20 Jan – Pain, Rain, and Train

malaga

Today is supposed to be a running day, but I wimped out. A combination of cold and the wet, coupled with a two day old migraine, means I can’t pound the pavements today. This bloody migraine better go by tomorrow, otherwise my deficit will increase, rather than decrease, which is not my plan at all.

And so, somewhat reluctantly I have to make a doctor’s appointment to discuss these migraines, which are new to me but coming with increasing regularity. As my diet seems biased towards the inclusion of trigger foods such as coffee, chocolate, dairy and wine (all of which I love), it seems sensible to find out what I should be doing (from a proper Doctor and not Dr Google), especially as I’ve read from the latter that running can be a trigger.

However, on a positive front, Mr JCR has just booked our very first Winter Training Camp, him for cycling and me for running. For a St Valentine’s Day treat (not really), we are going to Malaga for 5 days, specifically to do some training in the warmer climes of Southern Spain, and if it works out okay, then we are going to make it a regular event. It seems rather self indulgent deciding to evade the gloom and doom of February, which always seems to be the worst month of the year, but it is a nice and healthy indulgence, although Tapas and Rioja may prove to be our undoing.

Tomorrow is another day, and so provided I have no pain, regardless of any rain, I will train and run the pale blue squares of the Monopoly board.

Today, because of no running I have to do the cursed Vampire Kettlebell exercises, maybe I will do lunges as well as the Number One dead lift. Squats already done!

 

 

19 Jan – Vampires Out

of the cupboard that is. Today is a running rest day but the pesky Vampire Kettlebells saw the light of day today. In truth, only one saw the light of day, but as vampires die in sunlight, I had to be careful.

I am a lightweight on weightlifting and Razouski my C25K running buddy, donated her ‘Kettlercise’ routine to me. I’d like to say a sincere thank you, however I don’t think I can… OMG she swings these things for an hour. An hour! Is she mental? Rhetorical question obviously.

Out of the umpteen hellish exercises, (kindly donated) I settled on 10 reps of the dead lift, after having done my squats. The dead lift could also be called a Figure One Exercise, as the Figure Eight Exercise, looks way too hard at my pathetic level. And besides which we live in a small apartment, and there’s no room to do a figure of eight.

So that’s my amazing effort, but it is a start and I have made progress, not an excuse. And for that I am pleased. And if ever any of you are approached by a fit, singing runner, with penchant for 80s music and she suggests she could donate her Kettlercise routine to you, I’d suggest you run as fast as you can…

Run 1 – Getting The New Year Off To a Whimper

We had words, did Mr JCR and me…, big words, tetchy words, me wanting to quit the relationship, him wanting to try just one more time. And to be honest I was surprised as he hadn’t shown much favour up until now.

It’s no use I told him, things have changed, the old model worked but the new model doesn’t. I can’t carry on in this vein any longer, ‘let me try’ he pleaded. ‘No’ I said. But a few days away, and a sense of hope surged. ‘Okay, we can give it a go’.

Mr JCR had asked me to go counselling. Relate are famous for helping couples work through relationship issues and Mr JCR thought it was worth a shot. We’ve been together for nigh on 25 years, so he had a point. One night just before coming home to London, we made an appointment. Grievances duly noted, with specific examples so that the advice stood a chance. And so the dialogue began.

Mr JCR – ‘Exactly what isn’t working from your perspective?’

JCR – ‘There are so many things I can’t even tell you where to begin’

Mr JCR – ‘Just try, tell me one thing at a time’

JCR – ‘Well, the new iPhone and Map my Run, still won’t synchronise to my iTunes library, it says I have no music and I have’

Editor’s note – you may have thought I meant meeting Relate the marriage counsellors – no I mean

RELATE

R= Running

E= Electronics

L= Lacking

A = Application Integration

T = Turns JanCanRun

E= Extremely angry

Mr JCR is the techy whizz kid in our household and following my switch to the new iPhone, things were not going well. The Map My Run App was hopeless, no longer picking up my music, nor tracking my route at one point. Mr JCR often persuades me to move to Strava, but it doesn’t synch to my music either, and so he said before `I committed to another app he’d have a look and see what he could do. Mr JCR duly looked and configured bits and pieces and lo and behold a miracle – he got the music link working. It then seemed from a mini test (by running around the living room) that everything was working. So, today, naturally enough I set out with hope in my heart and a spring in my step.

