8 Nov- So close, but yet so far

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Nice morning, sun, blue skies, warmish, what could possibly go wrong?

My maths that’s what…

I calculated I needed to do 8.2km, to get me over the 1800km mark

I was wrong  – it was 8.8km.

Guess which plonker finished her run 0.21km too soon, in the mistaken thought that she’d already passed her target?

Yup that’s JCRBCC – JanCanRunButCan’tCount

By not minding the gap, I missed my target, so guess who is going for a short run on her rest day tomorrow?

Nuff said.

Big big thanks again to P and T for their sponsorships – am still grinning despite being an idiot today!

Playlist

Transport focussed – which is apt considering my distance issues…

Cars – Gary Numan

Sailing On The Seven Seas – OMD

Driving In My Car, Night Boat To Cairo – Madness

Surfin’ USA – The Beach Boys

Hey Soul Sister – Train

Moped Eyes – Super Furry Animals

Riders On The Storm – The Doors

Groovy Train – The Farm

The Passenger – Iggy Pop

Walk This Way – Aerosmith

Don’t Pay The Ferryman – Chris De Burgh

Ocean Drive – Lighthouse Family

Ship of Fools – Erasure

Airport – The Motors

Motor Bikin’ Chris Spedding

Little Red Corvette – His Purple Highness

Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett

Last Train to Clarksville – The Monkees

Stats

Distance  8.59km – I could weep

Time 58:43

Average Pace 6:49

Elevation Gain 40metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1799.79 (tomorrow I will get over 1800)

Kms to Run 218.21

 

 

 

 

 

7 Nov – Myth-busting

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I have an Italian life and running, I have a London life and running.  Let’s look at the stereotypes:-

Italy

Weather – gorgeous, sunny and blue skies

People – gorgeous, friendly and chatty

Food – gorgeous, but always Italian

Wine – gorgeous, but always Italian

Views – gorgeous

Running – why wouldn’t it be gorgeous?

London

Weather  – so-so and grey skies

People – standoffish and keep themselves to themselves

Food – eclectic, not always gorgeous

Wine – lots of choice, but always expensive

Views – interesting and some are gorgeous

Running – not bad if you don’t mind people and pollution

Picture the scene, Hampstead Royal Free Hospital, the Physiotherapy Waiting Room. Usually chock full of people with replacement hips, knees, plaster casts etc., today there are two of us, neither sporting anything remotely suggesting a crocked leg.

I am wearing my running kit, to run home post appointment, the other lady is wearing Adidas capris and trainers. Not a word is spoken. After 15 minutes of silence, I am boiling hot, the sweat is not so much a trickle, but more of a torrent. I am 58, this is my new normal.

Suddenly the 20something lady stands up and turns and says ‘Is it me or is it very hot in here, I’m having a hot flush’. At which point I burst out laughing, and replied that was exactly how I was feeling too. She prowled around the waiting room to find the culprit, a hot air ventilation system that seemingly had not long kicked into life. That coupled with the NHS wipe clean vinyl chairs had combined as a human microwave. I am tanned from a summer in Italy, but was sporting a very flushed face and a totally soggy bod. She was a typical ‘English rose’ complexion, and her face had changed from a porcelain like ivory, to a pork sausage pink. She then went onto say she hadn’t been that hot since the last time she was in a sauna. Then her mum came into the room from Physio ‘Gosh it’s very hot in here’. Cue more laughing.

That’s the Londoner stereotype put happily to one side, would my run give me the chance to challenge the others? Well, today no. As you can see the skies were grey and the view of Camden Lock not at its prettiest. That left me with food, wine and running to myth-bust. I can’t eat or drink on the run, so those myths will have to stand for another day. But the running…mmm.

First off, Map My Run lady had a strop, she started off okay and then deserted me – and recorded my time but not the distance. evidently she was in stereotype Londoner mode. Luckily, I know the run and was able to add in the missing kms later. A nice womble down from Hampstead and I was feeling relaxed and comfortable. Through Camden, well not quite so relaxed mainly because of people traffic – but it was lunchtime so entirely to be expected. The crowds disappeared at Mornington Crescent and I made my way towards Euston. At this point the rain started and folk were darting everywhere to avoid getting splashed. That necessitated some ninja manoeuvres on my part, which weren’t all entirely successful.

