This is a great time of the year....no, not for the weather.....or for the fact that it's the season of overeating and overdrinking......but for the fact that for most people the race season has come to a close! Instead of hard training and worrying about times and distances, you can kick back, reflect on the year gone by, start to plan for the year ahead.....and just run for the love of it!
For me, it has meant a chance to get out on the hills without worrying about injury, a chance to play in the snow without worrying about slipping, and also a chance to enjoy catching up with friends on nights out.
Running past the neighbours
Starting the Christmas handicap
I have just kept my running ticking over.....when I want to (especially nice to run easy in the crunchy new snow), and where I want to (out in the countryside or the woods)......though the club Christmas handicap was a bit of a shock to the sytem. We all run a 5 mile route (almost the course of the Holywood Stroll) , but start times are staggered according to our race results over the past 6 months. Everybody brings an anonymous present worth about a fiver, and then people choose one in the order they cross the finish line (except that the winner gets last choice as they also get a trophy). It was nice to see everyone.....but my aim was to get back as quickly as possibly in order to get a present that looked like it might be chocolatey. I started 4th from the back but managed to work my way up to finish 11th out of the 30 runners, though my plan failed as the prize I chose turned out to be a box of crackers that may just have come out of the Ark! Still, I made up for it with a mincepie fest and a trip to see The Hobbit afterwards (though sitting still in a cinema seat for 3 hours was almost more painful than the 5 mile effort)!!