This very morning I awoke a free man. Free of the shackles of employment, free from spending time with a hideously negative person and free from having to get up at 6am! YES, I have finished my work contract and am once again on the scrapheap of life trying to cajole people to hire me once again. But that's the not so fabulous life of being a freelancer. On to far more important things!

I needed a run this morning. My head needed some major endorphin rush and I needed to breathe the air - cold as it might be. I awoke to a light dusting of snow covering the environs of SW London where I live, and my first worry was "Will I slip over?". The fact is that the pavements were already clear of snow and it was only the "non traffic" areas which had the look of a cake lightly dusted in icing sugar. I said to Mrs Dan that I was going to drive to Richmond Park for my run as I wanted to be at one with nature. Jumped in the motor vehicle and zipped up to Pembroke Lodge car park. It was here that I questioned my initial plan of running in the park as it was COVERED in snow and looked like a winter wonderland! I have never ever ever run in the snow before and I looked at the path and figured "What the hell. If I do this and complete 5K I'll be a happy man". And so I set off......

Started STRAVA on my phone and quite quickly felt very secure as I landed each step on the snow and then took off again. This was gonna be fun! My plan was to run the parkrun route - but get this this people - I was gonna run it IN REVERSE!! What a REBEL I am!!!

I attempted to make a brief vlog but got embarrassed when people approached me as I didn't want them to hear my bol***ks I was jabbering on about. So I abandoned that idea. But I was smiling widely as I ran, feeling so lucky to be able bodied enough to do this. Sundays LWR was such a running high for me, I was still buzzing from the fun we all had there as I tromped through the snowy path.

Ahead of me were two ladies. Ladies in their forties (my favourite decade for women). The path was easily wide enough for three people and I was a good 100 metres away. Beyond us the park stretched ahead of us and all around us. Hundreds and hundreds of acres of parkland, covered in snow. I was getting closer - 50 metres. I could hear their jabbering as I got closer, but still they managed to fill the entire path with their meandering. One moved slightly left.....the other moved slightly right.....then they came together again......then slightly separated......I was now 10 metres away. My footfall must be making enough noise for them to sense my presence.........but no. They weren't aware. I had to choose a route fast, to get around them.. I chose a route to the left.......then they shifted to the left. "Shi*t!" I thought. "I'll move to the right."......I was almost upon them. The three of us in Richmond Park which covered hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of acres. I was now committed to my overtaking on the right.......But suddenly one of the jabberers took what can only be described as a deliberate counter move. She stepped to the right at EXACTLY the same time (still jabbering) and we collided - CRASH!!!!!

"Oh! Oh! I am soooo sorry!" I am soo sorry!" said the idiotic, jabbering jabberer whose lack of spatial awareness astounded me. Out of all the space in the universe, she managed to almost send me flying!! I grunted a noise like "Hurrrumph!" and carried on.

I kept running and then reached a long long uphill stretch. My legs were killing me today. Stupidly, after the LWR Sunday, I was so caught up in the HIGH of all the fun we had, I forgot to stretch. BAD IDEA! The lactic acid built up in my legs and I've been stiff as a board since. I'd hoped this run would get rid of all my stiffness, but I could still feel my quads screaming today. But I used the Panther Mantra "Push that body" and managed to break down the agonising uphill section into bite sized manageable chunks. Eventually I reached Richmond Gate - 5K DONE!

I stretched when back at the car, to make sure the muscles got their reward and then drove home. Fried egg sandwich next, followed by a hot jacuzzi with the jets on full blast. HEAVEN!

Off to the cinema later with Madame Dan. We can get in for free cos I've got a special pass (I work in the industry...sometimes)

I might just buy myself one of those air horns that I can wear as a back pack. Then when I'm approaching people in a massive park I can honk my horn, just like an American trucker! That'd shift them out of the way!

Happy running everyone!!

Yer pal



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49 Replies

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  • Ha ha , Look at those tags Dan , Quality !

