Tag Archives: Juneathon

Juneathon day seventeen: token

If this was a running Juneathon, I would have run a token mile today. As it was, I still did a token mile. But it was walked. And split into two convenient bitesize chunks.

First up we had a walk up to see the midwife for my check up. All is fine and I am fairly certain that this is the first (and possibly last) time that I have Athoned with a tube of my own wee in my pocket. At lunchtime, this was followed by a walk from work up to the sandwich shop and back.

After work, we went round to mum’s to have a practise at assembling our new tent. Our old tent was on its last legs and the running repairs that we did last summer weren’t likely to hold up to another week away this year, so we’ve invested in a new one. It’s a lot more solidly built than the last one and is somewhat roomier (planning ahead for next year…). Assembling its colour-coded parts was a little Krypton Factor-like in places, making it both a mental and physical challenge.


If you’re a novice camper, I would heartily recommend having a test run of getting your tent up. Preferably before you go away. Preferably where no one can hear you scream.

Juneathon day thirteen: reminiscing

Gym etiquette question: is it ok to strip off your (extremely) sweaty t-shirt, towel down your naked chest as if you’ve just got out of the shower and then re-dress (admittedly in a clean shirt) before hopping onto the next bit of equipment? I hasten to add that this wasn’t my behaviour, I just found it a bit disconcerting at 8 o’clock in the morning.

Yes, I have gymmed. Five minutes of unbearable boredom on the treadmill as a warm-up, followed by 15 minutes random hills on each of the the bike and the elliptical thingy. All this was whilst listening to the Cool Britannia episode of Stuart Maconie’s The People’s Songs. I’ve really enjoyed dipping into this series (I ran in the snow listening to the skiffle one during Janathon) and this one made me all reminiscent for 1997. Regardless of politics, this was my post-A-levels, turning 18, not a care in the world summer that by law has to be remembered through a haze of sunsets and kittens (in reality a haze of Strongbow and Guinness, but it’s much the same).

As I pedalled and pushed, I pondered on what 18-year-old me would make of 33-year-old me. I suspect that she would be a little freaked out by the running, but otherwise would be quite relieved by how things have turned out. Conversely, I suspect that 33-year-old me would tell 18-year-old me to slow down on the ale and pies so that I would have less of a beer gut to deal with in my thirties.

I could

I could illustrate this post with a sepia-toned photograph of myself in the late 90s, but I won’t. So here’s a bee on a poppy instead.





Juneathon day eleven: warrior

Once again I awoke bright and early, before my Athon alarm (yes, I really have such a thing set up on my phone) had chance to sound. However, unlike last week, this morning was not a leaping out of bed kind of day. Instead, I let myself be swaddled by the warm milkiness of the state that exists between awake and dreaming. I did dream about going to the gym, but I had no kit and had to go shopping on the way, only to get distracted by a short corduroy skirt from the Jamie Oliver Birdwatching range (even in my dream I recognised that this was unlikely to be a real actual thing).

So today’s exercise has been yoga, where we continued to work on maintaining our cores and engaging our pelvic floors, whilst doing some lovely strong leg work and finishing off with a nicely aligned warrior pose. During the relaxation at the end I nearly returned to my dreaming as I let my bones grow heavy, but was spared the embarrassment of waking myself up with a snore.

Perhaps I should have been meditating on the cruel irony that, of all the beers that Ginge bought at the weekend, the one he said that I would like the best was this one…


Juneathon day one: Lune

How did it come around to June already? Anyone? Anyone? No. Oh. Well it’s here again, another month celebrating our festival of exercise and excuses. If you’re new to my blog (hello! Make yourself at home, please bring cake next time…) I don’t really have a bad Athon record. I usually (somehow) manage to run (even if it’s just a token mile) and blog every day, typically clocking up a respectable hundred or so miles in the process. However, when I finished Janathon this year it turned out that I was about a fortnight pregnant and so I’m starting Juneathon 22 weeks gone. Running every day aint an option. If you’re currently pregnant and running every day, more power to your elbow! If you’re feeling good, then go for it. I just know that for me, it’s not a sensible option at this point in time (well it’s even less of a sensible option than it has been for the last three years).

Instead, my Juneathon 2013 will be a mix of run/walking, walking, swimming and gymming. I am trying to feel enthusiastic about this, but the lack of running (especially on day one) has made me feel a bit of a fraud. It’s ten o’clock on the first day of Juneathon and I feel like there’s something that I’ve forgotten to do…

Day one kicked off with a bacon and black pudding baton (the breakfast of champions) and a trip to the British Lawnmower Museum. The reasons for this are a little too involved to explain, but I have learned why Flymos are orange, have seen a whole host of celebrity lawnmowers…

Hilda Ogden's lawnmower.

Hilda Ogden’s lawnmower. Fact.

