Juneathon Day 27 – Warning: Contains A Bit Of Swearing

This is what I posted on the Juneathon Facebook Page this morning:

Juneathon Facebook page screenshot

The clean version

When I said ‘scuppered’, what I really meant (and what David was referring to) was this:

Facebook status update screenshot

The slightly more Tourettes version

 

Yes, parkrun fucking well fucked up my fucking challenge that I’d been fucking looking forward to for fucking weeks.

*Non-sweary bit*

In case you don’t know what my challenge was, I’d challenged myself to run my local parkrun at 9am, then get to the gym in time to do a spin class at 10am. Although there are only two miles between the park and gym, given how slow I am at a) running; and b) cycling, an hour – although not impossible – would be cutting it fine but, as long as the parkrun started on time, my challenge would be completed successfully and I could spend the rest of Saturday walking around saying things like, ‘yay, go me and my successfully completed challenges’.

*End of non-sweary bit*

But, did it start on time? OF COURSE IT FUCKING DIDN’T. I got to the park with plenty of time to spare but the introductory talk thing didn’t start until 9:05 and instead of just getting on with it and starting the run, the bloke started doing the crappy clapping everyone thing and so I thought fuck it, this is going to go on for at least another five minutes, I’m going to the gym, as I don’t want to miss spin and so I fucked off from the stupid fucking parkrun and went to the gym and went on the rowing machine and treadmill instead before going to spin.

Stupid fucking parkrun fucking up my fucking challenge.

Bah.

Stats

Running: 0 miles because stupid fucking parkrun
Challenges completed successfully: 0 because stupid fucking parkrun
Cycling: 4 pointless miles because stupid fucking parkrun
Rowing machine: 15 minutes because stupid fucking parkrun
Treadmill: 15 minutes because stupid fucking parkrun
Spin: 45 minutes. Yay for spin

Juneathon Day 26 – The Long Way Round To Tesco

Wow, SKINS (reviewed by me yesterday) really do work! I woke up without even the slightest twinge or ache this morning, after my 7 miles yesterday. Maybe they are worth the money, after all, and I’ll definitely be wearing them for my future long runs.

Today my marathon training schedule said to rest but, as we all know, there are no rest days in Juneathon so I went for a walk. Not just one of my ‘walked to Tesco’ slacktivities but a long way round to Tesco, covering 1.99 miles (had I looked at my Garmin, I would have rounded it up but I forgot I was wearing it until I got in, duh), so I reckon that definitely counts as a Juneathon activity.

Now I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s parkrun/spin challenge, where I have to run fast enough during the run, then cycle quickly enough to get to the gym in time for spin. Wish me luck!

Stats

Walking: 1.99 miles

Juneathon Day 25 – SKINS Running Tights Review

As I said earlier this week, I’d planned to do this Saturday’s scheduled 7 miles today because I’d decided at the beginning of Juneathon to do a parkrun/spin challenge this Saturday instead of sticking diligently to my marathon training schedule.

I woke up feeling rested, the sun was shining, my new pink running shoes were waiting for me and I also had the added motivation of a pair of SKINS A400 ¾ running tights that had been sent to me to try out.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of SKINS but, in case you haven’t, SKINS make compression clothing using something called Dynamic Gradient Compression which apparently means you can workout for longer and have less muscle pain the next day. This works by controlling the pressure over the ITB and TFL muscle groups and I’m not going to pretend I know about this kind of thing (as far as I’m concerned, TFL stands for Transport for London), so if you want to read about the science behind SKINS, you can fill your boots with all the techy stuff here.

Upon opening the packaging – a fancy box inside a cardboard sleeve, which undoubtedly ups the price of these running tights, which aren’t cheap at £90 – the first thing I noticed about the SKINS were that they were tiny. Like teeny-tiny. Like teeny-weeny-teeny-tiny. Like DO I LOOK LIKE I’M THE SIZE OF CHERYL COLE tiny.

Skins A400 women's running tights

You can’t tell from the photo just how tiny they are; I should have put my cat next to them for scale.

What intrigued me more than the Cheryl Cole-esque size was a label which said it mustn’t be removed. I have absolutely no idea why this label shouldn’t be removed. Any ideas?

Skins label

Why???????

I liked the smooth, shiny material but I had a bit of trouble pulling the tights up so the waistband wasn’t hugging my hips, but after my run, I read on the website that the ‘lower rise sits comfortably on hips’, which isn’t great for those of us with a bit of a belly. I prefer a higher waist on my running tights, otherwise I find they keep slipping down.

