I had planned a run today but as I awoke I thought to myself, 'I don't want to go running. It's too hot. I don't like Summer running.' I checked the forecast thinking I would postpone to the evening but an even hotter, cloudier, muggier outlook was predicted so I bit the bullet and went for it.
I say went for it; I was giving my new Nathan Firecatcher running vest its maiden voyage and it took me a while to get it to fit correctly but once my frozen water bottle, jelly beans and phone were safely on-board I was good to go.
Now, as already mentioned, it was hot and sunny and this meant I was also wearing my new running shorts for the first time - my new proper 'Ronhill loose and floaty legs out on show' running shorts. Setting off down my Lane they felt lovely blowing in the breeze with fresh air wafting against my pale thighs. The usual 'getting into the correct breathing and feeling like I'm going to collapse before I even reach half a mile' routine kicked in quickly followed by a HONK HONK and neanderthal man in his white van* with his buddy leering out meant I was pissed off already and it was only 5 minutes in. Again I muttered to myself, 'I hate Summer running.' But not before a louder expletive had left my lips.
Anyway, onwards and upwards, and I was soon off road on the trails where I was happier to come across more civilised members of society walking their dogs and riding their horses. Ah, the horses. The horses that deposit their manure on the trails. The manure that attracts the flies. The flies, in what seems like their thousands, that zoom up en masse towards you covered in horse shit and buzzing into your face. Then there are those little black flies; so small they are barely noticeable until they stick to your sun creamed skin in their hundreds, and fly into your eyes and mouth and up your nose. But at least there were no white van drivers.
I continued along my usual route that took me along some village roads passing happy walkers and cyclists; I do love a pleasant 'Good Morning!' from folk as I run. Heading into the next village I said hello to a farmer who clearly thought I was crackers running in the heat - his cow had the right idea.
A new off road track was discovered and stiles were clambered over and as I ran I mentally planned out a new longer route for another day that would take me down new roads and trails - I definitely want to find more trails. I took it easy in the heat and stopped to drink and refuel and the miles were soon being clocked.
Heading home I decided to push it to 10 miles as I hadn't ran double figures since the Hackney Half last month. I was on a real high now feeling good with my new vest, new shorts, sensible refuelling and hydration - I have learnt a lot - and was floating along the home straight. Then, passing a building site, another HONK and bizarre noises from builder man* and his chums. Seriously?! My runner's high had kicked in now so they were easily ignored but now it has bothered me. A few years ago I ran mostly at night so minimal people saw me out and about but over time my confidence grew and now I run whatever time of day. I wear what is comfortable and in the heat of Summer running that means shorts. Now, in this day and age a female should be able to wear shorts and not get honked at, leered at, jeered at or worse.
To close, I have worked my arse off with my running and now have a pair of strong legs that can carry me for miles at a time and those legs will wear what the heck they want.
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*This is not a generalisation of all white van drivers or builders it just so happens that today the stereotype was evident.