There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing (or whatever the saying is)

‘Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you’, sang Crowded House. This isn’t a sentiment I entirely agree with as, although, yes, it would be nice to bring back a bit of sun from your summer holiday, all those English people lazing about by the pool in Barbados in December won’t be best pleased if you rock up after your long haul flight from the UK with a bit of British cold wet winter weather, will they?

So, no. Don’t take the weather with you everywhere you go. Instead, dress for the weather you currently have. Take this morning, for example. Although the sky was clear and blue and, from the warmth of my centrally-heated room, the world outside my window could almost have been mistaken for summer, I knew it was going to be cold outside and I’d promised Facebook I’d go for a run (mostly to stop The Running Goth picking on me by calling me a slacker every three minutes) and so I needed to dress appropriately. Hello, thermal top from Blackspade.

Yes, I'm holding my stomach in

Yes, I’m holding my stomach in

This top is lightweight, comfy, warm, has a high neck (if you like that kind of thing – personally, I don’t like things round my neck so I undid the zip a bit) and, as you can see, is quite long and stays in place.

This isn't me, but you probably new that

This isn’t me, but you probably knew that

I also wore it out walking a couple of weeks ago (you can see a pic of the pretty countryside in which I walked here) underneath a body warmer and it kept me warm then, too.

I changed out of my slippers and put walking boots on, honest

I changed out of my slippers and put walking boots on, honest

I’d also wear it out cycling so, all in all, it’s a versatile top. If you would like a top like this, in the absence of anyone bringing back some winter sun to warm you up, the Blackspade Winter Thermal Sports Top is available from Amazon (this link takes you to one which is identical except there’s no zip on the neck).

And remember kids, ignore what Crowded House say and don’t take the weather with you – leave it where it is.

PBs And The Gods Of Sloth

The Gods of Sloth were looking down on me last night as I was searching for a reason to drink wine. I knew drinking wine would prevent me from getting up early enough to go to my local parkrun but I really fancied some. It didn’t take long for me to find a reason – two reasons, in fact. The first was when I saw the weather forecast predicted 25mph winds and the second – which had me opening that bottle of wine faster than you can say ‘corkscrew’ – was when I saw parkrun had teamed up with a charity that tests on animals. Bad parkrun, bad bad bad!

Still, Janathon doesn’t care about windspeed or any other reasons for not running so I decided to do a parkrun distance on the treadmill at the gym and I must have ran like the wind because I GOT A MUTHAFUCKING PARKRUN PB, WAHOO! Okay, so I didn’t actually get a parkrun PB what with it not being done at an actual parkrun and it probably wasn’t accurate what with it being on a treadmill, but it’s the fastest I’ve run in at least five years and so I’m keeping that wahoo. It’s mine – all mine.

Oh, and in case you think I’ve been slacking the last few days – I haven’t. I’ve just been slack with the blogging but I’ve been gymming and body pumping and cycling and spinning and stuff and if you don’t believe me, here’s my calendar on Running Free Online.

Slacker? Me? Nope.

Slacker? Me? Nope.

Let’s Talk About Pants, Baby

This morning, I spent far too long trying to remember if I usually get a wedgie when I’m running or at the gym. Then I thought, ha, yes, I distinctly remember standing on a treadmill hoping no one could see me picking my knickers out of my bum. Whether or not this was a common occurrence, I couldn’t remember but, seeing as I haven’t been banned from the gym because of complaints about constant unwedgieing, I reckoned this probably wasn’t on the list of runner’s ailments such as, say, black toenails or that foot injury no one knows how to pronounce.

Still, there was a reason for my wedgie wondering and that was because I’d been sent a pair of pants known as Edgies.  They work on the premise of ‘Don’t get a wedgie with an Edgie’ (which isn’t actually their slogan but it certainly should be and if it appears on their website, remember where you heard it first and let me know so I can send them an invoice).

Edgie no wedgie pants

Look, Ma – no wedgie!

They work by having silicone banding round the edge of the legs. My first thought was I DON’T WANT TO WEAR RUBBER PANTS. I AM NEITHER A) INCONTINENT; NOR B) A GIMP but once on, you don’t feel them at all. In fact, Edgies are beautifully light and comfy.

