9 April – J in the City lacking some K

 

 

You should never show you’re too keen when your date comes calling, and so I made Mr Smooth wait for my company today.

Nothing to do with playing hard to get and all to do with finding it very hard to get to sleep last night. Half past three in the morning saw me reading the newspaper, trying to tire myself out, as a consequence my sleep pattern shifted by a good three hours.

After a groggy lie in and a mental telling off, I got changed into my running gear and went for a nice light run in the City. Run 2 Week 3 of Couch to 5K, last run in July 2017 in Italy, in the sun.

Fast forward 18 months and it’s being run in the sun, but London. I don’t know if it’s the lack of pollution but I’ve never seen so many blue sky days all at once, which is quite an encouragement to go out. I had hoped to wear my newly ordered shorts and running top, however they hadn’t arrived, so I was wearing full-on winter gear, which made me a little red in the face, as overheating took hold.

Like my last run, I thought I’d collect smiles during my run, but evidently the smilers had decided to self isolate, not a glimmer of a smile, no head nodding, no thank yous, but in fairness not that many people around, so today was an epic fail on smile collecting, but a win on completing the run.

Imagine a beetroot wearing camouflage leggings, grinning inanely at random passers-by.  Note to self – I think I’ve just realised why people didn’t respond, me looking like a loon was probably a tad off-putting for most people.

Mr Smooth suggested I maybe feeing a little tired and so water would be a good idea – ah yes, water flask, I thought something was missing. Never mind JCR it takes a little while to get back in your groove. How did the run feel? Well, in truth I could go faster and I could run for longer (presumably this is muscle memory kicking in), but my hip is still quite sore, and I don’t want another year off running, so slow and sensible will do the job, although I cringe at having run an eight minute kilometre – I could ‘fast walk’ it more speedily.

For the warm down, I took the opportunity to jay walk on a closed road – pedestrians are usually potential roadkill in the City, so it seems slightly naughty to do it, but it kept me in the shade and in good spirits.

Music was my Disco Divas re-mix on Spotify, with the most appropriate track being Cruel Summer, because it’s warm and we can’t do what we would like to. But I ended up on Donna Summer’s  I Feel Love, which pretty much summed up how I felt about the run

In all it’s eight runs of C25K done, a bit of jay walking some kit missing, but some new kit ordered. I got home to a parcel of Lululemon running goodies – summer shorts, two summer tops and a front-loading bra, (which I thought would be better than my Shock Absorber, which I find really hard to fasten), so JCR got some new K (kit)

Well what an absolute hoot it was, wrangling my boobs into the front loader, in truth it wasn’t so much putting on clothes as a full yoga  and wrestling work out. So this J can’t really handle her K at all. And I thought finding motivation might be an issue on running, it could be the hardest job is getting my boobs in order.

Physio

Bridges – which are pelvic thrusts without the thrusting – 10

Pelvic thrusting – 2 sets of 10 reps, I’m not sure that’s what they are called, but it’s what Rocky did in Rocky Horror Show…

Clams – 15 each leg

Hip Flexor Weights – too difficult to count the positions but 3 sets of reps each side

Squats – 2 sets of 10 reps

Demented Crab movement – 1 set of 12 reps for each leg (the bedroom isn’t that big so I can only do 4 in any one direction)

Boob Wrangling – 10 minutes and a few eff words

Toe touching – am not in the least bendy, so let’s leave it as a work in progress

 

 

Distant Socialising or Social Distancing?

Yesterday was official rest day from C25K, but a walk was in order to keep up a minimum amount of exercise during lockdown.

The City was quiet as ever, and Mr JCR and I were chatting about how much nicer it would be if people were smiling when out. In fact, Mr JCR commented it would be like collecting happiness, and would help you feel so much better during these sad days.

With that in mind today I went on Week 3 Run 1 of C25K, determined to collect some happiness. Whilst we have to do social distancing we needn’t be socially distant and I made up my mind to smile through the run at fellow exercisers, pedestrians, workers whatever.

Mr Smooth decided we were alternating between 90 seconds of running and then three minutes intervals. Not exactly a stretch for me on the puffing and panting front, but a bit of a stretch for the gippy hip, which did start to grumble on the second three minute interval.

