Had a bit of a weird thing the other day, and thought I’d share it on here in case anyone’s experienced similar. I was out for a nice relaxed mid-afternoon run. I was a little bit fatigued from work and it was quite a hot day, so I was happy to amble along at a gentle pace just to give my legs a bit of a stretch. Everything was going splendidly and it was shaping up to be a nice run. My mind often wanders while I’m out running, which is why you get treated to pages and pages of disjointed rambling when I get back. Today was like that, but different.
About 20 minutes into the run, I zoned out a bit, which as I say is nothing out of the ordinary in itself. I snapped out of my daydream (probably something about duck astronauts or cheese) and realised that I felt a bit… odd. I was aware that I was moving forwards, and I could see that my legs were moving, but I felt completely disassociated from them. All sensation of muscles straining and lungs doing lung stuff were completely absent. It felt like I was looking down at a video recording of someone elses legs. (I admit to feeling a bit short-changed by this. If I have to watch a video of someone’s legs, I’d rather they weren’t quite so short and hairy). It was a weird feeling, as if somebody had switched all my nerve-ending to “mute”, and I didn’t like it much. This wasn’t like the runners high, where you’re carried along on a wave of endorphins after transcending (while at the same time embracing) the physical effort. It was a bit worrying; As my legs tick-tocked under me like a metronome, I felt like I was either locked into a zone where I could just keep moving forward forever, or I’d keep going like this for another twenty feet before everything shut down and I collapsed after making a little “urk” noise. It was clearly going to be the latter, wasn’t it?
If you experience this sort of thing at mile 90 of the Marathon Des Sables, it just means you’re a hewn-from-granite ultra-running desert warrior. If you experience it at mile 2 of a gentle seven-mile trot around the park, it means you should probably have a sit down.
Of course, that would have been the sensible thing to do; stop running, have a sit down and check that everything was okay before even considering taking another step. But me and sensible go together like [insert humorous example of two things that don’t go together very well at all here] and so instead of stopping, I just slowed to a walk. I also prodded my legs to make sure they were still attached, said “well, that was peculiar” out loud and mentally willed myself not to be having a stroke. Actually, in my slightly fuzzy wuzzy, wibbly wobbly state, there’s a pretty good chance that I might’ve said that bit out loud too. A little hobbit man muttering “don’t be a stroke, don’t be a stroke” is not the sort of thing anybody wants to see while out for a walk in the countryside.
Whatever it was, it was gone as quickly as it had come. I took it nice and easy for a few minutes, and by the time I hit the next mile marker it was a distant memory. I think this says more about my memory than it does about my ability to recover from bizarre trance-like episodes. I finished my run at a slow uneventful pace, and thought no more about it until sitting down to write this blog post.
So, what was it? Dehydration? Fatigue? Brain parasites? I was passing a cow field when it happened, so could it have been some sort of cow mind-control? I’ve never trusted those uddery bastards; always plotting something.