31 Mar – It’s A Numbers Game

pexels-photo-785171.jpeg

The end of the first quarter of the year, JCR it’s time for a reckoning on the Alzheimer’s Challenge and here are the numbers:-

1 – friends Gerben and Jeanne who started my sponsorship rolling, with the very first donation

2 – hot on their heels, Neil and Angela who kept the impetus going

3, 4 and 5 – lovely Couch to 5K members who also sponsored me

6 – the daily average kms covered since the beginning of the year

7 –  days’ running  – my longest ‘running streak’ in February

8 – days running in Spain, five in Malaga covering 44km, three in Granada covering 31km

12 – individual sponsors so far – the last one being Rosalie from Mr JCR’s cycling club

14 – the first Monopoly run – 14km collecting Old Kent Road, Whitechapel, Bank, Jail & two train stations and funnily enough also my last collecting the ‘coloured’ squares of Mayfair & Park Lane

16 – my longest recorded run on 25 January

25 – Couch To 5K, the whole reason I am doing this challenge. It encouraged me to start running again and now look where I am

25 – yes again – we are 25% of the way through the year

27 – percentage kms run, therefore  I am 2% points ahead

36 – percentage of my fundraising target met to date

43 – kilometres in the bank/ahead of schedule as of today

59 – the numbers of runs I’ve completed

90 – days gone in this running year

168 – the average monthly kilometres, I must run

275  – running days to go

504 – my target kilometres for end of March

547 – my actual kilometres run to the end of March

741 –  £ in sponsorship received

846 – £ in sponsorship received with tax aid

1470 – the kilometres still to run

2018 – the target kilometres for the year and the money raised for Alzheimer’s Research

∞ Infinity and Beyond – the support from Mr JCR for me doing this

and finally, the immeasurable goodwill messages, support, encouragement and general cheering on from all friends and family based here, Holland, Italy, C25Kland, Facebook, USA, New Zealand

 

 

 

 

30 Mar – Another Day In Paradise

It’s a UK Bank Holiday, Good Friday – or more to the point, Grey Friday and London seems empty, except for the locals and brave tourists who may have hoped for a pleasant Easter break in the capital.

No such luck for them, but the upside for me is the streets are empty, so no swerving, swearing or switching routes to avoid people traffic. During the holiday breaks in the capital, a lot of construction work continues – hence all the train line closures. I was just out of my door when I saw the Crossrail monster crane being manoeuvred towards the Moorgate site. From all the hi-vis men taking pics of this too, I am guessing this is not a usual occurrence.

I do however have an unusual occurrence of my own – I have a twinge –  not the usual WMAS , but I think it may be a proper problem. I’ve  Dr Googled which is always a bad thing, as invariably the worst possible diagnosis and prognosis  comes up. Sore leg = instant death, that kind of thing. Then I found a site that promised to diagnose more accurately your knee pain – but out of the 5 conditions they mention, mine doesn’t seem to fit any of them.

Using Idris Elba’s recent advert strap-line ‘carry on’, I gave it a go and ran this morning. Upshot just over 6km done – bizarrely the twinge doesn’t seem to happen as often when I’m running, but it does when I’m walking. I am still yelping/swearing from time to time, but not as much as last night. Therefore I am a bit perplexed, The NHS site says something along the lines of – don’t go to a GP, don’t go to hospital, don’t take painkillers, just wait and see.

So that is what I am going to do, I am going to wait and see what happens and not put in such long runs. My own strap-line is Carry On Running, But Not Yelping. Not awfully catchy – I sincerely doubt Elstree Studios will be re-launching the famous comedy series any day soon.

Playlist

Darling Nikki – His Purple Highness and The Revolution

Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis

Born In The USA – The Boss

Enola Gay – OMD

Somebody Told Me – The Killers

Maid Of Orleans – OMD

This Girl – Kungs

Mercy – Duffy

Live and Die – OMD

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Girls On Film – Duran Duran

Planet Earth – Ditto

Boombastic – Shaggy

Statistics

Distance 6.65km

Time 43:51

Average Pace 6:35

Elevation Gain 18 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run to Date 547.6

Kms to Run 1470.4

29 Mar – Idris Says Carry On

IMG_1631
This was before I knew I was injured….

in another room – according to his latest advert – which to be honest is rubbish, but it is Idris, so he is forgiven.

After the 27th’s run, in which I actually failed to do my target kms, I thought I should carry on with another run and try and make up the mini deficit of half a km. As Mr JCR points out, I am actually ahead of target, so my reasoning has gone a little awry.

