Me yesterday ;

"I'll just click on Turbotortoise's blog and have a read.......ooh, park run.......hang on? WHAT? PB? 25'38?? Bloody hell! I've been CHICKED!" (polite term for a lady beating a gentleman)

The thing about this forum is, and that there is no doubt whatsoever, is that it INSPIRES. You read peoples stories, you follow their progress from breathless overweight couch spuds to leaner, fitter, in love with running types and it gives your soul cheer. We ALL of us need encouragement in everything we do - and it's so simple to say "well done" or "I'm proud of you". It doesn't cost a bean to say and yet so many people in our everyday lives (certainly in my professional life!) rarely give any words of encouragement. Which is why this forum is so important. For those wondering if they could ever run, or if they're too old - this place gives them the juice they need. And it doesn't end with your first run, your first "WOW" blog - it's a continuous process of encouragement. I know for a fact that I couldn't have kept up my running or achieved PB's if it wasn't for all of YOU (you know who you are - I call you "The Zargonettes"!!)

So this morning, with my trapped nerve completely recovered in my shoulder, I decided to go out and see if I could run the fastest 5K I've ever run. Turbo Tortoise's blog had inspired me to push as hard as I could and just see what the results would be. So I decided on a tried and trusted 5K route I'd done 100's of times. The weather was sunny, not too warm but with a stiff fresh breeze swinging around my hips! I was tooled up - Times Ironman watch ready to measure time, endomondo ready to measure distance and lap times. I was wearing shorts with an orange stripe, a top with orange go faster stripes and orange dark glasses which made me look like an alien. I was unshaven and ready for battle. There was going to be no faffing about this morning, just "Push that Body" (a la Juicyju) to the max.

I started running. Pacy thump thump thump along the road until I turned off for the Thames path. Settled into a decent speed along here and past some volunteers in high viz vests, chopping the hedgerows and cutting back nettles. I reach K1 and turn right towards the main A road. There's a long uphill stretch here followed by a luxurious long downhill section. Hardly any pedestrians walk here as it's a busy A road and not really pedestrian friendly. My hill training had told my glutes that this piddly little uphill section was a piece of cake and I sailed up to the summit, picking up racing speed on the downhill. I was sure this was going to be an under 5 min K as I reached the hard left turn into Old Deer Park. K3 now and I was still going strong - legs and breathing fine. No-one in the park at all and as I reached the Thames path once again I was beginning to think "Err....I'm getting a bit tired now!". I'd run almost 3K and was wondering how I was gonna keep this up. As if sent by The Almighty Up In Heaven, as I turned hard left towards Richmond Bridge I heard a runners footfall behind me. It was flap flap flapping and getting quite close.

"Ha! Alrighty then! There is NO WAY I am letting that runner pass me. NO WAY!"

I picked up speed and the runners footfall felt it was disappearing a bit......but then it caught up! "Oh no!"

I just happened to be on the section of Thames path where two days ago I had run my fastest ever single K and I am sure this helped me. I pushed my body and punished my body HARD and told my glutes to push me forward. It did the trick. I had clearly demoralised the runner behind me making them think there was NO WAY they were gonna pass me. I was glad I had this motivation though cos I am sure that without it, I would have slowed down.

Up the steps at Richmond Bridge to the road, then over the bridge, down to the other side of the river. Running hard.....pushing.....panting and feeling like I'd shot my bolt. Could I get to the end without stopping? I had to. Turbo Tortoises 25'38 was taunting me in my head "You'll never catch me, you'll never catch me!" Grrrrrrr!!!!! I reached Richmond Lock and saw the volunteers still tearing at the nettles as I ran past them for the second time only this time, I was homeward bound. Back to the road, turn right towards my finishing lamp post.....there it is......30m......20m......10m......and STOP!

I let out a huge "oohhhggghhgrrghhh!" of relief and exhaustion and walked briskly home. I was sweating so much and couldn't wait to lie in the jacuzzi for a while. Mrs Dan greeted me "Well?" she said. I replied ; "I think I may have run my fastest ever 5K!". "Oooh...well done. You'd better nip upstairs and check your time online then!"

I ran up the stairs.......awoke the iMac and logged on to Endomondo.....

My time : 25'54 !!! I was aghast. The first time I'd ever run a sub 26. Turbo Tortoise need not worry, as she still clocked the same distance a good 16 seconds faster than me - but I am on her TAIL!!! hahaha!

So this week I've had a single K PB, a 5K PB and a 3 mile PB. I need a rest!

Thank you forum, for spurring me on with all your tales of success, struggles and scintillating soliloquoys.

I couldn't have done it without you.

Dan X


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26 Replies

  • You're welcome.

    The gauntlet is down now Dan the Man Zargo and I'm so gonna kick your a*se! I am running a fast 5 k on Tuesday (the plan has even gave me an extra day off to get ready for it) It says on my instructions "fast 5k" So, me always following instructions to the letter, will do just that. So, be afraid matey boy!

    Weapon of choice? Homemade energy booster bar or a piece of Mary Berry's courgette cake. Hmmmm decisions decisions. I have both in front of me so eeni, meeni, miny mo. Right! It's an energy bar. Even worser luck for ya.

    I think I shall wear my purple pants for this one!

    Should I fail in my endeavour I will have to eat the cake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • You had me at PURPLE PANTS!

  • You are safe for now. My Garmin tells me that years of neglect of my lungs don't have me quite ready for a sub 26 5K yet... but the spooky "Race Predictor" numbers keep on coming down with every run... and those years of being a naughty boy with the lungs are over - so it's game on... :)

    I will need to arrange a TT, DZ and Aussie ParkRun event in Richmond Park (or, better yet, we'll just turn up to the already arranged one!)... and I'll chase you up that hill you two... About 3 minutes behind you, but don't slow down - I'll get you...

