Bloomin' 'eck! That wind today is UNBELIEVABLE. Tallula the cat has been doing high speed circuits of the patio chasing leaves, then getting all confused as other leaves fly around her! So after watching this entertainment whilst drinking my morning pre run juice fuel, I told Mrs Dan I would be at least an hour today, as I was going to run 10K. "Don't get blown into the river!" she shouted as I shut the front door.

Apart from the wind it was glorious outside. Fresh and cool, sunny and dry. My first mild panic came when I got to about 1/2K from home realising I'd forgotten to bring any water with me. Hmmm.....well it was too late to go back, so I told myself I wouldn't need it as I'd drunk a big glass of water after my juice and the weather was not so hot as I'd get dehydrated. I pressed on and walked up the steps of Richmond Lock, jogged over the river and down the steps the other side. I immediately got into a nice slow jogging speed, trying to tell myself to conserve energy for this 1/4 Marathon distance. My run would take me to the "Hill of Death" where I'd done a lot of hill training and I was hoping that I could cope with it as part of a regular run. Usually when hill training up this mutha of a hill I rest when I get to the top, but today I would reach the summit and continue onwards into Richmond Park. I was going to run the local Richmond Parkrun route as part of my 10K today, so I was looking forward to doing that without all the "pressure" of running with people.

Reached "The Hill" in good shape and slowly ascended the damned thing. Boy, it was tough but I got to the top with the trees bending and wind blowing me up the last few feet. On into Richmond Park next. Counted out loud "One...two...three" a few times to maintain my pace and to make sure I could say these words without spluttering out of breath. I find it's a good way to regulate my pace by doing this and if I can't get the words out easily, I slow down.

The sun was shining and I was fortunate the strong wind was on my back for the first 5K as it blew me along in a few places quite speedily. However, the return 5K would be a different matter entirely. Reached Roehampton Gate and turned left up the Tamsin trail. My feet went crunch crunch crunch on the gravely surface and I started to slow down slightly. This section of the parkrun route is the "Leg Shredder" section. A very slight incline for aaaages which looks like a flat path. It's NOT! I maintained my "being able to speak" pace and got a bit of a shock when a golden labrador came bounding up to me, a huge excited smile on it's face and jumped up at me! I like dogs but this unnerved me a bit, especially when he came back for another "play jump" at me. His owner shouted for him to behave and apologised to me as I jogged on past him. "That's ok" I said, "No problem".

The gorgeous downhill section was next and the wind was not abating. It was blowing directly in my face and forcing me backwards on a few occasions, but my momentum kept me going forwards, albeit slowly. Eventually reached Richmond Gate where I'd entered the park half an hour ago, so I made it back towards the "Hill of Death", but this time I'd be going DOWN. Now THIS was HARD folks! The wind was side on at a furious speed, the steepness of the hill forced me to put the brakes on and I sort of crabbed down the thing sideways, trying not to fall over!

Reached the flat of the Thames Path and at last a tiny bit of shelter for about 100m. But that was all the shelter, for when I came out from the tree covered path onto open path a HUGE blast of wind almost knocked me backwards onto my arris!! The next 2K was murder. Full on wind blowing leaves, twigs and those little helicopter hard leaf things into my face and legs. At one stage my legs were stinging with all the detritus hitting them. Mums battled with their buggies, cyclists struggled to keep upright and runners like me looked ridiculous!!

Eventually though I was on the home straight and I picked up some speed to come home in a glorious 59'54 Just under the hour and in some quite testing conditions too. I was ecstatic.

So there endeth the tale of my racing leaves. One of the best runs ever for me that was. I was full of the joys of autumn when I got home and celebrated with a fried egg sandwich and a strong cup of tea. Bliss!

See y'all again soon.


26 Replies

  • What a run Dan! Gosh and i thought this hot weather in chile was going to be a challenge. Hills and deadly inclines plus adverse weather conditions! I love dogs but not when they chase me or jump up at me. I always kept my little cocker on a lead when I saw a jogger or cyclist, I mean she was no threat but I thought it was my duty to keep my dog under control.

  • You sound like a very responsible person! Good on yer!

  • I live near SW London, so especially enjoyed this descriptive account.

  • Thanks hop_along

  • Why are the tags on your stories always so amusing?! Teehee!

    Much applause and bravo to you for braving the elements and what sounds to be an ace run. I must admit to have swerved it this morning - you are much braver than I! x

  • I have no idea as to the way the tags are created. But they do read rather like a mad newspaper headline don't they?!!

  • Heehee - I love it!

  • Another great running story m'dear. You and your heroic struggle against the elements :) Love it. Happy running

  • Thanks AM. I can always rely on your support!

  • Fantastic report and well done on the time :0) ( and I am the only one that now fancies a fried egg sarnie?!?)

  • No, I fancy one too! :)

  • HAhah! Thanks RK.

  • sounds like a delicious Autumnal run...and a big well done for nailing the sub 10k....fantastic stuff...

  • AND I DIDN'T WEAR KNICKERS!! (I wore mens compression shorts instead....obvs!)

  • Might just have to get some of those then ;)

  • hehe - your post and the tags make good reading!

    Glad you survived this run in the crazy wind - hills and dogs too - both things I aim to avoid :)

    It's a running morning for me tomorrow - I'm determined to go out whatever the weather.. well, unless rain decides to join the wind that is!

    :) xx

  • Hope your run goes well today PA.

  • Twas a bit blowy!

  • I love your description of the joys of being out in the elements Dan. It's what we are made for isn't it? That said I hate running in strong wind so am pretty sure I would have bottled it myself, so good on you for getting out and having fun in the process. And as for the time??? I could only dream of 10k in less than an hour in perfect conditions....

  • Ahhh that's so nice of you to say Liz. Thanks.

  • What a fantastic run and so well told as always well done

  • Merci ma cherie!

  • Nice to read you're still out there running DanZ, but long time no cat pics? Pretty please! :-)

  • well done Dan! god it was windy wasn't it! a great time just getting under that 1hr! :)

    ** Love that your old profile pic(but B and W version) is back! or it a new one? you were one of the first people who i discovered when joined the forum, it made me feel nostalgic, thinking about those early days of week 1 etc!

  • Yes that is the old WEEK 1 photo - but brilliantly spotted as B+W version. Hope all is well with your running Ali. Take care! :-)

  • Congrats on that run! Yes it was pretty crazy on tuesday when I did my run as well. I am not sure what time you headed out, but there were like two glorious rainbows I saw as well. So it was well worth it!

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