I awoke feeling hideous. The previous night had got out of hand around the time when Graham Norton's show was on TV and I immediately regretted the lake of wine I'd consumed earlier. However, I managed to get my running clobber on and tiptoe downstairs where Oscar and Tallulah were waiting for their second breakfast. I'd already got up at 5.17am to feed them breakfast #1 but this apparently wasn't enough, so another sachet of chicken flakes in jelly went into their bowls. The smell made me gag and I disappeared to do my hip 'n glute stretches I do prior to every run. Once those were done I made a juice of various stuff and the noise of the damned machine went through me like a thunderbolt! "I can do this" I said to myself.
Straddled Beverly (my scooter) and off I went to Richmond Park. Arrived in good time for a 5 min warm up walk. The weather was dull and a bit spitty with rain, but certainly not so bad you'd get soaked. I noticed the BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth turn up, as she did last week. Her legs look incredibly muscle'y and strong as she does a lot of running - or so I've read in the past. Again this week, there were around 300-400 people - a HUGE throng. I was wondering if I could make it all the way around in one piece I was feeling so hungover, when suddenly we were called to the start line. I lolloped down towards Bishops Pond and took my place around half way in the pack. Before long, we were off and I thought "This is it Dan baby. There's no going back now!".
I was behind a chap in the most weird get up. His shorts were long terry toweling affairs with a stripe down each leg, he had his T shirt tucked in and wore the waist quite high, he had normal grey everyday socks pulled up his shins and a pair of rather tatty looking trainers! Luckily there were tons of attractive ladies in lycra capris to keep me feeling sane and once I'd made it out of the bottle neck start, I was on Sawyers Hill path. I overtook lots of runners as my pace bedded in. There was no way today was going to be fast, purely because I was feeling so awful, but I was determined to keep going as hard as I could. I wished I'd remembered my water bottle (I'd left it under the scooter seat) cos my mouth was getting dry, but there was nothing for it but to ignore my thirst and press on.
After my extremely satisfying 10K last Wednesday where I achieved a number of PBs, I was regretting once again the fact I'd gone mad last night with the girls, because today would most likely be a shadow of weds run. Never mind! I was still overtaking people at a rate of knots. The more people I overtook, the more relaxed I felt and I allowed my stride to be long and comfortable, but not too long a stride where I'd do a mischief with my hamstrings! I'd already turned left, had run across the grass to join the gravel path on the next section. Breathing was getting heavy now and I was feeling the effort I was putting in, but despite this I pushed and pushed and smiled when I saw the sun come out and shine it's warm rays on my head. "Oh crap. Here come the up hill bit...." A lot of folks slow right down at this bit, but I did the opposite and used the full stretch of my legs to power up the short hilly bit. It had the desired effect and I propelled myself forward to the top, where I thought I'd die, so I slowed down and reduced my pace to a more comfortable one.
A long downhill bit and a speedy right turn was next and I devoured the relief I felt like a big tasty steak pie! But hang on? What's that breathing noise? On my left shoulder I could hear a chap breathing heavily and trying to pass me, but I was determined to make it difficult for him! My "Dr Evil" inner laugh sounded in my head "Muuuwah haaa haa!!" and I kept my speed. He was almost level.......damn it, come on Dan.......oh crap, he's level with me. We ran for quite a way at exactly the same pace and for a second I thought "Sod this! Just let him go Dan yer big ninny!" But that was when a volunteer standing at the side of the path yelled "Come on people! Only 150m to go. Last push!" - - - - "Oohhhhh reeeally?" I said to myself. "Right come on Dan me lad. Time for the turbo boosters!". Heavy breathing man was ahead of me by about three paces, and I dug deep, deeper than I've ever dug. He was younger than me and I was gonna show this youngster what a geezer in his 50's can REALLY do. "Engage turbo boosters" my brain said to my legs.......and i was off! Fast. Really fast. I mean, sort of sprinting fast!! Heavy breathing man was now eating my dust as I powered towards the finishing line. An incredibly fast woman with a sexy ponytail overtook me about 5 metres from the finish line (where the hell did she come from???), but what the hell, I was now crossing the line myself and thought about collapsing on the grass and screaming "Yeeeaahhhhhhh!!!!!', but I refrained from drawing attention to myself. Instead, I took my place in line to get scanned. I'd beaten heavy breathing man and a surge of satisfaction came over me like a wave. What a feeling!
The girls have gone out shopping so I've got the house to myself as I wait for the parkrun results. I wonder how I did? I'm not checking Endomondo until I get the parkrun results cos I wanna see the official time first, before I see my splits.
Hangover still there but it had better go before this evening as we are going up to London for dinner! Let's hope I have something to celebrate, running wise!
Thanks for reading.....