Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Janathon the last

Goodness me. It's the last day of January - where did that month go?  It's been the usual whirl of madness at work and with the benefit of hindsight, combining that with my original Janathon goal of doing above and beyond my dog walk each day was wildly optimistic.  But for me, the whole point of taking part was to increase my activity levels and by jingo, have I achieved that.  There were runs and gym trips this past month that I simply wouldn't have done if it weren't for a little Janathon whispering in my ear.  I've also revived my blog a bit, which is great and something that I hope to keep up with, so please do keep reading and if you like it, why not tell your friends :)

The one thing I haven't kept up with at all is logging my activity on Running Free.  I just checked and I last did it on the 18th.  Oops. Even worse, I can't remember what I've done since then, so I've totally blown it there. Ho hum.

But here as a grand finale, is my exercise for today. No prizes for guessing that it was a dog walk with Murdoch. It was chuffing freezing out there today and I was glad that I'd chosen a ski jacket as my new dog walking coat when I went shopping at the weekend. My old coat had a giant rip under one arm where I'd caught it on a door handle. I'm so clumsy sometimes. So that's Janathon done. Over and out!

Thursday, 26 January 2012


Today has been rubbish.  I woke up to a text from my dog walker which led to us cancelling our scheduled walk this morning.  I planned to walk Murdoch near home but instead I fell back asleep and woke up with just enough time to get ready for work. Disaster!

Busy times at work continued today and instead of steadily working my way through my ever expanding list of things to do, I spent an enormous amount of time doing task avoidance and worrying about the amount of work I had to do. Which clearly isn't the most helpful use of time and effort and will certainly come back to bite me in the arse tomorrow.

To further compound my misery, a lethal combination of being outrageously fat and wearing some very tired leggings led to me spending the entire day hoiking up said leggings. Very annoying, although I've had the last laugh there, as the leggings are now in the bin. On the downside, I'm still astonishingly fat, but you can't win 'em all.

I went home in my lunch break to walk Murdoch.  Usually at lunchtime I drag him around the streets on his lead as we don't have much time, but I rushed around like a madwoman and managed to squeeze some extra time for our walk so he could have a run around.  As we walked around some local fields I had a sudden moment of enlightenment.  Instead of walking over to the place where Murdoch can run offlead, I could drive there and he'd have more time to run around while I enjoy a nice walk around the fields instead of the mean streets of Farncombe.  How is it possible that this never occurred to me before?

So my Janathon activity for today was a nice lunchtime walk.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Things that have made me feel stabby this week

In the usual run of things, I quite enjoy my job.  Not in a skipping out of bed each morning would still do it if I won the lottery kind of way. But certainly in a quietly satisfied and it pays the mortgage sort of way. This month is our busiest month of the year. Stress levels are running high enough with the massively increased workload and then something that usually wouldn't bother you in the slightest makes you feel a little bit stabby. 

In a small nod to anonimity, let's pretend that I work behind the counter at McDonald's.  I don't and never have, although I am rather fond of a Quarter Pounder with Cheese Meal (large with a diet coke please).

Scenario One: In which no-one listens to me.

Me (to various colleagues): "You're making that burger without cheese. I think the customer may have ordered cheese on their burger"
Me (sometime later): "I'm pretty sure that your guy over there wanted cheese on that".
Me (via email): "I'm a little bit concerned that our customer ordered a cheeseburger, but we are currently only working towards a hamburger. I think that at this stage we should make it clear to the customer that he is only getting a hamburger".
Colleague: "I served the customer his burger and it turns out that he wants cheese on it, so we're going to have to add some onto it"
Me: *bangs head slowly and repeatedly against desk*

Scenario Two: In which someone tells me something that I just told them.

Me: "Here's your Big Mac, I haven't had time to do the fries just yet and I know that your friend asked for a milkshake.  I'll get those over to you as soon as possible"
Colleague: "Thanks for the Big Mac, but you still need to provide the fries and the milkshake that my friend asked for".
Me: *hides under desk and softly starts to weep*

Scenario Three: In which instructions couldn't be clearer, but someone manages to cock it up anyway.

