23 Aug – Swiping Right For Mr Smooth

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About 14 months ago, in fact 1 year 9 weeks ago to be precise, I realised my life quality needed to change. As a woman of a certain age, I needed to take some action; thus was drawn to Tinder. I know the app has a reputation for casual hook ups, but this was going to be different. I’d joined the C25K group and was looking at their dating app, to see who I fancied. Now there was an eclectic mix of dates available to me:-

Sanjeev Kohli – Sorry Sanjeev I had no idea who you were and if I was going to hook up with someone, I had to know something about them and despite looking at your wiki page, I was none the wiser

Sarah Millican – love her accent and jokes, just not sure she and I would have the right chemistry, and to be frank I’m not sure she has ever done what I was about to

Jo Whiley – achingly cool, tall, slender, blonde, fit, sexy voice – I’ve never been/had any of those attributes, so somehow we weren’t destined to date

Michel Johnson – okay, tall, dark, handsome, fit, credible, Olympic gold medallist, world record holder. What’s not to like? Oh and a voice that could coax blood out of a stone – I was sold. Mr Smooth it was.

The Tinder in question was the NHS Couch to 5k app, which takes you from the couch to running for 30 minutes/5km non stop in/around a nine week timeframe. Why so much attention on choosing my running coach? Well to be frank, I can be both bloodyminded and incredibly flaky at the same time, so if I was going to make a commitment to running, it had to be with someone I wanted to be with and that someone had to have credibility. And that was why I chose Mr Smooth, because as much as I love Sarah Millican’s humour, I couldn’t see me training hard alongside a lass who loves her chips and biscuits a little more than she likes exercise.

Thus started a 9 and half weeks affair, with the dashing Mr Smooth. It should have been just nine weeks, but I had to repeat a failed run, so it took just a touch longer, but 9 and a half weeks was the name of a very steamy film I recall, and it seems apt that my affair with Mr Smooth lasted that distance. Especially so, as we got together in one of the hottest summers in Italy’s history – with the Lucifero heatwave being an unwelcome ’three in a bed’ alongside me and Mr Smooth.

A year ago, yesterday my time with Mr Smooth came to an end, as I graduated the programme, having committed to him, that I would continue our affair, even if he wasn’t around. I made a promise to keep running at least 3 times a week, for no less than 30 minutes each time. How on earth was I going to keep that up, without my silken voiced coach egging me on? A combination of psychological kidology, treats, and habit, seemed to do the trick.

I sent myself ‘date invitations’ from Mr Smooth, which appeared 3 times a week, telling me to get out and run. I also got my running kit out the night before, in view of the bed, so there was no excuse not to see it. I take my running kit with me when on holiday.

I bought posh shower gel which I am only allowed to use if I have been running. I treated myself to new music downloads on iTunes, once my week’s running schedule had been met.

A year on, which of these still stick? Well the date invitation is still sent, but now I have the Alzheimer’s Challenge, the 3 x a week, is actually overridden by my new schedule. Similarly the running kit trick is used occasionally, but again the Alzheimer’s Challenge makes me get out anyway. Holiday running – yup that has happened, ask my long-suffering friends N&A who had their ‘cultural’ weekend in Granada, punctuated by the departure and arrival of a middle aged ball of sweat, at the apartment. Oh and they never signed up for the challenge…

The shower gel treat is still working – except now I only use it if I’ve met my target km for the run. The downloads have been superceded because of lack of storage space on my phone and the cost, which I was getting miffed about, so I create playlists on Spotify instead.

Overall I stuck with Mr Smooth through thick and thin, even though he told me a year ago, that our time was at an end and he’d enjoyed partnering me. In week 6 of the programme, Mr Smooth told me I was runner and I hope a year on, he’d agree that I am most definitely a runner, not a fast one, not a record breaking one, but a runner nonetheless, and so today in recognition of all he has done for me, we went running together again. Week 9, Run 3 on a repeat play.

Ooh, I’d forgotten just how delicious his voice is, he guided me through all the usual places, Slope of Hope, Mill Lane, Lovers’ Lane, The Hill That Kills, The Bendy, Scary Road, Fish Shop Corner, Bin Lane and All Roads Lead to Rome road – actually he didn’t manage all of them, because I no longer run just for 30 minutes or 5km, my runs are usually over an hour and over 10km.  I actually outlasted Mr Smooth!

And when he had said his final goodbye, I didn’t shed a tear, which would have been a bit too Hollywood, but I did allow myself a secret smile, because Mr Smooth, I kept at it, just like you knew I would. And yesterday, on my runniversary, the other Mr Smooth in my life (Mr JCR, with his shaved cyclist’s legs) took me out for a lovely lunch to celebrate our first date anniversary from 25 years ago.

