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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30/30, do I get a gold star?

I did it, I ran every day of Juneathon 2010 and loved it. I just know I am going to feel very lost without the loveliness of knowing you have a team of supporters out there, cheering you on from the comfort of their desks. I commented on Twitter that I wanted to find a way of making it interesting for the last day, Lawrence suggested running backwards, how unfortunate that I only read this on my return (though I think I could get arrested for trying to do so with Hector in the running buggy)! So, I just did a regular Wednesday run to our lovely canal-side group, with a bit tagged on to take in a trip to the sorting office to collect a birthday card that didn’t have the correct postage on it. How sad is that, you have to pay £1.10 to pick up your own card?! Silly Royal Mail.

The other day I was wondering if I would carry on into July, but today’s run answered my question, my shins were really aching, something that has waited until the last day thankfully. I know this is down to all the extra mileage, but is also due to my shoes being on their last legs – both pairs have started squeaking in the last week: ‘squeak, squeak, we are really old and squashy!’ So it’s a little rest for the shins and I will resume the running in a few days with a half-marathon schedule to try to crack two hours in August.

Hector picked up this hockey stick at the group and, without being told how, hit a ball really skilfully. I got excited about this new game, but it wasn’t long before he changed it into a strimmer and started cutting the grass.

Stats for Juneathon Day 30

Type of run: Pushing a running buggy

Time: 39 minutes 22 seconds

Distance: 3.73 miles

Average Pace: 10.33

Best Pace: 5.42

Calories: 361

Stats for Week 4+

Runs: 9

(6 pushing a running buggy, 3 without)

Total miles: 24.27

So Juneathon TOTALS:

Runs: 30

(18 pushing a running buggy, 12 without)

Total miles: 108.41

And, to finish Juneathon, an unlikely road name:

Feelin’ hot, hot, hot!

I imagine I used that as a title last year during Juneathon, but what the heck, there are only two more days to go and this weather is really making it hard to put one foot in front of the other. As I run, I pass by girls in pretty summer dresses and strappy sandals, and chaps in cool shorts and shirts, all sauntering slowly at a pace that suits this kind of weather. There I am, dripping sweat all over the pavement and clomping along in heavy running shoes, maximising the coverage of my lycra outfit against the burning rays. I am at that stage in Juneathon where I am a bit addicted and get all grumpy if my run is put off for any length of time, and I also start to wonder if I could carry this on beyond the 30th of June, running each day but without the support, motivation and pressure of the Juneathon collective to get me out there. We will see.

As befits this heat, Hector and I set off towards the paddling pool to cool our toes, but he fell asleep pretty much straight away. I smothered more sun cream on him and kept on going, but the heat really got me today, making my legs feel very sluggish and my feet very heavy. I got there in the end though.

Oh, and the Garmin was behaving today, I think yesterday’s glitch was due to the heavy tree coverage at Highgate Wood.

I wish I could be thrown around like that.

tats for Juneathon Day 28

Type of run: Pushing a running buggy

Time: 31 minutes 29 seconds

Distance: 3.14 miles

Average Pace: 10.01

Best Pace: 8.09

Calories: 339

You gotta fight for your right…

…to paaaaaartaaaaayyy!

Not much time to write this. I have focaccia to make, bunting to hang, toys to prepare, drinks to chill…mmmm, chilled drinks. It was a slow run this morning, Edward and I were up until all hours preparing for Hector’s party today. For Edward it was quite a challenge making a rather special cake for a rather special little chap. The heat doesn’t help: hot heads and hot icing: the cream cheese icing curdled at one point and Edward had to start again but outside this time, to get a bit of air around the dairy products. Here’s a very sneaky sneak preview:

Isn’t that colour crazy?! The heat also played havoc with my pastry and super Dad had to take a break from his cake construction to save me and my spinachio pies; I got there in the end:

So, it was a quick – but hot – one this morning, with H in the running buggy, counting England flags (17).

Stats for Juneathon Day 26

Type of run: Pushing a running buggy

Time: 30 minutes 38 seconds

Distance: 3.06 miles

Average Pace: 10.01

Best Pace: 8.19

Calories: 360

My Garmin seems to be back to normal now, I am glad, I’m so set in my ways, to adapt to something new would push me over the edge. See you after the party!

Let the baking begin!

The next few days are all about the boy. We took delivery of the food – and a bit of drink – for Hector’s third birthday party and now Edward is busy in the kitchen, making delicious smells waft through the house.

Today’s run was an errand run, trying to fit things in on this busy day. Hector has been given two little goldfish by one of his friends – shhhhhh, he doesn’t know, they are hiding out in our bedroom at the moment, going by the names of Gilbert and George for now – and I thought their tank needed some gravel so we went to a lovely little shop and stared for a while at the small creatures, and the smell of dog chews and rabbit food brought memories flooding back from my childhood (I think I am the most excited about the arrival of these tiny orange chaps). So, in the  middle of all this pre-party madness, we are still finding time to run and also cool down.

Stats for Juneathon Day 25

Type of run: Pushing a running buggy

Time: 30 minutes 36 seconds

Distance: 3.01 miles

Average Pace: 10.10

Best Pace: 2.17

Calories: 79

Hmmmm, so I seem to have got the Garmin 201 working again, but those last two stats are a bit out!

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

RIP Garmin Forerunner 201

Today’s run will have to be a cobbled together, slightly statistically inaccurate affair due to my beloved Garmin Forerunner 201 dying on me half way round my run. I’ve had my Garmin five years and bought it in the first place for my Trolley Spotting exploits, so it’s seen some fun times. It’s trained round two marathons, numerous other shorter races and documented my progress along a 91 mile run back in 2006. Things were going well until I stopped to pick something up from our storage space and, when we came back out to run home, the distance said I had only gone a few feet and the pace was stuck at 00.03. I can’t even switch it off. It might be that I can rescue things by letting the battery run down then re-setting it, but I think five years of really hard work is possibly enough for one little Garmin.

On another active note, I was wondering if hedge-trimming counts towards Juneathon; it’s certainly hard work in this scorching heat. But I do have a little helper…

We are gearing up towards Hector’s third birthday party at the weekend. Edward has even taken some time off work to bake, there is a high expectation for an amazing cake, well he did set himself up last year by making a fantastic digger cake and the year before with his delicious chocolate bird cake. Hector and I went to collect the eggs from our friend Marijn, who lives down the road, it seems oddly appropriate that we collect our weekly eggs from our midwife! The eggs are lovely big ones with bright yellow yolks, they make a great quiche and lovely light sponges…

Stats for Juneathon Day 22

Type of run: Pushing a running buggy

Time: Not known

Distance: 5.36 miles

Average Pace: Not known

Best Pace: Not known

Calories: Not known

(I measured using Gmaps, how old school!)