16 Aug – The Top Five

Yet another sock lost in the bowels of a washer/dryer
Thanks to Pexels.com, for the photo explaining my number one hate


things I hate about running:-

  1. The laundry – see pic above, my life seems to have shifted location to a dystopian nightmare of a laundromat, where my every waking moment is consumed by washing, doing, folding, putting away running kit. Six times a week people! I can say no more, as the washing machine has just beeped at me, telling me to put this morning’s running kit on the line.
  2. The trainer fug – there is no treatment known to man that can remove the pong of well-worn trainers. I have my own treatment which is to Febreze each pair after wearing and to alternate pairs, so the whiff isn’t too overpowering.  I often collect my own little posse of flies after a long run,  and I’m convinced it’s the trainer fug that is to blame for me looking like Pig Pen from Snoopy. I need a containment room akin to the concrete jacket put around Chernobyl, otherwise all my clothes whiff too.
  3. Little old nonnas driving ancient cinquecentos – to a woman they aim their cinqs at me. Even if the road is empty except for me, I can guarantee they will turn the steering wheel towards me. Do I have nonna magnetism perhaps? Are my running shorts some kind of homing device for them? I don’t know, but I do wish they’d stop driving directly towards me, it’s scary.
  4. The post run glow. Or in my case, the beacon of red, suffused with essence of sweat and a halo of unruly, untameable frizzy hair. At no point in or at the end of a run, do I look anything other than completely knackered. It doesn’t matter whether its 5k, 10k, or 15k – the end result is always the same, a shrieking banshee like mess. Oh to look faintly glowing, with the swooshy ponytail…. in your dreams JCR.
  5. The fact that it doesn’t matter how much I run, I don’t seem to be getting any better at it. My times have stayed more or less the same, in fact have worsened a bit. My stride length is too short really to be called a stride. And I really, really thought that after more or less 8 months of running 40+km a week, I’d start to find knocking these runs out to become a bit of a breeze. How wrong and deluded can one be? But I do have a running analysis session – a present from Mr JCR – to undertake when we return to London, so that may uncover the reason why.

Today’s run encapsulated some of these pet hates, the laundry – tick. The trainer fug – tick. The ancient nonna was conspicuous by her absence but in contrast I experienced, what for me, has been the unique occasion of the year. An Italian car stopped to let me cross a junction, even though strictly speaking it was his priority. I almost fainted – how utterly amazing, an Italian stallion stopped his car on the main road to let a red faced banshee run across his access point. I’m still in shock.

The post run glow, was its usual state, necessitating a swab down with half of the café’s paper towels, and I finished my run, with a slight hamstring twinge – maybe I need that analysis sooner rather than later.

But after all the pet hates, there is one undeniable truth, I can and did walk the 4km back up the Bitch of a Pitch (to our house which is approximately 230m above sea level), without hesitation or becoming short of breath and that wasn’t true just over a year ago.  Result. Oh and I am developing a Kardashian Kulo, which could be my route to a fortune, I’m not sure on social media’s appetite for a geriatric Kardashian butt, I could photoshop the wrinkles out?


My Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust

Devil Gate Drive – Suzi Quatro

Blockbuster – Sweet

Shang A Lang – Bay City Rollers

Band On the Run – Wings

Everybody Dance – Chic

See My Baby Jive – Wizzard

All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople

Roll Over Beethoven -ELO

Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate

Freeze-Frame – J Geils Band

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed

Lady Marmalade – Patti LaBelle

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

Silver Lady – David Soul

I Love To Love – Tina Charles

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Amarillo – Tony Christie

Killer Queen – Queen

Summer Breeze – The Isley Brothers


Distance 10.16

Time 1:13:35

Average Pace 7:14 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 27 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1365.34

Kms to Go 652.66

(24 kms behind the August plan, but I have made up some of the migraine missing kms)


15 August – The Dirty Dozen


I’d more or less decided that August was a write-off after the migraine issue, but I think I can slowly pull back some of the lost kms. We’ve had two days of changeable weather, so the mercury has been dropping for a change. Therefore I had absolutely no excuse for not running today. Okay, get your arse in gear Mrs JCR – ah but I must faff first of all. First delaying tactic – a mug of tea, followed by The Times, clearing out the bins, loading the washing machine, sorting out my water bottles – you get the picture. Me, I’m a veritable genius of prevarication.

