20 Sept – Thursday’s Child

IMG_6560
Lovers’ Lane In The Sun

has far to go. So says the nursery rhyme. It is Thursday, I haven’t run for three days and I should be going far to make up for not running. Here are my excuses neatly lined up:-

Monday – legitimate rest day, and post friends’ long weekend visit recovery

Tuesday – hosting friends for a lunch – too busy prepping in the morning, too busy recovering in the afternoon

Wednesday – laziness, tiredness, and a bit of a hangover.

So Thursday was the day to go far – well 10km if I could. We’d had an appointment Thursday morning, necessitating us staying at home, and my running was delayed until after lunch, which for me (and my well known prevarication issues) was not necessarily a good thing. After a good deal of unnecessary faffing – in truth all faffing is generally unnecessary, I got out there.

Mmm, it is a bit warm, I better aim for shadier parts and so I did. This was my old running route for the C25K programme. A route of about 2.8km, and a few uppy downy bits but it was over 25 degrees, which was not helpful, but that was the reality of choosing an afternoon run. The air was hot and humid, and there is a faint smell of rotting fruit and vegetation in the lanes. The grapes in our area have been harvested, including our own and by the side of the road you can see crates of the grape waste from the presses, leading to a slight whiff of rotting fruit. That and the crunch of some dried leaves, really makes you think Autumn is here, except it is still as warm as a typical British summer.

The tourists have gone and in Lovers’ Lane there are a few locals having a picnic in the grounds of Villa Bali, and I received some greetings on my first loop round. This was about 2km in and I could tell that this wasn’t going to be a record breaker run. Nonetheless I plodded on and did the rounds of Mill Lane, The Slope of Hope and the Hill That Kills. Second time of entering Lovers’ Lane and none of the picnickers gave me a second glance, I have become part of the scenery evidently. My running pace was slowing a bit, and I have noticed that if I take too many days’ rest for some unknown reason I get a bit stiff and my limbs don’t seem to loosen up as easily.

It was however a glorious afternoon as you can see from the pic. I loved the run out, and aimed back towards the house where I spotted a lady dog walker walking her dog at the front of our house, looking very intently (the dog, not the lady). The lady had driven along the road and parked outside our home. I’m convinced the dog wanted to do a number two, and so I ran up and down outside of my house in my best passive aggressive manner. It seemed to work both on the unknown dog and lady as she scooped up her pooch and carried it home in her car. No poops to be seen. She and her dog had travelled to my house to ‘go’ and had failed…

My anti-poop control had clocked up half a kilometre and I entered into my last loop of the run. Back at Lover’s Lane, one of the picnickers said Brava as I ran past, and that was a good spur to keep on towards the 10k limit I’d set.

I ran to my newest fledgling playlist based on famous names and finished my run to John Wayne Has Big Leggy – I had slightly tired leggies, but then it was a Thursday and 10km seemed the right distance to go, and I was more successful than the non-pooping dog.

Playlist

Michael Caine – Madness

Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

Axel F – Harold Faltermeyer

Jackie Wilson Said – Dexy’s Midnight Runners & Van Morrison

Barbie Girl – Aqua

Clint Eastwood – Gorillaz

Rock Me Amadeus  – Falco

Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) – Scritti Politti

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Buddy Holly – Weezer

Vincent – Don McLean

Einstein – Kelly Clarkson

Frank Sinatra – Cake

Paul McCartney – Scissor Sisters

The Ballad of Tom Jones – Space with Cerys Matthews

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Trainor

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5

Electric Barbarella – Duran Duran

Roll Over Beethoven – ELO

Sherlock Homes – Sparks

Prince Charming – Adam and The Ants

Free Nelson Mandela – Soweto Singers

Just Like Jesse James – Cher

Geronimo – Sheppard

John Wayne Is Big Leggy – Haysi Fantayzee

Stats

Distance 10.15km

Time 1:17:07

Pace 7:35mins/km

Elevation Gain 80 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1547.38

Kms to Run 470.62

 

16 Sep – I Will Always Love

 

 

IMG_1644shoe, as Whitney Houston never sang, but maybe she missed a trick?