The sun was shining and I ticked off my first two smiles, a fellow runner and I dodged each other and both of us smiled  in thanks to each other. I know I said let’s not be socially distant, but this is London you can’t just talk to strangers randomly it will get you arrested.

A little later on a little old lady passed by laden down with her shopping, so I pushed my back to the wall so she had space, she smiled and nodded her thanks.

A few metres later I was jogging happily along and two walkers were coming towards me, the pavement space was limited so I darted into Moorgate on the road, and they both smiled and she said thank you.

I was avoiding the sun, as ordinarily by now I’d be running in Italy, (which is where all my summer running kit is) in London I just have winter running gear, which is a little bit too warm in this gorgeous weather. Keeping in the shade listening to a rather glorious Two Tone and Ska Playlist, I hit the last run interval and I felt fine save for an occasional twinge from my right hip. Turning back towards home I saw the workers in Moorgate not distancing at all – real workers and fake social distancing, but on my cool down walk I saw these cute fake workers in a window, but they were doing real social distancing.

Note to the real workers – maybe it’s not a bad idea to take a leaf out of the fake workers’ book…

Whilst I ran with social distancing physically, I wasn’t socially distant and so my stats are:-

Stats

Run 3.8km

4 Smiles

1 Nod

1 Thank You

And the usual physio routine, pelvic thrusts, squats, clams, bridges, hip flexor weight training

Playlist – Two Tone and Ska – perfect for a run in the sun.

 

 

 

 

 

Joining Runder

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Very appropriate advice in lockdown times

It’s been a year.

A whole year.

Since I’ve run. For the following reasons:-

  • Injury
  • Physio
  • Flu/Cold thing lasting two months
  • Flu/Cold necessitated visit to a hospital for air and antibiotics – it wasn’t flu
  • It was acute bronchitis, followed by;-
  • Paroxysmal Vertigo, which caused me to fall over at the physiotherapists – he promptly banned me from running as it was too dangerous.
  • Two sets of kidney infections.
  • Distinct lack of mojo.

And the worst thing, Alzheimer’s took my dad, giving me and my family one of the shittiest New Year’s Eves ever.

January saw his funeral, which was delayed because pops died between Christmas and New Year. A visit to Cornwall helped do some healing by the sea.

February saw me go to Liverpool to scatter some of dad’s ashes and visiting Anfield, which was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever done. He loved his team, and it was only fitting he made his final visit there.

March – a significant birthday coinciding with the first day of the UK’ s official COVID 19 lockdown – no birthday meal and no birthday trip to Tel Aviv either. And for me now, the first month of a new year.

Who knew that a COVID lockdown would start me running? I’ve joined the running app ‘Runder’ , where swiping right or left is not an option, you can choose your running coach and take it from there. All of which means I’m dating the gorgeous Mr Smooth again. Me and Michael Johnson are an item. And no there isn’t an app called Runder, it’s the Couch to 5K app.

My fitness issue is not one of having enough puff, it is whether my dodgy hips will stand the load and so far the physio is hurting way more than the running. Still hopefully the old adage ‘no pain, no gain’ stands up to scrutiny.

Being stuck in a small apartment in London, the fresh air beckons and it is much fresher now there’s little traffic. There’s joy in running down the middle of the tarmac roads in the City, with very few folk around. Social distancing works just fine.

I’ve started my playlists again, but I’m not fixating on distances or times. Let’s see if me and Mr Smooth stay the distance.

Stats

5 runs done

5 playlists played

5 lots of sports washing done

1st Feb – Slush Puppying

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The Beast from the East has returned, hurrah, I had one of my best runs last year when he came to visit.

However, said Beast from the East, is a little smaller this time around. Not so much snow as a scattering of slush on the pavements.

Today is the day, I go for my rehab run – yes I am officially allowed back on the pavements of London.

Runderwear – ready

Socks – ready

Running Tights – ready

Base Layer – ready

Running Top – ready

Gloves – ready

Bobble Hat – ready

Spotify – ready (my new Blue Monday Remedy playlist)

Runner – ready

Out I venture and my warm up walk takes me to the delights of Silicon roundabout. Then I start the running to J Geils and Freeze-frame – what an appropriate tune for my first time out in 3 weeks. My hip and thigh are twingeing a bit, so I am as slow as a snail. Good job really as the pavements have a lovely mix of London Road detritus mixed in with the slush – think liquorice coloured rather than dayglo. It’s a bit slippy underfoot,  and as I can famously fall over a twig, I gingerly run to the fish shop – more or less a 2km run as the physio ordered.

