Done it. Exactly one month since my last 10K distance I've managed to overcome a little mental hurdle - mainly that because it had been so long, would I be able to crack it once again? I'm happy to report that "YES!" is the answer.
Although dear reader, it wasn't easy and had one of those "Ohhh noooooo!" moments built into it. Allow me to amplify if I may.....
Woke up at at a very civilised time and made a juice. Chewed on 6 dates for some fructose energy then gave the two kitties some "dreamies" as they'd been annoying me whilst I chewed. I headed out the door clad in my black SuperDan Lycra leggings, compression guards, Brooks, black top and Timex IronMan on my wrist. I was planning 10K on this run but I didn't feel like it. I'm a terrible worrier and had a few things on my mind which were contributing to my lack of exuberance, but I was determined to try and just "do it" (as Nike say). At my favourite lamp post I started my watch and Endomondo and I was off.
The first K was awful. Rugged, heavy, ker-plonkish and just generally sh*t. Even at this stage I hadn't definitely decided on my route (as I had two to choose from) so I took the bull by the horns and decided on the peaceful Thames path to Kew Bridge then over the bridge onto the road, through Brentford and back home by the Duke of Northumberland's Syon House. Once I'd started toward Kew Bridge along the incredibly quiet and lush green Thames path my mind settled down. The peace was more'ish and hearing the birds sing seemed to alleviate my demeanour. I hardly saw a soul for the 5 kilometres along the river - a runner or two (who smiled back at me too!!!) and some dog walkers. I was shuffling along at a very easy pace and definitely wasn't going to try and break any records today. The weather was absolutely perfect for running with intermittent sunshine, a light breeze and the ground was dry. I could hear the regular rhythm of my Brooks on the stony ground "crunch crunch crunch" and figured if I could keep the same pace for a while, I could "zone out" and not think too much.
I reached Kew Bridge and galloped up the few steps to the road, then was hit by a long slope toward the apex of the bridge. This made my legs go "Jeeeeeeeeez!!" but before long I'd reached the summit and was lightly jogging down the other side, enjoying the relief of some downhill. As I jogged along towards Brentford I noticed this young chap ahead of me standing at a bus stop. "Excuse me" he said. "Excuse me!". He was 20 metres away and as I got closer he brought out this clipboard and repeated his "EXCUSE ME!" in a slightly irritated voice! There was NO WAY I was going to stop and have a nice little chat with him. I'd just run 6K and my body was not for stopping - I mean, the shock would have killed me! So I put up my hand and said quite firmly "Sorry. Can't stop", to which I received a face which looked like he was thinking "What's the problem?". I mean, who the hell asks someone clad from head to toe in running gear, and running along in a clear manner which says "I'm running", to stop and fill out a questionnaire??? The mind boggles.....
I was nearing the end of my run.
OR WAS I?
I'd calculated that by the time I'd reached a kids school near my house, that was about 10K, so I fished my phone out of my belt and had a quick glance at Endomondo. I read the display in horror. IT SAID I'D ONLY DONE 9K!!! Oh nooooooo! Now I'd have to keep going for another kilometre. My mind started to do acrobatics, my legs started to seize up and my whole demeanour was wracked in disappointment! "Now hang on Dan" I said to myself. "It's only another 1000 metres. Pick up the pace young lad and make this your best K. You can't let yourself down now, you big plonker!!!"
"You're right!" I said. "I'm gonna kick ass. I'm gonna rip it up. I'm gonna take that final K and shove a massive......."
"THAT'S ENOUGH!" I stopped. "No filth please. Now run!"
I picked up the pace and started running. Not jogging. Running. Where the energy came from I have no idea, but I was tonking along at a fair old pace. I kept the phone in my hand and kept glancing at it to see how close to 10K I was........9.5.......9.7.......9.9......"God, when is it gonna click over to 10?".......Suddenly my desires were met as I saw the clock tick over to the magic figure - 10K!!!!!! I'd done it! And my last kilometre was indeed, my quickest - 5'54.
Overall stats ; 10K in 62 minutes exactly, with 5K in 30'32. That'll do me.
It was a tough run but at least I'd achieved what I'd set out to do. No matter how hard your run may seem to you, if you stick at it and try to avoid thinking about how hard it is, you will complete it - and this is where running really displays it's magic. It floods your brain with feelings of achievement, it gives you a virtual pat on the back, it makes you stand taller (just a little bit) because you did something that is so good for you.
Never give up, for the rewards are so great and positive, they far outweigh any negative vibes present.
And so endeth the philosophy of Lord Zargo of Runningville........
Thanks for reading.