Wk 11 Run 2 – Giving Battle in Vain

Today is Team Violet Day on the Rainbow Challenge. Yesterday on my dry run  for today as I was scared I’d muck it up, I found a gorgeous violet bicycle up against one of the City’s bike planter stands, coincidentally with violet coloured flowers in them.

But that was yesterday, today I have to run non-stop for 19 minutes and so photos  of violet coloured items have to be in second place.

First part of the challenge to wear something violet in your running clothing and my choices were:

  1. Dad’s Friday Socks (they have Friday embroidered in them) – he had daily socks to help him with his Alzheimer’s confusion
  2. My Brooks trainers which have a kind of violet flash on them
  3. My Liverpool V Southampton Wristband, which I was wearing when I took some of  my dad’s ashes to Anfield (we won!!! – sorry Mr JCR)

Second part of the challenge, to choose a suitable baton to pass onto the next runner.(thankfully you don’t have to run with it)

My receiving baton was a vacuum cleaner pole, and my choice of baton to pass on is a choice between Christopher Wren gin (violet label and a rather natty bottle shaped like St Paul’s dome) or Belvoir Blackcurrant cordial (posh Ribena).

Suitably snapped I went out, and synchronised my Map My Run and Count Down Timer. Listening to my colour’s play list, altered yesterday to include Coldplay’s Violet Hill, in honour of today’s rainbow relay, I started my warm up walk to Madness and Grey Day, except of course it’s not and Mr Blue Sky would have been more fitting, but Spotify is on random, and so you get no choice in appropriateness.

The City is slowly waking up from lockdown paralysis and I decided to stay in the back streets for shade and coolness. Of course old habits die hard and  I found myself trying to find violet things to snap on my camera, but that would hold me up and taking pics doesn’t count as running. I decided to speed up a bit, which in hindsight was a bit of a mistake. Cyndi Lauper’s True Colours coincided with my first lousy attempt at a sprint, followed in quick succession with Lavender by Marillion. Of course the first ten minutes are always horrid when running, and trying to push yourself when you haven’t really got into a rhythm was a little bit stupid. Hence today’s post title, it wasn’t Richard Of York  who Gave Battle In Vain, it was JCR.

A bit of violet vanity got in the way of being sensible, and so of course I slowed down quite considerably,  and even when Yellow Submarine came on which is quite jaunty, I can confirm that my legs weren’t and I wasn’t.

On my second squiggly loop Map My Run Mechanical Voice Lady told me I’d done 15 minutes, and at this point I was getting nervous that I may mess up the timekeeping. To the tune of Golden Years and Mr Bowie, I made my way towards Throgmorton Avenue, which is a little known alleyway in the City. My old employers NatWest used to have offices there, and I know it’s in shade during the morning. I entered Throgmorton Avenue to His Purple Highness and Purple Rain – what a fantastic tune and he accompanied me to the end of the Violet relay.

It wasn’t quite the right coloured song, but close enough I reckon, and whilst on my run, I didn’t see anything violet,  but I made up for it on my warm down walk. Violet flowers in a window box, the NatWest door sign. And I resisted the temptation to snaffle a Flake Ice Cream from Marks and Sparks…

Today wasn’t totally in vain. I feel fine, despite having run yesterday. I’ve learnt that sprinting from the off, is a truly dreadful idea and having a mini challenge is a really good idea.

Kirsti on Team Violet, choose your baton – naughty or nice and good luck for your relay tomorrow.


Distance 2.66km in 19.02 minutes (pathetic)

Improved self control


Do I have to?


Raspberry Cornet

Best track – Purple Rain by His Purple Highness, never was a track so perfectly timed

Week 11 C25K – Dry Running for Team Violet


Today is the first run of week 11 on C25K. Well as you all know there isn’t such a thing, but if I keep writing as though I’m on a programme, hopefully the running bug will stick.

To help with the stickiness, I’ve volunteered to be part of the  Facebook C25K Beyonders Rainbow running challenge as a deputy. The challenge had already been set and Team Violet needed an emergency stand in for tomorrow’s run. The challenge is to run as far as you can in 19 minutes, choose a suitable team coloured baton and be wearing one item of clothing in said colour.

