Week 16 Run 3 – Operator Error

Screenshot 2020-07-19 at 10.32.32
Bet he would know how to use Map My Run

I had a few days off – Wednesday = rest day, Thursday – Hairdresser’s, Friday – peeing down with rain, Saturday – other stuff to do.

So back to the ‘normal’ routine of running on a Sunday. And another go at running the hills, to try and get my hill legs back. There is a method to improve hill stamina called back stitching. You set a small distance run up the hill to it and back down, next time you run up the hill, you go a bit further and so on. My version of this is to try and do the Hill That Kills all in one go and to be frank it isn’t working, to be honest it’s killing me, as even though it’s cooler, it’s not England cooler.

Last time out me and the technology didn’t get on awfully well, I paused the app and forgot to re-start it, so lost some of the distance and have no idea how much of an elevation gain I’d run.

This time, I was determined it wasn’t going to happen again. I was focussed and had my plan. This time out my usual route and then four circuits of the Hill That Kills, with as few stops as I could manage.

As Helmuth Von Moltke (The Elder) said, “No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy’s main strength”. In this particular case – no plan of running extends with certainty beyond JCR’s first pausing of the app. And yes, I managed it again, whilst pausing physically and Map My Run wise to allow a wide load of cut wood go past me, I forgot to restart the app. Running back down the hill, it suddenly occurred to me that Mechanical Voice lady had been suspiciously quiet. And yes I’d had stupid tart syndrome once more… Okay I thought, not a big deal I’ll just carry on and record the rest of the run, and guess what, I promptly forgot to press resume.

I resumed and ran up that hill another three times, Map My Run however didn’t, so I guesstimated the amount of times I’d run and walked them instead this time recording it on MMR. The stats are utterly wrong, and I am utterly stupid, instead of pausing the app when I am stopping I should just let it run on, as I’m not really trying to improve my speed on the hills, just my stamina.

On my final run up that cursed hill, I was stopping to wipe my brow and a much older cyclist wearing a rather natty dayglo top, said ‘menomale finita’ – a kind of ‘Thank God it’s done’ comment. And he was right, I was a bit too tired to think of having another go and aiming for five runs, but maybe that’s next time out.

So what can I say? – taking advice from Moltke and learning from my mistakes, I’ll just leave the app running and then I can find out how far/how high I am running, and how many pauses I need to do that.

I’m going to do one more try of this hill running, this time aiming to do 5 run-ups and then see if a week of hill runs, help me on the Slope of Hope, Laundry Lane incline. Because so far I’ve not been inclined to try doing it, and that probably makes me a coward in Moltke’s eyes. He had many sayings including:-

Strategy is a system of expedients; it is more than a mere scholarly discipline. It is the translation of knowledge to practical life, the improvement of the original leading thought in accordance with continually changing situations.

I think therefore, my new Map My Run strategy, has translated the realities of my stupidity to practical life, by just letting the application run, even when I’m not.

 

Stats

Who really knows?

I think it was just on 5km, based on the JCR guessometer

4 runs up the hill with 8 pauses

Physio

Just on my way

Jump Rope

49 skips, followed by 20, 10, 16, 23, 12 and 22

My target is to get to 100 skips in one go, without whipping my bum

Playlist

Ska and Two Tone

Best track – Skinhead Moonstomp by Symarip, because on my final ascent I was stomping,

C25K – Week 14 Run 3 & The A to Z of Running in the Heat

 

As regular suffering readers know, I am starting again and trying to increase my running distance and pace back to the dizzy heights of my 2018 running year.

However, restarting C25K in the UK in a cool Spring doesn’t give you the best foundation for running in the eighties and nineties temperature wise in Italy. So here is my definitive guide to running in the heat:-

Alarm – use it to get up early

Be Prepared – get your kit out the night before

Cold Water – an absolute must – put it in the fridge the night before, see ‘B’

Don’t Stay in Bed – see also ‘A’

Early Departure – see also ‘A’, and ‘D’

FFS – shouting at yourself may help get your sorry arse out of bed

Get a Grip – find your inner grit and use it to go out

Hunt for shade, before you run – do a recce of your route to find the shady areas

Ice cubes in your water bottle help

Jacuzzi – is a great incentive, for post run recovery

Kit yourself correctly – lighter weight clothing, dampen your headband and running vest if you can

