25 – June – Looking for Shade


It’s 7.30pm and it’s also twenty six degrees, and it feels all wrong, because this is London and not Italy. I have my last London run to do before going back to Italy  and I ’d also like to break the 1100km barrier if I can.

Okay this is going to be challenging, as I don’t usually run in the evening and certainly not in full sun. I take my favourite route up to Holborn and snap the blue sky, just as Meck and Leo Sayer launch into Thunder In My Heart.

I’ve chosen my weather play list and mostly the tracks are about bad weather, and the optimistic one I hoped to hear ‘Mr Blue Sky’ remained stubbornly off the playlist. I run up Hatton Garden and do some mini ladder runs to vary the pace, and having to dodge the overspill of people outside of bars and pubs. Loads of drinking, chatter and an obstacle course for me to deal with.

I don’t know if I feel virtuous running when they are all drinking or just plain stupid for pursuing a tough challenge all of my own making. My run tonight is all about the 1100 marker and keeping out of the sun, which even in London is proving to be quite hard. Eventually, I aim towards Saffron Hill and home and realise I’m still a little short of where I need to be. I decide to head for Smithfield and take the long way home and it is here I find the coolest place to run in central London.

It is Central Avenue in Smithfield Meat Market – the covered Victorian boulevard between the two wings of the market. The avenue gets wafts of the air conditioned meat stalls, the only problem is it would be a very boring run just going up and down a 40-50 metre stretch of walkway. Even the most ardent meat eater might find the meat smell somewhat overpowering after a while.

I leave Smithfield behind and run past St Barts, which has newish graffiti on its walls as a result of it being the scene of Benedict Cumberbatch’s ‘death drop’ in Sherlock. This now has almost mythical status, with new London walks passing there for Sherlock fans.

I wanted to find shade, but mainly found sun and ended up with Sherlock. Not a bad 8km and I managed to beat my 1100km target by all of .19 of a kilometre, but every metre counts.

Next run – la Bella Italia.


Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Misty Blue – Dorothy Moore

Thunder Road – The Boss

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Thunder – His Purple Highness

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

Sunny – Boney M

Thunder In My Heart – Meck & Leo Sayer

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Since You Been Gone – Rainbow

Sunshine After The Rain – Berri

Baby Its Cold Outside – Idina mensal and Michael Bublé

Cold As Ice – Foreigner

Lightning Bolt – Jake Bugg

The Real Slim Shady – Eminem

Cold – Stormzy

Sunshine On A Rainy Day – Galimar

I Cant Stand the Rain – Ann Peebles

Cloudbusting – Kate Bush


Distance 8.60km

Time 1:02:39

Average Pace 7:17 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain – 30 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1100.19 (yay)

Kms to Run 917.81



24 June – Slow, swooshy, singing

Sunday Morning High Holborn

Sunday morning – nice and quiet, just how I like it. A return to yesterday’s run, see if I can do it a little faster. Usual route past the Crossrail boys, I’m starting to recognise a few of them, but I don’t know if they recognise me at all. Crossing London Wall towards Poultry (yes that is it’s name- nothing else, just Poultry), I make my way towards St Pauls tube and up to High Holborn.

Fewer folk than yesterday, and I run past one of my favourite parts of High Holborn – Staples Inn pictured. It seems so incongruous now, with many modern buildings surrounding it and still there’s a piece of 16th Century architecture holding its own, amongst the hustle and bustle. Except today, no hustle no bustle, except for me working my way up to Gray’s Inn Road once more.

I pass the mouthwatering shop that is Konditor and Cook, with its meringues and three tier cakes in the window, it’s hard to run past here usually. But Sunday being Sunday, it’s shut, saving me both money loss and waistline gain. Towards Theobald Road, it’s lovely and cool and shady and then I see her. The ultimate nemesis, I’m sure she is the Nike swoosh runner ad lady. About 6ft tall, with long blonde highlighted hair in said swooshy ponytail, wearing a vest, short shorts, extremely tanned legs, gold bangles on her wrist and sporting her Beats too.

Oh and by the way, no red face, no sweat, no sign of exertion, just a lovely loping style of run and her pace length is easily double mine. My good humour is punctuated sharply, by the sight of running perfection. Please can someone invent a place where pretty, tanned, non sweaty runners go, leaving the rest of us in peace in our belief that we don’t look too terrible when we run? The rest of my run, was punctuated by sighs and in my head me saying ‘short, dark, chunky runners are okay’. After about 5 minutes of that depressing mantra, I decided singing along to my C25K mentors mix, was as embarrassing as being compared to the Nike Swooshy lady, but I could put it down to middle-aged quirkiness.

