Janathon day nine: plans vs reality

The Plan
Go to work. Take running kit. Take advantage of an hour time owing to finish after my last visit so I can run in daylight. Scoot down the motorway. Park up. Get changed in the car. Try not to get arrested for indecent exposure. Run on the canal. Take photos. Enjoy. Be home and Janathoned at a respectable time.

The Reality
Go to work. Take running kit. Spend all day driving round in the rain. Realise that it’s not actually become proper daylight all day. Take advantage of an hour time owing to finish after my last visit. Pootle down the motorway because of water hitting the car from 360 degrees – standing water, rain and spray from lorries. Realise that if I go home, home will be warm, I will not leave home. Realise that it was something of a miracle that I had actually managed to pack a complete set of running kit and that it would be rude to dismiss a miracle. Stop at the motorway services to get changed. Leave motorway services making a mental note that instead of wearing capris, long tights would stop the wind whipping around my bare calves. Decide I don’t want to miss the chance to run somewhere that’s not home. Decide that the canal is going to be just as wet as anywhere else. Park up. Regret having to leave a nice warm car with Radio Four on. Set off. Realise that rather than being “just as wet as anywhere else” the canal is in fact “much wetter than anywhere else”. Hop and skip between massive puddles and treacherous slippy mud. Give up avoiding puddles and run through them. Regret getting cold, wet, squelchy feet. Decide that I’m not wasting all of this effort by just running a mile. Run a mile. Turn round. Realise that the wind has been behind me for the first mile. Run into the wind. Imagine that this is like a colder, more vertical version of indoor sky diving. Realise that my face is fixed in a rictus grimace. Admit to self that this run is hideous and if wasn’t for Janathon then I wouldn’t be doing it. Give in to the wind and run/walk. Realise that the more running I do, the quicker this will be over. Get back to car, turn heating up, drive home. Be home and Janathoned by a reasonable hour.

Janathon day seven: the benefits of procrastination

I’ll admit it, I procrastinated a bit tonight. Well it was raining. And dark. And did I mention it was raining? But for once, by faffing around (at least 30 minutes to put my socks on) actually paid off, not only did it stop raining, but I also got to see Mini-Ginge do a new trick. I would have been very miffed to have missed that.

Tonight was the opposite of Saturday’s run, not just in terms of direction but also in terms of general -ness. On Saturday, I felt gooood. The run felt easy, I felt strong and comfortable. It was only when I checked my watch at the halfway point that I realised that it was easy and comfortable because I was going quite slowly. Arse. Tonight, it felt more effortful and hard work. Guess what? It turns out that I ran my fastest 3 miles since having Mini-Ginge and managed to take nearly 30 seconds/mile off my pace.

So tonight I have learned the lesson that running faster feels harder work. Who’d have thought eh?

Janathon day six: brief and local

At the moment the majority of my running happens in the dark. One of the downsides of this (especially when combined with a lack of time and a reluctance to run more than three miles) is that my routes are somewhat restricted. I have two routes if I turn left out of the front door and two routes if I turn right out of the front door. It is day six and already I’m getting bored.

It’s also occurred to me that when I’ve done an Athon in the past, I’ve been running regularly in the months beforehand and even with the most optimistic spin, this cannot be said about Janathon 2015. This is why a few more single mile runs than usual have crept in this year, the last thing I want to do is get carried away and do myself a mischief.

So tonight I ran up the next street and back again, then up the next street and back again, and then up the next street and back along the main road. I covered a mile but barely lost sight of the front door.


Janathon day five: peer pressure

Today Mini-Ginge and I went on a supermarket mission to do the weekly shop and, more importantly, to acquire me some yoga blocks from Aldi. Like most exercise kit, I suspect these might languish at home unloved and unused, but I can always take them to my yoga class when I restart in a few weeks. Well I could if our local store had any in stock. I would have been fine for mats, foam rollers, kettlebells, gym balls…whatever I fancied. Except yoga blocks, which is all I fancied. So I went to Asda and bought some new tupperware to ease my disappointment.

Tonight’s run was just a couple of miles, but I’ve decided that if I’m only going to do two miles, I might as well make them good ones. So I ran out down the long hill for a mile and then back again up the long hill. This is the first time that I have managed the whole hill in one go. This was down to determination, mental focus and the fact that there were two people walking towards me down the hill and I couldn’t lose face by walking while they could see me… By the time we had passed each other, I was too near the top to give up, so I didn’t.