Let the heat determine your speed, you can easily increase pace when it’s cooler

Midday/Much higher than 30 degrees and it can be dangerous to run if you’re not acclimatised to it – avoid if at all possible

Note your breathing and drinking habits – if you’re too laboured and really in need of much more water, – it’s simple you’re doing way too much

Opt for shorter distances and slower times – re-set your expectations

Plod if you need to – sometimes a walking break helps

Quitting the race – if it’s not working and you feel uncomfortable, call it quits. There’s no courage or honour in running to dehydration and exhaustion

Rinse your hair in water before you go out – it really helps keep you cool

Sunhat/screen/glasses – wear and use as appropriate

Take your time – the sun has endless patience to burn and overheat you

Under no circumstances run whilst hungover (previous history!)

Vanquish running gremlins by not setting too high a target

Water – take a bottle, take a spare bottle,  or carry cash to buy some more water

Xtra brownie points if you follow all the advice

Yes running in heat is possible, just take it slow, in shade and stay hydrated

Zzzz – a post run snooze is just the ticket

Today’s run – I followed my own advice except for  J and Q… J because it needs cleaning and filling with new water and Q – I didn’t need to quit, because for once I followed my own advice.

In truth it was mega scorchio again, it was just about 8am when I set out on Sunday to run, and the thermometer was already showing 27 degrees – 80 degrees in old money of course. On my warm up walk I passed Lord Kitchener, he was on his way to the cemetery and he barely gave me a glance, I did smile at him, but maybe he didn’t recognise me – it’s been over a year since he last saw  me after all. I had hoped to see Anouska and Albino, as I know they often get up early to walk if it’s very hot, but I didn’t see them either. No people, no dogs, no shade, no mercy.

The sun was beating down and I admit I took shelter in the one shady spot of Laundry Lane and did a few mini circuits between the trees, because it would have been awful otherwise.

At 4.3km I gave up the ghost, because the non-shaded incline was looming and in this heat you just have to be kind to yourself. But I did decide to continue for a walk to see an ‘ex- house’ of friends of ours, just to see what it was looking like now that it has new owners. It was sad really to see it, empty of people and shutters closed, whereas usually at this time of year it would be open and I could perhaps sneak in for a cheeky cup of coffee! It added a couple of 2kms to my efforts, and in truth it was too warm to do much more.

As Mr JCR pointed out I’m going to have to get up earlier and as I’m a born again teenager, lunchtime is a bit early for me to rise. It’s either that or run much later in the day and I just know I won’t do that, I’ll prevaricate, faff and generally find reasons not to.

Okay JCR for Week 15, you’re just going to have to do those big girl pants and get up earlier. We’ve got at least another 8 weeks of scorchio weather until September brings some welcome relief, so I have to woman up…

Stats

Distance – 4.3km

Time – Too embarrassing to record

Physio

Yes – crabby things, flexor things, squats, clams

No – bridge and pelvic thrusting – need a yoga mat

Jump Rope or Skipping Rope as we oldies call it – 23 skips in succession, with about 10 attempts during the day varying from 4 skips to the 23.

Whacked Arse – at least 7 times, when you stop the Jump Rope whips you, and it’s always on your bum.

Playlist

My goddaughter Molly’s Glastonbury Mix

Favourite track – Is this the way to Amarillo by Tony Christie – because I’m a recent convert to Peter Kay’s Car Share and I love his humour, and I loved his silly video for this, which we recreated on a virtual Glasto Pyramid Stage on Saturday night. Thanks Molly and Gabi and Carl for organising it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Couch to 5K, Week 14 Run 2 – Too early for dogs…

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Come on red men…

After Mr JCR promised to get me out of bed early enough to avoid the sun, we had both forgotten one major factor. My team were playing last night, and so we had to watch the match to see four superb goals and then at least an hour’s worth of punditry telling me how brilliant my team were.

Jamie Redknapp using tech to show just how superb TAA’s strike was, Graeme Souness sitting on his smugness cushion of five League Championships, three European Cups and four League Cups. John Barnes, not quite the svelte figure he once was, but with a lovely twinkle in his eye describing Liverpool’s dominance. After match interviews with TAA, Salah and my middle aged crush Jurgen Klopp – see he is almost named after the Kop, his parents just got their surname wrong.

