15 Feb – Tapas 5 – Running 0

 

Winter training camp is to be taken very seriously. Up to this morning, I have run precisely 0 kilometres and eaten 5 sets of tapas.

So far we have had:-

Patatas bravas – slow oven roasted new potatoes with warm red pepper mayonnaise sauce

Croquetas jamón – can’t tell you how scrummy these were, potato puree, really creamy with tiny flakes of ham

Gambas tempura – say no more

Porco Iberico con pimientos padron – neither of us had the nuclear grade padron pepper, but the Iberico pork was stupendous.

Queso Manchego – manchego cheese

I am hoping this food will give me legs for a run today, or maybe too much of a good thing could mess up my plans. We shall see…

3 hours later:-

One of the problems of a British Winter is that you get so used to being cold and grey and wet, you forget exactly how to dress for warmer climes. And so it was today. I got dressed in long running tights, long sleeved base-layer, short sleeved tee shirt over and a running cap.

At about 2 kms in with rivers of sweat pouring down my face, the hat came off. Another two kilometres in and an unscheduled middle-aged striptease occurred on the seafront. Off came the short sleeved tee shirt, off came the long sleeved base layer. On went a ‘Do I really care that I am stripped to the waist?’ look on my face and I brazened it out in front of the good people of Malaga. In fairness I am sure they have seen much worse on their beaches in summer.

Another kilometre in and I was having a hot running tights issue. No matter how brazen I felt earlier, there was no way I was going to run bare-arsed, so I had to settle for rolling up my running tights to knee height. It didn’t even look as good as Norah Batty – much more Compo. Not a hope in hell of me ever achieving molto chic podista look.

The Malaga seafront has a nice flat promenade, with a slight sea breeze today which did help, but how quickly I had forgotten that, in the sun, every bit of effort is so much harder.  Today was a touch over 20 degrees according to one thermometer I saw and last summer I would have welcomed that rather than Lucifer’s inferno of 40 degrees plus. But after four months of running in cool/cold weather, it felt really rather scorchio.

A fairly boring route along the promenade, enlivened by hundred of pairs of multicoloured leggings. They obviously are very popular here – not necessarily for keeping fit though, mainly as a promenading outfit, oh and age no barrier either. Along with the multi-coloured leggings the ceramic paving had a wavy line on it that gave an optical illusion of you running up and down mini hills. It was most peculiar when looking down (which was necessary due to dog poop), it really made my head spin.

One of the nicest things was seeing beach volleyball, there’s something lovely about seeing people have fun on a sunny day. This is my second try at running 4 days consecutively, then taking a day off. So it will be interesting to see how I get on.

My lessons on Winter camp so far:-

  1. Drink enough water the day before
  2. Dress as though it were much hotter than you imagine
  3. Don’t go out in full sun

Playlist

People Are People – Depeche Mode

True Faith 94 – New Order

Change – The Lightning Seeds

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

Unbelievable – EMF

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Traynor

This Girl – Kungs

Rain On Your Parade – Duffy

When Doves Cry – Prince

Is She Really Going Out With Him – Joe Jackson

Rio – Duran Duran

I Wont Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Nik Kershaw

Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode

Enola Gay – OMD

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

Save A Prayer – Duran Duran

Blue Monday – New Order

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

World In Motion – New Order

Modern Way – Kaiser Chiefs

Upside Down – Paloma Faith

Parklife – Blur

Lucky You – The Lightning Seeds

Sign Your Name – Terence Trent D’Arby

I Predict A Riot – Kaiser Chiefs

Rockferry – Duffy

Love In Itself – Depeche Mode

Stats

Distance 12.25km

Time 1:37:05

Average Pace 7:55

Elevation Gain 31 metres

Clothing Removed – 3 items

Clothing Replaced – 1 item

Red Face/Paddington Stare – 1

Alzheimer’s Challenge

224.26 kms done

1793.74 to be done (but first time down in the 1700s)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Feb – From Martyr to Tomato

IMG_1784
pexels-photo-257794.jpeg

It is a cold, wet day and not in the least bit inspiring. But off I trot through the damp streets of Islington. This, I am hoping, is one of the worst weather days for a while, as we go off to sunnier climes tomorrow for Winter Training Camp. I have a feeling that regardless of my future running intents, a February break to avoid the cold and dark may well be on the cards.

