30 Apr – Seeking Enlightenment


Taking the road less-travelled is supposed to take you on a journey to enlightenment. Well I don’t know about that, but it was high time I took a new road, as my routes are getting bit boring, I keep doing the same ones again and again. A slash of pootler’s pink lipstick and I was out of the door.

Time for a change JCR. On one of my ‘warm down’ walks back up the horrid hills, I had seen a lane that I must have passed hundreds of times, but had never used, so today was to take me to the mystery strada, and see where it went. I’d checked it out on Google Earth to make sure it wasn’t a dead end, as they are not always signed in Italy, but no it appeared to be downhill, going vaguely in the direction I wanted. It had a couple of  forks in the road too, to give me more options.

The words ‘appeared’ and ‘vaguely’ are pertinent. I trotted out on Mill Lane, stopped to flick a v at the water pumping station. The ‘Watergate’ saga continues, the man tried to come out, en route he phoned us, didn’t wait for a reply, despite us phoning him back at least 6 times in  a matter of minutes, he recorded the fact that we were out. So we had to go back down again to the water company and re-arrange another appointment. This is just one of the frustrations all Italians share –  la bureaucrazia! I am not the only person who flicks vs at the utility companies.

Having satisfied my need to swear at the water pumping station, I continued to Lovers’ Lane, to my surprise it was completely empty, no visitors or picnickers although at just after 10am maybe it was a bit early. The barking beagles didn’t get me the first time, as I saw them, but sure enough on my way back, they got their barking revenge and I leapt high in the air. At the end of Lovers’ Lane I took a new turn onto a very steep slope downwards, which is okay but even so my running has to take account of the pitch of the road, and I am still not speedy.

I came across the mystery strada, it continued downwards, not so steep thank goodness  – ouch,  I’ve just spotted the uppy bits. It was more or less taking me back to our house and that’s up the bloody hill. Oh well, it’s still a new road, so I jogged on although the uppy bits were getting distinctly more uppy than I’d hoped. I’m not necessarily avoiding uphill running, but am limiting it, given the enormity of my challenge. Trying to run up steep inclines in heat, as well as do c.50km a week is too tough a task for a relatively new runner. I decided to check out the map to see where I was and I had a fork in the road to look forward to – straight on or right. The right hand fork looked okay so I took that into an even smaller unknown road, oh bum, it’s got more uppy bits. This was not really going to plan JCR, except my plans are a little ‘fluid’/non-existent, in truth.

I rounded a bend and could see that the road was descending towards the Royston Vasey village, in effect I’d taken a ‘long’ shortcut. I meandered my way down to the main road and continued my plod. I was about 5km in at this stage and realised that although I’d done some uppy bits, I was nowhere near as tired as I’d normally expect to be. And then I realised today is breezy and the cooling breeze makes all the difference. I can run happily in about 20 degrees, much higher than that and it starts getting very hard.

Then it was on to my usual loop, past the closed/exhausted fish shop, along to Bin Lane – it had been a quiet run, no runners or cyclists in view at all. then I hit the Via Flaminia, – this is one of the ‘all roads lead to Rome’ roads. And it does, from Fano to Rome. I always run facing oncoming traffic, so I can see which driver is going to run me down. I run ‘defensively’ in that when there are large buses/lorries or chains of traffic I stop and wait for them to pass.

Imagine my utter shock, when, boom, out of nowhere came a car who was overtaking from the other side of the road, he came from behind me and gave me a hell of a shock, he was a few inches from my shoulder and I stumbled. Luckily no-one was driving towards me (which is why probably he chose that moment to overtake). I didn’t do any damage, but when I stumbled of course I lost sight of the traffic. Maybe a moment of enlightenment has hit me, perhaps the Via Flaminia isn’t a road to be running on…, but that really messes up my route planning.

I got to the cafe and had a restorative pastry and coffee and closed my run there. A nifty 9kms. Not bad JCR. On the walk back home up the hill, I spotted a dark, sleek car motoring towards me, it was a hearse and the driver was texting at the wheel. OMG, you’d think being the driver of a hearse may lead you to some spiritual examination of life and its relative shortness. Apparently not, no enlightenment there, just carry on texting whilst driving…aarrgghh


Girls and Boys – Blur

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak – Macy Gray

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Tracy Jacks – Blur

Talking Loud and Clear – OMD (twice)

(Forever) Live And Die – OMD

Upside Down – Paloma Faith

Let’s Go Crazy – His Purple Highness

Darling Nikki – HPH

When Doves Cry – HPH

Purple Rain – HPH

Common People – Pulp

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

Dance Away – Roxy Music

Rio – Duran Duran

Love In Itself – Depeche Mode

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry


Distance 9.06km

Time 1:05:30

Average Pace 7:13 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 42 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 756.52

Kms To Do 1261.48




29 Apr – Being Social On A Sunday



Last week, we had Liberation Day, this week we have May Day, both of which are National holidays, and this gives the perfect excuse for Italians everywhere to take what are known as bridge days between the official days, so there’s a definite holiday atmosphere here.

Shorts and tee-shirts are now de-rigeur, except for one lady, who we call the Puffa Woman, who despite temperatures in the twenties, is insistent on wearing either her full-length black Puffa coat, with matching headband, or her lighter weight and coloured Puffa waistcoat, again with matching headband. She is a walker and walks regularly (to our knowledge) at least 4 kilometres up-hill, climbing nigh on 200 metres, in full sun whilst wearing a portable duvet. I, on the other hand being middle aged and hot, am trying to work out what are the minimum number of clothing items and coverage I can get away with, without frightening or upsetting the locals.

