Retro Runners – Colours Playlist

 

As we near the end of 2017, I have created another playlist on Spotify.

This is in honour of RunningRaspberryDiva and Cornet-Carolyn on Health Unlocked C25K. It is called Retro Runners Raspberry Cornet.

Running Raspberry Diva because she changed her name after I described the Runner’s Colours found on Dulux’s Colour Chart.

And Cornet-Carolyn, because she has spanned more or less every red/pink/magenta known to man in her running quest.

The list is all of these fab colour oriented songs:-

The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes – Elvis Costello and The Attractions

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Blue Monday ’88 – New Order

Golden Brown – The Stranglers

Golden Years – David Bowie

Raspberry Beret – His Purple Highness

Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis

White Wedding – Billy Idol

Cream – His Purple Highness

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Being Beige – Smashing Pumpkins

Brown Sugar – D’Angelo

Forever in Blue Jeans – Neil Diamond

Yellow Submarine – The Beatles

Yellow River – Christie

Green Eyes – Coldplay

Green Garden – Laura Mvula

Grey Day – Madness

Lavender – Marillion

Little Red Corvette – His Purple Highness

Misty Blue – Dorothy Moore

Mr Blue Sky – ELO

My White Bicycle – Nazareth

Pretty in Pink – The Psychedelic Furs

Pretty Fly For a White Guy – The Offspring

99 Red Balloons – Nena

True Colors – Cyndi Lauper

Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs

Suicide Blonde – INXS

White Riot – The Clash

Yellow Pearl – Phil Lynott and Midge Ure

Fade to Grey – Visage

 

The Spotify Pic takes you to the list. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

End Of Year Run – December 31

I have another thumping migraine, the steel band of pain is encircling my head, but today I am going for a run. No excuses – so no pesky migraine is going to get in the way of it today. So what to do? Well clearly running and pounding the streets with a pounding head is not an option. Cue a mug of tea, 2 horse strength Ibuprofen and a snooze.

2 hours later, the band of pain has subsided and is a manageable pulsing, so up I get and assemble the kit. It is brass monkey weather but bright and sunny. Base layer, running top, jacket, gloves, fleece lined running tights, padded socks and head/earband. Oh and trainers too.

Then the usual Faffolino visit – let’s get the washing organised. Have a cup of coffee – yup. Tidy up kitchen, take rubbish out. Faff with Map My Run etc, etc, etc. This useful enterprise ate up about 40 minutes, until a strong scolding from me to me, made me go outside. Surprise the sun is shining and it’s warm – well it is 7 degrees and that feels warm now.

Walk down the Slope of Hope, past the barking balcony house (quiet today) and I see a bright yellow Vespa coming towards me, the rider slows down and when she passes says Buon Anno Signora – absolutely no idea who she was, but she was laughing rather manically as well. At this stage she couldn’t have been laughing at my face as I was only on my warm up walk! I continue down the Slope of Hope and realise mechanical Voice Lady from Map My Run is suspiciously quiet – I haven’t changed any settings, but all she is monitoring is calories – no distance, time or anything else. I stop to restart her and continue with a run, down through the village, onto Laundry Lane past Rita’s house, past Mario Di Porchetta’s van, past Adriana’s house  (the indefatigable Pro Loco rep and local cook for all festas) and towards the local vinery, which still proudly proclaims winning a bronze medal for one of its wines over a decade ago!

I realise (despite the restart) that Mechanical Voice Lady still hasn’t been monitoring me and I mess about with the settings again – but on this new pesky iPhone everything appears to be ‘greyed out’. Curses – but I continue past our friends’ house, looking beautiful and immaculate in the winter sun, just as Lou Reed starts singing ‘Perfect Day’. Mechanical Voice Lady has decided she is monitoring me, but is still not quite right she thinks I did 1km in 15 minutes and the next in 5. Those timings would really make me a weird runner – 15 minutes for a km is slower than my walking pace and 5 minutes a km is just wishful thinking. On I plod, through long curving S bends, towards the final push which I guess is about another 2km. Whilst I haven’t run for a  few days, I notice that I am not out of breath and that my running pace is fairly steady.

