Santa Maria Mia!! What a totally GORGEOUS DAY IN LONDON! Sunny, crisp, cold and smelling like spring is just around the corner.
Had a dreadful nights sleep last night which ended up with me rising at 5.20am for breakfast because my stomach was rumbling with hunger. Even Oscar and Tallula stared at me sleepy eyed from their positions on the couch downstairs wondering what the hell was going on in THEIR house!! They of course followed me into the kitchen and sat next to their cat food cupboard (Yes. They have their OWN cat cupboard) saying in fluent cat - "Well don't just stand there Slave. We need some delicious brown sludgy cat food if it's alright with you!". Fed them and stuck some porridge in the micro wave, ate, then went back to bed where I slept like a baby until 10.30am!!!
I got up, did some stretches and exercises for my core which I started this week. The plank, the "Superman", some crunches, some hip raises, leg raises and a couple of other things I found on Youtube. Once those were completed, I swallowed a glass of cranberry juice and chomped on some dates, almonds and blueberries. Then I WAS READY TO ROCK!
"How far are you running today?" asked Mrs Dan. "I'll be an hour - so 10K today". "Good luck" she waved from the couch whilst watching SUNDAY BRUNCH. I was off.
What can I say. The weather was so delicious, I could have eaten it. I was wearing a brilliant outfit of bright yellow top, bright blue tights, my white acics and dark glasses. A rock stars running get up if ever there was one!! So.....I told myself to make this a slow and lazy run, but as soon as I started, I knew that it wouldn't be. I was feeling pretty alive and kicking and STRAVA announced the first K at 5'34. "Oooh Dan! Slow down baby." I told myself. I've been having a niggly groin pain when running for the past two weeks - including last weeks LWR. It doesn't flare up until about 6 or 7K and I didn't want it to do so today if I could possibly help it. So slowing down might help this little predicament of mine.
K2 was better @ 5;48 but K3 was faster. So was K4. "Oh to hell with this slow running lark" I told myself. I decided to just run as comfortably as I wanted to. The water hens were squawking, the sun was beaming down, warming my body and people out walking were getting out of the f***ing way for a change! I ran past The White Horse pub and luxuriated in the cooking smells coming from their kitchen. Roast meats and all the sunday delicious trimmings (that I KNEW Juicyju was eating today after her run. Lucky cow) permeated my nostrils making me want to stop, go in, order a pint of Old Peciliar and a roast beef dinner RIGHT THERE AND THEN!!
I carried on running, past a group of excited little kiddies with their parents feeding the ducks, past slow Sunday walkers holding hands, past more pubs with delicious cooking smells.....corrrr!!! I turned the corner and eventually heard STRAVA announce 5K at 28'08. Time to turn around and run home the way I'd come.
Groin pain started to zing. Dammit. I tried to ignore it but it was a constant presence. It's hard to describe exactly what it feels like, but it definitely feels as if it's slowing me down and makes my right leg feel heavier than my left leg. I carried on running regardless and started to do my usual "Dan Worrying". I can do this almost 24 hours a day if necessary. It's in my genes to constantly worry. My father used to say to me in his broad Irish accent - "Jaysus son, if I didn't have anyting to worry about, I'd feckin worry!"
Thanks Dad for those genes.
At 7K things got interesting. I hear STRAVA announce the time. I looked at my watch. If I turned on my turbo boosters, I could do a pretty decent 10K time. There were two K to go. Could I sustain two full kilometres at full pelt pace? What with my groin and everything? I decided to say "FU** it!" and give it a go!
I bloody well picked up the pace big time. How would I get around all the walkers going this fast I wondered? They'd just have to get out of the way! Richmond Bridge was ahead of me, which meant waiting at the lights for them to change which could eat up valuable seconds on my running quest! I got there......pressed the button, hopping from foot to foot, willing the lights to turn red. THEY DID! I counted 18 seconds whilst waiting and thought "Right! I'm knocking off those secs off the finish time!" I tore down the Thames path towards home.
"Excuuuuuuuse me!" I yelled at three people filling the entire path on their Sunday stroll. "Thaaaaanks!" as they parted and let me through. K8 announced 5'22. I had to go faster. I was now approaching Richmond Lock and decided that running on the footpath was too aggravating, what with all the people with their kids feeding ducks and generally operating at "Sunday Speed". Quite right too!
I ran on the deserted road. A clear route ahead allowed me to go a teensy bit faster. K9 announced 5'21 - a whole SECOND faster than K8. I was really feeling it now. My bum ached (??why?), my groin hurt pretty badly and my overall demeanour was one of "I can't keep this up. I just can't".........ahead of me was a narrow path, wide enough only for one person at a time. There was a whole family on it, with kiddies, taking their time meandering (as they bloody well should on a Sunday walk!). But I needed them to get the **** out of my way. Didn't they realise that a sub 56 minute 10K was on my cards? The swine! There was nothing for it. I would have to go THE LONG WAY AROUND! Which meant another detour, but not so bad as to defeat my sense of purpose. I ran the long way around and managed to hit the path again JUST as they were exiting the narrow bit of path I should have run down. GOOD! I had only another 500 metres to go. "Come on Daaaaan! You little beauty!"
Suddenly STRAVA announced in his Steven Hawking style voice - 10K in _______, last Kilometre in 5'16!!!!!! Bloody hell, that was the fastest K OF THE LOT! That was actual RUNNING - not jogging.
I know what you're all asking. What was the final time? Well........Lord Strava announced my 10K at 56'03. I'm good with that. I think the traffic lights ate up a few secs and I'm tempted to take off 18 secs.....but that would be churlish. A not too bad 10K for me today, on a sunny super Sunday!!
Thanks as ever for reading this. I celebrated by having two massive bottles of San Miguel and a bowl of Mrs Dan's vegetable and lentil soup (I've got a thing about lentils. Mmmmmm baby!).
Happy roast dinners to you all!