Juneathon Day 26. Not running

So after 4 days of running which included 2 races,  I thought it best not to run today. I know people who do long running streaks and run every day, even if it’s only for a mile. I must admit I don’t know if I could be bothered getting ready to run for just one mile, but my legs are feeling very tired today so I wouldn’t want to go any further.

With my sensible head on then, I didn’t run. For today’s Juneathon I present ironing squats. 10 squats whilst ironing shirts. I can’t say I recommend this either as a great form of exercise or as an efficient way of performing household chores. However it is done.

Later in the evening husband and I went out for a second consecutive Friday (unheard of!) We went down to Bristol harbourside to see Seasick Steve. He was fabulous, very entertaining and great music. After standing, jigging, and doing that strange ‘dancing on the spot without lifting your feet off the ground’ for several hours I felt I had a proper workout. More so than the ‘ironing squats’ of earlier!

Juneathon Day 24. Slowest 5K

As a complete change from yesterday’s relay race, tonight I ran my slowest 5K ever. I wasn’t racing, but I was running the route of next week’s 5K River Run with runners from the Chippenham Harriers Beginners Group. This had been organised to give these new runners a recce of the route before their first race at the end of their course.

As I was a couple of minutes late I had to catch them up, so remained at the back as a tail runner. The running was complicated at the start because we were running on the same paths as racers in a 10K race. I was chatting away to a lady who was run – walking, trying to encourage her without being patronising. She did make me laugh though, when she said that sometimes marshalls’ encouragement just makes her want to swear. As we finished I told her I was marshalling next week, explained where I would be, and told her I expected to see her running and to hear her swear at me. I’ve never asked anyone to swear at me before.

5K in 46:52 that was quite fast enough on a hot night. As we said goodbye, she said thank you for running with her, and that I’d  been “entertaining”. Hmm!

Juneathon Day 23. Lacock Relay

Team sports have never been my thing. My deeply hidden competitive side would always do battle with my inate ineptness and lack of hand eye co-ordination, and the result would be shame at letting my side down.* I was always one of the last to be picked for teams in PE, but my natural nerdiness meant this was to be expected.

A series of relay races around a local village is therefore something I would have avoided like the plague … until now. Tonight I took part in the second of this year’s Lacock Relays. As well as lots of Chippenham Harriers running I knew some other people who were going as well, so I knew I’d have people to chat to. Each team is made up of a fast, a medium and a slow runner and teams are allocated on the night. As you register you are asked for either your time at the last relay, or for a recent 10K or 5K time. When I said around 56 minutes for a 10K, I was put down as 22 minutes for the 2.6 mile course (which sounded pretty fast to me).

The teams were called out and I was delighted to be in a team with one of my friends. I had been worrying that I wouldn’t spot who I was meant to be taking over from or handing over to, but I was to be the last runner and just had to spot my friend Julia as she came in at high speed. We didn’t know the first member of our team, but that didn’t matter, we cheered her on anyway as all of the medium speed runners set off together. Around twenty minutes later runners started reappearing. As each runner came around the corner people started shouting out their team so the next runner could get ready. Handover was a simple hand clap -so I didn’t have to worry about dropping the baton, despite my husband’s ‘helpful’ earlier advice. Julia took over from our ‘medium’ speed runner, and I waited again for the third lap.

As the fast runners streamed in and handed over to the ‘slow’ runner in their team, I waited and waited and finally set off – the fourth from last. There was quite a gap between me and the runners ahead, so I ran as fast as I could to make sure I had someone to follow. As soon as I could see other runners I slowed down a little because I was already hot and tired.

Aware that it was less than a 5K I tried to keep my pace up, but it was really very warm and sunny and much too lovely to be pushing too hard. Despite this, I came around a corner and was surprised at how close I was to the runner in front of me. Apologetically I passed her, and pushed on. Then there was another runner ahead, and I caught them as well.

By the time we were turning back onto the High Street I was overtaking my 8th runner and I was quietly delighted. Passing runners isn’t something I’m used to doing! A hot sprint to the line and it was done. Team CC complete! My Garmin makes my time as 22:01 so the guys registering made a good assessment of my pace!

With a determined chin
With a determined chin

In line with such a low key event, the top 3 teams won a voucher for a drink and a packet of crisps each in the local pub. It was a great friendly event on a lovely evening (did I mention how hot and sunny it was?) I’m very glad I went, and with another two in the series I’ll be back!


* This reminds me of one of my all time favourite jokes. What did the headmaster of the inflatable school say to the naughty child with the pin? You’ve let yourself down. You’ve let your class down. You’ve let the whole school down.

Juneathon day 21. Does nagging count?

A day spent nagging teenaged children -that must count as a Janathon activity, surely? No,  okay how about cleaning up the filthy and rusty barbecue with daughter’s help? No?  Boy you guys are tough. What about getting everything ready for a Father’s Day barbecue for my husband, cooking everything, and proving it is possible to have barbecue food that isn’t black?

Tsk tsk -okay then, how about the 10 squats I did before bedtime? Yes? Thank heavens for that!

Juneathon Day 20. Delayed Parkrun

So I was intending to go to parkrun. I really was. But a brilliant meal out with my best friends that ended quite late put paid to that. I want to bed thinking “I’ll see what time I wake up…” and promptly woke up at ten to nine.

