16 Nov – Mojo Safari

 

Today I went mojo hunting for my running mate who has lost hers. I didn’t find it in Islington yesterday, but I’m not sure the fish shop was ever a likely location.  This morning however, the stars were aligned, I was wombling my way towards Trafalgar Square and running along Fleet Street, when I saw Shoe Lane – if ever there was a place for a running mojo to be hiding, I am guessing it could be here. And then of course I was actually on Fleet Street – another hint perhaps as to the whereabouts of the missing mojo.

I continued on to the Strand, where even though it was morning the Christmas lights were twinkling away merrily. This particular mojo is purple I believe and likes sparkly things so of course I had to stay with it and I was only about 3.5kms into my run.

I was convinced the mojo may have visited Trafalgar Square, thinking that a bit of Nelson’s courage may have rubbed off and she would have decided to go back to Yorkshire. Despite some impressive lions, Nelson himself, there was a Yoda, a man sitting on a spade and ‘Death’ with his scythe – the last three were hardly good luck portents, and frankly pretty rubbish frozen statues. No sign of a mojo here, we need something a little more in keeping.

And so it was, I ended up in Covent Garden, a humungous Christmas tree outside, twinkly lights on the inside and the most glorious mistletoe and baubles hanging from the ceiling. This definitely felt like the place a mojo would visit, then I saw some mojo confetti lying around. She’d left a trail obviously. Without further ado I picked up some of the confetti and sent it back to Yorkshire, because I think the mojo might be missing it.

The street artist outside Covent Garden was telling everyone they were having a good time and I was. I enjoy looking for mojos, even though when mine goes awol, it seems a lot harder to find.

Dear running mate, when your parcel of mojo dust arrives, I am sure your mojo won’t be that far behind.

Playlist

The numbers playlist

Lucky Number – Lena Lovich

5705 – City Boy

One Day Like This – Elbow

One More Time – Daft Punk

Five Years – David Bowie

She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

Nine To Five – Sheena Easton

Perfect 10 – The Beautiful South

10 Lovers – The Black Keys

Swords Of A Thousand Men – Tenpole Tudor

People in Love – 10cc

The Eleven Rap – Dark Punk

21 Seconds – So Solid Crew

Thirteen Sad Farewells – Stu Larsson

Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods – Beck

Fifteen – Taylor Swift

Edge of Seventeen (twice) – Stevie Nicks

19 – Paul Hardcastle

21 Guns – Green Day

I’m Gonna Be 500 Miles – The Proclaimers

When I’m 64 – The Beatles

Disco 2000 – Pulp

80s Joint – Kelis

Love Shack – B52s

96 Tears – ? And The Mysterons

Stats

Distance 10.01km

Time 1:15:30

Average Pace 7:32

Elevation Gain 53 metres

Mojo – dust found and sent back home

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1855.26

Kms To Run 162.74

15 Nov – Be Careful What You Wish For…

dandelion macro photography
I can’t blame the dandelions…

Or in my case, what you wrote down one day last year. I had been wondering when I’d decided to do my Alzheimer’s Challenge – I checked out the blog for the first mention – thinking I’d committed to it sometime in November last year.  The reason for checking -well I couldn’t work out why I hadn’t created a plan nor a training regime prior to starting in January, and now I realise why.

It was actually December 14th when I first wrote about my wish to run virtual races throughout the year, to raise some money for research.   This was Plan (a) –  Plan (a) was quickly ditched when I couldn’t find any races to sign up for. Plan (b)  – the running down dementia challenge; run 100km and raise £100, which as I was running about 80kms a month anyway didn’t seem that much of a stretch. The hunt was on for a Plan (c).

A few more days of investigation passed and still no joy, Christmas came and went and it was in that time we call ‘Twixtmas’, that I committed on Plan (c)  to ‘run the year’ , The    slight issue is I’ve just re-read what I wrote back then and I actually committed to  ‘run 2018km as a minimum’.

