29 Sep – Sweaty Heap

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S = Saturday Morning, back in Le Marche after the Naples/Sorrento break – first kilometre a bit slow, as I get back into my running routine

W = Well, it’s a lot cooler here than in Sorrento, and my second kilometre is a bit laboured as practice running mini-laps outside of the house, before heading for the Slope of Hope

E = Effort is necessary to get me up the Hill That Kills, I’m not sure of the elevation gain but it is just on 1/3 of a km in length and all uphill and usually a bit of a test, early in a run. This was my third kilometre into Lovers’ Lane.

A = Against all my expectations, my pace improves and I get into a nice rhythm and even the barking beagles don’t give me grief when I pass them, well into my 4th kilometre.

T = Turning back towards home, I trot steadily and do a couple more mini-laps outside the house and this is when my monicker changes from JCR to JNKH – Jan Nearly Kills Herself. Unbeknown to me the car I heard behind me, actually took the slip road near me and I hadn’t heard her change tack, and so ran in front of her… Oops, that almost curtailed my 5th kilometre.

Y = Yikes, there’s a big nasty hornet buzzing near me. This year has been full of hornets, and each night one attacks our front door – it could be him… Being a sweaty runner, I often attract flies – I know – it’s not an attractive thought, and I hope desperately that my pheromones aren’t catnip to a hornet. Luckily for me he leaves me alone, and as I go towards the Slope of Hope once more I hit the 6km mark.

H = Help, I’m running up the Hill That Kills once more, and it’s getting warm, which is a bit of a problem as I am wearing a base layer and running capris, because it was much cooler early on. The sweat is pouring off me – Lovers’ Lane offers a little respite, but the Villa Bali loop is full sun again – I’m leaving a vapour trail behind me – eeugh. Still that’s 7km done.

E = Eight kilometres coming up and surprisingly, I see what I think is a fellow runner coming towards me, dressed in a ‘hornet’ type outfit. It is in fact a lady walker, wearing a dayglo yellow jacket, dark shorts and long socks. She’s making quite a pace and I feel a tad embarrassed as I’m a little tired and I’m sure she’s walking faster than I’m running…

A = Adjusting pace is called for, I’ve found that when I take a few days of rest from running, that my first run is always a little rusty. So I take it down a bit and find my running legs again. Back up the Hill That Kills and I make a mental note that if I can reach 10km, I will continue until I either hit the 10k or the natural end of the road, whichever is the further.

P = Part way down Lovers’ Lane and I hit the 10km mark, I continue until the end of the lane. Job done – a nice 10km+ to mark my return home. It wasn’t fast, and I was a very sweaty heap. Not a problem with the weather – just the wrong clothing. Another lesson learnt JCR, either get out earlier and wear layers or stay in bed (yay!!!) and wear lighter clothing. I’m guessing you can already tell what tomorrow’s clothing strategy will be.

Playlist

Mistakes – Madness

Tired Of Waiting For You – The Kinks

Suspect Device – Stiff Little Fingers

Temptation – Heaven 17

Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis

Disco 2000 – Pulp

By The Way, Cabron – Red Hot Chilis

Dance Away, Avalon – Roxy Music

Wishing Well, Sign Your Name – Terence Trent D’Arby

Rio – Duran Duran

Born To Run – The Boss

Fuck You – Cee Lo Green

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

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

Mony Mony – Billy Idol

Let’s Stick Together, Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Joan Of Arc – OMD

Rumour Has It – Adele

Everyday I Love You Less and Less – Kaiser Chiefs

Stats

Distance 10.3km

Time 1:17:41

Average Pace 7:32

Elevation Gain 65 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1573.85

Kms to Run 444.15

 

 

25 Sept – So So Sorrento

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It’s Saturday night in Sorrento, I ran in Le Marche in the morning so the above pic was my well-earned reward looking out over the Bay of Naples.

