16 Apr – Tee-Shirts, Tech and Tetchiness

The PR lady at Alzheimer’s Research wants some selfies. I hate selfies, she wants some selfies as they are going to do a mini feature on my fund raising running here and in the UK. Unfortunately most of my UK runs just show landmarks and so it was this morning, I was running through the Arco D’Augusto in Fano, to ‘star’ in a running photo shoot.

As you can see in orange, me looking decidedly pregnant in a sunny, but not quite so warm Fano. Hence, the doubling up of tee-shirts. Home for lunch and then a quick rest, before popping out for my usual first run of the week, aiming to do more than 10km if I can. It’s warmer now, but still quite breezy on the top of the hill, so I decide to remove the orange tee and just run in the base layer and the bra-let.

I have a 12k loop – down the Slope of Hope, up the Hill that Kills, on to Lovers’ Lane, back down the Slope of Hope, onto the Bendy, Scary Road, through Fish Shop Village and finishing at our local coffee shop. It’s a well known route for me and is exactly 12.13km.

Except first  I have a tech problem, the GPRS seems suspect after thunderstorms last week, so it keeps losing the first 2.7ms of the run. Second I get a tetchy problem, after some stupid Italian man, decided that steering his car towards me around a blind bend, one handed whilst simultaneously texting on his phone, would be a perfectly normal thing to do.

I deployed the f..kwit expletive, and if I could have done I would have kicked his car.

Trying to rediscover my running calmer karma, I am pootling on the bendy scary road and hurrah, a bus coming towards me on a bend toots to warn me. That was nice of him, so I smiled and put my hand up.  This is my first run when the temperature has been above 20 degrees, and I’d forgotten just how warm it gets. Had I got water with me? No, of course not – that would have been way too sensible. So at this stage, the second pink base layer got removed. After some minutes of clothing wrestling it came off, leaving a red sweaty middle aged woman sporting a bralet top. Thank heavens it was siesta time and there was no-one to witness the almost de-sausaging.  and the abundance of white flesh… Yeeugghh.

Running by the fish shop in full afternoon sun glare, I felt very very hot and trotted on, past two nonnas taking their grandchildren for a stroll. Beyond a mini building site where one of the construction guys said ‘Ciao’ – I managed a Ciao in return, but now am wondering whether it may be seen as a come on. Middle aged woman in a  semi-naked top half talking to strange men – I better change my route or strada as we say here, in case he’s got any ideas…

Three tee-shirts for running today, one tech failure, one big tetchy moment, but it was lovely running in the sun, I’d quite forgotten what that big yellow orb is.

Playlist

2468 Motorway – Tom Robinson

I Can’t Help Myself – Four Tops

Five Years – David Bowie

She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

Morning Train ( 9 to 5) – Sheena Easton

Perfect 10 – The Beautiful South

People In Love – 10cc

The Eleven Rap – Dark Punk

21 Seconds – So Solid Crew

12 – 1975

Thirteen Sad Farewells – Stu Larsen

Sixteen Going On Seventeen – Charmian Carr, Dan Truhitte

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen – Neil Sedaka

Edge of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks

18 Til I Die – Bryan Adams

19 – Paul Hardcastle

24k Magic – Bruno Mars

20th Century Boy – T Rex

30 Minute Love Affair – Paloma Faith

99 Red Balloons – Nena

96 Tears – & The Mysterious

Love Shack – B52s

21 Guns – Green Day

18 With A Bullet – Pete Wingfield

Stats

Distance 12.53km

Time 1:23:06

Average Pace 6:37

Elevation Gain 13 metres (we lost some due to the GPS issue)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run So Far 653.80

Kms Still To Do 1364.20

 

7 Apr – Overtaken by 4 cyclists

and a dog walker…

How embarrassing it is, when you are so slow that a dog walker overtakes you. Admittedly it was up the hill that kills  and it was near its top, and, and, and I’m trying to think of umpteen valid reasons why a runner could be overtaken by a dog walker.

To be frank, there aren’t any. I was a little tired after yesterday’s longer run and that’s my only excuse. This morning’s run was short and sweet, as I have some stuff to do and couldn’t really afford an hour plus away.

I’d like to describe it as a dash, but it was more of a stuttering jog, down the slope of hope, up the hill that kills with my embarrassing dog walker encounter, via Lovers’ Lane and back again down the slope of hope, onto the bendy, scary road which lives up to its reputation with some rather large thundering construction lorries passing me.

Spring has arrived, the cherry trees are just coming into flower and the Spring cyclists are popping up everywhere in their club colours. Today my overtakers were cycling in all-over Ferrari red, a fetching orange and green combo, royal blue with the Italian flag on it and finally ninja black.

I haven’t seen any of last year’s characters – I was out too late to see Anouska and Albino, nor have I seen Babbo Natale, but there’s plenty of time for that.

