Me and Mr Smooth, we’re so over…

…. well at least for today! Yesterday was the rest day, I say rest I can’t actually recall much resting going on, what with cleaning a house waiting for 5 cycling guests to turn up.

The house was clean, so I decided it would be nice if I was too. Getting out of the shower, I had a twinge. That was my back and it hurt a lot. Was I cartwheeling with gay abandon? No. Had I taken up shower-surfing? No. I stepped off a shower onto the floor, no skids, no dramatic Mr Bean falls, I just twinged….

So my date invitation duly arrived this morning and I politely declined Mr Smooth’s invitation to run. I had left out my running gear, more in hope than anticipation, but hey ho.

Am resting today and will see if I  am able to go tomorrow. Thinking of trying out the zombie running app for a laugh, but only any good if I can run, otherwise I think I will be zombiefyed within seconds.

Mr Smooth, how’s your massage technique? Just askin….😜


12 Sept – Don’t Mess with Mr Smooth

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day and I’m feeling good, so says Nina and I believe her. Today I leave the hills and go to the pista in Fano, for special interval training. I’ve been reading that it’s not a bad idea to re-start the C25K programme, but replacing the run intervals with sprints and the walk intervals with light jogs. This can help you with speeding up a bit. It’s difficult to do interval training on the hills, mainly because they have a nasty habit of being in precisely the wrong place at the wrong time.

So far so good, the weather has turned sunny again it’s about 23 degrees. I synch Map My Run and Mr Smooth, Week 1 Run 1 and away I go. Only I didn’t quite get the tech right, so no Mr Smooth. No matter, I will run one circuit of the pista at normal pace and then start the sprint/jog plan afterwards.

Mmm it’s getting quite warm, I’ve already passed two topless men, who decided nipple flashing in September is quite the thing. In summer they were young and with beautifully sculpted bodies, and the obligatory heart monitor strap. Today, a little less toned shall we say, but hey if you’ve got it flaunt it and so they were.

The rules of the pista are quite simple, walkers and runners on the inner circle clockwise, and cyclists on the main track anti-clockwise. Mr Banana wearing a rather natty yellow and brown combo, decided that this rule didn’t apply to him, so he’d amble on the cycling area, going the same way as them. Walking the cyclists’ racing line he didn’t seem to consider it dangerous at all! The cyclists can get up to 30-35km an hour on the track, and if one of them hits you, well let’s just say a banana split would ensue. I watched with horror as he ambled around oblivious to the danger.

At this point, getting really hot  – I have done 2.2 km and nip back to the car to take off the top layer tee shirt, remembering of course to pause Map My Run.  Back to the track and I decide to sprint for 60 seconds and then jog for 90 seconds, repeating this as long as I could. I did this more or less for another circuit and realised that the mechanical voice lady from Map My Run had been suspiciously quiet. Stupid, stupid, stupid woman  – not her, me. I had forgotten to de-pause (is that a word?) MMR, so all my times and splits were not being recorded.

Eminem was singing Lose Yourself, – well truly I had. By the time I reinstated her she said I did a 3 minutes 39 seconds kilometer, which makes me close to Mo Farah I reckon! Oh yes and trying to sprint/jog after 2.2km of running, well that was another dumb-ass idea JCR. It was a sprint and walk effort, after all of my planning. I am lying of course, my plan was  of the ‘organic’ let’s just see how I feel variety. And of course I never factored in whether I’d feel tired after 2 clicks of running.

Mr Banana sure left a banana skin behind him today and I slipped on it – so all my work on trying sprints vs. jogs to no avail. My big lesson, don’t get smart with Mr Smooth, either listen to him or Map My Run lady, don’t do both.  Mr Smooth doesn’t like you messing with him.

Frustratingly MMR recorded my playlist perfectly – but not my stats, so here we go. Oh and Mr Banana – he avoided being totalled and was sitting quite happily on a bench watching the world go by.