The requisite hour of faffing has passed, and I had to go for my run. Usual route, with maybe an extra loop here or there, to get me to a 12km run, if I could. Today’s theme being the film “The Dirty Dozen”, purely and simply because the numbers match.

According to Wikipedia, these are they:-

Name Number Portrayed by Sentence
Posey, S. 1 Clint Walker Death by hanging
Pinkley, V. L. 2 Donald Sutherland 30 years’ imprisonment
Jefferson, R. T. 3 Jim Brown Death by hanging
Gilpin, S. 4 Ben Carruthers 30 years’ hard labor
Lever, R. 5 Stuart Cooper 20 years’ imprisonment
Vladek, M. 6 Tom Busby 30 years’ hard labor
Sawyer, S. K. 7 Colin Maitland 20 years’ hard labor
Maggott, A. J 8 Telly Savalas Death by hanging
Wladislaw, J. 9 Charles Bronson Death by hanging
Jiminez, J. P. 10 Trini Lopez 20 years’ hard labor
Franko, V. R. 11 John Cassavetes Death by hanging
Bravos, T. R. 12 Al Mancini 20 years’ hard labor

Kilometre 1 – aka S Posey

This character was a gentle giant, who apparently killed someone by accident, hence his death sentence. My first kilometre takes in Mill Lane – which has a gentle slope, followed by half of Lovers’ Lane. Absolutely no chance of either of them killing me, as it’s too early in the run and I go very slow at this point. S Posey’s fate in the film isn’t clear – Missing in Action is the best guess. And that’s a good summary of my run, no records being set, nothing interesting somewhat Missing In Action too.

Kilometre 2 – VL Pinkley

Stupid and the dumbest member of the team, he dies on the drive of the mansion. Well the second kilometre takes me past the barking beagle house, but the beagles were asleep, so I wasn’t rumbled as I ran past their drive. But just arriving at the peak of the hill that kills, the owner of a local olive oil farm was standing in his drive, saw me and wished me a good run on a good day. Luckily my Italian is sufficiently okay for me to respond to him, so I didn’t look quite as dumb as Pinkley.

Kilometre 3 – R T Jefferson

Played by an American NFL footballer – the only African American of the dozen. He enables the destruction of the mansion by throwing a grenade into the general’s shelter, later mown down by a Nazi gunner. It’s fair to say my third kilometre was not so full of action, a gentle run down the Hill That Kills onto the bendy, scary road, where I didn’t encounter any grenades or similar weaponry. There was an old lady driving a car who seemed to steer towards me, but I think that was just bad driving, not her motorised attempt at being a hand grenade.

Kilometre 4 – S Gilpin

A grinning sociopath, who tackled and climbed onto the roof, fell through and was presumed to have been blown up within the mansion’s explosion. Now I didn’t meet any grinning sociopaths, although I did pass two people picking fruit, one carrying a rather nasty looking hooked stick thing and his wife/partner/whatever was wearing rubber gloves. So maybe I had a lucky escape?

Kilometre 5 – R Lever

A basic felon, who ended up taking the grenades to the chateau , and subsequently fled by motor boat once the dozen had been discovered. He was shot in the chest and fell into the water. No motorboats in sight for me, although I did stop at Royston Vasey for my traditional water stop and although the awkward fridge played up and wobbled a bit, I did escape from there with my life.

Kilometre 6 – M Vladek

His crime unknown; in the film he was ordered to kill the Germans and release the French and appeared to be reluctant to do that – he was eventually killed by a Nazi sniper. My sixth kilometre was a lonesome affair, I only met one cyclist who overtook me and I think he said we were cousins…, but he was talking in dialect, so I must have got that wrong! I was nicely in my stride at this point, no reluctance to continue marred my run. I didn’t need a commanding office to give me my orders, I kept going and it was fine.

