28 Dec – Oops, I Did It Again

Running Forgetfulness

This title is the only thing Britney Spears and I have in common. I did say I’d have a two-week sabbatical from running, but the full-to-busting running kit drawer, seemed to whisper very time I passed it, and so I gave into the inevitable and went for a run.

Before I get complaints from the BBC viewers association or whomever, I did make sure that it couldn’t count towards my Alzheimer’s Challenge.

First off, I ran for 2kms to the doctors had my appointment and then ran home – just on 5kms logged but not in one run, so therefore ineligible for the challenge.

Then I had to go back to the doctors, so that was another 4kms banked. That’s 9kms run in a day and none of it counts towards the Alzheimer’s Challenge, but it did count towards the removal of chocolate and Christmas poundage.

Speaking of pounds – thanks to Alan P, who very kindly donated to my cause. Thanks Alan.

Playlist

I Am Henery The Eighth I Am – Herman’s Hermits

Bela Lugosi’s Dead – Bauhaus

Flash – Queen

Doctorin’ The Tardis – The Flag

I Just Shot John Lennon – The Cranberries

Motorhead – Hawkwind

Angie – Rolling Stones

Delilah – Tom Jones

Elvis Ain’t Dead – Scouting For Girls

Clair – Gilbert O’Sullivan

Genghis Khan – Iron Maiden

Maid Of Orleans – OMD

Oh Yoko – John Lennon

Stan – Eminem and Dido

Stats

Distance 9.35kms

Calories 675 calories supposedly – that equals just over 100grams of chocolate. Just a pity I’ve eaten a lot more than 100g of chocolate!

27 Dec – Beyond The Call Of Duty

Not enough ways to say it….

For 2018, I may have chosen to run alone, but I never ran on my own, there was always someone with me in spirit, from my friends and family to the C25K bunch and the Facebook Beyonders Group.

Often the biggest hurdle to running alone, was getting the impetus to leave the house, especially when it was scorchio in Italy, or when the weather in the UK was a bit meh.

Couch to 5K got me running, and the Beyonders Group on Facebook, were a constant source of support and advice (even when they may not have realised it). From some of the mini challenges held during the year, to injury advice and just general giggles from time to time. Beyonders became another must visit place for me.

Some Beyonders were/are also C25Kers that I knew from when I started running. But two Beyonders that I didn’t know (or maybe didn’t recognise them from their avatars), to my complete and utter surprise and delight also donated after I’d finished my challenge. Andrew & Hilary, please take a bow, your very generous donations have added to the pot. We were lucky enough to go to visit the Alzheimer’s Research facilities in London last month. There we heard that they believe it is a 50 year battle to find a cure for this horrid disease, so every penny truthfully is helping them to reduce that timeframe.

Thanks so much, who says social media is just about vanity?, I feel very blessed to know you both and hope one day to run with you along with Julia – a Beyonders Blitz? (but Andrew you’ll have to take a handicap – could you hop?)

For any runner who doesn’t know about Beyonders – they can be found here

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeyondC25K

26 Dec – Belated Thank Yous

Mr Smooth’s Date Reminder

Mr Smooth sent me his usual date reminder today ‘Get your trainers on and run’ and I ignored him. I ignored the man with the golden spikes. This is my 2 week sabbatical from running, although I do have itchy feet, so it may be a little shorter than a fortnight.

But a day without running gives me an opportunity to thank all those friends who donated to my cause once the breaking news of my challenge completion had been made public by Mr JCR.

So a great big thank you and hug to

Gabi and Carl and Molly, who gave me a second ‘you’ve done it’ donation

Bernadette and Gerard, donating and cheering me on from afar

Neil and Angela, another donation to follow their first gesture of faith from January last

Austin and Chris who’ve followed my ups and downs in sunny Oz

Tailchaser from the C25K Forum, which has been my running bedrock

and Maan, who has been recovering from a horrid London street incident

Thank you one and all, every penny helps towards the research, and your generosity has been magnificent.

Today’s Playlist

Nothing, just joyous peace and quiet

Stats

Distance – 10 metres from apartment to the bins – see how exciting and metropolitan a Boxing Day run can be…

Time – well I didn’t get up before 11am that’s for sure

Average Pace – 2 coffees

Elevation Gain – 0 – I took the lift

24 Dec – Bubbling Along


It is 7am, (I know- I never, ever see that time of day). The alarm has gone and I have butterflies, my stomach is grumbling and rumbling. I feel nervous – and why? 

