Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The last one (Janathon day 31)

The last day of Janathon. My working title for this post was 'thank f*ck it's over'. However, now we are at the end, I don't think that title really sums up how I feel. Somehow it feels like the beginning rather than the end. However, I am quite glad that the daily blogging can end, most of the posts end up sounding the same and sometimes feel like a chore to write.

check out the runart blog for more janathon collages
I thought it would be good to end with a challenge from tribesports that I could attempt to complete throughout the course of the day.

The challenge was to perform 500 push-ups in one day.

By 9am I had completed 50 push-ups. Only 450 to go... (yay).

At lunch time I went for a run around St. James's Park. That went pretty well. I didn't have enough time to do any more push-ups so I went back to work with my total number of push-ups still standing at 50 - Not a good sign.

There was no opportunity to do any push-ups in the office during the afternoon so I left work with the huge task of completing 450 push-ups during the evening which was just too daunting so I gave up - I think this is a challenge for a day when I'm not at work.

I've really enjoyed the experience of Janathon, and have found lots of new blogs to read. The highlight for me was coming together of the ten runartists to create the janathon collages. Visit the #runart blog to see some variations on the collage above.

4.1km (21 minutes)
50 push-ups


End of Janathon stats:

Distance run: 166 Kilometres (103.1 Miles)
Time spent running: 14 hours and 58 minutes
Number of runs logged: 34

Monday, 30 January 2012

Running, man (Janathon day 30)

The running man was a christmas gift from my mother-in-law.

Not much time for blogging today. Work was too busy for blogging. I did, however, find another potential piece of #runart that I would like to try to create, it should come out at around 14-15km making it my longest piece to date. More on that when I get around to doing it.

Today's run was supposed to be a 'very short' run but instead it ended up being a 'short' run. I went out at around 6.20am and it was cold, but I soon warmed up. This was definitely one of those runs where you just put in the miles and then get on with the rest of the day. Absolutely nothing interesting happened. Sometimes that it just what you (I) need.

27 minutes (5.1km)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

You're having a... (Janathon day 29)

I got up early on Sunday morning and was pretty excited that I had a #runart attempt lined up. I got into my starting position and headed off.

Here is what I drew:

There's nothing like a bit of #runart before breakfast.


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Riddlesdown parkrun thirty-three and an H (Janathon day 28)

We all know what happens at parkrun, I do end up telling the same story over and over again, but it's what I do in these posts..

So for what it's worth..

I ran the first kilometre at a nice easy pace with Pete, then I headed off at my own pace.

The ground was wet and the mud was very slippery. In some sections most of the effort I put in was wasted as my feet slipped around underneath me. I caught up to and passed many people over the next four kilometres and somehow during my last kilometre I was only about 20 seconds off my 5k pb pace from last September.

I stood around chatting for a loooooong time after the run had finished and when I tried to find Mrs7t, I couldn't. She had already gone to the pub.... with the car key!! So I had to go all the way to the pub to pick the key up and then walk all the way back to the car. I say 'all the way' but it is only a few hundred metres. It was fine.

On the way to the pub I found a little lost dog who answers to the name 'Molly', she was wandering very close to the road and she looked like she was lost. I knelt down and had a chat with her and when I asked her to follow me I was happy that she did (I don't have much dog experience so this is probably just normal). Once we were back at the entrance to the downs she spotted her owners and ran off on their direction. They looked pleased to see her.

Once all the parkrun things had drawn to a close we headed off to Tonbridge, but before arriving home I had a very special task to complete.

An idea grew out of the runart project. The idea was for nine janathoners to each draw a letter using their GPS tracking so that we could spell out the word 'janathon', of course janathon only has eight letters.. The ninth was for the hashtag. I had been lucky enough to be given responsibility for creating the 'H', so we stopped off at the cemetary so that I could draw it. Once all of the letters are complete I'll put up a collage on the runart blog.

So for day 28 of Janathon I ran the following

5km (23:55) at parkrun
0.8km drawing the H


Friday, 27 January 2012

Tap dancing (Janathon day 27)

I did't know what to write about for my blog post so I decided to scrape the barrel..

You know how you go into the toilets in an establishment and they sometimes have the taps (see photo) that you push down and it lets water run? The tap then returns to its original position and cuts off the supply. Usually it will run for 10-20 seconds - just enough time to wash your hands. Quite good really - It helps to prevent drunk people forgetting to turn them off afterwards, thus preventing a flooding incident.

However, every now and then you will encounter a set of taps where the on/off mechanism has worn out and after pushing it to the 'on' position it returns to its 'off' position almost immediately.

