Day 31 – Bye bye Janathon, Hello Fabruary!

Oh dear.. a still poorly boy means, for a second day, I didn’t get any time to myself. So my last January workout was another hour on the Wii Just Dance. I’m getting rather good at I’m So Excited by The Pointer Sisters, if I do say so myself. I think this still counts. Had it not been for Janathon, I would have spent the whole evening on the sofa lifting nothing but the TV remote.

It may have petered out a little, but this has been by far the fittest month of my life. At Christmas I could jog about 6 km on the treadmill, and now 10km in the park feels fairly comfortable and something I could manage twice a week. I feel ten times better than I did at New Year. I seemed to stumble through November and December in a haze of coughs and colds being passed around the family repeatedly (not to mention the chicken pox). Is it just coincidence that  January has been totally snuffle and cough free for me? Maybe it’s because I haven’t stood still for long enough for any germs to land on me. My hip niggle has totally disappeared since I took my running outside (touching wood). I’m now scared to stop for fear of losing this level of fitness.

Friends say they come up with their most creative ideas while they’re running, or at least make plans for the day ahead. But this month I’ve learnt that, for me, the joy of jogging is that I think about nothing. I clear my mind, focus on the beat of the music or my footsteps. Concentrating on breathing becomes enough to make me feel uplifted. To a point where it becomes difficult to slow down! I don’t think I’ve experienced any ‘runners high’ – I think that only comes with longer distances – but I do feel zoned out and can see how this becomes addictive.

My February fitness regime is as yet untitled (I’m thinking FITruary, FebRUNary, Feel FABruary?) and  it won’t involve blogging every day. My goal is to be able to call 10km an ‘easy run’ and to ‘nip’ the 12km round Richmond park on sunny summer mornings before anyone else in the house realises I’m gone. I’d like to complete a 10km race in less than 57 minutes. And I’d like to take my bumbag on a little tour of London.

I’ve loved reading the other blogs about runners who are faster, fitter, funnier, more adventurous, better travelled and have more stamina than I’ll ever have (all of them, then!) So a big thank you to the organisers. I googled Janathon accidentally when I couldn’t remember the name of Dryathlon, and this is where it took me!

Most importantly for me, I’ve learnt there is never really an excuse not to squeeze a bit more movement into your day. And the more time you make for it, the more it will reward you. I haven’t weighed myself in January, because I didn’t want this to be about being slimmer, just about feeling better. And I do.

Pass the wine, Dryathlon is nearly over. Cheers!

Total January distance: 129km run, 12km cycled, 30km (and more!) walked, 1km rowed.

Day 30 – Sun but no run

I’ve had a poorly boy at home today and my husband’s working late, so not much chance of squeezing in a run. Half an hour of Wii Just Dance for me tonight… and fingers crossed I can hit the park again in the morning. I will not let Janathon peter out like this and plan to go out in a blaze of glory!

Stats stay the same:

Total January distance: 129km run, 12km cycled, 30km walked, 1km rowed.

Day 29 – Body Vive

One hour Body Vive class today. According to the teacher, this class suffers a bit of an image problem. It’s traditionally thought of as for older ladies, but ours is quite a young class and you can go at your own level.  It’s a really good fun, balanced workout: some cardio, some stretchy-rope stretches with a bit of thai chi going on and some floor work at the end. A nice balance to the monotony of running… Big run planned for tomorrow.

Day 28 – Run round the park (literally)

A glorious sunny morning so I decided to… stay at home and finish some ironing before leaving the house just as the clouds came. Big running challenge today: to circumnavigate Richmond Park. All 12km.  As I approached half way I felt I was going too fast, but really found it difficult to slow down and pace myself. I find it too easy to slow down on the treadmill, just the flick of a switch. Do I need a Garmin or similar to see more clearly how fast I’m running each km? Now, that would make me a serious runner.

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I’m used to walking this route, but have never jogged it before. And I’ve never attempted to run more than 10km. My mind was playing tricks on me at about 6k when all paths appeared to look the same and I thought I was closer to the end than I actually was. And then there’s this hill (left) at 10km (57 minutes in). It looks disappointingly small in the photos. I allowed myself to walk up and stop for these quick photos at the top, but then picked up the pace again as it began to rain. The reward for this hill is a lovely downhill slope to Kingston Gate at the end. My reward for finishing was a diet coke in a wine glass enjoyed in a hot bath.

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Here I am at the top of the hill (right) looking pretty horrific!

Mini challenge: Attempt this again on Wednesday, when I won’t have a walk until the top of the hill. Then, the next time, no stopping!

Total distance run today: 12km

Songs: As The Rush Comes (Motorcycle), Street Dancer (Avicii), Untrust Us (Crystal Castles).

