Tub on the Run


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Progress

After a bit of a rocky start with My Fitness Pal, where my tracking didn’t really happen one week, I managed to put on weight before I lost it (genius!).  I am now pleased to report that I am at a net loss.  Hurrah!  It has been an “okay” kind of week with food.  I have tried to eat more mindfully, as I am horrendous for just wolfing down my meals without really chewing or tasting them.  The queen of mindless eating if you will!

I’ve really been struggling for things to write about on my blog lately.  “Tub” is still tubby, and “on the run” is more “sat on my bum”, so it’s quite hard to think of relevant things to write about.  However, as a brief post, I thought I’d share a couple of things that are inspiring me right now:

  • My sister – She took up running after me, but has beaten me at all running related things.  She’s got a 30 minute 5k under her belt, a few new knee scars from a fall (thankfully, otherwise, mostly injury free), and has now signed up for her first ever 10k in May.  She’s running for Parkinson’s UK at Highclere on 11th May 2014.  I can’t wait to hear how she does!
  • James – Matt’s best man at our wedding is competing in the EC Powerman Duathlon in Holland today.
  • The London Marathon.  I am always amazed by peoples’ ability to run for 26.2 miles, especially as I would struggle to run a full 2.62 miles right now.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading other bloggers’  recaps on the Brighton and Paris marathons, and can’t wait for the London reviews to come up in the next few days.

Oh… and happy birthday to my running shoes.  It has been a year since I bought them.

They don't look quite as clean these days

They don’t look quite as clean these days

 


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One of those light bulb moments

A few weeks ago, Matt brought home a magbook by Runner’s World.  I have to admit I was a bit surprised as Matt will generally be happy to follow my lead when it comes to weight loss methods and he has had absolutely zero interest in running after I dragged him out of the house last spring as I was getting towards the end of Couch to 5k.  The book is “Run Your Belly Off” (or RYBO from this point on).

My current reading pile

My current reading pile

He read a few chapters himself and liked the sound of it.  A few days later, I picked it up and started leafing through it.  It was at this point I had a bit of a light bulb moment.  I know this won’t come as a shock to many people, and if I am honest, I suppose I’ve known this all along…

Weight loss is simple maths.  Calories in versus calories out.  There must be a deficit.  Everything else is just advice or diet industry spiel.

Deep down, I know all of this.

I know this is probably a bit “durr” to some people, but for years I almost feel like I have sought for the magical solution to it all.  Slimming World gloss over the simple fact that it’s maths by introducing “syns” (though there is logic in restricting some fats and sugars etc), and Weight Watchers have their points system.  Distractions? Maybe.  I guess it depends on your mindset, and clearly some people do really well following these kinds of plans and I am in no way knocking it.  For me, I’ve used it as a crutch, going to the classes and feeling as if that alone, that small commitment in itself should be enough to yield spectacular losses on a weekly basis.  Sustainable?  Not for me at this moment in time.  That much is evident by my own journey so far.  Meal plans, syns, points have all meant that I have become lazy and reliant on just doing what I’m told and not really thinking for myself, eventually “rebelling” and ordering Domino’s, Chinese, Indian etc.

This really shouldn’t be surprising news to me.  My sister lost a large amount of weight a few years back just by being more mindful.  There was no cutting food groups out, no deprivation, but tweaks like more veggies, better meat, more fish, less processed food.

Can I calorie count?  Yes, of course.  There are plenty of apps and websites out there to help you do just that.  Will I calorie count?  I would be interested to see what I am shovelling in every day or week, definitely.  Longer term?  I won’t rule it out, but I suspect that after a period of re-educating myself on labels and portion sizes, I will have it as a fall back tool.  It is not something I see myself doing on a daily basis in the long term.  How many calories do I need?

I did the maths…

Right now, my basal metabolic rate (BMR) is 2,021 calories.  That is what I use per day.  Without doubt I eat more than that as I have gained weight since January (5lbs up – whoops!).  The book then goes on to say that in order for a person to lose 1lb of fat per week, there needs to be a weekly 3,500 calorie deficit.  The deficit can come from exercise and/or cutting down on the calories.

