20 May – ‘Toetally’ Shattered

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I was supposed to run yesterday and was visited by both Madame Migraine and a foot problem, which meant I was limping, even when wearing slippers – so an enforced day of rest really messed up my running plans. With both my head and foot pounding with pain, I stayed in bed for most of the day, drugged up and dopey.

When I decided upon this challenge, I had read how middle/long distance runners get many, many ailments and I thought to myself. ‘that’s not for me’, the more I read about them the more likely it is I will suffer from them. I studiously avoided reading up on them – there are many weird afflictions with peculiar names and I wanted none of them. I’m happy to Dr Google (well in truth Dr NHS) only if the need arises.

During one bout of consciousness yesterday, I thought I ought to check out my foot pain, just in case I could fix it with a plaster or something. That’s when ‘runnerchondria’ struck – there are many ‘little’ problems you can get – blisters etc and then there’s the big stuff. Naturally enough, I think I have a ‘big’ problem, I am getting stabbing pains under my big toe, it’s like having rhythmic cramp and it hurts, a lot. Suggested diagnoses include a stress fracture, bunions (no it’s not one of those), hallux rigidus (basically a knackered toe, due to age and general deterioration),  and the remaining long Latin-named problems are equally as frightening.

Most of the problems, have solutions all of which start with the recommendations ‘rest and don’t run’. So I didn’t yesterday, but I did today, and what can I say? I had to run slow, not least because it was quite warm this morning. But the upside is that the pain did subside a bit, it’s not quite as bad as yesterday, but I do still yelp when I catch myself unawares. Now I am in the horns of a dilemma – do I continue to run with the toe hurting, which can be managed by judicious use of ibuprofen, or do I rest up, and try and get into see the doctors when I go home in June, to get a physio/X-Ray referral? That could take months and I can’t sit around on my bum for that long.

There are two reasons I can’t sit around for that long – the first being that the challenge can only work if I maintain 160km a month, I have only 2 weeks in the bag, taking more than 2 weeks off, then puts me behind schedule. The second is that since I’ve been running the longer distances, I can eat more  – yay –  and not put on weight. If I’m sitting around, I have a horrid feeling I’ll still do the eating and thus develop a Kardashian Kulo. Which is fine if you are Kardashian shaped but I’m not.

I’m going to just run even more glacially slowly than I have been, and watch my foot for any deterioration and see if it’s possible to get a physio appointment in Italy instead. they have a mixture of public/private medicine here and there’s a lot of ‘sports’ clinics around – that is my default if the pain becomes unmanageable.

Anyway, despite the ‘toetally’ crap Saturday, I did manage to get out today, it was sunny, and my dear friend G saw me in the cafe for my pitstop and very generously bought me my breakfast. And I tried out my new Boy Band playlist (very recently completed) to keep me going, when things got tough.

This time last year, we were in Japan chasing the sakura (cherry blossom). Sometimes you forget that you don’t necessarily need to travel far to see wonderful things, and my pic shows the rather lovely and abundant cherries we have in our garden. Cherries for breakfast – tree to mouth – zero food miles, in fact we are talking food centimetres only.

Playlist

Sugar Baby Love – The Rubettes

Bye Bye Baby – Bay City Rollers

 

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham

Forever and Ever – Slik

A Little Bit More – 911

ABC – The Jackson 5

You Raise Me Up – Westlife

Stand And Deliver – Adam & The Ants

 

When Will I Be Famous – Bros

When You Say Nothing At All – Boyzone

I’ll Make Love To You – Boyz ll Men

 

A Million Love Songs – Take That

Mandy – Westlife

Seasons In The Sun – Westlife

Shang A Lang – Bay City Rollers

Boxerbeat – Jo Boxers

Everybody – Backstreet Boys

Quit Playing Games With My Heart – Backstreet Boys

Bye Bye Bye – NSYNC

Story Of My Life – One Direction

Step By Step – New Kids On The Block

It Only Takes A Minute – Take That

The Chauffeur – Duran Duran

Rockin’ Robin – Michael Jackson

The Call – Backstreet Boys

Mama Do The Hump – Rizzle Kicks

Love and Pride – King

Stats

Distance 11.85km

Time 1:35:09

Average Pace 8:01

Elevation Gain 223 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 867.29

Kms to do 1150.71

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Mar – Another Day In Paradise

It’s a UK Bank Holiday, Good Friday – or more to the point, Grey Friday and London seems empty, except for the locals and brave tourists who may have hoped for a pleasant Easter break in the capital.

