16 Oct – The kNAFFTAs* are here

white clothes line trousers past
*Knickers and Foundation Fitness Training Awards – the ‘k’ is silent

 

In English we have a phrase ‘don’t get your knickers in a twist’ or a knot is also a variant on the adage. This came to mind during my run this morning. It occurred to me that whilst I had created a scoring method for my sports bras, I hadn’t done the same for the nether region’s needs. What’s good enough for upstairs is good enough for downstairs, so here we go.

Here is my indispensable guide to working out whether your running/sporting undergarments pass muster.

A  – Appearance

In relationships, for some of us, looks are all. Others prefer character or even a good sense of humour. How your underwear looks may just make the crucial difference between running and running scared.

Score yours as follows:

0= Who said knickers were necessary? I run commando.

1= I re-purposed granny’s bloomers/ grandad’s plus-fours, they are a bit bulky under the lycra

2= Other than the rotting elastic, they’re looking good for 10 years wear

3= So-so, I wouldn’t die of shame if my shorts fell down

4= Nearly new, neat and rather natty

5= The haute couture of knickers, I prefer to be seen in these rather than my running shorts

B for Bounce

For us runners some moving flesh can be problematical. Underwear providing a bit of support can be the difference between being able to sit comfortably post run and being forced to apply anaesthetic cream in places you rather wouldn’t.

Score yours as follows:

0 = I run commando, bounce hardens you up

1= OMG, there’s a flesh rollercoaster down/back there, it’s all unrestrained

2= I yelp occasionally when my parts get out of synch

3= An occasional hiccup, but otherwise it’s settled nicely

4= Firm without constriction

5= There ain’t nothing going on down there

C – Chafeability

The feel of your undergarment fabric can change your whole demeanour, for better or worse

Score yours as follows:

0= I’ve already told you, running commando makes me ‘meanour’

1= I think they call it glass paper at B&Q, this material takes no prisoners, I’m on my way to A&E

2= Hessian is not as eye-watering as you may think and runner’s lube helps

3=  I gasp occasionally in the shower – as a consequence my partner is somewhat suspicious

4= Seamless, wicking technology – need I say more?

5= My personal shopper sourced the most wonderful, hand woven Tibetan silk underwear. Please define chafe for me.

D for Dirt Management

Running underwear needs laundering, most of us can’t afford the time or have the inclination for special treatment

Score as follows:

0= Commando baby, nothing necessary

1= Handwoven Tibetan silk requires a Tibetan silk hand washing specialist, luckily I can afford one

2= Who doesn’t use a dry cleaner?

3= Hand washing preferred, with like minded clothing, we don’t like conditioner

4= Washing machine but please make it gentle with no tumble drying

5= Washing machine – any programme, these babies are indestructible

E for Expensively Branded

Running is supposed to be cheap, but as we know that’s not really true especially if you fall prey to ‘swoosh envy’, so how does your underwear size up on cost?

Score as follows:

0= I’ve told you so many times, I go commando, no cost impact for me, but my partner doesn’t like touching my running shorts

1= Handwoven Tibetan silk, doesn’t come cheap and my undies don’t either

2= Usain Bolt recommended these and he deserves the money

3= Goldilocks Porridge – just right

4= I’ve got money left over for lube

5= How cheap?!?, Better buy a multi-pack

F for Form

We’ve all fooled ourselves from time to time over the form of our clothing, for example ‘I did look good in the 80s’. Your choice of shape/type of underwear speaks volumes about you as a runner.

Score yours:

0= Runnng commando, my form is perfect and I won’t hear otherwise. I actually don’t hear otherwise as no-one will or does run with me

1 – I do everything in my boxers, although I concede they do look odd over my running shorts

2 – Going for a thong, who doesn’t like a cheesecutter?

3 – The old, grey faithful, no longer recognisable in form, colour or age. I can’t even be sure that they’re not my partner’s knickers

4 – My Bridget Jones Big Pants – my wife/husband says they suit me and provide a very useful tummy tuck service at the same time

5 –  Proper, pucker, perfect running knickers. No seams, wicking technology, no riding up with wear – heaven in a brief.

