Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 56

Why do holidays always whip by so quickly compared to work days? Despite the luxury of two weeks off to relax and spend my days doing things I enjoy (although limited right now by Covid restrictions) it still felt like it had been but the blink of an eye and a new term was waiting. I knew the first week would be an adjustment back into the routine of work so I decided to go easy on myself and make this the cutback week in my running which I should have ideally taken the week before. I also knew that I would likely be at work fairly late each day so made sure to go easy on myself when it came to fitting in workouts. The week ended up looking like this:

Monday – 3.5 miles + home yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + walk + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 8 miles

It’s always a shock when that alarm goes off for the first day of term, but I got myself up and out the door for my usual Monday recovery run and it was a cold one! The temperature had dropped again overnight to below freezing with an even lower “feels like” temperature so it was most definitely a day for leggings (and my hands were chilly even inside my thicker gloves!). I had managed to get the new scavenger hunt list before I headed out, so grabbed a couple of pictures for that while I was out.

The day itself was fine, just lots of things to get my head around for the days and weeks ahead. Of course I ended up working quite late then had to get some petrol on the way home, so I was pleased to find that the calendar for my yoga sessions this week features really relaxing wind-down/bedtime sessions. Just what I need as I adjust to being back in the work routine!

It was so nice to be able to sit down for a bit in the evening and Steve and I watched the latest episode of Line of Duty – things are really picking up!

I got to bed reasonably early but I think the second day of getting up earlier is always harder than the first. This wasn’t helped by the temperature still being really low (leggings again!). I must have been more tired than I realised and that weariness had settled in my legs making them feel like lead for the first 3 miles of my run. It was like there was just nothing in them and nothing would make them move any quicker. Somehow for the final mile things changed and I felt much better, but by that point I had already altered my route to cut the distance a little (listening to my body!) so stuck with my decision and headed in to get ready for the day.

It was another busy day with a meeting at the end (still via Teams rather than in person) and although I had hoped to be home in time to fit in a workout, it just didn’t happen as I got caught up in some tasks I wanted to finish up. I was tired so went straight off to get changed and do some yoga while Steve organised dinner, then we watched another episode of Intruder before I headed off for an early night. I must have fallen asleep quickly as I have no recollection of Steve coming to bed!

Thanks to a good sleep I felt much better on Wednesday morning so set off to get the last three items on my scavenger hunt. I knew where on (or close to) my planned route I would find them, and although cold it was a really pretty morning as the sun came up. One of my scavenger hunt items was a church spire and thanks to the light I ended up with this really pretty picture:

There’s no escaping busy days right now (and I think that will be the pattern for the whole term) so despite my best hopes I just couldn’t get home early enough to fit on a workout. In actual fact, the first thing to do when I got home was to take my lateral flow test (I’ve decided the best thing to do is just get it out the way when I come in) then once I had the (negative) result, I did a short but relaxing yoga video. This restful week of yoga videos really is coming at the perfect time for me.

In the evening we finished watching Intruder then I had time to read a little before bed.

Still chilly on Thursday morning and I have to say I was beginning to get a bit fed up of it – why was I having to scrape my windscreen in April? To liven things up I decided to head down to the river and around the bridges for my run. I was glad I made that choice as the water was flat calm and I got a really nice picture:

Steve arrived back from his run at the same time as me and “intercepted” my photo. All I could think of was the “Tiny Steve” reference from With Me Now (for those who know!).

The rest of the day was much as the rest of the week had been – busy! I had one of those days where a lot of classes were working in locations other than my classroom so there was lots of moving around the building and getting technology to cooperate. Of course I STILL didn’t get home in time for a workout, but for the first week of what will be an exceptionally busy term, that was ok while I got some kind of routine established. I did make sure to do some yoga then after dinner we watched the first episode of Too Close, a 3 part series shown at the beginning of the week.

Even better, Steve (who declared when we were getting our food shop that he wasn’t going to bake this week) had baked a cake. I asked what had prompted his change of heart and he said that since I was having such a long and busy week, he had decided that I deserved cake. I’m not going to argue with that logic!

By Friday morning I was finding it tough to get up early and was glad it was the last working day of the week. I considered an out-and-back route for my run but decided I wanted something different so headed towards the river. Rather than go over the bridge, I turned to run by the river and back via different streets.

After a pretty productive day I managed to leave work just a smidge earlier than I had been and when I arrived home Steve was just about to head out for a walk to get some fresh air. Although the mornings had been cold all week, it was actually pretty nice later on so I tagged along too. But heading out for a walk meant no workout again and when we got back the cats were needing fed then Steve got started on our dinner while I did some yoga.

I also took the chance to dive into my latest Disney delivery which had arrived while I was at work. I seem to have accidentally fallen into collecting the collectible keys they have been producing after getting a few as free gifts with previous orders, so had timed this order to coincide with the latest one being released. I finally succumbed to ordering a NuiMo after they released an outfit inspired by my favourite Disney princess. I also ordered a pile of face masks as they had a huuuuuge reduction and I thought it might be cool to have the full set for posterity. Besides, I’m not seeing the need for masks ending any time soon and with the need for a fresh one every single day for work, it’s good to have loads available. The face mask is fast becoming the fashion accessory I didn’t know I needed!

Neither of us had given any thought to a Friday night movie so we watched the remaining two episodes of Too Close and I had a little time to read before bed.

It was so nice to wake up without an alarm (well, I did have the kitties who will ALWAYS make sure someone wakes up to feed them!) on Saturday morning. Once the kitties were fed I settled down in bed with a cup of tea to read a chunk of my book until it was time to run. And hallelujah, going out a little later meant it was mild enough to get back into my shorts. You have no idea how happy this makes me!

Since I had made this my (delayed) cutback week I decided not to run particularly hard. I followed my usual route and division of my run into a warm up, faster (not)parkrun and cool down, but kept that middle section to a steady pace rather than really going for it. I thought this would be a good idea since I was in the process of re-adapting to early runs again so I wanted to give my body a break. And so, I simply enjoyed turning my legs over a bit quicker and being out in the sunshine.

My Saturday routine is fairly fixed now and this week was no different – This Is Us, Disney quiz, a couple of episodes of The Crown and then a bath. Still regularly watching Christmas movies in the bath so I have them fresh in my mind before listening to the Christmas Crackers podcast and this week was The Santa Clause 3. I’m actually not sure I have ever seen it before, but if I have then it was a loooong time ago!

