9 March – The Last of My Monopolysing

Unlike the actual board game, my last  Monopoly square run had to be utilities and the ‘gas’ company, as I’d not come across any in my previous Monopoly runs.  The only option seemed to be the old fashioned gas tanks/holders, that used to be a common sight around London. The two I could remember on Regents Canal are no more and so the  nearest equivalent was the newly created Gasholder Park in Kings Cross, in which some luxury apartment blocks are being framed by the renovated old gas holders.

Please pardon the pun, this was a utility run, all about getting the ‘square’ done and doing 10km if I could. Having had a rest day yesterday, I needed to be putting in a good run, as we have another short break in Spain coming up. This time to the Alhambra in Granada, with our very good friends N&A. I’m sure they won’t want to be waiting for me to run every day, so I am trying to get a few kms in the bank, before we go.

Coldish, grey day today and from the City to Kings Cross, not the most salubrious nor enjoyable of routes, despite the ongoing gentrification of the area.

Run done, fish collected and yet another 3km run home carrying fish – my fishmonger Robby is utterly perplexed at the madness of it, and he asked ‘do you think you are getting any fitter?’ to which I replied that I hoped so. But maybe my very red face on entering the shop, is suggesting otherwise.

Playlist

Sign Your Name – Terence Trent D’Arby

Reap The Wild Wind – Ultravox

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Blue Monday – New Order

Everything Must Go – Manic Street Preachers

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Traynor

By The Way – Red Hot Chilis

Mony Mony – Billy Idol

True Faith – 94 – New Order

Common People – Pulp

Is She Really Going Out With Him – Joe Jackson

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Born To Run – The Boss

Scooby Snacks – Fun Loving’ Criminals

Enola Gay – OMD

Talking Loud And Clear – Ditto

Planet Earth – Duran Duran

People Are People – Depeche Mode

Girl From Mars – Ash

Stats

Distance 10.25km

Time 1:16:57

Average Pace 7:30 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 53 metres

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Run 385.3 (trying to get over 400 kms this weekend)

Kms To Do 1632.7

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Team Rhomboid Torture

10 Lunges

10 Knee/Leg Raises

10 Hollow Rocks

All of which sounds do-able to me (well my hollow rock is rubbish but I can do hollow bodies – just not 10 of them)

Except then I read on and it was repeat 3 times.

So I repeated this mantra – the man is a monster, the man is a monster, the man is a monster…

2 hours later – 3 sets of lunges done! 3 sets of knee raises done. 1 set of hollow body done – holding for 10 seconds. I flaked< I couldn’t do the rocking. Ho hum.

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….

 

 

24 Feb – 2 Degrees, Did You Say 2 Degrees?

It’s Saturday, I had a day off yesterday – unplanned but welcome. So kms to make up today. It is 2 degrees outside, better assemble layers.

Hook swoosh the sports bra. Base layer on. Hooded sweat shirt on. Jacket on. Hat on, gloves on, bottom fleece-lined layers on. Socks – thick ones on, Saucony trainers on.

Go outside, blimey it’s cold – wondering whether to add another layer. Okay, upside it’s sunny. Downside it’s perishing cold. Aim towards Ropemaker St and there’s filming going on – loads of yellow minicabs – all Minis. Lots of extras huddled under blankets and they’ve doused the whole area with water, so we may have a skating rink there tonight with the frost. I decide to head away from the filming and towards the South Bank, because last night friends suggested to get my ‘Electricity’ Company in Monopoly – I could legitimately photo Bankside Power Station and that would count on the Monopoly board challenge.

I scooted first of all towards Tower Bridge, it really was a beautiful morning and then back again towards the London Eye. Lots of people, but relatively easy to get past – dressed in my black ninja running outfit. I managed to ninja a number of people, who had no idea I was behind and then in front of them. One woman did wonder why I wasn’t cold, with my jacket tied around my waist. But after 9kms of running, I was quite warm.

Turning towards home, they are still filming, so I gave Ropemakers a wide berth and trotted home. Run done with a Monopoly Square too. Oh and it’s going to be 2 degrees tomorrow. Joy!

Playlist

My Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust

Devil Gate Drive – Suzi Quatro

D.I.S.C.O. – Ottawan

War – Edwin Starr

This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us – Sparks

Gonna Make You A Star – David Essex

Band On The Run – Wings

Everybody Dance – CHIC

See My Baby Jive – Wizzard

Sylvia’s Mother – Dr Hook

Roll Over Beethoven – ELO

December 1963 – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed

You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me – The New Seekers

Killer Queen – Queen

Amarillo – Tony Christie

Silver Lady – David Soul

I Love To Love – Tina Charles

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Stats

Distance 12.65 kms

Time 1:25:32

Average Pace 6:45 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 104 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 288.4

Kms To Do 1729.6

Team Rhomboid Torture

3 sets of squats – 27 reps

3 sets of wall press-ups – 25 reps

8 hollow rocks – held for 10 seconds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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8 Feb – Running Like An Octopus

IMG_1497
The Final Community Chest for Monopoly

Today is the last day of my running streak.