For scoring – anyone with a zero score – I think we all know how you run, more or less naked and most definitely alone. 😉

The higher the score the better the knicker. You can find the excel sheet here, to help you score your drawers

kNAFFTA2019

P.s. Run Done – same issues as yesterday – the fog meant Map My Run recorded me as doing 56kms today

Playlist

Dad Dancing Classics

Come On Eileen – Dexys

Money For Nothing – Dire Straits

Ballroom Blitz – Sweet

This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us – Sparks

Sit Down – James

Jump Around – House of Pain

Oops Up Side Your Head – The Gap Band

Bat Out Of Hell – Meatloaf

Rockin’ All Over The World – Status Quo

Papas Got A Brand New Pigbag – Pigbag

Born To Run – The Boss

Greased Lightning – John Travolta

Dreadlock Holiday – 10cc

Mr Blue Sky – ELO

I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred

Timewarp – The Rocky Horror Show Cast

Tubthumping – Chumbawumba

Pretty Vacant – Sex Pistols

Prince Charming – Adam and The Ants

Living On A Prayer – Bon Jovi

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Sex On Fire – Kings of Leon

Stats

Distance 10.08km

Time 1:05:08

Average Pace 6:27

Elevation Gain – indeterminable

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1674.64

Kms To Run 343.36

 

 

 

29 Apr – Being Social On A Sunday

 

 

Last week, we had Liberation Day, this week we have May Day, both of which are National holidays, and this gives the perfect excuse for Italians everywhere to take what are known as bridge days between the official days, so there’s a definite holiday atmosphere here.

Shorts and tee-shirts are now de-rigeur, except for one lady, who we call the Puffa Woman, who despite temperatures in the twenties, is insistent on wearing either her full-length black Puffa coat, with matching headband, or her lighter weight and coloured Puffa waistcoat, again with matching headband. She is a walker and walks regularly (to our knowledge) at least 4 kilometres up-hill, climbing nigh on 200 metres, in full sun whilst wearing a portable duvet. I, on the other hand being middle aged and hot, am trying to work out what are the minimum number of clothing items and coverage I can get away with, without frightening or upsetting the locals.

Today I misunderestimated (to quote George W Bush) the heat, and so ventured out in a glorious hot pink and orange combo with capris. After about one kilometre, that choice of body coverage was definitely hurting me, I was very hot and looked like a pig sweating in a pair of harlequin tights. I rolled the legs up,  then looking like Compo from Last Of The Summer Wine, and rolled them back down again, as it was too embarrassing to be seen like that. I decided drinking plenty of water would be my cooling down plan. On the way down the Bendy, Scary Road, up towards me came the Hoxton Hipster cyclist, I can  now confirm he is not 70, because I could actually see his full face.

Result! –  he said ‘Ciao Signora’, my previous smiling and waving must have worn his resistance down. next my aim is to get a ‘Buon Lavoro’ (more or less good work) from him. We have to build these bridges with Brexit on the way.

Next stop, into the Royston Vasey cafe, where I bought my usual top up of water, it seems the sun was affecting everyone’s mood. I had to ask a young guy to move so I could open the door, but he said ‘Sure’ and smiled, then the male proprietor, who up to now has only at best grunted, said ‘Grazie Signora’.

Out of Royston Vasey’s cafe and down towards the fish shop village and I saw again the ‘comfortable cyclist’ this time he didn’t look in quite so much discomfort, but he didn’t say anything or even manage his customary mini wave. So if he couldn’t be bothered, then nor could I. I trotted on up Bin Lane, running to the welcome shade of smelly bins when I could, and finally made it to to the local coffee shop.

There Gio the owner, (he is lovely too) saw my face and without saying a word, got me a glass of water, selected my usual pastry and ordered me my cappuccino. Bliss. I rested a while, paid my bill and left for the 5km walk home up the bloody 200m hill. On the way, I saw someone else I knew – it was a member of Mr JCR’s cycling club. Nadia – she is also a lovely person, not least (in my opinion) because she is one of the few people in Italy to be able to pronounce my name correctly.

