Last week I wrote quite a long post setting out my new “working from home during lockdown” training routine. I don’t know how I found so much to say about a week of very little variation, but I think I needed it to help me process the way life is right now. As we moved into the second week of this “new normal” I established the routine for my day so that I could make sure to have time running, working, and doing other things to take me away from the computer screen.
At heart I am basically a cat – I love routine! Although one of the things I love about teaching is that the days are never the same, there is still a routine in terms of when I see my classes, what work I do with them and so on. Outside of work my time revolves around the routines of when I run, when I go to yoga classes, when I write blog posts, etc. Even in the holidays when I have the freedom to do whatever I want, I tend to fall into some kind of routine anyway. So on work days my routine is now to go for a run first thing, shower and get dressed, drink a smoothie at my desk whilst I work, have a mid-morning cup of tea, work until lunch, watch some tv while I eat, do some more work (probably marking what pupils have done), step away from it all to read, do some yoga, then settle down for dinner and some tv. I’m not regimented about the times, but it does help me to mentally stay on top of things and break the day up into chunks. I imagine many of you will be doing something similar.
When it comes to my training, here’s how the week looked:
Monday – 3.3 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4 miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 3.8 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4 miles + home yoga
Friday – 3.8 miles + home yoga
Saturday – 6.3 miles
Sunday – 8.25 miles
What has been absolutely fascinating to me is noting how my body has been adapting to a run streak. Anything like this will always be a research study with a sample size of one since we are all different and our experiences will vary. It was the 5th and 6th days of the streak before I began to notice any weariness in my legs and Monday was day 7 so I treated it as a recovery run (I did run a bit longer the day before), and in so doing I established my own “streak rules”. Since I get points on my Vitality Fitness Rewards insurance for runs over 30 minutes, that’s the minimum length of time I plan to run for. That should take me past 3 miles, depending on pace, and 3 seems a nice round number so it’s at least 3 miles and at least 30 minutes for my “rules”.
I also made a batch of French Onion soup on Monday so we would have something different for our lunch for a couple of days. We didn’t plan to have it until the next day, but the flavours as so much better when they have a chance to mature a bit.
That evening my Hatha class took place over Zoom again and I really enjoyed it. Not the same as being in the studio but it’s good to have live instruction and to be able to say hello to everyone else in the class.
For my Tuesday – Friday runs I alternated a couple of different routes I like. One is an out-and-back and the other a loop. It mixes things up a little, but keeps me in places I consider “safe” as they are residential and quiet so I’ll only encounter other runners or walkers and it’s easy to move aside or cross the road to give each other space.
So what were the other highlights of the work week? Well I had spotted that Tuesday was National Wear Your Ears Day and that’s an idea right up my street! I couldn’t actually decide which of my many pairs of Minnie Mouse ears to wear, so I eventually picked the pair I made last summer. Anything to bring a little cheer to working from home!
I even got Smokey in on the act! Can you tell I’ve got too much time on my hands?
On Wednesday I noticed that my legs felt much fresher again. I was quite surprised that I felt this way so quickly – just a week into the run streak – and although I didn’t feel like I had much to give on any uphill sections, having my own legs back under me was very welcome. I also came across one of my favourite rainbow displays – a knitted one!
A Thursday highlight was wearing a new running top. I love the colours of this year’s Run Disney merchandise – even if my chances of actually getting to take part this year are ever-dwindling – and this one was a gift from my parents when they returned from Florida. I love it!
Thursday evening was when we were all encouraged to clap for the NHS and our key workers. I had managed to miss this last week so wanted to play my part and was really heartened to see so many people in my street at their front doors clapping and cheering. I could hear the noice coming from other streets too and mum said someone by them was playing the bagpipes. So nice to feel like we could all come together in a positive way during this period of isolation.
Friday was a bit bizarre as it was the end of the school term, yet I hadn’t seen my pupils for two weeks! Usually I’m really excited for the holidays as I’m worn out from the term and needing some time to recharge, but after two weeks at home the only real change will be that I don’t have to sit down in front of my computer to work every day. I suspect I will need to adapt my routine a bit! I still made sure to give myself a degree of that end of term feeling by taking part in a live Disney and Harry Potter quiz in a Facebook group I’m in (I was quite pleased with how I did given I was playing solo!) then Steve and I had steak and homemade chips for dinner whilst watching Return of the Jedi.
Smokey watched a bit too. I think because some of the noises that come out of him aren’t too far from Wookie haha!
To differentiate between work days and the weekend, I started Saturday by reading in bed for a bit before heading out for my “notparkrun” run. I quite liked the route I followed last Saturday, which came in just over 10k (I usually run to and from parkrun so wanted more than the 5k distance) so just did the same again.
Post-run it was bacon rolls and coffee whilst watching the last episode of a tv programme we had been watching this week, then I popped out as my mum hadn’t been able to get hold of a couple of things when she did her shopping last weekend but Steve was able to get them for her when he nipped to the shop for a couple of bits we needed. It ended up being a doorstep drop and a brief chat involving my parents standing at their front door whilst I was in my car (driver’s seat furthest from them) and the passenger window down. It felt really odd, like I wasn’t really allowed to be talking to them, but no rules were broken as I was sufficiently far away to keep us all safe. So weird to feel like speaking to my own parents, at the house I grew up in, was a covert mission!
I spent the rest of the afternoon reading, had a bath, then it was pizza time. My tv choice for the evening was episode 3 of The Imagineering Story on Disney+, which had a huge section on Disneyland Paris. It was fascinating to watch, but did make me feel a little sad as I don’t know for sure when I will get back there again.
To round off the week I had an easy start to Sunday with a bit more reading in bed, then ran just over 8 miles to bring me to 33.7 miles for the week (and I’m ok with that 0.7!). It was a nice morning so it was good to be out enjoying the air. So quiet again though.
After lunch it was time to brave the shops to get some food in again, but thanks to having picked up one or two extra things and doing some batch cooking, we didn’t need too much so were able to get back home quite quickly. Shopping safely away, we settled down with tea and hot cross buns to catch up on the parkrun quizzes. We had done the first one a week late and there were another two up so we decided just to go for it and bring ourselves up to date. Sadly we discovered that without a direct link to the answer form, the web address would only take us to the most recent one so we had to tackle quiz number two on paper instead. That meant trying to remember the multiple choice options and also that we couldn’t actually see the pictures for the picture round! Mind you, we found on the previous quiz that seeing the pictures made little difference anyway and hilariously we ended up with 4/5 on that round 😂. Our scores of 11/15 for quiz two and 9/15 for quiz three were both improvements on week one, but I’m greatly amused that now our “quiz PB” is for the one where we didn’t have the answer form and just put down anything haha!
The rest of Sunday was very much as normal – dinner, TV (the first episode of Twin which Maria suggested – thanks Maria!) and a bath with a glass of wine and some Disney vlogs. The week ahead will most likely feel a bit different once again, but right now I’m coping.
How are you organising your days right now?
Have you been looking at all the rainbows and other displays in houses when you’re out running and walking?