This weekend a rare and wondrous thing occurred, in that I asked Work to change my day shifts to late shifts and they actually said yes, which meant I could slip in a sneaky unplanned parkrun before work. I toyed with the idea of trying out Clapham Common but after a stressful week I decided that I wasn’t in the mood for the unfamiliar and headed to Burgess parkrun again. This is only the second time in my parkrun career that I have done the same parkrun twice in a row.
The weather was absolutely appalling. The rain poured down on me and as I sat forlornly on a bench watching our courageous volunteers slither in the mud trying to erect the finish funnel I must the thought of just fucking it all off and going to Starbucks for a nice hot chocolate did cross my mind. But one does not earn free t-shirts for fucking off to Starbucks so I persevered although I say a few bad words when I peeled off my sodden coat and sloshed to the start line in my teeny tiny vegan runners vest. I felt like I was the only person not wearing a rain jacket, but I really can’t run in those things and I didn’t think a sleeved top was a good idea as it would just get wet and chafey.
Burgess Park is an almost entirely tarmac course, so you’d think it would be immune to the effects of Weather, but this is not true. It seems to have been specifically designed to accumulate the kind of puddles you can drown in. It did not take long for my already damp socks to become waterlogged. There are also a couple of places on the course where the route cuts a corner across grass and I decided that I did not want to risk these and took the slightly longer tarmac route. Although I started off faster than two weeks ago, I lost speed at the same rate as I lost the will to live and by 3km I was definitely moving slower. Lack of enjoyment always seems to lead to slower running and I really Do Not Like Being Wet. I know some people go on about liking running in the rain but it’s all those bloody endurance types who also enjoy sleeping in tents and having your breakfast stolen by wild bears. Fuck that. I can just about deal with a refreshing shower on a summer’s day but a deluge in December just gives me the hump.
Thankfully it was all over soon enough and I checked my watch to see that I had finished in 36:03. Presumably the haste to get out of the rain had cancelled out the sodden sock factor. My time last week was 36:17 so I then faced an anxious wait for the official result. (I start my Garmin when my feet start moving, not when the timekeeper says “go”, and as I am at the back that is usually about ten seconds later.) I think if my official result had been 36:18 I might have set fire to Burgess park, cut off both my feet and sued the Met Office. Fortunately, I received a very narrow course best of 36:07 so this drama was averted. My finish place was 201 places higher than last week, which means that 200 of the faster runners are big wusses who stay home when it’s raining.
After the run I went to put on my work uniform and found it was absolutely soaking wet. I went from smelling like a sweaty runner to smelling like a wet dog, and it took the whole of my shift to dry out and I don’t think I ever stopped smelling so I would like to issue a formal apology to my colleagues.
On the whole I think it might have been better if they’d just said no to changing my shifts.