Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 66

Let’s start by addressing the obvious: I am VERY behind with these posts! In all honesty, writing blog posts has been the last thing on my mind as we have been experiencing some honest-to-goodness hot weather here in Scotland so I have been largely on my back garden sun lounger, devouring books like there’s no tomorrow. I will get up to date before the end of the summer, but given the changeable nature of the the weather during the Scottish summer, there’s no way I’m wasting sunshine by staying inside glued to my computer. I’m sure you understand.

And now to the post. This was the last week of term, meaning there were just 4 school days to make it through and then a much-anticipated rest. I couldn’t wait!

Monday – 3.2 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.1 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun + SUP yoga
Sunday – 10k

I knew that at this point I was as tired as I would ever be in the school year, and coming off the back of a 40 mile week it seemed the ideal time to cut back the miles and effort level to have a recovery week. That would give me a chance to feel better rested and run more strongly during the holidays. I actually felt pretty good on my run, given the bigger mileage the week before, but perhaps that was because I knew I was giving myself a bit of a break this week and there was no pressure of any kind on what I did. As for the work day, by this point it was all about that final flurry to complete and mark work before the end of term – funny how the pupils never have quite the same level of urgency as me when it comes to these things! To be honest, the biggest “hurdle” in the day was Smokey deciding I should just stay at home and thinking that lying on the clothes I laid out would do the trick. Good job they were also grey haha!

It still felt good to have my yoga class (still via Zoom) in the evening and then Steve and I got underway with a new boxset: The Beast Must Die which is exclusively on BritBox.

On the Tuesday morning I set off on a bit of a mission to find the last items for the weekly scavenger hunt (I was successful!). It was a beautiful day and I was pleased that this meant I could have a workout in the garden when I got home from work. You would think in the final week of term I might be leaving earlier, but somehow I was there just as late as usual, partly because of a meeting of the professional reading book group I joined.

Since we were in the garden, the TRX was in action. It’s one of my favourite bits of kit as you can really target specific muscles, but it is also great for an all-over workout.

I then went off to do some yoga ahead of dinner and a Scotland match (versus Croatia), but the less said about the football, the better!

Wednesday was my chosen day for the now weekly Together Run from Tina Muir. As ever, there was a moment when we were told to take a photo, this time of both our view and a selfie. As you can see from the early morning sky, it was shaping up to be another beautiful day:

It was a bit of a trying day at work, with everyone clearly in need of a break by this point, but I felt better after a walk with Steve and some yoga. In the evening we watched a bit more of The Beast Must Die then tuned in to some of the football.

And then, oh joy of joys, it was the last day of term. I had a lovely run then got ready and headed off to work. The area I work in had a full day (many other areas have a half day) but there was a palpable feeling of having made it!

The day began with another lesson with the therapy dog in attendance. Up to this point she had remained on her lead, but to progress her training it was important that she try a lesson where she was allowed to roam the room freely. The pupil she was accompanying had asked if we could try it in this last lesson, and the rest of the class was keen, so the dog was free! After a cursory circuit of the room she decided that a nap was far preferable haha!

Although I ended up with a full day of classes, it was manageable by this point as attendance is always lower on the last day. A real highlight was an al fresco lunch with my colleagues since the sun was shining. If only we could have done something about those pesky seagulls!

When I finally collapsed in the door at the end of the day I had a cup of tea, did some yoga then relaxed with a couple of vlogs before dinner. After some tv I decided to read a little and promptly fell asleep in my chair. I’ve done so well with avoiding doing this throughout the term, but clearly my body got the message that I could finally stop, so did precisely that! I was well and truly done after a school year even more trying than the one before.

With the holidays actually beginning on a Friday I knew this was going to feel like the best part of the break and made sure to luxuriate in it a bit. I slept later and read in bed with a cup of tea before heading out for my run. Funnily enough I noticed much more spring in my step than of late after a better sleep and the removal of the mental pressures of the year. I even had time to nip out on some errands before lunch!

A fun delivery was the medal from the virtual race I had done the Sunday before. I HAD to have this one since it’s themed to my absolute favourite book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

In the afternoon I headed up to mum and dad’s as my sister and I needed to get together. We had plans in mind for a couple of nights away later in the summer so needed a chance to sit down together and get it booked. I know things could very easily change again, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed we are able to go.

The evening was still very much as my normal habit: yoga, dinner and some tv before bed. The most important thing was that I could spend the day at my own pace rather than being tied to a timetable and bells marking my movement from one thing to the next. It always feels so liberating!

I actually had to get up early on the Saturday as I had SUP yoga at 9am and wanted to fit in my run beforehand (I knew I wouldn’t want to run later on, especially since I would want something to eat when I got back). I made the decision to limit my run to 5k to log my (not)parkrun, and that fitted fine with my cutback week anyway. I nipped around fairly quickly then got down to the outdoor centre for the SUP yoga session.

It was great to be on the water and a lovely way to get the summer holidays underway.

