Fighting fit for Juneathon

This weekend I’ve truly had an athlete’s preparation for the forthcoming hell that is Juneathon. Let’s just say that it started with a sausage butty and has just ended with a chippy tea. In the middle, I’ve shovelled a tonne of gravel, had 2 trips to the tip, been scared witless by a 3 year old’s birthday party (but did enjoy the fire engine cake), listened to the Archers omnibus (oooh, that Pip) and been up to my elbows in compost. It’s been lovely.

On Sunday morning, I went out for an earlyish 3 mile plod around the village. It was a bit breezy, but the sun was shining and after sitting on the loo reading about the dangers of multitasking, I decided to make it a bit of a mindful one. I stuck with the tunes for the boring bits of the run (I find the sound of my lungs a bit off-putting) and trundled around the lodge taking in the sights and sounds.

Only two hours to go until it’s officially Juneathon… It’s a bit daunting that there’s so many participants this year (67  on the official list when I last checked over at Juneathon Central) and I don’t envy Iliketocount who has the unenviable task of judging the whole malarky. Good luck people!

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Speed = distance/time

I can remember that much from GCSE physics. Unfortunately I can’t apply this to tonight’s run as I was Garmin-free.

Not through forgetting it, not charging it or lacking a signal, but rather because of the watch amnesty at tonight’s club session.  On a Thursday it’s an hour’s run, usually out and back, so obviously the speedy ones at the front go further than us at the back, but we should all still end up together at the end. However, apparently some people have been a bit fixated on their garmins recently and although they’re doing their hour, they’re not going any further or faster. So to break free of the shackles of time and distance, we ran out and back on a route that covers 5 1/4 miles and just enjoyed running at a natural, comfortable speed.

Despite feeling a bit naked without it, it was quite nice just enjoying the sunshine, running through the park and having a natter. Thinking about it now, I probably wasn’t the target audience for doing this kind of run – I’d be better if someone followed me with a cattle prod shouting “FASTER! FASTER!” – but it’s still 5 miles even if I don’t have the stats to prove it. You’ll just have to take my word for it mind…

I don’t like Mondays

The looming prospect of Juneathon has got me thinking about consistency and how the heck I’m going to run every day. I’ve not been in a good routine for ages and as regular readers will be aware, it doesn’t take a great deal to distract my attention. Ooooh look, a pigeon…..

Where was I? The genius that is Running Matters wrote far more eloquently than I can on the matter, and I’ve been having a think about when I run and when I don’t.  Embracing the geeky joy of  Garmin stats, I’ve been looking at my calendar and have found that I don’t like Mondays. In the last few months I have run twice on a Monday, and one of those was a bank holiday so it doesn’t count as a real Monday. Why don’t I run on a Monday? Because in the morning getting up is hard enough and after work is Tesco night (I lead a very exciting life). Tuesdays are an entirely different kettle of fish. I love running on Tuesdays, morning, evening, whenever; if I don’t go out any other day, I’ll go out on a Tuesday.  Luckily, Juneathon starts on a Tuesday.

Fingers crossed, Juneathon will help kickstart getting into a routine (albeit a terrifying one) because it should weaken my pathetic excuse of not having time to fit in a run and might help overcome my dislike of Mondays.

That just means that I need to deflect the distractions and, in theory, I’m on to a winner.  Unfortunately, I’m also let down by organisational skills. For instance,  I’ve found that, at any one time, I can only find two-thirds of my running kit. You’ll be relieved to know that this doesn’t mean that I’m out scaring the horses in my socks and sports bra, just that I can only ever seem to locate two sets of my three decent(ish) running clobber and spend a lot of time running around trying the find something to wear. I have no idea where the third set hides, but it will not outsmart me in June. No sir. Similarly, my Garmin and mp3 player will remain charged and ready to go, rather than hiding their bits in my knitting box.

This is the plan. If nothing else, I’m paving a road to hell with all these good intentions.

NB. Good intentions are not a recognised solution to mending pot holes, although they are economic. (See that?  That’s satire that is.)

Junearrrghthon

I can’t believe it’s that time of year, but Juneathon is nearly upon us. Last year I adopted a pretty flexible approach and used it as a chance to try new stuff (an aerobics class, driving range, crown green bowling…), but this year I thought “Let’s do this properly. Run every day, even if it’s just 20minutes”.  I thought that, signed myself up via the medium of JogBlog and momentarily felt smug.

The smugness lasted til I mentioned my plan to husband, who kindly pointed out that we’re going on our jollies a week earlier this year so the final week of Juneathon will be spent in a tent in Kent. This may prove interesting.

In other news, I had a lovely run along the canal tonight – sun shining, little duckies swimming, magic horses standing on the bridge. Mind you, I did manage a bit of thickery by setting off with my sunglasses (again) and having to tuck them into my bra. Had I not tucked them into my bra  it might have prevented a  fly from making a crash landing in my eye. No lasting blindness, but I think the chap I ran past while winking madly might still be disturbed.

My first 10k race

Well it had to happen one day… Way back in December, when I was full of the same giddiness that made me apply for a new job, I closed my eyes and posted off my entry to Run Liverpool for the Women’s 10k. I then spent 4 months trying to forget what I’d done, especially when my runs became increasingly sparce and even a month ago I doubted that I could do more than a few miles.

After a  few words of wisdom and encouragement, I had a boost of enthusiasm and when my race number finally arrived, I was strangely excited. I knew I wasn’t going to produce a world beating time, but had done my research looking at last year’s results and, in my heart of hearts, knew that I wasn’t going to come last. Having said that, even on the day I was still muttering darkly about the whole enterprise.

I think I heard that Liverpool is the second biggest women’s only event and it’s certainly one of the longest running (25 years in 2011), however  there’s been some debate over the future value of women only events, especially with the massive growth of the Race for Life events. Can a women’s only race survive whilst attracting elite runners and still being completely inclusive? Some of the pink girliness leaves me a bit cold (but then I’m a miserable bugger) – especially when I rummaged in my goodie bag to find it full of Ladies Things (fabric softener, sweeteners, teabags and, ahem, feminine hygiene products – well that’s my life as a woman summed up in 4 freebies). And despite all the reminders to go at our own pace and enjoy it, I found it a bit disconcerting to run past people walking before the 1k marker.  Although I’d not specifically chosen this race because it was a women’s event, I do think the absence of wiry men in tiny shorts helped my nerves on the day and it was pretty ace to see over a thousand women of all different shapes, sizes, ages and abilities all running together.

In the end, I didn’t finish last (hurrah!) and had a time of 1.06.07 – I’d have been content with 1hr 10min, so I was more than chuffed with this! The only problem is now I’d quite like to get my time down to under an hour and I’m disturbing myself with my conviction that I can actually do this.

T-shirt and medal

Liverpool Women's 10k - proof!