Ouch, pride goes before a fall, I stumble on a bit of cracked tarmac – yikes a twinge in my left ankle, okay I need to slow it down a bit, just in case. A few more paces and I manage to repeat stumbling on another bit of cracked tarmac  – okay JCR start watching where you’re going… This in fact is really bad advice; all the running guidance tells you to lift your head and look to the distance not at the floor ahead of you. But the roads are in a state of disrepair here, and with no pavements to run on, looking at the ground is often a measure of self preservation.

My ankle is okay and Green Day’s ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ comes on, and I don’t know why but I always thought it was when ‘November Ends’. But today, I sing the alternative JCR version of ‘Wake Me Up When December Ends’, it’s followed by Dancing In the Dark by The Boss and I notice that I have reached my destination – the full distance of Laundry Lane. It’s time to wind it down as I have a large hill to climb to get back home. Luckily for me, Mr JCR happens to be coming home from the bar (that sounds bad – he had been out for a 70km ride prior) and a familiar sounding car passes me and I am offered a lift – which I gratefully accept.

Job Done – I hauled my sorry arse out. New Year, I’m out to get you.

Stats

– well these are rubbish Map My Run Ones – so I am starting the New Year with a New App…

Distance 5.02km ( I think it was over 6km)

Time 42.15 mins

Average Pace (min/Km) 8.24

Elevation Gain 19 metres

Playlist

Sunday Morning – Velvet Underground

Seasons In The Sun – Terry Jacks

7 Seconds – Youssou N’Dour Neneh Cherry

Winter Melody – Donna Summer

Ruby Tuesday – Rolling Stones

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson

1999 – His Purple Highness

8 Mile Soundtrack – Eminem

Perfect Day – Lou Reed

Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day

Forever Autumn – Justin Hayward

 

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day Two

21 December

On the Second Day of Christmas

We are here in Italy

Two people cleaning

And the house was only one degree

The problem with closing up a house is that you never quite know what you will find when you open it back up again. We are in rural terrain and have come home to many ‘visitors’ –  last March – burglars, previous years have included dead lizards, moths and the smelly bugs which emit a foul smell when you touch them.

This year, bluebottles had taken nest in our front bedroom windows, we had wondered why our bedroom was littered with dead bodies, and wow we found out when opening the windows and shutters. Cue emergency vacuuming and generous use of the flykiller. All of which would be fine, but we are in an organic farming area and I’m not entirely sure how much damage a flykiller spray does to our ‘organic’ credentials.

Further time spent with Dr Google looking up ‘real runs’ rather than virtual runs for Alzheimers – this is a tad more difficult than I imagined, as I have to allow for the fact that I am in Italy for most of the year and so these runs aren’t quite so numerous here in my Region. Possibly it is time for a re-think on my plan and activity. One helpful person has suggested Running Down Dementia via the Park Run efforts – so that is worth me checking out.

So far I’ve done lots of research, but no actual running or signing up. Mmm JCR – you could do better.

 

 

The 12 Days of Christmas – Day 1

The song starts on the 20th of December, our first full day back in Le Marche.

On the First Day of Christmas

We are here in Italy

And the house was only one degree

A bit of artistic licence here – it was about 8 degrees inside.

Bitterly cold and with loads of preparation to do for Christmas, running is taking a back seat at present. We have friends arriving on the 23rd, and so a clean, warm, food and drink-filled house is a must.

The latter not a problem after a judicious stop at Calais Vins on the way down – the former needs be organised. But who wants to go shopping near Christmas time?, not me. So we settle for a quick trolley dash locally, and promise to go out properly on Friday 22nd.

I start looking up potential runs for Alzheimers as part of my prep for 2018’s challenge – this doesn’t look quite as easy as I thought it would. Most ‘virtual’ runs are for a variety of causes and so far I haven’t found one for Alzheimers…

 

 

 

22 December – Being Bitten On The Bum

Back of house-activity
Liquorice Alert

by the Hill That Kills.  this was the running reality, on my first run back in Italy.