It started well with loads of messages of support from the C25K gang and in particular ju-ju, who instagrammed name checked me. I am middle aged I don’t really know what that means, but it is a nice gesture!

With the chillier weather, I gave myself some time to faff, before going out. And so on my run, it was near Packington Street where stupid tart syndrome hit me. Why not try blowing your nose (middle aged permanent affliction it seems), whilst taking off your hat, hairband and phone in armband, whilst redistributing your keys into the running tights front pocket?

Why not? – because you need eight arms, that’s why not. I spent a fruitless age trying to get myself organised. Had I just deployed basic common sense I could have been done in a couple of minutes. As it was, I reckon I spent 5 or 6 minutes struggling to do five teeny, tiny tasks, when if I’d just thought for a moment, the time could have been spent running.

This is the problem with cold weather and being a woman of a certain age. I start off freezing cold and within 2 kms of starting, everything heats up. At the point of extreme heat, clearly my brain goes awol and stupid tart syndrome then takes me over.

Having re-arranged my hat, gloves, headband and money into the hoodie pouch, I started off again, looking like a pregnant kangaroo. Next stop the fishmonger’s – aargh there is someone ahead of me, so I have to pause the mechanical voice lady on Map My Run, and then with my fish, I add that to the octopus’s activity pocket and out I run. Now I look like a very heavily pregnant kangaroo.

After all this streak running I feel quite tired, even though I’ve only done just over 3.5kms at this point, but on I plod remembering my minimum 5km commitment. Amazingly a lorry stopped to let me cross a road, which was quite a pleasant surprise. I still hex all courier drivers, as routinely they are some of the most ill-tempered drivers I ever see. I hold particular contempt for DPD, who never, ever, stop to let you cross and when you give way to them, never, ever acknowledge the courtesy.

The 5km prompt comes up and I really want to give up, but decide I will plod just that bit further if I can. And I did not quite 6km today, but tomorrow I get a rest. I am looking forward to a day off.

Playlist

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

I Ran – A Flock of Seagulls

Talk Talk – Talk Talk

Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears For Fears

Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins

I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty

Fade To Grey – Visage

Don’t You Want Me – The Human League

Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds

Eighties – Killing Joke

I Want Your Love – Transmission Vamp

Liberator – Spear of Destiny

Trapped – Colonel Abrams

Cuddly Toy – Roachford

A New England – Billy Bragg

There Must Be An Angel – Eurythmics

I Only Want To Be With You – The Tourists

Stats

Distance 5.90 km

Time 46:57

Average Pace 7:57 (including stupid tart syndrome and fish shop queue)

Elevation Gain 27 metres

Running Streak – 8 days

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms run to date 180.72

Kms to run 1827.28

According to Map My Run I am 8037th out of 113,415* participants on their 2018 challenge.

*But there are definitely some dodgy stats on there… How many people can have fitted in 40 workouts of over 100km a time do you reckon? Oh  and since the 1st January… Apparently this is an internet thing, people create false ids and cheat the system by posting stupid stats…

 

 

 

 

6 Feb – Chasing The Sun & Marked By The Devil

 

It’s brass monkey weather here, well 3 degrees anyway. And I have to go out for a run. So have invited Faffolino for a visit, and in fairness she is doing well.

First off, just go and have a nice coffee and breakfast muffin at the local Fix cafe. Second go buy and some fish – brill if you ask. Then grocery shopping, then organise the laundry, then do the ironing. Quite a lot of faffing to avoid going out in the cold…

But it doesn’t matter how much Faffolino helps me faff, the run is still breathing down my neck and so I’ll go.

Literally chasing the sun, I want to stay where the sun is shining, because in the shade, it is perishingly cold. I pass a little ray of sunshine when I see a tiny garden with gnomes – now they are not my thing at all, but on a very cold day, they did make me smile.

Although today isn’t an official Monopoly run, I do want to bag another ‘Community Chest’ square and so make my way to Clerkenwell Green, historic venue for sedition, the 1 May Workers’ March and Lenin’s Newspaper when he was living in London. For me it is the historic venue for a salt grit chest, in fact there are three there. But that is too easy for me to bag two, so I will find my final one elsewhere on a run.

After Clerkenwell Green I make my way to Lincolns Inn Fields and the legal part of London, it is quite nice being able to get away into the Inns of Court, away from traffic and (deliberately) I get to pick up another Monopoly square for the second Chance square, when I run past Chancery Lane tube station.

That’s it for Monopolysing on today’s run, I make my way to Fleet Street and St Pauls, now I am on the home run about 2km from home. It is quite quiet in and around the City – I am guessing most people want to stay indoors away from the cold, usually I have to dodge the smokers, huddled around doorways, but today none at all.

