Fuelled with a massive glass of vegetable juice (homemade) and 4 dates I put on my orange dark glasses and ventured out into the warm sunny morning. I was ready for this. My legs and body in general felt good and I managed to put the massive disappointment I had yesterday to the back of my head (I was offered a job, then hired, then within 24hrs they gave the job to someone else and I was "unhired" by email! F***ing bas***ds). I was carrying a bottle of water with me because I knew that I'd need it in the warm temperatures......and then, I was off!
I knew that there would be an organised 10K Richmond Riverside run today along part of my route and I didn't want to get mixed up with them, so I left the house at 8:15am, working out that by the time I get to their starting point they would just be gathering to get ready for the off. My plan was to try and run an even tempo - not too fast as to burn valuable energy too early and not to slow either (just cos I didn't want to go too slow!!). I'd mentally thought "If I can get to the first 5K in good shape then that's where the run will start for real". Sure enough the first 3K went by very swiftly and before long I looked at my watch and it said 32 minutes, so I knew that I was already past 5K and onto the hard work.
I was heading towards Teddington lock and I reached there by K7. What a beautiful vista greeted my eyes. Boats bobbing on the river, fast running water over the weir and beyond that, calm, still water twinkling in the sunlight. Gorgeous. I reached the other side of the Thames and headed towards Richmond, along an almost covered green tunnel which let dappled sunlight through the trees. Crunch crunch crunch along the stony path I went. At one point a bike passed me with a geezer wearing a high viz vest - "There's runners coming up behind you mate" he told me. "Ok thanks" I said. Before a minute had passed, three speedy male runners zoomed past me who were on the local parkrun. I couldn't believe how fast they were going, but then I thought "They haven't just run 8K have they!" I plodded on.
A loud PA system ahead of me broke the silence of the morning. A woman's voice amplified at great volume was geeing up people. "That must be the riverside run that Aussie is doing today" I thought. Suddenly I came across an open area near a car park - this was clearly Race HQ. Hundreds of runners warming up and the sense of excitement in the air was palpable. I had to dodge past loads of them as I made my way past, listening to the woman yell "Are you excited! I see some of you may have had a few bevvy's last night!" (She was fun!).
I was glad to get past that lot before they had set off as I was beginning to feel just a tad tired. My breathing was ok, but my right leg for some reason was tiring. Not my left. My right? Figure that one out! Before too long I was approaching the place where I do my hill training - the 10K mark of my 12K run. I passed here and turned left, knowing that there was only another 2K to go. Under Richmond Bridge, not far now nearly there.........past The White Cross pub onto the cobbles, making sure I didn't slip and take a tumble.....back onto the path and under Twickenham bridge....legs were still going fine, my right leg had decided it wasn't tired after all......I had no idea what my time was, but then who cares! Eventually I saw Richmond Lock- my finish line and I heaved a massive sigh of relief. I reached the walk over bridge and fell against the railing, almost sliding to the ground with exhaustion. I was breathing heavily and an old couple looked at me with concern as they passed me (they didn't stop to see if I was ok though!). I took a few seconds to get my breath back, and a slug of water, then mounted the steps to the bridge and walked to the other side. I wobbled home slowly, stopping to stretch my legs at one point and when I walked in the door Mrs Dan was doing her Davina work out DVD. She stopped to give me a round of applause which was FABULOUS! It made the whole run worthwhile as there hadn't been any fanfare back at my "finishing line". No applause. No bunting, but there was a massive sense of achievement within myself for having completed my first 12K. Who'd have thought a little over a year ago I could have done this? Not me!
So my time for 10K was 60 mins and 32 seconds. My 5K was 29'55 and the 12K time ; 1 hour 12 mins. I was please to see that I'd roughly maintained an even pace throughout the entire run with the 10th kilometre being my fastest!!!!! Whooohoooo!!
Thank you for reading and I hope you all have super parkruns, personal runs and C25K runs today and tomorrow.
Ta ta for now