Dymchurch Marathon 2015 Training: Week 4

Yesterday, I started to write a post about how I haven’t been slacking off, but that post was flatter than a can of Coke that had been left open for three weeks and so I spared you all and deleted it.

However, in case you’d been wondering – what with the lack of marathon training updates – if I had been slacking, then I’m here to tell you that no, I haven’t. Whoop.

But (you knew there was a ‘but’ coming, didn’t you?), I probably should confess that I’ve ignored the Thursday runs my schedule has down for me but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not possible to slack off something you had no intention of doing in the first place.

Anyway, so now I’ve confessed to not slacking, I’m going to confess to not slacking again. I really didn’t fancy a 5 mile run today, so I asked Twitter if I could go to the gym instead and Twitter – bless it and all who Tweets in it – replied.

That was good enough for me (although the only weakness I could see the gym highlighting for me was my ‘slacking off to the gym’ weakness*). This next reply was also good enough for me:

and the confirmations I wasn’t a slacker just kept coming:

and so off I skipped to the gym, happy in my heart that I wasn’t a slacker. But… then… oh no… Twitter must have been broken because it was letting Tweets disagreeing with me through, like this one:

and this one (although this was more encouraging than disagreeing):

but it was too late – I’d already been to the gym. While I was there though, I did 20 minutes on the rowing machine, 15 minutes on the treadmill and 5 miles on the cross-trainer (that’s about all we have in my little local gym – nothing posh like a vibration plate or anything, not that I’m complaining; I love my little gym) and, seeing as those 5 miles were the 5 miles I was supposed to run, I’m considering this valid marathon training.

*’weakness’ reminded me of this scene from Trainspotting. (Please note I am not advocating a) taking speed before a job interview; or b) telling an interviewer your weakness is that you’re a perfectionist. If you do that, you’re a nincompoop.) 

Juneathon Day 6 – An Ultra-Parkrun And A Sunny Spin Class


Helen left a comment on yesterday’s post suggesting we go to our respective parkruns and give each other a virtual high-five. We did this a while back as we’d both been slacking in our running (she probably had a good excuse like just having had a baby or something and I probably had a slightly less good excuse like just having been to the pub or something) but Helen is now running regularly and recently ran London Marathon, whereas I have done fuck all by way of running for weeks and so I’d only be high-fiving myself which, let’s face it, would look a bit weird.

And, anyway, I’d booked to go to spin and although on a good day, I could get back in time from parkrun for the class, I didn’t think today would be one of those good days so I said I’d do 5k on the treadmill at 9am instead.

However, when I woke up, my legs, shoulders and arms were aching. Plus, it was after 9am when I got to the gym and I didn’t think I’d have time to do 5k on the treadmill before spin so I decided to do 5k on the rowing machine instead. This plan was scuppered (don’t you just love the word ‘scuppered’?) when my heels kept slipping out of my trainers. This has never happened before so maybe along with my recent weight-loss my feet have also shrunk. Still, after pulling my trainers back up for the third time in five minutes, I unsurprisingly lost my patience and abandoned the rowing machine and decided to do 5k on the cross-trainer instead. This took about 20 minutes and I still had time left before my spin class, so I did another mile and decided that meant I’d done an ultra-parkrun. Get me and my highfalutin ultrarunner ways.

After my ultra, I ambled over to the room in which the spin class is taken and found an empty room. ALL THE SPIN BIKES HAD BEEN STOLEN BY FAT THIEVES WHO WANTED TO GET THEIR BEACH BODIES READY FOR SUMMER.


Except they hadn’t been stolen – by fat thieves who wanted to get their beach bodies ready for summer or otherwise – the instructor had moved them all outside so we could have a sunny spin class. Yay.

I have decided though that a parkrun/get-back-in-time-for-spin challenge would be a good Juneathon thing and, unless I get a better offer for the morning of Saturday 27 June, this will be happening then.


Rowing machine: about 5 minutes
Cross-trainer: about 26 minutes / 4.2 miles
Spin class: a sunny 45 minutes
Juneathon’s completed: 4/30



Sgt FitFlo’s Going To Help Me

Don't be deceived by the lack of mouth. Sgt FitFlo can ROAR.

