Feb 22 – Deficit Reduction

After yesterday’s mild disappointment on not meeting my daly target, I got up this morning somewhat later than planned, which meant my morning run was under time pressure.

I bombed out of the apartment, determined to do today’s target 7km and a bit more if I could. Although it was very chilly, I ran like the wind (well middle aged wind). And I made up yesterday’s shortfall. Hurrah.

No fuss, no dramas, no incidents. Face colour = salsa red

Playlist

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me ? – Culture Club

Do You Remember The First Time? – Pulp

Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? – Paloma Faith

Doesn’t Make It Alright – Stiff Little Fingers

Doginabag – The Fratellis

Don’t – Elvis Presley

Don’t be Cruel – Elvis Presley

Don’t Forget Me – Red Hot Chilis

Don’t Forget To Dance – The Kinks

Don’t Go – Yazoo

Don’t Let Me be Misunderstood – Nina Simone

Don’t Let Me Down – The Beatles

Stats

Distance 7.73km

Time 46:57

Average Pace 6:04 (mins/km) – that’s more like it!

Elevation Gain – 50 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Done 275.8 kms

To Do 1742.20 kms

Team Rhomboid Torture Challenge

Only squats done today – oops epic failure, must do better tomorrow

 

 

 

 

 

Pride comes before a fall… 12 Oct

Although in this particular case, prosecco actually came after the fall.

Rewind to yesterday evening, me and Mr JCR going out for dinner to a nice fish restaurant in Fano, Cile’s as it happens. We are a little early, so decide to have aperitivi in Bar Must (yes there’s lots of weird English word combinations).

With my eyes firmly on the prize of a nice table for two, I stride confidently forward down an unseen step. And trip, not a swallow dive, but very Dick Emery and his Mandy character (my how that dates me). I definitely felt a twinge in the groin area, but recovered sufficiently to enjoy the prosecco. Really no big deal at all.

Today’s semi ambitious plan was to crack 8.5km, and I thought the best way of doing that was to do it at the Fano pista, the running track where men dress in a notable manner. This is almost flat and a 2.2km circuit, I thought if I could do more or less 4 circuits I’d be fine. Cue lights, camera and action. I stepped out in my kit, started to get the music, Map My Run and my keys organised, then when my money fell out of my phone holder all on the track, my how the two roller bladers laughed. I adopted the standard London snooty pose and carried on, first km fine, second km am a bit warm so remove extra top and take it back to the car. Entering the pista again I managed to trip over thin air and pulled the self same areas of my right leg. This is known as Stupid Tart Syndrome and I suffer from it quite a bit.

Anyway I carried on, ignoring the twinge, that was becoming an ache, that was becoming a pain and managed to overtake 4/5 wunners. At about 4km mark, it is clear that ‘Houston we have a problem’, the groin pull is mirrored by a pull on the inside of my right knee and my right hamstring. For distraction purposes, I spot that the lampposts seem to be numbered sequentially and thought they were about 100m apart. My new cunning plan is to run 10 lampposts which in JCR land, equates to a km. Except that mechanical voice lady from Map My Run is suspiciously quiet…

Stupid Tart Syndrome strikes again, the lampposts are just numbered and they are not actually 100m apart. This compromises my plan to do 40 lampposts to finish. At this stage my right leg is quite painful, therefore I wait for mechanical voice lady to tell me it has been 5km and the second she did, I stopped running.

Upshot is, when suffering from Stupid Tart Syndrome, do not set ambitious targets, do not change venues and finally never rely on lampposts.

 

Playlist

Blue Monday – New Order

World in Motion – ditto

Rumour Has It – Adele

Everything Must Go – The Manics

Maid of Orleans – OMD

Beat It – Michael Jackson

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs

Rain on Your Parade – Duffy

Rockferry – Duffy

Stats

Distance 5.02km

Time 33.22

Avergage Pace 6.38 min/km

Elevation Gain 10 Metres

Fastest km 6.26

In fact, this has been one of my fastest runs to 5km. Speed and Stupid Tart Syndrome obviously combined today.

No Squats as Muscles too painful!

Face Colour – Sick as a parrot green….

