Monthly Archives: June 2011

So many options

My day started with a fall out of bed, such was my bewilderment at the alarm claiming it was time to get up already, but a look out of the window dashed my hopes of another half hour in bed by proving to be sunny and bright.

Perfect cycling weather. Which kind of decided my Juneathon fate.

Having calculated that exactly 2 miles would finish me on 666.66, a new number was factored in which demanded a couple of minor cycling detours to round my total to something decent. So the trip out was a straight affair, enjoying the light breeze that was predomintly a side wind but which meant a t-shirt was too cool and a second top too warm.

No drama, though. Simply a rabbit-free (no new bunnies on the tarmac) journey to work.

On the way home, I overtook a few cars down the hill from site, another at the zebra crossing as I turned away from home to add a .75 mile loop to the journey via the one way detour. Haven’t done this before but it was quite fun – cars in both directions made a little queue of commuters behind me who were unable to overtake which might have been a touch longer had the striking long-weekend seekers been at work, clogging the roads with commuters on top of those already out. I always like an entourage and by the mini roundabout to take me onto my normal route, I had quite a following. Bet they were really angry at me. Oh, well.

The canal road was nice enough, with the same side wind as this morning. A cormorant made a change of feathered friend as it flew away from me by Scots Float sluice and nothing much else happened until I turned onto the road for home.

Three cyclists rode past the end of the road as I was stretching my legs just before joining it and, with about a 50 yard gap, they slowly pulled away for a bit before I decided Juneathon commuting needed cheering up, so started to accelerate toward them. The little upslope helped me wind them in, the bloke at the back was taking the piss by freewheeling as his mates put in the effort to drag him along but it took a VW Polo which was unable to pass them on a few corners to give me enough tow to catch onto the back of them as it overtook, allowing me to chat.

Seems they do two 25 mile rides a week, they apparently take it in turns to lead (don’t think my comment about the tail ender being lazy was very appreciated), but maybe they’ll look up Juneathon if they remember to see what it’s about having been harrassed in all their poncey cycling clothes and flash equipment by a small bloke with the wrong pedals and baggy shorts and rucksack bulging with work clothes on a filthy commuting bike which is being ridden far more than it deserves.

It was fun for a couple of miles, though, until I diverted off route to add another loop to the end of the ride and bring my commute up to just over 18 miles.

Which left the small matter of a jog to relieve me of cycling woes and to take me over 50 miles for the month.

JB’s 0.75 mile route seemed ideal for several reasons. The main one being how short it was.

It really isn’t a run, to be fair – my legs didn’t want to move and about a half of the run was just trying to get them to do what I wanted. The pace is unrealistic with so many variations in footfall but if it says I was below 8 minute miles, I’ll take it. It put me over 50 miles which was my June goal and that’s the main thing.

June totals are:

Juneathon failed for not blogging on Monday (saves any sarky comments from poor poets about independance of adjudication, if nothing else). 30 days of logged activity, 29 blog posts about it.

June total miles 699.89 at 15.2 mph average.

June running total 50.49 miles.

2011 challenge 489.43 miles to go…which, with 6 months still on the board, is a slightly easier prospect than it seemed at the end of March!

July target – put the two wheels away for much of the week and become a half marathon training runner again while developing some upper body definition to make my clothes fit like they should.

It hasn’t been a bad month, on the whole. Not sure what to do for my next challenge but the time I can spend on “normal” stuff will be welcomed. The drive to work tomorrow is going to be one of the best of my life, though, I think. Nothing like a hard journey or two to remind me how good life can be.

Well done everyone who’s taken part – we’re all winners if being slightly healthier (allowing for injuries!) is the measure and thanks to JB for getting us motivated again. If Joggerblogger hadn’t been so inspired those few short years ago, I’d have a tidy garden now!! I look forward to being able to do a full blog catch-up over the coming days and meeting a few of you in Hyde Park next weekend.

Now I fancy a sleep.



Prince Goes Crazy?

