Magic beans, angel dust and Ninja Turtles

I get up at 6am – two and a half hours before I need to leave for work – and have a productive morning, then get to work to be unproductive and, because my boss isn’t in today, I spend the day doing a bit of work, a lot of browsing the internet and no being sworn at.

And because it’s a lovely sunny day, in order to not get too lethargic in the afternoon thus thwarting my plans for a running commute, at lunchtime I go for a walk along the river, a walk cut short when it’s looking very likely that I’m going to get trampled on by the 22,000,030 runners along the Embankment, so I cut my walk short, cross the road and go back to the office to carry on my boss-isn’t-here-so-I’m-going-to-have-a-long-lunch-break thing.

2:45 comes and I’m eyeing up the energy bar on my desk.  Shall I eat it now or wait a bit?  I ponder this for about three seconds and five seconds later the energy bar is no longer on my desk but somewhere inside my digestive tract.  Or on its way there.  Biology was never my thing.

Also in preparation for my run, I’d bought some Gourmet Beans from The Jelly Bean Factory that I’d been eyeing up in WHSmith over the last few weeks, as they proudly state “gelatine free” which means they’re not made of bones and hooves.  Oh no, they only contain shellac which apparently is insect secretion and The Vegetarian Society says to treat it like honey (i.e. leave it up to your conscience whether you want to eat it or not) so if The Vegetarian Society says it’s ok to eat insect wee, then it’s ok with me.  Yum.

At 4:00 I’m bored so I decide to play “guess the jelly bean flavour” (which isn’t just an excuse for gluttony.  As if) and sample some beans and I can’t guess the flavour (I’m also crap at guessing smells; someone was eating Kentucky Fried Chicken in the office the other day and I thought it was fish) but mmmm, they’re very nice and I manage not to eat all of them and at 5:00 I do my boss-isn’t-here-so-I’m-going-to-leave-early thing and then I’m trying to cross the road but a cyclist goes through the red light and I try again and another cyclist goes through the red light and I think OI CYCLISTS, STOP GOING THROUGH THE RED LIGHT AND LET ME CROSS THE ROAD YOU WANKERS and I get to Angel and I get dust in my eye again and I think why do I keep getting dust in my eye when I get to the Angel? and I think ah, it must be angel dust and maybe it’s lucky dust and I go past Foxtons and have a better look through the window at their fridges and I can only see Coke and water and I think maybe I won’t go in there and pretend I can afford a house in Islington then if I’m not going to get any free wine or beer and then I see a trampy bloke pick up half a cigarette off the pavement and I think aah, poor trampy bloke and I go to get a cigarette out of my rucksack to give him then remember I don’t smoke anymore and I run past Hackney Downs station without wimping out and getting on a train and then I’m waiting to cross the road and I see the steep bit and I think I need a jelly bean to help me up the steep bit and I don’t know what flavour it is but it’s very nice indeed and I get up the steep bit and through Murder Mile and I think, do I deserve a jelly bean for getting through Murder Mile without getting murdered? and I decide I do and I recognise it as coconut and think this one’s not so nice and I’m wondering if it’s light enough for me to cut through the marshes and I decide it is and I go to cross the road and the lights are taking ages to change and I think hurry up lights, or it will get dark and I eat more jelly beans while I’m waiting for the lights to change and I go through the marshes and I can see a man on a bench up ahead and he seems to be doing some sort of push up thing and I think why’s he doing that there? and I wonder if I should go back onto the road but I decide to be brave and I go past the stables and I think the horses will save me if anyone tries to murder me, perhaps even Champion the Wonder Horse himself, although he’s probably been dead for about 50 years and I think oh shit, I’ve got to go through the bread factories now, I didn’t think of that and I get to the factories and there’s people working there and I think hooray, maybe I won’t get murdered after all, the bread people can save me, perhaps even Mr Hovis himself if there was ever a Mr Hovis but even if there was, he’s probably been dead longer than Champion the Wonder Horse and I’m wondering who the modern day heroes are and maybe a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle will come and save me but wouldn’t it be a bit embarrassing being saved by a turtle, especially a mutant one? and I decide to save any embarrassment, I just won’t get murdered.