Not much to report really, plenty of slush, a couple of mini-slides, and a few twinges but it was wonderful to get out again. Not entirely sure how much good or damage I may have done to my leg, but no doubt the Physio will tell me on Tuesday. Jancanrun has just done a run, it’s not big, long, fast or clever, but it is a run, and there’s about another 60 tracks on the Blue Monday playlist to get through, at this rate that’s about another 10 runs.

Playlist

Freeze-Frame – J Geils Band

Centrefold – J Geils Band

Too Drunk to F… – Dead Kennedys

Somebody Else’s Guy – Jocelyn Brown

Disco Inferno – The Trammps

Stats

Distance 2.34km

Time = over 15 minutes, I told you I was slow

Pace/Elevation – immaterial

 

 

29 Jan – JCR Is On The Road Again

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Strictly speaking, this is not exactly true, but the Physio has confirmed I can try a little run, no more than 25% of my usual distance and I must rest for 24 hours minimum afterwards.

This coupled with Mr JCR acting as a muscly stretching person on my unwilling legs and an introductory course of Pilates, is supposedly going to get me back to normal. Hurrah. (I’m trying to forget the squats instructions…)

As to the dodgy shoulder, that’s a longer game, Mert and Victor and Raffaella are going to continue to see me weekly for at least a couple of months to come. As I don’t run with my shoulder, that’s a little less of an issue, although the injury is more severe, but it is going to curtail any thoughts of boxing for a while.

A little ray of sunshine pierced through the injury gloom, and the blooming flowers in the park on the way home, made me feel quite optimistic.

From a Couch to 5K member, to a 2000km runner, I am now back to doing just 2kms, but it’s 2kms more than I’ve been able to do for almost four weeks now.

If the Beast from the East is returning for me, I’m ready and waiting – trainers are on standby.

 

 

 

18 Jan – MVP Awards

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A long while ago in JCR time, Mr JCR introduced me to the concept of an MVP in relation to American Football – the Most Valued Player Award. Last Thursday I went to London Met University for my shoulder and hip physio, to help me with the hotly anticipated boxing debut as in JanCanBox and back to JanActuallyCanRun status.

When I was looking for a pic for MVP, of course you can get famous sportspeople, but I’ve found MVP stands for many other things too:-

  • Minimum Viable Product
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse – don’t fancy that one much, whatever it is
  • Most Valuable Point
  • Monster Versus Player (video gaming apparently)
  • Most Valuable Poet

I have as you might expect my own definitions:-

MVP = Most Violent Physiotherapists

or

MVP =Mert, and Victor Perfect Physios okay it’s more a MVPP

I’ve been told I can run, just take it easily and wait until the hip pain/soreness subsides. Four days later, I know it’s still sore, so I am not running. But pain before gain is my hope. And another physio session beckons this week, so fingers, toes and legs crossed I start feeling better, as my running gear still is whispering curses every time I walk past it.

 

 

 

 

16 Jan – Preparation for Running

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As I can’t actually run until I’ve seen the gruesome twosome of Mut and Victor tomorrow at the Physios, I have to do something else.

Therefore I have put my mind to overcoming the upcoming Blue Monday – which is January 21st.

And this is what I’ve got:-

In 2005, British psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall came up with a formula to predict when we feel the post Christmas blues at its worst. It generally falls on the third Monday of January every year – so-called Blue Monday which is 21st January this year.

The formula is: [W+(D-d)]xTQ/MxNA.

Here’s what it all means:

W = Weather

d = Debt

T = time since Christmas

Q = time since failing New Year’s resolutions

M = low motivational levels

Na = Need to take action

I am suggesting a new day for C25Kers or runners in general, instead of Blue Monday how about we have  Wonderful Wednesday? The day when we create a brand new playlist for running, and hopefully we are so energised by the thought that we are on a musical high and sail through Blue Monday, not noticing it at all. I accept a playlist may not get you over all the horrid news around, but a little distracting tactic is never a bad thing in my view.

My Wonderful Wednesday ‘formula’ is

CR X TPL = H

Couch 25K/Runners multiplied by tracks on playlist = Happiness.

