A couple of weeks ago, we had that mini-heatwave in the UK, and I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I really can’t stand hot weather. I think it might have something to do with my penguin ancestry. As soon as the temperature creeps up, so too does my inclination to stab the entire world with a sharpened snooker cue. Any task becomes twice as hard in hot weather1, and seventy times stickier. Given the choice between a 30˚C afternoon and a fight to the death with a Godzilla, then… well I’d choose the warm afternoon, obviously; I don’t like hot weather but I’m not a bloody idiot2.
But as much as I loathe those conditions, a run is a run, and I was overdue for a nice long slow one. I stepped out of my air-conditioned car, biddly-beeped my Garmin, and…. Uffff… ran face-first into a wall of part-melted butter.
A run is a run, but it can also be a bastard.
I soldiered on, with my legs complaining from the start. After about mile three or four, things started to ease up a bit and I acclimatised to the conditions. I settled into a relatively nice little tick-tock rhythm, but it was clear that this was a run that was to be endured, not enjoyed.
When the going gets tough, I have a tendency to try to fool myself in new and innovative ways. The angel on my left shoulder might be whispering “you’re only cheating yourself”, but he’s invariably drowned out by the devil on my right who’s screaming for the hurtiness to please stop for a bit.
This was illustrated perfectly when I came to a not-particularly-busy junction on a main road that I needed to cross. I stopped at the kerbside and looked to the left and to the right. I always pride myself on not being one of those runners who jogs on the spot and measures their pulse with two fingers while waiting to cross the road. No, I’m more of a “stand still and glare at the other side of the road until it’s time to start running again” type of crosser.
I waited until it was safe to cross. And then I waited a bit more.
I saw a car approaching, and a shamefully triumphant “yesss!” escaped my lips.
“Nope, this one’s coming too fast”
“Nope, this one’s coming too fast too”.
“There’s a bit of a gap now, but I’d better not risk it. I’ll just have another few seconds of rest safety”.
“Right, no cars in sight, so I can… hang on… my shoelace is looking a bit loose. What if it comes undone when I’m halfway across the road? I could fall and be killed! Better safe than sorry”.
“I could cross. But what if there’s a bear?”
I’d like to say that I spent the next three days there, but in reality it was probably only a minute. But oh my god, what a blissful minute. With every moment of self-delusion, I felt my heart rate slowing and my skin cooling, and by the time I actually decided to cross the road it felt like I’d had a spa day.
And then I was back in the butter again 😦
1 Well not every task. Snow-ploughing a driveway might be a bit easier, for instance.
2 Shut up!
Some sort-of-related old posts for your “enjoyment”:
BIT AT THE END
Hello nice blog-reading person. That’s an ace jumper you’re wearing. Really brings out the colour of your ears. Anyway, cards on the table, there are actually only two people who read this blog: You, and a shy dermatologist called Edna Shitwhistle. It’d be great if you could spread the word and share some links to your favourite posts on the Facebookses or the twitters. Or maybe you could scrawl “born to plod = ace” on a bedsheet and tie it to a busy roundabout. The Internet has promised me a basket of kittens for every million hits I get, and I’m hoping to get enough to start a farm. Ta.