No Particular Place To Go – Week 6 Run 2

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He was a lot bigger close up

Another day, another run and back to longer intervals this time ten minutes, which surely should be a breeze after a twenty minute stint in Week Five. Funnily enough that’s not exactly how it works, mainly because your  brain tricks you into thinking you can pick up the pace and then when you do, you find that was a really, really stupid thing to do, because you sound like an asthmatic badger at the end of the first interval.

It’s a cooler day, which is better for running and keeps most folk indoors, which helps me not having to dodge wayward pedestrians/bikes/ skateboarders/those stupid scooters/buses etc, but didn’t help me work out the best pace. Ho hum.

Whilst I was  really stupid overdoing it on the first interval, I didn’t feel quite as bad as I thought I might. But that’s absolutely no reason to repeat the mistake, and the second interval is much more of a pootling pace, which was difficult to Donna Summer singing I Feel Love, followed by T Rex and MetalGuru, then Mud’s Tigerfeet, all of which are good feel-good songs for running, but not so great for maintaining a slower pace.

The City is gradually opening up again, you can feel and sense more movement, the air is slightly more metallic in taste and it’s harder to hear birdsong. But for now, the City still represents the best place to run. It’s not blessed with many green spaces, which keeps families at home, and it’s surprisingly easy to get lost if you don’t know where you are.

Even though I’ve worked in and around the City for over 30 years, you can still get lost by taking random turns. My newest discovery is Old Sreet Yard – a funky new office area with green space and a guy talking on his mobile phone. This is near the supposedly world famous Silicon Roundabout, an area which is being seriously gentrified, although the pace has slowed a little with the virus.

At this point, I had The Rubettes keeping me company, followed by The Bay City Rollers, and I was singing along to Shang A Lang. Tragic isn’t it? But the great thing about sing alongs is they help in stopping you from constantly looking at your timer wondering when the interval is up.  And the music worked a treat, job done, intervals done, and a warm down walk to follow.

I had no particular place to go, and was wandering home, when a green and grey and Celeste flash went past. Mr JCR doing his City Limits bike ride, I did shout and wave, but he was focussed, and didn’t see me.

Another three kilometres walked, to take me up to 8kms for the day, lovely jubbly as Del Boy would say.

No particular place to go but Wednesday is the twenty five minute stint and after that one it’s just a matter of time and tempo to hit the 5K mark. Wednesday is all about mind over matter, that means a no booze supper on Tuesday. (Mr JCR doesn’t know that – he’s not going to be happy…)

Stats

Just under 5km for the C25k walk/run

One statue liked

More modern art seen, but I got lost again and can’t actually remember where it was

Sing Out Loud Moments – three (cringe)

Physio

Pelvic Thrusting on the Floor

Bridges

Constipated Crab Walking

Squats

Hip Flexor Things

Clams

I’ve got to up the ante on these, so am thinking maybe I do fewer reps but start doing it every day, so I end up doing more. Not sure as I hate doing them, but I’ve torn an arm muscle so my kettlebells are out of the question.

Music

Glam Polly Mix

Best Track of the Run =  War by Edwin Starr, although my accompanying grunting probably was a bit distracting for some

 

 

 

 

Running in Iran – Week 6 Run 1

I remember distinctly the first time I ran this run, we were in Italy and had just said goodbye to our dear friends J & G, who had sold their house in a nearby village as they were returning to The Netherlands, as G has ALS and for a variety of reasons living between two countries wasn’t going to be easy to accomplish.

One of the great things of our friendship is the love of pretty much all things Italian (roads and bureaucracy excepted) and so a deep and mutual love for wine, meant that the first time I did this run, it was with a hangover head, as we’d had a goodbye meal and drink the night before.

I also remember clearly that I couldn’t actually do the intervals,  it was an epic fail on the run, and I was really, really angry. Angry at choosing to run on a day when it would have been better to accept reality and nurse the headache. Angry because physically there was no reason I couldn’t run, whereas for G running is something that ALS was to steal from him. Angry, because it was the one and only run I had to repeat. Angry because stupid tart syndrome had hit me hard.

