25!25! Means I’m A Runner – Wk6 Run3

The day didn’t start well, as in the day started by me not being able to sleep, another 2am read of the newspaper, culminating in feeling like rubbish when the alarm went.  Much wrangling in the front loader with the grappling iron and I’m readyish to go. Onwards and upwards, today is the 25 minute interval run, a slight increase on last week’s twenty minute job.

Mr Smooth was his usual chirpy self and I decided to play my Numbers playlist because I could recall there was a song on it called 2525, (in my head) by a group called Zadig and Voltaire. Except Z&V is actually a fashion brand and the group’s name was actually Zager & Evans – stupid tart syndrome giving me fake memory syndrome.  Nonetheless I thought it would be quite good if I got to hear that tune during the run.

Being really conscious to keep the pace down, I set out for the City limits as usual, nice and quiet but quite grey. Seven minutes into my run around Finsbury Circle, I got the fright of my life when my NHS Responder alarm went off, it’s like a klaxon and quite loud in the old ears.

Oh bum, what to do – carry on running or answer the alarm? I should really have set my responder status to ‘off duty’ – another stupid tart syndrome moment. Okay I’m a volunteer and this is my sixth call – I haven’t actually completed one call yet, so I thought I’d answer the call and do the run later. And what do I find, a man in Nottinghamshire utterly perplexed as to why I was phoning. Here we go again, I rang the responder helpline and told them I was dropping the call as being in central London wasn’t awfully conducive to helping someone in Notts.

This is my third flaky location alert, after Yeovil and St Leonards On Sea. I’ve had one asking me for a defibrillator, one lady who did want a volunteer but not me, as she already had a favourite that she used, one call that was in South London and had been bounced by a responder just around the corner from me as it was too far away. And if it was too far for her, then it was also too far for me. Hmm not sure this app is working so well and for sure this run wasn’t working out so well either.

Okay decision time, do I just run for eighteen minutes more having had a ten-minute break talking to the responder helpline or do I start again? I started again, and realised my Spotify list had moved onto  Z&E singing In the Year 2525, truthfully you couldn’t make it up. I took the tune as an omen to start my run all over again, and carried on trucking around the City. Mr Smooth gets a lot quieter on the longer runs, which is a bit off-putting because I thought I may have lost the connection, but I kept my pace down and got to the one minute to go warning. At this stage Mr Smooth said something along the lines ‘if you feel you have the energy pick up the pace for the last minute’ – was he having a laugh?

It’s Mr Smooth and he’s not known for joking, therefore I decided I would try and up the pace but not for long. Luckily for me 21 Seconds To Go, by So Solid Crew came on, and I thought I’d accelerate for a count of 21 seconds, as my playlist uses the 12 inch version, which I hazarded may mean a total meltdown if I tried to accelerate for all of it.

A little longer than 21 seconds later, Mr Smooth told me my time was up and that this run made me a ‘runner’. Well I’ve been here before, but it does seem I’m getting there slowly.

Week 6 Run 3, 25 minutes down, listening to 2525, oh and a little extra seven minutes done too…

Stats

8km ish _ I reckon about 4kms on my main running bit, the rest was warming up and cooling down walks

2 stupid tart syndrome moments

6  failed opportunities as an NHS volunteer

Playlist

Best track for appropriateness The Year 2525 by Zager & Evans

Physio

Usual Stuff – blah, blah, blah

 

 

No Particular Place To Go – Week 6 Run 2

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He was a lot bigger close up

Another day, another run and back to longer intervals this time ten minutes, which surely should be a breeze after a twenty minute stint in Week Five. Funnily enough that’s not exactly how it works, mainly because your  brain tricks you into thinking you can pick up the pace and then when you do, you find that was a really, really stupid thing to do, because you sound like an asthmatic badger at the end of the first interval.

It’s a cooler day, which is better for running and keeps most folk indoors, which helps me not having to dodge wayward pedestrians/bikes/ skateboarders/those stupid scooters/buses etc, but didn’t help me work out the best pace. Ho hum.