    Brilliant post ! I really enjoyed reading that, yep a honking horn is the way forward :-)

    Hope the Jacuzzi sorts your muscles out . Far too much excitement going on on Sunday , for doing sensible things like stretches :-)

    Enjoy your fried egg butty, but you gotta have a dollop of HP Sauce on it , then it would be a proper Dan the Manwich :-)

    Cheers ! :-D xxx

  • Hahaha!! MANWICH! That's genius....

  • Poppypug, now you are talking :D Yes Fried egg has to have HP sauce :D

    It's my number 1 thing to import back to France on my blighty visits.

    ( others - Baked Beans, Marmite, Marmalade )

    Fried egg on toast with fried bread and HP is my must have meal on returning from a run :)

  • Hell Yes Zev ! . Its HP for me all the way :-)

    I love it on a fry up.

    Flippin ' Gorgeous !

    Isnt it strange how we miss certain things like this when we haven't got them , I suppose it just a little bit of home comfort :-) xxx

  • Surely proper tea bags and proper mayonnaise? Products for curly hair - for me at least...

  • I've come to enjoy Liptons Yellow Label (which is in all of the supermarkets here). Tetleys is also in all of the supermarkets.

    Mayonaise, I like the Amora AlΓ©gΓ© :)

  • Oh no it has to be PG Tips Pyramid bags, and Hellmans Mayo...ther isno substitute for Marmite!

  • I love the Amora mustard on my sausage, missus!

  • Everyone else has had snow...not a flake here! And yes, what is it with fellow park users? My favourite is the one with a dog on a retractable lead which stretches across the path like an invisible hurdle. I love the word tags that appear at the end of everybody's posts: yours today are "screaming, stiffness, sugar, horn." It's a good job we know this is a runner's forum...

  • That's no accident, them tags.......(wink wink nudge nudge, nods as good as a wink to a blind horse!)

  • Oh! *snigger*

  • Hahahahahahaha :D :D Ah Dan, you, your post and, especially, your tags have made me laugh over my lunch. Cheers m'dear, enjoy that jacuzzi :)

  • Why are your tags always so incredibly funny? Haha. Brill stuff xx

  • Its the way I tell 'em!

  • Great post Dan.

    Sorry you're back on the Freelance Scrapheap of Life - it's quite a pile here now!

  • Aint that the truth!

  • I was a freelancer and " something always turns up", was my mantra

    Sounds likes a good run after your fun and games on sunday. Sorry to hear about your route being logjammed though. It's really frustrating isn't it

  • It is indeed MW. And regarding your freelance mantra - you're absolutely right. It's what I always tell me fellow freelancers - but when it comes to myself, I can never be that positive. It's always "Oh God! The end of the world is nigh!!"

  • Just shout loud. As a woman with a few weeks of her forties left, I can tell you that my spatial awareness headed west when menopause set in, along with my ability to see the funny side of skidders on male underwear. Moody? Moi? Nooooo surely not .....

  • As a woman in my fifties I can say that my spatial awareness is still missing! X :-)

  • Oh dear, we're not a very good advert for prime womanhood are we?! I'm great in a car, just rubbish on my feet (I blame the MS ... though I'm not sure I should!!).

  • Hang on no-excuse.....THERE IT IS! Behind that....thingy thing..!!!

  • As (an ex) one of the zillions of London commuters, spatial awareness is a luxury which I treasure and would defend to the, well, not quite death, but you get the idea. Skidders? Noooooo. Don't even want to make a joke about that it's so not funny. [Skiddery poo-dah, skippedy day ... etc. :D ]

  • For GODS sake! That was near the mark.....(se what I did there?)

  • Hahaha. This could run and run ... quick get the cork

  • Euwwww!

  • Euwwww started it Useit :D :D

  • Hi Dan I love that post, you have just made me really laugh out loud! Us women eh, too busy nattering to see or hear what's going on. A horn is a grand idea but if you came up behind me with one I think I would just jump out of my skin and pass out or something! Enjoy the cinema x :-D

  • I did - we saw The Theory of Everything. One of the most stunning acting performances you will ever see.

  • Excellent post as always DanZargo :D

    Yes the pairs of strolling chattering ladies can be found on all nice running paths :D

  • Looks like a fab run Dan - I for one want to hear your bo**ox...serves you right for preferring women in the 40s, surely you know we are at our best in our 50s? I do know what you mean though, it seems like people deliberately wander in front of you...

