About Me

United Kingdom
A runner now for 17 years, started short then moved up to marathons. The last couple of years has seen the transition to ultras. The start of this blog begins with the Juneathon Challenge.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Janathon 2013 Day 16 - A busy day

My original plan of a morning run was put paid to when my second alarm went off signalling the 'normal' time to get up. A lunchtime run looked unlikely as I had a trip to the dentist first. The said dentist gave me a filling, a numb mouth for half the day and a £48 hole in my wallet for the privilege! My mouth was just beginning to 'come round' by lunchtime and as I still had a lot to get done I would run in the evening.

The evening run became a much later affair as I had forgotten that I had a meeting to attend at the school for an hour. An interesting meeting outlining the options that my daughter would have to decide upon in the coming months. By the time I was home it was now 8:15, so it would be just a shortish run as I was now hungry and it was getting colder by the minute.

I donned the hat and gloves yet again and set off round the block. I took a meandering route round the outskirts of the town and past the moor. The moor is a small lake at the very bottom of Tatton Park and is home to a lot of bird wildlife. There were many birds still milling around mainly on the ice! Into the second half of the run round the other side of the town and finally back home after nearly 5 miles.

A somewhat slower week than last but it has helped my gluteal pain as it was less noticeable now. A few more days and I should be up to 200 miles, leaving 10 or 11 days to try and break last years January total of exactly 300 miles!


Runstreak: Day 596
Distance: 4.70 miles
Time: 35:49
Elevation: 93ft
Janathon Total Distance: 178.15 miles

Janathon 2013 Day 15 - A lunchtime across the snowy fields

It was a cold sunny day at the office, absolutely perfect for a lunchtime run. One of my colleagues was up for a run, but when I motioned towards going across the 'field' he said he would do his own thing! I can understand his resentment towards the said field as it had been a quagmire for months.

Off I set down the road on a circular route of 6 miles, half off-road, half on country lanes. The first 1.5 miles through the field across the many stiles went well, most of the ground was frozen with a crunchy layer of snow on top. On past the picturesque Gawsworth church and the lake was mostly frozen. The mile through the next field was a more muddy affair but once at the top afforded some great views across the hills.

A sharp blast down then up a narrow lane was very runnable as most of the ice had melted in the now relatively warm sunshine. After the lane it was over half a mile along the canal, which was also mostly frozen over. With the sun glistening of the snow it was really a great lunchtime to be out running. The final mile and a half back up to the office brought up the fastest mile of the run and another 6 miles in the bank.

Garmin Connect Details - Day 15

Runstreak: Day 595
Distance: 6.23 miles
Time: 54:43
Elevation: 234ft
Janathon Total Distance: 173.45 miles

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Janathon 2013 Day 14 - A gentle icy trot to Waitrose & back

As followers of mine on Twitter will know, I am partial to the odd cake or two. This has led to the occasional, ok, often visit to Waitrose to bag the odd discounted pastry, tonight was to be no exception. As I had missed out running at lunchtime, it meant a quick jaunt once home from work. After last weeks high mileage I was looking forward to a shorter run, in fact the first single digit mileage run since New Years Eve!

I have lots of little routes around Knutsford and this one would see me take in Waitrose at around mile 3. It was 7:45 by the time I set off and already the local roads were becoming very slippery. I took it nice and steady and wound my way down the road. It was a bit more comfortable under foot once in town and a nice trot up the main street. I pulled up at Waitrose, paused the watch and headed inside.

What is left is a complete lottery and the daily 'discounted' offerings vary from nothing to a veritable smorgasbord! It was a good night and I selected a few items (not all for me). I set off back home after remembering to press start on the watch. A gentle mile back home and a steady 4 miles for the evening.

Garmin Connect Details - Day 14

Runstreak: Day 594
Distance: 4.05 miles
Time: 33:48
Elevation: 75ft
Janathon Total Distance: 167.22 miles

Janathon 2013 Day 13 - A slow frozen field and lane trudge

A cold night on Saturday led to a sharp frost on Sunday morning, time to keep off road and a jaunt round the fields. With the gluteal pain I wasn't about to go out and run 23 miles to bring up 100 miles for the week, but instead I would just take it steady! I knew I had what was needed for that elusive 100 mile week, it would come in time. I had noticed that my watch was signalling low battery as I set off, I'm usually pretty good at keeping it charged so took my phone as well to ensure a full set of stats were recorded for the Janathon scrutineers!

The first couple of miles were pretty slippery and the gluteal pain was making its presence felt, keeping the pace down helped so with going off road it would definitely help achieve this. I headed along the old farmers track and the once muddy route was now a combination of ice and mud. It actually made for a more easier run. After crossing the main road, I took the seldomly used route along a path going through someone's garden. The fields beyond this made for very slow going as even though the field was covered in frost the mud was very much to the fore. Once out of the fields a gentle trot along the lane led to a nice undulating route through a wood with a great view of Jodrell Bank with the sun shining brightly behind it. The path got ever slower having to weave round or straight through the icy puddles.

Out on to the country lanes again and on approaching 8 miles I noticed that the watch had now exhausted the battery! I would have to rely on my phone and upload the stats back to Garmin Connect. I continued on past Peover church climbing over several very slippery stiles. The final 2 miles were back along the same main road as I had started the run on and ended up with another 11 miles on the board for an 88 mile week. I was very pleased with this and think the 100 mile week would have definitely been on if I had done some double days, rather trying to do the distance in just 7 runs!

