6 Dec – Having A Wobble

Yesterday a migraine stopped play and today I had the migraine hangover – muzzy head, light sensitivity, and a mild thump. I took some ibuprofen and a nice mug of tea and got on my way.

Only needed to do 8km to stay on my plan, and I didn’t really have anywhere in mind to go. Bev’s mojo appears to have had enough of London’s bright lights and may be headed back to the calming countryside of Yorkshire and who can blame her? So without a mojo hunt in mind, I was curiously adrift on where to go. I headed towards the City and looped up to Islington. Gosh today I am slow, and lethargic and I don’t really know why. 2kms in and I take a pause. 3kms in near Islington’s Upper Street and I take another pause. I don’t feel bad, just not quite right, it’s as though my legs aren’t my own, they feel curiously disconnected, a bit like running with cotton wool for legs, rather than ‘leg-feeling’ legs.

I continue on and to be honest it’s a plod, neither my heart nor legs are in today’s run. Mr JCR occasionally complaints of energy depletion, when all of a sudden he feels like one of those cartoonishly characters when the blood drains from their faces, and they look ghost-like. I think that is what I’ve got – cartoon blood draining syndrome. You heard it here first! Normally I feel quite bouncy and happily tired after a run. Today is just not one off those days. Still despite my cotton wool legs and ghost like face, it is :-

You can’t always have a perfect run, I’m glad I did it and just writing this one off as a bad day at the office. As the dictionary definition says, I’m moving unsteadily in a particular direction – and that direction is the 2018kms marker.

Playlist

I genuinely can’t remember which playlist it was at all…

Stats

Distance 8.60km

Time 1:01:52

Average Pace 7:11

Elevation Gain 39 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1951.35

Kms To Run 66.65

3 Dec – Shame and Salvation

Cherry Blossom at Christmastime

Monday morning, it’s grey, not so cold and according to the weather the chances of rain increase substantially in the afternoon. Therefore a good time to get out and do a recce run for my upcoming cultural adventure, of going with my ‘nearly’ god daughter M, her mum G,  and friends C & M to see the Nutcracker.  G has booked a restaurant up west and I wanted to know exactly where it was as my skills as getting lost are quite legendary. It’s a right and left problem for me. When we were all hunter gatherers, I most definitely would have been eaten by a man-eating beast of some description. Oh the shame and thank goodness for GPRS.

I started out in the City and made my way up West and it was all going rather nice and gentle. I had on my new trainers, but had over-layered on top, with 2 base layers and a rain jacket just in case. At the 1km stage I was beetroot red and the sweat was pouring off me. Quick adjustments and one rain jacket tied around my waist, so I started up again. Aarggh, still too warm, off comes the second layer – and added onto the waistline. At this point I was looking like the ‘coat hanger’ friend at a funfair – you know the type – everyone is on the dodgers/rollercoaster/log flume and there’s the coat hanger friend, cheering everyone on under a mountain of coats.

Okay JCR this is not so great, slow the pace down, to keep the heat down and find the restaurant. It was easy peasy to find, just not exactly where I thought it was. A mental note made and I was on my way.  The weather app had obviously failed to spot a huge great lump of rain that dropped like a water bomb. I was already sweaty on the inside and now was getting wet from the outside. Clambering back into the layers, I’d discarded earlier, I decided to cut short the run and aim for home, the quickest way through Long Acre.

At this point Mistress Fate stepped in, the rain was really chucking it down, and I saw my salvation – a Lululemon store. Well I was wearing their running tights and their running jacket, so it would have been a shame not to go in. And it would also have been a shame not to have a look around, and an even greater shame not to have used the credit card I had cunningly packed ‘just in case’. To my shame, I managed to spend an obscene amount of money in the 12 minutes the rainstorm took to pass over. Then instead of my usual fish running adventures, I proceeded to run through Covent Garden, Inns of Court and the City, all the way back home, with a heavily packed Lululemon bag tucked under my arm. It did hamper the last 3.5kms timing, but I liked the stuff I’d bought, so I justified the slower running pace by mentally claiming I’d been carrying weights. Utterly self delusional!!