Sign of the Times – Harry Styles

Common People – Pulp

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Trainor

Can You Feel It – Michael Jackson

When Doves Cry – Prince And The Revolution

Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak – Macy Gray

All These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers

Upside Down – Paloma Faith

I Predict A Riot – Kaiser Chiefs

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

Lose Yourself – Eminem

Somebody Told Me – The Killers

Maid of Orleans – OMD

Dance Away – Roxie Music

Rain On Your Parade – Duffy

Parklife – Blur

Cake By The Ocean – DNCE


Distance: More than 6.6km I think about 7kms

Time : Based on playlist about 62 minutes

Best km split 6.03



10 September – Hammering the Slope of No Hope

Conversation last week between Mr & Mrs JCR (as I remember it…)

Mr JCR – I am planning on going out for a ride next Saturday morning, just to keep my legs in

JCR – We have our friends K&C coming on Friday, it’s not going to happen. We haven’t seen them for a couple of years, you know what will happen…

Mr JCR – Oh yes, fair point, well made. I’ll leave the ride until Sunday

Friday afternoon/night/Saturday morning  pretty much from 4pm to 3.30am Saturday.

K&C arrive, nice weather we chatted, ate, drank, giggled, chatted, ate, drank, giggled. Repeat many times

7 bottles of vino collapso, and a few naughty extras later, we ended up listening to this at about 2am.


So it is fair to say that on Friday we got hammered. Saturday morning, 4 of us gingerly emerged and decided that a quiet day was in order. There was never a hope in hell of Mr JCR cycling or me running. So gentle relaxation and a lot of water drunk.

Cue Sunday morning, the alarm goes early Mr JCR has a medio fondo ride somewhere locally, it is dark and raining, I grunt and turn over.

8am Mr Smooth sends me our date invitation, the rain is hammering on the roof, I decide to see if it subsides before going out. After an hour of waiting for this miraculous break in the weather, which didn’t arrive, I give in and get up and put on my trainers.

I haven’t got a running cap, so press-gang one of Mr JCR’s old motorsport’s caps into service and out I go. Warm up walk down the Slope of Hope to Nik Kershaw and ‘I won’t let the sun go down on me’ – no chance of that today, no sun…

Into the Hill that Kills, no-one around, I spot another big branch has fallen off one of the trees – in Autumn you need to be just a little cautious around here. Into Lovers’ Lane around Bali and back again. Not a soul out as it’s bucketing down, even the barking beagles are indoors. Back to the Hill That Kills, and when I get to the end I decide to run the Slope of Hope. This will be the day when I will run all the way back up and conquer it. Now run is probably an exaggeration, my feet are hammering the tarmac and I make heavy weather of it (sorry for the pun). I pass Mr Woodpile (so called because we only ever talk  to him when we comment on his immaculately maintained woodpile). Mr Woodpile is sheltering from the rain and appears to have injured his foot. He nods, so do I – no need to chat as his woodpile hasn’t been built yet!

To the top I turn down Mill Lane and do the Lovers’ Lane usual loop. On the way back I am flagged down by a motorist, he is in a grey car (standard issue around here), and he stops to say hello –  it is our oldest friend in Italy  – F. When we first arrived and looked at our house, we knocked at his door and asked if it would be okay for us to buy the house on the hill, not knowing that his land surrounds our now home and garden. After our pidgin Italian, French and English, he invited us to stay with him and his family for the duration of the house renovation. As much as I’d love to think someone would do that in the UK, I’m not so sure, so F and his wife L are the reason we love Italy so much.

I digress, I explain I have another 2 kms to do and he wishes me luck. It was nice to see him at that point because I was flagging. This was the ‘trocious thirties’ minute mark, so a boost was exactly what was needed.

So enthused or stupid was I that I did another tail to top of the Slope of No Hope. This weekend started on Friday by getting hammered and finishing today by me hammering home up the Slope of No Hope, not once but twice, and still Mr Woodpile and I didn’t speak… But there’s plenty of Autumn left to do that.


