8 Oct – Babbo Natale is Back

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Babbo Natale 

 

Sunday was a run day, and it became reordered due to a pesky migraine. I did get up late to do my run at 10 o’clock – evening not morning – Sunday therefore became a ‘no run’ day. I estimate I’ve lost about 100km this year due to migraines, which is somewhat irritating but the situation is improving, so fingers crossed that’s the limit of impact reached.

Today’s run needed to be a good one on distance to make up for the slippage. Mr JCR promised to pick me up at the cafe, giving me a +/-10km target for today.

Monday’s are always sleepy and today was no different. Up to Mill Lane the crunch of leaves and a few slippy acorns underfoot led me into Lovers’ Lane. Ahead of me Mr & Mrs Walking Sticks, I’ve seen them a few times over the summer, I think they must do mid-morning walks as I rarely see them early on in the day. Mr WS was very polite and stepped out of my way when I pootled past and on my return loop, they both said buongiorno.

Down the Hill That Kills and onto the Bendy, Scary Road, I was warming up nicely and then tasted my water. Eeeuuggghh it was full of saline – we evidently have an issue with our water softener, as this is the second time in a week. Okay never mind, just focus on getting the run done without water – luckily as it’s cooler I don’t need as much so it’s hardly a crisis. As I was wiping my mouth one of the many Puntos  here passed me – it was Babbo Natale and he tooted me. My assumption is that it was a toot of recognition rather than irritation.

Onto fish shop village, just about hitting the 8km mark and I was passed by a very bright lime green cyclist, talking on his mobile phone, whilst he was being overtaken by a car. Brave or stupid – you decide.

Up to Bin Lane where all was quiet and my run passed without incident – after the 9km mark a little dog joined me for a jog – he lasted about 25 metres and then turned back home. He was much nicer than the nasty, yappy, jumpy dogs in Argo’s loop. Finally, I hit 10km on the All Roads Lead To Rome road, and whilst my legs were a bit tired, I felt I’d had a lovely run out, seeing Babbo Natale and meeting a new dog friend, oh and passing the 1,000 mile mark which, for the curious amongst you, is 1609.34kms.

Playlist

Disco Divas

Ring My Bell – Anita Ward

I Say A Little Prayer – Aretha

Yes Sir, I Can Boogie – Baccara

Cruel Summer – Bananarama

Sunny – Boney M

Young Hearts Run Free – Candi Staton

I Feel For You – Chaka Khan

Hot Stuff – Donna Summer

Love Come Down – Evelyn Champagne King

Rhythm Is Gonna Get You – Gloria Estefan & The Miami Sound Machine

Pul Up To The Bumper – Grace Jones

Ain’t Nothing Going On But the Rent – Gwen Guthrie

Somebody Else’s Guy – Jocelyn Brown

Funkytown – Lipps Inc

Borderline – Madonna

Forget Me Nots – Patrice Rushen

Stir It Up – Patti LaBelle

Jump, I’m So Excited – Pointer Sisters

Car Wash – Rose Royce

Ain’t Nobody – Rufus and Chaka

Let The Music Play – Shannon

Lost In Music – Sister Sledge

How Will I Know – Whitney Houston

Stats

Distance 10.42km

Time 1:11:13

Average Pace 6:49

Elevation Gain 43 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1612.87

Kms To Run 405.13 ( three hundreds in sight!)

 

 

 

6 Oct – Eight Ferraris

 

on the country lanes.

Today, Autumn decided to arrive. Yesterday we had sunshine and 20+ degrees, today’s it’s skirting 14 and misty, which has put paid to my ideas of running in shorts. Winter running gear is taking its place.

Having decided to reorder my day and do things differently (according to Mr JCR, I just couldn’t be arsed getting up) I wombled out shopping, taking the bendy, scary road to fish shop village.

On my approach, I heard a large throaty rumble and a glorious procession of Ferraris went past, low slung, sleek, fast and sporty, I counted each one as they went past and there were eight.  Some of the villagers applauded and said brava/bella – the love of the home-grown sports car is alive and well in Le Marche. I’m always looking for some inspiration or focus for my runs and a Ferrari per km was a perfect target for me.

