In 40 hours, it will be upon me. It will cover me, press into me so I don’t know where it finishes and I begin. I will be lightheaded with relief and joy. It will keep me awake; I will dream of it. It will tear me apart and keep me together.
I will return to Buenos Aires.
It’s been over a year since my last run there (with Maria, the morning of my wedding) and as I pack too many clothes for what will be a shorts and bikinis trip, I think back to that run and what it means to run in Buenos Aires.
Firstly, it’s where M&MRC started. Its streets gave us the confidence to dare to dream of 26.2 miles. Its crazy weather: heat, humidity, storms, rains that turns streets into rivers, wind born in Patagonia made us almost crazy ourselves. The sheer number of fun runs and charity runs offered M&MRC the chance to be part of many coloured, bobbing masses.
There will be sweat and I am most looking forward to it. The tingling sting of skin warmed by the sun and its own sweat; the salt patterning down my shins; the dive into the cool pool post-run and the extra beat your heart gives you: you are alive.
Of course, all my in-laws and friends will think I am mad. They will look at me as if going for a run in the humidity that sits around them is confirmation of what a nutter I am. They will offer me iced-water on my return, my limbs glistening with perspiration, my eye-lashes holding back the salty-drips running into my eyes. They will say well done and not really know why.
I have yet again disappeared and resurfaced. For the past month I was home in Texas to visit family and friends and slowly wrap my head around the fact that I will be moving back in a couple months. I dedicated myself to lots of organizing and visiting while running was pushed to the back burner. Part of this was due to the lack of an event in the near future. And the other reason was related to the weather. Have you been in Texas during the summer? The heat can be unbearable.
I managed to get in a run a week or so, but the routine was gone. I didn’t have to get out there and there were roughly 8 hours of the day when it was hotter than 90° F. I do some things that others would consider masochistic (i.e. run across the Andes), but I prefer to not run in a sauna unless necessary.
One of my first runs after being back was done after lying by the pool for a couple hours enjoying the fact that there was a cool escape just a few feet away from me. This was not the case once I set out for my run. I’d mapped out a route 2 miles out so I’d get in 4 miles doing an out-n-back. I started around 5:30 p.m., but the sun was still in full force. I was also in the hill country so I was missing the flat streets of Buenos Aires. I made it almost to the turnaround point and saw the hill that stood in my way. I decided to give myself a pat on the back for running in the heat and head back without that last bit of torture. I finished looking like I’d just got out of the pool fully clothed because of sweat.
For the rest of my trip I was faced with the issue of when to get out and run. It had to be early in the morning before the heat set in or later in the evening, which usually wasn’t an option due to the timing of dinner. My sleep schedule was also a bit out of whack so all of that amounted to only a few running adventures.
I had hoped that my routine would reappear once back in Buenos Aires, but I was welcomed by a cold front the day of my arrival. This past week the high was in the 50’s and I was still at work when the sun went down. You might say that it doesn’t sound that cold, but it was in the 40’s by the time I made it home and without a really good reason there was no way I was going back outside. So I stayed inside in front of the heater and just thought about what a run might feel like.
Thankfully the weather is bearable again and I made it out yesterday to get back in a rhythm. I need to take advantage of the cooler weather here in the Southern hemisphere before heading back to the sweltering heat in the south of the US in a couple months.
For those of you also sharing time on this island shared by England, Wales and Scotland, you will have noticed that something like summer has descended upon us over the last eight days. Yes, eight days of uninterrupted sunshine, blue skies, balmy evenings and all the associated stuff: barbecues, Pimms, picnic blankets and general lounging in gardens and parks.
That’s right. The parks that I always write about being places to run are now full of sprawled limbs, cans of beer and strawberry punnets. I can’t complain. I’ve been one of those sprawlers.
My mum sent me a text message on Saturday morning: Great to run in the sun! This was before 10am, as I was putting on a bikini, boiling eggs for sandwiches and gathering reading material. We were headed to the park. But not to run. Guilt shivered through me. “Ready?” Martín said. Of course I was. I forgot about the joys of running and went and sat in the park. I turned a blind eye to sweaty joggers bouncing past us.
This was a recurring theme last week. I ran last Tuesday and had time to run again. I just chose not to. Instead, I sat on the patio, in the park, in the garden, on the sun lounger, under a tree. Put it this way, my trainers got a lovely airing.
So, with the guilt of my mum enjoying running in the sunshine and the fact it really was time to lay off the sunbathing, I got up early today determined to go and sweat out there. And I did. It was glorious.
The weather, I mean, was glorious. After six days of barbecues and cocktails, magazine reading and picnics, I really did need a good lay in the sun to recover.