Whilst I was  really stupid overdoing it on the first interval, I didn’t feel quite as bad as I thought I might. But that’s absolutely no reason to repeat the mistake, and the second interval is much more of a pootling pace, which was difficult to Donna Summer singing I Feel Love, followed by T Rex and MetalGuru, then Mud’s Tigerfeet, all of which are good feel-good songs for running, but not so great for maintaining a slower pace.

The City is gradually opening up again, you can feel and sense more movement, the air is slightly more metallic in taste and it’s harder to hear birdsong. But for now, the City still represents the best place to run. It’s not blessed with many green spaces, which keeps families at home, and it’s surprisingly easy to get lost if you don’t know where you are.

Even though I’ve worked in and around the City for over 30 years, you can still get lost by taking random turns. My newest discovery is Old Sreet Yard – a funky new office area with green space and a guy talking on his mobile phone. This is near the supposedly world famous Silicon Roundabout, an area which is being seriously gentrified, although the pace has slowed a little with the virus.

At this point, I had The Rubettes keeping me company, followed by The Bay City Rollers, and I was singing along to Shang A Lang. Tragic isn’t it? But the great thing about sing alongs is they help in stopping you from constantly looking at your timer wondering when the interval is up.  And the music worked a treat, job done, intervals done, and a warm down walk to follow.

I had no particular place to go, and was wandering home, when a green and grey and Celeste flash went past. Mr JCR doing his City Limits bike ride, I did shout and wave, but he was focussed, and didn’t see me.

Another three kilometres walked, to take me up to 8kms for the day, lovely jubbly as Del Boy would say.

No particular place to go but Wednesday is the twenty five minute stint and after that one it’s just a matter of time and tempo to hit the 5K mark. Wednesday is all about mind over matter, that means a no booze supper on Tuesday. (Mr JCR doesn’t know that – he’s not going to be happy…)

Stats

Just under 5km for the C25k walk/run

One statue liked

More modern art seen, but I got lost again and can’t actually remember where it was

Sing Out Loud Moments – three (cringe)

Physio

Pelvic Thrusting on the Floor

Bridges

Constipated Crab Walking

Squats

Hip Flexor Things

Clams

I’ve got to up the ante on these, so am thinking maybe I do fewer reps but start doing it every day, so I end up doing more. Not sure as I hate doing them, but I’ve torn an arm muscle so my kettlebells are out of the question.

Music

Glam Polly Mix

Best Track of the Run =  War by Edwin Starr, although my accompanying grunting probably was a bit distracting for some

 

 

 

 

Running in Iran – Week 6 Run 1

I remember distinctly the first time I ran this run, we were in Italy and had just said goodbye to our dear friends J & G, who had sold their house in a nearby village as they were returning to The Netherlands, as G has ALS and for a variety of reasons living between two countries wasn’t going to be easy to accomplish.

One of the great things of our friendship is the love of pretty much all things Italian (roads and bureaucracy excepted) and so a deep and mutual love for wine, meant that the first time I did this run, it was with a hangover head, as we’d had a goodbye meal and drink the night before.

I also remember clearly that I couldn’t actually do the intervals,  it was an epic fail on the run, and I was really, really angry. Angry at choosing to run on a day when it would have been better to accept reality and nurse the headache. Angry because physically there was no reason I couldn’t run, whereas for G running is something that ALS was to steal from him. Angry, because it was the one and only run I had to repeat. Angry because stupid tart syndrome had hit me hard.

Pointless anger to be honest, because two days later I attempted the run and did it easily. And so to today’s attempt – the third time I’ve actually done this run. This is back to shorter intervals and in principle it should be easier as my last one was a 20 minute stint. But I know from all my friends on the C25K trail that this particular run often catches you out and bites you on the bum. So I gave myself a good talk prior to going out, I wasn’t going to do a super sprint effort, I was going to take it easy and just get it done and anger was not going to feature.

Mr Smooth told me it’s another week of different runs and to take it easy, but that he knew I could do it. I pootled to the City and some of the Guild’s gardens that are blissfully quiet at the weekend, and decided when at Saddler’s Hall that I’d do some snakes and ladders runs, up and down slopes and staircases, to help build stamina.

