3 Similarities Between me and Tom Cruise – 30 November

 

Jack_Reacher-_Never_Go_Back_Japan_Premiere_Red_Carpet-_Tom_Cruise_(35375035831)

He was born in the 60s –

  • so was I (just)

He is not very tall – 5ft 7inches and according to many press/magazine articles wishes he was taller –

  • I am short, but 5ft 7 inches sounds tall to me

He has brown hair, although his stubble is grey, suggesting help from a hairdresser…

  • I have brown hair, aided carefully and knowingly by Richard my hairdresser

In the pic above, he is seen at the premiere of a Jack Reacher film. I love Lee Child’s books, but I don’t buy Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. In fact the only film line of his I can recall is not from Jack Reacher at all, which brings me nicely onto today’s run.

‘ I feel the need, the need for speed’ – Maverick says in Top Gun and little did I know that was how I was feeling today.

The duvet was warm, the mug of tea was hot, Mr JCR was all kitted up for cycling. ‘Going for a run?’ he enquired ‘mmmm’ – non committal grunt came from the depths of the duvet. Eventually the tea cooled down and was emptied, the duvet was bunched and scrunched up, and my trainers were winking at me. I got out of bed, walked to the balcony and did the temperature test – ouch can it be searingly cold?

Okay, that is fleece leggings, base layer, over layer and running top, hat, buff and gloves. Phone – yup, music – yup, earphones yup, key yup. Absolutely no excuse for not running then. The apartment block is in a sheltered narrow lane, so I didn’t feel the weather immediately on my warm up walk, but hitting Moorgate aarrgghh it was cold, so I upped my pace on the walk. It has to be said most of the good folk in the City were wearing substantially more layers than me, and I did feel draughts in places one shouldn’t.

Mechanical Voice Lady from Map My Run, kicked in and told me to start exercising, and maybe because it was so cold, my pace was a lot faster than usual. It felt fast, and as I ran up to Silicon Roundabout (which still makes me laugh because California has Silicon Valley and the best we can manage is a roundabout), I did wonder what pace I was at. My first kilometre prompt came up and I’d done 6 mins 01 second.  The hat came off at this point. Usually my first km is about 6.5 to 7 minutes, so I knew I was going faster then normal. And then on the second km, I continued at quite a pace and managed 5 minutes 36, which is by far my fastest km for 2 years. The buff and running gloves came off. Now I need a velcro top so I can attach all these unneeded accessories to it, so my hands remain free.

Then came my Maverick moment – I thought I’d continue the run at that speed until I ran out of puff. So whilst I may have felt the ‘need for speed’ my little legs weren’t quite up to the task and I ran out of puff, with a very painful stitch at 2.93km. At that point, I decided to slow down and finish off on a walk home. After all my thoughts last night about going a long distance, it turns out I fancied a short cruise through the streets instead. And as Tom and I both know just because it’s short doesn’t mean it not worth much! This is the pace I need to maintain to do a sub 30 minutes 5k… mmm I think that means more interval and sprint training coming up.

Playlist

No idea – new phone and I obviously didn’t set up the Map My Run linkage properly!

Stats

Distance 2.93km

Time 17.24

Elevation Gain 22 metres

Squats 3 sets of 15 reps – and just taken delivery of kettlebells – that’s another challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo By Dick Thomas Johnson from Tokyo, Japan – Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Japan Premiere Red Carpet: Tom Cruise, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60386378

Zero Degrees, Did You Say Zero Degrees? – November 30

Yup, that’s what the weather man says, and I can look forward to a balmy 4 degrees at midday…

Oh and this is in central London… which means it is colder elsewhere in the UK. if my fellow runners can get out there, then so can I. Brave words, whilst cosseted indoors, drinking a mug of tea, actually I am telling fibs, I am currently sinking a rather nice glass of Italian red (Wednesday night!!!)…, but mug of tea sounds healthier!

Running/not running decision is made, the type of running is yet to be. Not sure I fancy the interval training again so soon after torturous Tuesday. So, JCR what is it to be? 5k, 7k, 10k, or 11k+?

Okay, I will run as far as I feel is okay. Classic get out clause, with this in mind, I can’t possibly fail, unless I don’t actually run. My fellow C25K runner did 10.5km on Thursday, so I have an upper target.

 

Bombing To The Barbican Part 2 – 28 November

 

SSSShhhlllpppp was the sound, of my buttocks being peeled reluctantly from a chair, in a warm room, in an apartment in London.

Ordinarily, I run in the mornings, as I find it easier to organise my day once my run is done. But today was a bit different, I’d binge watched some Bosch over some late nights,  so it was a slow sleepy start.

Having decided I would do interval training, Faffolino decided to visit me. Could I find the podcast for ‘speed’ that the C25K team talk about? Yup – I could find the page. Could I find the link? Yup, there it was on the page. Did the link take me through to the relevant place in iTunes? Nope it did not. Cue JCR faffing for an age, trying to find the podcast under ‘AudioFuel’ as they are the organisers for this ‘speed’ interval training. Then inspiration struck, I asked on C25K forum for help and Jonesycat was very helpful and got me there.