I have noticed the more days of running consecutively, the worse my km pace is. I am not expecting a fast run today. And it didn’t disappoint. I aimed for Clerkenwell and St John Street and then shooted off towards Rosebery Avenue and Islington’s Upper Street. Taking some back streets I ended up at Tolpuddle Road pictured and wondered what particular relevance Islington has to the Tolpuddle martyrs.

It would seem that a public demonstration was organised near Copenhagen Street to show support for the martyrs and this attracted over 100,000 people to a march onto Parliament. Tolpuddle Street today, was just wet, puddley, and gusty. At which point, one of the gusts blew my hat off, and having overtaken two guys, I had the embarrassment of having to stop and run back to get the hat. Not so much a martyr JCR as a tomato.

I continued onto Islington’s Upper Street, and sure enough gusts of wind blew the hat off again. So I stowed it in my jacket, giving me a very weird monoboob look. I continued on pitter pattering through the puddles to the upper end near Highbury and turned back again. This time I had Sweaty Betty in my sights, to buy yet another sports bra and pair of shorts for Winter Training Camp. For a  supposedly cheap sport this is getting mightily expensive.

All the running training guides tell you not to run carrying anything unless it is in a rucksack on your back, because you can overbalance and desynchronise your running. With this in mind, the Sweaty Betty swag bag joined the hat in the now straining at the seams running jacket. Pregnant, monoboobed runner on the loose again.

I made my way home and managed just a shade over 9km. Tomorrow is rest day and we fly to arrive in Malaga for early afternoon where I am delighted to note it is neither wet nor cold, nor gusty.

And thanks so much to the family Mackintosh (sounds like a tv series!) for their great sponsorship in my Alzheimer’s Challenge. I can’t tell you how much of a boost that was.

Playlist

Second Hand News – Fleetwood Mac

7 Seconds – Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry

New York Minute – Don Henley

Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day

All Day And All Of The Night – The Kinks

December 1963 – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Spring Affair – Donna Summer

Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

Year Of The Cat – Al Stewart

7 Years – Lukas Graham

Holding Back The Years – Simply Red

Sunday Girl – Blondie

Ruby Tuesday – The Rolling Stones

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers

8 Mile – Eminem

Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson

Stats

Distance 9.34 kms

Time 1:11:32

Average Pace 7:39 mins/km

Elevation Gain 28 metres

Hat Flying Off – 2

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 212.01

Kms to Do 1805.99

 

 

 

11 Feb – No Pain, No Gain

Today was supposed to be day 2 of the new ‘4 days on, 1 day off’ regime, that I am trying. However, Friday was a legitimate rest day, Saturday was not. Saturday was instead migraine day. Oh joy, and it is impossible to run when I have one. This is another of those things nobody ever, ever tells you about getting old. You become victim to WMAS syndrome. Stupid health things that stop you doing what you want to.

Saturday was therefore a right-off, and today I had to go Monopoly yellow square hunting. That is, Leicester Square, Coventry Street and Piccadilly, all conveniently in an easy line for me to run through. The downside, none of them sufficiently far enough away for me to make up yesterday’s missed kilometres.

As usual I made my way to the Top Gear tunnel under the Barbican and my attention was drawn to a lady who appeared to be smiling rather flirtatiously at a Barbican pillar. Now the Barbican is definitely a love it or loathe it piece of architecture, personally, I am a fan, although I concede it needs a clean up. Even allowing for this lady to potentially be a lover of the Barbican, it is a weird thing to do, to smile at a concrete pillar.

