This was the first “proper” week back in school as we had all year groups in and following their normal timetables. It was also the first real test for me of how it would feel to continue my run streak whilst being back at work (as opposed to working from home where there was no commute and I could be more flexible with my hours). I knew I didn’t want to make a choice to stop, but also wasn’t sure how sustainable it would be with changing work demands. However having adjusted my “streak rules” from 30 mins/5k per run to include just 1 mile (under exceptional circumstances, my preference would still be 30 mins/5k as before) made it seem much more achievable. Now I had 2 months to test this out.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s what I got up to in this particular week. You will see that outside of running, my workouts and yoga sessions dropped back while I adjusted to my new routine.
Monday – 5k + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4 miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles
Thursday – 5 miles
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – 6 miles
Sunday – 10 miles
Despite trying to relax over the weekend, I did feel tired on Monday. It always takes a week or two after the summer holidays to get used to the physical and mental demands of school life again, but this time it was after a gap of almost 5 months since I had last been in the classroom. Of course it was also a huge adjustment for pupils returning to school after weeks of home learning. To help, I kept my run to a super easy pace and was very glad of my yoga session in the evening to help me wind down.
I felt much better on Tuesday after a really good sleep. My run felt better and I had enough oomph left later in the day to call in on my parents (opting to stay in the driveway rather than go inside – still allowed at that time – for fear of bringing germs with me from school). There was no time for a workout, but I did make sure to complete a yoga session before dinner and took a short walk with Steve before bed.
Wednesday was pretty nondescript. My run was probably the highlight of the day as the conditions felt nice for running – dull, but dry and cool with plenty of daylight. The rest of the day, however, was just getting stuck into work, trying to learn the names of all my new pupils (approaching 200!) and trying to get on top of my planning. Steve and I have still been watching assorted box sets in the evening, and on this day we started White House Farm after hearing lots of good reviews of it earlier in the year.
On Thursday morning the weather was dreadful and Steve was postponing his run until later in the day. Being at work doesn’t leave me as much room for manoeuvre as when I was working from home, but on this occasion I decided it would be better to wait until I was home rather than have to take extra time to get dry (and sort out my no doubt soaking and tangled hair) before heading to work. I did feel a little strange all day without those early morning endorphins (and my Apple Watch kept hounding me about not making my usual progress in closing my activity rings) but it was definitely the right decision as my evening run was quite pleasant. It was actually day 150 of my run streak, so I much preferred the conditions in the evening than an early morning soaking for this occasion! I have a full teaching day on a Thursday so don’t tend to hang around as late at the end of the day since my brain feels pretty fried, so this was a nice way to help me reset, even if it did cut down on the time I had in the evening, That said, I did manage a 10 minute yoga session between running and dinner, which helped me to unwind after the evening activity.
An evening run meant there wasn’t so much time between my Thursday and Friday runs as I was able to get back out in the morning again on Friday. It was a little wet by the time I got home, but I was treated to a beautiful sky as I set out. I was conscious that I wouldn’t have morning light for much longer so wanted to appreciate sights like this while I could.
Later that day I got a message from my mum with an article from the local paper. They had covered the flooding I mentioned in my last post which had gouged a channel out of the grass banking at the bottom of the main road. She told me to look closely, and it turned out the photo they used had Steve in it as he headed off on foot to take care of some errands! He had mentioned there being some pictures taken down there, but hadn’t realised it was for the paper. Good thing he didn’t wave for the camera haha!
My working day was broken up with some home baking at lunchtime. I have been wary of “communal food” and sharing anything like this, however a lovely colleague had taken the time to bake this for me since it was my birthday over the weekend, so I cleaned my hands and donned some disposable gloves to take charge of slicing it up so that I felt an extra level of safety. I’m glad I did as it was delicious and I was sent home with the last bit of it. Only after Steve had gobbled up his slice did I reveal the secret: it was vegan cake! Honestly you wouldn’t be able to tell if you didn’t know.
I was also give some beautiful flowers which brightened up my kitchen table once I arranged them in a vase (I use the word “arranged” loosely – I have no idea what I’m doing with flowers ha!).
For the first time that week I managed a workout with the resistance band before a yoga session while the dinner was cooking. We then had a relaxing evening watching tv then taking a short walk before bed.
My actual birthday was Saturday, so I was in no hurry to get out of bed early. I had some presents to open and it quickly became clear that the kitties have no sense of other people’s birthdays and instead were captivated by the wrapping paper!
Amusingly, both Steve and my parents ended up getting me the same card. The sentiment suits me just fine!
I had originally expected a “parkrunday birthday” this year so in the absence of parkrun I was doing my best to bring celebrations into the day. I actually had a parkrunday birthday on one previous occasion and marked the day with post-run Bucks Fizz. I had remembered this so our post-run coffee/bacon roll also included some Bucks Fizz this week.
It was also a double parkrun quiz day since we were still a week behind after my trip away, so did one in the morning and one later on. We got 8/15 and 9/15 respectively but, to be honest, this seems to be our score most weeks so I’m tempted one day to open up the answer sheet and guess at all the answers without hearing the questions, just to see if it makes any difference 😂
In the afternoon I amused myself by FINALLY sorting through my DLP purchases and tidying them away, then Steve and I went out for a walk. He had been running on a path which winds between nearby fields but I had never been up there and was curious to see it. It was a really nice walk and it felt like being in the middle of nowhere even though the bypass was really close by. Perfect.
I was also amused to note that rather than hound me about closing my activity rings, my Apple Watch kept wishing my a happy birthday. It even “gave” me balloons!
When we got home it was time for the cake Steve had got for me. I had wanted my favourite unicorn cake, but there weren’t any available so he got me red velvet instead.
I opted to have mine in the bath with a glass of wine. Very indulgent!
I had requested steak, peppercorn sauce and homemade chips for my “birthday tea” and Steve set abut getting that ready. It was delicious.
It may not have been quite the birthday I would have expected at the start of the year, but by 2020 standards it was a pretty nice day.
It did, however, mean that I wasn’t best fuelled for my Sunday morning run. Who knew that cake and fizz wasn’t the best preparation for running haha! Still, I enjoyed my 10 miles and was pleased that I had kept my run streak alive through the first full working week of the term.
We spent the afternoon with my parents as dad had invited us up, allegedly so Steve could watch the football, but I suspect the reality was mum would only let him watch the football if he invited us up so she could chat to me at the same time. With social restrictions changing all the time, I was glad to have that time to sit and chat rather than have a quick driveway/doorstep catchup.
And so the week drew to a close with my usual Sunday night bath (accompanied by the last of the birthday fizz – decadent!) and I was ready for another week in school.
How did/will you mark your birthday in 2020?
If you’re a parkunner, have you experienced a parkrunday birthday before?