Posts Tagged ‘Juneathon’

Ok. So it’s a blatant Juneathon (exercise-and-blog-every-day) fail. Tooth infection and subsequent extraction put a halt on things for a while.

Weirdly, half my face still feels sore, painful, enlarged, etc. Not as painful as it was…. But I can’t quite smile properly and the tooth was removed on Wednesday morning :-/

I can live with it compared to how it was.

I’m at the doctor’s next week anyway, heaving recent received a text saying…

You’re getting old now. Please come in for an MOT

So if it’s still not right then, I’ll get it sorted.
I was down at the tennis courts again yesterday though and played a couple of sets while my son had coaching on the other court. Today, has been a heavy gardening day, though I’m currently taking a break, doing this, and watching Murray/Wawrinka on the telly-box.
I’ve just had a nice delivery, too.

Do you remember ‘BOUNTS’? I wrote a blog about it once. It’ll be out of date now, in the sense that it WAS amazing… But it was too amazing and collapsed under its own success. 

Let me explain…

You basically did tracked activity/sport/steps etc linked to your Garmin/fitbit/etc and you got points.

When you had enough, those points could be directly exchanged for actual monetary vouchers. I exchanged mine and got £15 sent to me a couple of years back. I guess (and this is purely a guess) they accessed these themselves through advertising revenue. 

I would have exchanged points again because I had loads of them but Bounts never had any stock to give anyone. People got upset. Personally, I didn’t. It was frustrating, yes, but it was all free. I’d not lost anything.

Except, some people had lost out. Bounts offered a premium service which did cost, but meant you earned points more quickly. Earning points quickly is kind of pointless though (pun intended) if those points can’t get you anything. 

In summary –

Bounts basically had too many people on their books, all with loads of points, all wanting to exchange them for vouchers that Bounts didn’t have.

So they changed their model. Some people, (though, I understand, not all) who paid premium, got a refund, and vouchers were no longer available. The company now offer an entry into various competitions to win prizes if you manage to complete the accompanying challenge – e.g. Run 20 miles over the month; do 10,000 steps every day for a fortnight; cycle 5 times in 30 days, etc.

To cut an already long story not a lot shorter, I won one of these competitions! 

I’d played tennis the required four times in May and along with a few other people* I won this funky tennis backpack!

…and his has this cool,  weird, dodgy-looking handle zippy thing attached to a zip pocket at the back so the racket fits in securely…. Err… Let me try and show you…

Well I think it’s quite a good, funky design feature anyway.

So… I’ve certainly not lost out by doing Bounts. I’m sorry if you have. Here’s a link anyway if you’re interested  >>BOUNTS<<

For balance. Also check out, Running Heroes (link included, but I think they might be entirely app-based now) – they also do challenge-based competition entries. I think I’ve won a pair of socks and a £20 voucher through them.

Incidentally, mentioning ‘balance’ reminded me, New Balance used to send me stuff for free to review on occasions but in my efforts to be honest in my reviews (I didn’t really think the last pair of shoes they sent me were great for running), I… Errr… Don’t really hear anything from them now**. Oooops.
*as in, other people also won a bag. I did not win other people as well as winning a bag.

**Maybe they found out only 3 people read this. That could be it, too.

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Last night, my family and I stayed over at my parents’ house. They moved recently… not exactly ‘near’ us, but certainly nearer than Devon was. I miss taking moderately regular holidays in Devon now, but it is greatly outweighed buy how much more frequent our visits are when the journey is only 1.5 hours instead of 4.5!

I woke in the early hours (about 04:15) for some reason and still had my Bluetooth headphones awkwardly wrapped around my face somehow. In my attempts to remove them, I must have somehow pushed the secret combination of buttons activating the mysterious secret code and initiating those horrible words that I then heard in my ear… 

LAST NUMBER REDIAL!”

What?! No. No no no no noooo…

04:15 a.m. 

Like… In the morning?

Where’s my phone gone?!

Who did I call last?!

Thankfully (sort of) the last person I called was ‘My Mother and Father’ [so listed in my phone in order that when using voice dial I don’t say “call mum” and then have to choose between Amy’s mum, Callum’s mum, Harry’s mum, Matilda’s mum, George’s mum, Lewis’s mum, Bobby’s mum, Georgia’s mum, Robyn’s mum, etc …you get the picture]. I had called them the evening before to say I’d turned off the A1 and would be another 20 minutes.

