Apr 10 – Teenage Tantrums

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I hate mornings, I really, really hate mornings, I’ve always hated mornings. The only good thing about a morning is that a lunch is never far away. Listening to the radio X hours later, the presenter now says that early risers are just irritating, very efficient and productive. According to the Sleep School Founder we each have chronotypes – larks, owls and hummingbirds. Teenagers are an especially sleep-deprived group and that’s how I feel when the alarm goes off. I am a teenage owl, except I can’t cope with late nights either, maybe I’m a teenage sloth?

In my zombie state, I get changed and go out. It is coolish and very windy, brrr. I do my warm up walk up Mill Lane, past the Water pumping station grrr, and then turn into the hill that kills, to start my descent. By the time I am out of the slope of hope, the weather has changed, it is now warm, sunny and no wind. At the 1km mark, I am performing origami striptease moves, designed so I don’t have to stop running. Except I end up as a tangle of wires, sleeves and middle aged women’s hankies all over the place. Okay, JCR just stop, adjust clothing and then move on.

At 2km, the running tights are being rolled up Compo style above the knees, in a vague attempt to cool me down. It isn’t working and whilst I can’t see my face, I have a feeling I am glowing brightly. Through the cobbled streets of the village I come across my first co-runner, he is running uphill (with my challenge, running up the hills of Le Marche is something I will do occasionally). We wave and smile, and then coming towards me is my first cyclist. Let’s just say I don’t think he’s been on a bike for a while. His knees are at right angles to the bike frame, his face is very red, and he sort of waves and gasps in acknowledgment. In fairness to him, had I felt that bad, I think I’d have conserved every bit of energy I had, just to keeping going.

Further on down the hill, another 2 cyclists coming up the hill, they just zoomed past, no waves, no gasps, nothing. Around the corner I see my second runner, in fluoro green and black shorts, he is loping lazily and he looks substantially cooler than I am. At this stage, I have rolled up every bit of lycra I can to keep cool. Now I realise it is about 11am, it is only 17 degrees and we are nowhere near summer temperatures yet. This means, I am going to have to get up earlier to avoid the sun and the heat, and start carrying a water bottle too, to keep me cool.

To go back to my original teenage tantrum, I hate mornings, I really, really hate mornings, I’ve always hated mornings. And now I am going to have to start getting up early in the mornings. This challenge is taking on menacing overtones. Only upside is I was back in the top 2% on the global challenge again – in fairness this only lasted about an hour – I’m back at 3% now.

Face Colour – Salsa Red

Playlist

Break My Stride – Matthew Wilder

Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins

Cars – Gary Numan

You Spin Me Round – Dead Or Alive

Uptown Girl – Billy Joel

Living On The Ceiling – Blancmange

Eighties – Killing Joke

Liberator – Spear Of Destiny

Gold – Spandau Ballet

Talk Talk – Talk Talk

Don’t Go – Yazoo

Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears For Fears

I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty

I Ran (Flock Of Seagulls)

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Don’t You Want Me – Human League

I’m Still Standing – Elton John

Stats

Distance 9.03km (I ran around the car park at the cafe a few time to get to 9)

Time 58:14

Average Pace 6:26 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 35 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 612.76

Kms To Do 1405.24

 

 

 

 

9 Apr – Students, Stones and Socks

Not such a bright day today – about 11 degrees and very London in colour. Still no peace for the stupid, I agreed with Mr JCR that I’d run down to the coffee shop and he’d meet me there for breakfast.

First off, up Mill Lane – past the Water Pumping Station, where I flicked a V sign. I realise it’s not its fault our water leak, but that bloody station often conks out – why oh why not this time? Anyway, up to Lovers’ Lane and Villa Bali, back to its usual coachload of school children on the obligatory science trip. As I ran around the grounds, one smart-arse yoof, decided it would be fun to mimic my running. As he did, he tripped over. I didn’t laugh although was sorely tempted, but he got his comeuppance with a roar of laughter and catcalls from the other students.

