Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 82

Holidays at last! And not only that, but I went away on an actual break in another country!

When the rules around needing a PCR test to return to the UK from abroad changed, it made my sister and I feel much less cautious about taking a trip (previously we had been worried about testing positive whilst away and what that would entail) so just two weeks before the end of term we made a fairly last minute booking to go to Disneyland Paris. I’ll write separately about the details (and many MANY photos) of our trip, so will stick to a brief outline here and how I kept my run streak going whilst travelling.

Monday – 1 mile
Tuesday – 1 mile
Wednesday – 1 mile
Thursday – 1 mile
Friday – 4 miles + Hatha yoga (recording from Zoom)
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 4.5 miles

In order to maximise our time, we opted for an early flight on the Monday morning. We were going to get the TGV from the airport to Disneyland, put our bags (we had those little cabin-sized cases as we were travelling hand baggage only) into the guest storage and be in the park by about midday. And so just like when we took our trip last August, I invoked my “exceptional circumstances” streak rule which meant running a few laps around the block outside my house in the middle of the night to clock up a mile. I had everything packed bar a couple of things I would need first thing, my clothes and running kit laid out so it was easy to get out of bed and run. It may seem an odd thing to do, but that early mile definitely makes me feel much more alert through the rest of what becomes a very long day.

The airport was unfortunately rather stressful. We had checked in online but for some reason nobody was getting a seat allocation and had to still go to the check-in desk at the airport. We joined the queue at 4:40am (for a 6:10am flight) but the queue was incredibly slow. I have NEVER had to wait so long, particularly given we weren’t checking in any bags and it was 5:30am before we were done. We went directly to security where we were met with another huge queue and to be honest I was convinced we were going to miss the flight (and had no idea what we were supposed to do in that situation). Thankfully by the time it was my turn I was able to get through without any additional checks, but along the way I lost sight of my sister. I had put my phone and Apple Watch in my bag (to avoid setting off the sensors) so decided just to start heading for the gate. As it turns out, she had ended up behind me but made the exact same decision, so when I reached the gate (of course one of the far away ones) and called her, she was right behind me and by some miracle we were still able to board. Ironically we then sat at the gate for ages (they were still loading the checked bags for all the people who had been stuck in that check in queue with us) so we had a chance to settle down. Not the most auspicious start, but at least we were on our flight. Phew!

Despite a couple of further queues to contend with at passport control and to get my park ticket (I was using the reduced price “Privilege Tickets” my sister gets with her annual pass) we still made it into the main Disneyland park around midday as planned.

We took some photos and meandered our way towards Cafe Hyperion for lunch (our original plan was to grab a quick breakfast at the airport but with all the queuing all we had eaten was a snack bar each since my sister had the foresight to pack a couple). We then spent our afternoon going on some of our favourite rides, getting some photos with characters and doing a little shopping before getting the shuttle bus to our hotel (a bit of a scrum since we went at park closing time, but you live and learn).

Since I was using the Privilege Tickets this time (which have to be collected and paid for on the day you are using them) this meant I also had the benefit of the early park entry that comes with the Annual Pass. We had breakfast included with our hotel and knew we needed to be on the first shuttle bus in the morning in order to maximise our time, so I worked out that unless I wanted to get up as if it was a work day, the best thing to do would be to stick to a mile each morning.

On the Tuesday morning I wanted to try and explore the grounds of the hotel a bit. We were staying at the Dream Castle – one of the partner hotels – using the voucher we got when our booking for May 2020 (when we were supposed to go for the inaugural Princess Run Weekend) was cancelled. I could tell from looking out our bedroom window that there were beautiful grounds and a nearby lake, but it was just too dark to explore the way I wanted to. In the end the bulk of my run ended up being in the car park while I attempted to find a lit path around the back. Still, with views like this it’s safe to say there are worse car parks to run around!

I did, however, get a chance to appreciate the views from our bedroom before we headed off for the day. Quite the change from the usual brick wall/car park view!

We had planned to begin our day in the Walt Disney Studios, but they did not have the early entry option so instead we went into the main park, took some photos, rode one of our favourite rides (which always has a long queue) then switched park.

Again, we were checking off favourites, trying some new attractions and going to some character meets. When we were planning the trip we had hoped to book a table for our evening meal but hadn’t been able to get anything. My sister was checking on the DLP app and found something for a late lunch/early dinner that day so we just had a snack around lunchtime then after checking out a couple of our favourite shops we hopped back over to the main park again. This meant a few more rides and character photos before our meal.

We ate at Plaza Gardens which in pre-Covid times operated as a buffet but at the time of our visit was a fixed price three course meal. The highlights for me were definitely the starter and dessert!

After eating we still had some park time, then headed into the Disney Village to go to the shops before heading back to the hotel (much quieter on the bus this time).

On the Wednesday I took my run out onto the main street. Our hotel was the middle one of a strip of 5, so I simply turned left and the end of the road was conveniently half a mile away so a simple out and back gave me my mile for the morning.

And after breakfast I had a moment to nip out onto the patio in the reception area to grab a couple of pictures. What a beautiful sunrise!

Again it was straight to the shuttle, off to get my ticket then into the main park. Since we had been on the majority of the rides we wanted to do, this day was all about repeating some favourites and prioritising some of the character meet and greets we still wanted to do.

Mickey posed for me!

We actually ended up leaving around an hour before park closing as we wanted to get organised for our journey home the following day (packing and filling out our Passenger Locator Forms online) plus our hotel had a pool so we had packed our swimsuits to make sure we could have a dip.

In the end we found the pool to be fairly small. It had a little slide and was packed with noisy children so it wasn’t really possible to swim. HOWEVER we found out that we also had access to the steam room and sauna so passed a very pleasant evening in those. I stuck to the sauna and was pretty comfortable using it since everyone in the hotel had to have a Pass Sanitaire (the French Health Pass which proves you are fully vaccinated/have a negative PCR less than 72 hours old). It was quite a nice way to spend the final evening of our trip.

Although we were leaving on the Thursday, our flight wasn’t until 3:20pm so we didn’t have to get the TGV until just before 1pm. This meant my sister was able to go into the parks for the morning, but I didn’t feel the need to buy a further ticket (even at the significantly reduced rate of the Privilege Ticket) just for a short time. But since we still wanted to be on the first shuttle (with our bags to put into guest storage again) it was still just a mile for me, this time heading in the opposite direction along the street. Once again the end of the road was conveniently half a mile.

Once at the parks, we separated. I wanted to go and check out the revamped Hotel New York which now features The Art of Marvel and just recently reopened. If you’re a Marvel fan, you DEFINITELY need to go and have a look – it’s stunning!

I also spent €15 to go up in the Panoramagique balloon as the weather was really clear and bright so I knew I would get amazing views.

By the time I had done that and wandered around the Village a bit, it was time to meet my sister, get our bags and grab a quick snack before heading for the airport (and thankfully the airport was a far smoother experience this time!).

I actually arrived home around the same time I would if I had been at work and I can tell you the kitties were VERY pleased to see me home. Honestly, you’d think they had been abandoned (despite being at home, with each other and Steve the whole time) the way they carried on!

My day 2 PCR test had beaten me there, but before settling down for my dinner I wanted to quickly use one of my lateral flow kits to make sure I wasn’t going to get any surprises. It was negative.

It was a fairly quiet evening unpacking a bit and catching up with Steve (who is becoming very adept at avoiding seeing my copious holiday snaps haha!) then heading to bed fairly sharp. Going straight from an exhausting term into a few days at Disney is really quite tiring – but totally worth it!

It was good to take my time on the Friday morning with a little longer in bed, some time spent reading and then a run. The 4 miles I did actually doubled my mileage thus far for the week 😂

And when I got home I found that the medal for my Halloween-themed virtual run had arrived:

I had to have it since it’s inspired by a great movie.

I also took my PCR test and got it all packaged up to send off. It was to be done on or before the Saturday, but I just wanted to get it sorted out so I would know I had taken care of everything related to my trip. I then had a quiet day at home, mostly with Smokey plastered to my lap.

And since I wasn’t going anywhere I decided to watch a movie. After a couple of amazing meet and greets with Jack Skellington, this one seemed appropriate.

I then persuaded Smokey to move so I could do some yoga. I had missed my Monday evening class, but since we pay for a block, my teacher had offered me the choice of either joining another of her classes or being sent a recording of the Wednesday morning yoga class. I opted for the recording and it was good to have that to look forward to.

My sister had moved her PT session with Steve from Tuesday to Friday to work around out trip, so this meant we had a takeaway for dinner – quite a rarity for us these days. It was nice to have a treat and catch up on some tv.

Saturday morning meant a little reading in bed again before getting organised for parkrun. I wasn’t sure how my body would respond after a week of much lower mileage but lots of time on my feet. As it turned out, my legs wanted to move and I ended up with my fastest time of the year by 4 seconds. I’ll take that!

Further joy shortly after arriving home when the results of my day 2 PCR test came back: negative as expected. Still a relief though!

Later in the day I decided to catch up with another recent movie release. I had been keen to watch this one since completing my viewing of the previous MCU titles but knew that the holidays would be the best time. I enjoyed it.

Of course, Smokey was all in for another afternoon of cuddles 😻

I rounded my day out with a bath followed by Strictly Come Dancing. Perfect!

