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!

 

 

 

 

 

4 Mar – Going Posh Up West

The last two official squares of the Monopoly board were on my list today, taking me to Mayfair and Park Lane. Only the gas company to go, it has been suggested I look for a gas tank somewhere in central London, that one will be the last of my Monopoly challenge before we return to Italy.

It was grey but warmish today, and I ran down Shaftesbury Avenue, towards Chinatown and Piccadilly, heading up Clarges Street towards Park Lane. And there it is in all its glory  in my third photo. Such a grotty road really, yet with such a glamorous reputation.

Next onto Mayfair – which is not a road just an area so I chose a view of Grosvenor St, as the Grosvenor family own most of Mayfair.

On the way back I scooted through Covent Garden and Holborn and saw the Aston Martin parked in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Now forgive me, but if you can actually afford an Aston Martin do you really need a registration plate ‘YES 1AML’ – which I am guessing is meant to signify yes I own an Aston Martin. We know you do – it’s parked on the side of the road.  So in the self congratulatory vein my registration plate for today’s run is ‘YES I4K’

But the true achievement today was by our friend Abi, who when the Bath half marathon was cancelled today, still went out and ran a half marathon, but all on her own. Wow she deserves ‘YES 21K’, maybe the owner of YES 1 AML might oblige by buying it.

Playlist

7 Seconds – Youssou N’Dour

New York Minute – Don Henley

Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics

What About Us – The Saturdays and Sean Paul

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Spring Affair – Donna Summer

Dancing In The Dark – The Boss

Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

The Boys Of Summer – Don Henley

Forever Autumn – Jeff Wayne, Richard Burton, Justin Hayward

Winter Melody – Donna Summer

7 Years – Lukas Graham

Right Here, Right Now – Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron

1999 – His Purple Highness

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Ruby Tuesday – The Rolling Stones

8 Mile – Eminem

Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson

Step On – Happy Mondays

Footloose – Kenny Loggins

Fall At Your Feet – Crowded House

Sunday Morning – The Velvet Underground

Second Hand News – Fleetwood Mac

Stats

Distance 14.47km

Time 1:42:06

Average Pace 7:03 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 73 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 356.5km

Kms To Do 1661.5km

Team Rhomboid Torture

12 burpees to do and squats – yuck….

 

 

27 Feb – The Toxic Tens

 

In running there is a well known affliction called the Toxic Tens. This is all about how long it takes your body to realise you’re being serious about exercise and oxygenating your bloodstream accordingly to manage the demands of the exercise. Typically it takes 10 minutes for your body to be running aerobically.

In fairness, most runners suffer from the Toxic Tens,  but here are the other afflictions, that trip me up from time to time, or if I’m unlucky – on every bloody run.

The ‘Orrible Ones – this is the first km you are doing, having left the warmth and comfort of the sofa. It’s ‘horrible and frankly you wonder why you bothered, as you feel sluggish and are actually running like a slug.

The ‘Trocious Twos – this is when the Toxic Tens are at their worst, you’ve done the first kilometre and now you’re thinking things will get better. But they don’t and the beginning of the second kilometre is atrocious. In fact I run like an asthmatic badger at this point.

The Throbbing or Twingeing Threes – at this stage your body realises you’re out for a run and starts those irritating little niggles, just to put you off your stride. Throbbing knee anyone? Yup, why not throw in an aching hamstring for good measure? Cramp in the arch of your foot? These are all typical of the Throbbing or Twingeing Threes.

The Effing Fours and Fives. According to all running advice, this is when you are hitting your stride nicely, it is all settling down. Except the effing fours and fives all too often coincide with the ‘where the effing hell is the nearest loo?’ None of us want to do a Paula Radcliffe, so you end up buying an unwanted cup of coffee to use the loo. Repeat every 5 kms. It’s effing annoying and expensive in equal measure.

The Shitty Sixes. Too close to the 5km for you to think you’ve cracked the run, but not far enough to be close enough to the elusive 10km. This is when mentally I become Marvin the Paranoid Android. Obsessive recalculating of my running totals vs. the plan and wondering if anyone would really notice if I walked for a km or two. Random phrases and curses pop out of my mouth at this phase, startling passers-by.

The Sodding Awful Sevens – aha this is when your running kit starts playing up. I have a pair of Dutch running tights. Why is it important that the tights are Dutch? Because the Dutch are the tallest people in the world, and I am not. This means at 7km I can guarantee my Dutch leggings will be working their way down my legs. Giving me a bare arse and wrinkled ankles at exactly the same time. A sort of granny gangsta look and not in a good way.

The Endurance Eights – at this stage of a run at eight kms and more, my running times start slipping and my running pace starts looking remarkably similar to my walking pace. This is the point when you will be overtaken by all/any of the following;-

  • Mum/Dad with BugaBoo pram
  • 2, 3, 4, 5 year olds
  • Dog walker
  • Moody ‘emo’ teenager
  • Man walking whilst looking at mobile phone
  • Fast walker
  • Pensioner with a limp
  • Skateboarder
  • Plonker on a scooter
  • Asthmatic badgers

The Naff Nines – when the body is weak and the spirit is weaker. This is often my ‘give up’ kilometrage point.

And so we return to the Toxic Tens. And today on my run I was afflicted by:-

The Throbbing or Twingeing Threes – weird ache in right arm and shoulder

The Shitty Sixes – near the MI6 building – suddenly realising it was at least 6 kms home and I didn’t fancy it much, not helped by a passing guy saying hup, hup, hup as I ran past.