Pointless anger to be honest, because two days later I attempted the run and did it easily. And so to today’s attempt – the third time I’ve actually done this run. This is back to shorter intervals and in principle it should be easier as my last one was a 20 minute stint. But I know from all my friends on the C25K trail that this particular run often catches you out and bites you on the bum. So I gave myself a good talk prior to going out, I wasn’t going to do a super sprint effort, I was going to take it easy and just get it done and anger was not going to feature.

Mr Smooth told me it’s another week of different runs and to take it easy, but that he knew I could do it. I pootled to the City and some of the Guild’s gardens that are blissfully quiet at the weekend, and decided when at Saddler’s Hall that I’d do some snakes and ladders runs, up and down slopes and staircases, to help build stamina.

Well that plan got scuppered when running the slope for the umpteenth time an old lady and her companion pushing her wheelchair gestured that they wanted to sit on the benches in the sun. It seemed childish and churlish to say I’d got there first, so I smiled and ran on to find another oasis, remembering the ‘no anger’ pledge.

Running through the mini tree-lined avenue I aimed for Goldsmith’s Hall, it had no slope but a staircase, and a rather funky leopard’s head above its entrance.  These gardens are rather small, and so somewhat reluctantly I carried on, heading towards the Bank of England, looping back I skirted around Saddler’s Hall once more, just in case it was empty and I could finish there, but it had more folks there, so I turned back to the funky leopard and there my intervals ended. Run done, no problems, no hangover head, no sweat. It was such a nice run, that I continued for a few more minutes, which is totally against the C25K mantra of following the programme religiously, but it was only for a couple of minutes more. I definitely felt the running gene kicking back in, it’s been a long time absent.

Then when combining the run with grocery shopping I pulled out my credit card to find that I’d lost the other one (it must have happened whilst taking pics). Oh bum , don’t get angry JCR, just get organised. A very pleasant clean cut American answered my lost card call, I explained I’d lost the call on my morning run and could they stop it please. And the answer back was ‘So Mrs JCR, you say you’ve lost your card in Iran’. Being American he said Eye Ran phonetically.

Well I-ran around the City, but not Iran and I explained – he had little chuckle and we carried on.

Today’s run – no snakes and ladders, but I found a funky leopard, lost my credit card but not my temper.

Stats

4km of run/walking in Iran

Espied one funky leopard

Lost a credit card

Gained a sense of perspective on W6R1

Ran for an extra two minutes

No hip twinge!

Physio

Usual stuff, it might be working even though I hate every bit of it

Music

Glam Polly Mix

Best track was So you Win Again by Hot Chocolate, because I did

8 Feb – Running Like An Octopus

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The Final Community Chest for Monopoly

Today is the last day of my running streak.

It started well with loads of messages of support from the C25K gang and in particular ju-ju, who instagrammed name checked me. I am middle aged I don’t really know what that means, but it is a nice gesture!

With the chillier weather, I gave myself some time to faff, before going out. And so on my run, it was near Packington Street where stupid tart syndrome hit me. Why not try blowing your nose (middle aged permanent affliction it seems), whilst taking off your hat, hairband and phone in armband, whilst redistributing your keys into the running tights front pocket?

Why not? – because you need eight arms, that’s why not. I spent a fruitless age trying to get myself organised. Had I just deployed basic common sense I could have been done in a couple of minutes. As it was, I reckon I spent 5 or 6 minutes struggling to do five teeny, tiny tasks, when if I’d just thought for a moment, the time could have been spent running.

This is the problem with cold weather and being a woman of a certain age. I start off freezing cold and within 2 kms of starting, everything heats up. At the point of extreme heat, clearly my brain goes awol and stupid tart syndrome then takes me over.

Having re-arranged my hat, gloves, headband and money into the hoodie pouch, I started off again, looking like a pregnant kangaroo. Next stop the fishmonger’s – aargh there is someone ahead of me, so I have to pause the mechanical voice lady on Map My Run, and then with my fish, I add that to the octopus’s activity pocket and out I run. Now I look like a very heavily pregnant kangaroo.