I made myself semi-invisible on the pavements (by putting my running cap on), I headed towards Kings Cross. Big mistake – load and loads of people, very little room on the pavement and even less on the A40 for the traffic. The stench of air pollution was very strong. Having been in Italy and Holland recently, where the congestion is much less this was really quite noticeable. By now though I was nicely warmed up, if a bit steamy and I trotted up towards Angel. A dart across to the fish shop, loading up lunch and dinner in my kangaroo pouch, and I was off.

Back towards home now, only about 2km to do, but dampening down very mobile fish in your pouch, isn’t conducive to a good running style. Frankly, nor is popping into a supermarket to buy more stuff, then running with one hand on the fish pouch and the other suspending a shopping bag.

The stereotype of weather and views prevailed today, but a return run from a hospital is never likely to take you to the most salubrious parts of town, nor take you away from people and pollution. Tomorrow gives me a fresh opportunity to take in better weather and hopefully better views.

Oh and a big shout out to friends P (Holland) and T (UK) for their sponsorships. My total is moving up quite nicely.

Playlist

60s Specials

Stand By Me – Ben E King

Let’s Dance – Chris Montez

Bad Moon Rising – Credence Clearwater Revival

Surfin’ USA – The Beach Boys

You Never Can Tell – Chuck Berry

The Israelites – Desmond Dekker

Soul Man – Sam & Dave

I Only Want To Be With You – Dusty

Rescue Me – Fontella Bass

I’m Into Something Good – Herman’s Hermits

California Dreamin’ – Mamas and Papas

Feeling Good – Nina Simone

Jumping Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones

Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison

Gimme Some Loving – Spencer Davis Group

Do You Love Me – The Contours

You Really Got me – The Kinks

Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone – The  Temptations

 

Stats

Distance 8.27km

Time 52:58

Average Pace 6:24

Elevation Gain 35 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1791.2

Kms to Run 226.8

 

 

4 Nov – Slip Slidin’ Away

 

These words are kindly borrowed from Mr Paul Simon. The first verse actually goes:-

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

And that is what is happening to me, – I am getting ever closer to running the year, but the run pace is eluding me. I think too much effort and not enough focussed training, before I started this challenge is now probably starting to bite. I find I can’t run fast even if I want to. For sure, unless you are an elite athlete, there’s a trade off between speed and distance. I’m not beating myself up about it, just observing I can’t have both.

With that in mind I set out this morning, having looked at the weather forecast which said Arnhem was at 1 degree – can’t be true I thought, then I saw the frost – aha looks like the forecast was accurate after all…  I set out on tarmac trails today, having in mind to run to Osterbeek which is about 5kms away, on a slower pace. However the famous JCR satnav kicked in and I was actually running in the opposite direction. I decided therefore to do a run I’d enjoyed last year, which was to go to the Arnhem War Memorial and Cemetery. I wrote about this last year – the Brits are popular in this area because of Operation Market Garden, and the cemetery is in lovely tranquil spot and makes me stop and think.

My trail today was uppy and downy, as was my pace. I was passed and accompanied by many a runner today, all of us in hats and gloves and long running tights. For my first 2km I ran towards the Burgher’s Zoo, where already folk were queuing to get in. I took my photo of the rather cute rhino and continued on. It was at this point I realised my JCR satnav was awry, and I made my way back from whence I came.

By now the sun was a little stronger and the frost was melting, as was my resolve to do 10km. The gremlins had made their way onto my shoulder and a 5km run out seemed tempting, not least because of the thought of an excellent breakfast back at J &G’s.

Nonetheless I set my steelometer to a higher setting than wimp, and continued on my way. So many people out and about on a very cold Autumn morning, some on bikes – the classic Dutch shopping types, then I got passed by at least two groups of MAMIL racers, but very respectful.

At the memorial park and cemetery, a number of folk had started to assemble and were looking at the graves. Somehow it didn’t seem quite right to be there in my dayglo hat and running gear, so I maintained a respectful distance. Then my fruit based technology started giving me a minor heart attack, saying it only had 13% battery left. A frantic closing down of apps ensued and I retraced my steps back home.

At Restaurant Trix my eyes were playing tricks on me, I thought I saw my friend J running towards me, but no, just another tall lady in dayglo.

My run was done, and just a touch over 11km. Slow, but sure, so I may be slip slidin’ away from speed, but I’m slipping inexorably to that target.

