Saying Goodbye – Week 9 Run 3

 

So today has arrived once more – the final run of C25K – the graduation run. Today is my last official date with Mr Smooth and also a very sad day for me too. This is the first time I’ve actually run on my dad’s birthday, and this is the first after he died in December, so on my twenty-seventh run for my C25K graduation, my thoughts were a little mixed up.

You can’t measure how much someone means to you, but I thought the best tribute I could pay was to make sure I ran on his birthday, as I’m sure he’d be proud that I’d kickstarted my running once more. Prior to the curse that is Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia – he had both in a rather nasty combination, my dad was the fittest he’d ever been. He swam daily from Spring to Autumn, played tennis at least a couple of times a week and did a set number of lengths on his rowing machine (mainly because he didn’t know how to re-set it!) He had calves like flat irons and was as fit as f..k.

After a coronavirus Spring, I haven’t run daily, can’t play tennis, hate rowing, and my calves are more a Cornish pasty shape than a flat iron. However my retirement bod is a work in progress, and hopefully once lockdown recedes and we can get back to Italy, my fitness and shape will improve as I am the proud possessor of a corona paunch and a drawer full of ‘wishful thinking’ clothes.

Mr JCR promised bubbles on the balcony if I completed the run, what more encouragement does a girl need?

The sun was glorious and Mr Blue Sky was playing to start me on my way, I was going to do the usual triangle for thirty minutes. Shoulders and head heavy in thought I set out, actually avoiding the sun as it is a tad scorchio and I’m not acclimatised to the heat at all, following seven months in the UK and no warm Italian sun to get my muscles going.

First loop around, not so bad, no Peter Parka to glower at me, but quite a few chauffeurs hanging around the pavement so I needed to dodge more parkers and run in the road. On the second loop I decided it wasn’t really conducive to a relaxing run and set off towards the City and St Pauls, hugging the shade. My first kilometre was a lot faster than I’ve managed since restarting the program, and that was very encouraging. Keeping the rhythm I just kept at it and magically the one minute warning came through. Mr Smooth jubilant in his praise for me nearly doing the full thirty minutes, but what I hadn’t told him was that I was going to keep going until I’d actually hit 5kms, rather than the 30 minutes non-stop running. So I kept on going and at about 36 minutes I hit the magic 5km number. Not fast, not pretty, very sweaty, a little teary eyed, but I thought of V for Victory, V for 5 kilometres and V for very much missing my pops today.

Mr JCR arrived at the agreed Victory Arch and walked me home for bubbles on the balcony as promised. My pops would very much have liked that touch – Mr JCR making sure I never walked alone.

Stats

  • 5km run
  • Walking just under 3km
  • Tears  – many

Music

Dad Dancing Classics

Best track – Mr Blue Sky because it got me on my first 5km run in ages

Physio

Not today – frankly couldn’t be bothered, will pick it up next time

 

 

Peter Parka P…s Off – Week 9 Run 2

It’s never been known –  JCR is awake, its eight o’clock in the morning, it’s a Sunday, and it’s supposed to be a scorchio day.  All of which are very good reasons to get up and go out for that early morning run. Sets you up for the day, but then again the duvet is nice and warm and I have the newspaper to read. And we are in lockdown, so frankly there’s no hurry for doing a damn thing.

Prevarication and faffing set the tone, meaning I didn’t actually shift my arse until about three hours later. Lou Reed started me off singing Perfect Day, which acted as a nice spur.

Unfortunately Paula is still playing up, thus any plans for longer distance runs are out for the moment, so I limited myself to my local loop of London Wall, Wood Street and Fore Street.  And to mix it up a bit I ran clockwise – I know it’s dead exciting in this running world isn’t it? And it took me past Peter Parka’s Prowling and Scowling Post, which was empty. And what do you know, he is guarding an “Out of Hours Pick Up Point” , so clearly this is the place to go if you want to be picked up, but only when he’s not guarding it.

All my previous thoughts about gold, diamonds or chocolate were clearly wide of the mark. But I needed to focus a little as I had a slightly twingey knee and didn’t want to cause any problems with it. I settled nicely into a pace and started my triangular loops, first five minutes fine, second absolutely fine until Mr Smooth said you’re 10 minutes in and for some unknown reason I felt tired and slowed down, which was ridiculous really. I gave myself a good talking to and started people watching, there’s quite a number of new runners out – you can usually tell by the kit they are wearing, the colour of their faces but usually by the rather battered ‘gardening trainers’ being worn.

