16 Sep – I Will Always Love

 

 

IMG_1644shoe, as Whitney Houston never sang, but maybe she missed a trick?

This was more or less the closing anthem to our Saturday night out at an osteria in Gradara, with Mr JCR’s cycling club buddies from London H&A, and his cycling club amici in Italy.

The evening hadn’t quite turned out as planned. The venue had been chosen because it had been used previously and all our Italian friends thought it would be a fab place to entertain H&A. Evidently the place had changed hands since they were last there.

Fab food last time – this time it was meh and not much of it. Good music – well the group was playing old Romagnolo folk music when we arrived. It did get better but when the lead singer lost his place on his karaoke screen and didn’t know the words to Mambo Number 5, well I guess that tells you all you need to know. The one bright spot was the female vocalist who could really carry a tune (she seemed not to need the karaoke prompt) and when she started on Whitney’s anthem, well what could go wrong? Her singing was beautiful but for some reason she thought the title was ‘I will always love shoe’ or maybe it was shoo, or choux. It did make us giggle.

Next morning Mr JCR, H&A, were up and out before I’d stirred, but to make sure that I not only loved my shoes but actually used them, I’d set up my kit the night before, so no excuses not to get moving.

In plan a 10km, it didn’t have to be fast, just done. I took my Brooks trainers out for a spin. It’s a gorgeous day, not too hot, a bit of a breeze and I decided to do some hill work too. Out down the Slope of Hope and up to the Hill that Kills, it was nice, but not that many folk around. Up to Lovers’ Lane and I think I hear a tinkling sound following me. I look around and see nothing, but again I hear the noise. I put it down to WMAS and continue on, I do my customary loop of Villa Bali,  and then am stopped by a lady with a dog ‘ Have you seen my dog?’ she asked me – I was somewhat confused, as she had her dog with her.

She explained she had another dog who had gone AWOL, I asked if that dog had a bell on its collar and she said yes, so I pointed out where I’d heard the noise. Not WMAS after all, just a dog running away from its owner. Thank goodness for that, I was almost adding another problem to the list of middle-aged runner’s afflictions.

I did a couple more of the Slope/Hill/Lovers Lane loops and made my way down to Laundry Lane. The acorns are starting to fall and it can be a bit slippy underfoot if you don’t watch where you’re going, but my Brooks trainers are sturdy creatures; they rarely slip and slide. However, there is one hazard at this time of year, and that’s the fruit above. I don’t know what they are, but they fall from a great height, are quite heavy and JCR hand sized, and when they hit the ground they are quite mushy underfoot too.  My trusty Brooks took me to the 10km limit, avoiding missing dogs and falling fruit dangers. To quote the singer on Saturday night:-

Dear Brooks Trainers ‘ I will always love shoe’ – JCR.

Playlist

Rumour Has It – Adele

Back to Black, Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Help Me Rhonda, Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

Crazy in Love – Beyoncé

Hot In The City, Mony, Mony – Billy Idol

Girls & Boys, Tracy Jacks, Parklife – Blur

Born To Run (twice), Hungry Heart, Dancing In The Dark, Born In The USA, Glory Days – The Boss

Let’s Stick Together, Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Mulder and Scully – Catatonia

Fuck You – Cee Lo Green

London Calling, Rock The Casbah – The Clash

Stats

Distance 10.13km

Time 1:15:07

Average Pace 7:24

Elevation Gain 109 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1537.23

Kms To Run 480.77

 

 

 

 

 

11 Sep – 50 Shades Of Red

 

The new colour of 2019

Jan’s Colour 2018
Forehead September 2018

 

As Autumn arrives, there are many new product releases and I was excited to read that Dulux have released their “Colour of The Year 2019”, and this colour is ’Spiced Honey’, described as salted caramel with a hint of amber, by their creative director.

When I started running with C25K, I measured my progression as a runner by face colour, I was interested to see whether one year on, my face colour now bears any resemblance to the latest must-have for 2019.

In my old running life as a beginner I typically exuded ‘salsa red’ or Monarch as my colours of exertion. I took a pic of my forehead after today’s run, and I think we can safely say, I’m a lot closer to hint of pink rather than amber. Still some work to do JCR.

Now if any of you are thinking of re-decorating, I am pretty certain that although Spiced Honey just looks like a rehash of beige, you’d be really out there with my new colour of JCR Ruby.

