18 Apr – It’s All about Ohs and Ahs

On the radio the other day I heard a deejay talk about signs that you are getting old. The indisputable evidence includes:-

  1. Saying ‘When I was a lad/lass’, ‘In my day’, ‘Youngsters today…’
  2. Groaning when sitting down
  3. No longer sitting cross-legged on the floor

I admit to number 3, but in fairness I avoided doing it (a) once I was old enough to afford chairs, and  (b)  when I wasn’t forced by my parents to sit on the floor when the old rellies came to visit for ‘tea’ and they took up all soft seating options.

The groaning – mmm not when sitting down, but with the running challenge I groan pretty much every day. An ‘oh’ when I realise it is yet another running day, and no it’s not a rest day. An ‘ah’ when the run is done. An ‘oh’ when I look at my tech and realise it hasn’t synched (actually the Oh is usually suffixed with an ‘eff’). An ‘ah’ when I realise I’ve passed another mini-milestone. An ‘oh’ when de-sausaging then an ‘ah’ when I hit my steaming hot shower.

In Italy ‘oh’ at the end of a word, generally denotes words of a masculine gender and an ‘ah’ feminine. There are exceptions, but it’s a good rule of thumb. The meaning of a noun  can also be changed quite significantly by the use of an ‘oh’ or an ‘ah’. For example, there is a road on one of my running routes called Via Prugneta, which is more or less Plum Lane. If you change the ending to prugneto, as I did once in error, you elicit gasps of outrage or giggles from your Italian friends. It’s an impolite word for a certain part of the female anatomy.

This extends to other words – a similar ending occurs on a friend’s name – he is called Marco – one is a perfectly harmless nickname, the other less so.

And so to my run, it was 8 kilometres of ‘ohs’ as my poor bod wondered what on earth I was doing, both legs were aching everywhere, I’d been bitten by some kind of nadger, so that was itching, but the flowers on the lanes were out, so that was an ‘ah’ moment. I stumbled in the road ‘oh’ and when you look at the pic above you can see why ‘ah’ that will be a rubbish road surface then…

I finished up near the now infamous ‘Via Prugneta’ she is a cow, she is steep and hard and so I didn’t run up her – I stopped the clock and walked instead. ‘Ah’ JCR you are a coward.

Playlist

Snail – the Smashing Pumpkins

Happy – Pharrell Williams

Smile – Lily Allen

Tigerfeet – Mud

Smile – Gregory Porter

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice (twice)

Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie

Easy – Commodores

Nowhere Fast – Eminem and Kehlani

Love In An Elevator – Aerosmith

Compression – Digilio and Accorsi

One Step Beyond – Buster

Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

To Jan – Leonard Anderson (this is not aimed at me this is in recognition of a C25K Forum mentor)

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Ju Ju Man – Dave Edmunds

Marathon – Rush

The Streak – Ray Stevens

Help – The Beatles

There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johnny Nash

The Winner – Status Quo

Stats

Distance 8.45kms

Time 1:01:51

Average Pace 7:19 (mins/km)

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Run 672.85

Kms To run 1345.15

Oh yes and I have now run 1/3 of my challenge target which is 672.66 kms and we are not yet 1/3rd of the way through the year. that’s a very satisfying ‘ah’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Apr – In The Pink

As a Red – that is a Liverpool fan I am a happy bunny this morning, after we summarily despatched Manchester City last night in the Champion’s League.

From being very happy Red to  being tickled pink, the lipstick colour used to give me some motivation to go out and face the world and run. In London, the colour is bright red – runner’s ruby. In Italy, as I forgot to bring my red lipstick here, my fuchsia pink is now known as pootler’s pink.

Having promised that I need to drink more water/soft drinks and get up earlier, I did just that. Slapped on a dash of pootler’s pink and was on my way.

Today was to be a short run of about 6km, cunningly worked out by Mr JCR last night on his Strava thing. Of course, best laid plans and all that, he hadn’t allowed for me developing stupid tart syndrome again. Yup, I never learn, when needing to de-clothe, just stop running, do what you need to and carry on. Nope, I decided against that course of action and in de-gloving whilst running, promptly lost one glove, which I didn’t discover until a little later.

