Friday, 28 June 2013

Juneathon day 28: broken

I'm definitely feeling the effects of Juneathon today. Which for day 28 is pretty good going I think (in Janathon I was knackered by the end of the second week).

Last night I had a bit of a niggle in my left shin when I got back from run club. I iced it, and again this morning. It seems fairly localised to one area, and it doesn't affect my ankle. By this evening it felt better and because I'd eaten so much dinner I decided I had to go for a run. 

I stuck to my route around town, it's usually 4 miles, but 2 miles in my leg started to REALLY hurt. To the point I had to slow right down because I could barely put my weight on it. Cut my run short. Ice pack straight on when I got home. Already feels better. I think the last 2 days of Juneathon will be core work and perhaps a bike ride. 

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Juneathon day 27: intervals in the rain

Last night I agreed with Cat Simpson from The Twitter that hill sprints were so much nicer than 400m intervals. 

Tonight at run club we did 400m intervals. 

In the rain. 

We did 5 fast 400m sections with jogged recoveries of 400m, and then a walk back to base. 4 and a bit miles in total. 

Slightly disgruntled to be the slowest in the group. And I'm really trying and everything. 

Must. Try. Harder. 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Juneathon day 26: unexpected

I went to circuits tonight. I didn't expect to, but my husband went out for his bike ride early so there was time. Booked it an hour before the class, as I was eating. As a result I had indigestion and felt sick throughout. Didn't force repetitions but concentrated on technique. Did some nice slow deep squats. And after many attempts I managed to hold a two-ball plank for longer than 5 seconds. 

I also watched the tennis. And did some ironing. 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Juneathon day 25: running with my kids

Last Sunday my kids nagged me for hours to take them out for a run. I very reluctantly obliged, and we ran-walked for 1.5 miles. Today, I decided to test their enthusiasm and take them out again, after school. 

We ran-walked as we did before, and covered the same distance in the same time. But we also had time to say hello to the ducks and have a few goes on the zip wire. Yay for the park :)

In the evening I took the run-walking beginners group at club, we covered 2.5 miles and ran for about 7-8 minute stretches, with a minute walk in between. 

Then the quick dash to Pilates. Tonight was "back to basics" and it was so relaxing I almost fell asleep. My favourite exercise tonight was the shoulder bridge with squishy ball between my knees. If you do Pilates (and are female) you will possibly understand why that's enjoyable. Or maybe it's just me. *ahem*

It's the last Pilates class for 2 weeks, so next week I'll be back at both running club sessions :)

Monday, 24 June 2013

Juneathon day 24: trying not to dance while planking

Another Monday, another circuit class. This is now a regular thing because my husband has decided he wants to cycle regularly, on Monday and Wednesday evenings, meaning I will have to give up Wednesday circuits.

Enough of that. Circuits is circuits. Today we did 10 stations repeated three times. I started on inverted row (I don't like them so I try to start on them), moving on to plank (double ball), kettlebell swing (16kg), reverse curl, skipping, press ups (full and three-quarter), bicep curl, hamstring curl (one-leg, with scaffolding pole across my abs), ab crunch (with a 5kg kettlebell), and finishing on star jumps. 

Exhausting stuff. The problem I have during circuits though is containing my desire to dance when my favourite tune comes on. Today, I was trying to hold my plank while Sam and the Womp's Bom Bom was on -- quite tricky. I managed a small bum wiggle.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Juneathon day 23: Scarecrows

I was up early this morning to accompany some Stotfold Runners on a 10K. Six runners turned up, and we grouped ourselves nicely into run-walkers (who ran 5 minutes and walked 1 minute) and runners. My group were two of our faster runners, so for me it was a bit quick (for a Sunday morning anyway!).

Several hours later and I'm getting the bikes out of the shed ready to cycle around Stotfold to look at the Scarecrow Festival. We saw some really good displays this year, hubs and I liked the hospital operation one best, and the kids preferred the Despicable Me minion one (will be winning the "topical' vote there).

Now it's time to cook roast lamb and drink wine. The bonus of exercising in the morning!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Juneathon day 22: quickie

I have a massive hangover today. Too much booze and not enough sleep. Anyway, enough of that, I waited until late afternoon (when I was more or less recovered) to run. Just 1.5 miles (my new fav route around the fields) in 12 minutes 27 seconds, whipped along at 8:20 av pace. That included me climbing over a fence. Pleased.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Juneathon day 21: abs

I didn't run today, despite attempts at provocation by a friend (he beat my mile time trial time and was goading me). I'm off out to the pub with friends tonight. So I've got half a mile walk ahead of me to get there (plus the return journey). That hardly counts for Juneathon though so I've done a mini circuit. 

