Janathon Day 22 – sitting is apparently the new rowing

I almost turned into one of those silly obsessives this morning. After drinking a bottle and a half of wine last night, one of my first thoughts this morning was GOTTA BURN ALL THOSE CALORIES OFF but we all know it’s thoughts like that that lead to eating disorders and so instead I thought GOTTA DO MY JANATHON and dragged myself off to the gym after I’d finished offending a friend on Facebook (I don’t know why she was offended, I only said she looked like a prostitute).


I was happily rowing on the rowing machine when a man sat down on the one next to me. And continued to sit. And sit. And sit and sit and sit and I thought JUST ROW ON THE MACHINE, DAMMIT but he continued to sit and this annoyed me so much I got up and flounced over to the cross-trainer and he continued to sit for another two and a half minutes then started to row, yay, but only for four minutes, then he stopped and sat again.

Another thing that annoyed me in the gym today was people talking. People should not be allowed to talk in gyms unless it’s ‘ouch’, ‘help’, or ‘call an ambulance’.

Janathon Day 20 – powered by CherryActive Concentrate and baby penguins

Did you know The Montmorency cherry has been discovered to be a rich source of powerful antioxidants and flavonoids which promote a host of health and recovery benefits including healthy joint function, normal uric acid levels, a healthy cardiovascular system, regular sleep patterns, and muscular strength & recovery? No, nor me (I don’t know what uric acid levels – normal or otherwise – are either).


Still, it all sounds like a good thing, so I gave some CherryActive Concentrate a go. It contains 100% cherry juice (over 3,000 cherries in a bottle – that’s a lot of cherries), so no preservatives, flavourings, sugars or colours and stuff.

Because it’s a concentrate, you don’t need much – a 30ml serving provides one of your five a day. I originally tried some in water but I didn’t like it. It was sour and bitter – maybe I used too much, but I tried it again in a banana and blueberry smoothie and it worked well.

It worked so well in aiding muscular strength and recovery, I’ve got the beginning of a bicep. That could, of course, just be the effects of doing body pump every other day during January. Who knows – body pump, or magic cherries?

If you’d like to buy some CherryActive Concentrate, you can order it online from the link above, or from Holland & Barrett.

After drinking this morning’s smoothie, I went to the gym. My Monday mornings are usually reserved for hangovers and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the inside of the gym on a Monday morning before but because I haven’t had a drink for a few weeks (don’t worry, I haven’t gone tee-total or doing that stupid ‘I’m-an-alcoholic-please-sponsor-me’ dryathlon thing; I’ve just had other things to do and find hangovers not particularly conducive to a) getting out of bed for long bike rides; or b) getting assignments done on time), I was up bright and early and raring to go(ish).

The gym was flipping packed. I’ve never seen it so busy. All three treadmills were in use, as were both rowing machines, so I had to start my workout on the cross-trainer (my usual routine is rowing machine, then the cross-trainer and I was mightily miffed at having to do them back to front). When I’d finished on the cross-trainer though, the rowing machines were still being used. I tried standing there staring at the people on them but that didn’t work so I got on the stationary bike and kept turning round to see if the rowing machines had become free and after five minutes, yay, one became empty so I got off the stationary bike and did some rowing.

Oh and by the way, today is Penguin Awareness Day, so here’s a baby penguin for you.


Janathon Day 18 – parkrunning on a cross-trainer

Dammit, because I got up too late to go to my local parkrun, I told the WHOLE INTERNET I’d do a parkrun distance (i.e. 5k) on the treadmill instead. I got to the gym and went on the rowing machine first and in the mirror in front of me, I could see all three treadmills behind me were being used (and being used by walkers, bah) and I thought, would it be really rude to go and stand next to a treadmill, queueing up, like people used to do in the gym in London when all the machines were in use? I decided it would be really rude, so I decided to do the 5k on the cross-trainer instead.

Before I’d got to the gym, I’d handpicked my own playlist and I was reminded Julia Buckley posted her playlist on Facebook the other day. Julia said it was her ‘trendy’ playlist and I debated her use of the word ‘trendy’, as it – as far as I could tell – had nothing post-90s on it (which isn’t a bad thing. I am a huge 90s-indie-Britpop fan). While I was on the cross-trainer though listening to my playlist, the words ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ came into my head as Ben Folds Five, Elastica, The Cult, Hole, etc. popped up and I thought I’m hardly down wiv da kidz either.


But then ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ by Jake Bugg  came on, and a little later ‘Reflektor’ by Arcade Fire came on and I thought yay, those songs were out last year – I am down wiv da kidz after all. Get me, I’ll be watching X-Factor next.

And because I’d told the WHOLE INTERNET I was going on the treadmill, I did ten minutes on it to make my gym session up to an hour.

I’m now pondering going to the park tomorrow to do my own parkrun, but I reserve the right to postpone my ponder if it’s pissing down.

Janathon Day 15 – Tabata is not for me


A few weeks ago, I was asked if I’d like to attend a Tabata class. This prompted flashbacks involving a shouty orange woman to the last time I’d said yes to attending a gym class when not knowing anything about the exercise involved, so I politely declined.

