Juneathon 27-30: The end is nigh…

I’m better at the exercising than the flipping blogging at the moment, but it’s a completed project which is something of an unknown for me.

Day 27 Saturday: One of the many things that Juneathon has made me realise (and it has been a bit of a voyage of discovery for me) is how much I enjoy my weekly yoga and that I’d like to do a bit of practise at home as well as my weekly session/random workshops. As well as that, the stuff that we’ve been doing recently has made me interested in the various forms of Hatha yoga and the ideas before them. Lacking a responsible adult on Thursday evening, I accidentally found myself in the Mind, Body and Spirit section of Waterstones buying the Yoga Bible (half price, good size for camping, splendid photos even if one chap has a slightly offputting tache) and Essential Yoga (bit more on meditation, specific sequences for different sports/ailments and the use of the phrase “drunken monkey mind” to describe when your mind wanders during meditation. That swung it for me…). The upshot of this is that Saturday’s exercise was a practise of the suggested sequence for running – lots of hamstring stretches!

Day 28 Sunday: Ah yes, Sunday. Like an idiot, I decided to try for my first ever six miles. I managed to cover a whole six, unfortunately it just wasn’t all running. It was stupidly hot quite early and I’m not good at being static in heat, let alone moving. I also forgot to take water. If I’d been sensible, I would have turned round and done a sensible 3 or 4 miles, sadly I wasn’t sensible and I ended up doing probably half and half running/walking on the return 3 miles. It didn’t help that I got carried away going downhill at 3 miles (ignoring the fact that lovely downhill becomes evil uphill in a matter of seconds when I, um, turn round) and went a bit further than I should do. As I headed back, I could feel my legs slowing down and slowing down – it was a bit like a set of wind up false teeth as they run out of winding. And then I felt a bit rough and shivery. So I walked for a bit, ran for a bit and turned off my watch so I wouldn’t kick myself too hard later on.  As it was, I wasn’t too disappointed with myself – and it made me realise that if I do end up run/walking, it’s probably more sensible to let myself recover properly and have a more satisfying run rather than pressuring myself to set off running again and then running out of steam a few yards down the road.
I also enjoyed my Sunday run because I get to nosy at people in cars and wonder where they’re off to. Particularly intrigued by a couple on bikes with camping gear on the back – I hope they were off somewhere exciting.

Day 29 Monday: More yoga from the book.

Day 30 Tuesday: Early morning run, 30 minutes. I set off with the intention of doing a fairly flat 15 minutes out and back again, but I ended up behind a bloke out running (who must have been going quite slow because I’d managed to catch up with him). I don’t usually see anyone running at that time and saw 2 today so I assume that the heat has got to people. I felt a bit uncomfortable running behind him (and it looked a bit like we were out together and had fallen out), so I veered off down to the lake. I’ve had some work issues recently and wanted a nice mindful kind of run where I could notice small things and take a bit of pleasure in them. Sleepy ducks, a triptrap bridge (no trolls or goats), rain pitterpattering on the leaves, ripples on the water, a very sweet smelling patch of flowers, the crunch of gravel underfoot, dappled light through the trees and a very keen angler smoking a pre-7am cigar. The only problem with this run is the fact I have to meet my nemesis the Big Hill, which I tackled and won – setting me up much better for the day than sulking under the duvet. AND I’ve just realised that Day 30’s run is exactly the same as Day 1’s which has a lovely symmetry to it. And was totally intentional….

So that’s it. Juneathon done and dusted. I’vehad quite a lot of fun, it’s made me think about various things and go hmmmm quite a lot and I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone else’s updates, so thank you!

Juneathon 23-26: Beginning to read at verse 3

And on the fourth day, she rested and looked on the previous days, thinking hmm, I’m not quite a slacker, but nearly.

It’s been another busy few days so I’m afraid the Juneathon activity has included a bit more walking than it should have done, but that was an emergency measure to make sure that I didn’t weasel out of the ironing. Again. If I’m good at weaseling out of running, I’m an elite weaseler when it comes to the ironing pile and as we’re off on our jollies next week, I wanted to take command and scale the mountain of laundry.