Any chance of me finding Bev’s mojo in that weather, were somewhat reduced as I was distracted by the kitbag. But I did get just over 9kms done, so it was a good contribution to my running total – that’s a salvation of a sort.  

The cheery, but out of season cherry tree, was seen the following on day, on my return trip up West to return two out of the four items bought in the rain! So my shopping frenzy shame, was saved by my inability to guess my own leg size – I think they’ve shortened with all this running;)

Playlist

Going back to Razouski’s list

Baggy Trousers -Madness

Be My Number Two – Joe Jackson

Beat It – Michael Jackson

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Can You Feel It – The Jacksons

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? – Culture Club

Dreaming of Me – Depeche Mode

Get Dancin’ Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes

Go Wild In The Country – Bow Wow Wow

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

The Look of Love – ABC

Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer

Lose Yourself – Eminem

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello and The Attractions

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Planet Earth – Duran Duran

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Rasputin – Boney M

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult

Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera

Vienna, All Stood Still- Ultravox

Stats

Distance 9.27km

Time 1:08:48

Average Pace 7:23

Elevation Gain 39 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1942.75

Kms To Run 75.25

2 Dec – Babbo Natale Arrived Early

The loneliness of the long distance runner, was a short story by Alan Sillitoe and also a film –  I’ve just learned courtesy of the inter web. Like many people I had heard the phrase but didn’t really recall what it was about. I am not an ‘angry young man’ in a borstal running and earning privileges. I am a happy middle aged runner, who this year is running long distances – although I have a feeling I may well still be running long distances for years to come.

When I run, although I run on my own, I am never alone, because I have the good wishes and encouragement of my friends and family and in particular a special group of friends. These people I know very well, but in truth I don’t actually know them at all. These are the Health Unlocked and C25K Beyonders Groups. It’s fair to say I could probably walk past most of them in the street and not recognise them. There’s a few I would, but most are running friends hidden from view by user names and avatars. I guess they’d probably say the same about me. Yesterday I updated my HU and Beyonders group on the forums, just to let them know how my Alzheimer’s Challenge was going, and I’ve been blown away, by the support and encouragement given by my running friends. 

When I set out this morning for my run, I wanted to do 10km, because that would get me below the ’90km to go’ mark, but there’s something about receiving a whole load of good luck messages and also three donations to my sponsorship that really spurred me on. I started out in East Central London – Barbican area, and I had promised Mummycav that I’d keep on with my search for her missing mojo.

First off I spotted the Crossrail excavator, surely a mojo wouldn’t be operating heavy machinery on a Sunday morning? Probably not, so I continued my way up West, pausing to get the long awaited refund from a shop, I bounced my way along Holborn, Fleet Street and made a small stop at Somerset House to admire the Fortnum & Mason Christmas tree and the skaters. Surely Mummycav’s mojo would have passed this way. It’s friendly and fun and look at that tree. What’s not to like? I then made a tactical error and made my way on Embankment to Westminster bridge, I would like to say I was running, but it was an occasional spurt when space permitted, as it was chock full of tourists. I was ninja-ing my way through them and had to smile as there was a fellow runner doing exactly the same. Then a decision to make – run along the SouthBank or not?, and I did – mmm – that was a bit stupid JCR, but in fairness I had company with my stupidity – the fellow runner did exactly the same too. 

Now there were two ninjas darting in and out of the tourists, I’m not sure Mummycav’s mojo would have been here, as she would have got squashed. Ordinarily I can get a bit tetchy when there’s too many people around, but this tourist avoidance run, was entirely of my own making and this time it was fun, because sometimes I was smaller/niftier than the other runner and could get ahead, at others he was more aggressive than me and did some parkour type actions to sprint ahead. We managed to stay more or less in synch until we reached Tower Bridge at which point he bombed into the Underground and I carried on into the City, at which point calmness resumed.