This was more or less the closing anthem to our Saturday night out at an osteria in Gradara, with Mr JCR’s cycling club buddies from London H&A, and his cycling club amici in Italy.

The evening hadn’t quite turned out as planned. The venue had been chosen because it had been used previously and all our Italian friends thought it would be a fab place to entertain H&A. Evidently the place had changed hands since they were last there.

Fab food last time – this time it was meh and not much of it. Good music – well the group was playing old Romagnolo folk music when we arrived. It did get better but when the lead singer lost his place on his karaoke screen and didn’t know the words to Mambo Number 5, well I guess that tells you all you need to know. The one bright spot was the female vocalist who could really carry a tune (she seemed not to need the karaoke prompt) and when she started on Whitney’s anthem, well what could go wrong? Her singing was beautiful but for some reason she thought the title was ‘I will always love shoe’ or maybe it was shoo, or choux. It did make us giggle.

Next morning Mr JCR, H&A, were up and out before I’d stirred, but to make sure that I not only loved my shoes but actually used them, I’d set up my kit the night before, so no excuses not to get moving.

In plan a 10km, it didn’t have to be fast, just done. I took my Brooks trainers out for a spin. It’s a gorgeous day, not too hot, a bit of a breeze and I decided to do some hill work too. Out down the Slope of Hope and up to the Hill that Kills, it was nice, but not that many folk around. Up to Lovers’ Lane and I think I hear a tinkling sound following me. I look around and see nothing, but again I hear the noise. I put it down to WMAS and continue on, I do my customary loop of Villa Bali,  and then am stopped by a lady with a dog ‘ Have you seen my dog?’ she asked me – I was somewhat confused, as she had her dog with her.

She explained she had another dog who had gone AWOL, I asked if that dog had a bell on its collar and she said yes, so I pointed out where I’d heard the noise. Not WMAS after all, just a dog running away from its owner. Thank goodness for that, I was almost adding another problem to the list of middle-aged runner’s afflictions.

I did a couple more of the Slope/Hill/Lovers Lane loops and made my way down to Laundry Lane. The acorns are starting to fall and it can be a bit slippy underfoot if you don’t watch where you’re going, but my Brooks trainers are sturdy creatures; they rarely slip and slide. However, there is one hazard at this time of year, and that’s the fruit above. I don’t know what they are, but they fall from a great height, are quite heavy and JCR hand sized, and when they hit the ground they are quite mushy underfoot too.  My trusty Brooks took me to the 10km limit, avoiding missing dogs and falling fruit dangers. To quote the singer on Saturday night:-

Dear Brooks Trainers ‘ I will always love shoe’ – JCR.

Playlist

Rumour Has It – Adele

Back to Black, Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Help Me Rhonda, Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

Crazy in Love – Beyoncé

Hot In The City, Mony, Mony – Billy Idol

Girls & Boys, Tracy Jacks, Parklife – Blur

Born To Run (twice), Hungry Heart, Dancing In The Dark, Born In The USA, Glory Days – The Boss

Let’s Stick Together, Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Mulder and Scully – Catatonia

Fuck You – Cee Lo Green

London Calling, Rock The Casbah – The Clash

Stats

Distance 10.13km

Time 1:15:07

Average Pace 7:24

Elevation Gain 109 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1537.23

Kms To Run 480.77

 

 

 

 

 

15 Sep – Stodgy Seven

 

IMG_6609Wednesday – rest day – lovely

Thursday – mega migraine – not so lovely – so no running

Friday – friends arriving, spent the day and night well, but perhaps not wisely – again no running

Saturday morning arrived, and I surveyed the evidence before me.  Aha I appear to have a slightly podgy and noisy tummy, due to the night before celebratory meal. This was a welcome do for our friends H&A who had come for a cycling weekend with Mr JCR and his Italian club. The celebration dinner was made up of the following courses:-

Risotto – Carbs

Pasta with cream and pancetta – Carbs, Fats & Protein

Pizza – various types – Carbs, Protein, Fats,Veggies

Chips – Carbs & Fats

More Chips – More Carbs and More Fat

Cake and Tiramisu – Carbs and Fat

Water, Wine, Beer, Limoncello, Liquorice Liquor and the local brew called Moretta (a combo of brandy, run and anise in hot espresso). Carbs…

As you can see a balanced diet, somewhat weighted towards the carbs. Which, if I was running a marathon in a couple of days, may have made a lot of sense, except I wasn’t. The sum total of all those carbs, weighed heavily both on conscience and definitely my stomach.