When it came to Sunday, I started the day by finishing up my book. This one was actually written about 15 years ago and at the time nobody wanted to publish it as the backdrop of a global pandemic and the associated restrictions was seen as too far-fetched! Reading it now (it was published last year) it has an eerie familiarity and the backdrop seems perfectly plausible. So strange to consider how rapidly our point of view has shifted over the past year or so.

As it turned out, the kitties must also be interested in reading as I found one of my bookcases like this:

I can only assume they were highlighting the books they want to read next😹

For my run I opted to keep it to 8 miles so I was genuinely cutting back the mileage and I had a route in mind. I was also able to don not just one new piece of kit, but two! The other new pair of shoes I bought recently and a new pair of shorts which arrived right when the temperature plummeted and I had to switch to leggings!

Wearing new kit always means a good run!

After lunch, food shopping and my lateral flow test (I guess I need to just accept these as a routine part of my week now), we settled down to continue with a series we began the day before. On the recommendation of a friend, we were watching Pizza Boys, a 5 part series following a pair of Welsh pizza chefs taking a road trip to Italy to take part in a pizza-making competition. It was really good so if you like foodie travel-type programmes then I would recommend it.

There was a treat in store after dinner as my sister had dropped off some of mum’s first rhubarb of the season. The young rhubarb is nice and sweet, so Steve made a delicious crumble with it.

After which it was time for me to run my bath so I could relax with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier before heading to bed. I need to get my rest to make it through this term!

What do you do to change things up when your body needs rest?
Read any good books lately?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 55

The second week of the holidays meant a further opportunity to relax, whilst also enjoying the time running in the mornings. Technically this should have been a cutback week in my mileage, but I was feeling good and wanted to take advantage of the space I had to run a little longer on the weekdays, so stuck to a similar pattern to the week before. The miles will naturally reduce a little anyway when I’m back at work next week. Here are the details of my week:

Monday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Tuesday – 5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 10k + living room workout + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Friday – 4 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

Oh my goodness! After some quite pleasant weather last week (as in shorts and T-shirt to run in pleasant) the temperature PLUMMETED for Easter Monday. Even on the Sunday the temperature was ok and I just couldn’t understand how the forecast could have it dropping so low, but even as I was getting ready to run my weather app was still insisting on an actual temperature around freezing with a “feels like” below freezing. I was FORCED back into my leggings (yup, as cold as that) and was glad I wore them as even though the sun was shining, the air was bitter in the way you only get when there’s snow around (many places did have snow, but we got away with a few flakes while I was out running) and the wind was just as icy.

On the plus side, I had a great distraction from the icy cold air as the scavenger hunt, a weekly activity I was really enjoying last year, was back! I often still smile when I notice something that was on a previous hunt list so was pleased to be setting off in search of a new list of items. One of them was a swan so this gave me a great reason to return to the park I ran through a couple of weeks ago when I ticked off “run in the park” on my March running bingo card. It’s so pretty in there and I wanted a bit more time to explore, so this was perfect.

But before that chilly run I was cosy in bed with a cup of tea to finish up my latest book. This is one I DEFINITELY recommend if you haven’t picked it up yet – so heartwarming, like the parkrun spirit in a book. Oh, and one of our RDs gets a mention for his penchant for delivering the briefing in verse!

The book also completed my 2021 challenge sheet, so here’s a roundup of the books I read for that:

The rest of the day was much less exciting. I began with a really thorough dusting and tidying mission, then relaxed with some vlogs for a bit to update the blog.

I was conscious that despite being on holiday, I only managed one workout last week so wanted to fit in more this week. Steve announced that the workout would be “press up surprise”, the surprise being that it was a super set where I exhausted my arms with the resistance band before going right into a set of press ups to failure. It’s the kind of workout that’s really humbling as “failure” comes around quite quickly towards the end!

My yoga teacher is having a couple of weeks off so it was a new Yoga with Adriene video for my yoga session then dinner while we watched the latest episode of Line of Duty.

Tuesday was still cold so I enjoyed spending some cosy time reading in bed to start the day. It was cold enough to keep me in leggings for a second day and the air was just as bitter as the day before. I even had some further snowflakes (which continue to puzzle me as the sun was shining at the time).

My project for the day was to vacuum. Not just any old vacuuming, the kind you only do when you’re on holiday and do things like properly move furniture around and use the tools to get into all the nooks and crannies. It took AGES but was totally worth doing.

The rest of the day I chilled out with my book (and Smokey, he’s going to be really upset when I go back to work next week!) until it was workout time. Thankfully my arms got a break as it was a lower body workout, but I suspected I might feel that one the next day! I followed that up with a yoga video then I was ready to settle down for the evening, which included finishing up the book I had been reading. I’ve really been enjoying this series, but I’ve now read all that there are so far so I’ll guess I’ll have to wait a bit for the next instalment.

Wednesday was still chilly (we actually had to have the heating back on overnight) so still in my leggings for my run (and I’m sure there were a few more snowflakes while I was out). On the plus side, I ran by the Easter tree again and noticed that some of the eggs were “rocking’ the dots” so that made me happy – a Minnie Mouse egg!

I had another book on the go and actually ended up devoting the bulk of the day to reading it. It’s a YA book, but often these are really good and having previously enjoyed the Twisted Tales series, I was keen to try this one after seeing positive reviews. I really enjoyed it so am looking forward to there being more in the series.

I did, however, take a break to go on a little outing. Steve announced he was going to take a walk into town for a coffee (we usually have a variety of codes for a free coffee) and asked if I wanted to go too. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, however I haven’t been to any of the coffee places since before we went into Lockdown last March. I know they’ve been open for takeaway, but I’ve had no reason to go into town so just haven’t bothered claiming any of my coffees. It actually felt like quite a big step, even though the setup is so simple and safe.

Once home I returned to my book then it was time for a second “press up surprise” workout – this time with the more difficult resistance band. My poor arms! I can tell you my yoga video felt quite challenging afterwards and I was cursing Adriene when we had to move into downward dog!

