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…

 

 

 

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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