Today for my Janathon instalment I went to the tap class that I’ve been attending regularly on a Monday night since September 2009. I

t’s an adult tap class run at a dancing school that mainly caters for school-aged children at the weekend. This was the first class after the Christmas break, as we only dance during term time.

It’s quite an exciting time at the moment, as over the first two weekends of March the school is putting on a dance show in a local theatre, in which my class are doing two dances.

The first dance we’re doing is to ‘Steam Heat’, a song from the musical The Pajama Game, which we all know so is pretty much sorted and just needs a bit of tidying up.

The second dance (which the six of us performing it are much more excited about) is to Gramophonedzie’s ‘Why Don’t You?’ which is the dance song that samples Peggy Lee’s ‘Why Don’t You Do Right?’

It’s a really fast song, with a really odd beat, so it’s turning out to be an interesting one, especially as we’re attempting to be ‘sultry’ in this dance at the same time!

It wasn’t a massive amount of exertion tonight as we’re still choreographing, so it was a bit stop-start, but nice to get back into it after the break. Need to start doing some practicing in my kitchen with my tap shoes on in preparation for the show – I’m sure my housemate & neighbours will really appreciate that!

On a separate – and more running related – note, I picked up this whilst in WH Smith today…


Have nearly picked up Runner’s World magazine a few times, but thought it would go over my head a little. However, as ‘Beginner’ describes me perfectly I thought I’d give this version a try. Only had a quick flick through so far, but looks packed with short articles to answer most FAQs a new runner could come with. I’ll be giving it a thorough read over the rest of Janathon.

I just added a little extra to my day nine of Janathon with a walk into town. I’m going to pretend it was for exercise reasons, and not because I couldn’t afford bus fare, because it’s still 19 days ’til pay day and that would be embarrassing.

So, I walked to go and return some clothes to H&M and Topshop (obviously for size reasons, and not because I need the money, because it’s still 19 days ’til pay day and that would be embarrassing) and thought I’d stick my RunKeeper app on out of interest to see how far it was from my house to the city centre.

In other finance related news, yesterday I got charged three times for the same trip to the car park. This morning I topped up my Oyster card with £10 from two different debit cards, which left both my accounts, but got lost in cyberspace and didn’t make it to my Oyster. Not impressed. I’m having a monetary nightmare of a weekend.

Back to the walk – I didn’t quite make it all the way back walking, as my housemate drove past me when I was about a third of the way home and picked me up, but it a nice burst of fresh air nonetheless.

The Ninth Day (Part Two) Stats:

  • Walk into town: 2.47km in 28:03
  • Walk from town: 1.88km in 19:37
  • Total distance: 4.35km

I set my alarm for 8.45am this morning, ready to get up and out for a run by 9am. Ten o’clock came and I was still in bed, reading Twitter/blogs/general faffing on the internet.

Finally peeled myself out of bed and set off for a run at 10.25am. After the relative success of last night’s run, I had planned in my head a route that I thought would be 3.5-4km. It was esentially last night’s loop, ran in the opposite direction, but the loop cast a lot wider at one end.

Running in the opposite direction meant that it was a lot more uphill than yesterday, and unfortunately not at long as I had hoped at 2.88km. I accidently turned coaching off my RunKeeper app so had no idea how long I’d been out or what the distance was. I kinda wish now I’d done a lap of the green or something at the end just to bring it up to 3km. Ah well, my average pace dropped from yesterday so I guess that’s something.

Toward the end I also began to feel a very slight niggle in my right knee, the same place that had left me hobbling around for a couple of weeks after my last race. Hope that doesn’t come back as I don’t really know what to do about that!

The Ninth Day Stats:

  • Exercise: running
  • Distance: 2.88km
  • Time: 21:39
  • Pace: 7:31/km

If it weren’t for Janathon, I can absolutely guarantee there is no way that I would have even contemplated going for a run today. Especially outside. In the dark. On a Saturday evening. In January.

After my last disasterous attempt at an outdoor run on The Third Day, when I dressed like it was August and nearly fell over, I took the decision to invest in some proper running gear.

Here are the results of a couple of quick shopping trips. The first layer – a long sleeve Asics top I picked up from the Sports Direct sale for a tenner. Over this is my Great Yorkshire Run t-shirt to remind me that I did indeed run 10k once so can probably do it again one day. My leggings were from H&M for £24.99. My local store recently started carrying the H&M Sport range, which was handy timing.

Next up was my matching Asics jacket, again in the sale at £18 – bargain. I also picked up some cheap gloves, hat and snood from H&M and I was ready to hit the road!

It was pretty windy and rather chilly tonight, but it didn’t feel too bad, especially my top half which was positively toasty once I got going! I did a different route to earlier in the week – past a few more shops and along more of a main road as it was dark. It wasn’t as long as I hoped it would be at 2.16km, and a lot more uphill than it seems in the car. So much so that for a good portion of the latter half of the lap I slowed down to jogging just faster than walking pace. I managed to jog the whole way round though, which I’m glad of.

When I got about five minutes away from home, it had flattened out a bit, and I was feeling pretty good. So much so that I was annoyed about how short the route had turned out and was tempted to add another loop on. I chose not to overdo it, and instead ran a lap of the estate to my house in the far corner, rather than cutting across the green in the middle. Baby steps.

Feel pretty smug and will be pulling on the new kit for an attempt at a slightly longer route tomorrow morning.

The Eighth Day Stats:

  • Exercise: running
  • Distance: 2.16km
  • Time: 17:54
  • Average pace: 8:17/km

Another new class at my gym today – Dance Mix. Billed as ‘a fusion of Latin dance moves and aerobics’, I thought it would make an interesting and alternative way of getting some cardio in.

Being the first class ever it was a bit timid, and despite the instructor shouting ‘that’s it, move your hips’ and ‘go on, have fun with it ladies’ no one was really letting go.

It worked up a pink glow though – which didn’t go unnoticed by a workmate I bumped into on the way out – and left me with an intense look of concentration throughout the class as I tried to grasp the more street-style steps (I’ve done a lot of ballet, so me and hip hop don’t really go).

It also made me realise how much I enjoy the technical side of dance (I already do tap – more to come on that on the tenth day). I like learning how to do the actual moves correctly rather than just for the exercise. Maybe finding a salsa class could be my next new thing.

Promise to return to some running tomorrow, but in the mean time the three other workmates who have signed up to the 10k have agreed to ‘Monday Running Club’. We work in an office out of town with it’s own grounds, which is also next to a canal, so we’re going to go running around there on Monday evenings. My history of running with people isn’t great, so we’ll have to see how that goes.

The Seventh Day Stats:

• Exercise: an hour of Dance mix class
• Effort: 4/10