Sometimes running makes you go purple.
Sometimes it makes you feel like your chest will explode.
Sometimes it gives you horrendous blisters, sore knees, and 'intimate' chafing.
Sometimes it means you get 'caught short' somewhere embarrassing.
(see Chafing, chucking up and needing to poo for the last two....)
Last night, I was out with the Swavesey group who are all training for Swavesey Half Marathon on 2nd March. Usually we have a few beginners dotted about this group, which means I get to trot along with them and be encouraging (/irritating).
Imagine my horror when I discovered last night that we had a group of racing snakes.
Well, racing snakes and me. Slow, ploddy, sore-legged old me.
But, I tacked onto the back and off we went. Very soon it became apparent that I was slowing even the slower ones down, so I sent them off into the darkness with reassurances that yes, I'd be fine.
It was just me, in the dark, on my own. I briefly pondered how likely it was for attackers to be lying in wait along the busway but soon reassured myself that they would attack the younger, prettier, slimmer ones ahead of me, and if needed I can punch really hard (try me...) and scream like a banshee. It was dark. Very dark. And there were funny noises. Really funny noises. And heavy breathing. Eek. I turned to spot a very large horse checking me out, wondering what all the mad people were doing in the dark and cold. I only jumped a little bit, and only did a very little scream (and, as I've been asked, no, a little bit of wee did not come out. I have an impressive pelvic floor ta).
And then I had a bit of an epiphany. It was me, out there, battling the elements. At one with nature (well, sort of, as much as a grumpy horse and some very cold and wet weather makes nature anyway). And it was somehow very liberating. I kept going. It was (wait for it....) fun. I amused myself briefly by realising that it was cold enough to do dragon impressions with my breath. And trains, them too. And my little feet just kept on trotting along. I was thinking of nothing. Completely nothing. And that was good. I now get it when people say that running is therapy, switching off, cleansing mindlessness.
The bonus of being last on a 'there-and-back' with a shorter route option, is that once you reach 'there' you're then in first place. So at the midway point I led the group of racing snakes all the way back to the start (ok, ok, they were doing an extra 1.5 miles, let's gloss over that). And they didn't catch me, no sirree. My feet had worked out what to do by that point and were telling my legs to quit their whining. As I got towards the bit where civilisation started again (ooh! streetlighting! protection from mad axe murderers!), an owl swooped down to see what I was up to, the field of sheep chorussed me a baa, and some randoms waved at me from a passing bus.
I hate running. Really I do. All the hurty bits.
But there's so much more to it than that....
It's like a little mini-adventure each time.
Any intrepid adventurers fancy joining me and the racing snakes?
Weds 6:30pm, Swavesey Village College Sports Centre.