26 July – Mad Cows and an Englishwoman

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Yesterday was supposed to be a run day, but we were up and out early to go to AVIS -not the car hire folk, but the Italian Blood Donation Organisation. We’d asked our friends if we could donate blood, not actually being Italian residents and they said they’d ask the President of AViS locally and see what he said. So we found ourselves in Fano hospital yesterday morning and we were shown a form that needed completing with just one question pertinent to the UK. Have you lived for more than 6 months in the UK during the period 1980something and 1995. Of course we answered yes and that was enough to stop any thoughts of blood donation.

Apparently no EU countries will accept UK blood due to mad cow disease,  and in Italy there is a 40 year post mad cow/CJD ‘quarantine’ period, at which time they’ll happily accept our blood. I have a feeling that by that age we’ll be needing our blood more than Italy will. Back home we trotted and with temperatures already 28 degrees at 10am, all thoughts of running were put firmly back in the drawer marked do not open.

To this morning, Mr JCR was up early and suggested I should do the same to take advantage of cooler temperatures, of course I fell back asleep and woke just before 9am. Hardly an early start… I made my way to Mill Lane and up to Lovers’ Lane and was going to complete my mini loop of Villa Bali’s grounds, but I couldn’t because garden furniture was being arranged for an event. Now Lovers’ Lane has recently been the site of various alien direction signs, and Villa Bali does have both a telescope and planetarium. The clues are mounting – clearly there’s going to be some astro-physical event happening soon. I think we better be somewhere else just in case the close encounters get too close.

I switched back and took the Royston Vasey ridgeway towards War Of The Worlds lane, a gruppetto of junior cyclists passed me,  one seemingly supporting another and he  groaned ‘porca miseria’ as I went past. Given this means ‘misery you bitch’ in the literal translation, I was hoping he wasn’t aiming it at me, and more at  the incline which needed ascending. Up to WOTW lane and a fellow runner passed in the opposite direction, he waved in acknowledgment and I continued on.

WOTW lane is in the midst of harvesting and as I made my way to the coffee stop, I passed one ploughed field and then in the field next door was an old guy, scything grass. He waved and shouted something which I thought was ‘Omertà’ which is the Mafia silence code – that didn’t seem quite applicable, unless of course he is a rural hit man, taking victims out by scything them to death and burying them in the field. But he looked quite benign, although maybe that is how he sucks you in.

Alternatively, he might have said ‘ha merita’ which means ‘you deserve’, but I’ve no idea what exactly I might deserve. Or finally, if he just said ‘Merita’ according to the Urban Dictionary that means I’ve got big boobs…  If he was speaking in dialect, then I stand no chance of getting the meaning as dialects vary tremendously throughout Italy, for example ‘they eat’ is spoken as ‘man jan oh’ – but in one of our local dialects it is ‘man yan yan’. I am of the opinion he was being complimentary – even if it was aimed at my boobs!

On I continued, had my coffee and brioche and returned back to the sultry heat of WOTW lane and my run. Truthfully I do have mad cow disease, as the temperature is scalding, now the shade has all but disappeared and I’m out in the mid-day sun. I can’t maintain much momentum, my pace drops to a pathetic 8 minutes + for a kilometre and I give it up after another 2.6km.

Memo to self, when suffering from mad cow disease, do not make it worse by running at midday. Truthfully that makes me a stupid cow, deserving of big boobs and or death by scythe…

Playlist

Alison – Elvis Costello

Barbara Ann – Beach Boys

Dirty Diana – Michael Jackson

Eloise – The Damned

Francine – ZZ Top

Helena – My Chemical Romance

Poison Ivy – The Lambrettas

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Kayleigh – Marillion

Layla – Derek and the Dominoes

Maggie May – Rod Stewart

Darling Nikki – Prince

Ophelia – The Band

Dear Prudence – Siouxsie and The Banshees

Roxanne – The Police

Sherry – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Teresa – Eddie Cochran

Single Ladies – Beyoncé

Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy

Valerie – Amy Winehouse

Wendy – The Beach Boys

St Xenia – Katina

Oh Yoko!- John Lennon

Zoe Jane – Staind

Stats

Distance 9.05km

Time 1:10:55

Average Pace 7:50 mins/km

Elevation Gain 22 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1253.95

Kms to Run 764.05

 

1 July – Stranger Danger

 

Or as that rather corny homily would have it, strangers are friends you have yet to meet. Yuck!  It’s a hot, hot, hot Sunday morning – hitting 25 degrees in the hills and I wander out for my run. Having had an enforced day off due to migraine, I’m keen to get going again.