When I arrived home we had our usual Saturday bacon rolls and watched the first episode of Long Way Up on Apple tv+. I remember watching Ewan McGregor (a local boy!) and Charley Boorman in their previous adventures a number of years ago and mum had been recommending this so we decided to watch it. I will add my voice to the recommendation if you have access to it. I then settled in to a restful afternoon, starting with finishing my book.

This one was really powerful, dealing with a variety of issues including racism and privilege. A definite recommendation from me.

After that I did my weekly Disney quiz on Youtube and watched a couple of episodes of The Crown before heading off for a bath. In the evening I finished off a book I had been looking at for some professional reading, as well as tuning into some football. It may have had an early start, but it was a lovely day.

On the Sunday I returned to form with some reading in bed before my run. I kept it to 10k to round off my recovery week and, as noted on the Friday, was already feeling so much better with the combination of an easier week running-wise and a couple of more restful days.

Post-run we headed off to get our food shopping, with a detour on the way home to pick up a couple of sun loungers for the back garden. The weather at this point wasn’t quite was I was looking for to use them (although that didn’t stop us spending the remainder of the afternoon reading in the garden!) but I was certain there would have to be at least a few good days and wanted to be ready.

I also had a fun delivery. I had taken part in another book exchange in a Facebook group and my surprise package arrived. With the summer stretching in front of me, I was looking forward to having more time to read and added these straight to my pile.

After dinner I headed off for another bath (where I set my laptop up to watch the latest episode of Loki) before bed. While I was doing that Steve ironed some clothes and I came out of the bath to find that Smokey was keeping them safe 😹

Of course the absolute best thing was it being Sunday night and I had no need to set an alarm for the following morning. Bliss!

Did you follow much of the Euro football tournament?
Are you taking any trips away this summer?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 30

Yippee! School holidays! Despite the freedom of not having a timetable to follow for a couple of weeks, I did quickly establish a routine as there were some very particular things I wanted to get done whilst off. First, I wanted to catch up with all the blog posts I hadn’t written (not a spoiler to say I was successful there) and that became my morning job when I was feeling motivated after my run. Second, I wanted to catch up with a tv programme I had lurking about in my TiVo box (again, a success as I watched it over lunch most days). And finally I had a big stack of Disney trivia quizzes saved in YouTube – a blogger I follow has been doing them each week and I was quite a bit behind – so my aim was to complete one of those most afternoons. As a bonus, I had some movies in mind that I wanted to watch and with the weather less than ideal for being out and about much, this felt like a good time to snuggle in a take advantage of my Disney+ subscription! Of course I also maintained the run streak, did some yoga each weekday and made sure to fit in some workouts. For me, all of that is the perfect way to unwind.

Monday – 4 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 6.2 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – 6.2 miles
Sunday –  10 miles

Yay for daylight running all week!

I began the week as I meant to go on – with some reading in bed. The weather was pretty grim but was due to improve a bit later on and since I had an appointment and errands in town, I decided to postpone the run until afterwards. Instead, I got started on my blog catch-up mission and while I was doing that, Steve had a go at making soda bread for the first time. He brought me a slice still warm from the oven and it was delicious!

When I got home from my errands I decided just to head straight out on my run before having some lunch as I knew waiting would mean an even longer time until I could run. It was still a bit drizzly, but it was nice to be out. I had received a medal through the post that morning, so proudly sported that for a while post-run. It’s part of a set inspired by Disney princesses and my new goal is to complete the set.

My mum had said she had a couple of things to drop off and she arrived shortly after I got in the door. The delivery included a banana loaf. She had been using bananas to help ripen her homegrown tomatoes then made some banana loaf once the bananas started to go brown. We actually haven’t made any banana loaf/bread (does this mean we’ll be trapped in 2020 until we do??) but this was delicious.

It was a fairly busy day given I wasn’t at work (my plan was to get all the appointments and errands out of the way at the start of the holiday to free up plenty of time to relax afterwards) so it was good to have my yoga class as usual in the evening.

Tuesday was a lovely morning for a run and I was in no hurry to complete it, so took my time and enjoyed being able to notice things in the daylight. A real highlight was spotting this seasonal display. It’s the eyes that get me!

I then had to nip into town again to get my flu jab (I aways have this since the year I got the flu – a hideous experience I have no desire to repeat) but this year it seemed even more important. I’m glad I did as right after this it was announced that pharmacies were suspending bookings for private vaccinations. I booked mine weeks ago when the pharmacy got in touch to let me know I could and this was the first suitable slot, but I had been worried about whether or not it would actually happen. Thankfully my booking meant there was a vaccine set aside for me and I had paid at the time of booking. I had originally thought I might have a workout in the afternoon, but my arm was sore from the jab so this didn’t seem like such a good idea. Instead, I settled down to watch The Aristocats (I wanted to watch any of the movies connected with my virtual Run Disney adventure which I hadn’t watched any time recently) so started with this one. I have seen it before but not for many years.