There is a running plan in the book too.  It takes 12 weeks to complete, at the end of which you’ll be running for 30 minutes.  The first week is all about walking.  I have to admit I was surprised that it is 3 weeks longer than Couch to 5k, but I’ll be seeing how it goes.  It is time to build my confidence back up and get back to running for 30 minutes in one hit.  I have things that I want to do at the end of the year which mean I need to stick at this (I WILL be beating my 10k time set at the Weston Christmas Cracker, and I am literally counting down the days to the day that they accept entries).

Pleasantly surprising is that Matt also wants to start running with me.  As I mentioned before, he doesn’t like running.  Despite this, I think he had a nasty shock courtesy of the scales.  Also having had a conversation with his friend J recently, where J is now studying to become a personal trainer and needs a victim guinea pig person to practice on, Matt has volunteered to be just that.  However, rather than be completely unfit, he wants to build a base level of fitness in preparation for his PT sessions.  Woo – I have a running buddy!

Watch this space!

Now I must go and plan some meals!  What are you having for tea tonight?


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New Start Eve

I’ve been running around a lot this week and have covered over 1,000 miles, driven in some truly scary conditions and received a couple more awards!  It’s quite a long catch up post, and I am hoping to have the world back to rights next week.

Monday last week saw me gearing up for a pretty full on week ahead. Thankfully, it was smooth running and I have passed over another part of my old role to the person who replaced me which is great!  Tuesday was a very late night.  I was picked up in the midst of a sleet flurry from Exeter and drove to Chippenham with a marshalling friend.  I am part of a marshalling club (well, I’m actually a member of two), and there are regional committees, and I was elected in to the South West region.  I also picked up two more awards (technically, they’re the same award, but one I get to keep, and one is in my custody for the next year).

Awards

I really can’t wait until the season starts again.  Matt and I didn’t do much last year because our holiday was chewed up with weddings and the like, and we’ve both learnt that we need a Monday off if we are marshalling endurance races over the weekend.  What I really like about marshalling is the escapism it provides.  I make no secret of the fact that I find my work stressful and will spend a lot of time thinking about it even when I am not there, which can burn me out.  Marshalling motorsport means that I can’t think of anything else other than what is on track – it is too safety critical.  Yes, of course, there is a love of cars and racing there too, and the camaraderie makes or breaks the weekend (thankfully more often makes than breaks!).

Wednesday was a trip up north to our offices in Huddersfield.  I have never driven in conditions like it, and I was extremely grateful to be driving a hired Insignia – it was like a tank and stayed planted the whole way up.  It meant an overnight stay and a much more peaceful journey back on the Thursday night.

Friday was a normal day at work, catching up on our day and a half out of the office.  It was blowing a proper gale when Matt and I got home, and after listening to it howling around our flat, we decided that a 9:30pm walk to the beach was in order.  Never before have I been able to lean backwards into the wind and for it to keep me upright.  I was glad the tide was on its way out when we were down there though, otherwise we would have been incredibly soggy.

Friday night walk

Yesterday we headed in to Exeter for a bit of a mooch, and to get the stuff together for my Foodie Penpal this month and also buy a new face cream as mine ran out.  I had been using Dermologica, but it stopped working as well over winter.  I now have Lush’s Imperialis which feels great so far, and I’ve been feeding the super dry patches on my cheek with Ultrabalm.  Much much better!  We also picked up father-in-law’s birthday present, despite his birthday being a month away.  I am quite pleased with myself.

Today, I caught up on some reading – 160 blog posts to read through!  It prompted my thoughts to turn back towards running.  I have had two weeks completely off of running.  I’m in two minds as to whether I miss it or not.  I miss the fresh air.  I miss getting out and feeling like I have done something good, but I have also enjoyed the time indoors (not least because we’ve been battered by storms for what feels like months!).

Back to Couch to 5k.  I toyed with the idea of going in a little bit further along in the weeks, but I realised that I have nothing to lose by going right back to Week 1.  Three runs a week, all less than 30 minutes should be enough for me to deal with.  I have also thought to add in some weights.  I don’t have the capacity, financially or spatially, to have my own home gym, but I figured a couple of kettlebells and youtube, and I’m away!  I won’t be adding that in quite yet though.