Kilometre 7 – SK Sawyer

Another ‘crime unknown’ character, he performed the same duties as R Lever, but was shot first in the motorboat, when fleeing the scene. Kilometre number seven, saw me well on my way to fish shop village, at this point I’d guzzled down my bottle of water so had to stop for a water refill, as most of my water had trickled out of my ill-sealed spare bottle. Basic stupidity cost me my water, whilst basic bad luck cost Sawyer his life.

Kilometre 8 – A J Maggott

Played by Telly Savalas, a supposedly religious man who rids the world of evil. He gets rumbled when hiding in a bedroom, turns on the rest of the ‘dozen’ and is subsequently killed by R T Jefferson. Now going through fish shop village, I had no need to hide from anyone, as there’s hardly a soul around, and I feel no pressing need to rid the world of evil – although I’m not awfully keen on Donald Trump… 😉

Kilometre 9 – J Wladislaw

Charles Bronson – playing a guy who had killed a medic (who was running off with much needed supplies); he is one of the few characters that made it to the end of the film alive, although he did get shot in the leg. At this point, I was on Bin Lane, nicely in shade and both my legs were working fine thanks. No hospital treatment required.

Kilometre 10 – J P Jiminez

Not a character who lasted very long, he made his parachute jump in Brittany and broke his neck in an apple tree. His death was the catalyst for a number of significant role changes by each of the remaining ‘dozen’.  Bin Lane doesn’t have any apple trees as far as I can see, so I had no need to change my running plans.

Kilometre 11 – V R Franko

In the film he refuses to shave in cold water and hence he and the rest of the dozen were refused shaving and washing supplies, leading to their nickname. At the eleventh kilometre I was on the all roads lead to Rome road, which given the traffic often leads to a close shave. However, today is Ferragosto and a national holiday, therefore not much traffic, and so I wasn’t in a cold sweat wondering if today is the day a car/bus/lorry/bike/coach hits me.

Kilometre 12 – T R Bravos

Standing a little over 5 feet, he was the shortest character in the film. Standing a touch more over 5 feet I am the lead character in today’s run. At this stage, I was close to the cafe stop and in need of some sustenance. Bravos dies in a foxhole, I was just dying of thirst. Job done – the dirty dozen completed.


Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

Shang A Lang – Bay City Rollers

Sugar Baby Love – The Rubettes

War – Edwin Starr

Gonna Make You A Star – David Essex

Everybody Dance – Chic

All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople

Sylvia’s Mother – Dr Hook

I Feel Love – Donna Summer

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate

Freeze-Frame – J Geils Band

You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me – The New Seekers

Lady Marmalade – Patti LaBelle

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey

Silver Lady – David Soul

You To Me Are Everything – The Real Thing

Night Fever – Bee Gees

You’re The One That I Want – Travolta and Newton-John

Metal Guru – T.Rex

D.I.S.C.O – Ottawan

Blockbuster – Sweet

See My Baby Jive – Wizzard

Summer Breeze – The Isley Brothers


Distance 12.06km

Time 1:23:11

Average Pace 6:53

Elevation Gain 55 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1355.18 (it took a little while, but now I am more than 2/3rds of the distance done, approximately 2 weeks before being 2/3rds through the year)

Kms to Do 662.82



12 Aug – Good Advice…


was provided by Mr JCR on his way out to cycle at silly o’clock this morning. He strongly recommended getting up and out as the temperature was rising again.

Umm, ggnnggg, uunnngg, yes I replied in a semi-comatose state. And it was good advice, but unfortunately I didn’t actually take it, I rolled over, fell back asleep and 90 minutes later woke up. Yes, it is scorchio, yes I was warned, and yes I am behind on being ahead on my planned kms. A quick mental recalculation and I decided that an 8km run in over 28 degrees of heat, would be unwise, especially after having the mother of all migraines last week.

A gentle pootle around the lanes was in plan b – I think this month I am actually up to plan y already, after recalculating on at least seven occasions. I popped out to Mill Lane and was assaulted by a large cloud of dust. Crops are being harvested and the fields are as dry as tinder boxes – I coughed and spluttered my way through Mill Lane and towards Lovers’ Lane. No-one there, except a local worker clearing up from last night’s concert at Villa Bali. The barking beagle house was quiet – no barking beagles at all, so no unsuspecting leaps featured today.

