18 Jan – Banking London’s Monopoly Board and Getting Jailed

Today I am starting from Go, but no-one appears to have handed me £200? Any volunteers? Just to keep my Alzheimer’s Challenge on track, I have decided to run the Monopoly Board – not in one go, as that is close to marathon distance, but taking it colour by colour. First run to include The Old Kent Road and Whitechapel Road.

A door-to door run is about 12km, but I do need to run a little more than that to make up for my January deficit. I am not aware of a Community Chest stop nor an Income Tax Office (now HMRC), but I can probably swing a detour via Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street stations. That is the plan, middle aged knees may choose otherwise oh and there’s a small matter of using this run to leave me with ONLY 1,950 kms on the Alzheimer’s Challenge.

I am out of the door, Map My Run is set, Google Maps is on voice directions and I am playing my new Spotify playlist. What could possibly go wrong? Except we all know when it comes to my technical competence, many, many things can go wrong.

First of all my warm up walk takes me within a smidgeon of Liverpool Street Station, and I take a pic as proof of one Monopoly Station being done. Having scrutinised the board, the stations are not necessarily anywhere near the other coloured squares on the board, so I am giving myself leeway to visit them when the run makes it convenient. This ‘convenience’ loophole will definitely work in my favour over the coming runs.

Liverpool Street is so early in the run, I make my way to Fenchurch Street Station – about one km further on. Tick that’s another done and it’s on the other side of the Monopoly Board. Next are the not so salubrious charms of Whitechapel Road, out towards Aldgate High Street, this is a horrid area to run, mainly because it is one big traffic junction, and frankly it’s not much better on Whitechapel Road either. I came across the Whitechapel road-sign a little earlier than expected, so needing to bank some kms I trotted further up the street. First technical hitch, having gone beyond the Google Maps point, all directions have stopped, the lady isn’t even telling me to turn around; an unscheduled pitstop to re-set the Google Maps directions and I continue.

For my friends and family who know me as being directionally challenged, it isn’t that I didn’t know where these first three places where, as I used to use Aldgate East tube, go to Fenchurch Street in my old Finserv  Marketing days, and have shopped on Whitechapel Road, it’s just that I wanted the security blanket of being sure I had my route right. Heading back to Aldgate I hook left to Leman Street to make my way towards Tower Bridge, en route to the Old Kent Road. Obviously at Tower Bridge we have the Tower of London, which I understand counts as ‘Jail’ on the Monopoly board running game. Result, another square ticked off.

Now I am south of the river and in unknown territories. Lo and behold Google Maps Lady has gone awol again, so another quick re-set and we are on our way. I had a quick shimmy with what looked like one of the banned pit bull dogs on Tower Bridge Road, I must admit my heart was in my mouth, but he was more interested in sniffing a lamp-post than a middle aged nervous runner. I ended up in some back streets stuffed full of small business premises, some doing well even with the Brexit vote as one had an Aston Martin parked outside. Not quite what I was expecting in this part of South London; still expectations are best broken occasionally. Eventually I got to Old Kent Road, which looked quite grotty if I am truthful. It is a main trunk road, choked with traffic and smelling of pollution. I took the obligatory proof picture and turned back. This was my second Monopoly coloured square, so that is the ‘browns’ done with two added train stations and the jail square. This was about the 9km mark, so good JCR but certainly not exceptional.

I then remembered that I could swing home via the Bank of England and as no-one volunteered to give me £200 to start my Monopoly quest, at least I could go to a place where £200 could be found. So a scoot towards the Lord Mayor’s building and I found myself listening to a song by Clout called ‘Substitute’ on Spotify, which is all well and good, I like the song, but it wasn’t on the playlist I had been playing. Another technical hitch Spotify just wouldn’t play any of my playlists. That meant a good 2 or 3 minutes faffing about with my phone trying to get a restart. And it wouldn’t work, so I reverted to an old iTunes playlist instead. Curses, curses, curses, I did have a slight Dick Dastardly tantrum outside the Mayor’s office.

Onward to London Bridge and I climbed the steps ( I admit I didn’t run up the 30+ steps I was too knackered) going towards the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and there she was slightly in shadow, but I had got to the Bank of England too. That definitely counts as another square in my Monopoly convenience loophole ruling.