How to get to this wonderful shade? Here are the ingredients for a successful colour match:-

Take one middle aged woman

Said middle aged woman runs

In Le Marche, Italy

Add 700ml of cold water

To a 10km run

In 21 degrees

At 9.45am

Run for approx 1 hour 8 minutes

Leave to settle for one minute

Result = JCR Ruby

Playlist

To Be Young Gifted And Black  – Bob and Marcia

Night Boat To Cairo – Madness

Ghost Town, Gangsters, Too Much Too Young – The Specials

Police on My Back – Eddie Grant and The Equals

Carry Go Bring Come – Justin Hinds and The Dominoes

Skinhead Moonstomp – Symarip

One Step Beyond, Al Capone  – Prince Buster

Return of Django – The Upsetters

On My Radio, Back To Black – The Selecter

One Step Beyond – Madness

Monkey Man, 54 56 Was My Number – Toots and The Maytals

Rudy, A Message To You – Dandy Livingstone

King Of Kings – Jimmy Cliff

Free Nelson Mandela – The Starlite Singers

It Mek – Desmond Dekker

Rudi Got Married – Laurel Aitken

Mirror In The Bathroom – The Beat

Monkey Man – Amy Winehouse

Stats

Distance 10.08 km

Time 1:08:51

Average Pace 6:49

Elevation Gain 47 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1519.87

Kms to go 498.13 (yes under 500!!! :))

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Sep – She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not?

Well I love both Italy and London, but clearly there’s some emotional stuff going on locally…, not Mr JCR nor me, but Andrea and Giulia have some talking to do.

Although I think if I was Giulia I’d be mortified at the message written on the road, as I’m guessing everyone in the village now knows your business.

This morning, I was feeling a little languid and after some gentle chiding by Mr JCR I got out to do my run and followed an old route, which I first used last year when training on the C25K programme. So a gentle jog down The Slope of Hope and past the barking balcony house and no barking today. Then up the Hill That Kills, – ooh I haven’t done her for a little while and she had a little nip at my calves when I was ascending, but she didn’t get me to stop. Onto Lovers’ Lane and whilst I may have passed the barking balcony without a cacophony of noise, the barking beagles got me by surprise, and sure enough I did mini leap in the air.

My usual mini loop of Villa Bali – now that the children are back at school it is all quiet and they were having a staff meeting overlooking the gardens. A nice place to be having an admin meeting, I must say. Back past the beagles, but I wasn’t surprised this time, and onto Mill Lane, there I saw Argo being walked by one of his faithful servants, he came up to say hello and I petted him for a while, said my ciao and carried on.

I decided to re-do the Slope of Hope and Hill That Kills once more, but this time round I did need a breather. The combination of warmth and inclines makes a big difference to my stamina. Looping back down the Slope of Hope through the village to Laundry Lane, where I saw Andrea’s plea. Who knows whether Andrea’s entreaties of love are appreciated or not…

I appreciated the breather that taking the pics gave me and continued on Laundry Lane. It’s a glorious sunny day, and not too hot, Laundry Lane tends to be quite quiet and I was able to complete my run, without any traffic incidents. I got overtaken by a couple of old dears, buzzing past on their electric bikes and they waved as they went past. There’s a bend on Laundry Lane, where I have to decide to either continue and do another 3km or turn around and make my way home. Unlike Giulia I was able to make my choice without the general public knowing, and so I called it quits and aimed towards home.

A nice return home run, for sure tomorrow, I’ve got to be up and out earlier, and a little faster.

Playlist

iTunes A-Z

Rumour Has It – Adele

Back To Black, Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Help me Rhonda, Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Hot In The City, Mony Mony – Billy Idol

Girls & Boys, Tracy Jacks, Parklife – Blur

Born To Run, Hungry Heart, Dancing In The Dark, Born In The USA, Glory Days – The Boss

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

 

Stats

Distance 8.81km

Duration 1:02:28

Average Pace 7:05

Elevation Gain 96 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1509.79

Kms To Do 508.21

 

 

7 Sep – Bye Bye London

 

Well that’s the first week of September done and dusted. Thank you London, for giving me seven run fantastic days and I’ve managed just over 58km in six runs,  making me a happy bunny.

Today was a slower pace, deliberately chosen, to soak up the sights before I return back to Italy. First off a mini jogette through the City, I love Fridays in the City, it’s a lot less frenetic than usual, you see a lot of Casual Friday wear, and folk seem to smile just that bit more.

