13 Jan – Run low, run slow and don’t run too much



I am walking like John Wayne after yesterday’s 13km, and week’s cumulative kilometre count of 34k – which by the way is still 4k short of my weekly need. In my neck of the woods I don’t need a space between my legs for a horse, not in downtown City fringes anyway.

John Wayne famously said the above headline, actually he didn’t… replace the word run for the word ‘talk’ and you have it spot on.

Tomorrow on run day, I will run low (low kms), I will run slow (slower than usual) and not run too much, so I stop before the Mrs Overall style hits.

In practice, that means not doing another 10k, but maybe aiming for a 7 or 8 at a more leisurely pace. I know I will be running to a deficit in the first 2 or 3 months of the year and I hope to catch it up during the Spring and Summer in Italy.

That’s the plan; in the Summer (according to well known running advice) I can start running daily, rather than every other day. That should help claw back the deficit, or maybe I am doing a Philip Hammond and leaving the economic reckoning to another generation.



12 January – Goosey, Goosey Gander…

where shall I wander? Not sure I remember the rest of the nursery rhyme, but wandering was on the cards. Today is  billed by the media as ‘quitters’ day’ – the day when most of us stop doing the New Year’s Resolution or Resolutions we made on the first of January.

Isn’t it a depressing thought that most of our committed thoughts can only last 12 days? I read the newspaper article and realised that yesterday was strictly speaking my run day. I hadn’t run….boo hiss.

Today therefore no excuses – I had to get out. Now I had a planned set of activities this morning, and my run was scheduled for this afternoon. With my running for Alzheimer’s I have to do about 37 km a week and I started one week behind in the New Year, so straight away I am in deficit. Not to worry, I can catch that up I think…

I left to my new playlist ‘Keep Running, Keep Smiling’ playlist on Spotify. I decided once more to head to the river, now I could be virtuous and say I’d run the hills in Hampstead, but my distance challenge is a challenge in itself without me adding in hills. To the river it was… I skipped through St Paul’s churchyard and headed down towards the West before turning back up to the famous now non wobbly bridge and headed West again. On Tuesday I ran past a man playing a flaming tuba, today he was nowhere to be seen. The Southbank was busy, so was scooting between people and trying to avoid being in shot on people’s pics. Today the London Eye wasn’t barricaded, so I was able to run cleanly through to Westminster Bridge. I thought briefly of running through Westminster but the crowds were horrendous, so I turned tail towards St Thomas’s Hospital and ran back towards the East. Passing the National Theatre, Johnny Nash singing ‘There Are More Questions Than Answers’ was fading out and I did wonder why the Christmas Carousel was still in pride of place. That’s one question unanswered, the second was ‘what on earth is a goose doing strolling on Southbank?’

A very confident goose, was walking towards me; I had a choice – hope I could get past him and the oncoming lady, or try and avoid him, by running across him. As I understand it geese can be diva like in their temperaments, but he was fine, nary a glance in my direction. Maybe he was blinded by my fluoro top, or astounded at the speed… Back towards the Tate and I kept on running as the Spencer Davis Group exhorted me to, and this time no security guards told me off.

We used to live in Clerkenwell in a place called Brewery Square, which was often mistaken by cab drivers for the other Brewery Square in South London, so I decided to head there, it’s not that far from Tower Bridge, so I thought I might be able to do a 9/10km run, which would be fab. I ran on into the original Brewery Square – not much going on and headed out finally to the New Caledonian Wharf, where to be honest I was getting a bit tired.

I decided just to keep running until my ‘Mrs Overall’ running style paid a visit. Back towards City Hall, Charlotte Gainsbourg was singing Rest and I sure needed one, she was followed smartly by Under Pressure, and I was feeling it, so headed on up to London Bridge for home. The theme to the Pink Panther was playing and I was neither panthering nor padding along. My feet were hitting the ground like a mini elephant, at that point ‘Happy’ by Pharrell came on – that gave me a mini boost. Just shy of home, my battery pack ran out and the little legs would go no further. But what a result, my furthest run (ever, I think) a shade over 13k.

As I turned the corner for home, The Streak by Ray Stevens came on, there was no chance of me streaking anywhere at this point. But job done, I didn’t quit on quitters’ day. Nor did loads of my buddies on C25K either.

