Today’s weather starting off was pretty cold. The first touches of winter. You knew the sun was going to break through but until it did it would stay cold. It took me probably 5 kilometres to warm-up. Until that time, the fingers were so cold it was probably good I wasn’t operating machinery. Despite it being painful enough that a few of us in our bunch were considering pretending coming over the line together so we could practice holding hands it was a long way off the coldest weather I have ever ran in. That was for Sevilla. The winter of 2012.
It was a particularly cold winter, 2012, but training 4 to 5 times a week in November, December and January was always going to expose me to some bitter ones and the worst of these coinciding with perhaps my longest runs.
I was joined by some of Trim A.C.’s strongest stalwarts and between us we had under-armour top to bottom, hats and gloves. But boy was I still freezing. It was one of those days where I could have worn a Duffle coat and scarf and I probably wouldn’t have been much warmer. It was the type of day that had just been below freezing you could have gotten by but it was worse than that, it was just a Celsius or so above with snow, sleet, wind and rain. It was a cold hell and after spending near 10 kilometres trying to generate a bit of heat I immediately spent the next 20 feeling it ebb away as the wetness of my clothes conduited it all back out again. The toes were freezing, my fingers were freezing and I could no longer feel my face. The only thing that brought me relief was that my beard was offered at least some line of protection.
If at the end of the run I was almost in a state of hypothermia, I think my girlfriend Frances was in the first stages of it! Having started running only a few months previously first with a 3 k and then a 5, and then a 10 and then and then and then she was also doing the Sevilla marathon and also completing her longest run, except on her own. I can’t imagine how she must have felt for those 2 and a half – 3 hours in much the same way Red can’t imagine what Andy Dufresne must have felt crawling through a mile and a half of sewerage to freedom. However from the foetal position she had adopted on the bed unable to get her shoes off so frozen were her fingers I will guess it was pure horror.
Thankfully we eventually recovered, perhaps 3-4 hot showers later but we recovered. And as a result, walking around Sevilla city centre right beside our Air B’n’B architect owned and inspired apartment we could feel proud of our efforts and ready to give it our all the next day. Whatever happened we could at least be certain it wasn’t going to be cold.
On somewhat tired legs a 14 k slow run to bring the miles up ahead of tomorrow’s longest run.