More running, less blogging

Yes, I’m still here, still running, but not so much blogging now Juneathon is over. I must admit, I have felt mightily out of sorts since it finished the other week, feeling unmotivated, a bit low and a tad blue. The thought of a post-Juneathon get-together this weekend has given me a boost and I have been out running again this week, back to the usual routes, but wishing to go further in anticipation of the upcoming half-marathon in August.

At the weekend, we went to a gorgeous wedding in West Sussex and I wished I had taken my running shoes with me, but instead I enjoyed a saunter around the little lake with Hector on his bike, taking in the fresh country air and wandering through fields filled with hopping rabbits and swooping birds.

Tomorrow is the local Sure Start Children’s’ Centres’ ‘Mini Olympics’ and picnic, I guess it’s a little sports day for smaller people. Now, there seems to be a trend for giving everyone a medal or prize, no matter how well or not so well they do. I agree that a child’s confidence and self-esteem should be boosted, but I do think it’s ok to learn about losing at an early age, that’s life! I was thinking back to my own school sports days, and I didn’t really consider myself one of the sporty gang, I was self-conscious and didn’t want to draw attention to myself in that way (though I would happily stand up on stage and strut my stuff with immense confidence!), but we had winners and we had losers and that was just fine. We knew what to expect, and to see a fellow pupil excel in something made us feel that we could do that if we tried a bit harder, or feel happy for them and enjoy and celebrate their success and natural ability.

I had high hopes for Hector in the running race, he is incredibly fast for one so small and takes great joy from just sprinting until he drops, but he said today that he would like ‘to just watch, then go home’. If there was a jumping from a great height category, he would be first to take the mark:

So, a little run yesterday and another short run today, though I think my Garmin has played tricks with me here, because this is a run I do most Wednesdays, and it usually comes in at just over three miles. Oh well.

Tuesday:

Time: 30 minutes 57 seconds

Distance: 3.09 miles

Average Pace: 10.00

Best Pace: 7.30

Calories: 305

Wednesday:

Time: 28 minutes

Distance: 2.60 miles

Average Pace: 10.46

Best Pace: 8.37

Calories: 259

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Make yourself at home

Someone came to view our house during this Juneathon run and I got back to find the loo seat up (certainly wasn’t up when we left). Talk about making yourself at home, would have given the loo a bit of a clean if I’d known…

It’s funny, this June weather. I wasn’t sure what to take out clothes wise this morning, the clouds were looming overhead, so I dressed Hector as if it might rain but with potential for sun. It’s now scorchio out there and it’s a good job I took some shorts to change into (oh, the many, many things you have to think about when you are a mum). We went swimming this morning. It has occurred to me that I haven’t been counting all the peripheral activities I do each day, just my running. If I did include these other things it would take me all day to log and keep track of the stats, so it’s not really worth it. We walk miles in a day, often go swimming (my part is more of a squat in the pool with the odd stroke here and there to catch up), run around in the playground, climb up climbing frames, a bit of dance and a lot of gardening, all good active things, but I’ll stick to a running Juneathon.

The view from the top of a climbing thing at the playgroup we went to. Lots of trains pass by in many directions, a good spot for a little boy.

Some decoration alongside the canal.

Stats for Juneathon Day 16

Type of run: Pushing a running buggy

Time: 35 minutes 56 seconds

Distance: 3.34 miles

Average Pace: 10.46

Best Pace: 8.13

Calories: 364

So, I have been running every day for sixteen days now. Last night I hopped on the scales to see if the pounds are dropping away with all this added exercise. Not an ounce. Not a sausage…or is that it, too many sausages? I really need to lose some weight, and if this level of running isn’t going to do it, I need to address my diet. Any ideas anyone? Any inspiration?

Ingerlund, Ingerlund, Ingerlund!

I think we deserve some sort of extra special Juneathon loving for getting to the Parkrun this morning. Hector slept until 8am (!) so we had to throw our clothes on and just go, without breakfast. My cold of recent days had escalated into a nasty cough, complete with Mariella Frostrup vocal tones and I felt a bit like this trolley:

We got there though, just as the runners started to head over to the start. Today Edward was being Dad runner and pushing Hector around. He said to Hector: ‘Maybe we will try and catch up with Mummy’ but, of course, he is just as fast even when pushing Hector and they were soon well ahead. It was hard today: no breakfast and a chesty whatnot equals a tough race, I even walked for a bit on THE HILL both times. Team Prince Hill was waiting for me at the finish line to give a little cheer and we headed over to the sandpit for a quick play before grabbing some breakfast.

Hector and I have a fun new game we play on our trips out and about: spot the flag on a vehicle. This round trip resulted in 63 England flags, 1 Italian flag and 2 Cameroonian flags. Then, at Sainsburys we gave in and pimped Hector’s running buggy, entering a whole new chavvy world.

He did get a ‘Roll on England!’ from a chap passing in his car!

Stats for Juneathon Day 12

Type of run: Race

Time: 29 minutes 56 seconds

Distance: 3.08 miles

Average Pace: 9.43

Best Pace: 4.40

Calories: 339

Have you got yours?

Yesterday I was getting more and more annoyed by the stupid pedestrians and their indecision about where on the pavement they might stand to allow me and my running buddy through. If I am approaching someone head on, I make it very clear which way I am going by moving to one side and looking very hard in that direction, but this means nothing to a line of teenagers who just look blankly at you whilst stuffing fried chicken and chips in their faces. I had a few near misses, and a few sudden stops as dozy kids ambled from side to side in front of me. Bus stops are a whole other issue: what happens to people when they stand near a bus stop? They lose all sense of direction and awareness of what’s around them and start swaying, bobbing, meandering and generally blocking the path for passers by. I did a piece of work once that looked at the way people move in a gallery when viewing work, and also focussed on the people standing at the bus stop outside; it was difficult to tell the two apart.

