Janathon Day 11 – up before 7

Despite deciding when I went to bed last night I wasn’t going to set my alarm and go to parkrun this morning as I had been up late writing and submitting an assignment, my brain had other ideas and woke me up early with the beginning of my dissertation proposal so I thought I’d better get up and write it down before I forgot it. Which meant I was up with plenty of time to get to parkrun.

If you were on Twitter a week ago, you might have seen a conversation between me and @TrevB1 where he said if he got a London Marathon place through his work, he’d do a long run in his tiger onesie and asked if I wanted to join him for a run in my penguin onesie. He suggested Guildford and so I thought, aha! I can’t get to Guildford, I can get out of running in a penguin onesie, so I said ‘sorry, can’t get to Guildford, can you get to Ashford?’ hoping he couldn’t get to Ashford but, alas, he said if he got a place, he’d come to Ashford. Bugger.

Unfortunately for @TrevB1 but fortunately for me, he didn’t get a London Marathon place, so if you came on here looking for pics of us running in our onesies, um, sorry about that.

What I did turn up to parkrun in this morning though was my Janathon t-shirt.


It didn’t get me a parkrun PB, but it did get some admiring looks (or I might have imagined that).

If you want to get a Janathon t-shirt or mug or something, there are some massive discounts at the Janathon Cafe Press shop at the mo, plus a further 15% off until midnight. I might buy some pyjamas; if they get here in time, I can do another Janathon pyjama plank.

Ashford parkrun


Always one to be fashionably late, I missed the first two local parkruns. This, of course, is patently untrue; I’ve never been fashionable in my life (peek in my wardrobe if you don’t believe me).

I missed the first one a) to avoid the word ‘inaugural’; and b) because, being a Londoner, it seemed appropriate to avoid the many tourists who were bound to be there, magnetically drawn – like a Chav to Primark – to that horrific ‘i’ word.

This is actually untrue, too. Well, partly, anyway. Shaun and I were driving down to Portsmouth later that day to take part in the Great South Run the day after, so we decided to save our energy for that.  But why let a little thing like the truth deny me the opportunity to moan about the word ‘inaugural’, tourists and the chance to use the ‘Chav to Primark’ simile I just made up.

Last week… well… that’ll be the bottle and a half of wine the previous night’s fault.

But, yay, today I got up bright and early and decided to cycle down to the local park where the Ashford parkrun is held. I say ‘local’, it’s actually a bit over two miles away but this is the countryside and anything within ten miles is local, unlike London where local means within five minutes’ walk and if you travelled ten miles you’d probably end up in zone four or, even – shudder – five.

I do like a bit of punctuality, it must be said, and it started at 9 on the dot. As is usual in the races I take part in, I was left on my own at the back pretty much straight away. This is fine with me as I don’t like a crowded race and it means I can just jog around slowly on my own listening to my music. As long as I can see runners in front of me so I feel like I’m a part of it, I’m happy. If I can see a few behind me, I’m even happier.

The route follows the same route as the Nice Work Ashford Summer 5K Series, so I knew the route and therefore prepared for a couple of laps of the park, which includes a gentle short slope which turns into a long steep hill when you actually get to it. Both times I stopped to walk up it until I told myself to stop being such a wimp and get on with it, although the slope is so short it had ended by the time I told myself to get on with it.

There’s not much else to say about it really. It’s a parkrun and you all know what a parkrun is. I ran round it in the fastest time I’ve done for aaaaaaaaaaaages, despite stopping to check the toenail on the big toe on my right foot hadn’t fallen off (it hadn’t, I think my big toe was just beginning to thaw out – it was a cold, cold morning) and stopping to let a dog walker decide which way he wanted to go past me (I’d have tripped up the speedy types in the lead who were on their way back from the first lap if I’d had moved out of the dog walker’s way. Annoyed? Yes. Did I tut at him and roll my eyes and mutter ‘FOR FUCK’S SAKE’? Hell yeah.)

I almost missed the finish line as I headed for what I thought it was, i.e. in between two tapes but the marshal was waving his arms and shouting something but in my dazed and confused state wasn’t sure where I was supposed to go (despite there being a big yellow sign with FINISH written on it) and the marshal pointed at his ears in what I am assuming was a ‘IF YOU WEREN’T WEARING AN IPOD YOU COULD HEAR MY DIRECTIONS’ gesture which actually pissed me off quite a lot as I can see and hear fine with my music on, I just a) get a bit dazed when I’m running; and b) need a new pair of glasses.

On leaving the park, I said thanks and goodbye to the organiser (I assume he was the organiser anyway, he had an air of authority about him) and he said ‘bye, see you next week?’ and I said ‘yes, of course’ which, in my experience, whenever someone asks will I be going to something again the next week and I say yes – I’m never to return. Shaun was at work today though, so he hasn’t been yet, so I daresay I’ll be making another appearance.

Thank you, Ashford parkrun – I’m glad you’re here at last.

Janathon Day 12: My first parkrun!

Since when did Saturdays begin at 7am, huh? Well, this one did. After Nici said on a previous blog post that one of her mini-Janathon challenges was to finally get to a parkrun, this reminded me that I’d kept meaning to get up (down? across? not sure…) to Whitstable which is the venue of my nearest one.

Whitstable, although only 30-40 minutes away by car, takes nearly two hours on the train and so I asked iliketocount if he would drive there and he said yes and, so, this morning, off to Whitstable we went.

It was great! I’d run the Folkestone Half the year before last and found out that coastal runs are pretty dull. But the Whitstable run had enough scenery going on to make things interesting and although it was mainly an out and back along the seafront, there was a muddy bit before looping back which broke it up a bit.

Coming back down to the finish though, I saw the runners ahead going up a hill at what appeared to be a 45 degree angle. NO ONE TOLD ME THERE WERE GOING TO BE HILLS! BASTARDS! I got to the bottom of the hill and it didn’t look too bad from there, it definitely didn’t look as bad as it did from the distance and I told myself that I could run up it, or at least stagger in a fashion not too far removed from running.

I made it to the top of the hill and looked at my Garmin: 34:08, which is mighty fast for me at the mo.

Distance: 5k
Time: 34:08
Pace: 11 m/m
Whitstable parkruns: 1