Juneathon day six: mind over matter

I picked that title because it suggests an air of grit and determination. In fact, if you were a fly on our wall what you would have seen was stubborn, pig-headed, mardy foot stamping and self-doubt.

It’s been brewing for a week, ever since I saw that I had to go from eight minutes running to twenty minutes running. The doubt had crept in. In fact, not only had the doubt had crept in, but the tiredness had come too and brought irrational thinking along for the ride. It took me over an hour and a half to get out for tonight’s run. It was too soon after tea. The baby will wake up. My back hurts. It’s too late. It’s too dark.

The excuses became more and more ridiculous until I admitted to Ginge that it was simply that I can’t do it. The conversation turned a bit Keith Harris and Orville – “I wish I could fly, right up to the sky” “you can”, “I can’t”, “you can”. I was only marginally less irritating than that duck and the daft thing was, I actually wanted to go.

Off I went. I knew vaguely where eight minutes running would take me, so I didn’t check my watch until I was well past there. Miles (my Garmin) told me I’d done 0.86 miles. I decided that I could claim at least one literal milestone of my return and do my first full mile.


After a little celebratory dance, I plodded on a bit and then turned back. At 12 minutes, I thought to myself “well I know I can do eight minutes”. I plodded on. Before I knew it, I’d done 15 minutes and I knew I could do 5 minutes. I kept picking off the landmarks and concentrated on breathing (it was quite an effort by this point) until the clock hit 20 and I hit the stop button with a sigh of relief.

All in all I covered 1.86 miles in 20 minutes. I will win no prizes for speed, but that’s not one, but two milestones tonight. I returned home (as Ginge predicted) with a smile on my face. He despairs of me sometimes.

Juneathon day four: zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Apparently today was National Running Day.

I was supposed to do my first 20 minute run.


After two brilliant nights sleep, Mini-Ginge decided to do a two-hourly wake up call from 1.30am until I gave up and we got up at half seven. Twelve hours later, after a very busy day, I fell asleep on the sofa. Running was definitely off the agenda.

Instead I started working on the component parts of my sun salutations and while it was tempting to practise lunges and downward-facing dog because I like them, I focused on plank. I still don’t like it.

Juneathon day three: yoga day

Tuesday is yoga day in our house. In the morning, Mini-Ginge and I go to baby yoga, where we sing nursery rhymes and do some gentle stretches.


Mini-Ginge preparing for his yoga class

In the evening, it’s my turn. At the moment I’m doing the class that our teacher describes as Therapeutic Yoga (I used to do her Dynamic Yoga class, but that feels a million years ago now) which is still hard work because there’s more focus on precision.

Usually I skulk at the back corner of the class, but in our last session, our teacher shifted the entire back row to the middle of the room. This week I had no choice as the back two rows had chucked down their mats completely haphazardly so it was like crazy paving. This is where things get tricky. I have encountered un-neutered tom cats who are less territorial than the average yoga class. It’s a bit like being back at school where you pick your favourite desk and stay there forever. I think I actually nabbed someone else’s regular space, but there was retaliation so I think I got away with it. Next week I might even try another different spot.

Anyway, tonight’s class was perfect for me (I suspect that my teacher is a mind reader sometimes) as a lot of the postures were great for freeing up my back. We also did a lot of very tiny precise movements, things like lying on our backs and (theoretically) bringing our pelvis towards our heads. To do this, you need to engage your pelvic floor, lowering your groin to the floor, but without tightening your bum cheeks. It’s harder than it sounds.

Juneathon day two: Swim-a-Song and sun salulations

Monday is Mini-Ginge’s swimming day. I say his swimming, he just lies there splashing his arms while I do all of the hard work. Anyway, even though lifting him up and down is good for my bingo wings, I felt a bit guilty using this as my Juneathon exercise as it’s not what I planned to do.

What I plan to do is daily yoga. Oh yes.

I am rubbish at doing exercises at home. I lack the motivation and then when I do actually do them, I feel as if I’m rushing and not doing them properly. It’s daft, Dan and Angela both posted their first ever Juneathon blog on twitter, which set me off looking through my old posts from 2009. On the one hand I can see how far I’ve come since then, on the other hand one bit stood out a mile. Back in 2009 I had enjoyed an epiphany about my yoga, I had bought books about it (my favourite way of doing anything) and was going to embark on my posture practise at home.

Needless to say I have never done this. I have however, waited five years for another yoga epiphany. This time I have bought an app, not a book. Well several apps, but I only like one of them. The others are a bit too shouty, require a subscription, or have adverts that are a bit incongruous to the whole meditative yoga lark.

So tonight I have warmed up, done some stretches for my sacroiliac joint (Mini-Ginge has had a bit of a growth spurt and is challenging my back a bit), a sequence of swan to cat to dog to cat to swan to get things going and then to the app for some sun salutations. I am rubbish at sun salutations. It comes down to the fact that I’m terrible at any kind of organised dancing, you will never see me doing the Macarena and I even spell things wrong doing the YMCA (my C comes out backwards). With sun salutations, I struggle to hold the sequence in my head and always seem to be one step behind. I am determined to crack this by the end of June.

Today I learned that:

  • I still hate the transition from plank to the knees-chest-chin pose.
  • I’m still more hopeless at plank.
  • I’m leaping ahead. What I need to do is go through the individual postures and get the basics sorted.

If anyone has any tips for doing yoga at home, or knows of any good, non-shouty videos that might help me, all suggestions would be gratefully received.

Importing the Juneathon blog roll into Feedly

Visit I can. I will who has put together the blog roll.

Right click on the the link to the OPML file and Save As or Save Link As

Log in to your Feedly account (if you’re anything like me, this will take longer than any of the rest of the process).

*UPDATED* Feedly has made this bit easier, just click on Organize on the left of the screen

This should take you to a page with the title Organize – next to the heading is a button that says Import OPML – click on this.

Click on Browse and find where you saved the OPML file back at the start, select the file and click Open. This will take you back to the import page – click the big blue Import button and wahey! The list should have imported into your Feedly account.