I saw one mum running with her young daughter (I guess), they were very seasoned runners and doing interval runs sprinting and slowing down, very encouraging but at this stage of my running, sprinting is something to watch, not to do.

Then I saw a running belly of the male variety, obviously trying to lose some of the corona belly affliction – along with I imagine more than half of the population.

My people watching was interrupted by a plonker on a bike doing a wheelie on the pavement coming towards me. My internal ranting starts – it’s a Sunday, it’s quiet, there’s no traffic on London Wall, but you decide to cycle wheelie towards me on the pavement. I silently hex him and hope he falls off and breaks a body part. Oh and he’s the usual plonker stereotype male, in a hoodie, track pants, big trainers, in his twenties, close-shaven head and his Beats on.

He didn’t fall off.  but I run in hope that one day he does. The good thing about having an internal rant was that I’d totally lost track of time and when Mr Smooth told me I had only sixty seconds to go I felt fine. Job done and a warm down walk to Sunday Morning by the Velvet Underground, perfect material for lowering the blood pressure and taking a stroll home.

Passing the pick up point, I noticed it was now occupied by a new guardsman, not wearing a parka, and he was smoking like a chimney, proper smoking not vaping.  I crossed the road to avoid the fug – Peter Parka won’t be happy when he’s back on shift tomorrow as his little cubbyhole will be very pongy. But then from what I’ve seen he’s never happy anyway.

One more run to go to graduation and then me and Mr Smooth are done on the dating front.

Stats

8km/walk and run combo – best split 6 minutes 15 seconds – which was just prior to seeing the plonker

3 takeaways delivered to Roman House – evidently a Deliveroo hot spot

About 20 people in the queue for Marks and Spencers on Old Street

1 Plonker

Physio

  • Hip Flexor Things
  • Clam
  • Bridge
  • Squats
  • Pelvic Thrusts
  • Toe Touching

Music

Mrs T – Time and Distance

Best Track – Sunday Morning by Velvet Underground

 

 

 

Paula Meets Peter Parka – Week 9 Run 1

 

 

Paula  evidently likes hanging around, I was supposed to do this run yesterday, but she likes lockdown and had hunkered down for the long haul.

I did what you can only do in these circumstances and had a telephone based GP appointment, self isolating not necessarily by choice, but because Paula was calling the shots and I couldn’t really venture out to run.

One week’s prescription for antibiotics later, I was able to run today. As you can see my new natty shopping/trainer bag combo made an appearance, for a run out in Week 9.

It was warm and I was a little bothered that I may not be able to take the distance, so I deliberately slowed down and ran like a snail. In fact I’m overstating the speed, an asthmatic snail could have gone faster, I took a little diversion to Barbie Green and the sunken gardens that have a little slope in them and spotted the arch. It’s not exactly in the most convenient place, But I think that is where I will finish my second ‘graduation’ of C25K. It’s old like me and based in the City like me. It’s also only a 3 or 4 minute dash from home if necessary.

I was running circuits along London Wall, Fore Street and Wood Street, which is a triangular run, except for the zigzagging done in The Salters Garden, where a lady had chosen to sit for a peaceful reading session in the sun. Her silence was shattered every six or seven minutes when yours truly came puffing past. She did at least smile when I went past, unlike the security guy in Wood Street who was very seriously guarding an empty doorway in his parka coat, with the hood up and glowering very time I went past him.

Now I know it’s not exactly tropical but it was about 18/19 degrees or 64 degrees in old money and he was totally wrapped up for Winter. I have a theory he could be a long lost relation to Dame Duvet who walks our hills in Italy in quilted clothing even when it’s in the 80s. Peter Parka as he is now known –  I think may suffer from agoraphobia, because I’ve seen him many times on my route and I’ve never seen him more than a yard away from the empty doorway. Maybe he sees me as a potential security threat and thinks that I could be casing the joint – it’s just a back door as far as I can see. However, when my speed is up and I look a little less like an asthmatic snail, I will look at the door more closely, in case there’s any sign of gold bullion or diamonds or chocolate.