Faffolino and Forza – 3 October

It’s a beautiful sunny Autumn day, I am safely snuggled under the duvet, with a welcome mug of tea in hand. Putting off my date with Mr Smooth, I swallow my tea and I have an unngghh throat, I am not sure how you spell that first word, but it is when you swallow and inside your head, your throat makes that ‘I have a cold coming’ noise.

Wondering whether this really constitutes a good enough excuse not to run, there’s a beep at the gate, one of our friends coming round to borrow some gardening kit. Mr JCR hot foots it downstairs to open up, and I give myself a kick and get up to go.

So far, Faffolino the faff-mouse has persuaded me to have a mug of tea, instead of getting up to run. Then follows a master-class in faffing, Faffolino is at her best! Kit out and ready, aha no underwear, go to wardrobe to get suitable trussing, put on running socks – the sexy ones with wings on the back, put on the wrong feet, so pull them off and replace. Come downstairs, friend and Mr JCR are having cup of coffee, I then decide for no apparent reason to sort out the bins (faff), put the washing out to dry (faffolino working hard), bleach the bin (why????). Finally get my act together, water, music, phone, keys all ready, I leave the house get to the garden gate and decide I need to use the loo (more faff). About 40 minutes after having decided to run I finally got on my way. My usual routine is a sleek 12 minutes!

Down the Slope of Hope, the Barking Balcony House is quiet, and I start my run, up the Hill that Kills, go past two old ladies out for a morning passegiata, they nod and say buongiorno and so do I. My legs feel heavy this morning and this first pass up the hill is quite hard going, I continue into Lovers’ Lane towards Villa Bali. I run around the lawns and there appears to be some kind of corporate do on, with people looking important and taking calls on the lawn. I run past and back out, and see the rubbish collecting man, tidying up the vestiges of last night’s nocturnal activities. I continue back to the Hill that Kills, on the upward slope – my heart sank as there is a Molto Chic Podista coming my way (she is not the Molto Chic Podista). Wearing a red vest, with long grey running leggings, she is lithe and has the obligatory swooshy ponytail. My face matches her vest and I am only about 1.5km in, my excuse being I am still in the toxic ten phase. We nod, I don’t think I could summon the energy to speak.

I plod on and do my usual Hill that Kills trot, go down to the Slope of Hope and pass Mr Woodpile who has trussed up feet and is in a wheelchair. We exchange greetings as my Italian isn’t good enough to ask questions about his health (besides which we only ever talk about his woodpile). I turn back up the Hill that Kills, and my music is all over the place, so I stop to mess about and then continue (Faffolino followed me out today). Back down Lovers’ Lane, I notice that when I altered my music and put Map My Run on pause, I didn’t resume the run on the app, so I’ve lost some running distance off my stats (Faffolino really is roaring today). I continue but my legs and heart aren’t really in it today, because my breathing is okay but legs feel like lead. In a bloody mindedness moment I decide to loop to the Hill that Kills for a third time, just as punishment for the bad run. On my way towards the Hill that Kills, I hear a car coming up behind me, and he noticeably slows down, comes really close and shouts Forza Forza Signora and then continued on. No idea who he was, I didn’t recognise the car, but he did give me a bit of a boost to continue.

Lessons learned today, first of all allowing Faffolino a toe-hold is bad news, because once you start the faff, it continues. Secondly, I really don’t like the free download of U2 that seems to have inveigled its way on to my phone, therefore I am removing the tracks today, so there’s no musical faffing in future. Thirdly, an unngghh throat is probably a hint that you’re slightly under the weather, and unlikely to perform at your best.

Face Colour – Salsa Red

Anyway, the music thing is a big motivator for me I love my music and there are two or three folk on C25K who share similar tastes and we trade playlist suggestions. One of these is Razouski who has lost hearing in one ear and is now fighting an infection in her other one and so is bereft of 80s music to listen to and struggling with balance. So Razouski in your honour I have created a Retro Runners’ Playlist on my phone – details to be listed elsewhere. Use it as inspiration as you will…. and good luck with that ear.

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Playlist

The pesky app didn’t record a thing – Faffolino well and truly got me.