Sunday – rest day

Monday – Naples and double pizza – don’t ask…

Tuesday – run, Herculaneum & Pompeii

Wednesday – Drive the Amalfi Coast, watch Liverpool against Chelsea – not good

Thursday – Capri and home

Friday – comatose, unpacking, shopping

I had planned on running twice whilst we were away, I’d figured that with the amount of sightseeing we wanted to get in, that 2 runs would be all I’d manage, given limitations on ticketing for ferries, weather uncertainties and the uppy/downy nature of Sorrento and this part of Italy.

2 turned out to be optimistic, given the need to be catching early trains and my by now famous aversion to getting up early. In fairness to me the weather was substantially cooler in the mornings and my running kit, didn’t reflect that need.

Tuesday’s run, I was out early just after 7.30am, and I’d decided to take a straight line route out of town and back again, thinking that the tourist traffic on pavements/on road would arrive after breakfast. I didn’t bump into many tourists that much is true, what I did bump into was the veritable army of workers who keep Sorrento going. The road out was chock full of mopeds, motorbikes, buses, Apés, mini electric delivery vehicles, dustbin lorries. All in all interesting to see, not so nice to run through though.

The pollution levels are quite high, and there is a traffic management scheme in place, but I can understand to service the tourists, of which I was one, normal day to day stuff has to happen. I ran through the main road Corso Italia and did receive some bemused looks from the locals, I’m guessing they don’t get many running tourists in Sorrento. There’s not much pavement around, and quite a bit of re-development work going on, making it necessary for me to run on the road quite a bit too. I got hooted at a few times and I’m guessing it wasn’t to compliment me on my running style/speed.

After about 4kms of steady pootling, I decided to see if I could find a non-touristy bit of Sorrento and took a loop towards a rail station Sant’ Agnello. Here was an Italy I recognised, lots of children carrying outsized back packs to school, locals drinking coffee at the bar to save paying for the ‘privilege’ of a seat outside. Local shops, slightly rundown garages and a multitude of small businesses. Although it was quite scruffy in parts, I much preferred it to the tinsel town of Sorrento for tourists.

Being mindful of the gradient and ascents, I took a shortcut back to the apartment and had managed just over 8km. It was a ‘so so’ run, because I was not so sure of my bearings and didn’t want to get lost, nor did I fancy running back up from the port which was quite a way downhill and as a consequence I did spend a bit of time stopping and re-starting to work out where to run.

Would I recommend running in Sorrento? – maybe, if you don’t mind getting up very early, and layering clothing accordingly. I had seriously underestimated just how busy this place gets, and of course because of the topology, all the people and traffic are constrained into a small area. If you love hills, then Sorrento is definitely a place to aim for. Me, I was happy to have done just a bit of uppy and downy and got back in time for the day’s sightseeing.

Playlist

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Common People, Disco 2000 – Pulp

By The Way – Red Hot Chilis

Tracy Jacks – Blur

Unbelievable – EMF

Boombastic – Shaggy

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

World In Motion – New Order

Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis

Temptation – Heaven 17

Glory Days – The Boss

Help Me Rhonda – The Beach Boys

Avalon – Roxy Music

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Stats

Distance 8.16km

Time 57:32

Average Pace 7:02

Elevation Gain 94 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1563.55

Kms To Do 454.45

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 Sep – Beating Mr JCR

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The alarm has gone, it is a Saturday morning and for the first time in years I have actually beaten Mr JCR out of bed. Well strictly speaking I didn’t, as he made the welcome mug of tea, but I actually left the house for a run before he’d made any proper moves. This merits a mention as it happens almost as often as solar eclipse.