Today I had no such problem. On the return leg of our run -carefully planned to avoid getting wet through again – we bought a little present for Edward, something he feels his World Cup viewing would be a disaster without. After extensive research, we tracked down some vuvuzelas to Lidl for just £1.99, and Hector couldn’t wait to get it home, so happily ‘toot-toot-tooted’ all the way home. People not only leaped out of the way, but stopped and laughed, making comments such as ‘I wish I had a camera!’ Every runner should have one.

Click here to watch the video.

All this excitement proved a bit too much in the end though.

Stats for Juneathon Day 9

Type of run: Pushing a running buggy

Time: 34 minutes 14 seconds

Distance: 3.28 miles

Average Pace: 10.27

Best Pace: 8.10

Calories: 358

Cloud watching

How lucky we were last week with fine weather for some lovely Juneathoning. Today has been a bit more challenging: it’s been sideways rain all the way. I had intended running to gymnastics this afternoon, but it was looking unlikely as the view out of the window was just a series of lines. Just as we were due to leave though, the clouds lifted slightly and we were allowed some sunshine to accompany us up to Hornsey Rise. Hector had a marvellous time at gymnastics, showing off his balancing, jumping and a splendid forward roll…and I had a sneaky jump on a trampoline.

The journey home was grim. I persuaded H back into the running buggy, battled with the doors and stepped out into more horizontal rain. Back we went. As we stood and watched, Hector suggested putting his rainsuit over his knees, with the hood covering his feet. Clever boy. It worked to a degree, but this was what I saw when I peeked in at the end of the run:

After a shower things picked up a bit and we had a look through our weekly organic box. Are we odd to get excited about a few vegetables and some fruit? We were particularly pleased with an enormous red pepper in this week’s offering.

Stats for Juneathon Day 8

Type of run: Pushing a running buggy

Time: 36 minutes 14 seconds

Distance: 3.40 miles

Average Pace: 10.39

Best Pace: 7.44

Calories: 369

Seven days, seven runs

Oh, how tired I felt today (we had a sleepless night with a coughing child). I was reading to Hector this afternoon and actually started falling asleep…he even corrected me! I decided to try and have a lie down, but that obviously wasn’t going to happen, with a small boy bouncing around on the bed and trying to prise my eyes open, so I decided to jump up and go for a run. No, I don’t know how I managed that either.

It was a three parks run, well two parks, with the first one being visited again on the way home to see if we could see this again:

We are keeping an eye on the progress of the new cafe in the park. This might not seem very exciting, but for us it will be truly wonderful: somewhere to go and sit on a cold or wet day, a bit of life in the park, loos…Today the workers were digging channels to put pipes in for the utilities, and we enjoyed watching the digger ‘changing its own scooper’.

On our return journey, my eye was caught by this tangle of pipes:

We were a bit disappointed to find the ‘digger men’ had gone home, but were delighted to find the digger parked around the corner for the night. I got close up and captured this while Hector touched the caterpillar wheel.

Stats for Juneathon Day 7

Type of run: Pushing a running buggy

Time: 32 minutes 20 seconds

Distance: 3.12 miles

Average Pace: 10.21

Best Pace: 7.44

Calories: 361

So, that’s Week 1 of Juneathon 2010 finished. I have really enjoyed it so far, of course, the fine weather has helped. I did fear I might have to do an evening run today, but I am trying to avoid those.

Stats for Week 1

Runs: 7

(5 pushing a running buggy, 2 without)

Total miles: 28.49

Stunt rider

This morning’s run was a family affair. Of course this means motivating three people out of the door, but it did mean I could run without pushing a buggy, a chance to push myself a bit. Once we did get out of the door, there was a fair bit of faffing as both Edward and I got our various GPS gadgets ready to go and we even had a fabulous countdown from Edward’s iPhone app: ‘5-4-3-2-1!’ blast off!

(another stuck kite)

By the time we got to the park I realised I wasn’t going to keep up with Edward, even pushing Hector he is fast. As a result I got to witness what happens when you are pushing the ‘smile magnet’ that is Hector: everyone they passed gave a wide smile or even a laugh then promptly gave me a blank stare. Very odd. I didn’t have much time to think about this as I was on a mission to catch up, whilst wiping the sweat from my brow, cheeks, arms…it’s hot out there, even at 8am, apparently we are going to have the hottest day of the year so far.

(Hector said: ‘Look, a ‘H’ in the sky!’)

We crossed over from park number one and into the bigger park where we did a couple of loops, passing the walkers, the Chinese walkers (one of whom was carrying her dog), the Turkish walkers and a few plodders too. When we got to the freestyle area, the boys made a detour to do some stunts and I kept going to do another lap. I have a feeling I will need to practice getting up these ramps and bumps as Hector will be wanting to do this every time we pass now.

Now we are getting ready to go and celebrate Max’s third birthday. For Hector it’s all about the cake: ‘Will Max have a big cake?’ it must be great being almost three.

Stats for Juneathon Day 5

Type of run: Family run

Time: 36 minutes 56 seconds

Distance: 4 miles

Average Pace: 9.25

Best Pace: 6.38

Calories: 444