6 July – Week 2 Run 3 – I’m blaming oxygen deprivation …

Mr Smooth Michael J is a very persistent man, he keeps sending me messages telling me to get up and have my trainers ready. This is 6 dates in 12 days now, I think he’s getting serious.

In honour of his seriousness versus my flakiness, I decided this morning to run with just him – no music, no phantom burglaries, just me and the road to hell. As I live at the top of the hill my warmup walk is always down hill and my run is always back up. Needless to say in my enthusiasm to impress Mr Smooth, my first 90 seconds session was a little fast, leaving me a hyperventilating heap. At this point my mind started to wander, and with no music or oxygen to keep my brain from entering uncharted waters, here are the repeatable junk thoughts on this morning’s run.

Who would like to see a new version of Top Gun starring Tom Cruise and also Bugs Bunny – we could call it Top Bun – that’s really bad isn’t it?

I’d have paid an arm and a leg to see have seen Amy Winehouse performing with Prince, singing Purple Rain. I’m not that sentimental but I do shed a tear whenever I think of her sad end.

I’d also like to read a mash up book of Harry Potter with Lisbeth Salander – Harry and the Tattooed Stone or something similar.

Then finally on my cool down walk, I thought of something sensible – my virtual running buddy is on here and last time out it didn’t quite work out for her so this is a big shout of encouragement for her today. Go you as next week, we both start on the final week of the first third of the programme.

Nada! Just me and the heavy breathing
Distance 4.68km
Time 40.25 mins
Average Pace 8.38mins/km
Originally published on Health Unlocked on 6 July 2017
Looking back now, Mr Smooth well and truly established. I am better writing when there’s something to write about rather than exploring the uncharted excesses of my crazy head….

4 July – Week 2 Run 2 – Sprinting Unexpectedly

So of course Mr Smooth Michael Johnson accompanied me on my run today. The longstanding Apple problem continues so I ended up totally out of synch on the running and walking combo. Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk meant I was totally out of puff; I think I need a new playlist called maybe Cool Runnings, so I stop running like a madwoman.

Anyway, after some running and walking readjustment I finally synced back in with Michael and it was hard as it’s 27 degrees here at 8am, but I did it. Hats off to my virtual buddy on progress, she got me out of bed again today, with her upbeat report yesterday .

Walking briskly back to my house , I had a full blown panic attack as I saw to my horror that the front door was wide open. Mr Smooth was totally ignored as I sprinted to my house thinking we’d been burgled and I bombed in through the front door (not exactly sure what I was going to do with the potential burglars – maybe throw my water bottle at them?)

Then I saw my husband who had opened the front door so I didn’t have to faff around with keys – oh the relief. So then I had to walk around the garden for 5 minutes to cool down. So sorry Mr Johnson for not following orders – I hope you will forgive me!

Raised by Wolves and This is where you can reach me  – U2 – again no blooming idea where these came from
Uptown Funk – Ronson and Mars – seemed to coincide with my uphill funk.
Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake – oh please can we stop the exhausted feeling
Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran
Dreaming of Me – Depeche Mode
Dance Away – Roxy Music
Master and Servant – Depeche Mode
Hot in the City – Billy Idol
Girls on Film – Duran Duran
Back to Black – Amy Winehouse
Distance 4.95km
Time 43.05 mins
Average Pace 8.42 mins/km
Originally published on Health Unlocked 4 July
Mr Smooth finally has his name, my playlist capability a bit better, but I still have no recollection of those U2 tracks. I am still categorising this as a walk on Map My Run.

2 July – Week 2 Run 1 – Apple doing my head in, Superman to the rescue

It’s a day early to be doing this (should have been a rest day today), but tomorrow unless I get up at 6am I won’t have time to run, and as I didn’t want to get out of the habit, it had to be today. Minus points for not resting but I give myself plus points for some newly found discipline

Blimey, I had forgotten how hard it is upping your running time by 50% even though it’s only 90 seconds which is about the time I take to eat a cream cake and that never seems that long to me.

Apple and the playlist saga continues, this time I ran in silence (not because I wanted to) but a mystery beep interrupted me and I stopped the run on the app, so had to start again. This time I decided I’d had enough and I enjoyed one on one time with Superman himself Michael J. It was okay as he is very chill and the recording reminds you it is harder this time and that it’s okay to be slow.

In all honesty though, I prefer running/walking/collapsing to music as it gives me something to focus on, whereas on my own all I hear is the desperate puffing and panting of someone who has let herself fall into disrepair.