They didn’t want to let me off that easily though and asked if I’d like a DVD to review instead. Okay, I thought, I’m willing to embarrass myself in the privacy of my own home and so I politely accepted.

It’s taken a while for me to get the DVD out but, hey, it’s Janathon and Janathon is a good time to be trying new things, so today was the day to get Tabata’d up.

Tabata is trendy-at-the-mo high intensity interval training (HIIT) and apparently the only scientifically proven fitness session born in a lab, not a gym. Being one of those annoying vegetarian animal-rights people, I was a bit worried about the ‘born in a lab’ bit but I ascertained from the intro it was tested on small Japanese men and not bunnies so, so far, so good.

Except, further into the intro it became clear me and Tabata weren’t going to get on. It consisted of fresh-faced boys and girls wearing skin-tight white lycra doing what can only be described as break-dancing but without the spinning-on-your-head bit (for those of us old enough to remember break-dancing). Uh oh.

I started the warm-up and that was fine; it only involved moving my arms a bit. But then the lycra-clad gym bunnies on the screen started moving more and getting on the floor and I ended up just watching and not doing and so I gave up and went to the gym instead.

If you like gym classes that involve coordination and floorwork, you’ll probably like Tabata (you can find official Tabata classes at your local Fitness First), although Warriorwoman did a Tabata workout on a treadmill, I think that’d be more my kind of thing.

Janathon Day 14 – it has to be seen…

…to be believed, but I’m still going strong! Quite literally strong, too, as I went to the gym this morning and could definitely feel the difference in my fitness. I burned more calories than usual on the rowing machine and I stormed through Audiofuel’s Thru the Gears on the treadmill without slowing down for a walk break. Go me!

And to copy Dave Lewis, who keeps posting his pretty runningfreeonline.com calendars on to the Janathon Facebook Page, here’s mine (yes that’s a photo of me in a race wearing devil’s horns and the number 666):


Janathon 2014 totals so far:

Running: 13.92 miles
Cycling: 95.09 miles
Cross-training: 4:48 hours
Total time: 17:41 hours
Calories: 6194

Well done everyone who’s successfully completed their second week.

Janathon day 4 – a haiku and humiliation

Here’s a stationary bike haiku for you:


Stationary bike
Why are you so crap? Station-
ary bike, you git.

Before I’d got on the stationary bike, I’d been happily cross-training on the cross-trainer when Mr Coach Driver Man decided to park his coach outside the window a foot or so from my face. Nope, 50 people staring through the window at me while I’m on the cross-trainer wasn’t embarrassing at all, oh no.


In case I haven’t humiliated myself enough yet today, here’s a photo of me planking in my PJs to make up for the penguin onesie plank I did wrong.


Model (ahem) wears:

Grey and pink soft brushed cotton pyjamas by DKNY (cheap from TK Maxx)

Slippers by Tesco

Cabinet by Ebay

Vase by Homebase

Floor by don’t know, ask Shaun

Hair by Toni & Guy about 2 years ago and needs a bit of a trim

My deputy HelsBels has lined up a prize for the best plank (hopefully more prizes will be arranged so we can have prizes for different categories), so keep posting them on your blogs, Twitter and on Facebook. We want them all – in your pyjamas, in your onesies, or just blatant exhibitionism, it’s all good.


Creak. That’s the sound of my joints aching or the noise of the seams of my clothes bursting, take your pick. I’ve been a bit lax taking my glucosamine (I’ve been buying vegetarian ones from Health Span for a few years as they’re much cheaper than Holland & Barrett) – I know people say supplements are a con, but I know my joints creak when I stop taking them and stop creaking when I do. So, it’s either the supplements or I walk round in sports braces all day and I know what I’d rather do.

The seams of my clothes bursting is all my fault though, so I went to the gym this morning. Plus, I had a new sports bra to try out. Shock Absorber has always been my number one favourite sports bra and now they’ve done something amazing. They’ve made one you don’t need a degree in mechanical engineering to get in and out of.

The Shock Absorber Zipped Plunge Sports Bra has – unsurprisingly – a zip down the front. That’s it. No hooks and clasps to fiddle with and swear at, so even when you’re dripping in sweat, you just unzip it and it’s off. Another bonus with the lack of hooks and clasps is that it’s wonderfully comfortable. It’s only £25 which I think is a bit of a bargain.


Another bargain bit of kit I got recently was my US Pro leggings. I don’t like short shorts, or ones that are just under the knee. My preferred length, any time of year, is three-quarters and these are fab. A great length that doesn’t ride up, a waist band that’s high enough and stays up and all for £12.00.



I’ve got a new running app to try out tomorrow so I’m going to have to go for a run. I probably should anyway, seeing as I’ve got the London Duathlon and the Great South Run coming up. With all that running, maybe I should get some new shoes too. Perhaps some nice bright purple Asics, like these one here?

