Mad dogs and Englishmen

For most of the year I seem to be wrapping-up against the elements, never really quite sure what will be best to wear. I normally err on the side of caution, particularly when it’s cold – I wear what I’d need if I was several miles from home and found myself having to walk back.

So a second week in the sun of Tenerife made for a pleasant change. After week one was little more than a struggle to run after five weeks without any exercise, it was nice to be able to jog around for three or four miles each day, albeit it very slowly, enjoying the heat. Just once I ran when the temperature was below 30C but I don’t mind the heat, especially at nine and half minute mile pace.I only really felt it once – after running for two miles up hill from the coast, the temperature even that short distance inland was even hotter. I’d taken water with me and thought I’d given the carrier a good enough rinse since it had last been used three or four months previously. I hadn’t and after the briefest of tastes of what amounted to half a litre of stagnant pond I had strapped to me, I gagged and obviously could not hydrate properly. The real effects of this were in the evening  when I was far more dehydrated than usual, something not helped by then consuming too much sangria shortly after running.

Interestingly, choosing to run during the hotter part of the day means that few people are around. I did not see any other runners in the midday sun, or any mad dogs for that matter. Just the odd cat lazily raising its head for a disinterested look from the shade of a tree, or people in and around hotel swimming pools, more curious about the Englishman running past, if only in a way that made them shake their head. I like to think it was with an element of disbelief that this fine figure of a man was braving the heat. Really though I guess I was deluded by mild sunstroke – they were asking ‘Why bother?’ in deference to my leisurely pace or, more likely, saying in their native language, ‘Bloody nutter’.


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