What I couldn’t quite see from my angle, was that her boyfriend/husband/cameraman was taking a picture of her and he was kneeling on the ground. Mystery solved – she was smiling at hubby/boyf/cameraman – not the pillar then…

Sunday is a nice day for running in London, generally the marauding hordes are lessened and it’s easier to get around. Except that I was heading West and Leicester Square was very busy with some street entertainers garnering rather large crowds. Queues again at the Lego store and lots of people with M&M carrier bags. I must admit that is something I don’t understand, M&M’s are American and yet people come to London to buy American sweets. If it was a Smarties store, I could understand it.

I carried on along Piccadilly, as ever Fortnums doorways clogged up and their new tea based window installation (neon teapots) was causing a bit of pavement blocking for all those  authentic ‘I went to London’ photos to be taken. At this stage I had only done about 4kms which was way below the target kms, so I continued on Piccadilly into Green Park, which although bare, was rather nice to run around, the sun was shining, people strolling and it’s a nice place to be. I headed out towards the Mall and then towards home.

On the return I ‘re-got’ Trafalgar Square, Strand and Fleet Street, and then headed to the City, where I re-bagged Liverpool St Station. With a bit of jiggery pokery around the City, I ended up having done just over 13kms. Not bad JCR, but not enough to make up Saturday’s deficit… So tomorrow and Tuesday, the well trodden routes beckon and I have to get in at least 15kms on the next two runs, just to keep pace. Because Wednesday we fly to Winter Camp.

The good news was today I had no pain or migraine, but I didn’t gain the missing day’s worth of running. This tells me there really is little margin for error, illness or laziness on this challenge. If tomorrow goes to plan, I should be able to hit the 10% distance marker for the year’s challenge. And that would make me 10% of the distance with 12% of the year having gone.

Playlist

Be My Number Two – Jo Jackson

Beat Crazy – Ditto

Breaking Us In Two – Ditto

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Dreaming – OMD

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

Electric Barbarella – Duran Duran

Embarrassment – Madness

Every Breath You Take – The Police

Girls on Film – Duran Duran

Gold – Spandau Ballet

House of Fun – Madness

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Mamma Mia – Abba

Notorious – Duran Duran

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Rasputin – Boney M

The Reflex – Duran Duran

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult

Somewhere in My Heart – Aztec Camera

Thriller – Michael Jackson

A View To A Kill – Michael Jackson

Stats

Distance – 13.49km

Time 1:27:22

Average Pace 6:28 (mins/Km)

Elevation Gain 72 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 194.21

Kms to Do 1883.79

Sponsor me on BT MyDonate

30 Jan – Oranges and Lemons…

As part of my rather disorganised preparation for this run I ate a couple of satsumas, in homage to today’s orange theme. I also changed my Lululemon ‘fish carrying’ top for a black and orange lined running jacket, hoping that wearing orange would help in hunting down those pesky orange squares on the Monopoly board.

Km 1 – Barbican to Fetter Lane. All was fine, nicely warmed up and Gold by Spandau Ballet was playing, and that’s how my legs felt.

Km 2 – Fetter Lane to The Strand. Actually I ran past St Clements in the Dane Church (just spotted that) so my nursery rhyme title is very appropriate. Also ‘I Am The Law’ by Human League came on shortly after going past the Royal Courts of Justice. So far, so apt.

Km 3 – The Strand to Bow Street and beyond. First orange square done, but Dr Google Maps was a little behind me again, so I did go around the houses to get there. Not a lot to see.

Km 4 – Floral Street to Leicester Square – Nothing to see, nothing to report, but my it was busy with people and lots of Primark carrier bags.

Km 5 – Leicester Square to Piccadilly. This time I got the Community Chest (of grit, as recommended by MickJGof the Couch 25K community) and also did a quick step up to Vine Street, which was decidedly underwhelming. Two orange squares down

Km 6 – Piccadilly to Hyde Park. Totally nothing to see, except horrid traffic.

Km 7 – Knightsbridge to Sloane Street. Cars, cars, cars, cars, buses, buses, buses, shoppers, shoppers, shoppers. ABSOLUTELY NO SPACE TO RUN EASILY AARRGGHH.

