30 Jan – Oranges and Lemons…

As part of my rather disorganised preparation for this run I ate a couple of satsumas, in homage to today’s orange theme. I also changed my Lululemon ‘fish carrying’ top for a black and orange lined running jacket, hoping that wearing orange would help in hunting down those pesky orange squares on the Monopoly board.

Km 1 – Barbican to Fetter Lane. All was fine, nicely warmed up and Gold by Spandau Ballet was playing, and that’s how my legs felt.

Km 2 – Fetter Lane to The Strand. Actually I ran past St Clements in the Dane Church (just spotted that) so my nursery rhyme title is very appropriate. Also ‘I Am The Law’ by Human League came on shortly after going past the Royal Courts of Justice. So far, so apt.

Km 3 – The Strand to Bow Street and beyond. First orange square done, but Dr Google Maps was a little behind me again, so I did go around the houses to get there. Not a lot to see.

Km 4 – Floral Street to Leicester Square – Nothing to see, nothing to report, but my it was busy with people and lots of Primark carrier bags.

Km 5 – Leicester Square to Piccadilly. This time I got the Community Chest (of grit, as recommended by MickJGof the Couch 25K community) and also did a quick step up to Vine Street, which was decidedly underwhelming. Two orange squares down

Km 6 – Piccadilly to Hyde Park. Totally nothing to see, except horrid traffic.

Km 7 – Knightsbridge to Sloane Street. Cars, cars, cars, cars, buses, buses, buses, shoppers, shoppers, shoppers. ABSOLUTELY NO SPACE TO RUN EASILY AARRGGHH.

Km 8 – Sloane Street Back to Brompton Road. Dr Google Maps was a little behind me, and I wasn’t entirely sure which was the best route to take to get that final elusive orange.

Km 9 – Brompton Road and back to Sloane Street. Yay, finally got that third orange square – Marlborough Street  and a very nice Chelsea residential street it is too.

Km 10 – Sloane Street to Pont Street. On the way home and this is where the bloody-minded gene kicks in. I think I could just do a little bit more, maybe stopping at Piccadilly, as very km counts when making up this deficit.

Km 11 – Pont Street to Grosvenor Crescent. Very well heeled and chi-chi here, I can’t tell you how many chihuahuas and similar dog rats were being walked by maids/dog walkers. I however was not well heeled and my face definitely not chi-chi…

Km 12 – Grosvenor Crescent  to Green Park. This was getting really tough my Mrs Overall running style hit me, and it was only the intervention of Purple Rain by His Purple Highness in Green Park that got me through.

Km 13 – Green Park to Shaftesbury Avenue. Way too many people for me to work around, Mrs Overall had not only made an appearance, but was asking for a piggy back, and my back was screaming at me to stop. But bloody mindedness kicked in and I decided to continue…

Km 14 – Shaftesbury Avenue to Grape Street. This was really a case of mind over matter, my legs were just shuffling and I was breathing hard, with shin splints and a stitch. No matter, I knew I could reach the magic 15km, and that was becoming a prize, devoutly wanted.

Km 15 – Grape Street to Chancery Lane. I had to dodge quite a number of folk here and elbow barged one lady – not deliberately but I was running, she wasn’t and then she moved into me. At least that is my version of events and with no soccer VAR to confirm otherwise that is the version I am sticking with.

Km 16 – Chancery Lane to Charterhouse Street. This was just hurting beyond belief, everything ached, feet, sides, glutes, calves, head, everything.  She Sells Sanctuary came on, and I did need sanctuary, I needed an ambulance in fact. But then I thought if I could just do 16 km then I’d make the half marathon distance for a whole day, and so to;

Km 16.21 – Charterhouse Street – Carthusian Street. I just had to beat the 16km mark, to prove I could. And I did.

From oranges to lemons, I feel like all the pips have been squeezed. There is no more juice to give and I hobbled home. So sore I can’t even stretch out my muscles; a hot shower, a nap and a meal beckons. I will never, ever run in the morning and then do a long one in the afternoon. Ever.

