I have a cunning plan, or, Juneathon – the aftermath

It feels like ages since we were trapped in the tyranny of Juneathon, but it’s only been ten days. Originally, my plan was to have a couple of rest days and then (gulp) start following a proper half marathon plan in preparation for Folkestone in September. What actually happened was that I had a couple of rest days, then had a canal running plan scuppered by Peter Andre (well he’d been playing a concert at Haigh Hall the previous night and there was another day of music due to start when we tried to park up on the Sunday), then it was Monday and back to work… So two rest days became four and then I realised that I had to get my trainers on otherwise I might never run again.

The four rest days did give me chance to pore over the training plans that I was considering and I spent that time comparing and contrasting the Runners World Garmin-ready plan with the 2:09 Events plan. The two are fairly similar (well they are for the first four weeks, I can’t bring myself to look past there) but turn out to be exactly the same in that I hate them with a burning resentment. I appreciate that a training plan will keep me focused and help me to reach my potential, but they’re rubbish and harder to schedule than any of the bloody Athons. My main complaint is that they don’t seem to allow for, well, life. Or fun. Or any kind of running that’s not determined by The Plan.

I have planned my first three weeks on the kitchen calendar and have had to negotiate – the Juneathon picnic, giving blood, going for tea at my mate’s house, the wedding of an old rugby mate, the inevitable resulting hangover from the wedding of an old rugby mate and our fourth wedding anniversary. This is in addition to the fact that sometimes I like to run and have a natter with my mate. And sometimes I like to run an unknown distance along the canal stopping to take photos of ducks. If anyone knows of a plan that incorporates that kind of activity, let me know.

As it is, I’ve done the first week back to front, substituted the scheduled intervals for an Audiofuel pyramid and ‘rescheduled’ today’s three miles because I tired and quite frankly grumpy.  The 2:09 plan states that this week’s training is for ‘getting time on the feet and the start of a gradual build up of training’ and having just done 30/30 during Juneathon, I think that this is the least of my worries. My current mindset is to use the plan as a guide rather than, well, a plan. We shall see how successful this is over the next couple of months.

Yesterday was the Juneathon picnic in Hyde Park. In true Athon style, I was up stupidly early to catch the train down to London (although I am now beaten in the Most Miles Travelled to the Picnic category as Unshod Northerner came down from Darlington. Pah) where I successfully negotiated the Tube to meet up with Helsie who introduced me to the delights of Borough Market and the most amazing brownies ever at Konditor & Cook (their sausage rolls are rather gorgeous too, despite the inclusion of carrots).  Despite a lack of directional skills, we made our way over to Hyde Park and located JogBlog, there’s a six pack under here and jen runs 2011 who were guarding the picnic while abradypus, I like to count, unshod Northerner and Journalathon ran round the park. Food was scoffed and we were joined by disjointed tales and it’s better to burn out than fade away before catching trains/retiring to the pub then catching trains home.

Things I learned at the Juneathon picnic:

  • All the Athoners I have ever met have been, without exception, lovely
  • Unadulterated flapjacks are more popular than pretending-to-be-healthy-flapjacks (with sultanas and seeds)
  • In a test sample of Juneathoners, 75% will order a pint of Doombar in the pub
  • I am embarassingly indifferent to doing races
  • I appear to have said that I will (might) do a Park Run next weekend as everyone says that they’re great
  • I am better at taking photos of squirrels (and ducks and bridges and trees) than I am at taking photos of people

According to Hels, he's plotting to take over the world

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Juneathon Day 30: The End.

Well that’s that then, another Athon completed and signed off. It was a fairly understated finish, no dramatic extra miles tacked on like last year. This was just a 3 mile loop accompanied by Ginge and a gentle sense of relief that life can get back to normal.

Holiday jogging has been surprisingly enjoyable (new places, some gorgeous views and the pleasure of Ginge’s company on a few outings).
Holiday blogging has been both a pain in the arse (trying to keep an iPhone alive in a tent is somewhat challenging) and lovely (being able to post photos).
Holiday logging has been non-existent (far too fiddly and battery sapping). I’ll log the last 10 days when I’m home tomorrow, but I think I’ve done 101 miles all together.

Tomorrow I will be taking my cue from the Folkestone Mermaid and will be mainly sitting (although I will be fully clothed and in a car).

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After that, I suspect that there will be a couple of days off before contemplating half marathon training (having investigated the hill at the end of the Folkestone course I suspect I’m going to need it. It’s a bloody big hill) and the next canal adventure.

In the meantime, I see an ice cream in the offing…

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Juneathon Day 29: of desserts and deserts

The first mystery of today was who or what had gnawed a lump off our camping cake. Whatever it was had shunned everything else on the shelves and chomped its way through the sacrificial end slice (kept to keep the face of the loaf from going stale) and this much of the rest. We’re trying not to dwell on the possibilities.

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Yesterday was spent out towards Dover and Folkestone, initially enjoying a gorgeous day, but then eating our sandwiches on top of the White Cliffs while watching lightning spear down from ominous dark clouds over the channel. We also had a potter round some of the Folkestone Triennial exhibits, particularly the Folkestone Mermaid and the sea monster at the library. Tomorrow we’re going back to follow the Triennial seagull trail some more and possibly investigate this bloody great hill that lurks at the end of the Folkestone Half.

Today though, I have run in a desert. I’m reliably informed that the shingle landscape of Dungeness is technically a desert environment. It’s a strange and beautiful place.
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I did 3 miles out from the new lighthouse, down the road past Derek Jarman’s garden…

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out to the lifeboat station, back up the road, round the old lighthouse…

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and then a bit of twiddling about to round up to 3.

Ginge is fishing, but as yet hasn’t caught us anything for tea.
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Juneathon Day 28: Against the clock

Yesterday I half charged my phone via a kind relative’s laptop. Yesterday I forgot to turn it off at night. Yesterday we went on the little train from Dymchurch to Dungeness. Yesterday we met up with Cathy (JogBlog) and Shaun (I like to count) for beers and the most enormous portion of food I have ever encountered.

Today I have run 2 miles round the farm. I have 4% battery left. It has already ticked down from 6%. I better count my cornets quickly.

Juneathon Day 27: In which I am a bit daring

This morning I woke in the slightly unpleasant environment of a hot and clammy tent. Unpleasant this may be, but it is also a very positive sign of good weather ahead. Sure enough, at 7 o’clock it was already hotting up outside so I thought I better get my run out of the way. Given the temperature, the sunshine and, most importantly, the fact that no one knows me round here, I decided that this should be the maiden voyage for my running shorts.

It was quite pleasant feeling the breeze on the extra inches of exposed thigh, but the swishing of the fabric and the net knickers arrangement may take some getting used to. Reports of several sheep being blinded by the whites of my legs have yet to be confirmed.

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