It has been a hectic week – last Sunday  was the London apartment close down and the unwelcome news that our water heater element had gone. Cue short sharp showers using the emergency top up facility – it was a game of chicken between you and the shower as to how long you could actually wash with hot water. Not great when you’ve been running and desperately need a shower!

Whilst I was enjoying myself running Mr JCR was packing the car with the essentials for our Christmas and New Year. Christmas Presents – check. Wine – check. Waitrose trolley dash – check. Bike – check. Solar Lights – check. More Wine – check. Whisky, Port, Sherry – Check. Holland & Barrett trolley dash – check. Clothing – check. Room in boot for the necessary cases of champagne – check. Room in boot for stop at Calais Vin to buy more wine – check. Room in boot for the cool bag of essential dairy stuff that can’t be bought in Italy – check.

Sunday night can’t sleep. Monday wake up early, everything goes to plan, except for one tiny detail – leaving space in the car for the fridge essentials is fine, one small detail JCR, you needed to have actually taken the essentials out of the fridge! This minor detail was discovered on the way to Kent – too far out of London to turn back, this meant a series of frantic WhatsApp messages to friends Maan and Dragan to go into the fridge take what they wanted and freeze the rest.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t have been that bothered by missing the groceries but we have our dear friends G & J staying with us over Christmas, G is particularly partial to all things Cornish, as a child he used to holiday in Cornwall a lot. There pretty much isn’t anything Cornish that he doesn’t like. As he and J live in The Netherlands, it’s quite hard to get Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream out there; my dairy surprise included this precious jewel so we could all enjoy Cornish Clotted Cream Teas over the holiday. Luckily a stop for petrol outside of Folkestone took us to a Tesco, where a last minute clotted cream dash meant we could continue with the precious cargo on board. No cool bag to put it in, but with temperatures of two and three degrees, that didn’t seem to be a big problem.

Next stop Calais, aha an hour delay on the tunnel crossing, ho hum. Next stop Calais Vins – a trolley dash, breakfast and then en route to Champagne. Next stop the champagne supplier, eight cases bought and stowed. Next stop Beaune. Overnight stay, get up, breakfast, trolley dash around the supermarket to replace the ‘lost’ Comte, Stichelton and Vacherin cheeses. To the Mont Blanc tunnel refuel, change drivers and next stop Italy, to a shopping outlet near Milan. We thought this was a good idea, because from a distance it looked like Bicester Village and we thought the food there would be better than eating in a Motorway Service Station. Hmm, we won’t ever return there. Next stop – home. Blimey, it’s brass monkey weather here, the house is literally stone cold. We unpack, shake and shiver and put the heating on, which is not really up to the job.

Wednesday morning, – more blinking shopping to do – this time it’s fresh stuff. Get home start organising the house for our friends’ arrival. Mr JCR has a committee meeting, so I set up the Christmas tree (well it is an olive tree actually, which gets decorated and then put in the garden).

As I am doing this pleasant task, I start looking for the window lights and my Santa candle (sad I know!) – it seems that when we were burgled in March, the burglars liked my taste so much that they stole my Scandi window lights and Santa candle, along with the other weird stuff. Curses. Trying to channel my inner Christmas karma, I hope they enjoy them –  as my inner Christmas karma doesn’t actually extend to thieves, I hope that my Santa candle is stuffed to the gunwales with hitherto undiscovered gelignite and blows them to Kingdom come.

Thursday – my usual running day, we have chores to do in the morning and a delivery arriving in the afternoon, the delivery doesn’t actually materialise, so my run is deferred and deferred until it is dark and I don’t have torches/lights here for running, so that blows that idea out of the water.

At last, Friday arrives – now we are doing the ‘big shop’ for all the goodies for Christmas – that means my run waits a little longer. Then the Thursday delivery arrives on Friday, just as I am about to go out – so delayed just a bit longer – Faffolino has done a great job this week. I finally get out – dressed in my finest black fleece lined leggings, with fluoro orange on top, and a natty bright orange hat – I looked like a bizarre liquorice stick, with a satsuma topping.

