6 Feb – Chasing The Sun & Marked By The Devil

 

It’s brass monkey weather here, well 3 degrees anyway. And I have to go out for a run. So have invited Faffolino for a visit, and in fairness she is doing well.

First off, just go and have a nice coffee and breakfast muffin at the local Fix cafe. Second go buy and some fish – brill if you ask. Then grocery shopping, then organise the laundry, then do the ironing. Quite a lot of faffing to avoid going out in the cold…

But it doesn’t matter how much Faffolino helps me faff, the run is still breathing down my neck and so I’ll go.

Literally chasing the sun, I want to stay where the sun is shining, because in the shade, it is perishingly cold. I pass a little ray of sunshine when I see a tiny garden with gnomes – now they are not my thing at all, but on a very cold day, they did make me smile.

Although today isn’t an official Monopoly run, I do want to bag another ‘Community Chest’ square and so make my way to Clerkenwell Green, historic venue for sedition, the 1 May Workers’ March and Lenin’s Newspaper when he was living in London. For me it is the historic venue for a salt grit chest, in fact there are three there. But that is too easy for me to bag two, so I will find my final one elsewhere on a run.

After Clerkenwell Green I make my way to Lincolns Inn Fields and the legal part of London, it is quite nice being able to get away into the Inns of Court, away from traffic and (deliberately) I get to pick up another Monopoly square for the second Chance square, when I run past Chancery Lane tube station.

That’s it for Monopolysing on today’s run, I make my way to Fleet Street and St Pauls, now I am on the home run about 2km from home. It is quite quiet in and around the City – I am guessing most people want to stay indoors away from the cold, usually I have to dodge the smokers, huddled around doorways, but today none at all.

I started off chasing sunshine and ended up shading my target 6km. And then I checked into the Under Armour 2018 challenge. Good news is I am still in the top 8%,  I then thought I could look at my age group and oh dear, I appear to be marked by the device with my rating of 666th place. Better get out again tomorrow to change that.

Playlist

2468 Motorway – Tom Robinson Band

5705 – City Boy

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley

Five Years – David Bowie

She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

Morning Train (9to5) – Sheena Easton

People In Love – 10cc

The Eleven Rap – Dark Punk

Thirteen Sad Farewells – Stu Larsen

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen – Neil Sedaka

Edge of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks

18 Til I Die – Bryan Adams

19 – Paul Hardcastle

21 Guns – Green Day

When I’m Sixty Four – The Beatles

Disco 2000 – Pulp

96 Tears – ? And The Mysterions

Stats

Distance 6.64km

Time 47:08

Average Pace 7:05 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 28 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run To Date 166.96

Kms Still To Do 1851.04

Running Streak – 6 days

Sponsor me on BT MyDonate

 

4 Feb – Taking Mr Smooth To See The Sights

 

It had been quite a while since me and Mr Smooth had hooked up, but as I had his date reminder, telling me to get my trainers on and run, I thought I’d take him for a day out today. I’d forgotten just how blissful Mr Smooth’s voice was, from telling me that I had done well and he was sure I could make it, to him suggesting a warm up walk would be in order. Lovely.

Today’s weather better than yesterday, now me and Mr Smooth were hunting red Monopoly squares:-

  1. Fleet Street
  2. The Strand
  3. Trafalgar Square

All of which are rather conveniently located in a line, from the east of the City to the prime West End. Heading towards south Smithfield Market, the traffic was backed up – this is really unusual on a Sunday morning. I made my way to Farringdon Road and yup all snarled up. Turning off into Fleet Street (yes one red square done and less than a km from home!), I passed the first of a number of Harry Potter afficianados.

Your first one is always the best and he had the hat, scarf, hoodie and bag. I’d seen the bags and hats and scarves previously, but not the hoodie, oh and of course it was in Gryffindor colours, which I’m guessing must out-sell the other houses by about 10 to 1.

Crossing Fleet Street aiming towards the Strand, another Gryffindor hat espied and an awful lot of barriers being erected down the length of the Strand. Took my pics of Simpsons on the Strand and the road sign and on I went.

Hitting Trafalgar Square where even more barriers were being erected and Magic FM were broadcasting. Ah yes, I had forgotten today is The Winter Run in aid of Cancer Research. I couldn’t get in this year when I found out about it, the entry spaces had gone unless you were bringing sponsorship, and with the Alzheimer’s Challenge I  already have on my plate, I decided I’d try and do the Winter Run next year. And behind the newly erected barriers, a street artist had chalked the Monopoly Board.

IMG_4942
Monopoly at Trafalgar

Feeling a bit embarrassed being a non Winter Run runner – it felt like being an unwanted guest at a wedding party,  so I slipped out of the back of Trafalgar Square, to avoid all the folks with their Winter Run bags.