And my own “aristocat” joined me for some of it 😹

With all the appointments etc taken care of, I had a bit more space for leisure on Wednesday. After some reading in bed I set off on a really random running route as I was trying to track down some trickier scavenger hunt items. I had no idea where I was going to go, but had a rough distance in mind and it worked out fine. 

My next job was to make a batch of chocolate fudge. It was chocolate week on Bake Off so for once we were going to be prepared!

And this time my afternoon movie choice was The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I know my sister and I used to have this one (or the soundtrack) on quite a lot when it first came out, so it was nice to revisit it. Again, I had kitty company. I think he was pleased to have me at home again.

I think we might be past garden workouts now as the ground will be squelchy until the spring, but I did have a living room workout between the film and my evening yoga session.

My Thursday run was another good one as the sun was out (love some autumn sunshine!) and I was rewarded with the delivery of another medal. I have taken part in the Platform 9¾k run every year and this was the final year (year 7: one for each year of Hogwarts). The medal has had a different design each year so is a really nice set to have.

After that my task was to prep a batch of chilli for the slow cooker. This would be our dinner then the rest frozen in portions to last another couple of weeks. To relax, my afternoon movie was Ratatouille. Again, one I have seen before but since visiting Disneyland Paris a few times in the last couple of years and going on the Rémy-themed ride there, I was keen to remind myself of it. The Parisian scenery is just stunning and I love the music.

I was surprised that my “company” didn’t appear – I thought a film about a rat might be appealing to a cat! – but he did show up at the end. Typical!

I rounded out my day with another living room workout and yoga session before settling down for dinner and tv with Steve.

My Friday run felt great. I have no idea why, but I was feeling good and my legs were turning over beautifully. I love it when that happens! It really made me happy for the rest of the day.

That afternoon I plumped for the live action Aladdin. I hadn’t seen this one before but love the original animation, so having heard good things about this one (a lot of people aren’t keen on the live action remakes) I wanted to give it a go. My verdict is that I really enjoyed it. Will Smith knew better than to try and mimic Robin Williams as the Genie, instead making the role his own, and I was pleased that Princess Jasmine got a stronger role. 

I was initially watching by myself, but Smokey arrived in time for one of my favourite scenes!

And just to prove that pictures of my cats don’t always go to plan, here’s an out-take from when I tried to capture him sitting on my lap watching the film 😹

By the end of the film, I had somehow attracted both cats, and I was amused at them hanging around:

Steve came in at this point and started laughing at me, saying that my “crazy cat lady” training was going well. I have no idea what he means 🤣

After this, another living room workout, a yoga session, then a relaxing evening with Steve. One week in and I was feeling pretty content with my holiday “chez moi”.

The weekend, of course, was much as it usually is. Interestingly my (not)parkun time was the exact same as the previous week (when it was a PB). In parkrun challenges terms, that would be Groundhog Day. Is it the same for a (not)parkrun?

It was a good week for us on the parkrun quiz again with 10/15 (yay!) then I had a restful afternoon of watching vlogs, reading my book and taking a quick nap while Steve was meeting his brother.

Our day wrapped up with the next Marvel MCU movie (Iron Man 3 – a new one for us) and it was overall a really pleasant day.

On Sunday I lay in bed to finish up my book (Midnight Sun – the Twilight retelling. It was ok but nothing special). This book was the last one on my 2020 challenge sheet (from a Facebook group I’m in) and it was satisfying to see the completed sheet. I’ve read plenty of other books this year which don’t appear on here, but here are the ones which fitted the categories set for 2020:

Then I headed out for my run. It was a fairly typical autumn morning and it was nice to trot around 10 miles.

Once the shopping was done and put away we settled down to watch Bake Off Extra Slice and for this one we had a real treat – Steve’s inaugural batch of mince pies. He had prepped the pastry on Saturday then filled and cooked them on Sunday (he used a jar of mincemeat – not ready to make that from scratch yet!). They were really good!

Next, a little bit of allen key action as I had bought a new scratching post for the cats (the sisal gets destroyed and unwinds eventually so I usually buy these at least once a year) and it needed to be assembled. This one had been in the middle aisle of Aldi (I love that place!) and they seemed pretty happy with it.

Then after dinner I had a bath and watched the Strictly launch show. I’ve been finding it hard to get excited for it this year – perhaps because the build up has been a bit more low key and the show will run a bit differently this year – but this made me feel ready to see some sparkles and sequins again.

By this point I was feeling pretty relaxed and refreshed. One more week of holidays to go…!

Are you a “Strictly Come Dancing” fan?
Any running or other achievements lately?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 21

I know, I know.  A whole school term has gone by and I haven’t updated my weekly running and (somewhat limited) life goings on. The demands of Covid-safe school life, getting back into the swing of things and preparing for an even more unknown future than normal took up so much time, and something had to give. But I still want to share what I’ve been up to, so my half term mission is to catch up on my blog posts, starting in mid-August right before school began when I was still in my happy place.

