15 Mar – The Deluded Conundrum


Having basked in the tired glory of having done 22km over two days, I thought today I would do a nifty 5km.

That was the plan, in my head I was going to semi-sprint (I know – it isn’t a word) around the City and get back home with warm up and cool-down done in about 40 minutes. The principle being, the quicker I get the less time it will take me to do the challenge and leave me some spare ‘non-running oriented’ time.

In my head I was semi-sprinting, in my legs I wasn’t – as became apparent at the end of the run. I came across Fruiterers Passage on the North Bank – I’ve never been in there before and managed a quick pic looking back at the Shard. There were quite a few couples walking and in hand on a nice sunny day in London on the North Bank, all being buzzed by a middle-aged sweaty runner.

Running back home, I passed Polpo – one of the few Italian restaurants in London I’d  actually eat in. They have a festive menu celebrating women’s achievements. I thought it may be worth a visit, then I saw the menu – Broccoli – yuck, Gnocchi – yuck, yuck and Wet Polenta – yuck, yuck, yuck. No conundrum there, I’ll wait until we are back in Italy to eat Italian food.

But my actual conundrum is this – if I can run faster I can get the challenge done without it taking all my spare time and energy. But to move from arthritic semi-sprinting to proper fast running , means I need to do interval training. Interval training is short, sharp sprinting, interspersed with less-fast running. But when I’ve tried this before I can only manage 35 minutes and cover about 3km – and that is far short of my stated 5km minimum run for the challenge. I haven’t got enough energy to be able to do the interval training as well as the challenge, nor would it be healthy, as I wouldn’t be giving my bod any rest time.

The challenge will have to stay as it is, and I will put the idea of semi-sprinting/sprinting into the area of brain for middle aged delusions.


I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club

Cars – Gary Numan

The Tears Of A Clown – The Beat

Trapped – Colonel Abrams

Enola Gay – OMD

I Am The Law – Human League

The Reflex – Duran Duran

Electricity – OMD

Temptation – Heaven 17

All She Wants Is – Duran Duran

Vienna – Ultravox

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Planet Earth – Duran Duran


Distance 5.58km

Time 35:19

Average Pace 6:19 (mins/km) – absolutely rubbish not sprinting at all

Elevation Gain 40 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 435.6

Kms To Do 1582.4

Team Rhomboid Torture

No instructions there, so I’ll do some squats and something interesting with a kettle bell… (who thought that could even be a phrase?)


13 Mar – Goosing, Rowing and Running


From a 24 hour rest, to a run. Today was reasonably clear and I had some errands to do. First off run to the Post Office to post my nearly-god-daughter’s birthday present. It’s late for her birthday, so it is a really good job I am not an official god-mother, as I would have failed officially.  But then I’ve failed miserably at the ‘nearly’ part too. Sorry M – will do better!

At the Post Office, I was asked rather randomly if I had thought about the need for life assurance. I assured him I had thought about it and come to the conclusion I didn’t need any. He then assured me that we all need it, as you never know what is around the corner. Being polite, I thanked him for considering me and then continued my run out and around the literal corner, rather than his metaphorical one. In a lot of retail outlets, you come across the ‘art’ of the cross-sell, our most random one was when buying a shaving stypstick for Mr JCR at the grand expenditure of about £2, I was asked would I like to buy the latest Rihanna perfume at £40+.  I pointed out that I can’t stand Ri-ri, so would never buy her perfume, he then asked if we’d consider buying the gentlemen’s eau de cologne, Armani Code…. Aargghh what training are you giving staff if you think you can get a customer to up their spend from £2 to £40+? Maybe we just have  ‘cross-sell willing’ looks on our faces, or he thought I looked like I had a shelf full of sleb smellies…. Yup that’s me – Britney Shitney. Dirty Aguilera, Beckham from Peckham etc. Love them all.

Me and my ‘cross-sell’ face trucked down to Fleet Street, along the Strand and towards Westminster. A quick scoot along the South Bank and I came across two geese nestling cosily near Tate Modern. Crossing the wobbly bridge back to the North Bank, there was a 24 hour rowathon being performed in aid of the London Air Ambulance. Two geese being very lazy and three human beings being very active indeed. I was at about the 9km mark at this stage, so continued my run to my fish shop, so make sure I did more than 10km. Fish bought, wrapped and run home. This time I ran with the mute company of sea bass, a crab and some smoked salmon. And no, the fishmonger didn’t cross-sell me anything, just sold me what I asked for and that was it. Bliss.