There’s not quite so many people around – I guess using the ‘working from home’ ruse to start the weekend early. One of the things that’s been fun is to see the changes in the two months since I was last here, some not so great though. On Moorgate there has been a very old fashioned barbers, part of the street furniture in some ways, only noticeable now it’s not there . For as long as I can remember, at least 30 years, Flittner’s had all the old dark brown wood interior fittings, cut throat razors and their staff wore the traditional brown cotton duster coats. They even sold razor blades in waxed paper packets! They were a Moorgate tradition, Mr JCR used to buy his shaving products from them. But now no more, I think they are a victim of the Crossrail development. I assumed they’d successfully dodged that bullet, because they’ve been going strong right through the development. But now other shops on the same side are similarly closed – a bit of a shame, a slice of City history is no more.

I trotted down Queen Victoria Street to cross the Thames and do a scoot to Borough Market and I took a photo of the new potbellied tower. I don’t what fancy name it is likely to have, but this is one bit of modern architecture, I think is a bit rubbish. Into Borough Market where Victorian craftsmanship reigns supreme – well after a bit of 21st Century intervention. The renovations are all done now, and it’s lovely to saunter through the market before the weekend hordes descend and see how well it has been renovated.  At this stage I was roughly 5kms into my run and decided to take  a look at Spitalfields market before going home.

Spitalfields is another similarly regenerated area and now is full of City people, eating, drinking and undertaking significant retail therapy. It’s quiet in the mornings and I was able to pootle through without any hassle whatsoever. Back towards Bishopsgate and City fringes, I overtook 3 RAF servicemen and women on their way to the Honourable Artillery Company on Finsbury Pavement and I took a sneaky left turn into Bunhill Fields, which aren’t so much fields, in fact a now defunct cemetery. Here again the pace changes as we move towards Old Street, the site of the famous Silicon Roundabout. The clothes and the people change, and now so do I, from a jog to a warm down walk to a stop.

It’s time to pack up and get ready for Italy once more. It was a Goldlilock’s run, not too fast, not too slow, just perfect and a lovely way to end the week.

Oh and even better the lovely Bev Cavanagh or Mummycav to give her running monicker donated to my Alzheimer’s Challenge. Thanks so much and I promise once the 2018 km hooves have healed we’ll get together for a run.

Playlist

(Countries and Places)

A New England – Billy Bragg

Lost In France – Bonnie Tyler

Breakfast In America – Supertramp

Une Nuit A Paris – 10cc

Is This The Way To Amarillo – Tony Christie

Strong – London Grammar

Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

Vienna – Ultravox

Take My Breath Away – Berlin

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Black Eyed Boy – Texas

Massachussetts – Bee Gees

Boston Tea Party – SAHB

Avalon – Roxy Music

Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel

Big In Japan – Alphaville

Midnight Train To Georgia – Gladys Knight and The Pips

Streets of Philadelphia – The Boss

San Francisco – Scott Mackenzie

Stats

Distance 8.57km

Time 53:26

Average Pace 6:14

Elevation gain 63 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1500.98 (over the 1500!!!!)

Kms to Go 517.02

 

6 Sep – Kardashian Take Over

IMG_0491

I can imagine what you’re thinking. Damn it JCR is looking good, she’s dropped at least 10 kilos in weight, 30 years in age and grown both hair length and body length by at least 15cm.

Needless to say, the pic is not me, and I may never be a centrefold, but I am going to be in Runner’s World – well hopefully, provided the editor thinks the article and pics are up to scratch.

Tuesday found me shivering in central London for a photo shoot. In a rather gung ho mood, I thought my running kit would be fine, because although it was cool, I’d be running, so no big deal. Except, of course JCR it’s a photo shoot, and you don’t actually do that much running, you do a lot of standing around to get the light, the lines, the background and in my case a non-gurning face all right for the composition.

You also have to dodge London’s many thousands of tourists, and avoid the red tide of embarrassment at people looking at you, wondering why you have a professional cameraman taking pics.

Every shiver was worthwhile as RW are doing a feature on my Alzheimer’s Challenge; because earlier in the year  whenI did my Monopoly board mini-challenge, they thought it was interesting enough to feature (or maybe the next issue is a slow news month!).  Yesterday saw me in Hearst House being interviewed in an ‘Ideation’ area. I first heard that word at my old company, Oracle, and railed against it then – it’s such atrocious English. I duly joined Rick the interviewer to ideate a bit.

Rick at RW was a lovely interviewer, made me the standard crap cup of office coffee and we chatted about what I was doing. He is a serious runner and features in the mag this month – he does marathons – I am not sure I ever will, although I am tempted by a half. But that will have to wait until 2019.