I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Nik Kershaw

Avalon – Roxy Music

Darling Nikki – Prince and the Revolution

Chelsea Dagger and Doginabag – The Fratellis

(Forever) Live and Die – OMD

Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers

Save a Prayer – Duran Duran

Mony Mony – Billy Idol

Can You Feel It – Michael Jackson

Rockferry – Duffy

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Trainor

In The City – The Jam

When Doves Cry – Prince and The Revolution


Distance 6.33km

Time 48.03

Average Pace 7.35 min/km

Elevation Gain 109 metres – yes 109!!!


And the BRAFTA* goes to…

And the BRAFTA* goes to...

*That is the Bra, Running and Fitness Training Award

Our Host for this prestigious ceremony was to have been Stephen Fry, as he hosts almost everything, but he politely reclined the offer as my dad’s old secretary used to say. As he couldn’t make it, you have me as judge and jury, following on from last week’s nomination process.

The awards being given today are:-

Best Supporting Act

Most Promising Debut from a Newcomer

Uns(l)ung Hero Award

Best Technical Instruction Screenplay

Outstanding Individual Contribution

The first of our BRAFTAs for MostPromisingDebutfromaNewcomer.

Nominees are:-

Booband nominated by Sweatyfaced

One Size Smaller Swimming Costume Overlay – nominated by nikkiwabit

And the winner is Booband for having a great name, although no-one is as yet brave enough to try it

The Uns(l)ung Hero Award

Recognises those bras that have done sterling service, but may now be a little grey and tired, and not first choice.

Nominees are:-

HeleneCorsa – the unknown, no label, bunged in a drawer

Runningraspberrydiva – White, wrong sized, does the job

SuzyKK – for the grey Jockey bought in Florida

mfamilias – for the grainy white, maternity ward flopper stopper, now ‘back of the cupboard’

And the winner is, mfamilias for the imperiously named flopper stopper

Best Technical Instruction Screenplay

Both bra-ing and de-bra -ing are highly skilled tasks. This award recognises those who have provided useful terminology to aid in these complex and time-consuming manoeuvres

Nominees are:-

JaySeeSkinny for the new technique called ‘de-sausaging’

icklegui for identifying the new ailment ‘mono-boob’

antet for the aesthetic horror of ‘redistribution of rolls’

Helene Corsa for describing the problems of front loaders, as ‘mid-run jailbreak’

slinky-malinki for ‘Houdini out of a straitjacket’

MFamilias for describing ‘frozen nipple syndrome’

Whilst hotly contested, the winner has to be JaySeeSkinny with ‘de-sausaging’

Outstanding Individual Contribution

The BRAFTA committee recognise that this ceremony could not have occurred without some sterling efforts on behalf of the bra buying public. This award recognises those who went above and beyond the call of duty in their efforts.

Helene Corsa – for changing room shenanigans, almost resulting in a bra cut off scenario at home

JaySeeSkinny – for de-sausaging with one finger

roseabi – for bra pad removal from the Amazon and re-homing in Primark

Icklegui – for seemingly having tried all bras on the market, but especially for the real-time road test of The Freya

helenwheels – who is now using the scorecard for all elements of her life including children, friends

And the winner is Icklegui, for not letting any sports bra go unchecked!

And finally ladies, the prestigious award, for the Best Supporting Act

The nominees using the scoring model are:-

Jockey with 87% satisfaction score

Freya with 78%

and Adidas CMMTTD Chill with 80%

Those without:-

M&S – 7 votes

Shock Absorber – 10

Panache – 3

Freya – 2

Purely on numbers voted the Shock Absorber takes the award

I’d like to close the award ceremony with heartfelt thanks to all participants in this year’s BRAFTA awards. Ladies feel free to download the highly expensive, exclusive BRAFTA trophy pic.

Originally posted on Health Unlocked 7 September 2017

Post Script:

Some C25Kers missed the cut off date for voting and there was a suggestion that we ought to extend the concept to Knickers, so we could include men in the voting. But  then there was a horrid suggestion about commando running….eeeuugghh…

Plus, the original AtoE Cup Challenge failed to include a category of fitness, so the A to E Cup Challenge is now officially re-named as A to F Cup, and a new spreadsheet for those wishing to re-score their undies drawer is available

For those in any doubt that this was a necessary challenge, go take a look here..