Me: "So you make the McFlurry by grabbing a container, putting it under the nozzle and pressing this button. Always add caramel, but only add sprinkles if the order specifically mentions sprinkles".
Colleague: *puts sprinkles on everything and sometimes also some Smarties just for fun*
Me: Ngngnggngngnggggngnggghhhhh *stabs self in eye with pencil*

Is this just me? Do you recognise any of these scenarios? Do you have some of your own to add?  Feel free to share!

In Janathon news, I ran 3 miles this morning.  I was only aiming for 2, but then my cunning Nike+ app asked me if I wanted one more song. I thought "Why the hell not?".  It was a song I love to run to. So I ran to it.  It was followed by another song I love to run to. So guess what I did?  This is my longest run since I injured myself and I even tried a cheeky little bit of running on tarmac to see what would happen. And it's all good. Huzzah!

Scenario Four: In which I'm not told something that I do actually need to know

Me: "So I gave all of those ketchup sachets to Bob so that he could give them to customers with their fries"
Colleague: "Oh no, we're waiting to hear whether those sachets are ok to distribute, you shouldn't have given them to Bob".
Me: *crams fist into mouth to stop scream from coming out*

Monday, 23 January 2012

One from the archives

Today's Janathon post goes out to all the first time marathon runners.  Every marathon is different.  And everyone's first marathon is very different.  But here's a blog post that I wrote about mine that I originally posted on my Realbuzz blog back in September 2009.  I hope that it helps to motivate someone to get out there and train in some of the rainy weather that we've got coming, because it will pay off on race day.  Sit back and enjoy.......