Okay,  I am out of the door, with the warm-up walk started, Mechanical Voice Lady is present and the countdown is working fine, I can hear my music, so far so good. At the end of the five minute warm up, Mechanical Voice Lady tells me to start exercising, and I do. Somewhat surprisingly my first kilometre was completed in 30 seconds, with my second one done similarly. Harrumpphh, this intervention by RELATE has fixed one problem, but obviously there are a few more. As much as I’d love to report a miraculous mix of Usain’s speed with Mo Farah’s distance, let’s be realistic, I am middle aged, a bit chunkier than I was pre-Christmas and my running took a bit a of a break over the festive period.

I head up towards Islington and Essex Road, avoiding the crowds on Upper Street, all of them still hunting for that elusive New Year Sale bargain. My pace is quite steady I think, although with MMR marking my times, the Olympics won’t be far away for me. I am dodging quite a few bare, unadorned Christmas trees, now sadly deserted by their owners and forming a mini hurdle and obstacle race on the pavements. But as The Boss is singing Born To Run, I am smiling widely as I dodge each one. I reach the end of Essex Road and turn right along Balls Pond Road. I had thought on a Sunday morning that the roads would be quiet, but I was wrong and the pong of petrol pollution still hangs around. I do wonder whether running in these parts is quite so healthy…, then I am overtaken by a braver running lady  in a short sleeved tee-shirt, with a sort of semi circular sweep to her running gait and it occurs to me that she must be covering more distance per step than me, because her feet are covering quite a bit of the pavement on each step, it’s quite fascinating to watch, if a bit dangerous as I then trip slightly on a paving slab.

I continue down Balls Pond Road and am overtaken again by a lazy, loper runner. I don’t mean he was lazy, but his running style was all loose and loping and fast too. He scooted in the distance and I was at about 6km at this stage, so no chance of catching him up. I then turn into Kingsland Road (Dalston) one of the spiritual homes of the fable Hoxton Hipster and yes there was my first one  .

Beard – yup, checked lumberjack shirt thing – yup, dark denim narrow jeans – yup, natty bit of ankle showing – yup, and brogue shoes – yup. I was so intent on looking at him for my stereotype bingo card, that I almost barged into a young girl coming the other way. She moved out of my way and I did say thank you, well I wheezed thank you as I was at about 7.5km at this point.

The people were thinning out now, as I am aiming towards Bishopsgate and the City, the tower blocks loom and I run past Liverpool Street Station, with throngs of people leaving there and queueing for buses and couches; a tangle of limbs and luggage. I turn off to Threadneedle Street which is nice and quiet, past Royal Exchange and Lothbury and towards Basinghall Street and home. My 10km warning comes up close to home, so I continue just that bit further, but to be honest I am tired and now running like Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques. When that running style happens, I know it’s time to quit, so I push the pause and hold button on Map My Run and that does at least work.

I was musing as I ran about my upcoming divorce from Map My Run, and wondered which religion it was that permitted you to divorce by saying ‘ I divorce thee’ three times. It is in the Islam faith, although a triple ‘talaq’ does not actually confer the right of divorce. There’s a time gap of one month between the saying of the words and also a requirement that the couple seek counselling and try to come to an amicable reconciliation before pursuing the finalisation of divorce.  Following that logic, that means me and Map My Run have to have another couple of reconciliation attempts, before I give in. I wonder if Mr JCR has some spare time for the next phase of R.E.L.A.T.E.?

