Feb 19 – So Long Sunshine

It’s been nice seeing you again, I’d quite forgotten what grey skies look like.

Winter training camp well what’s to be said about it…


Weather is much nicer, so it feels easier to run

Having an apartment means you can do home laundry for all the sports gear

Eating and drinking locally is fab, I’d forgotten just how much I like tapas

Getting to run by the side of the beach is glorious, there’s always something to look at (even if you don’t want to see what’s there!)

You get to feel the City a little more, rather than just being a tourist doing the sights


Weather is much nicer, so it feels easier to run – therefore no excuses not to

Having an apartment means you can do home laundry for all the sports gear, but I do feel like a laundromat assistant doing ‘service washes’

Eating and drinking locally is fab, I’d forgotten just how much I like tapas, and how they are not the ideal ‘training’ food

Suggested running routes don’t always tell you what you will find; once leading to a sharp exit from an alley where I felt decidedly out of place

You don’t get as much time as you imagine to ‘see the sights’

I came out with a mental plan to ‘do’ 40 km in the 5 days I was here and that’s quite a smoking 8km per day; whereas the most I’d done previously was 7. In actual fact, I’ve run just over 45kms in my time here, so a little better than I thought with a daily average of 9kms. The benefit of sunshine therefore comes out at 1km a day  I don’t know whether Mr JCR will consider the cost benefit analysis a strong one… 😉

Oh and a sunny wave to ju-ju who had a crap start to the day.


A New England – Billy Bragg

Is This The Way To Amarillo – Tony Christie

London Calling – The Clash

Strong – London Grammar

No Particular Place To Go – Chuck Berry

Maid of Orleans – OMD

Romeo and Juliet – Dire Straits

Penny Lane  – The Beatles

Rio – Duran Duran

Vienna – Ultravox

Belfast Child – Simple Minds

Going Down To Liverpool – The Bangles

Black Eyed Boy – Texas

California Dreaming’ –  The Mamas and The Papas

Avalon – Roxy Music

Grease – Frankie Valli

Japanese Boy – Aneka

Big in Japan – Alphaville

What A Wonderful World – Sam Cooke

Rhythm Is Going To Get You – Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine

Streets of Philadelphia – The Boss

Downtown – Petula Clark

Barbados – Typically Tropical


Distance 10.52 kms

Time 1:21:00

Average Pace 7:42 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 28 metres

Running Streak = 5 days (but tomorrow is a rest day as we fly home) (12km, 10km, 6km, 6km, 10km)

Team Rhomboid Torture (or Lenten Challenge)

20 squats

6 Hollow Rocks holding 10 seconds

20 Wall Press Ups

1 knackered body

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run to Date 257.6

Kms to Do 1760.40

(Hopefully I’ll have kicked in to the 1600s by the end of Feb)



2 Feb – Doms Hanging Around And An Early Reality Check

Hmm, best laid plans and all that, I am now convinced that by running 21km on Tuesday, I may have overshot things somewhat. I still have DOMS today, albeit nowhere near as bad as Wednesday and Thursday. Add to the fact that according to all sensible advice, I should have targeted to run only 1000 km this year (based on last year’s kilometrage +10% uplift), I must admit to feeling a little apprehensive.

January’s bullish mood is now a little more tempered with February’s reality check and it’s only the 2nd of the month.  Nonetheless, there are things I can do, such as lose a bit of weight – that will help with not carrying so much of a load, cut down on the alcohol and increase the water consumption. I may need to look at the diet too, increase protein, fruit and veg but cut down  on carbs, seems to be the mantra.

One of the excellent C25K Administrators and long time runner, has said she targeted 2000 km+ one year and didn’t manage it. She said that it’s a stretch, what with injuries, illness, life and other things conspiring to get in the way. It’s also been suggested that by giving myself a minimum targeted run distance of 5km, I am not permitting short runs, which are an easier way to rack up mileage, without doing a lot of stress and joint damage.

Okay, that’s all the negative stuff out of the way. It’s blindingly obvious then that I have to be careful,  my plan is to do shorter runs. It may be a bit tedious, but my body can get used to the shorter distances becoming a daily norm. Slow but sure I think is the best way of minimising all these risks, and that means making a concerted effort to reduce my pace too. Whilst I am not exactly fast, my pace varies between 6 and 8 minutes a km depending on tiredness. I think I should focus on running closer to the 8 minutes rather than 6, and that too will help reduce wear and tear. Prevention in this case is definitely better than a cure.

That’s the plan, today’s warm up is cleaning the kitchen, then I’m off out. It’s a glam life.

About 3 hours later, I am back having completed another run. Again, I decided to stay close to home, in the event of any unforeseen incident. Running at lunchtime in and around the City is not such a bright idea, as there’s just too many folk intent on getting sushi/sandwich/snacks/shopping.

I decided on running around some of the more residential streets of Islington. Whilst I wasn’t hunting for Monopoly squares, as I am doing that over the weekend, I did come across a water reservoir, and as far as I am concerned that counts as ‘Waterworks’ on the board. Then I started finding little residential squares so I ran around a few of those, not collecting Monopoly squares this time, but running around actual ones.

Charterhouse Square (pictured) isn’t that far from us and has recently been renovated and re-opened to the public. I did the obligatory loop at the end of my run, and was delighted to find out I was around the 7km mark. That’s enough for a pair of legs that are still aching.

Copying the phd runner’s niggleometer, this is how my bod stands – high numbers are a problem!