SKINS A400 women's running tights

So, now I was dressed in my new fancy running tights, it was time for my run.

SKINS A400 women's running tights

It didn’t start well. I spent the first mile tugging at one of my bra straps that had decided to be uncomfortable (I think it was irritating my sunburnt shoulder) and the SKINS running tights were the most uncomfortable things I had ever worn; they were too tight on my legs, the waistband kept slipping down and the bands at the bottom of the legs were threatening to cut the circulation off from my calves.

After the first mile though, my clothing stopped annoying me. My bra strap stopped irritating my sunburn and the SKINS got comfier. A lot comfier. Maybe they need breaking in or something but after a while they stopped being the most uncomfortable thing I’d ever worn and even the waistband stopped slipping down and decided to stay in place, and a waistband that doesn’t keep slipping down is really all I want from a pair of running tights.

So now I’d started going, I decided my goal for today’s run would be to run under 13 minute miles. I decided this when I kept stopping to walk because I thought it would spur me on to stop walking quite so much and, yay, it worked. Because the Dymchurch Marathon has a cut off of 6 hours, I reckoned if I can average 13 minute miles or under, I should make the cut off time but, according to Running Free Online, if I run the marathon like I ran today, I’m not going to make that cut off time. Dammit. Still, I have months and months to get fitter and faster.

marathon-estimate

Something that did make me smile, however, was the Great Kent Bike Ride pack that was waiting for me when I got back. It contained this year’s t-shirt that I’d ordered and IT’S BRIGHT FUCKING ORANGE.

Great Kent Bike Ride 2015 t-shirt

I love orange. I love orange so much that, many years ago, I thought about joining the Hare Krishnas when I saw them skipping down Oxford Street one day. I’m not sure if they were actually skipping but they looked so happy in their flowing orange robes, banging their tambourines, I wanted to join them and be happy and wear orange and bang tambourines down Oxford Street and stuff. But then I found out they didn’t eat garlic or onions and I thought fuck that.

Tomorrow is a rest day but, obviously, Juneathon doesn’t allow for proper rest days so I’ll go for a walk or something and I’ll also report back on whether the SKINS did their reduce DOMS thing or not. I can tell you this though; as I’m writing this post – 5 hours after returning from my run – my legs feel good. Maybe they do work after all.

Stats

Running: 7 miles
Pairs of posh new running tights: 1
Bright orange t-shirts: 1
Current thoughts of joining the Hare Krishnas: 0

 

 

Juneathon Day 24: Practically A Rest Day And A Question About Nutrition

My marathon training schedule said, Bike: 30 minutes. It hardly seemed worth getting my bike out of the garage just to go on a 30 minute ride, then I thought but what about people without bikes? Surely most runners aren’t cyclists too? Perhaps it meant 30 minutes on a stationary bike but I didn’t want to go to the gym just to do 30 minutes on a stationary bike (if you want to know my thoughts on stationary bikes, you can read my stationary bike haiku here), so I decided to ponce about the countryside for half an hour on my pretty Lady of the Manor Bike.

Pashley Poppy

My beautiful Lady of the Manor bike

Before I ponced about the countryside (where I saw a crow peck at the remains of a squished pigeon, ick), I’d been to Tesco to buy a Trek Bar for Sunday’s Great Kent Bike Ride; not that a leisurely 30 mile bike ride needs any particular fuelling but because I don’t usually (for ‘usually’, read ‘ever’) have breakfast and so I knew I’d be starving well before lunchtime and, anyway, Trek Bars are yum.

This got me thinking about sports nutrition and supplements in general, especially as I’m *cough* marathon training (this is only the second week, the novelty will soon wear off, I promise) and nutrition will have to play a part in that somewhere.

I took running really seriously when I first started. I read all the books and even before I’d run my first 5k, I’d started looking at gels and protein shakes. I know, I know… stop laughing… I was an enthusiastic beginner, all excited about my new hobby. I’ve still never had a gel, but when I started running home from work, I fuelled up beforehand with a Trek Bar (like I said, any excuse) and then I discovered MaxiNutrition vanilla protein shakes in Holland & Barrett, which tasted like ice cream, so I decided I needed one of those on completion of each running commute.

Because I’ve barely ran over the last few years, I haven’t taken any notice of what I’ve eaten afterwards but, I suppose with my mileage hopefully increasing over the next few weeks, I’m going to have to start thinking about pre-, during- and post-run nutrition. Any tips? What do you eat and drink when you’re marathon training?