Playlist (not necessarily in order, this is as I can remember them)

Ju Ju Man – Dave Edmunds

Gotta Keep Smiling – Scouting For Girls

Nowhere Fast – Eminem F. Kehlani

The Rock Steady Crew – The Rock Steady Crew

One Step Beyond – Prince Buster

Easy – Commodores

Running’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Tiger Feet – Mud

Compression – Digilio and Accorsi

Marathon – Rush

There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johnny Nash

Keep On Running – Spencer Davis Group

Smile – Lily Allen

Question – The Moody Blues

Snail – The Smashing Pumpkins

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

Tread Softly – Tiny Ruins, Hamish Kilgour

The Winner – Status Quo

Ice, Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini

Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie

Happy – Pharrell

The Streak – Ray Stevens


Distance 13.32 km

Time 1:27:15

Average Pace 6:33 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 115 metres

Goose – 1

Middle Aged Nose Blowing – 6

Alzheimer’s Challenge

34.28 km to date

1983.72 km to do.






10 January – Retro Runners Keep Running, Keep Smiling Mix

Today is a day of running rest, but to keep my focus, I have created a new playlist on Spotify to pay tribute to the administrators and mentors of the C25K Forum. The virtual toast is in defiance of ‘Dry January’.

They all know who they are, and some have their own specific messages, taglines, pieces of advice, or experience which help others starting out to run.

Not all the songs are specific to the mentors, some are general and to be honest some I just couldn’t find for instance,  I could only find very explicit material under Floss, so decided against that – this is a tribute not an insult!

If you’re struggling to understand why I chose some tracks – here is my warped thinking…

For the C25Ker who ‘panthers’

Stray Cat Strut – The Stray Cats

Ju-Ju Man – Dave Edmunds

Tiger Feet – Mud

Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini

The Streak – Ray Stevens

For the C25Ker who advocates happy and steady pacing

Snail – The Smashing Pumpkins

Happy – Pharrell Williams

Nowhere Fast – Eminem and Kahlani

Hey You The Rock Steady Crew – Rock Steady Crew

Tread Softly – Tiny Ruins and Hamish Kilgour

For the owner of the tagline above

Keep on Running – Spencer Davis Group

Smile – Lily Allen

Smile  – Gregory Porter

Gotta Keep Smiling – Scouting For Girls

Help! – The Beatles


Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie

Compression – Digilio and Accorsi

Love in an Elevator – Aerosmith

Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread) – Ricky Nelson

For the lady who ‘now runs’

To Jan – Leonard Anderson

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

One Step Beyond – Madness (for going beyond 5k…)

Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley (for exactly the same reason!)

Question – The Moody Blues

The ‘down under’ runner

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Running Up That Hill – Kate Bush

Advice For The Young At Heart – Tears For Fears (for the Use It or Lose It advice)

Down Under – Men At Work

The ‘club’ person who likes triathlons and marathons

Easy – Commodores

One Step Beyond – Madness

There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johny Nash

The Winner (Podium Mix) – Status Quo


The playlist can be found here:-




9 January – No-one Expects To Hear Adults Giggling….

especially when all the billboards are talking about dieting, stopping drinking, not spending money and generally making you feel like January is a month to be avoided.

The pics are the latest art installation in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, this was my end of run pitstop.

To start more correctly at the beginning of the day, I received my usual date reminder from Mr Smooth, but today I had planned some faffing first. I can’t blame Faffolino this time, the faffing was all of my own doing. Bins, laundry, sweater mending, posting parcels, shopping this was my morning faff. To the afternoon and I had to go out, mmm, not very warm, in fact quite grotty, but I saddled up. Obviously I didn’t saddle up, but I did put on my kit ready to go.

Me and Map My Run are still having marital problems, these Mr JCR informs me are to do with GPS accuracy rather than the app, so I am still in counselling and not allowed the divorce just yet. I headed down towards the river, through Old Jewry, wondering if this naming was considered to be rather unpleasant or just factual. It seems that this was indeed part of the Jewish Ghetto hundreds of years ago. As I am old and have Jewish ancestry, I am fine with running through there.