I was on a time limit, I had more or less one hour to get in a run. We had a schedule to meet, and my running needed to be accommodated. I pootled out and made my way to the usual route. Being a Saturday, all was quiet save for the barking balcony house, where both dogs managed as usual to make me leap in the air. I don’t actually know how they manage it. I understand they have dog hearing and can hear my approach, not that the wheezing of a middle aged runner is undetectable to the human or dog ear. But it is their impeccable timing that gets me every time, just when I think I’ve got past them without a caterwaul, then comes the orchestrated barking in two different pitches, so if the smaller yap doesn’t make me leap then the larger, much louder bark does. Maybe they are the canine version of Jackass or similar and I am being secretly filmed for dog viewing pleasure

I made my way up the Hill That Kills, and it wasn’t the hill that could have damaged me it was another anonymous Punto careering around the corners. Mr JCR and I have this debate about the safest way to run – facing the traffic so you can see your assailant, or running with the traffic so you are blissfully unaware. I prefer seeing my would be assailant then if they do manage to hit me, they get a full blown Paddington stare before I hit the deck. The Punto had long since gone when the Paddington stare crossed my face,  and I don’t know if they heard me swear at them in my choicest Italian. Along to Lovers’ Lane – it is early and not even the kiosk man is around. I decide to head back to Mill Lane and am witnessed by a lady chef sitting outside her kitchen looking somewhat bemused at my efforts.

Onto the Slope of Hope once more towards Argo’s Loop and I cause a cacophony of barking from the beagle kennels, I head onto Laundry Lane for a quite kick back towards the chapel, do a u turn and complete another 3kms, bringing my total up to 8km.

It was a very nice, calm, gentle run – except for the psychopathic Punto driver, it was a glorious pootle, in a great temperature. I arrived home 5 minutes before my allotted ‘must get back’ time and was chuffed with my efforts.

Playlist

Walking With Mr Wheeze – Madness

Slow Down – The Jam

Walking Down Your Street – The Bangles

I Am The Walrus – The Beatles

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

Electric Barbarella/The Reflex/All She Wants Is/Save A Prayer – Duran Duran

Live and Die/Joan of Arc – OMD

It’s Raining Men (twice) – The Weather Girls

She Sells Sanctuary  – The Cult

Personal Jesus/See You – Depeche Mode

Don’t You Want Me – Human League

Stats

Distance – 8.01km

Time 57:50

Average Pace 7:12

Elevation Gain – 67 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1555.39

Kms to Do 462.61

 

 

 

20 Sept – Thursday’s Child

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Lovers’ Lane In The Sun

has far to go. So says the nursery rhyme. It is Thursday, I haven’t run for three days and I should be going far to make up for not running. Here are my excuses neatly lined up:-

Monday – legitimate rest day, and post friends’ long weekend visit recovery

Tuesday – hosting friends for a lunch – too busy prepping in the morning, too busy recovering in the afternoon

Wednesday – laziness, tiredness, and a bit of a hangover.

So Thursday was the day to go far – well 10km if I could. We’d had an appointment Thursday morning, necessitating us staying at home, and my running was delayed until after lunch, which for me (and my well known prevarication issues) was not necessarily a good thing. After a good deal of unnecessary faffing – in truth all faffing is generally unnecessary, I got out there.

Mmm, it is a bit warm, I better aim for shadier parts and so I did. This was my old running route for the C25K programme. A route of about 2.8km, and a few uppy downy bits but it was over 25 degrees, which was not helpful, but that was the reality of choosing an afternoon run. The air was hot and humid, and there is a faint smell of rotting fruit and vegetation in the lanes. The grapes in our area have been harvested, including our own and by the side of the road you can see crates of the grape waste from the presses, leading to a slight whiff of rotting fruit. That and the crunch of some dried leaves, really makes you think Autumn is here, except it is still as warm as a typical British summer.

The tourists have gone and in Lovers’ Lane there are a few locals having a picnic in the grounds of Villa Bali, and I received some greetings on my first loop round. This was about 2km in and I could tell that this wasn’t going to be a record breaker run. Nonetheless I plodded on and did the rounds of Mill Lane, The Slope of Hope and the Hill That Kills. Second time of entering Lovers’ Lane and none of the picnickers gave me a second glance, I have become part of the scenery evidently. My running pace was slowing a bit, and I have noticed that if I take too many days’ rest for some unknown reason I get a bit stiff and my limbs don’t seem to loosen up as easily.

