21 Feb – Fated To Fail

Today was a regular appointment at Hampstead Hospital for WMAS related stuff. I go so often that I know the Receptionists’ names – they are Yvonne and Roger. Unfailing polite, but utterly bewildered as to why my appointments are like phantoms.

This morning in the coffee shop I mentioned to Mr JCR that I was bit concerned because I had neither received a confirmation letter nor the usual text message reminders. Phone them he urged, just in case there’s a problem. And of course there was, for the fifth time in succession, I had apparently cancelled my appointment. And cancelled the one for tomorrow that I didn’t know anything about. So ruddy frustrating as I had done no such thing and thus my plans for a slightly longer run were curtailed as I spent an extra 90 minutes waiting for a non-existent appointment to be created.

Not in the best of moods, I started my run home, through the delights of Kentish Town and a bypass of Somers Town (arse end of Euston station – famous/infamous but not in a good way). It was cold, I was peed off, and the route wasn’t brilliant. Job Done – except it wasn’t as I found out when I got home, I looked at my run plan and blow, bother, dash I should have done 11kms today and I didn’t.

So that’s a bit more to do tomorrow then. Oh and I have to return to Hampstead Hospital in May – and I just know that appointment will get cancelled by the mysterious force that has cancelled my previous five appointments. Roger and Yvonne will remain as polite as usual. Today, evidently not my day. Better give it a better go tomorrow.

Playlist

Get Up And Jump – Red Hot Chilis

Ghost Town – The Specials

Gimme Some Lovin’ – The Blues Brothers

Girl – The Beatles

Girl From Mars – Ash

A Girl Like You – Edwin Collins

Girl On The Phone – The Jam

The Girl Who Wanted To Be – The Manics

Girls and Boys – Blur

Girls on Film – Duran Duran

Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll – The Killers

Glass Onion – The Beatles

Glory Days – The Boss

Gnik Nus – The Beatles

Go For It – Stiff Little Fingers

Go To Hell – Nina Simone

Go Wild In the Country – Bow Wow Wow

God & Satan – Biffy Clyro

God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

God Put A Smile On Your Face – Coldplay

Stats

Distance 10.40km

Time 1:18:07

Average Pace 7:30 (min/km)

Elevation Gain 42 metres

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Done 268km

Kms To Do 1750 km

Team Rhomboid Torture/Challenge

2 sets of 10 reps – squats (with vampire kettlebell)

2 sets of 10 wall press -ups

2 sets of 10 lying knee raises

7 reps of hollow rock holding 10 seconds

Utter failure on wrist exercises…

 

 

 

18 Feb – You Can Take The Girl Out of Liverpool

 

But you most definitely can’t take Liverpool out of the girl. Last night’s gourmet feast was in a little restaurant we had seen on Thursday evening and thought it looked good. Had we looked at the menu? – no. Had we looked at the price point? – no. On what did we base our judgement – we liked the decor. Luckily the decor judgement seemed to work for the food and we had a very nice meal. Oh and a fantabulous bottle of Rioja too.

Starters for Mr JCR – some kind of sausage – it sounded chorizo like, so I assumed it would be like a charcuterie plate. No it was a sausage, with fries and a dipping sauce. Mine was dead easy – the menu had me at ‘morcilla’ – which is the Spanish version of black pudding, a rare treat, that I eat about twice a year.When I do this in France or Spain the locals  often wonder if the Englishwoman has gone mad and knows what she has ordered. I have been questioned about it before – in Paris, a colleague asked ‘you do know that is black sausage don’t you?’ Yes I was fully conversant and I expected my morcilla, maybe with some spinach, or apple or a mustard sauce. No, it came with chips. This is all fine, except Mr JCR had ordered his main course of steak and chips and me, well I’d wimped out on the chips and had the ‘healthy’ baked potato option.

Last night’s healthy preparatory meal for today’s run and Mr JCR’s bike ride was basically meat and spuds, twice. I thought the Northern gods would be smiling at my conversion of a namely pamby Southerner.