No such luck for them, but the upside for me is the streets are empty, so no swerving, swearing or switching routes to avoid people traffic. During the holiday breaks in the capital, a lot of construction work continues – hence all the train line closures. I was just out of my door when I saw the Crossrail monster crane being manoeuvred towards the Moorgate site. From all the hi-vis men taking pics of this too, I am guessing this is not a usual occurrence.

I do however have an unusual occurrence of my own – I have a twinge –  not the usual WMAS , but I think it may be a proper problem. I’ve  Dr Googled which is always a bad thing, as invariably the worst possible diagnosis and prognosis  comes up. Sore leg = instant death, that kind of thing. Then I found a site that promised to diagnose more accurately your knee pain – but out of the 5 conditions they mention, mine doesn’t seem to fit any of them.

Using Idris Elba’s recent advert strap-line ‘carry on’, I gave it a go and ran this morning. Upshot just over 6km done – bizarrely the twinge doesn’t seem to happen as often when I’m running, but it does when I’m walking. I am still yelping/swearing from time to time, but not as much as last night. Therefore I am a bit perplexed, The NHS site says something along the lines of – don’t go to a GP, don’t go to hospital, don’t take painkillers, just wait and see.

So that is what I am going to do, I am going to wait and see what happens and not put in such long runs. My own strap-line is Carry On Running, But Not Yelping. Not awfully catchy – I sincerely doubt Elstree Studios will be re-launching the famous comedy series any day soon.

Playlist

Darling Nikki – His Purple Highness and The Revolution

Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis

Born In The USA – The Boss

Enola Gay – OMD

Somebody Told Me – The Killers

Maid Of Orleans – OMD

This Girl – Kungs

Mercy – Duffy

Live and Die – OMD

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Girls On Film – Duran Duran

Planet Earth – Ditto

Boombastic – Shaggy

Statistics

Distance 6.65km

Time 43:51

Average Pace 6:35

Elevation Gain 18 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run to Date 547.6

Kms to Run 1470.4

When Shopping Doesn’t Replace Running – 19 October

A week on the injury couch, after having suffered Stupid Tart Syndrome and I am decidedly antsy at not being able to run, which I suppose is a good thing…

Am in London on a flying visit for a body MOT, and I have a mini shopping list for running stuff, it’s not a huge list, but I reckon buying running stuff is almost as good as running, except buying isn’t that straightforward either.

Three things on my list:-

  1. Socks X three pairs
  2. Kettlebell (don’t ask)
  3. Lightweight wicking running top with hood

First stop a combined cycling/running sports chain in the City, first observation is it’s really a cycling shop with a bit put to one side for runners, let’s be honest actually more aimed at male runners – females about 3 racks worth. No customers except me and apparently the trainer display warrants more attention….aaarrrggghhh, why work in Retail if you don’t want to talk to customers.

Second stop, Gap as they often have decent sports kit, but it’s all summer stuff on sale and no hooded tops to be seen, nor socks and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Gap branded kettlebell.

Third stop M&S, as they’ve branched out into sportswear, but it is a bit dreary, quite nice running tights, only they’re not on my list. Only fleecy type jackets, no hooded tops.

Somewhat disheartened go home.

