Janathon Day 19. Post Race Thoughts – Bath Skyline 10K #3

Still thinking about yesterday’s race (shows it was a good one!).

1:27:30 is my official time for the Bath Skyline #3 (Racecourse course) Definitely my new 10K PW*, and I’m fine with that.

I was amused to see that Relish Running Races had published this on their website and facebook page yesterday:-

“WOW! We have never seen mud like that before, that was really something else. That has to be our toughest course ever! If you thought it was muddy for the earlier waves, the later waves was a pure mud bath! Well done to all the runners, what an fantastic achievement 🙂

It was amazing to see such commitment to the cause and seeing runners coming home plastered in mud – the Cotswold Hills are definitely a little shorter this evening :-)”

It’s official then – it was a tough one. Runners wearing ‘Tough Mudder’ T-shirts were overheard to say it was tougher than Tough Mudder. I’m just wondering now how the Slaughterford 9 (next Sunday) is going to feel after that…

I was amazed I felt so okay after running that, that I didn’t bother with a recovery run and got on with the day. By the evening though, I realised my mistake.

Day 19 of Janathon could justifiably have just been getting my kit clean again, but I also heroically managed a few creaky stretches before bed as well.

* PW = Personal Worst

Janathon Day 18. Bath Skyline 10K #3

When I arrived home after this morning’s race, I told my family I felt like I’d been steamrollered. (Teen 2 promptly asked if I’d ever actually been steamrollered. I told him Health and Safety standards had been much lower in the seventies when I was little).

How I arrived home, post steam rollering.
How I arrived home, post steam rollering.

At the last Skyline 10K I ran, back in November, I was fairly scathing about the course, the organisation, the location, in fact about everything except the medal. (Read my race report here). I am very pleased to report that Relish Running Races has acted on all of these problems and turned this into a fantastic race. It has moved to Bath Racecourse, the route is all off road and incorporates two big hills, and after the recent wet weather we had been warned it would be muddy.

I’ll notlie to you, the course was hard. Steep hills are always going to be difficult (for me) to navigate. Throw in thick, oozy mud and things get interesting. Wading and splashing through knee high mud is one thing. However slipping and sliding down a steep hill or being unable to climb back up the otherside because you have zero grip is quite another. Think cartoon running, where your legs are spinning but you don’t actually move. It was all good fun.

I love the camaraderie at tough races like this. I love that I was complimented on my balance as I slithered out of control down a muddy slope (I told my complimentor not to jinx me). I love that I was inspired to tell a strange man that he was my favourite person so far this year (he was handing out the chocolate bars at the end). I was touched that I spotted an expression of true love in the car park afterwards, when I saw a chap struggling to pull off his partner’s muddy tights for her whilst she held onto the car seat with both hands.

"Keep those expensive socks clean" was the last thing Mr B&T said as I left the house
“Keep those expensive socks clean” was the last thing Mr B&T said as I left the house
Post race snacks. Jaffa cakes, mmmm
Post race snacks. Jaffa cakes, mmmm
Medal. It came in a plastic bag which is why it's not muddy
Medal. It came in a plastic bag which is why it’s not muddy

I loved the warm tent at the end to collect my medal and graze upon the snacks. I loved the sunshine which made the temperature feel warmer than the 3C it actually was. The views down towards Bristol were stunning, but I had to concentrate on where I was putting my feet so didn’t get much of a chance to savour them. I’m delighted that I think I recorded a new PW for a 10K time, and yet I still think I gave it my all. I’m loving the glass of red which is now going down very well and making me feel very mellow. However I might not love how my body feels tomorrow …

Janathon day 17. The DGDVC*

This year’s janathon challenge was to do a Dressing Gown ‘dash’ and film it (Hence *Dressing Gown Dash Video Challenge). Just to be different, I did a PJDVC and my daughter helpfully filmed it. And she operated the torch (credit where credit’s due). In a show of solidarity** she was also in PJs and dressing gown.
The stats:- 0.1M dashed, in a moving time of 1 minute 3 seconds. Smashed it!

** translation “she’s a teenager. She’s been in then all day”.


Janathon Day 16. What’s the opposite of a recovery run?

I have a hilly, muddy, “through woods open to the public for the first time”(i.e. untamed) race on Sunday. Weather forecast is pants so it’s fair to say I’m feeling a little nervous. In the interests of preserving my legs I decided to just head out for a very gentle 3 mile plod today.

Whilst plodding (and shivering) I considered what this kind of run should be called. A gentle run after a race is a recovery run, but does a run beforehand have a special name? A preparation run? A prequel? An excuse for a very slow and short run? Hmm – I think we all know which of these is closest to the truth!

Janathon Day 14. Tired and snowy

We woke to snow this morning. I got up and put my running gear on determined to find a route that wasn’t too snowy, icy or wet. Then our boiler stopped working. Hardcore running in the snow is one thing, doing it when you won’t be able to have a hot bath afterwards is quite another.

So I took most of my running kit back off again and rang British Gas.

Rockin’ the Compression socks with jeans look

Brilliantly by eleven o’clock I was back in all my running gear, ready to set off with the promise of heating and hot water on my return.

Ten miles I managed today. Ten long, hard, tired, slow miles. I would have said “ten miles in the snow” except the snow petered out just outside the village and most of my run was on wet roads in sunshine. Fortunately I managed to capture photographic evidence so I could claim my hardocre “running in the snow” points.




Janathon Day 13th. Janathon is renamed.

Hardly surprising that on the 13th day of Janathon I very nearly failed. I had planned to do something, then put it off, and then (basically) forgot. I forgot right up until the moment I was about to get into bed. Deep sigh – time for another emergency plank on the bedroom floor.

Just at this point, Mr B&T appeared at the bedroom door also wanting to get ready for bed. “It’s just Janathon!” I gasped, arms and abs quivering. He sighed, stepped over me and proclaimed “Janathon? More like Faff-about-athon”.


Janathon Day 11. The 50K Audax

Sub title “Making up for yesterday”

Before you get too impressed, this was a cycle ride and not a run. However it’s still pretty impressive for me, because I’ve only ever cycled further than this once, back in June last year (see my blog post about the Wrong Way Round And Round Ride) .

An Audax ride is sort of like orienteering on bikes, as you’re given direction to follow, and check points you have to get to, to prove you’ve ridden the route.

Route Instructions. I just followed Mr B&T

Although this was a long ride for me, it is the first (and shortest) of the series our cycling club put on. The only control point is in a village hall where tea and cake is provided.

Tea stop. That's me, looking like I've not been cycling

Today I learnt:-

– it’s flipping hard cycling into a head wind;
– winter cycling involves many more layers of clothing than winter running;
– sporting events that involve a stop for tea and cake get a thumbs up from me
– and that cyclists are a nice bunch of people.

I was also reminded of a couple of things that I already know, but sometimes forget. Mainly that running, and especially marathon training, has taught me that even if I’m cold and tired I have the strength and stamina (and stubbornness?!) to carry on. Also that I’m married to a lovely chap, who cycled the whole way with me at my slow pace instead of zooming off with his mates. He also magically produced a couple of my favourite tea bags when we reached the tea stop. Thank you!