My scheduled appearance for Team Violet is tomorrow, but that doesn’t exactly fit with my schedule, as my Week 11 runs start today, Sunday and then Tuesday. I didn’t want to shirk running today as I desperately want to keep the habit going.

Team Violet need the help and I quite like the challenge, as it’s fun to be part of something, so I’m running today and tomorrow. Which as fellow runners know is not really the best thing to do, when you’re a beginner. But I have done this before, and so today’s run was a dry run, just to see what I could do.

Screenshot 2020-05-26 at 15.11.29

I have chosen my ‘baton’  and I’ve identified a pair of my dad’s socks I can wear – they’re his Friday socks with a violet coloured band, to be worn on a Saturday but I’m sure he’d appreciate the irony of his daughter knowing the day but wearing the wrong socks on it. I’ve added Violet Hill by Coldplay to my Colours Playlist. So I’m all set for tomorrow’s little run out, except…

I don’t actually know how to set up my running kit to run 19 minutes. Map My Run has a timed prompt of 5 minutes or 10 minutes, so that doesn’t work. Maybe I need to set the timer function separately or just run looking at the phone until the 19 minute mark is reached.

I tried that today and unfortunately, with it being very warm, by the time I got my phone out of its holder and pressed stop, I’d gone beyond the 19 minute deadline. My fingers were so sweaty they slid off the phone.

Also I got sidetracked, when I saw the violet coloured bike near the violet pansies, it just had to be photographed, but that meant I wasn’t really running for 19 minutes non-stop because I faffed a lot taking the pic, and same issue with sweaty fingers.

After much deliberation, I’ve decided I will run to my playlist, have Map My Run On and I will add in the timer function on my phone. Oh and I’ll go out earlier in the day so that I don’t get sweaty fingers.

Sounds like a plan Jan, so the dry run ended up being a sweaty run, but I learnt a lot. the main lesson being I’m useless with technology.

Today’s stats a little down, because I didn’t want to overcook things when I’m going to be running on successive days.



Time – way too long


Yawn – yes it was done…

Colours Playlist

Including new track Violet Hill by Coldplay, which I’d never heard before, but quite liked it. It was the closing track on my run today, once that came on I decided to  call it a day, so that I can run again tomorrow.





C25K – Week 10 Done, and So Was I

The last run of week 10 beckoned and I was faffing. Get ready, add the shopping bag to my running shoes, because today is a fish run. Put the laundry on, take the rubbish out, chat to the concierge, strut on my warm up walk. Flash of panic, I can’t recall locking the apartment door, a run back to the block, check the door, it was fine, start the warm up strut again, slightly pinker in face than when I’d started.

Not so much JCR as Jan Can Panic, after being Jan Can Prevaricate.

On my second attempt, I decided just to run where my legs would take me – minimum 30 minutes or 5km whichever was manageable. It was very muggy and I was being covered in thrips whilst running. Particularly gruesome when they go in your mouth. Ugh.

I decided to head up West a bit via Holborn and the Inns of Court area, it’s usually quiet here and I was listening to my colours playlist, which has a reasonable number of His Purple Highness’ tracks – I’d got through Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret and Cream by the time I saw even more lovely flowers near St Pauls.

My favourite track is on this playlist is Purple Rain, but stubbornly His Purple Highness refused to play ball. My running mate Mummycav has the most fantastic pair of new red trainers and I thought of her taking them out for the inaugural run when Elvis Costello came on, singing Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes. I was aiming towards The Strand and took a little diversion and came across my final pic.

I don’t know if it was a lockdown hint, but like most people my ‘standards’ have taken a tumble during these past couple of months. From my hair being immaculately coloured and cut every 4 weeks, to a a badger stripe of roots having to be cunningly disguised with L’Oreal’s magic spray. Maybe I need to also look at the old eyebrows and see if they need sorting too, if so Tweezer’s Alley is the best place to do that work al fresco.

A couple of weeks ago, whilst running around the City I came across Whalebone Court, and I thought then I may need that kind of corseting to get back into pre Corona belly shape. So whilst London’s gardens are ablaze with colour and in their prime, I find my self needing hair colour, an eyebrow shape and looking less than sublime.