Playlist

Upside Down – Paloma Faith

Marvin Gaye – Phuth and Traynor

Rio – Duran Duran

Let’s Go Crazy – His Purple Highness

Rumour Has It – Adele

Vienna (wice in succession)  – Ultravox

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

Mercy – Duffy

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Hungry Heart – The Boss

Jenny Was A Friend of Mine – The Killers

Sign Of The Times – Harry Styles

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Stats

Distance 6.56km

Time 49:03

Average Pace 7:28 (see I was tired)

Elevation Gain 86 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Distance Run 593.5km

Distance to do 1424.5km

And a big thank you to David Coulter and David Mason of Islington Cycling Club for their very generous sponsorships of me in the challenge. To quote Tesco every little helps and it’s so nice that they believe in me to do it. Thanks gents.

 

 

 

6 Apr – Beast From The East Part III

Well I really thought we were done with this. Other mistakes recently include thinking that it was only me who suffered from stupid tart syndrome. Now I know it’s infectious especially with your nearest and dearest.

Cue an earlier conversation (as best I can recall) in January when leaving Italy:-

Mr JCR – ‘Shall we shut the water off at the mains, in case of a pipe burst?’

JCR – ‘Well we’ve been coming here for 14 years, and every Winter we do, and nothing’s ever happened.’

Mr JCR – ‘Yes, even that year when the snow was 3 metres high, the house was okay.’

JCR – ‘Yes, it’ll be fine.’

Except it wasn’t and it isn’t. Last year we came back somewhat unexpectedly after having being burgled. Not ideal, we lost lots of stuff and as such the house is now like a mini prison with cameras and alarms and sensors everywhere.

One of these cameras enables us to see the perimeter and hear noises. We do get alerts and from time to time we check the video to hear the sound of birdsong and not much else. To our surprise this year the birdsong did seem a bit noisier than usual, especially given the severity of the Winter.

That’s because it wasn’t birdsong. It was the unhappy sound of a burbling brook of water cascading from our external water supply, for heaven alone knows how long. Our side of the water meter unfortunately and we’ve found that we’ve used double the quantity of water for all the time we’ve been here. That’s crudely 28 years of normal water usage in a maximum of 3 months.

We’ve also just calculated how much that is going to cost us, and let’s just say my fund-raising target for Alzheimers is less cash than the upcoming water bill. So if you see a crowdfunding site with an appeal for raising funds for water relief and are tempted to chip in, just beware, it could be me and Mr JCR scamming you to pay our water bill!

Back to today, and after an unplanned day of water mains fixing etc, it was time to go for a run. Out into the hills on a nice sunny day – down the Slope of Hope, everything was fine and dandy, and then I turned into the Hill That Kills. Oops I had forgotten that in this quest to do 2018km, I hadn’t specifically factored in the hills of Le Marche. Blimey it was tough and I did have to take a breather half way through it, I continued into Lover’s Lane towards Villa Bali, which was teeming with teenagers, all looking cool and lounging on the grass, chatting and  then a middle aged sweaty woman shuffled past.

I think they were instagramming, I hope to goodness the usual middle-aged woman’s cloak of invisibility was working. Turning round, I ran back to the house to get a change of clothing. The Beast from the East is no more, but his mate the Witch of the West had appeared with some rather warm weather, turning me and my face the same colour as my fuchsia pink top. A quick change into capris and a vest top and I continued, back down the Slope of Hope and onto the Bendy, Scary Road.

Fairly uneventful today, I dodged a few cars, but the buses were great they gave me a wide berth. I had hit the 8km mark and realised that now my drinking habits need to change once more – I need to be drinking more water, which is bloody ironic, considering we can no longer afford any.

At the 10km mark, I thought running in the sun is lovely, but I needed a quick pit stop at our local cafe bar to buy water – yes I know the irony is growing.  On my way to meet Mr JCR at the bank, a cyclist went past me and said ‘Lei e bella’, which is you are beautiful – this is fairly standard practice in Italy, men complimenting women randomly. What’s not is that he was aiming it at me, and I was the only woman in view. Maybe he works for the water company and thought he’d make me feel a bit better.

All in all I did just over 12km, and am now trying to work out if I can run distances that involve no perspiration, so I can start washing with wet wipes.

My final takeout on this unhappy incident – never, ever, ever, ever leave your house for any length of time without switching the water off at the mains.  Never, ever, ever think that 14 years of experience in a foreign country, means you know something.

And to friends and family, I’m really, really, really sorry about the coin-operated shower and bathroom facilities, but needs must.

The pics are non sequitur – the Bunga Bunga cafe was on my last run in London and as Silvio Berlusconi is famous for his Bunga Bunga parties, it made me think of here. The pic of Mr JCR  mowing our now non-jungle is just to show some glorious sun and daisies, which I’ve missed a lot, whilst we’ve overwintered.