Running stats:
Distance: 5:00 miles
Time: 59:21
Pace: 11:52 m/m
Calories: 435
Productive early part of mornings: 1
Productive later part of mornings: 0
Bosses swearing at me: 0
Energy bars: 1
Cyclists going through red lights: 2
Trampy blokes picking up cigarettes: 1
Jelly bean flavours recognised: 1
Rollins Band
Jeff Buckley
Foo Fighters


My boss hasn’t been in the last couple of days and as a result, I  haven’t had much to do and today I have mostly been trying to keep my eyes open and I go for a walk for a couple of miles along the river at lunchtime in the hope that it will energise me but the afternoon is just as bad and I’m falling asleep and I email Shaun and say it’s raining and I can’t keep my eyes open, do I have to run home? and can I eat the energy bar anyway? and he emails back and says yes you do have to run home and if you don’t, then no, you can’t eat the energy bar and I say too late, I’ve eaten it and very nice it was too and it gets to 5 o’clock and I think ok then, I’ll run home and I get changed and get outside and FUCK, IT’S COLD AND WINDY and when did the weather change? and why did no one tell me it got cold again? and where did this wind come from? and I get to Sadlers Wells and my Garmin gets a signal but before I can show the people of Islington my athletic prowess, I’m stopped by a French man who asks me if I know where King’s Cross is and I think hmm, yes, I do know the general direction but not sure how to direct him and I say errrrrrrrrr, yes, but you’ll get lost if I attempt to give you directions and he says ok then and I say sorry and I decide to walk until I get past the Angel and then a big gust of wind blows and it blows something in my eye and I keep blinking and tears are running down my face and I can’t see and I want to rub my eye but I’ll smudge my make up and look like a panda and my eye’s hurting and it eventually gets better as I get to Foxtons which has got to be the coolest estate agent ever, as it has fridges with beer and wine in it and I must remember to go in there one day and pretend I can afford to buy a house in Islington so I can get free beer and wine and I eventually start to run and my legs feel heavy and I’m cold and wet and I get down the end of Essex Road and I’m feeling grumpier than I have been all day and I thought running was supposed to de-stress you and I’m just feeling MONUMENTALLY PISSED OFF and I realise I’ve forgotten to put my alarm on and I think oh well, it’s not like anyone ever gets murdered in Hackney, is it? and I’m still feeling pissed off and I think I can’t be arsed with this, I’m going to get on the train at Hackney Downs and I get to Hackney Downs station and I haven’t got my glasses on and I can’t read the departure board and I don’t know what platform to go to and I squint my eyes and eventually the numbers become a bit clearer and hooray, there’s a train in 3 minutes and I go up to the platform and the people there look at me in a funny way and I think, what? haven’t you ever seen anyone in luminous yellow hi vis running gear before standing on the platform looking a bit cold and soggy? and I think no, they probably haven’t and the train comes and mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, it’s nice and warm in here and 99.9% of the other passengers are wearing black and I wonder if I’m standing out in my luminous yellow hi vis top and I think I probably am but I also think I don’t really care.

Far too embarrassing to put on here.  Let’s just say it wasn’t very far or very fast.

Free Alcohol v Running Commute

I originally RSVP’d yes to the monthly London Blogger’s Meet Up, but spurred on by my successful run on Saturday, I decide to try and salvage something in the run up to the Reading Half and do some eleventh hour (ahem) proper training and so when Tracey emails me and says are you coming to the Blogger’s Meet Up to get free alcohol, I say no, I’m going to run home instead and it takes me until I get to the Angel – a mile away from the office – to get a signal on my Garmin (because, like I said before, no Garmin, no running) and I start running down Upper Street and go past Hamburger Union where I went last week before I went to see the Secret Machines and no one should ever eat in there because a) the burgers are crap: b) the chips are crap; and c) the service is crap and I had a nicer Burger King Veggie Whopper Meal in a service station somewhere in between Wales and home (yeah, my geography is shit) last year and after 2.05 miles, my left knee starts to hurt and I’m wondering if maybe I should get on the train at Hackney Downs which I’m nearly at but it starts to ease off and I’m thinking knee, if you’re going to hurt, hurt now so I can get on the train but it stays not hurting and then at 2.90 miles, my right foot starts to hurt and I think I SAID IF YOU WERE GOING TO HURT, THEN HURT BEFORE I’M AT THE STATION because it’s no good being stuck after the station because I’ve no way of getting home as I’ve only got an overground ticket and there’s no money on my Oyster card and I only have my credit card on me and I don’t think buses take credit cards and the buses don’t go to my house anyway but then my foot stops hurting and I get home and because it’s Shrove Tuesday, I make a big Dutch pancake and top it with mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and cheese and you can see a picture here and it was really really nice and then I do my washing and find out my washing machine’s broken and then I’m really really pissed off and Shaun rings and says how are you? and I say my washing machine’s broken and he says what are you going to do about that and I say you’re going to fix it and he says oh.