Continuing on down the hill that kills, and slope of hope, turning into the bendy, scary road. It’s always quiet on a Monday morning, most shops are shut and there’s not so many folk around. One lone cyclist came into view – it’s the ninja O.A.P., who I see quite often, fair play to him I was running downhill, he was cycling uphill. At that point the bendy, scary road lived up to its reputation with two school buses coming up behind me and a large freight lorry coming towards me. All that metal, it wasn’t worth the fight, so I stopped. Re-starting, I had stones in my shoe – stopped again, removed stone. Carried on for all of 10 metres, then there was another stone in the other one, and my sock has lost some elasticity, so my left trainer was rubbing my heel. Minor wardrobe adjustments made, I then carried on. Turning at the fish shop, I was now on the home stretch, although this part of the road runs parallel to the Via Flaminia (which is nice and flattish), but the road I’m on fools you – it starts off on a gentle slope down, but then bites you on the bum and reverts back to type – uphill and nasty.

My final schlep was on the Via Flaminia itself, where I took shelter from the thundering juggernauts and finally made it to the cafe for a well-earned cappuccino and pastry. Oh and my final ’S’ for today – I have broken the 600km barrier.

Playlist

Night Fever  – Bee Gees

Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs

Glory Days – The Boss

Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

She’s Electric – Oasis

London Calling – The Clash

Locomotion – OMD

Cabron – Red Hot Chilis

Marvin Gaye – Phuth and Traynor

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Na Na Na Naa – Kaiser Chiefs

Upside Down – Paloma Faith

It’s Called A Heart – Depeche Mode

Back To Black – Amy Winehouse

I Try – Macy Gray

Enola Gay – OMD

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Dance Away – Roxy Music

Help me Rhonda – The Beach Boys

Stats

Distance 10.23km

Time 1:05:05

Average Pace 6:21

Elevation Gain 42 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 603.73

Kms to Do 1414.27

 

 

 

6 Apr – Beast From The East Part III

Well I really thought we were done with this. Other mistakes recently include thinking that it was only me who suffered from stupid tart syndrome. Now I know it’s infectious especially with your nearest and dearest.

Cue an earlier conversation (as best I can recall) in January when leaving Italy:-

Mr JCR – ‘Shall we shut the water off at the mains, in case of a pipe burst?’

JCR – ‘Well we’ve been coming here for 14 years, and every Winter we do, and nothing’s ever happened.’

Mr JCR – ‘Yes, even that year when the snow was 3 metres high, the house was okay.’

JCR – ‘Yes, it’ll be fine.’

Except it wasn’t and it isn’t. Last year we came back somewhat unexpectedly after having being burgled. Not ideal, we lost lots of stuff and as such the house is now like a mini prison with cameras and alarms and sensors everywhere.

One of these cameras enables us to see the perimeter and hear noises. We do get alerts and from time to time we check the video to hear the sound of birdsong and not much else. To our surprise this year the birdsong did seem a bit noisier than usual, especially given the severity of the Winter.

That’s because it wasn’t birdsong. It was the unhappy sound of a burbling brook of water cascading from our external water supply, for heaven alone knows how long. Our side of the water meter unfortunately and we’ve found that we’ve used double the quantity of water for all the time we’ve been here. That’s crudely 28 years of normal water usage in a maximum of 3 months.

We’ve also just calculated how much that is going to cost us, and let’s just say my fund-raising target for Alzheimers is less cash than the upcoming water bill. So if you see a crowdfunding site with an appeal for raising funds for water relief and are tempted to chip in, just beware, it could be me and Mr JCR scamming you to pay our water bill!

Back to today, and after an unplanned day of water mains fixing etc, it was time to go for a run. Out into the hills on a nice sunny day – down the Slope of Hope, everything was fine and dandy, and then I turned into the Hill That Kills. Oops I had forgotten that in this quest to do 2018km, I hadn’t specifically factored in the hills of Le Marche. Blimey it was tough and I did have to take a breather half way through it, I continued into Lover’s Lane towards Villa Bali, which was teeming with teenagers, all looking cool and lounging on the grass, chatting and  then a middle aged sweaty woman shuffled past.