A run in three parts – the first 2 and a bit kms, slowish pace, but enjoying the views

The second part – marred by the Swooshy lady – I must stress I wish her no ill-will, I just wish beautiful runners ran somewhere different to me!

The third part – common sense restored, albeit with some very out of tune singing along.


Happy – Pharrell Williams

Smile – Lily Allen

Tiger Feet – Mud

Smile – Gregory Porter

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Under Pressure – Queen and Bowie

Nowhere Fast – Eminem and Kehlani

Compression – Francesco Digilio

Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

Never Gone Give You Up – Rick Astley

Ju-Ju man – Dave Edmunds

Marathon – Rush

Advice For The Young At Heart – Tears For Fears

The Winner – Status Quo

Snail – The Smashing Pumpkins


Distance 7.15km

Time 45:07

Average Pace 6:18 (a teensy bit faster than last time – it must have been Swooshy runner affecting my pace)

Elevation Gain 25 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms done 1091.59

Kms to Run 926.41

23 June – Who Is In My Manor?


Saturday Morning, all is quiet in the City. The perfect place to go for an undisturbed stroll or run in my case. I have company – who has that steel-coloured, famous bob haircut, and the slight stoop to her stance? Yup, it’s our PM apparently enjoying a quiet moment in the Barbican. Suspiciously no bodyguards or armed police nearby, and of course that’s because she was a ‘backalike’. Funny she seemed to have the PM’s walking style off-pat. From the front view, she didn’t look anything like Theresa May, so I guess her celebrity-double career potential is somewhat limited.

Today’s run was a forgiving 7k in my plan.

To start with, I aimed for the Guildhall, it’s fairly quiet still and there’s not many folk about. It’s a slowish start and the legs are a little rusty.

Hitting One New Change, the pace quickens and I start dodging the bargain hunters, already loaded down with shopping bags marked Sale. One lady had five bags already and it was only 11am!

Entering Holborn the people traffic calms down, but I see some very chic people exchanging air  kisses, wearing buttonholes and the ladies had fascinators. I’m guessing a wedding in the City was on the cards.

Right hand turn into Gray’s Inn Road, beautifully in shade and my pace is improving nicely, but my music goes all awry and Abba ends up on repeat. In fact whenever my music goes awry – it’s always Abba that ends up playing.

Exiting Gray’s Inn Road and onto Theobald Road, almost Bloomsbury/Hatton Garden, and I am overtaken by two longer-legged runners. Curses, at this point I really thought I was speeding along – quite clearly not that speedy.

Slowing down now, as I wasn’t really in the best of rhythm, I aimed towards Leather Lane, all the market stalls empty. I had to pretty much hurdle a kitchen. It was exactly like the Beverly Hillbillies cart but on the pavement – ovens, microwaves, sinks – you name it I ran and jumped over it.

About 2kms from home, I ended up back on High Holborn, chasing the shadows as it was getting rather sweaty. My face was screwed up because I had dust in my eyes and an older guy in a Panama hat exhorted me to carry on. I just waved and continued, I didn’t want to stop to have to explain that I was actually fine. Still it was nice of him to encourage me

My mouth  is now exceedingly dry, and I do need some more water/drink, but home is not so far away, so I grit my teeth and carry on.

Almost there back in One New Change, but the pavements are substantially busier now in just over 35 minutes since I started out. The sales seem to be attracting a lot of folk, and I do get bashed by the corners of carrier bags, as I trot past the City shoppers.