Actually, let’s be honest I’m not in the least bit interested in getting going again, my running legs and head are somewhere else, they’re certainly not in Le Marche today. I trudge very slowly into the garden and hear a loud buzzing noise, our lavender is once more a haven for all the local bees, working busily to gather nectar. I faff about looking at the bees and let’s be honest I’m no David Attenborough so had no idea what I was looking at. After about 2 minutes of bee watching/further faffing, I decide I really should run as very minute delay means less shade available.

I start my warm up walk, out to Mill Lane – flick my usual v-sign to the water pumping station. Three months on from Watergate and we still don’t know what we have to pay the water company… still it means we can happily spend the money on ice cream, wine and fine living until the day of reckoning comes. I do a little detour towards Lovers’ Lane and back up the Hill That Kills, towards the bendy, scary road. So far no strangers around, but it is a quiet hot Sunday morning.

Then the action hots up, first up a cyclist in lycra panting and puffing up the bendy, scary road. The biggest problem I have with cyclists here is that as Mr JCR is a member of a local cycling club, I assume I recognise most cyclists, even though his club are elsewhere this morning. That knowledge doesn’t stop me putting my hand up and saying ciao to a complete and utter stranger who wobbled slightly as he looked back at the plainly mad Englishwoman who’s trying to pick him up!  Okay that didn’t go too well JCR, then a man with a ‘zapper’ clearing up his garden says hello, I don’t know him so wave vaguely.

I am pootling along and take a breather for some water, when a little wizened old man in a rusty Fiat Cinquecento, slows down and says ‘brava’. No idea who he was either. On through Royston Vasey, no one is around and I am able to run without interruption or traffic dodging.  I’m shade seeking today and so swap road sides to gain the benefit from the trees, the downside, is I am now running in the same direction as the traffic – but it is only for a small stretch. I get overtaken by the carabinieri and I always wave at them to stay friendly – you never know when you may need them. But these carabinieri aren’t the usual ones – so another  set of strangers greeted. I switch back across the road and a young guy on a bike is cycling slowly, laden down with what looks like ten loaves of bread. He says ciao too. No idea who he is, I’ve never seen him before – quite clearly there’s a lot of friendly folk around today.

I make my way to the fish shop village and not a soul in sight, I think they’ve all gone to the beach early on. No more strangers to greet or to greet me. I hit my 9km mark at the cafe, where Gio at the bar, looks at my steaming face, says nothing but quickly pours me a long, cool glass of water. I take a break, refill my water bottles and continue. I have in mind to run up the bitch of a pitch today and I need all the water I can get, as it’s an unremitting ascent with little shade. As I am slowing for a sip of water, I get overtaken by my friend B who very kindly offers me a lift back up the hill to home if I need one. I thank her profusely, but decline politely. As all runners know, when you have an audience you have to run both faster and more athletically than you do normally. Once she turned off my normal plodding gait returned.

Blimey, oh Riley the bitch of a pitch hurts, so I tried fartlek – which is a sprint, then slow running, except it was more of a plod followed by an even slower plod. Further up the hill, just after the really horrid 18% gradient shown, I saw our friends M&G coming towards me, clearly all dressed up for Sunday lunch. They all waved and smiled, but at that point if they’d offered me a lift up the hill I would have said yes. I truthfully couldn’t run another step, so hit the stop button and walked home. I started out seeing strangers and ended up on the road home seeing friends. That’s not a bad run.