My musings on casing the joint were rudely interrupted by Mr Smooth telling me I had only one minute to go, leaving Peter Parka behind me I continued my run. Then finally Mr Smooth told me my run time was at an end, so I snuck in an extra minute or so, just to make up for my last run in case I’d got the timing wrong. My warm down walk took me past Peter Parka – I did smile but he just did that London thing of ignoring me.

Can I just say Peter, your distant relative Dame Duvet is much friendlier. And that is my first graduation run done and dusted. Two more to come and I’m back as a proper runner once more. Yay.

Oh and yesterday I got a new skipping rope, although you’re not supposed to call it that it’s a jump rope, and it’s not a rope, it’s a wire and you can’t skip slowly with it either. Oh and I can’t even skip with it, as my coordination is rubbish. Mr JCR did loads without blinking – me , well that’s another challenge I am to jump roping what I am to being bendy…

Stats

7km run/walk – I didn’t get as far as the fish shop today

1 new running character found

My new finishing post is established too

Physio

The Usual – but I’ve increased it a bit:-

Squats – 2 sets of 12 reps

Bridge – 1 set of 12 reps

Pelvic Thrusting – 2 sets of 12 reps

Hip Flexors – 5 reps each leg with 1.5kg weight on the resting leg

Clams – 18 reps each side

Toe touching – 10 (it doesn’t seem a lot but for a plank of wood, this is seriously impressive)

Playlist

Transport playlist

Best track – Motorbiking by Chris Spedding, on my last upward slope run in the Salter Gardens – I wasn’t motorbiking at the time, but it made me lift my head and increase my speed a bit

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0KOdiPm4dzwttZzEcwkSyh?si=xGVDhmGWS7y0lbwaZGxiaw

Paula & Jan Go Shopping With Mr Smooth – Week 8 Run 3

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Paula is taking the piss, if you pardon the pun. Her problem is my problem and after two days her problem is lessening, but not gone yet. Tuesday is fish shopping day, and Mr JCR laughed when he saw my novel approach to carrying my shopping bag.

IMG_6047
Weird – me????

This is a prototype solution, carrying it in my bra gives me three boobs, and I don’t like putting shopping in a sweaty bag. I have tried stuffing it in the card pocket of my leggings, but it looks as though I’ve got an unfortunate growth. Similarly stuffing it in my sleeves of my top looks dodgy too – I look like a one armed Popeye style bodybuilder.

Today’s run is the last in Week 8, onto graduation week next. And the attaching of my bag to my shoes, gave me an idea for my run. Paula and I would take Mr Smooth on a virtual shopping trip and see if we could get enough ingredients for dinner and maybe some items for a hobby, now that we are in lockdown and are supposedly focussing on cooking, DIY and crafting, if the tv channels are to be believed.

Yes, I know, I do have some rather bizarre thought processes whilst out running, but it does keep my mind occupied and avoids the how fast/slow, how long to go, questions that pop up when you’re building up stamina.

Now, I am very fortunate in that we live extraordinarily close to Cheapside in the City of London, and Cheapside used to be Chepe meaning market, so it’s not that big of a stretch to find some grocery shopping appropriate routes.

First off, the warm up walk, we are just around the corner from Silk Street – that’s the hobby angle sorted – I can do virtual dress-making. Then aiming towards Cheapside, I run through Milk Street and hot on its heels, Bread Street  – that’s  a virtual breakfast sorted, followed by Bow Lane. Mmm, I suppose it could go into the dressmaking basket, or maybe I could take up violin lessons, for which I’d need a bow. Or maybe try a new sport and take up virtual archery, but as someone who is chronically spatially challenged, that would be quite dangerous for anyone in the vicinity, so I think we’ll leave it at dressmaking, as my musical talent is pretty non existent too.

A bit of a detour takes me to Poultry, which is not specific enough to satisfy today’s menu, we had chicken on Sunday, I’m not over-keen on turkey and whilst we had guinea fowl last week, I’m not sure I want it again tonight. At Poultry I wasn’t quite flying along, but it was a nice comfortable pace and decided to head even further East for some more foodie goodies.