I start my warm up walk down the Slope of Hope, the walnut trees are bare, and the wind whistles in places you wished it didn’t. Turn the blind bend and yes naturally I have to dodge a car – welcome home JCR. Past the barking balcony house – no dogs today and start my run into the Hill That Kills.

I have been running in London, I have done some park runs, some interval training and some longer runs. Quite evidently what has been missing is regular hill training. I have become a soft southern namby pamby, actually as London is north of here, I have become a soft northern namely pamby. Either way, I now can’t run all the way up the Hill That Kills, I manage to run just past Pigiama Mamma’s house and then my  puffing and tired legs tell me to stop.  It’s only been eight weeks since I was running hills regularly and I’ve lost my hill legs.

I start to walk and then at the hill peak commence running again, down Lovers’ Lane, now totally empty, the piadineria is shut down and it looks like Villa Bali is closed for Winter. I circuit the gardens and turn back down Lovers’ Lane – a car approaches, passes and then turns round and follows me slowly. I now have paranoid thoughts about a weirdo kidnapping me and worse. Then he pulls over and stops to take his dog out for a walk. Not a weirdo then, just a dog walker…

I run up to the mini peak on Lovers’ Lane and give myself another walking break – back to the Hill That Kills and now she is laughing at me. ‘JCR, you tested yourself and on your first visit back to me, I have taken a great big chunk out of your bum, – but there’s plenty more bum to chew, so you better get training girlie’. I decide then that I will do a mini sprint part way up The Slope of No Hope – which 8 weeks ago, I could run from top to bottom, without stopping. Well that idea was clearly misguided – I manage to wheeze my way past the barking balcony house and I have to walk again, up into Mill Lane I do one further loop and try The Slope Of No Hope, once more. I did a little better this time, past the barking balcony house to the boundary of the walnut grove.

So my summary is that just like Christmas, my running needs to be planned a little more militarily.

When packing the car and leaving room for one more thing, write a post-it note somewhere visible to tell you to take that thing with you. When running up hills, it’s not a bad idea to actually have run up some hills beforehand! I think that means when I return to London the Hampstead Heath running may be necessary to keep my running legs going.

Playlist

Yellow Submarine – The Beatles

Green Eyes – Coldplay

Green Garden- Laura Mvula

Yellow River – Christie

White Riot – The Clash

Little Red Corvette – His Purple Highness

Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis

Lavender – Marillion

Pretty Fly For A White Guy – The Offspring

Fade to Grey – Visage

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Stats

Distance 6.03km ( I think it was about 5km really)

Time 46.54

Average Pace 7.46 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 55m

Bitten Bum 1

 

17 Dec – Welcome Back Mr Smooth

Sunday morning, alarm goes off  – I groan and am made a welcome cup of tea. Faffolino decides to visit and in her usual fashion, manages to persuade me to faff. We are travelling to Italy tomorrow, so this gives Faffolino many prevarication excuses for me. Pack the overnight bag, unpack the overnight bag, re-pack the overnight bag. Sort out the laundry, get dressed, think about sorting the car…

Yes, yes, yes, I faffed a lot. But then I did go out and welcomed Mr Smooth back into my life. Because of a short break, followed by some interval training, I hadn’t done a longer run for a while. So, charge up the C25K App, go direct to Week 9, where Mr Smooth is waiting for me patiently.

Now I had remember how to synch everything again:-

  • Music – check
  • Map My Run – check
  • Mr Smooth – check

It is blinking cold and I am wearing double layers, runner’s buff, gloves and hat. I decide to avoid the Top Gear tunnel under the Barbican, as it is full of nasty chemicals and so I go ‘over the top’ to avoid the fumes. Mr Smooth tells me I can do the thirty minutes run and not to fear it. I am feeling rather perky and so I actually start my run ahead of Mr Smooth’s instructions (only by a minute), I am skipping merrily to the sound of It’s Raining Men and decide I will just run as far as I feel.