Monday – 5k
Tuesday – 5k
Wednesday – 3.5 miles
Thursday – 4 miles + garden workout
Friday – 4 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Saturday – 5 miles + SUP yoga
Sunday – 8 miles

As the week began, I was still in France enjoying my break at Disneyland Paris, something that seems so inconceivable now given the rapidly rising case numbers everywhere and restrictions on travel/need to quarantine. If you missed it, I did write a stand-alone post on my time in DLP, so I won’t get into too much of the detail here.

Monday began with a run. Having run just a mile on the Sunday morning, I was keen to go a little further to explore in the same direction and see where the road went, so headed off around the Val d’Europe shopping centre and out beside a road which would eventually lead the traffic to Disney. It was good to get my bearings and gain a better understanding of what was out there, but I think I had exhausted that part of the area now.

I then got organised and joined my sister back in the main park where we ticked off loads of attractions we hadn’t managed on Saturday and got loads of Photopass pictures.

Our flight home was early afternoon on the Tuesday so we were due to leave the hotel mid-morning for the RER/TGV trip back to the airport. Since she has Extra Magic Time on her annual pass, my sister headed into the Studios for an hour or so to go on one or two rides and do a little last minute shopping. It wasn’t worth me buying a ticket for that day, so I set off to explore in the opposite direction as I was convinced I could run to one of the Disney entrances and back for about 5k total. I was right.

All the permits for work at Disney are displayed at the side of the road. I found this really interesting.

Tower of Terror from the road

The “Earful Tower” from the road

My route went past the road entrance to the Newport Bay hotel and brought me in at the back of the Disney Village

It was a really nice run and one I would be happy to do again in future. It was also good to know that it would be an easy walk to/from Disney if necessary. It would save about €2 but would probably take about the same amount of time as waiting the full 15 minutes for a train then making the journey. With all the walking involved in a Disney day the train is probably a bit more appealing!

Once home (the cats were pretty pleased to see me!) I took some time to catch up on work emails ahead of my return to the building the following day.

After a magical long weekend, Wednesday was a bit of a shock as I was back at work. I had been allowed to miss the inset days since our holidays were changed when the Scottish Government standardised the start of term across the country and my trip had been booked as far back as January (on dates that were, at that time IN the holidays) so a number of staff were affected. Fortunately, it wasn’t a full-on teaching day as we were using the three pupil days in this week as induction days, with just 2 year groups in on each day. That did make things a little easier and it was great to see pupils again, but there was a lot to get my head around behind the scenes. I was feeling a bit “off” since I had woken to really stormy weather (proper thunderstorms and heavy downpours which had been going on all night) so had opted to delay my run until after work. After running every single morning since 24th March, it felt really strange not to have been out, but it was definitely the right decision when the main road out of where we stay was closed due to the water which had gouged a huge chunk out of the grass banking beside the pub!

When I did get out after work, it was good to clear my head a bit after my first “proper” work day in ages.

With the weather improved, Thursday had me back on early running. This was definitely a bit strange as the last time I ran so early was March and back then there was only just daylight at the end of the run. In August, it was fully light. I missed one of my favourite times of year for early runs – around May/June – when it’s light but still cool, with the promise of a nice day ahead, so it was nice to be out before the world was really awake.

Work was an induction day for junior pupils, including our new first years, then when I got home we needed to go and get some food shopping in since my trip away meant we hadn’t done it at the weekend as usual. After that, I fancied a boxing workout in the garden. I hadn’t done any boxing in ages, but had come across Steve’s pads so suggested doing a little.

I was out early again on Friday morning to set me up for the final induction day of the week. It was drizzly and grey, but I knew I would feel better for starting my day with a run. I have to say, I had kind of forgotten just how exhausting a school day is and was worn out by the time I got home. Fortunately Smokey was on hand to make sure I sat down for a bit  before my workout. I suspect he was pleased to have me back after a weekend away then returning to work. He rather got used to me being around through all the Lockdown weeks!

I shortened my Saturday run a little (still with a (not)parkrun) since I had a SUP yoga session in the morning. It was lovely to be out on the water again and I felt quite happy out on the board and with the additional Covid-related safety measures in place. It did, however, mean a slight delay to our usual Saturday morning of the parkrun quiz (we did the one from the previous week which we had missed with me being away) and a bacon roll, but it wasn’t much of a delay. I then spent the rest of the day trying to relax a bit as I knew that a weekend away and a return to work would catch up with me pretty quickly!

Sunday had a more leisurely start to the day as before my run I lay in bed and finished up the book I had been reading. If you’re a Disney fan, this is another one I recommend. I always got the impression that Bob Iger was a “good guy” and it was fascinating to learn more about him and his time with Disney. This book made me like him even more.

Post-run, it was all the usual Sunday stuff with food shopping, an afternoon treat alongside a little tv, and an evening bath. I also discovered a blogging milestone (don’t worry, I did work on a post that day):

And that brought the week to a close. Starting in Disney and ending back in school definitely made it a weird one after weeks and weeks of everything being the same, but it was good to feel a sense of “normality” again.

Have you managed to take any trips this year?
What “normal” things have you been able to bring back into your life, even if briefly?

Just Checking In!

Hello there!

