Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Admitting defeat

Early morning Guildford skyline
Sometimes in life, you just have to admit defeat.  I'm in that place at the moment.  I have to admit that I've managed an epic fail on the Juneathon front, I haven't blogged for the last week and only just caught up with over two week's worth of activity logging on RunFree.  Which is an astonishingly hateful task if you don't do it as you go along.  I seem to have done a reasonable amount of exercise (totals below) but I've not done so well on the community front.  I've read blogs and commented on a few, but really I don't feel as though I've really been involved, which is probably reflected by the fact that for the most part, Juneathon participants haven't commented on mine, which have been (at best) sporadic.

I'm also admitting defeat on some other fronts too.  I've come to the realisation that you can't make people like you.  You just can't.  Not everyone on this planet is going to like you.  Sometimes, you're put in a situation where it's difficult for people to like you.  Sometimes your actions contribute to that situation and do not improve it.  But it is what it is.  And I'm finding it important to remember that I have lots of amazing friends who do like me.  So I should probably stop worrying about the people that don't.  It saps what little confidence that I have and makes me retreat into my introspective depression shell to hide, which isn't helpful to anyone, least of all me. 

Anyway, that's about all I have to say for myself for now.  I doff my cap to people like Lesley who has found something interesting say every single day this month and also to everyone who took part in the Longest Day Run event at the weekend - I logged 4 miles, which may not seem like much, but is the longest that I have managed to run this year on my injury comeback trail (yaaay!) 

Juneathon totals for the month so far:
Running: 23.3 miles
Walking: 109.8 miles
Swimming: 1k
Pilates: 4hrs
Bootcamp: 1hr

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Long Way Round

Juneathon the Twentieth.  In which we take an unexpectedly long walk, encountering poo swarms, cows and the very real possibility that we may never, ever be able to leave the field.  Ever.
Larger picture here
Well didn't we have a lovely walk this morning.  I decided to deviate from our usual route and go round a different field.  This was my first mistake.  My second mistake was not letting the enormous swarms of flies that were covering the cow pats lining the path put me off.  Seriously, they were everywhere.

The coup de grace came when I saw the herd of cows hiding over the brow of a hill in the corner of the field.  Right next to the stile that we needed to go over to get out of the field *sigh*

So we turned around and headed to a stile that took us into the next field.  From which there was no exit.  We went to each corner of the field in turn, desperately hoping for a stile, a gate, anything!!!!!! To no avail.  We walked (increasingly desperate) around the field until we were back pretty much where we started.  Right in the middle of the poo swarm.  Dagnammit.  I say "we" a lot, but really there were two distinct camps here.

1. Me.  "Oh God, there are no gates or stiles or any way of getting out of this damn field! This is awful.  Just awful!  WE MIGHT ACTUALLY DIE HERE!!" *flail*

2.  Murdoch (pootle) (sniff) (pootle)

Anyway, we made it home after adding an extra 1.35 miles onto our walk with this fiasco and just in time to jump into the car to take Murdoch for his annual boosters at the vet.

I also took Murdoch for another walk this afternoon - keeping to a well-established route this time - for a total of seven miles walked today.

In other news, I am aching like fool following yesterday's bootcamp effort.  Everything hurts.  I guess that shows that I worked pretty hard, unlike the two ladies next to me who chatted the whole time.  It's possible that they're much fitter than me, but then shouldn't they still be putting more effort in?

I had originally considered going for a run today but the sad state of my post-bootcamp body, combined with the fact that I have a run-date with my friend B first thing tomorrow morning have led me to cop out.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Juneathon Bootcamp

Another lovely day away from the office and this morning I had booked myself into a bootcamp session at Charterhouse Club.

So after taking Murdoch for the first walk of the morning at the Dog House and leaving him there for lots of dog walking and fun, I headed home, got myself ready and headed out to the class.  I was greeted by a friendly blonde woman who seemed very nice.  Until she yelled at us to run down to the track where we'd be doing the session.  Cripes.  I'm joking, she was actually lovely and encouraging, which was helpful as I found the session really tough.  Even aside from the persistent feeling that I might be sick at any moment (I'm not kidding.  Burpees, jump squats, spiderman thingies, press ups etc etc etc) the fast pace of the class was the direct opposite of Pilates, where you're encouraged to move slowly with a focus on position and form.  Here, there seemed little focus on form, rather on getting as much done as quickly as possible, so it was a real change of pace.