Well that plan got scuppered when running the slope for the umpteenth time an old lady and her companion pushing her wheelchair gestured that they wanted to sit on the benches in the sun. It seemed childish and churlish to say I’d got there first, so I smiled and ran on to find another oasis, remembering the ‘no anger’ pledge.

Running through the mini tree-lined avenue I aimed for Goldsmith’s Hall, it had no slope but a staircase, and a rather funky leopard’s head above its entrance.  These gardens are rather small, and so somewhat reluctantly I carried on, heading towards the Bank of England, looping back I skirted around Saddler’s Hall once more, just in case it was empty and I could finish there, but it had more folks there, so I turned back to the funky leopard and there my intervals ended. Run done, no problems, no hangover head, no sweat. It was such a nice run, that I continued for a few more minutes, which is totally against the C25K mantra of following the programme religiously, but it was only for a couple of minutes more. I definitely felt the running gene kicking back in, it’s been a long time absent.

Then when combining the run with grocery shopping I pulled out my credit card to find that I’d lost the other one (it must have happened whilst taking pics). Oh bum , don’t get angry JCR, just get organised. A very pleasant clean cut American answered my lost card call, I explained I’d lost the call on my morning run and could they stop it please. And the answer back was ‘So Mrs JCR, you say you’ve lost your card in Iran’. Being American he said Eye Ran phonetically.

Well I-ran around the City, but not Iran and I explained – he had little chuckle and we carried on.

Today’s run – no snakes and ladders, but I found a funky leopard, lost my credit card but not my temper.

Stats

4km of run/walking in Iran

Espied one funky leopard

Lost a credit card

Gained a sense of perspective on W6R1

Ran for an extra two minutes

No hip twinge!

Physio

Usual stuff, it might be working even though I hate every bit of it

Music

Glam Polly Mix

Best track was So you Win Again by Hot Chocolate, because I did

Tickled Pink – Week 5 Done

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After my last run through a fart cloud on a clear blue sky day, I was hoping for the same conditions minus the fart cloud. The day didn’t start well when I couldn’t cope with the front loader, but Mr JCR pointed out it comes with a self-contained grappling hook to help. Aha, so much easier when you know how. RTFM – JCR, except bras don’t come with manuals, so how was I supposed to know?

Sure enough, the irony of being in lockdown whilst we have what must be one of the warmest and sunniest Aprils on record, made me smile wryly and go out for my date with Mr Smooth, with just a bit of trepidation. But I’ve done this before, so I know it’s doable.

Today is generally the OMG run in C25K when you go from having run a maximum of eight minutes in one stint to a twenty minute job.

I cannot believe as a self-confessed lizard that I had to seek the shade, but my thinking was I am not used to running for twenty minutes, my right hip is still not quite right and the last thing I need on top of all those factors is running in full sun. So this lizard was scuttling in the shade and close to home.

My second thinking preparation was that should I suffer the humiliation of not completing the leg, then I can wander home crying my eyes out or swearing at myself loudly for the shortest distance possible to minimise the public embarrassment.

This doesn’t exactly sound like positive thinking really, but with a slash of runner’s red lipstick  and a bottle of water, I was ready to go.

And I did it, that’s it. No fart clouds, no incidences, a trouble-free twenty minute stint and I could have done more, but decided discretion was the better part of valour. I continued walking to the 6km mark to enjoy the sun as a true lizard would.

On my way back to the apartment I noticed that the recently planted magnolias were still  in bloom, and I reckon they matched my mood, I was tickled pink at the achievement and I reckon the flower wasn’t magnolia pink at all, more like Berry Smoothie in my opinion.

At least my face had calmed down and was a muted sorbet colour.

A day of rest and then Week 6 of C25K beckons, back to shorter intervals, but I think I can now start to pick up the pace, and if that happens then my face will be a lot closer to fuchsia than magnolia.

