Juneathon day 20. Race Indecision

After the winter’s Marathon training, and autumn’s inevitable half marathons, I decided this summer was the time to try and improve on my 10K and 5K PBs. Currently these stand at 58:35 (from 20/11/2011, on a pancake flat motor racing circuit), and 27:46 (from 12/7/2012, the only 5K race I run every year!)

So just before Juneathon started, I headed off to the Runner’s World website and started searching for races within 10 miles to me. Whooh! Talk about being spoilt for choice!

Sunday 9th June – Chippenham harriers 5 mile road race

Monday 10th June – Westonbirt 10K

Wednesday 12th June – Springfield 5K

Wednesday 19th – Specsavers Longest Day 10k

Thursday 27th June – Great Chalfield Manor 10K

Wednesday 3rd July – Chippenham 5K River Run

Wednesday 10th July – Springfield 5K

10th August – Lacock 10K

11th August Castle Combe 10K

31st August Malmesbury 10k

Sunday 15th September – Chippenham Half Marathon

Sunday 22nd September – Malmesbury half Marathon

I asked on Twitter which 10K should I enter. The wisdom of Twitter spoke “The flattest one” – Choose the flattest 10K  Thanks to @LaraineWynjones for this great advice – she blogs over at http://6hourmarathonrunner.blogspot.co.uk/  do pop over and say hello!

As it happens, life got in the way and for all sorts of reasons I couldn’t do most of the races. However today I entered the Great Chalfield 10K next Thursday, and the Chippenham River Run 5K in July. I’ve also entered the Chippenham Half Marathon in September.

I was hoping that entering 2 races would count as my Juneathon activity for the day. Or the two hours I spent allotmenteering this morning. Just in case neither was enough I also managed my first plank for 1:30. A new PB!

Juneathon Day 19. Are my legs still talking to me?

After yesterday’s unexpectedly long run, I was a little worried my legs wouldn’t be speaking to me. They certainly creaked a little as I crawled out of bed this morning. However a busy, packed day meant I had no time for procrastination so I got dressed and headed out.

Just 3 easy easy miles was planned, and feeling the heavy, muggy air as I stepped out I had no intention of deviating from that plan. My right shin had a little moan at one point which is always a tad worrying, so I had a little chat to my legs and all was well.

I have learnt the careful art of leg-whispering from my mentor, the pro-cyclist and legend Jens Voigt. Please do view his instructional video below:-

Jens Voigt talking to his legs

Juneathon day 18. A long run

A day that starts with going back to bed is never going to be a great one,  unless you’d planned a lazy ‘slump’ day and have nothing else to do. I was really tired but couldn’t get back to sleep so gave up, and got up again.

Then I decided I’d better get my Juneathon done for the day so I climbed into my running gear.  Then I thought maybe I’d feel better if I took my ipod. Them I realised it was probably out of charge as I’ve not used it for so long.  Then I realised that actually I haven’t done a long run for … ooh quite some time.

Finally stopped pfaffing about and got out there. 10 miles done, all of them horrible, and I truly hated every step. None of this “once you get out you’ll enjoy it” nonsense here! Ah well, its done, and it was the longest run I’ve done since Brighton Marathon back in April, so I guess it was long overdue.


Oh – the best bit of this run? The hot chocolate, and toast with peanut butter with extra salt crystals sprinkled on it, that I had when I go t back home. I would have taken a photo, but I was too slow and it went.

Juneathon Day 17. Just call me Barbara.


I love it when a plan comes together. Finally managed to cycle to the allotment! Once there I weeded for 90 minutes (which did include a stop for tea from my thermos) and then cycled back home.
Must have ridden around 0.75 each way, so Juneathon DONE for today. Cycling to the allotment -just call me Barbara Good!*

* you may have to be over ‘a certain age’ to get this reference!

Juneathon Day 16. Just

A busy day, I knew I had the day to clean and tidy the whole house ready for visitors. Oh and shop and cook. Oh and visit my Dad for Father’s Day.

After yesterday’s narrow escape from failure I decided to ignore my legs saying “we don’t run on Sundays unless it’s a race.  Where’s my medal? ” and snuck out straight after breakfast.  Just 3 miles in the humid drizzle, but enough to make me feel I was doing Juneathon properly today.

You’ll be glad to hear the house did get tidied and cleaned, the shopping was done, a meal was cooked and enthusiastically eaten by all. Oh and I did get to see my dad as well. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Juneathon Day 15. The excuses start

So is a Saturday and I never run on a Saturday. And I’m tired and I had lots to do today.  Is that enough excuses?

Mr B&T suggested I cycled my newly serviced bike up to the allotments, did some allotmenteering, and then cycled home.  Fantastic idea! I said.  Okay, but after lunch, he said.

After lunch I persuaded a little helper to come with me, and … torrential rain started.  It rained and rained, then we had to go out to town to get some stuff done.

