16 Aug – The Top Five

Yet another sock lost in the bowels of a washer/dryer
Thanks to Pexels.com, for the photo explaining my number one hate

 

things I hate about running:-

  1. The laundry – see pic above, my life seems to have shifted location to a dystopian nightmare of a laundromat, where my every waking moment is consumed by washing, doing, folding, putting away running kit. Six times a week people! I can say no more, as the washing machine has just beeped at me, telling me to put this morning’s running kit on the line.
  2. The trainer fug – there is no treatment known to man that can remove the pong of well-worn trainers. I have my own treatment which is to Febreze each pair after wearing and to alternate pairs, so the whiff isn’t too overpowering.  I often collect my own little posse of flies after a long run,  and I’m convinced it’s the trainer fug that is to blame for me looking like Pig Pen from Snoopy. I need a containment room akin to the concrete jacket put around Chernobyl, otherwise all my clothes whiff too.
  3. Little old nonnas driving ancient cinquecentos – to a woman they aim their cinqs at me. Even if the road is empty except for me, I can guarantee they will turn the steering wheel towards me. Do I have nonna magnetism perhaps? Are my running shorts some kind of homing device for them? I don’t know, but I do wish they’d stop driving directly towards me, it’s scary.
  4. The post run glow. Or in my case, the beacon of red, suffused with essence of sweat and a halo of unruly, untameable frizzy hair. At no point in or at the end of a run, do I look anything other than completely knackered. It doesn’t matter whether its 5k, 10k, or 15k – the end result is always the same, a shrieking banshee like mess. Oh to look faintly glowing, with the swooshy ponytail…. in your dreams JCR.
  5. The fact that it doesn’t matter how much I run, I don’t seem to be getting any better at it. My times have stayed more or less the same, in fact have worsened a bit. My stride length is too short really to be called a stride. And I really, really thought that after more or less 8 months of running 40+km a week, I’d start to find knocking these runs out to become a bit of a breeze. How wrong and deluded can one be? But I do have a running analysis session – a present from Mr JCR – to undertake when we return to London, so that may uncover the reason why.

Today’s run encapsulated some of these pet hates, the laundry – tick. The trainer fug – tick. The ancient nonna was conspicuous by her absence but in contrast I experienced, what for me, has been the unique occasion of the year. An Italian car stopped to let me cross a junction, even though strictly speaking it was his priority. I almost fainted – how utterly amazing, an Italian stallion stopped his car on the main road to let a red faced banshee run across his access point. I’m still in shock.

The post run glow, was its usual state, necessitating a swab down with half of the café’s paper towels, and I finished my run, with a slight hamstring twinge – maybe I need that analysis sooner rather than later.

But after all the pet hates, there is one undeniable truth, I can and did walk the 4km back up the Bitch of a Pitch (to our house which is approximately 230m above sea level), without hesitation or becoming short of breath and that wasn’t true just over a year ago.  Result. Oh and I am developing a Kardashian Kulo, which could be my route to a fortune, I’m not sure on social media’s appetite for a geriatric Kardashian butt, I could photoshop the wrinkles out?

Playlist

My Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust

Devil Gate Drive – Suzi Quatro

Blockbuster – Sweet

Shang A Lang – Bay City Rollers

Band On the Run – Wings

Everybody Dance – Chic

See My Baby Jive – Wizzard

All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople

Roll Over Beethoven -ELO

Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate

Freeze-Frame – J Geils Band

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed

Lady Marmalade – Patti LaBelle

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

Silver Lady – David Soul

I Love To Love – Tina Charles

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Amarillo – Tony Christie

Killer Queen – Queen

Summer Breeze – The Isley Brothers

Stats

Distance 10.16

Time 1:13:35

Average Pace 7:14 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 27 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1365.34

Kms to Go 652.66

(24 kms behind the August plan, but I have made up some of the migraine missing kms)

 

15 August – The Dirty Dozen

606705284-612x612

I’d more or less decided that August was a write-off after the migraine issue, but I think I can slowly pull back some of the lost kms. We’ve had two days of changeable weather, so the mercury has been dropping for a change. Therefore I had absolutely no excuse for not running today. Okay, get your arse in gear Mrs JCR – ah but I must faff first of all. First delaying tactic – a mug of tea, followed by The Times, clearing out the bins, loading the washing machine, sorting out my water bottles – you get the picture. Me, I’m a veritable genius of prevarication.