You’ve probably noticed things have been a bit quiet over here in Running Princess Land for the past few weeks. No need to worry, I’m absolutely fine but this school term has been super busy and my brain has been feeling fried! I have just one more week of this current term (I know – how has it managed to simultaneously fly by yet feel endless???) and then I have grand plans to get up to date when we break up for the holidays – not like I have much else planned right now 😂

Once I feel back on track it will hopefully be easier for me to get back into a regular posting routine again. Right now it just feels a bit much to sort out, even though all the post outlines are set up and taunting me from my drafts folder – eek! It’s sure to feel different when I’m feeling a bit fresher and better rested.

So look out soon for more running, more garden workouts, more home yoga and a few fun bits and bobs like the rest of my DLP trip, our latest movie mission and my virtual racing exploits.

For now, I’ll leave you not with goodbye but with the preferred farewell of a certain Mr W Disney: See ya real soon!

The Year Of Me!!! – December Update And Final Thoughts

And that’s a wrap! 2018 has come to an end and with it The Year of Me!!! For the most part it’s been an amazing year with lots of fun and adventures. I also think I did a pretty good job with my goals and have added lots of value to my life. Here’s one final check-in with how things went.

 

1.Run 1000km (621 miles)
If you’ve been following along then you know I completed this one at the end of September and have since been maintaining my consistency to see how many miles I could run. In November I passed my highest yearly mileage ever, to guarantee a number in the 800s for the first time ever. And that final total? 837 miles. I’m feeling pretty pleased with that.

2.Commit to a minimum of 5 minutes of yoga on at least 5 days of the week
I love my yoga, but had somehow found that in the latter part of the year I was managing 4 sessions easily and not always converting that to a 5th. Throughout December I made a conscious effort to make sure there were 5 yoga sessions each week, reminding myself that just 5 minutes was all it took, so returned often to one of my favourite bedtime sequences. It was great to take that time and really helped me wind down before bed.

3.Read at least 30 books
Another one which was completed in September, but the reading didn’t stop there. My involvement in some online/social media reading groups this year has really helped me to find more time to read and as a result I ended up with 44 books read this year, an average of over 3 books per month (and with the last one finished on Hogmanay!). I’m thrilled with that and will be settting myself a bigger target for my Goodreads challenge in 2019.

4.Be in bed by 10pm at least 3 times per week
One of my favourite goals since I love my bed! The biggest difficulty here was that I tend to be a natural night owl, but the decision to switch my runs from the evening to the morning after the October break made a big difference to that and I found myself coping much better with mornings. Don’t get me worng, I’d still rather stay in my bed longer, but the morning runs have created more time in the evenings which means I can get to bed early without feeling like I’ve barely had a moment to myself. I’ll definitely be continuing with this one!

5.Watch at least one Ted/Ted X talk per week
This one was put well and truly back on track with my decision to make this the focus of a 100 day challenge I began in September:100 TED talks in 100 days. I didn’t quite manage one per day, but I did watch 100 in 100 days and it was brilliant! Hopefully that has started a habit of delving into my watchlist more regularly as there is so much great content in there and I feel like I learned a lot of interesting things.

6.Listen to at least 8 podcast episodes per week
Another of my favourites as I have become such a podcast addict. These days I’m probably listening to 1 or 2 per day (more if I’m out for a long run or doing household chores) and I just love it. Podcasts have been in my life for a while now and are definitely here to stay!

7.Respond to at least one WordPress prompt per month
Weirdly, I found this one quite hard throughout the year, which I wasn’t expecting. I thought it would be good to respond to the prompts but choosing them often took longer than I expected so they were often towards the end of the month. Somehow I didn’t quite get to it in December but I think that was because I didn’t find a prompt I was desperate to respond to. It was an interesting goal when it came to posting a little more often, but I think I found it more of a bind than an inspiration.

8.Be more mindful in my phone/social media use
This one has fluctuated throughout the year but overall I think I have cut down on the amount of mindless scrolling I do (which probably helped to create all that reading time!). December is maybe a little different as I like sharing festive activities but I try now to share my post then put my phone away again so as not to get caught up in other things. The weekly report I now get from my phone is pretty interesting and I’ll be continuing to keep an eye on that to make sure I don’t slip back into bad habits as more and more I find it important to be present rather than distracted by trivialities on a screen.

 

Overall, I have to be pleased with my progress. It would have been unrealistic to expect to be “perfect” in everything I chose, but I also chose goals that made me focus on a process rather than an outcome. Yes, I had tangible goals in my running mileage and reading, but to get there I had to enjoy several months of running and I got to sit down and get lost in lots of good books. Neither of these could ever be negative experiences for me. Now it’s all about maintaining some of the positive habits I created, but without the pressure of checking up on myself each month. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, I wish you all the very best for the year ahead.

How did you get on with your goals in 2018?
What is the most important thing you learned this year?

The Year Of Me!!! – November Update

11 months down and just 1 to go. That means it’s time for my monthly check in with my 2018 goals in The Year of Me!!!