I harvested the first successful courgettes I’ve grown in aeons last night (the past three years have been a write off for them – all have failed whatever I’ve done to encourage them) and tonight saw a request for JB to add one of them to the stir fry she was preparing for dinner. Since they’re of a yellow variety, the colour wouldn’t be out of place and they turned out to be a highlight; cooked just so they still had some texture, retained a little flavour and made me happy to have bothered growing them despite previous failures.

The downside was the incessant singing to nasty, nasty Prince songs driving me insane for an hour or so as the “Red Corvette” was replaced by “Red Courgette” despite mine being yellow (and the ones delivered in the veg. box being green. Courgette soup for a while, I fear!). Ah, well. A small price to pay.

The Juneathon effort today was brought to me by the conduit of a cycle to work (only one fresh dead rabbit) with a little detour thrown into the return journey by way of a mile or so loop of a local lane just to break the cycle. With only a day to go now, I thought I may as well throw something different into one of the legs at least and since it didn’t mean being late for work, that seemed the sensible option. More tomorrow? Probably not.

I had the little matter of a couple more miles to run to take my jogging total to 50, though, so despite shattered legs the calling of buying some milk from That Enterprising Social Conspiracy Office encouraged me to take a roundabout route to get there via the medium of running.

A slow plod was all I could manage, to be fair, with the first quarter of a mile being so wobbly I wondered if I’d make it all the way. As usual, however, I remembered what to do and a few minutes later I was at home in time to water the greenhouse and get this done before bed and sleep.

Nearly there…and how welcome a good rainstorm would be just as I’m about to leave tomorrow morning so i can justifiably take the car!

524.66 miles to go.

49.72 Juneathon running miles (just leaves enough to get a cycle out of my legs as the month closes, not too much to risk damaging the foot again).

614.87 Juneathon cycling miles.

A ride, a pub, too little sleep and another ride

Sunday finished harmlessly enough as it turned out. A reasonably early night had a little sleep caught up on but Monday dawned earlier than my sand-encrusted eyes wanted, as usual. Nothing entirely unusual there, then.

The unusual bit was that the sun was up, the day was already hot and the sweat was dripping from my nose almost as soon as I’d crested the first rise a quarter of a mile from home. Fluids needed.

And that summed up the day. The ride in was ace – no wind, little traffic, many sheep and a smooth journey.

The ride home was a more unsettled affair – attempting to balance speed with effort having drunk as much as possible throughout the day, an evening in the pub was to be executed as can be seen from JogBlog‘s post, hence the further failure of Juneathon by not blogging yesterday. Getting home at past 6 o’clock, removing a sparrow from the house, getting showered, going to the pub, getting back and going to bed were prioritised…starting a wheezing, slow computer and putting in another rubbish blog about 31.5 miles cycling wasn’t.

And today, after far too little sleep (the house heated up to about a billion degrees yesterday without keeping the windows open through the cooler evening…I awoke bathed in sweat. Not a good look. Or feel.), the ride in was much the same as yesterday.

A little cooler, similar windless conditions but about 15 dead rabbits…odd, considering I was dodging rabbits all the way home last night on the roundabout route I selected (well…partly selected. Instead of returning home, a circuitous route of Romney Marsh was undertaken with many tight bends resulting in bunny suicide candidates at every corner). Maybe there was, indeed, something in the air!

So work was again done (a bad news day for continuity on site with the client unable to secure sales on units at the moment…fingers remain crossed) and as the wind picked up a bit, a battle was fought on the return leg into a continual breeze which wanted me to get home later than the vet appointment demanded. Drop bars were used more than normal, uphills were beaten (slower speed equals less wind equals more efficient gain in overall pace for similar effort, as I convinced myself when all I wanted to do was click down the gears and slow up even more) harder than usual and home was reached after the spending of much perspiration and many drips from nose and forehead.

Very nasty.

But another 31.5 miles to add to the total. I’m wondering when to do the final running outing. Whether to do two quick trips, finishing Juneathon with a short run, or leave the 2.5 miles until Thursday. With a 5k race on Friday (assuming I make it) I fancy the two trips. Tomorrow will tell.

