Running and raining into July …

Back to work on Monday and amazingly it is not raining. This merits a mention as rain has been the order of the day this month. After the trip back from Cambridge , I can’t quite face an early morning run, so I am  hoping that the sun holds out till after work.

Luckily it turns out to be one of the nicest of June days , and properly warm. In fact I am almost thinking it is too warm to run, but then I remember how many times this month I have run in rain and ‘autumn – like’ temperatures, and as I am running alone, if it gets too hot I can always stop for a rest !

Me and my shadow

I decide to run in the Dell, but when I get there instead of heading out towards Juniper Green on the slow uphill, I change my mind and run towards the canal. As ever I am trying to get a nice 3 mile run that avoids ending on the steep uphill to my house. It is sheltered and shady in the Dell so keeping on the trail is perfect in this warm evening.

Although without companions as ever I encounter various, cyclists, dog walkers and horses. Early evening is a busy time on the path, as cycling commuters vie with evening dog walkers and fellow runners.

Today my Nike plus app has been upgraded which I think will be an improvement – the user interface is easier to read, and it looks like they have added some features- but it is different to what I was used to so I have a few false attempts before getting it set up. It is one mile from my house to the tunnel, so I keep going after that aiming for 2 miles – that way I will easily do 3 miles without the hill. By this stage in the challenge I have also realised  that if I want to complete 100 miles in June  I am going to have to run more than 3 miles in these remaining 5 days.

sunny canal with trees

Now I know that the challenge was to run every day- but as I have been on average slightly more than 3 miles on most days, 100 miles is within reach and it would be annoying to miss it. In December 100 miles  was quite easy to achieve, aside from there being an extra day in December- I was running more often with friends and  we were still doing slightly longer runs at weekends. This time for a variety of reasons I have rarely run more than 3.5 miles.

I crossed Lanark Road to the canal, and stopped for a breather and to take some pictures. As ever the canal in sunlight and summer greenery was looking very pretty, and while not quite as pastoral as the Cambridge scenes of the weekend it is quite the rural oasis in the city.

Day 25 3.11 Total mileage 83.62

The warm dry weather was short lived as by Tuesday it was back to sunshine and showers. Tuesday is one of my regular running days and I was looking forward to running with Alison as this would be the last time we would be able to run together for a few weeks, due to our holidays overlapping. Our chat that day was mostly around holidays, the inevitable pre-holiday work stress, packing, and our shared inability to achieve the  perfect holiday capsule wardrobe !  Although the sun had vanished and we got pretty wet on our run, it was nice to have the catch up.

greenery

Day 26 3.08 miles Total mileage  86.70

Wednesday evening I ran again after work, and the weather was damp with showers. I find I am running out of ways to describe the various degrees of wet weather this month, and feel the English language ought really to have as many words for precipitation as the Eskimos have for snow.

Day 27 3.29 miles Total mileage 89.99

On Thursday I wanted to run during the day, so I could have an uninterrupted evening and maybe just sit and watch TV. Its too late to be weary of the challenge and of course I will finish it now, but making yourself run every day can become a bit of a chore. I think it is fine if the daily run fits neatly into a well ordered routine, like brushing your teeth or whatever. But my life does not always follow a regular pattern, and I have others to think of. On the face of it it is only 30 minutes of exercise, but even running requires a bit of time  to top and tail the exercise, so really it is 1 hour, by the time you shower and change etc.

Having now done this daily running on two different months , I think the key to success is knowing in advance when you will run and how that fits with other plans. For me the best set up is if I run in the morning. Because I am a morning person – it does not really bother me to get up 40 minutes earlier to run before I do anything else. But sometimes if I have had a busy day or if I have run the evening before , I just cant face running again in the morning.

Running at lunchtime is great for giving me an energy boost in the afternoon, but we don’t have showers at work, or really the time to run and shower, so running at lunchtime is not always ideal.

Today however I had decided to run at lunchtime, and so headed out in Dunfermline. It had been raining earlier,but now it was just humid with thundery looking skies. This is probably the worst conditions for me to run in, if I want to return to the office and look presentable for the afternoon. There is only so much repair work you can do with a baby wipe. Still, although I looked dreadful, I felt great, proving once again that however much you may feel you don’t want to run you always feel better afterwards.

Day 28 3.20 miles Total mileage 93.19

Friday was the penultimate day of the June challenge and I know I should have been more upbeat, especially as I was working from home, so it was going to be easier to fit in a run. I hate to use the excuse of the weather, but once again it was raining and so my plan to get up early and have an uplifting run in morning sunshine was foiled.

I had not arranged to run with anyone, and hoped to just slip out at some break in the weather as the showers were very heavy. At just before 9am , the skies seemed to have cleared so I ventured out. I did have the foresight to take my phone wrapped in a plastic bag, as barely 5 minutes into the run, the intermittent drops of rain turned into a full blown downpour.

Weir in full spate

But once out you may as well continue, and of course spurred on by the thought that I just had to get round these 3 miles and after that only needed to do it one more time.This was another run of the soaked through variety- to add to my slightly damp, warm and damp, warm and wet variations of the past month.

Day 29 3.31 miles Total mileage 96.5

So Saturday June 30 arrives at last and I am glad I have arranged to run with Linda on the final day. We are having an early morning run to fit round or various other commitments. Linda has a young baby and has to swiftly run between feeds and nurturing. Today I also have to fit running round other plans as it is a birthday in our house. Him indoors will be showered with gifts later and we have planned a champagne breakfast.

The sun is shining. Hurray.

Linda and I decide to do the route we would usually do starting at Alison’s house.This is our weekend run and numbers vary from 2-5. Alison is still on holiday in Spain, but we park outside her house and head off. Saturday morning at 7.30 am with the sun shining in the Dell is a lovely place to be, and as long as I manage to do 3.5 miles I will have achieved my June challenge combo- running every day and 100 miles.

sun on the last day

It is nice to chat with Linda, and we agree to stop for pictures, making the most of the sunshine. My legs don’t feel too bad after a month of daily running, but I am looking forward to getting home, opening the champagne and casting my running shoes off for a good while ( or until the next challenge anyway …)

Day 30 3.70 miles Total mileage 100.2

Birthday celebration

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