Week In Review – A Bit Of Quiet Time

With all the excitement of a(nother) trip to France behind me, my suitcase (finally) unpacked and some sense of normality returning, it was time to use the second of my two weeks off to have a bit of time to myself to catch up on some life admin and recharge before the busy nine week term ahead up to the festive season. I also took the opportunity to squeeze in a few additional workouts, much as I did back in the summer holidays.

Monday – PT session with Steve + Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles
Wednesday – PT session with Steve
Thursday – 4.5 miles plus Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve + Hatha yoga
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

I began the week down at the studio for an arm workout involving the resistance band, some press ups and weights. Steve is still mixing up what I’m doing so my body never gets used to it and doing exercises such as press ups and the TRX which rely on body weight mean it will always be a challenge.

I also had my usual Hatha class that evening and although I didn’t have the same need for it as at the end of a work day, having missed the class the week before, it was good to get back on my mat and relax.

Being off meant I could head out for my Tuesday run a little later, which at this time of year means in the daylight! My holiday habit, where possible, is to make a cup of tea when my alarm goes off and take it back to bed to read for an hour or so. It’s such as nice way to start the day when there’s no rush to be somewhere and still plenty of time for my run later in the morning. I stuck to my regular 4 miles since that has been working well for me, and although there was a slight weariness in my legs after the weekend of running following a week off (because I was away on the trip) I knew that would fade through movement.

I also did a little home yoga later in the day…once I moved the cat off the mat – clearly he wanted to be the cat in the rhyme 😹

In term time I tend to take Wednesday as a rest day but don’t have quite the same need for it in the holidays so I headed back down to the studio for another workout. This time it was the TRX and the resistance band.

Once home, I got to work on the first batch of French onion soup (my fave!)  for the winter. Yum!

Then headed into town with Steve as we had free coffees to claim at Caffe Nero.

And to round off my achievements for the day, I prepped a batch of peanut butter fudge ready to set in the fridge overnight.

On Thursday morning I decided to stretch my run ever so slightly by running a loop rather than an out-and-back route. While I was out I realised that the next time my midweek run takes place in daylight it will be during the Christmas holidays. Yay for Christmas and the holidays, but sad times about the diminishing morning light 😢

That evening was Ashtanga and the class had a number of new people there, which always changes the dynamic a bit. I always enjoy the class, but definitely prefer weeks when it’s an experienced group so we can move through postures a little more swiftly and add some extra things into the practice. I opted for a supported headstand again as I’ve decided to park my ego at the door on this one and go right back to start over again. My thinking is if I build up time in the posture with a little support, I can gradually rebuild my strength and confidence to tackle it solo. I do keep meaning to work on it a bit more at home, but time just keeps getting away from me on this one. Watch this space…

When I got home, I finished the traybake I had been making – my first go at this one. I had made the biscuit base and left it to set while I was out so had to melt the chocolate and let it set to finish it. Two homemade sweet treats in as many days? Who even am I? 😂

Friday morning was a busy one, beginning down at the studio for a session. It was the TRX, some press ups and the resistance band, but this time Steve played around with the speed I completed the exercises, e.g. lowering into a press up slowly, then pressing back up fast. This adds a new edge of challenge to the workout.

From there, I dropped my car off at the garage as it was due to be serviced and I had managed to get an appointment while I was still off – that makes my life so much easier! I declined the offer of a lift into town (it’s really not that far) and walked in myself as I was heading to a Hatha yoga class. My Monday night teacher recently started a Friday morning class which I ordinarily can’t get to, but to make up for the class I missed while I was on the trip (we pay for blocks of classes) I went along to this one. It was a bit strange to be doing Hatha on a Friday morning, but after a fairly busy start it actually felt pretty good.

It ended up being a really active day as I walked home from town then walked back to the garage later on to collect my car. Lots of steps!

As ever, it was the parkrun sandwich on Saturday. I had a really nice run down and was pleased that my efforts during parkrun resulted in a time 30 seconds faster than last week! I’m still not quite in my optimal form, but it’s coming and I have to remember that conditions are becoming a little tougher as the grass gets more boggy and the wind picks up. We’re also still using an alternative course which is slightly longer than our regular one, so I need to remember that when I look at my times. As an added bonus, I was 10th female. Top ten when there are 230 runners isn’t too shabby!

I had a fairly busy day planned as after we had breakfast with Steve’s brother, I got in my car and headed off to the Stirling area to meet some friends for coffee. We were coming from all over the place so this was the easiest meeting point. We went to the cafe at a farm shop and I had a delicious slice of mars bar cake to tide me over until my dinner, It was yummy!

In actual fact, when I got in I decided to be a bit indulgent and have a bath to relax for a bit before spending the evening watching some telly. After a couple of days of dashing about, this was just what I needed.

And then it was Sunday. I ended up heading out for my run a little later than planned as I got some housework done first and was “only” running 10 miles. I know that sounds so strange to say “only”, but the reality is that’s about 90ish minutes of running so still easy to squeeze into the day. It would have been a different story if I had 16 miles or something!

What I’m finding interesting is that without anything to train for right now, I’m actually running better than I have in ages for my long runs. I’m sustaining a quicker pace than I have all year without even trying, indeed I’m not actually looking at my watch and just running to feel. I ran the same route I did the weekend between my two visits to France (that still makes me feel so jetset lol!) and at the time noted that it was the fastest I had run since May or June. On this latest run I was faster again, and certainly don’t remember running under 1:32 for a 10 mile training run any time recently. I checked back my stats for a bit and got bored looking, so I can’t imagine it was this year. At best the tail end of last year, but even then I’m doubtful. It feels really encouraging to be running well and I’m curious to see how that pans out in the coming months as I have no plans to put any serious races in my diary right now.

The afternoon was then spent visiting my parents, who supplied us with tea and a slice of tarte au citron. Just the thing!

And for those wondering: 1)Yes I’m still wearing my shorts and 2) the kitties are still friends (although they did have a brief and unexplained falling out this week, now resolved as this photo shows).

It’s been great to have a quieter week, but now it’s time to get back to work and strap in for the busy weeks ahead.

What’s your favourite sweet treat to bake/make/buy?
Tell me something good you’ve read recently.

Week In Review – Bonjour Encore!