With what felt like 10 tons of meat and spuds weighing me down, I was wavering whether or not to run. I wavered for at least two hours, whilst reading the newspaper. And then it came to the crunch time – read the rest of the paper and blag to Mr JCR that my hips were too sore to run or be honest and go out for a run. To my surprise, honesty won, and I ran. It wasn’t record beating, certainly it was slow, but it was a run and I did City sights today, having pounded the seafront one too many times for interest.

Malaga is undergoing quite a renaissance, and so it seems in the area I found (well I think the Malaguenans built it a little while ago) I’m not claiming Christopher Columbus rights here. And I was running in a chichi paved and shaded area near the port, with a modern art Rubik’s cube thing. This break is all about the running and riding, so we aren’t spending much time doing cultural stuff, but definitely worth a return visit, when my legs aren’t aching so much that I’d happily go for a walk.

Running lessons learnt today:-

Meat and spuds twice is not the best prep for a morning run

I need to travel with my own pillow; Ikea’s finest just aren’t hacking it

Following Team Rhomboid’s 40 day Lenten Exercise Plan, is bloody hard work – and I am only on Day 2. Wall press-ups anyone?

Playlist

I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea – Elvis Costello

I Spy – Pulp

Start – The Jam

Minnie The Moocher – The Blues Brothers

In My Bed – Amy Winehouse

When You’re Young – The Jam

Don’t Look Back – Madness

In My Life – The Beatles

Darlin’ – The Beach Boys

Boom Boom – John Lee Hooker

Smokestack Lightnin’ -Howlin’ Wolf

Heroes – David Bowie

I Love To Boogie – T Rex

London Traffic – The Jam

Round & Round – New Order

Stats

Distance 6.22km

Time 48:15

Average Pace 7:45 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 28 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run To Date 247.1km

Kms To Run 1770.9km

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 Feb – All I Am Fit For Is

 

the knacker’s yard. There isn’t a bit of my bod that is not hurting today

K – knees aching and it’s only the first kilometre

N – not as hot as yesterday, thank goodness

A – arms are aching – why for God’s sake as they aren’t even doing the running

C – cool dudes playing ping pong in swimming trunks, draw attention from the pain

K – knees still aching – inside and outside both legs – it’s only halfway through the run

E – every minute I am whispering to myself, just one more lamppost

R – red, the colour of my face – luckily at 6kms I find water fountains

E – ever regret making a hasty declaration about running the year?

D – don’t be so bloody wet JCR, you ran 12.5kms yesterday – no wonder you’re tired

Playlist

Cars – Gary Numan

Drive  – The Cars

Sailing On The Seven Seas – OMD

Surfin’ USA – Beach Boys

Big Yellow Taxi – Counting Crows

Riders On The Storm – The Doors

They Shoot Horses Don’t They – Racing Cars

Groovy Train – The Farm

Skateboarding –  Xinobi

Don’t Pay The Ferryman – Chris De Burgh

What I Go To School For – Busted

Drive My Car – The Beatles

Ocean Drive – Lighthouse Family

Driving In My Car – Madness

Ship Of Fools – Erasure

Airport – The Motors

Hey Soul Sister – Train

Ride On Time – Black Box

Walk This Way – Aerosmith

The Passenger – Iggy Pop

2-4-6-8 Motorway – Tom Robinson Band

Stats

Distance 9.82 Km

Time 1:25:26

Average Pace 8:41 (mins/km) It is always worse after a long run

Elevation Gain 31m

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 234.08

Kms to Run 1783.92…

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Feb – No Pain, No Gain

Today was supposed to be day 2 of the new ‘4 days on, 1 day off’ regime, that I am trying. However, Friday was a legitimate rest day, Saturday was not. Saturday was instead migraine day. Oh joy, and it is impossible to run when I have one. This is another of those things nobody ever, ever tells you about getting old. You become victim to WMAS syndrome. Stupid health things that stop you doing what you want to.

Saturday was therefore a right-off, and today I had to go Monopoly yellow square hunting. That is, Leicester Square, Coventry Street and Piccadilly, all conveniently in an easy line for me to run through. The downside, none of them sufficiently far enough away for me to make up yesterday’s missed kilometres.

