The hot green gherkin

I’m British, I don’t do heat well and advancing years don’t really improve my tolerance towards it either. Nevertheless, I am British, I stoically battle on in the face of adversity. Wow, mid twenty degree heat and above, my US readers will be laughing that I call such moderate weather, hot, but trust me once the sun hits a British head, we lose the plot.

I still managed 3 runs this week. Out with HPP was a treat as end of year school awards looked  to scupper my regular club run. But with an early finish and a brisk drive home, I launched myself into my running kit and skimmed in to the meet point with moments to spare.I played safe with a steady 6.2 miles with Trevor (the steady pace stalwart) and yet again a there was a whole new group of people to meet as we ran at chat speed. I met a great lady (LCA of course) who’d returned to running at a more serious level after a long absence and loving every moment. She had used running to regain her confidence after redundancy, so once again running soothes another soul and fires up another human spirit. I wonder how many weeks I can keep going along and just chatting to new running buds, men too? It’s a pleasant surprise to natter to the male runner, they’re not such a different species after all.

I forgot the warm night with both new runners and a new route. The local village of Radcliffe is familiar to me in my car. It’s a cut through to other places, it’s on the way to my mum’s house, but I’ve never explored it on 2 legs. I never knew it had ‘cliffs’, of course you never think about a place name in that way. I’m not talking mountains here, not really even major hills, more a rocky outcrop alongside the river. Still, I never knew it existed, nor the great footpath along it. It’s somewhere new to show Ellie and maybe get the family out on their bikes ( I can dream!)

Friday was forecast hot and stormy so me and Susie headed off early for a gentle trot and a chat, still 7 miles is always worth banking. I had mistimed the route though taking us past the commute of our own secondary school children shuffling in unenthusiastically. As predicted our own offspring appeared mortified to see their mothers in lycra, in motion…..their friends were much more polite, waving and saying hi (and probably thinking ‘thank god that’s not my mum’). We were lucky just as we slipped into my kitchen for a glass of water, the heavens opened in a frenzied downpour, lucky or what?

But today was the low point of the week. It didn’t look sunny, I didn’t feel like heading out early on a Sunday. I felt just a little ‘fuzzy’ from the bottle of Merlot I’d shared with hubby last night after the success of my daughter named ‘All star cheerleader’ at the end of season awards. I wanted to get a longer run in the bag, just remind myself my September half marathon is totally do-able, just a 10 mile route to own a run. So I fuelled up carefully on a pain au chocolate and half a cafetiere of Italian coffee and off I went.

I thought I’d wear my most recently earned race tee shirt from the HPP Grand Prix, Christ its green! I am the giant running gherkin, a hot gherkin today.

The gherkin is ready to run

The gherkin is ready to run

The geese on Victoria Embankment certainly didn’t like it, to the amusement of some youths on their BMX bikes, a group of geese, clearly more badly behaved than said youths and much more of a threat, charged my ankles and caused me to leap embarrassingly to the side. Then I must have looked funny running alongside the riverside path. Its wide, its flat, its tarmac but the geese have been busy and its littered with their little ‘poop parcels’. You now how I feel about my trainers, I skipped, sidestepped, tiptoed through it all whilst keeping the pace going. I probably looked like I was Latin dancing.

At 7 miles, the entrance to an early turn home was tempting but I battled on, I wanted 10 miles and I was going to bag them. The humidity was horrendous, I was sweating buckets, I’m an LCA, but trust me, I was way beyond ‘glowing’. I’m glad I took a gel and managed not to slice the sides of my mouth swallowing it. Then my stomach began to spasm, must be the heat. It passed, thank god, no public loos on the final miles home….a pub stop my only planned solution. I certainly have never shit myself on a run, it could be the deal breaker to continuing with such a pastime if it ever happened.

Home was indeed a pretty sight, like a trek pony, I sped up on the last stretch resuming my target 8.5 minute miling. I truly am a runner when I made two loops of the lane alongside my house just to ensure Mr.Garmin read 10 miles exactly. 1 hour 36 minutes, not bad for the heat, humidity, fuzzy head, goose attack, potentially dodgy tummy and poor pre run nutrition. You know what, a properly trained and fuelled half marathon could be a piece of cake. Lets not see me eat those words.


Categories: Ladies of a Certain Age Running (LCA)

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