To the river and it’s colder there than I imagined – I head East past Borough Market and towards London Bridge, via the Mayor’s Offices, along some very slippy granite steps. As usual there are lots of tourists taking snaps and selfies against the granite grey sky backdrop. London certainly isn’t looking her finest today. As I hit the exit at the bridge and see the new Bridge Theatre, I decide we should make an effort to see a play there before we return to Italy. Not fancying running through traffic, I decide to turn back and run along the South Bank. Oh yes a man playing a tuba from which flames are appearing – all is normal in London. My run is going swimmingly and I reach the London Eye, aha, a detour is necessary it is all blocked off, I am guessing it is closed for annual maintenance or similar.

I wish I could say it was a nippy detour to St Thomas’s Hospital, but I was flagging at this point, so decided to turn back and see if I could still manage a 10km run. Back towards Tate Modern and I thought a quick peek at the Turbine Hall would be a nice way to finish. As I ran through the door,  I was thinking I’d run down the slope then stop and look at the artwork. I’d forgotten that it was the swing playground. ‘You are not allowed to run in here. No running’ , said the security guard. Ouch, I’d been told off for running, it took me back years ago to school and no running in corridors etc.

Here am I trying to keep running and a Security Guard about 30 years my junior was telling me off! He did have a point though, as people were lounging on the carpeted floor looking at the swinging pendulum ball, so no complaints from my side. At this point Creep by Radiohead came on, and so I did – I crept quietly to the back of the hall so he couldn’t see me!  The sights made me giggle, and when I was giggling I realised most of the other adults were too;  people laughing on the swings whilst friends and relatives took pics.

Of course after a 10km run, a runner needs a cool-down five minutes, and this was mine:-



Modern Way – Kaiser Chiefs

Na Na Na Na Naa – ditto

Ruby – ditto

World In Motion – New Order

(Forever) Live and Die – OMD

Doginabag – The Fratellis

All These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers

Talk Talk – Talk Talk

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Warwick Avenue – Duffy

Andy, You’re A Star – The Killers

Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Girls On Film – Duran Duran

Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis

Is Vic there – Department S

Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs

Fuck You – Cee Lo Green

Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers

Creep – Radiohead


Distance 10.61km*

Time 1.06.11

Average Pace 6.14 (mins/km)

Telling Offs – 1

Playing On The Swing – 1

* But I think this may be wrong as the MMR lady said I had done a km in 5.30 minutes and that would be about 30 seconds faster than ever before

Alzheimer’s Challenge 2018

20.96 kms done

1997.04 to go (well I am under the 2,000 so that is something)

8 January – Introducing JanCanRun’s Runners’ Rules 1-10


The esteemed Mr JCR, he who blogs at Colincanride.com, introduced me to the concept of the velominati, a group of folk who manage the cycling community’s rules of engagement. Absolutely nothing to do with rules of the road, or Highway Codes. Simply, this is the definitive guide to what is and isn’t acceptable to fellow cyclists when cycling.

It is an utterly subjective view, some of it quite funny and I attach the link for those interested. There are 95 rules as of today.


There are a set of published Runner’s Rules – but you have to pay to get those, and so mine are free. And in recognition of the fact that it is far easier to navigate when you know your way around, I will create the rules, ask for help on more rules and then categorise them. Oh btw, the Editor’s judgement is final and no debate will be entered into.

So my starters on the general rules are with a big thanks to the velominati for the first three :-

Rule 1 – Obey The JCR Runners’ Rules (now abbreviated to JCRRR)

Self explanatory.

Rule 2 – Lead By Example

It is unethical for someone who knows the JCRRR, to knowingly and wittingly aid an unknowing runner in breaching the JCRRR

Rule 3 – Help The Unknowing

No matter how valid your reason is for breaching the JCRRR (in your head), it is never good enough.

Rule 4 – It Is All About Running

The JCRRR does not transfer to biathlons, triathlons, Iron Men, Women, walkers, dog walkers (dog runners are permitted under the Labrador Convention*), or pram walkers (pram runners are permitted under the Jo Pavey** rule)

Rule 5 – Weather is Never An Excuse

Enough said, although if you are running on an oil rig in the Atlantic or other ocean, gale warnings are an acceptable reason not to run. If you still run, then Respect is due.

Rule 6 – Run With Your Mind and Your Legs Will Follow

Your mind can and will let you down when running. This is perfectly normal. What is not normal is to stop running merely seconds into a run because ‘I don’t feel like it’. Run the run in your head, and your legs will do the rest.

Rule 7 – Any Run Is Better Than No Run

It’s true.