It was another hour of bliss as far as I was concerned, but all of this orgy of self congratulation meant we weren’t exactly in bed at the appointed hour, late to bed doesn’t mean an early start. Nonetheless I was out earlier today, it was a nine number not a ten or eleven, but even so still scorchio.

When it’s 27 degrees at 9am you know you’re in trouble. And so I started my warm up walk outside the house and did a mini loop before starting up Mill Lane, all to get the warm up walking done in sun and be able to start my run in some shade. It was going brilliantly and I was pootling up Lovers’ Lane and who did I see ahead of me but my running inspirational couple – Anouska and Albino. It’s been over a year since I’ve seen them and there they were strolling along enjoying the views. We exchanged ciaos and salves (Roman Italian for good health) – it gave me a real boost. However not enough of a boost to be able to overcome the scorching heat and I think I may have overcooked my start.

On the Slope of Hope, I was early enough to avoid the barking dog balcony and made my way towards Laundry Lane. There I spied my red poppies, here again it’s boiling hot and even an hour or so earlier, it’s in full sun. I traipsed my way to the small shaded area and ran backwards and forwards. Out of the shade, I ran towards the local winery on Laundry Lane, passing another barking dog house, but although they were out I spotted them and didn’t leap when they started barking. But the sight of the unshaded incline really got the better of me, and I stopped running. 5km seems too much of a reach at the moment in 80 degree plus heat.

I managed 4.2km in all, a little better than last time out. The timing is still abysmal, but I think I will ignore that for now and just focus on getting the distance up, oh and getting up earlier. Sunday is my next scheduled run, so if I aim for an eightish departure then hopefully the temperature will be a little lower.

Suzy K – you are consolidating – how is it going? And do you have a classic album track for my latest playlist?

Today was too early for dogs, but not early enough for me. Change is going to have to be made, but if the red men win the Premiership tonight, then I promise to be up and out by 8am on Sunday.

Stats

  • Distance 4.2km
  • Time – Abysmally worrying
  • Leaping in the Air – not once

Physio

Yup and I was reading in the PHD Runner’s blog about her getting a gait analysis as she’s had a chronic injury problem, and one of the recommended exercises was the crab walking squats, and I’ve remembered I’d totally forgotten about doing those, so yes they are on my list too, along with bridges, hip flexors, pelvic thrusts, squatting, touching my toes.

And the skipping rope – now they’re called jump ropes, and they’re not rope, they are wires and they don’t half hurt when you swipe your bum with them. Well my best effort so far is 12 jumps in succession – that tells you how rubbish my coordination is… Still I’m going to have another go and see if I can manage 15 consecutive jumps.

Playlist

Birthday Number Ones

Best Song Metal Guru – By T Rex – just loved Marc Bolan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 14 Run 1 – There’s A Hole In My Bucket

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Adriatic View From The Top of The Bitch of a Pitch

So goes the nursery rhyme, and actually our buckets were fine, it’s just that the Italian winter blew off our shed roof, our wood store roof and filled our jacuzzi full of rain water, having torn the covering tarpaulin to shreds.

Monday’s job was to try and bring some sense of order to the outdoors, which is looking a little sorry for itself after seven months of neglect, which come to think of it is like my bod after three months of lockdown.

My no-running exercise routine, included going grocery shopping (ugh), emptying said jacuzzi of about 700 litres of water and doing it by bucket to water our very sorry and sad looking oleanders.  Killing a vast number of wasps that had made nice nests under the leaky tarp – my method is to spray, pray and run. I should have been watering the newly planted hydrangeas too, but we lost all of them, due to no watering in Spring and all we have are seven sad straw stumps.

Then I helped Mr JCR recover the shed roof, with the rescued tarpaulin remnants, and now we look like long-term Italian residents. No Italian country garden is complete without a Heath Robinson type covering involving a tarp, dodgy rope and any convenient weights you can find.  We now have a fetching bright green shed roof, with an elastic garter, and three different types of wooden poles weighting the roof down. All we need is rope to hold up our gardening trousers and we’ll become a pair of Compoes from Last of The Summer Wine.

