Not a marathon. Not a half marathon. Not even a quarter marathon. BUT A 1/6TH MARATHON completed by my legs this very morning around the Twickenham and Richmond environs.
With the thought of Juicy Ju bashing out 20K in a place called Bristol, I donned my overly snug lycra compression shorts, bunged a pair of ordinary shorts on top, running top and Brooks and I was off! I decided to avoid the Thames Path today as it's Sunday, and very sunny which can only mean one thing. LOADS OF PEOPLE GETTING IN MY WAY! So cleverly, I pounded 100% pavement where there were no peeps pushing triple buggy's, walkers wandering all over the place not looking where they're going and young couples who should just go and get a room! It was bliss.
Legs felt stronger today than Friday. This was my 4th run of the week and I was wondering when I would get that 10K feeling again. You know the one? The one where you know you can do 10K but your mind (at the moment anyway) can't even consider doing that distance. My knee niggle which put me out for only a week has been an annoying "marker" in my running brain. I keep telling myself "Oooh Dan! You shouldn't do 10K again. You don't want to do yourself an injury?" To which I should reply "Ahhhh shurrruppp!" - but I don't. I'm keeping (for the time being anyhow) to between 5-7K in the hope I can build up my confidence to longer distances once again. I sure as hell don't want to push myself beyond what is sensible as that only ends up in disaster - well, with me anyway.
Anyway, back to the run......All was going swimmingly pace wise. My first 4 individual K times were almost exactly the same as each other (only a 2 second +/- difference) - around 5'45 per K, so that was very nice thank you very much. I even went a bit faster on K5 but it was here that I heard the pounding footsteps of a runner. It was coming behind me. I was on the Thames Path home (not many people on this bit) and approaching one of the many cycle barriers. The running footfall was getting closer. I dodged my way around the cycle barrier and then whoooooshhhh!!!!! An olive skinned hirsute lady, slim as you like, carrying a knapsack of bricks (at least that's what I thought!) zoomed past me. Her ponytail bobbed up and down as she started to get away from me.
SUDDENLY, Competitive Dan swooped into action, only my underpants were on the INSIDE of my shorts! I didn't want to be left too far behind so I increased my speed. How the hell she maintained that pace ahead of me with a knapsack full of breeze blocks I don't know, but she did. I pushed and pushed......come on Dan....don't be a wuss! Keep up dammit! You're a running God! You're a lycra clad rocket! You're.......
.......bloody knackered!!! She was gaining distance further and further ahead of me. A woman carrying untold kilos of whatever in her knapsack, pony tail swinging about, taunting me to catch up - but I had to let it go. I was in awe of this woman. Was she some sort of Army person? Was she an elite professional athlete? The only thing that would make her faster would have been a leg wax, but that's just me being bitchy. Eventually I reached my lamp post finishing line and stopped running, segueing beautifully into a brisk walk (Laura would be proud).
After stretching I made a fried egg sandwich because my body was craving one. I munched on my delicious sandwich thinking about Juicyju and her HM. My run finished in 33 minutes. She was going to run an hour and a half longer than that!!! Bloomin' heck, how does she do it? I thought of OldGirl and her birthday run. Sticking with running after a long injury outage. I thought of me old mucker Ionnoda Truffe nursing an achilles injury. All my FORUM chums who are still in love with this running lark as much as me.
TIme for a jacuzzi methought! So I did. My 1/6th marathon complete, so I'm gonna take a 2 day break before doing another run on Tuesday.
Farewell my Gladiatorial Running Folk. God Speed to you all and a happy Sunday to everyone who reads this drivel!