On the sixth and seventh days of Juneathon, I went to the dentist (a lot)

I’m managing to keep up the actual Juneathoning, but fitting the blogging in is becoming a bit more difficult, not least because I’ve had so many trips to the dentist in the last few days. For the last ten months I’ve been wearing Invisalign braces to straighten my teeth a bit, and on Monday the top ones came off and were replaced with a fixed wire retainer behind my front teeth. That necessitated three trips to the orthodontist in twenty four hours, but I am really pleased with the results. Only another 12 weeks and the bottom ones will be gone too.

On Monday, I had thought about trying to run to and from my lunchtime dentist appointment like I did during marathon training, but annoyingly work appointments wouldn’t have left me enough time for a shower.  So I went to a spin class in the evening instead – fortunately no fictional evil overlords in this one, although the 15 minutes abs clinic immediately afterwards was a killer.  Yesterday I managed a quick gym trip involving the cross-trainer, rowing machine and weights as I try and tone my arms.  I also walked the couple of miles to my cousin’s place for dinner – a lovely evening stroll along the river in the sunshine that I used to do every week when we did pilates together with Claire last year.  The additional exercise might have been slightly undone by the large Dominos pizza and bottle of wine we shared once I got there.  Need to get a grip on that, because a week into Juneathon I think I am more out of shape than ever, which is not how it is supposed to go.

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On the fourth day of Juneathon, I got a little bit tipsy

Hen do.  Two little words which by themselves should be enough to excuse Day 4’s Juneathon effort being paltry to say the least.  It should in theory have been possible to squeeze in some proper early morning Juneathoning, but for reasons that remain a bit of a mystery to me, I woke up on Saturday morning on a friend’s sofa rather than in my own bed, having partaken of sufficient red wine to send me to sleep.   Which didn’t leave me enough time before my hair appointment to fit in a proper run.  Instead I made do with jogging the mile and a half back to my house – well, as much as it’s possible to jog in ballet pumps with a big bag.  But if it hadn’t been Juneathon I’d have taken the bus, and I wouldn’t have done more than a mile anyway, so I think it counts.

The rest of the day was taken up with drinking lots and lots of pink fizz, playing games, and being waited on by John, our lovely butler in the buff.  Later we got all dressed up and went out in our forties gear to the Blitz Party (where I Juneathoned by dancing lots).  The hen herself looked stunning having had her hair and make-up done by a professional, all topped off with this incredible hat hand-made by her extremely talented soon-to-be-sister-in-law Awon Golding.  I intend to get one commissioned in time for the wedding.

I did make up for the lame Juneathoning today though.  Despite the rain and the mild hangover, I went for a (roughly) 12k run along the river with a friend.  He is much faster than me and although we took it relatively easy there were lots of sections where I had to run much harder and faster than I would have done on my own.  I’m not sure how long I was out for as I somehow stopped my watch after 41 minutes, but I think it was about 75 minutes altogether, including a couple of breathers.  More than enough to get me back on the Juneathon wagon.

First Juneathon weekend stats:

Proper runs: 1
Lame jogs-of-shame counting towards Juneathon: 1
Naked butlers: 1
Glasses of pink fizz: many
Forties outfits: 13
Amazing hats by Awon Golding: 2
Amazing hats by Awon Golding coveted by me: at least 1

On the third day of Juneathon, I got up early

Unlike yesterday, this morning I did manage to drag myself out of bed at a fairly unseemly hour to get to a 7am Pilates class.  I was having dreams that seemed to be based on the terrible-sounding Made in Chelsea (even though I’ve not seen any of it – scary the extent to which adverts can apparently burrow into your subconscious) so I was keener than usual to get out of my weird dreamworld.  That’s not say I actually woke up though – it took me until at least halfway through the class before I felt sufficiently alert to open my eyes.

Luckily for me and my sleepy head the class was extremely gentle.  It was with an instructor who I haven’t had before but who seemed, unlike the old one, to appreciate that most of us aren’t really capable of complicated moves involving Swiss balls before breakfast.  The laid back gentle attitude was great for the most part, but we did nothing more challenging than the Scissors, and by the end of the class I did wish that there had been a bit more to it.  My abs definitely need to be challenged more if they’re going to be in peak condition for France.