1 min ab curls
1 min 3/4 press ups
35 sec plank
1 min ab curls
1 min plank. 

Should help me keep those abs held in tonight!

Now, what to wear?

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Juneathon day 20: 10 days to go

Forgive me for counting down, but Juneathon has been hard! 10 days to go. 10 days to go. *and repeat*

At running club tonight we were supposed to do speed work for beginners and intermediates, two sessions of speed work! I was my usual encouraging self and sprinted alongside particular beginners to make sure they were "reaching their full potential". Pleasantly surprised to be caught and passed by a few runners. Although that makes them future targets for pain (from myself or Pete). Just warning you Julie ;) xx

At intermediates we had the prospect of more speed work, and Pete had brought his whistle. Goodness knows what he had planned. Anyway, no one seemed keen on speed work, several people have injuries, two guys are running a marathon on Sunday, and I was a bit tired from beginners speed work, so one of the runners said he would lead us on a short run around town. 

3 miles in and I'm wondering where the heck we're running to. At 4 miles I was ready to lie down and sleep. At that point we all stopped running and decided to walk home, for another mile and a quarter! Was nice though, we had a good chat about "stuff".

So total running/walking was just over 7 miles. I'm rehydrating with cold lager and pretzels. 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Juneathon day 19: partner circuits

Circuit training tonight. I was a bit worried it would be super 8s because it's over a month since we did that. It wasn't. It was partner circuits.

This consists of 8 pairs of stations (2 different exercises at each). So for example, one person does 15 press ups while their partner jogs on the spot. Then they swap exercises, repeating until 2 minutes is up.

It's hard work, the first time we did partner circuits I was unwell and had to go home early. Tonight it was very hot and humid. Plus there were only 13 people so I had to partner with PT Pete. 

It was so hot tonight that I had sweat running down my face after one exercise. At the first rest break I had to wipe the sweat from my shins and my eyes were stinging. Halfway round the second circuit I slipped on my own knee sweat. Yes, I sweated from the front of my knees. I didn't know that was possible.

But I burnt 350 calories, so that's a good thing :)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Juneathon day 18: running and Pilates (again!)

I think I'm becoming the "joke" in my Pilates class. The one who always turns up late, in running gear, sweating profusely, and needing the loo. 

I've decided I can just about fit in Tuesday beginners run club, if I drive there and make sure I'm finished just before 7:30. Usually we have plenty of help from intermediate runners at beginners (they come early and take a group of beginners, then run the later group too). 

Tonight no helpers came along, except me, so I took all the beginners while Coach Pete took the few run-walkers. We ran 2.5 miles through the fields, and everyone did really well. But the small groups became quite spread out so, towards the end, I had to run back and find everyone and make sure they knew where to run. This meant my last half a mile was rather fast (and uphill). 

I made it to Pilates though (at the local school). Had the most pleasant wash in the kids' toilets (paper towels, *shudder*). We did a few progressions today, and had an interesting discussion about Joseph Pilates and classic vs clinical Pilates. I'd googled him at tea time because my son was interested, so knew he'd developed his method during WWI. You can google if you're interested...

Monday, 17 June 2013

Juneathon day 17: quick run before school

On Mondays my training plan always says "intervals". I rarely do intervals though, I simply don't have enough time to run for longer than 20 minutes. 

So after work and before school pickup, I headed out for possibly my shortest ever Juneathon run! 1.5 miles in 14 minutes. Lovely and quick at first glance, but the first 0.75 miles included a walk through chest-high nettles that suddenly engulfed me on an uncharted footpath. So the last half of the run was at least 8 minute pace. 

Tonight I've been at a school meeting supporting a friend who wants to organise a trail marathon to raise money for school. I was the running club rep to reassure school that we have members who will help. Looks exciting!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Juneathon day 16: Stanley Park

I was in Blackpool today for a family christening. We stayed at my in-laws' house, and they live quite close to Stanley Park. It's a great place to run, loads of paths, so you can make your run a bit longer by taking a detour. Or just run all the way around the outside, which is about 2 miles. 

I've run two 10K races in Stanley Park before, "bags of PB potential" as the racing websites declare, because it's quite flat. 

I intended to run for an hour today, but I'd been co-opted into helping prepare food for the post-christening buffet and in the end only had 30 minutes to spare. So I decided to run around the park once, with a detour thrown in around the skate park. 

Saw a spectacular pigeon road kill too. Feathers and blood everywhere. Must have missed seeing it by seconds. Also saw preparations in place for a cycle race around the park, which fortunately started after I was running, else I'd have been flattened by cyclists!

So that's my Juneathon for today, a 30 minute run (exactly 5K). I'm glad to be home now and back to proper running or exercise, instead of making it up on the hop. 