Playlist

Girls On Film  –  Duran Duran

Go Wild In The Country – Ditto

Gold – Spandau Ballet

House Of Fun – Madness

Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

I Am The Law – Human League

I Can’t Stand Up – Elvis Costello & The Attractions

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

Is Vic There? – Department S

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Joan Of Arc – OMD

The Look Of Love – ABC

Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer

Maid Of Orleans – OMD

New Life – Depeche Mode

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

Night Boat To Cairo – Madness

Night Fever – Bee Gees

No More I Love You’s – The Lover Speaks

Notorious – Duran Duran

Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello

Our House – Madness

People Are People – Depeche Mode

Personal Jesus – Ditto

Planet Earth – Duran Duran

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness and The Revolution

The Reflex – Duran Duran

Rio – Ditto

Save A Prayer – Ditto

See You – Depeche Mode

Shake The Disease – Ditto

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult

Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera

Stats

Distance 16.21 km

Duration 2:07:14

Average Pace 7:50

Elevation Gain 72 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done To Date 125.37

Kms To Do 1,892.63 – well at least I am under the 1900!

January Km Target = 171.43 (based on straight-lining 2018km/365)

Km Deficit as of now = 46.06Km

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30 Jan – A Fishy 5km

IMG_0533
Orange Rectangles Gained, Now For The Orange Squares

 

Today is orange hunting day – I am due to run the orange squares of the Monopoly board, but it is still quite cold out, so I thought I’d go for a warm up run of 5km and see if I can clock a few more kms, by doing two runs in a day.

It is Tuesday and the fishmongers are open today, and so I am going to run to buy fish. Unlike last time’s jaunt  I have learnt my lesson well and worked out a mini-route which will mean I can limit the return journey (carrying fish) to a manageable 2km.

Even better news is that my new dead posh Lululemon top comes with a very useful kangaroo pouch pocket. I haven’t actually read that Lululemon recommend wearing it for shopping/running trips. I am sure they will appreciate that needs must, when you’re targeting over 2000km in a year.

I could suggest it to them as a potential new marketing gimmick maybe?

So off I trotted on a circuitous route to Islington Upper Street, it truly is a glorious day, with a fantastic if rare, blue sky and the even rarer sight of the sun. Fish duly bought and stowed in my kangaroo pouch – with me hoping that we have no leakage issues, as I am not sure the raw fish smell would come out of my new running top. A trot back via Duncan Terrace Gardens – sound posh but they are very tiny, but are a small oasis of green amongst the concrete.

Two kilometres back towards home, and rather worryingly my legs feel tired – this does not bode well for this afternoon’s run. But I am close to home and manage to clock 5.19km, which if I can do more than 10km this afternoon, will help me keep my deficit from growing too much.

This morning I was running for two ‘orangeish’ rectangles of salmon, but this afternoon the orange squares of the Monopoly Board await. At least I won’t need the kangaroo pouch pocket to collect them.

And as a p.s. I am allowed to count Chancery Lane as the ‘Chance square on Monopoly – my friends all said so.

Playlist 

Beat Crazy – Joe Jackson

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Breaking Us In Two – Joe Jackson

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Don’t You Want Me – Human League

Dreaming – OMD

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

Electric Barbarella – Duran Duran

Stats

Distance 5.19km

Time 35:21

Average Pace 6:48 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 23 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run To Date 109.16km

Kms Still To Do 1908.84 km

January Km Target = 171.43 (based on straight-lining 2018km/365)

Km Deficit as of now = 62.27km

 
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29 Jan – Saying Thanks To Erin

Today is a rest day. But I do have some ‘running’ duties to perform. First off, the squats and secondly the Vampire Kettlebells. For these two penances I have to thank Rignold and Razouski from the C25K Forums.

Third running duty is to go to Lululemon in Marylebone High Street and say thank you to Erin for giving me the base layer as an encouragement to do my first 15km run. I say first, because to be frank, keeping up the kilometrage is a tough challenge, and so inevitably I will have to do more 15k runs and fewer 5ks. Especially as I didn’t start the challenge until the end of the first week of January.

The Lulelemon store is also a ‘treat’, not just a duty, as I promised myself some nice new matching kit if I did the 15km. And as I did, I am going shopping, I have my eyes on a rather natty mesh lined running hoody. This is all part of my plan to make me look just a little more ‘pro’ and a lot less ‘slow’ when I run.