Some clever people will try to push the tap down and then get boths hands under the tap before the water cuts off.. this is rarely successful. What you end up doing is using the one-handed mode. You hold down the tap with one hand while trying to scrub the other hand with itself. Then you switch hands resulting in a spot of (sorry) tap dancing!

I know a place where this happens and I go there every week (I'm not naming it). I've got used to it and instead of finding it annoying I actually look forward to my weekly hand-washing-faff.

Consider the barrel scraped.


3.4km (17 minutes)

Thursday, 26 January 2012

HoppĂ­polla (Janathon day 26)

The weather forecast for the morning of Janathon day 26 was for heavy rain. Heavy rain has never stopped me going for a run before and it certainly wasn't going to today...

some things i must not forget (i removed some personal details from the id tag - badly)

.. I stepped out onto the wet high street, the rain was not as bad as the forecast had suggested. However, it had been raining all night and was still coming down.

If the sun had woken up I could have avoided them, but at 6.xx in the morning I had to rely on luck to dodge the puddles.. and yet again it was the puddles that caused the problem. On at least six occasions I landed right in a big one and soaked the opposite foot. I may have swore out loud a few times.

My glasses had been soaked by the rain so I ran along not able to really see anything, and for some reason I kept my hands in my pockets for almost the entire run.

5.1km (27 minutes)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

#runart (Janathon day 25)

On day 25 I decided that I would attempt to create a new piece of #runart. One that I could be proud of, not like the other two lame attempts!

Ladies and gentlemen I would like to introduce you to 'trafalgar (man)'....

Trafalgar (man)
We have a brand new blog in which we will upload all of out runart attempts. It can be found ---> here

Janathon stats:

3.2km (18:30)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Clinging on (Janathon day 24)

Janathon day 24 was supposed to involve me not running, but......

...as I finished work still having not done anything at all for Janathon so I hit upon the idea of running home from the station. So I jumped off the train (still dressed in my jeans etc) and started my GPS-thingy.

My intention had been to do some body-weight exercise during my lunch break. To keep a short story short. It didn't happen.

The station to home is only about 800 metres. When logging a run I usually say that anything less than 3km is really not worth it, but in these days of Janathon and sore hamstrings I am prepared to log less if required, but not 800 metres.

So I added a few loops at each end of my run jog to make the distance up a bit. I still feel that this is an extremely poor effort. But it is done.

I am now standing in the spare room typing this and doing sets of ten press-ups in-between sentences.

2.1km (twelve-and-a-half minutes)
Push-ups: 10/11/10/10/10..

... then the baby came into the room and pointed at the push-up bars.

I did 10 more. 61 in total.

Monday, 23 January 2012

seventeen minute run (Janathon day 23)

Janathon day 23 was just a quick lunchtime run.

I headed over to St. James's Park, did one lap around the perimeter. Then went inside, over the bridge and then back towards the office.

There were lots of tourists, ducks, pigeons, runners and squirrels.

3.4km (17 minutes)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Animals (Janathon day 22)

Because my hamstrings needed a rest I had already run all the miles that I wanted to run this week I thought it would be fun to play around with some GPS drawings instead of going for a real run. It also gave my legs a chance to have a bit more recovery time.

Firstly, I should explain the story behind this. A few days ago @buriyako posted a link to one of his runs and I noticed that it looked like an ant-eater. In the conversation that followed we decided that we would embark on an animal-themed GPS drawing challenge. @buriyako then posted another run where he had drawn a rhino. It was awesome.

So onto today. It was my turn to try to draw something, I had a look at the road map of Tonbridge to see if anything stood out. After a while I spotted that I could also draw a rhino (but not quite as cool as @buriyako's).

So here is my first effort at drawing an animal using the roads of Tonbridge, I know it's not great but I was working with the roads that are there..

a rhino, yes really!

As that was a very short run I thought I might as well go a little further to make it worth the effort of going out. So I headed off down the high street to attempt to draw a snake..

a snake, but I think I need to find a wider road for the body

The body is a bit too slim, but I did at least make an attempt at drawing the head (the part at the 1km mark).

I am now hard at work looking for other animals to draw on the roads. However, it would probably be better to find an large open space and try something freehand. Watch this space for more, and hopefully better, animals in the future.

1.7km for the rhino
2.1km for the snake

3.8km of recovery running (approx 20 minutes in total)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Riddlesdown parkrun thirty-two (Janathon day 21)

Sitting at home the night before parkrun, I had convinced myself that I was going to stay in bed on Saturday morning thus missing a parkrun for the first time in over six months. The evening went on and I sunk further into a self pity. I could not be bothered to move, let alone get up before sunrise. My parkrun mojo had disappeared.