The requisite hour of faffing has passed, and I had to go for my run. Usual route, with maybe an extra loop here or there, to get me to a 12km run, if I could. Today’s theme being the film “The Dirty Dozen”, purely and simply because the numbers match.

According to Wikipedia, these are they:-

Name Number Portrayed by Sentence
Posey, S. 1 Clint Walker Death by hanging
Pinkley, V. L. 2 Donald Sutherland 30 years’ imprisonment
Jefferson, R. T. 3 Jim Brown Death by hanging
Gilpin, S. 4 Ben Carruthers 30 years’ hard labor
Lever, R. 5 Stuart Cooper 20 years’ imprisonment
Vladek, M. 6 Tom Busby 30 years’ hard labor
Sawyer, S. K. 7 Colin Maitland 20 years’ hard labor
Maggott, A. J 8 Telly Savalas Death by hanging
Wladislaw, J. 9 Charles Bronson Death by hanging
Jiminez, J. P. 10 Trini Lopez 20 years’ hard labor
Franko, V. R. 11 John Cassavetes Death by hanging
Bravos, T. R. 12 Al Mancini 20 years’ hard labor

Kilometre 1 – aka S Posey

This character was a gentle giant, who apparently killed someone by accident, hence his death sentence. My first kilometre takes in Mill Lane – which has a gentle slope, followed by half of Lovers’ Lane. Absolutely no chance of either of them killing me, as it’s too early in the run and I go very slow at this point. S Posey’s fate in the film isn’t clear – Missing in Action is the best guess. And that’s a good summary of my run, no records being set, nothing interesting somewhat Missing In Action too.

Kilometre 2 – VL Pinkley

Stupid and the dumbest member of the team, he dies on the drive of the mansion. Well the second kilometre takes me past the barking beagle house, but the beagles were asleep, so I wasn’t rumbled as I ran past their drive. But just arriving at the peak of the hill that kills, the owner of a local olive oil farm was standing in his drive, saw me and wished me a good run on a good day. Luckily my Italian is sufficiently okay for me to respond to him, so I didn’t look quite as dumb as Pinkley.

Kilometre 3 – R T Jefferson

Played by an American NFL footballer – the only African American of the dozen. He enables the destruction of the mansion by throwing a grenade into the general’s shelter, later mown down by a Nazi gunner. It’s fair to say my third kilometre was not so full of action, a gentle run down the Hill That Kills onto the bendy, scary road, where I didn’t encounter any grenades or similar weaponry. There was an old lady driving a car who seemed to steer towards me, but I think that was just bad driving, not her motorised attempt at being a hand grenade.

Kilometre 4 – S Gilpin

A grinning sociopath, who tackled and climbed onto the roof, fell through and was presumed to have been blown up within the mansion’s explosion. Now I didn’t meet any grinning sociopaths, although I did pass two people picking fruit, one carrying a rather nasty looking hooked stick thing and his wife/partner/whatever was wearing rubber gloves. So maybe I had a lucky escape?

Kilometre 5 – R Lever

A basic felon, who ended up taking the grenades to the chateau , and subsequently fled by motor boat once the dozen had been discovered. He was shot in the chest and fell into the water. No motorboats in sight for me, although I did stop at Royston Vasey for my traditional water stop and although the awkward fridge played up and wobbled a bit, I did escape from there with my life.

Kilometre 6 – M Vladek

His crime unknown; in the film he was ordered to kill the Germans and release the French and appeared to be reluctant to do that – he was eventually killed by a Nazi sniper. My sixth kilometre was a lonesome affair, I only met one cyclist who overtook me and I think he said we were cousins…, but he was talking in dialect, so I must have got that wrong! I was nicely in my stride at this point, no reluctance to continue marred my run. I didn’t need a commanding office to give me my orders, I kept going and it was fine.