Distance: 5.51 miles
Time: 1:09:00
Pace: 12:31 m/m
Calories: 450
Free alcohol: 0
Running commute: 1
Hurting left knees: 1
Hurting right feet: 1
Pancakes: 1
Washing machines that work: 0
The Killers
Polyphonic Spree
David Bowie
Faith No More

Not running on empty

After a good night’s sleep, I’m looking forward to a running commute.  I’m also looking forward to going for pizza with my cheapskate Pizza Express 2 for 1 voucher at lunchtime but I meet up with Mel and we get to Pizza Express and the waitress says it’s full and it’ll be a while ’til we get a table so we go to Itsu instead and I’m not impressed by their veggie selection, i.e. they’ve hardly got fuck all but I get dynamite vegetable dumplings which is a noodley dumplingy soupy thing which comes in a huge tub and I think this is going to take hours to eat and it’s a bit bland and very messy to eat and I’m splashing it everywhere and Mel’s not doing much better with hers and we eventually leave with some of the food going in our mouths and not over our clothes or the table or the people next to us and go back to work and I’m completely stuffed with the noodley dumplingy soupy thing even two hours later and I think I’m going to bounce home on my running commute and it gets to hometime and I get changed and think fuck, it’s going to be cold outside and I get outside and fuck, it’s cold and I start to walk while I wait for my Garmin to get a signal and it’s taking ages and I think I’m going to be at Sadler’s Wells by the time I get a signal and lo! I’m just going past Sadler’s Wells when it does indeed get a signal and I decide to walk through Angel with its crowded pavements and annoying free newspaper giver outers and I get to Islington Green and think I should probably run now and so I do and I remember my boss asking me if I’ve seen the taxidermist on Essex Road and I said no and he told me where it was but luckily it’s on the other side of the road that I run on and I don’t want to see the dead animals and I’m surprised he told me about it and doesn’t he know I’m vegetarian and therefore not really into dead animals? and I’m bursting for a wee as I’ve only had liquid all day and I wonder if there’s any toilets in Hackney Downs station and I think I don’t care if there are, I’m not going to a public toilet in Hackney, I’ll get mugged or something, and I’m going up the steep bit that I usually want to walk up due to it being a steep bit and I try to think of things to take my mind off a) the steep bit; and b) the fact I’m bursting for a wee but I can’t think of anything and someone starts singing something about blood and death being dragged out and screaming for mercy and I think that’s not really what I want to hear as I’m running through Hackney so I skip through that track and there’s a man in a wheelchair at a bus stop on Murder Mile and at the next bus stop there’s another man in a wheelchair and I’m wondering if someone had tried to murder them but only succeeded in paralysing them and then there’s a cyclist on the pavement and I think fuck off cyclist on pavement, but then I remember that half the pavement is a cycle lane and he’s allowed to be on there, and then the pavement narrows and the cycle lane bit is tiny and there’s a cyclist behind me wanting to get past so I let him get past even though it means he goes on the walking bit and then there’s a cyclist on the pavement that is just a pavement and not a cycle lane and I give him an evil look and he gives me an even eviler look and I think oops, maybe I shouldn’t have given him an evil look and then he’s slowed down to get round a woman and her pushchair and I overtake him and he swerves over and nearly pushes me into the bus shelter and I think just fuck off into the road can’t you? and he does fuck off into the road and I think hurrah for that and I get home without any more cyclists being on the pavement and I think I’ll just have to live with them being on the pavement until they change the laws to make it legal to shoot cyclists if I feel like it.

Distance: 5.26 miles
Time: 59:58 minutes
Pace: 11:22
Calories: 520
Pizzas: 0
Noodley dumplingy soupy thing: 1
Cyclists on pavements: 3
Laws making it legal to shoot cyclists: 0 (at the moment)
The Dude
PJ Harvey
The Cure
Missy Elliot
Rollins Band
Jesus & Mary Chain
Arctic Monkeys
The Music

Commutation ticket

I slacked last week.  I slacked and slacked and slacked and then I slacked some more.  In fact I slacked so much I even decided not to do my usual long(ish) Saturday run, preferring instead to lie in and then dye my hair and make a necklace.