I aimed back towards Mill Lane and took Argo’s Loop, this is a steep descent but mercifully fully in shade, which given my mistaken lie-in this morning proved to be a blessing. At the end of Argo’s Loop I had a choice to make left or right – to the right potentially leads to a longer run and a most horrid walk up Prune Lane – to the left a winding route. I flipped a mental coin and took the right, then when I was overtaken by three swooshing mountain bikers, all of whom were chatting about the heat, I decided that had been a foolish coin flip and doubled back.

Laundry Lane is bathed in full sun and the temperature is topping 29 degrees – it’s just before 10am. With this in mind I decided that 5km was enough, after having had three runs this week covering more than 30km, a 5km would be a nice cool down.

Except there isn’t much cooling to be had in full sun, and my water had long since been consumed. I appear to have got sunburn on my lips, so an unwelcome tingling made me think that a rapid walk/run back to home would be good. In principle a good idea, in practice, not so much. The heat is sapping and the route home includes the Slope of No Hope which has a short but killer incline gradient of 15%. Logic overcame bloodymindedness and I decided walking home seeking the shade was an altogether better idea.

Not a great run, but I tested out my nascent Disco Divas playlist on Spotify and that helped take my mind off the trudge. I did have to smile when looking at the hay sofa, and Donna Summer singing Hot Stuff came on.

Anyone who has any ideas for adding to my playlist, please let me know. The ‘rules’ are – it can be a female soloist or lead of a group. For example, Gladys Knight and The Pips would be fine, but had Gladys been a pip and the group called Gerald Knight and the Pips, then she wouldn’t make the cut. Oh and one decided exception, under no circumstances will Gloria Gaynor/I Will Survive be permitted. Any other Gloria songs are fine, just not that one.


Respect – Aretha Franklin

What’s Love Got To Do With It – Tina Turner

I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan

I’m So Excited – The Pointer Sisters

Lady Marmalade – Patti LaBelle

Hot Stuff – Donna Summer

Ain’t Nobody – Rufus and Chaka

Young Hearts Run Free – Candi Staton

Jump – The Pointer Sisters

He’s The Greatest Dancer – Sister Sledge

Don’t Leave Me This Way – Thelma Houston

Forget Me Nots – Patrice Rushen

Ring My Bell – Anita Ward

Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste of Honey


Distance 5.15km

Time 43:21

Average Pace 8:24 – sloooow

Elevation Gain 43 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms To date 1343.12

Kms to Do 674.88



11 Aug – Confessions…

This is a well developed SUPA


Not the priestly kind – I don’t hold with that nonsense at all – I apologise to those that do, but confessing to someone no better than you, as a conduit to an unknown power that be, who seemingly can absolve you of all sins, is not my scene at all. Nonetheless here is a confession, no forgiveness or absolution necessary.

I don’t really like myself very much, in fact I’d rather no-one see me when running. The last time I liked me, was about 30 years ago, when I was not necessarily fitter, although I might have been…, but when I was skinnier and certainly tauter than I am now.

I don’t actually like to be touched, I get tetchy if I eat too much and tetchy if I don’t. I love fish and seafood, but if I overindulge, then there’s hell to pay. I’d rather be hidden away from view, and I don’t understand how people can celebrate me. If a sneaky arm gathers around my waist, I admit that I flinch. With lots of talk in the media about women’s right to wear, I admit to full camouflage in bright running colours, in the hope that others see a sporty me, and not the me, that I know I am.

So why ‘fess up just now? Because the day of reckoning has arrived, that’s why – the mercury is rising ever higher, ever earlier and frankly putting on clothes is a pain in the bum. Specifically, tight, lycra bound running clothing, seems a total anathema to me, when all I want to be wearing is silk, light as gossamer, preferably with inbuilt air conditioning. As this clothing doesn’t exist, except in my imagination, I have to do whatever I can to lessen the clothing load.

