This Week’s Goal + Training Log #6


What a week. I have worked non-stop (it seems) to finish a project and various other work bits and pieces before the school holidays. I finally got there on Friday, just before going to collect baby F at lunchtime.

I’ve found this week quite hard going, but it’s a great feeling to be finished (for now!). The kiddos finish school tomorrow (Tues) at 2pm. Baby F came down with a vomiting bug in the early hours of this morning so she is home with me today instead of at nursery (glad I got all that work done).

Current goal: Finish family photo albums, years 2010-2017

I managed 5.5 hours on my goal, and have finished photo book 2011 and started photo book 2010. Hurrah! However, I have felt quite reluctant to work on this project and miserable about how long it will take me. After working on the books for two weeks my mind is really wandering and thinking about all the other things I could be doing. This is normally when I would get distracted by something else, so I’ve made a point of reminding myself this week that I have committed to getting this stuff done.

Focusing on just one thing has made me very aware of how much I have going on at one time. I can see that I take on a frankly ridiculous number of things. No wonder why I never have enough time to do them all.

Training

It was a mixed week. I did quite a comfortable run on Monday, but Thursday’s run was probably my worst since I started. Legs like lead, so tired and heavy, and I got a stitch, which I rarely suffer from. Then on Saturday I was back on form with a PB at parkrun. This week I’ve got a 5km race on Wednesday evening and I am hoping to run a slow 12km at the weekend to increase my distance. My joints have been painful this last week, and I’ve lost a lot of sleep tending to baby F overnight so not sure how things will pan out.

Mon – comfy 4.5km with some speedwork
Tue – rest
Wed – rest
Thu – planned a longer 6.5km, but gave up after 4.5km. Exhausted.
Fri – rest
Sat – Parkrun 5km PB 30:32 (Aargh! Just 33 seconds to shave off!)

This Week’s Goal + Training Log #5

I’ve had a busy week work-wise, which always seems to be the beginning of everything else sliding out of control. My eating has been erratic, picking at stuff in the day and eating too much sugary food to keep me going. My sleep has been disrupted by late nights because after hours of work I find myself zoning out in front of the TV. My running would normally have suffered too, but I proactively decided after my run on Monday that I was overtired and in need of a rest. My joints were aching and I could barely manage to run at a decent pace on my fast intervals.

The danger of taking a break is always that you won’t start again. I didn’t want 12 weeks of training to go to waste, but thankfully I found that I really missed it. I follow a lot of runners on instagram so seeing their posts all week kept the fire burning 🙂. I took a five day break and ran a 5k PB on Saturday although my knees were quite sore on the Sunday.

Current goal: Finish family photo albums, years 2010-2017

Goals-wise I have spent a massive 13 hours* on my photo books, mostly in the evening or during baby F’s naps. The first couple of hours at the beginning were all about getting back to the point I was at when I stopped the last time (months ago). This is one of the obvious costs of swapping between goals all the time. Leave it too long and you lose the whole mental-map of where you are and what you’re doing. I had to update the photobook software, read through my notes and check files and folders to make sure I was picking up at the right point.

Once I got that out of the way I started to make good progress and I’m now up to November on the 2011 book (I had previously stopped around April). Note that I haven’t done 2010 yet, so things are a bit haphazard. I wanted to get 2011 done first because it is the year that C was born and the first book I did was the year L was born. C has been waiting to see ‘his’ book for so long I decided to do that one first. Man, I wish I’d just done all this before and not procrastinated over it!

Mental distractions

I had to resist the urge to get involved in other projects this week. I thought of a great series of blog posts I could do. I wanted to spend time on a course I want to develop for small businesses. I wanted to do a course in SEO to increase my knowledge, and I wanted to sort out and declutter in the main bedroom.

I stopped and reminded myself that I am trying out this one-goal thing for a reason, and I managed to avoid getting sucked into anything new. Hopefully over time I will be able to increase my focus and my ability to stick to one thing until I have finished it.

Training

Training diary was short this week:

Mon – 6.5km in 50 mins, including walk breaks (too tired!), and a fair bit of uphill work.
Tue-Fri – rest
Sat – 5km 30:36 😄
Sun – rest (tired and sore joints)

I’m going to run easier this week – no speedy-gonzales, haha. Not that you could really call my fast running all that fast, but you know what I mean.

*Timing myself has been a bit of revelation. 13 hours!! I am actually astonished that on top of all the work I did I still managed to find 13 hours for a personal project. That is a huge chunk of time. 13 hours each week for a year equates to 96 work days (7 hour days). Imagine what you could do with that!!

This Week’s Goals – Week 3

this weeks goals

Last week was a tough one. I had a lot on and baby F was sick late on Thursday night (sigh). She was very grisly and clingy all weekend. I think I over-estimated what I could achieve as I felt quite stressed out by the end of Sunday and very behind on everything. I absolutely hate the feeling of overwhelm I get when the house is in chaos (it is), and there are a billion things that need to be done (there are). I don’t deal well with disorder. I ran a 5k race last week, and attended a business breakfast meeting, plus I’m in the middle of a project for a client, so all in all it was a week to be reckoned with.

This week I’m going to try to scale it back a bit, and I’m seriously thinking about cutting everything down to work on literally ONE thing at a time, super-intensively, until it is done. I’m wondering if that might just be a more productive way of getting through things.

