Different venue, as promised…

Janathon Day 18

As promised yesterday, today was all about running somewhere a bit different from the normal trails of the woods. When thinking about where to run, my mind went back to marathon training. I would occasionally go to Twyford Woods. It used to be an old airbase, all that is left is the old runways and service roads. But it is quite a good place just to go to and run. Very few distractions: just the runways to run up and down.

It looks something like this…

However when you are there it is easy to lose your bearings, you have runways, service roads, plus trails. Today I did get slightly confused as to what direction I was going in, everything looks the same…

I also had intended to stay on the concrete and not venture too far off track. The one time I did hit the trails it all looked pretty solid, it was a frosty, cold morning. It wasn't. Therefore majority of run was done with cold and feet feet.

I pretty good run all in all: 7 miles. In fact, I was quite up for carrying on and doing a 10-miler, but I have a mountain of work at home to be doing and needs must and all that. Although, it did bring back the memories of marathon training. I'm considering a marathon in the spring. Don't want to waste all these Janathon miles.

In other news I would also like to report a rather shody looking Butterfly Sanctuary….

And a interesting bit of fly-tipping…

Today's mileage = 7.31

Total Janathon mileage = 79.59




Lost and found dog. #juneathon day 17

Tonight's quick short run to fit in with the World Cup was anything but.

After watching the 5pm game I quickly headed to the woods with the dog for a brisk 2 mile run so that I was back and showered for the Brazil game. After about a mile I lost the dog. He was nowhere to be seen.

This is not the first time this as happened. He normally shows up within a few minutes, often distracted by another dog, or a squirrel, or he is off chasing a deer. So what normally happens is I turn round, jog back the way we came and we generally meet up again. This didn't happen today. I jogged back. No sign of the bloody mutt. I jogged up to the ponds; he likes taking a dip and is often found there. No sign of the sodding dog. So I headed back to the entrance of the woods, we go there all the time, he should know this is where we start and finish. No sign of the pesky dog. So I did another quick lap in the hope of meeting him somewhere else. No such luck.

It wasn't till I got back to the entrance again that I found him. He had been rescued by a fella who said he looked lost. I thanked the bloke and gave the dog a good talking too.

So I ended up running over 5 miles and was out for far longer than I had planned. Therefore, I missed the start of the Brazil game. The dog is in the proverbial dog house.

Day 17 mileage = 5.43

Total Juneathon mileage = 80.42



I feel like Superman!

Janathon Day 25

Only six days to go; the plan is not to end with a whimper, Superman definitely wouldn't. 6 miles this morning around the woods in the mud. And it was very muddy.

I wrote a post at the beginning of the month about the eclectic mix of 'lost' items that I discovered when out on a run. Today I have another item to throw into the mix….

There are various reasons as to how it became abandoned in the woods: the little girl that this bike belonged to was fed up of pedalling it around the woods; or her Dad got fed up of her whinging and moaning that she was tired and threw it in the bushes; or, more likely, a group of drunk teenagers stole it and went for a late night spin on it around the woods. Either way it made for a strange sight this morning.

The rest of the day included driving through the eye of the storm on the way back from shopping. I felt like an American storm chaser. Woah man! Awesome dude! It was dope!

On safe arrival at home, Superman 3 was on TV. Cue anecdote of the day….

I remember being about 8 or 9 years old and going to the Science Museum (or somewhere like that) and laying on a table in front of a green screen and pretending to be Superman flying over Metropolis.

Tomorrow is the last Sunday of Janathon, and with the whole 'not going out with a whimper' idea and my memories of being Superman I plan to do a long run.

Today's mileage = 6.14

Total Janathon mileage = 81.01



A day of discoveries….

My first discovery of the day was that apparently the UK is receiving some ‘exceptional’ weather. You only have to watch the news or listen to the radio and you will be given various warnings: amber, low-level flooding, high tides, severe flood warnings, red, danger to life, tidal surge and localised flooding to name but a few. Now….let me just make this clear: I sympathise with people that have been affected by the ‘exceptional’ weather. But….I am fed-up of the media storm (no pun intended) that has been created. A couple of minutes watching Sky News and I’m ready to throw the bloody TV out the window (although I remember screwing the bloody bracket on the wall so I doubt I could manage it). The language they use is ridiculous: the sea ‘battering’ the coastline; the latest storm ‘thundered’ in; the flood waters are ‘frightening’; ‘ripped’ apart; left in ‘tatters’. So I headed out the door for today’s Janathon run expecting nothing more than it being an extra bit muddy at the woods.

My second discovery…..the frightening storm that thundered in had battered the woods leaving them ripped apart and it tatters, left an amazing amount of water. This is the estate I live on*, not a house in sight….

And the discoveries kept on coming. I recently read a blog (can’t actually remember what one – I’ve read a lot recently) about some things that had clearly been lost at the woods, which included a Johnny Depp DVD. I love that people pick up stuff and hang them on trees and bushes for others to find. So I give you a selection of items, left in prominent positions, for their original owners to reclaim….

There is always a lost hat about
…and gloves, always lost…
Secateurs? Slightly stranger…
This minion was waiting to be reunited
Someone had even very kindly nailed a lost ‘Private – Please Keep Out’ sign up on a tree….