Stats

6km walk/run

No fart clouds

1 blue sky

Physio

Same as usual

Playlist

Back to the 80s with Razouski Original

Best track – Alive and Kicking by Simple Minds it got me through the terrible 10s (when you’re running anaerobically)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YNWA with Mr Blue Sky

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Listening to the radio hearing how ‘YNWA’ by Michael Ball and Captain Tom is likely to make Captain Tom the first centenarian topping the charts, Mr JCR forewarned me as I get upset when I hear this song.

YNWA is Liverpool FC’s anthem, and for me it’s my dad’s too. When he was dying in the care home, one thing I can remember reading was that sense of hearing is maintained to the last and that listening to music in your final stages  of life can be quite calming.  I remembered some of the songs he liked – Tiger Feet by Mud, Betcha By Golly Wow by The Stylistics,  The Power of Love by Jennifer Rush. And so on my final sole night shift with my dad, I played him some of those songs, but he brushed away Jennifer Rush. I certainly wasn’t going to play Tiger Feet or some of dad’s other favourite songs like Lily The Pink, so it came down to Gerry and The Pacemakers, my dad and me listening to YNWA on repeat. I don’t know if he heard it or not, I hope he did. But now I can’t listen to it without crying, and so I really thought I’d cry listening to Michael Ball and Captain Tom, but I didn’t, it’s not the same for me, it doesn’t have the resonance of those precious hours, but I hope it has resonance for other people to be able to say thanks to the NHS and all key workers.

I prepped to run in a slightly pensive mood, wearing one of my dad’s handkerchiefs as a makeshift mask.  Today is really the midway run on C25K, with the nemesis run due next. But what do you know, Mr Blue Sky was in appearance, helping give me a kick up the bum to go out. The first 8 minute run came and went, I wasn’t exactly burning the tarmac but my pace was nice and steady and I was happy enough. Then came the pace walk to prepare for the next 8 minute run and whoosh, floods of tears. Pretty much arrived out of nowhere.

Red faced, snotty-nosed, crying middle-aged woman. There is something to be said for the lockdown, there wasn’t anyone around to witness the collapse and I really didn’t think I could run, I just wanted to go home. But I was wearing my dad’s handkerchief/mask and I felt it would be an insult to him to wimp out and not finish the run. Mr Smooth interjected and told me it would soon be time to pick up my running legs once more… I decided instead of waiting for his approval I’d just start running and see if I could keep on, without melting away into a puddle of tears. And I managed it, it wasn’t too bad, I ran through the tears and came out the other side.

The sky was blue and so was my mood, but an odd thing turned it around. On my warm down walk back home, I saw a very strange thing.  In front of me a guy got out of his van stood on the side of the pavement for about 10 seconds and then got in his van and drove off.  He wasn’t smoking, taking a call, littering, checking roadsigns or lines, or anything at all that I could see. I was perplexed and then five seconds later, I wasn’t perplexed anymore –  I walked through a fart cloud, the man had got out of his van and farted, so that he didn’t have to deal with the whiff.

Now dad’s handkerchief mask does not have gas filtration as standard, so yes I smelt it and it made me giggle, I know it’s a childish thing, but it was quite funny and so my mood changed. All those stupid sayings ‘ he who smelt it, dealt it’ etc.

From feeling blue with Mr Blue Sky above, to giggling away and I just know my dad would have thought that was funny too.

From a blue sky to a fart cloud, my nemesis run next time out, can’t be worse than a fart cloud can it?

Stats

  • c.4km on the run bit – 8km run/walk in total
  •  1 Crying fit
  • 1 Giggling Fit
  • 1 Fart Cloud

Physio

All of the usual, except I decided it would be good to check out my technique on the Pelvic lift and Bridge moves. Well what do you know the proper way to do them is nothing like Rocky Horror… Stupid Tart Syndrome has hit again

Playlist

I know I listened to my Spotify Deck of Ginger Ale list but only one track was playing in my head and it was YNWA.