Head – 7/10 (banging headache again)

Butt – 4/10 (aching but not awfully bad)

Calves – 6/10

Hamstrings 5/10

Feet 0/10 (Thank goodness, something feels alright)


Lost In France – Bonnie Tyler

Breakfast in America – Supertramp

Une Nuit A Paris – 10cc

No Particular Place To Go – Chuck Berry

Maid of Orleans – OMD

Penny Lane – The Beatles

Massachussetts – Bee Gees

Boston Tea Party – SAHB

Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel

Big In Japan – Alphaville

Africa – Toto

Midnight Train To Georgia – Gladys Knight & The Pips

New York Minute – Don Henley

San Francisco – Scott McKenzie

Go Wild In The Country – Bow Wow Wow

Avalon – Roxy Music


Distance 7.43km

Time 55:13

Average Pace 7:25 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 31 metres

Running Streak = 2 days (only the second time ever)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 139.40

Kms To Do 1878.56









3 Feb – Slip, Sliding Away

To quote Paul Simon. I had decided yesterday to rest a while and not go out until this afternoon. It was cold and clear this morning, whilst I was warm and toasty inside.

Then at 3.30pm I set off, it was no longer cold and clear, but cold, rainy and breezy. After two minutes of warm-up walking, I decided I’d had enough and that I wasn’t going to get warm enough to run and headed back to the apartment. Not to give in you understand, but to change into warmer gear as my legs were freezing and ears complaining of potential frostbite. (I exaggerate, but they were tingling uncomfortably)

Change of leggings to the fleece lined Dutch ones (the Dutch is important as they have longer legs than me) so I look like a fluorescent Nora Batty, despite taking the hems up.

The pavements were horrid and very slippy, culminating in me doing some rather inappropriate stretches whilst running. Tarmac is better, but even around the City on a rainy, cold Saturday afternoon, road-running isn’t a possibility. So I slipped and slided my way to just over 6km. That’s it, no more to say, it was horrid. I look like a drowned rat  and there’s absolutely no chance of looking like a molto chic podista today.

Face Colour – Monarch Red


From my Weather playlist on Spotify, as that seemed most appropriate

Fog On The Tyne – Lindisfarne

Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen

Thunder – His Purple Highness

Mr Blue Sky – ELO

Ain’t No Sunshine – Lighthouse Family

Downpour – Backstreet Boys

Sunshine On Leith – The Proclaimers

Sunshine After The Rain – Berri

On The Road Again – Canned Heat

Cold As Ice – Foreigner

The Real Slim Shady – Eminem

Summer Breeze – The Isley Brothers

Cold Cold Man – Saint Motel

Warmth – Bastille

Sunshine On A Rainy Day – Galimar


Distance 6.64km

Time 44:32

Average Pace 6:42 (mins/km)

Running Streak 3 days

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 146.04

Kms To Do 1877.96




1 Feb – Doms come to visit

Not Dominic, but DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) which according to all the fitness articles means one of two things:-

  • I either overdid Tuesday’s exercise or,
  • I gave myself a very good workout.

Either way, me and John Wayne are walking twins.

The accepted wisdom is that DOMS peaks at up to 48 hours post exercise, and can be alleviated by any number of things:-

  1. An Epsom Salt Bath
  2. An Ice Bath
  3. Alternating Between an Ice Bath and a Hot Shower
  4. Using a Foam Roller
  5. Eating Spinach, Sweet Potatoes and Red Pepper
  6. Any Combination/All Of The Above

Never have I been so relieved that we removed our bath from the apartment! So that takes out options 1-3. I do have a foam roller, I also have red pepper and spinach, but no sweet potatoes and frankly my legs are very sore and I can’t face going out to buy some.

Therefore, my cure for today’s DOMS is braised lamb shanks in red wine, with cous-cous, spinach and red peppers. Plus some of the nasty foam rolling. I reckon through judicious bending of the options I’m covered by cures numbered 4-6.

The Alzheimer’s Challenge is proving to be a game changer on my year, as I can’t just drop a day here and there. I have to commit regularly to a serious level of kilometres. Having sought advice from my C25K forum buddies, the overwhelming conclusion is that I am better to run shorter distances every day, rather than alternate 3 very long runs with a day’s rest between. So new month, new plan; well at least for the first week. I am going to run every day for a week and see how I get on. If I aim to do between 6 and 7 kms each day, my body should get used to that distance and if for whatever reason I have to drop a day, I should be able to make it up with one longer run a week. That’s the theory anyway.

Today’s run was all about slow and recovery pacing – I hadn’t set a route and it wasn’t going to be a Monopoly run as my next squares are red and that route is about 8km, which is probably a bit too far, considering Tuesday’s efforts.

I wish I could say today’s slower pace was a deliberate action on my part, it wasn’t – I just couldn’t summon up any energy to run faster, with both legs aching everywhere. Nonetheless with a. cold breezy run ahead of me I got out and ran in and around Clerkenwell, Hatton Garden and Smithfield.

Hatton Garden is gearing up for the Valentine’s Day bonanza – all the jewellers had glinting diamond ring displays and notices about engagement rings. Also all of their ‘heavies’ were standing outside the shops, which does require a bit of a runner’s detour around them. My ears were frozen and the thought passed through my mind that if my ears dropped off, Hatton Garden wouldn’t be able to sell me any earrings, even the clip-on variety. Clearly tiredness and DOMS affects me mentally!

Not a fantastic run really. But it is the first of the new method, so we will see how that works out. I am hoping DOMS will have decided to visit someone else tomorrow, and a more normal running service can be resumed


Beat Crazy – Joe Jackson

(Forever) Live and Die – OMD

Our House – Madness

Get Dancin’ – Disco Tex And His Sex-O-Lettes

Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer

Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera

Dreaming – OMD

Rio – Duran Duran

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult

All She Wants Is – Duran Duran

People Are People – Depeche Mode

Personal Jesus – Ditto


Distance 6.60km

Time 46:56

Average Pace 7:06 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 58 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 131.96

To Do 1886.04 (I will see if I can do more than 6.04kms tomorrow)

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