The weather was a scorching 87 degrees and rising, the midday sun was splitting the sky and beating down like a blistering furnace stoking the great fires of hell. Not the best conditions for a pale skinned Scot to kick start his training regime (including the previous night’s bottle of wine) but my mind was made.
And with a complete lack of preparation other than sun block, sunglasses and and a haf bottle of water, I set off with the intention of running five miles in the general direction of Miami’s South Beach.
It wasn’t far from our Spa hotel on Bell Island, the closest of a set of man-made islands which connected downtown Miami with South Beach via a series of road bridges.
Making good progress I crossed the bridge leaving The Venetian Islands behind and turning onto West Avenue before finding myself like Harris Tweed weaving in and out of pedestrians on the famous and extremely busy Lincoln Road Mall, passing designer shops, fancy restaurants and juice bars.
After six or seven blocks, I was soon on the boardwalk at the celebrated Miami Beach, jogging alongside, past and being past by fellow joggers. The beach was thronging. Pristine white sands hosted beautiful women and ripped men with anatomical guns ablaze, worshiping the sun as it beat down on their bronzed and manicured physiques. And then there was me, the not so bronzed Scot, now struggling in the intense heat as the sun reached its highest point in the cloudless Florida sky. Sweat was flowing from every pore like a bullet ridden water butt, sun block washed away in a raft of precipitation, sunglasses in need of window wipers constantly sliding down my nose in a waterfall of moisture…
Using my water sparingly I stopped at the midway 2.5 mile mark and made for home, desperately seeking whatever shade I could find amongst the palm trees, high rise hotels and apartments looking down upon me. My feet swollen and rapidly expanding seemed to drag like lead weights, my knees bearing the brunt of every thunderous jolting step.
As delirium set in the beautiful people paled away into the background, my i-pod offered no motivation and I longed for a return to the hotel under a shaded sun lounger with an ice cold beer.
The final stretch was a long road with nothing much to look at. Cars whizzed past my wilted and dehydrated body, an ambulance slowed for a look before it too took off leaving me pounding the last remaining yards.
It was a relief to re-cross the bridge and arrive back at the hotel. Exhausted and content, and looking like I’d been in the sea fully clothed, the doorman swung the brass handled entrance and smiled. I acknowledged with a nod and a half smile in return, my voice unable to function correctly. I gingerly walked back to the room, thankfully on the ground floor.
Showering off I headed pool side where the cold plunge and an equally cold beer beckoned…. Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the Midday Sun. Or in this case, Scotsman.
Tomorrow I’d use the gym….