28 Feb – Snow Use….

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complaining about the weather. Snow good wishing it wasn’t snowing. Snow time like the present. And the puns keep rolling.

Last day of February and a planned 8km run. Mr JCR came up with a good idea to try running in/around one of the Royal Parks as they are far more likely to be well managed in bad weather. I say it was a good idea, and it was, although at the time it was mooted – in my head I was screaming ‘you’ve got to be joking, running in this!’

So off I trotted, bearing a distinct resemblance to the Michelin man with four layers on top, three layers on the bottom, two pairs of socks a hat, gloves, running buff oh and the essential 10 tissues for the ever present runny nose. I caught the train to Great Portland Street tube and exited to a mini blizzard. The pavements hadn’t been gritted and were quite slippy, so I wasn’t entirely sure that it would be safe to run.

But then I found that the pavements around the park were fine, because no grit and no pedestrians meant almost virgin snow, which is grippy enough to run on, although your pace suffers a bit. So I plodded around, and slight confession here, I just thought I’d follow whichever road I was on. And it turned out it was the inner circle road which apparently I circumnavigated three times.  Here’s the thing I had no idea I had done that. I must admit to being confused at seeing a place called ‘The Holme’ on three occasions, but I thought that maybe the park had a number of lodges all called the same thing. Truthfully it’s a good job I’m not let out on my own very often, I really couldn’t find my way out of a cul de sac.


I carried on and I was really enjoying it, there’s a kind of muffled silence that comes with snow; the roar of traffic from the Marylebone Road,  was just a very distant hum and the park itself, magically tranquil. A guy asked me to take a photo of him against the snow because he couldn’t believe there was that much in London.

After about 5/6 kms the park started filling up with people, some with children and most of them not, but it didn’t stop a number of snowball fights from happening. No snowflakey bans on snowballs here. And the funniest sight of all, was some twenty-something lads looking like they were re-enacting The ‘Big Air’ finals from the Olympics with all sorts of acrobatics, just without skis or a snowboard.

At this point the pathway was becoming a little more slushy underfoot and I decided to call it quits before I undertook an unplanned ‘Big Air’ moment. Who knew that running in the snow would be so lovely?  I didn’t. Snow excuses, next time – I will be straight out the door heading for Regents Park again.

Playlist (Retro Runners – Weather Mix)

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

The Morning Fog – Kate Bush

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

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

Something In The Air – Thunderclap Newman

Thunder – His Purple Highness

Mr Blue Sky – ELO

Ain’t No Sunshine – Lighthouse Family

Thunder In My Heart – Meck and Leo Sayer

Since You’ve Been Gone – Rainbow

Downpour – Backstreet Boys

Sunshine After The Rain – Berri

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Baby It’s Cold Outside – Menzel and Buble

Cold As Ice – Foreigner

Lightning Strikes – The Black Seeds

Cold – Stormzy

Warmth – Bastille

Sunshine On A Rainy Day – Galimar

Boogie Nights – Heatwave


Distance 7.96 km (curses just off the target 8)

Time 1:12:45

Average Pace 9:08 (mins/km)

Elevation gain 23 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 322.9

Kms to Do 1695.1 (yay under the 1700)

Cumulative Deficit 13.45km – that’s a drop of approximately 29km on January’s figures)

Team Rhomboid Torture

I should have done 4 sets of reps of squats and press-ups yesterday. I actually managed 3 sets of 7 reps of squats with 2 sets of 10 reps of wall press-ups. All the attention we were told was to be on ‘maintaining form’ and the best way to do this is to self video.

I don’t know how you insert a video camera between you and a wall, so I didn’t.





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.


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


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


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





5 Feb – I was in the top 8%

That’s me, the non-running runner. The over 50 non-running runner. Out of 110,000 people in this challenge, I am in the top 8%. Well I was yesterday, as the pic proves. This probably is the best achievement I’ve ever had, whether sporting or academic.

Except maybe for eating chocolate, I think I can confidently say I was in the top 8% (probably in the world), for eating chocolate. But this running achievement is transitory, it’s early days and there’s a whole uncertain, scary year still to run.

No resting on laurels then…. let’s see what today will bring. I don’t want to end up as a punch-drunk fighter saying ‘I could’ve been a contender’.

It was cold, but clear and I was dressed in black like a ninja. I actually ran like a walrus, not a ninja, but still I went out.

This walrus can actually run faster than me!

Despite being a slow runner of some repute, I am delighted to say I am still in the top 8% of the global challenge. That’s twice now I have appeared here. I am gloating, yes I am! The running, slow, walrus is gloating; pride will undoubtedly come before a fall…



Born In The USA – The Boss

Everything Must Go – The Manics

Back To Black – Amy Winehouse

By The Way – Red Hot Chilis

Boombastic – Shaggy

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

Save A Prayer – Duran Duran (twice in succession)

Is Vic There? – Department S

Doginabag – The Fratellis

Wonderwall – Oasis

Strong – London Grammar

Enola Gay – OMD

I Try – Macy Gray

Sex-O-Matic-Venus Freak – Macy Gray


Distance 6.78km

Time 47:39

Average Pace 7:01 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 21m

Alzheimer’s Challenge Update

Kms Run To Date 160.31

Kms to Run 1857.69 (slowlee, slowlee, catchee monkee)

Running Streak – Day 5





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.


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


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


15 January – Looking For Mr Blue Sky

Mr Blue Sky Finally Shows Up

Having read Cat Bradley’s recent post about Winter Exercise, (and btw doesn’t she look good on it?) I realised that yesterday when I ran, although the weather was yucky, it didn’t actually stop me going out. That’s a good thing  – what with this barmy challenge of 2018 kms in 2018 I’ve set myself.

