16 Mar – Running Errands

Fish features a lot in my running blog, mainly because the fishmonger is about 3km away from home and so it is a convenient place to run to/from for a short trip.

This morning however, I thought I’d run a little further so headed out towards Holborn. Under the Beech Street tunnel, which is currently being re-fitted for a light installation as part of the City of London’s Culture Mile – I was running in and out of lighting gaffers and machines.  This makes a change from the rumble of non-stop traffic.

I aimed for Gray’s Inn Road, to do a loop towards Islington. It was quiet and warm and a lovely morning to be running. At last I arrived at the fishmongers and ordered my fish – Robbie now greets me with phrases like ‘here comes the marathon runner’. He asked me my running plans for the upcoming week and I explained we’d be in Granada in Spain for a short break to see the Alhambra. He then waxed lyrical about free tapas and how great the weather will be there (he is Spanish btw). I then explained Granada is getting exactly the same weather as we will, so it will be cold.

As he said if it’s cold at least the uphill running won’t be too bad. Let’s hope so. Armed with my lemon sole and Cornish crabs, I trotted back home – back again through the Beech Street tunnel to buy bread and cheese.

By this stage I think I was carrying about 5/6kgs of food, whilst running. This errand running is more like weight training. Maybe I need to get a proper errand rucksack for my running?


Tainted Love – Soft Cell

Every Day Hurts – Sad Cafe

Fade To Grey – Visage

Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Living On The Ceiling – Blancmange

Eighties – Killing Joke

Liberator – Spear Of Destiny

Trapped – Colonel Abrams

Church Of The Poisoned Mind – Culture Club

Ride On Time – Black Box

It’s A sin – Pet Shop Boys

Gold – Spandau Ballet

Don’t Go – Yazoo


Distance 7.73km

Time 1:00:37

Average Pace 7:50 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 30 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 443.3

Kms to Do 1574.7

TeamRhomboid Torture

mmm still no instructions – better squat and do press-ups then…





15 Mar – The Deluded Conundrum


Having basked in the tired glory of having done 22km over two days, I thought today I would do a nifty 5km.

That was the plan, in my head I was going to semi-sprint (I know – it isn’t a word) around the City and get back home with warm up and cool-down done in about 40 minutes. The principle being, the quicker I get the less time it will take me to do the challenge and leave me some spare ‘non-running oriented’ time.

In my head I was semi-sprinting, in my legs I wasn’t – as became apparent at the end of the run. I came across Fruiterers Passage on the North Bank – I’ve never been in there before and managed a quick pic looking back at the Shard. There were quite a few couples walking and in hand on a nice sunny day in London on the North Bank, all being buzzed by a middle-aged sweaty runner.

Running back home, I passed Polpo – one of the few Italian restaurants in London I’d  actually eat in. They have a festive menu celebrating women’s achievements. I thought it may be worth a visit, then I saw the menu – Broccoli – yuck, Gnocchi – yuck, yuck and Wet Polenta – yuck, yuck, yuck. No conundrum there, I’ll wait until we are back in Italy to eat Italian food.

But my actual conundrum is this – if I can run faster I can get the challenge done without it taking all my spare time and energy. But to move from arthritic semi-sprinting to proper fast running , means I need to do interval training. Interval training is short, sharp sprinting, interspersed with less-fast running. But when I’ve tried this before I can only manage 35 minutes and cover about 3km – and that is far short of my stated 5km minimum run for the challenge. I haven’t got enough energy to be able to do the interval training as well as the challenge, nor would it be healthy, as I wouldn’t be giving my bod any rest time.

The challenge will have to stay as it is, and I will put the idea of semi-sprinting/sprinting into the area of brain for middle aged delusions.


I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Cars – Gary Numan

The Tears Of A Clown – The Beat

Trapped – Colonel Abrams

Enola Gay – OMD

I Am The Law – Human League

The Reflex – Duran Duran

Electricity – OMD

Temptation – Heaven 17

All She Wants Is – Duran Duran

Vienna – Ultravox

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Planet Earth – Duran Duran


Distance 5.58km

Time 35:19

Average Pace 6:19 (mins/km) – absolutely rubbish not sprinting at all

Elevation Gain 40 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 435.6

Kms To Do 1582.4

Team Rhomboid Torture

No instructions there, so I’ll do some squats and something interesting with a kettle bell… (who thought that could even be a phrase?)


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.


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


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!