Run days will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I think.  Routes might be a bit more tricky to work out as I remember from last time that running the same route is dull.  However, the nights will be getting much lighter by the end of Couch to 5k, and I’ll be able to vary it with some trail runs.  Bring on the lighter evenings!  Week one, day one tomorrow – wish me luck!

With food, I don’t have a real plan, and I have no idea what I currently weigh.  I also have no intention of stepping on to the scales until at least the end of the month.  I haven’t really missed Slimming World so far, in fact, not going has allowed me a bit more time on a Tuesday evening.  What I am lacking though is structure.  That’ll be the next phase – structuring food.

 


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Excuses, excuses.

This is a post I haven’t really wanted to write, and I will warn you now, this is not exactly my cheeriest of posts.

I have pulled out of Silverstone.  I tried to see if I could get a deferral, but unfortunately they don’t allow you to.

Why have I pulled out?

I could definitely blame the weather.  I’d love to blame the weather!  As I type, the winds are swirling around and the rain is beating against the windows, as we brace for the next storm.  No.  The weather hasn’t helped, but that isn’t the reason for my failure.  If only it was just the weather!  I’ve made a silly error with a couple of things really.

Firstly, I completely underestimated how far 13.1 miles is.  I know that sounds a bit daft, but I am used to driving that, not running it, and my concepts of time and distance are shocking.  I haven’t stuck closely enough to the plan to do the distance the justice that it deserves.  I’ve had a bad couple of runs since I twisted my ankle a few weeks back which hasn’t helped my confidence at all.  I get so frustrated that I cannot run solidly for longer than about 8 minutes at a time, and it all turns inwards and becomes a big negative poop storm.

Kind of linked in with that is my second point.  I am my own worst critic and I feel like I have failed at some things, and I am failing at others.  I have overfilled my plate and I desperately need to scale back some of this pressure I have (admittedly, by my own doing) dumped on my plate.  Wah wah… I know “people busier than you are running right now”.  Good for them I say!  I do feel a bit stupid saying this when I have it easy compared to others.  I don’t have children, physical health issues, family problems or anything else like that.  I work a full time job, have two cats, and a loving family.  What I also have is my black dog…

beans and buggle

Though I am not referring to Beany (she is the attempt at an anti-black dog).  When I am doing well, I take on longer term projects thinking that I won’t feel as low as I currently do again.  Inevitably, it always comes as a surprise when I get a bit of a bottle neck of projects all coming together at once and my depression and/or anxiety reappears with gusto, and my little world disintegrates somewhat.

What does this actually mean?

I am not giving up running.  Far from it.  For the most part I am proud of how far I have come, but I haven’t respected the distance I wanted to achieve, or in all honesty, myself.  I am going right back to basics for food and exercise.  All the way back to Couch to 5k.  Three runs a week, increasing in running each week until I can get back to 30 minutes solid running again.  A focus on time over mileage might be a helpful mental aid.  I am travelling in the middle of the week next week, so I will be starting that in week following.  I desperately want to enjoy running again without pressuring myself so hard.  Running helps (when I don’t feel pressured), as does yoga, so I do need to keep it up for my mental health as much as anything.

For food, I am not entirely sure what I want to do with that yet.  I have read a lot of good things about Whole 30 and 21 Day Sugar Detox recently, but I am not sure if my brain can handle getting the hang of the rules of paleo-esque diets right now.  While I am figuring all of this side out, I will just resolve to eat better food and try to get back into a proper routine of eating, which includes reintroducing breakfast into my life.  And sweet potatoes.  I have a real hankering for sweet potatoes.

Sorry it’ s been a bit of a doom and gloomer.  Normal service will resume at some point!


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Tub’s Janathon Round Up

On my New Year’s Resolutions list, #janathon was right up there in position numero uno.  Having decided that this half marathon plan really did need some time and dedication, I thought that Janathon would be the perfect vehicle to achieve aforementioned dedication.  Well… It kind of worked, and I definitely did better than on my (disastrous) Juneathon.  I did something most days, but the blogging (or even tweeting) went by the wayside fairly early on.

What have I learned from Janathon?

