Having had a week of easy running, it was time to get things back on track this past week and get some good, consistent runs in. The early part of the week brought some beautiful weather and I really enjoyed my morning runs in the cool before it warmed up later on. Definitely a benefit to getting out first thing rather than after work! Here’s how my week looked:
Monday – Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 4 miles + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles
This week’s Hatha class was the last in the current block and there’s going to be a week off before the next block starts. That actually works out perfectly for me as I wouldn’t have managed to go the following week, but I still made sure to make the most of the session this time. I find I really look forward to this part of Monday, and since we had an after school meeting it was even more welcome this week!
My Tuesday run was lovely. I’ve not been pushing the pace on my morning runs, just sticking to a comfortable pace while my body continues to recover from the marathon. One of the best things is going out in daylight after all those dark winter runs and I really feel like it sets me up for the day ahead.
I had to pop in to see my parents after school on Tuesday and it worked out perfectly for me. It was a warm, sunny afternoon so mum and dad were sitting in the garden. They had not long had their afternoon coffee and dad asked if I wanted a drink. Since it was warm, I opted for some of the iced tea lemonade he had in the fridge. He then asked if I wanted a slice of cake to go with it. Clearly a daft question! So having only planned to drop something off, I ended up with sitting in the sun and catching up over a slice of cake and refreshing cold drink Lovely!
To add further entertainment to my evening, mum had found a big feather which she gave me to take home to the kittens (they may be 1 now but I think I’ll keep calling them that – they still act like kittens!) since they LOVE to play with feathers. Watching their reaction was hilarious!
Wednesday was a rest day. I had an appointment after school and had half planned to do some yoga when I got home but by the time I got back Steve was already there so we got the dinner on a bit earlier and settled down to watch some Line of Duty. Late to the party as always, we’re catching up on previous seasons on Netflix before watching the final series that was just on.
Another lovely run on Thursday morning, after which I realised that I had now been for 4 morning runs since the marathon and that each had been a little faster without my effort level changing. I don’t really keep an eye on my pace while I’m running, but I do like to look at the data afterwards and that particular metric is showing me how well my recovery is progressing, Very pleasing.
It was a small class for Ashtanga yoga that night which I really liked as we were all regulars and that means we can flow a bit more steadily through the postures without longer explanations/demonstrations from the teacher. I was feeling really good and moving with my breath. Wheel was strong, I moved more deeply into a posture we have been working on in recent weeks and I was all set for headstand…then something threw me off and I toppled over! I’m not sure if my balance was off or if it was the way the sun was shining across my mat stopping me from getting a proper visual fix on something, but after just a breath or two I could feel myself going over and there was nothing I could do to stop it on this occasion. I was absolutely fine and set up to try again, but it just wasn’t there this time. It happens. I’ll simply move on and see if it’s any better next week.
Friday was an interesting day at work. To mark Mental Health Awareness Week some of the junior classes had organised a non-uniform day and some lunchtime activities to raise money for mental health charities. Earlier in the week I had (stupidly?) agreed to be part of their “soak the teacher” event so set off with all sorts of clothing options since I would need to get changed, possibly several times. In the end, I actually donned my shorty wetsuit with a technical Tshirt over the top (and actually taught my class right before lunch in this unusual attire!) which was the perfect choice as it made it much easier to get dried off and changed again afterwards given that I only had a few minutes and had to go right into teaching another class. Pupils paid a small amount for a soaked sponge to throw at the teachers (some had better aim than others!) and it was actually pretty good fun, but right when I was heading off to get changed one of my pupils asked if she could squeeze one over my head! Since she had been involved in organising the whole thing, I let her, before squelching off to get changed. To be honest, I fully expected someone to get hold of a bucket and throw loads of water at us, so had braided my hair to avoid having dripping hair to deal with afterwards. After having a sponge squeezed out over my head, I was glad I made that decision!
I headed down to the studio after work that day and asked Steve for another arm workout. He obliged with yet another circuit using weights and the TRX. Each one of these has been different and I definitely feel it the next morning, so hopefully I’ll start to see (or feel) the results soon.
Getting back into my usual routine meant that Saturday was the first parkrun sandwich in about a month. It was a pretty drizzly day but I’ve never let that stop me, I simply wore a slightly more water resistant top layer to keep the worst of it off me. I guess being a bit soggy was the theme of the weekend as I was already pretty damp when I arrived.
In the end, I was really pleased with my parkrun performance. I haven’t run with a hard effort for about a month and had no idea what I would do – especially since we are still on an altered course due to works on our regular route. My time of 24:53 (and a pretty even pace for my Close Range Royal Flush) is actually the fastest I’ve run since late March when I dipped under 24 minutes right before I got ill. I’m not quite back to that kind of form yet, but it maybe won’t be too long before I’m in sub-24 form again. And I still had something left for the run home.
With about 7.5 miles already in my legs for the weekend, I fixed on 10 miles for my Sunday run. I thought this would be a decent distance to give me confidence ahead of my half marathon next weekend. I don’t plan to race that hard, but I do want to feel that I’ve given it my best shot and in the right conditions I could maybe finish in under 2 hours. Since I had plans later on (more on that in a bit) I got myself organised to simply get up, get dressed and head out the door. I knew exactly the route I wanted and although a bit drizzly, it was a really nice run and I felt pretty strong. I certainly could have kept going so that’s a good sign ahead of next week.
I had an early lunch then we popped out to get our weekly free coffee a bit sooner than usual as my parents and sister were picking me up mid-afternoon for a little treat. Earlier in the year my sister won a voucher for afternoon tea for four at one of the local hotels. She invited my parents along then offered me the fourth slot – no way was I going to turn that one down – afternoon tea is one of my favourite kinds of tea!
It was no Disney’s Grand Floridian, but still pretty good. There was tea (of course), finger sandwiches, scones, almond slices, choux pastries and chocolate slices. A lot of sweet stuff, but I’m no quitter and had that 10 mile run to give me a decent hunger for it. Needless to say, all that was left was a couple of tuna sandwiches (my dad is the only one who eats tuna since the rest of us think it’s cat food and he had already eaten his share) so I wrapped them up and brought them away for Steve since I knew he would be happy to eat them.
After dropping my parents off at home, my sister and I then went on a quick excursion to pick up some supplies for a craft project I want to have a go at (something she has already tried). It will be a couple of weeks before I have time to try it, but I’ll be sure to share the results (which could potentially be me sticking my fingers together and making a huge mess haha!).
I felt pretty sleepy after all that so it was home to chill out for the rest of the day and get myself organised for a short work trip at the start of the week. In the week ahead I’ll have a bit of a mini-taper ready to race next Sunday. Watch out for the updates!
What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done to raise money for charity?
Afternoon tea fans, what’s the best afternoon tea you’ve ever had?