London isn’t known for its blue skies, frankly the unappealing shade of grey, is the usual tone. So absolutely bloody typical, after a morning of rain and bleurgh weather, this afternoon Mr Blue Sky is making an appearance. No doubt he will disappear tomorrow when I am running again.

My weather inspired playlist may or may not have helped me yesterday, but there are two tracks that always get me moving faster and that’s the famous Mr Blue Sky and The Weather Girls and their hit ‘It’s Raining Men’.

Tomorrow, whether the weather be fair or foul, I shall be running from Hampstead to Home and a little bit more as a minimum I have to do 10km. And so decisions, decisions do I run to my Weather Mix or something else?

The Weather Mix can be found here:-


The full playlist details are:-

Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Fog On The Tyne – Lindisfarne

The Morning Fog – Kate Bush

Misty Blue – Dorothy Moore

Thunder Road – The Boss

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

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

Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream

Something In The Air – Thunderclap Newman

Thunder – His Purple Highness

Mr Blue Sky – E.L.O.

Sunny – Boney M

Ain’t No Sunshine – Lighthouse Family

Thunder In My Heart – Meck and Sayer

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Since You’ve Been Gone – Rainbow

Downpour – Backstreet Boys

Sunshine On Leith – The Proclaimers

Sunshine After The Rain – Berri

Walking On Sunshine – Katrina And The Waves

Boogie Shoes – K.C. And The Sunshine Band

On The Road Again – Canned Heat

Baby Its Cold Outside – Menzel and Buble

Cold As ice – Foreigner

Lightning Bolt – Jake Bugg

Lightning Strikes – The Black Seeds

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Artists For Grenfell

The Real Slim Shady – Eminem

Summer Breeze – Isley Brothers

Cold Cold Man – Saint Motel

Cold – Stormzy

Warmth – Bastille

Freeze Frame – The J Geils Band

Sunshine On A Rainy Day – Galimar

Hot Stuff – Donna Summer

Boogie Nights – Heatwave






10 January – Retro Runners Keep Running, Keep Smiling Mix

Today is a day of running rest, but to keep my focus, I have created a new playlist on Spotify to pay tribute to the administrators and mentors of the C25K Forum. The virtual toast is in defiance of ‘Dry January’.

They all know who they are, and some have their own specific messages, taglines, pieces of advice, or experience which help others starting out to run.

Not all the songs are specific to the mentors, some are general and to be honest some I just couldn’t find for instance,  I could only find very explicit material under Floss, so decided against that – this is a tribute not an insult!

If you’re struggling to understand why I chose some tracks – here is my warped thinking…

For the C25Ker who ‘panthers’

Stray Cat Strut – The Stray Cats

Ju-Ju Man – Dave Edmunds

Tiger Feet – Mud

Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini

The Streak – Ray Stevens

For the C25Ker who advocates happy and steady pacing

Snail – The Smashing Pumpkins

Happy – Pharrell Williams

Nowhere Fast – Eminem and Kahlani

Hey You The Rock Steady Crew – Rock Steady Crew

Tread Softly – Tiny Ruins and Hamish Kilgour

For the owner of the tagline above

Keep on Running – Spencer Davis Group

Smile – Lily Allen

Smile  – Gregory Porter

Gotta Keep Smiling – Scouting For Girls

Help! – The Beatles


Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie

Compression – Digilio and Accorsi

Love in an Elevator – Aerosmith

Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread) – Ricky Nelson

For the lady who ‘now runs’

To Jan – Leonard Anderson

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

One Step Beyond – Madness (for going beyond 5k…)

Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley (for exactly the same reason!)

Question – The Moody Blues

The ‘down under’ runner

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Running Up That Hill – Kate Bush

Advice For The Young At Heart – Tears For Fears (for the Use It or Lose It advice)

Down Under – Men At Work

The ‘club’ person who likes triathlons and marathons

Easy – Commodores

One Step Beyond – Madness

There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johny Nash

The Winner (Podium Mix) – Status Quo


The playlist can be found here:-




Retro Runners – Colours Playlist


As we near the end of 2017, I have created another playlist on Spotify.

This is in honour of RunningRaspberryDiva and Cornet-Carolyn on Health Unlocked C25K. It is called Retro Runners Raspberry Cornet.

Running Raspberry Diva because she changed her name after I described the Runner’s Colours found on Dulux’s Colour Chart.

And Cornet-Carolyn, because she has spanned more or less every red/pink/magenta known to man in her running quest.

The list is all of these fab colour oriented songs:-

The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes – Elvis Costello and The Attractions

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Blue Monday ’88 – New Order

Golden Brown – The Stranglers

Golden Years – David Bowie

Raspberry Beret – His Purple Highness

Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis

White Wedding – Billy Idol

Cream – His Purple Highness

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Being Beige – Smashing Pumpkins

Brown Sugar – D’Angelo

Forever in Blue Jeans – Neil Diamond

Yellow Submarine – The Beatles

Yellow River – Christie

Green Eyes – Coldplay

Green Garden – Laura Mvula

Grey Day – Madness

Lavender – Marillion

Little Red Corvette – His Purple Highness

Misty Blue – Dorothy Moore

Mr Blue Sky – ELO

My White Bicycle – Nazareth

Pretty in Pink – The Psychedelic Furs

Pretty Fly For a White Guy – The Offspring

99 Red Balloons – Nena

True Colors – Cyndi Lauper

Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs

Suicide Blonde – INXS

White Riot – The Clash

Yellow Pearl – Phil Lynott and Midge Ure

Fade to Grey – Visage


The Spotify Pic takes you to the list. I hope you enjoy it.