559.52 miles to go.

47.57 Juneathon running miles.

582.16 Juneathon cycling miles. Which means that tomorrow will see (assuming no downpours as I leave in the morning) 600 cycling miles for the month. Crikey.


A reprieve was granted this morning for, despite waking up at 7am and getting up to get ready for the Staplehurst 10k, when I woke JB to ask if she was getting up she said no, and if I didn’t want to go we wouldn’t.

Enough said (I’d woken up midway through the night with a sasm of cramp in my right calf and, despite catching it early and giving it a good massage it still felt a bit tight); I immediately went and checked the tyre pressures on the motorbike before realising that a slight drizzle was falling so I got out some tools and started trimming the hedge instead before taking the bike out once it brightened up a bit, then mowing the lawn, then going for a little shopping.

I realised as I started clipping the hedge (when the landlord opposite says the hedge wants tidying, that just about makes it due, I feel) that it would probably be more sensible to get a run done early before the temperature rises but I ignored myself and continued on my way. And now, having run in the heat of the afternoon and realising just what a cracking temperature it is, I wonder if the race would have been such a bad thing!

Cathy donated me a white Brooks top she doesn’t like yesterday because it’s too big for her, unisex and has a high collar. It’s not exactly the most flattering fit on me (especially not in my skinny-as-I-am at the moment shape [Juneathon’s end will see weights being used again as long as the conservatory isn’t 300 degrees every evening]) but it’s white and all my other tops are dark so in the sunshine it was deemed perfect.

A little loop of the local lanes and half the housing estate was decided on and it went rather well, all told. Nothing went wrong, I got a bit hot and tried to looosen the high necked garment around the 2 mile mark but a short outing was enjoyed with a decision that leaving 2.5 miles to complete in the week would give me a running target to finish Juneathon on.

There’s a plan for the Ashford 5k to be entered on Friday (Juneathon not enough? Enter a race the day after. Still not enough? Enter a dragon boat race in Dover harbour the day after that. I will have a rest day. Sometime.) and a mile on Thursday after the final cycle (assuming it isn’t raining) might help get the spinning out of my legs.

A Friday has never before been so enthusiastically looked upon.

622.74 miles to go.

47.57 Juneathon running miles.

518.94 Juneathon cycling miles.

Tired, slow and worried

After a reasonably successful anniversary (I think I got away with buying the card unnoticed while wine was being consumed…) evening, sleep was much needed but I think I’ve only caught up on about half as much as I need.

My trip to the paper shop was followed by a detour to purchase eggs but instead of the egg house, I went to the local farm shop mainly because it’s closer. About 5 miles closer, in fact. Something my weary legs are appreciative of.

Thank all that’s clean for the rain on Monday – I shudder to think how tired I’d be if 5 cycles had been done.

A day of work on the lounge while the weather has been deciding what to do (mainly staying overcast but with huge temperature increase, it seems. It feels like a stormy pressure cooker outside) has been productive and completing the work on the lights allowed me to go for a gentle run to assess how bad the race might be tomorrow. It’s the Staplehurst 10k, apparently a flat race that will allow a pb or two.

Well not for me, it won’t!

Slow, heavy, lethargic and lucklustre begins the summary of how I feel. And hot. And that’s after just under a mile. The first quarter of which was executed at a little above walking pace. My first instinct is to pull out. My second is that since JB wants to go and there are no buses I’ll take her and wait at the finish. My third is that the 6 miles will take me over my 50 mile Juneathon target at least but a race entry fee isn’t value for money to just add on a few miles to a monthly total. My fourth is that maybe I should get as much sleep as possible, set off at an unmanageable speed and see how far I get before blowing up simply to assess a starting point for half marathon training in a week or so. But if one mile is impossible there seems little point blowing up after a similar distance just to prove a point and make myself depressed.