Don’t be deceived by the lack of mouth. Sgt FitFlo can ROAR.

FitFlo called me a slacker on my blog yesterday. She said – and I quote – ‘Slacker – get out and do some running!’ Well, I never knew she had it in her to be so Sergeant Majorish, so I did what I was told and this morning I went to the gym and along with 20 minutes on the rowing machine and 20 minutes on the cross-trainer, I did 15 minutes on the treadmill, listening to Audiofuel’s Thru The Gears. If you haven’t got Thru The Gears – get it. It’s fabulous and free and has plinky plonky pianos and at the finish it speeds up and WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH – there’s engines and guitars a-blazing – you’re full of adrenaline and you get to the end and think HELL YEAH! and if you weren’t in the gym, you’d be lying back, lighting up a cigarette and/or turning over and going back to sleep.

You can download it here.

At least FitFlo outing me for being a slacker reminded me of this song, which is one of my all time favourites.

Love it.


Juneathon 2014 – Days 25 and 26 – All The Exercise

Well, I certainly can’t be accused of slacking yesterday, even if I didn’t blog in the evening. I’m not much of an evening blogger – I’m not much of an evening anything, really. I used to blog all the time in the evening as I used to blog as soon as I’d come back from a run, whatever time that was, even if if was straight after a run commute from work. So, yes, my blogging over the years has definitely slacked off – a bit like my running, I suppose.

Anyway, yesterday morning I went for a five mile run, then in the evening I went to the gym and spent 30 minutes on the rowing machine, then 15 minutes on the cross-trainer, before going to a 45 minute spin class. This morning, I had planned to do my body pump DVD (the 30 minutes of it I like, anyway) but I couldn’t be bothered. However, as we all know, in Juneathon slacking is not an option, so I got on with it.

I do need to do some walking later though as I was perturbed to see I’d lost my number one position on the Fitbit leaderboard and after holding the top spot for a few days, I’ve become pettily competitive about it and I want to be number one again. Stupid Fitbit.

Juneathon 2014 – Days 13 –17 – Including A Run With Other People

I haven’t slacked as much as you might think, so there. On the 13th (last Friday) I went for a run/walk along the Greensand Way. It would have been more run than walk but the second field had hip-high grass and even a walk was difficult.

The next day I redeemed myself by going to the local parkrun. Despite going along on my own as usual, Helen said she was going to hers and also on her own and she was sure she was going to be really shit as she’s still getting her fitness back after having a baby. So, we decided to telepathically encourage each other round the course. It worked, too, as we both ran it a lot faster than we thought we would. Virtual high-fives all round, yay.

Sunday I walked to Tesco and back. IT COUNTS.

Monday I did some kettlebells and on Tuesday I decided to go out with the local running group (not to be confused with this local running group who were horrific and quite literally pushed me out the door when I said I didn’t know they were running so far and I’d come back another time) and join them for their speedwork/laps session. What they failed to mention on their schedule is that sometimes these laps are HILLS. I hate hills. We slowly ran up to the bottom of the hill and were told to do as many laps as we could in 30 minutes. I tagged along with a couple of the others who have just finished their beginners schedule and after three laps (half the lap is the hill, the second half is a lovely downhill) we decided we’d had enough, but then one of the other girls came along and said ‘come on, you can do one more’ so we gave another lap a go and ran some of the hill and I was pleased with my three and a bit laps as usually when I see a hill, I don’t even attempt it, I just stop and walk up it.

Today, so far I have done 30 minutes of body pump and I’m going to the gym later and then to a spin class.

See, told you I haven’t been slacking. Just slacking on the blogging.

Janathon Day 29 – forgetfulness

I did a new body pump DVD this morning then went to the gym and went on the cross-trainer and went on the treadmill then when I got home I was going to blog but ran out of time because I was going out to lunch


and when I got back, I’d forgotten all the things I was going to put in my blog.

Probably wasn’t very interesting anyway, although I do seem to remember it was going to contain the word ‘wankers’.

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.

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