Merry Christmas! I hope you are having a wonderful day and found some lovely new running kit under the Christmas tree. My big Christmas news is that I FINALLY got back to some running after my virus and the lingering discomfort I suffered thanks to all the coughing. My fitness levels might not be up to much, but getting a bit of consistency back was my main priority.
Here’s how things worked out (the word “rest” is used in the loosest possible sense as it was a pretty busy week and I was determined to find the bottom of my marking pile!)
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 3-4 miles
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 3-4 miles
Friday – rest
Saturday – parkrun
Sunday – rest
I had decided to make my short runs my priority and was timing them to work out at every other day, so the week began with a rest day. I had an appointment in town so that suited me fine and meant I could deal with a few errands afterwards.
On Tuesday I wasn’t sure how I would feel. The aching in my upper body had subsided but not fully disappeared, yet my body felt ready to run and I needed to know how it would feel. I chose a short loop (a little shy of 4 miles) that I like and set off at an easy pace. I figured I would know very quickly if it was too much, but everything felt great at first and I loved feeling my legs move under me again. It was only in the last mile or so that I began to feel a bit uncomfortable so made sure to do some stretching of my upper body when I got home and used a heat pad for the remainder of the evening. The most interesting thing would be to see how it felt the next morning…
Waking up on Wednesday I was worried that I would feel like there had been a setback, but interestingly the muscles that had been sore the night before felt significantly better. Actually, I would go as far as to say they felt better than they had BEFORE I went out for the run. Clearly I had reached the stage where “running it out” and more stretching would be the answer to finally settling things down. I took a rest day to make sure, but mainly because I was having my nails done for Christmas!
Unfortunately things took a bit of a turn after that. I got home to find my poor cat not very well and the vet was closed for the evening. We ended up needing an out of hours appointment for her to get some initial treatment to help her feel more comfortable overnight. Nothing life-threatening, but she was a bit distressed and there was no way I could let her be like that until the following day.
She was much more settled after that, but we did have a follow-up appointment when I got home from work on Thursday. We were able to see the lovely vet who has been treating her for her various health conditions (old age brings its trials!) for the last year and she decided it would be best for the cat to go in on Friday morning to be sedated and have a procedure to help fully resolve the issue she was having. I was a bit anxious about the sedation given her age (my cat is 17!) but knew it was better to have it done while she was reasonably strong rather than let things deteriorate and it become an emergency. Since she was still ok, I dealt with this by heading out for another run.
I chose the same route as Tuesday and approached it with the same effort level but didn’t really look at my watch as I wanted to really tune into my body. There was no issue with any discomfort this time and when I finished I found I was over a minute faster than on Tuesday which was really pleasing.
Friday began with dropping the cat off for her procedure before heading in for the last half day of school. It’s usually a fairly relaxed affair and I only had one class. I was glad I didn’t need to do anything too mentally taxing as I was a bit anxious about the cat, but was later reassured that she was doing well. I didn’t have to pick her up until later in the afternoon so Steve and I had enough time to get the festive food shopping done before it got scary-busy! The procedure was a success and the cat came home a little groggy but otherwise fine.
Steve and I then headed out for some Christmas dinner at our “local”. Turkey with all the trimmings followed by dark chocolate torte with espresso anglaise and peppered strawberries. Yum!
With the cat on the mend I felt much more relaxed on Saturday and a good thing too as I wanted to get back to parkrun and accomplish my goal of running my 100th parkrun before the end of the year. We had been encouraged to wear festive outfits and since I had missed out on doing a Santa run this year (as well as most of my December running!) I was keen to embrace the theme.
To be honest, I didn’t really care about time, I just wanted to enjoy my 100th run and complete it feeling good. I was running alongside a parkrun pal at various points and he kept calling out mini milestones like 99.2 parkruns, 99.5 parkuns and so on! In the end I was probably a couple of minutes off my “average” pace, but that’s not at all important right now. I was just thrilled to be back out there in time for Christmas.
I was also excited to get a tweet from parkrun UK!
Post-parkrun we got changed then met Steve’s brother for a coffee and to exchange gifts. We also had bacon croissants which I always enjoy.
Then after a couple of last-minute purchases we headed home and spent the rest of the day in front of the TV. I’ve been trying to get Steve to watch Harry Potter (can you believe he’s NEVER seen any of the films!?!?) so took advantage of the first film being on to get him to watch a bit. After that one of the TV channels was screening a performance of Elf: The Musical. One of my favourite Christmas films turned into a musical? Awesome! I really enjoyed it and it felt so Christmassy. I also discovered a screening of the Take That tour I saw earlier in the year so I recorded that (but not until I’d watched a few minutes before bed!).
Sunday, unfortunately, was a bit more stressful. The cat was showing symptoms of a UTI and couldn’t settle, but we had to wait until 10am for the vet to open. Thankfully they were able to see her right away and she got some treatment that made such a massive difference. By the time we got back she was a different cat, although a bit spaced out from one of the meds they gave her so I took advantage of the opportunity to put her Christmas outfit on for a few minutes!
With her sorted out Steve and I got down to some serious pre-Christmas tasks: housework, odd jobs/repairs and some food prep. We finally got settled in front of the TV around 5pm, just in time for The Snowman followed by The Snowman and the Snowdog and, crucially, The Muppet Christmas Carol, another film I watch every single year even though I practically know it by heart!
My sister came round and we spent the evening nibbling on party food, pulling crackers and playing silly games. All intentions of taking photos went out the window, but a good time was had by all!
And with that, Christmas week came to an end. I’m so pleased to be running again and relieved that my cat is recovering. Those are my Christmas miracles. I hope you get yours.