The Beast from the East has returned, hurrah, I had one of my best runs last year when he came to visit.
However, said Beast from the East, is a little smaller this time around. Not so much snow as a scattering of slush on the pavements.
Today is the day, I go for my rehab run – yes I am officially allowed back on the pavements of London.
Runderwear – ready
Socks – ready
Running Tights – ready
Base Layer – ready
Running Top – ready
Gloves – ready
Bobble Hat – ready
Spotify – ready (my new Blue Monday Remedy playlist)
Runner – ready
Out I venture and my warm up walk takes me to the delights of Silicon roundabout. Then I start the running to J Geils and Freeze-frame – what an appropriate tune for my first time out in 3 weeks. My hip and thigh are twingeing a bit, so I am as slow as a snail. Good job really as the pavements have a lovely mix of London Road detritus mixed in with the slush – think liquorice coloured rather than dayglo. It’s a bit slippy underfoot, and as I can famously fall over a twig, I gingerly run to the fish shop – more or less a 2km run as the physio ordered.
Not much to report really, plenty of slush, a couple of mini-slides, and a few twinges but it was wonderful to get out again. Not entirely sure how much good or damage I may have done to my leg, but no doubt the Physio will tell me on Tuesday. Jancanrun has just done a run, it’s not big, long, fast or clever, but it is a run, and there’s about another 60 tracks on the Blue Monday playlist to get through, at this rate that’s about another 10 runs.
and finding only grey skies today. Second run of the year, just going where the legs took me.
London is slowly returning to its pre-Christmas normal. The fake German market huts have gone, the lights are down, but the tourists are still around and an awful lot of post-Christmas runners are skipping around the City.
I made my way through the City and towards the Strand, the pavement traffic was light and I was nicely light on my feet, turning south, I wanted to run by the river. Ooh it’s a bit windy and I am ‘joined’ by a running group. They are four and on my heels, but I have solo ninja power to aid me and I keep them at bay. But like wolves circling their prey, slowly, relentlessly they hunt me down and overtake in a swoosh near Tate Modern. I try to pick up the pace but have a slightly dodgy right hamstring, which having read up on Dr Google is another runner’s ailment beginning with ‘p’. I take a chance to have a breather and read up on this new ‘p’ ailment – it apparently can be due to overrunning (mmm I wonder how that happened), or lack of flexibility (okay hands up).
A bit of random stretching is in order, and I do have a right real pain in the bum – literally. Oh that’s another sign of this ‘p’ ailment. I decide to slow the pace and do a jogette back to base. The only light blue I saw was on the Tower Bridge railings, but my mood is not blue, it was a lovely run and an appointment has been made to see a physio on Thursday.
First singles ever being tested.
Ride A White Swan – TRex
How Long – Ace
Living For The City – Stevie Wonder
Living Doll – Cliff Richard
Maggie May – Rod Stewart
Baby, Stop Crying – Bob Dylan
It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me – Billy Joel
Bedsitter – Soft Cell
As Long As You Love Me – Backstreet Boys
The Things We Do For Love – 10cc
Babe – Take That
I’m Not In Love – 10cc
Mississippi – Pussycat
mmmBop – Hanson
Take A Chance On Me – ABBA
Hello This is Joanie – Gary Brown
Changes – David Bowie
The Bump – Kenny
Killer Queen – Queen
Cool for Cats – Squeeze
Keep On Running – Spencer David Group
Life On Mars – David Bowie
Creeping Death – Metallica
Transmission – Joy Division
Hippy Hippy Shake – Swinging Blue Jeans
Take My Breath Away – Berlin
Average Pace 6:25
Elevation Gain 85 metres
Cumulative 16.5 kms (this is 16.5km more than I managed this time last year, so it’s not exactly bad news)
This title is the only thing Britney Spears and I have in common. I did say I’d have a two-week sabbatical from running, but the full-to-busting running kit drawer, seemed to whisper very time I passed it, and so I gave into the inevitable and went for a run.
Before I get complaints from the BBC viewers association or whomever, I did make sure that it couldn’t count towards my Alzheimer’s Challenge.
First off, I ran for 2kms to the doctors had my appointment and then ran home – just on 5kms logged but not in one run, so therefore ineligible for the challenge.
Then I had to go back to the doctors, so that was another 4kms banked. That’s 9kms run in a day and none of it counts towards the Alzheimer’s Challenge, but it did count towards the removal of chocolate and Christmas poundage.
