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.