I’d done about 12km and the legs felt fine so on I continued, no sign of a mojo in the City, but I certainly didn’t feel any loneliness. 2kms running in and around Fenchurch Street and I made my way home, to sneak in a nifty 15kms. The loneliness of the long distance runner wasn’t an affliction for me at all, in fact I was accompanied by my HU and Beyonders friends.  

Three in particular, who donated yesterday, gave me a real incentive to kick my heels and get out. Babbo Natale arrived early in the shape of these lovely runners – a big, big, big thank you to MimiRossi, Kim Terry and of course her highness Irish Princess – seeing your donations and lovely goodwill messages gave me wings today and I laughed in the face of my 10km target and did 50% more. That is the difference between running on your own, but not alone. Thank you.

Playlist

Trying out the birthday number ones  playlist …

You Got What It Takes – Marv Johnson ( this is mine – it is rubbish)

Cathy’s Clown – Everley Brothers (Mr JCR’s)

Maggie May – Rod Stewart

Keep On Running – Spencer Davis Group

Cum On Feel The Noize – Slade

I’m Into Something Good – Herman’s Hermits

The Loveliest Night Of The Year – Mario Lanza

Hot Love, Metal Guru – T Rex

Cars – Gary Numan

9 to 5 – Dolly Parton

Mambo No 5 – Lou Bega

Mona Lisa – Nat King Cole

Hello Goodbye, Please Please Me – The Beatles

Tigerfeet – Mud

The Wonder Of You and Good Luck Charm – Elvis Presley

Fire – The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum

January – Pilot

Living Doll – Cliff Richard and The Drifters

I’m A Believer – The Monkees

Come On Eileen – Dexys (Kim Terry – yours came up!!!)

I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

Have I The Right – The Honeycombs

I’ll Never Find Another You – The Seeker

Heart Of Glass – Blondie

Stats

Distance 15.07km

Time 1:44:35

Average Pace 6:56

Elevation Gain 92 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1933.48

Kms to Run 84.52

30 Nov – Stroppy Salmon, Shoes and a Squirrel

Last run for November and I have to do more than 8kms to get under the 100km to go barrier.

First up, I have to do a mini-stop at a shop to get a refund for an order (the truck got hijacked and my order has gone AWOL along with 20 other orders too). I remember very clearly saying to the woman on the phone ‘The local store will know that this order has been cancelled and they will be able to refund me won’t they?’ I knew I shouldn’t have believed her when 1km into my run, a short pause became a long stop, waiting for a shop assistant to have to phone the same number that had phoned me… 15 minutes later, my pause and patience were both up. I left the shop in a strop, without my refund.

As I stomped along Holborn, I decided the best thing do was to go shopping in a shop where I am known, they usually have the stock, and things are simple. So I run-stomped my way back to the fish shop, obviously my fish carrying pouch top was being washed after its last outing with two crabs and a sea bass, so I was reliant on good old fashioned hands to carry my wares home.  

And it was bliss, a nice run, the weather was quite warm, not many folk around, clear pavements and my new trainers – Hokas – were really bouncy. I bought my salmon, Robbie and Sam at the shop asked how my challenge was going and wished me luck. With more of a spring in my step, I pootled off home,  and in Fortune Park – a great name for not such a great space, I chased a squirrel all along the path. I was holding my salmon, he was clutching on to an acorn, both of us scurrying home with our dinners. 

And now a small sigh of satisfaction escapes my lips – I have now fewer than 100kms to run. Albeit a tiny smidgeon less than 100kms, but job done, and my earlier strop has been run totally out of my system.

Playlist

This was supposed to be the Mummycav mix, but the fruit phone had a fit…

Alison – Elvis Costello

Helena – My Chemical Romance

Poison Ivy – The Lambrettas

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

Queen of Clubs – KC and The Sunshine Gang

Oh Yoko – John Lennon

Don’t You Want Me – Human League

Is Vic There? – Department S

Night Fever – Bee Gees

All Stood Still – Ultravox

Baggy Trousers – Madness

Stats

Distance 8.68km

Time 58:34

Average Pace 6:44

Elevation Gain 45 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1918.41

Kms To Run 99.59

28 Nov – Friends, Fish and Fantasy

Just occasionally our Italian and London lives coincide, or collide may be a better description, and so it was today. Rewind about a month ago and local Italian friends said they may be coming to London. Stay with us we said, it’ll be a bit tight, it’s only a 2 bed apartment, but we can manage. The only thing is please don’t book the week of the 26th November as we already have friends staying….

