Well, I may not have been the fastest out there this weekend, but I was definitely the brightest! In electric blue and apian inspired shorts, the sun reflected off me dizzying the other runners. So much for running incognito. The recent sunny, warm weather and my new girlish figure (have quit smoking for 2 weeks now and lost 4 kg!), have inspired a shopping spree that could best even Outofpuff 's efforts to break the Sports Direct website. I think I now have enough shirts, shorts, socks and other paraphernalia to wear something different every day. After all, it wouldn't do to be seen in the same outfit twice, right?
There is definitely the feeling that the more stuff I own is directly proportional to the ease of the running. It turns out that this is not entirely true, but perhaps I just haven't exhausted all my shopping options yet.
Finally, I managed to leave home for my run, after first having found that my son had been playing with my iPhone until the battery died and then simply discarded it down the side of the sofa. Thus ensued a lengthy hunt, a swift admonishment and another cup of tea while I awaited some charge to return. If only my own body had a lightning adapter that could take me from drained to 100% power in under an hour!
And so, by now approaching midday, the mercury pushing 24 degrees (I realise that this is positively nippy for poor DeeRunning in her Asian inferno, but a tad warm for us mere Poms), Laura joined my ear, I connected to my transcendental support team (you lot) - like a hive mind collectively urging the single consciousness forward, tuned in to the latest Brand podcast for more shamanic mania, clicked Run on my shiny new Garmin horologium, and off went the Bumblebee...
There is an urban myth that Bumblebees defy the laws of physics; given that the ratio of their body size and mass v their wing size should make it physically impossible to achieve flight. I both looked and felt very much the same as that bee, having to contend with similar weight:power difficulties. But like the bee, I defied gravity and my own inertia and got off to a respectable plod. After 5 minutes I was thankful to concur with Laura that I was now in a decent rhythm and feeling ok. I found a terrific new route, beautiful scenery and shaded pathway through the forest, that was once, long ago, a railway track - hence not too hilly, roman straight and cutting through the glorious Wealden countryside. An 'out & back' run to the long disused Withyam Railway station, would be 4km almost exactly with just enough runway at the end for the 5-minute cooldown walk.
I had dared to take the recalcitrant hound ASBO with me today, and was relieved that he was well behaved, resisted the urge to mate with other dogs, terrified no children at all and only unsaddled a small number of cyclists by trying to eat their tyres as they rolled by
It must be 12 minutes by now. Laura is remaining unnervingly quiet. I suspect a subterfuge. Perhaps she's going to hold off until 20 minutes is up, so there won't be much more agony to endure from that point. I've reached the outward marker and turned for home. It's hot now, the last K has been in direct sunlight, sweat can sting like a bee when it gets in your compound eyes. And so I running back, uphill. Albeit a gentle slope but most assuredly uphill.
How can this be? The entire outward run had been uphill. I had longed to reach the return point, to enjoy some gentle downward relief. Physics is playing with me again. I have tweeted Professor Brian Cox, to find out if it is possible that I was running so slowly, that the Earth has rotated in space in the last 20 minutes, such that both directions can actually be uphill. He hasn't replied.
It must be bloody 20 minutes by now! Perhaps Laura is teasing me today, leaving it to the final 27th minute to urge me on for the final glorious 60 seconds.
I'm nearly back.
I finally dare to glance at my watch - don't try this at home. You will notice when running that seconds appear to move backwards on your watch. And to my horror, joy and surprise...31 minutes!! LAURA!!
Yep - she's abandoned me and taken off for a Pimms & Lemonade under a sunshade in Podcastland. I can now legitimately justify the expensive timepiece to my wife, as Laura simply can't be trusted. How will I explain my affair with Laura to her?
Elated. My endorphin vasectomy appears to be reversing itself! I'm tempted now to continue this poorly conceived metaphor about ejaculating, but probably best not.
Still not convinced I'm 'enjoying' running. I really only the like the bit when Laura says, "Well done, you can stop now". And today I even missed out on that small pleasure. But 31 minutes run in the midday sun and over 4km covered. No defibrillators needed. Who would have believed that 7 weeks ago!
The Bumblebee flies home, contented, sweaty, aghast at its heart rate and ready to guzzle some well earned Amber Nectar.
Happy bumbling all!
#you can do it