Leaving the concrete beauty behind me, I continue towards Clerkenwell Road and hallelujah the traffic lights are green and I bound across St John’s Street, past the Zetter Hotel (I really should get paid for mentioning them!) and towards the Farringdon Road junction, double hallelujah the lights are on green and I bound merrily across there. towards the Italian church, where I see all the Clerkenwell Italians getting ready to enter church. As ever, they are dressed in their Sunday best, some little old nonnas wearing rather over-sized fur coats, that are the size of small houses. Reading the London Italian newspapers and sipping espresso coffee, the sight of mini Italy on a Sunday makes me smile, because that is where I will be in two days’ time.

At this point, the fur coats had obviously transmitted telepathic heat rays to my clothing, so a quick press of pause to give me time to get my hat, gloves and running buff off, as I was overheating. Needless to say, I forgot to ‘de-pause’ Mr Smooth, I did wonder why he wasn’t his usual encouraging self. Up towards Bloomsbury and the fairly hip Lamb’s Conduit Street, a quick skip towards Coram Park and looping back to Lamb’s Conduit Street again – it was at this point I realised Mr Smooth had gone AWOL, another pause and re-start. By now I was slowing down and decided if I could do six or seven kms, then that would be good enough. I headed back towards home, passing The Bowler pub (another advert!) and the Hidden House recently featured on Grand Designs. On Lever Street I saw a lady wearing the most flashy cobalt blue and net leggings, so needless to say I had to loop back and tell her they were amazing. She did look surprised – I am putting it down to middle aged eccentricity…

Finally, Mr Smooth caught up and told me I’d been running for thirty minutes – he was wrong of course, but it was me who paused him. And tonight, I saw him on SPOTY on the Beeb. Truthfully Mr Smooth is a master of words and running  and he helped me today.

Playlist

All Stood Still – Ultravox

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Temptation – Heaven 17

I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Nik Kershaw

Electric Barbarella – Duran Duran

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera

Stats

Distance 7.62km (but includes warm up so probably about 6km)

Time 43.56 mins

Average Pace 5.46 mins/km (not true Map My Run was weird!)

Elevation Gain 26 m

 

 

 

Running From Reality – 14 December

In my mind’s eye, I am about three or four years old, on a fairground carousel, I think it was in New Brighton – that famed St Tropez of the North West. I am wearing a dress, with pictures of yachts, flags in suitably nautical colour scheme, watched by my pops. I am squealing and chirping with delight.

It is now a few years later, I don’t remember which birthday, but I do remember my grandmother, Iye Iye telling me that she received a telephone call from my pops asking to be rescued from my friends! They had all refused to go home, unless my pops gave each one a kiss. He didn’t and they all did go home. That as I recall was probably the last birthday party of mine he ever attended.

Another summer holiday in Brittany, a small place called Nevez, a campsite run by Mme Guefarda. She drove a tractor, served a mean cider, and ran the campsite where I managed to bite my knee –  and I am still bearing the scars today. Year after year, we holidayed there, introducing the French holidaymakers to tomato ketchup, and the curiously named ‘tap job’ which was my pops’s favourite ‘torture’ for us kids. Each year without fail, a stream of children would arrive at the tent asking if my pops could go out to play.

A weekend away in Kent, involving us travelling from Liverpool by train, and I was treated by pops to afternoon tea in the dining carriage, en route. I can remember feeling so grown up, being allowed to dine on my own.

Teenage years in Liverpool and the O Level years, when I was by far the most envied girl for one thing alone and that was my pops coming to school and whisking me away for sneaky Chinese lunches.

The other memories are too numerous to mention, and why am I writing this now? Thursday is my running day, but not today, I am visiting my pops in his new home. My pops has Alzheimer’s, a disease that has torn his memories from him, and now has torn him away from his home and family.

His sense of humour is still intact, he still gestures to imaginary objects in the window, to make me look and be fooled. He remembers the famous family ritual of the budgie bounce and practices that on me, with a big grin. His physiotherapist is playing with a soft ball and whilst all the other patients gently return the ball, he rather craftily serves up dummy throws to make the physiotherapist move to catch the ball, wide, high and low. Never throwing the same each time, he takes a wicked delight in his actions, no matter how much I try to change his delivery, he continues to be mischievous.