Anyway…back to the moderately amusing anecdote… 

Well, I jumped up from my makeshift bed on the floor of the living room (the new house is a little smaller than the old one – I’d not just had a family argument or anything) and the speed at which I did so, looking for the glow of my phone,  is worthy of a Juneathon activity in itself. 

It was like a burpee on steroids. 

I eventually spotted my phone only after the house phone started ringing at that special volume that is reserved only for unwanted noises in the wee small hours of the night/morning … and I managed to turn it off within 3 seconds….But those 3 seconds felt, and sounded, like 3 minutes.

I thought I’d got away with it as I didn’t hear anyone else get up… but later in the morning, I was informed that this wasn’t actually the case. Oops.

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Moving on… 

Come 06:30 a.m. and the boy wakes up wanting  play football! 

So naturally, we headed out for an hour to the local park to kick the ball around.

 ‘Official’ Juneathon activity done.

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Other activities today included a reasonably long walk around a sculpture park, chasing my kids around the water-play area at Burghley House, and rolling down slight hills.

 🙂

It’s June.

Which means it’s Juneathon. A month of activity/exercise and blogging. You know…that thing where you start of saying that you’re going to be all fitness and health for a month and then manage a week if you’re lucky, before then either slinking away hoping nobody notices, or proudly announcing your failings to the blogging world, amid encouragement from all the other slackers to eat all the biscuits/cake etc.

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I’ve not blogged for ages. A lot has happened. 
Unfortunately one of those things has been me getting older, which results in a number of things, 

1) I’m slowing down.

2) Bits of my body are failing me.

4) I can’t remember all the other things that have happened.

3) I get a bit muddled.

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I recently turned 40. I didn’t have a big do. 

I thought about inviting all my friends round but they don’t really know each other so I figured I’d visit them both individually at a later date.

Instead, I took a couple of days off work in April and as my wife and kids had different Easter holidays to each other, after seeing the kids off to school we headed up into the Peak District. 

We enjoyed some lovely views and a glass of celebratory bubbles at Froggat Edge…

…and stayed over in some “accommodation” nearby…

…which, despite the completely inappropriate use of punctuation, was actually really nice. I woke up the next morning while it was still dark and treated myself to a little run along the edge, snapping few nice pictures along the way…

It was a nice birthday trip away. 

Plus we saw some cool cows we weren’t expecting. (That’s a sentence that can surely only be expressed by someone aged 40+ , right?)

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Physically, little runs are all I seem to be able to manage at present and have been for quite some time now. 5k …maybe 10k at a push. I can do these without too much agro. But anything more and my left achilles gives me jip. It’s just letting me know it’s there, mostly just whispering, but if I start getting cocky and try to run further/faster, it shouts at me.

To combat the reduced running (and associated weight management problems I then experienced) I’d been going to the gym a bit more instead, and was enjoying this – a regular circuit of free weights, skipping and stretches (yes….stretches…I know…get me). This was going well, until a slight niggle in my right arm became more than that. 

Long story short – it’s tennis elbow. I didn’t realise it could be this painful. I genuinely thought I’d somehow broken something. 

And now, about 4 months after I first noticed something, I can wake in the early hours and be unable to straighten my arm.

 It will go… eventually… apparently… I’m told. But it may be months….it could be a couple of years… But the gym circuit has now been cut from my routine too.

There have of course been subsequent weight management issues associated with this.

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Those of you who have read my previous postings may know that I’m quite ‘All Or Nothing’ when it comes to my health. If I’m being fit and active, I’m often also eating well. As I’ve not been very fit and active, my nutritional intake has also been less than perfect. 

Now as confused as I get with what my idea of ‘perfect’ is anyway… High fat/low fat, carbs good/bad, etc (and at this point I want to say, please don’t try to advise me, you will only seek to confuse me further!), what I do know is that eating the amount I have been as often as I have been, has not been great for me. 

The subsequent weight management issues associated with this no doubt aggravate my achilles issue, affect my motivation, etc, etc. So I need to do something.

