It has been a somewhat stressful week. I love teaching, I really, really do! You'd have to love teaching to put up with all the, ahem, rubbish that goes with teaching. I had some time off last term due to stress, and when I returned to work my timetable was altered 'to reduce the amount of stress' I was exposed to. The result is that I seem to have lost all my higher ability sets and had them replaces with low ability groups with behavioural problems.
Now, it is generally accepted that children value continuity. Children with behavioural difficulties need continuity more even than the highly motivated children who enjoy being at school. The result is that I have lots of classes where the behaviour of one or two children derails the learning of the whole class. This is very stressful, and I feel really sorry for the children (few though they may be) in those classes who actually want to learn.
As usual, running has kept me sane. Well as sane as I could ever be. I ran Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. A physics course on Tuesday evening meant I got home too late to run, and Friday was a scheduled rest day, but rest days are an integral part of any training programme and should not be ignored! The desire to run on Friday evening, after a particularly grim day at work, was only assuaged by sharing a bottle of champagne with a friend!
This morning I woke up to find that is was trying to snow! How very dare it try to snow on parkrun day? And not just any parkrun day, but the 250th ever Basingstoke parkrun and my first time at my 'home parkrun' since New Year's Day! It was lovely to see my 'parkrun family' again and catch up with news. I set off with the thought that if I ran under 27 minutes I'd be happy. I ran 27 minutes at Alice Holt last week, but I'd pushed hard to get that. I set off well, felt quite comfortable and happy, hitting the 1km marker in just under 5 minutes. The 1km marker is at the start of my least favourite bit of the course - the field, but I carried on, well, until I got to the top of the field which was an utter mud bath! I confess that I walked through the mud, I wasn't wearing trail shoes, which may have slowed me down a bit on the main bit of the field, but I don't think that trail shoes would have helped too much in the really muddy bit, plus my trail shoes are brand new and pretty and I don't want to get them muddy! As I ran I chatted briefly with various friends. John and JoJo were taking it easy but still left me behind as they ran up Tennis Court Hill! Andy and I played leapfrog for a while and I even managed to lap someone (admittedly that someone was going round with a buggy and a walking 3 year old), it is a long time since I have lapped anyone.
As I passed the bandstand the second time around I realised that I would definitely make it round in less than 27 minutes and there was a chance I could do it in less than 25! This meant ramping up from the lazy pace I'd settled into and making a bit of an effort. I pegged it through the woods and out onto the path to the finish, I hurled myself along the path, stupidly wasting time to glance at my watch. I threw myself into the finish funnel and stopped my Garmin - 25:02! Just missed it!
I'm not disappointed. It gives me something to aim for next week. And it is 3 minutes faster than when I last ran (child free!) at Basingstoke. It may be I minute 45 seconds slower than my PB, but I am at least going in the right direction! Hopefully I can do better next week!
I'll be running in London tomorrow, leaving home at some silly hour as Husbando needs to be in there at 6am. At least this means my run will be over and done with nice and early! Monday is the start of a 16 week training programme for my next marathon. The first week of the programme should see me running only 16 miles, so I think I'll just carry on as I am at the moment and then up the mileage so that I can get maybe and extra 20 + mile run in at some point.