Today I misunderestimated (to quote George W Bush) the heat, and so ventured out in a glorious hot pink and orange combo with capris. After about one kilometre, that choice of body coverage was definitely hurting me, I was very hot and looked like a pig sweating in a pair of harlequin tights. I rolled the legs up,  then looking like Compo from Last Of The Summer Wine, and rolled them back down again, as it was too embarrassing to be seen like that. I decided drinking plenty of water would be my cooling down plan. On the way down the Bendy, Scary Road, up towards me came the Hoxton Hipster cyclist, I can  now confirm he is not 70, because I could actually see his full face.

Result! –  he said ‘Ciao Signora’, my previous smiling and waving must have worn his resistance down. next my aim is to get a ‘Buon Lavoro’ (more or less good work) from him. We have to build these bridges with Brexit on the way.

Next stop, into the Royston Vasey cafe, where I bought my usual top up of water, it seems the sun was affecting everyone’s mood. I had to ask a young guy to move so I could open the door, but he said ‘Sure’ and smiled, then the male proprietor, who up to now has only at best grunted, said ‘Grazie Signora’.

Out of Royston Vasey’s cafe and down towards the fish shop village and I saw again the ‘comfortable cyclist’ this time he didn’t look in quite so much discomfort, but he didn’t say anything or even manage his customary mini wave. So if he couldn’t be bothered, then nor could I. I trotted on up Bin Lane, running to the welcome shade of smelly bins when I could, and finally made it to to the local coffee shop.

There Gio the owner, (he is lovely too) saw my face and without saying a word, got me a glass of water, selected my usual pastry and ordered me my cappuccino. Bliss. I rested a while, paid my bill and left for the 5km walk home up the bloody 200m hill. On the way, I saw someone else I knew – it was a member of Mr JCR’s cycling club. Nadia – she is also a lovely person, not least (in my opinion) because she is one of the few people in Italy to be able to pronounce my name correctly.

I have been called the following:-

  • Jam (no I am not joking – that took about two years of correcting the speaker)
  • Jen
  • Jean
  • Jane
  • Janna
  • Yan
  • Ian

I did think it was strange that Nadia would be cycling on her own, but then she works in Retail and so I hollered ciao, to what I now know, was a complete and utter stranger, who  looked somewhat confused when she said ciao back. Ho hum, well I can put that down to being social on a Sunday.

Finally halfway up the hill, in the opposite direction came our good friends M&G, with their children in the car. Very poshly dressed, I am guessing they were on the way to lunch, I however was on my slow trudging way to a much needed shower. We exchanged waves and smiles and I continued the plod.

Being social on a Sunday, helped me through every one of the 9km I ran today and also every one of the ‘warm down’ hike of 5km with the 200m elevation gain.


Rockferry – Duffy

She’s Electric – Oasis

Tesla Girls – OMD

Glory Days – The Boss

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

Mercy – Duffy

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

When Doves Cry – His Purple Highness

Everything Must Go – The Manics

China Girl – David Bowie

Locomotion – OMD

Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

Enola Gay – OMD

Dance Away – Roxy Music

Girl From Mars – Ash

Cabron – Red Hot Chilis

Upside Down – Paloma Faith

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Vienna – Ultravox


Distance 9.32km

Time 1:07:49 (incl. Royston Vasey stop)

Average Pace 7:16 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 36 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 747.56

Kms To Do 1270.44

28 Apr – The Lost Run Of Le Marche


London – metropolitan, hustle, bustle, multi-cultural, expensive, lonely and friendly sometimes at the same time. Grey.

Fano – it’s really a town not a City, it’s version of hustle and bustle is on Market Day or Carnevale in February, mono-cultural, sometimes expensive, sometimes too quiet, but generally friendly. Blue skies.

Running in London, easy to start, busy on the pavements, lots of things to see, lots of places to go. Cyclists generally loathed by the population, whether on the pavements, roads or even in their own cycle lanes. Generally safe to run, if you know where you are.

Running in Le Marche, easy to start, there are no pavements, people to see but not so many places to go (the hills are the problem).  Cyclists generally welcomed by the population as the major sport and leisure interest, but loathed when they are in front of you on the road. Generally unsafe to run on the roads.

Today’s run was a nice one, we have sun, but not too hot and my feet weren’t hurting quite so much. My pace at one point was better than 5minutes 30 for a km, which even allowing for downhill is quite good for me, considering the kilometres now under my belt and blistering my feet.

On the Bendy, Scary Road, I came across two runners – brave souls, they were running uphill as I was running down. Both smiled and said Ciao (younger generation a lot less formal) I answered with a wave and on the second one, promptly ran into some nettles – a stinging reminder JCR to look when running. See the roads here are dangerous, or rather they are if you don’t concentrate. Rounding a bend, a plonker in an Audi SUV thing decided he wouldn’t give me any room so an involuntary leap into the verge – no nettles this time thank goodness. I gave him a good old fashioned English salute and carried on. This is the London part of me coming out.

