20 Apr – Hypocrites R Us

 

 

 

It is 24 degrees here – yes cooler than the UK but still my first run in proper heat. I am no stranger to running in the heat, in fact last year I had to deal with the summer of Lucifer as they called it here.

A recent post from a fellow C25Ker asked for top tips for running in the heat and this is what I wrote in response to him:-

1. Generally it is better to run in the morning as in the evening the buildings will reflect heat back out and it can be a killer, especially if you’re not used to it.

2. Spec out your running route at the time of day you will usually run it and look for shady areas – these will be your friends when running. Identify suitable water stops – cafes, fountains etc, for the same reason.

3. Very lightweight running layers – vest/shorts if possible, the only thing I don’t go light on is running socks – the padding protects your feet. Dress as if it was 10 degrees hotter than the outside temperature.

4. If very hot, dampen your running vest so that the breeze cools you as you run

5. Do the same to your head, and if you enjoy a full head of hair – put conditioner on it, to stop it frying in the heat. If you don’t have a full head of hair use sunscreen/wet running hat.

6. Make sure you are well hydrated the day before you run

7. I take a small ‘sippy’ bottle of water with me when running, because I find it helps keep me cool – to make it more effective I half fill with water the night before and put in the freezer, then I top up with cold water just before running. This is contentious not least because carrying water puts your body out of running balance, but the NHS guide does allow you to do this. It also has a secondary benefit of keeping one of your hands very cool! And if you swap hands during running – both of them!

8. Suncream…

9. Mosquito repellent – you can and will be bitten if you go out early – the little blighters hang around

10. Expect your natural running pace to deteriorate – your body in the heat is trying to do two things – run and keep you from overheating. As an example I find my ‘natural’ pace worsens by up to 2 minutes a kilometre in the summer over winter. It can be worrying and you run faster to keep your old pace – that can be very dangerous if you’re already hot.

11. Don’t get macho and start introducing hills into runs if you’ve never done them before, hills and heat are also a very bad combination.

So how many of my tried and tested top tips did I use today? – that’s right 3 of them. And one of them isn’t a tip, just an observation really. Ignoring these helpful tips, I struggled to do 12kms today, and got picked up by Mr JCR to take me for a gelato. I forgot to stop Map My Run, so it added in the gelato stop…

Damn good job I am not in the London Marathon on Sunday. With temperatures expected to soar, my top tips would be sorely needed and as a fully paid up member of Hypocrites R Us, I wouldn’t be taking any notice of them anyway. The final photo shows the distinct lack of shade this afternoon and I wanted to cry. My first pic made me smile – I was in the local DIY superstore this morning, and I found ‘Bastarda’ filler, now I wonder if B&Q will start stocking such a fab product, presumably it fills anything, one calls a bastarda.

In summary, today was a bastarda of a run and no-one’s fault but my own. First rule of Hypocrites R Us club, what happens in club stays in the club. Second rule of Hypocrites R Us club; you don’t need to follow the rules.

Playlist

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

Is She Really Going Out With Him – Joe Jackson

Change – The Lightning Seeds

Mony Mony – Billy Idol

Let’s Go Crazy – His Purple Highness

I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me -Nik Kershaw

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

China Girl – David Bowie

Scooby Snacks – Fun Lovin’ Criminals

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

Upside Down – Paloma Faith

By The Way – Red Hot Chilis

Common People – Pulp

Blue Monday – New Order

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

(Forever) Live and Die – OMD (twice)

Doginbag – The Fratellis

Marvin Gaye – Phuth and Traynor

Sign Of The Times – Harry Styles

Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode

Maid Of Orleans – OMD

London Calling – The Clash

The Reflex – Duran Duran

Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

Stats

Distance 12.13km

Time 1:34:45

Average Pace 7:48 (mins/km) after gelato recalibration

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms run to date 684.98

Kms to do 1333.02

 

 

 

 

 

16 Apr – Tee-Shirts, Tech and Tetchiness

The PR lady at Alzheimer’s Research wants some selfies. I hate selfies, she wants some selfies as they are going to do a mini feature on my fund raising running here and in the UK. Unfortunately most of my UK runs just show landmarks and so it was this morning, I was running through the Arco D’Augusto in Fano, to ‘star’ in a running photo shoot.

As you can see in orange, me looking decidedly pregnant in a sunny, but not quite so warm Fano. Hence, the doubling up of tee-shirts. Home for lunch and then a quick rest, before popping out for my usual first run of the week, aiming to do more than 10km if I can. It’s warmer now, but still quite breezy on the top of the hill, so I decide to remove the orange tee and just run in the base layer and the bra-let.