Something to motivate me


Despite not particularly enjoying the Great South Run last year, I’ve signed up again. I’ll be careful who I allow to take off my chip at the end though and if I see that sour-faced old moo who stood on my blistered foot to get extra leverage to take off my chip last year, I’m going to stamp all over her feet and see how she likes it.

I had to give mine and iliketocount’s details to the man at Bupa who wanted to know, amongst other things, a) our estimated finishing times; and b) our t-shirt sizes. My t-shirt was bigger than iliketocount’s and my estimated finishing time was about an hour slower than his. Not embarrassing at all. Honest.

Still, hopefully (and I know I say this EVERY time I sign up for a race), it’ll give me the motivation to start running again. It motivated me enough to go to the gym after lunch, anyway, and I did 15 minutes on the treadmill. It’s a start.

Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Cross-trainer: 20 minutes
Treadmill: 15 minutes
GSRs signed up for: 1
T-shirts bigger than iliketocount’s: 1
Estimated racing times 1 hour slower than iliketocount’s: 1

Plan A, Plan B, Plan… oh forget it…

I’m off to Amsterdam on Friday and haven’t done a thing about it yet apart from buy the plane tickets and book a hotel (which is very grown up for me – I usually just turn up there then look for somewhere to stay). For some reason, I like to buy new clothes if I’m going away, even if it’s only for a couple of days.

So, today I had planned to sod the exercise and go into town and do stuff like take back some books to the library, get my hair cut, buy some clothes, toiletries and make-up and get some Euros from the Post Office (grown up holiday thing no. 2).

But it was raining. I got up at about 7:30am and it was still raining at 9:30am and so I thought sod it, I’ll go into town tomorrow instead and today I’ll do some exercise at home then crack on with my playwriting essay.

Hmm. That was the plan, anyway. What actually happened was that yes, I did start exercising at home along to Erin O’Brien’s Strong Body Fit Body DVD that I enjoyed last week or the week before or whenever it was I used it but today, I really couldn’t be bothered with it and so I sacked it off after thirty minutes.

Back upstairs to work really hard on my essay then. Yeah, right. What actually happened was that I decided to do two lots of washing, make a red bean, cashew and spinach curry for dinner and then it was lunchtime so I made some mushroom and lentil soup. After logging my meals into myfitnesspal, I was over calories for the day so after lunch (okay… two hours after finishing my lunch and finishing dicking around on the internet and not doing my essay) I did a rare thing – I got changed and went to the gym. Yeah, in the afternoon and everything.

Ouch, that was hard. I was bloated from lunch and it took forty minutes of exercise to stop feeling like a lead balloon. After I’d finished, I had a look at the classes on offer. As it’s a tiny gym, they don’t have many and the only thing I’d possibly do is circuit training but then I thought, maybe in Juneathon, I’ll force myself to do some of these classes. But not Zumba. There is NOTHING in this world that would make me do Zumba. Just the thought of it terrifies me.

Speaking of Juneathon – it’s only a couple of months away – yippee!

AWDis Girlie Cool T-Shirt

I only did half an hour of weights yesterday, but I’m aching today. That’s what you get for not doing any exercise for a month, I suppose.

Today I went to the gym and not just because I had a new AWDis Girlie Cool T-shirt from Qtag.com I wanted to try out.


I like this t-shirt. It fits well, it’s red (I like red), it’s got wickability, it’s comfortable and, best of all, it doesn’t cost much over six quid. Yeah, six quid for a proper technical wicking t-shirt without having to go into that well known high street shop that does cheapy sportswear but has a layout like a van backed into the shop, ejected its contents and left it there in a muddled heap. 

You don’t have to get a red one; you can get a black one, a yellow one, a purple one, a white one, a one-of-their-three-different-shades-of-blue one, a fluorescent pink one and even a kelly green one (whatever that is).

By the way, ‘AWDis’ stands for All We Do Is. I’m not sure what it is they only do. Make decent cheap t-shirts, maybe.

I got to the gym and as I got there a girl was going in and she held the door open for me and then there she was in the changing room and it’s only a small room and there was only two of us in there and so I thought I should probably make conversation or something but all I could think of to say was ‘cold, innit?’ and I’d already had the ‘cold, innit?’ conversation with the girl on reception, so I just smiled at her, hung up my coat and went out and did some gym stuff.

After being on the rowing machine and cross-trainer, I wanted to do an Audiofuel Thru the Gears session on the treadmill but I hadn’t run for nearly four weeks when I did three miles with a running group. Yes, a running group. Me, out running with other people on purpose and not just accidentally because I got caught up in a bunch of schoolkids running for the bus. Get me, Miss Social Runner.

Anyway, I managed a whole Thru the Gears session without any walking bits and felt knackered but great after.

I’m quite enjoying this Operation Stop Being a Fat Lazy Cow. I’ve still got university assignments to do though, bah.

Operation Stop Being a Fat Lazy Cow day 3
Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Cross-trainer: 20 minutes
Treadmill: 15 minutes
New t-shirts: 1
‘Cold, innit?’ dilemmas: 1

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