Maybe a virtual shopping trip run is necessary for me to improve my wardrobe and grooming, that could be a good theme for next time out maybe. I feel a running plan coming into being.

The 5kms were done but it was a struggle to get going in the warmth of mid-day. Note to self, get up earlier!


5km run

Another 5km walk

One False Start


Same old, same old


Colours playlist

Best track Purple Rain, even though His Purple Highness waited until I’d got back into the apartment.



Knuckling Down in Lockdown – Wk 10 Run 2

In 2018, I set myself a challenge to run 2018km, to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research.

Lessons learnt from that include:-

  • Setting a challenge is a good thing
  • Setting a stupid challenge is a bad thing
  • Preparation for challenges is more important than I thought
  • Habits take longer than one year to stick

With these lessons in mind, I’ve decided to set myself a new running challenge for 2020.

To keep running three times a week. Knuckling down to a commitment.

That’s it, no specific split times, personal best records, distances or stupid macho targets (what is the female version of macho by the way?)

And now my new running routine will be Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. It gives me an extra day off a week, from the Couch to 5K regimen of running every other day. I’d like to get back to running greater distances, but at present I’m happy pootling at the 5km mark.

Bearing this in mind, I set out today into a fresher morning around the City, unfortunately Paula is still misbehaving, and I’ve finished my antibiotics. Being a lizard is probably not helping, so I’m upping my water intake to see if that helps.

It’s cooler today and that bodes well as the heat really hits my desire and ability to run. Off I trot starting off on my reggae playlist, which generally has a fantastic pace for me.

Peter Parka isn’t on duty and all is quiet on a City Sunday morning, I make my way towards the Bank of England and ran past these cheeky chaps guarding the entrance to Drapers’ Hall. I’d quite like having these as entrance guards to a fancy pad, but probably a bit over the top for our apartment.

As usual I give myself a mini challenge to find somewhere I haven’t run and a little while later I ended up in Austin Friars Passage, with a very old fashioned sign at its entrance. It’s not that close to the Stock Exchange anymore and I don’t think the company exists anymore, they certainly weren’t on the second door on the right as I ran through.

My 3km warning rang and I was feeling nice and comfortable, save for Paula making her presence known, and I thought it would be better to run closer to home just in case. It was an uneventful run, but plenty of other runners nearby. I have noticed though that no-one really acknowledges you when you do a fly by.

I always smile, nod,  and then try not to look stalkerish or deranged, but my fellow runners don’t respond. I wonder why that is? True enough today I only passed men, and they may feel it’s a bit difficult/awkward smiling at a woman, but I’m hardly a sex symbol on legs, and certainly don’t look anything like ‘pick-upable’ or presentable when I’m running.

Or maybe that’s the reason…

And they were all ages and shapes, it’s not as if I was perving at an Idris Elba lookalike.  I think I may break my pledge to only have one challenge on running, I’ll see if I can collect a smile/acknowledgment/wave from fellow runner next time out.

Whilst pondering the mysteries of runners and whether I have a really off-putting face, mechanical voice lady piped up that I’d completed the 5kms.

Well that’s Run 2 of Week 10 completed, I just want to keep the running streak up, Suzy K – graduation is getting ever nearer, now MummyCav has done her 10k, you and I have to keep the smaller runs going.


5km run

2km walk

A screaming fit at Spotify when it dropped my playlist and gave me some random country music


  • Squats
  • Bridges
  • Clams
  • Hip Flexors
  • Pelvic Thrusts
  • Crabs
  • Touching Toes


Rooting for Reggae Playlist

I think this is a bit short on tracks, but Three Little Birds by Bob Marley got me into a lovely rhythm.


Leaving Couch to 5K Behind


Okay and so it begins, proper running. Only this time around maybe don’t give yourself a stupid target to aim for JCR.

Usual plan post C25K is to consolidate your runs, by either running the thirty minutes interval or 5km until you get it under your belt and decide to go for speed or distance or both if you’re superhuman.

I’m too old for speed, but think distance is more my thing, when I was fully fit I really enjoyed doing 8- 12k runs, and so that’s the new plan.

