16 Mar – Running Errands

Fish features a lot in my running blog, mainly because the fishmonger is about 3km away from home and so it is a convenient place to run to/from for a short trip.

This morning however, I thought I’d run a little further so headed out towards Holborn. Under the Beech Street tunnel, which is currently being re-fitted for a light installation as part of the City of London’s Culture Mile – I was running in and out of lighting gaffers and machines.  This makes a change from the rumble of non-stop traffic.

I aimed for Gray’s Inn Road, to do a loop towards Islington. It was quiet and warm and a lovely morning to be running. At last I arrived at the fishmongers and ordered my fish – Robbie now greets me with phrases like ‘here comes the marathon runner’. He asked me my running plans for the upcoming week and I explained we’d be in Granada in Spain for a short break to see the Alhambra. He then waxed lyrical about free tapas and how great the weather will be there (he is Spanish btw). I then explained Granada is getting exactly the same weather as we will, so it will be cold.

As he said if it’s cold at least the uphill running won’t be too bad. Let’s hope so. Armed with my lemon sole and Cornish crabs, I trotted back home – back again through the Beech Street tunnel to buy bread and cheese.

By this stage I think I was carrying about 5/6kgs of food, whilst running. This errand running is more like weight training. Maybe I need to get a proper errand rucksack for my running?

Playlist

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

Every Day Hurts – Sad Cafe

Fade To Grey – Visage

Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Living On The Ceiling – Blancmange

Eighties – Killing Joke

Liberator – Spear Of Destiny

Trapped – Colonel Abrams

Church Of The Poisoned Mind – Culture Club

Ride On Time – Black Box

It’s A sin – Pet Shop Boys

Gold – Spandau Ballet

Don’t Go – Yazoo

Stats

Distance 7.73km

Time 1:00:37

Average Pace 7:50 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 30 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 443.3

Kms to Do 1574.7

TeamRhomboid Torture

mmm still no instructions – better squat and do press-ups then…

 

 

 

 

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.

Playlist

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

Stats

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?)

 

14 Mar – Things Can Only Get Better

IMG_1529

As D:Ream sang in the 90s  and on my playlist today. Actually I’m not sure they can. I am keeping up my 3% placing in the global challenge run by Under Armour – now up to 144,000 folk worldwide.

The leaderboard is still full of cheating profiles too, but realistically I don’t think I can go any higher. Looking at real people, as opposed to some of the bullshit profiles, it’s clear there are some ultra runners who drop 50 miles as a fun run.

I can’t see me ever thinking of 50 miles as a fun run – that’s a car journey.

Things could get better if only I could grow my legs. I was on the South Bank and a fellow runner loped towards me – his legs were at least as high as the Eiffel Tower and I looked at his stride length. Blimey, I reckon one of his was at last four of mine. If I had his legs, I reckon this challenge would be significantly easier proportionately.

I have checked out whether it is possible to extend your stride length and it is do-able, but takes time and can be problematical, so I better continue with my little baby steps.

So D:Ream how about changing that first verse from

You can walk my path
You can wear my shoes
Learn to talk like me and be an angel too

To:-

I can’t run your path
I can’t wear your shoes
I have little legs and am very short too

Playlist

Get Here – Oleta Adams

Don’t Need The Sunshine – Catatonia

Say My Name – Destiny’s Child

Lose Yourself – Eminem

Love Is All Around – The Wets

Barbie Girl – Aqua

Baby One More Time – Britney Spears

I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston

Wannabe – Spice Girls

Never Ever – AllSaints

The Power – SNAP

3am Eternal, Blue Danube Orbital  – The KLF

Would I Lie To You – Charles and Eddie

Return Of The Mack – Mark Morrison

Move Any Mountain – The Shamen

I See You Baby – Groove Armada

Things Can Only Get Better – D:Ream

Stats

Distance 9.20km

Time 1:03:50

Average Pace 6:56 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 60 metres

Face Colour: Salsa Red

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 430.03

Kms to Do 1587.97

Thanks To Caroline for her sponsorship which brings my fundraising achievement up to 35% of my target.

Team Rhomboid Torture

15 lunges left and right
10 Hollow Rocks
10 Leg Raises

3 times

That is his commandment, what I can actually achieve will be different.

