Janathon Day 5 – I’m still alive

There’s no actual reason to inform you I’m still alive, but it rhymed with five, so it seemed as good a title to give it as any.

I am still alive though, you’ll be pleased to hear, despite having achy legs – whether this was from yesterday’s 28 mile bike ride or the gym session the day before that or the run the day before that or just a Janathon accumulation of aches, I don’t know. But hey, aching muscles means I’ve been doing something, so yay.

It’s possibly not the best idea in the world to do body pump when you’ve got aching muscles but I was up early and didn’t want to wait for the gym to open at 9 before Janathoning as I needed to go to the Post Office and into town to the bank* and get back early enough to still have most of the day to spend doing my marketing assignment that I still haven’t done (tutor emailed me today and said she’d marked the first assignment and it was very impressive – didn’t tell me the flipping mark though, did she? Bah), so needed something I could do indoors (okay, I could have gone for a run but I don’t like to run on aching legs in case I make them worse, especially as I’ve only done one run in about the last two months).

So I did 30 minutes of my body pump DVD (yes, I skipped the floor bits and the stretching bits) and then found out how hard it is to put on mascara after doing body pump for the first time in ages. Oh, my aching biceps! Still, it didn’t look quite this bad (thanks to rundelrun for the pic).


Then I cycled into town and back and now my Janathon is over for the day. Back to university tomorrow, so this is where I might have to start getting creative with my exercise. Does exercising my brain muscles count?

*The bank has a snazzy new machine where you can deposit cheques and cash without needing to key in your PIN or use an envelope. You put your card in the machine, then the cheques and it scans the cheques and prints off the scans onto your receipt. So cool. Although not as cool as BigZigFitness’s bank – he can scan cheques on his phone into his account!

Janathon 2014 Day 2 – unfit for purpose

Slightly misleading title; my main purpose in life at the mo is to finish the final year of my degree and as students are known for being idle layabouts, I’m allowed to be as unfit as I jolly well like.

Still, after I looked at SportTracks yesterday and saw I’d only exercised on ONE day in December (Tuesday the 17th, when I did 40 minutes at the gym, if you really want to know), I thought it was probably time I got back down the gym. I don’t usually sweat much at the gym (unless I’m on the treadmill) and thought that was down to me not putting much effort in but today I was a right old Sweaty Betty after just a few minutes on the cross-trainer at minimal effort, so I’m putting that down to unfitness.


Anyway, tomorrow, I’m going to let YOU decide what I do. You can choose from:

Run (minimum 3 miles but I haven’t run for weeks so it’ll probably be more of a walk but I promise to get out there even if it’s raining)

Bike (minimum 10 miles but if it’s raining I’ll do it in the gym instead and believe me, I really don’t want to do 10 miles on a stationary bike)

Body Pump DVD at home (I promise to do the full hour and not skip the bits I don’t like; I’ll even do the stretching bit at the end)

Gym (30 minutes rowing machine, 30 minutes cross-trainer)

Okay, over to you! Let me know what you want me to do and I’ll see which has the most votes in the morning.

London Duathlon training: Day 2

Duathlon T-shirt
T shirt image from Zazzle

I screwed up my schedule. Yeah, already. I’d already reserved (in my head) Sundays off and so all training days were going to shift backwards but I took yesterday off as a rest day and I shouldn’t have. Duh. (I enjoyed the wine Wednesday night though.)

So, today I was supposed to do 45 minutes cycling and then strength training and on Sunday I’m supposed to do 75 minutes cycling, so I decided to do the 75 minutes today in case I don’t feel like doing it on Sunday. Hopefully I’ll be energetic enough to do the 45 minutes I should have done today, on Sunday.

