I didn’t do Janathon this year.
I did attempt it last year and enjoyed it but as it comes to an end I am filled with a kind of sadness, a sadness because I know that my inbox won’t be quite as full of the blog posts from all the Janathoners attempting to make it to the full 31 days without a hint of an excuse, plus there will be the battles at the top of the leaderboard, the middle of the board battles and the general Twitter banter that comes from a group of people so diverse that you’d think they simply couldn’t find a common ground – but they did, exercise.
What is Janathon / Junathon?
Janathon and Junathon are a months worth of exercise, logging of that exercise and then blogging about the experience, or as a new addition micro blogging. It is an opportunity and excuse to perform some exercise every single day of a month. Some people, like me, would call this RunStreaking but to the ‘athon community this is much more than that, it’s as much about understanding you personal fitness as it is about the exercise.
As with ultra running it’s all about personal commitment and the support of those around you to help you to the finish line, infact the ‘athon experience is very much like an ultra marathon. The distance of 31 days seems epic at the start but once you get into your stride it all becomes habit, the endurance needed become second nature, the spirit that is built up through the blogging, Facebook and tweeting is akin to the moment when your head goes down at mile 55 and somebody just puts an arm around your shoulder and makes it all better and suddenly you can do that last little bit. I suppose the greatest connection between an ‘athon and an ultra marathon is the sense of achievement as you cross the line and know that you’ve done something really special.
What I got
I found a great deal of enjoyment in the adventures of others as much as I found enjoyment in the doing, I got into habits that I carry through to today such as reading blogs and writing blog posts on the train in the morning and then running to and from work, doing longer runs at the weekend. Janathon helped me set up my mantra for ultra running of ‘never give up, never sit down, move your fat arse’. I made some lovely friends along the way, some of whom I met, some of whom I didn’t but many of whom will be friends for a long time to come. Being a part of the ‘athon community is a good thing and I would recommend giving it a go when June comes round.
Why aren’t I doing it in 2014?
That seems a reasonable question and the answer is pretty simple – priorities. The first thing was I was injured at the start of January and therefore was resting when it launched this year, the second thing was that my ultra marathon training comes first and I find my competitive nature means that Janathon isn’t so good for those days when I need to be resting as I get obsessed by leaderboards and mileage and that should no longer be my obsession. I may one day go back to being an ‘athoner but not this time but if you ever needed a kick up the bum or some heartfelt feedback this is an event that can deliver both by the bucketload.
Try it in June and see what you think.