It was super windy on Thursday morning but it was a much better temperature for me to be able to get back into my shorts again. I love my leggings, but by this point in the year I like to be firmly in my shorts! Once home I decided to straighten my hair (I’ve not been using the hairdryer or straightners throughout the past year) because I was due at the hairdresser the following day (hurrah!) so wanted to get a better picture of how much it has grown throughout the pandemic since it has been cut far less (and had a couple of long stretches of around 5 months between cuts when we’ve been in lockdown):

L-R March 2020 a couple of weeks after my last haircut before lockdown; July 2020 ahead of my first post-lockdown haircut; April 2021 ahead of my first haircut in 5 months thanks to the second national lockdown in Scotland.

It was so interesting to see the side by side comparisons since you don’t really notice hair growth day-to-day as it’s so gradual.

I had an exciting delivery in the form of some theme park-inspired wax melts. My sister discovered these and sent me a referral code so I thought I would give them a go. The little note enclosed with them is such a lovely touch.

Further Thursday excitement came courtesy of Steve who had been baking again. We had been watching Celebrity Britain’s Best Home Cook and there was an episode where Ed Balls (yes, former MP Ed Balls) made this fantastic sponge cake. Steve found the recipe and had a go for himself (I mean, if it was good enough to impress Mary Berry!). It was great – a really light sponge – so I think he will be making this again.

I also watched an afternoon movie for the first time during this holiday. It may have been the Easter holidays, but I watched a Christmas movie (The Grinch) since it was due to be discussed on the podcast I have been listening to and I spotted it wasn’t going to be available on Netflix much longer. It’s not a story I have ever been particularly into, but it was a pleasant enough retelling of it.

My Thursday workout was lower body again – mostly variations of squats/lunges with some stair sprints to add another layer of difficulty. It actually made me feel really hot so I was glad my yoga session afterwards was quite gentle and relaxing.

The forecast for Friday hadn’t been too encouraging temperature-wise and I had thought I might be back in leggings for my run, but as it turned out it was marginally better and just mild enough for shorts (although I think we were right on the cusp as the first half of the run felt quite chilly in the strong wind!).

I needed to have an early lunch so I could eat before my hair appointment and ate whilst reading the end of my book. I was curious to read this one after enjoying the series on Netflix and while there were certainly some differences (which I liked because then I didn’t know precisely how it would all unfold), overall it was pretty close to the book. I enjoyed it so will probably read more from the series now.

Of course the biggest excitement was getting my hair done. I actually didn’t want much taken off the length, but I was DESPERATE to get some fresh colour in it since it was getting washed out and patchy (as well as the roots growing in). I was starting to feel like a stripy cat!

When I arrived home I had a cup of tea then headed out for a walk since I felt like I hadn’t moved enough all day. It’s nice to get out in the evening now that there is so much more daylight. Once home it was time for my workout and Steve decided to mix things up with an ab workout. It was good to give my arms and legs a rest, but I suspected this one would make itself known the following morning (and thank goodness it was a chilled yoga session on the calendar again!).

Our Friday night movie was the third Karate Kid movie to complete the original trilogy. I know I have seen it before but really didn’t remember that one so well as the first two. I mentioned this in a text to my sister and she agreed that it was never a favourite when we were growing up, thus rarely watched. Still, it served as a useful reminder ahead of my planned watching of Cobra Kai!

It was another cold night but after some time reading in bed first thing, the temperature had climbed enough for me to wear my shorts again. It was also a great time to wear one of the two new pairs of running shoes that I had ordered. I like to rotate several pairs so I always have something different to put on and mix things up, and now that I’m putting the miles in every day I think that’s even more important. This pair was already reduced then I saved a further 50% thanks to my Vitality Fitness Rewards benefit, so they were a real bargain. The bright colour might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love them!

Post-run I was thrilled to find a new episode of This Is Us to watch after which I did my usual weekly Disney quiz on YouTube (this one was marking one year of quizzes – madness!) then settled down for a couple of episode of The Crown, all the more poignant following the announcement of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.

I wrapped up my afternoon with a bath where I watched The Santa Clause (it’s been a loooooong time since I’ve seen that one!), during which Smokey wandered in to sit at the side of the bath and I ended up with a rather funny picture of him just from the angle I took it.

In the evening we watched an episode of Intruder, a four-part drama which had been on during the week. Definitely more to things than meets the eye.

While we were watching tv we noticed that the snow, light flurries of which had been falling on and off throughout the evening, was actually starting to lie a little.

It was still there in the morning (and frozen to the car windscreens) so despite the sunshine we both opted for leggings for our Sunday runs. I had originally intended to wear my second new pair of trainers, but decided to save those since I planned to head out the the woodland park and wasn’t sure what it would be like underfoot – no point getting new trainers all muddy on their first wear!

The sun stayed out for the run, but things were much more changeable later in the day with more brief snow flurries then, in the late afternoon, we got HUGE hailstones. They were bigger than cat litter, kind of like those polystyrene things you get in packaging or beanbags. The thumping of them actually scared the cats who were both happily dozing, but they soon settled down again.

Of course with term beginning the following day it was time to get back to the regular lateral flow Covid tests (oh joy!) so I took care of that early in the afternoon and logged my negative result. I suspect I’m not really going to enjoy the term ahead what with lots of assessment for senior pupils and the regular tests.

Finally we watched a second episode of Intruder over dinner then I headed off to get organised for the return to school and have a relaxing bath to help me get a good sleep. Fingers crossed things go smoothly – it’s been a long time since we’ve been fully in school!

What crazy weather have you had lately?
What’s the longest time you’ve gone between haircuts?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 42

What a week! It began with the tail end of my Christmas holidays and ended with a return to working from home (no pupils yet, just lots to do to get organised for online teaching). It meant a return to earlier runs, although not quite as early as when I have a commute (or at least a commute longer than walking upstairs to the spare room!), Here’s how it went:

Monday – 3.5 miles + home yoga + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Wednesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Thursday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Friday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – 10k + home yoga
Sunday – 10 miles + home yoga

I was still on holiday on the Monday so made the most of one of the final opportunities to start my day with some reading in bed before heading out for my run. This is a luxury I love to indulge in when I don’t have work. It also let me delay my run a little while to allow the weather to improve a bit. Sadly, it did not. I was keen to try out my new Winter Ready shoes (a winter version of my regular road shoe, but with a waterproof outer, fleece inner and more grip) but frankly the only “shoe” that would have done the trick on this day was ice skates! I covered 3.5 miles, but it was very stop-start with a lot of walking over the dodgy bits!