There are two Mr Smooths in my life, to one I am a lover, the other I’m a wife. Let’s be honest JCR – Mr Smooth doesn’t even know you exist, and he’s got another 24 years of sticking around to do, to meet Mr JCR’s commitment…

Playlist

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – The Animals

I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles

Stand And Deliver – Adam And The Ants

Money – Flying Lizards

Dirty Harry – Gorillaz

Whatever It Takes – Imagine Dragons

Hippy Hippy Shake – Rockin’ Robin and The Blue Jays

Everybody’s Got To Learn Some Time – The Korgis

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

Crying In the Chapel – Sonny Til and The Orioles

Who Let the Dogs Out – Baha Men

Black Betty – Ram Jam

Crazy – Seal

Can You Dig It – The Mock Turtles

Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

For Your Love – The Yardbirds

Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor

Papas Got A Brand New Pigbag (twice) – Pigbag

S-S-S single Bed – Fox

Don’t Fear The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

5 Years Time – Noah And The Whale

I’m Free – The Soup Dragons

Stats

Distance 10.77km

Time 1:13:41

Average Pace 6:50

Elevation gain – 225 metres ( think that is wrong but the GPRS was awry again)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1409.30 (yes I’ve consigned the terrible 1300s to history)

Kms to Run 608.70

 

 

4 Feb – Taking Mr Smooth To See The Sights

 

It had been quite a while since me and Mr Smooth had hooked up, but as I had his date reminder, telling me to get my trainers on and run, I thought I’d take him for a day out today. I’d forgotten just how blissful Mr Smooth’s voice was, from telling me that I had done well and he was sure I could make it, to him suggesting a warm up walk would be in order. Lovely.

Today’s weather better than yesterday, now me and Mr Smooth were hunting red Monopoly squares:-

  1. Fleet Street
  2. The Strand
  3. Trafalgar Square

All of which are rather conveniently located in a line, from the east of the City to the prime West End. Heading towards south Smithfield Market, the traffic was backed up – this is really unusual on a Sunday morning. I made my way to Farringdon Road and yup all snarled up. Turning off into Fleet Street (yes one red square done and less than a km from home!), I passed the first of a number of Harry Potter afficianados.

Your first one is always the best and he had the hat, scarf, hoodie and bag. I’d seen the bags and hats and scarves previously, but not the hoodie, oh and of course it was in Gryffindor colours, which I’m guessing must out-sell the other houses by about 10 to 1.

Crossing Fleet Street aiming towards the Strand, another Gryffindor hat espied and an awful lot of barriers being erected down the length of the Strand. Took my pics of Simpsons on the Strand and the road sign and on I went.

Hitting Trafalgar Square where even more barriers were being erected and Magic FM were broadcasting. Ah yes, I had forgotten today is The Winter Run in aid of Cancer Research. I couldn’t get in this year when I found out about it, the entry spaces had gone unless you were bringing sponsorship, and with the Alzheimer’s Challenge I  already have on my plate, I decided I’d try and do the Winter Run next year. And behind the newly erected barriers, a street artist had chalked the Monopoly Board.

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Monopoly at Trafalgar

Feeling a bit embarrassed being a non Winter Run runner – it felt like being an unwanted guest at a wedding party,  so I slipped out of the back of Trafalgar Square, to avoid all the folks with their Winter Run bags.

Final Gryffindor clothing seen, a scarf in red and gold – not entirely sure it was official merchandise, but it was definitely house colours. Mr Smooth was telling me I had one minute left to have run solidly for 30 minutes. And although he gave me permission to walk, I hadn’t quite done 5km yet, so I continued.

I headed home towards Lincolns Inn Fields and passed the Sir John Soanes’ Museum, where the lady ticket seller, shouted encouragingly at me to keep going and not give up. I hope to goodness she didn’t think I was one of the Winter Run runners, although I didn’t see any sign of the run nearby.

Just on the 6km mark, I was headed back towards Smithfield and crossing a blocked road, when a little boy of about 6/7 said to his parents (also crossing) – ‘that lady is running very slowly’. Now he wasn’t lying, I was. But it is rather humiliating to have it pointed out so publicly – his mum told him to ssshhh. With my arsey Liverpudlian mood on, I felt sorely tempted to flick him the bird. But then common sense reasserted itself and I decided that running slowly will get me my challenge done. Sprinting like Usain won’t.  I did give him a mental V sign though… 😉

Slow running with Mr Smooth kept me going and we got all three red squares today.

