Week In Review – Getting Back To Normal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advertisements

Week In Review – Lurgy Ahoy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week In Review – Settling Into The Work Routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week In Review – Back To School Already!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week In Review – Summer Holidays Week 6

Rapidly running out of summer! This was week 3 of my 4 week plan to kickstart my training again, focus on strength work and yoga, and rebuild my miles. Here’s how it ended up:

Monday – PT session with Steve + Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles
Wednesday – PT session with Steve
Thursday – 4.5 miles + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve
Saturday – parkrun sandwich + Great Perthshire Tattie Run
Sunday – 12 miles

I’ve been on a bit of a streak with yoga, however I’ll admit to not doing any on Saturday and breaking that streak. The reasons why will become clear as you read through this update!

The week began, as had become my habit, with a workout down at Steve’s studio. Still a mixture of exercises focusing on my arms. Still jumping in my post-workout selfie!

It’s been so good to have my Monday night yoga class on during part of the holidays and this was the last session of the holiday block – one week off before the new block begins with the new term

My run on Tuesday turned out to be a bit of a soggy one. I ran one of my staple routes and it certainly wasn’t cold, but I definitely looked a little “damp” by the time I finished!

I was back in the studio on Wednesday for my workout. Nothing particularly interesting to say, so to liven things up I used a filter for my selfie. I’m so down with the kids 😂

And that evening my sister stopped by to bring me a little something I had tacked on to her online order. I now declare myself ready! I’m not sure if I’m ready for Strictly Come Dancing (can’t wait for the new series to start!) or Disney, or both, but either way a Mickey-shaped discoball drinks cup is perfect for me!

Slightly better weather for my Thursday run, although by this point I was rather missing the sun as I wasn’t getting out to sit in the garden anymore. Still, at least it stayed dry. I had originally intended to run a 5 mile loop, however due to some roadworks and footpath closures on part of it, I made an alteration to my route which ended up being a little shorter. No big deal.

At Ashtanga that evening I felt really strong but I think I need to do some work on my headstand in between classes. I’m really beginning to think that the issue with holding it is all in my head as I know I have the core strength but seem to keep overthinking it and thus not achieving what I want. A little project for me!

The Friday was pretty wet. I headed to the studio for my session, then was out on some errands later in the day so needed my umbrella. It turns out nobody told the cats it’s bad luck to be under an umbrella inside 😹

After a fairly routine week with nothing particularly unusual going on, Saturday was a far more interesting day.  It began with the standard parkrun sandwich and I was pleased to inch my time down a little further, confirming that I have made progress since getting back home again.

But post-parkrun, that’s when the excitement began.

This was “Super Saturday” in Perth, with a number of events taking place. One of these event was Perthshire Pride and I hadn’t really being paying much attention to what was happening, figuring I would see a lot of it when I was about town. But on the evening before, the organisers announced a pretty big coup  – securing a big name to lead the parade and speak from the stage. Can you guess who? Only Sir Ian McKellen!! He was in the area with his show and had agreed to come along.

I was really keen to see him and after our usual breakfast and coffee with Steve’s brother, I headed around to the plaza to hopefully catch a glimpse of him. In the end, I mis-timed it a little as I had to make an emergency sunglasses purchase, so just caught the end of his speech, but I quickly realised that he hadn’t been whisked right off stage but was in fact down amongst the crowd, happily chatting and posing for photos.

I sharpened my elbows and dived in, determined to get a selfie. At one point I was within touching distance and with a little manoeuvring I got myself into a prime position to request a photo.

I had heard from others that Sir Ian is lovely and I would second that. He was chatting with people, talking to their kids, cooing over babies/toddlers and had no objection to photos. There was a security guard, but people weren’t really being kept back, I guess it was more in case of lots of pushing and shoving. Once I had my photo, I moved out of the crowd so others could have a turn.

And the fun wasn’t over yet. Another part of Super Saturday was the Great Perthshire Tattie Run, an event which debuted in Perth last year. It was over by the old city hall and getting there involved a short walk away from the rainbows and bright colours of Pride, past the armour and jousting knights (yes, really) of the Medieval Fayre, to the starting area of the Tattie Run where a gantry was being set up and someone had gamely dressed as their spud mascot.

I’ll not write a separate post since it was very much the same as my previous experience and you can read about that here. In brief, it’s just under a mile (4 laps of the city hall) carrying a sack of spuds: 10kg for women, 20kg for men. Those spuds seem to get heavier and heavier as the laps go on, and they are pretty awkward to carry, but the race itself is good fun.