Nonetheless, the beastette from the East, is due back again, so it’s a good idea to clock the kms whilst I can. Today’s plan is another 10km – well perhaps a bit more if I can power my old lady legs on. Actually they are not old lady legs – officially according to The United Nations – ‘The United Nations uses 60 years to refer to older people’. This is a demographic line – apparently I am still young (actually the site doesn’t strictly speaking say that). So me and my young legs should be able to knock out the 10km no sweat. Here’s hoping.

Mmm well I have good news and bad news. Good news I did my second-ever fastest 5km – well fast for a geriatric in 29 minutes and 32 seconds – although with my geriatric fumbling it took about 30 seconds to stop the clock on my run to prove it was sub 30 minutes.

Second half of the run, I started a new run-on the MMR app and managed to do a further 6+km in an average of 5 minutes 56 seconds. That most definitely is my fastest 10 km+ ever.

Bad News – I have a twinge, one that makes me yelp and swear in equal measure when I put my right foot down – it shoots up near my knee. I have no obvious cause of an injury I was running fine and all of a sudden got the twinge, it felt fine so I continued running. Rested a while, de-sausaged, showered and went for a walk, still no problem. 3 hours later walking to a local restaurant the yelping/swearing started. A further 3 hours on, walking back from the restaurant, things weren’t much better.

Quick Dr Googling tells me it could be any number of things – not so helpful. I am thinking it might be tendonitis as I didn’t fall or twist or anything. Ho hum you win some, and then you lose some. I’d been building up a small surplus of kms in case of need. Looks like the need may have just arrived.

Idris says carry on – all the medical advice I am reading says don’t…, so I’m going to follow Idris’s advice and see if I can actually run at all. If I can with no twinges, I’ll do a little one, if I can’t, then I won’t.

Playlist 

Metal Guru – T Rex

Shang -A – Lang – Bay City Rollers

Sugar Baby Love – The Rubettes

Waterloo – Abba

I Feel Love – Donna Summer

Blame It On The Boogie – The Jacksons

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Killer Queen – Queen

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Girls and Boys – Blur

Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis

True Faith- 94 – New Order

Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine – The Killers

Maid Of Orleans (twice) – OMD

It’s Called A Heart – Depeche Mode

Let’s Go Crazy – His Purple Highness

Down In The Tube Station At Midnight – The Jam

 

Stats

Distance 11.98km

Time 1:10:59

Average Pace 5.55

Elevation Gain 59 metres

Face Colour – Monarch Red

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms To Date 541.09

Kms to Do 1476.91

27 Mar – London Fashion Week Arrives

Nicolas Ghesquiere is the new Designer in Chief at Louis Vuitton and he is heralding his new collection in the latest British Vogue issue. His ‘woman’ is in motion, and she is on the go, according to his interview with the mag.

This ‘on the go’ look involves gorgeous brocade coats, waistcoats and ruffled blouses, over ruffled trousers mixed with bulbous trainers. A mere snip at more or less £15,000. In truth I love the clothes – the trainers not quite so much.

I, as you know, am also on the go, however my running budget doesn’t quite match the aesthete of Vuitton. Think bag lady mixed with Max Wall.

Today’s run down the catwalk of Islington and what is wistfully known as East Clerkenwell, saw me sporting the following adornment.

Hair – scraped back a la Max Wall, complete with Sweaty Betty Black headband

Face Colour – Dulux’s Salsa Red

Running Base Layer – neon purple and orange ‘athleisure’ base top – brand unknown

Running Sleeveless Jacket – black and neon orange netting lining – brand Pro Touch – no I’ve never heard of them either

Running tights – Black – by Pro Touch – still no idea where or when I picked these up

Running socks – Falke – yes I’m worth Falke socks, they protect my tootsies…

Running Trainers – Sexy Saucony Echelons

Fish – by Moxons of Islington (the brill, crab and clams only accompanied me for half the run)

Total expense for this running outfit unknown, but am happy to run in one of Mr Ghesquiere’s outfits, if he donates some dosh to Alzheimer’s Research. I am guessing I don’t really match his idea of his woman on the go though.

In summary my look today – I  love the Saucony trainers – the rest of the outfit not so much!

But despite the fashion embarrassment, I went out and on the go managed just over 9km.

