November Review & December Goals

Snow is falling, all around me… Man, I love a Christmas classic, and Shakin’ Stevens is my all-time favourite. And now it’s the 1st December, I feel fully justified in breaking out The Best Christmas Album in the World – EVER once again.

leaves

November has been a bit of a mixed bag, but hopefully we’re finishing on a high. My trip to Sweden was ok (and only a bit snowy). Mum is still in hospital (home, but then readmitted) but is improving and will hopefully be getting the rehab she needs. I’ve really been enjoying these last few days of sunny and frosty days.  Being outside has been a real treat – wrapped up warm it’s just beautiful!

My first goal for November was about getting back in control. If you could see the state of my inbox, you probably wouldn’t believe that I have made progress here, but actually I’m feeling a little better about things. Work is still manic, but at least I know understand what needs to be delivered this month, which wasn’t the case at the start of November. That’s nothing to do with how well I know my job by the way 🙂 – we’re working on a big acquisition currently and the flow of information hasn’t always been helpful (i.e. there wasn’t any), which makes life a bit more difficult. Anyway, I think there is light at the end of the tunnel there.

I finished my first assignment of the year too. Despite spending hours on the bloody thing, I wasn’t entirely happy with what I submitted, but I’ve realised that sometimes I just need to accept that ok is good enough. I’ve got another one to be in before Christmas and I’ve made a good start. I also had a day off to get ahead for Christmas and I did the bulk of the shopping that day. I’ve started writing the cards and have made the Christmas cake and Christmas pudding, so that’s all good!

My other goal was about setting myself some exercise targets. I’ve been aiming to run more consistently over the past few weeks and be more focussed in my sessions. To this end, I’ve managed 3 runs a week over the past month: one interval run, one tempo run (constant pace, a bit faster than usual) and one longer run (around 6 miles). Just doing this consistently, I’ve seen some positive changes already, my average pace has come down from around 9 – 9.15 mins/mile to between 8.35 – 9 mins/mile. I’ve got a half marathon planned for May next year. My PB is 1.50.53, which I did in the Reading half marathon in 2008. I was doing a lot of tri training then, and a few years (and 2 babies) have happened in between. Breaking 1.50 is the elusive goal, but could I do that next year? I think so, with some focus and hard work. Eek, I think I just committed to it!

Strength wise, I’ve been focussing this month on trying to do all the exercises as described in my workouts. That is, not dropping to my knees for the last set of press ups for example. I’ve also upped my weights slightly. I’ve achieved both, which just shows that I probably wasn’t working hard enough before. That’s good, but I really want a measure of progress. So starting 2017, I want to pull together a mini fitness test that I repeat on the 1st of each month, which measures progress on strength, speed/aerobic capability and flexibility. Once I’ve done that, I can then set a benchmark and monthly goals to improve.

December is shaping up to be a very busy month, but I do love it. Number one priority is getting my assignment completed as soon as possible so that it’s not hanging over me and I can focus on the other things that I need to do (as well as enjoying myself of course!). This weekend we’re off to Leeds (sans enfants) with friends to relive our uni days. I say that, but other than the fact that Leeds is where we went to uni, it will be totally unlike my uni days in that I will not be drinking snakebite and black, I will be staying in a nice hotel instead of a scabby house in Leeds 6 and I will be wearing a coat to go out in the evening.

I also have a lecture weekend, the nativity and Christmas songs at school, the panto, many occasions to eat, drink and make merry and a partridge in a pear tree. Goals for this month will be:

  • Submit assignment as soon as possible (and to a good standard natch)
  • Scope out my fitness test
  • Complete my 100 day real food challenge (full post to come on that one)
  • Start planning for 2017
  • Have a magical Christmas!
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