Dig deep

That’s what Edward said at about 9.15 this evening as I was about to go out for my run. This is the first run of this Juneathon that I haven’t enjoyed, I’ve loved it all so far, even the one where I stood under a tree sheltering from torrential rain. I suppose I should feel chuffed that it’s taken me until run 24 to feel the strain. I had an appointment this afternoon and didn’t make it out before then due to the call of the paddling pool. On the bus on the way home, the driver lurched suddenly and I fell, banging my temple, my leg and the side of my hand, I was so shocked, I just sat there crying for a moment. I feel well and truly bruised! Then, due to pre-birthday excitement (there are days to go yet!), Hector didn’t go to sleep until 9pm, so it was a late one.

Edward very kindly let me borrow his new iPhone, giving it a loving look as he handed it over. I did feel slightly nervous running in the evening with such a coveted item glowing on my arm and, of course, very aware of its preciousness after the last one met its demise on the floor. I ran towards the park, and saw that it was still busy enough to run around so made my way in. A combination of poor air quality, humidity and tiredness caused my asthma to kick in and I felt like one of the characters in Hector’s Thomas the Tank Engine books, ‘wheeshing’ along the paths. In the short time I was out running it went dark, so I ran the last bit along the road, spotting yet more England flags – we broke all records today with a total of 107 flags, mostly Englad with some Brazil, Portugal and Ghana flags fluttering away on the vehicles of north London.

A house just around the corner from us.

The app I used on Edward’s iPhone was ‘Runtastic’, and my stats were:

Stats for Juneathon Day 24

Type of run: Solo

Time: 30 minutes 8 seconds

Distance: 3.11 miles

Average Pace: 9.41

Best Pace: Not known

Calories: 457


Come on England!

Really, they have to win, or the country will be in such a grump. So, I charged up my Garmin and tried it out to see if it still works, but it’s talking nonsense so I took my F50 and footpod with me instead. The F50 was saying ‘LoBatt’ so I didn’t hold up much hope for it lasting the run. One thing I noticed while it was still going was that, as my hand is at a funny angle when I’m running with the buggy, it kept switching off, so there was a whole stretch where it was off when I thought it was on. Hmmmm. The good thing about the brick that is a Garmin 201 is that it switches on and stays on until you press really, really hard. So, today’s run is carefully traced along the roads of Gmaps again, and I will try and get a new battery for the F50 for tomorrow.

I noticed some beautiful blossom on our run:

In support of the England players, Hector and I put the flags back on the running buggy, this made for some jolly comments. We had a couple of toot-toots from white vans and a few ‘Come on England’s interestingly from African people. Seeing those South African fans yesterday made me realise that the England fans really need to pull their socks up and give some encouragement!

Stats for Juneathon Day 23

Type of run: Pushing a running buggy

Time: Not known

Distance: 3.38 miles

Average Pace: Not known

Best Pace: Not known

Calories: Not known

Sleep running

That’s Hector, not me. We set out to gymnastics and, just as we headed up the hill, he fell asleep. I felt a bit lost and did try and wake him, knowing that he will be most annoyed at missing his class. He didn’t stir at all. So I ran on a bit and did a loop then, as I was quite near the knitting shop, I popped in and bought myself these little lovelies:

Some circular knitting needles so I can tackle the little hat pattern that Edward gave me. If football is featuring so highly in our house over the next month, even when England are not playing, then I will need something to keep me occupied!

I also ran across the brand new crossing near the park.

A seemingly uninteresting landmark, but it has taken a few years of campaigning to get this installed. Crazy when you consider that children have spent years risking life and limb to cross a very busy road at a bit of a blind corner corner. I enjoy slowing the cars down.

So far today we have spotted 51 England flags fluttering from vehicles. Seven of those were on one lorry!

Stats for Juneathon Day 15

Type of run: Pushing a running buggy

Time: 34 minutes 34 seconds

Distance: 3.05 miles

Average Pace: 11.20

Best Pace: 8.25

Calories: 284

Sloooow, it was very windy!

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

Football crazy football mad

It’s started. I think I’ve had enough already. A month of Edward glueing himself to the sports pages (more than usual) and listening to the likes of Alan bloody Shearer for their little pearls of footballing wisdom. At least he won’t be staring at his iPhone all the time, unless he wants lacerations on his finger tips that is.

Aaanyway, on a more exciting sporting note, I went for an evening Juneathon run. I just didn’t feel like putting on my running gear this morning, I wanted to wear something nice – and not sweaty – for a change. So we went to our usual Friday group, then had a lovely play in the park with Hector’s friend and I saved my run until Edward got home from work. The park is really busy in the evening, so many people out playing football, riding over the bumps in the freestyle area, plodding around the park…and watching football on their phones.

I had a request to pick up some beer on my way home, which felt totally wrong, standing in the queue in the corner shop clutching two big bottles of London’s finest ale (Fullers). It didn’t feel so wrong drinking it when I got back though.

Here are a couple of things I spotted out and about today.



Stats for Juneathon Day 11

Type of run: Solo run

Time: 29 minutes 57 seconds

Distance: 3.15 miles

Average Pace: 9.31

Best Pace: 5.30

Calories: 333

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

Team colours

So, this Friday the World Cup will begin, the football world cup that is, the Walking World Cup is alive and well in my local park. Yesterday Highway Kind commented on the groups of international walkers I encounter on my runs, suggesting that this might be an interesting alternative to the upcoming competition. Today I decided to try to capture some of these walkers to add to the excitement. World Cup football fever whips us up into a frenzy that finds us focussing on what the players eat, what their W(ives)A(nd)G(irlfriend)S are wearing, how Wayne Rooney takes his own pillow on the bus with him and the finer details of Ronaldo’s fancy footwear, but down at the park it was all about team colours today.

The Chinese Walkers get extra points for their selection colourful hats and also for some of their team members breaking into a run, incidentally it is often the much older members that do this.

The Turkish Walkers however have really got the team strip sorted, with a subtle array of grey, brown and black velour tracksuits for those early morning training sessions.

And here you can get a sense of the strong camaraderie amongst Team China and understand how the Walking World Cup is as much about socialising and community spirit as it is about physical prowess (and you get a look at the hill training area these athletes cover every day).

Stats for Juneathon Day 6

Type of run: solo run

Time: 28 minutes 15 seconds

Distance: 3.02 miles

Average Pace: 9.21

Best Pace: 6.20

Calories: 317