Playlist

Temptation – Heaven 17

Electricity – OMD

Purple Rain – His Purple Highness

Temptation – Heaven 17

New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran

All She Wants Is – Ditto

Hungry Like The Wolf – Ditto

Planet Earth – Ditto

(there was something weird going on, because when I reached Trafalgar Square Magic Fm played Rio by Duran Duran, and this coincided with my ‘shuffled’ Duran Duran episode)

I Can’t Stand Up – Elvis Costello & The Attractions

Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera

Joan of Arc – OMD

Save a Prayer – Duran Duran

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Every Breath You Take – The Police

Stats

Distance 7.5 km

Time 54:08

Average Pace 7:13 (mins/km)

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Completed 153.53

Kms To Do 1864.47

Running Streak – Day 4

 

 

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

Shaking Off Elaine Paige – 7 November

My run invitation from Mr Smooth duly pinged on my phone (funnily enough I haven’t dated him in a long time) and this time I was awake when it arrived. Yesterday was a day of readjustment to London City life, after the slow, lazy and let’s be honest warm days of Italy, coming back to mucky, busy chilly London was always going to be tough.

Nonetheless I was prepared for this feeling and so all of my running kit was put ready and waiting; winking at me from the chest of drawers and coughing loudly each time I walked past it and didn’t stop to get changed. I think I had somewhat overestimated the level of cold though. Fleece lined running tights – check. Padded socks – check. Under layer with optional hood for cold weather – check. Running jacket  with interlining – check. Gloves – check. Neck buff – check. Now how about actually checking the weather? And not just by looking at the sky through the window, thinking ‘wow that looks cold’. Real live weather check revealed it was chilly but not neck buff weather.

Off I trotted, well walked mmm my internal thermometer obviously somewhat awry as the gloves came off before the warm-up walk was finished. Then I started my run – today was to be a cheeky 5km, after Saturday’s 10km. Now I do suffer from a number of syndromes, which make running hard. First of all, we have stupid tart syndrome, which is my ability to self injure through the most ridiculous actions – stepping off a non-slip shower tray anyone? No? – then how about missing a step in a bar, before you’ve actually had a drink? These two put me on the injury couch…doh.

Then there is my uncanny ability to invite faffolino into my life, just 5 minutes prior to doing a run. Faffolino is my prevarication weapon – thinking of cleaning the grout lines in the bathroom – yes why not do it just before a run, because that’s by far the best time to do it!

And finally, audience dahlingitis – this is when I am running and I feel the need to play to the gallery. Think Elaine Paige in all her stage-madame glory – that’s me when running in front of an audience (aka the rest of the world). I don’t sweep around with an entourage, or take endless curtain calls, but I do feel the need to ‘ham it up’ when running. In Italy I am not afflicted by this very often, because there is hardly anyone around to see me. London however, a different beast altogether. The warm up walk has to involve a screwed up intense looking face, combined with robotic jabbing arms, swinging up and down to indicate to the populus that this is serious walking, in fact warming up walking, and not ‘I am having a stroll’ walking.

Then we get onto the run itself, my speed seems to increase in direct proportion to the number of people around me – this is audience dahlingitis in action. Now that is a problem, because really I am a comfort runner not a speedy Gonzales runner. This morning the gloves were off literally and metaphorically, and I was running merrily to Alison By Elvis Costello (well the last bars, as he’d accompanied me on the warm up walk) and then Gloria by Laura Branigan came on. This, if you pardon the naming pun, is not a shrinking violet song and so I ran quite fast to give me my first km 6.05 mins. This is not great really, nor sustainable as I am still running anaerobically and I know I will pay for it later in the run. The second km comes up sub 6mins and the third sub 6 too. Ah yes at this point, the running gods extracted their payment – in the form of cramp in my right calf, and a curious leadweight feeling in my feet.

Any pretensions I now had of doing my very first 5k in 30 minutes, ran out of the door, and no amount of supportive audience numbers on the streets of London were going to bring it back. Not even the delivery driver who smartly sidestepped me and said ‘I’m sorry miss’. At 30 minutes 58 seconds I finished 5k. To make sure my adoring audience knew this was planned, I said (to no-one in particular) -‘oh good that’s nearly 30 minutes’.

Now I know I have to overcome audience dahlingitis, because clearly it’s a bizarre habit and I don’t do it in Italy, but this I think is till one of my fastest 5ks. So do I shake off Elaine Paige or not? And was my choice of running material a help? I’ve just created a new playlist, all based around lady’s names, with a few choice ‘anthemic’ songs too, and maybe the female focus got me to 5k faster.

