Summer running

Loving the longer evenings, the sun and not having to wear three layers, hats, gloves etc etc to go running. Everywhere is that really vibrant green, most of the tracks have dried up (although we still managed to find a field where we had to wade through ankle deep mud on Sunday!) and everyone has a smile on their face.

Runs are more fun – no more running in the dark, sticking to the same routes and dodging dog poop. But there are downsides to summer running. Here are five things about summer running that aren’t so hot:

1. Livestock

My last post mentioned the highland cow we (almost) ran into on a club run last week. This week it was horses and bullocks. The horses were fortunately behind a fence, but the track we ran down was narrow and between two paddocks. It’s quite nerve-racking running with three huge horses excitedly running alongside you.

The bullocks we got a bit more close and personal with. They were gathered around the stile at the entrance to the field we had to go through to get home. And there were a lot of them. With a few claps the mass of brown, white and black parted to let us through – apart from one feisty bullock who wanted to play. We made it past him in the end and then legged it across the rest of the field.

2. Flies

I swallowed at least six last night and two on Sunday. I’m vegetarian.

3. Sweat

Wow do you sweat a lot in the heat! I’d forgotten after a winter of taking two or three miles to get feeling back in my fingers. And it drips. And it makes your eyes sting.

4. Sun cream

Just finding it in the bathroom cabinet was an adventure. After months of layers, long sleeves and leggings, wearing sun cream is suddenly a necessity. And it mixes really well with the sweat to leave you feeling a greasy mess by the end of your run. Joy.

5. Chafing

Sorry, had to be in here. Long running clothes don’t tend to chafe. Put on a vest or shorts and then it starts. Some kit is great, other bits not so much and so remembering which does and which doesn’t is learnt the hard way in the first week of running in the sun. My advice – Bodyglide, everywhere.

That said, give me long summer evenings, running through the fields, woods and on tracks over trying to find routes through the local villages that are well-lit and ending up doing the endless loops of the same route over and over again…

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