Stats

Cycling: 30-ish minutes / 6-ish miles

 

 

 

Juneathon Day 23 – Bad Mood

Flowers, Willesborough Dykes footpath

Pretty flowers seen on today’s run (although this pic was taken a couple of weeks ago)

Yesterday, I said I was going to do this coming Saturday’s long run tomorrow, but today I changed my mind as I decided doing 7 miles the day after doing 4 miles wasn’t a good idea. Not because I’d be overdoing it but because I would undoubtedly end up walking 6.5 miles of the 7 miles and there wouldn’t even be a pub lunch at the end of it and I only walk for lunch.

So, the 7 miles will be done on Thursday and I’m not sure why I didn’t think of doing it on Thursday in the first place (and in case you’re wondering why I don’t do it on Friday, I’m going out Thursday night and no running ever takes place when I’ve been out the night before).

Back to today though. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that, if you go to bed with the hump but without any dinner, you’re not going to have much energy in the morning. But, although I woke up still in a bad mood, when even the thought of trying out my new running shoes didn’t cheer me up, I wasn’t in a bad enough mood to tell my marathon training schedule to fuck off, so I decided to do an out and back to get my 4 miles in.

While I was out, I wondered why I’d chosen to do an out and back, seeing as I hate out and backs. Then I realised it would be good training for the marathon because, not only is Dymchurch marathon an out and back, it’s an out and back and out and back and out again which made me wonder why I’d signed up to it in the first place, then I remembered the goody bag contains beer, crisps and chocolate.

Dymchurch goody bag

Will run for chocolate, crisps and cider

I’ve got to admit though, after being in Dymchurch on Sunday and looking up the sea wall at the route, I’m not looking forward to running up and down it for six hours in the freezing cold end-of-November weather.

Stats

Running: 4 miles
Bad moods: 1

 

 

 

 

Juneathon Days 21 and 22 – No Slactivities For Me

Friends of Pilgrim Hospice Social Rides

I’m fourth from left in the pink top and pink shoes. A lovely summer’s day at the seaside. Brr.

Ha, you thought I’d slacked off yesterday, didn’t you? Well, I’m here to tell all you disbelievers that I didn’t slack off, so there. In fact, I went on a 30 mile bike ride yesterday (after getting the day right). I couldn’t be bothered to blog when I got in and sat and read my book in the conservatory instead (Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky by Patrick Hamilton, in case you’re interested. I love Patrick Hamilton. If you haven’t already, read Hangover Square, it’s brilliant.) and then later on, I sort of forgot. That’s ‘sort of forgot’, as in ‘totally forgot because I ate pizza and drank wine and then watched crap all night on telly instead’.

This morning I went to the gym and did 20 minutes on the rowing machine, 22 minutes on the treadmill doing Audiofuel’s 180 Pyramid Max interval session, then 20 minutes on the cross-trainer. I also booked spin classes for tomorrow evening and Saturday morning. As you’ll remember (if you’ve been paying attention that is but, if not why not, hmm?), I challenged myself to a parkrun/spin challenge. The challenge involves running parkrun quick enough, then cycling back quick enough to get to the spin class in time. To be honest, although the timing is quite tight, it’s nowhere near impossible and unless my legs or wheels fall off or an unlikely but extremely unlucky combination of both, it should be fine. Touch wood, fingers crossed, stroke a black cat, etc.

Also this morning, Carla, Rachel and I have been discussing arrangements for Sunday’s Great Kent Bike Ride (where fellow Juneathoner Helen will also be joining us). It didn’t take long for the discussion to turn to where we’ll be eating and drinking after the ride and we are all now looking forward to our Wetherspoon roast. Yum.

You may be wondering where my marathon training is going to fit into all this spinning and cycling. I’ve been wondering the same thing myself and have decided Saturday’s long run of 7 miles is going to happen on Wednesday, although I’m supposed to be doing 4 miles tomorrow, so it’ll probably be more of a 7 mile walk.

Stats

Cycling: 30 miles
Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Treadmill: 22 minutes
Cross-trainer: 20 minutes
parkrun/spin challenges coming up: 1
Great Kent Bike Rides coming up: 1
Wetherspoon roasts looking forward to: 1

Juneathon Day 20 – A Run And A Pair Of New Shoes

DAMMIT, I thought, when I woke up. I’d had a sleepless night and when I woke up I thought I’d slept too late to make it on time to meet up with a group to go on a bike ride to the seaside. So I jumped out of bed to get on Facebook and hoped they’d see my ‘sorry I’m not going to make it on time’ message before they left, then I realised it was Saturday, not Sunday and I didn’t have to be anywhere. Duh.