It’s actually a free event (although you have to register to get a race number) and there are prizes for the top three (how those women whizzed around so quickly with those spuds I’ll never know, although I suspect they hadn’t already covered 7.5ish miles that morning!). All entrants get a medal and you get to keep the potatoes. That’s right, we went home with 30kg of potatoes so spuds with everything for the foreseeable future (and if you visit my house there’s every chance you will be presented with a “party bag” of about a dozen tatties when you leave 😂).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After all that I needed a kind of restful evening. I fancied a bath but was also hungry, so Steve made a batch of homemade chips which I indulgently consumed in the bath. Who says being an adult isn’t fun haha!

I had 12 miles on the schedule the next morning and while that was perfectly do-able, I did feel like I still had a sack of spuds on my shoulders for the first few miles. Still, I got the miles done and completing a longer run whilst tired is good training for endurance events when I have that expectation of my body.

And that’s it. A fairly mundane week culminating in a pretty exciting weekend. I mean, it’s not every day you get a selfie with Gandalf, is it!

What celebrities have you met?
What’s the most novel race souvenir you’ve taken home?

Week In Review – Summer Holidays Week 5

This was week two of my 4-week plan to improve my strength and fitness before returning to work. I followed a similar pattern to the week before and fitted anything else I needed to do around that:

Monday – PT session with Steve + Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles
Wednesday – PT session with Steve
Thursday – 5 miles + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve
Saturday – parkrun open sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

As with the previous week, I have only included yoga classes but did do some home yoga on all the other days.

My Monday session this week was mainly body weight exercises e.g. the TRX as opposed to using free weights. Although my focus hasn’t changed, Steve does vary the exercises so my body can’t get too used to what we are doing. That probably explains why each session feels like it’s pushing me as I don’t know what to expect each time. That has to be a good thing.

That evening I had Hatha yoga. The room we use is part of a theatre arts group and we arrived to find they had installed mirrors on the wall so it was like a fitness studio. It’s been a while since I did yoga in a room with mirrors and it was interesting to observe my body in different postures as it meant I could self-adjust a little more. Sometimes you don’t feel that something isn’t quite right but it’s obvious as soon as you see it! Our balance posture was Eagle and for once I felt quite well balanced (usually my balance is better on my right leg than my left. I’m working on it).

On Tuesday I headed out for my usual 4 mile run and for the first time in ages I really felt like I had my own legs under me again. I honestly don’t know whose legs I had been running with, but they were rubbish! Finally the sluggishness and weariness had gone. A good thing too since I wanted to gradually lengthen my runs again and running on heavy, weary legs is miserable.

Back to the studio again on Wednesday morning for my arm session. How am I supposed to take a photo when Steve is chucking stuff at me? (It’s ok, it’s a really light, foamy kind of ball).

And later that day I caught the kitties being all cute ❤️

Thursday was another run and this time I opted for 5 miles so as to vary things a bit (I’ve been running 4 miles on Thursdays for most of the year). I kept the pace easy and really enjoyed being out in the sunshine.

This particular Thursday was the 1st of August, therefore I turned the page on my calendar. What a shock I got to see a cat very similar in appearance to Morven. Not quite the same, but enough to give me a start as I turned the page over!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Ashtanga class that evening gave me an interesting update on my progress so far with my strength training. I found that I felt really strong in Wheel (remember when I used to really struggle with that one?) and had the sense that I could hold it for longer than the usual 5 breaths. I also managed a brief headstand, holding the posture for a couple of breaths before losing the form, so I’ll keep working on building that one up again.

Friday was another strength session with Steve. And another “interesting” photo! I think he tickled me right as I took it 🙄

Since it was International Beer Day, we made sure to mark the occasion over dinner that evening. It would have been rude not to!

For this parkrunday I was down to pace 28 minutes and Steve was RD so that meant it was better for me to run an “open sandwich” (i.e. run there and have a bacon roll in the cafe afterwards while he processed the results then head off in his car to get the food shopping). I think I slightly mis-calculated my pace since we are still on an alternative course due to council works on our usual course and it is a little longer. I based my pace on what I would run on the usual course to come in slightly quicker than my time, but on this course I was about 3 seconds too slow. Oops! Still, I’ll know for next time as it looks like we’ll still be on this course for a while.

I was a mermaid for this parkrunday, just because!

Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Sunday run was 10 miles and while my pace is still not quite where it was, I felt comfortable over the distance despite running fasted and forgetting to take a gel out with me. Apparently I’ve forgotten how to organise myself for longer runs these days! Still, what a difference from a couple of weeks before when the last mile or two of my 10k run felt like I was wading through treacle on tired, heavy legs. I’m pretty happy when I can just head out the door and churn out 10 miles reasonably comfortably and I’m more or less there now so happy Allison! I did get kinda wet though, hence the face.

