Sunday – It felt a little sad knowing it was our last lie in…but also nice to know that normality and routine would soon be back.
We had a lovely relaxed day, reading, watching films and doing a bit of baking…

a thank you to a friend.

Monday – A dark but lovely start to the morning for my first run of the week.

I’m reversing my taper to aide my recovery, but also to get myself back into training mode…this helps both body and brain. I stuck to zone 2-3 heart rate over my full 5K run, felt comfortable and had no discomfort at any point, plus I finished feeling like I could have kept going…a big difference from Saturday.

Once back, given my run had been shorter and so I had the time, I did 20minutes yoga before getting ready and massaging my legs. I knew that I was due at the physio on Tuesday morning, but also that she would mainly just look at my back and hips.
The few hours before I left for work felt odd, I was eager to get there…I missed it and the company, but once at my desk I felt like a rabbit in the headlights…unsure, wary, hesitant. Things flowed but slowly and I was pleased when 5pm came round.
I had an evening meal booked with a friend, a great surprise then to find a couple more of our friends had joined us…it kicked of my birthday celebrations nicely and we had a wonderful evening.

Tuesday – One early start to the day! Not because of running either…because I couldn’t get back to sleep. I’ve noticed more and more that the insomnia like symptoms I used to have around the time of my hormone injection, is now delayed a little…it was 4.10am when I woke bold awake. In the end I took to our sofa to see if that would help, but at 5.30am I gave in!
As part of my reverse taper I’d planned to just do an upper body training session, however I was feeling good afterwards and so found a 20minute full body HIIT workout. Sweaty and tired I knew my yoga practice needed to be gentle, so I was pleased to find a guided meditation session. A wonderful friend had sent me a link for a meditation app but I’ve struggled to do it. However, 15minutes with Adrienne made me feel like I’d slept an extra hour…or dare I say even two!
The weather was miserable and part of me had fancied walking all the way to my morning physio check up, however given what I’d done so far and the lack of sleep, I knew that wasn’t a great plan.
The physio was happy with how my back and hips are doing, but has given me another back release exercise – literally laid on my foam roller with it in my mid-back and arms in yoga moon pose. She also confirmed that given the intensity of what I do and training, that my body is in pretty good shape. It felt such a relief to know that the marathon hadn’t caused any extra issues. I’ll be seeing her again in four weeks but until then she’s once again happy for me to finish this recovery week, then slowly start to build my training back up.
I got back in the car and realised it needed fuel so instead of going home I popped to Hathersage. Once all sorted I parked up and used my free coffee stamp card in Colemans Deli, taking time out for me and to people watch.

Work passed quickly but I noticed the tightness in my back where the physio had massaged everything. As soon as I was home I did my new back release exercise, 5minutes later I felt incredibly different and cooked tea discomfort free.

Wednesday – Oh what a rainy start and soooo muggy with it! It was great to be out and running again and my legs felt fine…no discomfort at all at any time, so I was on cloud nine. Between the joy at having no aches or pains, enjoying the rain on my face and running through a few errands in my head that I needed to sort out after getting back, I couldn’t keep my heart rate down at all. I was in anaerobic zone and even stopping still for a minute or two barely dropped it…so I gave in and just decided to pace slow, find my flow and relax. It felt like a really good run and I had chance of a few minutes walk before getting back home too.
Once in and wet things off I realised that given I’d been wearing my waterproof jacket, and how soggy on the inside it was, that that wouldn’t have helped my heart rate…I was cooking inside it! It was a relief to get it off, but I’d never felt too hot during my run.
I grabbed my yoga mat and did a 20minute practice before getting ready for the day ahead.
I felt tired after breakfast and the old part of me that knew how much my chemo fatigue was helped by a walk, kicked in. I only went a mile down the road and back again but felt refreshed. I did sit on the sofa and read before work but had a lot more mental focus.
We celebrated the leaving of a colleague as we worked, chatting and cheesecake between accounts made the afternoon pass quickly and kept us all motivated and bubbly. We left to the best part of the day, the sun beating down on the cars. I got home and thought about going for a walk but was also still a little tired. I sat and did more on an art project before dinner, and made the decision to pack my things for a trail run at the National Trust Longshaw Estate the next morning.

