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I used to be a decent runner. I enjoyed the local twice-a-year 8 miler, but have not done that for more than 10 years now.

I’m not sure it’s wise to subject my joints to road-running again really, but in these restricted times I feel more conspicuous just going for a walk in normal clothes, than donning my leggings and trainers and taking ‘a bit of a run’.

So, I lurched out of the house on Friday and managed the first road at a jog before walking for a while. I believe this is called ‘interval training’ and is very fashionable. ?? Anyhow, it was helpful to be wearing my running gear, and to be slightly out of breath, when I accosted a nice young policeman in Richmond Park to enquire what the exact rules are about exercise. None the wiser at the time, to be honest, but he was very polite. (No doubt he was thinking ‘Get these mad middle-aged lycra-wearers OUT of my vicinity’ – yes, although I was definitely more than six feet away from him, there were other women queuing to talk to him. He was quite a nice young man, I suppose, but I think it was more the need for some sort of social interaction)

On my return route from the Park I found a brilliant road with speed humps which I could use to measure out my intervals more scientifically. This worked well, and genuinely I was exercising properly for a while. By the time I got home, I was mostly walking, but for the final stretch – past the houses where I know everyone – I made sure to sprint. I always do this, even if otherwise completely knackered. Of course, sprinting is a term defined in the body of the sprinter: in the eye of the beholder, this may very well be a flailing stagger with added gasping. But I promise that any gasping was not done in the direction of the houses.

And my Fitbit awarded me PEAK minutes and umpteen calories – yay. 


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