Speaking of pounds – thanks to Alan P, who very kindly donated to my cause. Thanks Alan.
I Am Henery The Eighth I Am – Herman’s Hermits
Bela Lugosi’s Dead – Bauhaus
Flash – Queen
Doctorin’ The Tardis – The Flag
I Just Shot John Lennon – The Cranberries
Motorhead – Hawkwind
Angie – Rolling Stones
Delilah – Tom Jones
Elvis Ain’t Dead – Scouting For Girls
Clair – Gilbert O’Sullivan
Genghis Khan – Iron Maiden
Maid Of Orleans – OMD
Oh Yoko – John Lennon
Stan – Eminem and Dido
Calories 675 calories supposedly – that equals just over 100grams of chocolate. Just a pity I’ve eaten a lot more than 100g of chocolate!
It may not have snowed in London literally, but it has snowed donations since my last run. First off the mark, one of my fellow C25Kers jayval70 made my day, by donating and wishing me well.
Then our very good friends B&H in Warwickshire, with a lovely message to keep me going, then M from sunny Buckinghamshire, followed in a blink of an eye by our dear friends J&G in Arnhem – who came back with a second donation. Going for the more international theme, came my brother and sister in-law, in sunny but blinking cold Hingham, USA but with the greatest warm message, and their donation got me over the line on the sponsorship target.
Not to be outdone, our friends K&C, who are partially international living as they do between Italy and Nottingham, added a second donation. Followed by a very dear Italian friend M, who works in Brussels. And last but not least my running, netballing friend J.
So after the snowing down of donations, I find I have hit one target (the money), without actually having hit the other (the running). Obviously that situation can’t continue; and this morning’s run was designed to get me ready for the last leg on Christmas Eve.
With the very pleasant weight of all that money and expectation on my shoulders, I headed up West to do a ‘dummy run’ of my route around St James’s park. It’s a cold, bright and clear morning, I have got to do just under 12kms today, leaving me 5km for Christmas Eve. My route is vaguely worked out – wiggle through Hatton Garden, saunter through the Inns of Court and the Strand, nod at Buckingham Palace, and then do a lap or so of the park.
It’s surprisingly quiet in London, considering this is the last Saturday before Christmas, and before long I find myself at the Birdcage Walk entrance to the park. Now I know where all the people went, they are taking a stroll around the park, feeding the ducks, geese and marvelling at the antics of the squirrels. I am following my Strava route roughly and decide to pause just to make sure I am doing the right course and then see Mr JCR who has come to check up on progress, and my geographic tracking capabilities…
A loop of St James’s Park is done, with a small backward facing diversion and we reckon with a little bit of jiggery pokery, I can make these two loops become my 5km run on Christmas Eve. I have to continue on to make sure I reach today’s target and more or less on the roundabout near Admiralty Arch, the job is done.
I had hoped we might have snow for Christmas, but the snowfall of donations, really helped me to slip and slide my way around the park today – thanks everyone!
Job done, now to stay injury free for just one more day.
Last Christmas (twice) – Wham
Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid
Step Into Christmas – Elton John
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – The Supremes
Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea
Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
All I Want For Christmas is You – Mariah Carey (twice)
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Buble
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt and The Pussycat Dolls Version
Stay Another Day – East 17
Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
Have Yourself A Merry Christmas – Sam Smith
Frosty The Snowman – The Ronettes
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Jackson Five
Monday morning blues – no not me, another blue sky day in London, so what to do. Get dressed and go for a run. With a new £50 sponsorship donation geeing me on, I wanted to get under the 50kms to go mark.
Blue skies, but chilly – okay JCR, load up on the layers – underwear yup, socks yup, leggings yup, base layer yup, running top – the famous fish carrying top yup, bobble hat yup, gloves yup. Oh yes, it’s the droopy yoga leggings again – this could be an eventful run.
Take a deep breath and enter the cold zone. Actually I think I may have overlayered, but let’s just carry on and see. It’s another trip up West, the City is busy and the crowds thin in and around Holborn and the Inns of Court. Hitch up the leggings! Looking ahead beyond Chancery Lane, town is looking a little more hectic. Okay JCR time to take a diversion, and mooch along to Great Ormond Street Hospital. It’s often busy here with ambulances and lots of patients outside of the hospital, but today it is very quiet – thank goodness as I need a second hitch of the leggings. I’m about half way into my run and I think about running home. Heading towards Kingsway, I see the lovely blingy doorway above. I’ve never thought of a purple and gold colour way – very Roman imperial for Christmas. However we don’t live in a blingy place and I think Mr JCR will have me certified as mad if I suggest a new colour way for Christmas decorations, especially when we have an apartment with hardly any storage space.