Playlist

Famous names list

Michael Caine – Madness

There’s A Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis – Kirsty MacColl

Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes

Geronimo – Sheppard

Grace Kelly – Mika

Joan of Arc (Maid Of Orleans) – OMD

Just Like Jesse James – Cher

Free Nelson Mandela – Soweto Singers

Clint Eastwood – Gorillaz

Prince Charming – Adam And The Ant

Bruce Lee – Robbie Williams

Andy Warhol – David Bowie

Black Man Ray – China Crisis

Electric Barbarella – Duran Duran

Barbie Girl – Aqua

Walks Like Rihanna – The Wanted

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5

Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) – Scritti Politti

Axel F – Harold Faltermeyer

Jackie Wilson Said – Dexy’s Midnight Runners

Frank Sinatra – Cake

The Ballad of Tom Jones – Space and Cerys Matthews

Michaela Strachan – Scouting For Girls

Marilyn Monroe – Pharrell

Al Capone – Prince Buster

Victoria – The Kinks

Stats

Distance 11.69km

Time 1:31:25

Average Pace 7:49

Elevation Gain 96 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1774.91

Kms To Run 243.09

 

 

 

2 Nov – Sausages & Pancakes

 

It’s 9 degrees people. Last time I ran it was about 19, my little legs are a tad cold and my fingers are wondering what’s happened. This is my first run in Arnhem as we are here for a few days with our very dear friends J & G.

J is the super fast runner (in my dreams I run as fast as her…) and G is a world renowned Project Manager, full of helpful hints and tips. G’s tips however are probably more useful for his wife, as she possesses common-sense and a sense of direction, whilst I possess neither… This morning’s run was a planned 10km if I could, in the local woods on the rather lovely forest trails. This is the same place where J once saw a naked man running. With my nudeometer finely tuned, I set out.

I am of course a tarmac runner usually and the leafy, squidgy trails with hidden tree roots provided me with a bit of a challenge, as I’m not always surefooted. Add to the fact that I got out of bed on the wrong side, as we say in England. I was fine mood-wise but after all my running this year, I seemed to struggle to lace up my trainers correctly. Four attempts to do this and I was like Bambi on ice trying to get my shoes not too tight nor too loose.

Clearly the trainer gremlins were out to get me this morning, as I was also suffering from the well known runners’ ailment ‘Sausage Sock’. One of my socks had lost its elasticity and kept on travelling down my foot to form a sock sausage under the arch. This is not comfortable or runnable either. In the first km I stopped at least 3 times to de-sausage my sock. This is not an easy thing to do in a squidgy forest trail, as you have to find non -damp and raised areas to rest your foot.

Km 2 came and went – another 2 de-sausaging efforts and by now I was getting seriously irritated. At 3kms in I made a life-changing decision (for the sock that is) the sock was committing sock suicide, and therefore today it would be its last run. You know how it is, if someone or something is letting you down, you have to have the conversation..

The one that begins with ‘As a person/sock/trainer/sweatshirt, I love you very much and you have so much to offer, just not to me. It’s time to say our goodbyes’. I had this conversation with my sock in the forest – obviously I had the chat in my head, I didn’t want the locals thinking I was some kind of weirdo. Having said my goodbyes to the sausaging sock, I settled into a nice running routine. Arnhem is one of the few places in Holland with hills as my middle photo proves it. It also has to be said that at this point the sausaging sock had calmed down a bit and wasn’t sausaging quite so much.

G had been very helpful on where I could run, but my inbuilt sat nav is somewhat dodgy. As I was running I felt I knew exactly where their house was and then I checked MapMyRun to find that their house was nowhere near where I thought I was. Oops…

At 5km I came across a Dutch Pancake house, which to be honest looked awfully tempting and had I actually gone out carrying money, then I’m pretty certain I’d have popped in for a pancake rather than continuing running. I continued with my run, being passed and occasionally overtaken by various Dutch giants. I’m just a bit under 5 foot 4 inches, which is a little less than the UK female average. However in Holland I am most definitely a munchkin. What was worse at one point I was a lost munchkin. Forest trails can be a bit disorientating – well okay for most people they’re not, but for me they are. It was with some relief I saw a main road and I followed it towards home. I could see a landmark I knew and decided I’d take a well known short cut back to J&G’s house. Only I could take a well known short cut, turn it into a long cut and get lost in the grounds of a sports club…, necessitating a 180 degree turn to go back exactly where I’d come from.