Monday morning, WhatsApp starts going a bit crazy ‘hello, we arrived yesterday, we are in Regent Street’. Okay so we don’t have to provide accommodation, but similarly we do have a schedule with our British friends who are arriving that afternoon – booked about 6 months in advance. This is the collision point – Brits organised, Italians a little less so. Our very good friends N&A very graciously, were relaxed at the thought of us leaving them for a couple of hours so we could meet up with our Italian friends for an impromptu breakfast yesterday.

I still wanted to get in a run, so suggested to Mr JCR that I’d wear my running gear for breakfast and run back home afterwards, and do some shopping en route. My usual fish shop challenge. Breakfast just around the corner from the British Museum was fab and it was nice to see G and family, whilst they were here. Then Mr JCR and I parted company. I ran towards Islington and the famous fish shop – well famous in my London running life. I was wearing my super smooth Lululemon running top with kangaroo pouch pocket, perfectly designed for carrying fish. At the shop – half way through my run, I chose the fish with care – a huge bass and two crabs. 

Then followed the dance of the fish pouching. And I had a choice the crabs could be carried in my pouch, or the bass. Just not both. Clearly to paraphrase from Jaws, I needed a bigger pouch. Okay, I’ve run before carrying a baguette, how hard can it be running with crabs in my pouch and a big bass in my hand?

First of all, the crabs despite being cooked crab, had a momentum all of their own, there was a veritable rock pool sloshing around my middle. Okay the waves of crustaceans could be calmed down by me putting my left hand in my pouch to hold them down. Think Napoleon, only female, not French, nor wearing a silly hat. It’s not a great running style with one hand jammed in your pouch holding down Crabby Crab and his mate Crabby McCrabface.

I haven’t forgotten Billy Bass, now he was a beauty and made for 4 people, which meant he was shorter than your average baguette, but about 3 times as heavy. Billy had to be carried in my non crab-calming hand. And there’s another difference between a baguette and Billy. Baguettes are firm and don’t ripple. Billy on the other hand was a combination of perfectly undulating pescatarian muscle. Yup and that means he was equally at home rippling through the air, as he would have been in the ocean. So picture the scene, one hand jammed holding down two crabs in my pouch, in my right hand a Billy bass metronome was flipping and flopping all the way home. Of course I kept on losing my grip with Billy, so I did some hand swapping – right hands holding the crabs and left hand holding Billy. In all the faff, I totally failed to look for Bev’s mojo, although I am certain she probably wasn’t anywhere near my pouch…

I got home, de-crabbed my pouch and placed a rather battered Billy Bass in the fridge. The run was short today – just over 5km, but truthfully being a mobile fish runner is quite hard and I’m not sure it was awfully helpful either to my running or to our dinner later on.

A quick lunch and we whizzed to the theatre to see A Very Very Very Dark Matter – a modern dark parable about colonialism and its effects. This has certainly polarised the critics and the line I did love was Catherine Dickens saying to her husband in a posh voice ‘You’re shitting me’. It was a fantasy performance and very odd, I’m still not sure if I liked it or rated it, but I did enjoy parts of it. And that was exactly like my run, I started off enjoying it, and it got very odd when I was fish pouching/crab managing and bass dancing. It was a complete distraction from the norm, so much so I know I listened to a playlist, and I know it was the Best Covers playlist, but I have no recollection of any of the tracks.

