PARKRUN AGAINST ALL ODDS!: I awoke feeling... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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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.....


23 Replies

Well done Dan great post as always! So glad you beat heavy breather too, that's a result in itself. The chap who's been coming first at my Parkrun always rolls on the ground at the end, making celebratory noises, I can hear him when I'm on my second lap! We had wind, wind and more wind this morning and it was a real struggle so probably no PB for me. But anyway, we went so that's good isn't it x

danzargoGraduate in reply to no-excuse

Thanks no-excuse. I'd love to fist the air sometimes, but being so damned British it's hard to do that sometimes!


Plenty to celebrate, Dan, you got some more miles into them thar legs and were out training for your next run, whatever that my be. I don't think I could have done it!

danzargoGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks IDT. I'm sure you could have!


It's all good fun, but where do those amazing people come from who shoot past us at the finish line like speeding bullets?? It happens every time without fail to me.

danzargoGraduate in reply to notbad

Really? I know! It's amazing isn't it. Last week it was this young boy and his Dad who just went 50 times faster than anyone for the last 10m. Sugary drinks you think?


wow...sounds amazing, I am sure you must have beaton all manner of PB's and no doubt heavy breathing man is banging the floor with his fists!! As for high shorts man, was it Simon Cowell??!! Have a great night in the city!!

danzargoGraduate in reply to ju-ju-

This guy made even Simon Cowell look fashionable! Hahaha! Itching to see results.......

Liked the race commentary DZ - you may have a burgeoning career there. Well done on the sprint finish. The pony tailed beauty wasn't SR then ?

danzargoGraduate in reply to runningnotwalking

Cheers RNW! Don;t think it was SR.....


Well done for getting out there even with your hangover.

Sadly, I missed parkrun this morning (first time this year!), but I did think of all of you as I stood there eating my bacon butty and drinking my cup of coffee at just after 9, not nursing a hangover though, it was my post 'first-swim-in-open-water' treat! Must see if I can get up, over there, swim, change and be back in time for parkrun (only 40 mins drive each way!!!).

danzargoGraduate in reply to Beads

Beads, you're a DYNAMO!


Well done Dan.

I dont think you were hungover during the run, I reckon you were still 3 sheets. :D

Well done on defeating heavy breathing man. Sounds like an evil so n so. But now I think on it, my right headphone fell out while running with Laura this morning and I heard this incredibly noisy breather!!!! It was of course my good self. Perhaps I do a hulk type thing when running?


Well done Dan :)


Well done Dan! :-) Bet, despite the ghastly hangover, you're glad you dragged yourself up there! Well done, good sir; enjoy the dinner tonight: you've certainly earned it!

I like the sound of the Terry towelling fellow!

Well done dan , eat your towelling shorts heavy breather man ! You showed him who was boss . Congratulations .

Rockette in reply to Rockette

Them towelling shorts , lol

well done SuperDan you really showed that hangover what for!! I always try a sprint finish at the end, its amazing what seeing that finishing line sets off in your head! well done :) were you faster?

danzargoGraduate in reply to aliboo70

Ali I came in at 27'52, so only 24 secs slower than last week. Not bad for a wreck of a man! Hahaha!


Absolutely brilliant....I was out of breath just reading your blow by blow (should that be breath by breath!?) account!

danzargoGraduate in reply to tomlertoos



Well done - you're really getting into these Parkruns now, a whole new dimension for you. If you can achieve all that with a hangover?!? You'll break records if you do it the day after an early night with a mug of Ovaltine! Great post as usual and pleased you enjoyed the run and beat heavy breathing man. Good luck with next one and best wishes.

danzargoGraduate in reply to Hidden

cheers fitmo. Appreciate that. Next one I will be most definitely clean as a whistle!

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