Truthfully JCR you are useless.

But I got the 10km done, it wasn’t fast and for that my excuses are:-

  1. Trail running – just not used to it
  2. Getting lost – necessitating frequent checkpoints
  3. De-sausaging my sock

Playlist

He Won’t Go – Adele

He’ll Have To Go – Bryan Ferry

Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis

Heat Wave – The Jam

Heathen – David Bowie

Hello – Oasis

Hello Goodbye – The Beatles

Help Me – Bryan Ferry

Help Me Rhonda – The Beach Boys

Help Yourself – Amy Winehouse

Blood Brothers – The Boss

Shell Shock – New Order

Babies – Pulp

He Won’t Go – Adele

My Life – Dido

It Must Be Love – Madness

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m looking For – U2

The Supermen – David Bowie

Statistics

Distance 10.05km

Time 1:20:54

Average Pace 8:02

Elevation Gain – 75 metres (yes I know in Holland!!!!)

De-Sausaging Sock – 12 times, maybe more

Nudeometer Reading – no naked men, just my naked foot from time to time

Pancakes – none eaten

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1763.22

Kms To Run 254.78

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Oct – Ciao Italia

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Today is my last day in Italy for 2018

 

Saturday Run – Done and Written Up

Sunday – 25 people for lunch – utter carnage – wonderful!

Monday – clear up the carnage – not so wonderful… 😦

Tuesday – Must Run, as we are leaving Italy tomorrow and travelling to Holland.

It’s warmish and I have timeish to go running, so I do. Okay, planning is all when going for a run. Perhaps it would be helpful to have noted down when your lady cleaner is coming to help you clean up the house before leaving.

I finish my warm-up, run towards Mill Land and a car is coming towards me, the driver waves. So do I, the driver stops and shouts ‘Jan, have you forgotten I am coming at 9am?’ – ah yes I have indeed forgotten.

A run back to the house to get that organised and then a slight panic sets in, I have agreed to meet Mr JCR later on at a specified time and place after my run is finished. Frantic, if confused exchange of messages, leave the lady cleaner behind and restart the run. Onto Mill Lane and Villa Bali, after the confusion at Villa JCR, all is quiet and tranquil. I appear to have my slow legs on today, and in truth it’s a bit of a plod. I do find if I take a couple of days rest, then my pace suffers as a consequence. At the 3km mark, I am wondering if my legs have enough stuffing to do 10km.

I have a 60s inspired soundtrack to help me – although some of the tracks are as slow as I am, which is not good for speeding up. I aim towards the Bendy, Scary Road and it’s still quiet, I see the happy, smiley lady and she nods. This is the sum total of excitement on the run today. My route takes me through Royston Vasey, and no-one is around – it’s difficult to say your goodbyes when everyone has disappeared from view.

At just over 7km, I turn off into War Of The World’s Lane and at last I see a real live human being. Two of them in fact, but one is a young guy helping a much older guy to do a gentle walk. We exchange ‘Salves’ and I move on. I am back in the wilderness again, running on my own, listening to 60s music and the gentle thud of my feet. I’d really hoped to be able to say good bye to a few of the usual folk I see, but I guess I will have to settle for saying ‘hello’ next year. I do hope Anouska and Albino, Babbo Natale and Dame Duvet have a lovely winter. this is my last Italian run for 2018, if I am lucky I will do two(possibly three) runs in Holland before returning home to London, to finish the challenge.

I wanted to reach 1750km by the end of October if I could, and I just about snuck over the line. More work to be done, but the finish line is getting that much closer…

Playlist

Ode To Billie Joe – Bobbie Gentry

White Room – Cream

Runaway – Del Shannon

Poetry In Motion – Johnny Tillotson

My Girl – The Temptations

Oh! Carol – Neil Sedaka

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – The Righteous Brothers

Let’s Spend The Nigh Together – the Rolling Stones

The House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals

What Do You Want – Adam Faith

Take Good Care Of My Baby – Bobby Vee

Dream Lover – Bobby Darin

The Locomotion – Little Eva

Walkin’ Back To Happiness – Helen Shapiro

Blue Velvet – Bobby Vinton

Happy Together – The Turtles

Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie – The Everly Brothers

No Regrets, The Sun Ain’t Going To Shine Anymore – The Walker Brothers

That’s Life – Frank Sinatra

Chain Gang – Sam Cooke

Why Do Fools Fall In Love  – Frankie Lymon

Sherry – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Be Bop A Lula – Gene Vincent