On the way to Monument, passing Fish Street Hill reminded me that I did need to go to Islington for our fish tonight. And then onto the famous Pudding Lane – again a bit too generic to really satisfy the ingredient test, but a good hint for me not to forget the sweet stuff on my shopping list. I came across Lime Street, which I thought would be good with a pre-dinner Gin and Tonic, but I couldn’t find anything alcohol related at all, so we will have to stick with the G & T from home. Considering East London was renowned for its gin distilleries, I was quite disappointed I didn’t find a Juniper Lane, or Genever Street  or similar.

Now after dinner, you should either have mints or coffee or a digestif, I could only find Camomile Street, so I guess that will be a herbal tea for after dinner then. (Thank God, this is virtual shopping, I tried camomile tea once and it’s horrid…)

Still the thorny issue of a pudding to satisfy and I noticed that whilst Paula and I had been merrily traipsing and doing our window shopping, Mr Smooth was suspiciously quiet. I checked him out, sure enough at some point in the run, the app had frozen, so I didn’t really know how long I’d been running for. Curses, the challenge of virtual shopping had made me forget the most important task the list, to complete  a 28 minutes interval. I had been monitoring my run with Map My Run and robotic lady informed me I’d been running for 33 minutes, which is not quite integrated to the C25K app, so I guessed I needed to do another 5 or 6 minutes to complete the interval.

I decided the best thing to do was to head out of the City and towards the fish shop in Islington, glancing down I noticed the shopping bag had stayed perfectly in place. At this point inspiration struck, I knew that in Clerkenwell  there is a street called Berry Street and that it was more or less on the way to Islington High Street. Berries would be a perfectly acceptable pudding.

And so more or less 45 minutes had elapsed after starting my shopping run, I’d got a virtual menu, started a new virtual hobby, and learnt that you can tie a shopping bag to your trainers.

You do get funny looks at the fishmongers when you are grovelling on the floor to untie it from your trainers, but all in all it worked well. Paula made her presence know just as I got home and our concierge was telling me a story. At this stage I wasn’t running, but I was grimacing a bit and holding on for dear life. Paula this is enough,  for next week’s runs I need to be focussed, please p… off.

Stats

About 8km run/walked

I hope I did the 28 minute interval

A breakfast obtained

Dinner menu sorted

A new hobby under my belt

Staved off Paula’s revenge attack

Physio

Usual, squats, crabby stuff, bridge, pelvic thrusting, hip flexors, toe touching, yawn, yawn, yawn.

Music

I should have a food and drink playlist, but I don’t so I played

Country and Places Playlist

And there was one food related track – Boston Tea Party by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

 

 

 

 

Can’t Wait for Twenty Eight – Week 8 Run 1

IMG_3680

Eight things to say about the first run of Week 8 on C25K

  1. I was late out, but BBC Sounds is a great app, because restarting Ken Bruce an hour later, fooled me into thinking I’d got out before midday
  2. That con was quickly dispelled, when I saw the sun, blimey it was warm
  3. Long running tights, didn’t make for a comfortable run
  4. Nor did the five builders, who watched me do the seven circuits of the loop I’d chosen
  5. A bright red face doesn’t go with an acid green running top
  6. A twenty eight minute interval seemed to take longer than my last run of thirty minutes (it didn’t just seem to, it actually did)
  7. I don’t understand how I ran slower, doing a shorter interval run, but felt totally puffed out
  8. Mr Smooth was totally out of order suggesting I could probably take the whole run a lot faster

Conclusion, coronabelly is impacting, I think I’m out-eating the calories expended on the runs. Ho hum, let’s hope Boris relaxes the rules and we can go out more than once a day to exercise. I think I’ll have to take up night walking to keep me away from the fridge – this is in my opinion the biggest issue with open plan living, my fridge is in the living room.

I couldn’t wait to do the twenty eight minutes interval, because I thought it would be a breeze. How wrong can you be? But the much warmer weather may have had an impact, or maybe it was the champagne last night?

Answers on a postcard please…

p.s. Suzy – did you go out yesterday?

