Janathon day eight: efficient

I am a natural born procrastinator. I am easily distrac….ooh, look pigeons…. Sorry, distracted. I will always find something to do that isn’t the thing that I’m supposed to be doing and running is no exception this. I’ve accepted that there has to be a minimum of 20-30 minutes between getting up and going for an early run (but that’s more, ahem, intestinal than anything) but later runs can take hours to actually happen. Janathon is an enabler in all there as there is always someone to tweet or a blog to read and I can pass off “faffing around on my phone” as camaraderie and offering peer support.

Tonight I was determined not to get caught by the faff monster. Home 10 minutes early, I followed JogBlog’s 3G Mantra(TM) and I was changed and ready to go by half five. Once again I was joined by Ginge opening up a whole world of not-safe-for-ladies-on-their-own routes, this time one that took us down deserted alleyways and lonely unlit paths. Unfortunately we only have one set of hi-vis so himself wore it and ran alongside me like a ginger guide dog. It was a 4.5ish mile loop that was rounded up to 5 with a little add on at the end. The first couple of miles felt harder (and were slower) than the last two runs I have done – my legs are definitely feeling the effects of Janathon at the moment.

When I got home I was checking twitter (obviously) and spotted that abradypus had posted “If I’d gone for a run when I first mentioned it, I’d be home showered and tucked up on the sofa again by now” which is pretty much one of my favourite running quotes that I’ve seen on twitter (I forget who I should hat tip for this photo – if it’s you, tell me for full credit!). This should be my mantra….

It's true. It really is. I still ignore it most of the time mind.

It’s true. It really is. I still ignore it most of the time mind.


4 of 4

Running four times in a week should not make me as unfeasibly proud as I seem to be this morning. However, as it’s the first time in ages that I’ve managed it, you’ll have to let me have this one.

After the weekend’s autumnal runs, it was a return to darkness for the midweek ones. Tuesday’s intention was a 7 miler with Ginge after work. I am contractually obliged to try to weasel out of after work runs (the conversation tends to go something like “so we’re doing four miles tonight then?” “seven” “that’s three you say?” “seven” until one of us gets bored) and (even though I was actually looking forward to it) I duly obliged before getting changed. In the meantime it turned out tharp Miles had gone into hiding and it took twenty minutes of frantic hunting before he turned up in the pocket of my good winter coat (I still have no idea why), so we didn’t actually need my extra avoidance techniques.

After a mile or so, I looked at Ginge, Ginge looked at me and we realised that neither of us really wanted to do 7 miles in the dark and wet. We completely changed tweaked our route and diverted through the village. As we ran down a steep hill in the pitch black (both of us convinced that it had streetlights), Ginge remarked that the rain seemed wetter in the dark. When we returned to the lit path, we realised that the rain seemed wetter because it was wetter. With a mile to go, it was chucking down and we arrived home quite relieved that we’d adjusted our plans.

To reach my planned 4/4, Thursday morning was going to have to be an early morning one. I know I can do them, ultimately I enjoy them, but I hate the thought of them. Going to bed early would probably help, and yet at midnight I was still up (watching Batman of all things). I wasn’t optimistic for the next day. Normally, I wake up at 5.25, 5 minutes before the alarm goes off, and sure enough, I woke up before the alarm went off. Unfortunately it was half past two. And then four o’clock. And eventually 5.25.

I was dressed and ready for action in a record ten minutes. Unfortunately, once again, Miles had other ideas. Low battery and the presence of clouds caused us to go through the rigmarole of “are we indoors?” while he tried to locate his satellites. And then it started raining. Five minutes later I was cursing Miles for holding me up. Ten minutes later I was thanking miles for holding me as, in the time it took him to behave, the rain had stopped. I did my three miles and went home to read about the perfect porridge whilst eating my imperfect but very welcome bowl-full.

