Bing bong, this is your captain speaking, welcome to Bologna where the local time is 6.15pm and the outside temperature is 39 degrees. An audible gasp went around the seats in the plane.
Welcome home to Lucifer's summer as it is being called here. Scorchio is the weather and Lucifer is causing devilish problems. From the forest fires we saw on the way home, to low water reservoirs and restaurants not opening because it's too hot to cook.
Fast forward Sunday morning about 4.30 am - Ciao ragazzi e buona notte, said the DJ at a local vineyard. When they party here they party hard, we hadn't slept, this wasn't looking good for today's run. So now it's 7, 32. That's 7 am and 32 degrees in the coolest room in our house - the bathroom. It wasn't looking good for today's run and nor frankly was Mr JCR. Whilst I was in London he was in the Alps. I had a return flight to Italy he had a one way flight off his bike down a mountain pass. I got a phone message - along the lines of had a fall, don't worry I am fine, ambulance is on its way. Mr JCR has form here - in the years we've been together I've had three of these messages now, all from the Alps at varying levels of seriousness. This one involved 11 stitches in his face and neck, bruises aplenty, Oh and an absence of skin on his shoulder. He looked like the victim of a rather bad mugging. So today he needed to get back in the saddle metaphorically and literally. We agreed given his safety record that it might be better if I was nearby, so off to our local pista in Fano where you can cycle and run.
Fano is a resort on the Adriatic, mainly liked by Italians rather than foreign tourists. At this time of year it is choc full of chic beautiful bodies. So Mr Smooth informed that Week 7 was all about endurance, shoot - in all the change of routine I've left my water bottle at home on the windowsill. Mr JCR goes anti-clockwise, us podistas the other way. Mr JCR Agrees to be my mobile water carrier, we agree a signalling routine which I promptly forget.... so slow and steady, think Old Floss , poo there's another blinking beautiful chic podista ahead, nut brown tan, lithe, itsy-bitsy cream running shorts, tiniest, skimpiest black running vest. Aha I overtake her, that makes me feel marginally happier. Whoosh I get overtaken by a male fit bod, wearing a bikini. Well that's what it looked like from my angle. The body beautiful man was running topless, showing off his pecs, with a skimpy pair of azurro blue running shorts, topped with his heart monitor strap. Looks exactly like a bikini to me...
Double whoosh, what is it about fit Italian men liking to wear their bikinis whilst running? At this stage I'm half way through, I signal my water wing man for a drink. He obligingly stops and I can continue. I think it was at this point Mr Smooth reminded to keep breathing. A useful tip given I keep gasping at all these beautiful bodies whooshing and sauntering. Finally the one minute warning and Mr Smooth tells me I can go for it if I want to finish on a high. It's 35 degrees in full sun, that was something we'd both forgotten about aarrgghh, I am happy to finish on a low never mind a high, but it is done.
The stats, well really rubbish to be honest and my colour is definitely salsa red again, almost Lucifer's red in fact. But I did it and I won't be back I think I prefer the hill that kills, Lovers Lane and a more gentle less body beautiful run.
But I do think the pista is shaped encouragingly like a wine glass...