A couple of cyclists came my way, a young speedy one, who gave me loads of room and smiled. I think it was out of pity really, I was pretty pink in the face at this stage, and he wasn’t, but I reckon he was at least 35 years plus younger than me. The second one, is the  guy who I am going to describe as the ‘comfortable cyclist’, in truth he doesn’t look that comfortable on his bike, his legs are at right angles which according to Mr JCR means his saddle is the wrong height. He doesn’t look that fit either, so he was huffing and puffing as he came up the hill – but then when I run up it, I do too, so respect to him for even trying. He didn’t quite have enough puff to say anything but his hand did a half salute as I went past and said Bravo. There you are  – a friendly person in the countryside and I had my Italian persona on. Next up the local carabiniero in his car – he took our statements and visited us after the burglary last year, so when he sees us he now waves. I waved at him – no reply but I think he may not have recognised me, in my amazingly flash pink kit and speedy running style…

I was happily trotting to the fish shop to pace my order for fish too pick up on my walk back home, when I noticed the shop was shut. Damn and blast, I paused Map My Run, to I could chat with Mr JCR for an alternative plan of action. Once that was done, I went to start the app and bum, bum, bum, bum, I pressed the wrong button and ended up deleting my run record. Not a big deal, you can retrieve unsaved runs, except not this time. The fish shop sign said it was closed due to fish exhaustion – I assume that means sea stocks and not that the fish are too tired to be caught. I then exhausted all the options to try and find my missing run. It had gone somewhere where even Dr Google couldn’t find it.

London persona back again, much swearing and gnashing of teeth. Okay, Italian persona switches back on – just run the run in reverse and double the stats. Not quite in my plan not least because there’s about 200 metres to climb, but I felt good and thought it was do-able. So I re-set the app and started again, after about 15 minutes or so I realised that Map My Run’s mechanical voice lady, had been suspiciously quiet. Yup, I’d pressed the wrong button in the sunlight, and so the run wasn’t being recorded. Now I was getting seriously tetchy, I’d felt really good running uphill, who knew that was even possible? And I hadn’t any records whatsoever. I have done this route before, so I can copy it, but I really wanted to know how fast I was, because I think it was a great run. But now I will never know. This is just like being the angler with the one that got away.

So today’s Italian run – quiet, friendly, blue skies. Today’s JCR – technologically incompetent, but technically I think I ran better.

Got home to a WhatsApp message to see that friends Abi and Hannah in London are hating the weather and would rather be here. And despite the technology failure, which to be honest was my failure, so would I! One more upside, my feet don’t hurt quite so much.


White Room – Cream

Runaway – Del Shannon

I Love You Because – Jim Reeves

Poetry In Motion – Johnny Tillotson

The House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals

What Do You Want – Adam Faith

All I Have To Do Is Dream – The Everly Brothers

Dream Lover – Bobby Darin

The Locomotion – Little Eva

Walking Back To Happiness – Helen Shapiro

Bye Bye Love – The Everly Brothers

Chain Gang – Sam Cooke

Wonderful World – Sam Cooke

La Bamba – Ritchie Valens

Reet Petite – Jackie Wilson

Cathy’s Clown – The Everly Brothers

Shout – Lulu

Leader Of The Pack – The Shangri-Las

You Were Made For Me – Freddie And The Dreamers


Distance 10.21Km

The rest who alone knows….

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 738.24

Kms To Do 1279.76








26 Apr – 7 Wheels On My Wagon



Or to be more precise, that’s 7 uninjured toes on my feet. I am currently nursing both plastered big toes with blisters the size of volcanic craters. Yes I’m exaggerating but they do feel like molten lava when I’m running. And one little toe has been rubbing and is sore. I think this is exactly like a building’s broken window syndrome, once one problem starts, others follow in quick succession. One toe is so swollen, that it is now causing my little toe to rub, when it never has before. The other foot has the remains of the blister and the new skin is sore too. I think this puts paid to wearing sandals and heels for a while.

Today is my planned short run – 7kms if I can, one for each uninjured toe. We had business to do this morning – chasing the water company to visit us over the Beast From the East water leak, so my run was scheduled for this afternoon. Another scorchio day here, hitting 25 degrees and full sun.

0-1km – six ouches, three barking dogs and a broken down car, being pushed by two peed off looking chaps

1-2km – more ouches, and in fact they’ve turned to bloody hells, as my feet are really complaining

2-3km, past the barking balcony house, two eff-offs at the dogs – it doesn’t make any difference, they continue to bark

3-4km, decisions to make – do I continue and start doing some up-hill work? My toes screamed at me to be sensible, therefore I turned back for home. Oh and the guy with the ‘missing dog’ from the other day, obvs he found him again, as he was walking merrily with said hound, and said ‘Salve’ to me. Salve is an old Roman greeting – sort of good health I think, you say it to strangers… and there was me thinking I knew him!

4-5km, past the old laundry on Laundry Lane, the water looked tempting as you can see 😉

5-6km, back up the Slope of Hope and you can see the worst gradient on the pic – 15%, no I am not doing that, so I wimped out and decided one km per fit toe was a bit too much today

Seven wheels on my wagon, and I was still hobbling along. There weren’t any Cherokees after me, and I was in so much pain I couldn’t even sing that song.

Upshot, I’m a bit miffed to be honest, but I have to be sensible if I keep running long distances when I have sore feet, it’s only going to get worse. Tomorrow is rest day thank goodness, I will be asking Mr JCR to be the family taxi driver… and we won’t be walking far at all.