I digress, I was in a good mood (thank you Mo Salah),  I passed through Mill Lane and despite the recent Watergate scandal, was still smiling when I entered Lovers’ Lane. My smile grew wider when who should I see but my favourite Italian cheerleaders Anouska and Albino .

Whether or not I am their favourite runner, who can say – actually I’m probably not, because Anouska said ‘Don’t stop, carry on running’. I stopped though and explained we’d just got back home, and she was asking how long we were staying for. I answered and we exchanged goodbyes and went on our way. What A&A don’t know is that last year when I started the C25K training programme, seeing them every other day acted like a commitment I had to meet. So I was really chuffed to see them for the first time this year. A proper runner’s welcome.

In my enthusiasm to show off the fact that I am considerably fitter than last year, I did set off rather too quickly and in my speedy Gonzales moment, decided to de-glove and that’s where the route planning went awry. I passed A&A again on their return leg, and decided I would detour via home to dump my running jacket and gloves as I was quite warm. Then I found I was a glove missing, so back again to the same places – Mill Lane where my smile faltered a bit at the water pumping station, up Lovers’ Lane – no glove to be seen, what’s that in Villa Bali’s grounds – no it’s a bird JCR, it’s just flown away.

Eventually I found the glove, needless to say it was more or less the furthest point away it could have been. That meant the route planning session was a waste of time.  So down to the slope of hope, incident free and to Laundry Lane, which again was mercifully free of traffic. At the 6km mark the lane starts to rise and reader, I confess, I walked about 20 paces to get my puff back. Will you forgive me that lapse? Or do I have to add an extra 20 paces onto my next run?

Anyway to the tune of some very tetchy beagles barking, I finished my run at just a shade over 7km.

Playlist

I Ran  – A Flock Of Seagulls

Joan Of Arc – OMD

Breaking Us In Two – Joe Jackson

Marvin Gaye – Phuth and Traynor

Oh Woman, Oh Man – London Grammar

Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak – Macy Gray

I Try – Ditto

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Blue Monday – New Order

Mr Brightside – The Killers

World In Motion – New Order

This Girl – Kungs

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

Stats

Distance 7.16Km

Time 50:58

Average Pace 7:07 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 64 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 619.92

Kms To Do 1398.08 (yes, under the 1400s, we’re getting there)

17 Mar – Tangoed at St Paul’s

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Mr JCR contacted Alzheimer’s Research to tell them about the 2018km challenge I am undertaking and they duly provided a tasteful tee-shirt for me.

Here I am this morning braving The Beast from the East Part 2 – the bulge around my middle is the hidden pouch pocket, stuffed full of middle aged woman’s essentials – namely tissues for the ever-present running nose.

Witnessed by our friends N&A, there weren’t that many people around to be bothered by the picture taking or the video of me looking at my most inelegant.

Today’s run 11km+

I met 3 other runner’s similarly attired all who gave a cheery wave  – Londoners aren’t that friendly normally.

An articulated lorry stopped to allow me to cross a junction even though it was his right of way.

Two hi-vis men allowed me to pass near a building site

The Beast from the East Part 2, has brought both snow and a flurry of good manners today.

Playlist

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

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

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Temptation – Heaven 17

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult

All She Wants Is – Duran Duran

All Stood Still – Ultravox

Baggy Trousers – Madness

Be My Number Two – Joe Jackson

Beat Crazy – ditto

Breaking Us In Two – ditto

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Do You Really Want to Hurt Me – Culture Club

Don’t You Want Me – Human League

Dreaming -OMD

Einstein A go-Go – Landscape

Electric Barbarella – Duran Duran

Electricity – OMD

Stats

Distance 11.58km

Time 1:14:55

Average pace 6:28 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 83 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 454.92

Kms to Do 1563.08

Team Rhomboid Torture

I think he’s taking a break – so squats and something tempting with kettlebells will have to happen.