Since we were nearing the end of the school holidays, there were a couple more “projects” I wanted to take care of. First the not very exciting (but ultimately rather satisfying) rearranging of my food cupboards as the way they were just didn’t feel “right” anymore in terms of easily accessing things. And then, the big one…taking the Christmas tree down. I have to say, I wasn’t really wanting to, but I like to take it down before term starts and with the kitties still young, it wasn’t looking quite as great as it did when it first went up. As it turned out, I maybe should have left the Christmas cheer around for another day since I realised the First Minister was making a statement and switched it on to watch while I sorted out the tree. This was the announcement where we basically went back into Lockdown and were told the schools wouldn’t be opening as planned (we were previously to have a week of remote teaching and then be back in the building). Sigh! At least Smokey was happy. This is the face of a cat who has just been told that his mum will be around the house for a bit longer 😹

At least there was some good news.While I was vacuuming all the tree-related detritus, I got a delivery with the items I had spent my Christmas money on: the Pandora Star Wars bracelet and Baby Yoda charm. Now i just need somewhere to wear it to…🤔

I rounded out my day with a Christmas movie (not ready to let that one go just yet, some yoga – both my own practice and my Hatha class – before Steve and I relaxed in front of the tv watching Cardinal.

The Tuesday was the final day of my holidays so I made sure to take it easy. I actually slept a little bit later than I meant to (oops!) but still read a little in bed before heading off on my run. Fortunately, conditions underfoot were better than the day before so those winter shoes seemed ideal. After that I did take the time to do a bit of tidying up and getting my work space ready for the following day, then spent some more time reading before my yoga session. Having finished the first season of Cardinal the night before, we watched the New Year Bake Off then most of series 2 of Staged – loved it!

With work starting again on Wednesday, I made sure to be up sharp for my run – no more lounging about in bed with my book! There was still some patchy snow, but at least the sky looked interesting while I was out. There was some low-lying fog and the lights from the city seemed to be turning it orange!

The pupils weren’t starting back until the Monday, but as teachers we returned to work as planned and thus had time to meet via Teams to prepare and think about how best to approach this indefinite period of online teaching. I did, however, have Sooty keen to be involved in proceedings!

The first day is always a bit of a shock, but sitting down at my desk in comfy clothes after my run did make for a softer start! By the end of the day I was definitely feeling fatigued from all the screen time, so it was good to step away and have a workout and some yoga time to refresh my weary eyes before embarking on the second series of Cardinal in the evening.

Thursday unfolded in a very similar way. Overnight sleet meant more patchy slippery bits but at least it wasn’t as bad as Monday! I had plenty of work to be getting on with but it was nice to chat to a colleague over the phone – video conferencing always feels a bit tricky for this sort of thing when there are lots of others in the call. Oh, and it was Smokey’s turn to supervise me!

Once again, a workout was welcome. Steve is trying to mix things up so each day is a little different and I always know that when the workout is done I have yoga to look forward to. I’m really enjoying this year’s Yoga With Adriene 30 day journey. I always do, but something is really resonating this year, perhaps the focus on the breath in these difficult times.

There was more overnight sleet (honestly, why does winter seem to go on for so long!) but I was still able to cover my usual Friday distance (not always the case in poor weather) before getting stuck into the final work day of the week. Lots of screen time and lots of planning, so I was definitely ready to step away from the computer at the end of the day and be more active. Steve took me through a workout with the resistance band and a medicine ball, then it was yoga time before settling down for a restful evening. I was ready to engage “weekend mode”!!

The Saturday morning was really cold so I enjoyed reading in bed for a while then headed out the door with no expectations for my run. I thought I would probably just run 5k, but as it turned out the pavements were ok so I was able to cover 10k for the day. It felt good to go a bit further than expected.

-2 that feels like -7 🥶

I warmed up with a cup of tea, a bacon roll and the latest episode of This Is Us before completing a Disney quiz on YouTube. Finally I was able to settle down for an afternoon movie. I wasn’t sure what to expect of this one. I had read lots of good reports, but my sister had got bored and switched it off when she tried it. In the end I did understand why that might be, but it was definitely worth watching all the way through.

And while I was watching it my order from the Shop Disney sale arrived – a couple of items from the Minnie Mouse collection, a 2021 collectible key and the backpack (which was a special offer and did just enough to take me over the free shipping threshold. As it turns out, it’s a great bag for keeping all the textbooks, etc I brought home from work for this period of online teaching!).

Of course I had my Saturday bath and then Steve and I had a nice evening watching some tv.

A (probably brief) thaw meant that my Sunday long run wasn’t hampered in any way. I got to wear regular road shoes, start and finish outside my house (rather than walking out onto a cleared route) and enjoy my 10 miles. It felt great!

We had all the usual Sunday stuff, then our afternoon treat was a new product – extremely chocolatey hot cross buns. They were yummy!

Then I did my best to relax ahead of my first day of online teaching. I was feeling pretty nervous about live lessons via video conferencing as I knew I would have to manage all the technical aspects of the call, sharing my screen to display resources, etc, as well as teach the lesson and find ways to engage my pupils. Yet more upskilling courtesy of Covid!

Have you learned any new work-related skills whilst working from home?
How has your running been affected by the weather this winter?

My Year of Running 2020

For the past few years I’ve written this roundup post looking back over my running in that year (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). Even as I write this introduction I feel like this year’s post will be a little different (what isn’t in 2020, right?) but there has been a huge shift in my running this past year so I still wanted to create a post to reflect on that. Here we go…!

Best Race Experience
Well that’s an awkward one to start with! I had very few race plans as the year began (and those I did have were cancelled) so there are pretty slim pickings. Loads of events went virtual (and I took part in a few) but I think I’m going to choose an actual race experience – yes, those did happen in 2020, so long as you got in early! 1st January 2020 as part of our usual NYD adventure (three runs in one day), I ran in the Blairgowrie Ne’er Day Fun Run and put in one of my best performances in that event to date. It’s a very low key and simple event with no T-shirts or medals (the post-run soup and sweets are always very welcome though). It’s so strange to think now of all those people together in a hall before and after the event: no social distancing, New Year handshakes and lots of sweaty hugs. Unthinkable now! I’m sad that for the first time in its 30+ year history that this won’t happen in 2021, but fingers crossed it can return for 2022.