In a fit of desperation I gave my son my watch and got him to time me doing a plank.  1 minute 20 seconds make it a new PB -so not a total waste of a Juneathon!

Juneathon Day 14. A Reward!

So after 2 weeks of Juneathon I reckon its time for a reward. CAKE!!!!!!!

Keeping to the spirit of Juneathon, this cake is great for a pre-run breakfast, and also great for carb loading. The fruit is good for slow energy release, the soft brown sugar is better than white for the same reason.

Earl Grey Tea Fruit Loaf


225g dried mixed fruit
300ml tepid Earl Grey
250g self-raising flour
200g soft light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg


Fruit Soaking
Fruit Soaking

1. Pop the dried fruit and tea in a large bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave to soak overnight, until the fruit is plump and juicy- it won’t soak up all of the tea though!

2. The next day, preheat the oven to 175C/375F/Gas 3 and grease and line a large (2lb) loaf tin.

3. Add the flour, sugar, egg and spices to the bowl with the fruit and mix well.

4. Pop the mixture in the loaf tin and bake for 75 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

5. Remove the cake from the tin, remove the greaseproof paper, and leave it to cool covered with a cloth (so the outside stays moist).

Mixing Everything In
Mixing Everything In

We’ve found its best cut into thick slices (like 2cm thick!) and then into fingers. Only bad part is you have to remember to put the fruit to soak overnight, and then wait 75 mins whilst it bakes! It also freezes fantastically well. Simply slice the whole loaf up, and freeze it in slices. Ideal to just take a couple of slices out the day before (and it stops you eating the whole loaf in one go!)

I found a lovely dried fruit mix at Sainsburys – as well as raisins, sultanas etc it has cranberries and apricots in – extra yummy.

Original recipe had 1 tsp each of the spices, but I thought it was too strong so cut it down to 1/2. My husband said it was fine with the whole amount, but I bake the stuff so I’ll make it how I like

I can’t take credit for the original recipe, which came from Goldilocks Running blog.Thank you!

Now before you all go off to make cake, I should report that I did actually run today as well. 4 miles in total, a mile warm up, 2 miles fast(er), and a mile cool down.

Juneathon Day 13. By the skin of my knickers

Busy, busy day.  When you start a new challenge,  whether it’s Juneathon or a marathon training schedule,  you imagine that there’ll be hard days. If you’re optimistic like I generally am, you imagine yourself pulling through,  grim faced and determined,  like a plucky young heroine from an Enid Blyton book.

In reality the hard days are ground through, and often got through by the skin of your teeth (or by the ‘skin of your knickers’, as my son used to think the saying went).

Today was one of those days.  Having to take the car for its MOT meant my day was wiped out. Killing time in a Starbucks I tweeted that the walk up to the Outlet Centre, 3 hours shopping and then the 0.7 mile walk back to the garage would have to count for today. I even tracked my walk on Strava, much to my husband’s amusement.

Once I was home I felt guilty. I like doing things properly, I don’t approve of cheating! So in between getting children to bed, I managed to sneak in 10 minutes of my abs DVD again.

That’ll do – can I go to bed now?

Juneathon Day 12. Tired legs, lambs and a sweaty chest

Out for a longer, easy run today. After Sunday’s race and yesterday’s tight calves I figured I’d just go slow, keep my heart rate down, and enjoy the plod.  Great plan,  but half way round I realised my legs were feeling tired and heavy, I was thirsty (having not taken a drink with me), and it was really muggy.

Sensibly I cut off one last loop of my run and headed for home.  6.75 miles in 1:14 which included time taking some photos.

Photos,  you say?  Well if you insist. There’s the one of the most pampered sheep in the world showing why she’s been quite so fat.  Yes she does live in a front garden,  and I have seen her stood on the doorstep leaning on the door before now.

Pampered sheep
Pampered sheep

Then there’s the really pretty flowers growing in the verge

Flowery Verge
Flowery Verge

And lastly,  am I the only person who manages to have a sweat mark on their chest in such a random place?

sweaty chest

Juneathon Day 11. Back to Abs

So the reason I didn’t run today had nothing to do with the weather. Oh no, no fair weather runner, me.

Well, okay, I will confess that my heart did droop a little when I saw the rain this morning. But it drooped lower when I realised my calves felt tight.  I will NOT have shin splints again -I refuse!  So I decided best not to risk anything, so not to run today but to do … something else.

Cue another DVD with an Abs workout. Cue another American lady with a strange voice. Cue me lying on the carpet with cats looking on, worried as to whether I’ll be able to get back up and feed them later.


I still haven’t worked out if she’s referring to my “littl’ belly” or my “low’r belly”.

Ah well –  job done. Cats relieved that dinner will appear tonight.  Abs knackered for tomorrow, and all’s well with the world.