Juneathon Day 16: And the winner is…

Last night I went to yoga leaving Ginge with a list of suggestions for my Garmin virtual training partner, some beer and the State of Origin game on the telly. The only deal that we’d struck is that I wasn’t allowed to hint at which one I’d like and he wasn’t allowed to pick something  deliberately that I wouldn’t like.

To be honest, I loved all the suggestions. I was immediately banned from Nicky192’s idea that I should name it after a teenage crush as Ginge knows what I’m still like with my lustful inclinations towards Eric Cantona, and runtezza’s Garmin Miranda made me laugh like a drain.

Honourable mentions from Ginge go to Katrina with Emile Monroe (a name and an anagram) and Robyn with Marvin the Garmin. Hels also got kudos for “Ben, after The Running Man”. However, in the end, Ginge said that there was a clear winner…

And the winner is….

K, like in caKe (the genius behind Cake of Good Hope) with Miles. Not only did Ginge see it and immediately knew that it was right, but as soon as he decided that this was the winner, Nate Myles made a break for Queensland and this was clearly a sign from the gods (or at least the commentators on Channel 9). So well done K, like in caKe! If you let me know where I’m sending it, a tin of William Santus’ finest confectionary will be on its way to you at the weekend.

This morning I took Miles out for a two mile race. The first mile felt great, mile 1 to mile 1.5 was like I’d been fitted with concrete trainers (I suspect that’s down to lots of strong leg work at yoga last night combined with residual achy legs from, ooh, the last fortnight), I started to pull up with half a mile to go before calling myself an idiot and pushing on, quarter of mile from home I realised that some of my discomfort was a hint that if I went much further then there would have to be an emergency pit stop… Needless to say, it was with some relief when Miles tinkled his little bell and told me that the workout had finished.

And the winner was….?



Me! By a whole four seconds. Miles has yet to come up with his excuses.

Juneathon Day 10: Mostly uneventful

Now that’s a title to get people flocking to your blog, but I’m nothing if not honest. Up and out before six and the only people I passed were  a couple of dog walkers, one with several collies – I was grateful that he delayed crossing the road, thus thwarting the plans of one of them who definitely looked like he wanted to herd me.

I seem to have entered a slightly dysfunctional stage with my Garmin, today I pretty much ignored him and did a steadyish three miles, nothing fancy. I’m liking the suggestions so far, although Fortnight Flo has managed to suggest my uncle’s name (the father of Simon and Jonathan) and possibly that would be just as unnerving as Ginge’s ideas. Maybe I could go all Rumpelstiltskin and offer a special bonus prize to anyone who guesses my aunt’s name? Not you Mum, that’s cheating.


Juneathon Day 9: Name my Garmin, win sweeties

Crikey, I just thought that I’d managed to miss a day of Juneathon. I remember running every day, but my last blog was titled Day 7. Today is Day 9. What happened to Day 8? Turns out (and thank you for not noticing this) I titled Day 7 as Day 77 (with the subtitle of Bleary, so that’s my ready-made excuse) and Day 8 as Day 7. Idiot.

Today is Thursday and Thursday is social running day. We spurned the canal in favour of one of the local country parks, conveniently forgetting that the word ‘Valley’ in its name is a clue to its geography. Off we trotted, dealing with the usual work, relationship and life issues on the way. The sun was shining, the dog walkers friendly and I was going about 3min/mile slower than I did when I was racing my Garmin training partner of mystery. The annoying thing was that it felt nearly as hard as going at  my usual pace, it seemed most unfair.

We did 3 miles and then lurked in the car park while we continued to set the world to rights and I stared at a chap in a pair of tiny running shorts. He had lovely long lady-like legs and I found myself mulling on the unfairness of this, as well trying to imagine what he would look like with my sturdy man thighs (he’d be shorter and would look ridiculous in tiny running shorts, which would serve him right for nicking my legs).

I have also reached the momentous decision to name my Garmin. I talk to him (ooh, it’s a boy!)  enough as it is, usually muttering something along the lines of “Am I indoors now? Does this look like indoors? See, there’s a bloody canal there, do I have one of those in my house? No. I. Am. Outdoors”. Thank you for all your ideas so far; Ginge has suggested Jonathan (as a play on Jan/Juneathon) and Simon (because I’ll have to do what Simon says), they’re good suggestions, but he was also just naming two of my cousins and that’s a bit weird (incidentally, you have no idea how much attention I had to pay while writing a card to Jonathan in January – it took all my concentration not to write “To Janathon”).

Anyway – this weekend’s canal running takes us to the shiny metropolis that is Wigan. Land of pies, piers and the regional delicacy that is the Uncle Joe’s Mint Ball. Immortalised in song by Mike Harding, this spherical sweetie is a thing of beauty and the waft of peppermint oil on the breeze near Wigan Wallgate is a sensory experience that is rarely beaten.