Then I received an email notifying me of a blog comment from the Riddlesdown race director (@nickiclark), it was the continuation of a conversation from earlier in the day where I had said, in reference to the parkrun, 'whatever happens we'll be there'. Her words were simple but effective 'look forward to seeing you all'. After that message there was no way I could not turn up.

Saturday morning arrived and we headed off to parkrun.

(photo: Cameron Bew)

Earlier in the month I had made some very vague arrangements with @rencestar (blog: runReNcErun) regarding him coming along to parkrun to run with me during our Janathon challenge. I wasn't entirely sure if he was coming or not, but soon after we arrived he magically appeared from somewhere and we headed off to the start line.

We hadn't seen each other since long before Christmas so this was always going to be a social run. We lined up at the back and before we knew it were slowly meandering along the first kilometre chatting away. Soon we found @buriyako (blog: buriyako) who is doing is own version of Janathon, which is basically the same as the official Janathon but with weekly blog posts instead of daily.

(photo: Nicki Clark)

By the time we found the half-way point the eventual winner already had the finish line in sight.

We meandered some more, slightly increasing the pace through the second half. We finally crossed the finish line after more than half-an-hour.

By the way, Mrs7t and the baby came along as always, but as the baby was asleep upon arrival they both stayed in the car. It was probably quite a good decision. It was pretty windy out there.

With the running for the day finished it was time to head off for coffee at The Good Companions pub, which also included cake and yoga. Unfortunately both of my Janathon buddies had to leave straight after the run, so they missed my pitiful demonstration of the pigeon pose.

For Janathon:
5km (over 30 minutes)

Friday, 20 January 2012

Limits (Janathon day 20)

Janathon day 20, the last day of my commute-runs from Bermondsey.

Bermondsey. I think this is from 1918

After a weird late night on Thursday I had to be woken by my emergency alarm on Friday morning.

In the space of 38 hours I embarked on four runs and covered a total distance of 25.5km, under normal circumstances that would be fine, but it has been hard work on my significantly-less-than-100% hamstrings, and today they complained every step of the way.

I took the most direct route to work and was relieved when I finally reached Westminster Bridge.

I am going to take a day off from running over the weekend. I just have to work out which one. If I pick Saturday (the sensible option) it will mean missing the parkrun. If I pick Sunday (my preferred option) it means that I still have another 5k of running to do before resting.

I'm really looking forward to getting back to running in Tonbridge, what with its less intimidating residents and, by comparison, completely empty roads.

5.4km (29 minutes)

Thursday, 19 January 2012

There and back again (Janathon day 19)

Day 19 started with rain, lots of it.

I took this photo a few years ago, alas there is no rain in it (photo: me)

As you may remember from day eighteen's post, I am staying in London for a couple of nights and my exercise will be in the shape of commute-runs between Westminster and Bermondsey.


The morning run was nice enough, not too many people around. Had to stop quite a lot due to the crazy amounts of side roads and traffic lights I had to negotiate, Then there was the rain, in itself not a problem. However, I couldn't avoid all of the puddles and my shoes gradually filled with water.

I arrived at work, hung my dripping wet clothes over the radiators. Found a spot where my shoes would have a fighting chance to dry out and carried on with my day. I would be needing my kit again to run back to Bermondsey after work.

...and back again

I finished work and went to see if my kit had dried out. My top, tights, shorts and hat were all fine. After how wet the shoes were I was surprised to find that they had also dried out.

Off I went, as I had already run once today I decided to stick to the shorter, but busier route. I avoided the elephant and castle because I don't like losing my GPS signal in the subways. After dodging a loose dog on a pavement in Bermondsey (typical) and getting caught at loads of road crossings, I arrived at my destination.

Morning run - 5.8km (31 minutes)
Evening run - 6.1km (33 minutes)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Home to home (Janathon day 18)

Janathon day 18 brought with it a change of route..

Spa Road Station (Photo: Local History Library, Borough High Street.)
As I am spending a few days at my parents' house I thought it would be a great opportunity to commute-run via a few different routes. If I take the direct route between work and their house it is almost spot on 5k. However, there is also the option of using the Southbank of the River Thames for a nicer route. In total there should be four runs during my stay.

The first run takes me from work to their house (Westminster to Bermondsey). I chose the river route as I really didn't want to deal with the traffic. At first I stayed on the North side of the river, then crossed over the wobbly bridge and continued along the Southbank until I reached Tower Bridge. After that I disappeared into the dark streets of Bermondsey.

I passed what used to be Spa Road Train Station - It initially closed down over 100 years before I was born. There are still a few clues that it existed, you just have to look close enough to spot them. I only found out in the last few years that there used to be a station there. Weird that I grew up a few minutes away and nobody thought to tell me - maybe they didn't know, or maybe they wouldn't think that I'd be interested.