Yes, back in the City fringes and all is quiet. Run Done. Thanks PM*


Bye Bye Baby – Bay City Rollers

Pass The Dutchie – Musical Youth

Forever and Ever – Slik

ABC – The Jackson 5

Love Me For A Reason – The Osmonds

The Reflex – Duran Duran

When You Say Nothing At All – Boyzone

I’ll Make Love To You – Boyz II Men

What I Go To School For – Busted

Stay Another Day – East 17

Seasons In the Sun – Westlife

Boxerbeat – Jo Boxers

Quit Playing Games – Backstreet Boys

Bye Bye Bye – NSYNC

Step By Step – New Kids On The Block

Only When You Leave – Spandau Ballet

Fun, Fun, Fun – The Beach Boys


Distance 7.06km

Time 45:12

Average Pace 6:24

Elevation Gain 21 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1084.44

Kms To Run 933.5

*In the interests of political neutrality, had I seen a Jeremy Corbyn lookalike, I would have done the same thing in the blog, only with his name instead of Theresa’s. I’d like to say I’d do the same with the LibDems, but I really  have no idea who their leader is… 🙂







22 June – Posh or Sporty?

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It’s a Friday morning, the day after Ascot Ladies Day when I ‘poshed up’ to see the races. And what a brilliant day it was, I got four winners on the horses and for the first time ever beat the bookmakers on my betting. It has to be said I am a rubbish gambler, but this year’s tips were spot on. I even got to bet correctly on the winner of The Gold Cup. I wasn’t quite as bold with my stake as the guy in front, who put £200 on the same horse, but nonetheless I was happy with my winnings.

Every time I go to Ascot with my friends, we choose frocks and hats very carefully and if you look closely at the pic taken from our car, there is a lady who had chosen a really pretty orange striped combo. Unfortunately  it would seem her friends hadn’t told her the picnic tablecloth matched her dress, and she was almost perfectly camouflaged. She wouldn’t have fared any better coming to see us in our picnic area either, as we had the matching placemats!

Thursday’s finery duly changed for Friday’s sporting gear, to go for my run. This was the Hampstead to islington return loop, similar to Thursday afternoon, but I added in a couple of extra roads to change the route. It was another very warm day, but I know the shaded areas and run accordingly. Down through Hampstead, lots of yummy mummies in short yoga leggings, vest tops and bugaboos, with unbelievably cute children looking wide eyed at the sun and surroundings. Next up Camden, yup it’s more edgy, a distinct whiff of weed in the air, and a large number of people swigging beer from bottles, just before noon arrived.

Getting closer to Euston and the crowd changes once more to the office workers spilling onto the pavements, out of pubs. A group of football fans debating the merits of the England team and whoosh I am in Bloomsbury, a little more  sedate here, although a lot more tourists, pushing and pulling their trolley bags along pavements ill-designed for this type of traffic. I decide to turn off towards Lamb’s Conduit’s Street – a little designer food and fashion haven in Bloomsbury, with a couple of chi-chi delis sporting outside tables. Glossy manicured fingers wrapped around wine glass stems, filled most appropriately with the ‘still just about fashionable’ rosé wine.

I move on and pass the Lady Ottoline pub (I think Ottoline is the most beautiful name), towards Gray’s Inn Road. We are now close to Clerkenwell, and the people change once more, now we have hipsters in deeply turned up jeans, girls in floaty floral dresses, some sharply dressed guys, as we close in to the art and design hub of the area. I move towards Old Street, the atmosphere changes once more, a bit younger, studenty except for the sweating puffing middle aged runner amongst them. I run down Golden Lane – not much of a lane and frankly not that golden either to Fortune Park – another mis-named place, and it’s full of children and their mums (sorry dads) at the playground and coffee stall. They are punctuated by gossiping groups of workers lounging on the grass for a lazy Friday lunchtime. It’s a glorious scene, every type of Londoner on a small threadbare piece of park, but getting the most out of an untypical warm, sunny summer’s day in the City. And at Fortune Park I stopped my run.  I don’t recall much about the run, because it was such a nice day and so much to see, it flew by.

As to the Spice Girl reference, it was a thought that flashed through my mind, that one day I was posh and the next sporty – in fairness I couldn’t really attempt to be the other names in the group. I am not changing my name to Mel (whether it’s B or C). Even at my most vain, I don’t think I look young enough to be called Baby and Ginger (well my hair colour is helped by my hairdresser, but he draws the line at orange), so I’m either Posh or Sporty. I quite like both looks, but Sporty is a lot more common occurrence nowadays.

And a huge thank you to Polly2810 of my C25K Forum who has generously donated to my Alzheimer’s Challenge Sponsorship. Thanks so much, we are getting there slowly!