I miss my run, but I miss my pops more. He can’t really talk to you, conversations are a curious affair of you trying to work out what he means, and answering accordingly, hoping that it makes sense to him. He has his lunch and I note that he still eats very properly, using his napkin on his lap.

I spend about an hour and a half with him, about the same time it takes me to run 11-12km. Normally in that time, when I am running I feel a sense of achievement, of me doing something that makes sense and makes me happy. Today that time is spent with someone who now no longer knows who he is, who I am and what he is doing there.

My running time is occasionally a happy time or an angry time or even a ‘meh’ time, but this time I am not running and it is a sad time. Pops has a tear running down his face, slowly trickling and he wipes it away, I cannot stop the same thing happening to me.

Why write this? It’s not my usual running blog type story, it’s not jokey, but when I run, I can make sense of ‘stuff’. It maybe the stupid stuff, such as what am I going to do in the week, or the big things that are bothering me.

Mr JCR’s uncle recently emailed me to say he had read one of my blog articles when I had my potty mouth on. He pondered on how things change over time, and what is now acceptable wasn’t  when he was younger. I think about that now, and I realise my potty mouth is still going to work…

I hate Alzheimers, I hate the fact that the only significant medical research went down a rabbit hole, that pretty much led to nowhere. I hate the fact that millions of families have a loved one stolen from them by a disease that seemingly can’t be fixed, despite the fact that it is going to affect more and more of us.

I effing well hate the fact that this stupid disease is something I can’t fix with running. I can’t fix my pops, I can’t bring him back but I’d love to. But there is one thing I can do, and that is to run when I can for Alzheimers. So I am starting my New Year resolutions early, I am going to sign up for virtual runs for Alzheimers, so when I do run, it may not help my pops, but it will help others.

So Alzheimer’s I am telling you, the combination of me and others, mean your time of devastation is going to come to an end. Fuck you Alzheimers (sorry Alan) – You may have stolen my pop’s memories, but you haven’t stolen mine and you won’t steal my determination to make a difference. Today’s reality of Alzheimer’s  is one I am happy to start running from.

Watch this space for my Alzheimer’s running reports.

12 December – Up Speed or Deeps Pu?

I had committed to run today, to make up for a lovely indulgent week with friends N&A.  Of course, I made that commitment before having checked the weather.

We didn’t have two feet of snow in London, but we did have a considerable amount of frost and ice. As a street pounder when I am in London, it’s not awfully convenient to get to a park for a nice run. And to be honest, the thought of getting a tube to Regents Park for a run didn’t appeal, given I’d get really cold on the cool-down.

So bright spark that I was, I thought I’d do the Couch To 5K Speed Programme today instead and do it on the Barbican Highwalk. This is an interval training programme designed to help you work faster and harder at your running, increasing your speed and calorie consumption.

After a morning/lunch time/early afternoon of Faffolino visiting at my behest, which went pretty much like this:-

Cup of tea to wake up properly – of course Faffolino, why hadn’t I thought of that?

Sort out the laundry – oh it definitely needs doing, before I can run.

Cup of coffee and breakfast – sure can’t run on an empty stomach (in fact I can and do and prefer to)

Walk up to the fish shop – definitely necessary – a good protein source for today’s run

Grocery shopping – woman cannot live on salmon alone…

Do the ironing – well we have a visitor coming, so it’s better to get it done

Sew on a press-stud onto a summer shirt – self evidently a critical task

I was just about to eye up another ‘must do’ task, of wrapping up two last minute Christmas presents, when Mr JCR interjected ‘I thought you were going for a run, after you’d done the ironing?’. BUGGER, my prevarication had been sussed, so I somewhat reluctantly got changed into my kit. And as ever, my resolve always comes back when I am in kit.