Stats

Distance 6.93km (probably there or thereabouts right, as it excluded part of my run, but included my warm down walk)

Time 52.43

Pace 7.36 kms/min

Elevation Gain 66 Metres

Squat Challenge

3X sets of 11 Reps, must do better…..aim for 15 by end of week!

 

All Roads Lead to Rome… 1 October

So why am I running in the opposite direction?

Because after my last run using a new 10K training app and having sought the wise counsel of the C25K runners, I came to the conclusion that I was better off following my own plan. This plan is to extend my distance by 0.5km for one run each week and consolidate at the previous distance for two runs. Today’s distance challenge therefore was 7.5km. I decided to give myself a break and run predominantly downhill avoiding the heavy hills for a change.

Today’s route is the three villages challenge (excluding my own) I had to run through three villages en route, finally stopping for a well earned coffee, before tackling the Bitch of a Pitch as warm down walk. The route takes me along the Via Flaminia which goes from Fano to Rome, as the heading, except I would be running along it towards Fano.

Warm up walk down the Slope of Hope, it’s always busier on Sunday mornings when people are going to church. Start my run heading towards the Bendy, Scary Road, which true to its reputation gave me my first fright as I was heading round a right hand bend and the oncoming car despite having oodles of room to move over, thought it would be fun just to stay on line to force me onto the cambered part of the verge…

Mmm not a great start, I decided to play Runners’ I-Spy (this is how tragically narrow my life has become!) to give me something else to focus on and not that plonker of a driver. Today’s I-Spy challenge was; how many people wearing fluoro orange tops would I see on my route, as I am wearing my usual Fluorescent orange top, with fetching blue and orange diamond shorts (They are not diamante, just in case you wondered).

At the 2km mark two cyclists coming towards me one in full club kit, the other in what looks like odds and ends from his mother’s dressing up drawer, but result – he was wearing an orangish top. Tango Score 1.

I get overtaken by a cycling club all wearing red and black, no orange, but one of them put his hand up. So that was nice and friendly. Heading into my first village square I see a lady cyclist and yes she is wearing an orange top. Tango Score 2.

Lone cyclist coming towards me on a sweeping right hand bend, he is black and white all over, but he says Ciao Signora. So again no tango, but I got a Ciao.

Running downhill towards the second village, there is an awful lot of people around and I turn the corner past the bikers’ caff, and remember that today is the Festa di Micrologia, which is to celebrate all things fungal. Perhaps not athlete’s foot, but porcini mushrooms, that kind of thing. It’s a little busy around here as parking restrictions are in place, so I do a ‘Strictly Comes Prancing’ move with a Fiat Punto and its owner who couldn’t decide whether she was going into the car park, reversing out of it or doing a three point turn. My mirroring of her moves would have scored me a perfect 10.

I ran on towards the third and final village, which is not so pretty as it was pretty much destroyed in the war and so is mainly new housing. I am running parallel to the Via Flaminia, (the road is frighteningly fast and there are no pavements) but there’s one small bit I can’t avoid and that’s on the approach to the cafe for my coffee. I turn onto the Flaminia to do my last .5km.

And then I see him in the distance, a cyclist wearing perfect Stabilo Boss marker pen kit, an orange top and black trousers. So my Tango Score for today’s run is 3. All fine and dandy, except that this last Tango Man was an absolute git, he cycled and kept hugging the right hand side so I had nowhere to go and had to stop to avoid colliding with him. He knew he’d done it as he smirked when he cycled past me – yes I told him to eff off (in English) and yes I gave him the finger. Not my nicest of finishes…, but up to the cafe stop I had run 7.8km, and my 5k time was about 32 minutes. So my Last Tango In Le Marche, left a very nasty taste in the mouth. I think next time I’ll do a different ISpy.

p.s. The warmdown walk, takes me about 3km uphill with a 200 metre gain to tackle, so it’s actually a warming up warm down walk, but I did see two lady walkers, one of whom was wearing  an orange and red top and they both nodded. That sort of made up for Orange Git Man. However I messed up on Map My Run again and kept it on pause, so I lost those stats too…