Final Gryffindor clothing seen, a scarf in red and gold – not entirely sure it was official merchandise, but it was definitely house colours. Mr Smooth was telling me I had one minute left to have run solidly for 30 minutes. And although he gave me permission to walk, I hadn’t quite done 5km yet, so I continued.

I headed home towards Lincolns Inn Fields and passed the Sir John Soanes’ Museum, where the lady ticket seller, shouted encouragingly at me to keep going and not give up. I hope to goodness she didn’t think I was one of the Winter Run runners, although I didn’t see any sign of the run nearby.

Just on the 6km mark, I was headed back towards Smithfield and crossing a blocked road, when a little boy of about 6/7 said to his parents (also crossing) – ‘that lady is running very slowly’. Now he wasn’t lying, I was. But it is rather humiliating to have it pointed out so publicly – his mum told him to ssshhh. With my arsey Liverpudlian mood on, I felt sorely tempted to flick him the bird. But then common sense reasserted itself and I decided that running slowly will get me my challenge done. Sprinting like Usain won’t.  I did give him a mental V sign though… 😉

Slow running with Mr Smooth kept me going and we got all three red squares today.

Playlist

Temptation – Heaven 17

Electricity – OMD

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Temptation – Heaven 17

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

All She Wants Is – Ditto

Hungry Like The Wolf – Ditto

Planet Earth – Ditto

(there was something weird going on, because when I reached Trafalgar Square Magic Fm played Rio by Duran Duran, and this coincided with my ‘shuffled’ Duran Duran episode)

I Can’t Stand Up – Elvis Costello & The Attractions

Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera

Joan of Arc – OMD

Save a Prayer – Duran Duran

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Every Breath You Take – The Police

Stats

Distance 7.5 km

Time 54:08

Average Pace 7:13 (mins/km)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Completed 153.53

Kms To Do 1864.47

Running Streak – Day 4

 

 

Munchkin amongst the Giants – 4 November

 

Saturday morning in a cool (effing freezing really) morning in Arnhem, I am feeling smug and perky. Smug because despite the temptation to drink Friday night with our friends, I didn’t and was a goody two shoes. Perky, because I didn’t have a hangover…

Shod in my new Brooks trainers and fluoro running tights, I was as wrapped up as I could be. Ouch the cold hurt, so I began my warm up walk towards the parkland. I ran towards the scene of Friday’s night 6 course meal, pre dinner gin and tonics pictured…, with me sporting twangy hair due to the humid conditions. I started my run and passed two people walking, totally forgetting I was in Holland, I said thank you when they let me past. Oh well my “danke je”, could wait until the next overtakee….

At the next turn I was in the parkland proper, the sunlight streaming behind me and I could hear a very loud pounding behind me, and a rather large shadow loomed over me. Fact: The Dutch are the tallest people in the world with a male average of 1.838m – that is a smidgeon over 6ft and female of 1.699m that is about 5ft 7inches. I am 5ft 4, that’s 1.635. I was a little trepidatious to say the least, my heart was pounding more than a little… then I was overtaken by a man who I reckon was just under 2 metres tall. The BFG overtook me and said Hey, so I acted cool and said hey back. Not an axe murderer then…

A fairly gentle run ensued, I passed two women walking who looked very much alike, and yes they were taller than me. In truth I was partially lost, in that where I thought I was going wasn’t actually where I was, so I continued on and found a memorial near the Arnhem cemetery. It’s nice being a Brit in Holland and especially in Arnhem, due to Operation Market Garden. I took a minute to pay my respects and ran back to the parkland; coming towards me one man, fair hair, tall and glasses and  his twin running behind him. First twin was Mr Grumpy or maybe he didn’t see me through his misted up glasses, second twin was Mr Happy and smiled and said Hey, so I did too… At this point the Isley Brothers were singing Summer Breeze, and I was feeling a bit of a breeze as my new running tights were slipping a little lower than wanted! An inelegant adjustment later, I was trucking along nicely to Boogie Shoes, and came across the horse stables, were the horses were chowing down, stopped to take a pic and carried on.

At this point I realised I might just be able to manage the 10k, I was quite slow and plodding, but continued on, oh and uphill too. Arnhem I think must have the majority of the hills in Holland. On the home strait, and coming the other way were the slim, tall, bespectacled twins. This time I got grins and hands up from both, a final push down the central runway and back again, and I hit 10.4km. Brilliant, a really happy runner am I. So to the warm down walk and as I crossed the road, I saw another set of twins this time on bikes.

