Janathon #29 – Viva Las Blackpool

Every year we go to a rugby dinner and it’s comfortingly familiar. The menu (fruit juice or soup, roast chicken or roast beef, gateau with cream or ice cream), the itinery (grace, meal, stand up bingo, speaker, raffle, disco, bed), the disco itself (with a DJ who looks like he’s on day release and plays Swing Low Sweet Chariot, despite the fact that it’s a rugby league do and we don’t really care). And also the date – it’s always in February. Except this year when it falls on day 29 of Janathon.

This year, instead of heading straight to the bar, I was thrown out of the car near Bloomfield Road and ran 3 miles down the prom to our hotel. Think of it as the three piers challenge. The only difficulty was the lack of pedestrian access in front of the tower which resulted in a mini diversion into the town centre down the side of Primark. It’s fair to say that I felt slightly out of place on a Saturday morning.

Normally I struggle to function the day after this do, but I refuse to have a fail on day 30. This could prove interesting.

Day 29/31 –3 miles
Ferrero rochers burned

Janathon #28 – fight or flight

For the last few weeks Friday has been crisis day at work – today it started at half 11 (no one could find me before then) and eventually abated at half 3 when I had my dinner. The difficulty with being hit by crisis after crisis is that the old fight or flight response kicks in. Apparently, legging it (flight) will lead to disciplinary action, so even if something turns out not to be a crisis, you end up all hyped up to deal with it (fight).

The fleeing had to wait until home time when Ginge and I went out for a route that’s about 4.5 miles. I unloaded about work for about two miles and we settled into a comfortable, steady pace. The route that we took is one that I’ve only run in summer and I didn’t realise that a few sections were unlit and as the wearer of the hi-vis, I was sent ahead like a canary down a mine. We reached 4.5 miles just before home and decided to round up to 5 miles, at the turn around point for 5 miles we decided to round up to 6 miles and 6 miles we did. Both of us very pleased, but also reflective that this is what our Friday nights have become.

Someone’s probably already tweeted about this article in today’s Guardian, but I really enjoyed it and could identify with both the article and a lot of the comments in response. It asks why exercise is only sold to women as a way to lose weight and look good (clearly the gym companies haven’t seen me trying to deal with snot and sweat as I hurl myself around the village) rather than any of the other million reasons we all pull on our trainers and get out there. I’d say that there’s as many reasons for running as there are runners – today I needed to relax, have some good company, clear my head and not fail Janathon on day 28.


Day 29/31 – 6 miles
Ferrero rochers burned

Janathon #27 – social Thursday

A 3.5 mile run with good company along a route that always reminds me of spending New Year’s Eve 2008 alternating between whimpering under the duvet and running to the loo (we ran early evening,I felt fine, had tea, started to develop a sneaking suspicion that I hadn’t manage to avoid the lurgy that Ginge had been suffering. I was right.).

It was an uneventful run apart from two fine gentleman who wanted to encourage us on our way.  One commented that there was plenty of heavy breathing – my response? “It’s cold”. The response that I thought of 10 metres away? “It’s cheaper than ringing 0898 numbers”. Dammit.

Oh, and I forgot to say that I was struck down with yoga mat rage last night. I feel that it’s polite to leave about 2 feet between mats, enough to spread out your arms. I feel that it’s incredibly rude to leave a foot or so more space meaning that there’s not quite enough room for someone else to squeeze in. I feel that it’s even more rude just to lie there when two people come in together and then have to squeeze themselves in a corner if they want to be near to each other. Two people did that last night! Bloody rude the pair of them…

Day 27/31 –3.5 miles
Ferrero rochers burned

Janathon #26 – twist and shout

Regular visitors will now that Wednesday night is yoga night. As such, any running is done in the morning as I have a 2 hour turnaround afrom getting in from work to setting off to yoga. That’s the theory. My brain was full again last night, which meant that I went to sleep far later than intended, which meant that when my alarm went off this morning I thought “oh, I could run early after all” and promptly fell back asleep until 7.

By the time I finished work, got home and got sorted to go out, it was gone half six. My brain was more full than the night before and every muscle in my body felt zingy. The answer to this? Belt out 2 miles, reduce stress and have enough time to eat. Rather than just run wildly, I used my recently downloaded Pyramid Training session from Audiofuel. I started doing a bit of interval training when I was following a Proper Training Plan back in the summer (clearly post-Juneathon madness) and developed a love-hate relationship with it. I hated the thought of doing it, but really enjoyed the actual doing and found that it really helped my running at that time. I downloaded the Pyramid Training with the thought that it would turn my short runs into something useful. Tonight it was just the ticket; short run, brain full of counting my feet to the beat and taking a huge amount of pleasure from just running fast!

Yoga was always going to be painful tonight – I’m holding tension in my upper body and Janathon in my legs. No matter what we did I knew that ultimately it was going to be beneficial, but the actual process was going to hurt. It did. It was lovely.

Day 26/31 –2.2 miles
Ferrero rochers burned

Janathon #25 – out and back again

Today I opted out of a morning run because an extra hour in bed was far more preferable. It’s always more preferable, but the need for duvet far outweighed the benefits of getting my run out of the way.

I chose to do a 3 mile out and back along a route with which I have a mental block. The way out is fine, but I can never be bothered doing exactly the same route back and I end up adding on strange loops and extra bits. I’m sure that this doesn’t make it any easier and yet I do it anyway.

After yesterday’s sensitive Shuffle episode, I decided not to take any chances and when Show of Hands came on, I stuck with them. Never underestimate the effect that a fiddle can have on your pace, particularly when you’re listening to something like Galway Farmer. If you have a listen, make sure that you get to just after 3 minutes – I do a very good impression of “stamping hooves and steaming breath” at that part!


Day 25/31 –3 miles
Ferrero rochers burned