I whimper as I think of yet more techy stuff to be done, but lucky me – Mr JCR is a whizz with this so I am sure we will get there. And the reason why this is important to me – this year I commit to running for Alzheimer’s and am challenging myself to run 2018 kms  in 2018 and fund raise. More of that to come later, once I’ve set up my fund raising site etc. That means doubling my rate of kms and the first week of January I am already 27kms down…. much work to be done JCR!

Playlist

Mony Mony – Billy Idol

Girls & Boys – Blur

Tracy Jacks – ditto

Parklife – ditto

Born To Run – The Boss

Hungry Heart – ditto

Dancing In The Dark – ditto

Born In The USA – ditto

Glory Days – ditto

Let’s Stick Together – Bryan Ferry

Tokyo Joe – Bryan Ferry

Mulder and Scully – Catatonia

Fuck You – Cee Lo Green

London Calling – The Clash

Rock The Cashbah – ditto

Let’s Spend The Night Together – David Bowie

The Jean Genie – ditto

Dreaming Of Me – Depeche Mode

(It seems my playlist played alphabetically – hey ho, but it did say the music was playing for 1 hour 5 minutes and 56 seconds which is probably accurate for my timing)

Stats

Distance 10.35km (I do hope so but the MMR running route isn’t quite right)

Time 52.08 minutes (I think the 1 hour 5 minutes 56, is true here)

Average Pace 5.02 mins/km (if the music list time is correct, then my pace was 6 mins 22.2 per kilometre which seems more accurate)

Stereotype Bingo – 1 for the Hoxton Hipster

Squats 3 x 15 reps

Alzheimer’s  Km Tracking

10.35km done

2007.65 km to go

And I should have done 37km by now – January is going to be tough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 December – Up Speed or Deeps Pu?

I had committed to run today, to make up for a lovely indulgent week with friends N&A.  Of course, I made that commitment before having checked the weather.

We didn’t have two feet of snow in London, but we did have a considerable amount of frost and ice. As a street pounder when I am in London, it’s not awfully convenient to get to a park for a nice run. And to be honest, the thought of getting a tube to Regents Park for a run didn’t appeal, given I’d get really cold on the cool-down.

So bright spark that I was, I thought I’d do the Couch To 5K Speed Programme today instead and do it on the Barbican Highwalk. This is an interval training programme designed to help you work faster and harder at your running, increasing your speed and calorie consumption.

After a morning/lunch time/early afternoon of Faffolino visiting at my behest, which went pretty much like this:-

Cup of tea to wake up properly – of course Faffolino, why hadn’t I thought of that?

Sort out the laundry – oh it definitely needs doing, before I can run.

Cup of coffee and breakfast – sure can’t run on an empty stomach (in fact I can and do and prefer to)

Walk up to the fish shop – definitely necessary – a good protein source for today’s run

Grocery shopping – woman cannot live on salmon alone…

Do the ironing – well we have a visitor coming, so it’s better to get it done

Sew on a press-stud onto a summer shirt – self evidently a critical task

I was just about to eye up another ‘must do’ task, of wrapping up two last minute Christmas presents, when Mr JCR interjected ‘I thought you were going for a run, after you’d done the ironing?’. BUGGER, my prevarication had been sussed, so I somewhat reluctantly got changed into my kit. And as ever, my resolve always comes back when I am in kit.

A stroll to the Barbican Highwalk, with my runners buff up by my nose, hat on, double layer of gloves, including the amazing LED finger gloves above. Then Laura started all friendly…. but I know she’s a mean son of a gun. I’m all for girl power, but daughter of a gun, doesn’t sound the same.

Walk for 5 minutes on the 1,2,3,4 beat, which is fine whilst she’s counting, but when it comes to me and my counting, well I go a little awry and I use the 5 minutes to check out my running route – around the mini duck pond. No ducks but rather a lot of duck poo. There are some little patches of ice, so I note their whereabouts and carry on. 5 minutes warm up walk done – by this stage according to Laura my muscles should be nicely warm …mmm, I’m not so sure. It’s flipping freezing and my legs feel a bit leaden, but here we go.