Help Me Rhonda – Beach Boys

Let’s Dance – Chris Montez:

Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

I Only Want To be With You -Dusty Springfield:

I’m into Something Good – Herman and The Hermits

It’s My Party – Lesley Gore:

California Dreaming – Mamas and Papas

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell:

Ain’t Got No, I Got Life – Nina Simone

Paint It Black – Rolling Stones

Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison

Mrs Robinson – Simon and Garfunkel

Gimme Some Lovin’ – Spencer Davis

She Loves You – The Beatles

Da Doo Ron Ron – The Crystals

Under The Boardwalk – The Drifters

Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations:

I’m a Believer – The Monkees

Baby Love – The Supremes


Distance 6.11km

Time 50:55

Average Pace 8:20 (sore toes!)

Elevation Gain 61 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 728.03

Kms Still To Do 1289.97


25 Apr – Knobheads and Arse Cracks

Babbo Natale in his more usual garb


with apologies for my plagiarism of Disney’s classic Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Today’s run was back to the hills and vales of my village and surroundings. I managed to haul my sorry arse out of bed earlier than yesterday’s run and a damned good job as today’s temperatures were forecast to reach an even more scorchio 27 degrees.

First off up Mill Lane as usual and a quick peek at Lovers’ Lane to see if Anouska and Albino were there. They evidently are much earlier risers than me, so no sign of them. My plan kms today were slightly fewer than yesterday, no need to run the gauntlet of stroppy teengers etc., at Villa Bali today, although as it’s Liberation Day today, everyone is on holiday anyway.

I’d already agreed a coffee rendezvous with Mr JCR, and pootled off down the Hill that Kills towards the Bendy, Scary Road. Hallelujah it had shady bits, which is a real blessing I can tell you.  I entered the next village and decided buying the usual water dumbbell would be a good idea, given the temperature was rising very quickly indeed.  I loaded up in the Royston Vasey cafe, same issue with the wobbly fridge and loud clanking of bottles. This time I had to ask a man with his walking stick to move out of the way – if my blog entries stop shortly  – please let the police know that I have been murdered, most probably by the proprietors of the local café for local people.

Coming out of the village I spotted a stopped car, the driver having a chat with a man I recognised immediately – it was Babbo Natale, wearing rather natty black and green flash short and top combo. I smiled and waved but by the way he screwed up his face, I’m not sure he recognised me. Still it’s been 4 months now since his very busy night and he can’t be expected to recognise everyone.

Then to my absolute horror and consternation, I got arse-cracked. Yes it’s the cyclist who has a penchant for light coloured bib shorts (technical term for cyclist nappy pants). He was wearing his white ones again, let me tell you, I could see all his under-carriage. He evidently hasn’t heard of waxing, either there or anywhere, you could see each and every pubic hair defining the shape of his buttocks.

What was worse was the he is not the fittest/fastest cyclist I see, and so I had to endure the sight of his arse crack sending me a visual Morse code, with the rise and fall of each of his legs, as he struggled to get out of my view. It must have been 20 seconds of unremitting hell. I’d have run back up the hill, except that my poor feet are buggered at the moment and once I’m on my run route, there’s no turning back, not even to avoid an inappropriate arse crack.

To happier matters, once he was out of the way, I got into a routine and there were still some shady places and I had an unremarkable run into the fish shop village.  Running past the gelato square, there was a souped-up old Mercedes with three men of a certain age in the car, wearing shades and cool slicked back hair. They whooped something in Italian, which I didn’t quite hear when I ran past – it sounded like ‘head for the hills’ and lots of aye aye ooh ooh noises. Ah, a car full of knobheads, still I suppose Italy isn’t immune from them, although we rarely see them in this quiet corner.

I continued along, to my final uphill section of road, which I think should be called ‘bin lane’ as the whole road is punctuated by so many recycling skips and they provide a welcome, if smelly, shade. As I ran past the corner an old man shouted to his wife “guarda, guarda” which is look, look.  I’m guessing he doesn’t see runners very often and isn’t just an older knobhead.

Pootling on and I got to the coffee shop to meet Mr JCR, where he was holding aloft the Gazetta Dello Sport, which was reporting how rubbish Roma played and how good Liverpool were, with our new recruit Mohamed Salah. The headline was Conto Salahto – which in correctly spelt Italian translates as a hefty bill. That headline alone, made up for being arse-cracked and ‘knobheaded’.


I Say A Little Prayer – Aretha Franklin

Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry

Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

You Never Can Tell – Chuck Berry

She Loves You – The Beatles

Rescue Me – Fontella Bass

I’m Into Something Good – Herman’s Hermits

It’s My Party – Lesley Gore

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell

Wonderful World – Herman’s Hermits

Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison

Born To Be Wild – Steppen wolf

Build Me Up Buttercup – The Temptations

You Really Got Me – The Kinks

Be My Baby – Ronettes

Ode To Billie Joe – Bobbie Gentry



Distance 9.22km

Time 1:04:52

Average Pace 7:02 (I blame the 20 seconds of arse-cracking, it put me off my stride)

Elevation Gain 32 metres


Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 721.92

Kms Still to D0 1296.08 – yes I’ve broken the 1300s, on my way down to the 1000 mark…

Oh and thank you Chris, for a very generous donation to my challenge. I promise to keep going and make you chuckle when I can.

24 Apr – Meet The New Kardashian

You may not realise it, but I am about to become as famous as the K-Klan. That’s because Mr JCR has put me in touch with the Alzheimer’s Research people and they are featuring me for my challenge. I even have my own press release.