7 March – Top 3!



All These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers

Avalon – Roxy Music

Born To Run – The Boss

Perfect – Lightning Seeds

Boombastic – Shaggy

Darling Nikki – His Purple Highness

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Na Na Na Na Naa – Kaiser Chiefs

True Faith 94 – New Order

Is Vic There? – Department S

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Traynor

Bad – U2


Distance 7.20km

Time 45:56

Average Pace 6:22 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 40 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 375.1

Kms To Do 1642.90


4 Mar – Going Posh Up West

The last two official squares of the Monopoly board were on my list today, taking me to Mayfair and Park Lane. Only the gas company to go, it has been suggested I look for a gas tank somewhere in central London, that one will be the last of my Monopoly challenge before we return to Italy.

It was grey but warmish today, and I ran down Shaftesbury Avenue, towards Chinatown and Piccadilly, heading up Clarges Street towards Park Lane. And there it is in all its glory  in my third photo. Such a grotty road really, yet with such a glamorous reputation.

Next onto Mayfair – which is not a road just an area so I chose a view of Grosvenor St, as the Grosvenor family own most of Mayfair.

On the way back I scooted through Covent Garden and Holborn and saw the Aston Martin parked in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Now forgive me, but if you can actually afford an Aston Martin do you really need a registration plate ‘YES 1AML’ – which I am guessing is meant to signify yes I own an Aston Martin. We know you do – it’s parked on the side of the road.  So in the self congratulatory vein my registration plate for today’s run is ‘YES I4K’

But the true achievement today was by our friend Abi, who when the Bath half marathon was cancelled today, still went out and ran a half marathon, but all on her own. Wow she deserves ‘YES 21K’, maybe the owner of YES 1 AML might oblige by buying it.


7 Seconds – Youssou N’Dour

New York Minute – Don Henley

Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics

What About Us – The Saturdays and Sean Paul

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Spring Affair – Donna Summer

Dancing In The Dark – The Boss

Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

The Boys Of Summer – Don Henley

Forever Autumn – Jeff Wayne, Richard Burton, Justin Hayward

Winter Melody – Donna Summer

7 Years – Lukas Graham

Right Here, Right Now – Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron

1999 – His Purple Highness

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Ruby Tuesday – The Rolling Stones

8 Mile – Eminem

Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson

Step On – Happy Mondays

Footloose – Kenny Loggins

Fall At Your Feet – Crowded House

Sunday Morning – The Velvet Underground

Second Hand News – Fleetwood Mac


Distance 14.47km

Time 1:42:06

Average Pace 7:03 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 73 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 356.5km

Kms To Do 1661.5km

Team Rhomboid Torture

12 burpees to do and squats – yuck….



1 Mar – Mad As A March Hare

When I was checking out my blog yesterday –  the statistics information told me that someone had got to my pages by searching for

‘nude man walking in forest’.

Now as it happens there is a post way back in October that mentions just this thing, thank goodness it didn’t happen to me, but it did happen to my dear friend J, when she was running near her home in Arnhem.

This got me to wondering, which male or female was it that was searching for that phrase and why? I wonder whether they were upset when they read my blog post, because they were hoping for something meatier?

We’ve all heard how you have to be somewhat careful on your search arguments in Dr Google, and of all the things one might look for, this seems somewhat odd. There has to be easier ways of finding pictures or stories of naked men…

Today I went running in Regents Park again, colder than yesterday, slippier than yesterday and more mad runners out than yesterday. All of us as mad as a March hare – and please excuse the pics, but in one of them two runners had bare legs and one had a short sleeved tee-shirt on. He was almost naked for crying out loud (this gratuitous nude reference included so that the random searcher from yesterday may just find two things on here they want to read)

Much more arctic in feel and the run at times was very hard – Mr Fluoro lapped me at least twice… I am consoling myself with the thought that I didn’t see him yesterday, so I may have run more than him over the two days.

Run done, tomorrow is a rest day, where I will be channelling my inner Marie Antoinette. Sleeping in late, eating cake and drinking hot chocolate…


Alison – Elvis Costello

Caroline – Status Quo

Dirty Diana – Michael Jackson

Eloise – The Damned

Francine – ZZ Top

Helena – My Chemical Romance

Poison Ivy – The Lambrettas

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Kayleigh – Marillion

Layla – Derek And The Dominoes

Maggie May – Rod Stewart

Darling Nikki – His Purple Highness

Ophelia – The Band

Dear Prudence – Siouxsie And The Banshees

Queen of Clubs – KC And The Sunshine Band

Roxanne – The Police

Teresa – Eddie Cochran

Single Ladies – Beyonce

Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy

Valerie – Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson

Wendy – The Beach Boys

St Xenia – Katina

Oh Yoko – John Lennon


Distance 8.75km

Time 1:21:22

Average Pace 9:17 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 33 metres

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Done 331.7

Kms to Do 1686.30

Team Rhomboid Torture

2 x sets of 10 reps of squats

(couldn’t do anything else was shattered – will revisit tomorrow)



27 Feb – The Toxic Tens


In running there is a well known affliction called the Toxic Tens. This is all about how long it takes your body to realise you’re being serious about exercise and oxygenating your bloodstream accordingly to manage the demands of the exercise. Typically it takes 10 minutes for your body to be running aerobically.