Playlist

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics

Perfect Day – Lou Reed

Wake Me Up When September Ends

All Day And All Of The Night – The Kinks

What About Us – The Saturdays

Seasons In The Sun – Terry Jacks

December, 1963 – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Spring Affair – Donna Summer

Dancing In The Dark – The Boss

Summr of ’69 = Bryan Adams

The Boys of Summer – Don Henley

Forever Autumn -Justin Hayward

Hazy Shade Of Winter – The Bangles

Winter Melody – Donna Summer

Year Of the Cat – Al Stewart

7 Years – Lukas Graham

Right Here, Right Now – High Street Musical Cast

1999 – His Purple Highness

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Sunday Morning – The Velvet Underground

Sunday Girl – Blondie

I Don’t Like Mondays – Boomtown Rats

Ruby Tuesday – Rolling Stones

Fall at Your Feet – Crowded House

8 Mile – Eminem

Stepping Out – Joe jackson

Step On – Happy Mondays

One Step Beyond – Madness

Footloose – Kenny Loggins

Second Hand News – Fleetwood Mac

Stats

Distance 12.53km

Time 1:42:41

Average Pace 8:11

Elevation Gain 193 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1121.74

Kms to Do 896.26 (under the 900s!)

25 – June – Looking for Shade

 

It’s 7.30pm and it’s also twenty six degrees, and it feels all wrong, because this is London and not Italy. I have my last London run to do before going back to Italy  and I ’d also like to break the 1100km barrier if I can.

Okay this is going to be challenging, as I don’t usually run in the evening and certainly not in full sun. I take my favourite route up to Holborn and snap the blue sky, just as Meck and Leo Sayer launch into Thunder In My Heart.

I’ve chosen my weather play list and mostly the tracks are about bad weather, and the optimistic one I hoped to hear ‘Mr Blue Sky’ remained stubbornly off the playlist. I run up Hatton Garden and do some mini ladder runs to vary the pace, and having to dodge the overspill of people outside of bars and pubs. Loads of drinking, chatter and an obstacle course for me to deal with.

I don’t know if I feel virtuous running when they are all drinking or just plain stupid for pursuing a tough challenge all of my own making. My run tonight is all about the 1100 marker and keeping out of the sun, which even in London is proving to be quite hard. Eventually, I aim towards Saffron Hill and home and realise I’m still a little short of where I need to be. I decide to head for Smithfield and take the long way home and it is here I find the coolest place to run in central London.

It is Central Avenue in Smithfield Meat Market – the covered Victorian boulevard between the two wings of the market. The avenue gets wafts of the air conditioned meat stalls, the only problem is it would be a very boring run just going up and down a 40-50 metre stretch of walkway. Even the most ardent meat eater might find the meat smell somewhat overpowering after a while.

I leave Smithfield behind and run past St Barts, which has newish graffiti on its walls as a result of it being the scene of Benedict Cumberbatch’s ‘death drop’ in Sherlock. This now has almost mythical status, with new London walks passing there for Sherlock fans.

I wanted to find shade, but mainly found sun and ended up with Sherlock. Not a bad 8km and I managed to beat my 1100km target by all of .19 of a kilometre, but every metre counts.

Next run – la Bella Italia.

Playlist

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Misty Blue – Dorothy Moore

Thunder Road – The Boss

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Thunder – His Purple Highness

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

Sunny – Boney M

Thunder In My Heart – Meck & Leo Sayer

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Since You Been Gone – Rainbow

Sunshine After The Rain – Berri

Baby Its Cold Outside – Idina mensal and Michael Bublé

Cold As Ice – Foreigner

Lightning Bolt – Jake Bugg

The Real Slim Shady – Eminem

Cold – Stormzy

Sunshine On A Rainy Day – Galimar

I Cant Stand the Rain – Ann Peebles

Cloudbusting – Kate Bush

Stats

Distance 8.60km

Time 1:02:39

Average Pace 7:17 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain – 30 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1100.19 (yay)

Kms to Run 917.81

 

 

26 May – Squeaky Bum Time

Today is Champions League Final Day and my team are in the final. To quote Alex Ferguson, today is squeaky bum time (I don’t like him much, but this is a great quote).

