2) Strangling whiny music

Inadvertently blasting out some whiny song as I used a running app for the first time did at least bring a smile to my frozen face this morning. I downloaded Cardio Trainer by Noom last night as it will track my runs using GPS and calculate my pace, which means I can’t cheat myself. Setting it up was straightforward – but I didn’t expect it to access whatever the standard songs on my phone are and broadcast them at triple decibels as I ran out of my street. I frantically jabbed at the screen with my gloved hands as bemused passers-by looked on until the chorus (something about being the best you can be or similar tripe) was strangled out of existence.

Today was a three-miler and I had planned a route around the Botanic Gardens, which I haven’t visited before. The morning was crisp but sunny and generally doing a passable impression of early spring. The first mile or so was very slightly downhill with a bit of commuter-dodging and more pauses for traffic lights than I would have liked. Just over a mile in and I realised I had a problem: the gardens were locked up; in fact, I couldn’t even enjoy a view through the fence as there was a gigantic hedge in the way. Disappointed, I set off on a route along the roads at the edge of the gardens instead.

Another issue was my halfway sag. I tend to find somewhere between a mile and 1.5 miles in my legs want to switch off, basically, and  I have to force myself to keep going. It happens on most runs and I know that if I persevere I’ll feel good again, but it’s annoying. The feeling passed in a couple of minutes and I started to enjoy the birds singing, the sun on my face and exploring a new part of the city.

When I finished, I was pleasantly surprised to have kept up a 9.25 pace despite all the dithering. I was achier than I thought I should be, especially in my calves, but this can only improve. More worryingly I had the tender beginnings of blisters on the inner arch of both feet even though I was wearing anti-blister socks. Will have to keep a careful eye on this as I step up my distance. All advice welcome but I am relying on double-layer socks and Compeed blister plasters meantime.

WEATHER: freezing but bright

TRAINING: short run

MILES: three

PACE: easy (9.25)

REWARD: Great Gatsby ballet

FEELING: satisfied

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