Oystermouth castle

Juneathon 2015, Day 30 – The Castle Run

At last Juneathon and blogging have come to an end!

(Well, perhaps not the blogging part. I’ve been enjoying that more than I’d expected)

I don’t know what everyone else has managed for their last day of Juneathon (I will take a long look after writing this), but I was determined to make this day memorable. Alas, it was very nearly memorable because I was asleep for all of it. I managed to get an hour outside in the sunshine at lunchtime. And then… when I next managed to open my eyes it was 10pm!

But, that meant that I’d still got 2 hours left to complete my Juneathon workout in. (More, if I work by Ice_Badger‘s ruling on Day 25, and I can count any hours after midnight as the same day, if I haven’t been to sleep.) Clothes were frantically put on and items gathered for what I was about to do.
I was going to go up to the castle. And whilst there, I would run. Yes, actually RUN. Well, I’d try to anyway.

I’d asked my sister if she would help. At the very least she could help me up from the floor if my knees gave way. And she would be there cheering me on, giving that constructive criticism that my family is so fond of. After all, she’s completed a fair few 10ks in her time. I’m sure I could do with some pointers.

Unfortunately we didn’t manage to meet up in the end. So she was unable to help. But I feel in retrospect that I may have been asking too much from her.

So, I walked up to Oystermouth castle in Mumbles. Whilst there I quickly checked on my geocache (still safe) and popped in some new swag.

Geocache swag
And then it was time to prepare for my run.
I thought that I’d probably done enough stretching whilst trying to retrieve my cache from the bushes. So, all I had to do was get to the start. I feel I chose the route well.
Up at the castle there are 2 seats, roughly 20m apart. Half way between them is a rubbish bin.
I would start, jog to the half way line and then sprint to the finish. And I could collapse neatly on to the finish seat.

the castle run

So, I started. I was rather amazed when my knees lifted off the ground and managed a slow jogging pace. They haven’t done that for a while. It all felt rather “hefty”. But then, it would, wouldn’t it?
At the half way point I felt that I was ready to give it my all. Jogging hadn’t killed me. I would sprint my way to the end of Juneathon!
And erm… 12 metres into my run it all went rather wrong.
My legs were going like the clappers. But I wasn’t actually getting anywhere. Nowhere at all. I seemed to be sprinting on the spot!
And then I had to stop, because my knees were getting sore. I may have needed my sister’s handy hints after all.

But, after a few minutes rest, I tried again.
And this time, I was successful 😀 I don’t think that the “sprint” was much faster than walking pace, but at least I actually managed to move forward.

I’m at home now, nursing a couple of sore knees.
But I’m really happy.
As I said in my last post: Juneathon has managed to get me moving again after a very bad winter and spring. My movement is far better than it was at the start of the month. And I’m full of hope for the difference the next 30 days might bring…

The Castle Run Day: 1.3km walk, 20m run
Total steps taken: 4,178
Difficulty level: Easy


Juneathon 2015, Days 28 & 29 – Lacklustre

My mood has been quite low for the last couple of days. I’ve pootled about a bit in the house, but my legs have been aching constantly. I think it might be the heat.

For Day 28 I managed to go for a 500m walk. But neither I, nor my legs got any pleasure from it. Which is a shame, because it was a lovely night. And wandering around in Mumbles is never unpleasant.

And for Day 29 I pushed myself to do 15 minutes on my recumbent bike (at a resistance level of 6) -but again, it was tough mentally to pedal for that long. A rather lacklustre performance.

Juneathon has been incredibly good for me. I really don’t think that I’d have done those two bits of exercise over the last couple of days had it not been for Juneathon. And anything which keeps me moving my body is great both mentally and physically.

Lacklustre days: 1 x 500m walk, 15mins x recumbent cycling
Total steps taken: 5,270
Difficulty level: intermediate.


You may now be wondering why I have a picture of a hairbrush at the top of this post. Or you may have forgotten about that entirely. It’s there because:
1. The brush has been something that made me smile over the past couple of days.
2. I like to have photos and I couldn’t think of anything else to post.

I have genetically high cholesterol (not diet related) and have been taking statins to combat that since my early 20s. Unfortunately it was the statins that caused my muscles to fail last year. So, I’m no longer taking them. And it appears that the statins were also causing hair loss. Every time I brushed my hair there would be a clump left behind. My u-bend was constantly clogged. My Gran’s vacuum blew up because of the amount of hair I’d accidentally shed on her carpets.
And I’d got naff, thin, lacklustre hair!

And now, when I brush my hair only a couple of strands are left behind.
I keep looking at the brush in wonder.
And then I feel my hair to check if it’s really true (Sometimes I even launch into full-on hair commercial mode and wave it about). And yes, my hair is getting thick and lustrous again 😀

Mumbles Front

Juneathon 2015, Day 27 – A blue hue

It was an easy decision today as to what my exercise would be. It was a fantastically lovely day, so I decided to do some gardening and head out at sunset for another wander along Mumbles’ Front.

Although the walk down to the front and back again was done in aid of Juneathon, it was completely different today when I stepped out of the front door to yesterday. No, I wasn’t looking forward to walking down the hill. But I was in a good mood and looking forward to sitting on a few seats along the way and drinking in the view. Which I did 🙂

I just wish that I’d taken my better camera, as the light had a very unusual blue tint to it tonight.

Kilvey hillLooking over the bay to Swansea & Kilvey Hill

A Blue Hue Day: Walk – 1km
Total Steps Taken: 4,087
Difficulty Level: Easy/Intermediate

A hill

Juneathon 2015, Day 26 – Say “No!” to hills

I really didn’t want to exercise today.
But… well… flipping Juneathon. That’s what!

