Week 5 – The Christmas Edition

Bet you’re sick of Christmas now. It’s Hogmanay Eve and I’m over it. It always struck me as something peculiar to Western culture that the build up to Christmas is frequently more satisfying than the actual event and the days that follow. Or perhaps I am just stuck in a post-Christmas haze of temporal confusion , full of cheese and mindlessly flicking through Netflix to find something binge-worthy. Mercifully, my running schedule has been a decent anchor in a sea of conspicuous consumption.

Training Schedule – Week 5

  • Mon – 3 miles easy 5.5 miles of hilarity
  • Tues – Rest
  • Wed – 6 miles easy (Christmas Day)
  • Thurs – 3 miles easy
  • Fri – Rest
  • Sat – 12 miles long
  • Sun – Rest/Cross Train

Going back to what I was saying about the pre-Christmas mood, my Monday run was on point. Running with an impressive 22 fellow Flyers, mostly dressed up as an assortment of elves, reindeers, santas and a spectacular musical Christmas tree (Graeme G taking the prize for best outfit by a country mile) we ran around town, blasting Christmas tunes and shaking up the local neighbourhood, fly-bying some of the best residential displays of Christmas lights Montrose has to offer. There’s a couple of great videos doing the rounds of us dancing around the human tree, courtesy of Ian and Lesley. I can’t imagine any other running opportunity where there would be as much hilarity and car tooting as this one. Yeah, yeah, training plan was 3 miles. Ended up an easy 5.5. Not even sorry.

Christmas Day!! New Garmin!! Early start though, gotta nip on and get 6 miles before eating my way through a gargantuan dinner and drinking the customary morning glass of fizz. As luck would have it, my local parkrun was on. Earlier this year, I made a (drunken) pinkie promise with Tasha and Jo that we would do Christmas parkrun. You don’t go back on a pinkie promise.

It’s 1.5 miles from home to parkrun, which meant I could bag 6 miles easily by ditching the car. I felt a bit silly running through town donning reindeer ears but just shy of the parkrun start point, I met the entire Jamieson clan (including Floyd the dog who looks a little like Dave Mustaine) then Colleen and Emily R, all heading for their festive morning run. When I arrived, it became clear my outfit was tame in comparison to some of the efforts made by others!

It was a great turnout, and after a lovely round of hugs and Merry Christmases, I found Jo and Tasha and we were off, full of Christmas cheer. I even got an action selfie with the two inflatable Santas.

The run was great fun, blethering with Jo and Tasha and making sure to thank each and every volunteer on our way round. Extra kudos to Tasha for completing her first non-stop 5K too!

I mentioned last week that I was going to make a vegetarian pie for dinner…well, I did, and it was delicious…possibly had a billion calories, but very filling and hard to eat more than a wedge at a time.

Boxing Day left one training run to do before the weekend long run. My husband Andy has a knack for guessing correctly at most things in life. I was pondering the distance of one loop around my street and local park to the rear of our house. Convinced it was about 500m, I roughly calculated 10 loops would equal my 3 mile target for the day. He guessed more like 1/2 a mile per loop, so 6 for target miles. Off I went, round and round, realising two loops in that the jammy sod had guessed right as my watch buzzed one mile. I took my defeat graciously, grabbing an afternoon post run beer from the fridge – which is entirely acceptable on Boxing Day. I guess it’s a good thing that I underestimate distances…it’s going to make 26.2 miles feel more like 22 based on my skewed distance perception.

Long run Saturday got off to a reasonably early start – so crack of 10am ish. I knew that at some point in the training plan a run around Montrose Basin would be in order. The route is a real milestone for local runners…I first ran it with a group in March this year. Then, it felt like an epic distance and I was SO chuffed to make it right round. I’ve since run it twice, once solo and another with my good friend Caroline. It’s around 10 miles door to door so I added on a couple of extra miles to the route. I have an almost perfect view of the basin from my house – to look at it, it seems SO FAR. But it’s not really.

Going with last weeks success, I set off with a gel, some water and another audiobook. I tried to rein in my pace and settled in for the distance. I chose clockwise so I could finish with a lap of the beach. Like last week, I got so engrossed in the audiobook I almost forgot to stop and take photos at my favourite viewpoint. There’s this house that used to be a church. When I was wee, I remember going out on a wild winter night, orienteering with the Guides, and ending up in this house drinking hot chocolate, unable to feel my toes, but being completely awed at the house/church. Incidentally, the road up this hill is a segment on Strava called ‘The Maryton Mile’. It’s a toughie. A gradual incline that builds to a fairly steep finish. Glad I was going the other way.

On the way back towards town, I stopped to take on half of the gel (mmm, cola flavoured paste this week) and shortly after saw three ladies coming towards me on their run. It took me until I was almost passing them to realise one of the runners was Pauline. I managed a rather excited/surprised hello before we passed each other. I was surprised as Pauline has recently moved to Gothenburg. Before long, I was back in town and headed around the beach. By this time, it was prime family walk time of day, so I had to manoeuvre carefully around families without giving them a fleg. I was just about home when lo and behold I saw Pauline and gang again (Christine and Tina). This time, we did stop and chat. They had been around the basin too. I learned that Christine is training for VLM and Tina is doing the West Highland Way (all 96 miles!!) Pauline is also doing VLM, having secured a GFA place and managed to bag a Berlin Marathon place in the ballot. What an inspirational bunch!

My weekly mileage came in a little over my training quota at 27 miles, but it was all perfectly manageable. I also smashed my yearly goal of 1700 kms.

I did have a slight moment of terror on Sunday morning when this flashed up on my Facebook app though….

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a great Hogmanay!

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