A bit late in getting out meant it was a little warm, and I decided to hug the shade and run to my Raspberry Cornet playlist – all based on colours.

I set out with Pretty in Pink by the Psychedelic Furs, which was a nice beat to get moving and started my way towards Peter Parka’s lair, but there were a lot of construction workers there, so I thought it would be better to aim for the City.

Running in the shade I was delighted at my first kilometre’s speed, but then things went rapidly down from there, I think I may have unwittingly set out too fast and I quickly slowed down and was not so much running as plodding. I gave myself a challenge to find something I’d not seen before and found a Victorian Bath House, at this point I was boiling hot and would have loved a soak, but it’s a bar, and it’s closed. So that was a bit of a disappointment, although in fairness I wasn’t carrying money/cards so I couldn’t have stopped for a drink anyway. Stupid tart syndrome hits again…;)

This was about the halfway mark and to be honest a voice in my head was telling me to give up and go home due to the heat.  We are returning to Italy soon, and if I don’t acclimatise to running in warm weather, all of my training will have been for nothing. I gave myself a good talking to, and carried on. I thought I’d aim to do either 5km of running or at least run for more than 30 minutes. Mooching around in the back alleys of the City I found an outdoor courtyard, formerly the site of a church and the old pews had been arranged for seating. I particularly liked the swans drinking, although they did remind me that I was very thirsty. My water bottle was decidedly empty and at that point I’d been running for about 35 minutes, I failed on the 5km mark, but did meet one goal to continue the running and for more than half an hour.

Will Smith was singing about Men In Black, defending the galaxy and that made me think about chocolate – I was heat hallucinating, and so called it a day. The final pic is a close up of my face colour – I’m thinking Raspberry Diva

And so Week 10 Run 1 done of C25K. There isn’t a Week 10 of course, but maybe keeping a tab on it, will keep me going..


Only 4.6km done but hey ho

36 minutes of running

1 water bottle emptied


The usual – I decided I needed to keep on doing it

  • Clams
  • Bridge
  • Hip Flexor
  • Pelvic thrusting
  • Squats
  • Toe Touching


Colours Playlist

Best song – always Purple Rain because I love his Purple Highness and he came on at the terrible ten stage, which was very helpful






Saying Goodbye – Week 9 Run 3


So today has arrived once more – the final run of C25K – the graduation run. Today is my last official date with Mr Smooth and also a very sad day for me too. This is the first time I’ve actually run on my dad’s birthday, and this is the first after he died in December, so on my twenty-seventh run for my C25K graduation, my thoughts were a little mixed up.

You can’t measure how much someone means to you, but I thought the best tribute I could pay was to make sure I ran on his birthday, as I’m sure he’d be proud that I’d kickstarted my running once more. Prior to the curse that is Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia – he had both in a rather nasty combination, my dad was the fittest he’d ever been. He swam daily from Spring to Autumn, played tennis at least a couple of times a week and did a set number of lengths on his rowing machine (mainly because he didn’t know how to re-set it!) He had calves like flat irons and was as fit as f..k.

After a coronavirus Spring, I haven’t run daily, can’t play tennis, hate rowing, and my calves are more a Cornish pasty shape than a flat iron. However my retirement bod is a work in progress, and hopefully once lockdown recedes and we can get back to Italy, my fitness and shape will improve as I am the proud possessor of a corona paunch and a drawer full of ‘wishful thinking’ clothes.

Mr JCR promised bubbles on the balcony if I completed the run, what more encouragement does a girl need?

The sun was glorious and Mr Blue Sky was playing to start me on my way, I was going to do the usual triangle for thirty minutes. Shoulders and head heavy in thought I set out, actually avoiding the sun as it is a tad scorchio and I’m not acclimatised to the heat at all, following seven months in the UK and no warm Italian sun to get my muscles going.

