I’m not going to lie .. I’ve been sitting here for over an hour now whilst my eldest devil child is upstairs dying her hair blue, wondering what I can bore you all with next, after all there’s been no momentous running occasions this week, in fact there’s been no momentous runs … and then it struck me. As I opened my mouth to cram in the next handful of BBQ flavoured Pringle’s (note… other crisps are available and I receive no form of payment in my blatant disregard for advertising rules and regulations, any form of nutritious diet is currently out the window and my pure and utter gluttony is a desperate bid to get to the good crisps before the kids do… sigh) anyway, as I reach for another handful of crisps and wipe the sweat off my brow, I lament, as so many other British people do, about just how damn hot it’s been this week. We should make the most of it I guess, summer is usually scheduled for a Wednesday or Thursday each year so the fact that this heat wave appears to be a never-ending event should be a joyous occasion, one that should be celebrated like the birth of a child or another piece of bling but alas, if there’s one thing us Brits are good at it’s talking about the weather. So here it is ….. yet another blog about the hot weather interspersed with some whingeing about running in the aforementioned hot weather…
For those that know me, you’ll know I’m a working mum with 2 kids, neither of whom can be trusted to be left alone or who are of an age where I am actually allowed to leave them alone, this leaves just one time of day when I’m ‘allowed’ to run which happens to be lunch time (subject to last-minute meetings, emergency conference calls, panic buying that evenings dinner, remembering the running gear etc) and with the weather as hot as it has been recently, running in the midday sun is a feat that only mad dogs and Englishman do apparently – but if you’ve got a number of runs coming up over the next 5 months and you’re desperate not to embarrass yourself with the summer body that failed to materialise, you’ve got to grab any opportunity to train no?
I’m not sure many ‘non runners’ will ever understand the sheer amount of effort, will power and determination it takes to leave an air-conditioned office to go out and run in sauna like conditions just so that you can look as hard as nails on Strava, but it’s got to be every runners main motivation – thinking about the sheer amount of kudos you’ll get for being that one hard-core runner powering through your lunchtime training schedule in 35 degree heat and hell! if you’re a really lucky middle-aged women the wrong side of 40, mother nature may be super kind to you and throw in a few hot flushes that warm your core body temperature way past Sahara Desert like levels just for shits ‘n’ giggles so yes! us middle-aged working mums and dedicated runners are pretty damn hard core. The trouble is, whilst I do enjoy a bit of sunshine, my running really suffers in the heat, which then defeats the object of going out for a run to make you feel good. Once you’re back at your desk over-analysing every mile you’ve just lost all of your bodily fluids sweating through, it kinda feels a bit rubbish looking at how slow your times are.
A couple of weeks ago, my 4-year-old terror tot went on holiday with her dad for a week and given that the other devil child is now 13 and has no knowledge or realisation of there ever being two 5 o clocks in the day, I could head out for an early morning run in a bid to beat the heat, without her even knowing I was gone. It was during these runs, in the cool and stillness of the early morning, when I discovered that not only have my times improved by training in the heat but I’m really not as unfit as the lunch time sauna plods make me feel. Without wishing to gloat, during one of these early morning plods I managed to knock 3 minutes off my 10k time and during a speed training session I managed to knock out a couple of 8:30 minute miles before dying in the shower, so you see! whilst its bloody horrible fighting your way out of your sweaty sports bra and lycra, utterly sole destroying sitting at your desk with wet hair and a bright red face and totally embarrassing feeling the sweat drip off your forehead leaving a small puddle the size of Lake Windermere precariously close to your laptop power cables, it’s all worth it for the results you get when the weather cools down.
So I guess my advice to you is apply the sun screen, put your hat on, grab a bottle of water and JFDI!….
(…. but in the interest of fairness, good health and staying safe in the sun, I would also advocate the use of a large wine glass, filled to the brim with a nice cold Pinot and wouldn’t sneer at anyone wishing to sit in the shade of a blossom tree enjoying this amazing British summer time and watching the world go by. A week off isn’t going to do you any harm, after all – rest and relaxation is an important part of your training plan!!)
Stay safe out there!
Until next time.