Hello fellow runneroos
Well what a beautiful day to wake up to this morning - bright blue sky and Mr Sun definitely had his hat on. My cunning plan today was to drop my car off at the garage, then run the 5K back home along the Thames path. The weather and conditions were perfect for a run so I was looking forward to strutting my stuff.
I think the lady at the garage did a double take when I walked in dressed in an electric orange top and far too tight black running tights. I did the necessary handing over of the keys and form signing then off I went. I'm sure she was looking at my ar*e as I left....
My route was to run to Kew Bridge then take the steps down to the Thames path and tonk along the river to Richmond Lock where I would cross back over and head home. I pressed go on Gertie Garmin and off I went. The first person I encountered decided to do one of those "I've gotta dodge this guy" dance and stepped left when I stepped left - then stepped right when I stepped right and we damn near collided (the stupid wazuck). I tut tutted as I pressed on and ran over Kew Bridge. I was feeling quite springy and boing boingy as I skipped down the steps to the river path. I set off again at a fairly brisk pace.
I heard a runners footfall behind me and did the usual "Ha! He aint passing me!" routine. I pressed ever so slightly harder on the gas and was surprised to hear the person keeping up with me. No panting of puffing - just regular footfall. This malarkey went on for about3 or 4 minutes when suddenly the person decided to overtake me. I expected a taller much younger man or woman, striding past me with ease. Alas, twas not to be! The guy who passed me was easily in his late 60's, that professor haircut - bald on top with grey hair round the outside. His gait was a bit odd as it looked like he was twisting his left leg as he tonked along, but nevertheless he was leaving me for dust.
In these situations I like to facilitate my competitive streak, so I decided to keep pace with him, a few yeards behind. "I'll take this old dude shortly" I thought as I kept as close as I could. But then my energy levels tanked! I realised that the Professor was keeping at his pace like a metronome, not ever letting his speed slow. It started to play games with my brain as I tried to hopelessly keep up and ignore my ever dropping energy levels. Eventually, his pace destroyed me! I stopped to walk and to fish out a couple of jelly beans from my back pocket, hoping that the injection of sugar and potassium might give me a boost. For some reason today - they didn't! I was only at 3K and had 2 to go and already I was like a novice runner which made my spirits drop slightly. "I should be able to do this easily with my 3 years experience!" I told myself.
But then, experience has nothing to do with it. It's all about physiology and how you are THAT particular day. I've run with monstrous hangovers and achieved PBs. I've set off hazy and listless, only to extend my run to 10K because I felt so good. Today was the antithesis of those days and I had to just suck it up. I reached Richmond Lock like a dying man and mounted the steps like a sloth. Behind me came fast running footsteps. They mounted the steps and RAN UP THEM AT SPEED!! Yet another man of Senior Years, way older than me!!! WTF??? I attempted to sort of keep up with him as we ran over the bridge, but he flew down the other side and was off like a gazelle, as I was teetering on the first step, hanging onto the rail going "Oooh! Oww! Oooh!" on each step!! PATHETIC!
Still managed the 5K in 28 minutes but my body felt destroyed. Ah well, maybe the next run will be better. It usually is. So for those starting out on the C25K journey, don't fret if you have a bad run. They happen occasionally. Could be the booze the night before. Could be the pizza, kebab and chips you ate at the burger van outside the pub. Or it could be that you've had a hard week and you're tired.
One thing it isn't - is your age. Those two old gits that left me for dead this morning must be laughing at "that lycra clad, orange twit" that couldn't keep up. Well to them I say - God Speed to you! I'll get you next time!