So this week I decided to unslack myself and do my running-home-from-work-thing which I can no longer call a running commute.  Because it isn’t one.  Trivia time, feel free to skip this bit:  A commutation ticket was the American name for a season ticket.  The word “commuter” replaced “season ticket holder” in the 1950s and by 1960, it was so popular that it was confusingly used to cover anyone travelling to and from work.  (Thank you “Queuing for Beginners” by Joe Moran for this information).  So, because I’m such a pedant, I can no longer call it a running commute.  Just as well a running-home-from-work-thing is just as catchy.

Still, off I go on my running-home-from-work-thing and I decide to walk until my Garmin gets a signal which is just as I get to the only hill in Central London; who thought it was a good idea to put a hill in Farringdon?  And I run up the hill and get round the corner and my knees are stiff and I think uh oh, this is going to be difficult, maybe I should have gone out for a walk at lunchtime instead of reading about the history of the desk and queuing and I get to Angel which is as usual full of people annoying me by trying to give me a free newspaper or leaflets about Salsa lessons or whatever it was the people in yellow were trying to give me or idiots not looking where they’re going because they’re texting or lighting cigarettes and I wonder how many more times I’m going to call someone a prick on my way home and I think it’s probably a habit I should get out of before I get to Hackney because that could have some serious repercussions and as I’m going down Essex Road there’s a man in front of me reading the paper and I can see the headline and it says CYCLISTS V LORRIES: DEBATE or something like that and I think what about PEDESTRIANS V CYCLISTS?  Are we supposed to be feeling sorry for cyclists? and I think I would have more sympathy for the squished cyclists if they stopped trying to squish pedestrians and I manage to make it to the end of Essex Road without walking and I’m wondering if I can make it to the end of Balls Pond Road and way hey I do and I think uh oh, round the corner is where I always always always want to – and usually do – stop.  But I carry on round the where I usually stop bit and go past the smelly shop and over the zebra and then Haircut 100 comes on and I think shit, will I have to admit to that on my blog? and I get past Hackney Downs station and I still haven’t stopped to walk and then I get to the steep bit and I think uh oh, it’s a steep bit then I think it’s just psychological, I can walk up hills really slowly climb up mountains, just get on with it and I do just get on with it and then I get to the flat bit and I think almost at Murder Mile, not far to go now and just as I’m approaching Murder Mile a man is smiling at me and saying something but I can’t hear what he’s saying and although he looks friendly enough I’d really rather people didn’t approach me on Murder Mile and then I’m going down the road that has half of the pavement as a cycle lane and a cyclist comes from behind and I watch him to make sure he doesn’t veer off over the white line and onto the people bit of pavement but he doesn’t and then I’m going up the path and before I get there a cyclist goes in and I think wait for me,  you can save me from any psychopaths but he’s too quick and has gone and I wonder if there’s anyone working in the factories and how loud can I scream and I think probably not very loud if I get a knife stuck in my throat, I’d probably just gurgle a bit and I wonder how loud I can gurgle and then I think I shouldn’t be thinking things like that and stop being paranoid anyway and then as I’m going round the corner someone comes up from behind me and I jump but it’s only a cyclist and I don’t have to practice my gurgling skills and then I’m home and I’ve run the whole way home without walking for the first time in about a year.  Yay.


Distance: 6.18 miles
Time: 1:12:28
Pace: 11:44
Calories: 610
Black Kids
Haircut 100
Dexys Midnight Runners
Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
Ian Brown
Panic At The Disco
The Police

Walking commute

I have been berated for not blogging Tuesday’s running commute.  This, as I keep pointing out, is BECAUSE I WALKED ALMOST ALL OF IT.  It can not be classed as a run.  Oh no.  I’ve checked the splits and every mile is just over walking pace.  So if, as I have been told, not blogging a run is against the law, then I am still the respectable, law-abiding citizen I always was.  Hurrah.

Distance: 5.8 miles
Time: 1:25:41
Pace: 14:46
Calories: 420
Running commutes run: 0
Laws broken: 0

