Slow and steady

Moving slowly through the UK countryside


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A three hour walk in bluebell woods, recording plants and one butterfly (a peacock – and a very tatty one too).  That took me about 3.5 km, just over 2 miles.  It was a gorgeous sunny day, with lots of birdsong, including a buzzard ‘mewing’ overhead.  Then I ran back along the road, about a mile, which was pretty slow – 14 minutes, but I was carrying binoculars, notebook and my fleece and it was pretty warm too.

I have yet to figure out how to layout pictures properly in here – seem to be getting one of them twice…  Maybe I’ll work it out soon.

Muddy path at Edge Hill woods

Squelchy and slippery!

Flowery meadow down to Radway

Bugle and Buttercups in an almost alpine view

A huge Jelly Ear fungus

The biggest Jelly Ear fungus I’ve ever seen. Must have liked all the rain.

Moschatel, Edge Hill woods

Moschatel, or Town-hall Clock
An uncommon woodland spring plant with green flowers.

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Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

I’d read about Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred on NHS Couch to 5K .  Found level 1 on youtube.   It was really tough!   Jumping jacks are killers – well, all the jumping ones, really.  But very good for me, probably.

I don’t think I’ll be doing it every day, as I’m aiming for fitness rather than weight-loss, and I’m in no big hurry.  It was interesting to find out what it was like though, and it certainly feels as though it’s used quite a lot of different muscles in a very short space of time.  Mmmm – couple of hours later – my knees are aching rather – it’s much harder on them than running is, which surprised me.

Rather than a picture of me in agony, here are two of our garden.  A pink Helichrysum and some flame-orange tulips.

Helichrysum probably x Pink Sapphire DSC04209 flaming tulips


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Thinking about Juneathon 2013

dsc03933-me-in-disguise-from-the-wind.jpg IMG-20130521-00055 rape field beyond parkrun route c

I’ve just completed the 5×50 challenge and want to keep up doing exercise every day, although not necessarily for 5k/30 minutes.  So the Juneathon seems like a good idea.  Keeping a record of the exercise I do every day does help to motivate me to do something, and it would be good to have some photos with it too.

So I think I’ll do it.

Background: I was pretty much PE-phobic at school, always very slow and lacking coordination, except for swimming.  I don’t think I’d run for longer than a minute or so since I was at primary school (where I was the slowest in my class).  I do enjoy walking in the countryside, though only fairly short distances in more recent years.  A long time ago I did a bit of yoga, and I used to enjoy cycling, but I hadn’t done either of those for ten or twenty years.

For some reason, that I can’t remember, I started the NHS Couch to 5k (c25k) programme on 15th December 2012, with eight lots of 1 minute runs, with walks in between.  I commented:

…even if I don’t get to 5k running, it has got me outside and exercising again, so that’s good – and this seems a very friendly and supportive community too.

The community is here – brilliant support for anyone new to running.

I completed the programme on 13th February 2013, and found this quote that sums up running for me:

 Being allowed to do something really badly without anybody being upset is a joy.

I ran just over 3k in 30 minutes in my final week (4.1k in 40 minutes on my final run) – so I am seriously a tortoise runner, as this is slower than my brisk walk.  I was overtaken by a man walking his dog on my ‘graduation’ run.  🙂  I have since run 5k and I have once run 10k (in 100 minutes).

In most weeks recently I’ve done two or three runs, and from 31st March to 19th May I did the 5×50 challenge, as mentioned above, which got me starting to doing yoga again, and cycling – including several 10k+ cycle rides, and one of 26km, on the final day of the challenge.  In total, over the 50 days, I ran 54k, walked 95k, cycled 92k and did 75 hours of yoga or other exercise.  So it would be  a pity to lose that fitness.

I’ve also challenged myself to do a little bit of faster running – I’ve once run a mile in ten and a half minutes, and today I ran for a minute and a half at average speed of 11kph (5:26 min/km).  Maybe one day I’ll be able to keep that up for 30 minutes for a parkrun.  Hmmm.

And sometimes I take myself a bit too seriously.  🙂