Thursday, 10 January 2013
Things I Learned In The Fog
Oh my god, I am freezing now. That was one of the weirdest runs I've ever been on; I think it even outranks the time I had to hurdle a dead goat. Turned out of the house at about 10pm, knowing it was pretty cold, so I'd put my long-sleeved top on under my high-vis and my gloves on as well. Having swum at 10oC I tend to think I'm well 'ard when it comes to cold (I'm not, I'm just even more rubbish in the warm!), so I wasn't too worried about the temperature when I set out. And actually, I was fine by the time I got to the top of the hill. It was fairly heavy fog all the way up, but evened out after a mile and once into the dark it was almost clear from maybe 50-100ft up. The stars put on an amazing display; all the ambient housing light was covered by the fog down in the valley and the fields and trees were settling into a hard, bristling frost. I know from previous experience it must be at least -2oC up there now; I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's more like -4oC.
Cars coming into the unlit section are often quite dazzling, and I discovered tonight that if a car has full beams on coming up behind you, the fog in front of you is lit in a perfect halo. It's like running down a swirling white tunnel - but the stars are fiercely bright up above. That is very eerie indeed.
The other thing I learned was that I may be alright walking in thick fog, but running in it is a very different matter - especially when it's got even thicker in your absence - and it was only sheer stubborness that made me complete 30mins/3.5km dead tonight. I would have liked to have got further, but whilst I may be competitive I'm not stupid. I know what the next section of my route is like, and I know that pushing myself any more in those conditions could easily lead to injury. Although I did almost turn around and run back into the dark so I could get more time running in the clear!
My hair was absolutely soaked with condensation when I got in. I'm now going to take a very sweet cup of mint tea to bed and try to warm up a bit!