A stroll to the Barbican Highwalk, with my runners buff up by my nose, hat on, double layer of gloves, including the amazing LED finger gloves above. Then Laura started all friendly…. but I know she’s a mean son of a gun. I’m all for girl power, but daughter of a gun, doesn’t sound the same.

Walk for 5 minutes on the 1,2,3,4 beat, which is fine whilst she’s counting, but when it comes to me and my counting, well I go a little awry and I use the 5 minutes to check out my running route – around the mini duck pond. No ducks but rather a lot of duck poo. There are some little patches of ice, so I note their whereabouts and carry on. 5 minutes warm up walk done – by this stage according to Laura my muscles should be nicely warm …mmm, I’m not so sure. It’s flipping freezing and my legs feel a bit leaden, but here we go.

Number One interval – 5 minutes of warm up running to a 150 bpm pace, apparently you can still count it on 1,2,3,4 they are just faster 1,2,3,4s. Well done JCR, you did that one – ah yes I’d forgotten, that’s just the warm up run. Ho hum, okay now Laura ups the ante, still the 1,2,3,4 count; only a heck of a lot faster at 165bpm. My little legs are going like pistons, but I am pleased I get it done…

Then my ‘comfortable’ pace run (according to Laura) but she can’t see my face or hear my breathing…, at which point I come up with a better pacing mechanism than the boring 1,2,3,4 count. I find I can run at the right pace whilst rasping ‘I hate Lau -Ra’ – it isn’t anything personal you understand, but these interval runs are crappy, necessary but crappy. Followed up by the sprint, it is too fast for me to curse at Laura, I content myself with wheezing a generic ‘F..k,  F..k, F..kety, F..k’

Comfortable Pace Run 3 to 6 –  four x sixty seconds of I hate Lau-Ra, which frankly on   the last one, was bloody uncomfortable, with a knee twingeing away.

Sprints 3 to 6 –  it has to be said the pace dropped somewhat, from my initial enthusiastic F..k, F..k, F..kety, F..k, to a more sedate F..k, F..kety, F..k, – I dropped a F..k, as my speed slowed.

What did I learn today?

  1. I have to do interval training to up my speed, so these training runs have to be done
  2. I really need to use Laura for something else other than speed training, as I am not sure she deserves the abuse
  3. My timing and coordination is shocking
  4. Prevarication serves no useful purpose whatsoever, and it’s much better just to go and run
  5. I had hoped to Up Speed, but it was really hard work and at the end I was in the reverse ‘deep spu’ and ended up with a slightly twangy knee and a stitch

In summary, Laura and I are probably going to have to keep dating, but Mr Smooth please, please can you come up with a programme that I like, or is that impossible?

Face Colour -Monarch Red

Playlist

Nothing – just the bizarre running beat that Laura and Audiofuel recommend – I hate it!

Stats

Distance – 3.75km including the warm up and down walks

Time 26.32 mins

Pace 7.04 mins/km (including walk elements)

Squats 3 X 15 sets of reps.

 

 

 

 

11 December – When A Shit Present Turns Out…

… to be one of the best presents you get! Rewind to last Thursday night in Cornwall. We’d seen Young Marx in Plymouth and we’re at N&As home, having a nightcap. At this point we decide to swap our Shit Christmas presents.

This is a tradition with our friends, to spend a small amount of money £10 or less on a present that is useless and makes us laugh. Over the years, we’ve exchanged a penguin-shaped tea service, broken lava lamp, body part shaped keyring, a modesty poncho for outdoors toileting, non-working tools and plenty more besides. This year, we gave N a nano-lego dog kit and A a magnifying glass toenail clipper, whilst Mr JCR was the recipient of an anatomically rude set of corkscrew, bottle opener and stopper and cycling LED lights, the latter will pimp up his very serious road bike.

I, on the other hand (bad pun, sorry) got these little beauties. I bow to no-one in my love of fluoro and bling, when running. We live in a home where bling and fluoro are unknown, so my eccentric running style is utterly at odds with my home style.  But to my delight, (which really wasn’t the point) I now have black running gloves with glowing fingertips. The fingertips remain a cool, calm, collected white during the day. And at night, the fun begins, they change colours fading in and out, they blink and each glove is different, so I can strobe away, causing temporary blindness to oncoming traffic.