So, I halfheartedly lay in bed, picked up my dumbbell and did some arm lifts. 100 with each arm. And then I gave up, because I really couldn’t stand it any more. There are days when exercising is enjoyable, and then there are days when I just want to throw the dumbbells out of the window. Except of course, on days when I feel like this, I really don’t have enough energy to bother throwing the dumbbells anywhere – so the window is perfectly safe.

And a few hours later, still feeling equally naff and flopping about like a fish on a hot pavement I thought that I could manage a few leg lifts. 20 minutes of that and I was cursing Juneathon. Although really I should have been cursing myself. I tried to get to the 30 minute mark. Really, I did. But I just wanted to STOP MOVING.

I really would have thought that I could have been quite happy with that for today.
But no, apparently not.

Because, a couple of hours after the leg lifting I decided that I’d head out for a quick walk around the block: for Juneathon.
Good going Juneathon!
I seemed determined to completely NOT enjoy exercising all day today. All for Juneathon’s benefit.

And that was when I encountered the hill. I pretty much have to when leaving the house, as I live on a hill. So it didn’t come as any surprise to me. I’m not fond of that hill. Although it could be far worse. In fact I’ve lived on far worse. But my legs worked better then.
It was Juneathon that made me inch my way down the hill today. I really don’t think that Juneathon cares if I walked down the hill or not, but my knees did. They put up one heck of a stink today. But… and this is a very important, and lovely thing… they moaned, but they did not buckle or give way once. I didn’t land up sprawled on the floor, or even falling forward on to my stick.
Finally Day 26‘s exercise had made me happy. When I rounded the block and returned to head back up the hill my face was beaming. I suppose I should be thankful towards Juneathon after all.

Say “No!” to hills Day: 100 x 7kg arm lifts, 20 minutes x leg lifts, walk – 400m
Total steps taken: 2,498
Difficulty level: intermediate

Mumbles Front

Juneathon 2015, Day 25 – Seaside wander

A lot of tourists come to visit Mumbles, which is where I live.
There is a tarmaced cycle path that runs the full length of Swansea Bay. And for that entire time it is no more than 30m from the high tide line. Until 1960 it was where the Swansea and Mumbles railway line ran. I’ve met many people who moan that the line is no longer in use. But I couldn’t disagree more: It’s lovely to stroll along the front, watching the adults licking their ice-creams and the children dropping theirs. It’s also a reasonably safe place to walk (or run) at night, because there are generally quite a few people milling about.

So, I decided to head out after dark tonight: after the heat of the day and after the tourists had returned home. The tide was out, the lights of Port Talbot were shinning brightly and I had a very enjoyable walk.

Seaside wander Day: 1.4km 🙂
Total Steps taken: 7,001
Difficulty level: Intermediate

Juneathon 2015, Day 24 – Pool Night walk

Wednesday night in Mumbles is pool night.
Well, it often is for me anyway. I don’t actually play pool. I just enjoy the company of the lads who are playing pool. I say “lads” but that’s a misnomer: most of them are a couple of decades older than me.

So, I decided that today’s exercise would be the walk home from the pub. Which I managed. Unfortunately, due to a set of (rather pleasant) circumstances the walk home took place after midnight. Does this then count as a Juneathon entry for Day 24? I think I’m going to allow it. After all, at the start of Juneathon I decided that rodding drains could count!

One more thing: I purposefully took the photo of the pool table for this blog post. But I’m rather disconcerted… where are all the people?! I’m sure I spent most of the night nattering to half a dozen people at a time. I know that they were also in constant flux around the pool table. And, in the lower part of the pub there was a live band which made getting served quite difficult. Have they managed to photoshop themselves out of the picture?

Pool Night Walk: Walk Home – 500m
Total steps taken: 4,941
Difficulty level: Easy

Recumbent Bike

Juneathon 2015, Day 23 – My Old Faithful

I bought my lovely recumbent bicycle back in 2005, and it has certainly served me faithfully for the past decade.
Back in 2012 it started to make grinding noises, but a stern talking to seemed to help (that, and the massive jolt I gave it when I accidentally fell over it one day) and it’s been fine since. It has pride of place in my living room and is set up so that I can comfortably watch programs on my computer. However, due to the amount of use it’s had over the years, the seat is virtually held together with duct tape.

So, I managed 15 minutes on the bike today with a resistance level of 6. My heart just wasn’t in pedaling any longer. But I was really happy about the resistance level. For years I’d used the highest level: 9. I’m not really built for speed. Endurance is more my thing. But when my knees suddenly went “poof” last year, I was struggling to turn the pedals on 1. And 6… well, that’s one more level than last time I tried. 😀

Recumbent bike

And there’s the proof that I managed 15 minutes.
But could I get a non-blurry picture before the darned thing reset itself? No, I could not!

And, earlier in the day I managed 45 minutes of leg lifts.

Leg lifts

And before that I lugged a full 360L wheelie bin up the steps, into my garden and then along to mum’s car. Mum said that I was going a little overboard with the grunting. She suggested that I might perhaps grunt more quietly. At that point in time I was precariously positioned half-way up the steps with at least 70lb (30kg) of weighted wheelie bin grasped in my hands. I ignored her.

My Old Faithful Day: Recumbent – 15 minutes, Leg Lifts – 45 minutes, Wheelie Bin – 15 steps.
Total steps taken: 1,859
Difficulty Level: Intermediate