 

 

Meeting Mr Smooth

 

 

Sunday morning brings the dawning, It’s just a restless feeling by my side

So begins the lyrics of Sunday Morning by Velvet Underground. Mr JCR is up and at ‘em, doing a team bike ride on our balcony, with his cycling club in Italy. Truth be known I should be running, but I got to sleep late again (4am) and have a headache, so ignore the restless person and continue to snooze. Much later on, Mr JCR is at home, we’ve ordered a full Sunday lunch for Mr JCR to pick up, so I decide to run in the afternoon, after lunch. Mr JCR arches his eyebrows ‘Are you sure that’s a good idea?’ they query, and in truth there is a point, it is difficult running after food, especially Sunday roast and trimmings.

But with a head pounding and the tablets yet to take effect, running with headache is a seriously bad idea too. I am dressed in my running gear though, which acts as a mental kick up the bum to go out – I never wear sports gear casually. Late afternoon I’m mooching on the web and look into Health Unlocked  and the C25K support group. MummyCav has posted she’s gone out, so that’s it I have no choice, if she has then I have to. During my running challenge in 2018, I spent some time looking for her running mojo, but this time it’s all about finding mine. Emotional blackmail via a lovely post describing her run, does just the trick.

I’m all set and Tom Petty comes on ‘I won’t back down’, well I have my kit on and so I can’t back down now. Out I go into the City which is deathly quiet as usual, Mr Smooth interjects and tells me this week is going to be a little tricky, as every run is different culminating in the 20 minutes stretch which happens on Thursday.

I start my first run and it’s fine, no issues, no nasty cyclists, no builder’s bums, just a nice smooth run. I make my way to Paternoster Square which is bathed in sunlight and a perfect place to do a circuit, but there’s a few people in there so I decide to dip into the side streets around St Pauls instead. Here it’s cooler, darker and really tranquil, as ever I take the road less travelled and found this extraordinary gentleman’s outfitters. Now I know where to come for my next fancy dress outfit.

Mr Smooth interrupts and tells me I have one more run to go and to keep the pace no matter how slow that may be. And so I do, I trot slowly back to Paternoster Square and think how nice it would be to meet up with Mr Smooth, to keep me company. The closest I can get to him however is skirting the ‘Meet’ statue. Not quite the same, but still it’s more or less my cue to finish my final run.

Thanks Bev for the final push – it wasn’t my best ever effort, but it’s one more step on the running road – no twinges today so maybe things are looking up. Next run is truthfully the halfway point of C25K. Mr Smooth is upping the ante, but he tells me he will be by my side. Mr Smooth I’ll meet you at the ‘meet’ sign – see you there Tuesday?

Stats

5.5km run/walking

Two interesting statues

One necessary nudge from Mr JCR and Bev

Physio

Same as last time – yawn!!

Music

Deck Of Ginger Ale Playlist

Most appropriate track – ‘I Won’t Back Down’ – Tom Petty

 

 

 

Stumbling into Unknown Territory

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By no stretch of the imagination is this park hidden…

Last week I was reading about how a journalist was discovering his home city of Edinburgh – through walking as part of his lockdown exercise hour. He was describing many places and sights that had remained unseen, although he was a regular walker in his own area. As he pointed out, prior to the lockdown his other walks had never been done for the pleasure of a walk, but always as part of doing something else, such as buying a paper, going to the off-licence and so on.

With his focus on the destination and not the journey (Mr JCR will hate that last word), he realised there were many byways he didn’t know and unusual sights to discover, and that is exactly what I found today. I’ve lived, walked, work and ran in London on and off for 15 years and I discovered a hidden park, well to be frank not in the least bit hidden. Evidently, every time I’ve ran through Bunhill Fields, thinking it was a cemetery and all behind iron railings,  I’d been blinkered and  failed to notice that there was an open area of parkland in there too. We are in EC1, so the word parkland maybe stretching it a bit, if you’re thinking open savannah with Toto’s Africa playing in the background, and a gentle breeze caressing grasses –  it’s a  little bigger than your average suburban lawn, but it does have trees and Covid isolation benches and for all these years I’ve missed it.

Hmmm, I wonder what else I’ve missed? Well looking at my last post again, I’ve realised I have missed basic maths too. Half way through C25K would be Week Five JCR, not Week Four and a Half. Doh, Stupid Tart Syndrome has hit me again.