Believe it or not, this post actually brings me up to date with my weekly roundups – the only one still to write is the week we’re on right now! Through circumstance, the first week of the holidays was a “down” week in terms of training (but certainly still a very active week since I was in Paris!). It was a really fun week, but very little training to speak of:

Monday – Disneyland Paris
Tuesday – Paris
Wednesday – travel home
Thursday – Ashtanga yoga
Friday – rest
Saturday – parkrun open sandwich
Sunday – 8 miles

Yes, you read that right, my week began with a return to my happy place: Disney! This was a new addition to our trip itinerary and it looks set to become a permanent feature after everyone had such a brilliant day. Although some Scottish schools were on holiday, it was far from all areas and English schools weren’t on half term yet. It being a Monday meant locals with annual passes were likely to be at work so in comparison to our visit on Run Weekend the parks were much quieter. This meant I was able to tick loads of attractions off my list, pick up some bits and pieces of shopping I had put off, and see the fireworks (although there was a bit of a technical snag there and for a good 10 minutes I thought they weren’t going to happen. Not going to lie, if I hadn’t been with pupils I would probably have been in tears after I sacrificed the fireworks for sleep on Run Weekend!). It was odd being back there so soon, but I did find the layout of the park felt much more familiar (it is not the same as the Magic Kingdom in Florida) which probably helped me to move quite swiftly through the things I wanted to do whilst still soaking up those magical vibes. Stand by for photos!!

I’ve never actually arrived this way before as I’ve stayed on property and only seen this from a flyover during the half marathon.

The “Ear Rule” was applied!

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch. Yes I did order this. Yes it was tasty.

And for the record, although it was covered up by my trip hoody, I was wearing this top:

In one shop a cast member took one look at me in my Beauty and the Beast-inspired leggings, Briar Rose Gold mouse ears and Arendelle Aqua Loungefly backpack (see below) and said, “so you’re a big Disney fan then?” It took every ounce of control I possessed not to reply with, “duh!” or similar 😂

Not me, but since I do have all these Arendelle Aqua items, it easily could be!

Photo Source: disneyphile.fr

That was probably my favourite day of the whole trip – and the one where there was no rain! Sadly Tuesday was forecast to be the wettest and that is exactly how it panned out, but luckily we had mainly indoor things on our itinerary for the the day.

We started at the Musée d’Orsay, a former railway station which is now an art gallery. I last visited here on my own school trip to Paris (more years ago than I care to count!) and remember enjoying the Impressionist art, so after a restorative cup of tea, that’s exactly where we headed.

From there, I walked the group along the Rive Gauche (left bank of the River Seine) to let them see some of the book/souvenir stalls (bouqinistes) and crossed back to the Rive Droite (right bank) on the Pont des Arts, which until recently was the bridge associated with love locks. Now, the railings have been replaced by perspex panels to prevent people attaching padlocks to them as there were concerns about the weight eventually causing them to fall into the water, potentially causing serious injury since the river frequently has an array of different kinds of boat on it. It’s still a nice pedestrian bridge and a nice spot to view the river and its banks.

This bridge delivers us right to the Louvre and we spent a few minutes getting some photos around the pyramid before heading along Rue de Rivoli to our destination: the Forum des Halles, a huge shopping centre which I can find ok, but I ALWAYS get lost within it’s labyrinthine floors! (Although I can find the Pandora store, so that covers the essentials 😂)

Having sent the pupils on their way, the staff headed to a pavement cafe where we sat under umbrellas, warmed by outdoor heaters, and had some lunch while we watched people scurrying out of the rain. I had hoped for more onion soup but sadly it wasn’t on the menu so I settled for a club sandwich which was really tasty.

Satisfied, we went our separate ways for a bit of shopping. I had a couple of things on my list but took care of those quite quickly so ended up marvelling at some of the creations in the Lego Store.

Around there I bumped into one of my colleagues so we went off for a cup of tea at the cafe beside our meeting point, finishing just in time to meet the rest of the group to head back to the centre for dinner – probably my least favourite selection of the trip as the fish was really bony and not well cooked, the rice wasn’t the best and the veg was cold. At least they had that nice dessert on again!

For our final night, we headed over to the Notre Dame area. Following the fire the actual cathedral is blocked off while it is restored, but we still wanted to have a chance to see it and there are lots of other things to do in the area. Our first port of call was one of my favourite places: Shakespeare & Co bookshop. Not only is it an iconic location, but there is a resident cat called Aggie who is most definitely the boss!

The staff then headed to a nearby cafe for a refreshment and most of the pupils went off to find snacks and souvenirs before heading back to the centre and bed.

Sadly it ended up being quite a late night as we had to solve a problem (not caused by our pupils but affecting them) and with the typically laid-back attitude of the French when it comes to getting things sorted out, this took much longer than it needed to. I can tell you I was not pleased when my alarm went off the next morning.

We weren’t due to be collected from the centre until around noon so had considered heading out on some kind of walk/excursion, but it was clear that the pupils just needed a chance to chill out after several busy days – as did we after our late night! We had to check out of our rooms, but luggage was kept in the baggagerie and there was a fairly nice cafe and seating area, so the couple of hours we had actually passed really quickly. To be honest, it felt like no time at all before we were back at the airport, dropping off the bags and picking up some food to see us until our arrival home.

A highlight of the flight was that this time I was on the left of the plane so saw the daytime view of the Eiffel Tower from the air to complement the night-time view I had when I arrived for Run Weekend. That felt like a nice way to round things off.

Everything went pretty smoothly and by 7:30pm we were back at school and delivering the pupils safely back to their parents. A really nice touch was one parent who turned up with flowers for the staff members to thank them for taking time out of their holiday to take her daughter to Paris. So thoughtful!

My only stop after that was to pick up a Chinese takeaway on my way home since Steve wasn’t going to be in much before me and we didn’t have anything in shopping-wise since I was away. Then I headed for a bath before bed. Wine DEFINITELY needed!

After all that I was EXHAUSTED. I didn’t see much need to run on the Thursday, preferring to get plenty of sleep and tackle some of those real-life errands teachers have in the holidays like getting a dental check-up – quite a comedown from being in Paris!

I did, however, make a point of going to Ashtanga since I wanted to stretch out after all the walking around. I also finally swallowed my pride and asked to be supported for the headstand. Perhaps getting used to being in the posture again, with some help, will be useful in getting me back to doing them solo again. It can’t hurt!