  • Themes!  Themes must be the way forward!  I will have one for Juneathon.  No more waffling at length about how abysmal my plank is.  A theme will help make the “I exercised, therefore I blogged” easier to write (and maybe read!).  Blogging every day in an interesting way is hard.  To be honest, blogging once or twice a week and trying to be interesting is usually difficult enough.
  • Yoga is important to me.  I have neglected yoga (and general stretching) in the last couple of weeks, having started out so well.  All to my detriment.  My calf muscles have developed the elasticity of a dead rubber band or hair tie which in turn makes my brain go “NOOOOO YOU MUST STOP NOW!!  LOOK WHAT HAPPENS TO THE RUBBER BAAAAAAAND!!!”.
  • I am absolutely sick and tired of running around town centres or suburbia, running in the rain, the wind, the dark…  To be honest, I am a bit bored of running (not helpful in my last 4 weeks of training!).  That has not helped in trying to complete Janathon entirely blemish free as it were.
  • There are some great people out there that I am now following on Twitter and Bloglovin’ all because of Janathon.  I’ve interacted more with people than I normally would have done and I’ve really quite enjoyed that side of it.

Will I be signing up for Juneathon?  Yes, but I need to find a theme and think of some more interesting exercises to do other than planking, running and yoga.


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Merry Tubmas

Matt made me call this post “Merry Tubmas”.  I was going to go with “Happy Birthday Tub!”.  The sentiment is still the same though – Tub on the Run is one year old today!

Happy birthday Tub

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting back into blogging.  I used to have a blog a long time ago, but I didn’t really understand anything about blogging then (and I’m not always sure I know now!), and after a couple of months I eventually stopped and deleted the old one.  I can’t even remember what it was called now.  I didn’t read blogs at the time. either  Nowadays, I have roughly 60 blogs on my reading list which I try to read regularly, and I have “met” some really nice people along the way (and met one of the bloggers, Sharon, in real life!).

What genuinely surprises me on a daily basis is that people (other than my mum and sister) read this, and some even comment and/or follow me.  I don’t know what it is that brings people this way, but thank you – whether you are a regular reader or not!

I won’t lie, I had hoped that Tub would be less tubby by now, and that “on the run” had been a bit more consistent (and faster, and over longer distances), but importantly, one year on, I am still fighting both battles, and I would never have thought I would have been able to a) complete Couch to 5k, b) run a 10k, or c) be training (quite seriously) for a half marathon.  Yeah, the times are (or are going to be) slow, but that is ok.  I can work on that after Silverstone.

I don’t obsess over page views or the like, but I do like to see what goes on in the WordPress Stats, and here are some of them:

Top post (Food) – Slimming World Friendly Lasagne

Top post (Running) – Janathon Day 5: 0 dry runs this year

Countries – People from 45 different countries have visited Tub on the Run, with the highest coming from the UK, USA, Canada and Australia

And now, for some of my favourite search terms (I hope you found what you were looking for people, though I suspect you may not have found it here!):

  1. “shoe woo in little rock”
  2. “can i use catnip spray on my skin”
  3. “alpaca tub”
  4. “i am the greatest sister”
  5. “i had deodrant on when i had my spray tan now my armpits are green”

Anyway, thank you for your support and guidance over the last year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Tub’s second birthday looks like!


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Janathon Day 14: Are we nearly there yet?

As I started on the downhill slope to home time, the usual demons started up…

“you don’t want to go out for a run… It’s dark, cold and wet”

I will freely admit that I agreed with my little demon.  It is dark, cold and wet.  I won’t lie – I considered not going out.  Then some synapse fired and reminded me that it is less than 7 weeks to Silverstone Half Marathon, and every little piece of training helps.

I’d considered nipping in to the gym.  It was only meant to be two miles, which is just about bearable on the treadmill.  But no.  I decided to go around the marina, which isn’t a route I usually do.  I thought perhaps the change of scenery would be helpful.

Out of the house I ventured.  Into drizzle, wind and cold I stepped, and of course, my Garmin took a little longer to lock.  Not my best start.  Once the planets had aligned and the Garmin locked on, I started off.  Or rather, I attempted to get the two lumps of concrete attached to my hips moving.  It was unsuccessful.  Ok… Maybe I’ll feel better when I get into it.  After all, I have been harbouring intentions towards trying my hand at lamppost intervals.  I tried a couple of lamppost intervals.  Nope.  Not working.  Ok… Maybe back to familiar territory?  I headed back towards the trainline.  Still nothing.