After all this streak running I feel quite tired, even though I’ve only done just over 3.5kms at this point, but on I plod remembering my minimum 5km commitment. Amazingly a lorry stopped to let me cross a road, which was quite a pleasant surprise. I still hex all courier drivers, as routinely they are some of the most ill-tempered drivers I ever see. I hold particular contempt for DPD, who never, ever, stop to let you cross and when you give way to them, never, ever acknowledge the courtesy.

The 5km prompt comes up and I really want to give up, but decide I will plod just that bit further if I can. And I did not quite 6km today, but tomorrow I get a rest. I am looking forward to a day off.

Playlist

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

I Ran – A Flock of Seagulls

Talk Talk – Talk Talk

Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears For Fears

Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins

I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty

Fade To Grey – Visage

Don’t You Want Me – The Human League

Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds

Eighties – Killing Joke

I Want Your Love – Transmission Vamp

Liberator – Spear of Destiny

Trapped – Colonel Abrams

Cuddly Toy – Roachford

A New England – Billy Bragg

There Must Be An Angel – Eurythmics

I Only Want To Be With You – The Tourists

Stats

Distance 5.90 km

Time 46:57

Average Pace 7:57 (including stupid tart syndrome and fish shop queue)

Elevation Gain 27 metres

Running Streak – 8 days

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms run to date 180.72

Kms to run 1827.28

According to Map My Run I am 8037th out of 113,415* participants on their 2018 challenge.

*But there are definitely some dodgy stats on there… How many people can have fitted in 40 workouts of over 100km a time do you reckon? Oh  and since the 1st January… Apparently this is an internet thing, people create false ids and cheat the system by posting stupid stats…

 

 

 

 

Chasing after the boys – 13 November

Well you’re never too old…, or at least I’m not!

There have been a number of new men in my life since I started this running malarkey, luckily Mr JCR seems relaxed about it.

From Rolysmate and his lovely meemum, to Irish John’s philosophy ‘a run, is a run, is a run’, and Mr Run himself who was my partner in crime on the other side of the Adriatic, when Lucifer decided to visit.

I have learned something from each and every one of them and in their collective honour I have created on Spotify my A to Z of men’s name songs, with a couple of ‘generic male oriented songs’ for added effect.

This testosterone filled playlist, is an eclectic list and frankly I’d not heard of some of them, but now I have and I love all the tracks, and I hope my fellow C2Rk male runners like their tribute.

Oh and these boys spurred me onto my first 11k run too!

MrIrishRolyRuns playlist is just here

Andy You’re A Star – The Killers

Ben – Michael Jackson

Clint Eastwood – Gorillaz

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Denis – Blondie

Goodbye Earl – Dixie Chicks

Frankie – Sister Sledge

Geno – Dexys Midnight Runners

Diary of Horace Wimp – ELO

Ivan Meets GI Joe – The Clash

Jackie Wilson Said – Dexys Midnight Runner

Song for Keith – Mike Strickland

Louie Louie – The Kingsmen

Mickey – Toni Basil

Nathan Jones – The Supremes

Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Peter Gunn Theme – The Blues Brothers

The Mighty Quinn – Manfred Mann

Rudy – Supertramp

Girls and Boys – Blur

Telegram Sam – TRex

Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top

Tracy Jacks – Blur

Ulysses – Franz Ferdinand

Is Vic There? – Department S

Warwick Avenue – Duffy

X Offender – Blondie

You’re The First, The Last, My Everything – Barry White

Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie

Maneater – Hall and Oates

A Message To You Rudy – The Specials

Munchkin amongst the Giants – 4 November

 

Saturday morning in a cool (effing freezing really) morning in Arnhem, I am feeling smug and perky. Smug because despite the temptation to drink Friday night with our friends, I didn’t and was a goody two shoes. Perky, because I didn’t have a hangover…

Shod in my new Brooks trainers and fluoro running tights, I was as wrapped up as I could be. Ouch the cold hurt, so I began my warm up walk towards the parkland. I ran towards the scene of Friday’s night 6 course meal, pre dinner gin and tonics pictured…, with me sporting twangy hair due to the humid conditions. I started my run and passed two people walking, totally forgetting I was in Holland, I said thank you when they let me past. Oh well my “danke je”, could wait until the next overtakee….