Sunday, however, did not go so well running-wise. In the last week of term a muscle around my right hip was a little tight for a day or two, but I was able to resolve the issue and it didn’t bother me at all while I was away. Unfortunately it flared up a bit again on Saturday and although I had done some work on it and it felt fine as I set off on my run, after a couple of miles it started to shout at me a bit so I cut things short to head home. Frustrating, but I also knew it was something I would be able to address fairly easily so long as I was sensible. Steve did some work with me to identify the right course of action and aside form the usual Sunday chores, I had a fairly restful day. Turns out, the combined forces of a school term and several long theme park days had left me pretty tired. Thank goodness for another week off before the new term!

Seen any good movie recently?
Do you try to run when you travel or do you prefer to take a break?

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 63

After my half marathon efforts on the Sunday, my legs felt just fine but my body was definitely telling me that it needed to take things easy to get some recovery – racing a half marathon on a hot day takes its toll! I was more than happy to listen and take this as a recovery week, and having a couple of inservice (inset) days at the end of the week also helped. Here’s now my week looked:

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

Monday is always a recovery run anyway, and this week that recovery was more in demand than usual! I was happy to take both the distance and the pace down a bit and used the new scavenger hunt list to give me something to focus on. My legs actually felt fine, but my body had nothing much to give. In the “before times” I would take a few days off after a half marathon effort, so making sure to take some active recovery as part of my streak is just as important. Ego firmly parked at the door and a few days of slow plodding.

Nothing much of note in the rest of the day, but I was more than ready for my evening yoga class with the yoga pets! It felt good to stretch out after tiring my body the day before.

I still felt the lingering weariness and need for an easy run on Tuesday morning, so once again kept the distance down a little and pace slow. I had a nice run taking me into town as I was on a mission to get some scavenger hunt items and knew the likely spots to find them.

At school we had a non-uniform day to mark the beginning of Pride month and the success of our equalities group towards the LBGT Scotland charter. The idea was to wear a colour of the rainbow and I was all ready with my Disney Pride pin as well.

Since the weather was still nice, I was FINALLY able to have my workout in the garden – yippee! It’s been such a long time since I’ve been able to use the TRX so it was a lovely change.

It was so nice that after dinner we actually went out for a walk before bed. It felt like last year when a walk was a fairly standard part of the day, but it was good to get some air before bed.

The Wednesday was Global Running Day and I wanted to make sure I did something to mark the occasion. Obviously I was going to run, but decided this was an ideal day for the latest Running 4 Real “together run” podcast as it made me feel like I had a whole community of people with me – just the thing for Global Running Day! Once again, we were directed to take a photo to share:

This was actually the last teaching day of the week as we had two extra inset days to focus on the Alternative Certification Model for senior qualifications this year. Basically a chance to complete our marking of recent assessments, moderate them in school then do some wider moderation across the local authority to ensure fair and robust marking. But first, a day of teaching pupils who had a long weekend ahead of them!

As it turned out, the day wasn’t too bad. When I arrived home Steve was out working with a client so I set to work prepping a pot of chilli for the slow cooker. By the time I was done Steve was home and it was time for dinner – unfortunately no time for yoga (unless I wanted to eat super late!). I was actually feeling pretty tired so opted to eat, relax for a bit then head to my bed.

I had a pleasant run on the Thursday morning, but my good mood was spoiled a bit by getting stuck in a tailback from roadworks on my way into school – thank goodness the first part of the day allowed me to organise my own time rather than work with others or be in a meeting! As a Faculty we were able to complete all of the tasks that needed us to be in the school building, allowing us the option to work from home on the Friday. Yippee!

Oh, and I spent the day in one of my DLP Spirit Jerseys and couldn’t resist “twinning” with my Minnie NuiMo when I got home!

I also arrived home to find that my finisher pack from the Edinburgh virtual half marathon had arrived (speedy!). Like last year, we were getting the same pack we would have done at the in-person version of the event: a box with the T-shirt, medal, and some bits and pieces such as a gel, hydration tabs, foil blanket, etc.

I have quite a collection of EMF T-shirts dating back to 2010 now!

It was a restful evening, all the happier in the knowledge that working from home on Friday meant no commute therefore I could have an extra hour of sleep before heading out for my run. Much needed by this point in the school year!

When they realised I wasn’t heading out to work, the kitties got a bit over-excited and couldn’t settle down for a nap (although I think they were a little disappointed there were no meetings to infiltrate!). It’s funny how they easily slip back into old habits, with Sooty immediately setting herself up beside my computer (but pretending to be watching the birds outside!):

And later getting ready to nap on my laptop case 😹

It was really nice to have a day at home and the tasks I had were well-suited to this type of day so it was really productive. It also meant that I felt like I had an earlier finish since the extent of my commute was walking down the stairs!

I rounded off my day by watching Raya and the Last Dragon which was no longer on Premier Access on Disney+ and available as part of my regular subscription. I won’t give any spoilers in case you haven’t seen it yet, but suffice to say I enjoyed it. The animation was beautiful and I LOVED the strong female leads.

Even better than a day of working from home was the fact that this was also the start of a long weekend. The area we work in takes a Monday holiday at the start of June and I always see this as the last “breather” before the final push into the last 3/4 weeks of term. The weather was set to be lovely again, so I was excited to spend some time outside in the fresh air and sunshine.

I was conscious of still feeling tired (that “end of school year” tired that only teachers really know!) and having made this a recovery week I continued to keep my distance down a little – a total of 5 miles for the day rather than 10k. I still made sure to record a (not)parkrun though!

After a quick bite to eat I was heading into town to get my hair done, then a far less glamorous excursion to get a replacement numberplate for my car since the old one had clearly got some water inside it which had corroded the lettering. It was time to get it sorted out!

But once home I was able to enjoy some time sitting in the garden to do my weekly Disney quiz, then my sister walked down to sit with me and have a catch up – it was quite exciting to spend some time with an adult who does not live in my house!

Steve and I then had a low-key evening of tv before I gratefully headed up to bed to try and stock up on some much-needed sleep!

The Sunday was also nice, so after a bit of reading in bed I headed off for 8 miles complete with hat and sunglasses since I think my head got a bit too much sun the week before when I ran my virtual half marathon! I was feeling much more like I had my own legs underneath me again, so while I had considered keeping the distance to 10k, I felt good to extend a little (without going mad and overdoing it).

We tried to be quite swift in taking care of our various Sunday tasks so that we could spend some time sitting in the garden – we even made sure to pick up some ice cream so we could enjoy a cone!

And I enjoyed the chance to finish up my book in the sunshine. This one was lovely: a year after losing his wife Arthur Pepper begins to sort through her things. The discovery of a charm bracelet he had never seen before leads him on an adventure which uncovers more about his wife’s past and jolts him out of the rut he had fallen into. Heart-warming and funny, it’s worth a read.

Eventually it was time to head inside to eat then I finished the week off with a bath. There was a live concert from the team behind The Shows Must Go On and I streamed that while I was in the bath – can’t beat some show tunes! Hopefully it won’t be too long until I can get back to seeing some live shows again.

And then off to bed with the glorious anticipation of a day off and no alarm. Bliss!

What’s your top tip for keeping cool when running on hot days?
What’s your favourite flavour of ice cream?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 54

Holidays at last! Obviously options are pretty limited right now in terms of fun things to do, but I was just looking forward to a couple of weeks without work, especially knowing that next term is going to be pretty full-on. I also wanted to enjoy running just a little later and having the space to stretch the distance a teeny bit. Here’s how it went:

Monday – 4 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 6.3 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + home yoga
Saturday – 6.3 miles
Sunday – 10 miles

Having realised over the weekend that I was actually super tired (that tends to happen in teaching – we keep on going and going and going then as soon as we stop for the holidays it all catches up on us) I promised myself a really easy day to begin the holidays. That meant no alarm and taking my time in the morning to read in bed with no rush to get out on my run.

This was doubly useful as I still had “lunch time run” to cross off on my bingo card so this was the perfect day for that one. As it turns out, I don’t think lunchtime running suits me. Perhaps I could adapt to that in the same way that I adapted to running before work, but I definitely noticed as I set off that I was hungry and in need of my lunch (I had eaten a light breakfast earlier) and wasn’t sure how I would feel as I ran, but it did improve as I went along.

I made sure to eat something as soon as I got in as I wanted to get showered and changed before lunch, then the rest of the day continued to be an easy one. I caught up on some tv and vlogs and finished up my book. I really enjoyed this one, which I’ve been meaning to read ever since I read Michelle Obama’s a while back.

I also headed out for a short walk in the early evening to get a little more air and movement before my yoga class. By the time I was heading to bed I was feeling pretty good so this easy day was definitely what I needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday I did have an alarm to wake up to (not as early as a work day, but I don’t want to fall into bad habits over the holidays) and discovered I had over 80 messages in WhatsApp. Whaaaaaaat? It turned out to be the group chat with my sister and her friends who are Disney fans. One of them had spotted an ad for special screenings of The Muppet Christmas Carol with a live orchestra this coming December and they were organising tickets. Thankfully I didn’t miss out by being asleep (quite late the night before) as they had gone ahead and got a ticket for me on the basis that if I didn’t want to go they would easily find someone else who wanted it. I’m hoping that by December events like this are possible again, but for now it just feels nice to have something a little different in my diary to look forward to – a little treat after all the craziness of the past year – and this is one of my favourite Christmas movies. I suspect I will be singing along!

All this meant I was already in a good mood before I even got up and that good mood continued into my run as this time I was crossing off “listen to music”. I couldn’t tell you the last time I listened to music on a run (other than music being played at a race) as I prefer to listen to podcasts these days, but I had decided to download a Disney playlist to my phone and it led to a really fantastic run which I wrote about in a bit more detail here.

Once home it was another reasonably easy day: I took care of a bit of life admin and some quick things I wanted to sort out (one being that I added some additional tracks to my Disney playlist since I hadn’t updated it in a while) then spent some time with Smokey sleeping on my lap while I worked on that blog post.

