Once/An A-to-Z of 2017…

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How do folks
I trust you had a mighty fine weekend and you’re enjoying 2017 so far…
A busy old week, high season at work and my first trip to “la Dentista” (much more terrifying than the hairdressers).

BEFPREBefore. AFTERAfter.

It all culminated in anniversary celebrations!

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My long suffering missus, Lina, has put up with me for an astonishing 11 years.
Anybody who put up with my moodswings and daftness deserves a medal, so we had a mini-Lima escape, a trip to the flicks and a rare night out :-)

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2017 is here and I have had my Cristal

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Ball out to predict, daydream, guess and wonder what lays ahead, in A-to-Z form…

A – AREQUIPA

A

Pinning almost all my hopes on a rumour that work may be opening up a new branch ‘darn sarf. If it happens and I get picked, it will be the start of a whole new adventure!

Peru’s second biggest city and a bit more “tranquilo” than Lima. Fresh air, spicy food and a veritable banquet of big mountains to stumble up/down. Fingers crossed:-)

B – BLACK DOG

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This is the bugger that I have to beat this year!
It gave me a lot of bother in 2016, but I’ve got my positive head back on now, so fingers crossed :-)

C – CLUNKLESS :-(

C

A blog named after something that I no longer have is a bit of an oxymoron, but it went and I have to fill the gap with something else. One day when I return to Blighty the little red one will be dusted down and cranked up, but that maybe a wee while away…

D – DESAFIO HUAROCHIRI

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This is the three-race mountain race league that saved my sanity last year. Organised by the dynamic duo of Ruth & Ricardo, it is one of the best races I’ve run in yet. Friendly, challenging and not a million miles away. A good excuse for getting up at 4am on a Sunday morning.

E – EL MISTI

MISTI misti

If work does move to Arequipa, this will be my new playground!
5822m above bath water and flanked by Chachani (6057m) and Pichu Pichu (5664m).

Work-move-or-not. If my legs haven’t fallen off, I’ll be dragging my sorry ass up El Misti in the highest  Sky Race in the world, in November!

F – FUTURE ???

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What does “el futuro” hold?
Originally this harebrained scheme was a 6mth/12mth/2yr plan, and now it has clicked over two years, what happens next?

The Nipper will go to school this year (I pity the poor teacher!)
My job is going well (in my long list of jobs, this is one of the best I’ve ever had).
Lina is back at work in March.
Will Arequipa happen?

A lot of ingredients in a tricky recipe, how will it turn out? Nobody knows.
How long will we stay? Possibly another 4 years (with a planned Blighty trip in August 2018).
Watch this space…

G – GREAT SCOTT!!!

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H – HOUSE MOVE

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if I’m brutally honest, I can’t stand the area where I live. It is just insanely noisy and most of it is unnecessary racket, but it’s a cultural thing and no amount of whinging/moaning on my part will change anything. We are hemmed in by idiots above, the family from hell behind and four blocks of flats being built within a pebbles throw away out front, where work begins at 7am Monday-to-Saturday. (I’m up for work at 5:30am, but the chances of getting any shuteye on a night are always slim).

The flip side of the coin is that it is cheap and Lina lives very close to her Mum.

Where would I like to go? (Apart from a little cabin up in the Andes!)
If Arequipa happens, there!
If not, I really, really fancy living in Barranco, my favourite part of Lima, it’s a bit different down there. It would be a right royal pain-in-the-a$$ to get to work, but I’d move in a heartbeat.

I – INJURED!

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Is how I start 2017!

A good year last year until October, then my training has been like a very unhealthily erratic ECG. More downs than ups in the last 3 months, just can’t seem to get any solid blocks in.
Super Maro the Physio does a great job in keeping me going.
Let’s hope I can get it together this year. If not, all this talk of races is purely hot air!

J – JOHNNY IS MY NAME.

Sex-Pistols-Johnny-Rotten

Not Jhon, not Yhonny and not Jhonatan. Thank you.

K – KNACKERED KNEES

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Any runner will know about this bugbear…

L – LINA

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The better looking of the old Mongoliando.com duo.
Her patience is only matched by my daydreaming abilities…

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M- MONTAñAS

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What I live for.
Ever since my mate and his Granddad dragged me up Great Gable in the driving rain as an 8-year old, it is an addiction that I am glad to have :-)
I feel at my happiest in the mountains, high peaks or wild spots.