Stats

Distance 5.29km

Time 36:54 including fish and crab handling

Average Pace 6.55

Elevation Gain 34 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1909.73

Kms To Run 108.27

25 Nov – A Tale of Two Drivers

Loving the bling 

Strictly speaking it should be a tale of three drivers. The first driver being my need to make up for yesterday’s laziness and actually get over the 1900km mark on today’s run.

Bad news was a migraine  haze flickering in my right eye, good news was the combination of some nuclear grade tablets, a mug of tea and an hour later, it had gone. And an hour later so had I, out of the door into the City and heading towards Trafalgar Square, which for some reason seems to be a favourite run of mine at the moment. 

Fleet Street was virtually empty and really easy to run down, no breeze today and clear pavements – bliss. I was in a nice stride and heading towards the Strand when driver number two came to my attention.

A guy in front of me was doing the mobile phone zombie walking thing – looking down at his phone and he stepped out into the road without looking. The Tesco delivery driver slammed on his brakes and instead of hurling abuse at the pedestrian, smiled and gestured for the guy to continue crossing. The pedestrian looked a bit embarrassed and put his hand up, then the driver indicated that I should cross too. What a nice chap. A pleasant delivery driver in London, who would have thought that was possible?

I was thinking how nice that was and up I came to the next junction controlled by traffic lights. It was on green – a number of us started to cross, then a Black Mercedes S Class was being driven around the corner over the crossing. I looked at the driver and indicated the lights were green for us and he mouthed back ‘No, they’re red’ and continued driving. What an arse he was. Now I wish I’d had the presence of mind to take a photo of the car.

I admit London is confusing at junctions, but it’s a Sunday, and (even in London prior to Christmas) the traffic was quite light, therefore no excuse. I wish a plague of diarrhoea on him over the festive season, so he gets caught short in that nice Mercedes of his.

Now that my runner’s cursing was complete, I made my way to Trafalgar Square, where the street artists were doing their thing. The two guys who chalk on flags of the world, Yoda again with his faded green tunic, and this time no man sitting on his shovel, but a gold devil masked man sitting casually. I’m not entirely sure how many people would actually pay to have pictures with him, as he looks quite sinister. Bombing past I made my way up the Mall, hooked a right to Northumberland Avenue and made my way home, via the nice blingy Christmas tree at St James.  This was about 6.5kms in, and now the pedestrian numbers were increasing. Spectators were gathering for the Changing of The Guard ceremony, and my pace slowed to a crawl, trying to get past people.

I came the way I started via the Strand, Fleet Street and St Pauls – no sign of Bev’s mojo today, but I do think she may have stopped via St James and taken heart at the blingy tree.

Today it was a nice cool 11kms, and I’ve just ticked over the 1900kms mark. Next milestone is the 1918 mark, so I’m on the 100 and fewer track. Can’t wait and I have a new pair of trainers on the way, so that will give me an even bigger bounce in my step.

Playlist

Tainted Love – Marilyn Manson

Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart – Almond and Pitney

Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

All Along The Watchtower – Afterhere

Hurt – Johnny Cash

I Fought The Law – The Clash

Motorhead – Motorhead

Personal Jesus – Marilyn Manson

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This – ditto

Kids In America – Lawnmower Deth

Feed My Frankenstein – Alice Cooper

Bring Your Daughter… – Iron Maiden

The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Tight Fit

Ever Fallen In Love – FYC

War – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

San Jose – ditto

You’re So Vain – Marilyn Manson

Dear Prudence – Siouxsie and The Banshees

Don’t Leave Me This Way – The Communards

I Drove All Night – Cyndi Lauper

Small-town Boy – Bronski Beat

Cats In The Cradle – Ugly Kid Joe

Live and Let Die – Guns ’n’ Roses

Aint Necessarily So – Bronski Beat

The Sound of Silence – Disturbed

Smooth Criminal – Alien Ant Farm

Come Together – Michael Jackson

Money – The Flying Lizards

Born To Run – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Feeling Good – Muse

I Feel Love – Bronski Beat

Halo – Harper Blynn

Stats

Distance 11.04km

Time 1:13:24

Average Pace 6:38

Elevation Gain 55 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1904.44 – over the 1900 mark!

