Back to school! It never ceases to amaze me just what a shock to the system it is, especially after the summer when we get really out of the way of the term time routine. That said, it’s good to start feeling much fresher than when the term ended back in June, and I was determined to keep my mileage up a bit on what I was running back then (although likely a bit less overall on weekdays than during the holidays). At least as far as this first week was concerned, I did manage that:
Monday – 4.1 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 6 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 9 miles
So it was back to my old friend the 5am alarm on Monday morning. Of course after 7 weeks off I felt pretty well rested so it was ok getting up early (I know that won’t last!) and I had left my kit out to speed things up. Thankfully it’s still light in the mornings and it was set to be a sunny day so it was really nice outside. I actually saw the most lovely rainbow. It was kind of visible in parts, then I could finally see the whole thing arching in front of me later on. The sky can change so quickly at this time of day, but it was just the thing to set me up for the day ahead (an inservice/inset day so lots of meetings!).
The work day was fine. It was nice to see my colleagues and start to get my head around a few things – I even managed to leave by 5! That gave me a bit of time to myself before my yoga class (which definitely felt more necessary after a work day than it did when I was on holiday!).
I did my best to get to bed fairly sharp since I was up early again for the second of our two inset days. I could actually have worked from home for this one, but I thought that might make going in for the first teaching day on Wednesday feel super hard and being in school meant I could get some things done without having classes or meetings to work around.
First, of course, I headed out for a run. Nothing special, just a fairly easy pace while my body gets used to “work mode” again.
When I got home from work the sun was shining so a garden workout was in order – TRX, press up bars and the Core Momentum Trainer this time. Followed by a relaxing yoga session to ease me into my evening.
Waking up on Wednesday I was three days into the return of early starts and had the first teaching day of the school year ahead of me. While I most definitely needed my run to set me up for the day (it was a Running for Real Together Run), I did notice that I was getting a bit more sluggish so continued to keep the pace easy.
As it turned out, a combination of non-teaching time and new first year pupils taking part in induction activities meant that I didn’t actually meet any of my new classes until the afternoon so I had the morning to get some planning and admin done. But being back in the classroom is alway tiring so by the time I got home I was feeling pretty sleepy. My yoga session helped, but I made sure to get to bed sharp!
I did feel better on Thursday morning but saw no need to complicate an already tiring week by adding in drills! Instead I opted for a straightforward 5 mile loop down to the river and around the bridges. It was a bit drizzly but still nice to take in the peace and quiet of the river in the early morning (although not nice enough to tempt me to stop and take photos!).
After a packed day I was so glad to get home and onto my yoga mat. Steve was out at a meeting so post-yoga I had a little time to myself and since my brain felt fried I relaxed with a couple of vlogs until he got back and we could have our dinner. Again, I headed to bed fairly sharp.
Friday was most welcome, but before I could really hit the weekend I had a full teaching day to navigate (the bulk of my non-teaching time is in the early part of the week but with the inset days I didn’t have those so it felt like a super busy week overall!). But before that, a nice out-and-back run to ease me into the day. Nothing special, just some time to myself in a busy day.
I didn’t hang around at the end of the day as I was done in and needed to just summon up the energy to head out and get home. I hoped to have an outdoor workout but there was rain forecast and we had barely stepped out the door when we could feel the raindrops in the air, so it was back to the living room and a workout with the resistance band and some press ups, after which I did some yoga while Steve organised dinner.
I was in need of a relaxing evening so we finished up the tv programme we had been watching this week: The Woods on Netflix. Another excellent Harlan Coben adaptation. After that, to bed as I REALLY needed a good sleep!
And a good sleep I had. According to my tracker app I was basically dead to the world 8.5 hours. I woke up just as Steve was bringing me a cup of tea and it was good to take my time enjoying my tea and reading a bit (my reading time definitely suffered being at work) until it was time to get ready for parkrun. I have to say, it’s still so novel to have parkrun back after so long without it. It looked like it might rain so I donned my cap to keep the rain out of my face, but the parkrun weather fairies did their job and the rain held off until after I was home.
In actual fact it felt quite humid but I was determined to run a bit faster than last week, especially since I knew it was a more auspicious week hormonally for me (changing hormones throughout the month make such a difference!). I positioned myself slightly further forward and set off at a decent lick and hoped to be able to hang on. The upshot? I DID run faster, so another email congratulating me on my fastest time this year. I also came first in my age category which was pretty pleasing. But most pleasing of all was checking my stats to find a Royal Flush Negative Split – it’s been a while since I got to use that phrase!
I arrived home on such a high after having a good run, being cheered to the finish by other parkrunners and chatting to parkrun friends. A valuable reminder of how parkrun is about so much more than running 5k. I honestly hadn’t realised quite how much I missed it.
After being at work all week I made sure to take it easy on Saturday afternoon. I actually ended up finishing the first part of Lupin on Netflix. Steve and I had watched the first episode a while back, which played as dubbed in English, and Steve hadn’t enjoyed it. He didn’t want to watch any more, but I did so changed the settings so it would play in the original French with subtitles and ended up watching the remaining 4 episodes in the first part. I really enjoyed them. I had thought I might go for a bath later on, but my mum sent my sister down with some bits and pieces so we were having a good old blether, after which there didn’t feel like enough time before dinner to have a nice long soak.
Smokey woke me quite sharp on Sunday morning as he wanted his breakfast. And here was me thinking he might give me a lie in for my birthday! Oh well! At least being awake meant I had time to enjoy a cup of tea while I opened up cards and gifts before spending a little time reading my book.
I made sure to head out for my run fairly sharp and dropped the mileage back a little as we wanted to have lunch a bit earlier and get the shopping done so that we could go out for a little treat. I knew that 8.5 miles would be enough to bring me to 40 miles for the week so set off towards the woodland park with that in mind. Somehow my route ended up being 9 miles, but I resisted the temptation to go on to 10 as I really needed to get inside, showered and changed.
We managed to get everything done in good time, including a quick visit from Steve’s brother to drop off a gift from him and his family – beautiful flowers and an bottle of wine from a rather intriguing brand I have not come across before: 19 Crimes. Their range is inspired by the 19 crimes which led to prisoners being deported to Australia in the 1700s (thus becoming colonists), and the label directs you to their website and augmented reality app to learn more. I’ll look into this more when I get a chance as it sounds fascinating.
The treat was to go out for afternoon tea at the farm shop cafe, which is served 2:30-4pm and they are not taking bookings right now, it’s first come first served four everything so we wanted to be there sharp to make sure we got a table. It’s a place I enjoy for their tea and cakes, but have never had afternoon tea there before. It was also my first time sitting in at a cafe again since the pandemic – I’ve pretty much used takeaway or, one one previous occasion, sat outside. It was busy, but the tables were well spaced and we were by a door leading to outside tables so had plenty of ventilation and I felt very safe. As for the afternoon tea, it was DELICIOUS. We’ll definitely have this again!
It would have been lovely to have a glass fizz with it, but I was driving (Steve is waiting on his new car so doesn’t have one right now, which is normally no big deal) so I was driving. I had, however, made sure to get some prosecco when we got the shopping so we indulged in a glass when we got home.
Unsurprisingly, all that food and fizz made me sleepy so I indulged in a little afternoon nap before dinner. And after dinner it was time for birthday cake (baked by Steve!). It was delicious!
I finished out my day with a bath, then Steve and I sat outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air before bed. It felt almost like being on holiday again and it was a shame to head inside. One week of term down, seven more to go…!
Do you enjoy afternoon tea?
How did you celebrate your last birthday?