I wanted to do a long one today. I've got it in to my head that 10K is way long enough for me to run, so this morning I got up knowing that I was gonna do one. In fact, the route I was going to take was 11K so I alerted Mrs Dan to this as I was on my out the door, as she likes to know how long I'm gonna be. I don't carry my phone when I run these days, cos it's way too big to stuff into my lycra leggings pocket!
My route today was along the Thames path, then up Nightingale Lane which is the steepest hill around these parts, then into Richmond Park - run the parkrun route, then back home. 11K. I was ready. I was clad in electric yellow long sleeved top and spray on running leggings with an orange stripe down each leg. I was also wearing my brand new PUMA socks which I bought at SPorts Direct yesterday. I needed some new socks, as frankly, the ones I had were threadbare and no longer protecting my 2nd most valuable bodily part - my feet! These new ones were thicker than I'd ever worn before, but still thin enough to slide into my Asics Nimbus shoes and make me feel like Superman!
I reached Nightingale Lane in about 15 mins (2 1/2K) and started the lonnnnnng slowwwwww jog upwards. Amazingly, I ascended the hill with more ease than I've ever experienced before. I haven't done this hill for weeks and weeks, and I was so cheered to get to the top without being too knackered. I did however take a few minutes break at the top, just to get my heart rate down. Gertie Garmin was on pause whilst doing this - but before long I was off towards Richmond Park. Garmin beeped at 3K as I entered the park and I headed down Sawyers Hill. This is the Richmond Park Run route and this 2K stretch is pretty quick as it's a glorious downhill, then total flat before turning left for 500 metres where I joined the trail path back towards the park entrance. This return leg is bloody hard though as it sneakily drags your legs into the ground because you are actually going uphill - but very very gently. I didn't stop and managed to keep a decent enough pace over K6 and K7 though I was tiring. The drag on your body on this leg is pretty hard to overcome, but I was pleased enough to push my body towards the entrance to the park where I'd entered earlier. OUt of the park and back to Nightingale Lane - but this time it was downhill. Now you may think that this would be easy. It's NOT! The hill is sooooo steep, that going down is actually more tricky than going up! I managed to reach the bottom without sliding on to my arse (it was pretty slippery with leaves). I crossed the road and headed back along the Thames path towards Richmond Bridge. It was here that I was wondering if I could achieve a sub 60 min 10K, so I picked up the pace a bit - at least I thought I did! On looking at my stats later, it turns out I was slower on K8 and K9 when in fact I thought I was faster! Anyway, at the time I didn't know this information and when Gertie Garmin beeped to say I was about to start K10, I really did try and go faster. I really was travelling faster now cos I was pushing like a basta**! The 10K marker was exactly at the point where I cross the river at Richmond Lock, which means going up some steep steps to the bridge over the river. The 10K beeped almost exactly at the same time as the HOUR beep! I managed to complete the 10K in 59'57! So technically - a sub 60. Only just though.
By now I was knackered. I mounted the steps and crossed over the river, down the other side and attempted to "run" towards home. I was going as slow as a snail and not enjoying it at all. I'd kind of done what I set out to do and this final K was as dull as ditch water - so much so, that at 750 metres I decided to STOP RUNNING! I couldn't even be arsed to do another step, so I walked to the local mini supermarket and bought some bread and a bottle of Lucozade sport drink. I drained the bottle of jollop in about three seconds as I was as thirsty as hell!
So that's my third run this week and I've done 23K and 750 metres. That'll do for this week I reckon!
Have a good weekend fellow runners. Have good parkruns. Have good 10K's, HM's and marathons. Keep the faith and all that.