In training for the Tour de France?
Summer seems to be racing by. The boys are now halfway through their six week summer camp, and come back tired, filthy, ravenous and reeking of chlorine at 5pm each day. Their hair is bleached blond and straw-like from the pool and their pale arms and legs are slowly becoming olive brown, despite the masses of sunscreen I apply each morning. But they are happy, and healthy, and (I hope) having a summer that they'll remember for years to come.
Their day is actually now longer than the school day, so I suddenly have a couple of hours more child-free time in my day, as I finish work at 3. I had hoped this would mean I could do a little more running. The trouble is (and yes I know, I know I'm at risk of offending everyone in England, so, sorry) that it's been roastingly hot for about the past month, with no real let-up. We've got to the stage now where even the early mornings are about 77 F (25 Centigrade), and it's humid too. However, with another 10K race coming up, and having (perhaps foolishly) signed up for a half marathon in the autumn, I can't give up entirely.
So, I set off with my water bottle, returning later with a face like a beetroot and unbecoming red blotches that don't even disappear after an ice-cold shower. Honestly, how can those professional marathon runners look so sleek and un-sweaty? Some of them even wear jewellery - if I did that, it would probably disintegrate due to the salt content of my skin. Even after five minutes, I look as if I've done an hour of 'hot yoga'.
This morning I decided to try something different from my usual circuit and go running instead at the beach. I thought the breeze here might cool things down, and it did, slightly - but I hadn't reckoned on the fact that there is absolutely no shade. Even at 9am, the sun was beating down on me and I ended up just as scarlet and sweaty as ever. The only other people there were pensioners gearing up for a day in deckchairs in the shade, and they looked at me as if I were a madwoman as I pounded up and down the promenade.
Perhaps the best thing when it's this hot is just to watch sport on TV from the airconditioned comfort of my sofa, rather than partake in it. And what a summer it is for sport. Having moved on from Euro 2012 and Wimbledon, we're currently glued to the Tour de France of an evening. Roll on the Olympics - and if the British weather continues in the same fashion, at least those athletes won't have to worry about the heat......