After that I swooped around a few more corners and finished my run at my parents' house.

8.2km (41 minutes)

By the way, check out what @rencestar did on Janathon day 17 at the exact spot he reached 100 Janathon kilometres. I'm quite jealous that I didn't think of this!


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Han Solo (Janathon day 17)

Temperature: -3

On the coldest day of the year so far, I had planned a very early morning run (official start time 06:10).

It was absolutely freezing, but in a very calm 'everything is frozen' kind of way. The sky was completely clear and moon was shining brightly. Once I was off of the main roads and away from the light polution, my eyes adjusted and a previously hidden skyscape of a million stars revealed itself to me. It was stunning.

Still, it couldn't take away the fact that I was freezing. I wore my Nike Free 3.0 v3's, which are pretty minimal, so my feet had very little in the way of insulation. My face had frozen into it's 'oh fuck it's so cold' expression - I think it is still like it!

I even managed to get to work on time, but then I went for breakfast and arrived at my desk 15 minutes late.

7.27km (36-and-a-bit-minutes)

Monday, 16 January 2012

The two towers (Janathon day 16)

On a normal Monday I would be taking a rest day, but Mondays in January are not normal, are they?

I started from the base of The Great Clock Tower...

Looped around the river (making some GPS shapes on Lambeth Bridge in the process)

Then finished at Victoria Tower.

It was a recovery run, at least the distance was, the pace was faster than I had planned. The pavements are so flat and smooth next to the river that it is really easy to run too fast - It was still in my 'easy' zone though.

21 Minutes (4.3km)

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Ice age coming.. (Janathon day 15)

.. ice age coming, let me hear both sides, let me hear both sides, let me hear......

//we're not scare mongering, this is REALLY happening... happening.

I felt a bit like a toy that's been left in the attic for twenty years and then pulled out again. Not flowing particularly well. I wasn't really sure what I was heading out to do distance wise, but I knew that I wanted to spend an hour on the streets. I dialed the speed right down to very slow and plodded along with my current favourite soundtrack - Radiohead.

Everythiiiiiing.... in it's right place..

Round and round the streets, trying not to run down the same street twice - I like to keep my GPS lines from crossing on the map!

I've been waiting... patient. Patiently.

I ran past a very self-important looking runner. Clearly taking herself way too seriously and not even able to squeeze out a smile or a hello.

Give me an answer, give me a line..

It was a lovely crisp, clear morning. Having a lie-in on a Sunday is nice, but can't match running in these conditions. Once I had finished, I took some photos as the sun was rising above the houses (see above). Then I crept back into the warm house to have some breakfast and watch 'click' on the iplayer.

11.2km (one hour and one minute).

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Riddlesdown parkrun thirty-one (Janathon day 14)

A wonderful frosty scene awaited us as we arrived at Riddlesdown for the 31st running of the parkrun. If we weren't so late I would have spent more time admiring the beauty before me. Instead I had a 'panic run' to the start line!

Frosty things [photos: Pete Gibson]

Standing in the car park at 8.59am I hit the start button on my GPS running app (handy runner) to record my warm-up (panic-run) to the start line. 700 metres or so later I could hear the end of the pre-race announcements and 'timers are you ready?' and then 'ready... go'.

There was still about 100 metres and a big hedge between me and the start line. I like to record my warm-up and parkrun as two separate GPS entries. So without breaking my stride I stopped the warm-up GPS tracking and pressed upload. It finished uploading just before I hit the start line. I then started a new session just as I crossed the start line - perfect timing! I was a little behind the rest of the runners but there was no need to worry because, yet again, I wasn't 'racing'.

me (right) catching up with the rest of the pack [photo: Pete Gibson]

I quickly caught up to the back markers, and while trying to say hello to as many people as possible worked my way through the field.

The last few weeks had seen quite muddy conditions but the lack of rain coupled with the sub-zero temperatures the night before had ensured that the ground was very hard (frozen).

this section has been quite muddy in recent weeks [photo: Pete Gibson]

On official photographer duty today was Pete, who will hopefully be back running soon. Thanks for the use of the photos - Brilliant again I might add! We are actually quite spoiled with our pool of willing and extremely able photographers.

I was quite relieved to see that the downs was almost free of dogs today - I don't feel particularly comfortable running in their unleashed presence.

lots of unintentional colour co-ordinating going on [photos: Pete Gibson]

I had worked my way through the field to 16th position when I noticed that there was quite a big gap between me and number 15. So I took my foot off the gas pedal and eased myself around to the finish line at just a shade over 23 minutes, where I was greeted by Mrs7t and the little green one.