I have been called the following:-

  • Jam (no I am not joking – that took about two years of correcting the speaker)
  • Jen
  • Jean
  • Jane
  • Janna
  • Yan
  • Ian

I did think it was strange that Nadia would be cycling on her own, but then she works in Retail and so I hollered ciao, to what I now know, was a complete and utter stranger, who  looked somewhat confused when she said ciao back. Ho hum, well I can put that down to being social on a Sunday.

Finally halfway up the hill, in the opposite direction came our good friends M&G, with their children in the car. Very poshly dressed, I am guessing they were on the way to lunch, I however was on my slow trudging way to a much needed shower. We exchanged waves and smiles and I continued the plod.

Being social on a Sunday, helped me through every one of the 9km I ran today and also every one of the ‘warm down’ hike of 5km with the 200m elevation gain.

Playlist

Rockferry – Duffy

She’s Electric – Oasis

Tesla Girls – OMD

Glory Days – The Boss

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

Mercy – Duffy

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

When Doves Cry – His Purple Highness

Everything Must Go – The Manics

China Girl – David Bowie

Locomotion – OMD

Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

Enola Gay – OMD

Dance Away – Roxy Music

Girl From Mars – Ash

Cabron – Red Hot Chilis

Upside Down – Paloma Faith

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Vienna – Ultravox

Stats

Distance 9.32km

Time 1:07:49 (incl. Royston Vasey stop)

Average Pace 7:16 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 36 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 747.56

Kms To Do 1270.44

27 Mar – London Fashion Week Arrives

Nicolas Ghesquiere is the new Designer in Chief at Louis Vuitton and he is heralding his new collection in the latest British Vogue issue. His ‘woman’ is in motion, and she is on the go, according to his interview with the mag.

This ‘on the go’ look involves gorgeous brocade coats, waistcoats and ruffled blouses, over ruffled trousers mixed with bulbous trainers. A mere snip at more or less £15,000. In truth I love the clothes – the trainers not quite so much.

I, as you know, am also on the go, however my running budget doesn’t quite match the aesthete of Vuitton. Think bag lady mixed with Max Wall.

Today’s run down the catwalk of Islington and what is wistfully known as East Clerkenwell, saw me sporting the following adornment.

Hair – scraped back a la Max Wall, complete with Sweaty Betty Black headband

Face Colour – Dulux’s Salsa Red

Running Base Layer – neon purple and orange ‘athleisure’ base top – brand unknown

Running Sleeveless Jacket – black and neon orange netting lining – brand Pro Touch – no I’ve never heard of them either

Running tights – Black – by Pro Touch – still no idea where or when I picked these up

Running socks – Falke – yes I’m worth Falke socks, they protect my tootsies…

Running Trainers – Sexy Saucony Echelons

Fish – by Moxons of Islington (the brill, crab and clams only accompanied me for half the run)

Total expense for this running outfit unknown, but am happy to run in one of Mr Ghesquiere’s outfits, if he donates some dosh to Alzheimer’s Research. I am guessing I don’t really match his idea of his woman on the go though.

In summary my look today – I  love the Saucony trainers – the rest of the outfit not so much!

But despite the fashion embarrassment, I went out and on the go managed just over 9km.

Playlist

Strong – London Grammar

True Faith 94 – New Order

Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Change – Lightning Seeds

Sign Of The Times  – Harry Styles

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

Dance Away – Roxy Music

Doginabag – The Fratellis

Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode

Dreaming Of Me (twice) – Ditto

Avalon – Roxy Music

Born To Run – The Boss

Rumour Has It – Adele

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

Is Vic There – Department S

Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis

Stats

Distance 9.49km

Time 1:01:55

Average Pace 6:31 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 53 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms To Date 529.03

Kms to Do 1488.97

 

 

 

 

24 Feb – 2 Degrees, Did You Say 2 Degrees?

It’s Saturday, I had a day off yesterday – unplanned but welcome. So kms to make up today. It is 2 degrees outside, better assemble layers.

Hook swoosh the sports bra. Base layer on. Hooded sweat shirt on. Jacket on. Hat on, gloves on, bottom fleece-lined layers on. Socks – thick ones on, Saucony trainers on.