Then on Friday I ended up having another rest day. My errand for the day was my annual flu jab and my arm always hurts a little after so I didn’t bother asking Steve for a session. Instead I made some effort to unpack (properly this time!) and get myself organised. This included opening up this year’s edition of “Nope” magazine from the London Marathon. This year it may as well say “hard cheese” given the image they selected! 😂

By Saturday I was ready to get back to it. Steve was RD at parkrun so he drove down earlier with a warm top etc for me and I ran down. This was the day that Eliud Kipchoge completed his amazing sub-2 hour marathon and in my determination not to miss a minute of it, I actually ran there whilst still streaming the live feed (parkrun in Scotland is at 9:30am, I leave by about 9am latest to run down and he was due to finish at 9:15am so I knew I would probably be arriving, or just about arriving, when he finished). You should have seen me trying to look at my phone screen every time I had to pause to cross a road! By some miracle I reached parkrun without tripping, falling or otherwise making a fool of myself, so there’s that.

I had a fairly good run considering I hadn’t run in over a week. A little slower than I would have liked, but it was actually quite windy which definitely made a difference. I was just happy to be there and enjoyed my run.

I helped to sort the tokens while I waited for Steve, then donned my extra layers while the run was finishing up (I was back in my shorts again after that one super-cold day of capris right at the end of term). Steve being RD meant we headed to the cafe for a bacon roll while he processed the results.

Had to take my own picture since Steve was busy 😂

Then it was back to the usual Saturday glamour of food shopping. Oh take me back to Paris!

I spent the afternoon getting myself up to date with Strictly Come Dancing (to be honest, with two trips to Paris I had pretty much been a bit behind from week 1, but had somehow managed to avoid any spoilers. First world problems lol!). And for those wondering, the kitties definitely missed me while I was away, so much so that Smokey has suddenly become a lap cat – this wasn’t part of his repertoire before I left!

For my Sunday run I had considered 10 miles but ultimately decided that this should naturally become a cutback week since I hadn’t run much, and 8 miles would therefore be ideal. I headed out to the path through the woodland park which I like and just kept the pace easy. It felt good to stretch things out with a run after lots of walking. And yes, still in shorts.

So there you have it. Not much running or training but a super-fun week nonetheless. I mean I was in both Paris AND Disney – how could it be anything other than fantastique!

What was the best school trip you ever went on?
Are you in your winter running kit yet?

Week In Review – End Of Term Already And Feeling Jetset!

With the slightly longer summer holidays this year to adjust the calendar for the school year, the first term became quite a short one at just 7 weeks. Perfect for those counting down to the holidays, but quite quick in terms of getting back in to the routine. That said, in one of the most jetset moments of my entire life, just two weeks after my Disneyland Paris trip, I was going to be immediately getting back on the plane to Paris…this time with 37 pupils and 4 colleagues in tow! I’ll confess I didn’t entirely unpack since many of the bits and pieces I needed for the first trip would still be needed for the school trip (plus any number of additional things to make sure the needs of such a big group, on a packed schedule, could be taken care of easily), resulting in my suitcase doubling as a cat bed In between! But even with the excitement of a return to Paris ahead, I did manage to fit in plenty of training:

Monday – Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 4 miles + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve
Saturday – travel to Paris
Sunday – Paris!

As you can see, much of the week was my usual routine. A new block of Hatha yoga started so that returned me to my habit of some quiet headspace on a Monday evening and was most welcome.

On Tuesday I got out for my usual pre-work run of 4 miles at an easy pace. Nothing unusual here but I did notice the air feeling a bit cooler and wondered how much longer I would get away with shorts for.

No workout with Steve that evening as he had another event to go to so I took the chance to get on top of a few things at work then had a relaxing evening at home. The trip is always really busy so being sure to get some extra rest ahead of time is a good idea.

With Wednesday still scheduled as a rest day, I took the chance to sort out my packing. Or at least, have a first go at it. I always take much more when I’m travelling with pupils (and in a situation where looking reasonably well groomed is expected, as opposed to a largely running-based weekend where I can get away with being a bit more sloppy!) so I like to pack everything a few days beforehand then go back through it the night before we leave to jettison a few bits and pieces I really won’t need. I’ma list maker, but also a “just in case” packer so for me it’s worth doing.

I actually didn’t sleep too well on the Wednesday night. I’m taking part in a programme through work this year which involves some training/coaching session and filmed (yes, FILMED!) lessons where I use some of the new ideas I’ve been trying as a result of that training. The Thursday was the first of my filmed lessons and I didn’t think I was particularly on edge about it – being observed doesn’t tend to worry me too much – but I woke up far too early with the lesson running through my head. I suspect it was because I was taking a risk and trying something completely new so I had no idea how it was going to play out and it was useful to think things through once again to be sure I had considered everything.

To clear my head a bit I still went for my run – definitely needed on this occasion – and for the first time this autumn it was far too cold for shorts at just 3C! In hindsight, had I worn gloves I would probably have been fine in my shorts, but it just hadn’t crossed my mind to look out any gloves yet and my hands were really cold. The condensation on my car windscreen looked suspiciously solid, and this was confirmed when Steve had to scrape ice from his car before going to work!

Cold front aside, it was a good run and the last I would get for at least a week, so I made sure to enjoy it.

Since it was Thursday I had Ashtanga that night. I was really looking forward to it after the extra early start and filmed lesson (which went really well – so proud of my pupils) as I had expected to totally crash afterwards, but I was still on the go and ready to use the yoga session to help me relax and settle into the evening. That said, I did feel tired so my headstand remained pretty poor. I’ll be turning my attention to this post-trip again.

Once again it was a dash from yoga to get my nails done ready for the trip – priorities! I couldn’t possibly got to Paris without a fresh gel manicure!

Friday was the last day of term and a really busy day. I had my own classes, a cover class and the feedback/coaching session from my filmed lesson which was a really positive experience. At the end of the day all of the staff involved in the trip got together to make sure we had all the admin sorted out and had all the things we needed before leaving school, so I was a bit later (for a Friday) in getting away, but still had time to head down to the studio for a workout. This one was the TRX and a resistance band.

I had enough to time to then take a second look at my packing and re-think some of it before we went out for some food. I know we do this every Friday but it feels so good at the start of a holiday!

For the trip this year we had actually been booked onto much better flights – Edinburgh rather than Glasgow – which meant we didn’t have a really early start. I had to be at school around the time I would normally get there in the morning and once we had all the pupils on board the coach to take us to the airport, we were off!