An hour later…

I did all the lunges

I did 1 Hollow Rock and 7 Hollow Bodies (not sets, individuals – I find these very difficult, not having a core at all)

I did 20 leg raises, holding for 10 seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Playlist

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

Stats

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…

 

 

 

 

 

11 Mar – 12 Hours Only One Being Useful

 

Saturday Midnight – In bed

Sunday 1am – Can’t Sleep

Sunday 2am – Read Saturday Paper

Sunday 3am – Read Sunday Paper

Sunday 4am – Decide Must Sleep – Can’t Sleep

Sunday 5am – 7am – Sleep

Sunday 7am – Wake Up Briefly – Mr JCR going out

Sunday 7am to 10am – Oblivion

Sunday 10 am –  Mug Of Tea

Sunday 11am – More Prevarication

Sunday 11.20 to 12.05pm – Run

Playlist

Tread Softly – Tiny Ruins, Hamish Kilgour

The Winner – Status Quo

Our House – Madness

Maid Of Orleans – OMD

New Life – Depeche Mode

Temptation – Heaven 17

Love’s Unkind – Donna Summer

Every Breath You Take – The Police

The Sound Of The Crowd – Human League

Dreaming – OMD

Be My Number Two – Joe Jackson

Vienna – Ultravox

Enola Gay – OMD

Stats

Distance 6.70km

Time 44:28

Average Pace 6:38 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 48 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 407.22

Kms to Do 1610.78 (I will get below the 1600s this week)

Team Rhomboid Torture

50 Burpees – I actually managed 6… pathetic

100 Push Ups – I managed 30 – better than pathetic, but not much

In 10 minutes or as many as you can do in 1O minutes

or a 45 minutes cardio exercise – which my run above just about counts – Phew….

I will have another go at the burpees, but WMAS in my left arm/shoulder means I can’t really bear much weight at all.

 

 

 

 

 

7 March – Top 3!

IMG_1476

Playlist

All These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers

Avalon – Roxy Music

Born To Run – The Boss

Perfect – Lightning Seeds

Boombastic – Shaggy

Darling Nikki – His Purple Highness

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Na Na Na Na Naa – Kaiser Chiefs

True Faith 94 – New Order

Is Vic There? – Department S

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Traynor

Bad – U2

Stats

Distance 7.20km

Time 45:56

Average Pace 6:22 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 40 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Done 375.1

Kms To Do 1642.90

 

6 March – Resting With Fish

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Today is a non-running day and I am allowed to rest, relax and eat as many Portugese Custard Tarts as I like. Except for one tiny thing, I appear to have got dressed in my running gear. A hasty choice of outfit, given an unscheduled video conference call – I thought pyjamas weren’t necessarily giving the right message.

So when wearing running gear, what do you do? Yup you go for a run. So I did, just a skimpy 5k, to buy the fish for dinner. That’s it. The sole and I ran home, I am resting with a mug of tea, she is resting in the fridge, to be made into something resembling the photo above.

Playlist

Get Here – Oleta Adams

Don’t Need The Sunshine – Catatonia

Say My Name – Destiny’s Child

Lose Yourself – Eminem

Love Is All Around – Wet Wet Wet

Barbie Girl – Aqua

Believe – Cher

I Do It For You – Bryan Adams

Baby One More Time – Britney Spears

I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston

Wannabe – Spice Girls

Killing Me Softly With His Song – Fugees

Never Ever – All Saints

Stats

Distance 5.07km

Time 32:46

Average Pace 6:27 (mins/km)

Elevation Gain 27 metres

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 367.9 (yay more kms than days in the year)

Kms to Go 1650.1

Team Rhomboid Torture

As many burpees as I can do that’s it…, except I can’t do burpees.

I did 6 – but my left shoulder is a bit ‘gippy’ and can’t bear any weight.

 

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.

Playlist

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

Stats

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

 

 

 

21 Feb – Fated To Fail

Today was a regular appointment at Hampstead Hospital for WMAS related stuff. I go so often that I know the Receptionists’ names – they are Yvonne and Roger. Unfailing polite, but utterly bewildered as to why my appointments are like phantoms.

This morning in the coffee shop I mentioned to Mr JCR that I was bit concerned because I had neither received a confirmation letter nor the usual text message reminders. Phone them he urged, just in case there’s a problem. And of course there was, for the fifth time in succession, I had apparently cancelled my appointment. And cancelled the one for tomorrow that I didn’t know anything about. So ruddy frustrating as I had done no such thing and thus my plans for a slightly longer run were curtailed as I spent an extra 90 minutes waiting for a non-existent appointment to be created.