At this point I wasn’t really sure if I had done sufficient to get me beneath the magic 1950km mark for my Alzheimer’s challenge, so I schlepped onwards through Moorgate and towards home. Outside the runner’s shop in Chiswell Street, my little legs had had enough at 14.36km, that is a third of a marathon! The furthest I have ever run. Oh and 2 brown squares, a jail, the Bank, and two train stations, that’s a great Monopoly result first time out.

Playlist (as much as I can recall given the technical hitches)

Off The Wall – Michael Jackson

Good Times – Chic

Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy – The Tams

I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

Amarillo – Tony Christie

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley and The Wailers

Let’s Dance – Chris Montez

Stoned Love – The Supremes

Shake Your Groove Thing – Peaches and Herb

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Club Tropicana – Wham

Can’t Give You Anything But My Love – The Stylistics

(this was technical meltdown point and I moved from Spotify)

Don’t You Want – Human League

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

New Life – Depeche Mode

House of Fun – Madness

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

Maid of Orleans – OMD

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Stats

Distance 14.36km

Time 1:55:16 did include picture stops and tetchy meltdown moments!

Average Pace 8:01 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 91 metres

Tech Glitches – at least 3

Alzheimer’s Challenge

One big thank you to Neil and Angela for sponsoring me on the Alzheimer’s Challenge

Cumulative Km Done 70.02km

Kms To Do 1947.98 (it’s not looking much better, I can tell you)

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16 Jan – Running Within Two Tribes

Shiny hair, tanned, lithe, young - OMG

 

 

Although I am a fan of Frankie Goes To Hollywood – my era, my City of birth, the title relates to me running through two entirely different parts of London today.

I had a routine hospital appointment at Hampstead and decided after the appointment that I would run home, but a quick check on Dr Google’s Maps App made me realise it wasn’t a sufficient number of kms, for me to keep on track with my Alzheimer’s Challenge.

What to do?, well I thought I’d run to Marylebone to my hairdressers and book in a much-needed shzuzz (I don’t how you spell this word….) and then run home and that hopefully would get me to 10 or 11kms today.

Hampstead Hospital is more or less at the top of a hill and so my run back was mainly downhill, which was very helpful for a middle aged wheezing wreck, with a very runny nose accompanying her today. Hampstead is full of yummy mummies, pushing Bug a Boos, the mums wearing Nike Roshe trainers, Sweaty Betty yoga leggings and lush parkas. I was running down Haverstock Hill, near the Belsize Park tube station and I counted six Yummys before I hit the bottom of the hill.

Hampstead then morphs into Camden, and here the vibe changes, it’s a little more edgy, multi-cultural, and a hell of a lot younger than this middle aged wheezing lady. I ran past the Roundhouse – there the one and only gig I’ve been to was seeing Erasure a few years ago. I made a mental note to see who and what is on again, for the next time I’m feeling ‘edgy’. Past Regents Canal and the shops are definitely more youthful and I am making the average age soar as I run through. Next on the cards Euston Station, hmmm, what can you say about a railway station? Nothing much except as ever any side of a rail station is always the wrong side of the tracks, I schlep quickly along here and am just about hitting the 5km mark. The Euston Road is notoriously bad for traffic and pollution so I skip across towards Gordon Square and make my way uptown to Marylebone High Street.

Aaah, we are amongst the Yummys once more, only even more well heeled here than in Hampstead. I drop off into see Richard the man who does the shzuzzing, and he does a double take at my appearance. At best, I think I may look like a pink faced ninja, in my all black ensemble (I ditched the fluoro today in favour of City neutrals). At worst, well judge for yourselves…

He uttered those words I never want to hear again ‘mmm Jan, an interesting look’. Interesting is definitely ‘Richard code’ for ‘wtf do you look like?’, which to be honest is similar to my Italian friend Gessica’s statement of ‘particolare’ which means particular. Two different tribes entirely; an English hairdresser and an Italian molto chic, working mum, but both in their own ways, use words to devastating effect. And I thought today, Gessica would probably have looked at me and said ‘particolare’.

Today, I started off in Yummy Mummy territory, where I sort of matched with my leggings and Sweaty Betty top, but this was all early on in the run – no-one gave me a second glance in Camden, anonymous middle-aged lady wearing sweaty running kit ‘nothing to see here folks’. And then my image took a huge tumble in the Really Yummy Mummy territory of Marylebone, where I stood out for all the wrong reasons.

It certainly gave me impetus to run out of there towards home, where thankfully there aren’t quite so many Yummys in residence. Today I was part of the running, sweaty, edgy tribe. Next week when I return to Marylebone, I think I need to up my game, and go for Yummy status, if indeed that is possible at my age and wear and tear.