Give one to your granny and watch the bugger go

I am willing to offer a tin of Uncle Joe’s (with none missing, I promise) to one lucky blog reader who comes up with the best name for what is usually known as That Bloody Thing – just add a comment at the bottom of this and that’s it. In the interests of ethics, I’ll follow JogBlog‘s lead and there will be some kind of independent adjudication involved.



Juneathon Day 6: Blimey Charlie!

Garmin, check. Shuffle, check. Clubcard, check. Monday night is big shop night in the Hopefully household and earlier Athons have taught me that the most effective use of time is to run home from Tesco (well I’m hardly going to get up at half five on a Monday morning am I?). I have long since run out of shame when it comes to going to supermarkets in my running kit (at least tonight I was there pre-run so I wasn’t red-faced, sweaty or muddy, which is a blessing for everyone) and I think more people (me included) were distracted by the sight of a woman who appeared to be wearing a pelmet as a skirt.

To get home, I have a choice of two routes. Both are three miles long. One is an undulating bypass between an industrial estate and a housing estate finishing with my old nemesis hill. The other is mainly flat and runs between fields full of sheep. Guess which one I picked? I know, I know, but don’t judge me just yet…

Yesterday on Twitter, JogBlog was extolling the virtues of owning a Garmin to Hels and the conversation turned to the fact that some let you run against a virtual training buddy (JogBlog’s is named Cedric). This lead to some discussion about training plans which reminded me that I should really get on with some proper training if I’m supposed to be running the Folkestone half in September and Cathy suggested I use a virtual partner. Instead, I used my actual partner (the ever reliable Ginge) to kick my arse as we ran along the canal – the result was that I managed to finish with an average pace of 10.03min/mile over 8 miles (the last 2 half mile splits came in at 9.35 and 9.24 – I have no idea how) and I never do that.

Ginge presented me with undeniable evidence that it’s my head that’s holding me back  from improving at the moment – when he told me that he’d deliberately gone a bit faster than normal, I checked my pace, fear set in and I immediately slowed down.

Unfortuately (and fortunately, I’m not an idiot) now that this particular Pandora’s box has been opened, the fact that I can go faster is fluttering out there like a malevolent moth. I can’t really keep slacking by running at my familiar pace, however comforting that is. And so it was with some trepidation that I pressed buttons randomly on my Garmin until I had managed to challenge it to a race at a 9.30min/mile pace all the way home from Tesco. The result?

It was a bit of a drubbing for the Garmin – I beat it with a minute to spare. Ha. Take that as-yet-unamed-GPS-watch-thingy.

Annoyingly, this doesn’t really affect my cornet count and I now have a higher benchmark than I expected. Arse.


Day 15/30 – in which I curse my garmin, but then grin wildly at the thought that we’re over the hump

Or, Day 15/30 – Goldilocks rules

A day’s training meant that it was never going to be an early one today. In fact, I was so stressy about the day that I dreamt vividly and woke up convinced that I had to go to Blackpool, rather than Liverpool today. I’d been looking forward to an evening run and had lots of exciting plans of where I could possibly go after work. Be careful what you wish for – I think I’d got so enthused with the concept that none of my routes lived up to the hype. Everywhere that Ginge suggested was wrong – that was too long, too short, too urban, too isolated (I don’t go through fields), too much like a morning run, too hilly, too scary as I had no idea what the hills would be like…. Eventually we settled on a sort of figure of 8 that I could add on to if I felt like it (ha).

I have lingering grumpiness and all of this took a good hour to sulk work through, by which time I’d nearly convinced myself that Juneathon was a pointless exercise because it’s inevitable that I will fail at it sooner or later, so I may as well stop now. Truly I am a sunshine-filled optimist at the moment.

When I did eventually set off, my garmin had a bit of a hissy fit and chose to ignore the first 0.2 miles – this did not help my mood, because we all know that if the garmin doesn’t record it, then it hasn’t happened… I was also too hot – when I’d left Merseyside, it was cloudy with a nice breeze, back home I’d neglected to consider the properties of the large shiny ball hanging there in the bright blue cloudless sky.

For a good portion of this run, my motivation was the thought that there were no shortcuts home so I might as well keep running, but after a while I was actually enjoying myself (sort of) and did 5 miles (plus the bit that my contraption ignored).  I was also quite pleased that my average moving speed was 10.36min/mile, which for me is a decent plod, especially as I’d felt like I was running through custard.

Tomorrow, it’s back on the 5.45 alarm call for an easy early one. Hurrah!