It was however a glorious afternoon as you can see from the pic. I loved the run out, and aimed back towards the house where I spotted a lady dog walker walking her dog at the front of our house, looking very intently (the dog, not the lady). The lady had driven along the road and parked outside our home. I’m convinced the dog wanted to do a number two, and so I ran up and down outside of my house in my best passive aggressive manner. It seemed to work both on the unknown dog and lady as she scooped up her pooch and carried it home in her car. No poops to be seen. She and her dog had travelled to my house to ‘go’ and had failed…

My anti-poop control had clocked up half a kilometre and I entered into my last loop of the run. Back at Lover’s Lane, one of the picnickers said Brava as I ran past, and that was a good spur to keep on towards the 10k limit I’d set.

I ran to my newest fledgling playlist based on famous names and finished my run to John Wayne Has Big Leggy – I had slightly tired leggies, but then it was a Thursday and 10km seemed the right distance to go, and I was more successful than the non-pooping dog.

Playlist

Michael Caine – Madness

Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

Axel F – Harold Faltermeyer

Jackie Wilson Said – Dexy’s Midnight Runners & Van Morrison

Barbie Girl – Aqua

Clint Eastwood – Gorillaz

Rock Me Amadeus  – Falco

Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) – Scritti Politti

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Buddy Holly – Weezer

Vincent – Don McLean

Einstein – Kelly Clarkson

Frank Sinatra – Cake

Paul McCartney – Scissor Sisters

The Ballad of Tom Jones – Space with Cerys Matthews

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Trainor

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5

Electric Barbarella – Duran Duran

Roll Over Beethoven – ELO

Sherlock Homes – Sparks

Prince Charming – Adam and The Ants

Free Nelson Mandela – Soweto Singers

Just Like Jesse James – Cher

Geronimo – Sheppard

John Wayne Is Big Leggy – Haysi Fantayzee

Stats

Distance 10.15km

Time 1:17:07

Pace 7:35mins/km

Elevation Gain 80 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1547.38

Kms to Run 470.62

 

16 Sep – I Will Always Love

 

 

IMG_1644shoe, as Whitney Houston never sang, but maybe she missed a trick?

This was more or less the closing anthem to our Saturday night out at an osteria in Gradara, with Mr JCR’s cycling club buddies from London H&A, and his cycling club amici in Italy.

The evening hadn’t quite turned out as planned. The venue had been chosen because it had been used previously and all our Italian friends thought it would be a fab place to entertain H&A. Evidently the place had changed hands since they were last there.

Fab food last time – this time it was meh and not much of it. Good music – well the group was playing old Romagnolo folk music when we arrived. It did get better but when the lead singer lost his place on his karaoke screen and didn’t know the words to Mambo Number 5, well I guess that tells you all you need to know. The one bright spot was the female vocalist who could really carry a tune (she seemed not to need the karaoke prompt) and when she started on Whitney’s anthem, well what could go wrong? Her singing was beautiful but for some reason she thought the title was ‘I will always love shoe’ or maybe it was shoo, or choux. It did make us giggle.

Next morning Mr JCR, H&A, were up and out before I’d stirred, but to make sure that I not only loved my shoes but actually used them, I’d set up my kit the night before, so no excuses not to get moving.

In plan a 10km, it didn’t have to be fast, just done. I took my Brooks trainers out for a spin. It’s a gorgeous day, not too hot, a bit of a breeze and I decided to do some hill work too. Out down the Slope of Hope and up to the Hill that Kills, it was nice, but not that many folk around. Up to Lovers’ Lane and I think I hear a tinkling sound following me. I look around and see nothing, but again I hear the noise. I put it down to WMAS and continue on, I do my customary loop of Villa Bali,  and then am stopped by a lady with a dog ‘ Have you seen my dog?’ she asked me – I was somewhat confused, as she had her dog with her.

She explained she had another dog who had gone AWOL, I asked if that dog had a bell on its collar and she said yes, so I pointed out where I’d heard the noise. Not WMAS after all, just a dog running away from its owner. Thank goodness for that, I was almost adding another problem to the list of middle-aged runner’s afflictions.