Kilometre 7 – SK Sawyer

Another ‘crime unknown’ character, he performed the same duties as R Lever, but was shot first in the motorboat, when fleeing the scene. Kilometre number seven, saw me well on my way to fish shop village, at this point I’d guzzled down my bottle of water so had to stop for a water refill, as most of my water had trickled out of my ill-sealed spare bottle. Basic stupidity cost me my water, whilst basic bad luck cost Sawyer his life.

Kilometre 8 – A J Maggott

Played by Telly Savalas, a supposedly religious man who rids the world of evil. He gets rumbled when hiding in a bedroom, turns on the rest of the ‘dozen’ and is subsequently killed by R T Jefferson. Now going through fish shop village, I had no need to hide from anyone, as there’s hardly a soul around, and I feel no pressing need to rid the world of evil – although I’m not awfully keen on Donald Trump… 😉

Kilometre 9 – J Wladislaw

Charles Bronson – playing a guy who had killed a medic (who was running off with much needed supplies); he is one of the few characters that made it to the end of the film alive, although he did get shot in the leg. At this point, I was on Bin Lane, nicely in shade and both my legs were working fine thanks. No hospital treatment required.

Kilometre 10 – J P Jiminez

Not a character who lasted very long, he made his parachute jump in Brittany and broke his neck in an apple tree. His death was the catalyst for a number of significant role changes by each of the remaining ‘dozen’.  Bin Lane doesn’t have any apple trees as far as I can see, so I had no need to change my running plans.

Kilometre 11 – V R Franko

In the film he refuses to shave in cold water and hence he and the rest of the dozen were refused shaving and washing supplies, leading to their nickname. At the eleventh kilometre I was on the all roads lead to Rome road, which given the traffic often leads to a close shave. However, today is Ferragosto and a national holiday, therefore not much traffic, and so I wasn’t in a cold sweat wondering if today is the day a car/bus/lorry/bike/coach hits me.

Kilometre 12 – T R Bravos

Standing a little over 5 feet, he was the shortest character in the film. Standing a touch more over 5 feet I am the lead character in today’s run. At this stage, I was close to the cafe stop and in need of some sustenance. Bravos dies in a foxhole, I was just dying of thirst. Job done – the dirty dozen completed.

Playlist

Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

Shang A Lang – Bay City Rollers

Sugar Baby Love – The Rubettes

War – Edwin Starr

Gonna Make You A Star – David Essex

Everybody Dance – Chic

All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople

Sylvia’s Mother – Dr Hook

I Feel Love – Donna Summer

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate

Freeze-Frame – J Geils Band

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

Lady Marmalade – Patti LaBelle

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

Silver Lady – David Soul

You To Me Are Everything – The Real Thing

Night Fever – Bee Gees

You’re The One That I Want – Travolta and Newton-John

Metal Guru – T.Rex

D.I.S.C.O – Ottawan

Blockbuster – Sweet

See My Baby Jive – Wizzard

Summer Breeze – The Isley Brothers

Stats

Distance 12.06km

Time 1:23:11

Average Pace 6:53

Elevation Gain 55 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1355.18 (it took a little while, but now I am more than 2/3rds of the distance done, approximately 2 weeks before being 2/3rds through the year)

Kms to Do 662.82

 

 

10 Aug – Mystery Solved

It is 8am and I am supposed to be running, except stupid tart syndrome made an appearance and I’d forgotten to charge my phone. This is an issue because I need to track my progress, on the app Map My Run, which to be frank, also suffers from stupid tart syndrome; for example when it decides I’ve run a kilometre in 2 seconds.

I wait the necessary time for my phone to charge and boy what a mistake that was – the temperature has soared to about 26 degrees and it is before 9am. It isn’t going to get any cooler, any day soon, so I suck it up and go out. Today I am on a running upgrade, I have received another water bottle to insert in my Flipbelt – other running belts are available. This enables me to carry 600ml of water in addition to my normal water bottle.

In my mind’s eye, this makes me look like a cross between Ursula Andress appearing from the sea, in her white naval belt, or alternatively the grunting Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, who also has a fab utility belt – oh yes and she was played by Angelina Jolie.

