21 Mar – Happy Idris To Me

It’s my birthday and so far I’ve been gifted Idris Elba, a dog, chocolate, more chocolate, a prison break tag, and a gait analysis.

Idris is by far the best gift of the day, even if only imaginary, although our friends G and J sent me a pic saying he’d see me soon.I wonder if he is in Granada and if his fiancée knows?

I had planned two x 18km runs whilst here – I blew out on the first one, and as a consequence my run plans are somewhat shot. I made up the first 18k yesteday  by doing another 7k, but that meant today  I wouldn’t be rested enough to try an 18km.

So I popped out with Idris to The Proclaimers singing I’m Gonna Be 500 Miles and almost got bundled over by 6 or 7 fellow runners, wearing leggings and carrying very heavy backpacks. They were almost dwarfed by the backpacks and they were all trying to beat a deadline – the 9am bell for infant’s school.

I continued on my way again for the delights of Lidl, roadworks, the post office, a slightly derelict industrial estate type place, the back end of the railway lines and similar. Most people come to Granada for the sights, whereas I have been running the shites.

With slightly aching hips, I managed just over 12km and then to my horror Map My Run lost the internet connection and my run was lost. I was almost in tears of frustration as my efforts had got lost somewhere in the inter web. Luckily it seems to have re-appeared, and I no longer have the dilemma of you all having to trust me when I say  I did actually run more than 12km.

Happy Idris to me, I think his silent company smiled on my run, and persuaded Doctor Google to fix my Map My Run. We are nowhere near 500 Miles but getting close to 500 kms now.

Playlist

I’m Gonna Be 500 Miles – The Proclaimers

Modern Love – David Bowie

Mr Brightside – The Killers

Enola Gay – OMD

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Every Day I Love You Less And Less – Kaiser Chiefs

Somebody Told Me – The Killers

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

She’s Electric – Oasis

Sign Of The Times – Harry Styles

Lucky You – The Lightning Seeds

Get Dancin’ – Disco Tex & His Sex-O-Lettes (twice)

Love In Itself – Dépêche Mode

Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine – The Killers

World In Motion – New Order

Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks

Susannah’s Still Alive – Ditto

See You – Dépêche Mode

Planet Earth – Duran Duran

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

Vienna – Ultravox

Beat Crazy – Joe Jackson

New Life – Dépêche Mode

Rio – Duran Duran

Stats

Distance 12.42

Time 1:31:14

Average Pace 7:20 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 85 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms done 487.1

Kms  to do 1530.9

 

 

5 Feb – I was in the top 8%

That’s me, the non-running runner. The over 50 non-running runner. Out of 110,000 people in this challenge, I am in the top 8%. Well I was yesterday, as the pic proves. This probably is the best achievement I’ve ever had, whether sporting or academic.

Except maybe for eating chocolate, I think I can confidently say I was in the top 8% (probably in the world), for eating chocolate. But this running achievement is transitory, it’s early days and there’s a whole uncertain, scary year still to run.

No resting on laurels then…. let’s see what today will bring. I don’t want to end up as a punch-drunk fighter saying ‘I could’ve been a contender’.

It was cold, but clear and I was dressed in black like a ninja. I actually ran like a walrus, not a ninja, but still I went out.

190946
This walrus can actually run faster than me!

Despite being a slow runner of some repute, I am delighted to say I am still in the top 8% of the global challenge. That’s twice now I have appeared here. I am gloating, yes I am! The running, slow, walrus is gloating; pride will undoubtedly come before a fall…

IMG_1294

Playlist

Born In The USA – The Boss

Everything Must Go – The Manics

Back To Black – Amy Winehouse

By The Way – Red Hot Chilis

Boombastic – Shaggy

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

Save A Prayer – Duran Duran (twice in succession)

Is Vic There? – Department S

Doginabag – The Fratellis

Wonderwall – Oasis

Strong – London Grammar

Enola Gay – OMD

I Try – Macy Gray

Sex-O-Matic-Venus Freak – Macy Gray

Stats

Distance 6.78km

Time 47:39

Average Pace 7:01 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 21m

Alzheimer’s Challenge Update

Kms Run To Date 160.31

Kms to Run 1857.69 (slowlee, slowlee, catchee monkee)

Running Streak – Day 5

 

 

 

 

30 Jan – A Fishy 5km

IMG_0533
Orange Rectangles Gained, Now For The Orange Squares

 

Today is orange hunting day – I am due to run the orange squares of the Monopoly board, but it is still quite cold out, so I thought I’d go for a warm up run of 5km and see if I can clock a few more kms, by doing two runs in a day.

It is Tuesday and the fishmongers are open today, and so I am going to run to buy fish. Unlike last time’s jaunt  I have learnt my lesson well and worked out a mini-route which will mean I can limit the return journey (carrying fish) to a manageable 2km.

