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…

 

 

 

 

23 Jan – Searching for Three Pale Blues…

and actually only finding two! But a late dark blue entry gave the day a touch of magic.

What on earth are you on about JCR? As some of you may know my Dad has a combination of Alzheimer’s and also Vascular Dementia, and to raise much needed funds for research I am targeting myself to run 2018 km in 2018. The year didn’t exactly start well, with no running in the first week of January and last week’s efforts took a downer, after a four day migraine stopped me from running.

Last week I took my first challenge which was to start running around the original London Monopoly board. The browns, the jail, and two train stations were completed in an epic (by my standards) run.

To today, when I had an appointment which meant time was short, I had decided that the pale blue squares were next on my list. This encompasses The Angel, Islington, Euston Road, Pentonville Road and I was going to sneak in Kings Cross Station too. With limited time available, I decided to drop Euston Road for another run, but aimed to get the two pale blue squares done.

Out I popped and decided to take a circuitous route via the fish shop in Islington, so I could get shopping done at the same time. The downside of choosing to run and ‘fish’ shop, is carrying the fish, which seemed not a big deal at first, but I bought just under a kilo in weight. In a carrier bag, and I was only 2km into my run.

It is not easy carrying a carrier bag whilst running, especially as I had to stop to take photos of my milestones, to prove I’d done the run. First stop The Angel Islington, which is actually a pub, and not as many people think the tube station. 15 seconds later, snap I am in Pentonville Road, so that’s two pale blues done. Pentonville Road is being gentrified, but I can remember a pub, which had rather fetching metal grilles on all windows that I used to frequent (well frequent is overstating it, whenever I went to my old Publications’ Unit in Kings Cross, we used to eat there. However it is still somewhat scuzzy; I ran past crack towers, towards Kings Cross. I then had a slight panic, there are three train stations at Kings Cross:-

  • The tube
  • The Kings Cross Station
  • St Pancras International

So, what to do? I decided photo evidence of all three would prove I’d been there. And whilst I was in Kings Cross Square, I saw and snapped a Swiss Air promo stand, where people could pose for photos in a simulated ski-top backdrop, with fake snow on the ground. Bizarre…

I took my snaps and then ran towards home, with the fish carrier bag being jammed under right and left armpits, to balance me out.

One major lesson – do not go shopping for fish, or in fact, anything else on a run. Especially not when the fish shop is within 2kms from home, but you’ve still got 5kms to run. Another case of stupid tart syndrome. Running towards Clerkenwell, I did toy with the idea of going to the baker to buy a loaf of bread, but thought that would be altogether too religious in symbolism. Let’s be honest it would add to the already stupid running style, that I’d adopted due to carrying fish. Actually the extra weight and imbalance did make a difference, and whilst today’s run was planned to be shorter, I was quite tatered, by the time I had finished.

My Monopoly stats were quite reasonable I thought:-

2 pale blues – leaving Euston Road for another day

3 versions of Kings Cross Station

And I was carrying fish!

My 12 noon hair appointment beckoned, and I needed shzuzzing, and to ensure that Rich my hairdresser, didn’t faint at the sight and smell of me, a shower and tarting up was necessary. After being shzuzzed by Richard, I popped along Marylebone High Street and was browsing in Lululemon, having planned to get some new sexier running kit, once I’ve run my first 15kms (which I hope to do over the weekend).

I was browsing for ideas for my ‘treat’ when along came Erin, tall young, blonde, beautiful, lithe and she asked me if she could help me. I explained this was a pre-shopping browse and depended on me running my first 15km run. And she asked me why 15km, was it a race? Was I running with others etc etc etc. I explained my 2018 kms in 2018 challenge (in brief), and she said she was seriously impressed by my commitment. She went on to explain that Lululemon really like it when their customers commit to a challenge, as having a challenge means you are more likely to stay fit. Then she totally floored me by asking what I wore to run. I explained it was weather dependent and I tend to layer up and down accordingly. She then said Lululemon like to reward and acknowledge customers for having challenges and targets, oh and by the way, she’d like to  offer me a base layer vest as a gift to encourage me to continue with my challenge.

It’s not often I am lost for words, but I said yes and am now the proud owner of a ‘dark blue’ long sleeved Lululemon base layer. So whilst my initial quest was for three Monopoly pale blue squares and I only did two today, I did ‘obtain’ three blue things. That was why my day had a touch of magic. Thank You Erin and thank you Lululemon. What a fab company and brilliant idea, I have promised to go back in store next week when I’ve done my 15k run, to prove the incentive works.

Playlist 

One More Time – Daft Punk

One Day Like This – Elbow

I Can’t Help Myself – The Four Tops

Five Years – David Bowie

People in Love – 10cc

Love Shack – B52s

21 Seconds – So Solid Crew

Thirteen Sad Farewells – Stu Larsen

18 Til’ I Die – Bryan Adams

20th Century Boy – T Rex

21 Guns – Green Day

30 Minute Love Affair – Paloma Faith

10 Lovers – The Black Keys

24K Magic – Bruno Mars

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Stats

Distance 7.22km

Time 59:13 (includes the stop at the fish shop, and the photos!)