You too can have a rubber band in your pants

You too can have a rubber band in your pants

We all know you don’t get clothes that are targeted towards *ahem* sportspeople without the word ‘wicking’ or ‘breathable’ appearing somewhere and the blurb for the Edgies was no different. I’d never thought about breathable pants before and not only because the phrase ‘wicker knickers’ sounds itchy but now I’ve tried these and without wanting to go into too much detail, after my run, I was perfectly fresh and dry ‘down there’ and I want to buy some more as I don’t want to go back to running in cotton knickers now. And yes, I know you’re wondering, and the answer is no, I didn’t get a wedgie. Thank you for asking.

Edgies come in a range of styles, which you can have a look at on their website.

Janathon stats

Pants in the post: 1
Wedgies: 0

Oh yeah, I ran 3.1 miles.

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.


The JogBlog Guide To Healthy Habits

Krakau, Gefängnis Montelupich, Klosterschwester

The best way to get into the habit of doing something is to do it regularly. Okay, so obviously a habit isn’t something you do once, but how do you make something into a habit? Here are three of my tips to doing something more than once.

  1. Get a training schedule: I’ve got a couple of half-marathons coming up at the beginning of 2015 and I know if I don’t get a schedule and just leave my training to the ‘do a run when I feel like it and hope my mileage magically increases without trying too hard’ method, then it’ll get to January and I’ll think, ‘Oh shit, I’m doing a half-marathon in a couple of weeks and I haven’t done more than a couple of parkruns since August. Oops’ and then I’ll end up limping round the half in 3 hours and pretending my leg fell off or something.My favourite schedules are the ones by Hal Higdon. I especially like these because they’re in miles and not all that fancy 8 x 400m easy x I-haven’t-a-clue-what-you’re-talking-about stuff and I also especially like these because you can generate them into iCal files to import into Google Calendar, Outlook, iCal, etc.schedule
    Want to know just how successful getting a schedule is? Well, it’s Wednesday today and usually, I’d spend a Wednesday evening drinking wine while watching Waterloo Road and The Apprentice (DON’T JUDGE ME) but, because my schedule says I’ve got to do 7 miles tomorrow (actually, I should be doing the 7 miles on Saturday but I won’t be able to but schedules can be rescheduled), the wine will be absent. See, schedules are healthy habit inducing!
  2. Get a training buddy: In general, I don’t like running with other people on a social basis as I’d rather zone out and listen to my music but a really good way to make sure you get out the door is to arrange to meet someone; whether that’s by publicly stating on your running group leader’s Facebook page that you’ll be coming to the Tuesday night speed session (yes, I did that and to make sure I definitely didn’t weasel out of it, she came and picked me up and gave me a lift there) or to arrange to see a friend at parkrun. You’re not going to stand your friends up, are you? Nope. Well, not unless you’re a bit of a twat, anyway.
  3. Get signed up to Janathon: Okay, I’m biased because I’m the Queen of ‘Athons (curtseying in my presence is optional) and the more people who sign up, the better I look but Janathon is a fantastic way to get into the habit of exercising. Not only will you feel fitter by the end of the month but you’ll have so much energy you won’t want to stop and you’ll be begging me for a Februthon.

So, there’s the JogBlog Guide To Healthy Habits, and here are some tips from simplyhealth – what are yours?

Folkestone Santa Fun Run 2014 Report

Saturdays, for me, are traditionally long run days, even if my long runs do seem long ago in the past. However, Fridays are still usually alcohol-free days but not last Friday, oh no. A friend had organised a local pub crawl and seeing as a local pub crawl was my idea in the first place, I sort of had to go, didn’t I? Although the crawl only crawled through two pubs and I swear I only had a few pints of lager, I had no idea how or when I got home and didn’t get up until 4:30pm the next day. This meant my Saturday night involved nothing more exciting than sitting at home on my own with my cat, drinking hot chocolate, like the old spinster of the parish, despite living directly across the road from a pub. On the upside though, this also meant that while I was not in the pub ruining any chances of seeing Sunday morning but sitting at home browsing Facebook instead, I saw a friend mention a Santa Fun Run taking place the next day.  It was only a few miles away (countryside miles, that is. In the countryside, if something is 15 miles away, you can be there in 20 minutes. In London, if something is 15 miles away, it’s a day trip with possibly an overnight stay). Bonus. It also didn’t start until the civilised time of 11.30. Even bigger bonus. So I decided if I was up in time, then I’d go along. And up in time I was and Shaun agreed to drive me to Folkestone to take part with all the other people who had been sitting at home with their cats the night before and therefore weren’t too hungover for a little jog by the seaside.