I did a couple more of the Slope/Hill/Lovers Lane loops and made my way down to Laundry Lane. The acorns are starting to fall and it can be a bit slippy underfoot if you don’t watch where you’re going, but my Brooks trainers are sturdy creatures; they rarely slip and slide. However, there is one hazard at this time of year, and that’s the fruit above. I don’t know what they are, but they fall from a great height, are quite heavy and JCR hand sized, and when they hit the ground they are quite mushy underfoot too.  My trusty Brooks took me to the 10km limit, avoiding missing dogs and falling fruit dangers. To quote the singer on Saturday night:-

Dear Brooks Trainers ‘ I will always love shoe’ – JCR.

Playlist

Rumour Has It – Adele

Back to Black, Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Help Me Rhonda, Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

Crazy in Love – Beyoncé

Hot In The City, Mony, Mony – Billy Idol

Girls & Boys, Tracy Jacks, Parklife – Blur

Born To Run (twice), Hungry Heart, Dancing In The Dark, Born In The USA, Glory Days – The Boss

Let’s Stick Together, Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Mulder and Scully – Catatonia

Fuck You – Cee Lo Green

London Calling, Rock The Casbah – The Clash

Stats

Distance 10.13km

Time 1:15:07

Average Pace 7:24

Elevation Gain 109 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1537.23

Kms To Run 480.77

 

 

 

 

 

15 Sep – Stodgy Seven

 

IMG_6609Wednesday – rest day – lovely

Thursday – mega migraine – not so lovely – so no running

Friday – friends arriving, spent the day and night well, but perhaps not wisely – again no running

Saturday morning arrived, and I surveyed the evidence before me.  Aha I appear to have a slightly podgy and noisy tummy, due to the night before celebratory meal. This was a welcome do for our friends H&A who had come for a cycling weekend with Mr JCR and his Italian club. The celebration dinner was made up of the following courses:-

Risotto – Carbs

Pasta with cream and pancetta – Carbs, Fats & Protein

Pizza – various types – Carbs, Protein, Fats,Veggies

Chips – Carbs & Fats

More Chips – More Carbs and More Fat

Cake and Tiramisu – Carbs and Fat

Water, Wine, Beer, Limoncello, Liquorice Liquor and the local brew called Moretta (a combo of brandy, run and anise in hot espresso). Carbs…

As you can see a balanced diet, somewhat weighted towards the carbs. Which, if I was running a marathon in a couple of days, may have made a lot of sense, except I wasn’t. The sum total of all those carbs, weighed heavily both on conscience and definitely my stomach.

Saturday was planned to be 9km – 10km if I could. The portents weren’t good, the temperature had risen quite a bit and the incessant grumbling of my tum, suggested I perhaps wasn’t going to be securing any personal bests. Nonetheless it was a beautiful day; I decided to play it safe and run close to home on a small training loop, so if my tum decided to go nuclear, I wasn’t far from safety. I chose the boy band playlist, as a gentle and fun option to keep me going with cheesy songs.

Okay, the first kilometre pretty much set the scene for the remainder. Just under 8 minutes a km – and I could tell that every slice of pizza was now taking its toll. Still the first km is always slower, so I just gritted my teeth and got on with it. Down the Slope Of Hope and past the barking balcony house, no surprises today it was very quiet, and then up the Hill That Kills, and here I was quite surprised, although I felt sluggish, I didn’t actually have to stop to take a breather.

That gave me some impetus to continue, towards Lovers’ Lane, all was quiet and I got more into a running rhythm, at the second km stage, I managed just under 7 minutes a km. Not exactly troubling Mo Farah but an improvement. I pottered around to Mill Lane and made my way back down the Slope of Hope once more, on my second attempt at the hill that kills. She is a demanding hill when you’re not quite at your best and I did smile when PJ & Duncan came on with ‘Lets Get Ready To Rumble’ – I was rumbling very loudly – thank goodness there were no witnesses! As I made my way back up, she was definitely making it known that I needed to do some hill training.