With great apologies to my tum, who clearly does not want to be seen in public, and ignoring her very recent confession, I took the bull by the horns and wore just a crop top and shorts combo for my run today. The JCR podge is less than it used to be, but definitely still there. Reading the newspaper and listening to the radio, it appears certain sectors of society are agog about Beyoncé’s love of her fupa. Good news is, I don’t have a fupa, just a supa (slightly undulating podgy area) and today it got aired.

I apologise to the good people of Le Marché, who showed extraordinary restraint in their response to a supa Inglese on display. (Which actually is quite a good play on words, because there is a very rich creamy gelato called Zuppa Inglese; presumably if one eats too much gives you the aforesaid ‘supa’). In recognition of the horrors that the uncovered corned beef type stomach wobble on display, might wreak on Italian polite society, I was out early to avoid too much scrutiny.

Up Mill Lane, mercifully no-one there to witness the wobble, and then the usual loop to Villa Bali and its grounds. There was party there last night, going on into the early hours and I think some youngsters had stayed the night. They looked a bit ropey and worse for wear – they just followed my progress with their eyes. Not a word was said, but my tum, was trying desperately to stay hidden, through the means of using arms and water bottles in a desperate trompe l’oeil performance art piece. Leaving them behind, I came across Lord Kitchener doing his usual loop. He looked and nodded, – I’m guessing he’s way too polite and proper to comment on me taking my podge out for an airing. I continued my run, hoping for a change that I wouldn’t bump into Anouska and Albino – humiliation would have been completed, had they been there.

A short cut was in order, so I took the Royston Vasey ridgeway to chop out 2km of my normal run. It’s a steep slope downwards and my calves and shins ached on the way down – but mercifully no-one witnessed my supa wobbling her way down. Through Royston Vasey and I met my first oncoming cyclist – hallelujah – he had a ‘supa’ too, and he was displaying it loud and proud. With his cycling top fully unzipped, the world could see his glory and also his boob band heart monitor strap. It’s a sexy look! We exchanged glances – me looking at his (let me call it a) dad bod and he looked at my red-faced ‘supa’ – we said Ciao. Sometimes no more needs to be said, especially when in my case I was hoping to be running incognito.  Onwards to fish shop village, and my tum’s desire to remain hidden and anonymous was about to be tested to the limit, as I ran through about 8 people standing outside the coffee shop.  Further on in the shade, I passed two dog walkers with dog buddies who went crazy when I ran past. I can’t be sure it wasn’t my ‘supa’ that scared them, but they sounded very angry indeed.

Next up, Bin Lane, luckily for me it was still quiet and I passed one young, cool dude – he said Ciao and didn’t seem to glance stomachward – for that I was grateful. Bin Lane passed without further ado and then I turned onto the all roads lead to Rome road, where my supa Inglese did garner some glances, including one car driver who was waving frantically. Now I have no idea whether he was gesticulating in horror, swatting a fly, waving at me in friendship or was car dancing whilst driving. What I do know, is that the embarrassment of having my tum on display, meant I was focussed on that rather than the kilometres being achieved. Nonetheless, although I ran supa Inglese style                                                                                                  I also carried my tee shirt for decency when I entered the cafe. Those good people of Le Marche definitely didn’t need to get an upset stomach by seeing mine, over their well-earned breakfasts. And I did smile when Beautiful South’s ‘Perfect 10’ came up, just as I was gulping down my brioche.

And Mr JCR just informed me when he returned home at lunchtime, the temperature was up to 42 degrees. That’s more supa on display I think – perhaps not on a Sunday though…


(On reflection I wished I’d chosen my ‘sweetie mix’ playlist, as that would have suited today’s theme)

One Day Like This – Elbow

One More Time – Daft Punk

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley And The Wailers

I Can’t Help Myself – Four Tops

Five Years – David Bowie

She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

Morning Train ( 9 to 5) – Sheena Easton

Perfect 10 – The Beautiful South

10 Lovers – The Black Keys

Swords Of A Thousand Men – Tenpole Tudor

People In Love – 10cc

21 Seconds – So Solid Crew

12 – The 1975

Fourteen Rivers, Fourteen Floods – Beck

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen – Neil Sedaka

Edge of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks

18 Til I Die – Bryan Adams

19 – Paul Hardcastle

In The Year 2525 – Zager and Evans

30 Minute Love Affair – Paloma Faith

I’m Gonna be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers

80’s Joint – Kelis

99 Red Balloons – Nena


Distance 9.12km

Time 1:09:05

Average Pace 7:34 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 21metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1337.97