Lima has it’s share and Peru has more than it’s share.
All being well, 2017 will be the year I venture out of this madhouse city a bit more…

N – NIPPER

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The bairn, the wee one, the troublesome toddler, the one who puts a smile on my face :-)
Lina and I do sometimes wonder is she has been sent to test us, as she is of that age right now.
She is a junior comedian (in between tantrums) and has bounced me down in the authority list to somewhere between the Binmen and the cat next door.

O – ONCE

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Spanish for eleven.

P – PUSHBIKE

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The Nipper got a new set of wheels for Christmas, but is taking her time to transform into a Tour de France winner…

IMG_0385Overtraining?
She loves to pedal backwards, but stoutly refuses to pedal forwards. (Should I fix the freewheel?)
I had a (cross-wired) conversation with Lina recently.
I was thinking about toe-clips (she’s too young for cleats yet!)
Lina was talking about a back-rack, for carrying her bag.
Lina said that maybe elastic bands would be the answer.
I said “Maybe, but not too tight”
Lina replied that they’d need to be tight or it’d fall off.
“It?” I asked?
“Her bag”
I then realised I had misunderstood.
Is it wrong to make a two year old toddler ride a fixed-wheel-singlespeed, feet tied on with laggy-bands?

Q – QUAIL’S EGGS

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I can safely say that whenever I cross the “Evitamiento” bridge that I have never once been tempted by the old lady who tries to sell me quail’s eggs, nor the man selling dog bowls, nor the chap dressed as a clown selling puppets, nor the mad bloke who tries to flog kites on a Thursday. All this gauntlet has to be run before reaching the Witches of Eastwick…

R – RURICANCHO

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Potential first race of the season and by all accounts the hardest race in Lima!
Long, high, rough and rocky. I need to get fit first…

S – SHOES

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I brought out three pairs of work shoes and the local “Zapateria” (cobbler) keeps them going.
The biggest shoes you can buy out here are around a size 44, which is a bit tight if you’re size 48!

Trainers are no problem, my good mate Saucony Jhon gets some clown-sized running shoes in for me. I broke my golden “Never buy two pair of shoes at the same time, lest thou shalt get crocked” rule. The same day I was injured, which is currently preventing the next point…

T – TRAINING

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This is what keeps me on the level. However it is a very fine balancing (juggling) act.
In my youth I could train hard, and get away with it. As one gets older, one has to train harder, just to keep at the same fitness, but (like with hangovers) recovery is a longer process.

Mentally I am superfocussed to train my ar$e off, but physically I’ve been failing/falling short of late. Injury after injury after injury, it happens.

I’ve got two l-o-n-g races in June and August and one very high race in November, so I’ve got some serious work to do.

U – ULTRA TRAIL 69!

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This is a very new idea!
By chance a friendly chap called Charlie got in touch via FB, he must be a mind reader…
Ancash is an department (similar to a county) ‘oop north, where “Touching the Void” was set, which was my main reason for coming to Peru in the first place.

Charlie is the organiser of the “UT69″, with four races (1/4 marathon, half-marathon, full-marathon and double-marathon). Charlie used his Jedi mind power to convince me to run the double marathon. An overnight bus after work on Friday won’t be ideal for running 52 miles at altitude, but I’ve paid my bra$$ and entered anyway!

V – VISCHONGO

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Ayacucho is an incredibly beautiful city up in the hills (which I haven’t been to yet, but I once saw a painting and it looked nice).

The Vischongo Sky Marathon is Peru’s oldest race and if I could get a flyer from work on Friday night I could fly down there, run Saturday and fly back Sunday, jetsetter (daydreamer more like!)

W – WORK

wD10

As they say in Yorkshire, I’ve dropped on (and I don’t mean got pregnant), ie, I got lucky with my job. Britanico is a good set-up to work for, they look after you and my colleagues are awesome. On top of all this I have made some brilliant mates too. They have all helped me a lot.

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I enjoy teaching (a kind of) English and I’m proud of the fact that a small cross-section of Lima folk now have a northern accent and know how to pronounce the letter “U” correctly!

X – XANADU

No place is Paradise and Lima is a l-o-n-g way off it, but you have to make the most of what you’ve got (without going stir-crazy!)

LIMA

Y – YAWN

If you’ve got this far, well done.

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Z – ZZZZZ

If you’ve got this far, very well done :-)

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So folks, that is 2017 in my mind. Let’s see what happens and what is or shall remain sheer fiction!

Hope it is an extremely awesome year for you.

And finally…

You may have seen this VIDEO doing the rounds this week, if not, watch it now :-)

https://youtu.be/gXfLl3qYy0k

More of the usual nonsense here next Monday.

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Cheers
Johnny, Lina & the Nipper

kiss

 

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