It’s great to be feeling so good again thanks to rest, sun, workouts and running. I do hope it lasts!

How are you getting on with your current goals?
Do you like to eat before a run or do you prefer to just head out?

Week in Review – Summer Holidays Week 4

Safely home from Florida (and more or less back in the right time zone again) my focus for the remaining weeks of the school holidays was to kickstart my training again. I lost some momentum at the end of term, especially when I wasn’t feeling well, and was also very conscious that the good habits I created last year of regular home yoga and taking time for myself had fallen by the wayside. I had also discussed with Steve the fact that I didn’t think one training session with him per week was enough and wanted to add additional strength work to my week while I was off (with a view to hopefully managing two sessions a week once the school year begins). I wanted to create a holiday routine with training front and centre, balanced with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the time off. Here’s how the first week of that routine ended up:

Monday – PT session with Steve + Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles
Wednesday – PT session with Steve
Thursday – 6 miles + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 8 miles

Although I’ve only included my yoga classes, it should be noted that I did yoga at home on all of the other days.

I was straight down to the studio first thing on the Monday morning ready and (mostly) willing to get started. As you may remember, prior to the holidays I really wanted to focus on my arms – I felt like I hadn’t maintained my strength and definition, so wanted to do some work to build upper body strength which, hopefully, will help my running too. Steve gave me circuits using the TRX and some weights, progressing the exercises and mixing things up regularly. By the end my poor wee arms were quite weary!

Fortunately I had a yoga session that evening and it was a relaxing one (I had been worried my arms might not work if I needed to use them much!) so this session was exactly what I needed to help me wind down and sleep well that night.

I began Tuesday with a 4 mile run. At this point I was still feeling my calves a bit weary and tight – the consequences of lots of long days on my feet at Disney and a cutback in my running miles over about a month. Nothing adverse going on and I knew it would resolve within a week or so. To help things on their way, I had a sports massage booked and I definitely felt an improvement after that. I also did a little unintentional cat yoga that day – I think they were still feeling a bit clingy after us being away for a couple of weeks!

Wednesday saw me back at the studio working through a similar circuit to Monday… and the start of Steve making “guest appearances” in my post-workout selfies again!

Thursday was probably my busiest day of the week. I began with a 6 mile run since my legs were feeling much better and I had much more energy since my sleep rhythms were back to normal. I then spent a bit of time out reading in the garden as it was a beautiful day. In fact, it was that one day of the year when the temperature (minus humidity) topped the temperature in Florida!

What a day to be in London!

Unfortunately, probably not the best day to bundle the kitties in their travel baskets to go to the vet for their annual boosters and health check! They were not best pleased and sang me a lovely song all the way there.

I then had Ashtanga yoga that evening – my first class in ages since I missed the one before I went on holiday and missed 3 while I was away/travelling home. Thanks to the beautiful weather it was an outdoor class which I love as it happens so rarely. There were loads of people in the park so it maybe wasn’t as peaceful as it could have been, but it was so nice to be out in the fresh air rather than the studio which would have been boiling! Prior to the holidays I was struggling with my headstand and in hindsight that was probably a combination of me not doing enough yoga/strength work combined with being completely exhausted. I was certainly feeling much better, but by this point it was a month since my last Ashtanga class so I asked my teacher to spot me for the headstand so I could begin to rebuild my confidence there, starting with doing the posture whilst supported. I suspect I have been overthinking it a bit but my aim is to be back to holding it, unsupported, for 5 breaths before the end of the year.

Back in the studio on Friday to continue with that upper body work. Nothing really interesting to say about this, it’s just going to be about consistency and varying the exercises to hit different muscle groups and build up strength and definition. I pretty much just turn up and Steve tells me what to do. In this one situation in life, I do as I’m told 😂

On Saturday it was time for the parkrun sandwich again. It was a humid day but I felt so much better than the week before and my time was about 30 seconds faster so I was pleased with that. Still nowhere near my best but that doesn’t matter right now, what matters is that I consistently make small improvements as that shows me my fitness and speed returning.

Post-parkrun I joined Steve to meet his brother and was re-introduced to the bacon croissant. I missed those!

And I rounded off the week with an 8 mile run on the Sunday. Despite being a longer run than the week before, I felt so much better. Clearly getting back into the right time zone and being consistent with some training was already paying off! I know I’m not where I was when I was at my peak, but already I’m feeling the strength and fitness returning so with a bit more of my holidays to go I’m sure I can continue to make improvements.

Much as I loved being away, it was good to get back into a consistent routine and my focus for the rest of the summer will really be on that consistency, building strength and working to get my runs a little faster and a bit longer. Let’s see how that goes…

What is your training focus right now?
Any races/events coming up?