Stats

7.5km walk/run

One red face

One knackered runner

Music

Boy Bands Playlist

Best song  Boxer Beat, as it kept me going on my final loop

Physio

Same old stuff – think I’ve got to up the ante (but I don’t want to)

Seventh Heaven – Week 7 Run 3

Today is Mr JCR’s significant birthday, like mine in March, it’s been somewhat scuppered by COVID 19, but at least we are both still here to have birthdays. Tonight we are ordering a posh meal in. Yippee no cooking for me!

We went for the exercise hour walk last night in and around the City as it’s much quieter and far fewer chances of bumping into people, scooters, cars, vans etc.

On our walk we started following the informal statue trail of Art in the City and came across the first one. What to say other than ‘the City is full of dicks, so we might as well have a statue of them’ and the explanatory plaque said it is an homage to the petrified tree stumps found in lava flows, that stand like statues or phalluses – often worshipped by man.

Okay, enough pseudo art critic crap, I decided to re-trace my steps on today’s run, as this statue counted as a previously unseen sight and I had three sights to bag for my Week 7 run challenge. Just around the corner was the metal jumble of animals all stuck together by wire, that had a similarly impenetrable explanation of its meaning. I decided it was much easier just to focus on the tall buildings, similarly phallic, though they seem to be de-rigueur in the City now, and so I ambled my way to the Gherkin, the daddy of them all.

And sure enough, another statue  – this time of a partially clad male – no idea what he symbolised either as there was a fully clothed hi-vis man sitting on the explanatory plinth. Social distancing prevailed – I may never know what a partially clothed man with a bag on his head means.

These statues got me through the terrible tens – the first ten minutes when running anaerobically, and enabled me to settle into a rhythm. I headed towards St Pauls and Chancery Lane and spotted the first tentative signs of life in the City. A few of the coffee bars and cafes are re-opening on a takeaway basis, and I actually saw some queues of real people, outside something other than a pharmacy or supermarket.

I have to say it’s lovely to see some life stirring, it’s felt somewhat post-apocalyptic recently. In St Paul’s I got my five minute warning from Mr Smooth, telling me I should continue to breathe, and of course I followed those instructions to the letter. I may have been breathing heavily, but I was breathing and then I zoned out.

For whatever reason, I carried on running and managed the full thirty minutes, which is what C25K is actually designed to get you doing. This was by mistake – I was listening to my boy band mix, which has some rather tragic tracks on it, and I was mentally singing along to Shang A Lang by the Bay City Rollers. Because it’s such a fun track, I really didn’t hear Mr Smooth tell me to slow down to a walk, and so in Week 7, I actually ran one of the runs for Week 9. Seventh heaven indeed.

The City may be full of dicks, and I was a bit of one for not listening out to Mr Smooth. Now if you pardon the pun, I have to make sure I don’t get too cocksure for Week 8, when I have to run a 28 minutes interval for the three runs.

Graduation beckons – don’t get cocky JCR and well done Suzy K – breaking into Week 5, you know it makes sense..

Stats

8kms run/walk – although I estimate about 4.3 kms on the running element

Three statues

Two coffee and cafe queues

Music

Boyband

Best track – Shang A Lang by The Bay City Rollers, because it got me running for thirty minutes solid

Physio

Same old routine, but I have managed to touch my toes. I realise that hardly makes me spaghetti legs, but it’s a bend in the right direction.

Taking the rough with Mr Smooth – Wk 7 Run 2

After Friday’s run, I was feeling quite bullish and thought I could perhaps just move straight onto a 30 minute interval run, but it was not to be.

I’d decided to go up West and find three more ‘unknown’ sights (unknown to me) so that for my last Week 7 run, I only have three more to find. I decided that I should take a circuitous route and headed out towards Smithfield. St Bart’s Hospital and the surrounding area has been the subject of much redevelopment over the past few years and a new housing area has sprung up and I found this old insignia, with the name Coade on it from Lambeth in 1800.

It looked to be a coffee pot, so maybe a stone for a coffee shop? –  I wasn’t so sure, and googled Mr Coade, because at that time it was bound to be a Mr Coade and what do you know, it’s actually a woman. Eleanor Coade and she perfected the art of creating artificial stone. Sorry Eleanor, to give credit where it’s due this artificial stone is wearing very well.

