When Shopping Doesn’t Replace Running – 19 October

A week on the injury couch, after having suffered Stupid Tart Syndrome and I am decidedly antsy at not being able to run, which I suppose is a good thing…

Am in London on a flying visit for a body MOT, and I have a mini shopping list for running stuff, it’s not a huge list, but I reckon buying running stuff is almost as good as running, except buying isn’t that straightforward either.

Three things on my list:-

  1. Socks X three pairs
  2. Kettlebell (don’t ask)
  3. Lightweight wicking running top with hood

First stop a combined cycling/running sports chain in the City, first observation is it’s really a cycling shop with a bit put to one side for runners, let’s be honest actually more aimed at male runners – females about 3 racks worth. No customers except me and apparently the trainer display warrants more attention….aaarrrggghhh, why work in Retail if you don’t want to talk to customers.

Second stop, Gap as they often have decent sports kit, but it’s all summer stuff on sale and no hooded tops to be seen, nor socks and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Gap branded kettlebell.

Third stop M&S, as they’ve branched out into sportswear, but it is a bit dreary, quite nice running tights, only they’re not on my list. Only fleecy type jackets, no hooded tops.

Somewhat disheartened go home.

Thursday morning, I had promised myself a little runette/jogette to see if my Stupid Tart Syndrome injury had righted itself after a week of rest. Alarm goes and I am up and out of the door in minutes. I am a woman with a mission as am returning to Italy mid-afternoon, I have to buy piggy treats from The Ginger Pig at Borough Market which is a couple of miles away. Warm up walk is fine, then a few ginger steps into a run and yippee no twinges, twangs or alarming snapping feelings. I am running through the City, through hordes of worker ants, all dressed in varying shades of grey, charcoal, black, silver, grey, navy blue, grey, black, grey, pinstripe, white, grey. Grey seems to predominate regardless of gender, so to play my part I am wearing a grey top, but just to add a little colour to a grey day I am wearing rather fetching harlequin pink and blue leggings.

I run past charity collectors on the street, who are getting rather a lot of donations in their buckets, running towards Borough Market over London Bridge and the 2km warning comes up. I feel fine so continue past Borough and towards Blackfriars, where I note with some sadness that there are anti-terrorist bollards across the pavement, causing all the worker ants to be funnelled through little openings. Londoners truly have the patience of saints to cope with this. There’s little room anyway and now your access routes are constrained even more. Shame. A quick loop round the back of Blackfriars and I re-cross the river on the wobbly bridge, alongside Bankside and just at Clink Street the 5km warning came on. I feel fine, but am not going to tempt fate so keep my run to that. Shaggy and Boombastic comes on my playlist – to be back running feels boombastic.

I arrive at The Ginger Pig spot on opening time, buy my piggy treats and walk home, back along Bankside an oncoming commuter sees me and smiles. I think it was either the combination of incongruous face, grey top and multicoloured leggings that did it, or maybe the fact that I was very red (monarch red in fact) and carrying a serious haul of Ginger Pig sausage rolls that perhaps didn’t look the height of healthy eating and living.

Either way I am happy so I don’t care, run done, no recurrence of Stupid Tart Syndrome, oh and I ran the 5k quite quickly too…. On the way back I spot another runner specialist store – it has publicity blurb saying something like ‘understanding everything runners need’, so in I pop with red face, warm sausage rolls and my credit card. I go through my list of running needs, and as they understand it all!!!, I am not in the least bit surprised when all I manage to buy is some socks, because apparently kettlebells are only available at their other store and lightweight hooded running tops definitely fine for men and children, just not for women. You can’t win them all.

Playlist

(cocked up on the music front… Map My Run doesn’t record the list from Spotify)

I Ran – A Flock of Seagulls

Talk Talk – Talk Talk

Runnin’ Down a Dream – Tom Petty

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

I Ran – A Flock of Seagulls

Boombastic – Shaggy

Stats

Distance 5.09km

Time 32.44

Average Pace 6.25 mins/km

Elevation gain 35m

Best km split 5.57min/km – this is a personal best, this year!

And which look better – the leggings or the sausage rolls???

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