As usual I made my way to the Top Gear tunnel under the Barbican and my attention was drawn to a lady who appeared to be smiling rather flirtatiously at a Barbican pillar. Now the Barbican is definitely a love it or loathe it piece of architecture, personally, I am a fan, although I concede it needs a clean up. Even allowing for this lady to potentially be a lover of the Barbican, it is a weird thing to do, to smile at a concrete pillar.

What I couldn’t quite see from my angle, was that her boyfriend/husband/cameraman was taking a picture of her and he was kneeling on the ground. Mystery solved – she was smiling at hubby/boyf/cameraman – not the pillar then…

Sunday is a nice day for running in London, generally the marauding hordes are lessened and it’s easier to get around. Except that I was heading West and Leicester Square was very busy with some street entertainers garnering rather large crowds. Queues again at the Lego store and lots of people with M&M carrier bags. I must admit that is something I don’t understand, M&M’s are American and yet people come to London to buy American sweets. If it was a Smarties store, I could understand it.

I carried on along Piccadilly, as ever Fortnums doorways clogged up and their new tea based window installation (neon teapots) was causing a bit of pavement blocking for all those  authentic ‘I went to London’ photos to be taken. At this stage I had only done about 4kms which was way below the target kms, so I continued on Piccadilly into Green Park, which although bare, was rather nice to run around, the sun was shining, people strolling and it’s a nice place to be. I headed out towards the Mall and then towards home.

On the return I ‘re-got’ Trafalgar Square, Strand and Fleet Street, and then headed to the City, where I re-bagged Liverpool St Station. With a bit of jiggery pokery around the City, I ended up having done just over 13kms. Not bad JCR, but not enough to make up Saturday’s deficit… So tomorrow and Tuesday, the well trodden routes beckon and I have to get in at least 15kms on the next two runs, just to keep pace. Because Wednesday we fly to Winter Camp.

The good news was today I had no pain or migraine, but I didn’t gain the missing day’s worth of running. This tells me there really is little margin for error, illness or laziness on this challenge. If tomorrow goes to plan, I should be able to hit the 10% distance marker for the year’s challenge. And that would make me 10% of the distance with 12% of the year having gone.

Playlist

Be My Number Two – Jo Jackson

Beat Crazy – Ditto

Breaking Us In Two – Ditto

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Dreaming – OMD

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

Electric Barbarella – Duran Duran

Embarrassment – Madness

Every Breath You Take – The Police

Girls on Film – Duran Duran

Gold – Spandau Ballet

House of Fun – Madness

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Mamma Mia – Abba

Notorious – Duran Duran

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Rasputin – Boney M

The Reflex – Duran Duran

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult

Somewhere in My Heart – Aztec Camera

Thriller – Michael Jackson

A View To A Kill – Michael Jackson

Stats

Distance – 13.49km

Time 1:27:22

Average Pace 6:28 (mins/Km)

Elevation Gain 72 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 194.21

Kms to Do 1883.79

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28 Jan – Anyone for Ye Olde Basketball, With A Shortarse?

This running for Alzheimer’s challenge is most definitely a challenge and a half. After two days of rest, today was supposed to my training plan to be a 12km run. But that wasn’t going to happen, as my legs were a little achey shall we say.

A niceish day in store, I set a target 8km and if I could do more then that would be fab.

A quick run around the City to find filming in situ near and around Moorgate, so I headed off to the backstreets and found Angel Wings, well one of them. I then aimed towards the Inns of Courts and saw Quality Court – I still can’t work out whether the two signs mean it really is quality, or whether the first sign was rubbish quality, so they  decided to replace it.

As I am doing the Monopoly Board running for maintaining running interest, I came across Chancery Lane not by design, more by happenstance. I now have a dilemma – can I count this towards the Monopoly board challenge as ‘Chance’, I hadn’t defined this as a Monopoly run. Better ask some folk and see what they say, if you have a second please let me know your opinion…

It was a quiet run today, not much happening, not much weather to report, and in my backstreet wanderings I came across this old (I assume) lighting hoop and wondered whether you could use it for basketball?

As I am ‘height challenged’/ shortarse  at 5 feet 4 inches, it looked high enough to me, but then I was always last pick at school for the netball team, so what would I know?

10 km done quietly and slowly today, still I am not up to the needed week’s kilometrage, but I hope to reel it in. And I have met one milestone, I have run more than 100km since I began the challenge.