Playlist

Jean Genie – David Bowie

Scooby Snacks – Fun Loving’ Criminals

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Oh Woman Oh Man – London Grammar

Maid of Orleans – OMD

Jenny Was A Friend of Mine – The Killers

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

Cant Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake

Mulder and Scully – Catatonia

Fuck You – Cee Lo Green

Locomotion – OMD

Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode

Love In Itself – Depeche Mode

Get Back – The Beatles

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

5:15 The Angels Have Gone  – ditto

By The Way – Red Hot Chilis

Tired of Waiting For You – The Kinks

Geno – Dexy’s Midnight Runners

David Watts – The Jam

Ghost Town – The Specials

Just Another Nervous Wreck – Supertramp

The Only Living Boy In New York – Everything But The Girl

Don’t Need The Sunshine – Catatonia

Animal Farm – Madness

Stats

Distance 12.38km

Time 91.21 mins

Average Pace 7:35 (mins km)

Elevation Gain 28 m

Yummy Mummies Hampstead 6

Yummy Mummies Marylebone  – way too many to count

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Km’s To Date = 55.66

Kms to Do 1962.34 (hey ho, it’s not getting any easier!)

 

 

 

 

14 Jan – Closer Running In The City

 

Today was low, slow and not too much running, at least that was the plan, but after having trotted towards the City,  there were marauding hordes of runners were coming towards me. All dressed in orange tee-shirts, I think it was Race for Life, although I couldn’t see anything in and around the City. It did cross my mind if they were going running, so could I.

First Kilometre – Towards Shoreditch – there’s a lot of maintenance going on and crane work happening in the City. I feel sluggish and cold, and the track Sunshine on Leith, hasn’t helped at all. But then that refers to sun in Scotland and we all know it’s blinking cold there anyway

Second Kilometre – Back to the City and past where I used to work, Freeze Frame comes on and this Weather oriented playlist, isn’t actually helping me.

Third  and Fourth Kilometres – In and Around the Bank of England, thank heavens Mr Blue Sky comes on, it fools me for at least 3 minutes.

Fifth and Sixth Kilometres I now enter into the City proper, and go past Lloyds of London, Fenchurch St – the white building is another of the places I used to work in London.

Seventh and Eighth – heading homewards I scoot past the Gherkin and Cheesegrater, and decide to pop into Postman’s Park. Postman’s Park has a little covered arcade in which deeds of heroism by ‘ordinary’ people are recorded on the most beautifully glazed panels. There are two panels which always stand out for me – Alice Ayres which was a character’s name in the film Closer and Leigh Pitt. Leigh’s plaque because for years the Trustees wouldn’t permit any new plaques to be raised. Leigh sadly died in 2007 and his family fought long and hard to get his heroism recorded in this little arcade.

Ninth and Last Kilometre – I aim back to Clerkenwell, where I used to live and decide to finish my run if I am able, at Brewery Square (where we used to live), when I get there, I am just a touch under the 9k, so of course I continue until  the 9km is reached at Berry Street and finish it right there.

Despite my promise yesterday, the kilometres weren’t low, but the pace was slow, and I did stop before my Mrs Overall running gait made an appearance.

Having stopped to take pics at various stages, I think I may now do the Monopoly Board run (well not all of it as it’s more than a marathon, but I’ll start choosing the locations and working out routes)

Playlist

Sunshine On Leith – The Proclaimers

Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

Freeze Frame – The J Geils Band

On The Road Again – Canned Heat

Hot Stuff – Donna Summer

Mr Blue Sky  – E.L.O.

Boogie Shoes – KC & The Sunshine Band

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Artists For Grenfell

Boogie Nights – KC And The Sunshine Band

Baby It’s Cold Outside – Menzel and Buble

Cold Cold Man – Saint Motel

Thunder Road – The Boss

Fog On The Tyne – Lindisfarne

Warmth – Bastille

Misty Blue – Dorothy Moore

Cold As Ice – Foreigner

Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream

Stats

Distance 9.00km

Time 59:01

Average Pace 6:33 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 60m

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run Cumulative 43.28

Kms To Do 1974.72 (ouch)

Thanks to Gerben and Jeanne for My Very First On-Line Donation.