I think they were instagramming, I hope to goodness the usual middle-aged woman’s cloak of invisibility was working. Turning round, I ran back to the house to get a change of clothing. The Beast from the East is no more, but his mate the Witch of the West had appeared with some rather warm weather, turning me and my face the same colour as my fuchsia pink top. A quick change into capris and a vest top and I continued, back down the Slope of Hope and onto the Bendy, Scary Road.

Fairly uneventful today, I dodged a few cars, but the buses were great they gave me a wide berth. I had hit the 8km mark and realised that now my drinking habits need to change once more – I need to be drinking more water, which is bloody ironic, considering we can no longer afford any.

At the 10km mark, I thought running in the sun is lovely, but I needed a quick pit stop at our local cafe bar to buy water – yes I know the irony is growing.  On my way to meet Mr JCR at the bank, a cyclist went past me and said ‘Lei e bella’, which is you are beautiful – this is fairly standard practice in Italy, men complimenting women randomly. What’s not is that he was aiming it at me, and I was the only woman in view. Maybe he works for the water company and thought he’d make me feel a bit better.

All in all I did just over 12km, and am now trying to work out if I can run distances that involve no perspiration, so I can start washing with wet wipes.

My final takeout on this unhappy incident – never, ever, ever, ever leave your house for any length of time without switching the water off at the mains.  Never, ever, ever think that 14 years of experience in a foreign country, means you know something.

And to friends and family, I’m really, really, really sorry about the coin-operated shower and bathroom facilities, but needs must.

The pics are non sequitur – the Bunga Bunga cafe was on my last run in London and as Silvio Berlusconi is famous for his Bunga Bunga parties, it made me think of here. The pic of Mr JCR  mowing our now non-jungle is just to show some glorious sun and daisies, which I’ve missed a lot, whilst we’ve overwintered.

Playlist

Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis

You Love Us – The Manics

Mercy – Duffy

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

Master And Servant – Ditto

Dancing In The Dark – The Boss

This Girl – Kungs

Hot In The City – Billy Idol

Joan Of Arc – OMD

World in Motion – New Order

Sign Of The Times – Harry Styles

Girl From Mars – Ash

Back To Black – Amy Winehouse

Rehab – Ditto

is She Really Going Out With Him – Joe Jackson

Help Me Rhonda – Beach Boys

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

Everyday I Love You Less And Less – Kaiser Chiefs

Everything Must Go – The Manics

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

Rumour Has It – Adele

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

China Girl – David Bowie

Glory Days – The Boss

Stats

Distance 12.13km

Time 1:24:15

Average Pace 6:56 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain – 59 metres (all at the beginning ow)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done to date 586.94km

Kms to do 1431.06

 

 

 

 

29 Mar – Idris Says Carry On

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This was before I knew I was injured….

in another room – according to his latest advert – which to be honest is rubbish, but it is Idris, so he is forgiven.

After the 27th’s run, in which I actually failed to do my target kms, I thought I should carry on with another run and try and make up the mini deficit of half a km. As Mr JCR points out, I am actually ahead of target, so my reasoning has gone a little awry.

Nonetheless, the beastette from the East, is due back again, so it’s a good idea to clock the kms whilst I can. Today’s plan is another 10km – well perhaps a bit more if I can power my old lady legs on. Actually they are not old lady legs – officially according to The United Nations – ‘The United Nations uses 60 years to refer to older people’. This is a demographic line – apparently I am still young (actually the site doesn’t strictly speaking say that). So me and my young legs should be able to knock out the 10km no sweat. Here’s hoping.

Mmm well I have good news and bad news. Good news I did my second-ever fastest 5km – well fast for a geriatric in 29 minutes and 32 seconds – although with my geriatric fumbling it took about 30 seconds to stop the clock on my run to prove it was sub 30 minutes.

Second half of the run, I started a new run-on the MMR app and managed to do a further 6+km in an average of 5 minutes 56 seconds. That most definitely is my fastest 10 km+ ever.