This obviously is my second bite at taking on the media, my first coming after the Alzheimers Research dropped a press release about my running challenge. Not surprisingly, I haven’t exactly been in direct competition with Kylie Kardashian on her pursuit of her first billion dollars and social media domination, but I live in hope that maybe she sees this blog and donates a nice little chunk to the cause.

After two days’ worth of excitement, I needed to run again to get back to normal. I was a little late out and the weather a lot warmer than it has been. After a few day’s of sub 6 minutes kms, I didn’t feel quite as fast today, but no matter, it comes and goes. I headed out West towards Covent Garden, via the Strand and back again via Holborn. It was a tidy but unexciting run, there was a lot of media presence outside the Court of Appeal, necessitating some fancy footwork on my behalf, but other than that, not a lot to say.

From the off I was slower than I have been all week and I did try and pick up the pace, to mix up the run, but the little legs didn’t seem to want to know. I didn’t dwell on it, I know that sometimes the running recipe isn’t quite right. Maybe it was the warmer weather, who knows? All in all a useful 9km added to the total, I’m just about shading the 1500km mark and I can’t wait to be running in the 5,4,3,2,100 countdown.

Thanks London for making a 50+km week a distinct possibility. Saturday I am back home again in Italy, where warmer climes and climbs await.

But there is one thing that I really need some help with please. Does anyone have any bright ideas on a run I could do on Christmas Eve, as my last 2018 run for the 2018km challenge?  I will be in London and to recap, my minimum run has to be at least 5k in distance, the maximum I’ve ever run in one go was just shy of 22km; realistically running a marathon to finish isn’t that credible, as I haven’t the stamina or training background to do it.

Any other ideas gratefully received and considered.

Playlist

From The Poppy Pug Friday Toons on C25K Forum

Off The Wall – Michael Jackson

I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston

Amarillo – Tony Christie

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley and The Wailers

Let’s Dance – Chris Montez

Be Young, Be Foolish and Be Happy – The Tams

Aint No Stopping Us Now – Jimmy James

Good Times – Chic

Stoned Love – The Supremes

Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry

Shake Your Groove Thing – Peaches and Herb

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

The Only Way Is Up _ Yazz

Boogie Shoes – K C And The Sunshine Band

Get Up Offa That Thing – James Brown

Band of Gold – Freda Payne

Land of 1000 Dances – Wilson Pickett

Stats

Distance 9.09km

Time 57:28

Average Pace 6:19

Elevation Gain 31metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1492.41

Kms To Go  525.59 

Map My Run has a weird glitch – it shows me as having run 51.68kms so far and I’ve only done 49.79, but I am taking my own excel as the definitive record.

 

 

4 Sep -Flukey 5s

 

 

After yesterday’s record breaking run, I decided today to take things just that little bit easier and to do a 5km walk, followed by a 5km run home. The walk doesn’t count towards the challenge, just in case you were wondering, as I’d have done the 2000km by now, with all the walking that I do.

There are many types of runners to see in London,  from the sweaty commuters running because they’re in a hurry, carrying rucksacks and wearing business shoes to the ‘men only’ running groups you see tearing up the pavement, in and around the City, and especially on the Embankment. I’m sure they must exist, but I have yet to see a ‘woman only’ running group.

If I’m honest,  I prefer the lone runners just like me; we exchange a secret smile and continue on our way. It was only on Monday courtesy of The Times, that I discovered this isn’t a secret smile, it’s actually a smug smile. Carol Midgley describes receiving a power salute when running in the rain, and she says the following:-

…a salute of smugness which said “Look at us. We’re smashing it.” It said; “See how our effort not to get fat elevates us above all those dry-haired wimps in cars.”

She then describes the famous Cleese/Barker/Corbett class sketch, in which the runner is always Cleese looking down on the other other two, the cyclist is Barker and he looks down on Corbett who drives a car. As someone who is just a touch taller than the late Ronnie Corbett, I delight in the fact that as a short runner I get to achieve John Cleese’s height, even if only metaphorically.

Carol then goes onto say she likes it best when she is actually in the car, and I think I mainly agree, except for one place and that is in London. All too often, your pace as a car driver is not much faster than the pedestrians surrounding you. I often ‘race’ cars along streets, because I know I can run certain stretches faster than they can drive them. Charing Cross Road, where the sweet shop can be found, is one such stretch.