Saturday was planned to be 9km – 10km if I could. The portents weren’t good, the temperature had risen quite a bit and the incessant grumbling of my tum, suggested I perhaps wasn’t going to be securing any personal bests. Nonetheless it was a beautiful day; I decided to play it safe and run close to home on a small training loop, so if my tum decided to go nuclear, I wasn’t far from safety. I chose the boy band playlist, as a gentle and fun option to keep me going with cheesy songs.

Okay, the first kilometre pretty much set the scene for the remainder. Just under 8 minutes a km – and I could tell that every slice of pizza was now taking its toll. Still the first km is always slower, so I just gritted my teeth and got on with it. Down the Slope Of Hope and past the barking balcony house, no surprises today it was very quiet, and then up the Hill That Kills, and here I was quite surprised, although I felt sluggish, I didn’t actually have to stop to take a breather.

That gave me some impetus to continue, towards Lovers’ Lane, all was quiet and I got more into a running rhythm, at the second km stage, I managed just under 7 minutes a km. Not exactly troubling Mo Farah but an improvement. I pottered around to Mill Lane and made my way back down the Slope of Hope once more, on my second attempt at the hill that kills. She is a demanding hill when you’re not quite at your best and I did smile when PJ & Duncan came on with ‘Lets Get Ready To Rumble’ – I was rumbling very loudly – thank goodness there were no witnesses! As I made my way back up, she was definitely making it known that I needed to do some hill training.

At the top, I was given a welcome fillip when a local dog walker wished me good morning and a happy run. I’d managed to sustain a 7 minutes 15 seconds pace, which is pretty poor for me, but considering last night’s indulgence on food, I considered it was reasonable. At the 6km mark, I decided that 7km would be far enough, to allow for what felt like 3kg of carbs being carried in my middle. There is something self fulfilling about thinking you’re getting slower and deciding to stop – my final km was just under 8 minutes again. The power of the brain over the legs really showed.

Not my best run, but I was pleased I actually stuck at it and in the end I managed 7.23km, especially as it included some hill work.

A bit of a stodgy seven kilometres, not the nifty nine or terrific ten I had planned, but then to alter the well known adage, no plan ever survives the carbohydrate enemy.

Playlist

A Little Bit More – 911

ABC – The Jackson 5

You Raise Me Up – Westlife

Stand And Deliver – Adam And The Ants

When You Say Nothing At All – Boyzone

I’ll Make Love To You – Boyz II Men

Stay Another Day – East 17

A Million Love Songs, It Only Takes A Minute, Shine – Take That

Shang – A -Lang – Bay City Rollers

Boxerbeat – Joe Boxers

Everybody, Quit Playing Games – Backstreet Boys

Let’s Get Ready To Rumble – PJ and Duncan

The Chauffeur – Duran Duran

Good Vibrations, Fun, Fun, Fun – The Beach Boys

Mama Do The Hump – The Rizzle Kicks

Everbody In Love – JLS

Stats

Distance 7.23km

Time 53:21

Average Pace 7:23

Elevation Gain – 55 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1527.10

Kms To Do 490.90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Sep – 50 Shades Of Red

 

The new colour of 2019

Jan’s Colour 2018
Forehead September 2018

 

As Autumn arrives, there are many new product releases and I was excited to read that Dulux have released their “Colour of The Year 2019”, and this colour is ’Spiced Honey’, described as salted caramel with a hint of amber, by their creative director.

When I started running with C25K, I measured my progression as a runner by face colour, I was interested to see whether one year on, my face colour now bears any resemblance to the latest must-have for 2019.

