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.

3 March – There Was A Middle Aged Woman

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St Olav’s Church

Called Jan

Who created an audacious plan

In 2018 there is 2018 km to run

Who knew if it could be done?

She has 365 days to do it

But must remain very strong and fit

Her target for today

Was to run just 10k

In and around London City

Although the roads were all gritty

The Beast from the East had gone

Of snow there was none

I got out the door

And managed 10.4

That’s all to say

Tomorrow is another day

Playlist

Chocolate Girl – Deacon Blue

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate

Push The Button – Sugababes

Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

Raspberry Beret – His Purple Highness

Cream – Ditto

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This – Eurhythmics

Sad Sweet Dreamer – Sweet Sensation

Boogie Oogie Oogie  – Taste Of Honey

Cake By The Ocean – DNCE

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

Salt Peanuts – Charlie Parker/ Dizzy Gillespie

Ice Cream Man – Blur

I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow

You Got The Love – Candi Staton and The Source

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Stats

Distance 10.40km

Time1:03:59

Average Pace 6:09 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 44 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 342.1

Kms to do 1675.9

Team Rhomboid Torture

I have burpees from yesterday to do and I can’t even do one…. I have to target a minimum of 6. If I can do 6 burpees, then I am not doing the squats. There is a limit!

28 Feb – Snow Use….

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complaining about the weather. Snow good wishing it wasn’t snowing. Snow time like the present. And the puns keep rolling.

Last day of February and a planned 8km run. Mr JCR came up with a good idea to try running in/around one of the Royal Parks as they are far more likely to be well managed in bad weather. I say it was a good idea, and it was, although at the time it was mooted – in my head I was screaming ‘you’ve got to be joking, running in this!’

So off I trotted, bearing a distinct resemblance to the Michelin man with four layers on top, three layers on the bottom, two pairs of socks a hat, gloves, running buff oh and the essential 10 tissues for the ever present runny nose. I caught the train to Great Portland Street tube and exited to a mini blizzard. The pavements hadn’t been gritted and were quite slippy, so I wasn’t entirely sure that it would be safe to run.

But then I found that the pavements around the park were fine, because no grit and no pedestrians meant almost virgin snow, which is grippy enough to run on, although your pace suffers a bit. So I plodded around, and slight confession here, I just thought I’d follow whichever road I was on. And it turned out it was the inner circle road which apparently I circumnavigated three times.  Here’s the thing I had no idea I had done that. I must admit to being confused at seeing a place called ‘The Holme’ on three occasions, but I thought that maybe the park had a number of lodges all called the same thing. Truthfully it’s a good job I’m not let out on my own very often, I really couldn’t find my way out of a cul de sac.

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I carried on and I was really enjoying it, there’s a kind of muffled silence that comes with snow; the roar of traffic from the Marylebone Road,  was just a very distant hum and the park itself, magically tranquil. A guy asked me to take a photo of him against the snow because he couldn’t believe there was that much in London.

After about 5/6 kms the park started filling up with people, some with children and most of them not, but it didn’t stop a number of snowball fights from happening. No snowflakey bans on snowballs here. And the funniest sight of all, was some twenty-something lads looking like they were re-enacting The ‘Big Air’ finals from the Olympics with all sorts of acrobatics, just without skis or a snowboard.

At this point the pathway was becoming a little more slushy underfoot and I decided to call it quits before I undertook an unplanned ‘Big Air’ moment. Who knew that running in the snow would be so lovely?  I didn’t. Snow excuses, next time – I will be straight out the door heading for Regents Park again.

Playlist (Retro Runners – Weather Mix)

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

The Morning Fog – Kate Bush

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

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

Something In The Air – Thunderclap Newman

Thunder – His Purple Highness

Mr Blue Sky – ELO

Ain’t No Sunshine – Lighthouse Family

Thunder In My Heart – Meck and Leo Sayer

Since You’ve Been Gone – Rainbow

Downpour – Backstreet Boys

Sunshine After The Rain – Berri

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Baby It’s Cold Outside – Menzel and Buble

Cold As Ice – Foreigner

Lightning Strikes – The Black Seeds

Cold – Stormzy

Warmth – Bastille

Sunshine On A Rainy Day – Galimar

Boogie Nights – Heatwave

Stats

Distance 7.96 km (curses just off the target 8)

Time 1:12:45

Average Pace 9:08 (mins/km)

Elevation gain 23 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 322.9

Kms to Do 1695.1 (yay under the 1700)

Cumulative Deficit 13.45km – that’s a drop of approximately 29km on January’s figures)

Team Rhomboid Torture

I should have done 4 sets of reps of squats and press-ups yesterday. I actually managed 3 sets of 7 reps of squats with 2 sets of 10 reps of wall press-ups. All the attention we were told was to be on ‘maintaining form’ and the best way to do this is to self video.

I don’t know how you insert a video camera between you and a wall, so I didn’t.

 

 

 

 

24 Feb – 2 Degrees, Did You Say 2 Degrees?

It’s Saturday, I had a day off yesterday – unplanned but welcome. So kms to make up today. It is 2 degrees outside, better assemble layers.

Hook swoosh the sports bra. Base layer on. Hooded sweat shirt on. Jacket on. Hat on, gloves on, bottom fleece-lined layers on. Socks – thick ones on, Saucony trainers on.

Go outside, blimey it’s cold – wondering whether to add another layer. Okay, upside it’s sunny. Downside it’s perishing cold. Aim towards Ropemaker St and there’s filming going on – loads of yellow minicabs – all Minis. Lots of extras huddled under blankets and they’ve doused the whole area with water, so we may have a skating rink there tonight with the frost. I decide to head away from the filming and towards the South Bank, because last night friends suggested to get my ‘Electricity’ Company in Monopoly – I could legitimately photo Bankside Power Station and that would count on the Monopoly board challenge.

I scooted first of all towards Tower Bridge, it really was a beautiful morning and then back again towards the London Eye. Lots of people, but relatively easy to get past – dressed in my black ninja running outfit. I managed to ninja a number of people, who had no idea I was behind and then in front of them. One woman did wonder why I wasn’t cold, with my jacket tied around my waist. But after 9kms of running, I was quite warm.

Turning towards home, they are still filming, so I gave Ropemakers a wide berth and trotted home. Run done with a Monopoly Square too. Oh and it’s going to be 2 degrees tomorrow. Joy!

Playlist

My Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust

Devil Gate Drive – Suzi Quatro

D.I.S.C.O. – Ottawan

War – Edwin Starr

This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us – Sparks

Gonna Make You A Star – David Essex

Band On The Run – Wings

Everybody Dance – CHIC

See My Baby Jive – Wizzard

Sylvia’s Mother – Dr Hook

Roll Over Beethoven – ELO

December 1963 – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed

You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me – The New Seekers

Killer Queen – Queen

Amarillo – Tony Christie

Silver Lady – David Soul

I Love To Love – Tina Charles

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Stats

Distance 12.65 kms

Time 1:25:32

Average Pace 6:45 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 104 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 288.4

Kms To Do 1729.6

Team Rhomboid Torture

3 sets of squats – 27 reps

3 sets of wall press-ups – 25 reps

8 hollow rocks – held for 10 seconds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…