Running with the Foxes

I went out for a solo run this evening. Just me, the dope dealers on the hill, and a load of foxes.

The dealers remained in their BMWs, exhaling aromatic compounds from the windows but the foxes criss-crossed my path the entire way round.

On my third loop, 3 small fox cubs tumbled out across the path and started playing on the verge. They eyed me warily, but despite me plodding along in my massive Hoka’s and breathing like an exhausted asthmatic, they stayed put while I passed.

It was too dark for photographs so instead of a cute image of frolicking fox cubs, you’ll have to make do with an image of my route from Strava. The image in the left was the route recorded by my top of the range Garmin 620 and the one on the right using the free Strava app on my iphone. I feel a little robbed.


A Juneathon Recovery Run

I’ve had my feet up for most of the past week, recovering slowly from the after effects of the London2Brighton walk.

Today was the 1st of June and that means an end to bone-idleness, masquerading as recovery, and the start to Juneathon – a month of running and ever more tedious daily blog posts. Apologies in advance to any subscribers.

We got up early and headed to Putney, to run 6k around the Thames.

We set off at a remarkably spritely pace until my shin splints appeared and the pain in hamstrings re-asserted itself. I considered stopping and heading back but I slowed down and by the time we’d reached Hammersmith I was beginning to feel rather comfortable.

So that’s my first Juneathon of the year completed and I’m looking forward to a few more runs ahead of me.


A Wobbly Road to Recovery

20120606-214001.jpgI arrive home from work and my new watch declares another 2 hours of recovery are required before I can commence training.

What else is there to do but crack open a bottle of Chardonnay and tune in to The Biggest Loser?

I had a rather enjoyable time watching the four finalists crank out a marathon after a meagre 6-weeks of dedicated training. Trouble is, at the end of the show, I’m faced with an empty bottle of Chardonnay and a watch that is no longer giving me a perfect training excuse.

So for day 6, I rattled off a very wobbly 3k on the treadmill.
Day 5, for anyone noticing an absence was a very relaxed 15 mins on the rower.

All Hail the Canal

It was a weird weather day again today, oscillating between glorious sun and then freak hail storms. I found myself ripping my waterproof on and off as each cloud passed by and eventually gave in and left it on for maximal sweat loss.

This years Juneathon is going to be associated with an extreme calorie obsession – if I cant train my way to half marathon fitness I’m hoping to slim my way there. So today I was equating sweat loss with calorie consumption. Probably not a smart move. I came fairly close to pushing myself into a state if dehydration. I’d sterilised my water bladder with a cheapo version of Milton but despite rinsing thoroughly my water tasted of domestos and was nigh on undrinkable. I was pretty parched by the end of my 10 mile run.

I was at the in-laws so went out for my preferred out and back Grantham Canal run laden with 3 new gadgets to test for a future review. It makes for quite a tricky start to a run when you have to synchronise starts for multiple gadgets but I rather like having different views on each wrist.


I was testing the Suunto Quest, Garmin Forerunner 110 and the Runmeter iPhone app. I’ve been playing with the Runmeter app for a while now but its such a feature rich app that I keep on exploring new settings.

Today I was playing with the email updates and had set Lynn up to receive a map link and pace detail every 2k. Apparently it failed at the 4k update and she was left wondering if I’d fallen into the canal. Strangely she didn’t think to ring to confirm until the 10k update informed her that my pace had dropped. Then I found myself chastised for slacking as they were all waiting at home for lunch.

My pace had dropped off a bit due to constant constant gear rearrangements with the weather and then finally due to a concerning pull at the back of my knee. I hobbled home eventually to be informed by the Suunto that I need 56 hours to recover – it isn’t kidding, but it will make Day 5 of Juneathon a little tricky.


An Ok Jubilee

The Jubilee celebrations created sufficient diversion for us to escape the city unobserved. We were heading for the in-laws and I’ve never seen the North Circular so clear.

Fortunately our route took us alongside the Thames at Mortlake and we caught a section of the flotilla making its way towards the main action. I had to force the kids out into the drizzle though.


I got my Juneathon run in early, a rather dull 30 minute treadmill run but it was an essential calorific down payment against the traditional Ok Diner breakfast on the A1.

Debts have to be paid

So Juneathon has started again and the treadmill has been dusted off for more late night action. I’ve spent the last two nights running through midnight and have been left pondering which day to log. Is it the start or finish that counts?

I could easily have skipped this evenings run for an early night but along with Juneathon I’ve started calorie counting. I’m obsessing over my latest nutrition tracking app and I’m afraid I logged my run in advance so that I could build up sufficient calorie debt to sneak a pint of Stella.

Juneathon Day 21

I’ve been pouring over my stats and trends this evening and it just confirms that this Juneathon is not going to rattle the record books.

Multiple 2k runs just don’t cut the mustard and by day 21 I still haven’t racked up a complete marathon. That sort of benchmark gives me a whole new appreciation for the distance.

Juneathon is the perfect kick start to my Great North Run training but I need to be getting used to longer distances, so its time to step it up.

Running commute tomorrow.

Day 21 Tally
Bike: 2 (24.7 miles)
Runs: 11/21
Run Distance: 4.34k/27.3k

Mitcham Common Adventurers

We set off in the direction of adventure and the uncharted waters of the eastern wedge of Mitcham Common. Unfortunately it didn’t prove to be entirely virgin territory and we had to endure quite substantial size-related abuse from the native youths walking their bull terriers.

It’s easy to overlook these scrub-like triangles of Mitcham Common, they can at times seem so grim and macabre that you want to hurry on by. I’ve grown quite fond of the area but there is always a sense of foreboding as you round another corner of the undergrowth.

It was a successful run today and despite finishing in a very peculiar and concerning shade of red, I did at least feel on form. Good job really, I’ve been slacking with Juneathon and the Great North Run is only round the corner. Training needs to step up a pace.


Dress Rehearsal

Yesterday we were at a friends wedding for the day. It felt like a dress rehearsal for our own nuptials, now just 4 weeks away. I left with many mental notes of missing plans and inevitably spent this evening trying to plug the gaps.

I ended up getting stressy over playlists, ribbons and table layouts until Lynn dragged me out into the streets for a blast of fresh air and a new mood.

It’s amazing how relaxing the rhythmic pounding on dark rain soaked streets can be. If only I could get rid of the accompanying wheezes it would be the perfect form of meditation.

We finished side by side but I think Lynn was toying with me, it won’t be long before she thrashes me.

Day 10 Tally
Alcohol Free Days – obliterated by approx 1 barrel of Stella Equivalents

Day 11 Tally
Runs: 8/11
Run Distance: 2.13k/16.9k
Alcohol Free Days: 3/11

A Brief Recommendation

As ever with Juneathon it’s the blogging challenge that gets me first. I can almost run daily, I can certainly think about running daily but I just can’t cope with the pressure of blogging about running daily.

Fortunately there are many out there with greater creative stamina than me. If you fancy some artistically succinct entertainment I would highly recommend cakeofgoodhope who really understands the nature of Juneathon and the joy of a misplaced creme egg.

Day 9 Tally
Runs 7/9
Run distance: 2/14.6km