On the agenda this week:

  1. Collect together ALL the paperwork scattered ALL over the house and make sure there is nothing urgent in there
  2. Get back to inbox zero for business account
  3. Three runs
  4. Completely clear the table and the floor area around it
  5. Think about moving from Omnifocus to Things 3, because Omnifocus is just not working that well for me anymore

Here’s how last week went:

  1. Carry on getting photos sorted out on Mac/Phone – Done. Thank goodness. I’d been putting this off for a whacking 9 months.
  2. Get back to inbox zero, for both personal and business accounts – Done for personal, not done for business.
  3. Three runs (one of these is a 5k race) and one strength session – Did three runs (and great times), but no strength session, again.
  4. Get to the bottom of each of the washing baskets and put the mountain of outstanding clean clothes away – Done.
  5. Plan out shopping, meals and cooking for the start of the 3 week healthy eating challenge I’m doing from Saturday Monday – Done. I’m a bit nervous about this as it requires lots and lots of chopping and prep (you know how it is with healthy food).
  6. Keep within a £60 budget this week for food (no spending until Wednesday as that’s when I get some money!) – Fail! I went miles over budget after buying my healthy food on Sunday for the first three days this week.
  7. Send Dad the book I bought for him – Done.
  8. Business goals: decide where/how/if to blog about these, but in the meantime get a quote out, do design changes for current project and get new email list up and running – Done. Did changes, quote and set up email list, and have decided not to blog about weekly business goals just yet as the summer holidays are approaching and it will be too stressful trying to keep up with it all!

This Week’s Goals – Week 2

weekly todo list

I am really easily distracted. My brain runs at about 100mph from the minute I wake up, so having a little public to-do list like this worked brilliantly last week for making sure I got the right things done.

I think each week I need to make sure I always add one procrastination-prone goal to the list (this will inevitably be something I have been putting off for ages). It’s really good to clear these kind of things as it just gives you a bit more mental get-up-and-go when you get them done. I also need to balance it with things that are easier/more enjoyable. Last week was a good mix, so let’s see if I can repeat that again this week.

On the agenda:

  1. Carry on getting photos sorted out on Mac/Phone
  2. Get back to inbox zero, for both personal and business accounts
  3. Three runs (one of these is a 5k race) and one strength session
  4. Get to the bottom of each of the washing baskets and put the mountain of outstanding clean clothes away
  5. Plan out shopping, meals and cooking for the start of the 3 week healthy eating challenge I’m doing from Saturday
  6. Keep within a £60 budget this week for food (no spending until Wednesday as that’s when I get some money!)
  7. Send Dad the book I bought for him
  8. Business goals: decide where/how/if to blog about these, but in the meantime get a quote out, do design changes for current project and get new email list up and running.

And here’s how last week turned out:

  1. Start my tax return (yawn!) – Done! Did the whole thing and got a £15 rebate, which will go straight towards debt reduction when it arrives.
  2. Do not buy any food except bare essentials like milk and bread (I am trying to use up everything in the cupboards/freezer/fridge as part of a money saving drive) – Done!
  3. Do two more runs – Done. And got a PB at parkrun on Saturday.
  4. Ring up and check what happened to my pension (I got a statement and its value had gone down by 20%) – Done. This was a paperwork error, the value has actually gone up. Phew.
  5. Start sorting out my photos (oh lordy – I am in a mess with these. My phone isn’t syncing with my desktop and everything is all over the place) – Done. I’ve fixed the corrupt library issue I had on the Mac, so getting it updated is now underway.
  6. List baby carrier and pro microphone on eBay – Not done. I decided to keep both of these items as the sling works as a back carrier (which I didn’t realise), and I’m not 100% sure I’m ready to sell the microphone in case I use it to develop any online course material for my business.
  7. Think about adding household accounts to YNAB (I am a total YNAB convert – it is the best personal budgeting tool I have ever used!) – Done! I thought about it and did it. I’ve added the household account and the mortgage account to a separate YNAB budget. The husband is going to transfer the TV licence over to the household account (he’s been paying that on the side for years), and I’ll be able to save any money from the household account that we don’t need each month and put it towards a) a kitchen/holidays/emergencies fund and b) mortgage overpayments. We’ve been working really hard at getting the mortgage paid off and are hoping to see the back of it within the next six years.

The Elusive Sub 30 Minute 5k

Post-parkrun today. Slow, but happy.

I know that for some people a sub-30 5k is super slow, and for others it’s fast. That’s the beauty of running – it’s all about bettering yourself, wherever you are on the continuum.

The last time I ran a sub-30 5k was 2004 (ouch!!). I am a lot older, and I’ve had three children since then. I was working towards it last year, but my sleep was so broken with a young baby that the running I was doing seemed to be damaging my joints more than making me fitter (I have osteoarthritis). I got down to 32:12 at parkrun, but had to stop as the pain in my right toe got so bad I had started to limp.

This year, things have been better. Sleep is not fully restored, but it’s at least approching the normal (broken) sleep of motherhood rather than torturous nights resembling Navy SEAL hell week.

On 18th April I did my first gentle run after a winter of horrendous joint pain. In the spring I’d changed my diet, added some supplements and cut down the sugar to reduce the pain and inflammation and it worked enough to get me out of the door again.

I’ve now been running for 7.5 weeks and I’ve built up a nice base level of fitness that means I can run (very slowly) for an hour.

This last week I’ve stepped up my training to include some hill repeats and 5k reps. I’ve loved it and I’m feeling much stronger, but when it came to parkrun today I could really feel the extra work I’ve done in my legs. Oh, and I’ve also had three dreadful nights sleep on the trot.

So, today’s parkrun time was 34:18, which is slower than I think I can run at this point, but it’s a good starting time to work up from.

After 7 long weeks I have also, finally, started to drop a little bit of weight. I was 5.5kg over my pre-baby weight to start, and I’m now 4.8kg over. It’s the first time the scales have shifted, although to be honest it’s not something I’ve been focusing on. Still, it’s good to see a move in the right direction.

When will I see a sub-30 5k again, I wonder? I am hoping before the end of the summer – I am down for a 5k race at the end of August, among others, and barring illness or injury I’m hopeful I’ll be able to do it by then.