Sunday – Although my rest day with it being so beautiful and warm, we were keen to get out and about. After a lie in and late breakfast we donned walking shoes and set off. It took less than 5minutes for my body to start to protest…there was literally no gas in the tank, the train was still at the station…I slowly walked up the hill and felt breathless at the top.

It wasn’t long before I had to admit defeat, my fiancé going on ahead and me turning back. My body argued that I’d done enough the day before and it was Sunday…I should be putting my feet up! I turned and headed downhill to home, collecting a cap full of blackberries as I went.

I got home first but not my much, my other half having also been foraging while out came home with the biggest puffball mushroom I’d ever seen!

We spent the rest of the day relaxing, I did a little yoga and then set to on cooking dinner…day one of mushroom eating.

Monday – After a really warm night, but thankfully a deep peaceful sleep, I was met with a very misty morning for my recovery run.

The air was fresh but the wind muggy warm…I had the sense to leave my running cap at home and take water with me, within the first kilometre I was pleased of both decisions. I managed to keep my heart rate low, but did bring my cadence up slightly as my calves felt tight. I had a great hour completely alone, none of the usual Monday dog walkers in sight.

Once home I’m not sorry to say I had breakfast, a shower…and then went back to bed. It was mid-morning before we got up but due to changing plans we’d no rush for anything. We had a relaxing day of pottering, moving things around yet again in the garden and keeping out of the sun as much as possible…oh and eating as much mushroom as we could manage!

Tuesday – With it being my cut back week I set the alarm a little later, and gave myself an extra half an hour of sleep…thankfully sleeping straight through to it going off.
I was conscious of not doing too much and wearing myself out, so did a 20minute HIIT session and then 40minutes of Yoga To Wake Up The Body. My legs felt tight and there was an odd grumble in my left glute and lower back…my sciatic nerve letting me know it’s there but thankfully not causing pain. It’s become a routine showing in my cut back weeks – something I do in the week, maybe even two, beforehand is triggering it to tighten but I can’t exactly put my finger on what. The aim is to keep everything loose!
I spent the morning arranging hospital appointments, trying to move my sports massage, looking at things to do as I have a few days off coming up. I also started to think about my blog…the form it will take as work becomes me of the focus during the day and my hours slowly start to rise towards the new year. I’m working on my training plan for next years Manchester Marathon and felt comfortable with starting to think over my midweek run requirements – that and looking at my running breaks. There will be one enforced by the Loch Ness Marathon, but, there will also be another purely based on my bodies need which I’m scheduling in. Breaks are after all as necessary as rest days and I could not emphasise that enough!

Wednesday – We had really heavy rain before bed and again overnight but I got up to a dry humid morning. With it being my cut back week, plus anxious about the sciatic nerve twinge from Tuesday, my 8K run was done easy and at lower heart rate. I felt I had to really concentrate, convinced I could feel my heart beat quicken every now and then. I was nearly back when a poor lady pulled up at the traffic lights in obvious distress…she had a massive spider making it’s way along her handbrake and getting ever near her. For the record I hate spiders but my reaction wasn’t “sorry love no can do” instead I pulled her passenger door open as she put her hazard lights on, took off my running cap and tried to get the spider to go into it – no joy! It dropped under her seat but there was no way it could stay there. I wear fingerless gym gloves to run in (I fell one morning and skinned both palms – I’ve never known pain like it save my surgery, needless to say I bought the gloves a matter of days later and always wear them to run in!) I couldn’t stand to touch the spider so pulled my glove down enough to grab it and throw it onto the roadside! It quickly ran off, she thanked me profusely and around 10minutes later the realisation of what I’d done kicked in and I had to check my glove…just incase it had magically returned!
I’d the day booked as annual leave and had a few things in mind for what I fancied doing. In the end I settled on going to Kedleston Hall, I’m a National Trust Member and so it was a free day out apart from petrol and lunch.

The drive wasn’t too bad but I had a nap before I went in, then booked onto a tour of the house that was due before lunchtime. They have two tours late morning before the Hall opens, it’s a fantastic idea and gives you insights you wouldn’t otherwise get, plus quiet time to ask questions and listen properly to what’s being said.