2468 Motorway – Tom Robinson Band

Lucky Number – Lene Lovich

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley and The Wailers

I Can’t Help Myself – The Four Tops

Reach Out, I’ll Be There – ditto

Perfect 10 – The Beautiful South

One In 10 – UB 40

Swords Of A Thousand Men – Tenpole Tudor

People In Love – 10cc

The Eleven Rap – Dark Punk

21 Seconds – So Solid Crew

12 – The 1975

Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods – Beck

Sixteen Going on Seventeen – Carr and Truhite

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen – Neil Sedaka

Edge of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks

18 With A Bullet – Pete Whingfield

19 – Paul Hardcastle

30 Minute Love Affair – Paloma Faith

Disco 2000 – Pulp

96 Tears –  ? & The Mysterons


Distance 8:25km

Time 1:03:41

Average Pace 7:43 Mins/km

Elevation Gain 21 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1077.38

Kms To Run 940.62


20 June – The Road To???


Run number two coming up, after an appointment in Hampstead in the afternoon, I thought I’d run home, to make sure I don’t fall behind on my target kms.

It’s a straightforward route taking one road all the way from Hampstead, through Camden, Euston and then turning off towards home through Holborn and Bloomsbury. At about midday the sun was shining and it was quite warm about 23/24 degrees, and so my sippy bottle of water didn’t last the 2km mark. At Camden Market I bought a pint of freshly squeezed orange juice as a top up. Mmm, running with sticky hands is horrid, as I kept on decanting the juice into the sippy bottle and of course it ran over the sides. Note to self, just buy water next time.

Making my way towards Euston and a very sweaty, red faced, gentleman with a briefcase and pull-along case, asked me if he was going in the right direction for Kings Cross. At this stage he was near Mornington Crescent tube; I explained he taken a wrong turn, so accompanied him back a little way,  just so he could see where he should be. I felt quite virtuous, I’d helped a stranger. He thanked me and I continued my easy route home. Then in Tavistock Square in Euston, two ladies couldn’t make head nor tail of a map and they were searching for a small hotel. I offered my services, except I’d forgotten that I am the geographically challenged member of the JCR family.

Flushed with success at rescuing a lost businessman, I looked at the map with utter bewilderment, it was a blown up photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy. The road names were blurred, but the ladies seemed to know their start point. I re-oriented the map and showed them the way to go. At that moment, one of their colleagues turned up and asked them were they were going. I was sending them in precisely the wrong direction. The hotel, whilst not visible, was only about 100 metres from where they were standing. Oops – but they were very pleasant about it and thanked me for trying. Ho hum – lesson learned JCR, quit whilst you’re ahead.

The rest of the run was humdrum and a bit slow, but I had already run over 12km that day, so I wasn’t upset. The signpost says far away, but the kms are dropping. Happy days.


Dancing Queen – ABBA

By The Way – Red Hot Chilis

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

Somebody Told Me – The Killers

I Predict A Riot – Kaiser Chiefs

Hot In The City – Billy Idol

Save A Prayer – Duran Duran

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

I Try – Macy Gray

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Avalon – Roxy Music

Tesla Girls – OMD

Oh Woman Oh Man – London Grammar

Down In The Tube Station At Midnight – The Jam

Locomotion – OMD

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls


Distance 6.86km

Time 59:19

Average Pace 8:38

Elevation Gain 13 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1062.27

Kms to Run 955.73






20 June – Counting the cost


On Monday I was given an important job, I was left in charge of making sure our Italian friends enjoyed the last part of their stay in London. My tour of duty left me in a state of dizziness, induced by counting fatigue.

Monday morning was fine –  me and Mr JCR meeting up with them on Moorgate – except my instructions were ‘meet Moorgate Tube North Side’ – was met by a confused ‘the signs say East or West’ – turns out there are different signs depending on which exit you take. Needless to say I’d taken the instructions from the side our friends hadn’t taken. Ho hum,  this is why I was somewhat concerned at becoming the responsible adult on Monday afternoon.