Not in the best of moods, I started my run home, through the delights of Kentish Town and a bypass of Somers Town (arse end of Euston station – famous/infamous but not in a good way). It was cold, I was peed off, and the route wasn’t brilliant. Job Done – except it wasn’t as I found out when I got home, I looked at my run plan and blow, bother, dash I should have done 11kms today and I didn’t.

So that’s a bit more to do tomorrow then. Oh and I have to return to Hampstead Hospital in May – and I just know that appointment will get cancelled by the mysterious force that has cancelled my previous five appointments. Roger and Yvonne will remain as polite as usual. Today, evidently not my day. Better give it a better go tomorrow.

Playlist

Get Up And Jump – Red Hot Chilis

Ghost Town – The Specials

Gimme Some Lovin’ – The Blues Brothers

Girl – The Beatles

Girl From Mars – Ash

A Girl Like You – Edwin Collins

Girl On The Phone – The Jam

The Girl Who Wanted To Be – The Manics

Girls and Boys – Blur

Girls on Film – Duran Duran

Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll – The Killers

Glass Onion – The Beatles

Glory Days – The Boss

Gnik Nus – The Beatles

Go For It – Stiff Little Fingers

Go To Hell – Nina Simone

Go Wild In the Country – Bow Wow Wow

God & Satan – Biffy Clyro

God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

God Put A Smile On Your Face – Coldplay

Stats

Distance 10.40km

Time 1:18:07

Average Pace 7:30 (min/km)

Elevation Gain 42 metres

Alzheimers Challenge

Kms Done 268km

Kms To Do 1750 km

Team Rhomboid Torture/Challenge

2 sets of 10 reps – squats (with vampire kettlebell)

2 sets of 10 wall press -ups

2 sets of 10 lying knee raises

7 reps of hollow rock holding 10 seconds

Utter failure on wrist exercises…

 

 

 

20 Feb – Anyone Got A Spare Core?

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This is my ‘core’ shape, notice the distinct lack of any definition…

 

As I think I need one, preferably in good working order, as opposed to mine, which is not so much a core as a doughnut hole.

Part of this running thing is making sure I am in as reasonable shape as possible, mainly to ward off any injuries and illness. But I have a teensy confession, I haven’t really done the post -run stretches much.

Mainly because:-

  1. they are boring
  2. they take time I don’t want to give
  3. I’m not awfully bendy, despite me going on a ‘get more bendy’ course last year

I do squats and on non running days the vampire kettlebells come out for an airing. But even on non-running days I don’t do stretches, for the three reasons given above. And then I found the perfect reason, according to a random article I found c/o Dr Google (who can always be relied upon for any get out clause), which said most people haven’t the foggiest idea on how to stretch properly or even when they do they don’t do it for long enough. Which takes me right back to reason number 2! From time to time I use the torture instrument known as the foam roller, although seriously not enough.

Can’t remember who said ‘I think, therefore I am’, but in my case it changes to  ‘I don’t stretch because I’m not bendy, I’m not bendy because I don’t stretch’.

But I have signed up to do a Lenten challenge which so far includes something called a hollow body – I wish, followed by press-ups. Now I did do the wall press-ups, the hollow body thing – mmm I think I just found out where the core is supposed to be. These are all stretchy things.

Somewhere in the doughy recesses  of my stomach, there is an ache. I think this could be my long lost core calling out to me. In fact she is shouting in pain ‘WTF, do you think you are doing JCR?’

Add to that the humiliation of Mr JCR actually finding me doing wall press-ups. The squatting, hollow body thing and press-ups, have been hitherto an undiscovered secret. And now my secret is out, I am trying to do something about my core.

Me and my core have history. Imagine the excruciatingly embarrassing situation of being measured for a school play outfit at secondary school (I was about 14 at the time) and your bust, waist and hip measurements being exactly the same. That’s right at 14, I was shaped like a toilet roll tube and the teacher commented on the lack of a waist. Since then my lack of a core has been hidden from the public, and now it’s out there.

I have no expectation that my waist will emerge, swan-like after having been an ugly duckling for so long. But if I get this core thing right, apparently it will strengthen my running. And if core stretching works, then maybe, just maybe I will stretch after a run.

But that’s after Mistress Howling Wolf (my new name for the hurting core) has stopped shrieking in protest. It is Tuesday, she started shrieking on Saturday… I do wish she’d shut up, as we may get stopped at Airport Security.

Today is officially a running rest day, so squatting, hollow bodying and wall press-ups will have to wait until we get back to London.

BIG THANKS TO RITA – for the very kind sponsorship donation for my Alzheimer’s Challenge. Thanks so much and see you in April!