First loop around, not so bad, no Peter Parka to glower at me, but quite a few chauffeurs hanging around the pavement so I needed to dodge more parkers and run in the road. On the second loop I decided it wasn’t really conducive to a relaxing run and set off towards the City and St Pauls, hugging the shade. My first kilometre was a lot faster than I’ve managed since restarting the program, and that was very encouraging. Keeping the rhythm I just kept at it and magically the one minute warning came through. Mr Smooth jubilant in his praise for me nearly doing the full thirty minutes, but what I hadn’t told him was that I was going to keep going until I’d actually hit 5kms, rather than the 30 minutes non-stop running. So I kept on going and at about 36 minutes I hit the magic 5km number. Not fast, not pretty, very sweaty, a little teary eyed, but I thought of V for Victory, V for 5 kilometres and V for very much missing my pops today.

Mr JCR arrived at the agreed Victory Arch and walked me home for bubbles on the balcony as promised. My pops would very much have liked that touch – Mr JCR making sure I never walked alone.


  • 5km run
  • Walking just under 3km
  • Tears  – many


Dad Dancing Classics

Best track – Mr Blue Sky because it got me on my first 5km run in ages


Not today – frankly couldn’t be bothered, will pick it up next time



Peter Parka P…s Off – Week 9 Run 2

It’s never been known –  JCR is awake, its eight o’clock in the morning, it’s a Sunday, and it’s supposed to be a scorchio day.  All of which are very good reasons to get up and go out for that early morning run. Sets you up for the day, but then again the duvet is nice and warm and I have the newspaper to read. And we are in lockdown, so frankly there’s no hurry for doing a damn thing.

Prevarication and faffing set the tone, meaning I didn’t actually shift my arse until about three hours later. Lou Reed started me off singing Perfect Day, which acted as a nice spur.

Unfortunately Paula is still playing up, thus any plans for longer distance runs are out for the moment, so I limited myself to my local loop of London Wall, Wood Street and Fore Street.  And to mix it up a bit I ran clockwise – I know it’s dead exciting in this running world isn’t it? And it took me past Peter Parka’s Prowling and Scowling Post, which was empty. And what do you know, he is guarding an “Out of Hours Pick Up Point” , so clearly this is the place to go if you want to be picked up, but only when he’s not guarding it.

All my previous thoughts about gold, diamonds or chocolate were clearly wide of the mark. But I needed to focus a little as I had a slightly twingey knee and didn’t want to cause any problems with it. I settled nicely into a pace and started my triangular loops, first five minutes fine, second absolutely fine until Mr Smooth said you’re 10 minutes in and for some unknown reason I felt tired and slowed down, which was ridiculous really. I gave myself a good talking to and started people watching, there’s quite a number of new runners out – you can usually tell by the kit they are wearing, the colour of their faces but usually by the rather battered ‘gardening trainers’ being worn.

I saw one mum running with her young daughter (I guess), they were very seasoned runners and doing interval runs sprinting and slowing down, very encouraging but at this stage of my running, sprinting is something to watch, not to do.

Then I saw a running belly of the male variety, obviously trying to lose some of the corona belly affliction – along with I imagine more than half of the population.

My people watching was interrupted by a plonker on a bike doing a wheelie on the pavement coming towards me. My internal ranting starts – it’s a Sunday, it’s quiet, there’s no traffic on London Wall, but you decide to cycle wheelie towards me on the pavement. I silently hex him and hope he falls off and breaks a body part. Oh and he’s the usual plonker stereotype male, in a hoodie, track pants, big trainers, in his twenties, close-shaven head and his Beats on.

He didn’t fall off.  but I run in hope that one day he does. The good thing about having an internal rant was that I’d totally lost track of time and when Mr Smooth told me I had only sixty seconds to go I felt fine. Job done and a warm down walk to Sunday Morning by the Velvet Underground, perfect material for lowering the blood pressure and taking a stroll home.

Passing the pick up point, I noticed it was now occupied by a new guardsman, not wearing a parka, and he was smoking like a chimney, proper smoking not vaping.  I crossed the road to avoid the fug – Peter Parka won’t be happy when he’s back on shift tomorrow as his little cubbyhole will be very pongy. But then from what I’ve seen he’s never happy anyway.

One more run to go to graduation and then me and Mr Smooth are done on the dating front.


