After my monumentally fantastic 12,000 metres last saturday, I was wondering if my legs could face a run today. Yesterday I was really feeling the lactic acid in my thighs and the stiff muscles were there the whole day. However this morning my legs were 90% recovered and seeing as I had nothing else to do, I thought I'd go for a run.
But what to do? I didn't want to do a long one. Couldn't face it. 5K non stop run with a bit of speed thrown in now and again? Nah. Hill training? Oooh, now you're talking! So I set off the 2.5K to Nightingale Lane - the hillest of hills where I'd done two sessions previously. The weather was sunny but not too humid (thank God) so I reached my hill in about 13 minutes and off I went, slowly upwards. Today I found it easier for some reason although by the time I'd reached the top I did have to take a breather. Once recovered I went back down again, which is damned tricky cos it's so steep and one didn't want to tumble over did one?! Another rest at the bottom. The field opposite me that lead down to the Thames was burnt with the sun and the long grass waved gently in the light breeze. Some cattle were chewing the cud in the shade and I thought for a second how weird it was to see cattle, in a field, in London! Although technically (and geographically) this wasn't London - it was Surrey. Anyway, I digress....
Up the hill for round 2 and I reached the top, sweating and heaving and took another breather whilst leaning against a lamp post. Suddenly this tiny old man wearing a jacket and cap stopped and asked ;
"Did you just run up that hill?
"I did!" I replied
I laughed my head off at his honesty! "You're absolutely right" I said. Thereby followed a conversation with this petite old timer. I learned he was 85. He'd cycled up "the hill" on his bike when he was 15. He'd lived here all his life. He used to sit on the bench over there and read his paper, then at 11am would look up at the sky when he heard the roar of Concorde taking off from Heathrow. He'd watch it circle over head and turn away. He liked to go the pubs around here (wink wink!). He was in the navy at 17. On 3 shillings a week. Then the fleet air arm........
I realised quite early on that he just wanted a chat with someone. I listened patiently to his tales and noticed whenever I tried to interject, he was one of those people who didn't really listen to what YOU were saying. he just wanted to talk! I didn't mind cos he such a nice chap but eventually I had to return to my hill. I made my excuses at a suitable point so as not to be rude and bid him farewell, telling him how nice it was to chat.
"No, no! Thank YOU" he said "I've not talked to anyone the whole morning so thanks for stopping. Thanks for talking to me." What a duuuude!!!
I did one more up and down then decided that was enough. I jogged home and stretched in the garden whilst Oscar and Talulah lay in the shade watching me suspiciously, then meeowed they wanted Dreamies biscuits. I always give in to them...
So that was my morning! I enjoyed chatting to the old timer. I hope he's sitting in some pub now supping a pint of Youngs Old Peculiar and reading his paper!
Overall I ran 5K of flat and 1K of up and down hill, so a pretty good workout. Lunch beckons.....farewell!