I thought I'd go for a long one today. I needed the solitude of a long run to think about stuff so I thought I'd drive to Richmond Park and run around the damned thing. I parked up in Pembroke Lodge car park and set off. There was no-one around at all - I was completely alone and the grasshoppers were clicking away in the long grass I was running alongside. The air temp was perfect for running and there was a stiff cool breeze on my face.
It's a weird thing how "mental" running is because I wasn't especially in the best frame of mind for a run today. I tried to banish any negative thoughts from my brain, but at 6K it came and bit me on the aristotle (bottle? Bottle and glass? ....). Suddenly my entire body was exhausted and I had to walk for a minute. I didn't want to make it longer than 60 secs cos I thought I might never get going again. I set off again and reached Roehampton Gate where I turn left for the lonnnnnnnngggg section up Sawyers Hill. Again, gremlins in my head kept niggling and once again I was forced to give up. The long incline stretching ahead of me was too much and I was now totally bushed. My bum muscles hurt, my glutes were singing the death march and my breathing was loud and heavy. I got quite dispirited I have to say and fished my phone out of my pocket to text Mrs Dan. She worries if I'm gone for too long and I thought a quick "This is gonna take ages" text would put her mind at rest. I was walking now.......beaten and dispirited......but then I quickly banished all that sh*t to the back of my head and thought how lucky I was to be able to be out here amongst the deer, the birds and the grasshoppers & breathing in the fresh air. Some peeps aren't so lucky are they?
Having decided to walk the 1.5K back to the car, I suddenly got a second wind (or was it a third?) - anyway, I set off again running....stiffly too.....not much fluidity to my running form whatsoever as my body hurt......eventually my sore muscles decided to give me a break and allowed me to get to a decent pace, up the final ascent to Richmond Gate and then left towards the car park where my motor was. I reached the car and took the last swig from my bottle of water, did my stretches and sat in the car with the door open for a while, looking across the park. I was drenched but at least I'd made it back to the car in one piece.
My time for all this 10K nonsense astounded me ; 63 mins 46 sec. I kept thinking how if I'd kept a decent pace non stop, I could have got a personal best there. I easily walked for 5 minutes. Maybe more. Ah well - it's not ALWAYS about PB's this running lark is it? (although it IS nice to get one!).
At least I did it though and beat those niggly negative gremlins on my shoulder. I'm going to have a few days rest now I think and allow my 51 year old bod to recover fully.
So to all you newbies - when you hit the "wall", don't panic! Walk for a bit, recover and when you're ready set off again. The main thing is you're out there DOING it.
happy running folks.