8km/walk and run combo – best split 6 minutes 15 seconds – which was just prior to seeing the plonker

3 takeaways delivered to Roman House – evidently a Deliveroo hot spot

About 20 people in the queue for Marks and Spencers on Old Street

1 Plonker


  • Hip Flexor Things
  • Clam
  • Bridge
  • Squats
  • Pelvic Thrusts
  • Toe Touching


Mrs T – Time and Distance

Best Track – Sunday Morning by Velvet Underground




Paula Meets Peter Parka – Week 9 Run 1



Paula  evidently likes hanging around, I was supposed to do this run yesterday, but she likes lockdown and had hunkered down for the long haul.

I did what you can only do in these circumstances and had a telephone based GP appointment, self isolating not necessarily by choice, but because Paula was calling the shots and I couldn’t really venture out to run.

One week’s prescription for antibiotics later, I was able to run today. As you can see my new natty shopping/trainer bag combo made an appearance, for a run out in Week 9.

It was warm and I was a little bothered that I may not be able to take the distance, so I deliberately slowed down and ran like a snail. In fact I’m overstating the speed, an asthmatic snail could have gone faster, I took a little diversion to Barbie Green and the sunken gardens that have a little slope in them and spotted the arch. It’s not exactly in the most convenient place, But I think that is where I will finish my second ‘graduation’ of C25K. It’s old like me and based in the City like me. It’s also only a 3 or 4 minute dash from home if necessary.

I was running circuits along London Wall, Fore Street and Wood Street, which is a triangular run, except for the zigzagging done in The Salters Garden, where a lady had chosen to sit for a peaceful reading session in the sun. Her silence was shattered every six or seven minutes when yours truly came puffing past. She did at least smile when I went past, unlike the security guy in Wood Street who was very seriously guarding an empty doorway in his parka coat, with the hood up and glowering very time I went past him.

Now I know it’s not exactly tropical but it was about 18/19 degrees or 64 degrees in old money and he was totally wrapped up for Winter. I have a theory he could be a long lost relation to Dame Duvet who walks our hills in Italy in quilted clothing even when it’s in the 80s. Peter Parka as he is now known –  I think may suffer from agoraphobia, because I’ve seen him many times on my route and I’ve never seen him more than a yard away from the empty doorway. Maybe he sees me as a potential security threat and thinks that I could be casing the joint – it’s just a back door as far as I can see. However, when my speed is up and I look a little less like an asthmatic snail, I will look at the door more closely, in case there’s any sign of gold bullion or diamonds or chocolate.

My musings on casing the joint were rudely interrupted by Mr Smooth telling me I had only one minute to go, leaving Peter Parka behind me I continued my run. Then finally Mr Smooth told me my run time was at an end, so I snuck in an extra minute or so, just to make up for my last run in case I’d got the timing wrong. My warm down walk took me past Peter Parka – I did smile but he just did that London thing of ignoring me.

Can I just say Peter, your distant relative Dame Duvet is much friendlier. And that is my first graduation run done and dusted. Two more to come and I’m back as a proper runner once more. Yay.

Oh and yesterday I got a new skipping rope, although you’re not supposed to call it that it’s a jump rope, and it’s not a rope, it’s a wire and you can’t skip slowly with it either. Oh and I can’t even skip with it, as my coordination is rubbish. Mr JCR did loads without blinking – me , well that’s another challenge I am to jump roping what I am to being bendy…


7km run/walk – I didn’t get as far as the fish shop today

1 new running character found

My new finishing post is established too


The Usual – but I’ve increased it a bit:-

Squats – 2 sets of 12 reps

Bridge – 1 set of 12 reps

Pelvic Thrusting – 2 sets of 12 reps

Hip Flexors – 5 reps each leg with 1.5kg weight on the resting leg

Clams – 18 reps each side

Toe touching – 10 (it doesn’t seem a lot but for a plank of wood, this is seriously impressive)


Transport playlist

Best track – Motorbiking by Chris Spedding, on my last upward slope run in the Salter Gardens – I wasn’t motorbiking at the time, but it made me lift my head and increase my speed a bit


Paula & Jan Go Shopping With Mr Smooth – Week 8 Run 3

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Paula is taking the piss, if you pardon the pun. Her problem is my problem and after two days her problem is lessening, but not gone yet. Tuesday is fish shopping day, and Mr JCR laughed when he saw my novel approach to carrying my shopping bag.