Playlist

Strong – London Grammar

True Faith 94 – New Order

Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Change – Lightning Seeds

Sign Of The Times  – Harry Styles

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

Dance Away – Roxy Music

Doginabag – The Fratellis

Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode

Dreaming Of Me (twice) – Ditto

Avalon – Roxy Music

Born To Run – The Boss

Rumour Has It – Adele

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

Is Vic There – Department S

Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis

Stats

Distance 9.49km

Time 1:01:55

Average Pace 6:31 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 53 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms To Date 529.03

Kms to Do 1488.97

 

 

 

 

25 Mar – Stealing Thunder

IMG_7443

Today is the London landmarks half-marathon, and I wasn’t registered, indeed didn’t even know it was happening, until way after I had decided on my 2018 challenge and by then the race registration was closed.

So to show some solidarity I ran this morning with my Alzheimer’s Fundraising tee-shirt on. Great plan JCR, except for the fact that (as can be seen) I actually crossed the race route and was mistaken for a legitimate runner by one of the race Marshalls, who said when I approached the junction – ‘ Miss you go left here’ – to my embarrassment I had to admit to not being in the race and merely out for a run.

Oops talk about stealing thunder. I headed towards Covent Garden in the hope of keeping away from the runners, but creating some awareness of Alzheimer’s Research in my bright orange tee-shirt.

Not much to say – the run needed doing and I did it. But many congratulations to the real runners and heroes of the day who ran 21km, whilst I wimped out at 7.

Playlist

Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics

Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve

So Why So Sad – The Manics

Freedom! 90 – George Michael

Let Me Entertain You – Robbie Williams

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Gett Off – His Purple Highness

Come As You Are – Nirvana

Cherub Rock – Smashing Pumpkins

Justified And Ancient – People of ‘K’ Feat. Crystal

Killer – Adamski and Seal

If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next – The Manics

Millennium – Robbie Williams

Creep – Radiohead

Animal Nitrate – Suede

Hope – Shaggy, Prince Mydas

Stats

Distance 7:56km

Time 50:58

Average Pace 6:44 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 39 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Run To Date 519.5km

To Run 1498.5 – below the 1500s now – fantastic!

Team Rhomboid Torture

Yesterday I managed 3 x 10 reps of squats and same of wall press-ups

(I can’t do proper press-ups, because of  ‘frozen shoulder’ – another crappy bit of middle aged bod falling off)

I couldn’t do the hollow rocks as I fell asleep…:)

Today squats, press-ups and kettlebell lifting and I may try the hollow rock thing again…

 

24 Mar – Sniffing, Stopping & Snapping

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One of the ‘difficulties’ in doing the Run the Year Challenge, is finding a purpose to the run. Sometimes I am happy meandering like a toddler, not really knowing where I will end up, just being happy getting there. Sometimes it’s nice to have structure like my Monopoly Board runs or even my errand running.

On others like today, I started running and then wondered what could I do to give me a focus. After due consideration – well about 10 seconds worth I decided within today’s run that I’d stop and take a photo of every statue I saw.

As I started running in the City, it became apparent I’d be dong more stopping and snapping than running; as the reclining couple, the glass feature and William Shakespeare were all within feet of each other. This made me change my route – the Square Mile is one of the richest places in the UK, therefore it would also be likely to have more statues than elsewhere. I headed out to Holborn and whilst the water fountain doesn’t count as a statue, I loved the fact it asked you to replace the water cups after use. The cups still work if it wasn’t for the fact that there is no running water there.  I continued on and over the Holborn Viaduct passed Science and Art on the bridge and aimed towards Hatton Garden and Bloomsbury.

Needless to say there were no more statues on my route – which half scuppered my run plan. Then I got to Bedford Square in Bloomsbury and came across this figure of Charles James Fox. Given he is depicted classically in robes, my first thought was another pompous twit with pretentions of grandeur and too much money. Appearances can however be deceptive, as I found out when I googled him

Charles James Fox

This is an extract of the entry about his commemorative statue:

Fox had been a consistent opponent of the slave trade, ‘a practice so enormous, so savage, and so repugnant to all laws human and divine’, that he said he ‘should prefer the abolition of it to any political good that can be gained or even wished, for the Party or the country’. One of his last political acts was to move a resolution for the general abolition of the slave trade, asserting on 10 June 1806 that, ‘this House, conceiving the African slave trade to be contrary to the principles of justice, humanity, and sound policy, will, with all practicable expedition, proceed to take effectual measures for abolishing the said trade’. The House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favour of the resolution, and the Lords assented on 25 June. For his political supporters, the abolition of the slave trade came to be emblematic of the liberty so dear to Fox. Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford, built a temple of liberty at Woburn Abbey dedicated to Fox; the first pediment proposed for the unfinished temple after Russell’s death in 1802 showed a slave being crowned with the cap of liberty. Fox’s memorial in Westminster Abbey, erected in 1822, shows the politician on his deathbed, supported by Liberty, to whom he appeals on behalf of the slave kneeling at his feet.