All this faffing took me up to coffee/lunch break. And you can’t run immediately after brunch/lunch can you? No I hear you say, you can’t. So I didn’t, I sat my sorry arse down on a chair and faffed some more. Internet shopping post Black Friday and Cyber Monday – yup why not? Organise the laundry – why not?

Eventually, guilt got the better of me, and my buttocks were lifted out of the chair, to take on the interval challenge in the Barbican.

Well I don’t know whether I am quite as grateful now to Jonesycat for helping me find the podcast, blimey oh Riley, this Laura woman is really hardcore. I have little co-ordination, non-existent balance and find it impossible to dance whether in or out of time. What I hadn’t realised was that you actually have to run to a certain beat and count.

Let’s just say I was struggling keeping to the beat of 1,2,3,4 on the walking parts…, so let your imagination run wild at the thought of me then trying to coordinate my ‘slow’ run to 155 bpm and then sprint at 165bpm. I kept doing the counting of 1,2,3,4, in my head – see I can count. What I can’t actually do is co-ordinate any movement to that count. Every time Laura interjected my hoarse counting was totally out of step with hers.

My face – well Nightmare on Elm Street covers the grimace, shoulders hunched – yup, fists clenched – yup. Was this the advice Laura was giving? –  actually no it wasn’t. I’m sure she says to enjoy it too – enjoyment not really a word I was associating with the exercise at all.

Eventually the running torture finished, and I now have great respect for fellow runners, who had way more guts than me and actually tackled this part of the programme immediately after graduating.

To the statistics, despite being in central, central London, Map My Run didn’t synch correctly and had my route all over the place – according to it I walked faster than I ran.

No meaningful information really for me to work on. That means I have to do it again, to get a benchmark just to see how bad my sprinting really is…

Statistics I can record

3 – ‘WTFs’

2 – ‘You’re having a laugh, Laura’

1 -‘I wish Mr Smooth would give me a cuddle’

2- slightly achey buttocks – is that from de-glueing from the chair, or running like a madwoman in the Barbican?

2- Dolphins in the gardens at the Barbican

Actually, I do thank Jonesycat sincerely, if I am going to improve my times, then this ‘speed’ malarkey has to be worked on.

 

Bombing to the Barbican – 28 Nov

I am ‘suffering’ from runner’s envy, for two reasons:-

  1. I can’t seem to get under 30 minutes for 5km – although in fairness 6 months ago, I’d have taken 3 hours as a personal best
  2. One of my fellow runners did just 4 minutes 15 for a km, and I am wondering how on earth that would be possible for me to do

Let’s be frank, I’m not actually suffering 🙂 – but surprisingly I appear to have found a competitive bit in me – I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a streak, maybe more a truncated dash.

Now, I am not setting up a virtual competition with a fellow runner, but her amazing km run, got me to thinking, we are similar ages, share 80s music tastes and she has been running longer than me and has done almost half marathon distances. She never saw that  km speed coming either. Therefore, maybe my original thought that I am a long distance, slow pace runner, is something that isn’t necessarily true and can be something I could see if it is possible to change.

Post C25K graduation, you are advised to consolidate your distance and time running, so that 5k becomes habitual and almost comfortable. Since then I’ve been focussed on extending the distance and time run.

Today, instead of my usual 5 to 7km effort, I am going for interval training. The coach on the podcast is Laura, and it’s my first time with her. I am used to Mr Smooth and from what I can gather Laura is a love or loathe coach.

Apparently her ‘speed’ podcast is just the ticket to get my arse moving, and whilst I am prevaricating by writing this; my arse is remaining firmly glued to the seat.

What’s that noise I hear ‘ssshhhhllllppp’ yup that’s one buttock lifting, and here’s ‘ssshhhhllllppp’ that’s the second one…

grid-cell-21562-1392094641-6

Now I am up and going to do that speed running thing in the Barbican – I do hope the good residents don’t complain!

 

 

 

Nur Krap Rewind – 25 November

It’s been a rum couple of days, and this is a rum heading for today’s post.

Yesterday Mr JCR and I decided to head up West, to buy some famous fruit based equipment. Walking into town about 4.30pm, we were passed by blues and twos, not an unusual sight or sound in London. A few minutes later, more blues and twos. Still not overly concerned we continued into town, and then noticed the pedestrian traffic was pretty much one-way, coming away from Regent Street and towards us. Some young women were clearly upset, almost everyone was glued to their mobile phones either talking or texting. Shops were closed, restaurants/bars/pubs/cafes shut and locked but with their clientele still inside. Then we heard snatches of conversation; there had been an incident at Oxford Street Tube Station and also at Selfridges.