Even better news is that my new dead posh Lululemon top comes with a very useful kangaroo pouch pocket. I haven’t actually read that Lululemon recommend wearing it for shopping/running trips. I am sure they will appreciate that needs must, when you’re targeting over 2000km in a year.

I could suggest it to them as a potential new marketing gimmick maybe?

So off I trotted on a circuitous route to Islington Upper Street, it truly is a glorious day, with a fantastic if rare, blue sky and the even rarer sight of the sun. Fish duly bought and stowed in my kangaroo pouch – with me hoping that we have no leakage issues, as I am not sure the raw fish smell would come out of my new running top. A trot back via Duncan Terrace Gardens – sound posh but they are very tiny, but are a small oasis of green amongst the concrete.

Two kilometres back towards home, and rather worryingly my legs feel tired – this does not bode well for this afternoon’s run. But I am close to home and manage to clock 5.19km, which if I can do more than 10km this afternoon, will help me keep my deficit from growing too much.

This morning I was running for two ‘orangeish’ rectangles of salmon, but this afternoon the orange squares of the Monopoly Board await. At least I won’t need the kangaroo pouch pocket to collect them.

And as a p.s. I am allowed to count Chancery Lane as the ‘Chance square on Monopoly – my friends all said so.

Playlist 

Beat Crazy – Joe Jackson

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Breaking Us In Two – Joe Jackson

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Don’t You Want Me – Human League

Dreaming – OMD

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

Electric Barbarella – Duran Duran

Stats

Distance 5.19km

Time 35:21

Average Pace 6:48 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 23 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run To Date 109.16km

Kms Still To Do 1908.84 km

January Km Target = 171.43 (based on straight-lining 2018km/365)

Km Deficit as of now = 62.27km

 
Sponsor me on BT MyDonate

 

 

Run 1 – Getting The New Year Off To a Whimper

We had words, did Mr JCR and me…, big words, tetchy words, me wanting to quit the relationship, him wanting to try just one more time. And to be honest I was surprised as he hadn’t shown much favour up until now.

It’s no use I told him, things have changed, the old model worked but the new model doesn’t. I can’t carry on in this vein any longer, ‘let me try’ he pleaded. ‘No’ I said. But a few days away, and a sense of hope surged. ‘Okay, we can give it a go’.

Mr JCR had asked me to go counselling. Relate are famous for helping couples work through relationship issues and Mr JCR thought it was worth a shot. We’ve been together for nigh on 25 years, so he had a point. One night just before coming home to London, we made an appointment. Grievances duly noted, with specific examples so that the advice stood a chance. And so the dialogue began.

Mr JCR – ‘Exactly what isn’t working from your perspective?’

JCR – ‘There are so many things I can’t even tell you where to begin’

Mr JCR – ‘Just try, tell me one thing at a time’

JCR – ‘Well, the new iPhone and Map my Run, still won’t synchronise to my iTunes library, it says I have no music and I have’

Editor’s note – you may have thought I meant meeting Relate the marriage counsellors – no I mean

RELATE

R= Running

E= Electronics

L= Lacking

A = Application Integration

T = Turns JanCanRun

E= Extremely angry

Mr JCR is the techy whizz kid in our household and following my switch to the new iPhone, things were not going well. The Map My Run App was hopeless, no longer picking up my music, nor tracking my route at one point. Mr JCR often persuades me to move to Strava, but it doesn’t synch to my music either, and so he said before `I committed to another app he’d have a look and see what he could do. Mr JCR duly looked and configured bits and pieces and lo and behold a miracle – he got the music link working. It then seemed from a mini test (by running around the living room) that everything was working. So, today, naturally enough I set out with hope in my heart and a spring in my step.

Okay,  I am out of the door, with the warm-up walk started, Mechanical Voice Lady is present and the countdown is working fine, I can hear my music, so far so good. At the end of the five minute warm up, Mechanical Voice Lady tells me to start exercising, and I do. Somewhat surprisingly my first kilometre was completed in 30 seconds, with my second one done similarly. Harrumpphh, this intervention by RELATE has fixed one problem, but obviously there are a few more. As much as I’d love to report a miraculous mix of Usain’s speed with Mo Farah’s distance, let’s be realistic, I am middle aged, a bit chunkier than I was pre-Christmas and my running took a bit a of a break over the festive period.

I head up towards Islington and Essex Road, avoiding the crowds on Upper Street, all of them still hunting for that elusive New Year Sale bargain. My pace is quite steady I think, although with MMR marking my times, the Olympics won’t be far away for me. I am dodging quite a few bare, unadorned Christmas trees, now sadly deserted by their owners and forming a mini hurdle and obstacle race on the pavements. But as The Boss is singing Born To Run, I am smiling widely as I dodge each one. I reach the end of Essex Road and turn right along Balls Pond Road. I had thought on a Sunday morning that the roads would be quiet, but I was wrong and the pong of petrol pollution still hangs around. I do wonder whether running in these parts is quite so healthy…, then I am overtaken by a braver running lady  in a short sleeved tee-shirt, with a sort of semi circular sweep to her running gait and it occurs to me that she must be covering more distance per step than me, because her feet are covering quite a bit of the pavement on each step, it’s quite fascinating to watch, if a bit dangerous as I then trip slightly on a paving slab.