He’s So Fine – the Chiffons

Reet Petite – Jackie Wilson

Shout – Lulu

Tell Him – The Exciters

Sweet Little Sixteen – Chuck Berry

Leader Of The Pack – The Shangri Las

You Were Made For Me – Freddie and The Dreamers

Blue Bayou – Roy Orbison

Stats

Distance 10.77km

Time 1:23:42

Average Pace 7:46

Elevation Gain – 14 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1753.17

Kms To Go 264.83

 

 

 

 

 

 

27 Oct – I Never Got The Memo

It must be due to the clocks changing but for the first time in almost a lifetime, I was awake before Mr JCR and I made the routine mug of tea. So far so unusual, I never get up first and almost never make tea at the weekend. The spookiness of Hallowe’en has got to me. Or it could be case of eating pasta late last night and my tum grumbling a bit 😉

Either way I was out of the door earlier than usual taking in the usual long route – Mill Lane to the Cafe stop. Except today, no MR JCR in the car to take me home, I’d have to ascend the Bitch of a Pitch. Ho hum.

I did my usual warm-up and then out towards Villa Bali, where a young dad was playing with his toddler. The toddler was having his tum tickled and squealing with delight, then he moved to play with the gravel. Simple pleasures – his dad said buongiorno and I waved back. It’s nice when people are friendly – it gives you a spring in your step. With his salute ringing in my ears I made my way towards the Bendy, Scary Road and promptly got overtaken by three speedy cyclists, they shouted Salve when they went past. All I could do was wave, as they were so fast and out of sight. On my way into Royston Vasey I saw a lady runner ahead of me – wearing black shorts, American Tan tights (I spotted those when I overtook her), long black socks and a fluoro green running top. I was somewhat perplexed by the American Tan tights, unless she doesn’t have running leggings and it was a way of keeping warm.

I overtook her gradually, and made my way through Royston Vasey and then curses, who did I see ahead of me but American Tan Tights runner. Is this some kind of Hallowe’en witchery going on?  Then I remembered there is a short cut, if you are keen on running uphill. It did give me a kick up the butt and at that point I did my fastest km (in this run) at just over 6 minutes a km, but she was not going my way, so I never did catch her up.

Into War Of The Worlds Lane and I see a gentleman runner wearing black shorts and fluoro green top, is he going to mysteriously appear ahead of me despite being overtaken? The answer was no, as he changed direction and started running towards me. Okay that’s two fluoro green and black combos and I’ve only seen two runners. Further on in WOTW Lane, there are two guys doing sprint training and again in fluoro green and black. That’s 4 runners, wearing almost exactly the same clothes. I have that colour combo in my wardrobe, but today went for fluoro orange and blue. I did feel slightly left out of the clothing club, however they were nice, friendly guys and said Salve as I went past.

Obviously there’s something weird going on, I never see many runners – 4 in one run is almost a record for me; the fact they were wearing the same colours was a weird coincidence. Although, it has to be said when you look in the sports shops here, fluoro green and black is a popular mix – I think it shows off the famed Italian Adonis-like bods.

Suitably buoyed up I carried onto the cafe, hitting the 10km mark – a quick coffee and brioche and I was running back towards home. I couldn’t face the Bitch of a Pitch, so wimped out and went back along to WOTW Lane – all the fluoro runners had gone, and without fellow runners to gee me on, my pace suffered somewhat.

I didn’t get the memo on the clothing colours and my legs didn’t get the memo on only doing 9km today, but I’m not complaining.

Playlist

Disco Divas

Knock On Wood – Amii Stewart

Ring My Bell – Anita Ward

Respect – Aretha

Yes Sir, I Can Boogie – Baccara

Cruel Summer – Bananarama

Gotta Go Home – Boney M

I Feel For You, I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan

Let’s Hear It For The Boy – Deniece Williams

Upside Down, Chain Reaction – Diana Ross

I Say A Little Prayer – Dionne Warwick

I Feel Love, Love To Love You Baby – Donna Summer

Love Come Down – Evelyn Champagne King

Rescue Me – Fontella Bass

Never Can Say Goodbye – Gloria Gaynor

Pull Up To The Bumper – Grace Jones

Somebody Else’s Guy – Jocelyn Brown

Funkytown – Lipps Inc

Heatwave – Martha Reeves

Forget Me Nots, Stir It Up – Patrice Rushen

Lady Marmalade – Patti LaBelle

Jump, Automatic – The Pointer Sisters

Car Wash –  Rose Royce

He’s The Greatest Dancer, Lost In Music – Sister Sledge

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

Tell It To My Heart – Taylor Dayne

Don’t Leave Me This Way – Thelma Houston

I Wanna Dance With Somebody, How Will I Know – Whitney Houston

Stats

Distance 14.37km

Time 1:42:31

Average Pace 7:08

Elevation Gain 141 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1742.40

Kms To Do 275.60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 Oct – There’s No Flies On Me