During the early hours of this morning, when I couldn’t sleep I was calculating the number of runs left to C25K graduation and the number of days in lockdown. Realistically, I will re-graduate in May, hopefully in Italy, but I’m guessing probably in the UK. If I keep to the regime, I may even graduate on my dad’s birthday, which wasn’t in the plan, as the whole family were supposed to be going to Liverpool to scatter his ashes in the Mersey and hit Chinatown for his favourite Chinese restaurant.

This leads me to wonder whether graduating on his birthday would be a good idea or not. I’m guessing our family won’t be together, because we live in different towns and countries and I have a feeling that May 19th, maybe one of the hardest runs to get through, not least because it’s the culminating run, but I have a feeling I’ll be stumbling over tears.

Still best not dwell on something you can’t control, which leads me to today’s run. Well I actually found this one harder than the other two, although the run/walk intervals are exactly the same. It was cooler today, which is generally a help, but it just didn’t work out very well. The first run interval was quite laboured, brightened up by the incredibly rare event of a motorcyclist beckoning to me continue running, even though the traffic lights were in his favour.

Ordinarily that kind of courtesy gives me a shot in the arm or legs to be more precise, but I was a bit ploddy. After the second walk interval, I was off again and the feet were leaden, but more concerningly my right hip was aching quite a bit. The hip issue stopped me from running last year – any kind of motor action such as walking/jogging or sprinting hurt significantly and on both sides. I’ve been doing my physio religiously, despite not being bendy and hating it every time, so I have a little niggling feeling that all is not well in the JCR hip front. Upside  – it is only on one side not both.

Still best not dwell on something you can’t control, I continued my run up to Upper Street to buy fish on a Friday, and a second courtesy occurred, this time a cyclist gestured me to go ahead of him. This did give me a shot in the legs and I spurted up a bit, trying to look as though I could accelerate easily, and yup Stupid Tart Syndrome hit and I stumbled across the road having tripped over my own feet.

I tried to look like Joe Cool, and focussed my attention on two guys working out in the local park, but I don’t think the cyclist was fooled for one moment as he smiled at my trip.

Still that is Week Four done and dusted, it wasn’t unknown territory at all, but it does lead me to Week Five, and things start getting interesting. Mr Smooth is going to have his work cut out as I get to do my first 20 minutes interval run – yikes.

Stats

Walk /Run combo – shows as 6k but I missed 10 minutes of walking so probably 7kms

2 courtesy gestures

I hidden park

I stumble

Physio

Everything I did last time, with the addition of some swinging attempts to touch toes – the guys in the park could do it easily, so I thought I’d give it a try. Let’s just say touching toes remains an unknown territory too.

Playlist 

Deck of Ginger Ale

Best songs, (even though I was stumbling and not really running) Running Down a Dream – Tom Petty and I Ran (So Far Away) – A Flock of Seagulls

 

Coping and Hoping Week 4 Run 2

Coping and hoping was the phrase the cashier used at my necessary shopping trip yesterday, when I asked him how was he doing.

I’m coping with the lockdown relatively easily, it’s a bit frustrating not being able to pop out whenever you want, but we have been able to eat restaurant meals at home c/o Casa Do Frango (upmarket Nandos for oldies like me who won’t go to Nandos) and Bistrotheque, both of which do lovely food and deliver. It’s our ‘once a weekend’ treat and it’s my job this weekend to sort out the restaurant meal, I have a feeling The Quality Chop House in Farringdon may be starring at Chez JCR this weekend.

Back to today’s run, despite coping with the lockdown I still keep on hoping that my running legs will improve and I can move onto loping, rather than this sloping, rolling gait I have.  The run gets off to a stuttering start as I receive an emergency call on my NHS Volunteer App, but although the lady wanted help she didn’t want me, she wanted her ‘usual’ helper and apologised for disturbing me. I’ve done my training, but I don’t think the patients have been trained up, so you have to feel your way in helping them. She was very polite and apologetic, but I hoped I could have helped her as she would have been my ‘first’ help.

