OH WHAT A LOVELY RUN!: Greetings fellow... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Greetings fellow runneroos,

Today I had the MOST AMAZING RUN IN THE WORLD!!!! It was glorious and what made it a bit spesh was that I had planned it - proper, like - like an event. The only stipulation was that I was the only entrant. I didn't charge myself any entrance fee, I didn't have a number on my shirt, I just had to be there and do it.

Yesterday I had sat and worked out (using Map My Run) my route. I have always wanted to run in Richmond Park so I plotted a route from my gaff, into Richmond, into the Park, around the Park and back to Chez Moi. Total distance - 10 kilometres. I'd gone to bed knowing that the weather today would be glorious, I was off work so had no pressures to deal with and I'd slept like a log.

"Gonna do the long one today Dan?" asked Mrs D. "Yes m'aam, I surely ayamm!" I replied in pseudo "cowboy". Don't know why, but there we are. I was off, sporting my go faster orange striped Super Dan costume. Today I decided to carry a water bottle in case the sunshine dehydrated me and I was glad I did. Stuck on my purple ray bans and zoooooom......I was running!

Got into Richmond and started to head towards Richmond Hill. I'd underestimated the incline of this road. I should have realised that it'd be tough to run up here because the clue was in the name of the road - Richmond HILL! "You klutz Dan!" I admonished myself. This was TORTURE and I hadn't even completed 3K yet. On I plodded, up and up and up......sweating.....straining....breathing like a horse dragging a plough through a muddy field. Eventually I reached the gates of the Royal Park and I sighed with relief. Time to start my 5K loop! I ran on the track to the left of the road, where cars stuck to the strict 20mph speed limit. The sun shone, my breathing was normal again after the hideous hill and my legs felt strong. A very slight buzzing in my right glute unnerved me slightly, but I was sure it would be "run off". Nature was all around me and it was beautiful - the trees looked Regal, the birds were singing their heads off and the deer were far tamer than I thought they would be because I ran past one VERY CLOSELY and it kept on eating the grass off the verge without so much as a look up. Suddenly before me was a long downhill stretch. I mean a LONNNNNNNNG downhill stretch. Fine by me! I looked at my T.I.T watch and saw that in 3 minutes time, my first 30 minutes running would be up. I'd planned a walking section here to get my body rebalanced, and sure enough when it was time to turn left towards the path that would loop me back to where I started, my TIT beeped! Beep beep...beep beep...!!

"Walkies!" I said to myself. I worked out that it would take about 2.5 mins to walk to the path where it went truly "off road". Once I'd reached there I started running again and reset my TIT to 30 mins. Map My Run is extremely accurate and I'd memorised the route I had to take which would lead me back to the entrance gates where I came in. I set off once again. The track was stony but even, and my footfall made a loud crunching sound each step. Hardly anyone was around and I felt fabulous. Tiredness was setting in but I kept going until I just HAD to take another walk break. Not a long one, but long enough to mentally prepare myself to make it home! I had now reached the gates and was on the last 3K home.

Thank God going homeward bound was easier than coming, because Richmond Hill was suddenly a piece of cake, cos it was DOWNWARDS!!! I reached the bridge and turned for home, crossing the road to the Thames Path. I knew where my 10K marker was and where I would stop running so I checked my TIT to see how many minutes I had left of the 2nd 30. It said 4 more mins to go. I kept on until it beeped then stopped for the short walk home.

I had in fact covered 10.4K, with a 10K time of 61 mins 38sec. Not that I was out for any time in particular, but it was good to know that it takes me roughly an hour. I was feeling pretty damned spesh I can tell you!

Until next time then. Happy running folks


42 Replies

Sounds like a fantastic run and well done on your time. Best wishes.

danzargoGraduate in reply to Hidden

Ahhh thanks fitmo. It was fantastic.


You sure should feel pretty damned spesh, Dan! Excellent time! (It takes me an hour to do my 5K sometimes!)

Another great post, thank you! :)

danzargoGraduate in reply to Beek

Yo Beek! Cheers!


Wow, what a lovely run that sounds! I used to work in Richmond and always loved going into the park. At least your route didn't have you going uphill at the end of the run!

danzargoGraduate in reply to Ullyrunner

Thank GOD!


Sounds like a wonderful run, and well done with the 10k.

danzargoGraduate in reply to Tomas

cheers tomas.

Great post, and isn't Richmond Park just the best? The deer, the feral green parakeets, the rolling landscape, I love running there. Sounds like you did the Parkrun route (if you turned left at Richmond Gate and ran down Sawyers Hill). And you RAN up Richmond Hill too?!?... Eeeeee.

danzargoGraduate in reply to TurboTortoise

That's EXACTLY the route I took. Isn't it great?!