Number One interval – 5 minutes of warm up running to a 150 bpm pace, apparently you can still count it on 1,2,3,4 they are just faster 1,2,3,4s. Well done JCR, you did that one – ah yes I’d forgotten, that’s just the warm up run. Ho hum, okay now Laura ups the ante, still the 1,2,3,4 count; only a heck of a lot faster at 165bpm. My little legs are going like pistons, but I am pleased I get it done…

Then my ‘comfortable’ pace run (according to Laura) but she can’t see my face or hear my breathing…, at which point I come up with a better pacing mechanism than the boring 1,2,3,4 count. I find I can run at the right pace whilst rasping ‘I hate Lau -Ra’ – it isn’t anything personal you understand, but these interval runs are crappy, necessary but crappy. Followed up by the sprint, it is too fast for me to curse at Laura, I content myself with wheezing a generic ‘F..k,  F..k, F..kety, F..k’

Comfortable Pace Run 3 to 6 –  four x sixty seconds of I hate Lau-Ra, which frankly on   the last one, was bloody uncomfortable, with a knee twingeing away.

Sprints 3 to 6 –  it has to be said the pace dropped somewhat, from my initial enthusiastic F..k, F..k, F..kety, F..k, to a more sedate F..k, F..kety, F..k, – I dropped a F..k, as my speed slowed.

What did I learn today?

  1. I have to do interval training to up my speed, so these training runs have to be done
  2. I really need to use Laura for something else other than speed training, as I am not sure she deserves the abuse
  3. My timing and coordination is shocking
  4. Prevarication serves no useful purpose whatsoever, and it’s much better just to go and run
  5. I had hoped to Up Speed, but it was really hard work and at the end I was in the reverse ‘deep spu’ and ended up with a slightly twangy knee and a stitch

In summary, Laura and I are probably going to have to keep dating, but Mr Smooth please, please can you come up with a programme that I like, or is that impossible?

Face Colour -Monarch Red

Playlist

Nothing – just the bizarre running beat that Laura and Audiofuel recommend – I hate it!

Stats

Distance – 3.75km including the warm up and down walks

Time 26.32 mins

Pace 7.04 mins/km (including walk elements)

Squats 3 X 15 sets of reps.

 

 

 

 

New Banksy in Town – 12 November

IMG_0956.jpg

It is Armistice Sunday and about 8amish, Mr JCR is in a tailspin, this time he was re-enacting the opening scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral, he had set his alarm to get up and out for a ride, meeting his fellow cyclists at a park in North London. It seems there was a technical failure between his head and the phone, and thus no alarm. Lots of frantic running around ensued, by a swift espresso (him) a kiss good bye (him to me) then a nice snuggle under the duvet (me). The great thing about being a runner is unless you’re on an organised gig, then you can just go out when you choose. So I chose not to get up, but snuggle down and read the C25K Forum posts, because lots of plucky folk are doing the poppy runs today.

One mug of tea later, I finally surfaced and started getting out the running layers, we’d been warned today was going to be colder, so I tiptoed onto the balcony (please don’t get any ideas of grandeur here, it’s all of about 2 feet wide…) in my jammies, and yup it’s brass monkey weather.

I had set myself a goal of doing my third 10K run today, but yesterday whilst walking I could feel my right hamstring pulling a bit, so was unsure if I’d be okay. Still nothing ventured…

Appropriately dressed like a ninja, all black with just a hint of fluoro today, I donned my sexy Saucony’s and gasped as the air cut through. I was glad of my hat and gloves, started my warm off walk towards the City. I love running through the City at the weekend, because it’s usually so quiet compared to during the week and it’s like a secret place, where not many folk venture. But of course today is different, I passed many roadblocks and policemen with sub-machine guns, but far more encouragingly loads and loads of folk wearing their poppies with pride, some formally dressed in overcoats, shirts and ties, some with medals, some not. It wasn’t quite the sea of poppies that the Tower of London had a couple of years back, but still a lovely sight.