Today’s job is to empty all the previously empty buckets and containers in the shed, which are now chock full of stagnant water. Livin’ the dream! Oh and go for a run, preferably one that lasts longer than Sunday’s and is marginally quicker. That means getting up early, which means going to bed early – neither of which are in my usual routine.

And yes, epic fail, the alarm  was set, JCR not. Three hours later I set off on the same route as last time, only today it’s hotter and there’s less shade available. Stupid tart syndrome entirely of my own making and 29 degrees is about 84 F, so really scorchio.

Needless to say not a soul about, the dog walkers got out earlier on, I wonder if I can get them to bed shame me for a run? Lovers’ Lane was predictably hot and dusty and Villa Bali didn’t give me any shade whatsoever and so I made my weary back to Mill Lane, where even the water pumping station was quiet. All I could hear was the chirruping of cicadas. Now when they get going I find it makes me feel hotter, there must be something auto-suggestive about that particular noise. I could feel my face getting redder and redder and the panting was increasing too. In truth this bit of the run is always hard as it’s the first ten minutes and it takes a while to get in my stroll. I pootled down the Slope of Hope, got ‘goosed’ by the barking balcony house. They seem to have obtained another deeper voiced dog, and both of them conspired to make me jump. Both dogs have the knack of staying quiet until I’m just about past them and then they bark into action.

Having recovered some kind of composure I made my way towards Laundry Lane and it was fairly brutal, I did find a small 50 yard section under mottled shade and ran that backwards and forwards a few times, to get my run to the 4km distance marker. At that point there was no shade to be had at all and Laundry Lane starts rising quite considerably, my bucket of grit and determination was most definitely full of holes. My C25K  is now officially going backwards, I’ve done 1 km in a run less than about a month ago, but a temperature difference of running in the sixties to running in the eighties does cut me a bit of slack.

Upside I ran 4km today

Downside – not getting up and the temperature

Overall Rating – Could do better JCR

Stats

Distance 4km – so it was longer

Time – Awful – no improvement on pace, but see above

Temperature – Brutal

People – None

Leaps in the Air – Two

Physio

Just going to do it…

Oh and btw on Sunday’s run I actually tried my skipping rope afterwards. OMG it’s too embarrassing to contemplate just how little coordination I possess.

Music

Mens’s Names

Best track – Telegram Sam – I loved Marc Bolan, I think he was my first grown up crush, although my first child crush was on Troy Tempest. I actually wanted to be his mute girlfriend Marina, which considering I loathe swimming and the sea, is utterly bizarre  🙂

 

Week 13 Run 1 – Taking Paula To Task

 

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A rather large tower being built, and no-one to work in it…

A few days of rest and Paula still is lingering. I’m not permitted antibiotics because of the risk of antibiotic resistance, and I have to have four clear weeks, before getting any more. It’s only been three weeks, so I have to cross my legs and fingers and wait.

Matters are slightly complicated by the fact that we are on our way to Italy next week (France quarantine permitting) and I don’t want to arrive in Italy and add to their workload given COVID 19. Nor do I want to be doing a Radcliffe by the side of the autoroutes/autostradas.

Paula’s sense of urgency means that I can’t actually run too far away from home as there are no public conveniences open, and I am certainly not doing a Radcliffe in the City either.

I decided therefore that a short run was better than no run and that I’d combine it to a trip to a pharmacy and see what, if any, alternatives I have to antibiotics. I popped out and it’s a lovely day for running, coolish and no wind. Just a pity Paula’s tagging along.

And what do you know for the very first time in at least a year I did a sub 6 minute kilometre. Only the one mind you, but it’s difficult to focus on speed whilst wondering if Paula is going to make her presence felt. And I realise for the purists amongst you that just under 6 minutes a kilometre is hardly scalding pace, but I’m no longer a spring chicken, so I was quite chuffed. I spent most of my time in the City and spotted that a lot of cleaners were busy cleaning and tidying the shops, all ready for Monday’s grand opening I presume. Gardeners were out in force clearing up borders and replanting, all in all a sense of busyness in the air, and it was lovely to feel that once more.

I aimed towards St Paul’s and Paternoster Square, where I found quite a few folks around, heading out for lunch. It has to be said most are still wearing high viz, so mainly maintenance men rather than the usual City crowd, but it was a little frisson of activity. And seeing quite a few sandwich bars open was encouraging.