Kms to do 680.03





10 Aug – Mystery Solved

It is 8am and I am supposed to be running, except stupid tart syndrome made an appearance and I’d forgotten to charge my phone. This is an issue because I need to track my progress, on the app Map My Run, which to be frank, also suffers from stupid tart syndrome; for example when it decides I’ve run a kilometre in 2 seconds.

I wait the necessary time for my phone to charge and boy what a mistake that was – the temperature has soared to about 26 degrees and it is before 9am. It isn’t going to get any cooler, any day soon, so I suck it up and go out. Today I am on a running upgrade, I have received another water bottle to insert in my Flipbelt – other running belts are available. This enables me to carry 600ml of water in addition to my normal water bottle.

In my mind’s eye, this makes me look like a cross between Ursula Andress appearing from the sea, in her white naval belt, or alternatively the grunting Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, who also has a fab utility belt – oh yes and she was played by Angelina Jolie.

So now you have a pic of a very sexy, Ursula/Angelina combo in your mind, the reality is my Flipbelt is bright pink, and as is well known, I am neither endowed with hips nor a waist, so the water bottles settle around my middle, like ballast on a barge. I also sported the very sexy ‘Whigfield’ pigtails as my Croydon facelift ponytail, hurts my scalp. As you can imagine, an incredibly evocative and memorable look for the good people of Le Marche to witness.

Suitably ballasted, I venture out along Mill Lane – no-one, nada. To Lovers’ Lane – again no-one, nada, except there appears to be an art installation of corrugated cardboard seat and table structures, with verse and pictures tackling racism and immigration. That’s worth a proper look, when I’m not running. Down to the bendy, scary road and it’s all quiet on the Western front, we are in ‘feria’ season and next week sees Ferragosto arrive; pretty much this is the major holiday time for Italians in the summer.

I pass the grungy white tee-shirt from yesterday’s musings and I think I have the answer as to why tee-shirts appear to have been abandoned. The verges had been cut, therefore my theory is that the man takes off his shirt, whilst working in the fields and then it drops in the undergrowth, where it is lost, until re-discovered X months later when the verges are cut.

Down to fish shop village and I overtake one solitary nonna with her shopping trolley.  She is the single most interesting thing about this run. Bin Lane, no-one, nothing, zip happened.

But I did do a run, that actually happened, and the Flibbelt bottle upgrade worked absolutely fine.


7 Seconds – Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics

Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day

What About Us – The Saturdays

New York Minute – Don Henley

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Spring Affair – Donna Summer

Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

The Boys Of Summer – Don Henley

Forever Autumn –  Jeff Wayne

Hazy Shade of Winter – The Bangles

7 Years – Lukas Graham

Right Here, Right Now – High School Musical Cast

1999 – His Purple Highness

Sunday Girl – Blondie

8 Mile – Eminem

Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson

I Don’t Like Mondays – Boomtown Rats

Footloose – Kenny Loggins

I’m Gonna be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers

Sunday Morning – Velvet Underground


Distance 10.43km

Time 1:19:36

Average Pace 7:37

Elevation Gain 43 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Distance Run 1328.85 kms

Kms to Run 689.15km




09 Aug – Counting The Cost

August is going to be a costly month….

By now, a few milestones should have been set. By now I should be basking in some glory. By now I could be taking some rest days. By now I should have been a happy bunny. But by now, I’m just glad to have finally got rid of this effing migraine.

6 days long. 6 days of tablets, no alcohol, living in the dark like a mole and feeling sorry for myself.

Lesson learned – at the first sign of a migraine, do not try to kid yourself it’s just a headache – that was two days wasted and a body loaded with ibuprofen which failed to touch the mother of all migraines.