I’ve been struggling with writing a post about Berlin – mainly as a good part of the race is a complete blur – is that normal? Regardless, I shall do the best I can!
My mum picked me up at 7am on Saturday morning and very kindly gave me a lift to Heathrow.  This was all remarkably stress free thanks to the fact that I had been able to check in online on Friday.  Very civilised, leaving me with plenty of time to wander about the shops – managed not to buy anything – phew!
After speaking to my dad and my sister on the phone, it was time to head to my gate and get on the plane.  One slightly dodgy sandwich (have no idea what the filling was – completely unidentifiable!) and a diet coke later I was in Germany!
Getting from the airport to the centre was ridiculously easy, thanks to some prior research online.  I already knew which buses to get and where to change, and the bus stop nearest to my hotel was only 300m away on Tiergartenstrasse, so only a short distance to wheel my suitcase too.
My hotel was nice, but overrun by an international dairy conference.  I’m sure if I’d been a bit more proactive, I could have obtained a lifetime supply of yoghurt, so that’s a missed opportunity.  My room was nice, but I only spent 5 minutes jumping on the bed before heading out to the expo to get my race pack.
I walked over to Potsdamer Platz, which was my nearest u-bahn station.  On the way I passed about a gazillion children all ready to take part in the mini-marathon.  I later saw plenty of those children proudly wearing their medals round their necks.
Got to the former airport at Templehof, and the expo madness commenced. Had to walk through a couple of hangars selling all manner of kit before finally reaching the registration section.  I then managed to accidentally request a male race pack, having failed to notice the giant F at the beginning of my number.  Oops.  An error quickly corrected – thankfully there were no queues for numbers.  I then had to go pick up my timing chip and then I did some shopping! I bought a Berlin Marathon polo shirt and a leg strap for my chip.  Then I decided to leave before my plastic got too much of a bashing :)
It was a beautiful day, so I took a little while to sit in the park outside the expo, to enjoy the sunshine and to decide how to spend the remainder of the afternoon.
I decided to head for Checkpoint Charlie, as it was in the same area, and surely you can’t go to Berlin without seeing it.  It’s something and nothing really, mainly notable for the enormous amount of souvenirs on sale!  So I took a few pictures and then headed back to Potsdamer Platz to catch the inline skating marathon.  Potsdamer Platz is at about the 38k mark, so the skaters were nearing the end of the race at this point.  I had to wait a little while for the lead pack to come through, so had a nice chat to a friendly Nigerian bloke while we waited.  Then the skaters zipped through to roars from the crowd.  What a fun event, it really sets the tone for the running marathon the following day.  After popping into Aldi to grab some supplies, I headed towards the start / finish area near Brandenburg Gate.  I wanted to see some more of the skaters, and I also wanted to familiarise myself with the area so that getting to the start would not be too stressful the following morning.  The atmosphere at the finish was great – they have grandstands on either side, which are accessible to anyone, so it really makes the crowd big!
After watching for a little while, I walked through Tiergarten back to my hotel.  I was a little tired to be honest – it had been quite a long day.  I had planned to go find some carbs for dinner, but in the end I just heated up some dried pasta that I had brought with me, read through all my race information, laid out my kit and headed for bed.
I woke up, and it was MARATHON DAY!  All manner of excitement.  I had a cup of tea, a couple of bananas and a couple of cereal bars for breakfast – had a shower and pulled my kit on.  I headed out of the hotel only to remember that I had forgotten my sunglasses.  Given the weather forecast, this seemed an essential bit of kit, so I went back up to my room to get them.  This was fortuitous, as I ended up walking to the start with another runner staying at my hotel.  This was her sixth marathon, although another Berlin first timer.  We walked through the park having a nice chat before splitting off to find our separate pens.  I headed over to the baggage area, dumped my bag, ate another banana and headed to the start pens.  I managed to go to the loo without suffering an enormous queue, and was in my start pen and ready to go by about 8.35 for the 9am start.
As I stood there watching everyone around me, I actually felt quite emotional.  It had been such a long journey to reach this point, I hadn’t been able to do as much training as I would have hoped – with Trailwalker training getting in the way until end of July – and what a disaster that was! Despite everything, here I was, standing at the start line, feeling confident that I would get round and finish this marathon.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I had a little cry.
Then before I knew it, they were playing Chariots of Fire, introducing the elites over the speakers (Go Haile!!!) and then BANG – the gun.  It took me a further 15 minutes to get over the line and then I was running the marathon!
