Monday, January 6, 2014

A Jan-tastic dilemma

'Run England's campaign to motivate all of us 'Brits' over the wet winter

I have a dilemma. 

Okay, in the scheme of world hunger, slavery and global war, it's not a big dilemma. In fact, it safe to say, in my day-to-day life this would only be counted as a little blip; but hey, I have a blog-post to write and zero inspiration. I have to work with what I got! Aren't you a lucky lot?

Sometime in December -I have a feeling it was whilst I was very drunk at my ParkRun's Christmas party- I agreed to be a part of our ParkRun's Jantastic team. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but then so did the two bottles of wine I drank -- probably the reason why it took me twenty minutes to get through the door at the end of the night and I kept putting my shoes back on to wave goodnight to my friends (apparently). As with most drunken situations that happen during the 'Christmas Party', there were consequences. I admit the consequences could have been a lot worse -- let's just be glad there were no photocopiers about is all I can say. Yet, this agreement to join the 'Jantastic' team would challenge deeply held beliefs and shock my running routine to the core.

I don't remember this photo being taken. I think it was before
we were yelled at for being loud and after we were kicked out
of the bar.
I don't remember this one either.
Oh, dear.

Jantastic, is on the whole a fantastic concept. I wholly applaud it -- from afar and with a glass of sloe gin in my hand. It's a competition set up by the organisations, 'Run England' and 'Marathon Talk' between teams of between six and... well, however many people you can sucker into the team. The idea is that for each of the first three months of the year, there is a running challenge. The team receives points on how close you get to your goal and at the end there is a winning team and... well, the rest I suppose. January involves running a set number of runs a week which you set yourself at the beginning. The minimum distance is one mile. (I put down three runs a week). February is where you run your set number of runs AND another run of a set distance per week; I haven't chosen the distance, but I am guessing it will probably be about six-to-eight miles. March's challenge is your set runs, your distance runs AND you will dictate one of your runs to be a certain distance and you specify your end time. The closer you are to your time, the more points you get. Mine will probably be my ParkRun 5K as it's the most accurate on timing. Dependant on how I am feeling I will probably pick a finish time of between 24-27 mins. Remember I am still recovering here -- this is going to be a challenge for my back. I thought I would put that disclaimer in now

So, all-in-all, a fantastic concept. I love the idea. The idea of course, is a whole lot different to actually doing it. The running part of the challenge, I am fairly confident of. Luckily, there is enough tweaks in the scheme, that I can probably hold my own. That's not my issue. I will have to log my runs.

Gulp. Log. My. Run's. I am not sure I can do that.

I have, for years, been very much of the mindset, that my runs are my runs. I will do them whenever, however and with who-ever I want too -- with the additional variable on whether I feel like wearing a TUTU or not. If my run is only 5K's one week, but the next week it's a 10K, then it doesn't bother me. If I run a race, then it's the fun to be had on the course, not the time in which I did it. I evaluate my runs not on the pace and distance, but how many squirrels I scared on the way. This is also why I ultimately suck at training plans. (I know that as long as I get out and run, then whatever race I run, I will have enough determination to finish the course).

The thought of having to get a GPS signal and sign up to a running app on my phone is a pretty scary concept for me. (As a side note, I do actually own a Garmin, but it's three years old, hardly been worn and irritates the fuck out of me. I have usually run the distance before I have found the satellites). The fact I am going to have to be conscientious and log my runs in not only one, but two sites, is sending my heart-rate to the level that I only get when I am watching a steamy hunk (or hunkettes) in an Avenger movie. This is my dilemma: Do I go back on my whole running philosophy of not logging my runs, or do I let my team down?

Deep Breath. 

I, of course know, that I will stick my beliefs up the proverbial pipe and go with my team. In the scheme of things using an iphone app and getting my (increasingly sized) arse into my winter running gear is a small price to pay for what I could achieve...

Helping my Jantastic team -who won not only the 2013 championship, but also the team size category- to victory. Myself, and my 90+ team-mates will push the Conkers Parkrun back on the Jantastic map. I will take my 'running-belief' system and leave it behind in the warm-and-fuzzy-spirit of seeing my team-mates faces as we chase for our challenge.

Also, I will avoid the wrath of 'Capt'in Roger'. I tell you, if I came close to failing, I may find him camped on my doorstep with a machete and a whip in his hand, at 6:30AM demanding I get some clothes on, so he can chase me. He's kind of kinky like that ;)

My coping mechanism is too PB for every timed run I do. So, here is this weeks report
Saturday 4th January
My PB was the 'fastest 5k whilst stomping in all the puddles and making everyone I passed muddy and wet'. Managed it in 30 min something with my favourite puddle stomping buddy C.

Monday 6th January 
I ran a PB of '3.72 miles whilst confusing the walkers on the route by telling them "I hate this hill"' in 43:49 (or whenever I managed to get my phone out and switch off the app)

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