November 29th, 2007


Warming up

Today I have been collecting small bits of warmth: sudden winter sunlight around a corner; the warmth of my bike saddle under a frozen hand when I dismount after a gloveless ride home. Other sorts of warmth too: a smile here and there, the quick mutual eye-brightening as two people recognise the tune playing in the background. Sewing the bits of warmth together to wrap around me because underneath it all I've been feeling weepy and crampy and unfocused and underachieving (the latter two not caused by the first two but certainly not helped).

Running revisited: I actually went running with two colleagues at lunchtime today. We'd planned a route around the Parks but the one who didn't know the route (or didn't care) turned out to be the fastest runner and went off on his own merry way, white shorts and t-shirt blazing in the sunshine, and I just followed because it was easier than trying to think and run at the same time, while the routemaster (who knew how to pace himself properly, unlike me) brought up the rear, shouting directions to try to get us back on track. The advantage of the new route was that it meant going round the lake with DUCKS and SWANS and even a moorhen, though I think all I managed was "yay! swans!" before realising that I really didn't have enough breath for conversation as well as movement. (The moorhen looked positively comical, a little glossy black blimp of a bird bumbling about on the riverbank; but then we must have looked pretty ridiculous to it, all legs and elbows and ragged breathing.) The disadvantage of the new route was that it was somewhat longer -- not a ridiculous difference but enough that for the whole of the last 200m or so I was thinking "there is no way I can do this", but still determined to prove that I could; and I did, kind of, a bit of a way behind the sprint finish that the other two managed, but getting there.

That did help with the weepiness. We were all fired up when we got back, laughing and puffing and panting, tumbling into warm offices. (I did do those stretches, arnhem!) Cool water to drink, and a very quick warm shower (we're lucky to have a shower at work, but it doesn't half feel weird). I caught sight of myself in the mirror, my face hot and red in the cold light; not the blush of an English rose but a raging inferno.