My plan was to run the first half as strong as I could and then just keep going for the second half.  This plan came fully into focus on the way to the airport thanks to a conversation I had with mum.  I asked her if she had ever thought that I’d end up running a marathon.  She said that she absolutely did.  Right back when I was a kid, I never wanted to run the 100m at sports day – I’d always do the 1500m and when other kids where lying by the side of the track having given up – I’d keep going.  She knew even then that once I’d set my mind to something, there was no way that I’d give up.  I thought about it, and she was right.  Despite a hiatus of well over a decade in between running at school and running as an adult, this was something that had not changed.  Once I start something, I will not give up until it is done.  I would have crossed that finishing line if it meant crawling over it on bloody stumps, although thankfully it didn’t come to that!
The first half just flew by.  It really is a blur.  I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you much about it.  The only thing I can do is tell you my splits:
5k 32:39
10k 1:04:44
15k: 1:37:45
20k: 2:10:50
Half marathon 2:17:53
Given that my current half marathon PB is 2:15:14, I’m extremely happy that I was running to plan – to be at only a couple of minutes slower than my half PB at that stage of the race was exactly where I wanted to be.  Now all I had to do was keep going. 
By this point, my hips were starting to ache a little – something that always happens to me on longer runs.  I had taken a couple of ibuprofen prior to the race, but had also put a couple in my pocket.  Took them and they soon kicked in, making me feel much better.  I also had a few sport beans, which gave me a little boost!
And then it was just a matter of digging in and keepin’ on keepin’ on.  I knew that I was slowing down, but this didn’t worry me overly.  By this point it was getting really hot - about 25c, and I was really grateful for the firetrucks that had their hoses out to cool us down!  I was also grateful for the regular drinks stations – they were all less than 5k apart, and some had a massive array of options; water, energy drink, iced tea, apples, bananas.
The one thing about the drinks stations is that it was all in cups – no bottles. This meant an enforced walk break every 4k or so – only for a moment to get some water down, so it was probably enough to rest a little without seriously damaging race times.  All in all, probably quite a good thing.
The crowds were getting bigger and bigger as the race progressed – people were out making noise with anything they could think of – there were people banging on their cooking pots with metal spoons to encourage the runners! There was also a lot of music around the course – lots of drumming, but also jazz, and a brass band.
Everything is a complete blur really, all the drinks stations have merged into one, and the only thing I can remember clearly are all the kilometre markers that I passed.  I missed some, but I saw most of them.  Then, finally, I could see the Brandenburg Gate in the distance.  Wow.
So I aim for the gate.  Slowly, steadily it gets a little nearer, and before I know it, I’m running through it, on to the 42k mark and the finishing line is in sight.  With Take That’s “Greatest Day” in one ear, and the roar of the crowd in the other, I decide to sprint to the end, and am amused when I glance at my Garmin and note that my “sprint” is at the same pace as I was comfortably running at the beginning of the race – I don’t think I had much left in the tank!
Over the line.  A lady asks me if I’m ok.  I tell her I’m fine.  I think I may have looked a bit of a state.  Then as I realise what I’ve done, I burst into tears.  Happy tears.  Glad I’m wearing my sunglasses, so no-one can see. Knew they’d come in handy.  Then it was a slow, slow walk, queuing up for water, medal and finishers photo.  Still having a cry.  I eventually make my way back to the baggage tent.  Call up mum and dad.  Have another cry down the phone to them.
Then I head back to the Brandenburg Gate to get a bit of atmosphere and also to buy a finishers t-shirt.  Overpriced, sure, but it’s my first marathon, and I finished it.  Definitely a been there, done that, GOT THE T-SHIRT situation.  After eating a giant pretzel, some currywurst and a litre of (non-alcoholic) beer, I headed back to the hotel.  Had a much needed shower. Realised that despite putting Bodyglide on most parts of my body, the parts I missed are very, very sore.  Shower stings.  Ouch.  I put my pajamas on and examine my feet.  Poor feet.  I should not be a bit surprised if I lose both big toenails.  Poor feet.  Then I have a nap.  I feel like I earned one. There was a marathon afterparty in the evening, but I decided not to go.  My legs are stiff and tired, and it feels like too much effort to get there.  So after speaking to my sister, who despite being a little bit drunk at a wedding has remembered to call me, I go to bed.
The next day I wake up and my first thought is to wonder whether my legs are awake (or was I just wearing one big slipper? – that gag’s just for my sister :D).  They are not happy.  They are wondering why I expect them to carry me about everywhere.  Damn it, I just want to go to the loo.  It’s only a few metres.  I get my cossie on and head to the hotel pool.  A few laps, a sauna and a hydrotherapy jet applied to the legs later, I start to feel a bit better.
Pack up my bag, check out and then wander aimlessly about for some hours.  Don’t really feel as though I took anything in, so decided to give up, eat a giant pizza and then head to the airport.
And that was Berlin.  Oh, almost forgot to give you my second half splits:
25k 2:47:26
30k: 3:23:10
35k 3:59:40
40k: 4:37:31
Marathon 4:51:41 (yaaaaaay!)