Rule 8 – Runners’ Kit

There is no limit to the amount of kit needed to run, the only limit is your imagination or wallet, or both.

Rule 9 – Runners’ MoJo

May occasionally go AWOL, can be restored by putting on trainers and running

Rule 10 – Definition of a Runner

A Runner is someone who runs. Distance does not a runner make (thanks Yoda). A 100m Runner is a Runner, an Ultra Runner is a Runner. And so is everyone inbetween. Snail Runners are definitely runners. Fast walkers aren’t runners.pexels-photo-320956.jpeg

*The Labrador Convention

Canine assisted running is a very valuable training tool, therefore all dogs being run by their runner owners, or runners being run by their dogs, count as runners.

**Jo Pavey Rule

Mums who Run count or Runners who Mum count. As per Jo Pavey’s Book – This Mum Runs.

What rules do you think should follow these? I have thought of rules on

Food and Nutrition

Running Kit

Etiquette When Running





Injury Management











Run 1 – Getting The New Year Off To a Whimper

We had words, did Mr JCR and me…, big words, tetchy words, me wanting to quit the relationship, him wanting to try just one more time. And to be honest I was surprised as he hadn’t shown much favour up until now.

It’s no use I told him, things have changed, the old model worked but the new model doesn’t. I can’t carry on in this vein any longer, ‘let me try’ he pleaded. ‘No’ I said. But a few days away, and a sense of hope surged. ‘Okay, we can give it a go’.

Mr JCR had asked me to go counselling. Relate are famous for helping couples work through relationship issues and Mr JCR thought it was worth a shot. We’ve been together for nigh on 25 years, so he had a point. One night just before coming home to London, we made an appointment. Grievances duly noted, with specific examples so that the advice stood a chance. And so the dialogue began.

Mr JCR – ‘Exactly what isn’t working from your perspective?’

JCR – ‘There are so many things I can’t even tell you where to begin’

Mr JCR – ‘Just try, tell me one thing at a time’

JCR – ‘Well, the new iPhone and Map my Run, still won’t synchronise to my iTunes library, it says I have no music and I have’

Editor’s note – you may have thought I meant meeting Relate the marriage counsellors – no I mean


R= Running

E= Electronics

L= Lacking

A = Application Integration

T = Turns JanCanRun

E= Extremely angry

Mr JCR is the techy whizz kid in our household and following my switch to the new iPhone, things were not going well. The Map My Run App was hopeless, no longer picking up my music, nor tracking my route at one point. Mr JCR often persuades me to move to Strava, but it doesn’t synch to my music either, and so he said before `I committed to another app he’d have a look and see what he could do. Mr JCR duly looked and configured bits and pieces and lo and behold a miracle – he got the music link working. It then seemed from a mini test (by running around the living room) that everything was working. So, today, naturally enough I set out with hope in my heart and a spring in my step.

Okay,  I am out of the door, with the warm-up walk started, Mechanical Voice Lady is present and the countdown is working fine, I can hear my music, so far so good. At the end of the five minute warm up, Mechanical Voice Lady tells me to start exercising, and I do. Somewhat surprisingly my first kilometre was completed in 30 seconds, with my second one done similarly. Harrumpphh, this intervention by RELATE has fixed one problem, but obviously there are a few more. As much as I’d love to report a miraculous mix of Usain’s speed with Mo Farah’s distance, let’s be realistic, I am middle aged, a bit chunkier than I was pre-Christmas and my running took a bit a of a break over the festive period.

I head up towards Islington and Essex Road, avoiding the crowds on Upper Street, all of them still hunting for that elusive New Year Sale bargain. My pace is quite steady I think, although with MMR marking my times, the Olympics won’t be far away for me. I am dodging quite a few bare, unadorned Christmas trees, now sadly deserted by their owners and forming a mini hurdle and obstacle race on the pavements. But as The Boss is singing Born To Run, I am smiling widely as I dodge each one. I reach the end of Essex Road and turn right along Balls Pond Road. I had thought on a Sunday morning that the roads would be quiet, but I was wrong and the pong of petrol pollution still hangs around. I do wonder whether running in these parts is quite so healthy…, then I am overtaken by a braver running lady  in a short sleeved tee-shirt, with a sort of semi circular sweep to her running gait and it occurs to me that she must be covering more distance per step than me, because her feet are covering quite a bit of the pavement on each step, it’s quite fascinating to watch, if a bit dangerous as I then trip slightly on a paving slab.