I ran towards the Tower and it was very very busy, so I hightailed it back to the City, after needing to strip off the jacket, hat and gloves as I was getting a bit warm. Running along Tower Hill, ‘fag ash Lil’ as she shall be known,  turned around from admiring the Trinity Square Gardens and tipped her fag ash over my leg, as I was running past. She did look somewhat sheepish afterwards and on a positive note at least she didn’t try to stub it out on me.

I continued back to the City, along Eastcheap – even more policemen, more road blocks and more sub-machine guns. Did a quick whizz along Cannon Street and headed towards the Guildhall – from a distance it had many flags hanging in the courtyard and barriers around. So I asked  a very nice young policeman if it was okay to run there, and he said yes there was no activity there today. It certainly is true when policemen all look young, you know you’re old….

At this point, it suddenly occurred to me that actually rather than just do the 10k today, I should try and do 11K, before 11am. My own mini tribute. I continued on into the City, past my old office no problem at all, past the Modern Pantry restaurant – much harder! – they do mean cocktails for Sunday mornings, and I have to say a cocktail would have been very welcome at that point. Continued up and past Moorfields Eye Hospital and up the City Road, coming in the opposite direction a sassy dude. We ‘met’ at a road junction and just as The Supremes were starting Nathan Jones, he crossed the road by doing a pirouette in the middle – obviously a Strictly fan!

Up to Angel Islington, and back down St John Street – I passed a few fellow runners here, some nods and smiles and I continued on towards Smithfield Market, overtaking a Liam Gallagher lookalike. Running through the ‘Top Gear’ tunnel, I noticed that loads of folk were taking selfies in front of the newest Banksy – it appeared I think on Friday night. This one is painted on acetate, so maybe he’s making them portable now? Just after hitting the 10k mark, I did  a wider loop to finish at our local coffee shop ‘Fix’ in Whitecross Street and at about 10.50am on Armistice Sunday, I clocked 11.11km – spooky!

Well done to all the poppy runners today, I promise to be in your number next year.

Playlist

Andy, You’re A Star – The Killers

Ben – Michael Jackson

Clint Eastwood – Gorillaz

It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls

Denis – Blondie

Goodbye Earl – Dixie Chicks

Frankie –  Sister Sledge

Geno – Dexys Midnight Runners

Diary of Horace Wimp – ELO

Ivan Meets GI Joe – The Clash

Jackie Wilson Said – Dexys Midnight Runners

Song for Keith – Mike Strickland

Louie Louie – The Kingsmen

Mickey – Toni Basil

Nathan Jones – The Supremes

Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello

Peter Gunn Theme – The Blues Brothers

The Mighty Quinn – Manfred Mann

Rudy – Supertramp

Girls and Boys – Blur

Telegram Sam – T Rex

Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top

Stats

Time 1.12.55

Distance 11.11km

Average Pace 6.33 (min/km)

Fastest Split 6.04

Squats – 3 x 15 sets of reps

Poppies – too many to count, but enough to appreciate

 

Dodging Human Road Blocks – 11 November

IMG_0951Yesterday, I was supposed to run, but I wantonly ignored Mr Smooth’s date invitation and instead ‘treated’ myself to a day in London’s West End, to do a bit of Christmas Shopping. I had totally forgotten what a complete and utter fart it is to get around London – having taken the tube to Great Portland Street, my first human road block encountered was ‘selfish mum with pram’.