I hope and pray that Liverpool will win, but they are the underdogs in this fight for glory.  My little challenge is also at its squeaky bum time, I’m getting searingly close to the halfway kilometrage mark, but things are occurring outside of my control.

The heat – Summer has arrived and today’s temperature is up on yesterday’s,  I went out in 24 degrees this morning and got back at 26 degrees. This will continue, so I need to have a game plan for dealing with the heat. I do actually have one, chock full of useful hints and tips, the most important of which is getting up early enough to avoid the heat. With my now infamous sleeping habits, as a teenager when it comes to sleep, this is not going to be easy.

The opposition – Real Madrid are a tour de force and have some of the best footballing talent in their team. I run in the lanes of Real Marche and my opposition is the combination of inclines and traffic, both of which can end up as a near lethal cocktail. As the countryside verges grow ever taller, I become increasingly less visible, even when wearing my high-vis running kit. Safe running is a necessity, I may need to change my running venues.

The fitness – Real Madrid have some of the finest and most experienced footballing athletes in Europe, Liverpool are building theirs and I dearly wish they can teach the ‘show pony’ Ronaldo, a lesson. My lessons are that I really need to improve my core and overall fitness, as this will help carry me through the challenge, although the big toe issue is not helping one little bit. And to mix metaphors, this toe is becoming my Achilles heel. I saw a documentary on fitness that was talking about using your own body as a counterweight and that may be the route to better fitness that I have to take. Wall sitting anyone?

Managing the game. Liverpool’s big problem this season has been a leaky defence and an inability to shut the game down when it matters. For me, this is all about focussing on the task in hand – I want to do the 2018km challenge – anything else frankly is of secondary consideration. For example, I had toyed with the idea of running a half marathon during this year, but now that I’ve looked at various training plans, they all require me to be doing less weekly kilometrage than my challenge would permit. Somewhat reluctantly, I’ve kicked this idea in to touch. So my slow slog will continue, without the sexy addition of a half marathon as spice.

Finding the magic. Liverpool ‘found’ (although ‘bought’ seems more truthful) the magic when Mo Salah joined the team, he gave a different dimension and possibilities. For me in the running, this is a difficult thing to uncover. What is the magic of this challenge?  – I suppose it has uncovered my sheer bloody-mindedness at wanting to do it, despite being ill-prepared, the wrong age, not a natural athlete, an inexperienced runner etc., etc., etc.,

How did these factors coalesce on my run today?

Heat – I was not up early enough to avoid the sun, but I can blame lack of sleep these past few days, but I have to get a grip on getting up earlier. JCR – you can do much better here.

The Opposition – I ran one of my usual routes, including the very fast and dangerous ‘all roads lead to Rome’ road. But I stopped my run early so I could walk the last part in safety. If I get up earlier, there’s not so much traffic – back to point 1 JCR!

The Fitness – well I did do some squats last night before going to bed and tried the wall sitting, but didn’t want to do it in jeans. Let’s just say an attempt was made. Good news though, the toe wasn’t playing up nearly as much, so that is a good result.

Managing the Game – I tried fartlek during the run to improve tempo, not sure it was a resounding success, as I ended up running much slower at the end of the run. My times now have to allow for shade seeking and shelter, but I am okay with that. It always was going to be a marathon challenge and not one to be sprinted through.

Finding The Magic – the nearest I got to Mo Salah’s standard was reading about him in an Italian sports supplement, (which helpfully captioned the photo in case you didn’t know who he was!). The bloody-mindedness kicked in, as today is officially my rest day and I managed to run just over 8kms. And then managed the 4km walk back up the Bitch of a Pitch. so a small sprinkle of magic occurred today.