And if it’s hot as forecast, all plans might blow out of the window anyway. I guess I’ll just go along and plod around in a fashion dictated by my mood on the day. Just like normal, then.

626.33 miles to go.

43.98 Juneathon running miles.

518.94 Juneathon cycling miles

Which means that if I run the 6 miles tomorrow, one more cycling commute next week will take me to 600 miles total for the month. Crikey…April felt far and that was half the month this is turning out to be.


Many things occurred today, one of which was the marking of 1095 days since myself and JogBlog started going out as a couple. To celebrate such a momentous occasion, a restaurant table was booked in the village I used to live in and where our first proper date kicked off, presents were exchanged and a pleasant time was had (is indeed still being had…I’m blogging while a piss-poor soap opera is being caught up on by JB before I pop downstairs before bed). Apparently, however, an anniversary can easily be spoiled by careless words. Such words apparently include “no I haven’t got you a card yet; I’ve been busy and I’ll pop over the road and get you one while we’re in the pub before the meal”. Also “Oh, you’ve wrapped my presents…should I have done the same to yours?”. And when the love of your life utters the words “This dress makes me look fat” it seems the done thing isn’t to say “Yes, it does”. Certainly not on your anniversary.

I think I’ve got away with it, though. Fingers crossed.

Today’s Juneathon experience included the traditional cycling commute which was interspersed with joy that it was sunny and bright with little wind this morning as well as the joy of a little air punch (I was overtaking cars at the time) as I cycled through Rye on the way home and passed the 500 mile erm…milestone. 500 cycling miles this month so far. Phew.

The wind for the return leg had picked up a bit and was a three-quarter headwind but it didn’t seem to lower my spirits…just a shame that I’m so tired after a week of activity and a disturbed sleep last night that I hadn’t the fight in my legs to make the most of things as my direction changes made the wind an advantage.

But it was dry if less bright, so a fair outing.

A little run tomorrow, I feel and a race on Sunday – if the temperature picks up as the forecasters suggest it might, that may be a challenge in itself but the final weekend of Juneathon 2011 deserves to be seen out with a punch.

631.56 miles to go.

43.04 Juneathon running miles.

514.66 Juneathon cycling miles.

My computer’s shit

Bored with waiting 35567483492372345123476 hours for this sodding thing to do the most basic function like connecting to the internet or allowing me to upload my stats to SportTracks or Running Free I’ve become so fucked off this might be the blog that stops the rest of you reading completely.

I cycled to work and back, getting wet twice on the way back, in less time than I waited for my pile of shite to allow me to blog. And I’m tired so couldn’t be arsed to run tonight.

Job done.

663.19 miles to go.

43.04 Juneathon running miles.

483.03 juneathon cycling miles. If it stops raining for 5 minutes between now and July I might just get to 500. But I doubt it.


I don’t know if the title translates into anything in any language but inspiration for a title wasn’t forthcoming today and, what with the Juneathon activity being a cycle to and from work which wasn’t particularly thrilling in itself, the first letters that fell to fingers got hit and posted.

The evening has consisted of mowing the rear lawn in an odd fashion – instead of stripes along the length or across the width, I’ve taken the option of first going from kitchen to damson tree (the one in the far corner, not the centre right of the plot) on an oblique, then crossing through this from greenhouse to willow (the dead one for which I need the services of a tree surgeon – it’s too tall for me to risk doing myself a proper injury) before skirting the plum and shed corner to complete a lap. The difficulty is now tying in the fruit bush area of the garden having exhausted tidy possibilities by outing the bit by the silver birch too soon in the proceedings.

It looks odd with varied striping, but I quite like it and feel it needs a change from routine to avoid trenches being forged by the wheels hitting the same patch too often.

I’ll try to finish the job before the weekend and then come up with something different to do for the front.

694.78 miles to go.

43.04 Juneathon running miles.

451.44 Juneathon cycling miles.

Fresher than before

So I awoke this morning with hope that the deluge of the year wouldn’t be upon us for a third morning this month and my hope was upheld. Overcast and breezy but not wet. Damp on the ground but nothing falling.