Thursday morning, I had promised myself a little runette/jogette to see if my Stupid Tart Syndrome injury had righted itself after a week of rest. Alarm goes and I am up and out of the door in minutes. I am a woman with a mission as am returning to Italy mid-afternoon, I have to buy piggy treats from The Ginger Pig at Borough Market which is a couple of miles away. Warm up walk is fine, then a few ginger steps into a run and yippee no twinges, twangs or alarming snapping feelings. I am running through the City, through hordes of worker ants, all dressed in varying shades of grey, charcoal, black, silver, grey, navy blue, grey, black, grey, pinstripe, white, grey. Grey seems to predominate regardless of gender, so to play my part I am wearing a grey top, but just to add a little colour to a grey day I am wearing rather fetching harlequin pink and blue leggings.

I run past charity collectors on the street, who are getting rather a lot of donations in their buckets, running towards Borough Market over London Bridge and the 2km warning comes up. I feel fine so continue past Borough and towards Blackfriars, where I note with some sadness that there are anti-terrorist bollards across the pavement, causing all the worker ants to be funnelled through little openings. Londoners truly have the patience of saints to cope with this. There’s little room anyway and now your access routes are constrained even more. Shame. A quick loop round the back of Blackfriars and I re-cross the river on the wobbly bridge, alongside Bankside and just at Clink Street the 5km warning came on. I feel fine, but am not going to tempt fate so keep my run to that. Shaggy and Boombastic comes on my playlist – to be back running feels boombastic.

I arrive at The Ginger Pig spot on opening time, buy my piggy treats and walk home, back along Bankside an oncoming commuter sees me and smiles. I think it was either the combination of incongruous face, grey top and multicoloured leggings that did it, or maybe the fact that I was very red (monarch red in fact) and carrying a serious haul of Ginger Pig sausage rolls that perhaps didn’t look the height of healthy eating and living.

Either way I am happy so I don’t care, run done, no recurrence of Stupid Tart Syndrome, oh and I ran the 5k quite quickly too…. On the way back I spot another runner specialist store – it has publicity blurb saying something like ‘understanding everything runners need’, so in I pop with red face, warm sausage rolls and my credit card. I go through my list of running needs, and as they understand it all!!!, I am not in the least bit surprised when all I manage to buy is some socks, because apparently kettlebells are only available at their other store and lightweight hooded running tops definitely fine for men and children, just not for women. You can’t win them all.

Playlist

(cocked up on the music front… Map My Run doesn’t record the list from Spotify)

I Ran – A Flock of Seagulls

Talk Talk – Talk Talk

Runnin’ Down a Dream – Tom Petty

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

I Ran – A Flock of Seagulls

Boombastic – Shaggy

Stats

Distance 5.09km

Time 32.44

Average Pace 6.25 mins/km

Elevation gain 35m

Best km split 5.57min/km – this is a personal best, this year!

And which look better – the leggings or the sausage rolls???

My bum is numb and I wonder…

exactly  how  many of the people in this airport are runners?

Some are dressed like runners, but could that just be a case of ‘all the gear, no idea’?

There are some molto chic ladies and men, with their heels and briefcases. Families, old uns, young uns, suits, tracksuits, no suits.

In fact if I took a photo maybe they all would look like runners? I’m a runner and don’t look anything like Usain or Mo. But then they’re guys, so maybe not surprising.

Maybe I will find out the answer when we disembark? But if there are lots of runners, I can’t keep up because of injury. Curses….

 

I Don’t Like Sundays … 15 Oct

I do really, but today I still can’t run after having twanged my right leg on Thursday night, when going out.

Worse still I twanged it before having had a drink, so I cannot blame anyone or anything other than myself, for being not fully on the injury couch, but not quite able to run.

I have been amusing myself updating new 80s playlists on Spotify, and have succumbed to a free subscription so I can do some downloads to my phone. Will have to see how the Spotify thing goes… Not usually a fan of these services, but who knows I could become a convert.

In the meantime back to London tomorrow, leaving Mr JCR with the olive harvest to do and organise (cunning timing on my part).