In fairness, most runners suffer from the Toxic Tens,  but here are the other afflictions, that trip me up from time to time, or if I’m unlucky – on every bloody run.

The ‘Orrible Ones – this is the first km you are doing, having left the warmth and comfort of the sofa. It’s ‘horrible and frankly you wonder why you bothered, as you feel sluggish and are actually running like a slug.

The ‘Trocious Twos – this is when the Toxic Tens are at their worst, you’ve done the first kilometre and now you’re thinking things will get better. But they don’t and the beginning of the second kilometre is atrocious. In fact I run like an asthmatic badger at this point.

The Throbbing or Twingeing Threes – at this stage your body realises you’re out for a run and starts those irritating little niggles, just to put you off your stride. Throbbing knee anyone? Yup, why not throw in an aching hamstring for good measure? Cramp in the arch of your foot? These are all typical of the Throbbing or Twingeing Threes.

The Effing Fours and Fives. According to all running advice, this is when you are hitting your stride nicely, it is all settling down. Except the effing fours and fives all too often coincide with the ‘where the effing hell is the nearest loo?’ None of us want to do a Paula Radcliffe, so you end up buying an unwanted cup of coffee to use the loo. Repeat every 5 kms. It’s effing annoying and expensive in equal measure.

The Shitty Sixes. Too close to the 5km for you to think you’ve cracked the run, but not far enough to be close enough to the elusive 10km. This is when mentally I become Marvin the Paranoid Android. Obsessive recalculating of my running totals vs. the plan and wondering if anyone would really notice if I walked for a km or two. Random phrases and curses pop out of my mouth at this phase, startling passers-by.

The Sodding Awful Sevens – aha this is when your running kit starts playing up. I have a pair of Dutch running tights. Why is it important that the tights are Dutch? Because the Dutch are the tallest people in the world, and I am not. This means at 7km I can guarantee my Dutch leggings will be working their way down my legs. Giving me a bare arse and wrinkled ankles at exactly the same time. A sort of granny gangsta look and not in a good way.

The Endurance Eights – at this stage of a run at eight kms and more, my running times start slipping and my running pace starts looking remarkably similar to my walking pace. This is the point when you will be overtaken by all/any of the following;-

  • Mum/Dad with BugaBoo pram
  • 2, 3, 4, 5 year olds
  • Dog walker
  • Moody ‘emo’ teenager
  • Man walking whilst looking at mobile phone
  • Fast walker
  • Pensioner with a limp
  • Skateboarder
  • Plonker on a scooter
  • Asthmatic badgers

The Naff Nines – when the body is weak and the spirit is weaker. This is often my ‘give up’ kilometrage point.

And so we return to the Toxic Tens. And today on my run I was afflicted by:-

The Throbbing or Twingeing Threes – weird ache in right arm and shoulder

The Shitty Sixes – near the MI6 building – suddenly realising it was at least 6 kms home and I didn’t fancy it much, not helped by a passing guy saying hup, hup, hup as I ran past.

Also anyone got any idea why a busker thought singing ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ by Chris Rea was appropriate 2 days before March? I know it was snowing a bit, but even so. He was la la la-ing on the giveaway lyric, but it was still evidently recognisable.


Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats

Keep on Running – Spencer Davis Group

Happy – Pharrell

Smile – Lily Allen

Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini

Smile – Gregory Porter

Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie

Easy – Commodores

Nowhere Fast – Eminem feat Kehlani

Compression – Francesco Digilio

One Step Beyond – Prince Buster

Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

To Jan – Leonard Anderson

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Running Up That Hill – Kate Bush

Ju Ju Man – Dave Edmunds

The Streak – Ray Stevens

Question – The Moody Blues

Advice For The Young At Heart – Tears for Fears

There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johnny Nash

Fools Rush In – Ricky Nelson

Down Under – Men At Work


Distance 14.75km

Time 1:39:31

Average Pace 6.44 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 108 metres

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Done 314.9

Kms to do 1703.10 (next time out I’ll be under the 1700s)

Team Rhomboid Torture

Yesterday’s instructions were to do burpees – I can burp and I can pee, I just can’t do burpees. So I didn’t do a thing, nothing, nada, zip.

Waiting for today’s instructions, so am guessing  I will squat, wall press and hollow rock again.