The best part of this wasn’t even, perhaps, that I could cycle to work. The best part was, I feel, that I didn’t have to drive the Vauxhall Vectra to work that’s standing in for my car while the headlights are being sorted. It really isn’t the nicest car I’ve ever driven. Not the worst, but not better than cycling on a June morning.

So I set off into a mildly irritating headwind thinking I’d simply grind out the miles when I realised I was actually enjoying them. Fresh legs do that to a commuting man. The bit through the woods was simply ace and the best start to a day a man can achieve on two wheels.

The drag along the flat straight bit was a bit nasty into what was developing into a stiff headwind but a few miles in the dropped bars and I was into the shelter of Rye and soon at work. And the drag was transformed into a breeze of a ride on the way home as the sun allowed me to race the clouds which were low enough to cast a decently sharp shadow across the road as they scudded past, something I was only too eager to chase and allow a decent speed home without thinking that my legs needed to be fresh in the morning if the wind didn’t ease.

But once home a recovery was allowed with some potatoes in a sauce for dinner before purchasing petrol for the lawnmower and a subsequent quick mile up the road and back to complete another Juneathon day.

And a nice one at that. Longest day  of the year and I’ve enjoyed most of it.


726.37 miles to go.

43.04 Juneathon running miles.

419.85 Juneathon cycling miles.


No, really I do.

When the air is still and the rain cascades from the heavens I get a strange secure feeling which, no matter what else is going on around me, makes everything seem alright.

The first awareness of the emotion (I can describe it as no different thing) came during a maths test at primary school when seemingly far too many questions had been set for too short a duration of test and I was equally aware that time was ticking, my mind was working overtime on the sums (I remember not what they were but I suspect they were pretty elementary) and the rain beyond the rapidly misting windows was falling heavily and steadily. I felt calm and in control despite my fears that I wouldn’t get finished.

I get the same feeling inside now during such weather patterns. But today wasn’t the day to feel calm, happy nor comtemplative – for a second Monday in succession, I was up at an unreasonable time, dressed for a cycle ride, eaten and lunch made all in the hope that the steady precipitation would stop by 6 o’clock. It didn’t. By 6.15 it was still bucketing down with an enthusiasm that would have had me wet to the core by the 3 mile mark where woods start and cover can be gained.

I drove to work.


Still enjoyed the wind free day, mind, but with the missing achievement of a cycle commute. (Same reasons for not cycling as last week, by the way. Getting to work drowned isn’t a good way for a manager to behave).

Which left this evening. Many plans were hatched, none of which involved running in case my foot plays up again. All early plans were thwarted by JB declaring dinner would be a) delicious and b) quick to make, so by the time greenhouses were watered and lilly beetle larvae squashed it was time for JB to declare “I feel like the mother of a 9 year old…I shouldn’t have to tell you that no, there isn’t time to fly your helicopter no matter how little wind there is. Sit down and be grateful I’ve cooked for you”!

So sit I did, eat I did, “Yum” I declared and then washing up was executed.

Shortly after it was time to Juneathon and part of the plan was to pop to Folkestone to swap cars and get my lights fixed, during which I’d ride the skateboard around the town and seafront as alternative Juneathon activity points. Unfortunately it started raining again so I popped out on the BMX to play around the local carpark (Switzerland Squeekers and roll backs were the plan-du-jour for skills assessment – see how little I can do decently having not practiced properly in over two years) where I found it was football practice day so the car park was full. Thwarted again I simply chcose a small route to practice manuals (wheelies without pedalling; possibly the most floaty, fun feeling ever to be experienced when you get one right. Which I rarely do) and hops. As it turns out this equates to 2.39 miles. Curtailed in time by having to get the car I put the deck in the vehicle in case there would be a miraculous drying out by the time I got to the coast but there wasn’t.

That’s Juneathon today, I’m afraid. A little pathetic but done.

759.15 miles to go.

41.91 Juneathon running miles.

388.21 Juneathon cycling miles.