Best Run
By some miracle, I actually got to go on my planned long weekend trip to Disneyland Paris with my sister in August. Although I ran each morning, my favourite run was on the last day when I ran to the Disney gates and back on a warm and sunny morning. Hopefully this is something I’ll be able to repeat in the future as it was such fun to see familiar landmarks such as the Tower of Terror, Disney Hotels and Disney Village as part of my route.

Best New Running Gear
When you accidentally start a run streak, having plenty of running gear is a must. I’m certainly not short of kit, but a crucial cog in the wheel when you run every day is shoes. I always rotate my shoes and was in need of a couple of new pairs anyway, but I think my favourites from this year are these Adidas Solar Boosts with space-inspired soles. I wear them for my long runs and they feel great!

Best Running Advice You’ve Received This Year
Do you know, I can’t think of anything in particular, but when I first floated the idea of running every day as the UK lockdown began back in March, Steve told me to go for it. To be honest, whenever I come up with an idea for a challenge I would like to undertake, he supports me all the way and sometimes being told to go for it is just the advice you need.

Most Inspirational Runner
Ok, I know he’s my husband and I’m biased, but I’m going to pick Steve. As his 50th birthday approached at the end of this year, I made the (slightly mad) suggestion that he should mark the occasion by running 50 miles in one day. Not only did he do it, but he picked a day when the weather wasn’t all that great and STILL did it. I don’t think I’ll be replicating this feat when my big birthday rolls around, but it’s still an inspiring achievement.

Favourite Picture From A Run Or Race This Year
When the inaugural Disneyland Paris Princess Run Weekend was cancelled, the admins of a Facebook group I’m in created a fun at-home version. We created our own costumes, medals and photo ops and shared our pictures in the group. I had plenty of time for some arts and crafts in advance to prepare and had a great time on my run (for which I resurrected my Anna running costume from the 2019 Magic Run Weekend 10k). While it wasn’t quite the same as being at DLP, it certainly created a sense of community and fun to keep us all going and I love this picture I took of my “meet” with Mickey Mouse:

Race Experience You Would Repeat In A Heartbeat
Um, a little short on race experiences so I’ll choose a virtual one instead. Although completely unofficial, when my second planned Run Disney experience of the year (Magic Run Weekend in September) was cancelled, the same Facebook group that created an at-home version in May did the same thing again…but bigger! It was still a free event where we created out own costumes/race bibs/medals etc, but I went all in for this one by mirroring the 36km challenge: 5k on Friday evening, 10k on Saturday morning and a half marathon on Sunday morning. Based on the group themes I created all-new costumes for each and basically spent my weekend running around wearing crazy costumes (which nobody seemed to bat an eye at!). While I would MUCH prefer to be back running in DLP again soon, this was a great experience and I loved checking in with the group all weekend to see what others had come up with for their own Run Disney at home experience.

If You Could Sum Up Your Year In A Couple Of Words, What Would They Be?
Run Streak. If you had asked me this time last year, there is NO WAY I would have predicted this would happen. I never intended to start a run streak, it just sort of…happened. When we went into lockdown in March we were told one of the reasons we were allowed to leave our homes was for exercise each day. I knew that if I could get some fresh air then I would cope ok with being at home all the time and originally planned for this to be a walk on days which weren’t “running days” (I was running 4x per week at that point). The first official day of lockdown was a running day and when I got home, I floated the idea of seeing what would happen if I ran the next day, and the next, and the next… I genuinely thought it wouldn’t suit me, that I would struggle or get injured, but it was fascinating to observe how my body adapted to daily running and now I think I would feel strange it I DIDN’T head out each morning. Over 280 days later and I’m still enjoying my daily runs. It feels like part of me now.

How was your year of running in 2020? I’d love to hear all about it…

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 37

This was a much better week. Still exhausting and still plenty of pressures, but I felt I was coping with it all much better. Hard to believe the Christmas holidays are getting so close now, since it feels like there is so much to do before then. Fitness-wise I did keep my streak going, but some chilly weather towards the end of the week did make things a bit more difficult.

Monday – 3.5 miles + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5 miles + home yoga
Thursday – 3.2 miles + home yoga
Friday – 2.75 miles + home yoga
Saturday – (not)parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 10 miles

As ever, my week began with a gentle recovery run. This week I altered my route slightly so I could take my antibody test to the priority post box first thing. But the thing that made me happiest was that the temperature was milder again so it was a shorts morning – perfect!

Arriving home from work I had about half an hour to change and relax before my yoga class. After a week off last week it was good to be back under instruction for an hour and, as always, felt so much better for taking that time for myself.

I slept well that night and was ready to run on Tuesday morning. The temperature was lower again but it wasn’t slippy so it was a good wake-up call! I fancied running down to the river to see the lights on the bridge and was treated to it being lit in blue and white since Monday had been St Andrew’s Day.

It was a long work day with meetings after school, but I managed to squeeze in a workout with Steve when I got home. That workout included the instructions from the first day of my advent calendar. I got one like this last year and really enjoyed having a challenge (fitness, mindset or wellbeing) every other day and on the days between collecting the parts to create a medal. A bit healthier than a piece of chocolate every day and with a cool souvenir at the end! After that, it was good to unwind with a short yoga session before dinner.

To add to the festivities, Steve had made a batch of mince pies. Yum!

In a week of alternating temperatures, it was shorts again on Wednesday – bizarre! Sadly it was a bit drizzly and there was quite a headwind through the first couple of miles of the run, but after that I felt good and was enjoying being out there. It definitely had me in a good mood for the rest of the day – just as well really with so much to do!

I worked quite late after school (I knew it was time to go when the cleaner was asking if I had a home to go to 😂) and took the chance to fit in a quick yoga session to help clear my head and settle in for a relaxing evening.

Waking up on Thursday I was expecting it to be cold, but what I found was that there had been a bit of a snow flurry overnight and the snow had FROZEN to the roads and pavements leaving some stretches pretty treacherous. I walked out onto the main road and decided it would be best to run into town and back since that would be main road all the way. In actual fact there were still some stretches where I had to walk and my 12 minute mile average is nothing to write home about, but I got that all-important run done (at this point I honestly don’t think I’d feel like myself without it) and got back home in one piece. Job done!

