The Son wasn’t budging from his bed, mostly due to a late night watching the Spurs U21 team beating their Gooner counterparts at White Hart Lane on Friday night, while Mrs Dan wanted to join one of the exercise classes at the gym. This left me to make my way to Gunnersbury parkrun by myself while contemplating a fast run just before my last week of tapering for the Brighton Marathon.

I bumped into Other Dan as I ran a warm-up job along the first part of the course and we caught up on how things went last Sunday at the Hillingdon Half where we managed to completely miss seeing each other. My legs were still feeling the hill session from yesterday but I decided to stretch my legs and still go for a fast time. Unfortunately I managed to screw up my Garmin at the start due to it going into power save mode, which I had not noticed because I was busy chatting away to Other Dan.

We were off and it was nice to get my legs whirring as we turned down the slope and then back across the park towards the café. I felt strong and was maintaining a ‘just a bit faster than half’ pace but then I was suddenly hit with stomach cramps. I occassionally get these, mostly when I don’t eat any breakfast, so I just had to slow down a bit and run through it. I should have grabbed something to eat in the morning when The Son announced that he wasn’t joining me so it’s all my fault.

I tried to pick up the pace again as we ran at the bottom of the park but my shoulders were starting to tense up so I kept to a more sensible speed and ran through to the finish. It’s good to know that my fitness is just where I need it to be and that I am around my 5k PB but I would rather have my bad run this week and not at Brighton next Sunday.

Other Dan joined me for the walk to the café and forgot his bike again. At least this time I remembered for him so he was able to make the short walk back rather than realising at the café and then facing the long walk of shame to go get it.

We sat outside thanks to the return of the sunny weather and were witnesses to a couple of old men getting themselves into a laughable fight. There seemed to be some sort of argument going on between a couple of guys, from the posse of dog walkers who all seem to congregate outside the café each week, when suddenly another dog owner waded in to start a fight.

He threw off his coat and stormed his way over where it looked like he was going to throw a punch but instead opened his hand and gave bit of a girlie slap. The two of the them rolled around in the mud a bit while their dogs barked at them before someone stepped in and pulled them apart. Both guys looked to be in their sixties and were hardly setting a good example for all the young parkrunners in and around the café. They carried on arguing a bit longer before storming off so we could all laugh at their childish behaviour.

Running Dan parkrun result:

  • parkrun time: 0:23:05
  • Garmin time: 0:22:43
  • Finish position: 68 / 330
  • Gender position: 61 / 196
  • Age category: VM40-44
  • Age grade: 59.13 %