So back to the drawing board on my playlist as now I can’t even get my three recent downloads to play.


August 2017 – looking back at my Map My Run workout summary, supposedly I heard these, but I didn’t…

Sleep Like a Baby Tonight – U2 – twice in succession  and I didn’t even know I had this on my phone!!!

Followed by Uptown Funk – Ronson and Mars – again twice in succession

The Reflex – Duran Duran – again twice in succession which makes me giggle because their name is duplicated too

Unbelievable  – EMF – again twice in succession


Distance 4.63km

Time 48.22

Average Pace 10.27mins/km

Looking back at this one, I ignored the advice to take a rest day and I think I was lucky and didn’t do any damage. The playlist frustrations seem never-ending, and I still screw it up from time to time. Still hadn’t renamed Michael J, so he appears here as Superman.

1 July – Week 1 Run 3 – Cheese, Apple, Speed and Stupidity

Yesterday was a rest day and in my stupidity, I thought I’d have some Pecorino unfortunately (or fortunately) where I live in Italy, Pecorino is not only cheese but a local wine too. A very healthy lunch of fish was followed by a not very healthy glass or few of Pecorino.

After the stupid lunch I decided to tackle the Apple problem, which is my phone keeps playing the same 3 downloads over and over, now I love Meghan Trainor & Charlie Puth, Mark Ronson and Justin Timberlake, but even interspersed with the gorgeous calm voice of Michael J, it gets a little boring. I created my first ever playlist – titled it ‘my running 40 minutes’ as an encouragement and guess what, when I hit the tarmac I got T&P, followed by Justin followed by Mark Ronson.

Stupid, stupid, stupid – and to add insult to injury, I overdid the running speed each time Mark Ronson came on, so my brisk walk was much more of brisk panting.

My biggest lesson in Week 1, don’t bite off more than I can chew – whether it’s cheese masquerading as wine, don’t think you’re an Apple genius and don’t run too fast. But more importantly don’t give up, so a big hand to my virtual running buddy on here who is a great inspiration as a newbie and her efforts got me up and out today.

Roll on week 2


Uptown Funk – twice

Can’t Stop the Feeling & Marvin Gaye –  both only once this time, because I stopped to fix the tech.

Modern Love – D Bowie

London Calling – The Clash

Change – Lightning Seeds

You Love Us – Manics

Is Vic There? – Department S


Distance 3.85km

Time 34.40 mins

Average Pace 9.00 mins per km

Originally posted on Health Unlocked 1 July 2017

At this stage still hadn’t renamed Michael Johnson, but you can see the feelings. Also why did I think being an inept person that sorting out my tech after lunching well but not wisely was a good idea?? Answers on a postcard please.

29 June – Week 1 Run 2 – Thank Heavens for Thunderstorms

So it screamed, howled, banged, flashed and poured with rain last night, but that dropped the temperature by about 5 degrees this morning. I went for a run/walk and what do you know I managed to do a little further distance than last time. Michael J is my preferred coach – he’s so calm. He’s calm so I can carry on!

Cant Stop the Feeling Justin Timberlake – 6 times
Uptown Funk, Ronson and Mars -twice
Marvin Gaye – Phuth and Trainor – twice
Still rubbish on my playlist management – stupid woman!

Distance 4km
Time 37.02
Average Pace 9.15 min/km


Originally posted on Health Unlocked 29 June 2017

Looking back at this run, it was the beginning of my runner’s crush with Mr Smooth – I hadn’t created his name at this point, but it was there at the back of my mind. On Map My Run I had still decided to classify the early efforts as walks rather than runs.

Week 1 New runner and it is 30 degrees here – help!

I am a lapsed runner – in 2015 managed a 10k run, but since then motivation been a problem and not done anything for over a year. Decided that Michael Johnson would be just the ticket to get me started again. But (and I know this is a first world problem!) I am an expat and currently it is 30+ degrees where I live – it’s roughly 26 degrees at about 7am in the morning, So am trying to work out how to keep going when it’s so hot….
I have done Week 1 Run 1 so far and tomorrow is scheduled for Run 2

Originally posted on Health Unlocked 28th June 2017

Daydream Believer
I Don’t Feel Like Dancing
(on repeat as I couldn’t work out my playlist – ouch!)

Duration 33.04mins
Average Pace 9.11 mins/km

Looking at this now (August 2017) little did I know Lucifer would stay in Italy for summer and that 26 degrees at 7am was becoming quite normal.