I had realised that with our flight being at lunchtime, the first meal that would form part of the trip itinerary would be our dinner at night. That seemed so far away so I made the obvious decision – a full cooked breakfast at the airport to see me through (and some emergency snacks in my bag!). It didn’t take much arm twisting for my colleagues to also see the sense in the full breakfast, and with plenty of time to spare before our flight, we got settled and ordered. There were actually 2 breakfast options: the small breakfast (who were they kidding!) or the full one with more items and some toast – obviously I ordered this one!

I also made a point of popping to the duty free shop to get some salted caramel M&Ms. As it turned out it was a far better offer to buy two bags than just one. One of my colleagues was also buying some and there was a comedy moment when we both picked up two bags and another colleague confessed that she had assumed we were going to get a bag each and split the deal. Oh how we laughed! 😂

Before too long it was time to board.

The flight itself was fine. I read a bit of my book and had a little doze, then before I knew it I was back in the familiar territory of Charles de Gaulle airport. We collected our bags, cleared passport control and found the coach for our transfer to the Paris centre. Then from the second we arrived it was pretty full-on. I barely had time to put my case down in my room and quickly transfer some essentials to a smaller bag, than it was back down for dinner, which was edible but nothing special.

Our evening excursion was to the Arc de Triomphe and part of my role on the trip is to navigate us around Paris – I know, it surprises me too, but if there’s one thing I can do it’s find my way around the Paris streets and Métro system so on this occasion, I’m your girl!

Although I’ve been to Disneyland a couple of times in the last year or so, I actually haven’t been in Paris itself since the last school trip in 2017 so it was nice to be straight up on a high platform to see the city below me and the Eiffel Tower in all her nighttime glory. The pupils who had never visited Paris before were so excited to see it!

Of course we hit the gift shop and spent a few minutes on the Champs Élysées so that we could get a drink/snack, but then it was time to head back to the centre to get a bit of sleep before a busy Sunday.

Sunday actually began with rain, but we had been expecting that and there were actually no complaints.

The worst of the weather was while we were waiting to get on the Eiffel Tower and by the time we were up at the top, the rain had cleared and we had fantastic views. Having missed out on this part last year as I drew the short straw and waited with a pupil, I had been really looking forward to getting back up there.

From there, we had a boat trip on the River Seine. I’ve done this one many times so initially sat inside to eat my packed lunch but made sure to go up on top in time to see Notre Dame. So sad to see the beautiful cathedral so damaged, but I’m glad efforts are being made to restore her. I’ll never forget watching the news unfold earlier this year as the fire took hold and those spires looked like they might fall.

Next was a walk via the Trocadéro to see the Tower from a raised platform.

Then back on the Métro to head up to Montmartre and the Sacré Cœur.

I had a lovely bowl of onion soup up there as well as picking up some souvenirs. Top tip – the best prices for Paris souvenirs tend to be up there so don’t be fooled into picking things up elsewhere unless you really need to.

We were back at the centre for dinner, which was passable but not the most inspiring (although I did enjoy the dessert!).

Then we were off out again, this time to walk (under my navigation!) to the Monparnasse Tower.

I love this one as it’s the highest point from which you can see the Eiffel Tower. Let’s face it, if you’re actually ON the Eiffel Tower than you can’t SEE the Eiffel Tower. When people ask me for Paris recommendations, this is always the one. Stunning views!

And this time I found this incredible model of Paris. The colours are so vibrant and you can pick out all the key landmarks. Amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could stay up there for hours, but after a quick poke about the gift shop it was time to gather everyone up to return to the centre. It had already been a couple of packed days with much more to come…

When do you know it’s time to put the shorts away for the year?
Have you visited Paris before? Any highlights?

Week In Review – Feeling Magical

It was always going to be a bit of a strange week coming back from a magical weekend at Disneyland Paris – especially since there hadn’t been an opportunity to seamlessly slide it into the lunchtime conversation with my department colleagues! – but I had such a fantastic time that I was still floating along in a Disney bubble all week. It helped that there were only 2 weeks of term left by this point too! But since it had been a busy weekend I took the start of the week to get a bit of extra sleep so took things easy:

Monday – rest
Tuesday – PT session with Steve
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 4 miles + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve
Saturday – parkrun sandwich + SUP yoga
Sunday – 10 miles

By the time I arrived at work on Monday morning word had spread about my weekend adventures. I mean, it’s not like I was keeping a secret (it was all over social media!) but there had been things happening on the Friday that meant nobody had actually asked me what I was up to over the weekend (I imagine they just assume these days that I’ll be running) and it seemed a bit crude to just shoehorn it in. But don’t worry, I’m well enough trained to know better than to disappear for the weekend during term time and not bring back a supply of interesting biscuits!

There was no yoga that evening since my teacher was still away so I just had a restful evening catching up with some tv.

I also opted not to run on Tuesday morning. This was nothing to do with recovery since I hadn’t exactly been moving at speed at the weekend, it was more an opportunity to catch up on some sleep after a busy weekend. I did, however, go for a workout later in the afternoon and Steve gave me a circuit using the TRX, press ups and weights.

And since Wednesday has been a rest day anyway, I kept it that way and took the chance to sort out some of the stuff that was still in the suitcase, having already taken care of the weekend laundry earlier in the week!

But by Thursday I was ready to get things back on track so got up for a pre-work run. I kept it to a really easy pace and just enjoyed getting back into my routine again.

Still dark when I finished!

I was still feeling good at Ashtanga that evening, but for those who have been keeping track, my headstand was still poor as I only held it very briefly. I KNOW I can do better.

I think her wanted to come with me haha!

Back in the studio after work on Friday and Steve gave me a really interesting session of press up variations using the upturned Bosu. It was quite a challenging one but it’s good to mix things up.

Then back to the good old parkrun sandwich on Saturday. The air felt cool so it was a good time to debut the long sleeved Run Disney top I picked up on sale back in July – still clinging to that Disney magic!

After parkrun I headed down to the outdoor centre for the final SUP yoga session of the year. It was a beautiful day for it, leaving us with plenty of amazing memories from this year. I’ll definitely miss getting out on the water but it’s something to look forward to in the spring again. Of course we went to the cafe afterwards and I had some of their delicious French toast with bacon and maple syrup. Yummy!

Later in the afternoon we nipped out for some shopping and I couldn’t resist getting the kitties a little present – a “fishing pole” style mouse with a built in laser pointer. They LOVED it and spent ages chasing the laser dot around like a couple of lunatics!