Meeting Mr JCR after his cycle ride, I donned my dayglo and set out. My hips are a bit achey and I wasn’t too sure I’d be hitting the 8km, but as I warmed up they improved. I did a loop of the Slope of Hope, the Hill That Kills, Lovers’Lane, Mill Lane and back to the house. There I saw a large black Mitsubishi, who appeared to be stalking me. As I ran up the hill he stopped driving and watched, when I turned back he crawled to the gates of our house. I crossed the road – then he crawled behind me and turned off into a cutting. I turned back to take a look and he stopped his manoeuvre and continued along a track. Curiouser and curiouser – I think he was probably lost because the track he was taking would lead him to a closed restaurant.

I did half of Mill Lane and turned back to Argo’s Loop, where I caused mayhem running past the beagle kennels and the house with the horrid, happy, barking, manic dogs. At this stage I’d done about 5km and the hips seemed a little less sticky. I continued to Laundry Lane and saw the lovely trees turning colour for Autumn and then my running rhythm appeared and I had a glorious 4km run. It wasn’t particularly fast, but I wasn’t aiming for speed – the Ferraris had done that this morning. This old banger was just happy to have met her 8 Ferrari target, because I’ve just snuck over the 1600km mark.

Playlist

Joan of Arc, Live and Die – OMD

The Reflex, Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Trainor

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

All These Things, That I’ve Done, Andy You’re A Star, Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Rock the Casbah – The Clash

World In Motion – New Order

Rain On Your Parade – Duffy

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Blasphemous Rumours, Dreaming of Me – Depeche Mode

Avalon – Roxy Music

Stats

Distance 9.32km

Time 1:08:27

Average Pace 7:20

Elevation Gain 89 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1602.45 – yay!

Kms to Run 415.55

 

 

4 Oct – Chicken on a Zebra

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I have some running to do, to make up for the good living of September. This morning saw me up and out, slightly earlier than yesterday but not much.

Autumn in Le Marche is a time when lots of work gets done after the ferocity of heat in Summer and prior to Winter’s grip. This is why I guess, none of my usual running buddies such as Anouska and Albino, Dame Duvet are around. Or it could be that I am so late out, they’ve done their thing already!

A very quiet run today, 3 cyclists and one cat seen, the cyclists all nodded – the cat didn’t. But then that’s cats all over.

I was better dressed this time out – short sleeved tee-shirt and capris, therefore no need for me to repeat my Compo look thank goodness.

A gentle pootle down the Slope of Hope and onto the Bendy, Scary Road, leaves crunching underfoot. Someone please tell me how did I manage to trip over a twig? After giving myself a shake and concentrating a little more, I came across the half-painted zebra crossing. In Italy you take your life into your hands on a zebra, there’s no guarantee that people will stop; you regularly play a game of chicken with the oncoming traffic. This zebra is upping the ante on excitement/danger, you’ve got to be even more confident of the traffic stopping given that it runs out halfway across the road.

Luckily for me, an old gentleman stopped to let me cross – no chickens were harmed in the making of today’s run. I was about 4kms in at this point and continued my pootle onto fish shop village. Again, very quiet and my pace was easy. Bin Lane, came and went and so did the 8km marker.

Chicken for dinner, maybe it crossed the road without the aid of a zebra?

Playlist

From my new famous names playlist

Michael Caine – Madness

Geronimo – Sheppard

Grace Kelly – Mika

The Joker – Steve Miller Band

Clint Eastwod – Gorillaz

Prince Charming, Picasso Visita El Planeto De Los Simios – Adam And The Ants

Sherlock Holmes – Sparks

Joan of Arc – OMD

Rasputin – Boney M

Bruce Lee – Robbie Williams

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5

Walks Like Rihanna – The Wanted

Rock Me Amadeus – Falco

Axel F – Harold Faltermeyer

Buddy Holly – Weezer

Al Capone – Prince Buster

Dear Prudence – The Beatles

Victoria – The Kinks

Frank Sinatra – Cake

Stats

Distance 8.56km

Time 1:01:03

Average Pace 7:07

Elevation Gain 37 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1593.13

Kms to Run 424.87

 

 

3 Oct – Sign Of The Times*

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Sunday – Migraine

Monday – Remainder of Migraine

Tuesday – Pouring Down

Wednesday – A Run in the Sun

Route today – patrol outside our house, Mill Lane, Lovers’ Lane, Hill That Kills, Bendy Scary Road, War Of The Worlds Lane.