Oh holy cow Batman – minimum. “Friends, Romans and Countrymen lend me your ears and how about we make a deal?” JCR types with fingers crossed tightly, which does make it hard to type, hoping that you will all support me in my final spurt.

The  ‘m’ word does sound a little emotive as though 2018kms in a year is a lazy-arse effort, and to be honest I’m pooped just thinking about those kms again. Here’s my proposal how about for my last last run of the year, I run 2.018 kms to a pub?

Then I will have run 2020.018kms, and get a gin and tonic or similar for my troubles. Or is this way too easy and you think I should suck up a longer run?

Answers on a postcard or if you’re suggesting something horrid like a marathon, can you please send a geographically challenged carrier pigeon instead. Btw – out again today and another 5.8 kms banked for the challenge.

Big thanks to our friend in London, B, who kindly sponsored me over the weekend. Another boost to the old confidence and knackered legs.

And a big hug to my running mate MummyCav who has lost her mo jo at the mo. I did run to the local fish shop to try and find it, but can confirm it wasn’t there, so it must be lurking in Yorkshire.

Playlist

What else but the MummyCav mix:-

Single Ladies – Beyoncé

Dear Prudence – Siouxsie and The Banshees

Sherry – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Alison – Elvis Costello

Kayleigh – Marillion

Maggie May – Rod Stewart

Poison Ivy – The Lambrettas

Respect – Aretha

Ophelia – The Band

Queen Of Clubs – KC And The Sunshine Band

Roxanne – The Police

Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy

Zoe Jane – Staind

 

Stats

Distance 5.80km

Time 40:33

Average Pace 6:57

Elevation Gain 23 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1845.25

Kms To Run 172.75

13 Nov – Ju-Junopoly

This run is dedicated to my running mentor Ju-Ju, who has unfortunately got somewhat crocked with a very serious asthma attack. Along with fellow runners from the C25K crew, we are dedicating our runs to her this week.

Ju-Ju and I share three things :-

  • Nice running kit, although I still envy her gold ‘lamé’ type shorts
  • Lipstick for running, fave colours are runner’s ruby, pootler’s pink, and flaming flamenco
  • Run the Year challenges – slight difference, Ju-ju has achieved it, whereas I am still in course

I decided to do 12km today if I could, and took the scenic route up west.

As this was Ju-junopoly running, I decided just to focus on the ‘posher’ parts of town, so she could enjoy the views virtually. And I got:-

Trafalgar Square – with a snoozy lion, to the tune of The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Fleet Street – ye olde London pub – which I am guessing is probably not that ‘ye olde’

Strand – passing the Queen’s Bankers – Coutts

Pall Mall – The Institute of Directors

Turning around in St James’s Park, I passed the Canadian War Memorial, getting a spruce up from one of the park wardens, with the Autumn falling leaves obliterating the carved leaves in the memorial.

An absolutely fabulous run out, the 12kms passed quite quickly. I felt as though I was gliding – it must be Ju-Ju passing on her panthering method through the power of mindwaves. I was also testing out my new ‘Best Covers Ever’ playlist, when entering St James’s Park to ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ that was a moment in itself, as the sun was shining, people were smiling and it was an utterly glorious London day.

Playlist

Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’ Connor

Kiss – Art of Noise and Tom Jones

Valerie – Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse

Back To Black – Amy Winehouse

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Hurt – Johnny Cash

I Fought The Law – The Clash

Delilah – Tom Jones

Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis Presley

Stand and Deliver – No Doubt

911 Is a Joke – Duran Duran

The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Tight Fit

Ever Fallen In Love – Fine Young Cannibals

China Girl – David Bowie

I Only Want To Be with You – The Tourists

You Can’t Hurry Love – Phil Collins

Hallelujah – Alexandra Burke

All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

Respect – Aretha Franklin

Sweet Dreams – Marilyn Manson

Whiskey In the Jar – Thin Lizzy

Twist and Shout – The Beatles

I Second That Emotion – Japan

Faith – Limp Bizkit

Stats

Distance 12.29km

Time 1:22:07

Average Pace 6:41

Elevation Gain 54 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1827.37

Kms to Do 190.63 (fewer than 200km now!)

