Juneathon – a reflection. Or, What I did on my holidays.

In true occupational therapist stylee, I thought I’d have a proper reflect on Juneathon. Apologies that it’s a bit late, but the limited technology I had didn’t really help matters (sites made of anything more swishy than html make my phone fall over) so I’m afraid that it’s had to wait til we’re back up north to ponder on the whole thing.

Trainers outside tent

The Tent - home of Juneathon days 25-30

What went well?
Two things get equal billing for being the best part of Juneathon. It was either 7.24 on the 30th when I knew that it was over and I could have a lovely rest (and not upset anyone on the campsite with the sight of my sweaty lycra-clad self) or Saturday morning when I found out that I had been lucky enough to win stuff from the very kind people at  Audiofuel. In all honesty, I was chuffed enough to have completed the task – it was only on day 29 that I was 100% convinced that I could do it.  Juneathon has challenged me and my perception of myself as a runner. I’m not as reluctant a runner as I make out, in fact I’ve rather enjoyed the discipline of going out everyday.


On the last day Juneathon, do not let a loved one persuade you to climb a lighthouse. It is foolish.

I’ve also surprised myself by not getting injured. I’m not the fittest or most well built of people (I click, creak and crunch in various joints and could only be more flat footed if I had flippers), but the only injury that I’ve sustained is a blister on the ball of my right foot. The daft thing is, the blister has nothing to do with Juneathon and everything to do with the ridiculous shoes that I wore to the funeral 3 weeks into Juneathon.

Ladies Walk

Ah. So that's where I've been going wrong

What didn’t go so well?
One of the worries that I’ve had throughout June is the niggling doubt that I’ve not been doing myself any good. In going out every day, have I been sacrificing both quality and quantity (in terms distance)? I still don’t know the answer to that one, I suspect that time will tell when I start trying to improve quality and quantity.  What I do know is that my Garmin tells me that of the 20th fastest runs it’s recorded since I got it last August, 4 were done last September/October, 15 were during  Juneathon and one was when I sent Ginge out with it to prove that he runs way faster than me.

Footpath sign

Footpath signs lead to chaos. Even if the little man on them looks terribly jaunty.

The downside of going on holiday is that I’ve had limited access to other people’s updates and haven’t been able to comment on things as often as I’d have liked to. I was a bit nervous when I saw how big Juneathon was this year, but once again it’s been fantastic to read about other people’s adventures and to have support and encouragement from Proper Runners, many of whom I remain in awe of (I was blushing for days after being name-checked by I Run Because I Love Food). I think I realised how much I valued you all was when my rationed internet access meant that I had the choice of looking at facebook or looking at blogs, and  it was Juneathon what won it.


Regularly woken at donkey o'clock

So how will this affect my running?

At a basic level, the week in Kent has taught me the value of running in new places and without music.  My excuses for not running are also looking flimsier (Not enough time/Need a ‘rest day’/Wrong weather/On holiday…). Most importantly, I know that I can do more than I’ve given myself credit for. If I take the discipline of Juneathon and apply it to a more focussed training plan, what could happen? What definitely needs to happen is that I need to be more controlled about my pace. Most of my runs have been 3 miles and I’m tending to set off at a 3mile pace when I should be saving myself for the longer distances (the first half of The Essence of Running’s experience sounds very similar to my issues).

So that’s that – all I need to do now is find a training plan, not ignore it and do my own thing, pace myself nicely and repeat until excellence is achieved.

A huge thank you is due to the unholy trinity of Juneathon – the creator, the protector and the independent adjudicator – for organising this wonderful thing. You’re all fantastic!

Oh, and on the penultimate day of our holiday I did a lovely 6 mile loop through the fields.

Fields. Photo as requested by eirefairy