Pigs in the park

The original plan was to get up and go for a run at 6am before my hectic work day.  (I think we can all guess how that worked out.)  Instead I managed to escape the office at a reasonable time, and after a quick trip to Westfield to return some of the spoils from an over-zealous internet shopping spree, headed out into the glorious evening sunshine at 7.45pm.

So Juneathon Day 2 was a couple of beautiful loops round Holland Park, which is looking particularly gorgeous at the moment.  I only just discovered on Sunday that it is now home to some pigs cultivating the wild flower meadows – they’ve been there a whole year without my noticing, which just goes to show that I need to vary my routes around the park a bit more.  I made up for a year of neglect by going past specially to wish them a good evening, and very happy they looked too.

It was lovely to be out and about in the park, and on a weekday evening when I’d usually be in the office it felt decadent too.  I did round about 5K in total in 32:05, with a strong finish down the final 400m or so.  Not exactly setting the world on fire, but just right for a chilled out summer’s evening jaunt.

On the first day of Juneathon, I cycled up Mount Doom

I think it’s fair to say that Juneathon has got off to a fairly extreme start.  As this was originally a festival of running, and given the glorious weather outside today, I couldn’t help wondering whether heading to the basement gym for a spin class was perhaps a bit of a cop out.  It wasn’t.

Raj, the usual Wednesday instructor, is away on holiday and was replaced today by Sauro.  I can only assume that this is short for Sauron, because he was at about the same level on the evil scale as Tolkein’s Dark Lord.  After a brutal warm up he informed us that the session was going to involve “two hills” – each of 13 minutes – and then some intervals.  Those insanely long hills basically went: up, sprint, up, sprint, up some more, sprint some more, forever and ever and ever and ever… I was certainly in as much pain and sweating as much as if I really was on the fiery slopes of Mount Doom.  The intervals were even worse – he kept screaming at us that we weren’t in enough pain and I started to feel quite a sympathetic affinity with the orcs of Mordor.

Fortunately, he let us go after 45 minutes without anyone losing a finger or having to be rescued by an enormous eagle.  It was undoubtedly an effective workout, but I think I’ll be paying for it tomorrow which doesn’t bode well for the 29 days still to come.  I have a feeling that Juneathon is going to hurt more than the marathon.

Juneathon is back! (And this time it’s personal…)

OK, OK, I know I haven’t yet written a marathon race report.  But the thing is, I had lots of celebrating to do on the evening of the day itself, then a horrendously hectic week at work straight afterwards, and then I went off on holiday to Cuba where they have no internet.  And by the time I got home it was mid-May and it just wasn’t a priority any more.  It is still on my To Do list, but quite low down.  Suffice (for now) to say that it was an awesome day, I loved almost every minute, I ran every step (except for quick food breaks) and I came in under my target time, so I was very pleased with it.  I imagine my Mum will talk me into doing it again with her in a couple of years.

Marathon over, it’s time to move on to new challenges.  So far, despite having signed up for the last two Juneathons, I have yet to complete this challenge.  This year I have added incentive – having had a very lazy (albeit fully deserved) couple of weeks in the Caribbean followed by a very alcoholic couple of weeks since, I am all out of shape again and dying to get back to the peak condition I was in pre-marathon.  Especially since I am going to the south of France for my friend’s wedding in July – effectively 4 days by the pool with a huge proportion of the people I know, including more than one former flame.  Never has it been so important to look super hot in a bikini!  Luckily for me, Juneathon promises to deliver.

This year, I have a vague idea of using Juneathon to sample as many new exercise options as possible (zumba perhaps) but we will have to see how that fits in with my hectic schedule of busy work days and even busier social plans.  There will be a bit of deja vu going on as three things that featured on my Juneathon blog last year are coincidentally also in the diary this June: the Blitz party, moving house, and a fancy client dinner (same client).  So try not to get too bored if it sounds like I’m repeating myself.  The difference is – this year I will succeed!

Good luck everyone, and happy Juneathoning!

04:56:43

Amazing, exhilarating, painful, wonderful day.  Delighted to achieve my sub-5 hour target on a very warm day.  Full race report to follow later.