I continue down Balls Pond Road and am overtaken again by a lazy, loper runner. I don’t mean he was lazy, but his running style was all loose and loping and fast too. He scooted in the distance and I was at about 6km at this stage, so no chance of catching him up. I then turn into Kingsland Road (Dalston) one of the spiritual homes of the fable Hoxton Hipster and yes there was my first one  .

Beard – yup, checked lumberjack shirt thing – yup, dark denim narrow jeans – yup, natty bit of ankle showing – yup, and brogue shoes – yup. I was so intent on looking at him for my stereotype bingo card, that I almost barged into a young girl coming the other way. She moved out of my way and I did say thank you, well I wheezed thank you as I was at about 7.5km at this point.

The people were thinning out now, as I am aiming towards Bishopsgate and the City, the tower blocks loom and I run past Liverpool Street Station, with throngs of people leaving there and queueing for buses and couches; a tangle of limbs and luggage. I turn off to Threadneedle Street which is nice and quiet, past Royal Exchange and Lothbury and towards Basinghall Street and home. My 10km warning comes up close to home, so I continue just that bit further, but to be honest I am tired and now running like Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques. When that running style happens, I know it’s time to quit, so I push the pause and hold button on Map My Run and that does at least work.

I was musing as I ran about my upcoming divorce from Map My Run, and wondered which religion it was that permitted you to divorce by saying ‘ I divorce thee’ three times. It is in the Islam faith, although a triple ‘talaq’ does not actually confer the right of divorce. There’s a time gap of one month between the saying of the words and also a requirement that the couple seek counselling and try to come to an amicable reconciliation before pursuing the finalisation of divorce.  Following that logic, that means me and Map My Run have to have another couple of reconciliation attempts, before I give in. I wonder if Mr JCR has some spare time for the next phase of R.E.L.A.T.E.?

I whimper as I think of yet more techy stuff to be done, but lucky me – Mr JCR is a whizz with this so I am sure we will get there. And the reason why this is important to me – this year I commit to running for Alzheimer’s and am challenging myself to run 2018 kms  in 2018 and fund raise. More of that to come later, once I’ve set up my fund raising site etc. That means doubling my rate of kms and the first week of January I am already 27kms down…. much work to be done JCR!


Mony Mony – Billy Idol

Girls & Boys – Blur

Tracy Jacks – ditto

Parklife – ditto

Born To Run – The Boss

Hungry Heart – ditto

Dancing In The Dark – ditto

Born In The USA – ditto

Glory Days – ditto

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Mulder and Scully – Catatonia

Fuck You – Cee Lo Green

London Calling – The Clash

Rock The Cashbah – ditto

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

The Jean Genie – ditto

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

(It seems my playlist played alphabetically – hey ho, but it did say the music was playing for 1 hour 5 minutes and 56 seconds which is probably accurate for my timing)


Distance 10.35km (I do hope so but the MMR running route isn’t quite right)

Time 52.08 minutes (I think the 1 hour 5 minutes 56, is true here)

Average Pace 5.02 mins/km (if the music list time is correct, then my pace was 6 mins 22.2 per kilometre which seems more accurate)

Stereotype Bingo – 1 for the Hoxton Hipster

Squats 3 x 15 reps

Alzheimer’s  Km Tracking

10.35km done

2007.65 km to go

And I should have done 37km by now – January is going to be tough









The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day Twelve

New Year’s Eve

On the twelfth Day of Christmas

We are here in Italy

Twelve O’Clock Bell Chiming

Eleven pages of planning docs

Ten hours of sleeping

Nine o’clock, our friends left

Eight Dutchmen drinking

Seven laughs a minute

Six Fano Views taken

Five courses eaten

Four stockings readied

Three lots of shopping

Two people cleaning

And the house was only one degree

But the very best news was I broke my running duck. Today I went running, honest to God, cross my heart running.

Just a pity the technology didn’t play ball, still New Year, New Start – and that means a new running app, as me and Map My Run Mechanical Voice Lady are coming to the end. I divorce her herewith…

Two NYE parties to go to, aren’t we lucky? This is my kind of interval training – one party, then a short interval, followed by another.

Happy New Year All.