Juneathon Day 25. Mange Tout Overload

My daughter told me at breakfast that she needed her skort for sports day today. I pointed at the washing machine, at that point full of water, bubbles, and sports gear (including her skort). Whoops.

I quickly made a plan that meant as soon as the skort was clean and dry I would cycle over to her school and drop it off. Brilliant – sports day saved AND Juneathon done in one fell swoop.

I was still congratulating myself on this cunning plan an hour later when my daughter rang from school to say her best friend was going to lend her her skort to save me the trip. Nice idea but grrrrr!

So Juneathon today was another trip to the allotment. I cycled despite planning on digging potatoes, and picking mange tout and lettuce. I watered, I picked, I dug. I cycled bank home with half a hundredweight of mange tout peas. A win-win situation.

Mission accomplished.

Juneathon day 22. Busy.

Busy day here, but not much Juneathoning went on. With the builders being here all week it seems ridiculous doing any sort of cleaning or housework when they’ll just walk through and mess things up again. I’d decided to leave everything and do it at the weekend and so at least stays clean for a day.

Today was that day. Hoovering and mopping (or hovering and moping as a friend refers to it), bathroom cleaning, grass cutting, bed changing, washing – all were done today. Hard work but even I didn’t think I could claim any of that for Juneathon.

As the temperature cooled down in the early evening I took some bean poles up to the allotment. I considering cycling up and counting that as my Juneathon activity, but I’m wobbly enough on a bike without adding 8 foot bean poles into the equation, so I drove. Once up there though, after discussion with one of my allotment neighbours we decided my onions and garlic needed watering. Now I have quite a lot of garlic and onions growing and only one small watering can. That makes for a lot of trips back and forth to the allotment tap, carrying a weighty watering can on half of these trips. So that’s going to be my Juneathon activity. I’m calling it ‘Walking and weigh training’. Hardcore!

Really quite a lot of onions and garlic


Juneathon Day 14. The Cucumber Dash

Another late night post, a huge family gathering – I bet you think I’m about to start making excuses.

No!  I knew it was going to be a busy day, so when a change in plans meant I unexpectedly had to make sandwiches for 9 people I seized my chance and leapt on my bike to dash up to the allotment. Two baby cucumbers were picked way before their time,  but their sacrifice meant we had tasty sandwiches and I managed a mile and a half’s cycle ride for Juneathon.

Does seven hours talking to a large amount of family also count as exercise?

Juneathon Day 11. Technology ganging up on me

Technology ganged up on me today to try and sabotage my Juneathon activity.

The day went well, the builders crashed and banged, I took my Dad (and Mum of course) out for an early Father’s Day treat, and I was looking forward to my evening run. Then the ultimate in multitasking. Cooking dinner, whilst talking to the man who’d come to sort out the satellite dish (which hadn’t worked since the builders moved it yesterday), whilst answering the phone to the man who’s going to come and sort out the woodworm, whilst waiting for a callback about our non-existent broadband (argh!), whilst placating teenager who needed Internet access to complete course work that is due in tomorrow. When the risotto was finally cooked, I sat down with the children and ate. It was delicious and I was half way through before I remembered my planned predinner run. Ooops.

I finished my dinner, checked Sky was working, spoke to Mr Woodworm, got my bike out and cycled up to the allotment to do some watering instead. Technology nil, Black and Tabby 1!

Finally ready for 2014

I realised the other day, that since the New Year I’ve not been feeling myself.

“Who have you been feeling then, eh?” << Thought I’d get the gag in before anyone else did.

I’ve been feeling like an inferior, older, tireder and sadder version of myself. And that’s not been good. Was it the not running? I certainly felt like a different person when I wasn’t a ‘runner’ for four weeks. Maybe it was the lack of daylight and fresh air because I wasn’t running. With the atroctious weather we’ve had, some days I didn’t set foot outside the house. Maybe it was my recent birthday? I’ve never been too bothered about getting older, but this birthday did feel like standing on the platform at the top of a big playground slide, wobbling slightly before sliding down to the next ‘big birthday’. Maybe it was a hormonal thing. Perhaps it was the couple of weeks of bad sleep I seem to have had. Possibly it was because I have no new goals on the horizon, nothing big and scary to motivate me. By contrast, my husband has some big sporting challenges this year and is sickeningly enthused (and scared, truth be told). Actually I haven’t got a single race  to prepare for as I have just been feeling too old and slow. Possibly, just maybe, it’s been a combination of all of these factors. Going down with a cold last weekend seemed like the final straw.

Last week, I was fed up of feeling fed up. I felt bored, boring, tired, unfit and ready to give myself a good talking to (and a kick up the backside). After running too much too quickly a few weeks ago (which didn’t improve my mood) I decided to be sensible this time. I set off and ran just 3 times in the week, with plenty of rest in between and all at a slow easy pace. I bought some long overdue new trainers (which are scarily white, shiny and pink, Ugh!) I tried to get to bed at a better time, and resolved to make sure I was eating better with less sugary rubbish.

New trainers - scarily clean and PINK!
New trainers – scarily clean and PINK!