I've spotted an example of nature working perfectly. In recent weeks my shoes have been full of mud and I had to spend time banging them together to remove it after running. This week the downs reclaimed the remaining mud from previous weeks and I left with them much cleaner than they arrived!

A bit of chat about Janathon and various other things and we were off to the pub for coffee, more running chat, and then finally some lunch.


For the purpose of Janathon here is my total running for the day:

5.8km (27 minutes or so)


Friday, 13 January 2012

On a Friday (Janathon day 13)

A cold, frosty morning awaited me as I crept out of the flat quietly* so as not to wake the two sleeping ladies.

I had taken a two day break from running. Usually there is only one reason for me to stop running, I now have two. They both begin with 'h' and end with 'amstring'. Anyway, the latest part of the steve-and-his-dodgy-hamstring(s) saga started on Tuesday whilst performing some squats. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that the squat session on Tuesday was shorter than the chin-ups and push-ups. That's because during the squats my right hamstring (the good one) felt sore, so I cut the session short. Alas the damage had already been done, and the pain worsened during the day.

So, back to Friday - the pain had gone, so out for a run I went. I gingerly made my way around Tonbridge, slowing to walk a few times to avoid become the focus of attention for some mean-looking dogs on adjacent areas of grass.

Forty-odd minutes later I arrived back at the flat feeling good.

After breakfast the baby (Matilda) handed me my push-up bars - A hint maybe? I didn't want to disappoint her so I cranked out a few sets. As you can see, she also did a few.

Running: 41 minutes (7.1km)
Push-ups: 10/10/10/10/10/10/10/10/10/11 = 101 push-ups.

Matilda: push-ups - 1-and-a-bit.... ish.


*The wife will probably disagree.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

The hobbit (Janathon day 12)

Janathon day 12 went a little like this...


Used my dumb bells to have a quick workout..

Lateral Side Raises
Shoulder Press
Shoulder Press - Arm Curl combo
Arm curls
Tricep extensions


I tried to teach the baby how to do push-ups. She did quite well considering she's only one-and-a-half years old.


I didn't count exactly what I did today, but it felt good enough to log.

.. I'm afraid that's all I've got for you today Janathoners.. Hopefully I'll have some more interesting posts over the weekend (I in no way guarantee the interesting part).

Oh, and today's photo has absolutely nothing to do with anything in this post. It's just some buildings near London Bridge.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Vegans don't eat cheese (Janathon day 11)

If you order that coffee shop favourite lunch item, the panini, the coffee shop will heat it up for you and place it on a plate (so far so good). They will then bring it over to your table for you to eat. This is when you discover that they placed a napkin underneath your panini. Now this may sometimes be fine. However, more often than not, and especially if you have a cheese*-filled panini, you may find that your lunch-time snack has been bonded onto the napkin.

Secondly, next to your panini-napkin combo, you may also find that you have been supplied with a knife. Can someone please explain to me what the hell I am supposed to do with this knife? I can't use it to cut the panini because they have not supplied a fork with which I could hold the panini still whilst cutting it. If I use my free hand to hold it, I'd have to let go almost instantly as the heat starts to bond my hand to the top of the panini or, if I manage to avoid the hand-bonding, the cheese* would cause my hand to suffer first-degree burns as it oozes out like molten lava.

So I must assume that the knife is not there for me to cut the panini, which leads to my next question... If the knife is not there for cutting the panini, what other purpose could it possibly serve?

My guess is that it's there to assist in the removal the napkin from the underside of the panini, once it has cooled down of course. By that time it will be long after lunch and you'll probably be fancying some cake.

*Vegans don't eat cheese.


Anyway, today I did this..

Lunchtime workout (using 2 x 6kg dumb bells)

Chest Press - 20/20 (that means I did two sets of twenty)
Shoulder Press - 10/10
Lateral Side Raises (shoulders) - 10/10
Tricep Extensions - 10
Bicep Curls - 10/10
Bent Over Rows - 10/10

Evening workout (body weight)

Push-ups - 10/10/10

But I stopped because my dinner was ready to eat. After dinner I continued with..

Tricep Dips- 30/10/10/br/20/20
The abdominal one where you bring your legs in and then up -10/10/10

That was day 11.

I already have mild DOMS in my upper body from the last few days of training. Do you love DOMS? I really really do.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Repetition (Janathon day 10)

Week two of Janathon is going to continue to be a week of less running, but more body weight strength training..

View from the train

Day ten started with a run to the playground to do a body weight workout. I say run, it was more of a jog. As I was going straight to work after the workout, I was wearing quite a lot of clothes and my back pack. Not my favourite way to run, but it worked yesterday, and again it worked today. The route was extremely boring - about 1km (via the long route) to the park, and then laps (approx 400 metres) of some houses until my GPS hit my target time/distance.