By now I was getting desperate, having worked so bloody hard to get 100kms ahead of my target, 6 days of inactivity has put me 48 kms behind my desired run rate. And those are not easy to replace in the sun and heat. Mr JCR was up and out early and I was actually awake, so decided to follow suit. 7.30am (earliest start in Italy so far) saw me cruising down Mill Lane, Lord Kitchener was coming the other way, but he looked very taciturn, so I didn’t say a word. Onto Lovers’ Lane, and no-one around save for the beagles at the barking beagles house and true to form they made me leap. On my way back I was more prepared, mainly because Lord Kitchener was completing his walk and he’d already disturbed them. This time he nodded at me, so I did the head bob back.

Down towards the hill that kills and I saw a ‘Bella figura’ man, immaculately dressed and coiffed out for his morning walk in perfectly coordinated top, shorts and trainers, with a bouffant George Michael style hairdo. I’m not convinced he’s a regular as the clothes looked way too immaculate to be regularly used, but then I’m always in bed at 7.30 am, so what would I know? It could be he always looks that way.

Down to the bendy, scary road and I note that with my days of rest, my pace is not too bad, helped undoubtedly by a cooler morning. I was congratulating myself on my stats, when I almost bumped into Mr Spaghetti Western, who was ambling (if that is the right word) on his bike. Now he was not dressed in the obligatory lycra and helmet of a MAMIL, but in a dusty blue tee shirt, jeans and sandals, and he was taking a very casual slow ride up the hill. We exchanged buongiornos and I continued on.

Through Royston Vasey and no need for a water stop – I did my fastest km for a while at 5 minutes 58 seconds, it’s not a scorching pace but it does prove what a difference both rest and cooler temperatures make to my pace. Through Royston Vasey and I noticed a curious phenomenon – stranded tee-shirts left at the side of the road. I saw three in total, none of which were there the last time I ran the route – admittedly a week ago. But how do you ‘lose’ your tee-shirt. All mens by the look of the sizing, do they start off wearing a tee-shirt and during the day think they’d look so much better without it on and just strip off and leave it at the side of the road? Or maybe it’s an alternative running trail – follow the tee-shirts and I just happen to have hit part of it? I saw a grungy white one, pale blue and a natty mustard and black striped one. Bizarre – any suggestions to clarify would be most welcome.

Down to the fish shop village, I run through a gaggle of teenagers and luckily I managed to stay upright, not trip over nor need to stop gasping, which usually happens when I have an audience. Towards Bin Lane, I’m very happy with my progress considering a full 6 days being laid up. I have my first proper ‘stop’ at 8km to refill my water bottle and continue onto my scheduled coffee stop. As I arrive I realise that if I could manage just another kilometre, I’d at least achieve a mini milestone, so take a run around the block. Curses, in pausing the app, my first run around the block hasn’t registered neither time nor distance, so I decide to run the same block again, just so I can recalibrate the missing metres.

Thank heavens, one run done at long last, just over 11kms, leaving me with a month’s deficit of 36 kms to make up. Finger’s crossed I don’t get another pesky migraine.


Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats

Happy – Pharrell Williams

Smile – Lily Allen

Smile – Gregory Porter

Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Easy – Commodores

Nowhere Fast – Eminem featuring Kehlani

Love In An Elevator – Aerosmith

Compression – Digilio and Accorsi

One Step Beyond – Prince Buster

Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

To Jan – Leonard Anderson

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

Gotta Keep Smiling – Scouting for Girls

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Ju Ju Man – Dave Edmunds

Marathon – Rush

The Streak – Ray Stevens

There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johnny Nash

Fools Rush In – Ricky Nelson

Tread Softly – Tiny Ruins, Hamish Kilgour

The Winner – Status Quo


Distance 11.65km

Time 1:17:44

Average Pace 6:40

Elevation Gain – 50 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1318.42

Kms to Run 699.58 (finally under 700!!!)



2 August – This Little Piggy…


as the nursery rhyme goes, the little piggies either went to market, stayed at home, had roast beef, had none or cried all the way home. Our little piggy suffered a mortal blow when Mr JCR hit him at midnight. Don’t rush to phone the RSPCA, our little piggy is iron and Mr JCR ran into him on his bike, when leaving for a midnight start to Venice. That’s right a 500km there/back bike ride to Venice in 24 hours.