Oh and I did try and jump up towards ye olde basketball hoop, but I am a ye olde shortarse, so was miles away…

Playlist

Drive – The Cars

Night Boat To Cairo – Madness

Sailing On The Seven Seas – OMD

Waking On Sunshine – Katrina And The Waves

Driving In My Car – Madness

Hey Soul Sister – Train

Big Yellow Taxi – Counting Crows

Ride On Time – Black Box

Riders On The Storm – The Doors

They Shoot Horses Don’t They? – Racing Cars

Groovt Train – The Farm

Skateboarding – Xinobi

Walk This Way – Aerosmith

99 Red Balloons – Nena

What I Go To School For – Busted

Drive My Car – The Beatles

Ocean Drive – Lighthouse Family

Ship of Fools –  Erasure

Airport – The Motors

The Road To Hell – Chris Rea

Stats

Distance 10.10km

Time 1:10:18

Average Pace 6:57 km/mins

Elevation Gain 56 meters

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run To Date 103.97

Kms to Do 1914.03

Sponsor me on BT MyDonate

19 Jan – Vampires Out

of the cupboard that is. Today is a running rest day but the pesky Vampire Kettlebells saw the light of day today. In truth, only one saw the light of day, but as vampires die in sunlight, I had to be careful.

I am a lightweight on weightlifting and Razouski my C25K running buddy, donated her ‘Kettlercise’ routine to me. I’d like to say a sincere thank you, however I don’t think I can… OMG she swings these things for an hour. An hour! Is she mental? Rhetorical question obviously.

Out of the umpteen hellish exercises, (kindly donated) I settled on 10 reps of the dead lift, after having done my squats. The dead lift could also be called a Figure One Exercise, as the Figure Eight Exercise, looks way too hard at my pathetic level. And besides which we live in a small apartment, and there’s no room to do a figure of eight.

So that’s my amazing effort, but it is a start and I have made progress, not an excuse. And for that I am pleased. And if ever any of you are approached by a fit, singing runner, with penchant for 80s music and she suggests she could donate her Kettlercise routine to you, I’d suggest you run as fast as you can…

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t….

 

run a Marathon. So goes the latest Map My Run advice and there are three reasons, which can be found and are discussed fully here

In summary though, they are:-

  1. You’re not ready
  2. You can’t devote enough time to train
  3. You need more race practice

As I have no intention of running a marathon unlike my super fit friend J, (who was in fact an iron woman, before the term was ever coined), I thought I would adapt this advice for a more normal likelihood in the JCR household.

So, here are my three reasons for not running with a Marathon (or Snickers bar if you’re American or if you can’t remember that Snickers used to be called Marathons in the good old days!)

  • You’re not ready –

this is because you have forgotten to buy the Marathon/Snickers bars in the first place. Next time, be prepared and buy a family pack, that should do a whole week of running.

  • You can’t devote enough time to train –

running with chocolate requires dedication, first of all you need to practice the unwrapping whilst running. Secondly, you can’t run with chocolate on hot days, it’s just plain nasty. Smudged chocolate on your hands could get you arrested for indecent running. If your need to run with chocolate occurs in the summer months, you are unlikely to have sufficiently cool enough days to practice. Unless you live in the UK of course.

  • You need more race practice –

in the JCR household, first in the cupboard gets first dibs at the chocolate. Many practice sprints help your access to the goodies, this is technically called ‘interval training’. As any seasoned runner knows, interval training is a crucial tool to help with Marathon running.

And if these hints have helped, you may like a ‘sweetie’ inspired playlist on Spotify:-

Chocolate Girl – Deacon Blue

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate

Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard

Push The Button – Sugababes

Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

Raspberry Beret – Prince

Girl From Mars – Ash

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This – Eurythmics

Sad Sweet Dreamer – Sweet Sensation

I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – Four Tops

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

Flake – Jack Johnson

Cake By The Ocean – DNCE

I’m The Fat Man – King Pleasure and The Biscuit Boys

Cream – Prince

Marathon – Junkie XL

Salt Peanuts – Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie

Ice Cream Man – Blur

I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow

You Got The Love – The Source and Candi Staton