Monday morning had started down East – and then we were heading up West. It was my job to take them from the Thames Clipper, get to Pimlico tube, then Knightsbridge, for a whizz around Harrods before returning to LHR T5. Simple…

In the morning we were 10 people, after lunchtime Mr JCR had dropped out to ferry their bikes back to LHR. Now we were nine. At Pimlico we were down to seven when one couple had a meeting in the West End with a son’s friend. Seven of us in the food hall, which shocked and surprised in equal measure. The shock of £270 for a decorated cake (quite small) was matched by genuine surprise that a jar of Nutella was (a) being sold in Harrods and (b) for a price more or less the same as in a Le Marche supermarket. Out of Harrods into a souvenir shop, well two of us in there, now my counting was down to five. Back up to seven once the shopping was done, then back to the tube to wait for our final two. Except our final two had made a mistake on the tube exit. So leaving seven behind, I went on a mission to find the missing two lambs – they weren’t far away, but my heart was pounding. Mr JCR had managed to get them around London on at least two cycling rides and a Saturday walk, taken them on a 100km + ride, and I’d almost lost two of them right at the death of the trip. Our numbers back up to nine, we went happily on our way to LHR.

I had developed counting fatigue and was talking Italian to English people and English to Italians, so after our friends departed on Tuesday, a day of rest was in order. Wednesday was run day, and I more or less replayed the walking tour we’d done with our Italian friends on the previous Saturday. Only this time no festival of Musicals at Trafalgar Square, no lions covered in protective barriers and no Italians to count. Except I replaced one set of counting for another. I had a slight deficit to make up, I should have run on Tuesday and didn’t, so I wanted to do 12km as a minimum. But a very lovely, fun-packed weekend, had made its mark and I was now counting the cost of three evenings out, and so I just about managed 12km. My pace was okay nothing exceptional, but I did keep going. When I got home, I realised I was going to Ascot on Thursday  and no chance to run, so that meant another run was on the cards for today.

The countdown to run number two had just begun and then I remembered I was a responsible adult, I hadn’t lost any Italians in London, so for sure I could manage another one


I Love You Because – Jim Reeves

Poetry In Motion – Johnny Tillotson

My Girl – The Temptations

Oh Carol  – Neil Sedaka

Let’s Spend The Night Together – Rolling Stones

Blue Bayou – Roy Orbison

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – The Animals

Help! – The Beatles

What Do You Want – Adam Faith

All I Have To Do Is Dream – The Everly Brothers

Take Good Care Of My Baby – Bobby Vee

Dream Lover – Bobby Darin

The Locomotion – Little Eva

Will You Love Me Tomorrow – The Shirelles

Do Wah Diddy Diddy – Manfred Mann

Walkin’ Back To Happiness – Helen Shapiro

Stupid Cupid – Connie Francis

Blue Velvet – Bobby Vinton

Bye Bye Love – The Everly Brothers

The Great Pretender – The Platters

No Regrets – The Walker Brothers

Make It Easy On Yourself – ditto

Wonderful World – Sam Cooke

Why Do Fools Fall In Love – Frankie Lymon

La Bamba – Ritchie Valans

Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino

Hound Dog – Elvis Presley

Tell Him – The Exciters

Sweet Little Sixteen – Chuck Berry

Then He Kissed Me – The Crystals

Cathy’s Clown – The Everly Brothers

One Fine Day – The Chiffons

Leader Of The Pack – Shangri-Las

Downtown – Petula Clark


Distance 12.28km

Time 1:26:47

Average Pace 7:04

Elevation Gain 62 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1062.27

To Do 955.73



18 June – Hope vs Reality

Life has an annoying habit of throwing you some curved balls, some seriously difficult to deal with, others less so. As a child I hated my name and wanted to be called Sophie. Then I fell in love with Troy Tempest and wanted to be a mute mermaid called Marina.

Spending most of my time in Italy, I often have many names given to me, never Sophie or Marina funnily enough. I have been called:-

  • Jam
  • Jane
  • Jean
  • Janna
  • Ian
  • Yan

With my vast number of years under my belt, I am okay with being called Jan. It is very useful when having to spell your name, complete forms etc., and I’m not sure that Sophiecanrun or Marinacanrun has quite the same ring about them as JanCanRun. So whilst I hoped to have a different name, the reality is that I’m happy with Jan.

Today’s curved ball was yet another bloody migraine, which really put paid to my hoped for 15km run today. Taking the nuclear grade tablets and a necessary 4 hours sleep to shift it, I was able to go out and have a run.

Our Italian cyclist friends were on a multi hour ride called appropriately enough The Italian Job – this was giving me loads of time to run. Except the migraine curved ball changed things a bit. With a slight drumming in my head off I set, through the City and West End to Trafalgar Square in which there’s a concert celebrating all things Musical. Yesterday, we heard show tunes from Mamma Mia the Musical, when we passed with our Italian friends, who then gave an impromptu singalong and hand waving in the central roundabout to the amusement and bemusement of passers by, buses and general pedestrians.  I’m not quite as extrovert, so today I just sang along in my head, as I ran past this time.