All She Wants Is – Duran Duran

Go Wild In the Country – Bow Wow Wow

She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult

Is Vic There? – Department S

Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Say My Name – Destiny’s Child

Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor

Dub Be Good To Me – Beats International

The Power – SNAP

Killer – Adamski, Seal

The Joker – Steve Miller Band

The One And Only – Chesney Hawkes

Dizzy – Vic Reeves & The Wonder Stuff

Ebeneezer Goode – The Shamen

End Of The Road – Boyz II Men

Oh Carolina – Shaggy

Dreams – Gabrielle

Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio

Return Of The Mack – Mark Morrison

Move Any Mountain – The Shamen

I See You Baby – Groove Armada

Groove Is In The Heart – Deee Lite

Devotion – Nomad

The Key The Secret – Urban Cookie Collective

Things Can Only Get Better – D:Ream

Everybody’s Free – Rozalla


Distance 13.61 km

Time 1:15:47 (This is wrong my phone kept conking out)

Average Pace – no idea due to the Time issue

Elevation Gain 89 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 420.8

Kms to Do 1597.2 (yes – less than 1600s)

Team Rhomboid Torture

Not posted anything yet, so I will do some squats and press-ups…






5 March – Sign Of The Times


Today was a recovery type run after two long runs. I’d decided 5k and no more. As ever, bloody mindedness kicked in and I thought if I could do 5 then I certainly could manage 6. Having listened to tributes to Roger Bannister, I thought I should just get on and out. No fuss, no prevarication today.

And so it was, I ran through the City, dodging burrito-eating men in suits, suited and booted women in heels and loads upon loads of Railway Engineers in their high vis kit – I am thinking the collective noun should be an embankment of engineers. During today’s run it felt like passing a mountain of hi vis flesh – both in height and width.

The City returned to normal after The Beast from The East, in fact it was positively springlike, with smokers no longer huddled in doorways, but casually loitering in shirtsleeves out on the pavement.

In the midst of the suits, was a little hot liquorice legginged runner, who realised that gloves weren’t necessary today, nor was the headband, and in fact the leggings were a bit warm too. But I am not complaining a warmer day means a nicer run, and it was. I did a circuit around the City limits more or less, and on the way home passed the old police telephone box pictured above,  which informed me that the phone no longer worked but if I needed an emergency phone, to use the nearby telephone box.

Except there was no nearby telephone box – damn good job 95% of adults in the UK have a mobile phone I suppose. In fairness I didn’t have an emergency either, I just wondered what the note on the box said.


Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

I Ran – A Flock Of Seagulls

Talk Talk – Talk Talk

Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears For Fears

Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins

Visage – Visage

Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds

You Spin Me Round – Dead Or Alive

I Want Your Love – Transvision Vamp

A New England – Billy Bragg

I Only Want To Be With You – The Tourists

I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty

There Must Be An Angel – Eurythmics


Distance 6.27km

Time 40:07

Average Pace 6:23 (mins/km) – no danger of troubling Roger Bannister here

Elevation Gain 40 metres

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Done 362.8 (drat, not quite the same number of kms as days in the year)

Kms To Do 1655.2

Team Rhomboid Torture

I am supposed to do

3 sets of 15 reps – squats

3 sets of 15 reps – hollow rocks

3 sets of 15 reps – leg or knee raises

I managed

3 sets of 10 reps – squats

only 3 hollow rocks, with 5 hollow body held for 10seconds (work in progress)

2 sets of 10 reps knee raises

As you can tell, I am not going the full torture garden route, just yet




4 Mar – Going Posh Up West

The last two official squares of the Monopoly board were on my list today, taking me to Mayfair and Park Lane. Only the gas company to go, it has been suggested I look for a gas tank somewhere in central London, that one will be the last of my Monopoly challenge before we return to Italy.

It was grey but warmish today, and I ran down Shaftesbury Avenue, towards Chinatown and Piccadilly, heading up Clarges Street towards Park Lane. And there it is in all its glory  in my third photo. Such a grotty road really, yet with such a glamorous reputation.

Next onto Mayfair – which is not a road just an area so I chose a view of Grosvenor St, as the Grosvenor family own most of Mayfair.

