20 Jan – Pain, Rain, and Train

malaga

Today is supposed to be a running day, but I wimped out. A combination of cold and the wet, coupled with a two day old migraine, means I can’t pound the pavements today. This bloody migraine better go by tomorrow, otherwise my deficit will increase, rather than decrease, which is not my plan at all.

And so, somewhat reluctantly I have to make a doctor’s appointment to discuss these migraines, which are new to me but coming with increasing regularity. As my diet seems biased towards the inclusion of trigger foods such as coffee, chocolate, dairy and wine (all of which I love), it seems sensible to find out what I should be doing (from a proper Doctor and not Dr Google), especially as I’ve read from the latter that running can be a trigger.

However, on a positive front, Mr JCR has just booked our very first Winter Training Camp, him for cycling and me for running. For a St Valentine’s Day treat (not really), we are going to Malaga for 5 days, specifically to do some training in the warmer climes of Southern Spain, and if it works out okay, then we are going to make it a regular event. It seems rather self indulgent deciding to evade the gloom and doom of February, which always seems to be the worst month of the year, but it is a nice and healthy indulgence, although Tapas and Rioja may prove to be our undoing.

Tomorrow is another day, and so provided I have no pain, regardless of any rain, I will train and run the pale blue squares of the Monopoly board.

Today, because of no running I have to do the cursed Vampire Kettlebell exercises, maybe I will do lunges as well as the Number One dead lift. Squats already done!

 

 

19 Jan – Vampires Out

of the cupboard that is. Today is a running rest day but the pesky Vampire Kettlebells saw the light of day today. In truth, only one saw the light of day, but as vampires die in sunlight, I had to be careful.

I am a lightweight on weightlifting and Razouski my C25K running buddy, donated her ‘Kettlercise’ routine to me. I’d like to say a sincere thank you, however I don’t think I can… OMG she swings these things for an hour. An hour! Is she mental? Rhetorical question obviously.

Out of the umpteen hellish exercises, (kindly donated) I settled on 10 reps of the dead lift, after having done my squats. The dead lift could also be called a Figure One Exercise, as the Figure Eight Exercise, looks way too hard at my pathetic level. And besides which we live in a small apartment, and there’s no room to do a figure of eight.

So that’s my amazing effort, but it is a start and I have made progress, not an excuse. And for that I am pleased. And if ever any of you are approached by a fit, singing runner, with penchant for 80s music and she suggests she could donate her Kettlercise routine to you, I’d suggest you run as fast as you can…

17 Jan – Am I The Only Person With…

 

Vampire Kettlebells in my wardrobe?

Today is a running rest day and I was meeting a fellow C25Ker Razouski for a well-earned coffee and Portugese Custard Tart. As I was choosing my coffee workout gear with care, the kettlebells winked at me. Each night they prey on my sleeping bod and syphon away any will to use them, so each morning I look at them and think ‘mmm must work out how to use them’, but never quite have the physical or mental strength to lift them off the shelf. They are exactly like Dracula, because they’ve never seen the light of day with me.

Purchased before Christmas, expressly to use both here and in Italy. I carefully decided that the two smaller ones should stay in London (space and time issues), with the two larger weights 6 and 8kg taken to Italy, on the premise that I’d use the smaller ones throughout Winter and graduate to the big girls’ version in Spring/Summer in Italy.

The reason for me thinking about them again, is  that my C25K buddy Razouski is ‘running’ injured and so as she can’t run, she is going to the gym and using kettlebells. Although I am rather alarmed at an exercise she described, which seemingly involved swinging them around at head height, especially as a guy in her class dropped his, it does seem quite an effective strengthener.

Today’s coffee and PCT session was not only fun but a great kick up the bum. Here we go –  another resolution coming up,  I will use my kettlebells on at least one exercise type, every other day (alternating with my running days).

I just have to work out which exercise it is…, and as I tried (with Mr JCR) my first ballroom dancing lesson last night, it is self evident that exercise requiring lots of coordination is out.

Anybody got any recommendations on a simple, JCR-proof exercise with Vampire Kettlebells? Oh and mentioning the word push-up, isn’t in my mind at all, Razouski described that exercise too and that sounded horrible. She is definitely a fitter, more focussed person than me 🙂

Strictly Come Kettling – here I come

 

 

 

 

13 Jan – Run low, run slow and don’t run too much

 

johnwayne

I am walking like John Wayne after yesterday’s 13km, and week’s cumulative kilometre count of 34k – which by the way is still 4k short of my weekly need. In my neck of the woods I don’t need a space between my legs for a horse, not in downtown City fringes anyway.

John Wayne famously said the above headline, actually he didn’t… replace the word run for the word ‘talk’ and you have it spot on.

Tomorrow on run day, I will run low (low kms), I will run slow (slower than usual) and not run too much, so I stop before the Mrs Overall style hits.