If that wasn’t good enough for fame and fortune, Ju-Ju from Couch to 5K has name checked me on  her YouTube channel. Surely it will be just seconds before the multi-million dollar sponsorships roll in?

Based on my blog subjects, I think realistically any sponsorship opportunities may be limited to tissues, wet wipes, blister plasters, blister cream, possibly lipstick at its most glamorous because of my penchant for runner’s ruby and pootler’s pink. I think that’s about it, as I don’t possess a Kardashian Kulo (as we say in Italia), and I have no children, never mind any called North, by NorthWest or whatever. If  however, Kim and Kanye want to adopt me, then I am happy to become KCR – I was thinking KardiacCanRun….katchy huh?

Me and my non-Kardashian Kulo, were chauffeured to the lungomare today. If Sunday’s bleach white legs weren’t enough to frighten my local locals,  then I had decided to frighten the rest of Le Marche. The great thing about the lungomare is that it is the road along by the sea, so no hills or uppy/downy bits. The downside is that there’s nowhere to hide my bleached white milk bottle legs. Big decision – capris or shorts? Capris won’t frighten the horses, on the other hand me in shorts will mean the milk bottles have a chance to catch the rays. The feet however are still torn to shreds – READER WARNING THIS IS A POP-UP SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE:-SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITY – I WILL ACCEPT BITCOINS! – so my length of run is now determined by pain threshold, rather than tiredness.

And I decided shorts were the better option, blinding white streaks were the order of the day. It was a little later than planned (me being a teenager getting up again) and the temperature had risen to about 22 degrees. I left Mr JCR faffing with his bike and rack – that’s not a euphemism, and I set out. Okay, what can be said about a straight road, well it’s called the ‘Bicipolitana’ which is the bike version of the metro. You run with cyclists and walkers along the side of the East Coast railway line. Fleeting glimpses of the sand and sea are offered, but at my height I could see the railway line gravel and sleepers and that was about it.

It was scorchio, well no shade and no breeze, because the railway fencing shields you from the sea breezes. As the road is dead straight, I started counting lampposts and can confirm that 50 lampposts equals 1km. There were a lot of lampposts and not so many runners, in fact I saw just two. But the cyclists were numerous including one guy who despite the heat was wearing a bright blue cagoule with backpack and his hood up over his helmet. Maybe he was a paparazzo in disguise chasing me down as the newest member of the K Klan? I am thinking it is far more likely he was doing a distance cycle ride and had been in the mountains somewhere.

At long last the path runs on the other side of the railway line and you get to run along the beach front, with a gentle but very welcome sea breeze. Mr JCR passed me on his return leg and I realised I was close to halfway through my run, I hit the halfway point and turned for home. I saw the Fano version of Boris’s bikes and I must admit I was awfully tempted to stop the run and cycle home, but I gritted my teeth and carried on. At this stage there was a lot more traffic, water deliveries, beach club catering staff, mum pushing pram and two roller-skaters. In my usual non-tolerant manner, I don’t generally like roller-skaters, they are a complete and utter pain in the bum. They either are very aggressive and swoosh you or in this case they were doing that speed that meant I couldn’t quite overtake them. They were skating side by side, but with lots of space between them – effectively a mobile traffic jam. Eventually I pressed my accelerator and tried three times to run past.

First attempt, they just meandered without warning into my route, so I dropped back. Second try I thought I’d undertake but sure enough they skated that way. Finally I got past them and muttered under my breath ‘stupid effing tarts’.

My Kardashian Kulo was aching somewhat and I couldn’t really power my way home, but the run got done – oh and for a very rare incident I actually ran in time to some music – J Geils Band and Freeze-Frame. I beat my 11km target – the route map a bit boring, but apparently I ran beyond the Ghetto, that’s a new part of town I didn’t know about. But I think the K Klan are known for being Ghettotastic, so that figures.



My Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust

Devil Gate Drive – Suzi Quatro

Blockbuster – Sweet

Shang A Lang – Bay City Rollers

Sugar Baby Love – Rubettes

DISCO – Ottawan

War – Edwin Starr

Gonna Make You A Star – David Essex

Waterloo – ABBA

Everybody Dance – CHIC

Sylvia’s Mother – Dr Hook

Roll Over Beethoven – ELO

December, 1963 – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Baket Street – Gerry Rafferty

You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate

Summer Breeze – Isley Brothers

Boogie Shoes – KC & The Sunshine Band

Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed

You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me – The New Seekers

Lady Marmalade – Patti La Belle

I Love To Love – Tina Charles

Freeze Frame – J Geils Band

Night Fever – Bee Gees


Distance 11.18km

Time 1:14:07 ( I’m blaming the heat)

Average Pace 6:37 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 79 metres (how you can get a gain on a flat road is beyond me!)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 712.70

Kms to Do 1305.30







22 Apr – Losing My Bottle


Last night Mr JCR departed these shores for a 300km night ride Audax, leaving yours truly ‘Home Alone’.

Since we were burgled over a year ago, I’m still not quite as comfortable here on my own at night. That fact coupled with Mr JCR cycling through the night in the hills of Le Marche and the notorious (in cycling circles) Il Cippo, meant that sleep was hard to come by. It was a combination of natural concern and unnecessary worry really.

