I had an enormously enjoyable two-week break with the family over the Christmas/New Year period. Enjoyable because, from morning to night, the main thing on my mind was what we should eat, where we should go to eat it and how much of it should we eat. Indeed, our daily itinerary revolved around these deliberations on eating.
Then there was the drinking, ranging from the soft kind that requires multiple pit stops en route to a recreational destination, to the alcoholic kind that pretty much rules out venturing to any destination.
After five consecutive days of this bingeing, my body started to cry out for help.
“Hey dipshit, I’m dying over here! So pretty please, with cream and cherry on top, take me fuckin’ running!“, it pleaded me on the sixth day.
So I did.
This was despite the 36 degree-Celsius mid afternoon temperature that day, with humidity of 1,000% and UV intensity technically classified as ‘Even-Sunscreen-Lotion-Ain’t-Gonna-Save-Your-Ass-From-Burning’ High.
Of course, I could have waited until evening when the temperature would have dropped by 10-15 degrees. But that would have meant sacrificing an ‘All-You-Can-Shove-Down-Your-Throat” buffet dinner at a Korean BBQ restaurant that very night. And I’d be damned if I was going to miss out on that!
However, regret for the decision to run came less than a kilometre into it.
It was hot! DAMN HOT! Locked-in-a-sauna-with-the-key-thrown-away hot!
It was so hot that I had difficulty breathing. Hot enough that my body was very quickly coated with a thick shiny sheen of sweat – another layer of UV protection on top of the sunscreen lotion that I had already applied.
Then the stitches in the abdomen started. It was the type that made me realise that I do indeed have a six-pack behind my fine flab of tummy fat. The first stitch attacked the second pack on the left formation. When that began to fade in pain, the third pack on the right formation started to stitch. It was then joined by another stitch in the first pack on the same side.
Round and round the stitches went, like an orchestra, in my stomach. It was just as well no one else was crazy enough to run on the trail that day, for I would have looked even crazier – bending left, right, front and back trying to lessen the discomfort from the stitches.
The suffocating heat then went to town with my mind. Normally when I run, the music from my iPod Mini acts as just a background companion while I think. That day, the music was the very epicentre of my thoughts.
For instance, when Justin Timberlake’s TKO came on, I started hallucinating that I was directing the music video for the song. I was imagining shit like telling him on the set:
“Listen here JT, when you’re being dragged by the pick-up truck, you need to show a bit more pain and angst. I’m tellin’ ya, it’s just not realistic to have zero facial expression. Not when your freakin’ body is being scraped along the dirt road by a moving car!”
When Cold Chiesel’s Fame Trees came on, I began imagining that I was singing the song with Jimmy Barnes, on stage in a smoke-filled shit-hole pub.
By far the weirdest one was when the song Feel This Moment came on and I started imagining that I was Pitbull, jamming with Christina Aguilera.
And I won’t even go into what I was imagining when Mariah Carey’s Touch My Body started playing.
While all this nonsense was going on upstairs, my legs and feet just kept on moving downstairs, minding their own business, pounding away in excruciating heat.
When I eventually staggered home after the run, my wife looked at me in horror and asked: “Are you OK, honey? You look like you’re about to drop dead. But the way, if you are going to drop dead, can you please do so in the backyard? Your sweat is ruining the lounge room!”
Even my Garmin watch looked dead-tired, with just enough battery life to show that I somehow managed to trudge 17 km in the heat. My brain must have been fried by then because I was adamant I ran 170 km.
The funny thing was, 30 cooling minutes and about half a gallon of water later, I felt great. After 5 days of gluttony, my body felt liberated and loose. It was as if the exertion and the sweat squeezed out all the lethargy, giving me that ‘cleansed’, born-again feeling all over.
Then, after a long cold shower, I was ready to tackle that Korean BBQ ‘All-You-Can-Shove-Down-Your-Throat” buffet dinner.
And, believe me, I shoved plenty down my throat that night!
Keep on pounding.