Folkestone Santa Fun Run 2014

Ho ho ho

Unlike last time I did a Santa run, Shaun decided not to join in because ‘I’m not doing any races this year’ (despite me pointing out that a bunch of people running around in Santa suits could hardly be described as a race). But, just like last time I did a Santa run, when we left the house, it was minus-something Celsius but I remembered the Santa suits were warm and the hat keeps your ears cosy, which is just as well as, although one of the incidental benefits of earphones – aside from their more obvious main purpose – are that they keep the wind out of your ears, they don’t exactly keep your ears warm when it’s minus-something Celsius outside.

We got to Folkestone in plenty of time to spend some time drinking hot chocolate in Costa Coffee and using their toilets to change into my Santa suit (sorry to anyone who was waiting outside, bursting for a wee) and off I went to the start line.

Running in a Santa suit surrounded by others in Santa suits is fun, as anyone who’s done it can tell you. It’s only fun for about three minutes though and then it’s too hot and uncomfortable. Although I didn’t have the beard on my face but hung around my neck, that got thrown in the first bin I saw and the sleeves soon got rolled up. Then rolled back down when I walked up the never-ending hill. Had I known, however, that not long after the never-ending hill would be the end, I might have made more of an effort and not walked so much. But because the website said the route would be approximately 5km and the entry form said approximately 6km, I was expecting the run to be roughly somewhere in between – say, 5.5km exactly – when I got to the end at just 2.85 miles (which even with my shoddy maths skillz is obviously quite short of 5km), I was slightly perturbed. Although not as perturbed as the man Shaun told me should have won but didn’t because someone took a short cut and crossed the line before the man who should have won. But it’s a charity fun run and not to be taken too seriously and I did get some bling at the end and I only run for bling, after all.

Folkestone Santa Fun Run 2014 Medal

Will run for bling

Well, bling and beer and burgers.

Googies burger and chips

Will run for burgers

(Okay, it’s wine but I was going with the alliteration thing.)

Helly Hansen Winter Duel

Six and a half years ago, Warriorwoman and I had a challenge within a challenge (sorry about the broken links to the pics). Salomon had asked us both to undertake personal running challenges and so we decided to make things more interesting by seeing who could complete their challenge first. My challenge was to run 100 miles in a month. I know that’s not many for some of you, but it was a lot to me then and I still haven’t run over 100 miles in a month since. Warriorwoman’s challenge was, I think, to run past each station on the Circle Line (this was when it was still a circle. Well, a loop, anyway).

I am far too much of a laydee and noble sportswoman to say who won that particular challenge (clue: IT WAS MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE) but now we’re having a rematch in the form of the Helly Hansen Winter Duel.

Participants in the duel download the app, sign up and the app will set you up with a duelling partner matched to the level of running you’re currently doing or you can choose a partner. I signed in with my Facebook account and there was Warriorwoman’s little face peeking out of my screen and as I think we’re probably on equal terms when it comes to fitness, laziness and can-I-be-arsed-to-go-out-for-a-run-ness, I challenged her to a duel, which she accepted.

We started off really well, as you can see.

Helly Hansen Winter Duel

Slacker? Who, me? As if.

The challenge lasts for five weeks and at the end of the five weeks, the participants with the highest number of miles recorded will get the chance to duel face-to-face at a Helly Hansen training event.

It’s simple to log your miles. You just click that big button you can see in the photo above that says START TRAINING and the app records your time and distance (as far as I can see, it’s purely a stopwatch and map, so I could, in theory, cheat and cycle thirty miles but that would be cheating and cheating is bad and Warriorwoman would never believe I ran thirty miles in one go anyway). When you finish your run, press stop and it shows you how far ahead or behind your partner you are in that current week.

Helly Hansen  Winter Duel

I hope sheep aren’t afraid of heights

As we’ve both got half-marathons coming up, I reckon this challenge will give us the motivation to actually do a bit of training. It certainly gave me more incentive to get out for the six miles I should have done on Saturday.

For more information, watch the video below, or visit the Helly Hansen website.

The Accidental Queen

I wanted to go to parkrun this morning but, alas, I got up too late. Only slightly too late and I could have made it if I’d got into my running gear immediately and cycled down to the park without having a cup of tea first, but I’m not much of a get-up-and-get-out-the-door kind of girl, so I dossed about for a bit, then went out for a run by myself round a few local quiet country lanes.