Steve was also having an easy day as he had his first dose of the Covid vaccine the day before so had set the time aside in case he experienced any side effects. As it turned out, other than a sore arm he just felt a bit tired so he went out for a walk in the afternoon. When he returned he took me through a workout using the resistance band and some press up variations (my arms were dead afterwards!) then I did my yoga session before dinner. We’ve had a few tv shows on the go so having already watched the latest Line of Duty on Monday, we opted for the last episode of the current series of Unforgotten followed by an episode of Keeping Faith.

I actually felt quite tired again in the evening, so we both headed to bed fairly sharp and while Steve fell asleep really quickly, I read my book for a bit.

I felt much more refreshed on Wednesday morning, despite some time awake in the night (thanks Sooty – another middle of the night hairball 🙄). Again, I began my day with some reading in bed as I was close to finishing my book, then got ready for my run. The final challenge to cross off on my bingo card was “draw a Strava picture”. Uh oh! DEFINITELY not one I would find easy! I had left this one until I was on holiday so I would have the headspace to think about how to do it. Steve had been keen for me to “freestyle” it by going to some park space and having a go at drawing something, but it seemed to me that the logistics of something like that would be tricky as I felt like I would need markers to make sure I was going to the right spots to create different parts of the picture. Instead, I wanted to use streets so I would have a bit more control. I spent AGES staring at different parts of the map of town and squinting my eyes a bit to see if I could make some kind of shape jump out at me, but to no avail. In the end, I decided I could probably manage some letters so found a place I could trace out TG (for Tough Girl, the source of the challenge). I used the markup function on my phone to work out how to draw out the letters without any funny extra lines, then decided to record it as a separate workout so it would be really clear.

As a result, my run was in 3 parts – a run to the spot where I would trace out the letters, the letters themselves, then a further run to loop home again. I did some basic sums while I was out and realised I was at around 3.25 miles after I finished drawing my picture, so figured I’d record a further 3 miles as I wanted around 6 miles for the day. Typically, it also rained more heavily than it has on any run for a while so I got a bit of a soaking, but I still had fun. Drawing out the letters required a lot of checking of my saved map to make sure I went to the right places, so hats off to anyone who has managed a more complicated design. Nonetheless, bingo card completed!

I spent some time during the day working on blog posts and finished up another book. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one and for a while in the middle I felt like it slowed a bit, but it really picked up towards the end so I’d say it’s worth persevering.

I also got wind from my sister that it was National Wear Your Ears day (I remember this from last year). Always happy to oblige!

A slightly random moment came in the early evening. I was pulling together a batch of chilli for the slow cooker when Steve said there was a post in our area’s Facebook group that the mascot for the football team was going to walk around here (one of our neighbours is, to put it in Disney parlance, a friend of his) and we couldn’t resist joining everyone else outside our front door to grab a couple of pictures. Just the sort of weird moment that really makes a difference in your day. I headed upstairs after that to do a little yoga before dinner.

We rounded out our day by finishing up the most recent series of Keeping Faith. Time to choose a new box set again! And our viewing was accompanied by Steve’s latest bake: coffee cake.

Thursday was April 1st so not only did I get to start my day with some reading in bed, I also had the fun of looking out for all the April Fool jokes from various companies and news sources. My favourite running-related one came from parkrun and the “floral poi” shade for a future milestone T-shirt. I’ll admit there’s a teeny bit of me that’s disappointed this isn’t true since I love the colour!

The run itself was good. There’s nothing quite like the freedom (and extra rest!) of being on holiday to make for an enjoyable run – no pressure to get out the door, nothing specific to be back for. I really enjoy going just a little further than I would have time for before work so this was a very pleasant 5 miles. I actually arrived home right as the courier was delivering my Shop Disney order. Since they now take a photo of the parcel being delivered rather than you signing for it, I got a fun post-run delivery photo to add to my collection of random feet and legs at the front door 😂

As ever, the kitties were pleased since my delivery meant a new box for them to play with (I think they really like the Disney ones because they are a good size; I like them because they’re a bit more “decorative” to have lying around the house!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next on the agenda was a quick project. I once again had the last of the wax in a couple of candles with burnt out wicks and an empty jar, so I wanted to melt that wax down and pour it into the empty jar to start creating my own mix ‘n’ match layered candle.

I kept things pretty chilled after that – some work on a blog post, reading and a late afternoon walk with Steve before my yoga session. For our evening entertainment we picked Grace. This is a new series where each episode is standalone and it looks like one will be released every so often. It’s another one based on a book and was pretty good.

Steve had quite a lot on on the Friday morning so I enjoyed reading my book in bed then got ready for a run. The sun was shining but the temperature had dropped overnight so it felt pretty chilly at first (it did warm up later on). I kept to a fairly easy pace and just enjoyed the time out and about.

The mail was a little later on Friday (it was Good Friday) but brought with it two things for me. First up, the last of my princess-themed medals so I now have the set:

And, much less fun, my latest antibody test for the Public Health Scotland Antibody Survey. Steve was out again for a bit, but once he was home we just took care of the test right away then headed out for a walk together to put it back in the post. There was then time for a little yoga before dinner.

For our Friday night movie we continued with our new (but fairly short) project. 

I have seen the original 3 movies a number of times before but didn’t fully remember what happened in this one. It was fun to be reminded of some of the key moments.

My Saturday run brought with it a bit of excitement as I had a little event to take part in. Last year I was invited to join in with the Easter World Run, a free event organised on Facebook, and recently got a message letting me know that the event was happening again so I could sign up. The idea is really simple: you “register” by messaging the organiser with your name, where in the world you are and your timezone. On the designated day (the Saturday of Easter weekend) you run at 9am for an hour then share your proof (a screenshot from e.g. Strava) on the group page to show that you ran. The idea is that with everyone running at 9am, the run should move like a kind of relay around the world, without anyone ever having to meet or hand over any sort of baton. Like with the recent virtual semi marathon de Paris en duo, it brought a fun new element to my run, even though I still ran my usual Saturday route. For the purposes of the event I recorded it as one run this week (rather than my usual warm up, (not)parkrun, cool down) but still wanted to record a (not)parkrun time so I just noted the time I had at 5.1 miles then took off the first 2 mile splits since I usually run a 2 mile warm up. I was running at a steady pace for the whole thing, rather than the variety I usually have on a Saturday, so that was close enough.

I love this tree – it gets decorated at Christmas too and must be some kind of community thing.

I pretty much chilled out the rest of the day – tv, Disney quiz on Youtube and I started series 3 of The Crown (the one where the cast changes which felt so weird after getting used to the original cast) – all accompanied by my faithful (sleepy) boy.

I also enjoyed a relaxing bath and some time reading.

The book I was reading was really interesting. My dad lent me it and I wasn’t sure what I would think but it was very well written and I’m now keen to read others by this writer (pretty sure I bought dad one of them for either Christmas or his birthday). I had made my way through it quite quickly and finished it up on Sunday morning before heading out for my run.

It was a super windy morning but I wanted another run out to the woodland park, this time as part of a 10 mile loop which includes a fairly steep hill. I ran this loop a few weeks back and feel like it might happen more often in the weeks ahead now the weather is better).

Again, the rest of the day was relaxing with tv, reading and a bath before bed. A lovely way to end the first week of the holidays and I was definitely feeling a bit fresher by this point.

Have you ever tried to create some Strava art?
What was the best April Fool you spotted?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 53

Well if I thought the end of term before Christmas was the weirdest ever, we have a new winner! This final week of term continued with the same pattern of 25% in school and a blended learning model. Because of this there were some groups of pupils I was seeing for a second time and some I was seeing for the first time (if their day in school the previous week was a day they didn’t have English). It felt so strange as there was no real flurry of finishing things up followed by a feeling of winding down, instead it continued to feel like Groundhog Day as lessons were repeated with different groups and planning was underway in earnest for next term. It was a pretty strange term overall and I was definitely ready for a break! But around that, my run streak continued and I had more boxes to tick off on my March bingo card.

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – hill reps + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

Of course the best way to begin any week is with a run. I was progressing well through my bingo card and had decided to tick off a slightly odd one: run backwards. Now as you know, I was putting my own spin on some of these to make them work for me and the idea of actually running backwards did not appeal. For one thing, I thought it highly likely that I would fall over, and for another I would have to sustain it for a decent distance and that felt like a pretty big ask. So instead, I opted to run my route backwards. I’m a creature of habit so tend to run my routes the same way. For this run I took my usual Monday route and ran it in reverse. It was actually quite an interesting experience as it makes you see things slightly differently.

The rest of the day was fairly unremarkable, but I did have my much-needed yoga class via Zoom in the evening.

The Tuesday, however, was much more exciting. It was day 365 of my run streak (you can read my reflections on that here) and I had decided this was the day to tick off “fancy dress” on my bingo card (because if you can’t wear fancy dress on day 365 of a run streak, when can you?). It was strange to think that what I originally thought would be a habit for a few weeks while we were in lockdown would still be continuing a year later (and we would essentially still be in lockdown) but it’s now as much a part of my life as eating and sleeping so it looks like the streak is set to continue.

We celebrated in the evening with one of Steve’s tasty treats: sticky toffee pudding (my favourite!).

Good thing I had managed to get home in time for a resistance band and press up workout before diving into this!

