13 July – Secret Squirrel

Someone may have been abducted already
War Of The Worlds Lane – plenty of room for aliens here

Please don’t tell anyone, but I’ve taken three days off running, for a variety of reasons including:-

  • 2 day migraine – not conducive to pounding the streets
  • football not coming home – well done England on getting so far, what a shame you didn’t win
  • post football match entertainment clearing up

And I think a rest has certainly helped. Recently, one of my friends Lwas talking to Mr JCR and me about the sports we do. Mr JCR had just finished yet another mammoth cycle ride – his kilometres put mine to shame really, but she observed that for the most part Mr JCR has the camaraderie of fellow cyclists, whether with his club or friends or fellow race and/or randonnee goers and that must help with motivation. She thought my challenge was harder because it is mine and mine alone – I don’t have anyone to help me go out and do the runs. At the time, I nodded and still privately thought Mr JCR was doing the mileage and it was much harder than my challenge, but now just over half way through I am shattered and need a shadow JCR to be doing the runs for/with/instead of me. And I wonder if she is right, maybe solo running isn’t that easy. I’ve enjoyed it for the most part, but it’s getting harder each time to get out there.

I always thought too, that the summer running would be easier to do, because it’s light and warm and you don’t need to wear lots of layers. But it turns out I was completely and utterly wrong – summer running is tougher than winter running – and my motivation is taking a tumble as a consequence. My nicest, most fun run was the Beast from the East run around Regents Park in the snow. In contrast, last Monday’s run, of just 6km was one of my worst, legs like lead, no motivation, speed atrocious, hot and humid and it was just a plod. Truthfully, the only positive aspect was the fact that I actually got out.

Therefore, 3 days of rest seemed to be what the doctor would order – taking a break may just help recharge the batteries a bit. Mr JCR was up and out early and instead of lingering in my pit, I got up too. Out of the door before 7.30am, an event virtually unheard of since retirement. I took my usual loop to Mill Lane and onto Lovers’ Lane – at which point the GPRS went totally loopy and claimed I had done 5km in 3 minutes. Not being in the mood to alter it I knew the distance to a particular stopping place and thought I could re-start there and recalibrate my stats. Down Lovers’ Lane I saw our friend and neighbour R out for her morning stroll, we exchanged ciaos and I moved on. Looping around Villa Bali and back down Lovers’ Lane I also saw Lord Kitchener (for the first time this year), he gave me a more formal ‘Salve’ and salute and I continued onto the Hill That Kills. Early in the day, it is all in shade, which certainly helps keep me going and I was happily pootling onto the bendy, scary road, which was nice and quiet – another side benefit of hauling my arse out early.

In the distance I  saw a very nattily dressed old guy, he was teeny tiny really – much shorter than me, wearing running kit – with a cravat tied jauntily around his neck. Now that’s a style statement I’d never thought of… maybe it stops your neck from sweating? Next up the not so fit cyclist who I see from time to time. This is the man with the penchant for the see-through white cyclist shorts – as I saw him head on today I was thankful he was wearing his more modest black shorts. I don’t think I could have coped with a full on ‘crotch’ shot, especially after the modish cravatted runner.

Today I took a new route – the road to avoid the ‘all roads lead to Rome’ road, it’s a bit up and down and I wasn’t sure what it would be like.  This road was quite a delight – yes there are some nasty uppy bits, but it is blissfully quiet, as it is designed to be a pedestrian, dog walking and sporting route, where all vehicles have to moderate their speed. And it is here where I found fellow runners and walkers. Not hundreds but a few, all of whom put their hands up and said combinations of ciao or Salve or buongiorno. Whilst parts of the road are in full sun, there are some lovely shady bits and there seemed to be quite a pleasant breeze running down the valley, which helped in the sun. It is a bit of a short cut too, which is not so helpful, but I decided I’d run back part way to make up for my missing three days of running.

So what to call this road? There’s quite a nice open stretch, with a sign telling you about a hidden walk to rediscover lost apples and appreciate the local bio-diversity, personally I think it’s a ruse. This is classic alien abduction territory – nice open fields to land your spacecraft, a quiet country lane where you could kidnap a local and no-one would know you’d ever visited. So this has to be known as ‘War of The Worlds’ lane – I can almost hear HG Wells’s Martians screaming Uuullaaa, as they find locals to munch and if they are not to their liking, well I expect the long lost apples may sate their appetites for a while.

War Of The Worlds lane, took me to the ‘all reads lead to Rome’ road, but thankfully it’s a much shorter stretch to the coffee shop. A quick pit-stop for a coffee and brioche – a nod to the Sex and The City old ladies and I trotted back up to the War of The Worlds lane. here I saw some of the walkers had looped back and we exchanged waves and nods once more. It’s a bit warmer now and the ‘uppy’ bits were worse in the reverse direction, but nonetheless it was a pleasant change – back onto the bendy, scary road, I almost got taken out by a careering Mercedes, and so I decided to finish my run and plod-walk back home. To myself surprise, I’d managed just under 14kms. a 3 day rest hadn’t done me any harm whatsoever and maybe my running mojo is coming back. I do hope so, as it’s a long time between now and December without it.


(it was all over the place, with my tracks stuttering)

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Traynor

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

Shake The Disease – Depeche Mode

Don’t You Want Me – Human League

(Forever) Live and Die (twice) – OMD

Notorious – Duran Duran

Every Breath You Take – Police

Go Wild In The Country – Bow Wow Wow

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Joan of Arc  (twice)- OMD

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Modern Love – David Bowie

Doginabag – The Fratellis

Vienna – Ultravox

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

Sex -O -Matic Venus Freak – Macy Gray

See You – Depeche Mode

Mr Brightside – The Killers

In The City – The Jam

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Born To Run – The Boss

Master And Servant – Depeche Mode

Tracy Jacks – Blur


Distance 13.96km

Time 1:45:35

Average Pace 7:33 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 138 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1182.56

Kms To Do 835.44







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