Three down, 137 to go

I’m three days into my marathon plan and so have done the first three runs. The first two days were three-milers, which did not feel like the difficult step up I feared they might after rarely doing more than a mile per day for the last few months: they were both nice trips out with one of my favourite podcasts on the go. Unfortunately, they were also both achingly slow (like, the pace I used to stagger round with the tailwalker at parkrun when I was at my heaviest more than five years ago). They didn’t feel slow (or no slower than usual: I was just doing my standard easy plod) so I’m a bit worried. Maybe all the treadmilling over the last couple of months has slowed me down. I’m hoping that a bit of speedwork will help, but there’s none of that on the plan until next Wednesday.

Today was a rest day (there’s an extra one on the plan in week one), which for me is a mile run to keep my run streak going. I was tempted to throw in some strides to test the speed, but I resisted. Rest day miles are not about speed.

I’ve got a four-miler tomorrow (Thursdays are long run days but it’s not super long for the first few weeks), which I’m already looking forward to as I’ve plotted out a nice route. Really crossing everything that the weather will be better for parkrun this week as well.

Trying to be a bit more disciplined

(I’ll get back to the ice cream posts… sometime soon.)

I realised over Christmas that the first couple of months of 2022 were going to be a bit hectic with all the stuff I needed to do. As such, post-holiday I’ve got back into a strict weekday routine – running/housework/work/studying/life admin/downtime – with strict hours set for each so that nothing gets neglected. It feels a bit ‘go go go’ and so I’m sort of worried I’ll end up letting things slide (as usually happens), but I just have to keep remembering that it’s only for a couple of months. I’ll try and have a break after TechUP ends in February.

Adventures in Coding: A Brief Update

Since I finished making my last game in November, I have been doing zero game creation, but that’s because I’ve been really busy learning all about software development on the TechUP course. We’re now into the final stages and are starting work on a group project, which is fairly challenging as it’s a bit ‘in at the deep end’, but hopefully we’ll have a good output at the end of it. I’ve got lots of modules to catch up with at the same time, so it’s going to be a bit manic from now until mid-February!

Post-TechUP I have lots and lots of plans though. In addition to getting back to my regularly scheduled game creation, I will be continuing my Python learning in a more hobbyist fashion, as Geth got me lots of Python game coding books for Christmas and I got some great Python manuals from Mum and Dad as well (mostly Dad… I think Mum may have done the wrapping). I also want to learn a bit of HTML, CSS and JavaScript as I have plans to make some fairly complex websites over the summer – one will be a client-facing website for my business (one of the two key ambitions I had for utilising what I’ve learnt on the course*), while the other will be a fun interactive map for my phone box photo collection.

Lots to look forward to, but I need to knuckle down and finish the course first. It can feel a bit overwhelming sometimes but I have learnt a lot.

*The other ambition is to change careers into something more tech-focused. Eventually!

Marathon training: planned

I wrote out my marathon training plan yesterday. 20 weeks, leading up to Edinburgh Marathon on the 29th of May. I based it on this one, but swapped a lot of the days around to fit in with my life schedule and with the half marathon I’ll be doing in March. I start the plan tomorrow.

It’ll be a pretty big step up from the ‘mile-ish a day plus parkrun most weeks’ that I’ve been doing for the last three months since the London Marathon, but there won’t be anything super long on the plan for several weeks so I’ve got a bit of time to ease back into it.

I’m very excited! This excitement may be tempered in a few days’ time.

Unexpectedly inside

No parkrun this morning 🙁 All my local ones were off due to ice and I didn’t have time to get to the slightly-further-afield ones that were on. Disappointed as I was really looking forward to it this weekend. I went on the treadmill instead and watched a ‘virtual run around Disneyland Florida’ video so that I could pretend it was summer.

Summer on TV
Nice to visit an imaginary world when summer feels very far away.

Planning to get all the boring weekend stuff done today so that I can do the fun stuff tomorrow.

A proper weekend again

First work-ish week of the year done (I’m not back at work till next week but I have been back on my course and there’s been a lot to do so it’s felt like a normal work week in many ways) and so Friday night is appreciated once more. I’ll be back at my home parkrun tomorrow for the first time in ages and spending some time over the weekend setting out my marathon training plan for starting on Monday. In fact I’ve got a bit of a list of stuff to do in general over the weekend but we’ll see how much of it gets done, because I do need a quiet one before work starts in earnest.

The Christmas decorations came down yesterday, which has highlighted a few things that I feel look slightly ‘wrong’ in the house, so I may be doing some furniture moving soon as well.

No picture today (because I’ve decided that I will no longer post random just-taken pictures of whatever’s currently on my side table if I haven’t happened to photograph anything interesting during the week) and no earworm playlist either, because that will be going private and possibly returned to for statistical purposes in the future.

Phone Box Thursday: My Own Personal Phone Box

…and it has a phone inside!

I’ve never had a phone case before but Mum and Dad got me a couple for Christmas. One is a plain clear plastic case that is useful for when I need to take my phone out running. The other is this lovely phone box case, which I’ve been clutching ever since Christmas Day!

Red phone box case
Red phone box case. Quite possibly my favourite Christmas present, and I got some good ones this year!

Another phone box related Christmas gift to discuss next week.

Life without alcohol: three years sober

Three years in, I have settled into sobriety a lot more. I no longer read books about it or do much frequenting of the support communities I used to follow online. It’s been a long time since I had nightmares about accidental drinking. I know what all my go-to booze alternatives are on the rare occasion I find myself in drinking establishments, and in celebratory circumstances (I had a lot of Nosecco and similar over Christmas but I usually prefer to stick to Fanta Zero in the evenings).

I have learnt to handle stress without drinking, although there have been times recently where I feel my mental health is being impacted by the lack of an ‘off switch’ and I am still trying to work out what the replacement ‘off switch’ could be. I am mostly able to look at alcohol and think ‘I don’t have that’ (similarly to not eating meat), rather than ‘I wish I could…’. On the whole, I do not think I am at high risk of drinking again, though of course I know I can’t be complacent about it.

Importantly, I don’t want to drink again. I am, thankfully, starting to forget what it felt like to be in a near-constant state of cumulative hangover, but I know my life is much better now. There’s no reason to go back.

(No picture today. I have run out of ‘thoughtful scenery pictures to illustrate blog posts about sobriety’.)