On the Wednesday it was time to begin year 2 of my run streak and I wanted to tick off “silly socks”. I had been giving this one some thought in terms of how I would define “silly”. The majority of my regular running socks are the no show kind, so even if I wore odd socks it wouldn’t be seen. and though I have plenty of pairs of novelty socks, there was no way I wanted to run in a regular pair of socks as that would be running the risk of blisters. In the end, I remembered I had some knee length compressions socks in bright colours and mixed 2 pairs so I had odd socks on. That probably looked pretty silly!

It being Wednesday, my evening began with another lateral flow test. It’s so nerve-wracking waiting the 30 minutes for that result! We don’t need to take them during the holidays so after this one I would have a couple of weeks without it and it was a relief to log another negative.

For my Thursday run it was time to tackle one of the less enticing bingo squares: hill runs. It’s been a while since I did a specific hill session but Steve gave me the workout to do (warm up run down the road to the bottom of a suitable hill, then a “lamppost pyramid” of 5-4-3-2-1 before jogging home). I had forgotten how brutal those hill reps can be (this hill has a real sting in the tail), but they do make the run home feel like an absolute breeze!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After work I had to pay a visit to mum and dad. Mum had sent a text to say she had leftover chicken for the kitties, but rather than go straight there I had to nip home first as one of dad’s birthday presents had been delayed but had arrived the day before so I wanted to pick that up and take it to him on the same visit. While I was in the driveway chatting to them we were joined by a cat. Mum hadn’t seen this one before but it was super friendly, responding to being petted and actually marching right in the front door at one point! I had to get mum to watch it so I could get my car out of the driveway as I was terrified it would move into my path and I wouldn’t see it, but thankfully it stayed still long enough for me to get away.

I actually only got in the door for a few minutes before I had to head out yet again. Steve had made an appointment to give blood for the first time in ages and had walked there before I got back. It was only on the way home again that he remembered how much it can drain you so called me to go and pick him up. Thankfully after that I was finally home for the evening so was able to do some yoga before dinner.

On the Friday I was FINALLY able to tick off “run in the rain” on my bingo card. I had originally expected this to be an easy one to get, but while there had been some rain in March, none of it was at a time I was able to run and as the end of the month was getting nearer I was worried that I might not get this one. It was fairly light rain, but good enough to claim that box.

After what felt like a very strange last day of term, I drove home and had another workout with the resistance band and some press up variations followed by some yoga.

Friday night is still movie night, but with no more Marvel movies to watch I was in need of a new project. I’m actually quite keen to watch Cobra Kai but thought I should re-watch the Karate Kid movies first so this seemed as good a time as any. Somehow Steve had never seen The Karate Kid (no, I don’t understand that either) so we sat down to spend some time with Daniel and Mr Miyagi. I had forgotten how good the movie was and really enjoyed seeing it again.

Technically I was on holiday as we headed into the weekend, but my weekends tend to be the same whether it’s term time or holidays so this was a fairly typical Saturday. I read in bed for a while then set off for my run. For this run, I used my warm up-(not)parkrun-cool down structure to tick off “fartlek run” on my bingo card. It was super windy but there is a clear difference in pace for each stage of the run so that counts.

When I got back I discovered I had received another princess medal in the post – this one inspired by Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

This was followed by a relaxing day – This Is Us, a Disney quiz and finishing series 2 of The Crown before going for a bath, after which we started the new (final) series of Keeping Faith.

The Sunday began with that twice yearly check on which clocks had moved forwards by some kind of internal sorcery, and which would require our attention to change manually. It’s one of my proudest achievements to say that I can change the clock on the oven without the need of the instructions!

When it was time to run I was looking to tick off “trail run” so headed out to the woodland park to follow the trail through there. It was still really windy, but it was a good run.

Later in the day we had some more of those chocolate hot cross buns whilst watching more of Keeping Faith. I was accompanied through all this by a very cuddly boy who seemed pleased to have me at home again. I even had a quick nap with him!

Then I rounded off my week with a bath where I watched The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. The best part was not needing to set an alarm for the following morning.

What are your reflections on the past year?
Do you like The Karate Kid?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 52

And we’re back in school! Well, sort of. It was a bit of a weird week work-wise since this stage of our phased return model meant 25% of pupils in school at any one time (we expect to be fully back in after the Easter holidays). As a teacher that meant no more than 9 pupils in front of me in any lesson, therefore rather than a series of lessons throughout the week, we were following a model more like blended learning, leading to repetition of the same lesson for each group from the same class. Meanwhile those at home were continuing with work I had set for them to complete independently. It felt like a bit of an “in-between” position, but it was only for a couple of weeks and the real focus was wellbeing and re-engagement, so from that point of view it was valuable.

The impact of this on my daily running was a return to much earlier runs. I had been getting up a little later (the benefit of no commute!) so heading out around an hour earlier meant not only an earlier alarm call, but the short-term return of my high-viz since the time I was heading out now was not quite daylight. It also meant a drop in the number of workouts I could manage in the evening. Here’s how the week ended up:

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 8 miles

I’m not going to lie, that earlier alarm call was a bit of a shock! I think on the first day it’s sometimes a bit easier since there’s a degree of anxiety about getting ready and on the road in time which gets you out of bed, but given this was the first time in 2021 my alarm has gone off this early, it was still pretty tough. Of course I began with a run and keeping things simple I ticked off “head out south” on my bingo card.

Arriving at school I felt like I had so much to do, and nothing I could have really done in advance. First I had to rearrange my room to make sure when pupils arrived there would be 2m between them all when they were at a desk. Then I had to post all the at-home work I had prepared at the end of the previous week – more time-consuming than it sounds! As I got myself organised I noticed this new signage in the corridors and it’s been driving me mad ever since as there is no reason for it to have an asterisk – there is nothing else on here offering additional information or clarification that would normally require an asterisk, rendering it pointless 🤔

The day itself was fine and it was so lovely to see pupils in front of me again and catch up on their news. I still had plenty to do at the end of the day, including collecting my initial supply of lateral flow tests. This is voluntary for us, although we’re all encouraged to take them, and the tests are to be taken twice weekly at home then logged on an NHS portal.

By the time I got home I was feeling pretty tired so a cup of tea and my yoga class on Zoom were both very welcome.

From this point on my working days felt a little like Groundhog Day as I was teaching the same lessons but to different groups of pupils. The best part was getting a chance to see them all, but I’m glad this wasn’t going to be a long-term way of working.

For my Tuesday run I decided to tick off “sunrise run”. I had realised that the time I would have to run when I was going back into work would coincide with sunrise so had saved this one rather than getting up early at another point in the month. I had hoped for a really pretty sky, but sadly it was not to be.

More exciting was the news later in the day that hairdressers would be able to open up again in early April. I got straight onto my hairdresser and made an appointment for the end of the school holidays so I’ll feel a bit less “messy” going into the new term. When the hairdressers were open before it was somewhere I felt really safe as we had temperature checks before we were allowed in, masks, screens and social distancing as well as far fewer people in the salon. It felt safer than the supermarket!

Arriving home Steve took me through an upper body workout with the resistance band before I headed off for some pre-dinner yoga to settle into the evening.

On the Wednesday I decided to tick off one of the bingo boxes which I had been a little wary of – “pick up litter”. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the concept of plogging and am happy to do my bit, but throughout the pandemic I have been very cautious about touching things, especially when out running as I have a tendency to wipe my face, so this one was a little outside of what I was comfortable with. To counteract this, I made sure to wear gloves, picked a day when there had been rain to “wash off” anything lying around and only picked up litter as I was on my way home again so I could carefully remove my gloves, put them straight in the wash and wash my hands thoroughly. Yes I know, probably overly cautious, but I’m not going to compromise on my precautions now!

Work was actually a little different on this day as we were using Wednesdays for targeted interventions with senior pupils. No juniors were in (the 25% model meant we only needed four school days to get everyone in) and instead we could request specific pupils to catch up on some coursework and plug some gaps. I had a handful of pupils with me at various points throughout the day and it was good to give them a bit of attention and also catch up on some bits and pieces of my own while they were working.

When I arrived home that evening not only did I have my usual yoga, I also had the joy of my first lateral flow test. You need to make sure you haven’t had anything to eat or drink within half an hour of taking it, then it needs half an hour to process so the best way to fit it in was to do it right before dinner and leave it to process while we ate. It’s easy enough, even if it does feel a bit like a science experiment, but I’m not a big fan of the throat swab part of it. Still, I’d rather have the reassurance of taking the tests regularly and knowing that most of the people I am around at work, including pupils, are able to take them too.

For my Thursday run I took the opportunity to cross off “run in the park”. I had originally thought I might head to the North Inch for this one, but in the end opted for the South Inch instead. This is where junior parkrun would normally be held, but although I run past there regularly I haven’t been in the park in a really long time. I had such a nice time running around the pond and looking at all the wildlife, so kind of wished I had a bit more time to hang around. I must try and go back there on a day when I don’t have work.

After work I had to go for petrol (for the first time in 2021!) and took the chance to nip into a newly reopened pet shop at the retail park (recently rebuilt after a big fire a couple of summers ago). I was wanting to pick up a cat toy my kitties really like but which I can only get in there, but took the chance for a bit of a browse and came across this. I REALLY want to get them it for their birthday!

For my last weekday run I took the simple option again and ticked off “head out north”. By this time I had a bit of a plan around which boxes could be ticked off on work days, which were for weekend runs and which I needed to save for the last few days of the month when I would be on holiday.

I had a CPD session after work (via Teams but now in my classroom rather than my workspace at home) then it was time to head into the weekend: a workout (Steve had me doing single leg squats and and press up variations), yoga, then the last Friday Night is Marvel Night. I may have reached the end of the Infinity Saga last week, but I had one more MCU movie to watch – Spiderman: Far From Home. I enjoyed it, but felt at a bit of a loss afterwards as that’s been quite a big commitment to watch all of those and even though there’s loads of great Marvel content coming to Disney+, it will be a while before I get to see a new movie.