So now you have a pic of a very sexy, Ursula/Angelina combo in your mind, the reality is my Flipbelt is bright pink, and as is well known, I am neither endowed with hips nor a waist, so the water bottles settle around my middle, like ballast on a barge. I also sported the very sexy ‘Whigfield’ pigtails as my Croydon facelift ponytail, hurts my scalp. As you can imagine, an incredibly evocative and memorable look for the good people of Le Marche to witness.

Suitably ballasted, I venture out along Mill Lane – no-one, nada. To Lovers’ Lane – again no-one, nada, except there appears to be an art installation of corrugated cardboard seat and table structures, with verse and pictures tackling racism and immigration. That’s worth a proper look, when I’m not running. Down to the bendy, scary road and it’s all quiet on the Western front, we are in ‘feria’ season and next week sees Ferragosto arrive; pretty much this is the major holiday time for Italians in the summer.

I pass the grungy white tee-shirt from yesterday’s musings and I think I have the answer as to why tee-shirts appear to have been abandoned. The verges had been cut, therefore my theory is that the man takes off his shirt, whilst working in the fields and then it drops in the undergrowth, where it is lost, until re-discovered X months later when the verges are cut.

Down to fish shop village and I overtake one solitary nonna with her shopping trolley.  She is the single most interesting thing about this run. Bin Lane, no-one, nothing, zip happened.

But I did do a run, that actually happened, and the Flibbelt bottle upgrade worked absolutely fine.

Playlist

7 Seconds – Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics

Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day

What About Us – The Saturdays

New York Minute – Don Henley

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Spring Affair – Donna Summer

Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

The Boys Of Summer – Don Henley

Forever Autumn –  Jeff Wayne

Hazy Shade of Winter – The Bangles

7 Years – Lukas Graham

Right Here, Right Now – High School Musical Cast

1999 – His Purple Highness

Sunday Girl – Blondie

8 Mile – Eminem

Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson

I Don’t Like Mondays – Boomtown Rats

Footloose – Kenny Loggins

I’m Gonna be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers

Sunday Morning – Velvet Underground

Stats

Distance 10.43km

Time 1:19:36

Average Pace 7:37

Elevation Gain 43 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Distance Run 1328.85 kms

Kms to Run 689.15km

 

 

 

09 Aug – Counting The Cost

pexels-photo-248933.jpeg
August is going to be a costly month….

By now, a few milestones should have been set. By now I should be basking in some glory. By now I could be taking some rest days. By now I should have been a happy bunny. But by now, I’m just glad to have finally got rid of this effing migraine.

6 days long. 6 days of tablets, no alcohol, living in the dark like a mole and feeling sorry for myself.

Lesson learned – at the first sign of a migraine, do not try to kid yourself it’s just a headache – that was two days wasted and a body loaded with ibuprofen which failed to touch the mother of all migraines.

By now I was getting desperate, having worked so bloody hard to get 100kms ahead of my target, 6 days of inactivity has put me 48 kms behind my desired run rate. And those are not easy to replace in the sun and heat. Mr JCR was up and out early and I was actually awake, so decided to follow suit. 7.30am (earliest start in Italy so far) saw me cruising down Mill Lane, Lord Kitchener was coming the other way, but he looked very taciturn, so I didn’t say a word. Onto Lovers’ Lane, and no-one around save for the beagles at the barking beagles house and true to form they made me leap. On my way back I was more prepared, mainly because Lord Kitchener was completing his walk and he’d already disturbed them. This time he nodded at me, so I did the head bob back.

Down towards the hill that kills and I saw a ‘Bella figura’ man, immaculately dressed and coiffed out for his morning walk in perfectly coordinated top, shorts and trainers, with a bouffant George Michael style hairdo. I’m not convinced he’s a regular as the clothes looked way too immaculate to be regularly used, but then I’m always in bed at 7.30 am, so what would I know? It could be he always looks that way.