One false start down, I start running afresh but my right hip is grumbling still; I don’t mope nor use dope, but keep on that downward slope towards finishing C25K. Today is the halfway point run, nope I didn’t see that coming either, and Mr Smooth was very supportive telling me he’d be with me all the way.  The intervals are okay and actually I did put on a spurt at one point to overtake a couple who were ambling very slowly, but it made me realise how much of my acceleration I’ve lost. The extra timber I’m carrying doesn’t help, still lighter days, lighter food may make for a lighter JCR.

A glorious day and three sets of interval runs, doing just that little bit more than Mr Smooth asked of me. I had some fish to buy, so continued loping to Upper Street and made a long circular walk home, coping, hoping, loping and shopping all done in one trip. Another emergency call from my NHS App, so I logged in again and decided that I wasn’t  going to be much help to someone in St Leonards on Sea! I think the app needs a bit of fine-tuning, just like my running, but we’ll get there. Hoping and coping applies as much to me as it does the NHS.

A quick detour via Fortune Park and I espied the borage flowers in the community herb and veg garden, which I think is probably not going to be managed at all over these isolation weeks, which is a shame for all the efforts put in so far.

Halfway through C25K, will it also be halfway through this Coronavirus nightmare? I hope to goodness we’re over the halfway mark, as I’m really looking forward to running back in Italy.

Playlist 

Most appropriate tracks:-

Every Day Hurts by Sad Cafe – I’m sad there are so few cafes open

I Ran (So Far Away) by Flock of Seagulls – actually I didn’t run that far, but I did do over 8km on today’s outing.

Deck of Ginger Ale

Stats

Walk/ran 8km (included false start)

Lots of ‘opes’

Shopping – crab, salmon, clams, John Dory and veggies

Physio

Pelvic Thrusting  a la Rocky Horror

Hip Flexor Routine

Clams

Squats

Bridges

Constipated Crab Walking

Touching Toes – managed to reach the bit between the bottom of my leggings and my ankle, I’m not exactly killing this am I?

 

 

 

 

 

Gutter Running Week 4 Run 1

A sleepy Bank Holiday Monday run beckoned and I got changed rather hopefully into shorts, then when Mr JCR gave me an official weather warning from the Balcony Meteorological Office, I duly changed into leggings, a long sleeved top and running jacket.

Week 4 on C25K turns up the heat a little, in that each run/walk interval increases so that you do more running than walking. Classic interval training. As ever the City beckoned, mainly because it is reliably quiet and there aren’t so many awkward squad folk around, you know the type. The ones who won’t keep their distance, and in fact seem to make a beeline for you.  So I decided to mooch around some of the City side streets listening to my Dad Dancing playlist, which is full of great tunes to make you smile. I was listening to Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc  – I didn’t find a ‘A brother from the gutter’ nor did ‘They looked me up and down a bit’ or ‘turn to each other’.  But  I was in touching distance of Gutter Lane, which must be where those brothers actually hang out.

The street names in this area really reflect the truth from the City’s medieval past, and Gutter Lane, I was convinced would be a rather nasty sewage related place, but in fact it turns out it’s a corruption of Godrun/Guthrun  and became Gutter Lane in the 1500s. Unsurprisingly, there’s only one Gutter Lane in all of Britain and I got to run down it.

Enough of gutters, it’s bad enough being in lockdown, without keeping my mind there, so I channelled my inner Oscar Wilde (no similarities at all really – male vs female, Irish vs English, went to jail vs. only visited jail in Monopoly, drank a lot, aha I’ve found the missing link).

He famously said ‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars’. 

I thought star searching would be in order, I did my first couple of runs in and around Cheapside and headed towards St Pauls, where I knew I’d find some angels. Looking up it made me smile, although I was a little puffed, having done my first longer 5 minute interval run. Okay they’re not stars but they are heavenly creatures, and I am not running in the dark. Looking down towards the pavement I saw the tulips, I really love this sign of Spring, it’s very cheery and kept me going.

Mr Smooth was his usual encouraging self, and reminded me if I was suffering from a stitch  (I wasn’t) a drink of water would be in order. Except I’d forgotten the water again, curses my running routine still isn’t off-pat. I need to have a running station ready in London, except there’s precious little room here, and there’s no space for one.