To all fellow retro runners, we needed a theme that made us feel happy with get up and go, so my proposed theme for all your wonderful ideas is 70s and 80s Dancefloor Anthems. And I’ve started us off with my favourites:-

DISCO – Ottawan

War and Eye To Eye Contact – Edwin Starr

Might Real – Sylvester

Stayin’ Alive, Jive Talking’, Saturday Night Fever – Bee Gees

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

Boogie Wonderland – Earth Wind and Fire

Hot Stuff – Donna Summer

Le Freak – Chic

Celebration Kool and the Gang

Looking forward to seeing those Wonderful Wednesday song suggestions, for when I can return to running

JCR X

 

8 Jan – Jan What’s The Plan?

person holding pen drawing on paper
If only I had a plan…

This was what my fishmonger asked me, having expressed surprise that I was still running, despite having met my 2018km Alzheimer’s Challenge.

And I don’t have one – yet. Clearly I can’t run 2019ms in 2019, otherwise last year’s effort won’t be a standout achievement and as I am typing this with a runner’s ailment beginning with a ‘p’, most probably caused by overrunning, then I need a new one.

I have a variety of things to consider:-

I like running – mainly because I can do it

I have kettlebells – vampire kettlebells hiding in the wardrobe, as I have a frozen shoulder type issue and my left arm can just about pick a flower up, therefore one side kettlebell training is not great

I quite fancy a go at boxing (not with people, just a punchbag) – but see above re dodgy shoulder

My core is a soft squidgy excuse of a core and if I had a stronger one then I could be a better runner

I appear to have a running ailment requiring physio

I’ve almost persuaded myself to run a half marathon in aid of dementia in Italy and more to the point invited Gill my running buddy to join me.

Therefore, my ‘plan’ such as it is, is:-

  • get the ‘p’ ailment sorted
  • get the shoulder sorted
  • start doing some non-running exercise as determined by a physio/personal trainer
  • then work on the half marathon training

10th January update – I have now been to physio (big shout out to London Metropolitan University Science Centre), where Mut and Victor put me through my paces, under the supervision of Rafaella. What a find this is, final year MSC students needing practice and bargain basement prices, and a really good session.

I went from Jancanrun to Jancanyelp. Mut and Victor are smiling assassins, first off the shoulder is being treated for an impingement and now I have some new movement; after the pair of them took it in turns to apply friendly but serious pressure. This may mean in time I can put on a bra without needing to adopt the hook swoosh method. The hip has been diagnosed initially, treatment starts next week as I should have booked two appointments this time.

In the meantime, it’s shorter gentler runs for me, so as not to make the hip worse.

Part 1 of the plan is started.

 

 

 

 

7 Jan – Looking for Blue

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and finding only grey skies today. Second run of the year, just going where the legs took me.

London is slowly returning to its pre-Christmas normal. The fake German market huts have gone, the lights are down, but the tourists are still around and an awful lot of post-Christmas runners are skipping around the City.

I made my way through the City and towards the Strand, the pavement traffic was light and I was nicely light on my feet, turning south, I wanted to run by the river. Ooh it’s a bit windy and I am ‘joined’ by a running group. They are four and on my heels, but I have solo ninja power to aid me and I keep them at bay. But like wolves circling their prey, slowly, relentlessly they hunt me down and overtake in a swoosh near Tate Modern. I try to pick up the pace but have a slightly dodgy right hamstring, which having read up on Dr Google is another runner’s ailment beginning with ‘p’. I take a chance to have a breather and read up on this new ‘p’ ailment – it apparently can be due to overrunning (mmm I wonder how that happened), or lack of flexibility (okay hands up).

A bit of random stretching is in order, and I do have a right real pain in the bum – literally. Oh that’s another sign of this ‘p’ ailment. I decide to slow the pace and do a jogette back to base. The only light blue I saw was on the Tower Bridge railings, but my mood is not blue, it was a lovely run and an appointment has been made to see a physio on Thursday.

Playlist

First singles ever being tested.

