Running with Foxes – 28 September

The alarm has gone, the date invitation from Mr Smooth well and truly received. Mr JCR up and out and JCR still in bed, pondering on the loveliness of duvets. With the sun streaming through the window;  and I think to myself what a wonderful world (thanks Louis) but clearly this laziness can’t continue, no matter how lovely the duvet is, so up I get.

I have chosen a rather fetching (father retching if spoonered) outfit combo of fluoro yellow top and blue orange diamond running shorts. I am now ready to face anything, specifically the first of a structured training plan to get me to 10K in distance again. I have done it before ( a couple of years back) but realised my runs were all downhill…

I didn’t really like the look of the app suggestion on the Couch to 5K site, so decided to go off piste and buy the Ease into 10K App, which is a 10 week plan. I am now 5 weeks post graduation of the C25K plan and on Tuesday ran 7.01km. Using this as a benchmark I thought I could safely start on Week 5 of this new App for 10K. This is  a 5 minute warm up and warm down walk with 9 minutes running and 1 minute walking intervals for a total of 4 times.

Off I pop, warm down walk past the barking balcony house and start my running on the Hill that Kills, into Lovers’ Lane again no Albino or Anouska but I am later this morning, but I do see a silver fox walking towards me – not exactly Richard Gere, in fact he looks like a cross between Only Fools and Horses’ Uncle Albert, with a touch of ZZ Top thrown in. He does however nod and say buongiorno, do my usual loop back to the Hill that Kills, and turn and run up the Slope of Hope. I have to say gasping for breath, which is quite unusual for me, maybe it is the interval training having an effect?

Towards the peak I see another silver fox, this time more reminiscent of David Gower. He too is wearing a fluoro top – clearly he heard the hunters’ gunshots this morning too and like me didn’t want to be a trophy. At this stage I am glorying in runners’ smugness because I am running up-hill and he is running down. Noting I had completely ignored the fact that he must have run up a hill to be running down it…, at that point the halo of smugness slipped and strangled me, as the nasty American prompt on the running app shouted at me to walk.

Anyway having being told to walk, I did and in that instant I did that thing I keep doing when walking as a runner. I briskly upped my pace moved my arms in a business-like manner and arranged my face into a ‘this is a training plan and I am walking because I have to’ expression. I don’t know if he got all of that out of my body language – he just smiled, said ciao and carried on.

What is it about Americans and the use of the imperative tense? * A please would go an awful long way… After Mr Ciao was out of view, the American shouted at me to run again, so I carried on into Mill Lane and back up Lovers’ Lane, to see my third silver fox – well there was a glimpse of white hair from under his backward facing baseball cap, really a backward facing baseball cap in a country lane in Le Marche? Bizarre -not much of a hip-hop scene here, I have to tell you.

I overtook him but he was walking so don’t get carried away by thoughts of me motoring past, I plodded and carried on. This new American man in my life kept on interrupting me with useless information like it has  been 4.39 km now. I am not liking this app at all and frankly returning to intervals is messing up my tempo, it seems to take a long time to rev up after the walking intervals.

I take the usual loop to Lovers’ Lane once more, the Hill that Kills and turn down towards the Bendy Scary Road. I keep going even after the American has told me to stop and ‘WARM DOWN NOW!’, I really don’t like him and besides which on this plan I have only actually wun 6.3km which is .8km less than my total run on Sunday. Being utterly bloody minded I continue until I hit Cavendish Hill and manage a few metres up it and finish on a total of 8.32km, which I think means I probably ran for about 7.5km.

So the usual summary…. hate the app, dislike intensely the imperative tense, could happily murder shouty American prompt, oh and the app doesn’t have a mapping capability, so I don’t have a route map, nor do I have the elevation stats. And to add insult to injury it doesn’t record the playlist either.

So I have a countdown type conundrum, do I do my own thing as previously, or continue with the new shouty app? Or something else?

Oh and I forgot to do my squats yesterday too…

Face Colour Monarch

* Some Americans not all, I can’t damn a whole nation…


I can remember, London Grammar, Depeche Mode, The Killer, The Boss, Landscape, Radiohead, Ultravox….


Distance 8.32km

Time 1.02.04

Average Pace 7.27 mins/km