Heading towards the South Bank, things got a little hectic, load and loads of tourists around and not much space to run. Can’t complain though, as it was entirely my own fault I was running so late in the day. I’d promised one of our Italian friends that I’d drop by a Japanese Design Shop to get hold of some very difficult to find incense sticks. Now when I made this promise, I hadn’t really thought through the logistics of a runner (mid-run), appearing in a neat, pristine, precisely ordered Japanese art and design shop! I hoped I didn’t look too bad, and then I caught a glimpse of the galumphing, red, sweaty runner trying, mostly unsuccessfully it has to be said, to look educated and interested in the various scents of the sticks. Having seen my own face, I ordered two packs hastily, was effusive in my praise for her help and more than apologetic for my physical state. I couldn’t get out quickly enough!

Back out of the Oxo building, (where this lovely little shop can be found) I ran along the South Bank, towards the East, when I was challenged to a run/skate off by what looked like a little Japanese boy on a mini scooter. I didn’t really realise I was being challenged, until he looped past for the third time crowing in delight at having overtaken me. I didn’t stand a chance, as a minimum I’ve done 55 years more living than he has. But he was a gorgeous little boy and chuckling away at his success – who could get peed off at being beaten by a three year old?

Today’s playlist (just to amuse fellow runner Cat) was my country and place name inspired one, and of course I had Tokyo Joe by Bryan Ferry playing during my run.  Three hints of Japan today. So I’d hoped to do 15km and only managed 10km in reality. But the 10km was much better than I’d hoped after getting a migraine.


(it has three Japan themed songs n it…)

A New England – Billy Bragg

Une Nuit A Paris – 10cc

Maid Of Orleans – OMD

Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

Rio – Duran Duran

Belfast Child – Simple Minds

Going Down To Liverpool – The Bangles

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Black Eyed Boy – Texas

Massachussetts – Bee Gees

California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and Papas

Grease – Frankie Valli

Africa – Toto

New York Minute – Don Henley

Streets of Philadelphia – The Boss

Downtown – Petula Clark

Pleasant Valley Sunday – The Monkees

Wonderful World – Sam Cooke

Avalon – Roxy Music

Midnight Train To Georgia – Gladys Knight & The Pips

Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel

Strong – London Grammar


Distance 10.11km

Time 1:12:00 (including bread shopping)

Average Pace 7:07

Elevation Gain 55 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1049.99

Kms To Run 968.01


16 June – The Countdown



8 Italian cyclists arrive in London on Friday morning

7 days worth of sight-seeing and cycling in London to be completed in just 4 days

6 people to drop off at various locations around London

5km run completed amongst the happy bedlam and in record time too

4 days of fun, food and laughter

3 excellent London hosts – Abi, Cliff and David, looking after Leo, Maddi, Sabri, Gio, Rodo, and Patri

2 sets of fish eaten by Gio, who really, really wanted to try English fish and chips – Cod first then the Plaice…

1 batch of scones made to test whether the Devon or Cornwall jam/cream method is better…


Ah yes  I had a music malfunction –  Abba were  on constant repeat – Mamma Mia, Money, Money, Money and Dancing Queen


Distance 5.12km

Time 25:49

Average Pace 5:02 – (I know amazing but I did sprint all the way and the distance was small!)

Elevation Gain 18 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1039.88

Kms To Run 978.12


15 June – Stereotype Snap



For a change, I decided to play a card game when I ran this morning. And I chose stereotype snap. The map shows you exactly where I picked up each stereotype or not. The whole idea is to pick up stereotypes and get points for each one I saw on my run through their respective zones. Now Friday is not a typical day in London, the commuters are noticeably fewer than usual, meaning stereotype snap is not such a point scorer as you may imagine.

