12 Feb – I’m at 10%, Just a Shame

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we are approximately at 12% of the year through, when I have just run 10% of my 2018km target distance.

However, with the Under Armour Year challenge, I remain in the top 7% – I feel a slightly competitive streak coming on, which will help keep me running.

Today’s run report  is short and sweet. I was in Stratford (East End, not Upon Avon) for a scan to ascertain the reason for a bout of WMAS. I then decided I could run home, which in principle I could, just not today after yesterday’s serious run.

The Stratford regeneration is amazing, but Google Maps doesn’t necessarily take you through the most salubrious areas, when directing you home. To be honest as soon as I spotted a path down to the Regents Canal, I was off and away. Besides which Google Maps requires a reasonably good GPS signal and I kept losing it.

The canalside was chocker with runners, coming at you, overtaking you, undertaking you and I suddenly realised it’s half term. There were canoeists on the water and a slightly sweaty middle aged runner on the bank. This SSMAR was swearing quietly as her fleece lined baggy trousers were chafing her legs, and at the point of my greatest discomfort  I was overtaken by a handy, bendy, twiglet runner. You know the sort, cellulite is a word they know from the dictionary, but have never experienced.

As she ran past, this SSMAR looked in utter disbelief, as twiglet runner was wearing a yoga strappy bra let top, with a bare midriff and knee length capris. It’s 5 degrees people… and she is running semi naked. Needless to say being overtaken by a semi naked runner in 5 degrees, was a tad off-putting, so I spluttered to a halt. Still it was over 8kms.

Summary:-

  1. I surpassed my 10% target today – fantastic
  2. I have chafed legs – uughh
  3. I have to run another 8km tomorrow – mmm

Playlist

How Soon Is Now – The Smiths

Hymn – Ultravox

Batman – The Jam

Gold – Spandau Ballet

Running Bear – Stiff Little Fingers

Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine – The Killer

Wasted Life – Stiff Little Fingers

Get Up and Jump – Red Hot Chilis

Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve

Country – Paul Weller

Everything Cunts – Depeche Mode

On Top – The Killers

I’m Not Like Everybody Else – The Kinks

Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol

Smithers-Jones – The Jam

The Girl Who Wanted To Be – The Manics

Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake

Don’t You Remember – Adele

North Country Boy – Charlatans

Stats

Distance 8.46 kms

Time 1:10:06

Average Pace 8:16 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 27 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done – 202.67 km

Kms to Do 1815.33

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 7 – Is It A Week or A Weak Streak?

This is the first time ever, I have run every day for a week. This was me testing which method works best for doing the challenge. It had been recommended by some folk on the C25K forum, that maybe dropping the kms run, but running daily might be a way to go.

That for me means February is an ‘experimental’ month, when I will try different run types, timing etc, just to see what works best both physically and mentally. The first experiment is completed and that is running a fewer number of kms but doing it daily.

Two things I have observed:-

I can easily exceed the minimum km required and often run further, even allowing for the January backlog which does need to be caught up.

It’s a hard ‘ask’ as football commentators say, to go out and run every single day. Some people love the idea of running streaks and there is a fantastic lady on C25K, who is up to something like 380+ days of running every single day. I am however, not that lady!

Summary; in principle (subject to no injuries) the challenge would be manageable if I ran every single day. But there are days when we travel by car from London to Italy and back again. They are long days and realistically I am not going to pull on my trainers, when we travel. Also the bigger consideration, I don’t actually enjoy running every day. I feel as though it has become a burden, rather than something I enjoy. For sure, some runs have been fun, but honestly, this week has been tough. Also, I am a little concerned about never having a rest day, which I think could work against me in the long run, because I am not varying either my pace/distance overly much.

Now looking to the next experiment, I am going to try 4 days of running, with one day off. Also varying the distances, so I can change pace. It will be helped by us disappearing to Malaga for what we are euphemistically calling Winter Training. I think it may end up being Tapas Training. But with daytime temperatures in and around the 20s, it will be warm enough not to fear the cold when running.

Today’s run was actually quite pleasant cold but with a beautiful blue sky, I ran past my latest television crush David Olusoga (the historian on Falkner Street documentary). Can I digress and say he is rather gorgeous in the flesh? – often TV men I’ve seen have been a lot less photogenic and substantially shorter than I expected. The box does distort things somewhat. But he is very cute. That gave me a nice surprise and of course I smiled. There is a benefit of smiling, it actually helps you run better (longer and better pace) so if I can just arrange for Mr Olusoga to pass by next time out, I will be fine.