After quite a bizarre week I was glad to reach the weekend and, as ever, began with a little reading in bed. When I was ready to run, it was time to go for one of the harder bingo boxes (in terms of effort) – a fast mile.

Since I use the middle part of my Saturday run as my (not)parkrun I decided to target the first mile of this for the fast one, not least because it’s net downhill so I thought that might give me a bit of momentum. I also accepted that if I really went for it on that mile I might slow down quite a lot for the rest of the run, but I was ok with that. As it turned out, I was actually only about 5 seconds slower than my PB over this (not)parkrun route of mine, despite consistent slowing, so I was pretty pleased with that.

My luck must have been in because not only did I run quickly, my Garmin somehow managed to hang on to just enough charge to see me all the way back home again. I’ve had my watch die one time before, so I think 1% was a pretty close call!

The remainder of Saturday is my time to relax – This Is Us, a Disney quiz, The Crown and a bath. On this occasion I was joined by a particularly attentive boy who clearly missed me when I was at work all week!

I also had another medal arrive. Very nearly there on this set!

In the evening Steve and I decided to watch a movie. I had taken a free 7 day trial of a subscription service to watch Spiderman the night before so we took the chance to watch something else. We picked Yesterday, the one based around the music of The Beatles, and it was pretty good.

To round off the week I had exciting plans for my Sunday run. One of the bingo boxes said “beach time” but there is no beach here and travelling to one at this time would be a breach of the rules, so I came up with my own variation of it. We have a river and I knew there was a path that ran alongside that river right out to the centre where we have our SUP yoga sessions. It’s something I’ve been meaning to explore for ages and this seemed like the ideal moment.

To do this, I followed the main road out to the centre, looped around their building to get myself right by the river, then simply kept the river on my left to head back in to town.

While I was at the centre I remembered that they had a small “beach” by the pond we use for SUP yoga, so that was a great bonus for my bingo card.

I REALLY enjoyed this run and the path was great fun. It was easy to follow and perfectly runnable, even if there were a few “interesting” moments.

And it brought me right back into town in the gardens by the river. I’m not often in there but there are great views across to the main part of town.

It was such fun exploring somewhere new and I suggested to Steve that he should go that way too since it’s the kind of route he likes to run on.

After all that excitement the rest of the day was pretty much standard, but with the added bonus of my second lateral flow test. Thank goodness for my Sunday night bath to unwind, this time with the first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. It’s no WandaVision, but still a promising show.

And that was my first week of being back in school. Just one more to go before school holidays…

Do you like to explore new places when you run?
Have you ever tried plogging?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 51

After what feels like forever – and certainly a VERY steep learning curve – this was the final week of online teaching before a partial return to school (and switch to blended learning) for the final two weeks of term. Looking back I can’t believe how far I’ve come in adapting my teaching practice to suit a different medium, but I was pleased to get back into the classroom and see my pupils for real. In the meantime, this week was a great opportunity to enjoy getting up a little later and running after sunrise while it was still possible – that will have to change when I’ve got a commute to work again!

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Thursday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 8 miles

My strategy of ticking off the easiest boxes on my Tough Girl Tribe bingo card first may yet come back to bite me in the backside, but it certainly makes life easier during term time when I just don’t have the headspace for planning things! Monday is always a recovery run so not much room for anything different here, but I had kept “road run” for just such an occasion and ticked that one off today.

In the afternoon we had a surprise visit from my sister who had obviously been into her work. It looks like they had discovered lots of ice cream tubs (she works in the concert hall and theatre) which were now past their best before dates so although perfectly edible, could not be sold. This made for a fun few days of having ice cream for dessert, although we did treat ourselves to an afternoon ice cream right after she left!

When work was finished for the day I had a little time to myself then my yoga class on Zoom. I got myself all set up then turned to my yoga space to find that “Yoga Smokey” had plonked himself EXACTLY where I needed to be! I actually had to spend the first few minutes in savasana fitting around him before he moved, but he actually hung around for the majority of the class.

Post-yoga we needed something new to watch so tried the first episode of Lupin on Netflix. I quite enjoyed it, even if it did make me a bit “homesick” for Paris, but Steve wasn’t so keen as he was disappointed it was dubbed rather than in French with subtitles. He thought it made it too Americanised. I’ll still watch the rest of it but probably save it for school holidays.

Tuesday’s bingo box was also easy – run selfie. I mean, I take a selfie after EVERY run (because otherwise it doesn’t count, right?). I was actually feeling really sluggish still and it took me until later on when a reminder popped up on my phone to realise that this was due to normal hormonal fluctuations. The older I get the more I seem to notice this, but my sense of time seems to be all over the place thanks to lockdown so I hadn’t clocked quite where I was in my cycle. Knowing the reason I feel “off” doesn’t make my run feel any easier but at least I understand why it doesn’t feel the best and that actually makes a huge difference.

The rest of the day was fairly unremarkable – even Smokey had had enough!

But as ever it was good to be finished with the screen and having a workout so I could move a bit more. Still a focus on hip flexors alongside my usual core/upper body work since that’s where my needs lie right now. It feels tough but then afterwards I feel I’ve earned a relaxing evening and on this particular evening we started watching the 4 part drama Bloodlands. Pretty gripping.

For my Wednesday run I wanted to tick off “find a new route” on my bingo card. At this point, finding something completely new but also local is a pretty tough call but although the streets I ran on were certainly not new to me, the route I traced around them certainly was so that counted for me. I was still feeling a bit “off” so it was another easy paced day simply enjoying something a little different.

After my CPD session later that day I got a batch of chilli prepped for the slow cooker then it was time for my workout. It was hip flexors this time and a pretty tough one, but I know I have lost strength there through lockdown and sitting lots so totally worthwhile. After my yoga and dinner we got settled down for another episode of Bloodlands. A fairly standard day in lockdown.

My choice from the bingo card for Thursday was to run laps. My take on that was to run laps around the block outside the house before setting off for the rest of my run. A fairly simple one to do, even if I did look a bit odd going round and round! I was feeling much less sluggish so this was a good one.

The work day was fairly average, but I think the kitties were beginning to realise that the end of working from home was coming so I had both of them hanging around for a while:

Then later in the day got “trapped” by Smokey (he fell asleep and I didn’t have the heart to move him) so I got a bit of personal admin done when I finished working.

Hip flexors again for my workout, followed by some yoga to wind down into the evening, One thing I watched that night was an episode of Masterchef which I don’t usually watch, but a former pupil of mine was a contestant so I HAD to see how she got on. So happy when she progressed to the quarter finals (but sadly that was a far as she made it. Still pretty impressive stuff and her food looked amazing!).

I kept things simple on my Friday run and picked “hug a tree” from my bingo card. There’s a perfect tree just down the road but I waited until I was heading back home again to take my picture.

It was a bit of an odd day as it was the final day of online teaching so I had to do a bit of prep for the following week since we would be moving to blended learning for the final part of term. My plans for my younger year groups had to shift a bit from what I had intended as I had to make sure it was something they would be able to do fairly independently while I worked with some of them in small groups throughout the week (the seniors were at a point where they were working on coursework so would be ok to get on with it). A strange thought having got used to the live lessons.

For a little excitement, I received 2 more of the medals from the princess set. Nearly there now!

After work I finished up my book. This is one I really enjoyed – something a bit different.

Steve and I headed out for a walk ahead of one final workout for the week and a short yoga session. Friday has been movie night for a while now, specifically Marvel night and it was time to complete the Infinity Saga. I loved this movie but was sad to reach the end of something I had been building up to over many weeks.

Saturday began with some sad news. I had been aware of rumours that Disneyland Paris would not reopen as planned at the the start of April (and it’s not the first time the plans have changed since they closed again back in the autumn) so it wasn’t a huge surprise given the situation on mainland Europe right now as far is Covid is concerned, but it was still sad to see. The world always feels that bit more magical when I know Disney parks are open.

My run did cheer me up though. My bingo pick this time was “unplugged run” and since I divide my Saturday run into 3 parts – warm up, (not)parkrun, cool down – I ran my 2 mile warm up unplugged then caught up with the latest With Me Now for my (not)parkrun (I like to listen to parkrun podcasts while I run my Saturday (not)parkrun to keep me feeling connected to it). This particular Saturday was one year from the last time we had a live parkrun so I was remembering what it was like on that occasion and how anxious I was feeling in general around that time. I know that in many ways things don’t feel too different right now, but I have to hope that we’ll be parkrunning again soon.

The rest of the day was fairly standard, but included a quick doorstep visit from my mum to drop off more leftover chicken for the kitties. They are so spoiled but I think she fears them forgetting her (unlikely).

To finish the week my Sunday run was a chance to cross off “nature run” on my bingo card. I headed out to run through the woodland park since I love it there and there’s plenty of nature including a stream, bird boxes and loads of different paths through the trees.

It was Mother’s Day so later in the afternoon we stopped by my parents’ doorstep to drop off a card and gift for mum then headed home for some yummy chocolate hot cross buns whilst watching celebrity Bake Off.

