Monthly Archives: June 2009

Another Juneathon over

And no, it doesn’t seem anything like a year since the last one.

Last year, I was knackered and awaiting a rest. Because of my failure and return to occasional blogging (assisted by loaning my computer to Cathy and not being invited into her room to use it more than occasionally…apparently the end of Juneathon is one of those occasions, but roll on Dell returning my house to normality!), I feel well fired up.

Tomorrow will be another cycle to work day. I actually look forward to it every time, now. Despite my legs being absolutely ruined after the football – I think I should improve my stretching and mix things up more if the state of my inner thighs and ankles is anything to go by – this morning’s pedalling certainly helped things. Shame I can’t stop sweating like a horse and need to take on so much fluid every time, it actually feels like a chore.

It’s far too hot for me to run at the moment, though. I did a few weights on Sunday so will attempt a few more in a minute in an effort to return my body to some form before Royal Parks training kicks in and marathon training comes straight on the back of that. I’ll aim for one good and one bad run each week while it’s this hot – next week, i’m off work and not going away so will attempt to get up early to get a run in before the temperature rises too much. Then, it’ll be day trips with Cathy, bits on the house, motorbike, skydiving and fun all the way.

Bet it rains every day! Oh, and my turn to bake mince pies. And i’ll try to blog my energy bars.

Well done to everyone who did better at not exploding themselves during Juneathon than I and roll on next year. Thanks for all the comments on my blog, too.

Just hope the next year doesn’t seem to go as fast as the last one or June will feel as near as the dark nights of December do now.

Oh, dear.

Juneathon Football. Oops.

In time honoured “let’s shake up my stale running/cycling habits” tradition, an invitation from Gary a month ago was renewed on Thursday to join in a game of football with a load of his mates. Gary lives in Leytonstone. Not very local for me, local for Cathy’s old house, but that’s full at the moment, so it was with luck that he was involved in organising a game or three in Hollingbourne. 8 miles up the road.

Now that’s local.

So, all was looking good. Except my football credentials extend to having last played (badly) in 1996. 13 years ago. And i’ve partaken in next to no team pursuits since. Still, it’s the summer, what can go wrong?

Well, looking at the other team, lots. They turned out to be the Hollingbourne village side. 8 of our lot had played together before, which left 2 forwards and a left mid-fielder and me (central midfield) with no plans at all. And kicking the ball reminded me how much it’ll hurt when it hits. And looking at a lot of shin pads and a lot of big blokes when I had none and aren’t exactly the largest man on the planet didn’t excite me.

Still I had the Garmin on to see how far i’d go and it was sunny. Very sunny. And Cathy had agreed to sit on the side in Wag fashion and see how it went.

So, how did it go? Very averagely well to be honest. I did duck a couple of balls (can’t wear contact lenses, can’t focus without glasses, did head the ball once, only to lose my glasses in the process. At least they were old shades!), but tackled a bit, intercepted a load, passed more than I thought I would and only caused an exasperated shout of frustration in one of our more competitive players once. He was a bit good though, so playing with a fool like me must have been frustrating. I put myself in a good enough position to get two free balls just outside their box, only to sky one and hit one just wide, but it was fun and smiles all round were rewarded with us winning 6-5. Quite how, I don’t know. Pressure, two of us in the mid-field always chasing their players into mistakes and a good striker, I think. We looked like a team, despite everything. I’ve got evidence too, look.

An action shot

An action shot

I’m not always running away from the ball, honest! I’m the one in white trainers and sunglasses – how out of place?

Sunglasses are an important part of football kit, honest.

Running away, so the nasty ball doesn't hurt me

Still, the Garmin showed how lazy a footballer can be. I was swapped to right defence for the second half of the second half, reflected in a distance drop in the last 20 minutes, but finished up with 1hour 32 minutes resulting in 5.07 miles run. I don’t think I stayed still all the while the ball was in play, which was good but shows how little work goes into a game. I guess a striker, hunting less than half a pitch, may be lucky to break 2 miles in a game. No wonder Rooney’s a little porker.

But, it was enjoyed. And it was a change. And no-one beat me up for being too crap afterwards. Guess some of the Hollingbourne side will themselves, though. It must be embarrassing being done over by a bunch of misfits.

Oh, and my shins survived.

An alteration of priority

Yep, since Friday, I’ve been quiet. Not especially idle, just quiet.

I’ve been miserable, not making the most of the summer and feeling sorry for myself all at once and part of that is my inability to do things by halves, part obsession and part stupidity. But I think I’m back in the saddle.

It started Saturday, got up early, got to Geoff’s and had a superb day making his pergola. But the day ran on, I ran out of time for a jog at his place, came home, emptied the tools, said hello to Cathy (having her own running crisis…not at all related, honest! I’ll get her through it, even if she doesn’t realise it. Oops, she’ll read this, won’t she? Ah, a flaw in my plan. It’l be fine.), then found myself sitting on the stairs hating running.

Hating it.