In practice, that means not doing another 10k, but maybe aiming for a 7 or 8 at a more leisurely pace. I know I will be running to a deficit in the first 2 or 3 months of the year and I hope to catch it up during the Spring and Summer in Italy.

That’s the plan; in the Summer (according to well known running advice) I can start running daily, rather than every other day. That should help claw back the deficit, or maybe I am doing a Philip Hammond and leaving the economic reckoning to another generation.

 

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day Twelve

New Year’s Eve

On the twelfth Day of Christmas

We are here in Italy

Twelve O’Clock Bell Chiming

Eleven pages of planning docs

Ten hours of sleeping

Nine o’clock, our friends left

Eight Dutchmen drinking

Seven laughs a minute

Six Fano Views taken

Five courses eaten

Four stockings readied

Three lots of shopping

Two people cleaning

And the house was only one degree

But the very best news was I broke my running duck. Today I went running, honest to God, cross my heart running.

Just a pity the technology didn’t play ball, still New Year, New Start – and that means a new running app, as me and Map My Run Mechanical Voice Lady are coming to the end. I divorce her herewith…

Two NYE parties to go to, aren’t we lucky? This is my kind of interval training – one party, then a short interval, followed by another.

Happy New Year All.

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day Eleven

SaturdayNightFireWatching
Is This The Migraine Trigger – I Do Hope Not

30 December – 4th Day of Twixtmas

On the eleventh Day of Christmas

We are here in Italy

Eleven pages of planning docs

Ten hours of sleeping

Nine o’clock, our friends left

Eight Dutchmen drinking

Seven laughs a minute

Six Fano Views taken

Five courses eaten

Four stockings readied

Three lots of shopping

Two people cleaning

And the house was only one degree

 

We have our geometra visiting this morning. He is an architect, cum quantity surveyor, cum lawyer, cum planning permission specialist. We want a garage, this is an epic story. For various umpteen reasons quite specific to Italy, this is not an easy thing. We are now four years into trying to get permission for a garage.

We have committed ‘abusi’ – we have abused the planning system apparently, by having restored a house where the walls are not straight – could be because it is 300 years old maybe? In addition downstairs is 10cm too low and upstairs is 15cm too high. This seems to be a cardinal sin, mainly because historically Italians have seemingly ignored planning restrictions. If our house is more than 2% out on the lodged plans, the Comune can enforce fines, higher taxes and if they wanted to be particularly awkward, insist on us removing the offending extra space. All of this is important because the garage we want is predicated on volume, and we have to know exactly what volume the house is. We now know that when our ‘variation’ to plan was submitted to the Comune and we signed it, that we should actually have measured the height of the house inside and out, everywhere basically.

So far we have had 3 sets of measurements done, taking about six hours in total and it is possible the Comune will ask for more to be done, because our geometra thinks our variance is marginal. Ho hum. Today’s run is scheduled for after the geometra has been – that was pre-migraine.

Another day, another unexplained migraine, where my head is being strangled by a steel band – this lasts despite copious but legal amounts of ibuprofen. Some eight hours after getting up, I still have the thumping and I can’t run when it thumps, as it hurts. Okay what do we do about migraines? – identify triggers – red wine, alcohol generally, chocolate, dairy. Yup I’ve been eating those in abundance over these last few days.

Having decided my kilometre target for 2018, being 2018 km from now until the end of next year, I have to go out tomorrow. So today, cut down on the dairy, avoid the chocolate mountain, and take it easy on the vino. Tomorrow I run, come hell or high water or a headache, the countdown has begun.

 

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day Ten

29 December – 3rd day of Twixtmas

On the tenth Day of Christmas

We are here in Italy

Ten hours of sleeping

Nine o’clock, our friends left

Eight Dutchmen drinking

Seven laughs a minute

Six Fano Views taken

Five courses eaten

Four stockings readied

Three lots of shopping

Two people cleaning

And the house was only one degree

The house is strangely empty of friends and laughter, we slowly return to a slower, quieter life and get the house tidy and clean, for we are returning back to London soon, and we don’t want to risk another bluebottle infestation!

Routine shopping and a quiet day in, as the weather has been unpredictable – each time it looks as though it is going to improve, the clouds and wind roll by, and it gets freezing cold again. An utterly inactive, lazy day. By now I have finished Jo Pavey’s book and am on Vassos’s – now this is such more my thing.

Except he does ultra running and marathons, and Iron Men challenges, not my kind of fun at all. But my first skim read tells me this is going to be much more my cup of tea. Thank goodness JCR, I thought your running mojo had taken a tumble. So I read his book, which is nicely divided into 26.2 stories about his running and has contributions from other famous runners – including Jo Pavey. In fact I find her contribution to his book, more interesting than her book…

I think I have decided on my running challenge for Alzheimers – and I am committing to it here. By the end of 2018, I will have run 2018 kilometres as a minimum. That means I better get out there then. I have just two days of allowable inactivity to go….