Km 8 – Sloane Street Back to Brompton Road. Dr Google Maps was a little behind me, and I wasn’t entirely sure which was the best route to take to get that final elusive orange.

Km 9 – Brompton Road and back to Sloane Street. Yay, finally got that third orange square – Marlborough Street  and a very nice Chelsea residential street it is too.

Km 10 – Sloane Street to Pont Street. On the way home and this is where the bloody-minded gene kicks in. I think I could just do a little bit more, maybe stopping at Piccadilly, as very km counts when making up this deficit.

Km 11 – Pont Street to Grosvenor Crescent. Very well heeled and chi-chi here, I can’t tell you how many chihuahuas and similar dog rats were being walked by maids/dog walkers. I however was not well heeled and my face definitely not chi-chi…

Km 12 – Grosvenor Crescent  to Green Park. This was getting really tough my Mrs Overall running style hit me, and it was only the intervention of Purple Rain by His Purple Highness in Green Park that got me through.

Km 13 – Green Park to Shaftesbury Avenue. Way too many people for me to work around, Mrs Overall had not only made an appearance, but was asking for a piggy back, and my back was screaming at me to stop. But bloody mindedness kicked in and I decided to continue…

Km 14 – Shaftesbury Avenue to Grape Street. This was really a case of mind over matter, my legs were just shuffling and I was breathing hard, with shin splints and a stitch. No matter, I knew I could reach the magic 15km, and that was becoming a prize, devoutly wanted.

Km 15 – Grape Street to Chancery Lane. I had to dodge quite a number of folk here and elbow barged one lady – not deliberately but I was running, she wasn’t and then she moved into me. At least that is my version of events and with no soccer VAR to confirm otherwise that is the version I am sticking with.

Km 16 – Chancery Lane to Charterhouse Street. This was just hurting beyond belief, everything ached, feet, sides, glutes, calves, head, everything.  She Sells Sanctuary came on, and I did need sanctuary, I needed an ambulance in fact. But then I thought if I could just do 16 km then I’d make the half marathon distance for a whole day, and so to;

Km 16.21 – Charterhouse Street – Carthusian Street. I just had to beat the 16km mark, to prove I could. And I did.

From oranges to lemons, I feel like all the pips have been squeezed. There is no more juice to give and I hobbled home. So sore I can’t even stretch out my muscles; a hot shower, a nap and a meal beckons. I will never, ever run in the morning and then do a long one in the afternoon. Ever.

Playlist

Girls On Film  –  Duran Duran

Go Wild In The Country – Ditto

Gold – Spandau Ballet

House Of Fun – Madness

Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

I Am The Law – Human League

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

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

The Look Of Love – ABC

Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer

Maid Of Orleans – OMD

New Life – Depeche Mode

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

Night Boat To Cairo – Madness

Night Fever – Bee Gees

No More I Love You’s – The Lover Speaks

Notorious – Duran Duran

Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello

Our House – Madness

People Are People – Depeche Mode

Personal Jesus – Ditto

Planet Earth – Duran Duran

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness and The Revolution

The Reflex – Duran Duran

Rio – Ditto

Save A Prayer – Ditto

See You – Depeche Mode

Shake The Disease – Ditto

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult

Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera

Stats

Distance 16.21 km

Duration 2:07:14

Average Pace 7:50

Elevation Gain 72 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done To Date 125.37

Kms To Do 1,892.63 – well at least I am under the 1900!

January Km Target = 171.43 (based on straight-lining 2018km/365)

Km Deficit as of now = 46.06Km

Sponsor me on BT MyDonate

 

25 Jan – Tickled Pink, Finding Blue

Part Three of my Monopoly Board challenge. Today I was to do the final pale blue square of Euston Road and then the three pinks of Whitehall, Pall Mall, and Northumberland Avenue, but I spotted an opportunity to get Marylebone Station too. Then by donning my smart arse hat, looked up on Dr Google to see if I could find an Electric Company – he reliably informed me that I could find a certain Electricity Supplier at 333 Euston Road.