Again, i’d run out of time for a proper run, was about to set off for a pathetic mile then a half-hearted blog (crikey i’ve even been failing to mention my success at eating mince pies continuously!), then an exhausted evening out. All because Juneathon had sucked me in  too far. So, I stopped. No Juneathon. No run. Not until I want to again.

I’ve cycled to work still, prioritised clearing the garden of logs (three hard evenings, still a bit to go but they’re tidy) and have just mowed the lawn (what’s left of it through the weeds) which has been thoroughly enjoyable. It’s the summer, after all.

Running out of time through running is silly. I ran pretty much all the way through the winter, now it’s time to ride the bikes (motor included), do the garden, cycle to work for fitness, relax about life and run when I fancy.

I love Juneathon. I love the drive it offers to get out and do things. I hate my inability to not get wound up by it.

Soon, i’ll love running again. I almost went out tonight. Almost. I’ve my first game of football since 1996 on Saturday, hopefully that’ll be fun. It’s an opportunity to mix things up a bit, if nothing else.

But right now, i’m off to put my washing away and do some upper body exercise.

Normal service will be resumed shortly. And yes, the RoyalParks Half will be carried out in under 1 hour and 39 minutes.

Oh, yes.

Maybe.

Juneathon, carpentry and into the sixes

So little time!

Left home early to do a day with Geoff making his pergola, got held up a bit by a sheep named Fred repeatedly saying hello (but everytime Geoff went for the camera, he went shy. Typical) and didn’t get home until nigh on 6 o’clock.

And my girlfriend needs taking to the pub. And for food. Desperately.

So, as if carpentering for a day (at super speed when we weren’t sheep stroking, of course!) wasn’t enough, I needed to go for a mile. Only, frustratingly, I felt like going much further.

Still, as I set out, a slowish run seemed on the cards. Until about a tenth in, when I felt good so accelerated a bit. Then realised as I got to about 0.4, I was going reasonably quickly and still felt fresh. So, after turning around, I got a wiggle on. And got home in an average speed of 6.51.

Which now begs another question when Juneathon’s over…as well as how quickly can I average the 3.5 mile route (7.02 average done the Sunday before June in the rain) and how high is my peak heart rate, just how fast can I run a single mile? It’ll take practice, but i’m up for a go. Just before training for the Royal Parks half commences, I think.

Oh, yes. The sheep was great to stroke. As was his mate. Now tomorrow, I must get a jump in – there’s a fantastic plane waiting!

Worn out

It’s the end of the week, thank all that’s Friday like. And i’ve only just realised I missed I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue returning to Radio 4. And that was on Monday. Eek.

So, with listen again in the background, today was a tired day of a cycling commute, which was easier coming home than going in. Lamb chops were the best Friday foodstuff i’ve ever chosen, then logs were once again chain sawed after the car had been loaded with the first bits of tomorrow’s tools while the others were packed ready to load in the morning. Then, with no enthusiasm at all, I set out for the slowest singular mile ever.

Hope a good sleep will bring some energy to my bones, I feel worn out. 12 days to go and Juneathon is beating me. Eek.

Forgotten something?

Yes, i’m beginning to wonder. Either that, or time is working wondrous miracles.

The day at work was only just survived – one of those true afternoons when I considered how much unnecessary crap I can put up with  in order for a job to be built and the overwhelming consensus was “not this much. Not nearly”. Still, the need to pay the mortgage and not too many companies offering jobs won through again, and I remain employed.

The cycle in was again pretty nice. The ride home was again into a wind – not quite as stiff, but more than i’d like. And as I was on the late shift, later home than hoped.

But since then, something odd’s gone on.

Cathy’s out at a vegetarian meet up thing so i’ve been mostly eating meat in her absence. But between mouthfuls, i’ve somehow (bearing in mind I wasn’t home until late) managed to do the hoovering, wash up, split some logs, chainsaw some more up, water the greenhouse, tie up the tomatoes, chat to Dave the neighbour for 10 minutes and get back from a whole mile run.

Couldn’t face more than the solitary mile, my legs are in tatters, but I can’t help thinking i’ve forgotten something important – there isn’t time enough for all that in one evening.

Ah, well. I’m sure i’ll work out what soon enough.

Less than 2 weeks of Juneathon left. Might get around to finishing the kitchen door off then…

Juneathon shopping basket

And today, that basket was thankfully carried by Jogblog.

My ride to work was great – very little wind, always behind me. Very nice. Then it got stronger all day and backed just enough to be a headwind for the last 3 miles home – torture. Strange how such a thing can change your view on the thought of cycling to work – through the winter when really cold, dark and windy I fear the cycle won’t really be an option. Hopefully won’t stop me trying occasionally, though. Assuming i’m not thrown off site before then, of course.

Still, once home, dinner was eaten, adverts discussed, washing up done, then a trip to Sainsbury’s was linked into the run, my trusty girlfriend accompanying me on her little Raleigh to allow provisions to be carried in the basket for the trip home. And it only cost the bribe of a Nutrageous bar to pull it off. Bargain.

So, 2.4 miles, the lightest rain shower ever, dinner incorporating home grown spring onions, a lot of weather and tomorrow it all starts over. Only a couple of days and the nights draw in…