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13 Jan – Run low, run slow and don’t run too much

 

johnwayne

I am walking like John Wayne after yesterday’s 13km, and week’s cumulative kilometre count of 34k – which by the way is still 4k short of my weekly need. In my neck of the woods I don’t need a space between my legs for a horse, not in downtown City fringes anyway.

John Wayne famously said the above headline, actually he didn’t… replace the word run for the word ‘talk’ and you have it spot on.

Tomorrow on run day, I will run low (low kms), I will run slow (slower than usual) and not run too much, so I stop before the Mrs Overall style hits.

In practice, that means not doing another 10k, but maybe aiming for a 7 or 8 at a more leisurely pace. I know I will be running to a deficit in the first 2 or 3 months of the year and I hope to catch it up during the Spring and Summer in Italy.

That’s the plan; in the Summer (according to well known running advice) I can start running daily, rather than every other day. That should help claw back the deficit, or maybe I am doing a Philip Hammond and leaving the economic reckoning to another generation.

 

 

12 January – Goosey, Goosey Gander…

where shall I wander? Not sure I remember the rest of the nursery rhyme, but wandering was on the cards. Today is  billed by the media as ‘quitters’ day’ – the day when most of us stop doing the New Year’s Resolution or Resolutions we made on the first of January.

Isn’t it a depressing thought that most of our committed thoughts can only last 12 days? I read the newspaper article and realised that yesterday was strictly speaking my run day. I hadn’t run….boo hiss.

Today therefore no excuses – I had to get out. Now I had a planned set of activities this morning, and my run was scheduled for this afternoon. With my running for Alzheimer’s I have to do about 37 km a week and I started one week behind in the New Year, so straight away I am in deficit. Not to worry, I can catch that up I think…

I left to my new playlist ‘Keep Running, Keep Smiling’ playlist on Spotify. I decided once more to head to the river, now I could be virtuous and say I’d run the hills in Hampstead, but my distance challenge is a challenge in itself without me adding in hills. To the river it was… I skipped through St Paul’s churchyard and headed down towards the West before turning back up to the famous now non wobbly bridge and headed West again. On Tuesday I ran past a man playing a flaming tuba, today he was nowhere to be seen. The Southbank was busy, so was scooting between people and trying to avoid being in shot on people’s pics. Today the London Eye wasn’t barricaded, so I was able to run cleanly through to Westminster Bridge. I thought briefly of running through Westminster but the crowds were horrendous, so I turned tail towards St Thomas’s Hospital and ran back towards the East. Passing the National Theatre, Johnny Nash singing ‘There Are More Questions Than Answers’ was fading out and I did wonder why the Christmas Carousel was still in pride of place. That’s one question unanswered, the second was ‘what on earth is a goose doing strolling on Southbank?’

A very confident goose, was walking towards me; I had a choice – hope I could get past him and the oncoming lady, or try and avoid him, by running across him. As I understand it geese can be diva like in their temperaments, but he was fine, nary a glance in my direction. Maybe he was blinded by my fluoro top, or astounded at the speed… Back towards the Tate and I kept on running as the Spencer Davis Group exhorted me to, and this time no security guards told me off.

We used to live in Clerkenwell in a place called Brewery Square, which was often mistaken by cab drivers for the other Brewery Square in South London, so I decided to head there, it’s not that far from Tower Bridge, so I thought I might be able to do a 9/10km run, which would be fab. I ran on into the original Brewery Square – not much going on and headed out finally to the New Caledonian Wharf, where to be honest I was getting a bit tired.

I decided just to keep running until my ‘Mrs Overall’ running style paid a visit. Back towards City Hall, Charlotte Gainsbourg was singing Rest and I sure needed one, she was followed smartly by Under Pressure, and I was feeling it, so headed on up to London Bridge for home. The theme to the Pink Panther was playing and I was neither panthering nor padding along. My feet were hitting the ground like a mini elephant, at that point ‘Happy’ by Pharrell came on – that gave me a mini boost. Just shy of home, my battery pack ran out and the little legs would go no further. But what a result, my furthest run (ever, I think) a shade over 13k.

As I turned the corner for home, The Streak by Ray Stevens came on, there was no chance of me streaking anywhere at this point. But job done, I didn’t quit on quitters’ day. Nor did loads of my buddies on C25K either.

