Juneathon Day 30. It’s the Final Countdown…

Sorry for that ear worm, but  it had to be done! The final day of Juneathon.  30 days of exercise, blogging, excuses, and occasional creative definitions of exercise. (I still think getting into, and out of, compression socks really should count as exercise).

After resting my tired ’10k PB’ legs on Friday and Saturday I decided it was only right to get out and run today to celebrate the last day of Juneathon. A lovely slow 3 miles around my usual 3 mile loop proved to me the wisdom of not running either of the previous two days. Wow my legs were stiff. My calf muscles I knew would be stiff, however I wasn’t expecting my thighs to feel as tight as they did.

Anyway, enough moaning. Juneathon is done, I just need to have a think over the month and then I’ll do a blog post summing it up. Not tomorrow though -I expect I’ll be doing some form of exercise, but I’ll enjoy not *having* to blog!

Juneathon day 29. DOMS.

So much for thinking about finishing Juneathon on a high. So much for idly planning to maybe attend my first ever Parkrun this weekend. No, today DOMS has hit with a vengeance after Thursday’s 10K PB. In particular my shins are sore, probably caused by tight calves from running in the cold.

So as I have an eye on my annual 5K race next week I decided to be sensible and not run today. Instead I worked in the garden for an hour and a half, and by worked I mean heavy work (digging out the back of the pond) rather than flitting around in a summery dress with a trug and a pair of secateurs. I also ‘planked’ for a minute and 10 seconds.

My shins are still sore now, but hopefully I’ll manage a little plod tomorrow to celebrate (commiserate?) the end of Juneathon.

Juneathon Day 28. Great Chalfield 10K Race Report

So one of the secrets of a good result is good preparation.  In this house that usually means good food.  So good race preparation means a good carb load.  Cue the ultimate triple carb meal.  Pasta,  potatoes AND bread!  And jolly tasty too


It’s actually Minestrone Soup with Focaccia bread. All home made, and even eaten outside because it was a lovely evening. It was so good I even had some more for race day lunch (I find evening races really weird to get myself organised for – wot no porridge?)

Thursday dawned warm and sunny again, so with a line full of washing drying I spent the day gardening and allotmenteering. Maybe not as good race prep as the meal. I was worried about the heat though, as running in the sun tends to push my heart rate sky high, meaning I feel shattered and have to slow down. My rain dance must have worked, because bang on 4 pm the rain started.

By the time I made it to the race it was pouring down, chilly and quite miserable.

View from my car at the start
View from my car at the start

This is a great little race run with, and raising funds for, the local Scout group. Last year there were 97 runners, the sun shone, and everyone was cheerful and friendly. (See last year’s race report here, with some much prettier photos!) This year, there were 71 runners, the sun was nowhere to be seen but everyone was still cheerful. Bless the marshals who had to stand out in the rain until we’d run past. One was heard to cry defiantly that he didn’t need an umbrella, he was a Scout Leader!

It was freezing standing around waiting for the off, I dutifully listened to the pre-race briefing and was most amused to hear that each kilometre would be marked by a big sign. Apart from Kilometre 6, because they couldn’t find the sign. You’ve got to love these little races!

Great Chalfield 10K 2013 Start
The start. Already soaked

Eventually we were off, and i was amazed to find that, as I’d hoped, by the 1Km sign i was already warm. I was wishing I’d worn my compression socks to keep my calves and shins warm though, because I could feel my right shin just feeling a little sore. I did a Jens Voigt, told it to shut up, and ignored it. I was aiming to keep as close to 9 minute miles as I could, which I duly did. With a small field, once we were off the Common we quickly separated and I found myself running on my own. I did overtake one man, but after that there were long sections where I couldn’t even see any other runners.

It was all feeling good, but as I got to the 5K marker I did question if I could keep this pace up for another 5K. My legs just kept on going though, so I told my head to shut up and pushed on. As last year, Great Chalfield Manor surprised me by suddenly appearing and then disappearing at around 8K. After this I had memories of a long hill back up to the Common (and the finish line) from last year where I overtook a couple of people who had slowed to a walk. Maybe they’ve taken a steamroller to the course since last year, or maybe I’m a bit fitter, because there was a just small incline there this year. No walkers to overtake either. Curses – always an ego boost!

I splashed my way back along the Common and as I crossed the finish line I heard them shout out my time, 55:21. Wow, wow and wow!

Great Chalfield 10K 2013 Finish
The End is Nigh!

A new PB! To put it in context, my time for the same race last year (but in the warm sunshine) was 59:26. My previous 10K PB, from 2011, was set on the pancake flat Castle Combe Circuit and was 58:35. How lovely to see this as I uploaded my times to Garmin Connect:-

new 10K PB
Oh yes, I think I’ll accept this new PB!

Okay – so I take it ‘resting on my laurels’ will count as an activity for the rest of Juneathon??! (Just in case it doesn’t I’ll do my Abs DVD again later).

Juneathon Day 26. “We’ve dropped Mum. Again!”

Cycling around the Castle Combe circuit last night I was a little ( Oh all right, a LOT) disappointed to see my husband and son sailing off into the distance without me.  On one occasion I distinctly heard “We’ve dropped Mum. Again.” I mean, I know my husband does lots of cycling, and his bike weighs about a quarter what mine does, but I would have hoped to keep up with my son,  who does as little exercise as possible.

When we got home my husband heaved my bike up onto his bike maintenance stand to have a ‘tinker’ with it (that’s a technical term, apparently). Later he was very pleased to announce that,  despite the fact my bike has only recently had a service*, he found that both brake blocks were rubbing on the wheels.  Effectively I had been pedalling with the brakes  on all the way around.  That would explain why it felt so hard!