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I still manage to enjoy the odd game of tennis. I gave this a rest for a while to see if it helped the elbow. 

It didn’t. 
And I’m not giving it up indefinitely so I’ve decided it’s a case of taking a few painkillers before a match, gritting my teeth and getting on with it!

My boy, who’s eleven (funny name for a boy, I know) and I are playing in a league match together as partners this Saturday. I’ll let you know how we do.

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I’m not (always) daft. It’s not like I’m going to go mad and try and do 100 press ups, 100 sit ups, 100 lunges and run 10km every day or anything*…

*…I …errr… I… I  did that a couple of weeks ago…. For one day… And then couldn’t get out of bed the next morning… So that’s not a good idea people. I have done this so you don’t have to.

 Today, I have started gently. Some stretches. A few sit ups. Let’s not go mad. I’m determined too teach my daughter, who’s six (funny name for a girl, I know), to ride her bike this half-term holiday. I shall be doing that later today, too.

So there’s my update. My first Juneathon post in a long while.

 It will be all or nothing, I’m sure. Either the full month of activity and blogging or a miserable fail followed by blogging silence. 

And let’s face it, I’ve already got my excuses in.

Juneathon done.

Posted: June 30, 2015 in Juneathon, not running
Tags: ,

30 days of exercise.
30 days blogged about…Just sometimes a day late or sandwiched in with another post…

…like this one.

Last night I went straight to the tennis courts after work and left there 4.5 hours later. Lovely.

Lost a big match after going down 9-7 on a tie-break. A bit gutted, but a great game.

Not been doing much running this month, to be fair. Not in terms of miles anyway.
It doesn’t look like I’ll be entering the Nottingham marathon this year. I said I’d only enter if I managed to shift 10kg.

I haven’t.

I think I need a bit of a break. No pressure. No goals. Just enjoy the running. Or not running.

Time to sit back, relax, enjoy Wimbledon.

I went down to the tennis club again tonight, actually. Stopped off first, bought some ice, bought some beers…

  
My kind of tennis…

Cheers, Juneathon people.

Normal service of only occasional random blogging (sometimes about running) now resumes.

It arrived at last!

After great anticipation and a build up worthy of a child with their first chocolate advent calendar… Friday 26th June 2015 was international handstand day!

It was also an inset day for the children (for my international readers, joining me today in celebration of international handstand day, an inset day = teacher training – i.e. No children in school/nursery). So I had them both to myself for the whole day.
I am a lucky dad. These are the kind of days I like.

The only request from either child was that we went swimming at some point. My only request was that at some point I should do a handstand to mark international handstand day. My original plan, having checked the swimming timetable, was to leave the house early, cycle to the swimming pool together, swim, then cycle off somewhere for a picnic lunch, before then some mad adventure in the afternoon.

There was, however, plenty of morning faffing top be done; picnics to be made; children to be woken and breakfasted; bikes to be oiled, brakes checked and seats raised (these little people don’t stay little for long, do they?); and handstands to be attempted.

WARNING: below is photographic evidence of me attempting to stand on my hands in the morning in a very lose-fitting dressing gown. I have taken care to obscure my face from the photograph but I am wearing nothing else apart from slippers (which I was kindly bought recently for father’s day – I’ve got some ‘Minions’ ones too, but I’m not wearing them). YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

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Are you sure you still want to do this?

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Ok then…

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I was actually pleasantly surprised that I could still bend down to my toes. Go me!
So, back to our day… The kids and I eventually left the house after much deliberation about the route…

“I don’t like cycling on the roads” 

“it’s dangerous!!”

“I don’t like hills!”

” can’t we just take the car?”

But eventually, the kids persuaded me to stop being such a wuss and just start pedalling.

We had a great time cycling and then swimming, with Child1 managing 50m front crawl at the end of the session to ‘earn’ (they were going to get one anyway) him and his sister a treat from the machines in the foyer after the swim. She isn’t yet swimming independently but happy to be in and around water.

Next, a short cycle to the park for picnic (now about 1:30pm) as despite machine treats, we’re a bit peckish.

Deliberately ‘forgetting’ to bring a football was a good plan as both children played really nicely together and we all attempted another international handstand day handstand…
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A basic understanding of the laws of physics will betray the fact that neither my own or my son’s (sorry- but especially my son’s) attempts held ‘form’ for more than a mere fraction of a second.