 

 

 

27 Feb – The Toxic Tens

 

In running there is a well known affliction called the Toxic Tens. This is all about how long it takes your body to realise you’re being serious about exercise and oxygenating your bloodstream accordingly to manage the demands of the exercise. Typically it takes 10 minutes for your body to be running aerobically.

In fairness, most runners suffer from the Toxic Tens,  but here are the other afflictions, that trip me up from time to time, or if I’m unlucky – on every bloody run.

The ‘Orrible Ones – this is the first km you are doing, having left the warmth and comfort of the sofa. It’s ‘horrible and frankly you wonder why you bothered, as you feel sluggish and are actually running like a slug.

The ‘Trocious Twos – this is when the Toxic Tens are at their worst, you’ve done the first kilometre and now you’re thinking things will get better. But they don’t and the beginning of the second kilometre is atrocious. In fact I run like an asthmatic badger at this point.

The Throbbing or Twingeing Threes – at this stage your body realises you’re out for a run and starts those irritating little niggles, just to put you off your stride. Throbbing knee anyone? Yup, why not throw in an aching hamstring for good measure? Cramp in the arch of your foot? These are all typical of the Throbbing or Twingeing Threes.

The Effing Fours and Fives. According to all running advice, this is when you are hitting your stride nicely, it is all settling down. Except the effing fours and fives all too often coincide with the ‘where the effing hell is the nearest loo?’ None of us want to do a Paula Radcliffe, so you end up buying an unwanted cup of coffee to use the loo. Repeat every 5 kms. It’s effing annoying and expensive in equal measure.

The Shitty Sixes. Too close to the 5km for you to think you’ve cracked the run, but not far enough to be close enough to the elusive 10km. This is when mentally I become Marvin the Paranoid Android. Obsessive recalculating of my running totals vs. the plan and wondering if anyone would really notice if I walked for a km or two. Random phrases and curses pop out of my mouth at this phase, startling passers-by.

The Sodding Awful Sevens – aha this is when your running kit starts playing up. I have a pair of Dutch running tights. Why is it important that the tights are Dutch? Because the Dutch are the tallest people in the world, and I am not. This means at 7km I can guarantee my Dutch leggings will be working their way down my legs. Giving me a bare arse and wrinkled ankles at exactly the same time. A sort of granny gangsta look and not in a good way.

The Endurance Eights – at this stage of a run at eight kms and more, my running times start slipping and my running pace starts looking remarkably similar to my walking pace. This is the point when you will be overtaken by all/any of the following;-

  • Mum/Dad with BugaBoo pram
  • 2, 3, 4, 5 year olds
  • Dog walker
  • Moody ‘emo’ teenager
  • Man walking whilst looking at mobile phone
  • Fast walker
  • Pensioner with a limp
  • Skateboarder
  • Plonker on a scooter
  • Asthmatic badgers

The Naff Nines – when the body is weak and the spirit is weaker. This is often my ‘give up’ kilometrage point.

And so we return to the Toxic Tens. And today on my run I was afflicted by:-

The Throbbing or Twingeing Threes – weird ache in right arm and shoulder

The Shitty Sixes – near the MI6 building – suddenly realising it was at least 6 kms home and I didn’t fancy it much, not helped by a passing guy saying hup, hup, hup as I ran past.

Also anyone got any idea why a busker thought singing ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ by Chris Rea was appropriate 2 days before March? I know it was snowing a bit, but even so. He was la la la-ing on the giveaway lyric, but it was still evidently recognisable.

Playlist

Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats

Keep on Running – Spencer Davis Group

Happy – Pharrell

Smile – Lily Allen

Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini

Smile – Gregory Porter

Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie

Easy – Commodores

Nowhere Fast – Eminem feat Kehlani

Compression – Francesco Digilio

One Step Beyond – Prince Buster

Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

To Jan – Leonard Anderson

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Running Up That Hill – Kate Bush

Ju Ju Man – Dave Edmunds

The Streak – Ray Stevens

Question – The Moody Blues

Advice For The Young At Heart – Tears for Fears

There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johnny Nash

Fools Rush In – Ricky Nelson

Down Under – Men At Work

Stats

Distance 14.75km

Time 1:39:31

Average Pace 6.44 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 108 metres

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Done 314.9

Kms to do 1703.10 (next time out I’ll be under the 1700s)

Team Rhomboid Torture

Yesterday’s instructions were to do burpees – I can burp and I can pee, I just can’t do burpees. So I didn’t do a thing, nothing, nada, zip.