I continue down Balls Pond Road and am overtaken again by a lazy, loper runner. I don’t mean he was lazy, but his running style was all loose and loping and fast too. He scooted in the distance and I was at about 6km at this stage, so no chance of catching him up. I then turn into Kingsland Road (Dalston) one of the spiritual homes of the fable Hoxton Hipster and yes there was my first one  .

Beard – yup, checked lumberjack shirt thing – yup, dark denim narrow jeans – yup, natty bit of ankle showing – yup, and brogue shoes – yup. I was so intent on looking at him for my stereotype bingo card, that I almost barged into a young girl coming the other way. She moved out of my way and I did say thank you, well I wheezed thank you as I was at about 7.5km at this point.

The people were thinning out now, as I am aiming towards Bishopsgate and the City, the tower blocks loom and I run past Liverpool Street Station, with throngs of people leaving there and queueing for buses and couches; a tangle of limbs and luggage. I turn off to Threadneedle Street which is nice and quiet, past Royal Exchange and Lothbury and towards Basinghall Street and home. My 10km warning comes up close to home, so I continue just that bit further, but to be honest I am tired and now running like Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques. When that running style happens, I know it’s time to quit, so I push the pause and hold button on Map My Run and that does at least work.

I was musing as I ran about my upcoming divorce from Map My Run, and wondered which religion it was that permitted you to divorce by saying ‘ I divorce thee’ three times. It is in the Islam faith, although a triple ‘talaq’ does not actually confer the right of divorce. There’s a time gap of one month between the saying of the words and also a requirement that the couple seek counselling and try to come to an amicable reconciliation before pursuing the finalisation of divorce.  Following that logic, that means me and Map My Run have to have another couple of reconciliation attempts, before I give in. I wonder if Mr JCR has some spare time for the next phase of R.E.L.A.T.E.?

I whimper as I think of yet more techy stuff to be done, but lucky me – Mr JCR is a whizz with this so I am sure we will get there. And the reason why this is important to me – this year I commit to running for Alzheimer’s and am challenging myself to run 2018 kms  in 2018 and fund raise. More of that to come later, once I’ve set up my fund raising site etc. That means doubling my rate of kms and the first week of January I am already 27kms down…. much work to be done JCR!

Playlist

Mony Mony – Billy Idol

Girls & Boys – Blur

Tracy Jacks – ditto

Parklife – ditto

Born To Run – The Boss

Hungry Heart – ditto

Dancing In The Dark – ditto

Born In The USA – ditto

Glory Days – ditto

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Mulder and Scully – Catatonia

Fuck You – Cee Lo Green

London Calling – The Clash

Rock The Cashbah – ditto

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

The Jean Genie – ditto

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

(It seems my playlist played alphabetically – hey ho, but it did say the music was playing for 1 hour 5 minutes and 56 seconds which is probably accurate for my timing)

Stats

Distance 10.35km (I do hope so but the MMR running route isn’t quite right)

Time 52.08 minutes (I think the 1 hour 5 minutes 56, is true here)

Average Pace 5.02 mins/km (if the music list time is correct, then my pace was 6 mins 22.2 per kilometre which seems more accurate)

Stereotype Bingo – 1 for the Hoxton Hipster

Squats 3 x 15 reps

Alzheimer’s  Km Tracking

10.35km done

2007.65 km to go

And I should have done 37km by now – January is going to be tough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day Twelve

New Year’s Eve

On the twelfth Day of Christmas

We are here in Italy

Twelve O’Clock Bell Chiming

Eleven pages of planning docs

Ten hours of sleeping

Nine o’clock, our friends left

Eight Dutchmen drinking

Seven laughs a minute

Six Fano Views taken

Five courses eaten

Four stockings readied

Three lots of shopping

Two people cleaning

And the house was only one degree

But the very best news was I broke my running duck. Today I went running, honest to God, cross my heart running.

Just a pity the technology didn’t play ball, still New Year, New Start – and that means a new running app, as me and Map My Run Mechanical Voice Lady are coming to the end. I divorce her herewith…

Two NYE parties to go to, aren’t we lucky? This is my kind of interval training – one party, then a short interval, followed by another.

Happy New Year All.

 

Retro Runners – Colours Playlist

 

As we near the end of 2017, I have created another playlist on Spotify.

This is in honour of RunningRaspberryDiva and Cornet-Carolyn on Health Unlocked C25K. It is called Retro Runners Raspberry Cornet.