Go outside, blimey it’s cold – wondering whether to add another layer. Okay, upside it’s sunny. Downside it’s perishing cold. Aim towards Ropemaker St and there’s filming going on – loads of yellow minicabs – all Minis. Lots of extras huddled under blankets and they’ve doused the whole area with water, so we may have a skating rink there tonight with the frost. I decide to head away from the filming and towards the South Bank, because last night friends suggested to get my ‘Electricity’ Company in Monopoly – I could legitimately photo Bankside Power Station and that would count on the Monopoly board challenge.

I scooted first of all towards Tower Bridge, it really was a beautiful morning and then back again towards the London Eye. Lots of people, but relatively easy to get past – dressed in my black ninja running outfit. I managed to ninja a number of people, who had no idea I was behind and then in front of them. One woman did wonder why I wasn’t cold, with my jacket tied around my waist. But after 9kms of running, I was quite warm.

Turning towards home, they are still filming, so I gave Ropemakers a wide berth and trotted home. Run done with a Monopoly Square too. Oh and it’s going to be 2 degrees tomorrow. Joy!

Playlist

My Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust

Devil Gate Drive – Suzi Quatro

D.I.S.C.O. – Ottawan

War – Edwin Starr

This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us – Sparks

Gonna Make You A Star – David Essex

Band On The Run – Wings

Everybody Dance – CHIC

See My Baby Jive – Wizzard

Sylvia’s Mother – Dr Hook

Roll Over Beethoven – ELO

December 1963 – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed

You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me – The New Seekers

Killer Queen – Queen

Amarillo – Tony Christie

Silver Lady – David Soul

I Love To Love – Tina Charles

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Stats

Distance 12.65 kms

Time 1:25:32

Average Pace 6:45 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 104 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 288.4

Kms To Do 1729.6

Team Rhomboid Torture

3 sets of squats – 27 reps

3 sets of wall press-ups – 25 reps

8 hollow rocks – held for 10 seconds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Jan – Banking London’s Monopoly Board and Getting Jailed

Today I am starting from Go, but no-one appears to have handed me £200? Any volunteers? Just to keep my Alzheimer’s Challenge on track, I have decided to run the Monopoly Board – not in one go, as that is close to marathon distance, but taking it colour by colour. First run to include The Old Kent Road and Whitechapel Road.

A door-to door run is about 12km, but I do need to run a little more than that to make up for my January deficit. I am not aware of a Community Chest stop nor an Income Tax Office (now HMRC), but I can probably swing a detour via Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street stations. That is the plan, middle aged knees may choose otherwise oh and there’s a small matter of using this run to leave me with ONLY 1,950 kms on the Alzheimer’s Challenge.

I am out of the door, Map My Run is set, Google Maps is on voice directions and I am playing my new Spotify playlist. What could possibly go wrong? Except we all know when it comes to my technical competence, many, many things can go wrong.

First of all my warm up walk takes me within a smidgeon of Liverpool Street Station, and I take a pic as proof of one Monopoly Station being done. Having scrutinised the board, the stations are not necessarily anywhere near the other coloured squares on the board, so I am giving myself leeway to visit them when the run makes it convenient. This ‘convenience’ loophole will definitely work in my favour over the coming runs.

Liverpool Street is so early in the run, I make my way to Fenchurch Street Station – about one km further on. Tick that’s another done and it’s on the other side of the Monopoly Board. Next are the not so salubrious charms of Whitechapel Road, out towards Aldgate High Street, this is a horrid area to run, mainly because it is one big traffic junction, and frankly it’s not much better on Whitechapel Road either. I came across the Whitechapel road-sign a little earlier than expected, so needing to bank some kms I trotted further up the street. First technical hitch, having gone beyond the Google Maps point, all directions have stopped, the lady isn’t even telling me to turn around; an unscheduled pitstop to re-set the Google Maps directions and I continue.