Waiting for today’s instructions, so am guessing  I will squat, wall press and hollow rock again.

 

 

 

Feb 19 – So Long Sunshine

It’s been nice seeing you again, I’d quite forgotten what grey skies look like.

Winter training camp well what’s to be said about it…

Upsides

Weather is much nicer, so it feels easier to run

Having an apartment means you can do home laundry for all the sports gear

Eating and drinking locally is fab, I’d forgotten just how much I like tapas

Getting to run by the side of the beach is glorious, there’s always something to look at (even if you don’t want to see what’s there!)

You get to feel the City a little more, rather than just being a tourist doing the sights

Downsides

Weather is much nicer, so it feels easier to run – therefore no excuses not to

Having an apartment means you can do home laundry for all the sports gear, but I do feel like a laundromat assistant doing ‘service washes’

Eating and drinking locally is fab, I’d forgotten just how much I like tapas, and how they are not the ideal ‘training’ food

Suggested running routes don’t always tell you what you will find; once leading to a sharp exit from an alley where I felt decidedly out of place

You don’t get as much time as you imagine to ‘see the sights’

I came out with a mental plan to ‘do’ 40 km in the 5 days I was here and that’s quite a smoking 8km per day; whereas the most I’d done previously was 7. In actual fact, I’ve run just over 45kms in my time here, so a little better than I thought with a daily average of 9kms. The benefit of sunshine therefore comes out at 1km a day  I don’t know whether Mr JCR will consider the cost benefit analysis a strong one… 😉

Oh and a sunny wave to ju-ju who had a crap start to the day.

Playlist

A New England – Billy Bragg

Is This The Way To Amarillo – Tony Christie

London Calling – The Clash

Strong – London Grammar

No Particular Place To Go – Chuck Berry

Maid of Orleans – OMD

Romeo and Juliet – Dire Straits

Penny Lane  – The Beatles

Rio – Duran Duran

Vienna – Ultravox

Belfast Child – Simple Minds

Going Down To Liverpool – The Bangles

Black Eyed Boy – Texas

California Dreaming’ –  The Mamas and The Papas

Avalon – Roxy Music

Grease – Frankie Valli

Japanese Boy – Aneka

Big in Japan – Alphaville

What A Wonderful World – Sam Cooke

Rhythm Is Going To Get You – Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine

Streets of Philadelphia – The Boss

Downtown – Petula Clark

Barbados – Typically Tropical

Stats

Distance 10.52 kms

Time 1:21:00

Average Pace 7:42 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 28 metres

Running Streak = 5 days (but tomorrow is a rest day as we fly home) (12km, 10km, 6km, 6km, 10km)

Team Rhomboid Torture (or Lenten Challenge)

20 squats

6 Hollow Rocks holding 10 seconds

20 Wall Press Ups

1 knackered body

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run to Date 257.6

Kms to Do 1760.40

(Hopefully I’ll have kicked in to the 1600s by the end of Feb)

 

 

8 Feb – Whining and Dining

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Yesterday evening we went for a wine tasting in a posh London club. It didn’t start fantastically;  we arrived a few minutes early, and then were told that the tasting had been put back 30 minutes because so many people couldn’t make the advertised start time.

Pity they never thought to tell that information to the 50% of attendees who were able to get there on time… So we hung around and then went to the tasting. The lack of organisation continued, no-one really knew how it was supposed to work, some of us had glasses, some didn’t. Then the bartender came around and gave out glasses, telling us that each measure would be poured by the staff.

Still no welcome or announcements on how the evening would work. The sommelier, (in my opinion) was not great at communicating and in fact lost the audience almost from the outset, when people couldn’t hear him and asked him to speak up, he had to reiterate that he wanted them to stand near him.