Before hundreds of mums rush to roar (unlikely this is not mumsnet), there was a reason why I tag this lady as ‘selfish’ she was pushing the pram on the pavement/sidewalk, and it was one of those larger buggy types, but she was pushing it in what I can only describe as side-saddle walking. She wasn’t behind the buggy in-line, she was taking up two person width on the pavement, as she pushed her buggy from the side of it. We don’t have the benefit of sweeping boulevards and generous pavements in dear old medieval street plan London, so I admit to snarling at her, as I sidestepped into the road. Grrrr.

Calm restored, I walked towards Harley Street en-route to Marylebone High Street, this is one of the more civilised shopping streets, nowhere near as big as its cousins Oxford and Regent Streets, so a lot easier to get around. I hunted down my quarry in fact quarries. I was shopping posh – Lululemon and Sweaty Betty, here I come for sassy, sexy running tops and jazzy leggings.

Aha slight problem, Lulelemon’s stuff is all rather classy shades of nothing, murky blue nothing, murky dark grey nothing and murky light grey nothing. I wanted bright, I needed fluoro. Clearly I am not the murky type – me and Lululemon parted company, still on friendly terms but no way BFF terms. Next stop Sweaty Betty, I had seen on the web a rather nice tangerine hoodie, but I did want to see it for real rather than a photo. So in I popped to SB… mmm murky nothingness is evidently the look for City based runners, no sign of the tangerine, closest we got was a rather sombre teal coloured top. Something else they called a tiger pattern, but it was a bit too much like Kelloggs Frosties for me, so I shuffled out of there too…

In a shuffling mode, I then met my next human road block, only this time it was two women chatting away merrily. I was behind them and they uncannily managed to move exactly the direction I wanted to take to pass them. I didn’t growl because it was quite funny, acting as their shadow I moved to the right and so did they, I then tried the left and they shifted back to the left. In the end I road-surfed for overtaking purposes.

Finally, in another shop (who have a running clothing range collaboration with New Balance) I was walking up the stairs to get to the range and hit another human roadblock coming down the stairs. We both mirrored each others’ moves and did a daft dance on the stairs and laughed – then she said ‘I love your coat, it’s beautiful’. Even though I can be a very stroppy cow at times, I would have to be a monster to be tetchy with a lady who said that…

On to today’s run, I had decided just a cheeky 5k, as I am going to go for the magic 10k on Sunday. I am trying to improve my 5k times, but it does seem that I can’t sustain a sub 6 minutes km, still a run is a run is a run. Out on my warm up walk towards the City, listening to Elvis Costello and his Angel wanting to wear red shoes, I realised I hadn’t actually started Map My Run – I have a love/hate relationship with the app. I really dislike the mechanical voice lady who prompts you to start your exercise and then tells you your times. I love the way it integrates with my iphone playlists and music library, but hate the way it won’t integrate to Spotify, so I have to listen to my Spotify playlists sequentially to recall all the music. And the music is an important distraction for me, otherwise I get caught up in times and distances.

Today I can’t blame MMR, it was my own Stupid Tart Syndrome hitting again! Ho hum, after restarting I went on my merry way to the world famous Silicon Roundabout – the throbbing hub of the UK technology scene! It is just a roundabout, with lots of coffee shops and young people carrying Apple tech with them. Having been to Silicon Valley many times, this roundabout is going to have to grow some to be a competitor. I ran past Moorfields eye hospital, along the City Road and up towards Angel Islington. Pavements were a little greasy and I was glad I was wearing my grippier Brooks Defyance today, although they did get splotted by some water from a puddle I misjudged. Ugh, wet feet running – not my favourite pastime. A much fitter runner coming towards me and in shorts – blimey he was brave.

Then from Angel Islington, back towards old friendly territory, down St Johns Street, I hook a right turn onto Clerkenwell Road, skipping through quite a few up/down ramps, scaffolding poles etc., as there’s quite a lot of development going on here. Took a left to Turnmill Street, passed the old site of the So Solid Crew Shooting, to Cow Cross Street and along Smithfield to Farringdon Road, which changes its name to Farringdon Street when it hits the City of London. On the homebound streak now, on Queen Victoria Street heading towards St Pauls and I hit 5.5km. That’s enough for today, so I unplug and walk merrily home. And I notice that whilst yesterday I was dodging human road blocks, that today not one, no dodging, cursing or laughing necessary. That’s probably a record.