Hope you enjoyed reading about my first marathon.  Today I ran 1.33 miles, not quite a marathon, but miles in the bank nonetheless.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Where does the time go?

Where does it go?  It feels like yesterday that I was writing my last blog post feeling all pleased with myself for running two miles.  And then it all kicked off at work.  January is our busiest month at the office - we do regular monthly, quarterly, bi-annual and annual reporting and of course they all fall due in January. On top of that I'm working on some ad-hoc projects so it's been pretty crazy. I've been walking the dog each day, but that's all I've had time for because I've been working evenings and pretty much all of this weekend.  The good news is that it should start to die down a little after the next couple of days so I'll have more time to fit some exercise in.

Anyhow, I've spent more than enough time this weekend glued to my laptop so I am outta here!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Darkness

My Janathon activity on Monday and Tuesday this week was limited to dog walking.  First thing in the morning. In the dark.  So today I felt that it was time to kick it up a notch on the running front.  I still took Murdoch for a walk (in the dark), but after I'd left him with his daycare people I headed straight to the playing field to do a few laps.  

My phone camera doesn't have a flash, but it's ok, neither do my eyes
My aim for today was to build on the 20 minutes that I have managed so far and to keep a (slow) steady pace without walking. Misson accomplished!  I trotted around for 25 minutes and did 2.04 miles - the first time I've exceeded the 2 mile mark since I started my post-injury comeback.  It started to rain as I did the last couple of laps.  I'd forgotten how good it feels to run and feel the rain on your face, so it was a really great start to the day.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Weekend Update

I had originally planned to go for a short run with my friend B on Friday night.  This was in addition to my gym trip that morning. Cooking on gas. However, B was not able to make it on Friday evening and asked me whether I'd be able to go at 7.15 on Saturday morning instead.  Gulp. That's kinda early. Which is why 7.05 on Saturday morning saw me send B a text "I've changed my mind. Want to stay in bed :(". The response was quick and brutal. "Too late. I'm up, move yourself!". God bless that woman.

We walked over to the playing fields for as many laps as 20 minutes could achieve.  This is not as many laps as you might think, as I lumber my way slowly along the post-injury comeback trail.  The playing fields did not look particularly inviting.

Farncombe playing fields. Murky
We got started and towards the end of the first lap I felt quite puffed out and decided to have a little walk.  I think this is partly down to my loss of fitness and partly due to the fact that it was bloody FREEZING. The air seemed to freeze as it went into my lungs and made them feel really heavy.  We continued to puff around and managed 1.5 miles in 20 minutes.  By the end of the run, my fringe was actually frozen.  Jumped straight into a hot shower when I got home.  Brrrr. 

Blackheath Common - a lovely place to walk

Had just about reached normal body temperature by the time Murdoch and I left for our Saturday afternoon social walk.  I love doing this walk.  For a start it's lovely at Blackheath (Surrey, not London). But mostly because it's a really nice bunch of people to walk with.  We're all there because our dogs have suffered behavioural problems of one sort or another, so we understand each other quite well.  We walked for an hour and then it was time to head home.  I was supposed to be heading out for a first wedding anniversary party, but I felt really tired and grotty - still haven't managed to shift the cold, so I stayed at home instead, with my Murdoch my only company and vapour rub my only comfort.
The sun coming up over Farncombe
Sunday dawned and I went out just after 8 o'clock to walk Murdoch. What a glorious day - frosty and clear with bright sunshine.  It was the kind of day that makes me feel really grateful to live where I do among such lovely countryside.  The rest of the day was taken up with housework - does hoovering count as cross training?  

Murdoch enjoying the frost

Friday, 13 January 2012

Back on the Janathon track

When I signed up to do Janathon I had decided not to count my daily dog walking as exercise.  Not that there's anything wrong with it - I'm walking cross country and sometimes I get quite puffed.  But the goal of Janathon for me was that I wanted to increase my activity levels.

So in that respect, the past week has been something of a washout.  It started with a grotty cold last Friday and was exacerbated by a really busy week at work.  So I've not done any additional exercise since last week.

But today I managed to get myself organised and popped my gym kit and work clothes into the car when I went to walk Murdoch and headed to the gym straight after the walk.  It wasn't a super long session, I did 15 minutes on the treadmill (2k, 190kcal burned), followed by 15 minutes on the crosstrainer (2.25k, 175kcal burned).  Then I did my calf stretches and strengthening exercise before hitting the shower. 

As I sit here at my desk sipping on a cup of tea, I'm feeling pretty good.  I need to remind myself of this next time I think I'm too busy to fit in a workout.

Today's workout was sponsored by this song.  Came bouncing through my headphones as I was on the crosstrainer and immediately lifted my mood. Treat yourself and add it to your exercise playlist.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Teething Troubles

Today was a complete write off.  Got up, felt shaky but headed out to walk Murdoch anyway.  Left him with the walkers for the day and headed home to get ready for work.  Couldn't stop shivering, felt really ropey and decided that I'd get nothing meaningful done at work if I was feeling this bad and rang in sick.  I then put on my onesie, turned the heating up and tried to get warm.  In addition to this, I have a grumbly wisdom tooth coming up and my mouth is pretty sore.  So all in all, not a great day.