Bum, bum, bum, Erin wasn’t in the store for me to say thanks and the staff didn’t know what days she would be working this week. Nonetheless I still spent some dosh on leggings, hat, trousers and that hoody. All of which, I hope will make me look like a pro, although my running style leaves a lot to be desired.

I have just had a horrid thought, I could be one of those folks ‘All the gear, no idea’.

 

28 Jan – Anyone for Ye Olde Basketball, With A Shortarse?

This running for Alzheimer’s challenge is most definitely a challenge and a half. After two days of rest, today was supposed to my training plan to be a 12km run. But that wasn’t going to happen, as my legs were a little achey shall we say.

A niceish day in store, I set a target 8km and if I could do more then that would be fab.

A quick run around the City to find filming in situ near and around Moorgate, so I headed off to the backstreets and found Angel Wings, well one of them. I then aimed towards the Inns of Courts and saw Quality Court – I still can’t work out whether the two signs mean it really is quality, or whether the first sign was rubbish quality, so they  decided to replace it.

As I am doing the Monopoly Board running for maintaining running interest, I came across Chancery Lane not by design, more by happenstance. I now have a dilemma – can I count this towards the Monopoly board challenge as ‘Chance’, I hadn’t defined this as a Monopoly run. Better ask some folk and see what they say, if you have a second please let me know your opinion…

It was a quiet run today, not much happening, not much weather to report, and in my backstreet wanderings I came across this old (I assume) lighting hoop and wondered whether you could use it for basketball?

As I am ‘height challenged’/ shortarse  at 5 feet 4 inches, it looked high enough to me, but then I was always last pick at school for the netball team, so what would I know?

10 km done quietly and slowly today, still I am not up to the needed week’s kilometrage, but I hope to reel it in. And I have met one milestone, I have run more than 100km since I began the challenge.

Oh and I did try and jump up towards ye olde basketball hoop, but I am a ye olde shortarse, so was miles away…

Playlist

Drive – The Cars

Night Boat To Cairo – Madness

Sailing On The Seven Seas – OMD

Waking On Sunshine – Katrina And The Waves

Driving In My Car – Madness

Hey Soul Sister – Train

Big Yellow Taxi – Counting Crows

Ride On Time – Black Box

Riders On The Storm – The Doors

They Shoot Horses Don’t They? – Racing Cars

Groovt Train – The Farm

Skateboarding – Xinobi

Walk This Way – Aerosmith

99 Red Balloons – Nena

What I Go To School For – Busted

Drive My Car – The Beatles

Ocean Drive – Lighthouse Family

Ship of Fools –  Erasure

Airport – The Motors

The Road To Hell – Chris Rea

Stats

Distance 10.10km

Time 1:10:18

Average Pace 6:57 km/mins

Elevation Gain 56 meters

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run To Date 103.97

Kms to Do 1914.03

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25 Jan – Tickled Pink, Finding Blue

Part Three of my Monopoly Board challenge. Today I was to do the final pale blue square of Euston Road and then the three pinks of Whitehall, Pall Mall, and Northumberland Avenue, but I spotted an opportunity to get Marylebone Station too. Then by donning my smart arse hat, looked up on Dr Google to see if I could find an Electric Company – he reliably informed me that I could find a certain Electricity Supplier at 333 Euston Road.

‘Jolly Good’ and off I went in search of my pale blue Euston Road, wearing my new glorious Lululemon dark blue base layer. From Barbican to Euston Road isn’t the most edifying of sights, so I spent time in the back streets, trying to keep away from traffic and my plan was to take a photo of the Electric Company at 333 Euston Road. Except that 333 Euston Road, is no longer an Electric Company it appears to be a kebab shop. Except even the kebab shop is now closed. Obviously not an auspicious site for businesses… but it did get me my last of the pale blue squares. I will have to look for an Electric Company on another day. Then a quick detour up beyond Great Portland Street, Warren Street and Baker Street, to snap Marylebone Station. Great, that is all 4 stations done.