…and learned that smoking and mowing are not necessarily doomed to be mutually exclusive activities.

Ah, the heady days of straightforward advertising.

Ah, the heady days of straightforward advertising.

After all that grassy excitement, a series errands took us up to Carnforth (home of Brief Encounter) at the other end of the county and then back down to Lancaster for the rest of the afternoon. Working on the theory that a run only counts if it’s Garmin-ed (I know, I know), I took Miles (my Garmin) to (a) keep track of my pace and (b) have some kind of proof that I didn’t just amble around the house. Setting off from the Millennium Bridge in Lancaster…


…we headed down the River Lune along the Lancashire Coastal Way for a mile…

…admiring some impressive bits of stone being salvaged from an old factory on the way…



…before striding back in time for tea.



Looking back on a treasuretastic Juneathon 2012

So, what have I learned from Juneathon 2012?

If you’re going to do a daft running challenge that is hard enough to complete at the best of times, it sometimes helps if you add in a further layer of madness just for the giggles.
If I’m completely honest, I was a bit apprehensive about my seventh Athon. It gets a bit tedious running every day, especially when morning runs force you to run the same routes, and if it’s tedious for me running then it must be a bit tedious for any poor soul who choses to read about it. Doing my treasure hunt made me see my runs differently, familiar routes became more interesting because I was on the lookout for things and I was seeing my surroundings through slightly fresh eyes. Even if those eyes were looking for roadkill and interestingly shaped sticks. Basically…

Treasure hunts are ace
That’s it. Everyone should do more treasure hunts. I don’t care how, make it happen.

It was lovely that other people joined in looking for treasure
Throughout the month, other people spotted things from my list and blogged about them. It was great, apart from when people spotted things that I was struggling to see – then I sulked a bit…

At times I can get a bit obsessive about things
Ginge will testify to this. I think I realised that things had peaked when I was trying to see a fire engine, but was failing miserably. When I was young, the fire brigade would turn up to school fairs with an appliance and Welephant in tow so I thought I’d try to find an appliance by having a look at their twitter feed. I didn’t find any suitable events, but there was a cat stuck in a cavity wall mid-month. I’d love to say that this was me at my worst. It wasn’t. That would have been when I checked their feed, saw that there had been an early morning incident in the next village and found myself ruing the fact that I hadn’t been out for a run at 2.30…

I still love taking photos during my runs
Even if I do end up taking photos of discarded underwear in the hedgerows.

If you do something every day for a month it becomes a habit
Alright, so google tells me that it’s actually two months, but after 30 days of looking for stuff, I can’t get out of the habit of crossing things off the list. Which is why, if you go running with me and we pass a cat, I will mutter ‘cat’ under my breath. See also ‘pink car’, ‘baby swan’ and ‘bloody fire engine’.

Southerners trust people to pay for eggs
When I was running close to home, I regularly spotted signs advertising eggs, but no one leaves the eggs out on a stall with an honesty box. I’m not sure what this says.

It always helps if you have a willing idiot volunteer to join you on these escapades
Thanks Ginge!

Sometimes you have to let the fates take matters into their own hands
If we hadn’t had tent issues on day 22, I would have carried on trying to run every day on holiday. I’ve done this before and it’s ok, but missing a day’s run and walking instead gave me permission to walk on other days as well, thus freeing me up to relax and enjoy myself.

Everyone needs to do a dressing gown dash
Preferably in Cathy and Shaun‘s back garden. In fact, I propose that during the next Athon we all conspire to do some kind of mass flashmob arrangement round  at their’s. In matching dressing gowns. That’d surprise them.

If you ask people to suggest ideas for a treasure hunt, they will range from the sublime to the ridiculous
In the thirty days, I spotted (albeit loosely in some cases) 76 out of 80 items of treasure. I didn’t locate:
A thunderstorm – I’ll admit that, while were camping, I was a bit relieved about this. Sorry Morning of Magicians.
Dr Who with an iguana – Nope. Even googling for all the Doctors with an iguana didn’t come up trumps (and I had high hopes for Peter Davison what with him being a vet and everything). Sorry Cathy.
A Manchester tart – I would have loved to have found one of these, I made one for Ginge’s birthday last year and they’re rather nice. I thought that I might be onto something in a Kentish butchers because they sold gypsy tarts and Eccles cakes, but there was no time to implement a selective breeding plan and create a custardy offspring from the two. Sorry Adele. And Ginge.
A giant rabbit (preferably wearing a bow tie and/or a top hat) – I did have the opportunity to clock one of these whilst watching the South Sydney Rabbitohs on telly on July 1st, however it was too late and a bit too terrifying. Sorry Karen.

So that’s what I’ve learned from Juneathon 2012. It’s been bloody lovely, thank you all (especially Cathy/JogBlog/Queen of the Athons without whom we wouldn’t get sucked into this ridiculousness).