Juneathon 20/30 – getting the hard shoulder

The fates were smiling on me this morning. I woke up with a start and the realisation that I hadn’t actually set an alarm last night. It could have been the early hours or it could have been horrendously late. Miraculously it was 5.00, so I managed a bit of a snooze and still managed to be out of the door before six.

Today was a lovely run, I felt strong and it felt comfortable. I jollied along up the road, pondered my options and headed up the track to the motorway (thank you Morning of Magicians) and looped back for a nice, tidy round three miles. It was a gorgeous morning and I would have loved to stay out longer but apparently I have to go to work. Pah

A big morning sky

The M6 northbound

Cows – snuck into the field while my back was turned

Another unusual bit of rubbish – this time a bit more family friendly

Juneathon 19/30 – Heads or tails

There was around 9 hours between last night’s run and this morning’s run.  I knew I needed to run in the morning because I had something on after work and not running would be a Juneathon fail. It felt as if the alarm went off about ten minutes after I had fallen asleep and I could barely peel my eyes apart to swipe at the snooze button.

Basically, the morning went something like this:
Scrape eyelids open, paw at alarm, snooze.
Scrape eyelids open, paw at alarm, snooze.
Scrape eyelids open, consider turning alarm off, realise that inevitably I will fall back asleep and wake up too late to run, paw at alarm.
Continue persuading eyelids to stay open, consider matchsticks, consider whether standing on my head would force them open like turning a doll upside down does, realise that I have never been able to stand on my head, discount this idea, focus on standing up.
Find running kit, apply in correct order checking that every item is the right way out and the right way round. Say good morning to Ginge, whinge about Juneathon, lie down on the bed, realise that this a bad idea, close eyes, realise that this is an even worse idea.
Venture downstairs. Put Miles on his bespoke satellite locating stand wheely bin. Find shoes. Ensure shoes match. Apply shoes to appropriate feet. Curse Juneathon. Locate camera. Locate shuffle. Have a quick drink. Leave house, lock door, fasten Miles to wrist. Return to house, unlock door, pick up camera. Leave house, lock door. Unlock door, pick up shuffle. Leave house, lock door.
Spot treasure in car park. Silently praise Fairweather Runner for putting treasure on the list. Run half a mile, loop round, run back. Consider rounding up my mileage. Realise that I am tied to the tyranny of Miles’ demands. Break free of the tyranny of Miles’ demands. Be satisfied with 1.33 untidy Juneathon miles.

I have rarely been so pleased to find 5p

I have to run at 6 again tomorrow. Oh dear.

Juneathon 18/30 – are we nearly there yet?

It wasn’t that I was tempted to tumble off the Athon wagon today. It would be more accurate to say that I was tempted to do a great big high dive with triple somersaults off the Athon wagon. Apparently I’m not allowed to do that though. I could have just done the miserable route back from the supermarket, but there is one piece of treasure that I wanted to tick off before we head down south.

For this reason (and I hope that Fortnight Flo appreciates it) Ginge dropped me off near the milestone and I had to run the two point something miles back home (inevitably this would be rounded up to a nice tidy three…).

Quite fancy for these parts.

Ginge’s eagle eyes came in use again as he had spotted a deceased hedgehog at the side of the road. Thank you, @torsparkles for turning me into someone who takes photos of roadkill

Poor hedgehog.

I also spotted a postie’s red elastic band, which isn’t actually on the list but I took a photo of it for my mum because she says you don’t often see them any more.

Rarely seen round our way – one of the local councillors is waging a war on rubber bands. I am waiting for Mr Clegg to nick the idea to suggest as a government strategy.

I’m not sure which is worse, the fact that I have been photographing roadkill or that I have been photographing discarded rubber bands. In fact, please don’t answer that.

Juneathon 14/30 – Pier pressure

The Lancashire coastline is punctuated by piers; Southport, Lytham St Annes, three at Blackpool… I’ve run past two of them (maybe I need to venture to St Annes for a race one day) and any one of them would have made for a jolly Juneathon day out. That’s not my style though.

I ran after work today. Literally. Changed in the ladies and then a sprint downstairs before any of my colleagues spotted me in Lycra and wicking fabric. It’s not that I’m bothered by what I look like (heck, the other shoppers at my local Tesco will testify to that), more that I can’t always be doing with the bewilderment and questions. Maybe it’s a female thing, but any mention of exercise is often met with huffing and puffing, talk of grudging trips to the gym or a complete lack of exercise being worn almost as a badge of honour. I know I sometimes moan a bit about going for a run and I do love the sofa and the knitting and all the lovely indoors things, but I also bloody love my running. You are all welcome to remind of this point in the future when I’m whinging about going out.

So I don’t really admit to running at work. Especially if I’m in a spell where I’m doing longer distances – I can imagine the conversations; “So what did you do this weekend?” “Um, well I ran 10 miles in the pissing rain” “Oh”. If you met me at work you wouldn’t guess that I run (sod it, if you met me at a race you might not guess that I run) so I keep schtum.

Anyway, I got out of the building only to be spotted by one of our managers who cycles. He looked somewhat perplexed that I was standing at the side of the road swearing at Miles (“It’s a bit of cloud cover, not a steel vault you git, get a bloody signal and don’t you dare ask if I’m indoors”). He wanders around the office in cycling shorts though, so I’m not too bothered about that.

When Miles decided to play ball, I sped off down the road, down onto the canal and down to Wigan Pier. It’s not a pier where you’ll get an ice cream or try to win a mildly deformed teddy bear with a crane, in fact it’s not much of a pier at all* (and probably isn’t what Morning of Magicians had in mind when he added it to the list). But it did make a nice three mile loop and if it’s good enough for George Orwell, it’s good enough for me.

I bet George would be well chuffed to have a pub named after him

We actually ran to Wigan Pier as part of last year’s canal running/Juneathon crossover – it was mostly raining and drowned my camera.

*the pier was actually a coal tippler where coal was transferred from tram to barge. I think that’s the kind of joke we had to make do with up north while the Industrial Revolution was on.

Juneathon 12/30 – to wallaby or not to wallaby

We had high hopes for tonight’s expedition – a canal run along a stretch where we had previously spotted both a goat and an exotic animal (in the form of a wallaby). There’s every chance that we were previously mistaken about the wallaby, but whatever it was, it was certainly bigger than a squirrel.

Unfortunately, the wallaby was no more and there were no goats to be seen either. I’m slightly miffed by this as it seems like every man and his dog had a goat last year, but now we are goatless. Someone has indeed got my goat.

However, all was not lost and we did see a bit of traditional canal art in the form of roses and castles (another suggestion from the prolific Morning of Magicians).

King of the castle

We also say a conifer that looked a bit like a molar – does this count as an interesting tree @torsparkles?

It looks like more like a tooth in real life. Maybe you had to be there.

For the return leg, we ventured off the towpath and onto the main road where eagle eyed Ginge (I might start calling him that all of the time) spotted an orchid (although I am still hoping to see a real one on my travels Jo!)

An unexpected orchid

Tomorrow night is yoga night, so it’s an early hunt in the morning – unless downward facing cat will count as treasure?