Thursday – I was pleased of the decision I’d made the evening before, I’d had a good nights sleep and a lovely little lie in. The sun was just beginning to get up as I had breakfast and by the time I did my days yoga practice half an hour later, the sky was a wash of pink. My yoga practice was Yoga For A Healthy Body, very breath focused and just what I needed before going out.
What I hadn’t expected was an icy car…the first day of a proper Autumn nip and the result of Jack Frost sweeping through.
The light in the Valley as I drove was beautiful, I was pleased of my gloves when I arrived at Longshaw and set off.

I decided to ignore my watch and just go for a soul run. I was faster and pushed myself and my heart rate, but I had a great time. It felt so freeing to jump about along the trail, weave the pathway through the trees and meander along the upper track.

My left quad moaned a little afterwards but otherwise there were no negatives at all. I got back to the car and grabbed an extra layer, a different pair of trainers and my rucksack then set off in a different direction.

I walked a lovely 1.7mile trail around the Estate past the river…

stopping to take time on a sun drenched rock to enjoy my flask of coffee before setting off again.

With numb fingers and a cold nose I headed into the cafe for a hot chocolate before making the journey home. It felt like moments before I was heading out of the door again, but I had a good and productive afternoon at work. I share my birthday with the colleague who sits next to me, he was on leave the Friday so we celebrated a day early with cake made by his Mum…beautifully light, chocolate covered and delicious!

Friday – My birthday and also Wear It Pink Day with Breast Cancer Now.

Due to my training plan I had a non running birthday, instead doing 40minutes of bodyweight training, a short 10minute arm workout with weights, then Yoga For Rebirth. Grounded and focused ready for the day I had my favourite things with breakfast…peanut butter and banana over porridge, opened a few cards and chatted to my folks for half an hour.
I worked the morning…the first time I’ve ever worked on my birthday and actually it was such a pleasure to be with everyone. That bit of company has more often than not been missing on my birthday until later in a day – I tend to go off and do something that I want to do, then celebrate with others later. It was lovely to do things differently and have time with my work family…although I did raise a few eyebrows with my pink attire! I’d made sure I’d donned as much pink as possible, and just as I left I donated my £36 to the Breast Cancer Now charity…a pound for each year of my life.

Lunchtime was spent with friends who surprised me with not only a tea room full of people all singing to me, but then with a gorgeous cake too. We had a great time before I came home, popped some champagne and opened my presents with my fiance.

Saturday – A dark start but with only an hour and a halfs run ahead I knew there didn’t need to be a delay for breakfast. My aim was to run slow for the first 45minutes and hopefully get to 5K, then see how I felt and have a soul run for the last 45minutes…ideally taking me to 10K.
I did a slight warm up but noticed I was in my aerobic zone by the end of my first kilometre, so decided I needed to stay there and just pace well. It worked and as my watch buzzed at half time I was steps away from my 5K target.

I upped my pace slightly, but not too much, keeping things steady and easy so that I didn’t feel breathless. Yes it pushed me into the anaerobic zone, but looking at my data post run I was only just into it – apart from one or two areas where I’d had more incline.
I got back home feeling really good and set up for the day. My left abductor was tense but hadn’t been sore as I ran and afterwards it felt only as it had done earlier. I took my time over an icy cold bath however so that if there was any inflammation in it, then it would be eased more.

I spent most of the rest of the day with my parents and Stanley. They’d driven over to help celebrate my birthday and to stay locally for a few days. We had lunch and birthday cake before heading off for a walk near the lower dam wall to watch the plug overflowing. The noise of the water was impressive alone, but the views thanks to a clear day, were breathtaking. You can really see the Autumn colour in the trees now.

I sent them off late afternoon to find their hotel in Buxton while I did a few jobs and got changed. Then headed out to pick them up for a meal at Simply Thai. It was absolutely delicious and finished the day wonderfully.

Sunday – Although my rest day I have a family day out ahead and a few little adventures planned! Next week my training will start properly again and become once more very focused. The ‘off season’ is slowly starting in the running calendar as nights draw in and Winter takes hold – but I’ve more races over the coming months and a body I need to strengthen more.

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