Playlist

Ode To Billie Joe – Bobbie Gentry

Soul Man – Sam & Dave

Help Me Rhonda – Beach Boys

Stand By Me – Ben E King

Let’s Dance – Chris Montez

Bad Moon Rising  – Creedence Clearwater Revival

You Never Can Tell – Chuck Berry

The Israelites – Desmond Dekker

I Only Want To Be With You – Dusty Springfield

It’s My Party – Lesley Gore

Wonderful World – Herman’s Hermits

Jumping’ Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones

Aint Got No – I Got Life – Nina Simone

Paint It Black – The Rolling Stones

Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf

Under The Boardwalk – The Drifters

Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations

Be My Baby – The Ronettes

Keep On Running – The Spencer Davis Group

Mrs Robinson – Simon and Garfunkel

Californian Dreaming’ – The Mamas and The Papas

Stats

Distance 8.33km

Time 1:02:11

Average Pace 7:27 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain – 36 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 908.47

Kms to do 1109.53

 

 

 

 

 

24 May – Busy Doing Nothing

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Mr JCR is in the Alps, either on/in his bike depending on whether you are English or Italian, or he could be watching the Giro D’Italia.

I am at home, alone, busy doing absolutely nothing. This morning’s packed agenda – get up, run, shower, and go out for coffee.

All done with the minimum of fuss or effort. This afternoon’s packed agenda – yet to be decided, but I am thinking lunch and maybe wine, oh and launder the sweaty sports gear.

At coffee my friend C was telling me how she keeps fit – she does a sports called hydro-bike, which is an exercise bike submerged in a swimming pool. Yes you pedal and you also do upper body exercises too. I’ve never heard of this but the course is fully subscribed and closes next month – oh well maybe something to try another time then. But it sounds quite good fun.

Todays’ run, hot, sweaty, quiet and short. Done. No people, lots of dogs barking – I just typed that in a Spoonerism way and it came out bogs darking… Not much shade actually,  as the temperature has risen after the recent cold snap. Didn’t enjoy it much, but that’s the way it goes from time to time.  Am hoping I can pull together enough fitness and enthusiasm to get me over the 900km mark tomorrow.

Playlist

Sugar Baby Love – The Rubettes

Bye Bye Baby – Bay City Rollers

Shang A Lang – ditto

A Little Bit More – 911

When You Say Nothing At All – Boyzone

Mandy – Westlife

Boxerbeat – Jo Boxers

Everybody – Backstreet Boys

Bye Bye Bye – NSYNC

Shine – Take That

It Only Takes A Minute – ditto

The Chauffeur – Duran Duran

Rockin’ Robin – Michael Jackson

Fun, Fun, Fun – The Beach Boys

Mama Do The Hump – Rizzle Kicks

Everybody In Love – JLS

Stats

Distance 5.67km

Time 40:03

Average Pace 7:03 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 42 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 889.77

Kms to Run 1128.23

 

9 May – Ch Ch Changes Afoot

 

We have a routine here, if Mr JCR is cycling he goes out early, leaving me to wallow in peace under the duvet, and we don’t bother with breakfast. If we are together in the morning (that sounds slightly suspect doesn’t it?), then invariably we go to our local cafe.

Here, you always get service with a smile, our pastries are put to one side for when we arrive, and no words are spoken as our order is brought directly to the table. All of which is glorious, except for one thing. Just occasionally, we may fancy a change. Nothing drastic you understand, maybe not the same pastry or perhaps a single macchiato not a double. Not mind-blowingly different, but we’ve reached that stage where it is almost impossible for us to change the order, because they’d be upset if we did. They pride themselves on doing this little courtesy not just for us, but for many of their clients – including the 4 ladies that our friend G has dubbed ‘Sex and The City’ – they are about 75+!

And we’ve changed our routine a lot these past few days. With our good friends G&J staying with us, we have been dining and wining well but not wisely,  and as a consequence, breakfast has been a more relaxed, much later and an at-home affair. Yesterday, we were at the cafe saying goodbye – the four of us were joined by another 2 mutual friends. the whole concept of the saved orders went out of the window, as we all did slightly different things than they were used to seeing. Today, we had an appointment at home so didn’t go. You see we are messing the cafe staff around, but they remain courteous and helpful and as friendly as ever, evidenced by my ‘smiley’ cappuccino. And that’s a change too, there’s a new young Hoxton Hipsterish barista on duty – coffee art is obviously his thing, as I’ve never had that before.