I ran into Ely Place which strictly speaking can be considered to be in Cambridgeshire and at this time Greased Lightning was on, and so I sped down the place, twirling around the lampposts, which was a bit childish but great fun. My final walking interval took me up to Chancery Lane tube and I did my final 5 minute sprint there – in truth not so much a sprint, as a trudge. But job done – the first week when running overtakes the walking.

Walking towards home I spotted my final gutter reference and it was the cherry blossom in the street gutters, who knew litter could be so pretty?

Stats

Run/Walk 6km

Twirled  around seven lampposts

Dodged two renegade cyclists

Physio

Upped the ante today for this week of runs

Rocky Horror Pelvic Thrusting – 2 sets of 11 reps

Hip Flexor Thingy – 2 sets of 4 reps with velcro and weights on legs

Clams – 2 sets of 16 reps

Bridge – 1 set of 11 reps

Squats – 2 sets of 11 reps

Constipated Crab Movement –  2 sets of 8 reps

Touching Toes – let’s be honest ain’t never going to happen , a plank of wood has more bend than me. But I got to touch the hem of my leggings and that has to be progress 🙂

Playlist

Dad Dancing Classics

Reaching for the Sky

 

Okay JCR – today is the last run of Week 3 on C25K, now we start upping the ante.

But of course, I have to take it slowly and whilst I may want to reach for the sky metaphorically and take things apace, I mustn’t. And so I keep my feet firmly planted on the ground and grind out the run. It’s not too strenuous an effort, but my hip twinges and despite the weird physio routine, things aren’t loosening up. But I feel the routine coming back to me and the desire to start overtaking, which in the days of social distancing I don’t do, unless I can steer a very wide berth.

Whilst I’m sure I’m healthy and not full of Coronavirus, I don’t know for sure that I’m not one of those superspreaders who are asymptomatic. What I do know is I’m rapidly becoming a super fridge opener – one of the downsides of being confined to barracks with one living space and a fridge that whispers sweet nothings all through the day…

Yesterday I ignored the two slices of cheesecake in the fridge and gnawed on two sticks of celery instead. It has to be said I felt virtuous, until we hit the crisps later on.

After a healthyish light breakfast I set out, for my final Week 3 run, Mr Smooth caressing the airwaves with enthusiasm and encouragement. Listening to my famous names play list, I was running to Norman Bates by Landscape, when I spotted the people in the pic. It’s 24 degrees and she was wearing a fake fur jacket, blimey I don’t know how she managed it. I was in shorts and a running vest and that was warm, I think I would have melted into a puddle if I’d been wearing that jacket.

The City was quiet as usual and the pace was nice and easy. Finding shade also not too bad, as with all the skyscrapers invariably one can find a shady spot.

The run/walk intervals make it easy to keep a nice slow steady pace, and Mr Smooth tells me not to bounce as it wastes energy – with my new camouflage front loader, there’s absolutely no wobble going on. But it did prove to be a strength test first thing, me versus lycra and elastic combination in the frontloader, and I’ve pulled a muscle in my right arm, so the bra did bite back.

On my warm down walk, I came across the crane in South Place, opposite my old office and marvelled at the precision of the crane driver, he was moving stuff to the top storey and it was like engineering ballet. Fair play to him and his workmates – they were all socially distancing. With him about 100 feet in the air, it was a bit easier for him than them.

That’s nine runs done and for anyone wondering, it’s becoming mildly addictive again. The usual post-run physio beckoned.

Next week with the run intervals increasing, I think I have to up the reps on my physio routine. Oh joy, I feel a plonker doing it anyway, but needs must.

  • Pelvic Thrusting a la Rocky Horror
  • Hip Flexor Thingies – involving a leg weight and velcro
  • Clams
  • Squatting
  • Bridges – pelvic thrusts without the thrusting
  • Constipated crab walking
  • Touching toes – well I got closer to them today – enough to see my nail varnish needs tidying up

Stats

3.8km run/walk

1 fur jacket seen

I crane in the sky

Music

Famous Names Playlist