside sounded truly awful – high winds, heavy rain – so after a quick check of the weather forecast for the following day, I decided to postpone my run and have a bit more sleep instead. I think this was probably the best idea as even though a run would have made me feel good, it was far better at this point to prioritise rest and recovery.
But I didn’t want the whole day to be a write-off so still had my PT session with Steve at the end of the day. For this one he had worked out this sequence whereby one exercise was added for each set. The first round was a simple squat, and by the end there were all sorts of other things along the way, such as a tuck jump burpee! It certainly mixed things up and woke me up!
Once home, I got back to some home yoga again as I thought it would be a great way to settle myself down a little before doing some work in the evening.
I did get up for my run on Wednesday morning and while the wind had settled a little and the rain was off, this time it was the underfoot conditions that were tricky as all the rain/snow showers from the day before had frozen so there was black ice and white, frosty paths. The roads were ok so I was able to create a shortened version of my usual run route and kept the pace down to avoid slipping. This run was more about getting time outside and adding some movement and headspace to my day than anything else, so it didn’t really matter what sort of run it was.
It was an inservice day at work and we were given almost the whole day (bar a meeting first thing) to focus on getting organised for the inspection. I was really glad of this as it had allowed me to plan for using that time for some displays I wanted to update and lesson plans I wanted to tweak, but it was still quite full-on and I instructed Steve to make sure I didn’t do any work when I got home that evening as it had already been such a busy week that I knew I had to stop and take a proper break in order to look after myself. So when I got home I made sure to do some yoga then settled down for a cosy and quiet evening.
Thankfully, that was it for work for the week (at least as far as turning up to the building was concerned) with Thursday and Friday being our mid-term break. There were a couple of things I still wanted to do for work but decided to take those two days for myself and catch up with the work stuff on Saturday afternoon. It may be a big week ahead, but I’ll be no good without proper rest to set me up for it. My car was booked into the garage on Thursday as I needed some routine work done, so I dropped it off first thing and ran the scenic route home. In better weather I would have run some form drills, but Steve had been concerned that it would still be slippery, plus there was still some wind and rain about so simply getting a run in was perfectly fine. It’s actually only about 2 miles from the garage to our house, so it was quite a detour I took to bring it to 5! Even better, I arrived home to find that my most recent virtual race medal had arrived – I just couldn’t resist Bagpuss!
I had some other errands to take care of so dealt with those in the afternoon before collecting my car, thus freeing up most of Friday for some me time. Then in the evening I had my Ashtanga class. It was interesting to be in the class feeling more rested that usual and I was conscious that I felt strong in so many of the postures. When it came to headstand, I did a little work on it by myself, holding it for about a breath or so, then had my teacher support me to hold the position for a little longer. Still building confidence there.
On Friday morning I had the time to start the day with some (professional) reading in bed with a cup of tea and the kitties.
I then headed down to the studio to have my PT session in the morning; press up variations using grips. These were really targeting my core as well and my abs have been reminding me of their existence ever since!
My next port of call was a yoga class. Since I missed my Monday night Hatha class, my teacher was happy for me to go along to her Friday morning class instead. It’s good that she lets us do that as we pay in blocks rather than for individual classes so this means we can “catch up” if there’s one we have to miss. I think I prefer yoga in the afternoon/evening to the morning, but it was still a nice way to unwind as I had planned a quiet afternoon doing nice things for myself. By which I mean Disney movies with my blanket, several cups of tea and kitty cuddles.
We rounded off our day with our usual meal at the nearby pub and, since it was Valentine’s Day, opted for a steak dinner. Delicious!
It was clear on Saturday morning that it was going to be another “character building” parkrun with a forecast of wind and rain as Storm Dennis made his entrance. Steve was RD so he went out for an early run, at which point the weather was ok, and even as I ran down to parkrun it was fine, but as the run progressed the conditions got worse – and my pace got slower! in the end I did (just) squeeze under 24 minutes, but it was quite a battle, especially on the home straight where I was running into a strong headwind and felt like I was going backwards!
Still, another parkrun done and this one was my 200th – not an official parkrun milestone and therefore not one that should be routinely celebrated, but some RDs at our parkrun do mention unofficial milestones in their briefings, especially when there aren’t many other milestone runners that week, and Steve did call out mine so I got my photo taken for this week’s “rogue’s gallery” haha!
Post-run I helped Steve out with some bits and pieces as we were going straight to the cafe for him to process the results, rather than running home. Thankfully I had the foresight to send him off in the car with a complete change of clothes for me, so I was a bit warmer than I would otherwise have been thanks to being soaked from the rain!
After all that effort I DEFINITELY wanted a bath to warm up in the afternoon, and it made me smile to see that my bubble bath had arranged itself into a love heart!
When I woke up on Sunday I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do for my run. I knew that it would be dry at the point when I wanted t go out, but the high winds and strong gusts would still be about into Monday so there was no avoiding another tough run. So how far to go? Steve had been out earlier and suggested trying to run in fairly built up areas to get a bit of shelter, so I ended up heading out with with no overall plan other than to take things as they came and see what happened. I ended up going in a different direction to begin with, then reversing some of my staple route to end up with a hard-earned 10.5 miles. I also discovered that there really was no tailwind! Despite running in a loop, pretty much every way I turned I seemed to be running straight into the wind. It definitely felt hard in places, but no doubt will be good for me long term. Besides, with no real plans right now other than to run for enjoyment, it doesn’t really matter what my run is, I’m just enjoying the time on my feet and headspace running gives me to reset and get some fresh air – and there was certainly plenty of air about on this run!
To give you a flavour of the conditions, here are a couple of pictures Steve took when he was out. The first one should be a viewpoint looking out at the river. The second is what would normally be part of our regular parkrun route (we’re still on our alternative course right now).
The water isn’t high enough for the flood defences to be activated, but there’s still quite a bit of high water here! The rain seems to have stopped for now but the high winds are still here so who knows what the week ahead will have in store!
How did Storm Dennis affect you?
What’s your favourite thing to do for a bit of down time?