So that’s my week’s plan stuck to and completed. Tomorrow I will be running by the Welsh seaside and right now, this post is being brought to you from a a bench in Liverpool courtesy of my eGloves.


In which I get up very early to enable me to hobnob later in the day

During Sunday’s mudfest, I asked Ginge if he would be running with me on Tuesday, he agreed, we said we’d do 5 or 6 miles. Sorted. Until ten minutes later when I realised that I couldn’t run after work because I had won tickets to the preview evening at the new Booths supermarket that is opening at Media City in Salford (where half of the BBC has been redistributed).

This would be my first dark morning run since last winter (somehow I kept them up all through Janathon). The alarm went off at half five. I dragged myself out of bed and peered through the blinds. It was dark (which I had expected) and it wasn’t raining (which I had hoped). I scuffled round in the chaos of the spare room to find the rucksack that I knew contained my hi-vis. It wasn’t there. I went back to bed.

“I can’t go running” I said to Ginge “I can’t find my hi-vis”.
“It’s in the porch” said Ginge.
“That wasn’t the answer I was looking for” I said.

I got up again, went downstairs and found my hi-vis in the porch. I went back to bed.

“I can’t run because I don’t have any audiofuel on my shuffle at the moment” I said.
“zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” said Ginge.
I realised that was a pretty shameful excuse not to run, so I up I got, rummaged through the kit drawer, got dressed, set Miles to do his thing, trainers on, out of the door at 6.00.

“Are you indoors?” said Miles…

After nearly ten minutes of lurking nonchalantly in the alley next to our car park waiting for Miles to get a signal, I set off without him (he caught up at 0.2 miles today) and only had time for a quick two-ish miles to shift the cobwebs. I’m very glad that I went because I know that it should be easier next time. I’m also glad that I went when I did because the rain came just as stepped foot back inside the house.

Anyway, the morning run freed me up to enjoy the champagne and canapĂ©s at Booths. For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to live in Lancashire (or bits of Yorkshire/Cheshire/Cumbria), Booths is a magnificent regional supermarket who specialise in lots of lovely interesting and local stuff. The branch in our town has always been frequented by older customers who can have a chat with the friendly staff and buy a couple of rashers of bacon for their tea (I have done this myself…) as well as foodie types, hip young things and the bloke who I saw buying 35 pots of hazelnut yoghurt (and 1 blackcurrant) a little while ago.

Mini-cake and champagne

The Media City branch is going more for the foodie/hip young thing market rather than the older/yoghurty demographic (although Ginge did overhear a couple of more mature chaps who were comparing it to other stores in their I-Spy Book of Booths; it lost points for having stairs). As such, the presentation just seems that bit sharper and more styled than other branches.

All very artisan and rustic

Welcomed with a glass of champagne and music from the BBC Philharmonic, we proceeded to circulate around the canapĂ©s aisles. More often than not, we found ourselves in the beer aisle (and with over 200 types of bottled beers, that’s a terrible hardship to bear) which was better than the times that we found ourselves thoughtfully perusing cat food.

I could have been 72p up on the night if Ginge would have sat nicely on the shelf

I entertained myself by playing Booths Bingo (spotting a set of slightly specialist items), scoring 3 out of 4 with Symington’s Table Creams (I’m now very disappointed that Dr Oetker has dumbed down and appears to have scrapped the maple and walnut flavour, damn you Oetker), Force Cereal and Milo (I couldn’t find Camp coffee essence to collect my prize). I also realised that I lack the grown up skill of sipping from a champagne flute without looking like I’m necking it back like an uncouth ruffian.

What a magnificent fellow!

It made me incredibly proud that we have a chain like Booths in the area. I love my trips to Waitrose when we venture down south, but this is proper local stuff and is proper good stuff. It makes me happy that there’s people who love food and somehow manage to balance the very traditional with the very modern, the everyday brands with the small local producers, the stylish presentation with the friendly service. They also gave me a lamb chop encased in pastry – this made me very happy.