When I decided to do Janathon, I decided not to count my daily dog walk as part of my activity.  I do it every day and because my goal was to increase my activity, counting the walk felt like a cop out.  But today it was all I got done, so it'll have to do.  I'm hoping to feel better tomorrow and get something proper done.

I hope the rest of the Janathoners are feeling a bit more perky!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Today did not go to plan

Ach. What a day.  I had originally planned to head to the pool this evening, but even with a giant Janathon shaped boot up my arse, I just couldn't face the thought of it.  So instead I tried to do a home workout using the Nike Training Club app on my phone.  Disaster. I decided to try the Cardio Killer workout.  This was my first mistake.  It started off with alternate froggers.  I can only imagine that this was invented during the war to torture prisoners.  I only had to do a minute of them, but after 20 seconds I wanted to cry.  The situation was not helped by Murdoch happily trotting over to see what I was up to and getting underneath me while I was trying to "frogger".  I ordered him to his bed and moved onto the second exercise: 1 minute of burpees which I merrily perform for at least 10 seconds before Murdoch is moved to come over and investigate again. Gaaaaaaah. Next it's 30 seconds squat hold.  By this point my tragically unfit legs are already quaking from the frogger / burpee fiasco so the squat hurts after a few seconds. But I struggle on and move onto 30 seconds of squat jumps.  Murdoch thinks this is a super fun game and stares at me, wagging his tail hopefully. "Can I jump too?" No.  I can't do it anymore either so after THREE MINUTES I decide to give it up as a bad lot.  

The evening is further thwarted by the dog crate that I ordered for my new car.  My old dog guard did not fit into the boot of my new car, so Murdoch has been able to jump into the front of the car if he so chooses.  He's generally quite good at staying in the boot while I'm in the car, but if we need to stop off at the shop on the way back from a walk, I'll come back to the car to find him in the driver's seat.  Not great in this weather, I keep getting muddy paw prints on my nice upholstery.  I thought that buying the crate would be a simple matter.  I measured the dimensions of the boot, checked the dimensions listed for the crate and ordered it.  The boot dimensions haven't changed in the interim and the crate measurements are as described.  So why won't the crate fit in my boot?  It's because the slopey sides are not on the sides that I expected.  Buggrit.  Now have to return it and try again.  So anyway, given that I had an extended wrestle with the damn crate trying to get it into the car, I'm classing that as cross training, bunging in my 35 minute slippy slidey dog walk from this morning and calling it Janathon.  Feels like a bit of a cop out, but there you have it.  If I try to pull something like this again tomorrow, then please kick my butt for me.  Thanks.
You can't be cross with me because I'm so cute

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Janathon the fourth be with you

What a difference a day makes!  Yesterday's weather made me wonder if those predictions about the world ending in 2012 were actually true!  We had a load of trees down - I even saw one fall from my office window, although thankfully it fell in the other direction.  One of our local bus drivers wasn't so lucky and had to be cut out of his bus after a tree fell on it!  Full story here.   This morning it's a whole different story - dry and bright with a little chill to the air.  

Once again the day started with a 35 minute dog walk in the dark.  At least I'm getting value for money from my headtorch.  But afterwards I left Murdoch with the dog walkers.  They do a great daycare service and it's time that Murdoch got back into his routine and worked some of his Christmas podge off.  He'll get walked several times today, which is awesome and it also meant that I could head straight to the gym before work and get my day four workout in early.

The gym was quite busy, but I was able to get onto a cross trainer right away and did 3.3k in 25 minutes.  Then I hopped onto the recumbent bike and did 3.75k in 10 minutes. That's all I had time for before hitting the showers and heading to work, but it's another tick in the Janathon box.  Tomorrow I'm going to try running again as the heel seems to have settled down a little - watch this space!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

To the Gym!