I never regret going out for a run, despite all my whinging about it beforehand, but I came very close to regretting today’s attempt.

14th Jan Run

I aborted the run as I was becoming progressively more miserable.

Tuesday nights are Slimming World weigh in nights, and I pootled off, convinced that I would have put weight on.  Upon arrival, I took my jacket off, and H (who helps out at Slimming World), pointed out that I had a rather unfortunate wet patch across my chest.  Yep, it looked like I had some pretty spectacular boob sweat going on.  Delightful.  It would appear that my waterproof jacket that I wear for running is not as waterproof as I give it credit for.  Fortunately, I maintained my weight this week, so I didn’t quite put the cherry of a weight gain on what was turning into a rubbish evening.

I got to thinking why my run was so awful today, and I suspect it could be one or a combination of the following:

  • I need to buy a new sports bra.  I had bounce, and bounce is not good.  I need strapping in, and firmly.
  • I haven’t had that much in the way of protein.  I didn’t have much after my long run and I have been sore.  I know that if I eat more protein, I am generally a happier (and less stiff) bunny.
  • I am tired.  A lot of things feel like a chore at the moment, and those things are less physically demanding than running.
  • My legs are physically tired.  Yes, probably they are.  My shins are a bit sore, right ankle isn’t happy and my left knee is joining in the chorus of niggles.
  • Not eating close enough to a run.  I hadn’t eaten anything for nearly 6 hours before I went out (and even then, it was hardly a nutritious meal – a stuffing baguette and Diet Coke).

Four miles are on the card tomorrow.  My plan?  Wear my other bra, bed early tonight, eat something at about 4:30pm and start feeding myself with proper food instead of rubbish.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings!


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Janathon Day 12: The Long Run

In the middle of my funk last night, I posted to Twitter that I am struggling.

Tweet

I can feel self-sabotage brewing.  I have never run as much as I am now, and while I really do feel like I am beginning to make some progress (my heart rate average is lowering, though my average pace is staying relatively stable), I am beginning to wonder whether I can really do 13.1 miles.  Thirteen point one miles is a very long distance for me (and for most people I would imagine).  I don’t want to fail, but I almost feel that it is inevitable.  I’ve tried getting into running so many times, and my consistency requires more work.

I genuinely hadn’t intended the tweet to be seeking pity or anything, but I was genuinely touched by the response I had.  It was reassuring to know that most people will feel the same at one point or another.

So this morning, I scoffed some porridge, waited an hour, faffed around a bit, tried to find some clean workout clothes, eventually found them, stepped outside and faffed a bit more whilst waiting for my Garmin to sync.

A couple of minutes later, off I toddled.  6 miles on the plan, but I needed to do just over to get my 10k recorded for my Virtual Runner race.  I chose to go from home to Darts Farm, which turns out to be around 6 miles.  It was a mildly undulating route.  Unfortunately I didn’t break my 10k record, but it was relatively close.  I probably would have done it, but for getting stuck behind some walkers and their dogs.

One thing I am beginning to find is that my heart rate is coming down, but the perceived effort seems to be getting harder.  I don’t know why that is, but I really flag in how I feel towards the end, though this isn’t entirely represented by my pace.

Anyway, I arrived at Darts Farm.

Darts Farm

I took £2 with me so I could get a drink, which I desperately needed by then.  Matt was meant to meet me there, but had got a bit sidetracked.  I busied myself by shopping for my Foodie Penpal (new matches came through!).  We also bought lunch to bring home.  Matt picked me up and home we came.  I plan to spend the rest of the afternoon doing laundry, catching up on the Janathon and Jantastic blogs, and pottering.

Janathon exercise, done.  Jantastic Week 1, done.  10k for Virtual Runner, logged!

Logged for Virtual Runner


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Janathon Day 10: argh! mile 4!

This week my mileage sees one of the larger increases, and my two mid-length runs are 4 milers.