Today was the day I set out as a single, dark haired munchkin runner and was overtaken by many tall blond giants. Oh and I kept on seeing double… is Arnhem the Dutch capital for twins?

This was also my inaugural run with the retro runners Glam Polly 2810 playlist, on Spotify.

Playlist

My Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust

Devil Gate Drive – Suzi Quatro

Metal Guru – T Rex

Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

Tiger Feet – Mud

D.I.S.C.O. – Ottawan

War – Edwin Starr

Lady Marmalade – Patti Labelle

Gonna Make You A Star – David Essex

See My Baby Jive – Wizzard

Band On The Run – Wings

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

Waterloo – Abba

All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople

Sylvia’s Mother – Doctor Hook

Amarillo – Tony Christie

I Feel Love – Donna Summer

Roll Over Beethoven – ELO

December 1963 – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate

Summer Breeze – The Isley Brothers

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed

Silver Lady – David Soul

You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me – The New Seekers

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Stats 

Distance 10.46km

Time 1:21:04

Average Pace 7:44 mins km

Elevation Gain 108 metres (who knew that was even possible!)

Twins – 3 sets

 

Polly coming at you… new playlist available

A Saturday in Arnhem with friends, preceded by a lovely Friday in Arnhem with the same friends. We ate and drank well but not necessarily wisely.

I had promised myself that Saturday I’d run and try my new sexy Brooks silver and pink trainers, so regretfully I decided against the late night drinking session around the table. I had no such regrets on Saturday morning when I was actually able and willing to run. New Fluoro tights on and I was away.

Short version, I did 10k. Yes 10k and what spurred me on? – my brand new all singing and dancing 70s playlist. Full playlist details can be found here 

The Glam Polly 2810 playlist is now up and running on Spotify. I hope you enjoy it,

Running Naked In The Forest – 2nd November

 

It was Halloween and we arrived at our friends’ house in Arnhem, we placed the two eyeballs on the front porch and rang the doorbell…. may I remind you that we are in fact slightly older than the normal 8 year old trick and treater.

We hid around the corner, heard the door open and I am sure our friend J called us wankers… Undeterred Mr JCR rang the bell again and we had to explain that there were two eyeballs on the ground. Epic fail on trick or treating – I think now we need to grow up a little. Then followed a very nice evening, food eaten, drinks drunk, and plans made for the next few days.

Next morning, I am not so quite bright and beautiful, nor early, but that was normal, we had travelled many miles and had a late night. Up and out to Arnhem, to do some runner shopping. In fact two pairs of trainers, two running tops, socks and pair of thermal running tights later, we returned to our friends for lunch and another glorious dinner with wine and cheese and wine and cake and so on. Also a small matter of meeting the PR lady from the ALS association in Holland to discuss our 2020 fund raising plan. More of that on a dedicated post another time…, as it warrants a lot of explanation and its own airtime.

So this morning, after having asked the Health Unlocked crew which trainers I should try for my run, it was a unanimous vote for the marine blue and citron Saucony.

Our friend G very kindly showed me where to run, as I am notorious for having little/no sense of direction. It all looked fine, I wanted to run for about 5k to run in the new trainers and be careful because of recent stupid tart syndrome injuries. The marine blue flashed in the sunlight and I ran down the tree lined avenue into a glorious parkland, met by many dog walkers, some walkers and  couple of cyclists. I did have a small flash of worry when I saw a lone man walking towards me with his dog, but when he got closer I reckoned I could outrun him anyway. Poor man, he had no idea that when he was out walking his pooch, a random English runner was looking at him sizing him up to see if she could outrun him in the case of him attacking her. The run was slow, getting used to new trainers and  trail terrain meant I didn’t feel very confident to belt along, but it was a lovely day, my trainers were fine and as you see the view of the trail was fantastic. The Boss chimed up “ I took a wrong turn and I just kept going” which was what I did next. My scheduled run route was supposed to be at a close but I was nowhere near my target 5k so I kept going until I hit 6, in my sexy Sauconys.

I got home and relayed my run to our friend G who said it was a great place to run especially for single females as it’s  very safe. So I felt really happy, then G follows it up with “ but there was one time when J (his wife) was running and thought she saw a naked man in the forest. It was summer, she blinked and looked again and sure enough it was a naked man. So she turned and ran away as fast as she could”. That surely is a way of getting a PB!

I had always read a lot about naked running, but I thought it meant running without music or any distractions, now I know it means (in Holland) that you truly run butt-naked…

Playlist

Map My Run didn’t record, but definitely

Thriller – Michael Jackson

Hungry Heart – The Boss

Lose Yourself – Eminem

Stats

Distance 6.87km but only 6 running

Time 54.27

Average Pace 7.55 mins/km

Naked Men – none.