The workout was pretty much the same as yesterday. 5 chin-ups - 10 push-ups - 10 squats. Then repeat a few times. Once done with that I headed off for the train station. I missed my preferred train because I got out of the house late, missed my back-up train because people in front of me walk too bloody slowly!! In the end I got on a train that got me into London about 10 minutes late.

I had plans to do some other stuff later in the day, but work etc took over and I didn't get around to doing the rest.

3km run (19 minutes - including stopping to take some photos)

5 x 5 chin-ups
5 x 10 push-ups
2 x 10 squats


Sunday, 8 January 2012

The full moon (Janathon day 9)

Starting week two of Janathon 2012 I decided to change things around a little.

this full moon may be from last month (when I say 'may' I mean 'is')

I started with a warm-up jog, which lead me to the playground. Once in the playground I did the following body weight workout.

5 chin-ups / 10 push-ups (feet raised) / 10 squats

I repeated that sequence five times, then I got on the train to work.


3km warm-up jog (19 minutes)
25 chin-ups
50 push-ups (feet raised)
50 squats

At lunchtime I did a very lame core workout featuring the side plank, crunches and another one where I raise my legs until my toes are pointing at the ceiling and then push up from my hips (I'll try to find the name). I didn't count exactly how many sets I did, but each set contained ten reps.


Roadworks (Janathon day 8)

There are definitely some roadworks coming up in my running schedule. This purely because I don't think my hamstring is ready for this daily running streak that I have embarked upon. Janathon day 8 marks day 11 of this streak.

Tonbridge High Street this morning

At precisely three kilometres into my run I felt a slight twinge in my hamstring. Someone that hasn't been suffering with hamstring problems would probably just carry on and 'run it off'. I don't have the luxury of approaching it from this angle, so I took a walking break.

I walked for about 1.5km, the intention was to cut my losses and go straight home. However (there is always a however), the twinge had worn off and I eased back into a gentle jog. As I reached the front door I continued running. I thought I'd just make the total distance up to 5km.

I made it to the far end of the high street and still it felt ok. I went around the back of the high street and towards the industrial zone - still felt fine. I continued to run along without any discomfort. My pace can only be defined as very very slow. But that was fine, I was happy to be out there.

I finally made it back home and eased back into a walk to cool all the systems down.

I'm going to have a think about how to progress with Janathon/my running streak. I might have to revert to my previous running schedule and cross-train on the rest days (which I'm quite happy to do), or just reduce some of the training days down to 3km runs. We'll see what happens.

9.1km (including some walking - 58 minutes)

... and 52 push-ups.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Riddlesdown parkrun thirty (Janathon day 7)

The fact that I ran at the Riddlesdown parkrun this Saturday will come to no surprise to regular readers of this blog. I think it would probably be more shocking if I didn't run.

the walk to the start line (photo: Mrs7t)

A slightly different plan today, instead of heading off on my lonesome, I had pre-arranged to run the course with another one of the regular runners, Chris. Our fitness levels are fairly well matched and if we had decided to go hell for leather we probably would have been fairly close together at the end.

The run today was always going to be more of a social run, and I'm glad we picked that option.

just before the half-way point (photo: Mrs7t)

While the front-runners tore away from the start line, we gently plodded along at conversational pace. Of course, starting at the back, we still managed to work our way through the field, but only as far as 26th and 27th positions overall (crossing the line at exactly the same time, which was nice).

making our way through the trail section (Photo: Pete Gibson)

Chris is unofficially* taking part in Janathon, and like me, does not usually run without taking rest days. So it is an interesting experiment for us both.

The wife was one of the official photographers today, so I have early access to around half of the photos. It makes finishing the blog post so much easier!

the baba hitched a ride on the mama's back today (Photo: copy7t)

And that's about it.. with all the back-to-back blog posting, I don't feel like making it a long one today.

5km (26.08)

*It may become official soon (as a late entrant).

Friday, 6 January 2012

Watch me dance... (Janathon day 6)

... I'm a puppet, you can almost see the strings.

some of the old houses in Tonbridge, I finished my run here and took the photo.

Day six, thankfully the winds from the previous day had disappeared.

In my vague training plan for Janathon, Fridays and Mondays are down as recovery days - that's to help me ease into and out-of the weekend's tougher running schedule. The plan is for the distance to be reduced down to a token 3k on these days for the sake of Janathon, and to keep my running streak going. All without annoying the hamstring.

When I reached the 3km point this morning, it was no surprise (to me) that I carried on running.

When I reached the 4km point this morning, it was no surprise (to me) that I carried on running.