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Juneathon day 15: skipping and planking

I've been travelling today, and with family events tonight, chances to run anywhere are nil. So, in a spare 15 minutes, I set my interval timer to 1 minute with a 15 second rest and alternated a minute of skipping with a minute plank. I managed 3 minutes of skipping and 2 minutes of planks before the kids wrestled my skipping rope off me. 

Friday, 14 June 2013

Juneathon day 14: rest day!

Friday is always a rest day for me, apart from those Fridays when I go for an evening run...

Anyway, I couldn't run today for various reasons, although I have done a lot of walking. So today's Juneathon effort is a full plank held for 1:05. Pleased with that. 

This weekend we are busy with family events, my grandma (in law!) is 80 and a cousin's daughter is being baptised. So fitting in exercise could be tricky. Running kit is on standby. 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Juneathon day 13: running club

Tonight's Juneathon activity was running club. For Beginners group I took three of our newest runners on a run-walk (3 minutes running and a minute walking). We covered 2 miles in about 27 minutes. 

For Intermediate group we all ran 5 miles with a couple of walk breaks. Nice chat on the way round. Good times. 

Juneathon day 12: second circuits of the week

Another circuits session tonight. Despite the Monday session I felt strong tonight. Usually I'm aching and a bit weak if I do double circuits. Managed some full press ups tonight, and one-leg squats on the Bosu ball. And yet another two-ball plank (in fact, two!)

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Juneathon day 11: The Prickly Ball

Pilates tonight, and after my request last week we had The Prickly Ball! I like this, the first time I saw it I reckoned it looked like a virus (I'm a biochemist, I tend to sciencify things I see). We used it to massage our feet and thighs (after clams) and then between our ankles and knees for squats and rolls. Nice prickly ball :)

Had a few wobbles on knee folds today, couldn't keep my hips level. Possibly because I went running beforehand. I helped with our run club beginners group, we did a short interval session. 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Juneathon day 10: Monday circuits

I very rarely go to Monday circuit training, I'm usually working. Today I decided I needed a short break from work after a stressful week last week, plus I have a dress to fit into this Sunday and its quite unforgiving. 

Circuits was 10 stations today (which we did 3 times each). Very core heavy, bicycle crunches, normal ab crunches, reverse curls, press ups, inverted row (which I always imagine as upside-down planks), bicep curls, kettlebell swings (I'm using the 16 kg weight now), lunges, squat jumps, and skipping. 

I took my own skipping rope too, I'm fed up of the skipping ropes at the class, either too short or too long! I got stick for bringing my own equipment, but I managed to skip for longer. So there!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Juneathon day 9: evening run

My training plan today called for a 75 minute run. I didn't have time to run for that long, so I went out for my usual 10K run. Managed to maintain 8:40 pace for 4 miles then sped up for an 8:15 (helped by a fast 400 m interval towards the end of the mile). Finished with a slow cool down mile, total 6.6 miles in just under 58 minutes.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Juneathon day 8: for real this time

OK, I'm sure 20 minutes of Laser Kombat counts for something in Juneathon, but I still fancied a run! Just back from 4 miles around my town in just under 36 minutes. Nice 8:58 average pace. (I don't round up the average when there's an 8 at the beginning!)

Juneathon day 8: Laser Kombat!

It was my son's birthday party today, at Laser Kombat in Stevenage. When I was at school (back in the day) we had "Quasar" next door to our school and sometimes we'd have PE class there. 20 years since I've played.

I wasn't planning to play today. But the last game was parents vs kids. So me, the husband, and my mate Gill were kitted up. 20 minutes of running around a dark room chasing small boys. I was dripping with sweat by the end.

So today's Juneathon effort is 20 minutes of Laser Kombat. Yeah!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Juneathon day 7: plank

Although Friday is usually my rest day from running, I wanted to run today because yesterday's wasn't great. However, today I'm really busy, I have so much to do before this weekend (my son's birthday party tomorrow, and we have guests this weekend). So my day 7 Juneathon effort is a full plank for a minute. 

I've also weighed myself for the first time in 2 weeks and I'm pleased to see I'm maintaining my 10 stones nicely. I'd like to drop half a stone but I'm weak for lager when it's hot so my dieting is being compromised somewhat. Oh well :) 

Looking back at this week, my highlight was the mile time trial on Tuesday when I ran 7:20. I'm still buzzing from that!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Juneathon day 6: uncomfortable running

Tonight was running club; I felt good and I was really looking forward to a run. Usually I'd go to both sessions, the 7:00-7:30pm beginner group (which I help with coaching) and the 7:30-8:30pm intermediate group. 