At this stage, I am seriously overheating – that means hat off, gloves off, fish running top off – third leggings hitch. Place all items in fish carrying pocket, tie my top around my waist – re-hitch the leggings. Try to elegantly wipe a river of sweat from my face, whilst admiring the blingy doorway. I’m sure my running friend Bev said her mojo is sparkly and purple – if so Bev, I think I’ve found her, hiding in this doorway. A mojo shouldn’t be away from home at this time of year, what is it I can do to get her back to you?
I turn back towards Fleet Street, the crowds are gathering for lunch, with many queues for fast food spilling onto the pavement. Mmm fast food, what am I going to do for lunch and dinner? Well it wouldn’t be a London run, if I didn’t go shopping. It’s just a couple of kms away from home, and my thoughts turn Italian. After a month away from Italy, we’ll be having pasta for dinner – the thought of food powers my legs, but increasing the speed, unfortunately increases the rate at which my leggings droop. That’s five hitches in one run.
Fortunately, droopy leggings notwithstanding, this run has gone without a hitch. And the £50 sponsorship did its job, I managed to get to the less than 50kms to go mark. Now I find myself sporting a MonaLisaesque enigmatic smile – 14 days to go and about 49kms to run. I’ve actually got to slow down, otherwise I’ll finish early, which is sorely tempting, but not possible, as I’ve made some promises about Christmas Eve being the final D -Day (done day).
iTunes had many a hitch – with most tracks only playing for 10 seconds only. After a while I gave it up, but these are the tracks I actually heard in full.
for the trees. The old idiom of not being able to see a situation clearly because you are too involved in the details, and I must admit I am in grave danger of being that person.
I keep looking at the kms to go and am frantically re-working my excel spreadsheet to see how I can manage my runs. And I’ve suddenly realised it’s a pointless exercise. Other than one of the three Ds occurring (death, disaster or disease), I am going to get the challenge done, so there’s no point in sweating over the details. Most days when I run I take a peek at my plan, then promptly ignore it when I’m out and about. I take my cue from how I feel when I’m out and about. Therefore no more excel jockeying for me. Saturday morning the weather was uncommonly beautiful, a gorgeous crisp blue sky day in London, in December. Who could resist the invitation to run? For sure not me.
Bev’s mo jo is being remarkably stubborn – nowhere to be seen in London and apparently not to be found in Yorkshire either. But Bev has been running on her own mojo hunt, and after my rubbish Thursday run, I took the opportunity to re-think my mojo hunting strategy. It’s Christmas almost and Trafalgar Square has its traditional Norwegian Christmas Tree up. Now most years I don’t ever really focus on it – it’s part of the scenery. But it is a lovely enduring tradition. If the Norwegians can keep sending us trees year after year, then the least I can do is run there and see if the mojo is hiding amongst its branches. It seems a great place to hide. Lots of folk around for company, most people smiling because it’s Christmas, twinkly sparkly lights too, oh and lions to guard you in case you are feeling scared.
I set off through the City, the Inns of Court and made my way towards the Strand, it was all nice and quiet, save for the quiet sound of my natty new running leggings sliding down my legs… Now this was a classic case of they look good and I want them, so I’ll buy them. I did recognise that they were actually yoga tights, and didn’t have a runner’s drawstring around the waist. A rather unladylike hoist to pull them back up so I don’t look like a young teenage boy with my knickers showing…, and I continue down the Strand and arrive at Trafalgar Square – already getting quite busy, with plenty of tourists taking selfies and me taking a few minutes out to look for Bev’s mojo amongst the branches of the tree. To be honest no sign of it, so I’m guessing the mojo may have passed here a while ago…
I turn towards home and run along the Embankment Gardens and take a left hook past the Savoy – Bev’s mojo is a classy bird I understand, maybe she dropped in for afternoon tea? Back along Fleet Street, the crowds are building up and near St Pauls required all of my ninja running skills. It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add some Christmas spice to my running… I’ve done my famous bread running, fish running, crab running and now I can add Christmas gift wrap running to the mix. We need some gift wrap, I am passing a glittery, blinged up display – in a previous life I must have been a magpie, I am always attracted to glitter. Not being able to resist the glitz, I pause my run, buy some bling, and re-start. Even in this palace of glitter and bling no sign of a mojo – I do hope she’s closer to Yorkshire now. My final 1km towards home, another unladylike hoist of the sliding leggings and I arrive home.