We turned back home, making our way up Shaftesbury Avenue, when we heard two loud bangs, of course this noise caused a stampede and Mr JCR bundled me towards the side of the cafes/shops and we entered, by now somewhat alarmed, into a Wasabi store. The manager and staff were lovely and although evidently frightened themselves, invited us and many others in to shelter downstairs in their kitchen and upstairs, whilst they shut and locked the doors. As we now know, we were all involved in the ‘incident of the non-incident’. In fairness to the authorities concerned, it was handled very well and really considering what might have been, the disruption to London, was I think minimal.  A big shout of thanks to the manager and staff of Wasabi in Shaftesbury Avenue, who were helpful, friendly, calm and generous, supplying free water to those who wanted it.

After all this had settled down, we made our way towards Covent Garden to said fruit store, and then winding our way to the viewing table, were presented with a view of more anatomy than you expect to see on a laptop screen in public. Evidently we had hit ‘perv’s corner’, so Mr JCR told the staff, and the guilty person was warned about his viewing habits. In the space of a few minutes we had experienced I suppose, the extremes of human behaviour and instinct.

Another walk home via a pub, for a well needed gin and beer, and all was well in the JCR household. I’ve never been so happy to have been part of something that ended up being nothing at all!

Getting back to normality, we did the weather check – Mr JCR for cycling and me for running. Mmmm brass monkey’s weather was forecast, the usual layers assembled in readiness, because despite my misgivings I had decided (more or less) to revisit Park Run, hence the heading … Nur Krap, a spelling rewind of Park Run, not an obscure Nordic term for no rubbish! 🙂

Alarm set, Mr JCR out, I decided I would do the Park Run. I wasn’t as nervous, but still faffed a bit before getting out to go. Arrived at the Park to see frost on the ground and a man wearing shorts again. OMG is he crazy? I did my warm up walk and again skulked at the back. 9 am we were off, a similar number of folk as last time, again I tried to ignore the throngs and suffered the indignity of being overtaken by two men pushing their pushchair buggies as they passed me. I had a bit of a twangey leg this week, so wasn’t keen to push anything, first lap not too bad, but I think I set off a bit too fast, on the second lap I was tiring a bit. There was a younger lady runner beside me, she and I vied on overtaking each other – I generally was better up the slopes, she rocketed down them. But on the last leg up the hill towards the finish line, she got the better of me and motored out of sight, whereas I had the runner’s shame of walking about 15-20 paces I guess.

This time I finished 290th out of 315, vs. 312th out of 329 last time. My time improved, (despite the walking) to 33.16 seconds. An improvement of over a minute on last time here. So what do I think of Park Run second time around on my rewind? Some observations I think still stand, the volunteers are all lovely; the runners seem a nice lot too. I just don’t really like the crowds, I think I prefer the loneliness of the long distance runner.

In summary it’s Nur Krap, it’s a great experience if you want to acclimatise and run socially with lots of folk, especially if you’re thinking of taking part in races. I will pop along from time to time, not least because the slopes in Finsbury Park are a useful way of maintaining my hill legs, but I think I may run there in the same manner, that an Executive in my old company once memorably described…

‘Yes JCR, you may call me regularly, but not often’ and I think that will be how I do my Park Runs – regularly but just not often!

Playlist

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult

Vienna – Ultravox

A View To A Kill – Duran Duran

New Moon on Monday – ditto

Save A Prayer – ditto

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Rio – Duran Duran

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Embarrassment – Madness

Stats

Distance – 5km

Time – 33.16

Elevation Gain 34 metres

Placed 290/315

Age and gender placed – 6th out of 6! (no improvement there!!!)

I Perv – Friday

1 Hero – Manager of Wasabi

0 Incidents and for that I thank heavens.

Mrs T – This One Is For You

A 10k racer…. who knew where Couch To 5K would take you?

Wishing you all the best for Sunday. Hoping MrT, Flynn and Erica cheer you until they are hoarse.

In recognition of one gutsy lady, here is my musical playlist tribute.

MrsT On Spotify

Second Hand News – Fleetwood Mac

7 Seconds – Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry

New York Minute – Don Henley

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics

Perfect Day – Lou Reed

Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day

All Day And All Of The Night – The Kinks

What About Us – The Saturdays and Sean Paul

Seasons In The Sun – Terry Jacks

December 1963 – Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Spring Affair – Donna Summer

Dancing In The Dark – The Boss

Summer of ‘69 – Bryan Adams

The Boys Of Summer – Don Henley

Forever Autumn – Jeff Wayne and Justin Hayward

Hazy Shade of Winter – The Bangles

Winter Melody – Donna Summer

Year of the Cat – Al Stewart

7 Years – Lukas Graham

Holding Back The Years – Simply Red

Right Here, Right Now – High School Musical

1999 – His Purple Highness

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Sunday Morning – Velvet Underground

Sunday Girl – Blondie

Ruby Tuesday – Rolling Stones

Fall At Your Feet – Crowded House

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – Proclaimers

8 Mile – Eminem

Stepping Out – Joe Jackson

Step On – Happy Mondays

One Step Beyond –  Madness

Footloose – Kenny Loggins