I’m a creature of habit, and I love these little routines the three of us have fallen into, B, Monkey and I. After chatting away over breakfast, B’s now gone to the gym for a bodypump class, Monkey’s on his Xbox and I’m sitting here on the bed writing. I’ve never been a fan of gym classes, or the gym for that matter. I’ve always been very active, but exercise is something I enjoy on my own – long, brisk walks or running with music on the highest volume setting in my ears. B’s also into running but our play lists are very different – he has slow songs on his, which I find a bit amusing, I can’t quite work out how you can run with a ballad playing. My play lists are probably a bit weird too, given my taste in music encompasses everything from 50s rockabilly and bluegrass to grunge and even sickly sweet pop.
I think it’d probably be impossible for someone to scan through my iTunes library and figure out what I like the most. Perhaps the music I was really into during my teens is what’s defined my tastes – Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam were my heroes, and I have to say both Anthony Kiedis and Eddie Vedder have passed the test of time with flying colours. Naturally, all of these are included on my running playlists, but they rub shoulders with Elvis, Aretha Franklin, Jackson 5 and Ella Henderson too.
I have several play lists for running, but this is the one I listen to most of the time – all tunes that are bouncy enough to put an extra spring in my step:
Even Flow – Pearl Jam
The House that Jack Built – Aretha Franklin
Little Sister – Elvis Presley
Accidentally in Love – Counting Crows
Ghost – Ella Henderson
Gold Digger – Kanye West
Mr E’s Beautiful Blues – Eels
Would – Alice in Chains
It’s Your Thing – Jackson 5
Chain Reaction – Diana Ross
Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega
Maggie May – Rod Stewart
Ai Se Tu Pego – Michel Telo
Mmm Bop – Hanson
Rape Me – Nirvana
Interstate Love Story – Stone Temple Pilots
Little Devil – Neil Sedaka
Drunkard’s Lone Child – Lonesome Mountaineers
See? Very uncool, but I love that silly little Hanson tune. Most people would probably raise an eyebrow at how you could possibly match Kanye West up with Neil Sedaka, but never mind.
I haven’t been out for a run this week, only a couple of long walks. Fitness is truly a fresh commodity, and I notice it straight away if I leave it as long as a week or even two – from chugging along without any problems for 6-7k, you’re suddenly back to struggling to keep going for a measly 4k. Thankfully, and possibly because I’ve always kept in reasonably good shape, it’s quick to build it up again.
The fittest I’ve been was three years ago, but looking back it was excessive – I went for a run every single day, and when Monkey was with me I’d spend 40 minutes on the treadmill. It was rare I went a single day without running. Because I cut corners with stretching, I ended up with an inflamed muscle in my hip – here in London, all my running routes are quite flat, but in Sweden one of the routes I run has a long hill. Running down that hill meant that my unstretched, too-taut thigh muscles pulled too hard on that particular devil muscle in my hip and it ended up inflamed. The result was that I could barely walk the first month and it took another two months before I could start again, with strict instructions from my physio to STRETCH and NOT run every day.
As of now, I’m quite far off that level of fitness I had before I did my hip in, I’m right back at almost keeling over when I run the bridges, this loop around Kew Bridge and Chiswick Bridge along the river, which works out about 5 and a bit k. But hey, I’m a stubborn thing, so I hope I can build it up again and perhaps do my second half marathon even as soon as spring time. Or at least at some point during 2015. That’d be ace.
Until then, I’ll get Kiedis, Franklin and Presley to sing to me when I build up my stride again. Can’t go wrong, really.