Success – 9kms done, giftwrap bought, and modesty maintained.
Downside – where is this pesky mojo?
Major encouragement – a donation from our Italian friends M&L, – they’ve made me determined to get under the 50km to go mark, next time out. £50 donated is a really big spur to get me under the magic 50km – grazie, grazie, grazie.
Rumour Has It – Adele
Sign Of The Times – Harry Styles
Cabron – Red Hot Chilis
Girl From Mars – Ash
Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape
Purple Rain, When Doves Cry – His Purple Highness
Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll – Killers
Breaking Us In Two – Joe Jackson
Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys
London Calling – The Clash
Modern Way – The Kaiser Chiefs
Personal Jesus, It’s Called A Heart – Depeche Mode
Every Day I Love You Less and Less – Kaiser Chiefs
Monday morning, it’s grey, not so cold and according to the weather the chances of rain increase substantially in the afternoon. Therefore a good time to get out and do a recce run for my upcoming cultural adventure, of going with my ‘nearly’ god daughter M, her mum G, and friends C & M to see the Nutcracker. G has booked a restaurant up west and I wanted to know exactly where it was as my skills as getting lost are quite legendary. It’s a right and left problem for me. When we were all hunter gatherers, I most definitely would have been eaten by a man-eating beast of some description. Oh the shame and thank goodness for GPRS.
I started out in the City and made my way up West and it was all going rather nice and gentle. I had on my new trainers, but had over-layered on top, with 2 base layers and a rain jacket just in case. At the 1km stage I was beetroot red and the sweat was pouring off me. Quick adjustments and one rain jacket tied around my waist, so I started up again. Aarggh, still too warm, off comes the second layer – and added onto the waistline. At this point I was looking like the ‘coat hanger’ friend at a funfair – you know the type – everyone is on the dodgers/rollercoaster/log flume and there’s the coat hanger friend, cheering everyone on under a mountain of coats.
Okay JCR this is not so great, slow the pace down, to keep the heat down and find the restaurant. It was easy peasy to find, just not exactly where I thought it was. A mental note made and I was on my way. The weather app had obviously failed to spot a huge great lump of rain that dropped like a water bomb. I was already sweaty on the inside and now was getting wet from the outside. Clambering back into the layers, I’d discarded earlier, I decided to cut short the run and aim for home, the quickest way through Long Acre.
At this point Mistress Fate stepped in, the rain was really chucking it down, and I saw my salvation – a Lululemon store. Well I was wearing their running tights and their running jacket, so it would have been a shame not to go in. And it would also have been a shame not to have a look around, and an even greater shame not to have used the credit card I had cunningly packed ‘just in case’. To my shame, I managed to spend an obscene amount of money in the 12 minutes the rainstorm took to pass over. Then instead of my usual fish running adventures, I proceeded to run through Covent Garden, Inns of Court and the City, all the way back home, with a heavily packed Lululemon bag tucked under my arm. It did hamper the last 3.5kms timing, but I liked the stuff I’d bought, so I justified the slower running pace by mentally claiming I’d been carrying weights. Utterly self delusional!!
Any chance of me finding Bev’s mojo in that weather, were somewhat reduced as I was distracted by the kitbag. But I did get just over 9kms done, so it was a good contribution to my running total – that’s a salvation of a sort.
The cheery, but out of season cherry tree, was seen the following on day, on my return trip up West to return two out of the four items bought in the rain! So my shopping frenzy shame, was saved by my inability to guess my own leg size – I think they’ve shortened with all this running;)
Going back to Razouski’s list
Baggy Trousers -Madness
Be My Number Two – Joe Jackson
Beat It – Michael Jackson
Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode
Can You Feel It – The Jacksons
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? – Culture Club
Dreaming of Me – Depeche Mode
Get Dancin’ Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes
Go Wild In The Country – Bow Wow Wow
I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Nik Kershaw
The Look of Love – ABC
Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer
Lose Yourself – Eminem
Night Fever – Bee Gees
Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello and The Attractions