In my old running life as a beginner I typically exuded ‘salsa red’ or Monarch as my colours of exertion. I took a pic of my forehead after today’s run, and I think we can safely say, I’m a lot closer to hint of pink rather than amber. Still some work to do JCR.

Now if any of you are thinking of re-decorating, I am pretty certain that although Spiced Honey just looks like a rehash of beige, you’d be really out there with my new colour of JCR Ruby.

How to get to this wonderful shade? Here are the ingredients for a successful colour match:-

Take one middle aged woman

Said middle aged woman runs

In Le Marche, Italy

Add 700ml of cold water

To a 10km run

In 21 degrees

At 9.45am

Run for approx 1 hour 8 minutes

Leave to settle for one minute

Result = JCR Ruby

Playlist

To Be Young Gifted And Black  – Bob and Marcia

Night Boat To Cairo – Madness

Ghost Town, Gangsters, Too Much Too Young – The Specials

Police on My Back – Eddie Grant and The Equals

Carry Go Bring Come – Justin Hinds and The Dominoes

Skinhead Moonstomp – Symarip

One Step Beyond, Al Capone  – Prince Buster

Return of Django – The Upsetters

On My Radio, Back To Black – The Selecter

One Step Beyond – Madness

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

Rudy, A Message To You – Dandy Livingstone

King Of Kings – Jimmy Cliff

Free Nelson Mandela – The Starlite Singers

It Mek – Desmond Dekker

Rudi Got Married – Laurel Aitken

Mirror In The Bathroom – The Beat

Monkey Man – Amy Winehouse

Stats

Distance 10.08 km

Time 1:08:51

Average Pace 6:49

Elevation Gain 47 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1519.87

Kms to go 498.13 (yes under 500!!! :))

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Sep – She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not?

Well I love both Italy and London, but clearly there’s some emotional stuff going on locally…, not Mr JCR nor me, but Andrea and Giulia have some talking to do.

Although I think if I was Giulia I’d be mortified at the message written on the road, as I’m guessing everyone in the village now knows your business.

This morning, I was feeling a little languid and after some gentle chiding by Mr JCR I got out to do my run and followed an old route, which I first used last year when training on the C25K programme. So a gentle jog down The Slope of Hope and past the barking balcony house and no barking today. Then up the Hill That Kills, – ooh I haven’t done her for a little while and she had a little nip at my calves when I was ascending, but she didn’t get me to stop. Onto Lovers’ Lane and whilst I may have passed the barking balcony without a cacophony of noise, the barking beagles got me by surprise, and sure enough I did mini leap in the air.

My usual mini loop of Villa Bali – now that the children are back at school it is all quiet and they were having a staff meeting overlooking the gardens. A nice place to be having an admin meeting, I must say. Back past the beagles, but I wasn’t surprised this time, and onto Mill Lane, there I saw Argo being walked by one of his faithful servants, he came up to say hello and I petted him for a while, said my ciao and carried on.

I decided to re-do the Slope of Hope and Hill That Kills once more, but this time round I did need a breather. The combination of warmth and inclines makes a big difference to my stamina. Looping back down the Slope of Hope through the village to Laundry Lane, where I saw Andrea’s plea. Who knows whether Andrea’s entreaties of love are appreciated or not…

I appreciated the breather that taking the pics gave me and continued on Laundry Lane. It’s a glorious sunny day, and not too hot, Laundry Lane tends to be quite quiet and I was able to complete my run, without any traffic incidents. I got overtaken by a couple of old dears, buzzing past on their electric bikes and they waved as they went past. There’s a bend on Laundry Lane, where I have to decide to either continue and do another 3km or turn around and make my way home. Unlike Giulia I was able to make my choice without the general public knowing, and so I called it quits and aimed towards home.

A nice return home run, for sure tomorrow, I’ve got to be up and out earlier, and a little faster.

