Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas running

After seven straight hours of cooking (remind me again why I love Christmas?) I had a choice. Do I put my feet up for an hour, enjoy the fact that for the moment things are under control and the children are with the grandparents and watch some mindless festive TV? Or do I pull on my trainers and drag myself out for a run?

Perhaps because of the prospect of eating my body weight in all the food I have been busily preparing, and that of the house being stuffed to the gunnels with relatives for the next day or so, but I was surprisingly eager to get outdoors and running.

As the hyper organised result of a painfully scatty upbringing I was shocked to see how busy the shops were mere hours before the big day. As I dashed past Waitrose and the local florist they were still teeming with shoppers desperately hunting down those last minute necessities.

I cannot understand how anyone can leave buying a tree till the night before Christmas, but perhaps that's because I was scarred by a childhood spent scouring the garden centres of rural Essex for the last threadbare tree left standing as the minutes ticked by till closing time on Christmas Eve.

However, I digress, although I was pleased to be out and on my feet, I have to admit it was not my greatest run. I think I am all out of synch what with the holidays and all the disruption they bring. I was tired and a stitch kicked in from early into the run, which I never managed to shift. It is surprising to me the way that running never really seems to get any easier.

I mean in the grand scheme of things it does as, ask me a year ago if I would just breeze around a 45 minute run and I would have laughed till I challenged my pelvic floor muscles, but I still find there are moments when all I really want to do is stop and walk the rest of the way. I never do, but I would like that feeling that it's just too hard to leave me and I imagined it would have done by now.

My father-in-law who was a bit of a runner in his time says it's simply because you get faster and push yourself harder so it never gets any easier. I hope he is right as I do want to progress with my running, but sometimes I feel as if I have simply plateaued and will carry on plodding around the streets at a single pace forever.

Perhaps I should make it my New Years Resolution to try and step up my speed training and actually get a bit faster. But for now I am just glad that I have burned off a few calories before the gluttony ahead (although my post run snack of one of my mother-in-law's rather delicious mince pies probably didn't help). I intend to throughly enjoy a day off and eat until I can do so no more. Bring on the Quality Street and a Happy Christmas to one and all.

PS Anyone fancy a run on Boxing Day?

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