  • 50's is the new 30's. And 40's is the new 20's. And don't you EVER forget it! ;-)

  • We're rather nifty for girls of fifty arent we Curly ? Ha ha :-D xxx

  • Try the 'Avian Flu coming thru' path clearance technique?

  • Hahahah! Genius!

  • I don't know what you do for a freelance living but I hope it's writing - this post was brilliant!!

  • Thanks Katie_a. You're so sweet daaaahhhliiiing!!

  • Enjoy your new won freedom - as long as it doesn't last too long! Hope you enjoyed the snowy run, despite desperate women intent on tripping you up. Some women will go to any lengths to meet a good looking hunk!

  • be classed as a hunk. That aint never gonna happen! Let alone a good looking hunk. Perhaps I should start doing weights and get some botox......?

  • Dan - isn't Richmond Park Run in reverse easier - cos you are now running down your hateful uphill section - even if I recall it must be a really long slow climb back to Richmond Gate. Glad your quads are hurting in unison with mine which started to really ache yesterday.

    Last Thursday's snow still adorns the ground up here and most of it is now so icy it is lethal stuff, so have just wimped out of running club tonight - although I have blamed it on the cold - it was -6.5C this morning, and claiming to be worse tonight.

    Why not become a freelance writer - we've all told you your posts and tags are brill - could be the quickest book ever published

  • YOU are so brilliant C4ts! Thank you for your confidence in my writings.......alas....a freelance ANYTHING screams of "It's hard to make a living doing this"!!! The reverse Parkrun was not easier because what goes down, must come up and the return leg of my run ended up being mostly UPHILL!

    And -6.5C is horrendous! Thank God in London we are nearer the Equator.....

  • OMG I can't believe you had so much snow! There's nothing here (South West) .... yet!

    Fab report and good for you for getting stuck in to the snow and ice. The only thing I can say about these women is you obviously have a perfect running technique as they clearly can't hear you run up behind them. A horn is an excellent idea. Might get one myself. I have thought about shouting in approach " please move. I'm about to throw up". That might do it.

  • I find my heavy breathing usually has them scampering out of the way pretty damn fast ;)

  • It was -5c here in Mancunia this morning , MINUS 5 !!! Fair took your breath away ! :-D xxx

  • Well I do hope that if you have more time on your hands you'll be entertaining us ladies of a certain age with your posts on a regular basis. If I am coming up behind people like your walkers (and what I learnt to do as a cyclist) is I call out 'On your left' or 'On your right'. The only thing is if you say 'On your right' they tend to GO right and turn round. Clear all paths for runners I say....

  • Screaming stiffness sugar horn; those are some tags! :D Glad you're free of the Hideously Negative Person (HNP) Dan. I work with a few of those. I often say that if ever he was sent out in the wagon with me, I'd set about him with my Biro as I'd not be able to take the doom, gloom and morbidity. Hope some quality work will come your way soon, sir. :-)

    As for your run, great stuff; invest in a pair of those Yaktrax I linked you to a while ago, they're great!

    It never fails to astound me the lack of awareness muggles have when ambling along. It's ridiculous, it really is. Sounds like it could have been particularly nasty though, especially in the snow. An air horn would be a wise investment, I feel!

    Happy, collision free running! :-)

  • I always shout "MORNING" really loud behind people! It either makes them shift over or gives them a heart-attack! Whichever one, they move! ? Love you post Dan! Made me smile and i imagine you'll not be on the employment scrapheap for very long! ?




  • hahaha, love the story, and I can just picture the collision with the jabberer. Hope your legs are feeling better now that you've been out running again - sometimes a recovery run is the best way to get them sorted.

  • Hehehe! I often wonder about birds which fly into your driving area .. they've got literally EVERYWHERE to fly, why/how on earth do they chose the danger zone??

    Lovin the comment about the 40 something females - hot stuff most of us :).. well, luke warm may be ;)

    Good luck with the job hunt - again! Enjoy your extra time with Mrs Dan in the meantime :) xx

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