When I reached the 5km point this morning it was no surprise (to me) that I carried on running.

Today also marked the first time this year that I had taken my headphones out with me. This morning I listened to Radiohead (on shuffle) - hence the quote at the beginning of the post.

As you may have gathered, I don't really like running less than 5k at a time. Next week may be different because I have a different split of my weekly mileage in mind. Maybe I will finally do that 3k run.

(If I do any kind of workout in my lunch break, I'll update this post)

5.6km (31:07)


Thursday, 5 January 2012

A message from Mo (Janathon day 5)

As I was about to get off my train this morning I spotted a discarded Metro (it's a free newspaper in the UK). On the front was a message from Nike Mo Farah.

So, with some inspiration in the bank, I headed off to work.

I decided to do today's run at lunchtime. The weather forecast had said that the morning's rain would clear and behind it we'd be left with a blue sky and sunshine. At 12noon I came out of my dungeon office to check the weather.. The blue sky had arrived. Great!

I got ready and went out into the crazy place.. you know, where the public are.

Nice and dry with a bit of sunshine for the first kilometre, but then some spots of rain came down. I can deal with this, I thought. Then rain got heavier, still ok. It will toughen me up. Then came the wind, which blew me around like a discarded paper bag. The worst point was when I had to cross Vauxhall Bridge.

The rain eased off towards the end of my run, but the wind did not.

The run was originally supposed to be a tiny little 3k affair, but in my usual style I changed it into a longer one at the last minute.

5.1km (24.45)

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Almost silly o'clock (Janathon day 4)

Back to the early morning running..

The Tonbridge christmas tree's days are numbered
I was fortunate enough to be starting work at 10am (or to be more accurate 10:16am - whoops), so I didn't have to wake up at silly o'clock in order to fit in my run.

Over the last few months I've been suffering with a dodgy hamstring. It is on the mend, but I really do need to be careful with all of this back-to-back running. After today's run it was feeling a tad tight, so I'll need to keep an eye on it. It would also help if I actually followed the training plan I created to help avoid such tightness. It follows the hard-easy-hard-easy principle of training but adjusts it to an easy-recovery-easy-recovery pattern. The only exception being parkrun, where I run a bit harder (tempo-ish pace at the moment).

So far I've been keeping the pace in my easy or recovery zones, but not cutting down the distance on the recovery days. I need to stop believing that I'm some kind of machine and accept that my poor, aging human hamstring needs a tiny bit of help with its recovery every few days. With that in mind, tomorrow (day 5) I am going to run a tiny 3km route starting underneath big ben and looping around the River Thames, hopefully avoiding the mass groups of tourists.

In addition to the running I did 5 sets of 10 push-ups during my lunch break.

5.1km (28 minutes)

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

First day back at work (Janathon day 3)

I didn't sleep very well on Monday night. Partly due to my brain working overtime and partly due to the ferocious wind and rain that was lashing at my window all night.

The last few days of the seasonal lights

The good thing is that it didn't affect my running plans the following morning... that's because I had already scrapped them the night before when I realised the chances of me getting out of bed at five-silly-something after having two-and-half weeks worth of lie ins were so slim that I'd only have to come up with a new plan on the day. And I do like to be organised.

So off I went to work and got on the miserable train full of miserable people (including myself) who were most probably all going through the same thing as I was (probably minus the Janathon thing).

At work I took one look at my overflowing email account and just decided that the easiest thing to do would be to hold my finger down on the delete button until all my problems had disappeared. In retrospect it probably wasn't the most sensible thing to do, but I've now emptied my deleted items folder. I'm ok with it.

I have a strange set-up with regards to where my belongings live. For example my dumb bells live in my Dad's flat, which is conveniently located just across the road from work. So I headed over there for part one of my Janathon-day-3 workout.

Weights Session: (2 x 6kg dumb bells)
  • Shoulder Press
  • Arm Curls
  • Triceps extensions
  • Bent over rows

Technically Janathon-day-three was complete. However, my personal goal for Janathon is to run every day of the month. So when I arrived home after a very nice sleep* on the second miserable train of the day I changed into my running kit.

I headed out into the dark for a very short stretching of the legs. Or maybe it was a stretching of the short legs. Either way, I ran. Oh, and it was longer than I had intended.

5.2km (27 minutes)


* It may have involved snoring.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Bank Holiday (Janathon day 2)

As Monday was a bank holiday I decided to make sure that all the banks on the high street were actually closed. They were.

Running along the River Medway, with Tonbridge Castle in the background (photo:7t)
With that done I started my exercise for Janathon day 2. My brother-in-law is still in town so he accompanied me for a recovery run. We had in mind to run 3km at a stupidly silly slow pace.