Just shows  how first impressions can often be wrong. So Mr Fox, I apologise for my unkind thoughts – evidently you were a man of principles and action.

I continued my run towards home and had errands to do – the library and the deli. The first one was a quick pit stop, the second took a little longer, not helped by a permanently running nose – the joys of being middle-aged. The assistant at the deli asked if I’d been running – I am guessing the red face, sniffing, and runner’s kit gave it away. When I answered yes, she asked was I in training  – I explained the challenge and she was saying that she is running half marathons for charity too and is not far away now from completing her first HM of the year at Hackney. She was very nice and helpful and added in lots of paper napkins in case my nose was running too much. Lovely but how embarrassing.

My Saturday run was a series of statues, stops, snaps and sniffs. Oh and one stereotypical thought changed – I must not assume that classical statues are of dilettante rich plonkers. I was the plonker for assuming it, whereas he fully deserves his classical pose and robes.

Playlist

Champagne SuperNova – Oasis

Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics

Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve

So Why So Sad – The Manics

Crazy – Seal

Freedom!90 – George Michael

Let Me Entertain You – Robbie Williams

Gett Off – His Purple Highness

Stay Away – Nirvana

Sleepy Maggie – Ashley MacIsaac

U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer

What Time Is Love? – People of ‘K’

Listen To Your Heart – Roxette

Common People – Pulp

If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next – The Manics

Millennium – Robbie Williams

Creep – Radiohead

Stats

Distance 9.72km

Time 1:08:07

Average Pace  (mins/km) 7:00

Elevation Gain  27 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms done 511.98

Kms to do 1506.02 (hopefully, down to the 1400s tomorrow)

Team Rhomboid Torture

He isn’t actually posting any more challenges, but today I will do some squats, wall press-ups and try the pesky body rocking again!

23 Mar – When 13 Is a Lucky Number

A week of birthday celebrations, culminating in a rather lovely dinner with great friends N&A at The Fox & Anchor last night. Today however, is back to running and diet reality. No sneaky chocolate, although I have about 2 kilos of birthday chocolate to demolish. No lunchtime tapas accompanied by wine. No evening meal habitually accompanied by wine and an after dinner snifter. Still it was fun whilst it lasted. and now it is less than 2 weeks ’til we return to Italy. So some pounds and kilometres to shift.

Heading East and I came across Frying Pan Alley and the interesting yellow building nearby – still no idea what it was. Today was all about getting to a number, a very specific number – 500 to be precise. I wanted to run 13km, so I could reach the 500km mark by end March, which would put me dead on target to meet the 2018 km in 2018.

Having tried and failed miserably to hit an 18km run during my Alhambra/Granada stay, I thought 13km would be more manageable and I can now start working my way up to half-marathon distance, gradually.  After my East London mooch around, I headed out West and passed through the back of Tate Modern, where they still have adult sized swings – there are times when I wish I had company on a run – because it would have been fun to have had a go on the swing in tandem.

I continued on past the London Eye and headed northwards at Westminster. Full of crowds, so I turned off at the Embankment and headed towards home, where I came across another weirdly named alley – Tweezers Alley. Nearing St Pauls I’d hit the 13km mark – very luckily for me that signified the ‘beating’ of the 500km YTD target, I had set myself.

Run done – a shade over 15km. Fingers crossed that this run of good health and no injury continues. Oh and I have achieved the Under Armour Pavement Pounder Award for the 500km.

Next milestone – getting under 1500 kms to run for the rest of the year – I hope to do that before the end of March.

Playlist

Common People – Pulp

Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Breaking Us In Two – Joe Jackson

Get Dancin’ – Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes

People Are People – Depeche Mode

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

Dreaming – OMD

The Look Of Love – ABC

Our House – Madness

Two Tribes (twice) – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

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

Night Boat To Cairo – Madness

No More I Love Yous – The Lover Speaks

Love’s Unkind (twice) – Donna Summer

Gold – Spandau Ballet

I Am The Law – Human League

Temptation – Heaven 17

Enola Gay – Love’s Unkind

Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello

Hungry Like The Wolf (twice) – Duran Duran

Night Fever – Bee Gees

The Sound Of The Crowd – Human League

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

Beat Crazy – Joe Jackson

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Stats

Distance 15.11km

Time 1:39:22

Average Pace  (mins/km) 6:34

Elevation Gain  97 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms done 502.2

Kms to do 1515.8