But overall I really enjoyed the class, my heart rate was up the entire time and it's something that I'll definitely do again.

So that's my Juneathon for the day.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Longest Day Run

A much sunnier view at the weekend
Nearly an entire week has passed again and I've mostly been doing dog walking as my Juneathon effort.  Thankfully the weather has improved considerably and Misog has disappeared for a while.

I don't feel like I have masses to say and wouldn't be writing this blog at all if it weren't for Juneathon!  I have however read quite a few blogs over the past week, so feel a bit better about that.  This week I have the week off work.  I've decided that I'm going to try out a few classes at Charterhouse Club as well as getting a couple of runs in during the day.  

Then on Saturday I'm going to be taking part in the inaugural Longest Day Run event.  The idea is to run as far as possible between midday on Saturday 23rd and midday Sunday 24th.  In my case, I'm aiming for only five miles, which will be the farthest that I've run this year.  Check out the website and think about taking part - seems like a fun challenge to me.

PawPaw McGraw

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Playing Catch Up (again)

Oh dear.  Once again I've been epically shit on the Juneathon front and haven't blogged since last week.  Nor have I had much time to read and comment on other people's blog.  I hereby declare that I will be chasing that elusive "negative split" and will do much better in the second half of the month.  If I fail at this, please feel free to come and do some monkey style poo flinging at my comments section.

So what have I been up to in the past week?  Mainly lots of dog walking.   In the rain.  You know it's got bad when on arrival at the park, the first thing Murdoch does when you let him off the lead is glance back at the entrance to the park, wondering if he could make a dash back to the flat before I could catch him.  I swear the only reason he (grudgingly) followed me into the park was because I don't let him have his own front door key.  In fact I have temporarily renamed him.  His current name is Misog because he is such a damp and grumpy misery dog. Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes.  So Misog and I have been doing lots of walking, sometimes clad in the Wrong Trousers, sometimes braving it in mere walking trousers (am I brave or foolhardy? I'll catch my death etc etc).

The view from the Gibbet. On a clear day you can see Canary Wharf
On Saturday morning I headed to the Devil's Punchbowl to do the Saturday morning run out with the lovely HBAC folk.  I particularly enjoy this session, as it always ends up in the cafĂ© having a nice spot of breakfast.  Super.  It's really lovely at the Punchbowl.  Well it always was, but since the Hindhead tunnel opened, the Punchbowl and the Gibbet are no longer bisected by the A3 and it's now just wonderful.  Must take Misog down there for a walk.  At the end of the session, we were told that we must come next week as one of the coaches has something special in store for our little back to running group.  This has struck fear into my heart, mainly because Julia's idea of fun is running repeatedly up and down very steep hills.  She's lovely, but y'know, that's just madness.  Anyway, I'll find out what that is on Saturday, and if I survive, I'll tell you all about it.  

On Sunday morning I did a Pilates class at Charterhouse Club.  I really love this class, partly because I'm much better at it than I thought I'd be!  It's a great change of pace and I always leave after the class feeling energised.

Anyway, that's probably more than enough from me, I'll finish by giving you my Juneathon grand totals so far (*drum roll*):

Walking: 56 miles
Running: 14 miles (is anyone else having trouble getting RunningFree to speak to Nike+? They have clearly had a falling out and are standing on opposite sides of the room sulking.)
Pilates: 0 miles (1hr)

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

June-bilee Shenanigans

Oh God.  I'm playing catch up again.  It's just been so busy, these past few days. Enough ado, let's get stuck in.

Monday 4th June.  Got up, walking the dog, 3.2 miles done.  Trousers got soaked in the long grass again, wished I'd worn my waterproof trousers.

On Monday afternoon it was time for the inaugural Godalming Jubilee 5k (presumably they will rename it next year!).  There was also a 10k option, but I decided to stick to the 5k, with a 20 minute walk into Godalming as my warm up.  It was my first race since my return from injury and I was planning to take it easy, get round the course and just enjoy the day.  

Excited at the start with Leila
That plan lasted till the gun went off, I got caught up in the excitement and legged it round at full pelt.  The course was great, a great mix of traffic-free road running combined with an utter bitch of a hill that came as a bit of a surprise!  Ended up getting round in 27:29, which is a pretty respectable time for me and I was 19th woman home.  That probably says more about the depth of the field than it does about my performance!  It was well staged, particularly for a first time out and apparently the 10k was great too, with another couple of killer hills thrown in for good measure.

