There’s a stereotype that Brits like to complain about the weather no matter what. I was queuing at the till at Sainsbury’s on Monday (let me Americanize that — “standing in line at the grocery store”) and overheard the cashier talking to a customer. They both said this heat is dreadful and just wish it would rain. Then it poured almost the entire day Tuesday and I’m sure they complained about that too. I think I fit in here in that respect — is it too much to ask for it to be 68 and sunny everyday? Why only oppressive heat or rain?
I had to venture out in the rain Tuesday because I had an appointment at the Apple Store Genius Bar. I’ve been having a hard time clicking on my Macbook Air’s trackpad and it’s been driving me nuts, so I figured I’d have it checked out. It was my first time at the Genius Bar and it felt exactly like the South Park episode:
The genius helping the guy next to me looked exactly like the bearded guy with the dark hair. My genius took my computer into the back room to perform surgery. In the meantime I just sat there taking the whole place in — I couldn’t believe how many geniuses and customers there were. I don’t know what that says about Apple — so many people seem to have problems with their products, yet they also seem to take care of the problems effectively. My genius brought my laptop back and said she tightened a screw. She also informed me that the trackpad is built like a mouse and technically you’re only supposed to click on the left and right, not in the middle. Apparently I’ve been using the trackpad wrong and now I need to retrain myself. Whoops.
When it comes to running, I think I prefer a torrential downpour to oppressive heat. When we were in Greece Stephen and I decided to run outside when it was 90 degrees. The scenery was beautiful and the sea offered a nice breeze, but I still felt like I was going to die, especially going up the last hill. The next day it was back to the treadmill in the AC. Today in London it’s hot again –87 degrees (30 C). I always tell myself I’m going to wake up early to run to avoid the heat. But I don’t like to run before eating, and by the time I make my oatmeal, eat it, do some work, then download a new running playlist it’s almost noon. This week’s C210K session is three 15-minute runs with 1-minute breaks in between. I tried to pump myself up with new music, but eight minutes into the first 15 the sweat started pouring down, and it didn’t stop. I felt like I was running through a cloud of humidity, which depending on my proximity to the pond or boating lake, smelled faintly of duck and swan poo. It took everything I had to start that second 15 minutes. An older woman ran by me, which normally would motivate me to speed up, but this time I just thought “good for her” and slowed to a walk to wipe the sweat out of my eyes. I plodded along at the slowest speed that can still be considered a jog. When I started the final 15 minutes I put on DaRude’s “Sandstorm” (that one techno song that you’ve heard a bunch but don’t know the name of). Even with sweat dripping down every inch of your body, you can’t not run to that beat. I got my second (or at this point probably sixth) wind and took off.
“Yeah!” I thought. “I can do this!”
And then I started getting chills — while running.
“Woohoo!” I thought. “I’m not even hot anymore! I can keep going!”
“This is probably not good and I may be dying.”
It turns out chills is a symptom of heat exhaustion. I always thought I’d be OK since I bring water with me, but I was definitely sweating more than I was drinking and pushed myself a little too hard. I skipped my usual sprinting exercises and walked the rest of the way home, looking and feeling like this:
No more running in the heat for me. Autumn can’t come soon enough.