Which of these sartorial choices would you make on any given day, on a motorway? Yesterday saw us travelling up the A14 towards Milan, where Mr JCR and I were to part company. He to the Alps – for cycling in mountains, me to London for a hospital appointment and some homebound admin – oh and sneaky shopping if I could manage it.
In Italy when it comes to motoring, there really isn’t anything you won’t see. Motorbikers travelling at a gazillion miles per hour, wearing flip flops. Yup – seen those. Two cars driving side by side on the motorway, at 50mph, the drivers having a conversation between their windows – utterly oblivious to the mayhem they were causing behind – Yup seen that. The famed/fabled unmarked police Lamborghini – seen that too. Therefore, yesterday’s sojourn shouldn’t have thrown up anything unusual. Except it did, en route to Faenza we saw a young woman having ‘done her business’ by the side of the motorway, pull up her white knickers, but not before having flashed a totally bare arse at all oncoming traffic. Now we’ve seen men peeing at the side of the motorway – that’s normal – but our first time to see a bare bottomed woman. Luckily for her or unluckily the sun was out, discretion being the better part of valour, we decided against a photo.
Further on, we saw a black Range Rover, looking quite pimped up. Velvet as a fabric is a good choice for upholstery and clothing, but this Range Rover’s body work was covered in black velvet. That was a first for both of us, it looked quite smart, but you did wonder as to the practicality – it didn’t have any obvious marketing slogans on the body work – but then how would you put them on? Embroidery perhaps? Then it started to pour down with rain, leading us to wonder how much heavier the car gets with all the absorbed water…
I digress, today’s run did not afford me the luxury of either going out bare-arsed – London doesn’t deserve that and I’d get arrested, nor black velvet as running gear, as the temperature was in the high teens, it wouldn’t have been a great choice.
First off, out to find a runner’s shop, as I’d left my water bottle behind in Italy. Today’s route therefore was predicated upon finding a water bottle. First off to the City, a quick scoot in, no water bottles of the type I prefer, so a scoot back out again. Through the City towards Holborn, passing a film crew who had rather bizarrely a US laundry truck in their props. No doubt this will appear in either Sherlock, or Doctor Who or similar in months to come.
Through Holborn and I find a Blacks Outdoor Shop – another scoot in to find the water bottle, and another scoot out again, having drawn a blank. Okay Holborn also has a big runner’s shop – scoot number three coming up and yet another blank. I’m about 5kms in to my run at this point, and decide random running isn’t going to get me a water bottle. Dr Google Maps came to my rescue and on I sauntered to Covent Garden, where I found my water bottle – yay, and a very nice shop assistant, who told me he had spotted me running earlier on. A few shops later, I found the water to put in the bottle. Normal service is restored. From Covent Garden towards Leicester Square – the crowds were queuing at the half price ticket booth and a crowd had gathered in front of a street busker, who had all the gear but no idea. I say he had no idea, but was successfully getting cash out of the audience, who were basically just listening to a backing track. All he did was make a random accompaniment on a kazoo!
I spent some time in and around the square, because it’s fun to see what’s happening in town and made my way towards Trafalgar Square. It was a glorious morning, and there was quite a spring in my step, as I do love coming home to London, especially when the weather is just that little bit cooler, making running easier. I then aim towards Embankment and saw the sculpture above, the deep water sign made me smile as the lily pond was all of about 8 inches deep. I spent a bit of time on the Embankment, but even on a Saturday the traffic is heavy and the smell of pollution strong. I decided to avoid the traffic and travel back towards the Strand, up Savoy Street and beyond Somerset House.
I then enter one of my favourite parts of town, the Inns of Court, – it always seems quite civilised and quiet and I had a good trot towards home. My final spurt took me through St Paul’s Courtyard and back to the City. At the end of my run, I was pleasantly surprised, although my hips were telling me I’d run quite far, it was a touch over 15km – I haven’t done that in a long time. So a really good run to start my September efforts. It’s nice to be home – well my other home, but nicer still to be in temperatures that are a little more helpful for my challenge. Oh and the first time I’ve run an average sub 6 1/2 minutes per km.
For someone who is known as being a lizard and sun lover, I find I’m a better runner in the cool. And I’m cool with that too.
Locomotion, Joan of Arc – OMD
Master and Servant, Love In Itself, Save A Prayer – Depeche Mode
Let’s Go Crazy – His Purple Highness
Girls on Film, Electric Barbarella – Duran Duran
Help Me Rhonda – The Beach Boys
She’s Electric – Oasis
Down In The Tube Station At Midnight – The Jam
Night Fever – Bee Gees
Tracy Jacks – Blur
Born In The USA, Glory Days – The Boss
Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake
Mulder and Scully – Catatonia
Smile Like You Mean It, Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine – The Killers
Disco 2000, Common People – Pulp
Upside Down – Paloma Faith
Cabron – Red Hot Chilis
Everything Must Go – The Manics
Marvin Gaye – Puth and Traynor
I Ran – A Flock of Seagulls
Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Creep – Radiohead
Strong – London Grammar
Back To Black – Amy Winehouse
Crazy In Love – Beyoncé
Average Pace 6:28
Elevation Gain – 59 metres
Kms Done 1457.85
Kms to Run 560.15