And to round off the week, a Sunday run. 10 miles felt like a nice distance again and with no races to train for any time soon, I simply ran to feel and enjoyed being out there. Interestingly, this resulted in my fastest 10 mile time since June! I seem to be in a place with my running where I don’t need a race to motivate me to get out, it’s more about the process of running and enjoying time in the fresh air. I’m quite enjoying that and it’s good not to feel any pressure to perform, I can just do my own thing.

What motivates you to get out for a run? 
What will you miss over the winter?

Week In Review – Disney Bound!

Ohboyohboyohboy!!! What with me being so behind on my posts, I probably came across as uncharacteristically quiet about my plans, but after last year’s Run Disney adventure it was quite clear that “one and done” wasn’t going to be in our vocabulary and way back in late 2018 we made our booking for the 2019 Magic Run Weekend at Disneyland Paris. The difference is that with better knowledge of the logistics, we were able to enter both the 10k and half marathon. Also, my sister joined us this time. Separate posts are in the works for both races, but there was more to the weekend than that so I’ll cover those aspects in my roundup of that particular week.

Much of the week, of course, was business as usual as there was the small matter of work to go to, but a Disney trip to look forward to really does put a spring in the step!

Monday – rest
Tuesday – 4 miles + PT session with Steve
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 3.8 miles + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – travel to Disneyland Paris
Saturday – Disneyland Paris 10k
Sunday – Disneyland Paris half marathon

There was no Hatha yoga on Monday since my teacher was away on holiday so I took the time to do a little home practice then relax. My mission for the week was to get to bed sharp each night as I knew the weekend would be super busy and tiring.

On Tuesday I ran my usual 4 mile route and kept the pace nice and easy. No real need to run fast, more an opportunity to keep my legs ticking over before the weekend. I mean, realistically my distances would be pretty similar to an average weekend, it was just going to take me much longer as I fully intended to stop for lots of character photos!

Then that evening there was time for one last workout down in Steve’s studio. This time it was a combination of TRX, press ups and weights for my arm workout.

Wednesday was a rest day and the evening I had set aside to pack (although to be honest, I had been as good as packed since the weekend so it was more finalising my packing – and ensuring there were no cats in my suitcase 😹) Note: this case was to do BOTH of us (as in me and Steve, not me and the cat ha!) and was pretty empty on the way to Paris!

On Thursday I still went for a run but opted for a loop I like which is under 4 miles. This one was really more about consistency and movement than any actual preparation for the weekend. It was a chance to run things through in my head and be sure I had everything organised as I didn’t really have any further opportunity to go through my suitcase again.

I made it to my Ashtanga class in the evening. Still really frustrated with my headstand and I know I keep writing about that but it is bothering me now that I no longer seem able to do something that I was doing before. I am still certain that the problem is a mental block rather than a physical issue, I just can’t figure out how to resolve it. Happy to take suggestions!

After yoga I whizzed off to get my nails done ready for the weekend. I was so pleased that my colour choice would suit BOTH of my running costumes for the weekend 🙂

Friday was a work day but it was one of those days that I just wanted to get through so I could be on my way. Since nobody else lives near me I drove myself in with my hand luggage and the plan was to leave my car in the work car park and pick it up on our return on Sunday – basically work became an airport car park for the occasion! Steve picked me up with our suitcase at the end of the day and we drove straight to the airport, parked in our pre-booked car park and headed on through security.

Our flight was scheduled for 6:30pm so we made sure to get some dinner at the airport while we were waiting. I chose this pizza which actually had broccoli on it! Not as good as the pizza Steve makes, but good enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flight was actually slightly delayed but we had a taxi booked to take us up to Disney so it wasn’t too bad (last year we had a shared taxi booked so it caused a major headache, this one was much easier although we were charged an additional fee for being after 10pm – d’oh!).

A highlight of the flight was seeing the Eiffel Tower all lit up among the lights of Paris – one of my favourite sights to see. Other than that it was fairly uneventful and we were through passport control and in our taxi family swiftly. I think it only took about half an hour to get to our hotel (we stayed in the Santa Fe this time) and I think I spent most of it communicating with my sister. She had travelled earlier in the day, checked us in to the hotel and collected all our race packs at the expo, meaning all we had to do was find our room and head to bed ready for an early start the following day.

This photo was my response to my mum asking if we had found my sister ok 😂

The Santa Fe is one of the budget hotels and themed to the Cars movies. Although a budget hotel it had everything we were going to need (it’s not like we were going to be in the room other than to sleep!) and was perfectly comfortable. I only took a few photos as my sister had already put stuff around the room, but you get the idea.

Saturday was an early start as the race began at 7am and Steve and I had scored bibs for corral A (my sister was further back). Breakfast (that is to say first breakfast since runners get 2 breakfasts on race day!) started at 5am so we were up and changed into our running costumes ready to head over there for the back of 5. So long as you show your race bib, runners hand over their breakfast vouchers and are given a wrist band to allow them a second breakfast post-race. For some reason I thought it would just be continental breakfast options out for the early breakfast, but the cooked options were out too. I stuck to pastries and things for my first one though.

After breakfast we stopped briefly by our room again since it was on the way to the start, then I got my first sight of the expo/race HQ. Since Steve would be the fastest, we put anything we needed into his kit bag and he dropped it off. We also got a couple of photos before heading over to the start line.

We all entered the 31k challenge – 10k + half marathon (21k) with an extra medal and T-shirt for the challenge.

I made Steve’s Olaf costume myself FROM SCRATCH. I’ve never been more proud!!!!

Anna, Olaf and Elsa ready to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The race itself was AMAZING. I will definitely write a separate post otherwise this one will be an epic, but suffice it to say I ran my slowest 10k of all time and enjoyed every single second.

I was standing at the castle and they were playing a “big” song that I really like so I was trying so hard not to cry here!

Post-race we made our way back to the expo. I had made sure I had money with me as I (obviously) wanted to buy ALL THE THINGS and making my purchases at this point saved a bit of time in our day. My sister had collected the pins I pre-ordered when she picked up our race packs, but I wanted to grab a couple of race souvenirs and had my eye on a couple of general souvenirs which I figured I could buy then and return to the room so I wouldn’t have to cart them about with me.

We also had to have our second breakfast back at the hotel, which this time I made into three courses – cured meats to start, bacon and scrambled eggs for the main (somehow I neglected to photograph that) and pastries again for dessert. I’ve said it before, but I take hotel breakfasts VERY seriously!

