Janathon Day 1: Easy Does It

Happy New Year! The past couple of days have been all about this for me:

– the cake that Edward and Hector made for my birthday, a gigantic brownie with Maya Gold chunks and peanut butter pushed into the top. Divine! It’s also been about this:

Friends. Friends who travelled all the way from Manchester and South Wales via Harwich and Norfolk, dedication to the cause. This meant my first run of 2011 and the first of Janathon had to pushed back until our guests had taken leave, which meant a four o’clock run under a darkening sky and a shower of rain. A taste of things to come, no doubt. It would have been easier if I had managed to get out earlier, but I wanted to maximise my time with our lovely friends and besides, I felt a little delicate after a night filled with champagne cocktails and wine and G&T and…and… Yes, I know, that’s definitely classed as binge drinking, but I think one slip is allowed ahead of a month of binge running.

As I put my contact lenses in, I could hear the rain dripping on the bathroom window and felt decidedly uninspired by the prospect of a run, but I had the boost of a new long-sleeved running top to debut and my gorgeous new running shoes. Erm, call me girly, but I decided against the shoes because I didn’t want to get them wet. With a month of running ahead of me, I didn’t want to over do it, so just aimed for three miles (I have set myself the same minimum-three-miles goal as in Juneathon) around the local park, passing the local drunks a few times, and giving sideways glances to the lovely running track on a couple of laps – I will go there one day, really I will. This run gave me a chance to think about why I am doing Janathon. As some of you may know, I ‘won’ Juneathon in 2010, so there’s that little achievement to live up to, but Janathon seems a bit different, maybe more competitive, with the fantastic array of prizes and the hundred+ runners signing allegiance to the cold, wet run. My reasons for participating in Juneathon previously have always been to feel the support of my fellow bloggers, to have a goal to boost my running and to feel a part of something positive, so these are good enough reasons to join in with Janathon as well. I also have a longer-term goal of the Brighton Marathon to get me out there. I only found out about my place on my birthday, so I need to get my training into gear, with Janathon being a slightly odd way to tackle my first month! I will be running for Guidedogs, and will post a link to my sponsorship page when I set it up.

So, a good start, and I look forward to another run tomorrow, maybe in the daylight hours 🙂

Janathon day 1:

Time: 32 minutes 47 seconds

Distance: 3.16 miles

Average Pace: 10.23

Best Pace: 7.01

Calories: 309




Racing the train

(a photo from a recent run, we are getting very excited about the upcoming blackberry crop)

Another Chorlton run. Edward’s parents suggested I pop down alongside the tramline which is currently under construction then follow the old railway line. The tramline looks promising, but it seems it will be a while before it’s up and running, but it was interesting to see what’s happening and run across the are near the soon-to-be-station. My run was unfortunately spoilt by a slug on a bike making a comment early on that made me feel quite threatened and vulnerable, why don’t these men think first and realise that women don’t like to hear these words when they’re out running on their own? It certainly doesn’t endear them to me.

The path is lovely, like being in the countryside, with lots of cyclists passing by, the odd dog walker and only two other runners (maybe runners do feel a bit vulnerable along here…). There were two middle aged women on bikes who must be training for something, they kept whizzing past then turning and coming back again, I found this reassuring if slightly bonkers! It’s a good route because there are lots of points where you can join up or exit and go in another direction and all of the bridges have the name of the road on, so you always know where you are.

I decided to run to the two mile point then turn around and come back. I really wish I hadn’t encountered that idiot because it really played on my mind throughout what should have been an enjoyable run. I don’t often worry about my safety whilst running, but I suppose it’s good to be aware. Anyway, I did meet a nice elderly gentleman on a bike, who stoped to ask how far I had run. Apparently he used to run until he broke his hip and had to have screws put in, so now he cycles instead (miles, it seems). I would recommend this path, but possibly as a group run route and definitely for cycling.

Stats for Juneathon Day 19

Type of run: solo run

Time: 38 minutes 42 seconds

Distance: 4.20 miles

Average Pace: 9.13

Best Pace: 5.51

Calories: 450

Off to see our friends in a bit for some catching up and moules frites. Mmmmmm.

Long face Longford

The blackberries are coming!

Family gatherings are all well and good, but it does mean that a certain small boy is over-excited and over-stimulated and doesn’t go to sleep until 11.30…but still wakes at 6.55am. And the birds! Noisy little buggers. They were shouting and singing and chirrupping at 4.30: ‘Hey you! It’s 4.30! Yeeaahhh!! Cheep, cheep! Wake up!’ it was so bad that even Edward, who can sleep through pretty much anything, got up and closed the window. So, this morning, I was ever so slightly grumpy when I set off for my run.

I decided to head over to Longford Park, and weaved my way in and out of the Chorlton equivalent of myself, taking their little children to school on scooters and little bikes. At one point I approached a busy road and the lollypop lady started coming out to help me cross: ‘No!’ I thought ‘I am 38, I don’t need help across the road! Please no!’ but she did and I muttered a ‘thank you’ and carried on my way.

Longford Park is nice for a run, lots of possible loops, lots of grassy areas, so quite pleasant. I saw something Hector would have enjoyed (I always look out for ‘Hector things’ even when he’s not there), two park-keepers were whizzing around in one of those little trucks, one driving and the other leaning out with a litter picker and grabbing litter as they went, a bit like litter polo. So, I did a sort of big loop then a little loop and headed back towards the Hill House. The lollypop lady was waiting for me, she has to be the most eager and proud lollypop lady ever, brandishing her weapon of choice like an urban jouster. Now, I will have breakfast number two, kindly provided by Barbakan (mmmmm), then a day of more eating and drinking lies ahead.

Stats for Juneathon Day 18

Type of run: solo run

Time: 40 minutes 13 seconds

Distance: 4.29 miles

Average Pace: 9.237

Best Pace: 7.39

Calories: 453