I have a 12k loop – down the Slope of Hope, up the Hill that Kills, on to Lovers’ Lane, back down the Slope of Hope, onto the Bendy, Scary Road, through Fish Shop Village and finishing at our local coffee shop. It’s a well known route for me and is exactly 12.13km.

Except first  I have a tech problem, the GPRS seems suspect after thunderstorms last week, so it keeps losing the first 2.7ms of the run. Second I get a tetchy problem, after some stupid Italian man, decided that steering his car towards me around a blind bend, one handed whilst simultaneously texting on his phone, would be a perfectly normal thing to do.

I deployed the f..kwit expletive, and if I could have done I would have kicked his car.

Trying to rediscover my running calmer karma, I am pootling on the bendy scary road and hurrah, a bus coming towards me on a bend toots to warn me. That was nice of him, so I smiled and put my hand up.  This is my first run when the temperature has been above 20 degrees, and I’d forgotten just how warm it gets. Had I got water with me? No, of course not – that would have been way too sensible. So at this stage, the second pink base layer got removed. After some minutes of clothing wrestling it came off, leaving a red sweaty middle aged woman sporting a bralet top. Thank heavens it was siesta time and there was no-one to witness the almost de-sausaging.  and the abundance of white flesh… Yeeugghh.

Running by the fish shop in full afternoon sun glare, I felt very very hot and trotted on, past two nonnas taking their grandchildren for a stroll. Beyond a mini building site where one of the construction guys said ‘Ciao’ – I managed a Ciao in return, but now am wondering whether it may be seen as a come on. Middle aged woman in a  semi-naked top half talking to strange men – I better change my route or strada as we say here, in case he’s got any ideas…

Three tee-shirts for running today, one tech failure, one big tetchy moment, but it was lovely running in the sun, I’d quite forgotten what that big yellow orb is.

Playlist

2468 Motorway – Tom Robinson

I Can’t Help Myself – Four Tops

Five Years – David Bowie

She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

Morning Train ( 9 to 5) – Sheena Easton

Perfect 10 – The Beautiful South

People In Love – 10cc

The Eleven Rap – Dark Punk

21 Seconds – So Solid Crew

12 – 1975

Thirteen Sad Farewells – Stu Larsen

Sixteen Going On Seventeen – Charmian Carr, Dan Truhitte

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen – Neil Sedaka

Edge of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks

18 Til I Die – Bryan Adams

19 – Paul Hardcastle

24k Magic – Bruno Mars

20th Century Boy – T Rex

30 Minute Love Affair – Paloma Faith

99 Red Balloons – Nena

96 Tears – & The Mysterious

Love Shack – B52s

21 Guns – Green Day

18 With A Bullet – Pete Wingfield

Stats

Distance 12.53km

Time 1:23:06

Average Pace 6:37

Elevation Gain 13 metres (we lost some due to the GPS issue)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run So Far 653.80

Kms Still To Do 1364.20

 

6 Apr – Beast From The East Part III

Well I really thought we were done with this. Other mistakes recently include thinking that it was only me who suffered from stupid tart syndrome. Now I know it’s infectious especially with your nearest and dearest.

Cue an earlier conversation (as best I can recall) in January when leaving Italy:-

Mr JCR – ‘Shall we shut the water off at the mains, in case of a pipe burst?’

JCR – ‘Well we’ve been coming here for 14 years, and every Winter we do, and nothing’s ever happened.’

Mr JCR – ‘Yes, even that year when the snow was 3 metres high, the house was okay.’

JCR – ‘Yes, it’ll be fine.’

Except it wasn’t and it isn’t. Last year we came back somewhat unexpectedly after having being burgled. Not ideal, we lost lots of stuff and as such the house is now like a mini prison with cameras and alarms and sensors everywhere.

One of these cameras enables us to see the perimeter and hear noises. We do get alerts and from time to time we check the video to hear the sound of birdsong and not much else. To our surprise this year the birdsong did seem a bit noisier than usual, especially given the severity of the Winter.

That’s because it wasn’t birdsong. It was the unhappy sound of a burbling brook of water cascading from our external water supply, for heaven alone knows how long. Our side of the water meter unfortunately and we’ve found that we’ve used double the quantity of water for all the time we’ve been here. That’s crudely 28 years of normal water usage in a maximum of 3 months.

We’ve also just calculated how much that is going to cost us, and let’s just say my fund-raising target for Alzheimers is less cash than the upcoming water bill. So if you see a crowdfunding site with an appeal for raising funds for water relief and are tempted to chip in, just beware, it could be me and Mr JCR scamming you to pay our water bill!