Face Colour : Salsa Red

This Week’s Download Treats recommended by the Retro Runners…

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Playlist

Purple Rain – Prince and the Revolution

Temptation  – Heaven 17

Mr Brightside – The Killers

Beat It – Michael Jackson

Girls and Boys – Blur

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson

This Girl – Kungs

Reap The Wild Wind – Ultravox

Alison – Elvis Costello

Lose Yourself – Eminem

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

Uptown Funk – Ronson and Mars

When Doves Cry – Prince and the Revolution

Purple Rain – Prince and the Revolution

Stats

Distance 8.36km (I stopped for coffee at 7.8km)

Duration 55.25

Average Pace Km/mins 6.37

Elevation Gain (37 metres)

Fastest km 6.18mins

Confession

I’ve missed two days of the 7 day squats challenge, so that’s a fail too. Ho hum.

Running with Foxes – 28 September

The alarm has gone, the date invitation from Mr Smooth well and truly received. Mr JCR up and out and JCR still in bed, pondering on the loveliness of duvets. With the sun streaming through the window;  and I think to myself what a wonderful world (thanks Louis) but clearly this laziness can’t continue, no matter how lovely the duvet is, so up I get.

I have chosen a rather fetching (father retching if spoonered) outfit combo of fluoro yellow top and blue orange diamond running shorts. I am now ready to face anything, specifically the first of a structured training plan to get me to 10K in distance again. I have done it before ( a couple of years back) but realised my runs were all downhill…

I didn’t really like the look of the app suggestion on the Couch to 5K site, so decided to go off piste and buy the Ease into 10K App, which is a 10 week plan. I am now 5 weeks post graduation of the C25K plan and on Tuesday ran 7.01km. Using this as a benchmark I thought I could safely start on Week 5 of this new App for 10K. This is  a 5 minute warm up and warm down walk with 9 minutes running and 1 minute walking intervals for a total of 4 times.

Off I pop, warm down walk past the barking balcony house and start my running on the Hill that Kills, into Lovers’ Lane again no Albino or Anouska but I am later this morning, but I do see a silver fox walking towards me – not exactly Richard Gere, in fact he looks like a cross between Only Fools and Horses’ Uncle Albert, with a touch of ZZ Top thrown in. He does however nod and say buongiorno, do my usual loop back to the Hill that Kills, and turn and run up the Slope of Hope. I have to say gasping for breath, which is quite unusual for me, maybe it is the interval training having an effect?

Towards the peak I see another silver fox, this time more reminiscent of David Gower. He too is wearing a fluoro top – clearly he heard the hunters’ gunshots this morning too and like me didn’t want to be a trophy. At this stage I am glorying in runners’ smugness because I am running up-hill and he is running down. Noting I had completely ignored the fact that he must have run up a hill to be running down it…, at that point the halo of smugness slipped and strangled me, as the nasty American prompt on the running app shouted at me to walk.

Anyway having being told to walk, I did and in that instant I did that thing I keep doing when walking as a runner. I briskly upped my pace moved my arms in a business-like manner and arranged my face into a ‘this is a training plan and I am walking because I have to’ expression. I don’t know if he got all of that out of my body language – he just smiled, said ciao and carried on.

What is it about Americans and the use of the imperative tense? * A please would go an awful long way… After Mr Ciao was out of view, the American shouted at me to run again, so I carried on into Mill Lane and back up Lovers’ Lane, to see my third silver fox – well there was a glimpse of white hair from under his backward facing baseball cap, really a backward facing baseball cap in a country lane in Le Marche? Bizarre -not much of a hip-hop scene here, I have to tell you.

I overtook him but he was walking so don’t get carried away by thoughts of me motoring past, I plodded and carried on. This new American man in my life kept on interrupting me with useless information like it has  been 4.39 km now. I am not liking this app at all and frankly returning to intervals is messing up my tempo, it seems to take a long time to rev up after the walking intervals.

I take the usual loop to Lovers’ Lane once more, the Hill that Kills and turn down towards the Bendy Scary Road. I keep going even after the American has told me to stop and ‘WARM DOWN NOW!’, I really don’t like him and besides which on this plan I have only actually wun 6.3km which is .8km less than my total run on Sunday. Being utterly bloody minded I continue until I hit Cavendish Hill and manage a few metres up it and finish on a total of 8.32km, which I think means I probably ran for about 7.5km.