    Brilliant write up as always Dan - and a perfect day for a perfect PB... well done!

  • Cheers Aussie. That sounds like a plan. I think a three person ParkRun is a brilliant idea and we should organise it, although we'd have to make TT know in no uncertain terms that she mustn't embarrass us! She's getting waaaaaay too good.......

  • I have said (in another thread) that she shouldn't really be using the word Tortoise in her tag!!! :)

  • Ah, it never fails to amaze me how you chaps speed up at the thought of being chicked (by a tortoise ;-) ), you will take flight if you get any faster DanZ.

  • Haha notbad! There's nothing like a bit of competition is there? It appeals to my half Irish stubborness (on my Father's side)!!

  • Chicked by a tortoise... love it! :-D :-D

  • Hi there Dan! I'm inspired as always by your posts....well that jacuzzi felt good! I need inspiration in spades this week! Aiming to get back out there after a break of about a month...have been lying low as the heat makes me feel rubbish. Just need an early start on Monday morning to begin to build my stamina AND confidence back!!

  • Go get 'em tomlertoes! You can do it. Once you're out the door and off running your confidence will return in bucket loads! GOOD LUCK monday.

  • Wow Dan, another awesome post and great time. Sounds like Aussie is getting ready to drag you to a local park on!

  • Thank you AmberC. Game on indeed!

  • Crumbs! I'm out of breath just reading that post! That was some run and I sense you're not done yet. Have to admit, when I got to the end, I was secretly pleased that you hadn't beaten Turbo Tortoise's time. This means we're in for more brilliant reports of future attempts. Reckon TT might want to do the next parkrun incognito, or she'll end up acting as pacemaker for you in your next attempt to beat her time. :)

    What we need is a c25k race. You, TT, MissW, Aussie and Miles_Yonder. Now who've I forgotten? There are quite a few people on here equal to that particular challenge........... :)

    Almost forgot to say, Very well done on 3 cracking PBs m'dear :)

  • yeeeahhhhh!! Thanks AM. I reckon Ionnoda Truffe and JuicyJu would be in there with AFTABS as the definitive champion of speed! He does parkruns in 24 minutes and change....

  • How could I have forgotten those three super speedies??

    I dunno mate. Who would win in a race between AFTABS and M_Y? The jury's out. :)

  • I am just ordering dark glasses, wig and false nose on Amazon now...

  • I'm happy to run back runner... It'd be a great day out! Miles and Aftabs could get the drinks ready for our finish... ;)

  • Brilliant and inspiring Dan - this made me cry and laugh, in that order!!!

    I've been back on the couch for almost 5 months now due to illness. Treatment for BC is still ongoing but the end is in sight - just surgery then radiotherapy to go in next couple of months. I'm tempted to give the running a go again soon, once my energy levels begin to build up (it's taking a while - I'm struggling to walk any distance at the moment). You're so right about the encouragement and support on here. Good luck to everyone, and I'll hopefully be joining you all really soon xx

  • Well here's hoping to getting you back out on the running trail once again! Take your time to get those energy levels back up to par and good luck with the rest of your treatment.

  • Dan you pipped my yesterday parkrun of we are getting competitive are we? I shall resort to age grading soon, as the only way to protect my parkrun 5k PB which stands at 25:41, with an unofficial Runkeeper 5k PB of 25:24 . However, I predict this will end in tears. and stamping feet. Miles and Aftabs are miles ahead of me without age grading. Maybe we should stick with competing against ourselves. But I do agree that other people's times are inspiring and just show us "new runners" what is possible

  • Ianodda T that's an amazing time you got there on parkrun. I didn't realise your PB was so UNBELIEVABLY FANTAAAAASTIC! Wow. Do you feel like me, that you'll never ever match that good time again? I think todays PB for me was probably the best I could ever do over 5000 metres. But then.....I think once upon a time I said I could never run 10K.....

    You're right about Aftabs. He's the DADDY when it comes to being Speedy Gonzales. I haven't seen much of Miles's progress for a while so not sure how his times are.

    I think you're right - let's keep to competing with ourselves. We don;t want to cause a nasty injury do we?!

  • My parkrun PB came out of the blue and made me unsettle the guy I followed across the line, when I involuntarily swore when I saw the time on my watch (I never look at it while running parkrun). My previous was 26:18 and I had thought that would stand for you never know.

    Aftab and Miles are way younger than us, so the age grading should see them off, but in all seriousness it is that speedy lady, TT, who we need to look out for, whose age grading beats my best and now she is mixing with serious runners there is no hope for us.

    Chicked again!!!

  • Gulp. So now I have an orange-striped unshaven alien (wearing shorts) in hot pursuit... 'WE ARE THE ZARG. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED.'... what tidal wave of male competitiveness have I unleashed?

    Seriously, that's a fabulous achievement, Dan - welcome to the sub 26' club. And running up steps too, which would surely slow you down somewhat. I have no doubt you will improve on it, and that I'd better watch out!

    When are you going to do another 10k race? With your 5k times I KNOW you are more than capable of a sub 55 min now (and that's intended as a personal challenge against yourself, not as a competition)!

  • October - Riverside Run... Go on you two! Let's do it!

  • Congratulations! That was brilliant! Have just increased my heart rate reading your increasing pace ahead of your shadow runner and felt like I ran the last 2k with you.

    Like you say Dan I and I'm sure others are feeling INSPIRED reading your run - not only for achieving an amazing time but by how you motored through the tough stage of tiredness and used the other runner as a motivator. Well done again, This was a great run and a great read :)

  • Fan-bladdy-tastic! That's a great time TurboDan; bows down in respect. A bit of competition never hurts (well, some times it does) but you, TurboTortoise and others are setting the bar pretty high!

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