I was running down towards Borough Market, which was quite busy for a Wednesday afternoon,  and oops, I nearly took out an old geezer – in fairness to me he did that thing when he was looking one way and moving another. A quick shouted apology and I decided getting out of the market may be safer for all concerned. I was pootling on the South Bank and a fellow liquorice and satsuma runner came towards me. A silver fox runner, with liquorice coloured leggings and a satsuma top collar peeking out of his black sweatshirt. Apart from my black Eminem type hoodie, we looked the same. He gave me a big smile and I returned the favour. Running karma – if smiling helps you run, then why not?

By this time the South Bank was getting busier, I’m guessing ITV must be having some celeb on TV this evening, as there were younger people hanging around the South Bank ‘pen’. They didn’t look like David Olusoga groupies, but who knows?

On my return leg, I avoided the South Bank and ran just one street behind, where it was substantially quieter and easier to get around. Scooting back towards Tate Modern, and over the wobbly bridge, I headed to St Paul’s where I saw a wedding photoshoot taking place.

Although the ‘bride’ was wearing a fur-trimmed cape thing, I have to say she was smiling way more than I thought was possible in the cold. Maybe she had a mobile heater under the skirt…

Anyway the run was done, and my 7 day running streak completed. I’ve done the week and it wasn’t a weak, week, because I have run just short of 50km in 7 days.

And I am up to the top 7% in the global challenge 🙂

Playlist

Ben – Michael Jackson

Clint Eastwood – Gorillaz

Frankie – Sister Sledge

The Diary of Horace Wimp – ELO

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 & The Attractions

Rudy – Supertramp

Telegram Sam – T Rex

Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top

Is Vic There? – Department S

Warwick Avenue – Duffy

Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie

Tracy Jacks – Blur

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Stats

Distance 7.87 km

Time 55:22

Average Pace 7:02

Elevation Gain 65 metres

Running Streak – 7 Days One Whole Week

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Run to Date 174.82

Kms to Do 1843.18

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5 Feb – I was in the top 8%

That’s me, the non-running runner. The over 50 non-running runner. Out of 110,000 people in this challenge, I am in the top 8%. Well I was yesterday, as the pic proves. This probably is the best achievement I’ve ever had, whether sporting or academic.

Except maybe for eating chocolate, I think I can confidently say I was in the top 8% (probably in the world), for eating chocolate. But this running achievement is transitory, it’s early days and there’s a whole uncertain, scary year still to run.

No resting on laurels then…. let’s see what today will bring. I don’t want to end up as a punch-drunk fighter saying ‘I could’ve been a contender’.

It was cold, but clear and I was dressed in black like a ninja. I actually ran like a walrus, not a ninja, but still I went out.

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This walrus can actually run faster than me!

Despite being a slow runner of some repute, I am delighted to say I am still in the top 8% of the global challenge. That’s twice now I have appeared here. I am gloating, yes I am! The running, slow, walrus is gloating; pride will undoubtedly come before a fall…

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Playlist

Born In The USA – The Boss

Everything Must Go – The Manics

Back To Black – Amy Winehouse

By The Way – Red Hot Chilis

Boombastic – Shaggy

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

Save A Prayer – Duran Duran (twice in succession)

Is Vic There? – Department S

Doginabag – The Fratellis

Wonderwall – Oasis

Strong – London Grammar

Enola Gay – OMD

I Try – Macy Gray

Sex-O-Matic-Venus Freak – Macy Gray

Stats

Distance 6.78km

Time 47:39

Average Pace 7:01 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 21m

Alzheimer’s Challenge Update

Kms Run To Date 160.31

Kms to Run 1857.69 (slowlee, slowlee, catchee monkee)

Running Streak – Day 5

 

 

 

 

31 Jan- Shame on You, Under Armour

Yesterday I was delighted to see that I had managed to be placed in the top 9% of the 104,000 worldwide runners, undertaking the Under Armour ‘ You Versus the Year’ challenge.

I had entered as another means of keeping my motivation high for my own Alzheimer’s Challenge of running the year.

Seeing my position in the leaderboard, such as it is, I looked up what was happening with this challenge. There are various monthly prize draws, where you may win Under Armour gear if you’ve achieved certain milestones. Great, I thought that’s another little fillip to my efforts.

Except it’s not, you can be accepted to the challenge, no matter where you are in the world. But you only get to win the gear if you are in the USA.

Bah humbug, I have no issue with Under Armour limiting the prizes geographically, just don’t open up the challenge to all the world. Under Armour – this is a rubbish thing to do, I didn’t want the prizes necessarily, it’s just the principle of the thing.

Are you just doing a Donald and trying to make America great again? This doesn’t work for me – it makes you look closed to the world. I will continue with the challenge, because I am motivated so to do. But seriously, is this the way you encourage people to try your gear?

Let’s just compare tactics shall we? Lululemon encourage people to set goals and recognise them locally. UA have a worldwide challenge, where only folk in the USA can win…

So UA, have a guess whose running gear I am likely to be buying.