So the usual summary…. hate the app, dislike intensely the imperative tense, could happily murder shouty American prompt, oh and the app doesn’t have a mapping capability, so I don’t have a route map, nor do I have the elevation stats. And to add insult to injury it doesn’t record the playlist either.

So I have a countdown type conundrum, do I do my own thing as previously, or continue with the new shouty app? Or something else?

Oh and I forgot to do my squats yesterday too…

Face Colour Monarch

* Some Americans not all, I can’t damn a whole nation…

Playlist

I can remember, London Grammar, Depeche Mode, The Killer, The Boss, Landscape, Radiohead, Ultravox….

Stats

Distance 8.32km

Time 1.02.04

Average Pace 7.27 mins/km

 

 

Being Buzzed Literally and Metaphorically – 26 September

A fellow C25Ker Donna79 on Health Unlocked had posted that life had somehow got in the way yesterday and she hadn’t managed to run as planned, so we did a deal I would run today if she did. And we’d name and shame if the other hadn’t done it. Today was therefore a ‘pride’ run.

My usual invitation from Mr Smooth arrived this morning, but was ignored because we had the door-lock man coming, as a result my run was to be deferred. Somewhat ironically, the front door handle came off last night, so we had to go out to get parts to fix the door to be able to let the door-lock man in! En route to the Ferramenta (Fact: The village Ferramenta is absolutely the best shop in all of Italy), the door-lock man phoned – he had problems so would be with us in the afternoon. Ferramentas are exactly like The Two Ronnies’ Four Candles sketch in appearance and methods, but there’s pretty much nothing that can’t be bought or acquired there.

Back to base, no excuses now running kit on. Warm down walk didn’t exactly start auspiciously – around the first left hand bend I could hear a scooter approaching behind me, it was Greavsie from the barking balcony house. Then in an instant, a Fiat Punto decided that a scooter on a blind bend was in a perfect place to overtake, so he overtook him and I felt the swoosh of air as he passed me a bit too close for comfort. The driver did one of those jerky arm movements and the car lurched back right – I think I frightened him almost as much as he frightened me and Greavsie.

Map My Run mechanical voice lady, told me to start running so I did;  up the hill that kills and into Lovers’ Lane. I had decided today I was going to have a go at running Cavendish Hill

Last time I tried this hill I ran down to 1979 in a vain attempt to find Mark Cavendish’s name on the tarmac, but failed as he has been lost in the mists of time and faded paint. I descended downhill and just as I hit the 1990s OMG a swarm of bees ‘crossing’ the road. Well I was amongst them so decided the best thing I could do was to keep my mouth closed, eyes down to the tarmac and hope they didn’t get miffed.  I got all the way down to the bottom which I think is dated either 1930 or 1950, again the tarmac  is way too faded to tell and I ran up Cavendish Hill. In truth I took 5 mini stops to do it, but it is about an 80 metre gain and Mr JCR’s Strava confirms it is 0.80 of a kilometre. A 10% gradient all told.

Back down Lovers’ Lane, to receive a buongiorno from two guys at the Piadineria, continued to the Hill that Kills, and then down to the Bendy, Scary Road. This is a nice slope down and I’d estimated I might just be able to do my 7km milestone before having to tackle Cavendish Hill again. I was meandering nicely down, the Adria Bus came thundering towards me – having being buzzed twice this morning already I didn’t fancy a close encounter of the third kind, so I stopped and stepped to one side. But miracles do happen he pulled wide of me and gave me loads of room. Not entirely sure what the motorist thought coming the other way though!

Winding down now I knew I had done about 6.5km and then what did I see in the distance, but the entrance to Cavendish Hill, aaarrrggghhh, I hadn’t quite got my calibration right. I entered Cavendish Hill with about 250 metres to do, but I failed to do it one go, had to have a stop. But now I have a new target for Cavendish Hill, to get up with only 4 stops…

Anyway upshot is after being buzzed, by cars and bees and nearly a bus, I am buzzing… 7km done yay!