Heat and sweat levels high due to badly chosen wardrobe choice – leggings and base layer. Shorts and a tee-shirt would have been much better, hence a mid-run wardrobe adjustment, rolling up legs of leggings a la Compo from Last Of The Summer Wine.

In this sartorial elegance, I was stopped by a motorist on the bendy, scary road.

Motorist – Signora, please stop there is a problem with this road sign

JCR – scusa (I didn’t hear him properly and thought he was talking about the post office – entirely different sounding words – my Italian is rubbish at times)

M – this roadsign is in the middle of the road and is dangerous

JCR – ah yes

M – do you know whether the road is closed?

JCR – no I have not long returned from holiday and don’t know

M – maybe this is a joke, who put it there?

JCR – I don’t know

M – why is it here?

JCR – I don’t know

M – it is dangerous

JCR – Yes

M – he shrugs and drives off

I am still utterly perplexed as to what he thought I could do about it, maybe he just wanted to share his frustration or maybe he was warning me, but I was on the other side of the road and unaffected by it.

I was wearing stripy leggings a la Compo, and a plain top – no fluoro or dayglo to be seen, so I couldn’t have looked like a council worker… Is my future Autumn running to be punctuated by random chats with strangers?

Playlist

Common People – Pulp

Barbara Ann – Beach Boys

Darling Nikki – His Purple Highness*

Girl From Mars – Ash

Parklife – Blur

The Reflex, Girls on Film, Save A Prayer – Duran Duran

Live and Die – OMD

Unbelievable – EMF

Everything Must Go – The Manics

Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll – The Killers

Crazy in Love – Beyoncé

Born To Run – The Boss

Get Dancin’ – Disco Tex And His Sex O Lettes

Wishing Well – Terence Trent D’Arby

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Stats

Distance 10.72km

Time 1:14:08

Average Pace 6:55

Elevation Gain 50 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1584.57

Kms to Run 433.43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29 Sep – Sweaty Heap

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S = Saturday Morning, back in Le Marche after the Naples/Sorrento break – first kilometre a bit slow, as I get back into my running routine

W = Well, it’s a lot cooler here than in Sorrento, and my second kilometre is a bit laboured as practice running mini-laps outside of the house, before heading for the Slope of Hope

E = Effort is necessary to get me up the Hill That Kills, I’m not sure of the elevation gain but it is just on 1/3 of a km in length and all uphill and usually a bit of a test, early in a run. This was my third kilometre into Lovers’ Lane.

A = Against all my expectations, my pace improves and I get into a nice rhythm and even the barking beagles don’t give me grief when I pass them, well into my 4th kilometre.

T = Turning back towards home, I trot steadily and do a couple more mini-laps outside the house and this is when my monicker changes from JCR to JNKH – Jan Nearly Kills Herself. Unbeknown to me the car I heard behind me, actually took the slip road near me and I hadn’t heard her change tack, and so ran in front of her… Oops, that almost curtailed my 5th kilometre.

Y = Yikes, there’s a big nasty hornet buzzing near me. This year has been full of hornets, and each night one attacks our front door – it could be him… Being a sweaty runner, I often attract flies – I know – it’s not an attractive thought, and I hope desperately that my pheromones aren’t catnip to a hornet. Luckily for me he leaves me alone, and as I go towards the Slope of Hope once more I hit the 6km mark.

H = Help, I’m running up the Hill That Kills once more, and it’s getting warm, which is a bit of a problem as I am wearing a base layer and running capris, because it was much cooler early on. The sweat is pouring off me – Lovers’ Lane offers a little respite, but the Villa Bali loop is full sun again – I’m leaving a vapour trail behind me – eeugh. Still that’s 7km done.