Frightening Figures of Eight

My cups runneth over… A to F Cup Challenge

After the recent A to E Cup Challenge, lots of C25K women suggested that a critical  part of bra evaluation had been missed off the highly scientific excel scoring method.

So, to redress the balance and to make sure all sports bras are properly scored, we have added a new category.

F for Fit

No, this doesn’t mean whether you can run a marathon or not. It asks the question does the bra actually fit you? Many of us complain, about the under or over boob bulge. Shoulder straps too short so you look as though you have no neck, or too long giving you boobs hanging around at waist level.

The  ‘fit’ scoring model is as follows:-

1 – Surgery is going to be costly, shoulders need to drop/raise/be removed. Rib cage in the wrong place.

2 – Who doesn’t like having 5 boobs, or alternatively just the mono boob?

3 – Okay if I lean like the Tower of Pisa, or don’t have to alter just one strap by 6 cm.

4 – No bulges, no gaps, no under boob, no chafing, no problems

5 – The Savile Row of bras, everything in place, regardless of running pace

The new xls spreadsheet will be loaded onto the A to E Cup Challenge.

Award winners and trophy to be loaded Sunday.


7 September – Ignoring the pain barrier- even ‘fook’ I was tired…

Last night we were helping a friend’s son with his B2 Intermediate English exam. He is based at Bologna University and so far we have been Skype helpers, having his test papers on screen. This has not been quite as easy as one might imagine, not least because both Mr JCR and I were products of the ‘let’s not teach grammar’ movement of schooling.

We have had tutorial sessions with R, when he has been explaining to us why he believes a sentence is a complex sentence vs a compound one, and whilst he has been doing that one of us is on the ipad looking up exactly what he means by compound vs. complex. Mmm, we are more than a little embarrassed about this. Last night was harder, because he only had a paper version which he couldn’t share. The exercise was all about linking words and the correct use of though, even though, although, in spite etc, etc.

We had agreed he would  read the text and then say the word ‘something’ followed by the 4 multiple choice options he had. So last night he was reading happily and said the word ‘something’, followed by his 4 multiple choice words which were and I quote “in spite of, despite, however, and fook”. We didn’t quite catch him quickly enough and he said I think the answer is ‘fook’. So after peals of laughter, we said no it can’t be ‘fook’ and asked him to spell the word – and it was T H O U G H. And he then said that he hated the word because it involved a th which Italians find almost impossible to pronounce, as that sound doesn’t exist in Italian. And also he didn’t know how to consistently pronounce ‘ough’ – the difficulties of learning English, highlighted brilliantly by R.

Now when the shoe is on the other foot, I have my issues too. I can’t say the word for waiter, nor organisation in Italian. Damn good job I never have to deal with a waiters’ trade association I guess.

Today’s run, not really feeling the love, but I put on my ‘Jan has been tangoed’ kit and out I went. Down the Slope of Hope, past the barking dogs. Usual swear word exchanged and up to the Hill That Kills, feet felt a bit leaden, I really needed a bit of a boost and usually this is where Anouska and Albino come in. I see them, they smile we exchange greetings and I move on, but I was a little later this morning and so missed them. But in Lovers’ Lane I saw Babbo Natale, in all black running kit with a white cap… maybe I am influencing him? He said buongiorno, so I carried on a bit happier, oh yes got buzzed by a serious looking cyclist – that will be Mr JCR then as he is on a training hill session today.

Fairly humdrum did my double loop of Villa Bali, Lovers’ Lane and the Hill That Kills, then went down towards the Bendy, Scary, Road. And what did I see –  a red and black skinny minny runner. Running with his back to the traffic he was a real loper, all I had in my head at this point was Mr Lover Lover by Shaggy, only change Lover for Loper. I thought for all about a nano second that I could be inspired by him and kick my heels. But actually I wasn’t inspired, ‘fook’ he had a good pace.