Thanks for describing your run is such wonderful detail pardner! I could imagine each phase and thoroughly enjoyed it too. I have been off the running for almost two weeks now, but eventually went to gp and got antibiotics this afternoon so I think I will spend a wee but if time planning a lovely running route to try out once I am back to full strength. Thanks for the inspiration. You are some guy... And I am sure you looked great in your orange and purple :)

danzargoGraduate in reply to lizziebeth57

Thanks Lizziebeth. Hope you're recovered soon so you can get out there and get ONE with nature!


What a wonderful route. Lucky you! Congratulations on doing your 10.4k run and in such a good time too.

danzargoGraduate in reply to kickibro

Merci beaucoup kickibro.

Well done dan

danzargoGraduate in reply to Rockette

fanks maaaayyyyyt!


Sounds a really lovely area to run (hills aside), you've really cracked that 10k now Dan. Good idea about the walking break, I'm wondering if I should build one in myself (I'm running the same distances as you roughly).

danzargoGraduate in reply to notbad

Yes you bloomin' should! They are the reward that your body needs and they really do......"rebalance" your mojo (so to speak!)

Well done!! I'd feel really happy with myself if I'd done that. Good job and great write up... One day... I'll have to build on my 5K 40mins time yet!! :-) This time next year though...

danzargoGraduate in reply to thinlizzyIwish123

But isn't that the great thing about running? You can take as long as you like to do whatever you like whenever you like! It took me months and months to even get close to 10K and I never believed I could do it. Once you HAVE hit a target though, your brain doesn't see it as an obstacle anymore.

Rockette in reply to danzargo

Yes dan you have it the nail on the head there , you can just take your own sweet time , you are a inspiration , you had injuries but kept coming back & now you are listening to your body & look at your rewards . Well done again dan , you really deserve it .


It was a beautiful day today and your run sounds lovely. Well done Dan , a well respectable time too. x

danzargoGraduate in reply to no-excuse

thanks no-excuse. Twas a lovely run to be sure!


Wow that sounds amazing cowboy. Impressive time.

danzargoGraduate in reply to Azores



Yee hah! Sounds like a brill run and in good weather too. Well done matey

danzargoGraduate in reply to misswobble

Thank you! :-)


well done you...its all upwards now Dan, you just have it nailed :)

danzargoGraduate in reply to ju-ju-

AND WITH PANTS ON TOO!! (unlike some people...)

ju-ju-Administrator in reply to danzargo

I just want to point out I wasn't naked! I did have capris on!!!


Well done Dan! Brilliant post about a great run again! :-)

danzargoGraduate in reply to Poppy2010

thanks Poppy


Great blog and a great run. Loved the way you just listened to your body and responded to the environment around you. If it feels right, it is right!

danzargoGraduate in reply to wilmacgh

yes sirrreee!


Wonderful post. You've inspired me. I'm coming down to chez mes parents this weekend with kiddie in tow. Richmond park sounds beautiful and a great place to go with the family. I might even be able to get a run there if I'm lucky. If you need a hydration station or cheerleader we could do it :-)

danzargoGraduate in reply to Hidden

haha! Thanks tanyag163. Hope the weather's nice ....


Well done you! Richmond Park is the best place for running, I totally agree. I managed 8k yesterday, but walked up that hill from Petersham up to Richmond Gate - tomorrow I'm doing my first parkrun along the river. Well done you - 10k is what I'm aiming for, and your post gives me more inspiration to keep going!

danzargoGraduate in reply to Yeshe

You'll do it. AND I know that hill. That's a biggun that is. Best of luck with PR tomorrow..!


You're banging out those 10k s now and a fab time too! Water bottle always a good idea and the odd jelly baby! :)

danzargoGraduate in reply to carole01

Yes, I was glad I'd bought water what with it being so sunny and all. Haven't yet put my toe into the "Jelly Baby water" so to speak. Maybe there's a whole new world of sweeties waiting for me...!!


im so jealous it sounds wonderful and thanks for taking the trouble to share it with us. after my 10k race im trying to run it in 1hr.well done.

danzargoGraduate in reply to towzer61

Good for you. I seem to naturally jog around 6'10 per K when I'm on a 10K run and that feels "slow" to me or at least, comfortable. This speed allows a 2 minute walk halfway through and I still seem to finish around the hour mark. Oddly, I get a burst of energy around the 8K/9K mark and have managed quite a speedy finish despite feeling knackered!

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