Oh yes 3 X 11 reps of squats done last night too. Same tonight otherwise King of Squats will be on my case.

Face Colour Monarch Red

Btw Donna79 only went and did it, so no shame for either of us, only fame!

Playlist

Wonderwall – Oasis

Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Perfect – Lightning Seeds

Somebody Told me – Killers

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

(Forever) Live and Die – OMD

Lucky You (twice in succession) – Lightning Seeds

Born in the USA (twice in succession) – The Boss

Blue Monday – New Order

Einstein a Go-Go – Landscape

Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak – Macy Gray

Barbara Ann – Beach Boys

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

In the City – The Jam

Na Na Na Na Naa – Kaiser Chiefs

Chelsea Dagger – Fratellis

Stats

Distance 7.01Km

Duration 51.20mins

Average Pace 7.19(mins/km)

Elevation Gain 116 metres

 

 

 

 

They say that looks don’t count for much- 24 Sept

It’s a Sunday and I am late out of the door, I do have an excuse we had a late night last night, cheering our friend Peter on in his first (and judging by his reactions, last) Iron Man. Iron Man came to Italy for the first time and was held in the seaside resort of Cervia.  This is what Peter looked like after his well deserved massage and on his way home to bed. Not too bad, you’d have no idea he had finished almost 13 hours of gruelling effort.

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In fact, Peter wasn’t the only one he was accompanied by over 2,000 competitors. One in particular, an unknown (by me, but confirmed on Monday as a Swiss  guy Xavier Bruchez) man who was doing the Iron Man with his cousin (Gaeten Daves). According to Peter, this guy swam towing his cousin on a float, did the bike ride on an adapted cycle for the two of them and also ran the marathon pushing Gaeten in an adapted chair. Truly remarkable that’s Iron Man Squared in my book. It didn’t look like the famous USA Hoyt duo, I checked that out later, but there was a gloriously loud ripple of cheering that accompanied them wherever they went. We saw them twice on the marathon loop. Truly uplifting.

Peter – congratulations to you on achieving an amazing Iron Man stunt. Hope you enjoyed a long deserved sleep last night.

I decided to take a new route down the ‘Bitch of a Pitch’ – this is a 5km descent/ascent depending on your direction, I don’t know the elevation gain, that’s a question for Mr JCR.  I was descending down Prune Way, and  whilst it’s downhill, the gradient is quite steep and it is dangerous to sprint down it.  Happily shuffling along, I get hooted at by a large tractor and trailer in tow. The usual road rules apply, it is bigger than me, tougher than me and can squash me. I complied with the toot and stood to one side and I got a wink. No, he didn’t have a fly in his eye, the sun wasn’t shining in his face, I got a wink.

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At my age you take anything you can get, so it made me smile and I shuffled on down to Laundry Lane.

Laundry Lane takes me up a series of long winding bends and then back down again, Joe Jackson’s lyrics were in my mind when I saw the laundry below. This was the village laundry for many years, mmm not sure I fancy putting my running kit in there now to freshen it up. But it was very popular in its heyday, we are told.

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This is my 3rd run after twingeing my back and it went fine, I ran back up Laundry Lane and heard Catatonia sing those wonderful twisted lyrics ‘I find myself constipated’, just at the point I was running out of puff, so laughed and carried on albeit slowly

Not my fastest, nor my prettiest, but then looks don’t count for much….

Playlist

Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles

Sign of the Times – Harry Styles

Rain on your Parade – Duffy

Common People – Pulp

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

F..k You – Cee Lo Green

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Hungry Heart – The Boss

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson

Modern Way – Kaiser Chiefs

Is She Really Going Out With Him? – Joe Jackson

Dreaming of Me – Depeche Mode

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

Mulder and Scully – Catatonia

Everything Must Go – Manic Street Preachers

Help me Rhonda – Beach Boys

Stats

Distance 7.34km (but I walked .56km)

Time 58.20

Average pace 7.56 mins/km

Elevation Gain 149 metres

Squats – 1 set of 10 reps before the run and 3 sets of 10 reps after the run…