Janathon day 9

Today was a working from home day. I know what people say about those, but I don’t work in my dressing gown, although I do tend to stay in my slippers. There are several great things about working from home days.

  1. I can nip to the shops or the bank or any number of places that are not usually open in my free time
  2. I can put a load of washing on, or keep an eye on it while it’s on the line (not at issue today!)
  3. I have my choice of radio station (6 Music is the station of choice)
  4. I have the radiator on in the study and stay toasty warm
  5. I get so much done in peace that it is easily the most productive day of the week

Item 5 is such an advantage that I have taken to saving any in depth reviewing or report writing for Friday, just so I can have a nice clear run at it. It is such an advantage to be able to get my head down and churn through stuff. And technology is such that the vast majority of meetings and discussions are more than possible with me being remote – yet I still end up with my days on the main site being stacked back to back with meetings as people prefer to have you in the room with them. Ho hum. It’s a great advantage and I cherish the opportunity.

It also allows for a lunch break to be stretched slightly and a mid week run in daylight becomes an option. Today I had a cheque to pay into the bank for the husband, so I decided I’d run into town to the bank, pay in his cheque and then run home again during my lunch break. And so it came to pass. I did put the cheque and paying in slip in a sealed plastic bag before putting it in the back pocket of my capris, just so that it didn’t end up a slightly sweaty, possibly illegible, mess!

Down to the bank was just on a mile. It is down as well – down hill all the way; this is an important point in what follows… At this point I thought maybe a slightly longer run would be in order rather than just the return leg. So I headed down towards the gravel pits and along a railway path that skirts the lakes. It’s been a long time since I ran on anything that’s not tarmac and I’d forgotten how much different running on muddy surfaces can be. I started by trying to skirt round the muddy patches and keep the the firmer parts of the path, but I soon gave up on that as being a ridiculous waste of effort. That left me going squelch on a few occasions, but it’s so much easier to go in a straight line through the mud than take an elaborate path around it. It also reminded me why I used to keep some newspaper in the utility room and why my white socks are various shades of grey…

I ran down and back the railway path. I could have carried on and then run up the large hill before heading home, but I decided that I wasn’t quite ready for the killer hill – it’s steep and across a field. That just makes it doubly difficult and I didn’t fancy it. As I returned home I discovered that it had felt so good running down to the bank because it was downhill and the wind was behind me. I managed about 3/4 of the way back up the hill, but then I turned onto the steepest stretch and into the face of the wind and ground to a halt. I wasn’t due a walk break, but running simply wasn’t happening. I allowed myself to walk to the top of the hill and the road, but made myself start running from there until I reached home. Not the most spectacular performance, but I’m going to try and not be too hard on myself. Yes, I used to run up that hill all the way, but I used to run a great deal more than I have done and I’m still getting back into it. I will power up that hill again – just not today. I managed 3.48 miles in about 45 minutes, most of it a 5 minute running with 1 minute walking, so I can’t be too upset about that.

Having removed my muddy shoes and showered it was back to work for the remainder of the afternoon. It did feel good having been out for a run again, and a run in daylight is so much more pleasant than in the dark that it’s worth the effort.

Challenge for today was 90 squats, 16 pressups and 44 situps. I decided to vary the situps and did half standard situps and then 11 with a twist to right, the 11 with a twist to the left. May as well work all the abdominals while we’re doing this madness. Managed 4 pressups on my knees before having to resort to box style. Squats were fiendish, possibly something to do with having run earlier in the day, and the less said about them the better!

A busy rest day

Janathon day 8

Thursday is never going to be a run day. In theory I should be able to leave work at 4:30, but I don’t work on site every day, so tend to get collared multiple times during the day with “while you’re here…”. I don’t like to not be helpful, but the down side of that is it’s invariably a lot later than that before I get away. Today was a bad example: 6:30. Then 90 minutes home and you can see why Thursday’s never going to be a run day. It’s difficult to be inspired about cooking dinner when it’s approaching 8 pm when you get in. So yes, I know it’s lazy, but Thursday often ends up being chip shop night. You know it’s pretty bad when you walk in the chipshop and the man in charge asks “The usual?” and puts the battered sausages in the fryer. oops…

Having had my busy day at work, enthusiasm to exercise is at a pretty low ebb, so it was with great delight that I checked the challenge schedule and discovered that today is a rest day. 2 squats, 2 pressups and 8 situps. As tired as I was, and in the mood to just flump on the sofa, even I could manage that to maintain the streak. Duly done and I’m now flumped on the sofa for the evening.