Running Raspberry Diva because she changed her name after I described the Runner’s Colours found on Dulux’s Colour Chart.

And Cornet-Carolyn, because she has spanned more or less every red/pink/magenta known to man in her running quest.

The list is all of these fab colour oriented songs:-

The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes – Elvis Costello and The Attractions

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Blue Monday ’88 – New Order

Golden Brown – The Stranglers

Golden Years – David Bowie

Raspberry Beret – His Purple Highness

Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis

White Wedding – Billy Idol

Cream – His Purple Highness

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Being Beige – Smashing Pumpkins

Brown Sugar – D’Angelo

Forever in Blue Jeans – Neil Diamond

Yellow Submarine – The Beatles

Yellow River – Christie

Green Eyes – Coldplay

Green Garden – Laura Mvula

Grey Day – Madness

Lavender – Marillion

Little Red Corvette – His Purple Highness

Misty Blue – Dorothy Moore

Mr Blue Sky – ELO

My White Bicycle – Nazareth

Pretty in Pink – The Psychedelic Furs

Pretty Fly For a White Guy – The Offspring

99 Red Balloons – Nena

True Colors – Cyndi Lauper

Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs

Suicide Blonde – INXS

White Riot – The Clash

Yellow Pearl – Phil Lynott and Midge Ure

Fade to Grey – Visage

 

The Spotify Pic takes you to the list. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

17 Dec – Welcome Back Mr Smooth

Sunday morning, alarm goes off  – I groan and am made a welcome cup of tea. Faffolino decides to visit and in her usual fashion, manages to persuade me to faff. We are travelling to Italy tomorrow, so this gives Faffolino many prevarication excuses for me. Pack the overnight bag, unpack the overnight bag, re-pack the overnight bag. Sort out the laundry, get dressed, think about sorting the car…

Yes, yes, yes, I faffed a lot. But then I did go out and welcomed Mr Smooth back into my life. Because of a short break, followed by some interval training, I hadn’t done a longer run for a while. So, charge up the C25K App, go direct to Week 9, where Mr Smooth is waiting for me patiently.

Now I had remember how to synch everything again:-

  • Music – check
  • Map My Run – check
  • Mr Smooth – check

It is blinking cold and I am wearing double layers, runner’s buff, gloves and hat. I decide to avoid the Top Gear tunnel under the Barbican, as it is full of nasty chemicals and so I go ‘over the top’ to avoid the fumes. Mr Smooth tells me I can do the thirty minutes run and not to fear it. I am feeling rather perky and so I actually start my run ahead of Mr Smooth’s instructions (only by a minute), I am skipping merrily to the sound of It’s Raining Men and decide I will just run as far as I feel.

Leaving the concrete beauty behind me, I continue towards Clerkenwell Road and hallelujah the traffic lights are green and I bound across St John’s Street, past the Zetter Hotel (I really should get paid for mentioning them!) and towards the Farringdon Road junction, double hallelujah the lights are on green and I bound merrily across there. towards the Italian church, where I see all the Clerkenwell Italians getting ready to enter church. As ever, they are dressed in their Sunday best, some little old nonnas wearing rather over-sized fur coats, that are the size of small houses. Reading the London Italian newspapers and sipping espresso coffee, the sight of mini Italy on a Sunday makes me smile, because that is where I will be in two days’ time.

At this point, the fur coats had obviously transmitted telepathic heat rays to my clothing, so a quick press of pause to give me time to get my hat, gloves and running buff off, as I was overheating. Needless to say, I forgot to ‘de-pause’ Mr Smooth, I did wonder why he wasn’t his usual encouraging self. Up towards Bloomsbury and the fairly hip Lamb’s Conduit Street, a quick skip towards Coram Park and looping back to Lamb’s Conduit Street again – it was at this point I realised Mr Smooth had gone AWOL, another pause and re-start. By now I was slowing down and decided if I could do six or seven kms, then that would be good enough. I headed back towards home, passing The Bowler pub (another advert!) and the Hidden House recently featured on Grand Designs. On Lever Street I saw a lady wearing the most flashy cobalt blue and net leggings, so needless to say I had to loop back and tell her they were amazing. She did look surprised – I am putting it down to middle aged eccentricity…

Finally, Mr Smooth caught up and told me I’d been running for thirty minutes – he was wrong of course, but it was me who paused him. And tonight, I saw him on SPOTY on the Beeb. Truthfully Mr Smooth is a master of words and running  and he helped me today.

Playlist

All Stood Still – Ultravox

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Temptation – Heaven 17

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

Electric Barbarella – Duran Duran

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera

Stats

Distance 7.62km (but includes warm up so probably about 6km)

Time 43.56 mins

Average Pace 5.46 mins/km (not true Map My Run was weird!)

Elevation Gain 26 m