What? No Kanye & Kim from the Bound2 video? You must not have been that bad off then. 😉
Who’s Kanye and Kim? Are they kind of big deal over there? Down Under, we only know Kath and Kim. 🙂
If you are not kidding, I am very jealous of your lack of knowledge. I can’t unsee that video.
When I lived in Washington, D.C. I made similar mistakes on the regular. There is something cleansing about running in the heat though 🙂 now on the west coast I miss it a bit!
Yes, it’s hard to describe but definitely something cleansing about it afterwards – almost spiritual even!
Glad I’m not the only one suffering from the Holidays binge but it looks like you are on your way to recovery. 🙂
Judging by your skinny drawing of yourself, I don’t think you have anything to worry about from bingeing. 🙂
The problem about being skinny is that people can tell right away that you’ve eaten the whole house because the stomach becomes more prominent than the boobs. :p
My god 17km in that heat??? I’d never have made it. I did almost 5k in late 20s with high humidity a couple of weeks ago and it nearly killed me.
Madam, if a run almost killed you, you have to exaggerate and say that you ran in a 50-degree inferno across the pilbara plains. Otherwise, it’s just wasted effort! 🙂
NZ weather is right up there too!
I have experienced levels of sweat that I have never thought possible, I think that was the same morning that I weighed before and after my run… My squint eye going crazy with a 2kg difference!
Nice work on the eating, insanely jealous, slightly sickened but totally entertained!
Go on with your bad self neighbour! 😉
No encouragement needed. I am always bad when it comes to food – some people even think I run and exercise just so that I can stuff my face whenever I want which, of course, may well be true. 🙂
I know what I imagine when Touch My Body comes on…
And I know you know what I imagined, and it was not playing Scrabbles with Mariah!
I’ve had the other extreme over here…coldest weather we’ve had in a while, with windchill hitting close to -40C. I prefer running in that than the extreme heat…I’d have not made 17k lol
I’ve actually been reading about the cold snap going across North America. I would love the experience of running 17km in a beanie, gloves and gortex jumper!
funny enough..the cold is no big deal if you’re dressed right…it’s the ice on the roads and sidewalks that are treacherous lol
Ahh misery loves company! Reading this post instantly made me feel better. I embarked on a one-week detox/cleanse. Started out just juicing, but then I caved and started eating some raw fruit and veg. Yesterday I was ready to kill myself. Today is better, in part due to this post. Good to see others hurting themselves to atone for holiday sins. 🙂 Carry on warrior.
Madam, my struggles are nothing compared to your detoxing. I would never be able to handle THAT torture! Your tenacity is admirable – well done!
Tenacity – Stupidity. Toh-may-toh – Toh-mah-toh. 🙂
Day 5… nearly there. Thanks for the support!
I despise running in the heat….but, I too may have been lured in by a five course meal at the finish! I’m glad you lived through the pain. 🙂
5-course is nothing. I love the never-ending-courses type of meals. Those are the ones that separate the boys from the men, the chicks from the ladies! 🙂
I know all to well how miserable a run is in the heat! I live in AZ and last summer I decided to started my long run later, in 116 degrees. Needless to say I cut my 12 miles down to 9 and said “eff this” about 8.25 miles and finished “wogging” (pitiful attempt of walking and running) Your mind jumps all over the place and the things your thinking are converted into miserable heat exhaustion and being grumpy!
Congrats on 17km under the sun! Us crazy runners are always the most dedicated 😉
Ha, ‘wogging’ – that’s funny! Here in Australia, wog means something completely different. One of these days, I’ll tell you what it means, out of the eyes of the politically-correct! 🙂
It’s actually sad, but I’m the same. I still wake up before chickens to get some exercise. If I don’t I feel lethargic, slightly depressed and I end up screaming at my customers, which doesn’t bode very well for effective negotiations.
I forgot to add, when I travel overseas…where’s my gym shorts!
Did you just say screaming is not a very effective negotiation tactic? Why didn’t you tell me that before??!! No wonder I haven’t gone far in life!
Wisdom is shared sparingly.