Weird – me????

This is a prototype solution, carrying it in my bra gives me three boobs, and I don’t like putting shopping in a sweaty bag. I have tried stuffing it in the card pocket of my leggings, but it looks as though I’ve got an unfortunate growth. Similarly stuffing it in my sleeves of my top looks dodgy too – I look like a one armed Popeye style bodybuilder.

Today’s run is the last in Week 8, onto graduation week next. And the attaching of my bag to my shoes, gave me an idea for my run. Paula and I would take Mr Smooth on a virtual shopping trip and see if we could get enough ingredients for dinner and maybe some items for a hobby, now that we are in lockdown and are supposedly focussing on cooking, DIY and crafting, if the tv channels are to be believed.

Yes, I know, I do have some rather bizarre thought processes whilst out running, but it does keep my mind occupied and avoids the how fast/slow, how long to go, questions that pop up when you’re building up stamina.

Now, I am very fortunate in that we live extraordinarily close to Cheapside in the City of London, and Cheapside used to be Chepe meaning market, so it’s not that big of a stretch to find some grocery shopping appropriate routes.

First off, the warm up walk, we are just around the corner from Silk Street – that’s the hobby angle sorted – I can do virtual dress-making. Then aiming towards Cheapside, I run through Milk Street and hot on its heels, Bread Street  – that’s  a virtual breakfast sorted, followed by Bow Lane. Mmm, I suppose it could go into the dressmaking basket, or maybe I could take up violin lessons, for which I’d need a bow. Or maybe try a new sport and take up virtual archery, but as someone who is chronically spatially challenged, that would be quite dangerous for anyone in the vicinity, so I think we’ll leave it at dressmaking, as my musical talent is pretty non existent too.

A bit of a detour takes me to Poultry, which is not specific enough to satisfy today’s menu, we had chicken on Sunday, I’m not over-keen on turkey and whilst we had guinea fowl last week, I’m not sure I want it again tonight. At Poultry I wasn’t quite flying along, but it was a nice comfortable pace and decided to head even further East for some more foodie goodies.

On the way to Monument, passing Fish Street Hill reminded me that I did need to go to Islington for our fish tonight. And then onto the famous Pudding Lane – again a bit too generic to really satisfy the ingredient test, but a good hint for me not to forget the sweet stuff on my shopping list. I came across Lime Street, which I thought would be good with a pre-dinner Gin and Tonic, but I couldn’t find anything alcohol related at all, so we will have to stick with the G & T from home. Considering East London was renowned for its gin distilleries, I was quite disappointed I didn’t find a Juniper Lane, or Genever Street  or similar.

Now after dinner, you should either have mints or coffee or a digestif, I could only find Camomile Street, so I guess that will be a herbal tea for after dinner then. (Thank God, this is virtual shopping, I tried camomile tea once and it’s horrid…)

Still the thorny issue of a pudding to satisfy and I noticed that whilst Paula and I had been merrily traipsing and doing our window shopping, Mr Smooth was suspiciously quiet. I checked him out, sure enough at some point in the run, the app had frozen, so I didn’t really know how long I’d been running for. Curses, the challenge of virtual shopping had made me forget the most important task the list, to complete  a 28 minutes interval. I had been monitoring my run with Map My Run and robotic lady informed me I’d been running for 33 minutes, which is not quite integrated to the C25K app, so I guessed I needed to do another 5 or 6 minutes to complete the interval.

I decided the best thing to do was to head out of the City and towards the fish shop in Islington, glancing down I noticed the shopping bag had stayed perfectly in place. At this point inspiration struck, I knew that in Clerkenwell  there is a street called Berry Street and that it was more or less on the way to Islington High Street. Berries would be a perfectly acceptable pudding.

And so more or less 45 minutes had elapsed after starting my shopping run, I’d got a virtual menu, started a new virtual hobby, and learnt that you can tie a shopping bag to your trainers.

