Archive for June, 2009

30
Jun
09

over and out – the 30th of juneathon

Quick Finish – Drop And Give Me One Hundred – There’s Someone On The Pitch, They Think It’s All Over… It Is Now

I wanted to get todays Juneathon activities out of the way early on, partly because of the heat, partly because I am out this evening and partly because I was looking forward to completing it – like the lure of the finish line in a race and the last big push toward it.
Once the kids were safely on their way to school, I set off. It was still early (pre 9am) but already the temperature was up into the mid 20’s. I’d decided on a 6.75 mile loop, the first part open and on pavement, the return leg along the towpath, partly in shade and next to the river. Heat was a real factor and was feeling very sluggish. It was also less than 12 hours since last nights cycle which I think added to the heavy legged feeling. The semi-shady route back alongside the river was a little easier but I was still glad to get to the end and get out of the sunshine.

A few quick stretches and then straight in to the second part of todays challenge – still in my sweat soaked running shorts – the 100 consecutive press-ups. I realised that if I actually stopped and thought about it, I would procrastinate and put the press-ups off until later. By going straight into them, I really had no time to decide not to do them. The first 40 were relatively easy but found myself beginning to tire very quickly past this point. By 70, I was ready to give up and my hands were slipping on the floor. 80 though to 90 were hellish and the last 10 were done in bursts of 2 press-ups, pause for a pant, then another 2. Once you reach 90, it becomes a case of mind over matter to finish – you’re knackered but so tantalisingly close it woud be rude not to complete the 100. Once done, I dropped to the floor, and lay there until the pain in my forearms and the small of my back (weird!) faded. Interestingly, Running Betty and Run DMT have organised a 100 press-up Julyathon challenge – if you’re interested, details are here.

So that’s it – done. 30 consecutive days of running / exercise, 30 consecutive posts with the added stupidity of the 100 press-up challenge.

Juneathon 2009 Totals:

Run: 101.47 miles
Cycle: 109.62 miles
Press-ups: 1999
Crunches: 1900
Free Weights: 1 hour

Also, inspired by The Virtual Runner, I decided to see how far the 211 miles (running & cycling) I have travelled would have got me – apparently the equivalent of London to Padstow.

So all that remains is a big thank you to JoggerBlogger for the original inspiration, JogBlog for organising this years effort, everyone who has commented and encouraged me, all the other Juneathoners whose blogs have kept me motivated and enterained and Mrs eatingtrees for allowing me to indulge myself when I probably shoud have been fulfilling some important parenting duty.

Finally, I remember reading that Juneathon was originally invented by a friend of Joggerblogger who wanted to get in shape for his summer holiday… which got me thinking. When is the time of year that most people need a kick up the arse and really need to get back in shape??? Janathon, anyone?

Soundtrack to this post: We Are The Champions – Queen

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29
Jun
09

and now, the end is near…

No Place For A Competitive Parent – Water Is The Source Of All Life – Just One More

A hot one today. And SonNumberOne’s school sports day. At 1.30pm. You can imagine how warm it was.

But it was brilliantly organised though as the entire school was seperated into teams. Each team consisting of a mixture of children from all age groups. 8 different challenges to be tackled as a team and once the challenge is finished, all the teams move round to their next challenge. And each team had scheduled water breaks so effectively sat out twice.

The team element did mean that there was no traditional “parents race” unfortunately – therefore denying me the opportunity to re-enact the brilliant seaside strider / sorelimbs Sports Day parents race video.

So, once again, what with Sports Day and the boys’ swimming lessons, the day got the better of me so I combined a post-dinner cycle to the allotment to water the (surprisingly still alive) plants with todays penultimate Juneathon. The plant watering took all of 10 minutes and then allowed me, once again, to take another scenic route home and clock up some miles. It had begun to cool down by about 8pm and I really enjoyed hitting a fairly swift pace on the bike and then keeping it there… I believe the technical term for it is “being in the zone” but I can’t bring myself to use it so let’s just say I had fun hacking around bridlepaths and country lanes on my pushbike.

Tomorrow looks like being another sticky day so plan to get a brisk run out of the way early(ish) on and tackle my 100 press-up challenge (yikes!)