Now onto Pall Mall and the rest of the pinks. Aiming towards Oxford Street and New Bond Street heading off towards Piccadilly it was rather congested and the Dr Google’s famous maps app, wasn’t keeping up very well. This was a bit frustrating, because I’d specifically mapped out a route to make sure I did my first 15km run, so whilst I didn’t need the directions to know where to go, I did need the directions to take me through various ‘longcuts’ (routes which take a longer way to my destination). Cue lots of swearing and intermittent stopping to check out the damned app, to see where I was supposed to head even though he (Dr Google) was about 5 minutes behind me. Crossing Horseguards, I eventually swore out loud at Dr Google ‘FFS’ unfortunately I was quite close to a well dressed man who turned and looked; I did grimace and move away somewhat embarrassed.

Cue a whole set of pics, as once I’d snapped the Nell Gwynne connection on Pall Mall, Whitehall and Northumberland Avenue came up in quick succession. Fantastic  – I’d done what I set out to do Monopoly Board wise, but was still adrift of my 15km target, so couldn’t rest on my laurels. I was aiming for 15km today because as part of my Alzheimer’s challenge to run 2018kms in 2018, I also wanted to 15km done prior to the end of January.  As we are away for a couple of days, it really had to be this week or not at all. Secondly, after Erin at Lululemon had given me my new base layer as an encouragement to get the 15km completed, it had been winking at me for a couple of days, nagging me to get out there.

I headed off down the Strand, past the Royal Courts of Justice, lots and lots of lawyers around the place, then up Fetter Lane towards home. By now my little legs had got somewhat slower and my Mrs Overall running style had made an appearance. Whenever Mrs Overall appears, I need to stop, so I did. And that was 16.64km in the bag. Thanks Erin, your freebie encouragement worked! So I am very much tickled pink to have done the pinks and the blue and 15km+ too.

Playlist

Chocolate Girl – Deacon Blue – 3 times

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate – twice

Push The Button – The Sugababes – twice

Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

Raspberry Beret – His Purple Highness

Girl From Mars – Ash – 3 times

Sweet Dreams (are made of this ) – Eurythmics

Sad Sweet Dreamer – Sweet Sensation

I Can’t Help Myself – Four Tops – twice

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste of Honey – 3 times

Cake By The Ocean – DNCE – twice

I’m The Fat Man – King Pleasure and The Biscuit Boys

Cream – His Purple Highness – twice

Marathon – Junkie XL and Glennis-Smith – twice

Salt Peanuts – Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie – twice

Ice Cream Man – Blur

I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow – twice

You Got The Love – The Source and Candi Staton – 3 times

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice – 3 times

(this was from my Retro Runners, Sweetie Playlist on Spotify, in hindsight not enough tracks for a 2 hour run!)

Stats

Distance 16.64 km

Time 2:06:25

Average Pace 7:35 km/min

Elevation Gain 84 m

FFS – 1

Sorries – 3 ( I kept bumping into people)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Done 93.88kms

To Do 1924.12 kms (ugh)

Monopoly Challenge

Browns – Done

Pale Blues – Done

Railway Stations – Done

Pinks – Done

Jail and Bank – Done

Couldn’t Find Electricity Board

Next time – the Oranges.

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23 Jan – Searching for Three Pale Blues…

and actually only finding two! But a late dark blue entry gave the day a touch of magic.

What on earth are you on about JCR? As some of you may know my Dad has a combination of Alzheimer’s and also Vascular Dementia, and to raise much needed funds for research I am targeting myself to run 2018 km in 2018. The year didn’t exactly start well, with no running in the first week of January and last week’s efforts took a downer, after a four day migraine stopped me from running.

Last week I took my first challenge which was to start running around the original London Monopoly board. The browns, the jail, and two train stations were completed in an epic (by my standards) run.

To today, when I had an appointment which meant time was short, I had decided that the pale blue squares were next on my list. This encompasses The Angel, Islington, Euston Road, Pentonville Road and I was going to sneak in Kings Cross Station too. With limited time available, I decided to drop Euston Road for another run, but aimed to get the two pale blue squares done.