Playlist

Alison – Elvis Costello

Gloria – Laura Branigan

Jean Genie – David Bowie

Dear Prudence – Siouxsie and the Banshees

Francine – ZZ Top

Kayleigh – Marillion

Oh Yoko – John Lennon

St Xenia – Katina

Valerie – Amy Winehouse

Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy

Stats

Distance 5.80km (but stopped at 5km)

Time 39.12

Average Pace 6.45 (min/km)

Fastest km 5.49

Trainers – Saucony

Being Buzzed Literally and Metaphorically – 26 September

A fellow C25Ker Donna79 on Health Unlocked had posted that life had somehow got in the way yesterday and she hadn’t managed to run as planned, so we did a deal I would run today if she did. And we’d name and shame if the other hadn’t done it. Today was therefore a ‘pride’ run.

My usual invitation from Mr Smooth arrived this morning, but was ignored because we had the door-lock man coming, as a result my run was to be deferred. Somewhat ironically, the front door handle came off last night, so we had to go out to get parts to fix the door to be able to let the door-lock man in! En route to the Ferramenta (Fact: The village Ferramenta is absolutely the best shop in all of Italy), the door-lock man phoned – he had problems so would be with us in the afternoon. Ferramentas are exactly like The Two Ronnies’ Four Candles sketch in appearance and methods, but there’s pretty much nothing that can’t be bought or acquired there.

Back to base, no excuses now running kit on. Warm down walk didn’t exactly start auspiciously – around the first left hand bend I could hear a scooter approaching behind me, it was Greavsie from the barking balcony house. Then in an instant, a Fiat Punto decided that a scooter on a blind bend was in a perfect place to overtake, so he overtook him and I felt the swoosh of air as he passed me a bit too close for comfort. The driver did one of those jerky arm movements and the car lurched back right – I think I frightened him almost as much as he frightened me and Greavsie.

Map My Run mechanical voice lady, told me to start running so I did;  up the hill that kills and into Lovers’ Lane. I had decided today I was going to have a go at running Cavendish Hill

Last time I tried this hill I ran down to 1979 in a vain attempt to find Mark Cavendish’s name on the tarmac, but failed as he has been lost in the mists of time and faded paint. I descended downhill and just as I hit the 1990s OMG a swarm of bees ‘crossing’ the road. Well I was amongst them so decided the best thing I could do was to keep my mouth closed, eyes down to the tarmac and hope they didn’t get miffed.  I got all the way down to the bottom which I think is dated either 1930 or 1950, again the tarmac  is way too faded to tell and I ran up Cavendish Hill. In truth I took 5 mini stops to do it, but it is about an 80 metre gain and Mr JCR’s Strava confirms it is 0.80 of a kilometre. A 10% gradient all told.

Back down Lovers’ Lane, to receive a buongiorno from two guys at the Piadineria, continued to the Hill that Kills, and then down to the Bendy, Scary Road. This is a nice slope down and I’d estimated I might just be able to do my 7km milestone before having to tackle Cavendish Hill again. I was meandering nicely down, the Adria Bus came thundering towards me – having being buzzed twice this morning already I didn’t fancy a close encounter of the third kind, so I stopped and stepped to one side. But miracles do happen he pulled wide of me and gave me loads of room. Not entirely sure what the motorist thought coming the other way though!

Winding down now I knew I had done about 6.5km and then what did I see in the distance, but the entrance to Cavendish Hill, aaarrrggghhh, I hadn’t quite got my calibration right. I entered Cavendish Hill with about 250 metres to do, but I failed to do it one go, had to have a stop. But now I have a new target for Cavendish Hill, to get up with only 4 stops…

Anyway upshot is after being buzzed, by cars and bees and nearly a bus, I am buzzing… 7km done yay!

Oh yes 3 X 11 reps of squats done last night too. Same tonight otherwise King of Squats will be on my case.

Face Colour Monarch Red

Btw Donna79 only went and did it, so no shame for either of us, only fame!

Playlist

Wonderwall – Oasis

Rehab – Amy Winehouse

Perfect – Lightning Seeds

Somebody Told me – Killers

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

(Forever) Live and Die – OMD

Lucky You (twice in succession) – Lightning Seeds

Born in the USA (twice in succession) – The Boss

Blue Monday – New Order

Einstein a Go-Go – Landscape

Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak – Macy Gray

Barbara Ann – Beach Boys

Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

In the City – The Jam

Na Na Na Na Naa – Kaiser Chiefs

Chelsea Dagger – Fratellis

Stats

Distance 7.01Km

Duration 51.20mins

Average Pace 7.19(mins/km)

Elevation Gain 116 metres

 

 

 

 

Me and Mr Smooth, we’re so over…

…. well at least for today! Yesterday was the rest day, I say rest I can’t actually recall much resting going on, what with cleaning a house waiting for 5 cycling guests to turn up.