To help with keeping the pace slow we took our cameras and spent the first 15 minutes running and photographing ourselves.

When we reached 3km we were about a kilometre away from home so turned back towards home. Then we decided that if we were going to run 4km we might as well just carry on and make it 5km.

Of course, when we hit 5km we thought we'd run around the back of the high street instead of straight down it.

So finally we made our way round to the flat and simultaneously hit stop on our GPS thingys. The pace was a little bit faster than stupidly silly slow, but still slow enough to be classified as a recovery run.

5.5km (32.xx minutes)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New years day parkrun special (Janathon day 1)

After a pretty late night following welcoming in the new year I thought I may have trouble waking up on the first day of 2012. However, I found myself wide awake long before my alarm was due to go off. Why? It was a special day in the parkrun world..

Pre-race chatting (photo: Nexusone)

I left the house with my brother-in-law (who had his camera in hand - thank you for the photos) and headed towards Croydon, but today as we reached Whyteleafe instead of taking the road to Riddlesdown we continued along the A22/A23 until we reached Roundshaw Downs. We were quite early and had plenty of time to chat to some of the volunteers.

This parkrun uses the 'facilities' of the adjacent gym, but because it was closed I had to search to find a secluded area to... you know... water the flowers. Roundshaw Downs is pretty open so stumbled through some of the bushes at the edge of the course. I had to negotiate quite a slippery descent to reach my destination and ended up flat on my backside sliding down towards some kind of spiky tree-like thing. Unimpressed at my lack of traction I continued my business before returning to the registration area for a little warm-up.

Finishing lap one (photo: Nexusone)

Soon after, the runners were summonsed to the start line. The race director was well aware that a few of the runners were taking part in the parkrun special and got us under way at 10am sharp!

The course works its way around the edge of the downs before cutting across, where you reach the high ground. I was busy concentrating on breathing and not falling over, so almost completely missed the absolutely stunning view you get from the top of the course.

End of part one (photo: Nexusone)

Next up was the mini-trail section, I liked this part a lot - it is a shame that it is so short. After that the ground got a lot muddier, but not for long. Then the course takes you along a bit further before you swoop back down towards the registration area and you start lap two.

At the end of the second lap I resisted the temptation to sprint like a maniac down the final straight, crossed the finish line, took my position barcode, got everything scanned and ran back to the car to move on to part two of my running day.

Hand poised to receive my position barcode (photo: Nexusone)

Roundshaw Downs parkrun - 22:14. (5km)


After a quick change of shoes (my trail shoes were in no state to be going anywhere other than on their special newspaper in the boot of the car) we were back on the road.. the road to Riddlesdown.

176 runners set off (photo: Pete Gibson)

There had been some worry that I may not make it to Riddlesdown in time for the start of my second parkrun of the day. However, we arrived at Warlingham School with bags if time to spare.

With plenty of runners coming from all over South London to complete their double or triple parkrun special, Nicki (race director) quite sensibly delayed the start by fifteen minutes. While waiting at the start line someone came out of a crowd of people and asked if I was copy7t. It was fellow parkrunner and janathoner, abradypus! She had already run at Bushy parkrun that morning, which started at 9am, and was completing her New Years Day double on her second visit to Riddlesdown.

Looking colourful (photo: Pete Gibson)

Nicki sent all 176 of us on our way at 11:15. I spotted a few of parkrun's celebrities, including the parkrun founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt (marking his 100th parkrun) and one of the parkrun show presenters, Danny Norman.

The course was in pretty much the same state as on the previous day - muddy and slippery.

At 2km (photo: Pete Gibson)
After a while I found myself side-by-side with another regular Riddlesdown runner, Mark. We stayed like this for the rest of the run, every now and then a little surge took place that was instantly matched by the other runner.

Then I heard someone breathing behind me, a while later someone shouted 'go Gerry!' - It was the same runner that I had on my tail many months ago, at event number 2 and here we were again in the same position.

4.9km (photo: Pete Gibson)

During the second lap I almost took a tumble as I found myself on the inside lane on the approach the sharp right-hander before the incline to Condon corner. As I hit the corner I had no traction and just kept going straight ahead. Luckily I regained my footing and continued.

What a sight! (photo: Pete Gibson)

As we neared the final straight Gerry was still behind me and I was expecting him to overtake me, but as we entered the final straight I managed to stay in front of him. I could easily have got involved in a sprint with Mark but I resisted the opportunity to do so and he came in one second in front of me.

Riddlesdown parkrun - 21:59. (5km)


With the running out of the way we moved on to the Good Companions pub for Mrs7t's birthday celebrations with our parkrun family... When I get around to it I will write about it on my other blog - papa7t.


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