And just like that, the October break was over and we were back to school. With everything the past couple of years has thrown at us it never feels like any break is long enough right now (and I say that knowing how fortunate we are in the amount of holiday time we have) and I know there is a busy term ahead. I’m going to have to work hard to continue fitting in my workouts and evening yoga as the temptation will be there to come home and do nothing else. Things started reasonably well:
Monday – 3.5 miles + home yoga
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10k
Unsurprisingly, the early alarm call was a bit of a shock to the system but I had remembered to lay my kit out the night before to make it easier to get out the door quickly. I knew I wanted to have a more “normal” week of running, but also didn’t want to launch right back into a 40 mile week after a couple of lower mileage weeks (and minor hip issue) so made a plan to keep each run just slightly shorter than previous weeks. For this day, 3.5 miles was perfect and everything felt good.
Work was fine and it was good to catch up with my colleagues. Still a lot ahead this term though. When I arrived home Steve was heading out to see a client so I got myself sorted out and did a little yoga before catching up on a couple of things.
Funnily enough, returning to work meant I slept well that night and actually felt reasonably fresh on the Tuesday morning. What with my time away then taking it easy on my hip, I had fallen behind with my Together Run podcast episodes so wanted to catch up a bit. I’m really noticing how dark it is in the morning now, but in this episode we focused on gratitude and I realised that I am grateful to be able to get out and run each morning. I may feel a little differently when the weather really begins to bite, but right now I’m still out there in shorts and T-shirt most of the time.
It was a fairly busy day (aren’t they all?) and Steve was just heading out to see a client when I arrived home. I got organised and enjoyed a yoga video before getting dinner organised.
On Wednesday morning it was actually fairly mild for the time of year. I got dressed in my shorts and T-shirt and headed out to cover 5 miles. I must admit, I didn’t feel like there was much in the way of available pace in my legs, but I know from experience that this is pretty typical of returning to early runs after a break so I’m not too bothered by it. It’s more important to me to get the mental health benefits of running right now rather than being able to run fast and having a couple of weeks of lower mileage is making me appreciate being able to run a bit further/longer again.
Somehow I got caught up in a task at work and ended up leaving a bit later than I had meant to. It was a pretty miserable evening, but Steve was ready to “brighten” things up with a workout using the resistance band. I’m very much aware that I’ve not had so many workouts lately and there were points when my poor arm muscles were burning (I’m talking to you, triceps!). I made sure that my yoga video afterwards was not one that would involve too much weight bearing through my weary arms!
When I went to bed on Wednesday night I had expected a dry morning, but waking up on Thursday it soon became apparent that this had changed. I quickly grabbed my hat and gilet to add to my kit before heading off into the rain for another Together Run. I had planned to run down to the river to loop around the bridges and although I didn’t expect the greatest view, I stuck to my plan and was pleasantly surprised to find a reasonable view after all.
From there, I was flung into what is always my busiest work day of the week and there were one or two additional challenges this week which caused me to wonder if it was a full moon! Thankfully I was able to get away fairly sharp to get back for an appointment, but I was definitely pleased to hit my yoga mat for a quick practice when I got home. Even better, Steve experimented with a new approach to sticky toffee pudding. It’s my favourite dessert so I was more than happy to do some extensive taste testing haha!
I also had to pull together a last-minute outfit for Halloween dress up day at school the following day. It’s been planned since before the holidays, but there hadn’t been much chat about it amongst the staff until the Thursday and a few of us decided to at least give a nod to it in our Friday outfits. Funnily enough, I was fairly quickly able to rustle up a Disney-inspired number 😂
But before that, the small matter of a Friday morning run. The weather was better but with a chance of rain and I was glad I opted for my hat when there was a brief shower right when I set off. By the end of the run it felt like something had clicked into place and that “back to early running” sluggishness wasn’t so noticeable. Shame it waited until the end of the last early run of the week!
And then time to don my outfit and head to school. I quite enjoyed wearing it and everyone knew EXACTLY who I was!
Anything involving non-uniform tends to cause a bit of restlessness in pupils so it was an interesting day, but once home there was another workout on the cards with the resistance band and some push ups on my weary arms. Then a little yoga before settling down for a relaxing evening catching up with some tv.
The Saturday was, of course, parkrun day. There had been a lot of rain so I was mulling over which shoes would be best when Steve let me know that there was some flooding on the course (ironically, the section that caused us to be on the alternative course prior to the Covid pause while the council conducted some drainage works was absolutely fine – the flooding was elsewhere in a low-lying section) so we were using our alternative course of two and a bit laps around the park.
But before setting off I finished up my book. This was one I was reading as part of the little social book group I’m in at work (inspired by Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club books I’m now referring to us as “The Thursday Book and Cake Club”!). I can highly recommend this one. It was written as a kind of chronicle of the 20th Century, but through the medium of fictional journals. The main character, who in many ways is not all that likeable, particularly in his youth, encounters so many important figures from the century – Iain Fleming, Pablo Picasso, Virginia Woolf and the Duke & Duchess of Windsor to name a few – that it is a fascinating read. Many parts are set abroad, including my beloved Paris, and all of this conspired to make me really love this book If you haven’t read it, add it to your list now!
And then, to parkrun. I probably ran down a little too quickly as I left slightly later than planned and definitely felt it during the run. Being on a completely paved route does tend to make me try to go a bit faster as there’s no grass or mud to slow things down and I was happy to come in around 24:13. Numbers were down, no doubt because of the poor weather and a lot of people would have assumed we would be running our normal route which includes a grass section, but that’s probably just as well when we were contained within the main park and more likely to meet other park users.
After my morning efforts I was glad of an easy afternoon, bath and evening of Strictly – what an A-MA-ZING Halloween special!
On Sunday morning the weather was pretty miserable again. I headed out for my run with no real plan of how much I wanted to do, but it soon became apparent that it was going to be about how long I was prepared to be soaking wet (and have cold hands). I was distracted by some things I had to do in the afternoon and just couldn’t get my head into the run. Perhaps if the weather had been nicer it would have made a difference, but I ended up deciding to finish after 10k. I was soaked through and pleased to find that Steve had left my dressing gown hanging on a hook by the front door so I could get out of my wet kit as soon as I got inside. You could have wrung it out and I think I was drier coming out of the shower than when I went in!
Once dried and fed we headed out to the car showroom. My current agreement was due to end soon and I needed to make arrangements for the next step – leaving it would be an expensive mistake as they would take a sizeable final payment from me! There’s a huge delay on new cars right now but I have a new one ordered, the payment schedule sorted out so I don’t have an unpleasant surprise and my current car booked in for its service/MOT since the delay means I’m hanging on to it about 6 months longer than planned. I hate having things like this taking up big chunks of my weekend, but I’m glad it’s all sorted now as it was stressing me out a bit.
After that (and getting the food shop done) I was able to relax a bit. I found a fun Disney filter on Instagram which made you look like one of the singing busts in The Haunted Mansion so gave it a go. Basically it was further confirmation (as if I needed it) of how much I look like my dad 😂
I was pleased to get to my bed that night after a busy day. I’m getting the sneaky suspicion that the next few weeks as we head towards Christmas could get pretty hectic!
If you had a Halloween costume this year, what was it?
Is the changing weather affecting your running?