photography of fly on green leaf
‘Orrible little monster isn’t he?

This is a saying originating in Australia which means you are quick witted and alert. I wish in my case this was true –  when running I regularly attract my own posse of flies looking just like Pig Pen in the Snoopy cartoons. (Although he was carrying the dust and dirt of ancient civilisations)

PigPen_(Peanuts)

Today I needed to do 8km but didn’t necessarily need to be quick, although it would have helped avoid the flies. I hadn’t really planned my day well and was running in the afternoon, after cauliflower and truffle soup and some chapatis. This is not the balanced, light meal you should have before running, but it is very helpful at emptying the cupboards before an imminent departure back to the UK.

Mr JCR pointed out that the house stank of cabbage a bit like an old NHS institution, so maybe that was why the flies were following me around. Eau de brassica, clinging to my clothes…

With the institutional aroma accompanying me, I set off on my run – the usual route beckoned; Mill Lane, Lover’s Lane etc., but this time back to Argo’s Loop to include a there and back run on Laundry Lane. This I reckoned would get me just over the 8km mark. Blimey, well I can confirm that cauliflower and truffle soup sloshing about in your stomach is not conducive to creating record breaking runs.

The olive harvest is in full swing, and the fields are full of folk, nets, tractors, noise, and olive wobblers. I ran past one field and one of the pickers in our neighbour’s field shouted Brava Signora. I continued my run and met up with Argo (our dog share) on Laundry Lane –  he gave me a baleful look and carried on his own way towards home.

I then passed one of the small, local wineries where the owner and his dog were outside, watching the world go by. In truth the dog was peeing rather than people watching, but I did get a ‘Salve’ greeting from the winery owner, I waved and continued on, did a u-turn and came back – the dog was still peeing and that was 3kms later. He was tiny – a small Jack Russell, I don’t where he got the bladder capacity from. At this stage I was about 1km from doing my planned 8km, and was congratulating myself on not giving up, despite the gallons of soup making themselves felt. The light was fading somewhat and the flies were gathering, giving me nasty nips, reminding me that short sleeves are not a good idea at dusk.

I finished my run at just over the 8km and made my way home, where more flies awaited when I opened our bedroom window. At this time of year they seem to have a death wish and 20 or so committed hari-kiri on the bedroom floor.

Oh joy, I’d been stalked by flies on my run and now I had to clean them up too. However, there are no flies on Mr JCR when it comes to action – he swept into the room with his James Dyson mean machine and left no traces of the fly invasion.

It wasn’t a flying run – sorry – but it’s in the bag  and tomorrow I will not:-

  • have cauliflower and truffle soup for lunch
  • run after lunch
  • wear short sleeves

Playlist

Two Tone and Ska

Liquidator – Harry J Allstars

Ghost Town – The Specials

It Mek, 007, Israelites – Desmond Dekker

Police On My Back – Eddie Grant and The Equals

Carry Go Bring Come – Justin Hinds and the Dominoes

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

Skinhead Moonstomp – Symarip

Housewive’s Choice – Derrick and Patsy

Rudi Got Married – Laurel Aitken

One Step Beyond, Al Capone – Prince Buster

The Tide is High – Blondie

House of Fun – Madness

Monkey Man – Amy Winehouse

My Boy Lollipop – Millie Small

Red Red Wine – Tony Tribe

Lip Up Fatty – Bad Manners

Let’s Do Rock Steady – The Bodysnatchers

Free Nelson Mandela – The Starlite Singers

Stats

Distance 8.41km

Time 1:02:02

Average Pace 7:22

Elevation Gain 78 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1728.03

Kms to Run 289.97

 

 

 

 

 

24 Oct – 300 to go, 300 ago

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Yesterday’s rest day saw us bottle our green gold and we now have lots of extra virgin olive oil. Today’s non-rest day sees me running my planned 9km and then helping to take down two cherry trees.

