It’s eight thirty on a Tuesday night. The BBC website tells me that my local weather is about 4 degrees. Yet here I am, with my blue T-shirt sticking to my back with sweat. My fingers are frozen, there’s a ringing in my ears and I can’t make a proper sentence because my facial muscles have come to a standstill.
I’ve just run about four miles (6.4 km) in 60 minutes or so. It is an exhilarating feeling once you are really into the run. Starting out is not easy. Dressed in only a T-shirt and a light sweatshirt, you are not prepared for the freezing temperatures and the cold biting winds. Yet in about five minutes, you’re glad you didn’t bother to put on more layers.
Today, there was no one on the roads besides the eight of us. The pavements beckoned as we took a different route up a couple of hills instead of the other way around. We passed by houses where families got together in the warmth and comfort of their fireplaces. We ignored them. Cars and trucks stopped for us at pedestrian crossings and we thanked them with a little wave as we went on our way without skipping a beat. Traffic doesn’t bother us. Neither does the cold or the pain in our calves that tells of unused muscles complaining.
It’s a Tuesday evening. For an hour, this group of women will run. The rest of the world and its problems can wait.