Paula started grumbling and so at just over three kilometres I stopped my run. A bit peed off, pardon the pun, and hot-footed my way to the pharmacy. Having dropped a ton, I am now the proud possessor of a Paula infection testing kit, complete with complementary phone app, four months’ supply of proactive medicine which supposedly stops the infections taking hold and two packets of treatment sachets, which should help. As the very nice pharmacist said, none of them are as good as antibiotics but over time they may be just enough to stop Paula taking a grip of my life so regularly. More to the point, I hope it means I don’t have to trouble the Italian medical system on arrival.

Yesterday I did painting again, this time the non F..ing and B…cks coloured wall, but the Squid Ink colour. Well it’s better, but the paint although unopened was a little old, and it had lumps in it, which despite my stirry stick didn’t appear until I’d started painting. So I’m not that happy with that wall either. But it’s ten times better than F&B. 

Mr JCR has suggested that we just leave the walls until we return in the Winter. I’m beginning to agree with him… And so now to the big packing up and essential shopping session. 

Mr JCR’s essentials include Branston Pickle and Marmite – I think the latter is disgusting and for me it’s the only bright spot in lockdown that there’s a Marmite shortage due to insufficient brewing. Mine are Marks and Sparks gluten free cashew and cranberry  and date and walnut toasts.  I may however have used up all available ‘essentials’ space with my Paula related supplies.

I’ll miss my City running, but hope to get in two more runs before we leave, if Paula is persistent they’ll be short ones only. But hopefully with a car boot full of Paula related medicines, she will take the hint and have the rest of summer off.

Stats

3 km run

One under the magic six minutes – yay

Physio

Nope… but I promise to do them next time

Music

Razouski 80’s Mix 

Best track – Get Dancin’ – Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes

 

 

 

C25K – Week 10 Done, and So Was I

The last run of week 10 beckoned and I was faffing. Get ready, add the shopping bag to my running shoes, because today is a fish run. Put the laundry on, take the rubbish out, chat to the concierge, strut on my warm up walk. Flash of panic, I can’t recall locking the apartment door, a run back to the block, check the door, it was fine, start the warm up strut again, slightly pinker in face than when I’d started.

Not so much JCR as Jan Can Panic, after being Jan Can Prevaricate.

On my second attempt, I decided just to run where my legs would take me – minimum 30 minutes or 5km whichever was manageable. It was very muggy and I was being covered in thrips whilst running. Particularly gruesome when they go in your mouth. Ugh.

I decided to head up West a bit via Holborn and the Inns of Court area, it’s usually quiet here and I was listening to my colours playlist, which has a reasonable number of His Purple Highness’ tracks – I’d got through Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret and Cream by the time I saw even more lovely flowers near St Pauls.

My favourite track is on this playlist is Purple Rain, but stubbornly His Purple Highness refused to play ball. My running mate Mummycav has the most fantastic pair of new red trainers and I thought of her taking them out for the inaugural run when Elvis Costello came on, singing Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes. I was aiming towards The Strand and took a little diversion and came across my final pic.

I don’t know if it was a lockdown hint, but like most people my ‘standards’ have taken a tumble during these past couple of months. From my hair being immaculately coloured and cut every 4 weeks, to a a badger stripe of roots having to be cunningly disguised with L’Oreal’s magic spray. Maybe I need to also look at the old eyebrows and see if they need sorting too, if so Tweezer’s Alley is the best place to do that work al fresco.

A couple of weeks ago, whilst running around the City I came across Whalebone Court, and I thought then I may need that kind of corseting to get back into pre Corona belly shape. So whilst London’s gardens are ablaze with colour and in their prime, I find my self needing hair colour, an eyebrow shape and looking less than sublime.

Maybe a virtual shopping trip run is necessary for me to improve my wardrobe and grooming, that could be a good theme for next time out maybe. I feel a running plan coming into being.

The 5kms were done but it was a struggle to get going in the warmth of mid-day. Note to self, get up earlier!

Stats

5km run

Another 5km walk

One False Start

Physio

Same old, same old

Playlist

Colours playlist

Best track Purple Rain, even though His Purple Highness waited until I’d got back into the apartment.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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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