At the top, I was given a welcome fillip when a local dog walker wished me good morning and a happy run. I’d managed to sustain a 7 minutes 15 seconds pace, which is pretty poor for me, but considering last night’s indulgence on food, I considered it was reasonable. At the 6km mark, I decided that 7km would be far enough, to allow for what felt like 3kg of carbs being carried in my middle. There is something self fulfilling about thinking you’re getting slower and deciding to stop – my final km was just under 8 minutes again. The power of the brain over the legs really showed.

Not my best run, but I was pleased I actually stuck at it and in the end I managed 7.23km, especially as it included some hill work.

A bit of a stodgy seven kilometres, not the nifty nine or terrific ten I had planned, but then to alter the well known adage, no plan ever survives the carbohydrate enemy.

Playlist

A Little Bit More – 911

ABC – The Jackson 5

You Raise Me Up – Westlife

Stand And Deliver – Adam And The Ants

When You Say Nothing At All – Boyzone

I’ll Make Love To You – Boyz II Men

Stay Another Day – East 17

A Million Love Songs, It Only Takes A Minute, Shine – Take That

Shang – A -Lang – Bay City Rollers

Boxerbeat – Joe Boxers

Everybody, Quit Playing Games – Backstreet Boys

Let’s Get Ready To Rumble – PJ and Duncan

The Chauffeur – Duran Duran

Good Vibrations, Fun, Fun, Fun – The Beach Boys

Mama Do The Hump – The Rizzle Kicks

Everbody In Love – JLS

Stats

Distance 7.23km

Time 53:21

Average Pace 7:23

Elevation Gain – 55 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1527.10

Kms To Do 490.90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Sep – 50 Shades Of Red

 

The new colour of 2019

Jan’s Colour 2018
Forehead September 2018

 

As Autumn arrives, there are many new product releases and I was excited to read that Dulux have released their “Colour of The Year 2019”, and this colour is ’Spiced Honey’, described as salted caramel with a hint of amber, by their creative director.

When I started running with C25K, I measured my progression as a runner by face colour, I was interested to see whether one year on, my face colour now bears any resemblance to the latest must-have for 2019.

In my old running life as a beginner I typically exuded ‘salsa red’ or Monarch as my colours of exertion. I took a pic of my forehead after today’s run, and I think we can safely say, I’m a lot closer to hint of pink rather than amber. Still some work to do JCR.

Now if any of you are thinking of re-decorating, I am pretty certain that although Spiced Honey just looks like a rehash of beige, you’d be really out there with my new colour of JCR Ruby.

How to get to this wonderful shade? Here are the ingredients for a successful colour match:-

Take one middle aged woman

Said middle aged woman runs

In Le Marche, Italy

Add 700ml of cold water

To a 10km run

In 21 degrees

At 9.45am

Run for approx 1 hour 8 minutes

Leave to settle for one minute

Result = JCR Ruby

Playlist

To Be Young Gifted And Black  – Bob and Marcia

Night Boat To Cairo – Madness

Ghost Town, Gangsters, Too Much Too Young – The Specials

Police on My Back – Eddie Grant and The Equals

Carry Go Bring Come – Justin Hinds and The Dominoes

Skinhead Moonstomp – Symarip

One Step Beyond, Al Capone  – Prince Buster

Return of Django – The Upsetters

On My Radio, Back To Black – The Selecter

One Step Beyond – Madness

Monkey Man, 54 56 Was My Number – Toots and The Maytals

Rudy, A Message To You – Dandy Livingstone

King Of Kings – Jimmy Cliff

Free Nelson Mandela – The Starlite Singers

It Mek – Desmond Dekker

Rudi Got Married – Laurel Aitken

Mirror In The Bathroom – The Beat

Monkey Man – Amy Winehouse

Stats

Distance 10.08 km

Time 1:08:51

Average Pace 6:49

Elevation Gain 47 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1519.87

Kms to go 498.13 (yes under 500!!! :))