Back on my feet again

Never fear! The title it not intended to indicate a lay off with injury. Instead I’ve had a mad mad mad week with work such that I feel I’ve spent the entire week sitting down, be that on a mode of transport or in meetings. Monday started with driving to our Norfolk site, then being taxied to Gatwick prior to a flight to Switzerland. Just over 24 hours (and one 6 hour long site visit) later we were arriving back in Gatwick before the taxi back up to Norfolk. Then into a hotel, and into 2 days of back to back all day meetings. I did take my kit with me, hoping to maybe get out for a plod Wednesday night, but it never quite happened. Being in a meeting all day seems to mean that you come out of the meeting to find that your day job has been piling up waiting for you; so instead of a run, I did a few hours work, then found myself having to hurry back to the hotel to get changed before dinner out with the customer (as if we’d not seen enough of them during the day!). Now that bit I may have misjudged, it turned out to be a longer walk from site to hotel than anticipated – not helped by having to walk 3 sides of the site as there’s no short cut. grrr. Taking that walk at a fast pace, I have since had sore lines of tightness up the outsides of both ankles. By Friday, and the end of the third all day meeting in a row, I was so glad to be home that I just flumped on the sofa all evening, catching up on TV and generally being a lazy madam.

So after just about a week spent almost entirely on my behind I was feeling the need to get out. Saturday morning, therefore, became out and run time. Not having been out in the week, I stuck at the same pattern as previously, 5 minutes run to 1 minute walking. Only this time I went that bit further. Instead of turning round at the pylon, I continued on the same road until I came to the entrance to the church and the manor farm. At this point, there’s a sort of turning circle, which allow me to cross the road at a run without trying to half turn round to look quite so far over my shoulder. The only downside to extending the run is that I get a real physiological hill to get over. Just prior to the village, the road dips down and changes from open fields on either side to being almost enclosed in a tunnel by greenery. Heading down the slope is OK, but coming back you’re under this green tunnel, which is surprisingly dark, and you can see the top of the rise ahead of you. But where it is dark you don’t see the beginning of the rise very well, there is just the top and the sky seemingly far ahead of you; all of which conspires to make it look a lot steeper than it probably is. Just my luck, a walk segment ended just as I reached the foot of the rise, so I had to start running heading up it. Blimey, not done that in a while and it was quite hard going. However, that brings up my furthest run to date, and it felt really good to be out and moving the limbs. Even the tight ankles didn’t play up. Must be something about walking that aggravates then, although why running would not eludes me.

Facts & Figures:
Distance – 3.44 miles
Time – 45:49 minutes
Pace – 13:20 minutes/mile

So that feels much better. The body has been shaken out and still appears to work. Next week should have a lighter work schedule, so hopefully I’ll manage multiple runs and move up to a longer run interval next week.

You never can tell

I had all my excuses all lined up before I headed out the door tonight as I was expecting this run to be awful. It’s an evening run, after a day’s work, so you’re never as fresh as you are in the morning. It’s been a busy day; what with yesterday being my first day back after 2 weeks off, I’m still playing catch up. Working at home (the main road to work reported an accident before I left this morning, with queues already back 15 miles, so I decided not to try and get into the office and worked from home instead) means that often my hydration goes a bit haywire – I’ve got no prompts to have a break and a drink when I’m on my own at home. As a result I forget to drink, then overcompensate and, well, I won’t go on. It was the first run at a longer run interval, 3 minutes running to one minute walking. There you go, all my excuses all nicely prepared. And they can all go back in the box, because it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. Which just goes to show that you never can tell.

Setting off after 5 pm does run into one small problem, that’s the queue of traffic at the roundabout which I have to cross; managed one arm OK, but had to wait for the second on both the outwards and return legs. That slightly interrupted the first run segment, but from there on I stuck to 3 minutes of running. I won’t claim it felt easy, on the return leg I was looking at the watch after less and less time had elapsed in a sense of increasing desperation for the three minutes to be up (they never were). I also extended the run slightly from those so far. I got to the turn round point at the pylon and had just about a minute of a run section to go. I decided to carry on in the same direction to the end of that run section, then cross the road and start coming back at the start of the next walk. That meant that I could actually take a moment to look over my shoulder and check for traffic, rather than turning into something coming at a high rate of knots down the road. Meaning that the stats show 2.84 miles in 39:09 minutes. It’s not desperately quick, but that’s not exactly the point: it is done, it’s yet another small step in the right direction. Having expected an awful outing, I’m quite pleased with that.