Bad Blogger


janathon = jog, log & blog daily for a month. Sounds simple. It isn’t. Still in the first week and I’ve missed one day of blogging. I’m also way behind on reading all the other janathoners’ blogs.

Here then a quick summary of days 6 & 7:

Tues 6th:

  • Upper body strength conditioning session before work
  • 20 lengths of the pool = 500M after work

Weds 7th

  • Lunchtime run 4+ miles

Je Suis Charlie

Back to the grindstone


Day 5 of Janathon was the “back to work” day for me and for many others. It could have been an excuse for slacking, but in truth it was the thought of getting out for some exercise that kept me sane.

Today’s activity:

  • Lunchtime run – an out’n’back up to & along the Regents canal – 4.3 miles at a comfortable pace
  • Evening run with the Hadlow Running Group – 3 miles in 29 minutes – I was pacing one of our group as she aims to get back to a sub-30 parkrun level.
  • Late swim – 20 Lengths = 500 Metres. I was trying to get the 1st 16 done at 1 min intervals, but I needed to throw a couple of extra minutes rest in. This would give me 400M (the sprint Tri distance) in 17.5 minutes. If I could halve that time, it would be respectable. Lots of room for improvement.

Jantastic started today. I’ve logged the lunchtime run & the swim, but I decided the evening run didn’t really count. My weekly target is 8 sessions. The Jantastic site has managed to calculate 2 out of 8, as 42% progress. Hopefully just teething problems.

Heroes Breakfast


Day 4 Janathon Activity:

  • Run 8 miles steady – flat roads
  • Swim 20 Lengths – 12 Lengths at 1 min intervals, 8 Lengths with pull bouy
  • Cycle 22 miles – flat roads

Hot & Cold was the theme of the day. The run & the ride were both on the chilly side; including patches of near-freezing fog to liven things up. By contrast, the water in Tonbridge pool was way too hot, more suitable for boiling lobsters than lap swimming. Still at least there was enough space to swim lengths without having to slalom around people. All activities were completed uneventfully.

The big news of the day, for me, came between the run & the swim. We took a trip out to Kelly Holmes’ new cafe 1809 in Hildenborough for brunch. It’s not every day you get greeted by a double Olympic gold medal winning hero over breakfast! The cafe was a real pleasure. While we were there, a mix of cyclists, families & couples generated a really happy atmosphere & the serving staff were attentive & seemed to be enjoying their work. If you’re in the vicinity, I would recommend a visit.

Back to work tomorrow. The commute should be “interesting” with the disruption at London Bridge affecting all the Cannon Street trains. However, on the positive side, Jantastic starts tomorrow & I’m signed up for the Tonbridge parkrun team.

The sun did not shine


“The sun did not shine,
It was too wet to play,
So we sat in the house,
All that cold, cold, wet day”
Dr Seuss

Err, except of course it didn’t happen quite like that …
“The sun did not shine,
It was too wet to play,
But through mud & puddles,
We went and we ran anyway

Janathon day 3:

  • Volunteering at Tonbridge park run (a couple of the photos I took below)
  • Swimming 20 lengths: 10 at 1-minute intervals + 10 with pull bouy
  • 3.3 mile run


“Did YOU have any fun?

Tell me, what did you do?”





Mud n Water


Janathon day 2:

A six mile off road run this morning that was a combination of mud, more mud, ankle-grabbing brambles, and yet more mud. Brilliant!

Took advantage of an offer from Tonbridge swimming pool for a “2-month swim as often as you want” deal. To be cost effective I will need to swim at least 10 times before the 2nd of March. Hopefully that will be good motivation for me to get stuck into my least favourite activity.

For today’s swim I decided to do at least 10 lengths with full recovery between each lap. Not a hard decision, given I didn’t think I could manage a double length without alarming the life guards. After 35 minutes I had 20 lengths completed – I’m guessing any reasonably competent swimmer would have taken 6 or 7 minutes for that. Imagine then my surprise when I logged the swim on the Janathon group & found I was joint top of the leader-board. This may be because only 1 other person had logged a swim AND runningfree rounded up to nearest kilometre.

Probably fair to say that I will never be a good swimmer & I’ll always prefer a run or a ride or a paddle to a swim. But I’m going to crack on to see if I can get to the 400M necessary for a sprint Tri.

Day the First


A new day, a new year and the chance for personal renewAl & reinvention. No resolutions from me, but I do have some questions:

  • Will 2015 be the year I finally learn how to swim far enough to enter a triathlon?
  • Can I stay injury-free for long enough to recover some running form?
  • How am I going to reignite my cycling mojo?
  • Should I take on a SUP/Bike/Run challenge?

