Why does my face always go red?

Heatwave ended with a vengeance yesterday. Thunder, lightning, flash floods. So I wasn’t sure if the track would be flooded when I turned up for my interval sesssion. As it happened the rain had stopped when I got there and the sun was beating down just as fiercely as before.

I decided to do a four lap warm up while I waited for the others to turn up. As I jogged round, I looked with some admiration at the young athletes warming up. Seeing them always produces a mixture of envy and despair. Why do I bother doing this? I’ll never be that good. After 200m I felt myself starting to breath more deeply as I tried to get into a rythm. I settled down and reminded myself that it was supposed to be a warm up.

I finished my four laps and moved to the edge of the track to do some stretches. As I bent over to check my shoelaces, large drops of sweat dripped from my face on to the ground. It was going to be a hot one.

The session was to be a mixture of 400s, 800s and 200s with very short recoveries. 9km total. Pace was to be hard but consistent. Well I thought I would give it a try but wasn’t sure I could do both!

I set off on the first 400m interval, hugging the inside of the track so that faster runners could pass me if necessary. It’s a busy track with lots of different ability groups training at the same time and I am regularly passed by faster runners going like trains. Yesterday was no exception. I concentrated on maintaining my own pace as best I could. I finished the first 400 in 1:48 feeling like I’d gone too fast, took my all too short recovery and set off again.

Each interval was harder than the last. The 800s were painful. I was drenched in sweat and getting so tired that I could hardly time my recoveries which varied from 29 to 50 seconds. Then with 600m to go it started to rain. It was a relief to start with but then it turned into a downpour! There was no way I was giving up with only a few metres left. I completed the session even though I was soaked through.

When I got to the car I looked in the mirror and sure enough, even after a complete soaking, my face (head actually!) was bright red from the neck up.

It’s so embarrassing. Why does my face always go red?


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