Day 23 Tuesday: Ironing marathon (can I claim it as being an Ironman? No?) tonight. So I conned husband into going for a walk after tea. The clouds were a bit dark and ominous as we left the house, so Husband grabbed the brolly and set off with the intention of getting a new water holdy thing for our camping trip from the village caravan dealer. Unfortunately, 15 minutes too late for the water holdy thing, but we ventured on and back through the fields. Which is when the rains came… By the time we got back to the main road, we were passed by quite a few of the neighbourhood animals lining up two by two as the torrents of water flowed down the kerbside. 2.4 miles, jeans soaked to the knees, big pile of ironing waiting for me. Yay.

Day 24 Wednesday: Wednesday night is of course Yoga night and, in honour of Sunday’s new moon, did some moon-based postures. The first pose lead to upward facing dog (the first time I’ve done it) and then a sequence in kneeling which was very similar to this mini-sun salutation, but included upward facing dog instead of cobra. As usual I had to keep one eye on people to make sure I was up to the right bit. It then got a bit Iyengar, which I later learned that is very focused on precision so not really my cup of tea. There was some falling over and I got distracted during the meditation. Again.

Day 25 Thursday: Now, I’m quite chuffed with Thursday as it demonstrates the power of the Juneathon. I was on a day’s training and then hopping on the train to meet a friend for tea, normally this would be enough to write off any chance of exercise. Not in June though! 5.30 my alarm goes off. 5.40 I curse the fact that I’m doing this through choice and set off for a 30 minute plod up the road and back. Home, shower, recycling out, bus at 7.30, train at 8.00, land at 8.15. Realise I’m in plenty of time to get to where the training is(car left at home to enable a couple of beers later on) and enjoy a sunshine-filled walk taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the city over 2.4 miles. The only downside was that it started to feel like a day off, whereas in actual fact I spent 7 hours in a small stuffy room doing IT training.  Still, my tea was yummy and I had a couple of lovely pints of Ginger Marble to round the day off.

Day 26 Friday: Another bit of rogue exercise – I played squash for the first time in nearly 15 years. It was against Husband (who I learned has played squash before. Once) and was splendid fun. I forget how much I enjoy hitting stuff. Considering the cheese string shoulders, the lack of coordination and my reluctance to engage in any kind of sudden movement, I should hate racquet sports, but they’re the only sports that I’ve been slightly decent at and, more importantly, enjoyed. We borrowed racquets and a ball for free (apparently we looked trustworthy enough not to be charged a pound for them. Fools), had to get directions to the court and probably should have asked for a rule book. I don’t think we were playing to exact championship laws, but it kind of worked and we finished up with a win and a half each (due to running out of time). Definitely going to do it again. Or bribe Husband into playing badminton cos I beat him last time we played…

And now I sit on my arse watching glastonbury on the beeb, muttering darkly about wacky types with face paint and glitter.

Juneathon days 21 and 22: Irritable bowl syndrome

Despite the usual trying to waste enough time to avoid going out on Sunday morning, I eventually got out of the door and plodded up the road. Did about an hour, which was about 5.6miles. Although I was really chuffed with this at the time (it’s further than I’ve ever been on my own), I’ve become increasingly disappointed with myself for not going further/quicker. I also got to shake my air maracas on the way home!

Sunday afternoon saw my crown green bowling debut. Hmmm. Luckily we were partnered into bowlers and non-bowlers, so at the very least I had some experienced supervision. My experienced supervision was provided by one of the junior bowlers, which meant my partner barely reached my elbow height and I was old enough to be his mother. Unfortunately, by the time we hit our stride, we’d been knocked out of the competition…

Today I was on a training day which was being held at a hotel a couple of miles from home, so I took advantage of being able to leave the car at home and walked up. A superb way of squeezing in Juneathon, which has left me with three huge blisters. Nice.