Playlist

The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes  – Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Purple Rain – His Royal Highness the Purple One

Blue Monday 88 – New Order

Golden Brown – The Stranglers

Golden Years – David Bowie

Raspberry Beret – His Royal Highness the Purple One

Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis

White Wedding – Billy Idol

Cream – His Royal Highness the Purple One

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Being Beige – Smashing Pumpkins

Brown Sugar – D’Angelo

Forever in Blue Jeans – Neil Diamond

Yellow Submarine – The Beatles

Stats

Distance 5.5km

Time 34.11

Average Pace 6.12 mins/km

Fastest Km 5.34mins

Human Roadblocks – Thursday 3 – Friday 0

Squats – 3x sets of  15 reps

Running Naked In The Forest – 2nd November

 

It was Halloween and we arrived at our friends’ house in Arnhem, we placed the two eyeballs on the front porch and rang the doorbell…. may I remind you that we are in fact slightly older than the normal 8 year old trick and treater.

We hid around the corner, heard the door open and I am sure our friend J called us wankers… Undeterred Mr JCR rang the bell again and we had to explain that there were two eyeballs on the ground. Epic fail on trick or treating – I think now we need to grow up a little. Then followed a very nice evening, food eaten, drinks drunk, and plans made for the next few days.

Next morning, I am not so quite bright and beautiful, nor early, but that was normal, we had travelled many miles and had a late night. Up and out to Arnhem, to do some runner shopping. In fact two pairs of trainers, two running tops, socks and pair of thermal running tights later, we returned to our friends for lunch and another glorious dinner with wine and cheese and wine and cake and so on. Also a small matter of meeting the PR lady from the ALS association in Holland to discuss our 2020 fund raising plan. More of that on a dedicated post another time…, as it warrants a lot of explanation and its own airtime.

So this morning, after having asked the Health Unlocked crew which trainers I should try for my run, it was a unanimous vote for the marine blue and citron Saucony.

Our friend G very kindly showed me where to run, as I am notorious for having little/no sense of direction. It all looked fine, I wanted to run for about 5k to run in the new trainers and be careful because of recent stupid tart syndrome injuries. The marine blue flashed in the sunlight and I ran down the tree lined avenue into a glorious parkland, met by many dog walkers, some walkers and  couple of cyclists. I did have a small flash of worry when I saw a lone man walking towards me with his dog, but when he got closer I reckoned I could outrun him anyway. Poor man, he had no idea that when he was out walking his pooch, a random English runner was looking at him sizing him up to see if she could outrun him in the case of him attacking her. The run was slow, getting used to new trainers and  trail terrain meant I didn’t feel very confident to belt along, but it was a lovely day, my trainers were fine and as you see the view of the trail was fantastic. The Boss chimed up “ I took a wrong turn and I just kept going” which was what I did next. My scheduled run route was supposed to be at a close but I was nowhere near my target 5k so I kept going until I hit 6, in my sexy Sauconys.

I got home and relayed my run to our friend G who said it was a great place to run especially for single females as it’s  very safe. So I felt really happy, then G follows it up with “ but there was one time when J (his wife) was running and thought she saw a naked man in the forest. It was summer, she blinked and looked again and sure enough it was a naked man. So she turned and ran away as fast as she could”. That surely is a way of getting a PB!

I had always read a lot about naked running, but I thought it meant running without music or any distractions, now I know it means (in Holland) that you truly run butt-naked…

Playlist

Map My Run didn’t record, but definitely

Thriller – Michael Jackson

Hungry Heart – The Boss

Lose Yourself – Eminem

Stats

Distance 6.87km but only 6 running

Time 54.27

Average Pace 7.55 mins/km

Naked Men – none.