Playlist

Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis

You Love Us – The Manics

Mercy – Duffy

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

Master And Servant – Ditto

Dancing In The Dark – The Boss

This Girl – Kungs

Hot In The City – Billy Idol

Joan Of Arc – OMD

World in Motion – New Order

Sign Of The Times – Harry Styles

Girl From Mars – Ash

Back To Black – Amy Winehouse

Rehab – Ditto

is She Really Going Out With Him – Joe Jackson

Help Me Rhonda – Beach Boys

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

Everyday I Love You Less And Less – Kaiser Chiefs

Everything Must Go – The Manics

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

Rumour Has It – Adele

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

China Girl – David Bowie

Glory Days – The Boss

Stats

Distance 12.13km

Time 1:24:15

Average Pace 6:56 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain – 59 metres (all at the beginning ow)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done to date 586.94km

Kms to do 1431.06

 

 

 

 

End Of Year Run – December 31

I have another thumping migraine, the steel band of pain is encircling my head, but today I am going for a run. No excuses – so no pesky migraine is going to get in the way of it today. So what to do? Well clearly running and pounding the streets with a pounding head is not an option. Cue a mug of tea, 2 horse strength Ibuprofen and a snooze.

2 hours later, the band of pain has subsided and is a manageable pulsing, so up I get and assemble the kit. It is brass monkey weather but bright and sunny. Base layer, running top, jacket, gloves, fleece lined running tights, padded socks and head/earband. Oh and trainers too.

Then the usual Faffolino visit – let’s get the washing organised. Have a cup of coffee – yup. Tidy up kitchen, take rubbish out. Faff with Map My Run etc, etc, etc. This useful enterprise ate up about 40 minutes, until a strong scolding from me to me, made me go outside. Surprise the sun is shining and it’s warm – well it is 7 degrees and that feels warm now.

Walk down the Slope of Hope, past the barking balcony house (quiet today) and I see a bright yellow Vespa coming towards me, the rider slows down and when she passes says Buon Anno Signora – absolutely no idea who she was, but she was laughing rather manically as well. At this stage she couldn’t have been laughing at my face as I was only on my warm up walk! I continue down the Slope of Hope and realise mechanical Voice Lady from Map My Run is suspiciously quiet – I haven’t changed any settings, but all she is monitoring is calories – no distance, time or anything else. I stop to restart her and continue with a run, down through the village, onto Laundry Lane past Rita’s house, past Mario Di Porchetta’s van, past Adriana’s house  (the indefatigable Pro Loco rep and local cook for all festas) and towards the local vinery, which still proudly proclaims winning a bronze medal for one of its wines over a decade ago!

I realise (despite the restart) that Mechanical Voice Lady still hasn’t been monitoring me and I mess about with the settings again – but on this new pesky iPhone everything appears to be ‘greyed out’. Curses – but I continue past our friends’ house, looking beautiful and immaculate in the winter sun, just as Lou Reed starts singing ‘Perfect Day’. Mechanical Voice Lady has decided she is monitoring me, but is still not quite right she thinks I did 1km in 15 minutes and the next in 5. Those timings would really make me a weird runner – 15 minutes for a km is slower than my walking pace and 5 minutes a km is just wishful thinking. On I plod, through long curving S bends, towards the final push which I guess is about another 2km. Whilst I haven’t run for a  few days, I notice that I am not out of breath and that my running pace is fairly steady.

Ouch, pride goes before a fall, I stumble on a bit of cracked tarmac – yikes a twinge in my left ankle, okay I need to slow it down a bit, just in case. A few more paces and I manage to repeat stumbling on another bit of cracked tarmac  – okay JCR start watching where you’re going… This in fact is really bad advice; all the running guidance tells you to lift your head and look to the distance not at the floor ahead of you. But the roads are in a state of disrepair here, and with no pavements to run on, looking at the ground is often a measure of self preservation.

My ankle is okay and Green Day’s ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ comes on, and I don’t know why but I always thought it was when ‘November Ends’. But today, I sing the alternative JCR version of ‘Wake Me Up When December Ends’, it’s followed by Dancing In the Dark by The Boss and I notice that I have reached my destination – the full distance of Laundry Lane. It’s time to wind it down as I have a large hill to climb to get back home. Luckily for me, Mr JCR happens to be coming home from the bar (that sounds bad – he had been out for a 70km ride prior) and a familiar sounding car passes me and I am offered a lift – which I gratefully accept.

Job Done – I hauled my sorry arse out. New Year, I’m out to get you.

Stats

– well these are rubbish Map My Run Ones – so I am starting the New Year with a New App…

Distance 5.02km ( I think it was over 6km)

Time 42.15 mins

Average Pace (min/Km) 8.24

Elevation Gain 19 metres

Playlist

Sunday Morning – Velvet Underground

Seasons In The Sun – Terry Jacks

7 Seconds – Youssou N’Dour Neneh Cherry

Winter Melody – Donna Summer

Ruby Tuesday – Rolling Stones

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson

1999 – His Purple Highness

8 Mile Soundtrack – Eminem

Perfect Day – Lou Reed

Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day

Forever Autumn – Justin Hayward