I got all motivated this morning because I’VE BOUGHT A NEW BIKE – YAY! Here it is:


It’s a  Giant Dash 4, from RM Cycles and it’s all white and red and pretty and stuff which is all I was worried about, as I let Shaun worry about the technical specifications. Unfortunately, despite ordering it through the internet, it didn’t get delivered by squeezing itself through the Ethernet port, so I’ve got to wait until Monday before trying it out. Unless ‘next day delivery’ includes Saturdays, which I’m assuming it doesn’t.


I got excited thinking about my new bike, so stopped writing this and phoned the bike shop and asked if next day delivery meant tomorrow (Saturday) or Monday and the man said it’ll be delivered probably Wednesday or Thursday. WHAT PART OF ‘NEXT DAY DELIVERY’ DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND, MR BIKE MAN, HUH?

Yeah, okay, so the bike has to be delivered to them and then they have to build it and send it out to me but I thought ‘next day delivery’ meant ‘next day delivery’. Silly me.


Still, I may not have a new bike to play with yet but I did have my new bike phone mount I bought on Amazon. It was a bargain £3.99 and delivered by the postman the next morning (and they didn’t even specify next day delivery).


I was going to use the Rhythm armband and app again this morning but then had a look on my phone to see if I had any cycling apps and found this Cycling Watch one. It seemed ideal for my needs and it had a little camera icon and I wondered if that was to video the route but it was just for still photos. Still, that planted the idea in my head to video my route one day. Anyone out there used the video function on their iPhone on a bike? Is it wobbly?

The app was great. For the 30 seconds it stayed awake. I thought maybe I had to cycle Speed-esque stylee over 10mph or something to keep it from blowing up awake and so I thought, yay, I can pretend to be Sandra Bullock and I wondered if she looks as sexy in her cycling hat as I do in mine but, no, the app wouldn’t stay awake even if I put a bit of effort in and so I cycled the 16 miles with a black screen in front of me. Can someone recommend a good cycling app that stays on?

I don’t know why the app has the camera function integrated into it but I took advantage of it and took a photo of this HUGE mushroom you can’t tell is huge as, for all you know, it could just be a close up photo of a small mushroom.


Although it wasn’t windy today, my time was slower as I was a bit of a slacker and not putting much effort in but I told myself as I was doing my Sunday ride, it should be a long, slow one, not an all-out-lungs-bursting-eyeballs-popping ride (yeah, because I’m always making that much effort mid-week, aren’t I?) I’m not sure 16 miles counts for long on a bike though. Ho hum.

Stats (cycling)

Distance: 15:89 miles
Time: 1:28:25
Speed: 10.8mph
Calories: 562
New bikes: 1
Next day deliveries meaning next day: 0
Phone bike mounts: 1
Cycling apps that stay awake: 0
HUGE mushrooms: 1

p.s. A  cyclist said hello to me. I HAVE ARRIVED!

Scosche Rhythm Armband Heart Rate Monitor

On the first day of ‘proper’ duathlon training, I ignored my 7am alarm and went back to sleep for an hour. Well, I didn’t want to cycle in the rush hour, did I? And I especially didn’t want to cycle when school run mums were about, oh no.

As I was doing proper training, the pink bike (Lady of the Manor poncey thing with a  basket) was ditched in favour of the purple one (£35 battered mountain bike with road tyres from some bloke on Gumtree) with jeans and t-shirt being swapped for running kit. I even put my hat on.

I was a bit perturbed by the schedule calling for minutes, not miles, as I haven’t a clue about 45 minute loops for cycling but Shaun said ‘do an out and back’. I said, ‘I hate out and backs’ but he said, ‘it’s training, you’re not supposed to enjoy it’ and I had to concede he kind of had a point, in a no pain, no gain kind of way.

So, I was all ready to go. I also had a new gadget to try out – the Scosche Rhythm Armband Heart Rate Monitor. I’d tried the previous model of this – the Scosche Wireless Pulse Monitor – which I reviewed, not particularly favourably, here. I’m pleased to say it’s improved (despite being pink because it’s ‘for women’. Bleurgh), but more about the improvements later.