I started off chasing sunshine and ended up shading my target 6km. And then I checked into the Under Armour 2018 challenge. Good news is I am still in the top 8%,  I then thought I could look at my age group and oh dear, I appear to be marked by the device with my rating of 666th place. Better get out again tomorrow to change that.

Playlist

2468 Motorway – Tom Robinson Band

5705 – City Boy

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley

Five Years – David Bowie

She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

Morning Train (9to5) – Sheena Easton

People In Love – 10cc

The Eleven Rap – Dark Punk

Thirteen Sad Farewells – Stu Larsen

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen – Neil Sedaka

Edge of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks

18 Til I Die – Bryan Adams

19 – Paul Hardcastle

21 Guns – Green Day

When I’m Sixty Four – The Beatles

Disco 2000 – Pulp

96 Tears – ? And The Mysterions

Stats

Distance 6.64km

Time 47:08

Average Pace 7:05 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 28 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run To Date 166.96

Kms Still To Do 1851.04

Running Streak – 6 days

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4 Feb – Taking Mr Smooth To See The Sights

 

It had been quite a while since me and Mr Smooth had hooked up, but as I had his date reminder, telling me to get my trainers on and run, I thought I’d take him for a day out today. I’d forgotten just how blissful Mr Smooth’s voice was, from telling me that I had done well and he was sure I could make it, to him suggesting a warm up walk would be in order. Lovely.

Today’s weather better than yesterday, now me and Mr Smooth were hunting red Monopoly squares:-

  1. Fleet Street
  2. The Strand
  3. Trafalgar Square

All of which are rather conveniently located in a line, from the east of the City to the prime West End. Heading towards south Smithfield Market, the traffic was backed up – this is really unusual on a Sunday morning. I made my way to Farringdon Road and yup all snarled up. Turning off into Fleet Street (yes one red square done and less than a km from home!), I passed the first of a number of Harry Potter afficianados.

Your first one is always the best and he had the hat, scarf, hoodie and bag. I’d seen the bags and hats and scarves previously, but not the hoodie, oh and of course it was in Gryffindor colours, which I’m guessing must out-sell the other houses by about 10 to 1.

Crossing Fleet Street aiming towards the Strand, another Gryffindor hat espied and an awful lot of barriers being erected down the length of the Strand. Took my pics of Simpsons on the Strand and the road sign and on I went.

Hitting Trafalgar Square where even more barriers were being erected and Magic FM were broadcasting. Ah yes, I had forgotten today is The Winter Run in aid of Cancer Research. I couldn’t get in this year when I found out about it, the entry spaces had gone unless you were bringing sponsorship, and with the Alzheimer’s Challenge I  already have on my plate, I decided I’d try and do the Winter Run next year. And behind the newly erected barriers, a street artist had chalked the Monopoly Board.

IMG_4942
Monopoly at Trafalgar

Feeling a bit embarrassed being a non Winter Run runner – it felt like being an unwanted guest at a wedding party,  so I slipped out of the back of Trafalgar Square, to avoid all the folks with their Winter Run bags.

Final Gryffindor clothing seen, a scarf in red and gold – not entirely sure it was official merchandise, but it was definitely house colours. Mr Smooth was telling me I had one minute left to have run solidly for 30 minutes. And although he gave me permission to walk, I hadn’t quite done 5km yet, so I continued.

I headed home towards Lincolns Inn Fields and passed the Sir John Soanes’ Museum, where the lady ticket seller, shouted encouragingly at me to keep going and not give up. I hope to goodness she didn’t think I was one of the Winter Run runners, although I didn’t see any sign of the run nearby.

Just on the 6km mark, I was headed back towards Smithfield and crossing a blocked road, when a little boy of about 6/7 said to his parents (also crossing) – ‘that lady is running very slowly’. Now he wasn’t lying, I was. But it is rather humiliating to have it pointed out so publicly – his mum told him to ssshhh. With my arsey Liverpudlian mood on, I felt sorely tempted to flick him the bird. But then common sense reasserted itself and I decided that running slowly will get me my challenge done. Sprinting like Usain won’t.  I did give him a mental V sign though… 😉

Slow running with Mr Smooth kept me going and we got all three red squares today.

Playlist

Temptation – Heaven 17

Electricity – OMD

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Temptation – Heaven 17

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

All She Wants Is – Ditto

Hungry Like The Wolf – Ditto

Planet Earth – Ditto

(there was something weird going on, because when I reached Trafalgar Square Magic Fm played Rio by Duran Duran, and this coincided with my ‘shuffled’ Duran Duran episode)

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

Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera

Joan of Arc – OMD

Save a Prayer – Duran Duran

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Every Breath You Take – The Police

Stats

Distance 7.5 km

Time 54:08

Average Pace 7:13 (mins/km)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Completed 153.53

Kms To Do 1864.47

Running Streak – Day 4