Down to the bendy, scary road and I note that with my days of rest, my pace is not too bad, helped undoubtedly by a cooler morning. I was congratulating myself on my stats, when I almost bumped into Mr Spaghetti Western, who was ambling (if that is the right word) on his bike. Now he was not dressed in the obligatory lycra and helmet of a MAMIL, but in a dusty blue tee shirt, jeans and sandals, and he was taking a very casual slow ride up the hill. We exchanged buongiornos and I continued on.

Through Royston Vasey and no need for a water stop – I did my fastest km for a while at 5 minutes 58 seconds, it’s not a scorching pace but it does prove what a difference both rest and cooler temperatures make to my pace. Through Royston Vasey and I noticed a curious phenomenon – stranded tee-shirts left at the side of the road. I saw three in total, none of which were there the last time I ran the route – admittedly a week ago. But how do you ‘lose’ your tee-shirt. All mens by the look of the sizing, do they start off wearing a tee-shirt and during the day think they’d look so much better without it on and just strip off and leave it at the side of the road? Or maybe it’s an alternative running trail – follow the tee-shirts and I just happen to have hit part of it? I saw a grungy white one, pale blue and a natty mustard and black striped one. Bizarre – any suggestions to clarify would be most welcome.

Down to the fish shop village, I run through a gaggle of teenagers and luckily I managed to stay upright, not trip over nor need to stop gasping, which usually happens when I have an audience. Towards Bin Lane, I’m very happy with my progress considering a full 6 days being laid up. I have my first proper ‘stop’ at 8km to refill my water bottle and continue onto my scheduled coffee stop. As I arrive I realise that if I could manage just another kilometre, I’d at least achieve a mini milestone, so take a run around the block. Curses, in pausing the app, my first run around the block hasn’t registered neither time nor distance, so I decide to run the same block again, just so I can recalibrate the missing metres.

Thank heavens, one run done at long last, just over 11kms, leaving me with a month’s deficit of 36 kms to make up. Finger’s crossed I don’t get another pesky migraine.

Playlist

Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats

Happy – Pharrell Williams

Smile – Lily Allen

Smile – Gregory Porter

Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Easy – Commodores

Nowhere Fast – Eminem featuring Kehlani

Love In An Elevator – Aerosmith

Compression – Digilio and Accorsi

One Step Beyond – Prince Buster

Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

To Jan – Leonard Anderson

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

Gotta Keep Smiling – Scouting for Girls

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Ju Ju Man – Dave Edmunds

Marathon – Rush

The Streak – Ray Stevens

There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johnny Nash

Fools Rush In – Ricky Nelson

Tread Softly – Tiny Ruins, Hamish Kilgour

The Winner – Status Quo

Stats

Distance 11.65km

Time 1:17:44

Average Pace 6:40

Elevation Gain – 50 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1318.42

Kms to Run 699.58 (finally under 700!!!)

 

 

2 August – This Little Piggy…

 

as the nursery rhyme goes, the little piggies either went to market, stayed at home, had roast beef, had none or cried all the way home. Our little piggy suffered a mortal blow when Mr JCR hit him at midnight. Don’t rush to phone the RSPCA, our little piggy is iron and Mr JCR ran into him on his bike, when leaving for a midnight start to Venice. That’s right a 500km there/back bike ride to Venice in 24 hours.

Hence our pig got totalled and he was lying on his back to greet me as I left. Without Mr JCR to prompt me I actually got up shortly after 7am and was out of the door for my run before 8am. Oh and it’s 26 degrees people, it’s before 8am and 26 degrees. This little piggy is going to be a really sweaty one today.

Up to Mill Lane, and I see Lord Kitchener, who looks decidedly grumpy today, so I continue my run without stopping. To Lovers’ Lane and I realise that Map My Run is also feeling grumpy and has not started yet. No big deal I know more or less the route I’m going to take so the kms in the running log can be sorted out later. No-one to be seen in Lovers’ Lane either, I take the hill that kills down to the bendy, scary road.  At this point, the Mechanical Voice Lady on Map My Run informs me have run 3km and my last km was in 28 seconds. It’s obviously going to be one of those technical malfunctioning runs today. I run towards Royston Vasey and thank heavens some clouds come over, giving me a spring in my step. It’s so much easier running in shade than the scorchio sun. I have a couple of kms under my belt, through Royston Vasey, when Mechanical Voice Lady informs me I have done 9 kms in an astonishing 27 minutes or so.