Another running commute

After a successfulish lunchtime buying walking up mountain clothing, successful in a yes I got some trousers and a jacket but yes they’re hideous kind of way, I leave my new purchases at work and head off for my running commute. I can’t be bothered to wait two thousand years for my Garmin to get a signal so I start to run before it’s got a signal and decide it can catch up with me which it does pretty soon and after .3 of a mile it starts to rain and I think hurrah, maybe there’ll be less people on the pavement but no, there’s still as many people about, they just have umbrellas that they’re trying to kill me with and I think why don’t you just get wet you lightweights and I’m going down Essex Road and there’s a cyclist on the pavement and I think OI, CYCLIST, GET OFF THE PAVEMENT and I would like to point out ONCE AGAIN that I don’t hate all cyclists, just the ones on the pavement and the ones who go through red lights and once again this morning I did my counting Bromptons thing and I saw 4, all black, and I carry on walking and running and getting wet and I get to Balls Pond Road and I think I’ll run down the other side of the road for a change and a change is as good as a rest and maybe it’ll be like being on holiday and I’m running down the different side of the road and I decide it’s not really like being on holiday, it’s just like running down the different side of the road, funny that, and I get to the bottom of the road and think do I want to go through Stamford Hill or do I want to go through Hackney and I decide to go through Hackney as it will be fun risking my life by dodging bullets and stuff and I get to Hackney Downs station and I think I want to get on the train instead but I’m a drowned rat and they probably won’t let me on the train and so I carry on and there’s another CYCLIST ON THE PAVEMENT and I think fuck off cyclist but I’m in Hackney so I only think fuck off cyclist, not say fuck off cyclist, and I get to the marshes and I go over the bridge but I can’t see the cows from where I am and I get home and I wonder why I bother attempting a running commute as I always end up walking most of it.

Distance: 6.54 miles
Time: 1:30:47
Pace: 13:53
Calories: 527
Hideous trousers for walking up mountains in: 2
Hideous jackets for walking up mountains in: 1
Cyclists on pavements: 2
Bromptons: 4 am / 6 pm

The slowest running commute in the world ever

My last run was two weeks ago and even that was a feeble effort, merely being one of my half-hearted attempts at a running commute, which usually consists of a lot of walking. Hmm, sort of like tonight’s one then. But that Buckeye thing over on the right keeps telling me I’ve got a half marathon to train for so I pack my running gear in an attempt to redeem myself for being a slacker the last two weeks but in my defence I was forced to go out and celebrate the end of Veganthon on Friday which didn’t bode well for a Saturday morning run, especially as a trip into town to look for walking boots that aren’t too hideous was called for (a failed trip, they’re all hideous), as well as having to get ready to go out for dinner round Tracey’s. And going round Tracey’s for dinner and getting through the best part of two bottles of wine didn’t bode well for a Sunday morning run, although I did manage to wobble my way through three miles on a bike and this weekend’s not going to be much better, what with me attempting to go to Cornwall again although this time by road instead of air although I think I may be tipped out of the window if I insist on playing my music selection all the way on my new 160gb iPod which at the last count has 12,632 songs on it which equates to 36.5 days’ worth of music. Yippee.

Distance: 6.33 miles
Time: 1:30:41
Pace: 14:20
Calories: 438
Graham Coxon
Rolling Stones
Modest Mouse
The Smiths
Stereo Total

Running commute number whatever

I suppose I should have blogged Sunday’s cycle ride over the marshes (no, I don’t know how I got talked into getting on a bike either…) but as this is a r.u.n.n.i.n.g blog and not a c.y.c.l.i.n.g blog, I’m not going to. I’ll just gloat a bit about the fact I didn’t fall off. Not even when I went hurtling down a hill at about sixty five million miles an hour.

And so because it’s Tuesday, that means it’s running commute day and my Garmin picks up a signal in record time (for Central London that is, i.e. about 5 minutes instead of 15) and I manage to not get lost on the new half mile bit and I get to Kingsland High Road which has got to be the most boring and annoying street in the world to run down and I’m constantly being cut up by people crossing my path in their quest to get to the fried chicken or kebab shops and I find myself inexplicably drawn to Nandos and I’m so busy trying to look in there I run into the back of a woman and I say sorry and she smiles and I think she’s more tolerant than me as if someone was taking more notice of a chicken shop than where she was going I’d be a bit pissed off and especially if it was a vegan taking more notice of a chicken shop than where she was going and then I’m thinking I’ve gone too far as I’m sure the turning isn’t this far down the road and it seems like I’m going down the same road for ever and ever but I haven’t gone too far and I stop to walk up the steep bit but then decide I’d better get used to steep bits as what am I going to do when I’m stood at the bottom of Ben Nevis and think fuck it’s a hill and I’ve got to walk up it, and then another two mountains after that and so I run up the steep bit but only for about five seconds and I stop to walk and then I get to Spring Hill and run down it and I manage to run most of my commute for a change.

Distance: 6.65 miles
Time: 1:22:36
Pace: 12:26
Calories: 609
Manic Street Preachers
Charlotte Hatherley

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