On the way back I scooted through Covent Garden and Holborn and saw the Aston Martin parked in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Now forgive me, but if you can actually afford an Aston Martin do you really need a registration plate ‘YES 1AML’ – which I am guessing is meant to signify yes I own an Aston Martin. We know you do – it’s parked on the side of the road.  So in the self congratulatory vein my registration plate for today’s run is ‘YES I4K’

But the true achievement today was by our friend Abi, who when the Bath half marathon was cancelled today, still went out and ran a half marathon, but all on her own. Wow she deserves ‘YES 21K’, maybe the owner of YES 1 AML might oblige by buying it.


7 Seconds – Youssou N’Dour

New York Minute – Don Henley

Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics

What About Us – The Saturdays and Sean Paul

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Spring Affair – Donna Summer

Dancing In The Dark – The Boss

Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

The Boys Of Summer – Don Henley

Forever Autumn – Jeff Wayne, Richard Burton, Justin Hayward

Winter Melody – Donna Summer

7 Years – Lukas Graham

Right Here, Right Now – Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron

1999 – His Purple Highness

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Ruby Tuesday – The Rolling Stones

8 Mile – Eminem

Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson

Step On – Happy Mondays

Footloose – Kenny Loggins

Fall At Your Feet – Crowded House

Sunday Morning – The Velvet Underground

Second Hand News – Fleetwood Mac


Distance 14.47km

Time 1:42:06

Average Pace 7:03 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 73 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 356.5km

Kms To Do 1661.5km

Team Rhomboid Torture

12 burpees to do and squats – yuck….



3 March – There Was A Middle Aged Woman

St Olav’s Church

Called Jan

Who created an audacious plan

In 2018 there is 2018 km to run

Who knew if it could be done?

She has 365 days to do it

But must remain very strong and fit

Her target for today

Was to run just 10k

In and around London City

Although the roads were all gritty

The Beast from the East had gone

Of snow there was none

I got out the door

And managed 10.4

That’s all to say

Tomorrow is another day


Chocolate Girl – Deacon Blue

So You Win Again – Hot Chocolate

Push The Button – Sugababes

Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

Raspberry Beret – His Purple Highness

Cream – Ditto

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This – Eurhythmics

Sad Sweet Dreamer – Sweet Sensation

Boogie Oogie Oogie  – Taste Of Honey

Cake By The Ocean – DNCE

I’m The Fat Man – King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys

Salt Peanuts – Charlie Parker/ Dizzy Gillespie

Ice Cream Man – Blur

I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow

You Got The Love – Candi Staton and The Source

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice


Distance 10.40km


Average Pace 6:09 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 44 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 342.1

Kms to do 1675.9

Team Rhomboid Torture

I have burpees from yesterday to do and I can’t even do one…. I have to target a minimum of 6. If I can do 6 burpees, then I am not doing the squats. There is a limit!

1 Mar – Mad As A March Hare

When I was checking out my blog yesterday –  the statistics information told me that someone had got to my pages by searching for

‘nude man walking in forest’.

Now as it happens there is a post way back in October that mentions just this thing, thank goodness it didn’t happen to me, but it did happen to my dear friend J, when she was running near her home in Arnhem.

This got me to wondering, which male or female was it that was searching for that phrase and why? I wonder whether they were upset when they read my blog post, because they were hoping for something meatier?

We’ve all heard how you have to be somewhat careful on your search arguments in Dr Google, and of all the things one might look for, this seems somewhat odd. There has to be easier ways of finding pictures or stories of naked men…

Today I went running in Regents Park again, colder than yesterday, slippier than yesterday and more mad runners out than yesterday. All of us as mad as a March hare – and please excuse the pics, but in one of them two runners had bare legs and one had a short sleeved tee-shirt on. He was almost naked for crying out loud (this gratuitous nude reference included so that the random searcher from yesterday may just find two things on here they want to read)

Much more arctic in feel and the run at times was very hard – Mr Fluoro lapped me at least twice… I am consoling myself with the thought that I didn’t see him yesterday, so I may have run more than him over the two days.