Playlist

iTunes A-Z

Rumour Has It – Adele

Back To Black, Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

Help me Rhonda, Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Hot In The City, Mony Mony – Billy Idol

Girls & Boys, Tracy Jacks, Parklife – Blur

Born To Run, Hungry Heart, Dancing In The Dark, Born In The USA, Glory Days – The Boss

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

 

Stats

Distance 8.81km

Duration 1:02:28

Average Pace 7:05

Elevation Gain 96 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1509.79

Kms To Do 508.21

 

 

7 Sep – Bye Bye London

 

Well that’s the first week of September done and dusted. Thank you London, for giving me seven run fantastic days and I’ve managed just over 58km in six runs,  making me a happy bunny.

Today was a slower pace, deliberately chosen, to soak up the sights before I return back to Italy. First off a mini jogette through the City, I love Fridays in the City, it’s a lot less frenetic than usual, you see a lot of Casual Friday wear, and folk seem to smile just that bit more.

There’s not quite so many people around – I guess using the ‘working from home’ ruse to start the weekend early. One of the things that’s been fun is to see the changes in the two months since I was last here, some not so great though. On Moorgate there has been a very old fashioned barbers, part of the street furniture in some ways, only noticeable now it’s not there . For as long as I can remember, at least 30 years, Flittner’s had all the old dark brown wood interior fittings, cut throat razors and their staff wore the traditional brown cotton duster coats. They even sold razor blades in waxed paper packets! They were a Moorgate tradition, Mr JCR used to buy his shaving products from them. But now no more, I think they are a victim of the Crossrail development. I assumed they’d successfully dodged that bullet, because they’ve been going strong right through the development. But now other shops on the same side are similarly closed – a bit of a shame, a slice of City history is no more.

I trotted down Queen Victoria Street to cross the Thames and do a scoot to Borough Market and I took a photo of the new potbellied tower. I don’t what fancy name it is likely to have, but this is one bit of modern architecture, I think is a bit rubbish. Into Borough Market where Victorian craftsmanship reigns supreme – well after a bit of 21st Century intervention. The renovations are all done now, and it’s lovely to saunter through the market before the weekend hordes descend and see how well it has been renovated.  At this stage I was roughly 5kms into my run and decided to take  a look at Spitalfields market before going home.

Spitalfields is another similarly regenerated area and now is full of City people, eating, drinking and undertaking significant retail therapy. It’s quiet in the mornings and I was able to pootle through without any hassle whatsoever. Back towards Bishopsgate and City fringes, I overtook 3 RAF servicemen and women on their way to the Honourable Artillery Company on Finsbury Pavement and I took a sneaky left turn into Bunhill Fields, which aren’t so much fields, in fact a now defunct cemetery. Here again the pace changes as we move towards Old Street, the site of the famous Silicon Roundabout. The clothes and the people change, and now so do I, from a jog to a warm down walk to a stop.

It’s time to pack up and get ready for Italy once more. It was a Goldlilock’s run, not too fast, not too slow, just perfect and a lovely way to end the week.

Oh and even better the lovely Bev Cavanagh or Mummycav to give her running monicker donated to my Alzheimer’s Challenge. Thanks so much and I promise once the 2018 km hooves have healed we’ll get together for a run.

Playlist

(Countries and Places)

A New England – Billy Bragg

Lost In France – Bonnie Tyler

Breakfast In America – Supertramp

Une Nuit A Paris – 10cc

Is This The Way To Amarillo – Tony Christie

Strong – London Grammar

Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

Vienna – Ultravox

Take My Breath Away – Berlin

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Black Eyed Boy – Texas

Massachussetts – Bee Gees

Boston Tea Party – SAHB

Avalon – Roxy Music

Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel

Big In Japan – Alphaville

Midnight Train To Georgia – Gladys Knight and The Pips

Streets of Philadelphia – The Boss

San Francisco – Scott Mackenzie

Stats

Distance 8.57km

Time 53:26

Average Pace 6:14

Elevation gain 63 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1500.98 (over the 1500!!!!)

Kms to Go 517.02

 

6 Sep – Kardashian Take Over

IMG_0491

I can imagine what you’re thinking. Damn it JCR is looking good, she’s dropped at least 10 kilos in weight, 30 years in age and grown both hair length and body length by at least 15cm.