1.Run 1000km (621 miles)
Since the end of September I’ve had this one wrapped up so now it’s really just about maintaining consistency as I build a solid base for marathon training. I’m already at my highest annual mileage ever and thanks to another strong month, it’s looking likely that my final total will be 800+!

2.Commit to a minimum of 5 minutes of yoga on at least 5 days of the week
I love yoga and really want to have a regular home practice to complement my 2 weekly classes, but I’m consistently finding I’m coming in at 4 times per week rather than 5 right now. Certainly, it’s not the biggest problem in the world to have, but I would like to get this one back on track for December.

3.Read at least 30 books
Another one that I already completed. I added a further 2 books to my total this month so am now at 37. Obviously, I’d now love that to be a nice round 40 by the end of the year.

4.Be in bed by 10pm at least 3 times per week
The change to my routine to encompass early runs has definitely helped with this one. Now that I’m getting up earlier a couple of times a week I’m much more conscious of making sure I get to bed sharp. And now that I’m several weeks into a buy term, I am noticing that my fatigue levels are lower than before so the new routine seems to be suiting me so far.

5.Watch at least one Ted/Ted X talk per week
Since beginning a 100 day challenge to watch 100 TED talks, this one has been well on track. I’m not necessarily managing one a day, but I will watch 100 within the time frame and the end of November saw me at 82 TED talks since mid-September.

6.Listen to at least 8 podcast episodes per week
One of my favourite goals. To be honest, I don’t even think about how many I’m listening to any more as I just love keeping up with my favourites and listen to at least one show per day, sometimes a little of a second. I’m now totally up to date with the ones I listen to regularly and have slotted in a few past episodes of ones I dip into form time to time.

7.Respond to at least one WordPress prompt per month
Back to being last minute, this month I responded to the photo prompt Favourite Place.

8.Be more mindful in my phone/social media use
I’m really noticing an improvement here. During the week I only really have time to look at my phone in the evening and am conscious of setting it aside when I’m doing something else like watching TV. I do look at it a bit more at weekends, but my screen reports from Apple suggest I’m not overdoing it. Yes, I enjoy some aspects of social media, but it’s refreshing not to feel tied to looking at things all the time.

Are you on track with your goals for the year?
What can you do in the remaining weeks of the year to help you achieve a goal?

The Year Of Me!!! – October Update

I actually can’t believe it’s the end of October. It barely seems 5 minutes ago that I was preparing for the Stirling marathon, and even less time since I was sweltering in the summer heatwave, yet somehow we’re now down to the last couple of months of the year. Time to check in once more and see how I’m doing with my goals for The Year of Me.

 

1.Run 1000km (621 miles)
I achieved this one at the end of September and am now simply curious to see my end of year mileage total. 2017 was my highest to date at 752 miles. Will it be higher or lower?
I did submit my completion of the 1000km to the virtual “race” I had committed to and received my medal last week. It’s pretty cool!

2.Commit to a minimum of 5 minutes of yoga on at least 5 days of the week
This one had been falling a little short, but I think I’ve got it back on track. It was pretty easy to fit on lots of yoga at the start of the month when it was the school holidays but not always so easy during term time, so I have been turning fairly often to a short bedtime sequence that I enjoy. As I settle into the new term I’ll hopefully find more time for some longer sequences, especially now I’ve changed some of my training routines.

3.Read at least 30 books
Again, I achieved this one in September and am on course for a “record breaking” reading year. I’m currently at 35 books read with plenty of year still left.

4.Be in bed by 10pm at least 3 times per week
I didn’t worry so much about this one during the school holidays as I don’t have to get up so early, but was still in bed just after 10. Now that I’m back in the work routine I have been trying hard to get plenty of rest, particularly ahead of my early runs, and I do think I’m getting a decent amount of rest right now.

5.Watch at least one Ted/Ted X talk per week
I’m still taking part in my 100 day challenge to watch a Ted talk per day and although there have been a couple of days when I missed out due to other commitments, I have always made sure to catch up so whatever happens I will watch 100 talks in 100 days and more than fulfill this challenge. It’s so interesting to see what’s out there and I’m really enjoying working my way through my watchlist.

6.Listen to at least 8 podcast episodes per week
Still doing well with this one. It boils down to a podcast per day (I usually listen to one on my journey home from work) and an extra at some point. On some days I can manage two per day and in the holidays I spent a couple of days reorganising all my cupboards and drawers so probably listened to about 8 per day!

7.Respond to at least one WordPress prompt per month
I was, for once, super prepared this time and responded to the prompt Costume.

8.Be more mindful in my phone/social media use
I think I have this one back on track most of the time. I’m actually really enjoying the new “Screen Time” feature in iOS12 as. I get a weekly report on how often I’m looking at my phone as well as a breakdown of where that time is going e.g. if I’m reading news articles/blog posts or simply wasting time in the infinite scroll rabbit hole of social media. Definitely a useful feature to have and I think it will help me to think a bit more carefully about what I’m doing with my phone.

Have you achieved any of your goals for the year?
Are any of your goals turning out to be more challenging than you expected?

