Running Hot and Cold

Do you prefer to run in hot or cold weather? If you’re not a runner but partake in some other outdoor activity (cycling, walking, gardening, etc) do you prefer it in hot or cold temperatures? If you don’t do any outside activity, firstly what?? why not? and secondly, okay then, just in general terms tell me if you prefer summer days or winter?

I am most definitely a cold weather runner. I dislike running in the heat intensely. So does my body. I can tell when my body is unhappy with me if I run in the heat because I get pins and needles all over and start to get a bit shivery. Of course, when that happens, I stop running immediately and seek shade and fluids.

Pfft.

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Definitely into cool running

So I have to wonder, given my non-preference for summer running, what exactly possessed me to take it up more diligently and enter four races over the peak summer. (Five if you count one at the end of November which is technically spring but given the way the climate is changing and we started having bushfires in September, I think we can probably count that one as a hot weather run.)

Well, for starters, there is a full marathon on the horizon in May so probably some training would be a good idea.

Then, of course, there’s just a bunch of really fun local runs on over the summer. Given most of them are run along coastal trails and a number are run as fundraisers for the local lifesaving clubs, one can only assume they run them in this horrendous season to capitalise on all the out-of-towners flooding the foreshore caravan parks. (PSA: We apologise for the excessive use of the word ‘run’ in this paragraph.)

Quite a lot of running beside the water

I’m sure some of you – particularly those from Northern climes – are wondering why anyone would try and run in 30°C heat. Well, I tend to wonder the same about people who run in sub-zero temperatures. I guess it all comes down to what you grow up in.

Last weekend’s run did make me question my life choices. The Bellarine Sunset Run Half Marathon event is an out and back from Portarlington to St Leonards. It was warm (as it always is) – about 27°C (80F) when the race started at 5.20pm – but worse, there was a massive headwind on the outward leg. According to the Bureau wind gusts reached 50km/h. I wanted to die.

Of course, a headwind on the way out did, after an interminable 10.5km, become a tail wind on the way back. At one particularly windy open stretch of track I reached a pace of 5.55 min/km simply by lifting my feet and letting the wind do the rest.

I guess we can all be grateful the event is not run in reverse.

Race result was better than I was expecting but more importantly there was bling. And cider. Sponsored by a local cider house, the post-race cider is a must.

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They always have really cool bling

Sunset Run cider

You have to admit their motto is appropriate for a bunch of mad summer runners

Yes, they’re wearing jumpers (sweaters, jerseys, added warmer layers, you get the idea). This was last year when it was not quite so hot.

The best bit about a sunset run is, naturally, the sunset.

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So, there’s still quite a bit of summer left to go so let’s see what other torture I can put myself through before the blessed cool of autumn (which as things stand may not turn up until June…).

And in keeping with recent practice, here’s an earworm. Just replace “loving” with “running”.

“Summer running, had me a blast!”

 

So, are you running hot or cold?

Christmas Morsels

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it “Christmas” and went to church; the Jews called it “Hanukka” and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Hanukka!” or (to the atheists) “Look out for the wall!”
~ Dave Barry

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It’s going to be 35 degrees on Christmas Day. That’s in Celsius, by the way. As in, Bloody Hot. Needless to say, lunch will not be a hot roast. And you can keep your pudding and brandy custard. Ice cream all the way, baby.

Now, I can imagine my Northern Hemisphere friends are trying to wrap their heads around a Christmas Day with sunshine, heat, a cold lunch and flies. And why wouldn’t you? It’s not the common conception of Christmas, is it?

See, we here in the Southern Hemisphere have the advantage of being able to simultaneously understand both a hot and a cold Christmas given the plethora of snowy Christmas TV specials and movies that abound in the global culture in conjunction with our actual experience of Christmas. Pity, then, those in the wintry Christmas lands who are spared the equivalent televisual experience of a baking Christmas (and I’m not talking about cookies). I imagine one can count on one hand the number of Christmas movies set down south of the world.

So you may or may not understand this song.

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I do like Christmas on the whole…. In its clumsy way, it does approach Peace and Goodwill. But it is clumsier every year.
~ E.M. Forster

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Last year someone suggested to me that I should be developing my own Christmas traditions rather than just perpetuating the ones from my childhood. I found this mildly confusing as I thought that was the whole point of tradition. Also, given my boys were already teenagers, it seemed a bit late to be starting new traditions.

Then, at an event this year, we were asked to bring along something that represented a Christmas tradition for our family. Uh oh.

I conveniently forgot to take anything.

But a few days later, as we decorated the Christmas tree, I realised that we had established a new Christmas tradition. Introduced two years ago, we have our own special tree-topper that minds our Christmas tree each year now.

Why have a standard star or cutesy angel on the top of your tree when you can have one of the most terrifying monsters ever to come out of Steven Moffat’s frightening head? #ChristmasWeepingAngel #WeAreNotInsane

I can’t wait for the next opportunity to share that Christmas tradition.

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In a wonderful book I was given for Christmas by a dear friend, I learnt that you can learn the twelve cranial nerves to “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. It might be my new favourite carol.

On the first nerve of the cranium,
my true love gave to me:
My sense olfactory.

On the second nerve of the cranium,
my true love gave to me:
Two eyes a-looking,
And my sense olfactory.

And so on, the last verse being:

On the twelfth nerve of the cranium,
my true love gave to me:

Twelve lovely lickings, (Hypoglossal)
Eleven heads a-tilting, (Spinal accessory)
Ten heartbeats a minute, (Vagus)
Nine quick swallows, (Glossopharyngeal)
Eight sounds, and balance, (Auditory)
Seven funny faces, (Facial)
Six sideways glances, (Abducens)
Mas-ti-ca-tion! (Trigeminal)
Four superior oblique muscles, (Trochlear)
Three cross-eyed glances, (Oculomotor)
Two eyes a-looking, (Optic)
And my sense olfactory. (Olfactory)

Just because.

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Santa knows Physics: Of all colors, Red Light penetrates fog best. That’s why Benny the Blue-nosed reindeer never got the gig.
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Half the parcels I’ve been waiting on (stocked full of Christmas presents for the boys) haven’t arrived. It’s a common phenomenon apparently.

Sucks to be a postie at this time of year.

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Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas.
~ Johnny Carson

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To all my friends, family members, fellow bloggers, and random strangers who came here by mistake, I wish you all the appropriate greetings for the celebration of your choice and hope that the coming year brings all of the things you want and none of the things you don’t. And may we all find peace on earth.

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I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year. And thus I drift along into the holidays – let them overtake me unexpectedly – waking up some fine morning and suddenly saying to myself: “Why, this is Christmas Day!”
~ David Grayson

 
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