E = Eight kilometres coming up and surprisingly, I see what I think is a fellow runner coming towards me, dressed in a ‘hornet’ type outfit. It is in fact a lady walker, wearing a dayglo yellow jacket, dark shorts and long socks. She’s making quite a pace and I feel a tad embarrassed as I’m a little tired and I’m sure she’s walking faster than I’m running…

A = Adjusting pace is called for, I’ve found that when I take a few days of rest from running, that my first run is always a little rusty. So I take it down a bit and find my running legs again. Back up the Hill That Kills and I make a mental note that if I can reach 10km, I will continue until I either hit the 10k or the natural end of the road, whichever is the further.

P = Part way down Lovers’ Lane and I hit the 10km mark, I continue until the end of the lane. Job done – a nice 10km+ to mark my return home. It wasn’t fast, and I was a very sweaty heap. Not a problem with the weather – just the wrong clothing. Another lesson learnt JCR, either get out earlier and wear layers or stay in bed (yay!!!) and wear lighter clothing. I’m guessing you can already tell what tomorrow’s clothing strategy will be.

Playlist

Mistakes – Madness

Tired Of Waiting For You – The Kinks

Suspect Device – Stiff Little Fingers

Temptation – Heaven 17

Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis

Disco 2000 – Pulp

By The Way, Cabron – Red Hot Chilis

Dance Away, Avalon – Roxy Music

Wishing Well, Sign Your Name – Terence Trent D’Arby

Rio – Duran Duran

Born To Run – The Boss

Fuck You – Cee Lo Green

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

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

Mony Mony – Billy Idol

Let’s Stick Together, Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Joan Of Arc – OMD

Rumour Has It – Adele

Everyday I Love You Less and Less – Kaiser Chiefs

Stats

Distance 10.3km

Time 1:17:41

Average Pace 7:32

Elevation Gain 65 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1573.85

Kms to Run 444.15

 

 

25 Sept – So So Sorrento

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It’s Saturday night in Sorrento, I ran in Le Marche in the morning so the above pic was my well-earned reward looking out over the Bay of Naples.

Sunday – rest day

Monday – Naples and double pizza – don’t ask…

Tuesday – run, Herculaneum & Pompeii

Wednesday – Drive the Amalfi Coast, watch Liverpool against Chelsea – not good

Thursday – Capri and home

Friday – comatose, unpacking, shopping

I had planned on running twice whilst we were away, I’d figured that with the amount of sightseeing we wanted to get in, that 2 runs would be all I’d manage, given limitations on ticketing for ferries, weather uncertainties and the uppy/downy nature of Sorrento and this part of Italy.

2 turned out to be optimistic, given the need to be catching early trains and my by now famous aversion to getting up early. In fairness to me the weather was substantially cooler in the mornings and my running kit, didn’t reflect that need.

Tuesday’s run, I was out early just after 7.30am, and I’d decided to take a straight line route out of town and back again, thinking that the tourist traffic on pavements/on road would arrive after breakfast. I didn’t bump into many tourists that much is true, what I did bump into was the veritable army of workers who keep Sorrento going. The road out was chock full of mopeds, motorbikes, buses, Apés, mini electric delivery vehicles, dustbin lorries. All in all interesting to see, not so nice to run through though.

The pollution levels are quite high, and there is a traffic management scheme in place, but I can understand to service the tourists, of which I was one, normal day to day stuff has to happen. I ran through the main road Corso Italia and did receive some bemused looks from the locals, I’m guessing they don’t get many running tourists in Sorrento. There’s not much pavement around, and quite a bit of re-development work going on, making it necessary for me to run on the road quite a bit too. I got hooted at a few times and I’m guessing it wasn’t to compliment me on my running style/speed.

After about 4kms of steady pootling, I decided to see if I could find a non-touristy bit of Sorrento and took a loop towards a rail station Sant’ Agnello. Here was an Italy I recognised, lots of children carrying outsized back packs to school, locals drinking coffee at the bar to save paying for the ‘privilege’ of a seat outside. Local shops, slightly rundown garages and a multitude of small businesses. Although it was quite scruffy in parts, I much preferred it to the tinsel town of Sorrento for tourists.