The Year of Me!!! – September Update

September! 9 months of the year done and my Big Birthday has gone by. I should probably stop celebrating it some time soon! 😂 Time to check in with my goals for the year and see how things are progressing.

 

1.Run 1000km (621 miles)
Goal achieved! I’ve been aware for some time that I would reach my goal distance before the end of the year (assuming no significant time out) and my final run of September took me just beyond the distance. I’m pleased to have achieved this with so much time to spare, but that time gives me the opportunity to now find out how much more I can add to the total. Place your bets…!

2.Commit to a minimum of 5 minutes of yoga on at least 5 days of the week
I started the month spot on with this one, but with my trip away I managed to miss a couple of home sessions in the weeks wither side, which I’m not terribly proud of. What I’m finding with my current routine is that 4 sessions of yoga is easily achievable but sometimes the 5th eludes me – more out of laziness/carelessness than anything else. I have been trying to combat that with a short routine before bed to help me relax and unwind so hopefully things are back on track again.

3.Read at least 30 books
Another goal achieved! At the end of the month I reached 30 books and was rather stunned to find that I had managed to read so much this year. With 3 months of the year to go (and some holiday time) I wonder what my final total will be? I’ve been really enjoying my reading this year and part of that is because my involvement with some online/social media book groups has given me the opportunity to read things I might not otherwise have chosen and kept me on track with my reading in order to contribute to the discussions.

4.Be in bed by 10pm at least 3 times per week
I think I’m still doing ok with this one. I certainly tried to be in bed at a reasonable time before my trip and needed plenty of sleep the week after so although I don’t keep specific note of this one, I do keep an eye on the time on “school nights” and try to be heading for bed before 10.

5.Watch at least one Ted/Ted X talk per week
I had fallen off the wagon with this one over the summer but am back on track now. I’m taking part in a 100 day challenge with a Facebook group I’m in and my choice was to watch a TED talk every day for 100 days. This has really helped to get my focus back on this goal – an activity I have really enjoyed – and I am doing well so far. I did miss a couple of days when I was in Disney, but have since “caught up” by watching a couple of extras so I am still on track for 100 talks in 100 days. Any recommendations?

6.Listen to at least 8 podcast episodes per week
On the basis that I listen to a podcast per day on my drive home (and usually one or two extras across the week) this one is still going well. I have fallen slightly behind with my regular podcasts again with my extra rest days, but I’m sure I’ll catch up during the school holidays as I’ll have more opportunities to listen.

7.Respond to at least one WordPress prompt per month
My most last-minute one yet as I responded to the prompt It Builds Character on the last day of the month!

8.Be more mindful in my phone/social media use
The rigours of the school day mean I’m back on track with this one too as my time to even touch my phone during the day is so limited. Beyond a quick check of emails at lunchtime, I don’t really use my phone much at all. I’ve also got back into the habit of checking it when I get home then getting on with other things for the evening so I don’t get sucked in. Social media etc definitely have a positive place in my life, but it’s too easy to be distracted by the more frivolous elements so a balance has to be found.

This first term of the school year has been busy (I know they’re all busy but it has felt busier than this term usually does) so I’m really pleased with how I have approached my goals this month. Roll on October!

How are you doing with your goals for the year? Anything achieved? Any goals need reset?

The Year Of Me!!! – August Update

Yes, I know we’re a week into September but I just didn’t get to this last weekend. I’m now 8 months into the Year of Me, so let’s see how I’ve been doing with adding value and positive habits over the last month – a month split between summer holidays and the start of the new school year as well as being my Big Birthday month…

 

1.Run 1000km (621 miles)
Despite taking a bit of time out over the summer to allow a niggle in my ankle to resolve, this one is still well on track. Thanks to heavier mileage at the start of the year I finished August still ahead of the pace and with a bit of wriggle room if I need to ease off again. Still totally achievable just through my regular running and with no need to artificially chase miles. Phew!

2.Commit to a minimum of 5 minutes of yoga on at least 5 days of the week
I do really love my yoga, but I must admit that there have been too many weeks where I only managed 4, or even 3 yoga sessions. I think I have become too caught up in using sequences of around 20-30 minutes and need to remember that I can do much less and am perfectly able to fit in a 5 minute practice before bed. Something to work on in September.

3.Read at least 30 books
My reading has been going so well this year and I feel like I’ve really re-engaged with one of my favourite pastimes. I think because I have involved myself in some online book groups, it’s given me a bit more of a focus to actually read more often than a few minutes in bed at night and I’ve read some books that I wouldn’t otherwise have picked up. As a result, I’m way ahead on this one as well and am really curious to see where my total goes at the end of the year.

4.Be in bed by 10pm at least 3 times per week
This one is perhaps a little harder to measure for August. The part of the month that was still the school holidays allowed me to be more flexible with my bedtime. I was consistently getting up around 7am (to feed the kittens!) and going to bed around 10pm, but there was no need to worry about being in bed sooner. Once term began, at first I was probably a little disorganised as I was out of my normal routine and not really monitoring if I was in bed before 10pm. As we move into September, this is one for me to keep an eye on in order to ensure I’m as well rested as possible.