It was my first day back at work today. Boo. And what a day.  I got up this morning to walk Murdoch at 6.30am and it was blowing a hoolie out there.  Cross country dog walking in the dark is challenging at the best of times, but when it's really windy the dogs get overexcited by all the smells gusting past their noses and go a bit mental. Also, I get nervous every time I hear a creaking branch ("it's going to fall on my head") or the dogs crashing through the fallen branches ("DUCK AND COVER!"). Yikes. We got home without incident and I headed to the office.  January is our busiest month of the year; in addition to our usual monthly reports, we also have quarterly, six monthly and annual reports to deliver so I had a lot to get done today.  No easing in gently after the festive break.  I still managed to get home at lunchtime to let Murdoch out.  As ever, he was really pleased to see me and very disappointed when I had to leave to go back to work.  At least he has his toys and a bone to keep him company while I toil away to keep him in doggy biscuits.

*Gollum face*

After leaving work for the day I headed to the gym.  My heel is still a little tender and I think that running two days in a row may have been a little optimistic right at the beginning of my comeback and I'll need to be a little more cautious in the future.  So I decided to get on the cross trainer.  Unfortunately it's January and there were considerably more people in the gym than usual.  All the cross trainers were taken.  Aaaaaw nuts. So I get on the summit trainer.  There is a reason that no-one wanted to go on this machine. It is the devil.  I managed 10 minutes on it before I collapsed onto a regular cross trainer that had become available. So in total I did 25 minutes of cross training and then headed home for dinner.

Monday, 2 January 2012


This morning I treated myself to a bit of a lie in and headed to Guildford at 9am for a pack walk with my dog walkers and some other folk.  We walked cross country for about 50 minutes - I was covered in mud by the time we got back to my car!  Unfortunately Murdoch didn't quite get back to my car.  He decided to jump into someone else's car and get his muddy paw prints over pretty much all of the inside of it.  Oops.  

On yesterday's blog @knittingpenguin asked if I'd be logging any dog-jogs for Janathon. Murdoch used to have aggression problems with other dogs, so I tend to keep him calm and level when we're out and about. So he doesn't get to run with me.  Thankfully he gets to scamper about with other dogs, so it's not all bad!

When I got home after the walk I put away my Christmas decorations. It's January 2012 and it feels like it's time to look forward.  Then I did a little housework followed by quite a bit of  dithering.  My heel was feeling a little achy - I've run on it for the past two days and I'm right at the very beginning of my comeback from injury.  The question is, was this the reason that I didn't want to go for a run, or was I just being incredibly lazy?  I have lacked motivation before and we all know how easy it is to make excuses not to get out there.  But in the end I decided not to push it and go for a swim instead of the 20 minute run that I had planned.  So I headed to the pool and did 1,500 metres in 30 minutes for a big tick in the Janathon box for today.

I have a treadmill run planned for tomorrow but will wait and see what my heel is doing.  Might be some cross training instead.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Janathon the First

Happy New Year Everyone!  
I'm so excited to be taking part in Janathon for the first time this year.  I've just come off the injury bench and a woeful lack of motivation combined with a severe case of the grumps meant that cross training just didn't happen in those five months.  As a result, I gained quite a bit of weight (weighed in this morning at a very round 14 stone) and lost a lot of fitness.   Hard to believe that this time last year I was starting my training for the Brighton Marathon!

In any case, I'm very glad that Janathon is here as I need all the support and motivation that I can get and this morning it got me out of the door.  I have to build slowly to avoid my heel flaring back up again, so today's aim was to run for 20 minutes around the playing field as I am not allowed on hard surfaces just yet.

I got up first thing and walked the dog for an hour.  There weren't many people about at 8 o'clock this morning and I felt glad that I hadn't boozed it up the night before as I got to enjoy the countryside at its most peaceful.  Got home, fed the dog, pulled together all of the enthusiasm that I could muster and headed to the playing field.  Not the most interesting of runs, but I achieved my goal, running 1.68 miles in 20:21. It wasn't fast and it wasn't pretty but it felt great to be back out there and make a start.