A change is as good as a rest they say, and I decided I’d run this afternoon for a change. The weather was warm and sultry this morning, so I waited until after lunch, mmm we have a very grey sky and I can hear rolls of thunder. This isn’t looking good. Okay at 4.30 I decide the weather is sounding threatening, but probably unlikely to do much, so I pop out for a quick run.

Hadn’t really thought much about my route, but for a short run, there aren’t too many changes I can make. I trot up Mill Lane, growl at the water pumping station and make my way to Lovers’ Lane and towards Villa Bali. As usual, there’s a a school trip there, which means I have to endure the inevitable cat-calls, or kids copying me run, or racing me. But today is the day of change – the teachers are out on the lawn too. Not one cat-call, mickey take or fake running occurs. Down the hill that kills and I run into the slope of hope, no-one’s about, it is very quiet and I feel the pitter patter of rain on my face. That’s fine, a small shower I can cope with and make my way to Laundry Lane. It is like running in an old Western movie, no-one is around, no noise, save for a few birds tweeting. I half expected to see tumbleweed careering down the road in front of me. I had in mind a quick 5k, but then realised if I did that, I’d be a little short of my 800km mark, and so I continued on to a point where the run back would get me over the line.  On my way back I spotted the changed Citroen 2CV. To be frank this is more a car I’d expect to see in Hoxton than sleepy Le Marche. But maybe times are a changing and Le Marche is getting hip?

I ever so slightly miscalculated my route distance –  I saw a road warning for the junction at the end of Laundry Lane (my planned finish point) saying it was 150m away, and I thought that would be enough – a quick check on Map My Run and it wasn’t. Hence a change of direction, I turned full 180 degrees and started running back where I came from, alongside a set of garages. Because I didn’t want to go back a long way I ended up scooting up and down the same bit of road a few times.  Luckily, the unusually quiet afternoon meant no-one saw the batty Englishwoman running up and down the same 10 metre stretch.

And it’s all change tomorrow, we are back in London for a few days, me to pound the streets of our fair Capital City and Mr JCR to do an M25 inspired ride around London.

I changed my playlist today too…, this is my Spotify list for MummyCav on C25K, as she had a crap run yesterday. MummyCav this run was for you…

Playlist

Helena -My Chemical Romance

Poison Ivy – The Lambrettas

Respect – Aretha

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Kayleigh – Marillion

Layla – Derek & The Dominoes

Ophelia – The Band

Dear Prudence – Siouxsie and The Banshees

Queen of Clubs – KC And The Sunshine Band

Roxanne – The Police

Teresa – Eddie Cochran

Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy

St Xenia – Katina

Oh Yoko – John Lennon

Zoe Jane – Staind

Stats

Distance 7.33km

Time 50:34

Average Pace 6:53

Elevation Gain 74 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms run 800.89

Kms to do 1217.11

 

 

2 May – Bunnies & Breakdowns

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A Furry Distraction

The First of May is a National Holiday in Italy, and so yesterday we found ourselves in the civilised wilds of Umbria, with a bunch of friends (16 of us in total). The plan was to go for a mountain/hilly walk and then lunch. The crappy cool, wet weather really put paid to that, and Plan B was enacted – a gentle passeggiata around a hilly walled City, a stop for aperitivi – the Italians certainly know how to organise a country walk. Then we go onto lunch at a friend of a friend’s trattoria. There we ate well, with particular highlights being the fresh ricotta served with walnuts and honey and the cantucci (we’d call them biscotti) dunked in Vin Santo. An English lesson ensued,  how to pronounce and spell dunk. After lunch another passeggiata, admiring wild primulas, and other flowers that I just didn’t recognise. In the mountains, Spring is even later in arriving and there we also found cherry and apple blossom.

It was a glorious day even allowing for the rubbish weather, but it is quite tiring keeping up in your second language, especially when your friends dip in and out of dialect too. Eventually, after a return stop to the trattoria to have some more vino and a fill up of the gorgeous ricotta, we returned home.

