15 Dec – What A Huw and Cry

After the Huw and before the cry…

Thursday morning, snuggled up in bed – sorry all, it was 8am and my Messenger in-box perks into unexpected life.

An old work friend of both of ours is asking me for my email address. I oblige and ask why… Expect an email he says. A little while later I see a very generous donation has been made to my cause. I say thank you and then get a Brucie bonus, he has not only donated to the cause, but asked for a matching donation from his employers too. Wow – I can’t tell you how much that means and what a great idea to do. I never ever thought of mentioning that as an idea to friends. It really brought a lump to my throat, and just shows me how utterly generous people are – and unknown to me he actually reads this blog too. Generous with money and his precious free-time too, to read up on my blather. So thank you Huw, it was a lovely surprise and I definitely want a catch up and coffee!

Thursday was an official rest day and as I am running out of kilometres to run, so was Friday. Saturday arrives, and we are up early to Borough Market, to avoid the crowds; my run is delayed a little while. I get changed and make my way up West again. 

It is grey and London is not looking at her best, but then for me to run, she doesn’t need to be. I pass around the City fringes and see some brightly dressed Father Christmases, both running and on bikes – I’m guessing it must have been some kind of Santa Saturday event. There’s not much people traffic around in Holborn and I am having a lovely Christmassy run, listening to my latest Christmas playlist. Hitting The Strand, things start to get a bit busier, the Saturday food kitchens for the homeless are in full swing, with the soup kitchens doling out hot curries and soups, for some very grateful people. I make my way towards Trafalgar Square and then there’s a lot of noise and commotion with ambulances and police cars rushing around and the police helicopter above. This being London and near to Christmas, I ring Mr JCR to see if there’s any kind of incident. he tells me he’ll message me in case I need to divert from a trouble spot. Arrangements made, I make my way to Liz’s gaff. Just as I cross to St James’s Park, my fruit phone decides to die. Aargh, this is not helpful especially if there is an incident. 

Then follows a classic JCR stupid tart syndrome run.  Panicking at the thought that Mr JCR may be concerned if he can’t message me and receives a message to say I haven’t received the message, I think I must find a BT phone box.

Well, what do you know  – there are lots of them in and around London, it’s just that none of them seem to actually work. Aside from the routine posting of porn adverts, they have a variety of ailments:-

First post box near Westminster – phone is working but no receiver.

Second phone box  near Westminster – phone is working, I have my credit card and unsurprisingly it is declined – because who in their right mind would use a credit card to make a phone call? As my phone isn’t working I can’t phone my credit card company to tell them it’s okay and not a dodgy criminal. I do have cash – a £20 note. The phone box doesn’t take notes, only coins.

Okay, JCR continue the run to buy an unwanted cup of coffee, get  suitable change, and make this phone call to Mr JCR.

Third phone box – there’s a queue of tourists outside it, all taking selfies one by one, in the box. I sip the coffee and wait patiently. After 5 selfie takers had finished (it seemed like 50), I put in my money. Stupid tart syndrome hits again – never, ever, lodge your highest value coin to test the slot. Yup that’s a £1 coin gone to the profits of BT, as the machine jammed and no coin return. 

I’ll change my route and head along the Embankment and through Victoria Gardens park – oh no you won’t JCR – the air ambulance is in the gardens – and that explains the earlier commotions.  

Fourth phone box – not a BT one, it is black and operated by some unknown company, which doesn’t give me much confidence. Working coin slot – hurrah, but of course it accepts my 20 pence piece and swallows it into oblivion.

I look at my coins I now have just one £1 coin left and a 5p. The latter isn’t accepted in any phone box and the former is my last chance of contacting Mr JCR, unless I go and buy a second unwanted cup of coffee. The next phone box I see is another one of the ‘dodgy’ black and gold ones, at this point I’ve decided I have been way too charitable towards these telcos and just continue home. 

No music to listen to, no Mechanical Voice Lady to tell me how slow I am running, just the pounding of my feet and heartbeat to keep me company, with the occasional muttering of ‘effing hell’ ‘I hate BT’  and ‘ Mr JCR may be panicking’. 

Needless to say I arrived back home all in a state, one could say a ‘hue and cry’ and Mr JCR looked up and said ‘nice run?’, I then went into this big long explanation about the phone, the boxes, the air ambulance. Had he messaged me at all? Nope – so that was a totally, utterly, completely pointless waste of emotional energy, and I had no real idea of how long I took, only a guesstimate. I’ve done the run before so didn’t lose out on recording the kms. 

I started out on Thursday with Huw, giving me a really big boost to go out on Saturday. I ended up on Saturday almost crying with frustration. Next run out, I’m carrying my battery charger…

Playlist

It was my Christmas playlist, and I can’t remember one track except for Santa Baby.

Stats

Distance 11.04

Time 1:40:51 (this included unwanted coffee and phone box stops)

Average Pace 9:08

Elevation Gain 21 metres???

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1989.33

Kms To Run 28.67

9 Nov – To market, to market

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To market, to market to buy a fat pig;
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog;
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog.

To market, to market, to buy a plum cake;
Home again, home again, market is late.
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun;
Home again, home again, market is done.

To market, to market, a gallop a trot,
To buy some meat to put in the pot;
Three pence a quarter, a groat a side,
If it hadn’t been killed it must have died.