Juneathon Stats: 13.88 mile cycle

Soundtrack to this post: Don’t Throw Stones – Prince Buster

28
Jun
09

28 days later

5 (+5) Go Mad In Kent – No Place Like Home – A Nice Evening In Front Of The Telly

After yesterday’s pathetic effort, I felt duty-bound to do at least a little bit of running today. The only problem was that we had a big day out planned which involved a 180 mile round trip in The Mystery Machine and co-ordinating 5 children and 5 adults to all arrive at the same place at the same time. Thankfully it all seemed to work out very well so we spent most of the day wandering around Wildwood in the sunshine before heading to Herne Bay to sit on the beach and get cold for a couple of hours. And I don’t know what it is about the British seaside (the exception being Cornwall) but I always find there is something bleak and tragic about it all so it was quite a relief to leave and set off back home.

We arrived back about 6.30 and I got the kids showered and ready for dinner and then snuck out for a sneaky 4 miler. It had cooled down quite a bit by now but it was still warm – I am very glad that I wasn’t with Hauling My Carcass and his LG as they were running a 10k today (LG’s first – so congratulations to her) and, from what I hear, it was very hot and someone mentioned sunburn…

Anyway… a quick(ish) run in the bag, I caught the last 20 mins of The Confederations Cup Final, an episode of Sons Of Anarchy and then watch The Prodigy on tv live from Glastonbury. And I don’t have to brave the mud or chemical toilets.
Nice.

Juneathon Stats: 4.41 mile run

Totals for Juneathon Days 22-28

Run – 19.6 miles
Bike – 29.91 miles
Press Ups – 534
Crunches – 600

Soundtrack to this post: 5 Man Army – Massive Attack

27
Jun
09

stormy weather

Love Thy Neighbour – Ignorance Is Bliss – All Caked Out

Today was my Mum’s birthday. She was having a family get together so todays Juneathon was always going to be a tricky one to fit in as we had to cram all of our regular Saturday activities into the morning, leaving the afternoon free for the birthday extravaganza. I wasn’t sure whether I’d try and Juneathon this afternoon before we went out or after we returned this evening.
Things started to go wrong about an hour and a half before we were due to leave for my Mum’s – I was just toying with the idea of a quick 4-5 mile run when my next door neighbour knocked and asked if I could do him a favour. Could I give him and his son and his son’s mountain bike a lift to the bike shop town as they were trying to replace the headset and it was seized in the frame. The bike wouldn’t fit in their car but would fit in The Mystery Machine. I hesitated but he gave me a little speech about he knew it was inconvenient but he would do the same for me and if I ever needed anything…
So we heave the bike into the back of The Mystery Machine but it doesn’t quite fit so I move the back seats forward and it still doesn’t quite fit, so we take the front wheel off the bike and it just fits. Then my next door neighbours son sits in the front with me and my next door neighbour kneels in the back because the seat is so far forward that there is no space between the rear seat and the front seat and we drive to the bike shop and we heave the bike out of the back of The Mystery Machine and put the front wheel back on and whilst they are in the shop, I move the rear seat back so my neighbour can actually sit down on the way home and I sit in the car and wait for them. Then they come back out of the bike shop, WITH the bike and tell me that the man in the bike shop can’t do anything with it for 2 weeks and would I mind taking them to the next town where there is another bike shop.

Rear seat forward again, front wheel off bike again, bike in Mystery Machine, neighbour kneeling in back again. And off to the next town where we successfully offload the bike to the man in the bike shop (it’ll be done in 3-4 days), rearrange seating, deliver neighbours safely home and then realise I’m late to get to my Mum’s.

Fortunately Mrs eatingtrees had prepared everyone so it was just a case of all jumping in The Mystery Machine and driving to my Mum’s.

There were about 12 of us at my Mum’s when the storm started. Unfortunately, my Step-Father and I were trying to manhandle my Nan (who is virtually deaf and mostly blind and has trouble walking unaided) from the car when it really broke. We manouvered Nan back in the car when the rain bloody tipped down. And the bloody hail. Hailstones as big as bloody cherries ricocheting off the car bodywork. Then the bloody lightning. And the bloody thunder. We hastilly bundled my Nan back in the car and stand sheltering under the opened hatchback, whilst my Nan sits in the car looking confused as she is unaware of the thunderstorm and can’t hear us shouting into the back of the car trying to explain that it was an almighty thunderstorm and we’d get her indoors as soon as it stopped bloody raining.

And all of this goes some way to explaining why I am full to the brim with Birthday cake and struggling to even do only press-ups and crunches for todays Juneathon.