For my friends and family who know me as being directionally challenged, it isn’t that I didn’t know where these first three places where, as I used to use Aldgate East tube, go to Fenchurch Street in my old Finserv  Marketing days, and have shopped on Whitechapel Road, it’s just that I wanted the security blanket of being sure I had my route right. Heading back to Aldgate I hook left to Leman Street to make my way towards Tower Bridge, en route to the Old Kent Road. Obviously at Tower Bridge we have the Tower of London, which I understand counts as ‘Jail’ on the Monopoly board running game. Result, another square ticked off.

Now I am south of the river and in unknown territories. Lo and behold Google Maps Lady has gone awol again, so another quick re-set and we are on our way. I had a quick shimmy with what looked like one of the banned pit bull dogs on Tower Bridge Road, I must admit my heart was in my mouth, but he was more interested in sniffing a lamp-post than a middle aged nervous runner. I ended up in some back streets stuffed full of small business premises, some doing well even with the Brexit vote as one had an Aston Martin parked outside. Not quite what I was expecting in this part of South London; still expectations are best broken occasionally. Eventually I got to Old Kent Road, which looked quite grotty if I am truthful. It is a main trunk road, choked with traffic and smelling of pollution. I took the obligatory proof picture and turned back. This was my second Monopoly coloured square, so that is the ‘browns’ done with two added train stations and the jail square. This was about the 9km mark, so good JCR but certainly not exceptional.

I then remembered that I could swing home via the Bank of England and as no-one volunteered to give me £200 to start my Monopoly quest, at least I could go to a place where £200 could be found. So a scoot towards the Lord Mayor’s building and I found myself listening to a song by Clout called ‘Substitute’ on Spotify, which is all well and good, I like the song, but it wasn’t on the playlist I had been playing. Another technical hitch Spotify just wouldn’t play any of my playlists. That meant a good 2 or 3 minutes faffing about with my phone trying to get a restart. And it wouldn’t work, so I reverted to an old iTunes playlist instead. Curses, curses, curses, I did have a slight Dick Dastardly tantrum outside the Mayor’s office.

Onward to London Bridge and I climbed the steps ( I admit I didn’t run up the 30+ steps I was too knackered) going towards the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and there she was slightly in shadow, but I had got to the Bank of England too. That definitely counts as another square in my Monopoly convenience loophole ruling.

At this point I wasn’t really sure if I had done sufficient to get me beneath the magic 1950km mark for my Alzheimer’s challenge, so I schlepped onwards through Moorgate and towards home. Outside the runner’s shop in Chiswell Street, my little legs had had enough at 14.36km, that is a third of a marathon! The furthest I have ever run. Oh and 2 brown squares, a jail, the Bank, and two train stations, that’s a great Monopoly result first time out.

Playlist (as much as I can recall given the technical hitches)

Off The Wall – Michael Jackson

Good Times – Chic

Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy – The Tams

I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

Amarillo – Tony Christie

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley and The Wailers

Let’s Dance – Chris Montez

Stoned Love – The Supremes

Shake Your Groove Thing – Peaches and Herb

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Club Tropicana – Wham

Can’t Give You Anything But My Love – The Stylistics

(this was technical meltdown point and I moved from Spotify)

Don’t You Want – Human League

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

New Life – Depeche Mode

House of Fun – Madness

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

Maid of Orleans – OMD

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Stats

Distance 14.36km

Time 1:55:16 did include picture stops and tetchy meltdown moments!

Average Pace 8:01 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 91 metres

Tech Glitches – at least 3

Alzheimer’s Challenge

One big thank you to Neil and Angela for sponsoring me on the Alzheimer’s Challenge

Cumulative Km Done 70.02km

Kms To Do 1947.98 (it’s not looking much better, I can tell you)

Sponsor me on BT MyDonate

New Banksy in Town – 12 November

IMG_0956.jpg

It is Armistice Sunday and about 8amish, Mr JCR is in a tailspin, this time he was re-enacting the opening scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral, he had set his alarm to get up and out for a ride, meeting his fellow cyclists at a park in North London. It seems there was a technical failure between his head and the phone, and thus no alarm. Lots of frantic running around ensued, by a swift espresso (him) a kiss good bye (him to me) then a nice snuggle under the duvet (me). The great thing about being a runner is unless you’re on an organised gig, then you can just go out when you choose. So I chose not to get up, but snuggle down and read the C25K Forum posts, because lots of plucky folk are doing the poppy runs today.