At the next turn I was in the parkland proper, the sunlight streaming behind me and I could hear a very loud pounding behind me, and a rather large shadow loomed over me. Fact: The Dutch are the tallest people in the world with a male average of 1.838m – that is a smidgeon over 6ft and female of 1.699m that is about 5ft 7inches. I am 5ft 4, that’s 1.635. I was a little trepidatious to say the least, my heart was pounding more than a little… then I was overtaken by a man who I reckon was just under 2 metres tall. The BFG overtook me and said Hey, so I acted cool and said hey back. Not an axe murderer then…

A fairly gentle run ensued, I passed two women walking who looked very much alike, and yes they were taller than me. In truth I was partially lost, in that where I thought I was going wasn’t actually where I was, so I continued on and found a memorial near the Arnhem cemetery. It’s nice being a Brit in Holland and especially in Arnhem, due to Operation Market Garden. I took a minute to pay my respects and ran back to the parkland; coming towards me one man, fair hair, tall and glasses and  his twin running behind him. First twin was Mr Grumpy or maybe he didn’t see me through his misted up glasses, second twin was Mr Happy and smiled and said Hey, so I did too… At this point the Isley Brothers were singing Summer Breeze, and I was feeling a bit of a breeze as my new running tights were slipping a little lower than wanted! An inelegant adjustment later, I was trucking along nicely to Boogie Shoes, and came across the horse stables, were the horses were chowing down, stopped to take a pic and carried on.

At this point I realised I might just be able to manage the 10k, I was quite slow and plodding, but continued on, oh and uphill too. Arnhem I think must have the majority of the hills in Holland. On the home strait, and coming the other way were the slim, tall, bespectacled twins. This time I got grins and hands up from both, a final push down the central runway and back again, and I hit 10.4km. Brilliant, a really happy runner am I. So to the warm down walk and as I crossed the road, I saw another set of twins this time on bikes.

Today was the day I set out as a single, dark haired munchkin runner and was overtaken by many tall blond giants. Oh and I kept on seeing double… is Arnhem the Dutch capital for twins?

This was also my inaugural run with the retro runners Glam Polly 2810 playlist, on Spotify.

Playlist

My Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust

Devil Gate Drive – Suzi Quatro

Metal Guru – T Rex

Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

Tiger Feet – Mud

D.I.S.C.O. – Ottawan

War – Edwin Starr

Lady Marmalade – Patti Labelle

Gonna Make You A Star – David Essex

See My Baby Jive – Wizzard

Band On The Run – Wings

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

Waterloo – Abba

All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople

Sylvia’s Mother – Doctor Hook

Amarillo – Tony Christie

I Feel Love – Donna Summer

Roll Over Beethoven – ELO

December 1963 – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate

Summer Breeze – The Isley Brothers

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed

Silver Lady – David Soul

You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me – The New Seekers

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Stats 

Distance 10.46km

Time 1:21:04

Average Pace 7:44 mins km

Elevation Gain 108 metres (who knew that was even possible!)

Twins – 3 sets

 

Polly coming at you… new playlist available

A Saturday in Arnhem with friends, preceded by a lovely Friday in Arnhem with the same friends. We ate and drank well but not necessarily wisely.

I had promised myself that Saturday I’d run and try my new sexy Brooks silver and pink trainers, so regretfully I decided against the late night drinking session around the table. I had no such regrets on Saturday morning when I was actually able and willing to run. New Fluoro tights on and I was away.

Short version, I did 10k. Yes 10k and what spurred me on? – my brand new all singing and dancing 70s playlist. Full playlist details can be found here 

The Glam Polly 2810 playlist is now up and running on Spotify. I hope you enjoy it,

Retro Runners – 1970s Foreverrrrrr…

Well I threatened it, and here it is the link to the new cheesy, dad-dancing Classic 1970s Running music.

No song too cheesy –  think Shang A Lang, no artist too old hat – Tony Christie anyone?

Here are 40 of my most favourite 70s tracks….

Full listing to be made available Here