I felt a bit strange as I knew I would be heading into work the following day. I understood the structure of the day and felt comfortable with that, but after a full term of working from home I was worrying about little things – what time did I have to get up? How did I actually get ready for a day when I would be visible “in real life” all day? What time did I need to leave? I got my things organised, including laying out some clothes to try and save a bit of time since I knew I would be a bit bewildered in the morning, had my bath and headed to bed. A whole new teaching adventure was waiting…

Where is your favourite place for a nature run?
Have you watched many Marvel movies?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 48

And just like that, the snow was gone. It was mad how much snow fell in such a short space of time last week, but equally mad how quickly it disappeared as the temperature crept above freezing again. Scottish weather is nothing if not interesting! It made for much more satisfactory running (and the triumphant return of my shorts – hurrah!):

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Thursday – 6.3 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Friday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

The forecast for the week, while still a bit damp, promised milder temperatures than the previous week. As the week began there was a slight increase (only enough to ditch the hat!), but still quite a lot of patchy ice and snow to slow things down. I kept the pace easy and was amused that my fastest mile was actually the final one which was mainly uphill, but also on the quietest streets where I could run on the road.

On my way home I spotted what was left of someone’s snowman, basically a mound of melted snow with a satsuma and some twigs on top. I didn’t get a picture, but it reminded me of the end of The Snowman by Raymond Briggs!

As the day progressed the temperature clearly rose (hard to tell from inside) and I was fascinated to see that every time I looked out the window the snow had receded more and more. This made me hopeful of clear streets for my run the following day.

Monday ended with my yoga session via Zoom. It was the start of a new block (although realistically it all feels like one ongoing block right now since time is such a constantly shifting entity) and I enjoyed that bit of time to myself without a screen in front of me or tasks on my mind.

And eating dinner afterwards Steve and I started to watch the four-part drama The Drowning which was on a couple of weeks ago. My mum said it was gripping but we had waited until we finished our previous box set before watching it.

Waking up on Tuesday morning I checked the temperature straight away and it looked mild enough to wear my shorts – amazing!

Heading out onto the streets was a little strange as there were still a few piles of snow from clearing driveways, etc that hadn’t melted but I wasn’t at all cold. Bearing in mind the low temperatures and layers of kit last week, it was so funny to be looking at snow yet running in shorts (and regular road shoes – the winter shoes finally getting a rest!). It felt great to be able to run properly and even though I was running fairly steadily, it amused me to find that my first mile – uphill and usually the slowest – was still quicker than pretty much anything I ran the week before! It just goes to show the difference the conditions make.

That run was just what I needed. I felt great coming in the door afterwards and it really set me up for the last day of online lessons for the week. The weather actually stayed quite nice and I was treated to the most beautifully placed rainbow out my window when I returned to my desk after lunch.

I also got my “consolation prize” from the London Marathon. I always donate my fee so if when I’m unsuccessful in the ballot I get a top from them. This year’s version feels quite cosy.

We had a faculty meeting after school (a little shorter than the previous couple of weeks) then it was workout time. Of course with the improved conditions no need to rest those poor hip flexors anymore so it was a hip flexor circuit for me. It’s fascinating to feel the wearying in them as the workout goes on. I followed the workout with some yoga then we settled down for the evening. Since it was Shrove Tuesday we had thought about making pancakes (at one point we joked about “Shrove Valentine’s” but those cards hadn’t arrived yet – they did arrive the following day) but we still had some of Steve’s chocolate beer cake so decided to postpone the pancakes until Thursday (Shrove Thursday? I mean, what is time right now?).

On Wednesday morning there was rain forecast. It was a bit drizzly but by the time I was getting ready to go out (around when Steve arrived home soaking wet!) it was pouring. Somehow I struck it lucky and the rain actually stopped before I headed out the door and stayed off for the duration of my run. Incredible!

This was an inservice (inset) day at work which mostly meant meetings. Under present circumstances, a day of Teams meetings. I find all that sitting and listening really difficult, but Sooty was on hand to keep me focused 😹

My post that day brought with it a long-awaited medal from a virtual run. It had been sent to me about three weeks previously but when it didn’t show up I got in touch with the company and they sent a replacement. It’s part of the princess-themed set I have been collecting so I’m glad we were able to resolve the problem so easily. Great customer service.

Wednesday was also Random Acts of Kindness Day. I was alerted to this by a post in the Facebook group I’m in which has previously run the book exchanges I have enjoyed. To mark the day, someone started a post where group members were invited to share an Amazon wish list then pick someone (maybe even more than one) to gift a book to. I thought it was a lovely idea as you could pick a total stranger, click through to their list, choose a book and arrange to have it sent to them. To ensure the RAOK gifts were distributed fairly evenly, we wrote “gifted” below the post of someone we bought for (so as not to ruin the surprise of what we actually got them). I posted a list and immediately noticed someone above me in the thread who hadn’t been gifted a book so I clicked through on their list and organised a book for them. I actually had two people write that they had sent me a gift so I made sure to pay it forward and gift somebody else. It felt so nice to know that a couple of people would get a surprise delivered to them the following day and seeing how keen group members were to take part really renewed my faith in the goodness in people during a time when many are finding things tough.

That sent me into the evening (the start of my long-weekend for half term) in a really good mood and made the upper body workout using that more challenging black resistance band more bearable.

Since Thursday was a day off, I indulged in some reading time in bed before doing anything else. That meant it was a little later in the morning before I headed out for my run. In a way I think this worked in my favour as I felt more awake and fresh, a bit like I usually do on a Saturday. I set off with the idea in mind that a Thursday run is usually around 4.5 miles, but as the first couple of miles ticked by I realised that I was really enjoying my run: the weather was decent (still in shorts!), I had nothing to be home for urgently and I just felt good, so I decided to extend my loop and see what my distance came in at. Arriving home a little beyond 10k was perfect. Along the way I ran down to the river to see how high the water was with all the melting snow. Answer, pretty high!

With a little time available, I had a couple of projects in mind (as well as taking some time to relax) so once I was showered and changed I got on with the first couple of those: tidying up and rehanging clothes in the wardrobe and sorting out a few things around my online teaching workspace to make it a little more comfortable and convenient. This took me until lunchtime, at which point I got settled in to watch a couple of one-off tv programmes I had saved.

I also had a bit of time to finish the book I had been reading. This one was from an Amazon First Reads selection with my Prime membership and it was the kind of book which makes me feel a bit uncomfortable yet at the same time compelled to keep going until the mystery at its heart is resolved.

But just because I had a day off work that’s didn’t mean I had a day off working out! At around the usual time Steve set me up to do one of his hip flexor workouts. They may be tough but I am feeling the benefit so I guess I’ll have to put up with it! The yoga session on the calendar for this day had an upper body focus so I ended up with a pretty comprehensive workout!

A big excitement on Thursday was the continuation of the RAOK from the day before. I was thrilled to see the recipients of the gifts I picked out sharing that they had arrived and had my gifts arrive too. I set my wish list so I wouldn’t know what had been bought so it was a great surprise. Very different types of book, but I’m looking forward to them both.

Friday was also a day off, affording me another easy start with some reading in bed. The weather wasn’t looking so great outside this time so I suspected I wouldn’t be looking to extend my run. I think I got lucky again with just some light drizzle so covered 4.5 miles. That’s a little more than I would usually do on a Friday, but it’s what I planned when I set out rather than a mid-run change.

Once I was ready I decided to tackle my “to do” list of things I just needed a bit of headspace to sort out. The first task was to (try to) renew my passport. I discovered that you can now take your own photo for this (subject to some specific requirements) but as it turned out this was not all that easy. After several attempts we just couldn’t get an acceptable photo and it seemed to be lighting that was at fault. We’ll need to try again on a brighter day as all the rain and drizzle meant it was just too dark no matter what we did.

I was, however, a bit more successful with my other tasks: booking a dental checkup (I was due to go last year right when we went into Lockdown but I had received a text telling me I was now able to book – not until May, but a least there’s an appointment in the books!) and ordering the new laptop I’ve been saving for. Mine is getting pretty old now and is coping remarkably well with the demands of online teaching, but I’ve known for a while that a new one was in order. I needed to do a few things to get a discount for being a teacher – not difficult, just a little fiddly – so now I’m just waiting for an exciting delivery!

My final project was to sort out a couple of jar candles that were tunnelling right down the middle and wasting loads of wax. I’ve developed quite a thing for candles recently and didn’t want to waste the wax so I looked into how to melt it to level it out or even create a new candle with it. I had bought some wicks so just needed time to actually get the job done. Very satisfying to see the finished product!

Another satisfying thing was the arrival of some new YakTrax. My decade-old ones snapped a few weeks back (I was missing them during all that snow the week before) and although I don’t expect to need them again until next winter, I got a tip-off about a retailer that still had them in stockand when I took a look, they were on sale so I decided to grab them now so I know I’m set for next winter. I do like to be organised!

Since I was on a roll, after lunch I tidied out the wardrobe in the spare room and by the time I was done it was more or less time for my workout – the resistance band again – and yoga session.

Friday night is still Marvel night (although not for too much longer) and this week was a return to the world of Thor:

I had heard that this movie was pretty funny and I found it HILARIOUS! A fun Friday evening watch.

Having a couple of days off meant that the weekend could feel even more restful. Saturday began in an leisurely fashion with some reading in bed then I got ready to head out for my run. The weather was dull but quite mild, perfect for my usual 2 mile warm up, (not)parkrun, 1 mile cool down. I was feeling strong and it was great to be able to move a bit more quickly for that (not)parkrun in the middle. Not my fastest, but more or less back to the sort of times I was putting in back in early December (before I was slowed down by the never-ending cold snap!). One thing I did notice was that a lot of other people seemed a bit overdressed for the milder weather. I noticed some people looking at me like I was mad to be wearing shorts, but I was regretting my (lightweight) long sleeved top. It’s funny how perceptions can be so different!