Juneathon Stats: 3 sets of press ups – 60 / 50 / 50 (160 total for day), 3 sets of stomach crunches – 100 / 100 / 100 (300 total for day)


Soundtrack to this post: Dub Fire – Aswad

26
Jun
09

juneathon ate my trainers

Calf Trouble – SlowbitFastbitWalkingalong – The Stairmaster

Well not exactly ate, more finished off. Tonights run started well enough, a little warm but bearable. Then, once again, about 2 miles in, my calves are feeling tight and I stop to stretch them. I also notice that I am feeling like my feet are hitting the floor quite heavily. I set off again and plod around the rest of my chosen route. Towards the end, I get a bit restless and decide to mix it up a little so I do 400m(ish) fast, 400m(ish) walk and then run until I feel I can face the fast bit again. And repeat. I do this for the last 2 and a half miles and am pleasantly surprised at the pace of my fast sections but I do need to work on my overall speed.

When I get home, out of curiousity, I look at the soles of my running shoes and sure enough, they are quite worn. I think I will have to continue to use them until Juneathon is over and then put them away in a box marked “Grim – Do Not Open Until December 2009” as I plan to give them a proper send off and use them in the Grim Challenge on 5th December where I am positive they will get well and truly destroyed.

So, a new pair of trainers need getting and perhaps that is what I need to put the spring, literally, back in my step. Juneathon has inspired me to do some exercise every day, made me put more thought into what I need to do and given me the discipline to get off my arse and actually do it and then blog about it. It is hard, harder perhaps than it sounds, but there are 4 days left and I may even miss it once it’s over.

But, it will be nice to walk up stairs without achey knees for the first time in 30 days.

Juneathon Stats: 8.19 mile run

Soundtrack to this post: Two Thieves And A Liar – Gary Clail & On U Sound System

25
Jun
09

searching

16 Short – If You Go Down To The Woods Today – Gripped And Sorted

I wasn’t sure what todays activities would entail but this morning thought I may try and see how many press-ups I can do as I am attempting to do 100 consecutively by 30th June. And the answer is 84. And the last ten saw me trembling and sweating and going bright red as I tried to keep going to 100 – not a good look. So I have 5 days to get to 100 and, frankly, I think I will struggle.

I toyed with the idea of a run, but as it was another hot one today, it would have to be later in the day, ideally the evening. Then Mrs eatingtrees mentioned in passing that whilst she was out stealing fruit that wasn’t hers strawberry picking the other day, she came across what she described as a “mountain bike course” less than a mile from home. So now I had a mission, I would go and find it and have a ride around it.

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It took me a little while to find as the location was fairly sketchily described. Eventually, I located it and had a little scoot about. It had obviously been built by some locals and even had a makeshift “no litter” sign. Now, it may just be that I am getting a little old for hurtling around woodland but parts of it were so incredibly technical that I think it is more likely to be used by motocrossers than mountain bikers. Small, deep bombholes difficult to ride into and impossible to ride out of. And most of the trees are pine so all the life is sucked out of the soil so it has become almost entirely dust with a layer of pine needles on the surface. I had to satisfy myself with a ride around the perimeter. Maybe, I shall pay it a visit one weekend and see if there is anybody who can actually tackle the course. Still it’s nice to know that there is someone locally willing to go out and build trails so good luck to them.

As it was late afternoon, the sun was shining and I still had time on my hands, it seemed rude not to take advantage and have a bit of an explore and take the long way home. A few more press ups when I got home and that’ll have to be the Juneathon for today.

Juneathon Stats: 12.71 mile cycle, 3 sets of press ups – 84 / 50 / 50 (184 total for day)

Soundtrack to this post: Jockin’ Jay-Z – Jay-Z

24
Jun
09

previously on 24

Hot Hot Hot – Tighten Up – Lukewarm And Plasticky

I’d hoped to get my run completed earlier in the day but a combination of events conspired against me. By the time I was able to get out, it was 4pm and sunny. There was a breeze, but that was warm too and was blowing against my direction of travel. I was trying to keep in the shade along the towpath but there didn’t seem to be much of that around at this time of day and a couple of miles into the run, my calves began to feel very tight so I stopped to stretch them out on a nearby kerb. Once they were nicely stretched, I had hundred yards of walking and then back to running. My legs felt much better and the strides seemed to be getting easier.
An impromptu stop at the level crossing whilst a train passed and then turn the corner and up the big hill. I am still using the looking at the floor technique and the little mantra of “the ground is flat, the ground IS flat” repeated over and over in my head and it never ceases to amaze me that it works at least enough to get me over the brow of the hill and on my way down the other side.
The sun was burning down and the sweat stinging my eyes but, worst of all, the water in my bottle had heated up and was now decidedly warm and tasted of the plastic of the bottle. Drinking it actually made me gag. Aaahhh… the joy of the Summer Run.

And that was day 24. That’s 6 left.

Juneathon Stats: 7 mile run

Soundtrack to this post: Volume 4 – Rollins Band




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