Back to today, and after an unplanned day of water mains fixing etc, it was time to go for a run. Out into the hills on a nice sunny day – down the Slope of Hope, everything was fine and dandy, and then I turned into the Hill That Kills. Oops I had forgotten that in this quest to do 2018km, I hadn’t specifically factored in the hills of Le Marche. Blimey it was tough and I did have to take a breather half way through it, I continued into Lover’s Lane towards Villa Bali, which was teeming with teenagers, all looking cool and lounging on the grass, chatting and  then a middle aged sweaty woman shuffled past.

I think they were instagramming, I hope to goodness the usual middle-aged woman’s cloak of invisibility was working. Turning round, I ran back to the house to get a change of clothing. The Beast from the East is no more, but his mate the Witch of the West had appeared with some rather warm weather, turning me and my face the same colour as my fuchsia pink top. A quick change into capris and a vest top and I continued, back down the Slope of Hope and onto the Bendy, Scary Road.

Fairly uneventful today, I dodged a few cars, but the buses were great they gave me a wide berth. I had hit the 8km mark and realised that now my drinking habits need to change once more – I need to be drinking more water, which is bloody ironic, considering we can no longer afford any.

At the 10km mark, I thought running in the sun is lovely, but I needed a quick pit stop at our local cafe bar to buy water – yes I know the irony is growing.  On my way to meet Mr JCR at the bank, a cyclist went past me and said ‘Lei e bella’, which is you are beautiful – this is fairly standard practice in Italy, men complimenting women randomly. What’s not is that he was aiming it at me, and I was the only woman in view. Maybe he works for the water company and thought he’d make me feel a bit better.

All in all I did just over 12km, and am now trying to work out if I can run distances that involve no perspiration, so I can start washing with wet wipes.

My final takeout on this unhappy incident – never, ever, ever, ever leave your house for any length of time without switching the water off at the mains.  Never, ever, ever think that 14 years of experience in a foreign country, means you know something.

And to friends and family, I’m really, really, really sorry about the coin-operated shower and bathroom facilities, but needs must.

The pics are non sequitur – the Bunga Bunga cafe was on my last run in London and as Silvio Berlusconi is famous for his Bunga Bunga parties, it made me think of here. The pic of Mr JCR  mowing our now non-jungle is just to show some glorious sun and daisies, which I’ve missed a lot, whilst we’ve overwintered.

Playlist

Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis

You Love Us – The Manics

Mercy – Duffy

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

Master And Servant – Ditto

Dancing In The Dark – The Boss

This Girl – Kungs

Hot In The City – Billy Idol

Joan Of Arc – OMD

World in Motion – New Order

Sign Of The Times – Harry Styles

Girl From Mars – Ash

Back To Black – Amy Winehouse

Rehab – Ditto

is She Really Going Out With Him – Joe Jackson

Help Me Rhonda – Beach Boys

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

Everyday I Love You Less And Less – Kaiser Chiefs

Everything Must Go – The Manics

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

Rumour Has It – Adele

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

China Girl – David Bowie

Glory Days – The Boss

Stats

Distance 12.13km

Time 1:24:15

Average Pace 6:56 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain – 59 metres (all at the beginning ow)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done to date 586.94km

Kms to do 1431.06

 

 

 

 

23 Mar – When 13 Is a Lucky Number

A week of birthday celebrations, culminating in a rather lovely dinner with great friends N&A at The Fox & Anchor last night. Today however, is back to running and diet reality. No sneaky chocolate, although I have about 2 kilos of birthday chocolate to demolish. No lunchtime tapas accompanied by wine. No evening meal habitually accompanied by wine and an after dinner snifter. Still it was fun whilst it lasted. and now it is less than 2 weeks ’til we return to Italy. So some pounds and kilometres to shift.

Heading East and I came across Frying Pan Alley and the interesting yellow building nearby – still no idea what it was. Today was all about getting to a number, a very specific number – 500 to be precise. I wanted to run 13km, so I could reach the 500km mark by end March, which would put me dead on target to meet the 2018 km in 2018.

Having tried and failed miserably to hit an 18km run during my Alhambra/Granada stay, I thought 13km would be more manageable and I can now start working my way up to half-marathon distance, gradually.  After my East London mooch around, I headed out West and passed through the back of Tate Modern, where they still have adult sized swings – there are times when I wish I had company on a run – because it would have been fun to have had a go on the swing in tandem.

I continued on past the London Eye and headed northwards at Westminster. Full of crowds, so I turned off at the Embankment and headed towards home, where I came across another weirdly named alley – Tweezers Alley. Nearing St Pauls I’d hit the 13km mark – very luckily for me that signified the ‘beating’ of the 500km YTD target, I had set myself.

