11 May – Puffin’ in the Big Smoke

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With a spring in my step, I set out this morning from Hampstead Hospital, passing about 20 smokers outside – at least 4 of whom had visible NHS staff badges on. And one patient smoking whilst still attached to his walking frame drip… Having never smoked, I thank heavens I never got addicted to the weed and for sure it wouldn’t be much of a help to a runner.

It was a lovely morning, sunny and breezy in equal measure and I was in good spirits, having had a ‘night before’ Gourmet Burger and fries, from Foxlow in Clerkenwell, which is our default place for when the ‘I need to eat meat’ craving comes on. I’d also had some red wine, so I wasn’t entirely sure this was the best preparation for my run, but in actual fact it seemed to be exactly what the doctor ordered.

I bounded down Hampstead Hill, towards Camden which was chock a block with people and pop-up market stalls on the pavements. Loads of men in shorts – some a nice sight, others well, let’s just say they were a tad sartorially challenged. I had my new running belt on today, which has nifty pockets for all manner of things including the phone. At Camden Market, according to my phone I turned in a record breaking sub 1 minutes kilometre, and within yards of the pop-up orange juice stall, I had supposedly clocked up 2 kms. Mmm, maybe the belt is obscuring the GPS.  I continued on my way towards Euston which as ever was choked up with traffic, I bombed down Southampton Way and made my way toward Holborn. It was now prime lunchtime, so a lot of worker ant dodging became necessary. I didn’t feel out of puff, but did need a drink, so removed the integrated bottle from the fit belt. Replacing it, I felt a rather unfortunate trickle of liquid, aiming for where the sun don’t shine… The integrated design obviously has some wrinkles to work out, because I don’t need to water my bum when I’m running.

I aimed towards the City to add a couple of kms to my run – I had in mind maybe doing 10kms today, then as I got bewitchingly close to home, I realised I needed to pick up a prescription from the Doctors, which was in exactly the opposite direction to my travel. Oh well, pick up the pace and run up there then. I ended up behind a lady who was not in a good way, she was puffing and very out of breath, I too was wheezing slightly, but that was more to do with having run quite a distance and at quite a pace. My business was done and I ran back out towards home. Eventually I did run out of steam, with my legs aching quite a bit, but it felt like a fab run. I’d run really fast, done some sprint intervals as well, so all in all a good one.

Then I looked at my stats – oh yes I was a record breaker – except the records weren’t true, I hadn’t actually run 17.5km as it said, at a pace of under 5 minutes. So huffing and puffing a bit, I had to be honest and recalibrate the stats, and remove  2kms from the record.

I’ve still done well and this has been my fastest run for ages, which I put down to a few days extra rest this week, the excellent Foxlow meat and wine, and the sheer joy of being back in the Big Smoke, with so many distractions to keep me occupied.

Playlist

Ode To Billie Joe – Bobbie Gentry

My Girl – The Temptations

Oh! Carol – Neil Sedaka

A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum

You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling – The Righteous Brothers

Let’s Spend The Night Together – The Rolling Stones

Help – The Beatles

Take Good Care Of My Baby – Bobby Vee

Dream Lover – Bobby Darin’

The Locomotion – Little Eva

Will You Love Me Tomorrow – The Shirelles

Do Wah Diddy Diddy – Manfred Mann

Stupid Cupid – Connie Francis

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ – Nancy Sinatra

Blue Velvet – Bobby Vinton

Bye Bye Love – The Everly Brothers

No Regrets – The Walker Brothers

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore – Ditto

That’s Life – Frank Sinatra

Chain Gang – Sam Cooke

Wake Up Little Susie – The Everly Brothers

Be Bop A Lula – Gene Vincent

He’s So Fine – The Chiffons

La Bamba – Ritchie Valens

Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino

Sweet Little Sixteen – Chuck Berry

Then He Kissed Me – The Crystals

Tell Laura I Love Her – Ricky Valance

One Fine Day – The Chiffons

Downtown – Petula Clark

Stats

Distance 15:48km

Time 1:29:01

Average Pace 5:45 mins/km

Elevation Gain 50 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 816.37

To Run 1201.63

(oh bum, if I could have genuinely run 17kms, I would have been under the 1200 to go mark)

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!