For injuries you are supposed to follow the RICE method to recuperate, but icing and elevating my right leg is not really on the cards, so am adopting purely some rest to get me in better shape. But I am taking my trainers to London, just in case I can get a run or two in. Wish me luck.

Pride comes before a fall… 12 Oct

Although in this particular case, prosecco actually came after the fall.

Rewind to yesterday evening, me and Mr JCR going out for dinner to a nice fish restaurant in Fano, Cile’s as it happens. We are a little early, so decide to have aperitivi in Bar Must (yes there’s lots of weird English word combinations).

With my eyes firmly on the prize of a nice table for two, I stride confidently forward down an unseen step. And trip, not a swallow dive, but very Dick Emery and his Mandy character (my how that dates me). I definitely felt a twinge in the groin area, but recovered sufficiently to enjoy the prosecco. Really no big deal at all.

Today’s semi ambitious plan was to crack 8.5km, and I thought the best way of doing that was to do it at the Fano pista, the running track where men dress in a notable manner. This is almost flat and a 2.2km circuit, I thought if I could do more or less 4 circuits I’d be fine. Cue lights, camera and action. I stepped out in my kit, started to get the music, Map My Run and my keys organised, then when my money fell out of my phone holder all on the track, my how the two roller bladers laughed. I adopted the standard London snooty pose and carried on, first km fine, second km am a bit warm so remove extra top and take it back to the car. Entering the pista again I managed to trip over thin air and pulled the self same areas of my right leg. This is known as Stupid Tart Syndrome and I suffer from it quite a bit.

Anyway I carried on, ignoring the twinge, that was becoming an ache, that was becoming a pain and managed to overtake 4/5 wunners. At about 4km mark, it is clear that ‘Houston we have a problem’, the groin pull is mirrored by a pull on the inside of my right knee and my right hamstring. For distraction purposes, I spot that the lampposts seem to be numbered sequentially and thought they were about 100m apart. My new cunning plan is to run 10 lampposts which in JCR land, equates to a km. Except that mechanical voice lady from Map My Run is suspiciously quiet…

Stupid Tart Syndrome strikes again, the lampposts are just numbered and they are not actually 100m apart. This compromises my plan to do 40 lampposts to finish. At this stage my right leg is quite painful, therefore I wait for mechanical voice lady to tell me it has been 5km and the second she did, I stopped running.

Upshot is, when suffering from Stupid Tart Syndrome, do not set ambitious targets, do not change venues and finally never rely on lampposts.

 

Playlist

Blue Monday – New Order

World in Motion – ditto

Rumour Has It – Adele

Everything Must Go – The Manics

Maid of Orleans – OMD

Beat It – Michael Jackson

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs

Rain on Your Parade – Duffy

Rockferry – Duffy

Stats

Distance 5.02km

Time 33.22

Avergage Pace 6.38 min/km

Elevation Gain 10 Metres

Fastest km 6.26

In fact, this has been one of my fastest runs to 5km. Speed and Stupid Tart Syndrome obviously combined today.

No Squats as Muscles too painful!

Face Colour – Sick as a parrot green….

Me and Mr Smooth, we’re so over…

…. well at least for today! Yesterday was the rest day, I say rest I can’t actually recall much resting going on, what with cleaning a house waiting for 5 cycling guests to turn up.

The house was clean, so I decided it would be nice if I was too. Getting out of the shower, I had a twinge. That was my back and it hurt a lot. Was I cartwheeling with gay abandon? No. Had I taken up shower-surfing? No. I stepped off a shower onto the floor, no skids, no dramatic Mr Bean falls, I just twinged….

So my date invitation duly arrived this morning and I politely declined Mr Smooth’s invitation to run. I had left out my running gear, more in hope than anticipation, but hey ho.

Am resting today and will see if I  am able to go tomorrow. Thinking of trying out the zombie running app for a laugh, but only any good if I can run, otherwise I think I will be zombiefyed within seconds.

Mr Smooth, how’s your massage technique? Just askin….😜