Average Pace 8:11

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Completed YTD 77.24km

Kms To Do 1940.76 (yikes)

Sponsor me on BT MyDonate

 

Dodging Human Road Blocks – 11 November

IMG_0951Yesterday, I was supposed to run, but I wantonly ignored Mr Smooth’s date invitation and instead ‘treated’ myself to a day in London’s West End, to do a bit of Christmas Shopping. I had totally forgotten what a complete and utter fart it is to get around London – having taken the tube to Great Portland Street, my first human road block encountered was ‘selfish mum with pram’.

Before hundreds of mums rush to roar (unlikely this is not mumsnet), there was a reason why I tag this lady as ‘selfish’ she was pushing the pram on the pavement/sidewalk, and it was one of those larger buggy types, but she was pushing it in what I can only describe as side-saddle walking. She wasn’t behind the buggy in-line, she was taking up two person width on the pavement, as she pushed her buggy from the side of it. We don’t have the benefit of sweeping boulevards and generous pavements in dear old medieval street plan London, so I admit to snarling at her, as I sidestepped into the road. Grrrr.

Calm restored, I walked towards Harley Street en-route to Marylebone High Street, this is one of the more civilised shopping streets, nowhere near as big as its cousins Oxford and Regent Streets, so a lot easier to get around. I hunted down my quarry in fact quarries. I was shopping posh – Lululemon and Sweaty Betty, here I come for sassy, sexy running tops and jazzy leggings.

Aha slight problem, Lulelemon’s stuff is all rather classy shades of nothing, murky blue nothing, murky dark grey nothing and murky light grey nothing. I wanted bright, I needed fluoro. Clearly I am not the murky type – me and Lululemon parted company, still on friendly terms but no way BFF terms. Next stop Sweaty Betty, I had seen on the web a rather nice tangerine hoodie, but I did want to see it for real rather than a photo. So in I popped to SB… mmm murky nothingness is evidently the look for City based runners, no sign of the tangerine, closest we got was a rather sombre teal coloured top. Something else they called a tiger pattern, but it was a bit too much like Kelloggs Frosties for me, so I shuffled out of there too…

In a shuffling mode, I then met my next human road block, only this time it was two women chatting away merrily. I was behind them and they uncannily managed to move exactly the direction I wanted to take to pass them. I didn’t growl because it was quite funny, acting as their shadow I moved to the right and so did they, I then tried the left and they shifted back to the left. In the end I road-surfed for overtaking purposes.

Finally, in another shop (who have a running clothing range collaboration with New Balance) I was walking up the stairs to get to the range and hit another human roadblock coming down the stairs. We both mirrored each others’ moves and did a daft dance on the stairs and laughed – then she said ‘I love your coat, it’s beautiful’. Even though I can be a very stroppy cow at times, I would have to be a monster to be tetchy with a lady who said that…

On to today’s run, I had decided just a cheeky 5k, as I am going to go for the magic 10k on Sunday. I am trying to improve my 5k times, but it does seem that I can’t sustain a sub 6 minutes km, still a run is a run is a run. Out on my warm up walk towards the City, listening to Elvis Costello and his Angel wanting to wear red shoes, I realised I hadn’t actually started Map My Run – I have a love/hate relationship with the app. I really dislike the mechanical voice lady who prompts you to start your exercise and then tells you your times. I love the way it integrates with my iphone playlists and music library, but hate the way it won’t integrate to Spotify, so I have to listen to my Spotify playlists sequentially to recall all the music. And the music is an important distraction for me, otherwise I get caught up in times and distances.

Today I can’t blame MMR, it was my own Stupid Tart Syndrome hitting again! Ho hum, after restarting I went on my merry way to the world famous Silicon Roundabout – the throbbing hub of the UK technology scene! It is just a roundabout, with lots of coffee shops and young people carrying Apple tech with them. Having been to Silicon Valley many times, this roundabout is going to have to grow some to be a competitor. I ran past Moorfields eye hospital, along the City Road and up towards Angel Islington. Pavements were a little greasy and I was glad I was wearing my grippier Brooks Defyance today, although they did get splotted by some water from a puddle I misjudged. Ugh, wet feet running – not my favourite pastime. A much fitter runner coming towards me and in shorts – blimey he was brave.

Then from Angel Islington, back towards old friendly territory, down St Johns Street, I hook a right turn onto Clerkenwell Road, skipping through quite a few up/down ramps, scaffolding poles etc., as there’s quite a lot of development going on here. Took a left to Turnmill Street, passed the old site of the So Solid Crew Shooting, to Cow Cross Street and along Smithfield to Farringdon Road, which changes its name to Farringdon Street when it hits the City of London. On the homebound streak now, on Queen Victoria Street heading towards St Pauls and I hit 5.5km. That’s enough for today, so I unplug and walk merrily home. And I notice that whilst yesterday I was dodging human road blocks, that today not one, no dodging, cursing or laughing necessary. That’s probably a record.

Playlist

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

Purple Rain – His Royal Highness the Purple One

Blue Monday 88 – New Order

Golden Brown – The Stranglers

Golden Years – David Bowie

Raspberry Beret – His Royal Highness the Purple One

Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis

White Wedding – Billy Idol

Cream – His Royal Highness the Purple One

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Being Beige – Smashing Pumpkins

Brown Sugar – D’Angelo

Forever in Blue Jeans – Neil Diamond

Yellow Submarine – The Beatles

Stats

Distance 5.5km

Time 34.11

Average Pace 6.12 mins/km

Fastest Km 5.34mins

Human Roadblocks – Thursday 3 – Friday 0

Squats – 3x sets of  15 reps