I texted Mr JCR at 1 am and 3am in the morning just to satisfy myself he was still alive, and then finally around 5am, tiredness overtook me. Hence I overslept and my grandiose plans for an early morning run evaporated. The muzzy head feeling had given way to a full-blown Mrs Migraine; take the pills and don’t fret for an hour or so, as running will be nigh on impossible anyway.

One mug of tea, The Sunday Times and a migraine tablet later, I felt fine to go out. So getting my sippy bottle of water out of the fridge, I checked my plan to see what kilometrage needed doing, and it was just under 9km. Mmm, blimey it is warm over 20 degrees and sunny. I am holding one bottle and have exposed my two milk bottle white legs to the Sunday air. I hope Italians have the bottle to look at them!

I take Mill Lane, curse at the water pumping station as usual, and carry on into Lovers’ Lane. Today there are lots of families, toddlers and prams and I decide against running through those hurdles and turn back down the Hill That Kills.  Onto the bendy, scary road , which is in full sun, not a shadow to be seen.  At this stage I realise I have almost already drunk half of my water, that’s 2 and a half bottles being carried now and two of those are my legs.  Now I had really lost my bottle, and was thinking seriously of curtailing the run at 5km, given the heat.

At the 4km stage, I stopped at the local café to buy a bottle of water, this café is a bit Royston Vasey, and I am most definitely not considered a local.  I thought as a minimum I could buy more water and just do the 5km. I go to the fridge, try and open the door, which appears to be resisting my best efforts. The owner growls something about pulling it harder, so I yanked it hard and all of the bottles jingle jangled in a chorus of humiliation. I apologised, took my water, paid and left hastily.

Outside some frantic rearranging of the water load, I now had a bottle in each hand, looking like water-filled dumb bells. The extra cool water really helped and I got over the 5km mark and was on the slope downwards to the fish shop village. Running past the church, today was obviously some kind of special Mass, with lots of very smart people spilling out on the pavement, a little girl in a black tutu skirt, her brother in what looked like a full on dinner jacket ensemble.  I skirted past them and thought if I could manage 8kms, then I’d call it quits.

Running past the fish shop in some very welcome shade, I had a decision to make – continue on my usual route to do 10km and then finish off with an uphill 5km walk or turn around and see how far I could go back up the bendy, scary road.

I bottled it. I decided turning around would be the easier option. That’s what I did and then forgot the age old runner’s truth, that when you have an audience, you can’t quite bottle, no matter how much you might want to. First hurdle a small side street with 5 workmen in high-vis (which I am still perplexed by, Italians generally don’t work on Sundays, and if you ask some of our Italian friends, Italians in high-vis, don’t work ever!). With my high-vis audience and their scary dog, I ran at full pelt up the road. That was hard and stupid. A few moments respite and back up the bendy, scary road.

The church is still spilling out its congregation, more people watching ‘well JCR that means you have to continue running up that bloody hill’. I certainly wasn’t fast and then saw that I was close to 9km. Getting close to the magic 9, I saw in the distance a fellow runner, he was dressed in ninja black, but it is fair to say I was running faster than him, I was going up-hill and he down.

As I now know we have a thing called runners’ karma, which is to always wish fellow runners good luck and not to make judgments about them. I went past him I said bravo and he thanked me and picked up his pace. Naturally I did the same – how bloody stupid are you JCR? I couldn’t hold it for long and nor could he. I stopped for a breather and he slowed to a walk. Still respect to him, at this stage it must have been 24 or 25 degrees in full sun.

I checked out Map My Run, and had done 9.36km, if I did just 10 then that would be a good result on a hot day. I managed just about to do it. After what had been a lousy start to the day, where for the very first time I had seriously thought of curtailing a run, I re-found my bottle.

And I now think the abstemious lunch with K&C helped me out, had I drunk just a teensy bit of alcohol on Saturday, then I guess I would have bottled on my run.

Oh and by the way, Mr JCR didn’t bottle his ride, he managed 300km in 16 hours 20 minutes, through the night, up hills, down dales in the dark, oh and no incidents, no scars, no injuries, just a job well done.


Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis

Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics

Bitter Sweet Symphony –The Verve

Freedom – George Michael

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Hope – Shaggy, Prince Mydas

Come As You Are – Nirvana

Stay Away – ditto

Body Movin’ – Beastie Boys

U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer

What Time Is Love – People of K Feat. Crystal

Creep – Radiohead

I’ve Been Thinking About You – David Vendetta, London Beat

Firestarter – Prodigy

It’s Like That – Run – DMC

Hush – Kula Shaker

Mambo No 5 – Lou Bega

Ocean Spray – The Manics

You Stole The Sun From My Heart – Ditto

The Beginning – Seal

Handbags and Gladrags – Stereophonics

Shanti- Banco De Gaia

TNT For The Brain – Enigma

Step On – Happy Mondays


Distance 10.21km

Time 1:23:24

Average Pace 8:10 (sun effect)

Elevation Gain 95 Metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 701.52 (yes over the 700km!!!)

Kms Still To Do 1316.48

21 Apr – When Good Intentions

are kept. I know, who knew that was possible?

Our very good friends K&C passed by, having spent a few days in Abruzzo on their way back home to Northern Italy.

Today is a special day, an historic day, as we say in Italiano ‘irrepetibile’  for the K&C family and Mr & Mrs JCR. Today, we lunched both well and wisely. We ate, and we drank water, lots of water, followed by water.