After hanging around the finish area for a bit with Leila, I walked home to Farncombe and took Murdoch for a walk - another 2.5 miles in the bag.  When I got home, I nearly fell asleep on the sofa, but managed to drag myself back to Godalming for an evening of Jubilee festivities.  At this point I should probably mention that my poor sad PF heels were giving me serious cause for worry.  Not only had I gone out pretty hard, but it was mostly on road, whereas my training since injury has been mostly off-road to minimise impact.  As a result, I'm afraid I spent most of the evening in a bit of a grump, and wasn't drinking as I wanted to be able to drive home. Reh reh reh.

On Tuesday I awoke to a miracle.  My heels didn't hurt!  I think this may have been because I had done quite a bit of stretching and had massaged my legs quite a bit.  Huzzah!  This was excellent news and I joyfully set off to walk the dog.  Trousers got soaked in the long grass again, wished I'd worn my waterproof trousers.

At around lunchtime I headed down to Liphook where there was a Jubilee street party in my parents' road.  Had a nice time chatting to the neighbours, even though it was PISSING it down.  After a couple of hours of British stiff upper lip, we gave up and went inside.  Had a nice cup of tea to warm up, then headed home to walk the dog.  There is a reason why I rarely crack out the waterproof trousers, despite wet leg misery.  This is because they make me look like Wallace wearing the Wrong Trousers.  Judge for yourselves.  

The Wrong Trousers. More tea Gromit?
But I did get them out for the second dog walk of the day - it was peeing it down, after all.

Got up this morning and immediately knew that something was amiss.  Aaaw hell, I'm going to have to go back to work.  Hurumph.  At least I had a dog walk first to cheer me up.  Did the usual route with the dog walkers, left Murdoch there for the day and headed up to London.  Did a good day's work and then got my running kit on.  Our offices are near Tower Hill and I decided that it would be lovely to run back to Waterloo along the South Bank.  
Last time I ran over Tower Bridge I was in the middle of a marathon!

And very lovely it was too - had to do quite a bit of tourist dodging and had a very scary moment near the OXO tower when I realised that my rucksack had suddenly got lighter than it should have been.  Turned around to see a male runner coming towards me carrying my jacket, a shoe and my purse.  Apparently a girl had seen them fall out of my bag (which had come open) and he offered to run them up to me.  I was enormously grateful - I've no idea how I would have got back from London without my purse, which contained all of my money, cards and my train ticket.  Disaster very narrowly averted and faith in humanity restored!  The slight downside to my day is that I missed my train home and as I got home quite late, it was easier to leave Murdoch overnight rather than do a late pick up.  I miss that little guy.  The flat seems very empty without him!

So now you're up to date again, are you as exhausted reading this as I was writing it? :)

Monday, 4 June 2012

Two for the price of one

Good morning to you all.  So early in June and already playing catch up on the blogging, this post is a once in a lifetime never to be repeated buy one, get one free offer (probably to be repeated as the month goes on). So where to start?  Oh yes, Saturday....

I woke up on Saturday morning and quickly realised two things:
1.  Sometimes I can be astonishingly stupid
2.  Isn't it lucky that I live in a quiet and safe neighbourhood?
The trigger for these exciting revelations?  I got up, got dressed and could not find my front door key.  Eventually located it...... in the door.  Oops.  But no-one came in and murdered me in my sleep / stole my tv / nicked the wine out of the fridge, so I'm counting that as a WIN.  Buoyed by this feeling of invincibility, I took Murdoch for a lovely walk around our local haunt, for about 70 minutes.  I just mapped it out on Mapometer and it looks like it's about 3.2 miles.  I love doing this walk, it's a brilliant mix of walking around the fields and then up through the woods, some of it is a bit scrambly as there are some really steep and slippery bits.  Our second walk of the day was at Blackheath, a social walk with our dog walking company.  It's a lovely chatty walk, and Murdoch gets to hurtle about with his doggy friends.  So Saturday, in a nutshell was all about the walking.