Originally I was meant to go out yesterday but a serious crash on the motorway meant I was three hours late for work and I ended up having a relatively stressful day trying to catch up with myself. I postponed in favour of prawns and Spartacus.

Mum had invited me around for tea tonight. Dad was out and Matt was on his way back from Birmingham so we thought we would have a nice evening chatting away. I said I would need to go out for a run, so after a quick pit stop home to get changed into my running clothes, I headed up to Mum’s where I also got the chance to run a different route (a very welcome change!).

My run looked something like this:

Mile 1: aaaaaarrrggghhhhhhhh….. Stitch!! I should not have eaten that yogurt before I came out…. Urge the paaaaaain (melodrama? Moi?)

Mile 2: cough…. Wheeze…. Cough… Thanks Mr 2 Stroke Moped for leaving a stink trail for half a mile. Hmm…. Stitch… Hmm left knee isn’t happy…

Mile 3: woo I am feeling good! Ok, with the exception of breathing out my backside when I reach the top of a rather brutal hill (but importantly, I made it to the top of the hill in a semblance of a run)

Mile 4: oh God. I am dying. Who put this hill here? I am sure this is meant to be flat. How much further? 0.75 of a mile? Ok… Huff… Puff… Walk… Now? 0.64? You have got to be kidding me. A watched kettle never boils? A watched Garmin doesn’t change either!

Mile 4.08: woo! Home!

And so I returned to my parents’ house, beetroot in colour, shining and a bit soggy with sweat, probably smelling as pretty as I looked.

My run was rewarded with a lovely hot shower and chilli con carne.


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Janathon Day 7: WOO! A dry run!!

Cause for celebration – a dry run!  I cannot tell you how good it felt to be able to look up without my eyes stinging from the rain.  I have to admit, I hadn’t held high hopes for a dry run.  When M and I got up for work this morning, a few lightening flashes were sparking across the sky, followed quite some time later by a rolling thunder.  Perhaps 5 minutes later, driving rain and a howling gale swept across the town and it looked like someone had taken a jet wash to our windows.  Thankfully, it didn’t persist into the evening.

A lovely dry run!

I had been gearing myself up to try running a bit faster today and attempt to turn my shortest run of the week into a fast (for me) run, having been buoyed by my fastest pace on my long run.  I am quite pleased to say that I managed to get to 12:32 for mile 1, and 14:12 for mile 2.  For me, the time of my first mile is quick, and I can tell you know, I breathing out my bum for a lot of mile 2 (having puffed out on mile 1).

Today's contribution

Today’s contribution

That counts as one run towards my three per week that I have pledged as part of Jantastic.  I’ve joined Team Run Blog Bake .  We have a facebook group running, and they’re a great bunch – some really inspiring stories from the team!  I think I am going to enjoy getting to know everyone over the next couple of months.

I made my way straight to Slimming World to weigh in after my run.  I am chuffed to be recording a 3.5lb loss for this week.  I haven’t followed the plan fully, but I’ve not done too badly either.  One thing I really do need to work on is making sure I get enough to drink.  I’ve taken a 3 mint tea in to work to help stave off the munchies, which has worked so far (thank you Maria at Running Cupcake for the tip!).  I plan to up my veggies and protein this week, though I must get to Tesco tomorrow, otherwise my plans will fall flat on their face.

I didn’t stay to group.  I have absolutely nothing against newbies (we all were a newbie once), but the sheer amount of people means that group takes much longer, despite our consultant’s best efforts to keep it moving.  When I have been for a run, then sit down for perhaps up to an hour and a half, not only am I ravenous (and bad tempered in my hunger), but I also start to get stiff (and grumpy).  I’ll start going back to group towards the end of January when the New Year’s Resolutionists have gone.

As I dropped my weary carcass onto the sofa, I flicked through the TV programme planner thingy, and there is NOTHING on TV.  Come on Game of Thrones!  It is high time that you were back on my telly box!!  If I am going to be putting these miles in, I demand something good to watch for my efforts!

"Winter is coming" (Not quick enough HBO!)

“Winter is coming”
(Not quick enough HBO!)

Anyway, my Week 1 totals for Janathon are:

Miles run = 12.81

Plank = 19 seconds

Yoga = 50 minutes