Total January distance: 129km run, 12km cycled, 30km walked, 1km rowed!IMG_1428IMG_1433

Day 27 – Wet eyeballs

Me and my new bumbag

Sideways rain into our bedroom window made it really tempting to lie in – but I had new equipment to try out. I haven’t worn a bumbag since I was about ten, but my fear of not being near a drink, coupled with a desire to run hands-free, prompted me to give one a go. It also fits an inhaler, my iPhone, a pair of gloves and even an Oyster card for when I start getting more adventurous. I found it a bit cumbersome to jog in but sliding it ’round the back’, so it lives up to its name, worked for me.

I think I may need to invest in a waterproof running jacket, too. Heavy showers about 15 minutes in was enjoyable for a few minutes and then I started wishing I’d squeezed a brolly into my bumbag Mary Poppins-style. I even felt the cold droplets on my eyeballs. Either I looked comical in my soaked, soggy-eyed state, or the rain turns other runners into sociable souls. I had lots of smiles, hellos and mini waves from other joggers (all wearing more suitable gear than me). Maybe they were nods of sympathy. I felt a lot more red-faced and rain-drenched than I look in these post-run snaps.

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Distance today:  6km (33minutes)

Tunes: Superlove (Avicii), Bubbles (Biffy Clyro), Dropzone (Luke Bond).

Total January distance: 117km run, 12km cycled, 30km walked, 1km rowed!

Day 26 – Pool mines

I was forced to spend the first glorious sunny morning in weeks in the clubhouse at my son’s football group, selling hot drinks and bacon butties. In between customers I stared out of the window, wishing I was pounding the park under the blue sky. Anyway, no time for jogging today with family bits and bobs. I ended up nipping out for an evening swim.  Can anyone tell me why young men like to disappear under the water for minutes on end, lurking? You’re never sure where they’re going to pop up to the surface, like a little explosive device. Surely it’s not to look at my cleavage as I glide gracefully above? If I were 15 years younger and hadn’t had two children, I might understand it.

Distance: 34 lengths

Total January distance: 111km run, 12km cycled, 30km walked, 1km rowed!

Day 25 – Working up an appetite for The Ivy

I braved the icy park for a ‘proper’ run, and it was so worth it. My 9km route with the ‘hill’ at 5km. Nothing was stopping me – and no-one overtook me! I even ran round the block when I got home to get my app to say 10km. For the first time I felt I could’ve gone further. But I had a lunch date with a new friend at The Ivy. My first time here, and it wasn’t downstairs the Ivy with the riff raff, oh no, but upstairs ‘the Ivy club’. And it was devine. I had been told this place was awash with celebrities so I was trying to look cool whilst peering round my winged leather armchair. I didn’t see any A listers but let’s just say there was a dragon on the next table. And I can’t tell you who my lunch date was with – or I’d have to kill you. We had a giggle and a gossip and even arranged another date to meet there. After my run I felt no guilt about the fish pie followed by blood orange sorbet then peppermint tea I polished off. I even managed to stay off the wine. I’m so virtuous, me. (But already planning Friday’s boozy lunch!)

Total run today: 10km

Songs that helped me through: Push The Feeling On (The Nightcrawlers), Superlove (Avicii), Super Bass (Nicki Minaj), Just The Way You Are (Milky).

Total January distance: 111km run, 12km cycled, 30km walked, 1km rowed!

Day 24 – Aqua

Felt tired for no particular reason today – ended up doing aqua class. After a few weeks, I’m finally getting the hang of the weights-under-water thing.

Day 21 – Where did you go?

I’ve just realised Day 21 has disappeared from my blog – and it was a 9km. I will not let it be forgotten! Does anyone know how this could’ve happened? I know it was posted because I had a comment. It was called London to Brighton. Maybe it’s been deleted under the trade descriptions act because I had not actually run from London to Brighton on that day?

Day 23 – Chilling in the park

Beautiful walk in the park with my mum. I’m really enjoying reading other running blogs by Janathon participants and I’m amazed (and impressed!) that so many of you go out with ice on the ground. Maybe when your feet move fast enough, there’s no time to slip because by the time you would’ve slipped you’ve already picked your foot up for the next step. So your feet don’t touch the ground fast enough to slip. Is this true – or are you all wearing very special trainers? I nearly slipped a few times, anyway. I think some muscles would’ve tensed up if I’d jogged.

mum had a nice chat with these deer

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I loved the walk, but I was missing the sensation of running, so I jogged the 6 minutes or so to pick my son up from school when the pavements seemed clear of ice later in the day. Is this a ‘normal’ symptom of running addiction, I wonder? Craving that sort of ‘perpetual motion’ feeling? I’m hoping for a mild week and fast thaw next week so I can get myself out there.

Distance walked today: 9km

Spurred on by: Unique mum-talk (like only mum can) and the hot chocolate & cheesecake we shared at Pembroke Lodge.

Total January distance: 101km run, 12km cycled, 30km walked, 1km rowed!

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