To give me some credit, I did feel guilty about it, so a little later I decided to do a delayed parkrun. This was over my own route, it had no marshals, I could happily forget my bar code, it wasn’t in a park but it WAS 5K. It’s down and back a small lane that can be busy during the week but I reckoned would be safe on a Saturday. As I set off, true to parkrun form I briefly thought I should have had a warm up, then I carried on anyway. I also suddenly remembered that last Juneathon I ran this route at the start and end to see if I could improve my time.

It was really hot and muggy and I remembered using that excuse last Juneathon on this route as well. The route has an enormous dip that you run down and up twice, once in each direction (I always use this as an excuse on this route – even when I’m on my bike). Anyway I stopped my Garmin at 3.11 miles and dripped the remaining short distance home. I was so sticky I am sure I left a slug trail behind me. Attractive.

On checking the data, I was delighted to see the following times and dates:-

29:40 June 1st 2014
27:10 June 30th 2014

26:37 20th June 2015

Go me! Looks like the “Killer Tuesday” sessions (as we affectionately call the club “Efforts” evening) are working.

On a slightly more relaxed note, here are some sleeping kittens. Anyone remember a song from the 70s by Terry Scott called “my brother” (pronounced bruver”). It has a classic lyric that is so apt for these bruvers: “I know he’s good when he’s asleep … But you don’t know what he’s dreaming about, do you?!”

Juneathon day 19. These Birkenstocks were made for walking

Might sound familiar, but today was spent sorting my car out and killing time shopping. Many hours spent in the lovely town of Swindon, walking for miles and looking half heartedly for things to at for a family wedding in August.

To make this an official Juneathon activity I wore my Garmin. Unfortunately the battery went flat after 1.1 miles. On my walk back to the garage I used Strava on my phone and measured 1.8 miles walking which included a stop for lunch and was whilst carrying 2 tonnes of shopping.

So over 3 miles walked (I walked more than I recorded so I rounded up), car all sorted and a new dress bought. Result.

Are you ready Birkenstocks? Start walking

Juneathon day 18. Definitely not a run streak

Warning – this post contains failure and pottering. And more than likely a feline or two. If that’s not your thing then look away now.

Right. The day started promisingly enough. Not running in the morning because I planned on going to the tough club run that evening. Lunch with my parents and daughter (very nice) and a quick trip to collect my son and do some shopping. Foccaccia bread in the oven and minestrone soup on the hob and my resolve was wavering. It was very warm still, I was tired and had a bit of a headache (more cat early morning shenanigans), and dinner smelt so good so … I didn’t go to running club. Sorry. I ate dinner with my children instead.

Watering new plants out in the garden later I thought I could still pop out for a little run, and if I had managed an unbroken ‘streak’ up to that point I would have done. However after the disaster of the weekend that streak was long gone and the pressure (and incentive) was off.  Instead I had a lovely potter around the garden: some watering,  a little weeding, a general check up on my new plants accompanied by older tabby boy. Then I went inside and played with the kittens.  It was lovely, so I’m having pottering and kittening* as my Juneathon activities for today.

So innocent. Hem hem

* Of course this is a real word, and it is definitely NOT slacking. Those kitties run damn fast!

Juneathon Day 17. An expensive day

As I plodded around 3 miles this morning feeling tired, I grimly reflected that maybe I had over compensated yesterday for my recent slackness. Or maybe having three cats bouncing around on the bed and hissing in the early hours might have made me feel a tad tired. Whatever it was, I was glad when I finished my 3 miles.

The rest of the day was spent getting my car sorted out. I left it at the garage and caught the train into Bath with my just-finished-GCSEs-and-needing-a-new-wardrobe-for-sixth-form daughter. The distance we walked around clothes shops would have counted as a Juneathon activity on its own. With the clothes she bought and the car’s bill from the garage it was an expensive day!

Juneathon Day 16. Making Up for Yesterday

After yesterday’s slack day I thought I’d better make up for it today. 4 miles with 2 hills was a good start to the day.

As I ran I was struck by how running was an activity of contrasts. I set off thinking what a lovely temperature it was – just warm without being hot. By the time I staggered back I was dripping and cursing the sun.

I ran through thigh high grass enjoying the cool, tickly feeling on my legs then thought “I must check I haven’t picked up a tick when I get home”.

I was overjoyed to be greeted by the kittens when I got home, and also Tibbs, the big tabby boy. There was a lovely moment of temporary truce as they all shared the kitchen, followed by a hiss frenzy as Nev cracked, and patted Tibbs’s twitching tail. Ah well, one day they’ll get along.

Uneasy truce
Uneasy truce

Update. I was so ashamed of Monday’s Juneathon I thought I’d better redeem myself. So as well as the morning’s run, I went to the Chippenham Wheelers Midsummer Bike Ride in the evening with husband and son. Husband shot off whilst me and son worked out how few laps we could legitimately do before we could stop for a snack. 3 was the answer we decided upon, so we stopped for the food of champions.
image We did manage another 2 laps after that, but my son was tired so we headed home. In total we cycled 20 miles, which after my hilly morning run I was happy with.