Because it’s a heart rate monitor, you’re supposed to – duh – monitor your heart rate with it. But, I was going to be on my bike and how was I supposed to see the screen when the phone was going to be on my arm? I needed an iPhone mount for my bike and didn’t have one. I didn’t even know if such a thing had been invented. Of course it had – there were thousands on amazon when I came home and had a look; I bought this bike phone holder for £3.99. Yay.

Still, finding out something had been invented an hour after needing it didn’t really help at the time, so I set the Scosche Rhythm app up by telling it I was going cycling for 45 minutes and wanted the GPS on, stuck my phone in my armband and hoped no one saw me while I was out as, on the other arm, I had my Garmin on my wrist, along with the Scosche Rhythm armband and I looked – to be blunt – flipping ridiculous.

But I had a new gadget to play with and gadgetry comes before vanity, yeah? Well, no, but ho hum. I got my bike out of the garage, started my Garmin, started the Scosche Rhthym and I was off.

rhythm 005

My usual cycling speed is around 9-10mph (stop laughing). Look, I’ll prove it (screenshots taken from SportTracks):


But because I was doing proper training today, I made an extra effort and you know all those times in the past I’ve said ‘cycling’s just sitting down’? I take it back. Cycling takes effort; who’d have thought it? Mind you, despite all that extra effort I made (including mental effort by not braking going downhill, eek), I still only averaged 11.5mph but, in my defence, it was windy out there this morning.


When you finish your workout, the Scosche Rhythm app shows you a screen with all the stats.

rhythm 006

The speed and calorie burn wasn’t too dissimilar from the readings on the Garmin and, unlike the previous model (which used the myTrek app), this one tracks you on a map.

rhythm 007

I also used it while I did body pump after the bike ride.

rhythm 009

You can set up the app to suit your own workout – set your goals for heart rate or time, performance or weight loss and, after your workout, it will automatically upload everything to the Scosche dashboard where you can also upload your stats to various websites, including www.myfitnesspal.com (which I found really handy).

If you want to play music while you’re working out, you can control the music player from the armband.

The Scosche Rhythm Armband Heart Rate Monitor is a vast improvement on the Scosche Wireless Pulse Monitor and I’ll be using it again (especially when I get my bike mount). It costs $99.99 and more information is available at the Scosche website.

Scraping the barrel

laundryYou know it’s Juneathon when your laundry increases and most of it appears to be gym wear. That and scraping the bottom of the kit drawer for something to wear. Which, in this morning’s case was a lime green Royal Parks Half t-shirt that’s now unflatteringly small and a pair of cheapy tights from Sports Direct that I won’t wear out in public as they’re so thin and, unlike Madonna when she’s poncing around in skin-tight leotards, I like to spare the public from any camel toe there may be.

So, keeping this sartorial dilemma in mind, today’s activity was body pump in the privacy of my own conservatory. (Actually, that’s what I had planned to do anyway, I just wanted to type ‘sartorial dilemma’. Even if there wasn’t actually a dilemma.)

Body pump: 45 minutes
Loads of laundry washed yesterday: 2
Percentage of it being gym kit: about 75
Unflatteringly small lime green Royal Parks Half t-shirts: 1
Pairs of thin cheapy tights from Sports Direct: 1

Home body pump

The good thing about doing body pump at home is you can skip the bits you don’t like. In my case, that’s the lying down bits, the abs bits and the stretching bits (and, no, that’s not all of it, shut up).

The bad thing about doing body pump at home is you have the instructor on the screen doing the same cheesy facial expressions and using the same cheesy phrases each time you use it.

Still, home body pump is almost as good as doing it in a real live class and I must have put some effort in, as my arms, legs and abs are now aching.


I also accidentally went for a ten mile bike ride. After cycling the long way round to the farm shop (2.5 miles), as it was such a beautiful (albeit windy) day, I decided to carry on.

p.s. I’ve seen some slacking going on the last couple of days, so can I remind you all: SLACKING IS NOT AN OPTION.

