Reaching for the Sky


Okay JCR – today is the last run of Week 3 on C25K, now we start upping the ante.

But of course, I have to take it slowly and whilst I may want to reach for the sky metaphorically and take things apace, I mustn’t. And so I keep my feet firmly planted on the ground and grind out the run. It’s not too strenuous an effort, but my hip twinges and despite the weird physio routine, things aren’t loosening up. But I feel the routine coming back to me and the desire to start overtaking, which in the days of social distancing I don’t do, unless I can steer a very wide berth.

Whilst I’m sure I’m healthy and not full of Coronavirus, I don’t know for sure that I’m not one of those superspreaders who are asymptomatic. What I do know is I’m rapidly becoming a super fridge opener – one of the downsides of being confined to barracks with one living space and a fridge that whispers sweet nothings all through the day…

Yesterday I ignored the two slices of cheesecake in the fridge and gnawed on two sticks of celery instead. It has to be said I felt virtuous, until we hit the crisps later on.

After a healthyish light breakfast I set out, for my final Week 3 run, Mr Smooth caressing the airwaves with enthusiasm and encouragement. Listening to my famous names play list, I was running to Norman Bates by Landscape, when I spotted the people in the pic. It’s 24 degrees and she was wearing a fake fur jacket, blimey I don’t know how she managed it. I was in shorts and a running vest and that was warm, I think I would have melted into a puddle if I’d been wearing that jacket.

The City was quiet as usual and the pace was nice and easy. Finding shade also not too bad, as with all the skyscrapers invariably one can find a shady spot.

The run/walk intervals make it easy to keep a nice slow steady pace, and Mr Smooth tells me not to bounce as it wastes energy – with my new camouflage front loader, there’s absolutely no wobble going on. But it did prove to be a strength test first thing, me versus lycra and elastic combination in the frontloader, and I’ve pulled a muscle in my right arm, so the bra did bite back.

On my warm down walk, I came across the crane in South Place, opposite my old office and marvelled at the precision of the crane driver, he was moving stuff to the top storey and it was like engineering ballet. Fair play to him and his workmates – they were all socially distancing. With him about 100 feet in the air, it was a bit easier for him than them.

That’s nine runs done and for anyone wondering, it’s becoming mildly addictive again. The usual post-run physio beckoned.

Next week with the run intervals increasing, I think I have to up the reps on my physio routine. Oh joy, I feel a plonker doing it anyway, but needs must.

  • Pelvic Thrusting a la Rocky Horror
  • Hip Flexor Thingies – involving a leg weight and velcro
  • Clams
  • Squatting
  • Bridges – pelvic thrusts without the thrusting
  • Constipated crab walking
  • Touching toes – well I got closer to them today – enough to see my nail varnish needs tidying up


3.8km run/walk

1 fur jacket seen

I crane in the sky


Famous Names Playlist



And the BRAFTA* goes to…

And the BRAFTA* goes to...

*That is the Bra, Running and Fitness Training Award

Our Host for this prestigious ceremony was to have been Stephen Fry, as he hosts almost everything, but he politely reclined the offer as my dad’s old secretary used to say. As he couldn’t make it, you have me as judge and jury, following on from last week’s nomination process.

The awards being given today are:-

Best Supporting Act

Most Promising Debut from a Newcomer

Uns(l)ung Hero Award

Best Technical Instruction Screenplay

Outstanding Individual Contribution

The first of our BRAFTAs for MostPromisingDebutfromaNewcomer.

Nominees are:-

Booband nominated by Sweatyfaced

One Size Smaller Swimming Costume Overlay – nominated by nikkiwabit

And the winner is Booband for having a great name, although no-one is as yet brave enough to try it

The Uns(l)ung Hero Award

Recognises those bras that have done sterling service, but may now be a little grey and tired, and not first choice.

Nominees are:-

HeleneCorsa – the unknown, no label, bunged in a drawer

Runningraspberrydiva – White, wrong sized, does the job

SuzyKK – for the grey Jockey bought in Florida

mfamilias – for the grainy white, maternity ward flopper stopper, now ‘back of the cupboard’

And the winner is, mfamilias for the imperiously named flopper stopper

Best Technical Instruction Screenplay

Both bra-ing and de-bra -ing are highly skilled tasks. This award recognises those who have provided useful terminology to aid in these complex and time-consuming manoeuvres

Nominees are:-

JaySeeSkinny for the new technique called ‘de-sausaging’

icklegui for identifying the new ailment ‘mono-boob’

antet for the aesthetic horror of ‘redistribution of rolls’

Helene Corsa for describing the problems of front loaders, as ‘mid-run jailbreak’

slinky-malinki for ‘Houdini out of a straitjacket’

MFamilias for describing ‘frozen nipple syndrome’

Whilst hotly contested, the winner has to be JaySeeSkinny with ‘de-sausaging’

Outstanding Individual Contribution

The BRAFTA committee recognise that this ceremony could not have occurred without some sterling efforts on behalf of the bra buying public. This award recognises those who went above and beyond the call of duty in their efforts.

Helene Corsa – for changing room shenanigans, almost resulting in a bra cut off scenario at home

JaySeeSkinny – for de-sausaging with one finger

roseabi – for bra pad removal from the Amazon and re-homing in Primark

Icklegui – for seemingly having tried all bras on the market, but especially for the real-time road test of The Freya

helenwheels – who is now using the scorecard for all elements of her life including children, friends….

And the winner is Icklegui, for not letting any sports bra go unchecked!

