Juneathon Day 17: Indecisive

My rearranged week continues – normally Friday is a morning run day so that come 5 o’clock I can drive home safe in the knowledge that the evening will mainly involve sitting. Last night I went out with my mate for some food, a couple of pints and a good catch up (it’s been an embarrassingly long time between meet ups). I only had four pints (or as I explained to Ginge “I had two pints of something. And two pints of…something else”) but that’s more than usual on a school night and I knew that a 5.30 alarm call would be out of the question.

I wanted a quick run (it’s Friday after all) and settled on doing an Audiofuel interval session. This has become a regular weekly fixture in my running schedule and I’m amazed at the improvement that I’m seeing week by week. The downside to tonight’s session is that it was an out and back route that took me past the chippy, the Indian, the Italian and both Chinese takeaways. Twice. I’m on my own for tea tonight and the temptation was great. Instead, I came home and cobbled something together with things from the back of the fridge.

Juneathon day 8: I need putting in a bag and shaking

Ginge marvels at my ability to wake up in a foul mood. Nothing actually happens in those brief moments between dreaming and waking, but somehow the clouds have rolled in and everything is a bit grey and bleak. There’s always a temptation to let it swallow me up (inevitably leading to more clouds later on, when I turn this into another stick to beat myself with) rather than kick myself up the bum and shout “RAAAAHHHH!” at it. This morning was one of those mornings. I forgot to set my alarm, but still woke up at half five – rather than cheer the fact that I’d woken up in plenty of time, I uttered the words “sod Juneathon” (or words to that effect…). Half an hour later, I still hadn’t shifted and was skirting dangerously close to letting myself passively fail by ‘running out of time’.

Five minutes after that, I was dressed (albeit with my running tights on inside out, but I looked fairly respectable) and being hustled out of the door to go and do my Audiofuel intervals. The cloud lurked for about three minutes before I started to feel better. I belted out my fast bits quicker than last week (my training conversation with Ginge last night went: Ginge “the key to sprinting is using your arms – pump your arms and your legs will go faster”, Me “yes, but I’ll look like a tit….”) and ignored the cloud creeping back in when I nearly decided that having a short walk as part of one of my recoveries was a sign of my abject failure.

Who knows what set me off this morning. It could be that I’ve got some work worries in the back of my mind, it could be something abstract that hasn’t occurred to me yet, it could just have been that I was really hungry when I woke up….

I really can’t be doing with my head sometimes.

Today was exactly half way between a 99 or 2 cornets – maybe a 99 with sauce and sprinkles.

Juneathon Day 3: Bouncy (but not bouncy)

It’s Friday already! I have the prospect of sitting in the garden with a beer and a barbecue tonight and a lovely weekend spending time with various family and friends, so getting out of bed at 5.30 had a certain amount more bounce this morning. It helps that the weather is gorgeous (far too nice to go to work) as well.

I might have got out of bed with bounce, but that was as far as it went in certain other areas. I tweeted yesterday that the postie had brought me my regular Graze box (you can use this code 8DZG6MM if you fancy trying one for free and your second half price)  and a new sports bra off of ebay. There’s been some discussion about foundation garments on Twitter recently when Thigh Will Be Gone was after suggestions for brands and I replied that I’m now in Shock Absorber camp. Shock Absorbers generally don’t come cheap, (I was lured in with them when they were on sale at Debenhams – in fact I blogged about it back in Janathon. In fact, I’ve just realised that I got new bras on Day 3 of Janathon and now I have new bra on Day 3 of Juneathon – oooh, spooky) and I know that along with trainers, they’re the most important part of my kit, but I resent having to buy them (see also my post about the similarities between pointing and sports bras).

After a bit of googling, I discovered the B109, which is an earlier version of the N109 style that I normally wear (I don’t know what happened to 109s C through M, I don’t think that we speak of them any more). I’m not sure what the technical differences are, but as far I can tell the B109 has a sparkly label instead of a rubbery label, seems to be made of slightly softer fabric and hoiks things up a bit further the N109. I did the jump test in the kitchen before setting off and after doing a 3 mile run with some intervals thrown in,  it’s proved to be comfy and kept everything under control. I just need you all to promise that you won’t mock me for wearing last season’s bra (the shame).

The best bit of the bra is the label:

Get ready for the science bit...

More specifically, the activity level guide at the bottom that I think translates from left to right as Prance, Thrust, Leap, Yogic Flying.

In which I stumble around in the dark and review stuff

I’m an idiot. The mornings have been getting lighter since Janathon and yet I wait until after the clocks have changed before I decided choose to haul myself out of bed at 6 o’clock.

Having forgotten my Guiding motto (Be Prepared), I was desperate not to wake Ginge as I clattered around trying to locate suitable running kit. I emerged wearing appropriate clothes (all the necessary body parts were supported and covered) but looked like I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards. Styled, I was not. 15 minutes of faffing later and I was off. Continue reading

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.

Lighthouse

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.

Donkey

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