I started off at Old Street, looking for Tech Start Up Stereotypes – identified by Apple branded everything and usually a pair of Dr Dre Beats. My score = Nil

Aiming towards Farringdon, I wasn’t aware of seeing any Start Up Stereotypes, but I did see at least two ‘More Media’ stereotypes. Their artwork type briefcases and tight trousers gave them away. My score = 2

On towards Lawyer Wanker territory, – typified by all black clothing and sharp, bright white shirt shirting, regardless of gender. The most monochrome experience you can get in one area – any hint of colour frowned upon. My score = 30+ (I lost count)

Soho,  rather surprisingly isn’t given any stereotypes on the map. But I did pass 20th Century Fox and an interestingly named restaurant…, but Covent Garden wasn’t far away, so onwards to find the Living Statue Wankers.  I’m thinking 8.30 am is too early for them to get up – even Yoda, who thinks we are fooled by his capacious gown, which clearly doesn’t have enough room for an alarm clock. My score = Nil

Then back towards Fleet Street in search of ‘Journalists Used To Be Here’. As the pubs were not yet open, there was no sign of any old soaks reminiscing about the good old days when you smoked 40 John Player Specials for Breakfast with a Johnnie Walker chaser or five. My score = Nil

My final stereotype search was for ‘Nervous Men Buying Rings’ in Hatton Garden, or at a push I’d have settled for ‘Old Men Plotting a Bank Vault Raid’. With me running before 9am,  this clearly meant all the plotters (whether for burglary or marriage) weren’t yet out. My score =Nil

Total Stereotype Score = 32 points.

Running score however was 9kms.


Alison – Elvis Costello

Eloise – The Damned

Francine – ZZ Top

Gloria – Laura Branigan

Helena – My Chemical Romance

Poison Ivy – The Lambrettas

Jean Genie – David Bowie

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

Kayleigh – Marillion

Layla – Derek and the Dominoes

Maggie May – Rod Stewart

Darling Nikki – His Purple Highness

Ophelia – The Band

Queen of Clubs – KC and The Sunshine Band

Roxanne – The Police

Sherry – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Teresa – Eddie Cochran

Single Ladies – Beyoncé

Valerie – Ronson and Winehouse

St Xenia – Katina

Zoe Jane – Staind


Distance 9.06km

Time 57:35

Average Pace 6:21

Elevation Gain 40 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1034.76

To Run 983.24






13 June – From Jimmy Choos to


to a pair of new running shoes. What has happened to me? Old life, Jimmy Choos, Louboutins, Prada and Gucci high heeled shoes. New life of Brooks, Saucony, Adidas but I’m not sure they are any the less expensive, as my latest pair will only have a running life of 3 – 4 months, based on my current mileage. My old faithful Pradas, in comparison are 10 years old and still going strong, although they only come out for Ascot Ladies Day, so maybe the cost per wear equation doesn’t work so well…

Today is the official day I managed to meet the Map My Run Beat the Year Challenge – a target of 1018kms, and I celebrated by running in my new Brooks shoes. I bought 2 new pairs of running shoes last November, before I’d decided on doing the challenge and now they are both looking a little shabby and are getting close to needing changing. Shoe life is about 500 miles and each pair has done about 600kms, but I still have 6 months to go, so time for a new pair. I’m sure I read somewhere that running was a cheap sport…

Today is a lot warmer, but I’m out earlier which is a help. I bomb through the City Streets and back out towards Holborn and the Inns of Court, I have in mind to do just the planned 7k as this is the first outing for my new shoes and I don’t want to shred my feet anymore than they have been already. The shoes feel bouncy and comfortable and I’m soon in my stride. I head towards the Strand, but it is awfully busy, so change tack and head for Aldwych and back towards Bloomsbury. A quiet run today, not a lot happening on the streets of London, not that I could see anyway. Getting close to home I see I am at just on 7k – well it wouldn’t hurt to stretch a bit would it? So I do a slight detour to add another 1km to my running piggy bank.

Run done. New running shoes broken in, and no signs of having broken my feet. That’s a result. But the Map My Run Challenge still bugs me as the ‘lady’ leading the leader board is anonymous and seemingly has run 17.506km over 287 workouts…

You figure it out I think she’s tracking every time she drives her car…


My Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust

Blockbuster – Sweet

DISCO – Ottawan

War – Edwin Starr

Waterloo – ABBA

Everybody Dance – Chic

I Feel Love – Donna Summer

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate

Summer Breeze – The Isley Brothers

Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

Freeze-Frame – The J Geils Band

All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed

Killer Queen – Queen

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

You’re The One That I Want – Newton John and Travolta


Distance 8:18km

Time 57:22

Average Pace 7:00 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 46 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1025.70

Kms To Run 992.3