Oh we are so lightweight compared to these friends, they stayed on, then went to a music festival thing in Piobbico, on the way home to Fano, found a pub, then found another, we got a text saying they were nearby and did we fancy a beer? We declined, one of us was running this morning, and a late beery night, even though I don’t drink beer, wasn’t going to be that conducive to a good run.

This morning the alarm went off, and up I got. It’s much cooler today, and so I was layered up. Out onto Mill Lane, growling at the water pumping station – we’ve missed the bloody engineer again – he has an uncanny knack of calling us on the one occasion when we aren’t around. So that means yet another flaming visit to the local office, to queue again for 30 minutes, to arrange an appointment, that they won’t tell us when it is. We just have to hang around in the vague hope that we might be near when the engineer calls.

I made my way up to Lovers’ Lane, no sign of Anouska or Albino today, even though I am up there suitably early. I enter Villa Bali’s grounds and see the little bunny sitting calmly on the grass, I didn’t dare get too close in case he snuck off. As it was I ran right past him and he didn’t stir. He may be ill, as usually the wild rabbits around here are very jumpy when humans are close – and rightly so, as rabbit is a much loved dish here.

Although the mercury had dropped, I was getting warm so did a quick pitstop and dropped my jacket off into our postbox. Continuing on my run, I was on the Bendy, Scary Road, all was quiet and cool, making it easy for me to keep going, I even managed a couple of kms at under 5 minutes 30 seconds. I continued on, prior to Royston Vasey’s cafe, I saw a lorry stopped in front of me – on a blind bend. The driver was out of his cab on the opposite side of the road, I asked him if he was okay and needed any help and he said he was fine. But he hadn’t coned off the road or left his warning triangle out behind him, so I was perplexed if it was just a stop it was certainly a very dangerous place to leave his lorry. Then about 15 minutes later into my run, he happily drove past me…

It was post-lorry time, I realised the mechanical voice lady from Map My Run had been suspiciously quiet, ah yes JCR you’ve done it again, you paused the app at the bunny stop and didn’t re-start it. Ho hum, a good job I knew which route I was using and the kms. This time a proper breakdown, except it was mine again! As Mr JCR says, I ought to take more care with the tech.

A quick pitstop into the fish shop to order my fish and I was on my way. It’s market day and so a lady sprinting through the market stalls wasn’t exactly the most welcome of visitors. But I bombed through and up to Bin Lane, on the home straight and I arrived at the cafe 10 minutes before the agreed pick up time, so I did a few mini circuits near the cafe, just to keep the kms up. Job done – just over 11kms in all.

On the way home, we saw Puffa Woman again, this time wearing a dark grey full length coat, with a matching coloured woollen hat. It was about 16 degrees – maybe she is a middle aged woman, suffering from a faulty thermostat? I too am a middle aged woman with a faulty thermostat but I was wearing just a base layer and running tights and boy was I hot. This lady has, to our knowledge, 3 separate puffa coats. I wait with interest, to see what she wears next week when the temperatures are due to rise again.

Playlist

Rumour Has It – Adele

Back To Black – Amy Winehouse

Rehab – ditto

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Help Me Rhonda – The Beach Boys

Barbara Ann – ditto

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Hot In The City – Billy Idol

Mony Mony – ditto

Girls and Boys – Blur

Tracy Jacks – ditto

Parklife – ditto

Born To Run – The Boss

Hungry Heart – The Boss

Dancing In The Dark – The Boss

Born In The USA – The Boss

Glory Days – The Boss

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

Tokyo Joe – ditto

Mulder and Scully – Catatonia

Fuck You – CeeLo Green

London Calling – The Clash

Rock The Casbah – ditto

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

Stats

Distance 11:59 kms

Time 1:19:47

Average Pace 6:53

Elevation Gain 8 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 768.11

Kms to Do 1249.89

Thanks to Razouski of Health Unlocked C25k for her sponsorship for my challenge. Much appreciated and a PCT is booked for June.