This morning,  when trying to decide what I should do for Juneathon today,  I was reminded by @weegjs over on Twitter that I’m racing tomorrow, and so should keep it gentle today.  I decided I would try out my new souped up bike and see how much of a difference the non-permanent brakes made.  The addition of my lovely basket on the front could only put me in a good mood as well.

I set off to the local Farm Shop to pick up a few things, then back to the village and out to the allotment for some watering and pottering, then back home for lunch.

6.17 miles in 34:38. Wish I could run that fast!

* I’ll not name the shop that serviced it, but equally I won’t go back there again.

Juneathon Day 25. An unexpected double day

So the plan was to go up to Castle Combe circuit tonight and take part in their Midsummer Bike Ride. This is an annual event when you can cycle on the motor racing circuit (no cars allowed!) and the idea is to ride as many laps as possible to raise money for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Great plan, and a chance to do something different for Juneathon.

Then my daughter wasn’t well and had the day off school so I figured I wouldn’t get to the bike ride. In order to get my Juneathon exercise in I decided to pop out for an easy 3 mile run. I even managed a plank for 90 seconds as well when I got back home.

By the evening my daughter was feeling much better and was happy to be left at home whilst the rest of us went and cycled. So in an amazing double day I also cycled 10.4 miles.

Tired now and only just remembered to blog!

Juneathon day 24. Race prep, and having my knees licked

So after the weekend’s excesses (of which an excess of exercise did not, sadly, feature) I knew I’d enjoy a run today. I was feeling as keen as a young pup that hears the magic word “Walkies!” This enthusiasm was balanced by my sensible side which pointed out to the puppy that was lacing up her trainers and bouncing up and down with excitement that she actually has a 10K race on Thursday and so needs to just take it steady, if not gently this week.

The sensible head won, and I set off for a 3 mile loop. I took the first mile very gently as a warm-up, and then speeded up for a mile and a half, then a half mile cool down. Oddest moment of the run was meeting a couple of black labradors that rushed up to me, tails wagging, asking for a pat. Whilst I gave them some attention, they  both licked my knees. Urgh!

I also managed a minute’s plank when I got home. Much better effort than the weekend!

Oh – and a late entry to add to Juneathon day 23. I just remembered, my young tabby cat brought a live froglet in through the cat flap last night. I then spent at least 5 minutes chasing the cat, and the froglet, around and under the kitchen table trying to drop a towel over the froglet whilst keeping over-excited tabby away with my foot. Must have burnt a few calories, certainly got my heart rate up, and happily I managed to get the froglet back outside by the pond whilst locking the tabby in the house. I do so love a happy ending!

Juneathon Day 23. Not hungover at all.

Well my parent’s anniversary dinner last night was wonderful.  I think everyone enjoyed themselves – I know I did!

So today I wasn’t hungover at all.  Not at all – no.  Nope. I was just a little … tired. My daughter had a friend over so I didn’t feel I could go out for a run, so me and my son cycled up to the allotment instead.  We had a quick breath of fresh air, had a little potter about,  and then cycled home again. 

In total,  just over a mile cycled.  Yes I know this is quite pathetic, but if it wasn’t Juneathon I wouldn’t have gone out at all,  so I’m happy with that.  This is extra pathetic consisting Mr B&T spent yesterday on a 100 mile cycle ride,  the Bike Bath Sportive.  He then spent today on the secondday ofthe sportive cycling another 100 miles, thus earning the title  ‘Gladiator’. Now that’s impressive!

Juneathon Day 22. Golden Wedding Anniversary

Too late to blog,  but to keep up my Juneathon postings I’ll just post a quick one.

It was my parent’s Golden Wedding Anniversary today, and to be happily married for 50 years deserves a celebration. They’d arranged a fanatic dinner at a lovely restaurant for family and friends so most of today was spent getting ready for this evening.  Delivering their present, going shopping for a belt to fit my son’s new suit, then attempting to make myself look presentable took most of the day.

I managed to fit in a plank for 1:30 just before I put on my glad rags (and high heeled sandals) then it was off to party.

Tired now – having fun is hard work!

Juneathon Day 21. The Longest (and muggiest) day

Happy Solstice, everyone!  For once the longest day is sunny, and warm. And very, very muggy. I didn’t realise this until I started my intervals. 8 sets of 400m repeats at 8:35 – 8:50 pace with 90 second recoveries in between. I run my intervals on a straight stretch of lane about a mile away from the village, which means I have a mile warm up and cool down. Perfect! Unfortunately this lane has a very slight slope on it, which means my outward (odd-numbered) repeats are easier than the even (slightly uphill) repeats. This is never normally a problem, I just need to be aware that half the repeats will feel easier than the other half, and not beat myself up about it.

So I ran my mile warm-up and stashed my water bottle by a tree, and set off for my first repeat. Slightly downhill, easy. 90 second recovery at a gentle jog, then I turned for the uphill repeat. Oh – not only was it (slightly) uphill but I suddenly was running into a headwind. Where did that come from, and why hadn’t I felt the wind behind me as I ran ‘downhill’?! (Or maybe that was why it had felt easy!) Anyway, enough excuses. All 8 repeats were run, at varying paces. Water bottle was retrieved and I plodded back home. Boy it felt muggy, but I hadn’t realised quite ‘how’ muggy until I uploaded my data to the Garmin Connect website. Apparently it was 100% humidity.

Quite Humid Today
Quite Humid Today!

100% Humidity – is that not like running through water?