Finding the balance

I’m on week eight of the marathon training plan now, and the mileage is really starting to rack up. I’m thrilled with the fact that my limbs and joints seem to be coping really well with it this time round, and other than a bit of recovery aching I’ve had no issues with injuries or anything like that.

I’m less thrilled with the fact that the marathon training appetite has crept up on me in recent weeks! Since the start of the year I’ve been making a concerted effort to lose the pandemic weight and have been doing really well. Balancing weight loss efforts with the need to fuel my running properly is really difficult. I’m starting to feel overtired on some of my runs, so I know I need to eat a bit more than I am doing, even if it slows the weight loss down a bit.

I’m genuinely enjoying marathon training, but I am also looking forward to the summer when this balance will be a bit easier!


I’ve had a nice quiet weekend experimenting with Python stuff for fun hobby projects (mainly text adventure games, as that’s my chief interest usually). Lots to play with over the next few months, but I’ll be taking a brain break for a week or two after the TechUP presentation is done.

I do also want to get back to some videogaming, so I might do that during my break.

parkrunday: Jesmond Dene #47

First non-volunteer run at Jesmond Dene since… actually, I don’t remember! I tailwalked there last August, and ran after giving the first timers’ briefing in February 2020 just before the hiatus… but the last time I ran there without volunteering could well have been December 2019. It’s a tough course hence why it’s my usual parkrun for volunteering at!

However, as Geth is now volunteering there every week, I’ve decided to take the opportunity to spend a couple of months tackling the Dene’s hills again. Maybe I’m just doing more hills in general these days, but the course was actually really enjoyable and not as tough as I remembered.

Jesmond Dene parkrun
Forgot to take a post-parkrun selfie again so here’s an action shot from the event Facebook page. Photo by Jesmond Dene parkrun.

I also hadn’t realised how much I had missed that sprint finish during the last half mile down the hill. Makes all the earlier climbing worth it… sort of.

I’ll give it another go next week. Might push a bit harder during the early sections!

Endgame 1 of 2 complete

I finished the last of my TechUP coursework today! Just the group project presentation to go now. It’s next Wednesday, and after a first rehearsal with the team last night I’m feeling a lot more confident about it. Going to have my first mini-celebration this weekend though – the coursework is a big thing to get finished.

Now that I’m almost done with the course I’m allowing myself to read all the tech books that Geth got me for Christmas. I didn’t have time to lose myself in them before! First up is Make Your Own Python Text Adventure, which should be a fun little project for the next few days. The first of many post-TechUP Python projects, I hope 🙂

Stepping up and stepping down

I was awake early this morning, which is annoying, as it means the same thing probably won’t happen tomorrow – and I could do with being awake early tomorrow as Thursdays are long run days for me. Ten miles this week. I always feel a little bit anxious when stepping up the distance – which is daft when you step back and look at the big picture, as I ran a marathon in October, but I always have the slight fear that it’ll be a nightmare. Eight miles was absolutely fine last week, so I shouldn’t worry.

I’ve done the last few major TechUP assignments now and just have a few bits and pieces to finish off by Friday – plus the project presentation next Wednesday. After that I really will be done! It’s a step-down ‘rest’ week on the marathon training plan next week with an eight-miler on the Thursday morning, so once I’m back from that I will start an early weekend (work permitting) and celebrate properly.

The course wasn’t meant to last this long – we were meant to finish the first week of February but there have been various extensions and so on – and so I didn’t expect to be getting into the middle stages of marathon training while still studying. It’s fairly manageable though, especially as (whisper it) work has been quiet for the last couple of weeks. Still looking forward to having one less big thing to juggle.

Thinking about new things

It’s looking like I’ll be fully done with TechUP by the middle of next week (we just about have a project presentation date!) and so I’m finally letting myself think about non-course stuff. I’m going for a long walk with Geth on the day of the presentation so that I’m not worrying about it all day (and so that I can show him part of my marathon training route from last year), and I’m excited about doing some hobby stuff that isn’t running or mindless web browsing (the only two things I’ve had the spare brainpower for recently!).

Keen as I am to dive into a few hobby projects using my new skills from the course, I know I do need to give myself a proper break, so I’ll probably be playing videogames for a week or two if I can find the energy…

Not many milestones left!

I’ve still got TechUP stuff on the to-do list most days for this (possibly) final week, but the amount of things still to do is dwindling and I feel like I’ve got this, barring any nasty surprises! I should *crosses fingers* be done by Wednesday, which would give me Thursday and Friday as a final buffer… but we’ll see. Things may change when we know the timing of the project presentation as well.

I’m still working out what I want to do as a treat (or multiple treats) to myself once I’ve finished the course. There are lots of options, and hopefully I’ll have a better idea once my brain is a bit less foggy.

Preparing for the final week… possibly

My deadline (following a two-week extension that pretty much everyone on the course has… it’s been a tough few months) for finishing all my coursework is this coming Friday. However, we don’t know when our final presentation is for our group project, and I need to make sure I’ve watched all the recorded lectures/sessions… so I don’t know 100% whether I will be done with TechUP by the end of the week. I really hope I am. It’s been fun but I’m ready to do other things again.

I’ve managed to schedule in a bit of a break this afternoon before getting back to it tomorrow. It’s been a long week and my concentration is shot. Feels like there’s light at the end of the tunnel though!

parkrunday: Jesmond Dene #46

February is rushing by and today it was time for the monthly volunteering slot. Geth will be volunteering every week during his marathon training block, which for the next few weeks will give me an excuse to challenge myself on the hills of Jesmond Dene again. I’ve volunteered there a lot but haven’t run it properly since before the hiatus – so nearly two years ago now!

Jesmond Dene
Volunteering selfie looked the same as all my recent volunteering selfies, so here’s a picture of the Dene instead. It’s a world of fallen trees after all the recent storms!