Bad News – I have a twinge, one that makes me yelp and swear in equal measure when I put my right foot down – it shoots up near my knee. I have no obvious cause of an injury I was running fine and all of a sudden got the twinge, it felt fine so I continued running. Rested a while, de-sausaged, showered and went for a walk, still no problem. 3 hours later walking to a local restaurant the yelping/swearing started. A further 3 hours on, walking back from the restaurant, things weren’t much better.

Quick Dr Googling tells me it could be any number of things – not so helpful. I am thinking it might be tendonitis as I didn’t fall or twist or anything. Ho hum you win some, and then you lose some. I’d been building up a small surplus of kms in case of need. Looks like the need may have just arrived.

Idris says carry on – all the medical advice I am reading says don’t…, so I’m going to follow Idris’s advice and see if I can actually run at all. If I can with no twinges, I’ll do a little one, if I can’t, then I won’t.

Playlist 

Metal Guru – T Rex

Shang -A – Lang – Bay City Rollers

Sugar Baby Love – The Rubettes

Waterloo – Abba

I Feel Love – Donna Summer

Blame It On The Boogie – The Jacksons

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Killer Queen – Queen

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Girls and Boys – Blur

Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis

True Faith- 94 – New Order

Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine – The Killers

Maid Of Orleans (twice) – OMD

It’s Called A Heart – Depeche Mode

Let’s Go Crazy – His Purple Highness

Down In The Tube Station At Midnight – The Jam

 

Stats

Distance 11.98km

Time 1:10:59

Average Pace 5.55

Elevation Gain 59 metres

Face Colour – Monarch Red

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms To Date 541.09

Kms to Do 1476.91

17 Mar – Tangoed at St Paul’s

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Mr JCR contacted Alzheimer’s Research to tell them about the 2018km challenge I am undertaking and they duly provided a tasteful tee-shirt for me.

Here I am this morning braving The Beast from the East Part 2 – the bulge around my middle is the hidden pouch pocket, stuffed full of middle aged woman’s essentials – namely tissues for the ever-present running nose.

Witnessed by our friends N&A, there weren’t that many people around to be bothered by the picture taking or the video of me looking at my most inelegant.

Today’s run 11km+

I met 3 other runner’s similarly attired all who gave a cheery wave  – Londoners aren’t that friendly normally.

An articulated lorry stopped to allow me to cross a junction even though it was his right of way.

Two hi-vis men allowed me to pass near a building site

The Beast from the East Part 2, has brought both snow and a flurry of good manners today.

Playlist

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

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

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Temptation – Heaven 17

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult

All She Wants Is – Duran Duran

All Stood Still – Ultravox

Baggy Trousers – Madness

Be My Number Two – Joe Jackson

Beat Crazy – ditto

Breaking Us In Two – ditto

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Do You Really Want to Hurt Me – Culture Club

Don’t You Want Me – Human League

Dreaming -OMD

Einstein A go-Go – Landscape

Electric Barbarella – Duran Duran

Electricity – OMD

Stats

Distance 11.58km

Time 1:14:55

Average pace 6:28 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 83 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 454.92

Kms to Do 1563.08

Team Rhomboid Torture

I think he’s taking a break – so squats and something tempting with kettlebells will have to happen.

 

 

 

10 Mar – Whopping 400 from Wapping

 

I had a job to do, to get to 400km this weekend if I could by Sunday night. Being tech savvy now, I had plotted a route to take me on a circular route that according to the route wizard would match the km limit specified. I’d identified 17km as being possible (although unlikely).

This morning I opened up the route which for some reason seemed to have morphed into a 25km run. Okay not so tech savvy then…

I decided to run freestyle. Having had lots of wintery runs, I actually felt Spring was on its way, as the running jacket was opened up at the 2km mark. Going towards the Tower of London, loads and loads of tourists there – I continued to Wapping to the Narrow pub – just as a milestone. Unfortunately, I got slightly distracted and paused my phone when in St Katherine’s Dock for the inevitable middle aged lady nose blowing, so my distance and timing stats were all over the place – I’d apparently run a 2minute km at one stage. The distance was estimated but I was wiggling around Wapping and the phone straightened my run – so I think I ran more than recorded. Hey ho, definitely not tech savvy me…

At the Narrow pub, I started a new run to come home and it occurred to me that if I could just hold on a bit, I might be able to make the 400km mark in today’s run. I came across 2 Ross Kemp lookalikes – walking in tandem exactly like the Hofmeister bear adverts. A bit of a Cockney roll to their walk. My run was somewhat more laboured, but I held on and around the Barbican area, realised if I did a  quick detour, I could probably do the 400km mark. And I did,  by a sneaky, tiny margin of 0.5km but it all counts.