We spent ages on the park and I then led them off on another bike ride to a secret location.

They didn’t like ‘secret location’ bike rides… But they did great. And when we got there, the cinema still had some tickets left for the newly released ‘Minions’ movie.

Quick Film review: Meh…it’s no ‘frozen’ but the kids enjoyed it, so therefore I did.

We cycled back home and got in literally just before the rain started. Great timing.
Great day.
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Oh… and great slippers!

  

Stolen

Posted: June 25, 2015 in Juneathon, running
Tags: , ,

Yesterday, Wednesday 24th June was rattling through with very little going on in the way of exercise.
I’d taken some friends to the Nottingham Open tennis in the morning but I couldn’t stay, myself due to my fatherly duties (daughter collection from nursery later).

It wasn’t until later in the evening, when eldest child went to cubs that I got the day’s exercise in.
My good lady wife had arrived home just in time to take charge of the youngest so once I took the eldest to cubs, I could just go for a run until collection time.
It was a good job too, because a minor accident nearby meant I wouldn’t have been able to drive home anyway. A 10k run later, though and with Child1 now collected from cubs, the route was clear. Wednesday – done.

Thursday 25th
Squeezed in just a set of tennis in the morning but it was a good one. It took an hour and I was dripping afterwards.

But when I got home, I had an email informing of a theft.

Something of mine had been stolen.

The email started… “Uh, oh” …never a good sign. Then continued..”your course record has been stolen!” It was from Strava.

I know. I imagine you are in shock right now too… But yes, I did actually have a Strava course record. It was/is a downhill segment (naturally! Well, it wasn’t going to be anything else) and I ran it on an occasion a while back when it had just started raining very heavily and it was dark (this is important as it meant I could see if cars were coming at the point I had to cross the road).

Anyway, it has been stolen from me.

I will get it back.

Maybe not today.

Maybe not tomorrow.

Or the day after.

Or the day after that.

Or next week.

Possibly not next month
(I’ve very busy, you know)

Next year’s not great for me either…

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..how do you fade out in a blog post?

Double Monday

Posted: June 23, 2015 in Juneathon, not running
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Monday 22nd June

I remember, approximately twenty-something years ago, at school, I loved Wednesdays.

Wednesday’s timetable was, I think: double P.E (yay! Love P.E!) double maths (love puzzles) and double music (love making lots of noise).

Today (…well…yesterday now…but today too, actually) is not a Wednesday.

Monday, at school twenty-something years ago was double hunanities. I don’t know why it was called ‘humanities‘ it wasn’t very humane to bore the pants off us students for hours and then give us ten hours of homework to do by yesterday. Well that’s how it felt. There were probably other lessons on a Monday, but they could not overshadow humanities!

Today (yesterday now) is (was) a Monday.

But it didn’t just feel like a Monday, yesterday, it felt like a double Monday.

I was unproductive and slow and if my thoughts were spoken out loud, I’d have told myself to shut up and get out of my own company.

I was looking forward to tennis night though, in the same way that twenty-something years ago, I looked forward to the end-of-school bell…

…But when I got to tennis it started tipping it down with rain, big time.

So at this point, I’m supposed to tell you how I laced up my running shoes and went for an invigorating run in the rain, singing at the top of my voice, smiling at everyone who thought I was mad and brightening people’s day as I deliberately stand next to that huge puddle as the car drives by to give myself a refreshingly muddy shower and celebrate the wonder that is the sensation of life!! WoooHooo!!!

…But no.  I didn’t do that.  I have done that before…but not on this particular double Monday…

On this particular double Monday…I played tennis in the rain for an hour and a half with other mad people.

It was quite nice.
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Tuesday 23rd

I didn’t post yesterday’s post yesterday, because if I did, my parents would have phoned to check I was ok. They read my blog…and they read into my blog…which is dangerous. I am ok.
I was ok. It was just a double dose of Monday. You don’t need to phone. Oh and dad has said I can use that poem thing I was on about for father’s day (as long as I credit him), so I’ll go and edit that into my B&B post in a bit

Today was a different day. It was Tuesday, for starters.

I felt much better today.