The rest of the day was all about the theme parks. We started in the Walt Disney Studios to do a couple of things then made our way over to the main park. We wore our 10k T-shirts and race medals so we could get some cool pictures. It was a warm day – I would have been fine in shorts! – so the parks were really busy but we still managed to do a lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had originally planned to stay for the fireworks but we reached a point were we realised we weren’t going to get on any other rides so were just hanging around for a couple of hours for the fireworks. Much as I wanted to see them, we were all tired so decided the sensible thing to do would be to head back to the hotel and get a decent sleep before another early start and a longer race the following morning. It was a shame not to see the fireworks, but I’m actually glad we made this decision..

Our routine on Sunday was similar – get dressed, have first breakfast, head over to the start and put our things in Steve’s kit bag. The only thing to deal with was that we hadn’t been able to secure a late check out so Steve was going to return and put our luggage in the baggagerie and have his second breakfast (I sacrificed second breakfast to get photos in the main park after the race) then come back to meet us. This worked pretty well although it would have been much easier if a late check out had been available. We did ask several times but they just couldn’t do it for us.

Provincial Belle and the Beast

Again, a separate post will follow on the race. I think I smiled round the whole thing and had the best time – I even managed to go slower than last year despite being in a much better place fitness-wise, so you can tell I stopped lots!

It was a really quick run into the main park for some photos afterwards, but there was no way I was missing these shots with my haul of Disney bling!

Once we were all done, we got ourselves organised in the hotel toilets then got on the Magic Shuttle back to the airport. A whistlestop visit once again, but such good fun. I can’t wait to do it again!

What makes a race special for you?
Have you/would you run in a Disney event or other race where costumes are encouraged?

Week In Review – Getting Back To Normal

With the cold firmly behind me (aside from a bit of a runny nose) it was time to get right back to some consistent training again. Here’s how my week looked:

Monday – Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles + PT session with Steve
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 4 miles
Friday – rest
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

Monday’s Hatha class was the last in the current block as my teacher was due to go off on a fabulous trip for her wedding anniversary. As always, I enjoyed the Monday evening head space and although there would be a week without a class, that’s ok.

I made sure to keep the pace nice and easy for my Tuesday run after missing a couple of runs the previous week. To be honest, it just felt good to be back out there again and back in my routine.

I also went to the studio for a workout later in the day bandit was press-up variations again. Tough stuff!

The Wednesday automatically became a rest day for me as I was late at work for a meeting. On this occasion quite a nice one though as it was the parents’ meeting for the French trip I go on. One of my friends from the trip staff lives near to the school so she hosted us for some food at the end of the day then we headed back in for the meeting. It’s always good to go over some of the details that will help make things run smoother when we’re in France and it helps to alleviate any anxieties parents may have. But by the time I got home it was really just time for a cup of tea in front of the telly before heading to bed.

Having missed a couple of morning runs when I had the cold, this Thursday was the first one when I really noticed how dark it was. I remember being so excited earlier in the year when it was light by the end of my run, but now we’re definitely heading in the other direction as I no longer seem to be running into much daylight, it’s darkness all the way. I guess that means winter is coming!

I missed my yoga class that evening as I got caught up with some things at work and just didn’t get away in time. Frustrating as I hate missing the class, but unavoidable on this occasion. I did some yoga at home to make up so at least I still had something.

Then another rest day on Friday, this time because I was out of my normal routine. Regular readers know I have some involvement with the exam process here and thanks to a new role I successfully applied for around that, I had to travel to Glasgow for a meeting. I have to say, when commuting by train is not your norm it feels pretty novel, but I do know from past experience how wearing that can get.

It was a really productive meeting and we finished in good time for me to have a bit of a poke about some of the shops and, of course, treat myself to a little something in Hotel Chocolat before my train home. This was their Hallowe’en offering: Blood Orange Hot Chocolate. Yummy!

Since I didn’t have time for a Friday workout, I was back on it on Saturday morning with the parkrun sandwich. It was pretty windy and I felt like I was working hard so was thrilled to finish in 24:34 as though nowhere near my PB, it’s faster than I’ve had in ages thanks to various factors such as being ill at the start of the summer, not running much in July and the fact that we are still on an alternative course which is slightly longer. That’s another marker of progress and makes me happy.

And in a further cat update, here are the wee monkeys looking like they are plotting mischief. Definitely the best of friends again!

I finished the week with another 10 mile Sunday run. The pace was comfortable and just another chance to enjoy being out there. I guess we’re heading into the time of year when I really enjoy my weekend runs as I get to see some daylight and the temperature tends to be good for running in the autumn too. I do love the summer, but autumn runs really are lovely.

What’s your favourite season to run in?
How do you judge if you’re making progress in your running?

Week In Review – Lurgy Ahoy!

It nearly always happens. Week three of the school year and all the germs we have been sheltered from all summer begin to take hold, striking everyone down with some kind of cold. I actually got away pretty lightly which is an encouraging sign that my immune system is good right now, but there was something going on in there so I took much of the week as rest to make sure I shifted it quickly rather than pressing on and making it linger. It was, as a result, a fairly quiet week training-wise.

Monday – Hatha yoga
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – Ashtanga yoga
Friday – rest
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles + SUP yoga

It was on the Monday evening that I felt the first tell-tale signs of what was to come as there was a bit of a prickle in my throat. I made sure to have as early a night as possible after Hatha yoga, and maybe that helped, but I took the decision not to run on Tuesday morning and prioritise rest instead.

Throughout the week I jut took things as they came, hoping to maybe run on Thursday, but in the end I skipped that run too and just went to Ashtanga in the evening. I also opted not to go down to the studio on Friday after work and took the time to make sure I was well on the mend before running at the weekend.

By Saturday my nose was still a bit runny but there was no congestion or other symptoms so I went ahead with my usual parkrun sandwich and accepted that it might not be my best run. To be honest, I was just pleased to be getting out again! I was actually the 28 minute pacer which gave me a great opportunity to take it easy.

I came in about 20 seconds ahead of the time so a few runners did get a new PB as a result. I love it when that happens!

A relaxing afternoon ensued, and for those still wondering about the kitties after their little “issue”, I found them like this:

That evening we were out as we had been invited to see Frankenstein at the theatre. It’s one of my favourite books and it’s always a worry that a production might not live up to my expectations, but I really loved this one so a great night at the theatre.