Usually our lunches start with a snifter, or two, followed by a bottle of vino or two, and the vino gets followed by a digestivo, then lunch morphs into dinner, evening snifters, nightcaps. You get the drift. Usually a lunch invitation involves an overnight stay and a drying out day. For goodness sake, we even have wine vines growing in our garden, which are coming on a treat. Still we stayed vino free.

Today is however different for a number of reasons:-

  1. The K&C clan are en route home and both driving, hence no alcohol
  2. For my Alzheimer’s challenge, I am running this afternoon, with temperatures of over 20 degrees and full sun, hangover running is to be avoided at all costs – hence no alcohol
  3. Mr JCR is doing a 300km Audax (bike ride) overnight, in the scary dark, and up and down mountains – hence no alcohol

To my shame, I did suggest a white wine spritzer, but was shouted down most politely by the other three.  So we lunched well, and wisely. Which perhaps was all to the good, when I set out for my little run this afternoon. My feet resemble a battleground and various plasters and ointments are being brought into service, to get me round. After yesterday’s long run of 12km, I decided a short, cheeky six clicks, would be just the ticket.

I set out to Seal’s ‘The Beginning’, down the Slope of Hope, past the barking balcony house – they were quiet today. Up the Hill That Kills, and to be honest it did a damn fine job of having a go at me. I have to admit to one stop, I was pooped and hot and yes I know this is less than 1km from the house. But it was after a lovely lunch – that’s my excuse. Anyway I summoned up what little energy and enthusiasm I had and continued down Lovers’ Lane – no lovers there today, it’s too early in the day and the season. Only languid, lounging families lolling on the grass outside Villa Bali, wondering at the stupidity of a middle aged woman running in the afternoon sun.

Back out to Mill Lane past the water pump station – aarrgghh. I mooched on down the Slope of Hope again, all was quiet through the village not a creature was stirring. I hooked a right into Laundry Lane past our friends’ house, bathed in the late afternoon sun, and passed two dog walkers  – one with his dog on a lead. The other just had a dog lead, I never did see a spare dog. Maybe he hasn’t really got one and just carries a lead as a wishful desire? Or he is the ‘spare lead’ person for the original dog walker?

In truth, I know he has a dog, because I’ve seen him before. But his dog had definitely gone awol.

Laundry Lane has a gradual incline and a couple of what I call uppy/downy bits – you can tell my technical running lingo is coming on leaps and bounds with the aid of this challenge. At just beyond the 5k mark on on one of those uppy bits, Prodigy and ‘Breathe’ came on my playlist – never was an instruction so well timed. I continued on towards our friend’s house, and decided that six kms was enough.

Today was marked by good intentions being kept for lunch, but as I found out when I got back home and checked my running plan, I should have done 9km. Perhaps I could have actually checked my plan before going out – that would have been another good intention. Oh well another incident to be filed under Stupid Tart Syndrome

Face Colour – Salsa Red – that’s because it was only 6 clicks…

Good luck to all London Marathon runners tomorrow, my feet are shredded doing this challenge, heaven alone knows how you manage doing 42kms in one go.


Seal – The Beginning

Cafe Del Mar – Energy 52, Three N One

Little Fluffy Clouds – The Orb

Shanti – Banco De Gaia

Handbags and Gladrags – Stereophonics

Some Might Say – Oasis

She’s Electric -Ditto

Hush – Kula Shaker

Breathe – The Prodigy

Drop Dead Gorgeous – Republica

Come As You Are – Nirvana

So Why So Sad – The Manics

Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics

Sleepy Maggie – Ashley MacIsaac

TNT For The Brain – Enigma


Distance 6.33km

Time 47:22

Average Pace 7:29 (I know,  that’s hopeless)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

691.31 kms run

1326.69 still to do

Maybe tomorrow I can break the 700km barrier?







20 Apr – Hypocrites R Us




It is 24 degrees here – yes cooler than the UK but still my first run in proper heat. I am no stranger to running in the heat, in fact last year I had to deal with the summer of Lucifer as they called it here.

A recent post from a fellow C25Ker asked for top tips for running in the heat and this is what I wrote in response to him:-

1. Generally it is better to run in the morning as in the evening the buildings will reflect heat back out and it can be a killer, especially if you’re not used to it.

2. Spec out your running route at the time of day you will usually run it and look for shady areas – these will be your friends when running. Identify suitable water stops – cafes, fountains etc, for the same reason.

3. Very lightweight running layers – vest/shorts if possible, the only thing I don’t go light on is running socks – the padding protects your feet. Dress as if it was 10 degrees hotter than the outside temperature.

4. If very hot, dampen your running vest so that the breeze cools you as you run

5. Do the same to your head, and if you enjoy a full head of hair – put conditioner on it, to stop it frying in the heat. If you don’t have a full head of hair use sunscreen/wet running hat.

6. Make sure you are well hydrated the day before you run

7. I take a small ‘sippy’ bottle of water with me when running, because I find it helps keep me cool – to make it more effective I half fill with water the night before and put in the freezer, then I top up with cold water just before running. This is contentious not least because carrying water puts your body out of running balance, but the NHS guide does allow you to do this. It also has a secondary benefit of keeping one of your hands very cool! And if you swap hands during running – both of them!