Also anyone got any idea why a busker thought singing ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ by Chris Rea was appropriate 2 days before March? I know it was snowing a bit, but even so. He was la la la-ing on the giveaway lyric, but it was still evidently recognisable.

Playlist

Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats

Keep on Running – Spencer Davis Group

Happy – Pharrell

Smile – Lily Allen

Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini

Smile – Gregory Porter

Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie

Easy – Commodores

Nowhere Fast – Eminem feat Kehlani

Compression – Francesco Digilio

One Step Beyond – Prince Buster

Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

To Jan – Leonard Anderson

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Running Up That Hill – Kate Bush

Ju Ju Man – Dave Edmunds

The Streak – Ray Stevens

Question – The Moody Blues

Advice For The Young At Heart – Tears for Fears

There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johnny Nash

Fools Rush In – Ricky Nelson

Down Under – Men At Work

Stats

Distance 14.75km

Time 1:39:31

Average Pace 6.44 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 108 metres

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Done 314.9

Kms to do 1703.10 (next time out I’ll be under the 1700s)

Team Rhomboid Torture

Yesterday’s instructions were to do burpees – I can burp and I can pee, I just can’t do burpees. So I didn’t do a thing, nothing, nada, zip.

Waiting for today’s instructions, so am guessing  I will squat, wall press and hollow rock again.

 

 

 

25 Feb – Grunting and Groaning, Then Going For Green

It is a Sunday morning and I am ensconced in my bed. The date reminder from Mr Smooth tells me to get up and put my trainers on. My head is banging a familiar rhythm. Head or heart – who is going to win? Mr Smooth or Mrs Migraine.

I decide that Mrs Migraine wins for the moment and take some Paracetamol with a mug of tea. Having given Mrs Migraine an hour to go away and she decided to stay, I  then decided to run and join Mr Smooth on our date.

Today is Monopoly Board day and I have the ‘greens’ to do those are:-

  1. Regent Street
  2. Oxford Street
  3. Bond Street

Strictly speaking Bond Street doesn’t actually exist – at one end it is New Bond Street and at the other towards Piccadilly it is Old BS. I noticed as well that I am very close to having run 300km since the beginning of the year and whilst today’s plan is to do 9km, if I feel like doing a bit more, then I won’t be unhappy. This is all going on in the banging head, which is not the best state for running as the pounding of my little elephant feet on the pavement tends to compound the headache.

I trot out – again in my trusty ninja black costume happily gamboling along Theobald Road towards New Oxford Street and boom I get ninja’d -by a guy who undertook me at an incredibly fast pace and I neither heard nor saw him. I am only a trainee ninja – he was the real deal. The embarrassing bit is that he wasn’t kitted up as a ninja, he just looked like your everyday guy, in jeans and trainers – but it was like a sonic boom when he went past. Chuckling to myself I carried onto Oxford Street which even on a Sunday morning is a nightmare of limbs, pushchairs, bikes, cars buses. I took my obligatory pic and then dashed off towards Soho, to cut out the worst of Oxford Street.

Regent Street is similarly afflicted with traffic of all kinds so I made my way through Conduit Street towards New Bond Street. The shops are a lot more chichi and expensive here, so you tend to get fewer crowds, which was a help for me and my running. Dodging selfie takers outside of Tiffany’s, I managed to get to Old Bond Street without any woes.

Hitting Piccadilly, I headed off towards Leicester Square (typical when you’ve already collected those squares, you come across them again) and up towards law country. Holborn and the Inns of Court. It is nice and quiet in this part of town so I steer towards home and hurrah, I have actually passed the 300km milestone. Going for Greens, I got Gold and a medal from the Under Armour Challenge (frankly it’s utterly meaningless, but it is nice to get bling even if virtual). And I am now in the top 4% for the year all genders and ages.

I am writing this up eating marmalade on toast with a gorgeous frothy home-made cappuccino. I feel all happy and warm just like Paddington bear – if only I had a duffle coat.

Playlist

Doctor Doctor – Thomson Twins (twice)

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

Don’t Go – Yazoo

Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears For Fears

Every Day Hurts – Sad Cafe

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins

I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty

Don’t You Want Me – The Human League

Cars – Gary Numan

Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

I’m Still Standing – Elton John

Living On the Ceiling – Blancmange

The Tears Of A Clown – The English Beat

Eighties –  Killing Joke

It’s My Life – Talk Talk

I Want Your Love – Transvision Vamp

Trapped – Colonel Abrams

It’s A Sin – Pet Shop Boys

Gold  – Spandau Ballet

Fade To Grey  – Visage

Uptown Girl – Billy Joel

I Melt With You – Modern English

Stats

Distance 11.78kms

Time 1:17:08

Average Pace 6:32(mins/km)

Elevation Gain 51 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 300.2

Kms to do 1717.8

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Team Rhomboid Torture

He hasn’t posted today’s instructions – so I am going to do squats, wall press ups and hollow rock things, and then if he does post even if I’ve got something wrong, I will have done something.

Torture Update

2 sets of 10 reps of squats – holding the 4kg vampire kettlebell

2 sets of 10 reps of wall press-ups

4 hollow rocks – holding for 20 seconds each

 

 

 

 

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

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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

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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

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26 Jan – The Morning After The Day Before

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My calves are screaming at me, wondering exactly why I chose to run 16km yesterday.

Nonetheless kettle bells removed from wardrobe and a mini regime done. Squats done.

But why do I appear to have developed calves like Popeye’s?

And more to the point, does anyone have a cure?

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.

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