This is an old nursery rhyme, and today I ran from home (on my rest day!!!!) to Borough Market, because yesterday I screwed up on my maths and didn’t quite make the numbers – aka Stupid Tart Syndrome. I neither galloped nor trotted nor jigged, but I did buy a fat pig, I bought two gorgeous, lovely sausage rolls from The Ginger Pig butchers in Borough. Horrendously priced, but a fab treat for later.

Couldn’t find a  plum cake nor bun, but  I did have a pain au raisin with my coffee – dead posh us Southerners.

Didn’t buy any meat for the pot either, but did get some lush mushroom pate and sourdough bread – see I am totally posh, despite my Northern upbringing.

Yesterday I couldn’t count, but today Map My Run lady decided to be stroppy, and she thought she’d count the time I was running, but not give me any credit for the distance. She did this twice…, so I had to guesstimate the metres missed…. Bah humbug

When MMR lady deigned to work properly I found I was running speedily and my little posh legs were motoring quite nicely. From a busy Aldersgate I bombed towards St Pauls dodging the morning commuters. Today I was most definitely a running ninja, I slipstreamed and overtook loads of people in and around the City. I realise that none of them knew they were in a race, nor had any of them dressed for it, but victory is sweet even when you’ve overtaken a lady wearing stiletto heels and carrying a briefcase/backpack thing – a briefpack maybe?

I made my way across the Thames and hit South Bank, the barriers to speed arrived thick and fast, lots and lost of people and lot and lots of tourists too. Commuters are fine when I’m running through the City – they know the rules. Move fast or stand aside, tourists however don’t know the rules at all. They have that happy meandering look on their faces, they stop and take unexpected photos (in fairness totally expected near the Golden Hind replica) and they have conversations in weird places – i.e. right in front of me/my running route.

You have to have lightning reactions or sharp elbows to work your way through a barricade of tourists (my new collective noun). Today my reactions were sharp, so my elbows didn’t need to be. A nice quick (for me) run out, getting me over the 1800km mark – next target getting over the 1818km mark, so I will have fewer than 200kms to run

Finally many thanks to Mike of Mr JCR’s London cycling club who sponsored me yesterday for my challenge. Utterly unexpected and very lovely.

Playlist

(iTunes also played up and stopped once or twice)

Tears You Can’t Hide – Madness

Suspect Device (twice) – Stiff Little Fingers

I Don’t Know (twice) – The Blues Brothers

Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty

Just Another Nervous Wreck – Supertramp

Rockferry – Duffy

One Step Beyond – Madness

Stats

Distance 6.08km

Time 37:21

Average Pace 6:08 (ninja like)

Elevation Gain 28 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1805.87

Kms To Run 212.13

 

 

 

 

30 May – Roses Are Red

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Roses are red

And the air was blue

There’s no fool like an old fool

Overtaking teenagers times two

Another day of enforced rest due to migraine – boo hiss, so today after taking the nuclear tablet option of migraine cures, I was able to go out for a run in the early evening.

I’d decided on a quick 6/7km and blimey it was muggy, it felt like running through a wet blanket. Good news was my pace was blindingly fast, in fact according to Mechanical Voice Lady on Map My Run, I managed my first km in just 1 second. Aha, a significant GPS failure. I pressed restart and it wasn’t any better, so I decided to use a route I’d done before and just take the timings manually.

I passed the man with the missing dog – this time his dog was present and correct. Socially,  we’ve now progressed to nodding, a smile and saying the ‘Salve’ greeting. All was quiet and in the distance I could see two runners, evidently quite young, one wearing fluoro and proper running shoes, the other some fashion baseball boot type shoes and baggy shorts down to his knees.

Coincidentally, they seemed to be going my way, or rather I was going theirs. After a while I caught up with them, not deliberately I hasten to add, I was beyond the toxic 10s and in a good rhythm. I ended up about 3 steps behind them and they were going at that really irritating speed that meant I’d end up looking at adolescent acne’d neck for all of my run, unless I did something about it.

Not in too much of a hurry, I switched to the opposite side of the road and overtook them. Evidently that hit the teenage boys’ egos hard, and I could hear them talking together. About 10 seconds later,  baggy shorts boy overtook running shoes boy and pressed down on his accelerator and away they zoomed. Baggy shorts boy was the pacemaker I think. I was the tail walker in comparison. It did make me smile, but in fairness to me I reckon they were about 13/14, so I am at least 4 times their age. And they had longer legs. That will teach me to be a smart arse runner – Stupid Tart Syndrome strikes again.

I continued at my own slower pace and came across another dog walker – well the dog looked more like a wolf to be honest. This was not a recognisable mutt nor owner, but this isn’t my usual time for running, so maybe I was unrecognisable to him too.

I finished my run and walked up Argo’s loop home and saw the beautiful roses above, and they matched my face perfectly. It was both red from exertion and embarrassment.

I vow that the next time I see acne, long legs and baggy shorts I am just going to mind my own business, slow down, and not try an overtaking manoeuvre.

Have you ever done something a bit silly (along the lines above), that you regretted afterwards? Or is it just me?

Playlist

Dancing Queen – ABBA

Mamma Mia – ABBA

Money, Money, Money – ABBA

Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake

Mr Brightside – The Killers

Upside Down – Paloma Faith

Darling Nikki – His Purple Highness

Disco 2000 – Pulp

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Traynor

Modern Love – David Bowie

Night Fever – Bee Gees

Is Vic There – Department S

Rio – Duran Duran

You Love Us – The Manics

Cabron – Red Hot Chilis

Stats

Distance 7.16km

Time 47:49

Average Pace 6:40

Elevation Gain 64metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 928.13

Kms To Be Done 1089.87

 

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….