Well gor blimey guv'nor, what a spiffingly gorgeous morning it was to be sure, along the Thames between Twickenham and Richmond. I was wearing shorts. I've ditched the lycra leggings as the air temp is such that makes one feel as if my legs are suffocating in this weather. I wanted to do 8K today, by way of a stepping stone to doing 10K later in the week.

"Well why didn't you just do 10K Dan? You klutz!". I hear you, dear reader, but I like doing things in mentally do'able chunks. Having run regular 5K's on holiday and another one last saturday, I decided that doing just one 8K before the 10 would put me in a good mental place. Because let's face it folks - "10K....IS A LONG WAY!"

I started off going slow and steady and told myself to stay at this pace the entire way through. However, there was an "incident" that appealed to my competitive nature around the 3rd and 4th K. I had just reached the riverside at Twickenham when I heard what I thought was a bike behind me. A cursory glance over my left shoulder revealed it was indeed a lady runner who appeared to want to pass me. We seemed to be going at the same pace as the gap between us stayed at about 6-10metres for what seemed like ages. For some STUPID reason I thought "She aint passing me!". So I stepped on the gas a tiny bit to try and increase the distance, thereby destroying her mental state as she battled to pass me. On and on we went, at one stage she disappeared down a side alley then reappeared again just as I was passing her "re entry" to the road. Her tactic to pass me had failed and I felt myself doing a little "Dr Evil" laugh - "Muuwaa ha ha ha!!"

I stayed in front, my pace faster than I really wanted it to be but "sod it" I thought - "Maybe this bit of competition is good for me. Keeping the old legs going and my brain feeling positive". Ahead of me the road split into two - one way was a path that went around a children's playground, the other was straight on. I chose the straight on one, SHE took the other one. I knew that the other way would intersect with me in about 150metres, where the two paths became ONE once again, alongside the Thames. I'd taken the children's playground route many times and remembered that it was exactly the same distance as the route I had decided to take this time, so I stepped on the gas knowing that she would be doing the same. How silly eh? But there it was - I was being childishly competitive and did not want her to get in front of me!!

My speed now was way too fast and I was burning valuable energy which really should be used to complete my 8K plan. I turned right towards the river and noticed the pink top of the lady runner coming through the playground at a fair old pace. Would we intersect and crash into each other? Would I get there first and manage to keep in front? She was about to join the Thames path - "Damn it!" I thought. "She's gonna get there about 20metres before me! Bol****s!"

By the time I'd reached the Thames path she had already gained about 20 - 30 metres ahead of me and was tonking along at a pace I just could not match. I started to get a stitch. My breathing got heavier and my legs were swearing at me like a docker ; "You stupid **ck**g, tw**! What the hell was all that sh** for? We're both cream crackered and for what? Stupid ******* idiotic b*****d!!!"

I had to agree with my legs. They were right, of course. The whole 8K plan had been thrown out the window in a silly attempt at trying to save my male ego from being beaten. Pink Top woman disappeared into the distance and as I went along slowly trying to regain energy levels, I realised that by each corner I got to, she had completely GONE! How did she maintain that speed? The only thing that gave me a bit of a boost was seeing a woman I'd once dreamt of going out with in 1996. She was walking along with her man and she looked like a goddess - even still! She didn't notice me thank GOD.

Anyway, I managed to get back on track, but by 6K I was struggling. I was so stubborn, I decided to just keep going and not stop for a walk break - I had to keep going to the end. 7K came and went. The last kilometre beckoned and somehow I got some breath back and some energy and managed to reach the finish line with a bit of a flourish! No-one clapped. No-one cheered. People went about their daily business and couldn't have cared less at this sweating 51 year old geezer who was feeling quite pleased with himself as he walked briskly by.

But the main thing is - I DID IT! If I'd not tried chasing the Pink Top woman I might have done a better time, but never mind. 48 minutes is just about right for me for the 8K, with 5K coming in at 29'45.

So the moral of this story is - if you have a plan - STICK TO IT! Otherwise your legs might use some fruity language at you.......

Happy running folks!



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34 Replies

  • Ha ha ha ha ha! Oh Dan! Brilliant post! Very understandable reaction. Lesson learnt and all that. Take note peeps and do as Dan says! Keep to your plan.

    Great to hear from you again Dan - better luck next time. Why not make friends with her and do a bit of mutual challenging so you both will improve?

  • Would love to have made friends but I couldn\t catch her!!!

  • Brilliant story as always Dan, funny I had a similar burst of competitive spirit on my run yesterday, it was meant to be 8k long slow run..........but Mr.Red/Black shirt passed me and the rest is history as they say ;)

  • Haha thanks mummysaurus

  • Ah dear Dan, man chasing skirt. It was ever thus. Ha ha

    Well done on your run! Your desire not to be outrun by the Pink Lady sure paid dividends

  • Hah! LOL

  • Why thank you MissWobble!

  • Nice one Dan, I could read your posts all day!

  • Cheers dude!

  • Haha! Great post Dan - twas a glorious morning for a run this morning... who ever said we weren't a competitive bunch... :)

  • I know. What has happened to us all? :-)

  • Hahaha very funny. :D I would love to hear this story from Pink Top Woman's point of view. Just what exactly do you think she'll be saying to her nearest and dearest about the bloke in shorts running along the river bank. Cheers Dan, you've really made me laugh :)

  • Wouldn't it be great if she posted her version on this forum - perhaps she's a secret member?!

  • I hadn't thought of that? Hopefully she'll be telling her pals "There was this reeeeeeally dishy guy......."


  • Classic story Dan - glad you are back in Blighty to keep us all amused!

  • Thanks c4ts!

  • Nice to have you back Superdan! hope you had a good hols? What a great tale, sounds like your legs were talking sense, but you made it to your 8 k, excellent! keep those posts coming...................... :)

  • I will! Thanks ALiboo

  • Dan, you crack me up, love your posts !! )

  • I am sooooo pleased I crack you up! High praise indeed :-)

  • think I am in love !

  • Fabulous, brilliant just need pink top woman on every run to get the running juices going :)

  • Errrr.......I had to re-read that to make sure you weren't being naughty Juju!!

  • Moi?? I am an innocent creature :)

  • You are hilarious, Dan! You really cheer me up with your posts. Keep them coming - have missed you on here! x

  • How incredibly kind! And what a lovely thing to say. Thank you :-)

  • Ha, obvously a hard core runner! Maybe she was just lagging behind you for so long to admire your shorts clad behind!

  • Exactly!

  • Brilliant - she was probably hiding behind a tree until you'd gone past. We all have this thing about runners being friendly and smiling at each other as they pass - but going the same way as us they seem to become the enemy.

  • It's TRUE!

  • Brilliant post Dan, I chuckled my way through it!

    I must say, having been another man's purple top woman the other day my sympathies are more with her than you :D His male ego nearly ran him into a head on collision with a cyclist *Women of the world raise an eyebrow and sigh*

    Glad you made it to 8K though, and in a very enviable time. Good work.

  • The only thing my ego does is run me into the ground!!

  • Never underestimate the pink top woman! I was running in one's wake on Sunday. She was doing the Jeff Galloway shuffle, head down. She never wavered, she was like a engine, pistons going up and down, slowly but surely. I kept her in my sights but on the hills she was thrapping everybody! She didn't win but she certainly kicked a*se and she was no spring chicken. I was able to track her progress as she was wearing a day-glo pink top!

  • It's all in the colour of the top.....

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