Hail all ye fellow runners!
CORRRRRR!!!! What a gorgeous day her in London! Bright sun, clear icy blue skies, bitingly cold with a stiff breeze - perfect for my morning run-er-ama! Feeling pretty smug at having already lost 2lbs using MyFATNESS Pal in conjunction with my running, I selected the perfect outfit for todays outing. Dark blue running tights with yellow go faster stripe down each leg, black running T with a long sleeved top on top in BRIGHT YELLOW! YEaah baby. I looked like a walking advert for Sports Direct!! Gloves and beanie completed "the look". Drank my homemade power juice of carrot, pear and celery with ginger and lemon, chewed 6 dates and I was off!
Warm up walk didn't warm me up at all. I was flippin' FREEZING as I walked briskly towards the river Thames. My plan was to run to Richmond Park via the HILL OF DEATH and then do the 5K Parkrun route, then head home. Off I went mentally telling myself to not go fast - to save energy for the long run ahead. After 2.5K I'd reached THE HILL! I crossed the road and "ran" up the steepest hill in Richmond, past the Petersham Hotel. The river look resplendent in the bright morning sun and I was glad to have worn dark glasses cos it was SO BRIGHT!
I reached the summit of Nightingale Lane hill and just carried on running towards Richmond Park. Through the gates and off I went down towards Roehampton gate which was 2K away. Along the route I noticed distance markers and I surmised they must be left over from some sort of run yesterday and they hadn't been collected yet. Then at Roehampton Gate I turned left and saw a marshall in a high viz vest.
"There must be an official race coming through here?" I thought. I pressed on and before long I saw the runners "village", where tons of runners were gathering to take part in the Richmond Park 10K race. So THTA'S what the markers were for! I went through them all, some of them doing some pre run stretching, others running short distances to warm up. I felt like a lumbering slow coach as I lollopped past them - but then this was the start of my 6th K so it's no wonder I was feeling a teensy bit tired!
It was a hard slog for the next 1.5K and by the time I reached Richmond Gate, where not long ago I had entered the park, I was puffing and blowing. I looked at my watch - 46 minutes had passed. Could I get a 10K PB? I really hoped so and that gave me a mental boost. I started to increase my speed in the knowledge that I could in fact beat my 57 min if I pushed like a muthaf*****r!!
I reached "the Hill" and was relieved I was going DOWN this time and I soon reached the bottom, crossed the road and started to almost get to a "sprint" speed along the river towards Richmond Bridge. I could hear loud running footfall behind me. They were getting closer and that made me increase my speed - purely out of pig headedness at not wanting to be overtaken!! Eventually this bloke passed me and we ran parallel for about ten seconds, then he eased past me. Bastard. Anyway, there was no way I could have kept my sprint speed up cos there was still a ways to go. Trouble is, I'd forgotten where the 10K "finish" was?? "Damn!" I said to myself. "I'd better run to my usual stop point. At least I'll know I've definitely covered 10K by then".
I reached Richmond Lock and mounted the steps. Ran over the bridge and down the steps the other side before pushing my body as hard as I could along the last bit of Thames path. God it was hard. My legs were feeling sore, my right thigh especially was feeling particularly peculiar. But I pressed on and eventually my "Finishing Lamp Post" was in view!! I sort of lumbered up to it and stopped running. I'd done probably more than 10K, but I was keen to find out if it was a PB......
Ah well. Not to worry. I had in fact run 11K! The final time for 10K was 59'21 and that will do as far as I'm concerned. I very much doubt I'll ever get below my 57 minute PB cos after running for almost two years, you get to know your limits. But the thing was that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this run. It was beautiful and glorious out there and I am so thankful I can do this. It really makes you feel alive and fabulous and if there are any people reading this who are considering taking up running - then please please make sure you do. You have no idea how delicious it is to breathe the air and feel the blood flowing through your veins the way it should. And YOU GET A GREAT BUM!! Ask Juicyju.
So with that, I shall leave you. Thanks as ever for reading this. Oh! Finally.....
I am sure of one other thing. I could NOT have done all this without all the enthusiasm and support from all of YOU! Yes you! You know who you are! So ta!
Have a great Sunday