At this stage of the run I was wearing fine, it was only the first few minutes and I toddled along Fleet Street, heading towards Trafalgar Square. It was here I was running out of puff, I have no idea why, but looking back at  my Map My Run stats, my second kilometre I improved my time over the first by almost a minute, so maybe I was pushing it a little too much.

On arrival at Trafalgar Square it was quite quiet and The Boss’s  Streets of Philadelphia came on, it’s a lovely song, but quite melancholic and seemed to suit the subdued nature of London today. I headed towards the river and took a left into Great Scotland Yard, where I saw a number of ‘new’ sights for me.

More redevelopment has occurred here, but it’s coupled with some old architecture too, I was spoilt for choice, but the horse in lockdown did appear quite funny. It’s actually a police horse and his handler was exercising in the yard. From this I’m guessing the police still have a presence in Great Scotland Yard even though they moved out from their premises years ago.

Making my way back, Mr Smooth said that I should keep breathing and then I hit the one minute to go mark, I thought I could keep on and do the whole 30 minutes, but no, my breathing was a bit rough and I had a slight pull in my right hamstring, so I decided Mr Smooth better be obeyed, and I didn’t attempt to continue running.

No worries, I am in no hurry far better to keep going than fall over, which I just can’t afford to do. I must keep running otherwise the Coronabelly will increase at a much faster pace, and there is a saying that you can’t outrun your mouth’s capacity for food.

On my warm down walk via the Strand, I was wondering what I could find to take a photo, as I know this area very well and wasn’t sure there was an ‘unknown to me’ sight to be seen. But thanks to lockdown, I found this stock of toilet roll under lock and key, behind two very grand sets of gates. Now you know we are in weird times…

Stats

8km of run and walking

A coupled spots of rain

A locked down horse

Locked down loo rolls

Taking SuzyK’s mojo, for a quick run before she goes out on Monday!

Physio

No excuses today, back to normal

Squats

Clams

Constipated Crab

Bridge

Hip Flexor Things

Toe touching ….mmm I’d forgotten to do these.

Music

Country/Places Playlist

Most memorable track – Streets of Philadelphia by the Boss

 

 

 

 

Hail to all Runners – Wk 7 Run 1

 

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First unknown sight, six to go

Today’s plan was simple enough, do the 25 minute interval run and see if I could find seven interesting things that I hadn’t seen before in London.

Which way to go? I’ve done a lot of running in the City because of lockdown and crowd avoidance, so decided today I’d go up west, and see if I could be fleet of foot, up Fleet Street. A change of scenery may give me a change of tempo and it would give me a good opportunity to find seven interesting things.

The weather was bright and sunny, I was wondering whether I should change out of my running tights and sweatshirt, but to be honest, I faff enough getting out of the door, taking an extra few minutes on wardrobe adjustment could mean I decide against running. I decided to stay snuggly warm then and head out.

Within two minutes I am bitterly regretting the clothing choice and decide I should run in the shade, otherwise I’ll disappear in a pool of sweat. I was concentrating so much on keeping cool, I didn’t really notice where I was going and found myself towards the Western end of Fleet Street. There I saw this little lady. I’ve never seen her before – tick that’s number one sight off my list, six to go. Except that I’m about ten minutes into the interval, only fifteen to go with six sights to capture. I looked up to the sky and saw the clouds a-gathering, and they weren’t white or fluffy. Oh well, I’ll just carry on, a bit of rain isn’t a problem and it’s the 1st of May and I recall the following rhyme

1st of May, 1st of May,

Outdoor running begins today,

But as usual, it do rain,

So we runs back home again.

Thanks to Jilly Cooper for that one, although in her novel it’s a slightly different activity.

The rain starts splatting my head and nose, and it started to get a lot colder and then joy, I got hailstones, okay it’s a bit colder but the snuggly warm sweatshirt and running tights are coming into their own. Another five minutes done and then whoosh I got deluged, it was like someone throwing a bucket of water straight at me. Now I am definitely cool, certainly soaked and a fair way from home. Roundabout this point, Mr Smooth pointed out that you need more oxygen when running and I should keep breathing. Now I love Mr Smooth and all that, but he definitely needs a script change. At no point in my run had I thought about not breathing as a tactic to finish.

