Heavy legs

The Juneathon halfway point was marked with a run today.  There really haven’t been enough of those this Juneathon so I resolved to go for a four mile jaunt up to Westminster and round St James’ Park.  Having aimed to go before lunch at about 12, I finally succeeded in (temporarily) escaping the office at 7pm.  The timing was probably better though as there were far fewer tourists and civil servants to get in the way.

It was drizzling and dark when I left the office and I thought my kit choice of vest and shorts might be a bit inadequate.  Fortunately though the rain held off and I was soon warmed up.  But practically the whole way round my legs felt tired and heavy – this Juneathon thing is starting to take its toll.  I may not have done all that much running but the legs have had a fair old time of it what with all the spinning and the unfamiliar zumba and body sculpt classes.  My left calf and achilles in particular feels tight and sore.  Time to book in for a massage with Lucinda I think. 

There were a few interesting things to see out and about, and having forgotten my iPod I was noticing things more than usual.  The Ghostbustours bus made me smile to myself, even though it’s not really that clever or funny.  There were lots and lots of geese and their babies in the park too, generally taking over the entire pavement round the lake as people threw them bread.  I also couldn’t help but notice a couple, obviously tourists, wandering around outside Buckingham Palace wearing identical (and hideous) pink and green striped cagouls.  Yuck.

So, halfway through Juneathon, the stats look like this (drumroll please):

Proper outside runs: 3 (and a half, if you count the pre-hen do jog-of-shame home)
Treadmill runs: 2
Total miles: 20.7

Other stuff
Spin classes: 4
Gym sessions: 2
Zumba classes: 1
Pilates classes: 1
Y-sculpt classes: 1


Pumping iron (before breakfast)

An inner mental battle raged this morning as I kept hitting the snooze button again and again.  I was booked onto Y-Sculpt (body sculpting class, as the name suggests, the Y I assume coming from the fact that you lift your arms up a lot) at my work gym at 8am, and it takes 45 minutes to get into the office.  But at 7am, I had only just made it into the bathroom and quite apart from getting myself washed and dressed I still had to hang out some washing and put more on, and go to the dry cleaners on the way to the station to pick up what I planned to wear today.  It was all impossible and I very nearly gave in and went back to bed. 

But Juneathon won the battle, and I decided to resolve the problem by ditching the dry cleaners and finding something else to wear that is suitable both for work and a fancy restaurant this evening.  By accessorising an otherwise boring work dress with a large maroon belt and peep toe shoes I think I’ve just about managed it.  And as it turned out I was glad to be a bit dressed up because I ran into the colleague I mentioned the other day while getting my porridge post-gym.  Clearly not giving up this morning earned me some good Juneathon karma because normally that would be bound to happen on the way into the gym (in old kit with no make-up and crazy hair and looking all flustered for being late again), not on the way out when I’m in heels and make-up and with hair freshly blow-dried! 

As for the class itself, it was a good one.  I am trying to improve the tone of my arms in particular as they feel a bit neglected after all this marathon running and spinning, and given that my outfits for the two weddings I have coming up are both maxi dresses that only reveal shoulders and arms, those bits really do deserve a bit more attention.  Hence the sculpting class.  But as I am moving house again this weekend, I deliberately made sure not to make the same mistake I made last year (lifting weights to exhaustion right before a weekend spent lifting boxes and furniture), so I wasn’t too ambitious with the weights I chose.  Even so, I couldn’t complete the last set of tricep curls and I am really feeling the effects already.  Must try to get to this class more often.

Have a mountain of work to do today and then off to Hibiscus tonight for a client dinner.  Yum!

On the twelfth day of Juneathon, it rained (and rained, and rained)

What has happened to the beautiful summer we were having?  I had planned a ten-miler yesterday but the weather was just so bleak I couldn’t make myself do it.  All those hours of marathon training round Richmond Park in freezing, sleety conditions are still too fresh in the memory to make me want to do it again when I don’t absolutely have to.  Plus, I figured, if staying indoors is good enough for Andy Murray at the Queen’s Club less than a mile away, then it’s good enough for me.

But this being Juneathon and everything, I did eventually brave the elements for the one minute dash to the gym at 6pm.  A mile on the treadmill, followed by a mile on the rowing machine, followed by another mile on the treadmill.  All rounded off with a few planks, and that was Juneathon Day 12 done and dusted.

Fortunately Day 13 was luckier – this morning’s 60 minute Spin instructor was brilliant (much better than the crazy ones I’ve had lately), and we had an awesome, cheesy-tune filled, very hardcore workout all done by 9am.  A great start to the week.

On the eleventh day of Juneathon, I zumbaed

Part of the whole Juneathon thing is getting out and doing things you wouldn’t otherwise necessarily do exercise-wise.  My Mum has been going on about how great zumba is for ages so this Saturday I decided that I would have a go at a class.  I am a notoriously bad dancer (not an embarrassing dancer, I can move OK but I just can’t get the footwork) so I was expecting to be pretty terrible at it.  But it sounded fun so what the hell.  Very happily for me, my lovely flatmate was keen to come along and give it a go too so we went down to the gym together.