My run started as I ran homewards from Trafalgar Square, having seen the delightful sweet shop window display. Not only did I sport the smug smile, but I broke runners’ etiquette. I ‘draughted’ behind a faster runner  he could act as my unknowing pacemaker. I wasn’t close enough to gain any aerodynamic benefits, but I couldn’t have accelerated anymore to ask him if he minded. If anyone knows a runner who ran from Trafalgar Square towards St Paul’s today, who felt as though he was being partially stalked – then I apologise profusely.

He gave me my fastest km I’ve ever done at 5 minutes 20, needless to say I couldn’t sustain that and my next split was 5 minutes 55, followed by a short of breath 6 minutes 42.  But the sweet sense of success was knowing that I could do a reasonably fast 1km if I had to. Today’s run was short and sweet – it was done at an average pace of 5.56 which I’m really pleased about, because it means I have got faster legs than I’d previously thought.

Mr JCR is enjoying the sweet success of climbing umpteen mountain passes in the Alps, and I enjoyed the sweet success of knowing that 5 minute something kilometres aren’t a fluke. I can actually do them.

Playlist

Mercy, Rain On Your Parade – Duffy

Chelsea Dagger, Doginabag – The Fratellis

Down In The Tube Station At Midnight, In the City – The Jam

Is She Really Going Out With Him, Breaking Us In Two – Joe Jackson

Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake

Everyday I Love You Less and Less – Kaiser Chiefs

(yes iTunes was on alpha order)

Stats

Distance 5.10km

Time 30:19

Average Pace 5:56

Elevation Gain 33 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1483.32

Kms To Do 534.68

 

 

 

 

 

3 Sept – Where On Earth?

 

Day 3 arrives, and my third run begins, all as part of me taking advantage of the cooler weather. Monday morning can be a bit of a problem running in and around the City, because so many commuters are around, but leave it until after 9.30am and miraculously the pavements clear.

Waiting for that miracle was my perfect excuse for not getting out until after 10am. But what a cracking run! I wasn’t expecting anything exceptional, after all this is my third run in as many days and I’ve already clocked up 26km.

But surprise, surprise, my little legs had minds of their own. First stop Postman’s Park – a favourite spot, because it has the unsung heroes wall, which I think is really poignant. It isn’t that busy, unless you’re there on a sunny lunchtime. It’s a nice place to scoot through – although truthfully it’s about a 15 second wonder, but it’s still one of my favourite spots in the City. I had in mind to go up West, towards theatreland and again because it’s a Monday, there weren’t that many folk around. After an uneventful 4kms or so, on St Martin’s Lane, I found myself eye to eye with the rhino. He was standing at my half way distance – just on 5km and a welcome pause to take the pic.

There’s quite a few of the rhinos dotted around London – I’ve seen three to date and although he is plain black, he is my favourite so far. he and the others are being auctioned for charity in October. The last time I was moved to consider a similar auction bid was a few years back, for an elephant decorated in fig leaves. The bids exceeded my then budget, by a considerable margin. As this particular rhino has been created by Gavin Turk – YBA famed for his dustbin bags and sleeping bags exhibition, I am guessing he will exceed my budget too.

Moving on from the expensive rhino, I turned towards home, along The Strand, up to Fleet Street and eventually to St Pauls, where a large crowd had assembled to watch its windows being cleaned. The pic doesn’t really do it justice, there was a water squirt machine cleaning it – and it made one heck of a racket. At this stage I was close to feeling all in and I checked out my pace and found to my astonishment that I’d completed my 8km all under 6 minutes per km. I had wanted to up the pace today, as I’ve been conscious that my Italian runs in summer haven’t been that fast. I know in part the heat/sun is to blame and that I can expect a deteriorated pace, but I was a bit concerned that I might not be able to go as fast as previously.

So to ask the question again, where on earth did that run come from? It made no sense whatsoever to me – usually my day 3 runs are slower, not faster and usually I only do 6/7kms on my third run. But for whatever reason, the magic recipe came together and I was Speedy Gonzales for 9kms.

Playlist

Breaking Us In Two – Joe Jackson

Modern Way – Kaiser Chiefs

Modern Love, Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode

Vienna – Ultravox

Tesla Girls – OMD

Temptation – Heaven 17

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Is Vic There – Department S

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

Alison – Elvis Costello

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Traynor

Strong, Oh Woman Oh Man – London Grammar

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

Stats

Distance 9.27km

Time 54:53

Average Pace: 5:55 (yeeeessss…..)

Elevation Gain 27 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1478.22

Kms to do 539.78