M&M Run

It rained all day yesterday. All day.

One broad sweep of rain suddenly swept all of autumn’s colour into a monochrome gloom. And with it, my willingness to run.

If I skip a day’s running, I feel edgy. Two days, and I am casting myself back up on the heap of wannabe fitties. That place where I wallowed so long-and often quite happily. That place where I dreamt that one day-some day-I’d be able to run a mile non-stop.

Imagine. Non-stop.

If I miss three days, I can see the people from Michelin, galloping over the horizon, to fit new tyres to my thighs and waist. They’re good at their job, I’ll give them that.

So I had to run. Had to.

From the comfort of the Chook House I could see my car, sheets of rain bucketing down, fat drops glancing off the windshield before gathering for a brief second on the car roof and bonnet, then skittering down in little pools on the tarmac below.

But I had my luminous top on. I had a fleece. Relectors. My special rain-and-fashion resistant beanie. Full length leggings. My winter running gear. I was good to go.

Oh, but I hate rain.

It’s OK, I said whispering terms of encouragement to Reluctant Me. Just drive to the shop and pick up a couple of things. The rain is sure to be cleared up by the time you get out.

The couple of things turned out to be a litre of water and one hundred M&Ms. Or however many they keep in a pack. I should’ve counted them I suppose, instead of mindlessly chomping on them.

But mindless chomping seemed like a good place to go as the raindrops jigged and jagged their way along the windscreen, while I sat in the car, cosy and dry and, well, mindlessly chomping.

Two thousand calories later and I am still in the car, engrossed in DeValera’s biography,and waiting for the rain to clear. The threat of a Michelin delivery has been forgotten with a comforting combination of a sugar high and a great read.

Suddenly something catches my eye. Could it be a large luminous butterfly? There are so many chemicals in peanut M&Ms, I realised that it is perfectly possible that I am hallucinating.

Looking out into the neon lit darkness I catch sight of a man-no, a runner-flapping past in his luminous runner’s jacket. And he’s going fast. Oh, God.

Well dammit if he can do it so can I.

Garmin. Check. Earphones. Check. Reflectors on. Check.

In my rush, the remaining M&Ms scatter across the pages of DeValera’s Biography. That long gone and dour soldier of Ireland, our former leader, wanted comely maidens dancing at the cross roads.

Bet he never imagined that the comely maidens would morph into middle-aged women in skin-tight lycra chasing after luminous butterflies.

Catching the butterfly, of course, was never the goal. I was out there. And actually, I didn’t feel half bad. Maybe the M&M chemicals have an anaesthetizing effect. Or maybe my spare tyres were giving me wheels. Or maybe I was still hallucinating. And the rain…rain? It was more of a little drizzle really, that just as suddenly, as I hit the tar, dissipated.

For one glorious Narcissistic moment, I was Moses at the Red Sea, declaiming a great parting of the waters. That feeling lasted a whole mile. Long enough to get the sweat running so that when the rain did come back( I am not Moses, of course, and I don’t think I am that extraordinary. Not really.) I was glad of it.

Grand trot, all in all. Four miles. In keeping with some sort of training schedule.

Later, and I am sprawled guiltlessly on the sofa, reading Dev’s biography, and chomping on the last of the M&Ms, Teen Son walks into the room, glances at the M&M pack and, realising it’s empty snorts in disgust.

And your feet smell too, Mum.

Ouch! But, basking in the afterglow of M&M chemicals and endorphins, I smile anyway.

That’s because I am not just your mother son, I am an athlete.

Mmmmm,M&Ms are good.