Today’s prime target is to get over the 1718 km mark, leaving me fewer than 300 to go. I had a boost first thing when one of my fellow C25Kers slinkimalinki also sponsored my Alzheimer’s Challenge. With that lovely gesture at front of mind, I got out for my run.

I realised when I was out that to go over the 1718 mark leaves me with 300 kms to do, and my thoughts turned to the year 1718 – 300 years ago. I wondered what, if anything, happened on the day I hit 1718.

And the answer is not a lot; now in fairness recording of history then wasn’t in digital records, so I limited myself to a Dr Google search when I got back

Stede Bonnet, the famous English pirate (I’d never heard of him either) escaped from prison having being found guilty of piracy and sentenced to death. He was known as the gentleman pirate, having decided piracy was better paid than being a landowner. As I’ve already said olive oil farming isn’t likely to make you a packet of cash either, so maybe I should become a modern pirate. Jancanrob.com, a new website coming to you shortly… 🙂

My run took me through a well worn path as I knew exactly which route to take to make sure I met my target kms. Mill Lane, Lovers’ Lane, the Hill that Kills, The Bendy Scary Road. And to be honest it was a quiet run, except for a volley of shot gun fire – it is hunting season here and I saw one of the hunters who seemed to be empty handed. He saw me at  my 4km mark and said ‘Quante fatica’ or How Hard? Now in fairness, at this point I wasn’t exactly tonking it, but I did feel perfectly fine – maybe my face told a different story?

At 6kms I saw the smiley happy lady and we waved at each other from either side of the road. Then onto the War Of The Worlds Lane for my final 3kms – it was sunny, warm and utterly empty, until I saw one lone man, loping down the road.

He wasn’t a runner but a cool walker with a very laid back loping walk. He was walking faster than I imagined and it took me a little while to overtake him – when I did he said Brava Signora – little does he know I am a would be pirate in disguise.

He was safe today, as I had another target in mind. And it was done -10.09kms – that got me to 1719.62kms run. Just over the planned 1718. Maybe I would have done better looking at 1719s activities on Google instead. We will never know…

Playlist

From my Weather Playlist

Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Misty Blue – Dorothy Moore

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Sunshine of Your Love – Cream

Something In The Air – Thunderclap Newman

Sunny – Boney M

Ain’t No Sunshine – Lighthouse Family

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Downpour – Backstreet Boys

Sunshine On Leith – The Proclaimers

On The Road Again – Canned Heat

Baby It’s Cold Outside – Menzel and Bublé

Cold as Ice – Foreigner

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Stormzy and Artists for Grenfell

Summer Breeze – Isley Brothers

Cold – Stormzy

Sunshine On A Rainy Day – Galimar

Sunday Morning – Maroon 5

I Can’t Stand The Rain – Ann Peebles

Stats

Distance 10.09km

Time 1:07:59

Average Pace 6:44

Elevation Gain 51 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1719.62

Kms To Run 298.38

 

22 Oct – Nearly Famous…

images-3

In case anyone is wondering, this is not me. It’s Kim Kardashian in her workout gear. Some of you may know that my running is an attempt by me to:-

  • get fit/stay fit/don’t become a lard arse
  • become the older Kim Kardashian komplete with a Kardashian Kulo
  • and this year raise some funds for Alzheimer’s Research by running the year, that is 2018km

The first two points are of least importance obviously, but it seems that my attempt to raise funds for Alzheimer’s has been given a helping hand by Runner’s World magazine. In September, I had a photoshoot and interview with RW in central London, all about my Alzheimer’s Challenge – but I thought they’d decided against using it as I never heard any more. According to my running friend, it’s in the December edition and is a good piece with nice pics… One tiny issuette, I haven’t actually seen it, so my new found fame as a potential Kardashian is not quite working to my hugely thought out PR plan…

If my attempt to become a Kardashian is not up to much, then I am delighted to report that my attempts to run the year, now feel more tangible than they have done. I can see the outstanding kms reducing and it feels good.