As is usual for round here, I didn’t see many people. I saw a woman and her dog twice and as I got onto the trail that leads back to my road, the dodgiest looking man I’ve ever seen was walking towards me. He was wearing a t-shirt, shorts and trainers but he wasn’t running (obviously only people who are running are allowed to be wearing t-shirts, shorts and trainers) and didn’t look like he had been or was going to be running (obviously all runners look like runners) and he was walking along the path with his fists clenched and his head down. As I went past him, I saw fury on his face and wondered if he always looked like he was in a bad mood or had he just had an argument with his girlfriend or something? But, anyway, he didn’t murder me (obviously) and I carried on running, only looking over my shoulder about twenty-three times to make sure Mr Bad Mood Face hadn’t decided to follow me.


When I got home, I did my usual uploading to SportTracks and Strava thing and was pleased to see I’d won a crown on Strava. YAY! I am currently top woman on the leaderboard for a local segment and fourth overall. Okay, so I’m the only woman on that segment and fourth out of four but that’s not the point. I got a crown. I’m the Queen and you all must curtsey. Ha.

Review: New Balance Minimus Trail V2

It’s been a long time since I went for a run – six weeks and three days, to be precise. That was when I went to my local parkrun and actually ran the whole five k without stopping. Yay me. Although, even though I ran it without stopping to walk, it was still slower than when I’ve run/walked it but I was so pleased I hadn’t walked any of it, it motivated me to start running regularly again. Well, that motivation didn’t last long, did it?

Still, I went for a run on Tuesday to try out my new New Balance Minimus Trail shoes I’d been sent.



They’re not the prettiest shoes on the planet (unless you like plain shoes, then they’ll be right up your street (or should that be trail?)) but they do have a gorgeous pinky/orange spiky sole; it’s a shame they’re going to be covered with mud. Given my opinion on shoes centres mostly around what colour they are, if you want the technical bit, here’s what New Balance have to say about them:

”With a 0mm drop, the Zero Trail V2 allows you to feel the path beneath your feet and when combined with an aggressive outsole, the result is a durable trail shoe which allows you to connect with the path feeling confident and secure with every step.

An innovative REVlite midsole provides premium responsiveness and durability at a 30% lighter weight than other foams with comparable performance. The REVlite is consistent with the old school design elements of the Zero Trail v2 but is combined with a super aggressive 7mm lug outsole, giving maximum traction for off road activities and putting more between your foot and the ground.

The sticky rubber outsole is durable and tacky creating greater traction on slick surfaces, perfect for running on those dewy mornings or scrambling over wet rocks. Added toe protection and heel support provide extra protection for those ragged runs!”

I went off to do a bit of the Greensand Way and it didn’t take long to get covered in mud. I didn’t slip over, so the spiky soles must have been doing their job properly. They don’t feel like trail shoes when they’re on – trail shoes I’ve had in the past have felt heavy and solid but these are light and comfy. The tread is so deep on them though, I’m going to need a hoof pick to dig the mud out.

If you’re after some light trail shoes, and like your shoes to be almost as plain as a Rich Tea biscuit (but with a pretty sole), I can recommend the New Balance Minimus Trail V2.

Berlei Underwired Running Bra

When I first started running, my clothes lacked a certain elegance. Okay, they lacked any elegance. I wore a cheapy £10 pair of trainers, a pair of thick heavy tracksuit bottoms and a thick heavy hooded fleece, under which I wore a normal cotton t-shirt and under that I wore two normal bras at the same time. I did eventually upgrade to some proper running shoes and a pair of running tights after plucking up the courage to go into the Runner’s Need near my workplace and I bought a couple of sports bras on eBay.

Most of my early sports bras were the crop top type but they seem to have gone out of fashion and since then they’ve been made of a variety of clips and straps and stuff that I can’t do up, so my usual method of putting on a sports bra is to do all the clips and straps and stuff up and pull it over my head, crop top stylee. I’m sure that’s the best way to damage a sports bra but needs must and all that.

I do have one sports bra that has a zip up the front and you’d think that would be super simple to put on but that still requires a certain amount of tugging and pulling.

Recently, Berlei sent me a running bra to try. It looked so pretty and unsportsbra-like it stayed in the packaging for a while. The bra also didn’t look like it was up to much support-wise as it just looks like and does up like a normal bra. Still, I eventually put it on and gave it a go. Despite its flimsy looks, it has all the support you could want. It’s also as simple as a normal bra to put on and is so comfortable, you don’t even feel it’s there when you’re running. There is also a matching pair of knickers and I was going to post a selfie when I remembered there was already a photo of me modelling the set on the Berlei website.


The Berlei underwired running bra is £32 and the matching knickers are £16. Both are available on the Berlei website in a range of colours.

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