Thank you.

The 7 week itch

Eight weeks ago I started a 12 week half-marathon training schedule, extending it to 19 weeks, so if I had to skip a run or two, I could repeat that week. I was doing really well up to week 7; I hadn’t skipped a single day but then at the end of week 7, I was supposed to do a 7 mile run. I hadn’t done a 7 mile run since the first time I trained for the Royal Parks Half back in 2008 and so that wasn’t a run to be skipped.

But I skipped it.


But I have excuses! Of course I have excuses, don’t I always? My excuse is that I had a 5k the day before and therefore needed to rest the day after, plus before I did the 5k, I did body pump for the first time in three weeks and man, did I ache the next day.

That was a week ago and I haven’t really done any running since, except for a 4.27 mile run last Tuesday that was practically at walking pace. What happened to the 9:48 minute miles I’d done just a few days previously?


Last Saturday’s scheduled 8 miles was postponed due to going to Hyde Park to meet up with some of my fellow Juneathoners for our post-Juneathon picnic (four of them were hardcore enough to have a run first. Abradypus was extra hardcore, having already done a Park Run and then running from Liverpool Street to Hyde Park. Me, I sat down, opened a can of Pimms and tucked into the stuffed vine leaves and hummous).

This morning, I didn’t have the energy to catch up on one of my missed long runs. I didn’t even have the energy to do the 5 miles it had on my schedule for today, so I decided to do some intervals, incorporating them into a 3 mile run.

So that’s what I did.

This weekend, I’ll have to catch up on my missed miles and go for a 7 miler. In the meantime, tonight I’m going to Talking Twitter with Grace Dent and tomorrow I’m having one of my short stories read out at Are You Sitting Comfortably, a local event organised by White Rabbit.

See that bit where it says “an evening of short stories written by local writers”? That’s me, that is!

I may be a bit excited.

Distance: 3.02 miles
Time: 34:43
Pace: 11:30 m/m
Calories: 317
post-Juneathon picnics: 1
Long runs skipped: 2
Mes a bit excited: 1

Pump it up

This morning I went along to the gym for my usual body pump class where I was very hardcore and used heavier weights and hurrah, my arms didn’t crack on the tricep tracks, so the glucosamine that I’ve started taking again must be doing their thing (or it’s the magic bracelet) and then after body pump I went and did twenty minutes on the rowing machine, then I had planned to do just a mile on the treadmill, although running on the treadmill doesn’t really count as running, but then I decided to do Thru the Gears and then usually on a Friday I go and do spin too but as I have a five mile run tomorrow, I didn’t really want to wear myself out even if it is Juneathon and so I wimped out of doing spin and got changed and then I had to go to the library and I decided to leave my bike where it was and walk the half mile to the library as after all, it is Juneathon, and Juneathon is all about making an extra effort and so I walked to the library and as I passed Top Shop, I saw a sign saying 20% off for students this week and so I went in and saw a stripey t-shirt that I had been eyeing the other day and I tried to work out what 20% off would be and then I saw a t-shirt with Mickey Mouse on it and I wondered if I was too old to wear a t-shirt with Mickey Mouse on it and decided I was and left the shop and opposite was Dorothy Perkins with a sign saying 30% off today and so I went in but there was nothing I liked so I went back into Top Shop and thought fuck it, if I want to wear a t-shirt with Mickey Mouse on it I will and so I bought the Mickey Mouse t-shirt and the stripey t-shirt and with my student discount got £8 off and then I went to the library to collect the books that had been reserved for me and then I strolled back through the town looking at all the teenage girls smoking over their babies and got back to my bike and cycled back.

