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

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