I am considering a late night run, but having done 60 press ups in 60 seconds earlier (just to see if I still can) and therefore meeting tonight’s Juneathon requirement, I think I might go to bed early…or at least early for me.

Don’t forget people (UK people at least), Friday is national handstand day – yes, seriously that is a thing.

That day’s blog could be interesting.

(Or ‘randomness take two’)

Same photo … Different blog post!

 

 Yesterday’s random sweet plucked from the randoms packet (from which I had to elicit some sporting activity) was a tennis racquet – boring.

Today, it was this…

  
A space rocket! Yeah! 

So I trained to be an astronaut!

Well obviously not. 

It was suggested that I do 100 burpees because I would have to shoot up like a rocket to do them. I thought there would be very little chance of me even leaving the ground after 100 burpees so I declined that suggestion.

I opted instead for the easier option of moving at 4 times the speed of sound.

Well… A leisurely 20 minute run to check on a couple of our geocaches that I needed to check were still in place.

On the way back, I placed my phone on the ground, set the timer, and ran over it.

So, just like a rocket going past my house, I’m moving fast, defying gravity, soaring through the air, and I’m barely visible…
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…Unlike a space rocket however (I imagine), I landed in a big pile of dog poo and subsequently did the dog-poo-foot-slide thing all the way home (which incidentally had little or no effect as I was wearing trail shoes and I’ve just forced it into the gaps).
I’m left them outside and I’m hoping for a thunderstorm tonight!

Saturday 13th June 2015

Last night, the plan was to get a parkrun PB for the third time in a row at my ‘local’ (15 minute drive away) event this morning.

This morning, due to time constraints (wanting to get the washing done first), that plan became to go 5 minutes down the road and complete the ‘Colliers Wood Canter’ which is a 5k run organised by a local running club (Kimberley Striders). They had originally applied for this to be a ‘parkrun venue proper’ but it was turned down, they inform me. Nonetheless, once a month (second Saturday, I think) these guys do their own version using the less technological methods of stopwatch, pen, paper and place tokens and to their credit they do a great job.

I’m sure there were good reasons for the parkrun team to turn down the venue but for folks that can’t make the journey to Nottingham, this event is a great free 5k timed run…

…except I didn’t even make it to this event either.  A very hard working wife with a million school reports to write and check, and high-spirited early-waking children meant my highly tuned parenting skills were required at home.

I took Child1 to his tennis session. It was raining. He played anyway and enjoyed it. I ran my own 5k around the local roads. I didn’t get a PB.

Child1’s tennis tournament in the afternoon was cancelled so I took Child2 to her dance lesson instead and allowed hard-working wife to continue working hard.

It rained all day. Got nothing done of any use in the afternoon. Was looking forward to the tennis tournament and then felt flat.

Good job I ran in the morning.

Pfft.

Ten(ish) out of ten

Posted: June 11, 2015 in Juneathon, not running
Tags: ,

On day 10 of my Juneathon month of daily activity, I once again played tennis (and I once again repeated the ‘ten(ish)’ title because I am boring and lazy mostly).

That is something that you may not know about me because normally my posts are so dynamic and interesting? Yes… well…

I was recently nominated by another blogger RunMaggieCooper to share a few facts about me and link to some other interesting blogs that I read.

Well, I am even less into chain type things than she is, but having said that, I enjoyed reading her post so here is a link back to it.

I won’t go nominating other folk but will add links to other blogs over the next couple of weeks (I’ve been a bit rubbish on the ‘reading blogs‘ side of things this Juneathon, but I do try to read a few each day and comment or ‘like’ if I have stopped by).

Back to day ten, anyway…as you might have gathered, it was tennis again. This time – a league match for my local club. Four decent sets (about 3 hours) of tennis. The best bit was coming back from 4-0 down in one set to eventually win on the tie-break (9-7). Yay!

It felt good to have done decent exercise as that morning I went to the farm with my daughter and ended up eating a full english breakfast for lunch (in addition to my earlier breakfast) and most of my daughter’s lunch (a giant sausage roll) too.

The plan was to eat a light, healthy dinner…except as I headed home, my hard-working wife text to say she hadn’t eaten yet and could I perhaps pick up a takeaway on my return.

I didn’t needed much (any) persuading!