Fuelled entirely by wine fumes and two regrettable raspberry cosmopolitan cocktails, this morning I taped up my foot, threw on the lycra and ventured forth into the icy cold London air. It was sunny but I'd wished I'd worn a second top because it was flippin' brass monkeys out there.
I nearly didn't go. Having awoken at 10 feeling like someone had wrung me out like a J cloth, the thought of running in a straight line wasn't entirely appealing. However once I'd gone through the run in my head and knew that once finished, I'd feel A - MAY - ZIINNNG, I hauled my ass out of my pit and did some gentle, middle aged man stretching. Swallowed some cranberry juice, chewed a few dried apricots and I was OFF!
I wanted to try and not have any walk breaks. Not to be stubborn or anything, but just because I wanted to complete a "non stop run" - something that has eluded me since coming back from injury. So I set off slow. Amazingly, my hangover evaporated in the cold morning air as I breathed in the early spring aromas of damp earth. This was feeling good. Took a wee break for the traffic lights to change at Richmond Bridge, then I was off again. I could hear each kilometre being announced from my phone which was squeezed in to the tiny space in my running tights back pocket. I kept thinking of Irish podiatrist Tess telling me not to take too long a stride. Also to keep my gait a wee bit feckin' wider than I am used to. It seemed to work. I don't think I applied the tape to my right foot properly though cos it felt different to how she had done it. (I since have YouTubed how to tape your foot. Sorted.) Despite the lack of secure foot hold feeling, I was travelling well.
Before long, 5K was announced from my bum pocket and I looked ahead towards Richmond Bridge once again, though this time from the opposite direction. On the ground ahead of me lay a body. It lay still and my blood ran a bit cold for a few seconds.
"OH SH*T! Is he/she alright?" I said to myself.
I started thinking that I'd have to stop running and call an ambulance, or start shouting "HELP!", or worse, give mouth to mouth to a stranger who might well be a tee totaller and the last thing they needed was a hungover sweating man lean over them, filling their airways with Merlot Fumes!
I got closer and suddenly saw a camera lens poking out of the body towards the river. Then I looked to the river and saw a couple, in a rowing boat, held in a kissing pose. They held the pose for long enough for me to realise that the dead body was in fact a photographer lady, taking some shots for the couples "engagement" album. The corpse yelled out - "Oh that's great! Yah! Super. Yah! Great! Now swap over?"
Thank GOD! It was alive. I ran past relieved. Eventually I heard my bum speak to me - "7 kilometres. Last lap 5'42." I stopped running and breathing heavily walked slowly home. I had done it - non stop. My confidence was getting stronger with the knowledge that I could run 7 without dying. 40 minutes was the time and the 5K portion was 28'32. My gammy leg seems to be settled and I experienced no groin pain. My back muscles are now 100% recovered and felt strong and fine. No twinges whatsoever.
SO......next weeks 10K Richmond Riverside run should be fine. I'm gonna take it easy I think and hope I get a decent time. But I'll have a couple of runs in the week just to keep me ticking over so to speak.
Until we meet again!