Today was a planned recovery 5k. Mr JCR said it would be good to have some pics of me running and so I staged some running shots for him, before setting off on my ‘short/recovery’ 5k. Aah yes JCR, so caught up in my own photoshoot hype that I set off down the Bitch of a Pitch. That in itself isn’t the problem, but what goes down has to come back up and it’s just over 3kms downhill, which meant my ‘easy’ 5k now needed a 2km back up the hill and we live at about 250m above sea-level…

As you all know, organisational logic isn’t necessarily my strong suit, and I decided that I wouldn’t run back up the Bitch of a Pitch, but that I would take the long Laundry Lane route home, pretty much the same elevation just a longer winding route to do it. This became a striptease run, after 1km the hat came off – I’d forgotten it’s windier at the top of the hill – we’ve only had the house for 15 years, so you’d think I’d remember that fact! Doh.

Second km, the gloves came off, third kilometre the running jacket was removed and the hat and gloves secreted in its pockets. At Km 4 just starting in Laundry Lane I rolled up my running tights to just under knee level. My ‘look’ was nowhere near like KK’s in terms of chicness, and I wasn’t going to strip naked as she is famous for doing. Yes I looked like the older K Klan sister  who is hidden in the Kloset, to ensure the Kardashian brand isn’t tainted. Krappy Kardashian as I Kould be known was on the run in Laundry Lane.

Laundry Lane has a series of hairpins, that makes you feel as though it’s not too bad when you’re on it, but the fact remains you still have to do the climbing, albeit not at a 15% gradient. Trading the gradient for distance meant that my short 5km recovery run, became a slightly longer 7.6km run, gaining 146 metres in elevation (I walked the rest of the distance and height)

Still Krappy Kardashian was happy with the Klimb and it’s another chunk towards the challenge. And some of my lovely, lovely running Krew on Couch 25K have donated to the challenge and also one Mummycav cited me as being an inspiration to them. I’ll take that over being Krappy Kardashian any day.

To all my C25K buddies, including my very latest  and generous donors – helenwheels and tbae, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Playlist

This is from my animals oriented list dedicated to Sheps and Poppy Pug from C25K

Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats

I’m Free – The Soup Dragons

Take It To The Limit – Eagles

All Together Now – The Farm

Money – The Flying Lizards

Dirty Harry – Gorillaz

Caravan of Love – Housemartins

Whatever It Takes – Imagine Dragons

Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime – The Korgis

Dancing On The Ceiling – Lionel Ritchie

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

What Have I Done To Deserve This – Pet Shop Boys

Who Let The Dogs Out – Baha Men

Black Betty – Ram Jam Band

Can You Dig It? – The Mock Turtles

Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

S-S-Single Bed – Fox

Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor

For Your Love – The Yardbirds

Stats

Distance 7.68km

Time 57:44

Average Pace 7:31

Elevation Gain 146 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1709.53

Kms To Run 308.47

 

 

 

18 Oct – Testing, Testing

After yesterday’s kNAFFTA award nominations, I was persuaded by some running buddies to try running commando as it’s supposed to be more comfortable. In the interests of discretion, I shan’t say any more – and I won’t be repeating that experiment.

My second test, was to see if I could run without a playlist – not naked, I’ve tried that and didn’t like listening to my rasping breath and thumping feet.

I listened to a talk radio show which intersperses music with dialogue. My issue is that I can get highly irritated by some of the rather inane conversations and sweeping generalisations made. The tendency of the programme to choose guests with ragingly opposing views to create a sense of conflict, tends to stifle the debate. Hyperbolic statements thrown from both sides create no sense of nuance. But I thought I’d give it a go, because change is good and it stops you forming habits.

I discovered I was slowing down to listen to some parts of the dialogue and in fact I stopped a couple of times, because I wanted to hear what a particular expert had to say. That was unexpected, what wasn’t was a few ‘Oh for goodness sake’ type exclamations when I was running. Thank goodness no-one saw or heard me – the nutty runner muttering to herself!

Would I do it again? – it’s a different type of run, I enjoy my playlists because I can get lost in the music, sing or hum along and although I famously have little coordination/sense of timing, there are some tracks that really help me run. Eminem’s Lose Yourself is a great example of one of those.

A general chat/music show may not be the right formula, I’ve heard about two comedians who run and do podcasts, so maybe I’ll try one of those next time.

In the meantime, today’s run, short, slow and a little testing on weary legs – but the third daily run usually is.

Stats

Distance 6.13km

Time 56:05

Average Pace 9:08 (really, really slow! – may have had something to do with stopping to listen to the radio)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1680.77

Kms to Run 337.23