Okay, reality check here I have run 6.2km to a certain geographical milestone  and it’s taken me about forty three/four minutes  – she is a little out of synch. I know from previous glitches that at this point the GPS kicks back in and so I cancel my old run and start a new one. I’m embroiled in my tech and almost bump into a young guy, who gives me a wide berth, to then follow me at a discreet distance – or maybe he was just going for a stroll in my direction?  Only the second human being today, everyone seems to have disappeared again, but we are in Feria time, which is a bit like the old UK factory fortnight. I run down to the fish shop village – lo and behold this is where all the people have gone – there’s quite a congregation at the cafe. I’d love to stop, but would fall short of my target run, so satisfy myself with a glug or two of warm water.

Onto Bin Lane, again mercifully all in shade. I have a nice run down there, no need for me to be hugging the bins for respite from the sun, whilst getting a full on nostril assault from the pong, oh and not forgetting occasional splatters of bin juice. Just a nice warm but not scorching pootle. I do a few mini loops during the run and got some very weird looks from an old lady onlooker, who must have wondered what was so interesting to make me run in circles for a few minutes…

Finally I make my way onto the all roads lead to Rome road, which as ever is horrifically busy, with some thundering agricultural juggernauts causing my heart to pound. At last, I see the cafe and this little piggy, whilst not exactly doing a dying fly impression, does feel a little bit knackered, and the thought of collapsing on the grass seems very tempting indeed.

My little piggies in my trainers are also squealing with discomfort, I think my trainers are close to needing replacement, as they are not quite so comfortable as they once were.  Therefore like the first little piggy, I could be going to the marketplace, Amazon marketplace that is, to buy me a new pair of shoes. Latest update from Mr JCR – he’s reached Venice and as of 10.40am was on his way home, having ridden 250kms.

Playlist

Liquidator – Harry J Allstars

Ghost Town, Too Much Too Young, Rat Race – The Specials

007 (Shanty Town) – Desmond Dekker

54-56 Was My Number – Toots And The Maytals

Skinhead Moonstomp – Symarip

Rudi Got Married – Laurel Aitken

One Step Beyond – Prince Buster

On My Radio – The Selector

Mirror In The Bathroom, Can’t Get Used To Losing You- The Beat

House of Fun, One Step Beyond – Madness

Monkey Man  (three times) – Toots & The Maytals oh and Amy Winehouse’s version too

My Boy Lollipop – Millie Small

King of Kings – Jimmy Cliff

Red Red Wine – Tony Tribe

Lip Up Fatty – Bad Manners

Back to Black – The Selector

The More I See – Fun Boy Three

Uptown Top Ranking – Althea and Donna

Train To Skaville – The Ethiopians

Stats

Distance 10.61 km

Time 1:11:44

Average Pace 6:45 (no sun!!!!)

Elevation Gain ??? Map My Run cock up

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1306.77 (yes, I’m over the 1300 mark)

Kms to Run 711.23

 

 

 

31 July – Four Greetings And An Effing Hell

images

 

With apologies to Richard Curtis’s screenplay. After a Sunday invitation by P, M, L, W and little P, for dinner and drinks,  a day of rest was called for. Although Monday was potentially a running day it didn’t convert into an actual running day. Let’s be honest, it didn’t convert because I didn’t convert my plans into any semblance of reality.

Tuesday arrived and lo and behold, I was up and about, c/o a Mr JCR wake up call – 8.00am no less, this getting up early is becoming a habit. The usual routine followed, through Mill Lane and my vee sign at the water pumping station, I trotted to Lovers’ Lane and there, for the first time in months, I saw Albino and Anouska. 