Ride A White Swan – TRex

How Long – Ace

Living For The City – Stevie Wonder

Living Doll – Cliff Richard

Maggie May – Rod Stewart

Baby, Stop Crying – Bob Dylan

It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me – Billy Joel

Bedsitter – Soft Cell

As Long As You Love Me – Backstreet Boys

The Things We Do For Love – 10cc

Babe – Take That

I’m Not In Love – 10cc

Mississippi – Pussycat

mmmBop – Hanson

Take A Chance On Me – ABBA

Hello This is Joanie – Gary Brown

Changes – David Bowie

The Bump – Kenny

Killer Queen – Queen

Cool for Cats – Squeeze

Keep On Running – Spencer David Group

Life On Mars – David Bowie

Creeping Death – Metallica

Transmission – Joy Division

Hippy Hippy Shake – Swinging Blue Jeans

Take My Breath Away – Berlin

Stats

Distance 10.48km

Time 1:07:19

Average Pace 6:25

Elevation Gain 85 metres

Cumulative 16.5 kms (this is 16.5km more than I managed this time last year, so it’s not exactly bad news)

 

 

 

 

 

7 July – Grit and Goatees

 

After a day of enforced rest – gippy hamstring playing up, I was out early today to take advantage of the cooler weather after yesterday’s temporale (thunderstorm). The weather was warm but not oppressively so. I trotted out to Mill Lane,flicked my customary vee sign at the water pumping station and pootled to Lovers’ Lane. Ah, it evidently was very busy last night, with evidence of  ‘lurve’ strewn all over the road and verge. The barking beagles were nowhere to be seen, neither were Anouska and Albino.

I ran down the Hill That Kills into the bendy scary road and saw my first Saturday cyclist, sporting a natty goatee beard. Le Marche is not London, and I have to be reminded of that fact when I bemoan not being able to get hold of certain items. But one area where Le Marche is up and coming and metropolitan in style, is the adoption of the goatee beard. Age, colour of hair, wispiness of hair, none of these factors are taken into account by the ubiquity of the goatee. My first goatee was about 50 years old, dark brown hair almost black in colour with a few stray whites or greys as the ads call them. A border collie type of goatee. He was friendly enough and waved as he cycled past.

At the 3km mark, just before the Royston Vasey village, I got another two goatees – much younger this time, about 20ish I’d say, dark brown both of them, better sculpted than the 50 year old’s, almost perfect rectangles of thatch on the chin. I raised my hand as they cycled past – they didn’t. Not all goatees are friendly goatees.

Through Royston Vasey, a quick water stop with the unspeaking woman, but a new breakthrough, one of the locals asked me if he should move out of the way so I could get my water. It’s the longest, most polite conversation I’ve ever had in that village. He didn’t have a goatee – maybe there’s a causal link between being clean shaven and more talkative?

Now towards the fish shop village and coming towards me is the Hoxton Hipster cyclist I’ve seen many times before, and he has a fully sculpted goatee. As we ‘know’ each other now, despite never being formally introduced, he said ‘Salve’ as he cycled past. A white and steel grey goatee to add to today’s collection.

I then entered the final 2kms of my run, along Bin Lane, no sign of life here, except for two teenage boys – way too young for goatees, and I turned off towards my cafe stop. And absolutely brilliant, having seen an array of goatees, I got the best one today, – I saw my first head goatee – the guy in question removed his cap and the rest of his head had been closely shaved, except for the mysterious goatee patch dead centre.

I feel a new craze has been started, maybe I should let the Hoxton Hipsters and Shoreditch crowd know that they are now officially behind the times and Le Marche is leading the way on head/hair sculpture.

The gippy hamstring is still twingeing and twanging,  but I gritted my teeth and carried on. Goatee hunting is quite good fun, it kept me occupied and not focussing on the aching of my leg. The 3.7km walk home with a 190m elevation gain, perhaps wasn’t my most sensible warm down either

Next up, helmet head hairdo hunting…

Playlist

Einstein A Go Go – Landscape

(Forever) Live and Die – OMD

Rock The Casbah – The Clash

Mr Brightside – The Killers

Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine – ditto

Somebody Told Me – ditto

When Doves Cry – His Purple Highness

Purple Rain – ditto

Creep – Radiohead

Sign Of The Times – Harry Styles

Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

Girls On Film – Ditto

Boombastic – Shaggy

Tesla Girls – OMD

Modern Way – Kaiser Chiefs

Lucky You – Lightning Seeds

Reap The Wild Wind – Ultravox

Vienna – ditto

Stats

Distance 10.26km

Time 1:10:43

Average Pace 6:53 mins/km

Elevation Gain 38 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1151.38

Kms To Run 866.62