I had a wonderful half an hour then went and slowly strolled the short walk around the Estate before another nap and lunch.

I went back into the Hall after I’d eaten as the tour only covers a few rooms and it’s been years since I was there. I contemplated going into the church, however I’ve the longer walks around the Park to do at some point and so between them I have another reason to go back.
Driving home was exhausting and I was pleased to get back, put my feet up and rest.

Thursday – I left the house under a red sky which turned into a beautiful sunrise.

Thanks to another misty morning the local spiders webs hung like bejewelled pieces of art.

My 6.5K run was done at a slow easy recovery pace just as with Monday and Wednesday. There was no tightness in my legs and I was able to pace faster, while still maintaining zone 2-3 heart rate throughout my run.
I spent the morning looking over my training again – filling in my plan with my midweek runs, long runs, recovery sessions and my running breaks. It felt great to finish getting it all set out so that post Loch Ness in 5 weeks I still have a focus to keep me disciplined and motivated.
I felt unshakably blue all morning, really close to tears! Yoga before lunch helped a little and made me feel peaceful – plus I nearly managed crow which was a massive achievement, although I probably bruised the backs of my upper arms.
Work has difficult, I felt emotionally wrung out and it was really busy so mental fatigue crept in quickly, plus – a colleague I hadn’t seen since before I went off sick asked if I was okay now. I told him I hoped so, he said “well shouldn’t we try to be positive”. I wanted to say, I am being but I’m also very aware of life’s reality and I’m awaiting test results…but I didn’t. I went home and ended the night on a Scotch – it’s not a healthy crutch, wasn’t a wise decision but I really didn’t care…it stopped me crying a river.

Friday – I had great plans for getting up early, doing my workouts and then driving towards Chatsworth Park to watch the hot air balloons take off to open the Country Fair. Thanks to having a restless nights sleep I reset my alarm at 4am to give me a little lie in instead. I got up to a very windy morning, knowing that would effect their taking off I didn’t feel as bad about missing the event – it was one of my favourite moments from going last year.
I did a little Yoga To Wake up so that I’d stretched everything out well, then my half an hour of upper body strength training before 40mins more yoga.
As with all my cut back weeks, and Fridays in general, staying off my feet and taking things easy was a must….but there were blackberries to be picked!

Thankfully I didn’t have to go far to find some really big, juicy, sweet berries. Greed meant that I wandered a little further – and nettled both right knee and forearm severely. It was worth it however and given the date marked my Aunt and Godfathers 50th Wedding Anniversary, I put together a chocolate cake on my return to eat with the berries for dessert that evening.

Work flowed better, quickly but not quietly…if you want to see all hands in controlled chaos you need to be a fly on the wall of an accounts office when the books don’t balance half an hour before home time at month end!
Once back planning for Saturday took over…fuel, hydration vest packing and route planning.

Saturday – It was oddly dark when I got up, there really is a noticeable difference now to just a few weeks ago!
I needed to set off a little earlier, due to commitments later in the day, but thankfully my weight was where I wanted and I knew I’d hydrated enough…it was fine therefore to have only porridge before my 19.5K run.

The first 5K was hard work and the last 4K the same…in the middle I hit a lovely pace and felt comfortable.

The only issue being niggles in my right leg on and off….although never in the same place twice – how much was psychological, the knowing it was the end of my cut back week and my marathon only just over a month away!? Whatever it was I decided to keep an eye on things as the day went on, ready to evaluate how next weeks training should be done.
We had most of our day with my future inlaws, I hadn’t seen them since just before I was diagnosed and, yes the journey was long, but it was so good to see them and have quality time together.
On getting home I had a letter on the mat from the hospital – my MRI results at long last.

Aslong as radiotherapy are happy late September and Oncology in mid-November, I shouldn’t need another MRI scan until the start of August next year. I can honestly say it felt like a weight had been lifted, it finally feels like we can breath a little easier again.

Sunday – I’ve gotten up to no niggling aches or discomfort but will take the day steady. We have no plans other then just to relax and recharge our batteries a little before the week ahead.

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