Run done – a shade over 15km. Fingers crossed that this run of good health and no injury continues. Oh and I have achieved the Under Armour Pavement Pounder Award for the 500km.

Next milestone – getting under 1500 kms to run for the rest of the year – I hope to do that before the end of March.

Playlist

Common People – Pulp

Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Breaking Us In Two – Joe Jackson

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

People Are People – Depeche Mode

I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (twice) – Nik Kershaw

Dreaming – OMD

The Look Of Love – ABC

Our House – Madness

Two Tribes (twice) – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

I Can’t Stand Up – Elvis Costello & The Attractions

Night Boat To Cairo – Madness

No More I Love Yous – The Lover Speaks

Love’s Unkind (twice) – Donna Summer

Gold – Spandau Ballet

I Am The Law – Human League

Temptation – Heaven 17

Enola Gay – Love’s Unkind

Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello

Hungry Like The Wolf (twice) – Duran Duran

Night Fever – Bee Gees

The Sound Of The Crowd – Human League

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

Beat Crazy – Joe Jackson

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Stats

Distance 15.11km

Time 1:39:22

Average Pace  (mins/km) 6:34

Elevation Gain  97 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms done 502.2

Kms to do 1515.8

21 Mar – Happy Idris To Me

It’s my birthday and so far I’ve been gifted Idris Elba, a dog, chocolate, more chocolate, a prison break tag, and a gait analysis.

Idris is by far the best gift of the day, even if only imaginary, although our friends G and J sent me a pic saying he’d see me soon.I wonder if he is in Granada and if his fiancée knows?

I had planned two x 18km runs whilst here – I blew out on the first one, and as a consequence my run plans are somewhat shot. I made up the first 18k yesteday  by doing another 7k, but that meant today  I wouldn’t be rested enough to try an 18km.

So I popped out with Idris to The Proclaimers singing I’m Gonna Be 500 Miles and almost got bundled over by 6 or 7 fellow runners, wearing leggings and carrying very heavy backpacks. They were almost dwarfed by the backpacks and they were all trying to beat a deadline – the 9am bell for infant’s school.

I continued on my way again for the delights of Lidl, roadworks, the post office, a slightly derelict industrial estate type place, the back end of the railway lines and similar. Most people come to Granada for the sights, whereas I have been running the shites.

With slightly aching hips, I managed just over 12km and then to my horror Map My Run lost the internet connection and my run was lost. I was almost in tears of frustration as my efforts had got lost somewhere in the inter web. Luckily it seems to have re-appeared, and I no longer have the dilemma of you all having to trust me when I say  I did actually run more than 12km.

Happy Idris to me, I think his silent company smiled on my run, and persuaded Doctor Google to fix my Map My Run. We are nowhere near 500 Miles but getting close to 500 kms now.

Playlist

I’m Gonna Be 500 Miles – The Proclaimers

Modern Love – David Bowie

Mr Brightside – The Killers

Enola Gay – OMD

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Every Day I Love You Less And Less – Kaiser Chiefs

Somebody Told Me – The Killers

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

She’s Electric – Oasis

Sign Of The Times – Harry Styles

Lucky You – The Lightning Seeds

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

Love In Itself – Dépêche Mode

Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine – The Killers

World In Motion – New Order

Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks

Susannah’s Still Alive – Ditto

See You – Dépêche Mode

Planet Earth – Duran Duran

I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Nik Kershaw (twice)

Vienna – Ultravox

Beat Crazy – Joe Jackson

New Life – Dépêche Mode

Rio – Duran Duran

Stats

Distance 12.42

Time 1:31:14

Average Pace 7:20 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 85 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms done 487.1

Kms  to do 1530.9

 

 

19 Mar – Planning vs. Reality

In my head I was running 18km today. In my stomach were the dregs of yesterday’s commute from London to Granada. Namely, red wine, gin and tonic, and a late night gin fizz cocktail, from an un-named bar, where collectively Mr JCR, our friends N&A, and me raised the average age from about 25 to around 60.

In this bar, we also reduced the average tattoo and piercing count, and noticed that most of the punters started paying their bills when we arrived. Clearly we were not their normal clientele. But it was very friendly including the wolf dog on a steel and leather lead – a bit like the circus poster…

I was out at 8.30 am to do the 18km, I quickly realised that it wasn’t going to happen when my first km split was over 8 minutes. Maybe the post dinner gin fizz wasn’t the best prep?