I had originally planned 14 miles for the Sunday, but with the time out during the week and a SUP yoga session to be ready for, I opted for 10 instead. It was actually a really nice run and I didn’t have to get out too early in order to finish it before SUP.

SUP was great. The water was pretty calm and we tried a few new side balances on the board. It was fun to challenge myself with something new.

After the session we headed to the cafe. I had thought I might have French toast, but the special was a breakfast roll with things like lorne sausage, potato scone and fried egg in it. I added bacon as it felt incomplete otherwise! It was pretty hefty and filling but after a run and a session on the water it was just perfect.

Overall a fairly brief update from this particular week. It was frustrating to pick up a cold, but I’m pleased it was mild and short-lived. Fingers crossed I can stay away from the germs moving forward.

What are your strategies to avoid/fight a cold?
What would be in your ideal breakfast roll?

Week In Review – Settling Into The Work Routine

The second week of term meant a full teaching week (although I did get out on a trip on the Monday to cushion things a bit!) and a chance for me to consolidate the strong training from the week before. Here’s how it looked:

Monday – Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles + PT session with Steve
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – form drills + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve
Saturday – parkrun sandwich + SUP yoga
Sunday – 12 miles

After a day shepherding pupils about the Edinburgh International Book Festival (bonus: it was a beautiful day and I got to eat my lunch outside enjoying the sunshine) it was great to get to Hatha yoga and it was a really relaxing class so I left feeling great.

Then back to the usual routine on Tuesday with an early run of 4 miles, keeping the pace nice and easy as this is really my recovery run from my weekend miles. I actually noticed that my heart rate was a bit lower than usual so perhaps I’m seeing some fitness gains.

My PT session with Steve that evening was all about press up variations. I definitely knew I’d worked my arms hard after that one!

Rest day again on Wednesday, but with a little home yoga in the early evening to help me transition from the work day to a relaxing evening.

Following the success of my form drills last Thursday, I was keen to progress this so added a couple more reps. This meant a 1 mile warm up then 8x 500m with a minute recovery between each. Although I work hard in the intervals, I do enjoy these workouts and know they help to improve my running.

We had a substitute teacher that evening for Ashtanga so the class was a little different. We‘ve had this teacher before and she seems perfectly nice, however I don’t think she regularly teaches Ashtanga so isn’t as confident in moving through the postures, plus she doesn’t know us so probably “teaches” it a bit more than our usual teacher would do when it’s a class of regulars who really only need a prompt and maybe a little adjustment. It could have been frustrating but that would defeat the purpose of going to the class so I just went with it and worked through the postures at my own pace as we were told we could go ahead if we were confident in what we were doing.

And back to the studio on Friday for another workout with Steve. He had me on press up variations again so another tough workout but I am noticing the new definition and strength in my arms so I can’t really complain!

Saturday was another parkrun sandwich and although I was feeling good I was very slightly slower than last week as the conditions weren’t so good. It was really windy and that meant I just wasn’t getting the pace to match my effort level. Still, it’s good to have those bonus “resistance” runs to build strength. Plus, I had a great new pair of shorts to wear. Any guesses what the inspiration was? 😂

Post-parkun I had a SUP yoga session and the high winds certainly made this one interesting. It was a hard paddle out the the line we clip on to and we had to keep fairly low to the boards throughout the session, but the real excitement came when it was time to head back in as there were several boards tied up at the pontoon so very little space to paddle in. Unfortunately the wind kept catching us as we got near and thanks to the combination of wind and space, I found myself drifting too far in the wrong direction then had to paddle back against the wind to find a space to get off my board. I actually needed a little help from the others to create some room among the boards and hold mine steady so I could get off, but I was pleased at how calm I stayed as I knew I could get off as soon as there was a little room at the pontoon. It really added an extra dimension to the session though, and I earned my lunch afterwards!

My long run this week was 12 miles since I have no reason to build much higher mileage than that at this point. I felt really good and it almost felt easy to cover the distance. In fact I felt like I could have kept on going quite comfortably so that is definitely a good sign that I’m pretty much half marathon fit right now and that’s a good position to be in.

So another week done and feeling strong. After a tough first half of the year, this makes me happy.

What are your favourite training sessions each week?
What do you do outside of running to build strength?

Week In Review – Back To School Already!

Yup, I’m now so behind with my posts that it’s the last week of term before our October break and I’m only just writing about the first week. Sigh! It’s now my goal to be up to date before next term begins and I’m writing it here to help keep me accountable. But for now, let’s take a look at how my return to work after a lovely long summer impacted on my training.

Monday – 3.8 miles + Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 10k + PT session with Steve
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – form drills + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

In an unusual step, I began the week with a run. I don’t usually run on a Monday as I have my long run on Sundays, but having missed my running over the weekend thanks to a poorly puss, I was keen to fit in an extra as I knew my body would handle it. I also thought the movement and fresh air early in the day would set me up for the inset day ahead, stuck in a room doing a lot of listening and not too much moving around. So I headed out on a loop I enjoy which is a little under 4 miles. And yes, it did make me feel better for the day ahead.

My reward for making it through the day was a Hatha yoga session in the evening. I was definitely ready for it and would have happily spent an hour in savasana given the chance!

To make up for the missing runs at the weekend, I lengthened my Tuesday morning run to 10k but kept the pace pretty easy. It was a second inset day so once again I was pleased to get some fresh air and movement early on to help me deal with all the sitting.

After school it was time for my new routine of having a session with Steve on a Tuesday. I really enjoyed going three times per week over the summer, but I can’t sustain that through the school term so am trying twice a week on the days when we finish a little earlier. I’m still focusing on arms and upper body in these sessions and noticed that I was feeling really strong in this session. Fantastic!

Now that the term is underway, Wednesday is my rest day but I did do a little yoga session at home to help me unwind after the first teaching day of the new school year. Having pupils in front of me again is always a bit of a shock and it’s mentally draining trying to get to grips with all the names and various needs of the individuals in front of me.

I decided it was high time I re-introduced some form drills so on Thursday I ran a 1 miles warm up then 6x 500m drills with a minute recovery in between. It felt good to mix things up a bit again so hopefully I can build these drills back in fairly regularly again.

And since it was my birthday, I decided to use a crazy filter for my post-run photo!

As well as channelling my favourite cartoon mouse for my work outfit that day 😂

My lovely colleagues gave me some beautiful flowers and I got a homemade cake to celebrate at lunchtime. Yum!