Over our post-run breakfast Steve and I watched the latest episode of This Is Us (an emotional one, but then aren’t they all!) then when Steve headed off to have a walk with his brother I got on with my weekly Disney quiz on YouTube then a new (to me) series: The Crown. Yes, TOTALLY late to the party on this one, but I think I’m hooked already! I watched 3 episodes then headed off to have a bath where I watched another 2. It’s so good!

The rest of the evening was equally restful as we had dinner, watched some tv and I read for a bit again before bed. Perfect!

Sunday also began with reading and I finished up another book. This one has been on my pile for AGES (I read Half of a Yellow Sun years ago but somehow only just got around to picking this one up). Another vaguely unsettling book, with an undercurrent of oppression running through it, but I’m glad I read it as it was very well written.

And then it was time for my run. Steve had mentioned the route he was thinking of running and it was one I haven’t done in a long time. I was in need of a change, so decided to do the same and was so glad I did as I really enjoyed myself. The route features a stretch with a fairly steep hill, but by the time I got there I was in such a good mood from all the other runners I had seen/exchanged greetings with that even a hill wasn’t going to dampen my spirits!

This route also gave me a chance to see the water levels at the river again, which had risen since Thursday. Some of the floodgates were closed and land close to the riverbank was flooded.

The plan was 10 miles and I knew I would have to add on a little jaunt around the block when I got home to round it up. Just as I turned into our street my headphones died (no big deal and they had been announcing a low battery status for a couple of miles!) but then – HORROR – my watch battery died when I was right at the end of my run! Seriously, right at the end. When I plugged it in and saved my run it had recorded 9.85 miles, but I had finished my route so it would have been 10. Thankfully 9.85 was just enough to take me to 40 miles for the week, which had been my aim anyway. If it hadn’t, I might have had to charge my watch a bit then go and run around the block again haha!

But even that little hiccup didn’t spoil what had been a really good run, especially when I discovered a Strava PR on that hill!

Later on, once we had sorted out our food shop, we settled down for a couple of episodes of Finding Alice, then Steve has some things to do so I watched another episode of The Crown (when I got in my bath after dinner it was WandaVision followed by The Crown – I watched nearly all of season 1 in a couple of days!).

I finished my weekend feeling rested and ready for the next 5 weeks of teaching. It remains to be seen if that’s 5 weeks of online teaching or if we’ll be back in the school building prior to the Easter holidays…

What have you been watching on tv recently?
Do you have any forgotten running routes that you could revisit?
Ever have your watch die before you finish your run?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 43

This week brought with it a return to remote teaching, although a bit different to when we were first in lockdown last March thanks to being able to teach live lessons using meetings in Teams now. We’re not doing this for every lesson, but having the opportunity to speak to pupils, explain tasks and quickly answer questions makes a big difference. It still involves a lot more planning, but if we can’t be in classrooms then it should hopefully allow for a better educational experience this time around. I’m glad of my daily running, workouts and yoga though, because working to my timetable (in my own house!) actually feels quite sedentary as I’m in front of the computer screen all day.

Monday – 4.2 miles + home yoga + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Thursday – 5k + living room workout + home yoga
Friday -4.1 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – 5.1 miles + home yoga
Sunday – 10 miles + home yoga

Monday was a very exciting day. Why, I hear you ask? Because the thaw that began the previous day continued so that I was able to not only wear regular road shoes again, but also get my shorts back out of the drawer! Looking at the forecast for the rest of the week I thought it might be a short-lived thaw so was determined to make the most of the chance to run without fear of slipping over, hence the slightly longer run than I usually have on a Monday.

As you can see, it was still an early run as term started for all Scottish pupils on this day so I needed to make sure I was ready to be at my computer for some online teaching. Since we have been able to develop our use of various platforms, this was my first experience of live lessons using video conferencing and that turned out to be a fairly steep learning curve in terms of managing all the meeting functions alongside teaching the lesson and sharing resources – now I understand why vloggers often find live videos tricky when trying to keep up with comments in the chat! The biggest stress was that the platform we were using was struggling with the increased use (in Scotland and beyond) leading to some teething problems. I’m sure we’ll all gain in confidence as we get more used to it.

As you can see, the cats weren’t exactly riveted (and there’s always that one pupil who just wants to chat to their friends rather than pay attention 😹)

Still, it felt like quite an intense day so when I was finished with work for the day I was quite glad to have a double yoga session lined up. I started with the latest practice from Yoga with Adriene, finishing that with enough time to grab a drink and get set up for my regular Hatha class. I DEFINITELY felt much more relaxed after that quiet time. This gave me a chance to have a proper look at my Run Up To Christmas medal which arrived that day. I completed just over 200km to get the 200km ribbon on my medal, which is a lovely wooden one. And it came with a chocolate coin – bonus!

Steve sorted dinner out while I was in my yoga class, so I was quickly able to settle down to eat. We watched a couple of Episodes of Cardinal and enjoyed some home baking for dessert as Steve had his first attempt at a cake, specifically a coffee cake. It was yummy!

As it turned out, I was right about the short-lived thaw and Tuesday morning was back to much colder temperatures  (freezing with a “feels like” below freezing) and there had been frost overnight. I bundled back up in winter kit, complete with my grippy winter shoes, and decided to run into town (rather than the more residential run I had thought of) as I knew the pavements would be much more clear as they are prioritised for gritting. It actually wasn’t too bad underfoot, but there were definitely some dodgy sections so I was glad I wore the winter shoes and kept the pace down a bit.

Online teaching felt a bit smoother this time, but I was still ready to do something different at the end of the work day so Steve took me through a workout using the resistance band then I headed off to do some yoga to relax me ahead of our exciting “dinner plus tv” evening. The cats didn’t even bother to show up for class this time. Apparently all the talking was preventing them being able to sleep!

To be honest, Wednesday was very much the same. It was chilly but while the ground was frosty, it wasn’t too slippy so running was ok. I was able to fit in 5 miles ahead of my day of online teaching and was treated to a beautiful sky with the first hints of sunrise on my way home.

Steve went out for a walk just as I finished up work for the day so I took the chance to relax for a bit then had another workout, this time mainly work around single leg such as single leg squats. Building strength, stability and improved range of movement. Sometimes it’s a bit tricky to do these things in the living room though, as the kitties can be little overly interested in what I’m up to – I’m terrified I end up stepping on one of them!

There was snow forecast, which started in the evening, so by the time I was heading to bed there was a fair covering:

And waking up on Thursday morning things were even whiter!

It was still snowing so I got bundled up in my “snow gear” and headed out. The snow was actually fairly deep (those trying to take their cars out were getting stuck at the end of our street!) so I kept the distance down to 5k as it was quite hard work, despite what my stats for the run might suggest! Still, it’s great fun running over fresh snow and I was really glad not to have to drive to work – a win for online teaching!

By the evening it had stopped snowing but there was still lots around so it was nice to be cosy inside watching a bit of tv before bed.

I also had 2 more medals arrive on Thursday: the next in the princess-themed ones I am collecting and a fun “it can’t be worse” 2021 medal (although perhaps I was too hasty with that one since things aren’t exactly improving in the world!).

Low temperatures overnight meant that by Friday morning the snow was fairly crunchy which made for a different challenge to Thursday morning. I covered 4 miles in my run, but the pace was still slow and it felt like quite hard work even running more slowly as in places it was more like running over a rutted trail. Good for building ankle stability and working the core!

Since it was Friday, I made sure to finish work fairly sharp so I could unwind from all the screen time. We were nearing the end of Cardinal so watched the last two episodes before my living room workout (a core workout with the resistance band) and my yoga.

For my evening entertainment it was time to return to my project to watch all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in timeline order. I paused this particular endeavour in late November so we could turn our attention to Christmas movies, but I wanted to return to it and the next movie in the list was Captain America:Civil War. It was pretty good, but so far Captain Marvel remains my favourite.

Saturday morning presented further challenges with the snow as some light rain meant that it was much softer again, on its way to becoming slushy. I wasn’t sure how I would get on running so kept my options open with regards to a route. In the end, I completed a warm up of 2 miles followed by a (not)parkrun to give me just over 5 miles for the day. Normally I would go a little further, but that was fine given the conditions.

Post-run we settled down with a bacon roll to catch up with the latest episode of This Is Us then when Steve went to meet his brother for a socially-distanced outdoor takeaway coffee (how 2020/1!), I got on with a little dusting before relaxing with an afternoon movie.

I had heard mixed reports on this one but I enjoyed it. Pixar movies always bring a tear to my eye at some point and this one got me towards the end!

While I was watching I got a text from Steve to tell me that a photo he tweeted from his run in the morning had been used in a Sky News website piece! His brother had spotted it and let us know as we had no idea.

I love my relaxing Saturday afternoons, especially when I can fit a couple of movies in, and this week I had time to watch a movie in the bath (after my yoga, of course!). It was another Christmas one (Christmas Wonderland) as I planned to listen to a podcast about it on my run the next day. It was actually quite a nice movie.

After that it was dinner, Casualty on tv then we started a new series called Traces featuring Martin Compson. My parents had already watched it and said it was good.

By Sunday morning much of the snow had cleared (bar one or two random slippery patches) but it was pretty cold. I wrapped up (I can’t  believe the difference in my running attire all week as I transitioned from shorts, to full snow kit, to cold weather gear. Winter in Scotland in a nutshell!) and headed out the door for 10 miles. The most important thing, though, was that this was day 300 (!!!) of my accidental run streak. I started the streak as we went into Lockdown in March and not only can I not believe that I have run for 300 consecutive days, I also can’t believe that I’m back in Lockdown and working from home again with no sign of that changing any time soon. I don’t know about you but I’m getting a bit fed up of things now.