Playlist

Off The Wall – Michael Jackson

I Feel Good – James Brown

Let’s Dance – Chris Montez

Band Of Gold – Freda Payne

Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy – The Tams

Ain’t No Stopping Us Now –  Jimmy James & The Vagabonds

Good Times – Chic

Stoned Love – The Supremes

Shake Your Groove Thing – Peaches & Herb

Club Tropicana – Wham

The Only Way Is Up – Yazz

You Spin Me Round – Dead Or Alive

Is Vic There? – Department S

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

See You – Depeche Mode

Personal Jesus – Ditto

The Reflex – Duran Duran

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult

People Are People – Depeche Mode

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Gold – Spandau Ballet

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

Go Wild In The Country – Bow Wow Wow

Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Is Vic There? – Department S

Stats

Distance 15.21km

Time 1:45:37

Elevation Gain 36 metres

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Done 400.5

Kms To Do 1617.5

Team Rhomboid Torture

It’s a day of rest – hurrah!

 

 

 

 

 

9 March – The Last of My Monopolysing

Unlike the actual board game, my last  Monopoly square run had to be utilities and the ‘gas’ company, as I’d not come across any in my previous Monopoly runs.  The only option seemed to be the old fashioned gas tanks/holders, that used to be a common sight around London. The two I could remember on Regents Canal are no more and so the  nearest equivalent was the newly created Gasholder Park in Kings Cross, in which some luxury apartment blocks are being framed by the renovated old gas holders.

Please pardon the pun, this was a utility run, all about getting the ‘square’ done and doing 10km if I could. Having had a rest day yesterday, I needed to be putting in a good run, as we have another short break in Spain coming up. This time to the Alhambra in Granada, with our very good friends N&A. I’m sure they won’t want to be waiting for me to run every day, so I am trying to get a few kms in the bank, before we go.

Coldish, grey day today and from the City to Kings Cross, not the most salubrious nor enjoyable of routes, despite the ongoing gentrification of the area.

Run done, fish collected and yet another 3km run home carrying fish – my fishmonger Robby is utterly perplexed at the madness of it, and he asked ‘do you think you are getting any fitter?’ to which I replied that I hoped so. But maybe my very red face on entering the shop, is suggesting otherwise.

Playlist

Sign Your Name – Terence Trent D’Arby

Reap The Wild Wind – Ultravox

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Blue Monday – New Order

Everything Must Go – Manic Street Preachers

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Traynor

By The Way – Red Hot Chilis

Mony Mony – Billy Idol

True Faith – 94 – New Order

Common People – Pulp

Is She Really Going Out With Him – Joe Jackson

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Born To Run – The Boss

Scooby Snacks – Fun Loving’ Criminals

Enola Gay – OMD

Talking Loud And Clear – Ditto

Planet Earth – Duran Duran

People Are People – Depeche Mode

Girl From Mars – Ash

Stats

Distance 10.25km

Time 1:16:57

Average Pace 7:30 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 53 metres

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Run 385.3 (trying to get over 400 kms this weekend)

Kms To Do 1632.7

Visit my fundraising page on BT MyDonate

Team Rhomboid Torture

10 Lunges

10 Knee/Leg Raises

10 Hollow Rocks

All of which sounds do-able to me (well my hollow rock is rubbish but I can do hollow bodies – just not 10 of them)

Except then I read on and it was repeat 3 times.

So I repeated this mantra – the man is a monster, the man is a monster, the man is a monster…

2 hours later – 3 sets of lunges done! 3 sets of knee raises done. 1 set of hollow body done – holding for 10 seconds. I flaked< I couldn’t do the rocking. Ho hum.