Then at Ashtanga that evening I had a chance to get some headspace as I worked through the postures. My left wrist had been a little sore so I took it fairly easy. I suspect it’s just a reaction to using my computer a little too much so some appropriate stretches will soon resolve it.

The day ended with some more birthday cake as Steve had picked me up a llama cake.

Friday was my second PT session of the week with Steve and since I had performed so well on Tuesday, he began to change up some of the exercises to make them a little more challenging. I know that’s a good thing, but I definitely noticed that it was harder to complete the sets compared to the ones I had been doing (and which my body was clearly getting used to!). And yes, I did use a filter on my photo again, just because.

Saturday was a return to the standard parkrun sandwich. I was really pleased with my parkrun time as it was the first time I’ve run below 25 minutes since I had that awful virus at the end of June into early July. It’s so good to see a steady improvement and hopefully this pattern will continue.

On Sunday I headed out for a longer run of 10 miles. I chose the same route as my most recent 10 miler about 3 weeks earlier and was really pleased to run it quicker, especially since it was a much warmer day. Clearly the consistent training since returning from my summer holiday is paying off.

Overall a decent start to the school year. I got a solid week of training in and am seeing the benefits of all the work I’ve been doing. I hope it lasts! And for those who have been asking, by the middle of this week the cats were fully back to grooming each other, cuddling up together and generally being the best of friends again. Phew!

Do you include drills or speed work in your training?
How is your running going right now?

Week In Review – Summer Holidays Week 7

This year we had a ‘bonus” week of summer holiday. It happens every few years to reset the calendar, otherwise we just finish earlier and earlier, which wouldn’t really work! I had this pegged to be a fairly chilled week but did have a few bits and pieces I wanted to sort out. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out that way thanks to a poorly pussy cat (she’s perfectly fine now so no need for concern, but there was some stress and disruption at the time). This also affected my workout plans:

Monday – PT session with Steve
Tuesday – 4 miles
Wednesday – Pt session with Steve
Thursday – 4.5 miles + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – rest
Saturday – rest
Sunday – SUP yoga

Over the weekend I had noticed that Sooty had a swollen-looking patch on her bottom lip so called the vet to make an appointment to have it checked out. Since it was going to be Tuesday before we went in, Monday was business as usual with an arm workout down at the studio. This week TRX, weights and some pushups.

I had time for an easy 4 miles on Tuesday morning before taking Sooty to the vet. The run felt good, especially when I had run 12 miles on the Sunday (plus lugged those tatties around on the Saturday!).

The vet we saw was lovely but explained it was hard to know what was causing the swollen lip since there were several possible causes such as a bite/sting, allergic reaction of some kind or a stress reaction. She gave her something to help settle it and we were told to go back if it didn’t improve within the next week or two. Seemed straightforward enough at the time!

On the Wednesday I had to squeeze my workout in pretty early as mum had asked me if I could go up to the house for a bit to take delivery of a parcel since my sister had to work. Since I didn’t have much else planned, I said that would be ok. Obviously I availed myself of the facilities and made myself a cup of tea while I waited!

Then I was back out for another easy run on the Thursday morning. This was a cutback week in my mileage so I was happy to keep the pace down.

I was happy that Sooty’s lip was looking better, however I also thought she was a bit “off” and although a little lethargy can be a side effect of medication, I thought it best to take her back into the vet. It turned out she was running a temperature so was clearly fighting some kind of infection. She was given an antibiotic and I was told to bring her back the next day to have her temperature checked again. Poor wee toot 😿

I had Ashtanga yoga that evening and was really pleased to hold Wheel for 10 slow breaths. I also held a headstand for a couple of breaths, but given I did a beautiful, lengthy headstand at home earlier in the week I’m still pretty convinced it’s my brain that’s messing this one up in class rather than my physical ability. If anyone has any suggestions for getting past this, I’d love to hear them.

By Friday morning Sooty was much the same so we were back at the vet where they found her temperature had only gone down the tiniest amount. Added to this, despite my best efforts she wasn’t eating or drinking much which can cause complications so the vet recommended keeping her in for the day to get her on some fluids and take some bloods to get her on the right medication to treat the infection. I was supposed to be going for a workout with Steve, but cancelled as I didn’t want Smokey at home by himself – this day was the first time they had EVER been separated and I wasn’t sure how he would cope. Cue me lavishing him with attention and playing with him most of the day. He was definitely missing his sidekick and keeping close to me, but he did ok.

In the end Sooty ended up staying at the vet overnight to make sure she really was on the road to recovery before coming home. This resulted in me MISSING A PARKRUN to go and pick her up. I won’t sacrifice parkrun for much, but my kitties always come first. I was so excited to get her home and was anticipating a grand reunion scene between her and Smokey, but once again I was mistaken and found myself on a steep learning curve about something called feline non-recognition aggression. In brief, Sooty smelled so strongly of the vet, a place Smokey associates with some stress, and wasn’t acting herself, so Smokey didn’t “recognise” her. It seems cats rely on scent for recognition far more than I had realised so as far as he was concerned I had brought a stranger into the house and my usually placid, easy-going boy was snarling and hissing at his sister. A huge shock given how close they usually are.

For the remainder of the day we had to keep them separated and I did a lot of work transferring scents and letting them sniff each other around doors, but it was clear they would have to remain separated overnight to give Sooty time to groom away some of the scent and begin to smell more like herself. There was a lot of back and forth, changing of cat locations and switching around of where we were going to sleep, eventually resulting in poor Steve sleeping on the floor in the living room (I think Sooty totally played him on this one!).

Thankfully by Sunday morning we reached a (slightly uneasy) truce so although I skipped my run to supervise the cats and make sure there were no fights, I was able to get to my SUP yoga session. It was REALLY windy so I definitely made up for missing Friday’s arm workout as I fought to paddle my board out to the line we attach to for yoga. It was so windy that several of the participants lay flat on their boards to “swim” out there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my absence, relations continued to improve between the kitties and they were now happy to eat side by side, something which had been a point of contention when we had tried first thing in the morning. I was pretty relieved as I had been worried about there still being issues as I returned to work the next day – this would have been far easier to deal with the week before! I had also been sad that maybe their close relationship was over – it’s just so darn cute when they cuddle up together/groom each other and I didn’t want that to be over after just the first year of their life. With things improving, I became hopeful that we might return to this again soon…

What have your pets done to derail your plans?
Any suggestions to get over my mental block on the headstand?