Needless to say, the pic is not me, and I may never be a centrefold, but I am going to be in Runner’s World – well hopefully, provided the editor thinks the article and pics are up to scratch.

Tuesday found me shivering in central London for a photo shoot. In a rather gung ho mood, I thought my running kit would be fine, because although it was cool, I’d be running, so no big deal. Except, of course JCR it’s a photo shoot, and you don’t actually do that much running, you do a lot of standing around to get the light, the lines, the background and in my case a non-gurning face all right for the composition.

You also have to dodge London’s many thousands of tourists, and avoid the red tide of embarrassment at people looking at you, wondering why you have a professional cameraman taking pics.

Every shiver was worthwhile as RW are doing a feature on my Alzheimer’s Challenge; because earlier in the year  whenI did my Monopoly board mini-challenge, they thought it was interesting enough to feature (or maybe the next issue is a slow news month!).  Yesterday saw me in Hearst House being interviewed in an ‘Ideation’ area. I first heard that word at my old company, Oracle, and railed against it then – it’s such atrocious English. I duly joined Rick the interviewer to ideate a bit.

Rick at RW was a lovely interviewer, made me the standard crap cup of office coffee and we chatted about what I was doing. He is a serious runner and features in the mag this month – he does marathons – I am not sure I ever will, although I am tempted by a half. But that will have to wait until 2019.

This obviously is my second bite at taking on the media, my first coming after the Alzheimers Research dropped a press release about my running challenge. Not surprisingly, I haven’t exactly been in direct competition with Kylie Kardashian on her pursuit of her first billion dollars and social media domination, but I live in hope that maybe she sees this blog and donates a nice little chunk to the cause.

After two days’ worth of excitement, I needed to run again to get back to normal. I was a little late out and the weather a lot warmer than it has been. After a few day’s of sub 6 minutes kms, I didn’t feel quite as fast today, but no matter, it comes and goes. I headed out West towards Covent Garden, via the Strand and back again via Holborn. It was a tidy but unexciting run, there was a lot of media presence outside the Court of Appeal, necessitating some fancy footwork on my behalf, but other than that, not a lot to say.

From the off I was slower than I have been all week and I did try and pick up the pace, to mix up the run, but the little legs didn’t seem to want to know. I didn’t dwell on it, I know that sometimes the running recipe isn’t quite right. Maybe it was the warmer weather, who knows? All in all a useful 9km added to the total, I’m just about shading the 1500km mark and I can’t wait to be running in the 5,4,3,2,100 countdown.

Thanks London for making a 50+km week a distinct possibility. Saturday I am back home again in Italy, where warmer climes and climbs await.

But there is one thing that I really need some help with please. Does anyone have any bright ideas on a run I could do on Christmas Eve, as my last 2018 run for the 2018km challenge?  I will be in London and to recap, my minimum run has to be at least 5k in distance, the maximum I’ve ever run in one go was just shy of 22km; realistically running a marathon to finish isn’t that credible, as I haven’t the stamina or training background to do it.

Any other ideas gratefully received and considered.

Playlist

From The Poppy Pug Friday Toons on C25K Forum

Off The Wall – Michael Jackson

I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston

Amarillo – Tony Christie

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley and The Wailers

Let’s Dance – Chris Montez

Be Young, Be Foolish and Be Happy – The Tams

Aint No Stopping Us Now – Jimmy James

Good Times – Chic

Stoned Love – The Supremes

Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry

Shake Your Groove Thing – Peaches and Herb

Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love) – The Stylistics

The Only Way Is Up _ Yazz

Boogie Shoes – K C And The Sunshine Band

Get Up Offa That Thing – James Brown

Band of Gold – Freda Payne

Land of 1000 Dances – Wilson Pickett

Stats

Distance 9.09km

Time 57:28

Average Pace 6:19

Elevation Gain 31metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1492.41

Kms To Go  525.59 

Map My Run has a weird glitch – it shows me as having run 51.68kms so far and I’ve only done 49.79, but I am taking my own excel as the definitive record.