Mr JCR passed me again and my leaden legs carried me through to 6.23 clicks. So today’s run hurt, every km in the bank was hurting,  but even ‘fook’ it hurt I was proud because I knuckled down and did it.

Then on my cool down walk, back to my village who did I see in the distance but Mr Loper, Loper. But I never saw him come back – he must have a shortcut I don’t know about – that is next on my to do list to find.


Lucky You – Lightning Seeds

Everything Must Go – The Manics

Modern Love – David Bowie

Girls and Boys – Blur

You Love Us – The Manics

Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

Is Vic There? -Department S

London Calling – The Clash

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

I Predict a Riot – Kaiser Chiefs

Strong – London Grammar

Einstein a Go Go – Landscape


Distance 6.23km

Time 46.22

Average Pace 7.26 mins/km

Elevation gain 47 metres



5 September – MSM or Swerve, Shake Fist, and Swear?

Mr JCR up and about early today as he is on bandit duty. We have some of his cycling club visiting in about 10 days’  time, and he is going out early to recce one of his preferred routes for the visit, so he can get in some sneaky practice, before they arrive… As I say bandit duty.

Before my date invitation from Mr Smooth arrives I am up and about getting ready to run. Weather warmer again thank goodness it was a bit of a shock running in the cold and wet on Sunday.

Out onto the Slope of Hope for the warm up walk, and yes the balcony dogs barked and yes I jumped and swore, somethings never change. No Mr Smooth on the podcast today just Mechanical Voice Lady and me, so she tells me to get my arse in gear for the Hill That Kills, I’m taking a nice pace, but have to dodge some stereotypical Italian driving, I am convinced that whereas in the UK, we were taught Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre for driving, here it is somewhat different. I think their version is Swerve, Shake Fist and Swear (The 3 Esses).

Into Lovers’ Lane, listening to Eminem saying he is like a snail and see my favourite ‘running buddies’  – Anouska is dressed in black, with  a flashy silk scarf adorning her neck, Albino is wearing long trousers and a long sleeved shirt. They both look very elegant, I run past and shout ‘six kilometers’ in English forgetting they don’t speak English a quick Italian correction and on I go. Back down Lovers’ Lane, I meet them on the way back and Anouska says Ciao Bella. That is glorious, I may look like a running tomato but she said bye bye beautiful – that has made my day.

Back down the Hill That Kills, I decide to run back up the Slope of Hope not all of it, but on I trudge and then I take a turn to the right. Clearly I have been in Italy too long and I now have adopted the Italian road rules of not really looking before moving. I did glance but missed the speedy cyclist and he said  ‘Occhio Signora’ and ‘Brava’, after I dodged him. Into a new road for my running life, Mill Lane – this has an old olive oil press and is a little like a mini roller coaster, luckily no traffic, but as I exit left, yup I almost get taken out by an overexcited moped driver. He swerved, but didn’t do the rest of the ‘Esses’.

I am about 4km in and decide that today I will do 6km if I can, and that will be my distance for each run this week. Aiming towards the Bendy, Scary Road as a nice run downhill to make up for earlier exertions. It’s all going swimmingly, although I am a little bit tired and then coming around a bend, the local driving school instructor in his white Punto, what does he do…

Yup he swerves, no he doesn’t signal, yup the car behind him shook his fist, but I didn’t hear either of them swear at me. I take that as a win, but I really thought the Driving School Instructor should have been a little more composed.

Oh and two minutes later the 6 clicks were done. nice and tidy like!


Unbelievable – EMF

Somebody Told Me – The Killers

Lose Yourself – Eminem

Uptown Funk – Ronson and Mars

Rumour Has It – Adele

Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers

Oh Woman, Oh Man – London Grammar

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Upside Down – Paloma Faith

Vienna – Ultravox

Can You Feel It – Michael jackson

Is Vic There? – Department S


Distance 6.2km (Yup did it…)

Time 44.01

Average Pace  7.18 mins/km

Elevation Gain 61 metres