Being mindful of the gradient and ascents, I took a shortcut back to the apartment and had managed just over 8km. It was a ‘so so’ run, because I was not so sure of my bearings and didn’t want to get lost, nor did I fancy running back up from the port which was quite a way downhill and as a consequence I did spend a bit of time stopping and re-starting to work out where to run.

Would I recommend running in Sorrento? – maybe, if you don’t mind getting up very early, and layering clothing accordingly. I had seriously underestimated just how busy this place gets, and of course because of the topology, all the people and traffic are constrained into a small area. If you love hills, then Sorrento is definitely a place to aim for. Me, I was happy to have done just a bit of uppy and downy and got back in time for the day’s sightseeing.

Playlist

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Common People, Disco 2000 – Pulp

By The Way – Red Hot Chilis

Tracy Jacks – Blur

Unbelievable – EMF

Boombastic – Shaggy

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

World In Motion – New Order

Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis

Temptation – Heaven 17

Glory Days – The Boss

Help Me Rhonda – The Beach Boys

Avalon – Roxy Music

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Stats

Distance 8.16km

Time 57:32

Average Pace 7:02

Elevation Gain 94 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1563.55

Kms To Do 454.45

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 Sep – Beating Mr JCR

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The alarm has gone, it is a Saturday morning and for the first time in years I have actually beaten Mr JCR out of bed. Well strictly speaking I didn’t, as he made the welcome mug of tea, but I actually left the house for a run before he’d made any proper moves. This merits a mention as it happens almost as often as solar eclipse.

I was on a time limit, I had more or less one hour to get in a run. We had a schedule to meet, and my running needed to be accommodated. I pootled out and made my way to the usual route. Being a Saturday, all was quiet save for the barking balcony house, where both dogs managed as usual to make me leap in the air. I don’t actually know how they manage it. I understand they have dog hearing and can hear my approach, not that the wheezing of a middle aged runner is undetectable to the human or dog ear. But it is their impeccable timing that gets me every time, just when I think I’ve got past them without a caterwaul, then comes the orchestrated barking in two different pitches, so if the smaller yap doesn’t make me leap then the larger, much louder bark does. Maybe they are the canine version of Jackass or similar and I am being secretly filmed for dog viewing pleasure

I made my way up the Hill That Kills, and it wasn’t the hill that could have damaged me it was another anonymous Punto careering around the corners. Mr JCR and I have this debate about the safest way to run – facing the traffic so you can see your assailant, or running with the traffic so you are blissfully unaware. I prefer seeing my would be assailant then if they do manage to hit me, they get a full blown Paddington stare before I hit the deck. The Punto had long since gone when the Paddington stare crossed my face,  and I don’t know if they heard me swear at them in my choicest Italian. Along to Lovers’ Lane – it is early and not even the kiosk man is around. I decide to head back to Mill Lane and am witnessed by a lady chef sitting outside her kitchen looking somewhat bemused at my efforts.

Onto the Slope of Hope once more towards Argo’s Loop and I cause a cacophony of barking from the beagle kennels, I head onto Laundry Lane for a quite kick back towards the chapel, do a u turn and complete another 3kms, bringing my total up to 8km.

It was a very nice, calm, gentle run – except for the psychopathic Punto driver, it was a glorious pootle, in a great temperature. I arrived home 5 minutes before my allotted ‘must get back’ time and was chuffed with my efforts.

Playlist

Walking With Mr Wheeze – Madness

Slow Down – The Jam

Walking Down Your Street – The Bangles

I Am The Walrus – The Beatles

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

Electric Barbarella/The Reflex/All She Wants Is/Save A Prayer – Duran Duran

Live and Die/Joan of Arc – OMD

It’s Raining Men (twice) – The Weather Girls

She Sells Sanctuary  – The Cult

Personal Jesus/See You – Depeche Mode

Don’t You Want Me – Human League

Stats

Distance – 8.01km

Time 57:50

Average Pace 7:12

Elevation Gain – 67 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1555.39

Kms to Do 462.61