This weekend I was totally in the festive mood. On Friday after dinner we drove to Bath (well, Frome) ready for heading to the park and ride on Saturday morning.
After a wander around the shops (or, more accurately, a battle to get in and out…) and some lunch in the park, we headed to the spa to escape the crowds. We stayed there for a couple of hours, before heading back out to enjoy the markets in the dark.
It was still pretty busy, but we managed to look at a few stalls and buy a few gifts.
It was so pretty. We had booked dinner in Las Iguanas (they have a complete veggie and vegan menu- so much choice) so we headed there before a final wander. Then we headed back to the car and drove home (the traffic is much better on Saturday night than on a Sunday).
Earlier in the week I had seen someone mention a local race, the Festive Five. I remembered looking at it a few years ago, but either we were away, or last year I had an awful cough so didn’t run much in December. The entry was only £5, so I signed up.
When I saw the drizzle on Sunday morning, I was not so enthusiastic. I had decided to park at the Tescos which was just over a mile from the start, because I wasn’t sure about road closures, and also I needed to get petrol and a few bits. So after eating a Pulsin’ bar (could not decide on breakfast for ages) I drove there, got petrol, parked up and then delayed getting out of the car! Once I started running down there it wasn’t so bad, and when I got to the start and saw people in Santa outfits and pudding glasses, I felt more in the spirit.
The 5 mile race was just over 2 laps, but I didn’t really know the roads (apart from the first section). It turned out to be fairly flat- gently uphill on the out section, a nice long downhill section, a shortish uphill and then a very steep downhill to the start/finish area. I didn’t think I would manage a pb (44.44 is my 5 mile pb from last year) but I thought if I aimed for as close to 9 minute miles as possible I would be pleased with that.
I managed to keep it going, although the mile to the start had messed up the average pace a bit, so I wasn’t 100% sure of my pace. I felt OK, and for the first lap kept up with a couple of ladies from another club, although in the second lap they steamed ahead and I lost them. By then the rain was harder, and I kept having to take my glasses off to wipe them on my sleeve. I did try running holding them in my hand, but it makes me feel dizzy sometimes so I decided to cope with peering through them instead.
As I came around the bend to the finish, I could see 45-something on the clock, and as I ran into the finish area a lady shouted to me “you’ve won a spot prize” and handed me a bottle of wine. I was then given a chocolate Santa (everyone was given some sort of chocolate gift as they finished) and a very kind lady took the chip off my trainers as I had my hands full! My text came through almost instantly- 45.12 was my chip time so I was really pleased with that. After chatting to a running friend, I began the gentle jog back to the car, hoping I would not fall, drop the bottle, smash it and then cut myself on the broken glass. I had worn a long sleeved top, which I tied around my waist for the run, so I put that back on, but it was wet from being out in the rain (and it turned out there was a little baggage drop tent) so it didn’t help much, and my hands got so cold from holding the wine and chocolate, so by the time I got back to my car I was so cold. I had put a hoodie and coat in my car, so I put those on before going into Tescos for a quick shop.
It felt like ages before I was finally home- the race started at 9.30 and I think I got out of the shower at 11.30!
Then I was off for a festive afternoon tea (yes, that was all mine- apparently that was two people’s cakes but because I was the only veggie it would look silly without the right number. And no, I didn’t manage them all!) which was lovely- a very long catch up with friends (and Wittertainment fans take note of the Battenberg slice!).
We had planned on putting up our Christmas tree, but then we booked cinema tickets to see Sisters (I do love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler) so that will be for another day.
I am so glad I signed up for the race in the end- even though it was a bit of a miserable day, I enjoyed it, and it was more enjoyable than just going out on my own.
Are you a last minute person or a planner? I normally plan things out way in advance (I think our festive afternoon tea was booked in September!) because I don’t want things to clash.