‘Jolly Good’ and off I went in search of my pale blue Euston Road, wearing my new glorious Lululemon dark blue base layer. From Barbican to Euston Road isn’t the most edifying of sights, so I spent time in the back streets, trying to keep away from traffic and my plan was to take a photo of the Electric Company at 333 Euston Road. Except that 333 Euston Road, is no longer an Electric Company it appears to be a kebab shop. Except even the kebab shop is now closed. Obviously not an auspicious site for businesses… but it did get me my last of the pale blue squares. I will have to look for an Electric Company on another day. Then a quick detour up beyond Great Portland Street, Warren Street and Baker Street, to snap Marylebone Station. Great, that is all 4 stations done.

Now onto Pall Mall and the rest of the pinks. Aiming towards Oxford Street and New Bond Street heading off towards Piccadilly it was rather congested and the Dr Google’s famous maps app, wasn’t keeping up very well. This was a bit frustrating, because I’d specifically mapped out a route to make sure I did my first 15km run, so whilst I didn’t need the directions to know where to go, I did need the directions to take me through various ‘longcuts’ (routes which take a longer way to my destination). Cue lots of swearing and intermittent stopping to check out the damned app, to see where I was supposed to head even though he (Dr Google) was about 5 minutes behind me. Crossing Horseguards, I eventually swore out loud at Dr Google ‘FFS’ unfortunately I was quite close to a well dressed man who turned and looked; I did grimace and move away somewhat embarrassed.

Cue a whole set of pics, as once I’d snapped the Nell Gwynne connection on Pall Mall, Whitehall and Northumberland Avenue came up in quick succession. Fantastic  – I’d done what I set out to do Monopoly Board wise, but was still adrift of my 15km target, so couldn’t rest on my laurels. I was aiming for 15km today because as part of my Alzheimer’s challenge to run 2018kms in 2018, I also wanted to 15km done prior to the end of January.  As we are away for a couple of days, it really had to be this week or not at all. Secondly, after Erin at Lululemon had given me my new base layer as an encouragement to get the 15km completed, it had been winking at me for a couple of days, nagging me to get out there.

I headed off down the Strand, past the Royal Courts of Justice, lots and lots of lawyers around the place, then up Fetter Lane towards home. By now my little legs had got somewhat slower and my Mrs Overall running style had made an appearance. Whenever Mrs Overall appears, I need to stop, so I did. And that was 16.64km in the bag. Thanks Erin, your freebie encouragement worked! So I am very much tickled pink to have done the pinks and the blue and 15km+ too.

Playlist

Chocolate Girl – Deacon Blue – 3 times

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate – twice

Push The Button – The Sugababes – twice

Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

Raspberry Beret – His Purple Highness

Girl From Mars – Ash – 3 times

Sweet Dreams (are made of this ) – Eurythmics

Sad Sweet Dreamer – Sweet Sensation

I Can’t Help Myself – Four Tops – twice

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste of Honey – 3 times

Cake By The Ocean – DNCE – twice

I’m The Fat Man – King Pleasure and The Biscuit Boys

Cream – His Purple Highness – twice

Marathon – Junkie XL and Glennis-Smith – twice

Salt Peanuts – Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie – twice

Ice Cream Man – Blur

I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow – twice

You Got The Love – The Source and Candi Staton – 3 times

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice – 3 times

(this was from my Retro Runners, Sweetie Playlist on Spotify, in hindsight not enough tracks for a 2 hour run!)

Stats

Distance 16.64 km

Time 2:06:25

Average Pace 7:35 km/min

Elevation Gain 84 m

FFS – 1

Sorries – 3 ( I kept bumping into people)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Done 93.88kms

To Do 1924.12 kms (ugh)

Monopoly Challenge

Browns – Done

Pale Blues – Done

Railway Stations – Done

Pinks – Done

Jail and Bank – Done

Couldn’t Find Electricity Board

Next time – the Oranges.

Sponsor me on BT MyDonate