Run done, tomorrow is a rest day, where I will be channelling my inner Marie Antoinette. Sleeping in late, eating cake and drinking hot chocolate…


Alison – Elvis Costello

Caroline – Status Quo

Dirty Diana – Michael Jackson

Eloise – The Damned

Francine – ZZ Top

Helena – My Chemical Romance

Poison Ivy – The Lambrettas

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Kayleigh – Marillion

Layla – Derek And The Dominoes

Maggie May – Rod Stewart

Darling Nikki – His Purple Highness

Ophelia – The Band

Dear Prudence – Siouxsie And The Banshees

Queen of Clubs – KC And The Sunshine Band

Roxanne – The Police

Teresa – Eddie Cochran

Single Ladies – Beyonce

Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy

Valerie – Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson

Wendy – The Beach Boys

St Xenia – Katina

Oh Yoko – John Lennon


Distance 8.75km

Time 1:21:22

Average Pace 9:17 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 33 metres

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Done 331.7

Kms to Do 1686.30

Team Rhomboid Torture

2 x sets of 10 reps of squats

(couldn’t do anything else was shattered – will revisit tomorrow)



28 Feb – Snow Use….

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complaining about the weather. Snow good wishing it wasn’t snowing. Snow time like the present. And the puns keep rolling.

Last day of February and a planned 8km run. Mr JCR came up with a good idea to try running in/around one of the Royal Parks as they are far more likely to be well managed in bad weather. I say it was a good idea, and it was, although at the time it was mooted – in my head I was screaming ‘you’ve got to be joking, running in this!’

So off I trotted, bearing a distinct resemblance to the Michelin man with four layers on top, three layers on the bottom, two pairs of socks a hat, gloves, running buff oh and the essential 10 tissues for the ever present runny nose. I caught the train to Great Portland Street tube and exited to a mini blizzard. The pavements hadn’t been gritted and were quite slippy, so I wasn’t entirely sure that it would be safe to run.

But then I found that the pavements around the park were fine, because no grit and no pedestrians meant almost virgin snow, which is grippy enough to run on, although your pace suffers a bit. So I plodded around, and slight confession here, I just thought I’d follow whichever road I was on. And it turned out it was the inner circle road which apparently I circumnavigated three times.  Here’s the thing I had no idea I had done that. I must admit to being confused at seeing a place called ‘The Holme’ on three occasions, but I thought that maybe the park had a number of lodges all called the same thing. Truthfully it’s a good job I’m not let out on my own very often, I really couldn’t find my way out of a cul de sac.


I carried on and I was really enjoying it, there’s a kind of muffled silence that comes with snow; the roar of traffic from the Marylebone Road,  was just a very distant hum and the park itself, magically tranquil. A guy asked me to take a photo of him against the snow because he couldn’t believe there was that much in London.

After about 5/6 kms the park started filling up with people, some with children and most of them not, but it didn’t stop a number of snowball fights from happening. No snowflakey bans on snowballs here. And the funniest sight of all, was some twenty-something lads looking like they were re-enacting The ‘Big Air’ finals from the Olympics with all sorts of acrobatics, just without skis or a snowboard.

At this point the pathway was becoming a little more slushy underfoot and I decided to call it quits before I undertook an unplanned ‘Big Air’ moment. Who knew that running in the snow would be so lovely?  I didn’t. Snow excuses, next time – I will be straight out the door heading for Regents Park again.

Playlist (Retro Runners – Weather Mix)

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

The Morning Fog – Kate Bush

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Nik Kershaw

Something In The Air – Thunderclap Newman

Thunder – His Purple Highness

Mr Blue Sky – ELO

Ain’t No Sunshine – Lighthouse Family

Thunder In My Heart – Meck and Leo Sayer

Since You’ve Been Gone – Rainbow

Downpour – Backstreet Boys

Sunshine After The Rain – Berri

Boogie Shoes – KC And The Sunshine Band

Baby It’s Cold Outside – Menzel and Buble

Cold As Ice – Foreigner

Lightning Strikes – The Black Seeds

Cold – Stormzy

Warmth – Bastille

Sunshine On A Rainy Day – Galimar

Boogie Nights – Heatwave


Distance 7.96 km (curses just off the target 8)

Time 1:12:45

Average Pace 9:08 (mins/km)

Elevation gain 23 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 322.9

Kms to Do 1695.1 (yay under the 1700)

Cumulative Deficit 13.45km – that’s a drop of approximately 29km on January’s figures)

Team Rhomboid Torture

I should have done 4 sets of reps of squats and press-ups yesterday. I actually managed 3 sets of 7 reps of squats with 2 sets of 10 reps of wall press-ups. All the attention we were told was to be on ‘maintaining form’ and the best way to do this is to self video.

I don’t know how you insert a video camera between you and a wall, so I didn’t.