The smell of baking permeated the house as I came through the front door. Mrs Dan was making a lemon meringue cake - "Where the bloo**y hell have you been?" - "I know sorry. I've been ages haven't I?" I replied. I had just returned from a massive 10.4K run all the way around Richmond Park....
This was my third run of the week. Tuesday I went out and ran a 5K. It was rubbish and clearly affected by the amount of vino collapso I'd drunk the night before, because I found it incredibly hard. Incredibly I managed it in under 30 mins (just) but I had to stop at least three times due to tiredness or nausea! I didn't mind though because I've got used to the fact that some days are awful and others are fabulous and I take it in my stride. So the following day I decided to go out for a short run. I was going to Berlin Wednesday night for a days work on Thursday, so I ran a very quick 3K around the block. Did it in 16'14sec with every K well under 6 mins and I returned home out of breath but pleased I'd got a nice healthy run in before travelling to Gatwick. The Berlin trip consisted of ; home to Gatwick - flight - airport to hotel - sleep - hotel to work - worked until 4pm - cab back to airport - home by 9pm! It was hideous and I hated every second of it because I am one of those travellers that likes to take things reeeeally easy and NOT RUSH! The whole trip was rushed so as a reward to myself this morning I decided to drive to Richmond Park, and run all the way around it!
Found a car park at Kingston Gate and set off on my warm up walk. I was decked out like a running God and once the 5 mins were up I started. The first three kilometres were delicious. Birds tweeted, dappled sunlight flickered through the trees and the stony track I was running on felt secure and firm. Many folk were out this Good Friday, stretching their legs and taking the air. Lots of runners and lots of really annoying bast**d bicycle riders who should've been on the bloody road and NOT on the path!! That aside, I came to a downhill section and ran down it like a bullet! I was scared I might take a tumble I was going so fast, but I kept on my feet and when I reached the level once again, I settled into a steady jog.
Around 4K I got a bit tired so slowed right down. I'd set my watch to beep at 30 minutes which was when I'd stop for a walk and get my breath back but unfortunately had to stop fro a breather a good five minutes before the 30 were up. Not to worry I thought. Just keep going. I pressed on once I'd got my breath back and was suddenly faced with a long hill. "Oh God! This is getting tough" I said to myself. A long queue of traffic had stopped to allow about a hundred deer to lollop across the road. I stopped briefly marvelling at these gorgeous creatures and then thought what a sod Henry VIII was, galloping through this very park back in the 1500's hunting these graceful animals, before putting a whole deer between two pieces of bread and gorging on his Deer Burger!
I started to run again. Up the hill....puff puff puff I went......this is horrendous......made it to the top and settled back into a more comfortable jog where I realised I had reached Richmond Gate. One last turn now back to the car which was just 3K away. Piece of cake (or so I thought!) and I crossed the road and rejoined the stony path where so many runners were looking far more graceful than I was. The only thing was that I was dressed sooooo much better than any of them so that gave me a boost! hahaha!! Had to stop for another walk. My sixth. Started to think "This is gonna be a disaster and be waaaay off my 59 minute Personal World 10K Record for a runner Named Dan." I was still enjoying the nature around me and the 20mph car speed limit made the entire park seem quite calm and relaxed. A young boy on his bike was coming towards me and I hoped he'd swerve to avoid me, after all, I was wearing an electric neon yellow running top! The little swine decided that the best course to take would be to ride straight through me!! I had to do this amazing stunt to avoid being zonked by a 12 year old on a bike! I resisted the urge to yell filthy language and abuse at him because I remember being that age and being on my bike in a park. The sense of freedom was amazing! So I let him off with a muted "hurrumph!".
I could see the car park approaching! YES! One last push and then it was time to stop and warm down walk back to the car. On my way across the stony car park I noticed a fiver, sitting on the ground. No-one was around so I stooped down and put it in my pocket as a sort of finders keepers running reward!! I'm gonna stick it in a charity box when I buy my Saturday lotto ticket. I did my stretches and then looked at Endomondo to see how I'd done. I'd only done 10K in 61'26sec with 5K in 29'55. Kabooom! I thought I'd have been far longer what with all the walk breaks, but there you go.
Could hardly walk when I got out of the car and walked to the front door. The smell of baking permeated the house as I came through the front door.........
Ahhhh, we've come full circle........Happy Running everyone!