Back on it all!

There’s nothing like spending a week visiting your Dad in a cardiothoracic ward, to make you realise that you’re really fit and healthy and you should be very grateful for everything you have. That’s what I spent last week doing, and it was a real eye opener.

In Aberdeen Royal a Infirmary, seeing and speaking to my Dad and guys on the ward who had been through what is maybe one of the biggest operations anyone can go through – a triple bypass. I’m glad to say my Dad is now home and in the process of recovery.

Last week, as well as being there for my Dad and step mum, I took some time into get back into my training. I drove my step mum to the hospital, chatted to my Dad and spent time with him / them, and around that I read, slept, cooked a bit, ran, did strength training / HIIT, and not much else.

It was hard at the start (after having 2 weeks off training on holiday), a week or so of running and being out of breath or with my heart rate up high. Yuk. And doing 25 min HIIT sessions to get me into the way of it again. Nasty hard horrible. But it was worth it.

On Monday I was back at work after 3 weeks off and I was surprisingly relaxed about it all. 300 or so emails got cleared easily, and I decided it was about time I started to take my lunch away from my desk (soup upstairs) and leaving on time.

In June I worked around an extra 2.5 days in total across the month (a couple of hours most days), so I was keen to break that bad habit. As well as making time for all of my planned workouts, and getting enough sleep.

My holiday, and coming back to see my Dad go through his op, has opened my eyes and reminded me that life is short and I can make mine be whatever I want it to be. It’s reminded me that I want to be healthy, happy and fit. And I can do this.

Here were my goals I’d set myself after my holiday:

– Do miracle mornings (MM) each morning (time out to myself before exercising) to help me get up and do my training.

– Take lunch at work (at least 30 mins) and leave on time each day.

– Get good sleeps in, so I can get up at 6am or before for MM. (Putting phone / gadgets away by around 8pm to help wind down).

– Achieve my steps goal each day (10,000+) which increases each time I achieve it.

– Do my planned training as below:
Mon: 4M run / KB Strength
Tue: 5M run
Wed: HIIT Strength / Walk
Thu: 6M run
Fri: 5k Friday + HIIT Strength
Sat: 12M run
Sun: Rest

Last week, seeing my Dad like that, and the other patients, slowly building up their recovery to do small walks, really made me appreciate how lucky I am to be able to walk and run like I do. I should really stop making excuses up to stop me achieving my goals (of being healthy, happy and fit).

Many of them were twice my age, or just below, and it seemed they had been fit and healthy. But now they’d had been through having their chests opened and their hearts stopped to replace some bits. And they were on the mend. Modern medicine and bodies really are amazing! It was good to see it all working.

So last week when I was home, I did it, I got back on it. And I even did a bit more training than I had planned. A little further running on the Monday (4.1M) and Thursday (8.5M), my fastest 5k for a while, and an extra 10 minutes of weights on the Wednesday.

As you can see, I’ve only missed 4 days out of the last 28 for my steps goal. A lot of walking, and running in the last two weeks. The days I didn’t meet target I was travelling / resting. I’m averaging almost 15,000 steps a day – so pretty active!

I wasn’t going to meet my steps goal on Wednesday as I hadn’t been a run, so I went a walk around the block in the evening to get it. Maybe a bit sad, but it motivated me to move when I otherwise wouldn’t have.

I took advantage of exercising outside when I could, and did two of my strength sessions outside. The one on Friday was a little in the rain, but it was nice after the fast 5k.

I wasn’t too sore after the strength / HIIT sessions either. My glutes felt it a bit, but I wasn’t doing my usual mistake of lifting too much too soon.

I’ll do bodyweight strength / HIIT for a few weeks to a month and slowly introduce weighted strength as I go. That’s what going to the gym to do it is good for.

Work went well too. I took my lunch away from my desk each day, and focussed on being really productive when I was at my desk. With a pomodoro timer, 25 minutes of focussed work, followed by a 5 min break. Repeated. I caught up and got a bit ahead with things.

I had a to do list and reviewed / rewrote it at the end of the day for the next day. Simple. And I left on time FIVE days in a row (2 mins early on Friday!) And I found time in work to call my Dad and have a good wee chat with him now he’s home.

So I was home by 5:15pm each day. Maybe an hour earlier than I used to. That early home time led to me winding down earlier and getting to sleep fine.

My alarm was set for 6:10, and another at 6:15, but towards the end of the week I was waking up automatically at 5:45, like I was ready to start my day early. It’s been good.

On Friday morning, I was a little tired and my mind was trying to come up with excuses not to run, or do my planned HIIT, not to get up early. It was raining, I couldn’t be bothered… etc etc…

…but that’s why it’s just a 5k on a Friday and a 25 min HIIT session. It’s hard to make up an excuse not to do one of them – just 25 minutes?! I ask myself, then I tell myself, just get it done!

I was up and out of my bed just before 6am, doing my ‘miracle morning’, then I decided I’d beast a 5k out and managed to make myself do the simple 25 min HIIT session above.

Saturday was my long run, 12 miles for me, 10 of which were with Fit Girl. We started just after half 7, to get it out of the way. When we started I could see of far enough, but we soon got into it fine. Nice and easy.

My heart rate was ticking along around 130-140 and I felt good. It felt nice and steady. The through 4 parks – Festival, Bella, Pollok and Maxwell, which got us up to 10 miles and back to home, then I went on my own for 2.1 miles, pushing it a bit. I averaged 140 HR, max 160.

We did around 9:30 min miles together, then an 8:30 and an 8:07 min mile (HR around 155-160)… It all felt good and I felt really accomplished for doing everything I’d set out to do this week. 🙂 my cadence was a bit lower than I’d wanted, but I can work on that (180+).

After our run, I treated myself to a new bracelet (I’ll tell you more about it and my idea for it later) and I had a warm steak salad in Shawlands. I have a well earned rest day tomorrow which will involve some fun stuff, sleeping and eating well.

I hope next week is as good as this week has been. 🙂

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