Body pump: 45 minutes
Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Treadmill: 15 minutes
Walking: 1 mile
Cycling: 5 miles
Calories: about 845
Stripey t-shirts: 1
Mickey Mouse t-shirt: 1
Library books: 2
Teenage girls smoking over their babies: A few

That’s the boobs sorted, all I need now is a belly bra

As I don’t have one of those proper day job things that involve sitting in an office all day, I don’t get that Friday Feeling but I still feel the need to celebrate public holidays by drinking and eating too much and wasting time on Facebook and Twitter, but wasting time on Twitter can pay off. My last three web design clients have come from there (a charity in Devon and two authors) and the other day, I tweeted about my new sports bras that had come in the post (yes, my tweets are that exciting) that no, weren’t freebies but yes, I had paid for them.

Shortly after tweeting this mega-exciting update on my life, Boobydoo tweeted me and said oh, you should have got in touch with us, we’d have sent you something, and so I said I could always do with new sports bras and so they sent me a Shock Absorber Run Bra.

It looks highly technical with all its straps and clasps. My favourite sports bras have been the crop top type that you pull over your head and then struggle to get off after you’ve sweated all over it. This one has kind of polystyreney feeling adjustable straps going down the back (don’t let that put you off, I’m not sure ‘polystyrene’ is the right word but I can’t think what I mean; maybe more neopreney than polystyreney). They’re different to the usual bra straps where you have to lengthen the strap by tugging at it and adjusting it as these have little hooks that you pull out of a little sleeve and put in another sleeve, either higher or lower.


There’s also a clasp at the top and the usual hook and eye clasps at the bottom. As I’m lazy and used to my crop tops, I try to pull it on as a crop top and don’t undo the bottom clasps, but it gets stuck around my shoulders so I pull it off and undo the clasps and try to do it up like a normal person. It takes a while to do up as I’m not very good at doing up bras but I get there eventually and this must be the comfiest bra in the world ever. Being the most comfiest bra ever isn’t the most major factor in sports bra factors though: boobage movage is, so I tested this by jumping up and down. Nothing moved. Result. Another good thing about it is that it’s not padded like the Shock Absorber bra I got at the traumatic Mateivator workout that has removable pads that which, because they’re removable, get all twisted and folded up in their pockets when they’re being washed and then you have to faff about taking them out and untwisting them and putting them back in. So, comfort, support and lack of faff, splendid.

I put on the rest of my gear and decide to wear my Haile Gebrselassie world record breaking shoes and set off down the street.

My world record breaking shoes are really light and I feel like I’m gliding along (I’m well aware that any witnesses would probably not have used the word ‘gliding’ if asked to describe my running style) and my boobs are staying in place which is more than I can say for my belly which is wobbling about and I wonder why no one’s invented a belly bra and if any inventors are reading my blog, can you invent one please?

I decide just to do two miles and to do it without stopping but I get to two miles and I’m feeling good and so I decide to do three miles and whoop whoop, I do three miles at under 11 minute miles which must be some kind of miracle or maybe it was the new bra, which is by far the best sports bra I’ve ever worn (I’m never going back to cheap ones again) or maybe it was the Trion:Z bracelet or maybe it was the world record breaking shoes or maybe it was my athlete’s dinner last night of two slices of garlic bread and half a flapjack or maybe it was all the spin and body pump classes I’ve been going to?

And speaking of spin and body pump classes, I’ll be doing those at the gym tomorrow morning, where I’m going, not to avoid the Royal Wedding, but to avoid Twitter where my fellow human beings will dishearten me by directing a load of scorn, contempt, hatred and abuse at a young couple purely for having the nerve to get married. I mean, they’re hardly Jordan and Alex Reid, are they? Just because Prince William’s mum was a media-hungry attention-seeking strumpet, doesn’t mean he and his bride-to-be are. Good luck to them, I say.

Distance: 3.02 miles
Time: 32:48
Pace: 10:53
Calories: 317
Friday Feelings: 0
Boobage movage: 0
Belly movage: lots
Fantastic new sports bras: 1
Nasty mean people on twitter to be avoided tomorrow: hundreds
The Wombats
The Jam
The Killers

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