I am a running teacher

Tonight’s parents evening was not without event, but I knew that would be the case. I’m a Computer Science teacher, also teaching ICT to year groups 5-12. The school has never had a qualified Computer Science or ICT teacher before, so I knew when I joined I would be playing catchup for a while, particularly with my GCSE classes. Until I began my job I did not realise that no exam content or coursework had been covered at all last year and both I and my band of year elevens have been working our backsides off all year to try and rectify the past issues with the courses.
Anyway, a full day of teaching, then parents evening running into my trail running time did not make for a very calm Mary tonight!
I’m not a big drinker but I did reach for a glass when I got in tonight just before 8pm.

And I’m afraid my planned 90 minute trail run didn’t happen due to the over running parents evening making me miss the meet time so my *ahem* Janathon exercise for the day was a power walk to the shops to pick up some Wispa bites.

They were tasty and it’s not like I often buy chocolate but my walk down to the shops did make me feel a little bit sad for those people who are regularly ‘too busy’ to get into a fitness routine. My Wednesday night trail runs are normally the highlight of my working week and I find myself much more alive and productive by the time I return home. But tonight by the time I’d gotten home, told Dan about my day, eaten tea and walked to the shops and back I had no mental energy to do anything else. Even if the run had been arranged for after the parents evening I wouldn’t have been up for going. I’ve had my fair share of manual labour jobs-I used to work as a riding instructor for several years-but the intensity of teaching, delivering results and always being ‘on show’ to kids, staff and parents, always being alert and able to react to any given situation drains me more than anything else has ever done.
When I first started teaching I found it bizarre just how many teachers ran but now it makes perfect sense to me. Running is an escape. A chance to have a bit of fun with friends and forget all the heavy child protection issues, the detentions you still need to issue, the marking of homework hanging over your head. I have learnt to switch off when I reach home, my running normally forces me to do so but I can see how so many teachers go off on long term sick with stress related illnesses. You have so much responsibility for so many things at once and the constant pressure for your students to perform just adds to the stress. Out of interest I wonder how many of those teachers are runners. I strongly believe running and well, exercise generally should be prescribed as a treatment for lots of issues. Who can be unhappy after going for a run and seeing what your body is capable of accomplishing?!

Wisdom from Bridget Jones

You know those days when everything falls into place on your run and you just feel great?… Well today was one of those days!
I’ve spent the last day and a half waddling around with sudocream covering the sores on the top of my legs, fearing that I’d end up having to take more time off from running.  But tonight I spread some Vaseline over the raw bits and with my legs unable to rub whilst my pair of tights sat smoothly against my skin I was able to run without any discomfort at all.
My friend Hayley popped over before tea and we covered just under five miles running one of my favourite road routes. My legs were strong, my breathing spot on, the pace was just short of a tempo for me. It felt tough, – challenging but achievable and we could still grab conversation in patches on the way round. Just what I needed today!

Thanks for everyone’s comments about my CrossFit dilemma… Don’t panic, I won’t be trying anything at home on my own! I was very wary to begin with about getting injured without an instructor but people’s comments have permanently put me off. For now I’m going to attempt some strength training workout DVDs at home as a starting block and keep my eyes out for a CrossFit trial over the next couple of months.

The past two days Dan and I have been tidying, scrubbing, binning and reorganising ready for the estate agent to pay us a visit and evaluate our house which took place this morning. After 40 minutes (and some running chat after he spotted my running trainers in the porch, -turned out he was a runner too!) he gave us a much higher estimate than we had been hoping for.
We celebrated with high fives when he left cos that’s how we roll.

House Move

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.” (Bridget Jones)

Bridget Jones(source)

Dan stayed home to hear the valuation so was a little late heading into work this morning. No more than 45 minutes after he had left I got a call to say that he had been in a car accident. Thankfully nobody was seriously hurt. He had stopped for a red light. The woman behind, not concentrating swerved into the road to avoid hitting him and went straight into a lorry coming the other way which then pushed her car through the side of Dan’s. Police were called and drivers checked over but the damage was just to the vehicles and Dan is now driving a courtesy car until further notice. As he was quite shaken up, and without a working car he was sent home from work and spent the rest of the day trying to sort out the courtesy car or on the phone to the insurance company or worried workmates.
I’ve been in several crashes over my eleven years of driving but this was Dan’s first.

Just as you begin to think things are looking up, something comes and (quite literally) crashes you back down into reality…

My luck has run out!