The wine descriptions weren’t terribly informative and he wasn’t giving a lot of insight; as he seemed a little reticent, I thought I would help him by asking a question about food matching.  He answered that and the tasting progressed. It’s not his fault that he is not a natural speaker or raconteur, he was a bit like a tech geek. He knew all the stuff, but found it difficult to relay the information.

For a second time, when various groups of the attendees, were talking amongst themselves, I asked another question. It was again based around food and what I thought I’d tasted – then I suggested a dessert to pair with the wine and what did he think? He agreed I could taste butterscotch but that my food choice was totally wrong  “No, no no” and the audience started to laugh.

I have to say I was pissed off, I had been throwing him some lifelines, because he had lost his audience and he repaid me by facilitating a laugh at my expense.  In the interests of balance, I don’t think he had any idea that I’d been helping him, or that he was struggling, or in fact that his riposte was ill-considered. To my surprise the more gallant guy standing next to me said, ‘Well I’d love to eat that dessert and drink that wine with you, it sounds a good choice’. Better humour was restored!

The tasting didn’t get much better, the sommelier continued really as he had before and when describing another wine, I did tap my glass to get people to shut up to listen to him. I can be remarkably stupid at times – why should I offer him a hand at all?

It’s fair to say we won’t be going back. And for me now, he is short-sighted, because we go, not often, but regularly, to wine tastings. Now he and his company are off that list – we will spend our money elsewhere…

What’s this got to do with running I hear you ask. Well my challenge for Alzheimer’s has been described as both brave and to be honest somewhat foolish. But the difference I’ve found with my running buddies and friends, is that everyone is supportive.

The best people have come up with ways of me making the challenge, rather than laughing at my suggestion that I can do it. And for that I thank them all. Whilst I won’t be going to wine tastings with them, I do hope to repay their kindness and support with similar when they need it, whether it is running or something unrelated. And so to this morning, when I woke I had lots of messages of support from fellow C25Kers and one in particular gave me a really cheery breakfast.

I dined on that goodwill first thing and now am going for my run…

10 January – Retro Runners Keep Running, Keep Smiling Mix

Today is a day of running rest, but to keep my focus, I have created a new playlist on Spotify to pay tribute to the administrators and mentors of the C25K Forum. The virtual toast is in defiance of ‘Dry January’.

They all know who they are, and some have their own specific messages, taglines, pieces of advice, or experience which help others starting out to run.

Not all the songs are specific to the mentors, some are general and to be honest some I just couldn’t find for instance,  I could only find very explicit material under Floss, so decided against that – this is a tribute not an insult!

If you’re struggling to understand why I chose some tracks – here is my warped thinking…

For the C25Ker who ‘panthers’

Stray Cat Strut – The Stray Cats

Ju-Ju Man – Dave Edmunds

Tiger Feet – Mud

Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini

The Streak – Ray Stevens

For the C25Ker who advocates happy and steady pacing

Snail – The Smashing Pumpkins

Happy – Pharrell Williams

Nowhere Fast – Eminem and Kahlani

Hey You The Rock Steady Crew – Rock Steady Crew

Tread Softly – Tiny Ruins and Hamish Kilgour

For the owner of the tagline above

Keep on Running – Spencer Davis Group

Smile – Lily Allen

Smile  – Gregory Porter

Gotta Keep Smiling – Scouting For Girls

Help! – The Beatles

R.I.C.E

Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie

Compression – Digilio and Accorsi

Love in an Elevator – Aerosmith

Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread) – Ricky Nelson

For the lady who ‘now runs’

To Jan – Leonard Anderson

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

One Step Beyond – Madness (for going beyond 5k…)

Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley (for exactly the same reason!)

Question – The Moody Blues

The ‘down under’ runner

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Running Up That Hill – Kate Bush

Advice For The Young At Heart – Tears For Fears (for the Use It or Lose It advice)

Down Under – Men At Work

The ‘club’ person who likes triathlons and marathons

Easy – Commodores

One Step Beyond – Madness

There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johny Nash

The Winner (Podium Mix) – Status Quo

 

The playlist can be found here:-