I don’t know the answers to any of the above, but I intend having fun finding out.

Despite some misgiving I have signed up for Janathon. Hopefully I’ll avoid my self-destructive cycle of getting too competitive about the mileage. I am also signed up for Jantastic (starts Jan 5th) and I’ve entered a 10K road race at the beginning of March. Busy, busy, busy.

Janathon day 1:

  1. Run 3.1 miles
  2. Volunteer parkrun marshal/photographer
  3. Run 4 miles

The unkindness of motorways


When the going gets tough ….

I knew it was going to be hard to fit a run in today. Having left at 05:30 this morning, I was on track to be back home again by about 20:00. Plenty of time to eat & run, or so I thought. The motorway gods had other plans for me. Just 20ish miles from home, the M25 ground to a standstill. Stop, start, stop, start. 1 mile from the first stop and an hour later: I managed to get off at the Godstone junction. It’s a short hop from there on to the A25 which runs parallel to the motorway. Steady progress for a few more miles, then it all closed down again. Police cars & ambulances screeched by and we sat & waited and sat some more.

I did finally get home, legs & back stiff from sitting in the car. I seriously considered calling it a night but I fuelled up with the most inappropriate and calorific foods I could find, summoned up a last reserve of motivation, and headed out the door sometime after 23:00.

Despite promising myself I was only going to do the bare minimum 1 mile, I managed a 3 mile loop. Home again before midnight. I live to fight another Janathon day.

Running darkly


Another Janathon day and another after-dark run completed. Four uneventful miles notched up on familiar roads with not much to be seen except the headlights of the occasional car passing by.

Tomorrow may be a tough day as I will need to make a very early start and I’m not expecting to be home again until quite late. This is where the power of Janathon really kicks in. On any other month, I would certainly not be motivated to run after such a long work day, but the obstinacy to not be beaten should (hopefully) be enough to get me out the door for at least a token effort.

Good reasons


Happy New Year – one and all.

If you’re reading this blog, there’s every chance you are already active in sport. Even so, it does no harm to remember some of the benefits of getting out there for a run or a ride. Here then, in no particular order, are ten good reasons

1. Lose weight or keep yourself looking trim

2. Fight depression – regular exercise is a good way to see off that Black Dog

3. Challenge yourself – it’s a part of the human condition, we need that sense of achievement from reaching or exceeding targets that we set

4. Make friends – sport can help, whether you’re looking for: companions to run with or a common interest to discuss at gatherings or mutual support through social networks

5. Solve problems – let yourself focus on the activity and the subconscious mind can often find the answers you need in other areas of life

6. Solitude – work & families & friends can take up so much of our time. Carve a regular little sanctuary for yourself by getting out on a ride or a run

7. See the seasons – being outdoors brings us close enough to observe the small changes that herald the transition from winter to spring

8. Healthy bones – running particularly, has been cited as a way to delay the onset of brittle bones as we age

9. Platform for other sports – team sports are great too, and regular running helps sharpen us up for those

10. Sleep well

What have I missed from the list? Why not leave a comment with the benefits you enjoy from your exercise?

Today I kicked off my Janathon 2013 challenge with a 10.7 mile run. The roads were still wet, but there were beautiful blue skies. It was a real joy to get out there this morning.

Moving targets


Like many amateur sports-people, I try to find some time in the last few days of December to think about goals for the year ahead. I’m not a big fan of New Year Resolutions, but I do think it helps the motivation to have a list of targets to focus the training on.

The only organised event I have already entered for 2013 is the Tunbridge Wells half marathon in February. Oh, and I am also signed-up for & looking forward (in a masochistic sort of way) to the Janathon challenge

So far, my “wish list” for the year looks a bit like this:

  • Century Ride – Tonbridge Castle Ride in May might be a good option
  • A 2nd half marathon – much later in the year & hopefully at a more reasonable pace
  • A couple of trail runs – the Brighton Trailblazer this year was good fun. I’d like to do that 1 again + a longer, maybe 20K+, off-road run
  • Take some swimming lessons & complete a sprint-distance Triathlon

I would also like to get back to doing some kayaking, but I don’t think there will be time or budget for that in 2013.

Hopefully I can spread the goals out across the year. That way I will have a significant challenge to aim for every couple of months. Next step then, is to do some Internet surfing to find suitable events & dates.