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! :-)

29 Replies

  • Thanks kittykat007. Happy Easter to you too.

  • Lovely Easter run, Dan! Your times are fantastic. It takes me an hour to do 5K so you're doing great!

    Happy running!

  • I'm sure that the fact I've lost a few pounds has helped. Lugging around excess weight certainly slowed me down.

  • It seems the more you walk the faster you run Dan...

  • Yes! Interesting....*** fingers moustache questioningly**!!!

  • I reduced my running intervals again to just 3 mins with 30 secs walking in between today Dan. Did 8km in 39:55...

  • Chrisl - we need to start a run/walk thread for discussions re run/walk only.

    Because I have only just got over the hump of running continuously for 5K ( at the conclusion of C25K) , I have not been doing much run/walk recently. On last Thursday, I ran non-stop for 5Ks for the very first time in 35:17 mins-- then on Saturday at Parkrun, there were so many runners that I could not seem to get into a rhythmn and also went out too fast at the start amongst the crush and hence by 2.5K , I was a bit stonkered - so I walked a few times when I felt the need. I simply couldn't run the full distance non-stop -- HOWEVER, with these walks, I beat the previous non-stop run by 10 seconds !! :)

    I am now about to embark on a training programme over the next 14 weeks that does "long runs" up to 18klms -- so am planning to do these runs very slow around 8:30 mins per Klm using 2/1.5 run/walk ratio. The object is to be able to finish these long runs feeling good - but with no real pace in mind, faster or slower than the 8:30 mentioned. I only got that figure after a 5Klm run/walk using that ratio. For me, I think at this time that 30 seconds doesn't give me enough recovery time (at least that is what my HRM tells me) even though I feel OK -- but I have to be conscious about the ultimate distances I will be attempting ( distances that I would have thought to be even unthinkable not so long ago)

  • Hi Bazza. I did find 30 secs was possibly not long enough rest time. Actually my running app did something a bit odd today and seemed to be giving me extra seconds of walking over and above what I programmed it to do so I think I probably walked for longer than I planned.

    If anyone else using iSmoothRun has encountered this (the app going into minus numbers at the end of the rest intervals) I would love to understand why/what it is doing....

  • another good run Superdan! theres no stopping you now, sounds like a sucessful trip round Richmond for you today , and then the reward of that cake! yum! i've just made an apple and rhubarb(from the garden!) pie to take to my friends house tomorrow, we are both doing parkrun so will deserve it by then! happy running !

    P.S. * (and get you with that Jetset lifestyle! (though it did sound like a hard day!) :)

  • Phhwwoaaarrr!! I love rhubarb but never have it because Mrs Dan loathes it! Hope your park run went swimmingly. Happy Easter.

  • yay! new PB 31.31mins, and rhubarb pie was lovely had 2 slices plus icecream! Happy easter!

  • great blog, and a great run...I can picture where you run so well...very familiar! Im glad my 12 year old lad runs as well as cycles so he understands not to play 'chicken' with a runner when he's on his bike, although he'd make a point of doing that to me!!!!! MMMM yummy pie, my nan used to make that and its like eating fluffy comfort blankets in each mouthful....yum!!

  • Nice pic Jooj. Love it. Haven't had any cake yet as it's been baked for Easter Sunday with the in laws! So to compensate I've eaten a fluffy blanket off the cat bed smothered in lemon curd. Bloody delicious! Hahaha!!

  • Hi Dan! Have found myself looking out for your posts...they are so a nice way, I mean! I'm hope to be finishing WK9 next Weds so reading of your mammoth ( to me ) triumphs really inspires and motivates me. Thanks for taking the effort ....

  • You are so kind tomlertoos! Thank you.

  • Fantastic post, fantastic time in Richmond Park (wow, deer!), and fantastic lemon meringue, Dan! You're so right about having to accept that some runs are just rubbish, but the next one is always going to be better! Thanks for the great blog, and happy running :)

  • Yeah, rubbish runs are really great runs in disguise. ANYTHING beats sitting on the couch eating dorito's smothered in cheese and drinking glasses of liquid lard!! Hahaha!

  • You probably need to do a lot of running, if only to enjoy all the lovely things that Mrs Dan cooks. Great post as usual, Dan, but will probably be asking for more of these lovely recipes before long. Have a great Easter. Best wishes.

  • The cake resulted in the most amount of swearing I've ever heard Mrs Dan do! She had to make her own lemon curd, sponge cakes, sugar syrup, meringue and all with LONG pauses between each component part! I'm not allowed any until Easter Sunday....!

  • Enjoyed reading that very much. Great times too. It's good that including bits of walking actually gets you faster times overall.

  • Yes, I'm now a firm believer in walking during a run. It gets your body back in balance.

  • Hallelujah, the boy is a convert! That's Bazza, me and Dan now. 3 C25K heretics together. Any other graduates brave enough to try run/walk?

    Word of advice - Only try it if you want to run faster, reduce your PB times, avoid injury and recover faster after your runs...

  • What a fun read, will be looking for more

  • Haha! Thanks JudesL. Appreciate that.

  • That five pounds just has to be divine reward for all the pounds you have lost, Dan. You certainly seemed to have cracked the 10k now. It's a great feeling to be able to just go out there and do it...just like that, isn't it? WHEN are you going to do a parkrun?

  • You are right. To be able to KNOW that I can attack this distance without mentally wimping out is a great feeling. still procrastinating......... like a thing that procrastinates. I ought to pull my finger out really...

  • Hi

    If you're going back to Berlin anytime and take your running kit, I can recommend a run around the outside of the Tiergarten. It's completely flat, nice and easy and if you do it early morning or in the evening, you go past a lit-up Brandenburg Gate. It's about 4.5k all the way round, so you can add a bit on for an easy, but interesting 5k.

  • That's great Rob thank you. I'm actually going on Tuesday for a few days - although I'm working nights in a studio which is gonna screw up my body clock somewhat. I still think I'll take the running shoes though......just in case. That route sounds fab.

  • Hey, good to see your still at it. Youv achieved so much since i was on here last. Great to see your amazing 10k record for a runner named dan. That's fab

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