18 Jan – MVP Awards


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


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



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


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



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



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.


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


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…


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


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




5 July – So Shite and The Seven Dwarves


Well after my last rubbish run, England did at least overcome the penalty hoodoo, and for the first time in ages proved that they could be brilliant both on paper and on grass. In truth I’m not sure brilliant describes their performance, but the job was done. Thanks to G for the internet meme of ‘Arry Kane.

I still had something to prove, having had a lousy run and a sore hamstring last time out. After a day’s rest I was back out in the fray. The headline may give you a clue as to how today went.

I’d decided to run my old C25K loop, which is the Slope of Hope, followed by ascending the Hill That Kills, into Lovers’ Lane, around Villa Bali and back up Lovers’ Lane, a descent of the Hill That Kills. And repeat, until your running time is up. I thought this would be a good idea as it keeps me close to home in case of a niggle/problem.

Today’s characters in order of appearance are:-

So Shite

A middle aged woman who may have bitten a poisoned apple of a challenge in trying to run the year.


Last night we were out eating and drinking in-between the vines at a local vineyard. I didn’t over indulge but it was a late night, so I wasn’t at my best when I hauled my sorry arse out of bed.


On my way down the Slope Of Hope for the first time, I saw a Fiat 500 veering rather erratically on the road. We do have some elderly drivers here who’ve never taken a driving test, so I wasn’t overly alarmed, just stopped and waited for him to drive past. He wasn’t actually sneezing but he was having a coughing fit, hunched over the wheel, causing him to rock from side to side. As Disney didn’t call a dwarf ‘Coughy’, Sneezy will have to do.


My hamstring was aching quite a bit as I entered the Hill That Kills – she could be the Evil Stepmother, as she’s quite cunning. You think she’s easy to ascend, but there are a couple of rises that give you quite a challenge. I wasn’t feeling very confident about getting up her today, and was quite bashful about being able to achieve it. First time – yes I managed to run up all the way, without a breather/pause. Second time, no she got me and I had a halfway stop.


When not feeling great what’s one of the worst things you can do – that’s right JCR (or Dopey as I now should call myself), it’s running in full sun without shade, that was two loops of Villa Bali and whilst they were short the sun was hot and high in the sky. Who chooses to run in sun when it is 28 degrees? I could have avoided those loops easily and stayed in the shade. But no Dopey by name, and dopey by nature.


At my second attempt to run up the Hill That Kills, my hamstring started grumbling even more. Evidently this niggle is here to stay. having checked my Dr Google injury recovery checklist – I can expect this to hang around for 2 weeks. I may need to use the foam roller torture instrument to see if that helps. Otherwise rest is the main cure – that is not in the least bit helpful, leading me onto ….


I’m pissed off. I should have run 10km today and managed a pathetic 5k.


How I was before this stupid hamstring thing.


Rock The Casbah – The Clash

Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak – Macy Gray

Everything Must Go – The Manics

Alison – Elvis Costello

Lucky You – Lightning Seeds

It’s Called A Heart – Depeche Mode

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers

Rain On Your Parade – Duffy

Down In The Tube Station At Midnight – The Jam

Wonderwall – Oasis

In The City – The Jam

Sign Your Name – Terence Trent D’Arby


Distance 5.57km

Time 47:16

Average Pace 8:29 mins/km – So Shite!

Elevation Gain 47 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1141.12

Kms To Run 876.88


2 July – Lucifer is coming



No, this is not a pronouncement from the Seventh Day Adventists, it’s a prediction from the Italian Weather Channel. Lucifer visited us last year, culminating in a shockingly hot summer with temperatures of forty five degrees plus. Lucifer, is this time, African in origin, with the continent’s heatwave due to visit us.

He definitely was around yesterday, with temperatures topping 32 degrees, today I think he’s taken a day off and introduced his brother Lucifer Junior, who can’t quite muster the same level of heat.

LJ and I went for a run and I think I probably got the worst of his temper. I took the usual route, having an idea of doing 9km, just to keep momentum if I could. LJ had some more mischief up his sleeve. Trotting down Mill Lane I fell into a pothole. Two things I’d observe – the pothole was clearly visible and I run down this road regularly. It’s hardly a surprise, but nonetheless I stumbled inelegantly – all of two minutes into my run

LJ 1 – 0 JCR

I gathered my wits such as they are and continued towards Lovers’ Lane – none there today, so I turned back towards the Hill That Kills, at which point LJ made his presence known. iTunes decided for some bizarre reason to suspend my music, so a lot of faffing ensued, me trying to work out which setting was responsible for the glitch and in the meantime LJ was giggling quietly at my incompetence.

LJ 2 – 0 JCR

Now onto the bendy, scary road, which thankfully had quite a bit of shade and tidy verges. Curses  – LJ struck once more, as a result of said tidy verges there was a ‘branch’ on the roadside – okay a largeish twig, which for some reason I managed to catch between both my feet, and a rather dramatic stumble was witnessed by a passing car. I didn’t actually do any damage, more a case of hurt pride, so I got my own back there.

LJ 3 – 1 JCR

Into the fish shop village, I am on the pavement and two folk are walking abreast towards me. Now my rule of thumb is that when you are two abreast and there’s one person coming your way, one of you drops back to allow the oncoming person to pass. Evidently no-one has heard of this rule in Italy, or specifically this morning, in this village, on this pavement. That meant I was faced with a pavement block, so I had to run into the road – luckily no cars were coming. Therefore LJ’s plan to cause me a road related injury, failed miserably.

LJ 3 – 2 JCR

Entering Bin Lane, my right hamstring really started hurting, twingeing and twanging with every step. My biggest fear on doing my challenge is that injury will cause me to fail, so LJ got me good and proper on my hamstring. I tried to continue and gingerly tested the hamstring again by gentle jogging, but it was not to be. So I decided to quit before any more damage was done.

LJ 4 – 2 JCR

Meeting Mr JCR at the cafe, he discovered a better running route, which will keep me away from juggernauts on the ‘all roads lead to Rome’ road.  That’s another goal clawed back to lead to a final score of:-

LJ 4 – 3 JCR

Same as when France beat Argentina in the World Cup on Saturday. I am hoping LJ keeps away from England vs Colombia.


Rumour Has It – Adele

Alison – Elvis Costello

Change – The Lightning Seeds

I Predict A Riot – Kaiser Chiefs

Sign Of The Times – Harry Styles

Rockferry – Duffy

Rio – Duran Duran

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Dancing In The Dark – The Boss

Oh Woman Oh Man – London Grammar

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Cabron – Red Hot Chilis

Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs


Distance 8.44km (didn’t quite manage the 9km – thanks LJ)

Time 54:48

Average Pace 6:29

Elevation Gain 57 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1130.18

Kms To Run 887.82