5.Watch at least one Ted/Ted X talk per week
I really don’t know what happened here. I began the year watching a talk every weekend, but somehow lost the routine and have struggled to get back on top of this. Hopefully at the end of September I will be able to say something different as I LOVE watching the talks, I just need to be more conscious of sitting down for 15 minutes with one. I can easily find 15 minutes if I put my mind to it.

6.Listen to at least 8 podcast episodes per week
I’m definitely getting this one done. I am such a podcast addict now and am aware of a few I would like to try, but am already listening to so many. I don’t think I could manage without podcasts now and I have learned so many interesting things from them.

7.Respond to at least one WordPress prompt per month
In August it was a photo prompt inspired by a visit to South Queensferry and I responded to the prompt Bridge.

8.Be more mindful in my phone/social media use
I think this one is going ok. In the holidays I was using my phone, etc more, but I also had a bit more time at my disposal. Now I’m back at work again, my time for faffing about with my phone is much more limited, and the time I am spending on social media is more related to groups I help with and responding to book groups than random and endless scrolling. I’m comfortable with that, especially since I have been able to read so much this year as a result.

So overall not too bad a report for August. In September I’ll be focusing on re-establishing my term-time routine to make sure I find the time I want for yoga as well as getting back into the habit of watching TED talks. Just 4 months of the year left…!

How have you progressed with your goals this year?
Any TED/TED X talks to recommend?

The Year Of Me!!! – July Update

I can’t believe July is over. It’s my favourite month of the whole year (no work, a couple of weeks spent on a sun lounger in Florida, lots of relaxing…) but I suppose all good things must come to an end. Meanwhile, The Year of Me continues (as my birthday creeps ever closer!) and this is my monthly check-in with how I’m getting on with my goals to add positive habits and value to my life.

 

1.Run 1000km (621 miles)
I ran 4x per week when we were in Florida, however they were mostly runs of less than 4 miles and since getting home I’ve hardly run thanks to a slightly niggly ankle. As a result, my mileage is down a bit at just 41 miles for the entire month, however with 521 miles completed this year so far, I’m now just 100 miles from achieving my goal. This one has been all about consistency and hopefully the ankle issue will resolve quickly so I can get back out there.

2.Commit to a minimum of 5 minutes of yoga on at least 5 days of the week
I’ve been able to turn my attention back to this one, especially since getting home and having the opportunity to go to more SUP yoga sessions, so I think there was only one week in the month when I didn’t manage 5 yoga sessions. I love how much stronger I feel as a result of this and it’s amazing to note my own progress within certain postures, especially on the paddle board.

3.Read at least 30 books
Absolutely storming it on this one! I read on both my flights, on my sun lounger, in my garden when we had good weather, in my comfy chair in the evenings, and have added 5 complete books to my count for the year (with a couple of others on the go alongside them). Getting involved in some online book groups has really motivated me to find more time to read and this, in turn, has helped me to ignore distractions such as social media (see point 8 below) and focus on something far more valuable.

4.Be in bed by 10pm at least 3 times per week
I’ve probably not been so good with this one this month since I’ve been on holiday. That’s not to say I’ve been staying up late, indeed I’ve been making sure to keep to a fairly consistent schedule, but there has been no need for really early nights so for now I’m happy with my consistency as it means I haven’t become nocturnal or developed bad habits during my time off!

5.Watch at least one Ted/Ted X talk per week
I seem to have let this one go a bit, which is a pity. Shortly after arriving in Florida I actually sat and watched several Ted talks and fully intended to find some time to watch one every day, however the changes to my routine with being away then getting the kittens means I just never got back on top of this again. Such a shame as I really enjoy watching talks and following the suggestions that come up, so this is one to try and sort out as we head into August…

6.Listen to at least 8 podcast episodes per week
I think I’ve mostly been managing this one. I suspect that while we were away I maybe didn’t quite reach 8 episodes one of the weeks (I didn’t particularly count) and without a commute I haven’t had the same dedicated time to listen, yet I still feel like I am using my podcast player every day so would probably be surprised if I counted things up. I even found a couple of new shows to listen to, which is always fun!

7.Respond to at least one WordPress prompt per month
Not quite as last minute as some months, but last week I responded to the prompt Animal.

8.Be more mindful in my phone/social media use
In June I refocused on this one after letting things slide a bit, and of course things changed again in July. A bit more time on my hands meant more scope for idly picking up my phone and scrolling for no reason, but I have tried to keep myself in check on this one by making sure I have my book or Kindle nearby so that rather than picking up my phone, I pick up my book instead. Much more productive and enjoyable!

 

While July is my favourite month, it’s easy to lose all notion of routine during school holidays (not necessarily a bad thing!) and then things slide a bit. That said, I’m pleased with my month, especially my reading, and am looking forward to getting everything back on track.

How have you made the most of your month?
Read any good books lately?