Meanwhile, Steve was out on a totally different challenge. With his 50th birthday falling this week, he had been preparing for a big challenge to mark the occasion and this was the chosen day. You may remember in 2014 he ran all 4 races at the Edinburgh marathon festival, but with the move to virtual races this year we realised he had a unique opportunity to take on all 4 again…but with a difference. 5k + 10k + half marathon + marathon = 48.6 miles, so with a 1.4 mile warm up, his aim was to complete 50 miles all in one day! We talked through various ways he might do it with me acting as some kind of support crew (at the weekend obviously) but in the end he decided to go for it entirely unsupported and with a pit stop at home around half way through. I was worried about the conditions that day, but he successfully completed the challenge and I made sure to arrive home with a bottle of prosecco to celebrate his achievement.

And for me, there was a little delivery: a virtual event medal and matching leggings. I have to say, they are even prettier than I had expected so I’m glad I added the leggings (casual rather than running ones) to my purchase.

And my other news from that day was that I got the results of my Covid antibody test (they get sent by text and email): no antibodies therefore I have not had Covid. I mean, I knew I had never displayed any symptoms but it has always been in the back of my mind to wonder about all these asymptomatic cases and whether or not that could have been me. Now I know.

Weather-wise things weren’t much better on Friday morning. The temperature stayed low and there was rain (more likely sleet) overnight – in fact in some parts not too far from us there was Thundersnow! Having checked the forecast I didn’t think it would be much better after work (plus I wouldn’t want to head out then) so I bundled myself up in winter tights, winter top, all-terrain shoes and my Big Running Jacket (the one I save for the worst of the winter weather) and headed out. In my mind I was ok with simply covering a mile to keep my streak alive but once I was on the main road the underfoot conditions were better than than the day before so I took a longer route to make up my 30ish minutes. There were still slippery patches and I really had to stick on the main roads so it was hard to find ways to extend my route and at 2.75 miles I headed back in to get ready for work since I was expecting a tricky drive in. As it turned out the weather got much worse in time for my commute so it wasn’t the most peasant of journeys. Good job I didn’t stay out running any longer!

When I arrived home at the end of the day Steve made me a cup of tea then I headed off to do some yoga and tidy up some things upstairs before dinner. Last week Steve said he didn’t want to watch Christmas movies until December, but this week he was quite happy to join me in watching our favourite one – Elf! Smokey was keen to watch too 😹

What with having steak pie for our dinner, it was like Christmas AND New Year in one evening haha!

Since Saturday was Steve’s birthday, I made sure it was me who got up to feed the kitties and make us both a cup of tea to enjoy in bed while Steve opened his cards and gifts. He then got on with the task of responding to birthday greetings on social media while I spent some time reading my book. A little later he headed off to the first session of his latest running club while I got organised for my run. After our Friday evening viewing of Elf, I decided to debut my new leggings. Technically they are called “Christmas in New York” but to me they are most definitely Elf-inspired and therefore the perfect festive leggings for me!

I had a great run because not only did I get out in the daylight, but I was able to wear my regular road shoes and run “properly” since all the icy patches were gone. It felt great to stretch my legs and run a bit faster again.

To celebrate Steve’s birthday we had Bucks Fizz with our post-run bacon roll (Clementine and Cranberry flavour – festive but delicious) and of course we did the weekly parkrun quiz. I deferred to the birthday boy for any questions where we had to guess (let’s face it, quite a lot of them!) and it turns out he’s not great at guessing since we only got 6/15 – he will not be in charge of guessing again haha!

Ordinarily I would have given Steve some kind of experience as a birthday gift, but options are pretty limited in 2020 (unless he wanted to experience sitting at home watching telly!) so we will do something nice when we are able to. In the meantime, I noticed that he’s been using his earphones a lot around the house but he still had wired ones which can be a bit tricky when doing things like cooking or other tasks where you move around a lot, so I got him some AirPods since I love mine and think the quality is much better than those EarPods that come with iPhones. After the quiz he settled down to try them out so I caught up on a couple of Disney quizzes I had saved from YouTube. Then when Steve headed off to meet his brother for a socially distanced birthday catch-up, Smokey the dedicated lap cat (he was there for AGES) and I got on with the much more serious business of an afternoon movie.

I had watched a trailer for this one and thought it looked good, so made a plan to watch it as soon as possible (it became available on Disney+ on the Friday). I really enjoyed it and recommend it if you have Disney+ and are looking for something new to watch.

After the film (when Smokey FINALLY decided to move!) I went off to run my bath and since we had a birthday to celebrate, my bath snack was a slice of cake (unicorn cake of course – our favourite). Alongside a cheeky glass of red wine, my candle and a few Disney vlogs, it was a really relaxing part of the day.

Even better, Steve had been given a fancy bottle of champagne by a lovely couple he trains, so we enjoyed a celebratory glass in the evening. I could get used to this!

Sunday was another early wake-up call to feed the kitties then I dozed for another 20 minutes or so, at which point Steve brought me a cup of tea so I could enjoy that in bed whilst reading my book for a bit. Sadly the temperature had dropped again and I was unsure about which shoes to pick, but Steve left a bit before me and texted to say I would be ok with road shoes. As it turned out, I would probably have been better in my grippy all-terrains so I ended up keeping to a very cautious pace for much of my run. Oh well, at least it was dry and my hands were much warmer than the previous week in my thicker gloves. And I got to wear another pair of Christmas leggings 😀

Of course we had the food shopping to do as normal, then my afternoon plan was to watch another of my favourite Christmas movies: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. But first, inspired by Clark W Griswold himself, I headed outside to sort out the the outdoor Christmas lights I hadn’t got to the previous weekend.

Never fear, the movie was next on the agenda and I had feline company once again. He’s been a really cuddly boy lately 😻

The weekend drew to a close, as it always does, with dinner, Strictly results and a bath. And after those frosty/icy runs, I wonder what the week ahead will have in store for me?

Has your running been affected by winter weather recently?
Do you put any Christmas lights outside your house?

