Monday, the first day of June, and the stirrings of the demons that give the Cape of Storms its name. the weather has been antisocial for days now and, with rumours of approaching storms, it’s not going to be bikini weather for a good long while.
So at 5:30 this afternoon I was dressed (layered) and ready to head out. The Kid was under a blanket, in her pyjamas, with her laptop humming on her lap. She knew the right thing to do on a day like today.
But I had been out in the cold, the rain, the wind and the dark a number of times in a row now, and I’m starting to be the hang of it. More than the hang of it, in fact: I’m starting to – dare I say it – really enjoy it.
The bruised gunmetal-and-blueberry sky was spectacular, the wild winds were invigorating and the stormy seas exciting. I was running with my neck twisted so that I could take in the view before the sun disappeared and it grew dark to see, and I couldn’t help grinning away like a lunatic. There were fewer than a handful of other crazies out there on the Promenade, all leaning their beanied heads into the wind and giving each other a grimacing nod of recognition.
My pace alternated between out-of-control fast as the wind swept me forward, and a dead standstill as the wind swung round to buffet me from the front. The crabbing towards the railings and the sea as the wind sneaked around to the side probably did the most damage to my running state, but more than likely served to amuse onlookers, so it was probably worthwhile.
I intended running 10 km but renegotiated this distance with myself numerous times before finally settling on 8 km. I took it nice and slow, averaging 6.22/km, but the novelty of being tossed about by a gale in the dark had kind of worn off by the time I reached the lighthouse.
But I’m learning some stuff that my my best running friends (whom I have never met) in the northern hemisphere have known for a long time. Like, the weather seems much worse from inside the snuck cocoon of your house. Once you’re out there, it’s really not so bad. Honestly! And the sticky cold spray carried off the waves leave a delicious salty taste on your lips. And the crazy winds are energizing. The sunsets are the stuff of Turner, right there, in front of you. And the orchestra of elements does an amazing job of distracting you from trivia such as aching joints and muscles, what that leftover Bombay potato salad you ate just before your run is doing to your gut, and what to cook for supper.
It’s a funny thing: the more you do something, the easier it gets.