Because, today is my final ‘2018kms in 2018’ day. When I decided on the challenge over a year ago now,  I hadn’t really worked out what doing all this running would mean and now I am in touching distance. Just a gentle 5kms to do today, and I am so lucky that one of my C25K friends is leaving home, hearth and husband to run with me on my final run. We’ve bonded over 80s music, and Portugese Custard Tarts and Gill is joining me today for the last leg. With us in spirit and running around the UK are:-

  • Mummycav 
  • HelenWheels
  • Tartan Cat
  • Suzy KK
  • IgaT
  • Mimirossi
  • Tailchaser

Mr JCR and I walk to the park, the Strand is quiet  and arriving at the park we see in the distance a woman stripping off. And who might that be? Well of course it’s Gill – only stripping down to running tights I hasten to add. We virtually met on the C25K forum and in real life met in the Barbican and I’m chuffed to call her my friend.  

There’s a vague possibility of a fellow runner from the C25K Beyonders Group turning up, so we loiter around looking slightly suspicious. Then we see group of three runners hanging around nearby – I don’t recognise any of them. Wondering on the protocol for randomly accosting strangers in a park, I am very relieved when they start running on their own. I don’t think I’d be very good at blind dates…

We start off running, naked, so I can hear my own huffing and puffing, clearly running with Gill has set my speedier button as we manage one km in 5:45 pace – unheard of for me, but not for Gill who is a right speedy Gonzales.  Realising I’m going too fast, I turn down the dial a little, and we make our way around the park, dodging the occasional wayward tourist, but it’s reasonably quiet – the geese, pigeons, ducks and squirrels are attracting way more attention than us two. At the halfway stage, a quick pitstop to dump more clothing and to meet Mike – one of my supporters and a friend of Mr JCR, he’s come to see us do the 5km. And we’re off onto the second lap, I quite like running with company – I didn’t know that before. And we have a gentle pootle around the park, we’re on to the home straight, I check my phone and yes the magic 5kms has been done, with a C25Ker who was a supporter for me in the good old Mr Smooth (Michael Johnson) days and has stayed the course over the year.

Mr JCR takes celebratory pics and opens the bubbles, we all toast a job well done. Gill in the meantime has been bottling up the desire to tell the world what I’ve just done… When a cycling policeman comes past, looking at 4 of us necking champagne, she tells him about the challenge. He offers me congratulations and takes a chocolate (we decided against offering some bubbles!). It was only after he’d gone when we thought that drinking alcohol may well be prohibited in a Royal Park – oops.

What a brilliant Christmas Eve run, making my distance, running with C25K friends in real life and virtually. It doesn’t get much better – oh yes it does, Mr JCR treated me to cooked breakfast on the way home.

And to all my C25K buddies who ran with me virtually today, I loved the fact that from Yorkshire to Berkshire and beyond my friends were out there, even when mojos have been very difficult to find. Thank you all.

A proper rollcall of honour will follow, as I’ve had even more donations and have really nicely exceeded the target set and now for some more bubbles.

Playlist

Just my huffing and puffing

Stats

Distance 5.11km and that’s all that matters

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 2018.00

Kms To Run 0

22 Dec – Let It Snow…

It may not have snowed in London literally, but it has snowed donations since my last run. First off the mark, one of my fellow C25Kers jayval70 made my day, by donating and wishing me well.

Then our very good friends B&H in Warwickshire, with a lovely message to keep me going, then M from sunny Buckinghamshire, followed in a blink of an eye by our dear friends J&G in Arnhem – who came back with a second donation. Going for the more international theme, came my brother and sister in-law, in sunny but blinking cold Hingham, USA but with the greatest warm message, and their donation got me over the line on the sponsorship target.

Not to be outdone, our friends K&C, who are partially international living as they do between Italy and Nottingham, added a second donation. Followed by a very dear Italian friend M, who works in Brussels. And last but not least my running, netballing friend J.

So after the snowing down of donations, I find I have hit one target (the money), without actually having hit the other (the running). Obviously that situation can’t continue; and this morning’s run was designed to get me ready for the last leg on Christmas Eve.

With the very pleasant weight of all that money and expectation on my shoulders, I headed up West to do a ‘dummy run’ of my route around St James’s park. It’s a cold, bright and clear morning, I have got to do just under 12kms today, leaving me 5km for Christmas Eve. My route is vaguely worked out – wiggle through Hatton Garden, saunter through the Inns of Court and the Strand, nod at Buckingham Palace, and then do a lap or so of the park.