10 Nov – I want him and now!

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There’s a band making a heck of a racket, honking and parping and banging drums on a Saturday morning for crying out loud. Oh yes, it’s the Lord Mayors’ procession or something similar, I can recall seeing the barriers around the City.

Okay JCR haul your sorry arse out and make sure you head away from the crowds. I’m a bit creaky this morning – runnerchondria has struck and I have an aching hip, which rather mysteriously doesn’t ache when I run, but does when I don’t.

I haven’t actually managed to break the 10km mark for a while  and I had planned on doing that this week, but the legs just haven’t had it in them. Today is day 5 of a mini running streak and maybe that’s why they are protesting a bit.

I promise my beleaguered legs to go slower today and aim towards Islington. Fairly uneventful for a run,  I loosened up a bit and pootled in and around the Canonbury conservation area. No ninja action today, no tourists in Islington to dodge, no bad weather, no amusing anecdotes, just a humdrum Saturday run. But there was one showstopper and that was the dog.

He was sitting when I passed him and he looked so woeful – I guess that is just the breed’s characteristic. A bus went past and he strained at his leash to look around. Then the lady above stopped and petted him – he leant back against her legs and looked blissful. He was gorgeous so quiet, and placid –  I almost fell in love there and then. Slight problem with a no pets policy in the apartment, actually he’s bigger than the apartment, oh and dognapping is most definitely a crime. I satisfied the falling in love feelings by giving him a long pet and having a chat with him.

I met him about the 6km mark and with a spring in my step continued home – I still didn’t break the 10km mark, but managed just over nine. Closer to breaking the 200 to go barrier  and that’s good. There will be something magical about seeing a number to run beginning with a 1.

Playlist

New Moon on Monday, Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Get Dancin’ – Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes

I Am The Law – Human League

Love’s Unkind  (twice)- Donna Summer

Shake the Disease, People Are People, New Life – Depeche Mode

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Temptation –  Heaven 17

Maid Of Orleans – OMD

House of Fun – Madness

All Stood Still – Ultravox

Beat Crazy, Be My Number Two – Joe Jackson

Stats

Distance 9.21km

Time 1:08:03

Average Pace 7:22

Elevation Gain 44 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1815.08

To Run 202.92

 

 

 

 

9 Nov – To market, to market

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To market, to market to buy a fat pig;
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog;
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog.

To market, to market, to buy a plum cake;
Home again, home again, market is late.
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun;
Home again, home again, market is done.

To market, to market, a gallop a trot,
To buy some meat to put in the pot;
Three pence a quarter, a groat a side,
If it hadn’t been killed it must have died.

This is an old nursery rhyme, and today I ran from home (on my rest day!!!!) to Borough Market, because yesterday I screwed up on my maths and didn’t quite make the numbers – aka Stupid Tart Syndrome. I neither galloped nor trotted nor jigged, but I did buy a fat pig, I bought two gorgeous, lovely sausage rolls from The Ginger Pig butchers in Borough. Horrendously priced, but a fab treat for later.

Couldn’t find a  plum cake nor bun, but  I did have a pain au raisin with my coffee – dead posh us Southerners.

Didn’t buy any meat for the pot either, but did get some lush mushroom pate and sourdough bread – see I am totally posh, despite my Northern upbringing.

Yesterday I couldn’t count, but today Map My Run lady decided to be stroppy, and she thought she’d count the time I was running, but not give me any credit for the distance. She did this twice…, so I had to guesstimate the metres missed…. Bah humbug

When MMR lady deigned to work properly I found I was running speedily and my little posh legs were motoring quite nicely. From a busy Aldersgate I bombed towards St Pauls dodging the morning commuters. Today I was most definitely a running ninja, I slipstreamed and overtook loads of people in and around the City. I realise that none of them knew they were in a race, nor had any of them dressed for it, but victory is sweet even when you’ve overtaken a lady wearing stiletto heels and carrying a briefcase/backpack thing – a briefpack maybe?