And finally ladies, the prestigious award, for the Best Supporting Act

The nominees using the scoring model are:-

Jockey with 87% satisfaction score

Freya with 78%

and Adidas CMMTTD Chill with 80%

Those without:-

M&S – 7 votes

Shock Absorber – 10

Panache – 3

Freya – 2

Purely on numbers voted the Shock Absorber takes the award

I’d like to close the award ceremony with heartfelt thanks to all participants in this year’s BRAFTA awards. Ladies feel free to download the highly expensive, exclusive BRAFTA trophy pic.

Originally posted on Health Unlocked 7 September 2017

Post Script:

Some C25Kers missed the cut off date for voting and there was a suggestion that we ought to extend the concept to Knickers, so we could include men in the voting. But  then there was a horrid suggestion about commando running….eeeuugghh…

Plus, the original AtoE Cup Challenge failed to include a category of fitness, so the A to E Cup Challenge is now officially re-named as A to F Cup, and a new spreadsheet for those wishing to re-score their undies drawer is available

For those in any doubt that this was a necessary challenge, go take a look here..

Frightening Figures of Eight

My cups runneth over… A to F Cup Challenge

After the recent A to E Cup Challenge, lots of C25K women suggested that a critical  part of bra evaluation had been missed off the highly scientific excel scoring method.

So, to redress the balance and to make sure all sports bras are properly scored, we have added a new category.

F for Fit

No, this doesn’t mean whether you can run a marathon or not. It asks the question does the bra actually fit you? Many of us complain, about the under or over boob bulge. Shoulder straps too short so you look as though you have no neck, or too long giving you boobs hanging around at waist level.

The  ‘fit’ scoring model is as follows:-

1 – Surgery is going to be costly, shoulders need to drop/raise/be removed. Rib cage in the wrong place.

2 – Who doesn’t like having 5 boobs, or alternatively just the mono boob?

3 – Okay if I lean like the Tower of Pisa, or don’t have to alter just one strap by 6 cm.

4 – No bulges, no gaps, no under boob, no chafing, no problems

5 – The Savile Row of bras, everything in place, regardless of running pace

The new xls spreadsheet will be loaded onto the A to E Cup Challenge.

Award winners and trophy to be loaded Sunday.


Take The A to E Sports Bra Challenge

Week 2 of my new found graddydom, as the rain splattered (hallelujah rain) I was thinking about running kit, as Mr JCR is a cyclist and he has oodles of stuff. What’s the minimum critical equipment you have to have to run?

First off proper fitting trainers – yup got them 2 years ago the last time I ran, so no problem there.

Decent sports socks so your tender feet don’t shred under the new regime. Yup got them too.

Tops and Bottoms – you don’t have to have the fancy stuff to start, but you develop a fondness for terms such as wicking.

And finally for us wimmin – Sports Bras. Now, yes I’ve got a rather motley collection after all these failed attempts at getting fit, but in fairness I don’t think I’ve got the right ones.

In a fake science sort of way I have created my own A2E Cup Sports Bra Challenge Table, where I give a score between 1-5 against five criteria. This is to see which, if any, of my bras pass muster. As befits a Bra Review, the scoring criteria are designated by cup size in ascending order, with a description of each score and its meaning to help you think about your fundamentals.

A Cup for Appearance

A surgical looking compression garment, is hardly likely to encourage you to run, but then we don’t want Ann Summers either

Score as follows:-

1= Fugly or Utterly Inappropriate

2= Ugly

3= Meh

4= Niice

5= I want to run with this on now and I could wear it out socially, surely

B Cup for Bounce

A sports bra is only any good if it controls the bounce. Bouncing can cause black eyes. Most of us need more support than Kate Moss, otherwise irreversible damage to your Cooper’s ligaments ensues.

Score as follows:

1= Whoa calm that bouncing down, there’s a roller coaster of flesh on the move

2= I wouldn’t want to be balancing anything on here, right now

3= Occasional Jiggle

4= Firm, But Fair

5= Solid, solid as a rock baby

C Cup for Cleanability

Is it easy to wash? Does it have to be hand washed in pure mountain dew by the light of the moon?

Score as follows:

1= Dry Clean only or Mountain Dew preferred

2=Needs its own detergent, washing bowl and private space on the washing line

3= Prefers a hand wash, but occasional visits to a machine with ordinary clothing tolerated

4= Washing machine is fine but bagged and with like-minded clothing

5= Just bung me in, I don’t care

D Cup for Dextrousness

Do you need someone to help you in it/out of it? Does it twang like a bungee when you try and roll it up/down when sweaty? Do you look like you are wearing a climber’s harness, with clasps, cleats and carabiners?

Score as follows:

1= Requires a lady’s maid or cabin crew, to get you in and 10 minutes free time

2= Good job in a previous life you were a contortionist

3= Bit of bending required, it counts as pre-run stretching

4= Just like a normal bra, hook from the back or I hook swoosh it to the front

5= Front loading bliss

E Cup for Expense

Running is supposed to be a cheap sport, so if it costs too much that’s not good, as it will put me off buying one.

Score as follows:

1=You’ve got to be joking, that’s a handbag, a pair of shoes and a bottle of vino

2= Gulp, would a years’ supply of surgical bandage be cheaper

3= Mmm okay, still leaves some cash for a sweatband

4= Bargain Basement – that’s the pub for lunch then

5= How cheap?!?, better buy 2

So here’s how mine stack up:-

Winner is Berlei Shock Absorber with 18/25

2nd is Sweaty Betty, although there is weird pouchy thing going on, that I’m really not sure about

My 2 Adidas and New Look bras are on the ‘to bin’ list as 60% at 15/25 isn’t a good enough score

So ladies over to you – how do yours score?

p.s. Just done my 3rd 5k run…