But, I did have to run 6 miles and so I drank my tea and got into my running gear and attempted to run 6 miles. My ‘attempt’ turned into a bit of a stroll, listening to my music but at least I made it out the door.

When I got home, I decided because I’d ran 6 miles, my running shoes were probably worn out and therefore I needed a new pair. I pondered this out loud on Twitter and Twitter agreed with me:

And so I cycled off to the Designer Outlet and bought myself some pretty pink Asics Cumulus 15.

Asics Cumulus 15

These totally say ‘serious athlete in training’ eh?

I’m not entirely convinced they’re bright enough or pink enough though. What do you think?

Stats

Running: 6 miles
Cycling: 4 miles
Pairs of bright pink running shoes: 1

Juneathon Day 19 – Slacking and Skull Disco Balls

Running Free Online calendar showing the Juneathon activity so far

Running Free Online calendar showing the Juneathon activity so far

Last time I posted, I said I was off to London the next day and my activity would probably be a bar press up. Although I did visit a few bars – my favourite being the one with the skull disco ball, safari wallpaper and cocktails in teacups – I forgot to do a bar press up.

Skull disco ball in Simmons Bar, King's Cross

Skull disco ball pleases my inner goth

I did, however, walk the two miles to the station in the morning instead of getting a lift. That definitely counts.

On Sunday I did fuck all except walk to Tesco to buy wine. I’m not sure that counts.

On Monday I didn’t even walk to Tesco. That doesn’t count no matter how many ways I try to change ‘didn’t even walk to Tesco’ into something more strenuous.

Tuesday should have been the start of my marathon training but after three hours of trying unsuccessfully to tell myself to get out the door and go for a run, I decided I’d rather get dressed instead. I’m not sure ‘getting dressed’ counts.

Wednesday I cycled seven miles and walked seven miles. That even more definitely counts than ‘walked two miles to the station’.

Thursday was another ‘can’t be fucking arsed’ day, although I did go to the designer outlet and look at Asics running shoes, so maybe that counts?

Today – Friday – my marathon training schedule said I had to run three miles and I decided I would really hate myself if I slacked off another marathon training run, especially in the very first week, so I forced myself out the door and although I mostly walked the three miles, at least I did it.

Tomorrow, my marathon training schedule says I have to run six miles, so I’m hoping the motivation fairies visit me in the night.

Stats

Running: 3 miles (most of it walking)
Juneathons completed: some of them

Juneathon Day 12 – Cycled To The Station And Back

bike

My bike having a bit of a lie down after I’d left it outside the station for four days

I’m more of a morning exerciser than an afternoon or evening one but this morning I had a meeting in Maidstone so when I got back, I posted on the Juneathon Facebook Page that I’d cycled to the station and back and asked if that counted or if I had to do more. No one accused me of slacking so it looks like my Juneathon is done for the day.

Yay.

I’m out in London all day tomorrow so it’s likely tomorrow’s activity will be a bar press up. It counts. If you don’t believe me, refer to point no. 3 in my 5 Ways To Make The Most Of Juneathon post from the other day.

Stats

Cycling: 4.8 miles
Juneathon’s completed: 10/30

 

Juneathon Day 11 – Further Up The Greensand Way

Something I could have mentioned in yesterday’s 5 Ways To Make The Most Of Juneathon post, that fits nicely in point no. 5, is Juneathon is a good excuse to go exploring and check out new areas.

Which is what I did today.

The Greensand Way is a 108 mile path, stretching from Haslemere in Surrey to Hamstreet in Kent (four miles down the road from here). Because it passes the house, I’ve walked up the nearest bit that heads towards Surrey (if I go towards Hamstreet it involves going through a farm and I’m too shy to walk through someone’s farm; I feel like I’m trespassing) but haven’t got any further than about two and a half miles before turning round and walking back again. Today though, I cycled up to the Environment Centre and joined the Greensand Way there and walked as far as Hothfield. I would have gone further had I not taken a wrong turning somewhere and ended up going round in a circle. Duh.

Still, I saw part of the Greensand Way I hadn’t seen before so it’s all good. Next time I’ll take an Ordnance Survey map with me although I can barely read a London A-Z, let alone a map that seems to consist solely of lines and squiggles, so I’m not sure it’ll stop me getting lost.

I’ll post the photos of my walk tomorrow but in the meantime, here’s a photo of some calves I saw.

Calves on the Greensand Way

Stats

Cycling: 3.57 miles
Walking: 6.11 miles
Juneathons completed: 9/30

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