As a side note, for all you statistic fans out there, I downloaded the gpx file from Endomondo, the app I was using on my phone and uploaded it to Garmin Connect as in the link below. Interestingly it shows the whole route as 1 lap, whereas when uploading it to Strava, it gives the complete mile splits: Strava - Day 13

Runstreak: Day 593
Distance: 11.00 miles
Time: 1:39:27
Elevation: 192ft
Janathon Total Distance: 163.17 miles

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Janathon 2013 Day 12 - Through the airport tunnels

Ever since the death of my father-in-law in October last year, we spend a fair amount of time visiting my mother-in-law. Saturday afternoon was no exception and since my run there on Thursday evening, this was the turn for running home. Again I have a myriad of routes and took a slightly less direct route that would see me achieve my required distance of over 10 miles.

I set off down the back lanes and the after the first two miles it brought me to the first of two tunnels that pass directly under the two runways. The first is under the newer 2nd runway and is very brightly lit with a host of graffiti decorating the whitewashed walls. As usual the Garmin lost its satellite reception and then as soon as I exited the tunnel the mileage jumped up the 0.2 of a mile once the satellite was found again! The second tunnel was negotiated bringing up 3 miles.

A steep down then up and a winding country lane brought me out to the Ashley crossroads. I had been noticing for a while a dull pain in my right buttock (more probably a gluteal muscle tear after referring to the 'tinterweb) it was uncomfortable but not really bothering me too much. I slowed the pace down so as to not to bother it further. I turned towards Mobberley and on approaching a tight bend, could see two cars coming towards me. I stopped and stood into the hedge, the first car saw me and slowed right down. The car behind was oblivious to this and had to slam on his brakes. Being right alongside I was sure of an imminent collision! Luckily he stopped 6 inches behind, I glanced at the driver and we went on our separate ways. The joys of running down country lanes at night :)

Once through Mobberley it was into Knutsford and finally home in just short of 11 miles. A good overall pace in the end although the muscle pain was annoying. In the evening the wife and I met up with a couple who are returning to Calgary to live and enjoyed a few drinks. I knew the 100 mile week wasn't likely now as it meant 23 miles to be run on the Sunday and didn't want to put further strain on the gluteal muscles!

Runstreak: Day 592
Distance: 10.86 miles
Time: 1:22:41
Elevation: 226ft
Janathon Total Distance: 152.17 miles

Janathon 2013 Day 11 - The long way round to the office

After the run from the office yesterday it meant a run back in the morning. My usual route varies between 13 and 14 miles, there are small nuances that make the distance vary. I would certainly keep my double digit streak going and in my quest for a 100 mile week (it ended up as 88) I planned a route that I thought would be 16-17 miles. I awoke before the alarm, had a cup of tea and bowl of porridge. It had been raining overnight and had thankfully stopped as I set off out the door.

I kept the pace nice and steady as I usually end up getting carried away on my runs. This was easy to do for the first 6 miles as the fog was still thick and it was still properly dark. I continued through Chelford and kept to the quiet back lanes, it was at this point I diverted from my usual route. A short stint up the A34, thankfully on a seldomly used footpath and then back onto the country lanes towards Redesmere lake.

This lake and the surrounding area is a haven for birds and a large gathering of swans slipped into the water as I went past. In a bid to not repeat the missed lane from the previous night I had paid close attention to the next combination of quiet lanes that I had never run down before. All went well, some nice quiet lanes passing by some stunning farm conversions which brought me out to a junction that I drive past on the way to the office. The watch was at 12 miles now, straight across to the office would end up with about 15 miles, going left I estimated at 17. 

I opted to go left and the now wider and busier lane led me another 2 miles to another junction that I knew was 4 miles to the office meaning 18 for the morning, a few more than expected!! There was a lot more traffic and I certainly had to keep my eyes peeled, several close passes left me jumping on to the grass verge or holding onto a hedge! I was now getting hungry and was glad when I got to the office, arriving there at 8:45. An enjoyable run which brought up 65 miles for the week...

Runstreak: Day 591
Distance: 18.26 miles
Time: 2:21:51
Elevation: 565ft
Janathon Total Distance: 141.31 miles

Friday, 11 January 2013

Janathon 2013 Day 10 - An evening dash to Wilmslow

Always on the lookout for somewhere different to run, Thursday may now be the evening to run to Wilmslow to meet my wife at the mother-in-laws after her trip to the gym. This allows for a Friday run back to the office. This would be a repeat of the previous Thursday but now on a much colder night. I set off in hat and gloves but still in shorts! I pressed start on my Garmin and checked it was registering the distance correctly. I have a habit of doing this to check it's locked onto the satellite, this time it said I was doing a 2:30 mile pace!! I stopped the watch after a couple of hundred yards and 'rebooted' it, this time it worked fine!

I had a rough route sketched out on a post-it note to ensure I was going down the correct lanes in the middle  of the run. It's very easy when at your desk looking at the map than when out in the dark and fog! All was ok  for the first 5 miles and I found the correct 'Wrigley Lane'. The fog suddenly got much thicker and it was a tricky 1 mile trying to find my way down the lane. At the end I was supposed to cross the main road and onto another lane, something was wrong here, it wasn't there! Oh well, I knew the road I was now on so carried on regardless.

On along the main road towards Alderley Edge and I was passed by a gritting lorry, a sign of things to come! Down the big hill and I picked up the pace for the final three miles. I pulled onto the mother-in-laws drive with just under 12 miles in the bag. This brought me up to 47 miles for the week so far...

Runstreak: Day 590
Distance: 11.85 miles
Time: 1:39:41
Elevation: 344ft
Janathon Total Distance: 123.05 miles