Kms To Run 113.56

23 Nov – Here Is The News

Voice Over:-And here we are live from BBC Broadcasting House, Central London with Kamal Ahmed, BBC News.

Kamal Ahmed: I’m standing in the courtyard at Broadcasting House in The West End of London, with my guest Jan CanRun. Tell me Jan, CanRun is an unusual surname, where does it come from?

JCR: My imagination.

KA: Ah, and for our audience not familiar with your imagination what does it signify?

JCR: The fact that I can run…

KA: Yes I see. And why are you here today?

JCR: I’m actually on a running mission.

KA: Would you please explain your mission and tell us why you are here at Broadcasting House, specifically?

JCR: Certainly Kamal, I am running to raise £2018 for Alzheimer’s Research, by running 2018kms in 2018. And as part of my year of running, I give myself or take on mini-challenges to keep it interesting and today’s is to help find a friend’s lost mo-jo.

KA: Pardon? 

JCR: Her mojo to run appears to have gone missing for the past couple of weeks and she is desperate to find it. It can normally be found in Yorkshire, I believe is purple and likes shiny, sparkly things. I am here to raise awareness and ask the public’s help to find it. Research tells us that an unfound mojo can suffer from feelings of low self esteem and poor body image. I’ve run to Broadcasting House to ask you to launch the national campaign to find the mojo.

KA: Where was the mojo last seen?

JCR: Yorkshire for certain, but this mojo does like the bright lights of the City, so it’s possible she is hiding anywhere from Leeds to London.

KA: I see and how do we approach the mojo if seen? What do the professionals recommend?

JCR: Fortunately Kamal, the mojo is friendly and unlikely to cause a scene. The advice we have from the mojo support group ‘Mojos a go-go’ is to take it gently by the hand, offer it a cup of Yorkshire tea with a slice of parkin, and all will be well. Mojos are bred to be homing mojos and always return home, especially if well fed and watered.

KA: Good advice there from the professionals, is there anything else you’d like to add for the benefit of our viewers?

JCR: Just that mojos are frail creatures and can be sent off course by bad weather especially in these cold hard winter months. And whilst today we are looking for one mojo in particular, anybody can lose their mojo and not just for running. But again to all members of the public, if you see a weeping purple mojo, please text Mojo Found to 12345, and we can reunite the mojo with her owner.

KA: Thanks very much JanCanRun, and now back to the news. Theresa May is at a press conference in Downing Street talking about Brexit again…

Summary – a 12km run done, no mojos to be found, but there weren’t many bright lights to be seen on a murky day in London with a fruit based phone that decided to lose all battery power in one hour at the 10km stage. But I am confident the impromptu news appearance at Broadcasting House will pay off.

Playlist

Best Covers Ever….

Kiss – Art of Noise and Tom Jones

Tainted Love –  Soft Cell & Marilyn Manson’s Version

Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart – Almond and Pitney

Good Year For The Roses – Elvis Costello and The Attractions

All Along The Watchtower -Jimi Hendrix and Afterhere Versions

Hurt – Johnny Cash

Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Marilyn Manson

Whiskey In The Jar – Thin Lizzy

Kids in America – Foo Fighters and Lawnmower Deth

Twist and Shout – The Beatles

Welcome To The Jungle – Richard Cheese

Amish Paradise – Weird Al Yankovic

911 is a Joke – Duran Duran

Venus – Bananarama

Echo Beach – Toyah

Don’t Leave Me This Way – The Communards

China Girl – David Bowie

Take Me To The River – Talking Heads

Live and Let Die – Guns ’n’ Roses

Mrs Robinson – The Lemonheads

Battleship Chains – Volbeat

Smooth Criminal – Alien Ant Farm

My Prerogative – Britney Spears

Halo – Harper Blynn

Stats

Distance 12.33km

Time 1:32:00

Average Pace 7:27

Elevation Gain 47 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1893.40 – tomorrow I hope to break the 1900km barrier!

Kms To Run 124.60