Monday, 21 January 2013

Welcoming the new day by running

I had only just left home when I jogged leisurely past two kids on their way to school. As soon as they were behind me, I heard one of them say to the other: ”I'm going to start running!” and so he did, trying to catch up with me. I briefly considered putting in a sprint at that point to show that little rascal, but my past experience has taught me that antagonising little children always ends up in tears.

What can I say, I'm a sore loser.

So instead I flashed him a big smile and said encouragingly: ”You're fast!” whereupon he gave up running and waited patiently for his friend to catch up. The proud smile I got back from him was a nice addition to my run.

I had gone out early, before the sun was up. Not sure why, something to do with having things to do today maybe? If I don't remember what they were, they can't be important, surely. Or maybe they were important, but probably really boring. Selective memory, whatcha you gonna do, amiright?

The thermometer showed -11 and I figured I'd get away with just a woolly hat on my head and a buff around my neck. It worked well enough while I had the wind on my back, but then I turned towards the river and the remnants of that smile I gave the kid froze on my face. An invisible acupuncturist was using my cheeks as voodoo dolls. No wonder. Wind-chill factor was closer to -20. I didn't want to have to stop and readjust my buff, so I tried to push on and ignore the cold. Up the hill I ran and found myself in the paradoxical but all too familiar situation where my body was sweating but my face was freezing. Pinching my cheeks to get the blood circulation going might have saved me from getting a frostbite, but it hurt. A lot.

I gave up soon afterwards and covered my face with my buff mid-run (a useful skill to have as a runner when it's too cold to stop). As I ran over the crest of the hill and turned back towards the river, I saw that light was beginning to break over the horizon. To say that the sky was orange would be the understatement of the year. The sun seemed to be devouring whatever parts of the sky weren't covered in clouds, with a hungry fire the likes of which can only be found in volcanoes.

Out west the sky was holding on to a sober purple.

And now I shall continue with my day. If only I could remember what it was I was supposed to be doing.

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