Hence our pig got totalled and he was lying on his back to greet me as I left. Without Mr JCR to prompt me I actually got up shortly after 7am and was out of the door for my run before 8am. Oh and it’s 26 degrees people, it’s before 8am and 26 degrees. This little piggy is going to be a really sweaty one today.

Up to Mill Lane, and I see Lord Kitchener, who looks decidedly grumpy today, so I continue my run without stopping. To Lovers’ Lane and I realise that Map My Run is also feeling grumpy and has not started yet. No big deal I know more or less the route I’m going to take so the kms in the running log can be sorted out later. No-one to be seen in Lovers’ Lane either, I take the hill that kills down to the bendy, scary road.  At this point, the Mechanical Voice Lady on Map My Run informs me have run 3km and my last km was in 28 seconds. It’s obviously going to be one of those technical malfunctioning runs today. I run towards Royston Vasey and thank heavens some clouds come over, giving me a spring in my step. It’s so much easier running in shade than the scorchio sun. I have a couple of kms under my belt, through Royston Vasey, when Mechanical Voice Lady informs me I have done 9 kms in an astonishing 27 minutes or so.

Okay, reality check here I have run 6.2km to a certain geographical milestone  and it’s taken me about forty three/four minutes  – she is a little out of synch. I know from previous glitches that at this point the GPS kicks back in and so I cancel my old run and start a new one. I’m embroiled in my tech and almost bump into a young guy, who gives me a wide berth, to then follow me at a discreet distance – or maybe he was just going for a stroll in my direction?  Only the second human being today, everyone seems to have disappeared again, but we are in Feria time, which is a bit like the old UK factory fortnight. I run down to the fish shop village – lo and behold this is where all the people have gone – there’s quite a congregation at the cafe. I’d love to stop, but would fall short of my target run, so satisfy myself with a glug or two of warm water.

Onto Bin Lane, again mercifully all in shade. I have a nice run down there, no need for me to be hugging the bins for respite from the sun, whilst getting a full on nostril assault from the pong, oh and not forgetting occasional splatters of bin juice. Just a nice warm but not scorching pootle. I do a few mini loops during the run and got some very weird looks from an old lady onlooker, who must have wondered what was so interesting to make me run in circles for a few minutes…

Finally I make my way onto the all roads lead to Rome road, which as ever is horrifically busy, with some thundering agricultural juggernauts causing my heart to pound. At last, I see the cafe and this little piggy, whilst not exactly doing a dying fly impression, does feel a little bit knackered, and the thought of collapsing on the grass seems very tempting indeed.

My little piggies in my trainers are also squealing with discomfort, I think my trainers are close to needing replacement, as they are not quite so comfortable as they once were.  Therefore like the first little piggy, I could be going to the marketplace, Amazon marketplace that is, to buy me a new pair of shoes. Latest update from Mr JCR – he’s reached Venice and as of 10.40am was on his way home, having ridden 250kms.


Liquidator – Harry J Allstars

Ghost Town, Too Much Too Young, Rat Race – The Specials

007 (Shanty Town) – Desmond Dekker

54-56 Was My Number – Toots And The Maytals

Skinhead Moonstomp – Symarip

Rudi Got Married – Laurel Aitken

One Step Beyond – Prince Buster

On My Radio – The Selector

Mirror In The Bathroom, Can’t Get Used To Losing You- The Beat

House of Fun, One Step Beyond – Madness

Monkey Man  (three times) – Toots & The Maytals oh and Amy Winehouse’s version too

My Boy Lollipop – Millie Small

King of Kings – Jimmy Cliff

Red Red Wine – Tony Tribe

Lip Up Fatty – Bad Manners

Back to Black – The Selector

The More I See – Fun Boy Three

Uptown Top Ranking – Althea and Donna

Train To Skaville – The Ethiopians


Distance 10.61 km

Time 1:11:44

Average Pace 6:45 (no sun!!!!)

Elevation Gain ??? Map My Run cock up

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 1306.77 (yes, I’m over the 1300 mark)

Kms to Run 711.23