Well worth it

My cycling coach runs group classes every Saturday morning (excluding school holidays) with the principal aim of encouraging people to either return to or take up sport. As a member of his training club, I can attend any of these sessions. As I had a run in my programme this week, I decided it might as well take place on Saturday morning. I was at the rendezvous well before the appointed time which gave me a few moments to savour the early morning heat and the beauty of the Bay of Angels.

Everyone turned up and our small, but select, group set off towards the War Memorial for a warm up which included running up and down stairs. Perspiring profusely, we then raced up the stairs to the Chateau overlooking Nice and indulged in some interval exercises, circuit training and further stair running. I was easily holding my own, thank goodness, and was able to demonstrate my formidable core strength with an excellent performance in the “plank” exercise. All too soon we were tripping back down said steps and performing a series of stretches. Ninety minutes just flies past when you’re having fun. I should at this point perhaps say that my coach (unlike the rest of us) didn’t break into so much as a bead of sweat and he looks even skinnier in his running gear. I wished him good luck for next week’s Berlin marathon and drove back home.

I had worked up a bit of an appetite and yesterday’s dessert, which I had conjured up for my beloved out of a desire to find yet more uses for overripe bananas, was sitting on the countertop. I dived in. How is this possible? It tastes even better cold than it does hot. Yes, my banana and toffee pudding is going to become one of my classics and, quite possibly, most popular desserts. Don’t bother to send me emails begging for the recipe, if you too want to become a domestic god or goddess, just get in the kitchen and cook.

While we were out running, my opinion was sought on the Jeannie Longo situation. I said I would refrain from commenting because we have yet to hear from Jeannie. However, I find it odd that a woman of her undoubted intelligence can’t get to grips with the “whereabouts” system. Trotting out the excuse that she’s the world’s most tested athlete and has never tested positive, cuts no ice and is chillingly similar to the statements trotted out by Lance and his team of legal beagles. But, if it is true, it would go some way to explaining why she’s so much faster than me, that and the additional weight (mine). However, I did feel she’d been sensible to withdraw from next week’s World Championships as her presence, and attendant press interest, would have overshadowed the ladies’ events.

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