Week In Review – The Corona Chronicles Part 6

Every week when I start to set my post up, I type “blah blah” at the top as a placeholder until I know what I want the introduction to say. To be honest, this week I think “blah blah” might be all I have as the days are merging into one with little of interest to separate them. Most of the time I have no idea if something I’m thinking of happened early today, last week or last month! On the plus side, I do feel I’ve settled into a reasonable routine and am pleased to be fitting in running, strength work and yoga consistently. Here’s what I did last week:

Monday – 3.5 miles + living room workout + Hatha yoga via Zoom
Tuesday – 4.5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Wednesday – 5.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Thursday – 5 miles + garden workout + home yoga
Friday – 4.5 miles + living room workout + home yoga
Saturday – 7.2 miles
Sunday – 10 miles

For this week I had another goal in mind for my running – I wanted to hit 40 miles since I’ve never had a weekly total that started with a 4 before. Given that the previous week totalled 38.8, I knew it wouldn’t take much and was really just a slight stretching – no more than half a mile at a time – of some of my runs through the week. By adding an additional mile onto my Saturday run I was already at 30 miles, leaving me with a nice 10 on Sunday to finish things off. It’s nice to see the climbing graph of my recent mileage, but now I’ve reached 40 I don’t think I’ll be looking to add any more on right now. Need to be sensible!

My other mini goal was my theme for the week – to wear all the souvenir tops I bought any time I ran the Paris marathon. Although I have run it 5 times, I somehow have 8 additional tops, mostly from the expo but some were things I ordered before/after the event as they were special edition purchases. Of course there are only 7 days in the week so the last one will be carried over to Monday.

I also took delivery of the two new pairs of trainers I ordered last week so had those to enjoy trying out as well. My favourites are definitely the ones with the colourful soles. So bouncy and fresh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for the rest of the week, there were some ups and downs…

Monday was tough. Microsoft Teams wasn’t playing ball, which made remote teaching even more challenging. Then to add insult to injury, there were wifi problems around the country which were definitely affecting us – including during my yoga class on Zoom. Thankfully we managed to work around and I still enjoyed the class. I was also forced inside for my workout due to a bizarre hail shower in the afternoon. I had hoped to be outside using the TRX, but instead it was the resistance band in the living room. On a happier note, I finished watching Malory Towers (which I LOVED) and we watched the last episode of Twin after dinner. I kind of feel like that might have been left open for another series.

Fortunately the weather was much better on Tuesday so I got out into the garden for my workout.

But on Wednesday we were back inside thanks to rain. Sigh. Although I did come across this on my morning run:

And back in the garden again with a tough TRX workout on Thursday.

Then inside again on Friday. What a weird week!

It was actually a pretty busy week as far as work was concerned, so not much time to do anything interesting during the day, but in the evenings Steve and I tried some new TV programmes. First we caught up with The Nest on the iPlayer since we hadn’t watched it when it was first shown, and then we stated to watch Normal People. Very different programmes but both very good.

We also had a birthday on Friday – the kitties turned TWO! And apparently it’s an exhausting age 😹

At least they’re still best pals!

As ever, the best part of the week was probably the weekend, even without the opportunity to go out and do something fun.

I began Saturday with a little reading in bed before heading out for my notparkun run. I have been running just over 10k on a Saturday, but as part of stretching out my distances, I ran 7 miles as that took me to a rolling total of 30 for the week. Steve was on a FaceTime call with his brother when I got home so I watched the stream of the Disneyland Paris fireworks which had been put out a day or so before. It made me cry Disney tears, but then that happens when I’m there as well! Also, when I got back I found that my new parkrun apricot T-shirt had arrived. I had faffed around and been indecisive about what to get printed on it, but sorted it out in the end:

Big Six refers to this local landmark which I regularly pass on my runs:

The house actually belongs to my friend’s granny and when her husband, who was an architect, originally built it he went for what was, at the time, quite a unique design. He was advised to make sure the house number was really visible so painted this giant 6 on the garage and it has been that way ever since. Steve says it looks like where they keep Thunderbird Six 😂

Once Steve’s call was done we got on with the usual Saturday post-run plan of a bacon roll and the parkrun quiz.

Bit of a poor showing this week with just 5/15 – a new personal worst for the quiz – but I was entertained by the deliberate misspelling in the title of the quiz as homage to little Mary, the youngest daughter of host Vassos, who regaled us all with a story at the end of the last quiz and took her own unique approach to spelling! I had just been listening to Vassos talking about it on the Free Weekly Timed podcast when I was out for my run so this reference made me smile.

In the afternoon I decided to try something new. I’ve never been any good at anything artistic, but was aware that there were lots of Disney drawing tutorials available which take you step-by-step through how to draw various characters. You can do this live in Disney parks (with your drawing as a fun souvenir) and on the one occasion I’ve done it I drew a decent character, so fancied giving it a go now I have little time on my hands – I even went as far as ordering a sketch book online!

I started with the contemporary rendering of The Big Cheese himself (of course!).

And heartened by it being at least recognisable (albeit a little wonky), I had a go at Olaf from Frozen.

A bit iffy in places, especially the arm and hand, but again recognisable. So I tried one more – Winnie The Pooh.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with those efforts and plan to try a few more as my time at home  goes on. Having the sketchbook means I will have something concrete to show for my time spent in lockdown and will be something nice to look through later.

And our day was rounded off with a movie. We’re getting there with the Star Wars movies and this week was The Last Jedi. Just one more in the Skywalker Saga to go!

My Sunday began with a 10 mile run (slightly less than last week but I didn’t want to push it too much since I was adding a little more across the week). A highlight came early on when my attention was caught by these little guys peeking over a garden fence and I had to cross the road to have a closer look:

So nice!

The run felt good and set me up to venture out for the food shopping after lunch. I also had to fill my car up as the petrol light had come on when I went out for the shopping the weekend before and I just hadn’t done anything about it. I was so shocked at how cheap the petrol was, right when I’m not really using much. Typical!

The rest of the day was relaxing with some tv, a nice dinner and my usual Sunday night bath and glass of wine.

I feel a bit torn about my experience of lockdown. I have plenty to occupy me and am definitely enjoying not having to get up so early or have a long commute. It’s nice to “go home” for lunch too. In that regard, I feel quite rested, but remote teaching is a challenge and I’m definitely missing having my pupils in front of me and being surrounded by my lovely colleagues – video meetings just aren’t the same! Oh, and going for a haircut wouldn’t go amiss right now haha!

How are you coping with lockdown measures?
Have you tried anything new recently?

Friday Finds – 17th April

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

Is it Friday? I think it’s Friday. But then, I also think it was only just Friday! What’s going on with time right now?

