The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but building the new. – Socrates

Sunday – After a good bit of rest on Saturday and a nice lie in I did feel a bit brighter. However, I still felt tired…like I’d done an Ultra instead of a marathon 5wks ago. So often I say…rest is best, take time for you, listen to your body. It was another day to heed my own advice! I went as far as taking the bin out, putting a load of washing on and doing my daily yoga practice…but that was it. I merrily saw the rest of the day out by de-husking nuts during the Remembrance Sunday service from the Cenotaph…

then sleeping after lunch. Did I have itchy feet to do more…yes…did I pay attention to that…no! We really do need to start feeling less guilty about self care…I went to bed feeling rested and ready for the week.

Monday – Thanks to it being the start of my week off I didn’t spring out of bed with the alarm, but instead flowed through my pre-run routine. Warming up it occurred to me just how good everything felt from head to toe…I felt a little anxious, ill at ease, but then realised that was only because I could hear it raining AGAIN and I was concerned about flooded paths. I was right to be because yes parts were pretty soggy and water logged…in the dark (even with a headtorch on) you can’t tell until you’re practically in them, but most of the way was fine. It even stopped raining and gave me chance to watch the sun start to rise a little. My heart rate was a bit more aerobic zone 3 than 2, but I kept things between both all the way and came home feeling good.
A quick change and breakfast later and I headed for spin class. We had a great session, I made sure not to push myself too much but still ensure I worked hard while having fun.
I had lunch with my friend in Castleton and managed to get back to the car without getting soaked, a chance to take in the view of the Castle and enjoy being outside…

By the time I got home it was sleeting – something that thankfully had passed over by the time of my sports massage appointment!
I was expecting an ordeal of pain in my quads during my massage, thanks to my marathon and my last two races, so was pleasantly surprised when I had minimal discomfort. No issues were found and the advice was to keep on with all I do as my recovery strategies are definitely working.

Tuesday – My staycation meant that the week needed to be shuffled a little…giving me more play time on Wednesday meant Tuesday needed to be done gently.
I started the day with two different yoga sessions, but both focused upon giving my circulation a boost – Yoga For Blood Flow and Yoga Wash. I then grabbed my weights for half an hour of upper body strength training.
I was popping into Sheffield but decided that the bus was best and easiest…a chance to watch the world go by. I had my sponsorship forms and money to drop off at the Weston Park Charity Centre. The staff were lovely and wanted to hear about my marathon, and how I’d been doing since. It gave me a nice bit of down time before heading into the City and doing a little Christmas shopping – some for me aswell as others!
My 12.40 bus home was a no show, so I gave up on it just after 1pm and found really gorgeous lentil soup for lunch in the Winter Garden before heading back to the bus stop. Thankfully the 1.40pm was on time and traffic flowed well so I was home quickly. It was nice to get snuggled in, start to read a non-running book…

and then watch a film together after supper.

Wednesday – It felt oddly like a Saturday as I got up, had breakfast and warmed up ready for my run. It was my Aunts 75th birthday and a friend had turned 27 on Tuesday, so I combined things a little for a 27.5K circular run. Setting off I felt really good, but was sensible and the larger hills I power hiked up…

my body is still under the strain of recovery – beasting yourself or wearing yourself out too early in a long run are just silly mistakes. I took things gently and took my time, admired the views…

found lanes I’ve never run on, discovered more of the historical village of Eyam…

and found dramatic Autumn colour.

I had a great run…but the last 7K when on the road I knew, was hard work…plus I’d had issues with my water bladder throughout and got home feeling tired, headachy and sick – I was also bloated and knew straight away that I was dehydrated. I’d drank but had only managed sips of fluid instead of mouthfuls. Upon emptying my hydration vest there was a good two thirds left of what I should have drunk!
I made sure to slowly have an ice bath, drink my rego and then have some more water. It helped immensely and quickly – a good thing as I was booked to go to see at talk at the Nation Trust Longshaw Estate. The estate lodge was used as a hospital during the Great War! Thelma and Maureen gave a brilliant talk. We then got to enjoy tea and biscuits while looking over old books, memorabilia, newspapers and photographs. It was a great afternoon and I’m so pleased I had the time to go.

Thursday – I’d reset my alarm just before going to sleep, the extra hour was much needed and I knew how much good the rest would do me. I got up at 7am and instead of going straight out for my run I had breakfast, sat and watched the world wake up, read a chapter of my book and then did half an hour of yoga before lacing up my trainers and heading out.
It was a wet, windy, wild morning – running in the dark early morning your brain takes longer to realise the conditions, hate them and make you react. I could see the rain, feel the wind and it took a lot to get through that first kilometre. Coming into the nearby village I relaxed though, the houses blocking me from the weather, I did laps and let everything flow before heading out of the village and over the hill. In another bid to escape the driving rain I found a lane I’ve ran past but never explored…

water logged at the end it meant turning back but the colour in the trees was breathtaking.

As much as the weather had been against me I managed a mostly zone 3 aerobic run, even dropping to zone 2 now and then…I really think the pre-run yoga helped immensely.
Once home I felt cold quickly but a warm shower helped. I had no other plans for the day as we had our gas check booked for the afternoon. So I set to and wrapped all the Christmas presents I’ve already bought and wrote on my cards. It felt nice to be organised so early in November…to feel a little festive. The wind howled and the rain lashed against the windows, making me pleased I could keep cosy and content inside.

Friday – My alarm went off and for the first time all week I really wanted to stay in bed…but this was a day for Christmas fun and excitement! I had five more minutes and then got up, grabbing my mat for an hours Full Body Yoga and then half an hour of upper body weight training.
Once the house was tidy and I was ready, it was off to Chatsworth!
This time last year I was part way through chemo cycle two and aswell as feeling very poorly, my risk of infection was huge. It mean no Christmas shopping, markets, gatherings and most definitely no Chatsworth. Seeing the house decorated has been something of a yearly tradition since moving here. This year it was wonderful to be able to go with my friend and take in all of the atmosphere, feel the magic and start Christmas off properly.

We had just the best day, the Market wasn’t busy so we were able to look st everything, talk to stall holders and try tasty treats along the way. It was 5pm before we left, joining the snake of lights back out of the park.

Saturday – Thanks to my turned around week I took Saturday as my rest day…the biggest thing on the agenda was a lie in – interrupted slightly by the grocery shopping delivery.
It was another wet day but gave me chance to rest, read, find my habberdashery pieces to start planning my homemade wreath and so some yoga at leisure.

Sunday – Race day again and an early start to ensure I’ve had a good breakfast before we leave. Yes I’m only doing 5K – something I would usually run fasted. However, it’s not until 10am, I’ve just over an hours drive and a cold, rainy start awaiting…plus there is no “only” to any run and just because I can run a marathon, a 5K should not be underestimated…so good fuelling will hopefully give me the energy and warmth I need.

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