It was a LOT of fun.  As expected, I was pretty dreadful at anything that involved complicated footwork but the wiggling around didn’t totally defeat me and having an equally clueless friend there really helped as we could just laugh along in solidarity.  At least I escaped poor Rachel’s fate of a seriously bruised shin after she managed to kick herself really quite hard.  It was also a very decent workout – I didn’t expect to sweat so much but after an hour I was definitely very hot and happy.  Not sure I’ll be going every week but I’m glad to have given it a try.

The rest of the day isn’t going to be all that restful either – we are moving house next Saturday so today and tomorrow will largely be spent packing up all our worldly possessions.  But even that can be fun when you do it together with some Lady Gaga, a bottle of wine and some pizza.  Yay!

Blood boiling, but not sweating

That was how my lunchtime spin class left me today.  I don’t seem to be having much luck with stand-in instructors at the moment – after Sauron last week today we had the woman who frankly deserves the Guinness World Record for being the Most Annoying Woman Ever To Be Given A Bike And A Microphone.  Quite apart from being certifiably insane, she absolutely insisted on “singing” along to every track, which I wouldn’t mind so much but the woman REALLY couldn’t sing.  The foxes and cats who like to fight behind my house are more tuneful.  And when she wasn’t singing she was just wailing and grunting for no apparent reason at all.  I was audibly willing her to shut up by the end.

All of which would have been bearable if it had at least been a good workout, but it wasn’t.  Instead of doing hills or sprints or jumps to the tracks we just had to keep pedalling along in time with the beat, which is all very well but it’s not challenging in the same way.  I had barely broken a sweat by the end of the 45 minutes so I had to go and take out some of my rage and frustration on the rowing machine for 10 minutes afterwards.  That was more satisfying.

One third of the way through Juneathon!  I know there have been a couple of days that I could at best call “slack”, and at worst, “fail”, but I am going to keep plodding on regardless – as iliketocount has reminded me today, that bikini still has to be gotten into!

Mental acrobatics count towards Juneathon, don’t they?

Today was always going to be hopeless on the Juneathon front. I am starting to notice a worrying phenomenon – I end every May nice and quiet on the work front and then Juneathon gets going and suddenly I am swamped.  I smell a conspiracy.

Anyway, I have had zero chance of getting outside or to the gym or having more than 30 seconds to do anything other than work today.  (And I couldn’t have got up any earlier – I was exhausted after yesterday’s speed session.)  It has been a tough day – I have spent most of it trying to figure out the difference between accounting entries on a restructuring depending on whether you use an amortised cost basis of accounting or a fair value basis, and then whether any difference really matters for tax because the legislation says you are treated as if you use amortised cost anyway, and then whether in fact it still does matter after all because if you are treated as using amortised cost but really you are using fair value accounting can you really be said actually to be using amortised cost?*

Now tell me that doesn’t count towards Juneathon.  I bet your brain cells burned a few calories trying to follow that.  Try doing it for four or five hours.  Now try explaining all of it to a client whilst sitting in a meeting room that looks directly across the atrium into another meeting room containing a certain colleague with whom you spent a rather drunken night a couple of weeks ago and whom you have been avoiding ever since…


I did take the stairs up to the sixth floor meeting room though. 

* The answer, when we finally pinned the accountants down on it, was “oh, sorry, when we said fair value accounting what we really meant was amortised cost”.  Grr.

On the eighth day of Juneathon, I did some speedwork

Or it might have been intervals.  Whatever.  I felt like I definitely needed to run today, but what with work going totally mental I knew I wasn’t likely to get out for a proper one and resolved instead to do one of the treadmill speed sessions from my marathon training.  It was a bitch of a tough day at work (still going in fact, I’m typing this while I eat my dinner at my desk, poor me) so by the time I got downstairs at 7pm I really needed to let off some steam. 

The session I chose was 6 x 400m at 8 min per mile pace.  As it was baking hot in the gym, I split this in two to allow for a proper drink in the middle, and so did two lots of: a half mile warm up, then 3 x fast 400m with 400m jogs in between each rep, followed by a 400m walking cool down.  Which came to a total of 4 miles in 38:36, and according to the treadmill I burned 444 calories.  Obviously the calorie thing isn’t accurate, and probably a gross exaggeration, but still it’s a pleasing number to get to isn’t it?  It was a gratifyingly tough but manageable workout, and I feel so much better for it.

I tried out a new running top today too, and was very pleased with it.  It’s this one by Sugoi from Sheactive, and I got it because it isn’t too long (long is lovely with leggings, annoying with running shorts) and has a pocket in the back.  I really think that there should be more tops with pockets, as running shorts are generally woefully lacking.  The vest has a built in bra shelf which is suprisingly supportive (I did wear a sports bra too but not my heavy duty Shock Absorber Run bra), though the elastic around the ribcage did make it a tough one to get off.  It was a bit too thick and warm for regular use in the gym but I can see it becoming a favourite for runs outside.  It is an incredibly flattering shape too, which is a particular bonus when you have to stare at yourself in the mirror while training.