At 7pm I ran with my friend Sarah who has been running with beginners for a month or so now. We ran a 10 minute interval before we took a walk break and then just repeated that over our 2.5 mile route. During the run I started to feel unwell with stomach ache and by the end I just wanted to go home and lie down. So I did. 

And now I'm pissed off because I missed out on a good 5 miler that the inters did. I hate missing run club! Stupid body. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Juneathon day 5: birthday circuits

Ah, birthday circuits. I usually take cake to circuits when it's my birthday. Sadly for everyone at circuits, it is not my birthday today, it's my son's. And I've not yet made his cake! Fail. 

Anyway, circuits! We worked in pairs today. One person would do say 12 biceps curls while their partner did squat jumps. Then they would swap, and this continued for 2 minutes. It's a good session (last time we did it I nearly passed out and had to go home early).

There were eight paired stations, so 16 exercises in a circuit, and we repeated the circuit, so 32 exercises in total. Quite exhausting. Arms and legs and abs are complaining already. 

But I didn't pass out. Yeah!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Juneathon day four: mile time trial and wobbly knees

A double-exercise day today. My running club was holding its monthly mile time trial tonight and I decided I could just about manage the 7:00-7:30pm slot before Pilates, if I ran fast!

I started the trial and paced the group to 10 minutes so people following had someone to chase, I then turned round and ran my mile. And my time (on my Garmin) was 7:20! I'm really happy with that. 

Pilates was excellent tonight, a lot of focus on gluts, hips, and KNEES. I started Pilates last September because of my IT band injury, with the aim to strengthen my knees. My physio said I couldn't do a squat without my knee wobbling. I'm delighted to announce that my Pilates instructor watched me carefully tonight on squats and declared No Knee Wobble or Turning. At all! Not quite fixed though because I couldn't managed one-leg squats very well. More practice on those is needed. 

At the end I requested the Prickly Ball in a future class (we were allowed to make a request!). The prickly ball is returning! Next week! Woo hoo :)

Monday, 3 June 2013

Juneathon day three: severe case of C.B.A.

Today's Juneathon effort was going to be my walk to Cubs with my son, a short step along the river path to the Scout Hut, with the local nature reserve in view. It's a lovely walk, and we saw plenty of wildfowl and plantlife (my son nearly fell in the river he was so engrossed in looking at the ducks). 

Anyway, I got home and packed him off to bed, then the Asda shop arrived and I unpacked that. Finding 20 Coors in the bags made me resolve to go out for at least a mile so I could have one later. It's amazing where inspiration can come from. 

I headed back out along the river, hoping I might spot a flash of a kingfisher again (the last time I ran by the river I saw one). Nothing moving on the river, it was past 9pm though, so a bit late perhaps. I carried on home via the lane and Stotfold Mill. It's a beautiful lane, hedgerows high on both sides with cow parsley. The scent is heady. 

As I passed the Mill Meadows Nature Reserve I spotted some cars parked up in a strange way. Now what's that about? My guesses: either a drugs transaction or some couples about to engage in a spot of dogging. Ha! I didn't hang around to find out. Perhaps tomorrow. 

My run was 1.64 miles in 15:34. 

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Juneathon day two: the one when I got a bit lost

I like finding new routes to run, it's one of the things I love about running. The freedom of being outside and having the ability to run more or less anywhere. It's great to learn about where I live too, to find out how roads link together or where a path goes (I've lived here 6 years and still get lost).

Today I wanted to run for 70 minutes, my training plan said I had to run it "fast" but I just decided to take it steady since it was quite hot. My usual 10K route would've sufficed, with "a bit" added at the end. But I'm getting bored of running the same route. So I cut across the Letchworth Greenway and headed towards Radwell Meadows. I took the lane under the A1 and ran along the A507 (on a small footpath!) until just before Baldock Services. there is a road signposted "Radwell only" and I've always been curious to have a look. My son did a night hike from Radwell with his beaver group, so I knew there was a path from there back to town. Could I find it though? No chance. 

After much running to and fro and pretending I knew what I was doing I made it home. About 6.5 miles total in just over an hour, my Garmin wouldn't pick up a GPS connection for about half a mile so it could've been further or shorter. 

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Juneathon day one: a family walk along Hunstanton prom

The first day of Juneathon, no run today because I'm away camping. We decided to take the kids on their bikes along Hunstanton prom, the aim being to reach the town centre and enjoy a seafood lunch, then cycle back.

We got less than a mile before my daughter started crying. It's very cold today! 

We retreated to the campsite and headed out in the car instead to Hunstanton cliffs and lighthouse. We enjoyed a walk along the beach, dodging the waves and finding razor clams, oyster shells, and seaweed. A great 2 mile walk in total.