I have an Italian life and running, I have a London life and running. Let’s look at the stereotypes:-
Weather – gorgeous, sunny and blue skies
People – gorgeous, friendly and chatty
Food – gorgeous, but always Italian
Wine – gorgeous, but always Italian
Views – gorgeous
Running – why wouldn’t it be gorgeous?
Weather – so-so and grey skies
People – standoffish and keep themselves to themselves
Food – eclectic, not always gorgeous
Wine – lots of choice, but always expensive
Views – interesting and some are gorgeous
Running – not bad if you don’t mind people and pollution
Picture the scene, Hampstead Royal Free Hospital, the Physiotherapy Waiting Room. Usually chock full of people with replacement hips, knees, plaster casts etc., today there are two of us, neither sporting anything remotely suggesting a crocked leg.
I am wearing my running kit, to run home post appointment, the other lady is wearing Adidas capris and trainers. Not a word is spoken. After 15 minutes of silence, I am boiling hot, the sweat is not so much a trickle, but more of a torrent. I am 58, this is my new normal.
Suddenly the 20something lady stands up and turns and says ‘Is it me or is it very hot in here, I’m having a hot flush’. At which point I burst out laughing, and replied that was exactly how I was feeling too. She prowled around the waiting room to find the culprit, a hot air ventilation system that seemingly had not long kicked into life. That coupled with the NHS wipe clean vinyl chairs had combined as a human microwave. I am tanned from a summer in Italy, but was sporting a very flushed face and a totally soggy bod. She was a typical ‘English rose’ complexion, and her face had changed from a porcelain like ivory, to a pork sausage pink. She then went onto say she hadn’t been that hot since the last time she was in a sauna. Then her mum came into the room from Physio ‘Gosh it’s very hot in here’. Cue more laughing.
That’s the Londoner stereotype put happily to one side, would my run give me the chance to challenge the others? Well, today no. As you can see the skies were grey and the view of Camden Lock not at its prettiest. That left me with food, wine and running to myth-bust. I can’t eat or drink on the run, so those myths will have to stand for another day. But the running…mmm.
First off, Map My Run lady had a strop, she started off okay and then deserted me – and recorded my time but not the distance. evidently she was in stereotype Londoner mode. Luckily, I know the run and was able to add in the missing kms later. A nice womble down from Hampstead and I was feeling relaxed and comfortable. Through Camden, well not quite so relaxed mainly because of people traffic – but it was lunchtime so entirely to be expected. The crowds disappeared at Mornington Crescent and I made my way towards Euston. At this point the rain started and folk were darting everywhere to avoid getting splashed. That necessitated some ninja manoeuvres on my part, which weren’t all entirely successful.
I made myself semi-invisible on the pavements (by putting my running cap on), I headed towards Kings Cross. Big mistake – load and loads of people, very little room on the pavement and even less on the A40 for the traffic. The stench of air pollution was very strong. Having been in Italy and Holland recently, where the congestion is much less this was really quite noticeable. By now though I was nicely warmed up, if a bit steamy and I trotted up towards Angel. A dart across to the fish shop, loading up lunch and dinner in my kangaroo pouch, and I was off.
Back towards home now, only about 2km to do, but dampening down very mobile fish in your pouch, isn’t conducive to a good running style. Frankly, nor is popping into a supermarket to buy more stuff, then running with one hand on the fish pouch and the other suspending a shopping bag.
The stereotype of weather and views prevailed today, but a return run from a hospital is never likely to take you to the most salubrious parts of town, nor take you away from people and pollution. Tomorrow gives me a fresh opportunity to take in better weather and hopefully better views.
Oh and a big shout out to friends P (Holland) and T (UK) for their sponsorships. My total is moving up quite nicely.
Stand By Me – Ben E King
Let’s Dance – Chris Montez
Bad Moon Rising – Credence Clearwater Revival
Surfin’ USA – The Beach Boys
You Never Can Tell – Chuck Berry
The Israelites – Desmond Dekker
Soul Man – Sam & Dave
I Only Want To Be With You – Dusty
Rescue Me – Fontella Bass
I’m Into Something Good – Herman’s Hermits
California Dreamin’ – Mamas and Papas
Feeling Good – Nina Simone
Jumping Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones
Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
Gimme Some Loving – Spencer Davis Group
Do You Love Me – The Contours
You Really Got me – The Kinks
Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone – The Temptations
Average Pace 6:24
Elevation Gain 35 metres
Kms Done 1791.2
Kms to Run 226.8