The house was clean, so I decided it would be nice if I was too. Getting out of the shower, I had a twinge. That was my back and it hurt a lot. Was I cartwheeling with gay abandon? No. Had I taken up shower-surfing? No. I stepped off a shower onto the floor, no skids, no dramatic Mr Bean falls, I just twinged….

So my date invitation duly arrived this morning and I politely declined Mr Smooth’s invitation to run. I had left out my running gear, more in hope than anticipation, but hey ho.

Am resting today and will see if I  am able to go tomorrow. Thinking of trying out the zombie running app for a laugh, but only any good if I can run, otherwise I think I will be zombiefyed within seconds.

Mr Smooth, how’s your massage technique? Just askin….😜

 

12 Sept – Don’t Mess with Mr Smooth

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day and I’m feeling good, so says Nina and I believe her. Today I leave the hills and go to the pista in Fano, for special interval training. I’ve been reading that it’s not a bad idea to re-start the C25K programme, but replacing the run intervals with sprints and the walk intervals with light jogs. This can help you with speeding up a bit. It’s difficult to do interval training on the hills, mainly because they have a nasty habit of being in precisely the wrong place at the wrong time.

So far so good, the weather has turned sunny again it’s about 23 degrees. I synch Map My Run and Mr Smooth, Week 1 Run 1 and away I go. Only I didn’t quite get the tech right, so no Mr Smooth. No matter, I will run one circuit of the pista at normal pace and then start the sprint/jog plan afterwards.

Mmm it’s getting quite warm, I’ve already passed two topless men, who decided nipple flashing in September is quite the thing. In summer they were young and with beautifully sculpted bodies, and the obligatory heart monitor strap. Today, a little less toned shall we say, but hey if you’ve got it flaunt it and so they were.

The rules of the pista are quite simple, walkers and runners on the inner circle clockwise, and cyclists on the main track anti-clockwise. Mr Banana wearing a rather natty yellow and brown combo, decided that this rule didn’t apply to him, so he’d amble on the cycling area, going the same way as them. Walking the cyclists’ racing line he didn’t seem to consider it dangerous at all! The cyclists can get up to 30-35km an hour on the track, and if one of them hits you, well let’s just say a banana split would ensue. I watched with horror as he ambled around oblivious to the danger.

At this point, getting really hot  – I have done 2.2 km and nip back to the car to take off the top layer tee shirt, remembering of course to pause Map My Run.  Back to the track and I decide to sprint for 60 seconds and then jog for 90 seconds, repeating this as long as I could. I did this more or less for another circuit and realised that the mechanical voice lady from Map My Run had been suspiciously quiet. Stupid, stupid, stupid woman  – not her, me. I had forgotten to de-pause (is that a word?) MMR, so all my times and splits were not being recorded.

Eminem was singing Lose Yourself, – well truly I had. By the time I reinstated her she said I did a 3 minutes 39 seconds kilometer, which makes me close to Mo Farah I reckon! Oh yes and trying to sprint/jog after 2.2km of running, well that was another dumb-ass idea JCR. It was a sprint and walk effort, after all of my planning. I am lying of course, my plan was  of the ‘organic’ let’s just see how I feel variety. And of course I never factored in whether I’d feel tired after 2 clicks of running.

Mr Banana sure left a banana skin behind him today and I slipped on it – so all my work on trying sprints vs. jogs to no avail. My big lesson, don’t get smart with Mr Smooth, either listen to him or Map My Run lady, don’t do both.  Mr Smooth doesn’t like you messing with him.

Frustratingly MMR recorded my playlist perfectly – but not my stats, so here we go. Oh and Mr Banana – he avoided being totalled and was sitting quite happily on a bench watching the world go by.

Playlist

Sign of the Times – Harry Styles

Common People – Pulp

Marvin Gaye – Puth and Trainor

Can You Feel It – Michael Jackson

When Doves Cry – Prince And The Revolution

Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak – Macy Gray

All These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers

Upside Down – Paloma Faith

I Predict A Riot – Kaiser Chiefs

Einstein A Go-Go – Landscape

Lose Yourself – Eminem

Somebody Told Me – The Killers

Maid of Orleans – OMD

Dance Away – Roxie Music

Rain On Your Parade – Duffy

Parklife – Blur

Cake By The Ocean – DNCE

Stats

Distance: More than 6.6km I think about 7kms

Time : Based on playlist about 62 minutes

Best km split 6.03