Whilst it felt quite warm to me, Albino hasn’t yet unbuttoned his shirt fully, therefore full-on scorchio weather has not yet arrived. There are ways of knowing the temperature and Albino’s outfit choices inform my runs and water stop strategy. They wished me a good run – I did my usual Villa Bali loop and passed them again. Anouska waved and wished me a good day. They are such nice people, I don’t think they have any idea how much when I first started running, seeing them kept me motivated. That was 2 greetings in the bag and I made my way to the bendy, scary road onto Royston Vasey.

I entered the cafe and bought my usual water from the wobbly fridge, I explained to the lady that I didn’t have the correct change and well, what can I say? The hitherto non-speaking lady, then totally astonished me by starting a conversation, in which she asked me;-

  • how many times a week did I run
  • what was my usual route – she hazarded a guess at where I lived,
  • how did I cope with the heat
  • did running give me a ‘free mind’

She wished me a good run and that she’d see me again. The word count I estimate is 100 times more than I’ve had in 5 months of visiting her cafe! That was a third greeting, par excellence and utterly unexpected.

Having left the cafe, I was picking up the pace to continue and a Dutch registered car went past and the driver waved – I did the same. This was J, one of our friends and also the father of my two MCP’s. About 10/12 minutes later on, I was approaching the fish shop village and J was there again driving back home. He made a generous offer of giving me a lift if I needed one, or as a minimum, a coffee stop. I thanked him and explained I still had some kms to run, so would continue. That was my fourth greeting and what a fab offer too. Sometimes your runs just seem really nice, whilst it wasn’t an effortless run, the goodwill from friends and strangers really helps.

Then back to a more prosaic reality – the Bin Lane run. I was pootling along quite happily and saw in the distance, our car. Now that was weird, our car was supposedly being washed at the car wash with Mr JCR in attendance. From a distance I waved, expecting a response from the parked car – the problems of middle aged eye sight being there’s a certain depth of field that is pretty much no man’s land. I couldn’t see the necessary detail to inform my next move. Not a flicker of recognition, no horn sounding, no lights flashing, nothing. Two reasons for that, firstly the car was parked up and empty; secondly, even if it had been occupied, it wasn’t actually our car. It is our car’s doppelganger, an Italian registered version of ours, which wouldn’t be so strange, except that Italians just don’t choose bright blue German convertibles.

Effing Hell JCR , you are so stupid at times, it’s not as if I don’t know this car exists – I’ve been confused previously, thinking someone was stealing our car, as the tell-tale bright blue passed me. Second part of the effing hell came up, I had hoped I might just scrape through the 1300km mark by the end of July, but I hadn’t achieved that target, mainly due to the Monday impromptu resting.

That was my four greetings and an effing hell run – no Hugh Grant to sweep me off my feet, just Mr JCR in a mint clean car and that was just fine.

Playlist

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – The Animals

I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles

Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats

I’m Free – The Soup Dragons

Take It To The Limit – The Eagles

All Together Now – The Farm

Money – The Flying Lizards

Dirty Harry – Gorillaz

Caravan Of Love – The Housemartins

Hippy Hippy Shake – Rockin’ Robin, The Blue Jays

Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime – The Korgis

Dancing On The Ceiling – Lionel Ritchie

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

What Have I Done To Deserve This – Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield

Who Let The Dogs Out – Baha Men

Black Betty – Ram Jam

Crazy – Seal

Don’ t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

Union Of The Snake – ditto

Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag – Pigbag

S-S-S Single Bed – Fox

Stats

Distance 10.69km

Time 1:14:58

Average Pace 7:00 mins/km

Elevation Gain 47 metres

1.5 litres of water, if Albino unbuttons his shirt more, then it’ll have to increase.

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1296.16

Kms To Do 721.84

 

 

 

 

 

 

29 July – Running With The Family

 

Yesterday brought another impromptu aperitivo session in the village bar and reunion of  four families, (all of us friends) with the ex-owner of the bar. It was fun, it was loud, and more to the point it was very friendly. Lots of mini conversations going on, including one about my running. The upshot of that, was at 8.30am this morning, the short, chunky dark haired middle aged runner aka Jancanrun was accompanied by fit, tall, young, blonde Dutch sisters who were really keen to come out with me, let’s call them MCP 1 and 2.