Yesterday, I got up, found the door key on the shelf where it belongs and took Murdoch out for that same 3.2 mile loop.  It was very rainy - a real contrast to yesterday's walk and my walking trousers were soaked within minutes.  Our walk takes us through very long grass so I was soaked right up to my thighs.  Found a huge tick on Murdoch's neck and had to remove it *yeeeeeeeeuuurrrgh* After our walk I went to meet a couple of friends for brunch at a local restaurant which I heartily recommend.  I always have scrambled egg with lovely big bits of Lincolnshire sausage chopped up in it. Delicious.

After brunch, I headed home and then it was time to don my running kit and head out to an event that I was quite excited about.  Some people that I had met through Twitter were coming towards the end of quite an impressive challenge.  They were running the entire 108 mile length of the Greensand Way, from Hamstreet in Kent to Haslemere in Surrey over the course of four days.  This challenge was unsupported, so these guys were running with hefty rucksacks on their backs.  Yesterday was the last day of the challenge and the team had invited us to join them for three miles of the run, from the White Horse in Hascombe to the Merry Harriers in Hambledon.  

I arrived at the White Horse at 1pm and had a lovely chat while we waited for the team to arrive, which was about half an hour later.  Frankly, they looked a lot better than I had expected - I was expecting to see four zombies stagger into the car park.  They stopped long enough to devour some much needed salty crisps and then we were off along the trail.  It was a lovely run - I think that seeing us really raised the spirits of the team and we had a great time hearing about some of their adventures so it felt like we got to the Merry Harriers in no time. 2.7 miles done and in the bag.  We then went into the pub while the team refuelled.  After lunch we saw them on their way, along with the very brave Lidia, who decided on the spur of the moment to keep going with the team to the end of the run, which meant that she ran 15 miles yesterday, without any training or preparation.  I later headed to Haslemere to see them finish - around 8pm last night, to rapturous applause from those of us waiting.  I hope those guys slept well in their own beds last night and are not too full of aches and pains this morning.  I left them to celebrate, headed home and took Murdoch out for a short half hour walk around the block and that was me done for the day.  

That's your lot for now, I'm hungry and ready to eat some breakfast!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Hey June, Begin

I can't believe that it's June already! C'mon, own up - who stole the first few months of the year?  I thought I'd make this first Juneathon blog post a bit of an introduction - hopefully some of you will have seen this blog as part of Janathon earlier this year, but here is a reminder and also a big hello to people who haven't come to visit me before - hellllooooo! *waves frantically*

I'm Amy and this is my first Juneathon.  I came across Janathon on Twitter and thought it was a fantastic idea.  I particularly like the community support aspect of the programme - who doesn't struggle with motivation once in a while?  My goal for Juneathon is the same as it was for Janathon; simply to be more active throughout the month.  I won't be running every day because I'm still on a very slow path back from injury having put myself out of action for five months with plantar fasciitis last year.  There will plenty of dog walking going on with my lovely mutt Murdoch, but my aim is to try and go above and beyond that as much as possible as the month progresses.

Yesterday I got up at my usual time of 6am and took Murdoch out for his walk.  He was with his doggy daycare people for the day, so I went and did the first walk of the day and then left him there for lots of doggy fun.  That was 45 mins walking done - no idea of distance at all, so I haven't logged it.  Next time I'll fire up the Endomondo app and measure the distance.  Then I headed off to a manic day at work.  It's wonderful having such a long weekend, but it meant that I've had a pretty busy week trying to get things done so that I can enjoy it without worrying about what next week will hold.  

Got home to a rapturous welcome from Murdoch who had been dropped off late afternoon and then it was time for some dinner.  And some dithering.  Then a little bit of procrastination.  Did you watch the programme presented by Prince Charles with all the old Royal home movies?  I've never considered myself much of a royalist, but I thought it was just wonderful.  Where was I? Oh yes, procrastination.  So it was 9pm before I finally pulled my trainers on and headed out the door for a run.  I had run 3.5 miles with my running club the day before, but I really wanted to start Juneathon with a run, so I decided to head out and do a short one.  Job done: 1.53 miles done in 15:59 - quite speedy by my current standards! 

I'm really pleased with this start, particularly as it highlights how motivating Juneathon can be.  I would never have headed out for that run if I hadn't signed up to do this!

I'm really looking forward to reading lots of the other Juneathon blogs, so I'll stop waffling on now and will go do that instead.