8. Suncream…

9. Mosquito repellent – you can and will be bitten if you go out early – the little blighters hang around

10. Expect your natural running pace to deteriorate – your body in the heat is trying to do two things – run and keep you from overheating. As an example I find my ‘natural’ pace worsens by up to 2 minutes a kilometre in the summer over winter. It can be worrying and you run faster to keep your old pace – that can be very dangerous if you’re already hot.

11. Don’t get macho and start introducing hills into runs if you’ve never done them before, hills and heat are also a very bad combination.

So how many of my tried and tested top tips did I use today? – that’s right 3 of them. And one of them isn’t a tip, just an observation really. Ignoring these helpful tips, I struggled to do 12kms today, and got picked up by Mr JCR to take me for a gelato. I forgot to stop Map My Run, so it added in the gelato stop…

Damn good job I am not in the London Marathon on Sunday. With temperatures expected to soar, my top tips would be sorely needed and as a fully paid up member of Hypocrites R Us, I wouldn’t be taking any notice of them anyway. The final photo shows the distinct lack of shade this afternoon and I wanted to cry. My first pic made me smile – I was in the local DIY superstore this morning, and I found ‘Bastarda’ filler, now I wonder if B&Q will start stocking such a fab product, presumably it fills anything, one calls a bastarda.

In summary, today was a bastarda of a run and no-one’s fault but my own. First rule of Hypocrites R Us club, what happens in club stays in the club. Second rule of Hypocrites R Us club; you don’t need to follow the rules.


Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

Is She Really Going Out With Him – Joe Jackson

Change – The Lightning Seeds

Mony Mony – Billy Idol

Let’s Go Crazy – His Purple Highness

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

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

China Girl – David Bowie

Scooby Snacks – Fun Lovin’ Criminals

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

Upside Down – Paloma Faith

By The Way – Red Hot Chilis

Common People – Pulp

Blue Monday – New Order

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

(Forever) Live and Die – OMD (twice)

Doginbag – The Fratellis

Marvin Gaye – Phuth and Traynor

Sign Of The Times – Harry Styles

Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode

Maid Of Orleans – OMD

London Calling – The Clash

The Reflex – Duran Duran

Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys


Distance 12.13km

Time 1:34:45

Average Pace 7:48 (mins/km) after gelato recalibration

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms run to date 684.98

Kms to do 1333.02






18 Apr – It’s All about Ohs and Ahs

On the radio the other day I heard a deejay talk about signs that you are getting old. The indisputable evidence includes:-

  1. Saying ‘When I was a lad/lass’, ‘In my day’, ‘Youngsters today…’
  2. Groaning when sitting down
  3. No longer sitting cross-legged on the floor

I admit to number 3, but in fairness I avoided doing it (a) once I was old enough to afford chairs, and  (b)  when I wasn’t forced by my parents to sit on the floor when the old rellies came to visit for ‘tea’ and they took up all soft seating options.

The groaning – mmm not when sitting down, but with the running challenge I groan pretty much every day. An ‘oh’ when I realise it is yet another running day, and no it’s not a rest day. An ‘ah’ when the run is done. An ‘oh’ when I look at my tech and realise it hasn’t synched (actually the Oh is usually suffixed with an ‘eff’). An ‘ah’ when I realise I’ve passed another mini-milestone. An ‘oh’ when de-sausaging then an ‘ah’ when I hit my steaming hot shower.

In Italy ‘oh’ at the end of a word, generally denotes words of a masculine gender and an ‘ah’ feminine. There are exceptions, but it’s a good rule of thumb. The meaning of a noun  can also be changed quite significantly by the use of an ‘oh’ or an ‘ah’. For example, there is a road on one of my running routes called Via Prugneta, which is more or less Plum Lane. If you change the ending to prugneto, as I did once in error, you elicit gasps of outrage or giggles from your Italian friends. It’s an impolite word for a certain part of the female anatomy.

This extends to other words – a similar ending occurs on a friend’s name – he is called Marco – one is a perfectly harmless nickname, the other less so.

And so to my run, it was 8 kilometres of ‘ohs’ as my poor bod wondered what on earth I was doing, both legs were aching everywhere, I’d been bitten by some kind of nadger, so that was itching, but the flowers on the lanes were out, so that was an ‘ah’ moment. I stumbled in the road ‘oh’ and when you look at the pic above you can see why ‘ah’ that will be a rubbish road surface then…

I finished up near the now infamous ‘Via Prugneta’ she is a cow, she is steep and hard and so I didn’t run up her – I stopped the clock and walked instead. ‘Ah’ JCR you are a coward.


Snail – the Smashing Pumpkins

Happy – Pharrell Williams

Smile – Lily Allen

Tigerfeet – Mud

Smile – Gregory Porter

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice (twice)

Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie

Easy – Commodores

Nowhere Fast – Eminem and Kehlani

Love In An Elevator – Aerosmith

Compression – Digilio and Accorsi

One Step Beyond – Buster

Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

To Jan – Leonard Anderson (this is not aimed at me this is in recognition of a C25K Forum mentor)

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Ju Ju Man – Dave Edmunds

Marathon – Rush

The Streak – Ray Stevens

Help – The Beatles

There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johnny Nash

The Winner – Status Quo


Distance 8.45kms

Time 1:01:51

Average Pace 7:19 (mins/km)

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Run 672.85

Kms To run 1345.15

Oh yes and I have now run 1/3 of my challenge target which is 672.66 kms and we are not yet 1/3rd of the way through the year. that’s a very satisfying ‘ah’