Nothing to do other than keep on going, ten minutes later it’s all clear and I’m squelching through my cool down walk. I play chicken with a bus and lost that fight, so got soaking wet feet as I plunged straight into a deceptively deep puddle. The saying is right it never rains, it pours and right into my running shoes.

That is run 1 of Week 7 done and dusted, I experienced sun, hail and rain, squishy feet and one pretty statue, but no problems with the interval, so Mr Smooth was right, I am becoming a runner once more.

I think the other six sights will have to wait for my next run out, I just hope I don’t get worse weather than today.

Stats

Run/walking 8kms

One statue

Two wet feet

Music

No idea what playlist, it seemed to be a random collection of music I didn’t know I had including someone shouting about the NHS – I think I must have hit a Spotify randomised list.

Physio

I baled out, but did do the squats

 

 

 

 

25!25! Means I’m A Runner – Wk6 Run3

The day didn’t start well, as in the day started by me not being able to sleep, another 2am read of the newspaper, culminating in feeling like rubbish when the alarm went.  Much wrangling in the front loader with the grappling iron and I’m readyish to go. Onwards and upwards, today is the 25 minute interval run, a slight increase on last week’s twenty minute job.

Mr Smooth was his usual chirpy self and I decided to play my Numbers playlist because I could recall there was a song on it called 2525, (in my head) by a group called Zadig and Voltaire. Except Z&V is actually a fashion brand and the group’s name was actually Zager & Evans – stupid tart syndrome giving me fake memory syndrome.  Nonetheless I thought it would be quite good if I got to hear that tune during the run.

Being really conscious to keep the pace down, I set out for the City limits as usual, nice and quiet but quite grey. Seven minutes into my run around Finsbury Circle, I got the fright of my life when my NHS Responder alarm went off, it’s like a klaxon and quite loud in the old ears.

Oh bum, what to do – carry on running or answer the alarm? I should really have set my responder status to ‘off duty’ – another stupid tart syndrome moment. Okay I’m a volunteer and this is my sixth call – I haven’t actually completed one call yet, so I thought I’d answer the call and do the run later. And what do I find, a man in Nottinghamshire utterly perplexed as to why I was phoning. Here we go again, I rang the responder helpline and told them I was dropping the call as being in central London wasn’t awfully conducive to helping someone in Notts.

This is my third flaky location alert, after Yeovil and St Leonards On Sea. I’ve had one asking me for a defibrillator, one lady who did want a volunteer but not me, as she already had a favourite that she used, one call that was in South London and had been bounced by a responder just around the corner from me as it was too far away. And if it was too far for her, then it was also too far for me. Hmm not sure this app is working so well and for sure this run wasn’t working out so well either.

Okay decision time, do I just run for eighteen minutes more having had a ten-minute break talking to the responder helpline or do I start again? I started again, and realised my Spotify list had moved onto  Z&E singing In the Year 2525, truthfully you couldn’t make it up. I took the tune as an omen to start my run all over again, and carried on trucking around the City. Mr Smooth gets a lot quieter on the longer runs, which is a bit off-putting because I thought I may have lost the connection, but I kept my pace down and got to the one minute to go warning. At this stage Mr Smooth said something along the lines ‘if you feel you have the energy pick up the pace for the last minute’ – was he having a laugh?

It’s Mr Smooth and he’s not known for joking, therefore I decided I would try and up the pace but not for long. Luckily for me 21 Seconds To Go, by So Solid Crew came on, and I thought I’d accelerate for a count of 21 seconds, as my playlist uses the 12 inch version, which I hazarded may mean a total meltdown if I tried to accelerate for all of it.

A little longer than 21 seconds later, Mr Smooth told me my time was up and that this run made me a ‘runner’. Well I’ve been here before, but it does seem I’m getting there slowly.

Week 6 Run 3, 25 minutes down, listening to 2525, oh and a little extra seven minutes done too…

Stats

8km ish _ I reckon about 4kms on my main running bit, the rest was warming up and cooling down walks

2 stupid tart syndrome moments

6  failed opportunities as an NHS volunteer

Playlist

Best track for appropriateness The Year 2525 by Zager & Evans

Physio

Usual Stuff – blah, blah, blah

 

 

No Particular Place To Go – Week 6 Run 2

IMG_3655
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