I made my way across the Thames and hit South Bank, the barriers to speed arrived thick and fast, lots and lost of people and lot and lots of tourists too. Commuters are fine when I’m running through the City – they know the rules. Move fast or stand aside, tourists however don’t know the rules at all. They have that happy meandering look on their faces, they stop and take unexpected photos (in fairness totally expected near the Golden Hind replica) and they have conversations in weird places – i.e. right in front of me/my running route.

You have to have lightning reactions or sharp elbows to work your way through a barricade of tourists (my new collective noun). Today my reactions were sharp, so my elbows didn’t need to be. A nice quick (for me) run out, getting me over the 1800km mark – next target getting over the 1818km mark, so I will have fewer than 200kms to run

Finally many thanks to Mike of Mr JCR’s London cycling club who sponsored me yesterday for my challenge. Utterly unexpected and very lovely.

Playlist

(iTunes also played up and stopped once or twice)

Tears You Can’t Hide – Madness

Suspect Device (twice) – Stiff Little Fingers

I Don’t Know (twice) – The Blues Brothers

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Just Another Nervous Wreck – Supertramp

Rockferry – Duffy

One Step Beyond – Madness

Stats

Distance 6.08km

Time 37:21

Average Pace 6:08 (ninja like)

Elevation Gain 28 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1805.87

Kms To Run 212.13

 

 

 

 

8 Nov- So close, but yet so far

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Nice morning, sun, blue skies, warmish, what could possibly go wrong?

My maths that’s what…

I calculated I needed to do 8.2km, to get me over the 1800km mark

I was wrong  – it was 8.8km.

Guess which plonker finished her run 0.21km too soon, in the mistaken thought that she’d already passed her target?

Yup that’s JCRBCC – JanCanRunButCan’tCount

By not minding the gap, I missed my target, so guess who is going for a short run on her rest day tomorrow?

Nuff said.

Big big thanks again to P and T for their sponsorships – am still grinning despite being an idiot today!

Playlist

Transport focussed – which is apt considering my distance issues…

Cars – Gary Numan

Sailing On The Seven Seas – OMD

Driving In My Car, Night Boat To Cairo – Madness

Surfin’ USA – The Beach Boys

Hey Soul Sister – Train

Moped Eyes – Super Furry Animals

Riders On The Storm – The Doors

Groovy Train – The Farm

The Passenger – Iggy Pop

Walk This Way – Aerosmith

Don’t Pay The Ferryman – Chris De Burgh

Ocean Drive – Lighthouse Family

Ship of Fools – Erasure

Airport – The Motors

Motor Bikin’ Chris Spedding

Little Red Corvette – His Purple Highness

Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett

Last Train to Clarksville – The Monkees

Stats

Distance  8.59km – I could weep

Time 58:43

Average Pace 6:49

Elevation Gain 40metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1799.79 (tomorrow I will get over 1800)

Kms to Run 218.21

 

 

 

 

 

7 Nov – Myth-busting

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I have an Italian life and running, I have a London life and running.  Let’s look at the stereotypes:-

Italy

Weather – gorgeous, sunny and blue skies

People – gorgeous, friendly and chatty

Food – gorgeous, but always Italian

Wine – gorgeous, but always Italian

Views – gorgeous

Running – why wouldn’t it be gorgeous?

London

Weather  – so-so and grey skies

People – standoffish and keep themselves to themselves

Food – eclectic, not always gorgeous

Wine – lots of choice, but always expensive

Views – interesting and some are gorgeous

Running – not bad if you don’t mind people and pollution

Picture the scene, Hampstead Royal Free Hospital, the Physiotherapy Waiting Room. Usually chock full of people with replacement hips, knees, plaster casts etc., today there are two of us, neither sporting anything remotely suggesting a crocked leg.