Having seen Social Media  go crazy about the advertised VI Poo product – suggesting that it is wholly inappropriate to give a toilet spray as a gift, may I recommend the honourable tradition of giving a ‘shit’ present, instead? It may just be the best present you ever give.

Tomorrow, the blingy babes and I go out for a run!

 

The Shame of the No Distance Runner – 10 December

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Mmm a bad week, or a week of rest, or a week of prevarication, or a week of laziness. Whichever adjective I choose, the summary is the same, since my record breaking run (yeah right, Mo isn’t shaking in his spikes) last Sunday. I haven’t even run for a bus.  I actually don’t like buses, so not running for them isn’t necessarily a problem.

My week has been one that ran very nicely though, spending it in Cornwall with dear friends N&A.

Monday – drive to Cornwall, well actually in my case, passenger to Cornwall, as Mr JCR drives, aided by the SatNav Lady. SatNav Lady is poshish, has a very shaky grip on London traffic conditions and some rather bizarre pronunciations. 40 minutes after having left home, we were approximately a km from the house…. An hour and a half after having left for Cornwall, we were in Knightsbridge (7km from home) – truthfully I could have run there quicker than we were driving. We arrived in Cornwall for a very welcome snifter just after 5pm.

Tuesday – my usual running day, so to get off to a good start, we dive into the Italian coffee shop in Saltash for a welcome coffee. A mini walk around Saltash, an attempt to see the Christmas tree festival – not today, we were there at the wrong time and then out that evening to Plymouth, to see Goldilock and Three Smoking Bears. A pantomimesque play based around Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. So no running done (difficult when I didn’t actually take my trainers or kit!)

Wednesday – a day of rest involving a day trip to Looe, a perfect healthy breakfast of black pudding and fried egg doorstep. My body is a temple, well it was almost the size of a temple after I’d polished that off. Then a bracing cliff top walk along the harbour, to get us ready for a nice meal at home.

Thursday – my other usual running day. It started off well when N suggested that a traditional Cornish crab sandwich was critical for us to have had the proper Cornish experience. He was extolling the virtues of Boscastle, but then the crab shack only has outdoor benches. With rather cold blowy weather coming in courtesy of Storm Caroline,  his sales pitch needed a bit of working on. Well we could get the sandwiches and eat at the bus stop, actually it’s a bench, behind the public toilets…. And then A suggested that it might not be open either! So we ate Cornish crab in Devon, followed by a quick walk around the harbour area looking across Plymouth Sound, enjoying a coffee, when we saw three hardy souls cold water swimming. It’s effectively the Atlantic, a forbidding shade of grey. Two of them are doing that thing, when you splosh the water over your body in the vain hope it  will ready you for the silent scream of aarrgghh when the water hits your Oh Zone. The lady at the next table, heard us discussing the water bravery said she swam there every day. So I haven’t run because I am on holiday and it’s cold, she swims every day(ish) in what can only be described kindly as ‘cool’ water. Respect or let’s call the funny farm.

Friday morning we left for home and this time SatNav Lady redeemed herself, she still has at least two three misdirections to make-up, but we arrived home to a very cold London.

Saturday Morning – too blinking cold to run, therefore stay in bed for a duvet day.

Sunday, what’s that I see? Yes, it most definitely is snow on the balcony and it’s still snowing, and it is the wet snow, not the dry stuff. We go out for a cheeky coffee, scene of my blind date with Razouski, aha I am slipping whilst walking, so any brave/foolish thoughts I had about running, have bit the dust. I am typing this guiltily because I ought to be running and I have a day out tomorrow.

I sit here with a veil of shame covering my face, I should run, I enjoy running, but I am a ‘fair weather’ runner evidently. Tuesday is a date for running, I must go and I am writing here as a commitment to run, so other than ice, or a broken leg or similar on Tuesday I will be running.