This week, after shaking off the cold, I feel better. I’ve run on two cold but clear mornings. I’ve had some better sleep. I’ve eaten more fruit and veg, tried to cut out the chocolate, and thought about how much protein I need. I’ve even spent several hours digging on my neglected allotment. It feels like a weight is being lifted from me, and I’m liking it.

Allotment after several sessions of digging
Allotment after several sessions of digging

Right then – where’s the race calendar? 2014, I’m finally ready for you!

Juneathon – a Final Thought

So now that Juneathon 2013 is well and truly over, I’ve just a few final thoughts on the month. My aims for the month were to do some work on my abs, to help me write blog posts quicker, and to find some lovely running peeps to follow on my new running Twitter account, @BandTruns  .

It was a busy month, and as someone who spends hours crafting her blog posts (no. honestly!) the hardest part of Juneathon was the blogging every day. Mind you, I obviously found something to talk about, as I didn’t use two of the ‘Emergency’ blog posts I started just in case I ran out of things to say. I did my best to read lots of other people’s blogs and comment on as many as I could, but there were hundreds of blogs so I ended up just picking out a few that I’d enjoyed reading previously and tried to follow them. I have found some lovely runners to follow on Twitter and have enjoyed Tweeting with them. Funnily enough, most of the people whose blogs I now read, or that I follow on Twitter seem to have cats and / or enjoy wine and / or are vegetarian. Strange that!

So did I manage to exercise every day? Yes I did. Some days I did have to stretch the definition a little, whereby I counted ‘allotmenteering’ as my Juneathon exercise. Our village allotments are truly rural allotments which are squeezed in at the far end of the village cricket field meaning you have to carry everything  – water, compost, flask of tea – across the pitch. The two 5 litre water containers are quite heavy on the second trip across, and I often swing them around imagining I’m doing a kettle bell workout. Good job I’m usually on my own up there! I think that counts as exercise so Iogged it and therefore it counted!

One thing I did want to work on was my core muscles, particularly my abs. Partly because I have so many race photos of me running ‘crumpled’ by the end of a race, and also because hopefully summer is nearly here and I can no longer hide my mummy-tummy under large jumpers. I dug out my abs DVDs and did them a couple of times, although both have presenters with VERY irritating voices, so my abs might be tighter but sadly so are my jaw muscles.

I also made it out on my bike a few times, which was something else I wanted to get back into the routine of. Now that I’m organised and have tools and water bottles at the allotment it was as easy to pop up on the bike as it was to get the car out. As I swear my bike is made of lead its a good workout just getting it out of the garage!

And now for the stats:-

Running – made it out 16 times for a total of 71.8 Miles in 12.9 hours
Cycling – got on teh saddle 5 times for 21.9 Miles in 1.8 miles
Walked once for 1.4 miles in 0.4 hours
Cross training 13 times for a total of 5.8 hours (included, allotmenteering, abs DVDs and Planking)

So – Juneathon – job done! Thanks so much to Cathy at Jog Blog for running the whole she-bang,and for answering my Tweets such as “Does getting into, and then back out of, compression socks count as exercise for Juneathon?”

Roll on Janathon …

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 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 4. Intervals in the Sun

Intervals in the sunshine for me today – 7 lots of 400m with 90 seconds recovery. Add on a mile warmup,  and a mile or so to get back home makes it into a respectable 4.87M in 52:51

Seeing how sunny it was, I took my little handheld water bottle with me.  I haven’t used this for many months as it feels very strange to carry it whilst running.  I’ve been trying to think about my ‘form’ whilst running recently, and today I could feel how off balance out made me feel.  My solution? Find a hedge to hide it in until I’d finished the intervals.

Spot the Bottle
Spot the Bottle

On my way back home, sipping my tree-cooled water, I couldn’t resist stopping by the village pond to take some photos of the oh-so-cute ducklings. So fluffy, and so used to people feeding them that they run towards you as you approach, cheeping piteously. Don’t be fooled – these ducks are some of the best fed in Wiltshire!


As well as the intervals, another couple of hours were spent up at the allotment, and I managed a 1 minute plank whilst waiting for the shower water to heat up. Go me!

Just discovered Juneathon – days 1 and 2

So in my blog meanderings over the weekend I noticed a few running bloggers (or is it blogging runners?) talking about Juneathon. They all had a natty badge on their blogs, and being a sucker for a natty badge I had to investigate further.

It turns out that Juneathon is a challenge for a month, to “run every day, blog every day, log every day”. However, the rules are flexible so it doesn’t have to be running every day (can you hear my shins breathing a huge sigh of relief?) but you should do some sort of exercise every day.

I only signed up today, so I’m taking the liberty of posting about the first 2 days in one post.

Juneathon Day 1

After a week away doing busy family stuff, I didn’t manage to run but I did spend a very busy hour at my allotment, weeding the onions. My back was aching when I finished, so it was obviously exercising weak muscles!

Juneathon Day 2

A beautiful sunny Sunday, perfect for a run you might think. However as my husband was out all day cycling in a local Sportive, and as the allotment was still surrounded by knee high weeds I decided to spend an hour and a half back up there tackling the jungle.

My back was sore again when I finished, so obviously still some work needed on those muscles.

Definitely will run tomorrow, as all my responsibilities will be back at school and work, and my time is my own to organise.