Out I popped and decided to take a circuitous route via the fish shop in Islington, so I could get shopping done at the same time. The downside of choosing to run and ‘fish’ shop, is carrying the fish, which seemed not a big deal at first, but I bought just under a kilo in weight. In a carrier bag, and I was only 2km into my run.

It is not easy carrying a carrier bag whilst running, especially as I had to stop to take photos of my milestones, to prove I’d done the run. First stop The Angel Islington, which is actually a pub, and not as many people think the tube station. 15 seconds later, snap I am in Pentonville Road, so that’s two pale blues done. Pentonville Road is being gentrified, but I can remember a pub, which had rather fetching metal grilles on all windows that I used to frequent (well frequent is overstating it, whenever I went to my old Publications’ Unit in Kings Cross, we used to eat there. However it is still somewhat scuzzy; I ran past crack towers, towards Kings Cross. I then had a slight panic, there are three train stations at Kings Cross:-

  • The tube
  • The Kings Cross Station
  • St Pancras International

So, what to do? I decided photo evidence of all three would prove I’d been there. And whilst I was in Kings Cross Square, I saw and snapped a Swiss Air promo stand, where people could pose for photos in a simulated ski-top backdrop, with fake snow on the ground. Bizarre…

I took my snaps and then ran towards home, with the fish carrier bag being jammed under right and left armpits, to balance me out.

One major lesson – do not go shopping for fish, or in fact, anything else on a run. Especially not when the fish shop is within 2kms from home, but you’ve still got 5kms to run. Another case of stupid tart syndrome. Running towards Clerkenwell, I did toy with the idea of going to the baker to buy a loaf of bread, but thought that would be altogether too religious in symbolism. Let’s be honest it would add to the already stupid running style, that I’d adopted due to carrying fish. Actually the extra weight and imbalance did make a difference, and whilst today’s run was planned to be shorter, I was quite tatered, by the time I had finished.

My Monopoly stats were quite reasonable I thought:-

2 pale blues – leaving Euston Road for another day

3 versions of Kings Cross Station

And I was carrying fish!

My 12 noon hair appointment beckoned, and I needed shzuzzing, and to ensure that Rich my hairdresser, didn’t faint at the sight and smell of me, a shower and tarting up was necessary. After being shzuzzed by Richard, I popped along Marylebone High Street and was browsing in Lululemon, having planned to get some new sexier running kit, once I’ve run my first 15kms (which I hope to do over the weekend).

I was browsing for ideas for my ‘treat’ when along came Erin, tall young, blonde, beautiful, lithe and she asked me if she could help me. I explained this was a pre-shopping browse and depended on me running my first 15km run. And she asked me why 15km, was it a race? Was I running with others etc etc etc. I explained my 2018 kms in 2018 challenge (in brief), and she said she was seriously impressed by my commitment. She went on to explain that Lululemon really like it when their customers commit to a challenge, as having a challenge means you are more likely to stay fit. Then she totally floored me by asking what I wore to run. I explained it was weather dependent and I tend to layer up and down accordingly. She then said Lululemon like to reward and acknowledge customers for having challenges and targets, oh and by the way, she’d like to  offer me a base layer vest as a gift to encourage me to continue with my challenge.

It’s not often I am lost for words, but I said yes and am now the proud owner of a ‘dark blue’ long sleeved Lululemon base layer. So whilst my initial quest was for three Monopoly pale blue squares and I only did two today, I did ‘obtain’ three blue things. That was why my day had a touch of magic. Thank You Erin and thank you Lululemon. What a fab company and brilliant idea, I have promised to go back in store next week when I’ve done my 15k run, to prove the incentive works.

Playlist 

One More Time – Daft Punk

One Day Like This – Elbow

I Can’t Help Myself – The Four Tops

Five Years – David Bowie

People in Love – 10cc

Love Shack – B52s

21 Seconds – So Solid Crew

Thirteen Sad Farewells – Stu Larsen

18 Til’ I Die – Bryan Adams

20th Century Boy – T Rex

21 Guns – Green Day

30 Minute Love Affair – Paloma Faith

10 Lovers – The Black Keys

24K Magic – Bruno Mars

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Stats

Distance 7.22km

Time 59:13 (includes the stop at the fish shop, and the photos!)