Juneathon Days 17, 18, 19 and 20:

Ooops. I’ve had a bit of hectic one this week, hence the lack of updates and slightly rubbish attempts at Juneathon.

Day 17
Wednesday is yoga day – lots of forward bends and focus on breathing. We always do a three part breath inhaling into the front, side and back of the ribs as part of the warm up, but this week we did a nine part breath. Which started with concentrating on the bottom of the lungs expanding the front, side and back, then the middle of the lungs to the front, side and back and then the top front, side and back.  I’ve no idea if I was doing it correctly, but it was interesting to try.

Incidentally, both Running Matters and Running From 30 have some interesting musing on yoga.

Day 18
Up for an early one as I had agreed to take my sister to the bloody Trafford Centre after work. It was quite an effort getting up again and I was quite grumpy with it. I tried procrastinating, but Juneathon guilt kicked in and off I went. I did a mile before realising I was quite late (damn procrastinating), had stuff to sort out before work and my heart just wasn’t is it. As a result, I compromised by only doing 2 miles, but running back at a faster than normal pace (ended up 30 seconds faster than the way out, but at only just under 10 min it’s still pretty slow).

Day 19
Friday. Ah. It was about half 9 by the time I got back from Manchester on Thursday, had tea and then stayed up til stupid o’clock doing some last minute work for an education group on Friday morning. There was no way I could function on that little sleep, so I wrote off the idea of an early one and by the time I got home I was pretty much knackered. I think I’ve said before that my current attitude to Juneathon is to do some form of activity that I wouldn’t normally do, so I ran through some yoga stretches and tried to stretch out my left calf and achilles tendon. And then fell asleep on the sofa at 9.30.

Day 20
Saturday – again following the spirit of Juneathon, if not the letter. Did some vigorous housework (some activity that I wouldn’t normally do…),  had a two hour sleep and a not quite 2 mile walk around the village after a late tea. Fingers crossed for a better day tomorrow.

Tomorrow is (hopefully) a longer than normal morning run and crown green bowling in the afternoon.

Juneathon day 16: Mrs Grumpypants

It might be the halfway mark, it might be my inherent laziness, but I really couldn’t be bothered today. Still snuffly, so I didn’t fancy an early one this morning. When I got in from work, household logistics meant that I didn’t have time to go out before tea and then had to go plant watering at my mum’s. I stalled for as long as I could, but eventually (and grudgingly) gave in to the power of Juneathon at about 8ish.

I was certain that it was going to be a rubbish one – I’ve never run that late, I was a bit low any way and at mum’s I got distracted by the scary sight of my bum. I’ve been convincing myself that my wobbly bits have been a bit perkier and curvier since Juneathon (they’re certainly not lighter), but the reflected evidence in the car window proved otherwise. It was the lethal combination of my tight running tights (bought online, they were a bargain but don’t have much give in them. In fact I can’t wear them for morning runs because I don’t have the energy to put them on and go for a run. It takes a tub of marge and a warm spoon to get them off again) and optimistically sized pants. Less a visible panty line, more of a visible panty gorge. I suspect you can see it from space.

The point I’m trying to make is that I wasn’t in the most positive frame of mind about myself or the prospect of  running.

Ha. What do I know? I ended up doing just over 4.5 miles and really enjoying myself, partly due to the accompanying late 80’s soft rock soundtrack to The Lost Boys. There was air drumming at around the 1.5 mile mark.

Only hiccups were that as I was wheezing down one hill, an older gentleman was striding effortlessly up the other side wearing tracksuit bottoms and what appeared to be a v-necked pullover. I was slightly shamed. That and the very big hill near the end. To distract myself to start with, I used the unorthodox technique of thinking that I had inhaled a fly up my right nostril, ended with the distraction of the hacking sound of my lungs and in the middle used what JogBlog said that RunningAmok said Fit Artist said Runner’s World said (phew) about looking at the floor. I think it worked.