15 July – Week 4 Run 1 – From Barking to Bali, taking the branch line

From Barking to Bali, taking the branch line - Week 4 Run 1

Mr Smooth sent me his usual invitation, although I understand he is two timing me and you all know it!

Regardless of the heat I get out, it’s much better today because we had a mother of all thunderstorms yesterday, with flash floods. Le Marche is often described as the poor man’s Tuscany and right next door, region wise. Around here the biggest and most important crop is olives for the liquid green gold of extra virgin olive oil. We have lots of sunflower farmers too, and the lanes are lined by oaks, elms, hornbeams and something called bianca spina. That is about the sum total of my natural history knowledge. In fact most of those trees appeared to be all or part in the roads today.

I live at the top of the hill so my first walk takes me downhill, past a walnut tree grove and the house where 2 dogs bark at me every time I pass – I end up jumping and dropping the f word. That’s two f words and I’m still on the walking part. My Italian friends assure me that swearing in English is fine out of your home country, as your swear words aren’t in the least bit offensive to locals and therefore don’t count.

I then turn into the lane known by me as the hill that kills, because I always have to start my run there and it rises about 20 metres…. I pass the ‘fresh farm eggs’ house that also has 2 dogs who manage to time their barks for maximum jumping effect. That’s another two f words and for the record I am never buying their eggs, as they’d end up scrambled by the time I got home. Down past a couple of derelict farm houses, or development opportunities as a Channel 4 House-buying show would undoubtedly say.

Then into the local Lovers’ Lane, dodging lots of fallen branches (I think yesterday’s storm victims) towards Villa Bali. This is usually where I see Mr and Mrs Physio and Mr 118. Today however, they are all noticeable by their absence. Unfortunately the Lovers’ Lane and Villa Bali loop coincide with my first 5 minute run and the fifth f word is dropped when Mr Smooth tells me that there’s still a minute to go. AAARRRGGGGHHH.

In Lovers’ Lane there’s a house that has two beagles, who I managed to get past without disturbing, however not so lucky on the way back – yes they got me, and yes I leapt into the air, for the 6th f word of the run. Going back towards the Hill that Kills, I see in the distance what looks to be Mr and Mrs Physio – blimey she’s walking better. Ah no, rubbish eyesight – it is in fact a woman and man with Nordic walking poles who are at least 20 years younger than me and it makes them about 40 years younger than Mr and Mrs Physio. Oops.

My last run takes me back up the Hill that Kills and I realise that yes I am totally shattered, but today is the day I ran all the way up the Hill that Kills, whereas on my first 30 second attempt I didn’t get much further than 50 yards and was in need of oxygen. Mr Smooth may be mean at times, but I can see the difference.

Today’s vital statistics –

6 f words or none if you use Italian logic

+ 2 new strangers

– Minus 4 Regulars

Face colour – still rocking Dulux Salsa Red..



Rumour Has It – Adele

Back to Black (twice in succession) – Amy Winehouse

Warwick Avenue – Duffy

True Faith 94 – New Order

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Girl from Mars – Ash

Let’s Spend the Night Together – David Bowie

Is Vic There? – Department S

Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode

Let’s Go Crazy – Prince and The Revolution

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Trainor

Enola Gay – OMD

Everyday I Love You Less and Less – Kaiser Chiefs

Dreaming of Me – Depeche Mode



Distance 5.77 km

Time 55.43

Average Pace 9:39 mins/km

Originally posted on Health Unlocked 15 July 2017

So I had started giving names to the roads too, all of a sudden my running blog is starting to make sense to me anyway…

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