One mug of tea later, I finally surfaced and started getting out the running layers, we’d been warned today was going to be colder, so I tiptoed onto the balcony (please don’t get any ideas of grandeur here, it’s all of about 2 feet wide…) in my jammies, and yup it’s brass monkey weather.

I had set myself a goal of doing my third 10K run today, but yesterday whilst walking I could feel my right hamstring pulling a bit, so was unsure if I’d be okay. Still nothing ventured…

Appropriately dressed like a ninja, all black with just a hint of fluoro today, I donned my sexy Saucony’s and gasped as the air cut through. I was glad of my hat and gloves, started my warm off walk towards the City. I love running through the City at the weekend, because it’s usually so quiet compared to during the week and it’s like a secret place, where not many folk venture. But of course today is different, I passed many roadblocks and policemen with sub-machine guns, but far more encouragingly loads and loads of folk wearing their poppies with pride, some formally dressed in overcoats, shirts and ties, some with medals, some not. It wasn’t quite the sea of poppies that the Tower of London had a couple of years back, but still a lovely sight.

I ran towards the Tower and it was very very busy, so I hightailed it back to the City, after needing to strip off the jacket, hat and gloves as I was getting a bit warm. Running along Tower Hill, ‘fag ash Lil’ as she shall be known,  turned around from admiring the Trinity Square Gardens and tipped her fag ash over my leg, as I was running past. She did look somewhat sheepish afterwards and on a positive note at least she didn’t try to stub it out on me.

I continued back to the City, along Eastcheap – even more policemen, more road blocks and more sub-machine guns. Did a quick whizz along Cannon Street and headed towards the Guildhall – from a distance it had many flags hanging in the courtyard and barriers around. So I asked  a very nice young policeman if it was okay to run there, and he said yes there was no activity there today. It certainly is true when policemen all look young, you know you’re old….

At this point, it suddenly occurred to me that actually rather than just do the 10k today, I should try and do 11K, before 11am. My own mini tribute. I continued on into the City, past my old office no problem at all, past the Modern Pantry restaurant – much harder! – they do mean cocktails for Sunday mornings, and I have to say a cocktail would have been very welcome at that point. Continued up and past Moorfields Eye Hospital and up the City Road, coming in the opposite direction a sassy dude. We ‘met’ at a road junction and just as The Supremes were starting Nathan Jones, he crossed the road by doing a pirouette in the middle – obviously a Strictly fan!

Up to Angel Islington, and back down St John Street – I passed a few fellow runners here, some nods and smiles and I continued on towards Smithfield Market, overtaking a Liam Gallagher lookalike. Running through the ‘Top Gear’ tunnel, I noticed that loads of folk were taking selfies in front of the newest Banksy – it appeared I think on Friday night. This one is painted on acetate, so maybe he’s making them portable now? Just after hitting the 10k mark, I did  a wider loop to finish at our local coffee shop ‘Fix’ in Whitecross Street and at about 10.50am on Armistice Sunday, I clocked 11.11km – spooky!

Well done to all the poppy runners today, I promise to be in your number next year.

Playlist

Andy, You’re A Star – The Killers

Ben – Michael Jackson

Clint Eastwood – Gorillaz

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Denis – Blondie

Goodbye Earl – Dixie Chicks

Frankie –  Sister Sledge

Geno – Dexys Midnight Runners

Diary of Horace Wimp – ELO

Ivan Meets GI Joe – The Clash

Jackie Wilson Said – Dexys Midnight Runners

Song for Keith – Mike Strickland

Louie Louie – The Kingsmen

Mickey – Toni Basil

Nathan Jones – The Supremes

Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello

Peter Gunn Theme – The Blues Brothers

The Mighty Quinn – Manfred Mann

Rudy – Supertramp

Girls and Boys – Blur

Telegram Sam – T Rex

Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top

Stats

Time 1.12.55

Distance 11.11km

Average Pace 6.33 (min/km)

Fastest Split 6.04

Squats – 3 x 15 sets of reps

Poppies – too many to count, but enough to appreciate

 

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