Average Pace 8:11

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Completed YTD 77.24km

Kms To Do 1940.76 (yikes)

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20 Jan – Pain, Rain, and Train

malaga

Today is supposed to be a running day, but I wimped out. A combination of cold and the wet, coupled with a two day old migraine, means I can’t pound the pavements today. This bloody migraine better go by tomorrow, otherwise my deficit will increase, rather than decrease, which is not my plan at all.

And so, somewhat reluctantly I have to make a doctor’s appointment to discuss these migraines, which are new to me but coming with increasing regularity. As my diet seems biased towards the inclusion of trigger foods such as coffee, chocolate, dairy and wine (all of which I love), it seems sensible to find out what I should be doing (from a proper Doctor and not Dr Google), especially as I’ve read from the latter that running can be a trigger.

However, on a positive front, Mr JCR has just booked our very first Winter Training Camp, him for cycling and me for running. For a St Valentine’s Day treat (not really), we are going to Malaga for 5 days, specifically to do some training in the warmer climes of Southern Spain, and if it works out okay, then we are going to make it a regular event. It seems rather self indulgent deciding to evade the gloom and doom of February, which always seems to be the worst month of the year, but it is a nice and healthy indulgence, although Tapas and Rioja may prove to be our undoing.

Tomorrow is another day, and so provided I have no pain, regardless of any rain, I will train and run the pale blue squares of the Monopoly board.

Today, because of no running I have to do the cursed Vampire Kettlebell exercises, maybe I will do lunges as well as the Number One dead lift. Squats already done!

 

 

19 Jan – Vampires Out

of the cupboard that is. Today is a running rest day but the pesky Vampire Kettlebells saw the light of day today. In truth, only one saw the light of day, but as vampires die in sunlight, I had to be careful.

I am a lightweight on weightlifting and Razouski my C25K running buddy, donated her ‘Kettlercise’ routine to me. I’d like to say a sincere thank you, however I don’t think I can… OMG she swings these things for an hour. An hour! Is she mental? Rhetorical question obviously.

Out of the umpteen hellish exercises, (kindly donated) I settled on 10 reps of the dead lift, after having done my squats. The dead lift could also be called a Figure One Exercise, as the Figure Eight Exercise, looks way too hard at my pathetic level. And besides which we live in a small apartment, and there’s no room to do a figure of eight.

So that’s my amazing effort, but it is a start and I have made progress, not an excuse. And for that I am pleased. And if ever any of you are approached by a fit, singing runner, with penchant for 80s music and she suggests she could donate her Kettlercise routine to you, I’d suggest you run as fast as you can…

18 Jan – Banking London’s Monopoly Board and Getting Jailed

Today I am starting from Go, but no-one appears to have handed me £200? Any volunteers? Just to keep my Alzheimer’s Challenge on track, I have decided to run the Monopoly Board – not in one go, as that is close to marathon distance, but taking it colour by colour. First run to include The Old Kent Road and Whitechapel Road.

A door-to door run is about 12km, but I do need to run a little more than that to make up for my January deficit. I am not aware of a Community Chest stop nor an Income Tax Office (now HMRC), but I can probably swing a detour via Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street stations. That is the plan, middle aged knees may choose otherwise oh and there’s a small matter of using this run to leave me with ONLY 1,950 kms on the Alzheimer’s Challenge.

I am out of the door, Map My Run is set, Google Maps is on voice directions and I am playing my new Spotify playlist. What could possibly go wrong? Except we all know when it comes to my technical competence, many, many things can go wrong.

First of all my warm up walk takes me within a smidgeon of Liverpool Street Station, and I take a pic as proof of one Monopoly Station being done. Having scrutinised the board, the stations are not necessarily anywhere near the other coloured squares on the board, so I am giving myself leeway to visit them when the run makes it convenient. This ‘convenience’ loophole will definitely work in my favour over the coming runs.