I hope you are well and staying safe. At the time of writing the UK lockdown has been extended for at least another three weeks so I guess we’re in this for a bit longer yet. So perhaps you’re in need of something to read…

To start with, a few topical bits and pieces:

First a caution about where we get our information from. You may have seen this particular (and worrying) article going around earlier this week so here’s Runner’s World to help allay those fears

We are also seeing a lot of discussion around face masks right now. Here in the UK they are not being recommended beyond frontline medical care (although there are some who challenge that), but that is not the case in all parts of the world. Here’s a bit of science around running and face masks.

We also got a new study from RunRepeat suggesting that exercise is UP 88% during the pandemic. I know that’s certainly true for me as my 4 day a week running routine has turned into a run streak of 25 days in a row and counting! What have been your experiences/observations of this?

Speaking of exercise, in our new normality it seems that online classes (and Zoom in particular) is the way to go. I’m used to doing pre-recorded yoga videos at home, but taking live classes via computer has been new to many, as noted by Leah Prinzivalli writing for Outside.

Moving away from Covid-19, I’ve got a couple of things to share that I saved before all this began.

If you’re looking for a longer read then here’s a fairly horrifying look at what happens to our discarded trainers. I do find myself wondering if this is the kind of thing we may start to see changing in a post-pandemic world.

On the other hand, there are some things we just never seem to throw away. I have all my race finisher T-shirts and I know I have some “vintage” tech stashed away too. Which of these resonate with you?

And finally, a little satire to round things off. Mind you, some of this doesn’t feel too far from the truth right now if some of my recent food shopping expeditions (for that is what I call them) are anything to go by!

Stay safe. Be kind. Wash your hands.
The Running Princess

Friday Finds – 14th February

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

Happy Friday and Happy Valentine’s Day. Are you marking the occasion in any way? I’ve had a lovely day full of the things I love and now I’m here with a bit of reading material for you, my lovely readers.

Let’s start with an interesting bit of research. This one is US-based, but I feel like the situation in the UK may not be too different – spending lots on health and fitness yet actually scoring quite low in overall measurements for health and wellbeing. What are your impressions of this

I also enjoyed this piece, also published in Outside, about setting ambitious goals. Last week I shared the piece by Lindsay Crouse which inspired the below article, however the part of Martin Fritz Huber’s piece that jumped out to me was the part that said, “it’s tempting to convince yourself that achieving an ambitious time goal will help you unlock your potential in other areas.” What do you think? What experience do you have of transferring success in running to success in other parts of your life?

Next up, sleep. At this time of year I tend to feel pretty tired and I’m trying to focus on making sure I get plenty of quality sleep. I know that quality sleep will make me feel better and run better, so it was good to find the proof, as it were, in this article. Now who’s going to tuck me in?

Now one for the doughnut lovers – the Krispy Kreme Challenge. Now I’ll admit to a fondness for the original glazed, but I’m not sure I have the stomach for this particular escapade! Would you do it?

And finally, a little running shoe humour to round off the week. Something to think about the next time you get a new pair of running shoes!

Happy reading,
The Running Princess

Friday Finds – 7th February

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

Hello and happy Friday! I do hope you’ve had a great week. It’s going to be a busy month for me so I’m just getting my head down and crossing all the things off my to-do list, but I’ve still gathered up some interesting bits and pieces to share with you today.

Of course Nike is never far from the sporting headlines these days, but having devoted quite a lot of Friday space to *those* shoes, this time I have something a little different. Olympian Nick Symmonds (you might remember this video where he tried to run a mile at Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-2 hour marathon pace) set himself the challenge of trying to get back under a 4 minute mile…wearing The Shoes. The results perhaps go some way to showing us the difference they can make to performance

Meanwhile at the other end of the distance spectrum, I’ve been reading about Don Muchow who set off last weekend on a transcontinental running adventure taking him from Mouse to Mouse. That’s right: Disneyland in California to Walt Disney World in Florida. Aside from his plans to ride “It’s A Small World” when he arrives in WDW, that’s my kind of challenge!

I’ve been following the awful stories around the coronavirus outbreak in China and the steps being taken to try and prevent its further spread, however I hadn’t considered the situation from a runner’s perspective. Unable to get outside to train, it seems that many tenacious runners are passing the time at home by completing ‘home marathons’. I have to say, the comment from one such runner that, “the joy…is not the same as road running,” seems somewhat of an understatement when describing laps of the living room, but you have to admire the indomitable spirit of those who are doing whatever it takes to keep up their training.

On a more uplifting note, I enjoyed this piece by Lindsay Crouse for The New York Times looking at the real surge in performance from American female runners right now. The change in a relatively short space of time is fantastic and just goes to show us all that even as we age, it is still possible for us to have breakout performances.

Speaking of which, did you catch the news that a new female parkrun record has been set? Charlotte Arter lowered her own existing record time by one second last Saturday. I love seeing stories like this!

And finally, we all know I’m a sucker for an animal story – especially cats – but I never expected to be including an interview with a cat in one of these posts! It seems that Shelby Houlihan, who trains with the Bowerman track club, missed her cat so much when away at training camp that she now brings him along with her. I love it!

Happy reading,
The Running Princess

Friday Finds – 31st January

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

What a week! Just when I thought everything was feeling settled, life found a way of throwing in a few curve balls! But we’re not here to talk about that, we’re here to catch up on more of the articles I’ve been saving to share with you this month…

Let’s start with Nike. Barely a day goes by right now without further discussion and speculation surrounding *those* shoes, so here’s a selection of some of the articles I’ve seen in the last few days

Culminating today with the much-anticipated announcement from World Athletics about regulating the shoes. Thoughts?

Another perennial hot topic in running is the issue of running form. While I might not buy into the traditional classification of runners into having foot “types”, I do still believe that there will be an optimal form for each individual runner. A form that will make them most economical and least likely to pick up injuries, yet probably be different to what is optimal for someone else. But what does science say? If only there was a columnist who like to delve into such things 😂

One thing we might use when we are considering our form/fitness/efficiency as a runner is the data available to us, but with so many variables to consider, what is of greatest use to us? This piece from Podium Runner delves into the details

Which brings me to arguably the most popular source for running data analysis: Strava! Here you can learn more about how the platform became what we know today:

And finally, January may (finally) be at an end, but what of those resolutions so boldly set at the beginning of the month? Those who made sweeping changes have probably faltered already, so here’s a comedic look at the whole ‘New Year, New You’ notion from Brendan Leonard:

Happy reading,
The Running Princess