So far, I haven’t been all that lucky with technology in 2014.
On Monday my phone broke. I think, beyond repair. When I head out trail running I often store my phone in the back pocket of my tights and last weekend it failed to operate for three hours afterwards. I figured it had gotten too hot and sweaty bouncing around there in my back pocket. On Monday when I visited my friend Amanda her dog leapt up to greet me, knocking my phone onto the floor and the touch screen has not worked since. I’m due an upgrade at the start of April so I had planned to wait until then rather than fork out a lot of money for a new phone this week.
Then this morning my laptop gave up on me. I woke up nice and early and headed downstairs to get a bit of work done only for my  laptop to tell me “cannot find operating system”. Again, I was rather calm, aware that I had only recently purchased my Nexus 7 and was still able to blog. (Clearly I’ve got my priorities right! Haha!) But on the drive to work I realised just how much I do actually rely on and an missing the technology.
I’m missing my morning phone calls to my Mum. Each morning I pop her on the car phone and we have a good old matter whilst I drive to work. She’s taken to emailing me over the past couple of days so we’re still able to contact each other but when i still had a phone we were able to chat while we were both doing other things.
I realised on my way to work that I had a redesign of a website for a client on my desktop which was due to go live on Monday of which I have no backup of. I also have business details that I spent hours and hours figuring out..Gah!
Some things are backed up on Google Drive such as our wedding guest list thankfully. The amount of times we’ve whittled that down to get our final number is unbelievable! I also always put my photos in an album on Facebook, so although I will no longer have full resolution copies I will still have copies of photos from the last few years.
Dan has been my saviour today and ordered a new screen for my phone (not entirely sure this will work still) and brought a machine home from his work tonight to try and at least collect as much as possible from my  laptop before giving up on it completely. I have my fingers crossed for that… :S
When I visited Mum at the start of the week she sent me home with some fresh bread, goat’s cheese and cherry tomatoes. These three items have produced some tasty sandwiches for me every day this week along with a nice big dollop of pesto and I have to say I’ve still not been starving hungry like I usually am by the time it comes to eating tea at 8pm!
This afternoon we put an offer in on the house we have been looking at and are now waiting to hear back from the sellers as to whether or not they will accept the offer. I put a shout out on Facebook last night for suggestions of tasty places to eat nearby to the property and so we ended up checking out one of the local Indian restaurants this evening for our date night.

Has anyone ever received a platter of chocolate and sweets along with a shot of Bailey’s when they paid the bill before? I’ve never gotten more than one sweet before but we had a whole platter of small mints that looked like gravel, tiny multi coloured liquorice sweets, an after eight each and an orange chocolate square along with a shot of Bailey’s!

Fridays are currently my running rest days so tonight I returned to my workout without a foot routine and Day 10 of Janathon went by without a complete rest day, still feeling motivated and strong. :-) I’ve asked if I can join some of the runners from group 6 for their 10 mile run tomorrow morning, and we’re leaving at 6:30am! It’ll be nice to run with someone different, I’m looking forward to it despite the early start.

Write This Run 2

Today was an exciting day…Today a little email popped into my inbox inviting me to sign up and attend Write This Run II!


If you love running (tick!) and you love blogging (tick!) and fancy meeting some like-minded people (tick!) then head on over to the Write This Run website and sign up for a place at their next conference based at The Running Show down in Sandown Park Exhibition Centre in Surrey in November.

IMG_7457Along with some fantastic motivational speakers and a superb goody bag (I can vouch for the bags in May!) is:

  • A pass to the Running Show on both Saturday and Sunday
  • Entry into the Running Show 10k race on the Sunday
  • An invite to the after-show get together!

I’ve heard places are going fast, so sign up soon before the places all disappear!  After meeting lots of fantastic speakers at the first event, I can’t wait to see who is coming to Event #2!

If you want to see what I thought of Write This Run #1, check out my blog review here

In other news I had a fantastic run yesterday!  One of those runs where you feel all smug and happy with yourself on return!  One of those runs where it got super tough but you stuck with it till the bitter end and you definitely deserved that piece of chocolate/bubble bath when you got home.  (I had both!)

It was a pretty simple run written into the plan…60 minute run to include 3x 10mins at threshold pace with 2min recovery jogs inbetween each rep.  After such an awful run at the weekend I wasn’t looking forward to this run at all and set out waiting for the pain in my glute or back to kick in.  When it hadn’t done so after 15 minutes I kicked off with the first threshold block.  I probably underestimated my pace for the first block, coming in at 9:20mm pacing.  It’s been a very long while since I completed a 10 minute block at threshold pace and wasn’t sure just what I could maintain without blowing up before the 10 minutes was up!  Round two…still no pain from any part of my body, so I pushed just a little faster.  Excellent.  Willing the 2min jog recovery to go quicker so I could see if I could push it a little more.  My last rep was sub 9mm.  Much slower than my 5k race pace, or at least much slower than my 5k race pace had been pre-injury and pre-ultra training, but I was basing my speed on feel and I felt like I was pushing just the right amount; ready to steady up for a recovery jog the second my watched ticked over to 10:00 for the final time.  I literally couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the way home and might have done a private air-pump as I came down the last road!

I love runs that go well and definitely must remember in the future that for every run that has gone badly, there’s a run to come that will make me feel so great I will forget the bad runs!