Liverpool Street is so early in the run, I make my way to Fenchurch Street Station – about one km further on. Tick that’s another done and it’s on the other side of the Monopoly Board. Next are the not so salubrious charms of Whitechapel Road, out towards Aldgate High Street, this is a horrid area to run, mainly because it is one big traffic junction, and frankly it’s not much better on Whitechapel Road either. I came across the Whitechapel road-sign a little earlier than expected, so needing to bank some kms I trotted further up the street. First technical hitch, having gone beyond the Google Maps point, all directions have stopped, the lady isn’t even telling me to turn around; an unscheduled pitstop to re-set the Google Maps directions and I continue.

For my friends and family who know me as being directionally challenged, it isn’t that I didn’t know where these first three places where, as I used to use Aldgate East tube, go to Fenchurch Street in my old Finserv  Marketing days, and have shopped on Whitechapel Road, it’s just that I wanted the security blanket of being sure I had my route right. Heading back to Aldgate I hook left to Leman Street to make my way towards Tower Bridge, en route to the Old Kent Road. Obviously at Tower Bridge we have the Tower of London, which I understand counts as ‘Jail’ on the Monopoly board running game. Result, another square ticked off.

Now I am south of the river and in unknown territories. Lo and behold Google Maps Lady has gone awol again, so another quick re-set and we are on our way. I had a quick shimmy with what looked like one of the banned pit bull dogs on Tower Bridge Road, I must admit my heart was in my mouth, but he was more interested in sniffing a lamp-post than a middle aged nervous runner. I ended up in some back streets stuffed full of small business premises, some doing well even with the Brexit vote as one had an Aston Martin parked outside. Not quite what I was expecting in this part of South London; still expectations are best broken occasionally. Eventually I got to Old Kent Road, which looked quite grotty if I am truthful. It is a main trunk road, choked with traffic and smelling of pollution. I took the obligatory proof picture and turned back. This was my second Monopoly coloured square, so that is the ‘browns’ done with two added train stations and the jail square. This was about the 9km mark, so good JCR but certainly not exceptional.

I then remembered that I could swing home via the Bank of England and as no-one volunteered to give me £200 to start my Monopoly quest, at least I could go to a place where £200 could be found. So a scoot towards the Lord Mayor’s building and I found myself listening to a song by Clout called ‘Substitute’ on Spotify, which is all well and good, I like the song, but it wasn’t on the playlist I had been playing. Another technical hitch Spotify just wouldn’t play any of my playlists. That meant a good 2 or 3 minutes faffing about with my phone trying to get a restart. And it wouldn’t work, so I reverted to an old iTunes playlist instead. Curses, curses, curses, I did have a slight Dick Dastardly tantrum outside the Mayor’s office.

Onward to London Bridge and I climbed the steps ( I admit I didn’t run up the 30+ steps I was too knackered) going towards the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and there she was slightly in shadow, but I had got to the Bank of England too. That definitely counts as another square in my Monopoly convenience loophole ruling.

At this point I wasn’t really sure if I had done sufficient to get me beneath the magic 1950km mark for my Alzheimer’s challenge, so I schlepped onwards through Moorgate and towards home. Outside the runner’s shop in Chiswell Street, my little legs had had enough at 14.36km, that is a third of a marathon! The furthest I have ever run. Oh and 2 brown squares, a jail, the Bank, and two train stations, that’s a great Monopoly result first time out.

Playlist (as much as I can recall given the technical hitches)

Off The Wall – Michael Jackson

Good Times – Chic

Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy – The Tams

I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

Amarillo – Tony Christie

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley and The Wailers

Let’s Dance – Chris Montez

Stoned Love – The Supremes

Shake Your Groove Thing – Peaches and Herb

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Club Tropicana – Wham

Can’t Give You Anything But My Love – The Stylistics

(this was technical meltdown point and I moved from Spotify)

Don’t You Want – Human League

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

New Life – Depeche Mode

House of Fun – Madness

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

Maid of Orleans – OMD

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Stats

Distance 14.36km

Time 1:55:16 did include picture stops and tetchy meltdown moments!

Average Pace 8:01 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 91 metres

Tech Glitches – at least 3

Alzheimer’s Challenge

One big thank you to Neil and Angela for sponsoring me on the Alzheimer’s Challenge

Cumulative Km Done 70.02km

Kms To Do 1947.98 (it’s not looking much better, I can tell you)

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