You do get funny looks at the fishmongers when you are grovelling on the floor to untie it from your trainers, but all in all it worked well. Paula made her presence know just as I got home and our concierge was telling me a story. At this stage I wasn’t running, but I was grimacing a bit and holding on for dear life. Paula this is enough,  for next week’s runs I need to be focussed, please p… off.


About 8km run/walked

I hope I did the 28 minute interval

A breakfast obtained

Dinner menu sorted

A new hobby under my belt

Staved off Paula’s revenge attack


Usual, squats, crabby stuff, bridge, pelvic thrusting, hip flexors, toe touching, yawn, yawn, yawn.


I should have a food and drink playlist, but I don’t so I played

Country and Places Playlist

And there was one food related track – Boston Tea Party by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.





Paula’s a Problem – Week 8 Run 2

Yesterday was an unplanned rest day, due to raging cystitis calling the shots. Today it’s not quite as bad, but my plan for my run went out of the window, with proximity to home, being the key consideration. (I didn’t want to do a Paula Radcliffe by the side of the road, if Mother Nature called urgently)

Nearby, there is a quiet place called Finsbury Circus which is just off Moorgate and happily circular, so you can do laps. It’s also within sprintable distance, should my bladder start screaming. For the purpose of this post, I’m renaming my bladder Paula.

I always like to give myself a challenge to find something new to look at or do or find, as it helps me to stop being obsessed by the  C25K countdown. Mr Smooth piping up ‘well done, you’ve just completed five minutes running’ is meant to be encouraging, but in the early part of the run and the programme it can be quite depressing, especially if you’re feeling puffed already. But the problem with choosing a small circular route is there’s not much to see, I joined the circus at the 6 o’clock junction and followed a clockwise route. To my left up to about 10 o’clock I saw plenty of plants and window boxes, all very nicely manicured with olive trees featuring a lot. It certainly seems that the 6 to 12 semi circle companies enjoy more money than the 12 to 6 semi circle, as their plants were sparse, the railings scrappy and it all looked a bit neglected.

I managed four loops and then boredom hit me, as did a few pedestrians (metaphorically, not literally – they did socially distance) who decided it was a nice quiet place to walk too. Okay, plan b enacted, I’ll stay in the shade and seek out some quieter roads but still close to home. I meandered in and around the Bank of England, near Cornhill and Lothbury, all beautifully tranquil and then Paula broke her silence.

At about fifteen minutes in to the interval, she was whispering (JCR – you need to go now), but I put her firmly to the back of my mind as I was listening to Ray Stevens – The Streak on one of my playlists. It helped for the two minutes or so it was on.

Then Rick Astley burbled Never Gonna Give You Up, which helped silence Paula for a few more minutes. Unfortunately, Down Under by Men At Work with its increased tempo, made Paula stop whispering and she became a much louder chant in my head.

This was not good at all, so I decided I would continue the run until I’d done the full interval and if I had to bail out of the warm-down walk so be it. Evidently, mind over matter does work, because having made the decision to not try and fight Paula, all of a sudden she logged out of my inner ear.

I continued the interval and then Mr Smooth brought me back to reality with his time check – the twenty eight minutes were done and dusted, but as I was no longer carrying Paula’s voice, I thought I’d try and run just a bit longer and I managed the thirty minutes interval. Great news, I was just a shade under having run/walked 5k in the allowed time. Still about 20% slower than at my best, but then that’s what a year off does.

The warm down walk was fine, I managed about 3kms before turning towards home, at which point, Paula started screaming and it was very loud. I was certain most of the folk around could hear her screaming at me to GO NOW!!!!  If they couldn’t hear her, they most certainly would have spotted a woman doing a cross between John Cleese’s silly walk and Max Wall’s unusual gait, with a muted yelp from between clenched teeth.

Kegel exercises, a fixed grimace and baby steps all combined to prevent Paula from having her moment.



8km run/walk

Paula Radcliffe failed in her de-railing attempt

No embarrassment


C25K Mentor Playlist

Most appropriate track = Under Pressure by David Bowie and Queen (but it didn’t come on), so that made me Happy by Pharrell Williams, which did





Hip Flexor Thing

Constipated Crab

Touching Toes