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

"You're mad!"

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!


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17 Replies

  • Well done Dan. I hate hills! Even slight ones. So well done on getting to grips with them with such aplomb

    Interesting to have conversations with peeps as you often hear such interesting stories. It gave you some time to catch your breath too.

  • Yes it was actually a lovely break from the torture of the hill!

  • Ha ha, Well Done Dan, love it ! Glad you made that old chap's day too :-) xxx

  • Thank you!

  • I love your posts, Dan - you create such lovely images for me in my minds eye. Nice that you had a good run and also made someone's day into the bargain! Happy running!

  • Awwww shucks! Thanks Beek!

  • It's better than a novel , reading your posts dan ! Bless the old bloke I bet you made his day . Good pic .

  • You say the nicest things Rockette! Thank you. :-)

  • Strangely enough I walked the dog yesterday, technically in London, but most people think it's Surrey, we went past cows, close enough for Fred to seriously think about rolling in cow poo, for me to catch him at it and shout at him, for him to decide to EAT it rather than roll in it!!!

    The cows weren't there this morning when I ran past, the sheep in the next bit were though.

  • Lovely post and sounds like a good run :) So glad you made the time to talk to the older gentleman, a true kindness. I am trying to learn your positive attitude to steep hills ie that they are good things rather than instruments of torture as I live in a very hilly area and cannot avoid them.

  • Yo have to learn to love the challenge. On my last ascent, I noticed that already I was going .00000001mph faster!!

  • Great post Dan. Sounds like lovely morning: cooler weather, a nice run, a bit of hill work and an interesting chat and all before lunchtime. What's not to like?

  • Exactly!

  • Mad indeed, but happily so :-)

  • Haha!

    Hey notbad - just read a post where you did a 10K in 55'12??? WTF???!!!! That is incredible. How did you manage that?

    I am sooo impressed.

  • Another great post, love the picture too! Sounds like another eventful run, nice that you stopped and had a chat with the old man sounds like you made someone very happy today!!

  • How lovely - and you even have Mo as a fan. Similar experience recently at Windsor Castle where one of the men that worked there talked at my mate and I for about 15 mins. We know all about his daughters routine at work!! We weren't in a hurry so it was fine - but then we didn't have hills to run up.

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