It’s surprisingly quiet in London, considering this is the last Saturday before Christmas, and before long I find myself at the Birdcage Walk entrance to the park. Now I know where all the people went, they are taking a stroll around the park, feeding the ducks, geese and marvelling at the antics of the squirrels. I am following my Strava route roughly and decide to pause just to make sure I am doing the right course and then see Mr JCR who has come to check up on progress, and my geographic tracking capabilities…

A loop of St James’s Park is done, with a small backward facing diversion and we reckon with a little bit of jiggery pokery, I can make these two loops become my 5km run on Christmas Eve. I have to continue on to make sure I reach today’s target and more or less on the roundabout near Admiralty Arch, the job is done.

Who’d have guessed it was even possible?

I had hoped we might have snow for Christmas, but the snowfall of donations, really helped me to slip and slide my way around the park today – thanks everyone!

Job done, now to stay injury free for just one more day.

Playlist

Last Christmas (twice) – Wham

Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid

Step Into Christmas – Elton John

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – The Supremes

Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues

All I Want For Christmas is You – Mariah Carey (twice)

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Buble

Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt and The Pussycat Dolls Version

Stay Another Day – East 17

Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses

Have Yourself A Merry Christmas – Sam Smith

Frosty The Snowman – The Ronettes

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Jackson Five

Walking In The Air – Aled Jones

The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole

Silent Night – Andrea Bocelli

Rockin’ Robin – Michael Jackson

A Spaceman Came Travelling – Chris De Burgh

Winter Wonderland – Gwen Stefani

A Winter’s Tale – David Essex

Stop The Cavalry – Jona Lewie

Stats

Distance 11.52km

Time 1:16:07

Average Pace 6:20

Elevation Gain 34 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 2013.00

Kms to Run 5.00

21 Dec – I’m Not Lazy – Honest!

Christmas Eve – 10am – My last leg…

I find myself in an extraordinary situation, having spent most of the year frantically making sure I am doing enough runs to give me a cushion in case of injury, I now have to NOT run, in case I do too much.

Mr JCR has been working with me on the plan to finish the challenge and on Christmas Eve at 10am in St James’s Park in London, I will be doing a gentle 5km to finish. I’m inviting any C25Kers or friends or Beyonders to join me if they wish to have the somewhat dubious honour of running with me for the last leg of my challenge.

Alzheimer’s Research have asked me to do one final fund raising push, so if anyone is in London on Christmas Eve, 10am and fancies a gentle pootle around St James’s Park, Mr JCR will be in attendance to take pics and provide some post-run goodies…

The fundraising link is here https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jancanrun

Or if you prefer, Mr JCR will carry a collecting tin for ARUK on the day. Donations are not obligatory, I’d just be happy to see people who’ve helped me through the year.

In any event I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

JCR XXX

17 Dec – Letting Kat Out Of The Bag

Meanwhile in our village in Italy….

Yesterday I met up with Kat from Alzheimer’s Research at Regent’s Park to run with me for one of my final runs, to close out the challenge and give AR some footage to use for fund-raising and encouragement to other people thinking of their own challenges.

We agreed to meet up at Great Portland Street tube, so we could run together. Cue two people wearing orange on a cold but blueish sky day in London. One of the last times I ran around Regent’s Park was when we had the Beast from the East, this time no beasts in evidence.

We started the run and to be honest I set off a little bit too ‘gung ho’ and just after a kilometre with Kat shadowing me and being videoed, we settled down to a more normal pace. Kat was a star, because she carried my extra warm running top on her back in a rucksack. And this is probably only the second time I’ve run with company (park runs don’t count imho, as there’s loads of folk, but you run on your own).

We talked about Alzheimer’s and one thing Kat told me was that one of their most requested pieces of information, was their leaflet telling you what you can do to minimise the risk of getting the disease. And I must admit I’d never thought of their role in that way, but of course education and prevention is as much a part of the cure, that we all want.

It was a lovely run and we managed around 7km in the park and then convened for a very welcome cup of coffee. The talk turned to my final run on Christmas Eve and I’ve more or less decided that I’ll run in St James’s Park and I’m thinking of asking people to join me and to donate to my fundraising for the privilege. This is me letting the Kat out of the bag. You heard it here first, if you’d like to join me on Christmas Eve (precise details, times etc., to be worked out probably tomorrow) and run with me on my final run and would be happy to make a small donation to Alzheimer’s Research for the somewhat dubious privilege of my company, then I’d love to see you. Mr JCR will be in attendance, although not running, and he’ll take pics for us to share with Alzheimer’s UK.

Playlist

Last Christmas – Wham

Step Into Christmas – Elton John

Let It Snow – Ella Fitzgerald

Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea

All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams

Stay Another Day – East 17

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Sam Smith

Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses

Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Jackson 5

Stats

Distance 12.15km

Time 1:24:03

Average Pace 6:55

Elevation Gain 49 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 2001.48 – Kat we hit the 2000 mark!!!

Kms To Run 16.52