In the distance I could see a couple of runners, so I thought it might be a good idea to follow them. I have no idea if they were warming or cooling down or doing some weird shit exercise routine, but every 10/15 paces they stopped to lunge and stretch various body parts. I do my stretching in the privacy of my own home, no one needs to see my lycra groaning, nor me for that matter. I overtook them and continued to see the world famous sights and sites of Granada. Bus station, Repsol petrol station, Lidl, road closure, primary school, tram lanes.

A quick detour back to the Airbnb to divest hat, gloves and running jacket and I was on my way. Tragically, not to the 18km though. I just wasn’t feeling quite right, coupled with the fact that I seemed to have run most of Granada – bar the hill and that famous palace.

Tomorrow is tourist stuff, visiting the Alhambra and so on. The weather is supposed to be turning a little more beastly, so today with fairly mild weather to take advantage of, we enjoyed very nice free tapas which is a thing in Granada, an interesting afternoon lunch/drink and  lovely evening meal. The red wine Munana is delicious and La Tana wine bar particularly grand.

This may not be the best preparation for serious running, but it’s a lot of fun.

Playlist

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

Girls on Film – Duran Duran

Hungry Like The Wolf – Ditto

New Moon On Monday – Ditto

Notorious – Ditto

Planet Earth – Ditto

Go Wild In The Country – Bow Wow Wow

Gold – Spandau Ballet

House Of Fun – Madness

Night Boat To Cairo – Ditto

Our House – Ditto

I Am The Law – Human League

I Can’t Stand Up – Elvis Costello

Oliver’s Army – Ditto

I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Nik Kershaw

Is Vic There? – Department S

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Joan of Arc – OMD

Maid of Orleans – Ditto

The Look Of Love – ABC

Love’s Unkind -Donna Summer

New Life – Dépêche Mode

People are People – Ditto

Personal Jesus – Ditto

Night Fever – Bee Gees

No More I Love Yous – The Lover Speaks

Doesnt Make It Alright – Stiff Little Fingers

Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake

Temptation – Heaven 17

Every Day I Love You Less and Less – Kaiser Chiefs

I Predict A Riot – Ditto

Modern Way – Ditto

Na Na Na Na Naa – Ditto

China Girl – David Bowie

Statistics

Distance 12.71 km

Time 1:38:19

Average Pace 7:44 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 106 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms done 467.6

Kms to do 1550.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Mar – Whopping 400 from Wapping

 

I had a job to do, to get to 400km this weekend if I could by Sunday night. Being tech savvy now, I had plotted a route to take me on a circular route that according to the route wizard would match the km limit specified. I’d identified 17km as being possible (although unlikely).

This morning I opened up the route which for some reason seemed to have morphed into a 25km run. Okay not so tech savvy then…

I decided to run freestyle. Having had lots of wintery runs, I actually felt Spring was on its way, as the running jacket was opened up at the 2km mark. Going towards the Tower of London, loads and loads of tourists there – I continued to Wapping to the Narrow pub – just as a milestone. Unfortunately, I got slightly distracted and paused my phone when in St Katherine’s Dock for the inevitable middle aged lady nose blowing, so my distance and timing stats were all over the place – I’d apparently run a 2minute km at one stage. The distance was estimated but I was wiggling around Wapping and the phone straightened my run – so I think I ran more than recorded. Hey ho, definitely not tech savvy me…

At the Narrow pub, I started a new run to come home and it occurred to me that if I could just hold on a bit, I might be able to make the 400km mark in today’s run. I came across 2 Ross Kemp lookalikes – walking in tandem exactly like the Hofmeister bear adverts. A bit of a Cockney roll to their walk. My run was somewhat more laboured, but I held on and around the Barbican area, realised if I did a  quick detour, I could probably do the 400km mark. And I did,  by a sneaky, tiny margin of 0.5km but it all counts.

Playlist

Off The Wall – Michael Jackson

I Feel Good – James Brown

Let’s Dance – Chris Montez

Band Of Gold – Freda Payne

Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy – The Tams

Ain’t No Stopping Us Now –  Jimmy James & The Vagabonds

Good Times – Chic

Stoned Love – The Supremes

Shake Your Groove Thing – Peaches & Herb

Club Tropicana – Wham

The Only Way Is Up – Yazz

You Spin Me Round – Dead Or Alive

Is Vic There? – Department S

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

See You – Depeche Mode

Personal Jesus – Ditto

The Reflex – Duran Duran

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult

People Are People – Depeche Mode

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Gold – Spandau Ballet

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

Go Wild In The Country – Bow Wow Wow

Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Is Vic There? – Department S

Stats

Distance 15.21km

Time 1:45:37

Elevation Gain 36 metres

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Done 400.5

Kms To Do 1617.5

Team Rhomboid Torture

It’s a day of rest – hurrah!