Ooooo….better actually mention what I did for day three of Janathon…

Total Janathon mileage = 11.37

* this is a lie


Unexpected happenings….

Sunday, the home of the long run, and because I'm staying at my sister's, an opportunity to run somewhere completely different. As much as this is great, it makes a welcome change from running around Bourne Woods, it does bring a sense of the unexpected. Tonight's run had unexpected happenings by the bucket load.

I set off just after 7pm with the intention of running 6 miles at a reasonably good pace. As I ran out of the estate road close development I had a rough idea of where I was going to go, a very rough idea, but in idea all the same. I headed out to the right, no path, but only a quiet lane, so chances of being wiped out by a speeding car were very small.

Suffice to say, within a mile I nearly got wiped out by a car so headed for the public footpaths that take you across the countryside. A short dash through some woods took me to a lovely looking footpath with a stile and manicured grass that looked very inviting….

I stopped to take in the view: rolling hills, wildlife and setting sun….

Continuing down the 'footpath' lead me to a gate, that I climbed over. I did think that climbing over gates on what should have been a public footpath did seem slightly strange. But they are a strange lot down south so I wasn't too perturbed. As I made my way across the field in the direction of the footpath arrow, I came across a herd of sheep, they seemed just as surprised to see me as I was to see them.

I continued along the edge of various fields following the very vague 'footpath' signs. Although one farmer had made the effort to indicate the way my creating giant arrows on the ground.

I came across a very strange looking bridge that crossed a stream. I was unsure if it was designed to help people cross or stop people crossing. But things were going well and a strange looking bridge was not about to put an end to my run.

At this point in the run the public footpath signs began to appear slightly less often, and when they were visible the direction of the arrow was not always clear. At one stage the signs were even hidden in the bushes….

Things were bad….but they were going to get worse. I was lost. I climbed various gates following what seemed like a public footpath, but was to turn out not to be a public footpath at all. At one stage I crawled under an electric fence in pursuit of what seemed like a public footpath, although this was just to end up as another dead end. I did find a track that I thought may take me back to a road, only to follow it for 400 yards before I saw signs telling me to 'beware of the dog'….

At this point I decided to turn round and head back the way I came. This wasn't as easy as it sounded, I had totally lost my bearings, and everything began to look the same. At one stage I even looked at the map on my phone to see if I could regain my bearings. It didn't help. All it told me was that I was in the middle of nowhere. I knew that already. Ironically, I found a big pile of crap….

Eventually, whether by luck or judgement I found my way back to the road. Albeit still a couple of miles from my destination. Finally, on a road again I picked up the pace for the final bit. Although I did stop when I saw the name of one of the cottages on the road….

….and when I saw this rather strange landscaping…..

I made it back, what started as a 6 mile run, ended up just short of 9 miles. But in terms of half-marathon training, it can only help.

Splendid indeed!!!



Day 8 #juneathon

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men

Gang aft a-gley,

An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,

For promised joy!

This morning's run, at the woods, was planned to be to the ponds and back, about 3ish miles. This didn't quite go to plan….

Lost dog! Well I didn't actually lose the dog, he lost himself. This does happen every now and then, so initially no big panic. In the past he normally manages to find his way back to the entrance to the woods and hangs around waiting for me. Not this morning. So I thought maybe he has gone back to wait by the car at the other end of the woods. Not this morning. So I began running back the way we had come to look for him. I looked to the east of the woods….

Nothing. I looked to the west of the woods….

Nothing. So back to the entrance….still nothing. As I began to panic slightly I decided to make my back to the ponds for one last look around where I last saw him, with the idea that if I did find him I would drown the fecker in the ponds! And lo and behold who should appear from over the hill……?

You're right….the chuffing, fecking, idiot of a dog. 10 miles run!

Today's mileage = 10.27

Total Juneathon mileage = 42.19

Mojo level = after this morning's experiences….it is dropping drastically.

Now off to Wakefield for Long Division Festival

(Music festival!! I am NOT a maths geek!)



Swimming #5

The fifth swim of August's Project, accompanied by Marie, finds us at Sleaford Swimming Pool, or should I say Sleaford Leisure Centre. My target was to swim front crawl better and faster, and you only have to read past posts to realise that I actually seem to be getting somewhere. Tonight I was hoping to improve further with the front crawl and start swimming lengths.

The first difficult part of the night was actually finding the pool. After doing a couple of laps of the one-way system the only sign we found pointing us to the pool was this one…

So we decided to park in one of the town car parks and walk. This wasn't all bad, we walked along the canal following the signs.

After 5 mins we found the pool, which was, funnily enough, just next to its own massive car park…not quite sure how we missed it…

Marie did say that it all looked rather 'grimmy', which ended up to be a fair comment. It's not the most modern facility, the changing rooms are very old looking, but it was perfect for what we wanted. The water was very clean and we had no stinging eye problems like the last place.

It was only £3.40 admission and for this you get a standard 25m pool. It wasn't very busy tonight, not sure if this is the norm, so we had a really good opportunity to get some some good swimming done without having to avoid kids, floats, babies, and various other obstacles.

On the swimming front, I feel that I'm actually getting somewhere. As advised, I've been trying to relax and keep the stroke strong and long, and I'm definitely getting better. I've changed my breathing pattern and can now manage to swim faster and further. I think Rio 2016 is now in my sights!!!!!