You did read that right, 8.30am – in actual fact, I was up and running at about 8.15am, to get in a warmup before my companions arrived. This is two days on the trot when I’ve been up early, something has got to give…:)

As I was doing my warm up in front of the house, I was passed by Lord Kitchener, who I usually see in Lover’s Lane – I did say Salve, but he seemed a bit distant, but then he was walking to the local cemetery and that may have tempered his good mood somewhat. Next up a pedestrian walks past, somewhat bemused at the sight of JCR seemingly doing a security patrol in front of her house. Then Argo came past with his minder, R – she asked me what was I up to and I explained it was a warm up prior to running friends arriving.

Then the JCR running crew arrived, resplendent in proper leggings, trainers and carrying water. For the first time in my running career a JCR run can be described as being run by a molto chic podista – not me of course but both of my statuesque companions – MCPs 1 and 2, in real life known as J&A.

We set off down Mill Lane and I demonstrated my highly technical tiptoe running technique for going up inclines – I think the quietness of my bodyguards said it all – I for sure am no coaching wunderkid. On we went to Lovers’ Lane and past the barking beagle house. Yes they barked, but no none of us jumped in fright. Next up we overtook two walkers with sticks, as you can tell I always choose easy overtaking victims. There’s no point in making life hard for yourself, after all. A quick loop of Villa Bali’s grounds and back up to take on Royston Vasey Ridgeway, which is quite steep even downhill, and does test your muscular control somewhat. Close to Royston Vasey we passed yet another barking dog house. This particular dog sounds big and nasty, but I think in truth, is just a rather cute golden retriever – nonetheless he kicked up a big fuss at me and my glamorous minders as we went past.

Kim Jong Un has his running elite bodyguards and I had two Catwoman type minders – what was lovely was that I didn’t actually feel pressured to run faster than normal or try and do ‘cool running’. Ordinarily when I have an audience I run way too fast, usually trip over and make myself look a complete and utter fool. Mind you today’s pace was so glacial there was no danger of speed or momentum tripping me up. At Royston Vasey, I parted company with my bodyguards, as they wanted a shorter run than me. At this point I still had about half the run to do. Sunday morning runs tends to be quiet as a lot of folk attend Sunday morning mass. Blissfully the sun wasn’t quite as strong as it has been, although I was putting on weight as I ran, due to the humidity in the air, my hair was acting like a sponge, growing like a fuzzy halo and then it escaped its band. Another failed attempt at being a molto chic podista.

I carried onto  the fish shop village and almost got taken out by a reversing lorry near to the church. I hurried on, wanting to get the run done and entered Bin Lane. No-one there, – fantastic –  I had Bin Lane all to myself so I was able to run where I liked, finding the shady areas to keep me cool. And then, at the final set of bins, I ran past some parked cars and almost got ‘door jacked’ by a little old lady who was exiting the car and flung open her passenger door right into my path. Some nifty footwork and a few choice swear words under my breath and I carried onto to the All Roads Lead To Rome road. It was nice and quiet for a change – spoke too soon JCR as just at that moment of realisation that the road was quiet, then screaming along, came one of the ubiquitous silver Fiat Puntos – its owner had decided runner skittles would be a fun game to play. He came so close it was really quite frightening – I am thinking of investing in Boadicea/Boudicca/(whatever they call her) thrashing blades so if someone tries to take me off the road, then they suffer (as a minimum) severe bodywork damage. This maybe a little over the top in terms of self preservation. But what else can you think of when your bodyguards have run home and left you to fend for yourself, I’m sure Kim Jong Un would do similar. I never thought he and I would have anything in common…

Playlist

I didn’t listen to most of it as I was being bodyguarded…, but these are the tracks that played once we parted company and I was on my own.

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

Oh Woman Oh Man – London Grammar

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

Planet Earth – Duran Duran

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Sign Of the Times – Harry Styles

It’s Called A Heart – Depeche Mode

Modern Way – Kaiser Chiefs

Andy, You’re A Star – The Killers

Stats

Distance 10.73km

Time 1:15:46

Average Pace 7:03 mins/km

Elevation Gain – 20 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1285.47

Km to do 732.53