I am wearing my running kit, to run home post appointment, the other lady is wearing Adidas capris and trainers. Not a word is spoken. After 15 minutes of silence, I am boiling hot, the sweat is not so much a trickle, but more of a torrent. I am 58, this is my new normal.

Suddenly the 20something lady stands up and turns and says ‘Is it me or is it very hot in here, I’m having a hot flush’. At which point I burst out laughing, and replied that was exactly how I was feeling too. She prowled around the waiting room to find the culprit, a hot air ventilation system that seemingly had not long kicked into life. That coupled with the NHS wipe clean vinyl chairs had combined as a human microwave. I am tanned from a summer in Italy, but was sporting a very flushed face and a totally soggy bod. She was a typical ‘English rose’ complexion, and her face had changed from a porcelain like ivory, to a pork sausage pink. She then went onto say she hadn’t been that hot since the last time she was in a sauna. Then her mum came into the room from Physio ‘Gosh it’s very hot in here’. Cue more laughing.

That’s the Londoner stereotype put happily to one side, would my run give me the chance to challenge the others? Well, today no. As you can see the skies were grey and the view of Camden Lock not at its prettiest. That left me with food, wine and running to myth-bust. I can’t eat or drink on the run, so those myths will have to stand for another day. But the running…mmm.

First off, Map My Run lady had a strop, she started off okay and then deserted me – and recorded my time but not the distance. evidently she was in stereotype Londoner mode. Luckily, I know the run and was able to add in the missing kms later. A nice womble down from Hampstead and I was feeling relaxed and comfortable. Through Camden, well not quite so relaxed mainly because of people traffic – but it was lunchtime so entirely to be expected. The crowds disappeared at Mornington Crescent and I made my way towards Euston. At this point the rain started and folk were darting everywhere to avoid getting splashed. That necessitated some ninja manoeuvres on my part, which weren’t all entirely successful.

I made myself semi-invisible on the pavements (by putting my running cap on), I headed towards Kings Cross. Big mistake – load and loads of people, very little room on the pavement and even less on the A40 for the traffic. The stench of air pollution was very strong. Having been in Italy and Holland recently, where the congestion is much less this was really quite noticeable. By now though I was nicely warmed up, if a bit steamy and I trotted up towards Angel. A dart across to the fish shop, loading up lunch and dinner in my kangaroo pouch, and I was off.

Back towards home now, only about 2km to do, but dampening down very mobile fish in your pouch, isn’t conducive to a good running style. Frankly, nor is popping into a supermarket to buy more stuff, then running with one hand on the fish pouch and the other suspending a shopping bag.

The stereotype of weather and views prevailed today, but a return run from a hospital is never likely to take you to the most salubrious parts of town, nor take you away from people and pollution. Tomorrow gives me a fresh opportunity to take in better weather and hopefully better views.

Oh and a big shout out to friends P (Holland) and T (UK) for their sponsorships. My total is moving up quite nicely.

Playlist

60s Specials

Stand By Me – Ben E King

Let’s Dance – Chris Montez

Bad Moon Rising – Credence Clearwater Revival

Surfin’ USA – The Beach Boys

You Never Can Tell – Chuck Berry

The Israelites – Desmond Dekker

Soul Man – Sam & Dave

I Only Want To Be With You – Dusty

Rescue Me – Fontella Bass

I’m Into Something Good – Herman’s Hermits

California Dreamin’ – Mamas and Papas

Feeling Good – Nina Simone

Jumping Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones

Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison

Gimme Some Loving – Spencer Davis Group

Do You Love Me – The Contours

You Really Got me – The Kinks

Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone – The  Temptations

 

Stats

Distance 8.27km

Time 52:58

Average Pace 6:24

Elevation Gain 35 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1791.2

Kms to Run 226.8