Playlist (not necessarily in order, this is as I can remember them)

Ju Ju Man – Dave Edmunds

Gotta Keep Smiling – Scouting For Girls

Nowhere Fast – Eminem F. Kehlani

The Rock Steady Crew – The Rock Steady Crew

One Step Beyond – Prince Buster

Easy – Commodores

Running’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Tiger Feet – Mud

Compression – Digilio and Accorsi

Marathon – Rush

There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johnny Nash

Keep On Running – Spencer Davis Group

Smile – Lily Allen

Question – The Moody Blues

Snail – The Smashing Pumpkins

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

Tread Softly – Tiny Ruins, Hamish Kilgour

The Winner – Status Quo

Ice, Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini

Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie

Happy – Pharrell

The Streak – Ray Stevens

Statistics

Distance 13.32 km

Time 1:27:15

Average Pace 6:33 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 115 metres

Goose – 1

Middle Aged Nose Blowing – 6

Alzheimer’s Challenge

34.28 km to date

1983.72 km to do.

 

 

 

 

 

9 January – No-one Expects To Hear Adults Giggling….

especially when all the billboards are talking about dieting, stopping drinking, not spending money and generally making you feel like January is a month to be avoided.

The pics are the latest art installation in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, this was my end of run pitstop.

To start more correctly at the beginning of the day, I received my usual date reminder from Mr Smooth, but today I had planned some faffing first. I can’t blame Faffolino this time, the faffing was all of my own doing. Bins, laundry, sweater mending, posting parcels, shopping this was my morning faff. To the afternoon and I had to go out, mmm, not very warm, in fact quite grotty, but I saddled up. Obviously I didn’t saddle up, but I did put on my kit ready to go.

Me and Map My Run are still having marital problems, these Mr JCR informs me are to do with GPS accuracy rather than the app, so I am still in counselling and not allowed the divorce just yet. I headed down towards the river, through Old Jewry, wondering if this naming was considered to be rather unpleasant or just factual. It seems that this was indeed part of the Jewish Ghetto hundreds of years ago. As I am old and have Jewish ancestry, I am fine with running through there.

To the river and it’s colder there than I imagined – I head East past Borough Market and towards London Bridge, via the Mayor’s Offices, along some very slippy granite steps. As usual there are lots of tourists taking snaps and selfies against the granite grey sky backdrop. London certainly isn’t looking her finest today. As I hit the exit at the bridge and see the new Bridge Theatre, I decide we should make an effort to see a play there before we return to Italy. Not fancying running through traffic, I decide to turn back and run along the South Bank. Oh yes a man playing a tuba from which flames are appearing – all is normal in London. My run is going swimmingly and I reach the London Eye, aha, a detour is necessary it is all blocked off, I am guessing it is closed for annual maintenance or similar.

I wish I could say it was a nippy detour to St Thomas’s Hospital, but I was flagging at this point, so decided to turn back and see if I could still manage a 10km run. Back towards Tate Modern and I thought a quick peek at the Turbine Hall would be a nice way to finish. As I ran through the door,  I was thinking I’d run down the slope then stop and look at the artwork. I’d forgotten that it was the swing playground. ‘You are not allowed to run in here. No running’ , said the security guard. Ouch, I’d been told off for running, it took me back years ago to school and no running in corridors etc.

Here am I trying to keep running and a Security Guard about 30 years my junior was telling me off! He did have a point though, as people were lounging on the carpeted floor looking at the swinging pendulum ball, so no complaints from my side. At this point Creep by Radiohead came on, and so I did – I crept quietly to the back of the hall so he couldn’t see me!  The sights made me giggle, and when I was giggling I realised most of the other adults were too;  people laughing on the swings whilst friends and relatives took pics.

Of course after a 10km run, a runner needs a cool-down five minutes, and this was mine:-

 

Playlist

Modern Way – Kaiser Chiefs

Na Na Na Na Naa – ditto

Ruby – ditto

World In Motion – New Order

(Forever) Live and Die – OMD

Doginabag – The Fratellis

All These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers

Talk Talk – Talk Talk

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Warwick Avenue – Duffy

Andy, You’re A Star – The Killers

Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Girls On Film – Duran Duran

Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis

Is Vic there – Department S

Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs

Fuck You – Cee Lo Green

Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers

Creep – Radiohead

Stats

Distance 10.61km*

Time 1.06.11

Average Pace 6.14 (mins/km)

Telling Offs – 1

Playing On The Swing – 1

* But I think this may be wrong as the MMR lady said I had done a km in 5.30 minutes and that would be about 30 seconds faster than ever before

Alzheimer’s Challenge 2018

20.96 kms done

1997.04 to go (well I am under the 2,000 so that is something)

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