Run done, the rest of our Sunday is fairly routine: food shopping, a bit of afternoon tv (we carried on with Traces) and a few household tasks such as vacuuming.

I did some yoga before dinner then afterwards headed off for my bath where I watched the first two episodes of WandaVision on Disney+. Did you watch it yet? I’d love to know what you thought.

Thus the first full week of online teaching came to an end. It definitely got easier to manage as the week went on, but was quite a steep learning curve!

Have you had any snow recently?
How are you getting on with restrictions/lockdowns in your part of the world?

Week In Review: The Corona Chronicles Part 40

Christmas week! There were just two days of school and then home for the holidays. Although Christmas for everyone felt a bit different this year, we were still doing everything we could to feel festive and celebrate. Plenty of time for running, but frosty weather had an impact as it made for slippery surfaces a lot of the time. Still, I got a fair few miles in and enjoyed the chance to run in the daylight.

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 3.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 4.5 miles +living room workout + home yoga
Thursday – 4.1 miles
Friday – festive (not)parkrun open sandwich
Saturday – (not)parkrun open sandwich
Sunday – 5.5 miles

As the week began, the shorts were still in action and my Monday recovery run was a good leg loosener. Better, though, was my evening yoga session. It was the last one before Christmas (although there will be a couple of “drop in” sessions in the next couple of weeks before the new year block begins) as everyone was in the Christmas spirit. I opted for candy cane leggings and my reindeer hoody. I honestly thought I would have to remove it as I felt pretty warm as class began, but as we lay in savasana to begin with, I cooled down and it was fine.

I awoke on Tuesday to a dramatic change in the weather. The temperature had dropped and it was pretty slippery so I opted for a slow run into town and back as I thought those roads would be the safest underfoot. It also gave me a chance to focus on finding a couple of the latest scavenger hunt items as I knew I would spot them in town. The slow pace made for a shorter run, but that’s no big deal since this was going to be a cutback week anyway.

Tuesday was the last day of work and it was pyjama/dress down day. I didn’t fancy wearing my pyjamas to work so instead opted to show my affinity for elf culture with my Elf-inspired leggings and Elf sweatshirt (plus my Elf T-shirt underneath!). I was happy!

Right before heading off I also opened up the most perfectly-timed Christmas card ever!

It being the last day of term meant there weren’t many kids in and it was mainly an easy day of quizzes. We also got some detail on the plans for the start of term since the Scottish Government announcement on Saturday changed things. That helped to straighten things out in my head a bit, so once the bell rang at the end of the day (and I had taken down my classroom Christmas decorations) I was out the door at a reasonable time for once. I had a workout to do from my advent calendar then headed off for some yoga before sitting down to have dinner and watch an episode of The Valhalla Murders. I had thought we might watch a second episode, but I felt really sleepy so opted for the rock ‘n’ roll start to my holidays of an early night!

Apparently I needed that as I slept for about 10 hours! When I woke up Steve made me a cup of tea so I was able to stay in bed to read for a bit then headed off to run. It was still slippery outside, meaning taking it easy again, so I just enjoyed the chance to look at some of the Christmas decorations people have up that can’t always be seen so well in the dark.

Post-run I decided to make the first day of my holidays a bit indulgent so ran myself a bath and settled down to watch A Christmas Prince while I lay amongst the bubbles. I first watched this movie last year when my sister told me about it so had been looking forward to seeing it again. And after my bath I figured I might as well keep going to watched the other two Christmas Prince movies right after. A day spent mostly on the sofa definitely made me feel much much better!

The Thursday was Christmas Eve and even with us having a quiet Christmas at home, there were still things to do so I couldn’t be quite so lazy as the day before! I still read in bed for a bit then had a similar run to the previous day – the conditions were about the same so I picked a different route and enjoyed checking out more Christmas decorations, It made me feel so festive.

I arrived home to a well-timed delivery: the latest in the series of Princess-themed medals I’m collecting (appropriately for the season, one inspired by Frozen) and another Christmas jumper for my collection.

It was also the final day of my fitness advent calendar so I completed my medal. I’ve really enjoyed this over the last two years so will definitely plan to do it again in 2021. You earn the base medal, ribbon, an assortment of charms to hang from it and a couple of badges. Last year the medal was based around a Christmas wreath and this year it was a fireplace. So nice.

Once I was showered and changed I made a pot of French Onion soup for our Christmas Day dinner (it tastes soooooo good when made the day before as the flavours really deepen) and a batch of the peanut butter fudge that Steve likes. Then with that done I took in a little staple Christmas tv: The Snowman followed by Father Christmas. I tend to ignore how old they are now since they were released within my lifetime 😮.

I took a break at that point to head out on a delivery mission. I had presents to drop off to my parents and sister, plus collect their ones for us (by which I mainly mean gifts for the kitties!). Sadly I couldn’t chat to my parents for long as I had to stand at least 2m back from the front door and it was pretty chilly to be standing around in the driveway! Dad told me to go home, warm up and watch telly so I did as I was told and settled down at home with a cup of tea and watched The Snowman and the Snowdog. It’s much newer than the films from the morning but soooo cute! Then I followed that by watching The Disney Holiday Family Singalong on Disney+ for a little festive Disney magic.

We had bought some party food for dinner so we got that organised and settled down to watch the recording of Elf: The Musical which was shown on tv a few years ago. I kept the recording so we can keep watching it and it was so strange to think that last year we saw this at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on its arena tour. An event like that just seems so unthinkable now.

It was a cosy, festive evening and I was really content.

There was no hurry to do anything on Christmas morning, so apart from getting up to feed the kitties we took things at a leisurely pace. For me, reading in bed for a bit is really nice so I stuck with that then Steve and I got dressed in our festive finery (including our special Christmas Day hats) to head out for a run. Christmas Day is one of the rare occasions when we run together and the plan was a run into town and back to finish off the weekly scavenger hunt (there were a couple of items left which I knew I would find in town but had been avoiding going there when it would likely be busy) and I wanted to record a (not)parkrun as part of it. Unsurprisingly, our outfits attracted some attention but it’s fun to have people give a friendly peep of their horn and wave from their cars as they go by. Christmas spirit!

And we managed a little Christmas Day “family portrait” when we got back:

Steve headed off for a shower and I started to get out some of the things we needed for our breakfast. I couldn’t resist a little picture with two of the four main Elf food groups: candy cane and syrup 🤣

Once I was showered we cracked open the festive Bucks Fizz (the clementine and cranberry one we like) and I switched on the recording of the Candlelight Processional from Epcot that was first shown last year. Unlike my parents, I’ve never seen this live, but it’s so festive and it’s a shame this event was one of the casualties of 2020.

It was the prefect accompaniment to our breakfast of pancakes, maple bacon and maple syrup. Yum!

But by this time the kitties were keen to get started on unwrapping presents (presumably realising that almost everything was actually for them – so spoiled!).

I mean just look at this haul No wonder they were over-excited all day and didn’t take a nap!

For the second year in a row I was very good to myself and treated myself to a new Loungefly bag for Christmas. I had to join an email list to get notified when it was available and it was less than 10 days before Christmas that I got my notification. Fortunately, when I went back to the website I got a pop-up saying I would get a code for free express delivery (worth £5.99) if I signed up to their mailing list, so that meant my order came super quickly. And what design did I go for? Why Elf of course! So excited!

But my favourite gift was from my sister who had taken one of my 2019 Run Disney medal photos and done some computer wizardry to create a watercolour print. I love it!

After all that excitement we played with the kitties and their new toys for a bit then I chilled out with my book for a while before dinner. We had once again opted for steak with homemade chips, peppercorn sauce and sprouts (because if it’s Christmas and you don’t have sprouts, did it even happen?). Dessert was Steve’s homemade tiramisu.

I also discovered that you can get an AR Baby Yoda in your house using the Google app (a bit like the AR animals and dinosaurs that were available in the first part of the March lockdown – they were really entertaining so I couldn’t resist having The Child in my living room!).

We rounded off our day with fireworks as Disney had re-released their 2019 recording of the Christmas fireworks and it was a really nice way to end Christmas Day.

Saturday was Boxing Day so another largely relaxing day. For the second day in a row I recorded a (not)parkrun but there was no Saturday parkrun quiz so we watched a game show we had recorded a few day earlier whilst enjoying our bacon rolls. My afternoon movie was one I hadn’t seen in a few years: Scrooged. I’m not sure I enjoyed it as much as I have in the past, so maybe it hasn’t stood the test of time as well as some other Christmas movies.

Yes, those are the kitties standing ok, sitting) guard while I watched 😹

Then in my bath I decided to watch a movie again and chose Christmas Inheritance. You name the cheese Christmas romance trope and it was in there. I still enjoyed it though.

Steve and I finished the day by watching One Night in Hamleys’, where 3 comedians spent the night in the famous toy store and were given some challenges to complete,. It looked like fun and would definitely have been my dream as a child!

Sunday definitely felt like a normal Sunday. I did need to cut my run back because it was icy again so I felt more like I was skating than running and I didn’t want to have a fall. We also had the food shopping to do later on, but I was pleased to find that the shops were lovely and quiet again. We had another quiz show to watch in the afternoon then it was time for my bath (without the need for work the next day – bliss!) where I watched yet another cheesy Christmas romance: The Princess Switch. It was fun, although I think I may now be addicted to these movies. Netflix Christmas Universe, you got me!!

And with that Christmas week came to an end. It may not have been a “normal” Christmas, but it was still fun and I really appreciated the chance to relax.

How was your Christmas?
Do you like to go for a Christmas Day run?